22 May TOWACO LECTURES SB 10.3.1-5
FOLLOWING IS A LECTURE ON SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM CANTO 10, CHAPTER 3, TEXTS 1-5, GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CARU SWAMI IN ISKCON TOWACO, USA, ON 22 MAY 2009.
Transcription : Her Grace Radhika Ranga Devi Dasi
Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Devi Dasi
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Today we are beginning the third chapter of the tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. So, I’ll just read the chapter summary. This chapter is entitled as ‘The Birth of Lord Krishna.’ As described in this chapter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, Hari in His original form, appeared as Vishnu so that His father and mother could understand that their son was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because they were afraid of Kamsa, when the Lord appeared as an ordinary child they took Him to Gokula, the home of Nanda Maharaja. Mother Devaki, being fully transcendental, sac-cid-ananda, does not belong to this material world. Thus the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared with four hands, as if born from her womb. Upon seeing the Lord in that Vishnu form, Vasudeva was struck with wonder, and in transcendental happiness he and Devaki mentally gave ten thousand cows in charity to the brahmanas. Vasudeva then offered prayers to the Lord, addressing Him as the Supreme Person, Parabrahman, the Supersoul, who is beyond duality and who is internally and externally all-pervading. The Lord, the cause of all causes, is beyond material existence, although He is the creator of this material world. When He enters this world as Paramatma, He is all-pervading (andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham), yet He is transcendentally situated. For the creation, maintenance and annihilation of this material world, the Lord appears as the guna-avataras -Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesvara. Thus Vasudeva offered prayers full of meaning to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Devaki followed her husband by offering prayers describing the transcendental nature of the Lord. Fearing Kamsa and desiring that the Lord not be understood by atheistic and materialistic non devotees, she prayed that the Lord withdraw His transcendental four-armed form and appear like an ordinary child with two hands. The Lord reminded Vasudeva and Devaki of two other incarnations in which He had appeared as their son. He had appeared as Prishnigarbha and Vamanadeva, and now this was the third time He was appearing as the son of Devaki to fulfill their desire. The Lord then decided to leave the residence of Vasudeva and Devaki, in the prison house of Kamsa, and at this very time, Yogamaya took birth as the daughter of Yashoda. By the arrangement of Yogamaya, Vasudeva was able to leave the prison house and save the child from the hands of Kamsa. When Vasudeva brought Krishna to the house of Nanda Maharaja, he saw that by Yogamaya’s arrangement, Yashoda, as well as everyone else, was deeply asleep. Thus he exchanged the babies, taking Yogamaya from Yashoda’s lap and placing Krishna there instead. Then Vasudeva returned to his own place, having taken Yogamaya as his daughter. He placed Yogamaya on Devaki’s bed and prepared to be a prisoner as before. In Gokula, Yashoda could not understand whether she had given birth to a male or a female child. [End of Summary]
This chapter begins with first few verses together, five verses together. So I’ll just read them through and…I’ll read them through the first four verses and the fifth verse we can go through. His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami ki jaya! So Maharaja, we are starting the third chapter of the tenth Canto. I just read the chapter summary, then the five verses are together. The chapter begins with five verses together. So I was thinking of reading the first four verses and the fifth one probably we can read together. Is it alright, Maharaja?
disah prasedur gaganam
vavau vayuh sukha-sparsah
agnayas ca dvijatinam
santas tatra samindhata
manamsy asan prasannani
jayamane ‘jane tasmin
nedur dundubhayah samam
sri-sukah uvaca — Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; atha — on the occasion of the Lord’s appearance; sarva — all around; guna-upetah — endowed with material attributes or facilities; kalah — a favorable time; parama-sobhanah — all-auspicious and very favorable from all points of view; yarhi — when; eva — certainly; ajana janma-riksham — the constellation of stars known as Rohini; santa-riksha — none of the constellations were fierce (all of them were peaceful); graha-tarakam — and the planets and stars like Asvini; disah — all directions; praseduh — appeared very auspicious and peaceful; gaganam — all of outer space or the sky; nirmala-udu-gana-udayam — in which all the auspicious stars were visible (in the upper strata of the universe); mahi — the earth; mangala-bhuyishtha-pura-grama-vraja-akarah — whose many cities, towns, pasturing grounds and mines became auspicious and very neat and clean; nadyah — the rivers; prasanna-salilah — the waters became clear; hradah — the lakes or large reservoirs of water; jalaruha-sriyah — appeared very beautiful because of blooming lotuses all around; dvija-ali-kula-sannada-stavakah — the birds, especially the cuckoos, and swarms of bees began to chant in sweet voices, as if praying to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vana-rajayah — the green trees and plants were also very pleasing to see; vavau — blew; vayuh — the breeze; sukha-sparsah — very pleasing to the touch; punya-gandha-vahah — which was full of fragrance; sucih — without pollution by dust; agnayah ca — and the fires (at the places of sacrifice); dvijatinam — of the brahmanas; santah — undisturbed, steady, calm and quiet; tatra — there; samindhata — blazed; manamsi — the minds of the brahmanas (who because of Kamsa had always been afraid); asan — became; prasannani — fully satisfied and free from disturbances; sadhunam — of the brahmanas, who were all Vaishnava devotees; asura-druham — who had been oppressed by Kamsa and other demons disturbing the discharge of religious rituals; jayamane — because of the appearance or birth; ajane — of Lord Vishnu, who is always unborn; tasmin — in that situation; neduh — resounded; dundubhayah — kettledrums; samam — simultaneously (from the upper planets).
Thereafter, at the auspicious time for the appearance of the Lord, the entire universe was surcharged with all the qualities of goodness, beauty and peace. The constellation Rohini appeared, as did stars like Asvini. The sun, the moon and the other stars and planets were very peaceful. All directions appeared extremely pleasing, and the beautiful stars twinkled in the cloudless sky. Decorated with towns, villages, mines and pasturing grounds, the earth seemed all-auspicious. The rivers flowed with clear water, and the lakes and vast reservoirs, full of lilies and lotuses, were extraordinarily beautiful. In the trees and green plants, full of flowers and leaves, pleasing to the eyes, birds like cuckoos and swarms of bees began chanting with sweet voices for the sake of the demigods. A pure breeze began to blow, pleasing the sense of touch and bearing the aroma of flowers, and when the brahmanas engaging in ritualistic ceremonies ignited their fires according to Vedic principles, the fires burned steadily, undisturbed by the breeze. Thus when the birthless Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was about to appear, the saints and brahmanas, who had always been disturbed by demons like Kamsa and his men, felt peace within the core of their hearts, and kettledrums simultaneously vibrated from the upper planetary system.
As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, the Lord says that His appearance, birth, and activities are all transcendental and that one who factually understands them is immediately eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The Lord’s appearance or birth is not like that of an ordinary man, who is forced to accept a material body according to his past deeds. The Lord’s appearance is explained in the previous chapter: He appears out of His own sweet pleasure.When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. The astrological influence of the constellation known as Rohini was also predominant because this constellation is considered very auspicious. Rohini is under the direct supervision of Brahma, who is born of Vishnu, and it appears at the birth of Lord Vishnu, who in fact is birthless. According to the astrological conclusion, besides the proper situation of the stars, there are auspicious and inauspicious moments due to the different situations of the different planetary systems. At the time of Krishna’s birth, the planetary systems were automatically adjusted so that everything became auspicious.At that time, in all directions, east, west, south, north, everywhere, there was an atmosphere of peace and prosperity. Auspicious stars were visible in the sky, and on the surface in all towns and villages or pasturing grounds and within the mind of everyone there were signs of good fortune. The rivers were flowing full of water, and the lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The forests were full with beautiful birds and peacocks. All the birds within the forests began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance with their consorts. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, and the sensation of bodily touch was very pleasing. At home, the brahmanas, who were accustomed to offer sacrifices in the fire, found their homes very pleasant for offerings. Because of disturbances created by the demoniac kings, the sacrificial fire had been almost stopped in the houses of brahmanas, but now they could find the opportunity to start the fire peacefully. Being forbidden to offer sacrifices, the brahmanas were very distressed in mind, intelligence and activities. But just on the point of Krishna’s appearance, automatically their minds became full of joy because they could hear loud vibrations in the sky of transcendental sounds proclaiming the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.On the occasion of Lord Krishna’s birth, seasonal changes took place throughout the entire universe. Krishna was born during the month of September, yet it appeared like springtime. The atmosphere, however, was very cool, although not chilly, and the rivers and reservoirs appeared just as they would in sharat, the fall. Lotuses and lilies blossom during the day, but although Krishna appeared at twelve o’clock midnight, the lilies and lotuses were in bloom, and thus the wind blowing at that time was full of fragrance. Because of Kamsa’s disturbances, the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies had almost stopped. The brahmanas and saintly persons could not execute the Vedic rituals with peaceful minds. But now the brahmanas were very pleased to perform their daily ritualistic ceremonies undisturbed. The business of the asuras is to disturb the suras, the devotees and brahmanas, but at the time of Krishna’s appearance these devotees and brahmanas were undisturbed. [End of Purport]
So Krishna’s appearance is now being described by Srila Sukadeva Goswami. In the previous chapter we all discussed how, when Krishna was in the womb of His mother, the demigods came to offer prayers to Him. And now it is being described that Krishna is ready to appear. When Krishna was about to appear then every direction, everything became very, very auspicious, very joyful. Peace and prosperity prevailed everywhere because the material nature is controlled by different demigods. These demigods are the departmental heads of different departments of the universe. And they know, like in the previous chapter we saw how the demigods were offering prayers when Krishna was in the womb, so they knew that the Supreme Personality of Godhead was coming. Just as when an important person comes to a house we decorate our house, make all kinds of wonderful arrangements, so demigods created that wonderful arrangements throughout the universe. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is coming. Although they were not actually meant to be like that but they all became…like generally material nature maintains an order. Like, at different times different seasons appear. The seasons come with different characteristics but here it seems that the nature at that time became perfect because the Lord was coming. And that’s why the demigods, because the Lord was coming, the demigods made the perfect arrangement everywhere.
So, Prabhupada is pointing out that Krishna appeared in September which is not really sharat but all the symptoms of sharat became manifest at that time. And everything was perfectly arranged. Like, all the stars and planets were perfectly situated. So this is how when we understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead we prepare everything in order to receive Him properly. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Supreme Controller, He is the Supreme Proprietor and everyone else is His servant and subordinate. The demigods, no matter how powerful they are, after all they all are His servants, whereas Krishna is appearing just like an ordinary human being. Krishna is appearing not only in an ordinary way, Krishna was appearing in an extraordinary way. Krishna was appearing in the prison house of Kamsa. Generally when the human babies are born, human children are born, they are taken care of by their relatives and well-wishers in such a wonderful way. Nowadays they are sent to the nursing homes and the doctors and nurses take care of them. In the Vedic culture there was no hospitals or nursing homes as such but the special arrangements used to be made when she was about to give birth to the child, the mother was about to give birth to the child. And all the relatives and friends used to come and assist her and she used to get the most wonderful treatment at that time because this is a time when the mother needs a lot of help and support and guidance and care.
But when we see Devaki and Vasudeva when Krishna was about to appear Devaki was in the prison of Kamsa, shackled by chains. And in some Purana it has been described that a stone was placed on her chest so that she couldn’t move. In order to prevent the appearance of Krishna Kamsa tried to take all kinds of precautions but still he couldn’t prevent the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
And we understand that these are Krishna’s pastimes. Why Krishna acts in this way? So that those who are favorable to Krishna, those who are favorably disposed, those who are not demoniac, those who are not inimical to Him, their heart becomes affected by these kinds of situations. The distress of Mother Devaki and the appearance of Krishna at that time causes everybody’s heart to become agonized. We feel pain that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is appearing in this way. And this is how by enacting His pastimes Krishna creates a situation that we automatically become attracted towards Him. And by being attracted to Him we make spiritual advancement. We bring auspiciousness to our lives. Our lives become joyful. Krishna is suffering, apparently Krishna is in a suffering condition, miserable condition, in order to bring auspiciousness to our lives.
Those who are good people, those who are endowed with human qualities, when they hear about the distresses and difficulties of people their heart automatically becomes sympathetic towards them. Not only sympathetic, their heart also cries in pain seeing the distressful situation of the person. The good people are sympathetic. Good people are compassionate. Good people are softhearted. And bad people are cruel. Bad people are hard-hearted. So there are two types of people in this world, good and bad. So when the good people, the sadhus, when they hear how Krishna appeared, then immediately their heart becomes agonized. They feel pain and that pain actually causes a natural attraction to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even those who did not know that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just by hearing about how Krishna appeared, would become attracted to Krishna.
Now, in one hand Krishna is appearing in such a distressful situation, [altar curtains open] Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Sita Rama Lakshmana Hanumana ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Giridhari Gopala ki jaya! So Krishna is appearing in a distressful situation in one hand, but at the same time we are getting to hear that how the demigods came and offered prayers to Krishna.
Krishna appeared in the prison but He appeared in His four-armed form. Krishna appeared in the prison when Kamsa imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki, in the prison tied down with shackles and with chains and guarded in such a way that it has been described that Kamsa was so afraid of the demigods coming and preventing his plan or outsmarting his plan, Kamsa made arrangements that nobody could even enter into the prison. Even the birds couldn’t fly from the top of the prison. He was so cautious, he was so afraid and therefore he took such precautions.
But although the guards were guarding the prison house, and they were all very powerful demons, but they all fell asleep. The chains became loose. The doors automatically opened up and Vasudeva could take Krishna out of the prison. And when he came out of the prison it was raining in torrents, an incredible shower of rain. And Vasudeva was carrying Krishna in his hand but at that time, to protect him from the rain, Ananta Sesha appeared and held his hood over his head to prevent him from the rain. Then when Vasudeva came in front of the bank of Yamuna he found that Yamuna was completely full and there was no way he could cross the river. There was no boat, there was nothing, just Yamuna was overflowing practically. And he was hesitating what to do now, how to cross Yamuna? And at that time one jackal just appeared there and the jackal started to walk through the river. So Vasudeva got an indication, maybe if I follow the jackal then I can also cross the river. [laughs] And he did that, he just followed the jackal. Who was the jackal? Jackal was Yogamaya as such.
Then when they came into the mid river all of a sudden Krishna slipped out of his hand. Can you imagine his condition? The river was in full spate, it was such a deep river and the child fell out of his hand. Can you imagine Vasudeva’s condition at that time? He was just searching for the child. Then finally he found. Actually what happened is, Yamuna thought, “Oh, my Lord has come! My Lord has come! And I won’t get an opportunity to embrace Him.” So she made the arrangement that Krishna would fall out of Vasudeva’s hand. So it was Yamuna who played with Krishna for a little while and then gave Him back to Vasudeva. And in this way Vasudeva came to the house of Nanda Maharaja. And again, by the arrangement of Yogamaya, everyone in the house also was vast asleep. Even Yashoda Mayi also was vast asleep. So these are the wonderful arrangements of Krishna’s internal potency, Yogamaya. Although Krishna appears like an ordinary human child but these are His pastimes.
Why these pastimes? These pastimes have two aspects. One aspect is Krishna derives pleasure out of that and Krishna attracts His devotees towards Him through His pastimes. Itidrk sva-lilabhir ananda-kunde. [Sri Damodarastakam, text three] In this way, through His pastimes Krishna submerges His devotees. Sva-ghosam nimajjantam akhyapayantam. Sva-ghosam, His devotees, are nimajjantam, are submerged in an ocean of joy. He performs His pastimes and in all kinds of most wonderful ways. Especially Krishna’s nara-lila, the humanlike appearance, that is Krishna’s dvibhuja appearance, two-armed appearance as a human being are the most attractive ones. Krishnera yateka khela tara madhye nara-lila nara-vapu tahara svarupa. [CC Madhya 21.101] Of all the pastimes of Krishna, Krishna’s pastimes in the humanlike form are most attractive. Why? Because nara-vapu tahara svarupa. The humanlike form is Krishna’s original form. That is Krishna’s original form. Man has been created according to the image of Krishna. The human form is actually Krishna’s original form. Original form means that is Krishna, that is svarupa, svayam rupa of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The original Supreme Personality of Godhead looks like a human being, not the four-armed Narayana form. The dvibhuja Shyamasundara’s form is Krishna’s original form. And in this form Krishna actually displays His most attractive lilas, pastimes. Compared to these pastimes Krishna’s Vaikuntha lila are quite stale, quite [inaudible], because the mellows are not, the loving exchanges are not so perfectly enhanced in those pastimes. Those pastimes are ranging in only two mellows, neutrality and servitorship, servant and master relationship. But when Krishna enacts His nara-lila, His humanlike form, then the other three mellows are perfectly manifest. In Vaikuntha there is only santa and dasya but in Vrindavana sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. These three mellows are predominant. Santa and dasya are subdued there. The predominant mellows are sakhya, dasya and madhurya: friendship, parental and conjugal.
Generally, in Vaikuntha these mellows are not manifest. One cannot develop these mellows there. How can one become a friend of the Supreme Personality of Godhead when friendship is among equals? How can one become the parent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead where the parenthood is superior to the offspring, to the child? And the conjugal, the loving relationship like that of young boys and girls, how can one develop that kind of relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead? But in Vraja lila that is not only manifest but most perfectly manifest. And the principle mellow in Vraja is actually conjugal. Parental and friendship are the supporting mellows. The principle mellow is the conjugal mellow.
So, lila, the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is meant for attracting us towards the Lord and giving us the taste of highest joy, highest bliss. And by doing that through this loving exchange Krishna enjoys and His devotees enjoy. But those who cannot appreciate the Supreme Personality of Godhead they are unfortunate. Abhakta-hina chara. [CC Antya 4.67] Those who are not devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, those who are abhaktas, they are most unfortunate. Hina chara. So in this way through His pastimes Krishna creates the opportunity to the living entities to become His devotees, to become attracted towards Him and become His devotees. Therefore, it begins with shraddha. The positive approach to the Supreme Personality of Godhead begins with shraddha, faith. We have to have the faith that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and this faith will develop when we hear from the devotees of Krishna. And what do the devotees of Krishna do? Devotees of Krishna simply speak about Krishna. They simply speak about Krishna on the basis of the authority of the scriptures.
So, two things we have to consider here, that we have to accept whatever has been spoken in the scriptures is the truth, the Absolute Truth, and whatever the devotees are saying about Krishna is the truth and nothing but the truth. When it is described that all the shackles, the chains fell off in Kamsa’s prison from Vasudeva’s hands and feet by the arrangement of Yogamaya, we have to accept that. When it is said that Krishna appeared in His four-armed form we have to accept that. When it is said that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead we have to accept that. And there is enough reasons to belief that, to understand that because they are properly supported with all kinds of wonderful, logical presentation of Krishna’s pastimes.
In one hand Krishna is appearing in the prison house of Kamsa but the demigods are coming and offering prayers to Him. Although Krishna is the unborn but still Krishna was there in the womb of Mother Devaki. Although Krishna is unborn He took birth as Devaki’s child. So we have to accept the authority of the scriptures. Whatever has been spoken in the scriptures, whatever has been mentioned in the scriptures, we have to accept without any doubt. And as we keep on reading the scriptures, as we keep on understanding, as we keep on progressing in Krishna Consciousness these presentations, these points become justified. These points become confirmed.
But we have to begin with faith. We have to accept with faith and that is the first aspect, shraddha. Adau sraddha. Just like we accept with faith when the mothers says this is A, we accept with faith it is A. And when we grow up it becomes confirmed, A is A, B is B and so forth. When we read books it becomes confirmed that A is A and B is B and C is C. So, similarly, we begin with faith. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and there will be enough evidence to reconfirm that faith. So we begin with faith and then, as we approach we experience joy. Krishna reciprocates. We accept Krishna with faith and that faith becomes confirmed with Krishna’s reciprocation. We begin to experience that how Krishna is reciprocating. Everyone has that experience. Everyone is blessed with that experience. Krishna confirms, “Yes, I am real. I am there and whenever you are in difficulty I’ll be there to protect you. Don’t worry. I will provide whatever you lack and I will protect whatever you have.” Krishna is giving that assurance. Yoga-kshemam vahamy aham. [Bg 9.22] “You accept Me with faith. You surrender unto Me. You become My devotee I’ll take care of you in all respects. And not only I’ll take care of you, not only I’ll free you from your suffering condition but I’ll submerge you in an ocean of joy.” And He provides that experience to the devotees.
And that is the purpose of Srimad Bhagavatam. Gradually it is bringing us to the tenth Canto, and there the identity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is revealed. His most wonderful pastimes have been revealed and when we become exposed to those pastimes our hearts become filled with joy. It is not that we have to be in Krishna’s pastimes in order to experience that joy but just by hearing also we can experience that joy. And therefore there is no difference between being in Krishna’s pastimes and hearing about Krishna’s pastimes. It is not that had we been here five thousand years ago we would’ve been very fortunate, we could have entered into Krishna’s pastimes. That opportunity is there now also, through Srimad Bhagavatam. Even five thousand years after Krishna’s appearance on this planet, today also, even five thousand years after we have the same opportunity. We can enter into Krishna’s pastimes through Srimad Bhagavatam. As a matter of fact, we are more fortunate than if we were there five thousand years ago because now we have come at a time when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared and He created an inconceivable good fortune for the living entities in this age. Even those who were not in Krishna’s pastimes are getting an opportunity to enter into Krishna’s pastimes through Mahaprabhu’s mercy. And not only five hundred years ago, it is fortunate that we are here right now. Because even if we came five hundred years ago we might not have received Mahaprabhu’s mercy. Like if we were in America five hundred years ago we couldn’t enter into Mahaprabhu’s pastimes. But by Prabhupada’s mercy now we can enter into Mahaprabhu’s pastimes because Prabhupada has created the good fortune. And we have the opportunity to enter in Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes in a most wonderful way.
So hearing is non-different from being in there. If the hearing is proper, if the hearing is with proper faith, if the hearing is with proper understanding, then yes, we will see that they are non-different. Hearing about Krishna and Krishna Himself are non-different. Krishna’s name and Krishna are non-different.
Thank you very much! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Jayadvaita Maharaja, will you please elaborate? Will you please elaborate?
HH Jayadvaita Maharaja: Well, I’ll just make a comment that in this tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam or elsewhere sometimes, but here especially, Prabhupada sometimes directed his editors to insert some sections of the Krishna Book. So in this purport, these parts of the purports, are directly taken from the Krishna Book.
BCS: Yes, which part? Oh at that time…yeah, right, right. Yeah also, this also, when the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord the constellations became very auspicious. This is from Krishna Book. Yeah, actually practically the whole purport is… Thank you, Maharaja. Any question? Okay, thank you. Yes?Devotee: One question I had was, it is a mystical thing trying to understand how it is that when we hear about Krishna’s pastimes we actually are able to partake or enter in. [inaudible] It seems like all the parts have been taken. So how do you experience for yourself just by listening.
BCS: Yeah, yeah. Well, as I said, it will depend upon our faith to what extent we are actually accepting it. Say, for example, Pundarika Vidyanidhi he had some doubt about this person, an associate of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, because he was indulging in such luxury. But then, just one incidence, when he heard about Krishna’s pastimes, just by hearing that, he fainted. Now tell me, how could one faint just by hearing one verse? He was transported into that pastimes in such a way that he was seeing Krishna, like he was there in the pastimes, and he just fainted. Now ordinarily we hear so many shlokas describing Krishna’s pastimes but do we experience that? We do not. But when somebody who is very advanced he actually reacts in a different way. Like, another time, just by seeing the peacock fan, fan made out of peacock feather, was used for fanning somebody, just by seeing the peacock feather he got into ecstasy. Like that peacock feather brought back those memories of Krishna in such an intense way that he lost his external consciousness. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was standing not in front of Jagannatha, way at the back of the temple, huge temple. And way at the back of the temple room, by the Garuda Stambha, tears were flowing from His eyes just by seeing Lord Jagannatha. What He was actually seeing? So these are the impetus for the recollections. Like, more advanced one is, he becomes transported into that pastimes. It depends upon one’s advancement, and advancement is again a matter of one’s faith. A person who is fully advanced has hundred percent faith in Krishna. That is, he is so much involved in Krishna Consciousness that there is no room for any doubt. And that is actually what advancement means.
BCS: Yes! Right. Exactly. And ultimately it is a matter of attachment, it is a matter of relationship. Just to give an example, sort of mundane example, you know. Say, a mother lost her child, and with time she practically forgot that. Then all of a sudden one day she sees a toy which was very dear to that child, and what happens to the mother? She breaks down. This toy is the impetus to such an intense memory that it transported her into that time when the child was playing with the toys, right? And just the sight, being transported to that moment, took her to that point in time so that she broke down like that. The same thing with the advanced devotees’ reactions towards hearing about Krishna. Therefore, it is not different. And, of course, this mundane example was just, there is a difference, but it was just to give an example. But in the spiritual it is non-different. Like to hear about Krishna is non-different from being transported into Krishna’s pastimes because they are so attached, they are so pure. They are so close to Krishna, they ARE actually with Krishna. And this impetus actually brings them to that point where the name and the personality are non-different. Narration of the pastimes and the pastimes are non-different because although we are hearing, apparently we are hearing those pastimes in some mundane situation in the material nature. They are actually transporting a pure devotee to the spiritual sky and he is seeing Krishna face to face there. For example, Brahma Samhita, apparently Brahma saw Krishna through chanting the mantras. By meditating upon Gayatri he saw Krishna in the heart. But how did he see Krishna? That is Brahma Samhita. He has been transported to the spiritual sky. He is seeing cintamani-prakara- sadmasu [Brahma Samhita 5.29] Here everything is made out of touchstone. The trees are desire trees. So Brahma is seeing that way. And he is seeing the gopis are serving Him in such a reverential attitude. Krishna is standing with flute in His hand and by playing His flute He is enchanting the entire spiritual sky. That is the meaning of seeing Krishna: being transported to the spiritual sky. Similarly, by hearing Krishna’s pastimes in the right frame of consciousness, pure frame of consciousness also transports one to the spiritual sky. Yeah, go ahead.
Devotee: You mentioned about that we are experiencing more mercy today than we would have during Krishna’s pastimes, because Krishna was not giving out prema to just anybody. Lord Caitanya did that. And He did that because He came with Radharani’s mood of compassion. He didn’t have that experience but now He is experiencing. But Krishna, because prema controls Him he doesn’t want to be controlled by unscrupulous people or just anybody, you know, understandably , but what I don’t understand is that Radharani, She loves Krishna so much and although I understand Her compassion and that She wants everybody to experience the love, the joy, the happiness of the love that She is experiencing. Because of Her love for Krishna, why isn’t She also as careful about how Krishna’s prema is distributed?
BCS: In this respect one analogy has been given. You see, generally a king although he can make a beggar into a millionaire but he generally doesn’t do that, right? The beggar is in the street. The king doesn’t go out of his way to make him a millionaire. But if a king wants he could do that. But he generally doesn’t do that because it is not appropriate, or it is not done. But if the king becomes mad, then what happens? [laughter] The king can say okay. The king becomes mad and the king behaves in an erratic way. He says, “Look, open up my treasury, and anybody who wants can come and take whatever wealth he wants to take form there.” If the king becomes mad he can behave like that and nobody can actually prevent the king. And the King of kings, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, became mad in Krishna prema. And that’s why He is behaving in such a way which otherwise He wouldn’t do! [laughs] So that is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is Krishna who became mad in Krishna prema. And that’s why He is distributing it. And when his associates are seeing that he is doing that, his ministers, his treasurer, and all those, those who are around him, they are also saying, “Okay, let’s do that! If the king wants it we will make it happen.” And that’s what happened. Krishna started to behave like that, Balarama said, “Oh, this is how Krishna is behaving! I will also do that. I will do it even more than Krishna!” [laughter] And this is what kind of transcendental madness is going on in this world. Therefore, those who are not taking advantage of it are most unfortunate. The paupers, the beggars, they have the opportunity to become millionaires. All they have to do is just go to the treasury of the king and start to take as much as you can! So that is the good fortune of this age, people of this age.
Devotee: Prema made Him crazy.
BCS: Prema made Him crazy, yeah. [laughter] Yes, Yadunatha?
Devotee: Thank you, Guru Maharaja. I’ve heard said that Krishna takes care of us. Krishna will take care of all our needs and we don’t have to worry about that. I heard that He means spiritually, spiritual needs. I also heard He means both spiritually and materially. So in such an economic climate with so many devotees who are also materially suffering in so many ways, losing jobs and things like that. How should we understand that He will take care of us and how should we depend on Him, just by keeping up our seva, our sadhana, or what?
BCS: Well, we have to look at it with Krishna Consciousness. The situation, we have to look at it with Krishna Consciousness. Like, it is like, again another example can be given, an analogy can be given. You see, the children are playing in the field. They are completely absorbed in their game. Then, at one point, when it is for them the time to become serious and go back into their studies the father comes and says, “Okay, game is up. Now you come, come home and study.” So what’s going in this material nature is just like a game. They are playing games, right? Because they are so attached to the game they’re upset, “Oh, now we have to give up our play.” But the thing is the father is saying, okay, now you come home, get back to your studies. Like, if they are absorbed in this game, see, as a matter of fact, although many of the devotees they have accepted Krishna Consciousness seriously, but how is their time spent? How much time for Krishna and how much time for earning money, right? So if Krishna says, “Okay, now you become serious about your spiritual life.” To us it may appear to be “Oh, Krishna is being so cruel. He is putting us through all these difficulties.” But don’t worry, Krishna will take care. It’s not that this money in the bank is taking care of you all, right? It is Krishna who is taking care and when Krishna withdraws His care then no matter how much money one has in the bank he will be finished. The ultimate goal of life is to not depend on money. Ultimate goal of life is to depend upon Krishna and His mercy. And Krishna is actually forcing us now; “Become serious. You have played enough and now become serious.” Lose your job means what? Game is up. Now you have to become serious. You have been running after money for so many years, you made so many millions, and put it in your bank and thought that that was the goal of your life, but now you realize that this is not the goal of your life. So what will happen is that through this, those who have accepted Krishna Consciousness will become more serious about Krishna Consciousness, if they are properly situated in their Krishna Consciousness. And this situation will force many others to become Krishna Conscious. When they’ll see that the situation is hopeless, there is no way out, then they’ll have to turn to Krishna.
Candrashekhara, you had a question?
Devotee: A small question. You mentioned about the example of someone who lived on earth five hundred years ago in America in the time of Lord Caitanya. So to take it from there, one can imagine that person is very sinful, as a result he takes birth in the animal species and he is away from the human form for more than ten thousand years. By the time he comes back to the human form Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtana Movement is gone and Kali Yuga is full fledged manifest. How unfortunate is that soul! If that’s the case one could almost think how unfair it is. Where is the mercy of Lord Caitanya who was there during his lifetime just in a different geographical place?
BCS: Yeah, in this respect Prabhupada once made a point that don’t worry about how all these people in the market place are going to sleep, where they are going to sleep. Just figure out where YOU are going to sleep! [laughter] So what will happen to others, don’t worry about that. Just first consider what is going to happen to you. You have this opportunity, take advantage of this opportunity. And then try to create the good fortune for others. Those who are in heavenly planets, those who are going to be there and miss out on Mahaprabhu’s mercy, what’s the point on worrying about that? Or what’s the point in worrying about those who are going to come after ten thousand years? Rather, those who are here right now try to create the good fortune for them. And Krishna will take care. Krishna will take care of everyone. It’s not our business to take care of everybody but at least we can take care of somebody. Those who we can take care, let’s take care of them. And have the confidence that Krishna will take care of everybody but if I can help Krishna in some way, that’s my good fortune. That’s why devotees go out and preach to create the good fortune for others because it will assist Krishna in a very difficult job to turn the conditioned souls towards Him. Yes, Arjuna?
Devotee: You know what you mentioned that Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes are going on all the time just like Krishna’s pastimes, so at every second the pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu are taking place?
BCS: Yeah, just as sun is spread, sun’s influence is spread in the form of time, all twenty four hours, all over the planet. Similarly, all Krishna’s pastimes are also going on simultaneously. Like, somewhere Krishna is just born. Somewhere Krishna is killing Putana. Somewhere Krishna is stealing butter. All are going on simultaneously. Right now! And somewhere is dark. Like no light of the sun, like here. But even then Bhagavatam, when the sun sets, then the Bhagavatam appears to give out the light. So here we are having access to all of Krishna’s pastimes at the same time through Srimad Bhagavatam. Candrashekhara, was it alright? You got the answer?
Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!