Gurudeva said, “By His own sweet will, Kṛṣṇa appeared in this world with Śrīmatī Rādhika and the Vrajavāsīs. For the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa and the benefit of all jīvas, Śrīmatī Rādhika brought Girirāja Govardhana, Yamunā, and all the forests of Vraja along with Her. The Vraja-maṇḍala we see on this planet, even though not all people can perceive its full glory, it is a selfsame expansion of Vraja in the topmost spiritual realm. However, the Vraja in this world offers the advantage that through sādhana in this dhāma one can be freed from his material condition and achieve spiritual perfection. Then, by the grace of the dhāma, one will enter transcendental Vraja. For this reason, out of His causeless mercy to the living beings, Kṛṣṇa descended with His associates and abode to this world.

“The living beings have been circumambulating the universe for countless lifetimes in search of sense gratification, but the end result is always only distress and dissatisfaction. The jīvas do not realize that they suffer because they fail to develop their relationship with Kṛṣṇa, His associates, and their true home, Vraja-dhāma. A refugee, separated from his home and family, living in a desert-like existence, cannot relish happiness. Sri Sri Radha-Krsna sent the Guru-varga to collect souls and bring them to Vraja. They teach that if one develops even slight greed for Vraja-bhakti, and follows in the footsteps of the anurāgī-bhaktas on parikramā, then one’s life will be successful.

Absolute Charm – Govinda-lilamrta

Absolute Charm – Govinda-lilamrta

The sakhās sing of Kṛṣṇa’s many pastimes while they tend to them in the cowshed and also when they take them to the forest for grazing. The cows drink this kīrtana with their ears. By drinking this nectar, their hearts melt, and milk flows from their udders.

This nectar causes the heart to melt. If ones service is performed naturally, not by force, this service is real and true. Service done by force is compared to blood whereas spontaneous service is like water; however, if the heart melts with love while performing service, then that service is pure nectar, amṛta.

Only kṛṣṇa-nāma causes the heart to melt like this and one to experience pure bliss. When the elixir of kṛṣṇa-nāma enters the heart, Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes and qualities follow.

The cows cannot sing, but they have ears to hear. Why do they have the bodies of cows? They do not insult anyone. They do not abuse anyone, therefore they are cows. They are sādhus. Cows do not insult anyone. Dogs will bark and bite, but cows will never do this. Even if the cow is very disturbed, she will tolerate it. Kṛṣṇa likes His followers natures to be like a cows, never insulting, abusing, torturing or taunting anyone.

Cows, and in fact all animals, can hear the language of love. If you have love you can communicate with any animal.

Kṛṣṇa tells His friends to feed the cows, but they will not eat without Kṛṣṇa. They only look at Kṛṣṇa. They want to be with Kṛṣṇa always. They do not want to leave Him. They say in their own language, “Do not leave us.”

Kṛṣṇa goes to all the cows, strokes them and embraces their necks. They peacefully receive His affection and do not move or say anything. Kṛṣṇa then takes the milk naturally flowing from their udders and it is delivered to Nanda-bhavana.

Līlā-śakti arranges these two sets of pastimes that go on simultaneously. On one side Rādhārānī is in Yāvaṭa with Her sakhīs and mañjarīs, and on the other, Kṛṣṇa is in the cowshed looking after the cows.

The sakhīs are decorating Śrīmatī after Her abhiṣeka. They give Her a necklace of charming jewels strung with hair from the tail of a yak. If a person wears this kind of necklace, the influence of any bad energy or animosity will not affect one.

Some people try to control others or cause harm with the powers of taṅtra and mantra. Kaṁsa has many followers and demons that practice this. There are millions of them, and they always try to disturb the Vrajavasis and Vraja-devīs.

Damodara-lila – 14 June 1996

Damodara-lila – 14 June 1996

You should realize first that “I am not this body. I am the knower; I am the soul of the body.” The relationship of the atma with Krsna is called prema. In this world, prema is called bhakti. Bhakti is causeless. Just as the sun gives heat and light without any reason, and fire burns anything that it comes in contact with, and just as the rivers flow into the ocean—in the same way, the tendency of the mind to be absorbed in Krsna without any cause, is called bhakti. The word, “Bhakti,” can only be used in relation with Krsna, and not with anyone else. A person who engages in Krsna’s bhakti is called a bhakta. The services rendered by a bhakta to Bhagavan Krsna are called bhakti. One shouldn’t engage in rendering services to others and call it bhakti. But people forcibly try to use bhakti for their own purposes. They use bhakti to propagate their conceptions of this material world. “Rastra-bhakti, desh-bhakti, matri-bhakti, and pitri-bhakti,” are some of the terms they use. These terms mean devotion to one’s country and parents. But they use the term bhakti for their own purposes.

Nowadays, the terms related to Krsna’s appearance are used for the birthday of any person. For instance, they say, “Jawahar-jayanti, and Gandhi-jayanti.” They use the term, “Jayanti,” for anyone of this world. But, the word—Jayanti is only used for the appearance of Krsna. If it is Wednesday, astami (the eighth day after the full moon), the month of Bhadra (August—September), and the constellation of Rohini (when the naksatra named Rohini is visible in the sky), then that day is called Jayanti. Or else, no other day can be called as such. But, this term is used in many ways. Therefore, bhakti is used for Bhagavan and especially for the Supreme Personality of Godhead—Krsna. Love for Krsna that is without any cause or reason is called bhakti. In this world, there are two forms of bhakti.

If a man cannot tolerate suffering from miseries anymore and being unable to stop them, becomes frustrated, then he develops detachment to samsara and thinks on how to attain happiness.

He is told, “Oh brother, chant Krsna’s names and engage in His bhakti.”

He then offers everything and engages in Krsna’s bhajan. He chants Krsna’s names and listens to His pastimes and the pastimes explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Even though his mind is disturbed, he is convinced that his auspiciousness lies in following bhakti. Therefore, accepting the rules and regulations of bhakti, he engages in Krsna’s bhajan. There are some who have impressions from their previous lives; there are some who have impressions from their present life; and there are some who have the association of Krsna’s bhaktas. By their inherent nature, they will have the desire to follow in the footsteps of the Vrajavasis who have spontaneous love and affection for Krsna. Krsna would “drown,” in the love of the Vrajavasis. Yasoda loves Krsna without any cause. The sakhas love Krsna not because He is Bhagavan. They have spontaneous love and affection for Him. Krsna becomes bound and controlled by their love. He is easily attained by following in the footsteps of the Vrajavasis.

Today, we will mention some of Krsna’s pastimes described in the Srimad Bhagavatam.



The next morning, as Śrīla Gurudeva was brushing his teeth, Śrīla Trivikrama Mahārāja said to him, “You did not sleep last night. I can tell by your red eyes. You were only thinking, ‘Lalitā-sakhī, Lalitā-sakhī, Lalitā-sakhī!’ You never think about Kṛṣṇa! Only remembering ladies! Humph!”

Śrīla Gurudeva flung down his toothbrush and threw a mugful of water at Śrīla Trikrama Mahārāja.

“Machlī khor!” Śrīla Gurudeva shouted.

“Sattū khor!” Śrīla Trivikrāma Mahārāja rejoined.

Everyone present burst into laughter. For a minute Śrīla Gurudeva was silent; then Śrīla Trivikrama Mahārāja said, “Now I understand. You have been rejected and are lamenting; therefore you are distempered.”

What is the meaning of this scene between Śrīla Gurudeva and Śrīla Trivikrama Mahārāja? Kṛṣṇa had rejected Candrāvalī and went to Śrīmatī Rādhikā, and then Trivikrama Mahārāja chimed, “Rejected! Rejected!” implying Gurudeva was in Candrāvalī’s party.

Śrīla Gurudeva understood his hint. Becoming red in the face, Gurudeva angrily answered, “Yes, now Jaṭilā and Kuṭilā have come with Abhimanyu! You better run quickly.”



Everyone was greedy for Kṛṣṇa’s darśana. This is the love of Vraja. Everyone has the good fortune of Kṛṣṇa’s darśana. This is rasa. Only taking rasamalāi and drinks cannot make the mind and body peaceful and satisfied. You must take bhāgavata rasa. That rasa is necessary. His glories are unlimited. If anyone gets one drop of it, then he will not wait for anything else. Until we get this rasa, all will be running for this useless material love. Everyone is running for this love to hear one sweet word. But if once we get the darśana of Śyāmasundara, no desire to taste any other rasas will be there. We must have greed and enthusiasm for that.



Immersed in the mood of the gopīs, Śrīla Gurudeva then bathed Girirāja and offered him āratī with the tears of his eyes. And then, while the devotees danced and sang the glories of Girirāja, Gurudeva bathed him with yogurt, milk, honey, ghee, sugar, and water.

The party then continued on parikramā of Girirāja, passing Ānyora Gāoñ, where Kṛṣṇa brought the Vrajavāsīs to worship Girirāja instead of Indra. Here, upon receiving the thousands of preparations prepared by the residents of Vraja, Girirāja assumed a colossal form and, with four arms, devoured all the offerings. He then called out, ‘Āno re! Āno re! (Bring more! Bring more!)’ Kṛṣṇa satisfied Girirāja by giving him a Tulasī leaf. The village Ānyora Gāoñ is thus named, for it is the place where Girirāja manifested and accepted offerings.

After Ānyora Gāoñ, the Parikramā proceeded to Govinda-kuṇḍa, named thus from the time that Indra begged Kṛṣṇa’s forgiveness for his offense, bathed Kṛṣṇa with the milk of Mother Surabhī, and named Him “Govinda.” Govinda-kuṇḍa is famous as the place where Kṛṣṇa, in the guise of the cowherd boys, married all the gopīs during the year when Brahmā kidnapped the boys and calves and kept them hidden in a cave. When observed thousands of wedding ceremonies going on at Govinda-kuṇḍa, She perceived that all the boys marrying gopīs were actually Kṛṣṇa. In a fit of jealousy, She hid in a nearby kuñja. After taking ācamana at Govinda-kuṇḍa and hearing hari-kathā, Kṛṣṇa came to pacify Her and laid His crown at Her feet, from which this place came to be known as Mukut-silā. Further along, on the left side of the parikramā path, comes the beautiful Śauri-kuṇḍa, where, after Kṛṣṇa placated Śrimatī Rādhikā, the Divine Couple bathed.

From there, the Parikramā came to Pūñarī. Pūñarī marks the southern border of Govardhana and is thus named because it is like the tail, pūñch, of Girirāja, who is likened to a cow with her neck turned into her stomach. At Pūñarī, the party completes parikramā of Govardhana’s eastern side and begins parikramā of the western side. The pilgrims then proceeded to Navala-kuṇḍa and Apsarā-kuṇḍa, adjacent ponds where Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs bathed and assumed the appearance of gāndharvas of heaven before performing the springtime Rāsa, on the western side of Girirāja. Upon crossing the rāsa-sthalī, the Parikramā took darśana of the cave of Rāghava Paṇḍa and then went to Surabhī-kuṇḍa and Airāvata Kuṇḍa, where mother Surabhī and Indra’s elephant carrier, Airāvata, respectively bathed Śrī Kṛṣṇa with milk and water from the Gaṅgā.

The party then came to Jatīpurā, where Śrī Mādhavendra Purī found Śrī Nāthajī. When Madhavendra Purī came to Govardhana, he was offered milk by a cowherd boy and, after drinking it, he had a dream of the same boy, who revealed Himself as the Deity Gopāla. This Deity had been concealed in the depths of the jungle by His priests when there was a threat from invaders. Upon waking, Madhavendra Purī searched for Gopāla with the Vrajavāsīs and, after eventually finding Him, arranged for a mahā-abhiṣeka. He then arranged for the first masse observance of Annakūṭa since the time of Kṛṣṇa. This Annakūṭa was repeated every day for over a month, each time sponsored by different wealthy families from Mathurā and Vraja. Jati means a sannyāsī and Jatīpurā is thus named in reference to Madhavendra Purī.

Listen to our latest classes:

“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-sudhanidhi, 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