(Auckland, New Zealand, January 13, 2001, pm)
[First Srila Narayana Maharaja requested Pundarika Prabhu to relate the story of Sri Prahlada Maharaja. The following is a summary translation of Srila Narayana Maharaja's Hindi class spoken at the Bharatiya Mandir.]
This is a very wonderful narration of the character of Sri Prahlada Maharaja and Nrsimhadeva. Especially important is Prahlada's statement, "I am not a businessman. At the end all are bound in birth and death. So I want their welfare." Prahlada is a siddha-bhakta. Lord Nrsimhadeva is a plenary part of Bhagavan, but he is not Svayam Bhagavan. Svayam Bhagavan is in Gokula; He is Nanda Baba's lala. He has all kinds of opulence and powers. He is the oldest of all, but He is does not have a beard. He is always nava-kishora, an ever-fresh youth. When Krishna went to Dvaraka He married 16,108 princesses, and each had ten sons. Each of Krishna's sons also had ten sons, and so He became the grandfather of millions-but still He was youthful. He had no lines on His face, no wrinkles, and no broken teeth. That is God. He never gets old and dies. He is always enjoying with His associates in the spiritual world.
In Dvaraka, Krishna sat at the shore of the ocean. It appeared that a hunter shot Him in the foot, and it seemed that He died. Only fools think so.
Listen to this story, and then tattva (philosophical truths) will come to you. Once, there was a king and queen. One day a family of magicians came to the palace to perform a magic show. The father, his wife, and their two young sons, who were nine and ten years old, made a marvelous magic show. The king and queen and the whole audience were very pleased. The queen gave the wife of the magician a wonderful golden necklace, as a token of her appreciation, but both her sons wanted it. They each said, "I'll take it, Mother. No, I'll take it, Mother." The boys began fight over the necklace, pulling it back and forth. They were of equal strength and neither could win. They finally became so furious that they simultaneously pulled their swords from their sheaths and cut off each other's heads. Their mother was so grief-stricken that she took her sword and cut off her own head. Then, in total despair, not able to live under the circumstances, the father took his own sword and cut off his own head.
You can imagine the horror of the king and queen and other spectators. The queen especially was feeling responsible, as she had given the necklace which caused the tragedy. The bodies and heads were taken away and no one could stop thinking about the very sad affair. The next day, however, the queen received a letter from the father of the magicians. The letter stated, "Thank you very much for the gift that you gave us for our first magic show. Your necklace is with us and we are very happy, but we are waiting for our second gift. Where is the gift for our second show? Don't worry. We didn't die. Please come and see us." The astonished king and queen immediately went to the home of the magician family, where they were warmly welcomed, and they were very happy to see them all alive and well.
There was another, even greater, magician named Visashekar. He preformed magic shows during the time of the British occupation of India. He was so famous that even the governor, the viceroy, and other chief government ministers would all come to see him. Once, in Calcutta, he called all the important government heads to come see his show at four pm. Being very punctual, they all came at exactly four o'clock and sat in the assembly. They waited for Visashekar, expecting him at any moment, for they were all very busy and important people who did not expect to be kept waiting. Five minutes passed, then fifteen, then half an hour. The men became very angry and said to each other, "Just wait until we get a hold of Visashekar. When he comes here we will punish that rascal for making us late for our important appointments." Finally, at five o'clock, a smiling Visashekar casually walked on stage. The men angrily began chastising him, "Why are you late? Why have you kept us waiting? Don't you know that we are very busy and important?" Visashekar nonchalantly said, "What is the matter?" They replied, "You told us to come at four o'clock, and we have been waiting for an hour!" Visashekar said, "I am afraid you are mistaken. Look at your watches. It is just now four o'clock." When they looked, all their watches said four o'clock. They were amazed to realize the magic show they had just witnessed.
If an ordinary magician can do such things, why not Krishna? He created Brahma and Siva. Surely He cannot die. He only made it appear that He died when the hunter shot Him. It was like a drama. Even Krishna's devotees cannot die. Bhisma is an example. He could only leave his body when he desired it.
Kaliya made so much poison. All the calves and cowherd boys were 'dead'. But Krishna did not die, and by His glance all the boys come back to life. This is Krishna's symptom. No one else can do as He can. He is Svayam Bhagavan and He is performing His pastimes.
The Jamuna River is very beautiful, and she is flowing in the middle of Mathura and Gokula. Vrindavana's gopas and gopis-how beautiful and sweetly smiling they are. How lovely. Krishna would go to all the houses with His little friends and steal makhan, butter. But actually what is the butter? It is actually the prema in the hearts of the gopis. They don't think that God is coming to their houses. When Krishna takes butter, sometimes they catch Him and with raised eyebrows they say, "O little boy, you are stealing from my house?" Krishna replies, "O mayeri, I thought that this was my house." He is smiling so sweetly that the gopi is enchanted, and then Krishna runs away. How beautiful.
In another house a gopi caught Krishna with His hand in a butter pot. She said, "Oh, now I have caught You red-handed. Now I know that You steal my butter." Krishna said, "No, I am not stealing butter. I was looking for My calf." "Oh, You are looking for Your calf? And where is it?" "Here it is," said Krishna, pulling a little marble calf from the pot. He then smiled and ran away. Whenever He would escape, the gopis would say, "Just wait! On another day I'll see what I will do. I'll catch You tomorrow."
Whenever Krishna stole butter He would share it with the monkeys. And, when the monkeys were so full that they wouldn't take any more, Krishna would say, "This butter isn't any good," and break the pots. Sometimes He would untie the calves so that they would run to their mother cows and drink all the milk. When the gopis would then come to milk the cows there would be no milk left. When the gopis would complain to Mother Yasoda about the stealing activities of her son, she would say, "I don't believe you. My son is so small. How could He possibly steal from so many houses?" At the same time she thought to herself that perhaps Krishna was not satisfied with the butter in her house. Maybe it was not sweet enough. So she decided to make butter with her own hands. Mother Yasoda did not purchase the milk or butter from the store. This is not bhakti. You are all Indians, but still you purchase everything ready-made from the shops. You also don't grind you own spices. You purchase them already ground. Bhakti means to lovingly prepare everything yourself. This is our Indian culture.
Mother Yasoda thus milked the cows and made yogurt. The next morning, on Diwali, when everyone else was away, she began to churn the yogurt. She was so beautiful. She had a very thin waist and luster was coming out from within, as from a pearl. From where does Krishna's beauty come? From His mother. As she churned, she became absorbed in remembering Krishna's pastimes. She was singing, "Govinda Damodhara Madhaveti." She forgot who she was and where she was. When Krishna awoke He could not find His mother, and, being very hungry He began to cry, "Maiya, Maiya." It is no trouble for Krishna to make universes and to kill demons like Hiranyakasipu, Ravana and Agasura, but now He was weeping and His cries were not answered. He then cried more loudly, and when His mother did not come, He somehow got down from the bed. He heard His mother singing, and He went in that direction. He was rubbing His eyes, and His kajal had thus made thick black lines under his eyes and was now smeared on His cheeks. Approaching Yasoda, He pulled her sari, but she did not notice. Then He pulled her cloth with one hand and put His other hand on the churning rod. At that time she turned and saw her darling little son. She then gave up churning and put Him on her lap. She gave Him her breast, covering Him with her upper cloth, and caressed His head. Krishna had great love and Mother Yasoda had great love. Soon, the milk which Mother Yasoda had put on the fire began to boil over. The milk was thinking to itself that Krishna has unlimited thirst. Millions of universes cannot fill Him up. Mother Yasoda, on the other hand, has an unlimited supply of milk. So, thinking that it would never have a chance to serve Krishna, the milk began to give up it's life by jumping into the fire. Our mental power and life are useless without Krishna consciousness. We should repent like the milk. Without repenting, bhakti will not come.
When Mother Yasoda saw the milk, she immediately wanted to rescue it. She thought that with her milk alone she could not please Krishna. She could not make rubry, rasagula, pera, and so many other sweets. She wanted to get up, but Krishna was not yet satisfied. He wrapped His legs around her, and held her with His hands, and with His mouth also. Although He was trying so hard, with one hand Yasoda quickly put Him down. She ordered Him, "You should sit here."
When Putana, with the strength of ten-thousand elephants, tried to free herself from Krishna, she was unable to do so; but Mother Yasoda could easily put Krishna down. She pacified the milk, and told him, "Be peaceful." When she returned Krishna was gone. She thought, "Where did that monkey go?" This is Parambrahma. He is afraid. He forgets that He is Bhagavan, the Supreme, all-powerful Lord. Who is He? The Supreme Lord. Siva and Durga and all others are His dasas and dasis. Krishna does not live in the yogi's hearts. He lives in Vrindavana where there is so much love. If you do puja, it should not be for personal benefit. Whatever you do should be for Krishna, not for your own enjoyment.
Tomorrow is Makara Sankranti. 70 million people will bathe in the Ganga and the ocean. They will give charity to others: money, cows, etc. Maharaja Yudhisthira also did this. Draupadi also gave away her clothing, ornaments, and everything else she had. Her entire family went home empty handed, and they received pleasure by this.