Shikshashtakam 12 Text 8 Radharani manifests the highest summit of love
Workshop at Krishna Institute, Alachua, USA
Transcription of Lecture
We will start the last verse of the Siksastakam now. Let’s recite it together.
ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam
adarshanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
So, here Caitanya Mahaprabhu is now exhibiting the highest summit of love. There are as I said – 6th, 7th, 8th verses are talking about very exalted spiritual emotions where there is the experience of deep ecstasy and physical transformation that is described in the sixth verse. In the seventh verse it is described that everything else becomes meaningless without Krishna. Now the 8th verse talks about – that how I will love Krishna even if he doesn’t reciprocate with me.
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
You are my Lord. You are the Lord of my life, and no one else is the Lord of my life. No matter what happens, whether you reciprocate or not.
ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam
Whether you embrace me or you crash me or whether you reject me, whether you make me broken hearted, as Prabhupada explains – by not being present before me. So, still you will be my Lord. So, that means, we want reciprocation of Krishna. But, here it such a love that, even if there is no reciprocation still you are my Lord, and that is an extraordinary level of love, and we will discuss how the gopi’s also – especially Radharani demonstrates this love.
So, we can say that there are various levels. There is love with reciprocation, there is love without reciprocation, and worse than that is love with rejection. That means that one person loves another, and the other person loves back. There is reciprocation and there is fulfilment. But one person loves and the other person doesn’t love at all. The other person is very uncaring. That relationship itself is very difficult to sustain, but if one person loves the second person, and if the second person loves the third person, that means that apparently the first person is being rejected. At that time to continue loving is extremely difficult.
So, here the world lampata is there. Lampata means it is basically somebody who is – Krishna he has relationship with many gopis. Sometimes he leaves Radharani to go to another gopi, and at that time Radharani feels – feels heartbroken. They say, “Even if you do like that Krishna, even if you leave me and go to another gopi still I will love you.” That is the mood that means. “Krishna, even if you reject me – not just you don’t reciprocate with me, even if you reject me still you are my Lord. I cannot have any other Lord other than you.” That is her completely selfless love for Krishna. She is concerned only for Krishna’s sake. Now when the gopi’s come to know that Uddhava – that Akrura has come, and Krishna is going to take – Krishna is going to go away with them, then gopi’s the whole night they are hoping that somehow – maybe the weather gods will help us and tomorrow there will be a hurricane. Tomorrow there will be a big storm and Krishna will not be able to go. They started praying to the God, they started praying to whoever they think about to somehow stop Krishna from going, and finally the morning comes and nothing. Krishna is about to get on the chariot, and is about to go. So, they decide that, “What to do now?” Normally the gopi’s have great love for Krishna, but the way the vraja lila is arranged, it’s a conservative society, and the gopi’s are modest woman. So, they meet Krishna, they have pastimes with Krishna, but it is never in the public. They meet Krishna in the forest, they meet Krishna perform rasa-lila at night. It’s all a little bit covert, but at this point –
evaṁ bruvāṇā virahāturā bhṛśāṁ
visṛjya lajjāṁ ruruduḥ sma su-svaraṁ
govinda dāmodara mādhaveti
So, here it says, the gopis know that Krishna is about to depart. At that time visrjya lazzam – they give us all shyness, they give up all modesty, they just – this is there in the 10th canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam. When the gopis hear that, they just give up everything and just go directly, publicly in front of Krishna. Krishna how can you leave us and go like this? And they say, “Krishna if you are going to go, before that our life will go with you. You take the chariot above our bodies.” They lie down in front of Krishna, and then Krishna gets off his chariot and then he tells, “I have to go but I soon will come back.”, and then he pacifies them. I will soon come back. Now actually in the Gopal Champu – Gopal Champu is a book written by Jiva Goswami and he takes the 10th canto pastimes, and then takes Krishna lila as it is described in the other puranas and other books and he integrates it all together in a much more embellished narrative. So, he describes in Gopal Champu what all happens, why Krishna doesn’t come back. When Krishna kills Kamsa, at that time the Yadus, they offer the crown of the Yadu vansha to Krishna, and Krishna says, “I am a cowherd. I am not interested in the crown. Please offer this crown to Ugrasena.” And they say, “No, you are our son.” The prophecy was that the 8th son of Vasudev will kill Kamsa, and you have killed Kamsa. Therefore, you must be – you are the 8th son.
So, then they say that – Krishna says, “No, I will go to Vrindavan. I was called over here, I came, I killed Kamsa, and now you take care. I want to go back.” Then the Yadus say that, “But Krishna, Kamsa had many allies, and there are many demons all over because Kamsa was such a big tyrant, they were all under control, but now that you have killed Kamsa we are all under danger. You have to protect us”, and they practically forced Krishna to stay with them, and then Krishna comes and tells Nanda Maharaj. So, actually Nanda Maharaj never accepts that Krishna is the son of Vasudev. He thinks that Krishna is my son only, and then when Krishna says that, “If they are saying that the 8th son could kill, and that is how based on that they are saying that I am their son.” So, Nanda Maharaj says that – he is so unhappy, he is so actually distressed at that time, but he was laughing almost bitterly and he says, “It is our fortune that great people are claiming our son to be their son” And when he says that, “If you have to stay there you can say, but what will tell Yasoda, what will I tell the Vrajavasis?” So, Krishna says, “Please tell them that I will come back soon”, and he is longing to come back. But then, Krishna at one level – he is just a 10 years boy, at another level he is a ksatriya. So, he knows what to do.
So, at that time he tells the Vrajavasis that, “Actually if I am in Mathura, you know I can protect the Mathura Vasis, but I cannot protect the Vrajavasis. So, if my enemies attack Mathura I will be there to protect, but if the attack Vrindavan how will I be there to protect?”, and therefore – he says, for the protection of – he doesn’t say for your protection, for the protection of the cows – they are all servants of the cows. For the protection of the cows we need – not only need to go back but we have to cut off all connections. He says, “None of you should come to meet me, nor will I be able to meet you till all the enemies are killed. Let my enemies think that actually there was not much relationship between us. That I just stayed with you and after staying with you – after the period got over, I am back here and there is no connection. So, if we think that there is great affection between us, then they will try to attack me by attacking you, but if they think that there is no connection between us, then you will not be attacked”, and so that is why based on Krishna’s instructions in one sense we hear so much of the gopis being separated from Krishna – then the gopi’s could just have gone to Mathura from Vrindavan, but Krishna had explicitly forbidden that. Krishna says, “Don’t come here.” Because then whenever the demons come, whenever they attack they should not attack Vrindavan, and that is why when the Vrajavasis, they sometimes send some covert messengers to Mathura to know what is happening in Mathura, but there is not direct contract between Krishna and the Vrajavasis during the full period when he is away, and for the gopis each day that goes and Krishna doesn’t come, it’s more and more agony. They are hoping that now Krishna will come, now Krishna will come, now Krishna will come, but for them it seems that Krishna never comes, but through it all what happens is their love for Krishna keeps increasing.
Now in the Caitanya Cairtamria there is prayer where Radharani is speaking that – “Krishna, I am like a jungle animal who is caught in a burning cage”, and that cage as is it burning it is scorching – the animal within, and normally if there is a cage in which an animal is caught, then they – if there is a door, the animal will try to break open the door and rush out. So, like this she says that, “The fire of separation is burning my body and I could not have tolerated the separation, and I would have died long ago, but your words that I will come back, they are like the bolt of the cage. Your words that I will come back, they prevent me from leaving this body and therefore I am trapped in this body burning in separation from you.” So, the gopis –their life would have left when Krishna left, but they stayed on because they feel that when Krishna comes back, Krishna will want us to be there to serve him, and Krishna will feel bad when we are not there, and that is why they live on, and that’s the- although they are in agony of separation of Krishna, but their thought is, how can we serve Krishna? When Krishna comes back I should be there to serve him. That is how the gopis are concerned only about Krishna and his service, and that is – although Krishna in one sense – they give up everything for Krishna, and Krishna in one sense rejected them and went away, and Krishna said, “I will surely come back”, and Krishna doesn’t come back for a long long time, but the gopis keep loving him, keep loving him, and that is why if you see the Bhagavatam what is does is, it is talking about bhakti – it talks about bhakti by inverting all the standard social hierarchies.
Inverting means – they say in the standard hierarchy, the brahmana is higher than the ksatriya. The sanyasi is higher than a grihastha, but we have Ambarish Maharaj who is a grihastha and a ksatriya, and is shown that he is more exalted than Durvasha Muni. Why ? because he has bhakti, and Durvasa Muni doesn’t have bhakti, and similarly Indra is a devata, Vrtrasura is a asura, but Vrtrasura has bhakti but Indra doesn’t have bhakti. So, the hierarchies are inverted.
So, the asura becomes greater than a devata. So, like that in many pastimes they demonstrate the glories of bhakti by inverting the traditional hierarchy, and this inversion of traditional hierarchy happens the most in the case of the gopis.
In the case of the gopis, they are simple cowherd girls. They are not sages, they are not renunciates, but they have such exalted devotion for Krishna, completely selfless, concerned only about Krishna and thus the highest example of devotion demonstrated among simply cowherd girls, and they are not concerned not about their liberation, not about their own happiness, not even their own life, they are concerned only about serving Krishna, and even within that it is often said that the gopis – their love for Krishna was – they were not married to Krishna. It was parakhiya bhava. Now the idea of this is – actually eternally speaking Krishna and the gopis – they are eternally related in Madhurya rasa, in the conjugal affection, but for the purpose of lila there is a arrangement where there are obstacles. This is an example given by our acharyas that – if there is an elephant that is shackled, and as the elephant starts growing, you know its strength increases. Initially when it is shackled, it doesn’t realize how much is my strength, but suppose then the elephant is in a shed where there is fire, and then the elephant has to just flee for life, and he is shackles to the pole and he pulls and pulls, and then actually when it pulls at that time the elephant internally realizes that, “Ay, If I pull I can break this pole down, I can actually move this pole, I can break this pole down, and the elephant may have some master – the master also says, “Oh, this elephant has become so strong.” So, when there is opposition, and then there is great motivation power that opposition – there is a burning fire, and there is the motivation that, “No, I cannot be in this fire, I will get burned”, so at that time there is an internal realization of the strength and there is external expression of the strength. So, both happen when there is opposition.
So, like that for the gopi’s when Krishna apparently doesn’t accept them, doesn’t marry them, Krishna rejects them and goes away – even in that situation where there is opposition, and still they give up everything for Krishna’s sake, that means through that their love becomes demonstrated. Internally they – normally for a woman her modesty, her shyness is considered to be a great virtue, and that is important for protecting social values, and Prabhupada talks elaborately about that. That’s important, but here for the sake of love of Krishna they are ready to give up their modesty. So, internally whatever modesty they have, internally the gopi’s give it up, and externally although there are obstacles – when Krishna calls the gopis for the rasa-lila, their relatives- they sometimes stop them.
ati vilanghya te-antya chyutaagataah |
Gati vidastavod geet mohitah
kitav yoshitah kastya jennishi || 1
So, the gopi’s pray to Krishna, “Pati sutaanvaya, bhratri bandava – you know orj=our husbands, our parents, our relatives, all of them – they were obstacles, we overcome it all. So, internal obstacle of modesty – external obstacle of relative stopping. We overcame it all, and came to you – ati vilanghyate – anta achyutaagata – we came to you, why didn’t we come? Gati vidastava udgita mohitaha – because the udgita, your venu, the flute song, it was so loud that we were deluded by it. Naturally Krishna’s flute is very soft and sweet, but when through the flute sound Krishna is calling the gopi’s, for them it is a loud sound, “Oh Krishna is calling us, we must go.” Udgita – that is a loud sound for the gopis, mohitaha- we are deluded by that. So, they are saying they left everything and came to you, and then he says that, kitav yoshitah kastya jennishi – Krishna we came to you, how can you leave us and go away now.
We have left everything for your sake, but now you left us and going away. How can you do that? Do not leave us. The gopis are saying in this case – basically they came overcame internal obstacles, they overcame external obstacles for the sake of coming to Krishna, and in this they actually demonstrate the verse –
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
There are some Hindu scholars – one Hindu scholar in particular, he says, “Krishna has come to establish dharma.” So, he says that, “Over the centuries when the Bhagavad-gita has written down again and again, there is a mistake in the recension. Recension means, sometimes when you write a verse some letters get missed out. He said that actually this verse should be, sarva adharman paritajya mam ekam sharanam vraja. He said, this should not be sarva dharman paritajya sharanam vraja. How can God tell you to give up all dharma? What he is actually telling us is that, “Give up all adharma and then come to me.” Now that is a very superficial understanding. What Krishna is telling is, sarva dharman paritajya. That means what? There are different conception of dharma, and they are all important in their own way, but none of them is so important that it should come in the wa way of mam ekam sharanam vraja.
So, give up all the conception of dharma that you may have and just focus on mam ekam sharanam vraja. So, certainly we have to give up the bad, we have to give up the sinful for Krishna’s sake, but in the highest level of bhakti not only we give up the bad for Krishna’s sake but we give up even the good for his sake. The gopi’s demonstrate that they give up everything for Krishna’s sake, and then when Krishna does not reciprocate with them, that can be shattering for their love, but it doesn’t shatter their love. They still say –
mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ
“Still we will love you. You are my only Lord Krishna.” This is actually the love that attracts that Krishna wants to taste, and he comes as Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he says, “What is this love? No matter what I do, the gopis still keep loving me”, and then this is again described further by Jiv Goswami. Their climax of their love is, Krishna eventually does return to Vrindavan. Krishna returns to Vrindavan, and there he reunites with the gopis. So, when this happens then Krishna kills Dantavarkra. He kills Sisupal and Dantavakra, who are Jay and Vijay who come back again and again. So, it is described that that fight against Dantavakra happens in the Mathura area, and there when Krishna killed Dantavakra, at that time he puts aside his weapons, and he says, “Now I have finished my work of killing the demons, and therefore now I am going back to Vrindavan”, and from there he comes back to vrindavan, and then there is a jubiliant renunion among the – of Krishna with the Vrajavasis, and Krishna calls them – Balaram also to come over there, and then it is described how Krishna and the gopis reunite. Balaram and his gopis reunite, and then a majestic chariot appears over there, and Krishna along with all the vrajavasis ascend on that chariot, and then the whole chariot itself goes back to the spiritual world.
So, Krishna and the Vrajavasis are reunited in this world itself and they return to the spiritual world, and while the chariot is going back to the spiritual world – Krishna, Balaram and Uddhava – Uddhava has also been called at that time – so, they expand, and Krishna and Balaram of Vrindavan, they go back to the spiritual world. There is another expansion of Krishna and Balarama and Uddhava, they stay on here, and then Krishna comes back and then he performs pastimes.
So, when Krishna goes back to Vrindavan, just before that he gives up his weapons. He says that, “Now I will not fight anymore”, and Jiva Goswami explains that because at that time, Krishna says, “I will give up my weapons now. I will not fight anymore.” – that’s why when the Kurukshetra War happens afterwards, Krishna says, “I will not fight. I will not use any weapons.”, but because he loves Arjuna, he says, “I will assist you but without using any weapons. Without any weapons I will assist you.”
So, actually Krishna does in his own time, he does reciprocates with the gopis. He does fulfil his promise that I will come back, but in the intermediate period, for years when there is no certainty for the gopis, when Krishna will come back? But through it all their love for Krishna always remains. They are always hoping that one day Krishna will come, one day Krishna will come.
So, now in the sadhaka stage when we are practicing bhakti, for us also when we are trying to approach Krishna, we are hoping that Krishna will manifest in our heart, Krishna will reveal his all attractiveness. So, we don’t know when this will happen. One of the qualities of a devotee is, as Rupa Goswami describes in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu- he is asabadha – asabadha means that the devotee always has hope against hope. The devotee never gives up hope, and on what basis can we maintain our hope? In the Gajendra prayer it is said that,
Madruk prapanna pasu pasa vimokshanaya,
Mukthaaya bhoori karunaya namo aalayaaya,
So, he says that – Gajendra is praying that, “Oh my dear Lord. Please protect me from this animal shackle that the crocodile has caught me – pasupasa – the animal which has got me as a noose – The Lord said, “Why should I release you?” Muktaya – I am bound, you are free. So, you should please free me. But then he said, “You got bound by your own karma, why should I free you?” Bhurini Karunaya. “Yea, I am bound by my own karma, but you are very compassionate. So, therefore you free me.”
Krishna may say that, “You know I have tried to help me so many times in so many lifetimes. You never took help. Why should I keep helping you now?” “Alayaya. You never get tired O Lord. (laughter) You are not just compassionate, you are tirelessly compassionate. So, therefore please release me O Lord.” So, actually sometimes we may feel, “I have been chanting, I have been practicing, but my anarthas are still there, and I don’t know whether I will make any progress or not? I am so fallen that I will never be able to attain Krishna. We feel like that. Actually we don’t have to be so confidently pessimistic that I will never attain Krishna’s mercy. Krishna is extremely merciful and Krishna has been there with us for so many life times, and despite our not having turned towards him for so long Krishna has not given up on us. So, for one lifetime when we are trying to turn to Krishna? We just maintain our faith and just keep moving forwards. Then gradually by his mercy, although it may seem a very very long distance away from us, but when Krishna starts reciprocating, Krishna can just cover huge amounts of distances – like in three feet he covered the whole universe. So, like that Krishna can take giant steps, and not only he can come close to us, Krishna can take us to him.
So, there are two ways of looking at our spiritual progress in bhakti. When we start feeling proud sometimes, we look at the exalted emotions that Caitanya Maharprabhu is experiencing, that the great sages are experiencing, and we realize, “Now I have a long way to go. How far I have to go?” So then whatever pride we had, that can go down by that, but if we are feeling discouraged in our life and we start thinking, “How far I have to go?” Then what will happen, we will become even more discouraged. So, actually anukulesya sanakalpa, we have to accept that which is favourable. So, that time if we start feeling discouraged, than rather than looking ahead we need to look back. Look back and see how far we have come.
In our whatever bhakti we have practiced, that bhakti has actually transformed our life, whether it is five years, ten years, 15 years, 20 years. Now what we would have been without the practice of bhakti, and what we are now – there is a significant difference, substantial difference, and if we look back and see how far I have come, then we get the faith that, “Yes, this process of bhakti works. This process of bhakti has actually already worked in my life. It has brought many transformations. It has saved me from many dangers.” So, when we start getting discouraged thinking, “How far I have to go?” then we can look back we can see that, “How far have I come. So far Krishna has brought me, even despite I had so many conditionings, despite I had so many – I had done so many – my own desires, my own agendas, but still Krishna has kept bringing me close to him.” Now there are some great devotees – followers of Prabhupada’s disciple, grand disciples who are really very great seekers. Now they were actually searching for God. They were going and meeting different – going to different places, searching for God, and then they have come to Prabhupada’s lotus feet, but for most of us, we didn’t go out searching for God. Devotees came searching for us. Devotees came to us, and they gave us some books, they gave us some message, and that is how we started off.
So, it is not that we have done a lot to come so far. We have come a substantial distance and we have come even without doing much. Some of us may be born in a devotee family, and that is how we are practicing also. So, we ourselves have not done a lot, but still Krishna has got us a long way ahead, and especially if you look at our life, and we look at the way the materialistic life is in today’s world, we can see that the process of bhakti has lifted us substantially above the way people are living in the materialistic world, and that itself can give us faith. So, when we see how far we have come, both in terms of how we were in past, and how the rest of the society is today – it’s not that we become arrogant but it is just that we realise that this process has the capacity to lift us up, and then that can give us encouragement, and with that encouragement we move onwards. So, although we have a long way to go, but we have a Lord who will take us all that way. He has brought us a long, long way ahead from wherever we were in material existence, and that same Lord will take us all the way, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu Siksasthakam – it gives us a pathway, a trajectory of how we can go along in that journey.
So, I will summarize.
He talks about in this verse about the highest levels of love, that there is – So there is love when somebody reciprocates, and that is one kind of love, another kind of love is when that person keeps loving even when there is no reciprocation, and even higher love is – when there is apparent rejection and still there is love at that time. So, the gopis – especially when Krishna leaves and goes away from Vrindavan- the gopis exhibit that kind of love, when Krishna has apparently rejected them, but still Krishna is there with them. So, they stay with Krishna. “Krishna you are my Lord.”, and so Krishna arranges this opposition – Krishna arranges this obstacles so that their love deepens internally, and their love is expressed more intensely. Just like a baby elephant as it is growing, it’s strength internally and externally becomes expressed, and the elephant has to pull against a pole. Similarly when the gopis – when there is such heart-wrenching situation for them, and they continue to love. That is how their love becomes demonstrated for the world, and the Bhagavatam inverts all traditional hierarchies and demonstrates how those who are low down in the social hierarchy are considered to be – if they have bhakti they go to the highest levels, and the gopis embody the highest love, not just because they are simple cowherd woman who are having love higher than that of the sages and rishis, but actually they are ready to give up everything for Krishna’s sake – the bad and the good.
So, sarva dharma paritajya, what the Gita tells in the climax – the gopis demonstrate that and they give up everything for Krishna’s sake, and then we discussed how eventually in own time Krishna reciprocates. The gopi’s keep loving faithfully, and Krishna reciprocates by returning in their lives, and reuniting with them, and then taking them all to the spiritual world. So, like that we don’t know when Krishna will manifest in our heart, but if we discouraged thinking that “Oh I am so far away from the highest standards of devotion” then we can look back and see, how far we have, how far Krishna has got us, and the same Lord who has brought us so far, the same Lord will lead us all the way to his abode.
So, thank you very much.
Question and Answers:
Q: Krishna doesn’t pick up a weapon, but in the Mahabharat battlefield he did pick up a weapon and he charged Bhisma with a wheel.
CCP: Oh that is a very beautiful pastime. So, Krishna does pick up a weapon when he picks up the chariot wheel. Actually how that happens is – Krishna at that time is so concerned that Bhisma, the way he is fighting he will kill Arjuna, and – “I cannot tolerate Arjuna’s dying.” So, he just in his anxiety – he just is there in Arjuna’s chariot at one moment, and Arjuna shooting the next moment – Krishna is gone. Where did Krishna go? He looks around, and Krishna has actually jumped out of the chariot and he is looking somewhere for a weapon, and then sees just as chakra – normally a chakra is not considered to be a weapon. It’s not really meant to be a weapon. Now what happens is – why does Krishna pick up that chakra? It is described that normally the chakra is not a weapon, but for Visnu the chakra is a weapon. So, that chakra, when he sees it, that actually reminds Krishna of the sudarshan chakra, that with this I will protect Arjuna, but then he is in so much anxiety that he picks up the chakra, and he forgets his own sudarshan chakra. Just picks up that chakra, and then normally when Krishna uses his Sudarshan chakra – wherever he is, he just sends the chakra, and the chakra goes and kills the – cuts off the head of the person, but here Arjuna is in so much anxiety – he thinks that if I throw the chakra and the chakra misses the target, then Bhisma may shoot and kill Arjuna. So like that, if you want to be careful about shooting someone, you go back next to the person and shoot. Then there is a very little chance of missing the target. So, like that Krishna at that time starts running towards Bhisma. And normally when an arrow fight is going on the two warriors are at a significant distance while they fight with the arrows.
So, Krishna goes, goes and goes and Arjuna is petrified at that time. You know the world will say that Krishna lifted a weapon. You know a chariot wheel is not actually a weapon, but still the world will criticize. So, Arjuna tells Krishna, “Krishna please don’t fight, I will fight, I will kill Bhisma, please stop.” But Krishna is not ready to hear at all, and Arjuna just runs after Krishna, and still Krishna is going so fast Arjuna cannot catch. So, Arjuna just jumps and catches Krishna’s thigh and holds on the Krishna’s thigh to stop him, but Krishna is running so fast that Krishna drags Arjuna along, and Krishna keeps running, and then finally Arjuna becomes desperate. Arjuna takes his huge ksatriya feet – and as he was dragged along, so he lifts his feet and he bangs those feet down on the ground, and when he brags the feet down forcefully, actually that creates like a ditch and his feet gets caught in that ditch, and with his feet caught in the ditch he is holding on to Krishna’s thighs, and then Krishna comes to a stop over there, and Arjuna says, “Krishna please don’t fight. I will fight and Kill Bhisma. Please don’t lift a weapon.” So, there actually through this whole pastime Krishna demonstrates that for him his promise is important, but for him his devotees are even more important, and that’s why for the sake of his devotees protection he is ready to give up his promise also. That’s what – in one sense, technically it is not a weapon because it is an ordinary chariot, it is not a sudarshana chakra, but even if somebody says it is a weapon, Krishna is ready to give up his promise so that he can protect his devotees.
Q: There was another (inaudible).35.10-20…
CCP: That is later. That is next day. All these happens on the 9th day, and 10th day Shikandhi and Arjuna both come together, and then they shoot. So, 9th day Arjuna is not fighting so whole heartedly. That is what has happens on the 9th day.
Q: So, how is the mind like a mirror and how is it cleansed.
CCP: Mirror is that which we see our own reflection. So, in sense the mind is a like a mirror in a sense that whatever are the nature of the contaminations in the mind, based on that we have a conception of ourselves. I gave an example that, if one is contaminated with greed, then I think myself successful if I have a lot of money, and if I don’t have a lot of money then I think that I am a failure. So, my self-conception is shaped by the kind of contamination that is there in the mind. So, if I am of a ksatriya disposition, then I think that having a big, hefty, healthy frame – that is what – it is on that thing that my value depends.
If I am weak, I am not powerful, then you know I am not good for nothing. So, we can have different self-conceptions based on the kind of contamination or the kind of conditioning that his there in the mind. So, in that sense the mind acts like a mirror. So, now the cleansing of the mirror of the mind means that – to take that example literally. Suppose there is a mirror in which there is dust. Then when I look in the mirror with the dust, I see my reflection also with the dust. Now I may be see some spot here, or some spot there – whatever it is, but if the mirror is cleaned then I see a clean perception of what I am. So, like that the contaminations which are there, they give us a distorted conception of ourselves. So, when the mirror is cleansed, that means that when we chant regularly and by that we start increasingly understanding that, “Actually I am a servant of Krishna” – then the mirror is cleansed means, we actually perceive ourselves. Yes, I may have this all other designations, but at my core I am a soul who is servant of Krishna, and that’s what we realize when the mirror gets cleaned.
Q: I didn’t talk much about sarvatma snapanam in the first verse.
CCP: Yea, actually snapanam is bathing or cleansing. Sarva atma snapanam – complete cleansing of the self – sarva atma – sarva can mean full. So, the full cleansing of the self. So, what does it mean? That actually if we see at the end of the Bhgavatam – the last verse is
nama sankiratam yasya
sarva papa pranasanam
pranamo dukha samna
tam namami harim param
So, that by the chanting of the holy names all sins will be destroyed. Now actually this is coming right at the end of the Bhagavatam. Now we say that by chanting, the destruction of sinful reactions is just an incidental thing, it will automatically happen. Chanting is primarily for developing love for Krishna. So, why is the Bhagavatam saying that, by chanting all sins will be destroyed. That is like a – that is a preliminary thing, isn’t it? Yes, it is – the emphasis is sarva papa. That means from the absolute perspective even the desire for liberation – it is considered to be a lower desire, almost like a sinful desire. It is not sinful in a karmic sense, but it is considered sinful in the sense that – it is still self-centred. You are not really concerned about serving Krishna. So, sarva papa pranasana means, all kinds of sinful desires, even the desire for liberation which from the transcendental perspective is a lower desire, like a selfish or a sinful desire, even that is destroying.
So, like that similarly sarvatma snapanam. That means the soul is cleansed of all the desires including the desire for liberation. So, even that subtle contamination that is there – there is gross contamination where we want to enjoy this world, but subtle contamination will be where we want to be liberated so that we will be free from misery. Even that is cleansed. That means that there is no selfish desire that remains. That is the complete cleansing of the self, of all the desires which are other than what is natural for the soul. That’s how sarvatma snapanam
Q: So, how are all these verses abhideya
CCP: Basically abhideya means the process by which we connect with Krishna. Sambandha means that I understand that Krishna is my object. Now how do I connect with him, that process is abhideya. So, now because all these verses are meditations on Krishna, and meditations on his holy names, meditations on the process by which – meditations on how we can grow in our relationships with Krishna – in that sense verses are like tools we could see, or means for us to connect with Krishna. By remembering these verses we are connecting with him. By reciting these verses we are connecting with him. So, in that sense because they provide us a means, a resource for connecting with Krishna, and abhideya is the process which connects with Krishna. So, in that sense they are abhideya.
Q: What should be our mood when we recite specially in the later part of Siksastakam which is very exalted?
CCP: Actually we recite that in a mood of service. It is said that any form of prayer that we offer to Krishna, that pleases Krishna. But if we repeat the prayers which are offered by his great devotees, then it is not just that we offering a structure prayer to Krishna, but by reciting that prayer we are also reminding Krishna of that devotee. When I repeat Prahlad Maharaj’s prayers, I am not just repeating the prayer, but I also – because Prahlad Maharaj spoke those prayers, I am reminding Krishna of Prahlad, and when Krishna he remembers his great devotee he becomes pleased, and then from that pleasure we also get incidental benefit, because we reminded Krishna of Prahlad.
Just like in the past if some messenger comes along and gives a king a good news, and the king gives – “Oh you take this necklace.” So, like that when we recite the prayers which are very exalted, even if we are not in a – if we are in a mood of service, then we are reminding Krishna of his devotees. So, in this case this prayers are recited in the mood of Srimati Radharani. So, we are reminding Krishna of Radhararani, and when we remind Krishna, Krishna becomes very pleased. So, that way also we can attract Krishna’s mercy.
So, largely we do it in a mood of service, and the realization will come gradually, and if we have certain conceptions. it is not that our conceptions are necessarily wrong, but we can check with some senior devotees, “Ok, this is my understanding, is this right?” If it is not right, then we avoid thinking in those directions, but if it is right we can always develop that, and that way if we hear scriptures more and more, then also we get more substance to contemplate while we are reciting these verses, and then our absorption in Krishna can become more and more.
Q: What happens to the queens of Dwaraka? Krishna takes the gopis back to the spiritual world.
CCP: Actually this is quite a technical subject, and Rukmini is not actually an expansion of Radharani. Rukmini is an expansion of Chandravali, and Radharani her expansion is Satyabhama. So, we will not get into this. But they have different moods over there, but the point is that – it is described, there are two things that happen, one is that when Krishna departs from this world, at that time Arjuna come and Arjuna performs the last rites of all the Yaduvasis. So, at that time some of the queens of Krishna, they enter into the fire with her. So, they go sati, and some of the other queens, especially those who are – those who have children, they decide to stay with Arjuna, and Arjuna decides to get them all back with him to Hastianpur.
So, while they are getting along it is said that some infidel cowherd men come, and they attack Arjuna, and then Arjuna tries to defend them but Arjuna is defeated. So, Viswanath Chakavorty Thakur quotes the Purana’s and he describes, actually it is Krishna himself who comes as those cowherd men. Why is it that – they could have described some bandits came, some decoits came. Why is that cowherd men came? I mean we never hear of cowherd men being plunderers. So, why is it described? It is actually Krishna who comes as the cowherd men, and Arjuna is such a great person that Arjuna cannot be defeated by anyone else, but Arjuna’s arrows, they actually fall short.
Arjuna’s arrows are so powerful that they can even rent through the mountains, but here they don’t even reach the targets. How can such a thing happen? That is because it is Krishna himself who has come, and then Krishna he takes those queens with him, and then after that with him – so, in one sense Krishna has already departed from this world, but for performing this particular pastime Krishna remanifests in this world, and he takes this queens, and then he takes them back to the spiritual world with him.
So, this pastime – this whole pastime actually where the yadu dwaha – the destruction of the Yadu dynasty happens – that Madhavacharya describes and Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami also mentions – that this whole pastime is Asur Mohan Lila. Asur Mohan lila means that some pastimes are depicted in sastra for the purpose of deluding the demons. Just like Krishna, he comes as Mohini Murti and he deludes the demons so that he can fulfil the purpose of the God’s. So, like that sometimes within scripture Krishna performs certain pastimes, by which the demoniac can get rationalization for staying demoniac. Those who want to stay demoniac – Krishna performs so many wonderful pastimes throughout his life – that they will not see that. They will only see this pastime. “Oh if Krishna is God how could he have been killed by, how could he have died such a tragic death? A hunter killing, and how could his whole dynasty get killed like that?”
So, now the acharyas give many explanations. First of all Krishna had gone to Yama’s abode and brought the dead back. So, how can Krishna be killed? And on top of that Krishna is a ksatriya. You know a ksatriya, their body is so tough – even when wounds – even when they are wounded in the chest or their head they don’t get wounded. Here how could Krishna be hit on the leg, and be killed by that? You know am arrow hitting the leg is never fatal unless it gets infected, and the infection spreads all over the body or whatever. (laughter) In the case of Krishna how can just one arrow in the leg kill anyone? So, for those who are ready to see reasons, they will see that there is something odd about the pastimes. It is not in sync with the whole glory of Krishna Lila. So, that is done so that Krishna allows those who are demoniac – they will not see all the glorious pastimes that Krishna performs, but this particular pastime – therefore Krishna cannot be God, how can he be God? How can he be killed like this? So, for those who are demoniac Krishna allows them to stay demoniac, and that is what that is what they want to do. So, this is asura Mohan Lila. So, although it seems that Krishna Lila it seems that Krishna Lila ends in a tragic note, but it is in a – Krishna is transcendental, Krishna is eternal, Krishna comes in this world, and Krishna goes back from this world, and his pastimes goes ecstatically both in this and the other world, but for those who are demoniac and want to stay demoniac Krishna performs some pastimes to delude them.
Thank you very much.
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Really amazing lecture, you have very nicely explained how to follow gopis example in real life, thank you so much for this ?