Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gaura Purnima Lecture Notes—Varsana Swami—Alachua

Because Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Original Personality of Godhead Himself, Krishna, combined with Radha, the benefit achieved from Him is far greater than that from the usual yuga avataras. Golokera prema-dhana harinama-sankirtana: His sankirtana movement gives love for Krishna.

In the maha-mantra we both worship Krishna, in vaidhi [according to regulations] which can give us santa [neutrality] and dasya [servitude] rasa [relationships with Lord], and Radha in raganuga [spontaneous love], through which we can enter the higher rasas [relationships of friendship, parenthood, and conjugal love].

Radha is the emblem of Vraja bhakti.

Why did Lord Caitanya select Puri for His pastimes? Puri is where devotees congregate by the millions to perform harinama-sankirtana in Ratha-yatra, and it was this sankirtana He came to teach.

Subhadra told Rohini that she would, with outstretched arms, guard the door in Dvakara while Rohini narrated the Lord’s Vraja lila before Krishna’s queens so Krishna and Balarama could not enter and become overwhelmed with ecstasy. But hearing the pastimes herself, Subhadra experienced so much ecstasy her eyes opened widely and her arms contracted and entered into her body, and thus she could not prevent Krishna and Balarama from hearing the narration. When Krishna and Balarama heard the narrations they also manifested ecstatic forms, which Narada requested they allow to be worshiped somewhere on earth. Thus Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra are worshiped in those forms in Puri.

To allay the feelings of separation of Vrajavasis, Uddhava was requested to go to Vraja, but because he had already been and promised to bring Krishna, He felt they wouldn’t believe him. Balarama also doubted they would believe him as He previously promised Krishna would return. Subhadra volunteered, telling a story that Krishna, Balarama, and herself started out at the same time from Dvakara, but Krishna was delayed reciprocating with many kings along the way.

When Radha was almost dead from separation from Krishna, Candravali touched the feet of Radha, and admitted she appeared as Her competitor by yogamaya, just to increase the ecstasy of the Lord’s pastimes.

Once a professor gave a lecture on Ratha-yatha. He spoke mostly to the nondevotees, saying it was a festival of recreation. “Recreation” he explained as “re-creation”, recreating the meeting of the Vrajavasis with the Lord at Kuruksetra.

Imagine not seeing someone for years and then finally seeing someone people say is that person, and then finding it is someone else. Lord Caitanya in the mood of Radharani expressed that She wanted to be with Krishna as He was in Vrindavana not as He is in Dvaraka.

The gopis complained about hearing instructions on yoga to remember Krishna. They did not need a process to remember Krishna for their devotion is like rivers flowing to the sea.

When Lord Caitanya danced behind Lord Jagannatha’s cart, it stopped. And when Lord Caitanya came in front, it started again. The car of the Lord moves by superior power.

Balarama’s conch shell, representing duty, draws him back to Dvaraka where he must kill demons and thus protect the world, including Vraja. But ropes of love draw Him to Vraja. Subala and Radha appeared as if in a dream to invite Him to enter again their respective pastimes in Vraja.

Ratha-yatra is the image of the Lord’s own heart.

When Gangadevi [the Ganges River] wanted to go underground because of sinful situation of Kali, Krishna told her in 5000 years My devotee who worships me by My mantra will gather up devotees from all over the world, and they will bathe in your waters and purify them.

Lord Caitanya first caused the appearance of the holy name, and then inspired all to engage in sankirtana.

Sankirtana means using everything and everyone, harmonized in one voice, for the glorification of the Lord.

If the whole world was delivered by the mere presence of Lord Caitanya, what is the need for His pastimes of delivering Jagai and Madhai, Raghunatha Dasa, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, etc.. He did it to show how anyone can be delivered by His process.

Before Lord Caitanya no one ever dreamed one could enter into Vraja prema [the loving service mood of Krishna]. But it is that prema, Lord Caitanya came to distribute.

You cannot enter Vraja without an invitation and someone to lead the path. Therefore as Srila Prabhupada himself said, “I have created your good fortune.”

The whole world can be delivered as it was 500 years ago. During Lord Caitanya’s pastimes, even those who blasphemed attained Vaikuntha and those appreciated attained Goloka.

One would consider it fortunate to be appointed to the king’s court. No one could imagine being adopted by the king and living in His own chambers. Lord Caitanya is giving an intimate relationship with God like that.

In separation from the guru we internalize everything he taught and come to realize he is still present.

Krishna is bound by love alone. Radha and Krishna, in the form of the subtle sound of the maha-mantra, reveal that love to us.

We should never forget this love is the ultimate goal, and we should never stop following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions to share this love with others.