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Sunday, August 3rd, 2003

Ankara, Turkey

Secret Service

Attracted by Krishna's flute

When Ramaray Prabhu and a group of Turkish devotees traveled to India to see Srila Gurudeva in Vrindavan, Srila Gurudeva said something quite startling: "When you come here from Turkey, that is like parikya rasa."

How shall we understand this?

In the third of the four nutshell verses (10:10) of Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says:

tesam satata-yuktanam / bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam / yena mam upayanti te

"To those who constantly worship Me with devotion, I give the intelligence by which they can come to Me."

Srila Sridhar Maharaj, from his unique, exclusive angle of vision, draws out a very deep meaning from the words mam upayanti te, taking the word upayanti, which ordinarily means "they come," to indicate upapati, or "paramour." So mam upayanti, "they come to Me," means they consider Krishna as upapati, as a paramour.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj further explains: "In society there is the lawful husband, or pati, and there is the paramour, or upapati. In Vrindavan, Krishna is not considered by the Gopis as their lawfully married husband, but as master, as the Lord of their hearts. Krishna says here, 'I inspire them to come to Me, considering Me as paramour, upapati.'"

In this mood, Srila Gurudeva implies that although externally the Turkish devotees may have to fulfill the Islamic social and scriptural mores of their country, secretly, internally, their hearts belong to Krishna: they do not allow a second husband or pati (mullah) to come between them and Krishna.

sarva-dharman parityajya / mam ekam saranam vraja
Bhagavad Gita (18:66)

So Srila Gurudeva compares their coming to see him to the Gopis of Vrindavan (vraja) who try to secretly get Krishna's connection: "You have come from a Muslim country, where everyone [sarva] is worshiping the impersonal Brahman [dharman], but you have come here deviously [parityajya (secretly not following that custom)], for a connection with Krishna [mam ekam saranam]."

Inspired by Srila Gurudeva from within (dadami buddhi-yogam), crossing the strict Islamic scriptural and social proscriptions (sarva-dharman parityajya), sneaking past the watchful eye of their pati (government) the devotees from Turkey run to the east, to the irresistible call to service by Krishna's flute (muralista-kirtana-dhanam), to the Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math.

I offer my dandavat pranam to all the devotees of Turkey, headed by Sriman Ramaray Prabhu, whose devotion and commitment are an inspiration to us all, and who risk everything (saranam vraja) for the service of Srila Gurudeva.

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