Proper appreciation of Sri Krishna’s Pastimes.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Last night, Srutasrava Prabhu and I were discussing a verse composed by Jayadev Goswami:

visvesam anuranjanena janayann anandam indivara-
sreni-syamala-komalair upanayann angair anangotsavam
svachchhandam vraja-sundaribhir abhitah praty-angam alingitah
srngarah sakhi murtiman iva madhau mugdho harih kridati
(Sri Gita-govinda: 1.11)

This verse is very famous. Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanyadev would taste poetry and prayers such as this from Sri Gita-govinda. Here, it is described that Krishna is performing Rasa-lila. He attracts everyone, takes them near Him, accepts their embrace, dances, sings, and so on. So much ecstasy overfloods the area, and the whole world becomes happy. Krishna is the concentrated, condensed form of all ecstasy, all ananda, all rasa. Here, srngara-rasa is mentioned. Srngara-rasa means madhura-rasa. Srngara-rasa sakhi murtiman: Krishna is the concentrated, condensed divine form of full madhura-rasa; not some part, but full.

Sometimes, Krishna wants to see Himself in the mirror, and when He does, He Himself becomes melted and embraces the mirror. Krishna has that kind of beauty. Here, in this verse, it is mentioned that Krishna is mugdha, astonished and melted, to see His own divine self.

Lord Brahma has some feeling of this—not full feeling, but partial—and with that vision, he composed Brahma-samhita:

isvarah paramah krsnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam
(5.1)

Sarva-karana-karanam [being the cause of all causes] is Krishna’s lowest aspect. His highest aspect is that of being isvarahkartum akartum samartha [the Lord, who can do and not do anything]. Karte paren, na karte paran, ya khusi tai karte paren sei hachchhe isvara: He who can do, can not do, can do anything, and can do nothing—He who has all rights reserved—is known as isvarah. Srila Visvanath Chakravarti has given this explanation in Sanskrit: kartum akartum anyatha-kartum samarthah sah isvarah. Many have the power of an isvara: Lord Siva, Ramachandra, Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Vamana, and other incarnations. But Krishna is not only isvarah, He is Paramah Isvarah! He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Brahma has seen this. Sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah: there is no alloy in Him. He is truthful, He is reality, and He is beautiful. Everything is within Him.

akhila-rasamrta-murtih
(Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu: 1.1.1)

Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu also revealed that He is the emporium of all rasa. Rasa means ecstasy, but I think rasa means more than that: it is like a fruit that is sweeter than than all else, melted, and without skin and seed. It is like a galitam phalam (SB: 1.1.3): a fruit in which there is no seed and no skin, and which is only melted and very sweet. Actually, feelings are superior to all else, and one who has such feelings even a little bit is so glorious. That is what I think. If my tongue does not taste sweet or sour, then what is the necessity of having a tongue?

vamsi-ganamrta-dhama lavanyamrta-janma-sthana
ye na dekhe se chada vadana
se nayane kiba kaja paduk tara munde vaja
se nayana rahe ki karana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.29)

This Bengali verse is a translation a Sanskrit poem:

sri-krsna-rupadi-nisevanam vina
vyarthani me ’hany akhilendriyany alam
pasana-suskendhana-bharakany aho
bibharmi va tani katham hata-trapah
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta Madhya-lila 2.28)

Vamsi-ganamrta-dhama: Krishna’s face is always playing the flute with very sweet sounds and heartfelt attachment, attraction, and affection. But all my senses are useless if I cannot see and touch that form of Sri Krishna. Why does someone who has not seen Sri Krishna have eyes within their head?

Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, has given his explanation of gayatri:

gayatri muralista-kirtana-dhanam radha-padam dhimahi

What is gayatri? We are meditating on the gayatri mantram every day, but what is the meaning of gayatri? Who knows that? Srila Guru Maharaj said gayatri muralista-kirtana-dhanam. Murali [Krishna’s flute] wants kirtan. What kind of kirtan? Murali distributes the Name of Radha: “Radha Radha Radha Radha.” Hare Krishna! This is the main subject. Murali-ista: ista means Krishna wants His dearmost, and He is distributing that: He is calling the Name of Radharani. This murali-ista-kirtan [desired kirtan of the murali flute] is the real wealth, and Radha-padam dhimahi: that exists only within the lotus feet of Radharani, and never anywhere else. This is the vamsi-gana [flute song] mentioned in the verse vamsi-ganamrta-dhama, the song of the flute coming from Krishna’s mouth.

smeram bhangi-traya-parichitam sachi-vistirna-drstim
vamsi-nyastadhara-kisalayam ujjvalam chandrakena
govindakhyam hari-tanum itah kesi-tirthopakanthe
ma preksisthas tava yadi sakhe bandhu-sange ’sti rangah
(Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.239)

Everything is within us; everything is within our jurisdiction. If we can take it, we can taste it, and we can feel it. It is not necessary to go anywhere. Sufficiently, we have got. It has been given by our Guru Maharaj.

vamsi-ganamrta-dhama lavanyamrta-janma-sthana
ye na dekhe se chada vadana
se nayane kiba kaja paduk tara munde vaja
se nayana rahe ki karana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.29)

Ramananda Ray composed a verse in favour of this thought:

yada yato daivan madhu-ripur asau lochana-patham
tadasmakam cheto madana-hatakenahrtam abhut
punar yasminn esa ksanam api drsor eti padavim
vidhasyamas tasminn akhila-ghatika ratna-khachitah
(Jagannatha-vallabha-nataka: 3.11)

“Krishna suddenly came in front of me and then left. I saw Him, but I could not stand. I fainted, and then Krishna was gone. When I see Him again, I will worship time. Then, Krishna will stay longer.” This is a very nice subjective evolutionary verse in the scriptures.

The explanation Srila Kaviraj Goswami gave of the verse Sri-Krsna-rupadi-nisevanam vina is so big; it is an explosion!

vamsi-ganamrta-dhama lavanyamrta-janma-sthana
ye na dekhe se chada vadana
se nayane kiba kaja paduk tara munde vaja
se nayana rahe ki karana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.29)

sakhi he, suna, mora hata vidhi-bala
mora vapu-citta-mana, sakala indriya-gana,
krsna vinu sakala viphala
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.30)

krsnera madhura vani, amrtera tarangini,
tara pravesa nahi ye sravane
kanakadi-chhidra sama, janiha se sravana,
tara janma haila akarane
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.31)

krsnera adharamrta, krsna-guna-charita,
sudha-sara-svada-vinindana
tara svada ye na jane, janmiya na maila kene,
se rasana bheka jihva sama
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.32)

mrga-mada-nilotpala, milane ye parimala,
yei hare tara garva-mana
hena krsna-anga-gandha, yara nahi se sambandha,
sei nasa bhastrara samana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.33)

krsna-kara-pada-tala, koti-chandra-susitala
tara sparsa yena sparsa-mani
tara sparsa nahi yara, se yauk chharakhara
sei vapu lauha-sama jani
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.34)

kari’ eta vilapana, prabhu sachi-nandana
ughadiya hrdayera soka
dainya-nirveda-visade, hrdayera avasade
punarapi pade eka sloka
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.35)

he deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho
he krsna he capala he karunaika-sindho
he natha he ramana he nayanabhirama
ha ha kada nu bhavitasi padam drsor me
(Sri Krsna-karnamrta: 40)

All the goswamis tasted this, and some exclusive and sweet devotees compiled their remnants into scriptures. We are getting something from there. A very good verse is written at the end of Prapanna-jivanamrtam by Srila Guru Maharaj,

sri-srimad-bhagavat-padambuja-madhu-svadotsavaih sat-padair
niksipta madhu-bindavas cha parito bhrasta mukhad gunjitaih
yatnaih kinchid ihahrtam nija-para-sreyo ’rthina tan maya
bhuyo-bhuya ito rajamsi pada-samlagnani tesam bhaje
(10.14)

The meaning, the substance, of the verse is: “At the lotus feet of Krishna, there is some madhu, ecstasy. His feet are full of ecstasy, and the devotees are taking that ecstasy like bees, singing, and eating. Because of this, some of that nectar falls from their mouths, and I have collected that from the earth and composed Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamrtam. You take it! The nectar of those bees is here: their songs are written inside Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamrtam.” All the verses are like that everywhere.

Today is Vasanta Panchami. Sri Krishna performed Rasa-lila today, but that chapter we are not reading actually because we are very afraid. Vedavyas exposed that lila in such a beautiful way, but we are living in this mundane world, and our senses always controlled by maya, the illusory environment. So, we cannot feel it, and instead the opposite of those transcendental feelings comes to us and destroys our devotional mood. Therefore, we are becoming qualified first. Before we are qualified, we are not reading about Rasa-lila, but sometimes we are hearing about it from an expert and qualified Vaisnava. In Srimad Bhagavatam, after the Rasa-lila, Vedavyas explained,

naitat samacharej jatu manasapi hy anisvarah
vinasyaty acharan maudhyad yatharudro ’bdhi-jam visam
(10.33.30)

You should not try to do what Krishna has done. Never! And until the senses come to you in a transcendental form, you should avoid even hearing about it. If someone who has no power eats poison, they die. Descriptions of Krishna’s Rasa-lila are like poison for persons under the control of maya. Lord Siva drank poison, but he can digest that, and he became glorious as Nilakantha [“He who has a blue throat”]. But you are not Lord Siva! You do not have that power. So, you should not do that now.

You may ask, “Then why did Vedavyas compose this? For whom did he compose it?” His answer will be, “I composed this for you, but it will take time, space, and theory. And when you hear it from a proper person, then no problem.”

vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idan cha visnoh
sraddhanvito ’nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty achirena dhirah
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 10.33.39)

Our hunger never will stop. Srila Guru Maharaj’s example is that when we were an elephant, we finished jungle after jungle, life after life. When we were a hog, we finished mountains of stool life after life. Still, we are not satisfied! So, what are we to do? If with a submissive mood you want to hear from the proper person, the qualified Vaisnava, and try to catch that within your established spiritual platform, then you can hear. ‘Qualified Vaisnava’ means a simple Vaisnava. From a qualified Vaisnava, you can hear it, and anusrnuyat, after hearing, you can also tell others about it, distribute it, atha varnayed yah. Then, devotion to Krishna will increase.

After Brahma stole all the cows and cowherd boys from Vrndavan, he returned and saw that Vrndavan was still full of cows and cowherd boys. “Where did they come from?” he wondered. “I have already stolen them.” He went to the cave where he had put them, and he saw that they were all still there. Then he came back again and saw that the field was full. Brahma become puzzled, and finally Brahma folded his hands and said to Krishna,

jananta eva janantu kim bahuktya na me prabho
manaso vapuso vacho vaibhavam tava gocharah
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 10.14.38)

“Someone may say, ‘I know Your glory’, but I cannot say that. It is impossible to know Your unlimited glories; Your glories cannot even be touched without devotion.”

So, our line is devotion, dedication. Srila Guru Maharaj said,

bhagavad-bhaktitah sarvam ity utsrjya vidher api
kainkaryam krsna-padaikasrayatvam saranagatih
(Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamrtam: 1.35)

This is saranagati [surrender]. There is no question here. Be fully surrendered, do, and go through the proper channel: in the proper way under the guidance of the proper person. Then, you will get the result. There are so many universities in this world, but the subjects they teach are different. Our subject is bhakti-yoga, and our one and only line is,

vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam jnanan cha yad ahaitukam
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 1.2.7)

Everything comes to you through surrender and devotion.

bhaktis tvayi sthiratara bhagavan yadi syad
daivena nah phalati divya-kisora-murtih
muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate ’sman
dharmartha-kama-gatayah samaya-pratiksah
(Sri Krsna-karnamrta: 107)

Everything will wait to assist with your service if you are fully surrendered and devoted to Krishna. This is a simple thing.

Source

Spoken on 31 January 2009.

References

visvesam anuranjanena janayann anandam indivara-
sreni-syamala-komalair upanayann angair anangotsavam
svachchhandam vraja-sundaribhir abhitah praty-angam alingitah
srngarah sakhi murtiman iva madhau mugdho harih kridati
(Sri Gita-govinda: 1.11)

[“O friend, affectionately delighting all, creating a festival of Cupid with His soft, bluish, lotus-like limbs, freely embraced in full by the beauties of Vraja on both sides, astonished Sri Hari plays during the season of spring like the embodiment of amorous love.”]

isvarah paramah krsnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam
(5.1)

[“The embodiment of spiritual energy, consciousness, and ecstasy, Sri Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Lord of all Lords. He has no origin, He is the origin of all, and He is the cause of all causes.”]

sri-krsna-rupadi-nisevanam vina
vyarthani me ’hany akhilendriyany alam
pasana-suskendhana-bharakany aho
bibharmi va tani katham hata-trapah
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta Madhya-lila 2.28)

[“Without the service of Sri Krishna’s Form, Qualities, and Pastimes, my days and all my senses are like a completely useless burden of stone or dry wood. Alas! How do I bear them? I am shameless.”]

smeram bhangi-traya-parichitam sachi-vistirna-drstim
vamsi-nyastadhara-kisalayam ujjvalam chandrakena
govindakhyam hari-tanum itah kesi-tirthopakanthe
ma preksisthas tava yadi sakhe bandhu-sange ’sti rangah
(Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.239)

[“O friend! If you are attached to the company of your friends, then do look at Sri Govinda’s form near Keshi Ghat standing in a threefold posture, shining with a peacock feather in His crown, casting sidelong glances, and smiling with the flute at His tender lips.”]

yada yato daivan madhu-ripur asau lochana-patham
tadasmakam cheto madana-hatakenahrtam abhut
punar yasminn esa ksanam api drsor eti padavim
vidhasyamas tasminn akhila-ghatika ratna-khachitah
(Jagannatha-vallabha-nataka: 3.11)

[“When, by my good fortune, Krishna appeared before my eyes, cursed Cupid stole my heart. When Krishna comes before my eyes again, even for a moment, I will decorate every second with jewels.”]

vamsi-ganamrta-dhama lavanyamrta-janma-sthana
ye na dekhe se chada vadana
se nayane kiba kaja paduk tara munde vaja
se nayana rahe ki karana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.29)

[“Krishna’s moon-like face is the abode of the nectar of all beauty and the origin of His flute songs. What are the use of eyes which never behold it? May a thunderbolt strike their head. Why do such eyes exist?”]

sakhi he, suna, mora hata vidhi-bala
mora vapu-citta-mana, sakala indriya-gana,
krsna vinu sakala viphala
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.30)

[“O friend, listen, I have lost the favour of Providence. Without Krishna, My body, mind, heart, and senses are all useless.”]

krsnera madhura vani, amrtera tarangini,
tara pravesa nahi ye sravane
kanakadi-chhidra sama, janiha se sravana,
tara janma haila akarane
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.31)

[“Krishna’s sweet words are waves of nectar. Know ears into which they do not enter to be no better than the holes of a broken conchshell. Such ears were created for no purpose.”]

krsnera adharamrta, krsna-guna-charita,
sudha-sara-svada-vinindana
tara svada ye na jane, janmiya na maila kene,
se rasana bheka jihva sama
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.32)

[“The nectar of Krishna’s lips, qualities, and Pastimes surpasses the taste of pure ambrosia. Why did a tongue that does not know this taste take birth and die? Such a tongue is no better than the tongue of a frog.”]

mrga-mada-nilotpala, milane ye parimala,
yei hare tara garva-mana
hena krsna-anga-gandha, yara nahi se sambandha,
sei nasa bhastrara samana
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.33)

[“The fragrance of Krishna’s body vanquishes the pride and prestige of the fragrance of a musk-scented blue lotus. A nose which never smells this fragrance is no better than a bellows.”]

krsna-kara-pada-tala, koti-chandra-susitala
tara sparsa yena sparsa-mani
tara sparsa nahi yara, se yauk chharakhara
sei vapu lauha-sama jani
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.34)

[“The touch of Krishna’s palms and soles, which are cooling like ten millions moons, is like that of a philosopher’s stone. May bodies which have not touched them waste away! I consider such bodies to be no better than iron.”]

kari’ eta vilapana, prabhu sachi-nandana
ughadiya hrdayera soka
dainya-nirveda-visade, hrdayera avasade
punarapi pade eka sloka
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 2.35)

[“Lamenting thus, Lord Sachi Nandan opened the doors of His heart’s sorrow. With humility, self-reproach, remorse, and a weary heart, He recited a verse again and again.”]

he deva he dayita he bhuvanaika-bandho
he krsna he capala he karunaika-sindho
he natha he ramana he nayanabhirama
ha ha kada nu bhavitasi padam drsor me
(Sri Krsna-karnamrta: 40)

[“O Lord! O Beloved! O friend of the world! O Krishna! O restless one! O ocean of mercy! O Master! O Lover! O delight of my eyes! Oh! Alas! When will You enter my vision again?”]

naitat samacharej jatu manasapi hy anisvarah
vinasyaty acharan maudhyad yatharudro ’bdhi-jam visam
(10.33.30)

[“Anyone who is not an master should never, even mentally, act like one. Anyone who does so out of foolishness is destroyed, just as anyone who is not Lord Siva is destroyed if they drink the poison produced during the churning of the ocean.”]

vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idan cha visnoh
sraddhanvito ’nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty achirena dhirah
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 10.33.39)

[“A sober soul who faithfully hears about and then describes Visnu’s play with the wives of Vraja quickly attains perfect devotion to the Lord and simultaneously leaves behind the heart disease of material desire.”]

bhagavad-bhaktitah sarvam ity utsrjya vidher api
kainkaryam krsna-padaikasrayatvam saranagatih
(Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamrtam: 1.35)

[“Having faith that everything is attained by devotion to the Supreme Lord, abandoning subservience to even scriptural injunctions, and taking shelter of Sri Krishna’s feet exclusively is known as saranagati.”]

vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam jnanan cha yad ahaitukam
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 1.2.7)

[“Devotion to the Supreme Lord quickly produces detachment and self-revealed knowledge.”]

bhaktis tvayi sthiratara bhagavan yadi syad
daivena nah phalati divya-kisora-murtih
muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate ’sman
dharmartha-kama-gatayah samaya-pratiksah
(Sri Krsna-karnamrta: 107)

[“O Lord, if our devotion to You were more steady, then Your divine, adolescent form would naturally appear (in our hearts), liberation would personally serve us with joined palms, and the goals of piety, wealth, and enjoyment would wait for orders.”]

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern representative of the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Both definitive and progressive, his exemplary life, practice, and teachings brilliantly illuminate the path of divine love. For more information on Srila Govinda Maharaj, please visit his biography page.

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