Gita Govinda: Canto 7, Chapter 2
Jayadeva Gosvami gave this part of Sri Gita Govinda the name nagara-narayana. Sri Hari is now not Narayana of Aisvarya-dhama, but Natavara Nanda-kisora. One meaning of nāgara is ‘someone who lives in a town or village.’ Krsna is that Supreme Lord who forgets His own godliness and restlessly wonders here and there in the village of Vraja.
As He looks around, Krsna sees that everyone in Vraja is one-pointed to Srimati Radharani and under Her care and guidance. He sees that even the deer do not touch any grass that has not been graced by the touch of Her lotus feet. They smell the grass first and if Srimati’s footdust is not present there then they do not touch it.
The deer follow the idea that if they were to accept anything independently from Srimati Radharani then they would be divided from Her and their hearts would become dry. As sadhakas, we must be careful not to accept anything that is not related to Krsna. Better than this, we must not accept anything independent of Srimati Radharani.
devī kṛṣṇa-mayī proktā rādhikā para-devatā
sarva-lakṣmī-mayī sarva-kāntiḥ sammohinī parā
“She who shines brilliantly and who is non-different from Śrī Kṛṣṇa is called Śrīmatī Rādhikā. She is most worshipful and presides over all goddesses of fortune. She possesses all splendor and completely bewilders Śrī Kṛṣṇa. She is the supreme internal potency of the Lord.”
Anywhere that radha-nama is not present, or anything that is not dear to Srimati Radharani—there is no need to be involved with that at all.
anārādhya rādhā-padāmbhoja reṇum
anāsritya vṛndāṭavīṁ tat-padāṅkām
kutaḥ śyāma-sindho rasasyāvagāhaḥ
If you do not worship the dust of the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, or take shelter of Śrī Vṛndāvana, which is marked with the impressions of Her lotus feet; if you do not speak with and hear from the devotees whose hearts are deeply submerged in the profound loving sentiments of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, how can you become immersed in the nectar ocean of Sri Krsna’s sweetness?
How is it possible to have love for Syamasurdara if you do not have a mood of service and relation with Srimati Radharani. Will He accept your seva if you are not in connection to Srimati Radharani? Never. You can ring many bells and recite many stutis but Krsna is really looking for who has even a small connection to Srimati Radharani. He happily accepts their service. He is not interested in anything else.
In Puri, Jagannatha does not wear cloth unless He is given cloth with Srimati Radharani’s names written on it. He is offered tulsi leaves with Srimati Radharani’s names written there in candana. His ornaments, bhoga, and everything is in relationship to Radharani. He does not care for anything else.
Therefore, Krsna looks around in the village of Vraja for those who have relationship with Srimati Radharani. What He finds astonishes Him. He says, “They are completely absorbed in Me in mind and action, but I have not offered Myself to them. I think of many tapasvis, rsis, and sadhus who offer me many prayers and worship me with mantras from the Vedas. They all ask Me to come into their heart and I cannot neglect their requests. However, they do not possess the power to keep Me with them always. If anyone takes shelter of Vraja-mandala and the Vrajavasis, who are full of the purest selfless love, I promise to continuously be with that person.
“I am overwhelmed by the Vrajavasis’ rati. Srimati Radharani’s blessings are the only source of their maintenance. They await those blessings and nothing else. They do not waste a single moment and are always serving or learning newer and newer ways to serve, in hope of pleasing Me. If I were to tell them that I have become pleased and that they should accept a boon, they would say, ‘Don’t cheat us. Whatever things You offer us will be distractions and obstacles in our service to You.’ ”
Krsna cannot trick Srimati Radharani’s followers. They have loveful faith and heartfelt love. They do not want anything in return for their seva. Krsna sometimes tries to bribe them, by respecting them or trying to talk sweetly to them in private but they do not allow it.
Once, Krsna tried to speak with a small manjari, but she said, “I have no time for You, dark cheater.” And she ran away.
The manjaris are well trained. They know Krsna’s tricks. Srimati Radharani’s parrot, Suka, was always with Her and the object of Her great affection. She stroked him and fed him pomegranate seeds and also trained him. One day, Srimatiji fainted. Her sakhis rushed to Her and Suka, very disturbed, asked what had happened. “Poison has entered Her ears,” the sakhis told him. “There is a dangerous person in Vraja who can send poison into the ears of others from even great distances.”
“Where does this cruel person stay?” Suka asked. “Who is he? I will find him now! How could he do this to my Srimatiji?”
“He lives to the North, in a palace on a hill.”
Suka set out immediately and found the charming Nandisvara hill. There in a garden of flowers, sitting atop an archway, or Gopuram, over the path leading to the top of the hill, was a dark boy holding a flute and in the company of one friend. This person actually had many flutes with names like Mohini, Murali, Vamsi, and so on. Some call what comes from those flutes nectar and some call it poison, for Krsna’s flute-song enters the ears of and destroys the hearts of simple people, making them always restless.
Suka situated himself atop a branch of a mango tree and observed the boy for a while. The boy was about to play His flute again but Suka said, “O dark one, why do You play that flute? Why do You cheat us all? Why are You shooting the Vraja-devis with Your painful darts? Don’t do this, please! Don’t play that flute. Your flute is not filled with Your adharamrta but a black poison that spreads throughout Vraja and is killing us!”
Krsna heard a sweet voice speaking but did not know where it was coming from. He asked his friend, Kusumasava, “Who is speaking?”
Kusumasava replied, “Look! There is a parrot on that mango tree.”
The parrot went on, “My isvari is now senseless because of You. I am an orphan without Her. Why are You so cruel? Can’t You think about the distress of others? What are You doing?”
Krsna said to Kusumasava, “I have never heard such heart touching words.” Then He said to Suka, “Please come, O beautiful bird, I will give you pomegranate seeds if you come, or perhaps you would prefer red ripe mango. If you would rather milk or all of this at once I will give it to you.” Thus, Krsna started His bribing. He also asked the Suka, “Please tell Me, who is your isvari?”
Then Suka sang about Srimati Radharani. This discussion of Srimati Radharani’s names and glories—this is called dadati-pratigrnati. Hearing the parrot’s glorifications of Srimati Radharani, Krsna became surprised. He thought, “Oh, this little parrot has so much attraction to Srimati Radharani. He knows the glories of Radharani. Alas, I am so foolish. I have nothing. I could never glorify Her like he can.”
Suka is the spiritual master of the whole world and his love for Srimati Radharani is undoubtedly most wonderful. Krsna then pleaded for Suka to come closer.
Suka flew over to Krsna, who took him in His hands, stroked him and kissed him on the head. By the time Krsna had fed him some soft pieces of fruit and taken him to his room, Suka was completely bewildered and had forgotten about Varsana.
Back in Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s palace, Srimatiji returned to external consciousness and looked around. “Where is my Suka?” She asked Her sakhis.
“He went to find who made You senseless. He was very disturbed.”
“Oh, no. Bring him back, quickly.”
Lalita and Kundalata rushed to Nanda-bhavan and found Suka there, completely brainwashed. He was playing and talking with Krsna and had no memory of Varsana.
Lalita and Kundalata went to Yasoda Mata and said, “Mother, look. Krsna is in forest all day long with cows. Now He is collecting animals and playing with them in His room. If He is with animals all day, even when He is home, then what will be the state of Him mind? If He stays with animals His brain will become like an animal’s.”
Hearing them speak like this, Yasoda Mata went straight to Her son and chastised Him. “Hey,” she said. “What are you doing, playing with parrots in Your room?” Then she took Suka and gave Him to Kundalata.
Taking Him outside, Kundalata said to Suka, “What happened to you? Have you lost your mind? Do you know where you are?”
Suka felt ashamed, “What is this? I forgot my Radharani?”
Suka was returned to the hands of Srimatiji. “You left me?” Srimati Radharani asked.
“What can I do?” Suka said. “I am a foolish animal. I was bribed and hypnotized, having left your side. I will never leave Your side again. I know I will lose everything if I do.”
This is how sadhu-sanga works. If you leave sadhu-sanga for one moment you invite the danger of being diverted from the specific bhakti that our Guru-varga gives.
Those who have or practice strong ananya-sarana to Srimati Radharani see even Krsna to be asat-sanga. If you are not careful, He will trick you and take you to Dvaraka and say, “Isn’t this good?” So be careful. Even Krsna can be asat-sanga. He does this to separate those who are not serious and those who desire nothing else but the shelter of Srimati Radharani. He is Nagara-narayana. He goes everywhere and observes everyone, even the animals. He is searching for those who are one-pointed to Srimati Radharani. In Vraja-mandala, He finds that everyone is thus fixed, and they all chant, “Radhe Radhe.”
Even now, 5,000 years after the time that Radha and Krsna were on this planet, if you look at the Vrajavasis, you will see that everyone constantly says to each other, “Radhe Radhe.”
Nagara-narayana, Krsna, says, “I will also take diksa into radha-nama. Radha-nama gives the highest bliss! When I chant Her names I become completely bewildered and forget everything else.”
Therefore our acaryas pray:
bhajāmi rādhām aravinda-netraṁ
smarāmi rādhāṁ madhura-smitāsyām
vadāmi rādhāṁ karuṇā-bharādraṁ
tato mamānyāsti gatir na kāpi
Śrī Viśākhānandadābhidhā Stotram 131
I worship Śrīmatī Rādhikā who has lotus-petal eyes, I remember Śrīmatī Rādhikā whose face is sweetly smiling, and I speak of Her whose heart is melting with compassion. My life has no other purpose than serving Her.
na jīvāmi tvayā vinā
iti vijñāya devī tvaṁ
naya māṁ caraṇāntike
“He Devī Śrī Rādhike! I am Yours! I am Yours! I cannot live without You. Knowing this, please give me a place at Your lotus feet.”
Our Gosvamis and acaryas say, “Srimati Radharani is very simple and merciful. She does not cheat like Krsna.”
Nagara-narayana is now dancing and singing radha-nama and moving in Vraja-dhama, where everyone reminds Him of Radharani. Great hosts of yogis and bhaktis seek His shelter, but what is He thinking? He says, “I will not take shelter of Srimati Radharani, but Her followers. If I do this then I can be guaranteed Her shelter and My life will be successful.”
samudita-madane ramaṇī-vadane cumbana-valitādhare
mṛgamada-tilakaṁ likhati sa-pulakaṁ mṛgam iva rajanī-kare
vijayī murārir adhunā (refrain)
Where is Murari? He is on the bank of Yamuna. What is He doing? He is taking Vraja’s dust and smearing all over His body. He takes such great happiness in doing this.
The word Vraja can be broken down into va-raja—visesa raja (literally: special dust). Srimati Radharani’s oja, power, is present in that dust, so it is called raja.
Krsna is described here as vijayi—the winner. What has He won? He has won the race, which is run by the multitude of those who seek the highest wealth. There are so many practitioners of austerities, sacrifices, and ceremonies who spend many lifetimes trying to find the most priceless reward. Krsna has won that race. He has found the most valuable thing imaginable. That is the dust of Vraja. No one knows about that secret treasure, but He knows of it and its glories very well. He knows how much mercy is contained in that dust and therefore, He rolls about in the dust and smears it on His body. This is His victory.
Upon touching that dust, Krsna’s body undergoes ecstasy symptomized by sveda pulaka, vaivarnya, and so on. “This dust is more soothing and fragrant than kasturi.” He says. “Every single one of these particles of dust is a cintamani.”
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Sri Brahma Samhita 29
The transcendental realm of the adi-purusa, is eternally adorned by millions of wish-fulfilling trees, by pavilions made of desire-fulfilling jewels and by innumerable wish-fulfilling cows. There, thousands upon thousands of Lakṣmīs, or gopīs, are rendering services to the Supreme Personality with great affection. I worship that original Supreme Personality, Śrī Govinda.
That adi-purusa Govinda smears the wish-fulfilling dust of Vraja on his head and entire body.
His mother says, “I just dressed You. How did You get so dirty?”
“I saw these clothes you gave had no dust on them, mother, so I rolled around in the forest. I do not have taste for anything if this dust is not with on my body.”
One day, Krsna’s sakhas ran to Yasoda Mata and said, “Mother, mother! Krsna is eating dirt. Krsna was thinking, “What can I do? It’s so tasty.” He wanted to be covered with that dust, inside and out.
Once the disciples of Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura asked him, “How can we get the mercy of the dhama and sambandha with the dhama?”
Prabhupada said, “Maintain yourself on only the fruits, roots, vegetables, and grains of the dhama and do not accept the same from anywhere else. Then the dhama’s mercy will be yours.”
Srila Gurudeva instructed us to do bhiksa when we came to live in Mathura. He said, “If your lives are maintained by doing madhukari, begging small amounts of alms from house to house in Vraja-mandala, then you will never have problems in your life.
So, now Krsna forgot about ksira, malpua, pakoda, and halava and was eating dirt. Complaints reached the ears of Yasoda and, when finally Bala-dao also informed her that Krsna was eating dirt, Yasoda thought that it must be true. She found Krsna covered in dust and asked Him, “Are you hungry?”
“No,” Krsna said.
“I heard you were eating dirt.”
“Why are You lying?”
“I never lie.”
Then the sakhas said, “Just look in His mouth!”
Yasoda looked but did not find dirt in Krsna’s mouth. Instead she saw all the planets and all the brahmanda and so many strange things. She said, “Let us leave this place at once! A ghost must be living here in Brahmanda-ghata.”
Krsna’s love for that dust which has touched the feet of the Vrajavasis is so strong! Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami says, “If you want Krsna’s mercy then respect the foot dust of the bhaktas:
bhakta-pada-dhūli āra bhakta-pada-jala
bhakta-bhukta-avaśeṣa, tina mahā-bala
Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 16.60
The dust from the lotus feet of the bhakta, the water that has bathed the lotus feet of the bhakta, and the remnants of prasāda left by the bhakta; these three substances give the greatest spiritual strength.
Who is a bhakta? Only the followers of Srimati Radharani ar real bhaktas. There are followers of desa-bhakti (devotion to country), matri-bhakti (devotion to mother), etc., but none of them are real bhaktas.
rādhikā-caraṇa-renu, bhūṣaṇa koriyā tanu
anāyāse pābe giridhārī
If you want to attain Giridhari, you can easily do so by ornamenting your body with the dust of Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s lotus feet.
Our Gosvamis have glorified that dust and told us about this simple but most powerful process.
yamunā-puline, kadamba-kānane, ki herinu sakhī! āja
śyāma vaṁśīdhari, maṇi-mañcopari, kore līlā rasarāja
What is Syama doing on the bank of the Yamuna? He is rolling in the dust and smearing it on all of His limbs, thinking of Srimati Radharani’s unlimited mercy!
Madhuripu Krsna uses that fine dust to write the names of the Vraja-devis on His body. When He has covered Himself from head to toe in those names, He looks most beautiful. He shines with an increased effulgence and feels very good. He feels there is nothing sweeter than this.
Elderly and senior disciples of Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura used to come with Gurudeva on Vraja-mandala Parikrama. The devotees saw their love for the dhama-dhuli. Despite their large and aged bodies, those Vaisnavas rolled in that dust crying and not caring that they were becoming scratched and were even bleeding. “This dust gives me so much happiness!” they would say. They would not sleep in beds. In those days, they, and everyone, slept on the floor, rejecting the idea of a bed separating them from the dust of Vraja.
When a brahmana priest of Vrndavan requested Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja to accept bhiksa from him and not the street sweepers, Babaji Maharaja answered, “O Gosai, you wear so much clean cloth and you sleep on big beds. You never touch the dust of Vraja-mandala, therefore this sweeper is far superior to you in my opinion! I think Krsna does not accept bhoga offered by you. Krsna likes vraja dhuli.”
Nowadays we wash ourselves and our clothes with soap, trying to chase away the dhama-dhuli. We don’t want to ever touch the vraja-raja. This is Maya-devi’s program. We have seen the exemplary behavior of our Guru-varga. During Parikrama, they would rest sometimes, but always on the ground, never on a bed even if the devotees requested them repeatedly. They taught vairagya and the glories of Vraja-mandala and the Vrajavasis.
Krsna’s actions and the ornaments on His body all have hidden truths behind them. Why does He have a nose ring, not on the side of His nose but in between the two nostrils? What is the significance of the printed designs on His cheeks? How is His kasturi-tilaka? If you read our Gosvami’s descriptions of the kama-gayatri mantra you can learn about all of this.
Here, it has been revealed that Krsna writes the names of the Vraja-devis on His body. If you chant kama-gayatri and pray, then you will understand these things. There is no other way.
ghana-caya-rucire racayati cikure taralita-taruṇānane
kurubaka-kusumaṁ capalā-suṣamaṁ rati-pati-mṛga-kānane
Applying that dust on His body, Krsna sees the most enchanting forms of the Vraja-devis, and He becomes more restless than ever. These svarupas flash before His vision like lightning and are gone in a second. Then He tries to meditate and have darsana again, but such darsana is not so easily attained, by personal effort.
ghaṭayati sughane kuca-yuga-gagane mṛgamada-ruci-rūṣite
maṇi-saram amalaṁ tāraka-paṭalaṁ nakha-pada-śaśi-bhūṣite
Krsna is not just writing names on His body. He is making places for the owners of those names. Krsna’s wives in Dvaraka complained that at night Krsna only chanted, “Ha Radhe! Ha Lalite! Ha Visakhe!” Why was He like this? Because He was already offered to them! How could He bring Himself back from their possession? How could He share Himself with anyone else? He could not.
For this reason, Krsna bribes people. He says, “Take this nice thing and that nice thing and leave Me alone.” If people take things from Him, they will be satisfied with what they receive and absorbed in that. Then they will allow Him to peacefully be with the Vraja-devis.
Real diksa is like this. It is a promise of the words, “From today onward I will not share my heart with anyone but Sri Guru and Srimati Radharani.” When you accept real diksa like this and follow the words, ‘sarvasvam gurave dadyat—the disciple is to offer everything to Sri Guru,’ then you will have and will be able to encourage others to enter krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita-matih.
If you have no real place for Sri Guru in your heart, then you will have maya-rasa-bhavita-matih, and you will make your way steadily to the dark depths of hell.
Srila Gurudeva had the ideal mood of a disciple. He told Param Gurudeva, “Gurudeva, if you like, you may have me wear white or red or black cloth or no cloth at all. I have no problem. I have already offered myself to you. Have me do whatever you like.”
jita-bisa-śakale mṛdu-bhuja-yugale kara-tala-nalinī-dale
marakata-valayaṁ madhukara-nicayaṁ vitarati hima-śītale
Having decorated Himself with the dust of Vraja, Krsna’s heart, which was burning in separation from Srimati Radharani, felt soothed and His face filled with the color of anuraga. Krsna’s sole desire is to bring Srimati Radharani into His heart and have Her darsana. He understands the value of Her footdust, and now that is all that is important to Him.
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