WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE MEDITATE ON THE GOPIS? Did They Compete With Each Other?

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE MEDITATE ON THE GOPIS? Did They Compete With Each Other?

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)

HOW LONG WILL THE MAKEUP STAY ON?

HOW LONG WILL THE MAKEUP STAY ON?

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)

WHO’S A DEVOTEE? WHO’S A FAKE?

WHO’S A DEVOTEE? WHO’S A FAKE?

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)

“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