Mother Yasoda Binds Lord Krsna

mother-yashoda-binds-lord-damodara

The beauty of Transcendental subject matter is that it never gets old, but rather, becomes more relishable with every reading. For instance, every year we celebrate the month of Damodara or Kartika, with the reading of “Mother Yasoda Binds Lord Krsna”, and singing the Damodarastka prayers, and every year, it becomes more enjoyable and spiritually enlivening. That is the nature of Spiritual Subject Matter.

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Nine

Mother Yaśodā Binds Lord Kṛṣṇa

Once upon a time, seeing that her maidservant was engaged in different household duties, mother Yaśodā personally took charge of churning butter. And while she churned butter, she sang the childhood pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and enjoyed thinking of her son.

The end of her sari was tightly wrapped while she churned, and on account of her intense love for her son, milk automatically dripped from her breasts which moved as she labored very hard, churning with two hands. The bangles and bracelets on her hands tinkled as they touched each other, and her earrings and breasts shook. There were drops of perspiration on her face, and the flower garland which was on her head scattered here and there. Before this picturesque sight, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared as a child. He felt hungry, and out of love for His mother, He wanted her to stop churning. He indicated that her first business was to let Him suck her breast and then churn butter later.

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The Sound of Krsna

Krsna's Flute

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “My dear friend, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, has a voice as deep as a cloud resounding in the sky. With the tinkling of His ornaments, He attracts the ears of the gopīs, and with the sound of His flute He attracts even the goddess of fortune and other beautiful women. That Personality of Godhead, known as Madana-mohana, whose joking words carry many indications and deep meanings, is increasing the lusty desires of My ears.’

“Kṛṣṇa’s deep voice is more resonant than newly arrived clouds, and His sweet song defeats even the sweet voice of the cuckoo. Indeed, His song is so sweet that even one particle of its sound can inundate the entire world. If such a particle enters one’s ear, one is immediately bereft of all other types of hearing.

“My dear friend, please tell me what to do. My ears have been plundered by the qualities of Kṛṣṇa’s sound. Now, however, I cannot hear His transcendental sound, and I am almost dead for want of it.

“The tinkling of Kṛṣṇa’s ankle bells surpasses the songs of even the swan and crane, and the sound of His bangles puts the singing of the caṭaka bird to shame. Having allowed these sounds to enter the ears even once, one cannot tolerate hearing anything else.

“Kṛṣṇa’s speech is far sweeter than nectar. Each of His jubilant words is full of meaning, and when His speech mixes with His smile, which is like camphor, the resultant sound and the deep meaning of Kṛṣṇa’s words create various transcendental mellows.

“One particle of that transcendental, blissful nectar is the life and soul of the ear, which is like a cakora bird that lives in hope of tasting that nectar. Sometimes, by good fortune, the bird can taste it, but at other times he unfortunately cannot and therefore almost dies of thirst.

“The transcendental vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute disturbs the hearts of women all over the world, even if they hear it only once. Thus their fastened belts become loose, and these women become the unpaid maidservants of Kṛṣṇa. Indeed, they run toward Kṛṣṇa exactly like madwomen.

“When she hears the vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute, even the goddess of fortune comes to Him, greatly hoping for His association, but nevertheless she does not get it. When the waves of thirst for His association increase, she performs austerities, but still she cannot meet Him.

“Only the most fortunate can hear these four nectarean sounds-Kṛṣṇa’s words, the tinkling of His ankle bells and bangles, His voice and the vibration of His flute. If one does not hear these sounds, his ears are as useless as small conchshells with holes.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila text 40-48)

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Subduing Kāliya

Krsna dancing on the heads of Kalia serpent
Krishna’s Punishment to the Serpant Kaliya was Actually a Benediction

I love the stories and pastimes in the Krsna Book, and never tiring of hearing them. I ran across the above image on the Internet, I found it so sweet, that I opened up the Krsna Book and re-read the story of Krsna Subduing the Kaliya Serpent.

…When this story was being narrated by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Mahārāja Parīkṣit became eager to hear more about Kṛṣṇa’s childhood pastimes. He inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī how Kṛṣṇa chastised Kāliya, who was living in the water for many years. Actually, Mahārāja Parīkṣit was becoming more and more enthusiastic to hear the transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, and his inquiry was made with great interest.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī narrated the story as follows.

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Hearing is an Opportunity to Associate with the Lord

Krsna and Balarama

Todays post revolves around the first three paragraphs in chapter 7 of the Krsna Book and the associated verses from the Bhagavad-gita.

…Hearing is an opportunity to associate with the Lord; to hear His activities is to evolve to the transcendental nature–simply by hearing.

If someone takes advantage of hearing the pastimes of the Lord, the material contamination of dust, accumulated in the heart due to long association with material nature, can be immediately cleansed. Lord Caitanya also instructed that simply by hearing the transcendental name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, one can cleanse the heart of all material contamination.

Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are not only beautiful; they are also very pleasing to the mind. (Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter Seven “Salvation of Tṛṇāvarta”)

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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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Pasughna – Killer of Animals, Killer of the Soul

Cow Protection for the Benefit of Civilization

Cow Protection for the Benefit of Civilization

Here is another word for your vaisnava vocabulary; pasughna. I was reading this morning from the Introduction to the Krsna Book and this word [paśughna] just kinda jumped out at me. The meaning is: killing animals or killing oneself. I found this interesting, that killing animals was the same as killing oneself. I did a serch on Vani Quotes of this word and the following post is the results of that search.

…This book, Kṛṣṇa, which is filled with kṛṣṇa-kathā, will thus appeal equally to the liberated souls and to persons who are trying to be liberated, as well as to the gross, conditioned materialist. According to the statement of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who heard about Kṛṣṇa from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, kṛṣṇa-kathā is equally applicable to every human being, whatever condition of life he is in. Surely everyone will appreciate it to the highest magnitude. But Mahārāja Parīkṣit also warned that persons who are simply engaged in killing animals and in killing themselves may not be very much attracted to kṛṣṇa-kathā. In other words, ordinary persons who are following the regulative moral principles of scriptures, no matter in what condition they are found, will certainly be attracted, but not persons who are killing themselves. The exact word used in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is paśughna, which means killing animals or killing oneself. Persons who are not self-realized and who are not interested in spiritual realization are killing themselves; they are committing suicide. Because this human form of life is especially meant for self-realization, by neglecting this important part of his activities one simply wastes his time like the animals. So he is paśughna. The other meaning of the word refers to those who are actually killing animals. This means persons who are animal-eaters (even dog-eaters), for they are all engaged in killing animals in so many ways, such as hunting and opening slaughterhouses. Such persons cannot be interested in kṛṣṇa-kathā. (Krsna Book Introduction)

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Laughing Devotion

Laughter from the Vyasasana

I saw this picture of Srila Prabhupada laughing and thought; I have to do a post on laughter. So I did a search and came up with some very nice verses on laughing attachment to Kṛṣṇa.

“With devotion steeped in love and affection, the yogī should meditate within the core of his heart upon the laughter of Lord Viṣṇu. The laughter of Viṣṇu is so captivating that it can be easily meditated upon. (SB 3.28.33)

…It is recommended that the yogī visualize the laughter of the Lord after studying His smile very carefully. (from purport)

…In a direct relationship of conjugal love, there is laughter.

After He had stolen some curd from the pots of two gopīs, Kṛṣṇa told one of His gopī friends: “My dear beautiful friend, I can take oath that I have not stolen even a drop of curd from your pot! But still, your friend, Rādhārāṇī, is very shamelessly smelling the flavor of My mouth. Kindly forbid Her from this devious policy of putting Her face near Mine.” When Kṛṣṇa was speaking like this, the friends of Rādhārāṇī could not check their laughter. This is an instance of ecstasy in conjugal love. (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 33)

…When a smiling person claps his hands and leaps in the air, the smiling expression changes into atihasita, or overwhelming laughter. An example of atihasita was manifested in the following incident: Kṛṣṇa once addressed Jaratī thus: “My dear good woman, the skin of your face is now slackened, and so your face exactly resembles a monkey’s. As such, the King of the monkeys, Balīmukha, has selected you as his worthy wife.” While Kṛṣṇa was teasing Jaratī in this way, she replied that she was certainly aware of the fact that the King of the monkeys was trying to marry her, but she had already taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa, the killer of many powerful demons, and therefore she had already decided to marry Kṛṣṇa instead of the King of the monkeys. On hearing this sarcastic reply by the talkative Jaratī, all the cowherd girls present there began to laugh very loudly and clap their hands. This laughter, accompanied by the clapping of hands, is called atihasita.

Sometimes there are indirect sarcastic remarks which also create atihasita circumstances. An example of one such remark was made by one of the cowherd girls to Kuṭilā, the daughter of Jaṭilā and sister of Abhimanyu, the so-called husband of Rādhārāṇī. Indirectly Kuṭilā was insulted by the following statement:

“My dear Kuṭilā, daughter of Jaṭilā, your breasts are as long as string beans-simply dry and long. Your nose is so gorgeous that it is defying the beauty of the noses of frogs. And your eyes are more beautiful than the eyes of dogs. Your lips are defying the flaming cinders of fire, and your abdomen is as beautiful as a big drum. Therefore, my dear beautiful Kuṭilā, you are the most beautiful of all the cowherd girls of Vṛndāvana, and because of your extraordinary beauty, I think you must be beyond the attraction of the sweet blowing of Kṛṣṇa’s flute!” (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 45)

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Kṛṣṇa-kathā, Part 2

Srimad Bhagavatam

The position of Mahārāja Parīkṣit and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is unique. Mahārāja Parīkṣit is the right person to hear about the transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is the right person to describe them. If such a fortunate combination is made possible, then Kṛṣṇa-kathā immediately becomes revealed, and people may benefit to the highest possible degree from such a conversation.

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Kṛṣṇa-kathā

Krsna and Radharani

Here is a another word for your vaisnava vocabulary; Kṛṣṇa-kathā. The following is from the Introduction to the Krsna Book and how narrations describing the transcendental activities of the Lord are relished by liberated souls. But whether one is liberated or is trying to be liberated, or is even grossly materialistic, the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa are worth studying. The more people know about Kṛṣṇa, the more they will be perfectly benefited in this human form of life.

…Kṛṣṇa-kathā means narrations about Kṛṣṇa. There are two kṛṣṇa-kathās: narrations spoken by Kṛṣṇa and narrations spoken about Kṛṣṇa. Bhagavad-gītā is the narration or the philosophy or the science of God, spoken by Kṛṣṇa Himself. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the narration about the activities and transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. Both are Kṛṣṇa-kathā. It is the order of Lord Caitanya that Kṛṣṇa-kathā should be spread all over the world, because if the conditioned souls, suffering under the pangs of material existence, take to Kṛṣṇa-kathā, then their path of liberation will be open and clear. The purpose of presenting this book is primarily to induce people to understand Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa-kathā, because thereby they can become freed from material bondage. (from introduction to “Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead”)

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The Highest Perfection

Krishna Balarama and Cows

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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, began to vibrate His transcendental flute. After hearing the vibration of the flute of Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs in Vṛndāvana remembered Him and began to talk amongst themselves about how nicely Kṛṣṇa was playing His flute. When the gopīs were describing the sweet vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute, they also remembered their pastimes with Him; thus their minds became disturbed, and they were unable to describe completely the beautiful vibrations. While discussing the transcendental vibration, they remembered also how Kṛṣṇa dressed, decorated with a peacock feather on His head, just like a dancing actor, and with blue flowers pushed over His ear. His garment glowed yellow-gold, and He was garlanded with a vaijayantī necklace. Dressed in such an attractive way, Kṛṣṇa filled up the holes of His flute with the nectar emanating from His lips. So they remembered Him, entering the forest of Vṛndāvana, which is always glorified by the footprints of Kṛṣṇa and His companions.

Kṛṣṇa was very expert in playing the flute, and the gopīs were captivated by the sound vibration, which was not only attractive to them, but to all living creatures who heard it. One of the gopīs told her friends, “The highest perfection of the eyes is to see Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma entering the forest and playing Their flutes and tending the cows with Their friends.”

Persons who are constantly engaged in the transcendental meditation of seeing Kṛṣṇa, internally and externally, by thinking of Him playing the flute and entering the Vṛndāvana forest, have really attained the perfection of samādhi. Samādhi (trance) means absorption of all the activities of the senses on a particular object, and the gopīs indicate that the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are the perfection of all meditation and samādhi. It is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that anyone who is always absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa is the topmost of all yogīs. (KRSNA The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Chapter 21)

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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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Krishna is All Attractive

govinda with flute

“My dear friend, there is one boy—His name is Govinda. He is standing on the bank of the Yamuna near the Kesi-ghat, and He is playing on His flute. He is so beautiful, especially during this full-moon night. If you have any intentions to enjoy in this material world with your children, husband, or other family members, then please do not go there.”

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Kṛṣṇa-kathā

Srila Prabhupada preaching to disciples

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…When discourses on kṛṣṇa-kathā take place between a liberated spiritual master and his disciple, others also sometimes take advantage of hearing these topics and also benefit. These topics are the medicine to stop the repetition of birth and death. The cycle of repeated birth and death, by which one takes on different bodies again and again, is called bhava or bhava-roga. If anyone, willingly or unwillingly, hears kṛṣṇa-kathā, his bhava-roga, the disease of birth and death, will certainly stop. Therefore kṛṣṇa-kathā is called bhavauṣadha, the remedy to stop the repetition of birth and death.

In India it is the practice among the general populace to hear about Kṛṣṇa, either from Bhagavad-gītā or from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in order to gain relief from the disease of repeated birth and death. Although India is now fallen, when there is a message that someone will speak about Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, thousands of people still gather to hear. The following verse indicates, however, that such recitation of Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam must be done by persons completely freed from material desires (nivṛtta-tarṣaiḥ).

If we hear the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from liberated persons, this hearing will certainly free us from the bondage of material activities, but hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam spoken by a professional reciter cannot actually help us achieve liberation. Kṛṣṇa-kathā is very simple. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As He Himself explains, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya: “O Arjuna, there is no truth superior to Me.” Simply by understanding this fact—that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead—one can become a liberated person. (Purport SB 10.1.4)

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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