My Guru is Radharani

Jan 11 2001 - Krishna Talk 13

Question: I have seen in the composition "Prabhupada Lila-Smarana-Mangala-Stotram" that you have indicated Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was in madhurya-rasa. However, we have also heard from other great souls quoting Srila B. R. Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaja that Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja has shown affinity for sakhya-rasa. This apparently has been shown in Swami Prabhupada's prayer written on the good ship Jaladutta while he was on his way to the western world. So my question is, being an admirer of Srila Sridhara Maharaja how do you harmonize your opinion about the rasa of your Guru Maharaja with that indicated by Srila Sridhara Maharaja?

Narasingha Maharaja: What Srila Sridhara Maharaja has spoken, we should take that upon our head. After the departure of our Prabhupada, it is appropriate that we should accept the direction of Srila Sridhar Maharaja. Almost these very same words were uttered about Srila Sridhara Maharaja by our Guru Maharaja in a letter to Sripad Govinda Maharaja (Our Affectionate Guardians, pp. 8. ). So to accept Srila Sridhara Maharaja's opinion is quite natural for anyone who even remotely knows something of his higher subjective realizations and of his intimate relationship with our Srila Prabhupada.

When Srila Sridhara Maharaja heard the recitation of the poem composed by our Guru Maharaja, "Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krsna," he commented that there was indeed strong indication of our Srila Prabhupada being in sakhya-rasa. Srila Sridhara Maharaja said, "He has expressed himself, his eternal position, the acme of his aspiration. In Vrindavan he has established Balarama and Krishna and Nitai Gaura, and he is saying like that, Nitai Gaura are Krishna and Balarama. It's almost clear that he comes from that group. And now he's again there. Hare Krishna."

Such a statement by Srila Sridhara Maharaja is not to be taken lightly. A short time later there was some objection to Srila Sridhara Maharaja's referring to our Guru Maharaja as being in sakhya-rasa. Some of Srila Prabhupada's disciples for some reason took objection to Srila Sridhara Maharaja's statement. Srila Sridhara Maharaja was shocked by the immaturity of those disciples who objected. The consideration of rasa was obviously not a topic that those disciples were familiar with. Indeed their harshness in dealing with Srila Sridhara Maharaja reflected their extremely neophyte state of Krsna consciousness.

At that time Srila Sridhara Maharaja made reference to the effect that because of the special empowerment of Sri Nityananda Prabhu that our Guru Maharaja might have couched his madhurya tendencies in deference to Lord Nityananda.

The idea given by Srila Sridhara Mahraja was that it is possible that our Guru Maharaja was in madhurya rasa, but out of deference to Nityananda by whose potency he was influenced for his preaching campaign, Srila Prabhupada may have veiled his madhurya sentiments. Therefore some of the sakhya influence of Nityananda Prabhu was shown outwardly, keeping madhurya in the backgound.

It was not unthinkable for Srila Sridhara Maharaja to say such a thing-that our Guru Maharaja was outwardly showing sakhya influence and keeping his madhurya sentiments in the background. Certainly such is not unreasonable.

To be a follower of Srila Sridhara Maharaja does indeed mean to adhere to his instructions and opinions. Last but not least, his instruction was that one should come to the plane of eternal truth, by surrender-to know the truth in the core of one's heart, anuraga.

Some devotees may be in favor of our Guru Maharaja in sakhya-rasa while others may favor him in madhurya-rasa but to establish a right and a wrong in this matter may not be as black and white as some would like it to be. The truth is subjective-as He wishes us to see Him, so we shall see Him.

In the life of our Guru Maharaja there were innumerable indications for thinking that he was connected to Krsna-lila in madhurya-rasa. We have tried to show practically, by those indications, how Srila Prabhupada is very dear to Srimati Radharani. Only a portion of those indications have been recounted in the song "Prabhupada Lila-Smarana-Mangala-Stotram." Those were as follows: (1) That Srila Prabhupada's father praying to the vaishnava-sadhus asked for their blessings that his son become the servant of Srimati Radharani. (2) That Srila Prabhupada took mantra-diksa (initiation) from Sri Saraswati Thakura (Vrsabhanavi Devi Dayita Dasa also known as Nayana-mani Manjari in his siddha-rupa). (3) That Srila Prabhupada received his most cherished instructions to print books from his Guru while they strolled along the banks of Sri Radha Kunda (the most sacred place of pilgrimage for the followers of Sri Rupa and Raghunatha dasa). (4) That Srila Prabhupada's chosen place of bhajan in Vrindavan was just behind the samadhi of Srila Rupa Goswami (Rupa Manjari). (5) That Srila Prabhupada after completing his world preaching mission returned to Vrindavana and selected Kartikka month (the month non-different from Srimati Radharani) as the time of his departure and his entrance into the eternal lilas of the Lord. (6) And lastly Srila Prabhupada manifested a great desire just a few days before his pastime of departure to go to Govardhan Hill, the eternal place of residence of the followers of Sri Rupa and Raghunatha dasa. These and other indications of Srila Prabhupada being the dear most servant of Srimati Radharani were expressed in "Prabhupada Lila-Smarana-Mangala-Stotram"

It may be said that one can not judge the rasa of a particular devotee simply by his external movements or place of residence etc. However such a statement may be taken as only partially true. Otherwise Gaudiya-vaishnavas would not choose the Holy Dhams such as Vrindavana, Navadwipa, and Jagganatha Puri as their preferred places of residence/bhajan. The prakata-lila (external movement) of the pure devotee is not necessarily devoid of aprakata-bhava (one's internal feelings of love of Krsna). Although the movements of the pure Vaishnava are certainly deeply mysterious and not easily understood, such may nonetheless give us some perspective on the level of their intimacy with the Supreme Lord.

Further biographical information that has not been mentioned in the "Prabhupada Lila-Smarana-Mangala-Stotram" indicating the intimacy of Srila Prabhupada in Radha Krsna-lila is as follows. (1) When choosing to establish his mission "The League of Devotees" at Jansi, India Srila Prabhupada chose a building known as "Radha Smarak" (Radha Memorial) to set up his offices. (2) When Srila Prabhupada went to Delhi for printing his Back to Godhead magazine he chose a residence in the Chippiwada, Radha Krsna temple. (3) When choosing a printing press to begin the publication of his life's work Srimad Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada chose the Radha Press in Delhi. (4) When introducing his disciples to the worship of Sri Guru, Srila Prabhupada requested us to daily sing the prayers to the spiritual master composed by Viswanatha Cakravarthi Thakura, in which the glorify the spiritual master as a servant of the divine couple in madhyura-rasa (nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai) is mentioned. (5) Srila Prabhupada's favorite bhajan was "jaya radha madhava jaya-kunja-bihari, gopi-jana-ballabha" (This song was sung whenever Srila Prabhupada gave Srimad Bhagavatam class).

In any case, we have many such remembrances of our Divine Master which have unfolded in our heart so as to impel us to contemplate him as a follower of Sri Rupa Goswami and an eternal member of the intimate circle of the madhurya-rasa. We feel it proudly in our heart the Srila Prabhupada was the confidential representative of Srimati Radharani who was especially empowered by Sri Nityananda Prabhu to spread Krsna consciousness all over the world.

nama om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
svami sri bhaktivedanta prabhupadaya te namah
gurvajnam sirasi-dharyam saktyavesa sva-rupine
hare-krsneti mantrena pascatya-pracya-tarine
visvacarya prabaryaya divya karunya murtaye
gaura-sri-rupa-siddhanta-saraswati nisevine
radha-krsna-padambhoja-bhrngaya gurave namah

"I offer my humble obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krsna on this Earth, having taken shelter at His lotus feet. Taking the order of his guru on his head, be became empowered by Nityananda Prabhu to act as a saktyavesa-avatara. He distributed the Hare Krsna mantra all over the Eastern and Western world, delivering and uplifting all fallen souls. He is the best of millions of jagat-gurus, because he is the personification of divine mercy. He has distributed the sweet nectar of Srimad Bhagavatam and the transcendental knowledge of Bhagavad-gita all over the world. He is constantly engaged in exclusive devotional service to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, Srila Rupa Goswami, and Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. I offer my humble obeisances unto Srila Prabhupada, who is like a bumblebee always tasting the nectar of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Govinda." (pranam-mantra composed by Sripad Govinda Maharaja upon Srila Prabhupada's personal request)

As Srila Sridhara Maharaja has said, "If we raise our head a little higher and look up then we shall find Radharani and Gurudeva. It is Radharani who is instrumental in accomplishing the function of Gurudeva from behind. The source of grace for the guru is coming from the original source of service and love. Saksad dharitvena samasta sastrair, we are asked to see Gurudeva not as opaque but as transparent, to such a degree that through him the highest conception of service, the first conception of service can be seen. It can be obtained there. If we are earnest then we shall find the highest link from the original source. We are requested not to see guru as limited in his ordinary personification, but as the transparent mediator of the highest function in his line. If only our vision is deep, we can see that according to the depth of our sraddha, our vision, guru-tattva is very particular, very noble, very broad, wide and very deep." (Follow the Angels, pp.163. Available from Mandala Publishing Group:

In summary we may conjecture that our Guru Maharaja, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is in madhurya-rasa simply because he saw his guru as Srimati Radharani. His guru is Srimati Radharani. A simple observation-he saw his guru as Srimati Radharani. This was also confirmed by Srila Sridhara Maharaja on several occasions as follows:

"Swami Maharaja has clearly written that his guru is Radharani, it is there. Krsna, Radharani will be pleased if you help me in this campaign. Is it not written there, e-punya koribe jabe radharani khusi habe dhruva ati boli toma tai. So he has admitted that his guru is Radharani. So we aspire after the service of Radharani, under the direction of Sri Rupa and other devotees, not committing any wrong." (Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krsna)

"In general rasa, general service of Krishna he preached in the West. Though he knew and admitted that, 'My guru is Radharani.' Radharani, my gurudeva, has ordered me to preach in the west. And Krishna, my friend, you are to help me, because Radharani will be satisfied, my gurudeva. Your bigness is also like that. So, You must come to help me"

Certainly Srila Prabhupada will forgive us if we have over stepped our bounds in our endeavors to serve him with our full hearts love and devotion.

We offer our humble apologies to anyone and everyone if we have made any offence in following our heart felt intuition and pray that you will kindly forgive us.

Srila Prabhupada Lila-Smarana-Mangala-Stotram

jayore sva parisada srila swami prabhupada
abhaya amrta para gati
tomara carana padma dhuli moro sreya-sadma
tahe mama nitya paranati

All glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is always accompanied by his associate servitors, his internal nature is just like the sweetest nectar and externally he appears like fearlessness personified. I continually offer my full prostrate obeisances unto the dust of his lotus feet which are the all auspicious shelter and goal of my life.

sat jana vandita mama cira vanchita
prabhupada-padme sukha-seva
tava seva parasade purila se hrdi sadhe
tava guna-sobha mana-lobha

The blissful service of the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada is glorified by the topmost saints and devotees. To obtain the unalloyed service of his lotus feet is the only cherishable goal of my life. That eternal desire is always being fulfilled by the nectar of His Divine Grace and therefore the beauty of his unlimited transcendental qualities continually charms my heart. Now my dear devotees please hear with great care and attention the narration of Srila Prabhupada-Lila-Smarana-Mangala-Stotram, the transcendental qualities and pastimes of His Divine Grace, the topmost servant of Srimati Radharani .

sri nandotsava-dine nija sakhi-gana-sane
premananda-nimagna sri radhe
sukha iccha parakasa daki nija priya dasa
kahilena "pura ei sadhe"

On the day when the grand festival of Sri Nanda Maharaja, celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna was being held, Srimati Radharani accompanied by Her sakhis, who were all deeply absorbed in the bliss of krsna-prema, called for one of Her dearmost servants. Srimati Radharani, the Absolute Qyeen of Vrindavana, spoke thus revealing Her happy thoughts, "You must fulfill one desire of mine."

aji subha divasete mama krpasisa sathe
avatirne hao dharanite
sri kamala-dhani tatha tava gaura-seva-katha
pracarila bhavisya-vanite

On this auspicious day you must incarnate on the earth along with my blessings and spread Krishna consciousness in every town and village of the world. My very dear Sri Kamala (another name of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura) has already announced your coming and she has also predicted your devotional service unto My Lord Gauranga.

is†a-devi-pade-nami tabe he sri krsna-premi
e dharara kroda dhanya-kore
avatirna hoile nami sri vaisnava grha swami
sri gaura-mohana-paribare

That unalloyed servant of Sri Krishna (later to be known as A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada), who's heart was filled with the most inconceivable love of Godhead, paying obeisances and offering countless prayers at the lotus feet of the Supremely Worshipable Goddess of Fortune then appeared on the Earth in the renowned Vaishnava family, headed by Sri Gaura Mahan.

(6 & 7)
nija putra-tare tini parama kalyana mani
prarthana karila sneha bhare
he vaisnava sadhu gana koro krpa anuksana
mora prana ei putra-pare
mama putra e abhaya yena radha-dasa hoiya
nitya-kala seve radha-dhana
parama gaurava-bhange kirtana koruka range
tanra guna bhariya bhuvana

Invoking the blessings of the Vaishnava sadhus upon his son, Gaura Mohan prayed to all of them with great sincerity, "O sadhus, O Vaishnavas please bestow your blessings upon this dear son of mine, who is my life and soul, so that he can become the servant of Srimati Radharani eternally serving Her, the Supreme wealth of life. Please bless him so that he can preach and sing Her qualities and glories in a most grand way, inundating the whole world."

pare eka subha-kale tvadiya karuna bole
milila sri gurudeva-sathe
sri visnu-kirana dyuti sudivya karuna-murti-
rupa tumi herila tanhate

Afterwards, at an auspicious moment arranged by the grace of Srimati Radharani Srila Prabhupada met his spiritual master (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura). He saw the divine grace of Srimati Radharani in his gurudeva and understood him to be an effulgent Ray of Vishnu, His Divine Grace personified.

bhayahina pracaraka bhakti sadacara daksa
prabhu bara se dayita dasa
nija drdha citta-mate nama dila sva-sisyete
isa abhaya carana dasa

That great divine master Sri Varsabhanavi Devi Dayita Dasa (another name of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, meaning the servant of the lover of Sri Radha) who is expert at practicing pure devotional principles and who is a fearless preacher of the Divine Message of Godhead now conferred upon Srila Prabhupada the name Abhaya Caranaravinda according to his own firm self-confident character. The meaning of that name is that he is the servitor of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead which are the abode of all fearlessness and hopes for the pure devotees.

radha kunda ta†angane ati antaranga sthane
ela tanra sandra premavesa
gadha anuraga-mane sarva-atma nivedane
mathe tule nila gurvadesa

In the most intimate place of the madhurya pastimes, namely Sri Radha-kunda, Srila Prabhupada experienced the full ecstacy of Krsna-Prema. Whole heartedly surrendering unto Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura with intense love Srila Prabhupada received upon his head the most holy order of his Gurudeva, "If you ever get money print and distribute books."

rupa-saraswati-srota guru iccha-ajnamata
premabhare kirtana karite
pradarsila e jagata sakala saubhagya yata
ase garo guru-nis†ha hate

By singing and preaching with great loving devotion that sublime message of his Gurudeva, which is pure devotional knowledge of the Rupa-Saraswati (Rupanuga) stream, Srila Prabhupada has shown to the world that all good fortune manifests from adherent devotional service unto the lotus feet of Sri Guru.

(12 & 13)
sri sri radha-damodara sri jivera mandira
prabhu-datta nija kutirete
ara rupa-samadhite vraja-raga avesete
bhajana korila rasa-prite
sudha-bhakta-ratna-mani rupe nitya-kala tini
sethaya rahena virajita
yetha radha-pada-seva dhari rasa-murti-sobha
nirantara hana prasphu†ita

In the temple of Sri Jiva Goswami, namely Sri Sri Radha Damodara Mandir and Sri Rupa Samadhi, in his rooms given by his divine masters, Srila Prabhupada performed his bhajan in the loving devotional mood of the Vraja-gopis.

Srila Prabhupada lives eternally in his place of bhajan as the precious gem among the pure devotees where the loving devotional service of Srimati Radharani constantly blooms personifying the beauty of divine ecstatic mellows.

(14, 15 & 16)
parama suhrda haye gaura-prema-vani laye
pascatya desete aila yabe
bhai boli sri krsnere sambodhiya samadare
pratharna korila ei tabe
bhai tava punya habe radharani khusi habe
dhruva ati boli toma tai
labhive se bhagya aro yadi tumi khusi koro
bhagya-devi-rupa sri radhai
sri siddhanta saraswati- rupa dhari se srimati
more ajna dila pracarite
se iccha purna koro amara vacana dharo
tabe pari tanhare sevite

Leaving behind the sacred land of Vrindavan and taking a great risk in his old age, Srila Prabhupada came to the western world as our Ever Well Wisher carrying with him the message of Gaura-prema, love of Lord Gauranga. Upon his arrival he ernestly prayed to Lord Krishna addressing Him as "bhai" (O Brother) in an intense loving way.

"O dear brother, my dear and intimate friend! I tell You this in a most definite way. You can acheive some invaluable merits by pleasing Srimati Radharani. You (Lord Krishna) can really attain even more fortune if You can now please Her, the Supreme Goddess of all good fortunes.

Srimati Radharani Herself in the form of Sri la Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura ordered me to preach Her message. Therefore please take my word and advice and fulfill Her desire; then only can I attain success and serve my Guru fully

(17 & 18)
atula saubhagya-kani tanra ei divya-vani
sri nama sri saci-putrasraye
sri svarupa sanatana rupa-prabhu guru-gana
sabe maha krpanvita hoye
ama-bhakta sabakare dena pravesadhikare
sri radha-sevika-gan-angane
vrndavana-govardhane kabhu radhakunda-pane
parama abhis†a siddhi dane

The mine of incomparable good fortune is the message of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - "If someone takes shelter of Krishna-nama, and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the son of mother Saci, along with their dear associates, Sri Swarupa Damodara, Sanatana Goswami, and Sri Rupa Goswami - They being greatly pleased with such a person bestow upon him entrance into the embrace of the dear associate servitors of Srimati Radharani at Govardhana, Vrindavana, and sometimes at Sri Radhakunda - blessing them with the supreme fulfillment of the ultimate goal of Krsna-prema.

sri radhika priyankari sri kartika-masa bari
giriraja hrdayete smari
tinho apraka†a hoila nitya lila pravesila
raje yeta radha-sange hari

Completing his missionary activities in the western world Srila Prabhupada retutrned to Vrindavana. Accepting the month of Kartikka, which is nondifferent from Srimati Radharani, bearing Giriraja Govardhana in mind and embracing the lotus feet of his most worshipfull Lord in the core of his heart Srila Prabhupada made his disappearance from this world and entered the nitya-lila, the eternal loving pastimes of Goloka where Lord Govinda is always effulgently present with His dearmost Srimati Radharani.

ei pantha pradarsane siksa dila amargane
kon vastu-siddhi laksya haiya
kori basa govardhane dainya atma-nivedane
labha sri radhika-ganasraya

By showing us his disappearance from this world in the month of Kartikka and by revealing his desire to go to Govardhana Hill Srila Prabhupada has thus shown us the path which leads to the fulfillment of the ultimate aim and object of life, that is to obtain supreme shelter in the camp of Srimati Radharani's associate-servants with humble self surrender, residing always at Sri Govardhana.

kabe tana aprakrta bhava-guna-bibhusita
satya kori e vastave amari sampada habe
e jivane dani sukha sima

When will that day be mine, in some distant lifetime, when the beauty of Srila Prabhupada's transcendental life, possessed by the qualities of pure love for Sri Sri Radha Krishna actually become my only wealth giving me a taste of the highest happiness ? O when will that day be mine?

(22 & 23)
sakala hrdaya diye sutivra akankha loiye
se ase rohi mui hina
kabe sei bhagya habe e jivana dhanya habe
kabe mor asibe se dina
pranabari pratisthane tanri krpa-saktyadhane
labhi eka-nis†ha tanu-mana
e dina sevaka tanra guna-gantha-sambhara
kori yabe satata kirtana

Let us always pray to remain the humble and obedient servants of Srila Prabhupada. With a burning heart, filled with an intense longing for his association, this poor and lowly insignificant begger humbly prays for that fortunate day when the life of his servant will be empowered by His Divine Grace with firm determination so that I may with one pointedness, not caring for anything else, constantly sing with my body and mind the sweetest glories of Srila Prabhupada's unlimited transcendental qualities and pastimes.