A Week of Hari-katha Nectar!
A special treat for all the Hari-katha lovers out there! A week’s digest of classes spoken on Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Gita Govinda, Navadvipa-dhama, and Amalaki Ekadasi, between March 3rd, and March 8th, 2017. Along with our other various temple and publication services, we hope to keep up with regular digests of hari-katha in Sri Radhe Kunj. Please forgive any oversights. Jay Jay Sri Radhe!]
# 03 March 2017, Srimad-Bhagavatam, 6th Canto, 9th Chapter Visvarupa Killed and Vritrasura Born
Yesterday we heard how on the order of Brahmaji, the demigods, headed by Indra, went to Visvarupa to request him to become their head-priest. “Our guru has disappeared,” they said. “Now we take shelter of you.”
At first Visvarupa did not wish to help but on their repeated requests he agreed. He gave them narayana-kavaca which protected them and enabled them to conquer their enemies, the demons, and regained their post in the heavenly planets.
Sukadeva Gosvami now continues.
Visvarupa had 3 heads. With the mouth of one head he drank soma-rasa. With another mouth he drank wine and with the third head he ate food. He now took on the roll of the guru of the demigods.
The demigods desired that Visvarupa daily carry out a yajna for Indra and the devas’ prosperity. Visvarupa did so, but secretly offered oblations to the demons. He was, on his father’s side, in the dynasty of the demigods, but his mother was of a demon family. He therefore offered oblations for the benefit of both the demigods and the demons. As a result the demons strength increased along with the demigods’ day after day.
Indra noticed the secret activities of Visvarupa and became furious. He immediately killed Visvarupa by cutting of his three heads.
This is an example of the behavior of the many wicked disciples who are completely under the influence of raja-guna and tama-guna. They come to their spiritual master with a show of sincerity, but the next moment they try to kill him. Why did Indra have this rasik mood? Because he disrespected his guru. His guru left him and then he had nothing. Following Lord Brahma’s advice, he took shelter of Visvarupa in his guru’s absence but as soon as he gained some pratishtha once again lost his intelligence and went even as far as incurring the brahma-hatya sin (the sin of killing a brahmana).
Indra suffered the reaction of this sin for one year and then he distributed the burden among the earth, water, trees, and women. Each of them accepted a fourth of the sin along with a blessing. From the time that they accepted a portion of the sin, trees produce sap from their limbs; the Earth contains deserts (which are not suitable for performing
sacrifice); water shows signs of contamination in the form of foam; and women face monthly menstrual periods.
Upon learning that his son had been killed by Indra, Tvashta rishi was enraged. He conducted a yajna from which a person destined to destroy Indra would be born. However their was a fault in his recitation of mantras and instead of Indra’s killer being born, a person who would be killed by Indra appeared from the fire.
The being who appeared was dark yet his body blazed with terrible flames. His body soon grew to an enormous size. He towered over the land like a mountain and could eat buffalos and elephants whole. He struck fear in the hearts of all who saw him.
Tvashta said, “I have given you birth. My son, because you seem to cover the entire universe, you will be known as Vritra.”
The army of the demigods attacked Vritrasura with many weapons, but the demon easily avoided harm and began to reek havoc in their ranks. He killed and injured many and they were forced to fall back. They began to desperately pray to Bhagavan for help.
They said, “O Lord, we were comfortable and careless but now we have lost everything. Prabhu You appeared as Matsya and protected Your devotees at the time of universal devastation. Certainly this demon will completely annihilate this world if you do not give us you mercy now. Save us O Lord whose maya can cover the intelligence of everyone in the universe. You have helped Your devotees by incarnating in many forms. Please help us today!”
In that moment the Supreme Lord, whose chest is marked by Srivatsa, and who carries a flower, disk, club, and lotus flower, appeared before the demigods. He was accompanied by 16 parshadas headed by Sununda and Vishvaksena.
The demigods offered further prayers. They said, “O Almighty Lord. We are not qualified to reach You in Your transcendental abode, but you very mercifully have appeared before us here. Please save us from this terrible demon. Apart from You, we have no shelter. The living beings in this world build a home which they think can offer them protection, but because they have no knowledge of Yourself and Your feature of the Supersoul and do not understand Your sakti their lives go in vain.
“O Madhusudana, Your glories are like a vast ocean. maha-bhagavatas offer all that they have to You and serve You in constant happiness. But because we have misused our independence we are now suffering.
“In the forms of Your many avataras you killed all kinds of dangerous asuras. Please destroy this Vritrasura today. It seems there has never been a demon as powerful as he.
“We have prostrated ourselves at your feet. Please do not neglect us. Please sooth our troubled hearts with the sound of Your voice give us some instruction.”
“O Master, You are sarva-jna—the knower of everything. You can make the impossible possible. This Vritrasura simply swallows all the weapons we through at him and destroys our soldiers effortlessly. Please delay no further dear O Lord!”
Sukadeva Gosvami said, “Dear king, after hearing the many prayers of the demigods, the Supreme Lord spoke as follows:
“O King Indra, the prayers which you have offered Me can only be offered by someone possessed of great knowledge. I hope you will be careful not to allow your intelligence to be covered anymore and that you can make this knowledge your permanent possession. Truly learned persons know no one but Me. They have no reason to fear, for their minds are satisfied in understanding of My tattva.”
“The body of this Vritrasura is strong with the sakti of Tvashta. Go now to Dadhici and ask for his assistance. He has brahma-jnana, and is very powerful. It was he who imparted the knowledge of the narayana-kavaca to Tvashta who in turn passed it on to his son, Visvarupa, who later passed it on to you. You, however, have lost the protection of this kavaca. The power of the mantras are extinguished because you have killed your guru. Go now to Dadhici and ask him for his bones. From these bones a weapon with the ability to destroy Vritra can be created. He will not be disturbed by this request of yours. He is a knower of the true self. He will willingly give what you ask of him.”
# 04 March 2017, Srimad-Bhagavatam, 6th Canto, Ch. 10-11
Having instructed the demigods to approach the sage Dadhici, the Supreme Lord disappeared. When asked for his bones the rsi smiled and spoke as follows:
“Surely you know, my dear demigods, that to part with this body is very painful. The living beings desire that this body and their soul remain together, like dear friends, forever. No one likes the idea of giving up this body. How you expect someone to give up his body willingly?”
Indra and the demigods replied, “O great one, you are a self-realized. You are not thus attached to your body. It is our hope that, for the welfare of us all, you will bestow upon us this favor.”
“I know this body is not permanent. Therefore,
although it will undoubtedly cause me pain, I shall leave this body for the benefit of others. My dear King Indra, this body of mine is mortal, but despite this, I utilize it for the worship of God. Now that I understand that it is His desire that I give it up then I shall do so. This body is already destined to die at some point in the future and become the food of dogs or other beings. So I give it to you now without anxiety.”
Thus, remembering Parabrahma, the sage easily gave up his material body. Indra collected Dadhici’s bones, which contained brahma-sakti, and Visvakarma made it into a powerful weapon that was called Vajra (the thunderbolt). Indra took up this weapon and attacked Vritrasura with new confidence.
The great fight that ensued took place at the end of Satya-yuga and the beginning of Treta-yuga. The battlefield was on the bank of the Godavari. On the side of Indra were the demigods, bedecked with gold armor and celestial weapons; and on the side of Vrtrasura were many similarly strong and richly clad asuras, danavas, yakshas, and rakshasas. The demons threw many astras and sastras at the demigods, but the sons of Aditi avoided them all by flying in the sky. When their weapons were exhausted, the demons began to hurl mountain peeks, boulders, and trees at their enemies, but the demigods destroyed them all before they reached them.
The demons found they could not harm the demigods, so they abandoned their leader, Vritrasura, and fled for their lives. Vritrasura laughed and called out to them, “Where will you run? The death of everyone is already confirmed. At some point in the future we will surely die, so why do you run? Where will you hide? Be it now in battle, or in some years from now, death will find you. If you die in battle your destination after death will be very good. Why do you run?”
The demons did not listen to Vritrasura. They continued to flee and left him alone. At that time, Indra attacked the retreating demons from behind. Vritrasura rebuked the devas for this act. He challenged them, saying that unless they were cowards they would now face him directly in battle, giving up assaulting the fleeing host of demons. He then roared loudly and filled the demigods with fear.
Indra at once threw a great club at his enemy, but Vritrasura easily caught it and sent it back with great force unto the head of Airavata, Indra’s elephant carrier. Indra and Airavata both fell. Indra healed Airavata’s wounds with amrita and then took up his
Seeing Indra, thunderbolt in hand and ready to attack him, Vritrasura was filled with anger. “O sinful one,” he said. “You disrespected your own guru and you killed my brother. If I kill you now, fire will not even wish to touch you when the time for your funeral comes. There is not a jackal or crow that lives that would touch your dead body. Fool! Your club was useless against me. Now cast your vajra, which was created by Bhagavan’ arrangement. I am not afraid to die. Kill me now and live a long life together with your sins. You deserve to suffer for a long time under the weight of your misdeeds.
Now with a tone that surprised the lord of Heaven, Vrtrasura continued to speak, “Indra, do not delay! Strike me down now and allow me to return to the service of my Lord. I am surrendered at His lotus feet and will surely attain those feet after death. You may remain in Svarga with your great facticity for enjoyment for ages to come, but I wish to quickly be rid of this body and be reunited with my Lords lotus feet:
aham hare tava padaika-mula- dasanudaso bhavitasmi bhuyah manah smaretasu-pater gunams te grinita vak karma karotu kayah Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.11.24
O my Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, will I again be able to be a servant of Your eternal servants who find shelter only at Your lotus feet? O Lord of my life, may I again become their servant so that my mind may always think of Your transcendental attributes, my words always glorify those attributes, and my body always engage in the loving service of Your Lordship? (Vedabase)
Having offered this beautiful prayer to Lord Sri Hari, Vritrasura challenged Indra, “Why don’t you throw your thunderbolt? What are you waiting for?”
But Indra was afraid. “What is this?” he thought. “He has bhakti for Bhagavana? If this is the case I will incur even more sin by killing him!” The bhakti that saturated this prayer of Vrtrasura seemed to surpass any kind of devotion that Indra had ever imagined possessing.
Vritrasura further prayed:
na naka-prishtham na ca parameshthyam na sarva-bhaumam na rasadhipatyam
na yoga-siddhir apunar-bhavam va samanjasa tva virahayya kankshe Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.11.25
O my Lord, source of all opportunities, I do not desire to enjoy in Dhruvaloka, the heavenly planets or the planet where Lord Brahma resides, nor do I want to be the supreme ruler of all the earthly planets or the lower planetary systems. I do not desire to be master of the powers of mystic yoga, nor do I want liberation if I have to give up Your lotus feet. (Vedabase)
ajata-paksha iva mataram khagah stanyam yatha vatsatarah kshudh-artah priyam priyeva vyushitam vishanna mano ‘ravindaksha didrikshate tvam Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.11.26
O lotus-eyed Lord, as baby birds that have not yet developed their wings always look for their mother to return and feed them, as small calves tied with ropes await anxiously the time of milking, when they will be allowed to drink the milk of their mothers, or as a morose wife whose husband is away from home always longs for him to return and satisfy her in all respects, I always yearn for the opportunity to render direct service unto You. (Vedabase)
mamottamasloka-janeshu sakhyam samsara-cakre bhramatah sva-karmabhih tvan-mayayatmatmaja-dara-geheshv asakta-cittasya na natha bhuyat Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.11.27
O my Lord, my master, I am wandering throughout this material world as a result of my fruitive activities. Therefore I simply seek friendship in the association of Your pious and enlightened devotees. My attachment to my body, wife, children and home is continuing by the spell of Your external energy, but I wish to be attached to them no longer. Let my mind, my consciousness and everything I have be attached only to You. (Vedabase)
These prayers of Vritrasura are full of so much instruction for us. Vritrasura teaches us that in every situation, whether it is a time of peace or danger, never forget the lotus feet of God. Never forget your master—this is the way of the bhakta.
Vritrasura, who is a pure devotee with only the external covering of a demonic body, states here that he longs for that time where his souls bondage in the cycle of birth and death among the various types of species of life within this world will come to and end. This is only possible by getting sambandha with Bhagavan’s devotees. He says, “Prabhu, I am not attached to anyone in or anything in this world. Please do not cheat me. I am not interested in collecting friends or caring for this heavy body. When will I meet with your followers and have relationship with them only?
# 04 March 2017 Sri Gita Govinda
It is the general idea that Sri Krsna is pleased to be surrounded by many devotees who are busily engaged in serving Him. But Jayadeva Gosvami points out here that real krsna- puja is carried out only by those whose sole desire is to please Srimati Radharani. This is the essence of anukula anusilanam. We may offer many sweets and things to Thakuraji based on our own idea of what is appropriate, but there is no guarantee that Krsna will be pleased. If, after carrying out many types of sadhana and worship, Radha and Krsna’s lilas do not appear in the heart then we can be certai
n something is lacking in us.
Even in the spiritual world, Krsna wants to see how many people are correct and He examines everyone. “Who really wants to please me?” When He sees that someone has surrendered to Srimati Radharani He becomes pleased and desires to be the friend of that person. This is what Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu instructed our Gosvamis to teach the souls of this world.
Now Jayadeva Gosvami sings:
näma-sametaà kåta-saìketaà vädayate mådu-veëum
bahu manute nanu te tanu-saìgata-pavana-calitam api reëum
Krsna’s body is decorated with flowers, charming cloth, and the dust of Vraja. He thinks, “I am fortunate to be touch by this vraja-raja. As soon as I come in contact with this dust I am filled with the inspiration to chant and remember only, ‘Radhe Radhe.’ I desire to constantly and exclusively remember and hear Her names—nama sametam. This is because of the mercy of the dust of Vraja.”
This is Krsna’s mood, but he cannot openly teach those in other rasas, such as dasy and sakhya, to chant these names.
In Kali-yuga Mahaprabhu gives this nectar of Radharani’s names. He establishes that is the supreme dharma of all to chant harera-nama—Sri Radha’s names. Mahaprabhu went out for nagara-sankirtana everyday and sang, “Hare hare! Govinda hare!” He gave told everyone to chant the Hare Krsna mantra, the mahan, or greatest, mantra. Everyone should chant this—anyone from any rasa. Without Srimati Radharani’s mantra and name then there is no way to reach God—yet this remains, to most, a secret. Krsna only gives hints—nama sanketam. He cannot openly tell everyone to chant Radharani’s names and surrender to Her.
Before, Krsna chanted the names of His cows, such as Pisangi and Ganga. Counting on His mani-mala He made sure all of them were present. If any where absent He would call them by playing His flute. Krsna also has millions of sakhas. He knows and calls them all by name. But in chanting these names He does not find complete happiness. Only when He chants the names of the Vraja-devis does He feel satisfied. This is because the names of all His bhaktas are present within the names of the gopis. Furthermore, the names of all the gopis are present within the names of Sri Radha. Therefore, Krsna desires to chant that name incessantly.
Now Srimati is in mana and Her friends are trying to pacify Her. “O Sakhi,” they say, “Krsna is chanting Your name. The air is carrying the dust from Your lotus feet and when that touches Krsna He desires to never remove that dust from his body. He says, ‘I am so lucky. I respect this dust which has touched the body of Srimatiji.’ He feels so much happiness and satisfaction from within when this dust touches Him and in that state he places His flute to His lips and plays a sweet melody.
“O Radhe, Krsna is waiting fro You. Please come out of the impenetrable fortress of Your mana. Krsna will not meet with anyone else. He wants to see You only. The dust from Your feet is smeared on His brow and His entire body. He will not even talk to or meet with His sakhas now. He only wants Your darsana. Please come. Where?
dhéra-samére yamunä-tére vasati vane vanamälé péna-payodhara-parisara-mardana-caïcala-kara-yuga-çälé
The sakhis are urging Sri Radha to come meet with Her beloved Krsna where He is waiting on the bank of the Yamuna, where a gentle breeze that carries Sri Radha’s divine fragrance and foot dust is flowing. is flowing. Srimatiji, however, does not move one step.
patati patatre vicalati patre çaìkita-bhavad-upayänam racayati çayanaà sacakita-nayanaà paçyati tava panthänam
“O Radhe,” the sakhis say, “Krsna is normally restless and carefree, but today He has become very focused in making a beautifully decorated place for You to sit.”
When Krsna picked the flowers He said to them, “I am taking you away from your parents (the stem and leaves) but do not worry, I will use you for the service of Radharani, making your lives and the lives of your entire dynasty successful.
A sadhaka might not know the right way and principles in the execution of his practice but he just chants from his heart, “He radhe, vraja devike, ca lalite!”then Krsna will come and collect him, as a gardener collects flowers.
Gurudeva said, “I went to the West and collected many flowers that Prabhupada had planted.”
“O sakhi, Krsna has not only made a sitting place for You, He has also made a picture of Your lotus footprints out of flower petals. He offers arcana to those footprints andwhile reciting the bija-mantra, ‘ram radhikaye namah.’ He offers each article of worship, like padya, arghya, and acamana, with all His heart. Carefully utilizing tiny and colorful flowers He has made this place for worshiping Your footprints. In another place He has made a pillow of flowers for You to rest Your feet on. Thus He is expressing His heartfelt love and that He has offered everything to You. O how is the smell of that place! How pathetic the scene! You cannot imagine this.
As they described to Srimati Radharani this scene that they saw on the bank of the Yamuna, the sakhis were overcome with spiritual emotion and they began to perspire.
As He decorated the flower design of Radharani’s footprints, Krsna offered the flowers into the seva of Srimati Radharani, saying to them, “You will be here—as Her toe ring.”
Rupa Manjari and Rati Manjari know this—they know that their place is at Srimati’s lotus feet.
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who is Rati Manjari in the eternal world, says:
çré rüpa maïjaré karärcita pädapadma goñöendra-nandana bhujärpita mastakäyäù hä modataù kanaka-gauri padäravinda samvähanäni çanakais tava kià kariñye
Under the guidance of Sri Rupa Manjari, I will massage my Radharani’s feet while She rests Her head in Krsna’s lap.
By following Sri Krsna’s hints—nama sanketam—a person can obtain seva adhikara, qualification to serve in Vraja. Krsna cannot directly tell everyone to serve Srimati so He gives hints. All this is illustrated in Krsna’s making rangoli designs with hidden messages and expressions in that kunja on the bank of Yamuna.
Anyone desirous of such seva-adhikara must follow the gopis and that means to be keep ones seva secret. The word gopi means gopan or gopaniya—secret or hidden.
A bird becomes attracted a tree with many fruits. He comes to taste one of the ripe sweet fruits but as soon as he touches it, it falls to the ground. “What happened?” said the bird. “Why did he fall? He fell when I came. Perhaps he does not like me. What wrong did I ever do him?” Then he flies to a raw fruit and finds that it does not fall when he touches it. “Yes,” the bird said. “This one is nice to me.” Then he tastes the fruit but finds it sour and bitter. He flies away considering it useless.
What can we understand from this? Asat sanga is easy, but sat sanga is not so easy. Sadhus are clever. They remain distant from everyone and appear to be of a bitter nature.
Krsna arranged a sitting place for Srimati Radharani, as well as a place to comfort Her feet, He arranged a place for Her to rest.
“O Radhe,” the sakhis say, “the wind is flowing and the birds are singing as they watch Krsna. Krsna corrects them, saying, “Don’t look at Me. Look into my heart. There you will see only Srimati Radharani’s name. I chant Her name and you should also. Then I will be happy with you and will give you anything you desire.”
mukharam adhéraà tyaja maïjéraà ripum iva keli-sulolam cala sakhi kuïjaà satimira-puïjaà çélaya
All the sakhis and manjaris came to urge Srimati Radharani to go to Krsna, saying, “Calo sakhi.” But She is not convinced. Her mana is not broken. “You can all go. You like Him. You are in His party, so go at once to Him. I am not going.”
Then the sakhis continued to describe to Srimati the scene of Krsna waiting on the bank of the Yamuna, lost in thoughts of Radharani and Her all-powerful love. It is as if they manifested a great painting for Srimati to see, and said, “Just see how Krsna is waiting for You. He is sad without You. He is chanting You chanting Your names constantly and arranging your bed, seat, and so one. Come. Why not give Him Your darsana?
Srimati’s friends continued, “Come and meet Him, but first remove your ankle-
bells. Leave these ones behind, for Krsna has made anklets for you from small flowers. Look.
These flower arrangements that Krsna made for Srimati Radharani are placed around Her ankles and thus decorate Her feet. They are like Krsna’s puspanjali to Radhika. Why is puspanjali offered to the feet? Why not to the head or the chest? To offer anjali means to offer one’s love, respect, or faith. Puspanjali is when flowers, puspa, are used to represent one’s love and are offered to the feet of the object of that love. They are offered to the feet as a form of deep love and respect.
The sakhis collected Krsna’s love and showed them to Radhika. “Just see this tasteful nectar!” they said. Then they touched the anklets made by Krsna to Srimati Radharani’s lotus-like feet.
By contacting this small offering of love Srimati Radharani’s mood completely changed. She became overwhelmed by the sweetness she found in the loveful offering and fell became almost completely unconscious. The sakhis carefully took Her in their arms and attended to Her. “Why does Krsna have so much of this sweet love for Me? How do I deserve this? How could I ever match this love? I have nothing to give Him. He has no much sweet nectar to give Me but what can I give Him? I have nothing.”
Srimati Radharani’s love now began to show the extremely elevated signs of ecstasy such as madana and modana. As these levels of affection increased in Srimati Radharani, Krsna’s love for Srimati Radharani also increased. And because Krsna’s love was increasing, Srimati’s was increasing even more.
The anklets were not all the sakhis had collected from Krsna. They also brought to Srimati Radharani a garland which He had worn and which also carried His love within it. Srimati Radharani was now fully unconscious, but when they put the mala around Her neck she immediately woke up. Now She was ready to go for abhisara.
This mala was like an ajna mala. It was not just an invitation, but a calling—a pulling. Now awake and alert, Srimati Radharani noticed that it was the dark night of a new moon.
Krsna is dark and makes everything dark. Therefore when You are near Him you will not be seen by any worldly people. They will not be able to find you and steal you.
Srimati’s friends now said, “Sakhi, no one should see you. Now that you have discarded your noisy ankle-bells and have accepted the flower ornaments made by the hands of Your beloved, walk carefully and go to meet Krsna in the kunja sheltered in the darkness of the night. The flower anklets have great power. Because you are wearing them you will not become tired. Cover Yourself with a dark blue shawl and set out for Your abhista-siddhi, the fulfillment of your hearts cherished desire. Imagine that the dark shawl that covers You is actually Syamasundara Himself protecting You. You will not be seen by anyone.
urasi murärer upahita-häre ghana iva tarala-baläke taòid iva péte rati-viparéte räjasi sukåta-vipäke
Srimati Radharani’s bodily complexion is the color of melted gold. Now She covered Herself with a dark shawl, but Her luster seemed to shine even more brightly upon doing so. She cast light in all directions with every step she took. She appeared more radiant than an indra-nilamani. The sakhis became slightly worried. How could she move stealthily when she appeared like millions of suns rising at the same time?
The trees and creepers that were touched by the light coming from Srimati Radharani all were filled with blissful sakti and they reflected the light. The creaking of the tree- branches and rustling of leaves formed a voice that chanted, “Radhe Radhe.” Now the forest was completely lit up and full of energy. The idea of abhisara is to hide and go to the dark kunja in the black of night but now everything was blazing with light.
As Srimati Radharani traversed the forest path the garland that Krsna made swung from Her neck to and fro. Each of Her steps fell upon the petals of flowers, lovingly placed there in charming colorful designs by Her manjaris.
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami writes in his Vilapa-kusumanjali how he meditates on doing this service for Srimati Radharani as She walks from Yavata to Nandagram. Absorbed in his nitya-svarupa, he says, “As She walks upon the path of flower petals that I have previously arranged, I will fan Her with a camara and sing mangala-gita (auspicious songs.)”
Krsna saw that forest had lit up in all directions and all the plants and animals were surcharged with sakti. He thought, Everyone is getting Srimati Radharani’s mercy. Everyone is illuminated by Her…but will she not illuminate Me? Will Her light not shine in My heart.? Alas! Only I am dark? I have no place for Her in My heart; therefore I am dark. How can I arrange a place for her in my heart?”
Tears fell profusely from Krsna’s eyes. He looked around and said to Himself, “I must decorate my heart if I want Srimati Radharani to be there. Till now I have been making external decorations. This is just duplicity.”
There are persons who externally have many qualities but are desert-like within. They apply tilaka and wear tulsi-mala but in fact have impure hearts. This imitation and duplicity is very displeasing to Krsna.
Krsna said, “I am truly a cheater. Look at this Vrndavana-dhama. All the creepers are dancing pleasantly, the leaves of the trees are fanning She who walks beneath the forest canopies. Upon seeing Srimati Radharani, the flowers blossom, honey flows from the bees’ hives, and everyone is singing. Just look at their pure hearts. I have been a fool to be spending this much time decorating external things like seats and pillows thinking that
this is a sine of so much love. But because my heart is filled only with darkness all this is useless.”
vigalita-vasanaà parihåta-rasanaà ghaöaya jaghanam apidhänam kisalaya-çayane paìkaja-nayane nidhim iva harña-nidhänam
Krsna, still waiting and bewildered, thought, “How can I surrender Myself to Srimati Radharani? How can I serve Her. If She comes now, will She accept Me? I can only hope that She will accept Me just like the lotus accepts the bee. Everyone has heard about the bee that became attracted by the smell of the nectar contained in the lotus and became mad while drinking the same. He forgot his surroundings and fell a sleep, completely intoxicated by the nectars’ sweetness. The bee did not even notice when evening came and the lotus closed its petals around the him. He slept inside the closed lotus the entire night, unseen by anyone, and in the morning, when the lotus bloomed again, he came out. The bee thought, “Oh! I am very cruel. My teeth are so sharp. They can cut through wood. I have come here to this soft and sweet lotus and used those same teeth to extract nectar from it. But this lotus changed my nature. It made me soft and gave me shelter. It accepted me in the room of its heart.’ Will Srimati Radhar
ani give Me, who am so hard and devoid of sweetness, shelter like this?
On the other side, Srimatiji thought was thinking, “It is a dark moon night. The darkness of such a night is perfect for abhisara, but I am so unfortunate that wherever I go, I see that the forest is full of light. I want to secretly meet with My beloved but how can I remain hidden in this luminous forest. Perhaps this is the arrangement of Krsna. Maybe He has seen that the forest be lit up so that I may find my way more easily. But does He not realize that someone may se Me?”
As Srimati Radharani thought in this way, She momentarily turned Her back to the direction of kunja where Krsna was…
harir abhimäné rajanir idäném iyam api yäti virämam
kuru mama vacanaà satvara-racanaà püraya madhuripu-kämam
When Srimati Radharani turned Her back, Krsna saw that the light in the forest grew slightly dim and He became anxious. Back on Sri Radha’s side, the sakhis explained that the light was not Krsna’s arrangement. “O friend, the effulgence of just one of Your toe nails is enough to illuminate all of Vrndavan. The light You see is actually from You. But Krsna is dark and He likes darkness, so let us cover you completely with dark cloth and continue on our way.”
The pain of Radha and Krsna’s separation can be likened to dark clouds that grow bigger
and bigger and then suddenly clash together and form an intense light that cuts through
the darkness of night. The heart-breaking separation between Radha and Krsna had
become so intense, but now Radharani was making Her way to the place where Her
beloved awaited Her, casting light in all directions. She was just like the lightning that
appears in the sky that is filled by agitated stormclouds.
The sakhis covered Srimatiji in such a way that no light could now escape from under the dark cloth. They led Her through the forest toward Krsna.
Meanwhile, Krsna was plunged into despair. The growing light had convinced Him that Sri Radha was approaching, but now the light had completely gone out. It seemed She would never come.
Radharani’s sakhis said, “Radhe, we must be quick. Time is running out. Krsna is alone. At any moment He can be approached and stolen away by the agents of another party. They have many ways by which they can trick Him. They could say to Him, ‘Come Syamasundara! We will take You Radha’s kunja.’ Then they will lead Him to a place where a gopi is sitting with her head covered. They will say that she is You and thus kidnap Him…
çré-jayadeve kåta-hari-seve bhaëati parama-ramaëéyam pramudita-hådayaà harim ati-sadayaà namata sukåta-kamanéyam
Sri Jayadeva Gosvami says, “May this Divine Couple, along with their lila-sakti, come into my heart. O Bhagavat-jana, O devotees of the Lord, always desire to fill the eager ears of Krsna with the glories of Sri Radha; and to describe Krsna’s glories to Sri Radha. When you describe Sri Radha’s glories to Krsna, Krsna is pleased; and when you describe Sri Krsna’s glories to Sri Radha, Sri Radha is pleased. When you please Sri Radha, Sri Krsna is pleased—and that is real service to Sri Radha.
# 05 March 2017 – Srimad-Bhagavatam – 6th Canto, Chapter 12 Sukadeva Gosvami said:
O Maharaja Pariksit, Vrtrasura was no coward. Desiring a quick death, he charged the King Indra. He wished to be rid of the body of a demon and reinstated in his position of a servant of the Supreme Lord.
Vrtrasura threw his mighty trident at Indra while crying, “You sinful person!” Indra cut the weapon to pieces even as it approached with thunderbolt. Immediately after this, Indra severed the left hand of Vrtrasura with his thunderbolt. Vrtrasura next took up an enormous iron rod and sent it at Indra. Stunned by the impact of the weapon, Indra dropped his weapon. Airavat fell once more, and all the demons sent up a call of joy at the sight.
“Indra,” Vrtrasura said, “quickly pick up your weapon and kill me! There is only one
Supreme Lord. Kill me now but know that Sri Hari is alone the Doer, and you are nothing. I do not wish to carry this body any longer. One who has no knowledge of God cannot distinguish between right and wrong and he follows his own mind here and there uselessly. You are follower of the mind. You do not know my true self; you know only this structure of a great demon. Free me from this body which is your enemy, but know that my soul is not your enemy. In the absence of Bhagavan’s desire the material elements are without energy. God is alone the doer. You have no intelligence and are therefore always angry or troubled. Bhagavan is the Generator, Operator, and Destroyer, but you audaciously think that you are an independent god or the killer of another.
“If a tiger kills and eats another animal where does that dead animal go? By God’s mystical arrangement the elements work to break down that animals body within the tigers digestive system. All the while, the foolish tiger thinks simply, ‘I have eaten this animal.’
“Thinking you are strong, the king, or the victor—this is nothing but ignorance. God is the controller. Victory and defeat, life and death, happiness and distress, friends and foes—these are all equally meaningless to the soul. The soul cannot be touched by any mundane condition, emotion, or person. The soul is related to God a is above this. The soul never dies. If you think you can kill someone then you are of a gross materialistic mentality.”
All who heard the words of Vrtrasura were filled with wonder. “Who is this person?”
Vrtrasura went on, “O you who see yourself as my enemy, you have cut my arm and you think this is great. You are proud of your victory. This fight is like the playing of children, yet you think you have destroyed me. Whether I kill you or you kill me, what is the difference or importance? Come, let’s play some more!”
Vrtrasura spoke and instructive words to the king of Heaven as well as glorified him. Now, Indra spoke.
“Amazing!” he said in sarcasm, “I have heard about demons having bhakti before. How very sweet this is! Now demons can have jnana and vairagya and are qualified to instruct others? Now behold my wrath for the few moments that remain before your death.” Not one word of knowledge from Vrtrasura was accepted by the proud devata. “Listen O danava,” he continued. “you think you are virtuous and the servant of God. But just watch as I cut your duplicitous words short, and your body to pieces, with my vajra. You imply that you are some maha-purusa who, by some misfortune, is momentarily under some form of maya. I know your situation. It is common for a man to pray to god and start preaching to those around him when he is afraid. The weak will speak. You say, “God is my all-in-all.” Oh, how touching! How can you, who are born of raja-guna, have bhakti to God?
Sukadeva Gosvami said:
Thus the two powerful warriors shared with each other their views of dharma for a while and then sprang into battle once more. After an epic struggle, Indra severed the other arm of Vrtrasura. Blood flew profusely from the wounds. Then Vrtrasura expanded the size of His body and. He became gigantic. The space in his open mouth seemed like the sky itself. His was like a great serpent preparing to swallow the universe. His footsteps smashed
the surface of the Earth. Suddenly Vrtrasura swallowed Indra along with Airavata and the demigods all gasped.
nigérëo ‘py asurendreëa
na mamärodaraà gataù mahäpuruña-sannaddho yogamäyä-balena ca Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.12.31
The protective and divine armor of Näräyaëa, which was given to Indra, was identical to Näräyaëa Himself. Protected by that kavaca’s power, King Indra, although swallowed by Våtra, did not die within the demon’s belly.
The Narayana Kavaca is narayana-abhinna. Indra chanted the narayana-kavaca mantras within the belly of the demon. Protected by divine power, he remained unharmed and broke through the belly of Vrtrasura. Immerging from the whole he tore in Vrtra’s body Indra whirled in the air and cut Vitrasura’s head from his shoulders with the thunderbolt weapon. The severing of Vrtasura’s head took 360 days. The music of Gandharvas and Siddhas erupted in all directions and showers of flowers thrown from the devatas fell on the head of Svarga’s king. The celestial beings all praised Indra—the killer of Vrtrasura.
The effulgent soul of Vrtrasura exited that body of a demon and went to the abode of Sri Sankarsana. Here at this chapter’s end, Bhaktivinoda Thakura comments that it is improper to think that Indra killed Vrtrasura. Vrtrasura had already entered samadhi by his, yoga bala. Indra merely cut the wood-like structure of Vrtrasura’s body, when in fact his soul had already gone to the abode of Sankarsana Rama.
# 05 March 2017, Sri Gita Govinda
vikirati muhuù çväsän äçäù puro muhur ékñate
praviçati muhuù kuïjaà guïjan muhur bahu tämyati
racayati muhuù çayyäà paryäkulaà muhur ékñate madana-kadana-kläntaù känte priyas tava vartate
Yesterday we heard how Krsna, Parabrahma Himself, learns the way of service from Vrndavana-dhama and practices it. The inhabitants of Vraja—including the plants, birds, and beasts—serve continuously.
“I have seen many places,” Krsna says. “Even places as exalted as Dvaraka and Vaikuntha, but this vrndavan is the place of seva. No other dhama is like this. Every person and object in Vrndavana is a seva murti—an encapsulation of the tendency to serve. No one asks Me for anything here. They have no selfish desires. They only serve continuously. They are not even interested in even a small amount of recognition for their service. They are most humble. Even while they continuously serve, they lament, ‘Alas. I never serve. Really I do nothing. I have no strength to serve.’ This Vrndavana is an ideal training center for pure loving service.”
What is the meaning of love? Does an exchange of gifts constitute love? Does love mean paid or unpaid labor? None of these really define love. Observing the nature of Vrndavana-dhama, Krsna realizes what true love is, for true love is only present there.
We hear the pastimes and deeds of Krsna and His incarnations that appeared within this universe. We are told about how Bhagavan kills many demons in many instances. We know that in these pastimes, the Lord meets with different devotees and sometimes must be separated from them. For example: Ramacandra’s associate Jataya quits his body in the Lord’s arms and Rama morns Him and carries out His funeral. But is all of this nitya- lila? No. Nitya-lila is something else. These pastimes we hear are collection or a compilation that we can memorize and respect with our present intelligence. They are like a distant hint of nitya-lila.
It is commonly known that Putana came to the home of Nanda in one form. Then a little later she took on another form—a gigantic form. We know Putana as having the identity of a powerful witch, but by Krsna’s grace she has yet another form—an eternal one in which she serves under the guidence of Yasoda Mata. In nitya-lila Krsna does not kill Putana over and over again. This is not the meaning of nitya. The twin Arjuna trees were once unbridled rogues, and there is a beautiful pastime involving them receiving the mercy of Guru and Krsna, but their eternal identity is not that of the sons of Kuvera, nor is it the twin Arjuna trees. Also, it is not that they reached nitya-dhama and behaved improperly as they did before they got there. In eternal Vraja they are Snigdha-kantha and Madhu-kantha.
Kṛṣṇa sees that Vraja-dhāma is not like anywhere else—not like Vaikuṇṭha and certainly not like this material world. This world is so limited. Svarga and even Dvārakā and Vaikuṇṭha are all limited. They lack the quality of ever-freshness that is found in Vraja. In other words, Vaikuntha is an eternal dhama but there is a structured and regulated routine there. In eternal Vraja-mandala however everything is constantly new.
During Rāmacandra’s pastimes in this world, He was separated from more than once and suffered so much pain from this. But this is not possible in eternal Vraja-maṇḍala. Mahāprabhu has indicated this in His Śikṣāṣṭakam:
yugäyitaà nimeñeëa cakñuñä prävåñäyitam
çünyäyitaà jagat sarvaà govinda-viraheëa me Siksastakam 7
Here Mahaprabhu expresses that Radharani feels like She has passed millions of years in separation from Krsna, while in fact only a moment has passed.
Nothing is old in Vrndavan. Everything and everyone is always young and new. Ever- fresh rasa continuously flows there. Krsna thinks, “I reciprocate with My bhaktas. But what will the Vraja-devis take from Me? I have nothing to offer them, but I must try to think of something.”
It has already been described that Krsna attempts to offer some service by making flower ornaments and decorations an the bank of the Yamuna, where He arranged a nice kunja. He finds this service to be most tasteful, but He still cannot understand the depths of Radharani and the Vrajadevis’ love. “How do they have so much energy?” He thinks. “All day long, they are cooking and arranging so many things.”
The Vrajadevis care and think about every single part of Krsna’s body. They dress His head with a turban, atop which the feather of a peacock is present. The shadow of the peacock feather is very cooling and auspicious, but that shadow. This worries the Vrajadevis. Their mood of service is so thorough and their care for Krsna reaches such detail. Because the peacock feather only partially cools and protects Krsna, the Vrajadevis make auspiscious designs from minerals and the rasa of flowers on His face and body. Many descriptions of Krsna’s beauty are found in sastra. Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.23.22) states:
çyämaà hiraëya-paridhià vanamälya-barha- dhätu-praväla-naöa-veñam anavratäàse vinyasta-hastam itareëa dhunänam abjaà karëotpalälaka-kapola-mukhäbja-häsam
His complexion was dark like a fresh monsoon rain-cloud, and the glistening yellow cloth that was draped on His shoulders subdued the splendor of gold. There was a garland of forest flowers around His neck and a beautiful peacock feather splendidly adorned His head. Playful designs were painted on His limbs with colored minerals and He was decorated with bunches of newly sprouted leaves. He looked just like a dramatic dancer. He was resting one hand on the shoulder of His friend, and with the other hand He was playfully twirling a lotus flower. Ornaments danced on His ears and curls of black hair were cascading down His cheeks as His lotus face blossomed with a playful, mild smile.
All these mentioned decorations on Krsna’s body are done by the Vraja-devis. Their seva and love, especially that of Srimati Radharani, fascinates Him.
Our acaryas state:
çré-rädhäyäù praëaya-mahimä kédåç
o vänayaivä- svädyo yenädbhuta-madhurimä kédåço vä madéyaù saukhyaà cäsyä mad-anubhavataù kédåçaà veti lobhät tad-bhäväòhyaù samajani çacé-garbha-sindhau harénduù Çré Caitanya-caritämåta Ädi-lélä 1.6
“How great is the deeply intense love (praëaya) of Çré Rädhä? What is the nature of My astonishing sweetness, which She alone relishes? And what special kind of happiness does She experience on tasting My sweetness?” A greed to taste these three things arose within the heart of Çré Kåñëa, and to fulfill that intense desire, He took birth from the womb of Çré Çacémätä like the moon appearing from the ocean.
There is only ‘the present’ in eternal Vraja. The happenings there are not like any stories or histories that we hear and memorize. Everyone there is situated in the eternal ‘now’ and completely dedicated to Srimati Radharani and only interested in having Her blessings. This is ananya-bhava and parakiya-tattva. To divide myself and allow worldly family and friends to share me—this makes me contaminated. Sramitiji does not even look at such persons. Therefore, if we want Srimati Radharani’s blessings we must become one-pointed. Api tyaktvä lakñmé-pati-ratim ito vyoma-nayanéà—we will have to abandon interest even for Lakñmépati Näräyaëa. But that is not all. Our Guru-varga has said that we will have to even give up attachment to Krsna if we want to one day be counted among the followers of the highest form of bhakti in existence.
Krsna Himself does not understand the exalted nature of vraja-bhakti and does sadhana for this purpose.
He says to the Vraja-devis:
na päraye ’haà niravadya-saàyujäà sva-sädhu-kåtyaà vibudhäyuñäpi vaù
yä mäbhajan durjara-geha-çåìkhaläù saàvåçcya tad vaù pratiyätu sädhunä
My dear gopés, your meeting Me is innocent and immaculate in every respect because it is devoid of even a single iota of desire for your own happiness. It is overflowing with supremely pure love. Although the bonds of affection for the members of one’s own home are impossible to overcome, you have completely demolished them. Thus, for loving service to Me, you have transgressed the moral laws of this world. Even if I lived as long as the gods I would be unable to requite even one drop of your love, sacrifice and service. All of you may free Me from debt simply by your own gentle nature, but I am forever the debtor of your prema, and will always continue to be.
“I cannot be ananya. I have so many bhaktas with whose bhakti I am obliged to reciprocate with.”
We now return to the scene of Krsna waiting for Srimati to come and meet Him.
“My life is useless.” Krsna thought. “I cannot please anyone” He cried out to the creepers, “Pleasa make Me like you! Accept Me. If I am like you then Radharani will surely bless Me.” Then he restlessly returned to the bed that He had arranged for Srimati Radharani. “Will she come here to rest? Will I have the fortune of applying sandal wood paste on her body? Will I have the chance to fan Her? Will I get some service?”
The sakhis explained to Srimati Radharani that Krsna had become mad in separation from Her. “You must give Him Your darsana.” they say. “He wants to be trained in your service and is asking all the Vraja-vasis for their blessings.” He says, ‘You all very easily bring happiness to Srimati Radharani, but I have nothing.”
Krsna is the Supreme Lord. How astonishing it is that he now laments, “I alone am unqualified. I have this misfortune because I am not under anugatya. I have no guru. No blessings. No one to help Me make Srimati Radharani happy.”
Because of the feeling of this lacking, Krsna became Mahaprabhu and trained in the Gambhira for 18 years. He met with the Vraja-devis, now in the form of Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Gopala-bhatta Gosvami, Ramananda Raya, and so on. He continuously prayed and practiced how to become a follower of the Vrajavasis.
tvad-vämyena samaà samagram adhunä tigmäàçur astaà gato govindasya manorathena ca samaà präptaà tamaù sändratäm
kokänäà karuëa-svanena sadåçé dérghä mad-abhyarthanä
tan-mugdhe viphalaà vilambanam asau ramyo ’bhisära-kñaëaù
As at the end of the day, the sun becomes dejected and sets when he learns that the people wish him gone so they can sleep, Krsna might soon give up hope and turn into Brahma. Without You Krsna is Brahma—like a stone statue. You must show Him softness. He has been crying all night, waiting for You. Make haste!”
äçleñäd anu cumbanäd anu nakhollekhäd anu sväntaja-
prodbodhäd anu sambhramäd anu ratärambhäd anu prétayoù
anyärthaà gatayor bhramän militayoù sambhäñaëair jänator dampatyor iha ko na ko na tamasi vréòä-vimiçro rasaù
Before setting out for abhisara, Srimati appeared to be lying unconscious. But the truth is that at that time, She had passed into the stage of consciousness called antara-dasa. The sakhis could not understand why She did not listen to their repeated requests to soothe Her own heart as well as Krsna’s by going out for abhisara. They did not know that She had already brought Krsna into the chamber o Her heart. She was doing nothing externally but internally She was with Krsna and offering Him Her love. This state of antara-dasa is comparable to a dark place where Srimati’s perfect service could not be seen or disturbed.
Krsna felt all the effects of the service that she offered in internal consciousness. “I was not wearing these bracelets before?” He had thought, looking down at his hands. “What magic is this?”
This is the magic of eternal Vraja. Krsna has many different svarupas with which He must appears before the many Vraja-devis who individually offer Him service their within their minds. Each of them dress and decorate Him and they see that He is wearing only what they have given Him.
Now Krsna’s utkantha, or yearning, to see Srimati increased even more. “She must be nearby!” He had already felt Her service, now He could smelled her divine fragrance. He began searching behind nearby trees and here and there. “She is definitely close.” But He could not find Her. This made Him upset.
Then Krsna said, “O Radhe, You must not be giving me Your darsana because I am sad. Very well, I will not be sad.” He calmed His mind and thought to Himself, “Premamayi Radharani will soon be pleased with Me. She will accept Me and make me soft and sweet.”
# 06 March 2017, Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 6, Chapter 13 Sukadeva Gosvami said:
O King, after the death of Vrtrasura everyone rejoiced accept Indra. Vrtrasura was a bhagavad-bhakta and also a brahmana. Now the sin known as brahma hatya again took shelter of Indra and this time there was no question of dividing the burden, as he did previously.
Relieved that Vrtrasura was dead, the sages and celestial all returned to their respective abodes. None of them, however, spoke to Indra. It is not wise to speak to a person who is the shelter of sin. Going near or touching poison will make you sick.
The killing of Vrtrasura death brought about so much pin for Indra. One would assume that the one whose head was arms and head were severed from his body would feel pain, but all the pain went to Indra.
Indra was urged to kill Vrtrasura by the demigods and sages, were feeling great fear. But Indra had hesitated. He felt that killing Vrtrasura would be a sinful act. When he revealed his mind to the sages, they told him, “Devaraja, don’t be worried. We will conduct an asvameda yajna for you. All the sin will leave you. Do
n’t fear. By doing the arcana of param purush narayana you will be purified. No sin is as powerful as Him. Put your faith in Him and He will free you from your any sin. Many killers of brahmanas, cows,
parents, and so on were liberated by the mercy of Bhagavan. Therefore you should cast off your worry kill this demon immediately.”
Although the sages’ glorification of Bhagavan’s power was true, one cannot avoid sinful reaction by sinning on the strength of chanting the Lord’s name or worshiping Him.
Many people will instruct you to do some dirty work, but as soon as you do it for them they will run away, being unready to share the result of your actions.
Indra now saw sinful reaction personified coming after him in the form of an old and frail candalini—a dog-eater woman. She was clearly mad, and was afflicted by tuberculosis. She was coughing blood that covered her torn clothing. Indra at once fled from Her, but as he did, she called, “Indra, wait I want to embrace you!” Her breath smelled like rotting fish and she appeared to have leprosy, for bits of her body were falling off. Indra was terrified. It seemed that no matter how fast he ran, she was gaining on him.
The deity of sin followed him wherever he tried to hide. Finally, he went to Manasa sarovara and hid in the stem of a lotus. The deity of sin waited at a distance but could not enter that place
Indra stayed in the lotus stem for a thousands years without anything to eat or drink. Manas Sarovara was a special place related to Laksmi-devi and was protected by the followers of Rudra. For this reason, sin personified could not operate there.
While Indra was hiding in the stem of the lotus, his post as king of the demigods was filled by a person named Nahusa. The shameless Nahusa, blinded by greed, went so far as to send for Saci, the wife of Indra. Expressing his desire to enjoy with her as if she was his own wife. Saci was disgusted and went to Brhaspati for help. “Gurudeva, what can I do? My husband is gone now and this new lord of Heaven wants to enjoy me.”
Brhaspati said, “Tell him that you will accept his proposal on one condition. He must come to you on a palanquin that is carried by brahmanas.”
Saci had this message delivered to Nahusa, immediately barked at the rsis, “Hey! You there! Take me to Saci in a palanquin.”
The sages were filled with surprise upon witnessing such arrogance, but still they agreed to carry Nahusa in a palanquin. As they walked with him on their shoulders, Nahusa cried, “Hurry up!” Agastya Rsi, who was one of the sages carrying the palanquin, could tolerate no more and he cursed Nahusa to become a snake. Then, in one second, the foolish Nahusa was finished.
Prabhuta paya mad kahi nahi. If given some position, the conditioned soul will become intoxicated and blind and will try to make Guru and Vaisnavas their servants.
Indra, aided by Laksmi-devi’s energy, started sri-hari-aradhana, the worship of Sri Hari, there in the lotus flower stem. Because the favorable surroundings he was able to maintain strong aradhana. He fasted, repented, and praying. By the desire of the Supreme Lord, the followers of Rudra removed Indra’s anarthas.
Indra returned and executed an asvameda yajna with the help of the rsis. He did arcana of sarva-deva-maya Sri Hari and the power of worship fully cleansed him of the brahma hatya sin, just as the sun rises at the end of night to dispel the darkness. The long night of Indra’s fear of the brahma-sapa was now over. He was purified and fully re-situated in his post.
This great history explains the glory of Sri Narayana, His bhaktas, and their bhakti. It also describes the process of being freed from even the greatest of sins. Those who continually read or sing (repeat) this history will become strong in hari-bhakti. They will also become free from sinful reactions, wealthy, in control of their senses, famous, victorious over enemies, and blessed with a long life.
# 06 march 2017 Sri Gita Govinda – Akanksa Pundarikaksa
In Vraja, Krsna looks around Him and thinks, “I am dark within and without. I am the only dark person here because I am bereft of Srimati Radharani’s mercy. Even the snakes and scorpions of Vraja Srimati’s mercy.
Everyone in Vraja, even the seemingly fearsome insects and animals, are helpful and manifested by lila-sakti.
Krsna says, “I am alone dark and alone. How will anyone here like Me or accept My service? How can I please them? Alas! The only way is to allow them to serve Me, for that is their sole desire. Only then will they will be happy with Me.”
So, because He desires to please the inhabitants of Vraja, Krsna is forced to accept their ever-increasing ever-new services.
It has previously been mentioned that when Putana came to try and kill Krsna she came with a gross material svarupa. How was it possible that such a terrible witch was able to come to Vrndavana and into the presence of Krsna and Yasoda? She was able to do so because it was Krsna’s desire.
Krsna was thinking, “I have come here and everyone is happy, but they have taken this happiness and distanced themselves from Me. They are not nearby Me. I am alone here in this bed. Enjoying the happiness of My presence is not seva to Me, but actually
selfishness.” Then He called Putana and after the frightful incident of Her attempt to kill Krsna, no one wanted to leave Krsna’s side for a moment.
K does not like distance. He is with us as Paramatma, but we are not with Him. Unfortunately, we make relationship with others and give them our time but we do not give anything to Him.
“I am Paramatma,” Krsna indicated to the Vrajavasis, “This is true. But I am present here before you now as your child. Why do you allow happiness to distance yourselves from Me? If you come close to Me you will find full happiness and satisfaction, but if you are far away from Me you will end up suffering.
Once, Krsna was sitting at Bandhiravan with His sahkas, eating, playing, and having a good time while the cows grazed. The cows very happily ate the fresh grass. They noticed an area of grass that was particularly large and fresh and they headed for that place. A little further away they saw even more tasteful grass and they went there. Thus they followed their tongues to a dead end and soon found that they were trapped in a terrible forest fire. They could not return from that place. We must learn from this to never allow greed to distance us from Guru and Vaisnavas. The cows were now surrounded by ferocious flames and had no strength to return from that place. This is called samsara-davanala. In that state, they meditated on Krsna and cried. The sakhas went to look for the cows but they too became lost and trapped.This is our position.
Krsna came to Vrndavan as a simple baby and tried to connect everyone to Him but everyone became distant instead. This was going to create huge problems for everyone in the future, so He called Putana.
Putana came with a nice dress and song and entered the home of Nanda and Yasoda. It seemed as if she was saying, “Yasoda, you are neglecting your son. You have no love for Him. You cruel lady. Only I care for Krsna.” Then the young lady shamelessly pressed her uncovered breast into the face of Krsna and had Him drink her breast-milk.
Krsna, being unlimitedly kind, accepted that as seva, even though she was completely duplicitous. Bhaktivinod Thakura points out that there are many followers of Putana to this day. He sings:
eo to’ ek kalir celä
mäthä neòä kaupin parä, tilak näke, galäy mälä
Look! Here is another kali-cela, a follower of Kali Maharaja. He shaves his head, wears a loincloth, applies
tilaka on his nose, and wears tulasé beads around his neck. Here is another kali-cela!
How much love do we offer to Krsna, and how much do we offer to worldly objects and people? We are so filled with arrogance and duplicity. This is Maya-devi’s program and cheating business.
So Krsna accepted Putana. He cleansed her of Her anarthas and then sent her to nitya- dhama, the eternal spiritual world, to serve under the guidance of Yasoda Mata.
aho baké yaà stana-käla-küöaà jighäàsayäpäyayad apy asädhvé lebhe gatià dhätry-ucitäà tato ’nyaà kaà vä dayäluà çaraëaà vrajema Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.2.23
How astonishing! When Pütana, the wicked sister of Bakäsura, tried to kill child Kåñëa by offering Him deadly poison on her breast, He bestowed upon her the position of His nursemaid. Could I ever have as merciful a shelter as that of Lord Kåñëa?
Is there anyone as kind as Krsna? He sent Putana, who came to kill Him, to the eternal world and told Her, “Go to My mother and learn the way of service.” She came to Him with duplicity, but He has no place for duplicity, so it could not stay.
Krsna is so kind. He does not look at our faults. He accepts everyone’s service whether they are wrong or right. He brings them close and sees to it that they learn the meaning of krsnanusilanam. We are in the society krsnanusilanam—the society whose purpose is to bring pleasure to Radha and Krsna. how bringing pleasure to k. guruvarga teaching this.
K says, “Patraà puñpaà phalaà toyaà, yo me bhaktyä prayacchati—I accept whatever My devotee offers Me with care.” But Krsna accepts the offerings of someone who has no care also. He says, “I remove their darkness and purify them by sending them to Sri Guru and Vaisnavas. When they are properly trained, they will never forget Me or distance themselves from Me anymore.”
Now Jayadeva Gosvami says:
sa-bhaya-cakitaà vinyasyantéà dåçaà timire pathi
prati-taru muhuù sthitvä mandaà padäni vitanvatém
katham api rahaù präptäm aìgair anaìga-taraìgibhiù
sumukhi subhagaù paçyan sa tväm upaitu kåtärthatäm
Krsna began to see Srimati Radharani in all directions—in all the trees and creepers. As if mad, He addressed His beloved, “You have come? But it is so dark. How did You find Your way? Were You not afraid? I am so fortunate that have come and given me Your darsana.”
The plants and trees in Vraja have room for no one else in their hearts. People can mistreat them and break their branches but they do not care. They are under the guidance of Vrndadevi and their sole desire is to serve Srimati Radharani. They have no one else in their hearts. Is it a shadow of Srimati in their hearts? Is it a reflection of the original Sri Radha? No. She is directly there, and Krsna now saw Her in all directions of the forest.
Here He saw Her in mana, and there He saw Her happily sitting and thinking of Him. He saw Her in many moods and situations.
Srimati Radharani is always ready to serve Krsna. She expands Herself and manifests the many gopis in vraja and has them serve Krsna.
“I am seeing My beloved Radha everywhere, but I understand that this is my misfortune. The trees all carry Her in their heart, but My heart has no place for Her. That is why we are separate. I am not qualified. In truth I have no real love. O Radhe! I cannot remove this darkness from My heart. Only if You come into My heart will the darkness go. Please come into to My heart and never come out. This is My sincere prayer.
“I have attempted to arrange some paraphernalia for welcoming and serving You, but this is all useless. I have no way to serve You. Please just take My mind and heart and use it as You desire.”
Krsna then offered a prayer to Srimati Radharani’s maidservants. Remembering the names of Rupa Manjari, Rati Manjari, Ananga Manjari, Rasa Manjari, and so on, He prayed, “Please make this heart of mine a place for Srimati Radharani. Make it useful for Her. If I cannot be of any service to Her then My life useless. There is nothing left inside Me….it has all been taken from Me. Everyone wants only to take what I have, but no one helps Me. No one wants to make My heart a beautiful garden in which Srimatiji will wish to situate Herself.”
rädhä-mugdha-mukhäravinda-madhupas trailokya-mauli-sthalé- nepathyocita-néla-ratnam avané-bhärävatäräntakaù
svacchandaà vraja-sundaré-jana-manas-toña-pradoñodayaù kaàsa-dhvaàsana-dhümaketur avatu tväà devaké-nandanaù
Akhila rasamrata murti nanda nandan desired that his heart become a place for Srimati Radharani. He wanted Srimati Radharani to be with Him inside and out. Krsna is like a bee that wants to drink the nectar of Srimati beautiful lotus-like face. He wants nothing else.
Krsna wears a crown with many enchanting and colorful jewels set into it. Why does He wear this? Each of the jewels is like a deity of a certain sakhis or manjaris. “If I they are present here,” Krsna says. “Then I will never be proud. They will always guide My intelligence.”
All of Krsna’s incarnations wear crowns. The jewels of those crowns are like His bhaktas along with their individual glories and specialties. The Supreme Lord is decorated by His dear devotees.
Krsna destroyed the many demons, such as Kamsa and Sisupala, who were like a great weight for Prthivi to carry. But His main purpose was not to kill wicked persons but to correct them and establish the glories of the bhaktas. Anyone who distances himself from
Hari-Guru-Vaisnavas will become wicked and bring harm to himself and others. He will criticize Vaisnavas and take people out of sadhu-sanga. This is the work of demons. If you see these qualities in someone, know for certain that he is a demon. Krsna teaches this.
# 07 march 2017 – Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 6, Chapter 14 Pariksit Maharaja inquired:
rajas-tamaù-svabhävasya brahman våtrasya päpmanaù näräyaëe bhagavati
katham äséd dåòhä matiù Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.14.1
Vrtrasura had the body of a demon, such bodies are normally influenced fully by the material modes of raja and tama. How was it possible for him to have such exalted bhakti for the Supreme Lord—a kind of bhakti that even the devatas do not possess? Surely this kind of bhakti is not possible to obtain without sadhu-sanga.
If one were to count the living entities in this world, those with human bodies would prove to be a minority. A human birth is rarely attained. Among those born as humans, it is extremely rare to find someone who desires to avoid asat-sanga and engage in dharma.
muktänäm api siddhänäà näräyaëa-paräyaëaù su-durlabhaù praçäntätmä koöiñv api mahä-mune Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.14.5
O great sage, among many millions who are liberated and perfect in knowledge of liberation, one may be a devotee of Lord Näräyaëa, or Kåñëa. Such devotees, who are fully peaceful, are extremely rare. (Vedabase)
It is almost impossible to find someone who desires to offer their souls to Narayana. There are many jnanis and yogis in this world, but bhakta’s are rarely seen.
How amazing! Even on the battlefield—his arms severed and his death immanent—this person meditated on the Supreme Lord with unshaken focus. He did not care that the King of Heaven was about to kill Him and He offered such beautiful prays that were filled with devotion. How did he get this nirguna bhakti? I cannot understand this.
Suta Gosvami said:
parékñito ‘tha sampraçnaà bhagavän bädaräyaëiù niçamya çraddadhänasya pratinandya vaco ‘bravét Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.14.8
After hearing Mahäräja Parékñit’s intelligent question, the most powerful sage, Srila Çukadeva Gosvämé, affectionately began to speak the answer to his disciple.
The faithful Pariksit was confident that his spiritual master Sukadeva Gosvami would remove the doubt that had arisen in his mind.
Sukadeva Gosvami said:
çåëuñvävahito räjann itihäsam imaà yathä
çrutaà dvaipäyana-mukhän näradäd devaläd api Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.14.9
O King, I have heard the answer to your question from the sages headed by Sri Vyasadeva, Narada Rsi, and Devala. Please listen as I pass it on to you.
There was once a king who lived in the Surasena province and ruled the entire planet. His name was Citraketu, and during his reign, Prthivi happily provided all that was needed for his citizens. He had 10 million wives and strongly desired offspring, but not one child was born from any of his wives. He had so much beauty, opulence, and power but because he had no children, he was morose.
One day, the great sage Angira came to Citraketu’s abode. The King respectfully greeted him, offering him his throne, padya, arghya, and so on. After worshiping the sage, Citraketu sat humbly at his feet awaiting instruction.
Angira Rsi was pleased. He then said to the king, “You are the emperor of the entire world. Tell me, is everything well in your kingdom? Is everything running smoothly? Are your children respecting you and following dharma? Your face shows signs of dejection. What is the problem?
Citraketu replied, “O sage, nothing is unknown to perfected souls such as yourself, but because you ask it of me, I shall reveal to you the pain that resides in my mind. Although I have practically everything desirable by people of this world, I do not have a son. Therefore, everything else seems useless to me. A king without a son is destined for a hellish condition, for a son is he who offers pinda to the forefathers. Only a great soul like yourself can save me and my house. O great one, please bless me with a son.”
Angira Rsi agreed to help the king. He conducted a yajna from which a blessed remnant of ksira was taken and given to Krtadyuti, the eldest of Citraketu’s wives, to eat. “O King,” the sage said, “A son will soon be born from Krtyadyuti’s womb and will be the cause of great happiness and also great distress.” Then he disappeared.
Sure enough, Queen Krtadyuti became pregnant and soon gave birth to a boy child. The citizens of Surasena rejoiced and the King was overjoyed. Citraketu carried the duties of a Ksatriya in connection to having a son born to Him. He gave huge amounts of charity to the brahmanas and everyone.
As a poor man, unlike a rich man, values the smallest amount of hard earned wealth, Citraketu’s affection for His son, whom he obtained with great difficulty, knew no bounds.
The king’s affection for Krtadyuti increased with every day and he seemed to almost forget about his other queens. The co-wives of Krtadyuti began to burn with jealousy. They said to one another, “What is the point of such a life? The king does not even look at us. We are no better than slaves now. We serve our husband but he does not even notice us what to speak of reciprocate with us affectionately.” Their envy grew so great that they decided to poison the son of the King, whom they saw as the root of their misery.
Krtadyuti thought that her son had been sleeping deeply for a long time, so she told her attendant to fetch the child. The maidservant went to wake the boy but found him dead. She screamed loudly and people came running. When Krtadyuti saw her son lying dead she wailed. Even the crooked co-wives wept, for they realized the gravity of their actions. The king was given the devastating news, and even before reaching the chamber were the dead prince lay he fell unconscious many times. Supported by his servants, he somehow came to that place and fell unconscious at the sight.
Krtadyuti cried, “O creator! Why have allowed this child to die? Why did you not kill me instead? Only very unfortunate parents experience the horror of their offspring’s untimely death. I wish now to also go to Yama-loka. May I die this instant!” Now mad with grief, she spoke to Her dead son, “You have been sleeping so long, my child. Your friends are waiting to play with you. You must be hungry. Wake up and drink the milk from my breast.”
Sukadeva Gosvami said:
The ladies of Citraketu’s house all cried and so did the King. All the citizens felt as though their life had been stolen from them. Just then, Narada Muni and Angira Rsi appeared on the scene.
Today is the first day of Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama. This period, starting on Advaita- saptami and passing through Nityananda Trayodasi, Varaha Dvadasi and so forth, is the
time recommended in sastra to commence Gauda-mandala Parikrama. But what is the real meaning of Gaura mandala parikrama?
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings:
gaura ämära, je-säba sthäne, koralo bhramaëa raìge se-saba sthäna, heribo ämi, praëayi-bhakata-saìge
He says, “Not like a galloping horse; not for exercise; not for sight-seeing or enjoyment, but with a mood of service we must go to the places that Mahaprabhu Himself visited and exhibited His audarya-lila.”
Bhaktivinoda Thakura has proclaimed this ban. “Do not visit Navadvipa-dhama without the guidance of a pranayi bhakta. If you do you will be cheated by maya.
Mahaprabhu told Visnu-priya, “Please give Jiva your darsana and blessings.” But if we go to Navadvipa-dhama independently we will not obtain any transcendental darsana. Just looking at a face is not darsana. Trying to see Navadvipa dhama with our mundane eyes is a useless endeavor. By hearing we can somewhat understand the dhama’s glories, but that is not enough. Only when we are given spiritual vision will we be able to have real darsana of the dhama. Until then, we are blind.
cakñu-däna dilä jei, janme janme prabhu sei divya-jïäna håde prakäçito
These bodies already have eyes. Why should we be given more? The mind has many eyes. We see so many images in our mind’s eyes. Actually these eyes cheat us and collect only filthy things. But the caksu-dana given by Sri Guru are for the soul. The Spirtual Master gives us eyes to have darsana of spiritual things. He has this power. He knows how to show us reality—distinguished from maya—and never cheats us, by telling us to look at mundane faces. He reveals to us the madhura-govinda-lila-amrta the sweet life- giving nectar of Govinda’s pastimes with His bhaktas. He is a manifestation of God and has unlimited power.
So Jiva Gosvami came to Navadvipa-dhama by Mahaprabhu’s desire. There, Nityananda took Him and along Isan Thakura, and other senior devotees on parikrama. He revealed the audharya maya lila dhama.
çré-kåñëa-lélä-kathane sudakñam audärya-mädhurya-guëaiç ca yuktam varaà vareëyaà puruñaà mahäntaà näräyaëaà tväà çirasä namämi
Why do we pray like this—sri krsna lila kathane sudaksam? Conditioned souls have so much attachment to jada lila but no interest in aprakrta rasa. We think that Krsna’s lila
with the Vraja-devis is something reproachable, like the behavior of mundane men and women.
Therefore Sukadeva Gosvami says:
naitat samäcarej jätu manasäpi hy anéçvaraù vinaçyaty äcaran mauòhyäd yathärudro ’bdhi-jaà viñam Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.33.30
“Siva can drink poiso
n, but you cannot.” With these words, he puts a ban on thinking about krsna-lila. But then, on the other hand, he also states:
vikréòitaà vraja-vadhübhir idaà ca viñëoù çraddhänvit’nuçåëuyäd atha varëayed yaù
bhaktià paräà bhagavati pratilabhya kämaà håd-rogam äçv apahinoty acireëa dhéraù
A sober person who, with full faith, continuously hears or describes Bhagavän Çré Kåñëa’s transcendental räsa-lélä with the damsels of Vraja will first attain parä-bhakti for the lotus feet of Bhagavän. Thereafter, he will quickly conquer his senses and become forever free from the disease of the heart – worldly lust.
So what is the conclusion? Do not read, remember, or discuss these pastimes without the guidance of someone who possesses qualification and faith—sraddhanvita. By following such a bhakta’s footsteps you can realize all truths.
Similarly, going to the dhama without the guidance of a pranayi bhakta is not useless but dangerous. Devoid of proper guidance, we only find fault with the dhama. “Oh, the road is hot!” we will say. “My feet are burning. All this walking has made me so tired. I am feeling sick.” We will get no benefit from this kind of darsana.
Krsna has His own madhura-lila and He has many incarnations who mainly display aisvarya lila. But Mahaprabhu’s lila is not aisvarya lila or madhura lila; it is audarya lila.
Sri Gaurasundara is maha maha vadanya—the supremely magnanimous Lord. He came with the Dvadasa Gopla, Causati Mahanta, Asta Kaviraja, and Sad Gosvami and inundated the world with His special mercy.
Krsna thought, “I am lila-purusottama. I am the friend the devotees in all rasas, but I cannot understand why these conditioned souls are apposed to My lila (krsna-lila). He therefore came as Mahaprabhu and, in the company of the premi bhaktas,
performed daily parikrma of Navadvipa-dhama Himself.
udilo aruëa püraba bhäge, dvija-maëi gorä amani jäge, bhakata-samüha loiyä säthe, gelä nagara-vräje
When the red-tinged sun began to rise on the eastern horizon, Çré Gauräìga, the jewel amongst brähmaëas, at once awoke and, in the company of the bhaktas, went from village to village in Navadvépa.
Why did He go from village to village? All of Mahaprabhu’s activities are meant for glorifying the premi-bhaktas?
Once, on the day of Ekadasi, when Mahaprabhu was a small child, He began to cry and would not stop. Normally He was soothed by the chanting of the holy name, but today that was not working. Everyone was worried. Seeing Nimai shed just one tear was enough to break their hearts. Nimai’s parents repeatedly pleaded with to tell them why He was upset. Finally, the Lord told them that he desired to eat the food offering prepared by Jagadisa Hiranya. These two exalted Vaisnavas, in observance of Ekadasi, had lovingly offered many varieties of tasteful edibles to Thakuraji, whose altar they decorated with flowers, and were engaged in non-stop nama-kirtana. A trace of doubt had arisen in their minds however. They wondered if their Lord was accepting their offerings or not.
On hearing that Nimai was demanding the food grains they had offered that day, they were astonished and happy at heart. “How could this small boy know that it was Ekadasi?” they said. “How did He know that we were doing kirtana here and that we made so many edibles to offer to the Lord? He is clearly our Lord Himself!”
Mahaprabhu only became peaceful after he was given and had eaten the offerings of those two bhaktas. He thus satisfied their hearts, removed their doubts, and established their glories—the glories of the premi, or pranyi-bhaktas—for the benefit of everyone.
That is why He went village to village and door to door—to have the darsana of the premi-bhaktas and to spread their glories. Where is Abhirama Thakura? Where is Minaketana Ramadasa? Where is Govinda Ghosa. Where is Murari Gupta, Where is Sanjaya, and the others? This was His mood. He is Krsna Himself, coming in the mood of a devotee. By going door to door, eager to see and serve the premi-bhaktas, Mahaprabhu showed us that without bhakta-seva you cannot understand God or sastra.
Gaura-lila is about bhakta-seva. Other lila is about service to God in His audarya-lila, Mahaprabhu only glorifies His bhaktas.
Think about this. Ramananda Raya did not come to see Mahaprabhu; Mahaprabhu went and found him. Mahaprabhu went to see Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, not the other way around. This lila is opposite to the others.
How powerful the premi-bhaktas are! Srila Svami Prabhupada went door to door in the Western countries—and what did he do? If he were to invite them to the dhama they would have no idea what he was talking about. But he is a premi-bhakta. All he had to do was give them love and they quickly became qualified to appreciate the dhama and devotional service. This is audharyata.
Some people donate homes, food, and cloth to others but this does not pertain to the soul. Our Guru-varga also take care of our external needs but more than this, they instill within us knowledge of our soul’s identity.
The jiva is actually the eternal servant of Krsna and Sri Guru re-awakens that understanding in his heart. All souls have love. Love is our only property. That love is meant for Krsna, but because we are conditioned we misuse it and distribute it here and there. The pranayi-bhaktas catcth our hand and say, “Offer your love to Krsna.” The conditioned souls may even resist such compassion but the pranayi-bhaktas continue to help. This is part of Mahaprabhu’s audarya lila.
We pray to Guru-pada-padma, saying, “Audarya madhurya-gunais ca yuktam,” because he is both a vraja-rasika Vaisnava as well as a representative of maha-vadanya Sri Gaurasundara. Mahaprabhu appeared to help us meet with a bhakta like Guru-pada- padma.
So Bhaktivinoda Thakura clearly says, “Go to Mahaprabhu’s places of pastime, but not independently of the pranayi-bhaktas.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura ordered Srila Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura to do Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama on a grand scale. He told him to visit the nine of Navadvipa-dhama, understanding that they are not only the perfect places of each of navadha-bhakti’s limbs, but the special kunjas of the Srimati Radharani and Her asta- sakhis.
He told him to first go to Godruma where Sri Lalita-devi will make the heart soft. Radhunatha dasa Gosvami says, “Vraja vaneçvaréà täà-näthatve tad-atula-sakhétve tu lalitäm—Lalita-devi is the peerless friend of my Svamini, Vrndavanesvari.”
Those who were there cannot forget the scene of Pujyapada Srila Trivikrama Maharaja weeping as he attempted to speak at Svananda Sukhada Kunja in Godruma-dvipa. He said, “If Mahaprabhu, the life and soul of the Gaudiyas, had not come and manifested His audarya lila what would have become of us?”
Srila Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja spoke like this but soon he could not check his emotion and had to stop. We know him to be externally strong like a thunderbolt, but we also know that his heart is softer than a fresh flower.
jaya navadvépa-nava-pradépa prabhävaù päñaëòa-gajaika-siàhaù
sva-näma-saìkhyä-japa-sütra-dhäré caitanya-candro bhagavän muräriù Caitanya-Bhagavat, Madhya-khanda 5.1
All glories to Caitanya-candra, who is none other than Bhagavän Muräri. He is the ever- fresh bright lamp who illuminates Navadvépa-dhama. He is like an unparalleled lion who subdues the elephant atheists and He holds a mala for counting His own names.
Navadvipa-dhama is navadha-bhakti-pitha-st
hana. It is not the place of ordinary sravana and kirtana but ragatmika sravana and kirtan. There, at Surabhi-kunja, Nitai opened the nama-hatta, the Market of the Holy Name.
boòo sukher khabor gäi
surabhi-kuïjete nämer häö khuleche khoda nitäi
O brothers! I am singing news of the greatest happiness! Nityänanda Prabhu has opened the Marketplace of the Holy Name at Surabhu-kunja.
nadéyä-godrume nityänanda mahäjana pätiyäche näma-haööa jévera käraëa
çraddhävän jan he, çraddhävän jan he
prabhur äjïäy, bhäi, mägi ei bhikhä
bolo kåñëa, bhajo kåñëa, koro kåñëa-sikhä
In the land of Nadéyä, on the island of Godruma, the magnanimous Nityänanda Prabhu has opened a marketplace of the holy name for the deliverance of all fallen souls. There He calls out, “O faithful souls! O Brothers, on the order of My Prabhu, I beg you: Chant ‘Kåñëa!’ Serve and worship Kåñëa, and follow Krsna’s teachings.”
ke jäbi ke jäbi bhäi bhava-sindhu-pära dhanya kali-yugera caitanya-avatära
ämära gauräìgera ghäöe adäna-kheya vaya jada, andha, ätura avadhi pära haya
Who will go? Who will go, O brothers? Who will cross over this ocean of material suffering? This particular Kali-yuga in which Çré Caitanya-avatära has appeared is blessed. At the ‘Gauräìga Port’ a boat is waiting. There is no restriction—everyone is coming, including the lame, blind, and distressed. All are climbing aboard to cross over.
When we go to Navadvipa dhama with the pranayi-bhaktas they will allow us entrance into the moods of these prayers.
So Godruma is Lalita’s kunja. The rest of the islands are the kunjas of the astha-sakhis. Our Guru-varga takes us to these kunja-kutiras and tells us, “Surrender yourself here.
They (the Vraja-devis) will take care of you. You may not understand now, but I am tilling you: just come with me to these places.
Nityananda Prabhu took Jiva Gosvami on the first Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama after the disappearance of Mahaprabhu and under the guidance of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, our Guru-varga have continued this tradition.
In Prabhupada’s time, the Vaisnavas used to stay a night at each island, crying, “He rädhe! vraja-devike! ca lalite! he nanda-süno! kutaù?” They thus taught us the process of sadhana.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura collected passages from sastra about the glories of Navadvipa- dhama and compiled many beautiful glorifications. Navadvipa-dhama is so glorious. The darkness of Kali-yuga covers all directions. Asat sanga is everywhere. but if you just come to Navadvipa and chant the holy name and offer pranama, then automatically a premi-bhakta will come to you.
Sannyasi Thakura came to Navadvipa with the sincere desire to meet with a pure bhakta, and then was able to meet with Pramahamsa Babaji in Godruma and. Mahaprabhu desires to offer all souls to the pranayi-bhaktas. “They will give you adhikara,” He says, “not for jada rasa, but for aprakrta unnata-ujjvala-rasa—the life giving nectar for the soul.
nigama-kalpa-taror galitaà phalaà çuka-mukhäd amåta-drava-saàyutam pibata bhägavataà rasam älayaà muhur aho rasikä bhuvi bhävukäù Çrémad-Bhägavatam (1.1.3)
Nityananda Prabhu, did not go alone with Jiva Gosvami to all the islands of Navadvipa, He collected all bhaktas and went.
This is the speciality of Mahaprabhu’s lila. In Krsna’s time, all the sakhas and sakhis were present but, no one took shelter of them. No one took shelter of Ramacandras devotees during His pastimes. No one surrendered to Sita-devi, Hanuman, or the boatman. But in Mahaprabhu’s time, Mahaprabhu did not give anyone shelter, He send everyone to the bhaktas, like Gadadhara Pandita, Svarupa Damadara, and Raya Ramananda, saying, “Understand their guidance you will understand bhakti and all conclusive truths.”
Navadvipa contains the sravana-kunja, kirtana kunja, and so on. The Guru-varga brings us to these holy places one-by-one and mercifully allow us to observe their moods and prayers when they go there. We can remember how sweetly they spoke at those sravan and kirtana kunjas; how much they danced in blissful kirtan; and how they gave everyone prasada.
No other dhama is like Navadvipa-dhama. If you go there with the pranyi bhakta then you can have access its wonderful glories.
Once, Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura called Vinoda Bihari Brahmacari close and expressed to him that something was troubling him. “My Guru Maharaja, has locked himself inside a public latrine and no one can persuade him to come out.” Vinoda understood everything. He immediately went with a handful of devotees and knocked on the door of the latrine.
Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaj said from inside, “I am too sick to open the door.” But Vinoda Bihari Brahmacari explained to Babaji Maharaja that he had come from Mayapura and that He was under theshelter of Varsabhanavi-devi-dayita-dasa (This was the name that Babaji Maharaja had given Prabhupada at the time of diksa.)
“Oh, he has sent you?” The latrine door immediately opened and Param Gurudeva had darsana of Babaji Maharaja. At that time Srila Babaji Maharaja revealed very confidential information about Prabhupada’s svarupa to Param Gurudeva. Then Param Gurudeva said very humbly, “Babaji maharaja, I request you, please don’t stay here,” and he brought him back to the bank of the ganga and arranged a peaceful place for him to do bhajana. This is called guru seva.
The gate to that latrine was not going to open easily. The door to the darsana of the dhama or the sadhus—who are themselves abodes of pure love for Bhagavan—will simply not open. Only a premi-bhakta can open the door.
Srila Babaji Maharaja asked Param Gurudeva, “What is your name? “Vinoda Bihari Brahmacari”
“Very well Vinoda Bihari Brahmacari, I now take responsibility for all. Just do bhajana and all obstacles will be seen to by me.
How can we get blessings like this? Our Guru-varga collects thousands of people and, under the guidance of Guru-Gauranga and the Panca-tattva, go everywhere in Navadvipa- dhama to collect these blessings. Finally, they take us to Antara-dvipa, Mayapura, or Srimati’s lotus feet. Mayapura is Radharani’s own kunja and the place of atma- nivedanam.
Antara-dvipa, Sémantadvépa, Godrumadvépa, Madhyadvépa, Koladvépa, Åtudvépa, Jahnudvépa, Modradrumadvépa, and Rudradvépa—these are the names of the islands. But they are also the Sravan-kunja, Kirtana-kunja, and the kunjas of smarana, pada- sevana, arcana, vandana, dasya, sakhya, and atma nivedana. They have even more confidential names also. They are the kunjas of Visakha, Citra, Campakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi, and Sudevi. The Guru-varga collect the mercy of Navadvipa dhama with sankirtana rasa and distribute that.
It is, not our duty, but our cherished service to go with them on parikrama. We must not just do this once a year, but every day. We must go there and serve, not run around like racing horses. Go respectfully. Go to Godruma and offer not only pranam, but also service.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura states that our body is useless if we cannot offer it in seva to Mahaprabhu. Utilize any qualities you have for service, and practice serving in the mind every day. You can always offer a flower or some form of seva. What can you lose by serving in the mind? What is the cost? Why not serve like this? You can milk the cows and give milk, yogurt, or sandesa to Mahaprabhu. He is fond of these. It may not be possible to offer anything externally but you must daily offer seva and prayers in you
There is no need of sadhan and vairagya if you just follow amani manada-dharma and start this manasi seva. This is enough. Therefore, Srila Gurudeva took us on Parikrama of Vraja-mandala and Navadvipa-dhama. Go to the pastime places that he showed us every day and offer pranama. Do this while you chant harinama. If you do this your life will not be useless.
äyur harati vai puàsäm udyann astaà ca yann asau tasyarte yat-kñaëo néta uttama-çloka-värtayä Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.17
With the rising and setting of the sun, the duration of everyone’s life decreases, except those who utilize their time for discussing topics of Uttama-çloka Çré Kåñëa.
The sun and moon steal the time we have left in this life. Soon this body will die and be burnt left for animals to devour. Wu must think, “What did I collect that was useful in this life?
Caksu-dana dila jei janme janme prabhu sei. The ability to have darsana of the spiritual dhama, is given by the Guru-varga
mahat-seväà dväram ähur vimuktes tamo-dväraà yoñitäà saìgi-saìgam mahäntas te sama-cittäù praçäntä vimanyavaù suhådaù sädhavo ye Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.2
One can attain the path of liberation from material bondage only by rendering service to highly advanced spiritual personalities the bhaktas. For those who are not interested in such activities, who associate with people fond of women and sex, the path to hell is wide open. The mahätmäs are equipoised. They do not see any difference between one living entity and another. They are very peaceful and are fully engaged in devotional service. They are devoid of anger, and they work for the benefit of everyone. They do not behave in any abominable way. Such people are known as mahätmäs.
We are so fortunate that our Guruvarga gives us the chance to do Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama. If we do not do Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama our life is useless.
durlabha manava-janma labhiya samsare krsna na bhajinu—duhkha kahibo kahare?
The human form of life is the rarest opportunity for attaining spiritual perfection. But now I am lamenting bitterly, because I’ve somehow or other been born with such an opportunity, and have wasted it by never worshiping Lord Krsna. Oh, to whom shall I tell the tale of this misery? (Vedabase)
Go again and again to Gaura-Nitai and do pranama and parikrama under the guidence of the Guru-varga. How will we become qualified to do sadhana? How will we get adhikara to do bhakti? This is the only way for us. If we desire to remain independent we will never be able to do real bhajana. This parikrama is the search for soul-nectar. Not only every year, and not only every day—every moment let us pursue that divine nectar.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura has advised that Parikrama of Gauda-mandala should be started on Advaita Saptami with Advaita Prabhu’s blessings. For the forty days that are between Advaita Saptami and Sri Gaura Purnima the Vaisnavas visit places such as Ambika- kalna, Santipura, Panihatti, Varaha-nagara, Ekacakra and so on.
Visiting all the places in Gauda-mandala takes 40 days, but how much time is needed if you do it mentally? By this remembrance your life will be successful.
To do parikrama of Navadvipa-dhama with Sri Guru is the perfection of life. Vow to go to that dhama everyday. Go and beg that your seva will be accepted, then your life will be successful.
# 08 March 2017 Amalaki Ekadasi
Today is Amalaki Ekadasi. Another name for Amalaki is Dhatri and she is like a mother. One’s mother is a true friend. She has a heart to heart relationship with her children.
Krsna is Yasomati-nandana but all the elder Vrajavasis think that He is their son. Everything they have is for Gopala and if they don’t see Him for a day they suffer so much. Therefore, Krsna goes everywhere and gives all the Vraja-vasis His darsana.
In order to satisfy all the mothers in Vraja, including the cows, Krsna called Brahma, who stole all the calves and sakhas of Krsna. Now Krsna took their places. Before all the mothers only felt that Krsna was theirs, but now it was directly true. Now where was
Krsna? He was in the shed with the cows, sleeping and eating grass with them. This is called Vairagya-vidya.
vairägya-vidyä-nija-bhakti-yoga- çikñärtham ekaù puruñaù puräëaù çré-kåñëa-caitanya-çaréra-dhäré kåpämbudhir yas tam ahaà prapadye Caitanya-candrodaya-näöaka 6.74
Let me take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Çré Kåñëa, who has descended in the form of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu to teach us real knowledge, His devotional service and detachment from whatever does not foster Kåñëa consciousness. He has descended because He is an ocean of transcendental mercy. Let me surrender unto His lotus feet.
Mahaprabhu came to give vairagya. Vairagya means visesa-anuraga. Conditioned souls tend to collect so many things that they have no room for anuraga. This Amalaki Ekadasi helps us by giving us vairagya-siksa.
Bhakti has two sides. There must be the acceptance of that which is anukula, or favorable to bhakti, and rejection of what is unfavorable to bhakti, pratikula. If you do not have vairagya then it is impossible to have bhakti. Who removes our mundane attachments?
Just as Amalaki the fruit is extremely helpful in curing the bodies diseases, Amalaki Ekadasi cures us of the disease of material attachment.
We collect many things in this world and have no time to give anything to God. Sometimes, we give whatever we have that is extra, and that is no better than our remnants.
Once, a guru sent his disciple to buy 4 rasagullas. On the way back from purchasing the sweets, the disciple thought, “If there is something wrong with these rasagullas then it would be an aparadha to offer them. I better taste one to see if they are alright.” He ate one of the rasagullas and continued walking. A little later, he ate another rasagulla, saying, “Gurudeva surely would have given me at least one of these rasagullas. I am just taking my portion now. A short while later, he thought, “It is going to be a long journey. I must make sure that I stay energized, otherwise how can I complete this seva?’ Then he ate the third rasagulla, after loudly chanting, “Etat sarvam gurave samarpayami! My gurudeva lives inside my heart. So I offer him this rassagulla. Svaha!” When he reached his gurudeva with only one rasagulla, the guru asked, “How did 3 rasagullas disappear?
The disciple held out the 4th rasagulla and said, “Like this Gurudeva.” then popped it into his mouth.
Mahaprabhu desires to give vairagya-vidya and raga-mayi bhakti. He says, “Don’t ran after mundane tastes, I will give you spiritual rasa and when you taste that you will realize that jada rasa is useless.”
Indra was once cursed to be a pig. Hoping to bring the king of Heaven back to his post, Brahmaji approached Indra the pig and said, “Devendra, why are you here? You are the lord of the demigods. Give up this body and come with me.”
“Are! You don’t how sweet this life is. I am very happy hear. There is fresh dung to eat and I have many sweet wives an children.”
“You must come back to Svarga.”
“No. This is my home. I love it here.”
“You wont come with me?”
“No I have everything I want.”
Then Brahma killed all his children.
“No problem” Indra said, “I have many wives and each of them can give birth to 10-20 children at once.
So Brahma killied His wives also. “Now will you come?” he asked.
“No. Also, I am not worried that you killed my wives. I shall marry again.”
Then Brahmaji threw water
from his kamandalu on Indra’s head. Suddenly Indra stood, covered in mud and stool, in his normal form as the king of Heaven. By Lord Brahma’s mercy, knowledge returned to Indra. He stood there covered in mud and stool and was surprised. “What am I doing here? Living as a pig, he had moha and did not want to accept instruction on vairagya. “I could not see before?” he thought. “Now I understand how merciful Lord Brahma is.”
Some people follow Ekadasi and demand the fruits of doing so. “Look,” they say, “Ekadasi-devi, I am here. I am following you.” But they are still materially attached. How can anuraga come to someone who externally follows everything but internally has not discarded mundane attachments?
Prabhupada tells a story. There was once a boatman who promised a group of passengers that their destination would be reached early next morning. They just had to sleep for the night and the journey would be complete. That night the boatman and his assistants road tirelessly till morning time. One of the elderly passengers woke a bit before everyone else and noticed that something was wrong. He said to the boatman, “Isn’t that the same tree that was on the bank where we started our journey? Did we not even leave?”
The boatman said, “What are you saying? My men and I have been rowing all night.” The truth was that they had not moved at all because the rope that was tied to a tree on the riverbank was not untied.
Similarly, if we do not have a mood of renunciation toward this material world, we will not be able obtain knowledge of our svarupa. Indra was eating stool in the form of pig. This is what Prahlada Maharaja was referring to when he said, “Carvita carvananam:
matir na kåñëe parataù svato vä mitho ’bhipadyeta gåha-vratänäm adänta-gobhir viçatäà tamisraà punaù punaç carvita-carvaëänäm Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.30
Materialistic persons are simply mulling over that which has already been mulled and chewing that which has already been chewed. Because their senses are not controlled they are proceeding towards the dreadful hell of this material existence, repeatedly trying to enjoy that which has already been consumed. The intelligence of such materially attached persons cannot be turned towards Bhagavän Çré Kåñëa either by their own endeavor, by the instruction of others or by the association of similar materialistic persons.
Therefore, humbly pray to Ekadasi-devi and to those who have anuraga for Krsna, “Please save me. Without your causeless mercy I will not have the srength and taste to do bhakti. Please give me this strength and taste, otherwise I will never be able te give up my taste for jada-rasa.
Where did Pariksit Maharaja’s thirst go as he heard Bhagavatam from Sukadeva Gosvami? Like this, Ekadasi-devi says, “I want to give you rasam alayam, just come to me.” But do we come? Do we pray to Ekadasi devi for her help? We fasting today then early tomorrow morning we will drink many beverages and eat 2-3 days worth of food. This is not detachment. This is not the way to get Ekadasi-devi’s mercy and aprakrta rasa.
Amalaki Ekadasi comes in this time just before Holi Purnima.
After the incident where Hiranya-kasipu’s sister Hollika, who had the boon that fire could not harm her, tried to cheat Prahlada and burn him alive but instead was burnt to ashes herself—along with many other demons—the demigods came to the place where Prahlada sat still chanting the Lord’s names, totally unharmed, on a pile of ashes.
They honored those ashes and placed them on their heads, saying, “These ashes represent Prahlada’s impeccable bhakti, which is so strong that the Supreme Lord is bound to protect Him in times of danger, although he never asks for that. Prahlada this dust is not just worshipabable to the demigods but to everyone in the three worlds.”
To this day, intelligent persons honor the dust from the feet of the bhaktas with special emphasis during the time of Holi. On Holi Purnima, we offer beautifully colorful flower pollen at the feet of the Guru-varga and honor that on our heads, praying, “O Gurudeva, when will I have vairagya? Please give me anuraga (which is represented by the colorful pollen).
Krsna went to Varsana to obtain this special dust.
It is our great good fortune that Mahaprabhu came to teach us this visesa-anuraga, or vairagya. If we do not follow the sadhus and maintain anuraga only for family and friends we are no better than donkeys carrying the result of our attachment, which is, in fact, more and more attachment. Thus, we cannot leave that situation for even a moment. Ekadasi-devi teaches us how to have vairagya.
Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura said:
tomära kanaka, bhogera janaka kanakera dväre sevaha mädhava käminéra käma, nahe tava dhäma tähära mälika kevala yädava
Money is a source of sense enjoyment. Just use your wealth to serve Madhava. Desiring to charm women is not your business; Krsna is their only true enjoyer.
Rupa Gosvami said:
anäsaktasya viñayän yathärham upayuïjataù nirbandhaù kåñëa-sambandhe yuktaà vairägyam ucyate
präpaïcikatayä buddhyä hari-sambandhi-vastunaù mumukñubhiù parityägo vairägyaà phalgu kathyate Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.255-6
One who is not attached to satisfying his senses yet accepts everything in relation to and in the service of Kåñëa, is rightly situated above possessiveness. However, if those desiring liberation renounce the things of this world, thinking them to be material, and fail to realize that everything is related to Çré Hari, such renunciation is considered superficial, false renunciation.
Where there is mundane attachment there is no anuraga.
We can become sincere followers of Sri Guru by Ekadasi-devi’s mercy. She removes our illusion and attachment. Throughout the year, Ekadasi-devi—who is in fact one personality—regularly comes with different gifts or specialties. We here her glories but we do not pray, beg, and cry for her mercy. If we do not follow her properly then how can our lives become successful? In order to follow bhakti’s limbs, we must pray to Ekadasi-devi. She is bhakti-janani, the mother of devotion.
Another story told by Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada is as follows:
Once a sadhu was caught in a intense storm. He thought, “I am sadhu. Why should I go to the house of a materialist for shelter?” He stayed in the courtyard of a large house but did not go in, thinking. “A tyagi like me should not enter the house of a bhogi.” But the storm caused him such a great deal of trouble that he went up to the door of the house and knocked. The wealthy resident of that house answered the door and, surprised to see the sadhu, said, “You are a tyagi; how can you come into the house of a bhogi like me?
“I am not taygi,” the sadhu said. “I am a bhogi, and you, dear sir, are a tyagi.”
This of course did not make sense to the house-holder. The sadhu explained, “I am at the feet of Bhagavan. I have everything. You have no relationship with God. Thus you have neglected wealth. Therefore I am a bhogi and you are a tyagi. Your happiness is temporary and mine everlasting.’’
In this way, the sadhu gave that man cit-jnana. The owner of the house said, “Amazing! You have opened my eyes. I have been thinking that this house is part of my grand collection of wealth, but really whatever I collect is useless if I do not collect anything spiritual.
This Ekadasi, Amalaki Ekadasi, comes to give this cit-jnana and understanding of vastava vastu, the essential spiritual reality. In the absence of this knowledge there is only maya
ra vaibhava, Maya-devi’s powerful influence.
Conditioned souls go to school and study many subjects but because they do not collect spiritual knowledge they are just like hard working asses. life useless. By the mercy of the bhaktas one can quickly receive cit-jnana then understand who Sri Guru is and what bhakti is. Before getting such knowledge one simply thinks about how to enjoy and cheat people.
Pray to Ekadasi-devi for pure intelligence; not mundane intelligence. Then we will see everything and everyone in relation to Bhagavan.
sthävara-jaìgama dekhe, nä dekhe tära mürti sarvatra haya nija iñöa-deva-sphürti
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 8.274
Those possessed of the highest form of knowledge see everything, both moving and non- moving, but they do not see trees, rocks, animals, men, women, and so on. They sees their own ista-deva everywhere and within everyone.
Everything will be krsna-maya for you if you receive spiritual knowledge from Ekadasi- devi. We do not value her help enough. We think, “I’ll fast today and it will be good for my health. I will be able to digest better.” This is our mentality, but Ekadasi-devi removes this mentality and gives svarupa-jnana. This is the specialty of this Ekadasi.
How much can I speak in glorification of Ekadasi-devi? She has unlimited glories.
We can fully realize her glories by taking shelter and praying to those who properly follow Her—the sadhus. All of the limbs of bhakti must be executed in sadhu-sanga. Only by the mercy of sadhus is it possible to understand bhakti. Pray like this today, “May jada-jnana not touch me. I want only divya-jnana.”
caksu dana dila jei janme janme prabhu sei, divya-jnana hrde prakasita…
If we don’t pray to Guru, Vaisnavas, and Ekadasi-devi for divya-jnana then how will we get it? There is no one else who can give it.