Manohara: Attractor of Minds
– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami
We would like to welcome all of you to the beautiful temple of Madana-Mohan. Caturātmā Prabhu will go into great detail about how this temple manifested by the strong desire of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī. Actually, it’s the first temple to be built by the six Gosvāmīs. Actually Caitanya Mahāprabhu very much wanted that the glories of Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām be revived and manifest to the entire world. This is the place of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām but through the millenniums those glories became unmanifest.
Five hundred years ago actually Vṛndāvan externally just appeared as a very dense jungle so Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked his immediate followers/disciples—the Six Gosvāmīs to come here and perform three very important functions.
- To write books on the science of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, which would later form the foundation of the –‘International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness’. One time Prabhupāda said, “Kṛṣṇa Consciousness is authorized and the authorization is the ancient Vedic scriptures.” Lord Caitanya told the Gosvāmīs to come to this jungle and sit, research the Vedic scriptures, and write books on the science of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.
- He also asked the Gosvāmīs to wander this transcendental land of Vṛndāvan/Vraja–Maṇḍala which is quite big and rediscover the places where Kṛṣṇa performed his Lilas.
- Then he gave them the instruction to install Deities & temples here in Vṛndāvan so that in the future little people like us could come and be inspired. In general the Gosvāmīs didn’t ask the sculptors to carve the Deities and install the Deities. It is interesting, the history is that many of these Deities were hidden for many millenniums because of foreign invasion, so quite often the Gosvāmīs would discover their Deities in the jungle or under the ground here in Śrī Vṛndāvan and then establish their worship.
Caturātmā Prabhu will tell the story of how the Deity of Madana-Mohan appeared first of all to Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī. Actually Sanātana Gosvāmī is the elder brother of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Rūpa Gosvāmī considered him one of his spiritual masters. Madana-Mohan appeared but of course Sanātana Gosvāmī was a Bābāji, he didn’t have any money so how could he build a temple? So we will hear about that. But it is very appropriate that the first Deity that appeared to the Gosvāmīs was Madana-Mohan; and then Rūpa found Govindajī and Madhu Paṇḍita found Gopīnātha. Śrīla Prabhupāda describes in the Caitanya Caritāmṛta that, “Those who are aspiring to enter in and to reside eternally in Vṛndāvan, they approach the Lord in these three phases. By the mercy of our Spiritual Master we are first introduced to Madana-Mohan, then to Govindajī and then to Gopīnātha—this is the authorized path of entering into Vṛndāvan”. Why is that? – Because actually Madana-Mohan means the attractor of Cupid.
It’s a nice story, actually we were walking down the Parikramā Mārga and Kalasamvara Prabhu reminded me of that pastime that at one time Cupid came to Vṛndāvana. You know Cupid’s business, his thankless task is to shoot everyone in this material world with the arrows of lust to keep them bound up with material desires until they come up to their senses— “This is all useless. Let me become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa”. Actually Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-Gītā, “It is lust only, Arjuna, which is the all devouring sinful enemy in this world”.
So Cupid he flies around the creation and he takes his arrows of lust and he sees someone and “Phhht” [sound of shooting arrow]; he shoots those lusty desires into the heart. Everyone is bound up in material existence by these desires. At one point in this business of Cupid he came to the point where everyone in creation had been inflicted with the material desires by his arrows. There wasn’t anyone left from Brahmā down to the insignificant ant; his arrows had entered into the heart of every living creature, so he was getting bored. “What do I do now? Everyone’s been afflicted with material desires”. He was kind of proud of his achievement. One Sādhu approached him and said, “Hey, there is one person you cannot inflict with material desires”. Cupid said, “How is that possible?” So that Sādhu said, “Because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is transcendental to this material creation and right now He is living in Vṛndāvan.” Cupid didn’t know about this Personality—Śrī Kṛṣṇa, so he took it as a challenge. He said to that Sādhu, “I will show you. I will go to Vṛndāvan and shoot my arrows into the heart of that Kṛṣṇa.”
Thus Cupid had the good fortune to come to Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām. When he got there he inquired from the sages, “Do you know this person called Kṛṣṇa?” He was surprised that every single resident in Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām not only knew about Kṛṣṇa, they knew everything about Kṛṣṇa and they had given their hearts to Kṛṣṇa; they loved Kṛṣṇa. He asked the people of Vṛndāvan, “Where is this Kṛṣṇa?” It was evening time so they said, “Usually in the evening, Kṛṣṇa’s sporting on the banks of the Yamunā with his girlfriends.” So Cupid thought, “Oh He is with girlfriends? He is a good candidate for my arrows.” He didn’t understand that Kṛṣṇa’s relationship with His devotees, with His girlfriends is completely pure and transcendental.
It was just down the road a little bit Kalasamvara pointed out the particular place and Kṛṣṇa was there, having pastimes with the Gopīs on the banks of the Yamunā. Cupid came there and through the trees he could see Kṛṣṇa and he took his arrows like that and set his bow and he tried to take good aim so he could get right into the heart of this cowherd boy. You know, when you point your weapon at somebody you want to take a good aim so you don’t miss. You want to get the exact point, there are certain vulnerable parts in the body where you can shoot somebody and inflict them with your arrows or your bullets. So he is kind of looking at the form of this cowherd boy and going up and down from His feet, to His waist, to His chest, to His head, and then, “Let me see”— he is going back down. In this way, he is meditating on the transcendental form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What happens when you meditate upon the form of the lord? It just melts your heart, because Kṛṣṇa is so beautiful. He is all attractive; especially when Kṛṣṇa is on the banks of the Yamunā with His devotees in His ‘Tribhaṅga-Sundara form.
Tribhaṅga-Sundara means He is in His three-fold bending form, like we see Him on the altar, His form is bent in three different places: His neck, His waist and His ankles/feet. He is playing His Vamsi/flute; and He is Keśava: He has long black curly hair, curling down to the sides of His shoulder. Very beautiful! Because as a young boy, He is growing, His skin is loose and He has got three lines on His neck; and in His ears, He has shark-shaped earrings dangling and shining with the brilliance of the sun. His eyes, beautiful lotus eyes, they actually extend all the way almost to His ears. Divine personalities, their eyes go almost to their ears.
Rūpa Gosvāmī describes the teeth of the Lord; they are lined up like beautiful pearls: a line of pearls on top and bottom. He is wearing yellow dhoti; and He is bluish-black like a monsoon cloud. The palms of His hands and the palms of His feet have a pinkish-reddish color; and on the bottom of His feet are different auspicious signs which delineate Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is a beautiful aroma emanating from the body of the Lord which is a combination of Āguru oil, musk, saffron and camphor; and He is wearing a garland called Vaijayantī Garland. Vaijayantī Garland means there are five kinds of flowers and the Vaijayantī Garland goes all the way to His ankles. Because of the aroma, there are always these transcendental little bumble-bees flying around that garland to get the nectar. So like this Kṛṣṇa is so attractive. He is Manohara: He attracts the mind of all created beings.
Here is Cupid trying to figure out which part of the form of the Lord he will shoot his arrows, and at one point he is just meditating and he just drops his bows and arrows and says, “This Kṛṣṇa is so beautiful; he has captured my heart” and he runs over and falls at the lotus feet of the Lord, grabs them; and says, “Please let me become your servant!” So one of Kṛṣṇa’s unlimited names is Madana-Mohan—He who attracts even Cupid. Everyone in this world is controlled by Cupid. But Cupid is controlled by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa— Madana-Mohan.
We are aspiring to become devotees, because we don’t really consider ourselves devotees; we have humility so we consider ourselves we would like to become devotees. One time a devotee said to Prabhupāda, “Prabhupāda, you’re the greatest devotee.” Prabhupāda looked down, he said, “To become a Vaiṣṇava is a very exalted thing. I am just trying to become a Vaiṣṇava”. We admit we are devotees but we admit we still have some material hankerings for this world, because when we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa tears of love of God still don’t flow from our eyes; so we accept in a humble way we are aspiring devotees and we still have these material desires—lusty desires. So to conquer over these lusty desires we approach Madana-Mohan because He attracted even Cupid. If we can be attracted to Madana-Mohan we can conquer over Cupid—those lusty desires.
The deeper essence on this Parikramā is we are trying to enter Śrī Vṛndāvan; to enter into understanding the mellows/Rasas of Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām. So it is very appropriate that at the beginning of our Parikramā we have come to the temple of Madana-Mohan. We have come to the deity of Madana-Mohan to pray, “Please free us from Material desires so we can serve you purely without motivation.”
na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ
kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye.
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi
“All I want is pure devotional service to your lotus feet unimpeded with any contamination in my heart”; so later when you take Darśana of the Deity you can pray like that.
Actually the original Deity of Madana-Mohan was later moved because of the invasion of the Muslims to Karoli, a village in Rajasthan; and the devotees installed another Deity of Madana-Mohan that is called, “Pratibu”. Pratibu means another Deity, but identical with the first Deity, but there is not any difference. The Deity is in Karoli but this Deity is non-different from the Madana-Mohan in Karoli; so don’t think, “Oh, there’s some difference.” It is exactly—Pratibu: same Deity. Later on as our hearts get a little bit purified by approaching the Lord, chanting His Holy Names, associating with His devotees; then we approach Govinda–Deva, the Deity of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and we engage our senses in the service of Govindajī and our spiritual senses become purified. By engaging in the service, our spiritual senses become awakened and then at a more advanced stage of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness we approach Gopīnātha.“ Nātha” means Lord, so Gopīnātha means Lord of the Gopīs and we engage in higher Rasas of association in service to the Lord in His form as Lord of the Gopīs. Like this, Madana-Mohan, Govinda and Gopīnātha; this is the authorized process of entering into Vṛndāvan.
You feel very fortunate, very blessed to be sitting here at this historic and amazing temple complex. Actually, the River Yamunā used to flow right along the path of Parikramā Mārga we were walking on; that was the original path of the Yamunā River. Here you get a beautiful Darśana of Yamunā Mai, the forests of Vṛndāvan and other temples as well. So we are at the right time, at the right place, doing the right thing. Many devotees around the world, they are very appreciative of you all coming on this Parikramā; because as we show the photos and the videos that Ananta Vṛndāvan is producing, people are feeling the same Bhāva, the same devotion that you are feeling by being here; so all the Vaiṣṇavas around the world are very grateful that you have all come here performing this great Parikramā.
This is our only business now for the next few hours. We just sit here; we are getting used to sitting and hearing and chanting; Isn’t it? I can see you are much more controlled; you are much more focused, you are hankering (Laulyaṁ) for this nectar. First couple days you were sitting down, I was noticing you were moving and looking around and falling asleep as many of you just got off the plane and jet lagged etc. Now everyone is getting used to the Parikramā; you are sitting there and focused.
Vṛndāvan is meant for Bhajan. Many years ago when Prabhupāda was here, because we were in the preaching mood, some devotees said to Prabhupāda, “Can we go out to Rādhā Kuṇḍa and open a preaching center and have Harināma all day and distribute books?” Prabhupāda said “No, Rādhā-Kuṇḍa is meant for Bhajan.” In that regard all of Vṛndāvan is meant for Bhajan. We come here in this sanctified atmosphere and we sit; engage in ‘Śravanaṁ’ (hearing) &‘kīrtanam’ (chanting), which brings – ‘Kṛṣṇa smaraṇam’ (remembrance of Kṛṣṇa). We hear we chant, and have a little Prasāda; this is the mood of Vṛndāvan. This is the mood of our Parikramā 2015 here in Vṛndāvan.
Of course this ISKCON is a missionary movement. Prabhupāda left Vṛndāvan to go to the West to spread the glories of Vṛndāvan. But he expected us to come here; hear and chant become spiritually strong and then go back to the West to share our good fortune with others by preaching the glories of Vṛndāvan. So you should all be like transcendental sponges just absorbing the waters—-absorbing the nectars of Vraja—through Kathā, and Kīrtana and Saṅga-association.
Because of your strong desires Kṛṣṇa has sent very qualified devotees to give you this nectar. We are going to begin our program today with the nectarine very deep Kīrtana of Mādhava Prabhu. Devotees all over the world, they are hankering for the association and Kīrtanas of Mādhava Prabhu and we have him for one month on our Parikramā party. What better place to have Kīrtana than at the feet of Madana-Mohan? Then Caturātmā Prabhu whose forte is speaking about the glories of our Vaiṣṇava Ācāryas, he is going to enlighten us on the glories of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī. He said he had notes for eight hours about Sanātana Gosvāmī, I said, “Bābā, you have 90 minutes”. He will be speaking for about 90 minutes about Sanātana Gosvāmī, then we will have breakfast and after breakfast we will have another Kīrtana to get into the mood to go to the Samādhi Mandir of Sanātana Gosvāmī which is just behind the building here.To prepare us to take shelter of the lotus feet of Sanātana Gosvāmī we will call upon another great Kīrtaniyā, famous throughout the universe, Baḍa Hari Prabhu; to lead the Kīrtana. After that we go to the Samādhi of Sanātana Gosvāmī; and when we get there, you know what we’re going to do?
harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
More Kīrtana! But standing Kīrtana with Karatāls and Mṛdungas and dancing in great ecstasy before the sacred Samādhi of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī.
There won’t be any lunch here. Lunch you will have at your homes or at the temple. A little preview: tomorrow is the disappearance day of Śrīla Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākur; we will be having our program at the Rādhā Gokulānanda temple starting at 7 o’clock. We will sing “Je anilo, Prema dhana”. That lecture will be given by Her Grace, Ṭhākurāṇī, Śītalā Devī Dāsī.
Please give a big round of applause for Mādhava Prabhu to lead us in an ecstatic Kīrtana to enter the mood of Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām.