Vraja-prema only increased by knowledge of Krsna’s position
By Bhurijan Das
How is it possible to understand the mood of separation of the Brijbasis without the equivalent amount of love for Krsna. Of course, it is not possible.
… Here are some mundane poems about love in separation. Rupa Gosvami heard one such mundane love poem recited in Ratha-yatra by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and composed a parallel poem expressing Lord Gauranga’s mood.
This one is especially similar to Siksastaka: ~love considers hours – months, and days – years~
To die and part is less evil,
But to live and part there there is the torment
“Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires”
We fill our lives with distractions, but when we finish the list of things to do, what will we do? Of course, we never finish, we keep adding to the list.
So much of the mood of preaching that Srila Prabhupada had was, Use your life properly, it is a rare opportunity! Opportunity for what? To increase our fire of desire for Krsna, making it a blazing fire, a necessity “I have to develop a relationship with Krsna!” And this is so difficult – for me.
As long as the student is moving forward – that is a teachers definition of success. If we are moving forward, we are doing well. If the material desires are decreasing, we are doing well. If at some point Krsna opens the door – we can walk into it. At some point before we leave the body, we want our relationship develop to the degree that we will hold to Krsna tightly at this most difficult of times.
No artificialness, just move forward, keep good association, serve Srila Prabhupada’s followers who have taken up the mission of spreading KC.
Seeing the intense absorption of Nanda and Yasoda, Uddhava thinks, “This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. This is THE perfection. I have never seen anything higher than this”. He is looking somewhat from the point of view of Krsna’s aisvarya, being the Absolute Truth. But the power of their sweetness like a hurricane moves aside everything, tivrena. In the same way if one performs bhakti with tivra, obstacles are removed.
They think, “If we don’t feed Krsna, He will be hungry”, during the Govardhana-lila she thinks, “He is so thin”. When the cowherd men are shown Vaikuntha and Krsna praised by the Vedas and demigods, they want to run and embrace Him and He wants to embrace them. The unrestrained, obstacle-free path of KC comes from the increase of our desire. The epitome of this are Nanda & Yasoda, and of course the Vraja-gopikas.
Uddhava says, “You have reached the perfection of samadhi worked for by the yogis in the Himalayas for hundreds of years”.
“Infallible Krsna, the Lord of the devotees, will soon return to Vraja to satisfy His parents.”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.46.34
When you tell a child, “Don’t worry the class will end in a 5 minutes” – they are not pacified, because they have no concept of time. So in the intensity of love of Nanda and Yasoda the word “soon” is like a sword. This is Sri Visvanatha C.T’s commentary:
“O dear Uddhava! I have heard you are very intelligent, but now I see you are foolish because you have simply praised us. Oh, who is there in the three worlds more unfortunate than us, from whose house such a wonderful son has gone away? We are the object of scorn for all!”
Anticipating this statement, Uddhava says, “Acyuta (not falling from, not breaking his promise), will come very soon to Vraja. Functioning just as protector of the Yadus (satvanam patih), he will remain here, and fulfill all of your desires (priyam vidhasyate).”
Krsna is already fulfilling this promise in His aprakata-lila, and by their intense separation in prakata-lila Nanda and Yasoda feel Krsna’s association in the aprakata-lila.
Krsna left the city of Mathura to meet Nanda because the Vrsnis continuously kept Krsna busy (O there is this marriage, there is this function).
They were embarrassed to stand in front of Nanda. They knew that if Krsna went there once He would never return.
After killing Sisupala Krsna came with the whole entourage to Dvaraka (ch.78) and normally He would need to ask permission from Ugrasena before moving on, but then the news of Dantavakra attack came and (because forgiveness is easer to ask for than permission) Krsna immediately went there, and after that, being near Mathura, came to Vrndavan and camped there for two months with all the Vrajavasis.
“O most fortunate ones, do not lament. You will see Krsna again very soon. He is present in the hearts of all living beings, just as fire lies dormant in wood.”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.46.36
Uddhava has no experience of their bhakti and so his arguments have no power.
Very revelatory comments:
Sri Jiva Gosvami:
“…When Uddhava said that Kåñëa would return VERY SOON, Yasoda glanced at him [probably glaringly]. Uddhava saw that glance and exclaimed, “O fortunate ones!” fearing that they could not tolerate even a little delay in Kåñëa’s coming, Uddhava then began teaching them, following the customary way of relieving lamentation. Kåñëa exists even within the minds of all beings as Paramatma, what to speak of existing outside of them. An example is given to show how he has an aprakaöa nature. In being bound by ropes and in eating dirt as well as other pastime, only Yasoda could see his all-pervasive nature. Others did not realize this fact and thus he does not appear within them. But he remains manifesting himself within you two at all times. Why do you need his external manifestation? But if you desire that, that will certainly take place soon. As Paramätmä exists in all beings invisibly, fire exists in wood invisibly. Similarly Kåñëa exists near you invisibly. You see him in the manifestation of Goloka and he sees you close up. You see him also through the mind. And very soon you will see him with your eyes also.”
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura: “36. “Oh, so great is our misfortune that there is delay in our truthful son coming to Vraja.” To answer the lamenting parents, Uddhava replies with this verse.
“You should not lament. Very soon you will be able to see Krsna.”
“You say we will see him, but when will that be, tomorrow, the next day, or ten days later? With some consolation, we will keep our life airs from leaving our bodies till that day. But if he is not coming, you should tell us truthfully. As it is difficult to prevent the life airs from leaving, then let them leave.”
Uddhava, hearing Nanda speak like this, then began to consider. “One should advise those who are suffering separation from their material sons in this way: ‘Why are you immersed in the illusion of family attachment like this? False attachment to wife and sons is a cause of trouble. Give that up and attach yourself to the Lord.’
“But how can I advise Nanda, who is attached to the Lord as his son? He is not like Vasudeva, who on seeing the godly powers of Krsna, weakens his attachment to him as his son. Rather, by showing them Krsna’s powers, Nanda and Yasoda’s attachment to their son will become stronger. They will think, ‘When parents lose sight of the son playing in their house, they die out of sorrow. By our good fortune, the Lord himself plays about as our son in our house. If we cannot care for him for even a moment, we lament. How will we live, not seeing that child in our house? We are so unfortunate, having been separated from such a wonderful child.’ This is how Nanda and Yasoda feel.
Uddhava begain to consider:
“If I go to Mathura and bring Krsna here tomorrow, Jarasandha will come to destroy Mathura, angry because Kamsa’s wives are left as widows. Who then will protect Vasudeva and the other Yadavas? If Krsna then again goes to Mathura to protect them, then those in Vraja will certainly die. If I say that Krsna will come in four or five years, they will not be patient for that long. If I lie and tell them that he will come in four or five days, when the time expires and they discover that I lied, they will die.
“As there is no other means, I will now weaken their relationship with Him, their prema, their love for Him by telling them that as Supersoul Krsna is everywhere and is neutral to everyone, as impersonal Brahman he is without relationships with father, mother, body, karma or birth, and will teach some meditation on the soul to realize that. [-“I will weaken their prema”- that is his strategy, but he is very intelligent, so he says:] If on revealing all this, Nanda and Yasoda’s unlimited, unfathomable, uncontrollable prema increases even more, then I will go to Mathura and I will simply glorify their incomparable prema again and again to the assembly of Krsna, Vasudeva, Ugrasena and others and astonish them all. I should rather just criticize Krsna.” Having made this decision he then began to speak about Krsna as the Supersoul.
“Like fire within wood, Krsna is present within the hearts of all living beings. Then why can no one see him? One does not see fire in wood without kindling it. Krsna can also be seen by proper method.” [Krsna is not visible without devotion – that is what Nanda Maharaja heard from this verse; ‘friction is required’ and friction is rasa, some tension; when we come to KC we think it will bring us great peace; in Delhi on the BD vans it says “Read BG for an anxiety free life” and I think they must be reading a different version of BG: – ))) KesvaBharatiMahraj: A devotee asked Srila Prabhupada, how will I know if I am advancing – “By how much you are in anxiety for Krsna”]
Uddhava’s implication, they thought, was “If you did not perform devotional activities as vaisnavas for Krsna, your son, would he appear in your house?”
Nanda and Yasoda then thought, “Some how or other Krsna must appear in our house. We must perform devotional service.”
… Padyavali … Radharani justifies apologetic Krsna…
Uddhava is preaching to them. For us this is helpful. For them it is like a drop of water thrown against a volcano.
“For Him no one is especially dear or despicable, superior or inferior, and yet He is not indifferent to anyone. He is free from all desire for respect and yet gives respect to all others.
“He has no mother, no father, no wife, children or other relatives. No one is related to Him, and yet no one is a stranger to Him. … He has no material body and no birth. …
“He has no work to do in this world … that would oblige Him to take birth in pure, impure or mixed species of life. Yet to enjoy His pastimes … and deliver His saintly devotees, He manifests Himself.
“Although beyond the three modes of material nature—goodness, passion and ignorance—the transcendental Lord accepts association with them as His play. Thus the unborn Supreme Lord utilizes the material modes to create, maintain and destroy.[-karto’ham iti manyate, as an example of illusory energy forcing improper perception-]
“Just as a person who is whirling around perceives the ground to be turning, one who is affected by false ego thinks himself the doer, when actually only his mind is acting.[If you actually think He is your son:]
“The Supreme Lord Hari is certainly not your son alone. Rather, being the Lord, He is the son, Soul, father and mother of everyone.[He is everything! -]
“Nothing can be said to exist independent of Lord Acyuta [reminding of His promise] —nothing heard or seen, nothing in the past, present or future, nothing moving or unmoving, great or small. He indeed is everything, for He is the Supreme Soul.”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.46.38-4
In this way all night long they spoke, Uddhava spoke philosophy to Nanda M. hour after hour after hour.
“While Krsna’s messenger continued speaking with Nanda, the night ended”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.46.44
The second part introduces us to the Vraja-gopikas. But first a comment by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura on this section (he invites us to understand the heart of a Brijbasi devotee):
“44. Nanda and Uddhava spent the night in discussing among themselves. Uddhava was not able pacify them however, and they could not accept his advice. Then Nanda began to consider things in this way.
“Uddhava wants to enlighten us by saying the Krsna is the Supreme Lord. Do we do not know that? At the time of his name giving ceremony, we heard from Garga ‘This son is similar to Narayana.’ Except for Narayana who can be similar or equal to him? Therefore from Garga we knew that our son is Narayana. We also realized our son to be Narayana, when he killed Putana, Agha, Baka, when he lifted Govardhana, when he quelled the forest fire and when the ruler of Varuna-loka offered respects. We also know that Narayana is paramatma and param brahman. Though we know that, we also know irrefutably that he is our son. The proof is Garga’s words. ‘O Nanda, this son of yours ….’ Nandatmajo ‘yam te
“From Garga’s words, though it is proved that Krsna is the Supreme Lord, when we treat him without reverence, and offer him our chewed betel nut, satisfaction appears in our minds. If he were not our son, our minds would not be satisfied. Before Krnsa’s birth, we could meditate on Narayana, our family deity. But now, as soon as we meditate on Narayana, Narayana appears directly in front of us. This is a sign of satisfaction of our minds. Therefore acting like this in relation to our son is not a fault. We are certainly Krsna’s mother and father.
“Krsna’s own realization in this matter is also proof. We have seen many times that if we do not give him the chewed betel nut, if we do not lift him on our lap, if we do not hold him to our chest and kiss him, then his face becomes sad. If Yasoda were not his mother, how could she tie him up when he broke the yogurt pots? Seeing his miserable face when he was tied up, I released him and saw him become pleased. Because we are his mother and father, he accepted scolding, commands, and bondage even though he may be the Supreme Lord. How is it possible to bind up the para brahma, the Supreme Lord?
There is more, but I just wanted to speak of a very intimate pastime with Nanda and Yasoda. How Krsna steals their hearts and makes the ecstasy over-flood the banks. After Yasodamaya tied Krsna – afraid He would run away – she put boys on all sides to make sure there is no difficulty. Krsna was crying because He was tied up. As soon as mother Yasoda leaves, He starts laughing and playing with the boys. When Balarama saw Krsna tied up He was furious, “Who has done this, I will bring the universe down on him!”, – “Mother Yasoda…” , — “Oh no. Why do You always have to steal?” :- ) Balarama could not untie. Then Krsna pulled the mortar here and there. Krsna dragged the mortar to the houses of the gopis who lent the ropes to Yasoda and the boys stole butter from their houses : – ). Then He pulled it between the two huge Arjuna trees and they crashed down with tremendous sound. Brijbasis fainted in fear for Krsna. The cowherd boys with Krsna did not faint, because they witnessed the sweet pastime. But they were stunned and they saw the two effulgent personalities coming, praying and leaving. That took one muhurta. Then the Bribjasis awoke from their swoon and came running. Nanda Maharaja untied Krsna who was crying. Nanda M. smiled at Krsna, despite the danger to relieve the boy’s anxiety. He held Krsna and said, “O Krsna, who tied you up?” Krsna shook His head. “O Krsna, who tied you up?” – “Yasoda Ma”. Mother Yasoda came in anxiety and Nanda maharaja asked, “You have caused this?” Krsna put on his best angelic halo appearance holding tighter to Nanda Maharaj. Mother Yasoda was embarrassed. Krsna afterwards would not eat and speak to Yasoda. Nanda M. asked, “Do you want me to hit her?” Krsna said, “No”. Nanda M. took him to the Yamuna, gave him sweetened milk with rock candy, took him to lie in his bed, taught Him letters of alphabet. Then Rohini came and told Nanda M. “M. Yasoda is suffering so much”, – “Well, if someone gets angry, they should repent”, – “Rohini: Krsna, go to Your mother”, – “No”, – … Balarama also could not bring Krsna on Rohini’s request. Nanda M., of course, knew that Krsna has unlimited love for Yasoda. “Krsna, do you know that if Mother Yasoda does not see You, she will…” and He did not finish, indicated she would die. And Krsna immediately cried, “Mother, mother” rushed to Yasoda who was also crying. M. Yasoda did not come out of her house out of embarrassment for three days, till Nanda M. pulled her out by her sari.
So these are the waves, sancaris of love, not just santa-rasa, these are continuous experiences of the Vrajavasis. Krsna and Yogamaya are playing these ecstasies like instruments, so the residents of Vrindavan are diving into the ocean of bliss.
… When the gopis came to Krsna in the Vrndavan forest He sends them back home, and they are just scratching the ground with their toe-nails, till their pranaya comes out, complete frankness. Then they dance, this is just a continuous festival of love with Krsna. This is the kind of thing they are continuously experiencing. So Nanda M. says, “OK, he is the Supreme Lord, but He experiences pleasure when we feed Him our betel nuts”.
Sri Visvanatha continues: “But after he killed Canura and Kamsa in Mathura, everyone said, ‘Krsna, you are certainly the Supreme Lord.’ But then Devaki said, “I am your mother.” Vasudeva said, “I am your father.” Others said, “We are your uncles.” And others said, “We are your brothers, your relatives, your friends.” When people, saying this, invited him to their houses, to keep him in Mathura, our son, the crest jewel of proper conduct, looking at their faces, fell in a terrible trap. Being unable to come back to his Vraja, being very benevolent, I suppose he said everyone, “I must be the Supreme Lord, the creator of the universe. Who can be my mother, who can be my father, who can be my relative? Just look, in the scriptures it says, “I reside with that person who has devotion and with no one else. In those houses where I reside, those people are my mothers and fathers.”’
“Though Uddhava has been very intelligent from childhood, he is unable to fathom the depths of my son’s heart and His moods. Taking the literal meaning of Krsna’s words as if they were the intentions of His own heart, Uddhava has come from Mathura and given us this advice. But my son said something very intelligent in those words. ‘They are my father and mother who show devotion to me. I reside in their houses.’ Therefore I am sending this message with Uddhava back to Mathura to give to Krsna. ‘O Krsna, it is I who have devotion to your feet. Be merciful and be pleased with me, so that I can attain you by the devotional processes of hearing, chanting remembering and offering obeisances.’
“Receiving this message, my son will walk into the assembly of the Yadavas and He will say, ‘O men of the Yadu dynasty, you are not able to perform devotional activities in Mathura, but Nanda is doing so. Therefore he is my father, he is my friend and he is my dear one. I will go to his house.’ Saying this my son Krsna will come here.”
But at last, Nanda forgot all these deliberations, due to the influence of the sancari bhava of misery (dainya). “
The night passed.
“The women of the cowherd village rose from bed and, lighting lamps, worshiped their household deities. Then they began churning the yogurt into butter.”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.46.44
Now again Yogama is showing the aprakata Vrindavana:
As they pulled on the churning ropes with their bangled arms, the women of Vraja shone with the splendor of their jewels, which reflected the lamps’ light. Their hips, breasts and necklaces moved about, and their faces, anointed with reddish kunkuma, glowed radiantly with the luster of their earrings reflecting from their cheeks.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.46.46
As the ladies of Vraja loudly sang the glories of lotus-eyed Krsna, their songs blended with the sound of their churning, ascended to the sky and dissipated all inauspiciousness in every direction.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.46.46
And then the aprakata-lila is withdrawn.
When the godly sun had risen, the people of Vraja noticed the golden chariot in front of Nanda Maharaja’s doorway. “Who does this belong to?” they asked.
“Perhaps Akrura has returned — he who fulfilled Kamsa’s desire by taking lotus-eyed Krsna to Mathura.
“Is he going to use our flesh to offer funeral oblations for his master, who was so satisfied with his service?” As the women were speaking in this way, Uddhava appeared, having finished his early-morning duties.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.46.47-49
That is the end of chapter 46 and chapter 47 we will not enter at this time.
Just by hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam, being in the association with devotees, by being in Vrndavan, by worshipping the Deity, by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra sincerely, if we can just taste one half of a drop from that ocean, so it can descent. Srila Krsnadas Kaviraja Gosvami says that that one drop is enough to drown the world.
Let us turn to the Govardhan, may he bless us by his glance to get a glimpse in the hearts of these devotees in full prema and full separation from Krsna.
And we can pray for others, too.
Giriraja Maharaja ki jaya! Giriraja-dharan ki jaya! Jaya jaya Sri Radhe-e-e Syam!