Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Shrimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 21
Murwillumbah, Australia, January 21, 2001, pm
I request you to come with me to Vrindavana. The Gopis are assembled in their houses. By their bhava-netra, eyes of transcendental ecstatic emotions, they are seeing that Krishna is going through the forest and playing on the flute - very beautiful Krishna. They are hearing the very sweet voice of the flute, and they are all totally immersed in that. They are discussing with each other, and one sakhi is telling another, "Sakhi! O, what are you doing? Come with me at once. Come on. Don't delay; otherwise Krishna will go away. I know that the fruit of these eyes is only one. Only one. And what is that? To have a darsana of Krishna. Only this. If you do not have the darsana of Krishna, your eyes are useless. Useless. It would be better to be blind. There is only one fruit of these eyes - to have the darsana of Krishna.
"Which Krishna? The killer of Kamsa? The killer of other demons? No. That Krishna who is going cow herding with the cowherd boys and so many lakhs and lakhs of cows. That Krishna who is playing on His flute. To have a darsana of that Krishna."
aksanvatam phalam idam na param vidamah
sakhyah pasun anavivesayator vayasyaih
vaktram vrajesa-sutayor anuvenu-justam
yair va nipitam anurakta-kataksa-moksam
["The gopis began to speak among themselves: O sakhis! We think that for those who have eyes, there is but one thing which is a suitable object of vision. Success of the eyes lies in beholding this object alone; we know of no other. And what is that most precious object of attainment for the eyes? It is the vision of the two sons of Maharaja Nanda, Shri Krishna and Baladeva, accompanied by the gopas, as They enter the forest taking the cows, or as They bring them back to Vrindavana. They hold Their flutes to Their lips and look upon us with mild smiles and amorous sidelong glances filled with love. At that time, we drink the sweetness of Their faces."]
Vrajesa-sutayor anuvenu-justam. There are two sons of Nanda Baba - Rama and Krishna. Although Rama is a son of Vasudeva, He never thinks, "I am the son of Vasudeva." Rather, he always thinks, "I am the son of Nanda and Yasoda."
Anuvenu justam. Krishna is somewhat behind. And what is Rama doing? Oh, He has gone ahead of all the others. He is at the front of all the cows and cowherd boys. Why? He's rasika. He knows, "If I'm with Krishna, the gopis will be unhappy. They may die in separation. So I should give them a chance." He therefore goes ahead.
There is another meaning to this verse. The gopi is telling her sakhi, "Oh, just come on with me."
The other gopi is replying, "Oh, I cannot go. I fear my mother-in-law, my husband, and my other relatives. They will chastise me. I cannot go."
"Oh, let them do so. No harm."
"But I cannot go. I feel so much shame. I cannot go."
"If, even from a distance, you will see that very beautiful Krishna playing on His flute and smiling, then all kinds of hesitations, all kinds of shame, all kinds of obstacles, will automatically go. Don't fear. On the other hand, if Krishna goes ahead and passes away from this lane without our seeing Him, then what to do? Come on."
There is a hidden meaning. Anuvenum justam, vrajesa-sutayor. Vrajesa means the king of Vraja. In Vrindavana, in Vraja, there are two Vrajesas. One is Nanda Baba and the other is Vrsabhanu Baba. Vrsabhanu Baba has so much more wealth. Nanda Baba has nine lakhs of cows. How many does Vrsabhanu Maharaja have? He has eleven lakhs of cows. He is much, much more wealthy - because Laksmi is there. Who is Laksmi? She who is the Laksmi of Laksmi of Laksmi is there.
[Devotees:] Shri Radha.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Vrsabhanu Maharaja is therefore more wealthy. Krishna is also wealthy only because of Radhika. Otherwise He is like zero. He is not wealthy at all. So Radhika is there. She is the daughter of Vrajendra, Vrajesa, and Krishna is the son of Vrajesa. Together, Radha and Krishna are Vrajesa sutayo.
Anuvenu justam. What is the meaning? First Krishna played on the flute, and then Shrimati Radhika said, "Oh, You have done wrong. Let Me do it." She forcibly took that flute, and then began to play and to teach Krishna. This is the meaning. So if anyone, with these eyes, is seeing Krishna and Radhika playing on the flute, her eyes are actually successful.
That sakhi was told, "From your groves, from your windows, you can see." She was not ready to go, but she saw Krishna from a distance. When she saw Him, she forgot her chastity and everything else. Absorbed, she quickly ran away to see Him.
Who are these gopis? They are none other then Krishna Himself. Krishna has come in two parts, Radha and Krishna, and all the gopis are bodily manifestations of Radhika. These gopis have descended to this world to show something, so that we can learn something from them. We should follow this high class of associates of Krishna. Be attached like these gopis. All other attachments should quickly go away.
You know the wife of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami - how beautiful she was! She was like Miss India - more beautiful than Miss India. Perhaps, if she would have competed for Miss Universe, oh, she could have also gotten that title. For Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, however, she was like any dry wood. She could not attract him. Why? There was some attachment for Krishna. Shri Yadunandana Acarya and epecially Shri Svarupa Damodara have given him this attachment. If a guru can give some attachment to Krishna, he is actually guru. You should try to be attached to Krishna in this way, by this process, following day and night.
These slokas have been given by Shrila Vyasadeva and Shri Sukadeva Gosvami. This flute-song is very important. Herein, the gopis are telling so many things. What are they telling?
madhye virejatur alam pasu-pala-gosthyam
range yatha nata-varau kvaca gayamanau
["O sakhi! When dark-complexioned Shri Krishna, dressed in yellow garments, and fair-complexioned Baladeva, dressed in blue garments, decorate Themselves with newly grown mango blossoms, peacock feathers, clusters of flowers, and garlands of multicolored lotuses and lilies, Their appearance becomes astonishing. They sit down right in the middle of the assembly of cowherd boys and sing the sweetest of songs. O priya sakhi! At such times, They look just like two incomparably beautiful and expert dancers performing on a dramatic stage. What am I to say of the splendor of Their appearance at such times?"]
"Oh, come on, come on. Come very quickly. Why you are wasting your time in your house? Come on with me. Oh, see how Krishna looks.
Cuta-pravala-barha-stabakotpalabja, malanuprkta-paridhana-vicitra-vesau. Krishna is decorated with very new leaves of mango, and other leaves of reddish color. This reddish color represents anuraga. Anuraga means love and affection. Pravala-barha. He has taken very beautiful peacock feathers on His head. Utpala means kamala, lotus flowers.
Malanuprkta-paridhana-vicitra-vesau. Krishna has so many decorations, of flowers and peacock feathers. You can see more than seven colors in the peacocks' feathers, and His peacock feathers are more beautiful than those of the dancing peacocks. He is taking His flute and singing, and He is also in a position and mood of dancing . Seeing this, all the peacocks of the forest thought, "Oh, He is like a cloud, a new cloud full of water." As soon as they saw Krishna, they began to dance to the tune of His flute. They thought, "Oh, this vamsi-walla (player of the flute) is so very expert, and I can dance so well to His tune." They therefore gave Him a peacock feather as a gift. Krishna took it and [Shrila Maharaja indicated how Krishna placed the peacock feather in His hair] He always keeps it on His head, as a donation from the peacocks.
The gopis are saying, madhye virejatur alam pasu-pala-gosthyam, range yatha nata-varau kvaca gayamanau. "In the midst of all the cowherd boys, the peacocks are dancing, Krishna is playing on His flute, and all the boys are very happy. The boys are surrounding Krishna and glorifying Him, 'Jaya ho tumari, Krishna jaya ho tumari.'" It is a very beautiful scene. Even Caturasana [the four Kumaras], Brahma, and Sankara cannot see this scene in Vraja. They only pray to have a darsana like this. But the gopis - oh, they are seeing this scene as if Krishna is in front of them and singing and dancing.
gopyah kim acarad ayam kusalam sma venur
damodaradhara-sudham api gopikanam
bhunkte svayam yad avasista-rasam hradinyo
hrsyat-tvaco 'sru mumucus taravo yatharyah
["O dear sakhis! Although the flute is male, we cannot imagine what sort of sadhana and bhajana he must have performed in his previous births that in our very presence it is drinking the nectar of Damodara's lips, which rightfully belongs to us alone. He is not even sparing a drop of that rasa for us. On the pretext of their blossoming lotus flowers, the rivers, which have nourished the flute with
their water (rasa), are exhibiting symptoms of ecstatic horripilation. The trees, who are forefathers of the flute, are equal to the best of men. Seeing their descendant filled with such intense love for the Lord, they have become overjoyed, and tears of ecstasy are flowing from their eyes."]
"O my dear sakhi, my friend. I want to know what austerities the flute has performed in past lives. What austerities has he done? Has he taken bath in many tirthas, or has he donated something in charity? What has he done? I don't know. If I know. if you know then tell me, and I will do the same."
The gopis are telling each other, "O, this flute, made only of bamboo, dry bamboo - what has he done in previous lives that enabled him to become like a male, a venu, and to sit here on the lips of Krishna? What is he doing here? He is drinking all the rasa, all the nectar. Although he is a male, he is drinking it all, totally, without leaving any remnants. Oh, he is drinking it totally. This is our wealth, because we are gopis, and no one else is qualified to touch it. But this male venu is showing us by his gestures, 'You are not qualified. What can you do? You can't do anything. In front of you I'm taking this mellow nectar.' He is saying, 'It may be your property, no harm, but I am taking it forcibly. What can you do? You can't do anything.' This is his mood.
"Venu's father, mother, forefathers and all other relatives are very happy. If anyone has a good child, a very qualified child, then his father and forefathers will be very happy. Similarly, the bamboos and almost all other trees are fathers of this bamboo flute. And who is the mother? She from whom he takes water - 'milk.' All these rivers, like Yamuna, and Manasi-ganga, and all these ponds, like Pavana-sarovara, are mothers. And who is the father? Bamboos, and big, big trees like mango, kadamba and others. They are very happy. Tears are coming from these trees, and they are thinking, 'Oh, how beautiful and very qualified is my son.' And do you know the symptoms of the mothers' happiness? Some tears are coming." Ananda-asru. Ananda-asru means tears of joy. There are also tears of sorrow and suffering, and they are warm; but the tears of love and affection are cold.
So the gopis are telling each other, "How fortunate is that bamboo flute, and how fortunate is his father, mother, and all other relatives. I want to know what austerities he performed, what donations he gave in charity, what he has done that he became a bamboo venu and is now drinking all the nectar-juice of Krishna's lips."
vrndavanam sakhi bhuvo vitanoti kirtim
govinda-venum anu matta-mayura-nrtyam
[O sakhi! This Shri Vrindavana, which is even greater than Vaikunha, is enhancing the fame of the Earth planet. This is due to being splendidly decorated with the marks of the lotus feet of Damodara Shri Krishna, the son of Yasoda. When Shri Krishna plays a melody on His flute, which captivates the three worlds, the peacocks become intoxicated and begin to dance to its tune. Seeing and hearing this, all the birds, animals and other moving living entities on Govardhana Hill become stunned silent and remain sitting or standing without moving, forgetting all their activities."]
"O, this Vrindavana is more, more, more glorious than even heaven and Vaikuntha. Why? Devaki-suta-padambuja-labdha-laksmi. The son of Yasoda is walking here without any shoes, without any sandals - barefoot. Everywhere are the signs of His feet: the vajra (thunderbolt), ankusa (elephant goad) and so many other signs.
"The earth is now so much more fortunate than even when Lord Ramacandra came. On the Earth, Vrindavana is fortunate, and in Vrindavana, the most fortunate places are those which are marked with Krishna's footprints - like Govardhana, like Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda, Nandagaon, Varsana, and the bank of Yamuna. All the marks of Krishna's feet are there.
dhanyah sma mudha-gatayo 'pi harinya eta
ya nanda-nandanam upatta-vicitra-vesam
akarnya venu-ranitam saha-krsna-sarah
pujam dadhur viracitam pranayavalokaih
["O sakhi! When our dearmost Nanda-nandana Shri Krishna dresses Himself in a most extraordinary fashion and plays upon His flute, then even the foolish deer, hearing the melody of the flute, approach Nanda-nandana along with their husbands (who are known as the krsna-sara deer) and
begin to glance upon Him very affectionately with their large eyes. We know the meaning of their glancing. With their enormous eyes, expanded like the petals of a lotus flower, they are offering worship at the lotus feet of Shri Krishna and accepting His invitation, which He extends by casting loving, sidelong glances. Truly, the lives of these deer are blessed."]
"O, these she-deer are so much fortunate, dhanya, even though they are foolish. They don't know how a hunter will come and put them in his trap and shoot them. Still, although foolish, they are so much fortunate. Hearing the flute-song of Krishna and looking at the beauty of Krishna they come very near, with no fear at all. And what are their husbands doing? They are saying, 'O, you should go on. No harm. We are with you, and no one can tell you to stop. So you should go on.' And what are these deer doing? Pranaya. They are praying to Krishna for His love and affection." What is the meaning? The gopis are actually saying, "O, see how fortunate are these she-deers, that their husbands are also helping them. If our husbands will hear that we are going to Krishna, they will punish us, chastise us, and they may break our legs. They may even shoot us. They are not at all favorable. So I want that I should die at once, and I want to become a deer so that I can meet Krishna."
How they are absorbed! It is as if Krishna is directly in front of them and they are realizing that. Why is Shri Sukadeva Gosvami telling Shrimad-Bhagavatam to Pariksit Maharaja, who is going to die? Why, if these are lusty things, is he is telling them to Pariksit Maharaja who is going to die? The gopis are not lusty. We should follow their mood of love and affection.
I heard that some devotees have made a rule that if anyone will say, "Radhe! Radhe! Gopi! Gopi!" he will be expelled from their temple. They will kick him out.
[Isa Prabhu:] They can come here.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] They will say, "Oh, go! You should take shelter of Narayana Maharaja for this!"
We should try to take the essence of these slokas, and see how the gopis are absorbed. My explanation is only to tell you what class of attachment the gopis have for Krishna. Throughout the whole day and night they are talking like this. They don't know when night comes and goes, or when day comes and goes. This is the solution to all kinds of problems - forever - and it is the way to have love and affection for Krishna.
However, first you should follow what I'm explaining in my morning classes [In the monings Shrila Maharaja has been giving the teachings of Shri Upadesamrta, The Nectar of Instruction, beginning with 'vaco vegam, manasa krodha vegam.'] You should try to follow all these rules and regulations. And, if a chance comes to hear from any high class of Vaisnava, don't neglect that chance. You should hear from him.
We are singing here in this class, 'srita kamala kuca mandala', 'jaya radha jaya krsna', and so many other songs of this category. You are also singing the songs, 'munindra vrnda vandite' and 'namami nanda nandanam'. They are a very high class of songs. 'Yasomati-nandana braja bala nagara'. In the lifetime of Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura this kirtana was prohibited. No unqualified person was allowed to sing it. Why? We should also not neglect the songs of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, like Saranagati, and also the songs of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura - what he has told. We should also remember all these things. But those who are senior and sincere, who have developed some standard in their bhakti, should also try to hear and to sing these songs. This will be very helpful for them, but not for unqualified persons.
I am therefore giving a hint of all these things. In the morning classes I'm telling how we should practice vaidhi-bhakti, and now, in the evenings, I'm telling something about raganuga-bhakti. The progress of vaidhi-bhakti is very slow, but for qualified persons, those who can practice raganuga-bhakti, advancement in bhakti develops very, very soon.
krsnam niriksya vanitotsava-rupa-silam
srutva ca tat-kvanita-venu-vivikta-gitam
devyo vimana-gatayah smara-nunna-sara
bhrasyat-prasuna-kabara mumuhur vinivyah
["O sakhi! Not to speak of the deer, when the wives of the demigods see Shri Krishna, who is a treasury of all beauty and character and a festival of bliss for all young women, and when they hear the sweet, variegated melodies He plays upon His flute, their intelligence becomes stunned and they fall down unconscious in their airplanes, right in front of their husbands. How do I know this, O friend? Just hear! When their hearts become possessed of an intense desire to meet with Shri Krishna, they become so bewildered that they cannot even detect that the flowers braided in their hair are falling upon the surface of the earth. What's more, they don't even know that their saris are slip-
ping from their waists and falling to the ground."]
"O, see how fortunate are these demigoddesses, the wives of the demigods." Vanitotsava means that the demigoddesses were seeing this rasa, hearing the flute-song of Krishna, and seeing His beauty. Although they were in the laps of their husbands, in their puspa-vimana, flower-airplanes, they fainted. They forgot everything: "Where am I? What am I doing? Who am I?"
There is something here to note. Can demigoddesses see rasa-lila? They can, but their husbands cannot. They are compared with the yajna-patnis, the wives of the brahmanas of Mathura. The yajna-patnis came to Krishna and pleased Him with very sweet preparations, but their husbands were very far away. Similarly, the demigods were there, but what did they see? Nothing. They were hearing something, but not seeing all these mahotsava's, festivals, like rasa-lila and others. Their wives were seeing, however. They were taking darsana.
The hearts of males are very hard - very hard. They will be very hard to melt. But the demigoddesses' hearts melted, and so they wished that, "We should serve the gopis." They can wish.
The gopis are saying, Devyo vimana-gatayah smara-nunna-sara. "We want to be demigoddesses. We want to die at once. These demigoddesses are helped by their husbands who brought them here in airplanes. We want to be demigoddesses so that even if we are married, no harm. We will come and take the darsana of Krishna, and we will see this rasa-lila. Now we cannot. Our husbands are like demons. They don't allow us.'
gavas ca krsna-mukha-nirgata-venu-gita
piyusam uttabhita-karna-putaih pibantyah
savah snuta-stana-payah-kavalah sma tasthur
govindam atmani drsasru-kalah sprsantyah
["Some other sakhi said: O friend! Why are you speaking about the devis? Have you not seen the cows? When our dearest beloved Shri Krishna fills the holes of the flute with the sound flowing from His mouth and the cows hear that sweet music, they turn their ears upward and indiscriminately drink that nectar with the cups of their ears. In this way, they are tasting the sweetness of that
music. Why is that so, O friend? Taking beloved Govinda into their hearts through the doorway of their eyes, they seat Him there and embrace Him within their minds. Just see for yourself, the truth of my words! Tears of joy are gushing out from their eyes. The condition of their calves is indeed strange. Even though milk is flowing automatically from the udders of the cows, the calves, while in the midst of drinking that milk, suddenly hear the sound of the flute. At that moment the calves are neither able to spit out nor swallow the milk which they have taken in their mouths. They also take Shri Krishna within their hearts and embrace Him. By obtaining the touch of the soft limbs of Shri Krishna,
their eyes overflow with tears of joy, and they stand still, exactly as they were."]
Gavas ca. "What to say of all the demigoddesses, they are a higher species of jiva souls. Oh, we see that even the cows and their calves...what are they doing? From very far away they are hearing the flute of Krishna."
The cows were grazing and their mouths were full of grass. When they heard Krishna's flute-song, at once they did like this: [Shrila Maharaja cupped his hands behind his ears, imitating the attentive cows.] They were drinking with the cups of their ears.They can do this. If you go out and do nagara-sankirtana, the cows will come running. And what will they do? [Shrila Maharaja again cupped his hands behind his ears]
"These cows were making their ears like cups. Grass was there in their mouths, but they could neither swallow it, nor could they give it up. They forgot everything, and were simply drinking nectar through their ears. And what can we tell of their calves? They had been drinking milk from their mother's udders and their mouths were full with milk, but they could neither swallow it nor could they give it up. What became of them? They became like statues. Like statues.
"So how wonderful they are. How fortunate they are. We want to die, and we want to become the cows of Krishna - and the calves. Sometimes Krishna comes to them and caresses them. Sometimes He is cleaning the backs of the cows, as though they are His mothers. He can wash their feet, and by this He is giving them the respect of mothers. So we want to die and at once become cows or calves. They are very fortunate. We are not fortunate. We cannot go to Krishna. If He's going to the forest to cowherd, we cannot go. Our mother-in-laws will stop us and say, 'Oh, you should be here. Otherwise a black serpent will come and bite you and you will die. No one will be able to save you. So you should be here.'"
These newly married gopis quarrel with their mothers-in-law, "Why is your daughter going, and why are you, yourself, going there?"
"Oh, you don't know. We know. So you should not go. You are new. First you should be perfect here, and then you can go. Otherwise don't go."
nadyas tada tad upadharya mukunda-gitam
alingana-sthagitam urmi-bhujair murarer
grhnanti pada-yugalam kamalopaharah
["Some other gopi said: O sakhi! Why do you speak of the devlks, cows and birds? They are all animate living beings. Have you not seen the inanimate rivers? By the whirlpools that are seen in them, it is understood that within their hearts surges an intense desire to meet with Syamasundara. The flow of the rivers has been stopped by this intense emotional agitation. They have also heard the
sound of our beloved Krishna's flute. Just see! Just see! With the arms of their waves, they have caught hold of His lotus feet and are presenting offerings of lotus flowers. They are embracing His lotus feet just as if they were offering their hearts to Him."]
"These cows are animals. They are intelligent. But the river is nothing but a flow of water. Just see these rivers. They are like beloveds. When they see Krishna playing on His flute, and when they hear His flute-song, their currents stop and a whirling comes. Why is this? Unable to give up Krishna, they cannot flow forward. And from behind more water is coming. So what will be there? Whirlpools. These whirlpools are evidence that the rivers want to give their hearts to the lotus feet of Krishna. That water then goes up to embrace Him. This river wants to embrace Krishna. But Krishna is indifferent. Seeing this, she became shy, went down, took some lotus flowers, and offered them at the lotus feet of Krishna. Even a river - water - can do this, but we cannot. We cannot offer any puspa, flowers, to the lotus feet of Krishna. So we want to die and become the river water, and go to Krishna."
purnah pulindya urugaya-padabja-raga
limpantya anana-kucesu jahus tad-adhim
["Some other Vraja gopi said: O sakhis! We consider the young aborigine women (Pulindis) to be truly blessed and successful because they possess extraordinary attachment (anuraga) for Shri Krishna within their hearts. When they see our dearmost beloved Krishna, then an intense desire to meet with Shri Krishna is aroused within their hearts. Their hearts are struck with the disease of love. At that time, they smear their breasts and faces with the reddish kunkuma powder collected from the grass of Vrindavana. The beloved gopis of Krishna adorn their breasts with this kunkuma powder. It then becomes affixed to Shri Krishna's lotus feet. When Syamasundara walks about Vrindavana, the grass becomes covered with this powder. The supremely fortunate Pulindi girls then smear their breasts and faces with this powder. In this way they alleviate the anguish of their love."]
"O, see the forest girls. They are very low caste, with black faces. They are pulindya, from the hilly tribes, but still they are so fortunate. When Krishna goes to the forest, His footprints, mixed with some kumkum powder, comes on the grass. When the pulindya girls see this, they take that kumkum and smear it on their breasts. When they do this, they feel as if Krishna is meeting with them. But we cannot do even this."
There are very good explanations of this sloka by Shrila Jiva Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, and Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. I've given only some hint. I've not explained so much. In India I have explained their commentaries, and a book has been published, called Venu-gita. If you want to know more, you can read that book. I think that my all books can help you so much. The explanation of Gita by Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura will help you more, more, more, and more. And the biography of my Gurudeva will also help you so much. All the books - about forty books - Upadesamrta, Manah-siksa, Siksastakam and Jaiva-dharma, will all help you so much - so much. So you should try to read them, and this will give you association of Vaisnavas.
hantayam adrir abala hari-dasa-varyo
manam tanoti saha-go-ganayos tayor yat
["O sakhis! This Giriraja Govardhana is the best of all the devotees of Shri Hari (Shri Harideva). How fortunate he is indeed! Have you not seen how elated he is to obtain the touch of the lotus feet of Shri Krishna, who is prana-vallabha, dearer to us than life, and those of Shri Baladeva who is nayanabhirama, the source of delight for the eyes? Who can adequately praise his fortune? Just see how graciously he receives all the cows and cowherd boyfriends of Krishna and Balarama. He supplies cool, clear and sweet water for bathing and drinking, soft green grass for the cows, caves for them to rest in, and fruits and roots for them to eat. Truly, this Giriraja Govardhana is blessed."]
A gopi is telling to her sakhi, "O sakhi, hantayam adrir abala. See how fortunate is haridasa Giriraja Gjovardhana! Krishna walks barefoot on Govardhana, with His cows and friends. He plays in Govardana's groves with the gopas and gopis. How fortunate he is. We want to be the dust of Govardhana, so that Krishna will come and we will touch His lotus feet. How lucky he is! Not only is he serving Krishna; he's giving the very pure water of Manasi-ganga, of Kusuma-sarovara, of Govinda-kunda, Apsara-kunda, and Naval-kunda, to the cows who drink their water. He also serves the cowherd boys by these waters, and besides this, he gives them so many fruits and flowers.
"Govardhana also gives colors to decorate Krishna." If you go there and put some water on a stone of Giriraja Govardhana, you will see that some colors will come from that stone. Various colors will come. So Govardana also decorates Krishna.
"Giriraja Govardhana gives seats to all the children - very good, good seats. There is so much fragrance in his stones, as if kasturi, musk, is there. So we want to become a particle of dust of Govardhana."
The gopis are totally absorbed. If we will remember these pastimes, it may be that a greed will come to serve Krishna and Radhika, in the line of Mahaprabhu and Shrila Rupa Gosvami. So Shrimad-Bhagavatam is a very powerful grantha, scripture. We should hear it, but from those who are qualified. We should hear from a high class of Vaisnava, and always be observing the rules and regulations of vaidhi-bhakti.
[kirtana is performed]
You know about the wives of the brahmanas of Mathura. The Mathura brahmanas were doing austerities, performing a fire sacrifice, at the border of Vrindavana and Mathura. So many brahmanas were there, and their wives had also come from Mathura to help them. One day Krishna came for cow grazing with the cowherd boys, and they were somewhat hungry. Their mothers had sent something to eat, but they had sent it to Bhandiravan, not here. The boys somehow came to this forest and thus missed their lunch. In this forest the trees were without any fruit. There were so many trees, such as asoka-vrksa, but they had no fruit at all. So all the cowherd boys were feeling hungry. They told Krishna and Dau [Balarama], "Oh, a big demon has come. Please save us."
Krishna asked, "What demon?"
"Oh, hunger has come. We are so hungry. Please save us."
"You should go to the brahmanas. Thousands of brahmanas are here - very learned and qualified. They can recite so many mantras, and they are now performing a fire sacrifice. They may be somewhat humble and polite, so if you go and tell them that, 'We have come with Krishna and Baladeva', they are sure to give something. So you should go and beg from them."
The boys went there, and what happened? You should tell what happened after that.
[Aranya Maharaja tells the story of Krishna and the wives of the Mathura brahmanas]
There are many teachings in this pastime. How did this attachment for Krishna come in the hearts of the yajna-patnis? How? They used to hear about Him. From where? They would hear from anyone coming from Vrindavana, from Vraja, Fruit-sellers and so many brahmanas used to go to Vrindavana and hear about Krishna and see Him. They would then return to Mathura and tell about the beauty, qualities, and smiling of Krishna. So gradually the Mathura brahmanis became attached. Why are we not attached? We would like to be, but no attachment is coming. There are so many unwanted things here in our hearts. Sometimes, although coming to classes, some want to leave and return to their former ways. And some have returned. They don't like to remain here because their hearts are full of worldly desires for sense gratification and so on.
Therefore, even though you will hear, attachment to Krishna will not come. But, when your heart is free of all these things, even if you will hear very little, like the yajna-patnis, attachment is bound to come. It will come. The yajna-patnis were waiting, "When will we see Krishna? When will we meet? When will we serve? "After a very long time Krishna mercifully came without apparent reason. That day He did not go to the destination to which He was supposed to go (Bhandiravana). Rather, He came to this side.
For those who are so much sincere, who have no worldly desires, Krishna arranges a pure guru. That guru goes to him, just as Shrila Swami Maharaja came to these countries. So Krishna makes arrangements. He sends a high class of devotees from whom you should hear. All arrangements are made by Krishna.
In this way, attachment very quickly came in the hearts of the yajna-patnis. When they heard that Krishna had come very near, and that all the cowherd boys including both Rama and Krishna were all very hungry, they forgot everything. Whatever they had prepared for helping their husbands with the sacrifice, they brought without hesitation to Krishna. Krishna saw this and became very happy.
Any of the yajna-patnis who had been checked in her house, locked in her house, had left her body in separation. But she arrived first, before the others. She arrived by a miracle. Her separation mood had washed away all of her unwanted things - everything - and she reached there.
Krishna told the yajna-patnis, "Now you have brought preparations to Me. I'm accepting them, and I'm very happy. Now you should return to your homes and serve your husbands. Even if they are blind, if they are lame, if they cannot earn any money, if they are not beautiful, and even if they are handicapped, you should not give up your husbands. Even if they chastise you, you should not give them up. You should be very tolerant and return back to them."
They replied, "You should remember Your promise."
What was His promise?
ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
What is the meaning?
[Pundarika Prabhu:] Ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham. In this verse Krishna is telling us, "I reciprocate with devotees according to how they worship Me, equally and in the same manner."
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] So they are telling Krishna, "You should follow sastra. We are following and giving up all things. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. We have given up everything: our husbands, our children, our chastity, dharma, adharma, and all other things. We have given up everything and we have come to You. Now you should accept us. Otherwise You are breaking Your promise."
"Still", Krishna told them, "You should go and serve them."
They said, "How can we go? Our heart is with You. We cannot walk. Where will we go and what will we do?"
Then Krishna told them, "Return to your home, and all the brahmanas will apologize to you and honor you. So return back."
Why He has said this? They are brahmanis. They also have children. They were not gopis. Krishna can have mercy upon all those who are brahmanas, non-brahmanas, and anyone else. However, for entering rasa, He can accept only the gopis. He accepted these brahmanis, but He informed them, "By this body you should return. In your next birth, because at the time of death you will be remembering Me, you will quickly enter the womb of any gopi in Vraja, and then you can meet Me and serve Me in that form."
Krishna cannot accept anyone if they are not following the gopis, and therefore Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought this wealth from Goloka Vrindavana, from Sveta-dvipa - this mood of the gopis. Before Caitanya Mahaprabhu, no one knew all these things. Even Shri Jayadeva Gosvami was somewhat fearful. [Although Krishna Himself was giving him inspiration in his heart, he hesitated to write about Krishna's subservience to Shrimati Radhika, due to his awareness of Krishna's Godhood.] He had some doubt. And Ramanuja and Madhvacarya could not even speak about these subjects.
On the other hand, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught all these things. The root is Madhavendra Puripada and Isvara Puripada, and then, in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is Shrila Rupa Gosvami. You are lucky, very lucky, that you are all in the line of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Rupa Gosvami. Though you have so many worldly desires, no harm. By hearing, and hearing, attachment to Krishna will come. A relation will come; a very strong relation will come.
Gradually you should give up all worldly things. One day you will have to give them up. Old age is coming very soon. You cannot be happy in this world without doing harinama sankirtana, hearing hari-katha, and practicing all other devotional activities. So try to follow. I will explain more tomorrow.