Govardhana Puja

govardan-hill

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Today we celebrate Govardhana-puja, when Krishna exhibited His transcendental pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill to protect the inhabitants of Vrndavan. In honor of this auspicious day, we are posting the entire chapter from the KRSNA Book entitled “Devastating Rainfall in Vrndavana”. Enjoy!

…Lord Kṛṣṇa immediately picked up Govardhana Hill with one hand, exactly as a child picks up a mushroom from the ground. Thus He exhibited His transcendental pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill. Lord Kṛṣṇa then began to address His devotees, “My dear brothers, My dear father, My dear inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, you can now safely enter under the umbrella of Govardhana Hill, which I have just lifted. Do not be afraid of the hill and think that it will fall from My hand. You have been too much afflicted from the heavy rain and strong wind; therefore I have lifted this hill, which will protect you exactly like a huge umbrella. I think this is a proper arrangement to relieve you from your immediate distress. Be happy along with your animals underneath this great umbrella.” Being assured by Lord Kṛṣṇa, all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana entered beneath the great hill and appeared to be safe along with their property and animals.

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The Beauty of the Lord

RadhaKrishna

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This morning I was just reflecting on how hot the weather has been, and how much all the plants are in need of water. Then, as I was reading the following verses from the Srimad Bhagavatam and I was thinking that we are all in need of Krsna, who is like the rain, and who’s beauty is compared to the dark clouds in the sky.

…After the scorching heat of the summer season, it is very pleasing to see dark clouds in the sky. The Lord wears a peacock feather in His hair, and His bodily complexion is just like a blackish cloud.

…The Lord’s beauty is compared to rainfall because when the rain falls in the rainy season, it becomes more and more pleasing to the people. After the scorching heat of the summer season, the people enjoy the rainy season very much. Indeed, they even come out of their doors in the villages and enjoy the rainfall directly. Thus the Lord’s bodily features are compared to the clouds of the rainy season.

…No one can say that the body of the Lord is wanting in beautiful parts. It is completely pūrṇam. Everything is complete: God’s creation, God’s beauty and God’s bodily features. All these are so complete that all one’s desires can become fully satisfied when one sees the beauty of the Lord. Both materialists and spiritualists can enjoy the beauty of the Lord. Because the Supreme Lord attracts everyone, including demons and devotees, materialists and spiritualists, He is called Kṛṣṇa. (from purport to SB 4.24.45-46)

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Lord Krishna Shows the Universal Form Within His Mouth

Krishna eating dirt

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One day while Krishna was playing with His small playmates, including Balarama and other sons of the gopas, all His friends came together and lodged a complaint to mother Yasoda. “Mother,” they submitted, “Krishna has eaten earth.” Upon hearing this from Krishnas’s playmates, mother Yasoda, who was always full of anxiety over Krishna’s welfare, picked Krishna up with her hands to look into His mouth and chastise Him. Her eyes fearful, she spoke to her son as follows. Dear Krishna, why are You so restless that You have eaten dirt in a solitary place? This complaint has been lodged against You by all Your playmates, including Your elder brother, Balarama. How is this? Lord Śrī Krishna replied: My dear mother, I have never eaten dirt. All My friends complaining against Me are liars. If you think they are being truthful, you can directly look into My mouth and examine it. Mother Yasoda challenged Krishna, “If You have not eaten earth, then open Your mouth wide.” When challenged by His mother in this way, Krishna, the son of Nanda Mahārāja and Yasoda, to exhibit pastimes like a human child, opened His mouth. Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, who is full of all opulences, did not disturb His mother’s parental affection, His opulence was automatically displayed, for Krishna’s opulence is never lost at any stage, but is manifest at the proper time. When Krishna opened His mouth wide by the order of mother Yasoda, she saw within His mouth all moving and non-moving entities, outer space, and all directions, along with mountains, islands, oceans, the surface of the earth, the blowing wind, fire, the moon and the stars. She saw the planetary systems, water, light, air, sky, and creation by transformation of ahaṅkāra. She also saw the senses, the mind, sense perception, and the three qualities goodness, passion and ignorance. She saw the time allotted for the living entities, she saw natural instinct and the reactions of karma, and she saw desires and different varieties of bodies, moving and nonmoving. Seeing all these aspects of the cosmic manifestation, along with herself and Vṛndāvana-dhāma, she became doubtful and fearful of her son’s nature. (SB 10.8.32-45)

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Krishna Nectar

Krsna Balaram and the cowherd boys

This morning I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 2, and I just stopped and re-read the following three verses and purports a second time, as they were so visually attractive. Srila Prabhupada in his purport, was painting a beautiful picture of the spiritual world.

In His childhood, the Almighty Lord was surrounded by cowherd boys and calves, and thus He traveled on the shore of the Yamunā River, through gardens densely covered with trees and filled with vibrations of chirping birds. (SB 3.2.27)

…The forests on the shore of the Yamunā are all beautiful gardens full of trees of mango, jackfruit, apples, guava, oranges, grapes, berries, palmfruit and so many other plants and fragrant flowers. And because the forest was on the bank of the Yamunā, naturally there were ducks, cranes and peacocks on the branches of the trees. All these trees and birds and beasts were pious living entities born in the transcendental abode of Vṛndāvana just to give pleasure to the Lord and His eternal associates, the cowherd boys. (from purport)

Canto Three, Chapter 2, Text 27-29 More

Krishna Nectar

gopal

Attraction and Remembrance

“My dear friend, I was just going to the bank of the Yamunā, and all of a sudden a very nice boy whose complexion is like a dark blue cloud became visible in front of My eyes. He glanced over Me in a way that I cannot describe. But since this has occurred, I am sorry that I can no longer engage My mind in the duties of My household affairs.” This is an instance of preliminary attraction for Kṛṣṇa. (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 44)

Once while Kṛṣṇa was out walking, one of the associates of Rādhārāṇī told Her: “My dear friend, do You think that this walking personality is a tāmala tree? If He is a tāmala tree, then how is it possible for Him to walk and be so beautiful? Then, this personality might be a cloud. But if He’s a cloud, then where is the beautiful moon within? Under the circumstances, I think it may be granted that this person is the same enchanting Personality of Godhead by whose flute vibration the three worlds are captivated. He must be the same Mukunda who is standing before Govardhan Hill.” This is another instance of an argumentative presentation of ecstatic love. (NOD Chapter 30)

One devotee said that even when he was not very attentive he would sometimes, seemingly out of madness, remember the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa within his heart. This is an instance of remembrance resulting from constant practice. In other words, devotees who are constantly thinking of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, even if they are momentarily inattentive, will see the figure of Lord Kṛṣṇa appearing within their hearts.

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The Beauty of Krsna

Shyamasundara

The Lord’s beauty resembles a dark cloud during the rainy season. As the rainfall glistens, His bodily features also glisten. Indeed, He is the sum total of all beauty. The Lord has four arms and an exquisitely beautiful face with eyes like lotus petals, a beautiful highly raised nose, a mind-attracting smile, a beautiful forehead and equally beautiful and fully decorated ears. (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.24.45-46)

The Lord’s beauty is compared to rainfall because when the rain falls in the rainy season, it becomes more and more pleasing to the people. After the scorching heat of the summer season, the people enjoy the rainy season very much. Indeed, they even come out of their doors in the villages and enjoy the rainfall directly. Thus the Lord’s bodily features are compared to the clouds of the rainy season. The devotees enjoy the Lord’s beauty because it is a collection of all kinds of beauties. Therefore the word sarva-saundarya-saṅgraham is used. No one can say that the body of the Lord is wanting in beautiful parts. It is completely pūrṇam. Everything is complete: God’s creation, God’s beauty and God’s bodily features. All these are so complete that all one’s desires can become fully satisfied when one sees the beauty of the Lord. The word sarva-saundarya indicates that there are different types of beauties in the material and spiritual worlds and that the Lord contains all of them. Both materialists and spiritualists can enjoy the beauty of the Lord. Because the Supreme Lord attracts everyone, including demons and devotees, materialists and spiritualists, He is called Kṛṣṇa. (from purport)

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Nityanavanavāyamāna or Transcendental Subject Matter

Krsna and the cowherd boys

I am so much enjoying my reading of the Krsna Book every morning. Although I have read and re-read it so many times before, it is more relishable with each new reading.

It is said that it is the nature of a devotee to constantly apply his mind, energy, words, ears, etc., in hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa. This is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and for one who is rapt in hearing and chanting Kṛṣṇa, the subject matter never becomes hackneyed or old. That is the significance of transcendental subject matter in contrast to material subject matter. Material subject matter becomes stale, and one cannot hear a certain subject for a long time; he wants change. But as far as transcendental subject matter is concerned, it is called nityanavanavāyamāna. This means that one can go on chanting and hearing about the Lord and never feel tired but will remain fresh and eager to hear more and more.

It is the duty of the spiritual master to disclose all confidential subject matter to the inquisitive and sincere disciple.

And thus in the Krsna Book, Srila Prabhupada reveals the activities of the Supreme Person Krsna as is evident from the following excerpt:

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The Killing of the Aghāsura Demon

Aghasura Demon

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This is one of my favorite stories from the Krsna Book. I always enjoyed how fearless the cowherd boys were. They were free of any fear. This is the benefit of Krsna Consciousness; “Any material arrangement for protecting oneself from death is always unsure, but if one is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then immortality is confidently assured.”

…Aghāsura, thus deciding to kill all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, expanded himself by the yogic siddhi called mahimā. The demons are generally expert in achieving almost all kinds of mystic powers. In the yoga system, by the perfection called mahimā-siddhi, one can expand himself as he desires. The demon Aghāsura expanded himself up to eight miles and assumed the shape of a very fat serpent. Having attained this wonderful body, he stretched his mouth open just like a mountain cave. Desiring to swallow all the boys at once, including Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, he sat on the path.

The demon in the shape of a big fat serpent expanded his lips from land to sky; his lower lip was touching the ground, and his upper lip was touching the clouds. His jaws appeared like a big mountain cave, without limitation, and his teeth appeared just like mountain summits. His tongue appeared to be a broad traffic way, and he was breathing just like a hurricane. His eyes were blazing like fire. At first the boys thought that the demon was a statue, but after examining it they saw that it was a big serpent lying down on the road and widening his mouth. The boys began to talk among themselves: “Dear friends, this figure appears to be a great animal, and he is sitting in such a posture just to swallow us all. Just see—is it not a big snake that has widened his mouth to eat all of us?”

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Remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Krishna and Balarama tend the cows and bulls

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This morning I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam Third Canto, Chapter Two. It was so enlivening, that I read out-loud, the entire chapter. The following is just three verses and purports from the chapter entitled ” Remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa”.

In His childhood, the Almighty Lord was surrounded by cowherd boys and calves, and thus He traveled on the shore of the Yamunā River, through gardens densely covered with trees and filled with vibrations of chirping birds. (SB 3.2.27)

…the Lord used to play His celebrated flute. The sound vibrated by His flute would give His friends such transcendental pleasure that they would forget all the talks of the brahmānanda which is so praised by the impersonalists. These cowherd boys, as will be explained by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, were living entities who had accumulated heaps of pious acts and thus were enjoying with the Lord in person and were hearing His transcendental flute. The Brahma-saṁhitā (5.30) confirms the Lord’s blowing His transcendental flute. (from purport to SB 3.2.29)

veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣaṁ
barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam
kandarpa-koṭi-kaminīya-viśeṣa-śobhaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

Brahmājī said, “I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who plays on His transcendental flute. His eyes are like lotus flowers, He is decorated with peacock plumes, and His bodily color resembles a fresh black cloud although His bodily features are more beautiful than millions of cupids.” These are the special features of the Lord.

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Krsna and Balarama Nectar

Krsna and Balaram

When I saw this beautiful image of Krsna and Balarama, my mind immediately went to the Krsna Book. So I pulled out some of the pastimes of the two transcendental brothers to share with you today.

…Accompanied by the cowherd boys and Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa brought forward the cows and played on His flute through the forest of Vṛndāvana, which was full of flowers, vegetables, and pasturing grass. The Vṛndāvana forest was as sanctified as the clear mind of a devotee and was full of bees, flowers and fruits. There were chirping birds and clear water lakes with waters that could relieve one of all fatigues. Sweet flavored breezes blew always, refreshing the mind and body. Kṛṣṇa, with His friends and Balarāma, entered the forest and, seeing the favorable situation, enjoyed the atmosphere to the fullest extent. Kṛṣṇa saw all the trees, overloaded with fruits and fresh twigs, coming down to touch the ground as if welcoming Him by touching His lotus feet. He was very pleased by the behavior of the trees, fruits and flowers, and He began to smile realizing their desires. (Chapter 15 Killing of Dhenukasura)

…One day, when Kṛṣṇa, along with Balarāma, was maintaining the calves in the forest, They saw some cows grazing on the top of Govardhana Hill. The cows could see down into the valley where the calves were being taken care of by the boys. Suddenly, on sighting their calves, the cows began to run towards them. They leaped downhill with joined front and rear legs. The cows were so melted with affection for their calves that they did not care about the rough path from the top of Govardhana Hill down to the pasturing ground. They began to approach the calves with their milk bags full of milk, and they raised their tails upwards. When they were coming down the hill, their milk bags were pouring milk on the ground out of intense maternal affection for the calves, although they were not their own calves. These cows had their own calves, and the calves that were grazing beneath Govardhana Hill were larger; they were not expected to drink milk directly from the milk bag but were satisfied with the grass. Yet all the cows came immediately and began to lick their bodies, and the calves also began to suck milk from the milk bags. There appeared to be a great bondage of affection between the cows and calves. (Chapter 13 The Stealing of the Boys and Calves by Brahma)

…Kṛṣṇa was very pleased with the atmosphere of the forest where flowers bloomed and bees and drones hummed very jubilantly. While the birds, trees and branches were all looking very happy, Kṛṣṇa, tending the cows, accompanied by Śrī Balarāma and the cowherd boys… (Chapter 21 The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute)

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The Vibration of Krishna’s Flute

Sri Krishna with flute

“The vibration of His flute is just like a bird that creates a nest within the ears of the gopīs and always remains prominent there, not allowing any other sound to enter their ears. Indeed, the gopīs cannot hear anything else, nor are they able to concentrate on anything else, not even to give a suitable reply. Such are the effects of the vibration of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s flute.” (Madhya-lila 21.144)

…This vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute is represented by the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. A serious devotee of the Lord who chants and hears this transcendental vibration becomes so accustomed to it that he cannot divert his attention to any subject matter not related to Kṛṣṇa’s blissful characteristics and paraphernalia. (from purport)

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Drops of Nectar

Radha Krishna

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, ” ‘A person advanced in devotional service sees within everything the soul of souls, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Consequently he always sees the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the cause of all causes and understands that all things are situated in Him.’

” ‘The plants, creepers and trees were full of fruits and flowers due to ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa. Indeed, being so full, they were bowing down. They were inspired by such deep love for Kṛṣṇa that they were constantly pouring showers of honey. In this way the gopīs saw all the forest of Vṛndāvana.’ “

Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “My dear Rāya, you are an advanced devotee and are always filled with ecstatic love for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Therefore whatever you see-anywhere and everywhere-simply awakens your Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”

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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 More

Attachment to Krsna is the Highest Goal

Krishna Pastimes

This is a post I have wanted to do for some time, and have waited for an auspicious day like today, on Lord Balarama’s appearance to post it. This is some of the nectar from the concluding chapter of Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, by our Srila Prabhupada. And the above image is one of my most favorite pictures from the book. This picture has always captivated my imagination and I am convinced that if ever I return Home, Back to Godhead, life with God (Krsna) would be very enjoyable. Eternal, full of knowledge and bliss (sat-cit-ananda)

…The crystal-clear water of the lakes contained many blooming lotus flowers of different colors like blue, yellow, white and red, and the saffron powder from the lotus flowers was blown all around by the breeze. All the lakes were full of beautiful swans, ducks and cranes, crying occasionally with melodious sounds. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa sometimes entered those lakes, or sometimes the rivers, with His wives and enjoyed swimming pastimes with them in full jubilation. Sometimes the wives of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who were all goddesses of fortune, would embrace the Lord in the midst of the water while swimming or taking bath, and the red vermilion of kuṅkuma decorating the beauty of their breasts would adorn the chest of the Lord with a reddish color.

The impersonalists would not dare believe that in the spiritual world there are such varieties of enjoyment, but in order to demonstrate the factual, ever-blissful enjoyment in the spiritual world, Lord Kṛṣṇa descended on this planet and showed that the spiritual world is not devoid of such pleasurable facilities of life. The only difference is that in the spiritual world such facilities are eternal, never-ending occurrences, whereas in the material world they are simply impermanent perverted reflections. When Lord Kṛṣṇa was engaged in such enjoyment, the Gandharvas and professional musicians would glorify Him with melodious musical concerts, accompanied by mṛdaṅgas, drums, kettledrums, stringed instruments and brass bugles, and the whole atmosphere would change into a greatly festive celebration. In a festive mood, the wives of the Lord would sometimes sprinkle water on the Lord’s body with a syringe-like instrument, and the Lord would similarly wet the bodies of the queens.

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