In Vṛndāvana, at the banks of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śrī Śyāma-kuṇḍa, where They are meeting—in the middle, Śrī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa were sitting in the council of the gopīs. The gopīs were reciting all these kīrtanas like ‘Śrī Nanda Nandanandanāṣṭakam’. Listening to this, Śrīmatī Rādhikā became so pleased and She embraced all the gopīs. Kṛṣṇa said, “I am not so pleased.”
The gopīs asked, “May we know how You can be pleased?”
Kṛṣṇa said, “If you can sing a similar kīrtana with the same exalted moods for My beloved Śrīmatī Rādhikā, then I can be pleased, otherwise not. Glorify My beloved Śrīmatī Rādhikā.”
The gopīs said, “Oh yes, we can surely sing another kīrtana of the same exalted moods for Śrīmatī Rādhikā.” The gopīs then sing ‘Rādhā-kṛpā-kaṭākṣa-stavarāja’ for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Śrīla Gurudeva then leads the devotees in singing ‘Rādhā-kṛpā-kaṭākṣa-stavarāja.’
Listening to this kīrtana Kṛṣṇa began to weep, with tears incessantly flowing from His eyes and He said, “What do you want? I want to give a benediction.”
The gopīs said, “We want to serve Śrīmatī Rādhikā and You, the Divine Couple.”
Kṛṣṇa said, “Oh, I Myself am proclaiming, that anyone who sings this kīrtana, he will be liberated from the ocean of birth and death, and after that he will enter Vṛndāvana and join the rāsa-līlā with all the necessary arrangements like visa and passport made.”
At once he will come and join the rāsa-līlā, where Lakṣmī-devī and the yajña-patnīs themselves could not enter. But for anyone who sings this kīrtana, especially during the brāhma-muhūrta (3:30 am to 5 or 6 am), either alone or with like-minded devotees, all the while praying with love and affection (prema) and knowing the meaning of these ślokas, for them entry to rāsa-līlā awaits. If anyone on the day of Ekādaśī, Saptamī, Trayodaśī, being in the waters of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa, recites these prayers, then Kṛṣṇa will Himself come and hold one’s hand and say, “Give up this body, and come with your original soul’s body to rāsa-līlā.” He will take that devotee to rāsa-līlā and give everything to her.
So this kīrtana, (‘Śrī Rādhā-kṛpā-kaṭākṣa-stavarāja’) is very dear to Kṛṣṇa. On the other hand, if someone sings the kīrtana ‘Śrī Nanda Nandanāṣṭakam’ then Śrīmatī Rādhikā will be so pleased. She will ask that most fortunate person, “What benediction do you want?” She can give everything to that jīva. So these kīrtanas are so good! More than even prayers of Śrī Bramhā-saṁhitā, prayers like these ślokas:
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[The transcendental realm is eternally adorned by millions of wish-fulfilling trees, by pavilions made of desire-fulfilling jewels and by innumerable wish-fulfilling cows. There, thousands upon thousands of Lakṣmīs, or gopīs, are rendering services to the Supreme Personality with great affection. I worship that original Supreme Personality, Śrī
veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[I worship the primeval personality, Śrī Govinda, who is absorbed in playing upon His flute, whose long eyes expand and bloom like lotus flowers, whose headdress is adorned with peacock feathers, and whose unique bodily complexion, which resembles the luster of a dark blue raincloud, bewilders the minds of millions of Cupids.]
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself bought this book from South India, but Śrī Rādhā-kṛpā-kaṭākṣa-stavarāja is more superior, very few can realize this. These prayers are most exalted, you can chant and sing them, for they are very helpful for your sādhana.
Now, we are going to continue our reading of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. I have explained, very briefly, up to the śloka:
nandaḥ kim akarod brahman śreya evaṁ mahodayam
yaśodā ca mahā-bhāgā papau yasyāḥ stanaṁ hariḥ
[O learned brāhmaṇa, mother Yaśodā’s breast milk was sucked by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What past auspicious activities did she and Nanda Mahārāja perform to achieve such perfection in ecstatic love?]
We have done up to this, but briefly. Here, Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu is explaining while Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is questioning. Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu said that ‘vātsalya-prema’ is sarva-sādhya-sāra, the essence of all goals.
One should not think that “Yaśodā, Nanda and Kṛṣṇa, their Son is sādhya-sāra.” Rather the love and affection of Śrī Nanda and Yaśodā are ‘sādhya sāra’, the essence of all perfection. So Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu is glorifying vātsalya-prema. You all know how much Kṛṣṇa loves mothers. The cowherd boys and the calves were taken away by Brahmā for one year, as Brahmājī wanted to see more sweet and charming pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. At that time, when Brahmājī took all the cowherd boys and calves, Kṛṣṇa Himself became all the cowherd boys and the calves. He also became the self-same sticks, blankets etc. He also assumed the same voice, character and moods as the cowherd boys and calves had. He also assumed their walking, talking and everything else they possessed and showed. Kṛṣṇa became all the ornaments also. He was playing as He was playing before. Why did Kṛṣṇa become all the cowherd boys and calves? Before this happened Kṛṣṇa was thinking “All the cows desire that I should be their calves and they want to feed me their own milk.” That is why the cows would not feed their calves a single drop of their milk without seeing Kṛṣṇa first. Only when they would see Kṛṣṇa, would they feed their calves, otherwise not. They wanted to love Kṛṣṇa more and more than their calves. Kṛṣṇa sensed their desire; after all He is vāñchā-kalpa-taru, a wish fulfilling desire tree. If Kṛṣṇa’s devotees are addressed as such, then why not Kṛṣṇa, who fulfills desires on a much grander scale? So Kṛṣṇa wanted to fulfill their desire and become their calves. On the other hand, the motherly gopīs were thinking, “If Kṛṣṇa was our son, we would be so pleased.” Kṛṣṇa also knew this desire and hence wanted to become their sons also. All the gopīs who weren’t married and who possessed pūrva-rāga had a desire which was, “I want to marry Kṛṣṇa,” “I want that Kṛṣṇa should be my beloved.” All the young, kiśorī girls wanted that Kṛṣṇa should be their beloved and husband. Kṛṣṇa thought, “What should I do to fulfill their desires?” So Kṛṣṇa especially dragged Brahmā there as a solution. Brahmā didn’t appear there of his own accord, Kṛṣṇa’s Yogamāyā dragged him there.
An instance arose, wherein Brahmā saw Aghāsura’s soul appear from his body and waiting for Kṛṣṇa and as soon as Kṛṣṇa emerged from Aghāsura’s mouth, Aghāsura’s soul at once entered in to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Brahmājī thought to himself, “Oh, this is so wonderful!” So Brahmā decided to steal the cowherd boys and calves to see more beautiful pastimes. So these incidents were caused by Yogamāyā, Kṛṣṇa’s icchā-śakti, His desire fulfilling potency. So Yogamāyā dragged Brahmājī here from Brahmā-loka, saying “Come on, come on.” Brahmā thought he was the instrumental cause, but he wasn’t, Kṛṣṇa was. By the wish of Kṛṣṇa, Brahmā was bound to do like this. So he stole away all the cowherd boys and calves. Then Kṛṣṇa became all the real sons of all the mothers of Vraja and all the calves of all the cows of Vraja.
In the same, opportune time, Śrī Gargācārya, the best astrologer of the whole universe, announced a wonderful proposition. One should know that, Śrī Gargamuni was, is, and will be the best astrologer. Śrī Gargamuni announced, “Within this one year all the gopas should get their daughters married to anyone they like, as this is a very auspicious year to get one’s daughters’ married.”
Gargamuni announced, “For one who gets his daughters’ married this year, he should know that his daughters will never be widows, they will always be happy, so the fathers should get them married.”
Śrīla Gurudeva to a devotee: Oh, don’t sleep at all! Those who are taking the help of the wall will sleep. So my request is that the wall’s help should be given up and the devotees should sit upright and straight. Also, one should not yawn, otherwise, one will certainly fall asleep. Māyā has come and she is watching, she wants to enter our council, if you give her a chance, she will at once come and swallow you. So, don’t do like this, be very careful, don’t think I am not watching, I am watching from here, my eyes are everywhere. I will call out to the devotees who are sleeping and I will ask them to stand up, and once you are told to do so, you will be shy. So keep this in mind. A very great astrologer is sitting with me and he will tell me who is sleeping.
This is a very beautiful instructive pastime from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are most enchanting! If you will listen attentively, māyā will not come within a thousand mile radius what to speak of coming within your vicinity. So I was telling about Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Gargamuni announced that this year was a very pious one. So he told the gopas to get their daughters and sisters married this particular year. Śrī Gargamuni also told the gopas and gopīs that they should get their unborn children married also. He said, “If you have a daughter in your womb, then proclaim the suitor to your daughter to everyone, most specifically to the suitor who is also in the womb of his mother.” The Vrajavāsīs have so much faith and trust in the words of Śrī Gargamuni. They all did as he said. Who were the cowherd boys present? They were none other than Kṛṣṇa Himself, so all the young gopīs were married to Kṛṣṇa. So when they came to rāsa-līlā, Kṛṣṇa joked with them in so many ways, there is no harm in this joking as Kṛṣṇa was only joking with His wives. So, all the cowherd boys are Kṛṣṇa. We are part and parcels of Kṛṣṇa, but we have forgotten. So, to fulfill the desires of all Vrajavāsīs, Kṛṣṇa enacted this most wonderful pastime.
After one year, just before its completion, Śrī Baladeva Prabhu saw that there were so many cows grazing on top of Śrī Govardhana Hill and the fathers of all cowherd boys were there, looking after all the cows. Kṛṣṇa with His cowherd boys was in Madhuvana, which is situated at a lower altitude, down in a valley. Śrī Govardhana being a hill was situated at a higher altitude. Kṛṣṇa played on His flute and the cowherd boys also played on their flutes and bugles. This song went to Śrī Govardhana Hill and was received by the ears of the cows; the cows saw their calves which were there with them for more than one year or two, having taken their birth before an entire year had passed. After this, the cows had given birth to newly born calves and they were with these calves on the top of Śrī Govardhana hill. But the cows gave up their newly born calves and galloped to their older ones. The gopas were trying to stop the cows with their long sticks in an effort to stop them, but the cows were not listening. The cows were galloping and they began to stop but in a very disorderly way. They were following the gopas, but when the gopas were unable to control the calves, the gopas became very angry towards their boys. They were angry towards their sons because they felt that their sons had played the flutes and bugles in a reckless way, because the cows were running towards their calves and the gopas were unable to control them. Their sons knew that the calves were there, but despite knowing this they played their flutes and bugles. So the gopas thought to themselves as what should be done. The gopas thought to themselves “We must give a good lesson to our sons, by giving them a good beating!”
At last the cows went to the calves and began to lick them with the most joyful delight. Tears were falling from their eyes and milk was flowing from their udders. The calves were drinking the milk most happily. At once, the gopas came and they were very angry, but once they saw Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva Prabhu, their anger totally subsided. They began to embrace Kṛṣṇa, Baladeva Prabhu and their sons and tears began to flow from their eyes in an unrestrained manner. Baladeva Prabhu was there at that time and He noticed and thought to Himself, “Why are the cows showing such motherly, tender love, towards their older calves, leaving their newly born calves behind? The cows are supposed to be more affectionate to their newly born calves, but the cows are ignoring them for their older siblings. Another thing I have noticed is that, like the cows, all the gopīs who have given birth to their new born children are also displaying the same uncommon love to their older children in comparison to their newly born infants. They at first loved Kṛṣṇa more than their own sons, but now I am seeing that equal love is being shown to Kṛṣṇa and their sons. Why is this so? There must be some underlying reason for this. No illusory māyā of any demigods or demigoddesses can delude Me, also illusory māyā cannot affect Kṛṣṇa or His friends. Nothing illusory can have a place here.”
Baladeva Prabhu then saw that all the boys, calves, sticks, ornaments, and everything was Kṛṣṇa. Baladeva Prabhu then began to smile towards His younger brother. He said, “Kṛṣṇa! You are so hungry that you were not satisfied by Mother Yaśodā’s milk alone, so that is why You became so many cowherd boys and simultaneously drank the milk of all the mothers of Vraja, but even then You were not satisfied! To fulfill your insatiable thirst for love, You also became all the calves and drank the milk of all the cows of Vraja.”
Kṛṣṇa began to smile when He heard His brother speak. So Baladeva Prabhu is telling Kṛṣṇa, “You want more milk? That is why You have become so many.” If Brahmā is doing so many lakhs and lakhs of sacrifices and giving the essence of sacrifices, even then Kṛṣṇa will be unsatisfied and unhappy. Recital of Vedic mantras will not satisfy Kṛṣṇa. He can only be satisfied by drinking the milk of all the other mothers and cows of Vraja. The aged gopīs are mothers to Kṛṣṇa while the kiśorī-gopīs are His beloveds. Newly married gopīs are also beloved to Kṛṣṇa, especially the newly married gopīs like Lalitā, Viśākhā, Śrīmatī Rādhikā, and so forth. They (the gopīs) are newly married to whom? They are married to the shadow-like manifestations of Kṛṣṇa who are His disguises. All the gopīs are married this way.
So he (Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu) is saying that vātsalya-rasa is so high and exalted that we cannot even explain it.
nandaḥ kim akarod brahman
śreya evaṁ mahodayam
yaśodā ca mahā-bhāgā
papau yasyāḥ stanaṁ hariḥ
Kṛṣṇa became so glad to be the son of Nanda Bābā. What austerities have Nanda Bābā and Mother Yaśodā done that Kṛṣṇa has become their son? Cows had Kṛṣṇa as their son for one year only but Yaśodā has Kṛṣṇa as her son for all eternity. She is and will be the mother of Kṛṣṇa forever. Not that when Kṛṣṇa came to this world, then Yaśodā became the mother of Kṛṣṇa. Yaśodā is always the mother of Kṛṣṇa, in all these material spheres and in Śrī Goloka Vṛndāvana. Without mother Yaśodā and father Nanda Bābā, Kṛṣṇa cannot live. This mystery, that Śrī Nanda Bābā and mother Yaśodā are the eternal parents of Kṛṣṇa was revealed to us by the grace of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The world thinks of nirviśeṣa-brahma as the root of all causes, but this manifestation is only the fragmental part of the light which emanates from Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s little toenail. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and our disciplic succession are telling like so. So we are all so fortunate to come in this line of Mahāprabhu. We should try to be more qualified. You should try to honor all Vaiṣṇavas who are like this, you should always honor them. Don’t try to minimize your minds in false words and sectarian views. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is not sectarian; He has nothing to do with hypocrisy.
So you should try to be like this. We should know that we are in one family. Śrī Gaura Parivāra, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s family. Anyone who is taking Śrī Śacīnandana Gaurahari’s name, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu’s name, must be honored. We should overlook any disqualifications on their part. Two persons are never of the same mood. I think Śrīla Svāmījī’s disciples who have the conception of being his disciples; (inaudible) the difference of words, tune, speech, moods, everything are bound to exist. Anything is not exactly the same, but even then we are in the family of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu were not equally same in all respects. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī were in the same line, but they were not the same totally. Lakhs and lakhs of leaves of a tree like a mango tree can never be the same. So, there must be some difference between Svāmījī and me when it comes to our words, but we are in the same bhakti tree with Mahāprabhu as its trunk. There is no difference at all between Svāmījī and me; we are in the same bhakti tree.
You will realize by my words that I am not so proficient in speaking the English language as Svāmījī is. He was so learned. I cannot speak tattva and hari-kathā like him, but we are in the same line. I am in the same line as Svāmījī. So, I think that there is no difference between Svāmījī and me. We are in the same line. If you think we are different, and then at once you can tell me and I will change my view or I will try to reconcile your doubts. If I am speaking against ISKCON by any of my words, and you feel I am trying to minimize Svāmījī, then you should know that I would never do so, because I honor all the disciples of Svāmījī. They have spread Kṛṣṇa Consciousness so much and have labored so much for this. They carried the order of Svāmījī on their heads and preached so much. I have so much honor for them from the core my heart but I want that they should be more liberal and nearer to Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. I only want that from them. If you feel I am doing so, then you can tell at once, without hesitation, that I am doing wrong. I will correct myself.
So here, Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu is telling that vātsalya-rasa is so high. So what austerities have Śrī Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā performed, that they have become the dearest father and mother of Kṛṣṇa?
Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda then told another śloka:
nemaṁ viriñco na bhavo
na śrīr apy aṅga-saṁśrayā
prasādaṁ lebhire gopī
yat tat prāpa vimuktidāt
[The Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who bestows salvation upon all, never showed Lord Brahmā, Maheśvara (Śiva) or even His eternal consort Lakṣmī-devī, who is half of His body, the kindness He showed this gopī, Yaśodā.]
Kṛṣṇa can give vimukti. There is mukti and vimukti. What is mukti? Detachment from worldly things is mukti. Śrīpāda Saṅkarācārya has said that mukti means we will never have to come to this world again, in the womb of a mother, never, and this is also called mukti. But both are incomplete. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it has been said that mukti hetu—liberation from, anyatha-rūpam-—secondary conceptions like this body is myself, to give up all attractions for body and its concomitant bodily things and to be attached with and serve Kṛṣṇa. This is factual mukti. This is superior to the previous conception of mukti. But there is one thing more superior according to Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Vimutidat—vimukti means viśeṣa-rūpeṇa mukti, special mukti. What is that special mukti? To serve Kṛṣṇa like a friend, more than that is to serve Kṛṣṇa like father and mother, like Nanda and Yaśodā. The most special service to Kṛṣṇa is to serve like the gopīs and among them to serve like the aṣṭa-sakhīs like Lalitā and Viśākhā. And even among them to serve like Candrāvalī, and is there loving service more intimate than that of Candrāvalī-devī’s? Yes, it is the service of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. This is the last thing. The love and affection of Śrīmatī Rādhikā is last and super most, there is nothing higher than this. So vimukti-dat means viśeṣa-rūpeṇa mukti, a special kind of service to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa can give gopī-prema also. But one thing is left for Śrīmatī Rādhikā and the gopīs, what thing? For Śrīmatī Rādhikā, She can give Her mood like how Śrīmatī Rūpa Mañjarī was the recipient of her Grace in her original form and in her sādhaka form as Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. This ‘mañjarī-bhāva’ is a very special thing and if you want this Kṛṣṇa will say, “Come on, come on, go to My Beloved, She will give all these things. She has kept this bhāva reserved with Her. My treasury doesn’t have the wealth of these moods; I have kept it reserved with Her.”
He can also give. So vimuktidāt, Kṛṣṇa can also give all these things, nemaṁ viriñco. The benediction He has given to His parents Nanda and Yaśodā, wherein He has become their Son, is unparalleled. He has never shown mercy like this to even Viranci, who is His son Brahmā. Brahmā came from the navel of Kṛṣṇa. Na bhavo—even Śaṅkara has not received this mercy. Na śrīr apy aṅga-saṁśrayā—Lakṣmī even, who is always massaging the lotus feet of Nārāyaṇa, is unable to avail of this mercy. She has not been benedicted like this (like Nanda and Yaśodā).
Kṛṣṇa is saying, “So I have given to Yaśodā this benediction, wherein she along with Nanda Baba are serving like mother and father.” So this vātsalya-prema is the highest. But something is lacking. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became so pleased, so pleased. Mahāprabhu said, “Eho uttamā, āge kaho āra.” Mahāprabhu said, “If I there is anything further to be said, you can tell.”
Listening to Mahāprabhu speak, Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu began to think in wonder, “Oh who is He? Who is He? He is surely not an ordinary person or devotee, not even Śrī Nārāyaṇa, Rāma, or even Dvārakādiśa. It seems He is that selfsame black person and He has come to cheat me, but He cannot cheat me, why? I am Vishaka. I can cheat Him, so I must cheat Him!”
Then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “If there is anything more, you can tell.” Then Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu said, “Kāntā-prema sarva-sādhya-sāra.”
What is kāntā-prema? I will explain it this evening.
Gaura Premānande! Hari haribol!
Anyone can tell that, “O Svāmījī has not said all these things, but you are telling all these different things, Svāmījī has never told.” I will reply, “If you have sown any seed, and you go away and then return to see that some branches have emerged,” and you then ask, “Why are these branches coming, why are these fruits coming, he has not planted this seed, these are new things.” If there is a tree, it is understood all things have emerged along with the tree, the potentiality of the tree to emerge from the seed is hidden in the seed. We want to tell you that Svāmījī has written everything in his books, I am not telling anything new. I want to answer some questions and you should help me to answer. So you should know that I am not going to tell anything different from Svāmījī and we will try to give examples from Svāmījī’s own purports and writings. Svāmījī at that time did not have time to tell all these things, but he has sown the seed, hence branches will grow and new leaves will emerge. The tree will give so much shade and adorned with its fruits and flowers, the tree’s majesty will stand out. But the pre-requisite is that water should be poured on the root of the tree, what is the water? It is hearing hari-kathā.
Gaura Premānande! Hari haribol!
Śrīla Gurudeva leads the devotees in singing ‘Śrī Rādhe Jaya Jaya Mādhava Dayite.’
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]