Mathura, India: October 2, 2003
(from the lecture series on Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta)
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[Last year we sent out about 10 hari-katha classes from this series. We stopped when there became an abundance of more recent classes. Recently there was some time again, while Srila Narayana Maharaja was in Penang, Malaysia (editing and proofreading a compilation of his Hindi lectures on Sri Raya Ramananda Samvad) until his official 2005 Summer tour began in Australia on April 29.]
When Lord Sri Krsna went with Baladeva Prabhu from Dvaraka to Raivataka Mountain in Nava-Vrndavana, the queens of Dvaraka were there hiding, watching Krsna’s loving exchanges with the murtis of the Vrajavasis.
After returning to Dvaraka, Sri Krsna asked Uddhava, “Oh Uddhavaji, where is Satyabhama? Why has she not come? What is the cause for her absence?” Uddhava replied, “O Prabhu, when You were absorbed in Your Vraja mood in Raivataka Mountain – wearing a peacock feather and holding Your flute in such a way as to impress the gopis – Padma (the mother of Kamsa), Rohini (the mother of Sri Baladeva), and many queens were also present there, watching.”
jinha ke rahi bhavana jaisi
prabhu murti tinha dekhi taisi
Not everyone sees Sri Krsna in the same way. Everyone is able to see Him according to the depth of their own natural relationship. Padma, Rukmini, and Satyabhama saw Him in Raivataka Mountain according to their individual moods. They could not see Him in the same way the Vrajavasis saw Him. The emotions and beauty exhibited by Him for the Vrajavasis, and especially for the vraja-gopis, is extremely rare to see and experience. Padma-devi only saw His opulence mood, and only from a neutral point of view. Seeing the loving exchanges between Lord Krsna and the Vrajavasis, Padma made a comparison in her mind. She thought, “The parental mood of Nanda and Yasoda is like the topmost peak of the highest mountain, whereas the parental mood of Devaki and Vasudeva is like the base of the mountain.”
When Krsna was meeting with Srimati Radhika and the gopis, He was embracing them in such a way that even Krsna’s two principle queens Rukmini and Satyabhama had never seen or experienced, and they became bewildered. Krsna was also touching the feet of Mother Yasoda. When Padma saw all this she said to Devaki, “Oh Devaki, you are so unfortunate. You have never performed any pious activity, nor has Rukmini or Satyabhama. You should give up your false ego and perform austerities to attain the service of the gopis.” Satyabhama and Rukmini did not see Krsna in the same mood as Padma, but like Padma they were also unable to see the beauty and emotions of Sri Krsna that was seen by the Vraja gopis.
Krsna has two types of beloveds; One is called svakiya and the other is called parakiya. The 16,108 queens of Dvaraka are all svakiya; they are married to Krsna. They are always very chaste, and always obedient to carry out His each and every order. They have a relationship with Him by a ritualistic marriage ceremony only.
In aprakata Dvaraka (the non-manifest Dvaraka in Goloka) there is no marriage ceremony as there is in prakata-lila (Krsna’s transcendental pastimes as they are manifest in this mundane realm). In aprakata-lila the queens have the ego or self-conception that “I am the married wife of Sri Krsna. He is my husband,” and this self-conception exists eternally. The influence of time only exists in this world. Beyond the Viraja River, the dividing line between the spiritual and material worlds, there is no influence of material time, and therefore the conception or ego that “Krsna is my husband and I am His wife” is eternally present. Sometimes the queens may think, “Our marriage ceremony was held five years ago or ten years ago”, but in truth material time does not exist there. They have the ego that “I have produced a child,” but actually their children are also eternal residents of Dvaraka. These pastimes are without beginning. Marriage ceremonies and other events of time only exist in prakata-lila.
Mother Yasoda thinks, “Krsna took birth from my womb a few years ago” – not that Krsna is eternally her son. In prakata-lila, Krsna’s pastimes appear human-like – otherwise no one would be able to understand them. If He had behaved differently, His pastimes would have become like those in Mathura, Dvaraka or Vaikuntha.
Suppose the wife of a certain man has a paramour relationship with another man, the emotional nature of that paramour relationship is called parakiya-bhava. Parakiya-bhava means that both the nayaka (male lover) and nayika (female beloved) are completely controlled by anuraga (deep, ever-fresh and ever-unfolding love and affection). Due to anuraga, the nayaka and nayika meet together, giving up all types of etiquette and dharma (worldly religious and moral considerations). The gopis think, “Krsna is our lover, and we are also His dearly beloveds. To meet with Sri Krsna they give up all kinds of Vedic religious principles – even chastity – only due to their anuraga for Him. This type of lover manifests as teenagers in parakiya-bhava. And, although in parakiya-bhava, at the same time they are actually pure svakiya.*[See endnote 1] Their pure relationship with Sri Krsna is explained in Brahma-samhita:
ananda cinmaya rasa pratibhavitabhis
tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih
goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma bhuto
govindam adi purusam tam aham bhajami
[Sri Govinda, who is all-pervading and who exists within the hearts of all, resides in His Goloka-dhama along with Sri Radha, who is the embodiment of His pleasure potency and the counterpart of His own spiritual form. She is the epitome of transcendental rasa, and is expert in sixty-four arts. They are also accompanied by the sakhis, who are expansions of Sri Radha’s own transcendental body, and who are infused with blissful, spiritual rasa. I worship that original personality, Sri Govinda. (Sri Brahma-samhita, 5.37)]
Here the gopis are described as the kala (direct expansions of the pleasure-potency) of Sri Krsna, but Rukmini and Satyabhama are never considered as such. They are the vaibhava prakasa of Srimati Radhika.
There is no cause, either religious or otherwise, for the gopis and Srimati Radhika to meet with Sri Krsna. The only cause is anuraga. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has written in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, in the dialogue between Srila Raya Ramanada and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
pahilehi raga nayana-bhange bhela
anudina badhala, avadhi na gela
na so ramana, na hama ramani
dunhu-mana manobhava pesala jani'
e sakhi, se-saba prema-kahini
kanu-thame kahabi vichurala jani'
na khonjalun duti, na khonjalun an
dunhukeri milane madhya ta panca-bana
ab sohi viraga, tunhu bheli duti
su-purukha-premaki aichana riti
[`Alas, before We met there was an initial attachment between Us brought about by an exchange of glances. In this way attachment evolved. That attachment has gradually grown, and there is no limit to it. Now that attachment has become a natural sequence between Ourselves. It is not that it is due to Krsna, the enjoyer, nor is it due to Me, for I am the enjoyed. It is not like that. This attachment was made possible by mutual meeting. This mutual exchange of attraction is known as manobhava, or Cupid. Krsna's mind and My mind have merged together. Now, during this time of separation, it is very difficult to explain these loving affairs. My dear friend, though Krsna might have forgotten all these things, you can understand and bring this message to Him. But during Our first meeting there was no messenger between Us, nor did I request anyone to see Him. Indeed, Cupid's five arrows were Our via media. Now, during this separation, that attraction has increased to another ecstatic state. My dear friend, please act as a messenger on My behalf, because if one is in love with a beautiful person, this is the consequence.' (Caitanya Caritamrta madya 8.194)]
When the two eyes of the gopis meet the two eyes of Lord Sri Krsna, anuraga immediately begins. There is no need for a messenger between Krsna and the gopis, because anuraga in the form of sidelong glances is the messenger.
There are two components in bhakti-rasa (the transcendental mellow relationship of Sri Krsna and His associates); one is asraya (Krsna’s associate; the container or reservoir of love for Krsna) and the other is visaya (Krsna, the object of love). In madhura-rasa, Krsna is the lover, the object of gopis' unprecedented love, and the gopis are the reservoirs of love. The gopis are asraya of alambana and Sri Krsna is visaya of alambana.*[See endnote 2] Each gopis' rati (mood of love) is not equal to the other. There are gradations of gopis. Depending on the rati they possess, they experience that type of attachment in their heart. These gradations are also seen in the five kinds of rasa: santa (neutral), dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parenthood), and madhurya (conjugal love). Dasya-rasa is deeper then santa-rasa, sakhya is deeper then dasya, vatsalya is deeper then sakhya, and madhurya is deeper then santa, dasya, sakhya, and vatsalya. The rati of all the different gradations of gopis is deeper then that of Nanda and Yasoda. There are 360 types of gopis, such as dhira (sober), adhira (restless), dhira-mugdha (sober and captivated), adhira-mugdha (restless and captivated) and dhiradhira (mixture of sober and restless). Among all of them Srimati Radhika is the best, and Srila Rupa Gosvami has explained this in his literature.
In madhurya-rasa, rati is of three types: sadarani-rati (ordinary love), samanjasa-rati (due to its divided nature, it is doubtful that this love can control Krsna fully) and samartha-rati (that love which thoroughly controls Krsna due to its undivided nature). According to their rati, the nayika (female beloved, or heroine) is also of three types: sadarani-nayika, samanjasya-nayika, and samartha-nayika.*[See endnote 3]
A prostitute meets with many males for money, but she is never attracted by her clients' qualities or beauty. Of course, this does not make her a sadarani-nayika, because she is a mundane person. Kubja was also a prostitute, but she is considered by Rupa Gosvami to be a nayika. If a prostitute's love will only be for Sri Krsna and not for any other male person, she will be a sadarani-nayika. When someone desires her own sense gratification but not from any male person other then Sri Krsna, her rati is called sadharani-rati. Kubja is the best example of this. Her rati can increase up to prema, but not to sneha, mana, pranaya or higher levels. If she will do maan (feel anger or jealousy) or be sulky, Krsna will simply say, “Ok, go away then.” A nayika may desire happiness with her husband. Then, upon meeting with her husband, her separation mood and hankering subsides or disappears. In relation to Sri Krsna, this is called sadharani-rati of a sadharani-nayika. Her happiness depends on seeing Sri Krsna, but when her hankering disappears her rati also disappears. Her rati is diluted; not condensed and everlasting, like samartha-rati. Samanjasa-rati is more condensed then sadharani, and samartha-rati is more condensed then both samanjasa and sadharani. Krsna is only fully controlled by samartha-rati.
Srila Rupa Gosvami translated Sriman Mahaprabhu's mood in the following verse, uttered by Mahaprabhu during the Ratha-yatra festival:
yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta eva caitra-ksapas
te conmilita-malati-surabhayah praudhah kadambanilah
sa caivasmi tathapi tatra surata-vyapara-lila-vidhau
reva-rodhasi vetasi-taru-tale cetah samutkanthate
[“That very personality who stole away my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, yet still my mind is not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire.” Caitanya caritamrta Madya-lila. 1.58]
In this verse the same lover who stole away the youth of the heroin later became her husband. This is not an example of samartha-rati, because in the case of the gopis Krsna never became their husband. He became the husband of others, in Dvaraka. By the causeless mercy of Sriman Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvamipada knew His heart and composed a parallel verse:
priyah so 'yam krsnah saha-cari kuru-ksetra-militas
tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh sangama-sukham
mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati
[“My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krsna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavana.” Caitanya caritamrta Madya-lila 1.76 ]
Pure love depends on the sense of mineness or possessiveness, which manifests according to one's relationship with Sri Krsna – as a parent, friend or beloved. As previously mentioned, the parental mood is deeper then the mood of friendship, and the mood of a gopi is deeper then that of both friendship and parenthood. Sometimes the mamata (mineness) of Krsna's cowherd friends is considered stronger then that of Nanda Baba, and Yasoda-Maiya, but actually the cowherd boys don't know when Krsna will be hungry, nor can they chastise Him or bind Him as His mother can do. Therefore, parenthood is superior to friendship.
How will it be possible for a sadhaka (spiritual practitioner) to attain this possessiveness for Sri Krsna? It will first sprout for Srila Gurudeva, the asraya or associate of Krsna. The sadhaka will feel, “He is my life and soul. He is more dear and intimate than my own soul.” Then, when that possessiveness for Gurudeva gradually matures, Gurudeva will personally transform it into possessiveness for Sri Krsna Himself.
Regarding samanjasa-rati, the love of Sri Krsna's queens: Satyabhama and Rukmini have deep self-identification that, “Krsna is our husband and we are His wives.” This ego has a sense of deep mineness, but their mineness or possessiveness is not equal to that of the Vraja gopis. When did the Queens' mineness for Krsna start to develop? Rukmini's affection and mineness for Sri Krsna began to develop after she heard about Him from Narada Rsi and others – when she was a teenager of 13 and 14 years old – not before that; not from her birth. Rukmini and Satyabhama did not have the feeling of mineness for Sri Krsna from birth, nor could they ever consider breaking social etiquette for Him, even as His Queens.
When prema begins or increases without any cause, or when there is cause for prema to subside but it doesn't – by this kind of prema will control Lord Krsna completely. This kind of prema is possible only in samartha rati; not in sadharani nor samanjasa.
The samanjasa-nayika sometimes desires something that is separate from Krsna's desire. Sometimes they want to control Krsna, as mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam: They tried to control Him to their level best, but they could not. They failed. On the other hand, because the gopis desires are tadatma (in oneness) with Krsna's, there is no difference between their prema and their hankering for Him, they can fully control Him. Srila Rupa Gosvami has discussed this in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindu and other places. The gopis prema (love) and kama (transcendental lust) are non-different from each other. For others there is a difference between prema and kama, but for the gopis there is no difference. Their prema and kama are one with the heart of Sri Krsna. They only want to make Him happy; they never hanker for their own self interest.
In the case of samanjasa-rati, the nayika's relationship depends on or was caused by a marriage ceremony, but for the gopis there is no cause. Their affection for Sri Krsna is svabhavika or sahajik (natural). It was there since their birth, but was gradually manifest.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has said that when the gopis saw Mother Yasoda bind Krsna, their love for Him increased and they vowed, “Oh, we should not leave Him anymore, otherwise mother will bind Him.” One of the unique characteristics of the gopis’ prema is that it cannot be described by words.
There is no instance in Vraja that any gopi married Krsna – rather they married other gopas. We see that Srimati Radharani married Abhimanu and Candravali married Govardhana-malla.
It is mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam:
ativilanghya te ’nty acyutagatah
kitava yonitah kas tyajen nisi
[Dear Acyuta, You know very well why we have come here. Who but a cheater like You would abandon young women who come to see Him in the middle of the night, enchanted by the loud song of His flute? Just to see You, we have completely rejected our husbands, children, ancestors, brothers and other relatives. (Srimad-bhagavatam 1031.16)]
To meet with Sri Krsna, the gopis gave up their sons, husbands, brothers and other relatives. Their mood is always tadatmika with His. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written, “tomara icchai mora iccha milanu –Your desire is our desire. We have no separate desire from You. Whatever You want, we also want.” This parakiya-bhava or samartha-rati began from their babyhood and, as it increased, the gopis broke all kinds of social and religious etiquette. Samartha-rati can never be penetrated by other ratis like servitorship, friendship or parenthood. There are 360 kinds of gopis, and all of them have different kinds of madhurya-rati. Srimati Radharani's madanakya-mahabhava is supermost, and no one else can penetrate it.
When Krsna came to Kamsa's wrestling arena in Mathura to kill him, the ladies of Mathura sang:
ya dohane ’vahanane mathanopalepa
gayanti cainam anurakta-dhiyo ’sru-kanthyo
dhanya vraja-striya urukrama-citta-yanah
[“The ladies of Vraja are the most fortunate of women because, with their minds fully attached to Krsna and their throats always choked up with tears, they constantly sing about Him while milking the cows, winnowing grain, churning butter, gathering cow dung for fuel, riding on swings, taking care of their crying babies, sprinkling the ground with water, cleaning their houses, and so on. By their exalted Krsna consciousness they automatically acquire all desirable things.” (Srimad-bhagavatam 10.44.15)]
Sri Krsna rides on the chariot of the gopis' hearts and they ride on the chariot of His heart. The entire world may think about Krsna, but that Krsna can only think about the gopis. Even when He is in Dvaraka, He can never forget about the gopis. He is always absorbed in their moods and the Vraja mood.
[While translating this class, Sripad Madhava Maharaja commented, “This subject is very deep – more so then the Pacific Ocean. Being absorbed in these deep moods, Srila Gurudeva is giving us teachings that are very hard to translate. If he will infuse this knowledge in my heart, then I will be able to translate properly.” The above is a transcription of the translation of Srila Narayana Maharaja’s Hindi talk. At the end of the class Srila Narayana Maharaja himself spoke the following words in English. Because this class was given just before the beginning of the Kartika parikrama, the parikrama was the subject matter of his words:]
Our Mathura parikrama will begin tomorrow. I request that you don't take bath in ponds and rivers; otherwise you will be quickly overpowered by ‘cough and cold’. Try not to become sick. Don't jump in Pavana Sarovara and Bimala Sarovara, and don't drink the water.
Also, you should not become tired. Young people can do parikrama in all places in Mathura, but those who are old, who have little energy and who wear bifocals should only go to very special places here. Otherwise, they may become sick and then infect and spread diseases to all the other devotees on parikrama.
You should also be careful of another thing. It may be that Indian devotees – whether they are actually devotees or not is a question; they could be disguised as devotees – may come to you and say, “I want this and I want that. I want $100. That is nothing for you.” Or they may say, “I only want $200. I want to buy this and that.” Or they may say, “I want to purchase some paraphernalia for the Deities” or “I want to purchase some ingredients for the Deities.” You should reply, “Please ask my Gurudeva. If he gives me written permission, then I can give you what you ask for; otherwise not.”
[*Endnote 1 – “Situated above these two emotions is permanent love, which is called sthayi-bhava. In other words, attachment to Krsna is permanent. That permanent loving attitude is sometimes mixed with different kinds of taste, called vibhava, anubhava and vyabhicari. Vibhava is a particular taste for attachment to Krsna, and it can be divided into two further categories—alambana and uddipana. In the Agni Purana and other authoritative scriptures, that which increases one’s love of Krsna is said to be vibhava… Uddipana is induced by Krsna’s transcendental qualities, His activities, His beautiful smiling face and the aroma of His body, the sound of His flute, the sound of His conchshell, the marks on the bottom of His feet, His dwelling place… ” (Teachings of Lord Caitanya)]
[Although the Lord Absolute and His potency are one and the self-same existence, still They exist eternally as separate entities, as Radha and Krsna. In both the ecstatic energy and the transcendental Lord Krsna, there exists srngara-rasa (amorous love) whose quality is inconceivable. The vibhava (extension) of that rasa (mellow quality) is twofold, viz., alambana and uddipana (stimulation). Of these alambana is twofold, viz., asraya (supported) and visaya (supporter). Asraya signifies Radhika Herself and the extensions of Her own form and visaya means Krsna Himself. Krsna is Govinda, Lord of Goloka. The gopis are the asraya of that rasa. With them Krsna indulges in eternal pastimes in Goloka.]
[Visaya and asraya are two very significant words relating to the reciprocation between Krsna and His devotee. The devotee is called the asraya, and his beloved, Krsna, is the visaya. Different ingredients are involved in the exchange of love between the asraya and visaya, which are known as vibhava, anubhava, sattvika and vyabhicari. Vibhava is divided into the two categories alambana and uddipana. Alambana may be further divided into asraya and visaya. In the loving affairs of Radha and Krsna, Radharani is the asraya feature and Krsna the visaya. The transcendental consciousness of the Lord tells Him, “I am Krsna, and I experience pleasure as the visaya. The pleasure enjoyed by Radharani, the asraya, is many times greater than the pleasure I feel.” Therefore, to feel the pleasure of the asraya category, Lord Krsna appeared as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. (Adi 4.135)]
[“The object of love is Krsna, and the container of that love is the devotee of Krsna. Learned scholars call them alambana—the foundations.”]
[*Endnote 2 – The detailed explanations of svakiya and parakiya-bhava by Srila Jiva Gosvami in his commentary on Sri Ujjvala-nilamani and by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura both present proper siddhantas according to their own perspectives. The only difference is in their angle of vision. Srila Jiva Gosvami has taken the side of svakiya, keeping in mind tattva, while Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has supported parakiya-bhava, keeping in mind the lilas.
The gopis are expansions of Krsna’s own svarupa sakti – that is why they are like His wives (svakiya). Although it is not possible for them to be other men’s wives (paradaratva), still, in their pastimes as they are manifest in this world, the gopis appear to be married to others. This is only an illusion of Yogamaya. (Venu-Gita Verse 12 purport, page 80-81)
[*Endnote 3– There are three kinds of rati: sadharani (general), samanjasa (proper), and samartha (competent). The rati of Kubja is an example of sadharani-rati. It has been condemned because its fundamental basis is the desire to enjoy union. The rati of the mahisis of Dvaraka is called samanjasa (proper), because it satisfies worldly standars of righteous conduct, and it is awakened by the regulative principles of marriage. “I am His wife, He is my husband,” this rati is limited by such sentiments. The rati of the residents of Gokula is samartha because such rati magnificently goes beyond even the boundaries of social restrictions and religious principles. Samartha rati is not actually improper. Indeed, from the perspecitve of the ultimate transcendental objective (parama-paramartha), only samartha rati is correct in the highest sense. Sadharani rati is like a jewel; samanjasa rati is like cintamani; and samartha rati is supremely rar, like the Kaustubha-mani. (Jaiva Dharma, page 770) ]
Translator: Sripad Madhava Maharaja
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber: Kanta dasi