[Lecture by Srila Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja]
You know the pastime of Sri Baladeva’s killing Romaharsana Suta, but do you know why He did it? The fact is that this Romaharsana Suta never honored any devotees. He thought, “I am supreme of all. I am guru of all the 88 thousand rsis assembled here.” There were thousands of devotees present who were superior to him, but he never gave any respect to them. You know that Baladeva knows all things, and so He realized this. He at once came to test him. As Romaharsana Suta was accustomed not to honor any Vaisnava, thinking himself superior to all, when Baladeva Prabhu arrived he also did not honor Him. He could not stand up from his position and do pranamas. If anyone is like this, he is neither qualified to tell hari-katha nor is he qualified to hear hari-katha. Baladeva Prabhu at once cut him. He said, “Nonsense, you don’t want to respect any of the devotees, and you think you are superior to them because you are telling hari-katha and they are hearing.”
He had never offered pranama to his audience. Quite opposite to this, Prabhupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura used to offer pranama to his entire audience. Feeling that they were prominent, he would tell them, “If you are not here, I cannot tell hari-katha to anyone. You are like my vipada uddharana bandhu. You are my friends who are saving me from great danger.” If anyone explaining hari-katha thinks, “None of them know anything”, what is this? It is an offence.
Although someone may not be speaking hari-katha, still he may be as qualified as Srila Haridasa Thakura or Srila Gaurkisora dasa babaji. He may be lakhs times superior to the person telling hari-katha. Those who are tasting Vaisnava seva, harinama, and hearing of hari-katha, have more sukriti than anyone. Sometimes we neglect this, but we should try not to.
Baladeva Prabhu also killed Dvivida bandara (gorilla) in Dvaraka. Dvivida bandara was present at the time of Rama. He had served Him so much, and he had helped Him to fight against Ravana. However, he had never given honor to Laksmana. He was thinking, “What has Laksmana done? Nothing.” He did not understand that Laksmanji was always serving Rama, and in fact He was Rama Himself.
Dvivida lived for so long that he was also present at the time of Krsna. However, because he had the bad association of Bhaumasura, Maya Dhanava, Kala Yavana, Jarasanda, and all others demons, he became more and more stupid. He began to see everywhere, in all devotees, some loophole, some fault, and he used to criticize them. And again he was finding a ‘loophole’ in Laksmana, who was now in the form of Baladeva Prabhu. He became naked and began to show off his body to the young women with whom Baladeva was enjoying pastimes. In that condition he began to criticize Baladeva. He said, “How can you respect Balarama? Balarama is a lampata, a very lusty person. He has Revati as His wife, and He is so much attached to her.”
Anyone can be like this if he has the association of those who criticise Vaisnavas. Such a person will have no eyes to see the qualities of Vaisnavas. Even a kanistha is superior to him. One should try to be very humble with all, and especially one should not to see faults or ‘loopholes’ in any Vaisnavas. If we start finding faults in Vaisnavas, then we will come to a state like Dvivida gorilla. We will also start finding fault in our guru, and also in akhanda-guru-tattva, that is, Balarama or Nityananda Prabhu. Even those who were killed by Baladeva prabhu, like Dvivida bandara and Romaharsan Suta, were fortunate. We are even worse than Dvivida and Romaharsana Suta because we don’t have this opportunity to be killed by Baladeva. We are not so fortunate, and we are still cultivating so many aparadhas.
What does Baladeva Prabhu do? He plows. What does He plows? He cultivates. In Vraja He is cultivates the field of the eternal living entities, the jivas. He is preparing them or producing them. He is creating or manifesting the sandhini-sakti.
Then, in Vaikuntha, in the form of Maha Sankarsana, Baladeva is cultivating the field of the eternal associates of Vaikunthadipati, meaning Narayana. As Karanodakasayi Visnu, Baladeva is cultivating (creating) all the tatastha-sakti living entities, those who are fit to go both to the spiritual abode and to the material abode.
Krsna is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha. This word actually consists of three words: sat, cit, and ananda. Krsna Himself is considered to be the predominating Deity of cit. Cit means jnana, which, when condensed or intensified, converts into bhava; and this bhava goes up to the stage of mahabhava. Baladeva Prabhu is the predominating Deity of sat. Sat means existence, and all existence comes from Balarama Prabhu. Even the existence of Krsna’s body is due to Balarama. Radharani is the predominating Deity of ananda, and all these three are toether sat, cit, and ananda in Krsna.
Although all these three are in Krsna together, they are also separate. This is Krsna’s inconceivable potency. Each and every potency of Krsna can take a separate form. His drsti, His sight, also becomes personified. His capacity to see is His potency, and it can also take a form. In our case, this potency is invisible, but in Krsna’s case the same potency can take a form. Drsti, the potency to see, can also become personified. This is true also in the case of Radharani, Her rupa is Rupa manjari and Her sight is Nayana-mani Manjari. In this way, although the sac-cid-ananda potencies are in Krsna, when they take forms they become Balarama and Radharani.
As Ananga Manjari Balarama serves Radharani in the conjugal mellow. In Radha Kunda the central and most important kunja is Svananda sukadha kunja. This kunja belongs to Ananga Manjari, and in this kunja she always arranges nice paraphernalia for the pastimes of Radha-Krsna.
In Rama-lila this same Baladeva was Laksmana, where He was forced to perform many types of pastimes that He did not wish to perform. At that time He was the younger brother, and He could not say anything to His elder brother. He had to perform one fire test for Sita, and He had to banish Her. In Gaura-lila He came back as Lord Nityananda, the older brother, not younger brother, and He broke the ekadanda of Mahaprabhu.
Sometimes Baladeva Prabhu appears black. Why? When He came from Dvaraka, and He found the gopis so much absorbed in Krsna, then He also began feeling separation from Krsna, absorbed Himself in Krsna, and became black.
Respect all the Vaisnavas and develop your tendency to serve. Try to serve each and every Vaisnava. Cultivate this taste of serving. Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja had engaged some of his disciples in cultivating the seeds of eggplants. Why? Because they were not fit to continue chanting throughout the entire day. They had wanted to learn so much from him, but upon accepting them as disciples, he asked them to cultivate a field of eggplants. When Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura went there, they complained, “Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja is so close to you. Please ask him something for us. We have left our homes to learn something about Krsna consciousness and chanting and hari-katha. Instead of giving us hari-katha he is asking us to do this field cultivation.” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura felt their pulse and replied, “He has done correctly. This is your bhakti; this is your Krsna consciousness cultivation. Because all of us are not fit to continue chanting all day, we require to work, and we should serve according to the instructions given by Vaisnavas and Gurudeva.”
Today is also Raksa-bandhana. We bind rakhi (a very fancy cloth bracelet) to Krsna. Earlier, this festival was practiced differently from today. We bind rakhi to Krsna, or to Balarama, so that they will protect us. They are our real protectors. Anantadeva is our real protector. This was the purpose of this festival. During the reign of one Muhammedan leader, the Muhammedans were inflicting so much atrocity on the Indian women. Many Indian women accepted powerful kings as their protectors. They sent their rakhi to them and said, “Please bind this rakhi and protect us.” Since that time this festival has taken place: that a sister will bind a rakhi around the wrist of a brother who will protect her. The protector, however, is not, in fact, a brother. The protector is actually Balarama. We can also take Gurudeva as our protector from unwanted activities and mentalities, aparadhas etc.
We can bind this rakhi to Gurudeva, and we should have this belief in our heart that in order to serve our Gurudeva we can kill the whole world. It is not that you go and start killing the whole world, but this must be the emotion and feeling in your heart. Whoever does not have guru-nistha cannot progress. This does not mean that because I am your guru I am asking and persuading you to serve me, but this is what I am seeing from our guru parampara. Srila Prabhupada used to say about Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja: “When I approached him to take initiation, he refused me. He made a pretext that I had so much knowledge, but in fact he was saying, ‘You are so much proud of being learned.’ So he wanted to break my pride, and he refused to give me initiation. My whole pride was collapsed and I began a fast. I vowed that ‘I will die now. I will die.’ Then he gave me initiation.”
Similarly, my Gurudeva served Prabhupada so earnestly. In one night he changed a graveyard into a garden. Whenever he used to talk about his Gurudeva, he could not utter the words ‘Srila Prabhupada’, and he used to weep bitterly. We see that this does not take place in our case. He was so much dedicated to his Gurudeva.
If someone is criticizing one’s Gurudeva and the disciple remains quiet, then he is not more than an impotent eunuck. When our Gurudeva started Ratha-yatra in Navadvipa, no one criticized him. When he left this world, however, a very highly advanced devotee spoke something against Ratha-yatra in Navadvipa. The day I heard it I could not sleep at night. I was restless and so much agitated. Soon after that I wrote an article in our magazine, and that article created chaos, havoc and very great agitation on the other side. Hence there was a fight, and that fight lasted for an entire year. If we do not do these things, we are not doing mano-bhista seva, service to the inner heart’s desire of Sri Gurudeva. We should establish our Gurudeva’s principles and, when any opposition comes, we should defeat it.
shared from https://www.purebhakti.com/teachers/bhakti-discourses/19-discourses-2000/195-lord-baladevas-appearance-day