The sadhaka has now offered everything to the Lord, and Paramatma (God in the heart) becomes pleased with him, and He appears from within the sadhaka’s heart, and accepts his service. Paramatma is witnessing all our actions and is aware of everything we do. When He sees that we are doing everything for Him, then at that time Visnu-swayam – the Supreme Personality Himself appears. Brahma, Siva and the demigods all see this and, being pleased with our endeavor, they pray to Supreme Lord on our behalf, and the chanting of our mantra’s and japa will go directly to Paramatma.
What do the yogis do? First, they meditate on Paramatma residing within the heart. If we do kirtan, mantras and chant harinama, but if our purpose is not for pure bhakti, and we have other motives and desires, then we cannot be called one-pointed. When everything we do is only for the pleasure of the Lord, then the spiritual tendency will arise in our hearts. Spiritual knowledge will also come and we will become established in the spiritual reality.
At this time Visnu, Brahma, Siva, Guru, Param Guru, all these transcendental personalities will pray on our behalf, to the Supreme Personality, Paramatma, the indwelling witness in our heart, who is the original Krsna,. Then our seva-vrtti, (service tendency), will be delivered directly to Sri Krsna. Then it will not take long for us to directly reach and meet Krsna.
WHO IS ENTERING OUR BODY, MIND AND SENSES?
It is said when the abala-Gopis, the Gopis who had become very weak, first saw their beloved Sri Krsna appear before them, they immediately stood up and all strength came back in their limbs. Krsna was the one-pointed object of their hearts, desires and minds, and they stood up with great eagerness. This was aghatam, not swaghatam. Aghatam means the Lord has arrived and swaghatam is a welcome. Where did the Lord appear? He appeared in all of their limbs and in all of their bodies, and therefore they became very powerful and full of potency.
Who is entering our minds, limbs and senses? They enter through our senses, eyes, ears, nose and touch, and then make a house. In a tree there are so many birds, bees, bugs, squirrels and other living entities, so our body is like a tree in this way. So many people, and jivas (living entities) are within us and disturbing us, and what is their nature?
On the other hand, the gopis only have place for Krsna. Their senses do not take association of all these other living entities who are unfavorable. Therefore, the Lord appeared and pervaded their entire body, minds, hearts, and senses. This is called sat-sanga.We call a friend or relative and if they come to us then we feel happy. In this way we are constantly thinking of them. However the gopis never think of any materialistic people. They only think of Sri Krsna.
GOPIS PRAY TO TREES AND PLANTS
People in this world pray to God for material things, however the gopis prayed to everything else. They prayed to the plants, the Yamuna river, the trees, the creepers, but only for Sri Krsna. Whereas we come to Vrindavan, go to Govardhana and all the different tirthas, but everywhere we go, what do we pray for? Whatever our minds are desiring in this world, at that time and whatever has become dear to us. Then we go to those people or things, or we may pray for our own bodies to be healthy, or that our mind will be sharp. Where is our ananyatha – where is our focus?
The gopis prayed to all the different creatures in Vraja, to the dhama itself, to the Earth Goddess, to the rivers, mountains, trees, and hills. They prayed, “Oh where is our Krsna? Please tell us where He is hiding. You know this and have seen Him, so be pleased with us and tell us where He is.”
GOPIS BODIES BECOME REJUVENATED
When the Lord appeared before them, they embraced Him within their hearts and all their senses became completely surcharged with spiritual potency. Those senses and limbs were now all paraphernalia for Krsna’s service. Their hands, legs and bodily limbs had become murcit, unconscious and weak, and when Krsna appeared they became surcharged with spiritual energy.
Previously the gopis minds and bodies had lost all strength, but when Krsna appeared, He returned their prana (life air), and all their bodies received this naya-sanjivani a powerful rejuvenating medicine or rasayan. Their color and beauty all became very effulgent like blossoming flowers. Before this they were like wilting flowers, and when Krsna appeared they immediately blossomed with so much beauty and effulgence.
Some gopis grabbed Krsna’s hands very tightly so that He could not move away and began to smear His limbs with sandalwood paste. Why did they put sandalwood paste on Him? Because this would enter into His body and He would become cool, peaceful and fragrant and He would not be restless. This sandalwood paste is a great method to control someone. If you want to control Krsna you don’t have to work very hard. Simply offer Him tulasi and candana (sandalwood paste). If you give Him sandalwood paste then He will be so happy with you.
The Gopis were lamenting in separation in the forest and wandering here and there. Even though they were lamenting so much, still they would not give up His service, they were always prepared to serve Him. They had pots with cool water, pan, tambula, sandal, flower garlands, aguru, kasturi, kumkum always ready. Different gopis had various services under the authority of their group leaders, and they were all present and prepared.
DON’T BE HOPELESS
What do we do? When we don’t like something or are feeling disturbed, we say; “Oh I have now retired. Bhagavan does not accept my service. Guru and Vaisnavas don’t want my service. I am being thrown aside, I am feeling like useless straw.” We should not be hopeless like this. The Lord has accepted our service and therefore we are nearby Krsna and not far away from Him. Will we leave Prabhu or will He leave us? To glorify and serve Him is our eternal dharma. However in separation, because of some sadness, we should not neglect and reject everything, or give up all service. This is only a kind of enjoyment and is only for one’s own peace, happiness and satisfaction, it is not for Krsna’s pleasure.
The gopis did not leave or reject anything. They had ankle bells, bracelets, baskets, and flower garlands. All this different paraphernalia was for service. They did not leave anything. They brought candana and when Krsna finally came, they immediately started to apply it on Him.
The Gopis were on the banks of the Yamuna River throughout the whole night of Brahma, wandering here and there in great separation and lamentation. They were always thinking that if the Lord comes, will we not give Him any flowers? If He is thirsty, will we not give Him any cool water or nice drink? The gopis were always prepared for service.
NEVER GIVE UP SERVICE
Even if the most difficult circumstances would come to the Gopis, the saddest days, they will never become opposed to service, instead they will always be more and more eager to serve. If there is any chance then immediately, they will serve. They will not think; “Oh now I will give up everything. I will not serve.” Instead, like Sabari, they were always prepared to serve.
For many, many years Sabari was cleaning the ashram, sprinkling the pathways, sweeping and bringing new fruits, sweets and flowers. Her Gurudeva told her to do this and said to her that Rama will certainly come. Everyday she did it despite everyone opposing her and acting against her. Then when Rama finally came, He accepted her fruits. He said; “You have not given it to Me only today. Everyday you have been giving this to Me.” If you will read the Ramayana you will be amazed how merciful Rama was.
THE REAL REASON AHALYA WAS CURSED
In the story of Ahalya who was cursed to become a stone, Rama said, “Oh Ahalya, I have liberated you today, but don’t think; ”Why did I become a stone? Your husband, Gautama Rsi would do austerities, and everyday you would think; “Oh I don’t want to do austerities at this time”. But Gautama Rsi made you into stone so you would sit in one place and do your mantra and japa properly.
Those who have all different facility will not do bhajan. If one has all facility but does not do bhajan then the Lord will arrange something for them. If one has all qualification then why won’t they do it? Still, if we don’t want to do it, the Lord will arrange something.
Gautama Rsi was such a great sage and Ahalya had no real fault, it was a mistake. Indra was such a wicked man. He thought Gautama will become the king of heaven and defeat him. Demigods like this will come to serve Guru to try and destroy him. In those days there were no clocks or alarms, the birds woke them. In Vraja we see the peacocks will call in the early morning, and in other places chickens will do it.
So Indra came and told the rooster, “Oh you must call out at midnight so Gautama thinks its brahma-muhurta and he will get up and go to the Ganga to bathe.” Again and again Indra said, “If you don’t do it, I will destroy you all.” Gautama Rsi then heard the cock crow at midnight and thought, “Oh it is now brahma-muhurta.” So he got up and went to the Ganga. Indra then took the form of Gautama Rsi and entered his kutir and enjoyed with Ahalya.
What was Ahalya’s fault? She had said, “Oh prabhu, you just went to the Ganga! Why are you back so early.” Indra in the guise of Gautama Rsi said, “No, no. I came back for something. When the real Gautama Rsi returned he saw Indra coming out of his kutir in his form, and with his cloth in disarray. Gautama then cursed Ahalya, as well as Indra.
If the husband is doing austerity, waking at brahma-muhurta, then the wife should also be with him or doing sadhana. It is said if you are waking at brahma-muhurta and doing sadhan,a then even if any wicked person or rakshasa comes then no one can disturb you.
Gautama Rsi said, “You let him enjoy with you, so you should become a stone, then you can do proper sadhana. When Rama came He said; “How many days were you doing sadhana, dhyana, tapa and japa? Therefore, I had to come to you and free you, otherwise I would not have come.”
Before Ahalya would only sleep and not get up to do bhajana and sadhana. Those wives who follow under the guidance of their sage husbands are called dharma-patni – religious wives. Rama said, “You did not properly follow, therefore Gautama Rsi enabled you to do sadhana. He gave you a favorable form in which you could do sadhana. Then how could any rakshasa come and enjoy you as a stone? Would any other demigod come and try and enjoy you like this? If someone is a leper, is disfigured or is handicapped, then will any demigod come to enjoy them? Will any rakshasa or man come to enjoy them? In that way they can do sadhana very nicely.
The three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh all came for Anusuya. Can anyone imagine that these three Gods would come to Anusuya who was so chaste and glorious in the three worlds? They said to her; “Oh give us bhiksa.” What?” she replied; “Oh then you should give yourself. You should become free of all your coverings and give yourself.” Meaning she should go naked before them and give them alms. Anusuya said; “Oh you want to see me naked?” Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh were testing her in this way. Why? She was always doing austerities with her husband. When they came as beggars and asked for alms she said, “What do you want?” and they replied, “Oh we want you.”
She went to her husband and asked, “What should I do? They are asking to see me naked.” He replied, “Ok give them.” He knew that they were Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh in disguise, testing her. She said; “Ok, I will do this on one condition. I will appear before you naked but all three of you must become my babies in my arms. Then I will give you my breast milk.”
So Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh became her babies and she began to feed them her breast milk and push them in a swing. Her husband came back and he said, “Very good. Just see what happens when you come to such a chaste woman. Now you are just babies. And now you can stay babies.” They had no strength. They could not even return to their own abodes.
Where was Siva’s power to destroy? Where was Brahma’s power to create? And where was Visnu’s power to maintain? Now they were just naked little babies, unable to even walk or move about. They simply played in her arms, drank her breast milk, and swung in their cradle.
Then Narada thought, “How long can I let this go on?” So Narada said to Laksmi; “Oh Laksmi, your beloved husband has now left. Now He won’t come back. He is now a little baby. You have now lost your husband forever.” Laksmi thought; “Yes where is He? I haven’t seen Him for some time. I searched for Him everywhere in Vaikuntha but I could not find Him.” So Laksmi then went and performed so many austerities and pleased Anusuya. Then she prayed and begged for her husband back. She begged alms and said; “Please give me give me my husband back.” The three wives of the three demigods all came and did austerities, and received their husbands back. However in one form Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh stayed with Anusuya, and became Soma, Dattatreya and Durvasa.
The Vraja-devis are not like this. They will never give a place for anyone else. They are only one-pointedly and completely offered to Sri Krsna. No one can trick and cheat the gopis. They are not like Ahalya. In every circumstance they are always prepared to serve, even in great separation, their service tendency does not leave them. They are always prepared. At every moment they are absorbed in Sri Krsna’s service. Even in separation they serve Sri Krsna.
So why were the gopis sad and wandering in the forest? Only because they thought they had committed some fault and were separated from Krsna, and thus not able to serve Him. When He finally appeared they held and stroked Krsna’s hands, and by touching Sri Krsna it gave them so much happiness.
Guruvarga ki Jaya! Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming book publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: [email protected] )