[Kona, Hawaii: January 17, 2007]
Brahma thought about the wonderful glories of Krsna. He turned his worship from Sri Narayana, the Lord of Vaikuntha, and began the worship of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. Now he realized Krsna's glories and began to recite prayers (stava and stuti). At that time Krsna was resting His hand on the shoulder of a cowherd friend, and all His friends were asking, “Who is that four-headed person?” Krsna was acting indifferent to Brahma; He was absorbed in playing with His cowherd boy-friends. Brahma offered obeisances thousand of times.
naumidya te 'bhra-vapuse tadid-ambarayaAt first Brahma had considered that Krsna was the son of Vasudeva and Devaki in Mathura, but now, according to our acaryas' commentaries, he is praying, “You are the son of Nanda Baba and Yasoda. You roam in the beautiful forest of Vrndavana and You have 19 kinds of auspicious marks are on Your feet. These marks are not even on the lotus feet of incarnations of Krsna like Varahadeva or Nrsinghadeva, and Sri Ramacandra may have one or two. These marks are on Krsna’s feet in full, and He is not wearing any shoes.”
laksma-sriye mrdu-pade pasupangajaya
[Lord Brahma said: "My dear Lord, You are the only worshipable Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore I offer my humble obeisances and prayers just to please You. O son of the king of the cowherds, Your transcendental body is dark blue like a new cloud, Your garment is brilliant like lightning, and the beauty of Your face is enhanced by Your gunja earrings and the peacock feather on Your head. Wearing garlands of various forest flowers and leaves, and equipped with a herding stick, a buffalo horn, and flute, You stand beautifully with a morsel of food in Your hand."
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.1)]
jnane prayasam udapasya namanta evaWhat type of jnana (knowledge) is Brahma referring to here? He is referring to nirvisesa jnana (voidism or impersonalism) – the thinking that, “I am the Absolute Spirit Whole (God).” “Sarvam kalvidam brahma – only the one, Absolute Spirit Whole exists).” Brahma says here that this must be given up.
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir
ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam
[“Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body, words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities, dedicating their lives to these narrations which are vibrated by You personally and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds.”
Not only this; Brahma is also referring to tattva-jnana, the knowledge that Sri Krsna is the Supreme Lord, the Lord of Lords, with six kinds of opulences. Brahma is indicating that one should also give up the separate effort to know tattva (established philosophical truths). Tattva will automatically come by hearing the sweet pastimes of Krsna.
Commenting on this verse, Srila Jiva Gosvami explains that ‘jnane prayasam’ implies that one should give up even the understanding that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full with six opulences.
tasmin mahan-mukharita madhubhic-caritra-Self-realized, high-class Vaisnavas will speak about the sweet pastimes of Krsna in such a beautiful manner. It is as if their words are emanating from their mouths like a fountain. Those who hear hari-katha, those who offer obeisances to hari-katha and glorify the place where hari-katha is being spoken, those who are organizing the recitation of hari-katha, and especially those who are speaking hari-katha and those in the audience, are worthy of glorification. One should sit at that place and hear the nectar topics flowing from the mouths of pure devotees like Srila Sukadeva Gosvami.
piyusa-sesa-saritah paritah sravanti
ta ye pibanty avitrso nrpa gadha-karnais
tan na sprsanty asana-trd-bhaya-soka-mohah
["O king, if one gets the chance to hear from elevated saints the topics of the qualities of Sri Krsna, which are like a flowing river of nectar, and drinks this nectar with single-minded absorption and faith, then hunger, thirst, fear, lamentation, illusion and other such unwanted detriments will never be able to assail one."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 4.29.40)]
During the time of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami (one of the six Gosvamis) used to explain Srimad-Bhagavatam with a very sweet voice. All the Gosvamis, including Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Jiva Gosvami, used to come and hear him sing. They all used to weep and practically faint, while Rupa Gosvami sat motionless, in samadhi trance. They would ask, “Is Rupa Gosvami alive or dead?”
During the seven days after Maharaja Pariksit was cursed to die from the bite of a snakebird, he did nothing but hear Srimad-Bhagavatam. His desire was: “Krsna should be my most beloved,” and he instructed his mother in the same way. Therefore, I think that Krsna must now be his beloved.
Keep in mind our ultimate goal – bhakti like that of Sri Rupa Manjari. Under her guidance we should begin. From where?
adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriyaPracticing the principles of bhakti, try to gradually reduce your worldly attachments. You can be a householder, no harm. If you are already a householder, you can remain a householder, but with no attachments. You should think, “My child is Krsna’s servant, so I must help them in their Krsna consciousness.” Those of you who are brahmacaris and sannyasis should be serious and mature. You should be very careful of ladies – and ladies of men. At the moment of death, only remember the sweet pastimes of Krsna. Remember radha-dasyam (the service of Srimati Radharani).
tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudancati
sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah
[In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, attains steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Krsna consciousness, which is matured in bhava, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life.
Maharaja Bharata left his kingdom at a very young age – at the age of 50,000 years – when his life was only half over. He had very obedient sons and daughters, but he left them and went to the forest. Although he had reached the stage of bhava-bhakti, he became very attached to a deer. That deer ran off with a group of other deer. Later, at the time of death, Bharata Maharaja was remembering that deer and became a deer in his next life.
If at the time of death you remember worldly attachments, you will have to accept a body accordingly. I discussed this last night. King Puranjana was remembering his wife at the time of death. Thus, he became a lady and again married. We should be very careful. As Bharata Maharaja remembered the deer and became a deer, if you will remember Krsna, as the servant of Rupa Manjari, why will you not become that? But this will not come automatically. You must practice from the beginning. You should prepare yourself to qualify for remembering asta-kaliya-lila.
Brahma also prayed:
tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamanoSuch a devotee will be the inheritor of mukti-pade. Mukti, liberation, is situated at the lotus feet (pade) of Bhakti-devi. That devotee will live in Goloka Vrndavana, serving Krsna always.
bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak
[“My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.”
While you are doing bhajana, sometimes suffering will come and sometimes happiness will come. How should we think at those times? Brahma prays, “Tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano.” Whether suffering comes or happiness comes, don’t be disturbed. The results of what you have done in the past are coming, and you will have to taste those results. They are coming by the mercy of Krsna, who is like our father. Sometimes He may give a slap, sometimes He will embrace us, sometimes He will give bitter things, and sometimes He will allow us to remember His sweet pastimes. We should think, “I belong only to Krsna. So, accepting whatever He is giving me – suffering or happiness – I should be calm and quiet.” Always remember Krsna, and then Ajit-krsna, the unconquerable Krsna, will be conquered by you.
satam prasangan mama virya-samvidoIn sadhu-sanga (association of realized souls) Krsna is easily available, but to have the association of a realized soul, a pure devotee of Krsna, is very rare in this world. We can get such association if they mercifully come to our countries – to our door. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja personally went door to door and preached everywhere. Narada Rsi goes door to door and tells sweet hari-katha, and thus he brings others to Krsna.
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramishyati
[In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.
Do not waste your time. Always engage yourselves in what I am telling – what sastra is telling. Follow all these instructions.
aho bhagyam aho bhagyamWho is Krsna? He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead; now He is someone’s friend, someone’s most beloved, and someone’s son. Thus, He is very easily attained by the Vrajavasis. I offer my obesiances to that Supreme Godhead.
purnam brahma sanatanam
[“How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend.”
tad bhuri-bhagyam iha janma kim apy atavyam yad gokule 'pi katamanghri-rajo-'bhishekam yaj-jivitam tu nikhilam bhagavan mukundas tv adyapi yat-pada-rajah sruti-mrgyam eva [“My greatest possible good fortune would be to take any birth whatever in this forest of Gokula, and have my head bathed by the dust falling from the lotus feet of any of its residents. Their entire life and soul is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, the dust of whose lotus feet is still being searched for in the Vedic mantras.”Brahma prays, “I will be very fortunate if I take birth in Vrndavana in any way – as a blade of grass, a tree, or as any devotee of Vrndavana.” Krsna told him, “You have not done anything to merit your taking birth in Vrndavana, or even in Gokula.” So he replies, “There, I want to be a piece of stone on which sweepers will come and wipe their feet. I will take the dust of their feet on my head. Then I would be very fortunate.” Brahma is praying for this.
One day, Krsna went to Vrndavana from Chatikara. Some of His cows and friends were very thirsty, and they drank the water from Kaliya-hrada. Krsna was going to stop them, saying, “Don’t, don’t,” but they had already drank and at once died.
Why did Kaliya go to Vrndavana? There is a history. He used to be in Ramanaka-dvipa. Before the time of Krsna-lila, Saubhari Rsi performed austerities within the Yamuna. To conquer his senses, he remained standing within the water of the Yamuna through all seasons. One day Garuda, an associate of Krsna, went there and swallowed a big male fish. Seeing this, the fish community lamented and prayed to Saubhari Rsi for retaliation. Saubhari Rsi cursed Garuda, saying that if he would come here again, he would die. Because Saubhari Rsi had cursed a great devotee, a desire arose in his heart to enjoy the material world. He came out of the waters of the Yamuna, and by his yogic power transformed himself into a young man. He married the many beautiful young daughters of Maharaja Mandhata, and became entangled in sense gratification for thousands of years.
By Sri Krsna’s desire, the Kaliya serpent later moved to that same Yamuna with his family, in order to protect himself from his enemy, the very powerful Garuda. Kaliya made the water full of poison, and all the fish living there, who had also committed an offence towards Garuda, died. In this way, Saubhari Rsi and all the fish who had taken shelter of him faced total destruction, because they had committed an offence towards a pure devotee. Saubhari Rsi was thinking, “For so many years I enjoyed this life, but I am not happy.” He repented for his offence, and then he went to Vrndavana, performed austerities and ultimately attained Krsna. *[See endnote 1]
Never criticize others. It may be that others are wrong and you cannot associate with them – but don’t criticize.
Why did Krsna dance with the gopis in rasa-lila, and why did He tell the brahmanis to return to their homes, which they did? It is because only the gopis can be with Krsna. The brahmanis were respected by Krsna. He told them to return to their husbands, and they did. They chanted and remembered Him, as He told them to do. In their next birth they would become gopis, and at that time they would be able to dance and sing with Krsna. Unless they would become gopis, it would not be possible.
Why did Krsna perform rasa? Srila Sanatana Gosvami has explained that rasa-lila is ‘kama-vijaya’, which means it was performed to defeat Kamadeva (Cupid).
Kamadeva was very proud, thinking, “I have conquered Sankara (Lord Siva), Brahma and Indra. Sankara was attracted to the Mohini incarnation of the Lord, Brahma created a daughter and was attracted to her, Indra was attached to the wife of Gautama Rsi, and Candra was attracted to the wife of his Guru.
All the demigods, including Brahma and Sankara, had been conquered by Cupid. On a beautiful full moon-night with a fragrant breeze coming from the Yamuna River, Krsna was alone with thousands of very beautiful young gopis, who were full with all-attractive qualities. He was surrounded by them and He was touching their bodies.
When they first arrived He told them, “Go to your husbands and serve them,” and during the dance He disappeared, leaving even Radhika weeping. Thus, Krsna is the Cupid of Cupid. He is Madana-mohana, the enchanter and conqueror of Cupid.
It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam:
vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnuThose with strong faith will hear hari-katha. That strong faith should be like that of Haridasa Thakura and Prahlada Maharaja. Haridasa Thakura said, “Even if someone will cut me into pieces, I will not give up harinama or my devotion of Krsna. By hearing hari-katha with such faith, all varieties of heart disease will go away.
sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah
[Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart.
Those who have properly heard hari-katha from their Gurudeva and have then described it to others – those whose intelligence is sober (dhira) – attain bhakti and become free from lust. If anyone says that his lust will not disappear by hearing rasa-lila, that person is an offender. Why? This is because Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, Sri Narada Rsi and Srila Vyasadeva have explained this in Srimad-Bhagavatam, The lust of offenders will not go. On the other hand, for those who are sober and hear these sweet pastimes with faith, to the extent that bhakti will manifest, lust will go. This is the very essence of the above verse.
Bhagavad-gita and other scriptures state that first lust will go, and then bhakti will come. However this is not true if one hears rasa-lila. In this case first bhakti will come in your heart and then lust will go. This is the object of the process of Krsna consciousness.
[*Endnote 1 – “King Pariksit, after hearing of the chastisement of Kaliya, inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami as to why Kaliya left his beautiful land and why Garuda was so antagonistic to him. Sukadeva Gosvami informed the King that the island known as Nagalaya was inhabited by serpents and that Kaliya was one of the chief serpents there. Being accustomed to eating snakes, Garuda used to come to this island and kill many serpents at will. Some of them he actually ate, but some were unnecessarily killed. The reptile society became so disturbed that their leader, Vasuki, appealed to Lord Brahma for protection. Lord Brahma made an arrangement by which Garuda would not create a disturbance: on each half-moon day, the reptile community would offer a serpent to Garuda. The serpent was to be kept underneath a tree as a sacrificial offering to Garuda. Garuda was satisfied with this offering, and therefore he did not disturb any other serpents.
“But gradually, Kaliya took advantage of this situation. He was unnecessarily puffed up by the volume of his accumulated poison, as well as by his material power, and he thought, "Why should Garuda be offered this sacrifice?" He then ceased offering any sacrifice; instead, he himself ate the offering intended for Garuda. When Garuda, the great devotee-carrier of Visnu, understood that Kaliya was eating the offered sacrifices, he became very angry and rushed to the island to kill the offensive serpent. Kaliya tried to fight Garuda and faced him with his many hoods and poisonous sharp teeth. Kaliya attempted to bite him, and Garuda, the son of Tarksya, in great anger and with the great force befitting the carrier of Lord Visnu, struck the body of Kaliya with his effulgent golden wings. Kaliya, who is also known as Kadrusuta, son of Kadru, immediately fled to the lake known as Kaliya-hrada, which lay within the Yamuna River and which Garuda could not approach.
“Kaliya took shelter within the water of the Yamuna for the following reason. Just as Garuda went to the island of the Kaliya snake, he also used to go to the Yamuna to catch fish to eat. There was, however, a great yogi known as Saubhari Muni who used to meditate within the water there and who was sympathetic with the fish. He asked Garuda not to come there and disturb the fish. Although Garuda was not under anyone's order, being the carrier of Lord Visnu, he did not disobey the order of the great yogi. Instead of staying and eating many fish, he carried off one big fish, who was their leader. Saubhari Muni was sorry that one of the leaders of the fish was taken away by Garuda, and thinking of their protection, he cursed Garuda with the following words: "Henceforward, from this day, if Garuda comes here to catch fish, then-I say this with all my strength-he will be immediately killed."
“This curse was known only to Kaliya. Kaliya was therefore confident that Garuda would not be able to come there, and so he thought it wise to take shelter of the lake within the Yamuna. But Kaliya's taking shelter of Saubhari Muni was not successful; he was driven away from the Yamuna by Krsna, the master of Garuda. It may be noted that Garuda is directly related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is so powerful that he is never subject to anyone's order or curse. Actually the cursing of Garuda-who is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam to be of the stature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan-was an offense on the part of Saubhari Muni. Although Garuda did not try to retaliate, the Muni was not saved from his offensive act against a great Vaisnava personality. Due to this offense, Saubhari fell down from his yogic position and afterwards became a householder, a sense enjoyer in the material world. The falldown of Saubhari Muni, who was supposed to be absorbed in spiritual bliss by meditation, is an instruction to the offender of Vaisnavas.” (Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead)]
Editorial Advisors: Sripad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanath dasa
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