Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
The Beautiful Reality
Johannesburg, South Africa: January 29, 2010
[The final class of the January 2010 Winter Tour]
Yesterday we discussed Brahma-vimohana-lila, the pastime of Krsna bewildering Brahma. Lord Brahma prayed:
tad bhuri-bhagyam iha janma kim apy atavyam
yad gokule 'pi katamanghri-rajo-'bhisekam
yaj-jivitam tu nikhilam bhagavan mukundas
tv adyapi yat-pada-rajah sruti-mrgyam eva
[“My greatest possible good fortune would be to take any birth whatever in this forest of Gokula and have my head bathed by the dust falling from the lotus feet of any of its residents. Their entire life and soul is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, the dust of whose lotus feet is still being searched for in the Vedic mantras.”
In his humility, Brahma desires to become a stone on the land of Vrndavana. He feels that in this way, when an ordinary sweeper has completed the day’s work and comes to that stone to wipe off his feet, he, Brahma himself, will get purified by the dust of that sweeper’s feet.
Brahma offered so many prayers, such as this one:
naumidya te 'bhra-vapuse tadid-ambaraya
laksma-sriye mrdu-pade pasupangajaya
[“Brahma said: My dear Lord, You are the only worshipable Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore I offer my humble obeisances and prayers just to please You. O son of the king of the cowherds, Your transcendental body is dark blue like a new cloud, Your garment is brilliant like lightning, and the beauty of Your face is enhanced by Your gunja earrings and the peacock feather on Your head. Wearing garlands of various forest flowers and leaves, and equipped with a herding stick, a buffalo horn and a flute, You stand beautifully with a morsel of food in Your hand.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.14.1)]
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja called on Kisori Mohana dasa to speak about Krsna’s pastime of Killing the Dhenukasura demon, after which he further elucidated as follows:]
One day, Krsna and His cowherd friends, the sakhas, were grazing their cows in a forest where there were no mangoes or other fruits. His sakhas told Him, “We are very hungry; we cannot remove this demon of hunger. There are some tal trees nearby, but we will have to go carefully because a demon named Dhenakasura lives there.
Dhenaka means ‘donkey.’ Dhenakasura, the donkey demon, was engaged by Kamsa to protect the trees in that tal forest. He would supply all the tal fruit to the demon Kamsa, and would not give any to the Supreme Lord Krsna and His sakhas. Those who take fruit, vegetables, rice, or any other foodstuff for their own sense gratification, in other words for themselves or for their relatives, are all donkeys. Those who do not offer their food to Krsna are like donkeys.
Donkeys are very foolish. In the rainy season, when there is plenty of grass, the donkey grazes for a short distance and his stomach quickly becomes full. Although his stomach is full, he thinks that he has not eaten anything because he sees so much grass around him. On the other hand, in the dry season, when there is no grass, he walks for miles without being able to graze. Looking behind him and seeing no grass, he thinks, “I have grazed so much,” and thus becomes fat.
Furthermore: If he sees a lady donkey, he follows her for sex, and even if she kicks him with her hind-legs, he still goes after her. Those who live like this – always being insulted by their wives, and still following that wife day and night, feeding and serving her – they are also like donkeys.
A guru removes this foolishness and, as Dhenukasura is the symbol of such foolishness, Baladeva Prabhu killed him. Thus, Baladeva gave us knowledge that, “We should all be engaged in Krsna’s service.”
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja than called on a disciple to discuss the pastime of Krsna chastising the serpent Kaliya, after which he himself spoke:]
The serpent Kaliya lived in a lake within the Yamuna River. He had been there for a long time, up until Krsna’s appearance in Vrndavana. He had thousands of hoods, from which a very poisonous vapor emanated. By that vapor, the lake became so poisonous that a bird flying over it would die.
After Krsna subdued that serpent, his wives, the Nagapatnis prayed to Krsna:
kasyanubhavo ’sya na deva vidmahe
yad-vanchaya srir lalanacarat tapo
vihaya kaman su-ciram dhrta-vrata
[The Nagapatnis, wives of Kaliya, prayed to Sri Krsna:] “O Deva! Sri Laksmi-devi gave up all her desires, took a vrata and performed austerities for a long long time just to attain the dust of Your lotus feet. Nonetheless, she failed to achieve her heart’s desire. Who knows what pious activities Kaliya Naga performed to become qualified to receive that same rare footdust.” Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.16.36]
If anyone stays in Vrndavana for even one day or one night, krsna-bhakti will manifest in his heart. Thousands of people come to Vrndavana and Mathura. If they spend even one night there, bhakti will come to them.
It is for this reason that we invite people from around the world to participate in our Navadvipa parikrama and Vraja Mandala parikrama. They will be in Vraja for one month, they will attain pure bhakti very soon, and their lives will be successful. I especially invite you all to come to Navadvipa parikrama, which is coming very soon. It is for only six or seven days.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja then called on Sripad Madhava Maharaja to speak about the pastime called Venu-gita, in which the gopis feeling separation from Krsna glorified the song of His flute. After that, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja personally spoke as follows:]
The gopis are the most beloved of Krsna. When Krsna used to return from cow-herding in the evening, the gopis wanted to see Him without obstruction. Therefore they would criticize Brahma, the creator, by saying, “Why did he make eyelids?! We should have been given thousands upon thousands of eyes, without eyelids. In that way we would have been able to see Krsna perpetually.”
The gopis have so much love and affection for Him. In the daytime, when Krsna would go cow-herding, the gopis could not go with Him. Therefore, while in their homes they would meet with their own, like-minded group, (those gopis who share the same mood as them), and in that group they would discuss Krsna’s sweet pastimes. In this way they waited for evening to come, when they would see the foot-dust of the cows and hear Sri Krsna’s sweet flute music.
If we explain this in detail, it will take two days. So Madhava Maharaja will touch on the subject of Venu-gita.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja then called on Damodara Maharaja to speak about the Yajna-patnis, the wives of the ritualistic brahmanas, and then he personally commented:]
You can see what high-class bhakti was in the heart of the Yajna-patnis. They told Krsna, “We gave up our husbands, our households, and everything we possess. We cannot leave your lotus feet. We want to be maidservants of your most beloved gopis.” Thus, Krsna gave them mercy. I think that in a future birth they will become gopis and Krsna will accept them. If you want bhakti, follow the Yajnapatnis.
We are now finishing our classes (in South Africa and for the entire Winter Preaching tour). Those who have taken harinama or diksa initiation, as well as those who will take initiation tomorrow, should remember the essence of all instructions of Srila Rupa Gosvami:
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi-jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
[“While living in Vraja as a follower of the eternal residents of Vraja (Sri Guru and the six Gosvamis) who possess inherent spontaneous love for Sri Krsna, one should utilize all his time by sequentially engaging the tongue and the mind in meticulous chanting and remembrance of Krsna’s names, form, qualities and pastimes. This is the essence of all instructions.” (Sri Upadesamrta, verse 8)]
I am explaining the words and phrases in this verse.
Tan nama: Nama means ‘holy names.’ What names should one chant? Govinda, Damodara, Madhava, Rasa-bihari, Radha-kanta, Gopi-kanta – names like these supreme names of Krsna.
Tan nama rupa. Rupa means ‘form.’ How beautiful is Krsna’s form:.
barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram
bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam
randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair
vrndaranyam sva-pada ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih
[“Syamasundara is entering the forest of Vrndavana accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends. He wears a peacock feather in His turban, a yellow karnikara flower on His ears, a yellow garment as brilliant as gold, and a heart-stealing multi-colored garland strung with five kinds of fragrant forest flowers. Thus He displays His form as the greatest of dancers and the topmost expert in amorous love. The nectar of His lips flows through the holes of the flute and thus the glorious vibrations of His flute-song echo throughout the forest groves. Singing His glories, the cowherd boys follow from behind. In this way, Sri Vrndavana-dhama, which is more charming than Vaikuntha, becomes delighted by the touch of His lotus feet.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.21.5)]
How beautiful! Krsna takes His flute and places it to His lips. What is He playing? He utters these names through His flute: “Gopi, gopi!,” “Radhe, Radhe!” Sometimes His flute calls Syamali, Davali, Kavali, and Syamala, which are also names of His cows. But He is not calling the cows; He is calling the gopis.
He wears a vaijayanti-mala all around his very beautiful body. I think that if all beauty of the world is combined together in one place, it would still not be able to touch the feet of Krsna’s beauty.
kasturi-tilakam lalata-patale vaksah-sthale kaustubham
nasagre vara-mauktikam kara-tale venuh kare kankanam
sarvange hari-candanam sulalitam kanthe ca muktavali
gopa-stri-parivestito vijayate gopala-cudamanih
[“His forehead is decorated with musk tilaka, upon His chest rests the Kaustubha jewel, an exquisite pearl adorns the tip of His nose, His lotus hand holds the flute, bracelets adorn His wrists, His entire form is anointed with candana, a necklace of pearls graces His very charming neck, and He is surrounded by cowherd maidens – all glories unto He who is the crest jewel of cowherd boys!” (Sri Gopala Sahasra nama 28)]
How beautiful is this verse! Only the gopis can taste the sweetness of Krsna’s nama (name), rupa (form), caritadi (and activities).
Through His flute playing, He called Radha, Syamala, Lalita, Visakha, Candra, and the other gopis, at which time they all left their houses in the midst of their activities. Some of the gopis had been decorating themselves, and some had placed anjana (kajjala) on only one eye, but they all ran from home. Those who were cooking at once left their preparations burning, and they also ran to Krsna. Some had been distributing prasadam to their husbands, and they also ran away. In their hurry to reach Krsna, some placed ornaments meant for a certain part of their body on other parts. Restless, those who were in the midst of putting on their garments, on hearing the flute call, left for the forest half-clothed, dragging their cloth along with them.
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi-jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
[“While living in Vraja as a follower of the eternal residents of Vraja (Sri Guru and the six Gosvamis) who possess inherent spontaneous love for Sri Krsna, one should utilize all his time by sequentially engaging the tongue and the mind in meticulous chanting and remembrance of Krsna’s names, form, qualities and pastimes. This is the essence of all instructions.” (Sri Upadeçamrta 8)]
Tan nama rupa caritadi. This phrase refers to Sri Krsna’s sweet names, His very beautiful form, and His activities like rasa-lila and others.
Why did He perform rasa-lila? He wanted to make this clear to the world: “My most beloveds are the gopis, and among all the gopis, Radha is topmost.” Krsna performed rasa-lila in order to prove this.
The word sukirtananu in the above verse refers to performing kirtana with the tongue while remembering all these sweet pastimes of Krsna within the mind. Tisthan vraje means, ‘being only in Vrndavana.’ If you cannot be in Vrndavana physically, then while you are in Johannesburg, you can think, “I am in Vrndavana, the Yamuna River is flowing, the Vamsi-vat Tree is here, Giriraja Govardhana is here, Krsna performed rasa-lila and so many other pastimes here. And here are Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda, and Manasi Ganga. Even if you are in Johannesburg, You can think like this.
But don’t stay in Vrndavana independently. Be under the guidance of any pure Vaisnava, and hear from him about Krsna’s sweet form and pastimes. This is the essence of all instructions.
One more thing:
gurau gosthe gosthalayisu sujane bhusura-gane
sva-mantre sri-namni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-sarane
sada dambham hitva kuru ratim apurvam atitaram
aye svantar bhratas catubhir abhiyace dhrta-padah
[“O my dear brother, my foolish mind, taking hold of your feet, I humbly pray to you with sweet words. Please give up all pride and quickly develop deep, loving attachment for the spiritual master, Sri Vraja-dhama, the residents of Vraja, the Vaisnavas, the brahmanas, your diksa-mantras, the holy names of the Supreme Lord, and the shelter of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, the eternally youthful Divine Couple of Vraja.” (Sri Manah-siksa, verse 1)]
Kuru ratim: Always have great affection to siksa- and diksa-guru – more so than a devotee has at the stage of sraddha, more so than at the stage of asakti, and more so than at the stage of rati (when the meaning is bhava-bhakti). Rati (when the meaning is prema, pure love) for these things should manifest.
Gosthe refers to the residents of Vraja. Always remember that where Krsna lives in Nandagaon, Gokula, and Vrndavana, He is surrounded by the gopas and gopis and is performing so many pastimes. Those who live there, namely Nanda Baba, Mother Yasoda, the gopas, gopis, peacocks, deer – all these residents are remembering Krsna with so much affection.
Sri namne: Chant harinama, as Gurudeva has given you, with strong faith, thinking, “These names are Krsna Himself.” Krsna and His names are non-different, so chant them with strong faith. These names can fulfill all your desires, even more so than what Krsna can do.
Chant not less than sixteen rounds. Better to chant more than that. This chanting can save you from repeated birth and death in this world.
Sva-mantre refers to your diksa mantras. Chant your mantras three times daily. If you cannot chant at midday, then chant two times in the morning (one for morning and one for midday), and then once in the evening. Chant daily. Don’t be weak.
And meditate according to this verse:
na dharmam nadharmam sruti-gana-niruktam kila kuru
vraje radha-krsna-pracura-paricaryam iha tanu
saci-sunum nandisvara-pati-sutatve guru-varam
mukunda-presthatve smara param ajasram nanu manah
[“O my dear mind, please do not perform either the routine religious activities resulting in piety (dharma) or the irreligious activities resulting in sin (adharma) as mentioned in the Srutis or Vedas. Rather, you should render profuse loving service to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna Yugala here in Vraja, for the Srutis have ascertained Them to be the highest principle of supreme worship and the Supreme Absolute Truth. Always meditate on Sacinandana Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is richly endowed with the complexion and sentiments of Srimati Radhika, as non-different from Sri Nanda-nandana. And always remember the spiritual master as most dear to Sri Mukunda.” (Sri Manah-siksa, verse 2)]
In this verse Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is telling his mind not to engage in either religion or irreligion, rather to be only engaged in serving Radha and Krsna. He is teaching us to instruct our own minds that Srimati Radhika is our worshipful Deity, and Krsna is the most beloved of our Svamini (mistress), Radhika. Don’t attempt to have a direct relationship with Krsna, because a desire for sense gratification may come there also. Be careful of this. Meditate on Sri Guru’s personal activities and instructions. Meditate on Gurudeva being krsna-prestha, the most beloved of Krsna.
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam
[“All the scriptures proclaim that Sri Gurudeva is saksat-hari, the direct potency of Sri Hari. He is thus considered by saintly authorities to be His non-different representative. Because Sri Gurudeva is so dear to the Lord, being His confidential servitor (acintya-bhedabheda prakasa-vigraha, the inconceivable different and non-different worshipable manifestation of the Lord). I offer prayers unto his lotus feet.” (Sri Guruvastakam, verse 7)]
Think of guru as the manifestation of Krsna, Hari. He has all the qualities of Krsna, but he always thinks, “I am a servant of Krsna.”
yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadanna-gatih kuto 'pi
dhyayam stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam
["By the mercy of the spiritual master one is benedicted by the mercy of Krsna. Without the grace of the spiritual master no one can make any advancement. Therefore I should always remember the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master." (Sri Gurvastakam)]
Gurudeva’s prasada, mercy, is everything. Without guru’s mercy, there is no question of spiritual advancement.
Even though I am leaving Johannesburg and going to Navadvipa and Vrndavana, always think like this and practice like this; and your life will be successful.
At the Johannesburg Airport just before leaving for India.