Krsna once said; “I am a great masseuse. I can relieve all kinds of distress and pain and anxiety through my massaging. When I massage the feet, then within the body all kinds of strength and youthfulness enter.“ Krsna had taken the form of a masseuse and became, “Syamasakhi”. He had ointments, nail decorations, nail polish, as well as lipstick and oil for massaging. The gopis said; “Oh, my Radharani, our sakhi is so sad, if you can please Her by your medicine and ointments, we will give you whatever you desire”.
They took Krsna in the form of Syama sakhi into the kunja. He saw Srimati Radhika laying down on a bed, taking deep rest and burning in the fire of separation. He massaged Her feet and gave some different ointments like alta, a red ointment, in this way He softly massaged Her feet. Radharani became very happy. The sakhis were so happy and began to dance and sing and said; “Oh, now Radharani has become well again”!
Then Radharani said; “This sakhi She has served so much, but look she has such old cloth, she is wearing broken old cloth, you should give her some new cloth. She has served so much. You should give her some gift”. Then they asked Her; “Do you want anything?“ “Oh, no. I only want to serve! I am happy, I am satisfied just by serving. My whole life is only meant for service. I am only serving everyone. I will not take anything or any remuneration”.
Then Radharani said; “No, dress her very nicely, then we can send her away! Don`t let her leave without dressing her very nicely! Take all these old clothes away”! Different sakhis came from all sides. Someone took her hand, someone took her lower cloth, someone took her upper cloth. They were all trying to pull off her clothes. Krsna was standing very strongly, not letting them take the clothes off. He was standing very firmly along the ground and Krsna`s footprints became an imprint in the stone.
Krsna said; “It`s not proper to rip off my clothes and then dress me. Let me bath first, and then you can dress me”. Krsna then jumped into the near by kunda (small lake) and very quickly swam away to the other side of the lake, jumped out and ran into the jungle and hid. Otherwise, He was afraid His disguise would be lost. The The Gopis said; “Oh, Where has she gone”? There is a tamala tree and the tamala creeper is climbing up the tree. The Gopis said; “Oh, where is the sakhi hiding”? They searched for her, but they could not find her. Where Krsna had been standing, His footprints are present in that confidential kunja on Giriraja, which is where Radharani was present in Her state of viraha.
KRSNA ASKS FOR PEARLS FOR HIS COWS
Once Krsna went to where the Gopis were and He said; “Can you give me some nice pearls? Dipavali is coming and on Dipavali you should give that person who you have affection for some nice things like pearls”. The Gopis said; “Oh, we are using our pearls to make some nice outfit”. In that way they wouldn`t give anything to Him. Krsna said; “You should give Me some pearls so I can decorate my cows and they will be so happy”. Then the gopis said; “Oh, living with animals your mind has become like an animal. You only know animals, cows and buffalos. You only see cows, calves, butter, ghee, yoghurt and milk”. Krsna asked repeatedly for pearls again and again and they would not even give one single small pearl. “Oh, you won`t give me any, then you will see the result of that. Later you will be begging, but you will not be able to find anything, and no one will give you anything. That person, who does not give Me, what I like, then they are always suffering, they will become street beggars”. Then the gopis said; “Oh, you speak so many big words. We have seen so many people like you who speak such big words, but here we are not under your control”. Krsna said; “Give”! But they would not give. In this way, what was the result of that fighting?
Krsna decorated His beloved and used flowers to decorate Her hair. A priyasi means someone who you give so much love to or an over-abundance of love and affection. The Gopis said; “Look, Krsna is standing and one footprint is present and then the other footprint is only half. He was standing up on one foot and then with His hand reaching up and taking flowers from the tree branch”. In the Visnu Purana it is written that in this place Damodara decorated Radharani with flowers.
KRSNA’S FOOTPRINTS and ACCEPTING SERVICE
Half of Krsna`s foot is present on the ground in the footprint. When you go to Vraja there are so many places like Carana Pahadi and generally you will see where Krsna has one footprint fully and then a half footprint is there. You will not find generally find both footprints flat upon the earth. Why? Oh, Krsna is always absorbed in serving everyone and always ready to serve the Vrajavasis. He has no time to sit down, He is always standing and what to speak of only standing. He is standing and ready to move and ready to serve. Krsna is always running in Vraja. He is always prepared to serve and he is always ready to serve the gopis. If they do not accept His service then they will not be happy.
Krsna is thinking; “What is the seva or service of the devotee”? If the Lord is pleased, He accepts the devotee’s service. If the Lord does not accept the devotee`s service, then you may do it over and over and over again, but you will never feel any happiness. It is the Lord`s service to accept the devotee’s service. For example, if someone makes some nice butter with love and devotion, the Lord will have to accept it. Shabari in Rama lila, was serving for so long expecting Rama to come, so He had to go there. Day and night, with so much love, she was waiting and preparing everything for Rama’s arrival. So the Lord had to come. There are so many devotees are all over the various universes and they are always arranging different things to serve the Lord with. Therefore the Lord is always going to accept their service. Someone is feeding Him something, someone is dressing Him in something, not only in Vrndavana but in so many places.
You can’t imagine in Vrndavana how many temples there are, how many asramas, how many different small kutiras, and the many temples in houses of devotees. Everywhere the devotees are serving and feeding the Lord, and everywhere He is going to eat. They are saying; “Oh Krsna, oh bhaiya! Please take something”! Someone else may be saying; “Oh beta, oh son, please take something”! Someone is saying; “Oh my beloved, please, I do not have so much, I only have my love, please accept this”! How can you eat love? They said; “Oh, I have nothing to give you, but I have my love, will you take that? Will you eat that”? Krsna then may say; “How can I eat your love”? If you have just that word, prema, premi, these syllables themselves are so very sweet and Krsna takes them.
OFFER WITH LOVE
These sweet words are full of so much nectar that Krsna drinks them very happily. Krsna says; “My premi, my beloved has given Me this”! If someone says: “Radhe! Radhe!“ or “Krsna!“, then some people say; “What is in these words”? You say; “Rama! Rama!“ This is a way to feed or offer bhoga to the Lord. If you have love, like when a beloved speaks to the lover then the words are considered very sweet. The lover will feel happiness just from hearing the words of her beloved.
To offer these words with love to the Lord or to sing with love to the Lord, that is Krsna`s bhojana. Like when Mother Yasoda says; “Oh Lala, come here”! Then this is so sweet to Krsna. This is like His bhoga and He will run quickly to Mother Yasoda and jump in her lap and then begin to drink her breast milk. So Krsna is so busy serving all the devotees. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)
If you touch the places where Radha and Krsna have performed their pastimes then your consciousness will naturally be transformed. Sukadeva Gosvami therefore said; “Oh king, sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir, be situated in those transcendental pastime places where bhavarti avartham the Lord`s discourses are being spoken and the glories of His pastimes are being sung and where the kirtana is always going on. Go to that place and be firmly situated there.
Jnane prayasam utapasya namanta eva, do not endeavor for knowledge, because pure knowledge will come automatically if you are in that pure place. Understand you cannot conquer the Lord through knowledge, you must go through love and devotion, bhakti. Otherwise jnana is only like dry straw and without any juice. Do not go towards jnana, impersonal knowledge or the cultivation of speculative knowledge. Instead go towards bhakti.
Where can you find that bhakti? Wherever the devotees of the Lord are always engaged in His kirtana and performing sravana and smarana, rememberance of the Lord continuously, then if you go there then you can develop. Otherwise if there is a little gap then that place would be for maya. Therefore wherever there is continous kirtana like an unbroken stream of honey or oil then wherever katha is going on like that you should be present there and fully absorbed in that place
Sukadeva Gosvami told Pariksit Maharaja; “Oh king, simply sitting on the bank of the Ganga is not enough. You should go to that place, sthane sthitah, and sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir, engage your body, mind and words, hear with your ears. Bring it in your heart and then with your body, touch that place of the Lords transcendental pastimes and serve that place, and manobhih, engage your mind, and by drinking that rasa, naturally you will become absorbed.
If someone takes this Hari rasa, they will become intoxicated with that nectar, and they will have not have desires for anything else. If we don`t have time to physically go with your body to these auspicious places, then go with your mind or by soul. Engage your speech via your tongue in kirtana and do not to listen to anything else, or hear mundane talks. Do not hear of the other incarnations or the demigods. What should we do?
Avatiya vartam, hear those talks which grant liberation and pure devotion. If you can be continuously absorbed twentyfour hours a day in kirtana, katha and devotional practices, by going to that transcendental place you will feel happiness. That happiness or satisfaction is such, that not only will it take away all our suffering, which is a small thing, but it has the power to give pure love, good qualities and all spiritual power. It will also give spiritual intelligence and then you will understand how to please the Lord, and you will be able understand who is the most dear to the Lord. Sanatana Gosvami explained in the Brhad Bhagavatamrta about the glories of all the different types of devotees in sequence, explaining who is dear to the Lord, who is in which rasa, who is the premi-bhakta, the suddha-bhakta, the prematura-bhakta, he explained the specialities of these different gradations of devotees.
GLORIES OF PASTIME PLACES, FLOWERS AND TULASI
As the Gopis saw the footprints of Krsna, mentally they began to think, “Oh, we never took shelter of these feet!“ They became fully absorbed when they saw the footprints of both Radha and Krsna together, and some Gopis felt mana, or jealousy. The vipaksa Gopis, who are antagonistic to Sri Radha, felt some jealousy or enmity, but then they understood and thought, “How glorious She must be! What worship has She performed by which the Lord himself has decorated Her, picked flowers, and carried Her. Oh, we do not even possess a fraction of Her glories! We have so much arrogance, what to speak of good qualities, we do not even have a fraction of Her power.“ As they touched that holy place in their minds, then a natural kind of stimulus appeared within their mind, a uddipana.
If you go to a place of ignorance or a place of passion, or a place in the mode of goodness, these places they will all influence you, you will become affected by the environment. We cannot get the spiritual, transcendental inspiration without a nirguna or transcendental place. “Oh sakhis! Look, Syamasundara He took His beloved and carried Her. That Sri Krsna, param premi, the greatest beloved, He became engaged in decorating His beloved with flowers. We can see Krsna’s footprints are deeply embedded in the earth in the places where He stood up, carried His beloved and where He picked flowers from the trees. In this way we see the amazing relationship between the lover and the beloved. The Lord stood up on His toes and picked flowers from the trees. With these flowers He decorated His beloved Radha, and sat Her on His shoulders.“
What is the pleasure or the happiness that comes from being decorated with flowers? These flowers beli, cameli, campaka, gandharaja, within these flowers there is so much potency, so much ability. It gives life energy, jivani sakti. It gives such a powerful energy that is not found in other substances. The pollen of flowers, like saffron and other pollens, and pure kumkum from certain flowers, when touched the body will become energetic and you will not feel any sense of exhaustion. It can also cure different kinds of sicknesses, and the good qualities of the flowers, like humility and the ability to attract good intelligence, will come within you. You cannot do worship with other things, you must use flowers. These are some of the glories of flowers and flower garlands.
Tulasi is the most dear to the Lord. She is so dear. Why is she so dear to the Lord? She is respecting the Lord and His devotees and they are respecting her. In Vrndavana so many hundreds and thousands of Tulasi’s have been offered to Thakuraji and when you stay there in the temple for some time, surrounded by a Tulasi garden then your life can be transformed.
Syamasundara took His beloved and He kept Her on His shoulders and later He decorated Her with flowers. He knew, “Oh these Gopis and Sri Radha they are decorating and making so many kunjas for Me!“ Wherever the Lord rests, they make a flower-bed out of flower petals. The Lord is not attracted to gold, jewels and ornaments or soft mattresses, but He likes these soft flower petals and flower decorations. If there are no flower decorations hanging around His bed and no flowers on His body then He is not pleased. Even the Lord`s dress can be made out of flowers. The Lord now felt, “Oh, they have done so much service for Me and made so many nice flower decorations, now I will decorate Sri Radha with flowers Myself.“
KRSNA’S HALF FOOTPRINTS
Sridhara Swami explains, the Gopis could see that Krsna had stood up on His toes, and there was not a full footprint. If you go to carana padi at some of the places you can see that during Krsna’s precence he was standing there and only one foot is half imbedded in the stone. Generally, Krsna would always have one foot down and the other foot crossed over and half up. In Govardhana we also find places where Krsna`s footprints are present, where Krsna had been standing on a stone and the stone melted in ecstasy and imprinted His footprints in the rock.
Where Madhavendra Puri had darshana of Gopal, Krsna`s footprints are also imprinted there. There is also bhajana sila where Krsna and the sakhas would play on a special rock that would make noises like a karatala, and mrdangam. They would play many different instruments on the stones and all the different tones and melodies can be played there. You can take one small stone and play on the big rock with it. The sakhas would go and sit there and make music, they would take different stones and say; This is my instrument!“ and another would say; “This is my instrument!“ In that way they would make a beautiful symphony there and it is like an ananda utsava festival of music. There the Lord`s footprints are present. One full footprint is there and half of another footprint. Also the Gopis sometimes go there. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)
Those who were tatastha, neutral to Radha and Krsna, meaning favourable to both, were happy serving Krsna, but they had became very astonished on seeing Radharani had gone with Krsna and that He had given Her special favour. They meditated on these feet and brought them into their hearts and then developed great eagerness. They began to think; “Who is so dear to the Lord? Who has done such great worship, that the Lord has been controlled by Her? What power does this Gopi have? What worship has She performed? How has She acquired the Lord? What is the process of Her worship? By Her worship She has pleased Him, so how can we do the same? Krsna is Sri Hari, one who steals all sadness. Bhagavan Hari gives all bliss. She has pleased Sri Hari or Sri Narayana.”
It is said, anayārādhito nūnaṁ bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ, they are praying to Bhagavan Sri Hari who is Isvara – the Supreme Controller. They say, “This Gopi has controlled Him with Her love. Not only Narayana, but He is Govinda dayat anyar govinda anyadhraha This Gopi has pleased the Lord so much that She has received the loving relation of Govinda, the Avatari, the root of all incarnations. By Her Aradhana – worship, She has controlled Sri Krsna.” Who was that worshipper? That was Sri Radha.
Even though Sukadeva Goswami was hiding Radharani’s name and not saying it directly, in this verse he speaks Her name indirectly. When the Gopis find Her footprints and later see Her two footprints disappear, they say anayārādhito nūnaṁ. In this way Srimati Radharani’s name is hidden within this verse.
Govinda is always present and in all pores of the Gopis bodies, still He is not present before them directly, so they desired to meet with Him. Even though the Lord was present within their hearts and minds and throughout their bodies they thought, “Oh Sri Hari has left with a very dearly beloved of His. She is so powerful and we should take Her shelter.”
SVAPAKSA GOPIS COULD RECOGNIZE RADHARANI’S FOOTPRINTS
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura describes that when the Gopis saw the lotus footprints of Vrsabhanu-nandini some, the svapaksa Gopis, understood that they were the footprints of Srimati Radharani. There were many Gopis there, millions of them. Of those, the svapaksa Gopis did not say anything but they were extremely happy knowing that their Srimati Radhika was with Krsna. However they did not disclose it openly. They thought, “Oh how fortunate we are that Sri Radha is with Krsna.” Then in their minds the svapaksa Gopis began to worship Srimati Radharani and Krsna.
The meaning of Isvara is He who fulfils the desires of the devotees, and Hari means He who destroys all the sufferings of the devotees. They thought, “Bhagavan Sri Narayana was worshipped by such a personality and by that beloved’s worship He was completely controlled. Tan no bhihaya, we are so happy that our Isvari, our Srimati Radhika, is now being worshiped by Krsna.”
radha iti radha What is Radha? Radha means love. She has so much love or radha that there is no limit. Sukadeva Goswami explains by Her love the Lord Himself was controlled.
Sukadeva Goswami says, “Look, who is the greatest worshiper?” It is that person who has the most love, and that is Srimati Radhika. Her name itself means love. So Sukadeva Goswami manifested Her name in a hidden way. The gopis gave up all their pride and deferred to Srimati Radhika. They saw that Syamasundara was now under Her dominion.
The Lord has sri, meaning six kinds of opulence or bhaga. He has all beauty, strength, wealth, knowledge, fame and renunciation. When the Gopis saw the symbols on Radharani’s feet, they became absorbed in them. They also meditated on Sri Krsna’s symbols. They meditated on the umbrella, the barley corn, the goad, the disc, the conch, the lotus, the flag, the flower and so forth.
SYMBOLS ON RADHA AND KRSNA’S FEET
Radharani has nineteen symbols on Her feet. Seeing these lotus feet the gopis meditated on Her footprints and the symbols on Her feet and worshiped them. On Her left foot there is the sankha conch, the club, the bedi raised platform, the kunda, the devi-murti, the parvat hill, the chariot and matsya the fish. There are eleven symbols on the right foot and eight symbols on the left foot. The form of Bahiranga-sakti Mahamaya – the external potency of the Lord – is a symbol on Srimati Radhika’s left foot. Her asana – seat – is also there.
By meditating on these lotus feet and taking shelter of them, all transcendental qualities will manifest within our heart. If these qualities do not come within us then how will we perform worship? How will we perform our sadhana? We need some special qualification to do real Aradhana, which is to worship with love. We need some strength or ability. Where will that come from?
Therefore it is shown how Radharani worshiped Sri Krsna and achieved the greatest fortune.
Krsna went away alone with Radharani, leaving all the other Gopis aside. The Gopis began to praise Sri Radha and glorify Her. They meditated on Her footprints, in other words they took a vow to take shelter of Her.
Some Gopis said, “Oh sakhi, by His lotus feet Bhagavan Krsna has touched this Vraja dhama and the dhama has become glorious and so fortunate. Brahma, Sankara, Laksmi and so forth all desire the shelter of this dhama and they take this dust on their heads. Brahma, Siva and the other demigods all saw no other means of good fortune. They thought, ‘Oh we shall take the dust of the feet of the Lord and apply it on our bodies.’”
KRSNA WORSHIPS RADHIKA’S FEET
What does the Lord do? Lord Govinda takes the dust of Srimati Radhika and the gopis and worships that dust. They also have this Holi festival. At the time of the Holi festival, before Holi starts, Krsna goes and takes the dust of Srimati Radhika’s feet. Before Holi there are nine days. In those nine days Krsna arrives in Varshana and once arriving there He worships Srimati Radhika. On naumi, the ninth day, He meditates on Her and takes different powders like kumkum, itdra, parag, fragrant flower pollens, keshar, saffron powder, sandal powder and prays for the chance to apply them on Her feet and take the dust from Her feet. He says; “If one desires happiness, peace and all good qualities in their life then certainly they must worship this Goddess.” Purnamasi Devi had told Him this. Purnamasi said; “This is Holi. If you want to follow Holi then this is the real Holi.”
Over the course of time this real tradition was gradually lost and now when people do Holi you can not find Radharani and Krsna anywhere. These days people go to their elders or parents and offer flower pollen or kumkum to their feet and offer pranams to them and take that dust on their head.
Krsna took these things and worhipped Radharani’s feet. Even in Dwaraka Krsna had a fever and so prayed to Narada to receive the dust of the Vraja-basis feet. He applied that dust all over His body. Krsna said; “I will always worship this dust.”
Caitanya Mahaprabhu said; “If we do not take this gopi-candana or gopi-tilak, the dust of the lotus feet of the Vraja-devis, on our body, then this body will be just like a corpse for worms and one will always suffer in hellish conditions.”
There are three kinds of fire, or sufferings, in this world. Fire or sufferings from our own self – our minds, desires, anxieties, then fire from others and nature, and fire from our karma. If we want relief from all these fires then what can we do? Just as Krsna said He had a fever and asked for this dust, in the same way we are burning in this world and if we want relief from these fires of suffering, then we must take the dust of the lotus feet of the gopis and apply that dust on our bodies.
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s students were coming to school He saw some of them without tilak. He said; “I will not teach you like this. If you are not wearing tilak it means you have not done your gayatri. You have not applied this tilak on your body so I will not teach you. You must go back and do this first.”
When the Gopis saw the footprints of Srimati Radhika, then their desire increased for Her shelter, and they knew that through this they could then have the mercy of Krsna. They thought, “Oh not only has this Gopi worshiped Krsna, Krsna Himself has worshiped Her. That Isvara, the Supreme Lord of all Lords, He Himself has worshiped this Gopi (Sri Radha).” That is the real meaning, that Krsna worshiped Srimati Radhika and the gopis saw this.
Siva Thakur told Parvati listen: ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param,tasmāt parataraṁ devi tadīyānāṁ samarcanam, (Padma Purāṇa, CC Madhya 11.31, Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta 2.4)
Worship of Visnu is considered the greatest kind of worship of all Gods as He is the greatest of all Gods. But even greater than the worship of Visnu, is the worship of His beloveds who are considered tadiya, or very dear to Him. There is tadiya and madiya, or those who are His, and those who consider Him to be theirs. That is Srimati Radhika and Her worship is the greatest of all.
TRUE OBSERVENCE OF HOLI LILA
For one day only Krsna worshiped Srimati Radhika’s lotus feet and took the dust from Her feet and performed the Holi Lila. The Holi Lila in Vraja goes on for one month at least. Krsna Himself teaches everyone to take the shelter of Srimati Radhika in this way.
Some people take cow dung, dirt or bricks and throw these things, but those who are intelligent and want to understand and properly follow Holi, then they will worship Srimati Radhika’s lotus feet and take the dust of those lotus feet and apply it on their head, that is true Holi.
Before Holi we offer a dipa – ghee lamp. Why? Because Holi is also the aunt of Prahlada Maharaja. She was a demoness and her brother told her to kill Prahlada because she had a boon, through her austerities, that she could not be burnt by fire. She took Prahlada on her lap and went inside a temple of sandal. She told them to light the temple on fire at evening time and Prahlada would burn and she would be fine due to her boon.
She said to Prahlada, “Oh Prahlada, none of the demons like you, but I love you so much. Sri Hari comes in the night of purnima and we worship Him at that time, so let us go. Narayana is the Absolute Truth, I am not speaking any lies. Come with me. We can go and worship Visnu together. We will make a sandalwood temple and worship Him there.”
Prahlada said, “Will you show me Sri Hari? Does He come? Do you know Him?” She said, “Yes let us go. Shall I make a temple for Him?” Prahlada replied, “Yes! Please make a temple and we will go there and worship together.” Holika made the temple and told her brother, “Oh Hiranyakasipu, arrange all the soldiers and when I go inside the temple with Prahlada, lock the gate and put lots of wood and ghee on all sides. As soon as I knock on the back of the temple then light everything on fire and Prahlada will certainly burn. You have tried so many ways to kill him and it has not been possible, but this will work.”
All blessings, boons, sukriti, auspiciousness and good qualities, everything is destroyed if there is malice for someone. None of these things will work if that is there. Holika hated Prahlada Maharaja and did not understand that her boon would not work because of this. She thought she would be safe from the fire.
Prahlada was a very beautiful young boy and she took him in her arms and sat down in the temple. Prahlada was happily chanting the Lord’s names. Where the Lord’s names are being chanted demons will fall asleep. Where there is harikatha going on then demonic people will immediately start to fall asleep and snore. This is the first symptom of a demon or a raksasa.
Holika began to fall asleep as Prahlada chanted. Her head began to nod falling forwards and backwards. Then she fell backwards and her head hit the wood. She was a big demon so when her head hit the wood it made a loud knocking sound and the soldiers thought this was her indication to now light the fire.
Hiranyakasipu had told the demons that when the temple burns Hari would try and run out and escape, so when He comes out then they should try and kill Him. The demons set the temple on fire on all sides. It was late at night and they saw all the shadows dancing from the fire. The fire was burning so bright, that when one demon saw another demon, he thought it was Lord Hari running out of the temple. They were so afraid, that they attacked and killed each other.
The next morning when Hiranyakasipu came he saw everything was ash. All his soldiers were dead and burnt, along with his sister Holika who was also burnt to ash. But Prahlada was sitting there peacefully chanting. At that time all the demigods arrived there and they took the dust from Prahlada’s feet applying it on their bodies.
This is the origin of one Holi Lila. There are two things here, first His name is Prahlada and second, hladini-sakti means the bliss potency of Srimati Radhika, or the pleasure potency of the Lord. His name contains ‘ahlad’ which means pleasure. In the prayers of Prahlada Maharaja and Lord Nrsimhadeva we hear the verse: Prahladaāhlāda-dāyine (Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa)
Prahlada is he who gives ahlad – bliss, or hladini to Lord Nrsimhadeva. Nrsimhadeva also gives ananda-sakti to Prahlada. Because of his connection to svarupa-sakti and the fountainhead of svarupa-sakti is Srimati Radhika, then this pastime is also called Holi Lila.
To follow real Holi we also take the dust of the sadhus, and those who are connected to Srimati Radhika, and this is real Holi. Worship the dust of Vraja, and worship the Vraja-devis. By worshiping them and attaining the dust of the feet of the gopis, then all inauspici ousness will be destroyed, all ignorance will be destroyed, all suffering will be destroyed. This happens for that person who takes the dust of Vraja on their head. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)
Krsna started a rasa-utsava, a festival of rasa. He called all the gopis to His rasa festival and started a festival of rasa. He said to them, “If you want transcendental-rasa you can collect it here from Me. Then you can please Me, by performing My worship. By worshipping and associating with other objects or things I can never be satisfied.”But what do people do? They worship Madhava without worshiping Radha.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur says:
kevala mādhava pūjaye so ajñānī
rādhā anādara koro-i abhimānī
(Radha Bhajane Jadi Mati verse 3)
“Those who worship Madhava without worshiping Radharani are foolish and ignorant.” But how can it be that one is foolish and ignorant by worshipping God? But no, kevala mādhava pūjaye so ajñānī, if they are worshiping only Madhava, Krsna or God, without worshiping sakti Srimati Radhika, then that is like accepting sat and cid, but not ananda.
NEVER WORSHIP KRSNA WITHOUT RADHARANIA
nanda is rasa. This bliss potency is Srimati Radhika and without Her shelter then there is no rasa in samvit and sandhini. Samvit is the consciousness potency and sandhini is the existence potency which gives our spiritual or material form. Without Ananda Svarupini Srimati Radharani who is Mahabhava Svarupini, the very embodiment of transcendental bliss and ananda then we will not have any rasa in which to serve and please Krsna. We must take shelter of Srimati Radhika. If we desire to please the Lord then we must take shelter of Ananda Svarupini, Hladini-sakti, Srimati Radhika.
umā, ramā, satyā, śacī, candrā, rukminī
(Radha Bhajane Jadi Mati verse 7)
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur sings, “The scriptures declare that all the different Goddesses come from Srimati Radhika.”
All the different avatars have sakti. Bahiranga-sakti – maya or the external energy – is also Srimati Radhika’s reflection or manifestation of Her power. They are all Her manifestations.
If we give up Radharani then everywhere it is only nirvisesa-brahma, without any attributes or qualities. Like impersonal brahman, without any rasa or upasana, that is nirvisesa nirguna ananta anadi, without beginning, qualities, attributes, personality, then you can not even experience that.
Through rasa-upasana – worship with rasa – then the Lord will manifest His Divine form before us. But without Radharani we cannot have that rasa, or serve with rasa. Therefore to have relation with the Divine form of the Lord then we must take shelter of Srimati Radhika.
In the festival of rasa Krsna called all the Gopis to Him. When they arrived before Him, He looked at them and saw they had many different moods, so He began to test them in different ways.
After this Krsna began the Ananda Utsava – the festival of dancing, singing and bliss. By this festival the majority of the gopis developed saubhagya-mada – pride in their good fortune. Krsna had held their hands and embraced them around the neck, so they began to think, “I am the most fortunate and dear to the Lord.” They lost perspective of their own position compared to the nitya-siddha Gopis and Srimati Radhika Herself. Then they started to say, “Oh this is my place, no one else has the right to be here. I am alone Sri Krsna’s beloved.” This is anadhikara cesta an unqualified endeavor. We are not eligible for this.
DON’T TRY TO BE THE BIG CONTROLLER
When a new bride comes into a home she gradually takes control of the house. Then she says, “Oh who is this sas, mother-in-law?” But sas, also means breath, so she will take big breaths, putting her head back high and her shoulders back and says, “This is mine, that is mine, this house is mine, the kitchen is mine, the rooms are mine. Everyone must follow my authority, I am in charge now.” She will not let any place be out of her control, she wants complete control. This is their nature.
If this nature gradually develops and is not limited then, even in the spiritual world, we will try to make different areas ours and try to control things. We come to the dhama and try to control everything and make everything under our control, so the Lord does not allow that to happen. In the spiritual realm, in transcendental life, our own mental speculation and material desires will not be allowed to continue.
The Lord is very strong and crooked in a three fold bending form, He is crooked in all manners. He knows very easily how to take away people’s pride. People come and try to take over everything and so Krsna then gives them a lesson and makes them very humble. He takes everything away.
We hear the Gopis began to ask the plants, the trees, the creepers, the rivers, even the earth about Krsna. They searched everywhere for Krsna and begged everyone for mercy and glorified everyone. They went to the dust of Vraja and prayed there and to Tulasi Devi and everyone. The Lord witnessed this.
Why did they do this? Because they were filed with the pride of their good fortune. Is there any pride in the spiritual world? For the nitya-siddhas the eternal associates of the Lord – there is nothing like this. But for the sadhana-siddhas, before they have achieved the association and mercy of the nitya-siddhas, then the Lord will manifest some of this to help them further increase their faith and develop desire for the shelter of Srimati Radhika and the nitya-siddhas.
FOLLOWING THE FOOTPRINTS
Gradually the gopis proceeded forward and they finally found the footprints of the Lord. On seeing those footprints they began to meditate on them. They thought, “We have not taken shelter of His lotus feet therefore we have gone far away.” These gopis began to pray to the lotus footprints of Krsna.
In the kirtanas of our acaryas, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur says that Brahma as well as Narada Rsi and Siva Thakura all considered their lives successful by taking shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, which grant fearlessness. These lotus feet of the Lord give shelter to everyone and everyone is under their shelter. Until we come to the Lord’s feet then our mind and senses will always be moving around in samsara and we will always be climbing atop the mountain of pride. But if we develop attachment and love for the lotus feet of the Lord, and take shelter of them, then we will gain everything and we will get transcendental vision.
The Gopis then saw all the transcendental symbols in Krsna’s footprints. What are the meanings of these symbols? There is the lotus, the goad and so many others. In the Bhagavad-gita, the sastras, and their commentaries, we hear the glories of these symbols. The gopis took shelter of the footprints of the Lord and from there, power began to enter within them. This is like the fountainhead of this sakti, the mula-srota.
If you take water from its very source then it is pure, however if you take it from somewhere else then it may be contaminated. As long as you are in the shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna then you will be at the source of all sakti.
What happened when the Gopis took shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord? They thought, “Who is this with Krsna’s lotus feet?” They saw Krsna had not been alone. There was another set of footprints of someone who must be the very dear and beloved of Krsna. Some distance further they saw the second footprints were no longer present, and only the Lord’s footprints were seen.
Then taking shelter and meditating on the Lord’s lotus feet the gopis then prayed to His footprints saying, “We are taking shelter of You. Please give us a place in Your shelter and give us darsana of the Lord.” At that time they saw Radharani’s footprints and meditated on them as well. However when they saw that Her footprints were no longer present, they then thought, “Oh She is so dear to Krsna that Krsna has carried Her on His shoulders. Where have they gone? Who is this Gopi?”
They began to pray, “If Her mercy comes upon us then the Lord will accept us as well.” Now the Gopis took shelter of Krsna as well as His beloved, and they desired Her shelter. Now all the pride of their good fortune disappeared.
MUST GET THE KRIYA-SAKTI SHELTER OF SRIMAT RADHIKA
Those who are in Radharani’s svapaksa group understood that this was Radharani. They were very exalted. The other sakhis began to meditate on Krsna and His beloved upon seeing Their footprints. They thought that Krsna wanted to show them that if they do not get the shelter of the the feet of Kriya-sakti Srimati Radhika, the active potency, and Mahabhava Svarupini, the very embodiment of all transcendental bliss, then Krsna will never accept them or anyone, no matter who they are or what qualities they have.
Krsna is brahma or nirguna – without qualities – we cannot perceive Him. Why? He uses this brahma-svarupa like a barrier so those who do not take shelter of His svarupa-sakti cannot perceive Him and disturb Him.
Nanda-nandana Syamasundara was walking with His beloved with His hand on Her shoulder. The Gopis saw Her footprints and they developed some eagerness to see the Lord and His beloved and for Their shelter.
Sridhara Swami says, “When Krsna walks He likes to put His hand on the shoulder of a friend or beloved. But the gopis thought, ‘Who did Krsna carry on His shoulders or in His arms? Who has controlled Sri Krsna like this, who is like the wild elephant of Vraja? What to speak of controlling Him, even to have a meeting with Him is very difficult for us. Who has such a power to be able to control the wild elephant of the Prince of Vraja, Sri Krsna?”
Srila Jiva Goswami says, “All the Gopis were present and began to speak at once. They said, ‘Oh whose footprints are these?’ They understood Krsna had taken someone with Him and began to question who it was. Some however already knew.
They saw Krsna’s footprints and the other footprints which were slightly smaller and a little hidden in the dust. They understood Krsna must have carried this Gopi in His arms or on His shoulders and given all His qualities and all His love to that very dear beloved Gopi. They realized that He was taking Her with Him somewhere.
Those gopis who were Radharani’s svapaksa, own group, knew everything. The other gopis however developed a strong eagerness to understand who this Gopi was and why She was so fortunate. They were not upset, but they began to think that perhaps they could take shelter of this Gopi. Seeing that Krsna had given so much love to her, they realized she must be the most beloved of Krsna and now desired to get Her mercy. They thought, ‘How did this Gopi control Krsna?’
Sukadeva Goswami told Pariksit Maharaja, ‘Oh King, the gopis all then began to worship and pray to this Gopi. They saw no one that could tell them where Krsna was, and no one would give them shelter. He had disappeared and left them and they could not find Him anywhere. So they began to do austerities and became absorbed.’ What austerity did they do? They prayed:
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
yan no vihāya govindaḥ
prīto yām anayad rahaḥ
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10:30:28)
They said, “This beloved has certainly worshiped the Lord Hari the best of all. He has taken Her alone away from all of us. The Lord and beloved of our lives, has given us all up, and that Govinda has taken Her to a confidential place. She has performed the highest aradhana, worship. Now by taking shelter of Her and worshiping Her we may also become very dear to Him and He will not forsake us. Otherwise if we do not now take shelter of She who is the greatest, then He will not accept or stay with us.” (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains in the purport of this verse in his Sarartha Darsini commentary. He says this was the process for preparing for rasa. Krsna has manifested the place of rasa-lila in Vraja and He wanted to give the gopis this transcendental nectar. He wants to make them qualified, pure and related to the nitya-siddha Gopis. He is mostly talking to the sadhana-siddhas Gopis here, those who have recently come to Vraja and achieved the perfection to be in Vraja. He is desiring to make them connected to the nitya-siddhas, Radharani’s eternal associates.
Krsna specifically calls the sadhana-siddhas to help them and make them mature further. He does this by testing them. He asks them things to find out if they still have connection to anything material in this world.
If we have knowledge of the pure rasa then we can transcend and be free of any attachment to gain or loss, victory or defeat, or any problem that comes. We will be completely free of any mundane attachment to whatever external circumstances come to us. We will then be very peaceful, happy and always satisfied within ourselves and in our relationship with the Lord. Otherwise we can never get this transcendental rasa when we are still materially attached and always worried for our own gain and loss.
Krsna tests the Gopis in this way to help them. It is like dhog pita picara, meaning when someone taps on a drum or some musical instrument to make sure there are no cracks or holes. Krsna tested them to make sure there was no crack in their sadhana, and if they were mature and ready for His transcendental nectar. He was trying to make sure there were no holes in their pots so that when He gave His prema, or His aprakrta transcendental rasa, it would not leak out.
Krsna said to the gopis, “You have come here to this solitary forest and had My darsana.” This is not an ordinary thing. To have the darsana of Krsna when He is alone in the forest and He is ready to give His nectar, is not ordinary. Krsna then says to the gopis, “Welcome. Welcome.”
KRSNA TEASES THE GOPIS
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that Krsna spoke to the gopis in a very straight forward and simple manner. He asked; “Why have you come? What can I do to please you? Is everything well at home? Please tell Me without any shyness what can I do? How can I act in such a way to fulfil your desire? I want to satisfy you.”
On hearing this, the Gopis were thinking; “Oh lampat – cheater. Oh debauchee. You know why we have come. You called us here, why are You asking this. We wouldn’t have come if You had not called us with Your flute.” And Krsna told them; “Without any shyness you should tell Me what you want. You should explain what is the mood of your heart, then I can satisfy you and you can return home.”
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is saying, the Gopis coming to meet Krsna in the forest, doesn’t mean they wanted something material. They were thinking, “Oh Krsna, we don’t want anything from You. We haven’t come here for some material benefit. We don’t have any shortage of anything in our lives and homes. We haven’t come here to take anything from You. We have only come here to serve You and to fulfil Your desire. You are asking us how You can fulfil our desire, but we don’t want anything from You. We have come here only to please and serve You. You invited us here with your flute, that is why we left everything. We even dressed quickly and without proper awareness. Only thinking of You, we left everything and came to serve You. Why are You now asking us what we want? You know what we want.”
If someone has a misfortune fall upon them, the test of character is how they react to it, and how thy behave in such circumstances. If someone has some shortage, then they will run here and there looking for a way to alleviate the shortage. If there is some need they will run to whomever they can and ask for help. But if they are completely satisfied, then why will they go anywhere? They will be happy where they are.
When Indra tried to flood Vraja with the clouds of devastation, Krsna protected the gopis by lifting the mountain Giriraja Govardhana. Krsna said to them, “Remember when Indra tried to flood all of Vraja and I protected you under Giriraja? Has something similiar happened in Vraja? Has some demon attacked you, and you have run into the forest looking for help from Me?”
Now in that dark night Krsna said, “Oh there are many vicious and violent animals here in the forest and they could attack you. You shouldn’t come into the forest alone at night, this is not good. You have all come here separately and alone. It is not safe here. You should go home and stay there where it is safe.”
Now the gopis smiled shyly whilst looking down. Even though it was night time and they were in the forest, Krsna was very effulgent, it was a full moon and there wasn’t so many violent animals in Vraja. Krsna really was joking with the gopis by saying this.
Especially during the full moon time, from midnight until 3am, at that time specifically, the spirits and ghosts have influence. Siva’s associates, the different ghosts and spirits, maneaters, cannibals, raksashas, and witches have full influence during this time period. After 3am it is brahma-muhurta, an auspicious time. From 9am to 12noon the demigods and goddesses come. At this time if there is a young girl or boy, the sun may enter every pore of their body and enjoy them. At night time the moon will enjoy them. Therefore no one is actually really chaste, especially if you are a young beautiful boy or girl. On seeing you the demigods and goddesses will come in a subtle form and try and enjoy you. They will not let you live chastely, so what can you do?
Krsna said to the Gopis, “This time is very dangerous. Demons are always looking for some beautiful girl to attack and enjoy. You should not go into the forest alone at night.” If someone is a little impure then ghosts and spirits will attack them.
Indra once came and served his step-mother. For 9 months when she had children in her womb Indra served her so nicely. She was thinking, “Why is Indra always serving me so much?” One day when she was very pregnant, she fell asleep without cleaning her hands and mouth after eating. Indra took that chance when she was a little impure and contaminated. He entered into her womb in a small form and cut her infant into 49 pieces. He thought that if this child was born then he will be his enemy and will try to kill him. When she woke she saw 49 lumps. She asked her Guru, “How did this happen?” He told her, “Oh Indra served you so much so definitely there was a motive. When you were unclean and he entered your womb and cut up your baby.” Later they all took birth as the Maruts.
We should all be very careful. People may come and serve you so much, but only to steal all your good qualities. When one becomes a Guru he should be very careful. Many people may come who want to be their dear disciples, but what is their real motive? It may be only to steal everything or to destroy you. It is very dangerous, especially if you have a big position, or are very young and beautiful. People will come and serve you, make a relationship with you, but the motive is only to steal and enjoy you.
Krsna said to the gopis; “Oh it is night time and many spirits, ghosts and wicked people come out at this dangerous time. Why have you left the safety of your homes and come into the forest so late at night?”
The Gopis could have said; “We are fearless. You are here. You are Narayana.” But they did not say this. They were decorated with all good qualities and were fearless. Krsna was just teasing them saying; “You should go home it’s not safe here.”
If the Gopis had answered, “Oh we came together with many other Gopis so no one could have attacked us.” Krsna would then say, “No it is the gor ratri. It is night time, and very dangerous time to be in the forest. In Vraja it is safer in the village.”
Don’t think there is no one in the forest. You may be walking alone but you do not know who is watching or waiting to capture and kidnap you. You may be alone but still it may be very dangerous. If you are in a temple, in a place with many devotees, then you can be safe. But if you are wandering alone in the jungle or the forest you don’t know what is happening there. Many animals are killed in the forest. Many hunters are there.
That place may have some tamo-guna, some bad influence that can affect your mind. You should be very careful because you are going alone and are not very strong, then how will you protect yourself? Krsna said; “Oh you don’t know who is in the forest waiting to attack you, and there is no one here to help you. You should not stay, go home. Why? On one side it is night time and there are many violent animals roaming in the forest and there could be hunters who may hunt you. You should quickly return home to Vraja.”
If Krsna were to ask them, “What is the purpose of you coming here? Women should not stay in the forest alone. Men do not have to worry so much.” Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that ladies do not have the same strength as men, therefore they should be even more careful. They should not wander around alone. Krsna says, “You are abala, – without much strength so you should quickly return home.”
If the Gopis were to say; “No. We came together. It is a full moon and it is not that dark. It is almost like day time because the full moon is so bright.” But Krsna said that ladies should not be walking around alone and without protection, and especially at night time when it is such a dangerous and fearful time.
The Gopis could also say; “Oh Kamala Locana. Oh Lotus-eyed one. It is not a dark night and it is not so dangerous in Vraja. There are not any wild and wicked animals or violent men, so don’t worry, we are not alone, we are all together here.”
If there is a lion in the forest, and if he is hunting, then he will capture any pray and kill it. So Krsna was saying, “Oh gopis, there may be many dangerous animals like lions and tigers and you don’t know how to fight them, you are just simple cowherd girls. What will you do if you were attacked by many tigers or lions? I would not be able to protect you alone. Therefore you should quickly return home, don’t stay here.”
If the Gopis said, “Oh Krsna we aren’t afraid of any violent animals, hunters or anything.” Krsna would tease the gopis saying, “Oh you are very thin waisted girls. You aren’t strong, you are very weak girls. How will you save yourself from a very powerful animal or man? You shouldn’t be wandering here, it is not a proper thing in society.”
The Gopis say, “In Vraja no one fights, or has a violent mood. Everyone is peaceful, and there is no fear of any violence happening here in the forest. We are walking in the forest on a full moon night and it is very peaceful like a beautiful garden. There is no danger so why are you telling us to go home? You have called us here with your flute and we have come, so do not tease us like this.”
Still Krsna says, “No go home to Vraja. It is not proper for you to be here alone with Me.”
The Gopis were then thinking, “Why is Krsna teasing us like this?” Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says the gopis were thinking, “What an unfortunate condition we have. We are always trapped in our homes and now Krsna has so mercifully called us with His own flute by our great fortune and we have been able to escape the bondage of our homes. But now having come here He is only teasing us and telling us to return to our homes. He is trying to kick us out and send us back to our homes, completely rejecting us. Oh alas! Alas!”
Krsna said; “It is night time right now. If it was brahma-muhurta (early morning) that would be another thing. Being night time you shouldn’t be here alone.” But the gopis were thinking, “There is no one against us here in Vrindavan. Even all the animals are our friends.”
Then Krsna said; “Ok you have come here, so sit and take rest for 10-15 minutes and then quickly go back to your homes. Why? Because you should act in accordance with proper time, place, and circumstance. You are all young and beautiful girls and it is nighttime here and there are many Demigods that could come and try and steal you. I am also a brahmacari and you should know that girls should not come to a brahmacari at nighttime when he is alone. It is not proper. So why have you here? Don’t you know I am known as a famous brahmacari in Vraja? I don’t know why you have come here and are standing in front of Me. Quickly go back to your homes.
When Krsna spoke like this, if the Gopis were to say; “Oh Krsna we are all friends here. We have no strange mood and are not afraid of anyone here in Vraja, evenall the animals are our friends”. Krsna says; “No, you should understand that by birth you are women, so you should act appropriately according to your position. You should not be here alone with Me, it is not proper etiquette. People will criticize you for this.”
In this way Krsna began to tease and test the gopis. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE)
If someone becomes a sadhu – a renunciate, then they should not talk about their purva-ashram – previous ashram, or household life. If someone talks to them about it then it is like they will vomit out talking about their past ten lives. They cannot forget these pastimes. They cannot remember the Lord’s pastimes but instead only remember their own pastimes.
People ask them and they will say, “Oh how I was. What I did when I was a boy. Who my friends and families were. What I did in the life before that and the life before that. Who my partner was. What I do did for a job. What type of life I lived.” They cannot forget this. Therefore if you are renounced you should look forward, not backwards.
It is said by Bhaktivinoda Thakur, purva itihas. How can we forget our past life memories and only remember the Lord, and have the mood that, “You are mine and I am Yours.” Even if we leave the forest of samsara, or household life, still it is very difficult to forget our pastimes there, even for renounced sadhus.
Bhaktivinoda Thakur says when someone asks us about our past then we vomit up our past activities and pour them into people’s ears. “Oh I did this and I did that.” This is all like illusory coverings over the soul. We should forget all these coverings and try to progress in our spiritual life and transcend beyond this world into the spiritual world and not just try to be happy here.
One time in Mathura there was a brahmacari who came to Gurudeva and said; “Oh Gurudeva please protect me.” Gurudeva asked; “What happened?” The brahmacari said; “Oh I am very sad.” Gurudeva asked; “What happened? Tell me. You are serving, you are chanting harinama, you are going to kirtana and arati, so what is the worry?” He said; “I slept and at night I had a dream I was in my house again with my family. Even though I have been in the math for so many years still I cannot forget my house, parents, friends, and partner. I feel I am such a horrible wretch. I cannot forget the past and I cannot be focussed and absorbed in the service of the Lord. I have wandered throughout material existence for so many millions of lives, but I cannot forget these material relationships. Please protect me Srila Gurudeva.” Gurudeva said, “Do not worry. I will help you so that wherever you are, while you are chanting harinama and performing bhajan you can think of Guru and Vaisnavas and try and be related with them.”
When we have a place in our mind and heart for Guru and Vaisnavas then material people will not be able to enter our heart and they will run far away. Now we don’t have real love for Vaisnavas, Guru and the associates of the Lord. We have a place in our heart for maya and all the different filth of maya. We are like vultures trying to eat dead flesh. We should try and give up this nature and bring Guru and Vaisnavas and Krsna’s associates into our hearts. When they come into our heart, Krsna and all His associates will also come and we will not be seeing any worldly things.
Krsna is speaking and joking with the gopis here in an externally indifferent manner. He asks them, “Oh how is your family? Is everything good? Now you should go back home, they will be worried about you.” Krsna wants to see if the gopis are now truly renounced and have left everything behind, or are they still thinking about it. Like when someone comes to the temple we give them prasadam and with some compassion, we speak nicely to them. Krsna is speaking with them nicely saying things like, “How can I help you? Is everything well at home? Is everyone happy? If you don’t need anything now then you should return home.”
If we do not know how to swim then we should not jump into the ocean to try and save a person who is drowning. If we are going to try and save others in samsara – the ocean of material existence, but we don’t know how to swim ourselves, then we will also drown along with them. That drowning person will pull us down with them into the depths of samsara.
Krsna was approached by these millions of gopis. There were millions of sadhana-siddha gopis who had recently become perfected and left the material world and come to Vraja.
What happened when Sudama came to Krsna? Sudama was very poor. He did not take anything from Krsna, but he brought some chipped rice for Krsna. Later what did Krsna give him? He gave him palaces bigger than Dwaraka. When 99.9% of people come to Guru what do they bring? They bring their faults and complaints and all their bad things. They think about others and want to show Guru that ‘I am so great and everyone else is bad.’ They come to Guru offering all these gifts of complaints, fault-findings and bad things that they have collected.
Then they start to find faults in Guru. They say, “Oh Gurudeva, you have this fault also.” Or they say, “Oh Vaisnavas are useless. Oh Gurudeva you are supporting these Vaisnavas, you are maintaining these Vaisnavas, therefore you are also bogus.”
They will come to Guru and give all these different letters and complaints and fights that they are in. They will go to Krsna and tell Him these things saying; “Oh I have worshipped You so much but my son died and my wealth is lost. What kind of God are You? I will therefore break Your form and throw You in the Yamuna.” We see some people do this. They take Deities of Krsna that they have worshiped for many years, and then they break Their arms and legs and throw Them into the river.
The jivas in this world are always absorbed in their own selfish enjoyment and are always looking for their self-interest. If they go to Guru, Bhagavan and Vaisnavas what gift do they bring? Whatever comes out of their mouth, that is their gift. What is their mood? Are they only going to Guru to try and get some personal benefit?
Krsna tests these gopis thinking, “What did you bring?” He is shaking them with His speech and He sees, “Oh they don’t have any attachment to this samsara. Their husbands tried to stop them by holding sticks and were even ready to beat them. They were even locked inside their rooms. But did they criticize their husbands?”
We see Prahlada Maharaja’s father, Hiranyakasipu, disturbed Prahlada so much. Hiranyakasipu tried to kill Prahlada in various ways, but did Prahlada complain to Nrsinghadeva about his father?
A tridandi sannyasi took sannyasa and went begging for alms. One householder pulled his sikha, another householder pulled his kaupins off, and another person took his danda and tried to beat him with it. He was holding out his cloth for alms and someone threw dirt in it, another passed urine on him and someone threw stool on him. What type of prayer did he offer?
tat te ‘nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8)
“My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.”
The sannyasi thought this is all my past karma. He then remembered if someone can accept this, then he can become liberated. Even though all these bad things were happening to him, he did not blame God.
The Vraja gopis don’t even complain like this thinking; “Oh this is my bad karma.” What was their nature? They had no attachments. What is our nature? We are drowning and Guru comes to pull us out of the water, but we want to bring all the weights in this world that were causing us to drown with us. We want to stay with Guru, but be sick. We don’t want Guru to cure us. Instead we want to bring all our material sicknesses with us and be sick with Guru.
When any problems come we immediately go to Guru. If we have something bad we go and tell Guru, but if something good comes will we go and tell him? We have this nature of bringing out garbage and filth and that is our gift to Guru, that is our bhajana.
Were the gopis like this? Did they come from their house and come to Krsna like this? When the wives of the brahmanas of Mathura came to Krsna with nice foodstuffs for Him, did they complain about their husbands? Before, their husbands would not give the sakhas any nice lunch. Their husbands told the wives not to go, but they went anyway. When they went to Krsna, they did not complain to Him. They said to Krsna; “We have come and we offer ourselves completely to You.” Krsna told them to go home and they accepted His instruction. He said; “Do not worry they will now worship you.” When the wives of the brahmanas went home, we see that the husbands did worship their wives, and they became respected throughout the whole universe.
Did the gopis think like this? “Oh we have come to Krsna and our husbands and families are upset, but Krsna can give us some nice thing now and then we will go home and be glorious all over the universe?” Krsna checks; “Do they want this? Do they have any desire for prestige, name or fame? Whatever they want I will give it to them.”
Sudama Vipra came to Krsna and gave Him a few pieces of chipped rice, Krsna then gave him a palace greater than any palace in Dwaraka, and maidservants even more beautiful than any of His queens in return. Even though Sudama only brought a very small offering, having been sent by his wife, and only because she had desired these things, Krsna fulfilled them. When we are coming to Guru and Vaisnavas we should always examine ourselves and think, “What is my desire?” Otherwise we will be cheated with material things, and be bereft of the spiritual fruits of their association.
Krsna asked the gopis; “Is everything well in your homes? Is everyone happy? You weren’t beaten were you? Did anyone act inappropriately with you and therefore you have come here into the forest in this haphazard way, dressed very strangely? Is there any problem at home?” Krsna is checking, “Do they have any desire? Will they complain?” No one can stay forever with the Lord if they have this mood.
Hundreds and thousands of people come to ashrams but they do Vaisnava-aparadha there. They do offences and look at the faults of everyone. They make offences to the dhama, offences in service, offences to Vaisnavas, offences to Guru, offences to the Deity, and offences to the Holy names. We must be very careful.
It is said that Guru will see; “Oh this person is always criticizing others so let him be far away. I will give him many nice things and great facility. I will give him material reputation, wealth and so forth, and will send him far away from me.” Guru and Krsna are very clever like this. If someone is like that Guru and Krsna will not accept him. Hundreds of thousands of people will come, but how many will stay? It is very rare. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)
After getting this eligibility to enter the spiritual world what should we do? Children are sent to school, but by attending that school for one day they do not yet obtain the qualification to graduate. We mature gradually and by only going to school we will not attain full maturity. Once we have completed our schooling we still need practical experience.
When students go to school they have to take shelter of the teachers, but even on doing so they still cannot attain all qualifications in one day. Time and study is required. A person is called a student if he is under the Ksatri umbrella of a teacher.
FAKE PANDIT – FAKE GURU
Once a boy went to a King and said, “Oh King, make me into a pandit – a wise and learned person.” The King said; “I will give you all proper arrangements to learn, study and be educated, however it will take some time.” The boy said; “No. Make me into a pandit in one day! You are a King, you should be able to do it with no problem. Oh King, why can’t you do this?” The King thought; “It is not possible like this. What can I do with this brahmana boy? He is very obstinate.”
If someone is a very foolish person or ignorant, they cannot be made into a wise sage overnight. However foolish people are they are very stubborn and will not listen to the advice of anyone. Whatever a foolish person thinks, whatever their understanding is, they consider it to be the greatest. This is the symptom of a fool.
This boy would not accept anything else. The King called his minister and the minister told him; “Ok, I will make him into a pandit in one day.” What did the minister do? He said to the boy; “Shave your head and leave a very big sikha. Put on very big tilaka on your forehead, all the way back to your sikha. Wear a big thick brahmana thread, like a rope, and put a very big turban on your head. Then take a big stick in your hand and we will walk through the different villages of the kingdom. I will go with you and I will announce you everywhere saying; “Oh Panditji Maharaja.” You should then reply, “Oh you are a pandit. Your mother is a pandit, your father is a pandit, your sister is a pandit,” and then speak condescending words to me and yell at me. Then you will become famous as a pandit everywhere and everyone who sees you will call you “Panditji.”
They went into the different villages like this and wherever they went the minister would say; “Oh Panditji.” And the boy would reply with bad words saying; “Oh you are a pandit. Your mother is a pandit, your father is a pandit, your sister is a pandit.” They then went from one village to the next doing the same.
The next day the boy went out alone and saw everyone was calling him “Panditji Maharaja.” He thought, “Oh my life is now successful! Everyone thinks I am a great Pandit!” It is said that this is like a ponga pandit, which means a false guru.
STUDENTS OR STUPID
So now we have become students. It does not mean that in one day we can become teachers. Are we ‘students’ or ‘stupid’? We are like very foolish children, and we should not consider ourselves to be great and wise elders. We have come to this world to be students and to learn how to enter the spiritual world and live there with the associates of God. To enter that world we must first become qualified and matured. Those who are actually wise say; “yogyata vicare kichu nahi pai,” – ‘looking at myself I see no good qualities. Oh Gurudeva without your mercy I cannot attain anything.’
That person who is truly wise knows they know nothing. They think, “Oh I am unqualified, foolish and have no good qualities. Oh Lord, without Your mercy I am nothing.” But those who are very foolish and stubborn will put on big tilaka, wear a big tulasi mala on their neck, shave their head with a big sikha, and then walk around with their head high in the air and their chest sticking out. They will show everyone, “Oh I am such a great sadhu. You should offer me your pranams.”
In truth these people have nothing. It is like they are showing themselves to be a big, big businessman, but they have no money. Such people have no wealth of prema in their heart, so what can they give to anyone?
By our sadhana we can cross beyond this world and enter the spiritual world. That is the real fruit of sadhana. This world is the abode of inert matter. Everything in this world is temporary and nothing is fixed. Everything here is very insignificant compared to the spiritual world which is the ultimate destiny of the soul.
SHELTER OF NITYA SIDDHAS
The soul is cetana – conscious, but we are living in this world of dull matter, and it is not our real home. The real purpose of our sadhana is to go to the spiritual world, which is the real home of the soul. To be a real student of sadhana-bhakti we must get the shelter of the liberated associates of the Lord. When we are under the shelter of these nitya-siddhas, we can achieve real eligibility and proper understanding of how to enter and then serve in the spiritual world. There are many examples in scripture.
By the merciful curse of the Narada Rsi, the two sons of the Demigod Kuvera, Nalakuvera and Manigriva came to Vraja. When Krsna freed them from Narada’s curse of taking the form of trees, they achieved a divine forms and did parikrama of Krsna and offered Him obeisances.
Did Krsna accept them as His sakhas? Or His close friends? No! Krsna told them when Narada Rsi was given liberation, he was instructed to preach the glories of the Lord all over the universe. That was Narada’s seva, or service. Nalakuvera and Manigriva were also given another service.
STILL A STUDENT AFTER LIBERATION
Upon achieving perfection there is also a sadhana, you should understand this. In this world you study like a student, but when you go to the spiritual world it is like graduating from this world to the spiritual world. We may also have a post-graduate course and some service and responsibility there. When Narada Rsi was liberated he received this service, and Nalakuvera and Manigriva also received a service. So even when we enter the spiritual world there is study that is necessary, and we must be under the guidance of higher personalities there. Krsna wanted to help the sadhana-siddhas who had entered the spiritual world to be related and connected with the nitya-siddhas – the eternal associates of Radharani. So He arranged some process to give them more lessons.
When we become liberated there is one kind of enjoyment. Dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa, moksa is not an ordinary thing. If you become liberated from everything then what is your responsibility, what is the purpose of being freed of bondage? When you get freedom from bondage then people are very happy, “Oh I have no worries, no responsibility, no tension,” but that is also not eternal. The Lord arranged a pro cess to give them His own transcendental rasa by opening the storehouse of His nectar by revealing His own transcendental pastimes in the forests of Vrindavan, nearby the Yamuna River under the banyan trees. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE)
Some Gopis, overwhelmed with love, were clenching their teeth and biting their lips as if they were very angry, and their eyes had become powerful arrows, shooting glances of love. It was as if they were saying, “Oh now just show us what You will do. Now we have surrounded You on all sides. See if You can disappear now. We are now prepared. See if You can escape us now.” These Gopis made their eyebrows like bows pulled back, arched very high. Their lips became cut by their teeth because they were clenched so tight. It as like they were chewing Krsna. They were very angry ladies. If you have ever seen a very angry lady then you may understand, they had become very strong and powerful. They were thinking, “What will we tell Him? I will say this and that.” But no words came out of their mouths. They just looked at Him with extremely sharp glances, thinking of all the things they wanted to say to Him.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says one Gopi was clenching her teeth, biting her lips and shooting arrows from her arched eyebrows. It was like she was trying to pierce Krsna. She said, “Oh crest jewel of cheaters. Your love is like the strongest snake poison and You have injected us with that poison. You gave us this poison and then ran away thinking, ‘Oh I have given them poison, now if they die then that is good.’ But we did not die. We are still alive. Now what will You do? You tried to kill us, thinking, ‘Oh I have given them poison and now they will die very soon.’ You left thinking we will die, but now we have new life, so what will You do now? Where will You run now? We didn’t think You would leave before, we weren’t ready for You to disappear. But now we are ready and have surrounded You, so try and leave now.”
The Gopis tied a knot in their shawls or saris and then tied themselves to Krsna. Some tied Krsna to Radharani, and some tied Him to other Gopis. In this way they all tied Krsna to one another and He was bound. They said, “This is not only some show. We have completely bound You now and You cannot escape. You will have to be punished for Your sins.” Some gopis were burning in their anger towards Krsna born out of their love for Him. Some gopis, being very mild mannered and submissive, acted in other ways.
Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu says Krsna is Vraja-guala, a simple sweet cowherd boy. However these gopis did not see Him like that. They were saying, “Oh You are Surasena-Krsna, a warrior. Some of the Gopis had this mood that He was like a warrior and said, “Oh You are like a coward. You are running away from the battlefield and hiding.” These Gopis taunted Him. “You came to love’s battlefield and were defeated. You are so weak, and such a coward that now You have run away. Why did You call us all here? You called us here to the battle. If You are so weak and want to hide like a weakling then You shouldn’t have called us here and met with us in the first place.”
The submissive Gopis in daksina-bhava came before Krsna and accepted His tambula and held His hands and began to serve Him and gave Him candana. Krsna was surrounded on all sides. Some Gopis were complete absorbed in a loving anger mood, and with their eyes shot anger arrows at Him.
The Visnu-purana explains that some of the Gopis spoke to Him with an angry mood. Some Gopis drank the honey of the beauty of His lotus face. Some were very angry, and some were very soft and submissive. In this way the various Gopis had different moods and interacted with Krsna differently.
The gopis with a strong, bold mood are called lalita-anubhava. They are in the line or mood of Lalita. Those who were svadina – always subordinate, were speaking with Krsna in a subordinate way, or meeting in that way. Some gopis were burning in their anger towards Krsna born out of their love for Him. Some gopis, being very mild mannered and submissive, acted in other ways. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE)
In the story of Ahalya who was cursed to become a stone, Rama said, “Oh Ahalya, I have liberated you today, but don’t think; ”Why did I become a stone? Your husband, Gautama Rsi would do austerities, and everyday you would think; “Oh I don’t want to do austerities at this time”. But Gautama Rsi made you into stone so you would sit in one place and do your mantra and japa properly.
Those who have all different facility will not do bhajan. If one has all facility but does not do bhajan then the Lord will arrange something for them. If one has all qualification then why won’t they do it? Still, if we don’t want to do it, the Lord will arrange something.
Gautama Rsi was such a great sage and Ahalya had no real fault, it was a mistake. Indra was such a wicked man. He thought Gautama will become the king of heaven and defeat him. Demigods like this will come to serve Guru to try and destroy him. In those days there were no clocks or alarms, the birds woke them. In Vraja we see the peacocks will call in the early morning, and in other places chickens will do it.
So Indra came and told the rooster, “Oh you must call out at midnight so Gautama thinks its brahma-muhurta and he will get up and go to the Ganga to bathe.” Again and again Indra said, “If you don’t do it, I will destroy you all.” Gautama Rsi then heard the cock crow at midnight and thought, “Oh it is now brahma-muhurta.” So he got up and went to the Ganga. Indra then took the form of Gautama Rsi and entered his kutir and enjoyed with Ahalya.
What was Ahalya’s fault? She had said, “Oh prabhu, you just went to the Ganga! Why are you back so early.” Indra in the guise of Gautama Rsi said, “No, no. I came back for something. When the real Gautama Rsi returned he saw Indra coming out of his kutir in his form, and with his cloth in disarray. Gautama then cursed Ahalya, as well as Indra.
If the husband is doing austerity, waking at brahma-muhurta, then the wife should also be with him or doing sadhana. It is said if you are waking at brahma-muhurta and doing sadhan,a then even if any wicked person or rakshasa comes then no one can disturb you.
Gautama Rsi said, “You let him enjoy with you, so you should become a stone, then you can do proper sadhana. When Rama came He said; “How many days were you doing sadhana, dhyana, tapa and japa? Therefore, I had to come to you and free you, otherwise I would not have come.”
Before Ahalya would only sleep and not get up to do bhajana and sadhana. Those wives who follow under the guidance of their sage husbands are called dharma-patni – religious wives. Rama said, “You did not properly follow, therefore Gautama Rsi enabled you to do sadhana. He gave you a favorable form in which you could do sadhana. Then how could any rakshasa come and enjoy you as a stone? Would any other demigod come and try and enjoy you like this? If someone is a leper, is disfigured or is handicapped, then will any demigod come to enjoy them? Will any rakshasa or man come to enjoy them? In that way they can do sadhana very nicely.
The three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh all came for Anusuya. Can anyone imagine that these three Gods would come to Anusuya who was so chaste and glorious in the three worlds? They said to her; “Oh give us bhiksa.” What?” she replied; “Oh then you should give yourself. You should become free of all your coverings and give yourself.” Meaning she should go naked before them and give them alms. Anusuya said; “Oh you want to see me naked?” Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh were testing her in this way. Why? She was always doing austerities with her husband. When they came as beggars and asked for alms she said, “What do you want?” and they replied, “Oh we want you.”
She went to her husband and asked, “What should I do? They are asking to see me naked.” He replied, “Ok give them.” He knew that they were Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh in disguise, testing her. She said; “Ok, I will do this on one condition. I will appear before you naked but all three of you must become my babies in my arms. Then I will give you my breast milk.”
So Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh became her babies and she began to feed them her breast milk and push them in a swing. Her husband came back and he said, “Very good. Just see what happens when you come to such a chaste woman. Now you are just babies. And now you can stay babies.” They had no strength. They could not even return to their own abodes.
Where was Siva’s power to destroy? Where was Brahma’s power to create? And where was Visnu’s power to maintain? Now they were just naked little babies, unable to even walk or move about. They simply played in her arms, drank her breast milk, and swung in their cradle.
Then Narada thought, “How long can I let this go on?” So Narada said to Laksmi; “Oh Laksmi, your beloved husband has now left. Now He won’t come back. He is now a little baby. You have now lost your husband forever.” Laksmi thought; “Yes where is He? I haven’t seen Him for some time. I searched for Him everywhere in Vaikuntha but I could not find Him.” So Laksmi then went and performed so many austerities and pleased Anusuya. Then she prayed and begged for her husband back. She begged alms and said; “Please give me give me my husband back.” The three wives of the three demigods all came and did austerities, and received their husbands back. However in one form Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh stayed with Anusuya, and became Soma, Dattatreya and Durvasa.
The Vraja-devis are not like this. They will never give a place for anyone else. They are only one-pointedly and completely offered to Sri Krsna. No one can trick and cheat the gopis. They are not like Ahalya. In every circumstance they are always prepared to serve, even in great separation, their service tendency does not leave them. They are always prepared. At every moment they are absorbed in Sri Krsna’s service. Even in separation they serve Sri Krsna.
So why were the gopis sad and wandering in the forest? Only because they thought they had committed some fault and were separated from Krsna, and thus not able to serve Him. When He finally appeared they held and stroked Krsna’s hands, and by touching Sri Krsna it gave them so much happiness. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)
From a distance some Gopis were looking at Him with red, crooked, and angry eyes. Some were biting their lips, and some were scratching the ground with their toes. Some were speaking very quickly. Then with all their different moods they began to have darsana of Sri Krsna.
Sukadeva Goswami is saying here, that the Gopis became so absorbed in happiness and bliss, that Krsna was forced to come back. Some Gopis suddenly stood up as if their body had been filled with extreme life potency. Previously they had been lamenting and experiencing so much pain. They were on the brink of death and without enthusiasm. They were as if dead. But when they finally had darsana of Sri Krsna, by that vision these abala-Gopis (very weak Gopis), immediately received full strength and energy. They all stood up before the Lord with new life energy and they had divine effulgence coming from their bodily limbs.
Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu says aghatam and swaghatam are different. Here there was no need for them to swaghat, to have a royal welcoming for Krsna. There was no need for padhya, arghya, achaman and paraphernalia for worshiping Him.
There was no necessity to perform praise or stutis (prayers) because Krsna cannot stay away from someone who is lamenting in extreme separation for Him, and who has great eagerness to offer themselves at His lotus feet. But if one does not have this mood and wants to conquer or control Krsna then the Lord will be very far away. Krsna can only be conquered by pure love and devotion as exhibited here by the Gopis.
The Lord observes everything, and seeing a person’s eagerness, He will personally appear before them as long as they are not misusing their independence or using their strength to try and conquer or control Him. They will be in a surrendered state having given up everything for Him (saranagata).
In the Vishnu Purana it is stated that the Vraja-devis finally saw Krsna’s extremely beautiful, sweet, smiling face. Before this they were crying so much and lamenting. They were completely bewildered as to what to do, not knowing if He was coming or not. They felt like they could die at any moment. They had become so weak from separation, that they did not have the energy or ability to stand or even move. When Krsna finally appeared before them, they instantly stood up to welcome their beloved. They were thinking, “Is this a dream? Is this a hallucination? Is this really real?”
We have heard on “Baladeva Purnima,” how Baladeva Prabhu can give us a divine vision, spurti or glimpse of Paramatma (God in the heart). God is present in the hearts all jivas (souls), and Baladeva, and or Sri Guru, has the potency to bring Paramatma from the heart and have Him appear as a glimpse or spurti. Currently we have turned away from Paramatma and are always separated from Him due to the various coverings of maya.
Guru can give us sakti (transcendental potency) to chant harinama and mantra. When we get the mercy and power of a sad-guru, then the natural tendency to do bhajan, chant harinama, and have a service tendency arises. This is the first opportunity.
Afterwards when we follow His desire of saranagata (being surrendered) then we can cross the different coverings of the material and subtle elements of maya, and become established in our constitutional spiritual nature and form. Then we can have vasta-vadas-darsana, the actual transcendental realization of the Lord.
Then tattva-jnana (transcendental knowledge) arises, dispelling ignorance, material attachment and bewilderment. Then pure sattva, one’s constitutional spiritual position, becomes fixed and anandini-sakti and kriya-vrtti, the spiritual tendency from Srimati Radhika, who is the Lord’s pleasure potency, arises.
In the hot season people suffer so much from the heat. They work 8, 10 even 12 hours or more a day to maintain their families in worldly existence. They work so hard. However in spiritual life, when one receives this potency, anandini-sakti and kriya-sakti, from Srimati Radhika, then they can blissfully and enthusiastically engage in the Lord’s service. This is transcendental, not forced service, and will immerse one in the ocean of ananda, pure bliss. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)
In Vraja there is no one who does not have complete love for Krsna. Some have vatsalya or parental love, others sakhya-bhava, or love of the mood of friendship. And some have love in the mood of servitude and others have love in the mood of a paramour or beloved. No one has a competitive spirit or thinks they are enemies.
They don’t think; “Oh you are very low and I am so great.” The sakhas don’t say to Krsna; “Oh what kind of big person do you think You are? Your father is the King Nanda-raja but You only have 9 lakhs cows, but my father has 11 lakhs cows. You are always coming to our houses and stealing butter but we don’t steal butter from Your house.” The Vrajavasis don’t have this critical mood towards one another. They don’t think, “Oh this person is very low and inferior.” When we develop this type of mood, we receive all kinds of suffering and give depression to ourselves. But in Vraja no one is like this because by keeping Krsna in their hearts, and staying nearby Sri Krsna, then all kinds of low and undesirable traits are lost.
If we look at all our qualities, do we think to ourselves how contemptible we are? Do we think how fallen I am? How despicable I am? Or do we climb atop the mountain of pride? Is that good for us? No! We have a relationship with God and we should know, “I am the servant of Krsna. I am Krsna das. I am very small, and He is the master.”
In this world even an ant does not think itself to be small. He thinks, “I am such a great ant.” He is always very proud. He does not have these good qualities, and he does not have anugatya. In Vraja no one is acting out of their independent will. They are all in anugatya. Without Krsna’s desire even Nanda Baba does not act without discussing with Krsna. Parjanya as well only acts after discussing with Nanda and Krsna. Whatever the Vraja-vasis do they will act only according to the desire and will of Krsna.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains in the commentary on these verses of Sukadeva Goswami that the Gopis were filled with all kinds of good qualities so by meditating on them you will get kalyana – welfare. Even if you meditate on a worm or insect in Vraja you will get benefit.
In Rama-loka in Ayodhya, there are so many animals, like Hanuman, who is a monkey, Kaka- basundi, the crow, and many other bears, birds and squirrels. They all have so much love for Rama, and therefore Rama’s qualities enter within them. Simply by remembering such devotees, even though they are animals, you will become decorated with all their good qualities. Similarly if we remember the residents of Vraja then we will also develop all their transcendental characteristics.
Now the Gopis were dancing, while they were singing with very beautiful melodies. They danced in many wonderful varieties of ways. Who were they trying to attract? Were they trying to show off their skill to one another? Or were they trying to show off their expertise? No! They were doing kirtan only to satisfy Sri Krsna. By their loving mood they surpassed even the Vedic stutis. In the Vedic stutis there is the Sama Veda which is filled with different poetic songs. The singing of the Gopis was millions of times greater than the songs of the Sama Veda which have 16,000 raginis, and the Gopis were singing these different ragas in very beautiful and sweet melodies and tones.
This beautiful scene manifested in the rasa-sthali where Sri Krsna decorated everyone with His transcendental rasa. At that time Krsna said; “Oh sadhu, sadhu! How glorious your singing and dancing is!” He began to praise the gopis. The gopis seeing and hearing Sri Krsna’s dancing and singing, began to praise Krsna. They said; “How glorious Your singing and dancing is!”
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that Sukadeva Goswami glorified Sri Vraja. Thinking of all the Vraja-devis glories he became so absorbed, that he began to speak about the wonderful traits of each of the different Gopis. At that time Pariksit Maharaja began to have direct realization of these in his heart. It was not that Sukadeva Goswami was only speaking these glories, but Pariksit Maharaja was actually having a direct spurthi, or darsana, in his heart of the Gopis. He developed sambandha jnana, a direct relation with them, and he knew Krsna would never be able to neglect him now. If someone takes shelter at the Gopis or Vraja-devis lotus feet, then it is impossible for Bhagavan to ever leave that person. In this way Sukadeva Goswami glorified the Gopis qualities and all the manifestations of the eightfold symptoms of ecstasy appeared. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)
If this rasa – transcendental nectar, is achieved, then all material rasa will have no worth to us. We will have no tension and our vairagya will be real and not any type of show. We see people go to the beauty parlor and dress very opulently, but how long will this last? How long will the makeup stay on? However much makeup we put on in this world, or if we change our self to a man or change our self to a woman, or become a husband or a mother, this is all a drama for only 2 or 3 days. There is no value to this kind drama or theater.
If you make a transcendental relationship with the Krsna then your hearts will always be singing and dancing in ecstasy, you will be so filled with happiness and joy. All your conceptions will become transcendental and spiritualized. You will be completely absorbed in transcendental thoughts and then no one will be able to control you, or make you subordinate to them and their material conceptions. Instead those who come to you and try and disturb and engage you, will also become attracted towards spiritual life.
Like we see with Haridas Thakur and the prostitute. People may come to fight with you, try and control you, try and change you with their bad tendencies. However when they come into sadhu-sanga then all of that will be finished.
Acarya Ramanuja had a wonderful temple in south India and a famous dacoit, Dhanurdhara, once came there. And who did he come with? The most prominent and famous prostitute of the whole city. She was so beautiful. The prostitute had faith in the deity form of the Lord, and was going to the temple for darsana. She waited at the altar for darsana and Dhanudara stood in front of her with his back to the altar. The pujari was about to open the curtains and said to Dhanudara; “Please move so we can open the curtains, because you cannot keep your back to the Deity.”
Dhanudara replied; “This is only a stone. Look how beautiful this lady is. Look at her beautiful face, she is effulgent like the sun.”
The pujari said; “Oh you are just looking at flesh and blood of the material body. Look at the beautiful form of the transcendental Lord.”
Dhanudara said; “You are crazy. Why would you look at this piece of stone over this beautiful woman? What is in that stone?”
The pujaris thought that the dacoit would not listen, so they went to Acarya Ramanuja who was nearby and requested his help. The pujari said to Ramanuja Acarya; “Some crazy dacoit has come. He is crazy after the flesh of this world. He has lost his intelligence. He is like a drunk man running after a prostitute’s beauty.”
Ramanuja Acarya said, “I am coming.” Then he went to Dhanudara and said to him; “Oh my son come here, come here.” He called him nearby. He indicated to the lady to move a little aside, in front of the altar, and Dhanudara had to come back a bit. So that when the altar opened Dhanudara would be able to see the Deity. When he came back a bit, he was no longer facing the wrong way and then they opened the curtains.
Ramanuja Acarya said; “Look at the beautiful form of the Lord.”
Dhanudara said; “What is this stone?”
Then Ramanuja Acarya put his hand on Dhanudara’s head, and by that gave him spiritual potency. He immediately forgot all his attachment to skin, flesh and the prostitute and he had darsana of the real transcendental spiritual form of the Lord. He saw the Lord’s supreme and sublime beauty, which is unlimitedly more beautiful than any material flesh and blood body. He lost all his lust and material attachments that had been with him since millions of lives and by the mercy of Ramanuja Acarya, had a beautiful darsana of the transcendental Lord. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE)
Do not think someone is Sri Krsna’s supremely dear and beloved devotee, if all the qualities of Bhagavan are not entering within that person. You should realize this person is not a devotee of Bhagavan. If you can see bad qualities in someone it is because they have gone far away from the Lord. They are called dur-guna. Dur-guna means bad qualities, and dur means to be far away. If you have developed bad qualities then that means, by nature, you are far away from God.
Why do the devotees always glorify the Lord so sweetly? Because when they embrace the Lord in their hearts, then all of the Lord’s qualities naturally come within them. When they are remembering the Lord and praising Him, then all those qualities enter within them.
If someone is displaying their devotion only for show, and they are not sincere in their bhakti, then it will only last for a short amount of time. Someone can speak like a crazy person as long as they are intoxicated, and have their drugs. Similarly, there are people who can speak so eloquently and with different poetic meters and styles. They can also memorize and express so many things, and show that are so respectful and know so much tattva, but in reality, this is not natural, and it is only for show.
However, when you simply endeavor, with all sincerity to embrace the Lord in your heart, then automatically all anarthas and bad qualities will flee, and all your wicked tendencies will naturally be pacified. If from your childhood, you have had the habit of eating impure foods, living with tamasik qualities and tendencies, then naturally you will have difficulty collecting the teachings of the scriptures, going to the Holy places, and having respect for sadhus. On the other-hand if you are always in the association of sadhus, going to the holy tirthas, then naturally their qualities and tendencies will come within you.
What is paricaya -good qualities? You will be able to see them naturally manifest within a sincere devotee. Such devotees will never have to bow down before any materialistic person in this world. When you embrace Sri Krsna in your heart or make a place for His lotus feet there, then what will occur at that time? All varieties of good qualities will enter within you. All kinds of spiritual potency from the Lord’s divine pleasure potency will enter.
When you take shelter of Bhagavan then His transcendental potency, para-sakti, will first of all give you spiritual knowledge or cit-jnana. Then He will give you cit-bala or so much spiritual strength. But how can these be properly used? What happens when the Lord gives someone potency but they misuse it? They don’t use it for the proper activities.
Some people have knowledge but what do they do with that knowledge? They only use that, not to help others, but to fight with others. Anarthas – such as wanting various kinds of wealth becomes an impediment in their progress. What is the natural qualities you develop during sadhana-bhakti? You will get jnana, bala and kriya, that is you will get spiritual knowledge, spiritual strength and then you will know how to properly engage in these things. This is by the mercy of kriya-shakti whose presiding Deity is Srimati Radhika. Kriya-shakti is that potency by which we can act, and that comes from Srimati Radhika. You will also develop the tendency to naturally engage in pious actions and the service of the Lord. The Gopis embraced Sri Krsna in their hearts, then naturally all kinds of transcendental qualities and happiness appeared within them.
Worldly people are naturally depressed, sad and contaminated. Why? Because they have lower desires in their hearts, which are always afflicting them and causing so much disturbance. How many materialistic people have we brought into our hearts? We bring them in our hearts and then we are always disturbed. A person is fortunate if he does not keep anything of this world in his heart. When they give no place for anything like that, then they are liberated. Their heart will be only for Bhagavan.
One kind of person for his own service, or for the satisfaction of his beloved, will do anything and everything, but still on doing that they are not happy. Another person leaves everything and engages everything they possess in Krsna’s service. They are happy and whatever they do they will get pure realization and experience. They alone get the power for spiritual experience and progress easily. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE)
Once a doctor we knew, came to the temple Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura. He worked at the nearby hospital and regularly read Caitanya Caritamrta. He kept some sadhus wooden shoes, padhukars, thinking they were Mahaprabhu’s shoes to worship. After seeing him give so much respect, and serving the devotees there so nicely, Gurudeva asked him how he had become to be so attached to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?
The surgeon explained that after reading how Sri Visnupriya, Lord Sri Caitanyas Mahaprabhu’s wife, began worshipping Mahaprabhu’s wooden shoes after He left home and took sannyasis, he decided to also begin this practice. Due to worshiping the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, more and more his meditation on the Lord began to manifest, and all Mahaprabhu’s pastimes began to awaken in his heart, thus taking away all his material desires.
He came to the temple wanting to see Mahaprabhu’s devotees and followers. He desired to serve them and to read all the books on devotional service. Simply by worshipping the lotus padhukars of Sri Mahaprabhu, all these desires for devotional service had awakened in his heart. Gurudeva instructed him to chant harinama and follow Ekadasi.
This doctor was only a middle-aged man in his mid-forties, and a very successful intelligent handsome surgeon. One day he told all his family including the sons and daughters “I am going to Mahaprabhu now directly. If I appear to be leaving my body, don’t touch my body, only call for the devotees at Keshavji Gaudiya Math, and please ask Maharaja, Srila Gurudeva, to come and do kirtan”. Thus keeping the padhukars on his chest and meditating on Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet, he left his body very happily and easily by his own choice. Just like Bhismadeva had chosen to leave his body of his own accord, the doctor entered into Sri Mahaprabhu’s transcendental abode.
Meditating on Sri Krsna lotus footprints, we can easily overcome all material hurdles and easily obtain the Lord’s service. The elephant goad, ankus, will always keep us on the right path, having us go towards Krsna, to the dhama and transcendental service of the Lord. We will not get lost in the jungle of material enjoyment. The ankus (elephant goad) has so much power that anyone who takes shelter of it cannot lose sight of Sri Krsna. All the devotees, the Bhagavat bhaktas, never forget any of the symbols on the Lord’s lotus feet, such as the chakra, lotus, conch, goad, and barleycorn, because they have so many auspicious qualities that give us strength in bhakti. When Sri Krsna lifted up Goverdhana hill, He touched Giriraja with his lotus feet, and Sri Giriraja opened up like an umbrella. Wherever the devotees are if they meditate on Krsna’s lotus feet, they will have complete shelter, because Giriraj Goverdhana will become an umbrella for you, a chatra. Sudarsana Chakra is always over the heads of the devotees protecting them. When Sri Krsna lifted Goverdhana, Sudarsana Chakra was also over the Giriraja and the devotees, protecting them from the attacks of Indra and the storm Devas the Maruts.
Krsna’s conch the sankhya gives the devotees all transcendental knowledge. By meditating on the left lotus foot of Sri Krsna, with the symbol of the conch on it, all transcendental knowledge will be obtained. Nobody will be able to fool you, cheat or trick you, all transcendental knowledge will enter your heart. The auspicious sound of Sri Krsna’s conch fills the devotee’s heart with joy, and signals the impending doom of all demons opposed to bhakti, making them flee far away, back into the darkness. The conch heralds the devotee’s auspicious victory over material existence, just as the Lord’s conch the Panchjanya signaled the defeat of the Kurus, headed by Duryodhana, by the Lord’s devotees the Pandavas.
Catch hold of the Lord’s lotus feet and deeply embrace them in your heart, then meditate on the bow, astagon (eight sided star), trikona (equal sided triangle), Kalasha (full water pot), matsya then all Veda, Vedanta, and Upanishads will come and manifest in your heart. In Jaganatha Puri and Bhubaneswara, it is called Sankhaksetra the place of the Lord’s conchshell. It is the land of the Lord’s conch. By the Vaitarani river, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada made a place to worship Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet a padapitha. Wherever the Lord’s lotus footprints are, the devotees have no shortage of anything. In the Jagganatha Puri temple the king also established Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s padapitha, and a murti of Sri Gaurasundara at the southern gate. The king was not happy with only having the Lord’s lotus footprints outside the temple. Later he established Mahaprabhu’s lotus footprints within the temple, then he felt very happy.
All good qualities come to Sri Krsna’s devotees simply by their meditation on his lotus feet. When you go to Giriraja Goverdhana, entering at Dhanghati, there is the sign of Sri Krsna’s lotus feet. Offer pranams at the lotus feet of the Lord there, and then go forward, remembering His feet. Then offer some puspanjali and flowers there as if it was your own heart. Then in your heart all of Krsna’s pastimes will appear.
Otherwise you will be distracted by monkeys, pilgrims, various walas (merchants) and even the Devas will compete for your worship, all trying to distract you. Just as Indra was envious of the worship that the Vrajavasis gave to Giriraja, instead of him. When we come back from circumambulating Sri Giriraja at Shantalaya, the Radha Kunda side, you also see Sri Krsna lotus footprints there also. Gurudeva on Vraja mandala parikrama, at Nandagaon would go to the Choti Caran Pahadi, where the lotus footprints of Sri Krsna are to be found. People would say what is this place? It is just an empty hill, and the people there don’t have any pure knowledge. Gurudeva would go there and give nice harikatha, telling them if just once you meditate on Sri Krsna’s lotus feet, then all obstacles will flee from your heart.
This is such a powerful method for the sadhakas to perform their bhajan and it is the essence of all sastra. When Akrura was going to Vraja and saw the lotus footprints of the Lord, he got down from his chariot and began to roll in the dust, and pray to these footprints. If you take shelter of Sri Krsna’s lotus feet, then naturally you will have Sri Krsna’s shelter. In the beginning of sadhana when someone takes diksha, at that time, you must offer yourself to the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, and meditate on them. Then all good qualities will come within you, and all the processes of service to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga will easily be learned.
HOW WAS THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL DEMON CONQUERED BY THE LORD’S LOTUS FEET? + Does the Lords Lotus feet really have a svastika on them?
Once in Gaya there was a demon called Gayasura attacking all the different lokas or worlds within the material universe. After experiencing defeat, the Devas prayed to the Lord. The Lord came and began to fight with the demon Gayasura. No matter how many times the Lord smashed Gayasura, seemingly defeating him, the powerful asura (demon) would always recover. Despite the fact that to anyone else, the Lord’s consummate blow, would mean certain death to his mortal body. But the demon Gayasura could not be vanquished. Then the Lord placed his lotus foot on the demons head. He held his head to the ground so that he could not rise up again.
Then the demon called out “save me, save me, I am so hungry, you are holding me down with your foot to the ground. I am so hungry at least give me something to eat. If you give me some nice prasadam I promise not to fight or disturb anyone again. I will leave the devas alone”.
Sri Visnu said; “There is so much sin in your heart, you have done so many sinful activities, so I will give you these sinful activities to eat. Eat all of them and be happy”. The demon replied “One thing, if you take your lotus foot away from my head, then I will again start to fight with everyone. I didn’t understand the power and peace, present in your feet, before I fought with you. But once you placed your lotus foot on my head I felt so much bliss and peace. So I am requesting you to please always keep your lotus feet on my head, otherwise I will again become proud and challenge everyone to fight”.
The Lord offered to feed Gayasura the sins of all the people who commit suicide, by jumping of buildings, murdering people and other similar sins. Gayasura only agreed to accept then as long as the Lord would keep his lotus feet there to cure him of any stomach upsets that came with eating so many sins. Now in Gaya people go there to do pinda or oblations, to the forefathers in order to purify them of any sins they may have committed throughout their life. In this way they hope to have a better destination in their next life, or to attain supreme liberation. This is coming only by the grace of the supreme Lord’s lotus feet. which has the power to subdue even the most powerful demon in the world.
CLOSE THE TEMPLE
One time the British came and said “Oh these Hindus are only making some drama.” close the Jaganatha Temple and in Gaya stop the pinda offerings. Taking all the pandas or temple servants away from the temples, they told them to go do some proper work, otherwise you are just creating some drama, that is a joke through your foolish worship. Even In Calcutta they closed the Kali Mandira saying they will tear down the Kali mandir.
In Gaya when they stopped the pinda or the offerings to Gayasura, immediately an earthquake began to start, Gayasura was shaking the earth preparing to come out because Gayasura was a Dayita, he was a huge demon, like a titan or a giant, so the British government immediately agreed to start the pinda offerings again, fearing some supernatural wrath would come upon them. Immediately the pandas and Brahmins restarted many offerings in Gaya feeding him in order to keep his hunger satiated.
Also in more recent times in Puri the Congress came trying to take over the temple of Sri Jagganatha. They had become envious of the grand worship of Sri Jaganatha, Baladeva and Subhadra. They claimed that there was no use making such opulent worship of wooden deities, claiming that their Lordships were only pieces of wood and that they don’t need to eat so much, They claimed this is only a waste of time and a big joke. The governor and the leader of the congress, tried to stop the Jaganatha puja, but all the members of the government, and their staff, such as Indira Gandhi and her son, were all destroyed in a very short time. They thought all of this was just imagination, and they foolishly tried to stop all the worship of Krsna.
WORSHIPING KRSNA’S FOOTPRINT
In Gaya all your karma can be destroyed by worshipping that place where Krsna’s footprint permanently holds back the dayita, Gayasura. In Kasi you can have darshan of Lord Siva and bathe in the Ganga, afterwards you can go to Prayag and bathe in the confluence of the Yamuna, Saraswati and Gangadevi, after that you can go to Mathura, and finally you can progress further into Vraja.
There are nineteen symbols on the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, O Devarshi I see there are nineteen symbols on the feet of Sri Krsna. On the right foot there is the barley corn (yava),flag (jayapataka), lotus (padma), goad ( ankus), thunderbolt (vajra), disc (Sudarshana), umbrella (chatra), swastika, Jaman fruit, udhav rekha (auspicious line), astagon ( 8 pointed star ),. On the left foot there is the Akash ( 2 circles), conchshell (sankya), bow (dhanu), cow hoofprint (goksura), waterpots (Kalash,triangle, (trikona), halfmoon (ardha candra), fish (matsya).
Nowadays if you make a swastika people become very upset and ask why are you putting a swastika there. Ghosts will see the swastika and be very afraid of it because this is the symbol of Sri Krsna. Even then some people say, why are you disturbing ghosts, because the ghosts don’t like the swastika symbol, they become afraid and go away. If you put up a flag they say why did you put up a flag, why are you disturbed? Take it down. All these symbols of Sri Krsna lotus feet are very powerful. Kali Maharaja and all his followers flee from them, therefore some people will try and keep them away so the Lord’s auspicious qualities cannot spread all over the world.
If you see a flag or swastika symbol, they will remind you of the lotus feet of Krsna, therefore we should always meditate on the Lord’s lotus feet and the symbols on his lotus feet. By seeing a lotus the mood to offer yourself to the lotus feet of Krsna is awakened. By seeing the barley or the waterpots we think of how Laksmidevi took the dust of the lotus feet of the Lord, creating grains in order to stop the jivas being so hungry and eating each other at the beginning of creation due to lack of food. Just like snakes will eat their own offspring, unless one or two babies survive, from the hundreds born, and the mother’s and father’s tendency to kill and eat their own offspring, there will be no next generation of snakes. Even nowadays there are some people who will cut out their own babies from the womb and cook them before eating them. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE)