Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Vinod Temple, Jaipur -HG Śītalā Mataji – Lecture; Indradyumna Swami’s Parikrama -2015

Life Story: Baladeva Vidyābhūshaṇa

– By Her Grace Śītalā Mataji

[Prayers …]

Hare Kṛṣṇa! What a wonderful combination is Baḍa-Hari Prabhu’s Kīrtana and being in the presence of the most ancient Deities of our six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvan! We are here at RādhāVinodilal temple, they call Him Rādhā Vinod. We won’t talk about RādhāVinod today, but just some of you maybe haven’t been here before; so for their information, these are the Deities of Lokanātha Gosvāmī. Lokanātha Gosvāmī was the beloved Spiritual Master of Śrīla Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākur. Although we don’t hear so much about Lokanātha Gosvāmī, it is just because he was such an incredibly humble soul that he didn’t want anything to be talked about him.

But he is sometimes referred to as the Seventh Gosvāmī, because actually he and his very good friend BhūgarbhaGosvāmī were the first to go to Vṛndāvan. I better not get into that story, because that’s a long one. But just so you know that this Deity RādhāVinod actually appeared to Lokanātha Gosvāmī as he was doing Bhajan in the forest of Vṛndāvan near a village named Umrāo. He was just sitting doing his meditation, and suddenly this Deity appeared to him. He had a desire for the Deity and this RādhāVinod just appeared before him. There are two stories: One is that a little boy arrived holding the Deity and just placed it down and ran away, and the other is that the Deity just opened his eyes from his japa and he saw the Deity standing before him.

Then Lokanātha looked around and wondered, “Who brought this Deity?” Then RādhāVinodilal said to him, “I have brought Myself.”  This Deity, if you see Him, is fairly small, so Lokanātha Gosvāmī made a bag, and he wore the Deity around his neck.

[Śrīla Indradyumna Swami Mahārāja arrived]

“Do we have a seat for Mahārāja? Okay.”

So we won’t go into the details, but just so that you know where we are and who these Deities are, so I just wanted to bring that point up.

Indradyumna Mahārāja: “Too Far!”

Śītalā Mataji [Jokingly]: “Okay, Mahārāja likes to embarrass me. It’s a Rasa, Brother–sister Rasa.” [Laughter] “Difficult!”

I thought I would talk today a little bit about giving a broader picture on what  Indradyumna Mahārāja spoke so wonderfully and explained to us regarding: “Who is Rādhā Govindajī and how He appeared. How He came; how He landed up in Jaipur?” But, on the altar, there are also other personalities; so to round out our understanding of Who’s  all there at that temple, I would like to talk a little bit about Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and the Deities that were brought by Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita.

As Mahārāja mentioned yesterday, when the GovindaDeva Deity was found, this was a source of great ecstasy for Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. His first immediate desire was to send the best man to take care of this Deity.  So immediately  he thought, “Kṛṣṇa has appeared in His Deity form, so who is going to take care of that Deity there?” It’s very important that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself arranged for it. Mahāprabhu had a servant called Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita, and Kāśīśvara was actually His Godbrother. That Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita and Govinda, the personal servants of Mahāprabhu, were originally personal servants of Īśvara Purī, the Spiritual Master of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When Īśvara Purī was about to leave this world, he had these two beloved disciples, Govinda and Kāśīśvara, who personally served him. So before his departure, he said, “After I leave, I want you to go  and serve Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the way you have served me.”

At this time, Lord Caitanya was travelling in the south and he very soon arrived back to Purī, and so Kāśīśvara and  Govinda made their way to Purī. They came and made their full dandavats at the feet of Mahāprabhu.  Mahāprabhu was extremely upheld and upset at the idea that His Spiritual Master had sent His own Godbrothers, to be His personal servants. He said, “No, no, no. I can’t take service from my Godbrothers!” But they were determined. They said, “But this is the order of your Spiritual Master, that we come here, and we do this service for you.” So to solve this dilemma, they went to Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya. Mahāprabhu explained, “I can’t take service from My Godbrothers!” And Kāśīśvara and Govinda Paṇḍita said, “But we have been ordered to do this service and we want to do this service.”  Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya solved that. He said, “Now, the order of the Spiritual Master supersedes any social etiquettes.” From that time onwards, Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita and Govinda were Mahāprabhu’s personal servants. You can imagine that service: until Lord Caitanya got this news that Govindajī had now appeared in Vṛndāvan. He took Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita to a secluded place and he revealed his mind that, “I want you to go to Vṛndāvan, leave my service. Go to Vṛndāvan and take care of the Govindajī Deity.”

Just to know little bit of the past of Kāśīśvara. He was a very powerful man physically. He used to always go in front of Caitanya Mahāprabhu and move away the crowds and keep everything peaceful, like some of the devotees are organized to do that here; keep everybody back, and that’s what Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita did.  He was always there right next to Lord Caitanya. He was also the Prasādam server, the organizer serving Prasādam by Lord Caitanya’s order. Thus he had very important service there, and service that he must have loved so much. Now he is being sent away to Vṛndāvan to take care of Govindajī. But it is interesting to note, Lord Caitanya wanted to send His best man to take care of the Deities. We also, in our movement, should think in this line of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that our best people, our most elevated people, should be caring for our Deities.

Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita, he didn’t really like that idea, he was lamenting piteously. He just couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the service of Mahāprabhu—very difficult to ask. He actually said, “How can I leave You? How will I be able to maintain my life? If I leave You, how would I live?—I would die!” Thus Lord Caitanya gave to Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita a very special Deity called GaurGovinda, which is Govinda and Gaur in one Deity. And He said, “I am going with you, and I am always going to be with you in the form of this Deity.” He gave him instruction: how to worship that Deity and He said, “Whenever you offer bhoga to Him, you will just see how I am eating.” So with great difficulty Kāśīśvara Paṇḍita had to leave the association of Mahāprabhu with his GaurGovinda Deity and travel to Vṛndāvan. He placed that Deity at the feet of GovindaDeva and then for the rest of his life, he dedicated himself fully to the service of Govindajī and GaurGovinda. It’s important by the power of his love, for the first time, Mahāprabhu came to this side of India in the form of a Deity. You probably wouldn’t have noticed, but that Deity is there on the altar of the temple of RādhāGovinda.

Also to just round out the whole picture of all the Deities on the altar, then we will talk a little bit about how Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī wound up there. When Govindajī and Madana-Mohan appeared, They appeared by Themselves, not with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. So for some time, They were worshiped alone. But the son of Mahārāja Pratāparudra in Purī named PuruṣottamaJana had a very strong desire— he wanted to send Rādhārāṇī to Govinda and  Madana-Mohan. He arranged that two Deities of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī were made, and they were sent to Vṛndāvan in a very elaborate procession and very carefully brought to Govindajī and Madana-Mohan. When these two Rādhārāṇī Deities arrived in Vṛndāvana, they had a great welcome festival. But before They were installed, the Pūjāri at Madana-Mohan temple had a dream, and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī appeared to him and said, “One of these deities is Me (Rādhārāṇī), but the other one is Lalitā; so you install Me next to Madana-Mohan and also Lalitā next to Him.” So interestingly that dream was just accepted by everyone. Thus, that left Govindajī without Rādhārāṇī. So PuruṣottamaJana heard about this later that he sent these two Rādhārāṇīs, and apparently in the dream, Rādhārāṇī said, “That person who sent us—he didn’t know I was there, but also Lalitā is there. He didn’t know.”

PuruṣottamaJana still had a desire and wanted to send Rādhārāṇī to Govinda. He tried again many, many times  to make a Deity, but somehow or another, it just didn’t happen, until he had a dream. Everything is based on dreams in those days, and Rādhārāṇī came to him and said, “I am in the Jagannātha Temple. Actually, the Deity that they are worshipping there as a Lakṣmī is actually Me, and I want to go to Vṛndāvan and be with Govindajī. I won’t be Lakṣmī anymore.” PuruṣottamaJana woke up and he was very excited, and he rushed to the Jagannātha temple and went before this LakṣmīDevī and he saw, “Oh, this is Rādhārāṇī!” So then he inquired, trying to get to the root of this, “How did Rādhārāṇī become LakṣmīDevī here in the Jagannātha temple?” He found out that long, long ago She had been brought from Vṛndāvan to a place called Rādhānagar in Orissa.

Now I don’t know—there is no history of who brought Her and why did he only bring Rādhārāṇī. But somehow or other, that place Rādhānagar became named Rādhānagar after Rādhārāṇī came. But somehow, She actually originally came from Vṛndāvan to this place in Orissa. There was a very, very pure devotee there in Rādhānagar whose name was Bṛhadbhānu. He was a very, very pure devotee, very rare soul, and he worshiped this Rādhārāṇī Deity like his daughter. So a very, very highly elevated devotee. He worshiped Her in a mood that if he didn’t have a sight of Her even for a few minutes, he would be in an unbearable separation. So that’s the kind of devotee he was. He was famous for his love for Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. When he expired, even the king wondered, “What are we going to do now with this Rādhārāṇī Deity? This great soul has gone, now there is this Rādhārāṇī Deity.” The king himself at that time went to Rādhānagar and got this Rādhārāṇī Deity.  Now we are talking about the Deity that’s on the altar there that we are going to see every day.

He went to see this Deity of Rādhārāṇī and he was trying to figure out, “What we should do now? What should we do with Her?” While he was there he had a dream and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī appeared to him. Apparently, She likes to appear in dreams to people. We haven’t had that good fortune, but it’s something we can look forward to, maybe in some lifetime. Thus, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī said, “Take Me to the Jagannātha Temple.” He was very happy to follow those instructions and He brought Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī to the Jagannātha Temple. But over the course of time, many, many years, people started to just see Her as Lakṣmī. Somehow the history got lost and people started worshiping Her as LakṣmīDevī and She reciprocated according to their devotion. PuruṣottamaJana was very, very happy to find out that this is the Rādhārāṇī that should go to Vṛndāvan and that should be with Govindajī. So She was brought to Vṛndāvan all the way across the country in a great procession, and all the devotees in Vṛndāvan received Her with great ecstasy. Then we know, as Mahārāja described the history from thereon out, that Rādhā and Govinda were united in Vṛndāvan, and then eventually, the disciple of RaghunāthaBhaṭṭa, MānaSingh built a glorious temple for them, the best temple in Vṛndāvan. As Mahārāja described, the Deities were in Vṛndāvan until the nasty Aurangzeb started to attack temples, and then the Deities were brought here.

Really, I think we can feel how wonderful it is to be in Jaipur, where so many of the principal Deities of Vṛndāvan are situated. It’s just so powerful to be in Their presence and to be in these temples and have these beautiful Kīrtanas in such a historical place. We tell these stories not just to entertain or just to tell a story, but so that we understand our heritage and how amazing is the history and how glorious is what we have entered into. It becomes so much more meaningful when we go to the temple of RādhāGovindajī, and then we see, “Oh there is GaurGovinda, the Deity that Lord Caitanya Himself gave that came all the way.” It becomes very meaningful. We don’t just look at the altar with a blank look. You know, we experience, “Wow, this is very interesting, exciting, amazing!” It was a very glorious time when they started to build the beautiful temple for RādhāGovinda here, and it was a very glorious time for Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. All these Deities were now nicely protected. But as usual, when there is some kind of success, some pushing forward, there is also pushing back by the material energy there, and challenges, and things which come after that. Not everyone was completely in ecstasy about Govindajī’s arrival here in Jaipur.  As with anything, there is always somebody who is unhappy about things.

What was going on here at that time for many generations was that Rāmānandī Vaiṣṇavas had been very prominent. They were favored very much by the queen. I believe they were worshipers of SītāRāma, so that was the primary Deity at that time. The queen, she loves SītāRāma and she loves all these Rāmānandīs, and then all of sudden this Govindajī appeared. As with every situation, there is always a political side, a power issue. There are many factors to everything apart from just devotion. The Rāmānandīs saw, “Wow, Jai-Singh, the King, he has so much attraction, affection and attachment to this Govindajī Deity. What is going to happen to us?” There is always a power and a prestige issue and financial backing and so many things that these Rāmānandīs had been given for generations because of the favor of the queen.

But now the king had such a strong affiliation with Vṛndāvan and with the Deities of Vṛndāvan. For Jai-Singh, this arrival of Govindajī was a major turning point personally in his spiritual life. Unfortunately, many of the spiritualists are not always the true spiritualists which they should be. So those Rāmānandī Vaiṣṇavas, they were quite upset that, “Now the King’s attention and affection and now, probably, finances, and so many other things are going in the direction of RādhāGovinda.” They waged war against Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas basically and it was a very difficult time.

Now to give you a little background to the story that will develop, we’ll have to tell a little bit about the history of an extraordinary devotee who saved the name of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism here in Jaipur, and that devotee is called Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa. We don’t even really know what his original name was. Vidyābhūshaṇa was the name given to him later, an honorary title. Not much is known about his lineage, because again, like Lokanātha Gosvāmī, he is a pure devotee and therefore devoid of false prestige. So he just never talked about himself. We don’t know much about it, but we know that, although he came from a merchant family, he had no inclination for that particular cast. He was born in Orissa, in a town near Remuṇā. From a young age, he had the desire that he wanted to be a teacher. He didn’t want to be a shop-owner. Those days actually it was very, very common that whatever family you were brought into, you just do what your dad did, and it just goes on like that for generations. But he didn’t have any inclination. He wanted very strongly from a very early age to be a teacher of divine wisdom. That means he had to study extra, extra hard, because he wanted to break out of his normal cast to do something that wasn’t really expected of him. He became a very, very learned young boy. He studied cosmology, logic and medicine, all kinds of topics he became expert in.

At young age, as soon as it was possible, he went on pilgrimage and he was seeking his Spiritual Master. So traveling in the south, he came across the Tattvavādīs or the followers of Madhvācārya, and he studied very hard there, and he became a master of debate. Then he again traveled, and actually he was a very powerful exponent and a preacher. Eventually he arrived to JagannāthaPurī in his travels, and there he met a devotee named Rādhā Dāmodara, who was a grand-disciple of Rasikānanda, who is coming in the line of Śyāmānanda Prabhu. Rādhā Dāmodara became his Shiksha Guru, and he explained to him everything about Caitanya and the six Gosvāmīs. He totally captured the heart of Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa. The natural thing to do next would be to go to Navadvīpa. So he went to Navadvīpa, and he began studying TattvaSandarbha and all the other Sandarbhas actually of Jīva Gosvāmī. In Navadvīpa, everyone was telling him the same thing, “Actually, you should go to Vṛndāvan. If you really want to study Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, then you should go to Vṛndāvan and study under Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākur, because he is the best.”

When Baladeva arrived in Vṛndāvan to take shelter of Viśvanāth Cakravārtī, a lot of the glory of Vṛndāvan had already been diminished. As Mahārāja described yesterday, how there were all the Mughal attacks, and Vṛndāvan was in incredible turmoil for a long time. He started studying under Viśvanāth Cakravārtī, and during this time, now Govindajī had arrived here in Jaipur, and the Rāmānandīs were beginning to wage their war on Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. The first attack of the Rāmānandīs was to question the legitimacy of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava line. They are saying, “There are only four Sampradāyas, so who are these Gauḍīyas? Where have they come from? They are not in those Sampradāyas.” They made this challenge, and, of course, the king, although he favored Govindajī and the Gauḍīyas, he has to be fair as a King. He had to show that this is legitimate. Apparently at that time to be legitimate you have to have a commentary on the Vedānta-Sūtra. You have to show what you are doing is in line with tradition. Jai-Singh was very concerned about this, but he had to deal, he had to be fair as he is the king. He wrote to Mahānts in Vṛndāvan, and he said, “Look, you have to help me. I don’t know what to tell them about, “How are you legitimate? How is your Sampradāya? How are you going to explain this?  Of course, our Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism begins with Mahāprabhu, and Mahāprabhu who is He? He is God Himself, so how much more legitimate can it be? God Himself is the head of our Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism. The Rāmānandīs were saying, “No way, we will not accept that argument. We want to see your commentary on the Vedānta-Sūtra.” Then, the answer to that was that, “The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is the natural commentary on Vedānta-Sūtra.” That’s the way we accept it. There is no need for a commentary on Vedānta-Sūtra, that’s Bhāgavatam.

Suffice it to say, they didn’t accept that argument even. Jai-Singh was a very spiritual person, and he really just wanted everybody to get along. He studied everyone; he studied the work of the Gosvāmīs; he studied the works of the Rāmānandīs. I mean that is a really cool king; he just made a comparison. Nowadays with the politicians that we have, it’s never possible! Here he is a king, and he really wants to get to the philosophical roots, and he wants to be fair, and he wants to guide this spiritual development in his kingdom; so he actually compiled a book called Brahmā-Bodhinī. Jai-Singh himself compiled a book, and he read everything, and then he thought, “Well, let’s just unify these all, and everybody can be happy.” But it didn’t worked so the Rāmānandīs were still unhappy. Then to up the ante, they started to attack the method of worship of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. They said, “You shouldn’t worship Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa together, this is completely bogus.” The Rāmānandīs had some understanding up to the point of Aiśvarya Bhāva. But that was it, that’s where it ended. You imagine our fortune. It’s actually very rare to understand these things, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī: who is She? People simply didn’t know. Jai-Singh again wrote to the Mahānts of the Gopīnātha Mandir in Vṛndāvan and said, “Please, I am trying everything to defend you.” He said that, ”You have to silence these people; you must silence them or because as a king, I am going to be forced to remove Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī from GovindaDeva.”

This was pretty serious, can you imagine your Deity, RādhāGovindajī, and now you’re going to take away Rādhārāṇī, who traveled all the way from Orissa, went to Vṛndāvan, and then came here. Now, they are threatening that, “You have to take this Rādhārāṇī off the altar here because this is bogus.” So this is very serious. All the four temples in Vṛndāvan, major temples there, the Mahānts got together. They wrote something about how both Parakīya and Svakiya Bhāva, married love and unmarried love, how Deities can be worshiped in both ways. Then again, the Rāmānandīs, “No, no, we don’t accept his arguments.” Now apparently Jai-Singh actually did remove Rādhārāṇī from the altar for some period of time. Now just picture that, just picture going in to see Rādhe Shyam in Vṛndāvan and Rādhārāṇī is not there. I mean, how horrifying? How shocking? Then the Rāmānandīs become even more forceful. They said, “But why are you not worshiping Nārāyaṇa first?” Apparently that’s the tradition in some lines.

It was getting very, very difficult and very worrisome for, what was going to be the future of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava line? I mean, we wouldn’t be here if somehow they didn’t keep the Gauḍīya line going strong and prove its authenticity. Someone had to do that. It became an actually desperate situation where Viśvanāth Cakravārtī was keeping in touch with all of this fighting that’s going on in Jaipur and thinking that, “I have to do something as the leader of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas at the time.”  Baladeva Vidyābhūshaṇa had been studying under Viśvanāth Cakravārtī, and he was an incredibly knowledgeable person who was expert at debate. If you remember, he was trained under Madhvācārya’s group, so he was very well versed in all arguments. Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākur sent his student Baladeva Vidyābhūshaṇa here, to Amber, to defend the name of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. At that time, the center was in Amber; the Jaipur city had not been built yet. Baladeva Vidyābhūshaṇa arrived as a young devotee that nobody knew. He wasn’t famous. He was a very young man and unknown to everyone here, but in him was a philosophical giant.


Because he was unknown, it was even difficult to get an audience with the king. But eventually he did see the king and he said that, “I am here to defend the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas.” So they accepted. He made the challenge, “Here I am going to do it. I am going to explain you why we are legitimate.” He said, “I have come to resolve this issue.” The Rāmānandīs were kind of thinking, “Who is this new kid on the block?” But since he was making the claim, they said, “Okay, you go ahead, but we don’t want to hear what you want to say. We don’t care what you have to say. We just want to see your commentary on Vedānta-Sūtra and nothing else will be satisfactory.” Just as a side note, formerly during the time of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; well actually, when Jīva Gosvāmī was going on Parikramā with Lord Nityānanda, Jīva Gosvāmī had the idea to write a commentary on Vedānta-Sūtra at that time, and Lord Nityānanda told him that, “There is no need to write this commentary now, later on Gopīnātha Ācārya is going to take birth, and he will write that commentary.” So it was many, many years later, and it was Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa who was the reincarnation of Gopīnātha Ācārya.

This was a very, very difficult task. I mean we couldn’t have really understood what is this task—to write a commentary on Vedānta-Sūtra. But, suffice it to say, it is extremely difficult, and it takes a very, very long time. Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa had an impossible task before him, so as an exalted devotee, of course, what did he do? He went to Govindajī, and he said to Govindajī, “I can’t do this. This is too difficult. Help. But you are the Divine Puppeteer. Please move my pen.” This is the mood of a devotee to be empowered, to do something that is difficult or even impossible. He just surrenders, “I am a puppet, please, do something with me, move my pen, move my hands, and move my body.” Because in truth we can do nothing, we can’t even blink our eyes without the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. We see how this was the mood of Śrīla Prabhupāda when he arrived in America, and when he was on the boat, he wrote that poem. He called out to the Lord in the same mood as Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, and he wrote that song which said, “Please, I have come here. What can I do? Let me just be a puppet in your hands and, please, make me dance, make me dance, make me dance.” So that’s the formula of success for even the impossible tasks. Just fully surrender to the Lord that, “I can’t do anything, and, please, use my body, use my hands, use my mind, use everything in your service. I can’t do it.”

Then Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa had a dream, and in that dream, Govindajī Himself said, “You write this, and I will move your pen. I will compose it, and no one will be able to defeat you.” Next day, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa woke up as a very happy man. He began to write with great, great enthusiasm and happiness.  Some say it took non-stop for seven days, and some say it took a month. But however long it took, it was a miraculous task.  What he wrote, became known as “Śrī Govinda-Bhāṣya—the words of Govinda. He came before everyone much to the shock of the Paṇḍitas and the nobles. Everyone came together and that’s how they resolved issues in cultured society. There are no nasty emails flying back and forth: “No, I think this. No. I think that.” They get the smartest people together that are the Paṇḍitas, the devotees, the nobles, the Kings. And they have an open mind. They wanted to hear the arguments; they don’t want to fight. They just wanted to hear—what’s right? Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa came before this large gathering of people, royal people and all the Paṇḍitas. He spoke so eloquently and so exhaustively on each one of the points. He made it very, very clear each argument that had been set forward. He made it very, very clear to explain our Gauḍīya Siddhānta.

I would like to read from the beginning of the very beautiful introduction that ŚrīlaBaladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa spoke there in the GovindaBhāṣya. He writes, “May Śrī Govinda be all glorious. By His mercy He revealed this commentary to me in a dream. The commentary revealed by Him is especially appreciated by the highly learned, and as a result of this, I have been given the name Vidyābhūṣaṇa, but it is Śrī Govinda who deserves all the credit. May that Śrī Govinda who is the most dear life and soul of Śrī Rādhikā be all victorious!” It was so beautiful, and so eloquent, and so convincing that there was no more arguing. He completely establishes the Gauḍīya Siddhānta and thus Rādhā and Govinda were united again. [“Haribol!” Applause]

Jai-Singh was so happy that he built a temple of victory. I think it’s at Galtaji. We went there last year. That’s where the debate took place. He then installed the Deity called Vijaya Gopāla, so such a glorious victory.  Just to bring it down to our practical level of how this applies to us: We can know that there is always going to be challenge. Fortunately, there was an amazing devotee who was able to uphold the name and the legitimacy of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism at that time. But it’s not like, ‘’Oh, okay! Well, he did the job and now it’s all over.” There is always going to be more challenges that come our way in the course of devotional service. Devotees have to be prepared to defend who we are, what we are, what we stand for, how it’s right, how it’s bonafide.” Because these kinds of things happened in the past, and they are happening now and will happen in the future—where we are really having to be able to explain, how we are legitimate.

As I was talking the other day about Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākur, that he had made a strategy of how to do his preaching, and so he had called everyone together and had that incredible festival called Kheturī Mahotsava. It was so successful, and his name spread far and wide, and he really uplifted the whole of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism at that time. But there is always somebody that’s going to challenge. Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākur was challenged in similar ways to what happened in Jaipur.  Because after the Kheturī festival Narottama made so many disciples, who were very elevated Brāhmaṇas, Paṇḍitas—very influential people. Just like the Rāmānandīs here became concerned, so in the same way, many Paṇḍitas in the area where Narottama was preaching also got concerned, “Oh, he is getting so powerful, this Narottama.” They made a challenge, because Narottama was also initiating people who were non-brāhmaṇas, and this was very controversial at that time.

A whole band of Paṇḍitas decided to come and have debate with Narottama, “What you are doing is not right. This is not bonafide.” Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākur, he really didn’t like debates. He didn’t really like to argue with anyone. His disciples knew that, so they made a plan that they would hand off these Paṇḍitas before they arrived to argue with Narottama. That’s a whole story. I won’t tell all of that, but just briefly, GaṅgāNārāyaṇa Cakravārtī and Rāmacandra Kavirāj, they dressed themselves up as pot sellers: clay-pot seller and a pan-vala. They dressed, sitting at their shops, and then these Paṇḍitas came in to buy their bhoga and things for the Pūjā, and stuff, and they hear these two shop-valas speaking in eloquent fluent Sanskrit, like “Wow!” The Paṇḍitas were completely shocked, “What kind of town is this? If even the shop-valas speak eloquent Sanskrit, then what are the Paṇḍitas here?” They got a little nervous.

[Paṇḍitas]: “You are just a clay-pot seller; and how do you speak Sanskrit  like that?”

[Disciples]: “Oh, you know, we are just humble servants of our Guru Mahārāja. Oh, we all know this stuff.”

{Paṇḍitas]: “Oh, well who is your Guru Mahārāja?”

[Disciples]:“Oh, Śrīla Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākur Mahāśaya.

The Paṇḍitas were like, “Wow, we are going to debate with Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākur, but we can’t even defeat his disciples, we better get out of here. Forget it.” This ability to defend your spiritual position and to have this strength to be able to do that is required. That’s going to be required for everybody in some small way or maybe in some very big way. Already in our movement we have got so many situations where devotees have to figure out how to defend our position.

Like when I first joined, I came to the temple to live in a temple after Janmāṣṭamī in 1970 in Detroit. I think that, probably at that time, was one of the first major difficulties that happened in the movement. I didn’t know what was really going on. I was just a plain new devotee. But all the devotees just came back from the Janmāṣṭamī festival in New Vṛndāvan and there, four senior Sannyāsīs had been propagating an inappropriate philosophy. In a nut-shell they were saying Guru is God. Many devotees that were there at the festival were really in anxiety, because they knew that what they were saying was wrong, but they didn’t know how to defeat it. So it was a real major problem. The devotees were so disturbed by what they were hearing. They knew that, “That doesn’t sound right. That’s not our philosophy.” But they didn’t have the Śāstric reference, and they didn’t have the maturity to really defeat them.

So I remember that all went to Prabhupāda and eventually everything got resolved. But as a result of that, we all realized that, “We just don’t know enough. We should have been able to say these things.” Thus, we did as a radical thing as, “We have got to study whole lot more.” We decided we have got to study the whole day long one day., But when you are going to do Sankirtana?—For the whole next day. It’s like a 48 hour schedule, so we can cram everything in. We made a schedule where we had Bhagavad-Gītā, Śrī Īśopaniṣad and Nectar of Devotion and then an all-day schedule of classes. Because we realized we weren’t capable, we were not able to rise to the challenge. So we needed to learn more. As you can imagine, devotees sitting for 6 or 7 hours a day studying, and then everyone was in sound sleep within two hours. When it came to Śrīla Prabhupāda, he nixed it immediately, “This is not necessary, Śrīmat Bhāgavatam in the morning, Bhagavad-Gītā in the evening. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and go on Sankirtana. Don’t be fanatics!” Then there are other things we had, a Gopī Bhāva club thing that we had to deal with. So many things, and if you don’t know the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, you are just sentimental, how to deal with it? You don’t know, “Oh, God, what are we going to do?”  We had huge problems with brainwashing things at some point, so there are always problems that you have to come forward, to be able to defend our tradition. Even after Prabhupāda left, we still now got on-going with the problems like Ṛtvik ideas, origin of Jīva issues, so many things. They are always going to be there. We have to become knowledgeable and devoted to keep Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism alive, in the mood of Śrīla Prabhupāda who said, “I will fight till my last breath. I will preach, preach and preach,” which he did. 

Just going back to Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, maybe you have noticed that Śrīla Prabhupāda dedicated the Bhagavad-Gītā to him. I always wondered why. Because I never knew much about Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, I wondered, “Why did he dedicat it to him?” But now when you hear the story, you can get it. Just imagine, Baladeva uplifted the whole of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, he kept Rādhā and Govinda together—amazing; of course, Śrīla Prabhupāda dedicated it to Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa.

After that, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa returned to Vṛndāvan, and he became like a ruling Mahānta in Vṛndāvan after Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākur. He is like a warrior, like a great hero coming back from battle. I mean, you imagine devotes were applauding like, “Yeah!” when he returned to Vṛndāvan. He became the Mahānta of the Rādhā Śyāma Sundara temple. He did his Bhajan there; you can see his cave. There is a little cave when you go down in the temple courtyard where he did Bhajan and lived there for 25 years or so.  He wrote many, many more commentaries, and actually he brought a special stone from Orissa to have the Rādhā Śyāma Sundara Deities carved there. What an amazing personality! He was Gopīnātha Ācārya, the brother-in-law of Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya in a previous life, and in Vrajalīlā he was Ratnāvalī Devi—so what a personality!

With that, I hope we have more appreciation of Who is there on the altar at Rādhā Govindadevajī Temple. “Who are those Deities or personalities? How They came to be there? Then, how we have came to be here?” These are all miracles, and we are just part of all these miracles that are happening. By the grace of Śrīla Prabhupāda, all this is possible to us.

Jaya! Śrīla Prabhupāda ki –jaya!

Program at Factory, Jaipur -HH Śrīla Indradyumna Swami – Lecture

Reconnecting with Kṛṣṇa 

(Program at Factory)

– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami


[Opening prayers and glorifications!]

As we mention every year, this has become a great tradition in our Parikramā party which visits Jaipur from Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām during the month of Kārtik, to comes here and associate with the Mangalam family and have nice Kīrtana, Kṛṣṇa Kathā and prasad. We would like to thank all the members & extended members of the Mangalam Family; in particular, Kṛṣṇaji, Omji & Śyāmaji. Rājiva wouldn’t let me mention his name so I won’t. (Laughs) I got away with that one somehow or other. But thank you, all of you, for giving us this opportunity to come and have your association and have a wonderful program here at the factory where you produce so many amazing objects.

I know that our devotees, look forward to coming to Jaipur in particular to see our beloved Deities Śrī-Śrī  RādhāGovinda. We actually always come here for the Saṅga, for the association because we’re so impressed and so touched with the devotion, the Bhakti, that the people of this city have for these wonderful Deities of Rādhā Govinda-deva. As they are very dear to the people of Jaipur, they are now very dear to people all over the world by the mercy of our spiritual master Śrīla Prabhupāda, who spread this Saṅkīrtan movement practically speaking to every town and village in the planet.

Actually every living entity has an eternal relationship with Govindaji; that they have simply forgotten. George Harrison, one of the famous members of the Beatles, once said, “Everyone is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Some know it and some don’t”. Actually that relationship can never be broken. It can be forgotten but it cannot be broken. Just like you have your father and your mother, in this life-time, they’re always your father and mother. That relationship can’t be broken. You can make a mistake and turn away from your family but the relationship is always there.

nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām

eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān

[Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]

Every living entity is an eternal servant of Lord Kṛṣṇa.”So those who are fortunate, those pious souls they realize this and in their life-time they try to revive that forgotten relationship. Most people in this world are simply concerned with themselves and in their pursuit of sense gratification but,

“manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye”

[BG 7.3]

There’s a few souls in this world who come to the point of realizing that the point of life is to reestablish our lost relationship with God and they do their best to do so. The word religion as we were mentioning this morning comes from the Latin word “reglio” which means to reconnect with God. Just like the Sanskrit word “yoga” means to yoke—to reconnect also with the Absolute Truth, with Bhagavān, with Kṛṣṇa.

By the mercy of the Lord in His incarnation as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu that process becomes very simple in the age of Kali. As described in the Bṛhad Nārāyaṇa Purāṇa:

harer nāma harer nāma

harer nāmaiva kevalam

kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva

nāsty eva gatir anyathā

[CC – Ādi 17.21]

That in the age of Kali there is no other way, no other way, no other way for achieving perfection than chanting the Names of God, specifically as introduced by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu



Only when that relationship with Kṛṣṇa, that relationship with God is reestablished, can we actually be happy. I was watching the mother and her little baby, so the baby was very happy in the mother’s arms but she wanted to experiment, so she came here and she went here, but as soon as she came back in her mother’s arms she fell asleep, she was very happy. As soon as we reconnect with Kṛṣṇa through the via medium of His Holy Name; of which He is non-different then we see that we become happy, we smile, we laugh, we stand up, we dance because we’re reconnected with our beloved Lord.

I was reminded recently of a story one devotee who was formerly a policeman had told me. He was on duty one time in London and he came across a young girl who had somehow become separated from her father. They were on a shopping spree. It was a Saturday afternoon and it was a very crowded day, and Daddy and his little girl had come downtown to do some shopping and somehow in the surge of this huge crowd—the little girl was about 6 or 7 years old— became separated from her father in the big crowd. In desperation she just sat down on the curb and started crying and people brought this to the attention of this policeman. The policeman was thinking we’ll take her to the police station, and we’ll make some calls, and we’ll find her family somehow. He told me that in the meantime to stop her from crying he said, “Well, you know, let’s go buy an ice-cream.” But she actually started crying more; she said, “No, I want my father. I don’t want ice cream; I want my father.” My friend, he was previously a policeman, he said, “Okay, let me think here, look, there’s a toy store here; let’s go buy you a dolly.” Then she really started again, “Nooo, I want my father.” He reached in his pocket and saw how much money he had, a few pounds, he said, “Well, a beautiful dress?” “Nooo, father!” There were five or six or seven things he tried and she just refused; what she really wanted was her father. She just cried more and more and more; so suddenly at that point somehow or other the father had been searching for the daughter as well, he appeared from the crowd and the little girl saw him and she—my friend said he’ll never forget the look on her face when she saw her father—just ran and jumped in his arms and hugged him and said, “Father, Father, Father; you found me!” (Laughs)

I sometimes think almost as an analogy that our situation is very similar; we are in this world and we have so much facility for sense gratification, so much facility for material enjoyment but we’re not really happy. At best we can only pretend that we’re happy. Because along with all the material assets come so many complications. You have to maintain them, you have to protect them and you don’t have time to enjoy them. (Laughs).

I went to a shop here in Jaipur the other day with Narottama, and we met one business man and he’d come practically from poverty to becoming one of the most successful businessmen in India and we walked in and there was so much paraphernalia and stacks of rupees and I said, “Oh, you’re doing well,” and he looked at me, he said, “Mahārāja, you know I was happier when I had nothing. Now my life is so complicated. So I’m thinking of the day I’ll become renounced like you and then true happiness will begin.” (Laughs) Of course, that’s not to say we don’t need material facility, we do need material facility but in our heart of hearts what we know is we really need to reestablish our lost relationship with our Father, with Kṛṣṇa. And unlike—unlike other spiritual processes like yoga and jnana and Tyāga, which may take many life-times to reestablish that connection, it can be done immediately just by the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu by chanting the Lord’s Holy Names—



Caitanya Mahāprabhu actually recommends, “kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ” one should chant as often as possible, and one should chant not just alone but one should chant with as many other devotees as possible. That is actually the Saṅkīrtan movement, the recommended process to come together: many devotees, and chant very loudly—



We thank Kṛṣṇaji, Omji, Shyamji and Rajeevji for giving us this opportunity to come together in such an amazing exotic beautiful atmosphere every Kārtik, and together with the family and the friends and the employees, we all sing together the sweet names of the Lord and remember the lotus feet of our Iṣṭadeva, Govindaji.

Hare Kṛṣṇa

Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Gopīnātha Temple, Jaipur -HG Mālati Mataji – Lecture; Indradyumna Swami’s Parikrama -2015

Memories of Śrīla Prabhupāda

– By Her Grace Mālati Mataji


As most of you must already know, this year marks the 50th year anniversary of the departure of Śrīla Prabhupāda from India and his subsequent arrival in America. This has resulted in many amazingly wonderful celebrations.

One of the most amazing celebrations occurred in Calcutta on the day of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s  departure from Calcutta Port on August 13th but 50 years later. The devotees set-up a very daring plan. Generally such ambitious plans take years of planning. But they literally pulled it off with about two and half months. They hired the enormous Netaji Stadium found in Calcutta which is famous for having a capacity of 13,000 people.  They planned to fill the stadium to its full capacity twice, in one day; in other words, hosting a morning program of 13,000 devotees and then an independent evening program, consisting of another 13,000 devotees. This amounts to 26,000 devotees!  The goal would be more readily attainable if the program was free, but the guests were asked to pay. Concern crossed their minds a few times and they wondered, “Maybe we have gone a little bit beyond our ability here.” They had very ambitiously invited devotees from 125 countries around the world. These countries represented the presence of ISKCON. The devotees orchestrated this whole plan to celebrate Prabhupāda’s departure. Embedded in their plan was to enter the Guinness book of records on two accounts. One was by having the most people from the most countries partaking in a single yoga session. And the second was by having the largest choir with the most number of people from different countries. Bhakti yoga was the yoga session and the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahamantra chanting was the choir.

However, the topmost reason was to honor and celebrate Śrīla Prabhupāda’s remarkable success in departing from India. Countless devotees came, including a large number of  Sannyāsīs such as: Bhakti Charu Mahārāja, Rādhānath Mahārāja, Jayapatākā Mahārāja, Bhakti Purshottama Mahārāja and many others. Numerous top name local and national political heads attended the celebration out of personal belief and conviction in Śrīla Prabhupāda—that he had, indeed, done something great. They weren’t hiding their appreciation. However, as is prone in India the law was broken by over-occupying the stadium. On both occasions the full capacity of 13,000 was reached, but 15,000 devotees were given entrance—thereby a total of 30,000 devotees attended both events! This excludes the thousands of people who were so eager to honor Śrīla Prabhupāda, but were reluctantly turned away. The Calcutta celebration was like the kickoff ceremony for—the 50th year of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s departure from India. About a week and a half later—in Houston, Texas, USA—the next ceremony took place. It was not as large, but it was enthusiastic. Following this was the arrival ceremony in Boston.

The celebration in Boston was great because that is where Śrīla Prabhupāda first stepped off the boat Jaladuta that brought him to America. They had an unbelievable day of activities that began with the Mayor of Boston reading a letter which proclaimed that that day is to be A.C. Bhaktivedanta Day in Boston. For the first time the Indian flag was raised in Boston. All over Boston they knew that that day was Bhaktivedanta Swami Day. Next, a grand Harinām with Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Murti (full-size Murti) proceeded and a large pandal was constructed in the well-known park called The Boston Commons. Śrīla Prabhupāda used to take his morning walk in that very same park.  And then Giriraj Swami, who is an alumnus of Boston, gave the Bhāgavatam class on the pandal in the park. Then a second Harinām went from the park to the dock where Śrīla Prabhupāda stepped off the Jaladuta. And there was a great boat that allowed 900 devotees to climb aboard. Not everybody could fit onto the boat as there were more than 900 devotees but the devotees filled the boat, along with Śrīla Prabhupāda, and for 3 hours we sailed around the Boston Harbor, seeing how it was for Śrīla Prabhupāda to first enter and what he was seeing when he first arrived in America. During this period there were memories of Śrīla Prabhupāda such as Kīrtana and Gurupuja. Many senior devotees were present. Then we got off the boat and began the Harinām back to the Commons park. The reason I’m telling this story is because this morning the chanting was so blissful with Baḍa Hari Prabhu. It was such a blissful Kīrtana and during the Kīrtana you were feeling as if you somehow got lifted into a transcendental realm; and of course you’re in Govinda’s courtyard, so everybody is a devotee and I was seeing the monkeys, the pigeons, and the peacocks—all as devotees. It’s a beautiful vision.

In the Harinām from the boat back to the Boston Commons there was very intense chanting, but joyfully intense and there were many chanters, but Chandramauli Swami and Mahavishnu Swami from the UK were the main ones. Trivikrama Swami who’s quite elderly also became enlivened—and so did other younger devotees.  And sometimes in America when you have a Harinām, people aren’t always as happy to see you as you would like them to be. But somehow, on that day, Prabhupāda’s mercy was flowing outside of the Harinām. And everybody was just smiling and usually what happens on Harinām, is that devotees aren’t always so considerate and take up the whole side walk, right? And people get a little annoyed. But, on that day, they were just happily jumping aside and looking with such pleasure at this beautiful chanting. It was a Saturday. Boston is a touristic place; there was beautiful weather, and so many people were out.  We would stop in places and chant for a while and then move on. At one point you couldn’t tell the so-called spectators from the so-called devotees. Everybody was looking just like a devotee. There was just no distinction and when I saw that, I started laughing because it was such a wonderful thing. So the Kīrtana this morning was reminding me of that wonderful experience.

Somehow by Śrīla Prabhupāda’s extreme kindness and mercy, I got to come along with the group of devotees who came here to Jaipur, probably because my husband was the secretary that helped. So there was an amazing pandal program, an outdoor program that was arranged and it was right on the grounds of Govindaji Mandir. And the extraordinary thing for that occasion was that we had done pandal programs before, but the devotees always had to go out to gather, raise and beg for the money. And you know it was quite an effort to finance one of those programs and dozens of devotees would be involved.

This particular program was organized with Prabhupāda’s permission by two ladies, Her Grace Kauśalyā Devi Dāsī and Her Grace Śrīmatī Devī Dāsī. And they had come to Jaipur and they noticed the amazing mood—which is still here, that amazing mood—but it didn’t have all the commotion that’s there now. There were no motorcycles, cars, subways and trains overhead. It was a quietly, beautifully different city. When they came for their first Maṅgala Āratī to Govinda’s and they saw all the people just literally running—you know, you see in the morning when you come to Maṅgala Āratī, people are running to get in and we just felt so inspired to see this extreme devotion—they thought we must bring Prabhupāda here.

In the olden days there was not much of the tourism industry that is going on now. So being  Western devotees in India was a very unusual sight—especially dressed in Sāri and tilak. It was very unusual, like never seen before. We were so strange to them that sometimes they would come up and they would take their finger and rub it on our hand or arm and look to see if we were painted white—like, they wanted to see if color would come off. So these two girls were noticed by the population here and of course all they could talk about was Śrīla Prabhupāda. And some of the leading people came to meet them and they told them their desire; they expressed, “We have a desire to bring our Guru here.” And they told him, “He has books—published books, we have temples around the world.” You know, so they were intrigued that they wanted to meet Bhaktivedanta Swami. So they agreed, “Yes, we will do something.” And they contacted Śrīla Prabhupāda to request permission. You know they couldn’t invite him to do a program unless he agreed. And he gave the permission. So it was the people of the town who really were helping these two ladies pull off a wonderful event. And they were the ones who assisted in the financing and helped introduce them to the important people they needed to make contact with in order to ensure that this was a very first class operation.

So when you first go through the gates of  Govinda’s Mandir—on the left side—when you go through the final arch—on the left—if you look a little bit there is a gazebo—a round outdoor enclosed canopy.

It was enclosed, but it was round and it had like a temple dome top with lattice work all around and then there was a veranda. Many of the buildings you see now came after. They are newer buildings but that gazebo stood on its own! Śrīla Prabhupāda lived in there and continued his work from that little enclosure. Shyāmsundar, that was my husband, lived with him and one servant. And the rest of us stayed in very elegant Dharma-śālās. Our Dharma-śālās were just up the road. And they were cement rooms—just cement—the walls, the floor, the ceiling, with straw. So that was it, you just brought your own bedding, and you slept on the straw on the floor. No private room. Of course the men had their own room. And then there was one small room with just a water tap—that was the bathroom. And it was very cold because it was January. This place gets very cold in January. But we weren’t seeing any disadvantage because we felt so blessed to be here with Śrīla Prabhupāda in this wonderful place.

When Śrīla Prabhupāda arrived, the plan was to have a grand procession and take him through all the main streets in town. So they wanted to get an elephant. Because we had seen in different types of situations when the great person was being honored like a big yogi or something, they would have him on an elephant. But there was some other things going on and all the elephants were booked. So then they thought, “Well, if he can’t get an elephant, one of those beautiful silver horse-drawn carts with a beautiful white horse—that would look very good.” But it was wedding season. All the white horses were booked. What we ended up with was a bullock cart with a very old white bullock missing one horn.

You know, Prabhupāda, he didn’t need elephants and white horses, he didn’t need it actually. He has such a beautiful presence himself, that his presence would eclipse anything else. And I remember the devotees were apologetic, because at least we were going to have the parade; you know, we had the procession, but they were apologetic—you know what they were like… And Prabhupāda just, he took a look, and then he got on the cart and he sat in a very, as he would, straight-backed position. And I was at the back of the cart but for some reason I was thinking, “I’d like to be on that cart with Śrīla Prabhupāda.” And I didn’t usually think like this. But I was at that moment, “I would like to be on that cart with Śrīla Prabhupāda.”  And then Śrīla Prabhupāda turned to me and he said, “Where is Sarasvatī?” Well, Sarasvatī was my child; she was a small girl at that time. And he said, “Bring her.” So my daughter got to ride with Śrīla Prabhupāda. And as a mother, I felt completely satisfied. Just like when King Prataprudra wanted to meet Lord Caitanya but Lord Caitanya refused him, then Lord Caitanya asked for his son and blessed his son and the King Prataprudra felt very satisfied.

One, two things: you know, there were so many things that went on but my service actually was that I was Prabhupāda’s cook and the house cleaner. So for me everything was based on making sure I somehow or other could adequately do my service under the circumstance, which also included taking care of my husband and my daughter and the other lady devotees. So we would all run down, we would join all of the Jaipur devotees running to Maṅgala Āratī in the morning. And then we would chant rounds and every morning, Śrīla Prabhupāda sat with us and chanted the Govindam prayers: “Govindam Ādi purusham …tamaham bhajami” so that was very beautiful.

Śrī Gopīnātha ki Jaya!

Thank you very much, Hare Kṛṣṇa!


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

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 were around Vraja.

He supervised the 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


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.