In south India, in a brahmana family that followed in the line of the Visnusvami sampradaya, there was a sadhaka called Bilvamangala. He had faith in the teachings of his sampradaya and was nicely following all its rules and regulations, but one day, on the bank of the river, he heard someone sing a song that described the glories of God. He was mesmerized by the song, and when he discovered that the singer was a prostitute, he became so attached to that lady that he forgot everything else in the world.
When his father died, Bilvamangala was given the responsibility to perform his father’s sraddha ceremony, but instead of honoring his respected family members and guest, he took all the prasadam that was to be served to them and ran to the house of that prostitute. As he was making his way to see her, a big storm developed. Rain was pouring from the sky and the river flooded, but Bilvamangala did not care. He tried to swim across the river, but the current was dangerously strong and threatened to drown him. With fixed determination however, he somehow manged to cross that river, and when he finally arrived at the house of the prostitute, he fainted and fell to the ground.
The Prostitute, having heard a sound near her door, came outside and found the senseless Bilvamangala. After bringing him inside and giving him some dry cloth to wear, he regained consciousness. The prostitute then asked, “Why are you so attached to my body? Why are you not attached to God and His pure representatives? My whole life, my faith has been in god only. I want you to have the same faith in God as I do. You should not be attached to Me. This is not good for you. “In this way, she gave strong instructions and advice to Bilvamangala, and at the end she said, “If you do not give up your attachment to my physical body, I will no longer allow you to come here.”
Affected by her powerful words, Bilvamangala left. Inspired from within, he arrived at the asrama of a sannyasi called Somagiri and took shelter there. He accepted Somagiri as his guru and received diksa from him. His guru instructed him to stay in the asrama, together with the other brahmacaris and sannyasis, but Bilvamangala could not stop thinking of Sri Vrndavana-dhama and of God Himself. One day, without taking the permission of his guru, he left the asrama and set off towards Vraja.
On the way, however, he again became attracted to a lady. remembering his gurudeva’s advice, the prayed to God, “why do I, again and again, become attached to these physical bodies? My material body and senses keep disturbing me time and again.” He decided to no longer follow his mind, and thus he pierced out both his eyes. He then entered into samadhi-yoga and came to Vrndavana. There he met Sri Nanda-nandana Krsna, Yasoda-nandana Krsna, Gopi-jana-vallabha Krsna, and all the Vrajavasis. He was now singing, playing, and dancing with Krsna, who was very pleased with Bilvamangala’s sweet songs
Why did Krsna become so attached to these songs of Bilvamangala? Do His sakhas and sakhis not sing a billion times more beautiful then him? There is only one reason: Bilvamangala completely rejected his material body. He even gave up his attachment to his subtle body and mind, and then entered into samadhi, into the eternal world. where he started searching only for Sri Krsna. This type of sadhana is very serious. Not everybody can act like this, but for one who can, entering into samadhi is very easy. He will be able to cross over may, enter into the eternal Vraja-dhama, and meet with the Vrajavasis and Sarvesvara Lord Sri Hari, Goloka-vihari, Nanada-nandana Sri Krsna.
Krsna gave Bilvamangala the name ‘Lila-suka’ because His lila-sakti had entered into Bilvamangala’s heart. Bilvamangala was now connected to all the eternal vraja-lila, and every day he would compose new songs, describing different pastimes. Krsna would listen and try to remember them. For this, He wrote everything down in a book and kept that written collection close to Him at all times. The gopis noticed this and asked, “What is that book that You are reading from every day? Why do You carry it with You everywhere? can we have a look?” Krsna refuted and said, “No, I will not give it to you.” The gopis replied, “we know you have a flute that is very near and dear to you, because that flute is able to steal our heart. does this book also have such a power? What is going on here?
One day, by Hook or crook, the gopis got ahold of the book. When they looked inside, they saw Bilvamangala’s beautiful glorification’s of Krsna and the Vrajadevis. “How does he know all these things?” they wondered in surprise. “Who is this person? Where are all these marvelous songs coming from?” They searched for Bilvamangala, and when they finally found him, they exclaimed, “But he is blind! He has no eyes!”
Krsna replied, Yes. He gave up his eyes for Me. He gave up his desire to look at ordinary and mundane things. Now, he only meets with Me and looks at Me with his eternal, spiritual eyes. because of this, My lila-sakti gave him entrance into Vrndavana. He is Lila-suka, and he is describing all of our wonderful pastimes. He is my karnamrta (nectar for the ears).”
The gopis then concluded, “Oh, then the name of this book must be Sri Krsna-karnamrta!”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself rediscovered this book Sri krsna-karnamrta, on His journey to South India. He had it copied and then brought it back with him to Puri. Another book Mahaprabhu brought back was Sri Brahma-smhita. The is a collection of prayers in glorification of Sri Krsna that was composed by Lord Brahma after he had winessed Sri Krsna’s eternal pastimes in his samadhi-yoga.
So Mahaprabhu found, copied, and brought back these two books from South India, He gave them to all the Gaudiyas and ordered everybody to make a copy for themselves of both. These prayers are like necklaces for the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. If we want to connect with the spiritual world, we will have to follow and accept the process and teachings of that world. The more we do, the more we will become pure and clean, and the more we will rise above maya. Then we will have no more tension. This is called samadhi-bhasa. This is what Mahaprabhu came to teach. He came to hive us this spiritual wealth. So we should stay close to Sri Gurupada-padma at his samadhi center. Then it will be very easy to get this connection to the spiritual world.
Premananda Prabhu ki jaya (excerpted from the samadhi book “Sri Guru Darsana – As it is”, please order your hard copy from bhaktabandhav.org)