Sivarama Swami, podcast recording, 24 July 2006
Itâ€™s still early morning, the sun is starting to rise over the horizon, and itâ€™s reddishâ€”it reminds me of Srimati Radharaniâ€™s tilak upon Her beautiful broad forehead. And the glowing of the sun, the rays that it casts everywhere, paint the village nearby and the field in front of me a golden color.
There are flowers everywhere, and those flowers are growing in tall grass, knee-high grass, which sways to one side and then another. Itâ€™s like the way the Brijbasiâ€™s sway under the winds of their prema, their extraordinary love for Krishnaâ€”sometimes they let it go in one direction, sometimes they bend in another direction; sometimes they display extraordinary affection for Krishna, sometimes they chastise Him; sometimes the cowherd boys wrestle with Krishna, at other times they massage His feet; sometimes the gopis throw Krishna smiles, at other times frowns from their arched eyebrows.
Amongst this green swaying grass are different types of flowers. And I can see bees flying from one flower to another flower collecting honey. It seems that they never tireâ€”just like Krishna always flies from one devotee to another, and wherever He can find even just a little honey-like affection, He immediately collects that. Therefore in the Gita He says, yo me bhaktya prayacchiteâ€¦
Jayadeva Goswami says dhira samira yamuna tira vanamaliâ€”that when Krishna felt the wonderful breeze blowing along the banks of the Yamuna, He was very much invigorated and thought about His wonderful pastimes with the gopis. This breeze is also nice, cooling. It was a very hot day yesterday. The night was pleasant, but there was no wind. But now the wind blows and it brings remembrances of the winds that sweep across the Vrindavan landscape, bringing with them aromas of different wonderful flowersâ€”beli, cameli: these are different types of jasminesâ€”as well as the very small and fragrant drops of spray carried from the Yamuna river which make an extra cooling effect.
And in the meantime, the birds are singing, some making a staccato sound; I can hear the cooing of some doves not far away. This is like the sound of Cupidâ€™s bowstrings as it twangs, shooting flower arrowsâ€”pushpa-banaya dhimahiâ€”either at Krishna or the gopis. I heard some roosters before, there is one right now crowing in the distance. Roosters also crow in the early morning in Vrindavan, along with the singing birds, and even there are some dogs barking in the background. The sun is now shining through the leaves of the trees just like it would do in Vrindavan, and with all of these uddipana, Vrinda Devi tries to convince Radha and Krishna that it is certainly time to rise, as the villages of Vrindavan are coming back to life. The Brijbasis are rising early in the morning to go about their particular duties. Theyâ€™re going to start moving within the courtyards of their homes. They will start moving along the paths that lead from one home to another, that lead from one village to another. And if Radha and Krishna donâ€™t rise very quickly from the rest that They have taken after Their long nocturnal festival of dancing, singing, laughing, and wonderful pastimes, then certainly They will be seen, and once the Brijbasis see Them coming back to the village from the dead of night in the early morning then they will immediately be suspicious: â€śOh ho! Where has Krishna been at night? Where has Radha been, coming back so red-eyed with Her other gopi friends, who also look equally disheveled and tired?â€ť
And when Radha and Krishna hear these wonderful sounds of Vrindavan, They become immersed in the beauty of that transcendental place. They feel the wonderful breezes that serve Their bodies by pressing Them, and the smells of the forest, the aroma of the flowers growing upon the vines. They hear amongst the cooing of the birds the light giggling of Their gopi friends who are watching, waiting to see when They are going to quickly get up and go Their own ways.
Our cooks have begun to prepare breakfast, and just like the elderly gopis who rise early in the morning and begin to cook on their cow-dung fires and make very wonderful rotis, which are then offered to their respective deities, I can also smell the cooking in our portable kitchen.
Srila Prabhupada taught us to see this material world as an impetus for remembering Krishna. Krishna is everywhere, He is within everything. In fact, every blade of grass, every leaf that rustles is chanting Hare Krishna, is glorifying Him, and if we utilize the process that Krishna has given us in the Bhagavad-gita then we will be able to see Krishnaâ€™s majesty, Krishnaâ€™s glory, His sweetness, and His pastimes in every aspect of this material world. After all, the material world is only an illusion for those who want to forget Krishna, and therefore it covers them. But for those devotees that want to remember Krishna, then the material world is simply a bookmark that helps them continue remembering from one pastime to another, one aspect of Krishnaâ€™s beauty or another.
Just seeing the greenâ€”I am sitting here underneath small trees, with this meadow stretching out before meâ€”that color green is said to be soothing to the eyes; it is known to be the best thing for the eyes. But why is that so? Because if you take the golden complexion of Srimati Radharani and the bluish complexion of Lord Krishnaâ€”what happens when blue and yellow meet? They become green. So the meeting of Radha and Krishna is symbolized by this color green, and devotees take the greatest happiness when they know that the Divine Couple are enjoying Their pastimes together. Therefore green always gives them that remembrance: â€śOh, now Srimati Radharani and Krishna are meeting, and that meeting has turned the entire world green.â€ť I see green forests here, trees, everything is colored green, and therefore it is a reminder of the eternal loving exchange between Krishna and His devotees.
Not only is Srimati Radharaniâ€™s love goldenâ€”that is the color of maha-bhavaâ€”but the color of prema is also like that. So our attachment to Krishna, our love for Krishna when it is offered to Him, it will also increase the greenness of all things, and green of course means that things are growing very nicely. When things become burnt out they turn brown, or when they die they wilt. So similarly, if our thoughts are always green with remembrance of Krishnaâ€™s pastimes, then that means we have a healthy state of Krishna consciousness. And it indicates that soon there will be many beautiful leaves of real attachment to Krishna developing, and from those leaves there will come very, very beautiful flowers of ecstasy and love for Krishna. And those flowers are very aromatic. They draw Krishna just like a bumble-bee to that devotee, and whereas bees usually take from the flower and the flower becomes bereft, when Krishna comes and He touchesâ€”Srila Prabhupada uses the word â€śkissesâ€ťâ€”the flower-like devotees, then they begin to bear the fruits of rasa, or real relationship with Krishna. And once again our eternal relationship, our mellow of friendship, or parental, or conjugal attraction for Krishna becomes manifest and we find ourselves in our eternal home, Goloka Vrindavan, in loving exchanges with Krishna.
When rising in the morning, singing mangala-arati, chanting on our beads, we should follow the train of thought that is inspired by the words of the prayers, by the sound of the maha-mantra, by the vibration of Sukadeva Goswami as he speaks Srimad Bhagavatam. All of these things are meant to lead us back to the pastures of Vrindavan.
Thoughts of Krishnaâ€¦