The Supreme Lord Krishna Picks Out Thorns With Thorns

The Supreme Lord Krishna Picks Out Thorns With Thorns


(Click on the pictures to discover the Treasure House Of India’s Spiritual Wisdom as presented by ISKCON Founder Acharya A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada)

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Srimad Bhagvatam first canto 15th chapter text 34, The Pandavas Retire  Timely

yayaharad bhuvo bharam
tam tanum vijahav ajah
kantakam kantakeneva
dvayam capisituh samam


yaya — that by which; aharat — took away; bhuvah — of the world; bharam —
burden; tam — that; tanum — body; vijahau — relinquished; ajah — the
unborn; kantakam — thorn; kantakena — by the thorn; iva — like that; dvayam
— both; ca — also; api — although; isituh — controlling; samam — equal.


The Supreme unborne, Lord Sri Krishna, caused the members of the Yadu
dynasty to relinquish their bodies, and thus He relieved the burden of the
world. This action was like picking out a thorn with a thorn, though both
are the same to the controller.


Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura suggests that the rishis like Saunaka and others who were hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam from Suta Gosvami at Naimisharanya were not happy to hear about the Yadu’s dying in the madness of intoxication. To give them relief from this mental agony, Suta Gosvami assured them that the Lord caused the members of the Yadu dynasty to
relinquish their bodies by which they had to take away the burden of the world. The Lord and His eternal associates appeared on earth to help the administrative demigods in eradicating the burden of the world.  He therefore called for some of the confidential demigods to appear in the Yadu family and serve Him in His great mission. After the mission was fulfilled, the demigods, by the will of the Lord, relinquished their corporal bodies by fighting amongst themselves in the madness of intoxication. The demigods are accustomed to drinking the soma-rasa beverage, and therefore the drinking of wine and intoxication are not unknown to them. Sometimes they were put into trouble for indulging in intoxication. Once the sons of Kuvera fell in the wrath of Narada for being intoxicated, but afterwards they regained their original forms by the grace of the Lord Sri Krishna. We shall find this story in the Tenth Canto. For the Supreme Lord, both the asuras and the demigods are equal, but the demigods are obedient to the Lord, whereas the asuras are not. Therefore, the example of picking out a thorn by another thorn is quite befitting. One thorn, which causes pinpricks on the leg of the Lord, is certainly disturbing to the Lord, and the other thorn, which takes out the disturbing elements, certainly gives service to the Lord. So although every living being is a part and parcel of the Lord, still one who is a pinprick to the Lord is called an asura, and one who is a voluntary servitor of the Lord is called a devata, or demigod. In the material world the devatas and asuras are always contending, and the devatas are always saved from the hands of the asuras by the Lord. Both of them are under the control of the Lord. The world is full of two kinds of living beings, and the Lord’s mission is always to protect the devatas and destroy the asuras, whenever there is such a need in the world, and to do good to both of them.

[End of Purport]

yayaharad bhuvo bharam
tam tanum vijahav ajah
kantakam kantakeneva
dvayam capisituh samam

So, the demigods took birth in the Yadu dynasty according to Krishna’s instructions and in this way they got a chance to take part in Krishna’s pastimes and thus they became qualified to go back to the spiritual sky and here we are seeing how the Yadus were arranged by Krishna to fight among themselves. It has been pointed out in the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam that Krishna considered that no one can control the Yadus, they are too powerful, because they are Krishna’s associates, and they are extremely powerful and before Krishna left, He considered that if they remained on the earth then they may cause some disturbance and there was no one who could actually take care of them, therefore Krishna arranged for the Yadus to go back to the spiritual sky first and then Krishna left this planet Himself. The only Yadu who was spared from this devastating annihilation of the Yadu dynasty was Uddhava.

He was the only one who was spared, otherwise the rest of the Yadus left their bodies. In this way we can see that before Krishna left the planet all His associates, most of His associates were sent back to the spiritual sky and some of the associates left after Krishna left this planet. For example here we are seeing, that the Pandavas left after Krishna left this planet. The Gopis also, the queens also left, when Krishna left His body, when they got the news, they left their bodies in a lake and their bodies actually became Gopi Chandan. Their bodies melted and from their bodies, due to their bodies, like the gopi chandan, the tilak that we put, is actually the bodies of the Gopis. They drowned themselves in that lake and the clay from that lake is this gopi chandan.

So Krishna comes to accomplish a certain mission, why does Krishna come? To protect the devotees and annihilate the demons.  Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca dushkritam. Otherwise Krishna doesn’t have any reason to come to this world. Why should Krishna come to this world? Just like a king doesn’t need to go to the prison. Does the king need to go to the prison? No, but sometimes the king may go to the prison. Why does the king go to the prison? To see the condition of the prisoners, or if there is some disturbance in the prison, if there is a, sometimes it happens, in the recent past, in America it happened, some prisoners they took control over the prison and attacked the guards, took away the guns and even killed some of the guards and took control of the prison. When a situation like that arises then what happens? Then the army went there with the tanks and all their weapons and they subdued the rebels, the prisoners who revolted and took control.

Similarly, sometimes the demons take over and take control of the universal affairs, by Krishna’s arrangement the universal affairs are controlled by the demigods. Krishna appointed the demigods in different responsible roles, personalities in charge of different affairs of the universe. As I mentioned many times earlier, every department has a controller,  there is a fire department, there is a wind department, there is a water department, there is a finance department, there is an education department, there is also another department the success department. Who is the controller of that success department? Who knows? The controller of the success, the head of the success department is Ganesha. We approach Ganesha and pray to him, he gives success. So this is how there are different departments, the Sun department, the Moon department, the war department, the demigods also have a general Skanda Kartikaya.

So this is Krishna’s arrangement. Like Krishna creates this universe and then Krishna puts different individuals, who are basically His devotees to take charge of these departments, but sometimes what happens, just as in the prison, the prisoners took over, sometimes in this material nature which is a prison house, they take over the control of the prison affairs. Who does that? They are the demons, asuras, the demons, those who abide by Krishna’s order they known as suras or demigods and those who go against Krishna, those who go against Krishna’s arrangement are the asuras. Krishna says this is the arrangement, like the fire department, water department and wind department, they will be controlled by different individuals. But sometimes the demons defy that arrangement of Krishna and they take over by force, they take over. Now this is in defiance to Krishna’s arrangements, so when that happens then Krishna comes to indrari-vyakulam lokam mridayanti yuge yuge indradi, Indra means the king of the demigods, Indra is the king of the demigods and Indra ari, who is the enemy, ari means enemy, who are the enemies of Indra? The enemies of Indra are the demons. So they sometimes take over and therefore Krishna comes to re-establish the order, so that is the meaning of

Paritranaya sadhunam and vinasaya ca dushkritam.

So if we also go against Krishna’s arrangement, then we will become demons but if we follow Krishna’s arrangement then we will become Suras or demigods, devotee of the Lord. To be a devotee of the Lord means to accept the arrangement that Krishna has made, so Krishna made arrangements in various ways, Krishna’s arrangements are very well organized but if we defy
Krishna’s arrangement, like sometimes we find people around us,  they are going against, like communism is for instance, Krishna made arrangements, somebody will be poor, somebody will be rich. It’s not Krishna is whimsically telling, you become poor and you become rich. It is according to their karma. Some people act in a good way and they get a good result, some people act in a bad way they get a bad result.

So that is the natural law, but if somebody makes the arrangement, those who get the bad result will enjoy and those who get the good result will suffer, then what will happen when the demons do that? That’s the way Ravana decided actually, Ravana thought, why should only the pious people go to Heaven? Pious people means, people who act nicely who are good people. Those who acts according to Krishna’s law, they are pious, Punyavan. Generally heavenly planets are meant for the pious people and hellish planets are meant for sinful people, in the hellish planets sinful people suffer in heavenly planets pious people enjoy. But Ravana considered why should the pious people go to the heaven and sinful people will suffer? So he said that he will make an arrangement by which everybody can go to heaven. He decided to make a staircase or lift. You get into the lift and go to the heavenly planet. Now these are demoniac activities.

Just like if you make a condition that, we see in our legal system, those who break the law they are punished in prison and those who abide by the law they enjoy. Don’t we see that?  Like somebody, you all are students, so when you study nicely, you get a good result and when you make good result, then you get a good life, good opportunities to live nicely and those who don’t study, but become a gunda, then they invite all kinds of misery for  themselves and finally police comes and catches them and put them in the prison. But if somebody says why should only the good students will enjoy and bad students will suffer? Now we will make a law, law that the bad students will enjoy and those who don’t study, they will enjoy and those who study very nicely, they will fail in the exam. It can happen, it is actually happening now, if the education authority becomes corrupt or if the, if some people come and take over the education department and defy the law of the country. The education department has been established by the government. But if somebody goes against the government and says well I don’t accept this education department, kick out the vice chancellor and everybody and they sit there and they make law and they say okay, from now on the law is those students those who don’t study they will get the best marks but those who are studying let them get the worst marks then what will happen? They will be chaos and actually that’s what is happening in the world today.

In Kaliyuga, everything turns upside down. Kali makes arrangements in such a way that the good people will suffer and bad people will enjoy. An example can be given in that sense, many examples can be given, one example that first came to my mind is, it’s by nature’s arrangement that the most sinful people take birth in the desert. Naturally life in desert is very difficult, there is nothing to eat, there is noting to drink. So people those who are very, very sinful,they actually take birth in the desert, right? And they are meant to suffer there but in this age we are seeing that the desert people have become the richest people and they are enjoying all the facilities of the world.

Deserts like the Middle Eastern Countries, they are the richest people in the world today, the desert people, because they have oil and what is oil? The oil is the garbage of the earth, what is actually the garbage of earth that has become the most precious object. Actually gold is the most precious object but today the garbage of the earth, oil, has become the substitute for gold, literally it has become the substitute for gold, how much gold you have is not the consideration, how much oil you have that is the consideration. But what is the oil? The oil is the garbage of the earth, they are pumping out the oil, selling it and where the oil was kept? The oil was kept under the desert. So the desert people, the most dirty place, is where all the dirt is kept, the place that is not usable. The dirt is kept. where do you keep your dirt, do you keep the dirt in the centre of the city?

Jai Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jai, Jai Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan ki jai, Jai Sri Sri Krishna Balaram ki jai

Like in the city of Ujjain, where is the dirt kept? Is it kept in the best part of the city or dirt is kept in the far away where it’s not used, right? So similarly the deserts are the places where, you don’t, that place is not important place that place is a waste land, therefore all the dirt was actually kept under the desert, but today the desert people have access to that dirt and the dirt has become most precious object and the desert people have become the richest people. And the most holy place, which is the most holy place on this planet? The land of Bharat, Bharat Varsha and in this land people are suffering. They have become the poorest people, the most rich part of the world, the people have become the poorest and in the worst part of the world people have become richest. Why? Because in the age of Kali, everything turns up side down, the best place has become worst and the worst place has become best. This is due to the arrangement of Kali.

Now this is the meaning of Dharmasya glanir. Dharma means the law and order established by the supreme personality of Godhead. When the law and order is disregarded that is called Dharmasya glanir or abhyutthanam adharmasya the, uprise of irreligiosity so that is what is happening to this world today. Now sometimes people question, why Krishna doesn’t come?
Krishna says yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata He will come, but why the situation of this world is so bad, but still why Krishna is not coming? The answer to that is Krishna has already come. Krishna has already come, Krishna has already incarnated, in the name of, in the form of the Holy Name. Krishna is there, Krishna incarnated in this age, Kali kale naam
rupe Krishna avatara. Kali kale means in the age of Kali, naam rupe as the holy name. Krishna avatara, Krishna has incarnated. Krishna has already incarnated in the form of His Holy Name and Krishna is taking care of the situation. Krishna is taking care of the situation, Krishna is taking control. At least if we take shelter of the Holy Name, all our difficulties will disappear, all our difficulties will disappear. So take shelter of the Holy Name and you will see the advantage, you will see the benefit, take shelter of the Holy Name, if you are in difficulty, what will you do?

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

If you are in difficulty, chant the Holy Name and see what happens?

Prabhupada demonstrated that very wonderfully. In the early forties during the second world war, there was a threat of bombardment, there was a threat of bombardment in, in Calcutta, the Japanese were supposed to bomb Calcutta because Calcutta was the big, strong hold of the British. So Japanese were supposed to bomb Calcutta and at that time everybody started to evacuate
from the, evict the city vacate the, vacate, run away from the city, every body was running away from Calcutta. Prabhupada was in Calcutta at that time. What did Prabhupada do? Prabhupada took a Mridanga and went out on the street, and stated to chant the Holy Name. And Prabhupada’s point was, Prabhupada’s understanding was that if I chant the Holy Name then Krishna will give me protection and if I have to die, if the bomb drops and if I die then I will go back to Godhead because if I die chanting the Holy Name, so both way it is beneficial either Krishna will protect or if Krishna doesn’t protect or if I die, then by, if I chant the Holy Name and I die chanting the Holy Name then I will become delivered, right? So did the Japanese bomb Calcutta? No. What is the reason? No one knows that reason, not many people know that reason. Why the Japanese didn’t bomb Calcutta, they were all set to bomb Calcutta, specially the area where the fort was, the fort William, the British army’s strong hold. So why the British, why the Japanese in spite of all this preparation, did not bomb Calcutta, they were bombing everywhere, they didn’t bomb because Srila Prabhupada was chanting Hare Krishna. That is the real reason why the Japanese did not bomb Calcutta or Krishna protected Calcutta because Prabhupada was chanting the Holy Name. We can see in this way, the potency of the Holy Name.

In the mid eighties communism collapsed in Russia, you know that? Before, before that Russia was communist country, but Krishna consciousness movement started to spread very effectively in Russia. It is because of the propagation of Krishna consciousness in Russia that communism collapsed and Russia became free. Russia became open. So this is the power of the Holy Name. Common people won’t understand that, a layman will not understand that, but we the devotees know and this is how our faith in the Holy Name will increase. Is it blind faith? No, it’s real, it’s very real. The proof is there. We hear so many such wonderful stories.

Like one incident is, one girl in Europe was distributing Prabhupada’s books, she was a young girl, seven, eighteen, nineteen years old and then one drunkard attacked her, she was alone, there was nobody around and this huge man tried to attack her and she didn’t know what to do? It’s not that she didn’t know what to do? She knew what to do? What did the do? She just started to chant namas te narasimhaya prahladahlada-dayine and some thing happened to the man, he just turn around and went away.

Another such incident is in, in Germany, in Hamburg our devotees used to go out on Harinaam, in, in a district, which is very notorious, that area is full of drunkards, but the devotees use to go out thinking that the most sinful people are the best candidates for receiving the mercy of  Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, so they would go there and distribute in that area, chant the Holy Name in that area and that area is very active at night, because sinful people are active at night, they drink, night clubs and that place was full of night clubs called ripabaan  and so devotees were chanting and one huge man, giant, he came charging towards them to attack them. Devotees didn’t know what to do, where they will go, because they were. behind them were the night club windows, showcase and they could have run but they didn’t do that, they just started to chant the Narasimha prayer namas te narasimhaya and the man who was running towards them, they could see he was coming a few feet from them and then something happened to the man, his body was lifted in the air and he fell.  He was running and he just fell on the ground. First he jumped and then he felt and immediately, soon the paramedics came, the ambulance came and they checked him and they said that he had a massive heart attack, did he have a heart attack or Narasimha deva took care of him? So this is how the Lord takes care of him.

Another time in France one man, very strong and powerful got drunk and he came to our temple and he tried to damage the temple, he was cursing the devotees but there was one devotee there in the temple room it was in the after noon, there was nobody in the temple room and this devotee he was not a very strong devotee. He was a pujari, skiny little devotee and this devotee did not care wether this person has a knife or a gun, he just went out to protect the Lord and although he was such a small person and this other guy was so big and so powerful, so strong, he literally bashed him up and threw him out of the temple and later on he told others that he doesn’t know, he couldn’t know, he didn’t know how he did that? He said that he didn’t even realize that he was doing, what he was doing? He, as if he was possessed by somebody and did that. So in this way devotees experience all kind of wonderful things.

I am sure many of you also have experienced so many wonderful experiences, taking shelter of the Holy Name. Have that implicit faith that this Holy Name is Krishna Himself. This Holy Name is Krishna Himself, you take shelter of the Holy Name Krishna will personally give you protection. Just take shelter of the Holy Name and not worry about anything. Difficulties
will come and go but if you take shelter of the Holy Name, you will not only be protected from all kinds of calamities but you will make spiritual advancement. You will see how your heart is developing this intense love for Krishna and this love for Krishna is the ultimate goal of our lives, this love for Krishna is the ultimate goal of our life.

Sometimes there may be some difficulties but those difficulties are just apparent difficulties, they are not real difficulties, like the Pandavas, apparently they were facing so many difficulties, but were they facing the difficulties? No, they were having a good time. People may think that you having a difficulty but if you having a good time, like sometimes you go to
the forest to have a picnic, the people may think oh look, they went to a place where there is no food, there is no home, no shelter but you were having a picnic in the forest, how do you feel? You feel wonderful, you feel so wonderful. So devotees, people may think that the devotees are going through difficulty but the devotees themselves don’t feel any difficulty.

Like for example in, in the west many of our devotees are coming from very wealthy background and when their friends and relatives come and see the devotees, how they live? You saw how the devotees live in the temple, like you are, you all are packed in, how many, 25 of you in one room, sleeping on the flour, no proper bed and they think oh they are suffering so much,
they don’t have proper bed to sleep, there don’t, they are just eating vegetarian food, vegetarian food they think is just some dry, boiled vegetables and chapattis and they feel the devotees are suffering but are the devotees really suffering? Now that you all from the youth camp, you are living in this condition. Are you suffering or enjoying? But somebody will think that you are suffering. You don’t have proper bed to sleep, right? You don’t have any entertainment, you can’t go to movies, you can’t have non vegetarian food, but you know how you are enjoying? So where does the real enjoyment lie? Does the real enjoyment is the consideration of our external situation or the real enjoyment is the condition of our heart?

Real enjoyment is actually a state of heart, if the heart is happy then we are happy, if the heart is not happy externally, whatever situation may be there, you won’t feel happy. Somebody may be living in a palace but if he is suffering from a serious disease say cancer, how will he feel? Will be miserable, although he is externally living in a palace, has so many facilities, he has so much money but he himself is suffering. On the other hand you may live in a very apparently difficult situation, but internally if you are happy, then that is what real happiness is.

Hare Krishna, so please take to this process of Krishna consciousness very seriously. Take the process of Krishna consciousness with all sincerely and you will see the result of it, Take shelter of Krishna, Take shelter of the Holy Name whole heartedly. Chant the Holy Name, at least when you are in difficulty, you chant the Holy Name. When you are enjoying you may not have
the time to chant but at least when you are in difficulty you chant and make it a point to at least stay in touch with the Holy Name, at least chant one round everyday, so that will keep you in touch otherwise you may forget. So chant at least one round everyday and that will keep you in touch with the Holy Name and whenever you are in difficulty chant the Holy
Name and see what happens.

Okay. Any question?

Jai Sri Sri Gaur Nitai ki jai, Jai Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan ki jai, Jai

Sri Sri Krishna Balram ki jai

Devotee: not clear

HHBCS: How can we develop the strong faith in the Holy Name?

Hear about the Holy Name, the glory of the Holy Name, hear, read, be in the association of devotees, who have faith in the Holy Name, right? And then automatically you will develop the attachment, like now the world cup football match is going on. How does one develop attachment to the football game? You switch on the TV and you will see the game is going on and how
will you feel? You will feel. You’ll feel that ok I’ll chant my round later let me watch the world cup now. So in this way by becoming exposed to that you become attached to it, develop the faith in it. So associate with the good devotees, hear about the glory of the Lord and the Holy Name, read about the Holy Name, hear about what happens when you chant the Holy Name then you will develop your attachment.

Any other questions? Okay. Hare Krishna.

Jai Srila Prabhupada, Gaur Pemanande

Hari Hari Bol

Transcription : Her Grace Shyamangi Radhika Dasi

Editing : Her Grace Hemavati Radhika Dasi

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