Transcendental Knowledge

Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar MaharajHis Divine Grace Srila B.R.Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaja

Sometimes we may be misguided to believe that we must not study the devotional books, thinking: “To analyze, to know, that is not part of devotion. That is not necessary; it is knowledge, jnana, and that is anti-devotion.” Thinking in this way we will go on taking the Holy Name, and wherever there is some explanation being given about the devotional school, we will try to avoid it. But that is not always best, because by hearing from the proper source we get the kind of knowledge that gives us impetus to go on in our sadhana.

In Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita Srila Krishnadås Kaviraja Goswami says: siddhanta baliya, we should discuss the siddhanta (perfect conclusions of devotion). Sanatana Goswami is the acharya of siddhanta.

One may say, “What is the necessity of knowing siddhanta, what is what? I shall go on chanting the Name and wherever there is any class being given to explain Srimad Bhagavatam or Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita I shall avoid it. That is all knowledge: jnane prayasam udapasya. “One should totally abandon the unnecessary endeavor of gaining knowledge by discussing empirical philosophical truths.” (Srimad-Bhågavatam 10.14.3)


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Paṇḍit Śrī Gadādhar Goswāmī

Om Viṣṇupād Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj

Translated from a Bengali article originally published in Śrī Gauḍīya Darśan, Volume 2, Issue 1, 12 August 1956

Śrī Gadādhar Goswāmī is the highest amongst Śrī Gauraṅga’s intimate associates. As Śrī Rādhikā’s position is, in comparison to all, undisputedly the highest in Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s madhura-līlā, so the special audārya-madhura-rasa in Śrī Paṇḍit Goswāmī’s character is the object of the greatest attraction for Śrī Gaurāṅga in comparison to all present within Śrī Gaura-Kṛṣṇa’s audārya-līlā and His service in audārya-madhura-rasa. The great souls see Śrī Rādhā within Paṇḍit Gadādhar.

Paṇḍit Gadādhar’s appearance is during the summer on Amāvasyā (the new moon) in Jyaiṣṭha, and his disappearance is one month later on Amāvasyā in Āṣāḍh. Paṇḍit Goswāmī’s life is a special offering of silent and complete self-sacrifice to his beloved. Only those who can taste unprecedented joy by appreciating the wonder within the ornament of contradiction in seeing the bag of a beggar on Lakṣmī Devī’s shoulder are fit to appreciate the extraordinary glory of Śrīmat Paṇḍit Goswāmī’s unprecedented personality. From his childhood, he was very simple, quiet, modest, courteous, devoted to the Lord and the brāhmaṇs, and affectionate to friends. Although he is gentle, he is timid; although he is a surrendered soul, he feels offensive; although he is fully realised, he feels inexperienced; and although he is a leader, he is a submissive servant. His attachment to his Lord Śrī Gaurāṅga is such that even the glances of Gaurasundar’s ordinary followers make him hesitant and timid. His mad absorption in his Guru, Śrī Gaura, made him forget his mantra for worship. Even a little faith in Śrī Gaurāṅga attracts his heart from afar, so much so that, as an expression of affection, he accepts insults as praise from anyone who has such attraction. Śrī Paṇḍit Goswāmī’s character is, in gist, like the neglected figure of one who has given away all his wealth and willingly accepted the garb of a beggar.

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Sri Gaura consciousness

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami MaharajSrila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhar deva Goswami

To bring Sri Gauranga nearer to our soul is to get, even unconsciously, a guarantee of our achievement in krsna-lila. For the fallen souls it is more useful to cultivate devotion for Sri Gauranga. That will give us the complete fulfillment of life with the least trouble. Devotion to Gauranga will not lead us to any haphazard or misconceived Krsna consciousness, but real Krsna consciousness. We can have full Krsna consciousness by the help of Gaura consciousness. By developing devotion to Sri Gauranga, we will be able to feel that Sri Gauranga consciousness also includes Krsna consciousness—plus something more. What is that? The distribution of Krsna consciousness.

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Sacrifice Our Mundane Experience

Do you want to live? Then come to die. We shall have to invite wholesale dissolution of everything in our experience. Hegel’s words help us: “die to live.” What is generally considered a concrete, valuable thing must be cast into the fire, in exchange for some hope that is unknown and unknowable. That is sacrifice. In Vedic ritual, we pour clarified butter into the fire as a sacrifice to please the Lord. Ghee, a valuable foodstuff, is burnt in the fire to create a healthier atmosphere. Of course, to say such a thing is improper and ridiculous according to material understanding, yet the benefit from the unknown quarter is there.

Be disgusted with your known world of knowledge, of pleasure—everything. Die to live. Now it appears to be all risk, no gain. Then, when the destination is reached to a certain extent, it will be all gain, no risk. Actually, what we risk is all concoction, misunderstanding. We only need to throw our misconception into the fire to gain a proper conception of reality. When the unreal is put into the fire, we gain the real. This is what “die to live” means.

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Sri Sri Prapanna Jivanamrita 9.52

martyo yada tyakta-samasta-karma
niveditatma vicikirsito me
tadamrtatvam pratipadyamano
mamatma-bhuyaya ca kalpate vaitatraiva

SB. 11.29.34

Utterly abandoning desire for worldly enjoyment or liberation, or the desire to become one of the demigods, the souls who embrace the service of Sri Krsna realize their eternal divine identity and attain confidential servitude to the Lord, gaining admission into the group of the followers of Srila Rupa Goswami – “When the mortal being gives up all worldly attempts, completely offers himself to Me, and acts exclusively according to My desire, he attains to the state of nectar or positive immortality. He is then accepted: he becomes qualified to enjoy the acme of divine ecstasy, united with Me as My family member.”

From: Follow the Angels

Nama: More Than Mundane Sound

If we take the Name, then there must be service. Sat-sanga. Sadhu-sanga krsna nama. Service means to dedicate oneself completely to that which we serve. In that way we shall take the Name. For what purpose are we taking the Name of the Lord? Kanaka, kamini, pratis ha: not for money, not for sense gratification, not to achieve popularity. We are ready to sacrifice ourselves completely for Him, for His Name. With that attitude we shall take the Name. It is not limited. The whole life within the fist we shall give for His satisfaction. The whole of our energy, we shall risk it for the satisfaction of the Holy Name. We must approach with this attitude. It is guaranteed. The pursuit, the attempt is backed by our whole energy, our whole life, the whole prospect, everything.
With this attitude we shall have to search for a drop of Vaikuntha nectar. Otherwise it is useless. Die to live. Sacrifice, seva. Seva means death—death of the material ego. Seva means to give one’s own self to a particular purpose. The seva of Krsna means to give up this mad self, this mundane, concocted self. Try to be saved from our present position. This is not a very laudable thing, our present position; it is a mortal thing, the result of many reactions. So get rid of this shelter. Get out of it, as soon as possible. And enter into the land of confidence and goodness and fairness and sweetness. Try to enter that.

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A great tragedy

Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar MaharajMAHAPRABHU’S SANNYAS – A great tragedy

We must return back to Godhead, back to home. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, “Your home is a beautiful land. You must try for that. Why are you always troubled with the horrors of war, epidemic, earthquake, undesirable disease, stealing, dacoiting, and fighting with so many neighbors? At the bottom of all this is the fact that you have identified yourself with this material world and this body of flesh and blood. You have to retrace your path and go back to your home.” That is what is necessary. Our homeland is such a lovely and beautiful and divine place. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa is all for us, and it is for the purpose of taking us back home, where we can have home comforts, home sweetness. If we have any home-consciousness within, then we must appreciate such a proposal: home sweet home.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa is apparently very cruel to His devotees, and to His family members, but it was meant only to take us to our home. To work out the ecstasy of union, it was necessary for Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to show separation from His devotees and relatives. Separation and union are mutually helpful. Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa, His renunciation, is a great tragedy of separation.

Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev Goswami

Mahaprabhu Sannyas Lila


They all opposed Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa. Some of them raised their voices in protest: “You—Kesava Bharati! We won’t allow you to give sannyasa to this young man. He has a family, his mother and wife. We won’t allow it. If you give sannyasa to this charming, young, beautiful boy, we will break down your asrama immediately. It can’t be!”

But Nimai Pandita kept pressing for sannyasa. At last, Kesava Bharati asked him, “So, you are that Nimai Pandita about whom we have heard so much? Many big scholars came to conquer Navadwipa, the famous seat of learning, and You have defeated them all. Are You that Nimai Pandita?” “Yes,” said Nimai. Kesava Bharati told him, “I can give You sannyasa, but You must take the permission of Your mother—otherwise I won’t, I can’t do it.” Nimai suddenly began running towards Navadwipa to ask permission, but Kesava Bharati thought, “He has such a commanding personality, He can do anything.”

Nimai was called back. Kesava Bharati told him, “With Your most extraordinary personality You can do anything. You will go there, charm Your guardians, get permission, and return. Nothing is impossible for You.”

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This is impossible! impossible!

In Vrndavana Radha-Govinda are separate and here in Navadvipa They are combined. More power! Combined! And They had made their mind up to loot – “Take as much wealth as you can. We are giving it to you all.” This is impossible! impossible! What does Prabodhananda Sarasvati say?

kaivalyam narakayate tridasa-purakasa puspayate
durdantendriya-kala-sarpa-patali protkhata-damstrayate
visvam purna-sukhayate vidhi-mahendradis ca kitayate
yat karunya kataksa vaibhavavatam tam gauram eva stumah
(Caitanya-candramrta 5)

Kaivalyam narakayate – if one can get a taste of the dish that is distributed in Navadvipa, if one can get a slight taste of that dish then, kaivalyam narakayate – permanent emancipation will seem to him to be like hell which has been so much preached and admired in so many sastras. Kaivalya-mukti means eternal emancipation from this world of exploitation. The trouble is the tendency to exploit – that is the trouble found by the experts of those areas. What is the trouble? The exploiting tendency forces us to connect with the environment and we have to suffer severely from the reactions. So how to successfully get out of the action-reaction problem? Prabodhananda Sarasvati says, “Oh, you talk so much about kaivalya that you will have no possibility of coming into connection with the exploiting tendency, action-reaction – that is like hell to those that come to see Sri Gauranga-deva’s lotus feet.”

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The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute

Srimad Bhagavad-gita —The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute


वन्दे श्रीगुरुगौराङ्गौ राधागोविन्दसुन्दरौ ।
सगुणौ गीयते चाथ गीतागूढार्थगौरवम् ॥

vande śrī-guru-gaurāṅgau rādhā-govinda-sundarau
sa-guṇau gīyate chātha gītā-gūḍhārtha-gauravam

Bowing down to the holy feet of Sri Guru, Sri Gauranga, and Sri Sri Radha-Govindasundar, all accompanied by Their associates, I sing the glories of the hidden treasure of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

Since Srimad Bhagavad-gita is very familiar to the learned society, an acquaintance of the conceptions of this edition may be given here. We are followers of the school of thought descending from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, so this edition is based on the Sri Gita commentaries of the pre-eminent, exalted Sri Gaudiya Vaisnava Acharyas — Sri Visvanath, Sri Baladev, and Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur.

By the grace of our worshipful Spiritual Master, Om Visnupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupad, and from indications in the commentaries given by the aforementioned great pure devotees, in places some new light has been shed, revealing deeper meanings. The devoted reader will appreciate this particularly with regard to the four verses (10.8–11) which were described by Sri Visvanathpad as the four essential verses (chatuh-sloki) of the book.

Generally, Sri Gita is known as an excellent study of the science of religion. The language of Sri Gita is simple and sweet; its mood is grave, extensive, and radical; its thought is succinct, lucid, and impartial; and its logic is sound and natural. The eloquence of the prologue, epilogue, exposition, review, analysis, synthesis, and delivery of Sri Gita is unprecedented and charming in the extreme. Sri Gita is activation for the lazy, courage for the fearful, hope for the hopeless, and new life for the dying. Sri Gita unifies and sustains all ranks, whether revolutionary, occultist, optimist, renunciationist, liberationist, or full-fledged theist. From the atheist of grossly crude vision to the most elevated saint, the essential conceptions of all classes of philosophers are illustrated with clear and powerful logic. The devotees of the Lord (bhagavad-bhaktas) and persons on the paths of action, knowledge, and yoga (karmis, jnanis, and yogis) will each find the essence of their paths dealt with in a comprehensive and illuminating manner, and thus the book is highly esteemed by all.

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