Submitted by the Harikatha team
[The following is excerpts of a discourse, darsana and letter by Srila Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, wherein he discusses Ananta das Babaji. The darsana was slightly edited for reading clarity.]
A Darsana in Vrndavana, India: 1992
[Click here to hear the soundfile: Srila-bv-narayan-maharaja – Srila-bv-narayan-maharaja-on-ananta-dasa-babaji]
Syamarani dasi: He also wants to know what you think of Ananta das Pandita. The one at Radha Kunda.
Srila Gurudeva: Ananta dasa Pandita. I only know that there is an Ananta dasa Babaji. He lives in Radha Kunda and he has published some books. I know only this. What has your Prabhupada spoken about Ananta Dasa?
Syamarani dasi: I don’t know what he said about him. But he rejects saha…
Gurudeva: I know that Ananta dasa Babaji tells that Mayapura is not the real Mayapura. He says that Pracina Navadvipa (Old Navadvipa, Sriman Mahaprabhu’s birthplace) is on the western side of the Ganges; he says that is the real Mayapura. [Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, with the help of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, found and established Mahaprabhu’s birthplace on the eastern bank]. So you can understand what type of person he is. *[see endnote 1, from Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama book]
[Then, after a few words describing Ananta das Babaji’s physical appearance and apparel:] What does he want to know about him?
Syamarani dasi: He wants to know what you think of his lineage and publications. It seems you have answered.
Srila Gurudeva: There are so many things to say about him. I know that his intelligence is misguided. Even though he cannot understand whether Mayapura is here or there, he makes propaganda against Gaudiya Vaisnavas, like Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and others. He is hankering for so many disciples and he preaches against Gaudiya Vaisnavism. If any ISKCON member goes to him, he will say, “Oh, come on come on, I will give you babaji vesa.” And if you go, he will give you babaji vesa. [With affectionate sarcasm] Do you want? I will recommend you.
If your Prabhupada were here, he would have fully…what is the word?
Syamarani dasi: Condemned him?
Srila Gurudeva: Condemned him. And then he would have done his sraddha ceremony. Do you know the meaning of Sradha ceremony?
Symarani dasi: The ceremony after death.
Gurudeva: Ah, yes. Your Prabhupada would surely have done this. What more can I say?
Vrndavana, India: October 27, 2007
[The class was originally given in Bengali. To hear the sound file, Srila-bv-narayan-maharaja – 2007027-gopinathbhavan-am-hidieng-damodarast-restored]
Bhakti is of two kinds: bhakti and bhakti-rasa. Unless we have reached suddha-sattva, if rati has not yet come, along with sthayi-bhava (the foundational ecstasy of one’s permanent relationship with Sri Krsna), krsna-priti (love for Krsna), alambana (the coming together of the subject and object of love), udipana (the stimulus for loving the object of love), asta-sattvika-bhava (the eight symptoms of transcendental ecstacy), and vyabhicari-bhava (the thirty-three transitory ecstasies that come and go like the waves of the ocean of love for Krsna), we cannot taste bhakti-rasa.* [see endnote 2]
Nowadays, in so many places, ‘gopi-bhava’ is being given to the people just by their saying, “I am a gopi.” However, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that only when all our anarthas are removed will we be able to realize, inside our heart, our eternally perfect spiritual body. At that time we will be able to understand who we are. Only after that can we think about asta-kalya-lila (Sri Sri Radha-Krsna’s 24-hour daily pastimes) and gopi-bhava.
These persons are imagining gopi-bhava before all these stages manifest, and therefore they fall down from the right path. In Radha-Kunda, Vrndavana, and other places as well, the Babajis are giving this so-called gopi-bhava to whomsoever comes to them. This so-called gopi-bhava is given to even the most unqualified and foolish persons, who do not know even how to clean themselves after using the toilet.
The most unqualified and ignorant people, even from Gaudiyas, go to Ananta das Babaji Maharaja in Radha-Kunda. They at once take this so-called gopi-bhava and think that everything will be accomplished by this. But they do not know that 99% of all the people at Radha-Kunda have loose character. Therefore, we should be very careful about this matter.
According to the instructions of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and our guru-parampara, if we perform proper sadhana, then ruci will come, along with asakti (pure attachment for Krsna), rati (bhava-bhakti), and sthayi-bhava (foundational ecstacy). Only by this process will there be some progress in bhakti. Alambana and udipana will also come, and then sneha and mamata will manifest. By this bona fide process, you will be able to attract Krsna and have His darsana.