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, “Syama sakhi”. 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 they 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 and we 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 and I will not take anything or any kind of 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 her old clothes away”! Different sakhis came from all sides. Someone took her hand, some 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 to the other side of the lake, jumped out and ran into the jungle and hid. He was afraid His disguise would be lost. 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’S FOOTPRINTS and ACCEPTING SERVICE

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.

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 generally find both footprints flat upon the earth. Why? 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 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 very sweet and Krsna takes them.

OFFER WITH LOVE

These sweet words are full of so much nectar that Krsna hears 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. 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. Krsna is so busy serving all the devotees.

THERE IS ONLY ONE KRSNA

There is only one Krsna, there is not different Krsna’s. He is always present with His devotees and going to accept their offerings. He has His svayam-rupa, tad ekatma rupa, He has to appear and go in so many different forms just to accept all the different offerings of His devotees. Guna Manjari, who is Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, says; “I am worshipping Radha Ramana”! But we see in Gopala Bhatta Gosvami’s, Radha Ramana, there is Madana Mohana`s feet, Govinda`s waist and Gopinatha`s face, and three together they combine and appear as Radha Ramana. They are always present giving darshana. These three together Govinda, Gopinatha and Madana Mohana appeared together as Radha Ramana. Gopala Bhatta would chant harinama and in his childhood Mahaprabhu told Gopala Bhatta  that nama and nami are bhinna, non-different. He said, krsna caitanya rasa vigraha purna suddha nitya mukta `binnathvam nami namino , the Lord`s names and Himself are non-different. This is transcendental.

Meditate on and chant the names of the Lord. The nami, the Lord will appear directly before you. If someone calls Him with love, by chanting His transcendental names, then He will appear there. Krsna gave darshana to Prahlada on Nrsimhas appearance day. Then day and night there was kirtana. How long will you stay hidden? Will you not give darshana or accept my service?

DO IT WITH LOVE

Mahaprabhu sent Gopal Bhatta Gosvami to Vrndavana and He said; “Go to Vrndavana and serve in Seva-kunj and Nidhuvana. The Lord is always present there. He happily served his Salagrama sila and because of his utmost loving devotional tendency the diety Radha Ramana appeared.

He was meditating and chanting the holy names with so much love, that the Lord could not possibly stay away. The Lord Himself appeared and began to dance and glorify Gopal Bhatta, who’s spiritual identity is Guna Manjari. Those who serve with love, the Lord lovingly accepts their service, and then His devotee’s heart becomes full of joy. Even today in Vrndavana you can see many sevakas doing so much service to the Radha Ramana diety.

Wherever the Lord`s diety or place of worship is the devotee’s heart is filled with joy. Why? Because the Lord is accepting their service. If the Lord does not accept their service then that place and those people will be so sad. And there will be no one in this world as sad as them. Why? Because when you serve maya, you only get the dirt and filth of the illusory energy. Maya will say; “How much dirt and garbage do you want?” This is not real wealth and what will you do with these things? They will not stay with you, dust will again become dust. But if you serve the Lord with love and devotion that service will be aprakrta, transcendental, and the chanting and kirtana will be sabda brahma, transcendental sound.

If someone is doing kirtana nicely and they are glorifying Krsna`s qualities, the Lord hears this and becomes attracted. When Suridasa and Bilvamangala came to Vraja, they didn’t have any wealth to serve the Lord with, but when they did kirtana, Krsna would hear it, and He would run there. The Lord Himself would even bring madhukari and say; “Oh Baba, I brought you some milk, or oh Baba, I brought you some sweets! I have brought go-rasa, milk! Please drink this and then you will be able to sing more, and I will dance for you! Do not stop singing! Please, continue singing”! The Lord took a vow, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhakta prayacchati tad aham bhakty-upahrtam asnami prayatatmanah, BG 9.26 “If you offer me with love, affection, and purity, a fruit, a flower, a leaf, or some water, I will accept it”

When the Pandavas were in the jungle, Draupadi cooked and served all of them, and suddenly Durvasa Muni arrived, and there was nothing left in the pot to feed him and his followers. Then Draupadi called out to Lord Krsna, He appeared, and she lovingly gave Him a small leaf that had stuck to the side of the pot. The Lord was thus happy and satisfied which simultaneously made  Durvasa Muni and his followers full and satisfied, so they quickly left.

When Rama was present in the forest, what would Sita cook? Only some leaves, seeds, and roots. She would take the roots and make these into rotis. She would cook various roots that they would find and they would eat that. They would also take dried fruits that they found because they could not always find fresh fruits everywhere in the jungle. They would go to the sages asramas and the sages would offer things to Lord Rama with so much love. For so many years the sages had been doing severe austerities and meditating on the Lord, so Rama went to all the different asramas and accepted their offerings. The sages would wash the Lord`s feet, give Him a sitting place and they would also give Him a seat in their hearts. The Lord knows what everyone`s mood is and how they are serving so He accepts there service mood. It is said, bhava grahi janardana, which means, “the Lord who accepts the moods of His devotees”.

If we go to some place and we see material things, we will have so many impure thoughts come in our mind. If we sit and talk about these things, so many bad things will come in our heart like the tendency to criticize others, and make offenses. In this way we can be affected by the environment. If we are in a good place, engaged in pure activities then our consciousness will become purified, but if we go to an impure place full of the mode of ignorance, then our mind will be contaminated.

Guruvarga ki Jaya! Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Rasa-pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: rasik@kripa.tv )