Uddhava Visits Vṛndāvana

Uddhava, Radharani and the gopis

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This is perhaps one of my favorite chapters in the Kṛṣṇa Book, and I find myself reading it again and again. There are many lessons one can take away from this chapter. With great pleasure we are posting the entire chapter in the hopes that one of our readers will become enlivened in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness as a result of reading it.

…As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante: Kṛṣṇa is very responsive. He responds in proportion to the devotee’s advancement in devotional service. The gopīs were thinking of Kṛṣṇa in separation twenty-four hours a day. Kṛṣṇa was also always thinking of the gopīs, mother Yaśodā, Nanda Mahārāja and the residents of Vṛndāvana, although He appeared to be away from them. He could understand how they were transcendentally aggrieved, and so He immediately wanted to send Uddhava to give them a message of solace.

Uddhava is described as the most exalted personality in the Vṛṣṇi dynasty, almost equal to Kṛṣṇa. He was a great friend, and on account of being the direct student of Bṛhaspati, the teacher and priest of the heavenly planets, he was very intelligent and sharp in decision. From the intellectual standpoint, he was highly qualified. Kṛṣṇa, being a very loving friend of Uddhava, wanted to send him to Vṛndāvana just to study the highly elevated ecstatic devotional service practiced there. Even if one is highly elevated in material education and is even the disciple of Bṛhaspati, he still has to learn from the gopīs and the residents of Vṛndāvana how to love Kṛṣṇa to the highest degree. Sending Uddhava to Vṛndāvana with a message to the residents of Vṛndāvana to pacify them was Kṛṣṇa’s special favor to Uddhava.

Lord Kṛṣṇa’s name is Hari, which means one who takes away all the distress from the surrendered souls. Lord Caitanya states that there cannot be, at any time, a worship as exalted as that realized by the gopīs. Being very anxious about the gopīs’ grief, Kṛṣṇa talked with Uddhava and politely requested him to go to Vṛndāvana. Shaking Uddhava’s hand with His own hands, He said, ”My dear gentle friend Uddhava, please go immediately to Vṛndāvana and try to pacify My father and mother, Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā-devī, and the gopīs. They are very much griefstricken, as if suffering from great ailments. Go and give them a message. I hope their ailments will be partially relieved. The gopīs are always absorbed in thoughts of Me. They have dedicated body, desire, life and soul to Me. I am anxious not only for the gopīs, but for anyone who sacrifices society, friendship, love and personal comforts for Me. It is My duty to protect such exalted devotees. The gopīs are the most dear. They are always thinking of Me in such a way that they remain overwhelmed and almost dead in anxiety due to separation from Me. They are keeping alive simply by thinking that I am returning to them very soon.“

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