Hari-kathaArticlesOur First Mother - Gita Govinda

Our First Mother – Gita Govinda

We must understand that there is a great difference between this world and Vraja-dhama. It was the great fortune of Prthivi-devi that Vraja-dhama descended here.

Villagers become excited and happy if a king visits their village, similarly Prthivi-devi, the Earth, becomes full of bliss upon being graced with the land of Vraja-mandala. She thinks, “How merciful is that dhama. I have been given the chance to do some service to that dhama and those who live in it despite my body being made of hard stone.”

Our bodies are essentially pots of blood, stool, urine, and other foul things. Even though these bodies are dirty, it is the desire of the Lord that we apply dvadasa-tilaka on these bodies and make them places for Sri Hari. Our senses do not wish to serve God, but we must engage them in service, even if initially there is no taste.

syāt kṛṣṇa-nāma-caritādi-sitāpy avidyā
pittopatapta-rasanasya na rocikā nu
kintv ādarād anudinaṁ khalu saiva juṣṭā
svādvī kramād bhavati tad-gada-mūla-hantrī
Śrī Upadeśāmṛta 7

Aho! Those whose tongues are afflicted by the jaundice of ignorance (born of being indifferent to Śrī Kṛṣṇa from a time without beginning) cannot relish the nectarean names, form, qualities and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which are compared to the sweetest sugar candy. Instead, these attributes taste bitter to them. But if with great respect one daily takes this sugar candy, it gradually becomes relishable to him and destroys at the root his disease, the jaundice of avidyā or indifference to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Our mind and senses have no taste for krsna-seva. They have no taste for krsna-katha and krsna-kirtana. But Srila Rupa Gosvami says, “Practice a little every day, and one day your jaundice will be cured. By hook or crook, engage your senses properly, even if it seems bitter to them, and soon they will not be against the interest of your soul, but actually very helpful.
Prthivi-devi thinks, “These fruits and flowers are not directly mine, but how blessed I am that if the Vrajavasis accept these then I become the recipient of their mercy.”

Prthivi-devi is so happy to see Vraja-mandala’s program manifesting to Her. Observing krsna-lila, Prakrti forgets everything else and is filled with blissful energy.

Once, a suggestion of Krsna accepting to wear shoes while He grazed the cows was brought to Him. At that time, Krsna said, “Prthivi-devi kindly gives us food, water, places to live, and everything we need. She is our first mother. You are asking Me to wear shoes on top of her? This would be very wrong of Me. And of what will those shoes be made. Even if they are made of wood, that in itself is wrong. Why disturb the trees by cutting their bodies? They are so tolerant and they always offer their fruits, flowers, leaves, shade for the benefit of everyone.”

Little Krsna spoke very sweetly in the presence of the Vrajavasis and thus made their relationship with Him even sweeter.

caraṇa-kisalaye kamalā-nilaye nakha-maṇi-gaṇa-pūjite
bahir-apavaraṇaṁ yāvaka-bharaṇaṁ janayati hṛdi yojite

As Krsna walks with bare feet in Vrndavana the places where His footsteps fall are already decorated with soft grass. Thousands of peacocks fly above Him to shade Him from the Sun. The clouds say to the peacocks, “There is no need to do this. We are here for Krsna’s service.” Then they come together and do abhiseka of Krsna.

On the order of Srimati Radharani all the tirthas live in Vraja and form the clouds, who offer a gentle drizzle on Krsna, keeping Him cool when it is hot.

The four brothers, Vrsabhanu, Ratnabhānu, Subhānu, and Bhānu, are considered parts of the Sun. Srimati Radharani is Vrsabhanu-nandini, the daughter of Vrsabhanu, and is therefore also called Surya-putri.

The sun makes the clouds always ready for seva. They provide shade and a cooling mist or drizzle for the pleasure of Krsna.

Bhagavan’s feet are normally understood to be Laksmi-devi’s property. She always serves those feet and holds them to her chest. But now He does not give those feet to her or anyone. Those feet are now bare and gracing the surface of Vraja.

ramayati subhṛśaṁ kām api sudṛśaṁ khala-haladhara-sodare
kim aphalam avasaṁ ciram iha virasaṁ vada sakhi viṭapodare

Krsna’s feet are decorated by kumkum and when He traverses over the dewy grass, signs of anuraga are left behind. Sometimes Krsna ascends a hill and, by playing His flute, He calls His sakhas. Other times he calls the Vraja-devis and they come to give him hints from a distance of where He is to meet with Srimati Radharani that evening. Their hints say, “You must come down to Brhad-vana.” Sometimes He is told to go to Kamyavana, Carana Pahadi, Luk-luki Kunda, and other places. He goes wherever they tell Him to.

The younger brother of Haladhara sometimes embraces a tree, which only externally appear to be trees but are actually hidden forms of the Vraja-devis. At such a time, His body fills with symptoms of ecstasy like pulaka, sveda, and vaivarnya. All the leaves, flowers, and branches disappear and reveal a senseless gopi.

Lord Rama once touched a stone and it became a woman before His eyes. Visvamitra Rsi explained to Him that it was Ahalya, the wife of the sage Gauttam, who was cursed to be a stone.

Something similar happened in Vraja. Personified srutis and smrtis, now in the form of trees in Vraja, suddenly appeared in gopi forms when touched by Krsna. The sakhas began to laugh and tease Krsna saying, “What are you doing sakha? Why are you touching ladies? There used to be a nice big tree here, what have You done?”

Narada once sent two restless fellows to Vraja in the form of trees. He told them, “Go and receive the blessings of Krsna and the Vrajavasis. They will remove your external covering and conditioning and give you your siddha-svarupa bodies.”

He very mercifully arranged their sadhana and perfection thereof by giving them the bodies of trees in Vraja. The Guru-varga has also given us the perfect facility for bhajana but we must ask ourselves if we are taking advantage of this chance properly or not.

The Vraja-devis hide in the form of trees, otherwise they cannot meet with Krsna at all times. Krsna can then embrace them and there is no problem.

Sometimes, Krsna cleverly assumes the form of a tamal tree. Then the gopis come and decorate and serve Him in the presence of everyone without disturbance.

. . .

Srimati Radharani was now in a kunja arranged by Her sakhis, waiting for Krsna to come. But He was late. Srimati said, “Why am I here waiting for that cheater? He is certainly meeting with another girl.”

ha rasa-bhaṇane kṛta-hari-guṇane madhuripu-pada-sevake
kali-yuga-caritaṁ na vasatu duritaṁ kavi-nṛpa-jayadevake

Madhura-rasa is all-pervasive in Vrndavan, and everyone there, both with moving or non-moving bodies, have seva-bhava. By the influence of Kali-yuga, you cannot find a single person in this world who does not complain. Everyone is a fault-catcher. They collect the faults of others and then complain about them. They even find so-called faults in Sri Hari Himself. This world has become the property of Kali. It is not like Vraja, which is full of sweet rasa. The desire to serve cannot be found anywhere. If someone has a desire to do seva then his fruits will be nice.

Jayadeva Gosvami thus glorifies Vrndavan. We have seen how our Guru-varga visited the pastime places in Vraja and offered pranama and many prayers to the trees and plants. They explained that these trees are great tapasvis, come to Vraja to do aradhana for manjari bhava. “Do not disturb them,” they said. “You do not have the eyes to recognize who they are.”

nāyātaḥ sakhi nirdayo yadi śaṭhas tvaṁ dūti kiṁ dūyase
svacchandaṁ bahu-vallabhaḥ sa ramate kiṁ tatra te dūṣaṇam
paśyādya priya-saṅgamāya dayitasyākṛṣyamāṇaṁ guṇair
utkaṇṭhārti-bharād iva sphuṭad idaṁ cetaḥ svayaṁ yāsyati

Srimatiji said, “Here I am, waiting for that cheater in this kunja-vana. My heart has now been broken under the weight of unfulfilled eagerness.”

“Yes,” said Her sakhi. “He is bahu-vallabha—He goes anywhere and meets with anyone to fulfill His desires.”

Suddenly, Srimati Radharani, bewildered in Her conflicting currents of ecstatic love, took on a different tone. “Why are you finding fault in Him,” She said. “He is the love of My life. His happiness is My happiness, and His sadness is My sadness. He must also be sad now as I am. Do not criticize Him. I am not disturbed if My prana-bandhu goes to others and accepts their service. I just want His happiness.”

In the meantime, Krsna was feeling, “Wherever I am in Vraja, I see only You, Srimati. I see that all the inhabitants of Vraja are Your followers and You nourish them all with Your love.”

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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