[A class on Srila Sanatana Gosvami's Brhad
India: September 5
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana
[This is the tenth class you are
receiving from Srila Narayana Maharaja's series of classes on Srila
Sanatana Gosvami's Srimad Brhad Bhagavatamrta. To summarize the
previous classes in a nutshell, Sri Narada Rsi had been traveling
all over the universe in search for the most exalted devotees,
those who are the greatest recipient of Lord Krsna's mercy. His
search brought him to Dvaraka, where he was looking for Uddhava.
In front of Baladeva Prabhu, Rohini dasi, Devaki dasi, Krsna's queens
and other associates, Uddhava expressed his feelings that the
Vrajavasis and especially the gopis are the most exalted.
Gradually the discussion amongst them came to the question of
whether or not Sri Krsna should go to Vrndavana, and whether or
not He was cruel for not having already gone. Different associates
had different opinions.
The following is a
translation of Srila Maharaja's Hindi class of September 5,
Srimati Rohini devi concluded that Sri
Krsna is very cruel-hearted, but Srimati Rukmini devi and
Satyabhama devi tried to give evidence that His heart is very soft.
Krsna then asked Uddhava how He could remedy the situation of the
suffering of the Vrajavasis.
Krsna concluded that
He should write a letter to the Vrajavasis stating, "O most
beloved Vrajavasis, now I have some responsibilities in
Mathura, such as killing the demon Jarasandha and others like him,
and I must also satisfy the Yadu dynasty. After I have done this I
will very quickly come to Vrndavana."
heard that he would again be sent to Vrndavana with a message from
Krsna, he said, "This is quite absurd. There is no other remedy
except for You to personally go to Vrndavana, because the
Vrajavasis do not want anything else in this world or in the next
world. All they want is the sight of Your lotus feet again in
Vrndavana." Uddhava somewhat knows the hearts of the Vrajavasis
because he spent three months there and took prasadam prepared by
them. Therefore, he was controlled by the prema of the Vrajavasis.
Krsna's cowherd friends love Him so much. If
Krsna would disappear behind a tree even for one-eleventh of a
second, they would bitterly cry, "O Krsna, O Krsna." They have so
much affection for Him that they cannot tolerate Him leaving for
even one moment When Nanda Baba took Krsna and Balarama to
Mathura, all the cowherd boys, like Sridama, Subala and
Madhumangala, went with Him. To them, one second of separation
from Him is like a pralaya, universal destruction. One second felt to
them like a catur-yuga, so many hundreds of thousands of
Only one who has mamata, a sense of
possessiveness, towards Krsna, thinking, "Krsna is mine", can
experience this viraha, mood of separation. The sakhas have abundant
mamata for Krsna, and for that reason they feel intense
separation. Yet, their separation mood is not like that of Mother
Yasoda. Her mood of separation is so unbearable that she has
become blind from continual weeping.
separation is still more than that of Mother Yasoda. They became
transcendentally mad (divyon-mad). Of all the gopis, Srimati
Lalita devi and Visakha devi have the most intense feelings of
separation; and even more than theirs is the separation of Srimati
In order to be able to posses this
mamata, one must first have such feelings toward Sri Gurudeva and
the Vaisnavas. In this world there is no prema. We must first develop
a relationship with Guru and Vaisnavas, and then prema towards
Krsna can manifest in our hearts. There should be no
self-interest at all; then our mamata can become pure and we will
experience the mood of separation as a result of that mamata.
The gopis feel intolerable separation when Krsna
goes cow-grazing, and their separation is mitigated by seeing
signs of His return. They may see the dust kicked up by the cows in
the distance, or they may hear the sounds made by His flute and
horn. At that time all the Vrajavasis have such mamata for Him
that no one stays in their houses. Everyone comes out on the path
to see Him, and this is very natural it is not artificial at
We see these days that due to the influence
of time there is no prema at all rather there is only
self-interest. What to speak of having prema, we have no real
affection for Guru. As time passes people even become against
Guru. Prema is only available in the spiritual world. The gopis'
prema is without any self-interest at all. Why does Krsna go to
the forest? Does He go for cow-grazing? No, not at all. Cow
grazing is only an excuse. The actual fact is that He is very anxious
to taste prema-bhakti rasa, the resting place of which is in the
Vrajavasis, gopas and the gopis. Lord Krsna's going out for
cow-grazing is only an excuse to enjoy pastimes with the sakhas,
to see the beauty of Vrndavana, and especially to enjoy with the
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains in Sri
jayati jayati vrndaranyam
ramayati sa sada gah palayan
svarita-madhura-venur vardhayan prema rase
["All glories, all glories to Sri Vrndavana-dhama,
where Sri Murari enjoys residing more than He does in the heart of
sadhus or even in Vaikuntha, where He forever tends cows, and
where, by playing sweet melodies on the flute, He increases the
gopis' amorous love for Him."]
Gosvami is explaining the beauty of Vrndavana. All glories to
Vrndavana where Lord Sri Krsna always plays here and there on His
flute, giving happiness to all the cows and gopis. By the melody
of His flute He has expanded prema-rasa within the hearts all His
associates and especially within the hearts of the gopis. This
prayer describes the beauty of Vrndavana. The word "ramayati" in this
prayer refers to the gopis. Otherwise, ramayati may refer to
any beloved who gives happiness and pleasure. Because the meaning
is related only with Vrndavana, it can only mean the gopis.
Vrndavana is so beautiful. There, all types of fully
blossoming flowers and all seasons are present. The cuckoos
sweetly chirp and the water of the very beautiful Yamuna is pure,
clean and transparent. Lush grass grows in all ten directions
there, and therefore the cows don't have to go outside for
cow-grazing. There is no envy or any type of jealousy in Vraja
Mandala. There are no dangerous animals; only deer and rabbits and
other peaceful animals decorate Vrndavana dhama. When Sri Krsna goes
cow-grazing, all the animals surround Him on all four sides. Krsna
attracts them and gives them happiness by playing His flute.
What is the necessity of Krsna going out for
cow-grazing? Since there are no dangerous animals in Vrndavana's
forest, and since there is an abundance of fresh grass there, the
cows don't need anyone to take them they can go independently.
There are so many beautiful and enchanting ponds and lakes there,
like Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda, Kusuma-sarovara and Manasi Ganga.
They all have attractive waves, many bees swarming here and there,
and wonderful birds such as swans floating happily on their lakes.
The manjaris of the flowers are imbued with so much sweetness that
the bees never leave them. The water of the ponds is so pure that
Sri Krsna, the sakhas and all the cows drink from them. At
Kusuma-sarovara there are also so many lotus flowers in that
wonderful place that even the breeze becomes maddened and moves from
side to side like an intoxicated person.
Yamuna is also attracted to everything in Vrndavana, and that is
why she does not like to go outside. She moves very slowly and in
a crooked way. There in Vrndavana Vrnda devi arranges everything
required for the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna.
Not only are all these rivers and ponds clear and sweet,
but the sand on their banks is very soft and fragrant. There are
many types of trees and vines growing on those banks, and those
trees, such as the kadamba, have nice flowers that scent the
atmosphere and make everyone happy.
there are no snakes, tigers and bears in Vrndavana, if they would
be there they would lose all their duplicity and anger and would
reside with other animals with love and affection. Even snakes and
mongooses, and tigers and deer, would forget their natural enmity.
They would be friends and embrace each other. Such is the
atmosphere in Vrndavana, and Krsna enjoys all these aspects of
Vrndavana; He used cow-grazing as an excuse to go out.
The male and female parrots form their own groups. The male
parrots (Suka) are in Krsna's group and the saris, the females, and
are on the side of Srimati Radhika. The male parrot describes
Krsna as Madana-mohan; He is so beautiful that He attracts even
Cupid himself. The parrot on the side of Srimati Radharani says,
"No. Krsna can only attract someone if Srimati Radharani is
present with him. She is Madana Mohan Mohini. If She is not with
Him He is only Madana. He is bewildered by cupid. When the male
parrot says, "My Krsna lifted Govardhana," the female parrot
replies, "The only reason Krsna could lift Govardhana was that
Srimati Radhika was there with Him. She is the sakti (power)
inside Krsna. For this reason He was able to lift Govardhana.
When the male parrot tries again and says, "Krsna is very beautiful
His head is decorated with a peacock-feather," the female parrot
replies, "Yes, He wears a peacock feather only because my Radha's
name is marked on it." The male parrot says, "Krsna's peacock
feather leans towards the left side, and the female parrot
replies, "Yes, this is because it wants to bow down to my Radha's
feet." These wonderful conversations take place in Vrndavana.
Just as the birds quarrel, sometimes in Kosi Sri
Krsna and Srimati Radharani quarrel and Srimati Radharani
defeats all of Krsna's arguments. Sometimes Krsna goes to the home of
Srimati Radharani and knocks on the door. She asks, "Who is
there?" Krsna says, "It is Hari." Radhika, taking hari to mean
monkey or lion, laughingly replies, "What is the need of a monkey
or a lion here? Is it that You want to scratch Me? You should
quickly run away to a dense forest. We are all scared of lions and
monkeys here." Then Krsna replies, "I'm Krsna." The word krsna
also happens to mean black snake. Radhika therefore says, "If You
are krsna, a black snake, then what need do You have to be here?
Do You want to bite Me? Go to the forest. You have no purpose
here." Krsna replies, No, "I'm Cakri." Cakri also means potter.
Radhika therefore says, "There is no need for a cakri here. No
wedding festival is being held in My house. Take Your clay pots
and go to a place where a marriage is being celebrated."
So Krsna never simply goes for cow-grazing. He resides in
Vrndavana just to have these kinds of conversations and feel
There are many kinds of fruits and
flowers in Vrndavana. The trees there are laden with so many fruits
that they become heavy and their branches bow down to the ground.
The branches also have so many flowers upon them that they bow
down to the ground to touch the feet of Krsna.
And all the gopas and gopis have very sweet voices there. This is
the beauty and wonder of Vrndavana, and even the demigods pray to
take birth in Vrndavana.
Lord Brahma prayed:
tad bhuri-bhagyam iha janma kim apy atavyam
gokule 'pi katamanghri-rajo-'bhisekam
nikhilam bhagavan mukundas
tv adyapi yat-pada-rajah
[My greatest possible good
fortune would be to take any birth whatever in this forest of
Gokula, and have my head bathed by the dust falling from the lotus
feet of any of its residents. Their entire life and soul is the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, the dust of whose lotus
feet is still being searched for in the Vedic mantras. (Srimad
"I want to take birth in
Vrndavana. I am not qualified for this, but if Krsna bestows mercy
upon me then maybe I can take birth in Gokula as a stone. Then I
will be very lucky." The sweepers rub their feet on the stone
after a hard days work, so Brahmaji is praying to be that stone in
It was Srimati Rohini devi who gave
this description of the beauty of Vrndavana in response to the
statements of Padmavati, the mother of King Kamsa. When Padmavati
heard the glories of Vrndavana she said, "Rohini, you talk too
much. If Vrndavana is so sweet and attractive, and if there is no
jealousy there, then why are the cows there dying?" When Krsna
heard this His mouth dried up and He became practically
unconscious. Nobody knew what to do, so everyone turned towards Sri
Lord Balarama knows Vrndavana. He was
with Krsna there, as well as in Mathura and Dvaraka. So Lord Krsna
and everyone else present turned towards Lord Balarama.
Balarama said, "O Krsna, not only are the cows in this
position. Even the peacocks, birds, trees, plants, creepers in the
kunjas, and all the grass in the gardens, are about to leave their
bodies. And all the ponds and the Yamuna have become dry due to
separation from You."
Editorial advisors: Pujyapada Madhava
Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha dasa
Typist: Anita dasi