Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
THE GOPIS' MERCY UPON UDDHAVA
Miami, Florida: February 9, 2003 (Part 2)
[In Part 1 of this lecture, Srila Narayana Maharaja explained that Uddhava was sent by Krsna to Vraja, to console His parents, and especially to console the gopis. The gopis began questioning Uddhava about the nature of Krsna's love for them, and they also gave theirown verdict about why Krsna left them and went to Mathura. Now, in Part 2, the gopis continue to speak with Uddhava, and they also bring him to witness the most exalted stage of Srimati Radhika's love in separation:]
nihsvam tyajanti ganika
akalpam nrpatim prajah
The gopis then gave a second example: "Akalpam nrpatim prajah ? When a king is taken from the throne and becomes poor, his subjects no longer give him any respect. They become against him; they never think to look after him. The king may have been a high class of welfare worker for his citizens, always doing so much for them, but still they will reject him when his circumstances change." King Rama is an example of this. Although He was doing so much for His subjects, many of them were questioning, "Why has Rama kept Sita with Him? She spent ten months in the house of Ravana. Why has He kept Her? So many doubted and challenged, "What witness was there? In the future all the subjects will follow Rama's bad example. They will keep a characterless wife, without caring for the consequences. They will not care for rules and regulations." Rama was thinking, "I am doing everything for them, giving My life and soul to them, but still they accuseMe and have no belief in Me. What offense has Sita committed? They are foolish persons. I will not follow their order; I will not give up Sita."
The gopis continued, "Suppose a boy has gone to gurukula and has received all kinds of learning there. After he has finished his school life, he gives a donation (guru daksina) to his gurudeva. Then, when he returns to his home, he has no further relationship with that guru, and he never remembers him. This kind of love and affection is external, and it is not real."
khaga vita-phalam vrksam
bhuktva catithayo grham
dagdham mrgas tatharanyam
jara bhuktva ratam striyam
["Birds abandon a tree when its fruits are gone, guests a house after they have eaten, animals a forest that has burnt down, and a lover the woman he has enjoyed, even though she remains attached to him." (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.8)]
"Many birds take shelter in a beautiful green forest, where there is an abundance of fruits to eat and water to drink. Everythingis provided for them there. These birds live very happily in that forest, but if a fire comes and burns down all the trees, the birds go to another forest. In this case, the love and affection of the birds for the forest is also selfish.
"Bhuktva catithayo ? A poor person goes door to door, begging and giving some instructions. Then, after a householder gives him a donation, he will not stay to give instruction for even one more minute. This love and affection was only for the donation."
Another sakhi said, "O Uddhava, a wealthy person went to a prostitute and gave a vast amount of money to her. He passed the whole night with her, and after he tasted that sense gratification he returned home. He never saw that prostitute again."
iti gopyo hi govinde
rudantyas ca gata-hriyah
tasya samsmrtya samsmrtya
["Thus speaking, the gopis, whose words, bodies and minds were fully dedicated to Lord Govinda, put aside all their regular work now that Krsna?s messenger, Sri Uddhava, had arrived among them. Constantly remembering the activities their beloved Krsna had performed in His childhood and youth, they sang about them and cried without shame. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47. 9-10)"]
The gopis were lamenting and weeping. Seeing them, Uddhava also wept, but he could not reply to any of their questions.
The gopis glorified the attributes and qualities of Krsna thus: "How beautiful and merciful He is. He protected us from Indra?s vajra (thunderbolt). He lifted Giriraja Govardhana forseven days to satisfy and protect us, and to give us pleasure. He was always there for us, and He told so much sweet katha to us. He said, 'O gopis, you are My most beloved. I will not be able repay you in thousands upon thousands of lives. You are My soul and heart.' But now, where is Krsna? Where is Krsna?"
The gopis were remembering Krsna, as well as the sweet pastimes ofHis balya-lila (childhood) and kaisora-lila. They especially remembered rasa-lila, which is lila-cakravarti, the crown-jewel of all pastimes.
The gopis then took Uddhava with them and said, "Come on; you can see our most dear priya-sakhi." Uddhava went with them and saw a very thin golden 'statue' lying on a bed of lotus flowers. Even though these flowers were very cool and fragrant, as soon as they were placed on Her bed, they had become immediately dried up. The very cool candana, sandalwood paste, had also dried. As there was only very little breath coming from Her body, Uddhava could not understand whether She was dead or alive. A gopi took a piece of soft cotton and put it to Her nose. Some breathing was seen, but it looked as though She would die in the next moment ? and no one would be able to save Her. Krsna was now in Mathura, and that gopi, Srimati Radhika, was lying down and lamenting.
kacin madhukaram drstva
["One of the gopis, while meditating on Her previous association with Krsna, saw a honeybee before Her and imagined it to be a messenger sent by Her beloved. Thus She spoke as follows." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.11)]
Her eyes were closed as she remembered Krsna, and She said, "Krsna? that black cheater ? He has cheated us. He is black inside and out. Now He is in Mathura with many, very beautiful Yadava-patnis, ladies of the Yadu dynasty. Angry, she then saw a black bumble bee before Her. By nature the bee desired the fragrance coming from a lotus flower, and now he thought that the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika were a soft, fragrant, reddish lotus flower. He considered, "I should sit here and take honey fromthat flower." Then, seeing that bee flying about Her feet, Srimati Radhika's anger increased.
Hearing her words of citrajalpa (incoherent talks provoked by a mood of great separation), spoken in divyon-mada (a very intense state of separation), Uddhava was in wonder, thinking that he had never heard or seen anything like this before. He thus began to pray, "O gopis, I am indebted to you, becauseyou have served and loved Krsna in such a way that now He is your exclusive servant. He does not belong to anyone else. He has donated Himself to your lotus feet. Your words of separation have sprinkled great mercy on me, for without having heard them, how would I be able to know about the deep truths of your divyon-mada and other moods of love in separation?"
The gopis replied, "We have left our fathers, husbands, positions and everything else ? only for Krsna. But this cheater never remembers us. Don't come and tell us, 'O, Prabhu wants to make a compromise with you.' We cannot make any compromise with Him." Uddhava thought, "What a wonderful thing I have seen, and he told them, "I have brought a message from Krsna. I cannot personally satisfy or pacifyyou; I can only tell you His message."
Uddhava then tried to satisfy them, but their love and affection in separation became still higher, and they told him, "Uddhava, we do not wantto remember Him. If He can forget us, why can?t we forget Him? But the fact is that we cannot forget Him. We want to, but we cannot. Seeingthe future, they continued. "How can Krsna come here? He has married 16,108 beautiful wives, and now He is the king of Mathura and Dvaraka. He cannot come back. When we try to forget Him, in Govardhana or on the bank of the river Jamuna, remembrance of Him at once comes to us: 'this is the same ghat where Krsna used to play with us. This is where we used to dance and sing in maha-rasa.' We remember Krsna everywhere we go." Saying this, they wept.
Meanwhile, Srimati Radhika began to say,
he natha he rama-natha
magnam uddhara govinda
["O beloved, O master of the goddess of fortune, O master of Vraja! O destroyer of all suffering, Govinda, please lift Your Gokula out of the ocean of distress in which it is drowning!" (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.52)]
'Natha' means master, and also most beloved. 'Rama-natha' means husband of Rama, Mahalaksmi, but here Mahalaksmi is Radha. "You have come to take away all of our sufferings." 'Natharti' means distress. Magnam uddhara govinda golukulam.Gokula is the residence of go, gopis, and gopas, the cows, the cowherd girls and cowherd boys. "All are dyingin Your separation! O, please come." 'Uddhara' means deliver them and 'arna' means the endless, depthless ocean of separation. "We are all sinking in that ocean, so please come and take us out ? or we will all die, including Myself." Uddhava then said, "My life is now successful, by seeing you," and he began to pray and glorify the gopis in many ways.
asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam
vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam
ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham ca hitva
bhejur mukunda-padavam srutibhir vimrgyam
["The gopis of Vrndavana have given up the association of their husbands, sons and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krsna, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers or herbs in Vrndavana, because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet." (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.61)]
Considering Krsna the Supreme Lord, he therefore prayed, "Asam aho ? I am praying at the lotus feet of the Lords of lords, the Supreme Lord, Krsna. Vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam ? I want to take birth in Vrndavana, as a creeper or a very small plant, so that when the gopis go out to meet Krsna, their lotus feet dust will fall on my head. I wantto be any blade of grass (gulma lata), so the gopis will keep the dust of their lotus feet on my head; then my life will be successful. Krsna is the Supreme Lord and it is very hard to please Him. However, ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham ca hitva ? the gopis' loving moods of divyon-mada and madanakya-mahabhava are so high thatif anyone remembers them, Krsna will at once appear to that bhakta and He willgive him his full mercy. Srutibhir vimrgyam ? the lotus feet of Krsna are served by the Vedas. The Vedas cannot achieve those feet, but if one remembers the gopis, especially Srimati Radhika, Krsna will be controlled by him."
ya vai sriyarcitam ajadibhir apta-kamair
yogesvarair api yad atmani rasa-gosthyam
krsnasya tad bhagavatah caranaravindam
nyastam stanesu vijahuh parirabhya tapam
["The goddess of fortune herself, along with Lord Brahma and all the other demigods who are masters of yogic perfection, can worship the lotus feet of Krsna only within their minds. But during the rasa dance Lord Krsna placed His feet upon these gopis' breasts, and by embracing those feet the gopis gave up all distress." (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.62)]
The lotus feet of Krsna are very rarely seen, even by Laksmi, Brahma, Sankara and all the rsis and yogesvaras, masters of yogic powers, like Brahma, Sankara, Sukadeva, Bhisma and others. The gopis, on the other hand, place Krsna?s very rarely seen lotusfeet on their breasts. The hidden meaning in this verse is that it is the gopis who remove Krsna's distress by this act.
Uddhava also prayed,
["I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaja's cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Sri Krsna, the vibration purifies the three worlds."(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.63)]
"I pray to the lotus feet of all the gopis of Nanda Baba?s village. I pray even to one particle of the dust of their feet." This actually means he wanted one particle of the dust from Srimati Radhika?s lotus feet. By hearing the gopis' expressionsin their separation mood here, and also what they sang at the time of Krsna's disappearance from rasa-lila (jayati te adhikam) the whole universe will be purified.
So Uddhava prayed to the gopis, "Now I want to go to Krsna and tell Him that, 'All the gopis, gopas, cows and calves will die ? so You should go to Vraja at once.' Should I tell Him this?" The gopis replied, "Do not tell Krsna. If He is happy there,then He must remain there. If He breaks our heart ? no harm. He is our most beloved, and He is very soft-hearted. If He hears that we are all dying in separation from Him, He may give up His lifeat once. So do not tell Him. You can tell Him in a very subtle way. If one's cloth is very old, then he should not wet it and not twist so hard that it will tear. So do not tell Krsna our condition, otherwise He will not be able to survive."
After that, Uddhava wondered how Krsna could leavethe gopis whose love and affection was so elevated, and he feared, "If I stay here, it may be that Krsna will also give me up." He feared in this way because He was the representative of Mathura, and therefore he could not stay in the association of the gopis. Instead, he returned to Mathura and told Krsna how the gopis were lamenting.
I have told this in brief. Anyone who explains this topic must weep and feel a very high class of separation. But our hearts are like stone; because of our aparadhas they are not melting. Your heart will melt when you make it pure. Do not criticize anyone, and try to follow this third verse of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Sri Siksastakam:
trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
["One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord."]
Follow the teachings of Srila Rupa Gosvami's Sri Upadesamrta ? Nectar of Instruction. You will then be very strong devotees very soon, and you will be able to realize these topics and weep throughout the day and night. Krsna and Radha will come and give you Their mercy.
Editorial advisors: Sripad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha dasa
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber and typist: Vasanti dasi