Yesterday, in the class on Vraja-vilasa-stava, we heard how to progress in spiritual life. We need spiritual guidance and instructions. Every day, we must remember the Vrajavasis and Vraja-dhama. By doing so, we can receive their mercy, and then we will understand that we are refugees in this world, and that we are only here for a short time, and that we must leave. We will then desire to make a strong and sweet relationship with our real family-the Vrajavasis, and we will pray to return to Vraja. Srila Gurudeva collects these lost souls and brings them to Vraja, and makes them related to the Vrajavasis.
When Gurudeva went to America, Russia, and other countries, he invited everyone to Vrndavana. He arranged places for all of them to stay in Vrndavana. There, he engaged them in hearing hari-katha, performing kirtana, and following bhakti. Srila Svami Prabhupada similarly arranged for the lost souls to follow bhakti in sat-sanga. In the spiritual world, our Guru-varga and the six Gosvamis are also all present and waiting for us. They worry about us and our welfare.
For millions of lives, the living entity suffers in the cycle of birth and death, but no one helps them escape from this cycle. Guru-pada-padma however, is merciful and connects us to the spiritual world. Still, we do not feel that he is our real family member, and that he is taking us to our real home. How unfortunate we are. By doing this, we only suffer more and more, and remain in material existence. Gurudeva arranges favorable association for us, but how can we become related to the Gosvamis? To this end, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami writes all the glories of the Vrajavasis in his Vraja-vilasa-stava.
Srila Gurudeva used to tell a short story: A British judge came to India, and he heard that jackfruit was very sweet and even better than any Indian sweets. Someone gave him a ripe jackfruit. He thought, “O this is very sweet smelling.” The magistrate had a big beard and long hair. He took the jackfruit into his room, opened it, and began to eat the pieces of the jackfruit. He was very happy. He said, “India is so great. This jackfruit is so tasty.” But afterwards, he went to wash his hands and beard, and the glue from the jackfruit became stuck in his beard. He used soap, and the glue became stickier and stickier. His whole beard turned into dreadlocks. He tried to wash the glue out with many things, but his beard only became dreadlocks. What to do? His hair and his beard were filled with the glue of the jackfruit. He had to go to court in the morning, but how could he go in this state? At night, he tried to comb his hair out, but he could not. Finally, he cut all his hair and beard with a razor. He was completely shaved clean. In the morning, he went to the court. The convict came before the judge, also completely shaven. The judge said, “Oh, you have also eaten jackfruit?”
The person said, “No Babu, I never ate a jackfruit.”
But, the judge said, “No. You have definitely eaten a jackfruit.”
The judge could not believe the convict because since he had to shave his hair and beard after eating a jackfruit, he thought that the convict must have also eaten a jackfruit, and got the glue stuck in his beard and hair.
People have mundane ideas. They have no idea of the truth. The judge then proclaimed that no one should ever eat jackfruit because he did not know how to wash the glue of the jackfruit.
One person offered milk to a blind man. The blind man said, “Okay, I will take milk, but what is it like?” He was blind and he had never drank milk before.
The person told him, “Milk is white.”
“What is white?”
“It is the color of a crane. “
He brought a knife and said, “A crane has a beak like this.”
The blind man touched the knife and thought, “Oh, this is very sharp.” He said, “I won’t drink milk. If I drink milk, it would pierce my throat. Why do you want to kill me?”
How can a blind person understand the nature of milk? We are blind in this world, and we have no idea about Vraja-mandala. In this world, the Guru-varga makes spiritual training centers. They are always present in Vraja-bhumi. Therefore, they bring us to Vraja-bhumi in this world. Once we have come, we still do not know anything. There is a layer covering Vraja-bhumi, and we cannot cross that and enter within without spiritual eyes.
Srila Gurudeva told another story: A dacoit wanted to make money. He made a big pandal, and two or three of his friends sat inside. Outside, people also sat, and they made many lines to allow people in. Each person would have to give one rupee to enter inside the pandal. When someone entered, the person’s friend would slap him; pull his hair, and then say, “Don’t tell anyone what happened to you. Get out now.”
The person would go out at the other side of the pandal, and people would ask what happened. He said, “Go there. You will see. There is a very good magic trick inside. You should go.” Everyone would go in and get beaten, but when they came out, they would tell others to also go. They would be embarrassed to tell the truth, and they want others to also experience this. Therefore, they would tell each other to also go inside and get beaten. In this way, the dacoit and his friends made so much money.
This is the situation in this world. Everyone is either a cheater or the cheated. Only the Guru-varga are our friends. Ordinary people have no idea of the spiritual world or of God. Srila Gurudeva therefore, instructs us to follow the realized personalities i.e. the Gosvamis and the Guru-varga. We should be careful to not follow cheaters in this world, and to not be cheated by such business-men. These type of people will come and they will speak very politely and they will try to make you their friend, but at the end they will only take away your wealth, and then they will throw you. They will only teach you business, and how to enjoy with your body. What is the result? It is only the continuation of repeated birth and death, and the acceptance of families, babies, wives, and husbands. This is the gift of Maya.
This is not the purpose of human life. We should take shelter of the Gosvamis. They renounced everything in this world. How did they give up everything? Because they have a relationship with the spiritual world, the sweetness of that relationship makes them completely satisfied, and when they are in this world, they have no attraction for anything here.
In Vraja-rasa, there are five primary rasas and seven secondary rasas. These twelve rasas are represented by the twelve forests in Vrndavana, the dvadasa-vana. Krsna plays in these forests, and there He meets with all the Vrajavasis. When we hear these glories of Krsna in Vraja, then we can become greedy, and we can pray for entrance into Vraja, and follow the pathway to enter Vraja. Then, in our own lifetime, we can make a relationship with the Vrajavasis and we will no longer have any difficulties or experience sufferings in this world. But, if you want to take sannyasa, perform yoga, to enter samadhi, and to follow so many practices, then you cannot cross Maya by these endeavors. We cannot go back home, back to Godhead. You will be bound to move in the cycle of birth and death, again and again. The Guru-varga therefore teach us about the bitter nature of this world, and they instruct us on how to make a relationship with the residents of the Lord’s realm, Vraja-dhama. They themselves pray and show us this process of prayer. They pray to Giriraja, to Vrndavana, and to the Vaisnavas. In this month, we especially pray to Yogamaya-devi to please help us. We pray to everyone to help us become related to Vraja and the Vrajavasis. This is our earnest prayer. Unless we are accepted by the Vrajavasis, the result of all our austerities, practices, meditation, charity, and performance of sacrifice will only be zero, or even worse than zero.
All over the world, the life forms understand hasya-rasa. In general, we see many miserable people. When people laugh however, they become relieved of stress. But it is very hard to laugh when you are full of dirty desires and nature.
If you remember Madhumangala and his pastimes with Krsna, then by his great mercy, you can always be joyful. You will never be sad, and you will learn how to laugh with an open heart. Madhumangala is the personification of hasya-rasa, or laughter. He is always happy, and he makes everyone else happy.
At the time of Param Gurudeva, there was a sannyasi who was very expert at hasya-rasa. Once, when everyone sat in lines to take prasada, someone said, “Maharaja, they cooked kocu today. Don’t eat it. We know you are allergic to it. It might make your throat itch.”
Maharaja had already eaten the sabji, and said, “Oh, why didn’t you tell me this before? My throat is constricted. I cannot breath.” Then he rolled on the ground in the middle of the lines as if he was choking.
Everyone laughed. They said, “It was only potato and not kocu.”
Maharaja stopped choking. Everyone was still laughing. They asked him, “Why did you act like this?”
Maharaja said, “I did it for your happiness. I put on this show to please you.”
This sannyasi would always joke and make the temple residents happy. When the devotees were playing mrdanga and karatalas during kirtana, he would go and shout, “You don’t know how to play mrdanga.” He was very expert at playing mrdanga, but at such times, he would take the mrdanga and play loud and off beat. He would say, “Follow me. Just look how I am playing. I am expert.” Everyone would laugh at him.
Hasya-rasa gives people a long life. It makes them healthy and increases their intelligence. When people are always depressed and sad, then this is like a disease. They always look down and are black faced or unhappy. This shows that they are actually very hard-hearted. But, hasya-rasa makes people soft-hearted and clean at heart. Smiling and laughing is like a special type of food for the body. When we eat good food, the body becomes healthy, but simply by being happy, smiling, and laughing, the body also becomes healthy. This also spreads to other people around you and helps them as well. In a place, where people are always angry and shouting, everyone becomes disturbed, but if you go to a place where everyone is happy, smiling, and joking with each other, then you will feel uplifted.
Krsna goes with His sakhas to the forest where He plays, jokes, and laughs. Madhumangala speaks very sweetly, and he knows how to make everyone laugh. Madhumangala knows how to impersonate others. He would sometimes dress like Subala or other cowherd-boys, and impersonate how they walk or talk, and thus make everyone laugh. Madhumangala thus always acts for the pleasure of Krsna.
The father of Madhumangala is Sandipani Muni, and his grandmother is Paurnamasi-devi. When Paurnamasi-devi went to Vraja, she brought a young boy named Kusumasava. This is another name for Madhumangala. Kusumasava is like a flower. When one sees or smells a flower, one automatically becomes happy. So, when people think of Madhumangala or meet with him, they automatically become happy. They spontaneously start chanting Madhumangala’s name.
We learn from this that when we first chant Krsna’s names, we do not necessarily have relation with Krsna, and He will not be so attracted to us. But, if we chant the names of the Vrajavasis, then we can attract Krsna by making an affectionate relationship with the Vrajavasis. If you chant the name of Kusumasava, Madhumangala, then the other sakhas like Dhama, Vasudhama, Stokrsna, Ujjvala, Bipada, Badrasen, Govardhana, and all other sakhas will be with Madhumangala, and they will be pleased with you. They are all with Madhumangala because Madhumangala knows how to make everyone happy.
If a group leader cannot make other people happy and distribute sweetness to them, then people will become divided from him. A person who has love for everyone will attract many people. Even if that person sometimes chastises followers they will not leave him because they feel so much happiness in his presence.
Sometimes Madhumangala disturbs others, but still no one is really disturbed because they know that his heart has no darkness. He is always acting for the pleasure of others.
In the spring season many flowers blossom. People get so much strength in this environment. Madhungala is like that spring season. He decorates in an artful manner. Once, he came to Krsna and said, “Dear Krsna, are You dear to me? Are you close to me, and am I close to You?”
Krsna asked, “What happened?”
He told Krsna, “You have a flute, peacock feather, and natavara dress, and therefore everybody worships You and gives You butter. Give me Your attire, flute, and peacock feather, and then I will show that You have nothing special, and everyone will give their gifts to me instead of You.”
Madhumangala had the feeling that some problem would come at that day. Krsna gave His flute, peacock feather, natavara dress, pitambara, buffalo-horn, and vaijayanti-mala, and decorated Madhumangala with these. Then shortly after, a loud noise came off of a horse. The Vrajavasis looked around in fear. They saw a huge horse galloping into Vraja. The horse had been ordered by Kamsa to kill Krsna, and when the he asked Kamsa how he could recognize Krsna, Kamsa described Krsna as having a peacock feather, flute, and so forth.
This horse demon named Kesi came into Vraja where he searched for Krsna. Seeing Madhumangala, he began to charge after him. Madhumangala was knocked over by the force of the wind that came from Kesi’s huge hooves. He rolled back very far, and then hid in the Yamuna. Then, he ran back to Krsna and said, “Take Your mala, peacock feather, flute, and attire.”
Krsna threw the Kesi-demon all the way back to the palace of Kamsa. Therefore, Krsna’s name is Kesi-nisudana, the killer of Kesi. And the place where this pastime happened is called Kesi-ghata.
Madhumangala said, “From now on, I will never touch Your dress. I will never go close to You. I will stay far away from You. Even if somebody only says the name Krsna, demons come. No good result comes from repeating Your name. I will not chant Your name from now on. I will call You only ‘Kalua, Kanhaiya, or Gopala’, but not ‘Krsna’.” Madhumangala addressed those around, “Don’t chant Krsna-nama. If you chant Krsna-nama, demons will come and attack you. When we chant ‘Krsna, Krsna’, then great disturbances will come. So, don’t chant Krsna’s name. “
The other sakhas joked with Madhumangala. They said, “Take some laddus. This horse did not bring you any laddus, but he passed stool here for you.”
There were big dark-brown laddus that were actually the demon’s stool. The sakhas picked them up and brought them to Madhumangala. They said, “Take these laddus.”
Madhumangala said, “Don’t you know that I am a brahmana? I will curse and destroy you all!”
He took his brahamana-thread and jumped up and down, saying, “I will curse you. Don’t you know who I am?”
Then, all the sakhas began to laugh. They gave him a real laddu, and he was pacified when he ate it. Madhumangala blessed them and said, “You are great. May you always be happy.”
Madhumangala has this personality of a joker. He dresses with the attire of a cowherd-boy, with dhoti, shirt, and turban. Sometimes, he wraps his dhoti around his head and covers his legs with a shirt. Sometimes, he puts his turban on his legs, and sometimes he takes feathers from different birds like cuckoos and parrots and decorates his head with those, imitating Krsna’s peacock feather. He is always joking like this.
Madhumangala jokes by giving the sakhas different sweets that are filled with bitter things or chilies. The way he dresses and speaks, and whatever he does makes one want to laugh. When people look at Madhumangala, hasya-rati arises within them, and they become eager to laugh. Even Nanda Baba, Yasoda Mata, and the elders laugh when they are with him.
Once, Madhumangala was sitting in line with Krsna during the appearance day of Radharani in Varsana. While they were eating, he took pakora and malpua, rabadi, and began to jump and dance in the line. He said, “Krsna, just look at this prasadam! I think Your father, grandfather, or any of Your forefathers have never eaten something as nice as this. They have not even seen something like this. They have no idea that something could taste this good. See how great Radharani cooks. Her whole family is so glorious.”
Then, Radharani’s parrot Sukha came and said, “You are not following proper etiquette. While taking prasadam, you should sit without speaking, and you should not joke about this maha-prasada. You should be respectful towards Radharani and not jump and dance around.” Sukha spoke very strongly and ordered him to be quiet.
Then the other sakhas said, “If you don’t follow the instruction of this bird, then great misfortune come to you. Just see how intelligent this bird is.”
Sukha would move through the lines while the feast was being distributed, and he would keep everyone in proper line and organize the distribution. Then, Madhumangala would not speak, but he made many funny faces. He would joke and speak in such a way to make Krsna and Baladeva eat more and more. In different books, like Krsna Bhavanamrta and Govinda lilamrta, the glories of Madhumangala are described. If someone does not read or hear these books, then they will not understand the nature of the different Vrajavasis. Therefore, they will not have respect come for them. Our Guru-varga have described the nature and characteristics of the Vrajavasis for the benefit of the conditioned souls.
Before Krsna appeared, Paurnamasi came with Kusumasava, or Madhumangala, to Vraja. There, she gave news to all the Vrajavasis, “I have come from Goloka Vrndavana and was sent by the Lord to tell you that soon He will advent in your village, in the house of Nanda Baba.”
Madhumandala is like a flower, kusuma. This flower blossoms with a sweet color, honey, and aroma and makes everyone’s heart very sweet. He always stayed with Krsna. When Paurnamasi Yogamaya was in Vraja, she always helped the Vrajavasis, gave them good advice, and deepened their relationship with Krsna. She gave mantra and diksa, and helped in all manners. When any animal or Vrajavasis were ill, she would always be ready to serve and help them. She would never become angry and never responded with any cruelty. She was always very soft and sweet. Yogamaya Bhagavati Paurnamasi-devi is the caretaker in Vrndavana, and everyone in Vrndavana respects her and receives help from her.
When the gopis were very young, Paurnamasi-devi gave them a mantra to worship Katyayani-devi. She taught them how to cross Maha-maya, and how those under the influence of Maya would not be attracted to them.
Maha-maya gives us different gifts. She first gives us the physical body, and then she gives the subtle body as well, as a gift. These cover the soul and we become attached to them. Bhagavati Paurnamasi teaches us to be transcendental to these two coverings—the gross and subtle body. She teaches how to be freed from these bonds and become established in the body of the soul.
A person may be a guest in a home for some times, but he should understand that that house is not his. He is been given a chance to stay at someone else’s house for some time, but he does not possess it. He comes to this world to train and learn how to serve God, and be free from cruelty. We should not be attached to our bodies and think that everything we possess is ours. This makes us bound deeper and deeper in Maya.
From Bhagavati Paurnamasi, we learn how to be renounced from everything material. Today, we heard how she gave the mantra for the worship of Katyayani. One svarupa of hers is Maha-maya. So, we pray to her. Do not think it is easy to cross Maha-maya, or that you can cross Maha-maya by your own sadhana. We must pray to Durga-devi who is the warden of this material universe, which is like a jail. Without her permission we cannot get out of Maya. We may perform yoga and so many sadhanas, but this will not help us escape from the jail of material existence. We must pray, “O Katyayani, O Maha-maya, please help me. I want to cross Maya and serve Krsna.”
Then, we pray to Maha-yogini, or Bhagavati Pursnamasi, “You have yoga-sakti. You are very powerful, and you can connect the jivas to God. You can make me related to the eternal world. Therefore, you are Maha-yogini. Please, help me. You are Adhisvari. You are our worshipable Goddess.”
How can we go to Vraja-dhama, and how can we become related with the Vrajavasis there? We pray, “Nanda-gopa-sutam devi.” We pray to the son of Nanda Maharaja, and to His worshipable Devi, or Srimati Radharani. We take shelter of that Devi. Nanda-gopa-sutam devi—the Devi who is related to Krsna.
Paurnamasi helps us become related to Lord Krsna. She gives us eagerness for following bhakti and for following the proper path to attain parakiya-bhava. We all have families. We can stay with them without any problem. These are places where we can receive some help, but we should not serve our family-members more than Guru and God. If we do so, it is improper. The Vrajavasis have families and everything, but whatever they do is for Krsna’s pleasure. They are always engaged in Krsna’s service. Paurnamasi therefore arranges everything to make the sadhaka related to Krsna. For Krsna’s pleasure, Paurnamasi makes Srimati Radharani and Her followers able to meet with Krsna. She arranges their meeting. She takes care of the newborn Gopis, and she also allows the sadhana-siddhas to enter Vraja and to attain birth from the womb of a Gopi. This is all by the mercy of Paurnamasi-devi. Therefore, we worship Bhagavati Paurnamasi. Dasa Gosvami himself teaches us to do this.
Tomorrow, we will hear further.
Gaura Premanande Haribol!