Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
SRI JANMASTAMI, KRSNA'S BIRTHDAY
[Respected Harikatha Readers,
Dandavats pranama. Happy Sri Krsna Janmastami. This year you are receiving two years’ Harikatha on the nectar glorification of Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is ever-fresh and new, and makes us feel that way too.
Before speaking about Sri Krsna’s glories on Janmastami, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja leads the assembled devotees in singing Sri Jayadeva Gosvami's bhajana, Sri Mangala-gtam. He says that because today is Krsna's Appearance Day, we should begin by first of all singing this kirtana. Srila Maharaja then explains the deep meaning of the bhajana:]
20th August 2003
Sri Jayadeva Gosvami’s kirtana, Sri Mangala-Gitam, glorifies Bhagavan Sri Krsna, but moreover it indicates the glories of Srimati Radhika. This is because Lord Krsna’s highest glories are not manifest without His being in Her association.
This kirtana begins: Srita-kamalakuca-mandala! dhrta-kundala! e – Srita-kamalakuca-mandala means that Krsna is taking shelter at the breast of Srimati Radhika, and this is because of what happens to Him at the moment He sees Her. Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati describes how, simply upon seeing Her and by the influence of Her mahabhava, Lord Krsna’s flute falls from His hands, His peacock feather falls to the ground, His pitambara slips down, and He Himself begins to faint. At that time He is taking shelter at the breast of Srimati Radhika.
Regarding this verse Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati prays, “When will I perform rasa-upasana of that very Srimati Radhika?” Rasa-upasana means rendering service to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna by following in the footsteps of Sri Rupa-manjari and Rati-manjari. In this verse, at the time of His leaving home to go cow-herding, Krsna sees Srimati Radhika from afar and He begins to faint. Madhumangala catches Him and says, “O my friend, what are You doing? Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba can see You.”
Dhrta-kundala are Sri Krsna’s kundala (earrings) – the ornaments or beauty that decorate His ears are Srimati Radhika’s very beautiful words. Hearing the sound of Her sweet voice, Krsna’s flute falls to the ground.
Kalita-lalita-vanamala – Kalita-lalita means extremely attractive and beautiful. Krsna wears a very beautiful vanamala, garland of forest flowers. A question arises as to who made this garland, and the answer is that Srimati Radhika Herself has made it and placed it around His neck.
Jaya jaya deva! Hare – Jaya is sung twice here therefore there are two meanings. Jaya Jaya deva hare means, “All glories to the beloved worshipful deity of Sri Jayadeva Gosvami”, and it also means, “May that Bhagavan Sri Krsna, who is glorified by this song, be victorious.” In the second meaning, “All glories to that Sri Krsna” is sung twice for emphasis.
Mahaprabu is Always in Srimati Radhika’s Mood
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always in Srimati Radhika’s mood, but when He heard this song His mood at once changed to that of Sri Krsna. At that time He wanted to embrace the singer, thinking she may be Srimati Radhika or Srimati Lalita-devi or Visakha-devi. Therefore, when He was checked by His servant Govinda, He embraced Him and said, “I was about to return to My mood and nature as Krsna, but you checked Me. If you had not done so, I would have lost the purpose for which I came in this form, and also everyone would know that I am Krsna. You have saved Me.”
This is the first meaning, and in the second Lord Caitanya is telling Govinda, “You saved Me. If you had not done so, if I had touched that woman, I would have then jumped in the river and drowned there.” In this way there are two very good and deep meanings.
Many sannyasis, those in the renounced order, give up their sannyasa because they like to associate with ladies. They rationalize their activities by saying, “So many ladies come to me. What can I do? They come automatically, without my invitation.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will not listen to these arguments, so you should be very careful. If a lady comes to you with a spirit of enjoyment, slap her and speak harshly to her. I am very strict about this. Although I am very polite by nature, in these matters I am very strict. I cannot tolerate this. Girls should be especially careful regarding their motives for coming here. They sometimes come to pick up brahmacaris or sannyasis, and I have warned them not to come for this. They should only come to hear hari-katha, and they should be very strong in Krsna consciousness.
They should come to develop love and affection, like the gopis have, for Krsna – by first having love and affection for guru and real Vaisnavas. I request you all – sannyasis, brahmacaris and girls to be very careful in this regard. I have so much affection for my daughters, but I want to be very strict with them.
Bhava-khandana – Bhava means the coming and going in the endless cycle of birth and death and suffering in this material world. Khandana – for those in this world, Sri Krsna puts an end to all sorrows and sufferings in the cycle of birth and death. The gopis of Vrndavana, however, have a different kind of suffering. For them, suffering means separation from Sri Krsna. Srimati Radhika and the gopis feel great separation from Him, and He puts an end to that suffering. At the time of their separation He manifests to them in the form of a sphurti (vision), or in person, and relieves them from the fire of separation.
Muni-jana-manasa-hamsa – Krsna Bhagavan is the swan who plays on the lake of the minds of munis like Sri Narada Muni, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami and of course Srila Jayadeva Gosvami, who is not less than Narada Muni or Sri Sukadeva Gosvami.
At the end of the kirtana Srila Jayadeva Gosvami prays – idam kurute mudam. Mudam means overjoyed. He prays, “May all the world become auspicious and overjoyed.” He prays to Bhagavan Sri Krsna, on behalf of all the people in the world, to manifest within their hearts the transcendental pastimes described in this kirtana. He is very merciful, just as Srila Rupa Gosvami, who prayed:
anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila, 1.4)
[“May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.”]
Srila Rupa Gosvami did not pray for himself; he prayed that Sriman Mahaprabhu will kindly manifest in the hearts of everyone. Vaisnavas are causelessly merciful; they pray to Krsna on behalf of all the jivas.
In conclusion Srila Jayadeva Gosvami is saying, mangalam-ujjvala-gitam, which means that this song is full of unnatojjvala-rasa, the transcendental parakiya-rasa of mahabhava-svarupini Srimati Radhika.
Pleasing Sri Sri Radha-Krsna
Srila Maharaja then requested the assembled devotees to chant Srila Jayadeva Gosvami’s Sri Dasavatara-stotram. At the end of the kirtana, the kirtana leader chanted “Jaya dasavatara, jaya dasavatara” – all glories to the ten avataras (incarnations of Lord Krsna).
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Don’t sing this ending. This song is not the glorification of the ten avataras. Kesava! Dhrta-dasa-vidha-rupa! – This is a glorification of Kesava, Krsnacandra, Syamasundara and Vrajendranandana. You can sing instead, “Jaya dasavatari – all glories to that Krsna Bhagavan who is the origin of all these avataras.”
The devotees then chanted the kirtanas Sri Nanda-Nandanastakam and Sri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja, as they do every year on this very day.
Srila Maharaja: When Srimati Radhika hears this Sri Nanda-Nandanastakam, She becomes overjoyed and wants to give a benediction. At that time She will bestow the lotus feet of Her Prana-vallabha (beloved of Her life’s breath) Sri Krsna upon the devotees who bring Her so much happiness by singing this astakam. Alternately, if someone will sing Sri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja, which is the glorification of Srimati Radhika, Sri Krsna will become overjoyed and He will want to give the benediction of the lotus feet of His beloved Srimati Radhika.
Sri Nanda-Nandanastakam has originally emanated from the lotus mouth of Srimati Radhika, and she is singing it to Sri Krsna, either to His sphurti in separation, or directly to Him. Because His beauty is astonishing, She describes each and every one of His limbs. At the same time Sri Krsna thinks, “In this world no one has qualities as I possess. No one is as beautiful as I am and no one has attributes as I do. There is one person though – Srimati Radhika has hundreds of times the qualities that I possess. She is My prema-guru.”
This is explained in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila Chapter 4, wherein it is also stated that the gopis have all relationships with Krsna. They are His servants, masters, friends, mothers, and so on. Every relationship that is had by anyone with Krsna is had by the gopis with Him. We know that Mother Yasoda incessantly nourishes, cares for and protects Him but whatever moods manifest in Mother Yasoda are present still more so in the gopis.
The first verse of Sri Nanda-Nandanastakam states:
sucarcitanga-candanam namami nandanam (1)
["I offer pranama to Sri Nanda-nandana, whose face is extremely delightful, from whose beautiful ears hang jeweled earrings, and whose entire body is anointed with fragrant candana.”]
Lord Krsna’s face is very beautiful when He has darsana of Srimati Radhika at the time of rasa-lila. Srila Vyasadeva did not write rasa-lila in Srimad-Bhagavatam; rather it manifested spontaneously in his heart by sphurti, and then he spoke it. This sphurti takes place by the mercy of Krsna. Srimad-Bhagavatam is an eternal sastra like the Vedas, but it is many times superior.
Rasa-lila Removes All Lust
Why did Lord Krsna manifest His rasa-lila? Ordinary devotees cannot understand it, what to speak of those who are fallen and engaged in sinful activities. Srila Rupa Gosvami explained that Krsna is very merciful; if He had not brought rasa-lila from Goloka Vrndavana to this world, nobody would have the opportunity to understand it. By hearing about rasa-lila from pure devotees, one develops lobha (transcendental greed) to obtain that very confidential and difficult to obtain parakiya-rasa, unnatojjvala-bhava (paramour love for Krsna). Krsna performed rasa-lila to awaken greed in the hearts of those who are not qualified, to make them qualified to taste rasa. And, by the same exhibition of rasa-lila, He also increases these mellows tasted by those who are already tasting rasa. He is therefore very merciful, and Srimati Radhika is even more merciful than He.
The third verse of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s Sri Radha-kundastakam states:
agha-ripur api yatnad atra devyah prasada
anusarati yad uccaih snana-sevanu-bandhais
tad ati-surabhi radha-kundam evasrayo me
[”For the pleasure of Srimati Radhika, even Sri Krsna Himself, yearning to attain Her merciful sidelong glance, regularly bathes in Radha-kunda, carefully observing all the appropriate rituals. May that supremely enchanting Radha-kunda be my shelter.”]
In this verse it is explained that Lord Krsna is merciful, but He Himself seeks the mercy of Srimati Radhika. He goes to Radha-kunda and, according to all rules and regulations, He takes bath three times a day and then worships Srimati Radhika and prays to Her, “Please give Me your krpa-kataksa, Your merciful side-long glance, because if You do mana and ignore Me for one more second I will not be able to maintain My life.”
These moods have been manifested by Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Bhajana means to follow in their footsteps and to recite these kirtanas, developing their moods, so that a vision of the meaning of these kirtanas and transcendental pastimes will come into the heart.
Krsna has performed innumerable pastimes, but out of all pastimes rasa-lila is the best and most powerful. We have heard many times about the pastime of Mother Yasoda binding baby Krsna, and this pastime has astonishing power. Yet, rasa-lila is billions of times more powerful. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami therefore said,
vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh
sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah
[”Anyone who faithfully hears and then describes the Lord’s playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord’s pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart.”]
One should hear the sweet pastimes performed by Lord Krsna when He sports with the damsels of Vraja. We should hear them with ‘anusrnuyat.’ Anu means under the guidance of a sat-guru – bona fide guru and Vaisnavas, and it also means continually hearing these pastimes and rendering service to guru, and afterwards describing them. What will be the result? Bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam: here the word kama means prema-bhava; the love of the gopis will manifest in the heart, and as a result of this all lust will be eradicated forever. This is the wonderful power of hearing and describing rasa-lila. In their nara-lila, human-like pastimes, even Narada Muni and Lord Sankara were sometimes unable to check the power of lust, but this rasa-lila is called param-vijaya-lila – the lila which enables one to become completely victorious over lust. No one has the power to overcome lust, yet, our Gosvamis have manifested this lila and its deep bhavas, transcendental emotions, in their writings so that one will be able to overcome lust and enter into the lila. One should make the service of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna in this rasa-lila the ultimate and only aim and object of life.
Only Krsna is Qualified to Hear this Bhajana
31st August 2002
Who is really qualified to hear this bhajana? Sri Krsna Himself is actually the only person qualified to hear it. Sri Jayadeva Gosvami is only singing this song to give Krsnacandra happiness. He hopes to see Him pleased.
When Krsna sees Srimati Radharani looking towards Him with sidelong glances, He loses all His power and begins to fall to the ground. At this time Madhumangala notices and says, “What are You doing? Your mother, father, and all Your relatives are watching. You should check Yourself.”
srita-kamalakuca-mandala! dhrta-kundala! e
kalita-lalita-vanamala! jaya jaya deva! hare (1)
Krsnacandra takes shelter of Srita-kamala. Srita means shelter, and here, kamala means Radharani. Kuca-mandala means that Krsna is taking shelter of the breasts of Radharani.
Dhrta-kundala – Krsna’s kundala (earrings) are not ordinary. His kundala are the glories of Radharani, and He is always ‘wearing’ them.
Kalita-lalita – Lalita means very attractive and beautiful. Here, lalita refers to Krsna’s vanamala. His garland is made from different kinds of forest flowers. It hangs around His neck and extends down to His lotus feet.
Jaya jaya deva hare – all glories to this Krsna who steals all the distress of the living entities. Especially, He steals the heart of Srimati Radharani. No one can steal the heart of Radharani, except for Krsnacandra.
dina-mani-mandala-mandana! bhava-khandana! e
muni-jana-manasa-hamsa! jaya jaya deva! hare (2)
Generally dina mani means the sun, but here it means all the universes. India is the topmost place in all the universes, and Sri Vraja Bhumi, the topmost place in India, is the crown jewel in all the universes. Here, dina mani means that Vraja-mandala, not the Sun-god, is the crown jewel in all the visva-mandalas.
Bhava means material existence, and it also means bondage. He who delivers others from this is called bhava-khandana. In this connection, is there any material bondage for the Vraja-devis? They have none at all. Their only bondage is their feelings of separation from Krsna. Lord Krsna is the only person qualified to remove this bondage of separation from the Vraja-devis, so bhava-khandana means that Krsna can remove the distress of separation of the gopis.
Muni-jana-manasa-hamsa means the great sages, especially those who meditated on Bhagavan Sri Krsna for a long time in the Dandakaranya forest. It applies to all the yauthiki rsis (those sages who came to Krsna in a group) and ayauthiki rsis (those who came individually) who became gopis in their next birth. Muni also refers to Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Krsnacandra is just like the swan, swimming in the minds of these munis. Jaya jaya deva hare – Jayadeva Gosvami is singing, “All glories to this Krsna.”
kaliya-visa-dhara-ganjana! jana-ranjana! e
yadu-kula-nalina-dinesa! jaya jaya deva! hare (3)
Kaliya-visa-dhara-ganjana refers to that Krsna who smashes the pride of Kaliya. Krsna easily removed the poison of Kaliya, although he was extremely poisonous, and after doing so Kaliya became like amrta, nectar. In the same way, Krsna can also smash our anarthas. We therefore pray to that Krsna.
Jana-ranjana – Jana here means Vraja-jana, the residents of Vraja, like Sri Nanda Baba, Moher Yasoda, and all of Krsna’s friends and cows. Jana here especially means the Vraja-devis, and among them, Srimati Radhika is the most prominent. Krsna is the only person who gives pleasure to the Vraja-jana. He has no other duty; He is always thinking how to give pleasure to Srimati Radharani.
Yadu-kula-nalina-dinesa – Yadu-kula means the dynasty of Nanda Baba, not the dynasty of Mathura. Nalina means lotus flower, and here nalina especially means the lotus flower of the Vraja dynasty, the Vraja-devis, who are just like the lotus in Vraja-mandala. Dinesa means the sun, but here dinesa refers to Krsna. He is just like the sun for the lotus flower of Vraja-bhumi. When the lotus flowers of Vraja-mandala offer themselves to Krsna they begin to blossom, and therefore Jayadeva Gosvami is singing, jaya jaya deva hare: “I’m praying to this Hari, who, just like the sun, makes the flower-like gopis blossom.”
madhu-mura-naraka-vinasana! garudasana! e
sura-kula-keli-nidana! jaya jaya deva! hare (4)
Madhu, Mura, and Naraka were demons who were killed by Krsna – not really by Krsna Himself, but by other Visnu avataras. Janmastami is known to have taken place on the eighth day of the moon, but in reality, the eighth day of the moon is also a full moon day. In other words, the moon is always complete; only according to our own vision do we see that today is the eighth day of the moon or the fifth, or sixth, etc. Although always full, the moon is sometimes covered in part by a shadow, and thus we see only three-quarters, half, one quarter, or less. In the same way, all of the incarnations of Krsna, the Visnu avataras, are also Krsna. It is only our vision that makes us see any difference. It is generally understood that visnu-tattva kills the demons, not Krsna. But actually Visnu is Krsna Himself, Purnacandra, the source of all incarnations.
Just as the full moon is also always present on the eighth and any other day of the moon, Purnacandra Sri Krsna is eternally present. In this way, when Lord Visnu killed the Madhu and Mura demons, Krsna was also there. Here it says, madhu mura vinasana. He who killed Mura and Madhu is also Krsna; the verse indicates Sri Krsna.
Garudasana – Generally Garudasana refers to Lord Narayana, He whose carrier is Garuda. But here, Garudasana means Sri Krsnacandra. Krsna once made Sridama His Garuda-carrier and therefore Srila Jayadeva Gosvami is saying, garudasana meaning Sri Krsnacandra.
Sura kula keli nidana, jaya jaya deva hare – Sura generally means demigods. But Krsna’s madhurya, sweet pastimes, are not for the demigods. Not only can’t they see these pastimes, they also have no qualification to hear them. Venu-gita of Srimad-Bhagavatam explains that the demigoddesses have a chance to see something of Vraja-lila, but they cannot see completely. Yet, even when they saw only the semblance of the pastimes there, they fainted and became unconscious. The demigods on the other hand, have no qualification to see those pastimes, especially the madhurya-rasa pastimes. Only those who attain a qualification like Krsna can hear these pastimes. Keli-nidana – Keli means those pastimes that are giving pleasure to this type of sura.
amala-kamala-dala-locana! bhava-mocana! e
tri-bhuvana-bhavana-nidhana! jaya jaya deva! hare (5)
Amala means without any spots or blemishes, and kamala means lotus flower. Lord Krsna’s eyes are just like the petals of a spotless lotus flower. Tri-bhuvana-bhavana-nidhana – Tribhuvana here means Vrajabhumi, which is the essence of all the three worlds. Krsna is the only shelter of Vrajabhumi and the Vrajavasis. Jaya jaya deva hare – I offer my obeisances to this Hari, who is the shelter of all the Vrajavasis.
janaka-suta-krta-bhusana! jita-dusana! e
samara-samita-dasakantha! jaya jaya deva! hare (6)
The general meaning of janaka-suta is Srimati Sita-devi, the consort of Lord Ramacandra. In the pastimes of Ramacandra, Janaka-suta is decorating Rama with many kinds of paraphernalia. This can also be applied to Sri Krsna’s and Radharani’s pastimes. Sometimes, Srimati Radharani decorates Krsna in the forest. Janaka means father, and suta means daughter. Therefore, janaka-suta in this connection means the daughter of Sri Vrsabhanu Baba. Janaka-suta-krta-bhusana – Bhusana means decoration; Krsna is decorated by the daughter of Sri Vrsabhanu Baba.
Jita-dusana means He who defeated the demon, Dusana. Jita-dusana also means those things that are very bad, like the very intense separation of the Vraja-devis. Hari, Krsna, removes this, so I offer my obeisances unto that Hari.
Samara-samita-dasakantha – This Nanda-lala (the darling son of Nanda Baba) is defeating dasakantha, many demons. Jayadeva Gosvami is saying that this Nanda-lala is killing all the demons in Vraja. Jaya jaya deva hare – I offer my obeisances unto the lotus feet of that Hari.
abhinava-jaladhara-sundara! dhrta-mandara! e
Sri-mukha-candra-cakora! jaya jaya deva! hare (7)
Abhinava means very new, and jaladhara means that the newly formed cloud is appearing in the sky. It is very soft, glistening, pleasing, and attractive. Krsna’s complexion is like this, nava-jaladhara.
Dhrta-mandara – Mandara here doesn’t refer to Mandara-parvata (one of the largest mountains in the universe; the mountain of the demigods); it means Giri-Govardhana. In one way it can also be understood that mandara means the two Giriraja Govardhanas of Srimati Radhika, upon which Krsna takes shelter. The elevated ideas in this connection cannot actually be expressed. We will have to understand them by our bhajana.
Sri-mukha-candra-cakora – Here, Sri-mukha refers to Srimati Radharani, whose lotus face is just like the moon. Sri Krsna always hankers to have darsana of that moon. Just like the cakora bird, Krsna is also always one-pointed. The cakora bird will only drink water that comes directly from rain, not from any pond, or ocean, or river. In the same way, Sri Krsna is always hankering to drink the nectar of the lotus face of Srimati Radharani.
tava carane pranata vayam iti bhavaya e
kuru kusalam pranatesu jaya jaya deva! hare (8)
Here, Jayadeva Gosvami, who is most merciful and a very rasika Vaisnava within our sampradaya, is saying, tava carane pranata vayam. Vayam is plural. Jayadeva Gosvami alone is writing this song, but he is including us within his prayer to Krsna and saying, “Oh, please be merciful. We are now taking shelter at Your lotus feet; we are now Your surrendered souls.”
Kusalam means welfare. What is the real welfare? Sri Jayadeva Gosvami is praying, “Oh, please make me a maidservant of Srimati Radharani.” This is welfare. Kuru kusalam pranatesu – “Please! We are taking Your shelter. We are remembering Your lotus feet. Therefore, please make us the maidservants of Srimati Radharani.”
Sri Jayadeva Gosvami is uttering, jaya jaya deva hare three times, so that Krsna will listen to his prayer. The position of a maidservant of Srimati Radharani is topmost, and Lord Krsna Himself wants to serve Her as Her ‘maidservant.’ Although it is the topmost position, still, Jayadeva Gosvami is appealing three times so that Krsna will accept his prayer. He indicates, “It is for this purpose that I offer my pranama unto the lotus feet of that Hari.”
sri-jayadeva-kaver idam kurute mudam
mangalam-ujjvala-gitam jaya jaya deva! hare (9)
Sri Jayadeva Gosvami is praying to Krsna Bhagavan, “Only You are qualified to listen to this song. No one other than You is qualified to listen to this type of glorification of Srimati Radharani, and therefore I’m writing this song for You. I pray that You will become pleased by hearing it.”
What happened to Krsna when He heard this song? His ears stood up just like the ears of a calf or a cow, taking the form of cups. This song, only meant for Krsna, is the only real offering of prayer of glorification to Him. He becomes very pleased when His devotees sing this song. He will be pleased when you worship She who is dearest to Him. Sri Sri Radha-Krsna’s exalted pastimes are explained in Ujjvala Nilamani and other scriptures by the Gosvamis, and if we offer our prayers to pastimes such as Sri Krsna offering His head at the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika, He will become very pleased.
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