Javat – HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Instructions

HH Srila Indradyumna Swami with Devotees on the way to Ter Kadambfrom Javat

Praying to kalpa-vṛkṣa: for pure devotion

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

This is the ancestral home of Abhimanyu, his mother Jaṭilā and his sister Kuṭilā. There are beautiful deities of Abhimanyu, Kuṭilā & Jaṭilā just over here. They are very unique personalities, they create lot of trouble for Kṛṣṇa, lot of obstacles for Kṛṣṇa, but it’s always in the mood of increasing the mellow of the Rasa for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇas pastimes; that is their Sevā. If there is some obstacle to the meeting, then when the meeting finally takes place, it’s even more relishable. That’s the theme in a lot of Rādhā & Kṛṣṇas pastimes. This will be elaborated on this morning by, His Grace Caturātmā Prabhu.

And there are also very beautiful Deities of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. RādhāKānta are the Deities’ names, RādhāKānta, very ancient RādhāKṛṣṇa Deities.

We talk a lot in Vṛndāvan about the desire trees. It’s an important part of the history in the culture.       

cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-

lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam

[BS 5.29]

In that verse from the Brahmā-Saṁhitā, we hear the name kalpa-vṛkṣa. The kalpa-vṛkṣa trees are personalities who live in Vṛndāvan, who fulfill the desires of devotees, who request various objects for use in the service of the Lord. You can approach a kalpa-vṛkṣa tree and ask for some item that you can use in Kṛṣṇa’s service. As we were explaining the other day, the kalpa-vṛkṣa trees are very mystical, they don’t just give one object, like apples, or oranges, or bananas, they can give all types of fruits, all types of vegetables, all type of flowers. They can even give cooking utensils, clothes, whatever is required for the pleasure of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

It’s very much the tradition of those who go on Parikramā for the last thousands of years, when they come across a kalpa-vṛkṣa tree, especially a kalpa-vṛkṣa tree of this nature—this tree was here 5,000 year ago; actually, Kṛṣṇa climbed up unto this tree trying to get into the palace. This is a very special kalpa-vṛkṣa tree. Devotees, they hug the tree and you reveal your heart:

  • How you would like to serve Rādhā & Kṛṣṇa;
  • What you require to do that activity.

Whatever the spiritual desire that you have can easily be fulfilled by a kalpa-vṛkṣa tree.

I recommend before you all leave today, you give this kalpa-vṛkṣa tree a big, warm, tight embrace and reveal your heart, and be careful not to mix material desires in it. That would be disastrous.  

na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ

kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye.

mama janmani janmanīśvare

bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi

We just pray for pure devotional service. This is a wonderful opportunity here at Javat, very sacred isolated place.  

Actually this is the last day of our Parikramā. Tomorrow we cancelled the VṛndāvanParikramā because I am not that well and also I have lot of things to do before we leave Vṛndāvan. So this is actually our last Parikramā Day.

But of course we will be meeting on the 25th at Nityānanda Vat, the Śrīngāra Vata. We will have a fantastic program, and we will speak our memories and our realizations. Don’t lament, it’s not over. That’s a very special event as well.  That’s the 25th, day after tomorrow. We will leave from outside of my house on the Parikramā Mārga. So please relish every moment of this transcendental day. Mādhava Prabhu, who so kindly graced our Parikramā party this month, will sing Kīrtana, then Caturātmā Prabhu will speak about the glories of this place in detail.

Then that transcendental walk, through the BrajaReṇu, through the dust of Vṛndāvan, through the fields of Vṛndāvan to Ter Kadamba!  There Baḍa-Hari Prabhu will lead us in Ṣaḍ-Gosvāmī Aṣṭakam, the prayers to the six Gosvāmīs, and Ṭhākurāṇī Śītalā Devī Dāsī will speak on the glories of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Who could ask for a better day than this? This way you have so many precious memories in your heart to carry with you throughout the year. If your memory is not so good, you can have that USB drive, with all of these 14 or 15 videos of Ananta Vṛndāvan; and there is always Kārtik 2016.

Śrī Yavat Dhām ki – Jaya!

Śrī-Śrī  Rādhā Kānta ki – Jaya!

Śrī Braja Bhūmi Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām ki – Jaya!

Kārtik Parikramā – 2015 ki – Jaya!

Kārtik Parikramā – 2016 ki – Jaya!

Kārtik Parikramā – 2017 ki – Jaya!

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe ……………………………….Śyāma!

Hare Kṛṣṇa!

Saubhari Muni Āśrama – HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Lecture

Indradyumna Swami at Saubhari Muni Ashram

True purport of Sannyāsa

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

We would like to welcome all of you to another very beautiful and transcendental place in Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām. As our 2015 Kārtik Parikramā slowly comes to an end and the cold weather and the fog is setting in, and you can hear devotees coughing anywhere and everywhere. We don’t mind all these things—the fog, the cold, the sickness—because we are experiencing transcendence in this holy Dhām of Śrī Vṛndāvan. We have learned the art to rise above the modes of material nature through the very simple technique introduced very mercifully by Lord Caitanya, by hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, specifically Lord KṛṣṇaRādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

Today we find ourselves at the very sacred Āśrama of one Muni, Saubhari Muni. His story is elaborated in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and Prabhupāda speaks about it in the Kṛṣṇa Book. We have spoken about Saubhari Muni several times over the past few years, so we won’t go into much detail today about his life. But very simply, he was a Sādhu living here and he had not yet achieved perfection; he had some material desires still in his heart. He wasn’t so strong, as he should be in his Sādhana, so he fell prey to sex desire and he gave up his celibacy and he married. Nothing wrong with that; Prabhupāda said that’s the safest Āśrama. Prabhupāda says in a purport in the Bhāgavatam that one should find that Āśrama where one feels most comfortable and continue on with his service, whether it be Brahmacārī, Gṛhastha, Vānaprastha or Sannyāsī. That’s not so important, what is important is our Sevā to Kṛṣṇa, that’s what purifies our hearts. Because of the strong influence in this age, 90-95% of those who are practicing devotional life will serve the Lord in the Gṛhastha Āśrama and we see that in the beginning and now middle of our society’s progress: it’s mainly the Gṛhasthas who have set up temples and preaching centers and programs. Therefore Prabhupāda very proudly said, “My Guru Mahārāja, he created an army of Sannyāsīs; I am creating an army of Gṛhasthas.”

This pastime is relevant that he situated himself and then after sometime, Saubhari Muni began making progress, making advancement; he left the Gṛhastha Āśrama and he again became a renunciate and achieved perfection. That’s the general path: Brahmacārī, Gṛhastha, Vānaprastha and Sannyāsa. The real definition of Sannyāsa is not necessarily change in the clothes but just ‘YuktaVairāgya’—seeing that everything belongs to the Lord and using everything in Kṛṣṇa’s service—this is the true purport of Sannyāsa. We are speaking like that because this is the pastime here and these are the lessons to be learned from the life of Saubhari Muni

We see here two altars:  here is Saubhari Muni—here he is alone. I don’t know if this is before or after his household life; and here he is with his two very beautiful wives, and over here, we have a beautiful ŚivaLiṅgam which the resident Tyāgis worship. The Sādhus who live here are part of the Rāmānandī Sampradāya, which is an off-shoot of the Rāmānuja Sampradāya. The Mahānta of this Āśrama is presently in Madhya Pradesh on some transcendental mission and the Sādhus who live here are on Vṛndāvan Parikramā, and they have opened their home to us. I mentioned the other day, if you went to Paris or London, Moscow or Kiev and just gave your keys to someone to just accommodate 300 people coming in your house—you know, no one would think like that. But this is the mood of the Vrajavāsīs. They like to share anything Kṛṣṇa conscious, so they have given us the keys, so to speak, the keys to the Āśrama and they are all gone. And here we are, so we have to thank them for being so generous and allowing us to come here year after year and hold our programs at this sacred place. Although they are not here, we can express our gratitude to the transcendental medium—this is how spiritual life works. Although they are very far away doing their Parikramā, we can show our gratitude to them by giving a big applause. [Applause].

Again, this place gives us an idea of what Vṛndāvan was even 30 or 40 years ago. When we came, much of Vṛndāvan was like this. We were walking on that dusty path on the way here. At one time the Vṛndāvan Parikramā— the 2.5 hour, 3 hour walk around Vṛndāvan— the whole path was just dusty like that.

There is a famous picture of Mother Śītalā and Bhogini and several devotees walking on that path—there are big smiles on their faces, japa beads, and you can see the dust is up to their ankles. That was just down somewhere near my house. So today you got a little bit of the Vṛndāvan experience just walking through the nature on the way to this Āśrama. That’s the VrajaReṇu that we talk about—the VrajaReṇu, the dust—one of the five personalities who grants us entrance and residence in Vṛndāvan. That’s the VrajaReṇu. Some devotees take little vials of that dirt home, put it in a little jar on their altar and worship it. We are very blessed to be here again, the Vṛndāvan experience, the Āśrama of Saubhari Muni. This is a secret place. As you see the pilgrims are going around Vṛndāvan, but no one took a left turn and came here, and even many ISKCON devotees are not aware of this place. So let’s keep it secret; part of our family for our Kārtik Parikramās 2016. We will keep it secret, okay? The Sādhus who live here are actually renounced, engaged in Bhajans. Sometimes I come here alone and I sit here and chant, so if ever I disappear and you want to find me, just come here, I will be with the Bābājis in a loin-cloth. Seriously, I may not leave today.

So yes, we are going to enter into the mood of Vṛndāvan once again through the beautiful Bhajan of Mādhava PrabhuThat’s the best way to enter into the mood, with the transcendental sound vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s Holy Name, which is one of the revealers of the Dhām. Then we are going to have a class on the Yamunā River, or rather the personality of Yamunā Devī. We have covered the other four personalities of the five important personalities, so as we come to a conclusion of our Parikramā, we will conclude with the glories of Yamunā Devī.

We are going to have breakfast after that, and then another Kīrtana with Baḍa Haridāsa Prabhu. It’s Ekadāsī today, another potent thing to consider and then there will be lunch Prasādam and then tomorrow we are going to Yavat. Yavat is where Rādhārāṇī lived when She was married. Her parents arranged for Her to get married to Abhimanyu who is actually an expansion of Kṛṣṇa; he is Kṛṣṇa’s shadow. Anyway, he created all kinds of obstacles for the meeting of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Rādhārāṇī’s always trying to get out of that house to meet Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa’s always trying to get into that house to meet Rādhārāṇī; so many obstacles, the main obstacle is Jaṭilā.

[In a joyful voice:] Caturātmā is pulling on my chadar, “Please, don’t tell all the stories,” because tomorrow he’s the speaker. He has been studying for one year—my notes from last year’s lecture and Śivarāma Swamis books and Rādhānātha Swami and everybody’s lectures. So get ready for the lecture of the month. But that will be superseded a few hours later with the lecture of ṬhākurāṇīŚītalā Devī on the pastimes of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī at Tera Kadamba.

We will be leaving at what time, Rasikā? — 6:30 tomorrow, the buses will leave for Yavat and we will walk through the fields and the VrajaReṇu.

Śrīla Prabhupāda ki—Jaya!

Śrī Vraja-Bhūmi Vṛndāvan Dhām ki—Jaya!

Saubhari Muni Dhām ki—Jaya!

Jaya-Jaya Śrī-Śrī Rādhe————– Śyāma!

Mādhava Prabhu ki—Jaya!

Rāvala – HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Lecture

Baby deity of Srimati Radharani at Raval

Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s Pastimes as a Child

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

“Good Morning, Dear Devotees!” as Śacīnandana Swami would say, and welcome to Rāvala, where Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī made Her divine appearance. In the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam we hear how 5,000 years ago, the world was in a very distressed state of being. Actually, it has always been in a distressful situation, but this was particularly true 5,000 years ago. Śrīla Prabhupāda summarizes very poetically the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam’s descriptions of what the world was like at that time. He writes that, “Once the world was overburdened by the unnecessary defense forces of different kings who were actually demons, but were posing themselves as the royal order.”  

The Bhāgavatam goes on to describe how Bhūmi Devī, the predominating Deity of this Earth, went and complained to Lord Brahmā. Apparently, when there are some difficulties within this particular universe, the demigods have the right to go and complain to Lord Brahmā to somehow rectify the situation because he created them all. She, the personified earth, was feeling this burden on herself. She explained that all these demoniac kings are creating so much disorder. Then Brahmā went to the shore of the ocean of milk and he spoke to Lord Vishnu, Lord Kṛṣṇa, who eventually agreed to appear on this earth planet to rectify the situation. 

But, elsewhere in the Garga Saṁhitā, a little more detail is given. As Kṛṣṇa was preparing to descend towards the end of the Dvāpara Yuga: “yadā yadā hi dharmasya, glānir bhavati bhārata”, as He describes, He went to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. He requested that She join Him in His earthly pastimes. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was considering His request that She come with Him to this earthly planet, but She eventually made a condition. Specifically Garga Saṁhitā quotes Her, Rādhārāṇī said to Kṛṣṇa, “My Dear Śyāma, wherever You go I must also be there. But how can I be happy when there is no Vṛndāvana forest, there is no Yamunā river and there is no Govardhan hill? If you want me to come with you to the earthly planet, then we have to bring all of Vṛndāvana with us, especially the Vṛndāvana forest, the Yamunā river and the Govardhan hill.” Of course, Kṛṣṇa agreed and therefore shortly after that Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī made Her appearance here in Rāvala.

The last week or so we have been discussing a lot about Kṛṣṇa‘s appearance in Mathurā in the jailhouse of Kaṁsa, and yesterday how Kṛṣṇa was transferred by Vasudeva and Devakī over to Gokula under the care of Yaśodā and Nanda Bābā. He was in Gokula and then later Kṛṣṇa was transferred to Vṛndāvana and from Vṛndāvana later to Nanda-gram. The Śāstra says that, just as Kṛṣṇa enjoyed His childhood in Gokula and His youth in Nanda-gram, Rādhā enjoyed Her childhood here in Rāvala and Her youth in Barṣāṇā. Actually, if you look on the altar, when we were over there at the temple, there are very beautiful Deities of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and, interestingly enough, on the right side there is a Deity of baby Rādhā. I have never seen that before. I was told that it was installed here three or four years ago but, yes, this is where She had Her baby pastimes. 

You can see as we are driving through the little village of Rāvala—it’s quite a village site, although it doesn’t look like the description we hear in the Śāstra: a very beautiful, gorgeous place, but what we are seeing here is a little bit more what it was like. This is because particularly in Kali-Yuga, there is a thin film of matter or Māyā covering Vṛndāvana Dhām.  One time a disciple inquired from Śrīla Prabhupāda, “Is this the Vṛndāvana Dhām that we read about in Kṛṣṇa book where everything is very idyllic? The weather is idyllic, the scenery is very idyllic.” The disciple further said, “Why is it so hot most of the time? Or why is it so cold most of the time in Vṛndāvana? Prabhupāda paused and thought for a moment and he said, “Oh! That’s to keep the Māyāvādīs away from Vṛndāvana.”

But Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī gives a very beautiful description of Rāvala in his writings. He doesn’t refer directly to Rāvala; he calls it Mukyaravali, which means chief of all the other towns in Vṛndāvana. Just in the following prayer he describes the beauty of this place where we are seated and this is how we should see Rāvala, through his eyes. He actually describes it as a city. He says,

  • “In the city of Mukyaravali the precious jewel known as Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī took birth in the mind of Kīrtidā Devi’s womb, which is glorified by jubilant demigods, sages and human beings.”
  • I pray that when I enter King Vṛṣbhānu’s capital city of Mukyaravali populated by many Gopās, Gopīs and Surabhī cows, I may drown in a great flood of transcendental bliss and love.”

That is Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī’s vision of this transcendental place.

Actually, when I was researching all night, I found out that some persons say that Rādhā’s birthplace is not Rāvala but actually Barṣāṇā. But at 1:30 am we discovered that both opinions are correct because in this millennium, She appeared in Rāvala and in another millennium, She appeared in Barṣāṇā. In a previous day of Brahmā, Her father King Vṛṣbhānu near Barṣāṇā found Her one morning as she was playing on a lotus in a lake called BhānuKuṇḍa.

  1. The scripture, or you can say more oral tradition, gives three versions of how She made Her appearance in this world either in Barṣāṇā or Rāvala: She made Her divine appearance from the ground,
  2. She made Her appearance on the top of a lotus flower as we mentioned and
  3. The third way in the womb of Her mother Kīrtidā.

As far as the ground version, I could only find a reference from Śrīla Prabhupāda, because he is quoting the local tradition. In that lecture Prabhupāda was describing how King Vṛṣbhānu was once plowing his fields with a golden plough and he found baby Rādhā buried within the earth and he picked Her up, brought Her to the palace and gave Her to his queen, wife Kīrtidā Sundarī – that’s one version. I was thinking how similar that is to a pastime of the father of Sītā Devī, Janaka Mahārāja finding his daughter in the ground when he was plowing the field as well.

The second version that is discussed and glorified here in Vṛndāvana is that Rādhārāṇī appears in the lotus flower in the water. In this version, Her father King Vṛṣbhānu is bathing in the river Yamunā and suddenly he looks up and he sees a thousand petal lotus flower floating down the river towards him. Imagine a 1000-petal lotus flower, and in the centre of that lotus flower sitting a very effulgent baby girl. As the lotus flower passed by King Vṛṣbhānu He lifted the smiling baby out of the lotus and embraced Her and when he did, he felt waves of transcendental ecstasy move through his body. The locals say that when he was lost in that ecstasy he could neither move nor speak. In this pastime, he also goes back to the palace and presents the baby girl to his queen Kīrtidā.

Now there is the 3rd version, that Rādhārāṇī appeared in the womb of Her mother Kīrtidā Sundarī, without having being impregnated by her husband and this is actually described in Śāstra. It’s described how as clouds floated very peacefully in the sky, Rādhārāṇī made Her appearance at noon on the 8th day of the bright fortnight of the moon, in the month of Bhadra which is August & September.

Thus you can meditate on any one or all three of those versions of Her divine appearance. Now, after that there is not a lot of information about Rādhārāṇī’s childhood like there is about Kṛṣṇa’s childhood. Kṛṣṇa’s childhood pastimes are of course recorded by Śrīla Vyāsadeva in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and our Gauḍīya Ācāryas also comment a lot about Kṛṣṇa’s childhood pastimes, they are written in that way. But Rādhā’s pastimes again are mostly oral tradition. You walk around Vraja and you talk to residents and, “Oh, My father told me, his grandfather told me, his grandfather …” –the oral tradition. But that’s also accepted.

There is a very beautiful oral tradition spoken from grandmother to mother to child about how Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa first met. There are actually a few pastimes but because of lack of time I chose just a couple that I thought were particularly interesting. I thought it would be interesting to share this pastime, how Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa met for the first time. It all begins with Nārada Muni; as he often facilitates these pastimes. So not long after Kṛṣṇa appeared and was transferred over to Gokula, Nārada Muni went to Gokula, where we were yesterday, to have Darśana of baby Kṛṣṇa. While he was there, having Darśana of baby Kṛṣṇa; in his heart he felt some type of message that the Lord’s ĀhlādinīŚakti, His pleasure potency Śrī Rādhā had taken birth nearby as well; he got some divine inspiration. But he couldn’t find her; He was actually going from village to village and door to door inquiring about the appearance of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Finally, he came to Rāvala or some say to Barṣāṇā and he was greeted by King Vṛṣbhānu. After King Vṛṣbhānu respectfully received the great sage Nārada, he enquired to Nārada Muni, “It’s wonderful that you have appeared in my home, any particular reason you have come here?”

Nārada said, “Yes, some reason. I have a question: has a girl recently taken birth within your home?” A big smile came over Mahārāja Vṛṣbhānu’s face, he said, “Yes, by the grace of the Lord I have been blessed with a daughter who is divinely effulgent.” But then King Vṛṣbhānu became a little despondent. He looked down and he said, “But unfortunately this child has not yet opened Her eyes.” So Nārada Muni went, “Oh! She has not opened Her eyes?” King Vṛṣbhānu said, “Yes, therefore we do not know whether She is blind or if She is a celestial being who is unwilling to look at the imperfections of this world.” I thought that was particularly beautiful. He said, “We don’t know if She is blind or She is some celestial being, some higher being who is unwilling to look at the imperfections in this world?”

Nārada said, “Can I see Her?” King Vṛṣbhānu sent for the servants and they brought little baby Rādhā before him; and because of his deep spiritual insight he was able to perceive that this was no ordinary baby, but Lord Kṛṣṇa’s eternal consort Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Then it was noted that it was only out of great difficulty that upon seeing Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī he was able to restrain his ecstatic emotions. But Her eyes were closed, so he said to King Vṛṣbhānu, “My dear King, Providence has surely blessed you! Quickly bring me the items that we can perform a purificatory ceremony. I will perform such a ceremony to ensure that in time this child blesses the world with the glance of Her dove like eyes.”

King Vṛṣbhānu was in ecstasy. By the power of this sage he would perform a ceremony by which She would open Her eyes and they could see that She was not blind. The Śāstric reference at this point is that, while Vṛṣbhānu was getting all the Pūjā paraphernalia, Nārada Muni knelt down before Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and revealed his heart and made many, many beautiful prayers glorifying Her.  As he did so the little baby girl playfully wiggled Her hands, like little kids do. But knowing that Her devotee Nārada was actually eager to behold Her original form, Rādhārāṇī appeared before him as a fresh youth, as a young girl around 8 or 9 years of age and on either side of Rādhārāṇī was Lalitā and Viśākā. At this point you can just imagine, Nārada Muni became speechless, gazing upon this divine form of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Suddenly from around the corner King Vṛṣbhānu appeared with the Pūjā paraphernalia, so immediately Rādhārāṇī became a baby again and hiding his ecstasies Nārada Muni performed the rituals for the child and then he departed.

But because of that special Darśana that Nārada Muni had with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī he was left with a very deep and intense desire for more of Her association and even more so for Her Sevā, for Her service. He went to a particular place here in Vṛndāvana, some say it’s next to Govardhan hill called Nāradavana and he performed very severe austerities under the direction of Vṛndā Devī for a very long time. I thought it was interesting that he performed his austerities under the direction of Vṛndā Devī, because again she is one of the five personalities to grant us entrance and residence in Vṛndāvana. So, whatever austerity he did, he did it under Vṛndā Devī’s direction.  That’s another story we will tell that sometime, but eventually he was able to enter into Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in the form of a Gopī; and some devotees say her name was Naradiya. Some say he simultaneously continues his travels through the universe, others say that he left that service as Naradiya Gopī to do his service of preaching; as Prabhupāda called him an ‘eternal space-man’ to travel and preach, but he never forgets the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

As a result of those pastimes the Garga Saṁhitā, from where much of this comes, states that he always has at the tip of his tongue a very special prayer as he is travelling and preaching; and I have often placed this prayer on my Facebook page. The prayer is as follows:

“I wander this earth, meditating on Her, who is a moon shining in the arena of the Rasa dance, who is a host of bright lamps in Vṛṣbhānu’s palace and who is the central jewel in the necklace of Goloka.”

Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Vṛndāvanesvari Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī ki Jaya!

 

Now Rādhārāṇī did not open Her eyes immediately after the purificatory ceremony that Nārada Muni performed. But King Vṛṣbhānu had great faith that whatever that sage said would come true. Next day PūrṇamāsīYoga Māyā, she also arrived to have Darśana of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī at the palace of King Vṛṣbhānu. When Pūrṇamāsī first had Darśana of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, very beautiful words came from Her mouth glorifying Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. She said to Mahārāja Vṛṣbhānu and Queen Kīrtidā, “This girl is not ordinary. Great personalities like Brahmā, Śiva and Nārada worship Her knowing that She can fulfill all their desires, material and spiritual, so please take good care of Her.” They were very joyful, hearing this blessing from Yogamaya Pūrṇamāsī, but at the same time they were concerned. They expressed their concern to Pūrṇamāsī, “Look, Her eyes are closed; we don’t know what’s going on? Why are Her eyes closed? Why doesn’t She open Her eyes? Is She blind? Of course, we know that Pūrṇamāsī, with her assistants like Vṛndā Devī, they just arrange all these different pastimes to increase the ecstasy. Pūrṇamāsī just smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it’s just Rādhā’s pastime.”

The next day the pastime unfolded even more because Nanda Maharaja and Yaśodā with baby Kṛṣṇa, they came to visit their friends – King Vṛṣbhānu and Kīrtidā Sundarī. They were kind of like, friends, so they both had babies. Nanda & Yaśodā brought their baby Kṛṣṇa over to show them to Kīrtidā and to Vṛṣbhānu and Vṛṣbhānu and Kīrtidā, they wanted to show their baby girl to Nanda and Yaśodā, so just guess what is going to happen?

When Nanda and Yaśodā arrived with Kṛṣṇa, Rādhārāṇī was sleeping in Her bedroom. Nanda and Yaśodā were met at the door by Kīrtidā Sundarī and king Vṛṣbhānu, and they were invited into like a living room; they all sat down, they started talking and baby Kṛṣṇa was on the lap of mother Yaśodā. While they were all kind of talking, Kṛṣṇa very silently climbs off of Mother Yaśodā’s lap and crawls towards the bedroom where Rādhārāṇī is sleeping. So, there is little Rādhārāṇī sleeping and baby Kṛṣṇa recognizes Her as His eternal divine consort, He reaches out and very gently baby Kṛṣṇa touches baby Rādhā’s eyes. The Śāstra describes that moment very nicely, that as soon as Rādhārāṇī felt the touch of Kṛṣṇa’s hands on Her eyes, She became aware that the Person for whom Her eyes were created was sitting beside Her; and casting off Her blindness She opened Her cloud blue eyes and smiled. All the parents just seeing that Kṛṣṇa wasn’t present began looking for Kṛṣṇa. They came into the room and there was Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa playing together like little children on the bed there, Rādhārāṇī’s eyes wide open and they were all very happy.

Again, there is not a lot about Rādhārāṇī’s childhood Līlās. But it is mentioned that when She turned 7 months old mother Kīrtidā Sundarī decided it was time to celebrate her daughter’s grain ceremony – that is Anna-prāśana. Those of you who are parents know that for 6 months or 7 months a child is taking the milk; then they start eating grains, so there is a ceremony. I have done it a thousand times. [In jolly mood:] Mahārāja comes and takes the sweet rice, gives to the baby and he gets the donation [Laughter]. Sometimes he gets the 100 dollars [Laughter], one of my favorite ceremonies [Laughter].

King Vṛṣbhānu and Kīrtidā Sundarī they made announcements everywhere, that their daughter Rādhārāṇī was going to take Her first grains. News spread to all villages and thousands of people came for the grain giving ceremony. Amongst the respected guests again were Nanda Bābā and mother Yaśodā and baby Kṛṣṇa. They were invited for this ceremony to see Rādhārāṇī get Her first grains. The Brāhmaṇas had made a big Yajñaśālā, big pit and there was a fire and they were chanting various Mantras and Kīrtidā Sundarī was sitting near the fire with Rādhārāṇī on her lap.

When Nanda Bābā and Yaśodā arrived; as Yaśodā is very good friend with Kīrtidā Sundarī, she came and sat next to Kīrtidā Sundarī, there next to the fire Yajña. Nothing much had actually happened yet, Rādhārāṇī had not received the grains yet and they are just chanting all the Mantras. But mother Yaśodā had brought a little bowl of sweet rice to keep Kṛṣṇa occupied, because Kṛṣṇa is a baby boy and is hungry, older than Rādhārāṇī and he already had his ceremony of grains. She brought along a little bowl of sweet rice to feed Kṛṣṇa just to keep Him calm.

At one point before Rādhā received Her grains from one of the Brāhmaṇas, She just spontaneously reached over onto the lap of mother Yaśodā and took some of the grains from Kṛṣṇa’s bowl and ate it. In this way She received Her first grains which were Kṛṣṇa Prasādam. When the brāhmaṇas saw that, they cancelled the ceremony [Laughter] because Rādhārāṇī’s first grains were Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s remnants. The Ācāryas comment that this spontaneous event strengthened the two mothers Yaśodā and Kīrtidā’s conviction that divine providence had chosen their children for each other.

I will describe one more pastime and then we will take breakfast Prasādam. After breakfast Prasādam Śrī Prahlāda will lead us in ecstatic Kīrtana. Then there will be lunch Prasādam and then tomorrow we will go to Vṛndā-kuṇḍa.

But one more childhood pastime of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī! By researching this one I found out so much nectar.  So sit properly, put your hands in the air:

Jaya-Jaya Śrī-Śrī Rādhe …………………………………… Śyāma!!

One day long, long ago when Rādhārāṇī was a young girl, I could not find Her exact age, but I could say something like a girl of 6, 7 or 8, she was playing with Her girlfriends just outside the door of Her house and suddenly Durvāsā Muni appeared. Scriptures describe that at this point Durvāsā Muni had already realized that Kṛṣṇa was Bhagavān, He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But he had heard from celestial beings that Kṛṣṇa’s eternal consort Rādhārāṇī had also made Her appearance in this world and was living in Vṛndāvana. So he wanted to have Her Darśana; actually he wanted to verify that this is actually true: that the divine girl has appeared in Vṛndāvana. The locals here in Vṛndāvana said, “Oh yes, yes She has appeared. She is living in the palace of King Vṛṣbhānu and Kīrtidā Sundarī. Go and see Her with your own eyes.” But he had some doubts, so he said, “Is that girl actually Rādhā? Is She actually the eternal consort of Kṛṣṇa?” “Yes, Yes, go and see Her.” “Really?” He wasn’t convinced. Rādhārāṇī and Her girlfriends were playing and he just appeared; and immediately all the little girls went away because, you know these sages; their appearance is sometimes very frightening. Like wild eyes and wild beards and they are chanting Mantras, fire is coming in, blessing and curses. All little girls screamed except for Rādhā. She didn’t run away. She stood up, “Welcome!” She said to the sage.  

The little Rādhā, She is only 7 or 8, but the reason that She wasn’t afraid. It was described; it was because Her parents were often entertaining great sages and yogīs at home. She was used to these scary guys being around, She wasn’t scared away like Her friends were. Again it’s described that She touched the sage’s feet and She put Her palms together and She said, “Svāgataṁ, Svāgataṁ! – Welcome Bābā!

Now Durvāsā Muni, He was amazed by the delicate beauty and aristocratic bearing and nature of this tiny girl. He is very tall and he is very big and so he bent over and very gently asked Rādhā, “Who are you little girl? And what games are you playing with all your little friends?” In a very steady voice She said, “My name is Rādhā, the daughter of queen Kīrtidā. My friends and I have been pretending to cook for Mahārāja Nanda’s son, the killer of Pūtanā and Tṛṇāvarta, Kṛṣṇa.” When She finished She pointed across the courtyard to a little make shift temple She had made with Her friends where there was a blue doll of Kṛṣṇa. It was a makeshift temple made of mud; She and Her girlfriends had decorated it with the flowers and leaves and bits of colorful cloth.

The Ācāryas describe that in the palace She was always hearing the glories of Kṛṣṇa, because that’s what Vrajavāsīs do, they talk about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa constantly. She was always hearing about the glories of Kṛṣṇa, so She insisted Her mother to give Her a doll of Kṛṣṇa and She and Her friends worshipped the doll. The main daily activity of Her friends with Her was centered around dressing and decorating Kṛṣṇa’s image, cooking for Him – a little doll, offering Aratrik and tucking Him into bed at night while singing His glories. Isn’t it very interesting information? Just as young girls played with dolls; Rādhā and Her friends played with this doll of Kṛṣṇa.

She was explaining this all to Durvāsā Muni, who is a very serious sage, he is always doing penances and austerities, no sentiment, no unneeded emotions, he  is very strict in vows, so he kind of smiled. He has his big thick eyebrows, they go up and wider and he bends down and he said, “So little Lāli are you an attentive housewife?” Rādhārāṇī said, “I am not married Bābā.” [laughter] Then She continued She said, “But because Kṛṣṇa is well known to be very demanding, my friends and I try to serve this doll of Him in such a way that He would be satisfied with all of us.” Durvāsā Muni was like “What?” He was just like taken aback by Rādhārāṇī’s reply. He thought, “No ordinary girl of Her age could think such divine thoughts.” His doubts started to dissipate, He was thinking, “Yes, maybe what the Braja-vasis are saying is true. This is Rādhā – this is the Lord’s eternal concert. She has appeared here in this world.” He decided to test Her, he said, “Little Rādhā, yesterday was Ekadāsī and today I must break my fast. My request is that you please cook some sweet rice for your Kṛṣṇa and then you give me the remnants. In this way I will complete my Ekadāsī vow and I will test your skill as a good cook.” Little Rādhā became very ecstatic, “Oh, a chance to cook for Kṛṣṇa again!” and, “Yes, Bābā I will do.” She accepted his request and She sat him down on the branch, a low branch of a tree and asked him to be patient. She ran into the palace and said, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy Kīrtidā, I got this new service. I get to cook for Durvāsā Muni” and everybody in the palace froze hearing the name Durvāsā Muni [Laughter] because, you know, when Durvāsā Muni comes it’s no small affair because he can be easily pleased and very easily displeased and he is famous for his curses. Mommy sort of froze – “No! My little girl…, Durvāsā Muni? Oh No!”  

But then some of the cowherd boys they have been watching all this, for them these little girls are just girls, what’s this?  They walked in and they said to Mother Kīrtidā Sundarī, “Ah don’t worry about it, Durvāsā Muni he is being very fatherly towards your daughter Rādhā.” Then mother Kīrtidā said, “Oh he is being very fatherly toward you – kind towards you, don’t worry.” Kīrtidā became pacified. But she told Rādhā, ”I am going to cook because you are just a little girl, we can’t make any mistakes here, so I am going to cook.” She started collecting all the ingredients.

Rādhārāṇī is playing under her Sāri, “No, I must cook. The great Yogī he asked me to make sweet rice for him.” Kīrtidā, “No, no, no, darling, I will cook and you watch.” Then Rādhā said, “No mother you don’t understand. Durvāsā Muni wants to taste my cooking.” It’s described that queen Kīrtidā, she could see the determined look on little Rādhārāṇī’s face and she had experienced that when her daughter wanted something She would persist and ultimately She would get Her way because that was Her contrary nature. Mother Kīrtidā, she stepped aside and some servants brought some little tables that little Rādhārāṇī could stand on to reach the fire and She started making the sweet rice.

Because She was cooking for Kṛṣṇa as She did every day for the little dolls, She did it very attentively with much devotion and added the ingredients little this and that, then made it – first class. And then with Her mother watching and all the palace attendants there She took that cooked sweet rice, put it into some nice clay pots and took it outside and bowed down before the doll of Kṛṣṇa and made the offering. Then She took that offering, with Her mother following Her. Durvāsā was sitting on that low branch of the tree and Rādhārāṇī said, “Bābā, I have cooked the sweet rice.” Durvāsā Muni took that cup of sweet rice, [sound of drinking] “tak tak tak tak”, he drank a little bit. Then he famously said, “Now I see how well you cook little Lāli and how much your hero Kṛṣṇa savors your cooking!” and he looked up with wide eyes and said to all the people who were watching, “Materially this food is perfect in its appearance, taste and texture. What’s more – spiritually it is mixed with prema from both Rādhā the cook and Kṛṣṇa the enjoyer.” Then he said, “Excuse me, I have to finish this pot of sweet rice.” That’s what he did and then scriptures describe, He relished every last drop of that sweet rice and as he did so, his bliss increased unlimitedly with each mouthful.

Everyone was watching him and as soon as he finished the pot he put it down and he was silent. Then he shook his head. He made a declaration publicly, “There is no doubt about it. The child who cooked this sweet rice must be the Supreme Lord’s eternal consort.” He said, “Call all the residents in the village to come here; I want to make a proclamation.” [Sound of conch blowing] – With bells ringing and the conch shells blowing everyone came to hear Durvāsā Muni’s proclamation, because that’s something significant. All of Braja, all the residents, Braja-vasis were there, and the animals, birds, butterflies, fish looking out of the water [Laughter], everyone was there to hear his eternal proclamation. He said to little Rādhā who stood before him with Her soft pink lotus feet and Her little soft palms folded in submission, he said to Her, “My dear child, you have served me with such devotion and given me a taste of your unmatched cooking skills. I must reward you. In the form of the following blessing, I shall share with you half of my austerities that I have gained through my life as a Yogī.”

Mahārāja Vṛṣbhānu he said, “Go forward, Rādhā, go forward. Stand a little closer to the Muni.” So She wiggled a little bit forward and this great formidable, austere tapasvi Yogī, who is capable of blessing and cursing the entire universe; tears started flooding his eyes, flowing down his cheeks as he looked at Rādhā. His hands were shaking, his hairs were standing on end, his voice was faltering. He said to little Rādhā, “I hereby declare that, whatever you cook will always taste like nectar. In addition, whoever tastes it will never see disease, defeat from enemies or bad fortune. My dear little Rādhā, for as long as the world turns you will be famous as the empress of all cooks and because everything you touch will turn to nectar you will be known by the name Amṛtapāni. OM TAT SAT!” [Haribol].

After hearing this wonderful blessing King Vṛṣbhānu, Kīrtidā and little Rāṇī they bowed down to the sage to offered their respectful obeisances and then suddenly Durvāsā Muni just disappeared. That’s how these sages are, they come into our lives, spend some time and then they just disappear and go unto some other pastime. This is one of the most wonderful pastimes of Durvāsā Muni.

Mother Kīrtidā Sundarī was like really happy and she grabbed little Rādhā and hugged Her and said, “Oh Rādhā, how fortunate we are? By the sage’s blessings perhaps even the Supreme Lord would insist on eating from your hands, just imagine?” When mother Yaśodā heard this blessing as referred before, she started thinking, “Can that little girl be a cook for my little boy Kṛṣṇa?” and that was arranged later on actually. As a result of Durvāsā Muni’s public blessing, all of Vṛndāvana resounded with this news that Rādhārāṇī’s cooking surpassed even that of Lakṣmī Devī.

Let’s conclude this morning  hearing the blessing of Durvāsā Muni to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī at this holy auspicious place Rāvala where She appeared.

Vṛndāvanesvari Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī ki – Jaya!

Durvāsā Muni ki – Jaya!

Rāvala ki – Jaya!

Barṣāṇā Dhām ki – Jaya!

Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Śyāmsundara ki –Jaya!

Kārtik Parikramā 2015 ki –Jaya!

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe …………………

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe ………………..

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe ………………..  Śyāma!

OM TAT SAT! [Laughter]

Hare Kṛṣṇa! Thank you!  

Gokula – Dāmodara Līlā place- HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Lecture

Sacrifice Kunda for Initiation from HH Srila Indradyumna Swami at Gokula

A simple life with Kṛṣṇa at the center

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

When Kṛṣṇa was born Vasudeva and Devakī were in great anxiety that Kaṁsa would come into the cell and kill their new child. Mysteriously in the jail, the jail opened, the cell opened and Vasudeva took baby Kṛṣṇa and crossed over the River Yamunā, which is just near here.

At that time, Mother Yaśodā and Nanda Bābā, they were living here; they weren’t living out at NandaGram. They were living right here, so the baby was brought here and given charge to Yaśodā and Nanda Mahārāja. They say that the ancestral home of Nanda Mahārāja is just down the road, maybe one kilometer down the road. There is a palace with one thousand black pillars. They say that’s where Kṛṣṇa grew up under the care of Nanda and Yaśodā.

All the pastimes we read at the beginning of Kṛṣṇa Book, the killing of Pūtanā and Tṛṇāvarta, and all those pastimes they took place here in Gokula. A particular interest of course is the pastime where Kṛṣṇa was tied to the mortar by Mother Yaśodā, because He was naughty. I won’t elaborate on that story, that pastime, because Baḍa-Hari is going to be the main speaker this morning. But local tradition says that this is the place where Mother Yaśodā tied baby Kṛṣṇa to the mortar and just behind it there you can see that little shade—it’s actually a temple right behind you. They say there is the original mortar that Mother Yaśodā tied Kṛṣṇa to, so this is a very, very special place we are sitting right now.

That is the Dāmodara pastime and we are always singing the Dāmodara Aṣṭakam during this month. This is the month of Kārtik, or the month of Dāmodara, so what better place to come than Gokula during the month of Dāmodara. This is really the place to be during the month of Kārtik, so we finally made it. Then there is a very beautiful—one of my favorite Deities actually in Vraja—behind us is a very beautiful deity of Yamunā Devī. She is holding a garland of lotus flowers. She is a very, very old, very ancient Deity. They painted her so she looks a little modern. But actually she is a very ancient deity, so you can pray to her as well, because as we discuss many times here in Vṛndāvan, we are coming here for shelter. We are ultimately coming here for residence that we want to live in Goloka Vṛndāvan forever. Again she is one of the five personalities who grant residence in Vṛndāvan. So you can say some special prayers to her today here in this auspicious place of Gokula, the land of pasturing grounds for cows.

This is Vṛndāvan as it was well five thousand years ago. And this is how we would like the whole world to be actually, back to an agrarian culture, taking care of the cows and cultivating the land—a simple life with Kṛṣṇa at the center. Without again going into too much detail, because Baḍa-Hari Prabhu has been preparing to speak for a few days now, I will just explain in short. This is also Gopāṣṭamī, this is the day that little Kṛṣṇa was given charge of the calves when He was young, because calves are not that difficult to deal with.

But when he got a little older, He got to be in charge of the cows. So today is the celebration that Kṛṣṇa takes charge of the cows. Now these are cowherd boy pastimes, involving Kṛṣṇa and His cowherd friend and the cows and the pasturing grounds, but somehow or other the Gopīs also got involved. The Gopīs are never far from Kṛṣṇa, wherever He is. In fact, Rādhārāṇī, She is called Anapāyinī, it means She is never separated from Kṛṣṇa. Just how the Gopīs got involved in this pastime of Gopāṣṭamī? I will save that for Baḍa-Hari, but I will mention the Gopīs did dress up as cowherd boys, so you can see we have some girls here who are dressed as cowherd boys. 

There we have a little cowherd boy, too, with a black turban and a peacock feather in her/his hair/head/turban following in the footsteps of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Actually, all of you know this is the one day of the year, because Rādhārāṇī is playing the mood of a cowherd boy, so She doesn’t have Her sāri, She has a dhoti on. So this is the one day in the temples all around the world, you can see the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī

A perfect day to come to Gokula, the pasturing grounds of the cows on Gopāṣṭamī! Fantastic, amazing that we are actually here today! There are lots of nice cows here. Our Mahānta here takes very good care of this area throughout the year. He just finished his sixteen rounds; he chants sixteen rounds in the morning and sixteen rounds in the evening and the rest of the day, he takes care of Kṛṣṇa’s cows.

We will relish this day. This is a memorable month; this is a memorable day, a memorable place. Just take advantage of every precious moment that we are all here together in each other’s association. It makes it more appreciable, more understandable, more relish-able that we are all here together, our Parikramā family for the month of Kārtik 2015.

I always say that you will look back on these days, these moments as some of the most precious moments of your life. If your memory fades in your old age, when you are my age, 65 or 70, “Yeah, I remember when we were with Gurudeva way back in 2015 at Gokula—and I can’t remember, there was a big tree.” Then you can take out this little USB drive we are going to give each of you, with all of Ananta Vṛndāvan’s twelve or fifteen videos that he has worked so hard to produce and you can watch those videos and all the memories of this wonderful month will flood back into your hearts. I have counted how many hours he has slept in the last three weeks. He has slept about four hours—seriously.

He has only slept about four hours in three weeks. I think he is a mystic yogi. The important part of the world, Vaiṣṇava community, they are all watching these videos and they feel actually like they are here in Vṛndāvan. We are getting thousands and thousands of people inquiring, “We want to come next year too!” This is a problem, because it’s going to be like Rādhānātha Swami’s yatra with 6,000 devotees! We want to keep it at 300, keep the family small, so I am not exactly sure what is going to happen, but anyway.

The stage is set for our wonderful experience, for our wonderful stay here in Gokula at the place where Kṛṣṇa dragged the mortar! How are we so fortunate to be here? It’s all by the mercy of Śrīla Prabhupāda, by his invitation we have come to Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām. You can see we have a very nice Yajñaśālā here, even our pujari—priest of Emperor amongst the priests—MadhumañgalaCaturātmā Prabhu, even he is impressed by what Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākur and Mañjarī have put together here this morning. 

Madhumañgala Caturātmā Prabhu ki—Jaya!

Narottama could you come take a bow, please; take a bow. This is Narottama. Give him a big round of applause. But behind every great man is a woman, so this is Mañjarī, she is the real force behind it.

Behind them, that tall handsome boy, that’s Śaśi, he is getting initiated today. The whole family is here, everyone is here, so this is a big day for that family, and of course this is a big day for the 32 or so initiates who are going to be initiated here on this auspicious day in Śrī VṛndāvanDhām. I can’t imagine a better place to get initiated. 

As always I stayed up all night last night searching nice names for the boys and beautiful names for the girls, so if I fall asleep during the ceremony, just wake me up. It’s important to have nice name because you are going to hear that name for the rest of your life. These are all names of Kṛṣṇa or Rādhā or holy places or pastimes with Dāsa or Dāsī affixed at the end—that we are the servant of all these great places, these personalities, these pastimes. 

Actually for the initiates this is the most important day not only of their lives, this is the most important day in their existence since they left the spiritual world. This is the ticket back home, back to Godhead, so this is really a day to celebrate. Generally, it is of course the spiritual master who gives the lecture at the initiation ceremony. But I think more important than that is that we are actually a family, with a greater family of Śrīla Prabhupāda within the big family of our GauḍīyaVaiṣṇava Sampradāya. So in the family, you share. I mean, in my family, my father always taught us to share. I can’t remember how many times he said, “Share with your brother! Share with your sister!” Today I have asked my illustrious, lovable, traveling companion Baḍa-Hari Prabhu to give the initiation lecture. This is brotherhood—real brotherhood. Actually he is more advanced than me anyways, so I think it’s appropriate that he speaks to my disciples and inspires them in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

And usually, I like to do the Yajña and how many times have I done that initiation Yajña in Moscow and St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg, but again we are family and we share. We are all serving our father Śrīla Prabhupāda, so I have asked my illustrious Godbrother Caturātmā, ‘Madhumañgala’ Caturātmā Prabhu to do the Yajña today, to be the head-priest. 

We have many senior devotees, Prabhupāda disciples here. I don’t know who came, who didn’t come, I don’t know. Manyu Prabhu was sick and Ghoṣa Ṭhākur? Oh, Manyu is here. Glad you are better, back to health. Ghoṣa Ṭhākur. Where is Ghoṣa Ṭhākurji? Most welcome. Ṭhākurāṇī is here. [French statement]. That’s French. Mother Viśeṣa, just like we call Govinda, as Govindajī, so I call her “Na-Viśeṣa”, my Godsister Viśeṣa, she is here as well giving her blessing to all the initiates today. [French statement]. My good brother, Bonjour, Gopa Swami Prabhu is also here. He is very humble. I don’t know, where’s Gopa? See. He is a very advanced devotee. He is hiding back in the cowshed; I think he wants to be a cowherd boy or something.

No less important are all of you—Gaura Bhakta Vṛnda, we say Gaura Bhakta Vṛnda, all the devotees of Lord Caitanya, so thank you for everyone for coming and making this the special day that I am sure it will be as it unfolds. 

Okay, I am going to step off center stage here and give the microphone to our most beloved, talented musician and singer who sings with lots of Bhāva, and he will be speaking today as well. Please give a big round of applause to Baḍa-Hari Prabhu, who will carry the program on from here. [Applause]

Śrī Gokula-Dhām ki—Jaya!
Dāmodara  pastime ki—Jaya!
Śrī Vraja-Bhūmi, Śrī Vṛndāvana Dhām ki—Jaya!
Yamunā Devī ki—Jaya!
Kārtik Parikramā 2015 ki—Jaya!
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe ……… Śyāma!

Durvāsā Muni Āśrama – Śrīla Prabhupāda Disappearance Day- HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Lecture

Devotees of Indradyumna Swami's Parikrama group on boat ride to Saubhari Muni Ashram

Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Mercy

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

Today is a very special day. It’s the departure day of the Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Kṛṣṇa ConsciousnessHis Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramhansa Parivrajakacharya Ashtottar-Shata Śrī Śrīmada Śrīla A.C. BhaktiVedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda. I have chosen not to speak today. This is always for me, this is a difficult day. I have asked Mother Śītalā to speak today. Has Mother Śītalā arrived? Oh, okay, Mother Śītalā is here, so she will be speaking today.

This is a very beautiful setting that we are in. This is the Āśrama of Durvāsā Muni in Vṛndāvan. Actually we have mentioned Durvāsā Muni a number of times during our Parikramās here in Vṛndāvan through the years. He is a Muni; he would travel to different holy places, but this was his ashram in Vraja, right here on the banks of Jāmuna. Fortunately, it still remains much as it was for the last hundred years. It still has that old Vraja feeling to it. Under this Banyan tree, literally on the banks of the Jāmuna river, and in the past years, we have discussed the particular pastimes that have taken place here.

But we won’t touch on that today, because this is Śrīla Prabhupāda’s disappearance day, so that will be the theme of today’s visit, and in coming years we will recount again the pastimes of Durvāsā Muni here. I always like to come here and bring the devotees here, because of its special atmosphere—it’s kind of like what you would have imagined SatyaYuga would be like.

Of course, our old friend Bābāji is here. He is not so old, he is in his thirties, but he is a Pakka (fixed-up or determined) Brahmacārī, Pakka Sādhu. He stays here all year long despite whatever austerities may be. He is very fixed in his vows and in his practices in spiritual life. You can see he is very simple in his living style. He leaned over today, and he said to me, quietly said, “After so many years I have conquered hunger.” Kṛṣṇa glorifies Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gītā for conquering sleep—Guḍākeśa, so these things: conquering sleep, hunger, senses—these are not easy things to conquer. He confidentially said, “Mahārāja, I have conquered hunger.”

I remember last year I said to him, “In my next birth I want to be just like you”. He said, “No, you are doing the best work. You are preaching Bhagavad-Gītā.” Then he quoted the verse in Sanskrit where Kṛṣṇa says that, “There is no one more dear to Me than those who are preaching this message”. He said, “You do what you are doing, so I am doing what I am doing; you do what you do. We will both go on.”

Of course, all of this is for us. It’s all due to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mercy that we get to come to Vṛndāvan Dhām, take boats rides down the Jāmuna river, touch the sacred water of the Jāmuna, come to secluded holy places like Durvāsā Muni’s ashram, meet the Sādhus who are living here; chant ‘Hare Kṛṣṇa’ in the association of so many wonderful devotees in a holy place. Just one of these things is great fortune, so we can hardly imagine how fortunate we are, and what to speak of fortune that we are everyday going out into Vṛndāvan and experiencing all this. This is all because Śrīla Prabhupāda left this holy place and went to mlecchadesh, went to the west to spread the glories of Vṛndāvan. Had he not done that, none of us would be sitting here today

In the Skandh Purāṇa there is actually a very strict warning, that a person who is interested in his deliverance from the repetition of birth and death, of achieving mokṣa —liberation; that person should not cross beyond the boundaries of Bhārata or India, because everything becomes more and more inauspicious, the further you go from Bhārata. Just like a lamp is burning and it’s very bright around the lamp, but the further you go from the lamp, the darker it becomes. Sādhus were forbidden to leave India because of the bad association, sinful activity that exists in another part of the world; but Prabhupāda took that risk for all of us.

Of course, in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s case there was no risk, because he told us one time: “There was never a time I forgot the lotus feet of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.” He said, “Never a moment I ever forgot the lotus feet of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.” And he said, “In my life-time, I did not know what sinful activity was. I never experienced what was sinful activity.”

Taking upon his head that great responsibility of carrying Lord Caitanyas desires to spread Kṛṣṇa Consciousness all over the world, he was fully protected by Guru and Gaurāṅga. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have to endure so many hardships  and so many austerities, and so many difficulties in establishing Kṛṣṇa Consciousness in the west. One time he told us, someone asked, “Well, what was the first year for you like in America?” Prabhupāda said, “You will not believe the difficulties I underwent that first year”. He never really revealed how he struggled that first year. But history has shown the great success that was there and after a few years. After the movement was somehow established in the west, Prabhupāda came back here to Vṛndāvan with a desire to establish a temple: KṛṣṇaBalarāma Mandir, so that Westerners could come and get the Vṛndāvan experience; which is so important to our evolution or progress in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

By his invitation, by his arrangement the facilities are there; we are here by Śrīla Prabhupāda’s grace so we should honor him today as best we can on his disappearance day in Vṛndāvan. Not just this day but everyday; we should remember his lotus feet and by his good fortune we came to Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, we are existing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, and we will achieve perfection in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness by Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mercy

We will begin with as we always do, to create that wonderful atmosphere of auspiciousness and our ability to focus on all these transcendental subject matters. We will have Mādhava Prabhu leading us in a very melodious, beautiful, and deeply devotional Bhajan, and then one of His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda’s most senior and beloved disciples, Ṭhākurāṇī, will speak about some of the glories. How much can you speak about Prabhupāda’s glories? They are unlimited, but she shall speak on the glories of our Spiritual Master.

Then Baḍa-Hari Prabhu will lead us in Gurupujā; then we will sing “Ye anilo prema-dhana”………….. [Voice of HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami Mahārāja choked in deep separation and remembrance of Śrīla Prabhupāda; tears rolled down on his cheeks and he excused everyone from the announcements and went into seclusion for a few minutes.]

Barsānā – HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Lecture

HH Srila Indradyumna Swami at Barsana

The Glories of Barsānā

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

The palace servants over here, they are inspired by the kind of bliss that is unknown to the inhabitants of NandaGram. Rūpa Gosvāmī gives a very poetic description. He says “The concert of Rādhā’s laughter mixed with the tinkling of Her ankle bells and the song of Her Vīṇā defeats even the vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute.” This is the place of many of Her youthful pastimes, especially with Her girlfriends; they would roam this particular area, selling their milk products.

Sometimes they would meet the cowherd boys and there would be confrontations. The particular hill that we are sitting on now, this is one of the four Brahmās heads in Varṣāṇā—be careful. This is called Vilāsa-Gad. Vilāsa means pastimes, so this is the hill of pastimes. Very briefly, one Śāstra describes that at one time during the Srāvaṇa season during the month of July, Rādhārāṇī and Kṛṣṇa got into a really heavy argument.

The result of that argument was that Rādhārāṇī became very angry at Kṛṣṇa. Now generally when Rādhārāṇī gets angry, Kṛṣṇa has to make it up to Her. He has to give Her some gifts, some sweet words, try to appease Her. But in this particular instance, Rādhārāṇī would have nothing to do with the gifts, the sweet words of Kṛṣṇa. She came up here on the hill, sulking with Her girlfriends.

Now Kṛṣṇa tried to come up that same hill you walked up; you saw it’s a little difficult. He tried to come up here to appease Her, but Rādhārāṇī had Her Gopīs and Sakhīs there and they wouldn’t let Kṛṣṇa come up, “No way You are going to come up here. Stay away. You offended our Mistress.”

Especially Lalitā, she is very protective of Rādhārāṇī. So she said to Kṛṣṇa, “Rādhārāṇī doesn’t want to speak to you, She doesn’t want to see you—forevermore.” Kṛṣṇa was totally devastated. He sat down with all His cowherd boyfriends, “How am I going to get up on the hill and say I am sorry?” So all the boys were saying, “Just forget about Her. She is just a girl. Let’s go play.”

Kṛṣṇa said, “No, no, I have to go tell Her I am sorry. I have an idea.” Kṛṣṇa said, “I will trick those Gopīs who are guarding over there by the hill. I will trick them. I will dress up as a girl and I will get through. I am going to dress up like a girl with a sāri and jewelry and makeup and they won’t even notice me and I will get in there to see Rādhārāṇī.”

All the boys went, “Oh no! You are not going to dress up like a girl, Kṛṣṇa! We don’t like this idea.” But Kṛṣṇa was very determined and he said to his boy friends, “Dress me as a girl.” “Oh, Okay.” You can just imagine.

So they went through the villages here and somehow they got a sāri, they got some kājal, they got some jewelry. And they dressed Kṛṣṇa as best they could. Balarāma was saying, “Do you really want to go through with this? I mean it’s so demeaning if you dress like a girl.”

Madhumañgala—he was just in the back laughing and laughing. He couldn’t control it. He didn’t participate, and he was just laughing and laughing. Then Kṛṣṇa said, “All you guys stay here and I am going up,” and He walked up the hill as femininely as He could and He came to that group of Gopīs who were guarding there and He said, in a very sweet feminine voice, “I am from this village, this is my name, I have come to sing for Rādhā.” “Oh, you have come to sing for Rādhā. Please go by. She is just up here.”

This young Gopī came and she sat down and she just started singing the glories of Rādhārāṇī. Who could sing the glories of Rādhārāṇī better than Kṛṣṇa? That very sweet voice of Kṛṣṇa was filled with so much Prema, so much RādhāBhāva, love for Rādhā, which captured the attention of Rādhā and she said to Lalitā, “I have never heard any of my Mañjarīs or Sakhīs sing so sweetly. Who is this new girl?”

So Lalitā again (she is very protective) said, “Yeah, it’s nice but there is something off here. I mean, it’s just that the voice is not exactly so feminine and look how she is dressed.”

As Kṛṣṇa (dressed as a Gopī) is singing, Lalitā is staring at Him and Kṛṣṇa starts to perspire. Viśākā said, “Why is this young Gopī perspiring? It’s not warm up here. This is the autumn season. What’s up?”

Lalitā whispers into Rādhārāṇī’s ear, “Let’s have an Iṣṭa-goṣṭhī.” The Sakhīs—they are the elder girls that are very close to working with Rādhā—they said to the Mañjarīs, “You just sit here,” and they went and they had an Iṣṭa-goṣṭhī, and they are talking and talking and they come up with some plan.

Meanwhile, you know Kṛṣṇa is singing the glories of Rādhārāṇī and perspiring and wondering, “What’s going on?” So Rādhārāṇī comes back and the girls sit there and they listen a little bit longer and Rādhārāṇī raises Her hand, “Okay, stop.” [Tells Kṛṣṇa to stop singing]. “My dear Mañjarī, you are such a beautiful singer. I want to reward you.”

This is very natural, Rādhārāṇī of course is BhaktiDevī. She is in charge of devotional service and when She sees that some aspiring devotee is very serious about Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, She rewards that devotee with devotional service. We are always praying to Her:

Hare-Kṛṣṇa-Hare-Kṛṣṇa-Kṛṣṇa-Kṛṣṇa-Hare-Hare

Hare-Rāma-Hare-Rāma-Rāma-Rāma-Hare-Hare

“My dear Kṛṣṇa, my dear Rādhārāṇī, please engage me in Your devotional service.” So it’s Rādhā who engages us in the service of Kṛṣṇa. She said to this Gopī, “You are expressing so much devotion; I want to give you a reward.”

Kṛṣṇa is thinking in His mind, “Oh, maybe She will hug me.” You know, Rādhārāṇī hugs Her Mañjarīs, gives them a little kiss. “Maybe She will kiss me.” Kṛṣṇa stopped singing and He says, “Well, yes, what is the reward you would like to give me, your young Gopī?”

Rādhārāṇī looks at Viśākā and She looks at Lalitā and She smiled. She said, “We want to give You a new set of clothes. I mean, where did You get those clothes? Like, You must have really been in a hurry to dress Yourself, because you know it’s a little disturbed. So we are going to give You a new set of clothes and all of My Mañjarīs are going to dress you.”

Kṛṣṇa said, “No, no, no, no, no—these clothes are very nice. They are hand-me-downs from my Mom and they are very special and I took a lot of care. I was in a hurry to dress, but it’s okay. These clothes are fine. No!” All the Gopīs are coming forward with a set of clothes to dress: “No, no, no, no, no, it’s fine, fine. Thank you. Give me something else.”

“No, we are going to change your clothes.” But Rādhārāṇī said, “Girls, dress this new Gopī.” Well, they came and they take off the top little piece that they put there, whatever you call it, and they remove the sāri and then some of the Gopīs undo the choli, and as they undo the choli, two big kadamba flowers pop out!

All the younger Gopīs, they didn’t know what was going on. They started laughing. “Oh, this is Kṛṣṇa!” Kṛṣṇa, He was so embarrassed, He turned bright red. He is blue, but He turned bright red, and they are all laughing and Rādhārāṇī, by this act of trying to come up and win Her favor, She was appeased by Kṛṣṇa’s trick.

She welcomed Kṛṣṇa back and He dressed in His normal clothes and then Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, They sat on the beautiful swing here and They had Jhulan Yātrā, and all the Gopīs and Mañjarīs were fanning Them. This Jhulan Yātrā is a popular festival, and it takes place in different parts of Vṛndāvan, but this is one of the favorite places of the Jhulan Yātrā, the swing festival which commemorates those two Kadamba flowers that popped out of Kṛṣṇa’s choli, as He was trying to dress as a Gopī and appease His beautiful Rādhā which He did.

This is the VilāsaGad, the place of pastimes, one of the four heads of Brahmā. He very much desired at the beginning of creation, “Oh, let Kṛṣṇa’s Vṛndāvan pastimes happen on my head,” so they happened here. There is the beautiful palace which Rādhā lived in with Her family, and you see another beautiful palace right here, isn’t it? This is called the Jaipur palace. One king in Jaipur, of course we heard about the Jaipur kings, how pious they were. The Kṣatriyas wanted to protect Kṛṣṇa; RādhāGovinda went there. These kings often came here to Vṛndāvan. So one king he wasn’t very impressed with this old palace, so he built what he thought was a better palace architecturally and he invited the Deity that is worshipped, this Deity of Rādhārāṇī that is worshipped in this palace to come over here. They tried to bring Her, but She wouldn’t leave that palace to come to this palace. So this palace has been empty ever since it has been built. It is just used for Sādhus, and tourists sometimes stay there. She had Her desire to stay in the palace of Her father.

So a very brief introduction to Varṣāṇā, just one or two of the unlimited pastimes that take place here daily. You can appreciate where you’re sitting. Every day we’re sitting in another very special place and imbibing the mood and the pastimes of that particular place. On this very beautiful autumn morning, I don’t think it’s going to get very hot here. The season’s getting a little cooler so this is a perfect place to come.

We will have Kīrtana now. Sit and just enter deeply into the chanting of:

Hare-Kṛṣṇa-Hare-Kṛṣṇa-Kṛṣṇa-Kṛṣṇa-Hare-Hare

Hare-Rāma-Hare-Rāma-Rāma-Rāma-Hare-Hare

We have nothing else to do, nowhere else to go, we are in the perfect spot doing the proper thing.

This is the best way to see Vṛndāvan through Śravaṇaṁ, kīrtanam. Then Śrī Prahlāda will enlighten us about the glories of this divine personality, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Then we will have breakfast, and then we will have another Kīrtana. Why should we go anywhere else? We have come to the perfect place after many, many lifetimes. Then we will walk the traditional route around Varṣāṇā. We are not going to stop and have any more Kathā or Kīrtana. We will just walk, walk, walk, walk, walk; and we will go to the palace, and have darśana of the Deities of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Then we will walk down the hill. We will go to Pili Pokhar. We will hear that pastime later where Rādhārāṇī washed her hands and we will have lunch Prasādam there.

So relish every moment of your stay here in Varṣāṇā and that will not be difficult with Mādhava’s Kīrtana.

Vṛndāvanesvari Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī ki—Jaya!

Vilāsa-Gad ki—Jaya!

King Vṛṣbhānu ki—Jaya!

Kīrtidā-Sundarī Devī ki—Jaya!

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe……….. Śyāma!

Samādhi of Brahmānanda Prabhu – HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Memories

HH Indradyumna Swami at Samadhi of Bramhananda Prabhu

Remembrance of Brahmānanda Prabhu

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

 

[Opening prayers…]

I thank Pañca-Gauḍa Prabhu and Gargamuni Prabhu for giving me the opportunity to speak so early in this ceremony. There is a common saying in society that, “You can judge the greatness of a person by how many people—or more important, who— attends their funeral or memorial service.” So as I look around here at this august assembly of Vaiṣṇavas and Vaiṣṇavīs, it’s very apparent what a wonderful and great devotee Brahmānanda Prabhu was and he has certainly earned this epitaph which is on his Samādhi: “Indisputably the favorite son of His Divine Grace ŚrīlaA.C. Bhakti-Vedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.”

We all have our personal stories of association with Brahmānanda Prabhu. For me, I see him as my Vartma-Pradarśaka-Guru. Gargamuni Prabhu remembers that in 1970 I was working at the University of Michigan—in Michigan, Detroit. I was wandering through the grounds and I came across a Kīrtana party of four very effulgent personalities: Viṣṇujana Swami, Subala Swami, Gargamuni Swami at the time, and Brahmānanda Swami. This is what it took to make me a devotee. [Laughter]. I am going to get to that. I was just swept up with their love and their devotion to Śrīla Prabhupāda more than anything else. Viṣṇujana Swami was giving a talk to the students when we walked up and then he asked for questions, and some of the students were arguing, as it was an intellectual university. But he defeated them one by one and they all went away, and just myself and my former wife were standing there, so Viṣṇujana Mahārāja said, “Come, and I will tell you about my spiritual master, Śrīla Prabhupāda.”

We sat down. He spoke for about a half an hour. And he said, “What do you think?” I said, “He is also my spiritual master now.” They were so potent, so powerful. Then, Brahmānanda was speaking to me, preaching to me, convincing me very quickly to become a devotee and he said, “Now, do you know where we can stay tonight?” So I said, “Well, we are staying in an apartment building that’s going to be condemned soon. People are living in a few apartments there, and there is an apartment next to us. You can stay there.” Then Brahmānanda Mahārāja said to Viṣṇujana Swami, “This nice young couple has invited us to stay with them, so we will stay there.” Then Mahārāja said, “What do you think?” Brahmānanda Mahārāja said, “Well, if we can have a nice feast, some nice Prasādam, we can stay with them.” [Laughter]

I said, “Okay, guys”—excuse me for my language, but that’s what I said—“Let’s go back to my apartment.” On the way, Brahmānanda looked at me and he said, “So do you have any money?” [Laughter]. I had just gotten my paycheck for working as a gardener at the University. I think it was around $455, so I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Give it to me.” He showed Gargamuni and Gargamuni nodded his head, so Brahmānanda said, “Sign the check.” I signed the check and then they cashed it at the supermarket and they spent every cent—every single penny of that paycheck—on the bhoga for the feast they were going to cook at our apartment. They cooked it and I think Gargamuni was cooking and Viṣṇujana Mahārāja was cooking and Brahmānanda Prabhu was waiting.

We sat down to take Prasādam, and me and my former wife—we had been on a fast for 20 days, because in those days, you know, spiritual life meant fasting and meditating and everything. I am thinking “How I am going to eat this feast?” Now it’s cooked, it’s offered, and everyone is sitting down there. I said, “No-no, we are fasting.” Brahmānanda Prabhu said, “No, you are not.” [Laughter]. If you knew him, he could be very heavy. I sometimes remember him as you know, strong as a thunderbolt and soft like a rose. For myself, he was always very soft like a rose, but this one occasion, he just pulled me into Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. He said, “No, you are going to eat.” And I broke a fast—a 20 day fast—with a huge feast.” And I survived. [Laughter].

As we were taking Prasādam, I noticed that in the time it took me to eat one plate, he ate five plates. [Laughter]. In the end, he looked at me and said, “This is Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.” [Laughter].

You know, with Gargamuni’s management, and Subala’s serving everything, and Viṣṇujana’s lectures, and Brahmānanda’s brotherly love, I became a devotee, so he is one of the persons who showed me the path of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. I can honestly say I would not be here today without his and those other Prabhus’ mercy so this is why I have come to offer my gratitude to Brahmānanda Prabhu. Through the years, we would meet, from time to time.

A couple of years ago, I came here to the temple and I came in just before the Bhāgavatam class had started, and Brahmānanda Prabhu was giving the class and as I walked in he said, “Oh, Indradyumna Swami has come.” And he stood up and he sat down on the floor, and he said, “You give the class.” I was so embarrassed, because here is the person who had made me a devotee, who convinced me to give up material life, to take shelter of Śrīla Prabhupāda, and although he was a well-known personality and deserves so much respect, he showed genuine humility by stepping down and asking me to give the class. He was instructing us in so many ways. Another wonderful attribute that I remember about Brahmānanda Prabhu is his deep love and deep affection for Śrīla Prabhupāda. I think in all our minds this is what stands out probably most. That was demonstrated without exception, whenever Brahmānanda Prabhu would give a class about his memories of Śrīla Prabhupāda. Inevitably, sometime during the speaking he would cry. Tears would come to his eyes. This of course you know is the perfection of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, when we can feel some deeper emotion and actually tears can come to the eyes, expressing our love for Hari, Guru, and Vaiṣṇava.

As Brahmānanda Prabhu would cry whenever he would speak about Śrīla Prabhupāda and it was never sentiment, it was based on deep realization of who Śrīla Prabhupāda was; it was based on the purification he had achieved as the result of serving Prabhupāda. They were genuine tears of spiritual love for Śrīla Prabhupāda. In the same way, love is always reciprocal. It’s never a one-way street, it’s always reciprocal. It brings to mind one pastime of Śrīla Prabhupāda when he was flying somewhere with one of his secretaries. I forget who the secretary was, he told me the story, but old age affects our memory. Prabhupāda’s secretary told me that he was flying with Śrīla Prabhupāda somewhere in the world and he was opening Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mail and reading it to Śrīla Prabhupāda, as was the custom or the tradition. One of the letters he opened was from Brahmānanda Mahārāja who at the time was preaching in Africa of all places. What a challenge to go to Africa and spread Kṛṣṇa Consciousness!

But along with the instruction of the spiritual master comes the ability to fulfill it, so because he was such a surrendered soul to Śrīla Prabhupāda he was successful against all odds in Africa. Prabhupāda understood this and as Prabhupāda’s secretary was reading Brahmānanda Prabhu’s report about his preaching, the secretary told me Prabhupāda started crying; tears. At the end of the reading, he said, “Brahmānanda has done so much for me. He has sacrificed his very life for me.” Prabhupāda was crying. So this is love, and the love is demonstrated, the genuine symptoms are there. As Brahmānanda cried out of love for Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīla Prabhupāda would cry out of love for his disciple. This gives us a glimpse of how deep is the relationship.

When he passed away, naturally in our community, devotees asked the question, “Where did he go?” We can’t speculate like that, but:

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ

tyajaty ante kalevaram

[BG 8.6]

“Our next destination is determined by our Consciousness at the moment of death.” No one can doubt where Brahmānanda Prabhu’s consciousness was when he passed away. It’s where it always was—at the lotus feet of Śrīla Prabhupāda. Wherever Śrīla Prabhupāda is, whether he is continuing his preaching mission somewhere in this material world or he is engaging in his NityaSevā in the spiritual world, I have no doubt and I am sure none of you have any doubts, that’s where Brahmānanda Prabhu is. So our loss is their gain. As Gargamuni Prabhu was saying, these ceremonies are simultaneously emotionally difficult, but very joyful as well. As Bhaktivinode wrote that famous verse which is on the Samādhi Mandir of Haridāsa Ṭhākur in Purī: “He reasons ill who says that Vaiṣṇavas die, when thou art living still in sound! A Vaiṣṇava dies to live and while living tries to spread the Holy Name around!”

I am convinced that Brahmānanda Prabhu is with Śrīla Prabhupāda; it can only be because that’s where his heart always was, so that is very joyful. We miss his association. For so many years now, we have been coming to Vṛndāvan, we would always come to his talks in the evening at the temple, and he would recount about Prabhupāda.

We miss him, but we hope that we can become as qualified as he was, as wonderful a servant of our spiritual master as he was, have as much love for his spiritual master as he did, and be as capable of rendering incredible service, like Africa and pioneer preaching in New York, etc., etc. I think we can truly give him another epitaph; this is one here, but I think for any ISKCON devotee, probably the most important title we could ever give a devotee, we can give it to Brahmānanda Prabhu: “He was definitely a Prabhupāda Man.”

Brahmānanda Prabhu ki Jaya!

Śrīla Prabhupāda ki Jaya!

Worldwide ISKCON ki Jaya!

Gaura-Premanande Hari Haribol!

Kurukṣetra – HG Śrī Prahlāda Prabhu – Lecture

HH Indradyumna Swami with SriPrahlada Prabhu at Kurukshetr

BhagavadGītā Overview

– By HG Śrī Prahlāda Prabhu

[Opening prayers…]

We are the most fortunate to be here in Kuru-Kṣetra Dhām, also called as DharmaKṣetra. The first verse of the Bhagavad-Gītā, Dhṛtarāṣṭra speaks:

dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre

samavetā yuyutsavaḥ

māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva

kim akurvata saṣjaya

“My dear Sanjaya, at that place of Dharma, place of spirituality, at that place of the Kurus, when my sons and the sons of Pāṇḍu assembled, what did they do?”

Prabhupāda explains in his commentary that Dhṛtarāṣṭra is afraid. He is afraid because he knows that his sons headed by Duryodhana are most sinful. They have violated the codes of Dharma in so many ways. They have stolen the kingdom of the Pāṇḍavas, they have cheated in a gambling match. They have tried to assassinate the Pāṇḍavas in so many ways; by feeding them poisonous food, trying to have them burnt alive in a palace of lak. They are most accustomed to Adharma, and this battle will be fought in a place of Dharma. The opposing side, the Pāṇḍava army, is led by Yudhiṣtira Mahārāja—otherwise known as DharmarājaDhṛtarāṣṭra is afraid, this holy place it will give benefit to Dharmarāja Yudhiṣtira Mahārāja and it will act against the victory of Duryodhana and his sons.

We are here at this DharmaKṣetra. We are all trying to practice BhagavataDharma, and the influence of this place will be such that our proclivity, our ability to or inclination to practice Dharma will be further increased. Because we are all aspiring Bhaktas, we are all aspiring devotees, and so the effect of this place will be such that it will nurture our Bhakti, this DharmaKṣetra. Kṛṣṇa visited this place twice that we know, as recorded in the Śāstras. Maybe He visited more times as well, but in His pastimes 5000 years ago we have the record of the Śāstra that He made two visits. One was for the famous Kurukṣetra war that we have been discussing, when He spoke the Bhagavad-Gītā, or we should better say, sung the Bhagavad-Gītā that is the Song of Bhagavān.

The second time He visited with the Yadus, to bathe in these holy lakes during the solar eclipse. Whatever the chronology of these events, whether one happened before the other, I would like to discuss both in that order, Kṛṣṇa is speaking the Bhagavad-Gītā and Kṛṣṇa is coming here during the solar eclipse and meeting with Vrajavāsīs.

In both of these events, the external purpose is fighting the war or escaping the effects of an inauspicious solar eclipse. These are external reasons. The real purpose of Kṛṣṇa’s coming to this place is to engage in loving reciprocation with His devotees; to also demonstrate to us those loving relationships, as our invitation – “Would you like to join me, in these loving relationships?” That’s Kṛṣṇas invitation to all of us. In the Bhagavad-Gītā, this great song of Bhagavān, Kṛṣṇa so mercifully and kindly distills for us the essence of the Veda. There are many ways of analyzing the Bhagavad-Gītā. For today I would like to emphasize one specific point that Kṛṣṇa makes in the Bhagavad-Gītā, wherein He says:    ‘vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham’, that indeed, “I am the knower, the compiler and the goal of the Veda”.

The Veda is very vast. It is consists of thousands and thousands of verses, and they are quite abstract, difficult to understand particularly because they have quite contradictory messages, which leads to debates amongst Vedic scholars, as to the purpose, meaning and teaching of the Veda.

In the Bhagavad-Gītā, Kṛṣṇa so mercifully and beautifully, comprehensively synthesizes all of these apparent contradictory ideas; and demonstrates that they have in fact one essential teaching, one conclusion, one message that we will take from them: love to Kṛṣṇa. That’s it, so let us analyze a little how Kṛṣṇa does this.

We can divide the Vedic literature into six schools; these are the six schools of Vedic knowledge. These can further be divided into—well, summarized into pairs, so we get three divisions. We have the Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika schools of Vedic knowledge. Nyāya means logic given to us by Gautama Ṛṣi. Vaiśeṣika is a method of analysis, bringing things down to their smallest component parts, trying to understand the essence of things by distilling them to their essence, their fundamental components. Then we have Sāṅkhya and Yoga as another pair. The Sāṅkhya system of Vedic understanding describes the world in terms of interactions between Consciousness and matter, or Puruṣa and Prakṛti. The (Aṣṭāṅga) Yoga system is a mechanical system for pacifying the mind, given to us by Patañjali.

Finally, we have the Uttar and Pūrva Mīmāṁsaka Schools. The Pūrva Mīmāṁsaka school is focused on the Veda Saṁhitā, that is the Ṛg, Sāma, Yajur, and Atharva Vedas; they describe sacrifice to the Puruṣa. The Uttara Mīmāṁsaka consists of the Upaniṣadas that is focused on renunciation and meditation on Brahman. Okay, there are the six systems. Let’s now turn to the Bhagavad-Gītā and see how Kṛṣṇa harmonizes these schools into one comprehensive method or application of Vedic knowledge.

We begin with Nyāya and Vaiśeṣika, remember that Nyāya was about logic. Kṛṣṇa doesn’t give us a method of logic in the Bhagavad-Gītā by explaining, these are the different schools, these are the different fallacies, as Gautama does. But the Bhagavad-Gītā is sometimes described as a Nyāya text; because Kṛṣṇa uses a very logical approach to teach His disciple Arjuna. The objective of Nyāya is to overcome faulty thinking or faulty reasoning, and Kṛṣṇa does that, He cuts through Arjuna’s faulty thinking, faulty logic. In that Sense Bhagavad-Gītā is described as a Nyāya śāstrā. Let us go to Sāṅkhya and Yoga.

Remember, Sāṅkhya is a system that describes relationship between Puruṣa and Prakṛti. The thirteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-Gītā is where we have Kṛṣṇa presenting a theistic Sāṅkhya philosophy, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth chapters. Arjuna asks questions about the field — that is material nature, and the knower of the field — the living entity—who tries to enjoy the material nature.

Kṛṣṇas explanation is very much similar to teachings of Sāṅkhya. Sāṅkhya philosophy describes how material nature, Prakṛti, is activated by Consciousness and becomes dynamic. And from this, it creates what is described as Mahat-Tattva—that then interacts with the modes of material nature, so Consciousness interacting with Tamas, it creates the sense objects—earth, water, fire, air, ether. Then Consciousness interacting with the mode of goodness, it creates the knowledge acquiring senses: our eyes, our ears, our nose, our sense of tongue, touch; that is our ability to engage with the sense objects, as well as the working senses. The mind, as well, is created in this interaction of Consciousness with the Mahat and Rajas. Like this in the thirteenth chapter of the Gītā, Kṛṣṇa describes 24 material elements. But He tells us something more. He says, “ahaḿ bījapradaḥ pitā —I am the seed-giving father. It is Me who impregnates the material nature. It is Me who generates or activates this material cosmic manifestation. Everything comes from Me, everything depends on Me, like pearls are strung on a thread”. Sāṅkhya philosophy doesn’t give us that higher understanding, Kṛṣṇa gives it to us.

He also tells us about the material modes of nature in chapters 14 and 15. We get a great topography, a great system for understanding all things around us. Kṛṣṇa says, “Food can be categorized according to sattva, rajas, and tamas—goodness, passion, and ignorance. Work can be classified that way. Happiness can be classified that way. Everything can be classified according to these modes of nature. They have different results; Tamas leads to further distress, Rajas leads to a temporary happiness and then distress, Sattva leads to a sustainable happiness”. But Kṛṣṇa doesn’t want us to remain in the modes of nature. He wants us to transcend them. That’s His teaching about the modes in Bhagavad-Gītā that we can transcend the modes of nature by His grace.

daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī, mama māyā duratyayā

This material nature is difficult to overcomes, these gunas are very difficult to overcome but by My mercy, you can do it very easily.

Kṛṣṇa teaches about Yoga in the sixth chapter and eighth chapter of Bhagavad-Gītā. Patañjali’s Yoga system, it’s an eight-fold system. He has given a system to help address the issue of the ‘Citta-Nirodha’—the turnings of the mind, that is the agitated and disturbed mind. He says this can be overcome, Patañjali explains, this can be overcome through an eight-fold process. Yama, Niyama, you practice rules that these are a prescriptive and restrictive rules, dos and don’ts. You should be kind, you should be compassionate, you should be forgiving, and you should be charitable. These are rules of right conduct. Niyama, the things you shouldn’t do: don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t kill, and so forth.

Patañjali next describes āsana. Generally in today’s time, people talk about āsana as practicing different Yoga poses; like Vṛkṣāsana – standing like a tree, Virāsana – like a warrior and so on and so forth. When Patañjali describes āsana, it’s about sitting in meditation and that’s how Kṛṣṇa describes āsana in the Bhagavad-Gītā; “Sit in a solitary place, with your spine straight, with your gaze at the tip of your nose”. The next stage Patañjali describes is Prānayama—to regulate the breathing. Kṛṣṇa describes that we should also regulate our breathing in this Yoga practice. Today’s science tells us that the best way to pacify the mind is with extended outward breaths. It tells the body, “You are safe.” When we are afraid, we have very quick breaths and our body knows “Oh, I am in trouble; I am in danger.” When we are feeling safe and satisfied, then our breathing extends. Patañjali teaches this system for pacifying the mind. The next stage is Dhāranā—to hold the mind, fix it. Pratyahāra—withdraw from the external environment—then you can practice Dhyāna—meditation, which will lead to Samādhi, complete absorption. Complete absorption in what? – Iśvara Paridhāna, focus on Iśvara, the Supreme.

In the Bhagavad-Gītā, Kṛṣṇa teaches a similar system in the sixth chapter of the Gītā. Arjuna actually rejects it, he says “It’s too hard, Kṛṣṇa. I can’t do that. Fixing the mind in one object is very difficult.” Kṛṣṇa says, “Never mind. It’s just a technique, it’s just a method. The main thing is to think of Me, to love Me, that’s the real purpose of Yoga.”

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ

mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā

śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ

sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

[BG 6.47]

Of all the yogis, the best one is the one who always thinks of Me, who has faith in Me, who worships Me, that yogis is Yukta—is connected with Me in love.

That’s the real purpose of Yoga. Patañjali doesn’t teach that. But we learn it in the Bhagavad-Gītā. Let’s move to Uttara and Pūrva Mīmāṁsā, the third pair. Pūrva Mīmāṁsā relates to the Veda; the Veda Saṁhitā Ṛg, Sāma, Yajur, and Atharva. The Ṛg is the first of these Saṁhitās and the most famous section of the Ṛg Veda is the Puruṣasuktā. It describes the essence of the Veda, the Veda Saṁhitā’s teachings. It describes the person, the Supreme Person, Puruṣa. How is He described?

sahasra’śīrṣā puru’ṣaḥ

sahasrākṣaḥ sahasra’pāt

sa bhūmi’ṃ viśvato’ vṛtvā

[atya’tiṣṭhaddaśāṅguḷam]

He is described as having thousands and thousands of faces, in all directions. How His faces are? How He has expanded Himself in all directions? How He has expanded as the world, as the universe? This universe is described, as different features, or aspects, of the Puruṣas form, even society.

brāhmaṇo’sya mukha’māsīt The brāhmaṇas are His face.
bāhū rā’janya’ḥ kṛtaḥ His arms, they are the kṣatriyas.
ūrū tada’sya yadvaiśya’ḥ The merchants, they are His thighs.
padbhyāgṃ śūdro a’jāyataḥ The sudras are His feet.
candramā māna’so jātaḥ Now the planets, the demigods, the moon is His mind. 
cakṣoḥ sūryo’ ajāyata His eyes that is the Sun.
Mukhād Indra’ścāgniśca’ Indra is His mouth.
prāṇādvāyura’jāyata And Vayu is His breath

Like this, the Veda describes the universe as an expansion of Kṛṣṇa – the Puruṣa. So then what are we going to do with that information? We must engage in sacrifice to the Puruṣa. That is the teaching of the Veda. What should we sacrifice? Everything is the Puruṣa. You take the Puruṣa Himself and sacrifice the Puruṣa unto Himself. Why would you do that? Well, actually, human society will derive benefit by doing so. The demigods have rulership over the different aspects of the universe. When human society takes these resources and offers them in sacrifice, it creates a cycle of prosperity. That is the essential teaching of the Veda Saṁhitā.

In the Bhagavad-Gītā, we get to meet this Puruṣa. In Chapter 10, Kṛṣṇa starts telling Arjuna about his vibhuti—about His opulence:

 “I am the strength of the strong. Of bodies of water, I am the ocean. Of aquatics, I am the shark. Amongst people, I am the monarch, the ruler”; and so on and so forth.

When we meditate on this universe as different aspects of Kṛṣṇa, we can actually become detached. We can appreciate Kṛṣṇa in the universe and become detached from thinking of it as something we can own and possess for ourselves. Rather we feel, “Let me surrender to Kṛṣṇa.” At the end of the tenth chapter, Arjuna says, “You have told me so many wonderful things about Yourself. I would like to see that. Can I see this?” Kṛṣṇa says, “Well, you don’t really have the eyes, the divine eyes necessary to see this divine form of Mine. But I will give you that Divya-Cakṣū—I will give you these divine eyes. Behold my mystic opulence.” What Arjuna saw filled him with wonder. He saw thousands and thousands of faces spread out everywhere. Some of them were benign (means kind),  and some of them were very fearful. Arjuna became very afraid. Every face that has existed in this cosmic manifestation is there in the Virat-Rūpa. If you were to look at a painting, you can see the many, many faces. If you could look with a magnifying glass, you could even see your own face there. That’s right. We are all part of this Virat-Rūpa, this universal form of the Lord.

 Arjuna saw time—past, present, and future and he became overwhelmed. He realized that Kṛṣṇa is – The Puruṣa, described in the Veda. He kind of knew it before, but now that he was seeing this, he was overwhelmed with Kṛṣṇa’s majesty. He offered prayers and he offered apologies, “Kṛṣṇa, please forgive me. I called You ‘friend’. How dare me! I sat on the same bed as You, I joked with You, I called You Yādava, thinking of you as part of a lesser family as my own. Forgive me my arrogance, and accept my humble obeisances from the front, from behind, from the side, I offer You my humble obeisances.” Eventually he asked Kṛṣṇa, “Can You, please, withdraw this form? I can’t behold it any longer? I want to see Your two-handed form, Your form of sweetness.”

The Puruṣa described in the Veda is revealed in the Bhagavad-Gītā to be none other than Kṛṣṇa. What about this idea of offering sacrifices? Kṛṣṇa talks about how we can actually offer sacrifice by doing whatever we do as an offering to Him. Not necessarily that we have Yajñaśālā with ghee and wood and fire and so forth. But that we make this sacrifice consciously in our endeavor to offer all that we do to Kṛṣṇa. The Vedas also describe this ongoing battle between the Devas and the Asuras—the gods, the demigods and the demons. Demigods are responsible for the resources of the universe, they follow Dharma and protect Dharma; and the Asuras, they want to appropriate all of this for themselves, who don’t care for Dharma, but only for power.

 In the sixteenth chapter of the Gītā, Kṛṣṇa describes the same conflict; but as something that takes place within us, the divine and the demoniac natures. Not that there are not Asuras and demons, but that as conditioned souls we have these two inclinations.  Which one will win? Depends on which one we nurture. We can cultivate or nurture our demoniac nature, wanting to dominate and control and possess, to be superior to all others. Or we can cultivate or nurture our divine nature—and that’s what Kṛṣṇa encourages us to do in the Bhagavad-Gītā.

 Okay, we finally come to the Uttara Mīmāṁsā. Now we are at our sixth. I explained that this is generally the teachings of the Upaniṣadas, about a focus on Brahman, renouncing the material nature, understanding the fallacy of identifying with a material body, taking to a spiritual practice, meditation. Right there in the second chapter of the Bhagavad-Gītā, Kṛṣṇa gives these very same teachings. Second chapter of the Bhagavad-Gītā, He explains to Arjuna that, “You are not the body; you are a soul transmigrating from one body to the next”. The second chapter of the Gītā in fact contains many-many verses that are verbatim from the Kathā Upaniṣada.

In chapter four, as well, Kṛṣṇa explains the significance and importance of this transcendental knowledge. As a whole, what do we have in the Bhagavad-Gītā? – This incredible synthesis of the entire Vedic knowledge; but it gives us something more. Don’t forget chapters 9, 12, and 18, where the focus is Bhakti. Kṛṣṇa tells us about His loving relationships with His devotees. How He is equal to everybody, but He has special affection for His devotees.

samo ‘haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu

na me dveṣyo ‘sti na priyaḥ

[BG 9.29]

 

“I am equal to everyone but those devotees that surrender unto Me, they are Mine, I am always within them; they are always within Me. They will never perish, those devotees of Mine, even if they make a mistake, they are still Sādhus, because I declare it so.”

He tells us of how His devotees, they are always thinking of Him. They worship Him. They surrender everything to Him and He delivers them. He brings His devotees out of this material world to join Him in the spiritual world, where life is eternal. He brings them to a place from where they will never return to this material world again. He gives us the Veda and more in the Bhagavad-Gītā and in such a concise and consistent manner, Just 700 verses in eighteen chapters. This knowledge should inspire us, that we have nothing to do but surrender to Kṛṣṇa, to love Kṛṣṇa. This knowledge of Kṛṣṇas divinity, as the source of all that is, including us, should lead us to surrender to Him.

Yet, in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, we are given something even deeper still. That is, we are introduced to different types of devotees: devotees who worship Kṛṣṇa and reciprocate with Kṛṣṇa in different ways. He reciprocates with devotees as Kūrma-avatar, helping them to churn the ocean of milk; as Varāha, who helps them by rescuing the earth that has fallen into the depths of the Garbhodaka Ocean; as Matsya, who helps Satyavrata to rescue and preserve the herbs and other species through the great floods of partial inundation. These relationships they deepen in the later cantos of the Bhāgavatam.

Narasiṁha, He has much parental affections for His devotee, Prahlāda. Śrī Rāma, in the ninth canto, shows even more loving relations with His devotees, as the ideal son, ideal friend, ideal husband, disciple, king, and in the ninth and in the tenth canto of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, we are introduced to Kṛṣṇa. He lives in Vṛndāvana, where He interacts with devotees who don’t even know He is God, who love Him more than anything, even so. Their impetus for loving Kṛṣṇa is not knowledge of His divinity; their impetus for loving Kṛṣṇa is – Kṛṣṇas own sweetness. Even when they see indications of His divinity, they still don’t get it. Sometimes when Kṛṣṇa returns from the forest to enter into the village of Gokula, and the demigods, they are gathered above in the heavens to witness this beautiful procession of Kṛṣṇa’s return from the forest with His friends. The cows, they are mooing, the boys are playing bugles and flutes, and in the center of it all is Kṛṣṇa. The boys see the demigods, and they think, “Kṛṣṇa is so incredible; He is so amazing, that look—even the demigods have come to see Him. Why wouldn’t they? He is the most handsome, He is the most expert dresser, He is the best flute player; and so despite seeing the demigods, they don’t connect the dots to understand that He is God.

When Kṛṣṇa runs away from the Gopīs, and decides to play a prank as they search for Him in the forest, by standing before them as Lord Nārāyaṇa, they come to Him and they say, “Namo Nārāyaṇa! Have you seen Kṛṣṇa; the son of Mahārāja Nanda, with a peacock feather in His hair, a yellow silken garment that He ties around His waist so expertly? He left us and came somewhere in the forest and we are looking for Him everywhere.” Hello, you are speaking to the Supreme Godhead! They are only interest is Kṛṣṇa.

When Rādhā comes before that same Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa is unable to maintain His pretense. Her love for Him is so great that He is unable to maintain those four arms. He changes back into His two-armed form of sweetness, because as His devotee looks upon Him, He reciprocates accordingly. When Kṛṣṇa left Vṛndāvana and gone to Mathurā, and finally to Dvārakā; the residents of Vṛndāvana were swept up in these pools of separation; and when they heard he was coming nearby to Kurukṣetra during the solar eclipse, they felt that they were having a second lease on their lives. They finally got to meet Kṛṣṇa. But He didn’t look like that sweet boy that they remembered from Vṛndāvana. In the place of His flute, well instead of His flute, He was holding weapons.  Instead of His cowherd’s turban with the peacock’s feather, He had a royal crown on His head. Instead of a procession of cowherd boys with their ropes and their bugles and their sticks for herding cows, He was surrounded by many soldiers, protecting armor. Their hearts were pining to be with that Kṛṣṇa from Vṛndāvana.

The Gopīs finally got to meet with Kṛṣṇa, and He gave them some advice to console them. He said, “In fact, I am the Supreme Godhead. Hence, I am present everywhere as the Puruṣa. I am the Supersoul within the hearts of all living beings, and the yogis meditate on Me, and they feel that they are always with Me. They become Ātmārām —self-satisfied in meditating on Paramātmā.”

When the Gopīs heard these words, they were becoming angrier and angrier. [Gopīs]: “What nonsense He is speaking! Is Him the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Truth? What lies He speaks! He said He would come back to Vṛndāvana, and we have been waiting for so many years! How He stole butter in His childhood? What about the time that He stole our clothes?—The Supreme Absolute truth, telling us to meditate on His feet like yogis?”

They spoke to Him, they gave their reply, “Our dear Supreme Godhead, the great Yogis, they are able to meditate on Your transcendental feet. The Jñānīs, they have this understanding of your supreme position. We are unfortunate village girls; we do not know such things”. When you read the text, it looks like some glorification. Our Ācāryas they tell us of the tone in which these verses, these words are spoken. They are words of sarcasm. They are making jest of this Jñāna that Kṛṣṇa is trying to teach them. [Gopīs]: “You want us to remember your feet like Yogis; and remain to be satisfied? We can’t forget Your feet! We are trying to forget You! We cannot forget You! We cannot get You out of our minds. If you can teach us the technique for forgetting You, we would be more interested. All we can do is take You in our hearts and beg You; beg You, please, always stay there with us.” The Gopīs hearts are non-different from Vṛndāvana. They want Kṛṣṇa to come with them to Vṛndāvana.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He took great relish in remembering this pastime during the Ratha-Yātrā festival. He was dancing in front of Jagannātha’s chariot and He was thinking that, He is taking Kṛṣṇa from Kurukṣetra to Vṛndāvana. Sometimes He would go behind Jagannātha’s chariot just to see what Jagannātha will do. Jagannātha’s chariot would become immobile. They would pull with all of their strength and the chariot would not move. The king would bring his elephants and soldiers to pull that chariot, and then Śrī Caitanya would go and start dancing in front of that chariot and then Jagannātha’s chariot would start moving again. As He sung and He danced, tears flooded from His eyes like rain. His hair on His body was standing erect and He was singing a poem. This poem caused great confusion to the people who were observing Caitanya’s dancing. It was a secular love poem, nothing from any Śāstra. It was a love poem that said, “You are the same boy; I am the same girl. These are the same moonlit nights in the month of Caitra. But my heart is not happy. Oh, how I long to return to the bank of the Revā, under the Tulasi tree.” This is the song Caitanya was singing.

People were very confused; the Sannyāsī is singing a love poem that has nothing to do with transcendence. Yeah, you might hear some song on the radio, and you like the line, you like the words and if you were singing it in the Ratha-Yātrā, people would think it’s odd; Right? It would be strange. That’s what Caitanya was doing and people were a bit confused. The next day Caitanya went to visit Haridāsa Ṭhākur. Haridāsa Ṭhākur’s Bhajan kutir had a thatched roof and as Caitanya was entering, He saw a piece of manuscript—that is a palm leaf pushed into the thatch. He pulled it out and He read it. It said, “Oh my friend, He is the same Kṛṣṇa. I am the same Rādhā. These are the same moonlit nights. Now we are here in Kurukṣetra. Oh, how I long to return to the bank of the Yamunā River. Oh how I long to be with Him there under the Kadamba trees.” When Caitanya read this, He experienced ecstasy and He asked, “Who has understood my mind? Who has written this?” The devotees said it was Rūpa Gosvāmī. Caitanya was so pleased with Rūpa. He had Him come to sit amongst His associates, He showed them the verse, and He asked, “How is it possible that he has understood my mind?” They said, “Surely, it must be that you have empowered him to reveal the treasures of Your heart.” These very high spiritual truths of loving Kṛṣṇa, they are difficult to express in philosophical terms and so Caitanya borrowed the language of poetry; and following in His footsteps, Rūpa borrows the language of poetry to express these very intense spiritual feelings. His Bhakti-Rasāmṛta-Sindhu—borrows the aesthetics of the language of poetics to explain the science of Bhakti.

Here we are in Kurukṣetra, we are remembering Kṛṣṇa speaking the Bhagavad-Gītā, and we should pray. We need that understanding of Kṛṣṇa’s divinity. Let us pray that those teachings become manifest in our heart, that we can become attached to Kṛṣṇa and detached from the material nature. But let’s also pray simultaneously that our Bhakti not be stifled or inhibited, that our love not be inhibited at higher levels by our knowledge of Kṛṣṇa’s divinity. But that we might join the residents of Vṛndāvana who have forgotten of Kṛṣṇa’s divinity and in whose company Kṛṣṇa Himself has forgotten His own divinity and is swept up in love. We need both. We need to know of Kṛṣṇa’s divinity; we also want to be able to forget it in the right away. As followers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu we will be given both. If we pray, if we follow Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and the process that He has given us—that is the invitation we have. Both invitations have been made: Kṛṣṇa has extended both invitation with His both pastimes here in Kurukṣetra; both opportunities are there for us. It’s up for us to be eager to take those opportunities. Okay, we will conclude there. Thank you very much.

Śrī Kurukṣetra drama ki—Jaya!

Śrī Vrajendra Nandana Kṛṣṇa ki—Jaya!

Bhagavad-Gītā As It is ki—Jaya!

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam ki—Jaya!

Vṛndāvanesvari Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī ki—Jaya!

Śrīla Prabhupāda ki —Jaya!

Nitai Gaura Premanande! – Haribol

Kurukṣetra – – HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Lecture

HH Indradyumna Swami leading Sankirtana at Kurukshetra

The History of Kurukṣetra

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

[Opening prayers …]

When Śrī Prahlāda started to sing that particular melody, it brought back a lot of memories and emotions and realizations. Unknown to much of ISKCON devotees, many of the melodies we sing today that are favorites amongst devotees, especially on Harināma, came from the heart of Śrī Prahlāda. One time Prabhupāda described that the melodies that we sing, particularly the melodies we were singing when Prabhupāda was here—the Bengali melodies in particular, Prabhupāda said, “These melodies, they come from the spiritual world.” Later on one of the devotees kind of complained to Śrīla Prabhupāda that my Godbrother Viṣṇujana Swami who is a legend now for his Kīrtanas, he also used to produce melodies, and someone said, “That is not correct.” And Prabhupāda said, “No he can. He is an expert musician.” Prabhupāda said, “And a devotee. He can come up with different melodies.” Prabhupāda sanctioned it.  

When we were traveling together for so many years, sometimes Prahlāda would just start the Harināma with a new melody and everybody would just go, “Wow!” and even the people, they would love it. He’s gifted like that. The reason I am bringing this up is because this particular melody, we had a name [for it]. We used to name melodies. I would say, “Well, there are so many melodies, we should give them a name!” We would drive in the car and people would suggest names. So this melody was called, ’The feelings of the pangs of separation.’ As Prahlāda started to sing it, I didn’t have to look at him; I knew the reason he was singing this is because this is how we were thinking and this is a very appropriate mood actually for Kurukṣetra—the place of the big battle.

Amongst many things, many historical events took place here. But paramount of all of them is the Gopīs’, particularly Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s feeling of separation, meeting Kṛṣṇa here after so many years, or you could say lifetimes. Her Bhāva of separation from Kṛṣṇa, Her Vipralamba Bhāva, went to the highest state that it could go here at Kurukṣetra, so I was thinking, “Well, that’s an appropriate melody.”   

But we will come to that a little later. Again many of us think appropriately that this is where the great Kurukṣetra war took place between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kurus, and Kṛṣṇa took the opportunity to enlighten the Arjuna and thus all of mankind with His words of wisdom. Gītā means “song” and Bhagavad means “Kṛṣṇa”, so the song of God was spoken here, at Kurukṣetra. As Śrīla Prabhupāda comments I believe in a purport in Bhagavad-Gītā, that the Pāṇḍavas chose to have the battle fought here strategically, because it was a pious place and the pious, sanctified atmosphere would act to their advantage in defeating the enemy, because the enemies were demons and they were devotees. Having the battle in a holy place gave them some advantage. Being a very famous holy place, since really you could say time immemorial—that’s why when that big solar eclipse came, Kṛṣṇa and the residents of Dvārakā came here to take shelter, because contrary to what modern scientists and the population think, eclipses are very inauspicious things.

Practically speaking, eclipse means the demon Rāhu is eating up the Sun or the Moon, trying to gobble him up. My dear Godbrother, Śrīkara Prabhu, is sitting over here. He could probably elaborate on this for many hours. He is a very famous astrologer, [now] retired. Now in his retired life, he is traveling to the various holy places of India with his nice wife, Jyotikā. We are honored that Śrīkara Prabhu has joined us for this Parikramā. Please give him a big round of applause. [Applause]. Śrīkara Prabhu ki Jaya!

When there is an eclipse, people either stand aside, so they don’t get the inauspicious rays or they will bathe in a holy river. There was an eclipse when Mahāprabhu appeared, so everybody was bathing in the river and to create auspiciousness everyone was chanting:

Hare-Kṛṣṇa-Hare-Kṛṣṇa-Kṛṣṇa-Kṛṣṇa-Hare-Hare

Hare-Rāma-Hare-Rāma-Rāma-Rāma-Hare-Hare

The Lord took advantage of that chanting of the Holy Name to make His appearance, because He was the incarnation to introduce the Yuga Dharma of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. To get away from the inauspiciousness people will come to a holy place like Kurukṣetra. Kṛṣṇa and all the Dvārakāvasis, they came here during the solar eclipse and as I mentioned earlier, this was the main holy place in SatyaYuga. Now SatyaYuga lasts a long time, so if you wanted to go on pilgrimage in SatyaYuga this was the place to come, where you are sitting right now. Similarly then, Puṣkara, in TretāYuga and Naimiṣāraṇya in DvāparaYuga and NavadvīpaMāyāpura during the KaliYuga, are the prominent pilgrimage places.

Now when Lord Brahmā was creating all the diversity in this universe, when it came time to create planet earth, Brahmā came here and He sat in the middle of this lake behind us. That’s why it is called BrahmāSarovara. He saw a lotus flower and He created the planet earth from this spot right here. This is the center of the earth. One of the most amazing things I discovered is that, it is here in Kurukṣetra that Bali Mahārāja gave the entire universe to Vāmana Deva when the Lord begged that king to give him three steps of land. This is where the pastime took place, right here!

Lord Vāmana Deva ki –Jaya!

As we know also, from the study of the Bhāgavatam, Lord Paraśurāma, He killed 21 generations of impious Kṣatriyas.  

evaṁ paramparā-prāptam

imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ

That this knowledge of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness comes down through a disciplic succession the saintly kings understood and implemented it. In that way, the Kṣatriyas have a very important role in Vedic society. They make sure that there is material prosperity and most important—spiritual prosperity. So if they are acting improperly, there are great obstacles to the goal of life. These Kṣatriyas, 21 generations, Paraśurāma took His chopper, [sound of chopping] ‘Chuk, Chuk’ ‘Chuk, Chuk, Chuk’—wiped them out. So then He collected all their blood. This is the gory part of the story. He collected all their blood and made these five lakes. These lakes are the blood of those 21 generations of Kṣatriyas. One may so much think, “I am not going to bathe there!” But just like when Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva touched the body of Hiraṇyakaśipu, he became purified to the point where he went back to the spiritual world, so when Paraśurāma killed these generations of Kṣatriyas, their blood was purified. So you can take bath. Just bring a good towel, so you get all the blood off [laughter].

There is one big lake and kind of four smaller lakes, so they are called Samanta-Pañcaka, these five lakes. You will see the big one, but I think when we do our Parikramā, you will see the other four as well. This is also the place where Lord Paraśurāma performed His penances for killing all those Kṣatriyas. Lord Vāmanadeva, Lord Paraśurāma, there are a lot of things that took place here. kṣetra means a large area, large piece of land, it’s not just this little village. It’s like VrajaMaṇḍala. Maṇḍala means the greater area of Vṛndāvan, not just Loi bazaar. Similarly this Kurukṣetra is a very big tract of land.

In days of yore, it went through different names. Through different epochs of history, it had different names but how it became known as Kurukṣetra is interesting. It’s named after King Kuru who was the forefather of the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas. He was a great king, and being a Rājarṣi, interested in spiritual life, he also himself practiced penance and austerities to become purified to do his sevā for Kṛṣṇa.

At one time in the history of the world, the Sarasvatī River used to flow by here. Now, she has gone underground; she is unseen. The Gaṅgā, the Jāmuna are seen, but Sarasvatī is not seen, but she used to flow right here. Mahārāja Kuru came here on the banks of the Sarasvatī to perform penance and then the Śāstra says that he took a golden plow, and he tilled the ground of the whole kṣetra. It didn’t yield just corn and wheat, but it’s very mystical. These are historical facts; we shouldn’t doubt them. When he tilled this sacred ground, it yielded eight virtuous qualities. Things that are very dear to our heart. As aspiring transcendentalists, we want to get rid of the bad. What are the bad things? You know—the lust—‘shuu’ [sound indicating fleeing away], the greed—‘go away’, anger —‘shuu’ [sound indicating fleeing away]; and we want to evoke or bring forth maha—virtuous qualities. We like to hear, “Well, what are these things I am trying to attain?”

He is plowing this land with a golden plow and what does he produce?—Truth, yoga, kindness, purity, charity, forgiveness, austerity and celibacy.

Lord Kṛṣṇa, He appreciated this so much, He gave King Kuru two blessings:

  1. Number one, that this particular kṣetra—this land would always be known after him and instead of just being a kṣetra, it would be known as Kurukṣetra.
  2. Kṛṣṇa gave King Kuru a second blessing that anyone who died in this kṣetra regardless of how, whatever, however horrible a sinner he was, if he died in this kṣetra, he would immediately attain mokṣa—liberation.

Hearing the glories of this Dhām is very important. I am just giving a short summary, scratching the surface. Saintly persons, great Sādhus, Ṛṣis, they used to come here all the time to perform their spiritual activities. Just like mundane, sensuous, wicked people, they congregate in places like brothels, bars, and gambling casinos and things like that, e.g., Las Vegas [laughter]. But Sādhus, they come to Kurukṣetra, so we welcome all of you—Sādhus and Sādhvīs. In particular, this was one of the favorite places of Sādhus. We all have our favorite places, right? There are Māyāpuravasis, Vṛndāvasis; some devotees like Purī; there are Govardhanavasis. Similarly this was one of the favorite places of Pulastya Muni.  He gives advice to all transcendentalists, all aspiring transcendentalists. He says, “Go to Kurukṣetra!” Why?

  1. Because it fulfills all deep spiritual desires.
  2. Just by seeing that place, all living entities are liberated from their sins.
  3. Whoever merely says, “I will go to Kurukṣetra,” is free from sin. Who would like to become free from all sinful reactions? Then repeat after me [loudly—everyone together]: “I will go to Kurukṣetra.” You are here [Laughter]. You are all sinless.  
  4. Then he says, “If the dust of Kurukṣetra raised by the wind touches a great sinner, then free from his sins, he attains the highest abode.”

Śrī Kurukṣetra Dhām ki – Jaya!

Śrī Pulastya Muni ki – Jaya!

It’s described here in the last Yuga, the DvāparaYuga, Kurukṣetra was not only spiritually potent but it was also extremely beautiful. You came on the bus through the industrial area that we passed through, you wonder, “Wow”. But before, there were green groves, lotus filled lakes and fertile pastures here in Kurukṣetra. There used to be a mantra, not official mantra, but I mean in the sense of what people would say. They would say, “One who lives in Kurukṣetra lives in heaven”. These are some of the glories of Kurukṣetra. How can even we count the glories of such a place that existed since SatyaYuga? Just like Vṛndāvan, we have been having our Vṛndāvan Parikramā, for five or six to seven years now, and we still don’t run out of things to say, because in Vṛndāvan there are 60 billion holy places. We have just started, Prabhus. We are going to have to take birth after birth after birth to see and benefit from all these holy places in Vraja.

But for us, in our particular tradition, what we hold dear to our hearts, of course, is the immortal wisdom of Bhagavad-Gītā, the ABCs, the foundation of the philosophy of the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. Another fact is that Kṛṣṇa came here with the residents of Dvārakā on the occasion of the solar eclipse. The important thing is that the residents of Vṛndāvan, they also came—apparently for the same reason. They all said, “Oh, well there is an eclipse, let’s go to Kurukṣetra.” “Okay, let’s go”. But like many things in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, there is a different level of depth and there is a deeper reason for their coming. They came here to see Kṛṣṇa. Not just to see Kṛṣṇa, they came here to convince Kṛṣṇa to come back to Vṛndāvan. Does someone here know how many years Kṛṣṇa was gone?—But you have to magnify that in a transcendental way, because we know in separation from Kṛṣṇa, pure devotees of the Lord, they feel even one second to be like twelve years, —“Oh Govinda, feeling your separation, I am considering a moment to be like 12 years or more and tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain”—this is the sentiment, the emotion of advanced devotees when Kṛṣṇa is not around.

We touched on this subject in a lecture the other day that as much as you are attached to something when you lose it, you have that much separation from that object or that person and how much do the residents of Vṛndāvan love Kṛṣṇa? We can hardly imagine. They loved Kṛṣṇa more than anyone has ever been loved before. Unlike material relationships that after some time diminish—perhaps after someone is gone because of whatever—the memory begins to fade and maybe the detachment starts. But this is not the case in spiritual life, where everything is always increasingĀnandāmbudhi-vardhanam. In the spiritual world, it’s not that you attain a certain level of love for Kṛṣṇa and then it stops; but it’s just ever increasing, ad infinitum, forever. We can’t imagine what it is like. How much the people of Vraja felt separation from Kṛṣṇa. He promised them He would come back. But He didn’t come back.

LotāBābā, he is still waiting. He’s one cowherd boy, waiting around the southern end of Govardhana Hill, where we went on Parikramā. It is near the Nṛsiṁha temple, we didn’t go a little further, but [if we had] there is a Deity of Lotā Bābā. He is a cowherd boy and Kṛṣṇa promised him,  “I am just going to go to Mathurā. I will be back in a few minutes.” Lotā, he is still waiting. The cowherd boy is still there. “No, let’s not go. He is going to come back. We don’t have to go home. He is going to come back.” He is still thinking like that.   

When the residents of Vṛndāvan heard that Kṛṣṇa was coming here to Kurukṣetra, they left Vṛndāvan immediately. There was no discussion and no planning. Only the cowherd boys had to stay back to milk the cows, but everybody else left. You couldn’t leave the cows un-milked so Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākur says, “The cowherd boys had to stay back because somebody had to milk the cows. Everybody else dropped everything—whatever they were doing, just like the Gopīs when Kṛṣṇa calls them in the forest with His flute at the Vaṁśī-Vata, they dropped everything. Vṛndāvan just became vacant in a moment. Everyone headed for the North to Kurukṣetra. There was this long caravan of Vrajavāsīs coming towards the North, to Kurukṣetra.

Now one of the favorite activities, especially of the young girls in Vṛndāvan is to always sing songs about Kṛṣṇa. That’s how they deal with their feelings of separation; they sing songs because Kṛṣṇa is present in that transcendental sound vibration. But that particular time, they were so overwhelmed with the possibility of seeing Him again after so many years, they were unable to sing.  Just try to imagine, Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākur, who gives us an even deeper understanding of these pastimes in his writings, he says, “Their teeth clattered [kad kad kad: sound of the clattering] and their voices choked, so they couldn’t sing.” They were just so excited, “We are going to see Him again.” Even if a few of the Gopīs were able to sing something, the words came out all garbled, like all mixed up, because their minds were so overwhelmed, so blissful—they are going to see Kṛṣṇa again after a long time! They were so transfixed on this opportunity that was coming to them again, they forgot to eat and they forgot to sleep. The Ācāryas say that by the time they arrived at Kurukṣetra, they were all emaciated. Now that reminds us that the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvan, they themselves were so much involved in devotional activity, with the expectation of having Kṛṣṇa’s Darśana. Prabhupāda says they were also sort of emaciated. They didn’t look big, healthy, and strong, because they didn’t take time to eat or sleep. They wanted to utilize every second in chanting, the Lord’s Holy Names:

Hare-Kṛṣṇa-Hare-Kṛṣṇa-Kṛṣṇa-Kṛṣṇa-Hare-Hare

Hare-Rāma-Hare-Rāma-Rāma-Rāma-Hare-Hare

Viśvanāth, he described it as sort of a pitiful scene, these bullock-carts are coming North and there are these young girls kind of draped over the rails and kind of laying down. Someone seeing this scene without any knowledge of the transcendental position of these Gopīs and what was actually taking place, they would be mortified: “Look at those girls, they are not eating, they are not sleeping.” But as soon as they approached Kurukṣetra, they smelled the aroma of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body, and they came back to life. Not only did they come back to life, they went mad with Kṛṣṇa-Prema, mad with love for Kṛṣṇa, you couldn’t hold them down in the bullock carts, just smelling the transcendental scent of Kṛṣṇa’s form.

This transcendental aroma of Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body—“sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahā”—sometimes poses problems for Him like, there is a pastime out near Yavat where, Kṛṣṇa was secretly meeting the Gopīs and Kuṭilā was sent by Jaṭilā to find where Rādhārāṇī was. Then as Kuṭilā was coming, some of the Gopī messengers who were posted as guards, they [whistle sound]; they made a little noise like that. The Gopīs knew that, so then Kṛṣṇa hid in the forest and the girls pretended nothing was happening. But when Kuṭilā came, she said “I know Kṛṣṇa was here, I can smell Him.” [Laughter]. So it can cause a problem sometimes—not for us, we wouldn’t mind.

Finally when the residents arrived, they kind of went to their various hotels—their Dharma-śālās, the places where they were staying—[and] prepared themselves, and then Kṛṣṇa agreed to meet them in different groups. First He met with Nanda and Yaśodā, and of course Kṛṣṇa this time, He was a King. He was ruling over Dvārakā­, and He was fighting many demoniac armies and so forth, and so when He came like a Kṣatriya and when Yaśodā saw Him, she got bewildered. “This is my Lala? My little boy?” She refused to see Him in His Aiśvarya Bhāva, in His mood of great opulence, so she took Kṛṣṇa, a grown-up boy—man—and she placed Him on her lap and milk began to flow from her breasts out of motherly affection. This is her relationship with Kṛṣṇa. They just saw Him as a young child. Even Kṛṣṇa was appearing with some of His various opulences—the residents of Vṛndāvan, their eyes are covered, blinded by this Vraja-Bhakti. They don’t see Him like that, but they always see Him in their particular Rasa. Even if He is God, they never recognize that and therefore it is said, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” They see the beauty of their intimate spontaneous loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa.

Then some of the older cowherd boys like Raktak, Sudāmā, Subala; they were allowed to come, and they kind of said, “Well, let us wrestle, Kṛṣṇa.” Kṛṣṇa kind of hesitated because the Dvārakā-vasis were there. To see the King wrestle with some boys? It wasn’t appropriate. Kṛṣṇa had to control His emotions, because emotions were—He did want to engage with the Vrajavāsīs—they are His favorites because of their pure love, but He had to control Himself. So He didn’t wrestle with the boys.

Like the King, He gives council, He gives time for people to come forward and meet Him. Kṛṣṇa finished it for the day, but He hadn’t met the Gopīs yet. But He didn’t want to meet the Gopīs with everyone around because it was quite confidential. So He arranged to meet the Gopīs at some secluded place. I am not sure where it is here. But there is some place just like out at NandaGram, there is a place where, Dinabandhu Prabhu, my Parikramā Guru, he takes the devotees there where Kṛṣṇa met the Gopīs secretly. Here also there’s some place, maybe we will find that place and there, after a long time the Gopīs finally had Darśana of Kṛṣṇa.

One time Prabhupāda, he helped us understand the love of the Gopīs by saying in a very simple way that the Gopīs, they never ask Kṛṣṇa for anything, always wanted to serve Kṛṣṇa. What’s more? They were ready to sacrifice anything for Kṛṣṇa, even their reputations. You can sacrifice many things but, reputation—Kṛṣṇa mentions in Gītā, “For one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death.” Thus reputation is an important thing, but for the Gopīs, “Let it go to hell, if we can please Kṛṣṇa.” This is how exalted devotees of the Lord they are. These are the subject matters which we are—obviously not qualified, even to speak on. But because we are here, and because these pastimes happened here, we must say something and by hearing these things, our hearts do become purified.

Kṛṣṇa, when he met the Gopīs here, He expressed His undivided and unalloyed love for the young girls of Vṛndāvan. So what was their response? “Then come back to Vraja. You are saying you love us; your love for us is so deep. Then please, accept our request.” Love is something reciprocal. Isn’t it? You reciprocate with your lover; it’s never a one-way street. It’s always reciprocal. The Gopīs said, “Then prove it. Come back with us to Vṛndāvan because that’s the atmosphere, where we can exchange in a very intimate loving way. Not here in a battlefield. You are dressed like a King, what’s this? We are restricted here, but when were we restricted in Vṛndāvan? Please come back.” Kṛṣṇa started thinking, “Hmm, what to do?”

For those few moments that Kṛṣṇa was contemplating their request, the Gopīs turned to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and they said, “You be our spokesman. You ask Him. He can’t refuse you”. Why can’t he refuse Rādhārāṇī? Because She is Vṛndāvanesvari, She is the controller of Vṛndāvan. She is Madana-Mohan Mohini, She’s the controller of the controller of cupid. Kṛṣṇa is controlled by Her pure devotion.

The Gopīs were thinking, “Surely if Rādhikā asks, Kṛṣṇa can’t say ‘No’ to Rādhārāṇī.” They are shy, young girls, they are trained in Vedic etiquette, so Rādhārāṇī felt a little uncomfortable just walking up to Kṛṣṇa in front of everybody and saying, “Come.” She used the technique, She spoke to Lalitā—and in a loud voice because Kṛṣṇa was just there nearby so Kṛṣṇa would overhear Her speaking to Lalitā—the following verse which is dear to the heart of every Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava. Is there any verse which is dearer to the hearts of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas? The following verse or Rādhārāṇī speaking Her heart to Lalitā and indirectly speaking to Kṛṣṇa.

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī later on, Prabhupāda says 500 years ago used this verse in describing the mood of Caitanya Mahāprabhu during Their pastimes together in Jagannātha Purī. That’s another pastime. Rādhā is speaking to Lalitā, revealing Her heart to Kṛṣṇa, “My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Kṛṣṇa on this field of Kurukṣetra. I am the same Rādhārāṇī and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant. But I would still like to go to the bank of the Jāmuna, beneath the trees of the forests there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within the forest of Vṛndāvan.”  This is Her plea to Kṛṣṇa to please come back to the atmosphere of Vṛndāvan for their transcendental pastimes. Very famous, important verse. Actually Kṛṣṇa wanted to go back to Vṛndāvan. Kṛṣṇa actually says in Gītā, “All of them as they surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.” But the Ācāryas say, first He had to consult with Vasudeva and Devakī, to get their permission because He was associated. They are His parents also, so He had to get their permission to leave Dvārakā­ to go back to Vṛndāvan. That’s one layer: ask your parents. But in the weeks that followed, at nights He would secretly have the Rāsa dance with the girls.

After some time, three months had gone and by that time, the solar eclipse had only lasted a day but, everybody kind of hung around, because Kṛṣṇa was there. But after three months because of the respective duties, different devotees in different categories, they started to go back to different places. But the Vrajavāsīs, they didn’t go anywhere, they stuck to Kṛṣṇa like glue. They were always engaged in His service and they kept asking Kṛṣṇa, “So you have made up your mind? You are coming back to Vraja?” “Uh, I haven’t fully decided yet!” Finally considering all things, Vasudeva consulted with Devakī, but the word came from Vasudeva. He said, “So Kṛṣṇa you are free to go back to Vraja, but only after you kill one or two more demons”. The Gopīs, when they heard that, “Oh, only one or two more demons, Kṛṣṇa killed so many demons when He was in Vṛndāvan. That will be easy. He will be coming home very soon.” To prepare for Kṛṣṇa’s arrival back in Vṛndāvan, they immediately got back in their chariots and sped back to Vṛndāvan to get everything ready for the grand arrival of Kṛṣṇa, to have Him back home in Vraja. But they knew Kṛṣṇa better than anyone else and they all knew when they were leaving, “Actually, it’s going to take a long time for Him to come back. He promised us before and He stayed away so many years.” They were going there with some hesitation, and especially Rādhārāṇī.

As the Gopīs are leaving this place Kurukṣetra, actually Kṛṣṇa went out a little bit to escort them out for some distance. Kṛṣṇa was coming back from Kurukṣetra into Dvārakā­ and Rādhārāṇī and the Gopīs were going to Vṛndāvan. Rādhārāṇī was actually standing on Her horse cart like a statue staring into the clouds of dust behind Her, knowing that Kṛṣṇa was traveling in the opposite direction to Dvārakā­ and tears were rolling down Her cheeks. She knew what was happening. Kṛṣṇa is going that way and She is going this way. That’s not what She wanted. Standing like a statue and just seeing these clouds of dust, as Kṛṣṇa’s chariot was going away, the tears are rolling down.

Actually the essence of that verse, “Oh Govinda, feeling your separation, I am considering a moment to be like 12 years, and tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain.” This is the exalted stage of pure devotional service. Lalitā stood up and made Rādhā sit. “You are not supposed to stand on these chariots, you sit down.” She confronted her by the following words, “Oh Rādhārāṇī, oh beautiful friend, do not lament! For it is well known that sacred Kurukṣetra fulfills all desires. The great King Kuru tilled this land and made it fertile with his piety. Now Kṛṣṇa has planted the seed of His promise there, a seed that will sprout and bear fruit by the time we arrive in Vṛndāvan. Rest assured that He, for Whom we came to Kurukṣetra giving up our home and lands will soon be tapping on your window, begging you to join Him in a grove, on the shore of the river Yamunā.”

Bhaktivinode Ṭhākur says that because of these particular pastimes, there are two transcendental moods that permeate Kurukṣetra, and he says it in a very nice way that outshines all other influences here:

  1. Number one is the pain of being separated from Kṛṣṇa once again, because they came and now they have to go back and experience it all over again.
  2. Number two, the mood here is the great hope that, “Kṛṣṇa will come back to Vṛndāvan again.”

These are the two moods that just permeate this Kurukṣetra. The question has been discussed and debated, and churned you could say through the centuries by various devotees. It’s always on their minds, “Did Kṛṣṇa ever go back to Vraja?” It’s very esoterical and we have already been speaking for forty minutes, but do try to pay attention because this is the bliss; this is the real news. What’s happening, Prabhu? This is the real what’s happening. This is the essence of life, this is the life of our life. What Kṛṣṇa does? Did He ever go back to Vṛndāvan?

Jīva Gosvāmī says He did go back in Aprakaṭa-Līlā, means that—there is the unmanifest pastimes. When Kṛṣṇa left to go back to the spiritual world, the pastimes are still going on, even right now in Vṛndāvan but they are unmanifest. Kṛṣṇa would go back from time to time in Vṛndāvan, but they were all Aprakaṭa Līlā—unmanifest, only the most, you know the real Vrajavāsīs, they were experiencing Kṛṣṇa’s association and dancing with Him and singing with Him. But in PrakaṭaLīlā, the manifest pastimes; does He go back? —No, He didn’t. The Ratha-Yātrā—the pastime of taking Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma back to Vṛndāvan, that’s like a wish pastime. It’s the hope, the aspiration, the desire to bring Kṛṣṇa back. But, Kṛṣṇa didn’t go back. How can He be so cruel? There are two answers again:

  1. Whenever Kṛṣṇa is gone, His devotees feel His separation and in separation their love increases. Like we have that saying, “separation makes the heart grow fonder.” It’s just one of those transcendental tricks. It’s not that they are really suffering, it’s not that they are lamenting, it’s not like crying like we would do on losing something material. It’s something we will understand when we are more advanced.  

Once again, I will quote my short inquiry of Śrīla Prabhupāda.

[Me]: “Śrīla Prabhupāda, you have mentioned several times in recent lectures that a pure devotee can see Kṛṣṇa everywhere, that He is never out of your vision. And at the same time in Śikṣāṣṭakam prayers, Lord Caitanya explains, ‘Oh Govinda, I am feeling your separation to be 12 years or more. I am feeling all vacant in this world in your absence.’  Can you explain this?”

[Śrīla Prabhupāda’s reply]: “Yes. He is explaining how you can become mad without seeing Kṛṣṇa. That is the higher stage. It cannot be explained. But when you go higher and higher, you will understand.”

Like that in separation, one becomes more attached to Kṛṣṇa—and that’s our goal.

  1. Now there’s a second reason Kṛṣṇa didn’t go back to Vṛndāvan and that was noted by Vasudeva when Kṛṣṇa asked his permission to go back. He said, “Okay, you can go back, but you have to kill one or two more demons first.” This actually was one of Kṛṣṇa’s main concerns, one of the main reasons He decided not to go back, because there were still a lot of demons out there. That was one of the three principle reasons that Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet—to:
    1. Deliver the pious,
    2. Annihilate the miscreants and
    3. Reestablish the principles of Dharma—religion.

As Prabhupāda puts it so poetically in His Kṛṣṇa Book, which is the summary of the tenth canto of Śrīmat Bhāgavatam, he says that, the earth was overburdened by the unnecessary defense force of demoniac rulers. There were lots of demoniac kings, not just Kaṁsa, there were plenty, and they were a force to be reckoned with. They were naturally against the pious, naturally against devotees of the Lord. Baladeva Vidyābhūshaṇa says that Kṛṣṇa was afraid if He didn’t kill these demons, they would attack Vṛndāvan.

Kṛṣṇa was especially wary of Jarāsandha. Why Jarāsandha?—Because Kṛṣṇa had killed Kaṁsa, and Kaṁsa had two wives—Asti and Prāpti, who were the daughters of Jarāsandha. Jarāsandha gave His two daughters to Kaṁsa. Daddy’s little girls, he gave them to Kaṁsa as his wives, and after Kṛṣṇa killed their husband, Kaṁsa, the two wives went back to daddy, to Jarāsandha and they complained, [crying]: “Hey Daddy, this Kṛṣṇa killed our husband.” Jarāsandha said, [gravely]: “Yes, I have heard.” “No but Daddy, you don’t know all the details. The Vaiṣṇavas are not giving the real story. Our husband, Kaṁsa, was so sober and so sweet. We know; we are his wives. He was very sober, very sweet. He was simply sitting and watching Kṛṣṇa play with the wrestlers and somehow Kṛṣṇa just kind of overdid it and the wrestlers died. Then without any reason at all, Kṛṣṇa dragged our husband Kaṁsa down from his throne and killed him and then dragged him around the wrestling arena. Because Kṛṣṇa was his nephew, our husband Kaṁsa, he didn’t fight back. They say that generally an uncle does not even slap his nephew. Therefore, our very sweet and sober husband did not protest when Kṛṣṇa was beating him, because uncles don’t protest when the little nephews get upset. Our husband was defenseless.” And then they started to cry.

Now, any of you have daughters? Śrīkhara? When they start to cry, you ask, “Okay, what do you want?” Right? Caturātmā? He is just laughing here in total self-realization [Laughter]. Jarāsandha took their story to heart and he  took up a vow. His vow was “I will go to Mathurā and Vṛndāvan and kill them all.” He started with Mathurā, and He attacked Mathurā 17 times. Sometimes devotees ask, well, why 17? Why didn’t Kṛṣṇa just kill him in the first battle but, actually Balarāma asked that question to Kṛṣṇa. Like you know, “10, 11, 12—what’s going on?” Kṛṣṇa says, “No, he has assembled a great army of the demons. Let more and more demons come. We will kill them all and in the final battle, we will kill Jarāsandha”. So Kṛṣṇa was a great strategist as a king.

Someone inquired from Kṛṣṇa that, “Well, you killed a lot of demons in Vṛndāvan. Just go back to Vṛndāvan and you can kill them when they come there,” and Kṛṣṇa just laughed. He said, “These Vrajavāsīs, they don’t have weapons and swords. They just have sticks for herding the cows and a few bugle horns. How are we going to deal with these great demons like Dantavakra, Kālayavana and Jarāsandha? We have to meet them on the battlefield—not Vṛndāvan.” But then someone brought up the point, “No! You know, Pūtanā, Tṛṇāvarta, Dhenukāsura—these were powerful Asuras and Kṛṣṇa  killed them. He as a little boy was a big demon killer. Surely, it’s not a problem for Kṛṣṇa to kill these.” But then Viśvanātha Cakravārtī Ṭhākur, he counters, he says, “Actually, Kṛṣṇa didn’t really fight with the demons that Kaṁsa sent to Vṛndāvan. He only played with them.”

He says, “Technically, He didn’t killed Pūtanā, He only sucked her breast a little too hard. He was just playing with these demons like sometimes a cat gets a mouse and you know, the cat is not really hungry, so she just bashes the mouse around a little bit, playing and ‘OOPS’ killed it, sorry.” [Laughter]. Kṛṣṇa was a cowherd boy. He was very playful, He wasn’t killing these demons. He was playing with them, but because He is God, they got the worse end of the stick [Laughter].

Viśvanāth said, “Kṛṣṇa didn’t actually kill Tṛṇāvarta; He only wanted to play in the sky.” When the demon came in the form of a whirlwind, Kṛṣṇa grabbed on, “Woo-hoo! I get to go high in the sky.” But He was so high in the sky, He got a little afraid so He was like really holding on.

Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākur says, “And because He was holding on, He is God—He is very heavy—Tṛṇāvarta crashed to the ground, but that wasn’t Kṛṣṇa’s intent.” [Laughter]. He was just playing, and sometimes the cat plays with the mouse and the mouse dies.

Then Dhenukāsura and the ass demons—Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākur said that just like little boys, they just throw rocks, “Look at me, I can throw!” Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were just throwing the demons like that into the trees. They weren’t going to kill, but were just playing, “Watch this—woo hoo—Wow!” [Sound of ass demons falling onto trees]. [Laughter]. But they all died. [Laughter]. He also mentions Aghāsura. Aghāsura of course opened his mouth and the cowherd boys went in and then when Kṛṣṇa went in, Kṛṣṇa’s body became burning like fire and then that killed Aghāsura. But His body became burning like fire because of the digestive juices inside the snake’s stomach. It wasn’t that He planned to kill him but the digestive juices are like fire, so they made Kṛṣṇa very hot, and Kṛṣṇa became so hot the demon died, so it was all play.

Vṛndāvan is all play; it’s all play. All the demons are killed by the Vishnu expansions outside of Vṛndāvan, so the real demons like Jarāsandha, Kālayavana, Dantavakra, many of them were still there, and they were intent. Jarāsandha had taken a vow, “I will go to Mathurā to avenge his wives whose husband is gone. I will go to Mathurā, Vṛndāvan, I will kill them all.” For Kṛṣṇa, there is no way He is going to go back—He is going to face these demons and then when He kills them, then He will go back to Vraja.  

These are the two reasons He didn’t return: to protect the Vrajavāsīs, and on a deeper level to increase their feelings of love. Therefore Bhaktivinode Ṭhākur once stated that, “Kurukṣetra is the highest place, because the Gopīs’ feelings of separation reached their highest level.” There is an English maxim, “So close, yet so very far away.” Therefore Bhaktivinode Ṭhākur said one time that this was the place he actually wanted to leave his body. I will quote Śrīla  Bhakti-Siddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākur. Śrīla Bhakti-Siddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākur once surprised his audience by saying that shallow thinkers appreciate Vṛndāvan, but a man of real Bhajan, real divine aspiration, will aspire to live in Kurukṣetra. He noted that Bhaktivinode Ṭhākur after visiting many different places of pilgrimage remarked, “I would like to spend the last days of my life in Kurukṣetra.” So these are some things to contemplate while we are in this very sacred abode.

Let us appreciate our good fortune in being here. Take full advantage. What does it mean to take full advantage? To spend the maximum amount of time in:—“Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam”—hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. Associating with devotees, visiting these actual places where these pastimes took place—that’s very purifying. We will hear more from other speakers as well, but we are not going to take a break and just rest and go to sleep. We are going to jump into action. We are going to get on the buses and we are going to go out to the actual place where Kṛṣṇa stood on the chariot and spoke the immortal wisdom of Bhagavad-Gītā to Arjuna. We are going to that exact place. There is a big tree there [Haribol!]. We can have Kīrtana; we can read from Bhagavad-Gītā, have some commentary.

We can come back and take Darśana of the five lakes here, the lakes of blood. Especially this big lake and meditate how Brahmā created the earth while sitting on a lotus flower in the middle of that lake. Nice meditation. Then we will have lunch and then I think what I am going to do this afternoon is just sit on the banks of that lake and chant japa and get back to the basics and read Bhagavad-Gītā. Then this evening, we will go on Harināma around the five lakes and then tomorrow morning, we will have another morning program. Somehow we will tear ourselves away from this sacred abode around 12 or 1 o’clock and go back to our beloved Vṛndāvan Dhām. We have two more weeks of Parikramā. So much nectar! We have experienced so much nectar. We have so much nectar ahead of us. All these austerities we have to undergo, they are just paling in comparison. We don’t even think about them anymore.

Śrī Kurukṣetra Dhām Ki – Jaya!

Śrī Bhagavad-Gītā as it is, Ki – Jaya!

The Vrajavāsīs, the Residents of Vṛndāvan, ki – Jaya!

Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām ki – Jaya!

Śrīla Prabhupāda ki – Jaya!

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe ……………………………….Śyāma!

Hare Kṛṣṇa!

Thank You! [Applause, “Sādhu-Sādhu”].

Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Govinda Temple, Jaipur -HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Lecture

HH Indradyumna Swami at Samadhi

Pastimes of Govindajī

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami

Before we begin I’d like to introduce you to two very wonderful disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda who’ve joined us this morning. They’re going to be with us for a few days. My dear Godbrother, HG Batu Gopāla Prabhu, whom I originally met in New York. He used to preach to me; he helped make me a devotee. He used to engage me in helping him paint the temple when I was a new BhaktaBhakta Brian. I still remember his classes on Īśopaniṣad and I still remember going out on the streets of Detroit with a bright white head just shaved up and new crisp white dhoti and he was leading, playing mṛdungas, “Oḿ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaḿ pūrṇāt…”

In time we went our separate ways, I was always so inspired. I always considered him light years ahead of me in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness and with his wonderful wife, they raised two beautiful daughters, pure devotees of the Lord already in their young age in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. And he’s come to Jaipur for his first time, so we get to serve him now and show him the wonderful sights of this beautiful city. So please offer him all the help he may need while he’s with us on our Parikramā, offer him all the respect and adoration that he deserves. If it wasn’t of him I might not be sitting here. Batu Gopāla Prabhu ki Jaya!!!

Another devotee maybe doesn’t even need an introduction, a very, very famous devotee who did so much personal service for Śrīla Prabhupāda. You see her in many of the old photos with Śrīla Prabhupāda. She was here in Jaipur cooking for Śrīla Prabhupāda when he visited here: Mother Malati Prabhu. She had so much personal association with Śrīla Prabhupāda. She will share some of the wonderful pastimes she had with Śrīla Prabhupāda here in Jaipur a little later. She’s done many wonderful services. We could go on for many hours. She’s a member of the GBC, watch out! And of course she’s joined with her beloved Godsister, my Godsister, Śītala Devī Dāsī. She came all the way from Vṛndāvan down with us here; she made it. I was praying to Kṛṣṇa and all the incarnations that she would make it, especially Dhanvantari. And Manyu Prabhu came down with us from Vṛndāvan, as well, with his son. And Kalasamvara Prabhu is here. Caturātmā Prabhu is here. Did I get everybody? Ah, Baḍa-Hari Prabhu. Well, you know Baḍa-Hari Prabhu. I think I’m here, too. All us old guys are having senior moments. We’re forgetting everything! And Uttamaśloka, my favorite translator, has joined us from Vaikunthaloka.

[oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya …prayers]

I will start speaking without further ado, because it’s going to get pretty hot in about 45 minutes or an hour; and we want to take a little Prasādam and our plan is later in the morning to go over to the Rādhā Govinda temple, or the Rādhā Gopīnātha temple. We have come to Jaipur. The name Jaipur literally means the “City of Victory”. Why this very beautiful city was given this name we will reveal later on in our talk this morning. But for the moment, for now, I’d like all of you to meditate on exactly where we are in the middle of this very beautiful garden, this very beautiful complex here at the famous RādhāGovinda temple.

If you could go up in the air, well you can with our drone, if you go up in the air and look down, you would see this temple more or less is situated exactly in the middle of this big city. There’s a reason for this. The reason is that for the people of this city, Jaipur, the most important Person in the city, the most important Person in the country, the most important Person in the world, the most important Person in the creation, lives here with His eternal consort. Can you guess who the most important Person in creation is and who is His eternal consort?—The most important Person in the material creation and the most important Person in the spiritual world is ŚrīŚrī RādhāGovinda and His eternal consort, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

It was planned in exactly that same way. This city had a specific plan about 300 years ago. The king himself actually became the architect of this city and he started on this big blank page and the first thing he did was put the temple of Govindajī right in the center of the city, and he put his quarters right beside the temple. Every morning when he’d wake up, the first Darśana he’d have would be the lotus feet of his Iṣṭadeva, Govindajī. In other words the city of Jaipur was planned with the worship of Govindajī in mind. There’s a saying in the West, in Europe, in Italy: “All roads lead to Rome.” You could say here in Jaipur, “All roads, all hearts, all minds lead to this beautiful temple of RādhāGovinda.”

How this all came about?—This history which all Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas just love to recount and to hear, I’ll explain this morning in summary, because I gave a similar talk a few years ago. It was actually when I looked in my notes, it was 47 pages, so I reduced it to nine. But we will get the essence, and that’s important about the history of Govinda. Actually here they say Govindajī, and those of you are Indian know that “ji” is affectionate. Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvan is very easy to approach, He is very loving, He has Rasa with His devotees, so there is an intimate relationship, so we are allowed to call the Lord “ji”, Govindajī, the locals call Him Govindajī.

This history of Govindajī goes back 5,000 years just after the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa from this planet back to the spiritual world. Kṛṣṇa’s departure from the Earth is called MauṣalaLīlā. Actually, many of you are maybe just hearing this word, this phrase for the first time: MauṣalaLīlā. How many of you are familiar with this term, MauṣalaLīlā? One devotee! Probably, because he reads the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Kṛṣṇa’s departure from this Earth planet is called MauṣalaLīlā and is described in the first few chapters of the eleventh canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. We don’t hear much about Kṛṣṇa’s departure. Of course, Śrīla Prabhupāda does touch upon it in various purports throughout the Bhāgavatam, because it is a Līlā of Kṛṣṇa. But you very rarely if ever hear our Gurus, our Sannyāsī or esteemed Bhāgavatam speakers lecturing about it or what to speak extensively about Kṛṣṇa’s leaving this world. On our Vaiṣṇava calendar, there’s never, I’ve never seen a disappearance day festival for Lord Kṛṣṇa.

His appearance is celebrated in a magnificent way, but you never say, “Oh, today is Kṛṣṇa’s disappearance. Let’s have a festival.” Never mentioned. No one even talks about it. We sometimes celebrate the disappearance day of great devotees, but we never celebrate the disappearance of the Lord. Why? Well, at present we’re all so busy trying to revive our lost relationship with Kṛṣṇa, what to speak, you know, we don’t want to think about Him leaving our lives. We’re trying to reconnect with Him. The word religion comes from the Latin word ‘religiō which means to literally reconnect. To reconnect to what, with God, with Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda says the word “yoga” has the same connotation, the same meaning, to connect with the Absolute Truth. So generally, we don’t like to talk about Kṛṣṇa’s departure. We’re meditating all the time on meeting Him again: ‘Jagannātha svāmī nayana pathagāmī bhavatu me’.…Oh Lord of the Universe, kindly be visible to me. So we’re just aspiring devotees and we think in this way; imagine if you’re an advanced devotee, you’ve had Kṛṣṇa’s association, and He disappears from your life. What is that like? Logic tells us that as much as you’re attached to something when you lose that thing, to the same degree you feel separation.

A mundane example, you know, if you lose your Gamshā —it’s okay; but if you lose your watch in the bathroom, then “Woah!” You know, the separation is more intense, because of the attachment. The advanced devotees, especially the devotees on the highest platform, Uttama-Adhikārīs, pure devotees of the Lord, who have KṛṣṇaPrema, how do they experience the separation of the Lord? It’s no mystery; it’s described by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭakam prayers. Something He is preparing us for at some point in our progress in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. “Oh Govinda, feeling your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain. I am feeling all vacant in the world in your absence.”

One time ŚrīlaPrabhupāda was giving Darśana on the grass at New Māyāpura in France. And he was speaking on the subject matter about how the pure devotee, he just sees Kṛṣṇa everywhere. He sees Kṛṣṇa in everything, he’s always with Kṛṣṇa. Oh, he was elaborating, giving analogies, examples and then about 45 minutes later, he finished and said, “So are there any questions?” So I just wanted to get Prabhupāda’s attention, so I thought up a question. I said, “Prabhupāda, you—” I raised my hand, he said, “Yes”—I said, “Your speaking how the pure devotee sees Kṛṣṇa everywhere, but in His Śikṣāṣṭakam prayers, Lord Caitanya says that He’s feeling separation from Kṛṣṇa, He doesn’t feel the Lord’s presence. He’s suffering in that way, how do we—it seems contradictory.” So Prabhupāda looked at me for a moment and [acting out Prabhupāda]. He started to explain, he said, “Yes, the Lord goes away to make His devotee mad for Him.” And then he paused and looked at me a little closer and said, “But anyway these things you will understand one day when you are very advanced. We will not discuss this anymore.”

This is a subject matter for very elevated devotees, but we can appreciate that the residents of Vṛndāvan in particular because they were so attached to Kṛṣṇa, when He left, they felt so much separation. There were devotees all over India, all over the planet, there were devotees in Dwarka, devotees in Mathurā, devotees in Vṛndāvan but they all had a common trait amongst them: that was they all loved Kṛṣṇa more than anyone’s ever been loved before.

When Kṛṣṇa left, we can hardly imagine their pangs of separation. So the ruler of Vṛndāvan, the executive king of Vraja Maṇḍala, of that area of India, of the surrounding areas, was actually Kṛṣṇa’s grandson at the time that Kṛṣṇa left this world. His name was Vajranābha. So as a ruler he was very concerned for his people, the ruler has to take care of the material needs and the spiritual needs of the population and he was a devotee, so he was feeling “How will all these devotees that are literally dying in separation, what can I do to appease them, to satisfy them? Our beloved Lord has left. What can I do? They’re just crying. No one’s doing any service, no one’s moving, no one is hardly even breathing. They’re just crying.”

Fortunately, for them and for us and for the countless generations that will come in the future, he came up with a great idea. He decided to supervise the carving of and the installation of different Forms of Kṛṣṇa according to different places where Kṛṣṇa performed His pastimes throughout Vṛndāvan. This is a good idea, because as we know, the Deity form of the Lord is non-different from the Lord. As the young brāhmaṇa said to SākṣiGopāla when he met Him in Vṛndāvan, he said, “My dear Lord, you are not a statue. You are directly the son of Mahārāja Nanda.Any devotee who approaches the Lord sincerely, and engages in service to the Arcā-vigraha, the Murti of the Lord, then by His mercy, by the mercy of Guru and Gaurāṅga, even in the neophyte stage that devotee feels or experiences His presence.

Vajranābha, he personally supervised the carving of eight Deities. Now bear in mind he was the grandson of Kṛṣṇa, he knew what Kṛṣṇa looked like. So he personally supervised the carving. That’s better than a photograph. He personally was with the Lord, he knew the mood of the Lord, he knew the Līlās of the Lord, he knew the countenance of the Lord, everything about the Lord, so he watched the carving of each Deity. He sat and, “No, no, move that there—okay, ah, perfect! Place that Deity at GovindaKuṇḍa, place that Deity at Vaṁśīvaṭa, place that Deity at SevāKunja”, like that. Whatever the mood of the Lord was in a particular Līlā, he established the Deities there. All, these eight Deities around Vraja.

He supervised the carving of this beautiful carving of:

  • Govindajī;
  • Harideva, which is the Deity worshipped at Govardhana Hill;
  • BaladevaDaujī, which is another Deity, we passed on our Parikramā on Govardhana Hill;
  • Keśava, a Deity who has unfortunately disappeared;
  • Śrī Gopāla, who Madhavendra Purī found also at Govardhana, is now worshipped as Śrīnathaji;
  • SasksiGopāla, I mentioned briefly;
  • Madana-Mohana, we visited that temple of Madana-Mohana; and
  • Gopīnātha—later in the morning, we’re going to go see Gopīnātha.

All these Deities were carved and the dresses were made and the ornaments were made and the installation was done and they were established very nicely, and different devotees who had different moods would come and worship the Lord in these different parts. Something was there: “Ah, okay, Kṛṣṇa has left but He is present here in His arcā-vigraha form.” They were appeased somewhat. Prabhupāda said in New Dvārakā­ when he was installing the little RādhāKṛṣṇa Deities, “If you serve these Deities nicely according to all the rules and regulations,” he said in his lecture, “One day, these Deities will speak to you.” The devotees in VrajaMaṇḍala, they would be somewhat appeased. Unfortunately, after the Lord disappeared, well you know what happened. The sun set so to speak. And the dark age of KaliYuga began. With the disappearance of the Lord, immediately the dark age of Kali Yuga began.

Foreign invaders began descending in India, plundering the wealth of this country, just destroying much of its heritage. In particular, Muslim invaders would destroy temples and Deities. So during this time, this dark time in Vaiṣṇava culture, devotees had to hide their beloved Deities. Can you imagine? Many of you have Deities. It came to the point where you couldn’t worship your Deities anymore because the invaders were coming plundering your town, breaking your temple. You had to go somewhere and hide your Deities and never know what the future would be. What would that be [like]?

These eight Deities were hidden by Their devotees, by their pujaris, and they hid Them in the bushes, in the jungle., Sometimes they placed Them in lakes or ponds, they’d submerge Them in the water. Sometimes, they’d dig big holes in the Earth and bury Them in the Earth and create a secret map and give it to somebody to keep, to some grandmother, you know, it was all very secretive. The Deities were hidden and after time went on, people pretty much forgot where the Deities were. So it looks like that’s the end.

But as we all experience in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, or if you’re new to Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, you will experience in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, no matter how sad the story is, in our lives, in our community, in our organization, ultimately there’s always a happy ending. Last year one of my dear God-brothers, BimalaPrasāda, passed away and I was really lamenting. And one of my friends said, “No, he reasons ill who says that a Vaiṣṇava dies, when thou art living still in sound. A Vaiṣṇava dies to live and while living tries to spread the Holy Name around. Don’t lament for Bimala, he is in a better position now.” I went, “Haribol!” There’s always a happy ending in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. This is a transcendental movement. If we’re sincere and we’re practicing nicely, eventually everything becomes auspicious.

In this particular case, this particular history where all these very famous Deities carved by—you could say installed by—Vajranābha and worshipped by the residents of Vṛndāvan, then hidden in lakes and ponds and under the Earth—They were rediscovered by the very plan of the Lord Himself. He felt it so important these Deities be rediscovered and worshipped for the benefit of the world. He made a plan Himself that They could all be rediscovered. Who is that Lord Who made this plan?

kṛṣṇa-varnam tvishakṛṣṇam

sangopangastra-parshadam

yajñaih sankirtana-prayair

yajanti hi su-medhasah

Kṛṣṇa came in this age as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And part of His plan for spreading Kṛṣṇa Consciousness throughout India and eventually the world was initially to set up a spiritual headquarters in none other than Śrī VṛndāvanDhām, to revive the glories of Vṛndāvan. Because 4,500 years into this inauspicious age of Kali Yuga, externally, to the external vision, Vṛndāvan had become just overgrown; it had become like a jungle, just a few old Bābās living there, chanting, but it was covered. Of course, it’s never covered. It’s always the spiritual world, but it appeared like that.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu called upon His most intimate disciples (the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvan) to whom He revealed everything in various ways and gave them various service: “Go to Vṛndāvan! Write books on the science of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. Rediscover the lost places of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. Build temples and install Deities.” He was building the framework for an international movement that we know eventually manifested from Prabhupāda’s heart as the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

Six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvan ki Jaya! ISKCON ki Jaya!

Those six Gosvāmīs: Rūpa, Sanātana, Jīva, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, Raghunātha Dāsa, and Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa all made their way to Śrī VṛndāvanDhām in due course of time. They didn’t all come together as a group. It’s a long history, but they all made it. So how they succeeded in this one particular instruction of reestablishing temples and Deity worship, actually it’s very mystical. Most of the time instead of finding these lost Deities, these Deities found them. I believe Caturātmā told the story of how Sanātana Gosvāmī found Madana-Mohan? We heard that pastime.

Jīva Gosvāmī received his Deity Dāmodara from the hand of Rūpa Gosvāmī. Rūpa Gosvāmī carved RādhāDāmodara very intricately, very beautifully and gave that Deity to Jīva Gosvāmī. As all of you know famously, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa, one of his Śālagrām Śilās mysteriously, mystically manifested as RādhāRamana. Madhu Paṇḍita, he was chanting japa near Sevā Kunja in Vaṁśīvaṭa where Kṛṣṇa would play His flute, and came, moving some brush aside, he found Gopīnātha, who had been hidden by the pujaris thousands of years ago, so it’s quite amazing.

All these Gosvāmīs, in one way or another established temples and worship. Only Govindajī had not revealed Himself yet to Rūpa Gosvāmī. It’s described that he would sometimes wander through different parts of Vṛndāvan, different villages, looking for Kṛṣṇa, looking for Govindajī. In his transcendental madness, he would ask the villagers or the Sādhus, “Have you seen Govindajī? Have you seen the Lord of my heart?” So time went on and Kṛṣṇa says in Gītā: “yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy ahamFor my devotee, I protect whatever he has, and I provide whatever he requires for his sevā, for his service.” So one day, the feelings of separation in the heart of Rūpa Gosvāmī caused the Lord to reciprocate fully with His devotee.

“All of them as they surrender unto Me I reward them accordingly.” If you surrender 25% to Kṛṣṇa, He’ll reveal to you 25%. 50%-50%, 100%-100%, He’ll give His very self to you. So one day not far from the Yamunā in a little Kunja, a little hilly area, Rūpa Gosvāmī came to the point of total desperation, “Govindajī! Govindajī! Govindajī”, crying, crying. Suddenly, a little boy appeared, a little cowherd boy, “Bābā, why are you crying? Are you hungry?” As Kṛṣṇa famously says to many Sādhus, “No one in my village goes hungry.” So Rūpa Gosvāmī looked up, “Your village? You’re a six-year-old boy. I have serious things to think about. Go play with your friends.” But the little boy, he insisted, he sat down next to Rūpa Gosvāmī, put his hand on his knees, “Bābā. Tell me why you’re so sad.” So for whatever reason, Rūpa Gosvāmī revealed his heart to that cowherd boy.

He said, “You know, all the other Gosvāmīs and so many Sādhus, they had fulfilled the instruction of Caitanya Mahāprabhu to establish worship of Deities here in Vṛndāvan, but I haven’t found my Govindajī, and I don’t know where he is.” The little boy said, “Bābā, I know where your Govindajī is.” So Rūpa said, “You know where my Govindajī is?” “Yes,” the boy said, “I know, because I sport in all these fields of Vṛndāvan. With my friends and with my cows, I go here, I go there, I go everywhere. I know Vṛndāvan very well. I know everyone in Vṛndāvan, I know every place in Vṛndāvan. I know everything about Vṛndāvan.” So Rūpa’s kind of like, “What?” But there was something special about this boy. In the Bible it says, “From the mouth of a child”—especially this child.

The boy said, “You know, Bābā, every time I come down here near the Yamunā I noticed on that little hill out there (there was a little hill there) every day one beautiful cow, like Surabhī cow, she comes and she walks up that little hill and she pauses for a moment and it appears that she becomes overwhelmed with intense emotion. And that Bhāva, that love, causes milk to pour from her utter into a hole in the ground at the top of that little hill. It seems almost like a pastime to me.” And then the boy walked away.

Well, this got Rūpa Gosvāmī thinking, “The little boy knows where my Govindajī is. What is the connection and what is the mystery behind the cow pouring milk?” He is most intelligent. Next day he went to that place and he went behind a tree and he watched that Surabhī cow and sure enough, she climbed up that little hill and at one moment, she  emptied all her milk…Then she went away and so Rūpa Gosvāmī came. That whole area was soaked with milk. He noticed that in that hole there was a little protruding—it looked like a topknot on the head of a Deity. You see on the old Deities sometimes how they have a little topknot, like representing Kṛṣṇa’s hair tied up like that. If you look closely—I looked, I got to go in just this morning and I saw closely, Kṛṣṇa has a topknot. I was thinking, “That’s the same topknot that Rūpa Gosvāmī saw!” And he saw a topknot, and he kind of brushed away like that and he saw the beautiful beaming face of Govindajī and he fainted in ecstasy.

Govindajī found him in the form of the cowherd boy, Kṛṣṇa. So he immediately stood up, “Hey, everybody! I found Govindajī. Come help me get Him out of the ground.” He’s in the middle of the forest, there’s no one around. But Kṛṣṇa is in the heart of every living entity, He is especially dear to the residents of Vṛndāvan, so in the heart of the residents of Vṛndāvan, this message was transmitted and so many cowherd men came with their shovels, and their picks like this, and then very carefully, Rūpa Gosvāmī excavated this big Deity. You see how big He is? All these big strong men, they placed Him there. And Govindajī had been rediscovered by the Bhāva, by the love of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī.

It’s so amazing. It’s so easy to love Him, just the mysterious transcendental way that He reappeared, His transcendental form. Even today, people are coming to the temple hundreds of years later, and having Darśana of Govindajī with the same enthusiasm as those villagers who rediscovered [him]—listen to that crowd! The same enthusiasm. He’s such an attractive Deity, such a powerful Deity, such a potent Deity. Even today, they’re crying their hearts out, “Govindajī, Govindajī!”

That spot where he rediscovered the Deity, that hole in the hill, that spot still exists. I was told that if you visit the Govindajī temple in Vṛndāvanit’s there, it’s broken, we all pretty much know the history, it’s a little hill upthat temple, and you go inside, there’s a room in the basement area where they’re still worshipping an eight-armed form of Yoga-maya. And I’m told if you go and you ask the priest there to take you down the winding staircase which is in the basement; in the basement, there’s a staircase still going down, down, down, down. You’ll go down to that, the hill that the temple was built on and that spot, there’s the hole where Govindajī was discovered and you can take Darśana there.

Rūpa Gosvāmī wrote a letter to Lord Caitanya, just like he had previously written with Sanātana Gosvāmī when they’d first heard about the Lord, they wrote Him a letter introducing themselves, so again he wrote a letter and he told Lord Caitanya, “I have found Prānadhana he [the Lord of my heart], Govindajī. I’m going to begin His worship, as per Your instruction.” So Lord Caitanya received that letter. He was very happy and in that letter Rūpa had requested some help, so Mahāprabhu who was living in Purī at that time, I believe, He sent a very intimate follower of His—Kāśīśvara and He told Kāśīśvara, “You go help Rūpa and you be the pujari, the first pujari, for Govinda-Deva.”

When Kāśīśvara arrived, Rūpa had a ceremony to reinstall the Deity. It’s not that the Deity ever leaves His form, but these ceremonies are saṁskāras, they create impressions in the hearts of devotees. So to impress upon all these devotees that the Lord was there, Rūpa had an installation ceremony in February 1536. He personally presided over the installation of this Govindajī Deity and many devotees came. What was the next step? Build a temple; because they were worshipping Him in a grass hut. I won’t elaborate on anything from this point on. We have many more beautiful discussions about Rūpa Gosvāmī, Govindajī, Rādhārāṇī by Mother Śītala tomorrow.

How to build a temple for Govindajī? Sanātana is a Sādhu, a Sannyāsī—he had nothing. How is he going to build a temple for Madana-Mohan? So again Kṛṣṇa helped His devotee. It’s very obvious in the lives of pure devotees, it’s like so obvious, it’s amazing how some mundane scholars don’t get it. It’s just amazing how, it’s obvious how Kṛṣṇa intervenes and helps His devotees, like He helped Śrīla Prabhupāda. It’s obvious. So how did Kṛṣṇa help Rūpa Gosvāmī build a temple for Govindajī in Vṛndāvan? Here’s the story. This is the real news. In 1590, there was a very powerful emperor—Muslim emperor ruling most of India. His name was Akbar.

Akbar was a Muslim but he had made alliances with different Hindu groups which was his diplomacy. He said, “If you work with me, I won’t destroy you.” “Oh, we’ll work with you.” So many, many Hindus, many princes, and even some kings, were working with this emperor and expanding his kingdom. So one Hindu general in the Muslim army of Akbar, he was a very powerful general; his name was Mān-Singh, and he’d performed some very courageous activities in battle. So the word got out that Akbar wanted to meet Mān-Singh and give him maybe some money, maybe elevate him to a higher status,  a bigger general, but the rumor was maybe Akbar would give Mān-Singh a grant of land and make him a small king.

Mān-Singh went from the area of Delhi where he had his troops go to Vṛndāvan and he fell at the feet of Govindajī. And in the presence of Rūpa Gosvāmī, he said to the Deity of Govindajī, “Lord, if you can make sure that I get a tract of land—a big tract of land—and I become a king, I will raise enough money to build you the most beautiful temple this world has ever seen.” So two days later, he had his Darśana with the emperor, so Akbar in the presence of so many courtiers and ministers and members of the public, he said to Mān-Singh, “My dear Mān-Singh, you have been fighting so nicely; you conquered so many dacoits. You have kept us safe. I grant you a very large piece of land, and you’re no longer a general, you’re a king, working under me, the emperor.” So Mān-Singh came out of that ceremony and thought, “Well, I have to raise some money now. I promised Govindajī I’d build Him a big temple.” And by his ways, he collected that money and came back to Vṛndāvan. He employed different people to start building that temple.

It’s an architectural wonder, even today it’s a protected heritage and it’s just a masterpiece of architectural skills. It took a long, long time to build actually, several decades, I think, to build that temple. But eventually the Lord was installed in that temple, Govindajī, and later, He was joined by His eternal consort, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, whom you see beautifully sitting on the throne here in Jaipur. Now that’s a class in itself how Rādhā came to Govinda. But that’s the pastime that Śītala’s going to share with us tomorrow. Unfortunately some centuries later, one very demoniac Muslim ruler again, by the name Aurangzeb, ordered the destruction of all the temples in Vṛndāvan.

The story is that he was sitting in his palace in Agra and he looked towards Vṛndāvan some distance away, and he saw that Govindajī’s temple was bigger than his palace. He told his troops, “Destroy it!” So by Kṛṣṇa’s mercy the word reached Vṛndāvan before the armies came and you know the major Deities were all taken and hidden very quickly, except for RādhāRamana. RādhāRamana didn’t have to leave Vṛndāvan. Because these were Muslim times and the builders who’d constructed that temple, constructed the Rādhā Ramana temple to look like a house, so when the soldiers, if the soldiers ever came to destroy temples, “Uh! That’s not a temple, that’s a house, let’s move on.” And that’s exactly what happened.

Most of Vṛndāvan’s Deities were moved out of Vṛndāvan, but what became one town’s loss became another town’s gain. Just like when we lose a devotee here amongst us, it’s our loss, but it’s the devotees’ in the spiritual world—it’s their gain. A couple more points. Initially Rādhā and Govinda when They were moved out of that temple, They went to Rādhā Kuṇḍa and They were hidden in a small house in Rādhā Kuṇḍa. Actually, they built kind of a temple inside the house and that spot, where that temple was is still called the RādhāGovinda temple. It’s right on the banks of Rādhā Kuṇḍa, we’ll visit there. But it was all very secretive, only a few devotees knew where They were.

When the Muslims became a little suspicious, they might go out there, then They were moved to another town. And after a couple years, They were moved to another town, and then They were moved to another town. All these Deities were moved all around, just to keep Them away from the Muslims who were searching for Them to destroy Them. In those villages there were some villagers—you know they’re like Vaishyas, but there was one called the Jat, they were like warriors really and many of them sacrificed their lives, fighting the Muslims to protect these Vṛndāvan Deities, as the Muslims went searching for Them. So that’s all happening up there in UP, one state, but down here in Rajasthan, this was like a Kṣatriya state, there are many powerful kings and warriors, and they’re always fighting amongst themselves. Very powerful, and one very powerful king down here, he heard this history and he was a devotee of Kṛṣṇa by nature, so he heard that these Deities are hiding and being moved. His name was Jaya Singh. so he thought, “Oh, I’m living here [in] Amer,” he said, “Let me build a city and bring the Deities of Rūpa GosvāmīRādhā Govinda—put Them in my city and protect them from these Muslim invaders.”

Amer Palace is a big palace on the hill, that was where he lived, and that was his city, but he decided to move ship, everything to Jaipur, and he took out the map—this was a desert area, and he drew it. He said, “We’ll put a temple  here and my quarters will be here and the businesses will be over here and the Go-śālās will be over here and the streets…” He planned the whole thing and the city was built; there was nobody living here, no Deities and what to do? How to get the Deities here? They’re hiding in some village somewhere. So through his spies, because kings have lots of spies, he learned that RādhāGovinda had moved very far South from Vraja, They’d actually come into Rajasthan. There were in one village which is now called appropriately Govindapur. I don’t know exactly how far away, this is maybe a hundred kilometers or something like that but he found out. They were there, so he made a plan that Rādhā Govinda were put in a bullock cart and covered with hay and a sleepy old guy with a big white mustache and a red turban, when he was under the cover of darkness, he’d just be driving his hay to the market in some village nearby one morning, but he’d just keep going and keep going and in the cover of darkness he’d just drive into Jaipur and then yeah—the Deities were here. But it didn’t work exactly like that.

Historians have related how it unfolded, you could actually make—Steven Spielberg could make a wonderful movie about this, the plot is perfect, as is always the case in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. Everything else, all these other movies are perverted reflections. They could really put on wonders—to satisfy the hearts of all living entities by producing these cinemas about the pastimes of the Lord. So as the bullock cart was moving with a few farmers and a couple of ladies with babies, the word got out to the Muslim patrol, because the Muslim patrols were looking for Hindus not acting properly and they’ve always got an agenda: “If you ever find one of Those Deities, smash it!” Word got out, somehow or other, this is no ordinary bullock cart, that’s no ordinary driver, he’s a devotee, and those are the famous Deities that Aurangzeb wanted to smash. They’re almost at the gates of this big empty city.

This Muslim patrol of soldiers, they came charging down the road to intercept the bullock cart. So the bullock cart driver, he whipped them and the bullocks started running and the dust is coming up and the hay is coming off, and he is charging towards the town and people are up on the ramparts. The town has these walls, it’s called the pink city. The walls are actually saffron, but they say “Pink city” and there are the crowds up there cheering on the bullock cart. The Muslim patrols, with their horses and the soldiers with their swords raised, they’re charging behind and, “Are they going to make it?” The people are [saying], “Jaya! RādhāGovinda-Deva!” The Muslims are getting closer and closer. Now it’s morning time, the sun has risen. Everyone is seeing what’s happening. As I said, there’s always a happy ending in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, so the bullock cart sped through the main gates of the city. They closed the gates, and the Muslim soldiers—they had to stop. Thus there was a big celebration in the city. When Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-Gītā, “I am adventure,” He really is part of the adventure.

If you have an adventurous spirit, you can also help the Lord in His adventures. So we are part of a great and very glorious history and culture. We can have pride in that. We don’t want to be proud ourselves, but we can be proud of our Deities, we can be proud of their sevā, we can be proud of their service. Our hearts can swell with pride in that way, we’re part of a great spiritual heritage which is ultimately meant to deliver the whole world in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness.

I think if they made a movie like that, most movies people see maybe two or three times and buy the video and they watch it three or four years later. You could watch this video again and again and again and never be satiated. It’s transcendental Līlā. So it’s important to know the history, the philosophy, the mood of pastimes like that so next time or later this evening when we go before RādhāGovinda, you’ll look at Him in a different way. How will you look now? You’ll look with transcendental eyes and you’ll appreciate Him much more, because as I mentioned the other day, saintly people see with their ears, not through their eyes.

So it’s hot, it’s getting a little humid, there’s a few flies. It was a long bus ride yesterday, it was many hours, kept stopping, and there wasn’t enough prasādam when we first came, and it was too spicy and you didn’t get the room you wanted, you know. But all these difficulties are all worth it, when you get to sit in this transcendental abode. We’re at the lotus feet of RādhāGovinda in the association of so many wonderful devotees having wonderful Kirtans. It’s all worth it. Those things just kind of pass away when you can relish these special moments of your life and being here in a special garden of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Govinda. We can tolerate those austerities. India is not an easy place, but the holy places make it all worthwhile.

So tolerate the austerities and relish the ecstasy. This beautiful place that we are now, you can say is non-different from Vṛndāvan. And it’s very nicely described in a spiritually poetic way by Śrīla Kṛṣṇadas Kavirāj Gosvāmī. He describes in Caitanya Caritāmṛta: “In a forest of desire trees known as Vṛndāvan is a golden mansion and in its midst is a jeweled throne at the place called Yogapitha. Seated thereupon is Śrī Vrajendra-nandana, Śrī Govinda-Deva, a veritable Cupid incarnate. He is served there as a King, bedecked with divine clothes, ornaments and other paraphernalia. And served incessantly by thousands and thousands and thousands of devotees.”

Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Govinda-Deva ki Jaya!

Śrī Vrajabhumi, Śrī Vṛndāvan-Dhām ki Jaya!

Śrī Jaipur Jaya!

Śrī Jaya Singh ki Jaya!

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī ki Jaya!

Six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvan-Dhām ki Jaya!

Śrīla-Prabhupāda ki Jaya!

Worldwide ISKCON ki Jaya!

Back home, back to Godhead ki Jaya!

Gaura-Premanande Hari-Haribol!

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe……

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe……

Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe ……………..  Govinda!

Thank you very much.