Gurudeva Katha 1996 Lectures Damodara-lila - 14 June 1996

Damodara-lila – 14 June 1996

Hari-katha by Paramadhyatama Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spoken on 14 June 1996, in Houston.

[The following is a translation of Srila Gurudeva’s class spoken in Hindi.]

This is the third day of our classes on the Srimad Bhagavatam. I will explain one or two pastimes in a condensed manner. Or else, months will be spent in explaining them in detail. I will start explaining the tenth canto. Firstly, you should realize what bhakti is. You should try to understand the description of bhakti given in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

You should realize first that “I am not this body. I am the knower; I am the soul of the body.”

The relationship of the atma with Krsna is called prema. In this world, prema is called bhakti. Bhakti is causeless. Just as the sun gives heat and light without any reason, and fire burns anything that it comes in contact with, and just as the rivers flow into the ocean—in the same way, the tendency of the mind to be absorbed in Krsna without any cause, is called bhakti. The word, “Bhakti,” can only be used in relation with Krsna, and not with anyone else. A person who engages in Krsna’s bhakti is called a bhakta. The services rendered by a bhakta to Bhagavan Krsna are called bhakti. One shouldn’t engage in rendering services to others and call it bhakti. But people forcibly try to use bhakti for their own purposes. They use bhakti to propagate their conceptions of this material world.

“Rastra-bhakti, desh-bhakti, matri-bhakti, and pitri-bhakti,” are some of the terms they use. These terms mean devotion to one’s country and parents. But they use the term bhakti for their own purposes.

Nowadays, the terms related to Krsna’s appearance are used for the birthday of any person. For instance, they say, “Jawahar-jayanti, and Gandhi-jayanti.” They use the term, “Jayanti,” for anyone of this world. But, the word—Jayanti is only used for the appearance of Krsna. If it is Wednesday, astami (the eighth day after the full moon), the month of Bhadra (August—September), and the constellation of Rohini (when the naksatra named Rohini is visible in the sky), then that day is called Jayanti. Or else, no other day can be called as such. But, this term is used in many ways. Therefore, bhakti is used for Bhagavan and especially for the Supreme Personality of Godhead—Krsna. Love for Krsna that is without any cause or reason is called bhakti. In this world, there are two forms of bhakti.

If a man cannot tolerate suffering from miseries anymore and being unable to stop them, becomes frustrated, then he develops detachment to samsara and thinks on how to attain happiness.

He is told, “Oh brother, chant Krsna’s names and engage in His bhakti.”

He then offers everything and engages in Krsna’s bhajan. He chants Krsna’s names and listens to His pastimes and the pastimes explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Even though his mind is disturbed, he is convinced that his auspiciousness lies in following bhakti.

Therefore, accepting the rules and regulations of bhakti, he engages in Krsna’s bhajan.

There are some who have impressions from their previous lives; there are some who have impressions from their present life; and there are some who have the association of Krsna’s bhaktas. By their inherent nature, they will have the desire to follow in the footsteps of the Vrajavasis who have spontaneous love and affection for Krsna. Krsna would “drown,” in the love of the Vrajavasis. Yasoda loves Krsna without any cause. The sakhas love Krsna not because He is Bhagavan. They have spontaneous love and affection for Him. Krsna becomes bound and controlled by their love. He is easily attained by following in the footsteps of the Vrajavasis.

Today, we will mention some of Krsna’s pastimes described in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanad
bhavausadhac chrotra-mano-’bhiramat
ka uttamasloka-gunanuvadat
puman virajyeta vina pasughnat
—Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.4


[Glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is performed in the parampara system; that is, it is conveyed from spiritual master to disciple. Such glorification is relished by those no longer interested in the false, temporary glorification of this cosmic manifestation. Descriptions of the Lord are the right medicine for the conditioned soul undergoing repeated birth and death. Therefore, who will cease hearing such glorification of the Lord except a butcher or one who is killing his own self?]

Six days had passed since Pariksit Maharaja first started to hear the Bhagavatam from Sukadeva Gosvami on the banks of the Ganga. While he was listening to the pastimes of Krsna, he felt no hunger or thirst. He made his mind equipoised and was completely absorbed in listening to the pastimes of Krsna. Sukadeva Gosvamiji told him, “Go and drink some water. Don’t you want to eat a little?”

The king replied, “No Gosvamiji. I only want to listen to you speak on these pastimes that are more powerful than nectar.”

Pariksitji was destined to die the day after tomorrow since this was the sixth day, and Sukadeva Gosvami was continuously speaking on the Bhagavatam to Pariksit Maharaja. Thus, if one remembers or meditates on the pastimes of Krsna at the moment of death, then he will become free from the cycle of birth and death and will attain Krsna’s abode. Those, who do the demigods’ bhajan, will attain to the abode of the demigods. And, enjoying there for some days, they will return to martya-loka, as told by Krsna in the Gita:

te tam bhuktva svarga-lokam visalam
ksine punye martya-lokam visanti
evam trayi-dharmam anuprapanna
gatagatam kama-kama labhante
—Bhagavad Gita 9.21

[When they have thus enjoyed vast heavenly sense pleasure and the results of their pious activities are exhausted, they return to this mortal planet again. Thus those who seek sense enjoyment by adhering to the principles of the three Vedas achieve only repeated birth and death.]

The worshipers of the demigods like Indra and others go to heaven. They enjoy sense enjoyment there and fall to this world again. But, one who engages in the service of Krsna will attain Krsna’s abode and never return from there.

yad gatva na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama
—Bhagavad Gita 15.6

A person will never have to return from there. Going there once, a soul will never return. The soul doesn’t come to this material world from there. The jiva or soul comes from the tatastha realm. Some people are of the opinion that the souls come from Krsna’s abode. Once having attained the realm of Krsna, the soul will never have to return from there. The soul will never fall from there. Therefore, we have forgotten Krsna. Bharataji thought of a deer continuously, even up to the point of his death. Hence, he became a deer in his next life. Similarly, if one thinks continuously about Krsna, then the soul will attain Krsna’s abode and His service. The soul will never have to return from that world.

Hence, it is said, “Nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanad.”

If there are any devotees whose worldly desires have ceased and don’t desire for any form of sense enjoyment, then they will relish listening to Krsna’s pastimes and will no longer be interested in this material world. Sukadeva Gosvami was naked. He did not need anything. He was not interested about having a house or getting married. He had no anxieties about having children. His consciousness was only fixed on Krsna. He didn’t possess a trace of any form of greed to enjoy the material world. He is always absorbed in prema. Nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanad, if such a person speaks on Krsna’s pastimes in a selfless manner, while only wanting our auspiciousness, then this is the medicine for bhava-roga.

What is bhava-roga? It is punarapi-jananam punarapi-maranam, punanapi janane jatare gamanam. Taking birth and dying and repeatedly entering the womb of another mother to suffer in this material world, is called bhava-roga. So, the glories of Krsna are the topmost medicine for these conditioned souls. Listen to the pastimes of Krsna from such Mahapurususas who don’t have any trsna, or desire for this material world. The hari-katha they speak is the best medicine for curing this disease of material existence. This medicine is unfailing. Who will not listen to the hari-katha spoken from such personalities?

Those, who have a desire for samsara should listen. Those, who have developed detachment to samsara should also listen. Those, who have developed pure devotion at the lotus feet of Krsna will also listen. The liberated personalities will also listen. Even those who have attained Goloka Vrndavana listen to the pastimes of Krsna. But, who doesn’t listen? Those who are atma-ghati don’t listen. Atma-ghati means one who kills himself. In India, some people lie on the railway tracks and get themselves run over by trains. Some swallow poison, and some kill themselves by other means. The most number of suicides occur in the Western countries. If someone doesn’t have a car, and is unable to travel on his own, then he will kill himself. If one’s wife applies for a divorce, then the husband commits suicide. People commit suicide for the slightest of things. But they are not the real atma-ghatis. A real atma-ghati is one who although being present in an assembly where hari-katha is being spoken is unable to drown himself in that nectar of hari-katha. Why? A person who suicides spoils one life, but one who has been given the priceless opportunity of listening to hari-katha and liberating himself from the cycle of birth and death; but yet, by not utilizing this chance, he again wanders in the 8.4 million species of life. There is no guarantee if he will become a pig, goat, donkey, snake, or any other animal in his next life.

By our own consideration, we will realize that there are very few people who desire the auspiciousness of everyone. Mostly, people have feelings of enmity towards one another. They engage in sin all the time. Even if they are not sinful, just by breathing air, living entities like microbes and other life forms are killed. So, sin is committed. Many insects are also killed when you walk. Sin is committed in some form or another. But, self-killers are those who don’t listen to the pastimes of Krsna. What is the nature of these pastimes? What is the nature of this topmost medicine? It is not like sugar-coated medicine. It is also not bitter. These pastimes are most pleasing to the ears and heart. They are very sweet. By listening to them once, your stomach will not become full. You will want to hear these pastimes again and again.

Proceeding further, Sukadeva Gosvami said, “For the welfare of the world, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, took birth at the same time in Mathura and Gokula.”

ete camsa-kalah pumsah
krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
—Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28

Krsna is the ultimate limit of Godhood—He is the Summum bonum. In Mathura, Krsna took birth in the jail where Devaki and Vasudeva were imprisoned. He appeared with the conch, disc, club, and lotus. He manifested Himself there in His catur-bhuja form, four-handed form. He didn’t take birth from the womb of Devaki. He manifested Himself there. And, at the same time, during midnight, in the house of Yasoda, Krsna appeared from the womb of Yasoda in the form of an infant. The umbilical cord was attached to Krsna. On being told by Krsna, Vasudevaji offered his prayers to the four-handed form of Krsna.

He prayed, “Please become a baby.”

On becoming a baby, Vasudeva took Krsna on his lap. Then, on Krsna’s instruction, Vasudeva took Him and proceeded towards Gokula. The shackles were removed and the prison-doors were opened. The guards fell fast asleep and a thunderous rain storm followed a drizzle. The Yamuna’s waters started to swell. Vasudeva reached Gokula, and placed Krsna on the bed of Yasoda. At that time, this manifestation of Krsna merged with Krsna, who had taken birth from the womb of Yasoda. But no one knew this secret. When Vasudeva took his son and reached Gokula, Yasoda was in deep sleep. She had given birth to two children, a son and a daughter. Who was the daughter? She was Yogamayaji. This is written in the Srimad Bhagavatam. After this, Vasudeva took the daughter of Yasoda and left for Mathura.

When Krsna appeared, Gokula became filled with festive joy. Everyone congratulated each other and much charity was given. The umbilical cord cutting ceremony was also performed. This did not happen in Mathura.

[Srila Gurudeva and the devotees sing, “Nanda ke ananda bhayo, Jaya Kanhaiya-lala ki!”]

Nanda Baba gave a palanquin to the elderly and what did he give to the children? He gave them horses and elephants. He gave everything he had in charity. This festival didn’t happen in Mathura. Many greetings were exchanged and the atmosphere was filled with bliss. Krsna started to grow. Within three days of His birth, Putana came. What is the meaning of Putana? An aspiring sadhaka has many impurities in him. Merely having a bath doesn’t make one pure. The purity of the mind is real purity. Guru takes the impure mind of the disciple and corrects it. He removes these impurities. Therefore, the Guru rescues the disciple. First of all you must become pure. How? By your body, mind, and words. Don’t think of anyone as your enemy. Your karma and mind are your enemies.

mana eva manusyanam
karanam bandha-moksayoh
—Amrta-Bindu Upanisad 2

Your uncontrolled mind is your enemy; there is no other enemy. Although you taste the fruits of your own karma, you accuse another of being your enemy and say, “He scolded me; he hit me.” But, don’t think like this. Only your karma is your enemy. Therefore, do good karma. Why will you be sad when you are always happy? When you become sad because of committing any sin, then you remember Prabhu. If you remember Bhagavan from first, then you will never be sad in your life. Therefore, don’t do bad karma. Don’t cheat others of their wealth. Don’t steal from others. Always try to speak the truth. Respect everyone, because Krsna is in the hearts of everyone.

“Charity begins from home.” Therefore, there is no need to instruct others. Firstly, you correct yourself. The guru must rectify himself first, and then he can make disciples and rectify them as well. How can you help others, when you have not helped or corrected yourself? Your heart is filled with envy, jealousy, and with desires to enjoy the world. A man leaves his wife, parents, children, and home. But what does he do here? He used to live in a hut with his family. Here, he lives in a five star hotel. He didn’t have a car in his previous home. But now he has a car, which costs ninety lakh rupees. He also has a computer to assist him. He lives in great luxury; he has a diamond-studded ring.

Why does he need this wealth? He left his wife and home. This kind of a person is not a bona fide guru; he is not a bona fide guru. Therefore, one who is aloof from such attachments, who has realized Bhagavan, and who can remove all our doubts—he is a bona fide guru. If a person is himself bound, then how can he free others? How can one who is himself sleeping, awaken others? Sukadeva Gosvami had Pariksit Maharaja listen to all these instructions. So, all the instructions of Sukadeva Gosvami entered the king’s heart. Even if we were to listen to these instructions for our entire lives, our efforts will be fruitless if we don’t follow the instructions we have heard.

A father would tell his son, “Don’t eat rock-candy or else you will suffer from excessive itching.”

The son wouldn’t listen to his father, so the father went to his guru. He told his guru, “Guruji, my son doesn’t listen to me. He eats so much rock-candy and he suffers from itching.”

The guru replied, “Bring your son tomorrow instead of today.”

The father brought his son to see his guru on the next day. The father requested, “Guruji, he suffers from much itching. Tell him to stop eating rock-candy.”


The guru told the boy, “Son, don’t eat rock-candy. Okay?”


Indeed, the boy stopped eating rock-candy. His father asked guruji, “Why didn’t you tell my son to stop eating rock-candy yesterday? You only told him today.”

The guru said, “Oh brother. I myself indulged in eating rock-candy up until yesterday. Today, I made a vow to stop eating rock-candy for the rest of my life. Your son would listen to me if I also stopped eating rock-candy. Or else he would not listen to me.”

Nowadays, there are many worldly people who don’t practice anything themselves. Yet, they tell others, “You must become austere. You must become a tyagi, a renunciant.” And, they steal their wealth. So, what will be the fruit of this? Therefore, you must yourself become absorbed in bhajan like Sukadeva Gosvami, Naradaji, and Sankaraji. These personalities don’t have anything. They don’t have anything. Sukadeva Gosvami didn’t even have a langoti. He was naked. Thus, whatever he spoke bore fruit. It must bear fruit. He is a Jagat-Guru.

If he were to tell someone, “You will have bhakti,” then that person will have bhakti. So, as Sukadeva Gosvami took his seat, Pariksit Maharaja also sat while waiting for his death. He intently listened to Sukadeva Gosvami’s hari-katha. These pastimes are the medicine for curing this disease of bhava-roga. So, what is the meaning of Putana? Brother, you must be pure by your mind. Bathing ten-twenty times a day will not do. The fish spend their entire lives in the ponds and the rivers, but they still emit a foul odour. So, you will not become pure by bathing three or four times a day. Chant Krsna’s name. Don’t desire that anything bad should happen to others. Even if you don’t do good to others, don’t try to do something which is harmful to them. Don’t ever do something to anyone which is not in their best-interest. In this way make your mind pure. Becoming pure by your body, mind, and words, remember Krsna or else you will not be able to do so.

So, Krsna delivered Putana and gave her the position of a mother in Goloka. The next demon Krsna killed was called Sakatasura. Sakata means a bullock cart. In Vraja, the bullock cart has four wheels. Krsna was made to sleep in a cradle underneath the bullock cart. As Yasoda gently swung Krsna in the cradle using a rope, she became absorbed in her household chores.

Meanwhile, a demon sent by Kamsa thought, “Krsna killed Putana. But she had a body. I will enter this bullock cart and pressing it down, I will crush Krsna.”

While being surrounded by the other boys, Krsna started to move His legs while still being in the cradle. He would also suck His thumb occasionally. Unseen by anyone, Sakatasura started to press the cart down on Krsna with much weight. He wanted to crush Krsna. But, as Krsna lifted and swung His leg, He kicked the bullock cart and it broke into many pieces. And the demon was also killed. Like a little boy raises his leg, Krsna did the same and killed the demon. What does this bullock cart represent? One has much knowledge of the sastras. He has read the Vedas and Upanisads. But, he doesn’t do Bhagavan’s bhakti. He doesn’t have faith in Bhagavan Krsna. Even if one hasn’t read any scriptures and is illiterate; yet, if he engages in Bhagavan’s bhajan and bhakti, then he is the most knowledgeable person. Even if one has read all the scriptures, but even then, doesn’t have any faith in Bhagavan, then just as Krsna kicked the bullock cart, He will kick these so-called scholarly persons. They have much knowledge, but they don’t engage in the bhajan of Krsna. Rather, they engage in logic and in refuting each other’s arguments.

They ask, “Has anyone seen Krsna? Is there anyone called Krsna? Karma is predominant.”

Karma-pradhana visva korirakha—they take this statement of Tulasidasji, but leave the rest of what he has said. They don’t consider the statement of Tulasidasji, where he has said, “Leave all your duties, and engage in the bhajan of Bhagavan. This is the purport of all the scriptures.” They don’t take this statement, but they quote, “Karma-pradhana visva korirakha.” At least they should try to understand the real meaning of this statement. What is the meaning of “Karma-pradhana visva korirakha?” According to the karma we do, we are wandering in this cycle of karma. By chanting one name of Bhagavan, the conditioned soul will be freed from this cycle of karma and will attain the spiritual world. He will attain the abode of supreme peace and happiness. They should try to understand that Bhagavan’s name will end the cycle of karma. Bhagavan Krsna’s lila-katha, pastimes are also like this. Therefore, only knowledge of the scriptures will not do. Some read the Vedas-Vedanta and only remember statements like, “Athato brahma jijnasa. Sarvam-khalv-idam-brahma.”

Sarvam-khalv-idam-brahma—everything is brahma. Then, I ask the person who utters this statement, “Then like a deranged person, why do you claim that this world is false? Isn’t Brahma satya?” Satyam-jnanam-anantam brahma. Brahma is satya, the truth, and He is jnana-svarupa, the embodiment of knowledge. He is not false. And if everyone becomes brahma and the entire world becomes brahma, then how did this world become false? How did it become false?

Another statement they quote is, “Tat-tvam-asi—you are that.” If this statement is all right, then why is there so much difference between the jiva and Bhagavan? “Everyone is Brahma,” but this statement is an incomplete statement of the Vedas. It is not complete. Tat-tvam-asi is said because it ultimately means tasya-tvam-asi. It means, “You are His devotee. You are His servant. You are not Him.” The meaning stressed by the impersonalists is wrong.

“Sarvam-khalv-idam-brahma, we are one with Brahma.” Then why do the impersonalists say that this world is mithya, false? If everything is Brahma, then what can be false? So, they keep the knowledge of the scriptures, but they don’t understand the real meaning. Therefore, they read all the sastras but don’t engage in bhajan. They want everyone to do their bhajan, feed them, and give them their wealth. This is not bhakti; this is not the purport of the sastras. Krsna kicks this type of a cart.

siya rama mein saba jaga jani
koro pranama joda juga pani

What is the meaning? It is not written that everything has become Siya-Rama. It is not siya rama saba jaga jani. Rather, it is said, “Siya rama mein saba jaga jani.” What is the meaning of mein? For instance, during a raging rainstorm, there is much rainfall. In the aftermath, it is seen that everything has drowned in the flood. Despite everything drowning in the flood, the trees and houses have not become water. Although there is water on four sides, the water contains trees, cows, bulls, and even people. No one has become one with the water. In the same way, no one has become one with Siya-Rama. Siya-rama-mein—whatever a devotee sees is in relation with Siya-Rama. Everything has been created by Prabhu and is related to Him. A devotee saw a peacock-feathered fan and immediately remembered Krsna. Since Krsna would place the peacock feather on His head, the devotee remembered Him.

Hence, siya-rama-mein—the entire world has emanated from Prabhu. Personalities like Sankaraji, Brahma, and others could not become Rama. Sitaji never became Rama. Laksmanaji never became Rama. So, we will become Rama? Never. To think otherwise is to become a victim of one’s imagination. To condemn such conceptions, Krsna killed Sakatasura. All the demoniac associates of Kamsa were against Krsna and bhakti.

Krsna started to grow like the waxing moon. One day, a fruit-seller lady from Mathura came to Gokula. She had many fruits in her basket like bananas, mangoes, papayas, pomegranates, berries, and other kinds of fruits. She had heard that “Nanda has a very beautiful son. He is so sweet. He is a child of two years.”

The lady thought, “I wish to see this boy.”

But, whenever she would go near the house of Nanda-Yasoda, Krsna would be sleeping or would have gone out of the house. She went ten times to see Krsna, but she was unable to meet Him.

She thought, “Today, I will go only after taking His darsana.”

Taking the fruit basket on her head, she called out, “Take these fruits. Take these fruits.”

But soon after, she found herself calling out, “Take Govinda. Take Damodara. Take Madhava.”

She forgot to sell fruits. She became tired wandering near the house of Nanda-Yasoda. Krsna was sleeping on the lap of His mother and was not getting up. He will not give darsana easily; only upon realizing the devotee’s intense longing to see Him, will He give darsana. Hence, the devotee will never forget Him in his life. If He easily gives His darsana, then His darsana will be taken for granted. The value of that, which is easily gotten, has no worth. Beer is not got for the same price as milk. A line will be formed to buy beer. But, even if one goes house to house to give milk, no one will take milk from him. A person will not know the value of something that is easily obtained. Therefore, Krsna does not give darsana quickly.
Becoming tired, the poor lady sat down and thought, “I will only return after taking the darsana of Krsna. Or else, I will not go from here.” Thus, she sat down.

Krsna thought, “My devotee has become firm in her resolve. So, I must give her My darsana.”

Krsna was not wearing any clothes. Yasoda Maiya had put a golden belt around Krsna’s waist that tinkled like ankle bells. Krsna got up and took some grains in His hands. But by the time He came near the fruit-seller lady, most of the grains had fallen out of His hands. Only a few grains were stuck to His hands.

Coming near the lady, He said, “Give Me some fruits.”

He emptied whatever little grains He had left in her basket. Seeing Krsna, the lady became motionless in ecstatic bliss. She just hoped that no one would cast an ill bearing glance on Krsna. Seeing the Syama-complexioned, sweet form of Krsna, she became absorbed in thoughts of Krsna. After some time, she became conscious and found herself listening to Krsna saying in broken language, “Give Me some fruits.”

The lady told Krsna, “Will You call me, ‘Mother’ just once? If You call me mother, I will give You fruits.”

Krsna thought, “She will not give Me fruits that easily. So, I will have to call her, ‘Mother.’”

She was also of a lower-caste, so what will people say?

The lady persisted, “Sit on my lap and call me mother just once. I will give You all the fruits You want.”

Krsna then became greedy for the fruits. He looked around to see if anyone was watching Him. After seeing that there was nobody, then within a minute, He sat on the lady’s lap and called her, “Mother.” After getting up from her lap, He sweetly asked, “Will you give the fruits now?”

The lady became stunned. Mustering as many fruits as she could, she gave bananas, grapes, and other fruits in the hands of Krsna. Taking those fruits and dancing all the way, Krsna put all the fruits in His mother’s ancala. The fruits were so sweet that no one had tasted such fruits up until that day. And although Yasoda distributed the fruits to thousands of her friends, the fruits never decreased in number.

What was the condition of the fruit-seller lady? Krsna had stolen her heart. Getting up, she took the basket on her head. While heading to Gokula, she came across the Yamuna. There, she realized how heavy the basket was. She saw that the basket was filled with priceless jewels. The value of each jewel was inestimable. There were lakhs of such jewels in her basket. But, she emptied the basket in the Yamuna and got rid of all the jewels. And, it was not known where she went after emptying the basket. No one found her. She became mad in Krsna-prema and only said, “Krsna Krsna.”

Krsna enacts such pastimes that steal the listeners’ hearts. Even Sankaraji came to Gokula for His darsana. He reached there after he rode on his bull. He carried the trident, and wore a garland of snakes. Keeping the trident aside, he reached the courtyard of Nanda-bhavana in Gokula. He came from Kailasa, so he was determined to have Krsna’s darsana. Yasoda Maiya heard that a mysterious yogi had come while riding on an enormous bull. He carried a trident, wore a garland of snakes, and his forehead was decorated with the tripundra tilaka. Yasoda became scared on seeing how this yogi was completely covered by snakes. She didn’t want the yogi to hold Krsna, so she hid Krsna in the house.

Sankaraji anxiously waited for Krsna but realized, “Today, Krsna has not come out of His house.”

When he stared playing on his drum, little Krsna started to cry. As Sankara continued playing on his drum, Krsna continuously wept. He could not be held by anyone.

A friend told Yasoda, “Oh sister show your son to that yogi. He is no ordinary yogi. He is very mysterious. If he casts a spell on Kanhaiya, then something inauspicious may happen. Therefore, show Him to the yogi. The yogi wants to take darsana of the little boy.”

Yasoda Maiya put an eye-liner on Krsna and put a black bindi dot on His forehead. She covered His entire body by black clothes and only left His lotus face uncovered. Taking her son she came near Sankara and showing her son to him for only a minute, she said, “Look at my son.” She then immediately covered Krsna with a black cloth and hurried inside. Sankara had darsana of Krsna for a few moments.

Sankaraji who in the eyes of Yasoda was a mysterious yogi, told her, “Mother, if anyone casts an evil eye on your son, or if your son cries; then call me and I will immediately come because I live very near to your house. I will never leave Gokula.”

If someone’s ill-bearing glance falls on one’s child, then a priest is called. He performs some rituals and prays that the child doesn’t come under anyone’s ill-bearing glance anymore.

Therefore, Sankara told Yasoda, “If anyone’s ill-bearing glance falls on your son, then call me.”

Yasoda told him, “Babaji, stay near to us. If my son cries and doesn’t become silent, then I will call you.”

“All right, I will come.”

Such wonderful pastimes occur in Vraja. Who performs these pastimes? Parabrahma, the Supreme Lord Himself whose darsana personalities like Sankara and Brahma cannot have in their meditative trance, despite keeping their mind pure and meditating on Him for millions of years—today, this very Parabrahma became the dear son of Nanda-Yasoda and performs many such wonderful pastimes in Vraja. While sleeping, He is unable to turn over to the other side. When He is sleeping, Yasoda turns Him over to the other side. When He cries, Yasoda Maiya takes Him on her lap.

One day, Naradaji came to Gokula. Yasoda Maiya took Krsna from her lap and put Him on the ground. She told Him, “You have become very naughty. You steal butter from the houses of others; You will become spoiled. So, I will not take You on my lap.”

Krsna wept when His mother spoke this way. He cried out, “Mother. Mother. Mother.”

But Yasoda would not take Him on her lap. She said, “I will correct You.”

But who was she saying this to? Naradaji thought, “How fortunate Yasoda is. She has done so many pious activities. In which pilgrimage places has she taken a bath in? How much charity has she given? What austerities has she done? Oh Yasoda, today, Brahma Himself is crawling in your courtyard. And, you are not taking Him on your lap. You make that personality scared by the utterance of whose name; a person crosses over the cycle of repeated birth and death. The messengers of death, the Yamadutas fear from His name. Today, you are chastising this Supreme Personality of Godhead. How inconceivable your great fortune is!”

Complaining about Krsna, one gopi told Yasoda, “Oh dear friend, Yasode. Your son has become so naughty that it has become very difficult to escape from the result of His naughty activities. All His friends, who are also naked like Him have become one group.
Who are some of these friends of Krsna? They are Dhama, Sridama, Sudama, Vasudama, Stoka-Krsna, Lavanga, Arjuna, Madhumangala, Subala, Mahabala, and others. Krsna has so many sakhas. Along with His sakhas, He enters our houses.”

When Krsna enters the house of a gopi, then He tells His sakha who is the son of that very gopi whose house He has entered into to make some prior arrangements for Him and His sakhas to easily steal butter.

He tells the sakha, “Oh sakhe, go and tell your mother that ‘The calf is drinking the milk of its mother.’”

The sakha told his mother, “Oh mother, someone has let the calf go free and now it is drinking the milk of its mother.”

Krsna has loosened the ropes and made the calf run free, but He has His sakha speak otherwise to his mother. When the gopi sees the calf drinking the milk of its mother, she remarks, “Indeed, it is true that the calf is drinking the milk of its mother. Who made the calf go free? Who loosened the ropes?”

The sakha replied, “I don’t know mother.”

When she went to catch the calf, Krsna and all His sakhas entered the house. They took all the butter that was stocked in the house, and distributing it among themselves, they ate with great joy. And as the sakha’s mother ran behind them, they ran swiftly and escaped from her.

So, the gopi told Yasoda, “How naughty your son has become.”

One day, a gopi caught Krsna in His act of stealing butter and asked, “Have You become a thief?”

“Thief! I cannot understand what you mean mother. I thought this was My house.”

The gopi asked, “This is Your house?”

“Then is this not My house?”

Laughing at Krsna’s wit, the gopi let Him go. One day, another gopi caught Krsna and said, “You steal every day.”

“When do I steal every day?”

“Then why is there butter in Your hands and around Your mouth?”

“Oh mother, I will tell you the real fact. My mother has given Me a golden bangle. This golden bangle causes much heat to My hands. To make this heat go away, I put My hands in this pot of butter.”

One day, one gopi caught Krsna and asked Him, “Why did You steal my butter?”

“Mother, I never stole butter.”

“Then what did You do?”

“Oh My calf was missing. So, I was searching for My calf.”

“Then has Your calf jumped into this pot of butter?”

“Yes mother, the calf has jumped into this pot.”

“Then where is it?”

Putting His hands inside the pot, Krsna removed a small marble calf toy that Nanda Baba had given Him to play with. “This is My calf mother. See for yourself.”

Everyone started laughing. If Krsna would go to the house of a gopi and not find any butter, then He would pinch the baby of the gopi. This way, by His pastimes, Krsna stole everyone’s hearts. He would perform such sweet pastimes that everyone in Vraja thought, “If only Nanda’s son would come to my house as well.” They would patiently wait for Krsna to come in their house.

Listening to the complaints of the gopis, Yasoda thought, “Is He so naughty? Here, He is so silent. But in the houses of the gopis, He creates so many disturbances. He doesn’t get good butter here, so He steals from the houses of others. Today, I will boil milk and make butter by my own hands.”

It was the day of Dipavali. So, Yasoda sent all her friends and maidservants to their respective houses. She herself milked cows like Padmagandha, and other beautiful cows. She boiled the milk and made yogurt. In the early morning, she started to churn the yogurt. Krsna was sleeping on the bed at this time. Parabrahma never sleeps. But today, this Parabrahma was sleeping in the house of Yasodaji. He slept by the influence of Yogamaya. To think of Krsna as a mere human is ignorance. He performs such wonderful pastimes that even if the people of the future would listen to them, then by always remembering them, they will go to eternal Vrndavana-dhama. Therefore, Krsna performs such pastimes. Don’t think of these gopis as ordinary. These gopis are the incarnations of the Vedas. After performing austerities for millions of years, they have become gopis. The cows of Krsna are also the incarnations of the Vedas. Hence, don’t think of them as ordinary personalities.
Don’t ever think, “They have become ordinary cowherd girls. They were uneducated and foolish.”

Now Krsna was a little child. He was only three and a half years old. At that time, Yasoda started to churn the yogurt. How did she do so? There was a jewel-studded pillar to which Yasoda tied a rope. She tied the same rope to a long churning rod and started to churn the yogurt while her bangles chimed in tune. Yasoda was very beautiful. She had a slender waist and her chest was broad. Her hair was curly. She is so beautiful; after all, she is the mother of Krsna. She wore silken clothes. It seemed that her beauty shone from within.

She sang, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”

[Srila Gurudeva and the assembled audience sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”]

Remembering her son’s previous pastimes, Yasoda was churning the yogurt. The sound that was created seemed to resemble the playing of a mrdanga.

It sounded, “Dhik-tan. Dhik-tan.”

This means, “Fie on those who don’t do the bhajan of Krsna. Fie on them. Only the lives of those who engage in Krsna’s bhajan are successful. This is the essence of all forms of knowledge. Therefore, fie on them who don’t do Krsna’s bhajan.”

The sound created by her bangles resembled the chiming of karatalas. Becoming absorbed in the pastimes of Krsna, Yasoda sang, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”

Krsna thought, “Mother is not getting up. She is churning yogurt, but I am hungry. She should feed Me some milk.”

Therefore, Krsna started to cry. But Yasoda did not notice her son crying. Krsna got down from His bed with great difficulty. In His form as Varaha, He dove into the ocean and lifted Mother Earth effortlessly. But today, He was not able to get down from His bed. He lifted Govardhana and dove into Kaliya-hrda. He determined the outcome of the Mahabharata war. But today, He could not get down from the bed.

Krsna called out to His mother many times, but she did not listen. Anyhow getting down from His bed, Krsna stumbled, crawled, and went near Yasoda. Even so, Yasoda did not listen to His cries. She was absorbed in chanting, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti,” while churning the yogurt.

After some time, while still having tears in His eyes, Krsna thought, “Mother is not seeing Me. She is not feeding Me any milk.”

Krsna went near Yasoda and caught hold of the churning rod. And with His other hand, He caught hold of Yasoda’s veil.

Yasoda thought, “Who is this? Oh it is Kanhaiya.”

She took Krsna and sat Him down on her lap with great love. Covering Him with her veil, she breastfed Him. It seemed that her love for Krsna came in the form of her milk. As Krsna drank the milk, it seemed that the milk never stopped flowing. Krsna drank the milk with so much relish. It seemed that His stomach would never become full. Meanwhile, the milk on the stove boiled over and was falling into the fire. The fire started to burn more. It seemed that the milk thought, “Mother Yasoda, you have so much milk in your breasts that the entire creation will become satisfied. And Krsna’s hunger is so insatiable because the entire creation is in His stomach. His hunger will never be satisfied and your supply of milk will never end. So, for millions of lives, He will continue to drink your milk. Hence, when will you engage me in service? Therefore, if a person doesn’t engage in Krsna’s seva, then his life is in vain. It is better to die.

“The life that was not spent in Krsna’s bhajan is condemned. Hence, what will I do if I cannot render any service?”

Therefore, the milk was boiling over and falling into the fire. Yasoda told the milk, “No son, don’t die. I will stop breastfeeding Krsna and engage you in service first.”

Those who engage others in service of Krsna are called Guru and devotees. Firstly, the guru gives his disciple the service of Krsna, even if Guru and Vaisnavas have to leave their own service to Krsna. They give the opportunity to the devotee to engage in Krsna’s seva. Therefore, Yasoda Maiya told Krsna, “Now I have to go.”

But, when Yasoda tried putting Krsna down, Krsna caught hold of her with great strength and wouldn’t let go. Like a monkey’s baby catches its mother, Krsna caught hold of His mother with His hands and legs. He stuck to Yasoda exactly like the little one of a monkey. Putana was unable to let herself become free from Krsna’s hold. The strength of sixty thousand elephants could not help her become free.

And Yasoda told Krsna, “Sit down.”

She easily put Krsna down and went to save the milk from boiling over. The strength of Parabrahma was nullified. Krsna is the most powerful personality of all creation. He carried Giriraja-Govardhana on His little finger for seven days. That Prabhu who creates, manages, and destroys the creation became powerless by the love of His mother. When Yasoda put Krsna down, then Krsna became angry just as a little child would. He started to grind His teeth and His eyes became red.

He thought, “Maiya just left Me like this.”

Krsna saw that there was a pot full of yogurt. He tried lifting it but was unable to. It was very heavy. Krsna tried in many ways to lift it; but His efforts were in vain. He took a small stone and struck the pot at the bottom. The bottom of the pot is thin. A hole was made and streams of yogurt started to flow. Krsna thought, “How beautiful these streams of yogurt are.”

The pot became completely empty and the entire room was filled with yogurt. Krsna anxiously thought, “Mother will beat Me now.” He swiftly ran to another room. He stood on a grinding mortar that was upside down and took as much butter as He could from a pot hanging above. He fed the monkeys and crows as well. Why did He feed the monkeys?
Krsna thought, “In My form as Ramacandraji, I didn’t give anything to the monkeys. And, they gave their lives for Me. I should give them some butter.” So, He fed the monkeys.
He also thought, “The crows are the descendants of Kakabusandi. They are My great devotees. I should feed them as well.”

Therefore, all the monkeys and crows entered the house. There were two doors—one inside and another outside. Krsna ate the butter with great relish and the monkeys and crows also took butter from His hands. Meanwhile, Yasoda came and saw the broken pot of yogurt.

She thought, “Where has this naughty boy gone? He has broken this pot.”

She saw His footprints on the spilled yogurt and followed them to where Krsna was. She saw how Krsna was eating the butter and was also feeding the monkeys and crows. Krsna performs such wonderful pastimes! Yasoda Maiya took a stick and silently entered the room. As she came close to Krsna and was about to catch Him, Krsna got down from the mortar and ran away. Yasodaji ran behind Krsna. Krsna entered the main road because He thought, “Mother will not come here because she is shy to come in front of so many people.”

And, Yasodaji thought, “You have taken birth from my womb. I will run faster than You and catch You. You think Yourself to be very intelligent. Everyone has gone to herd the cows today and there is no one in their homes, so I will catch You and punish You today. You will remember this punishment.”

Thus, Yasoda ran behind Krsna. No one can catch Krsna if they don’t run faster than him. Brahmaji cannot catch Krsna even by his mind. Neither can personalities like Sankaraji, Sukadeva Gosvami, and Vyasadeva catch Krsna by their mind. Even Narada cannot catch Krsna. But today, to catch Krsna, Yasoda herself ran with great determination. Kalayavana and Jarasandha could not catch Krsna. But Yasoda gopi ran behind Krsna.

After pursuing Him for some time, Yasoda raised her stick and said, “Look, I will beat You now.”

Krsna said, “Mother, please don’t beat me.”

“Why shouldn’t I beat You? I will beat You today. You are a thief.”

“Mother, there is no thief in My father’s dynasty. There was a thief in your father’s home. There is no thief in our house. I am not a thief.”

“Then, why did You break the pot?”

“Maiya, I didn’t break the pot. As you ran to save the milk, your heavy anklets struck the pot and it broke. I never broke the pot.”

Yasoda thought, “He is so intelligent.” And, she started to pursue Krsna again. If the devotee’s prema for Krsna exceeds the prema He has for His devotees, then the devotee can catch Krsna. This is the meaning of Yasoda pursuing Krsna. Krsna has prema for His devotees and the devotees have prema for Krsna. Krsna can be controlled by the devotee, when his love for Krsna exceeds the love Krsna has for him. Or else, Krsna cannot be caught or controlled.

On being caught by Yasoda, Krsna started to weep while taking deep breaths. Yasodaji told Krsna, “All right, I will not beat You. But, I will tie You to the grinding mortar.”

At that time, tears came from Krsna’s eyes and mixing with the kajjal, eye-liner, it seemed that the Ganga and the Yamuna came from His eyes and descended on His chest.

rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mrjantam
karambhoja-yugmena satanka-netram
muhuh svasa-kampa-tri-rekhanka-kantha-
sthita-graiva-damodaram bhakti-baddham
—Sri Damodarastakam 2

[Seeing the stick in His mother’s hand and fearful of being beaten] He is weeping incessantly and rubbing His eyes again and again with His two lotus-like hands. His eyes are extremely restless and filled with fear. He takes heavy breaths again and again that cause the pearls and other ornaments around His neck, which is marked by three gracefully curving lines, to tremble. O Damodara, You have been bound by Your mother’s vatsalya-bhakti. [I offer my obeisances unto that Damodara].

namamisvaram saccidananda-rupam
lasat-kundalam gokule bhraja-manam
paramrstam atyam tato drutya gopya
—Sri Damodarastakam 1

[I offer obeisances unto Sri Krsna, the possessor of all potencies, whose beautiful form is the entirety of concentrated existence, knowledge and bliss. On His cheeks, makara-shaped earrings are swinging playfully. His infinite brilliance shines forth from His most splendid residence, the transcendental abode, Sri Gokula. He was afraid of Mother Yasoda (because He smashed the earthen pot of yoghurt). When He saw her coming He leapt down from the grinding mortar and ran away. Nevertheless, Mother Yasoda ultimately caught hold of Him from behind, for she ran more swiftly than He did.]

Yasodaji told Krsna, “Okay, I will not beat You. You have become very naughty, so I will bind You. Or else You will run here and there. The Yamuna is also nearby. If the son becomes angry, then he should be made calm and then let go. Or else, he may end up harming himself.”

Therefore, Yasoda thought, “I should make Him calm first. I should also complete churning the yogurt. I will bind Him to the grinding mortar who was His accomplice.”

Yasoda tried to bind Krsna to the grinding mortar by using a silken ribbon that she used to tie her hair with. The rope was soft. But as she tried to bind Krsna, the rope was two fingers short. She could not tie Krsna with it.

She told her friend, “Oh sakhi, please bring a rope that is used to tie the cows.”

Her friend got a rope and Yasoda tried to bind Krsna with it. The length of the rope increased but it was still two fingers short. As Yasoda tried to bind Krsna, the length of the rope stretched to many miles although Krsna’s waist remained as it is. So, how could Yasoda bind Krsna to the mortar, when the rope was still two fingers short?

Yasoda told each of her friends, “Sakhi, bring a rope from your house. All the ropes of my house have been used.”

The sakhis laughed among themselves and told Yasoda, “Oh sakhi, Brahma has not written in your son’s forehead that He can be bound. So how can you bind Him?”

Yasoda replied, “He has come from my womb, so I cannot bind Him? I will not eat until I have bound Him, even if I have to try for eternity.”

The rope became longer and longer. All the ropes of Gokula were used and the length of the rope extended to many more miles. But, Yasoda was still unable to bind Krsna. Why was she unable to bind Him? How can He who is within, without, limitless, and boundless be bound? Who can bind Him? He is infinite. But we see that His form is three feet long. But, He is infinite.

Krsna thought, “If Mother binds Me, then the cows will not give milk. All my sakhas like Subala and Madhumangala are waiting for Me near the door. We will not be able to play today if I am bound. If mother would not bind Me today, then it would be very nice.”

The length of the rope continued to increase, and Krsna’s small waist that was twelve fingers long and encircled by the golden belt remained unbound. What is the consideration here? There is sadhana and Krsna’s mercy. Even if we engage in a million practices; yet, if we don’t have Krsna’s mercy, then we will not be able to bind Krsna in our hearts. We will not be able to attain Him even if we employ a million solutions. There are two factors needed—Krsna’s mercy and sadhana. Bhakti cannot be had without Krsna’s mercy and the mercy of His devotees. Bhakti will not be obtained by one’s own sadhana. We need the mercy of the devotees and Krsna’s mercy should also be there. Therefore, sadhana and Krsna’s mercy should also be there. The mercy of His devotees should also be there. The mercy of Narada should be there. Without the mercy of Narada, Prahlada Maharaja could not have become such an exalted devotee. Dhruvaji was also instructed by Naradaji. He instructed many others as well.

By the mercy of Hanumana, Vibhisana attained Ramacandra’s blessings. The monkeys and bears became devotees by Hanumana’s mercy. Sabari and other personalities engaged in bhakti and had the blessings of the sadhus as well. The mercy of the sadhus and one’s bhajan are needed—both are needed. The rope was two fingers short. What do the two fingers represent? One finger is one’s sadhana. Without engaging in sincere sadhana, Krsna will not be attained. And, Krsna’s mercy should also be there.

Yasodaji said, “I will definitely bind Krsna.”

Trying to bind Krsna, Yasoda became tired by her hard work. Without engaging in sincere sadhana, Krsna will not be attained. And, Krsna’s mercy should also be there.

Yasodaji said, “I will definitely bind Krsna.”

Trying to bind Krsna, Yasoda became tired by her hard work. Drops of perspiration fell on her face and they resembled pearls. Her face became reddish. She thought, “I cannot bind my son? My friends will laugh and make fun of me. Hey Narayana! I am surrendered to You.”

“Oh the Prabhu of Narayana is sitting in your house and is crying. And you want to bind Him?”

She became surrendered. Yasoda tried so hard to bind Krsna and many drops of fatigue collected on her lotus face. She became shy and very sad.

krpaya ‘sit sva-bandhane
—Srimad Bhagavatam 10.9.18

Then by Krsna’s mercy, Yasoda bound Him with the same silken rope she had first used. The rest of the ropes were not needed. It is said in the Bhagavatam:

nemam virinco na bhavo
na srir apy anga-samsraya
prasadam lebhire gopi
yat tat prapa vimuktidat
—Srimad Bhagavatam 10.9.20

[Neither Lord Brahma, nor Lord Siva, nor even the goddess of fortune, who is always the better half of the Supreme Lord, can obtain from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the deliverer from this material world, such mercy as received by mother Yasoda.]

Krsna is the personality who gives mukti, prema, and bhakti. But, nemam virinco–Brahmaji didn’t receive the mercy that Yasoda received. Sankaraji also didn’t obtain this mercy. Even the consort of Krsna, who always serves His lotus feet, Laksmiji, did not get this mercy that Yasoda attained. She bound Krsna by her love. Kausalya, Devaki, and up until today, no one has bound Krsna except for Yasoda. We are all bound by His maya. But today, this Prabhu was also bound. Yasoda bound Him by her prema. This is prema. Even the most able yogis cannot achieve Krsna’s grace. Who attains Him? If someone engages in the bhajan of Yasoda’s son with prema, then He can be attained. Without prema, Nanda-lala, the son of Nanda, will not be controlled. If there is prema, then Krsna will also eat banana peels at Vidura’s house. He also ate the fruits that Sabari had already tasted. But, He did not eat any of the preparations Duryodhana offered.

Krsna can only be achieved by prema. This is the message of the Bhagavat. I want to conclude by speaking on another consideration. In the sastras it is said that the devotees search for Krsna and engage in His bhajan. But what does Krsna do? He carries Nanda Baba’s shoes on His head and dancing, brings them to His father.

He proudly thinks, “These shoes are My father’s shoes.”

Yasoda Maiya scares Krsna, now who can scare Bhagavan? She bound Him by her love. Krsna was crying? Why? He wants to sit on the lap of His mother. Nanda Baba opened the knot that bound Krsna to the grinding mortar.

He asked Krsna, “Who untied You?”

“You did father.”

“Who tied You to this mortar?”

“Mother did.”

Nanda Baba thought, “Just see. Yasoda is so cruel. She bound Him today. But what if these trees fell on Krsna? He may have died. Krsna had pulled the mortar along with Him, and the mortar got stuck between two trees. What if He would have died now?”

Everyone in Vraja became stunned. The Vrajavasis thought, “How did these trees fall?”

Nanda Baba came and took Krsna on his lap. As soon as he took Krsna on his lap, Krsna started to cry while taking long, deep breaths. On this day, Parabrahma was crying? Why? Because Yasoda bound Him. Nanda Baba made a laddu of rock-candy and gave it to Krsna. But Krsna continued to cry. After He became a little calm, Nanda Baba asked Krsna, “Who bound You?”


Nanda Baba untied the knot and asked Krsna, “Will You go to Your mother now?”

“No. I will not go.”

Nanda Baba took Krsna on his lap and pacified Him. Then, he took Krsna and Baladeva Prabhu to the Yamuna. They took a bath and returned home. After milking the cows, Nanda Baba fed Krsna and Baladeva milk and sweets. It was afternoon already and it soon became evening. There was nothing cooked. Yasoda was bitterly weeping at home.

She thought, “What if Krsna had died?”

The elderly were crying also. Today, there was no food cooked in the house. Soon after, it became evening. Rohiniji came along with Upananda’s wife; Upananda was the elder brother of Nanda Baba. Rohini also got Baladeva along with her and told Him, “Bring Krsna here. We will make Him sit on the lap of Yasoda.”

When Baladevaji went to bring Krsna, Krsna pushed Him aside.

Rohiniji asked Krsna, “My dear son, where will You sleep during the night?”

Krsna said, “I will sleep with Baba.”

“With whom will You play?”

“I will play with Dau Bhaiyaji (Baladeva Prabhu).”

“You will not go near Your mother?”

“I will not go.”

“What if Your mother dies in separation from You?”

When Krsna heard this, He cried out, “Mother! Mother!”

He began to loudly cry. Rohini took Krsna on her lap and quickly put Him on the lap of Yasodaji. Yasodaji began to bitterly weep. Krsna also began to cry; so did Nanda Baba and all the gopis. Vraja is constituted of these heart-rending pastimes. Performing innumerable pastimes, Krsna immerses all of Vraja in an ocean of happiness. By remembering these pastimes, it is certain that a person will attain Krsna. This is the prema of Vraja. In Vraja, no one considers Krsna to be God. The Vrajavasis consider Krsna to be their friend, son, or lover. By listening to these pastimes, if in our hearts we develop greed to attain loving devotion to Krsna, then by this prema He is easily obtained. He is not obtained by the yogis who perform austerities for millions of lives. This is guaranteed.

Krsna runs behind the devotees. He serves the lotus feet of the gopis. It is stated in the Bhagavat that Krsna searches for the devotees and cries for them. He becomes aggrieved in separation from them. In the Vedas, Puranas, and other scriptures, the devotees call out to Krsna. But who does Krsna call out to here in Vraja? Krsna played on His Vamsi, flute, and called the gopis. The gopis did not call out to Him. What does Krsna do by playing on His Vamsi? He calls out to His sakhas and cows. He calls everyone in Vraja by playing on His flute. He cannot live without His devotees. Without the gopis, He cannot live for even a minute. If someone has prema, then Krsna runs behind that person. We should have this kind of prema. How will we achieve this prema?

Prema will be achieved by being in the association of sadhus. By being under the guidance of a guru who is greedy for many things like money and riding in a car, this prema will not be obtained. Guru should be bona fide. He will have no desires for anything of this material world. He is always drowning in the ocean of Krsna-prema. Why will he have greed for this samsara? Why will he be envious or spiteful of anyone? He will especially not have any feelings of enviousness or hatred towards the sadhus. If you find a guru like this, who is like Uddhava, or Sukadeva Gosvami; then you will easily attain Krsna-prema. By listening to these pastimes of the Bhagavat, our hearts will become pure and attaining Krsna-prema, we will obtain Krsna. This is the message of the Srimad Bhagavatam.

We have run out of time now. Therefore, I will stop here. Tomorrow, I will make you all listen to some Rasik pastimes of the gopis. You will hear how the gopis love Krsna. By listening to these pastimes, we hope to develop some greed in our hearts that we can also engage in the bhajan of Krsna like them. Then our lives will be successful. My purpose in coming here will also be fulfilled and my preaching will also be fruitful. I only want this; I don’t want anything else. Even if one person’s consciousness becomes inclined towards Krsna, then I will consider my preaching and recitation of the Srimad Bhagavatam successful. All of you should listen sincerely. Engage in your household work as well. Nothing is forbidden.

Just remember, “I am the servant of Krsna. Everything is Krsna’s.”

One day, you will have to leave everything with open hands. So, why not engage in Krsna’s bhajan and leave this world? And if you want to love Krsna, then love Him like the gopis. Then Krsna will be easily obtained.

vanca-kalpa-tarubyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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Remembering My She-Goat – 20 May 1996 – Radlett, U.K.

“You are like my father. When you were explaining Srimad Bhagavatam, I couldn’t understand what you were saying. I was remembering my she-goat. She is very big and white. She has a beard like you. And when you were doing like this, I was always remembering my she-goat. Today, she has unluckily gone somewhere and I am not searching for her. So, I was weeping for my she-goat...”


After taking sannyāsa, Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to Śrī Jagannātha Purī. In the Gauḍīya-sampradāya, sannyāsa means accepting gopī-bhāva and the shelter of the vraja-gopīs. Why then did Mahāprabhu not go to Vṛndāvana? This is an important question. Most people think that Jagannātha Kṣetra is Dvārakā Purī or Vaikuṇṭha. This same Jagannātha Purī (Jagannātha Kṣetra) is known as Nīlāñcala or Nīlācala. Nīlā means blue, and the extra part of a sāḍī that women wear over their heads is known as āṅcala. Who is She whose āṅcala is blue? She is Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Jagannātha has taken shelter under Rādhārānī’s blue āṅcala. This is the confidential purport of Jagannātha’s residence in Nīlācala. Jagannātha left Dvārakā and His 16,108 queens, thinking, “I will go to Nīlācala. I will seek refuge under Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s āṅcala. She will take care of Me. No one else takes care of me.” Kṛṣṇa was not happy in Dvārakā. “My queens are always fighting and stealing everything I have.” He thought. “They each have ten sons and one daughter and each of those sons and daughters have ten sons of their own. None of them however, have a soft heart. They are all interested in their own opulence and comfort. They like Me and they respect Me, but they are attached to their family.” Then one day, Kṛṣṇa, along with Baladeva Prabhu and His sister Subhadrā-devī, heard Rohiṇī Mātā glorify the Vraja-devīs. The Vraja-devīs were always in Kṛṣṇa’s thoughts, but till now He had not received the chance to hear about them. Rohiṇī Mātā was speaking vraja-kathā to Kṛṣṇa’s queens, her heart overflowing with love. “She is speaking about the Vraja-devīs?” Kṛṣṇa thought. “I will also hear.” But when this kathā entered Kṛṣṇa’s ears His body melted. Baladeva Prabhu and Subhadrā, who were also listening with Kṛṣṇa from outside the room, also melted. They now wondered where to go.


In one battle, armed with outdated rifles and bayonets, Kunja Bihari led his squadron in a surprise attack on a bunker behind enemy lines. Kunja Bihari alone survived the ambush. From the captured bunker, he used the heavy artillery to disable many advancing tanks and largely due to his efforts, India won one of the most critical battles in the campaign. He was locked in the bunker for two weeks, unable to escape, and lived on survival food pills. He spent the time chanting harinama incessantly


Mahāprabhu stayed in the Gambhīrā for eighteen years. He there relished the moods of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. He carried Kṛṣṇa in His heart, just like Śrīmatī Rādhikā does, and He experienced the sentiments She feels when She serves Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa’s beauty and sweetness appeared in Mahāprabhu’s heart. How could He tolerate this? He entered transcendental madness and would be absorbed day and night in ecstasy and the agony of separation. Before Kṛṣṇa did not understand His own sweetness and beauty, so He appeared as Mahāprabhu to comprehend this, and He took shelter of Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s complexion and mood to do so. Mahāprabhu stayed in the Gambhīrā always absorbed in the moods of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Sometimes He heard Kṛṣṇa’s flute, and He then ran out of the Gambhīrā, just like the Vraja-devīs’ left their homes and all their relatives. They ran to Kṛṣṇa in the forest and there Kṛṣṇa tested them to see how much love and dedication they had. If they became angry at Kṛṣṇa or left, then it would show that they had no pure love. Sometimes we are tested to see if we have love or if we are selfish. If any disturbance or obstacle comes, and we then become agitated and angry, it is a symptom that we do not have selfless love.

The Razor Hearts of Men and Women

Generally, men are not as pleased with service from another man as they are with service done to them by women. Women also are more pleased by the service of a man than by another woman. Sukadeva Gosvami explains that in the early stages of creation, Brahmaji noticed that the inhabitants of this world were detached from each other. For the purpose of increasing the population, he created women, who have the power to steal men’s minds...

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