25 March 2017 Gita Govinda
rati-gṛha-jaghane vipulāpaghane manasija-kanakāsane
maṇimaya-rasanaṁ toraṇa-hasanaṁ vikirati kṛta-vāsane
There are differences between the flowers of this world and the flowers in the spiritual world. The flowers here stay fresh and fragrant for only a short time. Prthivi-devi offers this fragrance within the flowers and after some time the fragrance returns to her. Some call this the law of gravity. Anything that is from Prthivi-devi—if you throw it up it will come back to the lap of Mother Earth. This is a rule of nature.
Prthivi manifests flowers with sweet fragrance and nectar but that is temporary. In Vraja, the flowers are eternal. There, the campaka, gandha-raja, rajni-gandha, hena, beli, cameli, mallika flowers and so on are illustrations of the Vraja-devis’ hearts.
Although Prthivi-devi’s svarupa is unseen by us, she still shows us her beautiful caring nature in the form of fruits, flowers, and all that we need to maintain our lives. If this is possible in this world then why would it be difficult to imagine the sweet mysteries of the fruits and flowers of the eternal realm?
When Krsna touches the flowers in Vraja-mandala, He feels like He is meeting with the Vraja-devis. He feels that they are embracing Him and kissing Him. Those flowers are like different forms of the gopis therefore there are so many kinds of flowers each with different names. The flowers also have varied ways of serving Krsna. Some are small, light, and capable of keeping whoever touches them cool in the summer. Some change color according to the elevation of the sun.
There is a type of lotus flower that does not grow in the water. It grows on the land and closes in the evening. Often, Deities of Gopala are given a seat atop such lotus flowers and are kept feeling cool. Finally, the lotus closes around Gopala and He rests comfortably.
During Kesava-vrata, in the summer time, devotees place Salagram atop lotus flowers and do arcana, abhiseka, and offer bhoga with Him on that asana. Then in the evening, if you were to feel Salagram’s body you would find it feels like ice. These flowers are like shadows or reflections of the eternal flowers of the spiritual world. We have senses made of five shadow elements. But the spiritual elements and svarupas in the eternal world are different. Everything there is aprakrta and full of rasa.
Our soul is in a comatose state, hiding in these bodily structures. Why? Our minds collect dirty things and bind the soul like a prisoner. But, just as the sun rises to give health and energy to the people on earth, similarly, the rays of the prema-surya—that is, the divine sun of the ragatmika-aprakrta love of the Vrajavasis—that gives life to our soul.
Hearing and describing the glories of the Vrajavasis, offering prayers to them, and endeavoring to follow their footsteps, will cause that prema-surya to rise in your heart.
This is the need of the soul. Always pray for service to Krsna under guidance of the Vrajavasis. The Vrajavasis constantly serve Krsna without attachment to anyone or anything else. They have no time to waste. Every part of their existence is for Krsna’s pleasure. If you follow them then their love, which is like pure nectar, will illuminate your soul and realization of your fully perfected svarupa will dawn.
Who is a sadhu? Only wearing the dress of a sadhu does not make one a sadhu. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was in a powerful, high-ranking position in the government and many babajis criticized him, saying that he did not wear tilaka and dhoti. But Lord Jagannatha personally punished those people and their intelligence became purified. How to recognize a sadhu? A sadhu is anyone who has deep love and attachment for Bhagavan and His bhaktas, the best of whom are the Vrajavasis. Without respecting and associating with the sadhus you will not have the bhakti-lata-bija or seva-vrtti.
The wives of the Mathura brahmanas always thought, “Oh, how amazing is the service of the gopis! Krsna comes with His close friends at 3:00 in the morning; He crosses the walls of the gopis’ homes and steals the butter that they have lovingly prepared. The gopis hide and intend to try and catch Krsna so they can feed Him with their own hands, but before they know it, He has already come, stolen everything and distributed it. They find that they have been dozing off and Krsna has already but some butter in their mouth or even their nose!”
Because they thought in this way, and had respect for the Vrajavasis, Krsna accepted their service directly. If you continuously think of the Vrajavasis, their mercy will come to you and the rays of the prema-surya will shine on you.
Our souls will find sustenance only in the energy given by the Vrajavasis. The soul does not eat balu-sai, halava, and malpua. The soul does not become upset when the body is poked. Doing sravana and kirtan under the guidance of a vraja-anuragi is the only way to feed the soul and to ultimately reach the eternal dhama. Tad-anuragi-jananugami: we must do this kind of sat-sanga.
Sat does not simply mean honest. Sat refers to sandhini-sakti, presided over by Baladeva Prabhu—or Sri Guru. He who respects Sri Guru and the Vrajavasis is a sadhu and association with him is called sat-sanga.
Krsna has said:
satam prasangam mama virya samvido
“The hari-katha of the sadhus contains my power, mama-virya; not any ordinary power.”
But if your hearing or speaking of hari-katha is just a drama, or in other words, full of duplicity, then you will not get that power.
One time, Haridasa Thakura was on his way to Santipura from Phuliya when he saw a snake charmer doing his business. He was playing a flute and singing songs about Krsna dancing on the hoods of Kaliya as His impressive trained cobra danced on the ground in front of Him. Seeing this scene, Haridasa Thakura wept and fell senseless, becoming completely absorbed in Krsna’s sweet lila. The snake, the charmer, and all the people gathered there all touched the feet of Haridasa Thakura in deep respect for His bhakti. When Haridasa Thakura woke, he felt ashamed and quickly left.
Again, the snake charmer began playing the flute and the snake started dancing once more. A brahmana who had seen Haridasa Thakura’s ecstasy and the resultant respect he gained decided to try and copy him. He cried out loudly, then fell on the ground as if senseless. The snake charmer did not offer respect to this brahmana. In stead, he took up a stick and beat the imposter. The snake also was furious and tried to bite him. That person fled in terror as fast as he could.
Then the people asked the snake-charmer, “Why did you respect the sadhu that came first and then beat this brahmana who showed what seemed to be similar emotion to the sadhu?”
The snake charmer replied, “That bogus brahman was doing a drama. The Thakura was genuine. Any simple heart can feel the difference between the two when in their presence.”
Mere drama will not get you krsna-sakti. What is krsna-sakti? Actually, we must ask, “Who is Krsna’s sakti?”
Krsna sakti para prokta radhika para devata—if you have no relationship with Srimati Radharani and the Vraja-devis then your hari-katha is no better than the dry shouting of a hawker speaker. Your business of cheating will not last long. Therefore, take shelter of the Vrajavasis. Then you will be like the flowers in the spiritual world.
When those flowers touch Krsna, they are filled with ever-fresh energy. They do not wilt or become dry, only sweeter and sweeter.
The flowers touch Krsna and think, “Krsna has accepted me. My life is now successful.” When Krsna accepts someone, He gives them eternal life and energy. When Maya-devi accepts someone, she gives repeated birth and death in the material world.
It is not possible for the Vraja-devis to go everywhere with Krsna throughout the day. But the flower ornaments that He wears are with Him all day long, touching Him and kissing Him. The Vraja-devis come in the form of these flowers so that they can go everywhere with Krsna.
The body, mind, senses, and moods of the Vraja-devis are like the flowers’ petals and their sweetness is the contained nectar. Touching and smelling those flowers, Krsna promises that He will never go anywhere other than Vraja-mandala, with its supremely wonderful gardens.
Jayadeva Gosvami has used the word kanakasane. The Vraja-devis take Krsna into the golden asana, or sitting place, of their heart. Kanaka, which means gold, also means dhattura, which is a poisonous substance known to Mahadeva Siva. Mahadeva keeps poison with him, and this he gives to people with disturbing natures to be rid of them. Low-class people like poisonous things like alcohol and intoxicating drugs. To the real bhaktas, Sivaji only gives bhakti.
Because Sivaji burnt Kamadeva to ashes, thus making him Ananga, or he who has no body, the word kanaka can refer to Kamadeva. Sivaji showed the world that if we make our heart a sitting place for Krsna, then no one, not even Kamadeva, can come inside and disturb us.
Maṇimaya-rasanaṁ toraṇa-hasanaṁ. How can one enter Vrndavana? There is a gate guarded by Gopesvara. Paurnamasi-devi gave him the service to not allow unqualified people through that gate. Gopesvara gives such persons ganja, dhattura, and so on and sends them back, distracted and forgetful of why they ever wanted to come to Vrndavana. Alternatively, Mahadeva gives those unqualified and ill-intended persons initiation into the philosophy that says, “I am Brahma—aham brahmasmi.” He tricks them like this and does not give them the service of the gopis.
There are often elaborately designed gates that you must pass under in the temples of Bhagavan in order to have His Deity’s darsana. It is said that demigods live in these gates and that they purify those who walk beneath them. Otherwise, how can they go to see the Deity?
There was once a king who announced that he would give the throne to whomever could pass through his seven gates and meet him before the nightfall of the following day. We must be determined like the boy who brushed off all the obstacles and proposals that came his way and effectively met with his final goal. So many come to the training center where one can learn how to meet with God, but before long they become sidetracked and fail the tests and drills that come up in the course of their training. Then they are lost in illusion and unable to gather themselves and reach the feet of Govinda. Therefore, be one-pointed, be determined, and be careful.