[The following is a continuation of a lecture-course
on Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's book, Prema-samput.]
book Prema-samput is very exalted; the moods expressed in it cannot
be understood by ordinary persons. I will therefore complete it quickly,
and then I will begin discussing the book Madhurya-kadambini, which
explains the process of gradual development in devotional service.
We have heard how Srimati Radhika is discussing the truth of prema-tattva
to Sri Krsna, who has disguised Himself as a damsel from the heavenly
Srimati Radhika told the demigoddess-disguised Krsna, "Prema
is 'sva-samvedya dasa.' This means it can only be understood by that
person who is experiencing it, and not by another. Prema cannot be
described by words; it can be understood by realization and nothing
else. Only one in whose heart prema has appeared can understand what
it is. Another person cannot understand. Prema cannot be understood
by much deliberation, nor can it be understood by an absence of deliberation.
Either way, it cannot be understood. On the other hand, unless we
deliberate and endeavor to please Krsna, prema will not come.
That desire or tendency "How can I please Krsna?"
is the symptom of prema. We may understand that someone has
achieved prema by looking at his or her various ecstatic emotions,
like vyabicari, asta-sattvika-bhava and so on. These symptoms must
be seen in the heart in which prema has appeared.
Srimati Radhika continued, "You have described Krsna as being
a debauchee, but really, He is the topmost hero or lover (nayaka).
He alone has the qualification to love many heroines or lady beloveds
(nayikas). The moods seen in Krsna cannot be seen in any other great
personality. Even when He performs apparently abominable pastimes
such as going to Candravali and other beloveds, still, in that condition
He only remembers the happiness that He experienced when He was with
"When I weep in separation from Krsna, all the plants and animals
of Vrndavana also weep. Krsna performs pastimes of being with other,
rival gopis only to show the world what is prema. This is why Krsna
leaves Me and goes to other heroines.
"When a beloved meets with Krsna, all the unlimited happiness
of this world multiplied millions of times does not equal one drop
of the happiness I experience in association with Krsna. Similarly,
all the unhappiness of the world multiplied millions of times cannot
be equal to one drop of the unhappiness I experience in His separation."
The qualities of Lord Sri Krsna can only be seen in Him; not in Rama
or Narayana. They have the self-conception that, "I am God,"
and there is great opulence in their intrinsic nature, They come here
to protect religion and to destroy irreligion. They have many duties,
preoccupations and responsibilities. On the other hand, Sri Krsna
has no responsibilities or duties. He only moves the cows from one
place to another. He has no worries or responsibilities; He is completely
carefree. Therefore, He alone can perform such activities with the
gopis, and there is no fault with Him in this regard. It is His quality.
Even Sri Krsna in Dvaraka has many responsibilities, such as killing
demons, whereas Krsna in Vrndavana never kills any demons. It is Lord
Visnu situated within the body of Krsna who kills them.
As Krsna is unique, so the gopis of Vraja are also unique. Only they
can have such unprecedented prema towards Krsna to be able to control
Him as they do. Even the queens in Dvaraka cannot control Krsna completely,
because they also have other responsibilities and duties, such as
nourishing their children and taking care of household duties. The
gopis, on the other hand, have left everything all shyness,
chastity, worldly responsibilities, fear of society and fear of scriptural
injunctions. They have given up everything for the happiness of Krsna.
They have no children they have nothing but Krsna. They have
husbands, but they have no responsibility or attachment towards those
Srimati Radhika continued speaking to Sri Krsna, who was disguised
as a lady from a heavenly planet. She said, "If any gopi tells
another, 'Let's go. Take me to meet Krsna. I want to see Him,' this
is not lust because everything they do is for the happiness
of Krsna, not for their own happiness. *[See endnote 1] The attraction
of the gopis towards Krsna is not lust; it is prema.
"Krsna is an ocean of prema. He has so many apparent disqualifications,
such as restlessness, cruelty and thoughtlessness, and He is unreliable
but these are actually His good qualities. If He did not manifest
these "disqualifications," the ever-increasingly new tastes
of My loving relationship with Him (nava-nava rasa) would not have
been able to reach their height. If anyone thinks Krsna's qualities
are His faults, that person has no prema. The so-called faults of
Krsna are not faults, but qualities."
One example of Srimati Radhika's statement is as follows: Krsna has
arranged to meet with Her, but on the way He meets another gopi, like
Candravali or Saibya. Srimati Radhika is waiting the entire night,
lamenting for Krsna. Krsna comes to Her early in the morning, looking
like Nila Rohit (a body of bluish color, with reddish marks everywhere)
Mahadeva (Lord Siva) because His eyes are very red. Srimati Radhika
asks Him, "Where have you been?" Lying, Krsna replies, "I
came directly here, I have not come after being with anyone else."
Srimati Radhika's unhappiness then increases, so much so that despite
Her meeting with Krsna She feels more separation. She then enters
the state of maan (transcendental sulky mood) and calls Him ill-names.
Srimati Radhika continued speaking to the disguised Krsna, explaining
Her own mind, "I become angry thinking, 'Why did He go there?'
I know that if He goes to any other gopi, He cannot experience the
happiness He attains in My association. The anger I display is a manifestation
of prema, because I know that He cannot experience full happiness
when He goes to another gopi. Krsna then says to Me, 'Yes, yes, I
also know that.'
"Krsna is self-satisfied and has no unfulfilled desires. He is
never controlled by lusty desires. He is only controlled by pure prema.
Only the gopis of Vrndavana can control Him no one else can
do so. When He is late in coming to meet Me due to some disturbance
caused by other gopis, I become angry because I see His dissatisfaction
and lack of fulfillment. I become unhappy and angry that He hasn't
tasted full happiness. My anger is only for His happiness.
"I tell Him, 'If You experienced so much happiness with that
other gopi, then go back to her.'
"When Krsna comes to Me with marks on His body from associating
with other gopis, I become angry and say to Him, 'You characterless
person, get away from here and go back to that other gopi.' Then,
in front of Me, Krsna admits all His faults.
"Why does He act the way He does? Prema is like a lamp, and it
reveals the innermost intentions of both the hero and the heroine.
Their hearts are revealed by the lamp of prema. If prema is spoken,
that is, if the lover and beloved say, 'I love you,' then prema is
lost. Prema can be compared with camphor. If camphor is placed near
a window and the window is open, its aroma evaporates.
"Krsna tells the other gopis, 'You are My most beloved. Apart
from you I do not love anyone else." Krsna does not say this
to only one gopi, but to all the gopis, including Me. Why does He
do this? This is not His fault. All the gopis have great attachment
(anuraga) for Him. Each gopi has controlled Him up to the amount of
anuraga she possesses. Krsna's meeting with them is not His fault,
but His quality. Each gopi captures Him according to her bhakti.
"Another doubt may come. If prema is not spoken, then how is
it that sometimes the gopis reveal their prema to Krsna?
yat te sujata-caranamburuham stanesu
bhitah sanaih priya dadhimahi karkasesu
tenatavim atasi tad vyathate na kim svit
kurpadibhir bhramati dhir bhavad-ayusam nah
["O dearly beloved! Your lotus feet are so soft that we place
them gently on our breasts, fearing that Your feet will be hurt. Our
life rests only in You. Our minds, therefore, are filled with anxiety
that Your tender feet might be wounded by pebbles as You roam about
on the forest path." (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.31.19)]
"The gopis expressed themselves to Krsna, "Oh Krsna, we
are not satisfied to meditate on Your lotus feet. Rather, we want
You to place them on our breasts. Although we are fearful when Your
feet come directly upon our breasts, because our breasts are very
hard, at the same time we know that you are satisfied." The gopis
expressed their prema, so is the prema of the gopis not being dissipated
by expressing their heart? *[See endnote 2]
Srimati Radhika continued, "No, this is not a fault in the prema
of the gopis. In their case it is simply a symptom of their prema.
Their prema can never be diminished or destroyed.
"Listen; I'll give you an example from My own life. Krsna performed
the rasa dance with the gopis, and left everyone for Me. Why? He is
an ocean of prema. At that time all the gopis were thinking, 'We are
the topmost.' Krsna did not want them to think like this, and therefore
He took Me away. It is not a fault of Krsna that He took Me away from
all the gopis and sat Me on the throne of greatness, giving Me so
much honor and position.
"At that time We went to Srngara-vat, and there He personally
decorated Me. At that time I was svadhina bhartrika (a heroine or
beloved who has controlled Krsna completely). At that time Krsna had
no consideration or thought of any other gopi whatsoever. As for Myself,
however, I was thinking, 'My sakhis have given their life and soul
for My service. How can I alone drink His nectarean association? How
can I drink this ocean of prema alone, without My friends? I would
be afflicted by the fault of ungratefulness.'
"I could not tolerate the idea of having this fault. I therefore
told Krsna, 'I cannot walk anymore. You can carry Me wherever You
Srimati Radhika desired that all Her sakhis would be able to taste
the happiness of Her association with Krsna.
Sri Krsna is Rasika-sekhara, the crest-jewel of heroes, and He could
therefore understand the mind of Srimati Radhika. He thought, "Alone,
Radhika cannot be happy with Me. She will be happy if Her sakhis can
meet Me and Her there. But if all the other gopis find Me alone with
Her, they will become envious and angry."
Sri Krsna was referring to the vipaksa and tatastha gopis (those gopis
who are opposed and neutral to Srimati Radhika), and Radhika was referring
to Her svapaksa sakhis (those gopis who are in Her party and who only
desire Her happiness).
At that time He considered, "They will all return to their homes
out of anger, and there will be no rasa dance. My desire will not
be fulfilled, nor will the desire of Srimati Radhika or any other
gopi; we will all be cheated of rasa-lila."
Now at Her home in Yavat, Srimati Radharani continued speaking to
Krsna disguised as a heavenly damsel, "What is the necessity
of rasa-lila? Krsna desired it, and therefore He called all the gopis
with His flute music. So He considered, 'I will leave Radharani for
a moment. During that time, when all the other gopis come and see
Her condition, they will weep and feel great sympathy for Her. Then,
when I return there will be rasa-lila. My desire will be fulfilled,
Radharani's desire will be fulfilled and everyone's desire will be
fulfilled.' That is why Krsna's leaving Me during rasa-lila is not
a fault of His, but a quality.
[At this time Srila Narayana Maharaja paused from speaking on Sri
Prema-samput. He requested Sripad Muni Maharaja to sing a few verses
from Sri Gita-govinda, and then he explained one of the verses as
follows:] It was morning. Sri Krsna was late for His meeting with
Srimati Radhika, and She had become sulky. She told Him with some
sarcasm, "Oh Krsna, You are so beautiful. By Your sidelong glance
You can take the hearts of all gopis. Oh Madhava, Oh Kesava, this
is really so." She addressed Him by two of His names Madhava
and Kesava. [Madhava means Husband of the Goddess of Fortune. Kesava
means one who has beautiful, wavy hair, or one who decorated the beautiful
hair of Srimati Radhika.] She told Him, "Oh You who previously
decorated My hair that very Kesava. Oh Madhava, beloved of
all not only Laksmi. You should at once go away. Don't tell
lies. I know everything, for Your body is telling everything. You
should go to that gopi who can take away all Your disease of kama
(transcendental lust). Why have You come to Me? Oh, I see that you
have not slept the entire night. Your eyes tell this, because they
are reddish. And You look somewhat drowsy."
[Srila Narayana Maharaja now resumed the topic of Sri Prema-samput:]
You should hear this that which you have never heard before
in your life and that which you may never hear for the rest of your
life. Hear this very patiently. Then, making this the object of your
life, come down from there to sraddha (initial faith) and nistha (steadiness
in the devotional process). Starting the day after tomorrow, I will
tell you how to achieve this object.
Why did Krsna disappear from the rasa dance? He could understand that
all the gopis had a false conception of themselves; thinking that
they were as qualified and fortunate as Srimati Radhika. Srimati Radhika
also had an angry mood a sulky mood towards Krsna. She was
thinking, "Why is He treating Me the same as the others?"
Therefore, in order to break the false pride of the other gopis, and
to please Radhika and break Her sulky mood, Krsna left the rasa arena.
He wanted to show the world that Radhika is the topmost gopi. If He
had not disappeared, how would the world come to know this? Krsna
showed that "among everyone, only Srimati Radhika can completely
fulfill My desire."
Tomorrow we will go to Seva-kunja, the place where Lord Sri Krsna
performed the pastime of breaking Radhika's sulky mood. Then we will
go to Sringara-vata, where He pacified Her by decorating Her. Then
finally, we will go to Dhira-samira, the place of rasa-lila.
Thus, as explained by Srimati Radhika, by Sri Krsna's pastime of disappearing,
all the other gopis could understand that Her prema is the highest.
Now the disguised Krsna criticized Himself by saying, "Krsna
is a very bad person. He killed a lady, He killed a cow, He killed
a calf and He killed an innocent snake."
Srimati Radhika replied, "No, it is not like that. Aristasura
looked like a bull, but he was not a bull; he was a demon in disguise.
Bakasura was not a crane but a demon, and the snake Aghasura was Sin
personified. Vatsasura was not an innocent calf, he was also a demon;
and Putana was a man-eating witch. In order to protect saintly persons,
Lord Visnu entered the body of Krsna and killed those demons. Krsna
Himself never killed anyone.
Hearing this, the disguised Krsna became astonished and said, "Oh
Radharani, the symptoms of prema described by You are present completely
in You alone. I could not understand any of this before, but now I
can understand. To the beloved, the faults of the lover are not faults;
they are simply qualities."
atmendriya-priti-vancha--tare bali 'kama'
krsnendriya-priti-iccha dhare 'prema' nama
["The desire to gratify one's own senses is kama , but the desire
to please the senses of Lord Krsna is prema ." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta,
Adi-lila 4.165 translation by Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta
Excerpt from Srila Narayana Maharaja's commentary on verse 19 of Gopi-gita
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.31.19):
The gopis weep while singing their very sweet songs. Yat te sujata-caranamburuham
stanesu. "Oh, we very carefully and gently hold Your lotus feet
on our heart."
"Why your heart?" Krsna asks.
"Because this is the best part of our entire body. If someone
has something valuable, he wants to keep it on his heart."
Krsna is the life of their life. Dhrtasavas in the first sloka and
bhavad-ayusam in the last means "You are our life. Every part
of You is our life. Your feet are our life, Your face is our life,
Your hands, head and everything about you is our life. We want to
keep our life in our heart, and we want to serve it very gently.
"You run here and there on the rough paths in Vrndavana, full
of pebbles, thorns and stone chips."
Srila Jiva Gosvami explains there is no need for anxiety because Vrnda-devi
has arranged that there are actually no thorns or pebbles. Nothing
is wrong. Vrndavana is not a desert or hilly place; it has very gentle
terrain. However, it is the nature of any lover that out of concern
for her beloved she does not acknowledge this.
Krsna may ask, "Why are you worried about My walking in the forest
of Vrndavana?" The gopis reply, "Your lotus feet are so
soft more soft than any lotus. We have realization of this.
We keep Your feet in our hands and take them on our very soft breasts.
But when we compare the two, we see that Your lotus feet are a million
times more gentle, sweet, and soft than our breasts. Our breasts are
not rough and hard like the pebbles and thorns in the forest, yet
in comparison to Your lotus feet they are not very soft. We therefore
hold Your feet there very gently and carefully, so that You will have
Krsna says, "If you know that in comparison to My feet your breasts
are rough, why do you try to keep them there?"
"Oh beloved, we know that if we keep them on our breast You will
feel great bliss. We are unhappy to do this. However, knowing that
You are receiving pleasure, we forget our suffering and we are also
immersed in an ocean of happiness. If we see You get a little pleasure
in our behavior or by anything else we do or say, we become filled
with ever-increasing happiness."
Editorial Advisors: Sripad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha
Translator: Sripad Damodara Maharaja
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Janaki dasi