Hari-kathaArticlesSecrets of Snana-yatra

Secrets of Snana-yatra

[Hari-katha inspired by the Guru-varga. Edited from the English lecture and further Hindi dictation on the same subject]

Today is the festival of Snana-yatra. How can we understand the meaning of this festival? We must follow Sriman Mahaprabhu, our Guru-varga, Guru-pada-padma, and the rasika Vaisnavas. Whatever we receive of their mercy is our wealth in life and gives us a chance for spiritual realization.

Srila Gurudeva explained many times how Caitanya Mahaprabhu met with Ramananda Raya at the Godavari. Mahaprabhu asked, “If Krsna’s love for Srimati Radharani was supreme above His love for all others, why would He not take Radharani away from all the other gopis in front of them?”

Srimati Radharani Herself disappeared first from the Rasa dance. Krsna and all the Vraja-devis were present, but Radharani disappeared. Seeing that Radharani was not there, Krsna thought what to do. He was suffering so much in separation from Her. Then Krsna left the Rasa dance. The gopis all suffered, feeling separation when Krsna disappeared from the Rasa dance, but Krsna left all the gopis without any difficulty, because of His pangs of separation from Srimati Radharani.

Without His sakti, Krsna is alone, Parabrahma, suffering. He thought, “Where is She?” He searched for Her but could not find Her. He then thought to play on His flute, thinking, “She will hear My pain expressed through My flute and will then be kind and give Me darsana.” He tried to play on His flute, but He had no strength. Without radha-sakti, He was powerless. He was thinking, “Radhe, Radhe, Radhe,” and He achieved Her mood and began chanting, “Krsna, Krsna, Krsna.” This is Mahaprabhu.

Antar krsna bahir gaura—at every moment, Krsna was thinking and chanting Srimati Radharani’s names, and then He received Her mood and began chanting as She does, “Krsna, Krsna.”

Krsna is always chanting and thinking of the glories of Srimati Radharani and then He melts in separation. His eyelids no longer work. He has no sakti anymore in His eyelids, and His flute falls from His hands. His eyes are fixed, looking for Radharani, and thinking, “How can I meet Her? What is My fault? How will She forgive Me?” Krsna then assumes the form of Lord Jagannatha.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings:

sata koti gopi madhava mana rakhite narilo kori jatana
venu-gite dake radhika nama, “eso, eso, radhe!” dakaye syama

On one side there was a hundred thousand crores of gopis, but without Srimati Radharani, the rasa was immediately broken. Bhangiya sri rasa mandala-tana—the rasa-mandala broken, Krsna went searching, thinking only, “Where is Radharani?”

In Dvaraka-puri, the queens asked Mother Rohini, “How much power and attraction Srimati Radharani has! Please explain a little bit about the power of Her love. Day and night Krsna cries and chants, ‘Radhe, Radhe.’ Seeing anyone wearing a bluish sari or anything that reminds Him of Her, He weeps and calls out to Radharani.”

Rohini Mata began to speak the glories of Srimati Radharani. In the morning, how does She serve? She bathes Krsna. How? Don’t think abhiseka is just bathing with water. By the divine shower of Srimati Radharani’s love and affection, Krsna is cooled, happy, satisfied, and pleased within and without. What does Srimati Radharani give? Karunyamrta-dhara-snana. This is the first bath. This is the shower of mercy. Mercy and blessings are not the only karunya. Karunya is pranaya. Love. Prema is not only one thing. Prema has many gradations. There is sneha, mana, pranaya. This pranaya is gadha-anuraga, very deep love. In the early morning Srimati Radharani bathes Krsna with karunyamrta-snana.

Srimati Radharani prepares in advance many clay pots full of special water for Krsna’s bath. At night, Srimati Radharani and the manjaris collect mist by giving cotton cloths on top of the grass in the fields of Vraja and when they become wet, they squeeze out the water into clay pots. They also collect water from rainfall as well as from waterfalls and from flowers. They collect all kinds of herbs and soak these in water for Krsna’s health. They think about Krsna’s welfare 24 hours of the day. The gopis take thin plates of gold, cut them into small pieces, then wrap them in special leaves, put this inside small clay pots, which are put inside other clay pots and then put like this in cow dung coals overnight. The coals of cow dung burn very hot. In the morning, the gold is extracted from the burnt clay pots, and then again, for seven days, the same process is followed, until, finally, the gold is turned to fine ash and is taken out from the parcel wrapped around it. This gold ash is used for many internal medicinal purposes, as well as for smearing on the body. A similar process is used for making medicine from silver, pearls, and gemstones. Srimati Radharani uses gold, silver, pearls, and jewels for Krsna to drink. She mixes them with pure ghee, pure honey, and gives it for Krsna to eat, and also smears it on His body. After washing Krsna’s body, She smears candana on His body. This all goes on His body and makes Him heat and cold proof.

Nowadays, because of only eating chemicals, people are sick. Very few people take such medicines and pure cow milk. The Vrajavasis all take this. In real cow milk, the qualities of gold are present. This is very healthy, but people do not take. In India, kings and big gurus take the ash of gold, pearls, and gemstones, and this enables them to do heavy brainwork.

The Vraja-devis have unparalleled love, thus they do all these services. They smear the gold ash on Krsna’s body before bathing Him. They also paste candana and camphor and place it in water. They take petals of roses, beli, mallika, gandharaja, rajini-gandha, campa and other flowers, and keep them in a cloth tied on top of clay pots overnight, and the fragrance of the flowers enters the water.

Wherever Srimati Radharani looks, She empowers whatever She sees with the mood and tendency to serve Krsna. Jaha jaha netra pade taha krsna sphure. Whatever She sees, She wants to engage in Krsna’s service. Srimati looks to see who of Her maidservants has perfect understanding and ability to serve Krsna. Srimati Radharani feels so much humility and says to the manjaris, “You can serve Krsna better then Me. You know more then Me.” Her karunya-sakti sends them forward to serve. She tells the manjaris, “Your hands are very soft, your eyes are very beautiful, your bodies are very fragrant. Go forward and serve Krsna.”

Those who have no connection to nitya-lila, how can they serve? Karunyamrta-dhara-snana is not only a bath. Srimati Radharani arranges everything in Nanda-bhavan for Krsna’s happiness. Before Krsna comes out of His room, She makes everything very nice, fragrant, and everyone is smiling and joyful when Krsna comes and gives darsana.

When Srila Gurudeva goes somewhere for a hari-katha festival, when he arrives, if someone is crying over some trivial matter, others are fighting, and some not paying attention and distracted doing other activities, then Gurudeva will not be pleased. So Srimati Radharani makes everyone very happy, enthusiastic, and ready to please Krsna. All the birds, animals, the atmosphere, weather, all Vrajavasis, everyone, a to zed is prepared to please Krsna. This is karunyamrta-dhara-snana. This is the first bath. If you come from far away to a place, and everyone is waiting for you, and someone gives you sweets, another gives fruits, and another flowers, and another embraces you with affection, then how pleased you will be! When Krsna wakes and comes out of His room, then the sakhas rush to embrace Him. “Oh Krsna!” they say. The peacocks surround Krsna and dance and offer their feathers. The gopis shower Krsna with their loving sidelong glances. This is karunyamrta-dhara-snana.

Srila Gurudeva would explain this and weep. This is possible to realize in samadhi, by meditating on asta-kaliya-lila. This is possible to achieve by Srimati Radharani’s mercy, karunyamrta-dhara.

Kaviraja Gosvami describes Srimati Radharani’s three types of abhiseka: karunyamrta-dhara, tarunyamrta-dhara, and lavanyamrta-dhara. Just water is not sufficient for abhiseka, nor is honey, sugar, milk, and yogurt. When you understand this properly, you can understand what is pancamrta-abhiseka.

Srimati Radharani is walking from Yavata to Nandagoan. She is thinking of Krsna and Krsna is thinking of Her. A light mist is falling from the sky. Flowers are blossoming, the grass is soft, and honey drips from the branches of the trees, lining the pathway to Nandagoan. The manjaris spread rose and lotus petals on the pathway.

Srimati arrives in Nanda-bhavana and makes rangoli decorations on the ground around the house. In His room, Krsna opens His eyes, stretches, and comes into the courtyard of Nanda-bhavan. He looks and checks everyone’s moods. The sakhas rush to embrace Him, the sakhis shower Him with their sidelong glances. Parrots, cuckoos, and peacocks sing in their language of the glorious love of Radha-Krsna. How is the weather?

Jayadeva Kavi describes this in Gita-Govinda: Dhira-samire Yamuna-tire vasati-vane-vanamale. The breeze is gently, sweetly, softly flowing. Why? He is intoxicated. From what? Rati-sukha-sare, gatam abhisare, madana-manohara-vesama. He sees Krsna in His madana-manohara-vesam and becomes intoxicated. Krsna’s face has many signs from kumkum and kasturi. Why? He kisses Srimati Radharani’s feet. Why? Before leaving the kunja during nisanta-lila, Krsna prays to Srimati, “I wish to meet You again and again? Will You allow Me to have Your darsana tonight?” He prays to Her and holds on to Her feet and kisses them. Then the sign of kumkum comes on His face. Smara garala khandanam mama sirasi mandhanam, dehi pada pallava udaram.

This is karunyamrta-dhara. Who explains this? Rohini Mata explains this to the queens. However, they cannot all digest this. Not everyone can drink vraja-rasa. Some of the queens are sleeping or nodding off and others are feeling so much jealousy. But Krsna and Baladeva run there from the assembly hall, the Sudharma-sabha.

Subhadra Devi had said, “I will guard the door and stop Krsna and Baladeva from coming inside, because if They hear this, They will immediately leave to Vraja.”

Subhadra Devi was standing there on guard when Krsna and Baladeva arrived there at a run. At the start of Srimati Radharani’s name, then the karunyamrta-dhara began to flow and Krsna and Baladeva ran there. Krsna and Baladeva begged Subhadra Devi, “Please let us pass and go inside.”

“You cannot enter.”

“Please, please, please.”

Krsna has the habit of washing everyone’s feet. At the time of the Rajasuya-yajna, He held and washed everyone’s feet, and in Vraja-mandala, He held the gopis’ feet and would wash them with His tears. He would also wash Nanda Baba’s feet. So now, Krsna bathed Subhadra’s feet with His tears and prayed for entrance into the queens’ quarters were Rohini Mata was speaking vraja-katha.

Krsna and Baladeva said, “We will hear from here.”

Krsna is standing on one side, Baladeva on the other side, and Subhadra is in the middle. Today, Snana-yatra, is the appearance day of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra in this form. As they heard this vraja-katha, and the glories of Srimati Radharani’s love, they melted in separation and became manifest to the world in the form of Daru-vigraha.

The queens heard this vraja-katha from Rohini Mata. How does she know of this? Krsna and Baladeva are like sons to her. She has vatsalya-rasa. Still, she knows of Krsna’s pastimes with the gopis. She helps Dhanistha and Kundalata to arrange the meetings of Radha-Krsna. Lila-sakti arranged for her to act as a helper and guardian for Radha-Krsna’s pastimes. Yasoda Mata doesn’t know of the intimate pastimes of Radha-Krsna, she only thinks of Krsna and Baladeva as innocent little boys. But Rohini Mata knows something. She thinks, “Kanhaiya is always playing with the gopis, but Dau is a simple chubby boy who likes to eat as much as He can.” Sometimes Rohini Mata will help Krsna leave Nanda-bhavan without being detected. She will open the locked gate for Him and will whisper, “Come quickly!”

She knows of the manjari’s seva. Krsna’s love is completely clean and pure. The manjaris and gopis love is likewise completely clean and pure.

In the morning, Krsna bathes. This is not only with water, or honey, and butter. This is millions of times greater than honey or butter. Srimati Radharani’s karunya-sakti arranges everything. This is karunyamrta-dhara-snana and is flowing until nine a.m.

After this, the tarunyamrta-dhara begins to flow. Tarunyamrta is the nectar and blossoming of fresh youth. In the morning in Nandagoan, Krsna is bound by vatsalya-rasa. Yasoda Mata feeds and lovingly serves Krsna and keeps Him bound by Her vatsalya-sneha, maternal affection. From nine a.m., Krsna is free. At that time there is freedom. Krsna plays with the sakhas, animals, and calves in the forests, hills, rivers, and caves of Vraja. He secretly meets with the gopis. The gopis also don the costumes of sakhas and play with Krsna and the boys in their forest gambols. This is from nine to twelve. Krsna freely meets with His friends during the go-carana festival in the forest.

When Krsna is going to the forest, the sakhas play on bugles, buffalo horns, and other instruments. Krsna plays on His flute and invites everyone, “I am coming! Come and join the fun!” This is the time of tarunyamrta, the blossoming of youth, or the kisora age. How sweet this is!

In Gita-Govinda, Jayadeva Gosvami sings: srita-kamala-kuca-mandala dhrta-kundala.

Krsna is wearing kundala, earrings, and many flower ornaments, a turban, with a peacock feather, and a vaijayanti-mala. There are eight kinds of flowers of different colors in His garland, signifying the eight prominent sakhis. His kundalas are made of many small delicate flowers. Lasat-kundalam gokule vrajamanam. Krsna wanders through Vraja wearing earrings made of many flowers that swing on His cheeks and kiss them. These flowers are forms of Srimati, Lalita, Visakha, Rupa, Rati, and other gopis. The small flowers in Krsna’s earrings are all the gopis in one form kissing Krsna’s cheeks. This is tarunyamrta-dhara. The gopis are directly present there.

Taruni-amrta becomes tarunyamrta. A taruni is a very attractive maiden in fresh youth. Rupa Gosvami describes how all the tarunis or beautiful maidens in Vraja glorify Srimati Radharani: gokula taruni mandala mahite. So, at the time of tarunyamrta-dhara-snana, Krsna is bathed with the nectar of the love and affection of all the tarunis combined. The tarunis give nectar to Krsna, and Krsna drinks and showers in this nectar. This is called tarunyamrta-dhara-snana. Taruni is singular and tarunya is plural. So when there are many tarunis or kisoris together giving the nectar of their love to Krsna by kissing and embracing Him, then this is called tarunyamrta-dhara-snana. How is this? Krsna’s body is decorated with so many ornaments made of flowers and these are all tarunis hiding in the form of flowers. Also, the gopis take the forms of candana, kumkum, pasted minerals, and all this is smeared on Krsna’s body. In this way, the gopis embrace Krsna and shower Him in the nectar of tarunyamrta-dhara. The gopis are thus always present with Krsna in a hidden form. They are therefore known as the gopis, or those who act confidentially.

At the start of madhyanika-lila, Krsna proceeds alone to Radha-kunda. Krsna is on the south side of Radha-kunda and Srimati is in the north, in the kunja-kutira. The breeze touches Radharani’s shawl and flows to where Krsna is and touches Krsna.

yasyah kadapi vasanancala khelanottha
dhanyati dhanya pavanena krtartha mani
yogendra durgama gatir madhusudano ‘pi
tasya namo stu vrsabhanu bhuvo dise pi

Krsna says, “Oh! I am lucky, today the fragrance of Radharani has touched Me, coming from Her shawl.”

Yo brahma rudra sukha narada bhisma mukhyair—Brahma, Narada, Suka, Bhisma, Prahlada, they all wait and pray for Radharani’s mercy. Krsna is now natavara-nanda-kisora, and Srimati is giving Him tarunyamrta-dhara-snana. If someone has love for another person in this world, simply by hearing the beloved’s name or seeing a picture of the beloved, one becomes happy. When Krsna goes to the forest, He sees pictures of Radharani in all the flowers and leaves of the trees and He hears Her name in all the sounds of the forest. As He passes under the trees, honey drips on His head, flower blossoms shower around Him and ripe fruits fall and offer themselves to Him. All the fruits and flowers in the forest want to touch, embrace, and kiss Krsna. This is tarunyamrta-dhara-snana.

If you only drink water, this goes inside of your mouth. But when you bathe, then all the water comes and embraces you on all sides. Your whole body becomes wet. This is tarunyamrta-dhara-snana. Krsna’s whole body is served in this way. In the mundane world, when people hear this, it reminds them of their own amorous affairs. However, for those who hear with sincerity and faith, then they are purified of all material contaminations. By hearing Krsna’s pastimes, one transcends the influence of maya.

Krsna said:

na mayy avesita-dhiyam
kamah kamaya kalpate
bharjita kvathita dhanah
prayo bijaya nesate
–Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.22.26


[The desire of those who fix their minds on Me does not lead to material desire for sense gratification, just as barleycorns burned by the sun and then cooked can no longer grow into new sprouts. –Ref. VedaBase]

Hearing these pastimes of Krsna burns one’s samsara-vasana. These desires may still be present for some time, but they cannot sprout or activate. The desires become like seeds that have been roasted and can no longer sprout.

vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh
sraddhanvito ‘nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah

–Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.30

The tarunyamrta-dhara-snana is very deep and special. This is explained in sutra form in Raya-ramananda-samvada and Govinda-lilamrta.

Now Rohini Mata is speaking hari-katha but the queens are snoring, most of them are not hearing. They have jealousy when hearing vraja-katha. But Krsna and Baladeva and Subhadra are melting. Their eyelids become fixed open, looking towards Vraja-mandala. Krsna looks forward and sees as if the Vrajavasis are directly in front of Him. Baladeva Prabhu returned and stayed for six months in Vraja-mandala after Krsna and He had gone to Mathura. He stayed for two months with the gopis and experienced their moods of separation. Now, away from Vraja, He also feels so much separation, like Krsna. Subhadra Devi is in the middle. She became surprised, thinking, “I came here to Dvaraka from Vraja to help Krsna and Baladeva by the desire of Radharani, but now why am I supporting the Dvarakavasis? How can I ever forget Vraja?”

Subhadra is yogamaya-sakti. But she forgot about Vraja by the aisvarya of Dvaraka. However, when she heard this katha from Rohini Mata, then she felt so much powerful separation. Krsna and Baladeva’s arms were lost to Their elbows, having melted in separation, but she completely lost her arms and legs and became like a wooden trunk.

When you hear this hari-katha from rasika-pranayi-bhaktas, then you can understand something of this vraja-rasa. When you do, you will become like Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. Then you will have no material legs and hands and you will no longer fight, struggle, or run to enjoy. You will not want to enjoy in this world. The only enjoyment then you will want is to serve the Vraja-devis and Krsna under their guidance. You will always think, “How will I serve? My body and senses take me far away from service, but how will I be permanently serving in Vraja?” The rasika-bhaktas desire to be in Vraja eternally. They lament, “Because of my material senses, everyone wants to steal and enjoy me, but when I will have nothing, then I can become like Jagannatha, like salagram.”

Jagannatha is present as Salagrama in Radharani’s heart. Radharani’s heart has place for Salagrama, Krsna. He never leaves Her heart. She sees, “Salagrama is hiding in My heart. He has come in a hidden way into My heart and never wants to leave.”

When an infant becomes afraid then it runs and hides under the cloth of its mother. Krsna could not tolerate the viraha of separation from Srimati and He then ran and hid under Her ancala and entered the kunja of Her heart. He was suffering like an infant separated from the only one it knows, its mother, and thus He ran and hid in the form of salagrama, like a small child, under the shawl of Srimati Radharani, saying, “I cannot tolerate separation from You, please do not leave Me.” When Krsna runs and hides under Radharani’s nila-ancala, blue shawl, He then becomes known as Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe, who resides in Nilacala-dhama.

The Vrajavasis can somewhat tolerate their separation from Krsna, because they have each other to console them and speak about Krsna. But how can Krsna tolerate this separation? Who is there for Him? Therefore Krsna, Baladeva, and Subhadra melt in the love of separation. Their Divine Forms are non-different from their atmas, therefore, when the atma experiences these bhavas, such as viraha, then the form also changes its features. Similarly, Srimati Radharani became manifest as Prema-sarovara when She wept in separation from Krsna.

One of Krsna’s forms as rasaraja-mahabhava is Jagannatha. When His love reaches such a high state, then everything becomes dravibhuta, liquefied. Krsna’s external akara, form, does not remain. Without entering vipralambha-bhava, we cannot understand how much pain there is in viraha.

Therefore, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura prays:

govinda viraha prana nahi rahi, parana chadite ara din dui cari


“I cannot live without Govinda. I am unable to maintain my life airs, and I will give them up at any moment.”

nimese hoile yugera samana


“Every moment of separation from Krsna seems like an age.”

This separation is very difficult to tolerate. Therefore, feeling this separation, Krsna melts in love and becomes Jagannatha. In this way, He shows the glory and specialty of the highest love He shares with Srimati Radharani. This is His svarupa-vaisistya—the specialty of this form of Jagannatha. This is tarunyamrta-snana. When Krsna showers in the love and affection of all the tarunis of Vraja He then becomes dravibhuta, or melted, and shows the specialty of this love to everyone.

After tarunyamrta-dhara-snana comes lavanyamrta-dhara-snana. Now Srimati Radharani is singing. In Jayadeva Kavi’s poetry we receive a glimpse of this lavanyamrta-dhara-snana in songs like, “lalita-lavanga-lata” and “Rati-sukha-sare.”

Hearing these songs, Jagannatha left the temple sanctum and ran into the jungle where brambles ripped His silken cloth. Similarly, Mahaprabhu heard a Devadasi singing Gita-Govinda and ran towards the sound. With great difficulty, His sevaka Govinda Prabhu stopped Mahaprabhu and protected Him.

The sweet nectar in singing is lavanyamrta-dhara. Krsna floats in the flood of this nectar. When the hearts of the Vraja-devis’ melt, then their moods inside come out like a flood of song. Krsna swims and floats in this flood. This is lavanyamrta-dhara-snana. This lavanyamrta-dhara-snana is present in Venu-gita, Gopi-gita, Pranaya-gita, Brahmara-gita, and the songs of Jayadeva, Vidyapati, Candidasa, Narottama das Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and in songs like:

elo gaura rasa nidhi kadambini haya
bhasailo gauda-desa prema-vrsti diye

Srimati Radharani and the manjaris sing and express their love in the form of song, and Krsna showers in this flood. Ordinary people cannot serve Krsna like this. This service of lavanyamrta-dhara-snana is performed by the gopis. Krsna then cannot escape this flood. For even a moment, Krsna therefore cannot leave Vraja. After entering and drowning in that rasa ocean of lavanyamrta-dhara, there is no border or shore. One who has entered that ocean of rasa can never come out. Therefore Krsna melted and drowned in this ocean. At that time, Srimati Radhika and Krsna became like one, and expressed Their feelings in the verse:

na so ramana, na hama ramani
dunhu-mana manobhava pesala jani’
e sakhi, se-saba prema-kahini
kanu-thame kahabi vichurala jani’
na khonjalun duti, na khonjalun an
dunhukeri milane madhya ta panca-bana

–Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 8.194

This is viraha-vihina Jagannatha. Hearing this katha, Mahaprabhu manifested His form as Rasaraja-mahabhava.

radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmad
ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau
caitanyakhyam prakatam adhuna tad-dvayam caikyam aptam
radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krsna-svarupam

–Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi 1.5


[The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krsna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Krsna are one in Their identity, previously They separated Themselves. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Sri Krsna Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Srimati Radharani although He is Krsna Himself. Ref Vedabase.]

In the Gambhira, Mahaprabhu became so absorbed in these moods while hearing the songs of Candidasa, Vidyapati, and Jayadeva Kavi, that He would scratch His face along the walls and would become covered in blood. Sometimes all His joints became separated and elongated and sometimes His body contracted and became like a tortoise.

On the day of Snana-yatra, Lord Jagannatha’s birthday, Jagannatha comes with Baladeva and Subhadra and is bathed from the morning until afternoon by the dayita-patis (Jagannatha’s servants), who are manifestations of the Vraja-devis and Vrajavasis. Jagannatha is then crying and waiting and praying, “When, how will I again be in Vraja-dhama? When will the Vrajavasis, My dayitas (beloveds), take Me to Vraja.”

On the evening of Snana-yatra, Jagannatha and His siblings are dressed as elephants, showing that they are now restless to go to Vraja and will not let anything stand in their way. Jagannatha appears like a maddened elephant, ready to charge to Vraja and not let anyone hold Him back or stand in His way.

One of the times Krsna appears as Jagannatha is thus when He hears Rohini Mata describing vraja-katha, and another is when Srimati disappears and He experiences separation from Her. Srimati sometimes disappears in mana and then Krsna is lamenting. During separation from Her, Krsna is Jagannatha. He loses His hands, legs, eyelids. Without Srimati Radharani’s mercy, darsana, and touch He cannot feel whole. Sometimes He becomes so absorbed in thoughts of Radharani that He assumes Her mood and complexion and begins to chant, “Krsna, Krsna, Krsna.” Then Param Gurudeva sings:

radha-cinta-nivesana yasya kantir vilopita
sri krsna caranam-vande radha-lingita-vigraha

This is Radha-Vinoda-Bihari. First Krsna loses His form in separation and then He takes on the form of Radha-Vinoda-Bihari. These topics can be understood by the mercy of Guru-pada-padma and rasika Vaisnavas.

Love and affection is everything. Krsna is not controlled by anyone, but He is controlled by the love and affection of the gopis. When Radharani embraces Jagannatha Krsna, then He becomes golden—radha-lingita-vigraha. And also, when completely absorbed in Radharani in separation from Her, He assumes Her moods and becomes Radha-Vinoda-Bihari, golden complexioned. And then Jagannatha’s hands and legs are restored. At these times, Lord Jagannatha is dressed in sona-vesa, gold. He has golden hands and legs and a large golden flute. He is completely decorated with gold. In this way, He is embraced by Srimati Radharani’s golden complexion and is lila-purusottama Krsna.

This is the deep meaning of Snana-yatra. I have tried to give some indication of Snana-yatra. If you chant 64 rounds daily, following the order of Mahaprabhu and instruction of Srila Gurudeva, then you can understand these topics. If you don’t chant 64 rounds a day, then you will float on the surface of Jagannatha-puri. You will only see khaja and gaja, and these things will be tasteful for you. But you will not be able to enter the aprakrta-rasa. Therefore, you should chant harinama deeply, pray to Srila Gurudeva, and study the books of the Gosvamis.

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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