Why Did Krishna Not Return?

(Mathura, India, October 4, 2000)


Krishna has left Vrindavana for Mathura. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained in his commentary that all the Vrajabasis, especially the gopas and gopis, and Krishna's father and mother, are feeling so much separation that is beyond the limit of explanation. It is said that the Vrajabasis sent a swan as a messenger to Mathura, and the Puranas say that they sent many messengers; but Srimad Bhagavatam has not told so. Srimad Bhagavatam has explained that it was Krishna who sent the messenger.

Sastra says that the devotees feel separation for Krishna, but Srimad Bhagavatam says that Krishna, feeling separation for the Vrajabasis, weeps all day long-for the gopas, gopis, His father, His mother, and all others. He is always weeping in Mathura and Dvaraka. Although He is surrounded by His wives, sons, and daughters, He is not satisfied.

What is that love and affection that induces the gopis to weep? We are separated, but we do not weep. There is one point to especially note here: If I explain about the worldly separation of a lady who is weeping for her beloved man, we will also weep. Hearing about Krishna's separation, however, we cannot. Why not? It is due to so many offences from past lives and this life.

Krishna is feeling so much separation, and He is weeping, weeping, weeping-all day and night. That is why Srimad Bhagavatam has told about Krishna's sending a message. Krishna sent Uddhava from Mathura, and therefore Uddhava sandesa is explained in Srimad Bhagavatam. Did Krishna send the message to console the gopis and gopas, or to console and pacify Himself? It was not for them, but for Himself. His heart was loaded with the suffering of separation, and He wanted to divide it, or share it, with others.

Vrajendranandana Krishna had spent His first three years in Gokula, almost up to His seventh year in Vrindavana, and remained until ten years and eight months in Nandagaon. After killing Kamsa, He installed Ugarsena on the throne. I have already explained all this.

Krishna has now returned from His schooling at the asrama of Sandipani Muni, and He was standing on the roof of the raja palace, the house of Vasudeva Maharaja. He was looking across the Yamuna, who was floating gently and sweetly, with sounds of 'kala kala.' He at once remembered all His pastimes in Vrindavana, and He could not check His heart. He wept continually. In the meantime Uddhava came, and Krishna put his hands in His own hands. Again He wept. His voice was choked up, but finally he controlled Himself and began to speak to him.

Vrindavana is the place of high-class love and affection-up to madanakya mahabhava in madana and modana. Why did Krishna leave there and go to Mathura? In Mathura there is also love and affection, but it is on a low level because it is mixed with aisvarya. Therefore, if after killing Kamsa He could not go forever, why did He not go from time to time? Why did He not send messengers? Why did He not bring the Vrajabasis to Mathura and Dvaraka, as He had previously transferred the Mathuravasis to Dvaraka when they were under attack by Jarasandha? If we can understand this, it will help us understand the meaning of prema.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that there are two prakasas, sections, of Krishna's lila-aprakata and prakata, unmanifest and manifest. In aprakata lila, Krishna returned with Nanda Baba, and in prakata lila Nanda Baba returned alone. In one section there was separation, and in one section there was not. There is even separation in madana and modana mahabhava-a fear of future separation.

Anyone in this world will want to stay where there is affection. Even though parents take good care of their children throughout their young life, when the children get married they feel they are getting more love from their own wife and children, and prefer to stay with them. This is the nature of both humans and demigods, and this is also true for Krishna. 'Ye yatha mam prapadyante, tams tathaiva bhajamy aham.' If one worships Him as impersonal Brahman, He reciprocates accordingly. If one wants to worship Him in santa rasa, He appears to that devotee as Narayana. If one wants to serve Him as a sakha, He appears as Nandanandana. In this world there are many categories of devotees, and Krishna cannot neglect any of them. Even when He is very busy in rasa-lila, still He cannot neglect the devotees in Mathura and Dvaraka. Otherwise He would be defamed.

There is no comparison between the love and affection of the Vrajabasis and that of anyone else, but still Krishna cannot neglect anyone else. Devaki and Vasudeva had spent so many years in jail on Krishna's account, tortured by Kamsa for the ten years and eight months that He was in Vrindavana. Even if someone is not a suddha-bhakta, but he prays to Krishna with a little sraddha, Krishna hears his prayers. It is not Paramatma who hears, but Krishna Himself. In that case, how can He forget Vasudeva and Devaki? He cannot. Krishna is playing at Vamsivata near Yamuna, but still, how can He forget Ugrasena in prison? He remembers him. After He killed Kamsa and enthroned Ugrasena as king, He could not leave because Ugrasena and Vasudeva could not take care of the kingdom themselves. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained all this in his commentaries.

Kamsa's two wives, Asti and Prapti, had gone to their father, Jarasandha after the death of their husband. Weeping bitterly they said, "O father, our husband was so sober and sweet. He was simply sitting and watching Krishna play, and act, and kill the wrestlers. But without any cause Krishna dragged him from the rangasala and killed him. Because Krishna was his nephew, he did not fight back. Generally no uncle will slap his nephew, and therefore Kamsa did [not] protest when Krishna was beating him. He was defenseless." Hearing and seeing his daughters cry in this way, Jarasandha said, "I'll go to Mathura and kill them all." He thus proceeded to attack Mathura seventeen times.

There was a fort in Mathura, and so many defenses to protect it. Krishna thought that if He stayed in Mathura Jarasandha would attack Mathura, and if he went to Vrindavana, even for a short visit, Jarasandha would certainly come and attack there. In Vrindavana there was no wall and no weapon. There were only sticks for cow-grazing. Even Nanda Baba knew that Jarasandha was angry. He thought, "If Jarasandha comes here and attacks my beta (son), what will He do? How will He fight back?" The Yadus are warriors but the Vrajabasis are cow-herders, grazing cows on Govardhana. If even one cow is running from Govardhana to Mahdhuvana, they cannot stop her with their sticks. How, then, can they stop Jarasandha? Besides this, at that time not only was Jarasandha attacking, but also Kalayavana and Dantavakra. Therefore he could not go to Vrindavana. Madhurya-lila-and everything else-would be finished.

Another point is that Devaki and Vasudeva would not allow Him to go to Vrindavana. They knew that He would never return because He would be absorbed in rasavadana, relishing the taste of rasa. It would be impossible for Him to return to Mathura. They would therefore allow Him to go anywhere else, but not there. The prema of Nanda and Yasoda and the sakhas and sakhis is so great that Vrindavana is called rasa-bhumi. If Krishna went elsewhere for a job, for some duty or work, He would surely return. He went to the battle of Kuruksetra and to Janakapura for business, and then returned. In Vraja, however, there is only rasa. Rasavadana has no beginning and no end. Vrindavana is rasa-bhumi, and Dvaraka and Mathura, being full of aisvarya, is karma-bhumi. Therefore He would never return.

Why did Krishna not kill Jarasandha the first time he attacked? Baladeva had caught hold of him with His plow and was about to hit him with His club, but Krishna said, "Let him go. In this way he will collect more and more demons, and we will kill them all at last."

Another question may arise: Krishna had fought with and killed so many demons when He was living in Vraja, so what would be the problem now? The answer is that Krishna did not actually fight with them. He was only playing. He did not kill Putana. He was only sucking. He did not kill Trnavarta. He wanted to play in the sky, and when He was up there he caught cold of Trnavarta to protect Himself from falling. That was all. So, what to do? He did not kill Denukasura. He was simply playing as though with a toy. Aghasura had taken Krishna and all the cowherd boys into his mouth, and Krishna's body became like burning fire. When the demon's head burst open and Krishna came out automatically, it was just play.

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