Our Goal of Life


At the Frankfurt airport, just before leaving for Florida

Paderborn, Germany: April 9, 2006
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja


Yesterday we were discussing Sri Uddhava, who is the most prominent member in the Yadu dynasty and who was sent by Sri Krsna to go to Nandagaon, Vrndavana. He had been thinking that Krsna was in Mathura, and that He had left Vrndavana to be there. However, when Uddhava first reached Vrndavana from Mathura and got his first glimpse of Vraja, he understood: "Krsna is fully here, and only partly in Mathura."

Uddhava told Nanda Baba, "You are very fortunate. Those who weep for their parents will simply weep, but if anyone weeps for Krsna, the Supreme Lord, such persons are truly fortunate. Lord Sri Krsna is not only your son; He is the Supreme Lord of Lords; He kindly came to live in your house."

Nanda Baba became even more upset when he heard this. He said, "I personally thought that because you associate with Krsna, you would be knowledgeable. But I see that actually you still have your milk teeth; you really do not know anything."

Uddhava began to think, "What a mistake I have made!"

Nanda Baba continued, "In this world, I am the greatest sufferer. You tell me that I am fortunate, but I am most unfortunate. Up until now I considered that Krsna is my son, but now I hear from you that He is the Supreme Lord – and I have lost Him! I could not maintain Him or give Him love and affection! How wretched am I?!

"Actually there was only one father, and that was Dasaratha Maharaja. When Rama went to the forest Dasaratha Maharaja called out, 'Rama, Rama Ra…' and then he left his body. Why am I not giving up my body? My body must be made of a thunderbolt. What should I do?" Nanda Baba continued weeping throughout the night.

Uddhava realized, "I cannot pacify him. I cannot even pacify Nanda Baba, what to speak of Mother Yasoda? Her love and affection for Krsna is superior to that of even Nanda Baba."

The entire night went on in this way - full with weeping.

In the morning, Uddhava went to a kunda that is now called Krsna-kunda. He took bath there, chanted his gayatri-mantras, and then he saw a big forest of kadamba trees, which later became known as Uddhava-kyari. In the midst of that forest he saw some gopis talking.

One gopi said, "Why has this chariot come? It is the same chariot that carried Akrura – not Akrura but Krura (meaning cruel) – who took our most beloved Sri Krsna. Now Krsna is so far away. Why did that chariot come here again?"

Another gopi said, "In the Vedic culture, fourteen days after someone dies, a special oblations called pinda are given to the dead person. This chariot has been sent from Mathura, so that the driver will bring back our heart pinda (oblations) from here – because all are dead here. So many hearts will be easily received and they will be given to Kamsa. But why the golden chariot?"

Another gopi said, "Do you know that Krsna is now a prince in Madhupuri, Mathura? His servant has come by a golden chariot. He has sent this messenger to pacify His mother, His father and the Vrajavasis. He wants to show us that: 'I am sending my servant to pacify you all.'"

Uddhava heard this and thought, "I have made a mistake. Why have I come in a golden chariot?"
Another gopi said, "Why is this Syama (blackish person) coming towards us? We have no relation with Krsna. We do have a relationship, but it is not a prominent one. A blood relation cannot be given up. Krsna cannot forget His mother and father, because He was born from them.

"So why is this person on the chariot coming here? Perhaps he has lost his way. He should go to Nanda Baba's house, not here. We were thinking that Krsna is our most beloved, and now that relationship is finished. But Krsna cannot deny His relation with His mother and father. Why isn't he going to Nanda Baba and Mother Yasoda? Why is he coming here?"

"Another gopi said, "He is syama (blackish in complexion), but not Syama (our beloved Syamasundara). He looks like Krsna in the sense that Krsna has a blackish complexion. Besides that, Krsna has given His garland and other paraphernalia to this person."

The gopis were accustomed to embrace tamal trees and darkness – because they also reminded the gopis of Sri Krsna. However, seeing Uddhava they did not embrace him. This is because prema has some etiquette (maryada).

One gopi said, "He is a messenger of Syama. He is like Syama, but he is not Syama."

[At this time Srila Narayana Maharaja called on Sripad Damodara Maharaja to relate the history of Sri Uddhava witnessing Srimati Radhika's maddened talks with a bumble bee, whom She took to be Sri Krsna's messenger. Srila Narayana Maharaja then continued:]

While Srimati Radhika was rebuking the bumblebee, he flew away for a moment and then returned. Radhika then said, "Oh, you are Krsna's messenger. You showed Me affection, and yet I spoke to you with rough words. I did wrong, and still you came back"

Radhika continued, "Very good, you have returned. Krsna has sent you back. This shows that He does have some affection for us. What do you want? What does your master want?

The bee began humming, and Radhika then said, "Do you want us to go to Mathura? The young ladies of Mathura will be there; and still He wants us to go there? This is quite impossible. He cannot give up the raja-kumaris (princesses) of Mathura, or even Laksmi in the form of a golden line on His chest. We cannot adjust to the idea that any other lady will be there and we will also be there.

"Oh Madhukar (honey-collecting bee), Krsna has now returned to Mathura from His Gurukula. When will He come here? Does He remember His mother, father, and friends such as Sridama, Subala and Madhumangala? Does He remember the other Vrajavasis? Does He remember Giriraja Govardhana, the banks of the Yamuna, and other places? Does He remember the gopis in any way? For example, will He say to the princesses of Mathura, 'The gopis cannot make a garland as well as you can'?

"Or does He say, 'The gopis are so qualified. They used to make such beautiful garlands, and they served in so many other ways. Does He remember the gopis in any way?"

api bata madhu-puryam arya-putro ’dhunaste
smarati sa pitr-gehan saumya bandhums ca gopan
kvacid api sa katha nah kiìkarinam grnite
bhujam aguru-sugandham murdhny adhasyat kada nu

["O Uddhava! It is indeed regrettable that Krsna resides in Mathura. Does He remember His father’s household affairs and His friends, the cowherd boys? O great soul! Does He ever talk about us, His maidservants? When will He place on our heads His aguru-scented hand? (Srimad-bhagavatam 10.47.21)]

Radhika continued, "Oh Krsna, when will You come and put Your hands on our heads, insuring that there will never again be separation between us." Saying this, Srimati Radhika again fainted.

sri-uddhava uvaca
aho yuyam sma purnartha
bhavatyo loka-pujitah
vasudeve bhagavati
yasam ity arpitam manah

[Sri Uddhava said: "Certainly you gopis are all-successful and are universally worshipped because you have dedicated your minds in this way to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva." (Srimad-bhagavatam 10.47.23)]

Uddhava told the gopis, "You are worshipped by the entire world and the entire universe. You have such wonderful love and affection for Vasudeva, Lord Sri Krsna."

sarvatma-bhavo ’dhikrto
bhavatinam adhoksaje
virahena maha-bhaga
mahan me ’nugrahah krtah

["You have rightfully claimed the privilege of unalloyed love for the transcendental Lord, O most glorious gopis. Indeed, by exhibiting your love for Krsna in separation from Him, you have shown me great mercy." (Srimad-bhagavatam 10.47.37)]

"You have attracted Sri Krsna in all respects. He cannot go elsewhere for even a second. He is always with you, whether you know it or not. I saw your separation mood, which has no comparison in the entire world. Your love for Krsna has no comparison in any history or scripture or anywhere else. I have brought you a message from Him."

Hearing Uddhava speak in this way, the gopis separation mood increased to still new heights. Srimati Radhika then sang this verse:

he natha he rama-natha
vraja-natharti-nasana
magnam uddhara govinda
gokulam vrjinarnavat

["O master, 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)]

"All of Vraja is burning in their mood of separation fromYou. Please come, Oh lord of our life, Oh beloved, only You can pacify us; otherwise we will never be pacified."

Srimati Radhika again fainted, and Uddhava began to pray to Radhika and all the other gopis:

etah param tanu-bhrto bhuvi gopa-vadhvo
govinda eva nikhilatmani rudha-bhavah
vanchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayam ca
kim brahma-janmabhir ananta-katha-rasasya

["Among all persons on earth, these cowherd women alone have actually perfected their embodied lives, for they have achieved the perfection of unalloyed love for Lord Govinda. Their pure love is hankered after by those who fear material existence, by great sages, and by our selves as well. For one who has tasted the narrations of the infinite Lord, what is the use of taking birth as a high-class brahmana, or even as Lord Brahma himself?" (Srimad-bhagavatam 10.47.58)]

Sri Uddhava prayed, "In this world, only the birth of the gopis is fully successful. And, it is only because of the gopis' presence that Vrndavana is glorious. Lord Sri Krsna is the Supreme Soul of the universe and of all living entities. The gopis' love is on the level of sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava, ruddha, adiruddha and madanakya-bhava, divyonmada. All the munis, and we also, desire this love. There would be no use of having even a birth as Lord Brahma, in which there is no love like that of the gopis. When the gopis are together, they glorify Lord Sri Krsna in love and affection – both in the mood of separation and meeting."

kvemah striyo vana-carir vyabhicara-dustah
krsne kva caisa paramatmani rutha-bhavah
nanv isvaro ’nubhajato ’viduso ’pi saksac
chreyas tanoty agada-raja ivopayuktah

["How amazing it is that these simple women who wander about the forest, seemingly spoiled by improper behavior, have achieved the perfection of unalloyed love for Krsna, the Supreme Soul! Still, it is true that the Supreme Lord Himself awards His blessings even to an ignorant worshiper, just as the best medicine works even when taken by a person ignorant of its ingredients." (Srimad-bhagavatam 10.47.59)]

Worldly ladies are not truly chaste. The gopis are the only chaste ladies. Sri Krsna is their most beloved, for they only know and love Him. They don't know anyone but Him.

nayam sriyo 'nga u nitanta-rateh prasadah
svar-yositam nalina-gandha-rucam kuto ’nyah
rasotsave ’sya bhuja-danda-grhita-kantha-
labdhasisam ya udagad vraja-vallabhinam

["When Lord Sri Krsna was dancing with the gopis in the rasa-lila, the gopis were embraced by the arms of the Lord. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or other consorts in the spiritual world. Indeed, never was such a thing even imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, whose bodily luster and aroma resemble the lotus flower. And what to speak of worldly women who are very beautiful according to material estimation?" (Srimad-bhagavatam 10.47.60)]

Even Laksmi, Satyabhama, Rukmini and others did not receive the maha-prasadam – great favor – from Sri Krsna as the gopis did; what to speak of the wives of incarnations like Lord Vamanadeva and others? The word 'rasotsave' in this verse means that during rasa-lila, Sri Krsna put His arms around the necks of the gopis saying, "Don't give Me up, otherwise I will not survive."

asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam
vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam
ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham ca hitva
bhejur mukunda-padavim 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)]

Uddhava prayed, "Oh, I will be so fortunate if I become a blade of grass in Vrndavana. In that way I will have the foot-dust of the gopis when they go on their love journey to meet Lord Sri Krsna. At that time they will place their feet on that grass and I will be so fortunate." Later, Uddhava did become grass, at Uddhava-kunda in Vrndavana.
There are so many blades of grass there, and they are all Uddhava (this pastime takes place in each day of Brahma). He is still praying for the love and affection of the gopis.

ya vai sriyarcitam ajadibhir apta-kamair
yogesvarair api yad atmani rasa-gosöhyam
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 her mind. 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)]

Uddhava prayed, "How fortunate are the gopis! Lord Brahma and others worship Sri Laksmi, but She could not enter the rasa dance even after performing severe austerities for hundreds of births. On the other hand, the gopis took the lotus feet of Krsna on their breasts in the rasa dance and pacified Him.

Krsna had previously told the gopis:
na paraye ’ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna

["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (Srimad-bhagavatam 10.32.22)]

Sri Krsna said, "I will not be able to repay you, even after millions of lives of attempt."

At last Uddhava prayed,

vande nanda-vraja-strinam
pada-renum abhiksnasah
yasam hari-kathodgitam
punati bhuvana-trayam

["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)]

Uddhava begged for only one particle of dust from the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika. Whatever hari-katha emanates from the lips of Srimati Radhika and the gopis purifies the entire world. Hearing from these gopis the sweet pastimes of Krsna and their own separation mood purifies the universe.

In brief we have glorified the gopis' prema. Srimati Radhika is antaranga svarupa-sakti, (Sri Krsna's complete, internal power) and all the gopis are Her manifestations. They are not worldly; their love and affection is transcendental. If anyone hears their hari-katha with great faith, that hari-katha will bring Radha and Krsna in that devotee's heart. In the Gambhira, along with Raya Ramananda and Svarupa Damodara, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to hear all these sweet pastimes of Krsna. At that time His transcendental body was full with ecstatic symptoms. Sometimes the limbs of His body entered into His body and He became like a tortoise, and sometimes other symptoms manifested.

If you will remember all these sweet pastimes, your life will be successful.

Editorial advisors: Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha dasa
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Tulasi dasi

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