August 29, 2003: Mathura, India
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[A continuation of Srila Maharaja's series of classes on Srimad Brhad-bhagavatamrta]
Rsi Naradaji has been in the palace of Srimati Rukmini-devi, where he has been discussing with her, Sri Uddhava and Lord Krsna's queens and other associates. Rohini devi had finished speaking about Sri Krsna's cruelty and hard-heartedness, and then Srimati Rukmini-devi said, "No Mother, you do not know Krsna's heart. His heart is very soft. In His dreams at night He holds onto our cloths and calls out, 'Oh Lalite, Oh Radhe.' Sometimes He calls out the names of Nanda Baba and Yasodamaiya, and sometimes He calls out the names of His cows."
Rukmini devi is very broadminded and her heart is very deep and grave, and therefore she has great faith and respect for the lotus feet of the gopis. She is not like Satyabhama devi, who is Srimati Radharani's manifestation and has saapatni-bhava, which means she has some transcendental jealousy (in this case, towards the gopis). In a jealous mood Srimati Satyabhama devi said, "O sister, what are you saying? Why do you say "at night"? In the daytime He acts just as He does when He sleeps at night. Even the dasis of the dasis there in Vraja are more dear to him than us."
This history in Srimad Brhat-bhagavatamrta was narrated by Sri Pariksit Maharaja to his mother Uttara. Now he continued, "O Mother, hearing this, Lord Balarama became very angry and could not check himself."
Pariksit Maharaja referred to Lord Baladeva as Rohini-nandana in order to clarify that he is the son of Rohini-maiya. Balarama is the prana-svarupa, the embodiment of the life and soul, of all the Vrajavasis. As Rohini-nandana, He agreed with his mother. He does not consider Krsna to be the son of Vasudeva Maharaja and Devaki devi. He considers Him to be Nanda-nandana and Yasomati-nandana, and he also thinks of Himself as a Vrajavasi.
When Krsna and Balarama had first gone to Mathura, they wrestled with Carana and Mustika and killed Kamsa. That night the cowherd boys and Nanda Baba were waiting just outside Mathura, and Krsna did not return to see him because Vasudeva and Devaki were keeping Him with them. The next day, Krsna and Balarama went to him and Krsna asked, "Is it true that I am the son of Devaki and Vasudeva?" Balarama can say, "I am the son of Vasudeva," because his father is Vasudeva, but Krsna cannot do so. Therefore, when Nanda Baba heard these words from Krsna's lotus mouth he became angry and said, "Having stayed in Mathura for only one day, You already think You are the son of Devaki and Vasudeva?" Krsna could not reply and He began to weep.
Baladeva answered. "Who is the actual father? he said, "There are many types of fathers. The guru is one type of father, and the father who gives birth by semina is another type of father. But the real father is one who nourishes and protects. I consider you my real father, and Mother Yasoda and Mother Rohini are my real mothers."
Because Baladeva has the mood of a Vrajavasi, when he now heard the glories of Lord Krsna from Satyabhama and Rukmini, he could not tolerate it and became angry. He continued, "Don't you know? This Krsna is actually a big cheater. Rukmini said He cries for the Vrajavasis while sleeping, but this is actually just cheating. He has no love at all for the Vrajavasis. They are dying in separation from Him, and He only pretends to share their feelings.
"He is very cruel hearted. Nanda Baba and Yasoda-maiya, as well as all the cows, gopis, and gopas are dying in separation. You cannot say that He is soft-hearted by merely hearing His words. The actions a person performs are the real proof of his true character. Has Krsna ever gone to Vrndavana? I tried to take Him many times, but He never went - not even once. Because He would not go, I finally had to go there myself and pacify all the Vrajavasis. We can therefore understand that He has no real love for the Vrajavasis. This Krsna, my brother, is a cheater. He manifests His cleverness by pretending to feel separation. "
Balarama had tried to pacify the Vrajavasis by taking prasadam with Nanda and Yasoda, talking with all the Vrajavasis, and dancing with all the gopis in the month of Vasanta. Now he said, "I went there for two months, and finally I had to promise them not to worry - because I would bring Krsna there by force. I promised them that Krsna would be coming soon, but did they become peaceful? No, their viraha, separation feelings from Krsna, increased still more. I then returned here and tried again and again to take Krsna to Vrndavana, but He never went - not even once.
"All the Vrajavasis and their cows will definitely die. I tried to create many pretexts to give Krsna a chance to come, like the meeting at Kuruksetra, and Krsna said, 'Yes, I will go to Vraja', but He is very crooked. His heart and His speech are not the same."
Speaking in this way, Sri Baladeva's heart melted.
Until then Krsna had been lying on the bed, His head covered by His pitambara, and now He began weeping as He arose from His bed. Why was He crying? He was remembering Nanda Baba and Yasoda devi and all the Vrajavasis.
He had previously sent messages to Vrndavana and the Vrajavasis had sent messages to Him. For example, Srimati Lalita-devi wanted to remind Him about the pastimes which had transpired at Bhandirvana, Vamsi-vata and Govardhana, so she sent a message to Mathura through a swan. She told that swan, "On your way to Mathura, don't go to Vamsi-vata because it is a very dangerous place. Offer your pranama to that place - from a distance - because all the plants and animals there are dying due to separation from Krsna. Also, on your way to Mathura you will pass by Bhandiravata and Govardhana Bhandiravata is where Radha and Krsna were married by Gandharva-riti. Oh, if Krsna does not return to Vraja very soon there will be no need for a funeral, because the separation alone will burn all the Vrajavasis to ashes."
Hearing this katha was the cause of Krsna's weeping like a baby. But Baladeva said, "Don't believe this crying; it is also cheating."
We should understand that Krsna is very merciful - causelessly merciful. Then why didn't He return to Vrndavana? There are many reasons. One reason is that Jarasandha, wicked Kamsa's father-in-law, was repeatedly waging war on Lord Krsna's party in Mathura. If Jarasandha would learn that Krsna was in Vrndavana with His mother and father and near and dear ones, then, instead of attacking Mathura he would attack Vrndavana. Vrndavana had no army, no fort, and no other type of protection.
Another reason that Krsna did not visit Vrndavana can be understood by the analogy of a hot chapatti plate on the fire. When a person puts a drop of water on it there is a sizzling sound and and that drop jumps. If any nearby person happens to get that jumping drop on his or her arm it is very painful. Krsna realized that by going to Vrndavana He would not be able to pacify the Vrajavasis, and especially the gopis. It would be completely impossible. If He would go for one or two days, the separation of the gopis and Vrajavasis would only increase. A question then arises - why could Krsna not simply return to Vrndavana for good? The answer is that He understood that He could not pacify the gopis and Vrajavasis by doing so, as shown by the history of Prema-sarovara. There, even when Srimati Radharani was in the presence of Krsna, sitting directly on His lap, She cried, "O Krsna, where are You, where are You?"
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained this truth in his Srimad Bhagavatam commentaries, but the person who first manifested it - in a very hidden way - is adi-guru Srila Sanatana Gosvami. The root guru of everyone in our line is Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and all the other Gosvamis, including Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, have taken mercy from him. Srila Sanatana Gosvami has manifested all these bhavas in this Brhad-bhagavatamrta.
Srimati Radharani's moods go up to madanakya-mahabhava, which includes divyon-mada, and all types of citra-jalpa.*[See endnote] Krsna understood that He cannot pacify the height of this mood; it is not within His power.
Another reason Krsna did not return to Vrndavana is that He is very merciful. He wanted to teach the glories of the prema of the Vrajavasis and especially that of the gopis. He wanted to show the world how much happiness the gopis feel when meeting with Him and how they feel pain in separation from Him. By His staying in Mathura all the separation feelings of the gopis were manifest.
By hearing these topics we develop greed, and from greed realization develops. Moreover, if these topics are heard by those who already have realization, those hearers will get direct experience and become gopis themselves. By one activity Krsna can accomplish five or six other activities at the same time.
Now, hearing the words of Sri Baladeva Prabhu and Srimati Rohini-devi, Lord Krsna began to shed oceans of tears and His voice became choked. Srila Santana Gosvami used the word Bhagavan in this connection because even though Krsna is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is completely controlled by the prema of the Vrajavasis. He forgets He is Svayam Bhagavan and thinks "I am Gopinatha, Radha-natha, and Gopi-kanta."
Lord Krsna said, "What Baladeva and Rohini-maiya said is true. My heart is made of a thunderbolt and is harder than a stone. Though I was hearing these topics from them My heart did not fully melt and I have not died. The Vrajavasis nourished Me so much, as the eyelid protects and nourishes the eye. They never did anything for themselves. All their activities were only for My happiness. They always pray to Lord Narayana and Govardhana, 'Please protect Krsna and give Him a long life.'"
Yogamaya arranges everything in Vraja, so she also arranged for Srimati Radharani to go every day from Yavat to Nandagaon to cook for Krsna. People greatly criticized Her at that time, but she tolerated this, just for the happiness of Krsna. They also criticized Mother Yasoda for allowing a girl to cook for her son, but she also tolerated this, just for the happiness of Krsna. No other example can be given to illustrate the prema of the Vrajavasis. The Vrajavasis are their own example.
Krsna continued, "Everything Rohini-maiya and Baladeva said is completely true. I have promised many times that I will come. I know Yasoda-maiya and Nanda Baba are dying and cannot move. I promised them again and again that Baladeva and I would come to protect the cows." Krsna then began to weep again. "Alas! I gave them two types of suffering because of my presence" He said. First, many demons, like Aghasura, Bakasura, Putana and Sakatasura came and attacked, so when I was there I gave them suffering. Secondly when I left I gave them suffering because I threw them in the ocean of separation. O Baladeva you are My dearest and nearest prana-svarupa, the embodiment of My life and soul, and you know everything. So please tell me what I should do. O Uddhava, you know everything about the gopis and Vrajavasis, and about Me. Please give me a solution - some medicine to save Me from this ocean of suffering."
Uddhava could not reply - but Devaki did so. Weeping out of fear, she interrupted the conversation and said, "If Krsna returns to Vrndavana even for one day, I know that He will never return. Here in Mathura He has many responsibilities and duties, but in Vrndavana there are no such things. There He only tastes prema. If He goes there for one day He will never return, and if He goes, how will I remain alive?"
Srila Sanatana Gosvami explained that Yasoda is not only Devaki's friend, but she is also Krsna's mother - so there is a clash of interest. Therefore, Devaki was thinking not of Mother Yasoda's benefit but only of her own. Both Nanda Baba and Yasoda devi are very dear to her and Vasudeva, but she had some self-interest. Yasoda, on the other hand had no self-interest at all. She only wanted one thing - that Krsna remains happy - even if this meant His residing in Dvaraka. Devaki has much mamata (possessiveness) towards Krsna; but her mamata has self-interest where as Mother Yasoda's has none.
Sri Krsna's associates in Mathura and Dvaraka can hear about the pastimes of Vrndavana and can understand something of them, but they can not fully realize them because of their aisvarya-bhava mood of awe and respect) of Krsna. Devaki cleverly said, "We can give everything to the Vrajavasis, and to Nanda and Yasoda, but Krsna should not go to Vrndavana."
At that time Padmavati, the mother of Kamsa, She became afraid that Devaki was about to give everything to Nanda Baba and Mother Yasoda. She thus said in a joking way, "O Murkhi, O foolish lady, don't you know that if Ugrasena gives everything to the Vrajavasis, there will be nothing for us?"
The Vrajavasis don't want any wealth - they only want Krsna. During the Hera-pancami festival at the time of Ratha-yatra Srila Svarupa Damodara and Srivasa Thakura were having a transcendental argument. Srivasa Thakura said, "Look at the glories of my Dvaraka. There, Laksmi rides on a golden throne." Srila Svarupa Damodara replied, "O Srivasa, you have forgotten about the natural opulence of Vrndavana. The trees are not ordinary there - they are all kalpa-vrksa, wish-fulfilling trees. Yet, the Vrajavasis have so much prema that they are self-satisfied and do not want anything from them. The Vrajavasis simply take their fruits, flowers and manjaris for the service of Krsna. The stones in Vrndavana are all cintamani (wish-fulfilling stones) but the gopis only use them on their toe-rings and to decorate themselves. They have no need of any type of opulence. Their opulence is krsna-prema."
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu prayed,
"prema-dhana vina vyartha daridra jivana
`dasa' kari' vetana more deha prema-dhana"
"Without love of Godhead, My life is useless. Therefore I pray that You accept Me as Your servant and give Me the wages of ecstatic love of God." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya 20.38)
"Without prema I am poor, so make my life successful by giving me Krsna-prema."
The Vrajavasis pray for wealth only on special occasions. Nanda Baba prayed to Govardhana to give him opulence and wealth; not for himself, but to nourish and protect his son.
In order to change Devaki's mind so that she would not donate everything to Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba, Padmavati began to joke in this way. She is compared with a small boy who is given a piece of fruit by his parents. If his mother or father asks for the fruit back he won't give it, because he does not understand that if he gives it back the mother or father can give him so much more.
[*Endnote - from Ujjvala-nilamani (14.174, 178-80), as quoted by Srila Prabhupada in his purport of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: "It is virtually only within the princess of Vrndavana [Srimati Radharani] that the ecstasy of bewilderment arises. She has attained to a special stage of this bewilderment, a wonderful state that resembles delusion. Known as divyonmada, it has many aspects, which come and go unsteadily, and one of these manifestations is citra-jalpa. This talk, induced by Her seeing Her beloved's messenger, is filled with covered anger and comprises many different ecstasies. It culminates in Her intense, anxious eagerness."
"This citra-jalpa has ten divisions, known as prajalpa, parijalpa, vijalpa, ujjalpa, sanjalpa, avajalpa, abhijalpa, ajalpa, pratijalpa and sujalpa."]
Translator: Sripad Damodara Maharaja
Typist: Anita dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi