Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī gives these pastimes of Govinda-līlāmṛta, distributing this nectar for all of us. On one side, Kavirāja Gosvāmī distributed Caitanya-caritāmṛta. First, he completed Caitanya-caritāmṛta, then he began Govinda-līlāmṛta.
Lord Caitanya’s pastimes are not separate from the pastimes of Govinda. But, first, one must get consciousness, caitanya, and a relation with kṛṣṇa-nāma. Then, after nāma, one will attain revelations of rūpa, guṇa and then līlā. Līlā is the fourth stage. If you have no relation with harināma, no taste in chanting, and don’t continuously follow harināma, then Hari’s rūpa will not come in your heart. Many other rūpas and svarūpas will come in your heart, automatically, without your desire. But if you continuously practice harināma, Hari Himself will come, and all other forms will run out of the heart.
harir hi nirguṇaḥ sākṣāt
puruṣaḥ prakṛteḥ paraḥ
sa sarva-dṛg upadraṣṭā
taṁ bhajan nirguṇo bhavet
“Lord Hari has no connection with the material modes. He is the Supreme Personality, the all-seeing eternal witness, transcendental to material nature. One who worships Him becomes similarly free from the material modes.”
Hari is nirguṇa. If you don’t chant harināma, you will not enter nirguṇa-tattva. Gunamayi tama, raja and sattva svarūpa will come. These forms are very strange, ferocious, crooked and hypocritical. They have many kinds of qualities. Then one will become uncontrolled like an animal. What you will say, what you will do. . . you have no idea. You will have no common sense; you will be senseless.
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.
After observing God’s wonderful qualities, we will enter līlā. There will be a taste for Govinda’s nectarful pastimes. There will be no desire for the pastimes of mundane people.
We heard before how Rāma and Kṛṣṇa went to the cowshed. There, there are many strong cowherd boys. They drink milk and butter, and go to the forest, where they serve the cows. They work hard from morning to evening. They are with Kṛṣṇa; therefore, they have a lot of strength. Their strength is never lost. Any mundane energy or strength that you collect, by any means, like judo, karate, exercise, protein powders and injections, or anything else, that is not permanent. It is temporary. You may appear very strong for some time, but soon it will leave because it is temporary and mundane, born of the temporary objects of the transient world.
Why? These qualities will not stay with us because they are not happy with us. They run away. But any qualities and strength that comes from Kṛṣṇa and Vraja Bhūmi is cit bala, spiritual strength. This will never be lost once it comes. It is cit-śakti, cit bala, cit ānanda, and cit jñāna. These are permanent, not temporary. That knowledge is perfect knowledge.
All Kṛṣṇa’s sakhās are very strong. Where does this strength come from? Baladeva Prabhu gives this. He protects and helps everyone. And how can they engage their strength and energy? He teaches all this. If you go to your Guru and guardian in the holy dhāma, near the Vaiṣṇavas, and offer them praṇāma, then their blessings will come.
First, Kṛṣṇa goes to His grandfather, grandmother, father, mother and all other relatives, along with his sakhās, and He gives them all respect. And Kṛṣṇa always follows anything Baladeva Prabhu, who is His elder, tells. Kṛṣṇa never argues and fights with Baladeva.
Other sakhās desire to talk and discuss with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa hears everything, and then He gives a response so that no one will be disturbed. Like, “O Kṛṣṇa, I told You something and You taunted me?”
Kṛṣṇa never tells anything that hurts the feelings of others, directly or indirectly. He practically acts in a positive manner, and all those nearby see His activities and follow Him. There is no friction, conflict, jealousy, envy and fighting amongst God’s family members in the eternal world.
Sometimes Kṛṣṇa jokes with the sakhās, but not to injure, hate or smash them, nor to make them small. Here, some people have strange personalities. They speak very sweetly and it is very powerful, but then they make everyone very small and narrow. People then think, “I have no position, I am useless.” Then they become very shy and silent, as if they have been wounded and defeated.
Kṛṣṇa doesn’t act like this. When He speaks, He increases the enthusiasm and gladness of all His companions, and they come closer to Him, not farther away. If one is worried about anything, you can’t come nearby to Him. Kṛṣṇa never acts like this.
This is the rule or process of the spiritual line. Kṛṣṇa doesn’t hate or disdain anyone. The servants of Nanda-bhavana feel, “Kṛṣṇa has so much love for me. He even takes my advice. Kṛṣṇa also speaks for my welfare.”
Bitterness never comes there in Vraja. In this world, people come very close to each other, more and more close; and, then, if once they neglect each other or say something against the other, a big friction comes and they are ready to separate forever.
It is not like this with Kṛṣṇa. This is called guṇa, good qualities. Don’t think qualities are merely adjectives or adverbs. These are more like verbs, always active from the potency of kriyā śakti, the active potency of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Therefore, everything is always active and sweet.
Kṛṣṇa doesn’t ever make the Vrajavāsīs worried and sorry, making them feel low and small. No. He says, “My sakhās, come on My shoulders. I will carry you.”
Kṛṣṇa says, “I embrace and carry them. They are not separate from Me. They are like expansions of My own body. I cannot give them up for a moment.”
The sakhās have deep faith in this. They believe in their heart, “Kṛṣṇa is mine.”
That same power is present with the guru-varga. By this, they keep everyone nearby them. Otherwise, in the mundane world, sons and daughters don’t stay with their parents. Brothers don’t stay with brothers, and all other relatives separate due to selfishness.
They feel, “If anyone follows me, then they are good.If you don’t follow me, get out!”
This is not the line and process of bhakti. Kṛṣṇa doesn’t act like this. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa wrestles and fights with the sakhās. Why? So that they understand Kṛṣṇa is not a prince. They feel, “He is my best friend.” Then they are not shy, and they will feel Kṛṣṇa is their dear companion and equal.
Yaśodā Mātā calls, “Rohiṇī, O my dear sakhī, please go look for Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva. I have been waiting for Them to come for a long time, but They have not returned. Go and see why They tarry. The milkmen have brought back the milk, and still They have not come back. What are They doing?”
Kṛṣṇa comes step by step. After milking the cows, many other animals, like deer, elephants, zebras and so forth, are all waiting to meet with Kṛṣṇa. It is not that Kṛṣṇa doesn’t like any of the other animals just because they don’t give Him milk.
But the animals lament, “We have no ability for service. The cows have milk, therefore Kṛṣṇa likes the cows so much. What can we give Kṛṣṇa?” They give their tears, and their bodies shake with broken hearts. “When we will be cows, then we will give Kṛṣṇa milk.”
They are too much disturbed. Kṛṣṇa comes nearby, and they smell His feet. Kṛṣṇa understands their hearts and languages. They want to serve Him. They think this. Kṛṣṇa strokes and embraces their faces and necks. The animals sweat in bliss and feel, “Kṛṣṇa does so much for us, but we do nothing for Him.”
The male deer comes and says to his wife, “Why are you upset? I have some presentation to give Kṛṣṇa.”
“What will you give?”
“I have kastūrī (musk). I will give this.”
Then he comes to Kṛṣṇa and shows him, “This is good for You. This is the stock of my heartfelt love.”
The lady-deer think, “Oh! Our husbands are very lucky. They have a close friendship with Kṛṣṇa, and give Him this gift. But we have nothing. What can we give?”
Thinking this, the lady-deer wait, gazing at Kṛṣṇa with their long eyes. The other animals also came and surrounded Kṛṣṇa. Like when Caitanya Mahāprabhu came through the Jari Khanda forest, all animals came to him, snakes, squirrels, mongoose, lions, elephants and bears. They had no jealousy. When they came, Mahāprabhu gave them harināmāmṛta. Now, Govinda gave His own līlāmṛta.
When Kṛṣṇa was on His way back into Nanda-bhavana, He called His servants, “Please, Mother has cooked many things. If I am late, she will be disturbed. But, also, all My Vrajavāsī friends are waiting here. If I don’t meet with them, they will be very sad. So tell Mother I am coming soon.”
Then He gives the animals small leaves and fruits, and tells them, “Wait awhile, I am coming soon and will go with you into the forest and gardens, and will meet with you there.”
Then He goes back towards Nanda-bhavana. The animals wait, going ahead on the pathway Kṛṣṇa will follow that day, and they clean the way with their hooves. The male-deer have horns. They clean the way with their horns. The elephants take water with their tusks and sprinkle it on the pathway to please and serve Kṛṣṇa. They use whatever qualities they have to serve Kṛṣṇa.
The lady-deer think, “If I leave my body, I will place my skin down as a seat for Kṛṣṇa in the forest. My skin is soft; at least I can serve Kṛṣṇa in that way.” Then she thinks, “But if I give up my life, I will not be able to have His darśana.”
Kṛṣṇa understands the hearts of all. He says to the animals, “Go for now, I am soon coming.”
He returned to Nanda-bhavana, and Yaśodā Mātā sees Him. “Oh! Kṛṣṇa’s belly is touching His back! He is very skinny. He has no fat.” She thinks, “He has friendship with the calves. Therefore He drinks a little milk with the calves while milking, but He doesn’t eat enough.”
“Rohiṇī,” Yaśodā Mātā says, “quickly go to the kitchen. Our sons have come. Let us give them prasāda. You know best what They like.”
Rohiṇī went to the kitchen, where the servants had kept everything ready and covered, so it would remain hot and fresh. Otherwise, if a preparation is left open, it will become cold and crusted. They cook in clay or silver pots and cover everything with cotton cloths. Liquid preparations are kept on top of a smoldering cow-dung fire, so that they will not become cold.
Gokulesvari Yaśodā Mātā calls Rādhārānī. Anything She cooks is very tasteful and aromatic. Her hands have a magical power to cook with supreme excellence.
Yaśodā calls, “Hey Rādhe! You have arranged many things. Give them to Rohiṇī. She will serve out breakfast.”
Upananda’s son is named Subhadrā, and Subhadrā’s wife is Kundalatā. Kundalatā came and offered praṇāma, saying, “O Mother Yaśode, what is your order for me?”
Kundalatā is the wife of Kṛṣṇa’s cousin. She has deep affection for Kṛṣṇa and is always ready for service. But she doesn’t independently act without the permission of Kṛṣṇa.
“I heard,” Kundalatā said to Yaśodā, “that anything Rādhārānī cooks will give long life, strength and joy to anyone who eats it. Durvāsā Ṛṣi gave Her this boon.”
Once, Durvāsā Ṛṣi came to Varsānā. It was evening. Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja worshipped and served him. Then the sage said, “I am very hungry. I want to eat something.” It was around eleven o’clock at night.
“What would you like?” Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja asked. “I will arrange everything at once.”
“NO! I won’t eat anything from you.”
“How can I please you?”
“I don’t want anything from you. Do you have a daughter?”
“She will cook for me.”
“She is only three years old. How can She cook?”
“No, I can’t take anything from you. You are contaminated, but She is one-pointed. I will only take Her cooking.”
“She doesn’t know anything.”
“Call Her at once!”
Vṛṣabhānu-rāja-nandinī came and offered obeisance.
“What is your good name?” Durvāsā asked.
“My grandmother, mother, father and all My relatives call Me Rādhā.”
“All do aradhana of You?” Durvāsā smiled.
She was very shy and lowered Her head.
“I am very lucky to have come to Your house,” Durvāsā said. “But I am very hungry. Give me something to eat. Cook me sweet rice and malpua.”
“Yes, now I will arrange.”
Baby Rādhā went to the kitchen for the first time. Durvāsā Ṛṣi would not eat the cooking of any family men, but he knew Śrīmatī was supremely chaste.
She cooked mountains of malpua and lakes of sweet rice, and Durvāsā ate everything. After eating, he asked, “Do You have anything more?”
“Yes,” She said.
“I want more! I don’t want to eat anything else but Your preparation. It makes me feel very well. I give You this boon: Whoever eats Your cooking will get a long life. They will never suffer or feel bad in their life. They will be very strong, and will respect You and be Your followers.”
Kundalatā told this to Yaśodā Mātā. “Anything She cooks will be nectarful, sweet and tasteful, and those who eat it will be long-lived. I will give this first to Rāma and Kṛṣṇa. If the servants cook, and many people bring many preparations from their own houses, it will not be as nourishing and helpful for Rāma and Kṛṣṇa.”
Many Vrajavāsīs would bring preparations to Nanda-bhavana, and Yaśodā Mātā and Rohiṇī Mātā also cooked, but all respected Śrīmatī Rādhārānī as the greatest cook in Vraja.
Yaśodā Mātā said, “Kanhaiyā is black and skinny. He doesn’t eat properly. I like your proposal. I have also heard the glories of kiśorī’s cooking.”
Rohiṇī Mātā took prasāda and gave it on Kṛṣṇa’s plate, saying, “Kiśorī cooked this for You.”
Kṛṣṇa looked at Baladeva and Nanda Bābā to see how they felt. Nanda Bābā took something and fed it to Baladeva and Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa also took prasāda in His hand and fed Nanda Bābā, saying, “You also take Bābā.”
If anything is first offered to Guru jana, respected elders, then it becomes more powerful. One thing is called prasāda, and one is mahā-prasāda.
“Take this, Bābā.” Kṛṣṇa took some sweet preparation in His hand and fed His father.
Then Nanda Bābā began to sweat with a melted heart, and it flowed out as tears. He thought, “This prasāda is so sweet and nectarful! How is this possible? I have never tasted anything like this.”
“Kṛṣṇa,” Nanda Bābā said, “You also take something.”
Then Nanda Bābā fed Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva with his own hand.
Yaśodā Mātā said to Kundalatā, “I daily call kiśorī to come and cook for the good health of Rāma and Kṛṣṇa. Go and take many ornaments and opulent cloth to Yāvaṭa, and give it to Jaṭilā and Kutila, praying to them, ‘Yaśodā Mātā sent these as gifts for you. You send Rādhārānī to cook. We are very pleased with you. With your kindness, please send Her daily.’
“Kundalatā,” Yaśodā said, “tell Jaṭilā that there is no problem for Rādhā. No one watches Her or causes any disturbance. She comes and makes sure everything goes on well, and then returns to Yāvaṭa.”
All the Vraja-devīs have deep attachment for Kṛṣṇa. They continuously think about Kṛṣṇa and are ready to do anything for His happiness. Hearing the sweet request of Yaśodā Mātā, Kundalatā doesn’t think, “How can I please Jaṭilā and Kutila?” She thinks, “How can Rādhārānī be happy with me? I do everything for Her pleasure. Then Kṛṣṇa will be happy. But Jaṭilā and Kutila will never be pleased.”
If any person’s heart is dry and distant to God and the devotees, even if you serve and worship them day and night, they will never be happy. Their hearts will not melt, because they are full of envy and desire for enjoyment. However much fuel you put in a fire, the flames will only increase. However much you throw in a volcano, it will only melt and become one with the molten lava.
Kundalatā thought, “I give gifts to Jaṭilā and Kutila daily from Yaśodā, but they never become satiated. What should I do?” Kundalatā considers. “I know!” She thought. “They are very greedy to eat. I will give them Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s mahā-prasāda. Nothing else will cool their hearts.”
Then Kundalatā collected raja bhoga, rasa malai, halava and many other preparations with big baskets, and went with many sakhīs to Yāvaṭa.
“When Jaṭilā and Kutila smell the aroma of Rādhārānī’s cooking,” Kundalatā thought on the pathway to Yāvaṭa, “they will become stupefied. Eating the prasāda, they will fall senseless. And, perhaps, even their crooked nature and small-mindedness will change.”
Arriving at Yāvaṭa, Kundalatā approached Jaṭilā and said, “Yaśode has sent many clothes and ornaments for you. Also, she has sent many nice sweets, savories, fruits and many other tasty preparations for you and your daughter and son.”
Jaṭilā opened the packages and ran, saying, “Wait, don’t go from here. I will call Kutila and Abhimanyu. There are many wild creatures that disturb us. Many crows, monkeys and birds come and attack our house.”
Where do crows, dogs, jackals and vultures reside? They stay nearby any garbage center. Jaṭilā’s nature is very crooked and strange. She saves anything she has, not wanting to expend it. If she gets halava, she saves it for many days and weeks until everything is rotten, and then she takes it. Who would stay near her? People in tama guṇa don’t like fresh food. They take fruit and ferment it. When many worms and germs have eaten and passed the fruit out and it has turned into alcohol, then they become very happy and relish it. Tāmasika people have such a nature.
“Many monkeys come here,” Jaṭilā said. Why do monkeys come? They know that Jaṭilā preserves everything, not wanting to use it, for she is a great miser. It will rot and spread a foul scent over Vraja. Hence the monkeys come steal everything and distribute it to all the forest animals. Then nothing is wasted.
“I will stock everything here,” Kundalatā said. “When your son comes, give fresh things to him.”
“No,” Jaṭilā said. “If I give him today’s food, who will eat yesterday’s leftovers?”
“That is why your son is unhealthy and has no strength!” Kundalatā said. “Feed him fresh things!”
But however much she says, Jaṭilā listens to nothing. Many people have a nature like this. They cook something in the morning, and eat it at lunch and at night. Or they cook at night, and eat it in the morning. They put the leftovers in the fridge, then heat it up the next day, adding some extra spices and oil to make it tasty. They have no luck to eat fresh food. This is the nature of Jaṭilā.
When Abhimanyu was called, he said, “I won’t come.”
“Why?” Jaṭilā asked.
“You give me old food with bugs and worms in it.”
“No, Yaśodā sent fresh things, very sweet, hot and tasty!”
“I can’t believe you.”
He is her own son, but Jaṭilā doesn’t give him fresh food with love.
Kundalatā went and said, “Ayan, Abhimanyu, come! Yaśodā sent many things for you. I will feed you myself. Come!”
Then Abhimanyu came and, for the first time, he ate fresh food.
If you go to Bengal or Odisha, in many areas, the villagers cook rice once in the morning, and then eat it for lunch and dinner, soaking the leftover rice in water and eating it in the morning. They eat some, then dump the old water out and put in more water, and eat the rice again the next day; and this runs for some days. They give a little chili, salt and pickle, and eat it like that. It becomes like alcohol and burns the mouth while eating it.
Abhimanyu doesn’t have the fortune to eat fresh capatis and food. But, today, Kundalatā sat him down and gave him many fresh, tasty preparations. He became very happy. Why? Today, he first ate Rādhārānī’s cooking. Kundalatā brought this prasāda to change the nature of Jaṭilā and her family. If anyone receives the opportunity to honor the cooking of Rādhārānī in Nanda-bhavana, he is supremely fortunate.
Jaṭilā heard the message of Yaśodā Mātā from Kundalatā. Kundalatā said, “Yaśodā has invited you to sometimes come to Nanda-bhavana. Then she will give you many gifts.”
But Jaṭilā is afraid to leave her house. She sits like a guard at the doorway to ensure no one comes inside and steals her wealth. But what is in her house? Piles of dry radish, dried-up ginger, mangoes, and so forth, all in piles. This is the nature of modern families. They stock many useless things up in their houses, like years and years worth of old cloth, appliances and such.
Jaṭilā never went far from Yāvaṭa. She was too attached to her home and possessions.
Paurṇamāsī instructed her, “If you sometimes go to Nanda-bhavana, your heart will become open. You will not be a miser and will never be sad.”
Now Jaṭilā spoke sweetly with Kundalatā. “My dear Kundalatā, my son’s wife is very honest, chaste and sweet. I am very worried about Her. I cannot forget Her sweetness. She always keeps Her head lowered, never looking at the faces of men. But that roguish son of Nanda is very restless. He always wants to see Rādhā’s face. When She covers Her face, Nanda-nandana seeks a means to see Her. Sometimes He comes and tries to lift the shawl covering Her face. I am very concerned. He has thousands of good qualities, but I can’t look at this. This one guilt tarnishes all His goodness. It is not good that my son’s wife goes there, cooks and returns. That Kṛṣṇa is black outside and in. How can I be peaceful when I know He disturbs my daughter-in-law? I only allow Her to go on the order of Paurṇamāsī and the request of Yaśodā. I can’t disobey Paurṇamāsī. But I am very absorbed in this problem. While She is gone, I worry about Her the whole time. When She returns safe, I feel some comfort. Otherwise, I am always disturbed.”
“Jaṭilā,” Kundalatā said, “you are a mother and elderly. From where has this bad nature come to you? Why do you think the son of Nanda is like this? How could you think of this? Nanda-nandana is not like this. He is very clean and open. He is not cruel or a cheater. He doesn’t disturb anyone. When the sun rises, the sun looks at everyone, heats and goes inside everyone. Not only out, the heat and light of the sun goes within. But the sun has no fault. How can you control the sun and tell him, ‘Don’t look at me. I am a lady. Why are you coming and embracing me? Why do you make friendship with me?’ You always have doubt. Are you blind? Kṛṣṇa makes all the Vrajavāsīs happy. But you are blind and dark. Therefore He doesn’t come to you. And thus you don’t feel well and always are doubtful. Anywhere Kṛṣṇa goes, He makes that area bright, peaceful and powerful. You are a mother. Why don’t you have the qualities of a mother? Can’t you see the beauty of Kṛṣṇa? Seeing Him, everyone loses their hearts. But you don’t like Kṛṣṇa. Never have doubts for your son’s wife. I take Her to Nanda-bhavana and bring Her back safely. Kṛṣṇa doesn’t even touch Her shadow.”
“Dear daughter,” Jaṭilā said to Kundalatā, “you are renowned for your chastity in Vraja. I place Rādhā in your good care. Make sure restless Kṛṣṇa never touches or looks at Her, even from a distance. Carefully protect Her.”
Offered in remembrance of Śrīla Gurudeva Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja