During his second tour to the United States in May, 1997, our beloved Gurudeva, om visnupada paramahamsa parivrajakacarya astottara- sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, delivered a series of eleven lectures in Badger, California, on Srila Rupa Gosvami's Sri Upadesamrta as translated and commented on by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He spoke these lectures with the aim of encouraging Srila Prabhupada's disciples and followers to move forward in their devotional practices.
Beginning with verse five, Srila Narayana Maharaja lectured for eleven days on all the remaining verses of Sri Upadesamrta. Reading directly from Srila Prabhupada's translations and purports, Srila Narayana Maharaja reveals the sublime spiritual wealth contained with- in those explanations. Quoting from the writings of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and other acaryas in our disciplic succession, he clearly establishes the connection between Srila Prabhupada's writings and the most confidential teachings of our greatest acaryas.
In the course of these lectures, Srila Narayana Maharaja asked the audience many questions; the devotees' responses are included herein. We have retained the conversational style of Srila Maharaja's presentation in the text to communicate a feeling of intimacy and to give the reader a sense of personal involvement. He often apologizes that his English is very poor and lame, but his faithful listeners find his way of speaking quite charming and fresh. We have changed some of his language but purposely have not used "Queen's English" throughout because we want to communicate his very particular mood. For example, Srila Maharaji uses the expression "brooming" rather than "sweeping," because he does not want this seva equated with the work of the common street sweeper. We hope that the devotees will appreciate his personal use of the English language.
Srila Narayana Maharaja first met Srila Prabhupada in 1947 a developed a very intimate relationship with him, both as a siksa disciple and as a friend. It is customary among Gaudiya sannyasis to refer to a another by their sannydsa names. He explains:
"When I say 'Swamiji' or 'Swami Maharaja', you should under- stand that I am speaking of my Siksa-guru, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, your Prabhupada."
Swami is Srila Prabhupada's sannyasa name and his godbrothers and intimate associates would often refer to him as "Swamiji", which is affectionate and very respectful form of address. As the lectures delivered in Badger do not cover the first four verses of Sri Upadesamrta, an appendix has been added that includes three separate lectures by Srila Narayana Maharaja on those slokas.
We humbly pray at the lotus feet of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and all of our guru-varga that they bless us with the understanding a enthusiasm to follow the teachings of Srila Rupa Gosvamipada in his Upadesamrta. By their grace, may we one day:
"reside at Radha Kunda, and in a spiritual body surcharged with ecstatic devotional feelings (aprakrtabhava), render loving serv- ice to the divine couple Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, who perform Their astakaliya-lila, Their eternal eightfold daily pastimes."
[Nectar of Instruction Text 10 ]
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