Day 176: Gaurābda 532, Mādhava Māsa – Navamī 29 Jan 2019 – Tuesday

Bhakti Bullets

Bhakti Bullets

Rādhikā’s love is so high that even Kṛṣṇa cannot understand it. Kṛṣṇa can see Rādhikā, but He cannot understand Her bhāva. This bhakti is in the heart of Rādhikā but where is the last fraction of bhakti? That is called śraddhā. It is the last fraction. Uttamā-bhakti, prema-bhakti, and the topmost is madanākhya-mahā-bhāva—but the last fraction is śraddhā. What is that śraddhā? If I am doing kṛṣṇa- bhakti then all of my desires are fulfilled. Keep this barometer in your heart: do I have śraddhā or not?

Spoken by Srila Gurudeva, January 29, 2003 San Francisco

Prema Flame

Prema Flame

Rasa Varsa

Krsna dances with the Gopis – 15 June 1996

Hari-katha by Paramadhyatama Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spoken on 15 June 1996, in Houston, published by

[The following transcription has been translated from Srila Gurudeva’s discourse in Hindi.]

Sukadeva Gosvami was speaking the Bhagavatam to Pariksit Maharaja who was destined to die after seven days. Therefore, Sukadeva Gosvami started speaking the Bhagavatam to Pariksit Maharaja. The Bhagavatam is filled with tattva-jnana and upon aural reception of this immaculate literature, transcendental wealth and peace will be obtained. Previously, I spoke on the childhood of Krsna. Although Krsna is Parabrahma, He plays like an ordinary child in Vraja. But, He is not an ordinary child. Bhagavan’s pastimes are of two kinds—aisvarya lila and madhurya lila. The pastimes, which a human being cannot do i.e. those pastimes that are manifested by Bhagavan in His Godly feature, are called aisvarya-mayi lila. And, those pastimes that are characterized by unequalled opulence as well but have the opulence covered and thus, the pastimes manifested are of a human-like form, are called madhurya-mayi lila.

The pastimes that Krsna performs in Dvaraka and Mathura are filled with opulence. Krsna displays His Bhagavatta, His Godhood in these pastimes. Although opulence is prominent even in the pastimes of Vrndavana, there is so much sweetness that these pastimes seem human-like. Krsna killed Putana; He lifted Giriraja-Govardhana; He killed Aghasura; yet, He always remained a child and did not assume a huge form. Although He lifted the greatest of mountains, Giriraja-Govardhana; at that time He was a five year old child. Smiling, He lifted Giriraja on the little finger of His left hand. Why did He lift Giriraja on the finger of His left hand? He did so because Srimati Radhika is on the left side of Krsna. Factually, it was Srimati Radhika who lifted Giriraja-Govardhana and not Krsna. Whatever we do is by the help of sakti. Sight, prowess, knowledge, and everything else are aspects of sakti, potency. Krsna only desires and His sakti performs all the activities. He desired to lift Giriraja-Govardhana and His sakti lifted the mountain. The little finger of the left hand is on the extreme left. Hence, being always on the left side of Krsna, Srimati Radhika accomplished this task of lifting Giriraja-Govardhana.

Krsna was a child. Smiling, He lifted Giriraja-Govardhana. But, no one offered prayers to Krsna saying, “Oh You are God.” When Arjuna saw the universal form in Krsna, he offered prayers to Krsna with folded hands.

He said, “Oh Bhagavan Krsna, I called You, ‘Friend,’ but it was wrong on my part.”

But here, Krsna lifted the huge mountain, Giriraja-Govardhana in front of everyone; still, no one offered prayers to Him. Why? The elderly gopas and gopis thought, “Nanda Baba has worshiped Narayana perfectly. As a fruit of his worship, Lord Narayana has entered the body of Krsna and lifted Giriraja-Govardhana. Or else how can this little boy lift this huge mountain?”

What did the sakhas do? When Krsna lifted the mountain, all the sakhas held Giriraja by their sticks. They said, “Krsna is not lifting Giriraja. We are lifting Giriraja by our sticks.”

And what did the kisori-gopis do? Fixing their sight on Giriraja-Govardhana, they thought, “If Giriraja falls, then we will burn him to ashes. You should stay perched on Krsna’s finger.” Therefore, the gopis thought, “We lifted Giriraja-Govardhana by the power of our glance.”

No one thought, “Krsna has lifted Giriraja-Govardhana.”

Indra caused heavy rainfall for seven days. He released many thunderbolts; but there was no effect. At the end, he bowed down and fell at the feet of Krsna. Krsna had convinced the Vrajavasis to stop the worship of Indra and instead, He told them to worship Giriraja-Govardhana. Govardhana is Krsna’s svarupa. He nourishes the cows, calves, and everyone. What does Indra do? He thinks, “I give rainfall and I am worshipable for everyone.” No, this is not true. No demigod performs his actions independently. Being empowered by Krsna, all the demigods perform their duties. If a demigod gives a boon to anyone, then this is only by Krsna’s sakti.

Sankaraji chants, “Rama Rama,” and gives everything to this world.

Durgaji chants, “Krsna Krsna,” and gives everything to this world as well.

Their sakti is not independent. We don’t have any strength to do anything on our own. We cannot even move a finger on our own. If this is not true, then why can’t a person move his finger when he is dying? Therefore, you should understand that everyone’s strength comes from Krsna. Don’t be falsely proud. Don’t think, “I am so wealthy. I am so respected. I am so strong.” Don’t think like this. There was an Indian wrestler called Gaman. He defeated the strongest wrestler of Russia and became the best wrestler in the world. But, when he was dying, he could not lift a glass of water on his own. Whose strength is this? Where does one’s strength go? Hence, no demigod is independent. It is said in the Gita that those who worship the demigods go to the abode of the demigods. But they return from there. Thus, they continue to experience happiness and distress.

Krsna says, “Those who worship Me, attain entrance into My abode. They never fall from there.

yad gatva na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama

—Bhagavad Gita 15.6

[Those who reach My abode never return to this material world.]

Therefore, you should respect the demigods. Understand that they are empowered by Krsna.

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja

—Bhagavad Gita 18.66

[“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.”]

You should respect even a fly.

Krsna says, “Creation, maintenance, and destruction of the material world is carried out by the plenary portions of My expansions. All the potencies have their root in Me.”

mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te

—Bhagavad Gita 7.14

“Those who worship Me easily cross over this material world of maya.”

“Mam-eva means only Me.” Who is saying this? Krsna is. So, Krsna had the Vrajavasis stop the worship of Indra. One day, a demon named Aghasura entered Vraja. He was in the form of a massive python. His body was many miles long. The upper portion of his mouth pierced the clouds and the lower portion stretched out for many miles. He was ready to swallow Krsna. The sakhas and the cows had already entered his mouth. Aghasura did not close his mouth because he was waiting for Krsna to enter his mouth.

Krsna thought, “My sakhas and the cows have entered the mouth of this python.” So, He also immediately entered the mouth of the python. Krsna then placed Himself in the middle of Aghasura’s throat. He became like a burning piece of coal in the demon’s throat. Thus, Aghasura died. Despite meditating on Him for many years, the yogis cannot have Krsna enter their hearts. But today, Krsna and His associates entered the mouth of Aghasura. This is such great mercy. Therefore, no foul smell came from his lifeless body. Why did this happen? What austerities did Aghasura do? Putana was his sister. Assuming the form of a mother, Putana went to kill Krsna. Aghasura was her brother; so why can’t he have a similar destination as well? Krsna gave him a similar destination as well because his sister had assumed the form of a mother. Just by assuming the form of a mother, Putana was given parama-gati. And if she had really come in the form of a mother, then who knows what benediction awaited her? Hence, Krsna gave all the demons an auspicious destination.

After some time Krsna became an adolescent. One day, it was dusk and the moon was shining in the eastern direction. It seemed that the moon considered the eastern horizon as his beloved. It seemed that his rays were decorating the face of his beloved Purva-disa i.e. the eastern horizon. At that time, Krsna remembered the gopis. He took His Vamsi and played a very sweet melody. Each of the gopis thought that Krsna was only calling her. Listening to this inconceivable sweet song of the flute, all the gopis ran to where this sound came from. The gopis left all their household chores behind and ran to Krsna. One gopi was sweeping the floor; another gopi was making rotis; another gopi was decorating herself—but they left everything behind on listening to the flute song and ran from their houses. The rotis were left unattended and the gopi who was decorating herself only put collyrium on one eye and left the other eye as it is. One gopi did not clothe herself properly; yet, she also ran to Krsna when she heard the flute song. On listening to the flute song, one gopi wore her necklace around her waist and another gopi wore her waist belt around her neck. In this way, they left everything behind. Another gopi was serving her husband; but she also ran to Krsna. Becoming bewildered, all the gopis ran to Krsna.

ajagmur anyonyam alaksitodyamah

—Srimad Bhagavatam 10.29.4

Each of the gopis stopped whatever they were doing and being alone, ran to where Krsna was. There was not just one gopi; there were millions of gopis. Even Yasoda Maiya had not heard this sweet melody of the Vamsi; neither did Nanda Baba ever listen to this melody. The sakhas also did not listen to this melody. Only those gopis who were deeply attached to Krsna, could hear this flute song. When the gopis reached the spot where Krsna was, He told them, “O most fortunate gopis, it is very nice that all of you have come here. Welcome everyone. Please say what I can do for you?”

The gopis only stood silently. Krsna saw that the decoration of the gopis was very wonderful to behold. One gopi had only put collyrium on one eye and not on the other. The necklace was around the waist and the waist belt was around the neck. Another gopi had worn her clothes upside down. Krsna smiled and said, “Welcome everyone. If someone takes one step towards Me; then I take millions of steps forward for that person.” This is Krsna’s promise.

In the Gita, Krsna has said:

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham

—Bhagavad Gita 4.11

[As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.]

If someone does even a little bhajan of Krsna, then Krsna comes ten times forward to help that person. And if someone goes one step back from Krsna, then He also goes ten steps behind. So, Krsna told the gopis, “Welcome. But now it is the dead of night.” But on that night it was Purnima; the full moon was shining in the sky.

Krsna told the gopis, “It is very dark now. Also, there are dangerous animals in the forest. You have left your crying children, husbands, parents, and in-laws behind. This is not right.”

“Then why did You call us?” the gopis asked.

Krsna did not answer. The gopis asked the same question again. Krsna told the gopis, “Do not delay, O chaste ladies; return to your husbands at once. The duty of a virtuous woman is to serve her husband under all circumstances, regardless of whether his character is good or bad. He may be rich or poor, beautiful and highly qualified, or lame and ugly, but still she must serve him. It is her religious duty (dharma) to do so. You came to see the forest. With her sparkling water, the Yamuna is very beautiful to behold. Many lotuses are blooming on her surface. The cuckoos are cooing. The peacocks are dancing and the deer are prancing. The moon rays are lighting up the entire forest. You came to see this sight and now that you have seen the setting of the forest, you should return to your homes.”

The gopis thought, “Is Krsna being serious? Or is He playing a game? He is a cheater. His words carry many meanings. He is always teasing us. Why is He speaking like this?”

The gopis remained silent for some time. Krsna asked them, “You haven’t returned to your homes yet? You should return to your homes.”

One gopi said, “We will return; but our feet don’t turn the other way around. Our feet only want to stay here. And even if we force ourselves to return; what is the use? Because we have left our minds here. Give our minds back and we will happily return. We don’t have our minds with us now. So, unless You return our minds to us—we will not return.”

Another gopi said, “Who can be a more able guru than You in this world? You have given us such beautiful knowledge. You have told us to always serve our husbands. You enlightened us with transcendental knowledge. The Vedas and sastras say, ‘If Guru and Bhagavan are present before you, then whom should you offer pranama first? You should offer pranama to the Guru first.’ So, You have given us the transcendental knowledge that serving our husbands is the topmost dharma. You told us that a woman should serve her husband regardless of whether he is blind, lame, or dumb. Therefore, we should serve the guru first because You have enlightened us with such transcendental knowledge. Hence, we offer ourselves to Your lotus feet. We will serve You first and then, we will serve our husbands. Isn’t this all right? If what we have said is wrong, then why did You instruct us like this?”

Smiling, Krsna listened to what the gopis had to say. He was also very grave.

Another gopi said, “We heard that You gave the knowledge of the Gita to Suryadeva millions of years ago. In one of those instructions You said:

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham

—Bhagavad Gita 4.11

[As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.]

You said, ‘I will reciprocate with one according to the bhajan he does.’ So, we have come to You. We are worshiping You like a guru. If You don’t accept our worship, then You will be guilty of adharma and not us. Because of not accepting our worship, sin will contaminate You. You have also said that a person should abandon all dharmas and surrender to You. So, we are only doing what You have said. We have left all our dharmas and come to You. If You don’t accept our service, then You will be the biggest liar.”

In this way, the gopis refuted all the arguments of Krsna. A gopi said, “Why are we at fault for abandoning our dharma? We see that in this Vrndavana, all the living entities have become enchanted by Your beautiful form and flute song. The stationary beings start moving and the non-stationary beings become stationary. The Yamuna has become still and the trees welcome You by their blooming flowers. The deer run away on seeing the humans; but they come near You now. The cows have become inanimate and are only drinking Your flute song by their upraised ears. They don’t swallow the grass and neither does the grass fall from their mouths. The calves are also in a similar condition. They don’t drink the milk completely and neither does the milk fall from their mouths. The non-moving entities have become moving and the moving entities have become non-moving.

“So, we are women—our nature is very simple and soft. We become bewildered by beauty. So, why have You come before us in this beautiful form of Yours? Why did you make us listen to this sweet flute song of Yours? If we have committed adharma by leaving our husbands, then You are at fault for this and not us. You will be guilty of sin and not us.”

Krsna could not answer any of the questions the gopis put forward. Earlier, Krsna had make the yajna-patnis return home. He told them, “You should return to your homes and serve your husbands.” But, He could not make the gopis return home. Thus, the rasa-lila started. One Krsna danced between each of the sixteen thousand gopis. So, He assumed sixteen thousand forms. Krsna sang in the fifth note.

He sang, “Sa-re-ga-ma-pa.”

But the gopis sang in the seventh note. They sang so beautifully that Krsna said, “Sadhu! Sadhu!” Krsna could not contest with the gopis. Parabrahma Himself lost; He could not dance and sing like the gopis. Among the sixteen thousand gopis, there were sixteen thousand forms of Krsna. What Krsna did was unprecedented. Up until today, no avatar of Krsna has done what He did. Krsna fulfilled the desires of anyone who came to Him. When Rama abandoned Sita in the forest, she went to the asrama of Valmiki. This was part of Rama’s final pastime. Laksmana left Sita in the forest and she became unconscious.

She thought, “Rama has abandoned me? What fault have I done? Someone may have forcibly touched me, but my mind never touched him. But, He has left me? All right; according to His desire, I will not go to the palace.”

Sita was pregnant when she was sent to Valmiki’s asrama. So, she gave birth to two sons in Valmiki’s asrama whose names were Lava and Kusa. She took care of her sons and they gradually grew. Valmiki taught the children and considering Sita to be his daughter, he gave her a place in the asrama where the elderly ladies resided doing bhajan. After some days, Ramacandra desired to do a rajasuya-yajna. He called Vasista and asked, “Guruji, I desire to do a yajna.”

Vasista replied, “You are not qualified to do a yajna.”


“You sent Your wife to the forest. A single man cannot do a yajna. There is no alternative.”

Rama said, “Guruji, please arrange for one alternative.”

Vasista said, “What alternate solution can I arrange for? Then marry another lady.”

“I cannot marry anyone else. Sita is My only wife.”

“Then You cannot do the yajna. This is clear.”

“Guruji, I pray at your lotus feet that You make Me do the yajna.”

Vasista asked, “Why can You not marry again? Your father had 360 queens. So, marry someone else.”

“I cannot do this.”

“Okay. Make a golden deity of Sitaji. This deity will sit on Your left and then, you can do the yajna.”

“I accept this proposal,” Rama gladly said.

A beautiful golden deity of Sitaji was made. The deity looked exactly like Sitaji. But where was Sita? She was in the forest. Wedlock was established between Rama and the golden deity of Sita and the yajna started. During the yajna, it was decided that everyone would rest during the afternoon and the yajna would start from the next morning from eight and end at twelve in the afternoon. Some people would take prasadam and listen to hari-katha from two to four in the afternoon. At that time, the two disciples of Valmiki, Lava and Kusa appeared. No one knew that they were the sons of Rama. They entered the assembly where Kausalya, Kaikeyi, Bharata, Satrughna, Rama, Laksmana, and millions of monkeys and bears were present. On the order of their guru, the two boys recited Valmiki Ramayana. When they described the stay of Rama, Laksmana, and Sita in the forest, everyone bitterly wept. When they went to the forest, Maharaja Dasaratha left his body. Ayodhya seemed like a widow. When they spoke these pastimes, everyone in the assembly became astonished and cried.

When the boys ended their recital, Rama said, “Laksmana, ask these boys about their identities. Ask them who their parents are. Give them a golden plate full of jewels. They have brought great joy to the assembly.”

Laksmana asked the two boys, “Children, tell me the name of your father. What is the name of your mother?”

Lava said, “O Mahatma, You all the Vedas and sastras. The name of the parents of the brahmacaris shouldn’t be asked. Rather, the name of their guru should be asked. We are brahmacaris, so ask the name of our guru. What will happen by asking the name of our parents? Listen to some knowledge.”

Laksmana became shy and thought, “These boys are right.”

The boys said, “The name of our guruji is Valmiki.”

But, the boys didn’t give their identities. Everyone in the assembly thought, “If Rama had sons, then they would look exactly like these boys. These boys exactly look like Rama. Rama is big and they are small; this is the only difference.”

Everyone wondered, “Perhaps these children are the sons of Rama. Sita must be nearby.”

Listening to these boys speak, tears welled in the eyes of Kausalya, Rama, and everyone else. But they could not find out whose children these boys were. Ramacandra called Valmiki and said, “Is Sita in your asrama? I want to meet Sita. Please tell Sita to come.”

Valmiki went and told Sita, “O daughter, Rama is calling you.”

Before Valmiki spoke to Sita, Lava and Kusa had already returned to the asrama. Sita wondered, “Why are my sons late today?” Sita would walk back and forth while waiting for Lava and Kusa. When the two boys returned, Sita put them on her lap and asked, “Why are you both late today?”

The children replied, “Mother, today we went to attend a yajna of a King. On the order of guruji, we recited the Ramayana to the King and His subjects. When we spoke, everyone in the assembly bitterly wept. We could not understand why they wept. We noticed that in the assembly there was a golden deity. This golden deity looked exactly like you. The only difference is that you speak while the deity doesn’t.”

When Sita heard her two sons speak, tears gushed from the eyes of Sita. “Why are you crying mother?” asked Lava and Kusa. They wiped the tears of their mother from the ends of their cloth. But their mother continued to cry even more. How could she tell them that Rama is her husband and that He had left her? She could not tell this to her sons. At that time, Sita thought, “King Rama has left His Queen Sita, but Rama has never left His beloved, Sita. If He had left me, then He would not have had a golden deity of me made for the yajna.”

The pastimes of Rama are heart rending. Those who listen to these pastimes will bitterly weep. And if anyone cries by listening to Krsna’s pastimes, then his eyes will never be dry for the rest of his life. The pastimes of Krsna are wonderful. Rama left Sita, but Krsna can never leave anyone. The gopis defeated all of Krsna’s arguments. The love the gopis have for Krsna is unparalleled. Therefore, when you chant Krsna’s name, then you should also chant His beloved, Radha’s name along with His. Rukmini and Satyabhama were married to Krsna; yet, their names are not chanted as much. The love of Srimati Radhika and the gopis was fathomless. If you want to love Krsna, then you should do so like them. When the rasa-lila started, Krsna was dancing with all the gopis. After some time, the gopis developed a feeling of pride i.e. saubhagya-mada. If a husband follows all the orders of his wife and only loves her, then the wife becomes proud. A lady who has controlled her husband and who makes him follow all her orders is most happy. But, a woman whose husband doesn’t listen to her and who loves other ladies will be very sad. She may douse herself with kerosene oil and set herself on fire. This is greatly anguishing for ladies. They will tolerate everything; but they cannot tolerate the neglect of their husband. They have given everything to their husbands; so the husband’s neglect is intolerable for them. In the West, divorce is normal. Husband and wives divorce each other when they please. But it is never like this in the Vedic culture. If a man proclaims a lady to be his wife even within his mind, then she would become his wife for his entire life.

During the rasa-lila all the gopis became proud. Each of the gopis thought, “Krsna is only dancing with me and no one else. Putting His hands over mine, He is only dancing with me.”

But, only Srimati Radhika saw how Krsna was dancing with all the gopis. She also saw how Krsna was dancing with Her. She thought, “Krsna is a great cheater. Dancing along with Me, He is dancing with everyone else as well. He tells each of the gopis, ‘You are My most beloved.’ Am I not His beloved as well? Where has His love gone? He treats everyone equally. All the gopis think, ‘Krsna is only dancing with me.’ This is very strange.”

Every soul thinks, “Krsna is only pleased with me.” It is like this even with a Sad-Guru. Every disciple thinks, “Guruji only loves me the most.” This is the specialty of a bona fide Guru. This is not meant for Kali Yuga gurus. So, Krsna loves everyone. Due to saubhagya-mada, each of the gopis thought, “Krsna is only dancing with me and not with anyone else. He is not even dancing with Radhaji.”

Radhaji went into maan and thought, “Krsna is dancing with everyone else as well. He considers all the gopis and Me to be one.”

tad saubhag-madam viksamanam ca kesava

Now rasa-lila would stop. Radhaji was in maan; so Krsna wanted to please and serve Her. He wanted to make the pride of the gopis go away. He wanted to proclaim that He loves Radhaji the most. With this intention, Krsna disappeared from the rasa-lila. When He disappeared, all the gopis thought anxiously, “Where is Krsna? Where is Krsna?” Thus, the rasa-lila stopped. Searching for Krsna, all the gopis became mad in separation.

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