Hari-katha by Paramadhyatama Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spoken on 11 June 1996.
[Hari-katha of Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja who is referred to as Srila Gurudeva in the following transcription, which has been translated from Srila Gurudeva’s discourse in Hindi.]
[Sripad Visnu das introduces Srila Gurudeva to the audience after kirtan.]
Sripad Visnu das: Hare Krsna, welcome everyone to today’s evening program. Yesterday, I gave an introduction of Srila Gurudeva in Hindi. So, for the benefit of everyone today, I would like to speak a few words in Hindi and English. So, we are very fortunate to have His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja among us. He is from Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Math in Mathura and from Sri Rupa Santana Gaudiya Math in Vrndavana. He has come in a very exalted Vaisnava parampara called the Gaudiya Vaisnava disciplic succession, which started from Krsna Himself and great incarnations like Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in this parampara. About ninety years ago, a great religious leader called Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura established the Gaudiya Math.
“Gaudiya,” means those, who are the followers of Gaura; Gaura is a name for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So, he established the society—the Gaudiya Math, to spread the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to the entire world. He has many illustrious disciples and one of them was Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, who later on founded the ISKCON society. Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja who is the spiritual master of Srila Narayana Maharaja and also the Sannyasa Guru of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada is another illustrious disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Maharaja joined the Gaudiya Math at a very young age. In his early thirties, he accepted the renounced order of life—Sannyasa. Since then, he has been preaching widely all over India and for the first time now at the request of many, many of us, he has come to the West. He is considered an authority in Vaisnava scripture. He is very, very respected in the Vaisnava community. He has authored more than two dozen books, which are glorified for not only the depth of the philosophy, but for their very touching sentiments, which are based on the loving aspects and spontaneity of devotional life. He is well known for very deep, philosophical subject matters. He has the ability to explain them in very, very simple words.
Just a couple of days ago, someone commented that when Maharaja was explaining the pastimes of Vrndavana, he felt as if an expert artist was painting a very beautiful picture in front of his eyes. As I always say, “You cannot glorify a great Vaisnava in few words.” As Maharaja will speak, we will see for our own selves. Therefore, I request everyone to kindly hear attentively and take his instructions to your hearts. We don’t get these opportunities again and again. We also have Bhagavat katha at the Gandhi center from tomorrow until Saturday. You are all kindly invited. The katha will be in Hindi. Today’s lecture will also be in Hindi. I will translate the katha into English for those who cannot understand Hindi. But in the mornings, Maharaja is giving lectures in English. So if anyone is interested, they can contact us for information about Maharaja’s next lecture in English. Thank you once again for coming and joining us.
[Srila Gurudeva begins his class in Hindi]
First of all, I offer my unlimited obeisances unto the lotus feet of my most worshipable spiritual master, Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. Yesterday, I spoke on whether Bhagavan has a form or if He is formless. I also spoke on whether He has transcendental qualities or not. I want to explain this topic a little more and then, I will speak on the Bhagavat.
Once, we were travelling with Guruji from Mathura to Bengal. We were going to the birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. On the way, a district magistrate of the railways got onto the train. The railway magistrate was conducting his routine check. He started a conversation with my Gurudeva.
He asked my Gurudeva, “Krsna is God—what is the evidence for this?”
Guruji replied, “What is the name of your father?”
He said, “My father’s name is Paramananda.”
Guruji said, “What is the evidence that you are the son of this person named Paramananda? Do you have any evidence? Where is it written that you are the son of this gentleman? Where did you listen to this? Did you see yourself being conceived?”
“Then how have you understood that you are the son of your father?”
“I believed the words of my mother.”
“Believing the words of your mother, you considered a certain man to be your father. On the basis of your mother’s authority, you say, ‘This man is my father and his name is Paramananda.’ Did you ever think, ‘What if my mother lied?’”
“No. I believe my mother.”
“In the same way, the Vedas, Upanisads, and the sastras are our mother. One’s mother may lie, but the Vedas can never lie. They are the most ancient evidence. They have not been written by any human-being. They have been written by God Himself.”
Bones are considered impure. But, the conch is made of a bone. Yet, it is pure; the Vedas say this. Why? If the scientists do an investigation of the conch, they will see that it is so pure, especially when there is water inside it. Stool is also considered impure. No one’s stool is considered to be pure. But, cow dung is considered to very pure. It can also be eaten. People drink cow urine and bathe themselves in it. Diseases go away by this. There are many benefits obtained from cow dung and cow urine. They have many medicinal properties. The Vedas state this and everyone follows what the Vedas have to say.
The Vedas and Upanisads also say that the Tulasi plant is a remedy for all forms of ailments. Gangaji’s water is also considered very pure. The water of the other rivers becomes contaminated; they may become filled with worms. But if you bring the water of the Ganga to America, then you will see that there will be no worms even if you keep the water with you for as long as a year. Who knows how divine this water is? The Vedas state this. Therefore, we have to believe in the statements of the Vedas. The Vedas can be trusted more than even one’s mother. The Vedas are not written by any mundane person. The knowledge contained in the Vedas is called Bhagavat-tattva-jnana. The truth stated by the Vedas and its branches; and the truth especially stated by the essence of the Vedas that is Srimad Bhagavatam, is the topmost truth. All of us follow the Gita. But the Srimad Bhagavatam is higher than the Gita. The Gita is the first book and the Srimad Bhagavatam is the book of graduation. It is the book of prema.
The dharma of the jivas is prema. We may be Hindus or Muslims; but these are temporary designations. Can you say if a tree is a Hindu, Muslim, or a Christian? Which religion does the tree belong to? The soul present in the tree is also a servant of God. Can you say if a cow is a Hindu or a Muslim? The cow also gives milk to the Muslims. The cows also give milk to the Hindus.
The Hindus address the cows as, “Mother.” But Muslims eat the cows. Regardless, the cows give milk to everyone. The cow is everyone’s mother. Can you say if the soul present in a cow is a Hindu, Muslim, or a Christian? I saw millions of cows in Holland. The main source of income for the country comes from the cows. Is the cow a Hindu, Muslim, or a Christian? The soul is present even in a tree and a plant. The soul is present even in the pig. Therefore, it is said that we are, “Sanatana.” We are Vaisnavas—we are the followers of Visnu. We are of Acyuta-gotra. Who is Acyuta? He is Krsna. Hence, it is said in the Srimad Bhagavatam:
ete camsa-kalah pumsah
krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
—Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28
[All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead.]
Bhagavan is not two; God is not two; Allah, Khuda is not two. “God is one,” this is all right. But there are some considerations. There is someone who is the root, the fountainhead. Therefore, in the Srimad Bhagavatam, Krsna is described as:
ete camsa-kalah pumsah
krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
Rama is Bhagavan. Narayana is Bhagavan. Kalki, Varaha, and the other expansions are also Bhagavan. God is Bhagavan; Allah is Bhagavan; Brahma is Bhagavan; Jagannatha is Bhagavan. This is all right. But, there are some considerations. Although the moon is one, the phases of the moon are not the full moon itself. There is one moon; but on different days, different phases of the moon are seen. The quarterly phase of the moon on Caturti will not be called as the full moon on Purnima. But the moon is one and not two. Similarly, Krsna, Rama, Narayana, God, and Khuda are one. But still, there is some difference. Only Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Who has said this? The Vedas, Upanisads, and the Bhagavatam have said so. In the Gita, Krsna has Himself said:
mam ekam saranam vraja
—Bhagavad Gita 18.66
[“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.”]
This is stated in the Bhagavat and in the Gita.
mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
—Bhagavad Gita 7.7
[“O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me.”]
The Gita proclaims the supremacy of Krsna. Krsna says, “There is no para-tattva higher than Mine.”
We are all within Him; we are His part and parcels. We are His servants. The souls who have forgotten Him become entangled in this cycle of birth and death. But if someone remembers Him by any way, then he will leave this miserable world and enter the spiritual world, where there is ever-increasing ecstasy. There is no birth and death there. Only Krsna is our brother; only Krsna is our father; only He is the Lord of our hearts. Only He is our everything. When you go there, you will have this realization. We think we are the body, but to think like this is wrong. There is a history in the Srimad Bhagavatam that explains this. All of you must have heard the name of Vyasaji. Who wrote the Gita? Have you heard of the Gita and Ramayana? Indians must know what these scriptures are. The Christians know what the Bible is. The Muslims know what the Koran is. It is the duty of all of you to teach these scriptures to your children. This is not some sectarian conception.
Vyasadevaji is considered as Bhagavan’s avatar. Vyasadeva has written all of the Vedic scriptures after duly deliberating on them. He divided one Veda into four—Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, and Yajur Veda. To make people understand these Vedas, he wrote another book called the Vedanta-sutra. This book has around 500 aphorisms. One of these sutras is, “Athato brahma jijnasa.” Who is called Brahma? Vyasadeva gave the answer.
janmady asya yatha
—Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.1
Brahma is He, who creates, sustains, and destroys all of creation. Brahma is He, who rescues us. This world has emanated from Him. He nourishes everyone and all of creation enters into Him at the time of annihilation. After compiling these scriptures, Vyasadeva wrote the Mahabharata. This book describes the war between the Pandavas and Kauravas. They would release such arrows that electricity would come from them. The weapons they used were far more powerful than atom bombs. They would release a certain arrow that would only release snakes. When these snakes would bite the opponents, then they would release an arrow that would release peacocks. These peacocks would eat the snakes. Some arrows would cause heavy rainfall. Some arrows would cause a firestorm. India’s culture was like this in previous times. But the knowledge of science is called asuric-vidya, demoniac knowledge. There is no prema here, so it is called asuric-vijnana. You should love everyone, even the animals.
So, Vyasaji wrote all the Vedic literatures. The Gita is included in the Mahabharata. He wrote all the scriptures. Everyone worshiped him as jagat-guru. One day, he was sitting on the banks of the Ganga near the Himalayas. We have also gone to the asrama where Vyasa resided. His residence is situated on the Ganga near Badrinarayana. So, Vyasadeva went there and thought, “My mind is not happy. I have written so many scriptures. Everyone in the world addresses me as their guru. I have preached so much dharma in this world. I have also written the Gita. In this world there is no scripture like the Gita. But still, I am not happy.”
Meanwhile, Narada Rsi came there. Narada Rsi is not a human being. When Brahmaji was absorbed in thought, Narada came from his throat. He was not born from the union of a man and woman; he was self-manifest. He is the guru of Vyasa, Valmiki, Prahlada Maharaja, Druva Maharaja, and many other personalities. So, he came there and asked Vyasa, “Dear son, are you happy in all respects? You have written the Mahabharata. You gave the knowledge of the Gita to everyone. You wrote eighteen Puranas and eighteen Sakha-puranas. You also wrote eighteen Upa-puranas. Thus, you wrote fifty four Puranas. You also divided one Veda into four. You wrote the Vedanta-sutra as well.”
Sankaracarya, Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya, and many other highly realized souls have written commentaries on the Vedanta-sutra. A person who doesn’t know the Vedanta does not know anything. He cannot become an Acarya. The essence of the Vedas is given in the Vedanta-sutra.
Narada Rsi told Vyasadeva, “You wrote the Vedanta-sutra as well. But can you tell me why you are not happy?”
Vyasadeva replied, “I do not know this. A patient goes to the doctor for treatment. He cannot say what his ailment is.”
The first chief minister of West Bengal was D.C. Roy. This was just after India had received independence. He was the most renowned doctor of Bengal. He was the most renowned doctor of India. A patient and his brother went to this doctor for treatment. The patient’s brother told the doctor, “Please examine my younger brother and make him all right.”
The doctor replied, “Who is the diseased? Is it you or your brother?”
“My younger brother is diseased.”
“No you are diseased. You are going to die in two minutes.”
And indeed, the elder brother’s heart failed after two minutes and he died. So, a patient goes to the doctor because he cannot treat himself. Vyasadeva told Narada, “I cannot understand why I am not happy. Please tell me the cause of my sadness.”
Narada said, “All right. I will tell you why you are not happy. You have given intellectual knowledge; the knowledge of the mind. But you have not given the knowledge of pure love; the knowledge of the heart. You have given dry knowledge. This will not work. The heart needs love and you have not given this. You have not described the enchanting pastimes of Krsna. You have confused people. You have stated in some puranas that Sankaraji should be worshiped while in other puranas, you have stated that Brahmaji should be worshiped. You have also said that Ganesa should be worshiped. In other places, you have said that Durga should be worshiped. Sometimes you have said Rama is topmost and sometimes you have said Krsna is topmost. You have not duly decided on what should be written. You have not mentioned Krsna’s delightful pastimes. So, if you want the auspiciousness of everyone and if you also want to be happy, then you should describe the sweet pastimes of Krsna. You should write that Krsna is parama-tattva, the Supreme Truth.”
Vyasadeva replied, “I don’t know about the pastimes of Krsna? So how can I write?”
Reassuring Vyasadeva, Narada said, “Write about bhakti-yoga.”
What is bhakti? It is to surrender to Krsna. Avan-manasa-gocara; the eyes cannot see the atma and paramatma in all the living entities. The atma and paramatma are present in the cow, bull, trees, creepers, and in everyone. But we cannot realize. Why? Avan-manasa-gocara; this is incomprehensible for the mind. Therefore, Narada told Vyasadeva to pray to the Lord.
Vyasadeva then prayerfully told the Lord, “I have surrendered to You. I don’t know who You are.”
You should unconditionally surrender to Lord Krsna. Krsna will not be gotten at first.
Therefore, you should surrender to a guru who is conversant with the knowledge of the Supreme Truth and who has realization. You should go to this guru who knows Krsna by the power of his bhajan. You should go to such a realized soul.
tad viddhi pranipatena
—Bhagavad Gita 4.34
[Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him.]
There is only one way to know Krsna. Go to the person who knows Krsna. If you want to study engineering, you should go to an engineering college and not to a college where literature is studied. If you want to become a doctor, go to a medical college. You should go to that college, which teaches what you want to study. Or else you cannot obtain that knowledge.
So, Naradaji told Vyasadeva, “Firstly, you should surrender by bhakti-yoga. You should think, ‘I don’t know anything.’ Thus, a guru will instruct you when you sincerely serve. You should do what he tells you to do.”
Once, a person learnt a little on how to play the harmonium. He approached a teacher and said, “Please instruct me how to play the harmonium better.”
The teacher replied, “I will take a hundred dollars for a month.”
At the same time, another boy approached the teacher. The teacher asked him, “Why have you come?”
“I want to learn how to play the harmonium.”
“Do you know at least a little how to play the harmonium?”
“I don’t know anything.”
“Okay, I will teach you for ten dollars.”
Why? It is very difficult to teach those, who think, “I am very knowledgeable. I know many slokas from the Veda-sastras.” No one can teach a person, who is more than sixty years of age. They have already supposedly learnt everything. A dry piece of wood will not bend. If you try bending it, it will break. But a raw piece of wood will bend. Similarly, the hearts of children are very simple. There is nothing written on their hearts. They will learn anything they see. Therefore, those who are of less age and who have not learnt much, will easily understand this. But it is very difficult to teach those who know something. A person who is pretending to sleep cannot be awakened. A man who is really sleeping can be easily awakened.
Hence, Narada told Vyasa, “Take shelter of bhakti-yoga. Offer yourself to the lotus feet of Krsna. Meditate on Him. Then Krsna will Himself come and show all His pastimes to you.”
After Naradaji left, Vyasa established himself in bhakti-yoga.
samyak pranihite ‘male
apasyat purusam purnam
mayam ca tad-apasrayam
—Srimad Bhagavatam 1.7.4
[Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service (bhakti-yoga) without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control.]
Vyasa saw Srimati Radhika, Krsna, and all His saktis like Lalita, Visakha, and everyone. He also saw Nanda Baba and Yasoda. He saw all the pastimes of Vraja from the beginning. He had darsana just as you see a cinema on the television. He saw all the pastimes. He also saw that those who have forgotten Krsna, who don’t render service to Him, and who don’t remember Him have fallen into maya. They are entangled in the material world of birth, temporary happiness, sorrows, and death. We have been searching for happiness even before creation. If wealth would give us happiness, then why do the wealthy continue earning money? A wealthy man’s grandfather and father have died. And even though he is also becoming old, his greed to earn money doesn’t subside. So, if he has not obtained happiness, will you obtain it by trying to becoming wealthy? Remember that the entire wealth of the world cannot prolong the existence of a man for a single minute. You should also remember that nothing of this world will go with you after you leave your body.
Hence, Vyasaji saw that the conditioned souls have forgotten Bhagavan Krsna and are entangled in the cycle of birth and death. And those, who remember Krsna and chant His names like Ajamila and Valmiki did, will easily cross over this ocean of birth and death. So, Vyasa saw this. He saw how Krsna was born. He saw how Krsna started to grow. He saw how Krsna stole from the homes of the gopis. He did not steal just butter; He stole their hearts. He saw how Krsna danced at every step He took. Krsna’s gait is sweet; His words are sweet; His Vamsi is sweet; His form is sweet; His eyes are sweet; His glances are sweet; His pastimes are sweet; His mother is sweet; His sakti—the gopis are sweet; everything about Him is sweet. Thus, Vyasadeva had darsana of Krsna.
He saw the Lord and explained His pastimes and this compilation of His pastimes and the pastimes of His incarnations is called Srimad Bhagavatam. This is the final book of Vyasaji. He compiled this book after realizing it in his samadhi. What is samadhi? Samadhi is of many kinds. Presently, people practice hatha-yoga and think they are in samadhi. But hatha-yoga will not do. The principle of hatha-yoga is, “I will not see this material world.”
But, Bhagavan has given you eyes, so why will you not see? He will try to control his mind. It may be possible to control the air, but it is not possible to control the mind. Can you sit still for a minute and control your mind? Thoughts from all directions will enter your mind. Your mind will not be controlled. If you have prema, bhakti for Krsna, then your mind will be controlled. Vyasadeva has stated in the Bhagavat regarding how to control the mind. The dharma of every being is to love Krsna. This is the constitutional nature of every being. Krsna is the only friend of everyone. He is everyone’s Prabhu. He is everyone’s prana-priyatama; the beloved of everyone. Today, you consider one lady to be your wife; but after you die, will she still be your wife? You consider one man to be your husband, but what is to be after you die? Relationships keep changing. A soul may be a lady today and become a man in his next life. The soul will take birth in his next life according to the thoughts that occupy his mind at the time of death.
Don’t think, “I will steal and lie; there will be no reaction.”
In this life or in your next life, you will have to undergo the reactions to your activities. What is the meaning of meat? Me-eat; the animal whose flesh a person eats, will in turn be eaten by that very animal itself. There will definitely be a reaction to your activities. So, don’t lie; don’t steal. Always speak the truth.
tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Don’t become too attached to samsara. It is all right to remain in samsara and look after your children. Wealth is also needed. But you should think, “Everything belongs to Krsna. Nothing is mine. I am His servant. My wife is the maidservant of Krsna. My children are also His servants.” Always think like this. Have love and affection for everyone. Then you will be happy in life. So, regardless of a person being educated or not; knowledgeable or not; regardless of him belonging to any caste; nonetheless, he should serve Krsna. In India, there are so many Bengalis, Gujaratis, Tamilians, the Telugu populace, and others. All of them consider Krsna as their worshipable Lord.
govindam bhaja govindam bhaja govindam bhaja mudha-mate
Who is singing this? Sankaracarya himself; who is he telling this to? He is telling all his intellectual elite that “Oh fools, Sanskrit grammar will not save you. Only Govinda can save you.”
Wealth cannot save us; our family members cannot save us. Understand that only Krsna and His names can save us. Therefore, practice bhakti-yoga. There is no difficulty in the practice of bhakti-yoga. If you cannot do anything, then at least say, “Oh Prabhu, I am Yours.” What expense do you have to incur by saying like this? No money is spent. Chant, “Rama Rama or Krsna Krsna.”
Chant, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.”
No money is spent in chanting these holy names. You may say, “I am very ill.” Even if you are ill, what is the problem? Just chant these names.
You will say, “Bring me medicine! Bring me a doctor!” But can you not say Hare Krsna, which is the topmost medicine?
You may say, “Brother, I have no time to chant. I have to go the office.”
But if you fall ill, will you go to the office? So, always chant when you are walking, sitting, standing; chant at every breath. Even if you have not slept or taken any food and are passing stool and are going to die at any moment; yet, chant Krsna Krsna or Rama Rama. You will cross this terrible bhava-sagara. All the scriptures proclaim this in unison. The Vedas, Upanisads, Puranas, Bhagavat, Gita, and all the scriptures speak of this. Everything that has been written in the scriptures is based on realization. If we believe Newton’s theory, and what Max Mueller has said, then why can we not study Vyasa’s deliberations and realize them in our heart? What Isaac Newton and Max Mueller have said are worldly things. Their writing contains no transcendental content. There is no mention of the soul in their writings. But, Vyasaji has realized what he has written and manifested everything for our auspiciousness.
So, how can the consciousness be fixed on Krsna? We are trapped in this samsara, so will our minds think of Krsna? Therefore, I want to speak on the Srimad Bhagavatam. Now I will speak on how Krsna’s bhajan can be easily done. Krsna took birth in Mathura and Gokula at the same time. After some time, He killed Putana. What does “Putana” mean? “Puta,”
means purity and “na,” means that, which is not pure. Hence, Putana means impurity. We become pure by taking a bath. If someone touches us with some dirty things, what will we do? We will go the bathroom, apply soap and become clean. Dirt can be cleaned by water. But what if the heart becomes dirty? Will water clean it? Only taking a bath will not do.
A man said, “I will steal everything in the house of that person.”
Can this evil thought be washed away by water? How will it go? This should be thought on. Once, a delegation from America came to India. They wanted to show that Indian children are dying because of lack of food. They wanted to prove that the children either die or become handicapped. They thought, “How can these children be helped?” The delegation also consisted of an Indian, who was a Gujarati. He was a very knowledgeable person. The delegation resided in Delhi and the Indian gentleman came to Mathura. He stayed with a doctor and the doctor brought this gentleman to me.
We spoke to each other and he said, “You are a sadhu. Lakhs of Indian children die because of being malnourished. Their growth is inhibited. Don’t all of you think about this? We spend a lot of time deliberating on this issue. We make the children nourished and healthy. The Indians are very poor. They don’t have food to eat and they die. Why don’t all of you do something about this? Why don’t all of you arrange for money or for some rules that will ensure the health of the children?”
I said, “You have spoken nicely. All right, I understand that the highly knowledgeable residents of America, Russia, and the European countries consider this matter and do what is needed. But, did all of you ever think why crime is on the rise in these countries? More people commit suicide in these countries than in India. Why? The people of these countries marry five times in five years and divorce each other as well. Why? They are so desperate for wealth that they kill others and a cry is not raised. Why is this? Did all of you think and plan on how to bring about a change in these countries? It is true that by wealth, these children can be nourished. But our Rsis have thought about the future of everyone. How can the heart of those who steal and cheat be changed? These are impurities of the heart. They cannot be washed away by water. So how can the heart be made clean?
“But the Rsis would just touch a person and his heart would be changed. What is found in India is not to be found anywhere else. Hence, India is alive even today. It is the country of Rama and Krsna. We call ourselves Their descendants. This is not to be found in other countries. Therefore, millions of people from other countries come to India, so that they can obtain this transcendental knowledge that is explained in the Gita and Bhagavat. They consider India to be their guru. To love others—this selfless love and affection for others is only found in India. Not only India, this philosophy is found in those places where there is Vedic science and culture. It is not found anywhere else in this world. A person can give his everything to serve others. This conception is not to be found in other countries.”
Thus, I told this to the Indian gentleman who belonged to the delegation from America. So, Putana means she who is impure. Who made her pure? Krsna did. He killed Aghasura after killing Putana. “Agha,” means sin. What is sin? To murder others, to be ungrateful, and to not consider women as one’s mother, sister, or daughter is a great sin. Do you understand what I am saying? Men should think of women as their mother, sister, or daughter. But men don’t think like this. They think everyone in this world is meant for their enjoyment and they can eat anything in this world in an unrestricted manner. They eat cows, goats, onions, garlic, and other things. They even eat the birds, which fly in the sky. If they could, they would even reach out to the airplanes that fly in the sky and they would eat them as well. They eat four-legged animals, but they cannot eat the four-legged bed. But they think everything else is made for them to eat. It is not like this. You should have prema for everyone. If you cannot do good to anyone, then don’t do bad to them. Treat all living beings equally and remember Bhagavan Krsna. Without remembering Krsna, you cannot love everyone.
So, Krsna killed Aghasura. He did not really kill him; Krsna gave him mukti, liberation, which is not obtained by jnanis despite them performing austerities for millions of years. Krsna changed his body and purified him of all unwanted mentalities. Thus, the soul of Aghasura entered the lotus feet of Krsna and Krsna gave him the supreme destination. Therefore, the demons that Krsna killed were not really killed by Him. He purified them by separating them from their bodies and gave them entrance into His abode. What the demons attained was far more superior to mukti. When Krsna finished all His pastimes, Akrura got Krsna to Mathura. Kamsa realized that he could not kill Krsna.
He thought, “Krsna cannot be killed by someone from outside. He should be invited here, to Mathura. I will call Him here on an excuse and everyone will surround Him and kill Him. He cannot be killed by a single person.”
All the demons planned to kill Krsna when He would come to Mathura. When Krsna reached Mathura from Vrndavana, an intoxicated elephant called Kuvalayapida charged to kill Him. Krsna caught the elephant by its tusk and killed it. He killed all the demons who tried to kill Him. He then reached Rangashala. Rangashala was the wrestling arena. Canura and Mustika, who were Kamsa’s demons started to wrestle with Krsna and Baladeva Prabhu. There were some women from the Yadu dynasty who were witnessing this battle.
The ladies remarked, “These powerful demons are surrounding and trying to kill the little boys—Krsna and Baladeva. They are so little and delicate. Krsna’s milk teeth have not fallen until now. And, these powerful wrestlers have assembled to kill these little boys. Adharma, irreligiosity has entered this assembly. It would have been all right if Krsna would have wrestled with boys who were of His same age. These wrestlers are like big elephants and they are fighting with these little boys.”
punya bata vraja-bhuvo yad ayam nr-linga
gudhah purana-puruso vana-citra-malyah
gah palayan saha-balah kvanayams ca venum
—Srimad Bhagavatam 10.44.13
[How pious are the tracts of land in Vraja, for there the primeval Personality of Godhead, disguising Himself with human traits, wanders about, enacting His many pastimes! Adorned with wonderfully variegated forest garlands, He whose feet are worshiped by Lord Siva and goddess Rama vibrates His flute as He tends the cows in the company of Balarama.]
Punya bata vraja-bhuva—Vrndavana is most glorious. In Vrndavana, Krsna plays on His Murali so sweetly. He is so beautiful that the birds and animals become stunned on seeing Him. Becoming ecstatic, the peacocks start dancing and the cuckoos start delightfully cooing. Every human becomes attracted to Him. The deer become so attracted that they go near Krsna and looking into His eyes, beg for prema. Krsna is so beautiful. There is no one who will not become stunned in ecstasy upon beholding the beauty of Krsna. Gah palayan—Krsna goes cowherding with millions of cows. What is the identity of these cows? The cows are the Vedas. Each of the mantras is a cow as well. Thus, Krsna plays in Vrndavana and on Giriraja-Govardhana. He also carries Giriraja-Govardhana. He performs many pastimes. He is so beautiful at these times.
gopyas tapah kim acaran yad amusya rupam
lavanya-saram asamordhvam ananya-siddham
drgbhih pibanty anusavabhinavam durapam
ekanta-dhama yasasah sriya aisvarasya
—Srimad Bhagavatam 10.44.14
[What austerities must the gopis have performed! With their eyes they always drink the nectar of Lord Krsna’s form, which is the essence of loveliness and is not to be equaled or surpassed. That loveliness is the only abode of beauty, fame and opulence. It is self-perfect, ever fresh and extremely rare.]
The ladies of the Yadu dynasty said, “What austerities did the gopis do in their previous lives? Without doing austerities it is not possible for the gopis to receive this favor. The beauty of the threefold bending form of Krsna is unparalleled in all the three worlds. This form of Krsna makes everyone mad. If one sees Krsna only once, then he cannot see anything else. There are many forms in this world, but after seeing Krsna’s form, there will be no desire to see anything else.”
lavanya-saram asamordhvam ananya-siddham
—Srimad Bhagavatam 10.44.14
Ramacandraji was very beautiful. But Krsna is more beautiful than Ramacandra. He is especially beautiful when He plays on the Murali under the shade of the Kadamba trees. He stands in His threefold bending—tribhanga rupa. His neck is crooked; His waist is crooked; entwining one leg around the other, He plays on the Vamsi. At that time, there is no living entity that doesn’t become bewildered on witnessing this beauty of the Supreme Lord. Even insects become bewildered by this beauty.
drgbhih pibanty anusavabhinavam durapam
—Srimad Bhagavatam 10.44.14
Absorbed in this beauty of Krsna, the gopis forget their body and mind. They don’t know where they are. The calves and cows also forget about their surroundings when they see Krsna or listen to His flute song. I was speaking on this yesterday or the day before? Where was it?
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Hindu society temple.
Srila Gurudeva: Glorifying the gopis, the ladies of Mathura said:
ya dohane ‘vahanane mathanopalepa
gayanti cainam anurakta-dhiyo ‘sru-kanthyo
dhanya vraja-striya urukrama-citta-yanah
—Srimad Bhagavatam 10.44.15
[The ladies of Vraja are the most fortunate of women because, with their minds fully attached to Krsna and their throats always choked up with tears, they constantly sing about Him while milking the cows, winnowing grain, churning butter, gathering cow dung for fuel, riding on swings, taking care of their crying babies, sprinkling the ground with water, cleaning their houses, and so on. By their exalted Krsna consciousness they automatically acquire all desirable things.]
I am speaking on this because how can we remember Krsna while we are in this this material world? Bhakti is not difficult; Bhakti is very simple. Staying in their houses, the gopis always remember Krsna. How do they do so? Ya dohane ‘vahanane. There are cows in the homes of the gopis. The gopis milk the cows in the early morning. Gayanti cainam anurakta-dhiyo; the gopis sing about Krsna. What do they sing?
They sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”
[Srila Gurudeva and the audience sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”]
The gopis are milking the cows; but where are their minds? They are only thinking of Krsna. A gopi is taking a pot of butter on her head and she is only thinking of Krsna. They only remember Krsna. What do they say?
Govinda Damodara Madhaveti
A gopi is gathering cow dung for fuel. All of you have not seen how cow dung can be used for cooking. A house can also be cleaned using cow dung. I grew up in such a house. Cow dung is pasted on the floor and made to dry. A cool breeze comes from all four sides. Fresh air comes from the banks of the Ganga and Yamuna. Therefore, when the gopis are cleaning their homes with cow dung or when they are making cow dung patties, then where are their minds? They are near Krsna.
They sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”
In India, a pestle is used to separate the rice and wheat from their husks. A couple of gopis would each lift five or six kilos of rice or wheat and they would help each other thresh the husks. But as they would do this, what would they sing?
Govinda Damodara Madhaveti
A gopi goes from one house to another carrying a pot of butter. She sings, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti,” and doesn’t notice the pot slipping from her hands. The pot falls on the ground and breaks. Her anchala falls from her head and the gopi doesn’t notice this. The gopi doesn’t know where she is going. Thinking about Krsna, she has forgotten everything. Her consciousness has become fixed on dark Krsna. Thus, she sings, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”
A baby is crying during the night. The baby’s mother sings a lullaby to pacify the baby. The gopi gently pats her baby and sings, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”
A parrot speaks very sweetly. He will repeat what you will say. If the parrot is in a house where abuses are hurled at each other, then the parrot will also speak accordingly. But if the parrot is in a home where the pastimes of Bhagavan are discussed, then the parrot will say, “Citrakuta ke ghata par baisantana ki bira, tulasidasa candana ghise tilaka le ta raghuvira.” The parrot will remember anything you say. If you teach the parrot to say, “Radha Damodara,” then it will say so.
One gopi was feeding a parrot some sweet rice. She told the parrot to sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.” And, the parrot sang, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”
A gopi is worshiping Thakuraji in her house. But as she worshiping Thakuraji, who is the Salagrama-sila, she sings, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”
They think about Krsna while doing any work. Vraja’s gopis have become absorbed in Krsna. They only sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.” Therefore it is said, “Gayanti cainam anurakta-dhiyo.” Their minds have become fully attached to Krsna. Krsna’s chariot is the minds of the gopis. Krsna always sits on the chariot of their minds. The gopis think of no one else. And, who sits on the chariot of Krsna’s mind? The gopis do. Krsna is also absorbed in always thinking about the gopis. What does He sing?
He sings, “Radhe Radhe Radhe Jaya Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe.”
[Srila Gurudeva and the audience sing, “Radhe Radhe Radhe Jaya Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe.”]
And what does Radhaji sing? She sings, “Govinda Jaya Jaya Gopala Jaya Jaya.”
[Srila Gurudeva and the audience sing, “Govinda Jaya Jaya Gopala Jaya Jaya Radha-ramana Hari Govinda Jaya Jaya.”]
When Krsna goes cowherding, then everyone in Vraja comes to see Him. The elderly, the boys, the newly married, and everyone else gathers to see Him. The gopis see Him from their doorsteps and windows. Krsna casts sidelong glances at them and slowly enters the forest. When Krsna returns during the evening the gopis anxiously look at the forest path, intently waiting for Him. This is the happiness of Vraja. This is the happiness of Goloka Vrndavana. We are meant to reside in Goloka Vrndavana. This world is the world of refugees. We are the refugees of Goloka Vrndavana. There is no guarantee on how many days we will stay in this world.
Krsna will tell you, “O brother, empty your house.”
What is the meaning? It means you have to leave your body that you have leased. You will be told, “Empty your house in one minute. I will take no more rent.”
You cannot say, “Oh I am a five year old boy. Oh I am a twelve year old girl.”
“No. I don’t want to listen to this. Empty the house now.”
You will have to empty the house at that time. Therefore, before this time comes, do Bhagavan’s bhajan and attain everlasting peace and happiness.
vancha-kalpa-tarubhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah
Keep your mind fixed on Bhagavan in this way. Do all that is needed in this samsara. Live with your children; there is no difference—but always remember Bhagavan. Listen to these wonderful pastimes of His. You should especially listen to these pastimes in such a place where money is not asked for attendance. In India, some people ask money for speaking hari-katha.
They say, “I will speak hari-katha if you give five thousand rupees.”
Don’t listen in places where money is asked. Don’t sell your kirtan and bhajan. Always keep it hidden. Bhakti flies away from the place where there is exchange of money and other things. Bhagavan doesn’t stay in such a place. Hence, having love and affection for everyone, cultivate prema for Krsna. You should always increase your prema for Him. Remembering Him, you will blissfully leave this world. Take something from this world, or else you will return. Thus, always chant Bhagavan’s names. Mahamantra should be sung.
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]