06 Sep Johannesburg-Lecture 28 August 2010
Speaker: HH Bhakti Charu Swami
Venue: Sri Sri Nitai Gaura-Hari Mandir, Johannesburg, South Africa
Occasion: Evening program on the eve of Randburg Ratha Yatra
Transcription sent in by Madri Dasi
Hare Krishna. [Chants Jaya Radha Madhava]
Gaurapremanande Hari-hari bol!
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
Hare Krishna. So how is everyone doing? [Audience response – Very well.]Very
good! I am very happy to hear that. Hare Krishna!
So tomorrow is Randburg Ratha Yatra. Is this the first one? Oh third one.
How many RathaYatras do you have in Gauteng? Three. Lenasia, Oh Soweto – I
think Kadamba Kanan Maharaj started that Soweto Ratha Yatra. [Jai Sri Sri
Gaura Nitai Ki jai.]
“Jagannatha Swami, nayana pathagami, bhava tu me.”
O Lord Jagannatha You appear in the pathway of my vision. We don’t see the
Lord. The Lord appears very mercifully to give us His darsan. We must see
the Lord with that consciousness, with that understanding. We are limited
spiritual sparks, insignificant spiritual sparks and the Lord is the Supreme
Personality. So how can the minute perceive the Absolute? Is it possible for
the minute to perceive the Absolute? But He mercifully appears to our
perception. He allows us to see Him, touch Him and serve Him. We have to
understand that out of His causeless mercy He allows us this prerogative. So
with that we must see the Lord,
“Jagannatha Swami, nayana pathagami, bhava tu me,’ nayana means eyes patha
means path. Our eyes are creating one path – path of our vision and Lord
Jagannath is appearing there. Who is Lord Jagannath? From the name itself we
can understand. If you know Sanskrit or Hindi, Jagannath – Jagat means the
material nature, the world, the universe, the entire creation and nath means
the Lord. He is the Lord of the universe. Not only the universe He is the
Lord of the entire creation. He is not only the Lord of the entire material
creation. He is also the Lord of the spiritual sky, which is eternal, which
is endless, which is unlimited – doesn’t have any beginning, doesn’t have
any end. Material nature has its beginning and its end. So Jagannath is not
only the Lord of one universe, not only the Lord of the entire material
creation. He is also the Lord of the spiritual sky. And He performs His
The pastimes of the Lord have two purposes. One is to have a loving exchange
with His devotees. And through this loving exchange He derives joy and He
allows His devotees to also enjoy. Love and joy are interrelated. It is
through love that one experiences joy. The real joy is experienced through
special kind of love. That is the loving exchange with the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. That is the real joy.
In the material nature there is also some loving exchange and out of that
exchange one derives certain pleasure or certain joy but that is only
temporary, insignificant, illusory. Trying to enjoy in the material nature
is illusory endeavor. Illusory – the substance is not there and you are
hankering for that substance and trying to achieve it by running after that
illusory concept. And the classic example about that is the mirage. Mirage
appears to be like water. And being thirsty when you are dying for water you
run after the mirage but will you ever be able to quench your thirst running
after a mirage? Never! Similarly trying to experience joy in the material
nature through all kinds of loving exchange is futile endeavor. It will
never be successful. It will never happen. Illusory! The impression is
there. You see the mirage, you are thirsty, you think, “Well, I will be able
to quench my thirst.” And you run after the mirage but the more you run
after the mirage the more the mirage runs away from you. So the false
allurement is there that well you will be able to quench your thirst but
actually you will not be able to quench your thirst.
So the real enjoyment is spiritual and that real enjoyment is experienced
out of the loving exchange with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is
why He performs His pastimes. His pastimes are simply a loving exchange
between the Lord and His devotee.
Another secondary purpose of the Lord’s appearance is as we find in
vinasaya ca duskrtam
He comes to save and protect His devotees and to annhilate the demons and by
doing that He reeastablishes dharma or the religious principles again. What
is religious principles? Religious principles simply mean law and order. The
Supreme law and order! The ultimate law has been given by the Lord and
following that law is called dharma.
dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam
The Lord has given the law and we must follow the law. When you follow the
law then what happens? Then peace and prosperity prevails. But when there is
breaking of law, when people become outlaws, when they don’t accept the law
and act whimsically, act in defiance of the law and order then what happens?
The simply chaos prevails. Everything becomes chaotic. So when the situation
become chaotic, when people do not accept the law of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead then the Lord comes to reestablish this law and order which is
sambhavami yuge yuge
I appear from time to time. So mainly for these two purposes the Lord
appears. He has His loving exchange with His devotee, which is a purely
spiritual consideration. In the spiritual sky that is what the Lord does all
the time. He has His loving exchange with His devotees. In the spiritual sky
there is no consideration of dharmasya glanir [Bg 4.7] – the breaking of law
and order, disarray of Lord’s law and order. That never happens in the
spiritual sky. In the spiritual sky there is no out law. There are in laws
[laughter] but there is no outlaws in the spiritual sky.
In the spiritual sky, especially in Vrindavan, what the Lord does? He simply
has His loving exchange with His devotees. And they are called His pastimes
or lila in Sanskrit. Pastimes – playfully He acts like that. He doesn’t need
to but He does it for the sake of experiencing the joy derived from those
loving exchanges. And this Jagannath pastime is one such most wonderful
loving exchange. The Lord performed His pastimes in Vrindavan until His
pauganda lila up to the age of fifteen. Bala lila, kaumara lila and pauganda
lila – 1 to 5; 6 to10; 11 to15. Then He goes to Mathura to kill Kamsa.
Fifteen years He spent in Vrindavan. In Vrindavan He just had an amazing,
most wonderful loving exchange with His devotees. In Vrindavan the devotees
are very special devotees. Special devotees in the sense that there they are
only concerned about their love for the Lord. They don’t care for anything
else – just love, and love and only love. That is going on. That is Vraja.
That loving exchange is making everything dynamic. In one sense the word
Vraja means dynamic. When there is no action it is static. And when there is
action it is dynamic. Vraja – moving, always moving. But moving on what
basis? On the basis of love! And that also some very special kind of love –
friendship; parental and conjugal. Generally there are fives kinds of – or
four kinds of predominant loving exchanges – servitorship; friendship;
parental and conjugal loving exchanges between the master and servant,
servitorship. Loving exchange between friends and then loving exchange
between parents and children and loving exchange between lover and beloved.
Out of that if you consider then we see that servitorship is when the Lord
is the master and the devotee is the servant. That is a natural
jivera ‘svarupa’ haya — krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’
The eternal constitutional position of a living entity is that he is a
servant of Krishna. He is an eternal servant of Krishna – ‘nitya-dasa’ –
servant. So devotee is servant. Devotee is below and the Lord is above. That
is natural. But in friendship the devotee and Lord are becoming equal. In
friendship they become equal. In parental the devotee becomes superior and
the Lord become inferior. And in conjugal only love and nothing but love.
Simply loving relationship like that of young boy and a young girl. So these
are the loving exchanges. With the Lord general loving exchange that is in
spiritual sky in Vaikuntha it is mainly servitorship. Everyone is the
servant and the Lord is the Supreme master. But in Vrindavan we find a very
special kind of relationship. The Lord is the friend of His devotees –
sakhya rasa. In that relationship they are equal. Then parental – he Lord
has father and mother and the father and mother treat Him not like the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. They treat Him like their naughty little
child. Not that He is always naughty.
Sometimes He is nice but sometimes He is extremely naughty. Through this
relationship a loving exchange takes place. They derive an inconceivable joy
out of this relationship. Then conjugal – there the Lord is the beloved and
the devotees are the lovers. He is the object of love, just like a young boy
and young girl. So these relationships otherwise is not possible with the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can one become equal to the Supreme
Personality of Godhead? Is it possible? Who can become equal to the Lord?
Who can become superior to the Lord? Equal atleast we can understand but
superior to the Lord. As it is He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He
is the SUPREME. The definition of supreme is that no one is equal to Him and
no one is above Him. So it is a contradiction actually. He is the Supreme
and someone has become superior to Him. His father is superior to Him. His
mother is superior to Him and He is inferior.
So all these considerations are just thrown away. In simple words the
Supreme Personality of Godhead is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
There He is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There He is just a
cowherd boy. To some He is a friend; to some He is the son and to some He is
the object of love. And everyone is in love with Him. So that is Vraja,
Vrindavan – where there is love, and love, and nothing but love. And in that
loving atmosphere they have this very sweet exchange. The sweet exchange is
not always pleasing. Sometimes the sweet exchanges are very, very painful –
transcendentally painful. The Lord goes away and the devotees become
submerged in an ocean of sorrow.
yugayitam nimesena caksusa pravrsayitam
sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me
So they feel due to that separation a moment appears to be like a yuga, like
a millennium and due to that separation they feel such agony that constantly
tears flow from their eyes. They are crying all the time – caksusa
pravrsayitam. sunyayitam jagat sarvam the entire world appears to be vacant
because of the absence of Krishna. So that is the state of consciousness.
That is how they are feeling – an intense separation!
Then came this occasion of solar eclipse. And it is a custom in India that
during solar eclipse people go to Kuruksetra and take a dip during the solar
eclipse known as Samanta-pancaka in the lake there. So Krishna also went
there along with Balaram and Subadra and many other associates. His whole
entourage was there with Him. He is a prince. From Dwaraka He went to
Kuruksetra. And the residents of Vrindavan also came to Kuruksetra on the
occasion of solar eclipse, surya grahan. And the solar eclipse is over they
took their dip and they offered their prayers and they acquired heaps of
pious activities by doing that. Then they were preparing to leave and then
this cowherd people, the Vrajavasis got to know at that time that Krishna is
there. Krishna came there. So as soon as they herd that Krishna was there in
Kuruksetra they just ran to meet Him. And when they came there they found
that Krishna was already on His chariot. He was about to leave. So they
became so excited with their emotion, they became so overwhelmed with their
emotion that they just got hold of the chariot along with the horses and
started to pull the chariot towards Vrindavan. There is some other feelings
or considerations also.
Radharani when She actually saw Krishna – this has been very beautifully
described in Caitanya-caritamrta – when Radharani saw Krishna She came with
a lot of excitement that She was going to see Krishna after a long, long
separation. But when she came there and saw Krishna Her feeling was, “This
is not Krishna. This is not Krishna. Krishna wears a peacock feather on His
head and this character is wearing a crown!” (Laughter.) “Krishna has a
flower garland and this personality is wearing armor and jewels and He is
carrying a sword and bow and arrow. But Krishna doesn’t carry bow and arrow.
Krishna carries a flute. Krishna is dressed in yellow – one piece of yellow
cloth around His upper part and another – dhoti, on His lower part. This is
dressed in a royal robe with fancy embroidery!” Mainly they thought that
this place is not a place to meet Him. “We never met Him in this way. We
used to meet Krishna on the bank of Yamuna in the forest of Vrindavan but
here so many elephants, horses, soldiers. And there is so much noise. The
horses are winning. Elephants are trumpeting. And there is the sound coming
from slashing of weapons and armors.” And the residents of Vrindavan
understood Radharani’s mood. That is why they felt that way because the
residents of Vrindavan have only one consideration – Radharani’s pleasure.
They are simply concerned about Radharani’s pleasure.
So when they saw that Radharani is feeling in that way they just got hold of
the chariot and started to pull it away from there towards Vrindavan. So
that is the Ratha Yatra festival. In simple words it is the pastimes of
kidnapping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of
Godhead is kidnapped! And really it was. That is what they were accused of.
When the news reached in Dvaraka, what actually happened Queen Rukmini – she
is the head of the queens – when she got to know what happened. That these
cowherd folks have kidnapped Krishna and took Him away and that is why
Krishna did not come to Dvaraka. Days went by and Krishna did not come back.
Therefore she took the army and she ceased Vrindavan. Not real Vrindavan.
This is new, Nava Vrindavan – New Vrindavan. They were in Kuruksetra. They
were cowherd folks therefore they where staying away from the city in the
forest. Because they had to herd the cows and they had to graze the cows. So
that is the place were they took Krishna.
So Rukmini surrounded that place. She arrested all those people, residents
of Vrindavan. And she actually hand cuffed them, literally arrested them!
And she was about to punish them but before the judgment they have to give
them a chance to also defend themselves. So they had their lawyers.
[Laughter.] The public prosecutor and the defending prosecutor. The lawyer
who was actually conducting the case on behalf of the queen or the royal
family of Dvaraka is Narada Muni. [Laughter.] And the defending one is
Lalitadevi. She is sharp. [Laughter.] So the question came – why does
Krishna, although He is in Dvaraka and Dvaraka has everything but still it
seems that Krishna’s heart is somewhere else. Krishna is not there. During
the day He seems to be absent minded as if His mind is somewhere else and at
night while asleep He dreams about these cows and cowherd folks and His
father and mother in Vrindavan and He speaks about them as if He is talking
to them. They had that consideration or feeling that Krishna although His
body is in Dvaraka but He is not in Dvaraka. His heart is always somewhere
else. So that question came up. Why Krishna behaves like that? In spite of
being in Dvaraka His heart is always in Vrindavan. Then Lalitadevi answers
that point saying that, “Actually Vrindavan has everything. You are claiming
that your Dvaraka is so opulent but Vrindavan has everything.” Like in
Vrindavan the trees are desire trees. The land is touch stone – cintamini
and the water there is nectar. Cintamini, kalpavrksa – so this cintamini and
kalpavrksa can fulfill all desires. Desire tree can fulfill all desires.
Touchstone, just by touching it turns everything into transcendental
touchstones also. Or materially touchstone converts base metal into gold but
in spiritual sky it converts into gems.
Jai Sri Sri Gaura Nitai Ki! Jai! And in Vrindavan the cows are surabhi cows.
That also can fulfill all desires. So if they wanted they could get
everything in Vrindavan but because all they want is love – to love Krishna.
And besides loving Krishna, besides this loving exchange with Krishna they
do not want anything else. That is why Vrindavan appears to be the way it is
– forest but actually Vrindavan is beyond Dvaraka
Anyway so now is the arati so we will go for the arati and maybe we can
continue after arati. Thank you Hare Krishna. Jai Sri Sri Gaura Nitai Ki!
Jai! Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai!
[Maharaj led an ecstatic kirtan and thereafter returned to the Vyasasana,
sang Madhurastakam and continued class. Transcription of this enlivening
part of the class will follow soon.]