The ācāryas following Rūpa Gosvāmī in our Gauḍīya guru-paramparā are called rūpānugas. Ācāryas in this Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava paramparā teach us that it is necessary to wake in the early morning and offer praṇāma to Kṛṣṇa’s holy dhāma and devotees. If sādhakas cannot go close to the Vaiṣṇavas by body, one should offer obeisance to them and serve them internally, by the mind. One should pray to them for blessings. Their heart is the abode of God. They serve God continuously in their hearts. By their mercy, automatically tendency to serve God will come to one. This is natural. If one stays with ordinary people, from childhood everyone teaches one to endeavor for mundane things, to maintain the body and enjoy the senses. By association with mundane people, mundane nature will come. If we go stay close to the Vaiṣṇavas, in the holy dhāma, their nature will automatically come. This is the process.
The guru-varga give this taste, they call and pull us for our eternal service, giving all types of help and training. Kavirāja Gosvāmī was present on the bank of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. In one area, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī performed bhajana, and Kavirāja Gosvāmī was engaged in his service in another kuṭīra. Many other mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇavas stayed nearby as well. Surrounding Rādhā-kuṇḍa are the eight kuñjas of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s eight prominent sakhīs.
tāhe kuñja śata śata
“The banks of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa are made of billions of conscious, ecstatic desire-fulfilling touchstones, and surrounding the lake are hundreds and hundreds of beautiful transcendental gardens and kuñjas.”
There are thousands and thousands of kuñja kuṭīras around Rādhā-kuṇḍa where the sakhīs and mañjarīs reside. If anyone is present there, automatically the nature of the Vraja-devīs will come—tendency to serve. How can I engage everything in service?
In the early morning, after niśānta-līlā has passed, Kṛṣṇa has returned to Nanda-bhāvana, and from there, has gone to the cowshed near Tera kadamba. Kṛṣṇa is present with the cows. He waits, hearing that Rādhārānī is coming from Yāvaṭa with all Her sakhīs and mañjarīs. On Her way, She stands nearby the cows’ area for a short time and watches as the sakhās milk beautiful cows and carry their milk in thousands of clay pots to Nandagrāma.
Śrīmatī Rādhārānī watches as many wonderful cows are being milked, like Padmagandha, Kalinde, Yamune, Pisange, Gange, their milk has an amazing aroma. There is no scent of chemicals, or any drainage. In the place of śuddha-sattva, cows’ milk pervades the atmosphere with fragrance. Śrīmatī thinks, “Now I will divide this milk.” What does this mean? Every cows’ milk does not have sweetness and a good smell. If a cow is healthy, black-colored, with red hooves, and horns tinted silver, their milk will be very sweet, fragrant and healthy. Gold is present inside pure cows’ milk. Therefore the color of pure milk will be golden. When boiling pure milk, cream will appear on the top like gold, and the butter will also be golden. This is full of protein. Scientists have discovered this now but this was common knowledge in ancient India.
Śrīmatī waits and watches, “Which cows’ milk goes where? With this milk I will make chenna, nani, sandesh, paneer, khoya, yogurt and many things.”
She knows Her own choice. Like a goldsmith has knowledge of metals, what is gold, what is copper, what is bell-metal, what is zinc, and so forth. Similarly, Rādhārānī knows which cows have come from the dynasty of surabhi and are perfectly prepared to serve Kṛṣṇa. She knows how much love each cow has for Kṛṣṇa in her heart. The love in the cows’ hearts melts and flows out of their udders in the form of milk. Rādhārānī very carefully takes this milk and uses it for the service of Kṛṣṇa.
Also, at the time of milking, many people use clay pots to catch the milk, some use iron or other materials. But if one uses a silver pot to catch the milk, then one will understand how much gold is present in that milk. If one catches the milk in a gold pot, the color of the milk will be bluish, and greenish by milking in a copper pot, but silver is very beneficial for milk. If one boils milk in silver, it is even more helpful.
Śrīmatī says, “Rati, Rūpa, check which cows are being milked by Kṛṣṇa.”
Kṛṣṇa is very clever. He squirts a stream of milk from the cow’s udder with great force, soaking Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s face and body. The sakhīs and mañjarīs quickly clean and dry Śrīmatī with a towel from Kṛṣṇa’s abhiṣeka. She then shows māna, and says, “Oh! He doesn’t want to allow me to stay here and do my service nicely. He always disturbs us gopīs!”
Then Śrīmatī moved to the side in a pique.
Kṛṣṇa then goes forward with His friends carrying pots of milk. He says to the mañjarīs, “Here! Take this. Does your house have no milk? Are you beggars? Okay, take this and go.”
The milk pots are very large, how can the small mañjarīs like Rūpa-mañjarī, Rasa-mañjarī, Rati-mañjarī and Kastūrī-mañjarī carry them? Lalitā, Viśākhā, Śrīmatī and Kundalatā come forward. Kundalatā is very strong and elder. She says, “Oh! This cowherd boy is so arrogant. How can the mañjarīs carry these pots?”
Then Kṛṣṇa takes the milk and throws it all on Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, giving Her a complete abhiṣeka. Now all Her cloth is wet. Where will She get a new dress before entering Nanda-bhāvana?
In the meantime, Yaśodā Mātā is impatient for Rādhārānī to arrive, “Why is kiśorī late today?” She slowly begins walking down from Nandiśvara, regally dressed with many ornaments. Daily Yaśodā Mātā walks down to meet Rādhārānī at the bottom of the hill, bringing many gifts such as new saris and jeweled ornaments. Yaśodā Mātā ponders, “What is the trouble?” From a distance, she sees Rādhārānī coming along the pathway, Her cloth soaked in milk, accompanied by Her girlfriends.
“Kiśorī brings milk from Yāvaṭa in clay pots,” Yaśodā Mātā thinks, “A milk-laden pot must have broken and drenched Her.”
Yaśodā Mātā rushes forward and embraces Rādhārānī, then asks Rūpa-mañjarī, “What happened? How did Kiśorī get wet?”
“Don’t worry, Kiśorī’s cloth just got a little wet from milk,” Rūpa-mañjarī says.
Yaśodā Mātā gives Rūpa-mañjarī new cloth for Rādhārānī. Then Rūpa goes and changes Śrīmatī’s cloth and dries Her body in a kuñja nearby Tera Kadamba.
In Mahāprabhu’s līlā, Rūpa Gosvāmī stayed at Tera kadamba and wrote Ujjvala nīlamaṇi, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Haṁsa-duta and many granthas. How is this place? How did Kṛṣṇa call the cows in the evening, and how did He call the Vraja-devīs? Everyone comes and goes from there. Then other attraction, affection and sound will not come inside and disturb one. Kṛṣṇa plays His flute, attracting and calling everyone. How is that place powerful? If we don’t go there, we cannot understand. Even if ordinary people go there, they well feel a magical power present there, and will say, “This is a very special place.”
The mañjarīs changed Rādhārānī’s dress there, and washed and dried what She had been wearing, for the cloth was very dear to Śrīmatī.
The milk all goes to Nanda-bhavana, and when Śrīmatī Rādhārānī goes to the kitchen, She arranges many preparations. Those cannot all be given at once to Kṛṣṇa. She tells Rohiṇī and Yaśodā Mātā, “Give these to Kṛṣṇa at lunch.” Like there is laddus, burfi, sweet kṣīra. These cannot be eaten hot. When it is thickened, it becomes nice. She makes some preparations for Kṛṣṇa’s breakfast, and others for His lunch picnic in the forest.
Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, “These pastimes protect us.” What is the meaning of protection? If līlā-śakti doesn’t come in our hearts and help us, then the mundane līlās of ordinary people, which is only an act and drama, will cheat us. They roll, crawl, joke, tease and say something, making us lose our hearts. Then we cannot come back. Therefore Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, “Līlā-śakti protects us.” By Her mercy, we will continuously be present in Vraja, serving Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. All Their pastimes will come in our heart one by one and will give us good chance to serve. Līlā-śakti gives taste and desire to serve. Then we will pray. This power is very strong and very sweet.
Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, “If anyone drinks the nectar of Govinda’s pastimes, he will have no more taste for the Śrutis, Vedas, Upaniṣads, or anything else. No desire will be there for karma, jñāna or yoga. One will become more and more thirsty to hear Govinda līlā and engage in service there in Vraja, to meet with Govinda, and enter deeper and deeper into service.
Saṁsāra, family attachment, this is a big disease, but that disease will be cured, finished, destroyed, never to disturb again. Nothing else is helpful to cure this disease. The only helper is līlā-śakti. Hari-kātha spoken by sādhus is very powerful. This is—satam prasaṇgān mama vīrya-samvido, bhavanti hṛt-karṇa rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ.
Hari-kātha is bhāva roga ausadhi, the medicine to cure the disease of material existence. Līlā-śakti helps in all ways. Love for Kṛṣṇa makes one maddened and blind to this world. One has eyes, but being occupied in viewing the eternal pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, the eyes will be blind to this world, having no time and no taste for this world. If one asks such a person maddened in love for Kṛṣṇa, “What has happened to you?” He will say, “I don’t know.” “Do you know who you are?” “No.” When that līlā-śakti comes in the heart, through the powerful method of hearing hari-kathā from mahā-bhāgavatas, one becomes blind to the mundane, and his heart will soften more and more, making him forget, “What is morning, what is evening?”
This feeling will come. Hearing and experiencing a pastime of Kṛṣṇa at one time, the next moment, more and more sweet pastimes will be revealed in the heart.
Līlā-śakti gives akhaṇḍa rasa, unbroken rasa, love and bliss. It doesn’t give any temporary happiness, like mundane drama and theatre. Līlā-śakti gives continuous help. Govinda līlāmṛta is helpful for the body, not only the soul body, the physical body as well. Drinking this nectar, there will be no more desire for mukti. Govinda līlāmṛta is glorious. It also gives a lot of nectar for the mind. And the mind will then no longer be restless. The mind will not run to collect anything mundane.
Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, “I am very small and fallen. I am very far away, I do not know anything, and am not qualified. But Kṛṣṇa’s līlāmṛta is more than an ocean. How does this mellow come down to me? I don’t know how this is possible. Inside the ocean of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, all the Vaiṣṇavas are present. But I am very far away. How did līlā-śakti come and pull me into this ocean, I don’t know. I don’t know if anything I write is correct or false. But it is very sweet. I cannot stop speaking even if I try. I don’t know if the Vaiṣṇavas will accept this or pronounce it as real or false. But these pastimes have been inspired in my heart by līlā-śakti. May my guru-varga and the Vaiṣṇavas check this and instruct me.”
Many Vaiṣṇavas reside in Vraja Bhūmi. There is not only one, two, three or four. Of all Vaiṣṇavas, Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhu is the crest-jewel of rasika Vaiṣṇava ācāryas.
Kavirāja Gosvāmī mood in this verse is as follows: “If anyone reads Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhu’s Vidagdha Mādhava, Lalitā Mādhava and other books, they will see my book Govinda līlāmṛta as useless. This is not valuable and will not be helpful. This is good for me. Anything I am writing now, if anyone doesn’t like it, and says some crazy has written something, it gives me no pain. They are purifying me, helping me. If they look at this book, and say, ‘Everything here is bogus. Follow something proper.’ This is good for me. If I never try, no one will ever come to help me. If a child does wrong, his parents will come and correct him.”
Kavirāja Gosvāmī thus prays, “I am writing this Govinda līlāmṛta with the prayer that my guru-varga and Vaiṣṇavas will check this, and correct me.”
Now Kavirāja Gosvāmī’s mood is: I don’t know proper grammar and sentence structure. But for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure, I am explaining His glories. If this is good or bad, He knows. The souls are covered by layers of illusion. Hearing or reading this will destroy all sins and offenses. I am a very small jīva, but God’s glories are not bad. If anyone thinks this is bad and reads it, then criticizes it and tells many others not to read it, this is not a bad thing. Good things are helpful, but people have strong desire for bad things. If announcement have been made by authorities forbidding a certain text, day and night people will think about that text, and try to acquire it by any means. People don’t think so much about good things. They think so much about bad things and tell others, ‘This is bad. This person is full of faults.’ If people tell that what I have explained about kṛṣṇa-līlā is bad, still they are at least chanting kṛṣṇa-nāma, and remember Vraja-dhāma, then I think this is not bad. I am not qualified, and I tell something. Then qualified people tell, ‘This is useless, bogus, he is writing for his own pratiṣṭhā, name and fame.’ If people say, ‘Oh, now he is writing many books, more than Gurudeva and God, he is very proud and greedy only for fame.’ This is also good, this is not bad. Why? This is kṛṣṇa-līlā. Not my līlā. If it was my līlā, it would be bad, but this is kṛṣṇa-līlā. Anyhow if Kṛṣṇa is present with anything, that becomes beneficial. If you make sugar figurines of many animals, like horses, donkeys and monkeys, they will be sweet through and through. Therefore I am not afraid of explaining kṛṣṇa-līlā. I have no problem. I am not explaining my līlā. Sādhus accept the good and do not touch the bad. This inspiration is helpful for me.
If I think, “I am not qualified, I don’t know grammar, how can I write anything?” No, no, no, no. Sādhus accept what is nice, and neglect what is bad. But kṛṣṇa-līlā is always sweet and beneficial.
In a desert there is a skinny cow who moves in search of water and grass without finding any. In some place, if she sees cold clean water and grass she drinks and eats with great pleasure and gusto. This world is a dry desert, no one explains kṛṣṇa-kathā, Kṛṣṇa’s glories, and vraja-līlā. In this desert, if one distributes some nectar, then this drink will be very helpful for suffering people, who will carefully accept and store this. Therefore I am now writing this Govinda līlāmṛta to help them become inclined towards Gokula Mahāvana.
If a man is on the street calling out to people, “Free bus, free bus, going to Vṛndāvana.”
Then one person says, “Okay, I have some free time, I will go to Vṛndāvana.”
Then he came to Vṛndāvana and moved around, took some prasādam, and became very happy, “Oh, this is very nice.”
Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, “This world is dry, like a desert, I am giving this nectar, if anyone drinks one drop, līlā-śakti will help them. But I cannot personally help anyone.”
This Govinda līlāmṛta begins in niśānta-līlā.
Vṛndā-devī sees, “Oh! The darkness is leaving, the sun is rising. This is not good. Why is the sun coming in the early morning? If he didn’t come it would be good. Or if he came sometime later it would be better. The sun has no etiquette. He doesn’t know anything. He has no brain. I will instruct him, ‘Hear me! You are only a servant, coming in the morning to work and leaving in the evening. So why do you come so early? Are you greedy for more pay? You come first to Vraja-maṇḍala, do the Vrajavāsīs give you a high salary, do they offer you so much bhoga and puṣpāñjali that you come early? No, don’t come here so early, go to the Himālayas.”
But he doesn’t go to the Himālayas because no one offers him anything there. He comes to Vraja-maṇḍala first. Why? Here people give him caraṇāmṛta, prasādam and worship him. Vṛndā-devī says, “This is not good.” She says, “Rādhā Kṛṣṇa are now resting in the kuñja after engaging in rasa the complete night. They have only gone to rest a short time before.”
Vṛndā-devī covered the kuñja kuṭīra so that light cannot enter, otherwise Kṛṣṇa would wake and run.
Then Vṛndā-devī calls Śuka and Sārī, male and female parrots. They sing nice songs, telling the glories of Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. Hearing this, Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhārānī no longer rest, They wake and prepare to depart to their homes, otherwise there is no guarantee when Jaṭilā and Kutila will come and begin to shout.
Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, “Vṛndā-devī arranges for the awakening of the Divine Couple.”
Vṛndā-devī saw that a monkey named Kakkhaṭī came who carefully gives guard in the kuñja. She comes and shouts, “I have come from the house of Jaṭilā and Kotila. I went and broke many pots of yogurt and butter in her house, and she will be half an hour late while cleaning everything. Don’t worry, You can rest for another half hour.”
She gives a message like this. Then behind Kakkhaṭī, peacocks come and say, “There is no problem, now I will go and dance before Jaṭilā and Kutila, and becoming very happy, they present me with a necklace.”
Then Śuka and Sārī come and say, “Oh, we will go and explain, ‘Abhimanyu is full of abhimana, he is very strong and proud, he is very fortunate to be the near and dear associate of Kaṁsa.’ Telling many of her son’s glories, Jaṭilā will give me many grains to eat, and this will cause her to be late. Therefore don’t worry, rest a little more.”
This is Vṛndā-devī’s arrangement. Other birds came, and then a group of deer. The deer then tell, “We have gone to Jaṭilā’s house in Yāvaṭa, and she thought, ‘this is very auspicious. Today I will achieve a lot of wealth.” If anyone wakes in the morning and sees deer, that day will pass very well, and be quite auspicious. If deer stare at you eye to eye in the morning, upon waking, then you will certainly meet with a king, and will become very qualified.
Jaṭilā and Kutila then found a big basket sent from Nandagrāma by Yaśodā, full of cloth and ornaments for Rādhārānī. Then they say, “Yes, we have seen these deer. They are the cause of our good fortune.”
Then she brings a lot of milk for them to drink.
As these deer drink milk at Jatilas, they send another deer to the kuñja to inform Vṛndā-devī that Rādhā Kṛṣṇa can sleep longer without problem.
Even all the animals in Vraja-maṇḍala have knowledge of rasa sevā of Rādhā-Govinda, and they have greed to serve.
Kavirāja Gosvāmī sat on the bank of Rādhā-kuṇḍa and wrote this Govinda līlāmṛta. But he told that he is not qualified, has no knowledge, and is ignorant, and full of anarthas. This is his trnad api sunicena humble mood. If anyone says, “Hey this is bogus!” But if anyhow they touch it, then this book is like glue, one will be stuck, and then it will pull one to Vraja-maṇḍala.
Offered in remembrance of Śrīla Gurudeva
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]