Kṛṣṇa’s name is our life and soul. How is this? Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is in Uddhava Kyārī, lying on a bed of lotus petals. The sakhīs fan Her and sprinkle water on Her face, while chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. They offer Her this nectar. Sometimes She opens Her eyes, but Her body is as if senseless. Regularly they check with a piece of cotton to see if She is breathing or not. They check Her pulse, and serve Her in so many ways. While fanning Her they think, “May we not disturb Her body.” They want to massage Her but are afraid that it will disturb Her more. Then they rub Her feet with oil and smear sandalwood paste on Her Divine Form. In this position, kṛṣṇa-nāma is Her only drink.
The Vraja-devīs drop kṛṣṇa-nāma in Rādhārānī’s ears. They sing very carefully—with a pathetic, romantic tone—and while doing so, the sakhīs themselves experience aṣṭa-sāttvika-vikāra. At times, when hearing Kṛṣṇa’s name, She opens Her eyes and tries to say something, but no sound comes out. Lalitā and the other sakhīs go nearer to try and understand what Śrīmatī Rādhārānī wants to say.
Vṛndā-devī cannot tolerate the situation. She thinks, “I will fly to Dvārakā and bring Kṛṣṇa back by any means.” But the next minute, she sees that many svarūpas of Kṛṣṇa are everywhere in Uddhava Kyārī under the kadamba and tamala trees. Kṛṣṇa is always present to hear and drink the nectarful words of Rādhārānī, like fog has many very small particles dropping all over. What does Rādhārānī say? Kṛṣṇa is very eager to hear how the gopīs are remembering Him, or insulting Him.
Even after attaining siddhi, the sādhaka cannot understand these moods of the Vraja-devīs, unless the nitya-siddhas instill within one’s heart that same anurāga which is in their hearts by their causeless mercy. Many may think, “Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is sick, and lying on Her deathbed.” But this is not the case. It is not Her last moment. How is this separation for Kṛṣṇa? How is the position of someone who feels it? This is only possible to understand by the mercy of the Vraja-devīs.
Wherever devotees go, they remember Kṛṣṇa’s beauty, glories and followers. Everywhere, they perform nāma-saṅkīrtana and remember Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, rūpa, guṇa, and līlā. If any person watches them and is disturbed, they are not affected. Why? Their eyes never see this. When the sun rises in the early morning, a light reddish color comes. They think, “Kṛṣṇa is definitely coming and showering us with his anurāga.” If they see anything against Him, like Śaṅkhacūḍa or anyone with a demonic nature, they think, “Surely Kṛṣṇa will come soon to protect us. Murāri will definitely speak something very sweet. He will ask, ‘Why have you gone some distance to Me? Why have you forgotten Me? You have gone far away, therefore many demons come and attack you.’”
The bhaktas always remember Kṛṣṇa’s beauty, and this gives them pride and hope. They remember Kṛṣṇa’s face and unparalleled love. The bhaktas offer puṣpāñjali to Kṛṣṇa with their moods. They remember the glories of Kṛṣṇa and offer this. Nothing bad can come in their heart. They never offer Kṛṣṇa any complaint. This is not the standard of bhaktas. This is the nature of lower-class, tāmasika people. They always complain and blame others. The devotees continuously kiss Kṛṣṇa’s face and serve Him. Kṛṣṇa’s face is very sweet. After kissing Him, His beauty comes in their heart, and they sing, dance and offer many sweet verses as gifts to Kṛṣṇa.
sarva-jñātve ca maugdhye ca
sarva-bhaumam idaṁ mahaḥ
nirviśan nayanaṁ hanta
Glory personified Kṛṣṇa has attained all excellence, both in His omniscience and His innocence. Having entered my eyes, He is enjoying great bliss. This is a great wonder!
puṣṇānam etat punarukta-śobhām
uṣṇetarāṁśor udayān mukhendoḥ
kṛṣṇāhvayaṁ kiñcana jīvitaṁ me
With the rising of His moon-like face this certain personality known as Kṛṣṇa is nourishing the faded luster of the cooling moon and doubling the ocean of my thirst to see Him. He is my very life and soul.
tad etad ātāmra-vilocana-śrī-
muhur murārer madhurādharoṣṭhaṁ
mukhāmbujaṁ cumbati mānasaṁ me
Again and again I mentally kiss Murāri’s lotus face, with its sweet lips and its beautiful, slightly reddish eyes, which graces all His humble devotees.
vilokaya vilocanāmṛtam aho mahaḥ śaiśavam
Behold this nectar for the eyes, the luster of this young boy Kṛṣṇa! His hands teach graceful gestures to the autumn lotuses, His feet excel freshly grown desire-tree sprouts in tenderness, and the beauty of His eyes destroys the pride of all comparable things.
One Vraja-devī watches Kṛṣṇa from a long distance away and declares, “This naṭavara Nanda-kiśora is like an effulgent light. Watching Him, our eyes are infused with so much power.”
In the autumn season, the water of a pond is very clean and you can see through it to the bottom. But our eyes collect many things now; therefore they are very dirty, and we can’t see through to our soul or the Supreme Soul. We have collected many mundane things for millions of lives; because of this, we have many layers covering our soul.
Like film in a camera—the lens takes pictures and saves it inside the camera. If you put in a new roll of film when the previous roll is finished, then you can take more pictures. If you keep the old film inside the camera, you can’t take new pictures. Similarly, these eyes save and collect lifetimes of impressions in our mind, and therefore we have no more free space there.
The Vraja-devīs’s eyes are like the autumn season. If you go near the Vraja-devīs, or any Vrajavāsīs, then this jyoti-puñja, this light, will come and clean your eyes and the film of the heart. Then you will be able to see your real self, as well as the Supreme Soul. Then you will understand who is your real friend and helper.
We can attain spiritual vision when a bona fide śikṣā-guru practically shows which process to follow in our life.
There are two types of etiquette. One is good etiquette and one is bad etiquette. But now everyone learns bad etiquette. Therefore all suffer, and their eyes can never cross beyond māyā. If I am with a bogus guru, then, to attain much wealth, health, enjoyment, and other things, I will worship demigods and do any vrata, tapa, japa, following other rules and regulations to obtain selfish fulfillment. I will become more and more eager to enjoy māyā and to gratify my senses. I will have no desire for hari-kathā or hari-kīrtana. I will then go in the wrong direction. This is the test. We have to ask ourselves, “Has my desire for harināma increased or not? Has desire come to hear hari-kathā or not? Do I run for enjoyment or shirk from sādhu-saṅga?”
What is the result of staying in the association of a bona fide teacher? Many people may come to make friendship with you, to talk with you about mundane life and thus steal your time, but you will have no taste for this and will shy away from them. And you will run anywhere there is hari-kīrtana and hari-kathā. You will never speak uselessly. All good qualities will come and be present with you for all time. You will be like a lotus living in water without getting wet. In this world, the lotus stays in the water but has no direct contact with water. Similarly, you will never be fearful of anything in this world, and will always be engaged in God’s service.
ācinvānam ahany ahany ahani sākārān vihāra-kramān
ārundhānam arundhatī-hṛdayam apy ārdra-smitārdra-śriyā
ātanvānam ananya-janma-nayana-ślāghyām anarghyāṁ daśām
ānandam vraja-sundarī-stana-taṭī-sāmrājyam ujjṛmbhate
The bliss manifesting itself in the amazing luster of the youth Kṛṣṇa reigns supreme between the sloping breasts of the beautiful gopīs of Vraja. That spreading, glowing bliss reaches a rarified stage far beyond the appreciation of the eyes of anyone but the gopīs, and every day, every moment, and in every twinkling of an eye, that bliss, embodied as Kṛṣṇa, arranges pastimes and attracts even Arundhatī, who is chastity personified, with the gentle charm of His tender smile.
The Vraja-devīs’ eyes can’t watch anything other than Kṛṣṇa. Everything is present everywhere, but at every moment, at all times, they are engaged in arranging many programs for Kṛṣṇa’s happiness. If some new program comes, does their mood change? No. That will only give further inspiration for Kṛṣṇa’s service.
The Vraja-devīs’ hearts are decorated with goodness and good qualities. They have ānanda-svarūpa, ānanda-rūpam. If anyone is with them, then they will be involved and showered with that ānanda, and they will be their followers and able to serve Kṛṣṇa. This is the goodness of the Vraja-devīs. Coming near them, automatically a desire will come to serve Kṛṣṇa. One will never be silent and peaceful, like a ṛṣi, muni, or yogī. They will be advanced and able to do many services.
Sometimes the sādhaka does bhajana very carefully, controlling the senses. But how long can they be controlled? This is very hard and painful. This austerity is not necessary. If Kṛṣṇa’s līlā-śakti comes and gives Her merciful nectar, you will be easily absorbed in Kṛṣṇa’s playful pastimes in Vraja-maṇḍala.
What to do? Every day, for some time, make a promise, “I will go to Vraja-maṇḍala in my mind. First I will offer obeisance in Mathurā at Viśrāma-ghāṭa. Then I will enter Vṛndāvana and do parikramā of the dhāma.” Have a deep desire for this meditation. Give time daily for remembering. Daily go to Navadvīpa-dhāma and Kṣetra-maṇḍala. Go to Śrīla Gurudeva’s samādhi-pīṭha, then Param Gurudeva’s samādhi-pīṭha, and so forth.
Practice this. Then all mādhurya will come in the heart one by one. If you don’t go—rather, if you engage in so many material activities—then that līlā-śakti and mādhurya will not come. Therefore, every day, practice going to the holy dhāma. For this reason Śrīla Gurudeva called us every year to do parikramā of the dhāma. But if we stay in the dhāma with a mood of enjoyment, we will make some place our own snake hole, house, or cave. We won’t remember the dhāma. We will stay in the dhāma but never come into the temple. And even if we come to the temple, we won’t remember God’s holy names. Then what will be the result? Nothing. This is a problem.
By which process can we truly enter the dhāma? Only by smaraṇa. We must cultivate our smaraṇa-lālasā, deep yearning for meditation on the eternal service of the Lord. If one performs no smaraṇa, then everything done will be like the playing of a tape recorder, without any life. This remembrance is essential. By smarana, step by step, you will realize complete bliss. Therefore, first perform śravaṇa, then kīrtana, repeat what you hear and meditate on it in your heart. If you do no smaraṇa, remembrance, then everything else you perform is useless.
Smaraṇa allows you entrance into the samrājya, the kingdom of God. This is your clearance to enter; you are then there. If you remember Girirāja Govardhana, you enter Govardhana. But only remembering is not enough. You must serve. Offer puṣpāñjali, abhiṣeka, bhoga. Then you will get relation. Pray, “How will I be present here continuously? Please give me some tendency for service.” If anyone starts this remembrance, they will attain a relation with nitya-līlā. Their wandering in māyā will be cut off. Then no more disturbance will come in their life. Śikṣā-guru teaches this.
Srila Bilavamangala Thakur ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Sri Krsna-Karnamrta”. Available from: firstname.lastname@example.org )