Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
COME WITH ME TO NANDAGAON
Miami, Florida: February 9, 2003 (Part 1) Listen
I want you to come with me now to Nandagaon, where Krsna has sent Uddhava on a golden chariot. Uddhava arrived in the darkness of night, and therefore hardly anyone saw him. He went to the home of Nanda Baba and Yasoda Maiya, and after his discussion with them, Nanda Baba and Yasoda Maiya began to roll on the earth devoid of all external consciousness. He tried to console them throughout the night, but instead of being consoled and pacified, their separation mood became more and more high – so he could not help them. Then, in the morning, he went to what is now called Krsna-kunda or Uddhava-kyari, which is very near to Nandagaon. He took his bath there and performed his ahnik (utterance of the gayatri mantras).
A siddha (perfect) devotee like Uddhava does ahnik three times a day, and you must try to follow him. If you do not chant and meditate on your gayatri mantra, gopal mantra, and other mantras given by your guru, how will you develop a relation with Krsna? It is certain that you will not be able to advance. Even Krsna, Ramacandra, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu chanted three times a day. Early in the morning they took their baths and chanted. Do not forget this. Do not neglect this; otherwise you will become more and more weak.
When Uddhava finished his ahnik, the sun was about to rise.
bhagavaty udite surye
drstva ratham satakaumbham
kasyayam iti cabruvan
[“When the godly sun had risen, the people of Vraja noticed the golden chariot in front of Nanda Maharaja’s doorway. ‘Who does this belong to?’ they asked.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.46.47)]
The gopis began discussing with each other about the chariot. One gopi said, “A brilliant golden chariot is here. Who brought it? This is very dangerous. We saw a similar golden chariot on which Akrura came and took Krsna and Baladeva away from us, and now they live in Mathura. We heard that Kamsa was killed, so perhaps this chariot has come because of that.” In Indian Vedic culture, twelve or thirteen days after someone dies, his relatives perform a samskara and make an offering of oblations called pinda-dan. This is true especially in Gaya, where Mahaprabhu went to offer pinda to His father. Pinda is made of rice and other food substances, and it is offered to the soul who has left his body.
The sakhi continued, “Perhaps today is the twelfth day, and Kamsa’s relatives want to give him some pinda-dan. Kamsa’s relatives probably cannot manage to get that pinda in Mathura, so they have come to Vraja. They must know that we gopis will die without Krsna. They must know it will be very easy to take our hearts to be used for making some pinda-dan to offer to Kamsa’s soul.
Another sakhi said, “You know, Krsna has now become the King of Mathura. Now He’s not a cowherd boy; He’s not raising cows. Now He’s a king and He has sent His messenger on this golden chariot. Why? He wants to give this message: ‘O mother Yasoda, O Vrajavasis, do not think that I am still a cowherd boy. Here I am not grazing any cows like a servant. Now I am the king and monarch of all Mathurapuri.’ That is why He has sent a messenger – just to say to His mother and father and others: ‘Now see how wealthy I am. I am so wealthy that I can send even a low class messenger on a golden chariot.’ He has sent this messenger only to show off His opulence to all of us.”
Hearing the gopis’ words, Uddhava began to think, “Oh, I have done wrong! I have come to console them, but I have come on a golden chariot! O Earth, please divide into two. I want to go inside you. Why did I come here? I could not discriminate between what is proper and what is not. Now, what should I do?”
Uddhava repented in that forest of Kadamba-kyari or Uddhava-kyari. Kadamba-kyari means that forest which is filled with many thousands of rows of kadamba trees. After he heard this song of the gopis, lamenting and sometimes chastising Krsna and calling Him “black cheater” and other abusive names, this place became known as Uddhava-kyari.
tam viksya krsanucaram vraja-striyah
pitambaram puskara-malinam lasan-
su-vismitah ko ‘yam apivya-darsanah
kutas ca kasyacyuta-vesa-bhusanah
iti sma sarvah parivavrur utsukas
[“Sukadeva Gosvami said: ‘The young women of Vraja became astonished upon seeing Lord Krsna’s servant, who had long arms, whose eyes resembled a newly grown lotus, who wore a yellow garment and a lotus garland, and whose lotuslike face glowed with brightly polished earrings. “Who is this handsome man?” the gopis asked. “Where has he come from, and whom does he serve? He’s wearing Krsna’s clothes and ornaments!” Saying this, the gopis eagerly crowded around Uddhava, whose shelter was the lotus feet of Lord Uttamahsloka, Sri Krsna.'” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47 verse 1-2)]
All the gopis saw this servant of Krsna and thought, “Perhaps His messenger has come. How very beautiful he is! Kanja locanam – his eyes are like lotuses. Pralamba bahum – and he has long arms. Pitambaram – He is dressed in yellow cloth. Puskara-malinam –and he wears a large vanamala garland. Mukharavindam parimrsta – His lotus face glows with brilliant earrings and He Himself is very beautiful. It seems that he is a second Krsna.”
Prema has its own ‘etiquette’. When the gopis are mad in a mood of separation, they will embrace a tamal tree; laughing and joking and thinking, “Krsna is here.” When they see a cloud or some darkness, they embrace it and begin to laugh and joke and perform pastimes with it. Here, in this regard, Uddhava looks like Krsna. Krsna has given him His own pitambara and His own vanamala garland. The scent of Krsna’s body has a special kind of beautiful fragrance, and this fragrance emanated from the vanamala and pitambara. The gopis were wondering, “Who is he, and why has he come here? It seems that he may be a messenger or servant of Krsna.”
A second sakhi asked, “How do you know?”
Another sakhi replied, “Our eyes can cheat us, but our nose cannot. Our nose can smell the fragrance of Krsna’s body. Everything that belongs to Krsna, including His pitambara, murali flute, and His vana-mala, is scented with His fragrance. Krsna’s body is more fragrant than beli, cameli, jui, and any other flower. O sakhi, I know He is syam (black), but not Syama – he is black, but not that black Krsna. Who is he? It must be Krsna’s servant.”
Another sakhi began to say, “Sakhi, you know, He has sent this messenger, but for what purpose? Why is that messenger coming to us? He should go to Nanda bhavan – to the house of Nanda Baba and Mother Yasoda – because they have a blood relationship with Krsna. We have no blood relation. Even if a son does something against his mother and father, and even if he is far away, a blood relation will not be destroyed. It is forever – for the extent of his whole life – and no one can change it. But we have no such relationship with Krsna. From the beginning He accepted, and we accepted, that there is some relation; but if Krsna has forgotten this now, then we have also given it up. Our relation was not a blood relation, so why is he coming here? He should go to Krsna’s parents to console them. We are not Krsna’s and Krsna is not ours.”
anyatha go-vraje tasya
smaraniyam na caksmahe
muner api su-dustyajah
[“We see nothing else He might consider worth remembering in these cow pastures of Vraja. Indeed, the bonds of affection for one’s family members are difficult to break, even for a sage. Otherwise we are not seeing any reason that he is coming to us.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.5)]
Even if one is a muni or in the renounced order of sannyasa, when he remembers his mother, his mother will also remember him. Suppose a mother is sitting at home and her son is miles away. Still, when the waves from her heart develop, it will reach her son. Or, if the son is deeply remembering his mother or beloved, the current will touch the loved one and both will realize each other’s hearts. But we do not have this type of relation with Krsna. Our relationship with Him was such that there would be a relationship only if we would both accept it; otherwise there would be no relationship.
As the gopis spoke, their hearts melted and their eyes were full of tears – and Uddhava was listening to their conversation.
One gopi told Uddhava:
anyesv artha-krta maitri
pumbhih strisu krta yadvat
sumanahsv iva satpadaih
[“The friendship shown toward others – towards those who are not family members – is motivated by personal interest, and thus it is a pretense that lasts only until one’s purpose is fulfilled. Such friendship is just like the interest men take in women, or bees in flowers.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.6)]
“Uddhava, we want to ask you some questions, but we don’t know if you will be able to answer them. You should answer them. If love and affection is selfless and pure, it never breaks. I think that Krsna’s love was selfless, and it did not have even a scent of selfishness. We were also selfless; we had very pure prema, and we never wanted anything from Him. He always wanted to please us and we wanted to please Him. But, Uddhava, can you tell why this pure love and affection has now broken?”
Uddhava was simply scratching his head; he could not answer. Without the help of the gopis no one would be able to answer. This question is very high and only those who have pure love can realize its depth.
A gopi continued, “Uddhava, why don’t you answer? We are asking something, and you should answer. There are two kinds of love and affection. One is pure, more so than gold, and the other is selfish.
nihsvam tyajanti ganika
akalpam nrpatim prajah
[“Prostitutes abandon a penniless man, subjects an incompetent king, students their teacher once they have finished their education, and priests a man who has remunerated them for a sacrifice.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.7)]
“You can take the example of a prostitute. Outwardly they show great love and affection for a wealthy person. He may be black or very ugly, but if he is wealthy such prostitutes will show him so much love and affection – as though their love was pure. However, as soon as they take all the wealth of that rich person, they give him up at once.” At this point Uddhava was not saying anything. He wasn’t even moving his head. He was only hearing.
[To be continued in the next issue.]