Jaga Mohan Prabhu: Did Krsna know that the Kesi-demon was coming, before He gave His dress to Madhumangala?
Sripada Premananda Prabhu: This is very sweet. Madhumangala desires to serve Krsna. Therefore lila-sakti keeps Kesi-demon a little bit at a distance from Krsna. Otherwise if Kesi-demon directly attacked Krsna, then the lila would be finished soon.
Jaga Mohan Prabhu: So, did Krsna know or not?
Sripada Premananda Prabhu: Everybody knew. But, Krsna acts as if He doesn’t know anything.
Jaga Mohan Prabhu: Sometimes Baladeva knows what is going to happen. In kaliya-lila when everyone was running to the lake, He told them to stay back from the water. So, He knows something. Also when Brahma stole the sakhas and the calves, Baladeva noticed the special affection that the Vrajavasis suddenly had for their sons. Is this tendency that Baladeva has to know what is going to happen also present with the gopis or the other Vrajavasis? Does everyone have this kind of sense, or does only Baladeva Prabhu have this, and only Krsna is sometimes mugdha?
Sripada Premananda Prabhu: If you read Gopala Campu, you will understand this. There it is described that lila-sakti bewilders Krsna and the Vrajavasis, and makes them forgetful like ordinary people. When Krsna looked at Kesi, He knew everything.
Here there are many brahmacaris. Generally, everybody likes to help new people that join the matha, and new people like to make friends with everybody. When Kesi came, Subhala, Madhumangala and the other sakhas thought, “We want to make friends with everybody who comes to Vraja-mandala and bring him to Krsna. He can then serve Krsna.” Srila Gurudeva used to say that in the matha such interaction is asat-sanga. Don’t pick up anarthas from others. These will catch you and grow in your heart, and then you will be finished.
Srila Gurudeva would speak on kesi-lila or kaliya-lila for many days, reading from different sastras. Madhumangala argued with Krsna and convinced Him to give His clothes and ornaments. Brahmacaris join a temple to do sadhana. The Guru is their guardian, but sometimes brahmacaris think that they can also help others. They do not know how much poison these people offer.
When Madhumangala saw Kesi-demon coming, he only saw him as a big horse and desired to ride him. He did not know the nature and the bad intention of this horse. When Vatsasura came to Vraja, the sakhas were happy to see this cute calf. The cows knew the calf to be evil. They only smelt it and ran away, but Krsna went to Vatsasura and stroked him. Vatsasura thought, “This is my chance. Krsna does not know who I am.” Krsna tried to change the heart of the demon, but this was not possible. You can feed milk and bananas to a serpent, but instead of becoming good, its poison only increases. Know your strength and capacity of helping others. Keep yourself distance from new people. Let them go and learn from Guru. Then you are safe. Otherwise you will end up like Madhumangala.
Srila Gurudeva said that Madhumangala was only an imitation of Krsna. He can never be Krsna. Wearing Krsna’s dress and peacock feather does not make him Krsna. Anusarana means following the Guru’s footsteps. One should not imitate Guru. The disciple should not think that since Gurudeva is holding a danda and sitting on a simhasana, he should also adopt these external things and order everybody to follow him. Not even a fly would follow such an imitator. Only mosquitos would come and disturb him.
Once some brahmacari said to Gurudeva, “Maharaja, I give class, but nobody attends it.” They never call him ‘Gurudeva’. I once told them that they should call him ‘Gurudeva’ since he is their senior and caretaker, but they only addressed him as Maharaja.
Gurudeva told the brahmacari, “You should cook khira in the afternoon and keep it in your room. Then distribute it in the evening to everybody who comes to your class. If you do this every day, you will soon get a big audience.”
The brahmacari bought milk and cooked nice khira, offered it, and then gave a leaf-cup to everybody that came to his class. But the next day nobody came. The brahmacari again approached Gurudeva, “Maharaja, nobody came.”
Gurudeva said, “Okay, today you should distribute halava.”
The brahmacari would then distribute halava in the street in front of the matha and invite everybody, “Come to my class. I will daily distribute halava, rabri, malpua, khira, and other sweets.” He again and again tried, but only mosquitos came to his class, like homeless, and dirty people. They did not come because of the hari-katha, but just for the food.
How could the disciple possibly be equal to Gurudeva? If the disciple desires to be equal to or greater than his Guru, he will always be two fingers short, like the rope of Yasoda Mata when she tried to tie Krsna. I have seen many things throughout my life. Srila Gurudeva used to explain everything in his classes. The disciple has to perform anusarana, not anukarana. Anusarana is to follow the example and footsteps of Sri Guru, and anukarana is to imitate Sri Guru. But, disciples try to steal the post of Guru. Everyone now wants to be Prabhupada or Gurudeva. They do not call themselves Guru dasa. They want their pictures to be on the altar and their names to be written everywhere. They do not tell people to serve their Guru Maharaja.
This is the teaching we learn from Madhumangala wearing the dress of Krsna in kesi-lila. A disciple that acts like this with Guru will end up being kicked by demons like Kesi. Do not try to steal the position of Krsna. Everybody has been born naked from the womb of his mother. How can you tell your mother that you are her husband? Those who worship Siva first chant the mantra ‘om namah sivaya.’ Then, a little later they say ‘sivo’ham.’ First they call themselves the son of God and after some time they say, “Aham brahmasmi—I am Brahma.” Yesterday you came as a disciple and today you say that you are guru—‘guro’ham, guro’smi’, not ‘dasaham’. What will be the result of this? Who made you Guru? Who gave you the post of guru? Why don’t you say, “I am your disciple, please accept me.” In the Priti-sandarbha, Srila Jiva Gosvami explains all this. What is the meaning of priti? It means pure love.
In the Gita the nature of demons is written in the sixteenth chapter: isvaro ham aham bhogi siddho ham balavan sukhi—I am the controller, I am the enjoyer, I am perfect, powerful, and happy. This is the nature of the conditioned souls. They serve and learn a little bit from Guru and when something comes to them they reject Guru and take over his post.
A small bird once found a small coin of gold. Then, he went to the king and said, “Oh King, who are you? I have a gold coin. I am more powerful than you.” The bird kept disturbing the king until the king took his sword and killed the bird. This is our position. Whenever we attain some of Guru’s and God’s mercy and love, and whenever they give some us some post and position, then we think, “This is all mine. I am the secretary, the president.” This is anukarana. Then, we will be defeated like Madhumangala was by Kesi demon. Kesi demon kicked him and he passed stool and urine in fear, and then fell inside the Yamuna.
Srila Gurudeva used to narrate these lilas so beautifully. When the time is ripe, lila-sakti will distribute these lilas to everyone. This is not possible for me to do, without his mercy. At that time he gave classes from the Srimad Bhagavatam and all the Sandarbhas. But there was no recorder, and no electricity. In the freezing deep winter we had a chimney and a fire pit in the temple room. We would light a fire at night, close all windows and doors, and then all the brahmacaris would sleep there together with Gurudeva. We did not use any blankets or sweaters. When people donated sweaters or blankets to the brahmacaris, Gurudeva told us to give these back or sell them in the market, because they would distract us from doing bhajana. We had to practice so many austerities. And now brahmacaris have so much stuff that they throw away more than anyone of us ever saw in his entire life. But in those days we had hari-katha and kirtana hour after hour. In the summer we used to fill up the temple room with water up to our ankles. Then we would dance in arati until late at night. On Ekadasis we used to do kirtana from morning to evening without stopping. We had this power. But now when Ekadasi comes devotees think, “Today is a very good day. There will be nice drinks and lassi. I will do nirjala Ekadasi. I do not need water to drink, only lassi-rasa.” This is not an insult; this is how it is. The Guru-varga knows our position.
Anukarana should not be performed. Anusarana is good. We should know where we are at and what our position is and practice accordingly. If I tell the devotees to wake up at 3:30 everyday, then they say that this is not possible. But now that Katyayani-vrata is going on, devotees think, “There will be nice darsana, and nice sweet prasada. Oh Katyayani, give me some fruit.” Then getting up in the morning is very easy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.