Lecture on Lord Balarama’s Appearance Day
Gargamuni said: This child, the son of Rohini, will give all happiness to His relatives and friends by His transcendental qualities. Therefore He will be known as Rama. And because He will manifest extraordinary bodily strength, He will also be known as Bala. Moreover, because He unites two families—Vasudeva’s family and the family of Nanda Maharaja—He will be known as Sankarnana.
ayam hi rohini-putro
ramayan suhrdo gunaih
akhyasyate rama iti
baladhikyad balam viduh
sankarnanam usanty api
Baladeva was actually the son of Devaki, but He was transferred from Devaki’s womb to that of Rohini. This fact was not disclosed. According to a statement in the Hari-vamsa:
pratyuvaca tato ramah
sarvams tan abhitah sthitan
yadavenv api sarvenu
bhavanto mama vallabhah
Gargamuni did disclose to Nanda Maharaja that Balarama would be known as Sankarnana because of uniting two families—the yadu-vamsa and the vamsa of Nanda Maharaja—one of which was known as knatriya and the other as vaisya. Both families had the same original forefather, the only difference being that Nanda Maharaja was born of a vaisya wife whereas Vasudeva was born of a knatriya wife. Later, Nanda Maharaja married a vaisya wife, and Vasudeva married a knatriya wife. So although the families of Nanda Maharaja and Vasudeva both came from the same father, they were divided as knatriya and vaisya. Now Baladeva united them, and therefore He was known as Sankarnana.
Radhanath Swami warns, “Do Not Be Attracted to Maya”
Today is a beautiful night where we have all come together at Sri Radha Gopinath mandir to celebrate the very auspicious event of the descent of Krishna’s original expansion, Baladev into this world. Supreme Personality of Godhead is unborn, the source of everything and the cause of all causes. But He creates this material existence as a facility for those who want to enjoy separate from Himself. And therefore the three modes of material nature have created innumerable ways in which we can intoxicate and infatuate our minds and forget our real relationship with God. And material civilisation in this age of Kaliyuga is said to be advanced to the degree they create all sorts of incredible inventions that are so wonderfully intoxicating, that they utterly bewilder our minds into deeper and deeper forgetfulness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In a simple village, little children, they play with a mango seed and they can spend the whole day just playing with a mango seed or a little bael fruit. They throw it and catch it and everything. But if you go to the cities of the advanced countries, children are not satisfied with playing with a bael fruit. They have all these incredibly computerised games, thousands and thousands of games. And they learn to work these computers when they are tiny little children. And they become so totally immersed in the fascinating effects that they become intoxicated in endless confusion of what is the real goal of life. And as society progresses, there are more and more ways of forgetting Krishna. Because people are so bored, they are so lonely due to no real spiritual pleasure in their life, they are forced to use the creative intelligence that God has given them to serve Him, to create more and more manipulative methods of exploiting His sacred energy to make verities of ways to try to – what is the word – entertain their minds. And this is called progress. They work so hard, rocket chips, computers, all sorts of technology, simply out of frustration. And here, this great land of India which has the real heritage of philosophy and religion by which people, they can define real content, peace, purpose and love in their life, because we have forgotten it, we are chasing after, madly chasing after these things of the West. And now, the doors are opening wide for more and more and more of these Western ideas and manufactured articles to come in. And the American businessmen, it’s a big thing in the politicians’ minds in America that “We have to exploit India”. They are just wide open, longing for what we have to give them. “We can make so many millions of dollars because they are a simple country and when we infatuate and intoxicate them with all of our glittering technology and sense gratification, they will become ours”. This is not the Western civilisation. This is Maya, this is material energy working through a civilisation based on sense gratification to strip you and to rape you from the real quality of life that you are meant to achieve and that is eternal wisdom in the loving service of the supreme Lord. So the Lord descends into this world to call us back, “Do not be attracted to My illusory energy of Maya. I warn you, I know. I have created this material energy. You will be cheated, you will be frustrated. Your whole life’s pursuits will culminate in death, however great you may advance in material civilisation”. At the time of death, Yamaraj does not consider whether you are rich or poor or educated or uneducated. He doesn’t consider whether your body is beautiful or not at all attractive. These are the things we are working so hard for. At the time of death the only thing that is considered is the quality of your consciousness. Have you subdued lust, anger, pride, illusion, greed, envy? Have you strived to find real happiness and content in service to God? Or have you acted according to material persuasions to reject God? May be not with your words, but with your actions. So Krishna comes out of His infinite and causeless mercy.
Krishna Expands Himself to Enjoy
Krishna has no father, He has no mother. But He appears in this world with a father and with a mother in almost every incarnation as a wonderful pastime to exchange love with His devotees and to attract our hearts to Him. So Krishna, the original personality of Godhead in the spiritual world expands Himself as Balaram, His first expansion. And Balaram is non-different than Krishna Himself. There is absolutely no difference. But as Balaram, Krishna assists Himself in His loving pastimes. So when we speak of expansion, this is inconceivable to the mind. Because in the spiritual world, Balaram is always existing and Krishna is always existing. Neither One exists before the other. They are simultaneously, eternally, past present and future, having wonderful pastimes in the spiritual world. We speak the word ‘expansion’, just so somehow or other with our material minds we can get some idea of how Krishna and Balaram are the same personality expanded in two forms eternally for Their own enjoyment. But in the same way, every jivatma is an expansion of Krishna. The difference is, Balaram is Krishna in full expanded and the jivatmas are infinitesimal parts and parcels always subordinate to the Lord in every respect. And we are also eternally existing as His parts and parcels meant for His pleasure. So ultimately, the supreme Godhead only has one purpose, and that is to enjoy and we are all eternally manifested from Him to be enjoyed by Him and to experience the ultimate ecstasy in being enjoyed by Him. That is our constitutional nature. And because we are part and parcel of Krishna, we all have that same quality that we want to enjoy ecstasy.
Everyone Is Looking for Pleasure
Every living being wants to experience ecstasy. When you see the mosquito, in Bombay there are some mosquitoes I think. When the mosquito comes, he has his little jet propelled way of flying, very well trained in aviation, better than any of our pilots. Our pilots are expert. They go through so many years of school. But then in order to fly, they have to get a job. They can’t fly unless they get a job. Somebody can hire them and somebody can fire them. Then with all their education they’ll never fly. But the mosquito is not dependent on anything. He just flaps his arms and goes up into the sky, his wings. And he can go anywhere, anything. He doesn’t need big runways. Just one little hole in the screen that you have in your window, and he could come right through. And then when he has his landing on the runway of your body, he requires refuelling. And quite simple, when our big jet airplanes need refuelling, if Iran or Iraq has some political difference with us, they stop giving us oil and we don’t know how we are going to refuel our planes. So we are always in anxiety about these things. But the mosquito, in India there is about what, nine hundred million people? No problem. So they can go anywhere. And they refuel because they enjoy. As they are drinking your blood they are enjoying, “Very nice”. Blood is very sweet for the mosquito unless you eat neem leaves. Then they don’t like to drink your blood. This is a secret our Guru Maharaj taught us. Anyways, in this way mosquitoes are looking for pleasure.
Radhanath Swami reveals that Real Enjoyment Is Through Bhakti
And we living entities, we are looking for pleasure, for enjoyment because we are part and parcel of Krishna Whose only business is to enjoy. But unfortunately we do not know the process of real enjoyment. Because Krishna’s eternal nature is, all of His enjoyment is in His loving exchanges with His devotees. And because we are part and parcel with Him, the only real enjoyment that we can ever find for all of eternity is in loving exchange with Krishna and His devotees. But we have forgotten that principle. And therefore we are looking for enjoyment in those places where we will find ultimate misery. And the more we become attached to the enjoyments outside of our loving relationship with Krishna, the more we frustrate ourselves in bondage. And Krishna comes and He tells us this, “Here I am, worship Me”.
man-manä bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yäjé mäà namaskuru
mäm evaiñyasi satyaà te
pratijäne priyo ‘si me
“Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. In this way you will come to Me without fail”.
na çocati na käìkñati
samaù sarveñu bhüteñu
mad-bhaktià labhate paräm
By rising above this superficial existence of material energy and entering into the stage of self-realisation, then we can find real prasannatma, real joyfulness, real bliss. And then our nature will be simply bhakti, the loving devotional service of the Lord. So Krishna expands Himself as Balaram so that He could enjoy with Himself. Krishna has expanded Himself as all of us, all living entities simply so that He can enjoy with Himself. Krishna is the supreme enjoyer. This is the first principle of real transcendental knowledge, that we are not these bodies, we are not meant for exploitation of the resources of material nature. We are meant for Krishna’s enjoyment through service, through devotion. It’s only through bhakti that we can please Krishna. Therefore it is only through bhakti that we can find any real happiness in our own lives. Not by jnana alone, not by any karma activities, not even by developing all sorts of mystic siddhis, or even through liberation, mukti, is the real enjoyment to the soul. It’s only through bhakti. Why? Because when you water the root of the tree, every part of the tree is satisfied. When we please Krishna, every living being is given the greatest service and our own heart and soul is thoroughly satisfied.
Radhanath Swami explains how Krishna’s Only Real Business is Enjoyment
So Krishna and Balaram are eternally existing in the spiritual world as transcendental cowherd boys. Srila Prabhupad explains, the only difference between Krishna and Balaram in all Their opulence and all Their powers and all of Their beauties, everything is identical. The only difference is Krishna appears with a complexion which is beautifully dark and bluish like the monsoon rain cloud. And Balaramji appears with a complexion like a spring cloud, very soft, pure, white in complexion. And together They enact wonderful wonderful pleasurable leela in that eternal abode beyond material creation called Goloka Vrindavan, the topmost of all of the Vaikuntha or spiritual planets. Krishna descends once every day of Brahma at the end of the Dwaparyuga in His original form. In every yuga, Krishna appears as yugavatar. But in that avatar, He appears as an incarnation. We were saying that Krishna’s only real business is enjoyment. So therefore Krishna directly has nothing to do with this material world because this material world is not a pleasure, it’s a place of misery. It’s a place of temporary conditions. Krishna has no business creating universes. Krishna has higher things – playing His flute, dancing with gopis, wrestling with cowherd boys. This is His real business. This is the highest understanding of the supreme truth.
aëor Aëéyän aahato aahéyän
But in order to facilitate the independent nature of jivatmas and ultimately to bring them all to the loving position of His servants, He creates material universes. And therefore Balaram expands Himself as the Narayans Who live in Vaikuntha. Surrounding Goloka Vrindavan is Sankarshan, Aniruddha, Pradyumna and Vasudev. They are on each side of Goloka. They expand Themselves. Sankarshan expands Himself as the Narayans in Vaikuntha. That Narayan expands Himself in a secondary Sankarshan, Aniruddha, Vasudev and Pradyumna Who guard the spiritual sky. Sankarshan of that quadruple becomes Mahavishnu, Karanodakashayi Vishnu. This Mahavishnu, He is the immediate cause of all creation. From His pores He creates the causal ocean, He lays in that causal ocean. And as He exhales, innumerable universes come out of His body. How big is this Mahavishnu? Even the greatest of the scientists have not even been able to speculate properly, what is the length and breadth of this one universe. And this universe is tiny. Chaitanya Charitamrita explains what is the nature of this universe in size, that the Brahma of this universe has four heads because there are four directions in this universe. So he went to visit Narayan in Vaikuntha and he was thinking he is very great, because he has four heads and everyone else in this universe has one and he is very big. He is the great grandfather of everyone and everything. Today people are very proud if they have a big family. I have heard people talking, “I have so many children and I have grandchildren. And even now I have great grandchildren. The dynasty is growing”. May be there is twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty.. ha… very big. But Brahma, not only the whole human population, but the population of every specie of life, not only on this planet, but in all the planets of this universe, they are all his great grandchildren. And Brahmaloka is a planet that exists from the beginning to the end of the creation. He never dies until the end of the whole creation. Such a powerful person! So he went to Vishnu, and Vishnu said, “Which Brahma?” So the messenger came and said, “Brahma? Which Brahma are you? “Which Brahma? There is only one Brahma! I am the Brahma with four heads”. So Vishnu said, “Yes, tell him to come”. So he placed his four heads at the feet of Krishna and Brahma asked, “I do not understand why You asked which Brahma? You know who I am, I was born from Your naval, the lotus flower. I created the whole universe”. So Lord Narayan said, “Ah, you want to know why I asked?” And then He made a call, “All Brahmas come”. And Brahmas started coming. He saw there was a Brahma with eight heads. Because there is a head for every direction. And there are directions according to the size of the universe. And there was a Brahma with sixteen heads. There was Brahma with thirty-two heads, sixty-four heads, hundred and twenty-eight heads, two hundred and fifty-six heads. Soon there were Brahmas with thousands of heads, tens of thousands of heads, lakhs of heads. And then he saw Brahmas with millions of heads. Now you may think that this is mythology. How can anyone have millions of heads? I have enough trouble with one head. And the more family members I have, the more problems with more heads. But millions of heads on one body. How does he walk? How does he eat? You may ask these questions, what type of pillows does he have when he wants to go to sleep? You may think this would be a very difficult thing to have millions of heads. But for Krishna anything is possible. In fact, those Brahmas who have millions of heads on one body, it’s so beautiful. It’s not like something from the freak show. It’s something very beautiful, so beautiful, the eyes of our very limited created body cannot appreciate it. Something so wonderful! Krishna can create billions of heads on one body and make it so beautiful and functional. That is Krishna’s inconceivable power. So when Brahma saw thins, he realised that this universe was the smallest tiniest universe in all of the creation and how he was insignificant! He felt like a little insect in a herd of elephants. And he became very humble. All of his pride was smashed to pieces. And then he thanked Lord Narayan for revealing to him his true position as a humble servant of the Lord. So what is our position? We have a little control, we have a little authority, we have a little wealth, we have a little intelligence, and yet we are thinking we are great. But the more we understand the true nature of Krishna, the more we realise like Brahma that “Krishna is great and I am His servant”. And to understand His greatness and to love Him for His greatness is truth and everything else is illusion. But try to understand that this Mahavishnu, from the pores on His body are coming all these universes. Such massive universes even millions of times bigger than the one we live. So what is the size of Mahavishnu? He is very big. Inconceivably gigantic. But this Mahavishnu is a mere expansion of an expansion of an expansion of an expansion of Lord Balaram Who appears outside of the spiritual world to create this material existence. And then Mahavishnu enters into each universes, Garbhodakashayi Vishnu from Whom Brahma is born on lotus flower, atma-bhu. And then that Garbhodakashayi Vishnu enters in the heart of every living being as Kshirodakashayi Vishnu, the paramatma. Smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest. Aëor aëéyän mahato mahéyän. This is God. As Mahavishnu is bigger than the biggest in this creation and as Kshirodakashayi Vishnu, not only is He in the heart of every living being, but He is seated very comfortably in and between every atom. He is the smallest and He is the greatest. And this whole phenomenon is all simply to conduct the affairs of these material universes. But these material universes are all insignificant and temporary. Beyond it all, Krishna has nothing to do with any of these creations, maintenance and destruction. Krishna is simply enjoying loving pastimes with His devotees forever.
Krishna Simply Enjoys
There was a man from Germany who came to India looking for the highest truth. So he travelled for years and went to so many temples. And when he came to the gaudiya math of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati, he said, “I want to become your disciple because you are teaching devotion to Krishna and I understand that there is no other God in all the world in any religion that is superior to Krishna. He is supreme”. And he explained, “In the Western religions in which I was born, God is punishing the wicked with thunderbolts and going through so much trouble to recover the pious in this world. And here in India, I see in the temples so many gods. Durga has so many swords and clubs and hatchets, riding on lions and tigers. She is doing a lot of work. And Shiva, he is sitting in meditation. That’s also a type of hard work. And Rama is shooting bows and arrows. And Narasinga, He is tearing demons apart with His nails. And Kali, she is chopping peoples’ heads off with her axe. But Krishna, He is just playing His flute. That means He is above all work, He is simply enjoying. And everyone knows that what everyone wants in life is simply to enjoy. Krishna is the only one of the gods Who is simply enjoying! He has no work to do”. This is Vaikuntha, this is Goloka Vrindavan. And it is explained, when Krishna descends to this world, when He is playing His flute and dancing with His devotees, or when He is playing with the cows, with His friends or teasing mother Yashoda, this is His original form as the supreme enjoyer. And when He kills demons, His Vishnu expansion enters into His original form to kill demons. Because Krishna has no business killing demons, He simply enjoys.
And once every day of Brahma, Krishna descends into this world. So our Guru Maharaj who would see things in terms of eternal time, because he realised the eternal nature of the soul, when he would talk about Krishna’s descend, he would say, “Just recently, only five thousand years ago Krishna appeared”. When you consider that a day of Brahma is how long? Four point three billion years is one day of Brahma. And then after that day he goes to sleep, he takes rest. Four point three billion years to his night. So the time sequence between Krishna coming in His original form once and again is eight point six billion years. Haribol!
That’s the next time Krishna is going to come in His original form. He comes every Kaliyuga, but as a Vishnu expansion, not in His original form as the supreme enjoyer. So considering the only five thousand years since He appeared, we are very fortunate. Eight point six billion minus five thousand is how much? That’s how long it is till He comes again in His original form to display the Vrindavan leela in this world. And how He appears is something wonderful. He descends with the paraphernalia and the entourage of the spiritual world. So before Him, He sends His eternal elder brother Balaram. And the wonderful story is given in Srimad Bhagavatam.
Preparing For Krishna’s Appearance
Krishna came at a time of great crisis. Kamsa was a great asura, demon, who is the very personification of greed. He wanted to exploit everything and everyone. And he was an enemy of God. In a previous birth as Kalanemi he was killed by the Lord. So he hated anything that had any connection with religion. Although he was a great yogi himself and very learned as well. In fact, he was so learned that he worshiped Lord Shiva. He hated anything that had to do with real religion, unmotivated love. But he actually worshipped Lord Shiva to get his powers. So he was creating so much disturbance that the demigods approached Brahma and Brahma who is the guru of all the demigods and the father, he went to the shore of the ocean of milk and prayed to Kshirodakashayi Vishnu Who lives on the island called Shwetadveep within each universe. And because he prayed with great faith and devotion, the Lord revealed to him from within his heart that He would descend. So Vasudev and Devaki, you all know the story, they were getting married. And Kamsa, after their marriage, he was the cousin brother of Devaki, he was driving her home on his chariot because he wanted to make her happy. Even demons are very much attached to family relationships. But their attachment is so tainted by their own personal interest – “If you give me pleasure, I serve you. If you are a threat to my self-interest, I destroy you”. In today’s society, sometimes family members do kill each other when they stand in each other’s way of interest. The more pious families, they just try to destroy each other in the court rooms by trying to sue each other and take away everybody’s property and everything else. This is actually piety in this age of Kaliyuga. Impiety is you just kill them. That was Kamsa’s business. But of course, this is piety amongst demons. A family that prays together stays together under all circumstances. If we put Krishna in the centre of our family, then there can be real love, true love amongst ourselves. This is the real solution to this problem. So when a voice came from the sky and told Kamsa that “The eighth son of your sister will kill you”, he drew his sword and was about to take her life. But Vasudev said, “Don’t take her life”. All philosophy failed so he gave this promise, “Whatever children I get I’ll give to you. And then you can do anything you like with my children. But Devaki is of no threat”. So he accepted. And ultimately he imprisoned them and every child that was born he lifted and beat them against stones until they were dead. Six children were dead. That is a long story. So then she was pregnant with the seventh child. But that child was special. The supreme Lord Krishna Himself sent His elder brother Balaram into the womb of Devaki. He was not born or He was not conceived like children of this world. He entered into the womb. He entered into Vasudev’s mind, was transferred to Devaki’s mind and then entered her womb. She was pregnant. For months she was pregnant. But her effulgence and the love of her heart for her child was unlimited. And then Lord Krishna called for His Yogamaya potency and told Yogamaya that “Balaramji is in the womb of Devaki. He is My eternal servant. Although He is God Himself, He is God in the mood of a servant. And He has appeared within her womb just to make her womb so nice for My appearance”. You see, the six children that were born before were all demons. They were actually demons, the sons of Hiranyakashipu… to sanctify from all that bad association
Radhanath Swami explains how Spiritual Master is The Representative of Balarama
And Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught us, if you want Krishna to come into your heart and reveal Himself with all of His beauty and sweetness, first your heart has to be completely sanctified. And it’s Balaram’s business to sanctify the heart and make a nice place for Krishna to live. And therefore Balaram is the original guru, spiritual master. And the spiritual master is His representative in this world. All of the great genuine acharyas who have descended into this world, when they descend in this world to preach real Krishna consciousness, they are completely empowered by Lord Balaram to do so. They have come to do Balaram’s work. And anyone who approaches them, by their divine grace which comes through their example and their instructions, they clean our hearts. They make our hearts such a wonderful lovely place of purified devotion, that Krishna will be very very pleased and happy to reveal Himself to us within that sanctified heart. This is the business of the spiritual master. If any spiritual master promises you any material enjoyment, even to the point of elevation to the heavenly planets, what to speak of getting a better job or a little better health or having good wife or husband, this is not the business of a spiritual master, to give material benedictions. If any spiritual master teaches you that he can give you great powers to perform miracles, this is not a spiritual master. If any spiritual master tells you that he is God or that he can make you God, that is not a real spiritual master. The real spiritual master is the humble representative of Lord Baladev and his business is to cleanse and purify your heart by Balaram’s divine grace coming through him so that in that sanctified heart purified of all envious selfish motives, Krishna naturally reveals Himself with all of His beauty. And when Krishna reveals Himself, all you can do is fall in love with Him. And that love is like an unlimited ocean. And when you dive into that ocean of devotion or bhakti rasamrita sindhu, all of your desires are eternally fulfilled.
Appearance of Lord Balaram
Krishna told Yogamaya that “Balaram has gone to prepare her womb for My arrival. Now you kindly transfer Him from the womb of Devaki who is in the prison of Kamsa in Mathura to the womb of Rohini who is living under the protection of Sri Nanda Maharaj in Gokul in Vrindavan”. Rohini was also wife of Vasudev. You know, in traditional times kshatriyas often had several wives. So when Vasudev was captured and imprisoned by Kamsa, Vasudev asked Devaki, “You kindly go to my best dearest beloved friend Nanda Maharaj and he will take care of you, he will protect you”. And Nanda Maharaj treated Rohini devi with such love and respect and gave her all facilities in the simple cowherd community of Braja. Now Rohini had already been pregnant for seven months. There are many wonderful stories in this regard. There is an explanation how Rohini was sleeping on the ashtami night, not ashtami night but after seven months of her pregnancy she was sleeping, she had a dream that that child was leaving her. But then she was given the instruction that “Shesha, Sankarshan, the expansion of the Lord is going to enter your womb”. You see, it is explained that the original Balaram was actually in the womb of Rohini. And His expansion of Sankarshan was in the womb of Devaki. And they were both seven months pregnant. And Sankarshan merged into the form of the original Balaram into the womb of Rohini. So when we call Balaram ‘Rohininandan’, we should know that Rohini is actually Balaram’s eternal mother. In the spiritual world of Goloka, Rohini is eternally performing the leela of being the mother of Balaram. And then Krishna explained, “After you transfer Balaram from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini in Vrindavan, then you yourself should enter into the womb of Devaki. And you are My Mahamaya potency. And you will be worshiped in the world by those who desire material benefits”. You see, the various demigoddesses who are so prominently worshipped here in India and also other parts of the world, they are actually deities of material energy of the goddess of material energy. And therefore people pray to them for advancement in material life. And they bestow those benedictions. But Krishna says, less intelligent people, they worship such devatas or demigoddesses not knowing that all of the fruits of their prayers and worship are temporary and will ultimately lead to frustration. One who is intelligent will worship the supreme Godhead for the supreme goal of bhakti, or unalloyed devotion, because that treasure of devotion is the only thing that is eternal in all of existence. So we should not settle for anything less in our life. That is the only treasure that is truly of value – bhaktinidhi, the treasure of bhakti. So on this very day, Rohini gave birth to Lord Balaram. Through her He appeared in this world in such a wonderful wonderful way. And the residents of Vrindavan had a wonderful wonderful celebration, just as we are having a wonderful celebration today to welcome Lord Balaram Who came to this world by His inconceivable mercy to deliver us all.
Childhood Pastimes of Krishna and Balaram
And soon after, Krishna was born. And when Krishna was born, He and Balaram, because Rohini and Yashoda lived together, so these two little babies were best of friends. And it is explained how not one, but two, God in two forms with His smiling faces was blessing all the residents of Gokul. And they were plunged into ecstasy. And it is described that They would just suckle the milk from Their mothers and smile and cry just to capture everyone’s affection. And later They began to crawl. And as this beautiful bluish and beautiful whitish children were just crawling around the courtyards and the cowherd fields, it was so pleasurable. The heart and soul of all the Brajavasis was simply to see Them, to think about Them and to chant Their glories. And sometimes when They were little babies crawling, They would become mischievous and They would grab on to the tails of the calves and the calves would become very much afraid and start running and They would hold on and They would be dragging and bouncing behind the calves. And all the ladies of Vrindavan, when they would see this, they would stop all their work whatever they were doing, and they would just laugh and cheer and enjoy seeing these two beautiful children performing such beautiful pastimes. And soon They actually learnt how to walk. How wonderful! The Supreme Personality of Godhead,
mükaà karoti väcälaà
paìguà laìghayate girim
yat-kåpä tam ahaà vande
That Krishna Who is paramananda, if you have faith in Him, even if you are lame man you can cross over mountains. But He Himself, He cannot walk. He is crawling like baby. And He tries to stand up and everybody is watching and then He falls down. We have seen with little children, Priyavrat, Vrishabh. I am a sanyasi, I don’t have children. But I see how the parents, how much they enjoy when the child tries to walk and then falls down. (Claps) “Very nice, very nice”. Yes, Shrinathji? Krishnachandra, you enjoyed these pastimes? I’ll tell you a story I’ve never told anyone. It’s not a transcendental story but it’s a story. Because you are transcendental you will make it transcendental. The greatest moment in my grandfather’s life, and my father, every time he sees me, he reminds me of this. Like any baby I was crawling and crawling, trying to stand up and falling. And my grandfather was standing. And one day, he was a very religious man actually. The most religious man in our whole family. One day I just got up and ran to him. It was the first time I ever walked. And he started crying. And everyone was going, “O, very nice, very nice (claps)”. So now I am forty-four years old and they still remember that. When they remember, they remember me for that. This is the way parents are. They don’t remember the lectures I give, or the kirtans that I lead. They don’t, for any of the tapasya I performed in the Himalayas, they don’t remember these things. They only remember, that “When you first walked, you walked into your grandfather’s hands and we all cheered and clapped and cried”. Haribol! So this is the nature of parental affection. Children give pleasure to their parents when they fall down. So Krishna, Balaram, what to speak of Balaram, He sustains all the universes. In His partial expansion as Shesha, all the universes are resting on the hoods of His head. He is supporting everything. But yet, when He tries to walk on His tender beautiful whitish legs, He falls to the ground and Rohini has to pick Him up. Sri Balaramji ki?
Just to attract our love. Because after all, a massive serpent carrying universes on His heads, makes us go like this – “Om namo Sheshaya”. But when He is crawling and catching cows and falling down trying to walk, it attracts our love. “O, how beautiful, how wonderful, how sweet is Balaram!” So when They first started to walk, They were given charge of the calves. Krishna and Balaram.
Radhanath Swami describes the Opulence of Brajabhoomi
Srila Prabhupad explains, “Nanada Maharaj was a very wealthy man. He had nine hundred thousand cows. And each of them was giving unlimited quantities of milk”. You know, today most people can’t even afford butter, they use margarine or some other sorts of oils. Ghee is very rare. Most people use all oils. But in Vrindavan, when they would have festivals, they would have so much quantities of yogurt and butter and ghee, that they would throw it on each other. And there wasn’t people walking around saying, “Only take ten tablespoons and throw it”. They would take it as much as they wanted, they would just throw, any quantity. All day long, they were just throwing ghee and butter and yogurt on each other. Because there was so much. It explains in Brajabhoomi, when Krishna was there, the cows were giving so much milk that the whole land was muddy due to all the milk just dripping from their udders when they would go to the pasture.
Culture of Vrindavan elucidated upon by Radhanath Swami
So Nanda Maharaj was actually so wealthy. So why he took his two sons Krishna and Balaram and he asked them to take care of calves? He could have asked a servant to do it. Why his own sons? Because this is culture. This is culture. From the material point of view, the worst thing you can do to your child is spoil them. They should understand the value and the worth of everything. In order to do so, they have to be trained in such a way that they have to work for things, they have to earn things. Otherwise they take everything so cheaply, they cannot appreciate anything. And when they grow older, they are simply frustrated because they are always expecting to get whatever they want. But if you train a child properly with great love, with great affection, but with a certain type of loving discipline, where they actually have to work for things, then whatever they get, they appreciate. And even the richest people in cultured society will train their children in this way to develop the quality of humility and the value of seva, not the value of just taking, taking, taking, taking, taking. So Srila Prabhupad explains that even though Nanda Maharaj was so fabulously wealthy, he sent his two children out to take care of the calves. And to this day following in those footsteps, every Brajavasi has to spend one year of his life taking care of cows and calves. Otherwise in Vrindavan you are not a bona fide Brajavasi. Haribol. And this is still a culture, a custom. I know a man, he is fifty years old and he never did it. So he had to spend from fifty to fifty-one just herding cows because he wasn’t being accepted as a bona fide Brajavasi. Because this is what Brajavasi means, you take care of cows. So Krishna and Balaram did it.
More Childhood Pastimes of Krishna and Balarama
And how they would play! The beautiful pastimes of Krishna and Balaram as cowherd boys are so wonderfully explained in Srimad Bhagavatam and by the previous acharyas and the present acharyas. How sometimes They would play beautiful games, They would play with fruits and throw it to each other, They would wrestle with each other, They would imitate the animals in the forest, They’d see a frog and Krishna and Balaram and Their friends, They would start jumping like frogs. And They’d see a monkey and They’d start jumping like monkeys. And They would see birds and They would start trying to fly like birds. And They would see peacocks, and Krishna would move His head like a peacock. And He’d look so nicely like a peacock that all of His friends would clap (claps) and say, “Well done! Well done!” And They would take such nice care, They knew the name of every cow and every calf and every calf loved Them so dearly because every calf felt that They loved Them so dearly. Infinite spiritual love. And when Krishna would become tired after playing throughout the day and Balaram would become tired, sometimes Balaram would lay down and Krishna would be like His pillow. And other times Krishna would fan Balaram with a fan that He would personally make out of leaves just to show how He worships His devotee.
Radhanath Swami Stresses on Respecting Nityananda Prabhu First
In Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s leela, Lord Balaram appeared as Lord Nityananda Prabhu. In Lord Ramachandra’s leela, Balaram appeared as Laxman the brother. And it is described in Chaitanya Bhagavat, that one day, Murari Gupta came before Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. And he bowed down before Lord Chaitanya and then he bowed down before Lord Nityananda. And Lord Chaitanya chastised him. He said, “Why did you do like this? Why did you bow down to Me before Nityananda Prabhu? Do you have no sense of etiquette?” And Murari Gupta was very confused. Because he understands that Lord Chaitanya is the supreme Godhead Krishna. He said, “I am just doing what my heart tells me to do”. And Lord Chaitanya said that “I will make these things known to you”. So that night, Murari Gupta went to his home, met with his chaste and faithful wife and then he went to take rest. And in his rest he had a dream. And there was Lord Nityananda Prabhu. He was so beautiful and He was carrying a plough. And Ananta Shesha was over His head. He was manifesting the beautiful beautiful form of Lord Balaram. And behind Him was Lord Chaitanya Who he understood was Krishna Himself. And He was walking behind Him and He said to Murari Gupta in the dream, He said, “Now do you see? He is My older brother. Even I worship Him”. So when Murari Gupta woke up, he went again to Lord Chaitanya’s place of residence. And there Lord Chaitanya was sitting with Nityananda Prabhu and he offered his prostrated obeisances to Nityananda Prabhu and then he offered his obeisances to Lord Chaitanya. And Lord Chaitanya said, “Murari Gupta, why have you done like this? Why are you offering obeisances to Nityananda Prabhu first?” And then Murari Gupta explained that “You have taught me like this, that He is Balaram, He is Your older brother. He is Your master. This is Your desire. I am Your servant”. So Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became so pleased, Gadadhar Pandit gave Him some chewing spices and He took the chewing spices out of His mouth and handed them to Murari Gupta as a gift to show how He was so favoured toward him. And Murari Gupta took those chewing spices and put them in his mouth and then with the saliva or whatever that was on his hands, he put it on his head and Lord Chaitanya was shocked. He said, “You are a Brahmin, you have to wash your hands. Why you are putting this on your head?” And Murari Gupta was very happy that he had received such mercy of the Lord, His personal Prasad. He was so pleased that he became intoxicated with love of God. And he went home and his wife gave him lunch, nice rice and he took lot of nice ghee and put it on the rice and he started taking the rice and ghee and offering it to Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda and then throwing it on the floor. And then offering it and throwing it on the floor. Then taking more, offering it, throwing it on the floor. And his wife, she knew that he was a very advanced devotee and whatever he did was out of pure love. But this was a very strange type of worship. And he was picking and throwing, picking and throwing. And there was rice all over the floor. And nobody could understand. But the next day, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to the house of Murari Gupta in the morning. He said, “Murari, you are a vaidya. You are a doctor. I am very sick. I have terrible indigestion”. And Murari Gupta said, “Tell me the symptoms, why are You so sick?” And He said, “Because you were giving Me all that rice covered with ghee and then throwing it on the floor and I was eating it! I eat whatever comes from the hands of My loving devotees”. So Murari Gupta had a little pot that he personally used for washing himself and drinking from. And Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took that pot, the pot used for all purposes of Murari Gupta himself, and He drank the water from that pot. And Murari Gupta was saying, “No no, You cannot drink this water. This is contaminated”. And when Lord Chaitanya drank it, He became cured of His indigestion. He wanted to show how He is always eager to taste the remnants from His pure unalloyed devotees. But in this story there is another wonderful lesson. How when he respected Nityananda Prabhu first, Lord Chaitanya was so pleased to take the prasad from his own mouth, the maha maha Prasad and offer it to Murari Gupta and in the same way if we learn to first respect our spiritual masters, and first honour them as the means of approaching the supreme Godhead, Krishna becomes so pleased that He bestows His maha maha prasad in the form of His causeless mercy to us, which will eventually purify our hearts and intoxicate us with ecstatic love of Krishna. Sri Nityananda Prabhu ki?
Sri Balramji ki?
Sri Radha Gopinath ki?
Srila Prabhupad ki?
Thank you very much.
Radhanath Swami welcomes HH Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Maharaj
Should we have translation or kirtan? A great gift to all of us on this holy occasion of Balaram’s appearance day. One of Srila Prabhupad’s most beloved God brothers. In fact about this person, Srila Prabhupad said at one time that “This God brother of mine, he truly appreciates the work that we have done in spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world”. Srila Prabhupad showed so much loving affection and exchange to this great disciple of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. In the early seventies, he brought the few devotees that came to India with him to his ashram and this God brother took such care of the devotees for about two weeks feeding them prasad, and then Prabhupad was so pleased. He would just joke with him and laugh with him and exchange Krishna katha with him. And he told all the devotees that we could learn so much from this God brother of mine, how to love and serve vaishnavas. So he has agreed to come tomorrow morning to deliver the Srimad Bhagavatam lecture. He has always been very very kind and merciful to myself and to all our devotees, HH Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Maharaj. He is in his late eighties. He is quite elderly vaishnava and it will be his first visit to Sri Sri Radha Gopinath temple tomorrow. So if it’s at all possible, please come and hear him deliver Srimad Bhagavatam class tomorrow and get his very holy darshan. Thank you very much.
Radhanath Swami narrates the Story of Gaura-Nitai and Krishna-Balaram Deities
Would you like to translate few words? Please do not leave. We will have a nice kirtan and arati. It will be Balaram’s arati. We would like to thank Shrinathji and Maithilipriya Devi and Keshav and Namamrita and Chaitanyachandra and Vrindapriya and Ranachhod because the Krishna and Balaram deities that are being worshiped on the alter has been brought by them to Radha Gopinath temple, so that we could all have the wonderful wonderful darshan of Sri Balaram on this holy day. Thank you very much, Shrinathji prabhu. Yes? Anyways, if you give your blessings to my parents, that will be very nice. When my parents came, they were dancing in Radha Gopinath temple. First time they ever enjoyed kirtan in their lives, they were dancing. My mother was dancing with Shirnathji’s mother. They were twirling each other around. They became tired, but they danced. And they were so happy with these devotees, that after they left here, they said, “These are the most wonderful nice people we have ever met in our whole lives”. And they were weeping and crying and they said, “We are so happy to know that you have such nice friends”. Haribol! And then they came to Vrindavan, I took them to Vrindavan and they said, “We want to buy some gift for Krishnachandra and Shrinathji’s families because they were such loving hosts and they treated us with such feeling that we want to repay them somehow so what could we get for them?” So the Gaur-Nitai deities that we worship in Poona every year, those were given by mother and father to Radhapriya Devi and Krishnachandra and the Krishna and Balaram that are on the alter were given to Shrinathji’s family. They are now being worshiped by Sri Keshav and Srimati Namamrita Devi. And because of their mercy they accepted these gifts and now they are sharing the Supreme Personality of Godhead with all of us. So in a few moments there will be arati for Krishna and Balaram. And also it’s the last day of Jhulan yatra. So Radha Govinda, or the vijay murtis of Radha Gopinath will be swung on the swing. It is very very auspicious to see the beautiful swing ceremony of Radha Gopinath. So this will all take place. Say a few words in Hindi language. As you can see, I am not the Hindi pandit I was supposed to be. But I am still trying.