INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 8, Text 31
Lecture given by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami on Tuesday 13 September 2005 at ISKCON Ujjain
gopy ādade tvayi kṛtāgasi dām
yā te daśāśru-kalilāñjana-
vaktraḿ ninīya bhaya-bhāvanay
sā māḿ vimohayati bhīr api ya
gopī — the cowherd lady (Yaśodā); ādade — took up; tvayi — on Your; kṛtāgasi — creating disturbances (by breaking the butter pot); dāma — rope; tāvat — at that time; yā — that which; te — Your; daśā — situation; aśru-kalila — overflooded with tears; añjana — ointment; sambhrama — perturbed; akṣam — eyes; vaktram — face; ninīya — downwards; bhaya-bhāvanayā— by thoughts of fear; sthitasya — of the situation; sā — that; mām — me; vimohayati — bewilders; bhīḥ api — even fear personified; yat — whom; bibheti — is afraid.
My dear Kṛṣṇa, Yasoda took up a rope to bind You when You committed an offense, and Your perturbed eyes overflooded with tears, which washed the mascara from Your eyes. And You were afraid, though fear personified is afraid of You. This sight is bewildering to me.
Here is another explanation of the bewilderment created by the pastimes of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is the Supreme in all circumstances, as already explained. Here is a specific example of the Lord’s being the Supreme and at the same time a plaything in the presence of His pure devotee. The Lord’s pure devotee renders service unto the Lord out of unalloyed love only, and while discharging such devotional service the pure devotee forgets the position of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord also accepts the loving service of His devotees more relishably when the service is rendered spontaneously out of pure affection, without anything of reverential admiration. Generally the Lord is worshiped by the devotees in a reverential attitude, but the Lord is meticulously pleased when the devotee, out of pure affection and love, considers the Lord to be less important than himself. The Lord’s pastimes in the original abode of Goloka Vṛndāvana are exchanged in that spirit. The friends of Kṛṣṇa consider Him one of them. They do not consider Him to be of reverential importance. The parents of the Lord (who are all pure devotees) consider Him a child only. The Lord accepts the chastisements of the parents more cheerfully than the prayers of the Vedic hymns. Similarly, He accepts the reproaches of His fiancees more palatably than the Vedic hymns. When Lord Kṛṣṇa was present in this material world to manifest His eternal pastimes of the transcendental realm of Goloka Vṛndāvanaas an attraction for the people in general, He displayed a unique picture of subordination before His foster mother, Yaśodā. The Lord, in His naturally childish playful activities, used to spoil the stocked butter of mother Yaśodā by breaking the pots and distributing the contents to His friends and playmates, including the celebrated monkeys of Vṛndāvana, who took advantage of the Lord’s munificence. Mother Yaśodā saw this, and out of her pure love she wanted to make a show of punishment for her transcendental child. She took a rope and threatened the Lord that she would tie Him up, as is generally done in the ordinary household. Seeing the rope in the hands of mother Yaśodā, the Lord bowed down His head and began to weep just like a child, and tears rolled down His cheeks, washing off the black ointment smeared about His beautiful eyes. This picture of the Lord is adored by Kuntīdevī because she is conscious of the Lord’s supreme position. He is feared often by fear personified, yet He is afraid of His mother, who wanted to punish Him just in an ordinary manner. Kuntī was conscious of the exalted position of Kṛṣṇa, whereas Yaśodā was not. Therefore Yaśodā’s position was more exalted than Kuntī’s. Mother Yaśodā got the Lord as her child, and the Lord made her forget altogether that her child was the Lord Himself. If mother Yaśodā had been conscious of the exalted position of the Lord, she would certainly have hesitated to punish the Lord. But she was made to forget this situation because the Lord wanted to make a complete gesture of childishness before the affectionate Yaśodā. This exchange of love between the mother and the son was performed in a natural way, and Kuntī, remembering the scene, was bewildered, and she could do nothing but praise the transcendental filial love. Indirectly mother Yaśodā is praised for her unique position of love, for she could control even the all-powerful Lord as her beloved child. [End of purport]
So here Kunti Devi in Vrndavana…. (Break) in a certain way. They treated Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The cowherd boys did not consider that Krsna is…. (Break). Therefore, they treat Him like the Supreme Personality of Godhead, ‘aisvarya paura sambhram’. They treat him as God.
But in Vrndavana it is a totally different kind of treatment. Therefore, that relationship is called madhurya rasa; conjugal relationship or conjugal love. They treat Krsna in a conjugal relationship as someone…. (Break)…. not mentioned about the pastimes that Krsna had with the younger girls/ younger gopis because as a mother she is not aware of that pastime. Just as the mother doesn’t really talk about the son’s affairs with his girlfriend, similarly, Kunti Devi is not speaking about that. That’s the general feeling, parents don’t discuss about the love affairs of the children. The senior members of Vrndavana are simply concerned about their love affair with Krsna. They treat Krsna just like a child and they don’t treat Krsna as anything other than their own little child.
“gopy ādade tvayi kṛtāgasi dā
Actually, it takes a lot of time and endeavour to make butter. Mother Yasoda boiled the milk, made it into yoghurt and then she had to churn the yoghurt, then the butter came floating on the surface. Then she collected the butter. It’s a lot of hard work. The butter was kept in a pot, but what did Krsna do? Krsna broke the pots and why He (Krsna) broke the pots? It is because Krsna became upset. He (Krsna) became very angry. Why did Krsna become very upset? It is because he was drinking his mother’s breast milk. At that time Krsna was about five years old.
In the Vedic society, the child drinks the mothers’ milk even when the child is five years/ six years old. Nowadays what to speak of five years/ six years, mothers do not even give their milk to the children even when they are five/ six days old. That’s the unfortunate state of affairs and that’s way the relationship doesn’t grow between the mother and the children. The mothers do not take care of the children. This is what is happening in the human society. But in the Vedic culture, we see a perfect human behaviour. It is a perfect human society and everybody deals in that society in the most perfect way.
Mother Yasoda was breast feeding Krsna when He (Krsna) was about five years old. She was deriving great joy just looking at Krsna’s beautiful face. When the milk on the burning pot…. (Break). Mother Yasoda saw that the milk was just spilling over from the pot. But Krsna was on her lap, so she just quickly put Krsna down and she just ran to take care of the milk. Just this gesture of mother Yasoda made Krsna very upset. Krsna thought that, “I was drinking my mother’s milk … (Break) …scattered all over. In the mean time, mother Yasoda came back but Krsna ran away and He was hiding. Mother Yasoda saw (Him) Krsna running away, she became very angry.
See, mother Yasoda although she was dealing with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she became angry with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just like the mother becomes angry when the child becomes naughty. Out of anger what mother Yasoda did? She picked up a stick and she ran after Krsna and He (Krsna) also ran.
“rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mrjantam karāmbhoja-yugmena sātańka-netram” “rudantam muhur netra”- Krsna started to cry and tears started to flow from His eyes and “karāmbhoja-yugmena sātańka-netram” – He started to wipe the tears of His eyes with both of His hands. He was very afraid, with fearful eyes he started to look at mother Yasoda. Then when she saw that Krsna was afraid, she like a natural mother felt, “Oh, the child is afraid. If he becomes too afraid, it’ll be bad for him.” Therefore, she dropped the stick. She thought that it’s not good for a child to be too afraid. It affects the mentality of the child.
Mother Yasoda then dropped the stick to let Krsna overcome his fear. Mother Yasoda at the same time thought, “He has done something wrong so he must be punished.” Thinking that, she decided to tie the child up. She then went and got some rope and tried to tie up Krsna. But she found to her great amazement that the rope was two inches short. The rope was not enough to tie. It was a little short. Then she went and got some more ropes and tied those ropes together to tie Krsna, that also was short and this way she got all the ropes in the house.
You can well imagine how much rope she had at her house. Nanda Maharaja was a cowherd man; who had cows in the house. When you have cows in the house, you need ropes to tie the cows. How many cows Nanda Maharaja, had? Nine Lakh cows or 9, 000,000 cows, Nanda Maharaja had. Yasoda didn’t have any shortage of ropes, she got so much ropes.
Finally, she was completely exhausted. She was sweating and she was completely tired. So Krsna then thought, “Okay, my mother became quite exhausted.” Then Krsna allowed mother Yasoda to tie him back and then mother Yasoda tied Krsna up to the mortar, udukhal.
“yaśodā-bhiyolūkhalād dhāvamānam” Udukhal means ‘from the mortar’. So mother Yasoda tied Krsna to the udukhal. Krsna actually climbed on top of that to get the butter so as punishment mother Yasoda tied him up to the mortar. Kunti Devi is saying that it is so wonderful that you treated Krsna like your little child and tied him up with ropes. The personality in whose belly, the entire creation is situated, that belly was tried to be tied up by mother Yasoda. Mother Yasoda was trying to tie up that belly “namas te ‘stu dāmne sphurad-dīpti-dhāmne, tvadīyodarāyātha viśvasya dhāmne”; udara means belly; “Visvasya dhamne” – visvasya means entire creation and dhamne means the abode. Krsna’s belly is the abode of entire creation and mother Yasoda tied up that belly up. How did she do that? Not w ith the ropes, she tied Krsna up with her love. It is with her love that mother Yasoda tied Krsna up. It is with her love that she could deal with Krsna in this way and Krsna is very fond of this loving exchange. Krsna wants his mother to love him like that. It is an expression of love that she chased after Krsna, she picked a stick and chastised Him and then she thought, “Oh, He should not become afraid.”
Kunti Devi is making that point, fear personified is afraid of you. You cause fear to the fear personified: “ bhīr api yad bibheti”. Who even bhir (means fear), fear is afraid of. “yad bibheti” “svayam bhayam” Even fear personified is afraid of Krsna and that Krsna is afraid of you. Why? It is because of love. What is that line? “ bhakti baddham” Mother Yasoda – bhakti baddham; with her bhakti she tied up Krsna, not with the ropes. Who can tie the Supreme Personality of Godhead?
That’s why, the Vrndavana pastimes of Krsna are so wonderful and Srila Prabhupada is pointing that out in the purport. That of course, Kunti Devi was the aunt of Krsna. She has a very very intimate relationship with Krsna. She was a relative of Krsna. But Yasoda’s position was even more exalted because Yasoda treated Krsna just like her little child, which fortune Kunti Devi didn’t have or even Devaki did not have. Even Devaki could not treat Krsna as a child. Krsna was taken away from Mother Devaki just after He was born. So Devaki did not get this good fortune of treating Krsna like a child, her own little child. Devaki could not breast feed Krsna. Devaki could not hold Krsna on her lap like her own baby. But mother Yasoda did and that is why the fortune of mother Yasoda is far greater than the fortune of mother Devaki and ultimately Krsna’s Vrndavana pastimes are far superior to Krsna’s Mathura and Dwarka pastimes. In those pastimes, Krsna is the Supreme child, Supreme friend and Supreme lover. The three mellows sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya are three unique relationship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is available only in Vrndavana and nowhere else.
Hare Kṛṣṇa. Thank you very much. Jaya Srila Prabhupäda!
Transcription: Devahuti devi dasi
Editing: Hemavati Radhika dasi