30 October 1996 Mathura
[Harikatha spoken by Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja — Srila Gurudeva]
To Run Faster Than Krsna—Part II
Srila Gurudeva: By running faster than Krsna i.e. by continuous service to Him, we will be more eager to see Krsna. We will then catch hold of Him. So, Yasoda ran faster than Krsna. Krsna loves Mother Yasoda, and Mother Yasoda also loves Krsna. But Krsna’s love and affection is divided into lakhs and lakhs of parts. His prema is for innumerable devotees. And, Krsna is Yasoda’s only son. Therefore, her prema is solid and undivided. So, Yasoda Maiya ran faster than Krsna. This is the theory; this is the siddhanta.
If you leave everything, and have no worldly desires, and if your prema is not divided into fractions, then you will see Krsna. Your prema should not be for others—not for your husband, son, daughter, or for this body. There should be no separate desire. To love and serve Krsna, we will have to give up all our desires for enjoyment. The only desire should be that I only want to serve and please Krsna. Here Krsna means Krsna and all His associates. Don’t think that only Krsna is implied here. So, we will have to give our whole affection for Krsna. Whatever we do—we should do for Krsna and His associates.
Therefore, we should try to understand and place all our love and affection in Krsna. And then, we can have the darsana and service of Krsna; otherwise not. How can we serve Krsna, Guru and Vaisnavas, if we have so many worldly desires? So, we should try to understand all these teachings. We should try to take this lesson from this pastime. The aim and object of life should be to only please Krsna and His associates. No need to please any others.
rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mrjantam
sthita-graivam damodaram bhakti-baddham
—Sri Damodarastakam 2
[(Seeing the whipping stick in His mother’s hand) He is crying and rubbing His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes are filled with fear, and the necklace of pearls around His neck, which is marked with three lines like a conch shell, is shaking because of His quick breathing due to crying. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, whose belly is bound not with ropes but with His mother’s pure love, I offer my humble obeisances.]
lasat-kundalam gokule bhrajamanam
paramrstam atyantato drutya gopya
—Sri Damodarastakam 1
[To the Supreme Lord, whose form is the embodiment of eternal existence, knowledge, and bliss, whose shark-shaped earrings are swinging to and fro, who is beautifully shining in the divine realm of Gokula, who I (due to the offense of breaking the pot of yogurt that His mother was churning into butter and then stealing the butter that was kept hanging from a swing) is quickly running from the wooden grinding mortar in fear of mother Yasoda, but who has been caught from behind by her who ran after Him with greater speed–to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.]
At last, Mother Yasoda caught hold of Krsna from behind. She caught Krsna’s right hand by her left hand. The stick was in her right hand. Yasoda told Krsna, “Come in front of me,” because Krsna was trying to hide behind Mother Yasoda. He was weeping while rubbing His eyes.
Mother Yasoda told her son, “I will impart a lesson unto a monkey like You,” and she wanted to drag Krsna to the front. She showed the stick as if to say, “I am going to beat You.” Krsna was weeping at that time. Black tears (tears that mixed with kajjal (an eyeliner)) cascaded down His face. He was weeping so loudly.
He called out, “O brother Baladeva! Where are You?”
But Baladeva Prabhu was not there. He had gone to Upananda Maharaja with His mother. So, Baladeva was not there.
Krsna took heavy breaths while weeping. His neck and stomach were marked by three lines, a sign of beauty. When He took such heavy breaths, His earrings were dancing, and kissing Krsna. He wiped the tears with His left hand because Yasoda Maiya had caught His other hand.
She asked, “Will You again do this?”
“No mother, I will not do so,” replied Krsna.
Krsna requested her, “Mother, you should not beat Me.”
“I will not beat You, but I will give You a lesson that You will never forget in Your entire life. So, I will bind You to the same grinding mortar who was Your accomplice in this act. So I will bind both of you together. I will punish both of you,” replied Mother Yasoda.
Krsna stood on this mortar while He distributed butter. Krsna trembled while He took deep breaths. Some sakhis of Yasoda came at once. They saw that Yasoda Maiya was trying to bind Krsna.
They told her, “Sakhi, You should not beat Krsna. Give up this stick.”
But Yasoda was so determined that she wanted to give a lesson to Krsna. She was very merciful by nature, but now she became very hard-hearted.
Yasoda replied to her sakhis, “I will never give up Krsna. I will give Him a good lesson. Bring some ropes, I will tie Krsna.”
The sakhis began to laugh. They requested Yasoda Maiya that “Don’t try to beat or bind Krsna.”
The sakhis brought many ropes from Nanda-bhavana. Yasoda Maiya put the stick aside and started to bind Krsna. She took one rope but it was two fingers short although it was two-three yards in length. Krsna’s stomach measured twelve fingers. She took the rope and tried to bind Krsna, but she could not bind Him. The rope was two fingers short. Yasoda asked for another rope, and she joined it to the previous rope. She tried to bind Krsna again, but it was not sufficient. It was two fingers short. All the ropes of Nanda Baba were brought. But Yasoda’s desire to bind Krsna was never fulfilled. The ropes were always two fingers short.
Yasoda Maiya then ordered her sakhis to bring ropes from their own homes. The sakhis laughed and remarked, “How wonderful this is! Yasoda, you cannot bind Krsna even if you try your entire life. Brahma has not written that Krsna should be bound. So, how can you bind Him? You cannot do so even if you try your entire life.”
And the sakhis began to laugh and clap their hands. Yasoda Maiya became upset. She thought, “Oh He has come from my womb. He is my child, and I cannot bind Him? I will surely bind Him even if it takes me lakhs and lakhs of births to do so. How can Krsna not be bound by Me?” Yasoda tied many ropes together. They became so long that they extended for miles and miles. But she could not bind Krsna. The ropes were two fingers short? Why two fingers? Because one finger represents the attempt of the sadhaka. The sadhakas should always attempt. They should always practice sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, visnu-sevanam, pada-sevanam, arcanam, vandanam, dasyam, sakhyam, and atma-nivedanam. They should never stop. They should practice continuously, like the current of a river. When honey is emptied, it will flow in an unbroken manner. Similarly, our bhakti towards Krsna should be spontaneous. It should never break during the day or night. We will then be able to see and bind Krsna. He will come under our control.
Ever Brahma, Sankara, or Laksmi could not bind Krsna. Only Yasoda can bind Krsna. These five practices are superior to the nine practices of bhakti. They are:
sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana
—Sri Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya 22.128
[One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathurā and worship the Deity with faith and veneration.]
sakala-sadhana-srestha ei panca anga
krsna-prema janmaya ei pancera alpa sanga
—Sri Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya 22.129
[These five limbs of devotional service are the best of all. Even a slight performance of these five awakens love for Krsna.]
Offenses are the only barriers. If you are not committing any offenses, and if you are in the association of bonafide, bhavuka, tattva-vit (who know all kinds of siddhanta), rasik Vaisnavas, who are always chanting, then you will obtain the desired goal. The Vaisnavas chant the chief names of Krsna. They don’t chant the secondary names (gauna-nama) like Isvara, Allah, Khuda, Brahma, and the other names. Rama, Narayana, Vamana, and the rest of the names are Mukhya-nama. The names of Krsna that are paired with Srimati Radhika are the topmost of all names. Some of these names are Radha Govinda, Radha Gopinatha, Radha Madan-mohana, Radha-vallabha, and Radha-ramana are the supreme names. We should try to chant all these names under the guidance of Gurudeva, or a bonafide Vaisnava in Vrndavana—like how Rupa Gosvami has ordered. The essence of all his instructions is present here.
So, we should try to practice. One finger represents our sadhana. A devotee may think, “I will bind Krsna by my efforts.” Krsna cannot be bound just by sadhana. He can be bound only if His mercy is there. So, we are doing bhakti, and we want to control Krsna by our practices. But Krsna will never be bound just by sadhana. Krsna will become controlled by the devotee’s sadhana, just as He became controlled by Yasoda Maiya’s efforts. The second finger represents Krsna’s mercy upon us. We can control Krsna if both (sadhana, and mercy) are together; otherwise not.
Yasoda had promised, “I will have to bind Krsna,” and tried binding Him from morning to noon. She thought, “I will not take anything if Krsna is not bound. I will die rather than giving up my efforts in trying to bind Krsna.” Seeing the beads of sweat on Yasoda’s face, Krsna’s heart melted.
Yasoda concurrently thought, “Oh Narayana, I cannot bind Krsna although He is my child.” She was so worried. Her eyes became full of tears. Many colors manifested on her face. Krsna saw this, and He became very merciful. His Yogamaya’s influence subsided, and His krpa-sakti’s (the potency of mercy) influence became prominent. And, He was bound by Yasoda’s silken rope that was used to tie her hair into a braid.
Krsna wept on seeing Yasoda’s efforts, and His heart melted. We see that Krsna is almighty and all-powerful. But among His potencies, the potency of mercy is supreme. So, the two fingers represent mercy, and our practices. We should try to serve Krsna and spontaneously engage ourselves in following all the limbs of bhakti.
If Krsna will see that, “The sadhaka is followings all the limbs of bhakti,” then He maybe bound by the sadhaka in his heart. We cannot do anything without Krsna’s mercy. We may perform sadhana for lakhs, and lakhs of births, but it will be of no avail if Krsna’s mercy is absent. So, Krsna showed this by this pastime. We will not tie Krsna today; Yasoda Maiya will tie Him tomorrow. And we will at once try to untie the rope. So, we are finishing this class today.
Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!