In the Spiritual World of Vṛndāvana

Lord Krishna and the gopis

click on image to enlarge

It is late at night and I was searching for some late night reading…The Teachings of Lord Caitanya was there on the shelf, so I opened it and began to read the Introduction. The Introduction was originally delivered by Srila Prabhupada as five morning lectures on Caitanya-caritāmṛta before the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, New York City, April 10–14, 1967. This is the conclusion of the Introduction and proved to be a good choice for late night reading and an early morning post.

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī petitions the blessings of Lord Gopīnātha: “May that Gopīnātha, the master of the gopīs, Kṛṣṇa, bless you. May you become blessed by Gopīnātha.” The author of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta prays that just as Kṛṣṇa attracted the gopīs by the sweet sound of His flute, He will also attract the reader’s mind by His transcendental vibration.

…Govinda resides eternally in Vṛndāvana. In the spiritual world of Vṛndāvana the buildings are made of touchstone, the cows are known as surabhi cows, givers of abundant milk, and the trees are known as wish-fulfilling trees, for they yield whatever one desires. In Vṛndāvana, Kṛṣṇa herds the surabhi cows, and He is worshiped by hundreds and thousands of gopīs, cowherd girls, who are all goddesses of fortune. When Kṛṣṇa descends to the material world, this same Vṛndāvana descends, just as an entourage accompanies an important personage. Because when Kṛṣṇa comes His land also comes, Vṛndāvana is not considered to exist in the material world. Therefore devotees take shelter of the Vṛndāvana in India, for it is considered to be a replica of the original Vṛndāvana. Although one may complain that no kalpa-vṛkṣa, wish-fulfilling trees, exist there, when the Gosvāmīs were there, kalpa-vṛkṣa were present. It is not that one can simply go to such a tree and make demands; one must first become a devotee. The Gosvāmīs would live under a tree for one night only, and the trees would satisfy all their desires. For the common man this may all seem very wonderful, but as one makes progress in devotional service, all this can be realized.

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KRSNA Book Vol. 2 (Free PDF Download)

Krsna Book Vol. 2 cover

Recently I have been reading one chapter from the Krsna Book everyday, something I haven’t done since my children were young. But now in my old age, reading alone and out loud, in front of our deities, I am finding an even deeper appreciation of this beautiful book. To be honest, I am in awe of this Krsna Book, it is not of this world. Rather it is a window to the Spiritual World. With great joy we are posting a scanned version of Vol. 2 of the Krsna Book, in the pdf format, for a free download.

KRSNA_Book_Vol.2_1970_ISKCON

Click on above link and give it a few moments to load…then you can view it or save it to your files. Hare Krishna!

excerpt from book:

…After being received by the cowherd men and boys, the gopīs, and King Nanda and Yaśodā, Lord Balarāma sat down, feeling satisfied, and they all surrounded Him. First Lord Balarāma inquired from them about their welfare, and then, not having seen Him for such a long time, they began to ask Him different questions. The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana had sacrificed everything for Kṛṣṇa, simply being captivated by the lotus eyes of the Lord. Because of their great desire to love Kṛṣṇa, they never desired anything like elevation to the heavenly planets or merging into the effulgence of Brahman to become one with the Absolute Truth. They were not even interested in enjoying a life of opulence, but were satisfied in living a simple life in the village as cowherd men. They were always absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa and did not desire any personal benefits, and they were all so much in love with Him that in His absence their voices faltered when they began to inquire from Balarāmajī. (Chapter 11, Lord Balarāma Visits Vṛndāvana)

The Gopīs’ Feelings of Separation

Gopis feelings of Separation

click on image to enlarge

We were discussing the other night with some friends, that the mood of Lord Caitanya was love in separation, and that this should also be our mood as devotees. George Harrison understood this mood, and in his song “My Sweet Lord” we find in his lyrics:

My sweet Lord
Hmm, my Lord
Hmm, my Lord
I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you, Lord, but it takes so long, my Lord …

I really want to know you
Really want to go with you
Really want to show you, Lord, that it won’t take long, my Lord …

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Srila Prabhupada has described this very nicely throughout all his writings, and in the Caitanya-caritmrta we find:

“O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from My eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.” This is the perfectional stage of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and eating the fruit of love of Godhead, as exhibited by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One should not artificially imitate this stage, but if one is serious and sincerely follows the regulative principles and chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the time will come when these symptoms will appear. Tears will fill his eyes, he will be unable to chant distinctly the mahā-mantra, and his heart will throb in ecstasy. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that one should not imitate this, but a devotee should long for the day to come when such symptoms of trance will automatically appear in his body. (Purport Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi 9.51)

This is all but and introduction to one of the very best, sweetest, chapters in the KRSNA Book “The Gopīs’ Feelings of Separation” which we have posted here in its entirety.

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Sri Hamsadutta

Radha and Krishna

This very beautiful translation of “Sri Hamsadutta” by Srila Rupa Goswami, is the work of His Grace Kusakratha prabhu (ACBSP).

Some of the literature, that Kuskratha Prabhu has translated, is so confidentially elevated that many devotees are not yet ready to grasp it. Nevertheless, these immortal works now stand as a vast body of reference material for the Vaisnava community to consult. Aside from accurately transmitting the words of the acaryas, Kusakratha has also rendered thousands of pages of glorification of Krishna through his personal English poetic composition. Some of these compositions have been published though many have not, as of yet.

More on Kuskratha Prabhu at bottom of post…but this is just a sampling of the Sri Hamsadutta before we post it here in its entirety.

May a certain blissful person in splendid yellow silk garments, the soles of His lotus feet glorious as a host of red roses, His form dark as a tamala tree, and His mouth playfully curved in a gentle smile, appear in my heart. (Text One)

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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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Vṛndāvana is a Transcendental Beautiful Place

Radha-Krishna

Vṛndāvana
by Narottama das Thakura

Vrndavan is a transcendental beautiful place.  It is the spiritual sky, where everything is made of touchstone, which fulfills all desires.  All the temples there are bedcked with costly jewels,  In that far distant place is the River Yamuna, which is full of lotus flowers,  In the midst of that throng of lotus flowers there is a golden boat, appearing like another big lotus flower, with eight petals, who are none but the eight chief gopis who always surround Radha and Krishna,  In the surrounding petals there is a golden throne where the two transcendental lovers, namely Radha and Krishna are seated, but of all of them the governing Deity is Srimati Radharani.  There is no comparison to Radharani’s beauty and the luster of Her transcendental body.  The so-called beauty of the moon has fallen on the ground in the presence of Radharani’s beauty.  In that assembly of Radha-Krishna and their principal associates there is a flood of laughing and joking as they address one another.  Narottama das says that the eternal pastimes of Radha-Krishna from day to day are full of transcendental pleasure,  Let us all remember them now and then and thus become happy even in this material world.

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Stealing the Garments of the Unmarried Gopī Girls

Krishna stealing the cloths of the Gopis

…The unmarried gopīs used to prepare the deity of goddess Durgā and worship it with candana pulp, garlands, incense lamps and all kinds of presentations-fruits, grains and twigs of plants. After worshiping, it is the custom to pray for some benediction. The unmarried girls used to pray with great devotion to goddess Kātyāyanī, addressing her as follows: “O supreme eternal energy of the Personality of Godhead, O supreme mystic power, O supreme controller of this material world, O goddess, please be kind to us and arrange for our marriage with the son of Nanda Mahārāja, Kṛṣṇa.”

…Early in the morning, the gopīs used to go to the bank of the Yamunā to take bath. They would assemble together, capturing each other’s hands, and loudly sing of the wonderful pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. It is an old system among Indian girls and women that when they take bath in the river they place their garments on the bank and dip into the water completely naked. The portion of the river where the girls and women take bath was strictly prohibited to any male member, and this is still the system. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, knowing the minds of the unmarried young gopīs, benedicted them with their desired objective. They had prayed for Kṛṣṇa to become their husband, and Kṛṣṇa wanted to fulfill their desires.

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The Essence of Everything is the Supreme Lord

govinda with cows

Sometimes when I am sitting and reading from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam, a verse or sentence from the purport just jumps out from the page almost like it is in 3D, and I catch a glimpse of what the Spiritual World must be like. It is beyond even my imagination, but sometimes I catch a glimmer of light, through a transcendental window, by the grace of my spiritual master His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

…The transcendental abode of the Lord where the trees are all desire trees and the buildings are made of touchstone. The Lord Govinda is engaged there in herding the surabhi cows as His natural occupation.

“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of lakṣmīs or gopīs.” (Bs 5.29)

…And those who are artists, overtaken by the beautiful creation, should better see to the beautiful face of the Lord for complete satisfaction. The face of the Lord is the embodiment of beauty. What they call beautiful nature is but His smile, and what they call the sweet songs of the birds are but specimens of the whispering voice of the Lord.

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The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute

The Gopis Attracted by the Flute

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…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.

Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vol. 1, Chapter 21

The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute

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.

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The Perfection of Self-realization

Krishna and the gopis

…Kṛṣṇa’s only business is satisfying the devotees, and their only business is satisfying Kṛṣṇa. This is the reciprocation of love… The Supreme Personality of Godhead, wanders on the banks of the Yamunā to please the gopīs, the cowherd boys, the birds, the bees, and the cows and calves. These are not ordinary birds, bees, cows, calves, or men; they have all reached the summit of self-realization and thus, after many, many lives, have attained a position whereby they can play with Kṛṣṇa. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement can enable everyone to go to Kṛṣṇaloka and become Kṛṣṇa’s associate as a friend, servant, father, or mother. Kṛṣṇa is agreeable to take any of these positions in relation to His devotee.

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The Appearance of Radha-kund

As today marks the appearance of Radha-kund we are honored to post from Srila Prabhupada’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, a few select verses from Madhya-lila 18.3-7. Radha-kunda is considered to be the holiest place on earth for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu danced in ecstasy, but when He arrived at Āriṭgrāma, His sense perception was awakened.

PURPORT

Āriṭ-grāma is also called Ariṣṭa-grāma. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu understood that in that village, Ariṣṭāsura was killed by Śrī Kṛṣṇa. While there, He inquired about Rādhā-kuṇḍa, but no one could tell Him where it was. The brāhmaṇa accompanying Him could also not ascertain its whereabouts. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu could then understand that the holy places known as Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa were at that time lost to everyone’s vision. He therefore discovered Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa, which were two reservoirs of water in two paddy fields. Although there was very little water, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was omniscient and could understand that formerly these two ponds were called Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa. In this way Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa were discovered.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked the local people,”Where is Rādhā-kunda?” No one could inform Him, and the brāhmaṇa accompanying Him did not know either.

The Lord then understood that the holy place called Rādhā-kuṇḍa was no longer visible. However, being the omniscient Supreme Personality of Godhead, He discovered Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa in two paddy fields. There was only a little water, but He took His bath there.

When the people of the village saw Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu taking His bath in those two ponds in the middle of the paddy fields, they were very astonished. The Lord then offered His prayers to Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa.

“Of all the gopīs, Rādhārāṇī is the dearmost. Similarly, the lake known as Rādhā-kuṇḍa is very dear to the Lord because it is very dear to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.

Also this from Adi-lila More

Radhastami

On this eve of Srimati Radharani’s appearance day (Radhastami) celebration I am reminded of one of my favorite KRSNA Book stories; Delivery of the Message of Kṛṣṇa to the Gopīs. We share the entire chapter with you here.

…One of the gopīs, namely Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, was so much absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa by dint of Her personal touch with Him that She actually began to talk with a bumblebee which was flying there and trying to touch Her lotus feet. While another gopī was talking with Kṛṣṇa’s messenger Uddhava, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī took that bumblebee to be a messenger from Kṛṣṇa and began to talk with it as follows. “Bumblebee, you are accustomed to drinking honey from the flowers, and therefore you have preferred to be a messenger of Kṛṣṇa, who is of the same nature as you. I have seen on your moustaches the red powder of kuṅkuma, which was smeared on the flower garland of Kṛṣṇa while He was pressing the breast of some other girl who is My competitor. You are feeling very proud by touching that flower, and your moustaches have become reddish. You have come here carrying a message for Me. You are anxious to touch My feet. But My dear bumblebee, let me warn you–don’t touch Me! I don’t want any messages from your unreliable master. You are the unreliable servant of an unreliable master.” It may be that Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī purposely addressed that bumblebee sarcastically in order to criticize the messenger Uddhava. Indirectly, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī saw Uddhava as not only resembling Kṛṣṇa’s bodily features but as being equal to Kṛṣṇa. In this way She indicated that Uddhava was as unreliable as Kṛṣṇa Himself. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī wanted to give specific reasons why She was dissatisfied with Kṛṣṇa and His messengers.

She addressed the bumblebee, “Your master Kṛṣṇa is exactly of your quality. You sit down on a flower, and after taking a little honey you immediately fly away and sit in another flower and taste. You’re just like your master Kṛṣṇa. He gave us the chance of tasting the touch of His lips and then left altogether. I know also that the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, who is always in the midst of the lotus flower, is constantly engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service. But I do not know why she has become so captivated by Kṛṣṇa. She is attached to Him, although she knows His actual character. As far as we are concerned, we are more intelligent than that goddess of fortune. We are not going to be cheated anymore by Kṛṣṇa or His messengers…”

Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 46

Delivery of the Message of Kṛṣṇa to the Gopīs More

Becoming Eager to See Krsna

…The gopis are another example of great eagerness to see Krsna. The gopis came to Krsna, being captivated by His beautiful features.

The first thing Krsna is looking for is how eager you are to see Him. Krsna will respond. If you are actually eager to see Krsna …your efforts will be successful. But you must desire Krsna only. In this connection, Rupa Gosvami has written a verse:

smeram bhangi-traya-paricitam saci-vistirna-drstim
vamsi-nyastadhara-kisalayam ujjvalam candrakena
govindakhyam hari-tanum itah kesi-tirthopakanthe
ma preksisthas tava yadi sakhe bandhu-sange ‘sti rangah

The idea is that one gopi is advising another gopi, “My dear friend, there is one boy His name is Govinda. He is standing on the bank of the Yamuna near the Kesi-ghata, and He is playing on His flute. He is so beautiful, especially during this full-moon night. If you have any intention to enjoy in this material world with your children, husband, or other family members, then please do not go there.” Bhangi-traya: Krsna always stands in a three-curved way with His flute. That is Krsna’s tri-bhanga form, bending in three places. So the one gopi says to the other, “If you think that you’ll enjoy your life more in this material world, then do not go to see Krsna. Do not go there.” The idea is that if you once see Krsna, then you’ll forget all this nonsensical materialistic enjoyment. That is seeing Krsna.

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Songs by the Gopīs

…The exemplary character of devotional service manifested by the devotees of Vṛndāvana is the purest type of devotion. It is enjoined in authoritative śāstra that devotional service must be ahaituka and apratihata. This means that devotional service to Kṛṣṇa cannot be checked by political or religious convention. The stage of devotional service is always transcendental. The gopīs particularly showed pure devotional service towards Kṛṣṇa, so much so that Kṛṣṇa Himself remained indebted to them. Lord Caitanya thus said that the devotional service manifested by the gopīs in Vṛndāvana excelled all other methods of approaching the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Kṛṣṇa The Supreme Personality of Godhead 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vol.1, Chapter 31

Songs by the Gopīs

One gopī said, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, ever since You took Your birth in this land of Vrajabhūmi, everything appears to be glorious. The land of Vṛndāvana has become glorious, and it is as if the goddess of fortune is personally always existing here. But it is only we who are very unhappy, because we are searching for You, but cannot see You with our greatest effort. Our life is completely dependent upon You; therefore we request that You again come to us.”

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The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute

Click on image to enlarge

…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.

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 21

The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute

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.

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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 7

click to enlarge picture

“My dear gopīs, I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahmā. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.”

Narada-bhakti-sutra
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Text 7

sā na kāmayamānā nirodha-rūpatvāt

sā—that devotional service in pure love of God; na—not; kāmayamānā—like ordinary lust; nirodha—renunciation; rūpatvāt—because of having as its form.

There is no question of lust in the execution of pure devotional service, because in it all material activities are renounced.

PURPORT

In pure devotional service there is no question of sense gratification. Some people mistake the loving affairs between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs (cowherd girls) for activities of ordinary sense gratification, but these affairs are not lustful because there is no material contamination. As Rūpa Gosvāmī states in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.285),

premaiva gopa-rāmāṇāṁ kāma ity agamat prathām
ity uddhavādayo ’py etaṁ vāñchanti bhagavat-priyāḥ

“Although the dealings of the gopīs with Kṛṣṇa are wrongly celebrated by many as lust, great sages and saintly persons like Uddhava hanker for such loving affairs with Kṛṣṇa.” Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja, the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, has therefore said,

kāma, prema,—doṅhākāra vibhinna lakṣaṇa
lauha āra hema yaiche svarūpe vilakṣaṇa

“As there is a difference between iron and gold, so there is a difference between material lust and Kṛṣṇa’s loving affairs with the gopīs” (Cc. Ādi 4.164). Although such loving affairs may sometimes resemble material lust, the difference is as follows:

ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā—tāre bali ‘kāma’
kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma

“The desire to satisfy one’s own senses is called lust, while the desire to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa is called prema, love of God” (Cc. Ādi 4.165).

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“Everyone Of You – Become Guru”

…If we simply keep Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu within our heart, then it will be very easy to understand what is Krsna, because if you understand Krsna, then your life is successful. Our Krsna consciousness movement means just try to understand Krsna; then your life is successful. Krsna says, “Anyone who understands Me, why I come here, what is My activities,” [Bg. 4.9], “he becomes liberated. After giving up this body, he does not accept any material body. In his own spiritual body he goes back to home, back to Godhead.” This is our Krsna consciousness..

…The mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is that you become, every one of you, you become a guru. How to become guru? You simply present what Krsna says as it is. Then every one of you will become a guru. Don’t adulterate — “I think,” “In my opinion.” These nonsense things should be given up. We should always be aware that we are insignificant creature. Our opinion and thinking has no value. This should be the first principle. Why should you give opinion on the words of Krsna? Are you more authoritative person than Krsna? This is foolishness, to try to become more than Krsna. There are so many rascals. They present that “Now we have advanced. We know more than Krsna.” So be saved from these rascals. Then you will understand Krsna, and through Caitanya Mahaprabhu you will understand what is the position of Krsna, what is your relationship with Krsna, what is the ultimate goal of life…

“Everyone Of You – Become Guru”
Lecture on Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 1.4
Given By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 
Mayapur, March 28, 1975 

Nitai: “May that Lord, who is known as the son of Srimati Sacidevi, be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service.”

Prabhupada:

anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnata ujjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandana

 [Cc. Adi 1.4]

This is the blessings of Srila Rupa Gosvami upon everyone.

sri-caitanya-mano-‘bhistam
sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
dadati sva-padantikam

[When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?]

We should pray to Rupa Gosvami for his blessings so that we can understand what is the actual position of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the most merciful incarnation to bestow upon us Krsna-prema. Srila Rupa Gosvami understood it, Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya understood it, and we should take their viewpoint of view, what they have studied about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So Srila Rupa Gosvami says… In the beginning Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was appreciated by Srila Rupa Gosvami as maha-vadanyavatara. There are many incarnations of Krsna, kesava dhrta-mina-sarira jaya jagadisa hare, kesava dhrta-nrsimha-rupa jaya jagadisa…, many incarnations. But this incarnation, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is anarpita-carim cirat. The mercy of this incarnation is unlimited. It was never given before. That is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy. He distributed the most confidential part of love of Godhead. Although we are living in this fallen age, Kali-yuga, but He is giving the topmost platform of loving Krsna. Anarpita-carim cirat. Therefore He is supposed to be the most munificent incarnation. Namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te [Cc. Madhya 19.53]. He is giving directly Krsna-prema.

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True Love

Today being Valentines Day, and with everyone absorbed in a loving mood, we thought we would post something about True Love.

…Everyone and everything is attracted to Kṛṣṇa–that is the perfect description of Kṛṣṇa’s attraction. The example of the gopīs is very instructive to persons who are trying to be absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One can very easily associate with Kṛṣṇa simply by remembering His transcendental pastimes. Everyone has a tendency to love someone. That Kṛṣṇa should be the object of love is the central point of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By constantly chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and remembering the transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, one can be fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and thus make his life sublime and fruitful.

KRSNA The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 34

The Gopīs’ Feelings of Separation

The gopīs of Vṛndāvana were so attached to Kṛṣṇa that they were not satisfied simply with the rāsa dance at night. They wanted to associate with Him and enjoy His company during the daytime also. When Kṛṣṇa went to the forest with His cowherd boy friends and cows, the gopīs did not physically take part, but their hearts went with Him. And because their hearts went, they were able to enjoy His company through strong feelings of separation. To acquire this strong feeling of separation is the teaching of Lord Caitanya and His direct disciplic succession of Gosvāmīs. When we are not in physical contact with Kṛṣṇa, we can associate with Him like the gopīs, through feelings of separation. Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental form, qualities, pastimes, and entourage are all identical with Him. There are nine different kinds of devotional service. Devotional service to Kṛṣṇa in feelings of separation elevates the devotee to the highest perfectional level, to the level of the gopīs.

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Remembering Krishna

In the previous article, Srila Prabhupada is describing the nine types of devotional service recommended ….(hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, praying, serving, engaging as a servitor of the Lord, establishing friendly relations with the Lord, offering everything to the Lord). These are all easy to practice and should be joyfully performed. So with this in mind we are posting one of Krishna’s unlimited pastimes, to help us in remembering the Lord.

Both the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa entered the water of the Yamunā just to relieve their fatigue from the rāsa dance. The lily flower garlands around the necks of the gopīs were strewn to pieces due to their embracing the body of Kṛṣṇa, and the flowers were reddish from being smeared with the kuṅkuma on their breasts. The bumblebees were humming about in order to get honey from the flowers. Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs entered the water of Yamunā just as an elephant enters a water tank with his many female companions. Both the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa forgot their real identity, playing in the water, enjoying each others’ company and relieving the fatigue of rāsa dancing. The gopīs began to splash water on the body of Kṛṣṇa, all the while smiling, and Kṛṣṇa enjoyed this. As Kṛṣṇa was taking pleasure in the joking words and splashing water, the demigods in the heavenly planets began to shower flowers. The demigods thus praised the superexcellent rāsa dance of Kṛṣṇa, the supreme enjoyer, and His pastimes with the gopīs in the water of Yamunā. (Krsna The Supreme Personality of Godhead Chapter 32)

Image courtsy of Syamarani devi http://www.bhaktiart.net

The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute


KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead – 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute

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.

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