Book excerpts Acarya Kesari Observing fasting (upavasa) on Sri Radhastami

Observing fasting (upavasa) on Sri Radhastami

Sri Radhastami has a special significance in the society of Sri Gaudiya Vaisnavas, and they honour this day very deeply. Srimati Radhika is Krsna’s most complete sakti. She is Herself Isvari and all other saktis manifest from Her. For this reason, some people want to regard Radhastami as a jayanti and observe fasting without water, as they do on Krsna-janmastami. In reality, though, even though Hari-bhakti-vilasa refers to the Sri Radhastami tithi as a vrata, it does not prescribe any fasting for this day. Thus the sahajiya sampradaya, which observes fasting on this day, is actually exhibiting excessive devotion (ati-bhakti ) towards Sri Radharani. Hari-bhakti-vilasa is the only Smrti for the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, and it records in a splendid way, with scriptural references, the system by which Vaisnavas should observe vratas and fasting. Sat-kriya-sara-dipika is another prominent text concerning activities prescribed by sastra. It is improper for a pure Vaisnava to create new vratas and transgress vratas and other rules recorded in these books. Nowadays the Gaudiya Mission, which is supported by Congress Company, has changed the pure Vaisnava line and has begun to observe Sri Radhastami vrata according to the doctrine of the sahajiyas.

Observance of vrata and fasting is prescribed in the sastras only for the appearance days of saktiman para-tattva (the Supreme Truth who possesses all potencies) or His incarnations. If fasting were observed for the appearance of sakti-tattva, then one would have to observe fasting on all 365 days of the year. This is because, in addition to bhagavat-saktis, all the acaryas and gurus in the guru-parampara are included in sakti-tattva, and it is impossible to observe a vrata and fasting on all of the appearance and disappearance days.

All the mathas under the jurisdiction of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti observed Sri Radhastami vrata on Sunday, 1 September 1957, as prescribed by Sri Sanatana Gosvami. On this day there was abhiseka of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, with special offerings of bhoga, lectures on sri radha-tattva, sankirtana and so on.

On Radhastami day, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja visited Sri Caitanya Sarasvata Matha, which parama-pujyapada Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaja had established in Koleraganja, Navadvipa. There, the acarya of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti gave a deeply philosophical lecture on radha-tattva. Other speakers also offered puspanjali at the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika by revealing their own understanding.

Vyasa-puja at Sri Gauravani-Vinoda Asrama in Khadagpura

On 8 February 1958, sri vyasa-puja was celebrated in a grand way on jagad-guru Srila Prabhupada’s appearance day at Sri Gauravani-Vinoda Asrama in Khadagpura. This was made possible by the irrepressible enthusiasm of tridandi-svami Srimad Bhakti Jivana Janardana Maharaja, the president of the asrama. In the previous year, vyasa-puja had been celebrated with great festivity in Sri Goloka-ganja Gaudiya Matha in Assam, according to the method initiated by Srila Sarasvati Prabhupada. In 1956, the celebrations had been held in Begunabadi, Purvacaka, near Medinipura.

Om visnupada Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja attended this vyasa-puja with his disciples and officiated at the ceremony. On the second day of the festival, maha-prasada was distributed to about five thousand faithful people. A dharma-sabha was arranged, and Srila Acaryadeva addressed the assembly as follows: “Not only we Indians but the whole world is eternally indebted to Sri Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa. He divided the Vedas into four parts to help general people who are trying to study them. He compiled Vedanta-sutra, or Brahma-sutra, in order to reconcile apparent contradictions between Vedanta and Upanisads, the essence of the Vedas. He composed the different Puranas and the Mahabharata and finally, in order to make Vedanta-sutra easily understandable, he manifested the spotless maha-purana, Srimad-Bhagavatam, as the commentary on Vedanta-sutra.

“All the religious societies in India believe somehow or other that they are followers of Vyasa. However, when we carefully study the literature composed by Sri Vyasadeva, we can clearly see that bhagavad-bhakti is the main subject matter in his literature. He has not mentioned the words jnana or mukti anywhere in the five hundred and fifty aphorisms of his famous Brahma-sutra. On the contrary, he has established bhakti everywhere in the genuine commentary on his Brahma-sutra, namely, paramahamsi samhita Srimad-Bhagavatam.

“Although the Sri Sankara sampradaya gives prominence to vyasa-puja, their so-called vyasa-puja is a mockery. In Acarya Sankara’s commentary on Brahma-sutra, he has accused Krsna Dvaipayana Sri Vedavyasa of being mistaken. Sri Sankara has written that brahma is the embodiment of bliss (ananda-svarupa), and can never be blissful (ananda-maya). But Sri Vyasaji has called brahma ananda-maya in Vedanta-sutra. In this way, Acarya Sankara has attempted to refute Srila Vyasadeva’s opinion. Therefore, Acarya Sankara’s vyasa-puja is only for show.

“Sri Vyasadeva is worshipped properly in the Vaisnava sampradaya. All tridandi-sannyasis should accept the example of the vyasa-puja celebrated by Sripada Janardana Maharaja. Nowadays, we see that, in the name of vyasa-puja, so-called gurus everywhere accept puspanjali and arcanjali offered to their own feet and they hear and accept praise given to them by their own disciples. However, those who only accept puspanjali and arcanjali offered to their own feet and do not follow Sri Vyasa-puja-paddhati (which was collected by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada and edited and developed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura) are not actually performing vyasa-puja. On vyasa-puja day, an acarya will worship guru, guru-parampara and upasya (the object of worship). According to this puja-paddhati, on that day one should worship guru-pancaka, acarya-pancaka, vyasa-pancaka, sanakadi-pancaka, krsna-pancaka, upasya-pancaka and panca-tattva-pancaka. It is the supreme duty of Sri Gaudiya Sarasvata Vaisnavas to follow the Vyasa-puja-paddhati used by Srila Prabhupada.”

On this occasion, when the disciples of Sripada Janardana Maharaja went to him to offer puspanjali at his feet, he instructed them to offer puspanjali first at the feet of their siksa-guru, Srila Kesava Maharaja. When, on their guru’s order, all the disciples came to Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja to offer puspanjali, he in turn explained that a disciple should first worship his own guru’s feet and then other gurus. For this he gave examples and proofs from sastra. Sripada Janardana Maharaja could not reject the instruction from his senior godbrother and siksa-guru. Accordingly, his disciples worshipped their own gurudeva and then offered puspanjali to Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. Pujyapada Janardana Maharaja did not forget this event for his whole life. He used to say that he had watched all his godbrothers very closely, but had never seen anyone who was so generous, so learned in siddhanta, and such a fearless speaker of truth as Srila Kesava Maharaja. When he spoke like this, tears would come to his eyes.

[CC-by-ND GVP]

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There is only one way to know Krsna. Go to the person who knows Krsna. If you want to study engineering, you should go to an engineering college and not to a college where literature is studied. If you want to become a doctor, go to a medical college. You should go to that college, which teaches what you want to study. Or else you cannot obtain that knowledge. So, Naradaji told Vyasadeva, “Firstly, you should surrender by bhakti-yoga. You should think, ‘I don’t know anything.’ Thus, a guru will instruct you when you sincerely serve. You should do what he tells you to do.” Once, a person learnt a little on how to play the harmonium. He approached a teacher and said, “Please instruct me how to play the harmonium better.” The teacher replied, “I will take a hundred dollars for a month.” At the same time, another boy approached the teacher. The teacher asked him, “Why have you come?” “I want to learn how to play the harmonium.” “Do you know at least a little how to play the harmonium?” “I don’t know anything.” “Okay, I will teach you for ten dollars.” Why? It is very difficult to teach those, who think, “I am very knowledgeable. I know many slokas from the Veda-sastras.” No one can teach a person, who is more than sixty years of age. They have already supposedly learnt everything. A dry piece of wood will not bend. If you try bending it, it will break. But a raw piece of wood will bend. Similarly, the hearts of children are very simple. There is nothing written on their hearts. They will learn anything they see. Therefore, those who are of less age and who have not learnt much, will easily understand this. But it is very difficult to teach those who know something. A person who is pretending to sleep cannot be awakened. A man who is really sleeping can be easily awakened. Hence, Narada told Vyasa, “Take shelter of bhakti-yoga. Offer yourself to the lotus feet of Krsna. Meditate on Him. Then Krsna will Himself come and show all His pastimes to you.” After Naradaji left, Vyasa established himself in bhakti-yoga. bhakti-yogena manasi samyak pranihite ‘male apasyat purusam purnam mayam ca tad-apasrayam —Srimad Bhagavatam 1.7.4 [Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service (bhakti-yoga) without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control.] Vyasa saw Srimati Radhika, Krsna, and all His saktis like Lalita, Visakha, and everyone. He also saw Nanda Baba and Yasoda. He saw all the pastimes of Vraja from the beginning. He had darsana just as you see a cinema on the television. He saw all the pastimes. He also saw that those who have forgotten Krsna, who don’t render service to Him, and who don’t remember Him have fallen into maya. They are entangled in the material world of birth, temporary happiness, sorrows, and death. We have been searching for happiness even before creation. If wealth would give us happiness, then why do the wealthy continue earning money? A wealthy man’s grandfather and father have died. And even though he is also becoming old, his greed to earn money doesn’t subside. So, if he has not obtained happiness, will you obtain it by trying to becoming wealthy? Remember that the entire wealth of the world cannot prolong the existence of a man for a single minute. You should also remember that nothing of this world will go with you after you leave your body. Hence, Vyasaji saw that the conditioned souls have forgotten Bhagavan Krsna and are entangled in the cycle of birth and death. And those, who remember Krsna and chant His names like Ajamila and Valmiki did, will easily cross over this ocean of birth and death. So, Vyasa saw this. He saw how Krsna was born. He saw how Krsna started to grow. He saw how Krsna stole from the homes of the gopis. He did not steal just butter; He stole their hearts. He saw how Krsna danced at every step He took. Krsna’s gait is sweet; His words are sweet; His Vamsi is sweet; His form is sweet; His eyes are sweet; His glances are sweet; His pastimes are sweet; His mother is sweet; His sakti—the gopis are sweet; everything about Him is sweet. Thus, Vyasadeva had darsana of Krsna. He saw the Lord and explained His pastimes and this compilation of His pastimes and the pastimes of His incarnations is called Srimad Bhagavatam. This is the final book of Vyasaji. He compiled this book after realizing it in his samadhi. What is samadhi? Samadhi is of many kinds. Presently, people practice hatha-yoga and think they are in samadhi. But hatha-yoga will not do. The principle of hatha-yoga is, “I will not see this material world.” But, Bhagavan has given you eyes, so why will you not see? He will try to control his mind. It may be possible to control the air, but it is not possible to control the mind. Can you sit still for a minute and control your mind? Thoughts from all directions will enter your mind. Your mind will not be controlled. If you have prema, bhakti for Krsna, then your mind will be controlled. Vyasadeva has stated in the Bhagavat regarding how to control the mind. The dharma of every being is to love Krsna. This is the constitutional nature of every being. Krsna is the only friend of everyone. He is everyone’s Prabhu. He is everyone’s prana-priyatama; the beloved of everyone. Today, you consider one lady to be your wife; but after you die, will she still be your wife? You consider one man to be your husband, but what is to be after you die? Relationships keep changing. A soul may be a lady today and become a man in his next life. The soul will take birth in his next life according to the thoughts that occupy his mind at the time of death.

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN KRSNA WENT TO CANDRAVALI'S KUNJA?

Kṛṣṇa plays His flute everywhere around Girirāja Govardhana, and He meets with the Vraja-devīs in Govardhana’s kuñjas. Sometimes He goes to Candra-sarovara, to the kuñja of Candrāvalī. There she offers Him a garland of mallikā flowers.Later, Kṛṣṇa comes to Rādhā-kuṇḍa, still wearing that garland. But He sees that no one talks with Him, meets with Him, or even looks at Him. He then feels dry and despondent.“Oh, this garland is very wicked,” He says in disgust and casts aside the gift from Candrāvalī. He then bathes in Śyāma-kuṇḍa and Rādhā-kuṇḍa, and feels a little better. He then comes before the gopīs and prays at their feet for mercy and for Rādhārānī’s darśana. Feeling a breeze that has touched Rādhārānī and come to Him, He experiences great bliss and His heart is cooled.In his Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi, Śrīla Prabhodānanda Sarasvatī glorifies Śrīmatī Rādhārānī as follows:yasyāḥ kadāpī vasanāṣcala-khelanottha-      dhanyāti-dhanya-pavanena kṛtārtha-mānīyogīndra-durgama-gatir madhusūdano ‘pi      tasyā namo ‘stu vṛṣabhānu-bhuvo diśe ‘pi Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi 2Obeisances to the direction that faces Śrī Vṛṣabhānu’s daughter. When the breeze, coming from that direction, playfully moves the edge of Her garment, Madhusūdana, who cannot be attained by even the greatest yogīs, thinks that His life has become a great success.By some sly process, Candrāvalī’s followers brought Kṛṣṇa to their kuñja. There they offered Kṛṣṇa a nice outfit and decorated Him. He thought, “If I go like this to Rādhā-kuṇḍa everyone will be pleased with Me.” But when He reached Rādhā-kuṇḍa He found that no one was pleased at all. It seemed that even Girirāja Govardhana neglected Him. Why? Girirāja is Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s follower. Therefore he also ignored Kṛṣṇa. Every kuṇḍa and kuñja-kuṭīra at Govardhana is cold to Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa cannot find anyone there, not even any animals.He looked around and thought, “I must have done something quite wrong.”He looked down at His outfit and became saddened. “Because of these garments Rādhārānī’s gopīs have become angry and have hidden from Me? Where have they gone?” Then He prays deeply.Suddenly, from the north side of Rādhā-kuṇḍa, where Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is sitting with the sakhīs, a breeze touches Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s lotus feet and takes their fragrant message to the south side of Rādhā-kuṇḍa, where Kṛṣṇa is present. When Kṛṣṇa smells this, He comes to His senses.“This attire is not good for Me,” He thinks, and He takes off His outfit and ornaments. He purifies Himself by bathing in Śyāma-kuṇḍa and Rādhā-kuṇḍa. “Yes,” He says, “now I’m feeling better.”Then He sees some mañjarīs have approached. “Your body has a horrible smell,” they say, “clearly You have gone to the abode of many buffaloes. Perhaps You didn’t herd cows today and played with buffaloes instead. Has Brahmā come and stolen Your cows again? Has Viśvāmṛta given You buffaloes to herd in their place? Buffaloes are very dirty; they like to sleep in drains and bathe in foul water. But cows are always neat and clean. You have definitely been with buffaloes, for Your body has such a foul scent.”The mañjarīs bring candana, sugandhi, arbaṭa, and other fragrant substances and ask Kṛṣṇa, “Shall we clean You?”“This will not do,” Kṛṣṇa says, “only the dust of Vraja will suffice.”“Yes, Rādhārānī’s footdust will purify You,” the manjarīs respond. “You should beware of the other side. Your desire and nature will change if You go to the other side. If You interact with Candrāvalī’s party then Rādhika’s group will shun You.”“I was not happy with Candrāvalī,” Kṛṣṇa said, “so I came to drink the sweet honey of Rādhārānī’s affection. I left Candrāvalī and came to Rādhā-kuṇḍa and cleansed Myself in the pure nectar of the water that bathed Śrīmatījī. Now will She accept me?”samastād unmatta-bhramara-kula-jhaṅkāra-nikarair      lasat-padma-stomair api vihaga-rāvair api paramsakhī-vṛndaiḥ svīyaiḥ sarasi madhure prāṇa-patinā      kadā drakṣyāmas te śaśi-mukhi navaṁ keli-nivahamVilāpa-kusumāñjali 75O sweet, moon-faced one, when will I witness Your ever-fresh water-sports with the Lord of Your heart and Your friends in Your sweet lake, which is filled with a host of splendid lotuses and is surrounded by chirping birds and humming bees?Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is present at Rādhā-kuṇḍa, where atop splendid lotuses, there are many honeybees that hum sweetly and feast on nectar.There are also many birds in all directions that sing happily. Why are they so happy? Receiving Your darśana, the hearts of the sakhīs, mañjarīs, birds, and animals are filled with happiness.”Kṛṣṇa has left Candrāvalī’s kuñja and Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s victory is celebrated in bliss. The sakhīs sing, dance, and joke with Kṛṣṇa. Everyone waits for that darśana. How is that rasa? It is like when the full moon rises and everyone becomes naturally joyful. Kṛṣṇa, the lord of the Vraja-devīs’ hearts, has come and now the gopīs celebrate. There is a great assembly of birds singing. Bees are drinking nectar amidst the swirls of fragrant lotuses and their buzzing adds to the birds’ musical performance.Dāsa Gosvāmī prays to be present during that occasion, waiting to see what happens next. He is ready, “What orders will come to me? I will arrange everything needed. When inspiration comes, I will quickly perform my service for Rādhārānī.”This wonderful program on the bank of Rādhā-kuṇḍa starts in the morning. There are many types of flowers in the kuñja-kuṭīras surrounding Rādhā-kuṇḍa, and an ocean of bliss pervades the whole atmosphere. The sakhīs and mañjarīs are very busy there, decorating the kuñjas.When will that Rādhā-kuṇḍa give us Rādhikā’s darśana and admission into eternal service? Dāsa Gosvāmī says, “Without the mercy of Rādhā-kuṇḍa one will not be able to enter the camp of Rādhārānī and follow Her footsteps, nor will one understand the secrets of Kṛṣṇa’s service.”Rādhā-kuṇḍa is the place in Vraja-maṇḍala where all favorable things are present for Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s service.sarovara-lasat-taṭe madhupa-guñji-kuñjāntare      sphuṭat-kusuma-saṅkule vividha-puṣpa-saṅghair mudā ariṣṭa-jayinā kadā tava varoru bhūṣā-vidhīr      vidhāsyata iha priyaṁ mama sukhābdhim ātanvatāVilāpa-kusumāñjali 76O beautiful-thighed one, when will the ocean of my bliss expand to see Kṛṣṇa, the victor over Ariṣṭāsura, happily decorate You with many kinds of flowers in a kuñja, filled with blossoming flowers and humming bees, on the splendid bank of Your lake?In Rādhā-kuṇḍa, if anything contrary enters, Kṛṣṇa destroys it. Like when Ariṣṭāsura came to Vraja, Kṛṣṇa destroyed him. What does this mean? If a person comes to Rādhā-kuṇḍa and sits on Her bank, at the lotus feet of Rādhārānī, then any ariṣṭa, demonic mundane desire, will not be able to come and cheat that sādhaka, pulling him away from service to Śrīmatījī. Kṛṣṇa is present there with a strong mood, ready to destroy any opposition. Any anarthas or unwanted desires will be unable to disturb one. The sādhaka will have no further troubles. Kṛṣṇa will give him a sweet nature and good desires.At Rādhā-kuṇḍa, the sakhīs are busy serving Rādhārānī. Some are painting designs on Her hands and feet, and some are combing Her hair, which they decorate with small flowers.The mañjarīs say, “Collect peacock feathers here. Kṛṣṇa likes them so much.” Then they collect peacock feathers and make crowns with them and give these to the sakhīs. Then they make dresses. After Kṛṣṇa bathes, they will decorate a nd dress Him. The sakhīs and mañjarīs are ready to perform this service.On the other side, the sādhakas see that the gopīs are busily engaged in serving Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Kṛṣṇa has come Himself and is waiting for a chance to serve Rādhārānī. He prays to the sakhīs and mañjarīs, “When will you give Me chance to comb Rādhārānī’s hair? I will separate Her hairs and will gently braid them. How will I make a sweet relation with Her hair? I will massage oil into Her hair, made fragrant with kastūrī, and then I will place flowers and pollen in Her charming locks.”Kṛṣṇa prays to the gopīs and waits with trembling hands. He cannot control Himself. It is as if all His strength has left and He is filled with fear, feeling within, “What will happen if I do something wrong?”Kṛṣṇa sees Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s form in the water of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. He sits on the bank of Rādhā-kuṇḍa and watches Her pastimes and interaction with the sakhīs and mañjarīs in the reflection of the water.“How can I serve Her? How can I get permission?” Kṛṣṇa prays to the sakhīs and mañjarīs in a choked voice, with hairs standing on end and tears gently falling from His cheeks. The sakhīs come from another side and offer Kṛṣṇa peacock feathers and guñjā-mālā. Kṛṣṇa had fallen into an internal state of meditation. At the sound of the gopīs’ words, His external sense returns and He feels, “I am very lucky today. Certainly they will give Me permission to serve and they will teach Me the proper process.”At this Radha-kunda, all special training, power, and taste is given to serve Rādhārānī. (click on the Title to see more)

WHY DID SRILA JIVA GOSVAMI ESTABLISH THE PROMINENCE OF "Svakīya-Rasa"?

Srila Gurudeva explained the conception of the Gosvāmīs in regard to parakīya-rasa in detail to his close associates. In Vraja, many people accept the superiorty of svakīya-rasa, or the wedded relationship, between Kṛṣṇa and His beloveds, the gopīs, and especially Śrīmatī Rādhikā. In his classes, Śrīla Gurudeva established the deep truths of parakīya-rasa and that parakīya-rasa is more exalted than svakīya-rasa. Some of the brahmacārīs asked Gurudeva, “It seems that Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī established the prominence of svakīya-rasa. How can we understand this properly?” Śrīla Gurudeva responded “The conditioned souls have sinful desires and natures. To protect them from committing immoral acts and thereby become more degraded, Jīva Gosvami established svakīya-rasa (the wedded relation between Kṛṣṇa and His beloveds) for those unable to understand the transcendental paramour relations of Kṛṣṇa with His eternal potencies. “All souls are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa,” Gurudeva said. “He is the Supreme Proprietor. For a soul to have an inmate relationship with someone other than Kṛṣṇa is against the soul’s eternal nature and hence against eternal religion. Irreligion is when one being turns away from God and cultivates loving relationships with others. When one is in a loving relationship with Bhagavān, then all other relationships are wholesome; but if the soul, which is part and parcel of God, is separated from the Whole, then relationships with other souls are unnatural and the root of irreligion. If you love the Supreme Lord, you can subsequently have affection for everyone. “Having a paramour relationship with another’s spouse is a heinous sin. But in Vraja-maṇḍala, Kṛṣṇa apparently dances and dallies with the wives of other cowherd men. How can this be reconciled? To increase the experience of loving mellows in the spiritual world, Yogamāyā arranges for Kṛṣṇa’s eternal beloveds to be the wives of other cowherds, although those cowherds do not harbor a mentality of proprietor towards the gopīs. Still, for those who cannot accept this fact, Jīva Gosvāmī said that Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and all Her expansions, the gopīs, are the svakīya wives of Kṛṣṇa. He based this on the truth that the Lord and His energies are intrinsically inseparable, as verified by scripture. At a constitutional level, all beings are Kṛṣṇa’s svakīya, or very own beloveds. Another point that should be considered is that in Vraja-maṇḍala both Kṛṣṇa and the vraja-gopīs are very young. So there should be no doubt that any activities other than friend and the play of young children occurred. At their age relations and meetings are innocent and light-hearted. No lust or selfishness exists in these exchanges. There is only pure and deep affection which is continuous and unbreakable. “For those who were qualified, Jīva Gosvāmī established parakīya-rasa as the highest mellow of loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura strongly preached parakīya-rasa, as did Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. Seeing the present state of society, Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura instructed his followers not to read the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describing Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes with the gopīs. He kept these esoteric topics confidential. In the Gauḍīya Maṭha, general devotees did not sing rasa-kīrtanas, such as Jaya Rādhā Mādhava and Yasomati-nandana. However, Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura sanctioned the rasa-kīrtanas for qualified sādhakas. Why would the Gosvāmīs and Guru-varga have composed transcendental literature and songs if not for their reading and recital?

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