Lunch with the Lord

Krsna & the cowheard boys taking Prasadam

Today, being Monday, and the start of another workday week, I wanted to focus my mind, not on all the work ahead, but rather, on some Krishna Nectar from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam. We share with you a few of Srila Prabhupada’s divine ecstasies. As we mentioned is a previous post, there are two kṛṣṇa-kathās; narrations spoken by Kṛṣṇa, and narrations spoken about Kṛṣṇa. Please note text 5 & 6 which is spoken by Krsna.

…devotees who have accepted the essence of life, are attached to Kṛṣṇa in the core of their hearts, and He is the aim of their lives. It is their nature to talk only of Kṛṣṇa at every moment, as if such topics were newer and newer.

Like the whorl of a lotus flower surrounded by its petals and leaves, Kṛṣṇa sat in the center, encircled by lines of His friends, who all looked very beautiful. Every one of them was trying to look forward toward Kṛṣṇa, thinking that Kṛṣṇa might look toward him. In this way they all enjoyed their lunch in the forest.

Among the cowherd boys, some placed their lunch on flowers, some on leaves, fruits, or bunches of leaves, some actually in their baskets, some on the bark of trees and some on rocks. This is what the children imagined to be their plates as they ate their lunch.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 10, Chapter 13, Text 1-12

Translations and purports

TEXT 1

Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O best of devotees, most fortunate Parīkṣit, you have inquired very nicely, for although constantly hearing the pastimes of the Lord, you are perceiving His activities to be newer and newer.

PURPORT

Unless one is very advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one cannot stick to hearing the pastimes of the Lord constantly. Nityaṁ nava-navāya-mānam: even though advanced devotees hear continually about the Lord for years, they still feel that these topics are coming to them as newer and fresher. Therefore such devotees cannot give up hearing of the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. The word santaḥ is used to refer to persons who have developed love for Kṛṣṇa. Yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi (Brahma-saṁhitā 5.38). Parīkṣit Mahārāja, therefore, is addressed as bhāgavatottama, the best of devotees, because unless one is very much elevated in devotional service, one cannot feel ecstasy from hearing more and more and appreciate the topics as ever fresher and newer.

TEXT 2

Paramahaṁsas, devotees who have accepted the essence of life, are attached to Kṛṣṇa in the core of their hearts, and He is the aim of their lives. It is their nature to talk only of Kṛṣṇa at every moment, as if such topics were newer and newer. They are attached to such topics, just as materialists are attached to topics of women and sex.

PURPORT

The word sāra-bhṛtām means paramahaṁsas. The haṁsa, or swan, accepts milk from a mixture of milk and water and rejects the water. Similarly, the nature of persons who have taken to spiritual life and Kṛṣṇa consciousness, understanding Kṛṣṇa to be the life and soul of everyone, is that they cannot give up kṛṣṇa-kathā, or topics about Kṛṣṇa, at any moment. Such paramahaṁsas always see Kṛṣṇa within the core of the heart (santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti). Kāma (desires), krodha (anger) and bhaya (fear) are always present in the material world, but in the spiritual, or transcendental, world one can use them for Kṛṣṇa. Kāmaṁ kṛṣṇa-karmārpaṇe. The desire of the paramahaṁsas, therefore, is to act always for Kṛṣṇa. Krodhaṁ bhakta-dveṣi jane. They use anger against the nondevotees and transform bhaya, or fear, into fear of being deviated from Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In this way, the life of a paramahaṁsa devotee is used entirely for Kṛṣṇa, just as the life of a person attached to the material world is used simply for women and money. What is day for the materialistic person is night for the spiritualist. What is very sweet for the materialist—namely women and money—is regarded as poison by the spiritualist.

sandarśanaṁ viṣayinām atha yoṣitāṁ ca
ha hanta hanta viṣa-bhakṣaṇato ’py asādhu

This is the instruction of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. For the paramahaṁsa, Kṛṣṇa is everything, but for the materialist, women and money are everything.

TEXT 3

O King, kindly hear me with great attention. Although the activities of the Supreme Lord are very confidential, no ordinary man being able to understand them, I shall speak about them to you, for spiritual masters explain to a submissive disciple even subject matters that are very confidential and difficult to understand.

TEXT 4

Then, after saving the boys and calves from the mouth of Aghāsura, who was death personified, Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, brought them all to the bank of the river and spoke the following words.

TEXT 5

My dear friends, just see how this riverbank is extremely beautiful because of its pleasing atmosphere. And just see how the blooming lotuses are attracting bees and birds by their aroma. The humming and chirping of the bees and birds is echoing throughout the beautiful trees in the forest. Also, here the sands are clean and soft. Therefore, this must be considered the best place for our sporting and pastimes.

PURPORT

The description of Vṛndāvana forest as given herewith was spoken by Kṛṣṇa five thousand years ago, and the same condition prevailed during the time of the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas three or four hundred years ago. Kūjat-kokila-haṁsa-sārasa-gaṇākīrṇe mayūrākule. Vṛndāvana forest is always filled with the chirping and cooing of birds like cuckoos (kokila), ducks (haṁsa) and cranes (sārasa), and it is also full of peacocks (mayūrākule). The same sounds and atmosphere still prevail in the area where our Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma temple is situated. Everyone who visits this temple is pleased to hear the chirping of the birds as described here (kūjat-kokila-haṁsa-sārasa).

TEXT 6

I think we should take our lunch here, since we are already hungry because the time is very late. Here the calves may drink water and go slowly here and there and eat the grass.

TEXT 7

Accepting Lord Kṛṣṇa’s proposal, the cowherd boys allowed the calves to drink water from the river and then tied them to trees where there was green, tender grass. Then the boys opened their baskets of food and began eating with Kṛṣṇa in great transcendental pleasure.

TEXT 8

Like the whorl of a lotus flower surrounded by its petals and leaves, Kṛṣṇa sat in the center, encircled by lines of His friends, who all looked very beautiful. Every one of them was trying to look forward toward Kṛṣṇa, thinking that Kṛṣṇa might look toward him. In this way they all enjoyed their lunch in the forest.

PURPORT

To a pure devotee, Kṛṣṇa is always visible, as stated in the Brahmā saṁhitā (santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti) and as indicated by Kṛṣṇa Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādaṁ tat sarvato ’kṣi-śiro-mukham). If by accumulating pious activities (kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ) one is raised to the platform of pure devotional service, Kṛṣṇa is always visible in the core of one’s heart. One who has attained such perfection is all-beautiful in transcendental bliss. The present Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is an attempt to keep Kṛṣṇa in the center, for if this is done all activities will automatically become beautiful and blissful.

TEXT 9

Among the cowherd boys, some placed their lunch on flowers, some on leaves, fruits, or bunches of leaves, some actually in their baskets, some on the bark of trees and some on rocks. This is what the children imagined to be their plates as they ate their lunch.

TEXT 10

All the cowherd boys enjoyed their lunch with Kṛṣṇa, showing one another the different tastes of the different varieties of preparations they had brought from home. Tasting one another’s preparations, they began to laugh and make one another laugh.

PURPORT

Sometimes one friend would say, “Kṛṣṇa, see how my food is relishable,” and Kṛṣṇa would take some and laugh. Similarly, Balarāma, Sudāmā and other friends would taste one another’s food and laugh. In this way, the friends very jubilantly began to eat their respective preparations brought from home.

TEXT 11

Kṛṣṇa is yajña-bhuk—that is, He eats only offerings of yajña—but to exhibit His childhood pastimes, He now sat with His flute tucked between His waist and His tight cloth on His right side and with His horn bugle and cow-driving stick on His left. Holding in His hand a very nice preparation of yogurt and rice, with pieces of suitable fruit between His fingers, He sat like the whorl of a lotus flower, looking forward toward all His friends, personally joking with them and creating jubilant laughter among them as He ate. At that time, the denizens of heaven were watching, struck with wonder at how the Personality of Godhead, who eats only in yajña, was now eating with His friends in the forest.

PURPORT

When Kṛṣṇa was eating with His cowherd boyfriends, a certain bumblebee came there to take part in the eating. Thus Kṛṣṇa joked, “Why have you come to disturb My brāhmaṇa friend Madhumaṅgala? You want to kill a brāhmaṇa. This is not good.” All the boys would laugh and enjoy, speaking such joking words while eating. Thus the inhabitants of the higher planets were astonished at how the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who eats only when yajña is offered, was now eating like an ordinary child with His friends in the forest.

TEXT 12

O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, while the cowherd boys, who knew nothing within the core of their hearts but Kṛṣṇa, were thus engaged in eating their lunch in the forest, the calves went far away, deep into the forest, being allured by green grass.

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