This lecture transcription service is dedicated at the lotus feet of His Holiness Param Pujya Sri MahaVishnu Goswami Maharaj (Maharajji).
The initial transcription and reviewing of Bhagavat Saptah lectures and was done mainly by Minneapolis yatra devotees. Special thanks to prabhujis and mataji from Minneapolis yatra especially, Purnendu Krishna Das, Anasuya Devi Dasi, Yadushrestha Krishna Das and Jagat Mohini Devi Dasi, Gopika Devi Dasi, Balram Das and Purnima Devi Dasi, Jayant Krishna Das and Sarva Mangala Devi Dasi and Shipra mataji for their lecture transcription and reviewing efforts.
Later, in order to further review and edit the Bhagavat Saptah lectures so as to make it presentable in the form of a book gracious help was received from Sheela Ravishankar mataji, Bal Krishna Das and Prasanna Vadana Das prabhujis. Through out the efforts we got constant encouragement from HG Devakinandan prabhuji. With the blessings of all devotees only we have reached thus far and hope to keep doing more such service unto the lotus feet of Maharajji.
H. H. MahaVishnu Goswami Maharajji emphasized study of Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita books written by ISKCON founder His Devine Grace Swami Srila Prabhupada so that we can be convinced about chanting the name and wonderful pastimes and glories of the unlimited Supreme Lord and Supreme authority Lord Sri Krishna, and in the process purify our existence so that we can be better servants of the servants of the Supreme Lord.
We hope that the students of Srimad Bhagavatam can derive fresh and deeper meaning and better practical understanding of the Granthraj after reading through lecture transcriptions of Maharajji.
Most of the lecture delivered by Maharajji was in English language. Parts which were delivered in Hindi been translated to English language. We hope that the reader will overlook the mistakes in these transcriptions and translations and take the essence. Feedback for improvement of this lecture transcription is welcome. This six day lecture transcription has been with divided into chapters for better readability.
Please note that the audio of the Bhagavat Saptah lectures can be found at http://www.nabholingam.com web site. Readers will find reading in conjunction with listening to the lectures more fulfilling experience when they actually hear Maharajji’s speak, sing, pray and laugh!
Legend: Comments or translations or content not delivered by Maharajji is within square ([ ]) brackets.
His Holiness Srila Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj was born in the outskirts of Mumbai in 1919 on the auspicious day of Dattätreya Purnima in the month of mārga-śīrṣa [November-December]. He appeared in an eight generation Vaishnava family. Aged 91, he was the most elderly sannyasi (spiritual teacher) in ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness). Maharaj first took darshan of Srila Prabhupada in 1973 when, as President of the London Gujarati Community Society, he invited Prabhupada to be guest-of-honour at the society’s annual function. There Srila Prabhupada’s lecture marked the turning point in Maharaj’s life. Srila Prabhupada had stated that whenever we meet our friends, we ask them so many material things, like how is your business, your family etc. But this is simply a waste of time. If we really cared for them, then when we meet them, we should ask them how far they have progressed, since we last met, in the matter of stopping the repetition of the cycle of birth and death. Since that profound meeting H H Mahavishnu Goswami has dedicated his life to the rigorous study of Srimad Bhagavatam.
His Holiness Srila Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, is a brilliantly divine personality and such kind of personalities are rarely seen on the stage of human life. Anybody who has come in touch with Maharaj experienced that he was not just a spiritual master but a sweet loving father, who, by his loving dealings with everyone, made them experience the love of Krishna. He is an embodiment of all the exalted qualities. His deep serenity, the vast limitless wellspring of knowledge he possessed, the beautiful sobriety he exhibited, his gentle, sweet and simple demeanor, the soft expressiveness of his features and the natural flow of all his actions could capture everyone’s heart.
Maharaj could relate even the most ordinary event to the scriptures and for even a seemingly ordinary subject matter, Maharaj could offer a spiritual perspective. He was a genuine guide in our struggle to carry on the material life as well as for understanding the transcendence. His presentation of the scriptures and especially Srimad Bhagavatam which is his life and soul, was not a dry academic subject to be theorized and armchair philosophized about. Maharaj spoke and lived the essence of the scriptures and made everyone understand that the scriptures are not in the cloud or in the sky but very much on the ground intimately related to our day to day life. That way he is a practical Maha Bhagavata and a down to earth Paramahamsa. The humility which Maharaj exhibited is a conclusive proof of his greatness.
Maharaj is simultaneously grave and jolly and often he laughed and joked and brightened the whole atmosphere with his effulgent Vaikuntha smile but even his lighter mood was fully Krishna conscious and not frivolous. Maharaj’s every movement, every word and every action had a transcendental purpose in it. Throughout his whole life and at the time of leaving the world, Maharaj showed us how not to be bewildered by the inevitable miseries of the material existence and always remain aloof simply by remembering the lotus feet of the Lord (saṁsāra-dharmair avimuhyamānaḥ smṛtyā harer bhāgavata-pradhānaḥ – SB 11.2.49).
Once when one of the senior devotee humbly asked His Holiness Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj that how he was able to become so famous a devotee all over the world, Maharaj replied with his trademark uncommon humility that it was because he lived every moment of his life based on the verse 1.6.26 from Srimad Bhagavatam. This particular verse spoken by Srila Narada Muni reveals the nature of an unflinching servitor of the Supreme Lord.
“Thus I began chanting the holy name and fame of the Lord by repeated recitation, ignoring all the formalities of the material world. Such chanting and remembering ofthe transcendental pastimes of the Lord are benedictory. So doing, I traveled all over the earth, fully satisfied, humble and unenvious.”
Anyone who comes in touch with His Holiness cannot go away without the impression that Krishna consciousness is all common sense, practical, logical and simple. The one shloka which Maharaj had in his heart even till his winding up pastimes was SB 1.5.40, the instruction of Srila Narada Muni to his disciple Srila Vyasadev on the power of the pure subject matter of the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Lord and how it is satisfying both to the general mass as well as great learned men.
“Please, therefore, describe the Almighty Lord's activities which you have learned by your vast knowledge of the Vedas, for that will satisfy the hankerings of great learned men and at the same time mitigate the miseries of the masses of common people who are always suffering from material pangs. Indeed, there is no other way to get out of such miseries.”
Maharaj urged everyone that the preaching of Srimad Bhagavatam with emphasis on its practical aspect is the one and only way to mitigate the miseries of common people who are suffering from the material pangs. His instructions ranged from organizing one’s own shaving kit, washing one’s one clothes to living a life without a tinge of expectation from anyone.
Maharaj firmly emphasized that without organizing our material lives in a perfect manner, there is no question of progressing spiritually.
Maharaj is unflinchingly attached to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and studied His Divine Grace’s books very deeply. With his compassionate, powerful, intense, pure and earnest preaching and encouragement, Maharaj could impress upon the living entities to translate all the instructions of scripture into real life experiences by changing the behavior for good.
Maharaj is of the firm belief that Srila Prabhupada’s literatures are so powerful that by the force of this literary influence, a revolution can be brought in the lives of the conditioned souls and thus save them from the miserable conditions. Maharaj’s appreciation and attachment to Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental literature is so much that Maharaj says that if it had been possible, Prabhupada would have physically taken out his heart and put it in these books.
At about 3.25 pm on 25th January 2010, our beloved spiritual master, H H Mahavishnu Goswami entered into his final pastimes in this mortal world and left us all in great grief of separation at the Bhaktivedanta Hospital, Mira Road, Mumbai, India. The title of this book was chosen to reflect the life and example of H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj. Those who had the good fortune of meeting him, soon became aware that the Srimad Bhagavatam was indeed his very life and soul. In a very simple and sublime manner he would provide anyone practical guidance in their lives based on the teachings of the Bhagavatam, and with this he has awakened so many souls to the importance of the amala purana Srimad Bhagavatam.
These teachings are organized and conveyed in this book so that future generations may benefit from H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj’s unique insight and intimate association of the Bhagavatam. May he live forever by his divine instructions in the hearts of his sincere followers.
We offer our deepest respect unto His Holiness Mahavishnu Goswami’s lotus feet for kindly guiding us on the path back to the Supreme One. Now more than ever, his divine instructions are the only shelter for his disciples and all sincere souls seeking to reunite with the Supreme Lord Krishna.
His Holiness Maha Vishnu Goswami Maharaj (1919-2010) was of Gujrat origin and was born in the outskirts of Bombay in 1919 into an eight generation Vaishnava family. He was highly educated having obtained a masters degree in both Sanskrit and English and is equally conversant in Marathi, Gujrati, Hindi, Urdu and the Gujrathi dialect Kachhi. In his childhood Maharaj was always curious to seek transcendental knowledge about the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. His mother would force him to offer his dhoti to the Lord before using it. But she could not explain him as to why he should be offering it. He would never get satisfying answers to his questions. So at the tender age he began studying the holy scriptures of Srimad Bhagavat-gita and Srimad Bhagavatm in earnest. His burning desire to realize God was finally answered, when he met Srila Prabhupada, the founder acharya of the International Society of Krsna Consciousness (ISKCON). At that meeting Prabhupada noted that upon meeting friends, we ask them how their business is, how their family is, but this he said was a waste of time. If we really cared about our friends, then we meet them, we should inquire as to how far they have progressed in the matter of stopping the cycle of repeated birth and death.
Prabhupada’s pure preaching touched Maharaj’s heart, and awakened his enthusiasm for self-realization. He began intensifying his spiritual endeavors and began practicing Krsna Consciousness. Some time later he was introduced to Prabhupada, by devotees, as a Sanskrit scholar. Upon hearing this, Prabhupada exclaimed, “Oh, a Sanskrit scholar, then you should take sanyas”. Prabhupada these words always remained in Maharaj’s heart. In 1991 Maharaj, after successfully performing his worldly obligations to his family, renounced the world and took the order of sanyas. For years on, he continued to serve Srila Prabhupada, by carrying on his legacy in preaching devotional service of Supreme Lord Krsna, as enunciated in Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavat-gita. Since then, Maharaj has tirelessly circled the globe 10 times in the 10 years, inspiring people from all walks of life, wherever he went. He is renowned for his powerful preaching, uncompromising in delivery of the teachings of Gita and the message of Srila Prabhupada. In Bhagavat saptahas around the world, notably in Kurushetra and Vrindavana, he has lectured for upto 6 hours daily, on Bhagavatam, for 7 continuous days, before fully captivated audiences. Despite his advanced age and frail health, Maharaj continued to tirelessly travel around the world, preaching the message to follow teachings of Lord Krsna, through Srila Prabhupada books and to increase the quality of our devotional service so as to become, genuine servants of the servants of the Lord.
For many Maharaj was a humble and loving Vaishnava, who has made them follow the teachings of the Supreme Lord and realize the true value of human life. Still others cannot help but be completely and helplessly touched by Maharaj’s love and compassion. In today’s age His Holiness’s love and humility coupled with his profound wisdom and realization, have brought many fallen souls to the lotus feet of Prabhupada and the Supreme Lord. In 2001 from 29th September to 6th October, under the auspicious of ISKCON Sidney, His Holiness Maha Vishnu Goswami decided to deliver Srimad Bhagavat Saptah, in Sidney, Australia, giving powerful and heartfelt discourses, over 8 continuous days, to a fully captivated audience in Statville Town Hall. Following is the recording of the great saint.
Table of Contents
Day 1 3
Significance of Purushottam Maas and Simple Vedic Life 4
What is our duty in this age? 5
How to become very simple? 6
How Purushottam month became auspicious? 6
How to get manifold result from our pious activities? 7
Don’t waste your valuable human existence 8
How to perfect the mind and speech? 8
How avoiding mental concoction saves time? 9
Significance of Temporary Human Existence 10 What should be our main concern? 10
What is the purpose of this temporary human existence? 10
How to make best use of Purushottam mass? 10
Three things we should be completely satisfied with 11
What one should never be satisfied with and why? 11
How to come out of the material rut? 12
How to be completely fixed in a contantly changing world? 12
How Vedic calculation helps increase our faith? 13
How fruitful are our attempts to avoid death? 13
Day 2 14
Medicine for old age 15
Hear, Study and Contemplate 17
Heart is meant for Krishna 18
Understanding Krishna’s Vigraha 19
Powerful Effect of Harinaam 21
Magical Effect of Darshan 23
Valmiki: Chanting Sincerely 24
How study of scriptures will bring us away from anxiety? 24
What is the work of a preacher? 24
Srimad Bhagavatam Removes Material Inebrieties 25
Greed is a horrible thing 25
Darshan leads to freedom from anxiety 26
How to avoid drudgery of work? 27
Dissatisfaction: Cause and Solution 30
Srimad Bhagavatam is pure history 31
What is the cause of our dissatisfaction? 31
What was Narada Muni’s solution to Vyasadeva dissatisfaction? 32
Pleasing Krishna pleases everyone 32
How to reduce our difficulties and become completely satisfied? 35
Maharaj Parikshit Punishes Kali Yuga 37
Global remnants of Vedic culture 37
What are the four pillars of sinful life? 37
How to improve the fabric of our existence? 39
What are the ill effects of money? 39
How to avoid the ill effects of wealth? 40
What is real wealth? 40
A Devotee Executes Krishna’s Plan 42
From where do good qualities come? 42
What comfort can 5-star hotel provide? 42
Who is the secret doer? 43
What is use of blaming others? 45
Is this world my permanent place? 46
Maharaj Parikshit Fasts unto Death 49
What three things Maharaj Parishik asked from Sukadeva Goswami? 49
What is the art of living? 50
Maharani Kunti’s Prayers 52
How we are saved at every step and every second of our existence? 52
What is the solution to our miseries? 53
What is our duty? 53
Who exists everywhere and secretly does everything? 53
How can we remember Krishna? 54
Druva Maharaj 56
What did mother Suniti instruct the hurt Dhruva Maharaj? 56
Story: Sadhu and the dog 57
Don’t poke your nose in Krishna’s business 57
Completely purify your mind 57
How tolerating saves time and brings you closer to Krishna? 58
Druva Maharaj Meets Narada Muni 60
How to attain Krishna? 60
Pray to Krishna like mother Kunti 61
Everything in relation to Krishna is spiritual 62
Verses that will take you back to Godhead 63
Bhisma Pitamah: Steady in Troubles 64
Whats is the secret of success? 64
How our problems can bring us closer to Krishna? 64
Story: Krishna lifts Govardan hill to protect his devotees 65
What is the solution to our problems? 66
Story: Santanu conditional marriage with Ganga 66
Story: Bhisma early life 68
How tolerance and constant rememberance of the Lord helps us? 69
Story: Devavrata declared king by Shantanu 70
How to have stable intelligence in the midst of sorrows? 72
Day 3 77
Keshava Keshava Kukiye 78
What is the benefit of feelingly uttering the names of Krishna? 79
How to become fearless? 80
Developing Firm Faith 82
Why can’t we have faith in sastras? 82
Why is reciting verses important? 82
How to recite verses properly? 83
What is the difference between atheist and theist? 83
How excessive sense gratification is misguiding? 84
How to wake up early? 85
Why kill yourself before death by worrying? 85
Seeing Krishna through Scriptures 89
Be careful about mental concoctions 89
Be careful about watering down the confidential pastimes 90
Try to purify your life 90
Hand out the worries to Krishna 90
Have steady intelligence and listen to scriptures 90
Perform prescribed duties honestly and keep hearing scriptures 91
Chant and be Regulated 93
Lord is the cause of all causes 93
Lord Brahma struggles to find the truth? 93
Chant while you can 94
Respect Parents and Get Their Blessings 95
Lord Brahma’s Prayers 97
Atma cannot live independently 97
Smelling the lotus feet by the scriptures 99
Lord’s name is greater than Lord 99
Story: Compassionate sadhu and the horse thief 100
How can we remove our miseries? 101
Story: Within misery we chant very nicely 101
Krishna is there, but we are not there with Him 101
Mangal Aarati and Naam Sankirtan 104
Mangal aarati is enlivening 104
Naam Sankiran pleases Krishna 105
Kapila Muni Instructs Devahuti 107
How a living entity takes birth? 107
Prayers of the Unborn Child 109
Symptoms of Live Society 112
First live symptom: Murty Puja 112
Dwarka temple gets a pujari 112
Is murthy idol or transcendental form of the Lord? 113
Second live symptom: Prasadam Distribution 114
Third live symptom: Study of scriptures and Preaching inside and outside the temple 114
Appeal to the youths: Don’t get lost or frustrated 114
Our psychiartrist is Krishna 114
Study the scriptures 115
Painful Process of Birth 116
Prayers of the unborn child (Jantu) continued 116
Please determine to make this birth your last birth 117
What is the meaning of Krishna and how He acts? 117
Why we should not cross the Laskman Rekha of BBC? 117
In Srila Prabhupada words: Precarious condition of living being 118
Day 4 119
Understanding Detachment 120
Importance of recitation of Sanskrit slokas 120
Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavat Gita shows the way to Krishna 122
Understanding the temporary nature of material existence 122
Understanding the permanent 122
What are the types of temporary detachment? 123
What is real detachment and how to develop it? 124