śuśrūṣoh śraddadhānasya


syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ



O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vāsudeva.


The conditioned life of a living being is caused by his revolting against the Lord. The eternal natural condition of the soul , jivera swarūp hoy krishnera nitya dās,  is to be the loving servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.. But when within our consciousness an exploitative motive comes into our life it is that, that creates the great  illusion of māya. Māya the eternal material energy of the Lord is for those who want to exploit or lord it over the resources of material  nature. And the  Yogamāya,  the divine energy of the Lord is for those  who want to freely engage always in the loving service, engaging everything for the pleasure of Sri Krishna. Now  it is described in this verse of Srimad-Bhāgavatam  that this exploitative conditioned state of consciousness can be removed only by the grace of God.

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇah


hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi

vidhunoti suhṛt satām

It is only by attracting the mercy of Sri Krishna that these anarthās, these impurities can be removed from our  hearts.  So the whole basis of  spiritual life or the path of self-realization is how to  somehow or other attract Krishna who is seated within our heart.

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānām hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati

How to attract that Lord seated within our heart to perform the work of purification within and it is described in this chapter of the Srimad-Bhāgavatam, that  by gaining an affinity, by acquiring a taste for hearing the glories of the Lord,  Krishna becomes so attracted by that, because after all in this world we are all attracted to so many forms of entertainment. People are reading the newspapers every morning, very religiously. It is like a ritual in human society today. Previously it was the standard that when a person would rise in the morning, he would immediately offer obesiances to his Guru and Krishna, then he would take bath,  then he would sit and perform japa, then he would perform  pūja,  then he would take some Prasad, then he would also read and study the sastra, then he would go on with daily activities. But these days the ritual is, you rise and you read  the  newspaper and you hear all about material energy, how it is working, about the different forms of bondage and illusion without any explanation  of  how to get out. So everyone has this strong inclination to hear – rumours, gossips. How much people are inclined towards these things. Our  minds are simply thirsty to hear some sensationalistic reports coming from somewhere about someone.  But it is described  here in the Srimad-Bhāgavatam that simply by gaining that desire to hear about Krishna that thirst for the subject of Krishna, Krishna becomes so obliged  to such a devotee that  He  purifies all of these unwanted desires from our minds. So the great question  in  life is how  to gain this desire to hear about Krishna. This verse in Srimad-Bhāgavatam  explains the secret of success in this regard – by serving the great devotees of  the Lord,  by becoming  the servant  of the vaishnavas one gains the affinity to hear the glories of  the Lord. There  is no other way. Because sadhunam  hrdayam māyam sadhunam hrdayam tvam, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is personally always sub-ordinate to his devotees.  And by pleasing His devotees and by loving His devotees we attract His consciousness more than anything else we can do in this world. And the Supreme Personality of Godhead himself again and again and again exhibits through His own līlā how much He is pleased by one who pleases His devotee. How much He is not only pleased but indebted. Just like if a father has a beloved child, a son and you do something wonderful for that son, the father is for the rest of his life indebted to you with love. Nothing will ever change that. If he is a good father.  And Krishna is the perfect father, the perfect  mother for His devotee.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s  initiation and  instructions by His Guru


In just a few days we will be celebrating the appearance of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And in the wonderful līlā of Lord Gauranga we find how He illustrated His principle in such a way that anyone who opens their heart will get great realizations upon  hearing this narration. . You see when Lord Gauranga appeared in this world. He is Krishna Himself, who specially incarnated to teach the path of bhakti, to teach the true and  pure path of devotional service. And He himself  never exhibited the qualities of devotee throughout His entire youth. For what reason? You see He was so attractive, He was so beautiful, He exhibited all the opulences of Krishna but He would not accept the position of Krishna nor would He accept the position of devotee of  Krishna. Why? For many reasons.  Mainly  because He wanted to increase the desire which  means to increase the love of His devotees.  The devotees of the Lord who are a great great minority whenever they would see Him their hearts would overflood with divine love, the same they felt for Krishna Himself. But yet He was always challenging them to hear so many mundane subject matters from Him. He would engage them in argumentation and so forth, He was a great professor. Devotees, there is nothing more painful for them than having to waste their time hearing about the topics which do not have anything to do with Krishna. Infact the devotees they simply wanted to worship, to love and to associate with this beautiful child. But at the same time they could not tolerate anywhere near Him. And this created such a conflict in their heart that their love was simply growing and growing. One devotee, he was walking and when he saw Sri Gauranga,  he immediately changed his course and went the other way. And Lord Gauranga said to his students, where has he gone? Perhaps Mukunda has some other important responsibility that He must take care of. He said no no that is not the reason and because he is a devotee and he knows if he talks to me I will simply challenge him and all sorts of philosophical and grammatical debates. And these devotees like Mukunda they cannot tolerate  anything but Krishna Katha, therefore he is avoiding me, but you wait one day all you Vaishnavas, someday I will become such a devotee that you will all be chanting my glories, that you all be falling at my feet. I will become such a devotee that even Brahma and Siva will be worshipping  me and nobody could understand what this boy was talking about. So how do the transformation manifest  in His life. This is one of the most important lesson that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us through His divine pastimes. It is described that when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Gaya,  which is the place where one performs  the srāddha or the pinda for one’s forefathers. He went to perform this ceremony for His departed father Jagannath Mishra. He went with many of his students. When He came to Gaya, He became in a different mood.  The   mood of  humility and reverence. And with folded palms He bowed down to this holy dhām. And then He went to that great and famous temple of Gadādhāra which contains within it the holy footprints of Lord Visnu. And there the Brahmins were chanting the prayers in the glorification of the lotus feet of Lord Nārāyana. In their prayers they were explaining how these lotus feet, they are worshipped by all of the demigods even Brahma and Siva. That these are the lotus feet that in two steps covered the entire universe and the third step was placed on the head of  Bali  Maharaja. These are the lotus feet  from whom the river Ganges emanates. These are the lotus feet  in which even the great yogis and jnānis can  never attain through so many lifetimes of tapasya and austerity. These  are the lotus feets that even Anant Sesa becomes a foot stool to render service to, and these are the lotus feets that the great vaisnavas are 24 hours a day meditating  upon. When He heard this He became absorbed  in ecstatic love. And just at that time by His divine will, one very very great devotee of the name Iswara Puri and stood beside Him. When Lord  Caitanya saw Isvara Puri, fell and offered His prostrated obesiances.  And Iswara Puri lifted Him up and embraced Him. Caitanya Mahaprabhu  said that I have come  to this holy land of Gaya and I have performed shraddha rite for my father. And through this process I am delivering  and liberating my father from sins. But the real fruit, the real perfection of my pilgrimage is in seeing you. Because one who gets your mercy, one who gets  the blessings of the great devotee of the Lord not only his father but all ancestors, anyone who sees you and everyone who simply hears your word, generations and generations will be liberated. Therefore, greater  than any  holy place is the devotee who has surrendered his life to the Lord. His lotus feet contains all holy places. And Isvara Puri  replied that recently when I met you in Navadvip, how  much I was attracted  to all of  your divine qualities I cannot understand..  He said you must be some partial incarnation of Krishna Himself. Because ever since I have left I cannot think anybody  but you.  Infact day and  night I am simply meditating on you. And in this way the two of them embraced and bathed one another in the tears of love. One day Lord Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu  begged Isvara Puri” kindly initiate me, kindly allow me to be your disciple and by your mercy allow me to drown and float, and drown and float in the ocean of love of Krishna. Because it is only by serving great souls like you this is possible”.  So Isvara Puri replied ,”you are asking   for  initiation.  I will give you my life,  I will  surrender my everything to your lotus feet.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said,”please kindly accept me your disciple”. And Isvara Puri rendered this service by becoming  the spiritual master of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu. And one day Lord Caitanya was cooking, He was cooking for Himself and just when He completed the last preparation Isvara Puri entered into the room and he said,”Awh! He spoke in a joking way, “I  have  come at the  right time.  And Lord Gauranga said that you please sit down, you have come perfectly just as I  have finished, this is Krishna’s great kindness upon me that He is allowing  me the service of His devotee.  Please allow me to give you Prasad.  Isvara Puri said but what about you, you have prepared only enough for one, let us divide it and we will take together.  Then  Mahaprabhu said,”No I cannot take with you. You take everything.  I will cook extra for myself.” In this way the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, who is served even by the  Laxmi Devi, the goddess of fortune became the humble obedient servant of His devotee. Not only was He cooking for him but He was serving with His hands bringing  him more.  appealing to him to take more and more. Everyone is aspiring for the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead  but Krishna is always aspiring for the service of His devotees. Therefore,  for one who serves the devotee he renders the greatest pleasure to Shri Krishna. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu  begged Isvara Puri to give Him instruction, He told Him that you should not waste your time simply becoming a great scholar of Vedanta You should always aspire to be the servant of the servant of the great devotees. And you should make the first principle of your life to take shelter of the Holy name. 

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

This is the conclusion of all the sastras – to learn how to serve the Lord’s devotees, to follow their instructions and to always chant the holy names of Krishna and  Shri Rādhārāni. So taking those instructions as His life and soul , Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu began the great Sankirtana movement. It was from that point of His life that He began to broadcast throughout all of holyname and glories of service to devotees. It is explained by Vrindavan Das Thakur that when Lord Gauranga was feeling the great indebtedness to His spiritual master Isvara Puri. He went on a holy pilgrimage to the place of birth of Srila Isvara Puri and that place of birth is called Kumara Hatt. And when He went there, He simply was so much immersed in the thoughts of how dear and beloved His guru was to Him and the mercy of His guru. He began to roll in the dust crying out Isvara Puri, Isvara Puri, Isvara Puri. He could not say anything else. He was the greatest scholar, greatest professor in every field of knowledge and He could not think of anything to say except the name of His devotee. When this sense, there is an internal and external reason for everything. Internall, Lord Gauranga cannot stop chanting the names the names of His devotees who have surrendered their lives to Him, but externally He is showing to all of us the proper path of spiritual advancement. How much gratitude, love and obedience one should have to his spiritual master. And Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu picked up the dirt from that place and put it in a corner of his cloth and He took it with Him wherever He went. And He used to say the most precious treasure I have in my life is the dust from the place of my gurudeva’s birth.

What did  make Srila Ishwara Puri so dear to Lord Gauranga?

Now what is it that made Isvara Puri so dear to Lord Gaurranga. This is described in Caitanya Caritamrita by Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami. There was a very great devotee whose appearace day I believe is tomorrow, Srila Madhvendra Puri.  His glories are extolled through an entire chapter  of this great epic Caitanya Caritamrta and it is described here that Madhvendra Puri was a great preacher of the path of pure devotional service. And he attracted the hearts of so many great great personalities to take shelter of Him.  People like Lord Nityananda who met him during his travels to western India, Sri Advaita acarya,  Brahmananda Bharti,  Parmananda Puri. But of all of his disciples his dearmost was Ishvara Puri. Why is this? You see when Madhavendra Puri became very old, He was physically incapacitated. He was simply laying in his bed  completely immersed in the pains of separation from Sri Krishna. He would cry out – O Lord of Mathura why have you left me? Now that you have gone, what am I to do? Where am I to go? He was crying out this prayer again and again and again. And he was so much immersed in this consciousness, and his body had become so old that he could not walk. And Ishvara Puri accepted the position of the most menial servant of his gurudeva. When his gurudeva would respond to nature he could not get up. So Isvara Puri very lovingly would clean his guru’s urine and stool with his own hands, and cleanse his body. And seeing the pains in the heart of his spiritual master in separation of  Radha and Krishna, he would constantly chant beautiful prayers and  have wonderful kirtan to give pleasure to the heart of his guru. So you can picture in your mind, for months and months and months what type of very common and menial service he was rendering to this great soul. And because of this dedication, because of pleasing his guru in this way he won the heart of Krishna more than anyone in all of creation. He won the heart of Krishna to such an extent that Krishna surrendered to his lotus feet and became his obedient disciple. This is the path of Lord Gauranga

trnad api sunicena 

taror rapi sahis nuna

amanina mandena

kirtiniyah sada harih

That humility and  love in the service of the Lord’s devotees is the only means of attracting the heart of Krishna. And when we attract the heart of Krishna,  He gives us that affinity to hear His glories. He gives us that thirst to always taste the sweetness of His holy name.

kirtiniyah sada hari

One who becomes the humble servant of the servant of the Lord , he only just Krishna allows to chant His name constantly, no one else. So Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu through this beautiful and wonderful narration has instructed us not only the importance chanting the of holy name as the yoga dharma in this age, but how to properly be in the consciousness to chant His name, by His example. And it is described something else about Isvara Puri, that not only was he such a intimate loving servant of his guru, but he was equally intimate in his menial  loving service to all of his Godbrothers. Because he understood that if I neglect the Lord’s devotees and if I neglect my lord of my life is my gurudeva, if I neglect those who are dear to him then what pleasure will I give him by serving him directly. Factually, Madhvendra Puri gave Isvara Puri this service at the end of his life only because Isvara Puri  pleased his devotees in so many ways throughout his life . This is the sum and substance of the path of bhakti.Gopī-bhartu pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsa

Last night I was speaking with Kirtinanada Swami and he was explaining to me this principle, He said there are two types of devotees – one is exploitative and one is a servant. Those who are exploitative they want  to enjoy Krishna.They want to taste the ecstasies of Krishna, but they are not true vaisnavas. A true vaisnava is one who is aspiring to be enjoyed by Krishna, to be a servant, to carry out the order of gurudeva. To please, to love and to serve the servants, of the servants of the servants of our gurudeva, this is the real vaisnava. This is one who has  really understood the  Krishna’s heart. And he was very much stressing this point. And then after stressing this point very strongly – how we should be in the mood of servants, not that we want to enjoy our Krishna consciousness, but we want to be enjoyed by Krishna through our service to His devotees. And then he said that Prabhupada wanted me (He was talking about himself) Prabhupada wanted  me so much to go to India to help make Indians Krishna conscious. He said Prabhupada wanted Americans to go to India to help him in his mission of broadcasting  the name of Krishna in India. And he said this is the greatest thing I could do for Srila Prabhupada. He is talking about himself which means he wants to become the servant of all of you.  That is his great aspiration. So this is the sweetness of the mood of a  true devotee. This is the life that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu  has taught us and  the Lord  reveals Himself only to those who have adopted this consciousness. The Lord is non-different than His name. The holy name only reveals Himself to those who have adopted this consciousness. To serve means to please. To please means to follow. If we are not following the direction, what type of service? It is not that we should serve the guru the way we want him to be served. It is not that we should serve the vaisnavas the way we want them to be served. That is another type of exploitation. To be menial means – whatever pleases you. This is Krishna consciousness in essence. And all of the higher realization of gopi bhava, manjri bhava, all these very very high realizations of ecstatic love, they are all naturally revealed in due course of time by one who is purified through the process that Gauranga Mahaprabhu has given us.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

So let us very carefully prepare our consciousness for the Gaura Purnima celebration coming up. It is Wednesday on 18th. The first preparation you should make is you should come. You should make that in your diaries or in your schedules whatever you have to tell your employees your families, whatever, you come. sarva dharman partyajya . Just abandon everyone else and come, Krishna will relieve you of all sins.But how to come? The Lord is pleased most through the congregational chanting of holy name.

krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam


yajnaih sankirtana-prayair

yajanti hi sumedhasah

That those in this age of Kaliyuga, who has good intelligence they will  worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead  who appears with his associates by congregational chanting of the holy name. Now  this congregational form of chanting is very important to understand. When devotees come together to glorify the name of God, this more than any other way attracts the heart of the Lord. But the sweetness and love in which we come together to chant the name of the Lord is all important. It is not a mechanical process. It is not that we are envious of one another, or we compete with one another, and we criticize one another, and spread  rumors about one another throughout the day and  in the evening we come together to chant together and Krishna is going to be pleased. That is an artificial mechanical   idea. By learning how to care for one another, to serve one another even if we have no love in our heart, we have to express whatever affection we can by encouraging one another, throughout the day, whenever the opportunity comes. That consciousness will bring about a love,  it will bring about a unity in our hearts that when we come together to chant the holy name it becomes beautiful and sweet.

In Caitanya’s lila,  we find  how  throughout so many wonderful experiences, the devotees would serve one other, love one another, encourage one another and then when they would come together to chant  the holy names  it was something that would simply charm the heart of Krishna, charm the heart of Sri Radharani. So this is all important. Without properly understanding  this idea of becoming servant of  the servant of the servant, there will no real potency in our coming  together to congregationally chant  the holy names. Through this process we must learn how to unify our hearts in the service of guru. And then when two or three of us or two or three hundred of us or two or three thousand of us come together to glorify Krishna’s name,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

the holy names will drown the entire earth in the ocean of love of God . That is our mission. That is Mahaprabhu’s mission – to drown the entire earth in the ocean of love of God through the congregational chanting of His devotees

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Thank you very much.

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.