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Father-Son Pastime

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata—Worldwide, 27 September 2020, part 4

 

I will explain some glory of today's ekadasi. I usually do not explain so much about different ekadasis, but this ekadasi is exceptional because it is Adi-mas (Purushottam month) now, so today's ekadasi (Padmini Ekadasi) is an extra ekadasi, it does not come every year. Therefore, this ekadasi is very auspicious. We should spend this day remembering Lord Sri Krishnachandra, Govinda. What I am going to say comes from Gopal-champu, a book composed by Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu. I do not think that this book has been translated and published in English, but I was reading it [in Bengali]. As I said, this ekadasi does not come every year, it only occurs during Purushottam month. This year also is the year when Jagannathdev accepts Nagarjun Vesh in Sri Puri Dham, it will take place shortly after Purushottam month. [Nagarjuna Vesh is an attire of a warrior commemorating Arjuna's victory over his son Nagarjuna; this year, this ceremony is held at the end of Kartik month after twenty-six years.]

This ekadasi vrata is observed by worshipping Sri Govindadev with the mantra (om namo bhagavate vasudevaya) and different items (upachar)—asan (seat), padya (water for washing feet), arghya (water for washing hands), achaman (water for washing mouth), vasan (cloth), abharan (ornaments), yajna-pavit (poita, brahmin thread), gandha (sandalwood paste), puspa (flowers), dhup (incense), dipa (lamp), naivedya (foodstuffs), tambul (betel), malya (garland). The Lord is also bathed on this day with milk, yoghurt, ghee, honey, sugar and mantra is,

om sahasrasirsa purusah sahasraksah sahasrapat
sa bhumim visvato vrtva'tyatistaddasagulam

This is Govindadev's pranam mantra. On this day, you should offer special bhog for the Lord (you should offer both ekadasi and non-ekadasi bhog for the Lord)—some sweet rice, kheer, vyanjan (vegetables), ghee, various pita (sweet cakes), rasakheli, sandesh, laddu, etc. On this day, you should listen to narrations about the pastimes of the Lord in good association (this is why I am telling some things about the pastimes of the Lord today).

It is stated in Sri Hari-bhakti-vilas that those who observe this ekadasi attain a liberated form upon leaving their body. I will be reading about a pastime of Sri Govinda from Gopal-champu that is composed by Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu, as I have already said. Listen to it properly. This is a pastime of Nanda Maharaj and Lord Krishna, and it happened tomorrow, the day after ekadasi, i.e. on the dvadasi day. It is a pita-putra pastimes (a pastime between a father and a son).

Nanda Maharaj, along with his four brothers (Upananda, Abhinanda, Sunanda and Nandan) always observed ekadasi. How did he follow it? As I have just said, he would offer many items to the Lord, Mother Yasoda would cook many things and Nanda Maharaj would help her, do the offering, etc. All Vraja gopas and Vraja gopis fasted on ekadasi days and listened to Hari-katha, Hari-sankirtan, lila-katha, lila-abhinay—they remembered the pastimes of the Lord. So, that particular day, following this Padmini Ekadasi, Nanda Maharaj went to bathe in the Yamuna along with all the Vraja gopas. Before entering the river, he started meditating. In the meantime, some spies of Varunadev (like Lord Yamaraj, Varunadev also has some spies in this world) came to the bank of the Yamuna and, when they saw Nanda Maharaj meditating, they quickly took him away from there.

So many things happened after that. The news of Nanda Maharaj's disappearance spread instantly all over Vraja.

(Gopal-champu is a drama, so there followed a conversation between Madhukanta and Snigdhakanta.)

Madhukanta asked, "Who has taken Nanda Baba?!"

Snigdhakanta replied, "O brother! When Nanda Baba was bathing this morning, Varundev's people came and took him away!"

Madhukanta asked, "What happened after that?!"

Snigdhakanta said, "Listen to what I am about to say." And he told Madhukanta what happened next.

Then, the news that Nanda Maharaj had drowned in the Yamuna spread immediately in all four directions. Having heard about it, everybody started crying, "What has happened to Nanda Maharaj?" His brothers Upananda, Abhinanda, Sunanda, and Nandan also came there and started searching for Nanda Maharaj in the Yamuna, "Where is our brother? Where did he go?" They searched and searched but could not find him. When Yasoda Ma heard about this, she became senseless. Regaining consciousness, she started praying to Krishna and the Lord, "He Ram!" Hearing her shout and cry, Krishna and Balaram, who were sleeping at that time, immediately woke up. Mother Yasoda told them, "Have You heard that Your father has drowned in the Yamuna?" Then, the two brothers ran to the bank of the Yamuna. Krishna told Balaram, "Take care of mom and all the gopis, I will search for dad." And Krishna jumped into the Yamuna...

It is very difficult to understand the inconceivable energy and pastimes of the Lord. When Krishna jumped into the Yamuna, He at once came to the gate of Varundev's palace. When Varundev understood that it is Lord Sri Krishna Himself had come, he paid a full obeisance to Lord Krishna and said, "My men are ignorant, not knowing anything they brought Your father to me. I am begging You for forgiveness." After that, Sri Krishna beheld the numerous treasures in Varundev's astonishing city and then, amidst all that, He saw Nanda Maharaj sitting and meditating. Sri Krishna pulled His father's uttariya and said, "Father, father! Come with Me!" Nanda Maharaj opened his eyes and asked Krishna, "O son, where am I?" Krishna replied quickly, "Wherever you are, it is not necessary to ask anything, come with Me quickly!" (Krishna did not let Nanda Maharaj see Varundev's opulence.)

When Nanda Maharaj came back and all the Vraja gopas and Vraja gopis saw him, they became very happy.

Such is the glory of Padmini Ekadasi and Lord Govinda. This is what Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu described in his Gopal-champu.

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay.

[His Divine Grace then chants 'Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu', 'Jaya Radhe Jaya Krsna', and 'Hari haraye Nama Krsna' and ends the class.]

 

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