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Shri Vraja Dhama

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Vraja Vilasa: The Place of Krishna’s Grandfather’s Austerities

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Seeing that his son, the Lord of Braj Sri Nanda Maharaj, had no son of his own, grandfather Parjanya Gopa engaged in worship of Sri Nārāyaṇa by ardently fasting, so that he could get a grandson (Sri Krishna) who would be the abode af all great qualities, who could destroy the demons and lift the Govardhana hill. This world-famous pool named Kṣuṇṇāhāra Taḍāga is my shelter.


parjanyena pitāmahena nitarām ārādhya nārāyaṇaṁ
tyaktvāhāram abhūd aputraka iha svīyātmaje goṣṭhape
yatrāvāpi surāri-hā giridharaḥ pautro guṇaikākaraḥ
kṣuṇṇāhāratayā prasiddham avanau tan me taḍāgaṁ gatiḥ

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā:  In this verse Kṣuṇṇāhāra Taḍāga is praised. Seeing that Sri Nanda had no son Sri Parjanya Gopa, the grandfather of Sri Krishna and the father of Sri Nanda, performed penances in the form of fasting to please Lord Nārāyaṇa. He prayed to Sri Nārāyaṇa’s lotus feet: “May Sri Nanda obtain a son, who is the abode of all attributes and who can destroy the demons and thus delight the world!”

Krishna cannot be obtained through penance. Sri Nanda and Yashoda are Sri Krishna’s eternally perfect parents and Sri Krishna is also eternally Sri Nanda’s son. In the prakaṭa-līlā Sri Krishna advented as Nanda and Yashoda’s son, but that was merely caused by their eternally perfect parental love for him. In the worldly custom, though, everyone thinks that Sri Nanda-nandan is the result of Nanda’s father Parjanya Gopa’s harsh austerities of fasting on the bank of the Kṣuṇṇāhāra Taḍāga.

This is the sweetness of the worldly or human-like pastimes. All the Brajwasis know that, and Sri Nanda Maharaj also thinks that this bhuvana sundara (the world’s most beautiful) child Sri Krishna, who is the reservoir of all great attributes and who is able to kill the demons and lift mountains, is the benefit of father Parjanya’s worship of Lord Nārāyaṇa. What’s more, when Sri Krishna is playing at Kṣuṇṇāhāra Sarovara and he hears from the people that his grandfather had performed penances there by fasting for a long time to get him as a grandson, and that it was therefore called Kṣuṇṇāhāra Sarovara, his heart is humbled by great devotion and respect for his grandfather and he considers himself greatly honoured.

Blessed is the love of Braj and the Lord’s complete subjugation to this love! That Original Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, as a result of worshipping whom all the people of the world are blessed by attaining the fulfillment of all their desires, that Lord, who embodies all the Vedic scriptures, sees himself as the result of the penances of his grandfather Parjanya and is proud of it. Only in Braj the Lord can be subdued by love in this way, nowhere else. Not only is he subdued by their love, the relish of this pure love, which is free from even a whiff of awe and reverence, is the treasure he always longs for.

aiśvarya jñānete sab jagata miśrita; aiśvarya śithila preme nāhi mora prīta
āmāre īśvara māne – āpanāke hīna; preme vaśa āmi tāra nā hoi adhīna
āmāke to ye ye bhakta bhaje yei bhāve; tāre se se bhāve bhaji e mora svabhāve
mora putra mora sakhā mora prāṇa-pati; ei bhāve kore yei more śuddha bhakti
āpanāke boḍo māne – āmāre sama hīna; sarva bhāve āmi hoi – tāhāra adhīna

(Caitanya-caritämåta Ādi Ch. 4)

“The whole world is mixed with knowledge of my majesty, but love which is slackened by knowledge of my majesty does not please me. Those who see me as the Lord and themselves as inferior can not subdue me with their love. In whatever mood my devotee worships me, in that same mood I will worship him – that is my nature. I am subdued in all respects by a person who is purely devoted to me, thinking: “He is my son, he is my friend”, or “He is the Lord of my life”, who considers himself superior and me equal or inferior to him.”

Forgetting all of his prowess, the Lord is subdued by the love of the people of Braj in all moods, according to the amount of their love for him. The love of the people of Braj covers all of Sri Krishna’s own awareness of his prowess and, he allows himself to be moulded according to their love. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartīpād has written: yathā saṁsāra-bandhe nipātya duḥkam evānubhāvayituṁ māyāvṛttir avidyā jīvānāṁ jñānam āvṛṇoti yathā ca mahā madhura śrī kṛṣṇa-līlā sukham anubhāvayituṁ guṇātītānāṁ śrī kṛṣṇa parivārāṇāṁ vrajeśvaryādīnāṁ jñānaṁ cicchakti-vṛttir yogamāyaivāvṛṇoti tathaiva śrī kṛṣṇam ānanda svarūpam apyānandātiśayam anubhāvayituṁ cicchaktir āvṛttiḥ premaiva tasya jñānam āvṛṇoti. premnas tu tat svarūpa-śaktitvāt tena tasya vyāpter na dosaḥ “It is the essence of Krishna’s cit-shakti, or knowledge-potency, named prema, or love of God, that covers him over, making him forget his actual identity, although he is ecstasy personified, for the sake of increasing his own ecstasy, just as avidyā, or the ignorance-potency of māyā keeps all the living beings bound up in the material world, making them experience only suffering, and the transcendental energy of yogamāyā covers over the God-knowledge of Krishna’s transcendental associates in Vraja like mother Yashoda, making them experience his all-sweet humanlike pastimes. There can be no fault in prema covering over Krishna’s knowledge of his svarūpa (true identity), rather it is most relishable.” Śrīpāda Dāsa Goswamicaraṇ says: “May that world-famous Kṣuṇṇāhāra Taḍāga be my shelter”, or: “May it be the greatest support for my practice of prema!”

parjanya śrī nanda pītā, adbhuta tāhāra kathā,
kṣuṇṇāhāra sarovara tīre
vrata kori anaśane, pūjā kori nārāyaṇe
pautra rūpe pāilā kṛṣṇere
śrī kṛṣṇera pitāmahe, pade yeno mati rahe,
kṛpā hoile sarva labhya hoy.
ei more nivedana, janme janme hoy yeno,
kṣuṇṇāhāra taḍāga samāśraya

“The story of Sri Nanda’s father Parjanya is amazing! On the bank of the Kṣuṇṇāhāra-pool he began to fast and worship Lord Nārāyaṇa. Thus he obtained Krishna as a grandson! May my mind dwell in the feet of Sri Krishna’s grandfather, for by his grace everything desirable is attained. May I have the shelter of Kṣuṇṇāhāra Taḍāga, birth after birth! This is my prayer!”


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