Hari-katha Articles Mischief and Mirth - Govinda-lilamrta

Mischief and Mirth – Govinda-lilamrta

Chapter 2

Kavirāja Gosvāmī collected and saved this vraja-līlā for the sādhakas. If one takes shelter of līlā-śakti that is called pāramārthika dīkṣā. There are two types of dīkṣā. One is when conditioned souls go to kula gurus or other authorities and take mantra dīkṣā, thinking, “How can I become pure and happy in my life?” With this desire they accept a Guru according to the etiquette of society.

On the other hand, some understand that the physical body and world is temporary, and that the living entities are the eternal parts and parcels of God. Then they desire, “How can I make relationship with my real family? Having forgotten God I am now suffering in the jail of māyā. How can I escape the suffering of saṁsāra? How to cross māyā?”

Then they inquire—athāto brahma-jijñāsā. Who is Brahma, who is Parabrahma, who is īśvara, who is paramīśvara, the Supreme Lord.

There is another line to go that way. On one side there is jaḍa-śakti, māyā-śakti, mundane potency, and jaḍa vidyā, māyā vidyā, mundane knowledge, and the other side is parā-vidyā, transcendental knowledge, and parā-śakti, transcendental potency. How can we be connected to svarūpa-śakti. If we take shelter of svarūpa-śakti, She will teach us the process to cross māyā. This is called līlā dhatu. She connects us with the holy pastimes of God with His associates. If one takes shelter of līlā-śakti and daily remembers the pastimes of God then the mind will be cut off from this mundane world and will enter Vraja Bhūmi, the eternal world. Otherwise in this world, the vast majority of educational centers teach mundane līlās and jaḍa rasa. Kula gurus and all other tutors and professors teach this, even though they know this is temporary.

evaṁ lokaṁ param vidyān
naśvaraṁ karma-nirmitam
sa-tulyātiśaya-dhvaṁsaṁ
yathā maṇḍala-vartinām
Śrīmad-bhāgavatam 11.3.20

 

“One cannot find permanent happiness even on the heavenly planets, which one can attain in the next life by ritualistic ceremonies and sacrifices. Even in material heaven the living entity is disturbed by rivalry with his equals and envy of those superior to him. And since one’s residence in heaven is finished with the exhaustion of pious fruitive activities, the denizens of heaven are afflicted by fear, anticipating the destruction of their heavenly life. Thus they resemble kings who, though enviously admired by ordinary citizens, are constantly harassed by enemy kings and who therefore never attain actual happiness.”

tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ
brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.3.21

 

“Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken complete shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters.”

One may go even to heaven, but will return, this is not permanent. They may go to brahmā-loka, but will come back down when their pious karma is finished. Jaḍa rasa is not helpful.

If you have desire for pāramārthika dīkṣā from the eternal world, you must follow the proper process. Take shelter of līlā-śakti. She bestows līlā dhatu sobhaya. She decorates you with goodness, good qualities, good ideas and intelligence to follow the good way. Becoming trained in this process, then you will be like a lotus inside the water without getting wet. You will stay in this world with the body and mind, but will have no relation with the body and mind, and you will have no more relation with those who want to have bodily business with you. You will be separate from all mundane people. By having relation with līlā-śakti, you will continuously drink transcendental nectar.

The sad gosvāmīs did not spend time collecting opulence, livestock, gardens and houses. To sustain their lives they ate buttermilk or chickpeas and sometimes fasted. They drank the ambrosia bestowed by līlā-śakti at every moment. Thus they were decorated by līlā-śakti with all goodness. Day and night they were floating, bathing and drowning in līlā-rasa.

Now, we have heard something of niśānta-līlā. Kṛṣṇa was resting in brāhma-muhūrta when the time for kuñja bhanga līlā began. Kakkhaṭī, the peacocks, parrots and other animals came and gave news to Rādhā Kṛṣṇa, “The sun is rising, he is not waiting any longer. Please wake and return to Your abodes.”

In this world there are many people with antagonistic mentalities. They don’t like the service of God. They want people to follow them. They are very greedy to make one separate from the service of God. Why? “Why are you following God? Why don’t you follow me? I am your parent, your brother, your guardian. Follow me.” All try to steal and make others their slaves.

When the sun rises, people get strength from the power of the sun. Where do they use this? They endeavor only to make others their slaves. They learn many processes with this in mind and become very clever. By hook and crook they try to capture you. They give food, lodge, so-called love and affection and all types of mundane help. Then, when you are close and caught, they say, “You are mine, you are in my society, my family.” But after what result comes? Look at that. Think about that. Do they help you gather knowledge of the soul and Supreme Soul? Do they advise you to serve the Supreme Soul?

After sometime the mundane body is lost. We become old, devoid of all power, and then our so-called relatives kick us out. When we have no more blood, they kick us out. When we have no more wealth, they kick us out. When we are strong, everyone likes to share our blood and power.

As the various animals in Vraja help awake the Divine Couple in niśānta-līlā, pastimes at the end of night, the guru-varga travel around the world, going house-to-house, door-to-door, performing nāma-saṅkīrtana.

udilo aruṇa pūrava bhāge,
dvija-maṇi gorā amani jāge,
bhakata-samūha loiyā sāthe,
gelā nagara-vrāje

 

“When the red-tinged sun began to rise on the eastern horizon, Śrī Gaurāṅga, the jewel amongst brāhmaṇas, at once awoke and took His devotees out into the villages of Navadvīpa.”

‘tāthai tāthai’ bājalo khola,
ghana ghana tāhe jhājera rola,
preme ḍhala ḍhala sonāra aṅga,
caraṇe nūpura bāje

 

“ ‘Tāthai tāthai’ the mṛdaṅgas resounded; the karatālas played in time. Overflowing with prema, Śrī Gaurāṅga’s golden form swayed gracefully, causing His anklebells to jingle at His feet.”

Gaurahari woke in brāhma-muhūrta and went out into the town performing nāma-saṅkīrtana to make everyone arise for niśānta-līlā.

uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata
kṣurasya dhārā niśitā duratyayā
durgaṁ pathas tat kavayo vadanti

 

“Arise! Awake! Approach the great and learn. That path is like the sharp edge of a razor, so say the wise – hard to tread and difficult to cross.”

“Please wake up! No longer sleep in māyā! Come and follow Me.”

If anyone is engaged in God’s service ordinary people will come and try to disturb him. Therefore be strong, serious and careful. People are always ready to torture others. They don’t like bhajana. Followers of the demon king Hiraṇyakaśipu say, “I am worshipable, perform bhajana of me.” Parents say, “Serve and follow me. Worship me. I am your guardian, your all-in-all.”

Hints are given how to escape from the torment of others. Otherwise if people were to come and witness the service of God, they would give blame. Like giving blame to Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs, “What are you doing this morning in this solitary forest grove? Go home and follow proper etiquette and religious life.”

If you try to serve God, people will have doubt, and think, “What are you doing? What is this bogus philosophy?”

Therefore Mahāprabhu closed the door at night and began saṅkīrtana. But ordinary people had doubt, “What is He doing? Why doesn’t He open the door?”

If people go to movies, to the sea beach and for recreation, no one will question their activities.

In niśānta-līlā, Yogamāyā Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī sends everyone, “Please leave the kuñja, now Kṛṣṇa will go home and Śrīmatī will go to Her room. The Vraja-devīs will then seriously begin their service.”

Śuka and sārī explain Rādhā Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. Like singing, vibhavari sesa āloka pravesa. On one side there is kṛṣṇa-līlā, and on other hand, “How can I wake from māyā līlā and come near līlā-śakti to serve Rādhā Kṛṣṇa?”

After waking, Rādhā Kṛṣṇa depart to their abodes.

Here the second chapter begins.

In the early morning Kṛṣṇa wakes and dresses. On the request of Yaśodā Mātā, Śrīmatī Rādhikā and the Vraja-devīs come to Nanda-bhavana cook many preparations.

Kṛṣṇa sits with Nanda Bābā and takes prasādam. Kavirāja Gosvāmī describes how the last part of Kṛṣṇa’s prasadama comes to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, and She takes something and distributes it to the rest of the gopīs. Kavirāja Gosvāmī offer praṇāma to that Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.

In the morning, where does Kṛṣṇa go first? To the cowshed, where He milks the cows.

Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, “I offer praṇāma to that Kṛṣṇa.”

Why? This is giving hints what programs are coming.

How is the heart in the early morning? Like the open sky. The sky has one full moon. Kṛṣṇacandra has appeared in Vṛndāvana-dhāma, seemingly in the world of māyā, but this Vṛndāvana-dhāma is not in māyā. Appearing in Vraja-dhāma, Kṛṣṇa illuminated the entire world with His loving pastimes. Māyā is darkness and Kṛṣṇa is light. Everywhere this world is dark. But Kṛṣṇa is like the full moon. Now He is milking the cows in Nanda-bhavana. Paramamrtam bhusanam me.

Daily Kṛṣṇa goes to the cows and collects nectar from the ocean of milk. This ocean of nectar is reserved in the cows’ udders. Kṛṣṇa milks this nectar from the cows’ breasts and takes this to distribute to the Vrajavāsīs.

Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī Devī has so much love and affection for Kṛṣṇa. She comes to serve. She arranges all pastimes one after the other. If anything is short, she becomes very sad and the ongoing serial of vraja-līlā will be broken.

Therefore Paurṇamāsī Devī comes in the morning to Nanda Mahārāja’s house to ensure all pastimes are going on properly. There she witnesses the beauty of Nanda-bhavana. In Nanda-bhavana on four sides there are rooms and in the middle is a wonderful courtyard.

Paurṇamāsī sees that everywhere there is yogurt, milk, sweets and other milk preparations. The Vraja-devīs churn yogurt and floppy butter comes out. The first butter that comes is very soft and yellow. The Vraja-devīs collect this first batch of butter. As they carry it to the kitchen, some of it drops here and there and the ground becomes very slippery. Why do they make the ground slippery? The gopīs are very clever. They spill butter so that no one can come fast through Nanda-bhavana. People must walk very carefully otherwise they will slip. If the gopīs are performing any sweet pastime with Kṛṣṇa, no one will be able to run and catch them. They will have to approach slowly, allowing the gopīs spies to give to give the gopīs warning. Therefore the gopīs spill specks of butter around.

Then birds and monkeys come and eat butter peacefully. Otherwise they will shout very loudly. But if they are busy eating butter they will not disturb Kṛṣṇa or others.

Paurṇamāsī Devī sees jewels everywhere. What are the jewels? The Vraja-devīs cook many preparations. But they have not cleaned up yet and they have placed many extra things out of the kitchen.

Śrī Hari is sleeping in Śvetadvīpa, in the middle of the ocean of milk, kṣīra sagara. There are many jewels surrounding Him. The purport is: The sakhīs and mañjarīs came in the morning to cook and before beginning, they took off all their ornaments, placing them here and there around Nanda-bhavana.

When Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī came she saw that Nanda-bhavana had become like the abode of Kuvera, the treasurer of the gods. Jeweled bracelets, necklaces and so forth were all around the house. Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī saw all their ornaments and became surprised.

She knew whose ornaments were whose. While working it is not possible to wear all ornaments.

“Where have I come?” Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī thinks, “This is certainly kṣīra sagara, and Mahā Lakṣmī has come here to serve Ananta Padmanābha.”

Then what does she see? She sees many flowers and pots full of ingredients that were brought by the gopīs. They brought honey, water and juices in gold and silver pots and lined them up one by one in Nanda-bhavana.

The courtyard in Nanda-bhavana is very large, but everywhere is shining illuminated with the preparations and ornaments of the Vraja-devīs.

Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī became very glad, “My līlā-śakti is running on very nicely.”

In the early morning devotees should go and wait, “What service is reserved for me? Which service have I been given permission for?”

Śrīmatī Yaśodā has transcendental knowledge. She sits in one place and understands what is present in each pot. She knows, “That pot has some sprouts in it, the pot over there has honey, that one in the corner has sugar and the one next to it is date juice.”

She has knowledge of everything. She points and gives instruction to the mañjarīs, “Go bring the pot over there. Śrīmatī Rādhārānī needs that one.”

As coaches in sport matches orders the players what to do, Yaśodā Mātā signals the mañjarīs how to serve.

She knows where are nice fruits in Nanda-bhavana. Which fruits are completely juice and ripe. She has this knowledge. “Where are the cracked wheat, oats, barley, and dry fruit powders? Where are the pickles?” She knows what to cook, how and when. She has all knowledge as a result of her austerity.

Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī comes outside the gate of Nanda-bhavana. Then Yaśodā Mātā sends many servants to welcome her. Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī is respected all throughout Vraja-maṇḍala. When she came to the gate of Nanda-bhavana, Yaśodā Mātā sent many servants to welcome her. They went and worshipped her feet with flowers and candana, place a garland around her neck, perform her ārati and brought her into Nanda-bhavana.

The Vrajavāsīs do not act without her permission. Yaśodā Mātā gives her proper respect. She heard, “Śāṇḍilya Rṣi and Bhāgurī Rṣi are coming.” Then Yaśodā Mātā sent others to welcome and worship them. There are nice seats for them in Nanda-bhavana. She knows how to serve all guests according to their natures. Yaśodā Mātā respects all, gives them what they wish, and serve all accordingly.

Now Yaśodā quickly went to Kṛṣṇa’s room and said, “Kṛṣṇa, wake, bathe and get dressed. Then come offer obeisance to the guru-varga and worship them.”

yone offers obeisance to the guru-varga in the morning and respects them, their hearts will melt and you will get śakti from them and everything. If you don’t go and respect them you will be dry. You will have no balance.

Yaśodā Mātā welcomed Paurṇamāsī, saying, “I’m very happy that you have come. Did you have any problem on your way? I offer you my obeisance.”

Yaśodā Mātā offered praṇāma to Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī, who embraced her in her arms and said, “Yaśodā Mātā, your glories will be spread everywhere. Your name is Yaśodā, your yaśa, fame, will spread everywhere.”

Vrajeśvarī Yaśodā met with Paurṇamāsī and the great sages and offered them obeisance. They were very greedy to see Kṛṣṇa. They had Kṛṣṇa darśana lālasā. Kṛṣṇa moved in the forest throughout the day and had little time to meet with anyone. He came back in the evening and was also busy then. The sages performed meditation at that time, doing tapa, japa, vrata, and so forth. But without Kṛṣṇa’s darśana, everything was dry for them.

Hence, the sages came in the early morning for darśana of Kṛṣṇa. They did not come to bless Kṛṣṇa, rather, they desired His darśana. Externally however, they followed their roles as respected elders in Vraja. They accepted respect from Yaśodā Mātā, but their mood was not one to take respect, rather they begged for her mercy and blessings so that they could have darshan of her son, the Supreme Lord.

Yaśodā Mātā saw that many elder mothers came with many gifts. Yaśodā Mātā told them, “Please wait a while.”

She went to Kṛṣṇa’s room with Paurṇamāsī. But Kṛṣṇa’s room was after many gates and compartments in Nanda-bhavana. Like Śrī Rangam in South India. After walking one kilometer you come to the main temple. That is only the temple of Śrī Rangam. But how is Kṛṣṇa’s house? Yaśodā Mātā goes one by one through the rooms with Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī, who sees that everywhere there are ornaments, jewels, fruits and flowers stocked.

Paurṇamāsī became surprised, “In heaven there are beautiful gardens and so much opulence, but heaven is nothing in comparison to Nanda-bhavana.”

She saw Śrīdāma, Sudāma, Dāma, Vasudama, Bhadrasena, Stoka Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna, Kinkini and other sakhās with Baladeva outside the room of Kṛṣṇa. They were shouting, “O Kṛṣṇa, wake up! Wake up! How long will You sleep for? Are You very tired today? Wake!”

“Oh, now You are very weak,” Madhumaṅgala teased Kṛṣṇa. “Does Nandarani not feed You? Does all that milk You drink not give You any strength? You are always thinking of ladies, therefore You have become weak. Be serious! Be a strong brahmacārī, then Your power will not be lost. You think of wrong things, therefore You are skinny and black and all Your strength is lost!”

Madhumaṅgala looked in Kṛṣṇa’s room and saw there was nothing to eat there and he said, “The Vrajavāsīs are not sweet. They haven’t put anything for Kṛṣṇa to eat in the room.”

Madhumaṅgala was hungry and could not find any laddus. As Yaśodā Mātā approached, greedy Madhumaṅgala said, “She has only one son, but she doesn’t have any desire to serve Him. She serves outside people for her name and fame, but gives nothing for her own son or the sakhās. How will He be strong?”

Madhumaṅgala searched everywhere for laddus. He went to the storeroom and found a basket there and ran with it to Kṛṣṇa. “Look Kṛṣṇa,” he said, “I am Your friend, eat some laddus and You will get energy.” Madhumaṅgala brought many laddus and began throwing them around the room. He gave Kṛṣṇa one piece, and then took it from His mouth and ate it, and gave laddus to all the sakhās.

Yaśodā Mātā thought, “Yes, I have not done anything. I do not think about this. Kṛṣṇa becomes hungry but has nothing to choose of His own accord. I give Him only by my choice.”

Then she said, “Madhumaṅgala, bring more laddus. There are white khoa laddus and many other varieties of sweets in the kitchen.”

Now that Madhumaṅgala got permission, he went and brought many baskets of different laddus with the sakhās and they all started dancing, eating and throwing around the laddus.
Madhumaṅgala then asked Kṛṣṇa, “Now have You gotten strength?”

Kṛṣṇa smiled and also danced. Yaśodā Mātā thought, “Oh! This friendship is very helpful for Kṛṣṇa. Parental love always controls, chastises, gives punishment, and orders, ‘do this, do that. Follow me.’ This is not good. Kṛṣṇa is really happy with His boyhood friends.”

The sakhās have freedom. They run around happily doing as they please without a care in the world. Madhumaṅgala told, “O Kṛṣṇa, don’t go more in Your room. This bedroom is a bad room. Going there You become sick.”

Why? When one goes to the bedroom, Nidrā Devī, the goddess of sleep catches one.
Madhumaṅgala said, “There is no fresh air in the room. There is no good oxygen. Come out and smell the flowers and fresh air! Everyone is waiting for You. Come!”

He caught Kṛṣṇa and came out past one compartment of Nanda-bhavana. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa showed like sleep was coming in His eyes. He rubbed His eyes and yawned deeply. Why? He thought, “If I neglect the sakhās a little and go back in My room, on the other side the Vraja-devīs are waiting for Me. I have not met them for a long time.”

Kṛṣṇa was thinking like this, but Madhumaṅgala was very strong and forcefully brought Him outside.

At the time of pralaya, Śrī Hari lays sleeping the ocean of milk. Yaśodā Mātā arranged a nice bed for Kṛṣṇa to sleep. She thought, “Let Kṛṣṇa rest.” But the sakhās came and teased Him, insulted Him, and dragged Him out of bed. Yaśodā Mātā’s breasts are full of milk. She thought, “Kṛṣṇa is going to the forest for the whole day, now I will give Him a million liters of milk to give Him strength for the trip.”

As she thought like this, tears fell from her eyes and milk flowed from her breasts. She felt, “My dear Kṛṣṇa should rest a while longer.”

But the cows were waiting for Kṛṣṇa to come milk them.

Yaśodā said, “Dear son, wake and wash Your face. Go with Baladeva. He will wear blue colored cloth and Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī Devī has brought nice yellow cloth for You. You fight and wrestle with Your friends in the day, I will smear mineral unguents on Your body from the hills of Vraja to protect You from injury.”

Hearing His mother’s loving words Kṛṣṇa thought, “Oh! My mother is disturbed. I will sleep no longer.”

Kṛṣṇa looked down. Why? His face and body had many signs, like He had been scratched by another’s nails. Yaśodā Mātā saw these and thought, “The thorns of the forest scratched Him.”

Really these had another cause but Yaśodā Mātā did not think of that side.

Madhumaṅgala came and teased Kṛṣṇa, “O mother, you don’t where your son has been. He went in the kuñjas and there someone caught, embraced and scratched Him. Therefore all these signs have come.”

Yaśodā Mātā has a clean heart, she thought, “What would Kṛṣṇa do in the kuñjas? He is just my little baby.”

Madhumaṅgala openly spoke about Kṛṣṇa’s affairs in the forest groves. Kṛṣṇa ran to cover his friend’s mouth but Madhumaṅgala danced out of reach.

Bhagavatī Paurṇamāsī entered the room and took Yaśodā Mātā into the kitchen and the sakhās took Kṛṣṇa to bathe. Now tomorrow we will hear more.

Offered in remembrance of Śrīla Gurudeva
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

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SHOULD WE PRAY TO GURU TO CORRECT OUR FAULTS?

When guru gives a turban, tilaka, and glorifies a person, then he is being raised up for a fall, to rectify him of his pride. In Hindi, there is a saying, which means that when people get praised continuously, it makes them more and more puffed up. They become so puffed up that they can no longer sit. They desire more and more prestige. If anyone tells them anything a little bit against them, or a little bit critical, then it is like they burst in anger and shout, “Sālā! Don’t you know who I am? I am the father of Gurudeva.” This is like saying, “I am the guru of my guru; I am everything to him! Without me, Mahārāja would have no life.” If Gurudeva or Bhagavān praise their dependents, it can give rise to a great anartha in the heart of the sādhakas. It is ve hard to tolerate such an anartha.The disciple should always pray that Śrī Guru chastise him and correct his faults. He should always reserve the right with his guru to chastise him. One should pray to Guru, “Always keep me as your humble follower and chastise me when I do wrong.” If at the time guru chastises his sevaka or disciple, that disciple then also speaks back to guru or reprimands guru, or complains about his Guru to others, then he will certainly fall down. If he goes around complaining, “Oh! Mahārāja said this and that. He was so abusive,” this is taking away the right of guru to chastise. Then the guru will stop chastising and then gradually, the disciple would certainly fall down. Therefore we should always have someone who is there ready to chastise us if we do wrong. Without a guardian we are hopeless. We should never take away the right of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas to chastise us. If we ourselves go and reprimand our guru or think ourselves to be superior to our guru then he will become silent and will not chastise us. Then guru will worship us. And he will say, “You are everything. You are my master; you are the authority.” So, a sincere sādhaka should always be cautious and understand that if Guru and Vaiṣṇavas begin to regularly praise him and worship him then he should try to rectify that situation before his downfall. He should pray for forgiveness for his offense. And he should always pray to Guru and Vaiṣṇavas that they be his chastiser and guardian.When this question was asked to Gurudeva about why a sevaka would leave guru or Bhagavān, Gurudeva said, “They are serving physically, but where is their mind? Is their mind engaged in service with sincerity? They look, ‘Oh! Who has come, who has given how much, who is a wealthy person, who has given donations?’ ”When people come to the sevaka of guru and say, ‘Oh! You sing so nicely and you do such nice service. You cook so well. O Prabhu! Really you have kept guru completely pleased by your service.’These people who come and give praise like this are great enemies, because then the sevaka will always be thinking about them and will forget about Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. We think of these people and try to take care of them and to keep them happy. In this way we leave the service of guru and begin serving others. That person is not a real guru-sevaka. He is showing that he is serving guru only to really engage others in his own worship and to enjoy himself. If he is a real sevaka then he will always be eager to be chastised by his guru. He will always be very humble and consider himself insignificant. He prays to guru, ‘If I have any mistake or any shortcoming please at once chastise me and correct me for my fault.’ And if he ever does anything wrong he will fall at the feet of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas and weeping, will pray for forgiveness.But some people become so arrogant that if guru finds any fault with their character and says anything to them then they are ready to start a fight and they will raise their hand to fight with guru, or they will turn their back on guru and leave him. Or if guru chastises them, then they will leave like a scolded wife and spend days crying here and there, and they will tell everyone they meet, “Oh! Gurudeva is so mean. He wrongly accused me.” They will tell everyone and try to show that they were right and that they had done nothing wrong. If someone acts like this then he has left his dharma as a sevaka. If the ‘se’ from the sevaka is taken away then all that is left is vaka, which means a crane, which represents the hypocrite. That person is only an impostor in the dress of a sevaka. Cranes are white and they have a nice long śikhā, and they do austerities with their eyes closed, standing on one foot in the water. Why? They only want to catch a fish. They wait and do austerities until a nice big fish comes along and then they snatch it up and eat it. One should be very careful not to be such a servant of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. If one is a real sevaka then what happens? Kṛṣṇa-bhakte kṛṣṇera guṇa sakali sañcāre—Kṛṣṇa’s qualities enter His devotees. So if someone is with guru and they are really a bhakta and a servant then all the good qualities of guru and Bhagavān will enter that person. Then he will be humble and fully qualified in all the different manners of vaiṣṇava-sevā and Vaiṣṇavism. By the good qualities of guru he becomes qualified. What is the fruit of this qualification? He learns to ree all Vaiṣṇavas properly according to their position. He always chants harināma and his mind will be naturally absorbed in Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s eternal pastimes.How can these good qualities and tattva-jñāna enter our hearts? How can we protect our bhakti and maintain a life of service of Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas? Scripture states: āyur harati vai puṁsāmudyann astaṁ ca yann asautasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nītauttama-śloka-vārtayāŚrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.3.17 Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.When the sun and the moon rise and set they steal the span of life of all living beings. The sun and the moon thus enjoy all life forms. All the devatās and dānavas enjoy the mānavas, or humans. When a boy or girl comes into maturity then different supernatural beings come at any opportunity and try to enjoy him or her through some subtle form. Apsarās or gandharvas will come and they will embrace you in their subtle forms and in that way enjoy you and cause you to lose your vital energy. Our life span and vital energy is thus being stolen from us. The presiding deities of the nava-graha, nine planets, are all like different manifestations of time, which steal away the life of all beings. When any planet’s period is acting in a person’s life, then that planet enjoys that person who is under its sign. During the Rāhu period, Rāhu enjoys that person. During the Ketu period, Ketu enjoys that person. Similarly, during one’s maṅgala-daśā or śani-daśā, Mars and Saturn enjoy that person.We can be saved from this situation by being always absorbed in the Absolute Truth under the guidance of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, by serving them and hearing hari-kathā from them. We should study the Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, Rāmāyaṇa, and other scriptures, under guidance of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. But it is not enough to only hear or read; we must endeavor to remember hari-kathā. While you are engaged in other activities try to remember what you have heard or read. Always remember the teachings and the pastimes of the Lord. And then after remembering, you should perform kīrtana. You should hear, chant, and remember. And not only that, you should also pray. You should hear, chant, remember, and pray. If you do that then these different influences, the planets, the sun and the moon will not be able to take away your life. You will achieve your transcendental form and go beyond this material realm. (click on the title to see more)

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