Fresh Nectar – Govinda-lilamrta

First, Kavirāja Gosvāmī gave this Caitanya-caritāmṛta, so that common sense, consciousness, could come. After drinking this Caitanya-caritāmṛta, a taste will come for chanting God’s holy names and residing in God’s holy dhāma, and for all programs of bhakti. Then, by chanting nirguṇa harināma, Kṛṣṇa’s rūpa will manifest in the heart. One will understand what is helpful in this world — the dhāma and bona fide Vaiṣṇavas.

All realization will come. Then one will not be cheated by the dramatic cheaters of this world. One will make a relationship with God’s glories, the Vaiṣṇavas and the dhāma. After that, one can understand His svarūpa. Otherwise, mundane rūpas come to us without any invitation and make our hearts polluted. Then we are contaminated. This is called anartha, not paramārtha.

After rūpa appears, guṇa will follow. God has 64 special qualities. The demigods have only fifty-five. The incarnations of God have sixty, and ordinary living entities can have up to fifty. These fifty will come if you are a little clean. . . these qualities come in the heart, one after the other. At that time, others will not be able to catch and keep you nearby. You will be uncontrolled by others and will not be their slave. Willpower will come. When God’s qualities come, willpower will come. Otherwise, one is always pushed down and without help, having no strength.

The Glories of the Holy Name – 09 June 1996

Try to understand one secret behind this pastime. Since millions of lives we have forgotten Krsna and have fruitlessly stayed in this material world. “Go,” means cows, Vedas, the senses, and knowledge. The word – “Go,” has many meanings. A Sanskrit word doesn’t have only one meaning. The word has many meanings; the word can have even fifteen to twenty meanings according to the specific context. So, in this regard, Go means the cows and senses. Our senses are compared to the cows. Krsna is there in our heart as a friend. This has been told in the Vedas. If someone wants to perform something bad, then a voice from the inside will say, “Don’t do this.” This voice will warn you every time you want to do something bad. Who says this? That Friend of ours says this. He is the witness to our happiness and misery. He observes all our actions. But, He doesn’t taste the fruits of our actions; He is only the witness. But we think, “I am the taster of the fruits of my actions.” We do karma, to taste the fruits. Therefore, we suffer.

So, the witness to the jivatma’s actions is Krsna. Our senses are like the cows. Without Krsna’s permission, the cows went to eat the grass. Similarly, we search for happiness like the cows searching for green grass. You study and become qualified. You search for a job or start a business. You earn much money, but think, “O brother, I don’t have a wife. I want to marry a beautiful lady. I will become happy by this.” But after getting married, your wife is unable to beget a son. You are in a great dilemma now. After great difficulty a son is born. But the son is a great trouble-maker. He doesn’t listen to anyone. He leaves you after getting married. He then lives comfortably with his wife and children. While your wife and yourself suffer greatly in his separation. In the same way, we intently search for happiness and make much effort. But at the end of our lives, we realize, “I didn’t attain any happiness.” Ask your father, grand-father, or your great grand-father if they were ever happy in their lives.

Why Did Śrila Rupa Goswami And The Other Gosvāmīs Weep?

“The gopīs are like this. They want to die, but at the next moment they remember Kṛṣṇa’s words: ‘I will come back.’ The gopīs, or any devotees who weep bitterly for the Lord, also laugh sometimes because they perceive that their Lord has come. But this cruel master will never come because his love and affection has stopped. The love of the cruel master is mundane, but the love and affection of Lord Kṛṣṇa is transcendental. Kṛṣṇa may come and satisfy His devotees, saying, ‘I have come;’ but the cruel masters of this world
will never return.

“This world is meant for our learning; is like a school or college. We can learn many things from this world—by examples such as this one about the abandoned dog. Today I was realizing why the gopīs lament and weep so much—and why they sing. We should realize these topics, but we cannot do so by speculation of the mind. Such realization is possible only by the association of high-class devotees of the Lord.

“That dog will die one day, and his cruel master will not return. But Lord Kṛṣṇa is always controlled by the love of His devotees, and they cannot die. When they weep like this they become mad—and from me to me Lord Kṛṣṇa comes and pacifies them. But they will say they have seen Him only in a dream. They will consider, ‘Perhaps I was mad and that is why I thought I saw Him; but I have not really seen Him.’ Actually they have seen Him and this increases their love for Kṛṣṇa.

“Lord Kṛṣṇa’s cowherd friend Madhumaṅgala wept bitterly, as did Mādhavendra Purīpāda. He prayed, ‘O Lord of Mathurā, O beloved, when will I see You? I am dying, so please come and give me Your darśana.’

“Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the crest-jewel of the gopīs, prays:

“The gopīs are like this. They want to die, but at the next moment they remember Kṛṣṇa’s words: ‘I will come back.’ The gopīs, or any devotees who weep bitterly for the Lord, also laugh sometimes because they perceive that their Lord has come. But this cruel master will never come because his love and affection has stopped. The love of the cruel master is mundane, but the love and affection of Lord Kṛṣṇa is transcendental. Kṛṣṇa may come and satisfy His devotees, saying, ‘I have come;’ but the cruel masters of this world
will never return.

“This world is meant for our learning; is like a school or college. We can learn many things from this world—by examples such as this one about the abandoned dog. Today I was realizing why the gopīs lament and weep so much—and why they sing. We should realize these topics, but we cannot do so by speculation of the mind. Such realization is possible only by the association of high-class devotees of the Lord.

“That dog will die one day, and his cruel master will not return. But Lord Kṛṣṇa is always controlled by the love of His devotees, and they cannot die. When they weep like this they become mad—and from me to me Lord Kṛṣṇa comes and pacifies them. But they will say they have seen Him only in a dream. They will consider, ‘Perhaps I was mad and that is why I thought I saw Him; but I have not really seen Him.’ Actually they have seen Him and this increases their love for Kṛṣṇa.

“Lord Kṛṣṇa’s cowherd friend Madhumaṅgala wept bitterly, as did Mādhavendra Purīpāda. He prayed, ‘O Lord of Mathurā, O beloved, when will I see You? I am dying, so please come and give me Your darśana.’

“Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the crest-jewel of the gopīs, prays:

hā nātha ramaṇa preṣṭha kvāsi kvāsi mahā-bhuja

dāsyās te kṛpaṇāyā me sakhe darśaya sannidhim

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.30.39

‘O master, O My lover! O dearmost, where are You? Where are You? Please, O mighty-armed one, O friend, show Yourself to Me, Your wretched maidservant!’

“The gopīs all weep in this way. The cruel master will also die, but Kṛṣṇa and His devotees will never die. One day Kṛṣṇa is bound to give His darśana and service. We should be like those gopīs and the other associates of Vrajendra-nandana Kṛṣṇa.”

Atop a Kadamba – Govinda-lilamrta

The Vraja-devīs go to Yāvaṭa in the early morning and serve Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. After Her bath and dressing is complete, Jaṭilā, Kutila, Abhimanyu and everyone becomes astonished and cannot recognize who this Devī is. They offer praṇāma to the Devī and pray for Her blessings. Śrīmatī Rādhārānī then proceeds to Nanda-bhavana, accompanied by the sakhīs, who are singing and dancing. Viśākhā Devī sees Rādhārānī’s eyes are restless, searching for something. “Where is the blue-colored moon?”

Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is very greedy to see the face of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. She looks with restless eyes, “Where is He?”

When Śuka goes to any garden, he doesn’t look at the leaves, flowers and fruits, but he smells from one place, “Where are the sweet, ripe and juicy fruits?” He goes and drinks the fruits’ juice and then runs off.

Today, Viśākhā Devī was waiting and watching, “Where are the fruits in this garden?”

The mañjarīs decorated the pathway very nicely. The sakhīs walked with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, singing sweetly. This is like a rasa. Kṛṣṇa is very greedy to drink this. But where is He? How can they meet with Him? How can they see Him? They have this strong desire.

Rādhārānī’s hands have many bangles, and She wears many flower garlands and ornaments with gold, pearls, and jewels such as diamonds. Viśākhā gives Śrīmatī Rādhārānī a blue-colored jewel, nīlamaṇi. This is very powerful. This jewel has the special ability to show the activities of Kṛṣṇa on its sparkling surface. The blue jewel shows where Kṛṣṇa is, what He is doing, and so forth. Nothing else will reflect there. Kṛṣṇa gave this as a gift to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Viśākhā Devī puts this on the necklace worn by Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. When watching this, Śrīmatī becomes very happy, understanding where Kṛṣṇa is present.

Kṛṣṇa has finished milking the cows, and the milk is on its way to Nanda-bhavana. Now, Kṛṣṇa has disappeared and is sitting on top of the branches of a kadamba tree, watching the gopīs coming from a far way off. No one can see Him, where He is hiding. The sakhās search for Him, without any luck. But the sakhīs understand where He is by the power of Rādhārānī’s blue jewel, and they come nearby this Kadamba Tera. Upon arriving, Rādhārānī appears to be very exhausted and sits under the kadamba tree. The sakhīs begin to sing Govinda-gītā.

PREMA, PURE DEVOTION, NEVER TAKES— IT ALWAYS GIVES

Śrīla Gurudeva then described how Kṛṣṇa established Ugrasena Mahārāja as king. Then he said, “Nanda Baba was waiting at his camp outside the city and weeping, thinking, ‘When will Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma come back to me? They have not yet come.’ Finally, on the next night, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma came back to Nanda Baba. Embracing Them, he took Them both on his lap and began speaking to them with great affection. ‘Oh, I have been waiting so long for You.’ Kṛṣṇa is very tricky. When He was with Devaki and Vasudeva, He had told them, ‘I am your son,’ and when He was with Nanda Baba He said, ‘O Father, I am definitely your son.’ As Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma sat on the lap of Nanda Baba, Kṛṣṇa said, ‘Father, Vasudeva and Devaki are saying to Me, “You are our son. You are our son.” And all the Mathurāvāsīs are saying likewise. I wanted to come to you earlier, but all the residents of Mathurā obstructed Me from coming to meet you.’

“Balarāma said, ‘Listen, Father, those parents who give up their baby cannot be called real parents. Rather, those persons who look after the child, like the eyelids protect the eyes, are the real parents. One who merely gives birth is not the real parent, but one who protects and nourishes like a parent is the real parent. You are certainly My real father, and Yaśodā is My real mother.’

In the course of the conversation, Nanda Baba said, ‘What do You want? What is Your decision?’

“‘You were saying that I should stay here in Mathurā alone, without Kṛṣṇa, but that is completely impossible,’ Balarāma replied. ‘Even if Lord Brahmā, the creator of the universe, comes to Me thousands of times with the instruction, “Be without Kṛṣṇa. Be without Kṛṣṇa,” I cannot be without Him.’ Nanda Baba never thought of Kṛṣṇa as the son of Vasudeva and Devakī. He was thinking, ‘No one will ever criticize me for taking my own son away from here. However, if I take Balarāma as well, I will be considered very selfish for taking Vasudeva and Rohiṇī’s son. I will be considered very unfair.’”

At this point in his lecture, Śrīla Gurudeva requested one of his disciples to lead a kīrtana in relation to the Vrajavāsīs’ separation: tuhū se rohili madhupūra.

After the kīrtana, before a tearful audience, Śrīla Gurudeva continued, “The essence of this pastime is very difficult to understand, and its most confidential. Externally, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes that after hearing the arguments of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, Nanda Baba was pacified by them. They gave him many of their golden ornaments, and Nanda Baba, with tears of affection in his eyes, returned to Vṛndāvana. But how could this have possibly happened? Did Nanda Baba sell Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma? Did he travel all the way from Vraja to Mathurā to collect wealth? This is quite impossible, because prema, pure devotion, never takes— always gives. Therefore, the hidden meaning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam statements, as revealed to us in the commentary of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, should also be understood. “Kṛṣṇa had promised at the time of going with Akrūra from Vṛndāvana to Mathurā that He would definitely return. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is satya-saṅkalpa; He always speaks the truth. However, we cannot see any dire evidence in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that Kṛṣṇa did indeed return to Vṛndāvana. We hear that Balarāma returned for two months, but we don’t hear that
Śrī Kṛṣṇa ever returned. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes that many years later, at the me of the solar eclipse, Kṛṣṇa went to Kurukṣetra with His 16,108 queens, and He met the Vrajavāsīs there. The Bhāgavatam describes only that Śrī Kṛṣṇa went back to Vṛndāvana by being carried in the minds of the vraja-gopīs, but not that He Himself directly returned.
So, was Kṛṣṇa’s promise broken? There is a Padma-Purāṇa reference, which we accept as true, which states that after Kṛṣṇa killed Dantavakra, when there were no more enemies of Kṛṣṇa left on the Earth planet, Kṛṣṇa took all the Vrajavāsīs back to Goloka Vṛndāvana, but that He simultaneously stayed on Earth in His form as Dvārakādīśa-Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Dvārakā. But this Padma-Purāṇa reference does not prove Kṛṣṇa’s words true—that He honored His promise—because it does not say that He personally returned to Vraja. Therefore the question remains: was Kṛṣṇa’s promise broken?
“How are we to reconcile this? Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord. Everything is possible for Him. He performs all His pastimes under the dire shelter of His Yogamāyā potency, His transcendental spiritual deluding potency. How should we understand this pastime? What the Bhāgavatam describes must be true—that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma came at night to meet Nanda Baba, who, after conversations with Them, took the golden ornaments from Them, and, weeping and weeping, returned alone to Vraja, leaving Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in Mathurā. “But Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma each manifested two forms, and thus there were two prakosts, or chambers, of Their pastimes. Like two different rooms in a house, there were two different sections of Their pastimes. In another prakost, another section or manifestation of Their pastimes, They accompanied Nanda Baba back to Vṛndāvana on the bullock cart, in great ecstasy. “Two manifestations were in play at that time; that is how we understand this pastime. Both these pastimes happened simultaneously. In this way, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has reconciled the apparent inconsistency. “In truth, Kṛṣṇa cannot give up Vṛndāvana for even a moment, as it is said in śāstra: vṛndāvanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati. He never takes one step out of Vṛndāvana; He is always there. This being so, who went to Mathurā and Dvārakā? In one prakoṣṭa—as Vasudeva-nandana—Kṛṣṇa went there; Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa did not go. “Here is another, very important point which supports Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura’s explanations: When Kṛṣṇa instructed Uddhava to go to Vṛndāvana to console Nanda Baba, Mother Yaśodā, and the gopīs, Uddhava asked Him, ‘How can I live without You? I cannot live without You.’ Kṛṣṇa replied, ‘I am partly here in Mathurā, but I am always fully in Vṛndāvana.’ When Uddhava entered Vṛndāvana, he saw some bulls fighting over some cows; and he saw that the gopīs had burnt ghee lamps emanating a very beautiful fragrance. He saw Kṛṣṇa herding the cows, and he saw that the cows’ hooves had kicked up the Vṛndāvana dust which now covered his golden chariot. It was as if Kṛṣṇa was fully there in Vṛndāvana. “Thus, in one pastime manifestation Nanda Baba returned to Vraja alone and weeping, and in another, overjoyed, he returned to Vraja with Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. In this way, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has reconciled the apparent contradictions and revealed the hidden pastimes.

The Appearance of Srila Bhakti Promoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja

Today is the appearance day of Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja. Both, the appearance day and the disappearance day of the Vaisnavas are helpful. If we remember the Vaisnava on his appearance day and pray to him, then holding our hands, he will teach us everything. After his disappearance, he is present in the eternal world. If we pray to him, remember him, and worship him, then he will shower his mercy and blessings from the eternal world. These blessings are more powerful and tasteful. Thus, the appearance and disappearance day of the Vaisnava is very good.

On his appearance day, the Vaisnava came to this world. Vaisnavas don’t have their own choice or desires. God Himself or His Svarupa-sakti send the Vaisnava to this world. Mahaprabhu or His followers also send the Vaisnava to this world to help and change the jivas. As all of you previously heard, Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja appeared in a Brahmin family. During Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura’s time, the daily Nadia Prakash was published. It carried the news of Vaikuntha—Vaikunthiya-varta. This Dainika Nadia Prakash was printed and distributed everyday. Fortnightly or monthly periodicals were also published. They were not only published in Hindi and Bengali. They were published in Odiya, Tamil, English, and many other languages. Srila Prabhupada had this transcendental literature distributed everywhere in the world. If anyone accepted this message, they would go near Prabhupada and meet him. Thus, they would directly receive their own permanent soul’s service and position.

Krsna’s Flute Song – 09 June 1996 – Houston

One who has taken birth will have to die. And if a person hasn’t done bhajan, then he will have to take birth again even after he dies. But if a person has done bhajan, then he or she will not have to come to this world. This world is the bhava-sagara; the endless cycle of birth and death. Therefore, Maharaja Pariksita asked Sukadeva Gosvami, “I have two questions. The first question is, ‘What is the duty of a person who is going to die immediately? And what is the duty of a person who is going to die today, tomorrow, the day after, or after a hundred or two hundred years? Everyone has to definitely die.”

Even if a person lives up to seven hundred years or a thousand years; yet, he will have to die. According to earthly estimation, Brahmaji’s age is trillions of years. But, even he has to die. Indra also has to die. In one day of Brahma, fourteen Indras change. In this way, everyone has to die. We will also die one day. Yesterday, we were children and now, we have become adults. Tomorrow, we will become old and then, we will see what will happen.

Colorful Exchanges – Govinda-lilamrta

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī explains here how Kṛṣṇa went to the cowshed. The dynasty of Surabhi in heaven gives pure nectarful milk to all the demigods. When Kṛṣṇa came in this world, all the heavenly cows came to Vraja. Cows have place of all the demigods in their bodies. Cows give gold and minerals to the living entities through their milk to help all.

When Kṛṣṇa goes to the cowshed, the demigods watch from the sky as Kṛṣṇa respects and serves the cows. The cows come on all four sides as if to arrest Kṛṣṇa. They think, “May Kṛṣṇa look at me, may He drink my milk.”

Kṛṣṇa knows the names of all the cows. He calls them all and milks them one by one. At the time of milking, Kṛṣṇa’s sakhās and the cowherd men brought big pots and them carried the pots in a line to Nanda-bhavana where the milk is separated. The milk has different aromas and so forth. Some is very thick and some cow’s milk smells like jasmine, rose and other flowers. There are different varieties of taste and smell in milk according to the cows.

Yaśodā Mātā understands which milk has come from which group of cows and separates it all when it comes to Nanda-bhavana. With some milk she makes sweets, with some she makes paneer and with some she makes sweet rice. She arranges everything properly.

The Ultimate Siksa-guru – New Jersey 15 July 1996

We should ask ourselves, ‘How can we develop in our Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, and how we can increase our honor for our Gurudeva?’ We are trying to do as much as we can but no realization is coming. How much we can develop, can be achieved only with sādhu-saṅga. Ajāmila chanted Nārāyaṇa once, out of love for his own son. Usually, he used to call, ‘Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa’, taking his son in his lap. But he was not realizing the effect of chanting the name ‘Nārāyaṇa’. He realized it when he was on his death bed, and four associates of Nārāyaṇa came and told him about the effect of chanting the name Nārāyaṇa. Then he was saved from death and he realized the truth. After that, he went to Haridvāra, and he practiced devotion by following all the rules and regulations, and keeping away from all kinds of sense gratification. And very soon, again the four Nārāyaṇa-dutas came and took him to Vaikuṇṭha. We must also try to realize this in a similar way. It is only through a human birth that we can have this realization. This is what the Bhāgavatam says. Bhāgavatam says that this realization will come from the chanting of the holy name. How? For example, let us say you are eating food. When you eat, your hunger will come to an end. You will not want to eat any more. You know that you are getting strong enough.

So, realization is important. When we are chanting and singing these kīrtanas, at once some attachment will come. Detachment for material things will go away, and attachment for Kṛṣṇa will come. Slowly, we can feel that we are getting some taste. Then we will know that we are going on the right path. So, we should chant, and then we will want to follow Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī. By singing the songs related to them, taste for their ślokas will come in our heart. This will happen gradually as we continue to follow in their footsteps.

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— 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

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