Audio Katha 2020 Vaisnava-tithis Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada Tirobhava - Prabhuji, 18 Nov 2020

Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada Tirobhava – Prabhuji, 18 Nov 2020

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The Ultimate Siksa-guru – New Jersey 15 July 1996

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is the best śikṣā-guru, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is better, and Śrīmatī Rādhikā is the ultimate śikṣā-guru. All Vaiṣṇavas who are superior to me are my śikṣā gurus, but there are gradations among them. I consider the books I read to be my śikṣā-guru and I pray to the books, “You should manifest yourselves within my heart.” I also consider Mathurā, especially Vraja Bhūmi, more especially Govardhana and most especially Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa to be śikṣā gurus...


Śrīla Gurudeva then described how Kṛṣṇa established Ugrasena Mahārāja as king. Then he said, “Nanda Baba was waiting at his camp outside the city and weeping, thinking, ‘When will Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma come back to me? They have not yet come.’ Finally, on the next night, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma came back to Nanda Baba. Embracing Them, he took Them both on his lap and began speaking to them with great affection. ‘Oh, I have been waiting so long for You.’ Kṛṣṇa is very tricky. When He was with Devaki and Vasudeva, He had told them, ‘I am your son,’ and when He was with Nanda Baba He said, ‘O Father, I am definitely your son.’ As Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma sat on the lap of Nanda Baba, Kṛṣṇa said, ‘Father, Vasudeva and Devaki are saying to Me, “You are our son. You are our son.” And all the Mathurāvāsīs are saying likewise. I wanted to come to you earlier, but all the residents of Mathurā obstructed Me from coming to meet you.’ “Balarāma said, ‘Listen, Father, those parents who give up their baby cannot be called real parents. Rather, those persons who look after the child, like the eyelids protect the eyes, are the real parents. One who merely gives birth is not the real parent, but one who protects and nourishes like a parent is the real parent. You are certainly My real father, and Yaśodā is My real mother.’ In the course of the conversation, Nanda Baba said, ‘What do You want? What is Your decision?’ “‘You were saying that I should stay here in Mathurā alone, without Kṛṣṇa, but that is completely impossible,’ Balarāma replied. ‘Even if Lord Brahmā, the creator of the universe, comes to Me thousands of times with the instruction, “Be without Kṛṣṇa. Be without Kṛṣṇa,” I cannot be without Him.’ Nanda Baba never thought of Kṛṣṇa as the son of Vasudeva and Devakī. He was thinking, ‘No one will ever criticize me for taking my own son away from here. However, if I take Balarāma as well, I will be considered very selfish for taking Vasudeva and Rohiṇī’s son. I will be considered very unfair.’” At this point in his lecture, Śrīla Gurudeva requested one of his disciples to lead a kīrtana in relation to the Vrajavāsīs’ separation: tuhū se rohili madhupūra. After the kīrtana, before a tearful audience, Śrīla Gurudeva continued, “The essence of this pastime is very difficult to understand, and its most confidential. Externally, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes that after hearing the arguments of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, Nanda Baba was pacified by them. They gave him many of their golden ornaments, and Nanda Baba, with tears of affection in his eyes, returned to Vṛndāvana. But how could this have possibly happened? Did Nanda Baba sell Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma? Did he travel all the way from Vraja to Mathurā to collect wealth? This is quite impossible, because prema, pure devotion, never takes— always gives. Therefore, the hidden meaning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam statements, as revealed to us in the commentary of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, should also be understood. “Kṛṣṇa had promised at the time of going with Akrūra from Vṛndāvana to Mathurā that He would definitely return. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is satya-saṅkalpa; He always speaks the truth. However, we cannot see any dire evidence in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that Kṛṣṇa did indeed return to Vṛndāvana. We hear that Balarāma returned for two months, but we don’t hear that Śrī Kṛṣṇa ever returned. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes that many years later, at the me of the solar eclipse, Kṛṣṇa went to Kurukṣetra with His 16,108 queens, and He met the Vrajavāsīs there. The Bhāgavatam describes only that Śrī Kṛṣṇa went back to Vṛndāvana by being carried in the minds of the vraja-gopīs, but not that He Himself directly returned. So, was Kṛṣṇa’s promise broken? There is a Padma-Purāṇa reference, which we accept as true, which states that after Kṛṣṇa killed Dantavakra, when there were no more enemies of Kṛṣṇa left on the Earth planet, Kṛṣṇa took all the Vrajavāsīs back to Goloka Vṛndāvana, but that He simultaneously stayed on Earth in His form as Dvārakādīśa-Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Dvārakā. But this Padma-Purāṇa reference does not prove Kṛṣṇa’s words true—that He honored His promise—because it does not say that He personally returned to Vraja. Therefore the question remains: was Kṛṣṇa’s promise broken? “How are we to reconcile this? Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord. Everything is possible for Him. He performs all His pastimes under the dire shelter of His Yogamāyā potency, His transcendental spiritual deluding potency. How should we understand this pastime? What the Bhāgavatam describes must be true—that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma came at night to meet Nanda Baba, who, after conversations with Them, took the golden ornaments from Them, and, weeping and weeping, returned alone to Vraja, leaving Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in Mathurā. “But Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma each manifested two forms, and thus there were two prakosts, or chambers, of Their pastimes. Like two different rooms in a house, there were two different sections of Their pastimes. In another prakost, another section or manifestation of Their pastimes, They accompanied Nanda Baba back to Vṛndāvana on the bullock cart, in great ecstasy. “Two manifestations were in play at that time; that is how we understand this pastime. Both these pastimes happened simultaneously. In this way, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has reconciled the apparent inconsistency. “In truth, Kṛṣṇa cannot give up Vṛndāvana for even a moment, as it is said in śāstra: vṛndāvanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati. He never takes one step out of Vṛndāvana; He is always there. This being so, who went to Mathurā and Dvārakā? In one prakoṣṭa—as Vasudeva-nandana—Kṛṣṇa went there; Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa did not go. “Here is another, very important point which supports Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura’s explanations: When Kṛṣṇa instructed Uddhava to go to Vṛndāvana to console Nanda Baba, Mother Yaśodā, and the gopīs, Uddhava asked Him, ‘How can I live without You? I cannot live without You.’ Kṛṣṇa replied, ‘I am partly here in Mathurā, but I am always fully in Vṛndāvana.’ When Uddhava entered Vṛndāvana, he saw some bulls fighting over some cows; and he saw that the gopīs had burnt ghee lamps emanating a very beautiful fragrance. He saw Kṛṣṇa herding the cows, and he saw that the cows’ hooves had kicked up the Vṛndāvana dust which now covered his golden chariot. It was as if Kṛṣṇa was fully there in Vṛndāvana. “Thus, in one pastime manifestation Nanda Baba returned to Vraja alone and weeping, and in another, overjoyed, he returned to Vraja with Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. In this way, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has reconciled the apparent contradictions and revealed the hidden pastimes.

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