Gaura-Purnima, the full moon of the month of phalgun
By HH Bhakti Charu Swami
Hare Krishna. Today is Gaura-purnima day. The purnima, the full moon of the month of phalgun. These two months, phalgun and caitra is the vasanta season, springtime in India. In India there are six seasons and each season consists of two months. Vasanta, spring is considered to be the king of all seasons – rthuraj. This is the best of the times. Of all the six seasons Vasanta or spring is the best because the whole atmosphere at this time becomes very beautiful. The winter is over and the weather starts to warm up. All the trees and plants become full of flowers.
In this season, Cupid, Madan predominates. The cuckoo birds begin to coo. All the beautiful birds and animals become very active. So in the best of the seasons Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared on a full moon night in this particular place Navadvip. And what is this Navadvip. Navadvip also is a very special place. This is the topmost region of the spiritual sky, Goloka Vrindavan. Goloka Vrindavan is the topmost region of not only the material nature but it is the topmost region of the spiritual world.
When Krishna performs His eternal pastimes with the cowherd community of Vrindavan and of all His activities there His most wonderful activity is His loving exchange with the gopis, the cowherd damsels. And of all the cowherd damsels Srimati Radharani is the topmost. She is the principle gopi. Spiritual sky is Krishna’s manifestation of His internal potency. Spiritual sky comprises of Krishna’s internal potency, anataranga sakti. Hence in that loving relationship there is some competition.
There is a saying in the scriptures, in Ujjvala-nilamani and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu also that love increases when it faces obstacles. If the love is uninterrupted then the loving relationship becomes stale. So in order to enhance this loving relationship there is this consideration of obstacles. There is a consideration of separation. Separation increases love. Obstacles increase love. Therefore in that region in Goloka Vrindavan there is this consideration. Sometimes there is a obstacle in the love. There is separation. Although radha and Krishna are eternally one, eternally united but still there is a consideration, there is a feeling; there is an experience of separation. Similarly there are obstacles.
These obstacles often take place due to Krishna’s loving exchange with some other gopi. Some other gopis comes and takes Krishna away. Like Candravali appears to be the opposite camp. There appears to be a competition between Candravali’s camp and Radharani’s camp. Who can bring Krishna to their presiding personality! Candravalis group tries to bring Krishna to candrvali. Radharani’s group tries to keep Krishna with Srimati Radharani.
So in this way there are different other gopis and sometimes Krishna has some loving exchanges with them. And that increases Radharani’s anger. That causes Radharani’s anger. So on one such occasion there is a very wonderful internal associate of Krishna, spiritual associate of Krishna. Her name is Viraja. Viraja once took Krishna to her kunja. Kunja means the garden house where they eat, they have their exchanges there.
So Krishna was in Viraja’s kunj, Viraja’s abode and Radharani got to know that Krishna was there. Krishna was missing so She started to look for Krishna all around and at that time when she got to know that Krishna was there at Viraja’s kunj. In order to attract Krishna She created a very beautiful place and it was in the Svetadvip. It is known as the milk island, the island in a milk ocean. In Vrindavan there is a region, which is made of milk. She created an island there. She made that island so beautiful and then she picked up the flute and started to play the flute.
Usually Krishna plays the flute to attract the gopis but here Srimati Radharani started to play the flute to attract Krishna. Now being attracted by the sound of flute played by Srimati Radharani Krishna became so attracted that He immediately came running to Radharani. Krishna was stunned to see the beauty of that place. Krishna said, “Radha this is like new Vrindavan.”
Vrindavan is the most beautiful forest. That region of the spiritual sky has twelve forests and one of them is Vrindavan, which is the best of all the twelve forests. And Krishna said this is the most beautiful Vrindavan. And since it was newly created it was new. It was apparently not there before. Srimati Radharani created it therefore Krishna named that place as New Vrindavan, Nava Vrindavan. And since that place was an island Krishna called it New Island or Navadvip. Dvip means an island. Then what happened? As Krishna embrace Srimati Radharani, Krishna and Radha became one. And that is Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
That is the wonderful aspect of Navadvip, that new island. The first consideration is that this particular place in the spiritual sky has been created by Srimati Radharani. And in that place Srimati Radharani and Krishna became one. That is Navadvip. In Navadvip Krishna manifested in a very special way. Krishna manifests here together with Radharani in one form. That is Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
So in this way in the spiritual sky in Goloka there are two areas -Vrindavan and New Vrindavan and in this New Vrindavan is Navadvip. Now in this New Vrindavan Krishna assumes the mood of Srimati Radharani and in this mood Krishna distributes krsna-prema, once in a day of Brahma.
In a day of Brahma there are fourteen Manus, and the seventh Manu is Vivasvata Manu. And on the twenty eight catur-yuga of Vivasvata Manu – Visvasvata-manvantara Krishna appears. Brajendranandana Krishna. Krishna in this particular age – twenty-eight catur-yuga in the Dvarpara-yuga, end of Dvarpara-yuga,
astavimsa catur-yuge dvaparera sese, vrajera sahite haya krsnera prakase [Cc Adi 3.10]
On the twenty-eight manvantara of Vivasvata Manu, seventh month, almost during the middle part of the day of Brahma. There are fourteen Manus in a day of Brahma. Now seventh Manu is Vivasata Manu. So it is kind of the middle of Brahma’s day. And in one manvantara there are seventy-two catur-yugas and out of the seventy-two the twenty-eight catur-yuga towards the end of Dvarpa-yuga, Brajendranandan Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaj of Vrindavan – the original Supreme Personality of Godhead comes to this material nature. Then after performing His pastimes He considers,
yathesta vihari’ krsna kare antardhana antardhana kari’ mane kare anumana [Cc Adi 3.13]
After performing His pastimes abundantly Krishna disappears. Krishna becomes unmanifest. Krishna manifests in the material nature and then he becomes unmanifest, kare antardhana. And after withdrawing His pastimes from this planet, Krishna considers,
yathesta vihari’ krsna kare antardhana antardhana kari’ mane kare anumana [Cc Adi 3.13]
cira-kala nahi kari prema-bhakti dana bhakti vina jagatera nahi avasthana [Cc Adi 3.14]
I do not give the prema-bhakti all the time. In My vraja-lila I have manifested My prema-bhakti. I have expressed or shown everybody My intense loving relationship with the residents of Vrindavan. And what was that, that intense loving relationship that Krishna experiences in Vraja? Those relationships consists of three very special relationships – friendship, parental and conjugal. There are five types of devotional relationships, five types of favourable relationship with Krishna – neutrality, servitorship, friendship, parental and conjugal – santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. Out of these relationships, three relationships – friendship is very special. Then parental is even more special. Then conjugal is the most special loving relationship. Friendship, parental and conjugal are the three loving relationships that is not available in Vaikuntha. That is available only in Vrindavan.
Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When a devotee develops a loving relationship with Krishna in awe and reverence – that means recognizes that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and he is Krishna’s eternal servant – he serves Krishna in the mellow of servitorship. That is a natural relationship with Krishna, dasya rasa. But beyond that is friendship. Generally friendship cannot be developed with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why? Because friendship takes place between the equals. Who can become equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Therefore it is not possible to become God’s friend. In friendship the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees are equal but in parental relationship the devotees are superior and Krishna is inferior. God has become smaller and devotees have become bigger in parental relationship. So who can become bigger than the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Not possible. And then in conjugal, a loving relationship like that of a young girl and a young girl and a young boy. Now how can one develop that kind of relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Normally it is not possible, but in Vrindavan Krishna made it possible. How? By the arrangement of yoga-maya, Krishna made everyone forget that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In Vrindavan therefore one can develop this kind of relationships with Krishna because Krishna in Vrindavan is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Vrindavan Krishna is a cowherd boy. He is not acting like the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is just a cowherd boy and the other residents of Vrindavan do not treat Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They treat Him as their friend, as their son or as their lover. How it has been possible? It is possible only in Vrindavan only by the arrangement of yoga-maya because she made everybody forget that Krishna is God.
This is yoga-maya. Maya means illusion, forgetfulness. But this is a different kind of forgetfulness. It is not an illusion or forgetfulness out of ignorance but it is an illusion of forgetfulness out of intense love. In Vrindavan the love of the devotees for Krishna is so intense that due to their love they forgot who Krishna is. Due to their intense love they simply consider that Krishna is the object of their love and they have no other consideration. That mood is called prema-bhakti.
So Krishna considered, cira-kala nahi kari prema-bhakti dana. I do not bestow, I do not offer this prema-bhakti usually. Generally I do not give this prema-bhakti. This is exclusively meant or deserved for Vrindavan, nowhere else it will appear. So when Krishna manifests His vraja-lila then he manifests His prema-bhakti. But then Krishna considers, “I do not give this prema-bhakti all the time. Now what to do? I have manifested My Vrindavan pastimes but people will not understand it. People will not be able to relate to this pastime.”
It has also been explained by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami. Actually He is expressing Krishna’s feelings. Krishna is saying,
sakala jagate more kare vidhi-bhakti vidhi-bhaktye vraja-bhava paite nahi sakti [Cc Adi 3.15]
Vidhi-bhakti or vaidhi-bhakti means devotional service following the rules and regulations of the scriptures. When a devotee executes his bhakti following the rules and regulations of the scriptures it is called vidhi-bhakti or vaidhi-bhakti. So Krishna is saying that sakala jagate more kare vidhi-bhakti, vidhi-bhaktye vraja-bhava paite nahi sakti – following vidhi-bhakti one cannot understand the mood of Vraja, vraja-bhakti. Vidhi-bhakti is simply based on servitorship and neutrality, santa and dasya. Then Krishna is actually saying,
aisvarya-jnane vidhi-bhajana kariya vaikunthake yaya catur-vidha mukti pana [Cc Adi 3.17]
That in the mood of awe and reveration, awe and reverence, awe and veneration when one renders devotional service following vaidhi-bhakti, he goes to Vaikuntha when he achieves perfection. So it is not possible to understand Vrindavan. They get four types of liberation by following vaidhi-bhakti – sarupya, samipya, salokya and sarsti – and they go to Vaikuntha, but Vraja is beyond Vaikuntha. So He is saying,
aisvarya-jnane vidhi-bhajana kariya vaikunthake yaya catur-vidha mukti pana [Cc Adi 3.17]
Therefore Krishna considered,
yuga-dharma pravartaimu nama-sankirtana cari bhava-bhakti diya nacamu bhuvana [Cc Adi 3.19]
apani karimu bhakta-bhava angikare apani acari’ bhakti sikhaimu sabare [Cc Adi 3.20]
So Krishna actually resolved that, “I will establish the yuga dharma in the age of kali.” Dvarpa yuga. What comes after Dvarpa yuga? Kali-yuga. So at the end of Dvarpa yuga Krishna displayed His vraja-lila and this planet and then Krishna considered, “How to give this vraja-prema to the people. I have performed my pastimes but how will everybody ever enter into Vrindavan?” Therefore Krishna resolved that, “In the age of kali I will appear to establish this yuga dharma. And what is the yuga dharma for the age of kali?… sankirtana is the yuga dharma for the age of kali.
So He says, yuga-dharma pravartaimu nama-sankirtana – “I will establish the yuga dharma of harinam sankirtan and by doing that I will give these four types of relationships – dasya, sakhy, vatsalya and madhurya – and by Myself who has assumed the mood of a devotee, and by acting as a devotee I will teach everybody how to become a devotee of Krishna. In this way I will inundate the age of kali and make everybody dance in ecstasy. I will inundate the entire world with this loving relationship of krsna-prema and make everybody dance in ecstasy.” That is why Sri Krishna came as Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this particular place called Navadvip. And what is Navadvip? As I just mentioned earlier, this Navadvip is New Vrindavan. In this Navadvip Radha and Krishna became one. This Navadvip has been created by Srimati Radharani. It is not just an ordinary place. This place has been personally created by Srimati Radharani. So you can well imagine how special this place is.
Just by coming here, just by associating with the devotees of Krishna, just by hearing about Krishna’s activities and pastimes as Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu one can develop krsna-prema. Just by being here, just by offering obeisances, one offers his worship to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just by taking each step in Navadvip one derives the benefit of ten million horse sacrifices, asvamedha yajna. The performance of one horse sacrifice makes one the king of the earth planet. A hundred horse sacrifices makes one the king of heaven, Indra. Now just consider, taking one step in Navadvip one derives the benefit of ten billion horse sacrifices. This is what Navadvip means. Now that we are all here lets try to take that ultimate benefit of this place. Every dust particle of Navadvip is surcharged with spiritual potency. All the trees and plants here are desire trees, kalpavrksa. The cows here are the surabhi cows. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s eternal pastimes are going on here. We simply have to develop our spiritual vision then we will be able to see those pastimes. Caitanya Mahaprabhu manifested this particular place in here on the earth planet in this age of kali with a very special mission, very special purpose. The purpose is to give krsna-prema. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu has been worshipped as,
namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te krsnaya krsna-caitanya- namne gaura-tvise namah[CcMadhya 19.53]
Krsna-prema-pradaya te – the special aspect of Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is that He distributes, He gives krsna-prema. That is why Krishna has appeared, krsnaya krsna-caitanya- Krishna has appeared as Caitanya Mahaprabhu to distribute krsna-prema. One verse has been written on the board. The board is so far away that I felt hardly any of you will be able to read the verse from the board therefore I did not get into reading the verse. I will just read the verse now. It says,
anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
Meaning anarpita-carim carat that which was not given before for a long long time. In order to distribute that karunayavatirnah kalau. Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu has appeared in the age of kali. And what is that unusual asset? What is that unusual gift that Krishna is giving as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam – bhakti sri – the wealth of devotion, wealth of His own devotion, sva-bhakti-sriyam in unnatojjvala-rasam, in the most elevate, unnato, most elevated and ujjvala in most brilliant-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam.
Inorder to distribute that harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah. Hari, Sri Krishna has appeared assuming a molten golden form. Krishna’s complexion is syam. Krishna is Syamasundar. That means Krishna’s complexion is dark. It has been described like the monsoon cloud or it is like deep blue, a very, very unique color. Once Prabhupada mentioned that Krishna’s complexion is not a material thing that we can define it by some material description. Krishna’s complexion is spiritual. It is completely non material. So the concept of black that we have in the material nature is not the complexion of Krishna. Similarly the conception of white that we have in the material world that is not the complexion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is a completely transcendental color but Prabhupada is saying that, that complexion comes very close to the color of monsoon cloud. In monsoon when the cloud appears, it appears to be quite dark.
So that is like Krishna’s complexion. But harih purata-sundara-dyuti- Krishna who is Syamsundar assumed the complexion, which is not dark. It is like molten gold, purata-sundara-dyuti. Purata means molten gold. When gold melts the color that it assumes, it is somewhat like that. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s complexion is like that. Now His complexion is, the complexion that Krishna assumed in this form is the complexion of Srimati Radharani. So Krishna assumed the internal mood of Srimati Radharani and the external complexion of Srimati Radharani. Radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krsna-svarupam [Cc Adi 1.5] Krishna assumed the bhava, the mood of Srimati Radharani and Krishna assumed the complexion of Srimati Radharani. And what is the mood of Srimati Radharani? Radharani’s mood is love for Krishna. Radharani is the personification of that mood which is called maha-bhava. Mahabhava-svarupa sri-radha-thakurani [Cc Adi 4.69] Srimati Radharani is the personification, svarupini. Radha bhava svarupini, maha bhava svarupini. Srimati Radharani is the personification of the most intense love for Krishna.
In simple words we can say, consider love is a substance. The love for Krishna is a substance. If that substance is collected together and you collect it, then that substance takes a form. That form is Srimati Radharani. Materially we cannot understand that. We will never be able to understand that because in the material nature the form and the substance are different but in the spiritual context everything is personified. So this intense love for Krishna is personified, or the love for Krishna is personified in Srimati Radharani. And all those who love Krishna are the expansions of Srimati Radharani.
Again we are trying to intellectually conceive it but it is a totally spiritual consideration. Radharani is the personification of Hladini sakti. Hladini sakti is intensified just as the milk is churned into butter, then butter is made into ghee. In this way the more and more concentrated form of a substance take the shape of a specific form. Similarly the substance of hladini sakti takes the most intense form in mahabhava, the loving relationship. The highest most intense loving relationship with Krishna and that is Srimati Radharani.
So Krishna assumed that mood of Srimati Radharani and the complexion of Srimati Radharani. Radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krsna-svarupam [Cc Adi
1.5] So Krishna assumed the mood of Srimati Radharani and the complexion of Srimati Radharani. Now here also another question comes – these questions are actually raised by the Goswamis, especially Rupa Goswami and Jiva Goswami. They are actually making this point – that Krishna assumed the mood of Srimati Radharani and the complexion of Srimati Radharani, just the mood and complexion. But they are pointing out, no. This mahabhava is Radharani Herself. So when Krishna assumes that mahabhava Krishna actually accepted Srimati Radharani completely in Himself.
In this respect an example is given. A cloth is made with threads. The threads are woven into cloth. From the cloth if you take all the threads away will there be any cloth left? No. Similarly mahabhava svarupini, Srimati Radharani is the personification of mahabhava. So when that mahabhava has been taken up by Krishna then is anything left of Srimati Radharani? No. So Radharani in totality is present in Krishna – Caitanya Mahaprabhu. That when Krishna and Radha becomes one that is Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and at that time Krishna does not remain Krishna, Krishna actually becomes Radha. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna who has become Radha – in simple words that is Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is not Krishna anymore. He is Srimati Radharani. In this appearance what is He doing? In one hand He is distributing the mercy of Krishna, He is distributing krsna-prema.
She is thinking that, “I am craving so much for this krsna-prema.” I know what the value and need is of this. I know this is a necessity of this love for Krishna, krsna-prema. Therefore let everybody have it.” So in that mood of Srimati Radharani, Krishna is distributing this krsna-prema. Therefore, maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te – He is distributing krsna-prema. Krishna -prema that is so rare, that it is even rare for Laksmidevi, what to speak of Brahma and Siva. Although in the scriptures it has been described, brahma durlabha prema – this vraja-prema is rare even for Brahma, this vraja-prema is even rare for Lord Siva but actually this vraja-prema is rare even for Laksmidevi.
Laksmidevi was begging Krishna, “Give me some vraja-prema.” She asked Narayan, “Will you please allow me to enter into Vrindavan and watch Your Vraja pastimes? Will You please allow me to dance in Your rasa-lila?” Narayan said, “Yes, but you have to follow a resident of Vraja in order to become eligible. Laksmidevi said, “How is it possible? I am Laksmi. How can I stoop down to anybody else? That will be and insult to Your position. I am Your eternal consort and I am Laksmi. I cannot bow down to anybody else. I cannot become subservient to anybody else.” Then Narayan said, “Okay. Then forget about entering into Vraja.”
Laksmidevi became so upset that she decided to perform austerity to acquire the eligibility to enter into Vrindavan and due to her intense austerity Krishna personally came to ask, “Laksmi what happened? Why are you performing this austerity?” Then Laksmidevi explained everything to Him and expressed her desire to enter into vraja-lila, to see vraja-prema. Then Krishna took Laksmidevi in His chest and Laksmidevi had to enter into Vrindavan becoming Srivatsa in the chest – as Sri personified in the chest of Sri Krishna.
So this is how rare this krsna-prema is. And this krsna-prema Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is distributing to anyone and everyone. And in His distribution Nityananda Prabhu is the main assisitant and Nityananda Prabhu is distributing it. Mahaprabhu said, “Go ahead, give it to anybody.” And Nityananda Prabhu is announcing, “Please come and take this krsna-prema.”
jare dekhe tare kohe dante trna dhori’ amare kiniya loho bhajo gaura-hari
Whomever He sees He tells him in a very humble mood that, “Please purchase Me with the price of chanting this holy name.”
eto boli’ nityananda bhume gadi jay sonara parvata jeno dhulate lotay
In this way Nityananda Prabhu rolls on the ground and it appears as if a golden mountain is rolling on the ground.
premera banya loiya nitai aila gauda-dese dubilo bhakata-gana dina hina bhase [Nitai guna mani amara]
With the flood of love of krsna-prema Nityananda Prabhu appeared in the land of Gauda-dese and He inundated the whole world filled it with this krsna-prema. Everybody became inundated. Everybody drowned in that love and those who did not submit themselves to this inundation even they got carried away by the waves of this ocean.
This is how mercifully Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to distribute this krsna-prema with the mood of Srimati Radharani. So today is the day Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in this Navadvip, in this Nava Vrindavan, a very special Vrindavan where He is distributing krsna-prema. He is still performing His pastimes, [Bengali] Still today, gauravani, Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu Gauranga is performing His pastimes, nitya-lila. Only some fortunate souls get to see those pastimes. Who are those fortunate souls who have developed their spiritual vision? How to develop that spiritual vision? By chanting the holy name, jivan mukhi hi jiva dau (?) The service rendered by different senses – with our ears we hear, with our skin we touch and so forth but what does the tongue do? sevon mukhe hi jivadau [Brs. 1.2.234] What does the tongue or jiva do? Jiva does two activities, tongue speaks and tastes. So if we can engage our tongue in these two very simple activities, chant the holy name of the Lord and honor krsna prasad. Just by doing these two activities svayam eva sphuraty adah – the holy name, Krishna will automatically – svayam eva will become manifest. Is it difficult? [Audience answer, “No.”] Who doesn’t like to eat delicious krsna prasad.
krsna bado doyamoy, koribare jihva jay, swa-prasad-anna dilo bhai
Very mercifully Krishna gave His maha prasad so we can just relish without karma. This will be the service to Krishna through our tongue and we can chant the holy name and by doing that we can experience Krishna in our hearts svayam eva sphuraty adah. Krishna will manifest. Krishna will appear Himself in our hearts. So this is how simple the process is in this age of kali. So now HH Bhakti Purusottama Maharaj will continue the class. [End of recording..]
[Audio of this lecture and others are available on mayapur. com/downloads.]