[Hari-katha inspired by the Guru-varga]
Understanding His shortcoming, Kṛṣṇa took sannyāsa in His pastimes as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and He became one-pointed. He learned from Viśākhā-devī who came as Raya Ramānanda and intimately instructed Him in relishing the highest moods of gopī-prema. In the Gambhīrā, in the association of Svarūpa Dāmodara and Ramānanda Raya, He experiences prema-seva to the highest extent. There in the form of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He tasted these most exalted moods of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and He realized the intricacies of this vraja-seva.
Śrīla Gurudeva has given sincere sādhakas so much help to become one-pointed and to develop this seva-vṛtti of the Vraja-devīs. Those who are in need of this śikṣā can follow these vratas, but those who are already one-pointed śuddha-bhaktas, they may not care to follow such vratas – no harm. However, those who want to do sādhana according to the śāstras, who want to follow and accept the extremely precious purification and gifts of these vratas, will definitely receive the mercy of guru, the holy dhāma, of Kṛṣṇa Himself, and ultimately of the Vrajavāsīs. They will become the rightful heirs to obtain this vraja-raja.
Why did Keśava-deva follow Keśava-vrata? He said “I only want vraja-seva. I will have to learn this vraja-seva. I don’t want to consider that I am Bhagavān, I am Supreme and will accept everyone else’s service. No. I am not happy by this. I also want to serve. This happiness cannot be attained if I am always the object of this love, I also want to be the shelter of this love.”
Bhagavān serves everyone, but svarupa-śakti, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is hlādinī-śakti, ānanda-svarūpiṇī, She makes all the jīvas Kṛṣṇa conscious. She gives them Bhagavat seva-vṛtti. Kṛṣṇa cannot give this seva-vṛtti; He is Brahmā, Parabrahma. He can give brahma-bhāva, but He cannot give seva-bhāva. Bhagavān Himself learned this seva-vṛtti from the Vraja-devīs during Keśava-vrata, and then He inspired everyone to also learn from the Vraja-devīs. And Kṛṣṇa Himself in Kali-yuga is distributing this precious seva-vṛtti of the Vraja-devīs in His form as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This is the speciality of Keśava-vrata; for many years this topic would be discussed each day during this vrata.
Tomorrow is Saṅkrānti; Keśava-vrata will end. We follow the moon calendar, not the sun calendar. The sun calendar always remains the same, but according to the moon calendar, the date of pūrṇimā is always changing. Why? Because this depends on Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. Kṛṣṇa can tell the moon, “Moon you stay there.” And the moon will stay, even for one entire night of Brahmā. So the moon is very unpredictable because he is surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. Therefore no one knows when or where he moves. Many pūrṇimās no one knows. But the sun-god, Sūrya-deva, is always steady in his movements and progression. He is pacca, and is always rendering his duty. Therefore tomorrow is Saṅkrānti and tomorrow Keśava-vrata ends, but candana-yatra will continue. Now it has already started, and it will continue for another 21 days. Everyday candana should be smeared on Ṭhākurajī. This is the Gauḍīya etiquette. This is the vṛtti of the Vraja-devīs.
Gaura premānande Hari Haribol!
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]