Hari-katha inspired by the Guru-varga
By the causeless mercy of Srila Gurudeva and the Guru-varga, we are present here in Vrndavana-dhama. The Guru-varga never leave Vraja-dhama. Once, Srila Jiva Gosvami was requested by the Muslim ruler of that time to settle a dispute in Agra over the glories comparatively of Ganga and Yamuna. But, he would not stay outside of Vraja-dhama for even one night. The Guru-varga have such a deep relationship with the Vrajavasis, but ordinary people have no idea on what the meaning of a Vrajavasi is. They think that if someone is born in Vraja or has love for Vraja, then he is a Vrajavasi. Vi-raja means visesa-raja, or very special dust. This dust comes from the feet of Krsna’s very dear devotees. A Vrajavasi is one who has the dust of all of Krsna’s dear most associates in his heart. They have a service tendency, and they do not hate anyone. Whoever comes to them, they serve and give them training. Once people become strong, then the Vrajavasis give a special mood. Without this spiritual mood and tendency, the jiva cannot be transformed.
Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami stayed with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Mahaprabhu taught him and gave him relationship with Radha-Ramana. At that time, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami did not think that Mahaprabhu is Radha-Ramana. But, Mahaprabhu gave this permanent relationship. Mahaprabhu instructed him to serve this deity and he always served Radha-Ramana and never left Him.
How can we attain this spiritual seva-vasana? This is only given by Guru-pada-padma. If a guru has nothing, what can he give? Those who are karmis, jananis, and yogis cannot give this. They never offer obeisance to Srimati Radharani and the Vraja-devis. They do not collect this spiritual bhava. They do not collect sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, and the different bhavas namely vibhava, anubhava, sattvika, and vyabhicari. They have no idea of rasa. They can only give jada-rasa. If you take diksa from such a guru, your desire to enjoy in this world only increases.
vishaya-vasana-rupa cittera vikara
amara hridoye bhoga kore anibara
“My heart is only burning because of desires for sense enjoyment.” This is because the guru is like that. But, if your guru is above this and engaged in his spiritual service, then he will change the mood of whoever comes to him, and will give the seeker a special spiritual mood and tendency.
The ragatmika Vrajavasis stay in Vraja-bhumi. This is Vi-raja. The dust, or raja there is special. What is that? This does not mean some powder but a relationship of love for a special person. If you have anuraga for Krsna and His associates, then you are a Vrajavasi. An ordinary person cannot be a Vrajavasi. He may stay at the bank of the Yamuna, or live inside Radha-kunda as a fish or tortoise, but he will not receive this anuraga. He only makes a house there, and stays with his own family, but he has no love for Srimati Radharani and Her followers.
Vrnda-devi gives everyone training. She teaches them, “You have come into Vrndavana. You should think about Vrndavana and follow the method taught by the Vrajavasis.” This is found in sadhu-sanga. If you come to sadhu-sanga, you should collect this mood, and then you can achieve mukti.
muktir hitvanyatha rupam
—Srimad Bhagavatam 2.10.6
Real salvation is to be situated in one’s eternal spiritual form, and to be engaged in the service inherent to one’s soul. You may artificially try to become free of all your mundane desires, but you cannot detach your mind from such objects of enjoyments. However, if you enter this spiritual plane by always being in good association and engaged in the activities of bhakti, then you will have no time for bad activities and your faith and love will increase and what you hear from the sadhus, you will endeavor to practice in your own life. When you follow the instructions of the sadhus, spiritual power will come into you, and then you can rapidly progress towards the eternal realm.
We heard yesterday how Yasoda Mata makes everyone famous. She has so much respect and love for Srimati Radharani. She not only has respect for Radharani, she also respects all the sakhis and manjaris, and she serves them. Vatsalya service is very polite, quiet, and humble. When she sees others serving Krsna, she says, “Oh, you like my Lala? How can I make you happy? Please, serve my Krsna.” If someone chants Krsna-nama and comes to Yasoda Mata’s door, then she would say, “Oh, you have come to receive my Lala’s blessings?”
When Siva Thakura came as we heard in Damodara-lila, Siva Thakura chanted and danced, playing his dumru. Then, all the Vrajavasis came and said, “Yasode, a yogi has come. Give him some bhiksa.”
Yasoda said, “This yogi will not accept ordinary bhiksa. He wants to see my Nandalala.”
No matter how much tapa and japa one may perform, he cannot bring Paramatma or Paramesvara in his heart. But, if you come to Vraja-mandala and beg to the Vrajavasis, then they can give you Krsna because Krsna is with them. Putana was a wicked witch. But, the Vrajavasis gave Krsna to her. They did not consider if she was qualified or not, and if she had a wicked intention or not. Srila Gurudeva does not look if you are stupid or a rascal. Even though we have so many anarthas, he does not look at those. Even though we have done so many sinful activities, Srila Gurudeva does not look at that. He only sees that we have come to this line, and that we have some inkling of love for Krsna.
Siva Thakura said, “I only came to see your Lala.”
Yasoda Mata said, “O yogi, you have seen Him in your heart. Why have you come here directly?”
“I want to serve Him a little bit. I pray that He accepts my service. I speak about Him, I have heard about Him, and I have instructed everyone to worship Him, but I have not served Him directly, and therefore my life is useless. I want to serve your Krsna. O Yasode, if anyone makes mantra and tantra against your son, or looks at him with cruel eyes, or if He becomes sick, then please bring me some salt and mustard seeds. With mantra and tantra, I will help Him. Please, give me at least this much seva.”
Yasoda said, “Yes. If you can do that, you are favorable. You can stay at the bank of the Yamuna, and if my son ever becomes a little sick or cries, then I will come to you.”
Siva said, “You should also bring a yellow or black thread and some black ointment.”
Yasoda Mata brought this to the bank of the Yamuna. There, she found the yogi playing on his dumru and dancing. He was doing parikrama of Krsna, and then he took a peacock feather and with this did some tantra-mantra to take out any curse that affected Krsna. But, there are no curses that work on Krsna. Yasoda only wants to give the yogi some chance to serve because she sees that he has love for Krsna.
The Vrajavasis’ hearts are very soft. If anyone chants Krsna-nama and likes Vraja-bhakti and Vraja-seva, and if someone has a little desire to serve Krsna, then the Vrajavasis will give you all chances to serve Krsna. What is the most important thing? It is whether you have anuraga or not. If you have no love, you will misuse everything because you have shared your love everywhere. The Vrajavasis have offered all their love only to Krsna.
Today, we will hear from the thirty-fourth verse of Vraja-vilasa-stava. We will hear who Raghunatha dasa Gosvami now glorifies.
If you desire to enter the service of this unnata-ujjvala-rasa, you must take shelter of the Vraja-devis. Nandimukhi, the daughter of Sandipani muni arranges everything for Radha-Krsna’s seva. She has a fair color, her father is Sandipani, she is very honest, and she is a great artist and skilled at decorating. When Krsna dances and plays on His flute, then she can make the scene into a painting, and she can also make a dramatic pose.
If you take a picture with a camera, you can only see the outside. An x-ray can see what is inside the body, but who can understand what is in your mind, what you are thinking about, and why you are happy and smiling. Who understands that? Nandimukhi understands this. This is her service.
When Srimati Radharani is unhappy, She covers Her face, and does not talk with Krsna, then Nandimukhi knows what caused the mana. Or, when Srimati Radharani smiles, they ask why. She says, “One person was crying and praying for My darsana, but I said no. If any black person comes here, He will make everything dark. We are all fair and golden in color. No dark-complexioned persons are allowed here.”
Nandimukhi saw that Gopijanavallabha was dancing in Her heart. Therefore, she prayed:
smara-garala-khandanam mama sirasi mandanam
“Please O Radhe, give me darsana.” Krsna is feeling this. Who can take out this picture from His heart and feel this internal mood of Krsna? Someone who has this skill is called an artist. They can bring out the mood of another’s heart. An artist may make a painting and give it into a computer, and the computer can make it very nice, but that is not enough. What is the meaning of seva-kunja and smara-garala-khandanam?
Srila Param Gurudeva went to an artist in Jaipur to make the deities for the matha in Mathura. Param Gurudeva explained how he wanted the deities to be, but the artist did not fully understand his description. Param Gurudeva said, “I will give you a mantra. Chant this and you will be inspired in your heart.” Param Gurudeva gave him a mantra the next morning. The sculptor chanted the mantra for a long time. Then, he saw beautiful deities of Radha-Krsna dancing and playing on a flute. Vinoda Bihari was only wearing a small loincloth like a baby, and he was dancing very sweetly and playing. Then, the sculptor saw Yugala-Kisora.
Soon after, when Param Gurudeva visited him, he said, “O Gurudeva, you have given me darsana of Radha-Vinoda Bihari. Now, give me the strength and power to make the deities just like you showed me.”
Param Gurudeva agreed and bought two big pieces of marble for five rupees each. Param Gurudeva worshiped the stone, and wrote Krsna’s name on one stone and Srimati Radharani’s name on the other stone. The sculptor began to make the deity, and They manifested out of the stone so beautifully.
Six months later, Param Gurudeva went with Gurudeva and asked if the deity was ready. The sculptor said, “Yes they are ready. Many people offer me one-hundred rupees for each deity, but I promised to give Them to you for a hundred rupees. Tell me what you want. Should I make another pair for you, while I will sell this pair?”
Param Gurudeva said, “There is no need to sell them. From now on, any deities you will make with your hands will be perfect. You will be a very famous artist.” Sometime later, the artist had a big emporium.
Param Gurudeva brought Radha-Vinoda Bihari to Mathura. His heart has love, and he has the power to transfer this love to another person’s heart. Then, that person will be able to do anything. But, if they do not pray for Vraja-prema, then this is their great misfortune. They may only pray to get wealth and to become a special artist, or very famous. The sculptor in Jaipur got wealth, but did he get Vraja-bhakti?
If you worship and serve these deities, then so much reciprocation and many realizations will come to you. Mathura is the place of Maharaja Kamsa. He disturbed everyone. Many devotees then prayed to God. Ugrasena, Devaki, and Vasudeva were in jail, and they all prayed to the Lord. Lord Krsna came to them, but then He left and hid in Gokula Mahavana for ten or eleven years. They thought about Krsna, but when Krsna was in Mathura or Dvaraka, He thought about the Vrajavasis for twenty-four hours a day. He did not think how to kill Kamsa, Jarasandha, Kalayavana, and all the other demons. He only thought about the Vraja-devis and the Vrajavasis.
Param Gurudeva said that the place where the Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha stands is Krsna’s vipralambha-sthana. None of the Vrajavasis came to Mathura, and therefore Krsna was so sad. In Vraja, everyone is together in one group, but Krsna was alone in Mathura. No one was there to help Krsna. None of the Mathuravasis or Dvarakavasis understood Krsna’s heart and how much pain Krsna felt.
Even in this mundane world, if someone has deep love and his beloved leaves, then this is so painful. People sometimes commit suicide or they take drugs and sleeping pills to forget the pain. But in that world, what can you do to be relieved from the pain of separation? You cannot commit suicide.
Krsna stayed for nine and a half years in Vraja and had such a strong relation with Vraja and the Vrajavasis. When He left, He only thought about the Vrajavasis. Therefore, the whole atmosphere in Mathura is filled with Krsna’s moods of separation. You can very easily follow Krsna there. Who is He there?
radha-cinta-nivesena yasya kantirvilopita
sri krishna caranam vande radhalingita vigraham
That Krsna is not black. He is thinking about Srimati Radharani’s lotus feet, the Vraja-devis and Vrajavasis. Thinking and thinking about them, He became tadatma and His color changed and became fair like the one of the Gopis. If anyone stays with that Vipralambha-Krsna and serves and pleases Him, then the Vrajavasis will see this and think, “Anyone who serves my Krsna and feels separation for Him should have the Vraja-devis’ glories be told to him.” This is the medicine. How can one become relieved from depression? You should explain the glories of that person’s beloved and show the picture of that beloved.
Radharani’s picture and murti is necessary there, and Her specialties and all the Vraja-devis should be there, and then Krsna will feel some relief. Therefore, Param Gurudeva built the temple of Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, the land of Kamsa. Param Gurudeva brought Srimati Radharani, and then Radharani saw Krsna’s state and mood. She saw that Krsna was always in vipralambha.
In Vraja-mandala, the Vraja-devis were suffering in separation from Krsna. They were suffering in the same mood. Krsna was thinking of the Vrajavasis, and the Vrajavasis were thinking of Krsna. If Krsna thinks of the Vrajavasis, we should also think about the Vrajavasis. For Krsna’s happiness, we should explain the glories of Srimati Radharani, the Vraja-devis, and the Vrajavasis to Krsna. This is Krsna’s seva. When all obstacles were overcome, the Vraja-devis brought Krsna back to Vrndavana. This pastime is performed in the Ratha-yatra festival. The Vraja-devis bring Krsna to Vrndavana, and then Krsna is happy. Otherwise, He cannot become happy anywhere else. How can we bring Him to Vrndavana? Other bhaktas were also suffering. They had no helpers. Krsna helps everyone, but who helps Krsna? No one wants to serve Krsna and understand His moods. If anyone wants to understand Krsna’s moods, then he should only speak about the glories of the Vraja-devis, Vraja-bhumi, and the Vrajavasis. The glories of Mahabhava-svarupini Sri Radha Thakurani should especially be spoken. Distribute the glories of Radharani everywhere. When Krsna hears Her glories, he dances and feels that He is so fortunate. Gurudeva went all over the world to distribute this anuraga and the description of the Vraja-devis’ prema. If anyone takes this love and thinks about the Vrajavasis, Krsna becomes so happy. This is Krsna-puja.
Nandimukhi heard the glories of Vraja-bhumi, and then she came to Vrndavana. In Vrndavana, she took shelter of Paurnamasi-devi. She received service in unnata-ujjvala-rasa. Svarupa-sakti arranges the pastimes of Mohana and Mohini. Krsna is Mohana, the supreme attracter. He attracts all living beings, but these simple cowherd girls attract even Him. This is their supreme qualification.
In sakhya-rasa, Madhumangala is very important. He pleases Krsna so much. Among the sakhis, Nandimukhi is a brahmani. She knows how to dance and do many kinds of arts. In Govinda-lilamrta and Krsna-bhavanamrta, the glories of Nandimukhi are described in length.
When Krsna bathes in the Yamuna, Yamuna-devi is so happy. She not only cools Krsna and His associates, she gives anuraga-seva-adhikara. She teaches how to serve Krsna with anuraga.
On people’s bodies, there are veins on the arms, legs, and blood is always flowing throughout the body. Yamuna-devi is always present around Vrndavana. If anyone comes and bathes in her, she gives Krsna-seva-ananda-rasa. Then, a mood automatically comes to pray to Krsna and the Vraja-devis. Nandimukhi receives this relation from Yamuna-devi. Yamuna-devi invites everyone to bathe in her water, and then the different moods like the desire for opulence will be taken and given to the ocean. She will give this anuraga for Madhusudana Krsna.
Sri Radha-Madhava now go to play in the Yamuna. Kasturi, kumkum, candana, and other ointments are smeared on Their bodies before They bath. The water of the Yamuna then becomes very fragrant. Radha and Krsna splash water on each other, and play there. We pray to that Kalindi-tanaya Yamuna-devi for that anuraga-rasa, which is present in her heart. This rasa is necessary for us to advance in spiritual life. If we bathe in this Yamuna, we can get a taste of this prema-rasa in our hearts. This will make us a kisora or kisori. One who does not take the water of the Yamuna is very unfortunate. Krsna is always playing and walking on the banks of the Yamuna with all His friends and family. This water is very helpful for one to enter unnata-ujjvala-rasa-seva.
First, we offer pranama to Nandimukhi who then gives us an idea on how to respect Yamuna-devi. We heard before how people think that Giriraja Govardhana is only a hill and Yamuna is only a river. Nandimukhi explains to everyone the glories of Yamuna-devi. Yamuna-devi is not only a river filled with ordinary water, just like Manasi Ganga is not an ordinary lake. Yamuna-devi offers lotuses and lilies to Krsna.
mathurena mandalena carunabhimandita
mam punatu sarvadaravinda-bandhu-nandini
Srila Rupa Gosvami glorifies the Yamuna saying that in Mathura, the bhagavat-premi Vaisnavas who desire raga-bhakti will go to Yamuna-devi and with each wave that touches them, they receive anuraga. Why? Yamuna-devi is always washing Krsna’s feet, and Krsna bathes in the Yamuna. May that daughter of the sun, Yamuna-devi, purify me.
In Gopala-campu, Jiva Gosvami Prabhu writes that Nanda Maharaja, Krsna, Baladeva, and all the Vrajavasis came to the bank of the Yamuna and performed a yajna there. When they moved from Gokula to Nandagrama, they also crossed the Yamuna. Krsna sometimes goes with the cows and calves to the Yamuna, and they swim across. Or Krsna and the sakhas climb over Vamsivata to Bhandiravana. The branches extend across the Yamuna and meet together to form a bridge. Krsna and the sakhas run across these branches and sometimes they swim across.
Krsna and Baladeva see the Yamuna in Vrndavana, and they jump in. The water is greenish blue and Krsna’s face and shape in this water is very beautiful. Krsna would see His reflection in the Yamuna, and then He would jump in, thinking His reflection to be His friend and desiring to play with Him. Not finding anyone in the water, He would say, “Where has My friend gone?” He would swim very quickly and look for His friend. Then, He jumped out and again looked inside the water when it became still. He said, “There is My friend.”
Rohini said, “That is just Your reflection.”
Krsna said, “Look, this boy is smiling and is very beautiful. I will go and hug Him and make a friendship with Him.”
He jumped again in the water, and again He could not find His friend. He came out again, and His sakhas began to tease Him, “O fool, this is just Your reflection.”
Krsna said, “Oh, maybe you are My reflection too.” Then, Krsna threw the sakha who spoke like this into the Yamuna. Krsna acted like a foolish boy.
When they went to the bank of the Yamuna, Krsna and the sakhas would bathe there and drink the water. Yamuna-devi is very clever. She would not give only water. There are sugarcane and fruit trees growing on the bank of the Yamuna and many beautiful flowers and honeycombs. The sakhas would collect the fruits, flowers, sugarcane, and the honeycombs and they would say, “This is Vraja-rasa.” Those who are Rasika drink this Vraja-rasa only.
This air and water of Yamuna-devi enter the hearts of all the Vrajavasis and inspires them more and more to serve Krsna. Krsna’s sakhas took a seat on the soft sand. When the sand touches their bodies, their bodies become clean. The sakhas collect the fruits and flowers, and they rest on the bank of the Yamuna. The cows and calves also drink water and rest there. Then, Krsna has some secret program. He quickly goes to collect nice flowers. He goes in one direction with a big flower bouquet. Madhumangala says, “What do You have? Are they laddus? What is in Your bundle?” Krsna would not say anything and would not give it to any of the sakhas. Then, He sends this bouquet with Subala, and inside the bouquet He puts a letter written with the sap of the flowers.
He would write with many different colors, like orange and black. The flowers are red and of different colors, but when the sap comes out, it turns black just like when pomegranate juice comes on your cloth, it leaves a black impression.
Krsna would write notes to Srimati Radharani. On Sarada-purnima, He invited the Gopis to the bank of the Yamuna for Rasa-vihara.
dhira-samire yamuna-tire vasati vane vanamali
Vanamali Krsna now begins Rasa-sangita on the bank of the Yamuna. The sakhis bathe Srimati Radharani and dress Her. After the rasa-dance, they serve Radha and Krsna.
Tomorrow, we will hear further.
Gaura Premanande Haribol!