CAN WE WORSHIP KRSNA WITHOUT RADHARANI?

CAN WE WORSHIP KRSNA WITHOUT RADHARANI?

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

rādha-avatāra sabe,—āmnāya-vānī

(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:

anayārādhito nūnaṁ

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)

WHY DID KRSNA TEST AND TEASE THE GOPIS SEARCHING FOR HIM AFTER THE RASA DANCE?

WHY DID KRSNA TEST AND TEASE THE GOPIS SEARCHING FOR HIM AFTER THE RASA DANCE?

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)

WHY DO WE OFFER OUR COMPLAINTS AND CRITICISMS TO GURU?

WHY DO WE OFFER OUR COMPLAINTS AND CRITICISMS TO GURU?

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)

“Rasik Mohan Das and the Bhaktabandhav team are doing an invaluable service publishing the hari-katha of Sripada Premananda Prabhu, Srila Gurudeva B.V. Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, and the books of the acaryas. Books like Sri Guru Darsana, Krsna-karnamrta, Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi, and so on, provide a wealth of information and purification: these volumes make one feel as though they are in Gurudeva’s presence, imbibing pure bhakti as only he could provide it.”

— Steven J. Rosen, Satyaraja Dasa (acbsp), author of 30 books on Gaudiya Vaishnavism, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, and associate editor of Back to Godhead