Hari-katha Articles True Dharma, From Darkness to Light - Rasa-pancadhyayi

True Dharma, From Darkness to Light – Rasa-pancadhyayi

Now we are hearing the Rasa Pancadhyayi verse 22.


Sukadeva Goswami is describing these pastimes to Pariksit Maharaja on the bank of the Ganga. Here he is describing the rasa-lila as well as how to receive this adi-rasa nectar from Sri Krsna, or how to become the proper recipient or vessel of this mercy. If there is some crack or hole in the vessel then that mercy will flow out. This rasa-lila harikatha is beneficial to everyone, but we must receive it in the proper manner otherwise we will not be able to keep it with us.

The material body is not fit to receive transcendental nectar, it does not have the power to digest or accept it. How then can we take this nectar? Krsna arranged a method. In this pastime we see the sadhana-siddhas, who had performed sadhana – spiritual practices – for many lifetimes and many thousands of years, came to Vraja. Krsna arranged a process for these sadhana-siddhas to receive His transcendental nectar.

In this world, from the ant, to a King or an elephant, all want respect and even worship. They think if they receive this respect it is the greatest fruit or benefit. They are very happy receiving respect. People do not want poverty, to be neglected or outcasted. But this is not the real fruit of sadhana. When someone receives prestige, respect, high position, worship or praise, then generally speaking they become intoxicated by it. There is a saying:

prabhuta paya mad kahi nahi. There is no greater form of intoxication than achieving a great position and respect.

Krsna thought, “I want to give them aprakrta-rasa – Vraja prema or pure love in the moods of Vraja. But I have to prepare the vessel of the sadhana-siddhas to receive it. They have crossed over the material world. They had previously been different sages, and personified scriptures (vedas) and now they had come to Vraja, but they were used to receiving a lot of respect, praise and worship.”

If you want to prepare a pot to receive some special nectar, first it must be cooked or baked in fire. Krsna tested and prepared the Vraja-devis who were sadhana-siddhas, to receive His nectar. We see even sages and yogis perform a kind of austerity, where in the summer time, they sit with fires on all sides, or in the winter, they will sit in ice or cold water. In this way they test themselves and become stronger.

Even Prahlada Maharaja sat amidst fire and was not burnt. His aunt, Holika, placed him on her lap and started a big fire around them, but still Prahlada could not be touched by the fire. Even though Holika had a boon that she would be protected from fire, she was herself burnt to ash, but the fire could not touch Prahlada Maharaja. In the morning all the demigods came and took the ash and smeared it on their bodies and took the dust from Prahlada’s feet. Others took this ash and foot dust, mixed it with water and bathed in it. It showed how much respect they had and how they considered their lives fortunate and auspicious by doing so.

Why would the fire not burn Prahlada Maharaja? Because he was a fully mature and cooked vessel. Just like when we see a pot is put on top of a fire, it does not become disturbed. The pot will cook that which is inside it, but the pot itself will not be disturbed even though it is in the heat of the fire. Until we are prepared fully like this then we will be burnt when tests come. But when we are fully prepared, as these tests come we will not be disturbed. Otherwise if we are always desiring respect, praise, worship, or adoration then if someone does not give that to us and instead abuses us then we will immediately become angry, like we are burning within a fire.

Where do the small insects and moths go when they are born? They are born in the rainy season and if they find a fire, they will fly into that fire and be burnt to ash. In this world, when we get respect and praise, but find someone else who does not give that respect, especially when we think they should, then we become very disturbed. We say, “I am so qualified, I have done so much sadhana, so much austerity, why do you not respect me? How dare you commit offenses to me.”


Krsna thought, “I want to distribute this srngara-rasa or adi-rasa and madhurya-rasa. I called all the sadhana-siddhas here to the place of the rasa-dance to give this rasa to them. But how will I give it to them?” So Krsna began to test the gopis with very strong words.

Sukadeva Goswami says here that Krsna used kutu-vacan – very strong or even harsh words. We do not generally find Bhagavan speaking strongly or cruelly like this, but Sukadeva Goswami says here that Krsna used very bitter words for the Gopis. The Gopis became covered in perspiration and were weeping. The toes of their feet began to scratch the Earth and they were thinking maybe the Earth will open up and swallow us. Some thought, “Maybe we should go to the Yamuna and drown there. We should commit suicide and give up our bodies. Is this the fruit of worshipping God after chanting so many mantras and doing so much sadhana?”

After achieving the platform of perfection, why is the Lord speaking so harshly to them? The Gopis heard all of Krsna’s speech and stayed there with great determination and fortitude. For some time, they did not give any response. After a while however, they gathered themselves and the group leaders of the different parties of the Gopis began to respond. If they were all to respond at once it would be a great disturbance. It would be so loud and who would be able to understand anything? The group leaders of the Gopis, who knew the hearts of all the other Gopis in their group, came forward as the representatives of their group and began to speak.

They said to Krsna, “You are the most clever and intelligent personality just like Narayana. If someone comes to You, who is like a Guru and gives many instructions, they should not be rejected. The Lord gives liberation to those who aspire for that from Him, and He fulfils whatever desire the devotees have and they worship Him. We have given up everything and come to You, therefore You should fulfil our desires. You should not reject us and send us home.”

Now in the next verse the gopis continue.

You know all the secret dharmas and how one should act and not act, therefore we do not even need to say anything to You. Why? One should not be very talkative in front of seniors and speak big words. Instead one should humbly hear from them, otherwise one will lose their good qualities and auspiciousness. If one is present before the Guru-varga, great Vaisnavas or one’s elders, one should not speak like an authority.

If a child says, “Oh mother I saw a horse flying in the sky, did you see it?” The mother will reply, “Oh I have never seen such a thing.” She knows the child is just very young and foolish and doesn’t know anything. She will think they are just little children or crazy people and acting inappropriately.


The sadhana-siddha-gopis told Krsna, “Oh Krsna, You know everything. You know all dharma and tattva. Therefore, to speak before You, and to talk back to You, is not appropriate for us. You are antaryami – the indwelling Witness.  You know everything and You know our hearts. It is true, we are not qualified. Still, please kindly prepare us and do not reject us. When we are ready and fully developed then kindly accept us.

Just like a potter will take clay and make it into a pot and then cook it. When the vessel is fully cooked in the fire then it can hold oil, ghee or other ingredients and products. The Gopis said, “We understand that we are not qualified, but You have called us here and we have come to You, so kindly prepare us, and then accept us, but do not reject us. We do not know anything about dharma or tattva. In front of You we do not know anything. We do not want to commit any offence to You. We are not acting like Your instructors.”

Guru will give instructions to his followers and disciples. Guru never thinks to give inauspiciousness to his followers, however the disciples should also not tell their Guru, ‘Oh you should do this or that for me.’ They should not instruct their Guru. Otherwise they can not get any benefit from him. They should approach him with humility.

For those who have progressed a little, Guru will help them progress further and those who are newcomers, Guru will also help them to progress. Guru knows how to help everyone in whatever position they are in.”

The sadhana-siddha-gopis continued, “Krsna You know how to help us and what we need. Therefore, please kindly accept us. You know the proper rules, regulations and dharma. You know what is the highest goal and aim. You are the Lord Himself. In this world one should serve everyone, but that it is not eternal, it is temporary dharma. If we can serve You, then our lives will be successful. We have come to You Krsna, please give us some opportunity to serve. Those who are always living in a filthy condition – who have a filthy nature – they do not know what is clean, so You should teach them ‘this is wrong.’ Someone needs to instruct such persons and guide them. Simply by chastising, punishing or beating someone who has no knowledge of what is right or wrong is useless for them and is only cruelty.”

“How someone who is ignorant be helped? They need the storehouse of pure knowledge. You should give them that and help them enter into that light of knowledge. Very carefully You should prepare them to receive that knowledge and kindly help them develop, otherwise they will break and be lost and be destroyed and not be able to go on the path of spiritual progress.”

The sadhana-siddha-gopis said, “Oh Krsna, You are the beloved friend and the soul of all beings, therefore to serve You is the highest dharma. If we do not serve You then everything else is karma, material and fruitive action, and one will have to suffer and enjoy the fruits of that.”

The fruits of karma or dharma do not come to the jivas directly. Krsna says:

karmany eva dhikaras te ma phalesu kadacana



You have the right to perform your perscribed duty, but you should not aspire for the fruits. That should be offered to Me.

Krsna also says in scripture:

dharma raksita dharmikah


Dharma protects its protectors. Therefore, if you follow dharma you will be protected by dharma.


The Lord keeps the fruits Himself. Why? He knows if these fruits are with Him then people will come to Him and be connected with Him. This is the method for them to come to Him. Otherwise if He will give them the fruits of their dharma and their bhajana, then there is no attractive power for them to go to Him.

The owners of big companies or Kings have all the control and wealth. The subjects therefore need help from the King or the owners, otherwise if they have it all themselves, they will try and Lord it over others, even without the proper qualification. In this way we see parents will not give so much money to their small children, because they will only spoil themselves with it. Leaders or parents will help people learn how to become qualified and then they will give an allowance and gradually they can mature and learn how to use that properly. Similarly, Krsna will not give all the fruits of your bhajana to you immediately. He will give that gradually, as much as you can digest, and as much as will help you progress. Otherwise you may be spoiled by these things. Krsna does not act in such a way as to spoil us, He always takes proper consideration into account in order to help the sadhakas. Otherwise people will receive the fruits of their bhajana and think how great they are.

There is a story of an bird who found a gold coin. He entered the King’s palace room and began to tell the King, “Oh look how much money I have found. I am so wealthy.” The King replied, “Who do you think you are, you have nothing. Look how much I have.” The bird was so arrogant and so the King became very upset and told his guards to capture the bird. The Lord does not want us to become spoiled if we prematurely receive the fruits of our bhajana. If we become like a Royal King then what happens:

For a few days we will be able to maintain that position but then certainly we will destroy everything and then finally fall down. It is like a poor person who wins the lottery but does not know how to use the wealth, so they become like a mad person. They have no intelligence how to use the wealth and they try to control even the Lord Himself.

The Gopis therefore said to Krsna, “What can we tell You? We do not know what to say. As You like You can act with us. You know what is our true welfare. We are offering ourselves at Your lotus feet. Please give us a place at Your lotus feet. We only have the prayer that we never go far away from Your lotus feet and do not become proud and separated from You. This relationship has been established with great difficulty but our relationship will last as long as we do not develop an independent controller mood. As soon as we develop this mood that we are the independent doer or controller, then we will go separate from the Lord.”

As an infant we only know our parents, but as we mature, we gradually develop this doer mood thinking ourselves to be the masters. Then we do not consider anyone else and only follow our own mind and senses. We have some strength in our body and our senses are so strong. We can walk, look around and do everything and then we try to become independent. This ahankara will devour us.

Therefore, the Gopis said, “Krsna we will never act like that. We are abala – weak. We will not control You or try to dominate You or be Your masters.”


That person who has an independent mood and is always restlessly moving around and not giving any respect to seniors or elders, who does not know how to properly honor others, and does not listen to anyone’s good advice, such a person thinks themselves to be pandits but they only talk uselessly. This is vaco vegam, this is uncontrolled speech and this develops to where the urges of the mind cannot be controlled and one cannot even control their own anger or lust.

If you cannot control your speech and along with that the urges of the mind and anger, stomach and genitals, then we are fallen because everything follows in that line. But that person who has controlled their tongue or their speech, even though they know everything, they are silent or peaceful. They will not speak in front of Guru or their elders or seniors. In front of God, they will not act like God themselves and try to speak and control everyone with their words. That person who has not been able to control their speech or their tongue cannot make any progress.

What is sin or piety? When we speak and burn others with our words, then we create a sinful reaction. By properly using our speech then everyone will give us blessings and we will develop piety. However, to control our tongue is very difficult. Our Rupa Goswami said, “If you want to do bhajana then first of all you must learn to control your speech, control your mind, control your belly and control your genitals. If you can do this then truly you are qualified to make disciples all over the world.”

vaco vegam manasa krodha-vegam

In this verse, is the meaning that everyone in this world will become your disciple? No. First you will not become anyone else’s disciple in this world. You will not be the disciple of your mind, anger, lust or worldly people. Why? Because you have become self-controlled. Only then can you be qualified to make disciples.

Otherwise what did Draupadi say because of a loose tongue? She said to Duryodhana, “Blind father, blind son.” When Duryodhana came to the palace of the Pandavas that had been created by Maya Danava, the pools were covered and looked like carpet, and what looked like a pool was actually solid. Duryodhana was walking in the palace and fell into a pool which looked like carpet and got wet. Draupadi was standing nearby on a balcony and began to laugh saying, “Like father, like son. Your father is blind and so you are also blind.” Duryodhana became so angry at this remark. He looked up at her and said, “Oh I will definitely have my revenge.” So, we see that just because of uncontrolled speech the whole Mahabharata war took place.

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