Krsna and Balaram in Vrindavan
Dated: Sept 7 2009
Vrndavana dham ki jai
udhava mohe braja bisarat nahi
God said this for Vrndavana, I cannot forget Vrndavana. Lord is in Mathura now. He was there in Vrndavana for 10-11 years performing various pastimes amidst all His loving, very-very dear devotees. Akrura had come to Vrndavana to fetch Krsna Balarama. They were also kind of eager to go to Mathura, thinking that it would be a very good opportunity, a rare opportunity. They had never been to any city before. They always stayed in the villages or in the forest, on the banks of the rivers, top of the trees, climbing and playing flute on the top of the Govardhan Mountain. Like that they wandered all over Vrndavana.
The city was Mathura. When there was a proposal of going to Mathura, they were very willing to go to there because they were excited to see the city. They were village boys, cowherd boys who stayed in Gokul. They stayed in Chhatikara and had to go to Vrndavana. Then finally the residents of Gokul had gone to Nandagram. They were in Nanda Gokul before and during their transit they stayed in Chhatikara for some time, and finally they reached Nandgaon, Nanda Maharaja’s village. All this time Kansa was still looking for eighth child of Devaki.
Ten days ago I was in Braja dhama in a country called Hungary. You get hungry sometimes or get angry when hunger is not satisfied – hungry and angry. We were on a Hungarian farm and it is named after Vrndavana. It is called Braja dhama and there is also Vraja-mandala and Vraja dhama Parikrama.
Sivarama Maharaja had been working for establishing Braja in the West. We were there – 100 devotees and Niranjan Maharaja was also there. We had gone on a tour of Braja dhama. There was Radha Kunda near Govardhana, a big gosala in Nandagram in Barsana. In between Barsana and Nandgram there is a place called Sanket where there is some indication of “Oh! Where would tonight’s Rasa-lila take place?For instance Radha and Krsna gave some indication or body language or by pointing some fingers. We could only imagine how there would be sanket- giving indication. Just sanket. Now let us speak of Gokul.
For 3 years and 4 months Krsna stayed in Gokul. Then they crossed the Yamuna. There were ox carts and hundreds and thousands of cows. They made a bridge. How do you think they made the bridge? They just used the bullock carts. They took one cart and they tied another cart to that cart and another cart to that cart. They walked over or through the ox cart. There were several bridges which they were all walking over. You couldn’t think of a bridge like this.They would cross the river in an emergency without using the cart, whatever they had at their disposal. They did not go to the steel or cement factory where there are architects and engineers. There are lots of engineers in Pune. They did not bother with engineers, they made their own bridge. It did not cost anything. They had carts, they had ropes to tie one cart to other cart and they happily they crossed but how could the cows cross? They swam across. Cowherd men were carrying the calves on their shoulders and cowherd men were swimming with a calf on their shoulders and when they swam the mother cow would swim right behind. You understand how it was working.
After crossing the Yamuna they were in Vrndavana. Remember Vrndavana. We are in Pune. To get out of this world we think of Vrndavana where Krsna resides eternally. We meditate on Vrndavana. In the context of Vrndavana we hope to place Krsna, not replace Krsna. Krsna is there. We hear about Krsna, Balarama and our body may still be here, but our soul is transported to Vrndavana. We sort of go there and closely look at Krsna’s pastimes. We are not yet qualified to enter pastimes of Krsna in Vrndavana, but we could watch, witness and learn how everything works. Krsna is the topic.
We are the students and what is the topic? We have different subjects, Physics, chemistry, botany, biology like we studied one time. But for the devotee of Krsna, Krsna is the topic, understanding Krsna is the goal. He is studying Krsna, wants to become graduate, post graduate. Every day we are trying to understand Krsna. When you understand Krsna you get to know Krsna, get closer to Krsna, developing some attraction for Krsna. The more we know, the more we are attracted to Krsna. We are not attracted to Krsna because we don’t know Krsna. If you really knew Krsna you would be attracted to Him. He is all attractive. You will love Krsna and you would love to serve Him. Because of ignorance we don’t care. Question is. “Who knows? Who has seen Krsna? He is such a loving personality and if you knew Him, your mouth would be watering like when you see a rasagulla. “Could I have it?” Just by seeing some eatables, you are attracted. There is some feeling, some emotions. Just by smell, just by seeing, touch you become eager to eat it, touch it. Rasagulla is attractive that is also because of Krsna. All attractions have origin in Krsna. As we hear we begin to witness the pastimes of the Lord. As we hear, study we see the Lord more with the help of ears compared to seeing the Lord with the help of eyes.
They all have crossed Yamuna and entered Vrndavana. This is where Krsna wants to be a cowherd boy. In Gokul as a newly born child He was mostly on the lap of Yasoda or just in Nanda Bhavan calling and playing – vatsalya bhava – parenthood. That was the rasa, the mellow that He had been experiencing towards the end of the Lord’s stay in Gokul. He makes friendship with some of His friends of same age group and then stealing butter pastime, makhana chori begins in Gokul. Krsna would spend time with friends, other children but mostly at home with Nanda Baba, Yasoda, Rohini. But now as He had come to Vrndavana, He wants to solidify His friendship with His friends. They were growing up, He was also growing up, so He wants to go out and be useful to the family, go get a job.
Lots of people were unemployed, jobless, hungry they were crying. We always hear someone saying go get a job not depend on others. Go get a job. Krsna wanted to take up a job but Yasoda was not in favour of this. Half of the time, He would be at home, and the half in the forest. She could not imagine being away from her darling, Yasoda Nandan or Nandalal, but Nanda Maharaj was in favour. He had no objection.
Krsna was also very much in favour, so the vote was two in favour and one against. The party that wanted to go, won and then Krsna was allowed to go into the forest, but not take care of the cows. He was not big enough to take care of the cows. He was given charge of the calves. Small baby cows were gathered and Nanda and Yasoda trained Krsna and Balarama. They were given a crash course on how to handle cows, how to get them to start off, how to get them to turn around, how to sit down. Yasoda reluctantly agreed that Krsna could go. There were some other cowherd men who had their children going along with Krsna and Balarama. A small group of children and small group of cows were going into the forest. Yashoda wass giving all kinds instructions, “Don’t go deep into the forest. There are many ugly creatures there. My son may be scared. Come back soon, and Balarama listen, take care of Krsna.”
They would go and come back and then the condition also was that he could go into the forest, but not every day. Some days he should stay behind and only for some days he could go. The whole schedule was – Monday, Thursday and Sunday you go and four days you stay behind. Krsna did not like to stay behind but what to do? His Mummy would not allow.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is going to the forest, Mummy or Yashoda is worried about the Supreme Personality of Godhead getting scared or tired or this may happen, that may happen. Here is vatsalya bhava and Krsna enjoys this. It is not against His will. He is relishing this relationship. He has become a son now and he acts like a son. On some days when he was not supposed to go into the forest Yasoda would make sure that Krsna has stayed behind. He is indoors and she makes sure that he is not out with Balarama and the other cowherd boys. She makes sure that the others have left with the cows. She is happy that today He is going to be all day at home. She gets back into her some household duties. From time to time she is making sure that He is around. She keeps calling for Him and he responds. However after some time there is no response and she looks outside through the window. She notices Krsna is running towards the boys, to catch up with other cowherd boys, cows and Balarama. And then Yasoda runs after Krsna. Krsna has taken note that Yasoda is running after Him so He is runs faster. By this time all the cowherd boys and Balarama have taken note that Krsna is running and Yasoda is running after Him. They encourage Krsna to run even faster and they are very happy. They are not happy to go without Krsna but what to do Yashoda doesn’t let Him go every day. Krsna had finally managed to reach His destination – Balarama. He grabbed Balarama and Yasoda was coming. Yashoda is dragging Krsna and Balarama is pulling Him from the other side. A big tug up war, sometimes he is dragged back home and sometimes He is allowed to go to the forest with His friends. He is about 6 or 7 years old now.
When He goes into the forest, the Lord plays with His friends and the calves are also getting time with Krsna. There is vatsalya rasa at home and there is also vatsalya rasa in the forest between Krsna and calves. With His friends it is sakhya bhava. There were times when only calves were going with Krsna in the forests. Cowherd men were taking cows to the forest. Cows were not very happy. They were not getting Krsna’s association. Now the cows held a conference and all resolved that if He doesn’t go into the forest with them then they will not go into the forest. They will go on a hunger strike in front of Nanda Bhavan. The cowherd men were trying to bring the cows to the forest but they were not going. They were ready to fight.
By this time, in Bhagavatam, Sukadev Goswami describes that Krsna had grown up and there was a get-together, ishtagosti of elderly members of Braja, Nanda Maharaja and others. They resolved that they we were going to promote Krsna, an from that day onwards He was the vatsapal. Thus far He was calfherd boy but from today onwards He will be Gopal. That was astami, Gopastami during Kartik. That was the day five thousand years ago when Krsna was promoted. He became Gopal. The cows were happily going to the forest with Krsna. Krsna now is grown up and gets extra time to spend in the forest with the cows. Then finally the residents of Vrndavana migrated. They travelled again and made their residence on the top of the hill, which is now known as Nanda gram. Krsna is now enjoying vatsalya rasa and sakhya rasa. Two full-fledged rasas were developed.
He is now growing up interacting with gopis, meeting and talking with Radha Rani who is a resident of Rawal. Rawal the place where Radha Rani had taken birth. They were staying in a place called Basanti. The residents of Gokul were staying in Chhatikara. Near Chhatikara was the other place Basanti which is in between Rawal and Radha Kunda. As we go from Vrndavana Krsna Balarama temple to Radha Kunda, about 3 or 4 kilometers before you reach Radha Kunda there is a place called Basanti. It is a small village and it is still there. Bhakti Ratnakar confirms that residents of Rawal, Vrishbhanu, Kiritida and other residents stayed there for some time. Residents of Basanti finally went to Barsana and the residents of Gokul end up in Nandagaon. Now Krsna is a full-fledged grown up. He is now Kisor and there has to be Kisori. Kisor-Kisori met before when they both were children, little babies. The meeting had taken place in Rawal. You know that pastime also. Radha Rani was born but she was not opening her eyes. Her eyes were closed. They were not very happy. Then Yasoda, Nanda Baba had come from Gokul for Radhashatmi celebration – Radha’s appearance day celebration. All the elderly members were going there. Radha Rani was playing in a cradle. All were blessing the child, praying for the well being of the child. So Krsna had also gone. Children were there. They like to imitate each other. They all were very curious. Krsna had managed to climb up and stand and look inside the cradle and as Radha realised that Her Lord is here, She immediately opened Her eyes drinking the beauty of Krsna’s face. That was the first ever meeting and now they are both grown up. Krsna stays in Nanda gram and Radha Rani stays in Barsana. Sanket is in between in the middle. It is the meeting point and there they would make decisions where which Rasa dance would take place.
In this way Krsna enters into yet another relationship, another rasa, mellow. He is relishing the relationship with the gopis and specially Radha Rani and that is Madhuraya rasa. Krsna’s life, His pastime, early childhood began with vatsalya rasa then sakhya rasa now madhuraya rasa.
parakiya bhave jahan brajete prachar
This parakiya bhava, Sringar rasa is the top most. This is practiced in Braja. There are a few servants in Vrndavana, the dasya rasa. They do not serve Him so much in Vrindavan. He doesn’t act like an Isvara, like a boss. He doesn’t like that relationship. Mostly it is the madhuraya rasa, sakhya rasa, vatsalya rasa. These are the mellows and moods Krsna relishes in Vrndavana. As He has now been brought over to Mathura by Akrura. He is in Mathura and Mathura is,
ye mathura kanchan ki nagari
Krsna’s realization is that Mathura is only a business place where they only deal with chandi (silver), sona (gold). There are so many transactions of that nature.
O udhav mohe braja bisrata nahi.
“I cannot. I tried but I cannot forget Vrndavana. What to do Udhav? Please tell me what should I do. I used to play with the friends, the birds were chirping. There is Yasoda. Of course I have Devaki here. When it’s time for My meal she left the plate – Ok, you eat, Yasoda never did that to Me. She used to put Me on her lap even if I tried to eat myself, she would take the spoon out of My hand and feed Me with her own fingers. She would do the spoon feeding or finger feeding. Mother Devaki is giving the plate and say eat-eat, I will see you later but Yasoda never did that to me. She would stop all other important business to feed Me, make sure I am eating enough. She used to feed Me with her own hands so that’s why mohe braja bisrata nahi.”
I cannot forget Vrndavana Oh! Udhav. He is remembering this pastime, that pastime, this forest, that forest. Each time He is saying I cannot forget Vrndavana. I cannot forget, how could I forget? He is in Mathura but He lost His heart in Vrndavana There are T shirts that say –“I lost my heart in Vrindavan” . For sure for Krsna that was the case. I am not sure whether they wear T- shirts they lost their heart in Vrndavana or they lost their heart in Ahmednagar. Krsna says I lost my heart. Your home is where your heart is – Krsna’s home is in Vrndavana. As a matter of duty He is staying in Mathura for a while but His heart is in Vrndavana. He is counting his days. When you have a good time what happens, time flies. Not so good time then time stops.
We are students. We get to know something more what we did not know but then each time we hear it becomes more solid. Knowledge is enhanced. We become more convinced about Krsna, the different aspects of Krsna. It is more tonic for us and then we become stronger, spiritually strong, feeding our soul. Some more food for thought – this material realm, material world, material body, material consciousness, contaminated consciousness . Try to purify that. Replace some of them, feed more chips in the brain with some spiritual thoughts so that our head and heart becomes full of Krsna, soul and heart becomes full of Krsna like Krsna consciousness.
munijana manasa hansa
Jaidev Goswami said, “The devotee’s mind acts like a swan.” A swan moves about in a lake, the devotee’s mind like a swan moving in the lake of consciousness, Krsna consciousness. So many wrong things we have learnt. We have been taught and we thought they were all right things, but now we are realizing that we were cheated, we have been tricked. We had to unlearn then learn the right things, the eternal truth. We realize that Krsna is eternal.
Krsna is the target. He has to be eternal, something that never gets exhausted. It never comes to an end, He has to be forever, always, always eternally. What’s the fun, you have been realizing after so much endeavour, that soon it will finish, it doesn’t exist anymore. So Krsna is avyayam, vyaya means that as you spend it, it becomes less and less and less. One day you may become bankrupt, left with nothing. You are spending and spending. Krsna is avyaya, ajar amar. I read something that we want to realize, He has to be eternal, He has to be always, always existing all the time in the future otherwise what is the fun.
This body could be finished. Is it the same case with the Lord’s body, Lord’s form? He would also be finished one day? Why should we be trying to realize the person, who is no more. He will be with him only for some time and he will be finished? He will be gone. Why would anyone try to realize such a person, such a Personality of Godhead? So that is the difference between anyone else in this world and the Lord. Everyone else is dirt or earth. You go back to dirt, go back to earth. Bible says something like that.
You rise from dust and to dust you return. Body comes from the dirt. It is made from dirt, it goes back to the dirt, goes back to the dust, finished. When more bodies are coming into the existence some are moving on. This way this world although temporary seems to always exist. In the 15th chapter verse 1,Bhagavat-gita it says:
asvattham prahur avyayam
chandamsi yasya parnani
yas tam veda sa veda-vit (BG 15.1)
The Lord is ayaya. There is a commentary by Sridhara Swami. Although this world is temporary, it appeared as if it always exists. Always doesn’t mean always. At the time of annihilation it ends, but normally everything is moving. So many people are dying, but things just move on, go on – buses are moving, terrorists killing people, everything moves on. Avyaya the world is always temporary, so Lord is advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam. Lord is ajar, amar, avyaya. He is our target, our hope. Our body will end. If you want to end up with Krsna or search for Him that will not come to an end.
bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan (BG 7.19)
Until we become jnanavan Vasudeva sarvam, Vasudev is all in all in that jnana. So that kind of determination
utsahan niscayad dhairyat
So what if you don’t find Krsna in this life, you will give it up, forget Him or find something else now. No, that’s not the case. Devotees continue.