Hari-katha Articles Snehamrta - Govinda-lilamrta

Snehamrta – Govinda-lilamrta

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī and all the Six Gosvāmīs; as well as the Aṣṭa-kavirāja, Dvādaśa Gopāla, Cauṣati Mahānta and all of Mahāprabhu’s followers are all engaged in eternal service from morning to night. Vraja-līlā is in their heart, therefore they do not instruct anyone to pursue any mundane work or pastime. Mundane advice is given by mundane cheaters.

In Mahāprabhu’s movement, there is nothing like this. In Mahāprabhu’s movement, no one will instruct, “Perform mundane work. Maintain your body with mundane activity.”

The fruits of one’s past karma will manifest in a man’s life. Whatever is meant to come to maintain the body will come. The body is made simply of one’s past karma. Why should one waste time for his body? It will naturally be maintained. The 8,400,000 species of animals are automatically maintained.

There are so many animals that do not know how to plow fields, run businesses, or discover scientific facts, but are they not maintained? If they do not work, then how do they maintain their lives? Who arranges everything for them?

Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s followers do not instruct us to only worry maintaining the body and mind. They do not instruct to waste any time. They teach us that this body is only given by God for realization of the soul and Supreme Soul. Once this realization is yours, you will never have to suffer in the lower species of life again. You will no longer make prārabdha or aprārabdha-karma. You will be strong and automatically transported to the eternal world. Therefore, learn this process given by Mahāprabhu and His followers.

Mahāprabhu’s followers teach the process to attain anurāgamayī-bhakti.

Kavirāja Gosvāmī gives only a small hint of these līlās. When children first go to school, they are taught the alphabet. Gradually they become a little more qualified and they learn different subjects like history and geography. It is a gradual process. The first lesson children are not instructed about grammar. Slowly they progress.

Kavirāja Gosvāmī, gives us a very small hint. Like śākha-candra-nyāya, the moon on the branch logic. They say, “Follow vraja-līlā. These are the pastimes throughout the day.”

If you remember these pastimes as described by the gosvāmīs even just a little bit, know that you have come in contact with eternality. Now the button has been pressed on and the process initiated. Gradually these pastimes will be revealed in your heart in full detail and clarity.

But if in the early morning you wake, take some tea, read the newspaper, turn on the TV and watch the news, then these pastimes will not manifest to you. Ordinary rasa will come. The best news is the news of vraja-līlā, the activities of the Divine Couple in Vraja-maṇḍala. If you can hear, contemplate, or touch them in any way, then you will become connected to the eternal world. This is the advice of Mahāprabhu’s followers.

This connection is not temporary, but permanent. By following this advice of the ācāryas in our guru-varga then inspiration will come, along with so much strength and energy. You will never be hopeless or able to forget these pastimes. Eventually you will find yourself picking flowers at Kusuma-sarovara with the Vraja-devīs in your eternal form, and making beautiful garlands to offer to Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

Śrīla Gurudeva gave one example:

In Nandagrāma, there was once an old Bābā, who left everything to perform bhajana there. He wanted to make relationship with Nanda-baba, Kṛṣṇa, Baladeva and so forth. He stayed at Pāvana-sarovara and daily woke at the time of brāhma-muhūrta. He constantly heard of the kindness of Kṛṣṇa and the Vrajavāsīs.

This Bābā did not know any details about bhajana. He only knew that if he served Kṛṣṇa and pleased Him, then he himself would be happy and his life would be successful. He daily went into the forest to pick flowers. With the flowers he collected, he would make two garlands; one for Baladeva and one for Kṛṣṇa. He gave these to the pujārīs at the temple on top of Nandisvara hill and they would offer them to Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva. When he went for mādhukarī, all the Vrajavāsīs would give him respect and whatever he required. They knew he was a simple Bābā whose character was genuine.

He did not have long dreadlocks, or try to boast that he had mystic powers. He was simple and always chanted, “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa,” or “Baladeva, Baladeva.” He would maintain his life with the small amount that he begged and would chant like this day and night. Every morning he would make two garlands for Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva.

His life went on like this for many years until he was quite aged. One day he thought in frustration, “I will not stay any longer in Nandagrāma. Kṛṣṇa must not be pleased with me. Kṛṣṇa has never given darśana or told me whether He was happy with my service or accepted anything after all these years. He does not say anything.”

“I heard that Rādhārānī is very kind and sweet,” he said. “I will go to Varsānā and stay under Her shelter.” Then, without telling anyone, he packed his cloth in a tattered bag, and left with that, a small clay pot, and with his walking stick, he walked away from Nandagrāma, weeping in distress.

When he came to the border of Nandagrāma and Varsānā, many cowherd boys who had been playing, blocked the road before him and asked, “Bābā, where are you going with your bundle of cloth, a water pot and a walking stick? Are you leaving? Did the Vrajavāsīs stop giving you mādhukarī? Did someone insult you today? Why are you disturbed? Why are you leaving Nandagrāma? What is the problem? Does your body have any pain or sickness? Please don’t go Bābā. Don’t the Vrajavāsīs give you any milk? If you ask them they will give you milk. The Vrajavāsīs are very kind.”

The Bābā said nothing.

He tried to go around the boys and into the forest but all the boys caught and put their arms around him. “Don’t go!” They said.

The Bābā wept more than ever and said, “No! I won’t stay in Nandagrāma.”

“What is the problem?” the boys asked.

“Kṛṣṇa and Baldeva are not happy with me. After all this time, they did not accept me or give me darśana. I will go to Rādhārānī in Varsānā. I hear She is very merciful.”

“Please stay,” The boys persisted.

They picked him up and carried him back to Pāvana-sarovara, laid him down and massaged his feet. Physically and emotionally exhausted, the old Bābā fell asleep. The boys brought him some milk and mādhukarī, and pacified him somewhat. In his senseless state, the Bābā had a dream where Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva came to him, stroked his head, fanned him and said, “Bābā, today you didn’t make Us any garlands. Just see, Our necks are empty. You think that because We don’t give you darśana We don’t like you. But if We did not accept your service, then how could your service tendency continue? Because We accepted your service, for so long, you were able to make your garlands steadily. But today you were disturbed and didn’t offer Us garlands, thus, now we have no garland on Our necks.”

Kṛṣṇa then said to the Bābā, “Vṛṣabhānu-rāja-nandinī and I non-different. Every day, I send the garland you offer Me to Her in Varsānā.”

Kṛṣṇa showed in a vision that Rādhārānī in Varsānā was also wearing the garlands that the Bābā offered Him.

The next morning, when the Bābā woke, He went to the temple and saw that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were wearing the flower garlands that he had made two days ago. The flowers had become dry, but the pujārīs found that they could not remove them. Kṛṣṇa and Baladava would not allow it.

Anything the devotees offer to the Lord is accepted by Him. How can the Lord reject the love of His devotees? Kṛṣṇa accepts even the smallest amount of service performed to Him by His devotee.

alpa-sevā bahu māne ātma-paryanta prasāda

“The Lord accepts whatever small service a devotee renders as being such a great service that He is prepared to give even Himself, what to speak of other benedictions.”

Kṛṣṇa thinks of even a little service as very great.

By service, one comes nearby God, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. Only chanting harināma dryly is not enough if one has no desire for service. Without service, one cannot make any relationship. The heart will never be soft and sweet. Sweetness comes by serving the dhāma, the Deity, Śrī Guru and Vaiṣṇavas.

Now, how will you serve Śrī Guru? Guru-sevā means to daily remember the glories of Śrīla Gurudeva and preach his glories to others. The disciple must always remember and repeat the message of Śrī Guru. He who does this is a disciple. He has love.

That person that only speaks uselessly day and night, or reads newspapers and mundane stories and speaks about them to those around him is cheating himself as well as all other beings he comes in contact with.

Therefore be serious and careful to follow the path of love for Śrī Guru. Then you will get relation and very strong faith. If there is no love, there will be no faith. When love comes, faith also comes.

Today we are starting the third chapter. We must very seriously hear this Govinda-lilāmṛta.

kṛṣṇadāsa kavirāja rasika bhakata-mājha
je racila caitanya-carita
gaura-govinda-līlā śunile galaye śilā
nā ḍūvila tāhe mora cita
(Prārthanā)
“Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, the devotee who knows very well the loving relationships of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, compiled Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Govinda-līlāmṛta, describing the nectarine pastimes of Śrī Gaura-Govinda. Even the stones melt in ecstasy upon hearing these narrations. But alas! Only my mind is not attracted to them.”

If anyone hears the glories and pastimes of Gaura and Govinda, that is, if he drinks the nectar of gaura-līlā and govinda-līlā, his heart will melt, and automatically he will have relation with Vraja-bhumi and the Vrajavāsīs. His consciousness will never go any other direction. If one does not perform anuśīlana, careful and respectful study of these two great scriptures, how will he achieve pure bhakti?

We are very lucky to be in Vṛndāvana, under guidance of the Vaiṣṇavas and Guru-pāda-padma, trying to drink a little of this nectar of govinda-līlā. If one drop of this enters the heart, then the heart will be very clean. Nothing else can clean the contaminated heart.

We begin the third chapter of Govinda-līlāmṛta, praying to the sad gosvāmīs, to the Aṣṭa-kavirāja, Cauṣati Mahānta, the whole guru-varga, Śrī Vraja-dhāma and all the Vrajavāsīs for a drop of this nectar to enter our hearts. A drop is all that is needed. If just one drop comes in the heart, one’s life will be successful.

Kṛṣṇa is never alone. He is Gokulānanda. He fills all of Gokula with ever-lasting bliss, giving joy to the cows, gopīs, gopas, and all Vrajavāsīs. Śrīmatī Yaśodā never gives any ban or disturbs anyone. Yaśodā Mātā arranges nice prasādam for Kṛṣṇa with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and all the Vraja-devīs. Yaśodā Mātā takes one part of the service.

She thinks, “How will Kṛṣṇa be happy?” If all the gopas, gopīs, cows, and all are taken care of, Kṛṣṇa is happy. Yaśodā Mātā therefore arranges for everyone. She doesn’t think that Kṛṣṇa is hers alone. When any sage, Brahmin, priest, sādhu, or devotee comes to Nanda-bhavana, Yaśodā Mātā serves everyone. She is always very busy in service.

All of Yaśodā’s family members are very pleased with her for her open-hearted nature. She has so much love in her heart and has no ill-feelings for anyone, nor does she speak to anyone in harsh tones.

Yaśodā Mātā thinks, “If people are pleased by my service, their happiness is my happiness.”

Many people have love for their own children, sons and family. They may give something to servants and others, but how? They give full cream milk to their own relatives, and if any guests come, they mix the milk with two-thirds water and give this, and if there is any extra leftover food, then they will give it to others. Yaśodā Mātā is not like this. She gives only what is fresh and very nice. She serves very carefully and sweetly, not like it is a duty she is forced to perform. She is busy 24 hours of the day serving and feeding all with her love.

The Vrajavāsīs are very pleased with her. If one’s heart is pure, and full of love and affection, anyone who comes in contact with that person becomes humble, quiet and peaceful.

As a cow gives milk not only for her own calf, but freely gives to all, Yaśodā Mātā serves Kṛṣṇa, giving Him her breast milk, and she also arranges to serve all the Vrajavāsīs from her storehouse of love, in the form of many nice foodstuffs and gifts.

This is called snehāmṛta, affectionate nectar. This affection is very rarely found. Most think about their own family members. But Yaśodā Mātā is the mother of everyone. Her love and affection is unlimited and for everyone.

Yaśodā means one who is very famous. Her fame is always increasing and spreading everywhere. Every day, she makes herself more famous by her generous nature. If any unqualified persons come near her, she fills them with all kinds of good qualities and makes them famous. Just as a Guru does not make disciples, he makes others into gurus. He gives his own gurutva, responsibility and service tendency to his disciples, giving qualification to be ācāryas.

In the same way, anyone who comes near Yaśodā Mātā is decorated with yaśa, or fame of their own, and also inspires others, bringing out their fame as well.

Therefore, all the Vrajavāsīs come to Yaśodā Mātā to learn and see how to have such a big and open-heart, full of sweetness and affection. She also serves without a doer mood. She knows that everything is going on by the desire of God, and by the mercy of the sādhus and the guru-varga. She does not think, “I am the doer. I did this service.” She is very humble and quiet.

Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva daily go into the forest. The hearts of the Vrajavāsīs break to think of Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva tolerating the harsh heat of the sun.

One day, they requested Nanda Mahārāja as well as Upananda, Sunanda, Abhinanda, Parjanya and Variyasi to not allow Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva go to the forest. They said, “In the summer season, it is so hot in the forest. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma have to walk on top of the hills where there are many sharp stones. They may become ill from this and certainly feel some pain. Now for the two months of the summer at least, Dāū and Kanhaiyā should not go to the forest.”

Variyasi, Kṛṣṇa’s grandmother, said, “Yes, this is true. They should not go. I will tell Yaśodā today that I will go in Their place.”

When Variyasi came to tell this to Yaśodā Mātā, she saw Kṛṣṇa on the way. He was taking some dust from the ground and smearing it on His body, like Bolānāth, Śiva Ṭhākura.

“Dear child,” she asked. “What are you doing? Why are You smearing dust on Your body?”

“You have no faith in the dust of Vraja,” Kṛṣṇa replied. “This dust protects one from the heat of summer, cold of winter, and all diseases.”

He took some dust in His hand and held it out to His grandmother, “Dear grandmother, will you also smear some on your body?”

Coming a little closer, Variyasi noticed a very wonderful fragrance coming from Kṛṣṇa’s body.

“There definitely must be something else on Your body,” She said. Tell me what it is?”

Kṛṣṇa held some dust to her nose for her to examine closely. It smelled like malayana-candana, sandalwood from the Malayana hills.

“This dust of Vraja is not ordinary,” Kṛṣṇa said. “Even the demigods pray to attain this dust. I am very lucky to go out, grazing the cows and touching the dust of Vraja. Just think, the cows rest in this dust and are therefore very strong and fat. You will not find cows this healthy anywhere else. This is due to the special dust of Vraja. By touching this vraja-raja, I will also stay healthy and strong; thus, I will always go into the fields and forests of Vraja.”

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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