Radhanath Swami Yatras http://radhanathswamiyatras.com Journey to Spiritual Places with Radhanath Swami Thu, 19 May 2016 06:58:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Radhanth Swami speaks on Lord Chaitanya’s Mahaprakash Lila At Srivasa Angan, 2012 yatra, Mayapur. http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanth-swami-speaking-on-lord-chaitanyas-mahaprakash-lila-at-srivasa-angan-2012-yatra-mayapur/ http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanth-swami-speaking-on-lord-chaitanyas-mahaprakash-lila-at-srivasa-angan-2012-yatra-mayapur/#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 07:57:29 +0000 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/?p=4198

Radhanath-SwamiYesterday we were discussing, after Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu returned from Gaya he met with all the devotees of Navadvip. At that time he was most eager to render every type of service, because you see Bhakti is the science of reconnecting with Krishna, with the source of all that exists, with the all attractive, all loving Lord through devotion.

Seva does not simply means to serve, seva means to serve with no egoism and no selfishness. Real seva means we are not considering what we get in return. Seva is the service with the intent to please the object of our service. – Radhanath Swami

It is cultivating that attitude that brings about real bhakti, real love.  So in this sense there is no big service and small service by external considerations. Big and small are seen by Krishna, only in reference to the content of our sincerity, and the purity of our love. One can build a magnificent temple with pure love, and that is a great service. Or one can offer a simple flower, and that is just as good, may be even better, depending on the internal quality of how we are genuinely trying to please the Lord.

 

Radhanath Swami explains how Lord Chaitanya came in the role of a devotee and served devotees

Lord Chaitanya came in the role of a devotee. His biographers, from the very beginning of Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat, Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Sri Chaitanya Mangal, Sri Caitanya Charita, Sri Chaitanya Chandrodaya, all of these great literatures they establish, according to scriptures, according to revelation, what Lord Chaitanya’s true identity is. He is the source of all pervading Brahman, he is the source of the paramatma, he is the source of all incarnations, he is Krishna tasting the sweetness of Radha’s love and offering that love to the world. But he takes the role of a devotee. Because at the end of Dvaparayuga, Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-Gita. In the 18th chapter His conclusion is

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

BG 18.66

Abandon all varieties of dharma and just go to the essence, surrender to me with love. I shall deliver you from all reactions, from all karmas. Do not fear.

And Krishna tells in simple words how to surrender.

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo ’si me

BG 18.65

Always think of me, become my devotee, worship me and offer your homage unto me. Thus you will come to me without fail.

But it is the nature of human inclination that we rarely learn by hearing. In order to really understand there must be examples who personify how to do it. Krishna himself incarnates in this age of kali to teach us how to be a devotee, by taking the role of a devotee. Lord Chaitanya was washing the clothes of his devotees; he would carry the loads of his devotees. He was bringing kusa grass, tilak. Anybody can do that; to do these kind of things you can pay a person very minimum wage in India even today: to wash your clothes or carry your things, or bring your mat. But Lord Chaitanya considered this the treasure of his life, the opportunity to serve. Why he was doing this? And why, out of millions of things that he did, his empowered biographers focus on these incidents? Because they are so important for us, we should never take any opportunity to serve Krishna or Krishna’s devotees to be something ordinary, something cheap. Even if we were paid tens and billions of rupees that could not equal the value of having the opportunity to carry a grass mat for a devotee; it is precious.

One of the reasons our spiritual progress is impeded is because we don’t really appreciate the value of the opportunity to serve. The human ego wants to be served. The human ego wants to be glorified. And to the degree that we hold unto these attachments, we cannot really appreciate the supreme, eternal, infinite value of glorifying Krishna, glorifying those who love Krishna, and of serving them.

They were saying, “No, no, you are the greatest Brahmin, you are the greatest scholar. Now you have become greatest devotee. I can wash my own clothes.” But Nimai said, “No this is only way that Krishna will be pleased with me. Let me do.” He was insisting. And in this spirit he taught the devotees how to love one another.

Anybody can talk about love. In every culture there is always talk about love. I am from 1960s in America where we were called peace and love generation. What was the love? Srimad-Bhagavatam talks,

savaipuàsäàpa rodharmoyato bhaktir adhokñaje

ahaituky apratihatä yayätmäsu prasédati

The real love that satisfies the heart is the love of selfless service to the object of our love, and such love has to be without any egoistic motivations, and not subjected to be interrupted by the inevitable impediments that will come before us . For a mother who loves her child in this world, there are many impediments. Sometimes the child cries all night. And we heard last night one little baby, this big, at the back of the tent cried, and we all have to stop, because that little baby drowned out the microphone and sound system. And if that is in a tent like this, and 4000 people absorbing the sound, what to speak of when that baby this far away from you in a little bedroom, how do you sleep? The mother will stay up all night, even if it is every night, to care for the child. What to speak of our devotion, and our love for Krishna!

Lord Chaitanya tells impediments are friends of devotees. The impediments that come on our spiritual path actually impel us, if we are sincere, to take shelter, to become very serious.

In this spirit the devotees joyfully came together and Lord Chaitanya inspired them all to chant the holy names of the Lord. Especially when they chant in the courtyard of the house of Srivasa. It was at that time Lord Chaitanya began to reveal himself to his devotees, to Advaita Acarya. Advaita Prabhu was offering puja to his deities here in Navadvip, and Gadhadara was with him, and Nimai happened to come. When Nimai saw Advaita’s incredible devotion for Krishna, he was so pleased, so overwhelmed. That Advaita had such a good fortune of such love for Krishna, Nimai actually fell unconscious in ecstasy. Taking the opportunity, Sri Advaita Acarya bathed the feet of the Lord with his tears, then he offered Chandan, sandal wood, tulsi leaves. Then he offered full arati, and with folded palms offered prayers. Lord Chaitanya was about one third of his age, and Advaita was the leader of entire Brahmin community. Gadhadara Pandit was really surprised. He said, “Why are you treating this young boy like this?”Advaita Acarya looked at him and said, “Gadhadara, you are such a child. How long will you think that Viswambar is just a young boy. He is our worshipable Lord.”

 

Radhanath Swami describes Lord Chaitanya’s display of the symptoms of ecstatic love

A few days later Nimai was walking and he heard Vishnu Sahasranama, thousand names of Vishnu sung, and he heard the name Varaha. And he ran to the house of Murari Gupta and manifested his Varaha rupa to Murari. Today is Gopastami, the day when Krishna first was given charge of the cows, in Sri Vrindavana Dham. One day Nimai was walking along the Ganga, and he happened to see beautiful cows, and calves, and bulls. They were chewing on grass; they were pushing each other, they were kind of playfully fighting with each other. Some of them were leaping in the air, and jumping around, and raising their tails. And when he saw these cows, he became so happy, he manifested his mood of Gopal, he ran to the house of Srivasa, and revealed his divine opulence.

When they were performing this Kirtan in Srivasa Angan, Sacimata would come. And she would see her Nimai, torrents of tears pouring from his eyes; sometimes in his ecstasy his body would become as stiff as a stone pillar. Nobody could move it. At other times it would become as soft as fresh butter, it seemed like he didn’t even have any bones. These were the kinds of transformations of the ecstasy of his love. Sometimes he would leap into the air and then he would go into trance, and fall down to the ground. When Sacimata would see this, her heart would break, a mother’s love. She prayed from her heart of heart to Krishna, she offered two prayers. The first prayer was, “Krishna, if I ever in this life or any previous life, ever done anything to please you, then I will exchange all the credits of all my devotion and pious activities for one blessing, that when my child falls to the ground, that he doesn’t feel any pain.” Then she saw him jump up again and fall down, she offered a different prayer. She said, “Maybe my child, because he was in such a trance he doesn’t feel pain. But I feel pain, so please give me the blessing that when my child falls down on the ground like this, that I don’t see it.” And Lord Chaitanya in his own heart understood her prayer, and granted her. So whenever that happened, she was in such a transcendental ecstasy, that she didn’t even notice it.

One day Lord Chaitanya told his devotees, “We are spending our whole day speaking about Krishna, serving Krishna, chanting in Kirtan, but we are wasting the entire night sleeping and doing other such things. From this day on for next one year we should continue the Kirtan throughout the entire night.” That is quite a instruction. But devotees had such faith in his will, they cried out Hari Bol! Hari Bol! Then Lord Chaitanya, according to Chaitanya Caritamrita, taught them how they could actually accomplish it. Singing all day and all night he gave them this verse….

Trinad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina mana dena kirtaniya sadahari

If one is humble like blade of grass, tolerant and forbearing like tree, eager to offer respects to others without demanding and expecting respects for oneself, then one could chant names of Lord constantly.

Sometimes the Lord would give an analogy. Look at the grass we are sitting on it. We are walking on it. Grass simply comes back up to serve, not trying to take a high position, happy at everyone’s feet. Look at the tree; in summer stands in direct sun to give us shade, in winter stands covered with ice to give wood to keep us warm. In hot summer season when there is drought, tree do not have any water but gives us delicious fruits to quench our thirst. Even if you cut down a tree , tree gives its body to build house for ourselves.. Example of tree is service to others, and devotees took it to heart. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami says we should take this verse like jewel, like jewel of verse, we should put it on string of holy names and keep it over our heart always.

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, because these particular kirtans in Srivasa’s house were all night, were so intimate and so deep. Only the purest devotees were given entrance, because others would not simply understand the level they were communicating on with God. And Lord Chaitanya was chanting and dancing with all the rest of them just like he was one of devotee, but everyone there knew that he is their worshipable Lord. As they chanted and danced in great happiness, it was their yearning to love him and serve him according to their natural loving relationship with him.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates Lord Chaitanya’s pastime of Mahaprakash Lila

And one day Lord Chaitanya came to house of Srivasa and he manifested what he called the Mahaprakash. Outside Srivasa’s house there were so many people who wanted to get in, and many were very envious, very proud. And they were insulted that they could not go in. They started spreading the nastiest possible rumors all over Navadvip. We know, why they do not allow us into their house. There are so many great scholars, Battacharyas, Mishras, Chakravartis in Navadvip having good reputation, but this Srivasa and his associates are criminals and they are low class thugs. During day they chant tantric mantras to seduce five kinds of young girls and they get those girls to come to their house in night. They lock doors. Then they all drink all sorts of wine and liquor together. They decorate themselves with luxurious garments. They sing all sorts of passionate songs together and this way they engage in the most abominable activities. And that is what they are doing all night and every night. That’s why they do not allow us in. They know that we are moral ,ethical, saintly, enlightened people who do not stand for this in Navadvip. What is this loud chanting! They are hypocrites, they are saying that God is there in heart as paramatma, super soul. If God is in their hearts then why they have to scream so loud for him to hear?  And if they scream at somebody, it annoys them. It does not please them. Why they are screaming at Krishna? It is an insult, it is an offense. Because it is offense, there would be famine, there would be drought, all sorts of tragedies here in Navadvip; so we should stop them now.

We should go to the king and report him and arrest them in shackles and throw them into prison. And another person says we do not have time for that;  right now pick Srivasa’s house, break it to pieces, throw it into Ganges, shackle him, arrest him, and beat him. Every night they were outside house talking like this. One pious, nice person, “All those devotees are so fortunate , they are chanting and dancing with Gauranga. Only reason I am not allowed is, I do not have pious activities to earn such a blessings.” When the antagonists heard that they are outraged, they screamed. He is one of them , beat him, get him. Person has to run away. If you did not go along with their criticisms , their propaganda and with their blasphemes, you are singled out and persecuted. So common people didn’t know what to do because these people were so powerful. But the devotees could not hear any of it, because they were totally absorbed in joy of chanting the holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

On this particular day when the Lord entered Srivasa’s courtyard , he sat on thrown of Vishnu. In the past, in the role of a devotee he took a few moments to timidly sit,  to give happiness to devotees. But on this day he sat very firmly with conviction, and he sat for 21 continuous hours revealing his various incarnations according to his devotee’s love for him. They began to sing the song for abhishek, the purushasukta prayers. And hunderds and thousands of buckets and pots of water from Ganga were pouring over Lord Chaitanya’s head as he was just accepting all services that devotees wanted and yearned to offer him.

Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita, Gadadhar, Srivasa. These devotees, they are pouring the water over the Lord, and others are carrying water to them. And some of Srivas’ servants and maidservants helping actually to bring the water all the way from Ganga to his house .

 

Radhanath Swami on how by the blessing of Lord Chaitanya Dhukhi became Sukhi

Among them there was one girl; her name was Dukhi. Dukhi literally means one who is miserable. In Bengal at that time, if a mother loses many children at birth or during young age, they were so unhappy. If they finally got a nice child,  they would name the child Dukhi, which means she is miserable. The idea or sentiment at that time was, Yamaraj, superintend of death, would feel sorry for her. Her name is misery, let her be. Otherwise why do you name your child the miserable one! But that was her name. With such love she was looking at Lord Gauranga. And she was way in the background unseen by anyone, just taking water from Ganga and putting it in completely nice straight rows. So that devotees who were bringing it to other devotees bathing Lord, it would be very easy for them. Such a simple service; just carrying pots of water and putting in nice rows. But she was doing it with such deep affection, such honor and respect for devotees who loved Lord, and such devotion to Lord. Nobody noticed her, everyone was looking at abhishek. How many of you would be looking at Dukhi when Lord Gauranga is having abhishek? The first time ever in history he is allowing it to happen. But Lord Gauranga was looking at Dukhi. There were swamis, acharyas and paramahamsas there, and he was looking at little Dukhi.

And he asked Srivasa,”Who is this girl?”

Srivasa said, “She is a simple maidservant. Her name is Dukhi.”

Sri Gaurasundar said, “The name Dukhi does not feel right in my heart. On this day I give her the name Sukhi ,which means the happy one.”

With that name he gave unlimited eternal happiness. He gave her the ultimate perfection of life, prema bhakti. According to Vedas there are four goals of religion in life that are followed: artha, dharma, kama, moksha. Religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation. But purushartha siromani, the crest jewel of all goals, is prema pumarth mahan, the awakening of eternal ecstatic love of Krishna that is there in the heart of every living being. He gave Sukhi that blessing. What yogis spend lifetimes of severe austerities, perfecting their breath control, their meditation, their physical postures, what jnanis spend lifetimes to achieve by scrutinizing, evaluating, analyzing all the sutras and slokas of various scriptures and discriminating between matter and spirit, Dukhi Sukhi attained same goal just by her simple pure hearted desire to please Lord just by carrying some pots of water. This is how the Mahaprakash lila begins.

Then the devotees want to feed Lord. Their desire was unlimited to feed him. Ye yatha mam prapadyante. Krishna reciprocates according to our desire. Now sometime, there are guests in your house and you want to feed them a lot. How much can they eat? We have certain capacity of actually how much we can reciprocate. But Lord Chaitanya said bring me whatever pleases your heart. They would bring him, they brought him dozens of bananas. Within fraction of moment, he ate it up. He did it very gracefully; it was not like universal form devouring everything. It was so graciously and gracefully, he could do that in a moment. It is inconceivable shakti.

They brought him, they were so enthusiastic, even more and more. The devotees were going out, running out into the villages, sending other people into the villages to get everything they could find! They were feeding him thousands and thousands of bundles of bananas; thousands and thousands of pots of Ganga water; thousands and thousands of pieces of sandesh; thousands and thousands of buckets of butter and dahi and milk; thousands of coconuts; thousands of betel nuts. And within a moment he kept saying, “Bring more! Bring more!” Now, just because you can’t do it, and I definitely can’t do anything like this, it doesn’t mean nobody can do it. If God, if the Absolute Truth has to be compared to us, what’s the use of his being God? He is sarvesvaresvara !

Tumi sarveswareswara, vrajendra kumara. He is the controller of the controller of all the controllers! He is creating and controlling the movements of the sun and the various planets in the universe. And we can’t even control our own bowels. When nature calls, doesn’t matter what race we’re from, what sex we are, what kind of degrees that we have in college. When nature calls, we are under control! And while he has taken all that stuff – doesn’t say this in the scripture – 21 hours nature never called. And what did he eat! What did he drink! Literally tens and thousands of pots of Ganga water. He is smiling. He didn’t grow in size. What was happening? It is not that the Lord was hungry for water and sandesh and bananas and coconuts and everything else. He was hungry for the love of his devotees. And the Supreme Lord can accept unlimited quantities of love. And the Supreme Lord gives unlimited quantities of love. They bathed him, they dressed him nicely, they put beautiful garlands on him, they fed him, and a beautiful kirtan was taking place.

 

Radhanath Swami describes Lord Chaitanya giving benediction to each of his devotees in his Mahaprakash lila

Then Lord Caitanya blessed each of his devotees by revealing to them the intimate-most form that they worshipped of Krishna. And offered them any boon that they liked. And he is even telling them about their past lives. He turned to Srivasa, just to charm his heart. He said, “Srivasa, do you remember? Years and years ago, you were at the school of Devananda Pandit. And he was reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam. And as you were hearing the verses, you were so moved with love for Krishna that you started to cry and uncontrollably you called out. And the students considered you to be a disturbance for them.” Now actually most people who do that in a class are a disturbance. Because they are not like Srivasa. They are not really in the spiritual trance of ecstasy of love. And they thought him to be like anybody else. So the students just picked him up, took him outside and dropped him on the ground in a distant place and they went back. And when Srivasa came out of his trance, he found himself just laying there. And he felt very sad. “Don’t you remember this Srivas! And then because you felt so sad, you went home, you started to read Srimad-Bhagavatam to somehow or other transcend that sadness. And as you were reading Srimad-Bhagavatam, such a deep ananda, of love awakened you in your heart, and it was uncontrollable. And since that day, every time you pick up the Bhagavatam to read, tears flow from your eyes in the trance of the ecstasy of love for Krishna, total absorption in Krishna.” He said, “I am the one who gave you that feeling. I could not tolerate seeing your sorrow.” When Srivasa heard that, he was overwhelmed.

Then the Lord turned to Gangadas, his own teacher. He said, “Ganga Das, do you remember many years ago when the king was sending dacoits to persecute the people of Navadvipa? And they were chasing after you and your family, and you ran away. And you ran and ran and ran, and ultimately came to the bank of Ganga. By the time you got there it was middle of night, and the rapists and murderers were fast approaching. And there was no boat, and the Ganga was very wide and flowing very strong, and you were crying. You decided – rather than allow these people to touch your wife, your daughters, your family the way they would, you would drown yourself in the Ganga. At that moment a boatman out of nowhere came out of darkness, and you said, “Boatman, please save me. Save my family. I’ll give you anything you want.” And that boatman brought you to the other side. Gangadas, you never told anyone that story, but I know because I descended from the spiritual world just to become that boatman, just to save you.” Ganga das was thrilled overflowing with gratitude.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the wonderful pastime of Lord Chaitanya with Sridhar

Lord said to bring Sridhar. Devotees said, “Who is Sridhar?” Lord Gaura Sundar replied, “He is my loving devotee. Nobody even knows who he is? He is a simple banana leaf seller.” Because he was so insignificant and so poor from the social perspective, whoever saw him just called him Kolavecha. Kolavecha means banana seller. They didn’t even care to know his name. But this Kolavecha Sridhar, he is such a dear devotee, for 12 hours continuously every night, he cries out the names of Krishna. You just go towards Simantadvipa, to the edge of Navadvipa town, and you will hear his voice. Just follow that sound, and you will find him. The devotees went running. And sure enough they heard from a distance, very humble cry of the holy name.

‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

They went to Sridhar. They said, “Sridhar, Lord Gauranga is calling you.” By this time Sridhar knew that Lord Gauranga was his beloved Lord. He fell to the ground. Why is he calling me? They said, “Just come, just come.” They had to actually lift him up and practically carry him back. He felt so unqualified. He was standing right before Lord Chaitanya. Lord Chaitanya said, “Kolavecha Sridhar, you have given me such nice bananas for so many years, and I would not eat a single meal, which is not offered on the banana leaf that you have given me. Now I want to reveal myself to you. Look.” Sridhar looked up, he saw that Sri Chaitanya’s form became that of Krishna. He was standing with the complexion of a Tamal tree, the same Shyamsundar, who was the eternal object of Sridhar’s love and devotion. He had beautiful lotus like eyes, curly black hairs around his loving face, his lips were red like the Bibma fruit. He had a kaustubamani on his chest. On his side was Lord Balaram, with the complexion of spring clouds. He saw the forest of Vrindavana, the tamal trees, the kadamba trees, the banyan trees. He saw Brahma, Siva, Lakhsmi, Narada, Sukhadeva, the four kumaras. All with their hands folded, offering beautiful prayers to Krishna and Balarama. He saw unlimited Surabhi cows filling the entire background. Kolavecha Sridhar, upon seeing this beautiful darshan, the ultimate object of his meditation, he fainted in divine ecstasy. And Lord Chaitanya said, “Sridhar, get up, behold my beautiful form.”

Lord Chaitanya began to recount the wonderful pastimes that he had with Sridhar, when he was a young boy, for everyone to hear. Before he went to Gaya, Nimai was performing his pastimes as a very restless student, and then as a very restless teacher. Nobody knew that he was Krishna himself, but they loved him. Sridhar would sit on the side of a dusty road selling whatever little he had. He grew some bananas. Sometimes, somehow or other he purchased some banana leaves. If he could he would get some bananas, or banana roots, or banana bark, whatever the part of banana tree, he would try to make it into something to sell. He was so honest. He was compared to Maharaja Yudhistir. He would never want to hurt anyone. This is the kind of businessman Sridhar was.

He wanted to survive in his lifestyle in such a way that he would charge the least possible for whatever he sold. Have you ever met a businessman like that? And anybody who came to him knew him to be so honest and so fair, and as you say in the west rock bottom price, nobody will ever argue about the cost with him. Whatever he said, they would just give to him, except for Nimai.

Nimai will tell, “O Sridhar! How much is this banana?” and he would give very, very fair price.

Nimai would say, “Why are you cheating me? I will give you half.”

“And how will I survive if you give me only half?”

Another thing about Sridhar, whatever money he made, the first half of that he would use to worship mother Ganga, because he understood that mother Ganga is ultimately a person. She is devotee of the Lord; she is an energy of the Lord that is descending to purify us through her blessings, through her grace. On physical level mother Ganga is sustaining all civilization of people on her banks by providing water and filling wells, but beyond that she is not an ordinary river. The breeze that touches Ganga, the water in the Ganga, for one who bathes in it, touches it, sees it, tastes it, then one gets purified. And if we are truly receptive, Ganga Mai awakens that love for Krishna within our heart.

Nimai said, “I will give you half.”

They will argue about the price and in the end Nimai would usually say, “Then I would take it for nothing.” And Sridhar would be so charmed by this beautiful boy, that Sridhar would say, “Nimai! Whatever you want you do! Whatever makes you happy!” They had such a loving relationship that Nimai would come minimum two hours everyday. They would argue about the price of the banana, not because of the banana, because they could not give up each other’s association; that was the medium. You see this world, on material platform, apparently material things in this world can be an incredible spiritual medium between the devotees if Krishna is in the center. And in this case, Sridhar didn’t know that Krishna was in the center, but he felt it.

One day Nimai said, “Sridhar. You are so poor. You worship Krishna. You chant his name all night long. I have heard.” He would chant ‘Hari, Hari’ all night long along with the mahamantra. And the materialistic people living all around him could not tolerate it. They hated him. They would say so many nasty propaganda things and rumors about him. They would say, “He is just a total useless failure. Look at the clothes he wears. Look at the type of house he lives in. And now he is trying to make himself to be big saint, chanting all night. He is not a devotee. This chanting is not out of love, he is just tortured by hunger because he can’t make a living. And he is crying out because of hunger pains.”

And sometimes they would pick up a vegetable and throw at him and say, “Here Sridhar. Eat it and shut up.”

Sridhar would just smile and chant Krishna’s name.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

Nimai would say to him, “What is Krishna doing for you? Look at your clothes. There are so many holes in your clothes and you cannot even afford needle and thread. You take the two different sides of the holes and tie knots to close them. And I see at least  two thousand knots in your clothing. Look at your house. It is just a straw thatched hut and I’m sure the roof leaks in the monsoon season. I cannot see a single piece of furniture in your house. All you have is this one old iron pot that you use for all purposes. And look at your body. It is emaciated and thinning. You are hardly eating anything. And around you there are people who are not devotees of Krishna. They have nice houses. They are nice and strong. They have good clothes. What is Krishna doing for you?”

Sridhar smiled! He said, “Nimai, in my years in this world, I have come to learn through my observation. That there is a king. The king has fine clothes, beautiful palaces and eats the most royal foods, and then there is the bird. The bird wears the same old feathers every day. He lives in a nest of straw and he eats whatever he finds on the trees.”

He said, “But I don’t see any difference between the two. Time is passing the same way for the bird and the king. They are both struggling, they are both enjoying. And time is passing the same way. So I may not have much, but I am happy with whatever I have because I have Krishna.”

Nimai said, “You are a cheater. You are a hypocrite. You have great wealth but you are hiding it.”

And Sridhar said, “Whatever you see is what I have. Seeing is believing. I don’t have anything”.

He said, “No! You are hiding a great treasure and in this way you are cheating the people. But someday I will expose your great fortune.”

Sridhar didn’t know what to say!

Lord Chaitanya said, “How many bananas will you give for how much?”

And Sridhar again gave a fair price.

He said, “Do you not know? You worship mother Ganga. You offer her so many offerings. I am the father of Mother Ganga. She is holy and she is sacred because she has washed my holy feet.”

Sridhar would block his ears and say, “You are so restless! You are so restless! Are you not afraid of even saying like this for even Ganga?”

Nimai would take his bananas and would say, “I will take it.”

Sridhar, everyday his heart was beating in ecstasy with the anticipation that Nimai would come to steal his bananas.

He waited! He looked down that dusty pathway, just waiting for that beautiful golden form of Gauranga to come. And if Gauranga was late, Sridhar was in such separation. He didn’t know he was Krishna. But he loved him as much as he loved Krishna. In fact, he loved him even more than Krishna not knowing he was Krishna. And every day Sridhar will supply Nimai with a banana leaf. And it was a tradition in Sachi Mata’s house that Nimai will not eat unless it was provided on banana leaf provided by Kolavaicha Sridhar.

And every now and then on the straw roof of the hut of Sridhar, a squash would grow. A wild squash! And Kolavaicha Sridhar would always offer that to Nimai. This was their relationship.

And on this day, Nimai never did anything but take, take and take from Sridhar. And all Sridhar ever did was to give, give and give.

And on today’s Mahaprakash, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was revealing his form of Krishna and Balaram. And he told Sridhar, “Offer prayers to me.”

Sridhar said, “My Lord! You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can I offer prayers to you? I’m not educated. I’m an ignorant person. I don’t know how to make prayers!”

Nimai said, “Any word coming from your mouth will be a prayer. Just say something.”

And then Lord commanded Goddess Saraswati to come on tongue of Sridhar so that whatever feelings were in his heart he could eloquently express through words. And he did. He said, “O Lord! All glories to you! The son of Jagannath Misra, the son of Sachi Devi! Of Lord Vishwamber, you have descended from Goloka Vrindavana, from the highest planet, simply to shower the whole of Navadwip and the whole of world with Bhakti. And not only you give that Bhakti, but you are conquered by that Bhakti. And after you are conquered by that bhakti you take that to the core of your heart and then you give it to others. This is the highest truth O Lord. How you are the controller of all living creatures but you agree to be controlled by the love of your devotee! On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Bhisma promised Duryodhana that I will make Krishna break his promise today.”

What was Krishna promise? Before the battle began, he told Arjuna and Duryodhana, “On one side I will give my army and on the other side I will be there. But I will not fight and I will not lift a weapon. That is my promise.”

Duryodhana was thinking, “If you are not going to fight and you are not going to lift a weapon, then I will take the army.” And Arjuna was very happy. “My Lord I only wanted you.” That was the difference in their faith.

During the battle, Bhisma told Duryodhana that he was going to defeat the Pandavas. And he was having a fight with Arjuna and in the fight with Arjuna, Bhisma defeated him. Arjuna was laying and he was helpless and Bhisma was about to totally defeat him.

At that moment Krishna picked up the wheel of chariot and charged at Bhisma and Bhisma in great happiness offered dandavats. That was his whole purpose. He didn’t want to defeat Arjuna! He wanted to make Krishna to break his promise because he knew hundred percent for sure.

Krishna told Arjuna before the battle began, Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati. Declare boldly O Arjuna! My devotee will never perish.

He would rather break his own promise rather than have a devotee break his promise. And Bhisma, when he was laying in his bed of arrows, he was remembering that with such ecstasy. Krishna was willing to be defeated by Bhisma! Why? Because of his pure devotion.

And Yashoda Mai, in this month of Kartik, she tied Krishna with rope and bound him! And therefore his name is glorified as Damodar, restless little Gopal! The supreme master of all universes! The origin of all aspects of God! The absolute!

Yashoda Mai was not a warrior, she was not a mystic, she was just a mother, a Gopi! But Krishna allowed himself to be bound by the rope of her love just to show the world for all times to come the power of bhakti.

And Satyabhama. She was one of the wives in Dwarka. And you acted like a henpecked husband for her. She said, “Krishna! You brought Parijat flower for Rukhmini! I want the Parijat tree.”

What could you do? You had to go to Indraloka and had to have whole war with Indra to bring that Parijat tree for Satyabhama, just to show the world that you are conquered by the love of your devotees.

And you carry the Gopas on your shoulder after they defeat you in wrestling. How is that this little Gopa name Sridhama, he wasn’t wrestler. He didn’t have muscles! He is just a little cowherd boy.

Krishna defeated Chanur and Mushtika! He had already defeated Putana and Trinavarta and Aaga, Bakasura, Vatsasura and Kaliya. He defeated all of them. These are monstrous Rakshasas and mystics.

And this little boy would say, “Krishna I want to wrestle with you.”

And Krishna would wrestle. And then ‘I give up! I give up!’ Krishna says.

And Sridhama would say, “Now you have to let me ride on your shoulder for everyone to know that I defeated you in wrestling!” Krishna would gladly put him on the shoulder. All the Gopas would be throwing flowers on the Sridhama because he had won. But they are also throwing flowers on Krishna because ultimately he won. Because for Krishna that’s wining. To be defeated by the love of his devotee is considered by Krishna to be greatest victory. When a father wrestles with his tiny little child, actually father can just pick up the child and the child can be in unconscious in 5 seconds and then he can go and say, “I defeated the child.”

Will the child be happy? Will he be happy? Will anybody be happy?

The little child says, “I want to wrestle with you father.”

And the father says, “Yes. Yes.”

And the child comes up to father and the father, “I give up, I give up.” And father carries the child on the shoulder.

And the child says, “I defeated my father. I defeated my father.”

The father is so happy, the child is so happy. And everybody is so happy. That is love. Krishna is conquered by the love of his devotees.

Kolavaicha Sridhar said, “The devotees, they beg for that bhakti and if anyone sincerely begs for that pure bhakti that person will defeat you. Because you become subordinate to the love of your devotee. And you have descended into Navadvip to give that Bhakti to everyone, to anyone who is willing to receive it, and you have come to this world to flood people’s heart with this bhakti.”

Lord Chaitanya asked Sridhar to ask for any boon. He said, “I will give you anything.”

Sridhar said, “I don’t want anything my Lord.”

“You are so poor! I will give you the riches of a king. I can give you kingdoms, I can give you planets. I can give you anything you like. Ask! Ask!”

Sridhar said, “What will I do with those things? I have no desire!”

“I will give you the eight mystic perfections. Anima, lagima, praptee, etc. By all of these different siddhis by which you can perform incredible supernatural miracles to stay alive and you can live for millions of years.”

Sridhar said, “These mystic siddhis will be just be a disturbance to me. I don’t want them.”

“Well, just ask for something.”

Sridhar said, “Please my Lord. Just be peaceful. I’m happy. I don’t want anything.”

The Lord said, “I’m peaceful. But I want to give you something. Ask. Ask.”

He said, “But I don’t want anything.”

The Lord said, “I will give you moksha, liberation, mukti, what everybody is looking for. No more suffering, no more birth and death.”

He said, “My Lord. I have no interest in Moksha.”

“Ask Something.” Then Lord Chaitanya said, “To make me happy ask for something.”

He said, “If it pleases you I will ask for one benediction. Let me forever be the servant of the servant of the servant of your servants. And let in every birth that I have and whatever I may be, in my heart, let me ever see this little boy Nimai coming to steal my bananas. This is the only blessing my Lor. Just come to steal my bananas and let me never forget you.”

Lord Chaitanya became so overwhelmed with his love, his devotion, the Lord was crying and all the devotees were crying in tears.

And the Lord said, “I give you that benediction. I give you the benediction of pure unalloyed ecstatic love for Krishna for the rest of eternity.”

When the devotees heard that they loudly celebrated the good fortune of Sridhar by loudly chanting Krishna’s holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

And Vrindavan das Thakur tells that anyone who with sincere and faithful heart hears this narration of Kolavaicha Sridhar will be given the supreme treasure of Love for Krishna.

What was Sridhar’s qualification? He wasn’t from a high caste. He wasn’t learned. He wasn’t rich. By material standards he was quite a failure. He was totally unknown. Why the Lord gave such prominence in his pastimes to Kolavaicha, this little banana leaf seller? There were great wealthy people who were devotees of same caliber as Sridhar. Maharaj Prataprudra, Buddhimant Khan, and at one time Ramanand Roy was a very wealthy governor of the state. It was not that their wealth was a disqualification. But you see there is no material qualification or disqualification for bhakti.

Unless we understand the simple innocent essence of heart of Sridhar, whether we are rich or poor, Brahmachari or Grihasta, Vanaprastha, Sanyasi, whatever we may be, we don’t really understand what pleases Krishna. – Radhanath Swami

Sridhar wanted nothing for himself. He found unlimitedly more pleasure in pleasing Lord Krishna, Lord Gauranga. If we water the root of the tree, every part of the tree is satisfied. Krishna is the root of all that exists.

janmādy asya yato

And Sridhar was not the Brahmin who was doing all kinds of technically excellent eloquent puja either. In his offerings to Lord Chaitanya there was no yantra, tantra, mudra, mantra or puja. Lord Chaitanya would come and steal his bananas. Lord Chaitanya could not give up the company of Sridhar; he loved him so much, because of the simplicity and purity of his devotion.

 

Radhanath Swami describes on when Lord Chaitanya gave boon to Murari Gupta

Then Lord Chaitanya called for Murari Gupta. He said, “Murari. Come.” Murari Looked forward. And Lord Chaitanya said, “Look.”

Murari looked up on the sinhasan and where Lord Chaitanya was sitting, he saw the beloved Lord of his life, Ram, with beautiful complexion of Durva grass. Lord Ramchandra was accompanied with bow and arrows. When Murari Gupta saw his beloved Lord Ram, he fell unconscious.

And Lord touched him and said, “Murari, Stand up. Stand up. Don’t you remember? Don’t you remember that demon Ravana who so maliciously stole your worshipable Sita, brought her to Sri Lanka? You jumped across the ocean, just to give her the message. And there Ravana bound your tail with ropes and lit your tail with fire and with that fire on your tail, you burnt down his city. Don’t you remember this?”

He said, “Look! On my one side is Laxman. You lifted the mountain to save his life out of love for him. On my other side is mother Sita, your beloved worshipable goddess. Seeing the torment that she was enduring in Asoka Vana of Ravana, you shed oceans of tears. Don’t you see now? You don’t remember? But I’m reminding you. I am Ram and you are my eternal servant Hanuman.”

Murari Gupta, there he saw before him, Ram and Sita and Laxman. And he saw thousands and thousands of monkeys offering prayers around Ram, Sita and Laxman.

And then he looked down and noticed that he had a tail. He looked at his body and saw he was a monkey. He was Hanuman.

Lord Chaitanya said, “Murari Gupta. Ask for any boon. You are my beloved loving devotee.”

Murari, in the mood of Hanuman, the eternal das, the servant of the Lord, he said, “I don’t want to ask anything from you. But if you want to give something, for the rest of the eternity give me the blessing that I will always sing your names and glories. For any situation that may come my Lord, I will never forget you and that birth after birth after birth, give me the blessing of living in company of your devotees; those devotees who consider you as master and themselves as your humble loving servant. My only aspiration, Lord, is to be the servant of the servant of the servant and always to chant your holy names.”

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare “

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

Anyone who hears with devotion with sincere and faithful heart will be given pure love and devotion to Lord Gauranga.

And then Lord Chaitanya, as if he had many, many mouths, he glorified his devotee Murari Gupta. Murari is the name of Krishna or Ram. He said to Murari and to all the devotees of Lord, “You appear to be a simple family man.” Murari had a wife and he had a house. He was a doctor. He had a profession.

Devotees never want attention, they never want glorification. Sometimes it may come, sometimes it may not come. It really doesn’t matter. All that matters is, are we going to please Guru and Krishna? “You seem to be living in this world, just like any other ordinary man. But Murari is hiding in your heart. Gupta means a secret hiding place. Because Murari is always hiding in your heart, your name is Murari Gupta.”

Then the Lord turned to Haridas Thakur. And said,”Haridas, come and look at me.” And Haridas looked and what he saw we will discuss tomorrow. Now we all welcome His Holiness Srila Jayapataka Swami Maharaj.

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Radhanth Swami speaking on “Nimai Pandita Charms The Inhabitants Of Navadvipa” 2012 yatra, Mayapur, Day 9 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanth-swami-speaking-on-nimai-pandita-charms-the-inhabitants-of-navadvipa-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-7/ http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanth-swami-speaking-on-nimai-pandita-charms-the-inhabitants-of-navadvipa-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-7/#comments Sat, 05 Mar 2016 14:22:57 +0000 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/?p=4186

Radhanath-SwamiRadhanath Swami describes how the soul is eternal

By the unending compassion of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada we are together for another evening in Sri Mayapur Dham. Hari Bol!
Yesterday, we concluded our narration with Lord Chaitanya weeping upon the disappearance of his beloved father and devotee, Jagannath Mishra. Sometimes, people consider this, confusing. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or Nimai is Krishna himself. Krishna spoke in Gita,

na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah

“The soul is unborn, eternal, primeval and never dies”

na hanyate hanyamane sarire

“By the end of this body it has absolutely no effect on the eternal existence of the eternal soul, the atma.”And Krishna explains that the wise men, laments neither for living nor for the dead. So Why Is Nimai Lamenting? And why is Sachi Mata, who is Yashoda Mai herself, one of the crest jewels of all Nitya Siddhas, the Supreme personification of Vatsalya Rasa from Goloka Vrindavana. Jagannath Mishra is Nand Maharaj, her eternal husband, they can never be separated! Why do they cry? This is one of the great and deep mystery of bhakti. And all the mysteries of bhakti, Could be to some extend be understood theoretically by our intelligence which is properly guided by the philosophy of Siddhant. But to actually understand it, within the heart, only possible by the grace of the Lord.

ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
t
āṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartm
ānuvartante
manu
yāḥ pārtha sarvaśa

Krishna tells in Gita, as we surrender to Krishna, Krishna reveals Himself accordingly. And actually this applies to every aspect of life. How we see each other? How we see general people of this world, how we see material nature in all her variegatedness? How we see good times, bad times, how we see birth, old age, disease and death? It is according to how Krishna reveals himself.

The body is the sacred vehicle within this world by which it can be utilized to develop the love for Krishna and to serve Krishna with that love. – Radhanath Swami

And the relationships between devotees physically, emotionally, spiritually, they are all one. Love for a Vaishnava, it’s one of the intimate ways of showing our love for Krishna. Srila Prabhupada would sometimes quote the common saying in west, “Love me love my dog”
Because in the west people really love their dogs and if you disrespect the dog, it is even worse than disrespecting the person – Mad Bhakta…
Krishna tells that worship of the devotees is more pleasing to me than worship to me, because the devotee has given up his or her life, soul, everything for my service – Sadhunam Hrudayam…

 

Radhanath Swami explains loving reciprocation between Krishna and His devotees

Durvasa muni was a great yogi. He had perfected many of the siddhis. Nobody can ever match him. When he was born, it is described in the scriptures, whether we see him or not. But with all his powers, all his fame, he practically went nowhere with his disciples and he brought only few of his disciples with him, sixty thousand! That was his travelling party.

Gauranga prabhu was cooking for some four thousand, now. Imagine! Every day, sixty thousands, 365 days a year, and every time it’s different place, quite possible!

But he could not understand! The simple Grihasta Ambarish, he was a king, a great devotee and the knowledge, the power, the yoga perfection. He couldn’t understand how dear Ambarish was to Krishna!

When he made an offense and he went to Krishna for refuge. Vishnu told him ‘Because my devotee has given his or her life for me, because my devotee knows nothing but me, I know nothing but that devotee, that’s the reciprocation of love for Krishna, I was just thinking, like this today because there are so many lesson we could just learn. I got very bad cold this morning and so this morning, I was in a veranda and sat in the sun. The sun is radiating its heat upon me and, when you feel the sun, on you, when you actually like the sun on you, you don’t like the sun on you. You don’t get experience. But if you like the sun, the feeling of the sun on you, you are thinking the sun is just for me. But isn’t it amazing, everybody in India, everybody in Asia, in the Middle East, half of the world, every person can go out and have the same experience. The sun is mine, the sun is shining for me. It’s not that if somebody, I’m in the Gauranga Bhavān, if somebody in the lotus building says, “Why is the sun with Radhanath Swami? Why not me?” Doesn’t matter, whether you are young or old, rich or poor, whatever be your religion, or education, however many mangala aratis you went to, still when you go out into the sun, the sun is giving you the same benefits, same sunshine , the same vitamin D, as everybody else, actually it is very intimate. Krishna says in Gita that, “I’m the light of the sun and the moon.” Krishna surya,maya ho ya andhkar, Krishna is like the sun and Maya is like darkness.

 

Radhanath Swami explains how Krishna is the cause of all causes

And in Gayatri Mantra, we honor Krishna who is present, giving heat, light, life, and illumination to the whole creation, and that illumination is the energy, and that energy is Sri Radha giving to everyone. And the sun is just a temporary material manifestation in one tiny little universe. Krishna is “sarava karana karanam”

The Cause of all causes. He is the supreme source of all light. From him emanates the Brahma Jyoti, the brilliant spiritual light that pervades the entire existence, there is no limit. That is Krishna’s power to reciprocate with each and every one of us. There are unlimited living beings.
How many living beings are there in Navadvipa? Consider every insect, plant, tree, grass, animal, bird, microbe, bacteria, and germ! How many living beings are there in the bodies? We can’t even count those. What to speak of the entire earth or the universe, or the entire cosmic manifestation with unlimited universes, and with unlimited life in every universe! And that’s merely a fraction; Material existence is just a fraction of the Para Vyoma, the spiritual existence. There are unlimited living entities residing within the Brahmajyoti, and there are unlimited living entities in unlimited Vaikuntha planets and Krishna is personally with everyone.

He is the Paramatma in every living beings heart. And that Paramatma even though He is the same Paramatma in everyone’s heart, He is your Paramatma, He is my Paramatma. He is our special private Paramatma. It’s not that they have shifts. That One Paramatma is with you as long as you are within creation and he is personally yours. He knows your every desire. He knows your thought, every word, and every action, in the past, in present He is your friend, he is your well-wisher and He is your ultimate lover. The Upanishads describe the two birds on same tree. One bird is trying to find happiness by eating fruits. Sometimes the fruits are bitter and he suffers and sometimes the fruits are sweet and he finds a little happiness. But he wants more. He needs more. The other bird is just sitting. Just turn to me and you will be ever happy. That’s Krishna, as a Paramatma He is personally yours 24 hrs a day.

Now when a respectful person is next you, you usually don’t say I am going to sleep. We sleep. Most people sleep half their lives. But Paramatma never sleeps. He is awake, fully conscious with full love. Just waiting. That is Krishna. So within this world, the body is very sacred for Vaishnava because it’s the means by which we share our love for Krishna and with each other.

Jaganath Mishra is Nand Maharaj. He went back to Goloka, so for that it’s happiness. But for Sachi Mata and Nimai within this earthly Lila of theirs, the medium of the body by which they could share their love for Krishna, was no longer there and therefore such tears of separation, those tears in separation of a Vaishnava, they water the seed of our devotion. They bring us closer to Krishna. In that separation we keep a very dear and intimate relationship with the soul of that departed Vaishnava and with Krishna.

Narottam das Thakur sings this beautiful song, je anilo prema dhana, weeping in separation from those devotees who are no longer physically with us. Srila Prabhupada called it union in separation. At material level, when somebody is gone, they are gone. The tears for a dead person on a material platform are simply agony of the disillusion of relationship forever. But on a spiritual platform, because we are always connected to Krishna, those tears of separation are actually sweet, intimate union, in Krishna we are united forever.

In the very beginning days of our society, Srila Prabhupada would say, “if you are chanting Hare Krishna and I’m chanting Hare Krishna, we are always together!” So what is the love between Sachi Mata and Jagannath misra, between Nimai and his father? That love is being expressed in Vipralamba, in that separation and therefore when we hear it with the proper understanding and faith, how it intimately awakens our love for Krishna and for one another.

As we are saying, Sachi Mata lost her eight daughters, and her elder son, now she lost her husband. They didn’t have any wealth. Jagannath Mishra was a true Brahmin. Whatever was given to him, he used it. Whatever was for that day, he would use it to supply for his family in a very simple way and for the worship of Krishna and the rest he would give away in charity. It was really a day to day existence. That’s the way Brahmins lived. He didn’t have job. He used whatever came. He was great scholar. But in those days, Brahmins did not charge. They would teach out of goodness and whatever came.

So Sachi Mata really did not have any money. There was no Life Insurance policy. There was no will with an inheritance. She had this little boy who was about 8 yrs old. And nothing in the house! And now her husband is gone. But when, she understood that Nimai is all I have, when she saw Nimai, when she felt Nimai’s affection, she was the most blissful person in all of creation.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates enchanting pastimes of Nimai

One day, after some years had passed, Nimai was becoming the greatest of the teachers in all of Navadwip; Sachi Mata was considering Nimai’s marriage. But Nimai was just a child, just 16.

When he was a child and used to play in the river, there was one lady, her name is Laxmi Priya. A little girl, she was so devotional, she loved Krishna so much. And whenever Nimai would come, he was just a child too; she would just lovingly offer all the garlands, all the prayers and all the foodstuffs that she had brought for Krishna with complete faith. But there was nothing better, even though she didn’t know he was Krishna.

Some year later, Nimai happened to be coming from teaching of his students on the bank of Ganga and on his way home, He happened to see Laxmi Priya. Their glances touched each other for just a moment. But in that moment their eternal love was kindled, awakened. She is the expansion of Srimati Radharani. She is Laxmi Devi. They embraced each other at the very core of their hearts. He went home and she went home. They didn’t say a word to each other. They didn’t even look for more than a moment.

Meanwhile by the Lord own divine arrangement, one Brahmin named Vanmali, he was like the Navadwip Marriage Board, nobody said anything to him. He just got this inspiration. He went to Sachi Mata and said, there is a great pure Brahmin named Vallabhacharya, not the same Vallabhacharya of Pushti Marg. They are Bengali Vallabhacharya. He said, “He has such a Beautiful, chaste, loving devotional daughter. She would be just perfect for Nimai. And he was not just doing it as a job; he was doing it with such deep devotion. He really felt, he wanted to do something wonderful for these beautiful people and Sachi Mata said, “Nimai is young. He is only 16 and he is totally engrossed in his studies and his father has recently departed. It’s not the right time.”

Vanmali was broken hearted he left. He was crying, looking down and walking away and he happens to meet Nimai on the road.

Nimai said, “Tell me where you have been. How have you been? What is the news?”

And he said, “I just came from your house”

“Oh, why have you been to my house?”

“O, I made this proposal to your mother, but she rejected it.”

Nimai was totally silent he went home and when he saw Sachi Mata, she was so happy to see Him. She had this Prasad prepared for him, and it was her desire and her wish and her heart that she wished there was somebody, who could be there at home to serve and make him happy.

He said, “Mother, Vanmali Pandit came here?

She said, “Yes!”

He said, “What was wrong with his proposal?” and he walked away.

That’s all that had to be said, you see, in those days, people could be quite concise especially when they love each other. You could understand. So he went to his room and immediately, Sachi Mata was so happy. She ran and sent somebody to Vanmali Pandit and Vanmali Pandit came back, she said, “Yes immediately, let us arrange the marriage.”

Vanmali Pandit went to Vallabhacharya, and said, “The crest jewel of all Brahmins, the greatest of scholars, the most beautiful person in whole of Navadvip is the Son of Jaganath Mishra and Sachi Devi. His name is NimaiPandit is Vishwamber. You know him.”

He said, “Of course everybody knows him”

He said, “Sachi Mata has agreed to accept your daughter as his wife.”

“Oh! What a Good fortune!”

And soon there was beautiful marriage. There is a wonderful description of that marriage in Chaitanya Charitamrita. And at that point, Nimai and Laxmi Priya, they set the ideal example of how Grihasta should live. Sri krishna chaitanya radha krishna nahi anya, Lord Chaitanya is Radha & Krishna in one form, to spread Prema Bhakti through Prem Sankirtan.But he appeared in the role of his own devotee, and when he married Laxmi Devi, although they are the supreme enjoyers! When you go to rang ksetra, you see Rangnath, Rangnath means the Lord of Laxmi, Tirupati, Tiru is the name of Laxmi. He is the Lord of Laxmi, she is always on his chest. There is always Padmavati, an expansion of Laxmi . Radha Krishna, Laxmi Narayan, temples are innumerable. Siva parvati are their expansion so what to speak of this little planet? All over the universe, the Lord and his eternal concert are worshiped as the supreme enjoyers. We offer them Bhoga and then we receive their Prasad. They are the enjoyers and we are the enjoyed.

But here is that Laxmi Narayan taking the role of being enjoyed. Eager to serve! And they live such a simple way. Vrindavan das Thakur explains they were charitable. Whatever Nimai was given for his teaching, he never charged anything, but if people gave him, he would offer it to his mother, and his mother would not keep anything. After offering to his mother he distributed it, anybody whosoever needed anything that he had, he would just gave it. And if anybody would come to his house, he would treat it like Krishna has come. He was emphatic on this point that one of the prime dharma of Grihasta is to be generous. Not to be greedy. Not to be selfish! To be an instrument of Krishna’s compassion with whatever we have.

And Lord Chaitanya, he would sometimes, he would meet 20 sanyasis and he would say, “Come to my house for Prasad?

And they would say, “Yes! Nimai! Of course”

And he would send the message. “Sachi Mata, Laxmi Priya, in half hour twenty sanyasi will be coming for Prasad.”

Now two things are interesting in this arrangement. One is they never had anything in house. They would just get what they needed and they didn’t have money. And two is those who have experience, Sanyasi eat a lot.

I remember, I went to Himalayas and I was trying to become a yogi and being with Yogis. I was thinking that yogis, I was fasting eating just a carrot a day for so many days. And I was thinking this is the way the yogis lived because that was my conception according to books I was reading. Then After I did that for a month, I remember there was an Utsav. They called it Pangat, Sadhu Pangat where they invited the sadhus for Gurus Disappearance day. And there were hundreds of them. If you want to see a lot of Sadhus go to Pangat. Where they are serving a feast.

So many sadhus, some had matted hairs, some had shaved heads. They all had different types of tilak, they had different kinds of tridents and stands and dandas and sticks and drums and different kinds of pots to beg food, some of them very big. Some of them coconut shells. But I was thinking, Sadhus, hundreds of them sitting in a line. I thought they will all get a carrot. That’s what sadhus eat. They were coming with buckets of rice, buckets of sabjis and buckets of sweet rice and buckets of malpuas, Sadhus liked malpuas! And Buckets of dal, and buckets of halwa! And they were eating so much. Some of them looked like they were hundreds of years old. But they were eating the most. And 500 years ago, I think people had better appetites as Kaliyuga progresses.

So he would just send a message, “Twenty sanyasi coming in a half hour,” and Sachi Mata and Laxmi Priya were so happy, “O! We get to serve sanyasis! There is nothing in the house, we have no time, and we have no money, where are we going to get it.” They just knew something would happen. And just moments after the message come, someone would come to the house. Vrindavan Das Thakur, even says, he doesn’t know who they were, where they came from, someone just came to the house, and say I wanted to bring you some ingredients for… and that it was… and they cooked happily. And when all the sanyasis would come, Nimai would personally serve them all. And even just the common people of Navadvipa, if anyone just came to their house, they were there to provide. Because the tendency of this material world, is when we work we become attached and we want to accumulate more and more and more. Sarva loka maheshwaram! To be peaceful in life is to understand that Krishna is the enjoyer and the proprietor, and the dearest friend of everyone. And if Krishna is pleased, samsiddhir hari tosanam… so what an example he led! And he would just love to serve. Even though he was the most celebrated famous scholar in the high seat of all scholarship in the whole world. He loved to serve. And Lakshmi was always busy serving. She was worshiping Tulsi, worshiping the deities in the temple, she was cooking, just assisting in every possible way. And Sacimata was so happy to see them. How they were living together.

Meanwhile, as Nimai was teaching, at that time, and he had a very special purpose, which we are going to discuss at some length a little later. Nimai, he would speak about everything except Krishna. He was a grammar teacher, topmost grammar teacher. But he could speak from any scripture on any subject. And he would be was constantly, even the senior most Bhattacharyas, Mishras, Chakravartis, just anywhere that they would meet him, he would challenge them to a debate. And nobody could debate him. He would say ask me a question. They would ask him a question. And then he would say something. And he would say, try to defeat that. And they would try. And he would defeat. And they would say something. He would defeat. And after he would defeat, then he would defeat himself. Then he would defeat how he defeated himself. Then he would defeat.

 

Radhanath Swami highlights on how Nimai showed mercy on Murari Gupta

I’ll give you an example. Murari Gupta. He was much older than Nimai. He was also a student of Gangadas Pandit. And he was such a scholar. He was Hanuman. An ansha of Siva. When devotees would see Nimai, they would often run away, because devotees would love Nimai. They were absolutely in love with him. But they didn’t know he was Krishna. But devotees love to talk about Krishna. They don’t like to talk about mundane things. But Nimai would always get them involve an argument about mundane subjects. So they would just want to get away. But at the same time they never wanted to leave him. This was the dynamics of how Nimai would conquer their hearts, so incredible. So he met Murari Gupta and said, “Murari I have a question” And Murari said, “Why are you so arrogant? You are always challenging people and trying to defeat and conquer people in argument. Why are you like this?” And Nimai said, “You have not answered my question” And they would debate. Murari Gupta was really a scholar. They would go back and forth, and back and forth. And by Nimai’s own arrangement, neither one would be defeat one another nor did this go on for hours. And then Nimai touched Murari Gupta and with that touch, suddenly Murari Gupta’s love for Rama – he was a devotee of Rama – exploded uncontrollably. His hair was standing on end, his limbs were trembling, tears started pouring from his eyes, and he was in total ecstasy. Just because Nimai touched him. And he was thinking, “Who is this Nimai? Is He the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Is He my worshipable Lord? I don’t know. But I can’t give up his association. I love this boy”. And then he said, “Nimai, from this day on, I’ll be your student”. He is 20 years older. And one of the greatest scholars in the world.

There was a student of Murari Gupta’s age. He was Raghunath. He was a direct student of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. After Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya went to Jagannath Puri, he left his school in the trust of people like Raghunath and others. He took Sarvabhauma’s book that he wrote, his teachings, called cintamani, on the Nyaya philosophy, which expanded nyaya philosophy beyond anything that the world has ever seen. And Raghunath wrote a book on the basis of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya’s teachings. And according to the recent biographers, they say, to this day, even in the 20th and 21st centuries, this is still considered the authoritative, most popular book on the subject in all of Bengali. So he spent years writing this book. So much research, so much dedication. This was his life. The legacy that he was leaving for the world.

And one day, he was on a boat crossing the Ganga. And Nimai happened to be on the boat with him. And they were talking. And he asked Nimai what he was doing? And he said, Oh, I wrote a book on the nyaya philosophy. Nimai put a tremendous amount of energy in writing this book too. And when Raghunath heard that he didn’t say anything. His face sank. And Nimai could understand. Raghunath was thinking, if Nimai Pandit wrote a book on nyaya, nobody will ever read my book. His book will be the ultimate, there will be no need for anything else. So he felt really, really sad. Nimai smiled and said, “I want people to read your book.” And Nimai took his entire manuscript and in those days, manuscripts were not typed on laptop and computer. They were etched on plam leaves. Nimai took his book and threw it in the Ganga. This was his respect, his compassion. A simple question. Don’t you wish you still have that book written by Lord Caitanya? Say ‘Haribol’, if you would like to. But from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s perspective, for all time to come, for all people, a more valuable contribution than he gave to the world, than that incredible literary scholarship literature that he wrote, was the example of how he was to throw his own fame as a great scholar in the Ganga so that somebody else could get it.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on Ishvar Puri, a great spiritual leader

One day, a sanyasi happened to travel into Navadvip. He just looked like a very common beggar. Because he was dressed in really, really simple, old sanyasi kind of clothes. And he was alone, he was just very unassuming, extremely simple, and he came right to Advaitacharya’s house here in Navadvip, near Srivasa Angan. And Advaitacharya was sitting and doing his puja. And he saw this sanyasi. And at first he was thinking, is he a mayavadi? Then he was thinking but he is so effulgent. Something very mysterious and mystical about this sanyasi. So Advaitacharya was gazing at him, trying to figure out who is this person. He is dressed like an impersonalistic beggar sanyasi, but he has a certain energy that is so deeply attractive. At that moment Mukunda Dutt, the favorite kirtan singer of all the devotees… it is described when Mukunda Dutt, great devotee brother of Vasudev Dutt, from Chatagram, when he would sing kirtan, the spiritual world would descend, devotees heart would melt, their love for Krishna became uncontrollable. All that there was the holy name of the Lord. He started to sing some beautiful verses from the Srimad-Bhagavatam. And as he was singing the glories of Krishna, the stranger sanyasi, he cried out the name of Krishna, tears poured like torrents, and he rolled in the ground. And Advaitacharya picked him up and put this sanyasi in his lap. And then he realized this was the great, the famous Isvara Puri, living in such a simple way. People understood who Isvara Puri was – one of the great disciples of Madhavendra Puri. When Madhavendra Puri was in his last days, Ishvara Puri for years, travelled with Madhavendra Puri, as his personal assistant. And during his last days, Madhavendra Puri… very similar to the stories we heard from my senior god brothers, on Prabhupada’s disappearance day, the way Srila Prabhupada was. He couldn’t walk or sit up, they had to help him with everything. And devotees were always around Prabhupada, either speaking Srimad-Bhagavatam, having him speak Bhagavatam, or having kirtan.

So Ishvar Puri was bathing the body of his guru. He was cleaning with his own hand, with a grateful heart, the urine and stool from the body of his guru. He considered what a privilege this is to render such a menial service. And please understand that Ishvar Puri was a powerful scholar, a great spiritual leader, who was qualified to have millions of disciples himself. But this is the way a Vaishnava is. A Vaishnava is not interested in being a jagad-guru. A Vaishnava is interested in being the servant of the servant of the servant, in whatever capacity Krishna wants us to serve. So with such love, such gratitude, he was serving his guru. And he was constantly speaking about Krishna to him, constantly chanting Krishna’s name. And Madhavendra Puri was so pleased with him. Just before he left this world, Madhavendra Puri turned to Ishvar Puripada and said, my child, may Krishna bless you with ecstatic love. This blessing poured from his heart with such affection. And that was Ishvar Puri’s qualification. Madhavendra Puri had disciples like Pundarik Vidyanidhi, Nityananda Prabhu, Advaitacharya, Paramandana puri, Brahmamanda puri, so many others. Lord Caitanya specifically choose Ishvar Puri later to be his guru.

But at this time, everybody knew who he was. Advaitacharya was his godbrother. Advaitacharya considered him his most exalted godbrother, because he rendered such a humble service. So the devotees celebrated with beautiful kirtan, the arrival of Ishvar Puri. And Gadahdara Pandit, who is about the same age as Lord Chaitanya. He was always a devotee_ humble, simple, and renounced. He would spend hours and hours a day learning from Ishvar Puri. And Ishvar Puri was staying in Gopinath Acharya’s house.

 

Radhanath Swami tells about Ishvar Puri meeting with Lord Chaitanya

One day Ishvar Puri was walking along the bank of Ganga and he met Nimai. Something happened in Ishvar Puri‘s heart. This boy is so spiritually beautiful. He said tell me, who are you? And he said, my name is Nimai Pandit. Oh, you are the famous Nimai Pandit. And Lord Chaitanya invited, please come to my house for Prasad. Sacimata, Laxmipriya cooked so nicely. And Nimai with his own hands, served this great sanyasi. And he asked Ishvar Puri, please tell us about Krishna. And for the rest of the day Ishvar Puri was speaking beautiful stories, about the philosophy, the teachings and the lila of Krishna. So each day he was reading from the book he was writing called Krishna Lilamrita. And Nimai would come about an hour each day, and talk to him. One day Ishvar Puri said to Nimai, that you are such a good scholar; will you correct the mistakes in my book? Nimai was very eager to correct everyone’s mistakes. And he could find a mistake anywhere, everywhere. And if he wanted to, he could write volumes of book on every little mistake. But when Ishvar Puri said this, Nimai said, you are a pure devotee of Krishna, everything you do is for the pleasure of Krishna. Because everything you do is for the service and the pleasure of Krishna, there cannot be any mistake in whatever you do. And if any materialistic person is so foolish to think that there is a mistake, just because on the material plane, it’s not the correct way of doing things, it’s a great offense, because it’s done with love for Krishna.

And we should understand this very carefully. When a devotee is sincerely serving Krishna, we may have to correct people if they are not doing things right, but we should always remember, if they are sincerely doing it for Krishna, on a deeper level, we have to honor and respect them. So he said, I cannot find a mistake in anything you do, because whatever you do is with love. And Ishvar Puri was so pleased to hear that Nimai was actually appreciating devotional service, something he didn’t verbally do with anyone else. He said, but still what you are saying for the devotional service is very good. But for the people in the general public, they will be able to understand and accept these teachings better, if edited properly. So Nimai came every day.

A few days later, Nimai said, there is one inconsistency that I see, in a particular word that you are using. Atmanepada. He said it should be a different word. Ishvar Puri said alright. And Nimai left and went home. And Ishvar Puri, he was a great scholar himself, He thought so carefully about it. When the next day, when Nimai came, Ishvara Puri said, “actually the word that I wrote was correct. There is no problem with it” First time in the history of his lila He personally accepted defeat and he was so happy.

Even when Srila Prabhupada, the world founder acharya of ISKCON, with such loving emotion in his heart, he would remember his first meeting with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said you are an intelligent young man, you should take the message of Lord Chaitanya, and spread it all over the world in the English language. Srila Prabhupada was a very strong follower of Gandhi at the time. He was wearing Khadi. In those days, if you wore Khadi, it was a direct challenge against the entire British Empire. That means you are a follower of Gandhi. And you had to be brave to wear khadi, because you were standing against the entire established government. You were basically saying, through the way you looked, Britain get out. We don’t want you. You are cheaters and exploiters, out from here. They had all the military, and all the police they were running the government and all the schools. Strong statement! Even Gandhiji said, don’t take your degrees from your colleges because they are controlled by the British. Prabhupada wouldn’t take his degree. So Prabhupada said to his Gurudeva, how is it that people will take Lord Chaitanya’s mission seriously all over the world, if India is still a subjugated country. First, we must get independence. And Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur very strongly replied, that the only real problem in the world is the lack of Krishna consciousness, political parties always change. The truth is that we are eternal souls, we are part and parcel of Krishna, and we are eternal servants of Krishna. The real problems are _ birth, old age, disease, and death. And this is what Lord Chaitanya has come to teach us, liberation from bondage, ignorance and death. And Srila Prabhupada with bliss in his expression, he would say I was very happy to be defeated by my Guru Maharaj. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very happy to be defeated by Ishvar Puri. After some days, Ishvar Puri left Navadvip.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates beautiful pastimes of Nimai

And Nimai after he would teach his students; he would get up early in the morning, he would take his bath, he would worship Tulsi and worship his ShaligramShila at home, then he would go back to the Ganga and the house of Mukunda and Sanjay. He would have different places where he would teach his students. And he had thousands and thousands of student at a time because he was so popular. People were coming from all directions to study under great Nimai Pandit. Afterwards he would sometimes wander around Navadvip. And our scriptures tell us these beautiful sweet stories that by his yogamaya potency no one could understand that he is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But he would give them the ecstasies of love for Krishna just by their attachment to him. He would go to a garland maker, a little shop, and the garland maker would say, “What would you like? Have a seat in my store.” Nimai would say that, “Give me your best garland.” And the person would come out with the best garlands of the most fragrant flowers that took so long to prepare and he showed it to Nimai and Nimai said, “How much does it cost?” And the person would say, “You just take it and whatever you want to give for it.” And Nimai said, “I don’t have any money.” He said, “You just take it anyway. And if you like it if ever you get, money any other time, you can give it. And if you don’t, just enjoy the garland.” And he would give it unconditionally and Nimai would be very happy and he would walk away.

Then He would go to another little shop where the person was producing perfumed oils. And he would say, “Oh! Nimai, please come. Sit down. What can I do for you?” Nimai said, “Let Me see your best most expensive oils.” And he would bring the oils and Nimai would say, “How much is this?” And he would say, “You don’t have to pay anything. Let me put the oil on you.” Nimai said, “I don’t have any money.” He said, “That’s all right .I will give you this whole bottle of oil and while you are here, I will put the oil on you. I will rub it on your body and you go home and you put it on yourself and next few days, you take your baths. And if a whole day later after your 3 baths, if the oil is still fragrant on your body then you could come and give me whatever you like and otherwise juts enjoy and don’t give me anything.” This is the way he was charming their hearts. You see it is not that Nimai wanted to take anything from them. He is Laxminath, he is the husband of the Goddess of Fortune. He was giving them because how God does gives us love. The crest jewel of all treasures, Premadhan. He gives us the ecstasy of Prema Bhakti by giving us a chance to serve, because in that service that love awakens, in that service we appreciate, Krsna reveals himself.

He went to all seer Yogi Sage, who is famed throughout Navadvip that he worshipped Lord Gopal and by chanting Gopal Mantra he could go in trance and see what is your past life and tell you all your past life. So Nimai went to his house and the person saw him and thought, “How beautiful how wonderful how sweet this boy is?” And Nimai smiled and said, “Oh! Divine seer. Please tell me who I was in my past life?” So the person closed his eyes and started chanting his Gopal Mantra. It never failed. He chanted this Mantra so precisely and so well that anybody who came before him, he would have visions of their past lives. So as he was chanting that Gopal Mantra and Nimai was standing in front of his eyes which were closed. He saw this beautiful four armed form, holding a conch shell and a disc and a lotus flower and a club and he had a Kaustubha Mani on his chest. He had a beautiful complexion like a sapphire, like a monsoon cloud. And He was in a pitch dark prison cell. He saw Vasudeva and Devaki offering prayers to him. And then he saw this four armed form turn into a beautiful little two armed form and he saw this person Vasudeva pick him up and take him across the Yamuna. He was watching. This is all being enacted in his mind.

He took him and laid him on Yashoda Mayi’s bed. Then his mediation shifted and he saw this beautiful little boy, complexion like a Tamal tree, swathing hair like crow feathers around his beautiful face and he was eating butter, just eating butter, more and more butter. This was the Gopal that the devotee worshiped. And then that transformed and he was seeing the three-fold bending form of Gopinath, playing upon His flute, with a peacock feather adorning his head. And the divine seer was completely bewildered and confused. He was thinking, “What is happening? I am seeing my Lord Gopal, I am seeing all these things. But I have my service. My service is to tell this boy who He is. Gopal, you are giving me all this mercy, revealing yourself to me but who is this boy, who is this boy?” He went deeper and deeper into chanting this mantra and he saw Lord Rama with the complexion of Durva grass, holding a bow and next to Him was Sita, Laxman, and Hanuman. And then in the meditation he saw Varaha deva, this big giant boar with the Earth planet in its tusks. Then he saw Narsimha deva. He saw Narsimha deva, tearing apart Hiranyakashipu and then blissfully putting his hand on Prahlad’s head and giving Prahlad satisfaction. He was thinking, “My Lord, I just want to know, who this boy is. I don’t know why I am getting all these mystical experiences.”

He saw Matsya, a giant fish blissfully playing in the ocean of devastation. And then he saw Lord Balaram with his plough moving Yamuna from one place to another in Vrindavana. And in his meditation, there was Jagannath, Balaraam with Subhadra Devi in between them. At this point this Brahman was completely confused, completely disoriented and he was praying, He was intensely chanting this mantra, praying to Gopal, “I don’t know what I am seeing? I don’t know why I am seeing and getting all your darshans but who this boy is. I want to know who this boy is.” And as he is thinking like this in complete bewilderment Nimai said, “Please tell me, why you are not telling me? What do you see? What do you see? Who was I in my past life?” And he opened his eyes and his heart melted, he was speechless. He said, “My child, I need to do some research. You just go home and I will chant my Mantras, I will pray and I will meditate and come back this afternoon and tell you who you are.”

Nimai smiled. In this way everyday Nimai was wandering and conquering the heart of everyone with these very simple loving exchanges.

patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati

Krsna tells in Gita that if you just offer me even a flower, fruit, a leaf or little water with devotion I accept it. So Nimai was giving everyone the opportunity for highest devotional service. Even though they didn’t know it they were getting all the benefits and more. Meanwhile Nimai was such a devotee, all the scholars of Navadvip honored him as the greatest, even though he was only a teenager. But the devotees, they irresistibly felt so sorry for Him. They would approach him and say, “Nimai, why are you wasting your life, scholarship without devotion to Krsna is useless. At the time of death, you lose all your credibility, fame, and scholarship. The only thing we have is our love for Krsna, use your great scholarship for the love of Krsna.” The devotees would gather together daily and pray, “We love this Nimai so much but we don’t want to be near Him because He is always challenging us.” They would pray Krsna and they would do Kirtan together for the special purpose praying, “Krsna, make Nimai a devotee. If he becomes a devotee he can make the whole world Bhakta’s.”

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Nimai crushing false pride of Keshav Kashmiri

Meanwhile one day, the Digvijay Pandit came to Navadvip. One of the very important stories in this narration. He was a scholar. When he entered the city Nimai was sitting on the banks of the Ganga with his students. And they told him today Digvijay Keshav Kashmiri has entered Navadvip. Nimai said, “Oh yes. Tell Me.” And they started telling him, “He is famous throughout the world as the favorite most devotee of the Goddess of Learning, Saraswati. It is said that every time he speaks, Saraswati appears on his tongue to speak wisdom, knowledge that cannot be defeated. He is so proud that he has travelled around the entire India to every place of learning, to every holy place. He has challenged every scholar, he has defeated them all and he has a Jaya Patra. Once he humiliates you, he defeats you, you will have to sign, I have been defeated and I surrender to Keshav Kashmiri. And now he has come to Navadvip. And do you want to know how he has come. He has elephants marching in front of him. He has highly decorated beautiful horses in front of him. He rides on an ornamented palanquin. He has musicians playing beautiful ragas and he has Brahmans chanting Mantras for him. This is his entourage wherever he goes and now he is in Navadvip. All the scholars in Navadvip are in total anxiety because who can defeat Goddess Saraswati. He is going to challenge them. They have no hope of defending themselves and when they are defeated, Navadvip will lose all its credibility. All of the scholars of Navadvip will have no importance anymore. You see all the scholars of Navadvip, they were so popular because they were in Navadvip. But this place and everyone in it will lose all of its reputation when he defeats us. And nobody wanted to go near him. The greatest of the scholars were literally hiding because they didn’t want to be the one to be humiliated.”

So the students were telling this to Nimai and Nimai smiled. He said, “Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead doesn’t tolerate false pride. A great personality is like a tree. When a tree has many, many fruits on it or when a person has many good qualities, they are always bowing down low to everyone. But a person who is standing very straight means that they don’t have any good qualities. Look at Banasura, Ravana, Nahusha, so many people had such power, such wealth, and so many followers but because they had false pride, ultimately they were crushed. Similarly, this person Krsna will crush his false pride into fine powder. The students listened and then Nimai was thinking in his own heart, “How to defeat him without humiliating him. Because this man is so proud that if I defeat him in public, he would be so disgraced that he will die. He will not be able to live. It would be worse than death to him. I must defeat him; I must crush his pride without hurting him or humiliating him.” And as Nimai was meditating on this, everything started orchestrating.

It turned the evening and the full moon started rising above the Ganga. Nimai had brought his students. He usually would have about a thousand students with Him sitting on the bank of the Ganga. Nimai was sitting on the Virasan. He was speaking to his students about the rules of Grammar. DigvijayPandit just happened to walk by and he saw this large group of young students and he saw their enthusiasm and their affection for the teacher. He came closer and he saw Nimai who is beautiful, so sweet, and so elegant in every way. Now the DigvijayPandit was the favorite most worshipper of Saraswati. And Saraswati gave him a benediction; she came before his eyes one day when he was chanting her mantra. I will give you the benediction that you want, “You will conquer everybody in the world in debate. No one will be able to challenge you.”

He was so confident. He had no fear of anyone. But here is this teenage boy. First his heart was charmed and then he felt afraid. This was something much disoriented, never happened to him. He came closer into the group of students. Nimai saw him and smiled and said, “Please have a seat Sir.” And Nimai praised him. He said, “Oh! You are the great Digvijay Keshav Kashmiri. We have heard so many things about you. Everyone in Navadvip is talking about you. We welcome you into our assembly. We are so fortunate, you came to meet us.” Then they talked about a few things. And then Nimai said with great respect, “Since you are here and you are the greatest of all devotees of Saraswati, the highest scholar of the world. Please compose a prayer in the praise of Mother Ganga.” Keshav Kashmiri began to speak. It was unbelievable. He spoke like the wind; beautiful ornamented poetry, original, never heard before. He was just making it on the spot. It was pouring out of his mouth like Mother Ganga herself, praising Mother Ganga. It went on and on and on and all the students had never heard anything like this. There was total silence in utter amazement. It was beyond human. How could anyone compose right on the spot such beautiful poetry? He spoke for 3 consecutive hours without a single second break between any two words. Finally after 3 hours of his poem he composed, he stopped. And all the students were, “Unbelievable! Amazing! Incredible! This person is not human.”

And Nimai smiled and said, “Thank you very much. It was so nice. Your poetry is so advanced that nobody can understand anything that is being said.” This is how he would defeat people. He would speak such high philosophy, such high poetry with such high words that people couldn’t even understand what it meant. He said, “This is the greatness of your poetry.” Nimai in His own way, little sarcastically said, “Your poetry is so great, so exalted nobody can understand what you are saying. Can you explain it to us?” So he said, “Yes.” As soon as he started explaining Nimai just cut. He said, “I have found in your explanation that there is a mistake in the beginning, middle and end. Can you explain the good points of your poetry and about the mistakes and why you made them?” Nobody had ever said that Keshav Kashmiri made a mistake. It’s like a direct insult to Goddess Saraswati to say that Keshav Kashmiri made a mistake. And here is the person who has the wisdom to counter any argument and destroy any opposition. And Keshav Kashmiri went blank.

He couldn’t think of anything to say. And then somehow or the other he started saying something to defend himself. He took the mistakes that Lord Chaitanya pointed out but he was just kind of bumbling like any ordinary confused person. And everything he said Lord Chaitanya very sweetly, very nicely defeated. And then he just stood there completely silent. Not a single thought would come to his mind. He was totally defeated. Now the children around him started smiling and laughing. Nimai stopped them because He didn’t want him to be humiliated. And then Nimai said, “It is understandable that you have difficulty answering my questions because after all, three hours you just composed that poem, you must be very tired. Now go home, take rest, study your books, come back tomorrow and I will have more questions for you.” He just shook his head and went home where he was staying. He felt totally betrayed.

He was thinking Goddess Saraswati personally stood before me and promised me that, “Nobody would ever defeat me. I was defeated. I defeated the greatest scholars of Nyaya, Sankhya, Mimamsa, Vaisheshika, Vedanta; all the different systems and today… how is this possible? I have gone to Gaya, Mithila, Kashi, Sri Rangam Kanchipuram, and Mathura, I have been to every place in India and defeated all the greatest, senior-most, mature scholars and today I was defeated by a young boy who is just a Grammar teacher for other young boys. Have I committed some aparadha to Goddess Saraswati, why she has betrayed me? In this way, he started chanting his Mantra desperately to get the answer, how did this happen? He went totally blank. Then he fell asleep. During Brahma Muhurta Goddess Saraswati appeared to him, not in a dream but in a vision. She said that, “When I gave you that promise that you would never be defeated, I was always with you. Every time you opened your mouth, I was always on your tongue. But this boy, Nimai Pandit, he is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Supreme Cause of all Causes. I am an expansion of Laxmi Devi and Laxmi Devi worships the feet of Nimai. I am only His insignificant servant of the servants of His maidservants. Before him I have no power to stand. Ananta Shesha, who with his mouth speaks all the Vedas, He becomes silent before the Lord. Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma, all the Devatas, they become silent when they come before the Lord. You should understand this that the true benediction that I gave you was fulfilled today because the purpose of all knowledge is not to be a conquering champion. The purpose of all knowledge is to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead and today you saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“This is my blessing to you. Now go to him immediately and surrender your life. But don’t tell anyone except Him what I’ve told you.” Then she disappeared. And right after she disappeared he woke up and the sun was rising and he immediately ran to Nimai’s house and came to Nimai’s door and was offering his dandavat obeisances. And Nimai said, “What are you doing?” And he explained, “I understand that you are the Supreme Lord. I was so proud, I was trying to defeat you. I surrender my heart to you. Please instruct me., the Goddess Saraswati herself told me this.”

And Nimai told him, “The goal of all knowledge is to surrender to the Supreme Lord. Now give up all your arrogance and give up all your attachment to fame, prestige and all this wealth you are trying to enjoy but can’t enjoy anything.” Then he said, “I give you three instructions – renounce your false pride, worship Krishna and be merciful to all living beings.”

Digvijay Pandit then offered obeisances and wept tears and when he got up Nimai embraced him and with that embraced he blessed him with the ultimate perfection of life. And without saying anything to anyone, without even putting his shoes back on, he left Navadvip, alone. He left all his gold, silver, elephants and thousands of followers, bands, Brahmins, palanquins and just wandered the world always remembering Krishna and never forgetting Krishna, absorbed in chanting the holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

He was happy. After he left and the news spread all over Navadvipa that Nimai pandit totally defeated Digvijay. Another important thing that Digvijay told Nimai at the moment of surrender, he said “You totally crushed my false pride without hurting me. You totally defeated me without humiliating me. Only the Supreme Personality of Godhead could do that.”

And Vrindavan Das Thakur and Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami explain, this is how he defeated all the great scholars of Navadvip and anywhere. He would make them happy to be defeated, because he did it with such respect, with such affection and with such grace. He brought everyone happiness. His purpose was based on love for them. Like we heard stories of Srila Prabhupada, sometime he was so kind, so generous and so encouraging to his followers. And sometime to teach a lesson he was very strong. Sometimes soft like a rose and on occasions like a thunderbolt. He would chastise, but his chastisement would not break them, it would nourish them because they knew it was coming from such sweet intimate love and compassion. We understood so clearly that more than anyone else in creation he loves us and cares about us. If chastisement is coming from that place, on the mental point it may hurt but in heart it makes us very happy, because we feel that love. If someone is arrogant, envious and conquers us that way or chastises us it simply hurts. But Nimai could crush the pride of Keshav Kashmiri or everyone into the finest powder and their hearts would be happy, because he did with such deep love, care and compassion. And to the degree we are really connected to Krishna, we strive to be vaishnavas in that spirit.

No pride, no envy, no greed, no prestige, no desire to be on top of anyone, but simply a loving servant, that is a Vaishnava. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami explains “The teacher is the humblest servant”

Soon after this Nimai told his mother and wife Lakshmi priya, “I am going to Bangladesh”. In those days it was called East Bengal. Nimai went with a group of His students. When they arrived the people of East Bengal were so happy. Nimai saw the Padmavati River, beautiful Wide River with wonderful forest on either side or the water was so crystal clear and the waves were swirling almost dancing. Nimai was thrilled to see the Padmavati River and took His bath. And from that day on Padmavati river became non different from Ganga, because Nimai and His friends performed Lila in that river. The news spread so fast like a wild fire that the great Nimai pandit of Navadvipa has come to East Bengal. Because in those days and even today East Bengal it was a very poor place materially. People had very little funds, very simple. Thousands and thousands of people were coming to Nimai begging, “Please teach us.” And Nimai came just to teach them. They said, “All the students of East Bengal are saving whatever little they have so that they could someday come to Navadvipa to study under the great Nimai pandit. That’s the goal of everyone here. But it is so hard for us to go, but you are so kind you have come here”. And He taught every single person who had approached him free of charge, there were thousands of people at each of his classes. They were so grateful.

This is a very, very important principle. Knowledge can be transmitted in a very effective way when the students are deeply grateful for what they are receiving. And very hungry to receive it and the teacher deeply, genuinely cares for the students. Where ever we find Krishna and Arjuna in the Gita, Pariksit and Sukadeva in Bhagavatam, Maitreya Rshi and Uddhava. Where ever there is the transmission of transcendental knowledge, we find this very, very special combination – the student is eager to hear and deeply grateful and the teacher genuinely cares.

Srila Prabhupada said, “To be a good teacher first you have to be a good student”.

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ

jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

That means to be submissive, to be eager to serve, to be deeply grateful and humble, and thirsty to receive that knowledge in that spirit then we gradually become qualified to be teachers, when we deeply and genuinely care to enlighten people’s hearts, to serve them. In bhakti the teacher is the humblest servant.

It is explained in our scriptures that Lord Caitanya was only teaching them grammar, He was not teaching them Bhakti. But every single one of his students in due course of time by the association of Lord Caitanya, after he established the sankirtan movement, every one of them in the East Bengal became total pure faithful servants of Krishna constantly chanting the holy name

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

They loved Him, they surrendered to Him. And when he came back to Navadvip later, they heard about the Sankirtan movement that was their life and soul. What usually takes an average of 12 years to master the subjects He was teaching them, every one of His students mastered them in less than two months. That’s the kind of teacher He was. It wasn’t like a forged degree. If you have a degree from Nimai pandit it was more exalted, more prestigious and honored than even if you studied under some one for more than hundred years.

All these people were coming and going and coming and going and Nimai was just giving and giving. And then it was time for Him to return to Navadvip. He announced that He’ll be leaving. So many of His students they were so grateful. Even though they were very poor people, the best things they had in their house they were giving to him. They were bringing gold, silver, jewels, pots and silk, whatever they had, they just wanted to give it all to Nimai. And Nimai wasn’t there to earn anything He was just there to give. Ultimately he was there to give love of God, because every one of his students got it in due course of time. He accepted it all for their benefit. It was the greatest pleasure of their hearts that would accept their offering. And for their satisfaction and for their purification he accepted. When he went home he didn’t keep any of it.

 

Radhanath Swami describes meeting between Nimai and Tapan Mishra

Meanwhile there was a particular Brahmana, very learned and very serious. His name was Tapan Mishra. He was going deeper, deeper into studying scriptures, he was going from scholar to scholar, from yogi to yogi, from guru to guru asking the same question. “What is the true goal of life and how to achieve it?” And despite all his studies and all of his meetings he never felt that he got a satisfactory answer. He was so hungry and thirsty for truth that he yearned, he prayed, he cried for his answers to be revealed. He had no material attachments. He just wanted to know what the goal of life is really and how to get there. He prayed and prayed. And on the night before Nimai was going to leave East Bengal he had a dream. In this dream a divine personality appeared to him and said, “Go to Nimai pandit. He is the Supreme personality of godhead. He will tell you what the goal of life is and how to achieve it. But don’t tell anyone that I said this.”

Next day as Nimai was about to leave he was surrounded by so many people offering their hearts to Him. In Bhakti Srila Prabhupada explained Krishna does not accept the thing that you offer He accept the purpose with which it is offered. These people were offering with love, therefore Nimai was accepting with love. All of a sudden Tapan Mishra comes and prostrates at the feet of Nimai. He stands up with folded palms and said, “I have read so many scriptures and I have met so many people and my whole life I’ve been searching. Please tell me what the goal of life is and how to achieve it. I believe only you can give the answer.” Everybody was watching and listening. Now during Nimai’s teaching to His students, he was just giving only what they were asking. But because Tapan Mishra was so sincere, Nimai pandit spoke the highest truths.

One of the first times in His Lila He really revealed such direct teachings as this. He said, “The goal of life is to know Krishna, to worship Krishna with pure unalloyed devotion. Everything in this world is temporary except that. At the time of death all your knowledge and all your wealth will leave you. But in this valuable human form of life we have a chance to awaken that divine love that is in our hearts. And how to attain that pure unalloyed selfless love for Krishna? How to attain that pure desire to serve Krishna with devotion? Krishna appears in this world to teach us.

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ
vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya
sambhavāmi yuge yuge

Krishna appears again and again to reestablish the principles of religion, to give pleasure to the hearts of His devotees and to annihilate the miscreants. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said Krishna has appeared, the supreme personality of godhead has descend into this world in a white complexion, in a red complexion, in a black complexion and in a golden complexion. These are Yuga avataras, each teaching a system that is most effective for self-realization in that particular age. He quoted form Srimad-Bhagavatam what one could attain through deep unwavering mediation in satya Yuga, in treta Yuga through spotless performance of sacrifices, in dvapar yuga through absolute accurate pure worship of the Deity we can achieve the same perfection of pure love of Krishna in age of kali through the chanting of the holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare.
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

And the Lord himself cited the Brhad Naradiya purana

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

In this age of kali, there is no other way to attain the ultimate highest perfection than chanting the names of Hari. Lord Caitanya said the goal of life and the process of achieving it is one, to be among other devotees and together to chant the Krishna’s holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare.
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

And now I will tech you the Mahamantra. In Lord Caitanya’s biography this is the first time Lord Caitanya specifically teaches the Mahamantra. He said to Tapan Mishra repeat after me,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare.
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

This 16 word 32 syllable mantra is called the Mahamantra. It is the most powerful effective medicine in this age of kali. This is called the Mahamantra because there are many mantras but all mantras are included in the Mahamantra and the Mahamantra is beyond. He told constantly chant these names, worship Krishna, be the servant of the servant. And then He told him that if you are chanting this Mahamantra we could never be separated.

Tapan Mishra bowed down and cried in ecstasy and said, “I want to go with you to Navadvip. I have nothing left in my life. I want to go with you.” He was a Grihasthas. Lord Chaitanya told him, “You should go to Varanasi and I will meet you there.”

Now this is serious surrender. He already understood that Nimai is Krishna, he had surrendered to him and developed love to him and getting instructions from him. He knew Nimai was going to establish the sankirtan movement in Navadvip, he wanted to be there. He knew Advaita, Haridas, Srivasa and all these great devotees were there. And in Varanasi there were no devotees. But Nimai said, “You go there and I will come later. I will meet you and I will explain more to you then”. And ultimately this is love, not to do what we want, but the will of the Lord. As the bible says, “Let thy will be done”.

Tapan Mishra went to Varanasi and there he had a son who was the great Raghunath Bhatta Goswami, one of the six Goswami.
As Nimai was leaving, Tapan Mishra said, “I want to speak to you privately just for a moment.” They stepped aside and Tapan Mishra said, “This is the dream I had”. And Nimai said “It was a good dream and a true dream but don’t tell anyone”. And Nimai returned to where we are sitting today to Sri Mayapur dham, after two months of separation. We will continue tomorrow.

Thank you very much.

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Radhanath Swami speaking on “The Beginning of The Sankirtan Movement” 2012 yatra, Mayapur, Day 8 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-the-beginning-of-the-sankirtan-movement-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-8/ http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-the-beginning-of-the-sankirtan-movement-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-8/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 07:34:30 +0000 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/?p=4192
In honor of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada upon all of us, upon the whole world, we have assembled in Sri Mayapur Dham, the very center of the lotus of Navadwip.

Radhanath Swami describes how Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu brought Prema Sankirtana from his own abode of Goloka to this Age of Kaliyuga

Radhanath-SwamiSrila Prabhupada considered Mayapur the centre of the universe; because it is from here that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the world and established the Yuga dharma of prema Sankirtan. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was in his sannyas Lila, living in Puri, he invited his devotees from Navadwip Dham and various other sections of Bengal to meet him every year, especially for the occasion of Sri Rath Yatra, and generally they would stay for 4 months, during chaturmas.

On the first year that they were all coming, King Pratap Rudra was on roof top asking Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya and Gopinath Acharya, who were both intimate associates of Lord Chaitanya, “Who it was that was coming?” “Over three hundred devotees!” King Pratap Rudra explained that each of them was so effulgent with love and devotion. They were dancing was not a dance of this world, it was the manifestation of the love of their hearts.

When great devotees dance the movements of their limbs are like the movements of the puppet, and it is the prema, the love of their hearts, that is pulling the strings and making them dance. – Radhanath Swami

You see a puppet will not do something of his own accord, a puppet moves according to the dictation of puppeteer. So similarly when a devotee reaches that state of love of Lord and dances, it is the ecstasy of the love in heart that moves the limbs like a puppeteer, for the pleasure of Krishna, and one who sees such a beautiful offering of devotion is supremely fortunate. The singing of the devotees was not of this world! King Pratap Rudra told his associates at that time that, “Living here in Puri, I have seen thousand and thousands of Kirtan but nothing is like this!” Obviously King Pratap Rudra had heard the most qualified expert singers of Ragas, but the professional quality of good voice cannot be compared to what he was hearing on that day, because it was the ecstasy, purity and the humility of the love of the hearts of each these devotees that was manifesting through their mouths in form of the holy names. It was an offering. Krishna is non-different than his name. When the devotee chants the name, Hare Krishna, Shri Radha, the name Krishna is Krishna – namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis – the Lord is directly appeared within the name, and as we are chanting we are worshipping that name. We are offering our sincere intent to serve and please the lord as we are chanting the holy names. We are offering our gratitude and love to the Lord as we are chanting the holy names.

ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

[BG 4.11]

Krishna reveals himself according to how we surrender. As a devotee goes deeper and deeper into that sweet spirit of Sharanagati or surrender, the name manifests itself to greater and greater degree to our self and also to the world. As these devotees of Navadwip who were Lord Chaitanya’s associates, these were the people who were in the house of Srivasa for so many years performing Nam Sankirtan. These are the people who were on the procession to the Chand Kazi house. These are the people who danced with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu into the eternal abode of Navadwip for so many years and they were coming to Puri. And how happy they were!

“Vipralamba and sambhoga”

Separation and union are inseparable aspects of dynamics of love within the school of Prema Bhakti. In separation, our consciousness goes deeper and deeper into the core of our hearts to find the presence of Lord and there we are united. In union that love of our heart comes out through our senses, words and acts to express the love for Krishna. Separation increases the sweetness of union! And, Union increases the sweetness of separation!

So Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at this time, he had left Navadwip. The news came that he became a Sanyasi. Vishwarupa, his elder brother had taken sannyasa years ago and no one ever saw him again. They didn’t get a single message from him. They only heard from other sources that he was now Shankar Arannya Maharaj, travelling to holy places. So obviously they considered, they will never see Chaitanya Mahaprabhu again. What was there feelings of separation? To the degree Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave them joy by attracting them by his beautiful features of his body, character and love, to that degree they were experiencing the ecstasy of pain of separation. On the spiritual level, in love of God, the pain is in ecstasy. The deeper the pain, deeper the happiness!

Does it make sense? Without the grace of the Lord we are conciliating these apparently opposing concepts because it is not of this world. And because there is no actual separation on the spiritual platform. So separation, the more intense it is, the more we are connected, we are united! We are feeling the presence of Lord in full and not only feeling it, experiencing it.

Soon after, Lord Chaitanya came to Shantipur and went to Puri. Then they heard he went on a trip to south India for 2 yrs. They heard nothing about him for 2 full years. And then when he returned to Puri he invited them all to come to join him in the Rath Yatra to Puri.

As the devotees, it takes up to weeks to walk, or to dance from Bengal to Puri. Now we take trains, planes, buses. But it was Shivanand Sen, the great devotee, who lived not far from here! He and his family would make all the arrangements for everyone. They were the original organizers of yatras. They would arrange the cooking, and accommodations. They would pay all the different tolls, because every couple of days practically they were going through a different kingdom, where there were different rulers and they had to pay different taxes. Shivanand Sen would take care of everything with the families and assistance so that the devotees would happily chant and dance and feast the whole way. With each step, they were coming closer to be united with Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu. And finally they came into Jagannath Puri. After so many weeks of walking and dancing together, we cannot imagine the anticipation and the happiness that after so many years they were going to see the Lord. It was a celebration of Kirtan. The imminent reunion is only minutes away! And this is what King Pratap Rudra was looking down and seeing from the roof top of the palace.

He told Sarvabhauma and Gopinath, “I have seen so many Kirtans but nothing like this. The beauty of their dance, the beauty of their aura, the sweetness of their singing! What is this?

Gopinath Acharya, and Sarvabhauma told, “This is what Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to bring to world. It is not just Sankirtan, it is Prem Sankirtan. The Sankirtan of ecstasy of love of residents of Vrindavan.

“Goloker Prema Dhana hari nama sankirtana”

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he brought this Sankirtan Movement from his own abode of Goloka. It is the eternal Lila of residents of Vrindavan to sing the glories of lord together.

What Srila Prabhupada travelled around to world to give was the opportunity for the people to actually enter the eternal past times of the spiritual world. That is why sometimes Srila Prabhupada would say, “In the bhakti of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the goal and the means to attend the goal, are the same.”

Someone asked, “What do you hope to gain by chanting Krishna’s names?”

Most people would say liberation. Better life! Srila Prabhupada said, “The ultimate goal that we hope to gain by chanting the names is to chant the names of Krishna! Now we are chanting to purify ourselves. But the ultimate revelation through this process is that we chant with pure love. That is what is taking place forever in Goloka Vrindavan.”

Navadwip is nine islands and each of these islands represents the 9 process of devotional service. Antardwip is the central island, surrounded by the 8 petals of the others, represents Sharanagati, Atmanivedan or surrender. And in the very heart of Antardwip or the centre is Mayapur. This is where Lord Chaitanya revealed his love to the world.

Yesterday we discussed how Lord Chaitanya had gone to east Bengal, today it is called Bangladesh. He was there for 2 months giving such joy to all the residents of that place. It was incredible. How grateful those people were! Simple people, mostly poor people. And in those days scholarship was such a vital important part of life in India, all the students wanted to come to Navadwip. But for most didn’t have the means, and they wanted to come to Navadwip only for one reason, to be the student of Nimai Pandit.

Navadwip Chandra, the very moon of Navadwip, Lord Chaitanya came to them and freely accepted anyone and everyone. As we explained yesterday, when he did, not long after, established the Sankirtan movement, all those people of Bengal had already surrendered their heart to him as their teacher. So every single one of them accepted the Sankirtan movement just by hearing about it. Millions of people were crying the holy names.

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare.

Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram, Ram Hare, Hare”

Like a baby without his mother is crying, crying, and crying. I can see there a baby and the father is trying to find the mother. This is helpless. It’s definitely a mystique power. How a baby, whose vocal cords are very little, just this big, how they can disrupt a crowd of 4-5 thousand people, all the way from back. No microphone or sound system, even a microphone cannot speak over the sound of that baby. It’s very supernatural! It’s Krishna!

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in his mood of Radha teaches the nature of separation in Divine love

While he was away giving joy to so many, his most beloved eternal concert, Laxmi Priya, his wife, could not bear the pain of separation from him. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in his mood of Sri Radha teaches the nature of separation in divine love.

yugāyitaṁ nimeṣeṇa cakṣuṣā prāvṛṣāyitam
śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ govinda-viraheṇa me

Yugayitam, that means feeling your separation my Lord in Nimesh the scriptures describe Nimesh as the amount of time the upper part of eyelid touches the lower part of your eyelid when you involuntarily blink and don’t know you are blinking. See I see you all are blinking but you don’t know you are blinking.

The eye just goes so fast, something like one twelfth of a second that connection is made. So 11th or 12th of second without seeing the Lord, he is saying, it is like a Yuga! Srila Prabhupada in order to make it more understandable for common people he says that moment seems like 12 yrs or more. Or the more means it seems like a Yuga. Now the smallest shortest of all yugas is the Yuga of Kali which is 435 thousand years. And Lord Chaitanya was probably speaking about sat Yuga. That’s the nature of loving separation.

And Laxmi is an expansion of Srimati Radharani. She is the Lord’s pleasure potency. While the Lord was in Bangladesh, it was intolerable for her to find any peace for even a fraction of second. She was totally engrossed in feelings of separation. But she didn’t want to cause anybody else any suffering, especially Sachi Mata who she was living with practically for the whole day in the same house. So she wanted to give happiness to Sachi Devi. Somehow or the other she tried to hide the feelings of her heart. She couldn’t eat, for all those months she could not eat. She would pretend to eat just to make Sachi Devi happy. And at night, she couldn’t sleep, she very quietly cried all night long. And although she mechanically performed her duty in the day time, she silently cried every moment of the day as well. This was the nature of her love. And then she understood what her purpose was. Because ultimately the devotees, these nitya siddhas, divine beings, who had come with the lord, they know exactly, how to best fulfill the purpose of the Lord within this world. So Laxmi Devi, she went to the bank of Ganga and there in her heart of hearts, she took her beloved Lord Gauranga into the deepest place of her heart. She embraced his lotus feet with such intimacy of surrender and devotion and chanting his holy names, her spiritual body returned to the spiritual world to reunite with him. And she left the apparent material body on the bank of the Ganga. When Sachi Devi learned about this, her grief was so deep!

Soon after Lord Gauranga happily returned to Navadwip. And all the gifts that he received from all of these people and so many of them came along from East Bengal. He presented them all to Sachi Mata.

And when he returned, so many people came to see him. Because everybody was missing him. And he was telling so many jokes with them and he was very happy! He went to bathe in Ganga, he came back. Sachi Mata made a wonderful feast to welcome him home. But she kept her distance because she saw the Lord was so happy. She was afraid that her sorrow may affect him. But he sensed it and in a secluded place after people had left, he asked Sachi Mata, “Why are you looking so sad?”

And Sachi Mata could not say a word

And the Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “I know because your beloved daughter in law has left us!”

And then Lord Gauranga looked down and in his own loving separation form his concert he appeared like an ordinary person who had just lost his beloved.

Then he told Sachi Mata that, “please know that her passing from the world is absolutely glorious. Her eternal soul has been taken by Krishna to the highest destination.”

Lord Caitanya went back to his activities. And we can understand from this pastime how bhakti is transcendental to everything of this world but incorporates the relationships of this world on a completely spiritual level. Some philosopher say brahma satyam jagat mithya the absolute truth is Brahman and this entire cosmic manifestation is an illusion. In bhakti we understand the illusion is not understanding anything relation with Krishna.-Radhanath Swami

Om purnam adah…everything is coming from Krishna. Everything in this material world its manifestations are temporary but for a devotee those manifestations invoke rasa, invoke love of Krishna, because they are seeing everything for the pleasure of Krishna. And the relationships we have for each other are based on love for Krishna, therefore there is love for each other with. And with full knowledge of soul, on appearance or disappearance of physical body it’s an impetus to experience and feel the ecstasy of the soul in variegated dynamic ways.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Nimai’s marriage with Vishnu Priya

Sacimata so deeply wanted her Nimai to have a wife. He was still only a teenager. There was one lady, her name was Vishnupriya. Sacimata from Vishnupriya’s tiniest child hood always would see her always worship the Lord with such love and devotion. People would always see each other at the Ganga, it was the meeting place in Navadvipa. So she called Kasinath Mishra and told “there is a great brahmana named Sanatan Mishra, make the proposal for my Nimai to marry his daughter Vishnupriya.”
Sri Caitanya Bhagavat describes a very beautiful description the marriage of Nimai and Vishnupriya. Buddhimanta Khan, Mukunda Sanjay who were well to do people, who loved Nimai dearly said, “This is not going to be another poor person’s marriage. And they donated so much to make it a wonderful marriage.” And what made a marriage wonderful in those days for these class of people is not the ornamentation but how much they could give to people to celebrate. In the culture of the Vedic system the purpose of these ceremonies was ultimate to get blessings, and we get by giving. If we are trying to take we don’t get. But if we are giving we get. So by giving prasad, by giving gifts Lord Caitanya had so much to give to people. He was giving cloth, jewels, prasad, and coconuts. And people were lining up and he was giving and some people after taking so much secretly got in the line again. And Lord Caitanya would smile and give it again and then they would stash it and get into the line again. Anything and everything anybody wanted He was just giving. That’s how according to this system of marriage in those days one gets blessings. So he lived with Vishnupriya and Sachi Devi

And one day Lord Caitanya told his mother and his wife, “I am going to Gaya to perform the pinda, the special sacred rites for Jagananth Misra and our departed forefathers.” They gave their blessings and Gauranga Mahaprabhu with a group of his students happily started going to holy place of Gaya. As they were travelling they came to one village and some of the brahmanas who were great devotees of Krishna, there was a deity named Madhusudhan there, they didn’t really do things properly as far as their worship was concerned. And their mannerism were strange. So one of Lord Caitanya’s students criticized him. As they were travelling right in the middle of the road, Nimai came down with a very intense fever and could not walk any more. The students started to get all sorts of preparations and medicines but nothing worked and they were fearful He would die. Life is like that in this world. At the least expected moment some one might get a fever and die. Even after being in excellent health. Happens all the time, even young people. So they were very much worried and around Gauranga and he said, “There is only one thing that cured me. Bring me the water from the feet of a brahmana devotee and I will drink that water and that will be my medicine.” And just at that point that particular brahmana happened to come, whom the people made fun of and Nimai asked for the water from his feet. So he readily washed his feet and gave the water to drink and Nimai was instantly on perfect health. And his students understood the mistake they made.

What a powerful lesson it was! We should not judge people by their external appearance. The Lord sees the heart, Lord sees the integrity, the motive. He was pleased by their devotion, so who were the students to judge according to their calculations. Among devotees this is a very, very important considerations. What makes our devotional service important is the degree to which it pleases Krishna and Guru, not according to our calculations.-Radhanath Swami

There are many famous stories with Srila Prabhupada. One time a devotee who was a temple president in America, was not so strict according to certain conceptions that people expected. So there was a brahminical leadership counsel at this temple and they were thinking this person was doing like this and this, he is not fit to be president. So they removed him and he was very broken hearted, because he was really and honestly trying his best. Sometime later Srila Prabhupada came and asked where that devotee was. And they gave a whole report of his fault and explained they had removed him. Now we have a new president. Srila Prabhupada was not upset with that person but with all of them. He said, “This person has been lovingly trying to serve me, perhaps he may have some mistakes but I am very pleased with him, by his sincerity and his devotion. I am more pleased with him than all of you put together. Now you put him back as president.” Prabhupada but him back as president. And it was a good lesson. They were analyzing things from their perceptions but really he wasn’t doing anything wrong. He was doing things in his own way. But Srila Prabhupada was pleased by his intentions and dedication and by his incredible desire to please his guru. Srila Prabhupada taught us it’s not just the apparent strictness, we should be as strict as possible but ultimately Krishna sees the heart. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu played this pastime where he was on the verge of death with a fever and took the water that washed the feet of this devotee who his students thought was useless and that cured Him. A great lesson to the whole world.

 

Radhanath Swami describes how Lord Chaitanya went to Gaya and meet his Guru Ishvar Puri

Then He came to Gaya that beautiful holy city. How many of you have been to Gaya, please raise your hands. Some day we should do a yatra to Gaya. Lord Caitanya went to Gaya. It’s a very significant place. According to dasavatars in Srimad-Bhagavatam Buddha is an incarnation of Vishnu. Buddha attained enlightenment in Gaya, there is a section called Bodhagaya. Besides Kalki the other incarnation that comes in Kaliyuga is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And He took initiation and manifested his enlightened state in Gaya. Very special place. He went to the temple of Vishnu, Gadadhar. When Lord Caitanya entered the temple, he saw it was the deity of lotus feet of Vishnu, who has been worshipped there since time immemorial. The Lord had stayed there and left those foot prints there long, long ago. And around the Lord’s lotus feet, there were beautiful flower gardens, hand made incense sticks, ornaments and jewels, fine fragrant oils. And there were many brahmana devotees who were chanting the glories of the feet of Lord Vishnu. This experience moved Lord Caitanya so deeply. The brahmanas were singing to the feet of the Lord that, “these feet of Lord Narayana are always held to the heart of Lord Siva, They are the very life and soul of Lakshmi Devi. In total surrender Bali placed these feet on top of his head. These lotus feet are the very source of Mother Ganga, because Ganga Devi has touched these lotus feet she has the power to liberate and purify whole world. And anyone who sincerely meditates on these feet Yamaraj will never come close to that person. Ananta Sesa keeps these lotus feet on top of his hoods and gives him the power to sustain the whole creation. And any one who takes shelter of these lotus feet will be bestowed not only liberation from suffering but love for the Lord.

As Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was gazing upon the feet of Lord and hearing these beautiful prayers of devotees, in that atmosphere, for the first time in his manifested Lila, he openly revealed his prema bhakti. Torrents of tears flooded from his eyes, his hair stood on end and his body trembled. It appeared that both Ganga and Yamuna were manifesting from His two beautiful lotus like eyes. At that moment Ishvara Puri entered into the temple room and saw Lord Caitanya, and Lord Gauranga saw him. They approached each other and Ishvara Puri embraced the Lord. Sri Gauranga said, “Now the very purpose of my pilgrimage to Gaya is fulfilled because I am seeing such great exalted lover of Krishna. By performing all these rituals and ceremonies like Pinda, Sraadha we can deliver a particular person we are doing. But just like seeing a devotee like Ishvara Puri millions and millions of our ancestors will be liberated.” And then with great emotion Lord Caitanya said to Ishvara Puri, “I offer my body, mind, words and life to you. I am yours”. Ishvara Puri said, “I had a dream last night where you reveled yourself to me. Actually when I first saw you for the first time in Navadvipa, I can’t stop thinking about you 24hrs a day. A when I think about you the same love that I have for Krishna awakens in my heart. It is for sure, I know, you are the supreme personality of godhead who had incarnated in this world for welfare of all living being. The very perfection of my life is to see you.” And Lord Caitanya just with folded hands said, “I accept you as my guru. You are my life and soul, I offer everything to you. Let me be your servant. In this way they embraced.”

As they embrace they were so incited with the ecstasy of love, that they both laterally bathed each other with tears of affection. Then Lord Gauranga began to perform all rituals in Gaya. He went to different kundas and tirthas to perform the different services. After he completed offered His prayers and personally cooked prasad for Himself. Can you imagine food cooked by Lord Caitanya himself! Sri Krishna Caitanya Radha Krishna nahi Anya. It is Radharani cooking for Krishna. And just when He completed cooking, Ishvara Puri came into the house and Lord Caitanya invited him in. Ishvara Puri said “it seems I came just at the right time. You seem to have just finished the cooking.” And Nimai said, “Yes I have been cooking you please take this prasad. It will be my greatest honor and blessing.” Ishvara Puri said, “We can divide it in half and take together.” Nimai said “you please take everything, it will take me only a few minutes, I will make it again.” Ishvara Puri sat down, Nimai insisted so much and Nimai with his own loving hands served his guru.
What an incredible pastime this is. Our acaryas give their commentaries how the Lord is bhakta vatsal. He very, very kind and loving to his devotees.
Ye yathä mäà prapadyante täàs tathaiva bhajämy aham
In the Gita, Krishna said “all of them as they surrender unto Me, I reciprocate and reveal myself accordingly” And in this incident the commentary says that the Lord is conquered, defeated and is subordinate to the love of his devotee. According to our love Lord surrenders. According to our surrender to the Lord with love, Lord surrenders to our love. We have spoken about devotion of Ishvara Puri. He had no false pride in his service to his guru. Even though he was a sannyasi, a powerful learned scholar. He served his guru with such simplicity. When his guru was on his death bed for months and months at a time he was cleaning his body offering simple physical services. He never complained. In fact in his heart there was no where else in the world he would rather be. There was no higher blessing than performing this service. And for the pleasure of his guru he was constantly chanting the names and glories of Krishna.

You cannot demand blessings, but in India it’s a very common thing. ‘Give me blessing’. There are many famous stories how Prabhupada taught us lessons for that. Once a devotee told me a story. He was in a train with Srila Prabhupada and Prabhupada was walking to his compartment. And there was man saying, “Swamiji! Give me blessings, give me blessings” And the man kept following and bothering Srila Prabhupada. He walked right into Prabhupada’s compartment saying, “Swamiji! Give me blessing!” Srila Prabhupada said, “I bless you that your material life is finished.” He fell to the ground. And he got up and said, “Swamiji not that blessing. I want another blessing.” Prabhupada said “that it is my only blessing.” It was a good blessing.

You see when you serve nicely then when a great soul, a sadhu, is pleased with you then naturally through the sadhus heart Krishna is so pleased that you have pleased His devotee and all blessings come. Krishna is varda, He is the ultimate giver of all blessings. Great personalities give Krishna’s blessing. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would be pleased with people He would give them blessing, “May you always remember Krishna”. He was giving them Krishna. And because Ishvara Puri pleased his guru so much, Madhavendra Puri, from his heart sprung so much gratitude and happiness for his service attitude and that he was always chanting Krishna’s names with this service attitude, that Madhavendra Puri from his heart sprang the words, “may you be a lover of Krishna.”

That was all. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to show the world that the ultimate perfection we could aspire for is to be the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant, choose Ishvar Puri to be his guru. The Lord is the supreme absolute truth, the enjoyer of all sacrifices. But he is giving his own meal to his devotee. Great devotees all over the creation and beyond are cooking for Krishna and offering it to Krishna. And here Krishna is cooking and offering it to his devotee. Not only cooking and offering it to his devotee, but skipping his own lunch, with great happiness. And he cleaned for his guru.

Shortly after that in a secluded place, Lord Caitanya told Ishvar Puri that I’m begging you please to give me diksha. Initiate me in the holy mantra. I surrender to you. Ishvar Puri said, you are asking me to initiate you? You are the supreme lord. I’m your devotee. It is I, who totally surrender my life to you. But if this is the way you want me to surrender to you, then I will give you initiation. Ishvar Puri gave Lord Chaitanya a ten syllable mantra. And when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu received this mantra from Ishvar Puri he fell at the feet of his guru. He bathed his guru’s feet with his tears. Ishvar Puri lifted him up and embraced him. And Lord Chaitanya said, now my body and my life belong to you. And later on in Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami shares with us, how his guru, Ishvar Puri, gave him this Hare Krishna mantra. And gave him a verse to meditate upon.

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

And Lord Chaitanya started chanting. This was in Gaya. And as he was chanting, he was becoming mad in ecstasy. In the next day, he came back to his guru and said I don’t know what this mantra is doing to me. It seems like it is driving me mad. As I’m chanting my limbs are trembling, my hairs are standing on end, my eyes are pouring tears. Can you tell me what’s happening to me? And Ishvar Puri said, my son, I congratulate you. You have attained the perfection of life. Now you take this mahamantra, you take the holy names of Krishna and you share it with the whole world. And Lord Chaitanya, he didn’t preach the holy names of the holy name openly, except privately to Tapan Mishra, until he received the order of his guru. It’s very interesting.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates pastimes of Lord Chaitanya as a greatest scholar

Nityananda Prabhu. When we are in Ekachakra, we will discuss this principle. He left home when he was 12 years old. And he travelled to holy places, some say for about 20 years, and he never preached. He never preached Naam Sankritan. He is Balarama and he has descended for that purpose only, until he came to Navdvip and received the order from Lord Chaitanya. Lord Chaitanya told Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakur, that go house to house, person to person, shop to shop, bathing ghat to bathing ghat, give everyone this message, worship Krishna, chant the name of Krishna. Speak about Krishna. Krishna is you mother, your father, your real treasure and your very life. Chant the name of Krishna. And if you do so, you will be my life and soul. Nityananda Prabhu, until Mahaprabhu gave him this order, he didn’t preach. Lord Caitanya until he got the order from his guru, he did not establish.

This is so important. We were discussing in the previous days, the incredible glory of Navdvip as the high seat of learning for the whole world. And how Nimai Pandit was the undisputed, unparalleled, greatest most celebrated scholar in all of Navdvip. This was considered the very, very perfection of the religion, according to the people here, is to be an undefeatable scholar. Nimai, although he was still a teenager, he was approaching people who were professors of the highest level of scholarship for 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years. And he would say, ask me a question. They would ask him a question and he would answer it. And say try to defeat my answer. And with all of the power of their scriptural knowledge, their logic, and their experience, sometimes in front of all of their students, they would have an incredibly comprehensive refutation to Lord Chaitanya’s questions. And Lord Chaitanya would very effortlessly defeat it. And they surrendered. And then lord Caitanya would defeat what he would just defeat. And establish their principle. And then he would say, can you re-establish my principle? They would say, no, no, it is impossible. Then he would reestablish his principle. He could do it all day, and never repeat the same idea twice. It was beyond human. And ultimately, as we discussed yesterday, the Digvijay Pandit, the world champion devotee of Saraswati, was defeated by Lord Chaitanya. So he had established himself, and of everyone in Navdvip now, he had the most followers. 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of students every time he spoke. But he wanted to show that the real goal of all the scriptures the real purpose of life, can only be received by the grace of the Lord and his devotees. There is no other way.

 

Radhanath Swami Illuminates that Bhakti is attained by sincere devotion and by grace of the Lord and his devotees and it’s awakened through the chanting of the holy name

To improve our material conditions, even to the level of elevation to the heavenly planets, it can be done by our own efforts, by our own sacrifices. Attaining mystical, supernatural siddhis, to yogic perfections, even that could be had, by our efforts. And liberation through discrimination of jnan yoga or not this, not this, not this; neti, neti, neti, neti; liberation is accessible. But prema bhakti? Impossible to come near, without blessings, without grace, because pure bhakti is given. It cannot be attained. And it is given in reciprocation to the sincerity of our devotion.

bhaktyā tv ananyayā śakya
aham evaṁ-vidho ’rjuna
jñātuṁ draṣṭuṁ ca tattvena
praveṣṭuṁ ca paran-tapa

Krishna tells in the Gita, it is only by undivided devotion that I can be seen as I am. And in this age of Kali, this bhakti is awakened through the chanting of the holy names.

But even we cannot chant the holy names with that level to awaken love, without grace. Our founder acharya Srila Prabhupada’s title is ‘His Divine Grace’. That means he is giving the world Lord Chaitanya’s grace. And Lord Nityananda’s grace. Radha Gopinath’s grace. What a striking lesson! Became the greatest of all scholars and never manifested love of god. But when he humbly served the pure devotee Ishvar Puri and received his blessings, then he manifested prema bhakti. Grace is the most powerful of all energies. Sri Radha is Krishna’s Hladini Shakti. She is the power of his compassion, love,   forgiveness and especially the power of grace. That grace alone can completely cleanse us, of our envy anger, lust, greed, arrogance, and our illusion. That grace can awaken the love that is dormant within our heart Therefore, as devotees we are simply seeking that grace.-Radhanath Swami

Lord Caitanya teaches us,

trinad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena, kirtaniya sada hari

If we really want to access that grace when we are chanting the holy names, we should aspire to be humble like a blade of grass; forbearing, tolerant like a tree; happy and eager to offer all respect to others without expecting or demanding it ourself. In this spirit, we can easily access that grace. Another words, when Krishna is pleased with us, he bestows that grace upon us. Srila Prabhupada says pure devotional service is very rare, because when Krishna gives pure devotional service, Krishna gives himself. Krishna is conquered by the love of this devotee. Krishna puts himself subordinate to the love of his devotee. So he doesn’t give it easy.

muktānām api siddhānāṁ
nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇaḥ
su-durlabhaḥ praśāntātmā
koṭiṣv api mahā-mune

Liberation from suffering, mukti, is not that rare. The mystical siddhis are not that rare. And to us, they seem quite rare. But they are not. But pure devotional service is very rare. Because it is the only thing that brings true satisfaction to the soul, to the heart. Prabhupada says, Krishna easily gives that, if we are sincere, serious in our service attitude and we have no ulterior motives. When we have that spirit and we deeply appreciate the devotion of other devotees, Krishna is pleased and then he showers his grace, as we cry out his holy names.

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare.
Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram, Ram Hare, Hare

 

Radhanath Swami describes Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu seeking Krishna in separation

After surrendering to his guru Ishvar Puri, Lord Chaitanya went back to his place, and was constantly chanting Krishna’s names. And as he was chanting these feelings of love and separation were awakening his heart so deeply. He started crying out, where is Krishna? O’ Krishna, how can I live a moment without you? Where have you gone? Where will I find you? And his students didn’t know what to do. They never saw their teacher like this. In the middle of the night, without saying anything to everyone, Lord Chaitanya said, if I cannot find Krishna, I cannot live. You are the Lord of Mathura, of Vrindavan. I’m coming. And he left and started running through the night from Gaya. He was running through towns and villages and forests to Vrindavan. There was no question of rest. He was seeking Krishna in separation. And then a divine voice came from the sky. It was the devas. They said, O’ my lord, you are the source or everything that exists. You are our master and our father. Please do not go to Mathura now. Go later, because you have descended into this world, especially to establish the Sankirtan movement; and through establishing the Sankirtan movement by spreading prema bhakti, love of god, all over the world. So please go back to Navdvip and show this greatest compassion to all living beings. And then at another time, you go to Vrindavan and Mathura. We are you servants. So we are speaking just to remind you of your purpose. When Lord Chaitanya heard that he smiled and returned to Navdvipa. When he came back to Navdvip, Sacimata, Vishnupriya, celebrated in their hearts. Our beloved is home. And nobody ever saw Nimai like this. Usually whoever he would meet, he would challenge them in some sort of scholarly logical debate. But now he was crying out Krishna’s names. Where is Krishna? Every word of his mouth practically was the name of Krishna. And there were couple of devotees who were present there. And Lord Chaitanya said tomorrow, at the house of Suklambar brahmachari, I wanted to reveal my heart to everyone.

Early the next morning… many devotees would gather at Srivasa Pandit’s house because he had a special vine. It was a spiritual bush that was always full with fragrant flowers. And however many they picked from it, it was still always full with flowers. And however many devotees came, there were still flowers for everybody. And all the devotees had their puja, so they would gather together, and they would discuss Krishna together, and sing Krishna’s names together, as they were plucking flowers. Such a simple thing. There are the greatest rishis, the greatest sages, Srivasa Thakur is Narada Muni, Advaitacharya is Mahavishnu, Gadadhar Pandit is Srimati Radharani, Haridas Thakur is Lord Brahma. These are very powerful persons. But here they are, just plucking flowers. Simple.

And Sriman Pandit, he was smiling really blissfully. And Srivasa said, Sriman, today you are full of smiles. Please tells us why you are so full of smiles. Then Sriman Pandit was smiling so much that he could hardly talk. He said, “My smile has very good reasons”. They were very eager to hear. He said everything we have been praying for, everything we have been longing for, has been fulfilled. They said, what? What is it? What is it? He said, Nimai, who is always so arrogant with his logical arguments, who we came together every day to pray to Krishna, please make Nimai a devotee. Now, since he has come back from Gaya, and received the blessings of Ishvar Puri, he only talks about Krishna. He is crying for Krishna. I have never ever seen anyone with such love for Krishna. The symptoms of his devotion are beyond human imaginations. He has become the very best of all devotees. And he wants to meet us all at Suklambar brahmachari’s house this morning. When the devotees heard this, their hearts burst, exploded with happiness. They raised their hands and cried our Haribol.

Srivasa, he spoke with such feeling, let our family increase; because this is the happiness of a devotee. These devotees they had each other. They had ecstatic love. They had everything. But they were feeling so much suffering for everyone else. Ultimately, everyone is in the family of Krishna. Ahaà béja-pradaù pita. Krishna says, I‘m the father and mother of every living being. But when people forget their relationship with Krishna, they forget who their family is. Srivasa was praying our greatest joy is to see our family increase, to see all living beings happy.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on purpose of everything in Krishna consciousness – to be happy

I remember one time I was listening to a tape of Srila Prabhupada giving a lecture for a marriage ceremony. And I think it was Hayagriva Prabhu and Shyama Dasi. And sometimes the way brahmacharis were trained by certain types of leaders, was that marriage is a deep dark well. And the perfection of marriage is that you suffer so badly, that you don’t’ want to it again. So we were thinking that brahmahcari life is so nice. So, I was hearing those kinds of lessons. But then Srila Prabhupada, he quote a little Sanskrit verse, which meant, may all beings be happy. And he said the purpose of marriage is to be happy. Now I was thinking, there is it. Of course, the purpose of brahmachari is to be happy too. Purpose of sannyas is to be happy. Purpose of everything in Krishna consciousness is to be happy. Bhaktivinoda Thakur, just lived across the Jalangi River, few minutes from here, in the Godrumadvip. He had 10 children, and his wife Bhagavati was as saintly as he was. And even Gaurakishor Dasa Babaji and greatest renunciants would come to get his blessings and to hear him speak from the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Bhaktivinoda Thakur is saying in one song. He was quoting Lord Chaitanya.

gåhe thäko, vane thäko, sadä ‘hari’ bole’ òäko,
sukhe duùkhe bhulo nä’ko, vadane hari-näm koro re
gäy gorä madhur sware
gäy gorä madhur sware

This is Lord Chaitanya‘s message. If you are grhastha, a married person, or if you are sannyasi living in the forest, doesn’t make any difference; just take the name of Krishna. And you will be free from all the happiness and distress of this temporary world, because you will taste paraà dåñövä nivartate. The higher taste of Krishna, to taste Krishna’s love and to love Krishna. Srivasa Thakur was a grhastha. Advaitacharya was a grhastha. Later on, Nityananda Prabhu would be a grhastha. Pundarik Vidyanidhi, Budhimanta Khan, Rammananda Raya, Sivananda sen and Vasudev Dutt were all grhastha. So many grhasthas. What was the glory of their devotion! And then we have Haridas Thakur as a renunciate. Gadahdar Pandit was a brahmachari. Rupa goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Ragunath Das Goswami – they were sanyasis. Svarupa Damodar Goswami was sanyasi. So we find in Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila, during his Navdvip lila, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was exhibiting the greatest ecstasies of love of god, in distributing it to the world, as a grhastha. And in Puri he was doing the same thing as a sanyasi. And in all cases, it’s the heart’s greatest happiness for a devotee when we see our family increasing. This simple statement of Srivasa Thakur means so much, it means para-dukha-dukhé, that our happiness and other people’s happiness.

If we are actually tasting what real devotion, we don’t want to just keep it for ourselves to look better than others. This is a very neophyte condition, that every conditioned soul is prone to… We want to be the best in this world, we want to be better than others. So we take to Krishna consciousness, and that same material conditioning kind of is there. I want to be the best book distributor; I want to be the best preacher; I want to be the best kirtan singer; I want to be the best cook; I want to be the best pujari; at least better than that person and that person; especially people around me. That’s a very neophyte state. As we make advancement, our greatest happiness, is that we want to see others be blessed, empowered? We want to see our family happy with Krishna consciousness. It’s very sad, when to feel important we have a need to see other people having difficulties. If other people having difficulties then that gives me some special importance. But when we are having difficulties, of course, we should try to resolve our own. But our happiness should be in seeing other people flourishing and prospering. Other people being empowered and blessed. And by being able to appreciate other’s good fortune; that pleases Krishna -Radhanath Swami so much, his grace showers upon you. If somebody does something wonderful in Krishna Consciousness, if we are envious or depressed seeing it, Krishna looks at us with pity. But even if we can’t do it, if we are happy to see somebody else doing it, Krishna is pleased by us. He may bless us, more than he is blessing the person doing it. Appreciation of devotional service, appreciation of other’s good fortune is very much integral in the heart of bhakti. Let our family increase. Let everyone go beyond the sufferings and pleasures of this material existence, and taste the sweetness of Krishna. Let the whole world come together as a family to chant the holy names.

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare.
Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram, Ram Hare, Hare”

 

Radhanath Swami elaborates on how “Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited all the symptoms of Love for Krishna”

That day they all eagerly went to Suklambara Brahmacari’s house. He had just a little thatched hut on the bank of the Ganga. But that simple little abode of this little brahmacari, unknown beggar is where Lord Caitanya wanted to reveal His heart, to all the devotees. When they all came, Lord Caitanya, He was telling, “On My way from Gaya, I was in a beautiful place Kanai Natasala, and there I saw ShyamSundar, Krishna who had a beautiful complexion like deep monsoon rain cloud, who had peacock feather on his head, who is wearing the vaijayanti long garlands that extended below His knees with various fragrant forest flowers. He had a dress that is bright like lightning, His eyes like lotus petals, playing upon His flute, Krishna called for me, my whole life I have been bereft of Krishna, and now Krishna is revealing himself for Me, and calling for Me, and I ran to Him, He disappeared.” Lord Caitanya caught a pillar in the house of Suklambara and fell on it, and began weeping torrents of tears, “Where is my Krishna? Where is my Govinda? Where is my Gopal? Where is my vanamali? Devotees seeing this were speechless, they have never seen such love as Lord Caitanya was exhibiting. And they knew he had descended to spread that love to the world. Gadhadar Pandit was hiding in a little distant place in the house, and when he saw Lord Caitanya in this state, he was so happy, he just cried out and fell to the ground. Nimai ran after Gadhadar Pandit and said, “You are so fortunate, I am so unfortunate, all of my life, I have wasted my time and my pursuit of mundane knowledge and followers, and finally after all these years, by His infinite causeless mercy, Krishna appeared to me and then He left. But you Gadhadar ever since your birth and every day of your life you have had no inclination or interest in anything of this world. Your only desire is to serve Krishna, to please Krishna, to chant Krishna’s names, you are so fortunate. And I am so unfortunate”. This was the humility that Lord Caitanya was exhibiting. And the devotee’s hearts completely melted. Gangadasa Pandit called for Lord Caitanya, because He was away for some time. Gangadasa Pandit is his teacher, he said, “Nimai, you have been away for some time, now you should start teaching your students again, they have been waiting. Without you they are so attached to you as their teacher, they can’t even pick up their books, and open it unless you are there.”

So all the students came, Nimai was in the court yard to teach them, and everything he spoke about grammar and logic was describing Krishna’s glory, Krishna’s mercy, Krishna’s qualities, Krishna’s love. The students were really bewildered. Lord Caitanya went into a trance just speaking like this, and then He came out and say, ”what did I say”, they say, “ we don’t know what you said, we never heard anything like this before. All you do is talk about Krishna.” So they went and told Gangadasa Pandit, this is what happening. Gangadasa Pandit called Lord Caitanya again, Gangadasa Pandit said, “I am a devotee of Krishna, but still we have our service to the society as teachers. Don’t you think your father Jagannath Mishra was a great devotee of Krishna, and Your grandfather Nilambara Cakravarthi, they were great, great devotees of Krishna, but still they taught their lessons properly. This is your Dharma. Teach according to the school of Nyaya and grammar and like that, like you used to teach, and do it for Krishna.

So Lord Caitanya said, “Yes I will, my dear teacher.” He took the dust from Gangadasa Pandit’s feet, and put it on his head. Then He went back and started teaching just like He used to before He went to Gaya. He was presenting so many different logical puzzles for them to answer and then he would answer them Himself, and then He would say let me see “the Bhattacharyas, the Chakravarthy’s, the Mishra’s, who can break into pieces My arguments, otherwise if they can’t what right do they have to be teaching in Navadvip, they don’t even properly know the Sanskrit language”. And the students were all excited again, He was teaching, teaching. Nearby was the house of one Ratnagarbha Acarya, who is a great devotee of Krishna. And he was reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam. He recited one particular verse from the 10th canto, in this verse the wives of the Brahmans are being asked by the cowherd boys to bring Prasad to Krishna & Balaram. So they literally left their houses similar to the Gopis, even though their families were saying stay here, you must stay here, your duties are here. They renounced everything, sarva dharman paritajya… with all the bhoga the food of their houses, they were bringing on their heads and their arms, and they came to bring it to Krishna.

Please understand the nature of these Brahmin’s wives, they were fearless of social criticism, they were fearless of losing all their material assets of their lives and all their securities. And all they wanted was to serve Krishna and please Krishna, in that mood they entered in to the forest of Vrindavan and they saw the beautiful form of Govinda. Ratnagarbha Acarya was chanting this verse, how Lord Krishna was standing so sweetly. One of His hands was on the shoulder of cowherd boyfriend and in the other hand He was holding a lotus flower. He had two beautiful flowers over His ears and he had long, long forest flower garland around His neck. His beautiful complexion, His wonderful features, completely enchanted the hearts of Brahmin’s wives. In the heart of their hearts they took this beautiful form of Krishna into their eyes, and through their eyes installed Him on the altar of their hearts, and embraced Him. Krishna from within their hearts embraced them.

When Lord Caitanya heard this description, He started crying incessantly. He said to Ratnagarbha Acarya ‘say it again, say it again’. Ratnagarbha saw Lord Caitanya, he was dancing and he was crying, all of His limbs were having all sorts of transformations, nobody had ever seen this, the students were watching like this, ’what is happening to our teacher ’. Nimai was saying, ‘Say it say it’, Ratnagarbha Acarya, he never had such receptive audience, with more enthusiasm, and more affection, he recited the verse, and Lord Chaitanya was dancing and he was crying for hours. Ratnagarbha Acarya kept repeating the same verse and Lord Caitanya was celebrating that verse. Finally Gadadhar pandit came and said, ‘stop reciting it’. Lord Chaitanya came back to His external consciousness, and He said ‘what was my lesson today’, and the students said, we have to tell you another time.

 

Radhanath Swami highlights on how Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu established Naam Sankirtana everywhere and serve as a menial servants to all devotees

So next day they all met at the river Ganga, and they sat down for their lessons. Lord Caitanya asked ‘Is there any questions?’ One of the students said ‘please tell us about verbal roots’. Lord Caitanya,’ Verbal roots, this is very important part of Sanskrit grammar, verb means action, verbal root means very source of action, Krishna is the verbal root. Whatever activates the body, to see, to hear, to touch, to speak, to think, it is the soul, the atma? The atma is root of all consciousness, the root of all action. The atma only has its power because it is part and parcel of Krishna. Let us take the example of a king, a king is eating fine meals, he is living in a big palace, he is wearing all sorts of nice ornaments and clothes, he has big kingdom and armies, but when the soul leaves his body, what do they do with his body? They either burn it or bury it, the body has no meaning, the body cannot do anything, and it is the soul that is the doer. The only reason why we love somebody is because of the presence of the soul, why do we love the soul? Because it is part and parcel of Krishna the supreme soul, the ultimate object of all love. Krishna is the object of everyone’s love, we only love other people, because they are part of Krishna. In illusion we are thinking we love their body, mind and mundane personality. We may embrace our father, we may speak so many sweet exchanges with our father, but when the soul leaves the body of the father, the same son puts the fire to the body of the father. Please understand, the root of all action. The root of all love is the atma, is Krishna. All living beings are part of Krishna. Therefore the root of all action, the root of all that exists for the whole manifestation of the creation, is Krishna. So, let us chant the names of Krishna, let us worship, Krishna, let us love Krishna. The students were listening. Then, Lord Chaitanya came out of His trance of love and said, “Please tell me, what my lesson like today was?”(Laughter). The Students say “we can’t understand what you are saying, but we know one thing, that whatever you say is true, and whatever you say is correct (laughing). We don’t understand what it is! He said “well, what did I say?” they said, “we asked about verbal roots and you just talked about Krishna and chanting Krishna’s names, how Krishna is everything, the ultimate object of everyone’s love, The ultimate lover, it’s all Krishna. And yesterday, when you heard Ratna Garbhacarya speaking this verse from the Bhagavatam, there we never saw anything like this! The Ganges was pouring with waves from your eyes and tears, and you were rolling on the ground and you were jumping in the air and you were dancing! Lord Chaitanya said “well, why didn’t you stop me and correct me?” They said “because whatever you are saying is true. Then Lord Chaitanya said, I have to tell you now honestly. This beautiful little cowherd boy Gopal has completely captured my heart. I cannot think of anything but Gopal. I cannot speak of anyone except Govinda. I am unable to teach grammar anymore. So, with my wholehearted blessings, I give you permission to go and find any other teacher you want. But I can no longer teach. And then Lord Chaitanya, he said, “This will be our last lesson, and then He tied up His books after closing it. And all that students said, “After having a teacher like you, how can we ever consider any other teacher. If you don’t want grammar we don’t want too.” And they all tied up their books and wrapped them.

They said, “You are only talking of Krishna, How are we can understand Krishna, how are we supposed to chant Krishna’s names.” And Lord Chaitanya taught them, “in this age of kali the greatest supreme benediction upon all of us is the name of God. God is non different from His name. Where ever you are whether you are eating, whether you are sleeping, or whether you are studying or whether you are walking always chant the names of Krishna. And come together, clap your hands, play instruments, sit but always chant the names of Krishna. Krishna is all beautiful, He is the ultimate object of our love. Our only true happiness when we reunited with our beloved. I will teach you a nice song

Hari haraye namah Krishna yadavaya namah
Gopal Govinda ram sir madhusudana ||   (3) ||
Hare Krishna hare Krishna Krishna, Krishna hare hare
Hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare   ||2||
Nitai gaur haribol, haribol, haribol, haribol

All the boys made a circle around Nimai and He was dancing and singing and all the boys were also dancing and singing. It was such a tumultuous sound. Please understand right out in the open, on the bank of Ganga in the public, the loud resounding names of Krishna by all these children. And suddenly hundreds and thousands of people were wondering what’s going on and then they converged and saw Nimai pandit, this grave scholarly person. They never saw Him like this. And the devotees heard this and so many devotees came running to the site. And the fulfillment of all their prayers and wishes. Lord Gauranga was publicly establishing nama-sankirtan. And just see His influence.

This is how the sankirtan movement began in Navadvipa – with a group of His former grammar students. Who loved Him so dearly and instantly upon His transformation they became pure ecstatic devotees chanting the holy names.

Lord Caitanya was so humble when ever He was in the association of the devotees He loved to serve them. He is the supreme personality of Godhead and when ever He would be with His devotees at the Ganga, He would ask them for their clothes and would personally wash them. Now not that he just puts them in a machine and press a button. Every single piece of cloth he would very lovingly carefully wash them and then He would hang them to dry them and then He would meticulously fold them and carry the, back to their houses for them. And the devotees would think, “This is Nimai Pandit the greatest conquering scholar in the world.” they would say Nimai, we should do this” he said no, no, I am your servant”

It was His greatest joy to do the most menial service for His devotees. They would take their bath and He would come running with tilak. And they would go to the Ganga and He would get a sitting place for them to sit. if he saw devotee who had just purchased something from the market and they would bringing home, he would say, “Let me carry for you” This is how Gauranga, who is the Supreme Lord, took the role of a devotee to teach what it means to be a devotee – to be a servant of the servant of the servant.

And in this spirit to not only chant but to induce others to chant the Holy names of Krishna

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

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Radhanath Swami speaking on “Enchanting Pastimes of Child Nimai 2” 2012 yatra, Mayapur, Day 8 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-enchanting-pastimes-of-child-nimai-2-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-8/ http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-enchanting-pastimes-of-child-nimai-2-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-8/#comments Wed, 03 Feb 2016 08:35:52 +0000 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/?p=4178
Radhanath-Swami2Hare Krishna

I will begin my sharing with you a very auspicious heart inspiring appearance. Today is HG Gurudas Prabhu’s 72nd birthday. Let us wish all blessings upon him by loudly chanting Hari Bol! 41 yrs. ago he dragged me on the stage with Srila Prabhupada. Today I dragged you on the stage.

Radhanath Swami narrates childhood pastimes of Nimai and brother Vishwarup

We were discussing the childhood pastimes of Lord Chaitanya, how he would awaken the love for Krishna who he was himself, both in the hearts of the devotees, and those who were most fortunate without even knowing that he was Krishna! For those who had not previously been devotees of Krishna, by developing love for him they naturally and spontaneously developed love for Krishna. And for those who are  Krishna’s eternal associates, he deepened the intimacy of their love for Krishna, according to the higher rasa of not having the condition of your love that he is the all-powerful liberator, savior, the Absolute God of all Gods. They simply loved him because he was Nimai.

And as was explained, when the Lord would perform apparently naughty activities, as did Krishna in Gokul, it was for this explicit purpose of giving the highest treasure of this eternally sweet experience of loving exchange with the supreme Lord, beyond even liberation. So, Nimai was very naughty. And his father began to teach him how to read and write. Small boy!

ved āham samatitani
vartamanani c’arjuna

Krishna tells in Gita, “I know everything past, present and future. I know all beings.” Krishna says,

vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham

[BG 15.15]

“I’m the compiler of all the Vedas. I’m the knower of the Vedas. And all the Vedas are to know me.” But that same truth is learning how to write, this is how to make the first syllable of the alphabet, the first letter. And Nimai was so enthusiastic, immediately, he would draw it. And people were spell-bound by the sweet accent in which he would speak the letters of the alphabet. And he would speak them all with the names of Krishna, but still very restless.

But, there was one person he was very respectful toward and that was his elder brother Vishwarup; he was about 10 years older to him. Vishvarup was a great scholar, very beautiful, kind, gentle, and respectful towards everyone. He was watching the pastimes of his little brother Nimai. And actually in all of Navadvip, he was the only person who understood that, this is Krishna of Gokul. He enjoyed watching his naughty pastimes and all of his different activities with such love. But to not disturb the Lord’s purpose, he would not reveal it to anyone. Meanwhile, he was such a deep devotee. He loved to associate with other devotees.

 

Radhanath Swami shares on how to attract Krishna’s grace

From all the great scriptures of bhakti we read, this is one of the primary characteristics of a true devotee – to take the greatest pleasure in the association of other devotees; do not take for granted.

manuyāṇāṁ sahasreu
ka
ścid yatati siddhaye
[BG 7.3]

“To actually, sincerely and earnestly strive on the path of devotion, is something very rare.”

Sometimes, devotees would find faults with other devotees to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Prabhupada would say, “If a person is dirty but they are in the shower, we shouldn’t criticize him for being dirty, we should appreciate that they are in the shower. Because, it’s just a matter of time, if they just stay in there that they will be clean. But if we criticize too much, they may leave the shower. So, somehow or other appreciate.” Gurudas prabhu so poetically explained yesterday, that we were ‘work in progresses!’ Srila Prabhupada, Nityananda, Lord Chaitanya, would bring people from all different backgrounds, and by giving them the holy name, and the principles of bhakti; giving everybody a chance to become completely purified.

Despite our anarthas, our conditionings, our mistakes, if we are earnest, honest and sincere in following these divine principles given by Srila Prabhupada and our previous acaryas, then we attract Krishna’s grace…… Radhanath Swami

To be a fallen soul and attract grace is a much more hopeful situation, infinitely more hopeful than being extremely pious, extremely religious and being so proud of what we are, that we don’t attract that grace.

Narottama das Thakur says,

patita-pavana-hetu tava avatara
mo sama patita prabhu na paibe ara

“Lord Chaitanya, you are patita-pävana. You are the friend of the most fallen, and if you search the whole world, you will find no one is more fallen than me. So my claim should be first.” And this was the same mood as Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told us that they are the acharyas, the sambandha guru and the abhideya guru – the gurus that are teaching us how to establish our relationship with Krishna and how to actually realize the perfection. They wrote books that revealed those truths to us. But as acaryas, they taught by their examples.

What was their initial lesson when they came before Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? They put straw between their teeth and bowed down with such humility saying, “You have come to deliver the most fallen, and for your name to be glorious all you have to do is to deliver us, because there is no one more fallen than us. We are lower than even Jagai and Madhai.”

tṛṇād api sunīcena, taror api sahiṣṇunā

They personified these principles.

amanina manadena, kirtaniya sada hari

Lord Chaitanya picked them up because they wouldn’t even get up from the ground; he picked them up. He would tell Santana Goswami, “Your humility is breaking my heart,” and embraced him. So it is this quality that opens our hearts to receive grace. And it is that grace that ultimately is the only means of understanding Krishna.

 

Radhanath Swami illustrates Vishvarup’s qualities and arrogance of Navadvip scholars

Vishwarup just loved to be with those who loved Krishna. He was the embodiment of a perfect Vaishnava. Even though he was very young, he was only a teenager, and Advaitacharya was a very elderly man, as was Thakur Haridas, Srivasa, but they loved him. He would speak from the scriptures and when he would speak, he had scholarship, but beyond that he has such respect, such sweetness, such realization and such devotion that when he would tell a story or recite a verse, it would conquer people’s mind and melt devotees’ hearts. They could not give up his association, and he could not give up their association. Practically, the whole day Vishvarup saw that the people of Navadvip, the general population were so offensive, so materialistic, so scholarly, but extremely arrogant about their scholarship.

The whole purpose of scholarship is to realize the greatness of God, to realize our own true nature, to understand the scriptures, and which can be calculated not by the quantity of what we know, but the quality of our character. If we actually understand, we become deeply humble with an eagerness to serve with no selfish motivation. That is knowledge. That is realization. That is the purpose of learning. – Radhanath Swami

But Vishwarup would see people, there every professor in Navadvip had 1000s of students, and there were 1000s and 1000s of professors. And not only every professor, but every student was constantly trying to prove to other that I know better than you; it was a common thing.

Vrindavan Das Thakur explains that at the bathing ghats at noon, everybody would gather together and all the different students would always end up fighting with each other. One would call out, “My teacher is the best and all others are useless. The proof that my teacher is the best is that I’m his student. And therefore all other teachers must be useless because I’m not their student.” Now when you have 100 and 1000s of people all saying that, there is not much unity. And others would say, “Your professor is just a dumb fool.” And this was going on, and they would be splashing each other, and throwing sand on each other, and fighting with each other, and swimming away from each other, and swimming at each other. And when some lady is coming to get some water from the Ganga to bring home to cook with, there is everybody splashing and throwing sand, and they would take mud from the Ganga and throw at each other; and it was very serious. It was play, but it was serious play.

 

Radhanath Swami shares pastime of Vishwarup taking sanyass

So, Vishwarup was seeing this. In the name of studying scriptures, it was increasing their materialistic arrogance, greed, material attachment; he felt such pity for them. But he felt that there was nothing that he could do for them. So it would simply break his heart to see it. And it was all around him. And at the same time, most of these people had nothing, but terrible things to say about devotees.

Because devotees were humble, devotees were not materialistic, devotees were talking about a supreme God whom we should serve. This is contrary to their whole conception. So, Vishvarupa would get up really early in the morning, before practically anyone would be awake, and then he would go to bathe in the Ganga. Then he would go to Advaitacharya’s house and stay there all day, where they just talked about Krishna, chanted about Krishna, and he helped Advaita in his seva to the deity of Krishna. They were together. It was the spiritual world. He wouldn’t go anywhere else.

When his mother Saci would finish cooking lunch, she would tell little Nimai, “Go bring your brother Vishwarup for lunch.”
Nimai was just that restless little child playing with all his friends, and doing all his pastimes. He would come running to Advaita’s house and he would see Vishwarup. He was just clothed sometimes very simple, covered with dust, smiling he would say, “Vishwarup! Mataji is calling you home.” And Vishwarup would be in the middle of hari-katha with all of these senior people, 3 times his age. Little Nimai would grab Vishvarup’s cloth, his dhoti, and pull it, “Mother is calling us. Mother is calling us.”
The devotees couldn’t understand why they were so attracted to this little Nimai; with unblinking eyes they were looking at him. They couldn’t talk about Krishna. They couldn’t even chant Krishna’s names. All they could do is look at this little boy; he mesmerized them. He totally captured their entire consciousness. They couldn’t even move, they just stood like statues looking at him as Nimai was smiling, and he pulled his brother’s clothes and they ran off with him. The devotees looked at each other. Who is that boy? How does he do this to us?

Vishwarup would have prasad and as soon as prasad was done, he went to Advaita’s house, and spend the rest of the day there. His mother and father, Sachi-Jagannath were thinking, ‘He is so absorbed in all these scriptures that he has no attachment to the material world whatsoever. So we should get him married just to make sure he stays home.’ So they were actually arranging a marriage for him. And Vishvarup understood that.

In the middle of the night, without saying anything to anyone, he quietly left home forever. Sachi mata, Jagannath Mishra, “Where is he?” The next thing they know is that they get the news that he has taken Sanyasa, the renounced order of life, and was given the name Shankararanya. He travelled from place to place, different holy places and ultimately came to Pandharpur in Maharashtra. Because they loved him so dearly, it was so painful when he was gone, at such a young age. Their hearts were broken.

Vishwarup was Balaram, he is the expansion of Nityananda and Balaram; he attracted their love in that way. It is described how Jagannath Mishra and Sacidevi were so much grief-stricken, and Nimai was also grief-stricken because that was his elder brother and his dearest friend, that was the one person, he really looked upto in Navadvip. He was crying, “My Vishwarup, my brother, you have left me!” And Sachi Mata and Jagannath Mishra were beside themselves.

Relatives were coming and trying to pacify them, they said, “Actually you are so fortunate,” even though they were crying. The relatives were crying in separation, unbearable, that he has left us. But they were saying, “You are so fortunate that you have such a son like this. According to the scriptures if someone in the family becomes a sannyasi, 60 million relatives are elevated to Vaikuntha. You are so fortunate, because of your son everyone would be delivered, your forefathers, your future generations, everyone.” But for the mother and father whose hearts are broken all this philosophy doesn’t make so much effect. They just wanted Vishvarup. They didn’t care so much about this Vaikuntha. But Jagannath Mishra would become very philosophical and that would pacify him. Then, he would think of the qualities of Vishvarup and break down crying again. But ultimately he came to the conclusion that Krishna gave me this beautiful son and Krishna has taken this son away. Whatever Krishna does is perfect, let me just worship Krishna.

Meanwhile all the devotees, can you imagine, day and night, could not be away from Vishvarup. They loved him so much because he loved Krishna so much, and his love for Krishna was so contagious, it was so inspiring that it would put them in such ecstasy of yoga or connection with Krishna. But now he was gone. So in their sorrow, they were crying out Krishna’s names, and just as they were crying out Krishna’s names, little Nimai, covered with dust and hair all scattered, playing with his friends, ran really fast right into the door of Advaita’s temple and just smiled; stood there and smiled.
They again stopped everything, just looked at him and said, “Child why have you come?”
And with this beautiful smile on his face, his teeth like rows of pearls, he said, “Because you called me,” and then he ran away.
They couldn’t speak for a while. That beautiful image of little Nimai was enshrined deeply in the core of their hearts and they were asking, “Who is he?” But by the Lord’s own arrangement they could not understand that he was their own worshipable Krishna.

After sometime Jagannath Mishra approached Sachi Devi and said, “Our Son Nimai, he is too engrossed in studies.” Because, after Vishvarup left, Nimai told his parents, “You may have lost one son but you still have me. I am here with you.” He became very sober and really started giving up his mischievous activities and went deep into his studies. This worried Jagannath Mishra. He said to Sachi Mata, “Because he is studying the scriptures so carefully, just as Vishwarup did, he is going to the conclusion that this world is full of illusions, that everything is temporary, that ultimately in this whole world culminates in death and suffering. Because he is learning these things so strongly, he is going to become a sannyasi and he is going to leave home. I can’t bear this. He is all we have left. Therefore, from this day I am going to order him, he is not permitted to study.”
Sachimata said, “What are you saying my husband, he loves to study. It is his very heart and soul. He is so immersed in his books. Just let him study. If he doesn’t study, you want him to stay home, who is going to marry their daughter to an illiterate fool, and how is going to make a living.”
Jagannath Mishra said, “Everything is happening by Krishna’s grace, not by material arrangements. If Krishna wants him to have a good wife then he will have. And Krishna loves him, there is no doubt, he will get. And as far as money,” he said, “My wife, please wake up to the reality of this world. I am a learned scholar. I know all the scriptures and yet we hardly ever have enough food for one day, and look over there, over there and over there, there are people who cannot even write one letter of the alphabet and they have big beautiful homes. And there are hundreds and hundreds of scholars and pundits standing in a line to get donations from them.” Then he called Nimai and said, “Nimai from this day, you are forbidden to study any book. You can do anything else you want, but not study. I will be totally lenient on you on everything, but study.” So Nimai was obedient about that. And he did whatever he wanted.

 

Radhanath Swami shares Nimai’s mischievous pastimes along with his friends

Nimai had friends and they really played in the day. Shall I give some examples given in the Chaitanya Bhagavata? He would go during the day with his friends and look around at things that they could attack at night. At night two friends, covered with a thick white blanket would looked like a bull. They would go into these gardens and start knocking down all the banana trees. And when the people in the house would hear (Maharaj makes sound of trees being knocked down), they would come out and see this giant bull knocking down the banana trees and they didn’t know what to do. When the children were out of sight, they took off the blanket and ran away and laughed to see the mischief they did.

Sometimes, if somebody was not nice to them in the day they would get them in the night. One of the ways they would get them is that they would tie their doors and windows from outside and lock them inside. Now whether you are Brahman, Vaishya, Kshatriya or Sudra, whether you are red, white, black, yellow or brown in color, whether you are male or female, whether you Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Jew or Jain or Sikh or Parsi or agnostic or atheist or literate or illiterate or rich or poor, we all have certain things in common. And one of those things is when nature calls you must respond. So, these people at night had to use the washroom. But, in those days they didn’t have the toilets in their houses, they would always be outside the house, that was the Brahminical and clean thing to do, which Navadvip was very strict about. So when nature called they went to the door to go outside (Maharaj is making sound of them banging on the door) and the door wouldn’t open, they couldn’t get out to untie it. Nature was calling, soon nature was crying, soon nature was screaming, and they were beating on the door from the inside, “Let us out, let us out!” And soon nature was howling, and it was not brahminical to do it inside the house. And Nimai and his friends would be outside laughing and laughing and jumping and clapping. They would run away, without even untying the door.

One day, Jagannath Mishra went some distance for some work and Nimai climbed up on some clay pots that were used for cooking. In those days they used wood and cow dung, and the clay pots would have very very thick black soot on the outside of it, they would just use it once and put it in a pile. So he climbed up and it is explained how beautiful he looked because he was covered with spots of this black smoke soot. It is said that his golden complexion was like a golden champak flower and the black spots were like black bees hovering around him.
So some children ran to Sachi Mata and said, “Your son is in very unclean place.”
She ran and she saw him on the top of all these pots and she said, “Nimai, what are you doing there. It is very filthy, dirty.”
And Nimai said, “Mother don’t you understand that wherever I am everything becomes purified.” Just a little boy. He is speaking the truth. Krishna said in the Gita and everyone is like this, but when Nimai says it then everyone is like, “What are you talking?” He was in the mood of Datatreya, he started speaking philosophy, “What is this clean and unclean? It is all relative and mundane terminologies, conceptions. Ultimately everything is coming from the same source and everything is perfect and everything is pure. Mother don’t you know this. Besides that how do you expect me to differentiate between what is clean and what is unclean, what is good and what is bad, if you do not allow me to study? And besides that everything is purified by my touch.”
At that time many neighboring ladies had already gathered around this incredible scene and they all took the side of Nimai. They said to Sachi Mata, “What fool has told you to tell your son not to study. What a blessing that he loves to study. Our children hate to study. We have to force them to study. And your son loves to study and you are forcing him not to study. What kind of crazy mentality do you have? He has a right to stay on these pots if you don’t allow him to study.”
And Sachi Mata was grief stricken and ultimately he would not get down. He was just smiling like the King of the mountain of old dirty pots. Finally Sachi mata had to climb up the pots herself and pick up her little son and take him down. When Jagannath Mishra came home, she told him, “Our son is not happy.”
And then all the people around and family members were saying to Jagannath Mishra. They gave him the same philosophical arguments from a reverse position. They said, “If Krishna wants him to stay home, if he becomes a scholar, he would not leave home. Just depend on Krishna.”

 

Radhanath Swami describes opulence of knowledge of Nimai

So Jagannath Mishra said to his little son, “You can choose any teacher in all of Navadvip and I will arrange you to study with him.” At this time he was about 8 years old. Jagannath Mishra gave him the sacred thread and the Gayatri Mantra. Nimai wanted to study under Gangadas Pandit, who is a great great devotee, who is in the line of Sarvabhaum Bhattacharya. Sarvabhaum Bhattacharya by this time was the greatest scholars in the world. At that time Navadvip was under Mogul rule, the Nawab Hussain Shah was living in the Malda district in the Ramkeli area and he had Governors called Kazis, who were not only religious heads, but they ruled over military, the police, they taxed, and they made laws for the area. It was very suppressive in Navadvip.

Nearby in Orissa, Maharaja Prataprudra was a great devotee of Lord Jagannath and he invited Sarvabhaum Bhattacharya to be the high scholar, the Guru of his kingdom. So, King Prataprudra made all arrangements and Sarvabhaum Bhattacharya came to Puri and made his headquarters. But, he kept some of his students in Navadvip like Raghunath, Raghunandan. He had many different students Krishnanada, Gangadas and they were such powerful teachers and had written such incredible books, even to this day. In Bengal, some of the highest authority books on grammar and so forth were written by the disciples of Sarvabhaum Bhattacharya. So when he went to Puri, and the credibility of his school did not in any way be diminish, because his students carried it on.

So little Nimai was brought by his father to Gangadas Pandit. And Gangadas Pandit was so happy to see such irresistibly loving child. Any lesson Nimai learnt upon hearing once he mastered it. And even though Gangadas Pandit has students in the same classes that were 10, 15, 20, 30 years older than Nimai, he quickly made Nimai as his prime student. Nimai was in the mood of Navadvip, but he excelled everybody.
Some of the oldest students were like practically of his father’s age, they would say, “Why are you so boastful? You are always challenging everyone to argument?”
And Nimai would say, “Oh, what questions do you have for me?”
And they would say, they would present something from the scriptures, Nimai would completely totally comprehensively defeat everything they said. They were speechless.
And Nimai said, “So what do you think of what I said?”
They said, “You defeated whatever we said is undefeatable.” Nobody could say anything against it.
And Nimai said, “Oh, that’s what you say.” And then he would comprehensively, shastrically, logically, totally defeat what he had just presented. He said them, “What do you think of that?”
They say, “It’s perfect, nobody can say anything. You defeated your own arguments.”
And then he would say, “Oh, watch this,” and then he would say – I’m saying it in few seconds – he was going through eloquent, poetic, incredible conclusive debate against his own arguments. And he would reestablish the original precedent.
And after that all of them said, “Nimai we want to be your students.” And this way so many people were coming to become Nimai’s students. He was just incredible. And his mother was so proud of him. People of Navadvip were praising him. He was the crest jewel of all the scholars of Navadvip.

In fact, one well-wisher named Mukunda Sanjaya, who was wealthy man, opened up his gigantic courtyard for Nimai to start his school. And Ganagadas Pandit profusely blessed little Nimai, “Yes! Because Nimai was always so totally respectful and submissive to his teacher. Yes! On my behalf start your own school. Thousands of students came.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates Jagannath Mishra’s dream about Nimai

Meanwhile Jagannath Mishra, one morning, in the room where Saci Devi was sleeping, wakes up crying out, “O Krishna, O Krishna, please keep Nimai home please!” And he gets on the floor and starts offering his obeisances and praying.
Saci Mata said, “My dear husband Jagannath, what happened to you? I have never seen you like this before.”
He said, “I had a dream, I just had this dream. I saw our Nimai, his beautiful, luxuriously curling black hair that encircles his moonlike face, all shaved off. His lovely flower garlands and ornaments and brilliant yellow clothing that we put on him were replaced with the garb of saffron robes of a sannyasi. Little Nimai was swami and he was surrounded by all the devotees. I saw Advaitacharya, I saw all these great personalities Srivasa, Sriram, Haridas, hundreds of devotees in a circle around him. And Nimai with his arm raised high, tears pouring from his eyes, his hair standing on end, his limbs trembling, he was loudly crying out the names of Krishna –

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

“He was inducing all the devotees to manifest tears of ecstasy, they were dancing in a circle around him worshiping him, honoring him. Then I saw our little Nimai he got on a seat, and put his feet out and all these great acharyas were lovingly humbled themselves with the deepest emotions and putting their heads under his feet. And then my dream shifted and I saw little Nimai as sannyasi was travelling. He was travelling South-East, towards Jagannath Puri and there was hundreds and thousands of people following him. He was dancing, he was singing, he was inducing everyone to taste the sweat ecstasy of love of Krishna as he impelled all of them to raise their arms loudly crying Krishna’s holy name –

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

“In this way I saw him bringing millions of people into Jagannath Puri. Dear Sachi, I fear that Nimai is going to leave home.”
Sachi mata said, “Don’t take your dream so seriously, it was nothing but a dream. We both see our Nimai is happy studying and teaching. He is not going to leave us.” In this way they talked together and she tried to pacify him. But after this dream Jagannath Mishra was never the same. Eight daughters had died, their eldest son left home forever. All they had was Nimai.

One day Jagannath Mishra had a high fever. It was apparent that he would not survive. Sachi mata was beside herself. Nimai told his mother that, “The soul is eternal, and it is only the body dies. Let us help our father to attain the ultimate destination.” So he gathered the relatives together and they surrounded Jagannath Mishra’s dying form, and they all loudly chanted around his beds the names of Krishna. They put tulsi leaves on his body and on his neck. They sprinkled his body with the water of the Ganga. Together they all chanted, and then they picked up his body. He was still alive. They brought him right to the bank of river Ganges and Nimai, with deep emotions, clasped to his heart the feet of his father and wept. He said, “My dear father, if you leave me, who will I call my father, who will teach me, who will correct me, who will hold my hand, who will embrace me. Will you leave me?” In this way his whole body was shaking and tears were pouring from his eyes.

Seeing this Jagannath Mishra very softly spoke. He said, “I’ll reveal my heart. I cannot speak much, I don’t have capacity. O Raghunath (Raghunath was the name of their deities at home, O Lord Krishna, You are taking me away, I entrust you with the care of my son and my wife. Please protect them, please bless them with your grace.” And after speaking that, surrounded by the chanting of the holy name, Jagannath Mishra chanted Krishna’s name and his soul departed. Sachi Mata was right there, she fell to her knees, “I have been with you all these years, when you were eating, when you were sleeping, when you were walking, when you were facing problem, when you were joys, we have been together always. Why is it that I can’t come with you? Why have you left me? All have I left now is Nimai. He has no father.” She prayed to Krishna for Nimai. Sachi mata knew nothing but her son. She had lost her 8 daughters, she had lost her son, now she lost her husband. Her life, her soul and everything was her selfless service to her Nimai.

Nimai understood, ‘I have to console and give strength to my mother.’ And by his the power of his beauty and affection that whenever Sachi mata looked upon Nimai that was no possibility of even a trace of sorrow in her heart. But it is explained, if Nimai was not before her by his presence for even a few minutes, Sachi mata would go blind, she couldn’t see anything. This was the intensity of her motherly affection. I was planning to speak and end on more happy positive. Of course everything is positive. I’m scheduled to speak Damodar ashtakam.

Thank you very much

Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!

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Radhanath Swami speaking on “Enchanting Pastimes of Child Nimai” 2012 yatra, Mayapur, Day 5 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-enchanting-pastimes-of-child-nimai-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-4/ http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-enchanting-pastimes-of-child-nimai-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-4/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2015 06:34:08 +0000 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/?p=4167
radhanath-swamiHare Krishna!

Krishna tells us in Sri Bhagavad Gita that he is the strength of the strong, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the ability in every living being. The miracles of nature are the miracles of God. Do you hear those jackals? That’s jackals, you know? They are having a Jackal kirtan! In Navadvip, every jackal, as far as I have learnt, things that …there’s no more beautiful sound than the sound of a jackal. But nobody else likes the jackals. Everything is very relative. So just by hearing the jackal…they are singing together so much. So many dozens and dozens and dozens, and they are enjoying, we’re disturbed, at least, we could be. But if we just think that how the jackals are so attracted to their beautiful songs, and they hear us singing, they probably think the same way we think of jackals. So there’s a philosophical lesson in every situation in life if we’re receptive. Think of it this way.

 

Radhanath Swami draws lessons from mosquitos

Raise your hands if you’ve been bitten by any mosquitoes since coming to Mayapur. When those little mosquito come to bite you we could be thrilled when we feel mosquitoes biting us, because what an incredible invention, the mosquito flies. And man, we have made airplanes. We need runways, radar, traffic controls, and all kinds of safety devices. But a mosquito, just flying in the air, no runway! And if you go to slap him, the mosquito doesn’t wait, as soon as the mosquito sees that you hand is coming (woosssshhh) gone, off to another destination. Incredible! What is the size of mosquito’s brain? Yet such incredible intelligence for flying! He can fly under one lamp. I’ve seen street lamps, thousands of mosquitoes flying together swarming around. I’ve never seen any two mosquito’s crash into each other. For our airplanes, we need all sorts of traffic control so that the planes don’t crash. Thousand within a few square feet and they are just flying flying flying flying (sound)…taking off, landing. Where do they get their ability from? None of them went to schools for being pilots. Their mothers didn’t learn the engineering of Aerodynamics, just intuitive; Krishna has given the ability of a mosquito to do what humans can never do. And every human has so many incredible abilities.

 

prakrat kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvashah

ahankara vimudhatma kartaham iti manyat.

Krishna tells that it is foolish to be bewildered into thinking that we are the doers of our activities, because everything we’ve been given, and everything we can do is a gift – To breathe, to see, to think, to hear, and to digest, sarva karana karanam, all these things exist only because they exist in the absolute truth. Janmadyasya yatah.

 

Radhanath Swami explains Krishna as the source and cause of everything

The Vedanta sutra tells that the absolute truth is one from which everything emanates, everything has its ultimate source in Krishna. So one may question – what about the evil and the bad and the greed and the envy, and the pain that this all causes. If Krishna is the cause of everything, is he the cause of that too? A shadow is the absence of the sun, but the cause of the shadow is the sun. You can’t have a shadow without the sun. When you turn towards the sun you see light, when you turn away from the sun you see the darkness of the shadow. So Krishna’s all good, there’s nothing inauspicious, everything is Om purnamadah purnamidam, everything is perfect. Krishna has the infinite compassion, love, humor, sweetness, strength, wealth…infinite everything, its perfect auspiciousness.

But the jiva, the little entity who has a free will, and that free will is a gift, comes to facilitate the deepest purest love. When we misuse our freewill and turn away from Krishna, then that Yoga Maya comes as Maha maya. In that shadow, all these inauspicious things or anarthas exist. We read in Srimad Bhagavatam how Krishna lifted the Gowardhan Hill with the little finger of his left hand, and we think, ‘How is that possible?’ But how is it possible for the mosquito to fly the way he is flying so expertly? Krishna is performing his miracles everywhere, and when he comes to this world he perform incredible pastimes, in such a way to attract our hearts, and the absolute truth who is beyond morality and immorality, the absolute truth as Krishna, sometimes even steals and even says “No mother I didn’t eat the dirt,” and while he’s saying that the dirt is in his mouth. We may say why would Krishna do that? What kind of example is that? We can’t understand Krishna simply by our mundane logic. We have to understand from guru–sadhu–shastra, from the enlightened beings, because when Krishna does this, it brings such joy and awakens such blissful love in the hearts of the devotees.

You see, immorality is when we say something contrary to truth for selfish purposes. Krishna said, “I didn’t steal.” It gives bliss to us but another thing is that he’s telling the truth, because sarva loka maheshwaram, everything already belongs to Krishna, so he doesn’t steal, it’s already his! Just like if somebody…if you go into your home and you put your clothes on, and you go outside and somebody says, “why did you steal that clothes? ‘It’s my clothes!” But actually it is not your clothes, its Krishna clothes, everything is Krishna’s. Anytime we claim proprietorship over something we are stealing on a subtle level. But everything belongs to Krishna and when Krishna tells the mother, “Mother, I didn’t eat dirt.” Nothing is inside or outside of Krishna in one sense. The entire cosmic manifestation is within Krishna. So when we try to put relative convention to absolute, we cripple our capacity to actually appreciate and love the absolute. But when we try to give absolute justifications to our relative state of mind, then we cripple our own capacity to make easy spiritual progress whatsoever. Does that make sense?

So Krishna, who is the strength of the strong, the ability in man, in his original form of Lord Chaitanya…we learned yesterday how he was born like an incredible orchestra conductor. He was …through his Yoga Maya, his energies, he was just conducting this whole orchestra of a Lila. The moment he was born, millions and millions of people here in the Nadia district were loudly crying out God’s holy name…

 

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare

 

And the Lord appeared.

It is very symbolic, because Krishna is not different from his name, lord Gauranga is no different from his name.

When we chant with sincere heart Lord appears within his sound vibration. – Radhanath Swami

And the Lord actually appeared. And similarly,

Srila Prabhupad would tell us that when we chant the name with humility, without offenses, with love, then Krishna reveals himself to us within our hearts, perhaps even before our eyes according to his sweet will. – Radhanath Swami

As a little infant baby, he seems so helpless, every little thing that may have happened anywhere around the house induced deeper and deeper feelings of parental affection, not only for his mother and father, but all of his relatives, and all the neighbors, and all of the people who knew him.

After sometime, the Lord learnt to crawl on his knees. As he crawled, just a little tiny golden form crawling around, it was so beautiful. All of his loving devotees around him, in order to protect the innocence and the sweetness of their love for him, he would not allow them to sense that he was actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They were all pure devotees of God, and they loved him even more than God. How could you love anyone more than God? Because if you’re God you can make somebody love you more than god. That’s what Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would do. But they didn’t even understand what was happening, they just loved him unconditionally. Lord Chaitanya would do so many beautiful things like Krishna in Vrindavan to intensity and excite the sweetness of their love.

 

Radhanath Swami tells the pastime of child Lord Chaitanya and serpent at Yogpeeth

One day at the Yogpeeth, when Mahaprabhu was born, in the house of Jagannath Mishra and Sachidevi, there was a little courtyard in front of their home, and little Nimai was crawling. Suddenly, a gigantic, monstrous, poisonous serpent crawled into the courtyard. They had a little fence around it, but somehow the serpent crawled around the fence. And when little Nimai saw that, the serpent was many many many times bigger than him, he’s just a little baby, when little Nimai saw that serpent, he became so enthusiastic, he crawled as fast as he could, he crawled, and crawled and crawled…and he grabbed the tail of the snake, and held on to it as tight as he could. The snake was trying to get away, and he kept pulling and the snake kept going away, and he kept pulling. The snake could not escape his little tiny baby grip so the snake made a coil.

Now sometimes, I remember recently I was in one community, a devotee community and I was showing some people around how nice and how beautiful it was. And we saw this little piece of wood that looked like a nice piece of wood, and we lifted it, and there was this gigantic snake in a coil, he looked up, his tongue was going zzzzzzzzzz…..zzzzz, we put the wood down and (laughter). My god brother, he said “I thought it was supposed to be so nice up here, so it is you know. But you know coiled up poisonous snakes look quite ferocious.”

The little Nimai, he saw this big big snake with so many coils, and he crawled on top of the coil and went to sleep. Like a very comfortable bed, really, I mean think about it – If you are not afraid of snakes, it will really be a comfortable bed, all these modern beds, they’ve like certain texture and different…and they kind of move to your body, nothing can compare to a snake’s coil.

Nimai just laid in the snake and started smiling. His relatives, his mother and his father saw this big–big snake with big big teeth, they were horrified, what cold they do? The howling of wolves, jackals! They were afraid to get near, if they went near the snake, the snake would be, you know, bite the Lord, or wrap its coils and strangle the Lord, little Nimai. They couldn’t do anything. Put yourself in that position – Here’s this helpless little baby whom you love more than life itself, lying in the coils of a venomous serpent. They were weeping, crying, some of them were shouting out, “Garuda Garuda!!! You are the Lord’s servant who kills the snakes, please save Nimai from this snake.” They didn’t know what to do, and as they were crying, the snake saw what kind of suffering he was causing to everyone so he came out of his coil and started to slither away. As he was slithering away, little Nimai was following him to grab his tail and bring him back. Just at that time, Sachimata and the ladies, they ran and picked up Nimai, took him away. As soon as they put him down, he started crawling back to the snake to grab the snake and they kept bringing him.

They started chanting mantras to take any inauspicious dangers away from their little baby. They brought Ganga waters, and sprinkled that on his limbs to purify him of any dangers that may come. We learn that snake was actually Ananta Shesha, the Lord’s supreme eternal associate, who came to share this beautiful pastime with the Lord. And in this wonderful story, we learn how the dynamics of bhakti, how for a devotee who is aspiring to love Krishna, even the dangerous challenges that come in our life are impetuses to increase that love. Vrindavan Das Thakur, the author of Sri Chaitanya Bhagavad, tells anyone who hears and understands this story with faith will be forever delivered from ever having to suffer from the snake of birth and death. (audience says Haribol!) Hare Krishna!

 

Radhanath Swami describes Lord Chaitanya’s first steps were to dance in Kirtan

So they would bring Nimai back in the house and gradually he learned how to walk
And his first step were to dance in Kirtan. Because from the very day of his birth, he taught everyone that nothing makes him happier than the chanting of Hare Krishna! Govinda, Hari, Ram, Banmali, Mukund, Murari, whenever they were singing Krishna’s holy names, he would smile, and as soon as he learned to walk, he danced. What a beautiful dance! He was such a little child but his dance was so perfectly graceful. So innocent! So sweet! Not like a professional actor dancer. His dancing, simply, melted their hearts totally. Forever, for all eternity, the devotee could just sit and watch Nimai dance and never get bored and would never need to go to another station or do anything else because his beauty and his sweetness in his dance is ever increasing and in that dance.

When Krishna is dancing for his devotees, he is offering his infinite love to his devotees through that form and the devotees are receiving it and offering their love and gratitude back and the love for the devotee is increasing as the lord’s love is increasing. So the lord’s dance is more beautiful and then devotee’s appreciation is more beautiful. This is the spiritual consciousness! – Radhanath Swami

They would clap their hands and chant “Hari! Hari!” and Nimai would dance and smile and he felt so grateful!

All of a sudden he would run out of the house. The little tiny boy, he would run out of the house and go onto the street. He was so beautiful with his golden complexion and his lotus like eyes and his beautiful curling hair around his moon like face. Anybody who saw him on the street outside fell in love with him. Even if they never knew him and they would do anything for him just to make him happy and said, “O Child! What can I give you? What can I give?” And he would say, “Give me Bananas!”, “Give me Coconut”, “Give me sweet”, they would just give him for free just to please him. What he would do, he would get a bunch of bananas from somebody, beg for it and would run back again. When the ladies would sing for him, he would start dancing and smiling, he would give them bananas. Then in the Kirtan he would run outside, and smile and people would ask, “What would you like?” and he would say, “Give me Sweet”, he would run back in and distribute it to all of the devotees.

Charming their hearts, reciprocating with their love, this is Bhakti. The lord gives us the power to sing and if we sing for him with affection, he feels so grateful, he feels, so indebted, he feels conquered by the love of the devotee through their song. He is our creator and he has given us the ability to sing and this is God’s greatness.

 

Radhanath Swami tells the story of two thieves who tried to steal ornaments of child Lord Chaitanya

One time when the Lord was playing near the bank of the Ganga, there were two thieves, they saw that Sachi Mata had put very nice ornaments – The lord had ankle belts, bracelets and little necklace, They wanted to steal it. And this is the easiest thing! – A little tiny child who is just learning walking, barely walking around alone! But there were thousands and thousands of people near that bathing Ghat, so how to steal from that baby? One of them had a plan, they got some Sandesh! They said, “O Child! You are lost? Child! Our Child! Our beloved family member! Let us take you home! Here have some Sandesh!” And they picked up little Nimai and put up him on their shoulders and as everybody was watching, they were saying, “Yes! Our little child! We will take you home. We are taking you home. We missed you so much.” And Nimai was smiling and he was eating Sandeshes. Meanwhile they were meditating, “I will get his bangles, and I will get his bracelet. There is some little jewel there that is going to be mine.” But for Nimai, he was just very happy, he was getting a ride on their shoulders. He was a little child and he was getting to see Navadwip from a little elevated position. And they were going to their secret hideout, they had been there so many times, they knew where it was.

Meanwhile back at Nimai’s house, the relatives were looking all over for him, he didn’t come home, and he was not around. They were asking everybody, but nobody saw Nimai. Time passed! They were searching frantically in all directions and there was nowhere else to search. How far a little boy can go? So they were sitting in their homes with their heads in their hands, weeping, “where is Nimai?” Praying to God to bring home Nimai. There was anguish, And Nimai was smiling! Dancing around on their shoulders eating sweets! They were, just to keep him from crying, they were feeding him. And then they came to, where they thought was their secret hideout, and they said, “O child! Now we have come to your home. So please now you can get down!”

And Nimai looked and they actually took him back to his home. They were under such an illusion, they were standing right in front of his front door and they are just a few feet away from where Jaganatha Mishra, Sachi Devi and all the relatives were crying, thinking “Where is Nimai? Where is Nimai?” And they thought this was their secret hideout. They said, “O Child! Now we are home. Get down!” Little Nimai said, “Now I am at home. I will get down.” And they brought him down and he ran inside and right into his mother’s arm. “O Nimai! You have returned! Where have you been?” and all the relatives were, “O such a relief.” They were celebrating. After that separation not knowing if he was safe, seeing him again was ecstasy. Somebody asked, “Where were you?” And somebody said, “I Just saw, two grown men just brought home” Meanwhile in the middle of all this commotion the thieves thought, “What Happened? What kind of magic spell came over us? This is not our hideout and this is his parents. We kidnapped him and now we are standing right in front of his parents. But seeing that they were all celebrating, and they were all looking at Nimai, let us escape.”

So while everybody was in their own commotion they ran away. They ran and ran and ran. They ran so fast in such fear and finally when they looked around a distance away and nobody was following them, they thought that, “Goddess Durga has saved us.” They asked Nimai what happened and Nimai said, “O I was playing near the bank of Ganga and I got lost and I didn’t know where to go and these two nice men picked me up and brought me home.” They were thinking we must reward them, they made nice beautiful, token turbans! They ran after to give to the men, but they could not find them anywhere. Those two thieves, they gave pleasure to the Lord, even though their motivations were very selfish, the Lord had fun riding on their shoulders and eating their sweets. Those two thieves, in the course of time attend the supreme perfection because of the service they had rendered. Vrindavan das Thakur explains, by hearing this story all inauspiciousness in our heart is stolen away and we attain firm devotion to the supreme lord. During these little childhood days of Nimai, every moment was something incredible. Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat tells, if the Vedas had 10 million forms and each form had 10 million mouths, they could not begin to explain the good fortune of Jaganatha Mishra and Sachi Devi that the Supreme Personality of Godhead was living like a little child in their home.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of a Brahmin – a devotee of Gopal

One day a Brahmin came to their door, he was a very special soul, he had no home, and he just wandered around constantly changing the name of his worshipable lord Gopal. Around his neck he had a Shaligram shila and a deity of Gopal, he never eats anything that he didn’t offer to Gopal.

He came to Jaganatha Mishra’s house and Jagannath Mishra saw the purity of the saintly person, so simple, had no possessions, but he had the greatest wealth, the wealth of love of God.

Great Kings, during the cultural times, would bow to those ascetics who had the wealth and the power of this love and compassion. Jaganatha Mishra, he fell at the Brahmins feet, he held onto his feet and said, “My home is so fortunate that someone as great as you has come to bless it, please tell me where your home is?” The pilgrim said, “I have no home. I have no country. I wander from place to place chanting the names of my beloved Gopal.” Jagannath Mishra said, “Well anyone, anyone who you visit is most blessed and fortunate. Please come into my house and we will prepare the kitchen and all the ingredients for you to cook and make an offering to Gopal.” And everybody in the house, “Please! Please! Please!” So the Brahmin said, “If it pleases you, I will do!” So he went in the kitchen and with deep devotion, he prepared all the various ingredients, including, what the Bengalis loved the most, Rice. And after he prepared it, he set up a nice little altar; and put the Shaligram shila, and the little Gopal deity, his life, his soul and he chanted a mantra, calling Gopal to eat the Bhoga.

Just as he was chanting, little Nimai, he just very quietly ran up and stood right over the plate, he was very tiny, with his right hand he picked up a handful of rice and put up into his mouth and then he looked with his lovely eyes at the Brahmin and smiled. The Brahmin was shocked, he cried out “Hi! Hi! This restless naughty child has spoiled my offering to Krishna!”

Everybody looked up, Jaganatha Mishra was so disturbed and chasing after little Nimai he said, “How can my child do this? I have to teach him!” and Nimai looked at his father coming and ran away.

The Brahmin grabbed Jaganatha Mishra’s hand; He said, “He is just a tiny little boy. He doesn’t understand, he doesn’t even know what is right. You cannot punish a child or chastise him.”

Jagannath Mishra said, “If I don’t teach him, how he will learn?” He said, “No! No! No! Please “And all the people in the family said, “Jagannath Mishra please.” The pilgrim said, “I can’t eat this now, because I can’t offer it to Krishna as somebody else already ate from it. So just give me some fruits or roots if you have any.” Jagannath Mishra said, “Please, we will clean kitchen again, get more ingredients and Cook a second time.” He said, “It’s already seen that my destiny is not to eat rice today. Just bring whatever fruits and roots that you may have. I live in the jungle most of the time. That’s all I get. It’s is very rare that I get rice like this.” And all the relatives pleaded with him, “Please! Please cook again. It would be such a shame if you come to our house and don’t get nice Prasad.”

He Said, “Yes! If it pleases you, I will cook again.” So they cleaned whole kitchen, brought more ingredients, and he started cooking. Sachi Mata took little Nimai and picked him up and brought him to a neighbor’s house. There was a whole group of ladies there and said, “Please watch my restless son and keep him with you all the times” So as the Brahmin was cooking, they were chanting and clapping and Nimai was dancing and smiling. And they said, “Nimai! Why did you eat that food that was being offered by that pilgrim?” And Nimai said, “He called for me to eat and so I ate.” They said, “You don’t even know who he is? You may get contaminated by eating from stranger like this?” Nimai said, “He is a Brahmin and I’m a cowherd boy and cowherd boys always like to eat from Brahmins” He was telling who he was but they just laughed hysterically. It was so funny but they could not understand that what he was saying was true.

And he was smiling and playing with them and joking with them so sweetly, they became so enchanted that they just didn’t even notice that he slipped away.

Just as the Brahmin was chanting the mantra to call Krishna to eat, the Brahmin looked up and there was little Nimai, his Beautiful golden complexion. He was covered with dust closed in only the 4 directions. With a handful of mouth being chewed and Nimai just gazed at him with such love and smiled. The Brahmin cried out “Hi! Hi! Again this child ruined the offering.”

At that point Jaganatha Mishra picked up the stick and Nimai saw that stick and jumped off and ran into a room. Jaganatha Mishra ran after him and Nimai shut the door and Jaganatha Mishra went to open the door, and the Brahmin said, “No! No! No! He does not know right from wrong. You just can’t chastise him” And everybody in the family was telling Jaganatha Mishra, “Please don’t chastise him.”
Please understand that Jaganatha Mishra, in pure ecstatic love, he was impelled to teach his little son what is the right thing, He would have never hurt him, so Jagannath Mishra just sat with his head in his hand again feeling completely ashamed, that this special saintly pilgrim came to their house and can’t even eat. At that point, Vishvarupa, Nimai’s elder brother, about 10 yr. older than him, came into the room. He was so beautiful! An expansion of lord Nityanand! When this Brahmin saw Vishvarupa, he could not stop looking at him. He asked, “Whose son is this?”

The people said, “This is the son of Sachi and Jagannath Mishra” He said, “How fortunate such parents!” And Vishvarupa, he was so well mannered, he bowed down before his guest and said, “You are such a holy person who holds Gopal in heart and reveals Gopal where you go. We are so fortunate that you have come to bless our home but we are so unfortunate and we are so ashamed because you have to fast in our house. Please cook again.” He said, “I have already cooked twice. It is already most midnight, just give me some roots and fruits, if you have any in the house.”

And Vishvarupa said, “It’s not so late, it’s a very good time for cooking, so please cook again. Because saintly people like you, others people happiness is your happiness. And we will be very happy if you cook again.” And then everybody in the family started making the same request, he was so affectionate towards Vishvarupa, he said, “If it pleases you I will cook again.”

They cleaned the kitchen, brought the ingredients, Jagannath Mishra heard the people say, “Let us lock and hold the door that Nimai is in and we will keep a whole group of guards outside the door.” And Jaganatha Mishra said, “Yes! That is a good idea.” Some of the ladies from inside said, “Nimai is fast asleep, he does not know anything except sleep at this moment. And so no reason to be in anxiety.”

The pilgrim cooked and just when he was finishing, by the will of little Nimai, who was fast asleep in his little bed surrounded by ladies who were chanting Krishna’s names, he sent Nidra devi, Nidra Devi is the Goddess of sleep, when she entered into the house, helplessly, effortlessly everyone fell fast asleep except the Brahmin. He chanted the mantra with the food in front of Gopal, as he chanted, he opened his eyes and little Nimai was chewing on his rice with a hand in his mouth, smiling and gazing upon him. “Hi! Hi! Again the child has spoiled by offering!” But there was dead silence, if there were any jackals around, even they were asleep. No body heard it.

And now it was Little Nimai face to face with this pilgrim. And Nimai looked at him very curiously with innocent affection and said, “What is my fault? You called for me and I came. You offered the food to me and because you are offering it with such love, I can’t help from coming to eat it! I am that Gopal that you have made the object of all your love.” At that moment little Nimai manifested the incredible form. The pilgrim saw standing before him was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He had 8 arms – 4 were the arms of Vishnu holding the conch shell, the disc, the club and the lotus flower, two of his arm, one held the pot of butter and other was eating it, and two of the arms were playing sweet sweet song on the flute. His complexion was like a dark monsoon cloud, he had beautiful lotus like eyes, and his every limb was the essence of perfection. The Kaustubha Mani was a jewel that was around his neck and resting on his chest, seemed to be illuminating all direction. He had the garland of Kunj, holy seeds from Vrindavan. In his beautiful hair, there was a Crown of Malati flowers and peacock feather and a Vaijayanti mala, a garland made from wild celestial flowers that Extended below his knees. Behind Nimai he saw that divine Kadamba tree, and he saw the holy river Yamuna and there he saw all around beautiful Surabhi cows and loving gopas and gopis.

This is exactly what he was mediated upon for his whole life and now he was seeing directly in front of his eyes, in uncontrolled ecstasy this pilgrim fainted! Nimai, with the soft touch of his hand brought him back to consciousness, he looked up again and there was Goloka Vrindavan manifested with Krishna and Krishna’s dear most associates. He fainted again, came back, had darshan and fainted.

Then Nimai spoke, “Birth after birth you have been my pilgrim beggar, you don’t remember but I remember. In your last birth, you came to Mahavan, Gokul when I was just a little baby Krishna. You came to beg from Nanda Maharaj. And he provided all the ingredients for you to cook and in the same little form I came and stole you’re offering then, you don’t remember but I do. You are my eternal loving associate and whenever, wherever you offer with such love and devotion, I must come to accept it.

In this incarnation, I will establish the Sankirtan movement, the congregational chanting of the holy names. I will spread Prema Bhakti, the highest perfection of life, the ecstasy everyone is longing for. I will spread throughout the countries and throughout the world, village to village, towns to towns. You should not tell anyone what you have seen but you should remain in Navadwip and come and secretly watch my transcendental past times.

Then Nimai resumed his little form again, went back to his room, laid on his bed and went to sleep.

This Brahmin was so ecstatic, he could not control himself any more. He started crying out, “Jai Gopal! Jai Gopal!” He was picking up the rice that was the rice that he offered, that was the rice that Lord Krishna accepted, that was the rice that the lord ate. And in his delirium, and ecstasy, “he was not only eating the rice but smearing the rice on every limb of the body and dancing all over the house crying out “Jai Gopal! Jai Gopal!” You kind of sound like the jackals…. Louder please… “Jai Gopal! Jai Gopal!” Everyone woke up, they just heard the pilgrim, “Jai Gopal! Jai Gopal!”

“What’s happening? They didn’t even know why they were sleeping or how they were sleeping.

All of a sudden they came running to see what happened. And they saw this person tears flowing form his eyes, his hair standing on end, rice smeared on every limb of his body, dancing around the house, “Jai Gopal! Jai Gopal! “This is a very great pilgrim, they are looking around, “What happened?”

He became very calm. Right in front of them he kind of chanted and washing his body and he sat down and said, “The offering was complete and I am eating Prasad.” He wanted to tell them so badly, that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the absolute truth, the cause of all causes, Krishna, Gopal of Vrindavan is living in your house. If I tell you this good news your life will the absolutely perfect. But I’m not allowed the tell you. He never left Navadwip, he roamed around the area of Navadwip and every single day he would come and watch Nimai’s past times and secretly surrender his heart, his soul and his life. Anyone who hears this past time with faith will get the benediction of personally meeting Krishna.

Shall I continue?

Radhanath Swami lights on the pastime of Lord Chaitanya with Jagdish and Hiranya Pandit

One day Nimai cried, everyone was so excited! Aahh! He is crying, we will chant and he will be happy. So they were clapping, clapping, clapping and chanting, chanting, ‘Hari Hari’. And little Nimai the more they chanted, the more he cried, they were very confused. Because seeing him cry was so painful to their heart. They said Nimai you always are happy whenever we chant, we are chanting, we are chanting, and more and more people were coming to join the kirtan and they were chanting louder and more intensified, Nimai kept crying….

Nimai, what is it? What can we do for you? Nimai, he said, if you want to save my life, there is one thing you can do for me. Nearby there is the house of Hiranya and Jagadish Pandit. Today is Ekadashi – a fast day and they have cooked a very special feast for their deity of Krishna. Go and bring that feast for me to eat that will save my life. Sachi mata, she said, how can we do this? This is against religious principles – Today is Ekadashi, how can you take what belongs to Vishnu? We are not allowed to eat those things on this day. Other people in the house said, he is just a child, we have to do whatever he wants.

Jagannath Mishra, he loved Jagdish and Hiranya Pandit as his dear most friends, because he knew they were such humble, pure, exalted devotees. So he went to their house and gave the message to them. As soon as they heard the message, they were thrilled. They said, “How could this tiny little child have known? We never make feast like this on Ekadashi for the Lord. Somehow or other we were inspired to make an incredible, elegant feast for our deity on this day of Ekadashi. For him to know this, means that Krishna must be living in his heart.” They didn’t say he must be Krishna, they said Krishna must be living in his heart. Otherwise, how could he know? And with great excitement, Krishna wants to eat this offering through this baby.

So, they brought the whole offering, and they laid out all these dozens and dozens of wonderful preparations and put them in a circle around Nimai. Then everybody started chanting and clapping their hands, and Nimai was dancing. He went to each preparation and took a little portion and ate it. And the kirtan was going and he was eating, he was dancing, Jagdish and Hiranya, they considered this the ultimate perfection of their whole lives. That in the heart of this child their beloved lord was accepting their offering.

 

Radhanath Swami describes how Lord Chaitanya made a little puppy to chant the holy names, “Radha Govinda, Radha Govinda…”

One day, Nimai was playing with his little friends on the bank of the Ganga and they found a little group of new–born puppies, puppy dogs, somehow the mother was not there. She had given birth and she was gone. There were these little puppies, they were just kind of jumping around and the boys were playing with them. Nimai took one little puppy and was playing with him. And one of his friend said, Nimai, why you took the most beautiful puppy and left us with the ugly ones, children are children. Nimai said no no, we can all play with this puppy, I’ll bring him to my house, and we will all come to this house and we all play.

They went to Nimai’s house, when they went to the house, Sachi mata was not at home, she was with her friends at the Ganga. Nimai was playing with all the children and they were taking the puppy and putting it on their heads, and they were running and dancing and embracing. And one of the children, same one, he started arguing with another child and Nimai said, “Why every time we play you always fight with us?” And he said, “Because you took the most wonderful puppy.” And then he ran out and as he was running, he saw Sachi mata – Nimai’s mother.

In great fit of anger, he said, “Sachi mata, you should see what your son is doing. He is just a little boy.” He said, “he brought a dirty, filthy dog, a puppy dog into your house and your Nimai, he is embracing it, he is kissing it, he is putting it on his face, and he is doing all these things.” Sachi mata said, “My boy will never do that.” So she ran home and when she came into the house, Nimai was holding the puppy, embracing the puppy and all the friends were playing with the puppy with Nimai.

Sachi mata said, “Our house is a temple.” This was just a little house. “This is the temple of the lord. You can’t just bring animals in like this. You are bringing dogs, we are a family of Brahmans, what will happen to our reputation? What will happen to the cleanliness of our house? Why are you so mischievous? Why are you so restless? I don’t know, how I could live, when you are doing things like these Nimai.”

Nimai said, “But this puppy is so beautiful and I love him so much.”

Sachi mata looked at Nimai and her heart melted and then she said, “Nimai, just bring the puppy in your room and play and forget about your mother and father.” And then she said, “Nimai, let me embrace you, let me kiss you, let me feed you.”

Nimai ran into her lap and said, “I love this little puppy.”

Sachi mata, she said, “You must be hungry, and you have been playing all day. Go to the river Ganga, and take your bath, play with your friends, and come back and I’ll have nice Prasad for you. I’ll take care of your puppy.”

He said, “You promise, you will take care of my puppy?”

She said, “Yes, I’ll take care of you puppy.”

She didn’t say how she will take care. So, Nimai tied the little puppy with a nice little thing, so that he would be safe. And then he ran. He took some Sandesh from his mother and ran to the Ganga. As he was playing with all his friends, Sachi mata untied the puppy and send the puppy away very sweetly. One of his friends saw this and ran to the Ganga and said, “Sachimata sent the puppy away.” Nimai immediately jumped out of the river and ran home ran home.

“Mata! Mata! My mother! Where is the puppy?”

“Oh puppy? Where is the puppy?”

“You sent my puppy away.”

“Oh! I don’t… where is the puppy?”

“That puppy was so beautiful, I had such affection for that puppy, and don’t you know how much you just hurt my heart?”

And Sachi mata said, “Please eat your food and we will find the puppy.” So, he sat down to eat. Meanwhile, what happened to the puppy? Because he was touched by Nimai, he was so blessed that soon after that, the little puppy just little, only this (size) big. He went into the streets of Navadvip and in front of 100s, 1000s of people started chanting the holy names of Krishna. He was crying out in his little puppy voice, “Radha Govinda. Radha Govinda. Radha Govinda.’” How the puppies say it? Radha Govinda. (Sound) Something like that. Radha Govinda. Like that.

He was chanting very sweetly; not like those jackals. Then he was chanting mahamantra.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare

He was chanting and chanting and began to dance, as he was dancing and chanting the mahamantra, tears, torrents of tears were pouring from his little puppy eyes. His paws were raised above his head, like this in ecstasy as he was dancing on his hind legs, every single hair on his puppy body was standing erect in ecstasy and all of his little puppy limbs were trembling uncontrollably as he was crying out Krishna’s name.

The people of Navdvip could not believe what they were seeing. This little baby dog was dancing through the streets in ecstasy, chanting the lord’s holy names. It was so mesmerizing and intoxicating that he was inducing everyone around him to raise heir hands and chant loudly the mahamantra. As everyone was looking on, absolutely hypnotized by this dog’s attainment of the ultimate perfection, right in front of their eyes the dog fell to the ground dead. Krishna tells in Gita,

anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ

That one who remembers me at the time of death, attains me without fail. This puppy dog in the ecstasy of ecstatic love was performing kirtan at the moment of his death and then right before everyone’s vision, imagine seeing this, an incredibly elegant chariot from Goloka Vrindavan descended – It had magnificent domes and celestial, divine people in it and they picked up the little body of the puppy dog, and put it on the chariot. Just then the puppy dog assumed his original, eternal, spiritual form and that chariot brought the puppy dog back to Goloka Vrindavan – the abode of Krishna in the spiritual world, as he was going through the sky the demigods were watching – Brahma, Siva, and Indra, they were surrounding the chariot giving all honor and respect to the puppy dog. Within their heart of hearts they began to sing the glories of Lord Chaitanya.

We have seen so many avatars over the millenniums, but never, not even Krishna, just take an ordinary little dog, and within days, send him back to the spiritual world, the ultimate perfection of life. The son of Sachi is the most munificent, the most merciful and the demigods with tears in their eyes, they were praying, will there ever be a time when we will be so fortunate to be blessed like this little puppy by the mercy of Sachi–Nandana!

 

Radhanath Swami depicts how Lord Chaitanya taught the lesson of pure devotion to Murari Gupta

Nimai, one day he was walking down the streets with some of his little friends. Very small boy, very mischievous. Murari Gupta, was about 20 years older than him. Murari Gupta was born in a family of Ayurvedic doctors, Vaidya, a great scholar. He was in the school of Gangadas Pandit – a descendant of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya’s learning institution. He was a great scholar and he with some of his students was discussing the yoga vishishta, which is describing the absolute aspect of the lord, who is without form.

As he was speaking very, very deep profound philosophy, little Nimai started imitating him, in a way that is very irritating. Like, if Murari Gupta would move his head a little to the side, and say “you know… brahma satyam.” And little Nimai would very exaggeratedly move his hear and move his hand and say “brahma satyam.”

Murari said, “What are you doing?”

Nimai said, “What are you doing?”

Murari Gupta said, “Just go home.”

And Nimai would just say, “Just go home.”

So he tried to ignore him, and he got back into the philosophy with his students and he was talking, he was saying, “yada yada hi dharmasya.” And little Nimai – “yada yada hi dharmasya.” Murari Gupta said, “Why are you so restless? Why are you so naughty? Why are you irritating me so much?”

And Nimai just started imitating him again, and mimicking him and laughing, all the children were laughing at Murari Gupta like anything. That was the worst things even Murari Gupta’s students, they couldn’t stop laughing at their own teacher, because Nimai was so expertly making fun of him. Nimai said, “Today at lunch I will give you the lesson. I will give you a good lesson at lunch today.” So Murari Gupta went home. He had a wife, his wife served lunch to him – Nice rice, sabji and he forgot about what Nimai said.

Meanwhile, little Nimai, was dressed very special on that occasion. As Murari Gupta was eating, do you want to hear the story? As Murari Gupta was very, very reverentially and gratefully honoring the Prasad, little Nimai just very slowly, very quietly, crept up, step by step, very mischievous, he was walking so slowly and so silently, so that Murari Gupta would not know he was coming. Murari Gupta was absorbed in eating. Then little Nimai came right up to the plate, and Murari Gupta still didn’t notice it, still eating. In a most graceful, aesthetically pleasing, heart enchanting, beautiful, merciful way, little Nimai passed urine right on the rice! Murari Gupta was shocked, he didn’t know what… He is a scholar, he was trying to figure this out philosophically, he was speechless like the… and he looked out at Nimai, and Nimai was laughing and he was dancing.

He said, “I told you, I will teach you a lesson. You forgot, but I told you I will teach you a lesson.” And what was the lesson?

That Murari Gupta was a devotee, but mixing all sorts of other philosophies with pure devotion. Philosophies that are contrary to pure devotion is like putting urine on Prasad. Of course Lord Chaitanya’s urine is Prasad itself. Nimai was dancing and said, “I told you that I will teach you a lesson. I taught you everything today.” And Murari Gupta, he was so philosophical, he figured out instantly, exactly what Nimai… Nimai actually just liberated him from all misconceptions and gave him a completely pure exclusive understanding of what ecstatic love of god really is. That was the effect of his passing urine that day. So this is why this story is so beautiful. You know if you or I pass urine on somebody’s rice… But Nimai gave completely unadulterated the very sumum bonum essence siddhanta of the Srimad Bhagavatam by passing urine on that rice to Murari Gupta. And he has given it to the whole world for all times to come through that lesson if we hear this pastime with faith.

Meanwhile while he was dancing, and chanting, and singing, and laughing and Murari Gupta was watching and then Nimai ran away. Then Murari Gupta just thought, ‘he was just restless little boy.’ But somehow or other at this moment he became so completely enamored with spiritual love for this child, he ran after him. Little Nimai ran home and jumped in the arms of his father Jagannath Mishra and his father was kissing him and hugging him. Then he jumped into the lap of his mother, Sachi mata.

Meanwhile Murari Gupta who was one of the most venerable, exalted scholars, doctors, Brahmans, respectable family man, he came in, and he saw this little tiny boy is being embraced by his parents. Murari Gupta was offering with folded hands, his dandavats – He was laying himself prostrate on the floor again and again bowing down offering prayers, to this little boy. Sachi Devi and Jagannath looked at him and asked, “Murari, what are you doing? And why are you doing it?” Murari said, “You don’t know who your son is?”

I have to make a confession. One day when I was in Mayapur and I heard these jackals howling, I was thinking someone was playing a recording of me singing kirtan. Anyways, you are all very tolerant.

 

Radhanath Swami elaborates on mischievous and sweet pastimes of Lord Chaitanya in River Ganga

On another day Nimai was playing in Ganga with all of his friends, he was the leader of his friends. They would do whatever he did because they just wanted to please him. Nimai would give so much pleasure to all the people by His mischief. After going to school in the morning just around the noon time, he would go to the Ganga with His friends. As we explained before thousands and thousands of people were there at every bathing ghat at noon taking their baths. There were many sadhus, Brahmans, ascetics, scholars, pandits, professors and ordinary people also and they would do their religious duties. They would setup their little altars, they would have garlands of flowers and candana, puja. They would take their baths, purify themselves before coming out.

Nimai and His friends would go there, Nimai with His little lotus feet could kick in such a mystical way that it would make the water splash. You know how when you are swimming and you kick your feet like this and make the water splash (chhhchhhhchhhhchhhhh). He would so expertly do it. He would aim His kicks in such a way that the water would spray right in the eyes of the people bathing in the Ganga. Somebody is trying to chant his Gayatri mantra and all of a sudden (chhhchhhhchhhhchhhhh) and they would say, “Nimai what are you doing?” They would try to catch him and he would swim away really fast.

Somebody, a very grave ascetic doing Gayatri and little Nimai would swim under water secretly and his head would come out right in front of them and he would go and spout a full mouthful of water from his mouth right in their face. Other times some very stoic professors would be chanting his Gayatri Mantra and little Nimai would be under water and he would grab their feet, pull them down and make them disappear under water.

When all His little friends saw Nimai doing it, they all started doing it. He had dozens of friends. He had a whole little army of mischief makers who were spitting Ganga water on the faces of Brahmans, pulling their feet and doing all this. After they would come out of the Ganges nice and clean, every single person, Nimai and his friends would throw sand and cover their bodies with sand. So they have to take another bath. They would then throw sand again and they couldn’t catch them.

Some of these very very senior grave Brahmans went to Jagannath Mishra. Actually they loved it, it was the highlight of their lives when Nimai would do these things. They went to Jagannath Mishra just because they wanted to taste the sweetness of complaining about him because in the process of complaining you are feelingly glorifying the Lord’s pastimes, even though they didn’t know that he was the Lord.

You see this is the beauty of Hari Katha. When we speak about Krishna, we are actually reliving Krishna’s pastimes ourselves because these pastimes are absolute. They are not subject to time and place. So they were telling Jagannath Mishra, “Your little boy Nimai for 6 hours a day, practically every day he is doing these things to us.”

“He is kicking water, throwing sand on us, spitting on us.” One Brahmana said, “He stole my Shiva linga!” Another said, “He stole my Bhagavad Gita when I was in the water.” Another said, “He stole my clothes. I came out of the Ganga with my Kaupins and there were no clothes.” Another said, “I had setup a beautiful throne for Vishnu. I had my Puja paraphernalia, I had my garlands, and I had Bhoga to be offered to Vishnu. I went to take my bath before the Puja. I come out of the water and see that Nimai is sitting on the throne of Vishnu with the garlands and eating the offerings. As soon as he saw me, he smiled and ran away and then he yelled back that to whom you have made these offerings has just accepted and enjoyed these offerings.”

Another said, “My little son, my little tiny boy, I put him on the side of the Ganga. I went inside and Nimai put water in his ears and made him cry.” Another said, “I was chanting my Gayatri and Nimai jumped on my shoulder and then jumped off my shoulder and said that I am ‘Mahesh’.”

Some of the other Brahmans said, “It is hard for us to tell you this. Do you know what your son did? – Ladies bathe on one Ghat, Men bathe on another Ghat, before we go in, and we put our set of clothes in a special place. When we all came out the ladies clothes were on the men’s side and the men’s clothes were on the ladies side. In order to not come back home naked I had to put on a Sari, Choli whatever you call it. And the ladies were putting on Dhotis. Do you know how much disturbance your son causes us? And he does this for hours and hours every day.”

And then some little girls came and they approached Sachi Mata. They were smiling, they said, “Sachi Mata! We want to tell you what Nimai does every day to us – He steals our clothes, he insults us, and he splashes us.” One little girl said, “I came out of the Ganga and my beautiful hair….He threw sticky itchy okra seeds all over me.” Another little girl told that, “He told me that he wants to marry me.” Some of the other girls said, “We have our offerings and Nimai sits where our deities are and he says that Give me all your offerings and I will bless you that you will have a very strong, handsome, kind, loving, generous husband who is a great scholar and you will have 7 children, all full of health, obedient and who will charm your hearts. Just give me all your offerings.” And some of the girls were thinking, ‘Who are you to do this?’ and they took their offerings and ran away and Nimai yelled at them, “If you don’t bring back your offerings to me, you will have an old, diseased, deformed husband along with 4 co–wives.” So we all came back running and gave our offerings to him. It seems that this child has some special powers, he does this everyday. So far we have been keeping it as a secret but if we tell our parents they are going to come to you and they would be very disturbed. Sachi Mata embraced all the little girls and said, “You are all my own little daughters. I will take care of Nimai.” The girls were laughing. They were in such great ecstasy explaining Nimai’s pastimes.

Meanwhile Jagannath Mishra picked up a stick again and said, “Nimai can’t get away with all these things. How will he grow up to be a proper gentleman if he is causing so many problems to all these respectable people?” So he started charging towards the Ganga. Meanwhile all the little girls from another direction they were giggling and laughing ran towards the Ganga. They saw little Nimai and they loved Nimai. They said, “Nimai Nimai Nimai! Your father is coming because so many complaints were made against you. You better go. You better fly away from here very fast because Your father looks reallly mad” And Nimai told his friends, “When My father comes tell him that I haven’t come here today. I went home by a different route.” And then he laughed and everybody laughed.

Meanwhile Jagannath Mishra arrives and he sees all the little children playing and he is looking around where is my Nimai. And one little boy said, “He hasn’t come today.” And all the Brahmans who complained said, “Jagannath Mishra we only told you this because we are in total love with your little Nimai. All His mischief is the most precious joy of our heart. We can’t calculate your unlimited good fortune that such a child is your own son. Whatever we spoke was simply His glorification by the love of our hearts.”

Jagannath Mishra said, “Please consider Nimai as all of your son and forgive him if he does anything wrong.” Meanwhile Nimai comes home from another direction and he runs into His mother’s arms and his mother sees that his hair is completely dry, it has dust. All these ink spots are there all over his body from his school and there wasn’t a trace that he could have possibly taken a bath. Jagannath Mishra comes and he was wanting to teach Nimai some lesson but as soon as Nimai saw Jagannath Mishra, he jumped on his lap and embraced his father and his father melted helplessly. Jagannath Mishra said, “Nimai why do you do these things? These Brahmans, why do you harass them and other common people. Aren’t you even afraid of Vishnu? You are stealing his offerings.” And little Nimai said, “What did they say those things about Me. I didn’t even go to the Ganga today and they are saying these things about me. Today they will see what I will really do.” Then he smiled, jumped off His father’s lap and ran to the Ganga.

So our Acharyas explain these people, they were the most fortunate souls that these special intimate loving pastimes were not only being revealed to them but he was giving them intimate entrance. The pastimes of Nimai are absolutely non–different from the pastimes of Krishna in Vrindavan.

And his mischief was for one purpose only, in the ultimate sweetest way to completely capture the love of these people’s hearts that is what he has done. By understanding how Nimai is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and understanding the nature of his Lila or transcendental pastimes, they are not of world, they are not of the ego. Children in this world they are playing because they are trying to find some temporary happiness, but even so children of this world charm our heart like that. But here is the atmarama, the totally self satisfied Rasaraj, he is simply sharing the infinite sweetness of his love with his devotees through these apparently ordinary child like pastimes here in Navadvipa, Sri Mayapur dham.

By hearing these wonderful narrations the greatest scholars, the greatest ascetics, the most self realized enlightened grihasthas and sannyasis through out the history have worshiped these pastimes of Nimai and tasted them again and again and again. By Srila Prabhupada, our beloved Guru Maharaj’s causeless mercy he has invited all of us to Sri Mayapur to bath in the Ganga of these beautiful narrations which melts our heart. Hari means one who steals, the beautiful names, the beautiful pastimes, the beautiful qualities of the Lord steal our heart away from all the inauspicious envy, lust, anger, greed, arrogance, illusion and steal our heart from all anxieties, suffering and impediments of this world. By hearing the pastime sincerely and the philosophy behind it that natural bhakti prema of our hearts awakens.

Thank you very much.

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Radhanath Swami speaking on “Appearance Of The Lord Gaur Candra” 2012 yatra, Mayapur, Day 4 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-appearance-of-the-lord-gaur-candra-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-4/ http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-appearance-of-the-lord-gaur-candra-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-4/#comments Thu, 17 Dec 2015 04:53:56 +0000 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/?p=4161
radhanath-swami

Hare Krishna. I think you all may have noticed that there is some construction going on there – this was one of the dear-most projects that Srila Prabhupada emphasized on. It was one of his most intimate offerings of his life to guru parampara and to build such a beautiful temple that people throughout the entire world would come: come to associate with devotees, participate in Nama Sankirtan, hear hari katha, take Krishna’s Prasad, and be purified by the unlimited grace that is emanating from the holy place of Mayapur, the place of Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda, the Pancha-tattva’s eternal pastimes, the place where the greatest of our acharyas or the greatest spiritual preceptors came to perform their own devotion, the birth place of the sankirtan movement.

 

Radhanath Swami depicts the true benediction of Kirtan

Today kirtan is becoming very famous all over the world. According to our scriptures, Navadvip is the birthplace of kirtan – vijayate Sri Krishna Sankirtan, the prime benediction for all humanity.

kaler dosa-nidhe rajan
asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet

The age of kali is an ocean of faults when compared to this ocean of kali, the Atlantic, Pacific, Bay of Bengal, Arabian, are like little pots of crippling influences, this is a fathomless ocean. There is one benediction in this age of kali– that simply by performing sankirtan, chanting the holy names of god, one can attain the perfection of liberation, in common terms liberation means to be free from the dualities of material existence, which bounds to the attachments… free us from suffering, frees us from birth, old age, diseases and death. But that’s just a preliminary state of transcendental consciousness.

Haridas Thakur explains that the ultimate goal, the real true perfection of liberation, which can be revealed from within our hearts when we chant Krishna’s holy names, and Krishna has many names, is ‘prema’– the awakening of the ecstatic love, love for Krishna, Sri Radha, all living beings who are the children of Radha and Krishna. It is our intrinsic nature that love is ever increasing and is forever. It is our intrinsic, inherent nature. änandämbudhi–vardhanaà prati–padaà pürëämåtäsvädanaà, it is the happiness that everyone is seeking, that is the benediction of kirtan.

Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as we have cited from Rupa Goswami,

namo maha-vadanyaya krishna-prema-pradaya te
krishnaya krishna-chaitanya-namne gaura-tvishe namah

There are many avatars, many incarnations of the lord, who have come throughout the world throughout history in different times and places to reestablish dharma, sanatana dharma, and true spiritual principles, to remind us of what we have forgotten– that we are all eternal souls, parts of God and this world is the perfect place to cultivate that God consciousness, if we have proper vision, proper guidance, and proper motivation. But of all the great incarnations, lord Chaitanya is considered to be most magnanimous. Now this is something of a contradiction! But spiritual knowledge is full of perfectly harmonious contradictions, wherein there is no contradiction. One time a great scholar of Vedas in the western world said to Srila Prabhupada, among the acaryas, the saintly teachers, there are so many contradictions. And Prabhupada said, “There are no contradictions.” But there appear to be!

 

Radhanath Swami explains Magnanimity of Lord Chaitanya over all other Avatars

So if there is one God, how can that one god be more magnanimous than himself? Because all the avatars are Krishna. Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Rama, Balarama, they are all Krishna, so how is he more magnanimous than himself? Because as lord Chaitanya, he is coming in the role of own devotee to teach us by his own example, how to love Krishna. And he is giving the most intimate level of love of God freely, something that is so rare to the most exalted Paramhamsas. He has brought in the age of kali the love of the gopis of Vrindavan, and what is the price, a humble and grateful heart and chanting the holy names of the god with good character and a true desire to serve, that’s all. Anyone can do it, therefore the Bhagavat tells us that the greatest sage and rishis worship and honor Kali Yuga as the best of all times. It is the time of the most suffering, the most hypocrisy, the most quarrelling and fighting, but the greatest benediction is given in all of that. And that benediction adverted especially here in this Sri Mayapur Dham.

Prabhupada was thinking of this temple, when he didn’t even have any money. But he understood that it was the will of the previous acaryas. Long long ago, the greatest acharyas were talking about an Adbhut Mandir, a glorious temple that would attract the world. Today we have a presentation, on Srila Prabhupad’s disappearance day, there is going to be an elaborate presentation. Today just a small presentation of how each and every one of us can be a part of it. But to really be a part of it means to put your love and devotion into it. And to put you love and devotion into it means some sacrifice. Srila Prabhupada considered this so important, so divine that he wanted to give a chance to everyone to participate.

In lord Chaitanya’s pastimes we read about King Prataprudra, the king of the whole state of Orissa. He utilized his whole treasury, powers, and influences to serve lord Chaitanya. And then we read about Suklambar brahmachari, who is just a little brahmachari who live in a little straw hut a few minutes away from here on the bank of the Ganga. He had nothing, he was a true brahmachari, according to the classical sense. He didn’t even have a cell phone, can you imagine a brahmachari so renounced? He would go out to beg, and he would go to about 10 or 11 houses to beg. Minimum – he didn’t want to take too much from any house. And he was constantly chanting the holy names of the lord. He was wearing little raggedy clothes. Whatever rice he would collect, it was usually the… Most people don’t give beggars the best things in their house, most people give beggars a hard time, they just ignore them– Get out from here, Hut, maybe just to get rid of them, with some pious sentiment they just give the worst thing. Something. People usually take the broken old dirty kind of pieces of rice to give to beggars.

 

Radhanath Swami lights on the glories of Suklambar brahmachari

Once at the house of Srivas, when lord Gauranga was performing his kirtan, he sat on the altar. One of those rare precious moments, where he was actually fulfilling his devotee’s desires, where they could make offerings to him otherwise he was always making offerings to them. As the kirtan was going and all these incredible personalities were singing, and dancing, lord Chaitanya saw little Suklambar, somewhere in the back of the kirtan and he was just blissfully chanting Krishna’s names. He had no money, no prestige, besides lord Chaitanya nobody even knew that he was an advanced devotee. Everyone just thought he was an ordinary beggar. But he took all that rice, took it home, he cooked it in a little pot, offered to Krishna. He would be in transcendental happiness and here he was tasting the sweetness of the holy names, his heart bursting with bliss, dancing. In the kirtan of real bhakti, dancing is not some sort of step like the dances in this world, every movement of every limb is an expression of our gratitude and our love for Krishna, who has appeared in this name. We are actually immersing, absorbing our body, mind, words or very life as an offering of surrender, devotion and love to Krishna as they were chanting.

As he was chanting he had this cloth bag, an old tattered bag that he would beg with. It was at his shoulder, and was swinging back and forth in all directions as he was dancing, and lord Chaitanya looked at him and smiled. It was such a sight! He was just so simple, so innocent, dancing like a child, with his little bag flying around. Lord Chaitanya called him, “Suklambar came forward” and lord Chaitanya he said, “Birth after birth, you are my beggar devotee. And I’m hungry for whatever you beg.” And everyone in the room was thinking ‘What is he talking?’ Then Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he had long arms which extended beyond his knees. If he wanted to take something from you or give something to you, nothing could come in between his will.

He thrust his beautiful golden hand into the bag and came out with a handful of broken pieces of the cheapest quality rice. It wasn’t even cooked and cleaned it was just what people threw in the bag, they just threw it in. And lord Chaitanya ate it. Suklambar was – “How could you eat this, my lord? It is not fit for you.” And all the devotees were shocked. Sri Chaitanya, there were tears, streaming from his big, beautiful, lotus like eyes, reddened with affection. He said,” I have never tasted anything so sweet, as the rice of Suklambar.” Then he thrust his hand again, and ate handful after handful. So whether like king Prataprudra, we offer palaces and treasuries or whether we are like Suklambar brahmachari and we offer broken pieces of rice, it is our devotion that the lord accepts. And it is that devotion that gives quality to whatever is offered.

In this temple, it was Srila Prabhupad’s will that people who have much could help with much as an offering of love. Not because of pressure. Not because of having your name written forever, out of love. Whether it is a paisa, a crore, through our intelligence, through our abilities, Srila Prabhupada wanted all devotees from all around to be united in this great opportunity to expand lord Chaitanya’s mercy and the Sankirtan movement throughout the world. So my very, very dear friend and brother Radha Jivan Prabhu. He is recently connected in a very enthusiastic, dedicated way with my dear god brother Ambarish Prabhu and others in the team of this project. And he is going to present a blessed opportunity to all of us. Let us welcome him by loudly chanting ‘haribol’.

 

Radhanath Swami explains that Krishna is hungry for Love of his devotees

In this story we told about Sukhlambar Brahmachari. One interesting truth in that is that he never even offered the rice, the Lord stole it because Krishna is so hungry for the love of his devotee. We all have heard the story of when once Krishna was in Hastinapur; Duryodhana invited him to be his special guest of honor in a magnificent palace, he had arranged for a feast from the finest master cooks which would be served on Gold and silver bejeweled plates. He had gifts of ornaments of the precious most materials. He had entertainment planned of musicians and dancers, the best of the world.

Krishna walked right by his house, because, īśvara sarva-bhūtānāṁ hd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati, Krishna is in everyone’s heart. He doesn’t see what we offer him; He sees the purpose in which it is offered. He is bhava-grahi-janardhana, He accepts the quality of our love. He doesn’t need anything else. The Lord is ‘Laxminath’, “Sarva Loka Maheshwaram,” He is the proprietor of everything that exists. He is the husband of the goddess of fortune. What does he need? But he is hungry for the love of each and every one of us– That is how God is great.

The fact that the one supreme truth can create unlimited universes, can be the father of all living beings, is the source of everything exists. But what’s even greater, although he is Parmaishwara, Parbrahman, he is hungry for the love of each and every spirit soul, a little you and me and everyone else. When we awaken that selfless spirit of love in our heart, Krishna is hungry to taste it. How great is that? He is so hungry that when there is love, he may not even wait for it to be offered, he comes and steals it.

Krishna is makhanchor. That means he is a butter thief. In Vrindavan, when Krishna was a little boy, especially during this month of Damodar, he would steal butter, yoghurt from gopis. And then they would complaint to Yashoda mayee, his mother. The reason they would complaint to Yashoda mayee was simple, because then they get to talk about Krishna and there is no more blissful taste to heart than talking about Krishna and remembering Krishna is such special ways. They were talking about him by apparently finding faults with him. But it was love. Yashoda Mayee said, “I somehow will keep him at home.”

They said, “No! No! No! Don’t do that. The only reason that we make our butter is with the hope and the prayer that Krishna would come and steal it.”

Bhakti is the process of churning our hearts and removing all the impure things so that it is very soft and very sweet. When our hearts become soft and sweet like that butter, Krishna will steal our heart – Radhanath Swami

So Sukhlambar Brahmachari, he did not have a bell, that he was ringing it, chanting mantra, tantra, mudra, puja he didn’t do anything but Lord took his rice because he was eager to taste Sukhlambar’s devotion.

 

Radhanath Swami highlights the greatness of Lord Krishna

So when Krishna was walking by Duryodhana, He understood Duryodhana’s heart. Duryodhana wanted to please the Lord so that he could get Lord on his side, so that he could execute his envious plans for the Pandavas. So Krishna did not care about all the jewels, silk and fine food, he just walked right by. But he was hungry, he was hungry for devotion. So he went to Vidura’s house.

Vidura, he was disqualified from any royalty, because of certain technical situations in his life. He lived in a simple little house. And According to all, many tell the story, he wasn’t even at home. His wife was at home and Krishna came, he knocked, he was unannounced. Can you imagine, someone knocks on the door, you open the door and it is Krishna? And he said, “I am hungry. I was supposed to go to Duryodhana house, but I didn’t want to eat at his house and I am hungry”

She didn’t even had any food in the house, all she saw in the whole house was one banana. She was so nervous that she peeled the Banana, throw the banana out and gave Krishna the peel. Krishna ate it and enjoyed it profusely. He would rather eat the banana peel from the hands of a loving servant rather than a royal cuisine from someone who has ulterior motives. So that is Bhakti, that is Krishna’s greatness.

And Krishna descended into this world, in this age of Kaliyuga, as Lord Chaitanya especially to enlighten us with what he called the purushakta shiromani, The Crest jewel of all goals of life, the Prem Nidhi, the ultimate wealth of love.

 

Radhanath Swami illustrates the concept of achintya-bheda-bhed tattva, inconceivable oneness in difference

Most Avatars are expansions or the expansions of the one lord. You see that lord is one, but reveals different quantities & qualities of his infinite, unlimited compassion according to time place and circumstance. The concept of ‘Achintya Bheda Bhed Tatva’ – Inconceivable oneness in difference, it is all encompassing philosophical principle. Every living being, the living force within all our hearts, that living force that’s me and you, that sees through the eyes, hears through the ears, tastes through the tongue and smells through the nose and touches through the skin, thinks through the brain and loves through the heart. That living force when it leaves this body, the body is like an automobile without a driver, it has no capacity to function.

That atma is Sachidananda, eternal full of knowledge and bliss. And what is the quality? Krishna tells in Bhagvad Gita – mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah, Every living being, this jiva, this spiritual force is part and parcel of Krishna like a sunray to the sun. Qualitatively gives heat and light like the sun, but quantitatively the sun ray is always just part of the sun. It’s never the sun. And the sunray is always coming from the sun. The Sun never comes from the sunray. So simultaneously it is one and different. That is our relationship with the Lord. We are one in quality.

In the Bhakti tradition, the highest oneness is realized when our hearts through love merge eternally, infinitely with Krishna’s will. When we taste Krishna’s infinite love and Krishna tastes our love. But still, for the purpose of Rasa, for the purpose of relationship we remain individual. Similarly material nature is one with God and different from God. Because the Shakti, the energy of the lord is coming from the lord.

om poornamadah poornamidam poornaat poornamudachyate

The Ishopanishad tells that the absolute truth is perfect & complete and everything emanating from the absolute truth is perfect and complete.

When Krishna tells in Gita, aham sarvasya prabhavo, All spiritual and material worlds are emanating from me, the source of everything. So this material world is God as his energy. But at the same time it is not God because it is his external energy. But energy and the energic are coming from same source, and similarly God himself is achintya bheda bhed tatva. He appears as Varaha, Narsimha, Kurma, in countless incarnations as Lord Ramchandra, the son of Dashrath. He appears in original form once every 4 billion 320 million years as Krishna, the son of Nand and Yashoda and reveals his Vrindavan past times.

Now how is this one and different? Now let’s just think about it from a practical way, because sometimes philosophy can best be understood by practical meditations. The cowherd boys are wrestling with Krishna. Yes! And they are defeating Krishna. Nobody can defeat Krishna but because their love for Krishna is so much as playful friends and they want to please Krishna so much, they know that Krishna will be pleased if they defeat him and so they are trying to win just to make him happy. And Krishna loses, just to make them happy, that’s their love, that’s Vrindavan.

Now let’s go back to a Yuga of Ramchandra. Hanuman was great devotee, did you ever hear any story of Hanuman wrestling with Ram? That’s achintya bheda bhed tatva. Same Lord, did you ever hear of Bharat? Ram stealing butter and then saying he didn’t still! When Krishna, after when, he was stealing butter, he was feeding it to monkeys. He was telling to them, “In my past incarnations, you are the monkeys that helped me get Sita back and I was living in the forest and I had nothing to give you. So now come, I will give you butter.”

Narsimhadeva, he was roaring… all the demigods were afraid to come near him, even Laxmi! Brahma said, “Laxmi, you go and pacify him, he is your husband.” Laxmi just looked at him and said, “I just don’t know him like this.” It was little Prahlad who came forward. And as Krishna, gopis are just chastising him, mother Yashoda with a stick…. Can you imagine mother Yashoda with a stick to Narsimhadeva? Though he is same person! So this is achintya bheda bhed tatva – the Lord is inconceivably one and simultaneously different with one himself. And this is his greatness.

Radhanath Swami points the reasons for the descend of Lord Chaitanya to this world

We read that there were 3 external reasons and 3 internal reasons for why Krishna appeared in his original transcendental form The 3 external reasons why Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appears in this world are revealed by Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami.

One is to fulfill his promise in Bhagvad Gita

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanirva bhavathi bharatha,
abhyuthanam adharmaysya
tadatmanam srijami aham

That again and again in this world when there is rise in irreligion, and a decrease in religion & true genuine principles, I descend into this world.

paritranaya sadhunam
vinashaya cha dushkritam.
dharma sansthapanarthaya
sambhavami yuge yuge

Krishna comes to reestablish the truth, Krishna tells in Bhagvad Gita, “what is the truth?” – To understand that all living beings are in me, of me and are mine. To reveal to the people that we are strangers in the foreign land, for the eternal soul to try to be happy with the cheap thrills of this temporary pleasures of this material existence is really an embarrassment. But sometimes when a person is so intoxicated, they put themselves do things that are so embarrassing, humiliating and they don’t even know that they are doing it. That’s the deluding potency of Maya. All we have to do is to choose to do so and Krishna descends to show us the way, Sanatana dharma! Our eternal religious principles!

The lord also came to establish the Yugadharma. In every age, there is a very effective powerful simple way by which we can realize our love for Krishna. In the age of Kaliyuga it is Hari Kirtan, the chanting of the names of lord.

And the third reason is his loving devotee Advaita Acharya, who was the reservoir of profound compassion for every living being, he prayed and cried for the Krishna to come to shower his love upon us.

The 3 internal reasons:

Srimati Radharani is the Alhadini Shakti, the pleasure potency of Supreme Personality of Godhead. She is the ashraya vigraha, the abode of all love, devotion, and grace. Krishna is the object of all love. Radha and Krishna are one! The one supreme truth in two forms for the sake of exchanging the deepest pleasure of spiritual love, they expanded themselves into unlimited jiva, like us, just to participate in their love. This is the beauty of the spiritual world, it’s not just only a void; it’s not just only a vibrant impersonal energy, that is there but beyond that there is dynamic relationships of the most intimate ecstasies of love between God himself and all of us who are his parts and parcels.

We are all created only for that purpose. But for Love to have depth, feeling and satisfaction, it is most perfect when it is by our free will. And all love is ultimately emanating from Srimati Radharani. Krishna was feeling that the pleasure she is experiencing in tasting my love is something that even I can’t understand. I’m the giver of the love, but I want to taste what the receiver of my love is feeling. Because she is happier than me and I’m supremely happy. This is inconceivable, Krishna is supremely happy but Radha is even more happy! How can something which is unlimited, absolutely full and complete can have something more? That’s what God is about! Inconceivable, dynamite of Pleasure! Of Love!

What is the nature of Radha’s love? What is it about him that awakens so much love in her and what does she tastes when she feels his love?

“Radha Bhava…”

Krishna descends into this world with the maha bhava, with the love of Srimati Radharani. And it is explained by Acharya that in Goloka Vrindavan when Krishna told Srimati Radharani that, “I’m going to descent to taste the sweetness of your love. We are two but we will become one.”

And Srimati Radharani said, “If you descend into this world with my love in your heart then when you are going to chant my names, you are going to roll onto the ground in ecstasy and I can’t bear seeing that. So I will cover your body with my complexion.”

So Lord Chaitanya was Krishna with Srimati Radharani’s complexion and her devotion.

Especially for this purpose, he combines it with the Yuga avatar which is establishing the process of self–realization for this age; but like no other Yuga avatar because Lord Chaitanya is not just giving love of God and liberation in Vaikuntha, the most Yuga avatars give; he is giving the love of Radha, the love of gopis, the love of Vrindavan through Harinaam Sankirtan. Thus Rupa Goswami says he is most magnanimous. And he takes such a humble position in the role of his devotee! To teach by his own example!

 

Radhanath Swami Lists the various devotees appeared before lord Chaitanya

When the lord descends into this world, he doesn’t come alone. He sends intimate associates from the spiritual world, before him and with him. The story of Ram Leela, Dashrath, Kausalya; they are the eternal parents from Vaikuntha, they descend before the lord to facilitate and reveal the love between them to this whole world; they invite the world to enjoy it. Yashoda, Nand, Balaram, the principle gopas and gopis, they descend from the Goloka. And many purified souls in this material world, the “Sadhana…” they rise up to perfect their devotion by association with these nitya siddhas from the spiritual worlds.

So Lord Chaitanya first he sent many of his precious loving devotees. Many of them were born here in Navadwip. Others were born in different places. Pundarik Vidyanidhi, Mukunddutta, and Vasudevdutta: They appeared before the Lord in Chittagaon. Haridas Thakur near Benupur. Rupa, Sanatana Goswami– they were going to be, near Jaswar. Nityanand Prabhu in Ekchakra. Parmanandpuri in Trihuta. And quite a few devotees appeared in this select area. They are known as Srihatta. Advaita Acharya in Nabagram.

There was one very great devotee. His name was Upendra Misra. He had seven sons; one of his sons was named Jagannath Misra. Upendra Misra was a great devotee, his father was Madhukar Misra who came from the western province of India and later settled in Bangladesh and gave birth to his children. He was very powerful Vaishnav. Jagannath Misra came to Navadwip for his studies.

Nilambar Chakravarty was also from that select area, he was living in Navadwip and was a great scholar. He had daughter named Sachi, most beautiful pure hearted loving person. When Nilambar Chakravarty saw the qualities of Jagannath Misra, in his heart he knew they should be married. They were none other than Nand and Yashoda from the Brijbhumi, they settled at a little house not far from here on the bank of the Ganga in Mayapur.

 

Radhanath Swami describes conditions of Navadvip before the appearance of Lord Chaitanya

What was Navadvip like in that time? Our scripture and our biographers tell that Navadvip was the highest seat of learning in all of India, from scriptural perspective in all of world. This is about 500 years ago, scholars from every part of India was coming here and learning under teacher. Where we are sitting now, it was incredible empire of knowledge. It was like city there were millions of people coming here. But everyone came here for knowledge.

In Navadvip, you had no prestige if you weren’t a learned scholar. Having money… anybody could do that!!! No prestige in having money. Having power and fame… so what being a prime minister or a king… go to your castle and waste your time!!! Having all kinds of beautiful families and everything else…. yes we want to enjoy it but there’s nothing special about that!!! Knowledge, scholarship, erudition was the standard that everyone wanted to have.

Every parent did everything they could to make their children into scholars. And when it came to marrying their daughters… scholars… Pandits , my daughter will marry a Pandit who will defeat all other Pandits.

Every one carried their books. And when you carry a book, you had to defend that book because everyone would be challenging each other. If he didn’t know your book you make a fool of him. So different levels of books and according to the book that you are carrying you have a prestige. Somebody sees you carrying the same book then there will be a battle of the intellect to see – who is the best at that book? And if somebody carrying a higher book, you would hide. This is Navadvip.

There is 6 systems of philosophy according to Vedic philosophy – Sankya philosophy, Vaisheshika philosophy, Karma philosophy, Vedanta philosophy, Nyaya philosophy and Yoga Philosophy. One who had mastered all these 6 thesis is considered the scholar.

Now here in Navadvip 5 out of 6 had powerful learned scholars all over the place but the Nyaya philosophy they didn’t had an authoritative school and this was the one defect. They had everything, the most powerful scholars where people from all over the world can come and study but not Nyaya. The reason is, you have to have the book to teach and the only place on the planet earth that had the book on Nyaya philosophy is Mithila – Very sacred place.

Mithila is where very close by where Sita was born. It is the place where Ram came with Laxman and Viswamitra and broke the bow of the Lord Shiva, that Ravana and many of the great kings could not even pick up from its alter. Ram lifted it, threw it in the air and caught it, strung it, pulled the string, and broke it. Mithila is the place where Rama and Sita were married. Very holy place, if you want to study Nyaya you had to go to Mithila. It was like a monopoly situation, the scholars of Mithila they had their book, and they would not give out copies of even a single page to anyone, and it was a big book.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates about Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya who made Navadvip the topmost place of learning

Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, he was one of the great scholar, and professors of Navadwip. He went to Mithila to study Nyaya. You know what kind of scholar he was? He heard from his teachers and memorized every word of it, came back to Navadwip and wrote down everything he memorized. These are the kind of scholars that we are talking about. Because he was so brilliant, he expanded on it, he took the authorized sastra of Nyaya and then wrote commentaries that can give such incredible depth that no man has ever seen.

From that point on, Navadwip was the unparalled high seat of learning for the world and literally, millions of students were coming here, they were coming from Varanasi, they were coming from even Mithila to learn Nyaya, because it was better here. They were coming from South India, from Kanchipuram, from Srirangam, they were coming from Mathura, everywhere, and yogis were coming from the Himalayas.

It explains everyday there were thousands and thousands of students, who were leaving Navadwip with their diplomas, to show everyone that ‘I have graduated from Navadwip’. You know if today you graduate from Oxford or Cambridge, Harvard, MIT, or hate to say even IIT, that doesn’t have even a fraction of the prestige of getting a diploma from any professor from Navadwip.

But there was a problem, it was all scriptures that they were learning, but it was totally materialistic. It was knowledge for the knowledge sake. I said this many times before, sports is always a very important part of life for most people. I spoke to somebody who was reporter, editor of New York Times, he gave me a percentage, I just can’t remember the percentage, but it was a huge percentage. He said actually most people who read, “Most people they look at the front page and then they go to the sports page. They just kind of screen through the front page, and then they carefully scrutinize the sports page.”

I was in London during the Olympics this year. Can I interrupt my flow by just telling you something I saw there? (Haribol). The world is so deceiving, because, before I went to London, I always had programs, and most of these were in the city. In America people were warning me – Don’t go to the London during Olympics, there is going to be so much traffic, it is going to be so overcrowded. There is going to be impossible to go anywhere, don’t go, there was all kinds of information being sent out by London, unless you are coming to the Olympics, don’t come to the London. Because it is going to be so much congestion.

Somehow the devotees in London setup these programs during that time. So I went, and I was expecting so much traffic and jam, one thing they told me is – All most all the big roads in the city, they made an entire lane only for Olympic athletes and journalists. Unless you had special Olympic authorized car, you couldn’t go in that lane. And in England the roads are kind of thin, and half the lanes are not there. So there is going to be so much traffic, and it is going to be very difficult, I was expecting that. I was thinking, it can’t be any worse than Mumbai and What to speak of Kolkata.

I arrived, and I’m staying downtown, we are going from the airport, we were driving around and there was nobody there! I go to London every year, I never saw such a little traffic. There were the lanes that were reserved for the Olympic people, there were more people in that lane than all the other lanes. The taxi drivers were totally distressed, because nobody wanted a taxi, because there was no one around. The shopkeepers were really in distress, because they stocked up for all these people who were coming for the Olympics, and nobody was around.

What happened is the Olympics were at another end of London. So all the people who went to the Olympics, God knows how many they were, none of them came downtown, because they were afraid of be too congested. And from around the world if you didn’t go to that place, no body went there because they were afraid of it is too congested. So this little swami was practically all alone, it is very nice actually. But anyways, sports are very important.

In India I know a devotee, I am not going to mention the names, because it might be some one among you. But when India lost to cricket match to Pakistan, he actually decided to commit suicide, it was before he was devotee, and on his way to a bridge, somehow, someone gave him a Bhagavad Gita. And he was receptive, it was one thing that you get Bhagavad Gita, and it was another thing when you are about to commit suicide, because Pakistan just defeated India’s cricket team.

In America baseball, football, basketball, and soccer and in other places cricket. If you put all these sports together and multiply by thousand, you don’t get the popularity of scholarly debate in Navadwip. When scholars were debating the whole society was at the edge of their seats, they all had their champions. But it was all mundane. There was so much false ego, it was all just based on ego. Who knows more? Who could defeat somebody else? Who has more information? Even in the name of spirituality, it was all materialistic. People were worshipping, people were spending massive sums of money for the weddings of their children. To get the blessings for the material prosperity and scholarship, people were worshipping snake goddesses, to get material blessings. This was basically what Navadwip was about, and it was incredible.

 

Radhanath Swami captures the compassion of devotees for all conditioned souls over this miserable situation of Navadvip

There were just a small group of devotees here, headed by Advaita Acharya. Srivas was here, Murari Gupta was here, Srivas’s brothers and Haridas Thakur. These devotees, it broke their hearts, no one would chant the names of God, and no one would chant the names of Krishna. For them at the best God was just the order supplier, he wasn’t a person to surrender to, he wasn’t a person to please.

Yesterday we were speaking little about the karma mimamsa philosophy. Krishna told Nanda Maharaj that Indra or even Iswara, God, they must give you what your karma deserves. Just do good karma and God will give you good material benefits. Even though material world is a miserable place, if you have really good karma and if you are really good then you can enjoy this world to the topmost, God will supply it and that is the perfection of life, there is nothing beyond. That’s the beast most deep spiritual concept that was here.

For most it was just conquering others, defeating others, fulfilling our envy, our arrogance. And when the devotees saw this, they cried, because the quality of a devotee is he is para dukha dukhi, the suffering of another is my suffering, the happiness of another is my happiness, because there is love, just like mother.

I remember, I went to see my grandmother, she was very very old, and she couldn’t function so well, she was lying on bed. I hadn’t seen her for a long time, and my father was there. My father wanted to make sure that she knew who I was. So, he said, “This is Radhanath!” I was not swami then. He said, “This is Radhanath. He is a Hare Krishna!” and my grandmother looked at me and smiled. She had tears in her eyes and she said, “Hare Krishna.” She said, “If it makes you happy, it makes me happy.” So even in this world the nature of love is the happiness of the people you love is more dear than your own happiness. And the suffering of the loved one is the worst thing that it could happen to our heart.

Devotees love the soul, now as for listening to this narration, try to identify with it, how much am I really a devotee, how much do I really have this character of para dukha dukhi? A Vaishnava is one who is totally free of selfishness, in the love for Krishna becomes such an instrument of Krishna’s compassion in the world. We are trying to be Vaishnavas, we shouldn’t be proud about it, we should be humble.

The devotees because of their ecstatic intimate love for Krishna, they would chant Krishna’s names, and as they were chanting Krishna’s names, they would feel the ecstasy of Krishna’s love. But at the same time they couldn’t bear seeing their loving brothers and sisters in the form of all living beings deprived of it. ‘durlaba manava janma lobhiya samsare ’, Thakur Bhakti Vinod explained this human life is so rare, when a devotee see someone has to attain this human life, the scriptures tells us 8,400,000 species of life and generally the atma, the living force, passes through evolutionary cycle from one species to the next to the next, from plants to fish to insects to reptiles to birds to animals There were so many thousands and millions of species within each of these species. Finally the human birth, ‘durlaba manava janma satsange taraho ei bhava sindhu re’.

This human life is so rare, because in this human life, we can, ‘athato brahma jijnasa’ we can question our existence – Who am I? Where I am coming from? Why is there suffering? What is the cause of suffering? Who is God? What is my relationship with God? What is the purpose of my life? Only a human being can ask these questions, it’s so rare. To die as a human being without pursuing and receiving the true answers to these questions is such a loss. It’s like you have the most precious Jewel but you just take it to be ordinary glass and you spend your time playing with other kinds of glass, never utilizing what you have.

The devotees of Navadvip were not only weeping seeing the suffering people, but were weeping to see how people were so intoxicated with their happiness that they weren’t ready to take the real source of happiness and were on the road to impending suffering. They were crying out to Krishna to help and they would go out and they were not judgmental evangelist kind of people, they were humble devotees. They were approaching people either through philosophical debate or just kindness and friendliness, asking people, “Please, understand there is a purpose in life – Bhakti, love of God is within you. Take Krishna’s names.”

 

Radhanath Swami tells about the ego of the Scholarly peoples of Navadvip

And the people of Navadvipa, the scholars they hated the vaishnavas. They criticized them, ridiculed them, and persecuted them. Why? One is, they has so much arrogance they could not conceive of anybody with another conception than their own. And devotees were giving their egoism and selfishness for higher principle, and if there is a higher principle, that makes them look really bad because that was their goal in life, to fulfill that. These scholars of Navadvip, literally, this is what our biographers said, they persecuted, criticized and threatened devotees. They would write songs blaspheming the devotees and going to the streets and publicly sing them on a regularly basis.

Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat tells some of the songs even. Something like – a recluse ascetic who has surrendered his life to God and a chaste lady who lives by high cultural dignity will get grow old and get diseases and will die like any other sinner. So what is use of all your worship of God? Real success, real enlightenment means when you are carried on golden palanquin and you have hundreds of people in front of you playing instruments and chanting your glories. That is enlightenment. And these vaishnavas, they are screaming Krishna’s names and they think that they are holy? They are lowly. How would you feel when somebody screams at you? Does that make you happy? By screaming Sankarshan Nitai, that doesn’t make him happy. They are screaming at God you think that makes God happy? That makes God sick, makes him disgusted, it disturbs God, it’s a blasphemy of God. This kirtan is nothing but blasphemy. Srivas Thakur would have kirtans in his house and these people would say they must just break down this house and throw it in the Ganga and throw Srivas and his brothers in it.

These were the kinds of songs they were singing on the streets for the public to hear. Can you imagine if they had internet! And the devotees loved them unconditionally they just wanted to help them. The devotees could have just left them and could have been together and started some ashram in some jungle and been happy. But how could they be happy with all these people in such illusion?

 

Radhanath Swami illustrates Vow of Advaita Acharya to deliver the world

Advaita Acarya was the most respectable person of Brahmana community. All the other devotees were blasphemed, persecuted and criticized but Advaita, he was so learned, he was coming from such a high birth of Brahmans, he was literally the leader of the Brahmana community. He was so well respected, they didn’t directly say anything against him like all the others, but he felt the pain more than anyone else. Not the pain of what they were saying against him or the vaishnavas, but the pain of what they were doing to their own lives.

Advaita Acarya saw that this is just the beginning of kali Yuga, what’s about to come? It pained his heart so deeply that he made a vow. “I have no power, none of the other devotees have any power, to transform these people’s consciousness. I don’t see anyone seeing chanting the name of hari anytime, except sometimes when they are taking bath in the Ganga as a ritual.” Advaita Acarya made a vow –only if Krishna himself from the highest plant in spiritual world, Goloka Vrindavan, descends then He could give bhakti to these people.

He read in a scripture called Gautamiya tantra that anyone who offers tulsi leaves mixed with Ganga water to the Shaligram shila with love and devotion, Lord Krishna will fulfil that persons desires. He was crying, offering tulsi leaves and Ganga jal to his Shaligram shila, weeping and begging to Krishna to descend to spread the glories of holy names to help these people. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year incessantly he was offering these prayers. Sometimes he was so emotional with compassion he was roaring the names of Lord Hari, and weeping. His feelings, emotions, compassion was so deep – that transcendental sound is not limited to time or geographical considerations.

When with a sincere earnest heart and a humble disposition we cry out the name of Krishna, we should understand whether it is kirtan or japa, when we chant the name of Krishna with a sincere and intent heart that sound vibration covers the entire universe. That sound vibration reaches the spiritual sky.

In 1967 Srila Prabhupada had just established our society and he was very ill. He told the devotees he was going to Vrindavan from America. He said, “If I must leave this world I must leave in Vrindavan and there is no better place for me to get good health than in Vrindavan, my home.” So they were all new devotees, the senior most devotees were 2 years, what to speak of most of the others they were only of few months. They had given up everything and given their hearts and souls in loving service of Prabhupada and now he was leaving, and may not comeback. They were crying and weeping and Srila Prabhupada looked at them with great gravity and smiled and said, “If you are chanting Hare Krishna and I am chanting Hare Krishna we will always be together. There is no material limitation that can separate us.” That’s the nature of transcendental sound and according to purity of heart Krishna reciprocates by manifesting within the name when we chant.

Krishna heard the calls of Advaita and decided to come. Haridas Thakur and Advaita Acarya, were chanting the Holynames and doing the puja day and night and were crying for Krishna to come. Srivas Thakur was dong kirtan with his brothers and other devotees praying for Krishna to come, for us.

 

Radhanath Swami gives the goal of having children – to serve Krishna

Sacidevi and Jagannath Mishra they gave birth to 8 daughters and each of them died just after their birth. How tragic that is! For a mother to carry a child with such affection and motherly expectation in the womb for 9 month and the father in such expectation of having a child for 9 month. Then going through the process of birth and then it dies, eight consecutive children. They worshiped Adhokjaja Vishnu, their family deity. You see they are Nanda and Yashoda, their desire to have a child was a pure offering of love to Krishna. To bring a child in this world to serve and love Krishna, that’s an offering.

Krishna tells in the Bhagavad Gita, “I am that sex life that is according to true religious principles.”
When Bhakti Vinod Thakur prayed for Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati, for Krishna to send one of his own personal associates to help expand this movement, that’s an act of deep love. Our acharyas and Srila Prabhupada teach, this is the opportunity grihastas have in having children – To do it as an offering of love and there is a way of doing it that way. Their pure hearts, they worship the lord because the lord wanted to take birth as their son. And then they had a little baby boy, his name was Vishvarupa. And he lived!
Srila Prabhupada explains that some time people worship God when they have a problem, but when problem is solved they say, “Thank you! Now I have other things to do.” But they increased their worship to God, their love and their devotion and puja because they were so grateful.

 

Radhanath Swami sketches out the birth of Lord Chaitanya, Gods descent

Then it so happened, in the month of Magh in the year 1485 the supreme personality of Godhead Krishna, who was going to come to taste sweetness of Sri Radha and to spread that love throughout the world. With that love the Lord entered first into heart of Jagannath Mishra, he became totally ecstatic. Lord was physically present in his heart, then from his heart the Lord by His own sweet will transferred himself into the heart of Sacidevi, then he entered into her womb. It was nothing like what humans and other species do to have children. It was a pure divine arrangement, Gods decent.

When Saci Devi became pregnant she became effulgent with light. She was experiencing such deep happiness, everything seemed to become totally auspicious around her. People would just see her and start offering obeisance to her and they didn’t even know why, it was just natural. People were coming and giving gifts to them.

Jagannath Mishra told Sacidevi, “I had this unbelievable vision, where there was light within my heart and that light emanated from me and entered into your heart” And Saci Devi said, “I had the same vision! I am seeing celestial beings coming and offering worship to child within my womb.”

There was great anticipation. It was nine months past, the child was still inside. Ten months passed, the child was still inside, thirteen months, and there is some anxiety there. So Saci Mata and Jagannath Mishra went to Nilambar Chakravarty, who was the greatest astrologer of that time and asked, “When is this child going to be born?” Nilambar Chakravarty looked at the horoscope and came to conclusion, “He is a divine being, who is waiting for the most auspicious possible moment to appear”

It was in the month of Phalguna in the year 1486 by western calendar, the sun set in the town of Nadia, Navadvipa is 9 islands, and HH Bhakti Purushottam Maharaj gave a brilliant class yesterday, where he described how Navadvipa is like a lotus flower. And eight of the islands are like eight petals of a lotus and Antardvip like whorl of lotus. In center of Antardvip is Mayapur and in center is Yogapitha, the house of Jagannath Mishra and Saci Devi.

As the sun was setting the moon rose over mother Ganga. Kaviraj Goswami explains when the pure spotless moon of Gauracandra is going to rise in Navadvipa what is the position of the moon full of spots, so considering this there was an eclipse. Now for other people the eclipse is the most inauspicious time and for some it’s the most auspicious time. But it was a lunar eclipse, moon completely covered by Rahu. At that time it is custom of everyone in order to protect themselves from inauspiciousness, at that time all these great scholars, who very egoistically and materialistically oriented, they were really into auspiciousness.

They all went to the Ganga, there was no other alternative, and they were all chanting the holy names of Krishna. –

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.

It takes such an emergency to make these people chant, they were chanting constantly without a gap so that there is not a moment of inauspiciousness that can enter. They were continuously chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.

When they were chanting the devotees were so happy, for the first time they heard any of the other people chanting. Srivas Thakur was dancing and smiling and turned to other devotees and said, “May this eclipse last forever.” And it was at that time the smartha Brahmana’s were chanting, their wives were chanting, even the Islamic people were chanting. There were millions of millions of people chanting. Vrindavandas Thakur explains in the bathing Ghats of Navadvipa each bathing ghat had hundreds and thousands of people at a time. And everyone in all directions were crying out Krishna’s names –
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

 

Radhanath Swami describes the beauty of lord Gauranga

It was at that moment, as the moon was rising, the full moon, that Lord Gauranga appeared from the womb of Saci Devi and manifested himself in this world. He was so beautiful. His complexion was luminous with a golden aura. His eyes even though He was a small child…… Now swamis have their perception of babies, I’ve been to Bhaktivedanta Hospital and some devotee’s babies born, they show them to me and ask “Isn’t he beautiful?” Now this is like a material conception of premanjana churita. The mother looks at the child, the child looks kind a like a raisin all shriveled up. New born babies are not objectively very beautiful. But Lord Gauranga was beautiful objectively and subjectively. He had beautiful lotus like eyes. And as he gazed at people and he smiled, his face was like a beautiful moon and lips like bimba fruit and nose like a sesame flower. His hair was cascading around his head and every limb of body perfection of sweetness. Everyone just fell in love with him.

At this time Nilambar Chakravarty came to do little horoscope and another Brahmana came. Nilambar Chakravarty said, “This child will nourish the entire world. Therefore I give the name Vishvambhara.” And this Brahman said, “According to my calculation this child He is as good as Lord Narayana, he has come as the most munificent and merciful of all being to present purest and highest religion through the whole world. He will give the greatest bliss and happiness to anyone who comes in contact with Him.” And he was about to say something else but he stopped, he was about to say, “When he will be 24 years old, he will take sannyasa and leave home.” But he thought, ‘Let’s keep things happy.”

Jagannath Mishra was a simple Brahmana, he did not have much material possessions. When this Brahmana made these predictions, he wanted to give him so much in gratitude. But he had nothing. All he could do was fall at feet of the Brahmana and weep tears on his feet.

And Nimai was born, under an Neem tree. The Neem tree had very bitter leaves, sometimes people eat Neem leaves so that mosquitoes don’t bite them. If you eat enough Neem leaves, your blood becomes bitter and mosquitoes don’t like you, I tried it. I got malaria, so people said, “You don’t want to get it again, so just eat these Neem leaves” So I was eating these Neem leaves and they were really bitter, the mosquitoes were still biting me. I guess as kaliyuga progresses even mosquitoes lose their discrimination. Because the Neem is so bitter it’s like a symbolic traditional idea that any inauspicious being like ghosts or other supernatural astral beings will not come near a Neem tree. And because eight of her children already passed away Sacimata gave birth to Nimai under a Neem tree. She gave the name Nimai.

Some of the neighboring ladies who were there, the relatives, they said because he is as beautiful as Krishna, Lord Hari with a golden complexion we will call him Gaura Hari. And Jagannath Mishra and others said, “Every limbs is so beautiful and attractive, it’s melting our hearts with love. So we’ll call him ‘Gauranga’, one who has golden limbs.” He brought joy to everyone.

 

Radhanath swami illuminates how lord Chaitanya revealed his mission

But from his very birth He reveled to the world what his mission would be. He would cry and because everyone loved him more than they loved their own lives, there was nothing more painful to them than seeing Him cry. They would do anything and everything for Him. They would hold Him, play with Him, give him milk and nothing would stop his crying except when the whole neighbors and all the persons had to gather around and clap their hands and chant

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

Even though he was just a new born infant still he has all the power of Krishna, Rasabihari, Gopinath, and Madhava. His smile enchanted everyone’s minds and hearts. He glanced upon them with smiling face and it was like pools of bliss would fill them. And he saw how much happiness that gave them.

You know what Nimai did? Anytime there wasn’t chanting in the house he would cry and as soon as he cried it broke others heart so much that everyone came around and clapped their hands and chant the Holynames. When they stopped He cried, Kirtaniyah sada hari. In the house of Nimai Pandit there was constant chanting the Holynames of Krishna. And every one was totally united, this is Bhakti.

When we put Krishna in center, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not just come to teach us Kirtan, He taught us Prem sankirtan, kirtan of ecstatic love. When we come together in kirtan this is our goal, our hearts are totally united to give pleasure to Krishna. All our egoistic conditioned differences we have no relevance – We may have different opinions, ideology, natures, we may have accidentally stepped on each other’s feet, whatever we may have done, we may be black or white or red or yellow or male or female, we may be from India or Pakistan, America or Russia, may be Brahmans, vaishayas, Kshatriyas or shudras, Lord Chaitanya taught when we come together in kirtan we are chanting to please Krishna, when we come with that motivation we become loving brothers and sisters.

Srila Prabhupada took the most profound siddhanta of the deepest philosophy and brought into a simple package. He said, “Just keep Krishna in center and you’ll be happy and you’ll attain perfection.” What does it mean to put Krishna in center, it means to put one selves out of the center. We have been suffering from birth after birth in this material existence because we wanted to be the controller, the proprietor and the enjoyer. How do we take ourselves out of the center, the ego is so conditioned and it’s so deep and gross and so subtle, Paramdrshtrva nivartate, it is possible when we experience something higher and that is to put Krishna in center.

Even in the name of religion or even in the name of Bhakti we have so many reasons to hate each other or envy each other, to criticize each other, that means we are putting ourselves in the center. Lord Chaitanya taught this principle even when He was an infant, to bring everyone together. They were chanting simply for the pleasure of Nimai. And He was reciprocating by smiling and glancing and the love of His heart was shining upon them infinitely. Everyone was feeling His love and the love of their hearts was shining upon him infinitely. The whole expression was a united sangam to give pleasure to Nimai by chanting His holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

This is the blessings of the Navadvipa dham. We will continue tomorrow.

Srila Prabhupada ki jai!

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Radhanath Swami speaking on “Invaluable Lessons from Sri Govardhana Lila”2012 yatra, Mayapur, Day 3 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-invaluable-lessons-from-sri-govardhana-lila2012-yatra-mayapur-day-3/ http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-invaluable-lessons-from-sri-govardhana-lila2012-yatra-mayapur-day-3/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 08:15:52 +0000 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/?p=4146 Radhanath SwamiThank you for being with us this evening, in this very holy place of Sri Navadvipa Dham, during the most sacred of all months – Kartik, we have come together on a pilgrimage. Throughout the ages, in every great religious tradition, there is the emphasis of taking time away from our much consumed lifestyles, to go to a holy place with holy and like-minded people for the purpose of exclusively absorbing ourselves in activities which are favorable to our spiritual quest.

 

Radhanath Swami explains about Navadvip dham Audarya Dham where grace is made accessible for all

A holy place is a place where the Supreme Lord has performed his pastimes on this earth.

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ
vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya
sambhavāmi yuge yuge

Krishna tells in ‘Gita’ that he descends into this world again and again to reestablish the true principles of religion – to annihilate ignorance, and to give pleasure to those who love him, and to attract the hearts of all fortunate beings, who are willing to gratefully receive his grace.

Place of pilgrimage may also be where holy people over the ages have performed their devotion. Sri Mayapur Dham is considered in this age of Kali the greatest of places of pilgrimages. Vrindavan is the place where once in a day of Brahma, Krishna performs his most intimate loving pastimes with his devotees, it is madhurya dham, the abode of sweetness, where the levels of ecstatic love of God are in its most intimate state. Navadvip is non-different from Vrindavan with one inclusion, it is audharya dham, and it makes the sweetness of Vrindavan accessible to everyone, to anyone, who opens their hearts to receive it. We were speaking last night, how for this treasure of prema, divine love, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead to awaken in our heart? In order to overcome the ahankar, the ego, and free ourselves from the shackles of endless selfish desires and fears, it’s only possible through grace. Because there are powers beyond our intelligence, physical strength, will power that we are up against within this material manifestation.

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te

 

Radhanath Swami depicts three modes of material nature and how to overcome them

Krishna certifies in the Gita, that this material creation consisting of three modes, these gunas are like ropes, they keep us bound and they are so subtle, so expert in every way; they deal with us from the grossest level of physical, sensual temptation, to the subtlest level of the ego. Tamo guna – the mode of ignorance – which drives us to anger, violence, cruelty, desperation, where we take shelter of intoxication, laziness. Then there is rajo guna – the mode of passion – wherein we are pulled by these ropes with endless desires, desires for sensual experiences, to taste something, to touch something, to see something, hear something, and have sex with something; and on a subtle platform that passion for profit, greed, money, wealth, property, fame, distinction, pratistha, this is the mode of passion. And then there is sattva guna– the mode of goodness, the mode of goodness is a platform, by which we can transcend the modes of nature; but in and of itself, it’s still under the powers of material energy.

The mode of goodness is on an emotional and physical platform to feel compassion for people, to act honestly, truthfully, humbly, to be forgiving, to be philanthropic, to help those who are in need, to work unselfishly, not with greed, but in a spirit of generosity; but even the mode of goodness binds us to this material world. Unless from that platform of mode of goodness, we have a transcendental purpose in our life, where we have the understanding that whether we are in the mode of goodness, passion or ignorance, tamo guna, rajo guna or sattva guna, still whether you are pious or impious, certainly a pious life brings about pious results, where there is worldly happiness, peace, comforts. But still.

ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ
punar āvartino ’rjuna
mām upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate

We have to grow old, we have to get diseased, and we have to die.

padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām

And in this world, no matter what modes you are operating under, still there is danger at every step. But the atma, the eternal soul, is sat-chit-ananda – Eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss. That living force within us is our true selves, it is untouched by any of the anxieties and sufferings or even the temporary fleeting joys of material existence. But in a dream state, when that atma is identifying with this… through this ego, ahankar, with the body and the designations of the body being a human or an animal or a lizard or a bird, or an insect, or a fish, or a tree or if we happen to be a rare human species, you may be thinking I am black or white or red or yellow, or I am male or female, or I am Indian or American or Russian, African, these are all designations.

Krishna comes to this world, to take us to live by moral principles of mode of goodness for the exclusive purpose of transcending the modes of nature. And there are various process of trying to transcend the modes of nature. But to awaken this prema, this most essential potential within us, prema pumartha mahan; The ultimate goal of to awaken that love for Krishna that is within our hearts and to naturally extend that love to every living being, seeing the relationship, that is only possible by grace. And grace cannot be attained, we can memorize thousands of entire books of scriptures, we can eat one grain of rice a day, we could sleep 5 min a day, we can build enormous temples, we can feed 1 million people, we can chant a billion names of God, and we could lead a Kirtan that mesmerizes everybody into tears. But that doesn’t necessarily attain grace. Srila Prabhupada explains that pure devotional service is very rare. Why? Because pure bhakti is so powerful – prema – that Krishna, the absolute truth, the cause of all causes, the creator, maintainer, and annihilator, of everything that exists, by his own sweet will, agrees to be subordinate.

Krishna surrenders to the love of a devotee’s heart. – Radhanath Swami

We cannot attain it, it is beyond the scope of our abilities, of our intellect; but when we are sincere, serious, humble, and eager to serve the Supreme Lord and all living beings through him with no ulterior motives then Krishna is eager, Srimati Radharani, the feminine potency, the source of all grace, is eager to deliver us.

Radhanath Swami explains the purpose of visiting holy places of pilgrimage–begging for grace

That is why we come on pilgrimage. To focus on what is really important in life. The nature of how Maya works is, things that are not important, we are deceived to giving them such mass proportion of importance, and we don’t have time for the most important things because we are just too consumed by all the other things. It’s very difficult to balance spirituality, while living in this material world; very difficult for Grhasthas, householders, who may have jobs and children. A husband has to take care of the whole family, and the wife has to deal with husbands. As a ‘Swami’, I get around, and what I see– it is really difficult dealing with husbands, this male ego is so atrocious sometimes, and it comes out in so many ways. Anyways. I’ve never been a husband in this life. So many responsibilities, and then somebody is thinking let me become a brahmachari, Simple life, that’s what they think, Simple life. You join the ashram with that idea, but after some time you think so many things in the mind, so many things to deal with, and even when you are dealing with spiritual matters, how much we can neglect the real consciousness that makes it spiritual. To really put our heart into purely chanting the holy name, not just memorizing the verses but realizing it living by these verses. Distractions are everywhere, so we come to pilgrimage places because we need grace.

You see you cannot digest food, if you have no hunger, this is the principle of Ayurveda. Every time I go to Ayurvedic doctors, and I am sent to them many times, so many different ones, they always ask, “how is your appetite?” Because this is the basis. Digestion is the key to good health, and you can’t digest unless you are hungry. So similarly grace is everywhere, grace is all-pervading, just like the sunlight is all-pervading, but we become so habituated to live in dark places, in order to digest and assimilate that grace we have to be hungry for it. We are beggars for grace, we understand the need for grace.

Bhakti is not just about work and offering the fruits of our labor to God or someone else, that is very fundamental state; Bhakti is about crying out for grace. –Radhanath Swami

Maya is very strong, and Krishna is all-powerful, but what is the greatest power of Krishna? His beauty, sweetness, love. We are crying for that, we are trying to absorb ourselves in being attracted by the all-attractive, it’s natural. So when we are here in a holy place of pilgrimage, for many of you it is a rare thing, maybe once or twice a year, every moment should be utilized to be absorbed, that is tapasya. Inconveniences will come, if we are coming here to enjoy, we will probably suffer. There are lot of mosquitoes and so many other things like the crowds. If we are coming to serve, we will taste transcendental happiness, inconveniences are great blessings, if they help us to take shelter of that grace. And that is the subject of the festival we are celebrating today, one of the most popular festivals in all of Vrindavan and in the temples and homes of devotees all over the world. Today is Govardhan puja. Besides an incredible story, the lessons of this story are so critical for all of us. With your permission, on this holy day, in this holy place, may I try to narrate the story for you? (Audience roars “haribol”). I was hoping you would say that. Thank you.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of making worst situations to best opportunities, story of Govardhan Lila

It is a story of how the worst possible situation can be the most beautiful opportunity to be with God. It is a story about how the lord’s grace comes upon a devotee not just the way we want it to be, but the way that transforms us.

Indra, according to the Vedas, is the ruler of the heavens; he is especially the universal department head of rain. Without rain, there can be no life. Can you imagine having that responsibility? That means literally everyone in this planet is totally dependent on Indra for life. What if there is no rain? –Drought, no food, nothing to drink. Our bodies – the vast majority of all physical bodies of living beings – is made up of water. So according to traditional cultures, rather than just taking, taking, taking, and not feeling any gratitude or obligation, culture is about gratitude, honoring and respecting those who help us. Honoring and respecting ultimately every living beings, because they are all part of god, that is culture. And reciprocating with those who help.

So in Vrindavan it was the tradition for many, many generations, that once a year there would be a beautiful puja for Indra, because he is giving rain. They make wonderful food for him, have pujas, do their mudras, do their yantras, do their tantras, do their mantras, and everything like that. So Nanda Maharaja following this tradition had arranged a very, very grand Indra puja.

You see, there is one God, the source of everything that exists. But that one God, the absolute truth, the personality of godhead, brahmeti paramätmeti bhagavän iti çabdyate, that one absolute truth in his transcendental identity, expands as the all-pervading impersonal Brahman, as the paramatma seated in each and every heart and as the supreme personality of godhead, Bhagavan – the all-loving personality who forever reciprocates intimacy of love with this devotees.

In the case of material creation, just like a prime minister has so many ministers who are heads of departments. So there are department heads of the universe, it is proper to offer our gratitude and respect for what they give us. Indra gives rain, but Krishna is the source of Indra. That one supreme god is the source of all the devas. If you put water in the root of the tree, automatically that water extends to every part of the tree. Similarly, when we please Krishna, by our devotion, then automatically all the avatars, all the manifestations, all the demigods, all the devas, they are all fully satisfied, because he is the root,

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

the cause of all causes.

Radhanath Swami describes the pastime of Krishna eating dirt

So, Krishna is that absolute truth. But in Vrindavan, to facilitate the sweetest loving pastimes, he appeared as a small loving child, where his parents are thinking that if I don’t protect him, he will get hurt, there are monkeys that might bite him, there are bulls that might step on him, there are birds that might scratch him, there are mosquitoes that might hurt him, there are thrones, stones in the ground that may give inconvenience to his soft feet and they are always trying to protect him, feed him. Krishna just like a little boy increases that ecstasy of the love of his parents, like the time he ate dirt and the cowherd boys, Balaram, Subal, Stoka Krishna, Sudama, they all come and tell Yashodha Mayi, Krishna ate dirt. He is only a small child just a little more than a baby.

Yashoda mayi said, “Why have you eaten dirt, don’t you know how sick you can get by eating dirt?” Krishna said “I did not eat dirt.”

“Then why are your friends saying you ate dirt.”

“They are lying”

“Balaram is always on your side. Why did he lie?”

“Because we played and I won the game”.

Yashoda mayi turns to the cowherd boys and they say, “No, we saw him in a secluded place and he,  was eating dirt.”

Yashodha was not seeing him as God. We know about the universal form the virata rupa, the virata rupa is a mere expansion of expansion of expansion of Krishna. Virata rupa is eating the whole universe, but for Yashoda he was a little child, helpless without her.

She said, “Open your mouth.” Krishna said, “Yes I will open my mouth” and he opened his mouth, the reality is he did eat dirt and Yashoda mayi is going to see the dirt. Now Krishna could have erased it but that would not have attracted our heart 5000yrs later. He has acintya shakti, inconceivable potencies, sometimes we rationally try to adjust the absolute truth to the conventional ideas of what is possible, but everywhere we see in nature the impossible happening–From a little seed a banyan tree is coming. Can anyone put a banyan tree or a redwood tree inside a seed?

In fact everyone that is here at one time not long ago were all seeds. The father does not know what’s going on. They have no engineering plan and all of a sudden that seed miraculously develops limbs, organs, senses. This little soul, little atma, has the power to create more seeds like that, more children, there are miracles everywhere. This light, “what a miracle!” I don’t know where it is coming from, but I know where it came from, light came from the sun. All light, heat and energy is coming from the sun, Sun shines on trees, the trees absorb that energy of the sun and when ignited, fire is brought out from tree. After many years when the tree goes underground it becomes coal and after millions of years the coal becomes oil but power of sun is still there. Oil and coal have not seen a ray of sun for millions of years but still the energy is still stored in it and when you ignite it, the fire comes out. Incredible! The baby is crying there we could be disturbed there but we could think what an incredible miracle, the baby is crying! This tiny thing so much volume, disturbs thousands of people. It’s amazing!

 

Radhanath Swami depicts various miracles created by Krishna

So when Krishna comes to earth, Krishna is absolute truth the cause of all causes, so if he wants to do something there is nothing he can’t do. If he can create the entire cosmos with all the universes and sun planet which is millions and millions of times bigger than the earth and it’s just shining, it’s not that the sun has some pipes coming from the Middle East to keep it burning; from millions of millions of millions of millions of years the sun keeps burning and nobody is keeping fuel into it. We look at the sun and say, “oh! It’s getting into my eyes!” Why don’t we see what an incredible miracle? And if our planet gets a little close to it will get burnt, and if it’s a little far from it, it will freeze and all life ceases; it’s just going on for millions after millions years the whole creation is inconceivable.

So Krishna as a little baby and Yashoda is looking in his mouth, and He doesn’t want her to see the dirt in His mouth. So he distracted her attention, all of a sudden his lila shakti, his energy of pastimes, manifested by his will and when she looked in His mouth she saw – all the oceans, all the mountains, all the planets, the universe in Krishna’s mouth. It’s not that the mouth got bigger! How big is the universe? But yet she saw, it’s not that there was a ‘zip file’ of the universe in Krishna’s mouth, he does not have to do that; he can show the entire universe in a mouth this big(hole made by joining thumb and first finger in circular shape). She could see all the space between everything, she even saw herself looking at Krishna’s mouth, she became very reverential that, “I am in such an illusion, just see the power of maya, I am thinking that I am the queen of Vrindavan and Nanda maharaj is my husband and Krishna is my son.” Even though she was in such reverence of what was happening the nature of her motherly affection, there was no inclination to think that Krishna was anything but her little son.

She was thinking ‘People in Vrindavan say that he is like Narayana, because Garga Muni said so.’ “But who is Garga Muni? What does he know? What do all these people know? So much gossip is going on. Krishna knows who he is and I know who he is. When Krishna is hungry, he cries and comes to me; if I don’t feed him my milk he is not pacified. When Krishna hears thunder, he come to me afraid and unless I kiss him and embrace him, he is shaking. Krishna is naughty, if he is the absolute truth, he can’t tell lies. He says, “I don’t steal butter” but he steals butter. So let them say He is Narayana, but I know who he is, he is my son that’s all. And I am his mother, that’s all. And we both know our love for each other. That is the highest truth.” That was Yashoda’s philosophical conclusion- siddhanta.

But still she was thinking that Vishnu’s maya is making me think all these things so she was reverential and Krishna closed his mouth and smiled and seeing the sweetness, gentleness and helplessness of smile her heart flooded with affection, she simply embraced him and forgot all about universe, and he was successful, he accomplished his purpose because she even forgot about the complaint that ‘he ate dirt.’

Radhanath Swami sketches the subjective nature of this world

So Krishna the absolute truth in this beautiful sweet form, his eternal forms, is walking around Vrindavan, is now seven years old. He asks Nanda Maharaj, “What is all this puja going on? Why all this ingredients, food, cooking and so much efforts? What are you doing? And just because I am a little boy doesn’t means you shouldn’t tell me, because among family members there should be no secrets. Nanda Maharaj said, “Indra is the deva, who is the head of the department of rain. He goes by different names in different cultures throughout the history of the world. And because we are farmers, ‘vaishayas’, we make our living by growing crops and taking care of cows and bulls so we require rains.”
Sometimes in cities we don’t like when it rains because it’s inconvenient. We have to go through the austerity of turning on the wipers in our cars. But if you are a farmer you celebrate when it rains. It’s amazing when things are so subjective in this world as they say one man’s food is another man’s poison. In my own life I was always observing situations, my father went through total bankruptcy and somehow or other he had the spirit of hope and he kept going, selling cars and kept going and then he started fixing cars and was quite successful. In Chicago, where we grew up, in the winter there is so much snow and ice and in summer sometimes big storms and nobody liked the storms except my father. He would be so happy, if there was massive snow and massive ice he would wake up and be happy. “Why are you so happy?” He said, ‘Because all this ice, snow, people are going to crash their cars; so the people who crash cars are miserable but my father was very happy. He never wanted anyone to get hurt except the cars. “Just keep hurting your cars and crash your cars. Put on your safety belts and crash your cars.” This is life, so everything is very subjective.

So Krishna, he was telling Nanda Maharaj, “Tell me everything.” And Nanda Maharaj was telling, “We need rains, that’s how we survive. So it has been the tradition of our forefather that we offer our respect and gratitude to Indra every year, so that he will keep giving rains. And not only for that are reason but we really grateful to Indra for doing it.” Little seven year old Krishna became very philosophical and said, “Actually, we don’t have to worry about Indra because within this material creation, everything is happening according to ‘karma’ – karma mimamsa. If we do well we are going to get good, if we do bad we will get bad. The devas, whoever they may be, all they can do is be instruments to deliver our karma. But it is on the basis of choices we make and the actions we perform that’s creating the karma. So if we do good, Indra has to give rains.”

Krishna continued, “You see this mountain Govardhan, this beautiful Giriraj is king of mountains, It is giving so much water and green grass for cows. We should worship ‘Govardhan hill’ and worship the cows and worship the Brahmana’s because they are teaching us the virtuous ways of living. Krishna was really a true spiritual environmentalist. If we take care of nature nicely with gratitude and love, then nature reciprocates.

Now Nanda Maharaj and braja vasis, for them it wasn’t about Indra or Govardhan it was just about pleasing Krishna. He spoke so sweetly, that Nanda Maharaj said, “Alright, after we do Indra puja we will do Govardhan puja.” But Krishna can fulfill so many purposes at the same time, he understood that Indra was his devotee but he was proud. Although he had a very powerful position on behalf of God, it got to his ego.

The prestige, fringe benefits, honor, opulence, false pride destroys devotion. It’s the greatest impediment to devotion – the ego and selfishness – Radhanath Swami

Even such a devotee as Indra was trapped by circumstances into thinking, ‘I am proprietor of what I own, I am the controller of so many necessities within world, and I am the enjoyer.’ But out of love, compassion and mercy for Indra, Krishna knew what it took to cure him of this disease of ego. Even in this world doctors in order to cure they don’t give things you like, but it works. Krishna did not give Indra what he wanted but gave what he needed.

Krishna said to Nanda maharaj, “Just don’t waste your time with Indra. Let’s give everything we made for Indra and give it to Govardhan hill.”

“Ok let’s do it. Just tell me how to do it.”

“So let’s make mountains and mountains of food and ponds liquid food, bhoga and offer to it all to Govardhan. And we will have yajnas and pujas and have kirtans and we will celebrate. And then we will circumambulate Govardhan hill to honor him.”

To please Krishna all the braja vasis were so excited. This was incredible, they made so many mountains of rice, rotis, samosas, malpovas, burfis and rasgullas. Made so many lakes of khir, condensed milk and mountains of subjis. There were miles of food, so much chanting going on people playing musical instruments, Brahmana’s were ecstatically chanting mantras and hymns.

Krishna stood with all gopas and gopis and then Krishna did something that was incredible – His little seven year old form was there and then he expanded himself into an enormous form on top of Govardhan hill. And Krishna said to Nanda Maharaj, “just see Govardhan has manifested as a person to us because he is pleased and He is going to accept our offerings.” Then Krishna bowed down to himself as Govardhan hill and all gopas and gopis bowed down with him. And they made the offering and Govardhan hill in front of every one’s eyes, two gigantic arm manifested and he took all mountains in his mouth and ate everything and drank all the lakes of bhoga and then he cried out “Anior”. Anior means more, they didn’t have anything else everything in entire village was offered to him. But Krishna understood what He wanted. And he had someone offer a tulsi leaf and Govardhan was satisfied. And just as he ate, it all he manifested all the mountains and lakes and kunds of bhoga as Giriraj Mahaprasad. And Krishna arranged everyone should eat, “Feed all, the cows, the dogs, the deer and insects all categories of humans”. There was a big feast, they decorated themselves beautifully and there was music being played and they all circumambulated Govardhan hill together. Because Krishna revealed Himself that day that he is Govardhan hill. It is his own manifestation.

Radhanath Swami narrates the descend of Govardhan hill to this world

In the Garga samhita it describes in the spiritual world of Goloka Vrindavan, Srimati Radharani was once with Krishna in a secluded place and she said, “my beloved, please create the supreme most wonderful place for us to enjoy our past times.”

And Krishna he, searched into the very core of his heart with his consciousness and from his heart came a brilliant effulgent seed and that seed came from his heart into the air and then onto the sacred chintamani ground of Vrindavan and instantly it began to grow and grow and grow into the most beautiful Mountain with caves, and rivers and lakes and trees, the most pleasant. In Goloka Vrindavan it is Radha Krishna’s favorite place to perform their leelas. And for Krishna Balaram and the gopas it is the favorite place for them to perform their past times.

And when Krishna told Srimati Radharani that, “I’m going to descend to this earth, once in a day of Brahma in my original form of Krishna I descend to the world to attract the people towards my transcendental love.”

Srimati Radharani said, “I must come with you.

He said, “Of course, you must come with me.”

But Srimati Radharani said, “I won’t be happy there without the forest of Vrindavan, the river Yamuna and the Govardhan hill”

Krishna said, “I have already understood your desire. They are already there waiting for us.”

This is Govardhan hill. The Acharya tell us in the Srimad Bhagavatam, it is actually coming from the mouth of Srimati Radharani herself, the Govardhan hill is unique. He is the supreme Lord Krishna, non-different than Krishna and he is in the role of ‘Haridasvarya’, the greatest devotee. The gopis are explaining why he is the greatest devotee, because he knows what pleases Krishna, he gives grass to the cows, he gives nice places for Krishna’s devotees to drink water and the water is like nectar and the caves are very cool. In winter the rocks are warm and in summer they are cool. Govardhan has mastered the art of pleasing Krishna by giving service and pleasure to all Krishna’s devotees. As they were circumambulating, doing Parikrama of Giriraj, they were so happy. There was nothing but ecstasy, everyone was looking at Krishna smiling and that was there bliss.

There was only one person that wasn’t happy. Who is that person? Indra! He could not believe that what he was expecting! You see this is the nature of human ego. We become so filled with anxieties when we have expectations. Because the nature of this world, you always don’t get what you expect. If we expect good weather and it is bad weather, very disturbing. If we expect respect from our husband, or wife, our friends, our god brothers, from the god sisters, from the world, we are not always going to get it. And the more we expect the more we suffer. When we don’t get and we are not going to get and the more we get, the more we expect and when we don’t get the more we suffer. This is human psychology.

Renunciation, detachment means to be self-satisfied. We don’t need anything, when we are self-satisfied, “ananda mayo…”– Radhanath Swami

The soul which is Ananda, which is full of bliss, it is trying to find it somewhere. We are not finding it in ourselves. If we are not finding it in our love for Krishna and our compassion for all living beings, we are going to expect somewhere.

And as we say, Indra was getting it and getting it, every year and he was getting it from places all over the universe. The ego is such a thing, that even if you have so much and one thing goes wrong and that’s what you focus on. It’s not that Nanda Maharaja is the only person in the universe who was doing Indra Puja, in those days everyone was doing. There were millions of places who were doing Indra puja.

 

Radhanath Swami sketches the ego of Indra using example of body

We sometimes give the example of this body, because we can understand life from examples. We can be in perfect health and everybody is nice to you. Your business is going really well; you have got good grades in school, everything is just so good, I have accomplished so much, and we are going to temple to thank Krishna for all the goodness that he has given us. And we step on a thorn– now how much space in the body the thorn takes up? About like this, a pin head. Hardly a millimeter in diameter is the amount of space that the thorn consumes. So 99.99999% of your body is fine but that one little pinpoint, does not even make noise when it goes in the foot. Just like this. And what do you think about it? When there is that thorn in your foot, do you think, my ear is so peaceful? And my eye brows feeling so happy. And my heart is nice; my liver is working fine! Or you think about “O! That thorn!” Your entire consciousness is consumed by that one little thorn in your foot.

So that was Indra, one little place, a little village in Vrindavan, they didn’t do puja and Indra was outraged because he was expecting it and because of his false ego he could not tolerate. ‘Gita’ tells that for one who is respected, dishonor is worse than death. He wasn’t thinking,’ well there are so many places doing the puja, one less is no problem.’ His whole intelligence was consumed with getting revenge! It was like his reputation was at stake. “If they get away with it, then other people may think that they can get away with it, is too much. I have to set an example.” Just see he was so illusioned, by his false ego he was so intoxicated and infatuated by his false anger that he forgot that Krishna is the God that gives him all his powers.

He called, the samvartaka clouds– they are not the clouds; they are not the insignificant clouds that flood Mayapur during rainy season. The samvartaka clouds are the clouds of Pralaya, the planetary disillusions, they are massive clouds. And Indra said, “Go and destroy all of Brijbhumi, Vrindavan. They have chosen to listen to that talkative 7 yr. old little boy instead of honoring me, I will show them… Destroy everything…”

And meanwhile, all the Braja vasis were happy and they went to their home after this wonderful festival. Suddenly the clouds formed and there was pitch darkness. These clouds were so thick and these clouds were so full of inconceivable quantities of water, that the sun, not even a ray could penetrate them. But because Krishna was in Vrindavan he was lighting up the whole place. And suddenly thunder! Lightning! And everyone, “what’s happening?”

It began with few drops and within seconds there was not drops but rivers coming down from the sky. Can you imagine? It was like clouds were a dam and the dam was opened and that’s how the water was falling. The scriptures tell “It was like an ancient Banyan Tree and that’s how it was coming down.”

Everything was filling with water. There was freezing cold and high hurricane like winds. And on the pasture grounds, the cows, they were only concern for the little calves, the mother cows, they have flesh under their neck, traditional cows in India, they were using those to cover the calves, seeing how the calves were crying in the cold in the rain, trembling, the mothers were crying helplessly.

 

Radhanath Swami describes the surrender of Braja Vasis to Krishna and Krishna lifting Govardhan hill

All the Braja vasis they were in helpless condition. What could they do? Krishna was just a child, their friend, their lover. But in times of desperation they understand that only he can save us and even though they know that he can only save us, still it does not interfere with their intimacy of relationship. “Krishna Krishna mama bhava.”

The Braja vasis came with the little cows and the calves in the front and said, “Krishna please protect us. We listened to you and just see how angry Indra is! He is destroying us.” Krishna smiled and he said, “Why should we worry about this little Indra? We pleased Giriraj Govardhan hill. So he will protect us”

What does that mean? So Krishna effortlessly going to Govardhan hill, he lifted the Govardhan hill, just like a child who would lift up a mushroom flower from the ground. Effortlessly he lifted the Govardhan hill and with one hand, he balanced the enormous mountain, Giriraj, the king of mountains with peaks, on the tip of the little finger of his left hand. Now how do you balance a mountain like that? Krishna can balance all the planets and the universes. For him this is just playing. And with a very sweet voice he told all the Braja vasis, “Now just see, because we have given this nice puja, this worship to Giriraj, he is so happy. He has become an umbrella; Let us have a wonderful festival under the Govardhan hill. And just see around, how Giriraj, He has made such a beautiful, enjoyable environment. There are crops growing.”

When Krishna lifted Govardhan hill, the sound of Govardhan hill coming out from the ground into the air was enormous and it shook the world. And as Giriraj is Krishna himself, as he was being lifted, Earth came all around to make like a border wall around him so that any water coming off the umbrella will not go inside. Very expert.

He said, “Bring all your valuables and your loved ones and come, let us enjoy” So everyone came under Govardhan hill. How beautiful! How wonderful! Giridhari, the form of Krishna is the lifter of Govardhan hill; He had 3 bends in his body, the neck, his hip and his knees. He was holding Govardhan hill and all the gopas, and gopis, were thinking that Krishna is looking only at me and not only were they thinking it but Krishna was only looking at each and every one of them. Now they were in a circle around Krishna. It was not that Krishna manifested thousands of heads to look at everyone with millions of eyes. It’s not that he was turning around like this. You know little person like me, I’m looking at couple of persons at a time. If I’m looking at this way; I can’t look at that way. I want to look at everyone, but I’m like this.

But Krishna is Rasbihari. It means he is unlimited on how he can give pleasure to his devotees. So each Krishna was personally smiling sweetly at everyone and each of the glances and each of the smiles that he was giving to everyone at the same time. It wasn’t that the people were waiting in queues for the glance. The glance never ended. And each one was unique. Unique according to that particular person’s relationship with Krishna. You know sometimes you go to those Crazy places and you have those mirrors; they are all the same…

But Krishna is reciprocating with the core of the heart with each and every unique devotee, through his glance and his smile and his expressions. There is communication with them. Every calf, every dog, every bore, every deer, every Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaisya, Everyone and they were all thinking that Krishna is only with me.

It was an experience of joy that they never had because, ‘Krishna is constantly just looking at me.’ The younger gopis were grazing at Krishna and Krishna was grazing at them. In their eyes, through his glance Krishna was entering into their glance. Through his smile he entered into the core of their heart and he was embracing them so intimately and they were embracing him. And to all the gopas, through his glance, through his smiles, through his expression, through their eyes, he was entering into their hearts, and joking with them, and playing with them just according to their desires. And to the parents of Krishna, and all the elderly gopas and gopis, he was intimately personally experiencing and giving them the experience of their love. Yashoda Mai was seeing Krishna in this situation.

Sometimes, the ecstasy of love is in pain. But when in spiritual love that pain is ecstasy. When pain is due to frustrated ego or frustrated selfish desires, pain is pain. But, when pain is born of unselfish compassion with a spirit of service and love that pain is anand, pain-anand. – Radhanath Swami

Everybody was so happy seeing Krishna and Yashoda Mai is thinking, “Oh! My beloved little boy, look, he is so small, and his finger is so soft and he is lifting this gigantic hill. Krishna! I see perspiration on your head. What am I going to do?”

And one of Krishna friends, Madhumangal said, “Yashoda Mai, what are you saying. This is blissful.”

Yashoda Mai said, “Krishna, why are you so mischievous, why are you so restless? Why did you interrupt into Indra’s puja, don’t you know that devas are so powerful. We can’t just meddle with their lives. Now see what you have done, the wrath of Indra is upon us.”

And Madhumangal said, “That’s good! That’s good! For wasn’t for the wrath of Indra, we wouldn’t be having this beautiful darshan of Krishna as Giridhari, smiling upon us, seeing him in his beautiful form.”

Yashoda Mai said, “You think is beautiful blissful form? What do you think, it is blissful for Krishna to be standing holding up this mountain all by himself?”

Madhumangal said, “Krishna is not holding it up. I am investing my brahman-tejas and empowering him to hold it up. And besides that, this is wonderful.”

And then Krishna says, “My dear mother, please don’t worry about me. Because we pleased Govardhan so nicely by our puja, Govardhan is just floating in the air by his own sweet will, and I’m just an instrument standing with my finger like this.”

And Yashoda Mai said, “Then why are you perspiring? If that’s true, then tell Govardhan to just flying around so that I can see that he is not on your finger.” And then Yashoda Mai with tears of love for her child, she started praying to Govardhan, “O Govardhan! If we have pleased you, if I’m a good devotee, please grant me one wish – As Krishna is holding you up, be very soft on his finger, and be very light so that he experiences no pain.” This was the rasas, the loving relationships that Krishna was sharing.

 

Radhanath Swami explains Krishna playing flute while lifting Govardhan

Meanwhile on top of the hill there was lightning bolts crashing down; there was massive massive deluge of rains pouring, and Govardhan was completely happy. It was like an abhishek. It is described that on top of the hill, there were big dark clouds with rainbows and lightening and rain, and under the hill, Krishna’s complexion – shyamsundar, ghanshyam – was like a big dark cloud, and his peacock feather was like a rainbow, and his glances on all devotees and his beautiful clothes were like lightening, and the exchanges of love between Krishna and all the Brijwasis was like a downpour of rain. So there were two storms going on.

Meanwhile Yashoda Mai was so worried that, “Krishna you haven’t eaten!” And Krishna while he was holding the mountain with his left hand little finger, just to intensify the happiness of all his devotees, from his belt he slipped out his flute and started playing beautiful songs with one hand. Oh! So charming! So Charming!

Let me tell you something about this belt. When Krishna wants to humble his devotees, he does it with precision, mercy. We see Kaliya and other asuras, before Krishna would fight with them, he would always tighten his belt. Yes! You have read that. When it came to lifting Govardhan hill for defeating Indra, Krishna didn’t even bother to tighten his belt. It was just, ‘Indra is too irrelevant to even waste time tightening my belt.’

He took his flute and he was playing sweet songs and everyone was so happy. Wouldn’t you love to have been under that hill? (Everyone says, Haribol!) 7 days and 7 nights of Krishna gazing upon you and playing his flute and reciprocating every intimate loving exchange with you. As he was playing, Madhumangal became very worried. He said, “Krishna, please stop playing you flute. It’s giving us the ultimate happiness but we have seen what happens when you play the flute. We have seen how the rivers become solid and solid things melt in ecstasy. So if Giriraj Govardhan, in his ecstasy, if you are playing the flute, he may fall from your hand and then we will all be crushed.”

And somebody else said, “What if he melts in ecstasy? If Giriraj melts in ecstasy then we will all be drowned!”

Then somebody else said, “Giriraj is a very great personality. When great personalities, even when they are in ecstatic trance, they somehow or other compose themselves for the welfare of others.” And in this way Krishna, for 7 days and 7 nights, he was playing upon his flute, exchanging with his devotees while carrying Govardhan hill.

Our acharyas tell us that at one point Srimati Radharani cast this glance on Krishna that totally overpowered him and his limbs began to tremble by her love, and mountain started to wobble. So the elder gopas were thinking that Krishna is tired and they got their cowherd sticks and they stuck it under the hill, they were holding the hill.

Madhumangal said, “Why are you wasting your time? My friend Krishna is young brother of Balaram. He does not need your sticks. You are just scratching bottom of Govardan hill.”

Krishna said to him, “Why are you discouraging this? Out of fatherly love for me, they are trying to help me. Give them encouragement.”

And Yasoda Mai is telling to Krishna, “I have given Subala some nice food to eat. He has it in his hand. Take your flute away so he can put in your mouth.”

Madhumangal said, “Very good idea! We should all have prasad now.” So these were loving exchanges of everyone. Brahmans were reciprocating Krishna by giving blessings, and Krishna is receiving blessings. The parents were worrying worrying and worrying, and Krishna was accepting their worries, and increasing their worries. The gopas were joking with Krishna and dancing for Krishna, and Krishna was joking with them and dancing in their hearts with them. Gopis were embracing heart to heart in the deepest most confidential love of the soul.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the frustration of Indra and concern of elder gopas

On top of hill Indra came to see what is happening. He saw nothing was happening. Everyone was blissfull under Govardan hill. Indra said to Samvartaka clouds and he got all the big storms and winds and he himself on elephant, they were the strongest hurricanes, tornados, cyclones, lightning, and it is unbelievable. But in 7 days and 7 nights, this is how thorough Krishna is to humble his devotees, Indra could not remove a single leaf from all the 100s and 1000s of trees at Govardan hill. Indra could not lift, the samvartaka cloud with all winds could not lift even a single grain of dust from Govardan hill. And all the dears and animals on top of Govardan hill were all smiling; they could not even put them in anxiety. They were just looking up at the storms like, “Thank you for refreshing shower.” Not even a blade of grass could be moved, what to speak of pushing Govardhan off Krishna’s finger tip. When he saw this, he was even more tormented with anger. He was putting all the power of life into getting revenge.

Ultimately Samvartaka clouds were so exhausted that they fell at feet of Indra and said, “We give up! We are finished!” Indra realized Krishna is Supreme Personality of Godhead, ‘whatever strength, whatever power I have is from him. What have I done?’ He became very sober and he left. Storms were done, sky was clear, sun was shining, it was a beautiful day.

Krishna smiled and said, “We have spent 7 days and 7 nights together, now all of you go back to your homes, let us enjoy.” No one wanted to go, but it was Krishna’s will. So they left. Cowherd boys were taking cows from under Govardhan hill but when all cows saw Krishna was still standing, they all ran back because they did not want to give up Krishna’s darshan. With his glance, Krishna herded each and every individual cow by his eyes. Then as simple as child puts flower on ground, he dropped Govardhan hill on ground just as it was before. Then he went to walk around Govardhan hill to see how things were.

Meanwhile, just after this happened, the cowherd men, the elder gopas approached Nanda Maharaj and they said, “Nanda Maharaj how did that happen? Who is Krishna? We have seen him do too many things. Today he lifted Govardhan hill for 7 days with his little finger. When he was just as baby of hardly a couple of days old, Putana, with his lips – his lips are soft and sweet as bandhuli flower – he actually sucked off her life of this massive raksasi. And Sakatasura, this ghostly being in form of cart, Krishna whose feet are softer than the soft as petals of lotus flower caused the whole cart to crash. And Krishna who was so light, when he was only one year old we all would pick him up and play with him and throw him in air and catch him, and throw him in the air and catch him, but when Trinavarta took him into sky and he became as heaviest as universe and crashed down. And Vatsasura, Bakasura, Aghasura! Who is this Krishna? How does he do this?

And Nanda Maharaj said, “When Gargamuni came, he told me during name giving ceremony that my son is as equal to Narayana and he will perform incredible pastimes. He has appeared in this world in many forms, many colors, with many identities throughout ages, and now he has appeared as my own son.”

“But still, he is Krishna and we still love him he is Krishna.” And they were all satisfied.

Meanwhile Indra first went to Bruhaspati, his guru. “I just tried to destroy Krishna and his family, his devotees and his abode of Vrindavan. What a fool I am? What I am going to do.”

Bruhaspati told, “You should go and see Brahma.” He went to Brahma in Brahma-loka.

And Brahma said, “I cannot help u. I did same thing. I stole all Krishna calves and cowherd boys for 1 year. I cannot show my face to Krishna for this. You should go to Surabhi, the mother of cows.” Now here is king of heaven, so full of power, regal opulence and he is coming before a simple mother, and pleading for her help. You see, this is the lesson we all require to understand.

When we have separated ourselves from grace of Lord, due to our own misgivings, and our own egoistic ways and choices, we cannot approach Lord directly. We must approach through those who love Lord. And through grace of those who love the Lord, then we can actually approach Lord directly. – Radhanath Swami

 

Krishna is not concerned with our power, possession, he is not concerned with our educational qualification, and he is not concerned with our popularity. Krishna is attracted by this simplicity of heart. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami elaborates on simplicity and bhakti

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur told that the first basic foundation that bhakti has to be built on is – simplicity. What does simplicity mean? It has many levels. On one level, simplicity means without duplicity, without ulterior motives, to be humble and honest. That’s a quality of simplicity. To be humble and honest means, “Krishna you have given me my intelligence, you have given me the abilities, you have given me breath to live with, you have given me everything. I am dependent on you.” That is honesty.

Another quality of simplicity, without ulterior motives, is to be happy with simple things. Srila Prabhupada explained the quality of a true devotee, is whether we are living in a palace or living under a tree, we are happy just chanting Hare Krishna. We can use enormous amounts of technology and complicated scientific items in Krishna’s service, but we don’t need those things. What really makes a devotee happy? Not things: things like position, things like prestige, things like wealth and items. Certain things we require, but our happiness is in chanting Krishna’s name, in serving Krishna, in chanting Krishna’s name, in serving Krishna, in taking little prasad, in loving relationships, these simple things brings happiness. But life in this world, we become so distracted – weapons of mass distraction are everywhere – we lose touch with the simple things that are actually real wealth of life.

Vrindavan is the land of simplicity, and we can only really connect with Vrindavan in our meditation, in our sadhana, in our service, when our hearts are pure and simple. – Radhanath Swami

One of my dear God-sisters, Hladini Devi, not long ago passed away from this world. She was always absorbed in talking about Vrindavan; she was so simple. She was a pujari in America, and I remember, I believe it was the one and only time when she went to Vrindavan, I took her there. We were going around to different places, and I remember we were on a mountain in Barsana, Sri Radharani’s home. And she was just seeing these Braj Vasis, they were just chanting, “Radhe, Radhe, Radhe,” and they were carrying buckets of water on their heads, they were doing some simple things, plowing with oxen, and they were just happy. And there were just broken down, old, hundreds of years old little house with dirt floor, that is where we were, and she started to cry; she cried incessantly. She said, “These people are just so simple! Now I am beginning to understand really what Vrindavan is – simplicity.”

Srila Prabhupada maintained same simplicity even when he was organizing and maintaining international societies and using technologies and flying in airplanes. Simplicity is a state of heart. So what an incredible revelation this is, the mighty king of heaven is bowing his head and begging for the grace of a simple cow, a mother, because only she can help him approach Krishna. Surabhi was so forgiving, it was all her children that he was trying to destroy, but she saw the sincerity of his heart. She said, “Come, I will take you.” And there was little Krishna walking around and Surabhi approached Him. Krishna was so happy to see Surabhi, and Surabhi was so happy to see Krishna. A celebration of love!

Surabhi said to Krishna, “You are my Indra! But as far as this Indra, he is really broken hearted by what he has done. Please give him your mercy and forgive him.” Because she asked for his forgiveness Krishna was willing to forgive. We see the same principle with Kaliya. Kaliya that gigantic many hooded snake tried to biting Krishna, and he was trying to squeeze Krishna, and he was trying to poison Krishna, and ultimately Krishna danced on his heads. Krishna totally humbled him. Kaliya lost all his powers, very similar to Indra. And when he was surrendered, then the Nagapatnis, his simple wives came before and prayed Krishna, “We love you, you love us. Please forgive him! Look at him how repentant he is.” And Krishna gave Kaliya the highest perfection, according to scriptures, sometimes in Krishna’s lila instead of riding on Garuda, he rides on Kaliya, because of the intervention of the simple hearted wives, the Nagapatnis.

So what is the real wealth – the power of Indra or simplicity of the cow? That is a great lesson we must learn. What was her simplicity? She simply loved Krishna without ulterior motives. She didn’t want anything but to please Krishna; that is Bhakti. And then Indra approached Krishna directly, with the intervention of Surabhi, and he bowed his head to this little boy and offered his prayers. He really did learnt his lesson. He praised Krishna, “You are appearing in this little form of a cowherd boy, but you are the Absolute Truth, the cause of all causes, the source of everything that exists. You are the origin of all incarnations, you are the ultimate goal of life, and you are the source of undifferentiated, all-pervading, impersonal Brahman. You are the Lord within the heart of every living being, and you are acting like little Gopal, just to attract our love, and you are so merciful to your devotees. You saw my arrogance, and just because of your love and kindness to me, you lifted Govardhan hill, and you stopped my puja, just to crush my ego, so that I can come to my senses, and be a real devotee.”

 

Radhanath Swami on compassion of Prabhupada, Nityananda Prabhu

Indra saw, perhaps the most painful anguish of his whole life and career; he saw it as a blessing – a blessing by which that he can take shelter, saranagati of Krishna, with a pure and simple heart. The challenges that come before us, they are opportunities. When things are out of our control, we can start getting a sense that, ‘I am not the controller.’ Isn’t that good? It is only really good when we take shelter of the Supreme controller, not for him to do our will, but taking shelter means, ‘Krishna, I am here to do your will’.

When Srila Prabhupada was on Jaladuta after having several heart attacks, sea sickness, approaching United States of America after 38 days on a cargo ship, crossing 2 oceans and 3 continents, he was seeing the Boston harbor. He didn’t know single person, he had no money; he had nothing. He was going for the purpose of spreading a world-wide movement with no help and no means at the age of 70. He didn’t pray, “Krishna give me this, give me that. Give me health, give me money, give me followers, and give me property.” He prayed to Krishna, “Let me speak your words, because your words can deliver them.” Prabhupada did not see, “I am going to deliver them. Speak through me so that you can deliver them, and make me your puppet, and make me dance as you want me to dance.” This is simple heart! This is saranagati, “Krishna what can I do for you.”

That was the realization of Indra, with torrents of tears pouring from his eyes – he has a quite few eyes actually for whatever reasons, it is another subject – with torrents of tears from his eyes he was weeping in gratitude for Krishna’s mercy upon him. Then Indra said, “You are my Indra too.” He called all the primary Devas, the Devis to perform an Abhishek to recognize that this little cowherd boy Krishna is the Lord of all the Lords of the universe.

tumi sarvesvaresvara vrajendra nandana

“The controller of all the controllers, the Lord of all the Lords is playing and loving like a child.” Then Indra gave Krishna the name ‘Govinda.’ After Krishna blessed him, Indra went back to his abode. He approached Surabhi and said that, “Maya is very strong! Just see how I was caught up in my particular service, I think I am the doer, and I think I am the controller, I think I am the enjoyer.” We all have that experience, we learnt a lesson and we fall into the same habit again.
He told Surabhi, “In Kaliyuga, Krishna will appear again. Kaliyuga has lot of forces, what can I do prevent making the same offense against Krishna?”
Surabhi said, “He will appear in Navadwip as Lord Gauranga, the most merciful and the most munificent of all incarnations. He will come to this world to spread the love of God, Krishna. Radha and Krishna in one form is Lord Caitanya, who is Krishna with the love and complexion of Sri Radharani, to share that love with the world through the chanting of the God’s name. We should go to Mayapur, the sacred of all sacred abodes, to meditate upon and chant the holy names of the Lord Gauranga.”

Indra and Surabhi, just across Jalangi river few minutes from where we are sitting today, there was a banyan tree where they performed Nama-Kirtan, meditated and prayed with all humility for Lord Chaitanya’s mercy. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared to them. Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu appeared with his beautiful golden complexion, and with his long hair cascading around his moon-like face and on his shoulders, with his arms raised, with long lotus like eyes that practically reached his ears, shedding tears of love and compassion. Indra beheld this beautiful darshan, the ultimate perfection of his life. Then Lord Chaitanya blessed him, “When I appear in Navadwip, you will be one of my associates. Just go on chanting the holy names and remembering Me.” Indra went back to his abode but Surabhi remains there always; the name of the island is Godrumadweep. ‘Go’ means cow, and ‘druma’ means tree, and it was that place where simple Surabhi cow, that motherly feminine potency of the Lord bestowed mercy upon Indra. That is the place at Surabhikunj, where Lord Nityananda prabhu established His Namahatta.

To reach out every type of category of people, Lord Nityananda prabhu is the Supreme powerful Personality of Godhead, Lord Chaitanya’s brother. Here in Navadwip, he would take straw between his teeth and go house to house, village to village, shop to shop, with folded hands and tears of compassion, begging people, “Please take the name of Krishna! Take the name of Gauranga! Krishna is your mother, Krishna is your father, Krishna is your real wealth, Krishna is your life and soul, chant Krishna’s name, remember Krishna, speak about Krishna, worship Krishna, and if you do so you will be My life and soul.”

It is there at Surabhikunj that he created this outreach and if people didn’t reciprocate, he will get on his hands and knees and beg them. Even if they abused him with harsh language and threats, he would lie prostrated at their feet and beg them, “Just take the name of Krishna, be happy,” he begged them to the extent of Jagai and Madai. Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda taught us here in Navadwip, if we really want to access the grace when we chant the holy names or anything we do –

trnad api sunicena
taror iva sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniya sadahari

To acquire the humility of a blade of grass, the tolerance of the tree, the forgiveness and forbearance and without false prestige, to find happiness in offering respect to others without the vicious need to get it for ourselves. Vicious in the sense it destroys the goodness in heart. This is story of Govardhan hill. Is not it incredible?

 

Radhanath Swami illuminates on Damodar Lila in brief

Krishna defeated Indra in such a substantial way, yet for the Braj Vasis under the hill, Krishna is happy to be defeated. In this month of kartik, Yasoda Mayi, after Krishna stole the butter, I am not going to speak too many details because we are going to sing Damodara astakam tonight, Krishna ran away from Yasoda and she ran after him. Krishna is faster than speed of mind, even the greatest yogis, the greatest mystics, the greatest jnanis cannot catch Krishna, but Yasoda Mayi caught him. Yasoda Mayi bound him and captured him with the rope of her love as he cried begging for mercy.

The gopas wrestled with Krishna and they defeated him, Krishna has to carry them on his shoulders to show the whole world that, ‘I was defeated’. To the Vraja gopis Krishna tells that, “Your love for me has conquered me forever, and in the entire life time of Brahma I cannot repay you for your love for Me even with all that I possess.” Krishna is conquered by every calf, every cow, every peacock, every bird, and every devotee of Vrindavan. Krishna is conquered by the simplicity of love. But for Indra he conquered him; This is bhakti. When Krishna thoroughly conquers our hearts and we offer our love to him, Krishna is conquered by that love. Trnad api sunicena, humility conquers the all-powerful in a spirit of devotion.

Govardhan puja and the beautiful narration of this lila is a perfect introduction to the spirit that we should acquire when we come on pilgrimage to Sri Mayapur dham. It is not just something theoretical. It is something that we should apply on a moment to moment basis, in our prayers, in our chanting, in our common dealings with each other and with the world. – Radhanath Swami

This is Mayapur, this is Mahaprabhu’s grace, this is sankirtan movement, and let us be grateful and raise our arms and loudly chant the holy names

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Thank you very much.

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Radhanath Swami speaking on “Srila Prabhupada’s Vision About Sri Mayapur Dham” 2012 yatra, Mayapur, Day 1 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-srila-prabhupadas-vision-about-sri-mayapur-dham-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-1/ http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/mayapur-yatra-2012/radhanath-swami-speaking-on-srila-prabhupadas-vision-about-sri-mayapur-dham-2012-yatra-mayapur-day-1/#comments Sat, 03 Oct 2015 09:39:20 +0000 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/?p=4137
Radhanath-SwamiSri Navadvipa Mayapur Dham ki Jai !!! Srila Prahupada ki Jai !!! Sri Harinaam Sankirtan ki Jai !!! Ananta koti Vaishnava Vrinda ki Jai !!!

By the power of the blessing of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada, our most exalted and beloved acarya of the Brahma-Madhwa-Gaudiya parampara, we have gathered here in a place where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performs his eternal pastimes. Srila Prabhupada writes in the “Krishna” book that one cannot enter into a holy place simply by buying a plane ticket or railway ticket or renting a bus or a taxi or a chariot or a rickshaw or even walking or even crawling, because a holy dham is not a place of this material world. It is the spiritual world manifesting itself and the holy dham is non-different from Krishna. Krishna tells us in Gita –

ye yathā māḿ prapadyante
tāḿs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

According to the nature of our surrender, according to the quality of our love Krishna reveals Himself. Similarly Krishna reveals the holy dham according to the spirit of our prayerfulness, our humility and our sincere devotion.

Srila Bhakti Siddhanata Saraswati Thakur would say, “Don’t try to see Krishna, try to serve Krishna, to please Krishna in such a way that Krishna is happy to see you.” That is the way we approach Mayapur dham. Our acaryas teach us that in this age of Kaliyuga, the purifying sanctifying powers of all holy places are diminished. But Sri Navadvip is the special place of deliverance for this age of Kali. Therefore however much the people of this world become degraded, the powers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in this holy land always increase.

 

Radhanath Swami explains why Prabhupada chose Mayapur as International HQ

Its very interesting to ask the question, why of all the places in this world did Srila Prabhupada deice to make Mayapur the international head quarters? Why in this place was he willing to dedicate and sacrifice most of his energies of his world-wide society? From a rationalistic mundane perspective it really didn’t make sense. Srila Prabhupada taught utility is the principle but vaishnavera kriya mudra bhigena bhujaya, what does that mean? It is a very deep subject. Srila Prabhupada had a magnificent skyscraper building on the island of Manhattan in New York – the center of the whole world, as far as the activities of humanity – with excellent telephones, excellent communications, all facilities, also few minutes from airport. Srila Prabhupada had a beautiful building. These were purchased buildings, a fantastic full city block of homes, and also a big church in LA just a few blocks away from the major production studios, where Hollywood movies are made, just a few seconds walk from one of LA’s main roads. He had a wonderful large building in Chicago, in London, one of the most important influential cities in planet.

Srila Prabhupada had center not only in downtown near the British museum, but he had a beautiful mansion with an estate and wonderful property with many acres of land given by George Harrison. He had a large church in Montreal, Canada. There was a wonderful temple in Paris. These are prime locations, super excellent locations as far as accessibility is concerned. Why he chose to make his international head quarters, a place where there was no electricity, no city plumbing, no telephones, and also to get here was hours and hours journey by road from Calcutta; that too Bengali roads! And all that was here was a straw hut, which was just surrounded by endless fields. During the monsoon, there would be so much rain. Practically all the neighbours were hostile, and there was no law to protect us from them. During monsoon, devotees would go on roof-tops, and sometimes their roommates were poisonous snakes, which were taking shelter in those straw roof-tops.

When he had so many facilities and so many prime material places in the world, why Srila Prabhupada very powerfully proclaimed that Sri Mayapur will be our International headquarters? He was not seeing with material vision, he was seeing Mayapur as the most powerful place in world. It is a place where people from all world can connect with deepest most profound manifestation of Krishna’s grace. There was hardly anything, but a straw hut. They had started to build a few rooms. So, once Srila Prabupada was in Gainesville Florida, it’s kind of out of the way, but still there is a beautiful airport and a nice highway. Srila Prabhupada said, “We are in this very remote place, so far from Sri Mayapur dham.” He was seeing Mayapur as the center of the universe as far as its relevance. As far people in west, even devotees, before Srila Prabhupada came, no body ever heard of Navadvipa or Mayapur. Since all the developments that been in the last 40years at Mayapur, it is hard to imagine what it was like at that time. Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda along with Pancatattva performed their most beautiful intimate pastimes here in Navadvipa. The Supreme personality of Godhead appeared here.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on contributions of Bhakti Vinod Thakur and Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur

Bhakti Vinod Thakur understood the importance of revealing Mayapur to whole world back in 1800, but not many people were thinking like this. He was doing extensive research in scriptures, approaching many saintly people, going though government archives and seeing ancient maps over 400yrs before. Finally, he found the actual place of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu birth, the place which people were accepting it on other side of river and making lot of profit and which didn’t match with what holy-scriptures explained. Bhakti Vinod Thakur did not just pray but worked with great devotion and Krishna revealed a magnificent light in an isolated jungle. He brought Jagannath Das Babaji, the greatest of the vaishnavas at that time, his own shiksha guru there. Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj was old, over 120yrs, and was carried in a basket. He had not been able to walk on his legs for many years and his assistant Biharilal would carry him on his shoulders. Bhakti Vinod Thakur took him to this remote isolated jungle. When they came here they saw right in the middle of these weeds, there were tulsi plants growing and none of the local people planted them. When basket was placed on the ground, Bhakti Vinod Thakur asked his guru maharaj’s realization, and Jagannath Das Babaji jumped in the air. According to what people say, his feet were above every one’s head, he jumped, he danced, and he wept, “Jai sacinandana! Jai sacinandana!” Thus Bhakti Vinod Thakur confirmed this as the birth place of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu according to records, maps, sadhus, and now confirmed by the greatest of the saints of his time.

In this remote place Bhakti Vinod Thakur was a very distinguished magistrate, a judge in the British courts. Also proclaimed as a great scholar, he wrote many books on religion and philosophy, and also wrote wonderful songs and poems. Even the highest people in religion, politics, spirituality honored him. He went house to house begging to engage more and more people in service of building a nice temple for Lord Chaitanya in His birth place. He had a son, Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, for whom Bhakti Vinod prayed that an eternal associate of Lord Krishna descend from spiritual world to help carry on this great mission. Thakur Bhakti Vinod had a vision; it is an inconceivable vision. He perceived 1000s of people all over the world of all colors, races, religious backgrounds and castes, he was seeing Americans, Africans, Europeans, Australians along with Indians with their arms raised dancing in ecstasy in Sri Mayapur dham, crying out the names of Lord Gauranga.

Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati was born in Puri. With his father, he lived in many places, in Calcutta and later Navadvip. He understood his father’s mission; he understood will of Lord Nityananda and Lord Chaitanya. To prepare himself, he sat where is now the Sri Chaitanya math, just a few minutes from where we are sitting, from 1905 to 1915 he sat in one place to chant 1 billion names of Sri Sri Radha Krishna. He was in a little straw hut; he didn’t have disciples. Somebody gave him an umbrella and in rainy season he would sit in his hut under an umbrella and chant, chant and chant. After fulfilling his vow in Sri Mayapur dham, he took sanyasa and with blessings of Lord Nityananda and Lord Chaitanya he want to Calcutta. What was his purpose? He went to Calcutta and ultimately started centers all over India, 64 mathas. He sent some of his leading disciples to London and Germany. In his writings he tells us that it was all to expand the grace of Sri Mayapur dham.
In Calcutta, in 1922, he gave Srila Prabhupada that most prophetic historical directive on their first meeting. Our Srila Prabhupada, then Abhay Caran, bowed down for the first time to a person he never met before and he was given these words, “You are an intelligent young man. Take this message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the English land all over the world.” He was married, he recently had a baby child, but that seed was planted in his heart.

In 1965 Srila Prabhupada left Vrindavan and went to Mumbai. Mumbai is a good place to accomplish things; it’s not easy but its a good place to struggle. He struggled a lot; he begged for his ticket on a cargo ship. He took a train back to Vrindavan. It was the mail train, which takes 48 hrs to get to Calcutta. Before boarding the Jaladuta, he wrote in his diary. He came to Mayapur dham. This is where it all began and ultimately this is where he as going to bring people. That was his vision.

 

Radhanath Swami shares pastimes at Shantipur

In Mayapur dham the Pancatattva plundered the storehouse of prema bhakti or love of God. How did they plunder it – through harinama sankirtan, through hari katha, and through satsangh with each other. They tasted the ecstatic sweetness of prema bhakti and in intoxicated state took this unlimited wealth of treasure house, and distributed profusely to anyone and everyone, not seeing ones qualifications or disqualifications. The only qualification was their willingness to receive it. Krishna is eager to come in to our heart and reveal himself in full, to mitigates all suffering and elevate us to the spiritual platform of ananda, transcendental ecstasy. As Lord Chaitanya, the only qualification is we open our hearts to receive him, by just following the simple process he has given.

Srila Prabhupada came here in 1965. Previously, it is described in lilamrita by HH Satsvarupa Goswami Maharaj, Srila Prabhupada would come to Mayapur dham to visit his guru Bhakti Siddhanti Saraswati. But now it was over 20 years since his guru left his world and he came to Mayapur dham and spent the day praying at the samadhi, the memorial of his gurudev because he was given an impossible mission. Taking the blessings of Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda and Pancatattva he went close by to Shantipur.

My dear Godsister, Mula Prakrti devi dasi writes of an incredible incident. Advaita Bhavan is a place where Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda would have kirtans and take Prasad. It is that very place where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, after leaving early one day left to become a sannyasi. He left everyone in Navadvip in a devastated condition. “He did not even tell us. And as a sannyasi we may never see him again. His brother Vishvarupa took sannyasa and we never heard of him again.” It was impossible for them to live when a dear person in our lives passes from this world. We can understand the feeling of hopeless and pain that could be there because there is affection. The love between Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his devotees in Navadvip, Srivas, Advaita, Murari Gupta, Vishnu pruiya, Haridas and especially his mother Sacidevi, was unlimitedly more deep that any conception of affection in this world and now he was gone and they were thinking possibly forever.

As the Lord was leaving, Sacimata was standing at door-way to stop him. She felt this was the night he would leave. She was like a stone statue, she could not move, the only movement was incessant tears pouring from her eyes. To show the etiquette of a devotee, he asked his mother for permission and by his own powers beyond her own, she shook her head. He touched her feet, put the dust from her feet on her head and circumambulated her and left. After taking sannyasa in Khatwa, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to go to vrindavan. But Lord Nityananda had another idea and somehow created a detour and by his compassion to all devotees and brought Lord Chaitanya to Shantipur. They invited Sacimata and all devotees to come and see the Lord again. Vipralamba separation increases the intensity of the joy of union, sambhoga. How many of you would like to be here at this festival where Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, after hopelessly leaving his devotees in separation returned to Shantipur to meet them all? (everyone says ‘Haribol’).

There were days and days of kirtan and when Sacimata came Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw her and he prostrated himself at her feet. He was the crest jewel of all sannyasis. She took him and put him on her lap, and looked at his moon like face with tears pouring from her heart. Sachi Mata had one request for all devotees, “As long as my son was here, let me cook for him.” Everyone wanted to cook for him. But, it is the nature of a true vaishanva, para sukha suhki, others happiness is our happiness. Ultimately, the highest happiness for all devotees was to see Sacimata’s happiness, and the greatest pain for all the devotees is to see Saci mata’s sorrow. Even Nityananda Prabhu, when he learned that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was going to leave, he went to a secluded place and incessantly cried, thinking, “What would become of Saci devi?” Now, in the reunion Sacimata was cooking, devotees were having beautiful kirtans; they were together again. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, on request of Saci devi and all the devotees, agreed to go to Jagannath puri, where he would see all of them almost every year, and Saci mata would continuously hear about His pastimes. This incredible and so many others pastimes took place in Shantipur. Lets us go back.

Advaitacarya was the crest jewel of all Brahmans. He was the leader and most respected of all esteemed brahmanas of community: his scholarship, his family that he descended from, and his incredible qualities. At that time in India there was a strong prevision of caste system. If someone was not born in a respectable caste they were considered to be a very low character. If someone was not from any caste, they were considered un-seeable and untouchable. And according to the brahmanas misconception, there was nothing you could do for such a person. If they serve the brahmanas very nicely from a distance, in their next birth they could be elevated to a higher caste. Advaita acarya, in Shantipur, accepted Haridas Thakur as his most dear brother and friend, who was of an untouchable birth. Before he came to Shantipur, wherever he was, he was being prosecuted, criticized, and condemned. People were trying to kill him, to destroy him, to disgrace him. Nowhere he went was he not subjected to that. Now somebody with that background, usually to become their friend is not so good for your reputation but Advaita Acarya didn’t care for anything or for any of that. He embraced Haridas Thakur, “By embracing you I am becoming purified!” He wanted to arrange his accommodation but Haridas Thakur preferred caves. So, Advaita Acarya arranged a cave for him right at the bank of the Ganges in Phuliagram, right near Shantipur. Everyday he would feed him and they would reveal their hearts with one another, and chant the holy names in kirtan.

It was in Shantipur that Advaita was performing the shraddha, a very significant event in those days, and during the shraddha the most esteemed and qualified of all Brahmans are honored. Because Advaita was the leader of the whole community, the top most brahmanas from Shantipur came for that event. Acarya means he teaches everyone by example. He shocked everyone and right in front of everyone, Sri Advaita Acarya called Haridas Thakur to accept the first and highest honors. This was the culmination, the crescendo of the whole shraddha ceremony that he was performing, that to honor the most qualified person to receive Krishna’s blessings. Even Haridas Thakur was shocked, “In front of everyone he is worshipping me.”

 

Radhanath Swami on Advaita Acarya praying for Lord’s descent at Shantipur

Advait Acharya saw within this world how Kaliyuga was prevailing, how morality, ethics and true spiritual principles were degrading rapidly. In previous times, people were pious and if they did un-pious things they kind of kept it secret. But as Kaliyuga is progressing, it was the fashion. It was the popular and famous prestigious thing to do: to sin, to be impious. And even in the name of religion there is so much hypocrisy, so much misconception. Advaita saw that so called religious people were spending large sums of money to worship the snake goddess to get money, to get power, to get fame, but nowhere would anyone chant the names of Hari, the Supreme lord.

Advait Acharya, with tears in his eyes, was praying for Krishna to descend from Goloka Vrindavan to spread the Yugadharma of the chanting of the holy names. Advait Acharya is Mahavisnu – Karunadakshayi Vishnu. He is also Sadashiv. Sadashiv’s expansion is Rudra, who is the destroyer of the whole cosmic manifestation; when he dances, you know what happens. And as Karunadakshayi Mahavisnu by his mere glance he impregnates the mahatatva with all life, with all the jiva’s, all the eternal souls. He is the creator and destroyer of all cosmic manifestation, and he was thinking himself, “I don’t have the power to rescue these people and to give these people of Kaliyuga this kind of Bhakti. Only Krishna can do it himself!”

He felt such deep compassion, not only for the people of the time, he was feeling compassion for you and me and all our families and everyone on this world today. He had that vision. He was seeing all the living entities in this earth planet, for thousands of years to come, and he was crying to see what the condition would be. He was worshiping the Shaligram shila. He read in the Gautamiya Tantra where Krishna tells, “If one worships me as Shaligram and offers me water from the Ganga and Tulsi Leaves and cries out my holy names I will fulfill his desire.” He spent his days and nights weeping, praying, crying and chanting for the lord to descent.

And at the same time Haridas Thakur shared that same compassion. He was chanting minimum 3 lac names of Krishna, that’s about 192 rounds. That was Haridas Thakur’s minimum, and he wasn’t falling asleep or he wasn’t thinking of all the things he would do after finishing his rounds, and he wasn’t doing it just for the month of Kartik. He had vowed to do this till the day he dies. He was specially chanting to bring Krishna down from Goloka to manifest the Sankirtan movement in this world. They would meet together, and discuss their passions, discuss their prayers, discuss their hearts on how to bring Krishna down. They would chant together, they would do Kirtan together, they would hold Hari Katha together, and they would do puja to bring Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to this world.

What an incredible lesson! Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in his very advent showed the world, an untouchable and a high class Brahmins as brothers intimately in the principle of bhakti together, chanting together, and it was that combination that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu surrendered his heart to: to come, to show compassion to the whole world. – Radhanath Swami

This is Shantipur.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on Srila Prabhupada’s visits to Shantipur

Srila Prabhupada went to Shantipur and the pujari there tells a story of how early back in the 1930s, the 40s, and 50s, Srila Prabhupada would come to Shantipur every now and then as a grihasta. He would come to visit Mayapur and then he would go to Advait bhavan, and then he would sit in the back quietly in total deep prayer, chanting the holy names. The pujari told, “This person just seemed to be so engrossed in prayers. I never spoke to him, and didn’t want to bother him. He would quietly sit for hours at a time in the prayer and then leave without saying a word to anyone. Then many decades past and this person never came back.”

And then one day, in 1965, the pujari saw that the same man, who used to be dressed in white as grihasta, who would just sit and pray so deeply, now he was praying so deeply in the same place at the back of the temple, but he was in a sanyasi, in saffron robes. For the first time, as Srila Prabhupada was leaving the pujari spoke to him.

He asked and Srila Prabhupada explained, “My spiritual master has given me an impossible instruction to go to the western world, to travel the world, to spread the Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu mission of Sankirtan movement.” He was so humble. He felt he had no qualifications but in a few days he was going to board the Jaladuta for that purpose.

Srila Prabhupada said, “I have come to pray for the blessings.” He had gone to YogaPeeth, he had gone to Advait Bhavan, and he had gone to the samadhi of his Guru Maharaj.

Srila Prabhupada then boarded the Jaladuta, then 38 days at sea, New York City, established a little store-front after much struggle. At one time, somebody, some young very crazy American type hippy started taking interest and invited Srila Prabhupada to stay in his loft, just a one room apartment. Srila Prabhupada wrote to his God-brothers all over India, “Please send some people, send some funds, we have temple now in New York City. Our Gurudev’s mission is being spread.” But no one could take it seriously; replies were, “Just come back. It is impossible.” Then Srila Prabhupada had a few little followers in a tiny little storefront in the run down part of the lower east side.

He invited some of his followers to bring a lawyer to register the ‘International Society for Krishna Consciousness.’ Nobody could understand and they didn’t think it would ever go beyond that storefront. Srila Prabhupada had the vision of millions of people coming to Mayapur Dham. Srila Prabhupada travelled around the world 11 times to bring the blessings and the mercy of Sri Mayapur to the world. He established this as his International centre so that the whole world could come to experience the supremely purifying grace of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityanand Prabhu. It is his prayer, his grace that has brought all of us here together for this yatra.

Radhanath Swami explains how rare is appearance of Krishna on earth

Rupa Goswami prays –

namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te
krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne gaura-tvise namah

“There are many avatars, but Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is most munificent because he is doing what no other Avatar has ever done.” Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita gives us some clues of what Sri Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given the world. He describes how throughout the ages, Krishna descends to establish or re-establish the religious principles.

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanirva bhavathi bharatha,
abhyuthanam adharmaysya
tadatmanam srijami aham

Sometimes he appears in every Yuga as Yuga-avatar to establish the Yuga Dharma for that age.

In Satayuga Yuga-dharma was meditation, in Tretayuga it was Yagya, sacrifice, in Dwaparyuga it was Worship in the temple, and in Kaliyuga it is Harinaam Sankirtan. He also appears as leela avatar, manva-avatars, and guna avatars.

Once in a day of Brahma, Krishna appears in his original form, the Svayam Bhagavan, the source of all other incarnations, the full complete absolute truth, in his most intimate, ecstatic lovable feature of Krishna. Kaviraj Goswami explains how rare is Krishna’s advent in his original form; once in a day of Brahma. There are 4 yugas that comprise of 1 divya yuga, 71 divya yugas are there in 1 manvantar, there are 14 manvantars in 1 day of Brahma and in 7th Manvantar in 28th Divya yuga Krishna appears. That’s one time every 4 billion 320 million years. I’m not good with numbers, even small numbers. In my whole life, I’ve never been able to memorize a telephone number. I only know one telephone number when I was child, our home number, because it was there for all 19 years: 8431413. It’s the only telephone number I’ve ever known in my life.

So once in 4 billion 320 million years, Krishna appears. And when Krishna appears, he reveals the eternal pastimes of Goloka. He comes with Srimati Radharani, his Lhadini Shakti, and Sri Balramji, his original expansion, and his eternal mother and father, Nanda & Yashoda. The sakhis, the sakhas, the manjiris, the gopas, the gopis, the surabhi cows, Sri Giriraj Gowardhan hill and the eternal Yamuna River descends from Goloka to assist in his past times in Vrindavan.

In our holy scriptures, Krishna tells Srimati Radharani “I’m going to descend into this world of the earth.”

And in Goloka Srimati Radharani is saying “I must come with you.”

And he says, “Yes. I cannot go without you. You are coming with me. We are non-different.”

And she says, “How can I go anywhere without the forest of Vrindavan, the Govardhan hill, and the river Yamuna.”

He said, “I already sent them.” So Krishna performed his beautiful past times in this world and Sukhdev Goswami has described them with all authority and in ecstatic love in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami explains Krishna’s thinking.

In the Bhagvad Gita we hear the Krishna’s words. In Srimad Bhagavatam we hear about Krishna’s incredible leelas and his words and his loving relationships with the devotees. In Chaitanya Charitamrita we are getting Krishna’s thinking, “I have descended to establish the 4 rasa’s: Dasya rasa as servitude, sakhya ras as friendship, vatsalya ras as Parenthood, and madhurya Ras as conjugal love. Unconquered by the intimacy of that love, in most of the great religions that I’ve established in this world, people honor me and worship me as the absolute supreme, all powerful creator, maintainer and destroyer of all that exists. They fear sin, but that’s preliminary. That is necessary.” But for Krishna in Vrindavan this reverential attitude cripples this sweetness of devotion. We must have that at the beginning stages until we are purified.

And Krishna says, “In this age of kali, I want to establish the rasa’s of Brijbhumi, where Yashoda mai conquers me with her love and binds me with a little rope, where my little cowherd friends joke with me and I carry them on my shoulders and sometimes they carry me on their shoulders. Sometimes I’m taking food that they are eating and eat it, and giving it back to them and they eat something and give it to me. I’m conquered in the love of gopis, when they reproach me, when they chastise me.” No one but the original Krishna can establish that within this world. Krishna was thinking, “I will descend and through Sankirtan movement I would establish the rasas of Vrindavan and make the world dance.”

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu descended with a garland, with a mala, made of Naamkirtan and Prema Bhakti and he came to place that garland on the whole world. That is Lord Chaitanya.

radha krishna pranay vikriti lhadini asmat

“The absolute truth is one.” The Srimad Bhagavatam explains –

brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti

“Those who are knowers of the truth understand that there are three features eternally of the absolute truth: Brahman, the all-pervading, apparently impersonal light that pervades everything; The apparently formless manifestation of the absolute truth, Paramatma, the lord who was in and between every atom and seeded in the heart of every living being as the witness and the ultimate guide and Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan has an eternal form which is full of bliss and knowledge.” It is not of this world; it is purely spiritual. Some people, not understanding the principle of true spirituality think, ‘Why would God have a form like us? This is some sort of anthropomorphism or some sort of symbolism and analogy that God comes with two arms and he has girlfriends and boyfriends and mother and father. He is coming to teach is something, no doubts, but this can’t be God.’ The bible tells that the man is made in the image of the god.

You see, our acharyas tell us that the human being is the species of life within the creation that has the capacity to awaken the love of God. There are 8400000 species of life and of all the species, plants, the trees, the aquatics, the insects, reptiles, birds, animals can’t enquire into the nature of the truth. By the blessings of God through humans they can become purified, but they don’t have that free will. The human being is the crescendo of the creation, in the sense that we have the power for sharanagati, to surrender to the absolute truth.

durlabha manushya janma

Bhakti Vinod Thakur explains that this human life is so rare and we shouldn’t waste it. It is so precious; human life is the rare species. It has the facility to fall in love with Krishna. So our acharyas explain that Krishna has actually arranged that this species of life is in his form so that it is easy to fall in love with him. No doubt that we can fall in love with him even when he is a bore, when he is a lion, a fish or a tortoise. But Ram, Krishna are attracting our love in a very special way.

 

Radhanath Swami explains the position of jiva and its free will

Bhagavan, within innumerable spiritual planets of this spiritual sky, which is endless, as the absolute truth is performing eternal past times with devotees in many different forms as Sri Ram, Sri Narayan, Sri Narsimha, Sri Varaha. They have their planets where they are enjoying intimate loving reciprocations with all of these devotees, according to the nature of their devotion. Goloka, or Krishna Loka is considered the most inclusive because all other aspects of love of God are there included within the incredible spontaneity of Krishna lila. That absolute truth is one. Nothing is separate from Krishna. The Vaishnav philosophy teaches us this and it is agreed upon by the Vishnu swami, Ramanujacharya, Nimbarkacharya, Madhvacharya. These are great paramparas from the disciplic successions from the beginning of creation originating with Lakshmi, Brahma, the 4 kumaras, and the Shiva. That the absolute truth is one, and everything is manifesting, emanating from that one absolute truth –

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
itimatvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

The jiva, the tatastha Shakti is the source of life within every living being. What gives consciousness and life to every living species is that jiva.

mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah
manah-sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati

It is part and parcel of Krishna. Krishna is the origin of the Jiva. We are infinitesimal part of Krishna, like a ray of sun which is qualitatively one with the sun, it is achintya bheda bhed tatva “One and Different.” The Upanishads describe the nature of the difference.

nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman
(Katha Upanisad 2.2.13)

“There is one eternal, the absolute truth and from that one eternal has expanded the unlimited eternals. The unlimited eternals are forever support to the one eternal.” The jiva is tatastha Shakti.

There are three primary energies.
• The Antaranga Shakti- the internal spiritual potency
• The Bahiranga Shakti- the external material energy ,
• And the tatastha Shakti – the Jiva

We have free will. Krishna gives this gift for us. He is fully independent. He is complete cognizance of everything and everywhere, and as a particle of Krishna we were created to love Krishna, and we were created to be loved by Krishna.

Krishna never stops loving us, no matter what we do. But we have the choice, whether we reciprocate with his love, or by the free will we can be put unto the covering of the bahiranga or the maya Shakti. –Radhanath Swami

Hence Mayashakti is very powerful. Krishna tells in Gita –

maya ‘dhyakshena prakritih suyate sacharachram

“This maya is my energy, it’s my potency. She is all powerful.” We have no power to escape her illusions. The general person is simply captured.

janasya moho ‘yam aham mameti [SB 5.5.8]

“I’m this body and whatever in relationship to this body is mine: my body, my family, my friends, my property, my intelligence, my skills, my life, ”

janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi duhkha-dosanudarsanam

But nothing is ours. Birth, old age, disease and death are inevitable. The power of time will take everything away. This is power of Maya. Even when we see everything around us dying, even when we see bombs exploding, so many of our desires being frustrated and so many betrayals, and so many anxieties, we still want to be controller, the proprietor and the enjoyer and even when we have knowledge it is very difficult to give up these conceptions. They are so deeply habituated within us. Has any of you have ever had that experience?

 

Radhanath Swami describes different religious paths and also shares his experience on a cruise ship

So there are different ways that through religious paths, people respond to this. In the Karmakand path, by completely moral, completely ethical, completely philanthropic, and pious in every aspect of our life, keeping ourselves completely clean and our homes clean and offering worship by our good works, the limit that we can achieve is elevation to higher planets, where there is a longer life with less disease and less anxieties. But ultimately when the karma is exhausted, we are back in the same situation. And others through the tapasya of various processes of yoga, after many births of cultivation, we can develop miraculous incredible supernatural powers

• We can read people’s minds.
• We can jump on the sunray and go to the sun planet.
• We can jump in the Ganga and say a mantra and go Badrinath without taking those buses where everyone is vomiting and everything.
• We can say a mantra and create gold, create palaces.
• We can develop cities.

We saw to the extent of mystic cities. Kardamba muni, wanted a nice place to stay for his wife and himself. So he just chanted a mantra and by his yogic powers he made an airplane. Now in my travelling and preaching, sometimes I am asked to be on somebody’s private jet with just two people flying. They are very nice jets but nothing compared to Kardamba muni’s airplane. There were no seat belt signs. There were parks and lakes and swans and peacocks and trees and beautiful palaces. And he didn’t have to sit on a seat. There were musicians and entertainers and cooks, It was wonderful. You just enjoy like anything.

Recently, HH Bhakti Charu Swami and HH Sacinandana Swami, HH Bhakti Purushottam Swami, HG Malati Devi, HG Yadubar Prabhu, they all kind of forced me to go on this ocean cruise. Some of you were there I see. I remember when I was going on this ship. I was walking up. There wasn’t like I was expecting to be going on steps like I see photos of Prabhupada on Jaladuta, but there were these marble staircase, and there was an elevator, brass handles and everything. I was like “My God!” I said, “Bhakti Charu Swami, this is nothing like the Jaladuta. This is little more like Kardama Muni’s”. It was a boat that was about 2 city blocks big and it was 12 floors high. There were restaurants, and casinos, and there were health spas, and auditoriums, and theaters, and everything was marble and brass; like heaven. I remember I turned to HH Sacinandana Swami and I said, “Not the kind of place where sanyasis usually go.” But there were 250 other devotees there. We were going to have kirtans and lectures and wherever we went on port; we were going to do Harinaam. So I was thinking, “Oh! How nice!” Should I tell you this story? (Audience responds with a roaring ‘Haribol’)

Anyways, I asked about this ship. And they told me that it was leaving from the South Hampton port. The South Hampton port is very historical because this year is the 100th anniversary of the most famous thing that ever happened from the South Hampton port. It is where a boat began its journey. The name of the boat was ‘The Titanic.’ So everyone was really excited. We were going to be here for I think 9 days and the boat started moving. There was the sound of the boat as it goes Uummmmm…. Phooooo… and at the same time and almost in perfect harmony, my stomach went Uummmmm…. I was totally seasick. Immediately, as soon as it moved, I got seasick. How many of you have been sea sick? Please raise your hands. It’s really hellish. You are so nauseous, and you are so dizzy, and you lose your balance and you are Uummmm. and what can you do? I was thinking, ‘9 days!’ And I was sea sick every minute for the next 9 days. Except, I’ve to admit, I was supposed to give some classes. At the 8th day after my class, I deserted the ship in France.

But I remember the seasickness was too much! We were on this beautiful 5-star kind of hotel ship with all opulences, and all enjoyments like anything are there, and I was looking out as the boat was moving. I saw in the land, some part of England. There was this filthy dirty, what do they call them, factory where they have those big chimneys and black smoke gushing out. It was some sort of refinery with the most polluted looking thing you can find. It was some oil refinery or something, and it was black and chimney and steel. I was on the beautiful ship and I was thinking as I was seeing this factory, ‘I wish I could be there. It is Vaikuntha compared to here.’ You know, I did my service, but I didn’t enjoy anything; so that was Krishna’s protection.

So anyways, for Kardama Muni, there was no seasickness, there was no air sickness, it was magnificent. And that’s just a tiny little sample that one could do through the yogic process of getting mystical siddhis, of performing all sorts of miracles and actually manipulating accordingly to your desires. But that’s the extent.

Through the perfection of the gyana marg, one can attain mukti, liberation. Through analytical discriminating knowledge, through tapasya, renunciation, through meditation, one could be liberated from suffering which are born of the dualities and the desires and the aversion of this world. Brahmananada or the bliss of Brahman, where one realizes ‘Aham Brahmasmi, I’m not this body, this body is subjected to so many anxieties.’

 

Radhanath Swami elaborates on the true nature of all of us and the nature of Absolute Truth

We are trying to enjoy because we are part of Krishna; we are meant to enjoy, Ananda-mayo-bhayasat. Our nature is to enjoy – unlimitedly, ecstatically, eternally. That is our nature. That’s who we are. – Radhanath Swami

But we try to enjoy through this frail vulnerable, little bodies in this world. It’s incredible! When you travel a lot, you see so many people suffering of diseases, cancer, heart disease, hepatitis, broken hearts. So many of us are suffering from heart disease, financial crises, just epidemics, what to speak of suppressive, depressive governments, tsunamis, hurricanes, droughts, floods. We are trying to enjoy.

kamaladala jala jivana tala mala

Govind Das says, we are trying to enjoy anything in this world, and whatever there is, is like a drop of on a lotus leaf – soon to slip away. Mukti, no more suffering, total peace, om shanti; that’s the extent. But to realize our eternal deepest instinct of Prema, intimate ecstatic love, to infinitely love an object, the supreme all-attractive object of Krishna and to feel Krishna’s infinite love – that’s the nature of the soul. That cannot be attained by our own powers. Krishna says in Gita –

bhaktya tv ananyaya sakya aham evam-vidho rjuna

“It is only by undivided devotion, bhakti, that I can be understood as I am standing before you.” muktanam api siddhanam narayanaparayanah
sudurlabhah pras’antatma kotisv api mahamune

Out of many people who achieve mukti, liberation and out of many people who achieve this incredible, supernatural, powers of siddhis, it is very rare to find one who is a pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is totally satisfied because it is our natural position.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu established his whole teachings to Sanatana Goswami for the whole world on the foundation of one principle, jivera swarupa hoya, krishnera nitya dasa, that we are eternal servants of Krishna. But under the clutches of maya we have forgotten. We are struggling to enjoy, and when we are frustrated, we try to escape suffering. The absolute truth is one. But that absolute truth has, for all eternity, not within the confines of our conceptions of material time, has separated into two for the purpose of loving relationships – Krishna and Radha.

Krishna is the Supreme Predominator, and Radha is the Supreme Predominated. Krishna is the Visyaya; he is the ultimate object of love. Radha is asraya; the supreme ultimate abode of love. Krishna is the supreme beloved; Radha is the supreme lover. Krishna is the Shaktimaan, the source of all potencies, and Radha is the supreme shakti, Lhadini shakti, the source of all the Lord’s energies, the energy of lhadini, of ananda, of bliss. As the feminine aspect of one Supreme Absolute Truth with all the power, there is no difference between Radha and Krishna. They are the one truth. But for love, they are two. And all the jivas, all the living entities, have been created by them for the purpose of being a part of sharing their infinite love for each other. That’s the ultimate fulfillment of every atma. Because Sri Radha’s love is very powerful, it conquers Krishna. Because we are part and parcels, our potential is a part and parcel of Radha’s love, that is our nature. The love of each and every one of us has the power to conquer the all-conquering ajita Krishna. That is the nature of love.

We read in the pages of Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, how Krishna is seeing himself for reflection in a jewel pillar and he is thinking, ‘How beautiful I am! But I can’t appreciate the beauty. Only Sri Radhika fully appreciates my beauty. What is the nature of her love that even conquers me? What is it about me that even gives Srimati Radharani such happiness that even I cannot comprehend? And what does she feel when she tastes the sweetness of my love?’ In order to taste the sweetness of Radha’s love and to distribute that love to the world, at the time of the greatest time of need, the Kali Yuga, radha bhava subhalitam, naumi Krishna svarupam, Krishna takes the Maha-bhava, the supreme ecstasy of Radha’s love and assumes her divine beautiful golden complexion. Radha Krishna become one in the form of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, to spread the sweetness of the love of Vrindavan, through the congregational chanting of the holy name –

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

 

Radhanath Swami illuminates us about the grace and mercy of Sri Radha

Sri Radha is the full unlimited Supreme power of grace. It is only by that grace that Premabhakti can awaken in our heart. It is only by that grace that we can ultimately be free from the bondage of Maya. It is only by that grace that we can be thoroughly forgiven, thoroughly cleansed, thoroughly empowered.

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante

māyām etāṁ taranti teIn the Gita Krishna tells, this material energy consisting of the three modes of nature, tamo guna, rajo guna, sattva guna, is very powerful. It is very difficult; it is impossible to overcome for a jiva. But for one who surrenders to me can easily cross beyond it, sharanagati. To the degree we surrender, we can access Sri Radha’s grace.

The analogy is given of the absolute truth like the sun. In the darkness of the night, if you want to find the sun, what could you do? Even if you have multi-PhD’s in technology and science and astronomy and astrology, you can create the most unbelievable lighting systems, the most piercing lasers, the most incredibly powerful telescopes, but can you find the sun? Whatever extent the knowledge, the power of humanity, we can never find the sun in the dark. We can only find the sun when the sun of his own accord rises for us.

And similarly, by the power of our knowledge, by the power of our austerities, by the power of our piety, our philanthropy, by the power of our yajnas, by the power of our yogas, by the power of our influence over others, we can never find Krishna as he is. It is possible only by grace. You see, when the sun rises, how are we able to see the sun? Through the sunlight, without sunlight we cannot understand the sun. We see the sun through the sunlight. Similarly, we cannot approach Krishna except through His hladini sakti, through Sri Radha. Radha dispels all darkness, and reveals, Krishna. And the power of Radha is the power of grace. And there is only one way to access grace, and that’s through Saranagati, through our humility, through our surrender, and through our service attitude. This is how we understand the holy dham. This is how we understand the holy name. This is how we understand the truth of the beautiful murti that stands before us in the morning. This is how we understand the Lord within our own hearts; through grace.

Srila Prabhupada explained that in bhakti we are factually performing the functions that are eternally done in the spiritual world. Sometimes Prabhupada says that you are liberated and devotees would look at him and think, ‘We are liberated? What’s in my mind? What’s in my heart?’ “No, you are liberated because when you are engaging properly in the path of bhakti, you are engaged in liberated activities: chanting Krishna’s names, doing seva for Krishna whatever it is, and these are the activities of the spiritual world.” He said, “You are liberated in what you are doing, but you just haven’t realized it.” Through purification we realize it and that is only possible though the association of people, satsangh

sadhu sanga, sadhu sanga, sarva sastra koya
lava matra sadhu siddhi, sarva siddhi hoya

By the association of true sadhus, it opens the doors; it opens the faith to the shraddha in our hearts to take to the path by which we learn the sweetness of saranagati. – Radhanath Swami

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna with the love of Sri Radha, with the grace and the compassion of Sri Radha distributing it to the world through this harinaam sankirtan, through devotional service.

When Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya asked Lord Chaitanya, “Of the nine processes of bhakti, which is the most important?”

Lord Chaitanya replied “Kirtan, the chanting of the holy names,” and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu quoted his own guru instructing him, which is very, very important.

sri krishna chaitanya, radha krishna nahin anya

Lord Chaitanya is Radha and Krishna together, in one form, the most munificent, the most magnanimous. But coming in the role of a devotee to teach by his example, he humbled himself in the before a guru in parampara. Here, in Navdvipa, he was Nimai Pandita, he was the greatest scholar on the planet and he was still a teenager. As a teenager boy, he defeated Digvijay Pandit, Keshav Kashmiri, the world champion debater. He defeated everybody else that just stood before him. Why? Because he was the greatest scholar of the scriptures. You see it is not by learning that we can understand Krishna. It’s by grace. He humbled himself to serve his guru, Sri Ishwar Puri Pada, and it was then that he manifested his ecstatic love. He came back to Navdvipa.

 

Radhanath Swami glorifies the Holy Names of Lord

There is a beautiful story. After he took initiation from Ishwar Puri in Gaya, he was in that ecstasy of love of God, and manifested the love of Radha. He was running to Vrindavan and the devas spoke to him. They said, “My Lord, you have descended in this world to expand this love of God in your heart to the world. You have come to manifest the Sankirtan movement in Navdvipa. So, don’t go to Vrindavan. Now, go to Navdvipa.” And he came here. He came back to his home in the house of Saci Devi. He established the kirtan in the house of Srivasa, and he explained that his guru gave him this wisdom, the essence of all knowledge –

harer nama, harer nama, harer namaiva kevalam,
kalu, nastaiy, nastaiva, nastaiva gatir anyatha

“In this age of Kali, for this highest aspiration of Prema bhakti, it’s easily accessible. The only way that the people of Kali can come to that platform is through chanting of the names of Lord Hari.” The names of the Lord –

naam naam akari bahuda, nija sarva saktis

The Lord said that Krishna, or God, the absolute truth, Para Brahman, has many many, many names, and in each of them has invested all of his potencies. There are no hard and fast rules for this chanting.

kaler doso nidhe rajan asti eka mahan guna,
kirtananada eva krishnasya, mukta sanga param brajet

Kali yuga is an ocean of faults. We read the news. We see what’s happening around us and how it even affects devotees. It is an ocean of faults. But there is one benediction that anyone who sincerely, earnestly, honestly, takes the name of Krishna will attain the perfection of liberation.

param vijayate sri krishna sankirtanam

The sankirtan is the prime benediction of humanity at large. What is the origin of this Sankirtan?

golokera prema dhana, harinaam sankirtan

It has descended from Goloka. It is not like the songs that we hear on the radios, or on our IPods, or whatever that we use. It is a transcendental sound vibration and Krishna is so merciful that he has descended in this sound vibration that can be heard even with our material ears, and our minds, and hearts become cleansed. It is non-different from Krishna.

Srimati Radharani shows the ultimate expression of her love for all of her children. She is ultimate mother of all of us. We know that even in this world what the love of mother is and the sacrifices mother will do for her child out of love. The supreme ultimate mother of every soul is Sri radha. She expands herself as Laxmi, queens of Dwarka, she expands herself as Parvati, Durga the goddess, and mother of material nature, as Bhumi, mother earth who supplies everything. On the highest spiritual platform Sri Radha is our mother. Out of her infinite love for us, seeing us in this desperate condition covered by maya, forgetting true wealth of soul, she comes to this world as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to give gift of her grace through the chanting of Holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

 

Radhanath Swami highlights the glories of Navadvip Dham

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in Navadvip Dham. Navadvip is compared to lotus flower, an 8 petal lotus. There are 9 islands of Navadvip and Antardvip where Mayapur situated is the whirl of lotus. Each of these petals represents each of 9 processes of devotional service, these are the islands of Navadvip. Antardvip represents saranagati, surrender. Along with Holy name Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught us how to chant. We will be discussing these stories as the yatra continues as I am overtime now.

At Srivas Angan there is a beautiful historical episode revealed in Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita where devotees are chanting throughout day in Kirtan, Hari Katha, hari Kirtan and Vaishnav seva. Lord Chaitanya one day told them, “Why are wasting time sleeping at night in sleeping? Human life is so precious. Why waste a moment? We should continue kirtan every night throughout the night.” All the devotees cried out, “Hari Bol, Hari Bol!” But then he explained how could this be done –

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

“To be humble like blade of grass, to be forgiving, fore bearing and tolerant like a tree, to offer all respects to others and devoid of false prestige, not expect honor and respect for ourselves.” How is that possible? When we taste the sweetness of Holynames, we are so happy glorifying Krishna that we do not need anything for ourselves. Any glorification we get for ourselves usually just agitates our false ego. It seems like satisfaction. But Prahalad Maharaj says that these kind of material satisfactions are like scratching the itch of a rash, feels good, but actually we trying to relieve the itch, and the more we try scratch the more it itches, and the more we scratch the more it itches, and the more it itches the more we scratch, the more it itches more we scratch, the more we scratch the more it itches, the more it itches and the more it itches and that is material life birth after birth after birth. But when we taste the sweetness of appreciating Krishna’s unlimited beauty, tasting Krishna’s unlimited love, hearing Krishna’s unlimited pastimes, chanting Krishna’s unlimited names, then we do not these things, we don’t need these artificial pleasures. When we truly honestly earnestly strive for these qualities in our life and strive in that spirit, we can chant Krishna’s name constantly. By our service attitude, by our humility, by our sincerity, by our faith, we can open our hearts to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s infinite grace, the ultimate benediction. That is why we have come to Mayapur. It is not holiday, but a holy day. I think it is supposed to be same thing, but they are not understood like that. We not come here to enjoy our mind and senses, we have come here to be enjoyed by Krishna. And by serving other Vaishnavas we give the greatest joy to Krishna because Krishna is very pleased in the hearts of the devotees when we please those who love Krishna, Krishna is most happy. Therefore Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave this principle –

gopi bharta padakamalayor dasa dasa dasanudas

“Servant of servant of servant. To really live by principle of servant of servant of servant.” That’s why we have come here, to really live by the spirit of the servant of servant of servant, to pray for mercy, to beg for mercy, helplessly desperately beg for mercy, beg for mercy upon ourselves, beg for mercy upon our loved ones, beg for mercy upon vaishnavas, and beg for mercy for all living beings. That’s what we have come here for, get mercy that liberates soul and awakens Krishna Consciousness and pure love. By rising our arms together and chanting the holynames in this spirit there can be divine transformations in our life.

Srila Prabhupada invited us here, even during his time when there was just straw hut, shell of one little building, Srila Prabhupada invited all the devotees from all around the world, whoever possible to come for Gaur Poornima. There was very primitive situation: lot of mosquitos, lot of fields everywhere. Here also we are close to a field and there are mosquitos, I see some of you itching. It was one of his primary orders to build this Temple of Vedic Planetarium. At that time when there was a little straw hut, a little building, and a little temple at ground floor of a little guesthouse with little brass deities of Radha Madhav and Lord Chaitanya, he was talking about large sized Radha Krishna deities, asta sakhis and a pancha tattva. What we see in the temple is Prabhupada’s plan for the Pancha-tattva. HG Janannivas Pr, HG Pankajanghri Pr were there from that time, watching how things evolved under Prabhupada’s compassionate will. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu compared himself to a gardener. He said, “I have come here with fruits, the fruits of love of God. If anyone tastes a single fruit, they will be satisfied forever and I have so many fruits, unlimited fruits, I cannot distribute myself.” He requested his devotees to assist him. First the Six Goswamis established in Vrindavan the foundation for our whole sampradaya. Then all of the great acharyas like Thakur Narottam, Shyamananda, Srinivas Acharya expanded outside of Vrindavan. Other acharyas developed the whole culture of it and the siddhanta and bhakti of it in such a merciful compassionate ways. Thakur Bhaktivinod began to actually activate the will of Mahaprabhu descend to the world. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur organized and gave that eternal will to Srila Prabhupada to fulfill. Srila Prabhupada to fulfill that will has asked us to build this temple. I think in this yatra there are around 5000 of us. During Gaur Poornima far more people come from all over world. But Srila Prabhupada’s idea was that through this temple and the vaishnava behavior of the devotees that he has attracted, and through the quality of our kirtan, the quality of our values as vaishnavas, 10’s and 10’s of millions of people will come for generations and sit in Sri Mayapur and understand the supreme glory of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s munificience. We rise our arms together as brothers as sisters on spiritual platform, with all gratitude and humility to chant the holynames –

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
jiv jago jiv jago gaura chandra bole kotha nidra jaye maye pisachera kole

This is Mahaprabhu’s message. He would sing this song going town to town, village to village, bathing ghat to bathing ghat here in navadvip, “Wake up wake up sleeping souls, you are sleeping in lap of maya, wake up. Mukunda madhava Hari, chant these Holynames.” Vrindavan is the madhurya dham with the intimate highest lila of the Lord was revealed. Mayapur Navadvip is audarya dham, place where that same madhurya raas of Vrindavan is being distributed to everyone in world. Let us bow our heads in gratitude to Srila Prabhupada, to all our previous acharyas, to Panchatattva, to Sri Sri Radha Madhava and all the assembled vaishnavas for unimaginable causeless blessings of being together in Sri Navadvip Dham.

Sri HariNam sankirtan Ki Jai !!!
Srila Prabhupad Ki Jai !!!
Sri Panchattatva Ki Jai !!!
Sri Prahlad Narasimha Dev Ki Jai !!!
Sri Asta Sakhi Radha madhav ki Jai !!!
Srila Prabhupad Ki jai !!!
Sri Ananta Koti vaishnava Vrinda Ki Jai !!!
Hare Krishna Mantra (3 times)

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Radhanath Swami speaking “Pastimes In And Around Govardhan 2”, 2013 Yatra, Vrindavan, Day 12 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/vrindavan-yatra-2013/radhanath-swami-speaking-pastimes-in-and-around-govardhan-2-2013-yatra-vrindavan-day-9/ http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/vrindavan-yatra-2013/radhanath-swami-speaking-pastimes-in-and-around-govardhan-2-2013-yatra-vrindavan-day-9/#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 10:10:23 +0000 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/?p=4116

 

I am very grateful to be with all of you this evening. Thank you very much.

 

Radhanath Swami extols the glories of Haridas Thakur

Radhanath-Swami1Our beloved Srila Prabhupad, our founder acharya, emphasized the principle that Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to be foremost on the path of bhakti. Lord Chaitanya quoted from the scripture that through all the various means of spiritual practice one can only truly know Krishna by following in the footsteps of the great souls, mahajano yena gata sapantha. Srila Prabhupada told us that we cannot imitate enlightened pure devotees of the Lord. Following the footsteps means living by their teachings and trying to very honestly and realistically apply the examples that they have established in every aspect of our lives. Haridas Thakur chanted 300,000 names Krishna every day without fail. When he was in his very old age and it became difficult for him to complete his rounds, he told Lord Chaitanya that he was in a spiritually diseased condition. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said to him that you have already descended and fulfilled the purpose of your incarnation in this world, to establish the Yuga-dharma of the chanting of the holy names through your teachings, and through your example. And Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who knows past present and future, knows that Haridas is going to be the inspiration for countless people forever.

Thakur Haridas prayed only one desire be fulfilled that he should not see the closing chapter of Lord Chaitanya’s lilas, that with his eyes gazing upon the moonlight face of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, with his feet pressed to his heart, and with Lord Chaitanya’s holy name, ‘Sri Krishna Chaitanya,’ vibrating on his tone, that he could leave this world.

Lord Chaitanya said, “The greatest joy I have being here is in the association of you, why you want to leave me?”

Haridas said, “Why are you creating this illusion? There were thousands and thousands of devotees who are fit to sit on my head. I am insignificant. If an ant dies, a little insect and what is the loss to the world? Please fulfill my wish.” This was his spirit, his determination, his humility, his faith in the holy name as the namacharya, and it is the highest dharma to follow in his footsteps.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks about the compassion of Prahlad Maharaj and Lord Shiva

Radhanath-Swami4Haridas Thakur is said to be non-different than Prahlad Maharaj. What was Prahlada’s faith in Krishna? In every situation, whether he was ruling as the king of the world later on, or whether he was being thrown in pits of snakes, or off the mountains, it was all the same to Prahlad because he was remembering Krishna, ‘Krishna I am yours!’

ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam
adarshanan marma-hatam karotu va

Lord Chaitanya gave us this principle. This is love. “My beloved Krishna, if you want to, you can embrace me, or make yourself visible before me, or if you like you can trample upon me, or break my heart in separation. If you want, you may neglect me. You are free to do anything because I am your servant unconditionally.” This was Prahlad, and his compassion. His compassion that even to the person who hated him and did everything possible to disturb him, Prahlada’s only prayer was, “Let me always remember you Lord, and give Hiranyakashipu, my father liberation. Forgive him.”

Lord Shiva is a mahajan. When the whole ocean was being poisoned due to unlimited quantity of deadly poison that was gushing from the ocean of milk, the demigods were helpless. They approached Lord Vishnu and Vishnu directed them to approach Shiva, vaishnavanam yatha shambhu, Mahadev. And with hardly a second thought, he took permission from his good wife Parvati to drink all the poison, to take it all himself for the welfare of others. Srila Prabhupad manifested that compassion; he manifested that faith in the holy names. So we have great faith that by following his teachings and by assisting him in that mission of compassion in most intimate way, Krishna will bless us and everything else will be given if we are sincere to really grasp what he is giving us. We should be really grateful and open our hearts to receive it, and reciprocate through our sadhana, through our prayer, and through our seva.

 

Radhanath Swami explains the glories of doing Govardhan Parikrama

Radhanath-SwamiYesterday many of you did the Govardhan parikrama. Please raise both of your hands and say ‘Hari Bol’ if you did the parikrama. (Crowd says Hari Bol loudly) That was very enthusiastic!

How it is that parikrama you have done yesterday is literally following in the footsteps of the great souls? Because, it is on the same path, since the time immemorial, the greatest acharyas have been doing this parikrama. It was established by Krishna. Krishna did Govardhan parikrama, Krishna worshipped Govardhan Hill and he inspired Nanda Maharaj, Yashoda, Srimati Radharani, Lalita, Vishakha, all the sakhis and all the gopis, Subala, Sridama and all the gopas, everyone to worship Govardhan Hill. They all walked around with all their Surabhi cows.

Many years later, Madhavendra Puri came to the Vraja Bhumi and he was going to the 12 forests, and he performed the parikrama of Sri Giriraj; as did his associates Nityananda Prabhu did Govardhan parikrama. Ishvara Puri and all of these great souls had done Govardhan parikrama. Advaita acharya came to Vrindavan and did the Govardhan parikrama. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself came and there is a beautiful description in Chaitanya Charitamrita of how he was embracing the stones of Govardhan Hill, and how he worshipped each of these holy places around Govardhan Hill. And his most intimate followers Rupa Goswami would regularly come to Govardhan to do parikrama. When Sanatana Goswami was living at Chakaleshwar Mahadev near Manasi Ganga, everyday would do the Govardhan parikrama. Raghunath Das Goswami living at Sri Radha kund every day would do Govardhan parikrama. Jiva Goswami would also come here. When Gopal Bhatta Goswami was living at Radha kund, every day would do Govardhan parikrama. So did Raghunath Bhatta Goswami, Lokanath Goswami, and Bhugarbha Goswami. When Narottam Das Thakur and Srinivas acharya were living with Jiva Goswami, he sent them to do Govardhan parikrama with the Raghav Pandit, who lived in a cave in one of the ends of Govardhan hill near Punchari.

There is a beautiful story in Bhakti Ratnakar where Thakur Narottam, Srinivas acharya and Raghav Pandit are doing the Govardhan parikrama. And in generations Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, Vishwanath Chakravarti Thakur, Baladev Vidyabhushan, Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj and Gaurkishor Das Babaji Maharaj, when they were living here and other sampradayas, Sripad Vallabhacharya, Vitthalanath, the great acharyas of the Nimbark sampradaya saw the Govardhan parikrama as was the highest, deepest, most intimate connections that we could make with Sri Sri Radha Krishna with our worship of Giriraj. Bhaktivinod Thakur, Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur had a home near Ratha kund. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur would bring large gatherings of people for Braja mandal parikrama and Govardhan parikrama.

Our beloved Srila Prabhupad, as it has been discussed many times over the last few days, even when he was in his last days, it was his deep desire to perform the parikrama of Sri Giriraj. Even though his body would not live, he couldn’t even walk, he requested, “Put me on the back in an ox-cart and I will go around.” “But Prabhupad if you do you will die.” Prabhupada said, “What more beautiful way to die will there be than while doing Govardhan parikrama?” So, when you do the parikrama please understand that this dust, the Vraja Bhumi is descending from Goloka. It is the eternal abode of the Lord manifesting on this earth. And the dust of Vraja Bhumi is very sacred. Sometimes separation helps us not take things for granted.

 

Radhanath Swami share his experience with dust of Vrajbhumi

Radhanath-SwamiIn 1971-72, when I was living in Vrindavan, it was more of forests and very simple place. Now it has become quite popular to the world, which is wonderful. But I was always being told and I was always seeing in great Vaishnavas, how they honored the dust of Vraja Bhumi. It was such a deep part of their devotion, the dust of Vraja Bhumi, that when I had to leave I thought, ‘I will fill little pouches with dust every day and wherever I am in the world I will eat some,’ which I did. Of course when I came through customs in America, and they found pouches of dust. They were ready to put me in prison because they thought it was some sort of intoxicating drug.

They asked, “What is this?”

I said, “Dirt!” (laughs in the audience)

They looked at it and they smelled it and I was thinking, ‘How fortunate they are!’ (Clapping in the audience) The dust was so fine and I carried it in a little cloth bag which was actually given to me by the Dalai Lama’s people in Tibetan area. They gave me these little cloth bags, and so I put the dust of Vrindavan. They were about this big (shows size by hand gestures) and they had little strings, then you open it and they are handmade. So when you open it, it goes like (funny sound and actions of dust coming out of the bag).

The customs agents opened it and asked, “What is this?”

I said, “It is dirt.”

The police felt they got me, “Dirt! What kind of terrible excuse is that? Who carries dirt around with? Coming from Afghanistan and Iran and India, Nepal, so it is definitely going to be drugs!” So they opened it. They couldn’t open it and finally (action of opening) in the end (funny sound of dust coming of and spreading out on the face), the dust went and flew in their eyes, their nose, and they smelled it. They said, “It is dirt!” (Laughs)

I was thinking, ‘How fortunate! It is the dust of Vraja. Its JFK immigration customs, but this dust is so sacred because it is the dust of the spiritual world that is chintamani, and the dust is forever mixed, not in a material way, in the spiritual way. Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundar during the spring time would perform their Rasa lila here at Govardhan. It is the dust of the feet of Sri Radha, it is the dust of the feet of Sri Krishna. It is the dust of the feet of all of the sakhis and gopis and manjiris. It is the dust of the feet of all the sakhas and the gopas when they would herd their cows; it is the dust of the hooves of sacred Surabhi cows of Krishna, and their calves and bulls. It is the dust of the feet of Madhavendra Puri and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the six Goswami’s and all the acharyas and all the vrajavasis. It is the dust of the feet of all the tens and millions of people that have done this parikrama with faith and devotion throughout the centuries. It is the dust of the feet of Yashoda, Nanda, Upananda, Abhinanda, Nandan, and Vrishabhanu, as they all did this parikrama.’
On the subject of Kirtida, our own dear Kirtida Devi Dasi from Mumbai, the wife of Vrishabhanu Prabhu, mother of Radharani and Sridhama Sakha, Priya Sakhi and Murlidhar and all the grandchildren, one of the most wonderful of all the devotees, is just today in very critical condition. She is at her last stages of cancer. So here at Sri Giriraj, the supreme abode of the Lord I request all the devotees to kindly pray to Sri Giriraj, to Sri Radha Shyamsundar, and to Radha Gopinath to shower their most intimate blessings upon her. Let us take a moment to offer this prayer.

 

Radhanath Swami continues description of places around Govardhan

Radhanath-Swami8Shall we continue the parikrama that we were doing day before yesterday? (Devotees cheer with Hari Bol) Who remembers where he left off? We were speaking from Sri Raghunath Das Goswami’s explanation of the lila of Dannivartana Kund. There are many places at Sri Govardhan. We will only describe a few of for them for two reasons: one is nobody can even know all of them, and two is we only have a short time.

From Dannivartana Kund up until around the place of Sankarshan Kund it is called Annakuta Kshretra. It is the place where the offering of the Annakuta was arranged by Lord Krishna as an offering to Giriraj, where the Vrajavasis took their entire stock of grains and all precious gifts coming from mother cow, vegetables, fruits, spices, herbs. They offered everything they had; this was their faith in Krishna. They made massive mounds of rice, rotis, and various types of sabjis, soups, cakes, and sweets. There were lakes and mountains of bhogas.

Today we tried to follow in their footsteps by offering our Annakuta offering. I was told that all of you prepared 1650 preparation! (Cheers Hari Bol) Is that accurate? It was interesting. My dear God brother Bhakti Siddhanta Prabhu and I were walking through the cooking area where there were over 150 little clay stoves on the ground and every one of you were cooking with clay pots, cow dung, and wood, and the smoke was incredible. (Laughs)

Everyone, everyone, I saw hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people at a time in so many shifts, and everyone was crying! (Laughs) It was just so simple. Everyone was just sitting in the dust of Vraja Bhumi with the wood and cow dung paddies, sitting on the ground and the stoves were little clay structures on the ground exactly as they have been cooking for thousands of years with the little clay stoves. It was so simple; no technology. Then everybody came with their offerings on their way to bring them to Sri Giriraj. They did pass by a table and there was a devotee keeping the records of each offering on a computer! (Laughs) Bhakti Siddhanta Prabhu was very impressed by that, I think.

But we are humbled when we hear what the Vrajavasis offered and there Krishna himself manifested himself on Govardhan hill. Krishna took an inconceivable and gigantic form, a form on Govardhan hill that was the size of Govardhan hill; but he was a person. Just to show that Govardhan hill actually is a person, has always been a person and will always be a person. “Govardhan hill is non-different than me,” he manifested that. And with his arms he was taking all the mountains and accepting it. He was eating everything. Giriraj eating these offerings is a very sweet revelation of his unlimited greatness. In the Bhagavad-Gita, we have the Virata-rupa, the universal form, that is also manifesting the greatness, but in madhurya dham, in Vrindavan, he does it in such sweet ways. Nothing was left and he was calling “Aniyor! Aniyor! Give me more!” and from that day, the village where that took place even today is named “Aniyor,” very special place. And then after Krishna receives all our offerings, because this is bhakti, there is reciprocation.

Radhanath-SwamiAs a devotee, everything we have we are getting from Krishna: the air we breathe, the power to see, the power to speak, the power to move, and the power to think. It is all given to us by Krishna. It is like taking water from Ganga and offering it to Ganga. Bhakti means, “Krishna, I’m receiving your mercy in so many ways and I’m offering it back to you with love.” And that’s the way Krishna is. He received the love of all the Vrajavasis and then offered it back, Maha Mahaprasad, and what a feast they had! Everybody was included. Can you imagine the intoxication of the Vrajavasis? So meditate. They spent so much time and energy making these mountains of prasad, and then they saw Giriraj in this incredible form, even though he was so gigantic he was beautiful. He wasn’t like scary; he was sweet. It is not that people are going (scary face). In Virat-rupa, Arjuna was like this (action of a scared person), but with Giriraj everyone was (expressions of love), they just fell in love. They gave their hearts. Even when Krishna becomes enormous in Vrindavan He still has this sweetness of charming the hearts of everyone. Indra was not a vrajavasi (Laughs). So his heart wasn’t charmed until later on *************.

Krishna takes and reciprocates. Whatever little we give him, if it is offered with love and devotion; Krishna accepts it and reciprocates by giving his grace and mercy, his love. There is nothing more priceless that we can strive for than that. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami extols the glories of Balaramji and Gauri Kund

Radhanath-SwamiSankarshan Kund just beyond Aniyor, it is a place which is dedicated to Lord Sri Balaramji. Balaramji himself expands to be Krishna’s abode, his dham, he expands to be Krishna’s furniture and clothes, jewelry and shoes and bed, and that in every way Balaram is the Supreme Personality of Servitude Godhead. He is Krishna himself in the mood of serving in every way. He is in shanta-ras by expanding himself as Krishna’s paraphernalia. He is in dasya-ras by serving Krishna in every possible way. He in sakhya-ras by being a cowherd boy: playing with Krishna, and joking with Krishna. He is in vatsalya-ras as Krishna’s elder brother: very protective and caring for Krishna. He manifests and expands himself as anankamanjiri, Sri Radha’s younger sister to serve in the conjugal loving affairs of Sri Radha, Krishna and the gopis. In this way Lord Balaram is serving in every way.

It is all power from Krishna. Balaram is non-different except the color of their complexion and the rasa that they have with each other. He expands himself as all the Vishnus and all the Narayans and all the incarnations. What is his power? But yet Balaram appears as Nityananda Prabhu – vrajendra-nandana yei, saci-suta haila sei, balarama haila Nitai – as Nityananda Prabhu he is going door to door, village to village, house to house begging people, “Please take the name of Krishna. Take the grace of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by chanting Hare Krishna.” And his humility, his compassion showed the world the power of the holy name to the extent of even giving the highest perfection of prema, ananda, bhakti to Jagai and Madhai.

Narottam Das Thakur explains that without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu it is not possible to understand the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath in Vrindavan. He opens the doors through his causeless mercy. At Sankarshan Kund, we honor and take shelter of the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu and the path that he and his brother Mahaprabhu gave us, the chanting of the holy names

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

Not far from Sankarshan kund there is Gauri Tirtha or Gauri kund. Rupa Goswami writes a beautiful little story about that, in a very summarized way. Abhimanyu was actually Krishna who expended himself as another gopa just to marry Sri Radha, just to make his lilas with Radha, more intimate and more inconceivably happy forever. One day, Abhimanyu and his mother Jatila were told that Sri Radha was meeting Krishna. So Abhimanyu decided that we will move away from here to Mathura. So he was walking early one morning and he met Purnamassi, who was like the guru of all of Vraja Bhumi.

She said, “Where are you going?”

He said, “I want your blessings. I’m going to Mathura.”

She said, “Why?”

And he told her.

Purnamassi’s heart was trembling, ‘How could Radharani, the ultimate queen and beloved of everyone in Vrindavan leave? She cannot leave from here!’ So she recommended him, “Have Sri Radharani worship Gauri at her temple. Gauri is the wife of Shiva.” Of course it is also the name of Sri Radha but in this sense that it is Shiva-shakti or Gauri.

So Sri Radha went to perform her pooja. Krishna met her there when she was picking flowers. Jatila and Abhimanyu heard about that. So they decided, “We are going to catch them together!”

They came. Krishna talked to Vrinda Devi and said, “Get me the clothes of Gauri,” and he made himself a golden color, put on the clothes, the crown of Gauri, and stood right in front of the deity; just like a deity. When Abhimanyu and Jatila came in the temple, they saw Sri Radharani worshiping the deity. At that time Radharani was praying, “Please, please, be merciful.”

And Abhimanyu asked, “What is she praying?”

Jatila asked, “Why is she praying like this?”

And Gauri, who was Krishna, spoke. She said to one of the gopis, “Tell her what I have said.”

Gopis said, “Gauri has spoken that in two days Abhimanyu is going to be arrested by Kamsa. Kamsa is going to chop off his head and offer it to Lord Shiva and Radharani is praying to have mercy on him.”

And Jatila asked, “Is there anything we could do? Is there anything we could do?”

Gauri said, “No. There is nothing anybody could do. Your head will be sliced off in two days by Kamsa. So the only hope,” Gauri said to Radha in front of everybody, “because of your prayers, because of your love for me, (Krishna is speaking) I will protect Abhimanyu under the condition that you never leave me in Vrajabhumi.”

And Abhimanyu and Jatila cried out to Gauri, “We will never ever take Radharani away from Vrindavan.”

And Gauri was very happy. She smiled (laughs). And Gauri said,” You should always know that Radharani is the supreme ultimate personification of chastity, purity and love.”

They said, “Yes, yes, we understand that. We understand.”

Then Jatila and Abhimanyu while going home and saying, “Lucky that we came there just in time.” And they went away very happily.
Then Krishna came off the throne, took off his Gauri clothes, and had his wonderful pastimes with Sri Radha. That is one of the stories of Gauri kund.

 

Radhanath Swami on pastimes at Govind Kund and Madhavendra Puri

Radhanath-SwamiThen we will come a little further to Govinda Kund. Govinda kund is one of the wonderful places in Sri Sri Radha Krishna’s vasant lila, where he and the gopis performed their wonderful pastimes. It is the place where Indra came after he sent his devastating rainfall to Vrindavan and with the help of Surabhi he was able to offer his love and his worship to Krishna. Now Indra, whose pride was just crushed, out of his honest humility wanted to express that, ‘Krishna, you are the real Indra. You are the real Lord and controller.’ So they had an abhishek ceremony to corronate Krishna as the Supreme King Lord of all the devatas, and that abhishek took place at Govinda kund. Surabhi bathed him with her unlimited volume of pure ecstatic love in the form of milk. Airavata brought the Mandakini Ganga from the spiritual world and bathed Krishna. And all the devatas, the devis, the rishis, and the wives of the rishis came with so many beautiful gifts and filled that kund with their love; that’s Govinda kund. Indra said, “Your name in Goloka, the spiritual world is Govinda. Now we proclaim your name to be Govinda here in Gokula Vrindavan.”

After doing Govardhan parikrama, it was at Govinda kund where Madhavendra Puri was just sitting and meditating on Sri Giriraj. Right across from Govardhan Hill is Govinda kund and it is a beautiful darshan. Madhavendra Puri is a kalpavriksha tree of Goloka. Some acharyas explain that Nidhuvan in Vrindavan, during their rasa-lila Sri Sri Radha and Krishna would rest there in a special kunj and they would rest under a particular kalpavriksha tree. Even the sakhis and even the manjiris were shy to come when Sri Sri Radha and Krishna were together and resting together after dancing through the rasa lila. This particular kalpavriksha tree was there doing seva, hearing, and serving; the most intimate seva. That kalpavriksha tree became Madhavendra Puri.

In the Sri Madhava sampradaya of Brahma sampradaya, Madhavendra Puri was the first to manifest Madhurya rasa or conjugal rasa on the path of pure unalloyed love. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was in Rama Keli and was telling the story of Madhavendra Puri’s life ecstatically. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, ‘Sri Krishna Chaitanya Radha Krishna nahi anya,’ Radha and Krishna two have become one as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the form of Sri Chaitanya, Krishna is with the bhava and the color of the complexion of Sri Radha. How and why is he honoring and worshiping Madhavendra Puri with such love and devotion? It is because of their intimacy in the spiritual world of Goloka in nitya lila and because of Madhavendra Puri’s incredible deep ecstasy of love in this world. His disciples were Nityananda Prabhu, Pundalik Vidyanidhi, Paramananda Puri, Bramhananda Puri, Ishvar Puri, Advait aachrya. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to be connected as the grand disciple of Madhavendra Puri.

So he was sitting there for long time just chanting Krishna’s names and meditating on Sri Radha Gopinath and a little cowherd boy came and told that, “O Swamiji, you have been here for a long time. Some people beg for food in my village and some people go back. You’re so humble that you don’t even beg. So I have come to bring you some milk. Please drink his milk. I will come back after milking the cows and I will collect the container.”

Madhavendra Puri said, “How did you know I am fasting?”

The little cowherd boy said that, “Some of the village ladies were coming and getting water from Govinda and they told me. So I have come to serve you.” The little boy left and Madhavendra Puri drank the milk. He washed the pot and he sat in deep transcendental ecstasy chanting Krishna’s holy name.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

He was chanting in love all night long and right toward the end of the night, he happened to go into a sleeping state. That little cowherd boy came again and took Madhavendra Puri by the hand and said, “Come, come,” and he took Madhavendra Puri to a place near Govardhan hill where there were thick bushes. He said, “I am living in those bushes. Long ago Bhadra, the great grandson of Krishna formed this deity of mine and I had been worshiped here since that time. But long ago, some foreign invaders came and terrorized this village of Aniyor and the Pujari put me in the bushes to protect me, to hide me and then he left. He never came back and I have been here since then. It is very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. I am very thirsty and I am hungry too. I just been waiting when will Madhavendra Puri come? Bring the local Vrajavasis of the village, cut down these thorny branches, take me out of the bush and install me on top of Govardhan Hill. Bathe me with thousands and thousands of buckets of pure water from Govinda kund, do the panchamrita and panchagavya, have wonderful ceremonies and then build me temple.” Then the little boy disappeared and Madhavendra Puri woke up and understood that the boy that gave him milk was Krishna and he didn’t recognize him. He was thinking that he was so ungrateful. He was grateful, but instead of just getting down on himself, ‘Why didn’t I recognize Krishna,’ he was thinking, ‘Krishna gave me seva.’

Whatever our state of mind may be, we please Krishna by being absorbed in our seva. – Radhanath Swami

He brought the Vrajavasis. They cut down the bushes and there they found Gopal. Beautiful! He was Krishna in the form of Giridhari lifting the Govardhan hill. Madhavendra Puri made a throne out of the stones of Giriraj and put them on the top of the hill and had a beautiful abhishek. And following in the footsteps of Krishna, he had an incredible Annakut in which the whole village of Aniyor took all their surplus of foods and made mountains of Bhoga. It was an incredible festival with chanting, dancing, feasting, parikrama and when other Vrajavasi villages heard about that every day a different village came to do the Annakut for Giriraj. All those wonderful histories that have been worshiped in the hearts of Gaudiya Vaishnavas for over five centuries took place at Govinda kund.

 

Radhanath Swami explains places in and around Punchari of Govardhan

Radhanath-SwamiAs we continue the parikrama, on the mountain of Sri Giriraj, there is a temple of Doka Dauji. It’s the temple of Balaram. We don’t go up because he is on the hill. But Doka Dauji is crouching down and he has appeared in a black complexion. The explanation is like this. One time when Sri Balaramji was roaming on Sri Giriraj, Krishna and gopis were near the Rasa-stali and Chandra-sarovar and were performing the rasa lila. And from Sri Govardhan Hill Balaram crouched down watching, and as he was seeing the beautiful form of his beloved brother Krishna playing his flute and reciprocating love with gopis and dancing, he was so intimately mesmerized with love, so absorbed in Krishna that his beautiful form which is white like a spring cloud became dark like a monsoon cloud in his absorption.

Then there is Apsaravana. Within Apsaravana there is Apsara kund. During the time of abhishek of Krishna, at the time of Indra Puja, Govardhan Puja, the apsaras were dancing here and they had their abhishek here. It is explained that at Apsara kund, the 24 principle incarnations or Avatars of Krishna are performing their pastimes forever on the banks of Apsara kund. Sometimes when Krishna would be with the gopis, he would manifest his past times as the avatars. One time, in front of the gopis he took a 12 armed form of Vishnu and then Subala manifested the form Garuda, and then Vishnu got on the back of Garuda and Subala started taking them around. The gopis were so much struck with wonder to see how sweet Krishna is, that he can do all these things but still they didn’t think he was God. For the gopas, when they would herd their cows around Govardhan hill on the banks of Apsara kund, Krishna would manifest his form of Varaha dev and lift up something representing the earth, and they would all be clapping. Another time he manifested his form of Ramchandra, the son of Dashratha, and the gopas were so excited that they all manifested form of monkeys and they all played together.

And during the Rasa lila of Sri Radha and Govinda at Govardhan, sometimes they are in ecstatic love, because you see rasa means the deep expressions of the mellows of loving exchange. On the spiritual level of Vrindavan all these loving exchanges have unlimited ways of expressing themselves and bodies of Krishna and gopis are spiritual. They can manifest in any way for the purpose of giving pleasure to each other. So here at Apsara kund, Krishna’s body would melt into a liquid ecstasy and it filled a kund called Navala kund, just beside Apsara kund. And bodies of Sri Radha and gopis, which are not different from their love, would melt in ecstasy and fill Apsara kund. Apsara kund is the liquid personified love of Sri Radha and gopis and Naval Kund is Krishna’s personified love for Sri Radha and gopis. And we have the chance to come to these places. We may not be able to understand it intellectually or logically but with faith in the inconceivable lila of love of vrindavan, we can bathe in that love. We could sprinkle that love. We could drink that love of Apsara and Navala kund.

A little further, that whole area is called Punchari, the far end of Sri Giriraj. Vishwanath Chakravarti Thakur and other acharyas tell that Giriraj has taken the form like a peacock and Punchari is the tail. Many beautiful things are eternally taking place at Punchari. There is one temple, Puchari-ka-lota, with a really extra-ordinary form of a cowherd boy. His name is Lota. When Krishna and Balaram were leaving with Akrura from Vrindavan to Mathura, Lota had prepared bhoga to offer to Krishna.

He is a cowherd boy and he stopped Krishna on the way and said, “I have prepared bhoga for you. Please come and take.”

Krishna and Balaram cannot refuse the loving offerings of the devotees. So they said, “I will come back the day after tomorrow and honor of your bhoga.”

And Lota said, “I will stand here. I will not drink water; I will not eat food until you come to honor the bhoga.” And he stood; he has a little stick, still waiting. The amazing thing is this murti of Lota is quite a heavy weight for little cowherd boy. You have all seen. How is it? He is not eating for thousands of years or drinking. In the spirit of his humility, his patience, his faith, in separation from Krishna, he is being nourished with that prema. It reminds us of the story from Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat where Mukunda Datta was chastised by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, “I don’t want to see his face.”

And Mukunda Datta was weeping and crying, “Will I ever be able to see Lord Chaitanya again? Will I ever be able to see you?”

And Srivas Thakur felt such compassion to Mukunda that he came to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and said, “Mukunda is weeping. He’s crying. He loves you. Whenever he chants the only names everyone’s hearts melt. What has he done? Please let him see.”

Mahaprabhu said, “I will not. I will not see him.”

Srivas said, “Well Mukunda is crying. Will he ever get to see you again?”

Mahaprabhu said, “After 10 million births!”

Mukunda heard that and he was so happy, “10 million births! Only 10 million births! I will get to see the Lord!” He was dancing and crying and celebrating in jubilation.

Lord Chaitanya was laughing. He said, “Bring him now!”

And they said, “Mahaprabhu wants to see you now.”

But he was so totally intoxicated in the trance of 10 million births only that he was like, ‘10 million births, I will, I will see!’

They said to Mukunda, “Come now!” They picked him up and they put him right in front of Lord Gauranga and Lord Chaitanya was very happy.

So this is a very important principle that Lota gopa and Mukunda are teaching us that the darshan of Krishna, love of Krishna is not cheap thing. Even if there is no taste, just the understanding of what the value is of what we have been given, even if chanting 16 rounds, 64 rounds, whatever it may be for many births, following regulative principles, performing seva, we should just be so happy that it will come. That is patience. That patience is an expression of humility. We are not demanding. We are not expecting according to our plan. Sharanagati means “Krishna I’m giving my heart to your plan,” ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam. Lota Baba is teaching us one of the most important principles to remain faithful, be enthusiastic and patient on the path of bhakti and through our prayers and through our sadhana and through our seva to cultivate the ecstasies of separation.

Just beyond that is Manikandali cave. It’s a cave where Sri Sri Radha Gopinath would perform their various lilas at Govardhan. It is also a place where Champaka Lata devi, one of the sakhis of Vraja bhumi Would perform her lilas of offering beautiful flowers and wonderful sevas to Radharani and Govindadev. And Raghav Pandit, that great associate of Lord Chaitanya lived in that cave.

Just beyond is Surabhi kund. We discussed the importance of this place on the day of Govardhan puja. It is where Indra, with all of his riches, opulence and powers humbled himself before a simple mother cow because she loved krishna, and her prayer opened the doors for Indra to receive Krishna’s mercy. Just as the Nagapatnis, whose prayers opened the doors for Kaliya to receive Krishna’s mercy, for us today Surabhi kund represents the place of forgiveness for all that we have done in this life. All that we have done in previous lives can all be forgiven, if we sincerely take shelter of the Lord’s dear devotees. Nityananda prabhu started his Namahatta at Surabhi Kunj in Navadvip. Bhaktivinod Thakur made his home near Surabhi Kunj in Navadvip.

This principle of compassion, of mercy, of seeking forgiveness and also giving forgiveness is a universal principle. When we forgive others then become receptive to be forgiven as well. – Radhanath Swami

Rudra kund, Mahadev Shankar, there are many wonderful places here in vrindavan that he precedes: Gopeshwar Mahadev, Kameshwar Mahadev, Bhuteshwar Mahadev, Chakaleshwar Mahadev, and Nandeshwar Mahadev. Rudra kund is a place that, Lord Shiva, seeing the beautiful past times of Radha Govinda Dev at Govardhan filled the kund with his tears. When the gopis would be in separation from Krishna, they would weep incessant tears of love at Rudra kund.

Then we have Jatipura, where Madhavendra Puri resided. He was a sanyasi, a jati. This is the place of the great Sanyasi Madhavendra Puri. And just at Jatipura, above is the place where the Gopal temple was built, his temple for Srinathji, Sri Gopalji. For those who are followers of Pushti Marg, we find the Mukharavinda, the face of Giriraj here, where there is constantly crowds of people pouring milk on Sri Giriraj. I remember when I first came there in 1971-72 and I saw dozens and dozens of people taking such nice milk and pouring it on the shila, huge quantities of milk. Just one person was standing in line with buckets of milk, just one after another after another. There were thousands of gallons of milk being poured on Sri Giriraj and it was just coming down on the ground, and in those days it would just go right into the gutter system. You know gutter? What is the Indian word for gutter? The side of the road where usually sewage flows, you know that place? Well, the milk was just flowing there and you know in the west gutters are not considered very sanitary places. But I saw vrajavasis getting down in their knees to the gutters. The gutters were flowing on the side of the road, flowing even half a block down, and they were drinking, sprinkling and giving it to their children. So what could you do except, go down and drink it? That’s Mukharavinda!

And just there is the samadhi mandir of Vitthalanath, the son of Sri Vallabhacharya, and the Paitha of Sri Vallabhacharya where he performed his sadhana and his bhajan.

Little further is Sakhi Stali, the place of Chandravali.

 

Radhanath Swami extols the glories of Udhava and gopis

Radhanath-SwamiAnd then we come to Uddhava kund. There this kund is dedicated to Sri Uddhava. In fact, he gave discourses at this kund. But we have spoken previously in our yatra how Udhava came to vrindavan because he was Krishna’s most intimate loving friend in Mathura and later into Dwaraka. Krishna wanted to give him the highest mercy. Krishna was with him all day long, every day. But the highest mercy was to send him to be with the gopis, so he could understand the extent of the ecstatic love of Vrindavan.

When Udhava came to Vrajabhumi, he met Nanda Maharaj and Yashoda Mayi, and they were always crying, “Have you seen Krishna? What is Krishna doing? When is he going to return home?”

“Look at Yashoda, she can’t eat, she can’t sleep, she’s crying for krishna! Tell him! When will he come home? And look at his friends, the sakhas and the gopis, everyone is drying up. When will Krishna return home?”

When Udhava saw Nanda maharaja’s love, such absorption in Krishna, such ecstasy in separation, Udhava was humbled. He said, “You are the most fortunate person!”

Nanda Maharaj chastised him, “What do you know about fortune? How can you say I am fortunate? I am like a poor man, for a poor man who attained the greatest treasure, a man in poverty who finally attains a great treasure doesn’t recognize the value of that treasure and neglects it, and then it is taken away. It’s lost! That person is the most unfortunate. Krishna, the supreme object of love was my son! He was with us everyday but I couldn’t really appreciate, and now I have lost him.” And Nanda Maharaj fell unconscious. He said, “You say I’m fortunate? I am most unfortunate!”

And Udhava realized, ‘He so fortunate I don’t even know how to talk to him!’ And then he met the gopas, and the gopas were in a trance. They were just roaming around the pastures, some of them were just looking toward Mathura, waiting. The only thing moving were there tears. Other gopas were playing the games they used to play with Krishna while weeping in separation, “Where is Gopal?”

And then he met gopis and Sri Radha. In Srimad Bhagavatam, it explains, she saw a bee and there was a beautiful bhramar geet where she is expressing her love to Krishna through the messenger of the bee, “Why doesn’t Krishna just let us die?” His Holiness GaurGovind Maharaj, quoting from the acharyas, expresses what Sri Radharani was saying in great detail. It was one of the outbursts of love because she was speaking to the bee, and to Udhava through the bee and to Krishna that, “I am like a little animal that is caught in a house that’s on fire and you want to escape the house because you are burning and burning and burning to death. But, there’s a lock on the door, there’s a latch that cannot be opened and therefore you can’t get out. And you are just praying, let me out, I am burning!” She said that, “My atma, my living force, is in this body and it’s burning unbearably from the fire of separation from Krishna, and I want to give this life but I can’t because Krishna put a bolt on the door. The bolt is his promise that he will return. When he left Vrindavan with Akrura, he promised I will return and that hope, that prayer, that dream of the fulfillment of his promise keeps us within burning house of this life.” She would cry so many tears at Udhava-kyari, near Nandagaon, that it would make a small lake around her. Can you imagine? And Udhava was watching. Then she would fall unconscious in such a fever of love that as soon as she fell in the lake, it immediately evaporated due to the heat of her body. And the other gopis would be fanning her and singing Krishna’s names to her.

When Udhava saw this, he prayed, “I don’t know anything about loving Krishna. I thought I did. Krishna sent me here because he wanted to show me what real love is. This is ecstasy, totally selfless love.” He wanted to take the dust of the feet of all of the gopas and the gopis and worship them, because he knew that without getting their blessings, without serving them with all humility, there is no way of getting this love. Rupa Goswami tells, “You can’t get this love by approaching Krishna directly, it’s only by following the footsteps of the residents of Vrindavan.” Udhava understood this. He prayed to relinquish his position as Krishna’s very best friend in Mathura, to relinquish his position of having a body which looked almost identical to Krishna, to relinquish the position of being one of the great and most important princes of the Yadu dynasty. He wanted to become a little shrub, a little grass blade at Govardhan, because this is where the loving pastimes of the gopas and the gopis and Gopinath are forever enacted. He thought that he can’t embarrass them by taking dust from their feet because he’s a prince and they are simple gopis. He didn’t want to make them ashamed. “Rather than that let me take birth as gulmalata, a little creeper, and then gopis, cows, calves, bulls, gopas, maybe someday, even Sri Radha or Krishna will step on my head and I will receive the dust of their feet; then this love of Vrindavan I could achieve.”

It is not that we just come to Vrindavan and get some mantra and think that we are gopis and gopas and all that stuff. This is the level; Udhava understood the value of that. When we actually have that humility and that spirit in our seva, then in that spirit we can chant the holy names,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

And then our hearts can be receptive to receive the bhava of Vrajabhumi, which can only come through grace. Udhava kund is a very holy place. He also brought Krishna’s beloved devotees there to discuss Krishna’s wonderful pastimes from the Srimad Bhagavat. And so we go there to meditate upon what would Udhava represents in the great literatures of our acharyas.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the pastimes at Malyahara Kund and Shivakhora

Radhanath-SwamiSoon we come into the area of Sri Radha Kund. There is Malyahara kund. That is the wonderful little lake, kund where the story of the muktacharita by Sri Raghunath Das Goswami took place. Sri Radha and the gopis had some pearls and Krishna and his gopas came and asked for some pearls for his cow, hamsi, “We want you to give pearls for our cows,” but they didn’t give.

So Krishna asked Nanda and Yashoda, “Give me some pearls.”

They asked, “Why do want pearls?”

“Give me some pearls! I want to plant them in the ground because I have seen how you take seeds and it grows into beautiful bushes and plants and trees and then so many other seeds are grown. I want to plant some pearls.”

Nanda Maharaj said, “It doesn’t work like. That seeds are different. Pearls don’t grow, they are found in the ocean.”

Krishna said, “No! No, this is vrindavan.”

So he planted some pearls and soon they grew into wonderful trees, pearl trees and they were beautiful pearls of all different colors and the pearls had an ecstatic fragrance. Then he started putting these pearls on all his cows and all the gopas. He was putting magnificent pearl necklaces on every monkey in vrindavan. When the gopis asked for some of these pearls, he said, “No! I will not give.”

So they decided, “If Krishna could do this then we can do it.” So Sri Radha and gopis asked their parents, “Give us pearls, we want to plant them. We want to grow better pearls than Krishna.”

They said, “Pearls don’t grow.”

They said, “No! No! We have seen. They grow, they grow.”

So they took all their parent’s pearls and planted them in the ground and they wanted to make such nice pearls, they watered the ground with ghee from Surabhi cows, and butter and freshly churned padma gandha milk and yogurt and after some time, thorny bushes grew. Meanwhile the parents were saying, “Where are our pearls? Give us back our pearls?” So they didn’t know what to say and all the pearls were gone, all there was were thorns. So they asked Krishna and there is a beautiful painting of this lila, where there were Lalita, Vishakha negotiating with Krishna trying to get pearls. There was a beautiful dialogue between them of love, and Sri Radha is listening and ultimately Krishna makes a special box with his own hands, and puts most precious of all pearls in all of creation in these little boxes and personally writes the name of Sri Radha and each gopi and delivers them; and everyone is very happy. That is Muktacharita by Raghunath Das Goswami and that took place at Malyahara kund.

At Shivakhora, there is the famous story. There is a temple of Shiva who was a protector of Sri Radha kund, and there is also Kundeshwar Mahadev. These are Shiva temples in Govardhan and Radha Kund area. There was a little jackal, she was a girl jackal, and jackals are scavengers. Usually jackals eat dead corpses, so even among animals they are considered outcasts. If there is any system among animals, the jackals are of the lowest and their voices are really not sweet at all, whereas the roar of a lion has a majestic awesome experience. Yes? Everyone! This is aishwarya not madhurya (laughs). Lion! (Crowd starts making roaring noises) the actual lions, when they roar, one lion would be 10 times louder than all of you put together. (Maharaj makes a loud roar, and audience starts clapping) I have the microphone(laughs), and the cuckoo and the nightingale sing so sweet, but the jackal (crowd starts making noises like jackal), it’s just a horrible sound of the jackal, nothing musical, it’s just like kind of disgusting sound, unless you are a jackal (crowd laughs); and they are scrawny.

So these children, you know, they saw a little jackal and just wanted to have fun. They were boys; I don’t think girls do this kind of cruel fun, atleast I haven’t seen it. When I was a little boy in America, girls are like, learning cooking and singing song and dancing and playing, making dolls, happy and everything. And boys are beating up each other (laughs), torturing each other, and making each other cry. So anyways, these little boys were throwing rocks at this jackal and they were beating the jackal with sticks, and the jackal is (making crying noises) just screaming. The jackal was crying and trembling; they were beating and beating and beating and beating. And they just wouldn’t stop beating. The whole time they were beating, and to make it worse, they were laughing really loud because they were just having such fun seeing this jackal suffer. So the jackal found a hole in the ground and jumped in the hole in the ground; and the boys were really enlivened. They took wood, placed around the hole and they lit it. It was blazing and they knew that jackal would have to come out otherwise it would burn to death, and they were standing around the hole with sticks and stones ready beat it.

The jackal was crying helplessly from her heart and Sri Radha was walking by the area of Sri Radha kund. She told Lalita, “No one should suffer in my home like this! Bring her to me.” Lalita Sakhi was like the guru, she brings us to Sri Radha. Lalita sakhi chased the boys away which were like the three modes of material nature, and put out the fire, the “samsaradava nal lidha loka…” The jackal was so timid and so terrified that she just kind of peeked her head out of the hole, she was crying and trembling. Lalita sakhi picked her up and brought her to Sri Radha. Sri Radha put her hand on the head of the jackal and blessed her. The jackal put her head on Sri Radha’s lotus feet, and by Sri Radha’s blessing the jackal became one of her intimate associates, as her personal loving pet for the rest of eternity. That is Sri Radha’s grace.

When Sri Radha sees that we are sincere, she sends her devotees to come and help us to come to her. – Radhanath Swami

And like that jackal, from our hearts, with all humility, understanding the predicament we are in this material world, we have to learn to cry out the holy name –

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

 

Radhanath Swami explains the glories of Radha Kund and Shyam Kund

That area used to be a village named ‘Aritagram,’ it is there that Krishna liberated Arishtasura, asura that came in the form of a bull. He was huge, his hump was in the clouds, his tail was raised and it was above the clouds. He was like a mountain, he was galloping into Vrajabhumi. The force of his hooves were making the entire earth to shake, his massive razor pointed horns were faced down. His eyes were red, massive gigantic red eyes in anger, he was galloping. He was snorting and the air coming out of his nose was hot like fire. He was screaming terrifying roars and all the residents of Vrindavan were terrified.

He was coming so suddenly! You see, these asuras, when they came to vrindavan, it’s not like you know when a cyclone is coming, you know it’s going to come in two days; they come all of a sudden. (Maharaj makes loud noise of demon) Arishtasura is galloping in and nobody knows what to do. It is all just happening.

Krishna just stood right in front of Arishtasura and smiled (laughs). He was challenging Arishtasura in such a sweet way. The fact that Krishna was not afraid and he was just a little tiny boy, made Arishtasura even more furious. He galloped to Krishna with his horns down. Little Krishna took him with his little lotus hands by the horns and (Maharaj makes sound and action of throwing away) flipped him over and threw him. Arishtasura fell down some distance away and he got up even more angry and charged at Krishna again. Krishna took him by the horns again, flipped him over and with his lovely little lotus feet kicked him again and again. Aristasura was in a trauma being kicked by these tiny little soft lotus feet of Krishna, to him they were like thunderbolts – ye yatha mam prapadyante – to the gopis they are softer than flower petals, and to Yashoda Mayi, she’s worried that a pebble might touch his feet and hurt him. For Aristasura they were thunderbolts! The giant bull passed urine and stool simultaneously, blood came from his mouth, but because Krishna made him do it, it was actually beautiful (smiles). Can you imagine the volumes? (Laughs) But it was beautiful! And he died. The demigods showered flowers and the gopas were, “Well done! Well done krishna!”

When Krishna came to meet Sri Radha and gopis, they told him, “You killed the bull. That’s very impious. We will only come close to you after you purify yourself.”

Krishna said, “The bull was a demon! He would’ve killed everyone if I didn’t do that. I liberated him!”

She said, “Still, it was a bull. You should bathe in all the holy places in the universe.”

Krishna said, “I will bring them all here.” So he took his foot and he stomped his foot in the dust of vrindavan and made a footprint, and then he called all the holy places of the universe to come. They all came in personified forms and they were introducing themselves who they were, where they were from. They all filled the kund.

Krishna said to Sri Radha, “Why don’t you come and bathe in my kund?”

She said, “No No! We will make our own kund because in this kund you bathed and therefore the sins of the bull-hatya are here.” So then Sri Radha with her gopis, with their bangles dug a kund and then they were getting water from Manasi Ganga, passing it to one another with buckets. Sri Krishna, through his glance, he told the kunds, all of the holy places in the world to come and beg for Sri Radha’s mercy. So the personification of all holy places came with folded hands weeping tears before Sri Radharani, “Our greatest fortune, our greatest aspiration is if you bestow your mercy upon us and allow us to come and fill your bathing place. Please allow us to serve you in this way.” And for the pleasure of Krishna and out of mercy upon them she smiled, and the water of Shyama kund overflowed and filled Sri Radha kund. Krishna told Sri Radharani, “As you are most dear to me, your kund, Radha kund is most dear to me. As your love is the ultimate pleasure of my life, anyone who comes to Sri Radha kund with faith and devotion will receive your love and be so dear to me.” Radha kund is Sri Radha’s prayer or her love in liquid form; and the scriptures have proclaimed that it is the holiest of all holy places in all of creation.

When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to vrindavan, he was looking for it but nobody knew where it was. But when he was doing his Govardhan parikrama, at around that time he came to the village about Aritagram because he knew it was going to be there. He asked the villagers and nobody knew. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was sitting under a tamal tree – that place where he sat is still there today – sitting under that tamal tree, he was meditating and being Sri Sri Radha Govinda, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu looked out and saw two small puddles in a paddy field and knew for certain this is my beloved Shyama kund and Radha kund. In great ecstasy, not only for himself but for all people for all time to come who are devotees, he bathed in those puddles, he took the mud from those puddles and put tilak on 12 parts of his body. He ate articles in that mud. In a great ecstasy he was dancing around those puddles with his arms raised crying out the holy names –

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

The villagers were amazed. They all had heard about Radha kund, but they didn’t know that this was Radha kund and Shyama kund. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu later sent the six Goswami’s to Vrindavan. He gave them primarily the instructions:
• To extract the very essence of all the Vedas and expand them into transcendental literature, which authoritatively and with deep rasa establish unconditional, unmotivated loving devotional service of the residents of Vrindavan as the ultimate realization of spiritual perfection
• To discover the lost deities of vrindavan and build temples for them and establish the worship of Krishna and Sri Radha in those temples
• By their example to teach the world etiquette of a Vaishnav, the example of those in the renounced order of life, the example of Vaishnav totally absorbed in sadhana, bhajan and vaishnava compassion
• And also to rediscover the places of Krishna’s lila and excavate them, to establish vrindavan in such a way that the eternal dham is revealed to the people of the world.

When Raghunath Das Goswami was in Puri, he became so dear to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave him a little Govardhan Sheela which was his life and soul. It was always moistened by the tears of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s love. He wore on his heart. He pressed it to his head. He gave that sheela and Gunjamala to Raghunath Das Goswami and that became Raghunath’s life and soul.

When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Swarupa Damodar and others departed from their lila in this world, Raghunath Das Goswami came to Govardhan. His idea was to end his life in separation. But Rupa and Sanatana gave him a place to live at Radha kund, and prayed to him to stay with them. He lived alone there on the banks of these little ponds (laughs) Radha kund and Shyama kund; they would little grassy ponds! But he worshiped those holy places. He left the most elegant riches, power and fame in the world to live in these little muddy ponds because he understood and he was seeing the lila of Radha and Krishna over there.

It is described that one time when he was sitting on the pond of Sri Radha kund, Sanatana Goswami came to visit him and saw a tiger drinking water from Radha kund just a few feet away from Raghunath Das Goswami, and he saw Krishna manifest within this world with this stick standing between Raghunath and the tiger. He told Raghunath Das Goswami, “What happened?” Raghunath Das Goswami was very humbled. Another time Sanatan Goswami came and it was the middle of the day in the summer. The sun was burning and Sanatan saw Sri Radharani holding her shawl, a part of her cloth that she was wearing, over the head of Raghunath Das Goswami. She was standing in the sun directly while giving him shade. Sanatan Goswami told Raghunath Das that, “You’re sitting here so absorbed in chanting that you don’t even notice the sun. You don’t even notice the tigers. But Krishna and Radha are coming to protect you. We are here to serve them not to have them serve us. So you should make a bhajan kutir, a little house to live.” And on the order of Sanatana Goswami the first little bhajan kutir of Raghunath Das Goswami was made.

One day Raghunath Das Goswami was thinking, ‘Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted us to excavate these holy places Radha kund and Shyama kund, but they are just little muddy ponds. If only I could excavate them.’ But then he was thinking, ‘In order to excavate them I have to raise funds, which means I need a lot of money.’ And he already gave up all his money, so he just erased the idea from his mind. But Srimati Radharani heard his prayer. One very wealthy man went to Badrinath with a lot of money to offer that money to build a beautiful temple at Badrikashram and when he went before the murti of Badrivishal he had a dream and he was told, “No! Don’t put your money here. Go to vrajabhumi. Go to Sri Radha kund and give all your money to Raghunath Das Goswami for excavating that locality.” So that man came and gave all this money to Raghunath Das Goswami and Raghunath Das Goswami is the one who actually excavated Radha kund and Shyama kund. The design was two squares. But one day when they were actually doing the excavation of Shyama kund, the next morning they were going to cut down some trees but that night Yudhishtir Maharaj appeared to Raghunath Das Goswami and told him that myself and the Pandavas are standing as true then the banks of Shyama kund, do not cut us down. So that morning Raghunath Das came and told the excavators, “Don’t cut down any of these trees.” So they had to make the kund in such a shape, by Krishna and Radharani’s arrangement, to honor the trees.

Raghunath Das Goswami lived his life at Radha kund and Shyama kund. There are so many beautiful stories.

When Janhava Devi came to vrindavan, after Rupa and Sanatan and had already left the world, she was told about the condition of Raghunath Das Goswami in separation. She immediately, as soon as she heard it, that consort of Nityananda Prabhu came to Radha kund and there she met Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, Raghunath Das Goswami and gave so much of her mercy to them and received their blessings as well. And there one day Janhava Devi heard flute playing, a sweet flute, and she looked across the water and saw Gopinath under a tamal tree playing his flute. These beautiful stories are in the Bhaktaratnakar. That became Janhava Baithak, which was her sitting place, where she would do her bhajan. It was there on the banks of Radha kund that every day for three or four hours Raghunath Das Goswami would narrate the pastimes and teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as no one else in the world knew. Swaroop Damodar Goswami had already left us but Raghunath Das Goswami had a diary, and he also would hear every day what Swaroop Damodar and Ramananda Rai were experiencing with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And he was the eyewitness of so much, Rupa and Sanatana said, “Please speak these lilas.” Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami came to Shyama kund and Radha kund when he was extremely old man, when he was in his 90s. The Goswami of Vrindavan asked him to write the Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita on exactly what he had heard from Sri Raghunath Das Goswami. On the banks of Sri Radha Kund and Shyama kund, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, in his late 90s wrote Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita. Such a miracle!

On the banks of Sri Radha Kund and Shyama Kund, over the ages, there is the Baithak of Sri Madhavendra Puri. Also there is bhajan kutir of Sri Vishwanath Chakravarti Thakur, where he wrote many of his wonderful Vaishnavas literature describing the deepest rasas and deepest philosophies of bhakti. Narottam Das Thakur, Shyamananda, Srinivas Acharya have spent time at Sri Radha kund. Baladev Vidyabhushan had his kutir at Sri Radha kund. Jiva Goswami had a kutir at Sri Radha kund. Gopal Bhatta Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Sanatan Goswami, they all performed their bhajan there. And Thakur Bhakti Vinod and Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati had bhajan kutirs at Sri Radha kund.

It was on the banks of Radha kund where Srila Prabhupad received an instruction from his guru, because at that time in Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati’s math, they began very small and a little temple at Ulta junction road, just a rented little house. And later on, a very deeply purely devoted disciple spent his entire fortune to build the Bagh Bazaar Gaudiya Math. The movement was spreading and expanding incredibly all over India but there became conflict between devotees, leading devotees and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati was walking along with Srila Prabhupad – at that time Prabhupada had his little son with him – and Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati said, “There is fire in the math. It would be better use if we took the value of the marble to print and publish books.” He told Srila Prabhupada, “If you ever get money, print and publish books.” This was the seed of the greatest distribution of Vaishnava Vedic literature in the history of the world, tens and tens and millions of vaishnava literatures, Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagvatam, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Ishopnishad, Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu and so on.

Navin Nirad prabhu, do you know how many books have been distributed to date? Navin nirad prabhu, a devoted minister of book distribution is telling us, “500 million of Srila Prabhupad’s books have been distributed!” (Crowd cheers with loud “hari bol”and clapping) The seed of that incredible miracle is Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati’s instruction to Prabhupad on the banks of Sri Radha kund. That little seed became such a tree and as of now 500 million fruits on that tree have been tasted by people of this world, and there will be many more for the future. It also reveals to us the faith in Srila Prabhupada’s heart and in the words of his Guru Maharaj.

When he went to Radha Damodar, actually even before when he was in his Grihasthashram, he was watering that seed through ‘Back to Godhead’ magazine. He would write all the articles, he would edit them, he would proof-read them, he would put them in type-setting, he would print them, publish them, he would pay for them, he would distribute them, would buy the paper for them (laughs softly) and later on at Radha Damodar he was writing the Srimad Bhagvatam. When the First Three Volumes comprising the First Canto were finished, he got the permission to go on Jaladuta. He had them in Calcutta. He was only for himself, carrying a little bag of cereal, little change of clothes, a bead-bag, and an umbrella. But he had these crates of books, Srimad Bhagvatam!

When he came off the Jaladuta, he didn’t see anyone with him. He had confidence! He didn’t know whether to turn right or left. He was just walking in New York, had no money, didn’t know anyone, and just had heart-attacks. But he was confident because he said, “I had complete faith in the instruction of my spiritual master. I had complete faith in the power of the holy name. And I had complete faith in the power of the Srimad Bhagvatam,” which he had with him, the greatest wealth.

Srila Prabhupad wanted to teach us the greatness of Sri Radha Kund. He told devotees, “Don’t bathe! Just sprinkle water.” According to time, place and circumstance that could be explained in different ways, but whether we take a bath or whether we sprinkle water the important thing we should understand is, we are going to get the reciprocation of Sri Radha’s grace according to our faith. When Prabhupada saw the devotees were just playfully swimming around the radha kund, he understood, this is not the way to approach the most sanctified holy place in all of creation. He said, “Reverentially put three drops on your head. That is your bath.”

What is the power of a fraction of one drop of radha kund? It’s unfathomable; it is inconceivable! We should have such faith, that just by seeing Radha kund, just by being touched by a breeze of Radha kund, just by touching the water, even a drop on our head is the ultimate blessing of Sri Radharani! We should be in such gratitude! We should be in such ecstasy understanding its value! – Radhanath Swami

Srila Prabhupad was expert. Sahajiya means taking things cheaply. He taught us how to approach in such a way that we really cultivate understanding of the true value and the real blessing; we have to be totally humbled to receive that blessing, whether we are bathing or putting a drop of water. Srila Prabhupad taught us what it really means to bathe in radha kund. Sri Giriraj Govardhan is one of the supreme gifts that Srila Prabhupad gave to us and has asked us to share it with the whole world.

I would like to introduce my dear Godbrother Bhakti Siddhanta prabhu. He has just compiled a magnificent book. I haven’t read it because he just gave it to me today (laughs) but the concept of the book is wonderful. It’s called ‘ACHARYA’ and he is an empowered artist. He’s done many wonderful sculptures and artwork for our movement, and he’s drawn lilas of Prabhupad, let us say prime aspects of Prabhupada’s life, pictures of Prabhupada’s life. There are no photographs, but he has just, through his love and devotion made beautiful drawings of lilas that Prabhupad has told, many intimate lilas, wonderful lilas, and he has explained and given these wonderful pictures. He is selling this book in the back our pandal. He has a book table. I sincerely encourage to whoever can to take the blessings of this book.

At this time before we have our last kirtan and Damodar Ashtakam, this final satsang of our yatra, I would just like to say that each and every one of you, by your sincerity, enthusiasm and your incredible devotion you have made this yatra something very special. I thank you for that. This yatra is not ending; it is bringing us into a new beginning. Srila Prabhupad invited devotees from all over the world to come to Sri Vrindavan Dham and Sri Mayapur Dham. He struggled a lot to build temples that would accommodate for people all over the world in Mayapur and in Vrindavan. At that time, there was no such thing. Srila Prabhupada’s idea was not that we just come and live, but to really appreciate the greatness of Krishna’s holy land, Srila Prabhupada’s home. He wanted us to come here to absorb ourselves in prayer, in seva in devotional service, in hari katha, in hari kirtan together as a spiritual family .In Vrindavan, Krishna’s lila is all one family. The Vrajavasi community is all a family. I gave an example the other day from one of our acharyas, of how when Krishna went into the Yamuna at Nanda Ghat, everyone was extremely devastated. When the gopas or the gopis or the cows or Yashoda or Nanda, when they were feeling separation from Krishna when he was in vrindavan, one moment of that separation was like 12 years or more, but still wherever he was, they were feeling he is in our house, because everyone’s house in vrindavan is everyone else’s house, everyone’s home is everyone’s home, because it’s a family. Everyone loves each other as a family. Everyone cares about each other’s children as they care for their own children. Everyone cares about each other’s parents care for their own parents; because Krishna is in the center. Srila Prabhupad wanted his society to be an international family, as small parts, and bigger parts. So we come to Vrindavan as a family. Following in the footsteps of the great souls we are going to these holy places, getting the blessings of the dust and the kunds and the trees of Sri Vrindavan dham, getting the blessings of the Vrajavasis and the cows and ultimately the blessings that are stored in every molecular particle of all of our previous acharyas and Sri Sri Radha Govindadev’s eternal lilas. That’s where we are, together, and Prabhupad brought us here to become spiritually surcharged, united in that spiritual blessing and then to carry the blessings of the holy dham back to our homes, wherever they may be in this world, with that inspiration and share with each other and with the world through the sankirtan of the holy names –

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

Srila Prabhupad ki jai!

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Radhanath Swami speaking “Pastimes In And Around Govardhan”, 2013 Yatra, Vrindavan, Day 9 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/vrindavan-yatra-2013/radhanath-swami-speaking-pastimes-in-and-around-govardhan-2013-yatra-vrindavan-day-9/ http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/vrindavan-yatra-2013/radhanath-swami-speaking-pastimes-in-and-around-govardhan-2013-yatra-vrindavan-day-9/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 11:45:20 +0000 http://radhanathswamiyatras.com/?p=4072

 

 

 

 

By the grace of Srila Prabhupada, our beloved Guru Maharaj, we are being blessed with an inconceivable good fortune to be together on pilgrimage in the association of wonderful devotees at the eternal home of our great beloved acharyas, Sri Govardhan Hill.

Radhanath Swami narrates the pastime of last wish of Srila Prabhupada

Radhanath Swami speaking at Vrindavan Yatra

Radhanath Swami speaking at Vrindavan Yatra

When Srila Prabhupada was in his last weeks, practically last days, during his physical pastimes with us in this world, his body was heartbreaking for any devotee to see it. It was so thin and so frail. When many beloved disciples, Godbrothers, well-wishers of Srila Prabhupada saw him in that condition, just prior to his disappearance, they would cry because Srila Prabhupada’s body was transcendental and it was the vehicle by which he could shower the divine grace of Krishna and parampara throughout the world. Devotees loved Srila Prabhupada. Devotees understood in their heart of hearts that Srila Prabhupada’s grace coming through his instructions, coming through his eternal person would always be with us, if we carefully tried to serve him. But seeing the body and that condition was a very personal difficulty.

One time, one of his disciples, who was a scientist started to cry when he saw Srila Prabhupada’s condition. Prabhupad smiled. He said,”You are a scientist. You require evidence. I have been telling you for all these years that we are not these bodies; we are the eternal souls, part of Krishna. So now you see, my body is almost gone but I am still here. That is evidence; scientific!” Srila Prabhupad never stopped giving Krishna consciousness.

Our beloved God brother Yadubar Prabhu, who is with us this evening, he is making a updated documentary film on Srila Prabhupada’s life. But soon after Srila Prabhupada’s physical departure, he produced and created one of the most beautiful films that has ever been made, ‘Your ever well-wisher’, which gives the glimpse into Srila Prabhupada’s life and his contributions to the world. And toward the end of the film, Srila Prabhupada is laying on what we call in this world a death bed. He was unable to sit or stand. He was just laying physically incapacitated and His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami Maharaj was holding a Dictaphone really close to his mouth and Yadubar Prabhu was filming it. Srila Prabhupada was translating Srimad Bhagvatam and giving purports to the 10th canto. Up until the last moment, he was simply giving Krishna.

When he was in that kind of state, just before he was invited to London and to America, he said,”Take me.” And all the doctors were saying,”No you cannot go. You will die!” Srila Prabhupada said that it will be a great honor to die on the battlefield! What was his battlefield? On a very personal level we can understand that he was fighting against the Maya within each of our hearts. He was going place to place to inspire us to be spiritually strong. Practically he was dictating his books till the last moment. Through his prayers, through his books, through his travel and his inspiration, through his brilliant organization of the Society of the community of Vaishnavas, he was fighting the battle of illusion, the whole world and on a personal level within each of our heart, he was there, as our general, giving us all the weapons: the holy name, the holy books, devotional service, the strength to use them and the association of devotees. And he actually went to England, but he had to return because his health was making it impossible for him to go anywhere else.

And he came back here to Vrindavan. He told the devotees,”I want to do Govardhan parikrama,” one of his last-most desire. The doctor said, “Without doubt he will die if he’s put on an ox cart on such rough roads.” Some of Srila Prabhupada’s devotees said,”Yes it is guru Maharaj’s wish and we must take him on parikrama.” They got the oxen. They got the cart ready and others were crying and begging Prabhupada, “No. Please don’t go. You will die.” Srila Prabhupada smiled. He said,”What better way will be there than to die in the Govardhan parikrama!” But some of the devotees were thinking, ‘We are fulfilling Prabhupada’s order by taking him. If he wants to die that way it is his decision.’ And others were saying, ‘But still, out of our love, it’s almost like killing him by putting him on that cart.” It was a very difficult condition. At the time when Srila Prabhupada was inevitably going to leave us, he created attention, attention of love. Whatever opinion they may have had, it was with deep love for Srila Prabhupada because in bhakti, love is not always one way or another. Hanuman loves Rama by carrying out his order. The gopas love Krishna by having Krishna carry them on their shoulders. Mother Yashoda loves Krishna by feeding him and protecting him and sometimes chastising him, and tying him up to punish him. Gopis love for Krishna is to dance, to remember and embrace him in the core of their hearts, forever. So, Srila Prabhupada was churning, churning the love of his devotees, in such a tangible powerful way. And when his dear Godbrother, Krishnadas Babaji Maharaj came to visit him, Srila Prabhupada smiled at him and said, “Babaji Maharaj, see how much they love me.” The devotees were crying, “Prabhupada, you are driving us mad,” and so to fulfill the wishes of his devotees, Srila Prabhupada he did not go. But after he passed from this world, devotees did parikrama with his murti around Govardhan Hill.

Radhanath Swami recounts the life and lessons from Raghunath Das Goswami

Raghunath Das Goswami is our prayojana acharya. We know the story that he was the only child of Hiranya and Govardhan Majumdar who were jamindars or land owners of a huge estate, a property where there were hundreds of thousands of people living. They were actually given the rights to tax these people. In their own areas they were like kings and they amassed a lot of wealth and property. Raghunath Das was the most important person in their lives because he was the sole heir to everything they had. They were devotees. His parents would give donations to Sri Advaita Acharya. They would sometimes give donations to Jagannath Mishra and Sachi devi. They were devotees and their priests and their guru were Yadu Nandana Acharya and Balarama Acharya.

When Haridas Thakur had just come from Benapal, he visited Chandpur, which is in the Adi-Saptagram area, not too far from Navdvipa, Mayapur. There they arranged for him to stay and give talks on the glories of the holy names. Now, because this is Navdvip area, there were many scholars of the scriptures. There were many babas and swamis and Saints and rishis. Haridas Thakur was from an outcast family. He was rejected, persecuted, and insulted almost everywhere he went. People would spread lies about him. They would try to incriminate him in some sort of activity so that his life would be ruined. They wanted him in prison. They wanted him beaten. Many wanted him killed and all he wanted was to just share his love of God with everyone. He just loved everyone; even those who try to destroy him in every way. He only prayed for Krishna to bless them with love of Krishna. And he would chant 300,000 times the names every day. So Balaram Acharya and Yadunandan understood that Haridas not only had knowledge but he also had realizations. He was Naam Acharya. He was the living example of the greatness of the holy names because he knew no other shelter but the holy names and he wanted nothing else.

When Raghunath was a small boy, he was brought to meet Haridas Thakur and that had such an effect. All the jewels, the gold, all the property, the power, the nice clothes, the fine foods, the beautiful ladies, everything that his family was providing for him, it was all insignificant distraction compared to what Haridas Thakur possessed. Haridas Thakur was just wearing a little loincloth. He had no property, no second set of clothes perhaps, he had no home, they lived in caves but he had a taste for the chanting of the holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

In that taste for the holy names, he was experiencing unmotivated, uninterrupted loving service to Sri Sri Radha Krishna. He wanted that. And when he met Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Shantipur, he became attracted spontaneously. He just wanted to serve Lord Chaitanya as the servant of the servant of his servants. And time passed and there were so many challenges in his life. It is really amazing.

I remember, one time we went to Raghunath Das Goswami’s birthplace, Krishnapur, which is not far from Chandpur and there were hundreds of devotees. We were all assembled right there at his house. What a place! And I was thinking, ‘I have been longing to come here for decades and decades’ and I asked everybody who was there, “How much are you happy and enthusiastic to be here?” And everybody was saying, “Hari Bol!” I said, “Well, we were so happy to come here but for Raghunath Das Goswami, his whole life was trying to escape and get out of here and ultimately he did, by the mercy of Lord Nityananda at Panihati.” Nityananda Prabhu gave a great lesson for everyone. He had Raghunath Das Goswami do a very simple service for all the Vaishnavas and all the people: to provide a feast of Chida-dahi. He was such a wealthy person. Chida is just flat rice and it is the cheapest food. If any of you ever decide to be beggars and you literally just give up everything and go out begging, most likely people will give you chida, it is so cheap and they will just throw some handfuls of chipped rice in your bag. I used to do that and even though it is so cheap, it is really special because it doesn’t spoil. You can take it into the Himalayas, you can accumulate it with you and you can live on it for weeks, months. Just add a little river water to it and it is very nice, providing you are not expecting anything more. That is the way the mind works.

Simple things could be so nice if you’re not expecting something else, but if you expect something else, nothing’s really nice no matter what you have. If you’re expecting something else, something more then you cannot be satisfied. But if you’re satisfied with whatever Krishna is giving, you can be satisfied, you can be happy in any situation. – Radhanath Swami

Srila Prabhupada said, “When we become advanced in Krishna consciousness, all we need is the holy name, a tree to sleep under, the association of devotees and a little prasadam, and we are happy. We don’t need anything else.” Simple living; high thinking.

Chida mixed with some water from a little pond, with no sugar or salt or anything else is like nectar if you are hungry and you are not expecting some mango pickle to mix. If you expect anything you will never be happy. So he made a Chida-dahi feast for everyone. And he put so many nice things in it. And because he served the Vaishnavas with such sincere devotion and he was earnestly praying for the shelter of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the original guru, Nityananda Prabhu blessed him and ultimately Raghunath Das Goswami went to Jagannath Puri and became the servant of the servant of the Lord Chaitanya.

Radhanath Swami elaborates on life of Raghunath Das Goswami near Giriraj

Swarup Damodar Goswami was Lord Chaitanya’s personal secretary. Even though Raghunath Das was so educated, so wealthy, coming from such a high family, he was so humble. He always wanted to just serve the servant. Even when he had a question for Lord Chaitanya, he could have approached him directly and Lord Chaitanya would have welcomed him, but he asked the question through Swarup Damodar Goswami, “Now that I have renounced everything in this world I don’t even know why I did it, what is the true meaning and duties of one in the renounced order of life?”

Lord Chaitanya instructed him, “Do not speak prajalpa, gramyakatha. Do not speak material subjects. Gramyakatha is usually speaking about the faults of other people and about things that give us material sense enjoyment. Do not speak and do not listen to it. Dress very simple. Offer all respect to others. Don’t expect any respect for yourself. This is what renunciation means. And always chant Krishna’s names and always serve Sri Sri Radha Krishna and in your heart of hearts serve them in the land of Vrindavan.”

So, Raghunath Das Goswami lived in such a spirit. Lord Chaitanya was so pleased with him and gave him as a gift his own Govardhan Shila. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu worshiped Giriraj. He had a single stone that was given to him by one sanyasi and he wore it around his neck over his heart. And Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami says, in the mood of Sri Radha, he saw that stone as the body of Krishna. It was her beloved Krishna. When he would go into ecstasies he would hold the stone to his four head, he would press Giriraj Shila to his heart. That Giriraj was constantly moistened by the tears of the ecstatic love of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Chaitanya considered that Govardhan Shila as his life and his soul. He only had one. He gave his life and soul to Raghunath Das Goswami and even arranged the articles to worship and to offer Sri Giriraj to Raghunath Das Goswami.

When Raghunath received it, he was thinking, ‘By giving me Giriraj, my beloved Lord Sri Gauranga has given me eternal residence at Govardhan Hill.’ He also got Sri Gauranga’s own Gunja mala. Gunja is just a little seed, kind of a little plant seed that grows in Vrindavan. By material standards it just grows wild, but for Raghunath Das Goswami, he considered, ‘Because Mahaprabhu has given me Gunjamala, he has given me the grace and the love of Sri Radharani in her service.’

And when Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left this world and Swarup Damodar Goswami left this world, Raghunath Das Goswami decided to come to Govardhan Hill to end his life. And he came with that intention, but first he met with Rupa and Sanatana Goswami to get their blessings. And they gave the blessing that, “You should stay with us because no one else knows Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lilas like you do! You were his personal servant for so many years. You were the servant of his servant. You have the notebooks, the diaries of Swarup Damodar Goswami. You have heard everything, you saw everything! Reside at Sri Radha kund and every day recite the pastimes and teachings of Lord Gauranga.” Raghunath Das Goswami made his residence at Sri Radha kund.

From this beautiful story we get a little glimpse into the sacredness of Govardhan Hill. In Srimad Bhagvatam, Sri Radharani and the gopis declare Giriraj as the king of mountains. He is Hari-das-varya, the very dear most, super excellent, best servant of Lord Hari. And the other day we spoke on Govardhan puja of how Sri Krishna personally manifested his personal form as Giriraj. Govardhan is Krishna and at the same time Govardhan is performing the leela of being the dear most servant of Krishna. By Srila Prabhupada’s grace we have come and in our hearts we should be truly grateful, be really eager and enthusiastic to serve Giriraj by our eagerness to hear, by our eagerness to chant, by her eagerness to serve his devotees, by our eagerness to pray, pray for what pleases him, Giriraj himself, in the form of Lord Chaitanya who taught us how to pray. One of his prayers

na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ
kavitāṁ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi

So many people in this world pray to God for so many things, but Mahaprabhu is teaching us something that is revolutionary. “I do not desire wealth. I do not desire enjoyments of the body and senses, even the most beautiful association of the opposite sex. I do not desire fame or followers. I do not desire great scholarship as a poet. I do not desire even liberation from suffering. My only desire is to allow me to be your servant unconditionally, birth after birth.” This is the crest jewel of all goals of life, the purushartha shiromani, the prayer for unconditional loving service, samsiddhir hari toshanam, for the pleasure of Krishna.

Giriraj is also called Kamagiri because he is especially merciful. If we pray with a sincere heart when we come here, Giriraj will fulfill our prayers. What will please him is when we pray for bhakti, when we pray for prema, when we pray to be empowered by his grace to overcome the obstacles of false ego, selfishness, lust, envy, anger, pride, greed and illusion.

The tendency of people in this world and the tendency is there very much into devotees too, is we want to serve these anarthas. We have to deeply take shelter of Krishna, take shelter of Prabhupada’s books, take shelter of the association of the devotees, and take shelter of the holy names for Krishna’s blessings to give us the strength to overcome these anarthas. – Radhanath Swami

And that is why we come to Govardhan Hill, not to think we are advanced, because if we think we are advanced then there is nothing to ask for. How did Raghunath Das Goswami live at Govardhan? We cannot imitate him but we must follow in the footsteps of the great souls. He would offer thousands of obeisances to Krishna in the form of Giriraj every day. He would offer thousands of obeisances to the Vaishnavas. Now Radha kund was a very secluded place where thousands of Vaishnavas, but he would offer thousands of obeisances to the vaishnavas.

Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami was living at Sri Radha kund and at Sri Giriraj Govardhan and he would listen to the talks of Raghunath Das Goswami every day. With the order of the great Vaishnavas, the blessings of Madan Mohanji and Govindaji, he wrote what he heard in the form of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita. Kaviraj Goswami is writing that, “I take the dust of the feet and worship every single devotee, the neophytes who are just coming to the path and the great paramhamsa acharyas.” That was his appreciation! How much do we really appreciate Krishna? In kaliyuga, our tendency to take things very cheaply, we take Krishna cheaply, we take Vaishnavas cheaply, we take the holy name cheaply, and we take devotional service cheaply. But, if we understand Krishna, if we actually have some real appreciation and love for Krishna like Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami or Raghunath Das Goswami, we will see anybody who is approaching Krishna with some sincerity is worshipable to me.

How we humble ourselves to the Vaishnavas is actually a sign of how much we are actually appreciating Krishna. ‘This person has a little spark of love for Krishna, if I really love Krishna at all, how wonderful that spark is!’ This was Kaviraj Goswami’s mood. So when we come here, this is what we pray for, this is what we long for, this is what we try to install on the altar of our heart’s deepest aspirations.

na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ
kavitāṁ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi

for unconditional loving service, for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

Raghava Pandit was living in a little cave near Surabhi kund. He was Champakalata, one of the sakhis in Sri Radha and Krishna’s lila. He was constantly immersed in the loving service of the Lord. When the greatest acharyas would come to Vrindavan, Raghava Pandit would take them on parikrama. In the Bhakti Ratnakar, there is a beautiful chapter, where Jiva Goswami is instructing Narottam Das Thakur and Srinivas Acharya to go on the parikrama under the guidance and with the blessings of Raghav Pandit. Narottam Das Thakur, in his beautiful song is worshiping Sri guru, worshiping the Vaishnavas, worshiping the holy name ‘ananda vrindavan, ananda bolo hari bhaja vrindavan,’ chant the holy names of Hari and worship Vrindavan. How to do so? Through worshiping the Guru and the Vaishnavas, vishaya chadiya kabe shudha habe mana, kaba habe heribo sri vrindavan ‘When will I be free of these material desires then I will see Vrindavan.’ So we come here not to be great, we come here praying to be humbled, so that we can actually serve the great and please the great; and Giriraj will fulfill our desires.

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of how Giriraj manifested in Goloka Vrindavan

The Garga samhita tells the story of how Giriraj manifested in Goloka Vrindavan in the spiritual world. It is a discussion between Narada Muni and Bahulashva, a great king. Now, nityalila is inconceivable to the human intelligence because our human intelligence, especially Western education, it tries to categorize things and put things in boxes that are logical and make sense and that are consistent with other truths that make sense and all of that. And it is based on our sensual experiences. But Srila Prabhupada taught us that to understand Krishna, to understand bhakti, first principle which quotes Jiva Goswami too, is that Krishna has achintya shakti, inconceivable potencies. This is why we speak about Krishna’s incredible pastimes here in Vrindavan.

What is this Aghasura? What is this Putana and how Krishna is sucking the life out of this giant witch? How is he expanding himself in the snake? How he is showing the universe in his little mouth to his mother? How is he lifting Giriraj Govardhan? It is not that he had one of those devices with the bubbles and everything, to try to balance it. He just lifted it, just like a child lifts a mushroom. Today Govardhan Hill parikrama to walk is 23 kms; he just lifted it and held. Srila Prabhupada said, “This is not mythology; this is history.” Materially, yes it is impossible, but for Krishna nothing is impossible. He is performing miracles in every moment through material nature. It is just that we are so accustomed to see it, we don’t even appreciate it. Krishna is inconceivable.

So it is difficult to try to understand nityalila. Also, at the same time it is describing how something begins. How does something begin that has no beginning? Now we will tell the story of how the beginning less Govardhan began in the spiritual world. Because in this inconceivable eternal nature, Krishna is eternally Giriraj in Goloka, but still, for the sake of pastimes he will give birth to Giriraj.

So one day, Srimati Radharani and the gopis were performing the Rasa Lila with Krishna in the forests of Vrindavan. Sri Radha sitting alone with Krishna said, “If you are pleased with me, if you are pleased with my love and the love of the gopis, and if you are pleased with our Rasa dance together and with the beautiful loving forests of Vrindavan, please fulfill one desire that I am having.”

Krishna said, “Whatever pleases you is my only desire.”

Sri Radha said, “Create in this Rasa mandala, in this area of the Rasa dance near the Yamuna River bank, the supreme most pleasurable place for us to perform our pastimes together.”
Krishna said, “So be it.” He closed his eyes and meditated, meditated very deeply on the very essence of his love within his heart and that love, the essence of the love of his heart which is the source of all happiness manifested from his heart as a spark of fire and water and entered into the sacred dust of Goloka Vrindavan. Immediately that little seed began to grow and it grew and grew and grew and minutes later it was a magnificent mountain. The most beautiful mountain in all spiritual world, it is Giriraj, the king of mountains. When Sri Radharani saw that, Krista took her by the hand and they explored the waterfalls, the trees, the caves. It became the favorite playground for Krishna, the gopas, the cows, and the gopis.

Radhanath Swami describes pastimes of Giriraj coming in this world

Radhanath Swami speaking at Vrindavan Yatra 3

Radhanath Swami speaking at Vrindavan Yatra

Once in a day of Brahma, Krishna descends into this world. He descends in his original personal form. In every yuga, he comes as the yuga avatar. But there are many descriptions of lila avatars. For the creation of the world, he has his purusha avatars. For managing modes of material nature, he has his guna avatars. For the purpose of management of universal affairs, he has his Manu avatars. But, krishnastu bhagavan svayam, Krishna is ‘govindam adi purusham tam aham bhajami.’ Once in a day of Bramha which is over 8 billion years, he comes to this world personally.

From Goloka, he told Sri Radha, “I am descending into the world. Please come.”

She said, “I will go wherever you go. But my greatest happiness will be if the holy river Yamuna that is flowing forever in Goloka, Giriraj Govardhan Hill, and the forests of Vrindavan come with us.”

Krishna smiled and said, “They have already descended in their expected forms, original expanded forms.” Krishna expanded his original form and descended. Similarly Giriraj, Yamuna, and the forests of Vrindavan, are the original lila stans of Krishna in the spiritual world that are appearing within this world. This is the story of how Giriraj came down long before to this world in order to fulfill this purpose of especially giving all of us mercy. Krishna in the form of Giriraj descended as Samalidvip, as the son of Dronachala. All the other mountains in the universe understood that this is the essence of Krishna’s love in the form of a mountain, the king of mountains from Goloka Vrindavan. So they all honored, worshiped, and showered flowers on Giriraj.

Once Pulashya Muni came to that place and he never saw anything so beautiful as Giriraj. So he asked the father of Giriraj, Dronachala, “I would like to take him to my ashram in Kashi. In Kashi the river Ganga is flowing so mercifully, but there are no beautiful mountains. I want to do my bhajan, my sadhana there.” Dronachala was very broken hearted, ‘How can I say ‘NO’ to a great sage and at the same time how can I be separated from Giriraj?’

Giriraj had a plan. He was coming to be a part of Krishna’s lilas. Not only a part, the heart of Krishna lilas. He said, “I will go with you. But how are you going to take me?”

Pulashya muni said, “I will carry you with my right hand.”
He said, “All right but under one condition. If anywhere you put me down I will not move from that place.”

Pulashya Muni was a great mystic yogi. He knew his own powers. He was very confident. He said, “Yes.”

As they were traveling, when they came to Vrajabhumi, Sri Giriraj could see, ‘This is my eternal abode manifested on earth. This is where I will appear in the mood of a devotee; this where my beloved Radharani and Krishna will appear to perform their pastimes.’ So by Giriraj’s desire Pulashya Muni had a very intense necessity to respond to the call of nature. So being the great Brahmin he put Giriraj down. He responded and when he came to pick him up, Giriraj did not move. He was very angry. Giriraj said, “No! No! This was the arrangement. Now I am here forever.”

Pulashya Muni – it was actually Krishna in his heart – he said, “Because you are not cooperating, every day you will shrink in size by the size of a mustard seed.”

Now this was way back in Satya-yuga which was long ago when Giriraj was very big. So, by the time Krishna came he was just the perfect size for the beautiful pastimes of the Lord. And when the gopis offer this prayer, haridasvarya, Srila Prabhupada explains it in this way that, “You are most dear to Krishna because you are providing all the pleasures and the necessities to the cows and to Krishna’s devotees.” And they explained how Giriraj in his ecstasy of love is doing seva.

Krishna is Govinda. It is his Lila to give pleasure to cows. He is Gopal, the protector of cows. And Giriraj is Govardhan, which means he nourishes the cows. They live forever in Goloka, the planet of cows. And they are living here in Gokula, the home of the cows. Giriraj, like the hair standing on end of his body, provides unlimited grass for the cows to eat. Every single blade of grass is an offering of ecstatic infinite love of Giriraj. Every blade of grass is intoxicatingly fragrant, sweet, delicious to eat, very soft, and gentle in every season, so that when the cows needs it, not only does it smell nice and it tastes ecstatic, but it also feels good in their mouth. Every blade of grass has such nourishment that it makes the cows very healthy and very happy. When the cows eat it, each and every single blade of grass creates milk that has the fragrance of lotus flowers and has such tasting nourishment beyond anything that we can even imagine. Giriraj is providing unlimited grass like this for cows, and the cows reciprocate with the milk which is produced from that grass there. In ecstatic gratitude and love for Giriraj, for Krishna, and for Sri Radha, that milk is dripping from their udders and watering the grass. This is loving reciprocation. It is like, we take water from the Ganga and then offer it back to Ganga with love. The cows are taking the grass, making milk and thy are offering the milk to the grass. That is Giriraj.

Radhanath Swami extols the glories of Six Goswamis in Vrindavan

There were unlimited trees at the time of Krishna, and if you have the spiritual vision you may see them today. All the trees are kalpavriksha trees. They have so many flowers and so many fruits. Srila Prabhupada explains the nature of the trees on Giriraj, and then the nature of the kalpavriksha trees in Vrindavan. They fulfill whatever desire you have. Any fruit or any flower you want from any tree, it will come instantly. But most of all, the fruits and flowers of Krishna prema are fulfilled when we just desire them under one of these trees.

When we hear about the six Goswamis sleeping under different trees every night, we think of that as such a state of renunciation; yes? At Ramakeli, Rupa and Sanatana were living in magnificent palaces. Raghunath Das Goswami had an estate of wealth, and now they were sleeping under different trees every night. Chaitanya Charitamrita explains, when people would come from Vrindavan back to Bengal or to Orissa, the first thing that the devotees would ask those people coming back from their pilgrimage, “Have you seen Rupa and Sanatana and Raghunath Das? Have you seen them?”

Everyone loved them so much. And they would say, “How are they living?”

“They are sleeping under different trees every night. They are only wearing kaupin,” – kaupin is just a loincloth and it’s usually just the cloth that the Vrajavasis discard – “They make it into a little wrap-it-around their waist and the little chaddar and are just begging for some rotis, wheat, and chickpeas. But they’re constantly checking the holy names, they are constantly talking about Krishna, they are constantly crying in separation from Krishna and Lord Gauranga. They are writing books in that state. They asked for nothing but they’re giving the world the greatest things!”
Now, for us sleeping under these trees is an austerity, but for the Goswamis, premananjana churitam bhakti vilochanena, when we have love in our heart, we don’t see just through these little eyes that are made of flesh and water, we see through that love. It is the soul, the atma that is seeing, and only Radharani can bless us, only Krishna can bless us with that vision. Om agyan timirandhasya jyananjana shalakaya, they are manifesting that vision through the grace of their beloved servant, the spiritual master. We are all here today because Srila Prabhupada is giving us that vision.

So, what is the vision of Six Goswami’s? They are seeing each tree is a Kalpavriksha, as a manifestation of Krishna’s infinite mercy that has descended from the spiritual world as an eternal associate. The Shakti of Radharani and Krishna’s grace is manifesting through these trees. It was a greater opulence by millions of times than Indra’s palace because they were saragrahi, seeking the essence.

Giriraj has unlimited such trees and caves, beautiful caves. When the cowherd boys, the gopas, the gopis, the cows, the calves, the bulls, when they would come to Sri Giriraj, they would taste the fruits, they would make wonderful garlands, and smell the aromas of the flowers. They would go into the caves. The caves were cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Giriraj made those caves in such a way that they had wonderful jewels on the walls, some wonderful sitting places, and places where the cow was could rub themselves and be very happy. Private places where Radharani and Krishna or gopis or the gopas when they were playing, they could rest. Giriraj created waterfalls, lakes, little rivers, ponds, creeks, and the water which was pure nectar. That nectar was sweeter than the Amrita in the heavenly planets. After many many births of great sacrifices and pious activities one can attain the heavenly planets and drink nectar. But here was a nectar millions and trillions unlimitedly greater than the nectar in the spiritual world, and it’s available every day, all day for the cows, calves, peacocks, deer, buffaloes, gopas, gopis, and everyone because this nectar is premamrita. It doesn’t just quench your thirst; it awakens the ecstasy of love by giving all these beautiful facilities for the happiness of Krishna’s devotees.

Giriraj is expert at pleasing Krishna. This was Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s principle, gopi bhartur padakamalayor das dasanudas, to be the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord.

Should I continue? (Everyone cheers with loud “Hari Bol”) Should we take a little parikrama, around Govardhan Hill? (Everyone cheers with loud “Hari Bol”)

Tomorrow is Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance day. I don’t know what the schedule is but I hope they will announce it. There will be a program in the morning and there will also be a program in the evening. Everyone please be here especially for the program in the evening tomorrow, by 5 o’clock because as far as I know, His Holiness Sachinandana Swami Maharaj, His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj and possibly other great saints will be here to discuss Srila Prabhupada’s pastimes and his teachings. Also, in the afternoon, as it is his disappearance day tomorrow, we will have the ceremonies for Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance. As we will begin, we will bathe at Manasi Ganga. It is recommended.

Radhanath Swami on pastimes in and around Kusum Sarovar

You could begin the parikrama anywhere. Let us begin at Kusum Sarovar because at Kusum Sarovar, there is a beautiful temple. That temple was a symbol of Vrajabhumi and it is there that there is a forest Pushpavan, on where Sri Radha and gopis would collect flowers to make garlands and make wonderful artistic flower arrangements to offer Krishna at Radha kund, when they would perform their pastimes there. The lake of Kusum Sarovar is filled with the bhava of Sri Radha and Krishna.

It is described that Ashtavakra Muni, who was one of the great sages of the Puranas and Vedas, was living on the banks of Kusum Sarovar waiting for Radharani and Krishna to appear within this world. When he had the darshan of Radha-Krishna on the banks of Kusum Sarovar at this Pushpavan, he gave up his life. Narada Muni approached Lord Shiva and expressed to Lord Shiva that even though he (Narada Muni) is the guru of Dhruva, guru of Prahlada, guru of King Prachinibarhishat, guru of Valmiki Muni, guru of Mrigari, he is the guru of almost everybody, his deepest wish was to observe Krishna’s pastimes with the gopis because he understood that this is the highest and the deepest manifestation of spiritual love. Some people worship God for material benefits in this world. When we understand that life is so short and no matter what benefits you have, you have to suffer terribly in this world. Some people want to go to heavenly planets. When we understand that even Indra is in anxiety there from time to time, then we want to go to the highest planets. When we understand Tapa loka, Jana loka, Maha loka, they are all meditating because they want to get out of the material creation. So some people want liberation and the Bramhajyoti, no more suffering. Narada Muni understands all these things. Beyond all that is bhakti, elevation into the loving service of the Lord in Vaikuntha, and beyond that is Goloka, the loving service of Sri Krishna in the mood of the Vrajavasis, and beyond that, the highest manifestation within Vrindavan is the love between Krishna and the gopis, radha krishna praneyara vikritir hladini shakti ashraya, the love of Radha and Krishna.

Narada Muni is the greatest renunciate. There is no way to even tempt him with material sense gratification.

nārada-muni, bājāya vīṇā,
‘rādhikā-ramaṇa’-nāme

He is constantly chanting the names of Radha Raman; traveling all over the universe. He prayed to Shiva, ‘Give me a mantra by which I could witness, I could have the vision to witness the love of Krishna and the gopis.’ So Shiva gave him a mantra. Mahadev told him to come to a place in Vrajabhumi called NaradaVan, which is just where Kusum Sarovar is. Narada Muni was performing his bhajan, chanting the names and meditating, and one day, Vrinda Devi, who is the presiding Empress of Vrindavan on behalf of Sri Radha, came there. Vrinda Devi is one who makes every possible arrangement of Vrajabhumi for the pleasure of Krishna, Sri Radha, and other devotees for loving pastimes. She approached Narada Muni. After he developed the mature fruit of his chanting with the mantra that he was given, he expressed his desire to be able to actually experience through his vision, the loving pastimes of Radha and Krishna. All this is very interesting because it is something we can connect to. He was living there at Naradavan which is just close to Radha kund and Shyam kund. Krishna and Radha are eternally performing their pastimes there. But Narada Muni understood that unless we are given the vision by the grace of the Lord’s devotees, even he cannot see. So Vrinda Devi told him, “You can enter the pastimes of Krishna and gopis only with the body of a gopi. Being a male is a disqualification.” She told him, “Chanting the mantra, meditating deeply with this prayer in your heart, go to the northwestern corner of Kusum Sarovar. Because this kund is filled with the maha-bhava of Sri Radha, your desire will be fulfilled.” Narada Muni took his bath at Kusum Sarovar, the same place where we are bathing by Prabhupada’s grace. And when he came out of the water, he had the body of a gopi, Naradi Gopi, and Vrinda Devi took him to Sri Shyam kund, Sri Radha kund, where he could actually perceive and experience Krishna’s madhurya lila with his Gopis. He could actually witness the love of Sri Radha for Shyamasundar. He could actually see that reciprocation of love. Radha Gopinath told Narada Muni, “Now you have experienced it, now you write the Narada Bhakti Sutras and share this realization with the world.” So Vrinda Devi took him to the southeastern corner of Kusum Sarovar and he went inside. He went in as a Gopi and he came out as the great sage Narada Muni. At Narada kund, he is actually in his spiritual form; never leaves.

If we continue a little more, we visit Radha Vanbihari. Yes? Mataji’s little temple right on the banks of Kusum Sarovar. Pulinda Devi would you like to stand up for a moment. She has been doing seva there on the banks of Kusum Sarovar for a beautiful Giriraj for many many years. Please visit her temple and pray for all blessings to be upon her wonderful service.

Radhanath Swami narrates the pastime of deliverance of Shankhachuda

A little further, we will just explain a few places. If you go inside to the right from the parikrama path, there are beautiful shady trees and there is Shyamvan or Shyam kutir. There is a footprint of Lord Krishna there. According to our Scriptures and the acharyas, Radharani would sit on the throne with Krishna called the Ratna Simhasana. There are limitless beautiful pastimes that they would exchange sitting on that throne together. One wonderful pastime is written in the Srimad Bhagvatam that took place there at that Ratna Simhasana.

It was the full moon night of the Falgun month when we celebrate Holi. We know the story of Hiranyakashipu’s sister, Prahlada’s aunt. Hiranyakashipu was trying to do everything to kill his little son. Prahlad is only five years old. He did not have any training in martial arts. He did not have any weapons. He did not have anybody to protect him. He was all alone. Whereas all the demigods in the heavens were all Hiranyakashipu’s slaves, he controlled the universe up to Svargaloka. He had massive armies. He had inconceivable powers. And little Prahlad never fought back. He just was always remembering Krishna. And Krishna was always there to protect him. So one of the ways Hiranyakashipu tried to kill him is from his sister. “Just hold Prahlada in a blazing fire to he burned to death!” She had a benediction that she could not be burned by fire. The fire was burning burning burning burning burning and Prahlad was just ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,’ sitting there remembering Krishna. Ultimately it was too much. His aunt burned to death and little Prahlad just walked out, fearless. He was happy with Krishna. So this is holi and it’s celebrated in Vrindavan with so many beautiful ways with colors. Radharani has her side, Krishna has his side, and they have a battle of love, of offering sweets and offering flowers and offering beautiful natural coloring flowers. It is all expression of love.

But, on this particular full moon night, Krishna and Balram were with gopis and there at Shyama kutir, Krishna and Balram were intoxicated with love for their devotees. All the devotees were intoxicated with love for them, and the whole forest of Giriraj Govardhan was intoxicated with the love for Krishna Balaram, Radharani and Krishna. Wonderful flowers were blooming, very gentle cool breezes were flowing, the birds were singing the most wonderful songs, and Krishna and Balaram were so inspired that for the pleasure of gopis they sang together. How did they sing together? This is inconceivable. Sa Re Ga MA PA Dha Ni Sa..Yes? How many can you say at once with your voice?

Krishna and Balaram were singing every single note of every single scale simultaneously and it sounded absolutely beautiful. The most beautiful sound you can imagine. When Krishna plays his flute, the love of his heart flows from his heart through the holes of his flute to make that music. Similarly, when Krishna was singing for the pleasure of his devotees, Krishna and Balaram were intoxicated by their own singing; it was so sweet! Literally all the notes of all the scales of all the ragas were coming simultaneously; like nectar pouring from their mouths. The gopis were so happy; they were dancing together.

At that time, an assistant of Kubera came. He had a very beautiful body, he was extremely wealthy, he was one of the treasurers of the heavenly planets, and he was extremely powerful. He had the most precious, exquisite jewel that he wore on his head. His name was Shankhachuda. He was proud. Srila Prabhupada explains, “When one is proud, arrogant, due to having a high birth, due to having a lot of wealth, a lot of beauty, a lot of strength, then one thinks that ‘I am the enjoyer and whatever is attractive it should be for me.’” You see when we are arrogant; we are subject to be envious. When we don’t have what somebody else has, when we have false pride, we have the tendency to think, ‘I’m better than somebody who doesn’t have what I have.’ When we have false pride, we could become very depressed when we don’t get what we think we expect. And most of all, when we are intoxicated with false pride, we come into the illusion where we justify our arrogance, ‘I have the right to judge others.’ How can you criticize a person unless you feel that you’re in a superior position?

‘Amani na manadena,’ when great souls like Srila Prabhupada would sometimes point out faults, it was earnestly with compassion to protect us, to purify us like a doctor. The doctor will tell you, “You stay away from this, it will cause you disease.” Or, “You have this disease, take this medicine.” But that’s with compassion. But the nature of arrogance or the false ego is, we think that we have that right.

So when Shankhachuda saw the beauty of the gopis, he was thinking that, ‘These women should be enjoyed only by me. Who is this Krishna and Balaram? What right did they have to enjoy these beautiful women? It is my right!’ So he was so arrogant. He picked up a stick and started shouting at the gopis that they should come with him. He didn’t touch them. He didn’t have that power; although he did know that. “Come with me.”But he was driving them in the northern direction; right in front of Krishna and Balaram. Actually, you know, we should be a little introspective too. Because Krishna is in our heart, so whatever we do is right in front of Krishna too. When we are trying to steal his property, we are trying to enjoy unethical or sinful activities, or when we are trying to criticize or make judgment over others, we are right in the presence of Krishna too. So the Shankhachuda is living within us; we have those propensities.

Devotees listening to lecture 1

Devotees listening to lecture

So Shankhachuda was driving the gopis and the gopis were crying out for Krishna and Balaram for help. He was very powerful person. The gopis cried so sincerely that Krishna and Balaram picked up the logs and chased after Shankhachuda. When Shankhachuda saw Krishna and Balaram very angry and coming after him, he became afraid and he ran away. Krishna told Balram, “You take care of Gopis. I will take care of Shankhachuda.” So leaving the gopis in the protective custody of Balaram, Krishna ran very fast. Shankhachuda was very distant away, but by Krishna’s transcendental powers, even though it was a long distance between them, in a second Krishna was right behind him. How did he do that? Because he is Krishna! He took his lotus like fist and hit Shankhachuda (makes a sound of a punch); it sounded much nicer than that actually. Shankhachuda was liberated. Then Krishna took that jewel from his head and he came back. All the gopis were watching. Krishna gave that jewel to Lord Balram. Later, Balaram gave that jewel to Sri Radharani. According to Rupa Goswami later that jewel became the Shyamantaka jewel. But the deliverance of Shankhachuda and this wonderful message for each of us was a pastime at the Ratna Simhasana.

Close to there is Gwala Pokhar and that’s where the cowherd boys and Krishna, everyday would perform their lilas around Govardhan hill. They would have wonderful pastimes there. And they would often take prasad there. In the late morning, early afternoon, it was from there that Krishna would very quietly go to Radha kund to meet Sri Radharani.

Radhanath Swami explains pastimes in and around Manasi Ganga

Radhanath Swami speaking at Vrindavan Yatra

Radhanath Swami speaking at Vrindavan Yatra


And then we come to Manasi Ganga. We described in Vrindavan, how Kamsa sent an asura named Vatsa, who assumed the form of a little calf.

What is more innocent and sweet than little baby calf? This is how Maya could work. It is a good lesson. Maya can tempt us and try to distract us away from our bhakti even by appearing in ways that are very sweet and very innocent with the intent to destroy us. – Radhanath Swami

So that was Vatsasura; such a crooked person. He was just playing with the little calves and he was waiting for the moment where he could kill Krishna. Krishna said to Balaram, “You see that little calf? It is a demon.” And Krishna just walked up behind the calf and took him by this hind legs and whirled him around and threw him to the top of a Kapita tree. Does everyone know Kapita tree? Kapita is a fruit. It is a favorite fruit for the monkeys. Monkeys love Kapita fruits. Anyways, it is a really nice fruit. So Krishna threw him and he fell in the trees of the Kapita. Afterwards, they were here at Giriraj and the cowherd boys said to Krishna that, “You just killed a calf. So you should purify yourself by taking bath in the Ganges river.” So Krishna sat down and closed his eyes, and with his mind he meditated on Mother Ganga. Ganga is coming from Krishna. She is actually Krishna’s shakti. So from Krishna’s mind, from Krishna’s heart, he was thinking and meditating. Mother Ganga appeared and filled up the lake Manasi Ganga which in those days was really big. Cowherd boys were so happy. They all went in with Krishna and they took their baths.

One day Nanda Maharaj, Yashoda Mai and the vrajavasis heard a story about the glories of Ganga. Once Garuda had caught a snake and as he was flying with this snake, the tail of the snake somehow or other touched the waters of the Ganga, and instantly the snake manifested the liberated form of an associate of the Lord in Vaikuntha with a bluish complexion and four arms. Then Garuda, instead of having him within his claws, he put that snake, who was now a liberated soul, on his back and flew to take him to Vaikuntha. So when Nanda maharaja and the Vrajavasis heard the story they said, “We also want to get liberated. Let us take a pilgrimage to the Ganga.” So they were loading the carts, the ox carts, with all the necessities, because it is many days of going to where the Ganga is.

Krishna saw this. He asked, “What are you doing?”

They said, “We are going to get liberated by bathing in Ganga.”

Krishna said, “Ganga is in Vrajabhumi. There’s no need for you to go anywhere.” Krishna was just a little child. This was when he was still herding calves.

They said, “What you mean? There’s no Ganga in Vraja Bhuami.”

He said, “Yes! Yes! There is!”

They said, “No, there isn’t! You are just a child, what are you saying?”

He said, “Come with me. I’ll show you.”

They said, “No! No! We’re going. Come with us.”

He said, “No! No! Come!”

He pulled Nanda Maharaj by the hand and ultimately they will do anything to please Krishna. So they came to Manasi Ganga, which was mother Ganga who appeared from Krishna’s mind and as soon as the Vrajavasis appeared, from the waters of Manasi Ganga, Ganga Devi, the goddess of the Ganga appeared riding on a crocodile. And right in front of everyone she worshipped little Krishna. So they understood that Ganga has come to Vrindavan. They all took their baths very happily.

Manasi Ganga is the essence of the Ganga. It is one of the favorite places. When the Ganga flows, she is supremely sacred, but when the Ganga flows in Vrajabhumi, the eternal abode of Sri Sri Radha Krishna’s pastimes, it is even millions of times more sanctified. From that day on, Krishna and Sri Radha would perform beautiful pastimes on boats in the Manasi Ganga.

Jiva Goswami describes some of these beautiful pastimes. On the banks of Manasi Ganga, one day the gopis were waiting for Krishna. During the spring time, Govardhan is the place of Krishna’s Rasa Lila and so many places in Giriraj are even revealed today, where Krishna and Sri Radha would perform these pastimes of the Rasa dance. So one day, the gopis were sitting on the banks of Manasi Ganga waiting for Krishna in separation, and Krishna was not coming. So they were crying and crying and crying out the name, “Hari Dev! Hari Dev! Hari Dev!” And as they were crying ‘Hari Dev, Hari Dev, Hari Dev,’ they were actually about to leave their bodies. They were in an intense state of love and separation. At that moment, right before their eyes, Krishna manifested in the form of a deity Hari-Dev. Sri Radha and gopis worshipped that deity of Krishna with great love: with flowers, with water from Manasi Ganga, and with beautiful prayers. They would regularly come and worship that deity. In honor of that in beautiful past time, Krishna’s great-grandson, Vajranabh installed the deity of Hari-Dev, the presiding deity of the Govardhan area of Vrahjabhumi.

Vajranabh installed many deities throughout Vrajabhumi. One was Srinathji or Gopal on the top of Govardhan hill, Dauji in Gokula, Keshav in Mathura, and Govinda Dev in Vrindavan. And in this way, this deity was visited by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is how he began his Govardhan parikrama. According to Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, he first bathed in Manasi Ganga and then he came to the Hari Dev mandir. He saw Hari Dev: the beautiful form of Krishna as a seven-year-old little boy with his arm raised holding up the Govardhan hill with his left arm, and with his right hand holding the flute. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw, he was offering beautiful prayers to Govardhandhari, “You have lifted the Govardhan hill to protect your devotees. We pray to Sri Giriraj, to protect us from the anarthas within our own heart, to protect us from the influences of Maya, and by his beauty, by his sweetness, by his loving glance, to inspire us with pure unmotivated loving devotional service.” In this spirit, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performed Nama Sankirtan for hours and hours and hours; he was dancing in ecstasy in front of Giridhari, Sri Haridev. And when all the villagers from this area of Govardhan heard his beautiful singing, they came before him and they could actually witness how the same HariDev, who was lifting Govardhan hill, who was standing on the altar, is now dancing in front of himself in the form of Lord Chaitanya, in a beautiful golden complexion.

Radhanath Swami on pastimes of Sanatana Goswami near Govardhan

On the banks of Manasi Ganga, we find Chakratirtha. When Krishna lifted up the Govardhan hill for seven days, he called his Sudarshan Chakra and his Sudarshan chakra was creating heat to evaporate the water that was falling from the hill so that wouldn’t go under the hill to disturb the pastimes with Krishna and all of the Vrajavasis. And after Krishna put Giriraj down again, effortlessly, as it was before, Sudarshan never felt such happiness as being in Krishna’s Vrindavan lila. So he requested a place to reside eternally in Vrajabhumi and Krishna gave him this place, Chakratirtha, on the banks of Manasi Ganga and the Govardhan parikrama.

Vajranabh installed Chakaleshwar Mahadev. He installed many deities of Shiva. Predominately, Kameshwar Mahadev in Kamyavan, Bhuteshwar Mahadev in Mathura, Nandeshwar Mahadev in Nandagaon, Gopeshwar Mahadev in Vrindavan, and Chakaleshwar Mahadev at Govardhan.

Sanatan Goswami, especially during the last part of his pastimes in this world was living at Chakaleshwar Mahadev. When he was in Vrindavan, he would regularly visit Gopeshwar Mahadev. Vaishnavanam yatha Shambu, Lord Shiva in Vrindavan is the greatest Vaishnava. By the grace of Lalita Sakhi and the love of Sri Radha’s tears, he manifested his gopi form to participate in the Rasa Lila. At Chakaleshwar Mahadev, Sanatan Goswami was so happy to be there living at Sri Giriraj Govardhan.

Everyday Sri Sanatana Goswami would circumambulate Govardhan hill; year after year after year without fail, daily. But he didn’t do the parikrama that we do, he did the parikrama that is 24 miles, going to Chandar Sarovar, Rasasthali, Ganthuli, and all these distant places. Then he would come back to Manasi Ganga, Chakratirtha, where he would perform his bhajan and writing of his books. Sanatana Goswami was the guru of Vrindavan. He loved the vrajavasis. Sometimes he would travel from place to place in his younger days, all around Vrindavan, and when he would come to a village, it would be the highlight of their life for the entire village. Whenever Sanatana Goswami would come, they would all greet him with so much affection. He was their guru, he was their friend, he was their servant, he was their well-wishers, he was there to guide, and he was everything because he cared so much.

The Bhaktiratnakar explains that when he would come to the village he would just speak to them in such personal ways. They were Vrajavasis. He would ask, “How are your crops? How are your crops growing this year? Did you get your daughter married yet?” It is simple talk but would capture their hearts. He took such personal special interest in everyone’s life; every aspect of their life. They would love to hear him speak Krishna katha, they would feed him, and they would serve him with garlands and prasad. Sanatana Goswami would take little of everything. But he gave so much love to the Vrajavasis. When he would leave their village, everyone, man, women, children, everyone would be weeping and crying, thanking him, and begging him to return. And as he would lovingly take leave of them, he would go to the next village, and everybody was there to greet him. That was Sanatan Goswami: the guru of Vrindavan, the sambandha guru for our whole sampraday, and the guru of Rupa Goswami.

When he becoming very old, he was still doing the very extended parikrama of Giriraj, every day. For Krishna, Giridhari, it was very difficult to see how Sanatana Goswami was really struggling to do it. So Krishna appeared as a little cowherd boy, a very beautiful, sweet cowherd boy and told Sanatana Goswami that, “You’re too old to do this parikrama every day.”

And Sanatana Goswami said, “But it is my regulation. I have been doing it for years. I must.”
The little boy was very attractive. He actually climbed to the top of Govardhan hill and brought down a Govardhan Shila. On the Govardhan Shila, it had Krishna’s footprints and it had the footprints of little cows and calves and it had a print of Krishna’s cowherd stick. He said that, “This Shila is Giriraj. If you circumambulate this Shila 7 times, it is the same as doing parikrama of Govardhan hill.”

Sanatana Goswami said, “Whatever you say!”

And then the Lord little boy disappeared and when the little boy disappeared, Sanatana Goswami understood. Krishna revealed to him in his heart of hearts that he was Krishna. He didn’t recognize him but that was Krishna. It was Krishna’s order to Sanatana Goswami to do parikrama of the Shila instead of the whole hill. This is loving reciprocation. Because Sanatana Goswami cared so much for the health, for the prosperity, for every aspect of the Vrajavasis life, Krishna had that same care for him and personally came for Sanatana Goswami’s comfort.

Devotees listening to lecture

Devotees listening to lecture

There’s a famous story of Sanatana Goswami at Chakaleshwar Mahadev. Sometimes around the sunset time and at night, many big hungry mosquitoes would come when he was doing his bhajan. The Six Goswami’s hardly slept 2 to 3 hours a night at the most, and many times they were so immersed in hearing and chanting and writing their literatures and talking about Krishna that they just forgot about sleeping. But the mosquitoes were very much disturbing him. It is not that Sanatan Goswami got odomos (laugh in the audience) He was compassionate. For him, even the mosquitoes are Vrajavasis. Rather than them, he just decided that I will leave.

So that day he decided, ‘As the mosquitoes were getting him, tomorrow morning I will leave. I cannot do my bhajan here.’ But Chakaleshwar Mahadev loved the association of Sanatana Goswami. So Lord Mahadev took the form of a brahmin and said to Sanatana Goswami the next day, “Where are you going?”

He said, “I cannot stay here. Mosquitoes here are too disturbing.”

And the Brahmin said, “From this day on, there will be no more mosquitoes. Just stay.”
Because Sanatana Goswami was asked by a brahmin to stay, he said, “If you are asking me to stay, I will stay.” That was Sanatana Goswami’s humility!

Then Lord Shiva, who is Mahadev, he is the greatest of the Devas, he went to the demigod who supervises the mosquitoes (laugh in the audience) and he ordered, “None of your people should come to Chakaleshwar Mahadev, Chakratirtha!” From that day on, not a single mosquito would come and Sanatana Goswami performed his puja there.

The other Goswami’s resided at Radha Kund: Raghunath Das Goswami, Rupa Goswami had a bhajan kutir there, Jiva Goswami had bhajan kutir, and Gopal Bhatta Goswami had a bhajan kutir. Whenever they were, they would regularly come to meet Sanatana Goswami at Chakratirtha; a very holy place. It was there on Chakratirtha, on Guru Paurnima, the day of the full moon that Sanatana Goswami ended his pastimes in this world. He was just sitting totally immersed in Sri Sri Radha Govinda, Sri Sri Radha MadanMohan’s eternal lila chanting the holy names when all the devotees came to meet him on Guru Paurnima. The Goswamis, the Vrajavasis, they saw him sitting there and he was gone. Everyone, the whole of vrajabhumi was weeping and weeping, weeping. Their best friend, their guru, their well-wisher, their brother, their everything had left them. In honor of Sanatana Goswami, they performed the parikrama of Sri Giriraj. That is why, even today, over 400 years later, the main day for Govardhan parikrama for Vrajavasis is Guru Paurnima.

I remember asking Vrajavasis, “Why on this day do so many hundreds and thousands of Vrajavasis come to Govardhan parikrama?”

And they said, “Because this is the day when we honor our Guru Sanatana Goswami.” Some of these Vrajavasis were of different sampradayas but they all loved Sanatan Goswami and Sanatan Goswami loved them, their children, their cows, their buffaloes, the peacocks and he loved Vrajabhumi. Then they carried his holy form to be put in Samadhi just near the MadanMohan Temple in Vrindavan.

Radhanath Swami shares ‘innermost secret of Vrindavan’

At Manasi Ganga there is the Mukharvinda, which is, according to Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the mouth of Giriraj. Now different sampradayas have different places which they call the mouth of Giriraj. At Jatipura, the Pushtimarg, the followers of Sripad Balavacharya, accept that stone as Mukharvinda. So we can debate on which is the mouth of Giriraj. But, Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur worshipped Mukharvinda at Manasi Ganga. Giriraj is unlimited! He could manifest his mouth anywhere he wants. So for the Pushtimargis, that is the mouth of Givardhan and for us, this is the mouth of Govardhan. When Krishna accepted the offerings, his hands were everywhere, yey tha mam prapadyante. So since centuries and centuries, we will find that Vrajavasis and Vaishnavas offer milk and garlands to Sri Giriraj.

As we just come a little out of the village of Govardhan, I think that’s where you will buy your Sonpapadis. There is a particular shop that makes them. Anyways, as far as I have analyzed, that is one of the most popular holy places in all of Govardhan everywhere in the world, the Sonpapdis from Giriraj!

A little further down is a Dan-Ghati. This is the place where Krishna would disguise himself as a tax collector; he would put on special clothes. when Sri Radharani and her gopis and sakhis would be becoming to go to Govinda kund, carrying on butter and yogurt and ghee, Krishna with Madhumangal, Subala and some of the other Gopas would stop them and to tax them. And there was all these beautiful little loving exchanges, that is Danghati. Sri Radha’s footprints are there even today.

A little further down is Dananivartana kund. This is described by Raghunath Das Goswami, one time when Krishna was taxing gopis, he wanted to tax Sri Radha for all the beautiful parts of her body. For her teeth – because they were so beautiful – she had to pay hundreds and thousands of pure pearls. For eyes, for every part of her body, diamonds and pearls and jewels had to be paid, it was a very loving exchange. Krishna would not let them go. There was a nice argument – I’m very much making it short because it’s very late – Lalita Sakhi said, “Krishna, who are you to tax us? Sri Radha is Vrindavaneshwari. She is the queen of Vrindavan. We should be taxing you because your cows are eating Sri Radha’s grass. Every blade of grass is taxable.” So there was this argument and Krishna was not letting them go. The gopis were saying, “If you don’t honor Sri Radharani then we will go and we will tell Yashoda Mai or we will tell Jatila and they will all come and they will punish you.” It was becoming very very ecstatically heated. Then Nandimukhi, who was a disciple of Sandipani Muni, came. She was a Gopi. She said, “Krishna let them go and they will come back tomorrow to pay all the taxes you ask for.” So Krishna let them go.

So the next day Sri Radha and her gopis brought hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of gopis, and they came early. When Krishna, Subala, Madhumangal and a few cowherd boys came to get their tax, they all surrounded them. They actually captured them, hundreds of them. And Krishna became very humble and Lalita Sakhi brought Krishna before Sri Radharani, who was sitting on her little throne of stone jewel. She said, “Now you must accept Sri Radharani as the presiding queen and proprietor of Vrindavan.” This is a very important lila because it was there at Dannivartana kund that Krishna, in the ecstasy of his love, manifested the very culmination and essence of Vrajabhumi that he is conquered by the love of his devotee. He put his head bowing down on Sri Radha’s lotus feet and proclaimed that, “I am yours! You are the queen of Vrindavan.”

When we chant the Maha-mantra ‘Hare’, we call out for Radha because she is the proprietor of love, and the proprietor of devotion. Srila Prabhupad took these incredible intimate loving pastimes of the Goswamis in the Vedic literatures and presented it in such a simple way to us. In one beautiful lecture, Prabhupad explained that love for Krishna is only possible with the grace of Sri Radha. Therefore in Vrindavan everyone knows this. The greatest treasure is the grace of Sri Radha. So in Vrindavan, people are more fond of chanting Radha’s name even than Krishna because Krishna is only approachable through the grace of Radha. Krishna accepts the subordinate position to Sri Radha’s love.

On Diwali, we discussed how Krishna was bound by the rope of Yashoda Mai and in the Madhurya Rasa, Krishna is forever bound by this love. The Radha Damodar Lila is where Sri Radha binds Krishna with her love. ‘Hari’ is a name of Krishna. Hari means one who steals, one who steals away all inauspicious. Krishna is Makhanchor, Hari. That means he steals the butter from the house of the gopis. But actually, the gopis make their butter only so that Krishna will come and steal it. Similarly when our hearts become soft and sweet like butter churned through the process of bhakti, hearing and chanting and remembering the Lord, the ultimate goal of our life Krishna will be so pleased with our devotion that he will steal our hearts; ‘Hari’. And Sri Radha is ‘Hare’.

Chaitanya Charitamrita describes in the conversation between Sri Ramananda Rai and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the body of Krishna and Sri Radha don’t have the material forms, they are is sat-chit-ananda. Every aspect of their form is their bhava. Sri Radharani’s form is Maha-bhava. Every limb, every ornament is a pure personified manifestation of her love for Krishna. Sri Radha is ‘Hare.’ Through the beauty of her love, she steals the heart of Krishna. That is the innermost secret of Vrindavan and that is the inner secret of the realization that we can experience the chanting of the Maha mantra.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

Radhanath Swami offering lamp

Radhanath Swami offering lamp

Devotees offering lamp

Devotees offering lamp

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