Our acaryas reveal sweet purports about the story of the Arjuna trees’ deliverance.
Today, Krsna was sad, hungry, and lonely. His Mother tied Him to a grinding mortar. Late afternoon was approaching and all He had that day was a little breastmilk early in the morning. The sakhas came and Krsna became a bit cheerful. They started to play and pull the mortar around with Krsna. When the mortar got stuck between the two Arjuna trees, Krsna pulled a little harder and then they broke and fell to the ground.
Krsna had touched those trees before. What was the difference this time? On one side, there is Krsna’s causeless mercy, and on the other side, there is the mercy of the bhaktas, or Vrajavasis. Both sides are necessary. When we experience these two combined, our anarthas are removed and krsna-prema manifests. Bhakti-devi directly appears in our purified hearts.
Those bodies were tree bodies manifested by the mercy of Narada Rsi. The sons of Kuvera were restless and were constantly misbehaving and trying to gratify their senses. Narada Rsi said to them, “I will put an end to your restlessness. Even if you don’t accept me as your well-wisher, I accept you. Now, I will help you.”
Sometimes a disciple does not wish to accept the advice of Sri Guru but Sri Guru and Vaisnavas very kindly have the disciple follow by force. They say, “Let him protest. Let him abuse me. Let him empty his store of anarthas on me. This is not a problem.” They tell that person, “I will give you a chance to find true satisfaction.”
Krsna almost daily touched the twin Arjuna trees. They were like a gate in the path, leaving only a narrow passage. The Vrajavasis are not cruel. They never cut trees, so these trees remained in the pathway. All the Vrajavasis touched them and sometimes even washed their feet near to them. Thus, the twins got their caranamrta by their roots. They were able to hear the Vrajavasis sing sweet songs about Krsna. How fortunate they were!
We have surely been shown the causeless mercy of Sri Guru but what are we doing now? We are not crying and begging for his mercy. We are in the company of Vaisnavas, but do we never pray?
egao egao mora vaisnava gosai
karunara jala sinca tabe raksa pai
“Oh Vaisnava Gosai, I am begging you again and again to protect me, and bestow the shower of your mercy upon me!”
We never beg the Vaisnavas for their blessings. We think we are senior and respectable. This is not good. Our lives will be successful if we go wherever the Vaisnavas can be found, offer them something, take their remnants, and glorify them.
The Vaisnavas are so merciful. The father of Nalakuvera and Manigriva, Kuvera, begged Narada Rsi to help his proud and unbridled sons. Narada Rsi went to them but they were rude to him when they saw him. Narada Rsi was not disturbed. He sent them to Vraja-dhama.
So, what happened today? Krsna’s sakhas found Him bound to the mortar by His mother. They began to play with Him. Krsna said, “Chalo! Let’s play!”
Jayadeva Gosvami is explaining to us the nature of Vraja-dhama.
If you have no faith in Guru and Vaisnavas then you will naturally not have love or a tendency to serve them. If you have mamata, possessive for someone, you will automatically serve him. This is called sambandha-jnana.
Krsna looks here and there to see who has sambandha-jnana. He wonders, “Does this person have faith? Does he do seva or does he do karma out of a sense of duty?”
If you do seva feeling that you have been forced to do that seva or if you do seva with some kind of selfish ambition to obtain adoration just to pass your time then you are very far away from serving the way the Vrajavasis do. The Vraja-devis are asulka dasika—unpayable servants. But the service that is contaminated for the desire for reward will not even give you sukrti, what to speak of vraja-rasa. If you have this selfish mentality then you will never obtain a pure service tendency and you will remain like an inert stone.
In Vraja, even the stones have a mood of selfless service. The Sakhas, “Krsna, how amazing! You made this big stone into a worshipful Deity! He (Giriraja) has such a beautiful service tendency. We remember when that devastating storm came and he sheltered us. He had room for everyone including all the cows! Your father has nine lakhs cows and Vrsabhanu Maharaja has eleven lakh cows. Giriraja made all the cows, the other animals, and all the Vrajavasis comfortable so that we did not even notice the danger outside. O sakha, please also give us that kind of service tendency!”
Even great demigods and acaryas cannot understand the full glories of Krsna’s selfless surrendered bhaktas, who have the power to even control Krsna with their love.
When Krsna told Giriraja to get up and serve the Vrajavasis, he did not hesitate to protect the Vrajavasis. Even though Indra and all 33 crore demigods were attacking him, he had no problem. This is called sevonmukha-vrtti. Some people abandon their service because of a little heat, cold, or danger, but Giriraja was not like this. He thought, “Let the rain, ice, and thunderbolts pound me; I do not mind. I am serving the Vrajavasis.”
A massive flood covered Vraja, but Giriraja kept the Vrajavasis safe. By Krsna’s desire, all the old buildings, houses, and huts were washed away and replaced with dazzling fresh structures. All the hills, trees, and everything were green and shining when the flood subsided after 7 days. It was a new Vraja. How sweet is Krsna’s lila with the Vrajavasis!
Jayadeva Gosvami says that begging for the Vrajavasis blessings must be the first and foremost activity in our life. If the Vrajavasis are happy then Krsna is happy; then lila-sakti will arrange a nice program. What will she do? Only she knows. Everything will be simple and blissful.
tapati na sā kisalaya-śayanena
sakhi! yā ramitā vanamālinā (refrain)
Krsna rested with His head on the lap of one sakha and His feet in the lap of another. Beneath Him was a carpet of soft fresh grass. He lay under the shade of a tree from the branches of which fell flower blossoms and streams of honey. The sakhas fanned Krsna with large green leaves provided by that tree. Just then, the dhira samira, a gentle cooling wind, brought the fragrance of Srimati Radharani to Krsna’s senses.
Prabodhananda Sarasvati Thakura says:
yasya kadāpi vasanāñcala-khelanottha-
yogīndra-durgama-gatir madhusūdano ’pi
tasya namo ’stu vṛṣabhānu-bhuvo diśe ’pi
Śrī Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi 2
I offer my obeisances simply to the direction of the daughter of Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja—Śrī Rādhikā. She completely captivates the heart of Madhusūdana Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the performer of honey-like pastimes whom the greatest yogīs rarely attain. When a gentle playful wind touches Her cloth and carries its sweet fragrance towards Kṛṣṇa and touches His body, He embraces it to His heart and feels that His life has become blessedly fulfilled.
Pavana-devata collects mercy from Srimati Radharani and goes near to Krsna.
When Krsna smelt the fragrance of Srimati Radharani He forgot His sakhas, His parents, and His home and became bewildered. Our acaryas pray to the direction of that Srimati Radharani, who bewilders the mind of Krsna just by Her fragrance.
The prayers of the bhaktas are filled with such anuraga. Srila Gurudeva explained the meaning of tasya namo ’stu vṛṣabhānu-bhuvo diśe ’pi. If you go anywhere where there is no bhakti then you will be polluted. You will become like the people there—no better than an animal. That place where there is no sravana and kirtana is simply the place of quarreling, complaining, and cheating. Therefore keep your focus in Srimati Radharani’s direction. Be in the association of bhaktas. Be in Vrndavan. Vraja-dhama is a safe place. Everyone in Vraja floats in a sea of nectar. Other places make you disturbed and restless, but if you go to Vraja-dhama you will be soothed, peaceful, and blissful in that green and peaceful place.
Radharani once asked Krsna, “Why are You so happy?”
Krsna replied, “I am happy only because You desire it. Your order, Your nature, Your seva-bhava, and even the air that touches You cools My heart—everything about You cools My heart and brings Me close to You. And when I am close to You, I feel that You have accepted Me and I find I cannot fathom the depths of Your kindness.”
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]