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Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada
The Difference Between Offensiveness and Weakness of Heart by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year-6, Issue 7
Posted: 25 August, 2013
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
The Difference Between Offensiveness
and Weakness of Heart
by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
Question 1: Is the surrendered soul bound to attain the topmost welfare?
Answer: Most definitely. The very same moment we surrender, our welfare is confirmed, as if it is already in our hands. One’s welfare is ensured when one becomes dependent upon the principal owner. Until we are fully surrendered, or to the extent we are not surrendered, we are simply embracing discomfort for ourselves.
Sri Krsna has not brought us to this world to inflict pain upon us. But by utilizing our independence improperly, we have by our own actions chosen inauspiciousness and our own distress. As soon as we develop faith in His benevolent words, our false ego of being the doer shall be dispelled forever. Then we shall no longer make a mad dash to celebrate our bravado in the field of karma. Instead, we shall surrender unto His lotus feet in order to truly listen to Him.
Question 2: What are the symptoms of a surrendered soul?
Answer: The prime symptom of a surrendered soul is that he has relinquished any notion of being the doer. Renouncing this notion and exclusively accepting Sri Krsna as one’s maintainer and guardian is the constitutional characteristic of surrender (saranagati). For one who is surrendered, there is no need of being the doer. When the conception of being a fully protected and maintained maidservant of Sri Vrsabhanu-nandini appears in our heart, then no other worldly identifications, which are all insignificant in comparison, can overpower it.
“I am dependent on Sri Krsna.” Unless one develops this identification, true surrender, or truly taking shelter (asraya), has not yet occurred. Prior to this, it is natural to maintain the ego of being the doer.
Question 3: Is human birth greater than birth as a demigod?
Answer: Yes. Definitely. Thus, even the demigods desire to be born as humans. The demigods are so immersed in enjoying sensual pleasures that they are not able to accommodate the thought that their future is a veritable arsenal of distress. They are always engrossed in the intoxication of enjoying temporary pleasures. Since they remain demigods for a fixed duration only, upon exhausting the fruits of their good deeds they are bound to take birth again on the earthly planet.
Human beings tend to care about their futures more than any other form of life does. The demigods live a much happier and more carefree life than humans do, and they are able to engage in material pleasures for a longer duration, but then in the end, they face difficulties. The demigods are surrounded with the virtues of high birth, opulence, fame and so forth, and so they constantly seek to augment their opulence.
We consider them to be great because they have more avenues for enjoying pleasure. But despite this inferiority to demigods, humans have the special advantage of being able to weigh the long-term benefits and misfortune an action may bring. But if a human imitates the demigods and remains engaged in simply furthering his opulence, he too becomes unable to consider his true welfare.
Compared to demigods, humans have a greater opportunity to engage in bhagavad-bhajana and associate with the sadhus. On this basis, human birth is understood to be actually superior to birth as a demigod.
In human life various difficulties arise at every moment, reminding us that this world and all its pleasures are in fact of a temporary nature. But for demigods, whose life is comparatively full of uninterrupted sensual pleasure, realization of the temporary nature of the world is not easily attained. Thus, by taking birth as humans we are granted these interruptions in pleasure and, consequently, we can make preparations for our true welfare by correctly identifying what is actually, ultimately beneficial, and distinguishing it from what is not.
Question 4: Who is our most benevolent friend?
Answer: There is no truer or more benevolent friend in this world than he who causes us to become attracted to chanting the holy names of the Lord. All of the charity done by a million philanthropists, each as great as Karna*, seems very ordinary and small when compared to the immense benevolence of those who engage in preaching the glories of the holy names.
* C.f. Mahabharata. Karna is renowned as the most charitable character in Mahabharata. He famously donated his armour, which was a part of his own flesh, to Indra without hesitation.
Question 5: How may one attain Krsna’s mercy-potency?
Answer: When someone surrenders exclusively unto the lotus feet of sri gurudeva, then sri gurudeva transmits Krsna’s potency into the heart of that disciple. Thereafter, this krpa-sakti, or mercy-potency, is nourished by the disciple’s sincere service, and it gradually destroys all of his anarthas (meaningless impediments to attaining bhakti) and misfortune. But if he stops rendering service or if he becomes wholly uninspired in his service, then his anarthas will regain their prominence and Krsna’s potency will gradually diminish within him. If a person wants a seed to become a strong tree, he must carefully water it until it germinates, and then protect it from being assaulted by the environment while it is still tender and young. In the same way, it is essential to nurture Krsna’s potency within the heart – the potency received from sri gurudeva – by constantly engaging in bhajana.
Question 6: What is the difference between offensiveness (aparadha) and weakness of heart (hrdaya-durbalata)?
Answer: A person with “weakness of heart” (hrdaya-daurbalata) and a person with offensiveness (aparadha) do not exactly fall into the same category, although in due course of time weakness of heart may transform into offensiveness. He who is still in the former stage feels antipathy towards base cravings which lead to sin and towards making offences. He is unable to give up committing sin or making offences despite knowing that they are extremely wrong. But he who is an offender does not even consider these things to be wrong. He thinks that whatever actions he performs are good, that his own understanding of the world is correct, and that those who are true sadhus are mistaken if they disagree.
A person suffering from weakness of heart must not accept that his base cravings (kamana) have any value, and he must not actively relish them. Rather he should discard them out of disgust. It can then be understood that Krsna’s mercy is truly upon him. Otherwise he will be cheated out of receiving Krsna’s mercy.
Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team
from Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta
Questions re-numbered for this on-line presentation
Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta is a compilation of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada’s instructions, in question-and-answer form.
Next Issue – Year 6, Issue 8: To Be Announced, 24 September, 2013
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Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
In Honor of Sri Radhastami
[This year, 2013, Sri Radhastami, the divine appearance day of the Supreme Mistress of all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Srimati Radhika, is on Sept. 13th (in India). In honor of this day [see endnote 3], we are happy to offer this ever-fresh and ever nourishing lecture given by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, in The Hague, Holland, on July 9, 2005. As an invocation to the tenth annual Holland Harikatha festival, Srila Maharaja requested the devotees to sing Srila Rupa Gosvami’s prayer, “Sri Sri Radhika Pada-Padme Vijnapti.” He then gave an elaborate explanation of the prayer:]
radhe! jaya jaya madhava-dayite
gokula-taruni mandala-mahite (1)
damodara-rati vardhana vese!
hari-niskuta-vrndavipine se! (2)
lalita-sakhi! guna ramita-visakhe! (3)
karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite!
Radhe – what is the meaning of Radhe? “Aradyate iti.” Sri Krsna Himself worships Srimati Radhika, and Radhika worships Him. When She came from Krsna’s left side in the rasa-lila She at once ran to Him to worship Him – and He ran towards Her. “Radhe Jaya Jaya – Radhe, all glories to You, all glories to You.”
“Madhava Dayite – You are very near and dear to Lord Madhava.”
yasyah kadapi vasanancala-khelanottha-
yogindra-durgama-gatir madhusudano ‘pi
tasya namo ‘stu vrsabhanu-bhuvo dise ‘pi
(Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 2)
[“Obeisances to the direction that faces Sri Vrsabhanu's daughter. When the breeze coming from that direction playfully moves the edge of Her garment, Lord Krsna, who cannot be attained by even the kings of the yogis, thinks that His life has now become a great success.”]
Once, Sri Krsna did something that offended Srimati Radhika, and She entered a sulky mood. She was sitting on one side of Radha-kunda, and Krsna was on the other side in feelings of great separation from Her. The breeze coming from Radha’s side touched the beautiful fragrance of Radha-kunda and also the veil of Radhika – not Radhika, but the veil which held Her fragrance. That breeze then touched Krsna and He exclaimed, “My life is successful! My life is successful!”
So many sages and saintly kings are able to control their minds, and their minds are thus purified. Yet, even in their meditation they cannot touch the lotus feet of Sri Krsna. On the other hand, by any connection with Radhika, by even the fragrance of Her veil, that same Krsna was overwhelmed. Radhika is so glorious.
venum karan nipatitam skhalitam sikhandam
bhrasdanca pita-vasanam vraja-raja-sunoh
tam radhikam paricarami kada rasena
(Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 39, by Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati)
[“When will I delight in the service of Srimati Radharani? Struck by the arrow of Her side-long glance Krsna faints, His flute falls from His hands, the peacock feathers on His head become loosened and His yellow scarf slips from His neck.”]
Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati writes: “When will I have a chance to serve Srimati Radhika with rasa – manjari-rasa – which is so high-class, even more so than the transcendental stages of sneha, maan, raga, anuraga and still more than that.”
radha-preyan vidhur jayati
[“Let Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, be glorified! By virtue of His expanding attractive features, He subjugated the gopis named Taraka and Pali and absorbed the minds of Syama and Lalita. He is the most attractive lover of Srimati Radharani and is the reservoir of pleasure for devotees in all transcendental mellows.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 8.142)]
When Sri Krsna plays His flute, all the gopis are controlled. He is an ocean of rasa. By His beauty and flute playing He controls Taraka, Pali, Candravali; and others such as Bhadra and Syamala and Lalita, are also controlled by Him. He also controls all the cows with His flute. Yet, when He saw Srimati Radhika, that flute fell from His hands and His peacock feather fell down to Her lotus feet.
“Brasdanca pita vasanam – He did not know that His yellow shawl was also falling down. He became totally mad and at once fainted.” Srimati Radhika is so glorious, and therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami sings, “Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite.”
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has quoted Sri Krsna in Srimad-Bhagavatam:
na paraye ’ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
[“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.”]
Srila Jayadeva Gosvami has also quoted Krsna in Gita-govinda:
mama sirasi mandanam
dehi pada pallavam udharam
Sri Krsna is begging Srimati Radhika, “O Devi, I am taking My ears in My hand.*[See endnote 1] I have done something wrong. I promise that in the future I will never again commit any offense to You. Be pleased with Me. I am offering My flute and My peacock feather at Your feet. I cannot tolerate Your separation for even a moment. I will die without You. So please excuse My fault. Please excuse Me.”
Sri Jayadeva Gosvami could not write this,*[See endnote 2] but our Gosvamis, like Srila Rupa Gosvami, who is Sri Rupa Manjari, could do so. How glorious is Radha. “Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite – Sri Krsna is controlled by Srimati Radhika.”
“Gokula taruni mandala mahite – So many gopis live in Gokula. They are extremely beautiful, and Candravali is especially beautiful, but not like Radhika. Taruni mandala mahite – in this world no one is as near and dear to Krsna as Radhika.”
“Damodara rati vardhana-vese – Damodara is controlled by His mother, but in this connection that very Damodara is now controlled by Radhika. Vardana vese – to increase Sri Krsna’s love and affection, She appears in beautiful ways.”
“Hari-niskuta vrndavipinese” – Hari refers to Krsna who takes the heart of everyone, especially the gopis. His garden is Vrndavana, where Yamuna is flowing, peacocks are dancing and cuckoos are singing. Everywhere there are beli, cameli, and kadamba flowers. All stimuli are fully present. There, Krsna is not Vrndavanesvara (the Lord and controller of Vrndavana). Because Vrnda has given Vrndavana to Srimati Radhika – She is Vrndavanesvari. Especially, Sri Krsna is not Rasesvara (the Lord and controller of rasa-lila); rather, Radhika is Rasesvari. Sri Krsna is one of the participants, but Radhika is all-in-all.
“Jaya Jaya – O Devi, be glorious, be glorious [meaning be victorious – “Please take victory over my lust, greed, etc., and make me Yours.” (adapted from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s Gopi-gita verse 1 commentary)] Sprinkle a particle of Your mercy upon me.”
lalita-sakhi! guna ramita-visakhe! (verse 3)
“You are like the moon that has arisen from the ocean of Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s love. [According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, the moon was born from the churning of the ocean.]
“Lalita sakhi guna-ramita-visakhe – You are the sakhi of Lalita.” In what way?
dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam
ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya
radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami
(Sri Lalitastakam, verse 4)
["I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: "O Kalankini (unchaste one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don't display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary."]
Srimati Lalita-devi is so near and dear to Srimati Radhika that sometimes she controls Radhika. “Dhurte vrajendra – Lalita says, ‘Vrajendra-nandana (Sri Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja) is a high class of cheater. He is black inside and He is black outside. He is black everywhere; so don’t be submissive towards Him. Always act in such way as to control Him. Don’t give up Your maan (transcendental loving anger).’” Radhika wants to give up Her maan, but Lalita tells Her not to do so. “Radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim” – Lalita is guru of Radhika, and therefore She can give anyone the dasya-prema of Radhika.
yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami
["I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure-house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (sva-paksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden’s desires." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 7)]
Visakha took birth on the same day that Radhika took birth, so her beauty and other qualities are similar to Radhika’s. Her voice is so sweet, even more so than Sri Krsna’s. All her qualities are like Radhika’s. I pray that she will make me her disciple and give me training on how to serve Radhika and Krsna.
karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite!
In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami says that even those who are first-class brahmavadis, like Sukadeva Gosvami (when he first appeared in this would) and the four Kumaras (who are forever five years old, who are always naked, and who are the first sons of Lord Brahma) are glorifying Srimati Radhika. Nisanta-lila (the end-of-night pastimes of Radha and Krsna) and other pastimes of asta-kaliya-lila (the 24-hour daily pastimes of Radha and Krsna) were told to the four Kumaras by Lord Siva, and then they wrote about it in the Brhat-vamana Purana. So Srila Rupa Gosvami is glorifying Sanaka, Sananda, Sanat, and Sanatana Kumara.
In this connection, Sanatana means Sanatana of the four Kumaras. But Srila Sanatana Gosvami has also glorified Her, especially in Brhad-bhagavatamrta and in his Vaisnava Tosani commentary of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
And we are now also glorifying Radhika, so that this Holland festival will be successful. More than 1,000 devotees have come here from various parts of Europe, Australia, England, Russia, and various other countries. There may be some problems. No one can satisfy everyone, and especially it is not possible to satisfy a child. If some problem comes, therefore, with hosting or prasadam or anything else – it may come – please tolerate.
You have all come for hari-katha, and we will give you hari-katha. We will give that hari-katha which Srila Bhaktivedenta Svami Maharaja, your Prabhupada, has left for me. He told me, “You should give this.”
Try to drink the nectar of hari-katha with the two cups of your ears. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has told about this, but not openly like I am telling. Sukadeva Gosvami has never openly told Radhika’s name in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, nor did he reveal the names of Candravali or Lalita and Visakha. But Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has revealed this, and in his parampara I am also telling you so many secret names and sweet pastimes. Try to take this into your heart, and preach our mission throughout the world. Don’t be weak. “Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite.”
*[endnote 1 – pulling on ones own ears with both hands indicates one’s admitting an offense and begging forgiveness]
*[endnote 2 – Jayadeva Gosvami was somewhat hesitant to write the entire verse, because he had a hint of an opulence mood toward Sri Krsna. So, while he was out of his house, Krsna Himself, in the form of Jayadeva, came to his house and wrote the rest of the verse in his devotee’s notebook.]
ON SRI RADHASTAMI
[In the early morning of September 14th, 2002, in order to commence the celebration of Sri Radhastami in the opulently decorated Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja requested the devotees to sing "Sri Krsna Virahe" by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After that he explained some of the verses as follows:]
sri krsna-virahe, radhikara dasa, ami to’ sahite nari
yugala-milana, sukhera karana, jivana chadite pari
["I am absolutely unable to tolerate Sri Radhika's pitiable condition when She is suffering in separation from Sri Krsna, but I am fully prepared to immediately give up my life for the sake of Their happy reunion." (Verse 1)]
Without the guidance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, it is not possible to render service to Srimati Radhika. In the mood of a maidservant of Srimati Radhika, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written that he cannot tolerate Radhika’s condition during the time of Her separation from Krsna. And, for Their meeting together, he is readily prepared to easily give up his life.
radhika-carana, tyajiya amara, ksaneke pralaya hoya
radhikara tare, sata-bara mari, se duhkha amar soya
["If I were ever to renounce Radhika's lotus feet for even an instant, I would be totally devastated. For Her sake I will gladly tolerate the pain and agony of death hundreds of times." (Verse 2)]
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is saying: “I can give up anything. I can even give up Krsna, but I cannot give up the lotus feet of Radhika, even for a moment. For the service of Radhika I am prepared to die hundreds and millions of times, but I could never tolerate giving up Her association for a second. When will that day come that I can render some service to Her lotus feet? How can I have attachment for this Radhika, and how can I attain the perfect service of Her lotus feet?
e heno radhara, carana yugale, paricarya pabo kabe
haha braja-jana, more doya kori, kabe vraja-vane laibe
["When will I be able to serve Radhika's two lotus feet? Alas, I beg you all, O residents of Vraja, please be merciful to me now. When will you take me into the forests of Vraja?" (Verse 3)]
vilasa manjari, ananga manjari, sri rupa manjari ara
amake tuliya, loho nija pade, deho more siddhi sara
["O Vilasa Manjari! O Ananga Manjari! O Rupa Manjari! Please lift me up and bring me close to your own lotus feet, thereby bestowing upon me the ultimate perfection." (Verse 4)]
Weeping bitterly, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is praying, “O Vrajavasis, please be merciful to me! Place me in the service of the Divine Couple. Especially, please place me in the service of Radhika’s lotus feet. When will that day come that Sri Vilasa Manjari and others will take me to Vraja? I long to render service.”
[The devotees then sang Srila Gaura-Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja's "Uddesye Racita Gita Boliya Pracalita," (The Song Glorifying the Life Goal of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami)]
[The following is the first Bengali verse and the English translations of all the verses:]
kothaya go premamyi radhe radhe
Radhe, radhe go, jaya radhe, radhe
Where is She who is full of prema? All glories to Sri Radha. (1)
O Radha! Please give me Your darsana and save my life. Your wretched beggar calls out to You, “Radhe, Radhe!” (2)
O Radha, You enjoy pleasure pastimes in the forest of Vrndavana, wherein You enchant the mind of Krsna. (3)
O Radha, You are the crest-jewel among Your eight principal sakhis. O Radha, daughter of Vrsabhanu Baba. (4)
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was always calling out, “Radhe! Radhe!” (5)
…sometimes at Kesi Ghata, sometimes at Vamsi Vata. (6)
…sometimes in Nidhuvana, sometimes at Seva Kunja. (7)
…sometimes at Radha Kunda, sometimes at Syama Kunda. (8)
…sometimes at Kusuma Sarovara, sometimes at Giriraja Govardhana. (9)
…sometimes at Talavana, sometimes at Tamalvana. (10)
Raghunatha dasa wears simple cloth which appears to be dirty because he is always rolling on the earth crying out, “Radhe! Radhe!” (11)
Calling out “Radhe! Radhe,” his eyes are bursting with a flood of tears. (12)
He wanders throughout the lanes of Vrndavana crying out, “Radhe! Radhe!” (13)
He knows nothing but Radha-Govinda throughout the day and night (56 dandas: 1 danda= 24 minutes). Radhe! Radhe! (14)
He takes rest for only 4 dandas (1 hr. 36 min.) At that time he receives darsana of Radha-Govinda in his dreams. Radhe! Radhe! (15)
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has heard from Srila Svarupa Damodara, Srila Raya Ramananda, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and especially from Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and thus he is presenting this tattva. Srimati Radhika’s name is Govinda-nandini (She who makes Sri Krsna happy), and there is nothing higher than this.
Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has revealed some of the names of Radhika in his Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila chapter four. One of Her names is Govinda-nandini. Govinda is the controller of everything. He is the extreme limit of the conception of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. He is full with unlimited opulence and sweetness. Who can give happiness to Him? Only one personality can do so – Krsna Himself in the form of Srimati Radhika.
She is Govinda-mohini. Krsna attracts all living entities, including animals, trees and creepers. He especially attracts all the Vraja gopis, but Radhika can attract Him. Krsna bewilders everyone in this world by His maya-sakti, and in the spiritual world He bewilders all by His beautiful form, qualities, and pastimes. He can bewilder everyone; yet Srimati Radhika can bewilder Him.
Radhika is Govinda sarvasya. She is everything to Krsna. She is the be-all-and-end-all of Krsna; for Him, nothing remains.
Sri Radha is sarva-kanta siromani, the crown jewel of all Krsna’s beloveds. All the gopis were searching for Krsna after His disappearance from the Rasa dance. When Her own svapaksa gopis (the gopis from Her own group) saw Her footprints along with Krsna’s, they became very happy – knowing them to be Hers. However, when the other groups of gopis saw them, not knowing to whom they belonged, they could only understand that this particular gopi had served Krsna more than any other – and therefore He left the Rasa dance with Her alone.
Sri Radha Herself has manifested as Candravali and all the other gopis. There is no other beloved of Krsna – only Srimati Radhika. She Herself has become all the Laksmis (Goddesses of Fortune), and all the queens of Dvaraka. If one thinks deeply about this, he will understand Her greatness. Sita-devi and all the Laksmis are manifestations of Radha, and She assumes these forms to fulfill Krsna’s desires.
She is Krsna-mayi; She sees Krsna everywhere – inside and outside of Herself. Wherever Her mind or senses go, it is only for and about Krsna. When She sees a tamal tree She thinks, “Oh, there is Krsna.” Her name is Radhika because She fulfills all the desires of Krsna and because He Himself worships Her. An example of His worshipping Her is when He took Her to a solitary place after leaving the Rasa dance, at which time even the vipaksa-gopis (rival party) also confirm this. Radhika is Para-devata, just as Krsna is: She is the most worshipable of all. Moreover, She is worshiped by Krsna Himself. Is She not therefore worshipable by everyone?
Once Radhika asked Vrnda-devi, “Where are you coming from?” Vrnda-devi replied, “I’m coming from Radha-kunda. I saw Krsna there.” Radharani asked, “What was He doing?” Vrnda-devi replied that He was dancing. Radha then asked, “Oh, who was His dancing teacher?” Vrnda-devi told Her, Your reflection, Radhika, which He sees in every tree.
Whatever prema exists in this world comes from Radhika. She is the mother of everyone because she nourishes everyone by giving them prema. Krsna is the principle Deity of all jivas, and Radhika is also. This is confirmed in the Brahma-samhita :
tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih
goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
["I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who resides in His own realm, Goloka, with Radha, who resembles His own spiritual figure and who embodies the ecstatic potency (hladini). Their companions are Her confidantes, who embody extensions of Her bodily form and who are imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa."]
Sri Radhika is sarva-laksmi-mayi, which means that all the various gopis emanate from Her, and She is therefore the predominating deity of all the sakhis. As many beloveds as there are, She is their controlling deity.
She is also known as Kanti, which means that during Rasa-lila, only She could fulfill all the desires of Sri Krsna. There were hundreds of millions of gopis dancing, but when Radhika left, the Rasa dance stopped. Krsna appears as Mahaprabhu in order to taste all of Radhika’s loving moods; He cannot do so in Vraja-lila.
What are Krsna’s thoughts when He is in Mathura and Dvaraka and feeling separation from Radhika? He prays to Her, “O most worshipful Radha! My mind always remains with You. I’m always anxious for the dust of Your lotus feet. Somehow, in some form, I stay in Vrndavana. O Srimati Radhika, I am roaming in those forests, playing on My flute, only in search of You. O Radhika, I go to the Yamuna, not to take bath, but only to meet with You. Otherwise there is no need to go there. I sit on the bank of Yamuna only to meet with You and serve You.
“I stopped grazing cows, and I stopped all other activities. Seeing Your beauty I became so eager; My eyes moved here and there and My mind was restless. I used to wait underneath a kadamba tree, thinking, ‘When will She come by this way?’ I am meditating upon Your qualities, and upon Your beauty which is like the auspicious svati-naksatra (constellation). The skylark (cakora bird) won’t drink any other water besides the water coming from the clouds at the time of the svati-constellation. Similarly, I am like a cakora bird, and Your beauty is like rain falling during that constellation. I am eagerly waiting for You, to have Your darsana. Your beauty and qualities steal My heart. I don’t want those qualities to steal My heart, but I forget everything else in My separation from You.”
Hearing this, Radhika replied, “O Prananatha, lord of My life’s breath, I am Your eternal servant and You are My life and soul, the only love in My life. I surrender Myself unto Your lotus feet. You may love Me or neglect Me, in Your life or by Your mind. You can leave Me and thus bring Me suffering. Whatever Youdesire, Your happiness is My happiness and Your life is My life. I don’t want anything other than Your happiness in my life. As You realize My happiness and sorrows, so I can realize Yours. You feel happiness by seeing Me, but by seeing You I become millions of times more happy. There is no comparison to My happiness in these worlds. I am happy only by seeing Your happiness. I am always blissful because I have no concept of the happiness of others; I only desire Your happiness. I want to see Your happiness from morning to night, and night to morning.
“By seeing Me You become happy, and therefore I decorate Myself in many ways with srngara (ornaments) and alankara (decorations). I do this for You only; I do this because by seeing Me with all these ornaments and decorations You feel great happiness. I dedicate Myself unto Your lotus feet only to increase Your satisfaction and fulfill Your desires. I become so happy when You say to Me, ‘You are My beloved, My mistress, My life and soul.’ No one can understand the happiness I feel; there is no comparison to it in this world.
“When You say to Me, ‘O Swaminiji, O Pranesvari Radhike, O My kanta,’ My heart becomes overjoyed, because You are happy when You taste the words Radha-Pranesvari, etc. I feel shy to hear this, and yet I am also very happy. Externally I feel shy, but internally I am extremely happy.”
Then Krsna said to Radhika, “You are the abode of matchless love. O Vrsabhanu-nandini, (daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja), You are the abode of all rasas, and what am I? I am always moving from one forest to another to graze cows. I’m foolish and irreligious. Other than to herd cows, I have no intelligence at all. I don’t know the rules and regulations of love, and only You can teach Me these principles. I am always running after cows and playing hide and seek and other games like a village boy, whereas You are the river of prema. I’m just like terribly hot sand in the summer and You, on the other hand, are the river of love. How can there be any comparison between Yourself and Myself? When You give Me the darsana of Your love, I immediately become happy –there is no comparison to my happiness. When You bestow Your mercy and look towards Me, I become indebted to You.” Krsna also told the gopis during rasa-lila: “I have no qualification. I am only a beggar of Your love.”
na paraye ‘ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have come to Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)]
Now He confirmed this, as He told Sri Radha, “I am so indebted to You. How can I become free from this debt? Please be merciful; You are the abode of mercy. Only You can give Me love and fulfill My desires.”
Hearing this, Srimati Radhika became shy and replied, “O Syamasundara, O You whose eyes are like lotus petals, O You who are the son of the king of Vraja. You steal My heart. To meet with You I shall give up all the rules and regulations of society. I will leave My in-laws house, I will give up all consideration of shyness, respect from others, religion, and irreligion. I want to come to You and keep You as My own. I want to keep You, even for a moment, but I am only a village girl. I have no quality at all and I am not beautiful. You, on the other hand, are extremely qualified and beautiful, and You are the ornament of Your dynasty. There is no rasa in Me. I have no idea about rasa, whereas You are the abode of rasa. You are the ocean of mercy, so please bestow Your mercy on Me. This is My desire.”
Without the mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvamipada and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, no one would have been able to write about these topics. The conception that Radhika is the center of all is exclusively for those in our Gaudiya Sampradaya. We have the speciality that “Krsna is feeling separation from Radhika.” No other acaryas can write about all the truths present herein.
Srila Gaura-Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja is glorifying and praying to Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in this kirtana called “Uddesye Racita Gita Boliya Pracalita.” He says there that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was always roaming, sometimes in Nidhuvana and sometimes in Vamsivata, and calling out, “Radhe! Radhe!”
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT WHILE CHANTING
[Respected Harikatha Readers,
This year, 2013, the observance of Sri Krsna Janmastami is August 28th. We pray that you find spiritual nourishment in reading this first-time-published darsana of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spoken in France, on April 27, 1998:]
Syama-kunda and Radha-kunda are extremely beautiful, surrounded by the many exquisite sweet groves of Lalita, Visakha, and all the other principle sakhis. We want the mercy of Radha and Krsna Conjugal. Srimati Radhika is our Svamini, our worshipful mistress, so we must please Her. How do we please Her? Not by glorifying Her. Rather, by our glorifying Her beloved, She will be very pleased and bestow upon us whatever we desire.
So, try to please Srimati Radhika by first glorifying Her beloved Krsna, Syamasundara. How? By singing and remembering the bhajana “Namami Nanda-nandana.” If you can think of the meanings of the verses in this song, you will feel so much spiritual joy that your heart will melt. [*See Endnote]
“Karena venu-ranjitam” – Krsna keeps His flute on His lips and smiles, looking towards His beloved. “Gati karindra-ganjitam” – And He walks like an elephant, who walks as though he were intoxicated with happiness. In fact, Krsna walks more sweetly and beautifully than that elephant.
“Dukula-pita-sobhanam” – Du-kula literally means ‘two sides.’ Dukula pita means ‘yellow garments’, and here it refers to Krsna’s uttariya, or upper cloth. Krsna’s upper cloth is exceedingly more beautiful than the yellow mustard seed flowers we see in the fields. His cloth can be compared with lightening flashing upon His body, which is like the color of clouds.
Then after these three lines, we remember the refrain, “Namami nanda-nandanam.”
All the verses have very excellent and sweet meanings. If one sings this kirtana and meditates on the meaning, Krsna will enter his heart along with Srimati Radhika – as promised in the last verse.
sri nanda-nandanastakam pathed yah sraddhayanvitah
tared bhavabdhim dustaram labhet tad-anghri-yugmakam
That person will easily cross birth and death, lust, and all other obstacles. ‘Yugmakam’ means that Radha and Krsna are together. Where? At Radha-kunda.
When chanting Sri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja, beginning “Munindra-vrnda-vandite,” try to know some of the meanings of these verses as well. You will be truly happy by this. Absorbed in thinking about this, your mind will not go here and there.
When you chant harinama, you can try and visualize that you are anywhere in the eighty-four krosas (thirty-two square mile area) of Vrndavana. You can be under the shade of Vamsi-vata (the tree under which Krsna plays His flute and calls the gopis to come and dance rasa-lila with Him), and sometimes in Nandagaon, at Ter-kadamba (one of the important meeting places of Sri Radha-Krsna). And, if you like to weep bitterly, then go to Uddhava-kyari, where all gopis are lamenting in a mood of separation from Krsna. Sit there for some time and chant Hare Krsna, feeling something of the gopis’ great separation mood.
If your mind is wandering, go then to Govardhana and try to chant Hare Krsna loudly, performing parikrama of Govardhana. You can take some rest at Kusuma-sarovara (where Krsna jokingly chastises Sri Radha for picking ‘His’ flowers) or Govinda-kunda (where King Indra worshipped Krsna), and especially take bath at Radha-kunda. First take bath in Radha-kunda and then in Syama-kunda (where Radha and Krsna and the gopis perform their water sports).
While chanting Hare Krsna and thinking about all of these things, gradually your mind will be controlled. In our sampradaya, especially in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, devotees do not have to do anything separate to remove anarthas (detrimental thoughts and habits). We simply engage our minds all the time, second by second, in chanting, remembering, reading, and worshipping Krsna twenty-four hours a day. In this way our minds cannot go here and there, and we can conquer anarthas easily. We have a taste in these processes that assist us in entering bhakti.
Srila Rupa Gosvami says that without the association of pure Vaisnavas, what to speak of attaining bhakti, even our attraction towards worldly desires will not go away.
mahat-krpa vina kona karme ‘bhakti’ naya
krsna-bhakti dure rahu, samsara nahe ksaya
[“Unless one is favored by a pure devotee, one cannot attain the platform of devotional service. To say nothing of krsna-bhakti, one cannot even be relieved from the bondage of material existence.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 22.51)]
We should try to be far away from four things: illicit sex, gambling of all sorts, meat-eating (including fish and eggs as well), and intoxicants (including coffee, tea, and cigarettes.) We should try to avoid these things. We must also avoid the three W’s: women – for women, men are women (the ‘W’ would then stand for ‘men’), and for men, women are women; it is not one-sided – and wealth and wine. We must try to follow all these principles. Don’t smoke marijuana. This is so dangerous that it is like taking poison; one who takes it will die.
Have strong belief in gurudeva and guru-parampara. Don’t have any doubts in our guru-parampara, otherwise you will die in spiritual life. Don’t think that Parama-pujypada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja is an ordinary person. He went everywhere in the world and created a revolution in bhakti. We must not lose faith in him and our guru-parampara. No sahajiya babaji can do what he and our guru-parampara have done. In fact, even the word ‘babaji’ has not been written in scriptures like Vedanta, Upanisads, Caitanya-caritamrta, Mahabharata, Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, or in the books of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Jiva Gosvami, and Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura. Where has it been written? Don’t fall in their traps.
Those who think that parakiya-bhava is material, Krsna is material, bhakti is material, and we are this material body have no conception of true, transcendental love and parakiya-bhava. They smoke ganja, and they desire many parakiya ladies – not as married ladies, but as parakiya lovers – and these ladies want parakiya husbands. Thus they meet together and indulge in all varieties of immoral behavior. Such persons will not be able to touch bhakti in millions upon millions of births; not even a semblance of bhakti. They are all offenders, so we should believe in our guru-parampara and the line that has been given by them.
In order to attain true bhakti, you will need to do millions of times more labor than what you are presently doing to maintain your lives. You do so much labor and undergo so much suffering for maintaining your lives. I see that some people work sixteen hours a day like machines. They have no time for anything else.
In order to attain pure bhakti, we will have to do even more labor than this. Sri Rupa and Sanatana used to sleep one hour, or sometimes they would not sleep at all. They were always weeping in the ecstasy of separation from Radha and Krsna. Let us be like that.
I see that so many devotees don’t attend morning arati. They don’t see the utility in doing morning kirtana. They don’t chant and remember or read books. So how can they progress? They cannot progress.
Now I am somewhat old and have bad eyesight; that is why I don’t attend mangala-arati. When I lived on the same level as Thakuraji in my room in Mathura, I used to attend daily. Now, it may be that I will fall down the stairs, so that is why I don’t go. But I am never asleep after 3 am.
Try to do great labor for bhakti. Don’t be idle. If you are engaged in the variety of activities in practicing bhakti-yoga, then Sri Krsna and Srimati Radhika will surely be kind enough to sprinkle Their mercy upon you.
[ENDNOTE: (A lecture given on Janmastami Morning, in Mathura, India, on August 31, 2002) As usual, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja held his Janmastami celebration at Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, in Mathura. After mangala-aratika, bhajanas preceded as usual, with a special emphasis on those bhajanas glorifying Sri Krsna. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja entered the temple at around 6:30am and began his Hindi class, wherein he explained the deep meanings of various bhajanas. The translation of his class was kindly given by Uttama dasa Brahmacari:]
“After Srila Maharaja led the devotees in singing Sri Nanda-nandanastakam, he explained that this song is the glorification of Krsna. Hearing this song pleases Him, but He is most pleased when the devotee worships and glorifies those who are most dear to Him. If one glorifies pastimes such as those found in Sri Ujjvala-nilamani and other Gosvami scriptures wherein Krsna bows His head at the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani, Krsna will be most pleased. Srila Maharaja said that if we really want to please Krsna, we should sing Sri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stavaraja, which is the glorification of Srimati Radharani. Therefore this song, Nanda-nandanastakam, which indicates the glorification of Krsna, gives more pleasure to Sri Radha.
“Srila Maharaja then led the devotees in singing Srimati Radharani’s astakam, Sri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stavaraja, after which he explained that the verses in this bhajana are just like mantras (mantra does not only mean ‘prayer;’ it is the actual presence of the mantra’s worshipful Deity). Each verse is also a mantra. This bhajana is just like a desire tree; it can fulfill all of our desires.
“Every verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam is also a mantra, and one can attain siddhi (perfection) from each of them. These verses can fulfill even the topmost desire, but unfortunately we have no faith in this. We are chanting the maha-mantra and we have no faith in it; but this and all other mantras are truly kalpa-vrksa, desire trees. Every sloka of Srimad-Bhagavatam is like the kama-dhenus (the cows of Goloka Vrndavana, who can fulfill all of one’s desires). Not only one kama-dhenu – each sloka can be compared to millions of kama-dhenus.
“‘Ananga-ranga-mangala-prasanga-bhangura-bhruvam…’ [“In the immensely auspicious drama enacted with loving playfulness (prema-vilasa) on the amorous battlefield, Your eyebrows curving like bows suddenly unleash the arrows of Your sidelong glances, piercing Nanda-nandana with amorous delusion and bringing Him under reverential submission”]. In this verse, every word describes the moods of Srimati Radharani, and especially Her topmost moods of madanakya-mahabhava. These moods can be understood only by the mercy of guru and Vaisnavas, and also by those who have previous samskaras (impressions on the heart made by devotional activities of this and previous lives).
“‘Asesa-hava-bhava-dhira-hira-hara-bhusite…’ [“You are adorned with all Your various deep emotions (anuraga, dhiradhira, kila-kincita, etc.) for Krsna, which shine on Your person like a diamond necklace.”] Hava is explained in Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Sri Ujjvala-nilamani. They are gestures of Radharani such as Her sidelong glances towards Krsna, and also the tilting of Her head. When She acts in these ways, Krsna becomes completely powerless and begins trembling. Bhava means ecstasies or moods, or a combination of varieties of moods as in kila-kincita bhava, and these are also elaborately explained in Sri Ujjvala-nilamani. If one is qualified he can read Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, but he must do so under the guidance of exalted Vaisnavas. In that way, by the mercy of guru, he can realize all those moods.
“These verses can give you the highest perfection. These mantras and guru are so powerful that by their mercy they can manifest all transcendental moods and deep meanings in your heart. Unfortunately, however, we have no faith in guru or the power of the mantras.
“‘Nitamba-bimba-lambamana-puspa-mekhala-gune…’ [“Your rounded hips are decorated with dangling flowers and tiny tinkling jeweled bells hung from the flower-belt on your charmingly slender waist.”] No one can explain the meaning because it is unfathomable, and even Srila Rupa Gosvami cannot speak about these hidden truths. In his realized state he could only write down his realizations in his books. Later, when Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada read them, he began laughing and feeling shyness in his heart. Thus, he was qualified to write a commentary on the verses of Srila Rupa Gosvami.
“We are really very unfortunate. We have the opportunity for this type of wealth, but still we try to collect the wealth of this material world. The bhavas of Srimati Radharani are the most valuable wealth in this world. Anyone who has once tasted this wealth can reject all material wealth. Unfortunately, however, we are still searching for insignificant material wealth.
‘Srila Maharaja then led the devotees in singing Krsna Deva! Bhavantam Vande, and then explained that if you want to please Srimati Radharani, you will have to sing Krsna Deva! Bhavantam Vande; this song especially gives Her pleasure. And, if you want to please Yugala Kisora, both Radharani and Krsna, you must sing Sri Gaura-gita. This song, which reveals the moods of Srimati Radharani and also of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, gives great pleasure to Yugala Kisora.
“The author of Sri Gaura-gita, Sri Radha-mohana dasa, is a highly qualified Vaisnava in our sampradaya. In the last line of his bhajana he sings, “paramakincana-kincana-nara-gana-karuna-vitarana-silam” [“I hanker to relish the unparalleled pastimes of the greatly munificent Sri Gaurasundara, who distributes mercy in the form of nama-prema to the supremely fortunate niskincana souls (those whose only possession is love of Krsna)]. He considers himself to be very akincana (fallen and worthless). Although he is very great, still he says, “I am akincana.” “Ksobhita-durmati-radha-mohana-namaka-nirupam-lilam [“The fallen and foolish Radha-mohana sings in a mood of great distress]. Duramati – here he says, “I am duramati. I am a very low-minded person.”
“Ksobhita means ‘one whose heart is disturbed.’ Why is the author’s heart now disturbed? “Nidhuvana nagari mohita-manasa-vikathita-gadgada-bhasam” [“The heart of Krsna, in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is thoroughly immersed in Srimati Radhika’s unnatojjvala-prema. That Caitanya Mahaprabhu now lovingly extols Sri Krsna in a choked voice.”] Nidhuvana is one of the topmost forests in Vrndavana, where Yugala Kisora enjoy Their sweet pastimes. Srimati Radharani is the nagari (heroine) of this Nidhuvana. Here, Krsnacandra serves Srimati Radharani from the beginning to the end of night, and still He cannot serve Her completely. By remembering this type of pastime, Radha-mohana dasa’s heart is agitated. This pastime of Nidhuvana is the crown jewel of all pastimes.
“Srila Maharaja then spoke from Brahma-samhita. He began by saying that Brahmaji, the adi-guru of our sampradaya, realized his offense to the lotus feet of Govinda after stealing His sakhas and their calves. He therefore performed atonement and offered stutis, prayers, unto Govinda’s lotus feet.
“Since the time of Srila Rupa Gosvami, no one in our sampradaya offers prayers of formal worship to Govinda. Bhajami means to do bhajana, but in our sampradaya bhajana means something more than that which is described in Brahma-samhita. The acaryas in our Gaudiya Sampradaya worship Govinda in this mood: He is always using sweet words to flatter Srimati Radharani. Govinda is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Rather, His qualification is that He is always following Srimati Radharani’s orders. Whatever She wants Him to do, He must follow. This is Govinda.
“Srila Maharaja then quoted verses from Brahma-samhita, such as:
yad-bhava-bhavita-dhiyo manujas tathaiva
suktair yam eva nigama-prathitaih stuvanti
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
[“I adore the same Govinda, the primeval Lord, in whose praise men, who are imbued with devotion, sing the mantra-suktas told by the Vedas, by gaining their appropriate beauty, greatness, thrones, conveyances and ornaments.”]
“‘Yad bhava bhavita dhiyo…I offer my humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of Govinda, the hearts of whose devotees are overwhelmed by various kinds of bhavas towards Him. Someone may have sakhya-bhava, someone vatsalya, and someone else may have madhurya-bhava.’ All the acaryas in our sampradaya have the mood that, ‘I am the maidservant of Srimati Radharani,’ and it is from the vantage-point of this mood that we look at Govinda.
“Mahimasana generally means ‘asana (sitting place),’ but here asana means ‘Vraja-bhumi.’ Vraja-bhumi is the only sitting place of Govinda; and greater than Vraja is Radha-kunda, which is the highest sitting place of the Divine Couple. Still greater is Srimati Radharani’s bhava, which is the only asana for Krsnacandra, Govinda. Krsna always desires to be situated in Radharani’s bhava. Those who are overwhelmed by the moods of our sampradaya, thus performing this type of bhajana to Govinda, can attain the highest perfection very quickly.
Srila Maharaja then spoke about bhava. He said that there are eleven types of bhava revealed by the guru when the disciple is entering bhava-bhakti. [1) sambandha (relationship), 2) vayasa (age), 3) nama (name), 4) rupa (personal form and beauty), 5) yutha (group), 6) vesa (dress), 7) ajna (specific instruction), 8) vasa (residence), 9) seva (exclusive service); 10) parakasta-svasa (the highest summit of emotion, which is the aspirant's very life breath, and 11) palya-dasi-bhava (the sentiment of a maidservant under the protection of Sri Radha).]
“There are also five dasas (stages of advancement approaching the stage of perfection). This is explained in Jaiva-dharma. and those who really desire to do bhajana will attain these eleven types of moods and five dasas.
sancintya tasya sadrsim tanum apur ete
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
[“I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, the meditators of whom, by meditating upon Him under the sway of wrath, amorous passion, natural friendly love, fear, parental affection, delusion, reverence and willing service, attain to bodily forms befitting the nature of their contemplation.” (Brahma-samita 5.55)]
“Here Brahmaji is giving us encouragement. Whoever serves Govinda and adheres to any of these types of moods in relation to Krsna, such as krodha (anger), kama (amorous desire), sahaja pranaya (natural friendly love), and so forth, will one day attain perfection. Different people have different types of relationships with Krsna, and through this relation they attain Him. Brahma says in this verse that one who comes to Krsna must one day attain perfection; there is no doubt about it. The type of sraddha one has in his heart determines what type of perfection he ultimately attains.”
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Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
[Respected Harikatha Readers,
This year, 2013, Lord Baladeva’s appearance day anniversary is August 21st. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja gave the following discourse in Hindi on His divine appearance day in 2007, and it was kindly translated by Radhika dasi of Vrndavana:]
Today is the appearance day of Rohini-nandana Baladeva. According to the Vedic scripture Garga-samhita, Baladeva Prabhu appeared after Janmastami, but if this is accepted, there would be confusion. Baladeva would be older than Krsna by one year, and then they would not be able to play together, wrestle on equal terms, and have Their name giving ceremony performed for both of them at the same time. Therefore, Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained, “Baladeva Prabhu appeared after Jhulana-yatra on the purnima, the full-moon day, and, seven days later, Sri Krsna appeared on bhadra-astami, the auspicious eighth day of the moon in the month of Bhadra (August/September).”
After Krsna appeared form the womb of Devaki in His four-armed form of Visnu, Vasudeva brought Him to Gokula. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of all relationships, simultaneously took birth in Gokula. In this way, He appeared at both places, in Mathura and Gokula, at the same time. Then the opulent form of Krsna (vaibhava-prakasa), who had appeared in the four-armed form, merged into the original form of Krsna, the son of Yasoda.
In the same way, Baladeva Prabhu’s partial expansion first appeared in the womb of Devaki, and then, following Krsna’s order, Yogamaya transferred Him to the womb of Rohini. There, in Vraja, He manifested in His full feature. So, the partial expansion of Baladeva was transferred from Devaki’s to Rohini’s womb, where Baladeva’s full, original feature manifested. In Vrndavana, Krsna is the son of Yasoda and Baladeva is the son of Rohini, and They are the source of all other expansions.
When Krsna and Baladeva leave Vraja for Mathura or Dvaraka, at that time they are the sons of Devaki. Devaki-nandana Baladeva lives in Mathura, and then Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha manifest from him. The first of this catur-vyuha (quadruple expansion) is Sankarsana. Baladeva Prabhu Himself manifests in His partial expansion as Mula (root) Sankarsana, and in Vaikuntha he manifests as Maha Sankarsana. Then Maha Sankarsana manifests as Karanodakasayi, from him Garbhodakasayi, from him Ksirodakasayi who is present in the hearts of all jivas, and his final expansion is the infinite Ananta Sesa.
Throughout India on this day, all ladies bind rakhis on their brothers. Another name of a rakhi is ananta. People used to wear these anantas, made of either gold or silver, so that Ananta-deva would protect them. Baladeva Prabhu takes the form of Ananta Sesa, on whose coils rest Karanodakasayi, Garbhodakasayi, and Ksirodakasayi. In this way He serves them all. He arranges everything necessary for Krsna’s manifestations. He becomes Krsna’s sandals, umbrella and His seat. All that exists in Vraja is Baladeva Prabhu’s manifestation.
Krsna is sat-cit-ananda. Sat is sandhini (eternal existence, or maintenance), cit is knowledge, and ananda is hladini, pleasure. Baladeva is the presiding Deity of the first kind of energy, sat or sandhini. Krsna is the presiding Deity of cit or samvit, and Srimati Radhika, the presiding Deity of ananda or hladini. Joined together, sat, cit, and ananda is knowledge in eternal spiritual existence, which is full of bliss. This is sat-cit-ananda Sri Krsna. When Krsna is with all His energies in full, sat-cit-ananda, then His manifestations are called svamsa incarnations. When He is only with His cit energy, then He is called Brahman. When He is situated within jiva-sakti, then His sat-cit-ananda energies are present only in minute form; this manifestation of Sri Krsna is called vibhinamsa, or the jiva, the minute spiritual living entity. Or it can be said that when Sri Krsna, leaving aside all other saktis, is situated in His tatastha-sakti (jiva-sakti), He is called Karanodakasayi Visnu (Maha-Visnu), whose expansions are the innumerable, infinitesimal living entities called the jivas.
In Vraja, Baladeva prabhu is the son of Rohini, and in Mathura and Dvaraka He is the son of Devaki. He manifests in these and other forms to serve Krsna in all Krsna’s incarnations. In Krsna’s incarnation as Rama, Baladeva became Rama’s younger brother, Laksmana. Laksmana did not like to carry out some of Rama’s orders, like taking the exiled Sita to the forest, but he was compelled to follow his elder brother’s order. During the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Baladeva prabhu came as Nityananda Prabhu, the elder brother of Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu would lose consciousness due to being immersed in the mood of Srimati Radhika, Nityananda would take care of Him. Also, He is guru-tattva. He killed Dhenukasura, the personification of ignorance. He also killed Pralambha, who personified hypocrisy. Until our heart is not cleared of hypocrisy, we will attain nothing in the realm of bhakti. If we want a good job, good marriage, and good relatives; how can Krsna come into our heart when it is filled with so many material desires? Therefore, first Baladeva prabhu comes and purifies us of those material desires. He also killed Dvivida, who had offended Laksmana during Rama’s pastimes.
When Baladeva visited Naimisaranya, Loma-harsana was narrating the sastras. Everyone present stood up to greet Baladeva, but out of pride Loma-harsana did not rise from his seat and show respect. Baladeva prabhu said, “I am jagad-guru, guru of the entire universe. Thousands of sages have offered their respectful obeisances to Me, but you did not even rise from your seat. You are not qualified to be a guru and speak Bhagavatam.”
With these words, Baladeva Prabhu killed Him simply by touching him with a blade of kusa grass, and the sages cried, “Alas, alas! O Baladeva Prabhu, You have made a great mistake. Although you are Lord of the entire world, it was wrong of You to kill Loma-harsana, who was glorifying the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
“Should I bring him back to life?” Baladeva asked.
“No, no, find someone else who can narrate Bhagavatam to us,” the sages said.
Then, Baladeva prabhu put His lotus hand on the head of Loma-harsana’s son, Suta Gosvami, the disciple of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. He blessed him by saying, “May all the Vedas, Puranas, Upanisads, Srimad-Bhagavatam and other scriptures manifest in your heart. Sit on this asana and narrate all these scriptures to the sages.” Baladeva Prabhu is the original guru (adi-guru), who can give all knowledge. This pastime is described in the Srimad Bhagavatam, and there are many other histories as well.
When Krsna kidnapped Rukmini, He conquered all the armies of Rukmi, her brother. At that time Rukmi raised his arm and vowed to stop Krsna or never return to his kingdom. He made a violent attack on Krsna, but Krsna caught hold of him and bound him up. Krsna was ready to kill him, when Baladeva prabhu arrived there and exclaimed, “What are You doing? Leave him.” Therefore, instead of killing Rukmi, Krsna cut his hair, leaving a multitude of locks hanging down. He cut loose the ropes that bound him and let him go. Baladeva Prabhu was worried that Rukmini would suffer if her brother was killed, and that is why He advised Krsna to free him. Thus, He solved that situation in the most excellent way.
Happiness and distress are not in our hands, whereas the nature of our activities does depend on us. Whatever happens in a devotee’s life is not his karma, but the Lord’s mercy. When suffering comes, an ordinary devotee becomes hopeless and laments, “Alas, what shall I do?” Undoubtedly, such a devotee tastes the fruits of his own past activities. However, an advanced devotee thinks, “This is the Supreme Lord’s mercy. My Lord has sent me this suffering to free me from pride, and to make me humble and tolerant.” A true devotee accepts suffering with a smile, whereas a materialist accepts it with tears. There are many teachings in Baladeva Prabhu’s pastimes.
There is a pastime about a disagreement between Baladeva and Krsna, by hearing which one might ask, “This should not be so. Does Baladeva not know Krsna’s heart?” As explained earlier, Baladeva is not different from Krsna. Baladeva is Krsna’s second body. The only difference is that They carry different paraphernalia (Krsna carries the flute in Vraja, and Baladeva carries a horn/bugle made of leaves), and have slightly different appearances.
Why, then, would They have any disagreement? This question cannot be answered without knowledge of naravata-lila, Their human-like pastimes. During Their human-like pastimes, something may happen which looks like a quarrel. They are two loving brothers, but it appears that they argue. Father and son, or son and mother, may have apparent disagreement in their loving exchanges.
Baladeva prabhu wanted his sister Subhadra to marry Duryodhana. Krsna, Vasudeva, Rohini, Devaki and all other members of the Yadu family wanted her to marry Arjuna, but none dared express their wish out of fear of Baladeva. No one could bend Baladeva to accept her marriage with Arjuna. Neither Vasudeva, nor Devaki, nor Rohini could do so. They all feared to act against His desire.
Krsna wondered, “What should be done? Whatever happens, My sister must not marry that villain Duryodhana, who is the enemy of the Pandavas, the Yadus, and My enemy as well.”
So Krsna arranged a trick. He told Arjuna, “Listen, dress up as a sannyasi and come to Dvaraka. Perform your bhajana-sadhana there. My sister, Subhadra, will come to get your darsana, and then you can flee Dvaraka together with her.”
Arjuna agreed. When he saw Subhadra, he was enchanted by her beauty and felt a strong desire to marry her. In the meantime, Duryodhana was eagerly waiting for her arrival, just as Sisupala previously awaited Rukmini in his palace.
Duryodhana thought, “If I marry Subhadra, all the Yadus will be on my side and not on the side of the Pandavas.” He was a clever politician, but Arjuna disrupted his plans by coming to Dvaraka dressed as a sannyasi. He did not talk to anyone, he lived a very austere life, and he ate and slept very little, as real sannyasis do.
Yasoda-maiya loves Krsna with all her heart, but when Putana came, Yasoda thought, “Oh, this lady is so full of affection. Why should she stand outside? I should let her in.” She could not discern that Putana’s loveliness was false. Similarly, Arjuna was able to bewilder all the residents of Dvaraka. Even Baladeva prabhu came to him to offer obeisances, and Arjuna gave him blessings. In the meanwhile Krsna instructed Subhadra, “This sannyasi has come to fulfill your innermost desire. Go and worship him.”
Subhadra dressed exquisitely, decorating herself with sixteen kinds of ornaments and arrived in her chariot to see Arjuna. Arjuna was informed about her arrival and was ready for her. He seated her on his own chariot and then personally entered upon it, giving the reins to control the horses into Subhadra’s hands. While she was driving the chariot, he stood with his bow and arrows in His hands, forbidding anyone to stop them.
“Arjuna stole My sister!” cried Baladeva when He heard the news. “Come, Yadus, we should take a big army with us and punish this offender.”
When they were about to set out for the chase, Krsna checked them by inquiring, “Where are You going?”
Baladeva told Krsna, “Do you not know? Arjuna has kidnapped Our sister!”
Krsna said, “Oh, brother, don’t You know that kidnapping is within our family tradition? Did I not kidnap Rukmini? Did Samba not kidnap Duryodhana’s daughter? So what is the wrong if Arjuna does the same? You actually helped Samba in this undertaking. Don’t You remember that You led our armies against Duryodhana? What’s more, do You really see Arjuna kidnapping Subhadra? Subhadra is the one driving the chariot. O Baladeva ji, You may kill Arjuna, but if You do so, Your sister will be very distressed.”
Baladeva replied, “Why didn’t You tell Me about all this before? If you all are in favor of her marriage with Arjuna, then I shall also agree.”
We see that there was a disagreement between Krsna and Baladeva, which was not really a disagreement but a semblance of it for the purpose of the successful execution of Their pastimes together.
Also, in the final days of the battle of Kuruksetra, Bhima had a club-fight with Duryodhana. Both had learned club-fighting from Baladeva prabhu. In the beginning of the duel Baladeva arrived there. Then, in front of Baladeva, Krsna gave a signal to Bhima, and Bhima gave a heavy blow with his club on Duryodhana’s thigh. To beat someone below the waist is against the rules of club-fighting, but it was Krsna who advised Bhima to do so. In great anger, Baladeva raised his club, ready to kill Bhima
Krsna then remarked, “Today You are just in time, brother. But where were You when Duryodhana, Sakuni, and others murdered our dear nephew, Abhimanyu? When this wicked Duryodhana tried to burn the Pandavas alive in the shellac palace, where were You to save them? When he and his brothers tried to undress Draupadi in the Kaurava assembly, where were You to protect her? Where were You when Duryodhana did all this injustice to the Pandavas?
Baladeva then calmed his anger and left the scene in silence. He acted in accordance with Krsna’s desire.
Lord Baladeva’s pastimes are unlimited, His virtues are unlimited, and His love for Krsna is unlimited.