Birmingham, England, June 25, 2001, pm
I offer my humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of my parama aradhyatama, Nitya-lila Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I offer my same humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of my siksa-guru, Nitya-lila Pravistha Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.
Here we are describing the deep moods of the Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannatha. Those moods are very, very deep. Yesterday I gave the external meanings for general persons, but for the high-class devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu like Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, Gadadhara Pandita, Rupa Gosvami, and so many others like them, there is a very deep meaning. It seems from the outer meaning that when Krsna met Radhika and all of the gopis at Kuruksetra He simply instructed them, "You should chant, remember, and meditate on Me. Then you can realize my lotus feet in your heart, and by that meditation you will come out of the well of worldly attachment." It also seemed that the gopis appreciated this instruction, and they simply replied, "You have given us a good teaching. From now on we will meditate on You and remember You, and then we will be able to come out of the worldly well and give up all kinds of attachments."
Now I will explain the actual moods of the gopis. Although externally their words seem to have a certain meaning, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja is revealing their inner purport. He had heard this meaning from Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who noted it all down, and he had understood everything from Svarupa Damodara and Rupa Gosvami. Therefore, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami is explaining the words of Svarupa Damodara and especially Rupa Gosvami.
The gopis were not satisfied at all, and in fact they became angry. This anger is also a tie of love and affection, but it was a crooked tie. The gopis actually told Krsna, "You are telling us to meditate, and You previously sent Uddhava and Baladeva Prabhu, who also told us Your version: 'Meditate on Me.'
"You must be joking with us! Where is our attachment to this world? Where is our family attachment? We've never had any. We have forgotten 'who am I' and 'where am I'. We have totally forgotten everything, including all of our senses.
"Where has our attachment gone? To You! We are always remembering You- when You were in Vrndavana-how we were sometimes playing together at Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda, sometimes playing at Bandirvata, sometimes in Nandagaon, and how we sometimes also used to meet together at Ter Kadamba. How glorious it was!
When Srimati Radhika was coming with all Her sakhis like Lalita and Visakha to Yasoda Bhavan for cooking, midway, at Ter Kadamba, Krsna was milking His cows. As they walked, Lalita said, "We should change our direction and go by that other path. This cheater has blocked our way. He is milking His cows only because He knows that we will come this way. Better that we change paths." Radhika replied, "Oh, why fear? We will not change our course. Let us see what happens." As She continued walking, Krsna began milking the cows in such a 'tricky' way that Her whole face became splashed with milk and all began to laugh.
The gopis were always remembering all these pastimes. There are so many pastimes that even Krsna cannot even describe them all, even if He would have thousands and thousands of mouths.
The gopis said, "We only remember these pastimes! We are feeling very much separation from You, and now You are telling us, 'You should meditate on My lotus feet.' The great yogis like Brahma, Sankara, and Sukadeva can do this. Bhisma-pitamah and Narada can meditate on You; but we want to forget You totally! We don't want to think about You because You are very cruel and ungrateful."
Krsna wanted to hear all these things, and He thus held His head down in shame and thought, "All the gopis are blaming Me."
"So You are teaching us to meditate", the gopis continued. "Who do You want to meditate on You? We want to forget You, and You are telling us to meditate on You? We are not yogis! We are not
yogesvaras like Brahma, Sankara, Bhisma-pitamah, Narada, Sukadeva, and others. We're not like the four Kumaras. We're not happy with this instruction.
"Previously, in Vrndavana, You told us, 'I am coming back tomorrow. If not then, surely I will come the day after tomorrow.' But You never came! You never returned! You told Uddhava to pacify us: 'Tell them that I am coming just now. I am coming after only four days!' After that Baladeva came to Vraja, speaking on Your behalf, and He told us, 'Oh, don't be worried. Krsna is coming very soon.' But you never came."
tomara vakya paripati, tara madhye kutinati,
suni' gopira aro badhe rosa
"We do not like Your paripati, Your mode of expression. Tara madhye kutinati. There are so many things that are not good about it. Kutinati: ku - ti - na - ti. You are telling so many 'ku', things that are not good, and 'nati', things that are not favorable. You say, 'You should try to meditate on Me and remember Me.' But You know that since our childhood we were never able to forget You for even a moment."
This is pure love. It is without desire for any gain.
If you are actually practicing bhakti, what will be the symptoms?
bhakti paresanubhava viratktir
anyatra caisa trika eka kala
tusti pusti ksud apayo'nugasam
What does this mean?
Aranya Maharaja: In this verse of the Srimad Bhagavatam, it is written in no uncertain terms that if someone is unconditionally surrendered to hari-guru-vaisnava and is following the processes of bhakti like sravanam, kirtanam, visnu-smaranam, there must be an effect. Tusti pusti ksud apayo 'nugasam. When we eat, we have three results. One result is that there is a taste in eating, another result is that we get strength and energy, and the third result is that the hunger we were feeling goes away.
In the same way, if anyone will practice devotional service, having first surrendered unto the lotus feet of a sad-guru, there must be three results. First of all his bhakti (bhakti here means sraddha, faith) must grow. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu sanga. It will become nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava, and then prema. Gradually his devotion must increase, and his seva-vrtti, his tendency for devotional service, must increase day by day.
'Paresanubhava' means that if someone is hearing, chanting and remembering, realization must come also. He will realize something: Who am I? Who is Krsna? What is my relationship with Krsna? A very thick sambandha must appear in their hearts.
'Virakti', the third result, is detachment from this world. Before he was disturbed by material desires and many attachments, but now he cannot feel the effect of lust, anger and greed. All of these attachments have gone far away.
If anyone is practicing for a very long time and these results are not coming, then we should understand that there is some loophole. There is some fault in one's practice. If we eat food but our hunger is not going away, we should think that we must have a very serious disease. There may be some worms in our stomach that are eating everything, and therefore we are not getting any nutrition. At once we should go and surrender to a doctor who can adjust our diet and give us some medicine so that our eating will actually nourish us. In the same way, if there is no effect from our devotional practices, we should submit ourselves at the lotus feet of the sad-guru and the pure Vaisnavas. They will adjust our practices in such a way that the development of our bhakti, our seva-vrtti, realization, and detachment from this world will come as we go on practicing.
This will not come all at once. When we eat one bite, we feel something, but not completely. We therefore take another bite and another, and gradually the effect of eating comes. In the same way, if one is in the line of pure bhakti, these three effects will gradually manifest in his life.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Thank you. Also, in Srimad Bhagavatam (1.2.7) it has been stated:
bhakti yogah prayojitah
jnani yata asu vairagyam
jnanam ca ahaitukam
What does this mean?
Syamarani didi: This verse is from the first canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. If anyone is endeavoring to render devotional service to Vasudeva, to Krsna, then automatically, without any separate endeavor, knowledge that 'I am not part of this material world but I am part and parcel and the eternal servant of Krsna, knowledge of that world (Krsna's abode), and detachment from this world come as automatic by-products.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Thank you. Have you heard all that [BV Aranya Maharaja] and Syamarani have told? Are you following? I think that you have not heard. Try to hear and to follow. You know something, but realization and detachment must also be there. This verse is the barometer or lactometer of bhakti. You can measure your own bhakti. If you are chanting and remembering and hearing hari- katha, and no detachment from worldly sense gratification is coming, then there is some defect. If atma-jnana, tattva-jnana, krsna-tattva, and maya-tattva are not coming and you are not having any realizations, then there is also some defect. The defect is either in the guru or in you, the disciple. If the guru is perfect, then some holes are there in your endeavor.
If one is chanting and serving the Deities, can lust come? Never! Will the wish to marry and be with family come or not? What became of Caitanya Mahaprabhu? What became of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami? His wife was like Miss Universe and he was a very wealthy person. We ourselves want both those things, and he was full in them. Among two fathers, his brother and uncle, he was the only son, and still he left home and forgot everything of his family life. What was he doing? He was taking the remnants of Lord Jagannatha that were totally rotten. Even the cows would not take that rejected foodstuff. He used to wash that rice with water and then eat it with a little salt. If you do this, you would all die. You would all die in one day.
Renunciation must come, along with love and affection. Caitanya Mahaprabhu placed Raghunatha dasa in the hands of Svarupa Damodara in Puri, and from there he came to Vrndavana where he was in the care of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami. He felt great affection for them.
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written, "I will remain with the family men of Vrndavana, taking only some buttermilk and chatting about their ordinary household matters: 'Has your son been married or not? Your son is very qualified and very handsome! How is your brother? How is your wife? Okay?'...I never want to leave Vrndavana." This is an example of attachment to the holy places, the places of Krsna's pastimes, and always hankering so much for that abode. If this is true for a sadhaka-bhakta (Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was playing a role of such a sadhaka-bhakta), then what can be said of the gopis? They are situated in their siddha-deha and they are nitya-siddha. They are not different from the body of Krsna; but you cannot realize this.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu is teaching that you should come in the process and chant. Don't look here and there. Be in Vrndavana. First be in Navadvipa, follow Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, and always chant. Maya is so powerful that she will attract you at once. If for a moment your sight goes to worldly things, and that attraction will come in like a needle and out like an elephant.
The gopis continue, "You speak to us as if we are not intelligent persons, and therefore we are becoming angry." Deha-smrti nahi yara, samsara-kupa kahan tara.
What meaning has your Prabhupada given?
Syamarani didi reads: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued: 'The gopis have fallen in the great ocean of separation, and they are being devoured by the Timingila fish, which represent the ambition to serve You. The gopis are to be delivered from the mouths of these Timingila fish, for they are pure devotees. Since they have no material conception of life, why should they aspire for liberation? The gopis do not want that liberation desired by yogis and jnanis, for they are already liberated from the ocean of material existence.'
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Who is explaining this? Who is giving this purport?
Syamarani didi: The purport is given by Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: This is his translation? For whom is he telling this? Has he written anywhere that you should not read these things? Has he said this? For whom he has written this? He has written for those who have a greed for that perfection.
Why do some persons say that you should not hear the names of the gopis? Regarding those who don't hear the names of the gopis or the pastimes of Krsna such as this, after some time they will have no rasa in their lives and they will fall down. They are bound to fall down. That is why so many are falling down.
I have previously explained that this stage is very critical. You have left your family and all attachments, and you are serving and chanting. However, if you have no taste in chanting and hearing, you are bound to cut off your heads. Bhakti is like the current of a river; it cannot be stopped. If a current is checked, the water will stagnate and become rotten. If you then drink that water, you will become sick and die.
What is the meaning of this? Bhakti should have a very good current. It should always be flowing towards the ocean, and Krsna is that ocean. Devotees who are not properly hearing are saying, "We are weak! Maharaja, can you tell me what I should do?" I have explained the solution so many times, and our guru-varga has written so many things about it. The medicine is to hear and to follow, and to pray with this mood: "When will I be so fortunate that this greed will come to serve Radha-Krishna conjugal?"
The gopis continue, "You speak about a well, samsara-kupa, but where are we? We are in an endless and bottomless ocean of separation! What is going on in that ocean? There are whales and so many fish that are even bigger than them. They are called Timigila fish, and they can even swallow those whales.
"We are in the midst of that endless ocean of separation, and now we want You to be merciful. Come to Vrndavana, and there we will satisfy all Your wishes. We are worried for You; not for us. There is no Mother Yasoda or Nanda Baba there." Where? In Jagannatha Puri. Jagannatha Puri is like Dvaraka. "There is no Sridama-bhaiya, Sudama- bhaiya, Madhumangala, nor Subala-bhaiya. They are not there, and we are not there.
"Who will ask You what You want to eat? How will You be happy? There is no one there who can make You happy, and in this way we are in this maha-ocean of separation. You should take us across this endless ocean of separation, to Vrndavana.
vrndavana govardhana, yamuna-pulina, vana,
sei kunje rasadika lila
sei vrajera vraja-jana, mata, pita, bandhu-gana,
bada citra, kemane pasarila
vidagdha, mrdu, sad-guna, susila, snigdha, karuna
tumi, tomara nahi dosabhasa
tabe ye tomara mana, nahi smare vraja-jana
(CC Madhya 13. 143-144)
The gopis, and especially Srimati Radharani, are saying in the form of a complaint, "Do you remember Vrndavana for even a moment? Do you remember Govardhana? In Vrndavana, we gopis were all assembled in rasa-lila. At that time, when You would be tired and sweating, we used to wipe Your body with Your pitambara. You would ask me, 'Are you tired?' And then I would keep My hand on Your shoulder."
Srimati Radhika would stand in a 'crooked' way and look at Krsna with 'crooked' sidelong glances. She would keep all of Her weight on Him as if He were a pillar, and She would give Him a sidelong glance. With Radhika leaning on Him in this way, Krsna would think, "Today, due to this pose of Radhika, my life is successful!"
"Do you remember this? Do you remember that we defeated You in the dice games? We defeated You, and Radhika used to defeat You in any debate. Do You remember we used to meet with You in each and every grove of Giriraja Govardhana? Do you remember that we served you in so many ways at Radha-kunda and Yamuna Pulina?"
Do you know the meaning of Yamuna-pulina? Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written: Yamuna tata cara gopi vasana hara, rasa rasika krpamoya.
[Devotees sing: Yamuna tata cara gopi vasanahara, rasa-rasika krpamoya, sri radha-vallabha, vrndavana-natavara, bhakativinoda-asraya.]
Yamuna tata cara gopi vasanahara. Krsna always used to come to the bank of the Yamuna because He was very greedy and always remembering, "If I go there, surely the gopis will come to take water from the Yamuna with their big, big vessels. Why will they come? They will come because they have promised and I have also promised." This place on the bank of Yamuna is called Pan-ghat, where Krsna could easily meet with the gopis. [Pan-ghat has two meanings. Pan is an abbreviation for pani, water. This ghat used to be called Pani-ghat, and later on it became known as Pan-ghat. Pan also means promise. Because Krsna and the gopis promised to meet each other there, it is called Pan-ghat.]
Because all the gopis were coming there, Krsna also came. Everyone else thought that the gopis were going to fetch water, but when they would dip their pots in Yamuna, they never noticed if their pots were filled with water or not. They would know, however, that their pots were filled with love and affection for Krsna.
They used to tell Krsna, "We cannot put this on our heads. Can You help us?" It was only for these kinds of exchanges that this tricky person, Krsna, always used to go there. He would lift their pots and proudly think, "I am helping them."
Srimati Radhika continued, "Do You remember all of these events at Yamuna-tata? Do You remember what kind of pastimes we used to perform at Manasi-ganga? We are always remembering this!
Sei kunje rasadika lila. "Do You remember Sanket-kunja?" Sanket is halfway between Varsana and Nandagaon. "Do You remember Sanket? You began to swing. I was on the swing with You and You pushed it so high that our garments were flying here and there. I was afraid. I thus embraced You and called out, 'Save me! Save me!' And You were easily satisfied by that. Do you remember?"
Krsna was hearing all of this, ashamed and with His head down.
sei vrajera vraja-jana, mata, pita, bandhu-gana,
bada citra, kemane pasarila
"It is very sorrowful. How could You forget all Your sakhas like Dama, Sridama, Subala, madhumangala, Kokila, Kinkini, Vasanta and all others? How could You forget Your father and mother and all Your friends? It is very astonishing that You could forget all of them. You are very
ungrateful, and You are more cruel-hearted than a thunderbolt!"
The gopis were in one type of very angry mood, and then suddenly their mood changed. Their various moods are called bhava-udaya, bhava-sandhi, bhava-sabalya, and bhava-santi. If anyone has not gone through Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhu and especially Ujjvala Nilamani, he will not taste all of these things in thousands of lives. If one has not taken the sanga of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associates, he cannot know all of these truths. He is bound to remain in the chain of birth and death, sorrow and suffering. I
have come to give this message of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and our whole guru-parampara.
The gopis are continuing to accuse Krsna in their variety of angry moods. Suppose there is an ugly person, very black and very unqualified, with teeth sticking out of his mouth. Another man may tell him, "How beautiful you are! Your teeth are very beautiful, more than if they were made of gold, and by your smile the whole world is charmed! You are so qualified!" What is this? It is sarcasm or parihasa, a joke. The gopis are saying, "You are very rasika! Very, very rasika! You are very sweet. You are not at all cruel. All good qualities are in You. Your tongue never speaks any lies. It can never do so. And Your hands are always controlled! They cannot do anything wrong!"
What is the meaning? The gopis are taunting Krsna by telling Him, "Your tongue is always controlled. How is it controlled? It has kissed lakhs and lakhs of gopis, and now it is perhaps satisfied. Your hands and feet are always going towards the gopis, searching for them. By touching the gopis Your tongue has become pure, You have become pure, and everything about You has become pure. You are very sweet and susila; You are of such good character! You are snigdha, very soft and mild, and also very merciful. All of these qualities are in You.
"But we are very unfortunate. Tabe ye tomara mana, nahi smare vraja- jana. Even though You are so qualified, sweet, soft, and merciful, You have left us, and this is our durdaiva, misfortune. We must have done something wrong in our past lives or in this life, and that is why You have left us.
"Nanda Baba has also spoken in this way. When he returned from Mathura after having left Krsna and Balarama there, he was weeping bitterly. He said, 'There was only one father, and that father was Dasaratha Maharaja. In separation from Rama, he could not survive. Calling out, "Ha Rama, Ha Radhika.," he left his body. I cannot do this! My heart is more cruel than a thunderbolt. My heart is very hard. Why could I not die? I wanted to die, but I could not.'
"'Krsna is in all ways very qualified. He is sweet and mild. He has all good qualities. Krsna must have considered, "My mother and father, Yasoda andNanda Baba, are not qualified, nor are all the other Vrajabasis. They cannot give me the love and affection I want." He therefore left us and went where He would receive more love and affection.' Nanda Baba then became senseless."
In the same way the gopis are saying, "We are very unfortunate that You don't remember any of us. We know that we have no relationship with You. We are not married to You. That is why a person can give up a lady, even if there is some love. On the other hand, if he is married he will give his whole mood of love to that lady. We were not married, and that is why You could easily give us up.
"But how could You give up Your mother and father, and especially Your mother? Your body is made of Your mother; so how could You forget her? Even if You can give her up, Your body will always tell You, 'I am the son of Mother Yasoda' because You are made from her blood and everything else. It is very strange that You have left everyone.
"Do You know that because of You the birds are no longer singing? The cuckoo birds have stopped singing and they are only weeping. The peacocks are not dancing now, and they are very sad. The calves are not drinking the milk of their mothers, and the cows are about to die. They don't take grass or anything else, and Mother Yasoda never cooks."
Hearing this, Krsna began to weep very loudly and He was about to become senseless. There is a poem about this, and Tirtha Maharaja knows it. It is very pathetic.
[Sripad Bhaktivedanta Tirtha Maharaja sings:]
tuhu se rahili madhupura
vrajakula akula dukula kalarava
kanu kanu kari jhura (1)
yasomati nanda andha sama baithai
sahase uthai na para
sakhagana dhenu venurava na suniya
vicchurala (deserted) nagara bajara (2)
kusuma tyajiya ali ksititale lutaka
tarugana malina samana
mayuri na nacata kapoti (pigeon) na bolata
kokila na karatahi gana (3)
virahini rai virahajvare jare jare
caudike viraha hutasa
sahaje yamuna jala agi samana bhela
kahatahi govinda dasa (4)
Aranya Maharaja translates: In this kirtana, the vaisnava-kavi Govinda dasa is writing in Radharani's mood, "O Krsnacandra, now You are staying very far away in Madhupuri, in Mathura. But what is the condition of Vrndavana? All the Vrajabasis are feeling so much pain and distress in separation from You. They are calling, 'Kanu, Kanu!' But there is no answer, and only an echo is coming.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Kanu means Krsna! "Kana, Kanu! O Kanu, where are You?" Even the birds are calling, "Where are You? O Kanu, where are You?" All are weeping.
Aranya Maharaja: Yasomati-nandana. Yasodamaiya and Nanda Baba are crying so much. It is as if they have become blind; they cannot see anymore. They are only sitting and crying. They have no strength.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: They are practically only skeletons. There is practically nothing else left of their bodies. They are about to die because they are not cooking. For whom will they cook?
Aranya Maharaja: They have no strength in their bodies. They cannot even stand up. And what is the condition of all Your cows and friends? Because they cannot hear You calling them by Your flute, the marketplaces and the roads are all deserted. No one is there; no one at all. Kusuma tyajiya ali ksititale lutaka. Not only that, but even the bumblebees who were very busy collecting honey are now so upset that they have left the flowers. Even the bumblebees are crying and rolling on the ground in the pain of separation.
All the trees look drab and distressed. The peacocks are no longer dancing and the pigeons are no longer singing. The cuckoos are silent; they are no longer calling, 'Koohoo, koohoo.' All are feeling great pain in separation from You.
Virahini rai virahajvare jare jare. Srimati Radharani is burning and burning in the fever of separation. Everywhere, in all directions, everyone is sinking in the ocean of separation from You, and even the Yamuna cannot flow anymore. This is the condition of Vrndavana!"
Srila Narayana Maharaja: The water that is seen in the Yamuna is actually the tears coming from all the gopis.
Aranya Maharaja: Tuhu se rahili madhupura: Why are you staying so far away in Mathura? All in Vrndavana are about to die.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Srimati Lalita sent a message to Krsna with a traveler who was going to Mathura. She said, "Tell Krsna, very cruel Krsna, 'sukera laghiya egara bahinu aguna puriya.'" This is a song by Candidasa, in very pathetic words, and it is unparalleled in any language of this world. You cannot hear these things anywhere else:
sukhera lagiya, ei ghara bandhinu,
agune pudiya gela
I built a kutira, a house, in order to be very happy there, but that house was at once burned in a fire. I wanted to take bath in amrta sagara, the ocean of nectar, in order to make my heart susitala, very cool, but instead it was crushed and burned. I wanted to go to the ocean to take bath and to make my heart soft, but I saw that all the water was gone. There was no water at all. Then I looked towards the moon so that some of its cooling rays would come, but it turned out that those were not the cool rays from the moon, but very, very hot rays of the sun that came and burned me.
ucala baliya, acale cadinu,
padinu agadha jale
I thought I was in a very high place where there was no water, but instead I see that I've fallen in an ocean of endless water. I wanted wealth, laksmi, but I became penniless. Manika haranu hele. A very valuable jewel came in my hand and at once it was gone.
nagara vasalama, sagara bandhilama,
manika pavara ase
Nagara vasala. In order to have a valuable jewel from the ocean, I built a city near that ocean. Sagara bandhilama. Then I made a dam to move that ocean from one side of the dam to the other. However, when that ocean was finally drained, manika lukala; the jewel was nowhere to be seen. It was hidden somewhere due to my misfortune. Piyasa lagiya jalada sevinu. To quench my thirst I looked towards the clouds, but bajara padiya gela; a thunderbolt came on my head instead of rain.
I loved Krsna in order to be happy. I gave my body, mind, heart and soul and everything to Him, but He left me. The fire of separation came and I was burned. Krsna's love is endless like the ocean, and I wanted to take bath in that ocean; but what happened? The water dried up and a great fire of separation was there instead. In this way everything was burned in separation. What should I do?
If Krsna would hear all of these things, what would happen? He would not survive.
This mood of the gopis speaking to Krsna was the mood at Ratha-yatra: This was the mood of Caitanya Mahaprabhu during the Cart Festival; He was feeling all of these sentiments. No one can explain the mood of the gopis without the help of the mood of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. His mood was passed on through Sri Svarupa Damodara to Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who expressed it in their writings.
You should try to realize all these things.