How can we obtain this sevā-vṛtti, service tendency? We will not serve anyone else. We came to this world to learn this service mood and to follow this. We will be the servant of the servant of the servants of the Vraja-devīs. Otherwise all activities will be karma and only give suffering in the form of pāpa and puṇya.
Kṛṣṇa even left all His queens when He disappeared. For their protection, Arjuna came and said, “I’m taking everyone to Hastināpura and I will serve and protect you all.” But along the way, some cowherd boys came and beat Arjuna with sticks, took his Gāṇḍīva bow and stole all of Kṛṣṇa’s queens. Arjuna was hopeless, devoid of all strength, and crying like a child. Where did this power come from and where did it go? If one has relation with Kṛṣṇa, then all power will be present, but when He is gone then everything is lost. As long as Śrīla Gurudeva is present then we are all behaving like princes from the wealth of guru, but after he removes his external presence what do we do? Therefore, do not lose your relation with Śrīla Gurudeva! Do not go distance from him! If you do, you will understand what real suffering is. Śrīla Gurudeva is always protecting his own followers, but we must not cut ourselves off from him. Don’t follow the Dvārakāvāsīs or the moods of Dvārakā.
This book Govinda-līlāmṛta establishes the living entities in spiritual perfection, bestowing realization of their svarūpa-siddhi, eternal spiritual form, svarūpa-ānanda, the bliss inherent in that form, and svarūpa-gata-sevā, the service corresponding to that form. This Govinda-līlāmṛta builds the temple. Which temple? The temple of the soul’s eternal form, where ātma-gata-sevā is performed. A temple is where the service of God is performed. Our heart is now impure and full of anarthas, but by hearing this Govinda-līlāmṛta, the swamp of filth present in our heart will be cleansed and a wonderful temple will be constructed.
How is this possible? The Vrajavāsīs and Vraja-devīs’ hearts are full of ānanda-rasa, the bliss of pure love. When their hearts melt towards us, and shower us with their affection and mercy, then Govinda’s pastimes, līlā-śakti, will manifest in our hearts, vitalizing us with life. Then our hearts will become a temple where Kṛṣṇa eternally performs His pastimes with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.
Jagannātha’s divine form is very special and full of many mysteries. Parabrahma resides within the heart of Jagannātha. That Parabrahma is Kṛṣṇa, and indranīla-maṇī. There is a śālagrāma there. This is called Parabrahma. Brahmā said, “I will place this Parabrahma here,” when the original Jagannātha Deities were carved. “I will keep Parabrahma hidden inside Jagannātha, in the kuñja in His heart.” When the four logs of wood came to Cakra-tīrtha, Kṛṣṇa was present inside one as Nīla-Mādhava, Naṭavara-Nanda-kiśora. Only four Dayitās are allowed into the secret enclave where the transferral of Parabrahma is performed from one Jagannātha to another. There are no lights. All the lights in Jagannātha-Purī are turned off during the night of Nava-kalevara, when Parabrahma is transferred from the heart of one Jagannātha to the new Jagannātha. The Dayitās are also blindfolded before doing the ceremony. It is said that the opening in Jagannātha is two feet by two and a half feet. This is covered by many layers. When this cave in Jagannātha’s heart is opened, a brilliant light shines forth. Bhubaneśvarī resides within Subhadrā-devī. She is transferred to the new Subhadrā Deity by her appointed dayitā priest. Ananta-Vasudeva is within Baladeva Prabhu and He is transferred to the new Baladeva. Brahmā hid these Deities within the wooden Deities of Jagannātha, Baladeva, and Subhadrā. Therefore, Mahāprabhu would say, “You are not a Deity, You are directly Vrajendra-nandana.” Why? Kṛṣṇa is hiding inside Jagannātha. There no one will disturb Him and He can stay privately with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and the Vrajavāsīs. The Gauḍīya Guru-varga, under guidance of Mahāprabhu, in the Svarūpa-rūpānuga-paramparā know these secrets and disclose them at the appropriate time.
Do you know the meaning of bhāgavata? One can never know if he is not in the guidance of the Guru-varga. Our Guru-varga like Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī and Śrīla Vishvanatha Cakravarti Ṭhākura have elaborately described the meaning of bhāgavata by breaking down the word into its constituent letters like bhā-ga-va-ta. Bhā stands for the rays of transcendental knowledge, bhakti, or bhakti-rasa. Bhā can also mean Bhāṇḍīravana in Vraja where Śrī Kṛṣṇa used to take mahā-prasādam with the sakhās and where the cows being allured by the green grasses found themselves exposed to a raging conflagration, and the sakhās followed the cows without Kṛṣṇa and also found themselves in the same predicament with the cows and without finding any shelter called out to their beloved Lord to save them. This is also the place where Śrī Brahmājī performed the gandharva marriage of his Lordships Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa; a rāsa-sthalī is also present there. So bhā means bhāndīra—a repository of transcendental knowledge, and bhā can also mean bhāgavata, all this knowledge is present in the bhāgavata. But why are we unable to grasp the implicit purport of the Bhāgavatam, despite reading over an extended period of time? The reason has been told by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in Śrī Jaiva-dharma, that one should listen to hari-kathā.
That is the meaning of Ratha-yātrā? Ratha-yātrā is not Jagannātha’s chariot festival; it is Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s chariot festival. In this celebration, Rādhārānī comes to bring Kṛṣṇa back to Śrī Vṛndāvana. As Jagannātha proceeds on the path to Vṛndāvana, He is very...
If anyone has love for Kṛṣṇa and the Vrajavāsīs, and is always meditating on them, then the unlimited flow of love will inundate their hearts. Śrīla Gurudeva distributed love to all living beings. That is incessant. He never misused his love. He distributed this to all people, and they tasted this superfine mellow and became attracted. Śrīla Gurudeva stole the living beings’ hearts and brought them to Vraja. Without love, one is dryhearted and very sad. People perform hard austerities or yoga, but this does not increase their love. They feel no happiness from it as a result. If one gives his love to ordinary people, then it is lost. Such people are like dacoits and thieves who come to steal one’s love. They are great enemies on the path of bhajana.
The rising sun means that Kṛṣṇa has to meet with all the Vrajavāsīs. Therefore the parrot says, “O Gokulacandra, moon of Gokula, arise! O Lord, the cruel sun is coming. He is unfavorable.” Why is the sun opposing? This is very astonishing. In the night Kṛṣṇa met freely with Śrīmatī. But in the morning, all have the desire to meet with Kṛṣṇa. They wish to feed Him, dress Him, bathe Him, and serve Him in many other ways. But the bliss felt by Kṛṣṇa when He engages in loving pastimes with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and the Vraja-devīs is beyond compare. In the presence of that bliss, the joy felt in other rasas is insignificant. However, to pacify the minds of all Vrajavāsīs, who are all eager to meet with Him, Kṛṣṇa has to leave the company of Rādhārānī when the sun rises.
So Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura is telling us that by the grace of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates like the Six Gosvāmīs, the sādhaka acquires the wealth of prema-bhakti. Se jana hoya bhakti adhikārī. (That person is qualified for bhakti.) Otherwise the endeavor is in vain. Bhakti can only be practiced in the association of premī-bhaktas. Mental speculation and the education provided in schools and colleges cannot help us tread the path of bhakti. We must join the classes of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, like how Śrīla Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, and Śrīla Śyāmānanda Prabhu joined the classes of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. We must also attend the classes of Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Śrīla Visvanatha Cakravarti Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, and his bona fide disciples like Śrīla Bhakti Prajnana Keśava Gosvami Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhakti Raksaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja, Śrīla Svāmījī, and their godbrothers. This way we will be qualified for bhakti. What bhakti? Sādhana-bhakti. We are not practicing sādhana-bhakti. We are practicing sādhana-ābhāsa. Sādhana-bhakti’s shadow. Śrīla Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura is known as a sādhaka who was practicing sādhana to achieve bhāva-bhakti. This is sādhana. What are we doing? Sāṅga-siddha bhakti, āropa-siddha, karma-miśra, jñāna-miśra, and sometimes making gardens, and similar activities that have no relation with Kṛṣṇa or Caitanya Mahāprabhu, all the while thinking we are topmost gurus. We should realize that we are lower than Jagāi and Mādhāi. We are qualified for sādhana-bhakti once we follow the tṛṇād api sunīcena verse. Once we tread the path of sādhana-bhakti we will reach bhāva-bhakti and then prema-bhakti, and will proceed even further to the stages of sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, mahābhāva, rūḍha, adhirūḍha, mādana, and modana. Then we realize the glories of the gopīs’ love. Otherwise we will get a mundane conception of the gopīs’ love wherein we will equate their love to the lustful cravings of this world that afflict us.
Uddhava did not want to leave Kṛṣṇa for a minute, but he knew that as long as the Vrajavāsīs were all constantly thinking of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa would feel no peace in Dvārakā. “Everyone in Vraja-bhūmi is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, therefore Kṛṣṇa is restless in Mathurā and Dvārakā.” Uddhava thought thus. “I will go and advise them with so much knowledge and I will change them. I will ask them, ‘Why are you lamenting so much? Kṛṣṇa is Parabrahma, Parameśvara, the greatest yogī. Wherever you are, think about Kṛṣṇa, and then He will appear in your heart. Why do you think He is far away from you? He is the all-pervasive Paramātmā.”
Uddhava thought he was very intelligent, with so much understanding of tattva-siddhānta, but this was useless in regard to the Vrajavāsīs. It is like collecting pieces of ordinary stone and rejecting priceless gems.
Kṛṣṇa told Uddhava, “What knowledge you have collected is not natural; when you go to Vṛndāvana, there, everyone has natural love. They are not relatives of one another, but they are all near and dear to each other. Generally, people have relation and love for their family members, their children and spouses, but in Vraja, there is no need of blood relation for there to be a loving relation.”
Everyone has natural love for Kṛṣṇa in Vraja. Their love is unparalleled and unconditional. You can not understand this with your material knowledge and conceptions. Why do all the birds and animals have love for Kṛṣṇa? Why does everyone in Vraja have spontaneous love for Kṛṣṇa? In Dvārakā, however, the peoples’ love is divided, amongst their own blood relatives. They are not one-pointed in their love for Kṛṣṇa, and they do not cry in separation from Kṛṣṇa. If they do not see Kṛṣṇa for some months, they do not feel so much suffering. They know, “He is busy now in Hastināpura. He will come back when He is finished there.”
When Kṛṣṇa was shot by many arrows in the Mahābhārata war the Dvārakāvāsīs did not feel pain. They thought, “He is God and feels no pain; He cannot be harmed.” But the Vrajavāsīs could not tolerate this. If they saw that even one hair of Kṛṣṇa’s had fallen down, they would feel so much pain and suffering. Other devotees of Kṛṣṇa have knowledge of His opulence and glory, and this dims their affection for Him.
When Uddhava went to Vraja-bhūmi he lost his knowledge and forgot Dvārakā. He then thought, “Vraja-bhūmi is supreme. The Vrajavāsīs have unparalleled love. They are Kṛṣṇa’s nearest and dearest, therefore Kṛṣṇa is always restless and suffering, remembering the Vrajavāsīs’ pure unconditional love. The Vrajavāsīs’ love can never be diminished or finished. It only increases when faced with obstacles.”
In this world, if a boy has love for a girl, and she for him, and people, like their relatives, try to stop them from meeting, then they will find any way to meet, regardless of the obstacles. They will find a way to send messages to each other and to meet each other. The Vrajavāsīs’ love for Kṛṣṇa is millions of times greater than this. Their love is shoreless and fathomless. Uddhava could not find the limit of the Vrajavāsīs’ love.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu prayed and sang to Jagannātha during the Ratha-yātrā festival. He said, “You sent Uddhava to Vraja-maṇḍala and he gave the Vrajavāsīs so much advice about brahma-jñāna, and You also gave similar advice to them at Kurukṣetra, but how could the Vrajavāsīs follow this? They were already far beyond this brahma-jñāna and could not follow it.”
Uddhava told the gopīs, “Do yoga by always remembering Kṛṣṇa.”
“We want to forget Kṛṣṇa,” the gopīs replied, “but find it impossible. When there is viyoga, separation, then one must endeavor for yoga, union. But we have no viyoga, because we already incessantly think of Kṛṣṇa; we cannot stop. So how can we follow your yoga? You have viyoga, therefore you advise others to practice yoga. But we have no viyoga from Kṛṣṇa. He is not far from us and we are not far from Him. We want to forget Him and try to forget how He is and what He is doing and who is there with Him, serving Him, if He is sleeping or not, eating or not, but we cannot stop thinking of Him for even a moment. We try to, but find it impossible. But you tell us, ‘Do yoga, forget everything else; only think of Him.’ We have already done this. Udho man na bhayo das-bīs, ek huto so gayo śyām saṅga, ko arādhe īś? You teach us to worship Syāma, but our mind is already captured by that Syāma. He has kept our mind and hearts with Him and we cannot bring them back. He will not return them. Therefore we are suffering and restless.”
In the mood of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, Mahāprabhu said to Jagannātha, “You are very clever. You know My heart.
Listen to our latest classes:
- 16 August 2018 – Sri Stava-Mala – Prarthana Sri Caitanyastaka – Mahaprabhu’s Darshan Giving Prema Diksa
- 15 August 2018 – Tirobhava Srila Raghunandana das Thakura and Srila Vamsi das Babaji Maharaja
- 14 August 2018 – Stavavali – Abhista-sucanam – Humble Entreaties for the Blossoming of Auspicious Desires within the Heart
- 13 August 2018 – Stavavali -Sri Prarthanasraya-caturdasaka – Dipavali and Govardhana Annakuta Lila-Vilasa
- 12 August 2018 – Stavavali – Sri Abhista-prarthanastaka – Talking Pots of Matavana – Dana-keli-kundastakam – The Loving Reciprocation of Sri Giriraja
- 11 August 2018 – Tirobhava of Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Gosvami Maharaja
- 10 August 2018 – Stavavali – Sri Nava-yuva-dvandva-didrksastaka – Sri Krsna Distributes the Bumblebees’ Sweet Collection
- 09 August 2018 – Stavavali – Sri Utkantha-dasaka – Krsna’s Deep Desires and Eagerness for Service to Srimati Radharani
- 08 August 2018 – Stavavali – Mukundastaka – I Am Yours, You Are Mine – Protection from Visaya and Scattered Love only from Mukunda’s Premi-bhaktas
- 07 August 2018 – Stavavali – Visakhanandabhida-stotra – Krsna chants Radha’s Name and the Names of Asta-Sakhis for Her Pleasure
- 06 August 2018 – Stavavali – Visakhanandabhida-stotra – Cooling Power of Radha-Nama
- 4 August 2018 – Stavavali – Sri Visakhanandabhida-stotra – The Glories and Services of Sri Visakha Devi
- 02 August 2018 – Gopal Bhatta Disappearance and Stavavali – Sri Madan-Gopala-stotra – The Real Opulence of the Deity: the Faithful Devotees’ Natural Service by Love – Sweet Relation By Simple-hearted Vraja-seva
- 01 August 2018 – Stavavali – Gopala-raja-stotra – Bathing the Darshan of the Deities – How to Remove All Sins
- 31 July 2018 – Stavavali – Sri Navastakam – Gambles at Sri Radha Kunda – Her Prized Elusive Kiss
“Rasik Mohan Das and the Bhaktabandhav team are doing an invaluable service publishing the hari-katha of Sripada Premananda Prabhu, Srila Gurudeva B.V. Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, and the books of the acaryas. Books like Sri Guru Darsana, Krsna-karnamrta, Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, and so on, provide a wealth of information and purification: these volumes make one feel as though they are in Gurudeva’s presence, imbibing pure bhakti as only he could provide it.”
— Steven J. Rosen, Satyaraja Dasa (acbsp), author of 30 books on Gaudiya Vaishnavism, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, and associate editor of Back to Godhead