Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Murwillumbah, Australia: February 6, 2008 (Part 3)
Shri Krishna said, “O My dear Uddhava, you should travel all over the world without attachment. Glorify Me, and tell others about My glories and My sweet pastimes. But note this one thing: be very careful regarding ladies. Attachment to ladies for sense enjoyment is like being in a burning fire. Try to respect them as mothers, daughters, or sisters. If you somehow become attached, you will be at once burned to ashes. Be careful.”
If a man is married, he has love and affection for his wife; but he should not be attached. *[See endnote 1] Ladies should also be careful in this way. If they see any male person other than their husband, they should treat him as a father, son, or brother; nothing else. You should all learn this.
Once upon a time, in a previous Age, there was a very powerful king named Pururava. He was the emperor of the entire world. One day he went hunting in the forest, and there he saw a very beautiful lady. He immediately became very attracted to her and told her, “O devi (goddess), who are you? Why are you here? It seems that you are not from this world. It seems that you are an angel from a heavenly planet.”
That lady said, “Yes, I am not from this world. I come from a heavenly planet and my name is Urvasi. I am one of the dear dancers of Indra. I have come to this world to search for the man who is qualified to be my husband. Today I have seen you. You are very youthful and strong. You are very exalted and you are a king. I feel love and affection for you. So, if you agree, we can get married.”
The king, Pururava, at once became very, very happy. He said, “Oh, that is also my wish! Let us return to our kingdom without delay, and there our marriage ceremony will be performed.”
Urvasi then said, “But you must promise two things. I have two lambs, and they are very dear to me. I want that you protect them and always save them from harm. And secondly, you must never be naked in front of me. I don’t want to see you naked.”
He said, “Yes, I will follow this. I promise.”
And so it happened; the marriage was done. Thousands of years went by as if in a second, and the couple did not even notice this. They were always entangled in sense gratification.
One day, in the Heavens, King Indra saw that Urvasi was gone, He asked his ministers, “Oh, where is Urvasi? I have not seen her. Where has she gone?”
They replied, “She has gone to the earth planet and she is married to Pururava”
Indra then decided to send some of his followers to earth. He told them, “Go at once, and somehow steal her two lambs. When you return with them here, Urvasi will automatically come.”
They went at midnight, when Pururava was with Urvasi. When they stole the lambs, the lambs began to cry, “Bah, bah, bah.” At once Urvasi said, “O coward! You promised that you would save my lambs, and now someone is taking them away. You cannot save them? You are a great coward!”
Then, from the position he was in, he ran with his bow and arrow. He somehow saved the lambs and returned, but Urvasi saw that he was naked and said, “Oh, you are naked?! You have broken your promise, so I am going to my heavenly abode, to Indra.” Saying this, she began to run away.
The king said, “O my dear Urvasi, I cannot live without you. I will die. Please wait a little; wait a little.”
Urvasi at once flew to her heavenly planet, and this person, Pururava, continued to call out, “Alas Urvasi! Alas Urvasi! Wait a little, wait a little!” He followed her, and some time later he also reached her heavenly planet.
There, Urvasi said, “You are a very intelligent person. Why are you following me? You should return to earth. Serve Krishna and meditate on Him. Become attracted to Krishna. Why are you attracted to me? These bodies are full of urine, blood, and stool. My body is that same thing; nothing else. Give me up and go – meditate on Krishna.”
Pururava was so blind at that time. Bewildered, he called out, “Oh Urvasi! Urvasi! Please come with me.”
However, after some time he considered, “Oh, what nonsense I’m doing! I was the king, the emperor of the world. I was a very strong personality, and what nonsense I am doing now! I am attracted to a lady. What lady? Not a lady – only to blood, stool, and all other nasty ingredients. Now I will take this lady from my heart and keep Krishna there instead.” Thinking this, he exclaimed:
sevato varsa-pugan me
na trpyaty atma-bhuh kamo
vahnir ahutibhir yatha
[“Even after I had served the so-called nectar of the lips of Urvasi for many years, my lusty desires kept rising again and again within my heart and were never satisfied – just like a fire that can never be extinguished by the oblations of ghee poured into its flames.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.26.14)]
By material enjoyment, one cannot become happy and satisfied, not even after many lives. If one adds great amounts of ghee to a fire, that fire will become further ablaze. Similarly, if a person wants to enjoy sense gratification, he will want more and more in the future. Thus, he will go to destruction, to hell.
King Pururava concluded, “I must keep Krishna in my heart.”
Saying this, he returned to earth. He at once gave up his entire kingdom and all his relatives – everything. He went to the forest, where he began to meditate upon Krishna.
Take lesson from this. You must understand this deeply, just as King Pururava finally understood.
Krishna told Uddhava Another History
Krishna also told Uddhava the history of the tridandi-bhiksu, the sannyasi mendicant who was greatly mistreated by the residents of his former village. Krishna explained how a devotee must be tolerant. If a devotee is not tolerant, then, when a mosquito comes to bite him, he will take a gun and try to shoot that mosquito. He will follow it here and there, running. We should be careful about this.
Shrila Rupa Gosvami explained the essence of all the instructions we have discussed – all the instructions that Krishna told Uddhava. This is the essence of all instructions from the one most dear to Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; the one who was personally inspired by Mahaprabhu Himself.
Shrila Rupa Gosvami has written:
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
[“While living in Vraja as a follower of the eternal residents of Vraja who possess inherent spontaneous love for Shri Krishna, one should utilize all one’s time by sequentially engaging the tongue and the mind in meticulous chanting and remembrance of Krishna’s names, form, qualities and pastimes. This is the essence of all instruction.”(Shri Upadesamrta, verse 8)]
Tan-nama means ‘Krishna’s name.’ Krishna’s names are of so many varieties, like mukhya-nama and gauna-nama, or primary and secondary names. Jagannatha, Jagannivasa, Jagadisa (all meaning ‘Lord of the universe’) – these names are gauna-nama; they are secondary. Narayana, Nrsimha, and Rama (the personal names of God) are primary. Among the primary names, the most primary are the names of Krishna that are related to Vraja, like Shri Krishna and Govinda.
sri krsna gopala hare mukunda
govinda he nanda-kisora krsna
ha sri yasoda-tanaya prasida
sri ballavi-jivana radhikesa
Shri Krishna, Gopala, and Kanhaiya – these names refer to Krishna in Vrndavana. Higher than these names are Yasoda-nandana and Nanda-nandana, Krishna as the son of His father Nanda and mother Yasoda. Still higher are Krishna’s names like Gopi-kanta and Gopi-jana-vallabha, meaning Krishna as the beloved of the gopis. The highest names of Krishna are Radha-vallabha, Radha-kanta, Radha-natha, Radha-rasabihari, Radha-ramana, and Radha-madanmohan – Krishna as the beloved of Shrimati Radhika.
Always remember these names and their sweet pastimes. Utilize your tongue by performing kirtana of these names.
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja leads kirtana:]
govinda jaya jaya gopala jaya jaya
radha-ramana hari govinda jaya jaya
radhe radhe radhe
jaya jaya jaya sri radhe
Chanting all these names, always remember the sweet pastimes that correspond to the names. When you chant the name Damodara with your tongue, remember how Mother Yasoda bound Krishna to the grinding mortar. Dama means ‘rope’ and udara means ‘belly.’ She bound His belly to the grinding mortar. She does not think, “He is the Supreme Lord.” She thinks, “Oh, He is my child.” The devotee meditates on the way in which Krishna was weeping when Mother Yasoda was chastising Him. So remember all these pastimes.
When you chant the name Rasabihari (Krishna, the enjoyer of the Rasa dance), remember the sweet pastimes of the Rasa-dance and dwell in Vrndavana. Krishna cannot live outside Vrndavana. He cannot live anywhere but in Vrndavana. Remember the sweet pastimes He is enacting with the gopis.
The words tisthan vraje in the above verse means ‘to reside in Vrndavana.’ If you are not able to physically go to Vrndavana, you can stay where you are and always meditate on Vrndavana. You can think, “I am in Vrndavana.” There, the Yamuna is flowing very smoothly and gently, in a crooked way. On both banks of the Yamuna there are so many flowers, like beli, chameli, jui, lotus, and kadamba, hanging on the trees. All the trees are full of flowers and fruits, and their branches are bent down due to the weight of their gifts. There, in that Vrndavana, cakora birds are singing and peacocks are dancing. Shri Shri Radha and Krishna are playing in the kunja (secluded grove) near Govardhana in that beautiful, green Vrndavana. So meditate, “I am in Vrndavana.”
Tan-nama-rupa-caritadi. Do kirtana of Krishna’s name by your tongue, and meditate by mind. Do this without any break, like a current of honey flowing from a jar. Meditate under the guidance of a bona fide guru who is a rasika and tattva-jna Vaisnava. We must follow Shrila Rupa Gosvami.
The gopis are the most beloved of Krishna, and Shrimad-Bhagavatam is proof of this. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that the gopis’ devotion is the highest.
There is one more thing to remember: Our Svamini (worshipful mistress) is Radhika. What is our relation with Krishna? He is the most beloved of our Svamini, Shrimati Radhika. We have no direct connection with Krishna. We are happy when Radhika is happy; and when She is greatly suffering due to feeling separation from Krishna, we also suffer. We will always serve Radhika.
This is the highest meditation. We should think like this, following the instructions of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Always keep these instructions in your pocket – in your heart. Always remember and try to follow them. In this way you will very soon have Krishna-prema. You will be liberated from this world, whether you are grhastha (householder), brahmacari (celibate student), or sannyasi (renunciate). It is better that you are sannyasi and give up everything, with nothing to be attached to. By that service to Mukunda, Krishna, whose lotus face is more beautiful than a lotus flower, we can always remember Krishna.
After this, Krishna told Uddhava, “Now you should go to Badrika-asrama.” Uddhava did parikrama of Krishna and then went to that place.
Soon after this, all members of the Yadu dynasty, Krishna’s relatives in Dvaraka, performed a fire sacrifice, where maha-prasadam was given to the brahmanas and sages. Unfortunately, His relatives drank a kind of wine and became maddened, and in their intoxication they began to fight with each other. Krishna and Baladeva tried to stop them, but they did not listen. They began to quarrel with Krishna and Balarama, and they even wanted to kill Krishna. They had no sense at all. They grabbed very sharp blades of grass, and with these they began to fight with and kill each other. At the end, only Krishna and Baladeva were left.
Baladeva then went to the shore of the ocean. He departed from this world by producing a great white snake from His mouth, and thus He was carried by Sesanaga in the shape of a serpent.
When Krishna saw that all were finished, He manifested His four-armed form and sat down under a pippala tree, placing His left foot, the heel of which was colored red like the red lotus, upon His right thigh. A hunter named Jara, watching from the shore of the ocean at Prabhasa, mistook the Lord's red-colored foot to be the face of a deer and shot his arrow at it. The hunter ran to catch the ‘deer,’ but when he came and saw Krishna, he lamented, “O Lord Shri Krishna! Jagadguru!” He began to weep, saying, “O Lord, please punish me.”
Krishna replied, “No. No punishment. You will go to heaven.” Krishna personally set the example of tolerance. He said, “I wanted this. You have done what I wanted. Now you may go.”
At that time, Brahma, Sankara (Lord Siva) and all the other demigods came there. Then, in front of them, within a second, in His same body, Krishna went to Goloka Vrndavana.
What is This?
What is this? All the members of the Yadu dynasty, like Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and Satyiki, were all very near and dear associates of Krishna. How is it possible that they would drink wine and fight with each other? It would be absurd.
Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains in his Shrimad-Bhagavatam commentary that actually there was no fighting at all and no one was killed. All this was fully, and only, the act of Krishna’s power of illusion. It was like a magic show.
Once, there was a very famous magician in India named P.C. Sarkar. The governor of Bengal, V.C. Raya, invited him to perform his magic show. The show was to start at 4 pm, so all the governors and other high-positioned persons assembled there at that time. They waited, waited, and waited. Finally, at about 5 pm, P.C. Sarkar came on stage chewing betel-nut. All the officers were very angry with him and said, “Why did you come late? We were waiting so long for you.” He replied, “Oh, please look at your watch. What time is it?” They looked and saw that their watches now said 4 pm. Then P.C. Sarkar said, “This was my first magic trick.”
I once personally saw a magic show in Mathura. The magician covered his son with a white cloth and then cut his neck. He took his head, put it in a box and locked that box with three locks. The key was given to the district magistrate, who was present there along with the police superintendent. The magician then called, “O my son! O my son! Come here! Come here!” Then, from one side of the crowd, his son came out. How is this possible?”
A magician once came to a king’s palace with his young wife and their two sons who were nine or ten years old and very beautiful. There, these family members showed a play. A rope was situated well above the ground. The mother held a bamboo stick and was dancing on the rope, keeping some vessels on her head. She was coming, going, coming, and going on the rope. When she came down, the queen gave her a necklace. As the mother put on that necklace, her two sons came to her and said, “Mother, give it to me! Mother, give it to me!” They began to quarrel for that necklace. The mother took it off and the sons continued quarreling. They began to snatch it from each other, but they were equal in power so neither could win. One of the boys then took his sword, and the other also took his sword. They cut off each other’s heads and both fell to the ground.
The magician lamented, “Oh, my sons are dead! What should I do? I must also die.” He took their sword and killed himself.
The wife called out in grief, “Oh, my husband and my children have died!” She took the other sword and killed herself. Now, all four were strewn on the ground.
The queen and others became very upset and exclaimed, “Oh, how has this happened?!” Somehow, they collected the bodies and took them away from there. They were thinking throughout the night, “What have we done?!” The queen thought, “I gave my necklace, and for this reason four people are dead now.”
In the morning they received a letter: “O King, you have given us a necklace for the first act. This necklace is with us. We have not died. That was only our magic show, so we want another reward for that second act. If you don’t believe we are alive, you can come and see us.”
The king went to the magicians’ residence with his queen and others. They saw that the magician and his family were smiling, and coming with garlands to give to the queen and king. They said, “King, where is our reward for that second show?” The king then gave them a reward.
If a common magician can do something like this, just imagine the power of the magician who has created this world! What magic He can perform! How His inconceivable maya is working under His direction! He can do anything.
So, in this way, Krishna took all His personal associates with Him to Goloka Vrndavana; and those who had come from the heavenly planets were sent back to heaven. That was Krishna’s magic show.
Always keep in mind what I have told you – what Krishna told Uddhava. Try to follow and attain pure bhakti. Life is short. We don’t know when we will die. In a minute we may go. King Pariksit had seven days’ notice, but we will have no notice. Therefore, before this occurs again we should try to realize who we are, who is Krishna, and what is our relation with Him. We should develop prema for Him.
[*Endnote – Love and affection means ‘for the spiritual benefit of one’s beloved.’ Attachment means ‘for one’s personal sense gratification.’ Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja]
Transcriber: Janaki dasi
Typist: Lalit Kishori dasi
Proofreader: Krishna-kamini dasi
Editor: Shyamarani dasi