Nectarean 2nd half of class on the eve of Ratha Yatra in Johannesburg

Nectarean 2nd half of class on the eve of Ratha Yatra in Johannesburg

[The class continued after chanting Madhurastakam.]

Hare Krishna. I am sorry that this is a little complicated tune but you did very well. Generally the way we sing it, we sing first two lines together and then the third line single. One line we sing and then the fourth line – madhuradhi-pater akhilam madhuram – we repeat twice. And then actually the first stanza, the odd stanzas start with the lower note and the even ones start with the higher note. The odd ones start with pa and then even ones start with higher note, sa. Anyway you did very well. [Laughter.]

Hare Krishna. So I want to go back to Jagannath now or you are getting late? [No.]

So When Krishna, Jagannath did not come back to Dvaraka then Rukmini went with the soldiers from Dvaraka because after all it was an offense. As it is stealing is an offense.  Kidnapping is stealing. And then this is stealing the prince. It is a very serious offense. Then Queen Rukmini got to know the glory of Vrindavan. Then they had rasa dance. Naturally Krishna got together with the gopis so naturally They are going to dance rasa dance on the full moon night. Full moon night means when Krishna wants to dance rasa dance then the moon becomes full automatically because the moon also becomes ecstatic. In ecstasy moon also becomes full.

There is a description that the queen, Rukmini, she was marveling, “Oh! What a wonderful sight! What did I see?” But then she got the response, “What Did you see? It is nothing! This is nothing compared to the real rasa dance in Vrindavan.” So that is Vrindavan.

Now that question arises what about this form of Lord Jagannath? You are saying this is Krishna but He doesn’t look like Krishna. So in this respect there are two considerations or two anecdotes or two reasons why Krishna became like that. One narration is in Skanda Purana that describes how there was a king called Indradyumna. He was in Satya-yuga. He wanted to see the Lord. In Satya yuga one used to see the Lord through meditation in the core of his heart. Actually the Deity of the Lord became manifest in Dvapara-yuga.  In Satya-yuga the Lord was not manifest in His Deity form. For a king to give up his royal responsibilities and meditate in the Himalayas was not possible so the king became very despondent. He became very heart broken. In this way when  he was lamenting all the time, “How can I get to see the Lord, how can I get to see the Lord?” At that time one wondering mendicant, parivrajaka brahmana came to the royal court and he told that The Lord is present in His Deity form as Nila Madhava in the Niladri Mountain on the bank of the salt water ocean. So the king became very excited on hearing that the Lord is present and that, “I can possibly get to see Him.” But before he could enquire where Niladri Mountain is, where the Lord is, that person just disappeared. So then King Indradyuma sent his brahmanas in different directions to find out where is Nila Madhava. Nila Madhava means blue Madhava. Madhava is Krishna. That is that Nila Madhava is Krishna. So his messengers went in different directions searching for Nila Madhava and after a long search practically all of them came back except one.  He was the head priest, Vidyapati. Vidyapati did not come back.

In the meantime Vidyapati, searching for Nila Madhava became tired. One day he just came to a Sabara village. The Sabaras are actually outcastes. In the Vedic culture only the four classes, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra live in the towns or villages. The others, those who are lower than sudras they do not stay in the actual areas. They live in the outskirts of the habitation, meaning near the forest. After all a Sabara is an outcast. So Vidyapati becoming tired arrived in a Sabara village. For a brahmana to come to a Sabara village is unusual, generally it used to be an unusual thing in those days. He was tired and hungry and thirsty. So when you are hungry and thirsty then all this caste consciousness automatically disappears.  [Laughter.] So the house that he approached was the house of the king of the Sabaras, the leader of the Sabaras.

He was not at home but his young daughter was at home. So when Vidyapati arrived there she treated him very nicely and told him to wait until her father came back. So Vidyapati waited. Already he was tired. And when the leader of the Sabaras, Visavasu came he was very happy to see that a brahmana became his guest. So with great honor and respect he treated him and requested him to stay there in his house for some time. And Vidyapati was also quite tired after long travels so he accepted the invitation. When he was there eventually he got married to this daughter of the king of Sabaras. Her name was Lalita. While staying in Visavasu’s house Vidyapati used to notice that every night Visavas used to go away, go somewhere. And in the morning when he would come back some beautiful fragrance would exude from his body. So he was curious. One day he asked Lalita, “Where does your  father go at night?” So Lalita said that he goes to worship Nila Madhava.

So you can well imagine how Vidyapati felt. That he was searching for Nila Madhava. He practically forgot his mission and then all of a sudden he got to know that here is the person who goes to worship Nila Madhava. So he asked Lalita, “Why don’t you tell your father to take me also to see Nila Madhava?” So Lalita said, “My father doesn’t want anyone to even know that he worships Nila Madhava and if I approach him he will get very, very upset with me.” Also it is understandable why he was so secretive about it because in those days only a brahmana could worship the Lord. And he is an outcaste and an outcaste is worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If people got to know that then he would be in real trouble. So that is why he was so secretive about it.

Vidyapati kept on insisting, “Please tell him after all there is no secret.  I am his son-in-law. Finally Lalita approached and told her father that Vidyapati wanted to see Nila Madhava. At first Visavasu became very, very upset. Then on Lalita’s insistence he agreed to take Vidyapati on one condition that he will have to go blindfolded because he was afraid that if this brahmana finds out where Nila Madhava is probably he will take Him away. Vidyapati accepted that condition but at the same time he told Lalita just before leaving that, “Can you please give me some mustard seeds?” So she asked, “Why do you need mustard seeds?” He said that, “I will need it to worship.” [Laughter.]

So he took the mustard seeds, tied it up in the corner of his cloth and blindfolded Visavasu was leading him. And while going he started to drop those mustard seeds. Smart he is. [Laughter.] Why? He knew that this is how he will find out where is Nila Madhava because in course of time the mustard seeds will become plants and following those mustard plants he will find out where is Nila Madhava. So he was taken there and he got to see the Lord.

In the meantime Visavasu went to collect fruit and flowers from the forest to worship Nila Madhava. When Visavasu was gone and Vidyapati was waiting he saw an amazing sight. He saw that a crow was perched on a tree on the bank of a pond and all of a sudden that crow died and fell in the water of the pond. And as soon as it touched the water of the pond he immediately assumed his four armed form and went back to Vaikuntha. Even a crow dying at that place and coming in contact with the water of that kunda, water of that pond assumed his spiritual form, spiritual identity. So Vidyapati thought that that is a very convenient way to get liberation, just give up his body in the water and he will go back to Godhead. So thinking that he wanted to just give up his body drowning himself in that water but at that time he heard a voice that announced, that told him that, “Vidyapati this is not the time for you to give up your body and achieve spiritual liberation.  Your friend, your king Indradyumna is eagerly waiting for your return so you go and report to him.” So he refrained from that plan of committing suicide. In the meantime Visavasu came and as he started to worship as he started to serve Nila Madhava, Nila Madhava spoke up. Visavasu heard a voice saying that, “Visavasu, I have been receiving your service for a long time. Now the time  has come for Me to accept the service of King Indradyumna.” So when Visavasu heard that he thought that this brahmana must have convinced Nila Madhava to leave him and got to King Indradyumna so he became very upset. As it is he was suspecting that this brahmana will steal Nila Madhava away from him so he immediately got hold of him and he told him that, “I would have killed you. Had you not have been my son-in-law I would have killed you. But I won’t kill you but I won’t let you go either. I will tie you up to a tree with ropes and creepers and let the wild animals come and eat you.” Saying that he tied him up to a tree.

When he returned home Lalita asked what happen and he told her what happened. So Lalita went looking for Vidyapati. She found Vidyapati tied up in the forest and released him from his bond. Vidyapati then went back to King Indradyumna and reported that he found Nila Madhava. Immediately King Indradyumna came along with his army and entourage. Do you know where was the kingdom of King Indradyumna? King Indradyumna’s kingdom was in Avanti, which is Ujjain, where we have a temple. So Avanti is not only the place of Sandipani’s asrama. Avanti is also King Indradyumna’s capital. So King Indradyumna then came. In the meantime the mustard seeds sprouted into mustard plants and in this way they detected the way and tracked the way to the temple at the top of the mountain. When they arrived there where Nila Madhava was,  they found that Nila Madhava was not there. The king thought that Visavasu, the King of the Sabaras must have shifted him somewhere so he went and arrested the Sabara and asked him where the Deity was. But Visavasu was just silent. The king tortured him but still he was silent. Then they ceased the village to force them to submit.

During that time King Indradyumna had a dream that Nila Madahava is telling him that it is not that Visavasu has shifted him somewhere. Actually He, Himself has disappeared and He told the king not to unnecessarily torture the Sabaras along with their king. Then He told that, “You won’t see Me in My Nila Madhava form but I have appeared as a transcendental log. Go to the ocean and you will find Me there. I have appeared as a transcendental log.  So you carve My Deity out of that log and worship that form. That will be non different from Me.”

So King Indradyumna immediately went to the ocean and he found this huge log floating. So he tried to lift the log out of the water and he couldn’t. So then he got his soldiers. He employed his whole army with the elephants and horses and still they couldn’t pull the log out of the water. Again he was so frustrated. The Lord came as a log but he could not shift the log out of the water. Then he was directed in a dream by Nila Madhava. He told that, “You get Vidyapati and Visavasu to hold two ends of the log and they will be able to lift Me out of the water.” So the king immediately got Visavasu and Vidyapati and told them about the dream he had and it is true. Amazingly just these two persons very easily lifted the log out of the water and it was taken to the residence of the queen. Her name was Gundica. Indradyumna’s wife’s name was Gundica. So there the log was kept. Then the king got the best carvers to carve the Deity but all these expert wood carvers as they tried to carve the Deity out of the log, as they would touch their instruments, chisels and hammers to the wood immediately it would break into pieces. So many such carvers and carpenters came but no one could even make a scratch on that wood.

Again King Indradyumna was so disappointed. Then an old man came.  He identified himself as Ananta Maharana and he told him that he would carve the Deity out of the wood. The king at first was quite doubtful and he said that, “All these expert carvers came and they couldn’t even make a dent and you are an old man. How will you be able to carve?” But that man said, “No I will. But I have a condition that for as long as I am working in the room no one should come there. If anyone comes in then I will leave.” So King Indradyumna agreed. It was not a difficult condition.

Then he started to work behind the closed doors and the King could hear the sound of work in progress. So he was very excited. But then one day all of a sudden the sound stopped. The king became worried about what happened. Why it had stopped. And he also considered that he is such an old man and if something happened to him. So out of his intense anxiety the King forgot about the condition and he opened the door and walked in. When he walked in there he found the three incomplete forms there and Ananta Maharana was no way to be seen. The king was extremely disappointed, extremely guilty that he broke his promise and as a result of that the Lords form didn’t become manifest. So he decided to give up his body. So he sat on kusa grass and he stopped eating and drinking with the intention of leaving his body. This is called praya-upavesah, just as Pariksit Maharaj did. When he got the news that in seven days he is going to leave his body he just went to the bank of the Ganges, sat down on kusa grass and stopped eating. So the king also decided to give up his body fasting. So he sat there for three days like that but on the third night he had a dream. The Lord appeared to him and told him that, he should not think that this form is an incomplete form.  He said that, “This form is Me, non different from Me. And in this form I am eternally manifest in the spiritual sky. So don’t think that it is incomplete.”

So this is how Lord Jagannath appeared along with Subhadra and Baladeva. King Indradyumna established the Deities. Brahma actually installed the Deities.  So this is how Lord Jagannath appeared. Now the question arises that in a dream the Lord told King Indradyumna that He is present in this form in the spiritual sky so where is He in that form?

This part has been explained by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Just before the Ratha Yatra festival he was asked to speak on Lord Jagannath on radio. So he gave this anecdote. That the queens in Dvaraka used to always wonder what is there in Vrindavan that Krishna’s heart is always in Vrindavan. Krishna’s mind is always in Vrindavan. He is always lost in thoughts of Vrindavan so they wanted to know what is there, what is so special about Vrindavan. So one day they approached Mother Rohini. So Mother Rohini said, “One day when Krishna and Balaram won’t be here then I will tell you the activities about Krishna and Balaram in Vrindavan. Otherwise if Krishna and Balaram get to know Their activities in Vrindavan Their memories will be rekindled and They will be feeling very, very sad. As it is They are feeling so heart broken and They will feel even more miserable. So wait ’til Krishna and Balaram won’t be here then I will tell you.”

Mother Rohini was in Vrindavan so she knew about Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes. So one day when Krishna and Balaram went somewhere else at that time sixteen thousand queens approached Mother Rohini to tell them about Krishna’s Vrindavan lila. So Mother Rohini sat with them and they posted Subhadra to guard the door so that no one will trespass. So Rohini started to narrate Krishna’s Vrindavan lila.

In the meantime Krishna and Balaram came back. And Subadra just by hearing Krishna’s pastimes became so affected, so overwhelmed with emotion that she lost her speech. Although Krishna and Balaram came she could not warn them that Krishna and Balaram came. Therefore all she could do is stretch her arms to stop Krishna and Balaram from entering. Krishna and Balaram could not enter into the room but while standing there Krishna and Balaram were hearing Rohini describing Their Vrindavan lila. And hearing that Krishna and Balaram assumed a very unusual form – The form where His face lit up with a beautiful smile; His eyes blossomed like two lotuses, became wide like two fully bloomed lotuses and His hands were stretched forward with the desire to embrace His friends and the residents of Vrindavan. And Subadra also assumed the same form. Seeing Krishna and Balaram she was also induced in the same mood. The only thing is that then she felt very guilty that she stopped Krishna and Balaram by stretching her arms. So with that guilty feeling her arms went inside her body. So Subadra doesn’t have arms. Krishna and Balaram have Their arms stretched forward. So this is how Krishna assumed this form of Jagannath.

Caitanya-caritamrta also gives a description that how,

priyah so ‘yam krsnah saha-cari kuru-ksetra-militas
[Madhya 1.76]

Radharani is telling. Actually Caitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing in front of Lord Jagannath during the Ratha Yatra festival and He was singing one song.  The song goes like, apparently it is a mundane song

yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta
[Madhya 1.58]

“The one who stole my heart during My maiden days He has become My Lord now.  That means He is My master now, My husband. And it is the same,

caitra-ksapas, te conmilita-malati-surabhayah praudhah kadambanilah
[Madhya 1.58]

It is the same spring night and the breeze blows the beautiful fragrance of malati flower blowing from the direction of the kadamba trees

sa caivasmi tathapi tatra surata-vyapara-lila-vidhau
[Madhya 1.58]

I am that same girl who is very expert in loving exchange. But still,

reva-rodhasi vetasi-taru-tale cetah samutkanthate
[Madhya 1.58]

My heart is hankering to go back to the Reva River under the Vetasi trees.”

So no one could understand why Mahaprabhu was singing such a song in front of Jagannath’s chariot and dancing. It is like a song describing some young lover yearning for sentimental happenings of the heart. So Ratha Yatra was over.

One day Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Rupa Goswami’s hut and He saw that, (Rupa Goswami had at that time gone to take a bath in the ocean) and Mahaprabhu was waiting and He saw that there was a palm leaf stuck on the ceiling. In those days people used to write on palm leaves. So He pulled out that palm leaf and he found one verse written there on that palm leaf. That was saying, “My dear friend I met Krishna in Kuruksetra. I am the same Radha but still My heart is yearning for the forest in Vrindavan, forest of Vrindavan on the bank of Kalindi River where the whole atmosphere is saturated with Krishna’s flute playing the fifth note.

mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati
[Madhya 1.76]

My mind – mano me; kalindi-pulina-vipinaya – the forest on the bank of Kalindi River, My mind is hankering, yearning to go back there.” So this is actually revealing what is the meaning of the song that Caitanya Mahaprabhu sang. It is actually Srimati Radharani lamenting that, “I met Krishna but My heart is not satisfied seeing Krishna in this way

yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta
[Madhya 1.58]

I found Him – the one whole stole my heart when I was kaumara-harah – when I was a maiden and He has become My Lord but still My heart is hankering to go to the bank of the Reva River which is Kalindi River in the forest of Vrindavan.”

So Caitanya Mahaprabhu  was very surprised to read that and He asked Svarup Damodara, “Svarup how did Rupa find out, how could he understand My mind?”  Then Svarup Damodara replied that, “Who can ever understand Your mind?  You must have bestowed Your causeless mercy upon Him. That is how he found out.  He must be very dear to You.” And Caitanya Mahaprabhu admitted, “Yes. Rupa is very dear to Me.”

This is how in Caitanaya-caritamrta it has been described how the residents of Vrindavan met Krishna after a long separation. But when they met Krishna that union has been very beautifully described – that Radharani was feeling that, “This is not the Krishna that I want, that I knew. The Krishna that I knew is a cowherd boy but this is a ksatriya prince. The Krishna that I know wears a peacock feather on His head but He is wearing a helmet. He is wearing a crown. The Krishna that I know wears a yellow garment and here He is dressed in royal robes. The Krishna that I know wears flower garlands made of forest flowers and this Krishna is decorated with all kinds of precious gems and ornaments. The Krishna that I know carries a flute but this Krishna is carrying sword and bow.”

This is how Srimati Radharani was not satisfied to see Krishna in that mood at Kuruksetra. And Krishna also seeing His associates, seeing His dear devotees from Vrindavan after such a long time He also assumed, He also became so overwhelmed with His emotions, loving emotions that His hands stretched forward with the desire to embrace them. His face lit up with a beautiful smile and He became all smiles and He was seeing them with such eagerness, such excitement that his eyes became wide like two fully bloomed lotuses. This is Jagannath. Krishna of Dvaraka wanting to go to Vrindavan. That is Jagannath.

So tomorrow is Jagannath’s Ratha yatra festival so take full advantage of this wonderful celebration and this occasion of developing love for Krishna, love for Jagannath. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.

Gaura Premanande – hari-haribol! [Applause.]

[The next day Maharaj led ecstatic kirtan for a long time in the Jagannath Rath procession and walked the whole time thereafter in front of the chariot often looking at the Deities. He gave another talk in the main tent. Then he left to catch a flight via Dubai to India.]

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