His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Today is a very good day—today is the festival of Lord Sri Krishna's appearance. Lord Himself appeared on this day.
You know that actually Krishna was the son of Mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaj, but some of you have probably read in the scriptures or have heard that Krishna appeared from the womb of Devaki and His father is Vasudev. This is true, but if somebody, thinking with their mundane mind, says that Krishna is an adopted son of Mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaj, this is a wrong conception. Krishna is not Vasudev and Devaki's son—He is the son of Mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaj. No scripture mentions that Krishna is 'Devaki-atmaja', He is 'Yasoda-atmaja' (a child of Yasoda).
I told you this sloka from Srimad Bhagavad-gita (4.7) yesterday during the class:
যদা যদা হি ধর্ম্মস্য গ্লানির্ভবতি ভারত ।
yada yada hi dharmasya, glanir bhavati bharata
"O Bharata, whenever there is a decline of religion and an uprising of irreligion, I personally make My advent."
To protect religion and destroy non-religion, the Lord comes to this world again and again in different ages. He appeared in Satya-yuga, in Treta-yuga, in Dvapar-yuga, and in Kali-yuga too. A mention of Mahaprabhu's appearance can be found in the scriptures recorded long ago before Mahaprabhu appeared:
কৃষ্ণবর্ণং ত্বিষাঽকৃষ্ণং সাঙ্গোপাঙ্গাস্ত্রপার্ষদম্ ।
"Those of sharp intellect will worship Krishna who appears with a non-black bodily hue, who is armed and surrounded by His associates and servants, and who always chants the Holy Names."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 11.5.32)
Hiding His colour, Krishna appears in Kali-yuga. His appearance is described in Srimad Bhagavatam, thousands of years before Mahaprabhu appeared. So, today is the appearance day of this Lord Krishna. On this day, taking a human form, Krishna appears to bestow auspiciousness onto the world. He comes to this world again and again to rescue the fallen souls. You all know about it.
There are different categories, or gradation, of the Supreme Lord (Bhagavan)—there is purna Bhagavan (the complete Lord), purnatara Bhagavan (the more complete Lord), and purnatama Bhagavan (the absolutely complete, or the most complete, Lord).
The Lord also comes as Rama-avatar (Lord Ramachandra), but that incarnation is purnatara, not purnatama. How can this be possible? Krishna is purnatama, He is the Lord of all Lords (Sarvesvaresvar), and Rama-avatar, Kurma-avatar, Varaha-avatar, Nrisingha-avatar, Matsya-avatar, etc. (there are many avatars) are all purna or purnatara Bhagavans. You have heard that in Satya-yuga there were two demon brothers named Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa—one of them, Hiranyaksa, was killed by the Lord assuming a boar's form, and the other, Hiranyakasipu, by the Lord assuming the form of Nrisinghadev. In Rama-avatar, the Lord slew Ravan. In every His incarnation (avatar), the Lord appears to fulfil some mission, however Krishna is the fountainhead of all incarnations—therefore, there is avatari Krishna (the original Supreme Lord, the source of all incarnations) and there is avatar Krishna (an incarnation of the Lord as Krishna).
aisvaryasya samagrasya, viryasya yasasah sriyah
"He who is full with all the six opulences of wealth, power, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation is known as Bhagavan, the Supreme Lord."
Nrisinghadev is also the Lord, Rama is also the Lord, but they are not purnatama Bhagavans, only Sri Krishna is purnatama Bhagavan.
You can ask then, "What is the difference between Lord Rama and Lord Krishna?" There is a very beautiful explanation. You can easily understand it if you hear it.
যে যথা মাং প্রপদ্যন্তে তাংস্তথৈব ভজাম্যহম্ ।
ye yatha mam prapadyante, tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
"Howsoever people surrender to Me, I accordingly reward them. Being the ultimate goal of all paths, I am the objective to be attained by all. O Partha, all men follow My various paths."
Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 4.11
The Lord says, "Howsoever people worship Me, I accordingly reciprocate with them." There is santa-, dasya-, sakhya-, vatsalya-, and madhura-rasa. Think about it yourself—how many rasas are there in Rama-lila? We all celebrate Sri Rama-navami, but we never observe it in the same way that we observe Sri Krishna Janmastami. We fast till noon and make a small celebration on Rama-navami, but Janmastami is always observed opulently. Lord Ramachandra is also the Lord, but He is purnatara Bhagavan.
Within Lord Ramachandra's pastimes, there is dasya-rasa (Hanuman). There is also some sakhya-rasa, but we do not hear about Lord Rama's friends (there is mostly only Laksman), but in Krishna-lila, there is Sridam, Sudam, Subal, and Krishna plays, talks and performs so many pastimes with them all. There is also some vatsalya-rasa in Rama-avatar, but what kind of vatsalya-rasa is it? Lord Krishna's Mother Yasoda tied the Lord, beat Him, cleaned His stool, breast-fed Him, she brought Him up in every way, she did everything for Him; but in Rama-avatar, Lord Rama leaves Dasarath to keep his (Dasarath's) promise. Look at Nanda Maharaj, Yasoda and look at Dasarath. When Nanda Maharaj got to know that Mother Yasoda had tied Krishna, he did not speak to her for three months and he chastised her also, "Are you out of your mind? What if something had happened to the child? You tied Him to the mortar and look now—two trees fell down! What if anything had happened to Him! Are you a fool to do this?! He is a child and childishly gave some curd to monkeys, what is the big deal?" And Krishna too—He went everywhere saying, "My mother has beaten Me!" Moreover, when Krishna left Vrindavan for Mathura, Nanda Maharaj and Mother Yasoda cried so much that their tears created a drain coming from their house... Such was their love. Yet, you can see that in Rama-lila, Dasarath actually sent his son away into the forest—he did love Rama and felt pain when he did it, but we do not see that full parental relationship in Lord Rama's avatar that we find in Krishna's pastimes; this rasa is not full there. There is one more rasa—madhura-rasa (conjugal relationship). Conjugal relationship with the Lord can be seen only in the pastimes of Krishna and Vraja-gopis. Do you see such relationship anywhere else? Nowhere. What do you see in Rama-avatar? There is Sita Devi, but Lord Rama threw her into fire to test her. Do you find this in the pastimes of Krishna? No. The pastimes of Krishna are full of sweetness, love, devotion, gopis' love. Therefore, because all relationships are found within Krishna's pastimes, Krishna is purnatama Bhagavan.
ঈশ্বরঃ পরমঃ কৃষ্ণঃ সচ্চিদানন্দবিগ্রহঃ ।
isvarah paramah krsnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah
"Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes."
(Sri Brahma-samhita, 5.1)
Brahma says that Krishna has no origin (He exists before everything and everyone else), and He is the cause of all causes. He is the Lord of Lords. Krishna Himself says (as Gauranga Mahaprabhu):
কৃষ্ণের যতেক খেলা, সর্ব্বোত্তম নরলীলা,
krsnera yateka khela, sarvvottama nara-lila,
"The highest form of Godhead is Krsna, who plays in His eternal divine pastimes like a human being."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 21.101)
You can see that the Lord appears, for example, to protect Prahlad Maharaj, but after that He goes away. Yet, Krishna plays, eats, roams the forests, etc. and performs pastimes during a long time. You can understand the difference yourself.
Devotees of Narayan also sometimes criticise devotees of Krishna saying that Krishna roams around, rolls in dust, plays with cows and goes out with girls, and Narayan sits silently and they serve Him with four arms—devotees of Krishna retort, "OK, Krishna is bad and Narayan is the teacher of the whole world, but tell us—how come Laksmi Devi then roams forests running behind Krishna?" Laksmi Devi also aspires for the darshan of Lord Krishna.
Krishna's pastimes are innumerable, yet Laksmi Devi does not attain a part in them because she does not accept Vraja gopis' anugatya (earnest adherence to the gopis of Vrindavan). That is why her position is like this. Bhaktera adhin Bhagavan: the Supreme Lord is controlled by His devotees. The Lord Himself once showed, "My Name is greater than I am, and even greater still is My devotee." There was once an argument about it, and they put Krishna on one side of the scales and one Tulasi leaf with Krishna's Name written on it on the other side—that single Tulasi leaf with Krishna's Name on it weighed much more than Krishna Himself. Such is the power of the Holy Name.
Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay
We have already recited the Vandana, and we must now chant the kirtans. We must practise, and our practice is sravan and kirtan.
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