Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Volgograd, Russia: September 16, 2004
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

We have been explaining the verse beginning “anyabilasita sunyam,” especially with reference to the various grades of mamata (the sense of posessivness towards Krsna) and anukulyena anusilanam (continuous and favorable service to the Divine Couple). We have thus far explained up to the Pandavas. Lord Krsna Himself serves them – not only them but even their horses – and He ordered Hanuman to help and serve them.

Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, is a sakhi (a dear friend, not in a conjugal relationship but in the mood of reverence and as a family member) of Krsna; so they are very glorious. Still, there is something lacking in their devotion.

Sri Uddhava is so much superior to the Pandavas.

Lord Krsna wanted to go to Vrndavana to pacify Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba and all the other residents. He wanted to remain in Vrndavana forever; but there was a problem. If He would go to Vrndavana, He would not be able to pacify them. Due to their knowing that He would soon be leaving again, their feelings of separation would double and triple and become a thousand times greater. So He did not dare to go there. He was worried for His father and mother; not as much for His sakhas, because their feelings of separation were not as high as those of His mother and father and the gopis. His father and mother had become blind in separation.

Those who have an intense sense of mineness also experience a strong separation mood. If there is no mamata, there is no separation mood. Feelings of separation depend on the gradation of feelings of mineness. If the sense of mamata is condensed, then in meeting there is so much happiness and in separation there is so much suffering.

The gopis feel the fire of separation to the extreme point, because they love Sri Krsna more than anyone else – even more than Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba, Subala and Sridama. Therefore in the night, when Krsna is supposed to be sleeping, He leaves His bed and runs from home to pacify the gopis. He takes His flute and runs. While Mother Yasoda was sleeping, and He would go to Vrndavana – to Vamsi-vata – to play on His flute and call the gopis.

At the time of meeting Krsna, the gopis would become maddened in love. Then, if Krsna would vanish for a moment, their separation would increase to such a stage that they sometimes identified themselves with Sri Krsna Himself. When Krsna disappeared from the Rasa dance arena, some gopis would think themselves Krsna’s associates like Mother Yasoda, and others would think themselves Krsna Himself playing on His flute. There would be no flute, but still they would think themselves playing His flute. They were fully absorbed in a fire of separation. We cannot explain the gopis situation, and even Srila Sukadeva Gosvami and Srila Vyasadeva could not explain their stage. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed something of it in his Gambira-lila. Sometimes His hands, legs and head would all enter within His body, just like the withdrawn limbs of a tortoise. Sometimes He would jump in the ocean and remain floating there for 24 hours. At that time the joints of His hands and legs would sometimes become separated by eight inches, and they remained connected only by the skin.

This must also have taken place in the bodies of the gopis. We cannot even imagine how glorious they are.

There are two situations; first meeting and then separation. Srimad-bhagavatam has explained the gopis meeting with Krsna in the arena of the Rasa-dance.

At that time Sri Krsna would sing up to the fifth note, “sa re ga ma pa”, and the gopis would sing higher, up to the eighth, “da ni sa”. Krsna would then glorify them by saying, “Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu”, meaning “You have done marvelously”. Krsna could not sing so high.

At that time He would embrace the gopis neck and say, “You should not vanish from rasa; or else I will not be able to survive.” Especially, He would embrace the neck of Srimati Radhika and say, “Please don’t leave the rasa dance, and please don’t have any maan (transcendental loving jealous anger) and thus neglect Me.”

There are so many truths that have not been told openly in Srimad Bhagavatam, but Srila Jiva Gosvami, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura have explained something in their commentaries and left some service in this regard for others. In their meditation Lord Brahma, Lord Sankara and others pray to serve Laksmi-devi, and Laksmi-devi herself is sweeping in Vrndavana for Sri Krsna. Brahma, Sankara and all others pray to be able to see a glimpse of the light coming from Krsna’s toenail, but they are not successful. On the other hand, the gopis are so glorious that they openly took the lotus feet upon which Brahma meditates and they kept them on their breasts. Why did they do so? Not for their satisfaction, but for the satisfaction of Krsna. They bound Krsna with their love and affection, whereas no one else could bind Him – including Uddhava, Uddhava’s father, and Uddhava’s forefathers.

Krsna Himself glorifies the gopis. All the Vrajavasis were burning in the fire of separation for Him, and especially the gopis. Among the gopis, this separation fire was felt especially by Candravali and Srimati Radhika, and also by Lalita, Visakha, Citra and all others like them. Krsna wanted to go to Vrndavana but He did not dare to go, because He thought their separation mood and suffering would increase.

He told Uddhava, “Don’t think I am in Mathura. Perhaps you are afraid; you don’t want to give up My association. But I am partly here and fully in Vrndavana. When you will go to Vrndavana, you will realize that I am fully there. I want to be where love and affection is in the highest stage; therefore I remain fully in Vrndavana.”

ta man-manaska trst-prana
mad-arthe tyakta-daihikah
mam eva dayitam prestham
atmanam manasa gatah
ye tyakta-loka-dharmas ca
mad-arthe tan bibharmy aham

[“The minds of those gopis are always absorbed in Me, and their very lives are ever devoted to Me. For My sake they have abandoned everything related to their bodies, renouncing ordinary happiness in this life, as well as religious duties necessary for such happiness in the next life. I alone am their dearmost beloved and, indeed, their very Self. Therefore I take it upon Myself to sustain them in all circumstances.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.46.4)]

Sri Krsna told Uddhavaji, “Tan man-manaska – the gopis are the soul in My heart. If their mind was present in their body, they would have died. But they have fully deposited their mind, soul and everything they possess in My heart, and so they remain alive.

An example can be given in this connection: Once a newly married girl came to Nandagaon. She had heard of Lord Krsna’s glories, beauty and attractive qualities. She had heard about Him from her neighbors, but she had never actually seen Him. She wanted an occasion to meet Krsna and said, “Can I see Krsna? Can I meet Krsna? Her mother-in-law was against and told her, “Don’t go to that snake. Krsna is a poisonous snake. If He will bite you, the fever resulting from the poison of that bite will never come down. Remain in the house. Don’t go to that black snake.” She asked, “Why is your daughter going to see that black snake, and why are you going? You are an old lady, so why are you going to see that black snake? Even blind people go. Why should I not go? Even if you try to keep me in the house, I will must go and see Him.”

Krsna knew that this newly married girl wanted to meet Him, and so He could not check Himself. Along with thousands of millions of calves and cowherd friends, He passed her door while playing His flute. As that girl waited at the door and peeped out, He touched the tail of a new calf that jumped up and ran right to the door. He followed the calf, and when He reached the girl, He took His flute and touched her chin. He took her mind and heart and ran away – and she was left standing like a statue.

Her mother-in-law then approached her and said, “What are you doing? I warned you, but you would not heed my warning. Now go and churn yogurt.” The girl took what she thought was a pot of yogurt, but because her mind was not with her, she did not realize that it was actually a pot of mustard seeds. As she began churning the mustard seeds while thinking of Krsna, her mother-in-law came and said, “What nonsense are you doing? I warned you, but you are not hearing or obeying me. Go and take water from the well.” Her mother-in-law gave her a bucket, a rope, two pitchers on her head, a pitcher in one hand and a baby boy in the other arm. She arrived at the well that was somewhat far from her house, as she was accustomed to go daily, and she began to make a knot around the neck of the baby instead of the pitcher.

Aghast, all the ladies taking water from the well took the baby from her and called out, “A ghost has caught her – not a ghost – the son of Nanda Maharaja has caught her.” Somehow she returned to her mother-in-law’s house, but her mind never returned. She continued always thinking of Krsna. This is called man-manaska.

You will have to be like this – and then Krsna will allow you to see Him and meet with Him. You cannot give your heart at present, so pray to Him that He will take it.

So Krsna told Uddhava, “The gopis are My life and soul, I am the life and soul of all the gopis. For Me, they have forgotten to take prasadam, to decorate themselves, to drink water or to do anything regarding their bodies. They have fully given their soul to Me; I am their most beloved. They have given up children, father, housework, husbands and everything else, and they don’t care for Vedic religiosity that would prohibit their meeting with Me.

“I must care for them and nourish them; so I am sending you to Vrndavana. They are waiting for Me, because I told them, ‘I will return tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, just after killing Kamsa.’ The gopis have full faith in My words. They think, ‘Krsna never tells a lie. We have faith in Him that He will come today or tomorrow.’

“They are keeping their life and soul together because they are waiting for Me. They think, ‘if Krsna will return and see that we have died, He will lament and also give up His life.’ Due to this they are not giving up their bodies.

“Uddhava, go and pacify them at once; otherwise they will die. All the calves, friends, trees, creepers and everything of Vrndavana are remembering Me. Go and pacify them. Be there for some time, because you will not be able to pacify them in one day.”

Why did Lord Krsna send Uddhava to Vrndavana? There are thousands of reasons. One reason is that Krsna thought, “The gopis are feeling separation from Me and I am also feleling separation from them. There are none here to whom I can open My heart and share My separation mood. Uddhava should therefore be trained in the school of the gopis. He should be trained there. If he can understand their love, then I will be able to explain my heartache to him and My feeling of separation can be somewhat pacified.”

Krsna considered, “I have learned something about their prema, which includes sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, mahabhava and beyond. I have even learned something of madanakya bhava. Love (prema) lives in the gopis’ heart, because they are the abode of love.” Krsna wanted Uddhava to go to the school where Srimati Radhika is the principal and Visakha and Lalita are the department heads.

He had told Uddhava, “You should sit on the chariot and go to Vrndavana.” He sent him on the same chariot that Akrura rode on when he went to Vrndavana to take Sri Balarama and Lord Krsna to Mathura. That chariot was made of gold and jewels.

By the mercy of Paurnamasi (Yogamaya) Uddhava was able to reach Vrndavana. When he first arrived he saw that Lord Krsna was fully present there, and the next morning he approached the college of love and affection. Some gopis came and gave him an interview, to see if he was qualified to be admitted into that college or not. They tested him, after which they refused him admission. He had failed the examination, so He was only allowed to see the school building. He saw the principle, Srimati Radhika, and others like Lalita and Visakha (the department heads), but he was not granted admission. What he saw, however, was enough for him, and then he returned to Mathura.

When he once again saw Krsna he told Him, “You must go there immediately. No one but You can pacify them.”

“Uddhava should be trained about love in the gopis’ school,” Krsna thought. That was the reason He sent him – so He would be able to discuss His own love for the gopis with Uddhava.

Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi