Book excerpts Pinnacle of Devotion Without This, The World Is Useless

Without This, The World Is Useless

vāñchā kalpa tarubhyaś ca
kṛpā sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

Vaiṣṇavas are like desire trees who can give anything, even kṛṣṇa-prema. They can also give the service of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, which is very rare. Let us never criticize any Vaiṣṇavas; let us always try to honor all of them. Then we will realize all the truths of this subject matter.

Praying the Ācāryas’ Prayers

anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam
hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ

(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛtaĀdi-līlā 1.4)

May that Lord, who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacī-devī, be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.

I have explained the general meanings of this verse, and I am now going to discuss something special, which Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī has given us.

We have heard the very wonderful explanation of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja, in the line of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, and Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, wherein he has clearly explained the deep meanings of Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī’s verses.

Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja gives the meaning of this verse in his other Bengali payāras(verses), and we will take the help of Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja’s explanation in Caitanya-caritāmṛta to explain his mood.

pūrṇa bhagavān kṛṣṇa vrajendra-kumāra
goloke vrajera saha nitya vihāra

(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛtaĀdi-līlā 3.5)

What is Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja’s explanation?

Devotee reads from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛtaĀdi-līlā 3.5:

Text: Lord Kṛṣṇa, the son of the King of Vraja, is the Supreme Lord. He eternally enjoys transcendental pastimes in His eternal abode, Goloka, which includes Vraja-dhāma.

Purport: In the previous chapter it has been established that Kṛṣṇa, the son of Vrajendra (the King of Vraja), is the Supreme Personality of Godhead with six opulences. He eternally enjoys transcendentally variegated opulences on His planet, which is known as Goloka. The eternal pastimes of the Lord in the spiritual planet Kṛṣṇa-loka are called aprakaṭa, or unmanifested pastimes, because they are beyond the purview of the conditioned souls. Lord Kṛṣṇa is always present everywhere, but when He is not present before our eyes, He is said to be aprakaṭa, or unmanifested.

Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī is elucidating on the purport of this verse beginning anarpita-carīṁ cirāt, written by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Why did he quote this verse here? He considered, “Śrī Kṛṣṇa may not hear my prayer, and Śrīmatī Rādhikā may also not hear it, but They cannot avoid hearing the prayer of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.”

Let us cultivate the mood of being always under the guidance of Vaiṣṇavas. It is unbeneficial for us to try to be the supreme, thinking, “I am the controller, I am controlling all.” Instead we should think,”I am a servant. I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of the servants of your servants. I am the last servant’s foot-dust.” This is humility. A rūpānuga Vaiṣṇava thinks in this way.

We utter so many prayers to Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but They may overlook our prayers. They may not take them seriously.

ṣad-aṅga śaraṇāgati hoibe jāhāra
tāhāra prārthanā śune śrī-nanda-kumāra

(Śaraṇāgati, by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura)

The youthful son of Nanda Bābā, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, hears the prayers of anyone who takes refuge in Him by this six-fold practice known as śaraṇāgati.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa hears the prayers of those who have attained the six kinds of full-surrender at His lotus feet. This is the door, or window, or entrance to bhakti. We can enter only if we possess these six qualities in our heart.

ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlyasya varjanam
rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso goptṛtve varaṇaṁ tathā
ātma-nikṣepa-kārpaṇye ṣaḍ-vidhā śaraṇāgatiḥ

(Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 11.676)

There are six symptoms of self-surrender an unalloyed devotee possesses: (1) ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ (accepting only what is favorable for prema-bhakti); (2) prātikūlyasya varjanam(rejecting everything unfavorable for prema-bhakti); (3) rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāsa (firm faith thatKṛṣṇa is the only protector, knowing that no other activity can provide protection); (4) goptṛtve varaṇa (no doubt that Kṛṣṇa is the only guardian and maintainer); (5) ātma-nikṣepa(offering one’s whole self to the Lord, feeling incapable of doing anything independently from Kṛṣṇa’s desire); and (6) kārpaṇya (humility, feeling insignificant and very fallen). Possessing all these attitudes is called śaraṇāgati.

If we want to serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa, first we should fully offer ourselves at His lotus feet, and there are some symptoms that this has been accomplished. Simply speaking about it will not do. What are the symptoms?

Ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ: We will only adopt that service or activity which is favorable to Kṛṣṇa.

Prātikūlya vivarjana: We will immediately give up all that is unfavorable to Kṛṣṇa’s service, be it in the form of association, food, society, or sinful activities.

Rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāsa: We will have very strong faith that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is always protecting us and that He is the only protector. We are not the protectors, nor can money protect us. In this entire world no scientist, no doctor, no one, and nothing can help us. Only Kṛṣṇa can help us.

If we are trying to do bhajana and at the same time we are hankering, “O Kṛṣṇa, save me, I am penniless, help me, help me!” or “I am helpless and suffering so much,” it means we do not have the reqired faith in Kṛṣṇa and we cannot really do bhajana. There are many kinds of problems that we cannot solve, so we should have strong faith that Kṛṣṇa is our only protector and He will surely save us.

Why worry? We need simply serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Problems will come and Kṛṣṇa will solve them, and if He does not, no harm. In that case it will be said that He is not very merciful. All will defame Him, saying, “Now He has given up His merciful nature and has become cruel-hearted.” Actually, He cannot give up His qualification of protecting the Vaiṣṇavas.

Kṛṣṇa protected Ambarīṣa and Prahlāda Mahārāja. He protects everyone, in the mothers’ womb and everywhere else, so we can be fearless. There is actually no problem at all. If a problem comes in bhakti, Kṛṣṇa will at once manage everything to solve it. Why should we fear? We can think, “If I am alone and the entire world is against me, I do not care.” Let us be solid like this; otherwise how can we progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

We need not think, “If I simply do bhakti and nothing else, so many problems may come. Perhaps my big society will reject me, and because everyone will be upset and opposed to me, I will have to move from my house. What will I do?” If we want to do bhakti, we must be like Prahlāda Mahārāja and Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura.

The Mohammedan king prohibited Haridāsa Ṭhākura from chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, and ordered him to chant instead, “Allah, Allah, Allah. Khodā, Khodā, Khodā.” But Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura refused. He told them, “If Kṛṣṇa, Rāma, Allah, and Khodā are the same, then why are you troubling people? Why are you trying to make them Mohammedan by force? Why chant only Khodā and Allah? If Kṛṣṇa and Rāma are Allah and Khodā, what is the harm in chanting Kṛṣṇa?”

They replied, “We will cut you into millions of pieces and give your body to the dogs.”

“I have no fear,” Haridāsa said, and he began to chant ‘Hare Kṛṣṇa’ very loudly on the main road. The Mohammedans tried to kill him but could not. Haridāsa had determined, “Even if someone cuts me into pieces, I will not give up my chanting of Kṛṣṇa’s name.”

If, like this, we become bold and strong in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Śrī Kṛṣṇa will come at once; or He will send His Sudarśana cakra; or He can send Garuḍa, or Hanumān, or He will come Himself in the form of Lord Nṛsiṁha to protect us. Why should we fear? There is no need to fear at all.

In the first stage of bhakti, there are so many problems. Let us try to jump over them, just as Hanumān did when he crossed over the sea. He chanted, “Jaya Śrī Rāma,” jumped over the sea, and went to Laṅkā. Let us be like this. Right now, at this moment, let us give up thinking about problems, and be faithful, knowing that Kṛṣṇa is always our protector.

Goptṛtve varaṇaṁ tathā: Kṛṣṇa is our only guardian and maintainer. It is therefore incumbent upon us to surrender our whole self – body, mind, soul, and everything we possess – and think, “I will not do anything that Kṛṣṇa does not like. I am surrendering everything at His lotus feet.” This is śaraṇāgati. If we do śaraṇāgati in this way, the door to the realm ofbhakti will be opened and we will easily enter. This is of primary importance.

Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī explained:

pūrṇa bhagavān kṛṣṇa vrajendra-kumāra
goloke vrajera saha nitya vihāra

(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛtaĀdi-līlā 3.5)

Lord Kṛṣṇa, the son of the King of Vraja, is the Supreme Lord. He eternally enjoys transcendental pastimes in His eternal abode, Goloka, which includes Vraja-dhāma.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He is always playing in Vṛndāvana with the go (cows), gopas (cowherd boys), gopīs, and all the beings of Vṛndāvana, Vraja. He especially feels pleasure in the society of gopīs there.

The upper part of the Vaikuṇṭha region is called Kṛṣṇa-loka, and the lower part is called Vaikuṇṭha paravyoma. In paravyoma Vaikuṇṭha all the incarnations and manifestations of Kṛṣṇa, like Rāma, Nṛsṁha and Nārāyaṇa reside. There are separate divisions in Vaikuṇṭha, which are all endless in every way.

Kṛṣṇa’s mouth is very little, like a baby’s, but in it Yaśodā-maiyā saw all the worlds, including Goloka Vṛndāvana. Even a dust particle of Vṛndāvana is endless. By the wish of Kṛṣṇa Vṛndāvana may appear very little, or very big, because in Vṛndāvana, each grain of dust is Baladeva Prabhu Himself; thus, every grain of dust of Vṛndāvana has this power.

Kṛṣṇa-loka, or Goloka, is divided into three sections. The combination of all three is called Goloka, and the boundary line is also called Goloka. The first part, the lower part, is called Dvārakā; the middle part is called Mathurā; and the upper part is called Vraja, Vṛndāvana, and Gokula. On one hand they are the same, but there is also some speciality in each section.

In Vṛndāvana there are twelve forests and twelve sub-forests. The first is Gokula, where Kṛṣṇa’s balya-līlā (babyhood) pastimes are performed; in Vṛndāvana Kṛṣṇa’s paugaṇḍa(childhood pastimes) and kiśora-līlā (pastimes in youth) are performed.

Vṛndāvana is spread over thirty-two square miles. Actually, from Yamunā to Govardhana Hill, Nandagāoṅ, and Varṣāna, all are in the greater Vṛndāvana, and this area is superior to Gokula. In Vṛndāvana, Govardhana is topmost, and at Govardhana, Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa are the most superior.

Why has Kṛṣṇa-loka been divided into three? It is divided according to the stages of the prema of the various devotees. In Dvārakā there is some knowledge of Kṛṣṇa’s opulence (aiśvarya) as Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Mathurā there is less awareness of the Lord’s opulence, and therefore less awe and reverence, and there is still less in Vṛndāvana. On the other hand, prema is more developed in Vṛndāvana, less in Mathurā, and less again in Dvārakā.

In the outer region of Goloka, called by the same name, Goloka, devotees have knowledge of Kṛṣṇa’s Godhood. There, Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa live in the mood of svakīya-bhāva(wedded love). Śrī Kṛṣṇa is always present there as God Himself, where He is even more opulent than Nārāyaṇa. In Goloka He is neither the son of Nanda Bābā and Yaśodā-maiyā, nor of Vasudeva and Devakī. He is like a husband, but there is no marriage ceremony. Śrīmatī Rādhikā is present there; but, like Lakṣmī, She is always offering obeisances at His lotus feet.

In Dvārakā, this mood of opulence and reverence (aiśvarya-bhāva) is somewhat covered. There, Kṛṣṇa becomes a friend of the residents of Dvārakā and the husband of all the queens, and there His marriage arrangements take place. Sometimes Satyabhāmā enters a sulky mood (māna), and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, tries to pacify her anger. He may tell her, “I have made a mistake.” In Goloka, this display of human-like subservience by Śrī Kṛṣṇa would never happen.

In Mathurā, this aiśvarya-bhāva is still more covered. Yet, Kṛṣṇa manifested His four-armed form at the time of His appearance, at which time Vasudeva and Devakī prayed to Him, “You are God Himself. We remember that we pleased You in our past births, and so received the benediction that You will become our son. This is why You have now appeared here.” They saw Him holding the conch, disk, club, and lotus flower. He was in the prime of youth, with wavy hair and adorned with many golden ornaments like the Kaustubha jewel. Then, when they prayed to Him, He assumed His form as a two-armed baby, and they became very worried about how to protect Him. If Vasudeva knew that Śrī Kṛṣṇa was Bhagavān Himself – that He could protect everyone and that He could kill the demon Kaṁsa in a moment – why would he have taken Him to Gokula? Actually, at that time he forgot Kṛṣṇa’s Godhood. On one hand the knowledge of Kṛṣṇa’s opulence was present, but on the other hand, the sweetness of a human-like relationship was present. In Dvārakā, there is more of a mood of awe and reverence towards Kṛṣṇa than an experience of a sweet human-like relationship with Him.

In Vraja, no one ever knows that Kṛṣṇa is God. There, the elderly gopīs tell Him, “Can You bring Your father’s shoes?” Then Kṛṣṇa, who at that time is two years old and quite naked, very gladly walks, as if dancing. He puts His father’s shoes on His head and, still dancing, comes to the gopīs. Eager to see Kṛṣṇa’s greed to taste laḍḍus, the gopīs tell Him that they will give Him one if He sings and dances. Then, looking at them with very greedy eyes and outstretching His arms as if dancing, Śrī Kṛṣṇa sings sweetly. The gopīs then tell Him, “Very good,” and give Him a laḍḍu.

In Vṛndāvana, any and all consciousness of Kṛṣṇa’s Godhood is covered by mādhurya-bhāva (the sweetness of human-like relationships). In mādhurya-bhāva, whether or not opulence is manifest, the residents of Vṛndāvana think Kṛṣṇa to be only their worldly brother, friend, or beloved.

Kṛṣṇa held Govardhana Hill at the age of only seven years old. He was neither a giant nor four-handed. He was smiling, playing His flute, and telling jokes with all the gopas and gopīs there. The gopas and other elderly persons, who were like Kṛṣṇa’s fathers and mothers, considered that Nanda Bābā had certainly performed austerities to please Nārāyaṇa, and for that reason Nārāyaṇa had now entered the body of Kṛṣṇa and was holding Govardhana Hill.

And what about the gopīs? They were staring at Govardhana and telling him, “O Govardhana, stay where you are. Don’t be heavy for Kṛṣṇa, otherwise we will curse you.” They thought that Govardhana remained upward because of their strong words.

As for Śrīmatī Rādhikā, She is always on Kṛṣṇa’s left side. The ācāryas in our line have concluded that because Kṛṣṇa was holding Govardhana with the tip of the little finger of His left hand, it was actually Śrīmatī Rādhikā, as the complete potency or power of Kṛṣṇa, who lifted Govardhana. The supreme manifestation of opulence is in Vṛndāvana, but it is covered with so much mādhurya-bhāva that it is not noticed at all.

Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja explains that Kṛṣṇa always plays in Goloka, but not in Dvārakā, Mathurā, or the outer part of Goloka. Along with His many associates, He performs His playful pastimes in Goloka Vṛndāvana, Gokula, Rādhā-kuṇḍa, etc.

All moods are present in Vṛndāvana:

pūrṇa bhagavān kṛṣṇa vrajendra-kumāra
goloke vrajera saha nitya vihāra

(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛtaĀdi-līlā 3.5)

Lord Kṛṣṇa, the son of the King of Vraja, is the Supreme Lord. He eternally enjoys transcendental pastimes in His eternal abode, Goloka, which includes Vraja-dhāma.

In India, a sahajiyā named Rādhānātha has written a lengthy commentary on Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, saying that there is no mood of parakīya-bhāva in Vraja. But his argument is not valid. If a mood has no seed in the original abode, how can it be manifest in this world?1

Parakīya-bhāva and all other moods are present in Vṛndāvana. Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His associates descend with these moods to Bhauma Vṛndāvana (Vṛndāvana manifested in this material world) in each and every universe. Bhauma Vṛndāvana and Goloka Vṛndāvana are practically the same, and yet there is some difference. No ordinary person of this world can see and realize that Kṛṣṇa is always playing in Bhauma Vṛndāvana, but if anyone develops pure prema, he can go to Goloka Vṛndāvana, where he will always see Him playing.

It is incorrect to think that in Goloka Vṛndāvana there is no parakīya-bhāva, no birth of Kṛṣṇa, and that Kṛṣṇa is always in the form of a teenage youth. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has given a commentary on this verse (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛtaĀdi-līlā 3.5), wherein he explains that Kṛṣṇa is eternally playing in Goloka Vṛndāvana, and He descends from there, once in a day of Brahmā, to the thirty-two square mile area of Bhauma Vṛndāvana.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa eternally performs pastimes with His five kinds of associates in Goloka Vṛndāvana – śantadāsyasakhyavātsalya, and mādhurya (the moods of neutrality, servitorship, friendship, parenthood and amorous love). When He comes to this world, He brings all the residents of Vraja-bhūmi, including the ever-liberated peacocks, and all other birds, cows, associates like friends, parents, and beloveds, the Yamunā River and Govardhana Hill. He lives in Vraja until the age of ten years, then He goes to Mathurā, and then Dvārakā. Still, to this day He is performing pastimes with all of His associates in Vṛndāvana.

If we have no bhakti we cannot see this. Ordinary bhakti will not be sufficient to reveal these pastimes. When we come to the stage of bhāva, from time to time we will experience this – otherwise not. Śrī Kṛṣṇa comes to this world to sprinkle His mercy upon all jīvas, to those who are doing sādhana and to those who are not, to those who have already matured up to bhāva and to those who have reached prema. He descends to elevate them all.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa comes once in each day of Brahmā; only once. And when His pastimes are over, He disappears with all of His associates of Vraja. After His disappearance, when He is in Goloka Vṛndāvana, He thinks:

cira-kāla nāhi kari prema-bhakti dāna
bhakti vinā jagatera nāhi avasthāna

Please read the translation, and then the purport, of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja.

Devotee reads from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛtaĀdi-līlā 3.14:

Verse: For a long time I have not bestowed unalloyed loving service to Me upon the inhabitants of the world. Without such loving attachment, the existence of the material world is useless.

Purport: The Lord seldom awards pure transcendental love, but without such pure love of God, freed from fruitive activities and empiric speculation, one cannot attain perfection in life.

Contained throughout Caitanya-caritāmṛta are the purports of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja. Yet, we rarely have the opportunity to hear clear explanations of his words. If we ourselves cannot properly explain this, it means we have no true interest in the subject. To develop pure interest in the mission of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, we must try to associate with Vaiṣṇavas who have a great taste in these topics and who have no interest at all in worldly topics.

We have not come to this world with worldly possessions, and when we leave this body we will have to give up whatever we have accumulated. So why should we worry for material comforts and prosperity?

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja has come to this world for the same purpose as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu – to give that prema which the Lord Himself came to give – but only very rare persons realize this. In order to give the world a platform on which to understand that prema, Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja was cutting the jungles of māyāvāda and other false philosophies, and devotees joined him in this. However, we should not think, “Jungle cutting is the highest service in this world; this is what he came to give.”

We cut jungles in a particular place in order to construct a building or reside there. In this analogy, that construction is the construction of pure bhakti. We should not simply continue to cut jungles for millions of births. There are certainly jungles everywhere, but it is useless to spend our lives cutting them. Here, Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja is teaching the world: bhakti vinā jagatera nāhi avasthāna. What has he written in the purport?

Devotee reads:

Purport: Without such loving attachment, the existence of the material world is useless.

It is useless. Simply cutting jungles is useless if one’s mood is not to construct bhakti in the hearts of devotees. This is the essential factor. We have not come to this world to create many material constructions for our comfort. Our Gosvāmīs and ācāryas are very powerful and have also cut jungles, but we are not so powerful. If we concentrate only on trying to cut the jungles of sahajiyās, Māyāvādīs, and sense enjoyers – even in the name of ‘making devotees’ – we will be affected by those same contaminations.

Here is a lucid example. Someone once saw a person drowning in the current of a very big river, and although he himself did not know how to swim, he immediately jumped into the river to save the drowning man. The drowning man then caught hold of him, and they both drowned.

So, first we should know how to swim; we should know the art of saving ourselves, and then we can save others. We should throw a rope from the shore. The drowning man will then catch hold of the rope and we will be able to save him. Only if we can swim can we jump in, otherwise we will also die.

All these bhakti-siddhāntas are very powerful, but if we are not pure devotees and we are trying to make others devotees, we will drown in the ocean of material emotions and activities. Let us first become qualified, develop bhakti in our heart by practicing śravaṇaṁ, kīrtanaṁviṣṇu-smaraṇam; hearing about Kṛṣṇa, chanting His names and glories, and remembering Him. Then we can save others.

When Kṛṣṇa was in His abode, He was thinking, “For a very long time I have not distributed the affection of the residents of Vraja in sakhyavātsalya and mādhurya-bhāva. When I previously came in the form of Gaurāṅga, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śacīnandana, I gave this affection. Now a long period has passed, so I should give it again. Without prema-bhakti, the world will be destroyed.”

Kṛṣṇa continued:

sakala jagate more kare vidhi-bhakti
vidhi-bhaktye vraja-bhāva pāite nāhi śakti

What is the meaning?

Devotee reads (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛtaĀdi-līlā 3.15):

Everywhere in the world people worship Me according to scriptural injunctions. But simply by following such regulative principles, one cannot attain the loving sentiments of the devotees in Vraja-bhūmi.

There is a difference between pure vaidhī-bhakti and impure vaidhī-bhakti. What we are doing may not be pure vaidhī-bhaktiŚravaṇaṁ and kīrtanaṁ, etc., performed only to please Kṛṣṇa, is actually vaidhī-bhakti. If we are concentrating simply on money-making, we are not practicing bhakti. A pure practitioner of vaidhī-bhakti is very rare. If we look in our hearts, we may see that we are performing activities, like purchasing motor cars, for our own gain and reputation. This is not pure bhakti; it is not even pure vaidhī-bhakti. We should first try to follow vaidhī-bhakti.

At the same time, Kṛṣṇa says here, “I am not satisfied by even real vaidhī-bhakti.”

What is pure bhakti? It is service to Kṛṣṇa in dāsya2sakhya-, vātsalya-, and mādhurya-bhāva, as the Vrajavāsīs serve Him. To associate with someone who can teach us Kṛṣṇa’s real moods is very rare, even in Bhauma Vṛndāvana. There are so many so-called scholars there who will cheat you, and there are many tortoises and monkeys who will harass you.

Try to realize all these verses in very beautiful and powerful association. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja are personally looking upon us; they are very happy. Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja is saying, “I want to give you this, and therefore I am inspiring Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja to give it to you.”

1Janmādy asya yato ‘nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ – I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.1).

2 The dasya-bhāva in Vrndavana is not pure dasya-bhāva, for it is always mixed with sakhya– and vatsalya-bhāva.

[CC-by-ND GVP]

Must Read

Aisvarya in Vraja?

Aisvarya was more powerful. Arjuna was overpowered by aisvarya and forgot that Krsna was his friend. Arjuna’s mood, as well as the mood of all other associates in Dvaraka-lila, is full of aisvarya. Sometimes there is madhurya, but it is always defeated by aisvarya...


In Vraja there is no one who does not have complete love for Krsna. Some have vatsalya or parental love, others sakhya-bhava, or love of the mood of friendship. And some have love in the mood of servitude and others have love in the mood of a paramour or beloved. No one has a competitive spirit or thinks they are enemies. They don’t think; “Oh you are very low and I am so great.” The sakhas don’t say to Krsna; “Oh what kind of big person do you think You are? Your father is the King Nanda-raja but You only have 9 lakhs cows, but my father has 11 lakhs cows. You are always coming to our houses and stealing butter but we don't steal butter from Your house.” The Vrajavasis don't have this critical mood towards one another. They don't think, “Oh this person is very low and inferior.” When we develop this type of mood, we receive all kinds of suffering and give depression to ourselves. But in Vraja no one is like this because by keeping Krsna in their hearts, and staying nearby Sri Krsna, then all kinds of low and undesirable traits are lost. If we look at all our qualities, do we think to ourselves how contemptible we are? Do we think how fallen I am? How despicable I am? Or do we climb atop the mountain of pride? Is that good for us? No! We have a relationship with God and we should know, “I am the servant of Krsna. I am Krsna das. I am very small, and He is the master.” In this world even an ant does not think itself to be small. He thinks, “I am such a great ant.” He is always very proud. He does not have these good qualities, and he does not have anugatya. In Vraja no one is acting out of their independent will. They are all in anugatya. Without Krsna’s desire even Nanda Baba does not act without discussing with Krsna. Parjanya as well only acts after discussing with Nanda and Krsna. Whatever the Vraja-vasis do they will act only according to the desire and will of Krsna.  Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains in the commentary on these verses of Sukadeva Goswami that the Gopis were filled with all kinds of good qualities so by meditating on them you will get kalyana – welfare. Even if you meditate on a worm or insect in Vraja you will get benefit. In Rama-loka in Ayodhya, there are so many animals, like Hanuman, who is a monkey, Kaka- basundi, the crow, and many other bears, birds and squirrels. They all have so much love for Rama, and therefore Rama’s qualities enter within them. Simply by remembering such devotees, even though they are animals, you will become decorated with all their good qualities. Similarly if we remember the residents of Vraja then we will also develop all their transcendental characteristics.  Now the Gopis were dancing, while they were singing with very beautiful melodies. They danced in many wonderful varieties of ways. Who were they trying to attract? Were they trying to show off their skill to one another? Or were they trying to show off their expertise? No! They were doing kirtan only to satisfy Sri Krsna. By their loving mood they surpassed even the Vedic stutis. In the Vedic stutis there is the Sama Veda which is filled with different poetic songs. The singing of the Gopis was millions of times greater than the songs of the Sama Veda which have 16,000 raginis, and the Gopis were singing these different ragas in very beautiful and sweet melodies and tones. This beautiful scene manifested in the rasa-sthali where Sri Krsna decorated everyone with His transcendental rasa. At that time Krsna said; “Oh sadhu, sadhu! How glorious your singing and dancing is!” He began to praise the gopis. The gopis seeing and hearing Sri Krsna’s dancing and singing, began to praise Krsna. They said; “How glorious Your singing and dancing is!” Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that Sukadeva Goswami glorified Sri Vraja. Thinking of all the Vraja-devis glories he became so absorbed, that he began to speak about the wonderful traits of each of the different Gopis. At that time Pariksit Maharaja began to have direct realization of these in his heart. It was not that Sukadeva Goswami was only speaking these glories, but Pariksit Maharaja was actually having a direct spurthi, or darsana, in his heart of the Gopis. He developed sambandha jnana, a direct relation with them, and he knew Krsna would never be able to neglect him now. If someone takes shelter at the Gopis or Vraja-devis lotus feet, then it is impossible for Bhagavan to ever leave that person. In this way Sukadeva Goswami glorified the Gopis qualities and all the manifestations of the eightfold symptoms of ecstasy appeared. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)


Narottama dāsa bole paḍinū asat-bhole, paritrāṇa kara mahāśaya. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, “Alas! I have lost my life. I never met with honest people. I was cheated of my welfare by associating with degraded people. Thus, I don’t spend my entire time in service.” Therefore, a sādhaka should never talk with degraded people. Kṛṣṇa has promised and said, “If you surrender unto Me, I will take you out of māyā. I will bring you near Me.” Many living entities are present in the ocean. But, many of these entities are dangerous creatures. Similarly, society has many dangerous people. Also, those who call themselves tutors and guardians only give mundane rasa. By drinking this mundane rasa, a person will become like a cruel animal. The sun evaporates water and forms rain bearing clouds. A conditioned soul is always punished in this mundane world. But those who take shelter of God and His associates are always protected.

Gaura-purnima Kirtans

Gaura-purnima Kirtan! Prabhuji dances with the bhaktas! The Gaura-purnima program began with bhajanas at 4 a.m., as every day does...but the kirtana and katha program lasted the whole day without stop until almost 10 p.m. We had a fire yajna in the morning and five devotees received saffron cloth and became official brahmacaris in Mahaprabhu's movement!

More Articles Like This