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Was Shri Krsna Cheating?

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large.555556057_ShrilaBhaktivedantaNarayanaGoswami662.jpg.af06efee86e3334bd6fc93ea4e797ce9.jpgMathura, India August 30, 2003
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj

Devaki has great mamata (sense of posessiveness) towards Lord Krishna, but she also has her own self-interest in mind. She thought to herself, "It doesn't matter that the gopas, gopis and cows will die in Vrindavan if Krishna does not go there. We can give anything to the Vrajavasis, but we cannot give Krishna."

After hearing the promise of Devaki to give the Vrajavasis a donation, Padmavati, the mother of Kamsa, became afraid. She thought, "Now there will be a big problem. Devaki may give the whole kingdom to Nanda and Yasoda." Therefore, in a clever way, she began to give many arguments.

Padmavati asked, "Why are you talking so much about what to give to the Vrajavasis? It is a very simple matter. Krishna was only 10 years and 8 months old when He left Vrindavan, so there is nothing to be confused about. We just have to make an account of how much He ate and how much buttermilk He drank in those years. Subtract four years because for the first four years of His life He only drank breast milk from the breast of Yasoda, and there is no cost for that. We will calculate how much they owe Krishna for His cow-grazing, how much food He ate and how much chach (buttermilk) He drank, and whatever we owe we will give them double that amount. So there is nothing to be confused about. We can ask Garga Muni because He is an expert astrologer. His calculation will not be off by even one paisa.

"There are great quantities of buttermilk in Vrindavan - because no one drinks it. After taking the butter out of the milk, what is left is chach. It is so useless that the Vrajavasis throw it down the drain and it goes into one big buttermilk pond in Nandagaon; the price for it is nothing. So take away three or four years of only drinking breast milk, and that means about eight years of drinking buttermilk which costs nothing."

Some people say that Krishna is in the stage of kaisora (teenage years - youth) up to 10 years and 8 months, and some people say that His kaisora-lila goes up to 15 years. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami has reconciled this. Krishna has three ages - balya, pauganda and kaisora, and the junction between the three ages is called vayasasandi. Each of these three ages also has three stages. When Akrura came to Vrindavan he saw Krishna as kisora, and when Krishna went to Mathura to fight with Carana and Mustika, the Mathura-ramanis saw Him as the personification of Kamadeva which is His kaisora age.

One specialty of Lord Krishna, and also of Bhagavan Lord Ramacandra, is that when they appear in this world they never look beyond the age of kaisora. When Krishna was in Kuruksetra, for example, He was 125 years old, but He did not have a mustache or beard, and this is one specialty of bhagavat-tattva.

The Shrimad-Bhagavatam describes that Krishna's kaisora-lila is performed up to his eleventh year. We can reconcile this by thinking that when He was in Vrindavan and eating a lot of butter He appeared like a 15 year-old. Also, He was the son of Nanda Baba who was a king, so also because of that He appeared as a 15 year-old - older than He actually was.

When Krishna came to Mathura He offered pranama to Mother Devaki, and at that time He told her, "O Mother Devaki, We are your sons." As soon as she heard this, aisvarya-bhava manifested in her heart and she became fearful. Krishna continued, "Unfortunately, after our birth we were taken to Vrindavan, and therefore you could not see our pastimes in our balya, pauganda, and kaisora; ages. You were cheated because you could not see My pastimes." Immense opulence is displayed in Mathura. Jarasandha came seventeen times to fight with Krishna. Sometimes Krishna manifests His four armed form and carries His wheel, club, lotus and conch shell there.

The symptoms of His kaisora age are described in Shri Ujjvala-nilamani, but this is such a confidential subject that it is very rare to find someone who can and will explain it and someone who can understand it.

When Rohini devi and the Dvarakavasis heard the comments of Padmavati - that they should work out how much they owe Nanda Baba and pay him, they simply ignored her, thinking her ignorant.

Lord Krishna had a desire to go to Vrindavan, but at the same time He considered, "If I go to Vrindavan, what will happen to Vasudeva, Devaki and all the other Dvarakavasis if they know I want to leave? They will die if they know I want to leave." Uddhava previously went to Vrindavan for three months, and he somewhat knows the heart of Shri Krishna and the Vrajavasis. Krishna therefore cleverly asked him in front of all the others present, "You know what the Vrajavasis want. You know what I can do for them and what I can give them." Krishna considered. "If I myself say that I want to go to Vrindavan, everyone would blame Me, but if Uddhava says I should go there, then nobody will blame Me. They will all blame Uddhava." He therefore very cleverly asked Uddhava this question, and He also began to cry.

Hearing Krishna's words Uddhava became astonished and said, "What is this? I went to Vrindavan and promised all the Vrajavasis that I would bring Krishna back by hook or by crook. He is Bhagavan and He is sarvajna (all-knowing), so why is He asking me what the Vrajavasis want? They do not want any type of opulence or payment, and they are not interested in anything material or spiritual in the three worlds. They only want that "my Krishna", "my son", "my beloved" should put His lotus feet here in Vrindavan."

Uddhava became disturbed thinking, "Krishna is very crooked, and clever. He knows everything but still he is asking me if He should go to Vrindavan .This means that He does not really want to go there. He is simply cheating everyone by asking me."

In whatever position Krishna is situated, whether He is in Vrindavan, Mathura, Dvaraka or anywhere else, He is always sarvajna - He knows everything. In Mathura He is fully situated with His aisvarya-sakti and He manifests His mood of knowing everything. In Vrindavan, however, He is simultaneously mugdha, like an ignorant child and not knowing anything, and He is sarvajna meaning He knows everything. Both exist at one and the same time. For example, when Krishna is performing rasa-lila with the gopis and playing on His flute, Draupadi is in Hastinapura calling out to Him, "Dusasana is trying to disrobe me. Oh Krishna, save me, save me!" Does Krishna know this? Yes, He knows even in His situation of being in rasa, because it was He who put Draupadi in Her situation of attempted disrobement.

Thinking in this way, Uddhava considered, "Krishna is very cruel-hearted. He is a cheater. His behavior is very poor, otherwise why would He ask me that question?"

When Akrura went to Vrindavan his heart did not melt, When Uddhava went there, however, his heart melted somewhat and he somewhat understood the moods of the Vrajavasis. By the mercy of the gopis he offered many prayers to their lotus feet, and by their mercy realization came in his heart.

All the Vrajavasis have no self-interest, and of all the Vrajavasis the gopis are the topmost. They are the unique examples of the complete definition of pure bhakti as stated in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11):

anukulyena krsnanu-
silanam bhaktir uttama

["The cultivation of activities which are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Shri Krishna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Shri Krishna, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind and speech, and through the expressions of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires than the aspiration to bring happiness to Shri Krishna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service."

The Vrajavasis perform continuous service to Lord Krishna. They are not interested in any type of material opulence from Svarga (heaven) or from anywhere else. This is the difference between the Vrajavasis and the Dvarakavasis. For example, in the previous class we heard how Satyabhama wanted the parijata flower from heaven. So even the Dvarakavasis have some type of desire and want something from Svarga (the heavenly planets). On the other hand the Vrajavasis are not interested in anything material or spiritual. They are only interested in seeing the lotus feet of Krishna again and serving Him.

In the mood of the most exalted gopi, Shrimati Radhika, prays,

aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam
adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah

["Let Krishna tightly embrace this maidservant who has fallen at His lotus feet, or let Him trample Me or break My heart by never being visible to Me. He is a debauchee, after all, and can do whatever He likes, but He is still no one other than the worshipable Lord of My heart." (Shri Siksastakam Verse, 8)]

The gopis' goal is Shri Krishna's happiness. They think "If Krishna is happy in Mathura and Dvaraka, we do not want to force Him to return to Vrindavan. Let Him happily stay there."

Shrimati Radharani prayed, "I don't want My own happiness. Krishna can do anything He likes. He can make Me happy by embracing Me or He can crush My heart underneath His feet. Even though He is a debauchee and full of bad qualities, He is my only beloved."

When Uddhava was in Vrindavan and heard the prayers of the gopis and the Vrajavasis, he considered, "Maybe the gopis want to give a return message to Krishna." So he asked them three times, "Is there anything you want to say to Krishna?" Shrimati Radhika said, "There is no need to give Him any message. In fact, you should not mention that we are suffering in separation from Him in any way. Tell Him that we are very happily residing here in Vrindavan. His heart is very soft, more so than butter. If He hears that we are suffering in His separation, then perhaps He will also experience great suffering - and He may die."

Uddhava now replied to Krishna, "I can give you advice, but I do not know if my advice is good or bad. You can decide for Yourself."

After Krishna killed Kamsa and Carana and Mustika and their friends, Nanda Baba was waiting on his bullock cart just outside Mathura. He waited throughout the night, but Krishna didn't return. The next day Krishna and Balarama somehow managed to meet with him. Krishna was thinking, "What should I do? Should I stay in Mathura or should I return to Vrindavan with Nanda Baba? He said, "O Nanda Baba. Vasudeva and Devaki are your friends. They have lost six sons. Devaki has no sons and no one to comfort her. What should we do?"

Baladeva is the son of Vasudeva, so Nanda Baba suggested, "Balarama can stay in Mathura for a few days."

Balarama said, "That is not possible. I cannot be separated from Krishna."

They finally agreed that Krishna and Balarama would stay in Mathura for a few days, and then they would both return to Vrindavan.

Krishna had become prince and Devaki had given Him many ornaments such as necklaces and armbands. As a token of His affection Krishna gave all this jewelry to Nanda Baba, and Nanda Baba went back to Vrindavan empty-handed - except for the jewelry.

Nanda Baba promised Mother Yasoda and all the Vrajavasis, "Don't fear. I promise to bring Krishna and Balarama back to Vrindavan." When Nanda Baba came back, however, all he had was one pile of jewelry. All the Vrajavasis became grief-stricken and began to accuse Nanda Baba. They said, "What have you done? Have you sold Krishna and Balarama for this jewelry? Nanda Baba was also overwhelmed with grief. He said, "No, my son Krishna is satyavaka - whatever He says must come true. This jewelry is simply His token of affection for you. When He returns to Vrindavan, as He said He would, and sees that you are not wearing these decorations and ornaments, He will be very unhappy. Therefore, in order to fulfill His desire, please wear these ornaments."

If one is a saranagata-bhakta, fully surrendered, Krishna hears his prayers.

sad-anga saranagati hoibe jahara
tahara prarthana sune sri nanda-kumar

["The prayers of one who submits unconditionally to this six-fold surrender are heard by Shri Nanda-kumar." (Sad-Anga Saranagati verse 5)]

If Lord Krishna is totally absorbed in Vrindavan in rasa-lila, day and night serving Shrimati Radhika, and if someone like Draupadi, Gajendra or any saranagata bhakta prays to him from the core of his heart, who will hear him? After all, Krishna is totally absorbed there in Vrindavan. Someone may say that the manifestation of Krishna known as Paramatma will hear. But that devotee is not praying to Paramatma, Ksirodakasayi Visnu, or Lord Narayana. He is praying to Shri Krishna, to Nanda-Kumara; so Krishna is bound to hear. He is mugdha in Vrindavan, forgetful of everything except His loving relationships there, but at the same time He is sarvajna. Yogamaya serves Him there; she always searches for any occasion to serve. Although Krishna may not be aware of all the happenings outside His intimate surroundings, she is aware. This is all inconceivable

When Nanda Baba returned alone with the jewels that Krishna had given him, the gopis and all Vrajavasis were thinking," Fie on us. This is how little Krishna appreciates our love for Him. He is giving us these jewels as a payment - so we are the most unfortunate."

Suppose someone goes to a foreign country and sends money every month to his family - will the family be happy? No, because this is only one type of self-interest on the part of that family member. The gopis were lamenting, "This is how little Krishna values our love. We are the most unfortunate. Fie on us and fie on Nanda Baba."

The only reason the gopis and Vrajavasis did not die was because Krishna had promised that He would return the "day after tomorrow." The priya, lover, is very fortunate because she lives only for the happiness of the priyatam, beloved, and the priyatam is most fortunate because he lives only for the happiness of his priya. Both only live for the happiness of each other. This principle of lover and beloved is described in Shri Vrindavancaritamrta Cc Madhya-lila ch. 13), a most wonderful and astonishing book.

Shrimati Radharani puts a flower in the hand of Lalita and, weeping, told her, "O Lalita, when I die you can give this flower to Krishna. I planted a creeper of malati flowers and I will not be able to nourish it after I die, so you can tell Krishna that I died thinking of Him - and give Him this flower."

When Yasoda devi was waiting for Nanda Baba to return to Vrindavan, she had some hope that Krishna would surely return. When she saw him coming with a bag of jewels, however, her last hope was destroyed. She gave up eating, sleeping and all other bodily activities, and simply wept day and night. This was the condition of Yasoda Maiya, so what to speak of the condition of the gopis.

Uddhava now considered, "What can I do? I cannot go there again, because I promised the gopis that I would return and definitely bring Krishna. Nanda Baba was weeping and crying for three days and his life airs had come up to his throat, but he did not die. Just before someone dies their life airs come up to their mouth. Nanda Baba was thinking, 'If Krishna comes back to Vrindavan and we have all died, He will experience great suffering and pain. So we should live - for Krishna's happiness. My son always tells the truth, so we must have faith in His words. When He says He will return, He will certainly return.' With this hope, therefore, the Vrajavasis are maintaining their lives."

Krishna had sent a message with Uddhava saying, "O Nanda Baba, don't worry. I stay here with the Yadus and all your friends like Vasudeva and Devaki - only because they are related to you. I stay with them to give them some happiness." When Nanda Baba saw this message he told all the Vrajavasis, "My son is truthful, He will surely return just as He said." Krishna had written, "Nanda Baba, you are the life of My life. I must come to see you again." Nanda Baba used many types of logic to help all the Vrajavasis understand that, "Krishna has a few duties there, like killing Jarasandha and a few other demons, but when He is finished He will return. This jewelry is not a sign of neglect; it is a sign of His prema for us. When He sees us wearing this jewelry He will become very happy because we fulfilled His desire. All the Vrajavasis complained about the words of Nanda Baba. Uddhava considered that the Vrajavasis were very simple but that Krishna was very crooked - because even after hearing this He did not return to Vrindavan.

Uddhava said, "I went to Vrindavan to try to pacify the Vrajavasis but their separation increased - more and more. O Krishna, don't you know that the Vrajavasis have unlimited love towards You? Their love is like an ocean, and still You neglect them. What is this?!" Uddhava remembered that Krishna had sent a message to the gopis which told them to meditate on Him: "Be in samadhi. Just as the earth is everywhere, so I am everywhere and nothing is separate from Me. This universe is made of earth, air, fire, water, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego - which all comes from Me. You, and everything in this world, are nothing but Me, the Supersoul; I am all-pervading. You can therefore meditate, and you can see Me in your meditation." This was all jnana (knowledge of God's opulence). The Vrajavasis put that jnana in a cloth, threw it in the Yamuna, and it flowed down to Varanasi (a place of studying jnana).

Krishna later gave the same message to the gopis at Kuruksetra, and hearing it they became angry. The gopis are always in a natural samadhi. They always think of Krishna in walking, eating and everything they do. They replied to Krishna's words, "Don't tell us to meditate. We don't want to think of You. We try to forget You and to think of our household affairs, but we cannot. Your instructions for us to perform bhakti, to take us out of the material world, is not very instructive to us.

Shrimati Radharani continued, "My mind and Vrindavan are one. You tell Me to think of You in My mind, but My mind and Vrindavan are the same. So therefore, if You put Your lotus feet on the land of Vrindavan, this will be true meditation."

Gaura Premanande.

Translator: Pujyapad Damodara Maharaj
Editor: Shyamarani dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi

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