Vrndavana India: February 26 2004
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Seva-kunja-gali, just a few doors from Sri Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya
Matha, there was an old temple of Sri Krsna-Balarama. The temple
was in shambles, and at times the Krsna-Balarama Deities, who are
322 years old, were not well-served. A few devotees were asked to
serve the deities and to take over the property. They tore down
the old temple and constructed a new one, and Srila Trivikrama
Maharaja gave the temple the name Rupanuga Gaudiya Bhajana-sthali.
After returning from this year's winter world
preaching tour, Srila Narayana Maharaja's first class was given
there. During that class they celebrated the completion of the temple
and the upcoming installation of Sri Sri Radha-Lalita-Madhava. The
following is a translation from his Hindi class, on the topic of
This place is very sacred and very
old. Long ago, Sri Krsna-Balarama were worshiped here in a very small
temple, and so it was known as the temple of Krsna and Balarama.
Now that the temple is rebuilt, this place is called Sri Rupanuga
Gaudiya Bhajana-sthali a very good name.
Tonight I will speak about sri-vigraha-tattva. The
Deity is not wood, stone, iron, gold or metal He is directly
Lord Krsna, Lord Balarama, or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, etc. Some
people say that God has no form. They say, "If God has a form, He
would also have to take birth and die. But this is not the case.
There is no birth and death for the Lord, so we should not consider
that He has a personal form." Many people also say, "He who is
manifest everywhere, who is endless, limitless, in all living
entities and in each and every atom how can that Supreme Being
have a form? It is not possible."
The scriptures, however,
say something different:
aho bhagyam aho
paramanandampurnam brahma sanatanam
fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and all the other
inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good
fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental
bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend."
Lord Krsna gave advice to
Arjuna, and He has also performed many pastimes in Vrndavana so
He certainly has a form.
There is a theory that
every action has some cause; there has to be a reason behind
whatever we see happening in this world. Krsna is the cause of all
causes. Sarva karana karanam. A mango tree it comes from a seed.
We also have taken birth from the semen of our father, established
in the womb of our mother. All living entities have a cause in
their coming into being, and this cause must have potency. If the
seed of the mango tree doesn't have power or potency, how can it
produce that tree? A mango tree will be produced, not a jackfruit
tree. A neem seed will sprout into a neem tree.
explained in the scriptures that Lord Sri Krsna is the cause of
all who come into being and all who are destroyed.
imani bhutani jayanteyena jatani jivantiyat prayanty
abhisamvisantitad vijijnasasva tad brahmeti
entire cosmic manifestation is made possible by the Absolute
Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (Taittiriya Upanisad
3.1.1)]* [See endnote 1]
From whom this world has come,
through whom it is all present and into which it enters, is called
Brahman. What to speak of our Vedic scriptures, even the Muslims'
Koran and the Christian's Bible say, "God created man after His
own image." God has made our form similar to His own form. The
living entities are similar in shape to His own form. All the
scriptures say all forms have come from Brahman. If He does not have
a form, then from where have these forms come?
another point to be considered. Some people, like the Buddhists
and Sankarites say that the world was zero and it will enter into
zero. They also say that there is no such thing as this world it
was false, it is false and will always be false. But the Vedas
om purnam adah purnam idampurnat purnam
udacyatepurnasya purnam adayapurnam evavasisyate
Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is
completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this
phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes.
Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in
itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many
complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance."
(Sri Isopanisad Invocation)]
The Lord is complete. All
incarnations appearing from the Lord are complete, and their
origin is also complete. The origin of this world is supremely
complete, and He is Sri Krsna. This entire world is emanating from
Can you create something from zero? Something has to
be there from which something else can be created. Can the world be
made from nothingness? The Western theory about the creation is
wrong. It is said there that first came fish, then turtles, then
reptiles, then animals, then monkeys, then gorillas, and from them
came human beings. This is bogus, or in the words of
Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, this is
a statement made by "rascals".
First of all, human
beings were manifested. From Lord Brahma came Manu and from Manu
came manava, human beings. All varieties came into being
simultaneously, and all varieties of trees were also created at the
same time. Darwins theory is absolutely false. If we adhere to
his theory, we would have to think that another species would have
manifested after the human species. Why has nothing come after
humans? There is no truth or strength in his theory.
of the Lord, and what one calls His statue, is known as Vigraha.
"Vi" means special, and "grahan" means that God has accepted this
form. In this form He accepts whatever we offer; He accepts our
bhakti and He accepts a form; and that is why He is called Vigraha
He who has taken a form in a special way. In the scripture
Vedanta-sutra it is stated: "Pratikena na hi sa", which means He is
God Himself. "Pratikena" means like a statue, "na" means no, it is
not a statue and "sa hi" means He is definitely the
God has form but we can't see Him. There
is ghee in milk, but it is not seen externally. Only by churning
and boiling will the ghee come out. Similarly, we cannot see God in
this world with our material senses, because He is sad-cit-ananda
vigraha His form is transcendental. It is not possible to see
Him with our material senses but we can see Him by worshipping
Him. If you are not qualified to see Him, how can you see Him?
This can be proved quite clearly, by historical evidence. The
Vrajavasis saw Krsna, and although Duryodana was not a devotee, he
also saw Him. So many people saw Lord Krsna when He was
Dhruva Maharaja saw Lord Narayana, and the Lord
had four-arms and was holding conch, disk, lotus flower and club.
Sri Naradaji also saw the Lord Narayana, and by the strength of
his worship Sri Prahlada Maharaja saw Lord Nrsimhadeva.
if one worships God with his material senses and paraphernalia,
his material senses will gradually become tadatma (one in quality)
with his inner spiritual senses, and he will be able to see and
meet with Him.
This is pratyaksa, evidence. In order to
give evidence that the Deity is not a piece of stone or wood, I
will relate some histories. The Deity of Saksi-gopala walked from
Vrndavana to Vidyanagara*[See endnote 2]. Where Pujyapada
Bhakti vaibhava Puri Maharaja has his Matha named Raja Mahandri.
That Deity later went to Kataka and then to Jagannatha Puri.
The Saksi-gopala temple was built and He was installed there, and
all arrangements were made for Him.*[See Endnote 3]
bhakti-vase gopala tanre ajna dilagopala la-iya sei katake
["When the King begged Him to come to his kingdom,
Gopala, who was already obliged to the king for his devotional
service, accepted his prayer Thus the King took the Gopala Deity
and went back to Kataka." (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya
Is this Deity wood or stone? Can stone or wood
walk? He walked for over 1,000 kilometres, crossing mountains and
rivers and playing His flute.
Jagannathaji and Baladevaji
went to fight on behalf of King Purusottama-jana, the father of
King Prataparudra.*[See endnote 4] Are they statues? No, they are
the Lords themselves. To consider them statues is a big
When the Saksi-gopala Deity was in Kataka, the queen
of King Purusottama Jana looked at Him thinking, "If He had a hole
in His nose, I would give Him a beautiful nose-ring." That night
He came in her dream and said, "I have a hole in My nose, so you
can come and put the nose-ring in My nose as you have desired." In
the morning the king and queen saw that hole. *[See Endnote 5] If
the Deity is made of stone, can He perform such pastimes? He is
not stone or wood.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami used to reside on
the banks of the Yamuna in Vrndavana, and he would go to
Govardhana and perform a 14 mile parikrama there. Then he would go
to Mathura and do bhiksa (begging) at the brahmana-vaisnava's
homes, and then he would return to Vrndavana. This was his daily
routine. While in Mathura one day, he saw the Deity of Sri
Madana-mohanji playing a traditional game with two sticks
(gilidanda) with another boy. He thought, "This Thakurji is playing
with the child of this lady here." He sat down, stunned and
astonished. When Krsna won the game He told the child to give him
a piggy-back ride and the child gave it to Him. When the child won
and it was Krsna's turn to give a piggy-back ride, He returned to
His Deity form on His throne. The child then told Him, "Next time,
don't come to play with me. Don't even come near me. Tomorrow, when
You come, who will You play with?" This Deity requested Srila
Sanatana Gosvami, "Please take me to Vrndavana and serve Me
there." Srila Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I don't have anything. I
am eating dry chapattis without salt. If You are ready to accept
that, I can offer You that." Sri Krsna is the son of Nanda Baba,
who owns 900,000 cows, in addition to eating at His own house He
steals butter from other people's houses, and He also expands
Himself into millions of calves and gopas who also eat sumptuously
and yet His belly doesn't get full. Whatever Srila Sanatana
Gosvami offered Sri Madan-mohan was without salt, and the Deity
thus requested him, "At least bring some salt for Me. I cannot eat
this dry food." Srila Sanatana Gosvami said, "What can I do? Can You
arrange for this?" Thakurji replied, "Yes, I will arrange," and
All the Deities, such as Sri Madan-mohanji and Sri
Govindaji, are not just statues. They are sad-cit-ananda vigraha
Sri Krsna Himself.
["Krsna who is known as
Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful
spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin
and He is the prime cause of all causes." (Brahma-samhita
He is the cause of all causes.
We see how the
Deities interact with their devotees. By worshipping them they will
give us their darsana, fulfill our desires and ambitions, and they
will even give us entrance into Vraja.
Now it is 7 pm
and I must go to Mathura. Please forgive me, but I must leave.
If possible I will come again.
[*Endnote 1: "The Vedic hymns
confirm the fact that He is the origin of all living entities and
the resting place of all. After creation, everything rests in His
omnipotence, and after annihilation everything again returns to
rest in Him." (A purport to this verse by Srila Bhaktivedanta
[*Endnote 2: Srila Prabhupada writes in
his translation of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila: "Srila
Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives the following summary of the Fifth
Chapter in his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya. Once there were two brahmanas,
one elderly and the other young, who were inhabitants of a place
known as Vidyanagara. After touring many places of pilgrimage, the
two brahmanas finally reached Vrndavana. The elderly brahmana
was very satisfied with the service of the young brahmana, and he
wanted to offer him his youngest daughter in marriage. The young
brahmana received the promise of his elder before the Gopala Deity
of Vrndavana; thus the Gopala Deity acted as a witness. When the two
brahmanas returned to Vidyanagara, the younger brahmana raised the
question of this marriage, but the elderly brahmana, due to
obligations to his friends and wife, answered that he could not
remember his promise. Because of this, the younger brahmana
returned to Vrndavana and narrated the whole story to Gopalaji.
Thus Gopalaji, being obliged by the young man's devotional service,
accompanied him to southern India. Gopalaji followed the
younger brahmana, who could hear the tinkling sound of Gopalaji's
ankle bells. When all the respectable gentlemen of Vidyanagara were
assembled, Gopalaji testified to the promise of the elderly
brahmana. Thus the marriage was performed. Later, the king of that
country constructed a fine temple for Gopala."]
3: "The Saksi-gopala temple is situated between the
BhuvanesvaraKhurda Road junction railway station and the
Jagannatha Puri station. The Deity is not presently situated in
Kataka, but when Nityananda Prabhu traveled there, the Deity was
present. Kataka is a town in Orissa situated on the Mahanadi
River. When Saksi-gopala was brought from Vidyanagara in southern
India, He stayed for some time at Kataka. Thereafter, He was
situated for some time in the Jagannatha temple. It seems that in
the temple of Jagannatha there was some disagreement between
Jagannatha and Saksi-gopala, a disagreement called prema-kalaha, a
quarrel of love. In order to settle this love quarrel, the King of
Orissa constructed a village about eleven miles from Jagannatha Puri.
The village was called Satyavadi, and Gopala was stationed there.
Thereafter, a new temple was constructed. Now there is a
Saksi-gopala station, and people go to Satyavadi to see the
witness Gopala." (Cc. Madhya-lila 5.9 purport)
"When Purusottama Jana (also known as Purusottama-deva) was about
24 years old, he was very beautiful and strong, and he had an
agreement with the King of Vidyanagara in South India that he would
marry the Kings daughter. He had been communicating with the King
of Vidyanagara through messengers and the King informed him that
he would come to meet him in person, but he did not specify when.
Later, the King went unannounced to see with his own eyes how
beautiful, wealthy, and qualified Purusottama Jana actually
was. He went along with his whole family, to see if they would
agree with the marriage proposal.
At that time, fortunately or
unfortunately, it was the first day of the Chariot Festival, and
King Purusottama Jana was dressed as a sweeper, sweeping the road
before Jagannatha-deva. Seeing this, the King of Vidyanagara
became quite upset and felt some disgust toward him. He
appreciated that Purusottama Jana was very youthful and beautiful,
but he considered him to be a mere sweeper. He thought, "He is
supposed to be so wealthy and qualified, but he is sweeping? I
wanted to give my daughter to him, but now I see that he is not
qualified. He is sweeping like a street-cleaner. I cannot give my
daughter to this sweeper." Thinking like this, he returned home
and cancelled the marriage.
A few days after the festival
was over, Purusottama Jana remembered the agreement and wondered
what had happened. He asked his counsellors, "That king wanted to give
his daughter to me in marriage, but there has been no recent
indication at all. Why not?" The counsellors informed him, "He saw
you sweeping on the day of the Ratha-yatra Festival and thought
you were a mere sweeper. He doesnt want to give his daughter to a
Jana heard this, he became angry and said, "I must invade his
kingdom!" In his mind, he told that king, "You dont know the
glory of my Jagannatha-deva!" He collected all his soldiers and
generals, declared war on that king, and a ferocious battle took
place in the state of that other king.
The King of Vidyanagara
worshiped the demigod Ganesh, who was therefore somewhat favorable
towards him. Ganesh fought against Purusottama Janas party and
defeated them. Thus, extremely disturbed, they returned to Puri
empty-handed. Weeping, Purusottama Jana went to the temple and
told Lord Jagannatha, "O Lord, I am your servant. That very mighty
King told me, "You are only a sweeper of Jagannatha, and he refused
to give me his daughter in marriage. Please help me. I was
sweeping for You. I thought You would help me at all times, but he
defeated me. Im serving You, and yet You didnt help me. I was
defeated because Ganesh helped him. I remembered You, but You did
not help me. Now everyone in the world will think, Jagannatha has
no power, and that is why His devotee has no power. Jagannatha is
very weak and insignificant. This is so shameful; I will die here. I
will not eat or drink anything, and I will die here in front of
You, in Your temple."
Later that night, King Purusottama
Jana had a dream in which Jagannatha-deva told him, "Try again.
Last time you went straight to war without calling Me and
therefore I did not help you. But now I will help you. March again
with all your soldiers and generals. Dont be afraid, and dont
worry. Go and invade that kings territory again. Baladeva and
Iwill go there personally, and somehow you will be aware of
this. You will defeat that king, along with Ganesh, and everyone
else on his side."
Purusottama Jana became very happy
and made arrangements to again invade the kingdom. The next day he
called for more soldiers and generals, and they started on their
way and marched quickly towards Vidyanagara.
Jagannatha and Baladeva got up on very strong and beautiful
horses. Baladeva's horse was white, and Krsna Himself
rode a red
one. They were both sixteen years of age, one blackish and the other
white, and both were very powerful, strong, and beautiful. They
wanted Purusottama Jana to have faith that they were going to fight
for him, so they went some miles ahead of him. Many miles from
Puri, they reached a village near Chilka, Alalanatha, near a very
large and beautiful lake. There, Krsna and Baladeva came upon
an old village gvalini (milk-lady) carrying a large pot of
buttermilk on her head. It was a hot summer day, and Jagannatha and
Baladeva said to her, "Mother, can you give us some buttermilk? We
are very thirsty."
"Can you pay me?" the gvalini asked
them. "I will give you some buttermilk if you pay me." Krsna and
Baladeva replied, "We cannot pay you. We are soldiers of the King,
and we are on the way to battle. Our King is coming and he will
pay you when he reaches here. You can tell him, Your two soldiers
were going this way. One was blackish and the other white. They were
riding on their horses with their swords and other weapons."
She asked, "How will he be able to recognize that you are his
soldiers? How will he know that it is his own soldiers who have
taken this buttermilk?"
They replied, "We will give you some proof to show the King, and
then he will pay you."
The village lady gave them her whole
pot of buttermilk, and they drank it all and felt satisfied. Then
they gave her their very beautiful rings and told her, "Give these
rings to the King and tell him, The owners of these rings have
gone before you, and they said that you will pay for their
buttermilk." The boys then went happily onwards.
seller waited and waited, and finally the King arrived there with
his entire army of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. When the
army arrived, the old lady began to search for him, asking, "Where is
the King? Where is the King?" The soldiers told her, "The King is
there," and she walked up to him and said, "Your two soldiers have
gone ahead. They were both young, beautiful, and very energetic,
and they were riding on horses. They drank my entire pot of
buttermilk, and they told me, Our King will pay. So you should
pay for my buttermilk." The King told the old lady, "None of my
soldiers have gone before us." She replied, "Yes, they have. Ive
seen them and Ive given them my buttermilk." The King told her,
"How can I believe they are my soldiers? All my soldiers are with
me. No one has gone ahead. We are the first to come." Then he
asked her, "Do you have any proof?" "Yes," she said, "I have
The milk-lady showed the two rings to the King, and on
the rings he saw the names Jagannatha Simha and Baladeva Simha
(Simha means "lion"). He became happy and inspired, and he
thought, "These are the two rings I had made by the goldsmith.
They are the same
rings that I presented to Jagannatha and Baladeva! Jagannatha and
Baladeva have done this for me so that I would know they are with
me. This time I will surely conquer that King." He then donated
some of his kingdom to that old village woman. He offered her a
large estate, telling her, "Take this land and nourish many
generations of your family with it." That ladys family is living
on the same estate to this very day.
then invaded his enemys kingdom and defeated his entire army. He
forcibly took away the Kings daughter and imprisoned her, and all
the Kings counsellors as well. He also took
the Kings golden
throne, and the deity of Bhanda (cheater) Ganesh. Bhanda Ganesh had
been fighting on the side of the King of Vidyanagara, so Krsna and
Baladeva captured him and bound him up, saying, "He is Bhanda Ganesh."
Ganesh knows well that Krsna is the Supreme Personality
of Godhead and the all-in-all, yet he took the wrong side. That
is why Krsna and Balarama called him "Cheater Ganesh." Purusottama
Jana arrested the King, and then mercifully released him, saying, "I
shall not kill you." Then, having conquered Vidyanagara, he took
permission of the deity Saksi-gopala, the witness of the young
brahmana, and brought that deity to Kataka. He also took the very
large and beautiful deities of Radha-kanta, who are still in the
Sri Radha-kanta Matha in Jagannatha Puri, where Caitanya
Mahaprabhu used to live in the Gambira. He also took Bhanda Ganesh, bringing all these deities to Puri." (Origins of Ratha-yatra
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja)]
[*Endnote 5: When
the Gopala Deity was installed at Kataka, the Queen of
Purusottama-deva went to see Him and, with great devotion,
presented various kinds of ornaments.
The Queen had a very
valuable pearl, which she wore on her nose, and she wished to give it
to Gopala. She then began to think as follows.
there were a hole in the Deity's nose, I could transfer the pearl
Considering this, the Queen offered her obeisances
to Gopala and returned to her palace. That night she dreamed that
Gopala appeared and began to speak to her as
"During My childhood My mother made a hole in My nose
and with great endeavor set a pearl there.
"That very hole
is still there, and you can use it to set the pearl you desired to
After dreaming this, the Queen explained it to
her husband, the King. Both the King and the Queen then went to
the temple with the pearl.
Seeing the hole in the nose of
the Deity, they set the pearl there and, being very pleased, held a
Since then, Gopala has been situated in the
city of Kataka [Cuttack], and He has been known ever since as
Thus Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard the
narration of Gopala's activities. Both He and His personal devotees
became very pleased.
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was
sitting before the Gopala Deity, all the devotees saw Him and the
Deity as being of the same form.
They were of the same
complexion, and both had gigantic bodies Both wore saffron cloth,
and both were very grave.
The devotees saw that both Lord
Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Gopala were brilliantly effulgent and had
eyes like lotuses. They were both absorbed in ecstasy, and both
Their faces resembled full moons.
When Nityananda saw the
Gopala Deity and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in that way, He began to
exchange remarks with the devotees, all of whom were smiling."
(Cc. Madhya-lila 5. 125-138)]
Editorial advisors: Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad
Brajanatha dasaTranslator: Akhilesa dasaTranscriber: Vasanti
dasiTypist: Anita dasiEditor: Syamarani