Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
A Lecture given on Chaitanya Charitamrita: Madhya-lila Ch. 19
(Eugene, USA, April 30, 2001, pm)
We have begun Rupa-siksa, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings to Shrila Rupa Gosvami. The bhakti creeper has now reached the lotus feet of Krishna in Vrndavana, and it is very happily producing many very sweet fruits (of transcendental sentiments in relation to Krishna) there. All those fruits are coming to the sadhaka in this world, where he sits in Vrndavana, chanting and remembering:
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 his 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."]
Rupa Gosvami explains that the sadhaka is in Vrndavana, hearing, and after that chanting: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. He is in one of the kunjas of Vrndavana, perhaps in the kunja of Shrila Rupa Gosvami which is now called the Radha-Damodara temple, and he is hearing the hari-katha of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and serving his lotus feet.
The sadhaka is thinking about the sweet pastimes explained in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, which he has heard from his gurudeva. It seems that he is here, but he's not here. He is in Vrndavana, chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare with tears in his eyes and hairs standing on end. He is totally absorbed.
He sees that Krishna has left Vrndavana. The gopis and gopas, and even the deer and peacocks, all feel separation. The calves do not drink the milk from the cows; they only lament and weep. The cows look towards the north, towards Mathura. They continually stare with tears in their eyes, not grazing or doing anything else. The peacocks do not dance now, nor do the cuckoos sing, for they are only absorbed in feelings of separation from Krishna.
Among all the Vrajabasis, Nanda Baba is especially restless. Now he seems very old, although he was quite young when Krishna lived in Vraja. Mother Yasoda does not eat anything, nor does she cook or do anything else. She has become totally blind, because she does not want to see anything. All the pots in her kitchen are scattered and very dirty, and the stove is covered with cobwebs. For whom will she cook? If there is no Krishna, there will be no cooking. All are in a very sad and terrible state and all are weeping. All of Vrndavana is lamenting and weeping.
The sadhaka is here, thinking of this pastime and chanting. He is really a devotee, because now he is approaching rati, bhava. After the stage of asakti, one will be like this. A real devotee cannot tolerate the pain of separation, and therefore he weeps.
He now looks toward Krishna, who has come to Mathura and is also lamenting. Krishna has given so many very costly ornaments, cloths, and garments to Nanda Baba to present to mother Yasoda and all the gopis, but Nanda Baba does not dare to give them. He considers that if he does, mother Yasoda will become angry and cry in accusation, "Oh, you sold my son for some ornaments," or, "Oh, Krishna has cheated us, He has now given Himself to the Mathuravasis, and He hopes we will be satisfied with these replacements."
As Krishna weeps in separation for the Vrajabasis, Devaki, Vasudeva, Ugrasena and the entire council of Mathura try to devise a plan so to convince Him that He is the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, and that He is from Mathura. They want to create an impression in His mind and heart so that He will forget Nanda and Yasoda. They quickly arranged an upanayana (sacred thread) ceremony and invited all of their relatives from here and there and from very far away.
No invitation was sent to Nanda Baba or any of the Vrajabasis, and there was a secret reason for that. Vasudeva and Devaki feared that if someone would come from Vraja, Krishna would remember them and at once go to Vrndavana. No one would be able to check Him, and therefore this ceremony was performed in a stealthy way.
Krishna and Baladeva were both brought for the upanayana ceremony to create an impression (samskara) of Their relation with the Mathuravasis. Their father and mother, Vasudeva and Devaki, were present, thinking, "They are our sons. Krishna is not the son of Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba." Krishna and Baladeva were shaved, given wooden sandals, palm leaf umbrellas, and sacred threads. All this was done according to the rules and regulations of Vedic culture, and thus both boys became brahmacaris.
Wearing reddish cloth and wooden sandals like brahmacaris, Krishna and Baladeva looked very beautiful. When the ceremony was complete, Gargacarya told Them, "Now You will have to go to Your mother and Your father to beg something for me, Your Gurudeva. You should tell Your mother, 'O mother, please give me a donation,' and the same to Your father. In addition, You will have to go to at least five houses and beg some donations." He then held out his cloth as a jholi, for begging, to show Krishna and Baladeva how to go out and beg alms.
Krishna thought, "I will have to go to mother. Where is mother?" At once remembering His father and mother, He became like a wooden statue. He cried out, "Mother! Mother! Where is mother? My mother promised to give Me so many jewels to fill up My jholi, but where is she? Mother! Mother!" Calling out in this way, He at once fainted.
Everyone present ran over to Krishna, wondering, "Why did He faint now, calling out, "mother, mother"? They gave Him water to bring Him back to consciousness, and the ceremony was quickly completed. Then they began to think what else to do. They considered, "Mother Yasoda or any messenger from Vraja may come; so we must quickly arrange to send Krishna far away from here. Then, when He forgets Vraja, having received a new impression, He should return here."
Vasudeva and Devaki quickly sent Krishna away to the gurukula of Sandipani Muni which was very far away from Mathura, and Baladeva was sent with Him. He was there for sixty-four days, and in that time He completed His whole course of learning the Vedas, Upanisads, other sastras and all kinds of arts. There are sixty-four kinds of arts, and He learned everything, especially the Vedas and Upanisads.
After that, Krishna and His classmate Sudama Vipra served their gurudeva. Krishna gave daksina to His gurudeva by bringing his son from Yamaloka and returning him to His guru-mother, and after this episode, He went back to Mathura. But the Mathuravasis, Krishna's father and mother, failed in their purpose. They did not achieve the result they wanted.
Krishna could not forget His real father and mother. One or two days after His return, He went up to the roof of the royal palace and, grieving piteously, He looked towards Vrndavana. At that time Uddhava came searching for Krishna. He saw that Krishna was weeping bitterly and could not speak, His voice being choked. As tears fell from His eyes, Krishna glanced toward Uddhava, placed his hand in His own, and said:
"My dear Uddhava, you are My student, you are My helper, you are My general, you are My minister, and you are My adviser. You are also My heartfelt bosom friend, and therefore I want you to go to Vrndavana, Vraja, and pacify My father and mother. They are feeling so much separation and are always lamenting. They have stopped taking their meals. They are no longer walking, cooking or doing anything at all. Perhaps they will die.
"I have heard that My many cows have stopped grazing and they don't eat anything. There are so many calves also. Please go and pacify My father, and tell him that I am coming very soon. He should not lament. He should take care of My cows and calves; otherwise they will die. All the cows and calves are simply remembering, 'Krishna Krishna Krishna.' Please pacify them. Please pacify My gopis who have accepted Me as their life and soul They feel even more separation than the others.
"Sometimes Nanda Baba wants to forget Me, but he cannot do so while staying in his house. Everything in his house reminds him of Me. He thinks, 'Oh, the grinding mortar is there, and His footprints are everywhere in the courtyard. All the paraphernalia is crying, 'Oh, where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?' Nanda Baba goes out to the bank of the Yamuna, to forget Me, but he sees Me everywhere because I played so many sweet pastimes there. All the gopis used to meet Me there, and therefore that place creates still more remembrance for him.
"Weeping even more now, Nanda Baba then goes to Govardhana and thinks, 'O Govardhana, I will be alone and I will forget Krishna.' But wherever he goes, he sees that all the kunds are crying without Me, and all the sakhas and everyone else are all crying. All the trees, feeling separation, are crying and looking dry now. Everything is weeping for Me there. Wherever Nanda Baba goes he remembers Me, and therefore, not knowing what to do, he again returns home."
Krishna continued, "Please go and pacify My father and mother, and especially My beloved gopis. When you reach there, I don't know if you will find them or not. By the time you arrive, they may have died. Please go quickly.quickly. Don't go by foot. You can go very swiftly by chariot."
Krishna then gave the order to bring Kamsa's golden chariot, which, now that Kamsa was dead, was only for His use.
The sadhaka is remembering these slokas from Shrimad Bhagavatam that were previously explained by his gurudeva. I want to write a book based on these slokas, and I will try to do so very soon. This separation mood is very great, and even a tree will weep by hearing about it.
The chariot was brought, but at first it was going without any passengers because Krishna and Uddhava were walking together beside it. Krishna was telling him how to pacify His father and especially the gopis, and at the same time He thought, "You cannot satisfy them; I know that. Still, it will be better that you go. I feel so lonely here, but I cannot return there."
Why could Krishna not return? The first reason was that the wives of Kamsa, Asti and Prapti, went to their very powerful father, Jarasandha, and told him, "Like a baby, Krishna jumped on Kamsa, wanting to fight with him. But our husband thought, 'Why should I fight with this boy?' He did not resist Him, and therefore Krishna killed him. There was no fault on the part of our husband who was powerful and strong enough to kill Him, but he could not do so because He was his nephew."
Jarasandha then became angry and said that he would prepare to invade Vrndavana with his whole army, which was larger than that of the Kauravas and Pandavas when they fought together in the Mahabharata battle.
Krishna thought, "If I go to Vrndavana, who will save the Vrajavasis? If I go, then Baladeva must also go, and then Jarasandha will go; and there will be no one to save the Vrajabasis. I should instead pacify the Vrajabasis by some other arrangement. In Vrndavana there is no fort, no army, and no weapons. There is nothing. On the other hand, here in Mathura there is a big fort, a big army, and all kinds of weapons. The ksatriyas here can easily fight, but if Jarasandha comes to Vrndavana, he will destroy everything and also kill Yasoda and Nanda and the gopis. I must therefore remain here in Mathura."
There were many other reasons as well, but they are all external. The real reason is very deep. One day Krishna was sitting on the bank of Prema Sarovara, midway between Nandagaon and Varsana. There, while Shrimati Radhika was sitting in the lap of Krishna, a bumblebee came. He was trying to enter the lotus feet of Radhika, thinking that they were lotuses. When he again and again flew around Her lotus feet, Radhika became fearful and tried to protect Herself from him. Madhumangala came at once with a bamboo stick and chased that bumblebee, sending him very far away.
When Madhumangala returned, he said, "I have driven madhusudhana so far away that he will never come back again." Hearing this, Radhika fainted. She was in the lap of Krishna, but She now forgot where She was. Hearing, "Madhusudhana is not here. He has been driven away and He will never come again," She fainted.
This is called madana, and it is the highest class of love and affection. The symptoms of prema-vaicittya and divyonmada are also included in madana, as are all other symptoms and stages of devotion. All qualities are found in Krishna. Although these qualities may be contradictory, still they are all in Him, and this is also true with Radhika. Everything, from sraddha all the way to modana and madana, is eternally present in Her.
Krishna thought, "When I am with the gopis, their separation mood increases. On the other hand, when I am not with them, they become so absorbed in separation that sometimes they think that a tamal tree is Me, or that the sky is Me, and they become happy. They decorate themselves, and they laugh and quarrel with those tamal trees. Sometimes they even experience mana in their separation mood, and they become as happy as if they had met with Me. So it is better that I do not to remain there. I cannot pacify them. If I am very far away, they are somewhat happy; otherwise not."
You will never be able to understand these symptoms of love at your stage. I am only telling you about that devotee who is sitting in Vrndavana, under the shade of that creeper, chanting Hare Krishna and thinking in that way. You are not able to remember like this, even though you are hearing the explanations from Shrimad Bhagavatam.
In this way, Krishna was weeping and thinking, "I will send Uddhava. He is the very intelligent disciple of Brihaspati, and he is somewhat qualified. He should go to the school of the gopis, where I have studied the meaning of love and affection. He will go there and be admitted in that school, and in that way he will be trained in love and affection there. If he can be trained like me, then when he returns I can share My separation mood with him. Now, in all of Mathura, there is no one with whom I can share My feelings." This was the main reason Krishna sent Uddhava.
Seeing that Krishna, weeping and very restless, was walking along with him, Uddhava told Him, "You should return to Mathura. I am going now." He at once climbed upon the chariot and quickly departed.
Krishna was left standing there with tear stained cheeks. He stared at Uddhava as He watched him go far into the distance until he was out of sight. He then saw only some dust in the sky, and finally, when the dust settled, He turned back. "When will Uddhava reach there? When will Uddhava reach there?" Krishna continued thinking in this way and did not speak with anyone.
Here you should see that Krishna 'sent Mathura to Vraja', saying, "Oh, go to Vrndavana and see what is Vrndavana." When Krishna was in Vraja, it was another type of place. Then, when He came to Mathura, He sent Mathura there: "Go and see what is Vrndavana in My separation."
Uddhava arrived in Vrndavana at the time of go-dhuli. Dhuli means dust. When the cows come from the forest, a tremendous amount of dust is stirred up by the lakhs and lakhs of cows. You cannot imagine how much dust rises in the sky. At that time even the faces of Krishna, Baladeva, and all the sakhas begin to be colored by this dust.
It was now evening, and the air was full of dust. Uddhava went to the door of Nanda Baba, who was told that someone had come from Mathura. Nanda Baba quickly came out of his house and saw that his nephew Uddhava was there. He embraced Uddhava and brought him into his house. Nanda Baba thought, "First, I should offer him something to eat. He has come from a great distance, so I must give him something."
Nanda Baba wanted to offer Uddhava something, but he saw that no cooking was going on and nothing was there to prepare. Who will cook? Yasoda mother could not cook. She could only lament and weep. She was practically unconscious and could not perceive who came and who did not come. Due to her feelings of separation for Krishna, she had become oblivious to everything.
Nanda Baba sent a messenger to bring something from a brahmana's house. The brahmana cooked some sweet rice without any sugar, because he had no sugar, and sent it with the messenger. Nanda Baba then gave that sweet-rice to Uddhava, who, because he was hungry, relished it like nectar. After eating the sweet rice, Uddhava took rest. Then, when he felt well-rested, he began to talk with Nanda Baba until morning.
In this way, that high-class devotee is chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Because he has heard all these things very patiently from his gurudeva, the lilas come automatically in his heart like a chain. When he chants, all lilas appear.
If you are waiting for the mercy of gurudeva and serving him, this stage may come. This is the qualification to remember pastimes like these. When the devotee remembers one pastime, it is called mantra-mayi upasana. When he remembers many pastimes, from morning to morning, as a series of flowers in a garland, then it will be svarasiki upasana.
This is for high-class Vaisnavas. I am giving an outline of what can be in the future. Now your mind is always upset, full of lust and so many worldly things, but still you can have a glimpse, or an idea of this. Take this wealth into your heart. Follow this line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and gradually lust will go forever.