RELIGION OF THE HEART
Apart from His sixty transcendental qualities, Krsna has additionally four transcendental qualities, which are not manifest even in the personality of Narayan.
These are the four super-excellent qualities that belong exclusively to Krsna and not to any other form of the Lord. Narayan has sixty qualities and Baladev sixty-two. Krsna has sixty-four:
Lord Krsna is more exalted than ordinary living beings and demigods like Lord Siva. He is even more exalted than His personal expansion Narayan. In all, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has sixty-four transcendental qualities in full.
"Krsna is like an ocean filled with waves of Pastimes that evoke wonder within everyone in the three worlds."
Question: Srila Rupa Goswami says Krsna has four super-excellent qualities that no other form of the Lord or incarnation has. Could you please explain what these are.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Yes. The first quality, sarvadbhuta-chamatkara-lila-kallola-varidhih, is that Krsna's Pastimes are extremely sweet and relishable all the time. They are far superior to the Pastimes of any other form of the Lord, including Narayan. No other form of the Lord has such wonderful Pastimes as Krsna.
Krsna's Pastimes take place in Vrndavan Dham with the Vraja-gopis, the Vraja-balakas and all the Vraja-vasis. They take place in effulgent, ecstatic and sweetest of sweet ways. Narayan doesn't have these qualities in His Pastimes. These qualities don't exist in the Pastimes of Narayan, Narayan-lila.
Krsna's Pastimes begin from His birth. Narayan doesn't have a birth. He is called the unborn. Whoever doesn't have a birth will not have pastimes associated with birth. He won't have a father or mother, or any relatives, so he won't have the pastimes associated with birth and childhood, etc.
Krsna has a father, a mother, a brother and a sister and He also has many friends, lovers and paramours. He is always playing with the cows and calves and enjoying with the opulent fruits and sweet smelling trees in the forests of Vrndavan. He gives pleasure to the Yamuna by bathing in her with the Vraja-gopis and He has many Pastimes in the different kunjas (forest groves) of Vrndavan. His life is a life full of sweet and wonderful Pastimes. Narayan, the supreme creator Visnu, doesn't have such extraordinary Pastimes.
When Krsna was present on Earth all other forms of the Lord as well as the demigods and all the great sages were astonished to hear about His wonderful Pastimes. In fact all the transcendental and material worlds were astonished to see the Pastimes of Krsna who appeared as the son of Nanda Maharaj.
Nanda Maharaj, the foster father of Krsna, was the king of a society of cowherd men but he didn't own a castle; he didn't have an opulent house or even any fixed residence. He moved from pasturing ground to pasturing ground making a thatched house or living in whatever place was available, but in his courtyard the Supreme Personality of Godhead played.
Once, Lord Brahma came to join that play. When he came to join that play he became confused. He couldn't understand who Krsna was. He thought, "Who is this boy playing here? I didn't create Him! What is going on here?"
Brahma meditated and through meditation understood Krsna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead—but he couldn't believe it. He thought, "How could the Supreme Personality of Godhead be playing in the courtyard of Nanda Maharaj just like an ordinary child? This is impossible!"
To see if Krsna really was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Brahma stole all cows, calves and cowherd boys, put them in a cave and left.
The next day he returned and saw to his amazement everything was the same. Krsna was outside playing with everyone! Brahma became puzzled and thought, "I put everyone in a cave yesterday and left, and now they are here exactly like they were yesterday. Maybe there was a hole in the cave and they escaped?"
Brahma went to the cave and saw Krsna playing inside with everyone. He left the cave and again saw Krsna playing outside and enjoying with all of His paraphernalia!
Then Brahma understood. With folded hands he approached Krsna and said, "O my Lord, I have done wrong. You are always giving consciousness and remembrance to me, and I am always forgetting You. I have forgotten You, and again You have checked me. Please forgive me for my offenses. I confess that anyone who says they know You, Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or Your unlimited Pastimes, can say so but I say I cannot understand anything about You with my mind, words or deeds."
jananta eva janantu, kim bahuktya na me prabho
"I can't say anything more. I can only say whoever says they know You or understand Your Pastimes can say so but I say I cannot understand even a small amount of Your unlimited Pastimes."
This is one example of the first quality Srila Rupa Goswami mentions as belonging to Krsna and not to any other incarnation or Avatar: Krsna's super-excellent Pastimes in Vrndavan Dham.
Brahma at the gate
Another incident which shows the superiority of Krsna's Pastimes was when Brahma went to Dwaraka to visit Krsna. When he arrived he saw many gatekeepers. Brahma has a lot of power but he saw his power was useless there, otherwise he could have suddenly appeared before Krsna.
Brahma waited at the gate and asked the gatekeeper to inform Krsna he had come. When the gatekeeper informed Krsna, Krsna replied, "Which Brahma?"
Brahma heard this through his mystic power, and thought, "What sort of nonsense question is that? I am Brahma! Krsna knows I am Brahma."
Then Brahma—who is a gentleman—asked the gatekeeper to inform Krsna he was the chatur-mukhi Brahma, the Brahma with four heads. When the gatekeeper informed Krsna of this, Krsna said, "Oh, that Brahma! Bring him, bring him in."
After Brahma entered, Krsna showed him a lot of respect. He said, "You have been waiting at the gate a long time. Please don't mind. Come and take your seat. Why have you come?"
Brahma said, "I will answer that question later but first tell me why did You ask, 'Which Brahma?' Is there another Brahma besides me?"
Krsna gave a little smile and remembered all the Brahmas. There are many Brahmas. Each universe has its own Brahma and there are many, many universes. One by one all the Brahmas came. One with four heads, one with eight heads, one with ten heads, one with a hundred heads and one with a thousand heads—many thousands of Brahmas came to see Krsna, and one by one they all bowed to Krsna's lotus feet. Miraculously, accommodation for all of them took place and the four-headed Brahma appeared like an insect in front of them. Then suddenly they all stood and asked, "Why are we so fortunate, O Lord, that You have remembered us? What is your wish?"
Krsna said, "It isn't anything important. I just wanted to see you. I haven't seen you in a long time. Now you can all go back to your own abodes."
After all the Brahmas left, the four-headed Lord Brahma said, "I have my question answered. I am very fortunate Your Pastimes are going on in my brahmanda (universe). I feel very fortunate indeed." Brahma offered many prayers to Krsna, and Krsna gave him His mercy, and Brahma returned happily to his abode.
These are the types of Pastimes that take place in Krsna-lila. Especially in Vrndavan Dham they are all full of ecstasy and miraculous for everyone—sarvadbhuta-chamatkara-lila-kallola-varidhih. In Narayan-lila there aren't such Pastimes—with the cows, the Vraja-balakas, the Vraja-gopis and all the Vraja-vasis—which take place in Vrndavan Dham twenty-four hours a day and which are so wonderful for everyone.
Mahaprabhu said that all of Krsna's Pastimes are inconceivable—achintya-bhedabheda-tattva. It is not possible to understand them from here. We live within the materially conscious world so it is not possible to understand transcendental consciousness and Krsna's Pastimes from here.
Every evening in Puri, Mahaprabhu would talk with Svarup Damodar and Ramananda Raya in the Gambhira. One evening they were discussing the poetry of Chandidas. Chandidas said in one poem, "Whoever can conceive a garland can be made from the peaks of mountains with a tiny thread, or an elephant can be bound with a spider's web, can understand Krsna's Pastimes." You must believe you can bind an elephant with a spider's web before you can understand Krsna's Pastimes.
When I first joined Srila Guru Maharaj's Mission he asked me if I could do two things. He said, "Can you not follow your mind, and can you follow my instructions?" I said, "Yes," and Guru Maharaj was happy. Then he said, "Can you forget the songs you know?" I was born in a Vaisnava family and my father was a famous professional singer. Because of that I had some singing capacity and had memorized all of the Vaisnava songs. Srila Guru Maharaj tested me as to my singing style, meter, etc. by having me sing in front of Krsna Das Babaji Maharaj. I sang in front of Babaji Maharaj and he told Guru Maharaj that I knew many songs and was a good singer.
A few days later Guru Maharaj told me to forget those songs. He said they were sahajiya songs and that condition would increase if I sang them. I said I would not sing those songs. He gave me a book named Saranagati and marked thirty-two songs. He asked me to memorize them within a week and said the songs of madhura-rasa would come later. He said, "They will reveal in your heart after ruchi. When you will get the position of ruchi, or taste, you can learn them."
Rupa Goswami showed this in a step-by-step sequence:
adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
(Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu, 1.4.15)
When it is necessary for the devotee to know what Vrndavan is, what Govardhan is, what the Yamuna is and what the forests of Vrndavan are and what the Pastimes of Krsna-lila are, everything will reveal itself in the heart of a surrendered soul. This is the meaning of Srila Guru Maharaj's book, Sri Sri Prapanna-jivanamrtam, the "Life Nectar of the Surrendered Souls."
Srimati Radharani's solace
When Krsna met Radharani and the Vraja-gopis at Kuruksetra, He said:
mayi bhaktir hi bhutanam, amrtatvaya kalpate
"Devotional service unto Me is the only way to attain Me, My dear gopis. The only reason for My returning to you is the love and affection you have attained for Me by good fortune."
In India it is customary to go to Kuruksetra during a solar eclipse and bathe in a lake there. People from all over India do this. Krsna went to Kuruksetra from Dwaraka with His queens, and Radharani and the gopis went from Vrndavan to meet Him.
When the gopis met Krsna's queens, the queens said to them, "We have not actually had Krsna's presence. We think He is absentminded because we can't tell what He is thinking. When He is asleep and dreaming sometimes He calls, 'O Lalita, O Visakha, O Yasoda, O Mother Rohini!' He says many things when He is dreaming. We have heard all the Vraja-gopis' and Vraja-balakas' names many times, and now you are here. Whether Krsna lives in Mathura or Dwaraka, He always remembers you." Krsna's queens glorified the Vraja-gopis in this way.
When Krsna first met the Vraja-gopis in Kuruksetra, they asked Him, "How long will we wait for You?"
He said, "In a short time, in a few years, I shall go back to Vrndavan. Don't think I won't go. I am bound to go. Don't think that I live here. Actually I live with all of you in Vrndavan. Every day you are getting My association in Vrndavan. What you are doing with Me is positive. You think it is negative, but it is positive. What I am doing here is negative. Every day in Vrndavan My Pastimes are going on and every day you are getting My association. You are giving Me nourishment every day and that is positive. Whatever you are doing there is positive."
When Krsna said this to the gopis, Mayi bhaktir hi bhutanam [Implying: "I shall come back to Vrndavan to see you." —Ed.], they believed it. That is why Krsna Das Kaviraj Goswami gave this sloka before the above one in the Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta:
eta tanre kahi krsna, vraje yaite satrsna,
"While speaking to Srimati Radharani, Krsna became very anxious to return to Vrndavan. He made Her listen to a verse which banished all Her difficulties and which assured Her that She would again attain Him."
If you say something to someone in an exclusive way they will understand it. If you say to someone, "Yesterday we were taking prasadam together and you were giving me fried subji and we were talking and laughing", if you say that in an exclusive way that person must believe it. He will think, "Yes, yes, that happened."
So after hearing the following sloka Radharani got good nourishment:
mayi bhaktir hi bhutanam, amrtatvaya kalpate
"If You, Radharani, hear what I am saying You will see this is the truth. Every day I am living with You. Every day there are My Pastimes in Vrndavan and every day You are getting My association. Every day You are giving Me nourishment, and that is positive."
Mother Sachi's joy
Mahaprabhu sent Damodar to Nabadwip and instructed him to tell Mother Sachi, "Every day I come to take the prasadam you prepare for Me." Mahaprabhu said: "Mother Sachi thinks she is dreaming. It is not a dream. I eat from her hand every day. You tell her that and remind her that yesterday I came and took prasadam from her. She cooks many nice preparations for the Deities such as sak, etc. and afterwards she gives them to Me and when I eat them she becomes very happy. But she thinks she is dreaming. When she sees the plate has nothing on it, she thinks she forgot to put food from the pots on the plate. She goes to the kitchen and sees there is no food in the pots and she thinks she is dreaming. The positive truth is that I ate everything. Remind My mother of that and she will believe it." This is an example of telling someone something in an exclusive way.
Krsna always lives in Vrndavan
When Krsna said to Radharani and the gopis that He goes to Vrndavan every day and plays with them, they believed it.
Actually Krsna never leaves Vrndavan. He always lives in Vrndavan.
krsno 'nyo yadu-sambhuto, yah purnah so 'sty atah parah
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Antya 1.67)
Vrndavanam parityajya, sa kvachin naiva gachchhati. Srila Rupa Goswami said Krsna does not leave Vrndavan, not even for one moment. He lives there with the Vraja-balakas, the sakhis and the gopis, etc. Krsna's Pastimes are always going on in Vrndavan.
Every night with His two confidential associates, Svarup Damodar and Ramananda Raya, Mahaprabhu heard and tasted the ecstasy of Jayadev's Gita-Govinda, the Jagannatha-vallabha-nataka, the Sri Krsna-karnamrta and the songs of Chandidas and Vidyapati:
chandidasa, vidyapati, rayera nataka-giti,
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Madhya 2.77)
They were able to get and to take the real and direct association of Sri Krsna. After Jayadev, Vidyapati and Chandidas, only Rupa Goswami could sing those types of songs.
Once you start expressing Krsna-lila you cannot stop. There is so much ecstasy you cannot stop.
madhuram madhuram vapur asya vibhor
(Krsna-karnamrta, by Sri Bilvamangala Thakur)
When Srila Guru Maharaj would express Krsna-lila he would forget who was in front of him. As he was speaking he would forget who was there, who was hearing.
Guru Maharaj gives the meaning of the Gayatri Mantram
One day I said to Guru Maharaj, "You are giving the meaning of the Gayatri Mantram, the Rg Veda mantra, etc., and the Vedas say one isn't supposed to give their meaning. It is a private matter, so why are you giving it?"
Srila Guru Maharaj said, "O Govinda Maharaj, what are you thinking? What expressions and ideas come from the Gayatri Mantram? We are giving the Gayatri Mantram to others and they will meditate on it and feel it after reaching perfection. No one is giving anything before perfection. If I don't give it, I think no one will give it in the future. No one has given it before so I feel I should give it. It is necessary for the conditioned souls. Many devotees want to know the meaning, so I am giving it."
The meaning was published from the San Jose Math in the Guardian of Devotion. Everyone in our sampradaya was amazed to see it. What Srila Guru Maharaj gave is extremely worshipable: the inner meaning of the Gayatri Mantram, etc. He knew everything and he was the only one who knew everything.
Once he told he went to feed the cows in the field and when he sat underneath a tree and was meditating on the Gayatri Mantram he suddenly saw the whole Visvarup form of the Lord. The whole effulgence of the Gayatri Mantram became manifest before him. That was his first experience with the Gayatri Mantram.
After that, Guru Maharaj had many experiences but if he would tell them, it would be difficult for others to understand. That is, if you don't have a good instrument for receiving, how will you receive it? The wall cannot receive radio waves. Our insides are not adjusted to receive transcendental knowledge. It may exist within us but we are not adjusted to receive it. If we can fine-tune or adjust ourselves, everything will be revealed in our heart.
hrdaya haite bale jihvara agrete chale
(Saranagati, by Sri Bhaktivinod Thakur)
When we are internally adjusted to receive transcendental knowledge the mantra will forcefully come and dance on our tongue. This is the real dance of Mahaprabhu or the real dance of the Holy Name.
tunde tandavini ratim vitanute tundavali-labdhaye
When Srila Rupa Goswami expressed these glories of the Holy Name, Srila Haridas Thakur said, "I have never heard this type of sloka describing the Holy Name before. I have heard many glories of the Holy Name, but I never heard this type of sloka." Haridas Thakur said this, and he was a siddha mahatma (perfected soul).
"When we are chanting, the mantra is revealing itself on our tongue. At that time an eagerness for millions of tongues will come to us. If we will get those we will be satisfied. We are hankering for millions of ears when we hear of the real form of Krsna. Chetah-prangana-sangini vijayate sarvendriyanam krtim. When the Mahamantra dances in our mind, the mind is dancing."
Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur said that when the Holy Name is revealing on the mental plane, devastation comes to the mind through the presence of Krsna-Nama. That is real Krsna-Nama.
Part One: The Glories of Devotional Service
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