When you chant harinama, you can try and visualize that you are anywhere in the eighty-four krosas (thirty-two square mile area) of Vrndavana. You can be under the shade of Vamsi-vata (the tree under which Krsna plays His flute and calls the gopis to come and dance rasa-lila with Him), and sometimes in Nandagaon, at Ter-kadamba (one of the important meeting places of Sri Radha-Krsna). And, if you like to weep bitterly, then go to Uddhava-kyari, where all gopis are lamenting in a mood of separation from Krsna. Sit there for some time and chant Hare Krsna, feeling something of the gopis’ great separation mood.
If your mind is wandering, go then to Govardhana and try to chant Hare Krsna loudly, performing parikrama of Govardhana. You can take some rest at Kusuma-sarovara (where Krsna jokingly chastises Sri Radha for picking ‘His’ flowers) or Govinda-kunda (where King Indra worshipped Krsna), and especially take bath at Radha-kunda. First take bath in Radha-kunda and then in Syama-kunda (where Radha and Krsna and the gopis perform their water sports).
While chanting Hare Krsna and thinking about all of these things, gradually your mind will be controlled. In our sampradaya, especially in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, devotees do not have to do anything separate to remove anarthas (detrimental thoughts and habits). We simply engage our minds all the time, second by second, in chanting, remembering, reading, and worshipping Krsna twenty-four hours a day. In this way our minds cannot go here and there, and we can conquer anarthas easily. We have a taste in these processes that assist us in entering bhakti.
Darsana with Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spoken in France, on April 27, 1998
What is bhava-roga? It is punarapi-jananam punarapi-maranam, punanapi janane jatare gamanam. Taking birth and dying and repeatedly entering the womb of another mother to suffer in this material world, is called bhava-roga. So, the glories of Krsna are the topmost medicine for these conditioned souls.
Listen to the pastimes of Krsna from such Mahapurususas who don’t have any trsna, or desire for this material world. The hari-katha they speak is the best medicine for curing this disease of material existence. This medicine is unfailing. Who will not listen to the hari-katha spoken from such personalities?
Those, who have a desire for samsara should listen. Those, who have developed detachment to samsara should also listen. Those, who have developed pure devotion at the lotus feet of Krsna will also listen. The liberated personalities will also listen.
Even those who have attained Goloka Vrndavana listen to the pastimes of Krsna. But, who doesn’t listen? Those who are atma-ghati don’t listen. Atma-ghati means one who kills himself.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja
Jana sangas ca—you should not be bound by bad association. Never accept any food or water from the hands of those people who do not engage in the worship of Krishna. Don’t accept anything from them; in their association your intelligence will be destroyed. In their proximity, your bhakti should be kept confidential.
Never be engaged in prolonged conversations with them, even if one of the persons happens to be your son, brother, or husband. You can meet and cheat them by speaking on worldly subject matters. But never speak on the confidential truths of bhakti. This way, you should behave accordingly.
You should always be engaged in sadhu-sanga. What is the meaning of sadhu-sanga? It means associating with a high class of a devotee who is in the line of our guru, and especially in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. On finding such a sadhu, you should try to follow his association and listen to his katha.
Don’t be entangled in the association of worldly people. The association of people who have no devotion must be avoided at all costs, or else your devotion will be destroyed. This applies even to a godbrother. The godbrother may be chattering here and there, so even your godbrother’s association must be avoided.
Rather, you should associate with a devotee absorbed in the devotional services of Krishna. This devotee weeps while he continuously chants the holy name, and he is much more advanced than us
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja (Den Haag, 14 May 1996)
Since Srimad-Bhagavatam has not openly declared the manjari mood, we also should not do so. We are not greater than Sri Vyasadeva, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We should keep that mood in our hearts, as a wife who has a paramour does not give her husband any such indication. In India it is done like this, but not in the West. Westerners can declare more than ten husbands at a time, but in India, to declare another beloved would create a very big problem.
I request that if you think you have greed for the mood of a manjari, keep it in your heart so that nobody can have a scent of it. Otherwise, in a day or two you may commit offenses and your mood will disappear forever. This is not a subject for preaching everywhere in the marketplace. Keep it inside, like camphor. If camphor burns at an open doorway it evaporates, whereas if it is kept hidden behind closed doors, its fragrance will increase. It is very good if one has actual greed. I appreciate this, and I offer my heartfelt blessings to you if you have this. But keep it in your heart and don’t disturb others, otherwise they will end up collecting so many lady friends and engage in so-called parakiya mood, meaning illicit and immoral connection with the opposite sex.
My request is this: do not be mad to be a manjari. First try to follow Sri Upadesamrta, and then the other writings of Srila Rupa Gosvami. You can then gradually reach the top of the bhakti tree. Don’t try to jump at once to the top of the tree, otherwise you may fall down, break your arms and legs, and crack your head. So be careful.
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja (Volgograd, Russia: September 13, 2004)