Govardhan, India – Vraja-mandala parikrama
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Krishna lifted Giriraja Govardhan with his left hand and small finger for seven days and seven nights. At that time Indra disturbed the Vrajavasis and tried to destroy Vraja with a rainstorm. According to conception, there is no difference between Giriraja and Krishna.
All the Goswamis explain Giriraja Govardhana is called a sevaka. Though Giriraja Govardhana is non-different to Supreme Enjoyer, he is thinking I am a sevaka, (servitude mood). The Srimad Bhagavatam also glorifies Giriraja Govardhana or Haridas. Haridas means he is the topmost servant of Sri Hari.
In Srimad Bhagavatam, we see that there are three Haridas, servant of Sri Hari. The Pandavas, Bhima, Yudhisthira, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva, and Draupadi are Haridas. Another Haridas is Uddhava, who is nearest and dearest, a bosom friend of Krsna. Uddhava is also called Haridas because Krsna Himself glorified Uddhava saying that you are very dear to me like my brother Sankarsan. Lamxi devi is also not so dear to me and even Sivaji, Lord Siva; who is also nondifferent from Krsna.
Krsna said Brahma, Laxmi, Siva, my elder brother Baladeva are not able to go, and so in this regard, Krsna sent Uddhava to Vrindavana to pacify the Vrajavasis.
gacchoddhava vrajaṁ saumya
pitror nau prītim āvaha
“Dear gentle Uddhava, go to Vraja and give pleasure to Our parents. And also relieve the Gopis, suffering in separation from Me, by giving them My message.”
Sukadeva Goswami said in Srimad Bhagavatam Krsna told Uddhava he had to go to Vraja and pacify Nanda and Yashoda and especially His beloved Gopis. Uddhava went to Vraja, satying there fore three months and saw how the Vrajavasis, have love and affection for Krsna. He especially saw Srimati Radhika’s prema for Krsna.
Uddhava very humbly again and again, bowed down his head and he expressed his heart ‘I will take birth in Vraja as a blade of grass and then my life will be successful’. Every day he glorified Srimati Radhika
“I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Mahārāja’s cowherd village. When these Gopis loudly chant the glories of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the vibration purifies the three worlds.”
Only the Gopis Katha the pastimes of the Gopis and Krsna purify the heart of the living entities.
There are many pastimes of Krsna and Vrajavasis. Nanda and Yashoda’s mood is called Vatsalya, parental mood and Subala and Sridama’s mood is called Dasya, friendship mood. One who listens to these pastimes of the Gopis and Krsna which are very powerful, all your anarthas, (unwanted things) will be removed from your heart.
In six slokas, Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.58-63, Uddhava glorified Srimati Radhika and the Gopis. But he did not stay in Vraja. Why? Because he was thinking that Krsna has forgotten what is going on. If I stay in Vraja maybe Krsna will resent me. So for this regard, Uddhava returned to Mathura. When Krsna departed from this material world then Uddhava came back to Vrindavana and he performed hard austerities very close to Radha Kunda on the other side of the bank of Kusum Sarovara, and this place is called Uddhava Kunda. So in this way, Visvanatha Cakravartipada in his commentary explains Uddhava is called very nearest and dearest of Krsna.
Uddhava is called Haridas. He is also very intelligent.
vṛṣṇīnāṁ pravaro mantrī
kṛṣṇasya dayitaḥ sakhā
śiṣyo bṛhaspateḥ sākṣād
“Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The supremely intelligent Uddhava was the best counsellor of the Vṛṣṇi dynasty, a beloved friend of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and a direct disciple of Bṛhaspati.”
Sukadeva Goswamipada also glorifies Uddhava. He is a very prominent person in the Yadu dynasty and is the advisor or minister of Krsna. He is a direct disciple of Brhaspati. He learned all the Vedas, Puranas, Upanisads everything from Brhaspati who is the Guru of the Demigods and Demigoddesses in the heavenly planets. Uddavo buddi-sattamah; Uddhava is very calm and quiet and he makes decisions very gently.
Giriraja Govardharn is the third Haridas, because he serves Krsna, with his body, mind and speech.
Sukadeva Goswamipada said:
hantāyam adrir abalā hari-dāsa-varyo
mānaṁ tanoti saha-go-gaṇayos tayor yat
“Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities — water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way, the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.”
Srimati Radhika herself quoted this verse. How Giriraja Govardharn serves Her beloved Krsna because Giriraja Govardharn gives seva to the cows and calves. Giriraja Govardharn gives water. In the summer time he gives cool water and also manifests different kinds of herbs and flowers which the Gopis decorate Krsna with. He manifested a stone with a sweet fragrance and that stone is still there. On Parikrama if you put some water on the stone and rub your hand then, it will become a reddish colour, kumkum colour. For seven days there is a sweet smell on your hand.
In the caves of Giriraja Govardharn the Gopis and Krsna performed sweet amorous pastimes. Srila Raghunatha das Goswami in his dasakam slokas glorified Giriraja Govardharn.
pramada-madana-lilah kandare kandare te
racayati nava-yunor dvandvam asminn amandam
iti kila kalanartham lagnakas tad-dvayor me
nija-nikata-nivasam dehi govardhana! tvam
O Govardhana! Please grant me a dwelling near your side so that I can easily witness and serve the youthful lovers Sri Radha-Krsna as They perform newer and newer secret, amorous lilas (pastimes) within your many caves where They become completely maddened from drinking prema. You are present and making everything possible.
(Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s Sri Govardhana-Vasa-Prarthana-Dasakam, Verse 2)
There is much evidence about how Giriraja Govardharn served Radha, Krsna and the Gopis. Giriraja Govardharn was where Radha and Krsna performed Their amorous activities. Visvanatha Cakravartipada composed many glorifications of Giriraja Govardharn in his Giriraja Govardharnastakam.
Krsna performed many sweet, sporting pastimes in the waters of Manasi Ganga.
(Answer to disciple question). Giriraja Govardharn is called Haridas. Das means servant, servitor mood. The tendency of all the living entities is to serve Krsna. The Gopis also serve Krsna. This is the spontaneous nature of all the living entities.
(Answer to disciple question). Giriraja Govardharn is watching Radha Krsna lila. He is thinking that if I have another form I may not be able to see Radha Krsna lila so for this reagard he manifested the form of a mountain. For example, insects are watching you but you are not shy. So in the same way Giriraja Govardharn took the form of stone, mountain, and he is watching the sweet amorous pastimes of Radha and Krsna. In this way he serves the Vrajavasis, Gopis and especially Srimati Radhika.
Krsna lifted Giriraja Govardharn for seven days and seven nights and at that time the Gopis were in the caves staying very close to Krsna. For example, when there is an emergency, you can sit very close to each other, no one can criticise. In the same way, when Indra tried to destroy Giriraja Govardharn the Gopis sat very close to Krsna.
Giriraja Govardharn serves Krsna with different bhava’s, dasya bhava, sakya bhava, vatsalya bhava and madhurya bhava. And especially in Vraja, Giriraja Govardharn will give Vraja prema.
There are two different stories in our scriptures how Giriraja Govardharn manifested in Vraja. The Puranas explains in Treta Yuga when Lord Ramacandra built the bridge over the ocean at that time all monkeys brought large stones and especially Hanuman also brought a big mountain from the Himalayas. Lord Ramacandra declared to Hanuman that he did not need to bring a mountain from the Himalayas as the bridge was finished.
Hanuman also brought Giriraja Govardharn. Following the instruction of Lord Ramacandra, Hanuman dropped the mountain and Giriraja Govardharn in Vraja. Giriraja Govardharn was very upset because he did not get to serve. The nature of the living being is to serve his Ista-deva. Lord Ramacandra pacified Giriraja Govardharn and told him after he finishes His Rama lila he will come as Krsna in Dvarpara yuga and He will perform sweet pastimes in his caves. By the causeless mercy of Lord Ramacandra Giriraja Govardharn stayed in Vraja.
The pastimes of Giriraja Govardharn in the days of Brahma are also described in the Garga Samhita. In India there is a place called Banaras or Kasi. There as was a Rishi called Pulastya Rishi who performed austerities as to how to merge in Brahma. He was called a Brahmavadi. One day he went to his disciple Dronacala’s house and was staying with him. Dronacala is the presiding deity of the mountain. Sastra explains that water, ocean, mountain, earth, although they are not speaking they are also presiding deities. Therefore Dronacala means the mountain of Drona who is the presiding deity. After staying for a few days Pulastya Rishi said he had to return to his ashram in Banaras.
If your Guru comes to your house and gives his darshan then you have a give a donation. So Dronacala asked his Guru what he could give him. Pulastya Rishi said ‘nothing’ but over and over again Dronacala asked what he could give him. Pulastya Rishi finally said ‘I have become old now so I need a servant’. In Banaras there is no water and mountain so give me your son, Giriraja. Dronacala said yes and he will become a Brahmacari. It is very difficult to get Brahmacaris. Most want to become householder Grhastha.
Giriraja did not want to go to Banaras because they are all impersonalists, Mayavadis. The sadhus are always chanting the name of Brahma. Jivas are part and parcel of God so how they will become Brahma. Thousands of lives if you are chanting Brahma, Brahma, Brahma you will never become Brahma. Giriraja is a devotee of Krsna and does not want to go there and listen to the word Brahma. But Giriraja is very clever. Our sastra says that one who performs bhajan and sadhana is very clever.
He says to his Guru that I may come with you but there are two conditions. You can carry me in your hand but I cannot be contaminated. When you need to pass water and other things you must put me down and where you put me down I will not move from that place. I will stay there. Pulastya Rishi said ‘I am a sadhu and with my yogic process we will arrive very quickly at my house in Banaras. Giriraja Govardharn prayed to Krsna ‘please help me I don’t want to leave Vraja. I have to stay in Vraja’. Krsna told Giriraja Govardharn, ‘don’t worry I will arrange it’. When Pulastya Rishi reached Vraja, the urge for him to pass water was intolerable and he forgot the conditions that were made. For many years he was passing water at this place.
When he finished, he took a bath, cleaned his body, chanted his mantras and then asked Giriraja Govardharn to come in his hand. Giriraja Govardharn said I cannot move from this place because of what we said. Pulastya Rishi became very angry. ’I am your Guru and you don’t want to listen to my advice’. He gave a curse to Giriraja. ‘You may stay in Vraja, but everyday you will sink a little bit into the earth’. Gurudeva explained that when Giriraja Govardharn came to Vraja he was very high but every day he is sinking into the earth the size of a mustard seed. Our sastra explains that the shadow of Giriraja Govardharn reached Mathura but now he is much smaller due to his sinking in the earth.
The shape of Giriraja Govardharn is like when a cow is taking rest. When a cow takes rest its head rests on its stomach. Another explanation is that Giriraja Govardharn shape is like a peacock. The peacock is also hiding his mouth in his stomach. The eyes of Giriraja Govardharn are Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda. Giriraja Govardharn does not worry about sinking because those who are devotees of the Lord do not want to leave Vraja. Srila Raghunatha das Goswami said I will never leave Vraja. I will give up my body on the banks of Radha Kunda. Giriraja Govardharn has much affection and love with Vraja, so therefore, because he stayed in Vraja, Krsna in Dvarpara Yuga performed many sweet pastimes.
Our acaryas explain how Giriraja Govardharn is the heart and soul of all the Vrajavasis. Krsna performed sweet lilas called annakut mahotsav, the sweet pastimes of Giriraja Govardharn.
I will glorify Radha Kunda. The Varaha Purana states:
sarvapapaharastirtham namaste harimuktidah
namah kaivalyanathaya radhaKrsnabhidhayine
O Sri Radha-kunda! O Sri Krsna Kunda! You destroy all sins and award one-pointed prema. I bow down to you again and again.
If you take bath is Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda all your sinful activities are removed from your heart. Radha Kunda is non-different from Srimati Radhika.
yathā rādhā priyā viṣṇos
tasyāḥ kuṇḍaṁ priyaṁ tathā
Just as Rādhā is dear to Lord Kṛsṇa, so Her bathing place [Rādhā-kuṇḍa] is dear to Him. She alone is His most beloved of all the gopīs.
(Padma Purana CC Adi 4.215 Mad 8.99)
Srimati Radhika is the nearest and dearest of Krsna and in the same way Radha Kunda is the nearest and dearest of Krsna. sarva-gopīṣu saivaikā viṣṇor atyanta-vallabhā; There are many Gopis of Krsna but Srimati Radhika is the topmost of all the Gopis. Srila Rupa Goswami explains:
vaikuṇṭhāj janito varā madhu-purī tatrāpi rāsotsavād
vṛndāraṇyam udāra-pāṇi-ramaṇāt tatrāpi govardhanaḥ
rādhā-kuṇḍam ihāpi gokula-pateḥ premāmṛtāplāvanāt
kuryād asya virājato giri-taṭe sevāṁ vivekī na kaḥ
The holy place known as Mathurā is spiritually superior to Vaikuṇṭha, the transcendental world because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathurā-purī is the transcendental forest of Vṛndāvana because of Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vṛndāvana is Govardhana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the super-excellent Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa stands supreme, for it is over-ﬂooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Where, then, is that intelligent Person who is unwilling to serve this divine Rādhā-kuṇḍa, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill?
(Sri Upadesamrta Verse 9)
vaikuṇṭhāj janito varā madhu-purī means that Mathura is higher than Vaikuntha. This is because in Vaikuntha there is only two kinds of mellow rasas, Santa and Dasya. It is full of opulence. In Mathura Krsna takes birth from the womb of Devaki;
jayati jana-nivāso devakī-janma-vādo
yadu-vara-pariṣat svair dorbhir asyann adharmam
vraja-pura-vanitānāṁ vardhayan kāma-devam
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is He who is known as jana-nivāsa, the ultimate resort of all living entities, and who is also known as Devakīnandana or Yaśodā-nandana, the son of Devakī and Yaśodā. He is the guide of the Yadu dynasty, and with His mighty arms He kills everything inauspicious, as well as every man who is impious. By His presence, He destroys all things inauspicious for all living entities, moving and inert. His blissful smiling face always increases the lusty desires of the gopīs of Vṛndāvana. May He be all glorious and happy!
It is so-called Krsna was born from the womb of Devaki but He was born from the womb of Mother Yashoda and He is called Yashodanandana. Our Goswamis and the Puranas explain that the wife of Nanda Maharaja has two names, Yashoda and Devaki. In Srimad Bhagavatam where it is written Devakinandana means the son of Yashoda.
Vrindavana is higher than Mathura. This is where Krsna perform his lila with the Gopis on the bank of the Yamuna. Under a Banyan tree, Krsna played His flute and all the Gopis came out from their houses and met with Him.
niśamya gītāṁ tad anaṅga-vardhanaṁ
ājagmur anyonyam alakṣitodyamāḥ
sa yatra kānto java-lola-kuṇḍalāḥ
When the young women of Vṛndāvana heard Kṛṣṇa’s flute-song, which arouses romantic feelings, their minds were captivated by the Lord. They went to where their lover waited, each unknown to the others, moving so quickly that their earrings swung back and forth.
Sukadeva Goswamipada said ‘Hey Maharaja Pariksit, when Krsna played His flute all the Gopis came out from their houses’. niśamya gītāṁ tad anaṅga-vardhanaṁ, all the Gopis hearts are completely intoxicated with the sound of Govinda’s flute. They proceed side by side but not seeing each other. They were completely absorbed with Krsna.
In Vrindavana this is called Madhurya Rasa. In the Gopis rasa this is called Panchadhyayi Rasa which means many different kinds of Gopis. Sadhana-siddha, Nitya-siddha, Yauthiki, Ayauthiki, Srutichari, Munichari, Deva-kanya, many different kinds of Gopis.
Giriraja Govardharn is higher than Vrindavana. Why? Because Krsna performed his Vasanta lila, Spring season lila with the Gopis on the lap of Giriraja Govardharn. What is the speciality of this lila? Only nitya siddha Gopis assemble. Svapaksa, Vipaksha, Suhrd-paksa and Tastastha paksa. Svapaksa Gopis are the group of Srimati Radhika. Vipaksa Gopis are Candravali’s group, the rival of Srimati Radharani’s group. In Candravali’s group, there are no manjaris. Manjaris are only in Srimati Radhika’s group. Tastatha-paksa Gopis are neutral and Suhrd-paksa Gopis are friends with Srimati Radhika. In this way, at Candra Sarovara on the lap of Giriraja Govardharn the nitya-siddha Gopis assemble. The moon even forgot to move during the Vasanta lila.
When Krsna climbed to the top of Giriraja Govardharn he started to shake, because Krsna’s feet had kumkum from the breast of the Gopis. So the Gopis glorified Giriraja Govardharn in this way. How did Giriraja Govardharn serve the Vrajavasis? He gives all different kinds of fruits and roots for Krsna seva. On the top of Giriraja Govardharn is a very nice garden with peacocks and peahens. Krsna is like a mad elephant and only Srimati Radhika can control Him. She controls Him with her topmost Divine love, prema.
kadā kariṣyasīha māṁ kṛpā-kaṭākṣa-bhājanam
O You who is intoxicated by Your youthfulness, who is decorated with the delightful ornament of sulky anger, who revel in Your lover’s attachment to you and who is supremely proficient in the art of love affairs. O You who is the most learned in the knowledge of loving sports, within the realm of Your confidential, auspicious forest groves, when will You make me the Your merciful sidelong glance?
(Sri Radha-krpa-kataksha-stava-raja, Verse 5)
When Srimati Radhika gives Krsna her sidelong glance He starts to shake. When she was in maan, (sulky mood) and gave Krsna her sidelong glance, Krsna fainted. His peacock feather fell off unto the Lotus feet of Srimati Radhika. Even His flute and garments were falling down from His body. According to the instruction of Srimati Radhika, the Manjaris started singing very nice, beautiful, melodies about the sweet pastimes of Srimati Radhika and Krsna and then he returned back to consciousness. The sakhis then arranged for Srimati Radhika and Krsna to be seated together on a simhasanam and performed arati singing
jaya jaya radha-krishna jugala-milana
arati karowe lalitadi sakhi-gana (1)
All gloried, all glories to the meeting of the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha Krsna. The sakhis led by Lalita-devi perform Their arati ceremony.
madana-mohana rupa tri-bhanga-sundara
pitambara sikhi-puccha-cuda-manohara (2)
“The beautiful threefold-bending form of Krsna, the enchanter of Cupid, wears yellow silk garments and a crown of peacock feathers captivating the minds of all.”
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura: Sri Jugala-arati
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings this bhajan. The meeting and separation mood is going on. I am saying this because the peacock and peahen are sitting on top of Giriraja Govardharn and they are having a loving quarrel. They have so much love for Radha and Krsna.
On the bank of Radha Kunda many different types of flowers are blossoming, bees are humming, birds are chirping and there is a beautiful fragrance. At the corners of Radha Kunda there are eight kunjas which are the kunjas of Srimati Radhika asta-sakhis, Lalita, Vishaka, Citra, Tungavidya, Campakalata, Indulekha, Sudevi, and Rangadevi. They have beautiful names. Lalita Sakhi kunja in called Lalitanandada and Visakhanandada, the kunja of Visakha Sakhi, all have different names. They are decorated with very nice beautiful lotus flower. Lalitanandada is like a golden lotus. If you look from a distance you will see that they are all like blossoming lotuses.
Bhaktivinode Thakura sang this song Cintamani-maya:
tāhe kuñja śata śata
prabāla-vidruma- maya taru-latā,
muktā-phale abanata (1)
“The banks of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa are made of transcendental desire-fulfilling gems. Nearby, there are hundreds and hundreds of beautiful kuñjas. The trees and creepers, which are made of coral, are weighty with an abundance of pearl-fruits.”
Srila Bhaktivinoda glorified Radha Kunda, cintāmaṇi-maya, rādhā-kuṇḍa-taṭa. Cintamani-Maya Radha Kunda. All of Vrindavana is Cintamani, the plants, trees, the creepers and mukta peals are there. Radha and Krsna performed many sweet pastimes there. Raghunatha das Goswamipada composed a book called Mukta Carita Vrinda, a very nice book. About how Radha Krsna loving quarrel (prema-kalaha), is going on.
Eight Manjaris kunjas are there also. Each sakhis have different groups so sixty-for kunjas are there. There are innumerable kunjas but these are given. Cintāmaṇi-maya, rādhā-kuṇḍa-taṭa. In Radha Kunda many swans, male and female are diving in the water. This is to stimulate and deepen the heart for Radha and Krsna. These types of mellows, stimuli, uddipana are going on. Many different lilas are going on in Radha Kunda and these lilas are arranged by Yogamaya. This lila is called noontime, midday lila. This is called madhyahana-lila. Prabodhananda Sarasvati wrote a book Äçcarya-räsa-prabandha. Chandravali Vipaksa group, rival group cannot go to Radha Kunda, only the Svapaksa Gopis, Radharani’s group can go. Jatila and Kutila cannot go. Maha rasa is going on there, nectar gita, dancing and singing, so Radha Kunda is the topmost place.
Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada explained in his radha rasa sudha nidhi:
yasyah kadapi vasanancala-khelanottha-
yogindra-durgama-gatir madhusudano ‘pi
tasya namo ‘stu vrishabhanu-bhuvo dishe ‘pi
Obeisances to the direction that faces Sri Vrishabhanu’s daughter. When the breeze coming from that direction playfully moves the edge of His garment, Madhusudana, who cannot be attained by even the kings of the yogis, thinks that His life has now become a great success.
Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada is saying, I am not qualified to pay my obeisances to Srimati Radhika. I can only pay my obeisances to the corner where she is standing. Radha tattva is very high level, confidential.
Another name for Srimati Radhika is Durga. It is not easy to attain Krsna. Srimati Radhika protects Krsna with Her divine love. Without Her mercy no one attains Krsna. The process is, sraddha, sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya, anartha nivrtti, nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava, love. So Radha Kunda is the topmost place. All kinds of amorous pastimes are going on there, and by the causeless mercy of Guru and Krsna one can attain that place. Krsna who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead has to take bath in Radha Kunda three times to attain the mercy of Sri Radha. Our Goswamis have explained this.
ri-vrindavipinam suramyam api tac chriman sa govardhanah
sa rasa-sthalikapy alam rasamayi kim tavad anyat sthalam
yasyapy amsa-lavena narhati manak samyam va mukundasya tat
pranebhyo ‘py adhika-priyeva dayitam tat kundam evasraye
Not even Sri Vrindavana, which is supremely delightful because of places like the rasa filled rasa-sthali, or Sri Govardhana, which is the arena of the nectarian rasa where the most confidential amorous pastimes (keli-krida) of the Divine Couple take place, are equal to even a shadow of a particle of the glories of Sri Radha-kunda, what to speak of other pastime-places within Braja Mandala. I take shelter of this Sri Radha-kunda, which is more dear to Sri Mukunda than His own life.
(Vraja-vilasa-stava, Text 53 Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami)
What is the beauty of Vrindavana? Giriraja Govardharn! What is the beauty of Giriraja Govardharn? Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda! We have eyes, so beauty is there. In the same way, they are the eyes of Giriraja Govardharn. Sastra explains this.
Giriraja Govardharn is the splendour of Vrindavana.
pramada-madana-līlāḥ kandare kandare te
racayati nava-yūnor dvandvam asminn amandam
iti kila kalanārthaḿ lagnakas tad-dvayor me
nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaḿ dehi govardhana tvam (2)
O Govardhana! Please grant me a dwelling near your side so that I can easily witness and serve the youthful lovers Sri Radha-Krsna as They perform newer and newer secret, amorous lilas (pastimes) within your many caves where They become completely maddened from drinking prema. You are present and making everything possible.
saha bala-sakhibhiḥ sańkhelayan sva-priyaḿ me
nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaḿ dehi govardhana tvam (3)
“O Govardhana, O hill where Lord Krsna happily plays with Balarama and His friends in the incomparable jewelled courtyards, jewelled lion-thrones, trees, waterfalls, mountain-brooks, caves, peaks, and valleys, please grant the residence near you that is so dear to me.”
(Sri Govardharn vasa prarthana dasakam: Srila Raghunatha das Goswami)
Krsna and Radharani perform Their sweet amorous pastimes in the caves of Giriraja Govardharn.
hantāyam adrir abalā hari-dāsa-varyo
mānaṁ tanoti saha-go-gaṇayos tayor yat
“Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities — water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.”
Srimati Radharani herself quoted this verse.
Sa rasa-sthalikapy alam rasamayi kim tavad anyat sthala. You cannot compare the glories of Radha Kunda and other places. Radha Kunda is very nearest and dearest of Mukunda. Yasyapy amsa-lavena narhati manak samyam va mukundasya tat, mukti means liberation so Krsna is called Mukunda and also because He performs sweet pastimes with the Gopis. Krsna’s face is so sweet. It defeats the beauty of flowers. Pranebhyo ‘py adhika-priyeva dayitam tat kundam evasraye. Raghunatha das Goswami is saying again and again, I take shelter of Radha Kunda. He performed his bhajana and sadhana only on the bank of Radha Kunda. Other Goswamis, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, they performed their bhajana and sadhana at many different places in Vraja Mandala. Sanatana Goswamipada performed his bhajan and sadhana at Gokula Mahavana in his bhajana kutira. He performed bhajana and sadhana at Nandagaon and Bhubaneswar. Rupa Goswamipada performed bhajana and sadhana in Vrindavana and sometimes at Ter Kadamba very close to Nandagaon and Yavat. But Raghunatha das Goswami only performed bhajan and sadhana on the bank of Radha Kunda, saying I will give up my body on the bank of Radha Kunda. If I cannot have the mercy of Srimati Radhika I do not want the mercy of Krsna.
Once Krsna came and said to Raghunatha das Gowami ‘I am very pleased with you. You have performed hard austerities. Take my blessing, my benediction’. Raghunatha das Goswamipada replied, ‘you are the one who killed Bakasura. I don’t want your mercy, only Srimati Radhika’s mercy’. This is Radha nistha; so much love and affection for Sri Radhika.
tavaivasmi tavaivasmi na jivami tvaya vina
iti vijñaya devi tvam naya mam caranantikam
“I am yours! I am yours! I cannot exist without You. O Devi (Radhika), please understand this and bring me to Your lotus feet.”
(Sri Stavavali, Vilapa-kusumanjali 96, Raghunatha das Goswami)
Iti vijñaya devi tvam naya mam caranantikam: Smimati Radhika please listen to my prayer ad accept me as your maidservant. This is our aim and object.
palya-dāsī kori lalitā sundarī amare loiyā kabe
śrī-rādhikā-pade kale milaibe ajña-sebā samarpibe
“When will the beautiful Lalita, upon making me a palya-dasi (affectionately sheltered maidservant) place me at the Lotus feet of Sri Radhika and give me seva under her guidance?”
(Palya-dasi Korii Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sang this song. When will Lalita sakhi accept me into her group an offer me to the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika. So in this way Raghunatha das Goswamipada is one-pointed with Srimati Radhika. Radha Kunda means one-pointed with Srimati Radhika, Radha nistha.
There are three nisthas is the heart of the Gopis. Krsna nistha means that they are one-pointed with Krsna. Some Gopis have nistha for both Sri Radha and Sri Krsna, like Lalita, Visakha; the eight sakhis. And other Gopis have one-pointed nistha for Srimati Radhika, Radha nistha. They never dream of meeting separately with Krsna. Their hearts and souls are one-pointed with Sri Radha.
prabhu lokanatha kabe sange lana jabe
sri-rupera pada-padme more samarpibe (4)
“When will my master, Lokanatha Goswami, take me with him and offer me at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa’s lotus feet?”
(Suniyachi Sadhu Mukhe Srila Narottama dasa Thakura)
This song is about Guru nistha. When Guru nistha appears Gurudeva will come. Then Guru arranges everything. Now you do bhajana and sadhana. Now your mind is not going here and there. No more stupid nonsense. Chant the holy name loudly:
vaisnavera guna gana, korile jivera trana suniache sadhu-guru mukhe
“I have heard from the lips of sadhu-guru, if you glorify a devotee, you will be delivered very easily. Krishna will be very pleased and you will get his mercy very easily.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Vrindavana dasa explain, if you glorify the life history of Vaisnavas you will be free from Maya. But if you read Bhagavata Katha maybe doubt and confusion will come. Bhagavan is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and his lilas are super-excellent, which is very difficult to understand. Krsna performed the rasa-lila, which is super-excellent. Conditioned souls cannot understand the reason. What is the reason?
In Srimad Bhagavatam, Sukadeva Goswami described Krsna’s rasa-lila and His meting with the Gopis dancing and singing. Pariksit Maharaja very humbly said to Sukadeva Goswami, you told me that Bhagavan came to this world to re-establish dharma because demons destroyed varnasrama dharma in slokas.
vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
sambhavāmi yuge yuge
“To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear millennium after millennium.”
Krsna also told Arjuna, the Lord comes to this material world to protect His devotee and kill the demon. He comes to re-establish varnasrama dharma. Varnasrama dharma means how to maintain the rules and regulations of society. How to give respect to our superiors, our mothers, fathers, brothers and children, everything.
But he told Krsna He illegally associated with the Gopis, so what kind of dharma did he establish? And when Krsna departed from this material world Kali Yuga came. The nature of Kali Yuga is that everyone is low-minded, low-thinking. In Kali Yuga if you say Krsna performs His rasa-lila, he is Bhagavan, some preachers will say I am Bhagavan, or, I am Brahma. They will say Krsna is great Brahma and we are small Brahma, and as Krsna performed His rasa dance with millions of Gopis we can perform the rasa dance with a few Gopis. In Kali Yuga the mood is how to enjoy.
So Pariksit Maharaja said Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, master of the Yadu dynasty but he performed the rasa dance with the Gopis. So the kinds of dharma he established I cannot tell you. If you read Srimad Bhagavatam, you will be confused, because Bhagavata is beyond rules and regulations. But if you listen to Hari Katha from the pure devotee of the Lord then there will be no confusion. The devotees of the Lord presented their life in front of society, how to do bhajana and sadhana, and how to give respect to everyone. Caitanya Mahaprabhu explains:
āpani ācari prabhu jīvere śikhāya
āpna vañcaka yei sei jirjane bhajāya
The Lord sets example Himself to teach the spirit souls. The one who performs nirjana bhajana simply cheats himself
One who does not follow rules and regulations he cannot preach to others. In the morning I said that Guru is not like a rubber stamp saying he’s Guru and he has an I.D and passport and gives Diksa to everybody. Guru is called self-manifested. He’s showing his behaviour, arcana, in front of the society of how to do bhajana and sadhana, like Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami. All of our Goswamis showed how to do bhajana and sadhana but it is not our subject whether they accepted disciples. Rupa Goswamipada gave initiation only to Jiva Goswamipada. Sanatana Goswamipada, we do not know if he gave initiation. Who was the disciple of Raghunatha dasa Goswami? Gopala Bhatta Gosvami gave initiation to Harivamsa.
On one Ekadasi, Harivamsa came and was chewing betel nuts, pan. Gopal Bhatta Goswami asked him why he was chewing them. Because on Ekadasi it is written in sastra you cannot eat grains and leaves, only Tulasi leaf can be taken. Harivamsa said Gurudeva, I went to the temple of Srimati Radhika and the pujari gave me this prasad. Gopal Bhatta Goswami said no, although it is prasad today is Ekadasi and you cannot eat this. Harivamsa was arguing with his Guru, but his Guru told him, you have to follow the advice of your Guru. But he did not listen to his Guru’s advice and then his Guru, Gopal Bhatta Goswami rejected him. He rejected this disciple with his stupid nonsense.
Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami also did not give initiation. Srila Trivikrama Goswami Maharaja he is an Acarya but he did not give initiation. He was given much respect. He was very strict and gave chastisement. If you noticed anyone’s fault he directed it at you. In Kali Yuga the disciple does not want to tolerate the Guru’s chastisement. If the Guru gives chastisement the disciple runs away. They are called arrow disciples. They go and never return. Become pukka disciples and follow the instructions of Hari, Guru and sastra. You have to surrender to Guru and Krsna.
Srila Trivikrama Goswami spoke about how the conscious soul enjoys sense gratification and he cut Mayavadi philosophy which is saying Bhagavata philosophy says how to enjoy more and more and more. If you have no money, you borrow money and there is no need to return it, enjoying more and more. When you die, your body is burnt to ashes. Because they don’t believe that atma (soul) has form. When this body is finished everything is finished. But this is complete nonsense philosophy. Reject this and don’t enjoy sense gratification.
He also explained asat-sanga; keeping your distance from non-devotees. Bhakti is not so easy to manifest in your heart. When your heart is neat and clean by chanting the Holy Name, doing bhajana and sadhana it becomes free from all anarthas, your heart will be neat and clean like a crystal. Then on the platform of sandhini, samvit and hladini will manifest suddha- sattva, and your heart will become soft, and so much taste will come. Bhakti is the combination of samvit and hladini. Samvit means transcendental knowledge; cit jnana. Cit jnana is divided in two; Atma jnana and Bhagavata tattva jnana. Atma jnana is the knowledge about your soul. Mahaprabhu said all the living entities are the eternal servant of Krsna. jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya — kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa (CC 20.108-109). Servant means servitor mood, to serve. To serve the Lord is the nature of all livening entities. In Vrindavana Subala and Sridama serve Krsna with their friendship mood, sakhya bhava.
itthaṁ satāṁ brahma-sukhānubhūtyā
dāsyaṁ gatānāṁ para-daivatena
sākaṁ vijahruḥ kṛta-puṇya-puñjāh
“All the cowherd boys used to play with Krsna, who is the source of the Brahman effulgence for jnanis, desiring to merge into that effulgence, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead for devotees who have accepted eternal servitorship, and who for ordinary persons is but another ordinary child. The cowherd boys, having accumulated pious credits, activities for many lives, were able to associate in this way with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can one explain their great fortune?”
Sukadeva Goswami told Pariksit Maharaja Subala, and Sridama and Madhumangala are so fortunate. They play with Krsna climbing on His shoulders, rolling in the round, carrying Him on their backs and throwing dust at each other.
Nanda and Yasoda also serve Krsna with their parental mood, vatsalya bhava.
nandaḥ kim akarod brahman
śreya evaṁ mahodayam
yaśodā ca mahā-bhāgā
papau yasyāḥ stanaṁ hariḥ
“Having heard of the great fortune of mother Yaśodā, Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī: O learned brāhmaṇa, mother Yaśodā’s breast milk was sucked by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What past auspicious activities did she and Nanda Mahārāja perform to achieve such perfection in ecstatic love?”
What kinds of fortune manifested in the hearts of Nanda and Yasoda? Especially Yasoda fed Krsna with her breast milk. Mother Yasoda gives Krsna instruction and chastisement. Nanda Maharaja gives instructions to Krsna to bring his shoes and Krsna brings them on his head. Uddhava and other devotees want to know how to get the dust of Krsna and he is taking the dust of Nanda, and they are giving Him their blessings. This lila is going on.
The Gopis serve Krsna with their conjugal mood.
kāntā kṛṣṇe kare roṣa, kṛṣṇa pāya santoṣa,
sukha pāya tāḍana-bhartsane
yathā-yogya kare māna, kṛṣṇa tāte sukha pāna,
chāḍe māna alpa-sādhane
When a beloved Gopī shows symptoms of anger toward Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is very satisfied. Indeed, He is extremely pleased when chastised by such a Gopī. She shows her pride suitably, and Kṛṣṇa enjoys that attitude. Then she gives up her pride with a little endeavour.
(CC Antya 20.54)
Krsna said my beloved Gopis use many harsh words and at that time I am very happy. I am not so happy with Narada who recited many mantras but when the Gopis use many curse words I am very happy. When Srimati Radhika was talking to the bee She called the bumblebee Madhupati. Krsna is also known as Madhupati. Krsna drinks the honey from the heart of the Gopis, Gopi prema. Many lilas are going on there.
Why is Srimati Radhika angry with Krsna? This is also servitor mood. Srimati Radhika knows the heart of Govinda. This is called conjugal mood service. In Srimad Bhagavatam how many slokas discuss Krsna katha, His lilas? There are eighteen thousand slokas but only a few discuss Krsna’s character. They discuss the character of His devotees, Dhruva, Prahlada, Ambarisa Maharaja and also the character of the Gopis, Gopi Katha, because the Gopis are the topmost devotees of Krsna.
We discuss in our Guru Varga their appearance days and the disappearance day, their life history and how they did bhajana and sadhana. How they presented their life to serve Guru and Krsna. When Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Goswami was a very small boy, in his childhood, he went to Navadwip, Mayapura. When he saw Srila Bhaktivedanta Saraswati Prabhupada then he completely surrendered to his lotus feet. He did not return home. He was around eight or nine years old and called Santosh. Srila Bhaktivedanta Saraswati Prabhupada gave him Harinam and every day he chanted sixty-four rounds of the Holy Name.
He served Guru and Vaisnavas, like Narada Rsi who served the Rsi’s and Muni’s, cleaning their plates and taking their remnants and received the mercy of the Vaisnavas.
Lord Caitanya said if you want to attain Krsna bhakti, Krsna prema just follow my two instructions.
prabhu kahe, — “vaiṣṇava-sevā, nāma-saṅkīrtana
dui kara, śīghra pābe śrī-kṛṣṇa-caraṇa
The Lord replied, “You should engage yourself in the service of the servants of Kṛṣṇa and always chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. If you do these two things, you will very soon attain shelter at Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.
(CC Madya 16.70)
Mahaprabhu said serve the Vaisnavas and chant the Holy name. Never criticize any Vaisnava. Don’t listen or associate with anyone who criticize Vaisnavas. Chant the holy name and your mind, manasi, will always be in Vraja.
smṛtyoḥ krameṇa rasanā-manasī niyojya
tiṣṭhan vraje tad-anurāgi-janānugāmī
kālaṁ nayed akhilam ity upadeśa-sāram
The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one’s full time – twenty-four hours a day – in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord’s divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one’s tongue and mind. In this way, one should reside in Vraja [Goloka Vṛndāvana-dhāma] and serve Kṛṣṇa under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord’s beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service.
(Sri Upadesamrta Verse 8)
If you cannot physically stay in Vraja, you have to stay in your mind. Always remember Krsna Katha.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Goswami Maharaja has so much faith with Srila Bhaktivedanta Prajnana Kesava Goswami Maharaja who was Vinoda Bihari Brahmacari, and much love and affection for him. When Srila Bhaktivedanta Saraswati Prabhupada departed he did not take Sannyasa from him, he took Diksa. He took Sannyasa from Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja.
Guru nistha is the backbone of our sadhana and bhajana. This is very important. Have firm faith with Guru. Never give up Guru and Harinama. One day I said that a devotee had six different japa malas, going to many different Gurus. I asked ‘why do you have six japa malas’? He said one day I met with a Guru and then another day I met another one and so on. That means he has no faith, nistha, in any Guru. Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Goswami Maharaja had so much faith with his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Saraswati Prabhupada and much love and respect for Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Goswami Maharaja. He was very humble and gave respect to everyone. This is the teaching of Mahaprabhu.
brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham
śāśvatasya ca dharmasya
And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.
Krsna resides in the heart of all the living entities. Try to chant 64 rounds a day. If this is not possible still chant some rounds. In Kali Yuga the Holy name is powerful. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu said:
kṛṣṇa-mantra haite habe saṁsāra-mocana
kṛṣṇa-nāma haite pābe kṛṣṇera caraṇa
Simply by chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one will be able to see the lotus feet of the Lord.
(CC Adi 7.73)
If you chant Krsna nama and Gopal mantra you will be free from all anarthas, you can attain Krsna prema.