When the Lord was on the lap of His mother, He would at once stop crying as soon as the ladies surrounding Him chanted the holy names and clapped their hands. This peculiar incident was observed by the neighbors with awe and veneration. Sometimes the young girls took pleasure in making the Lord cry and then stopping Him by chanting the holy name. So from His very childhood the Lord began to preach the importance of the holy name. In His early age Lord Śrī Caitanya was known as Nimāi. This name was given by His beloved mother because the Lord took His birth beneath a nimba tree in the courtyard of His paternal house.
Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
SB Preface and Introduction
Some unscrupulous people say that Lord Caitanya met His wife also after taking sannyāsa and offered her His wooden slipper for worship, but the authentic sources give no information about such a meeting. His mother met Him at the house of Advaita Prabhu, and when she saw her son in sannyāsa, she lamented. By way of compromise, she requested her son to make His headquarters in Purī so that she would easily be able to get information about Him. The Lord granted this last desire of His beloved mother. After this incident the Lord started for Purī, leaving all the residents of Navadvīpa in an ocean of lamentation over His separation.
A transcendentalist has nothing to do with women and money. He must always refrain from such intimate relations. The King was, however, favored by the Lord by the expert arrangement of the devotees. This means that the beloved devotee of the Lord can favor a neophyte more liberally than the Lord. Pure devotees, therefore, never commit an offense at the feet of another pure devotee. An offense at the lotus feet of the Lord is sometimes excused by the merciful Lord, but an offense at the feet of a devotee is very dangerous for one who actually wants to make progress in devotional service.
SB Canto 1
Everyone within the creation of the Lord is rendering service to the Lord indirectly or directly. No one is an exception to this law of the Lord. Those who are rendering service indirectly, being forced by the illusory agent of the Lord, are rendering service unto Him unfavorably. But those who are rendering service unto Him directly under the direction of His beloved agent are rendering service unto Him favorably. Such favorable servitors are devotees of the Lord, and by the grace of the Lord they can enter into the mysterious region of transcendence by the mercy of the Lord. But the mental speculators remain in darkness all the time.
A devotee of the Lord automatically becomes uninterested in the enchantment of material existence because he is rasa-graha, or one who has tasted the sweetness of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa. There are certainly many instances where devotees of the Lord have fallen down due to uncongenial association, just like fruitive workers, who are always prone to degradation. But even though he falls down, a devotee is never to be considered the same as a fallen karmī. A karmī suffers the result of his own fruitive reactions, whereas a devotee is reformed by chastisement directed by the Lord Himself. The sufferings of an orphan and the sufferings of a beloved child of a king are not one and the same. An orphan is really poor because he has no one to take care of him, but a beloved son of a rich man, although he appears to be on the same level as the orphan, is always under the vigilance of his capable father. A devotee of the Lord, due to wrong association, sometimes imitates the fruitive workers.
Kuntī was conscious of the exalted position of Kṛṣṇa, whereas Yaśodā was not. Therefore Yaśodā's position was more exalted than Kuntī's. Mother Yaśodā got the Lord as her child, and the Lord made her forget altogether that her child was the Lord Himself. If mother Yaśodā had been conscious of the exalted position of the Lord, she would certainly have hesitated to punish the Lord. But she was made to forget this situation because the Lord wanted to make a complete gesture of childishness before the affectionate Yaśodā. This exchange of love between the mother and the son was performed in a natural way, and Kuntī, remembering the scene, was bewildered, and she could do nothing but praise the transcendental filial love. Indirectly mother Yaśodā is praised for her unique position of love, for she could control even the all-powerful Lord as her beloved child.
A pure devotee cuts off the limited ties of affection for his family and widens his activities of devotional service for all forgotten souls. The typical example is the band of six Gosvāmīs, who followed the path of Lord Caitanya. All of them belonged to the most enlightened and cultured rich families of the higher castes, but for the benefit of the mass of population they left their comfortable homes and became mendicants. To cut off all family affection means to broaden the field of activities. Without doing this, no one can be qualified as a brāhmaṇa, a king, a public leader or a devotee of the Lord. The Personality of Godhead, as an ideal king, showed this by example. Śrī Rāmacandra cut off the tie of affection for His beloved wife to manifest the qualities of an ideal king.
The Lord wanted that at the last stage of his material existence the great warrior Bhīṣmadeva see Him personally and see his beloved grandchildren, King Yudhiṣṭhira, etc., now situated on the throne, and thus pass away very peacefully. Bhīṣmadeva was not at all satisfied to fight against the Pāṇḍavas, who were his beloved fatherless grandchildren. But the kṣatriyas are also very stern people, and therefore he was obliged to take the side of Duryodhana because he was maintained at the expense of Duryodhana. Besides this, the Lord also desired that King Yudhiṣṭhira be pacified by the words of Bhīṣmadeva so that the world could see that Bhīṣmadeva excelled all in knowledge, including the Lord Himself.
Bhīṣmadeva at once gave up his weapons and stood to be killed by Kṛṣṇa, his beloved Lord. The fighting of the day was thus ended at that very moment, and Arjuna was saved. Of course there was no possibility of Arjuna's death because the Lord Himself was on the chariot, but because Bhīṣmadeva wanted to see Lord Kṛṣṇa take up some weapon to save His friend, the Lord created this situation, making Arjuna's death imminent. He stood before Bhīṣmadeva to show him that his promise was fulfilled and that He had taken up the wheel.
The Lord is satisfied more when His pure devotees are glorified, and therefore Bhīṣmadeva has not only glorified the acts of Arjuna, his immediate object of attraction, but has also remembered the gopīs, who were endowed with unrivalled opportunities by rendering loving service to the Lord. The gopīs' equality with the Lord should never be misunderstood to be like the sāyujya liberation of the impersonalist. The equality is one of perfect ecstasy where the differential conception is completely eradicated, for the interests of the lover and the beloved become identical.
The conditioned soul under the spell of illusory energy forgets the Lord, otherwise he cannot. The feeling of such separation cannot be described, but it can simply be imagined by devotees only. After His separation from Vṛndāvana and the innocent rural cowherd boys, girls, ladies and others, they all felt shock throughout their lives, and the separation of Rādhārāṇī, the most beloved cowherd girl, is beyond expression. Once they met at Kurukṣetra during a solar eclipse, and the feeling which was expressed by them is heartrending. There is, of course, a difference in the qualities of the transcendental devotees of the Lord, but none of them who have ever contacted the Lord by direct communion or otherwise can leave Him for a moment. That is the attitude of the pure devotee.
At that time Arjuna, the great warrior and conqueror of sleep, who is the intimate friend of the most beloved Supreme Lord, took up an umbrella which had a handle of jewels and was embroidered with lace and pearls.
he beloved Lord was away from His own prosperous metropolis of Dvārakā for a considerably long period because of the Battle of Kurukṣetra, and thus all the inhabitants were overcome with melancholia due to the separation. When the Lord descends on the earth, His eternal associates also come with Him, just as the entourage of a king accompanies him. Such associates of the Lord are eternally liberated souls, and they cannot bear the separation of the Lord even for a moment because of intense affection for the Lord.
Baladeva: He is the divine son of Vasudeva by his wife Rohiṇī. He is also known as Rohiṇī-nandana, the beloved son of Rohiṇī. He was also entrusted to Nanda Mahārāja along with His mother, Rohiṇī, when Vasudeva embraced imprisonment by mutual agreement with Kaṁsa. So Nanda Mahārāja is also the foster father of Baladeva along with Lord Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Baladeva were constant companions from Their very childhood, although They were stepbrothers. He is the plenary manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore He is as good and powerful as Lord Kṛṣṇa.
On the contrary, one should affirm that even if the Lord marries sixteen thousand million wives, He is not completely manifesting His unlimited and inexhaustible potency. He married only 16,000 wives and entered in each and every one of the different palaces just to impress in the history of the human beings on the surface of the earth that the Lord is never equal to or less than any human being, however powerful he may be. No one, therefore, is either equal to or greater than the Lord. The Lord is always great in all respects. "God is great" is eternal truth. Therefore, as soon as the queens saw from a distance their husband, who was away from home for long periods due to the Battle of Kurukṣetra, they all arose from the slumber of meditation and prepared to receive their most beloved. According to Yājñavalkya's religious injunctions, a woman whose husband is away from home should not take part in any social functions, should not decorate her body, should not laugh and should not go to any relative's house in any circumstance. This is the vow of the ladies whose husbands are away from home.
It is said in the Brahma-saṁhitā (Ch. 5) that the Supreme Lord Govinda, by His one plenary portion, enters into the halo of the universe and distributes himself as Paramātmā, or the Supersoul, not only within the heart of every living being, but also within every atom of the material elements. Thus the Lord is all-pervading by His inconceivable potency, and thus He entered the womb of Uttarā to save His beloved devotee Mahārāja Parīkṣit. In the Bhagavad-gītā (9.31) the Lord assured everyone that His devotees are never to be vanquished. No one can kill a devotee of the Lord because he is protected by the Lord, and no one can save a person whom the Lord desires to kill. The Lord is all-powerful, and therefore He can both save and kill as He likes.
A devotee who may be in any of these categories is automatically qualified by all good qualities, and thus a mahā-bhāgavata devotee like Mahārāja Parīkṣit is certainly perfect in all respects. And because Mahārāja Parīkṣit took his birth in the family of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, he is addressed herein as the mahā-bhāgavata, or the greatest of the fortunates. The family in which a mahā-bhāgavata takes his birth is fortunate because due to the birth of a first-grade devotee the members of the family, past, present and future up to one hundred generations, become liberated by the grace of the Lord, out of respect for His beloved devotee. Therefore, the highest benefit is done to one's family simply by becoming an unalloyed devotee of the Lord.
The gopīs were dissatisfied with the work of Brahmājī because Lord Brahmā, as creator of this particular universe, created eyelids which obstructed their seeing Lord Kṛṣṇa. They could not tolerate a moment's blinking of the eyes, for it kept them from seeing their beloved Lord Kṛṣṇa. So what to speak of others, who are naturally very critical of every action of a responsible man? Similarly, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira had to cross over many difficult situations created by his enemies, and he proved to be the most perfect maintainer of mental equanimity in all critical circumstances. Therefore the example of both grandfathers for maintaining equanimity of mind is quite fitting.
Yayāti: The great emperor of the world and the original forefather of all great nations of the world who belong to the Āryan and Indo-European stock. He is the son of Mahārāja Nabuṣa, and he became the emperor of the world due to his elder brother's becoming a great and liberated saintly mystic. He ruled over the world for several thousands of years and performed many sacrifices and pious activities recorded in history, although his early youth was very lustful and full of romantic stories. He fell in love with Devayānī, the most beloved daughter of Śukrācārya. Devayānī wished to marry him, but at first he refused to accept her because of her being a daughter of a brāhmaṇa.
King Yudhiṣṭhira was expert in reception also, even in the case of his family members. Vidura was well received by all the family members by exchange of embraces and obeisances. After that, bathing and arrangements for a sumptuous dinner were made, and then he was given sufficient rest. After finishing his rest, he was offered a comfortable place to sit, and then the King began to talk about all happenings, both family and otherwise. That is the proper way to receive a beloved friend, or even an enemy. According to Indian moral codes, even an enemy received at home should be so well received that he will not feel any fearful situation.
According to Nīti-śāstra (civic laws) one should not speak an unpalatable truth to cause distress to others. Distress comes upon us in its own way by the laws of nature, so one should not aggravate it by propaganda. For a compassionate soul like Vidura, especially in his dealings with the beloved Pāṇḍavas, it was almost impossible to disclose an unpalatable piece of news like the annihilation of the Yadu dynasty. Therefore he purposely refrained from it.
Gāndhārī was an ideal chaste lady, a life companion of her husband, and therefore when she saw her husband burning in the fire of mystic yoga along with his cottage of leaves, she despaired. She left home after losing her one hundred sons, and in the forest she saw that her most beloved husband was also burning. Now she actually felt alone, and therefore she entered the fire of her husband and followed her husband to death. This entering of a chaste lady into the fire of her dead husband is called the satī rite, and the action is considered to be most perfect for a woman. In a later age, this satī rite became an obnoxious criminal affair because the ceremony was forced upon even an unwilling woman. In this fallen age it is not possible for any lady to follow the satī rite as chastely as it was done by Gāndhārī and others in past ages.
We have fallen into this horrible whirlpool of the tossing waves of life, and thus, my Lord, I pray at Your lotus feet to call me back to Your eternal abode as one of Your servitors. This is the summit liberation of this materialistic way of life. I have very bitter experience of the materialistic way of life. In whichever species of life I have taken birth, compelled by the force of my own activities, I have very painfully experienced two things, namely separation from my beloved and meeting with what is not wanted. And to counteract them, the remedies which I undertook were more dangerous than the disease itself. So I drift from one point to another birth after birth, and I pray to You therefore to give me a shelter at Your lotus feet."
SB Canto 2
Those who drink through aural reception, fully filled with the nectarean message of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the beloved of the devotees, purify the polluted aim of life known as material enjoyment and thus go back to Godhead, to the lotus feet of Him (the Personality of Godhead).
Ghosts are always very bad elements, always creating a fearful situation for others. Similarly, the ghostlike nondevotees who have no respect for the pure devotees, nor for the Viṣṇu Deity in the temples, create a fearful situation for the devotees at all times. The Lord never accepts any offering by such impure ghosts. There is a common saying that one should first love the dog of the beloved before one shows any loving sentiments for the beloved. The stage of pure devotion is attained by sincerely serving a pure devotee of the Lord. The first condition of devotional service to the Lord is therefore to be a servant of a pure devotee, and this condition is fulfilled by the statement "reception of the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee who has also served another pure devotee." That is the way of pure disciplic succession, or devotional paramparā.
A powerful devotee of the Lord is, by the grace of the Lord, more than the Lord Himself. The Personality of Godhead Śrī Rāmacandra attempted to bridge the Indian Ocean to reach the island of Laṅkā, but Śrī Hanumānjī, the unalloyed devotee of the Personality of Godhead, could cross the ocean simply by jumping over it. The Lord is so merciful upon His pure devotee that He presents His beloved devotee as more powerful than Himself. The Lord expressed Himself to be unable to save Durvāsā Muni, although the Muni was so powerful that he could reach the Lord directly under material conditions. But Durvāsā Muni was saved by Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, a devotee of the Lord. Therefore, not only is a devotee of the Lord more powerful than the Lord, but also worship of the devotee is considered more effective than direct worship of the Lord (mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā (SB 11.19.21)).
Since Śukadeva Gosvāmī is one of the prominent gata-vyalīkas, who are freed from all misconceptions, he therefore expresses his own realized perception of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as being the sum total of all perfection, the Personality of Godhead. Everyone is seeking the favor of the goddess of fortune, but people do not know that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the beloved husband of all goddesses of fortune. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that the Lord, in His transcendental abode Goloka Vṛndāvana, is accustomed to herding the surabhi cows and is served there by hundreds of thousands of goddesses of fortune.
The post of Brahmā to officiate in the creation of the universe is offered to the most pure living being, and unless one is so qualified one cannot expect to be treated like Brahmājī directly. But one can have the same facility through unalloyed devotees of the Lord, through scriptural instructions (as revealed in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam especially), and also through the bona fide spiritual master available to the sincere soul. The Lord Himself appears as the spiritual master to a person who is sincere in heart about serving the Lord. Therefore the bona fide spiritual master who happens to meet the sincere devotee should be accepted as the most confidential and beloved representative of the Lord. If a person is posted under the guidance of such a bona fide spiritual master, it may be accepted without any doubt that the desiring person has achieved the grace of the Lord.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam gives us this information as the supreme Vedic literature, and it was personally instructed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to Brahmājī so that the leader of the living entities might broadcast the message to all in the universe in order to teach the supreme knowledge of bhakti-yoga. Brahmājī in his turn instructed Nārada, his beloved son, the same message of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and Nārada, in his turn, taught the same to Vyāsadeva, who again taught it to Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Through Śukadeva Gosvāmī's grace and by the mercy of Mahārāja Parīkṣit we are all given Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam perpetually to learn the science of the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Lord Brahmā, being the creator of all living beings in the universe, is originally the father of several well-known sons, like Dakṣa, the catuḥ-sanas, and Nārada. In three departments of human knowledge disseminated by the Vedas, namely fruitive work (karma-kāṇḍa), transcendental knowledge (jñāna-kāṇḍa), and devotional service (upāsanā-kāṇḍa), Devarṣi Nārada inherited from his father Brahmā devotional service, whereas Dakṣa inherited from his father fruitive work, and Sanaka, Sanātana, etc., inherited from their father information about jñāna-kāṇḍa, or transcendental knowledge. But out of them all, Nārada is described here as the most beloved son of Brahmā because of good behavior, obedience, meekness and readiness to render service unto the father. And Nārada is famous as the greatest of all sages because of his being the greatest of all devotees.
SB Canto 3
The Lord is constitutionally well versed in all the Vedas, and yet to teach by example that everyone must go to learn the Vedas from an authorized teacher and must satisfy the teacher by service and reward, He Himself adopted this system. The Lord offered His services to His teacher, Sāndīpani Muni, and the muni, knowing the power of the Lord, asked something which was impossible to be done by anyone else. The teacher asked that his beloved son, who had died, be brought back to him, and the Lord fulfilled the request. The Lord is not, therefore, an ingrate to anyone who renders Him some sort of service. The devotees of the Lord who always engage in His loving service are never to be disappointed in the progressive march of devotional service.
The jñānīs and the devotees are actually in agreement up to the point of liberation from material contamination. But whereas the jñānīs remain pacified on the platform of simple understanding, the devotees develop further spiritual advancement in loving service. The devotees develop a spiritual individuality in their spontaneous service attitude, which is enhanced on and on, up to the point of mādhurya-rasa, or transcendental loving service reciprocated between the lover and the beloved.
When the Kumāras, although by far the fittest persons, were thus forbidden entrance by the two chief doorkeepers of Śrī Hari while other divinities looked on, their eyes suddenly turned red because of anger due to their great eagerness to see their most beloved master, Śrī Hari, the Personality of Godhead.
In this verse it is figuratively stated that the younger brother of desire suddenly appeared in person when the sages were forbidden to see their most beloved Personality of Godhead. The younger brother of desire is anger. If one's desire is not fulfilled, the younger brother, anger, follows. Here we can mark that even great saintly persons like the Kumāras were also angry, but they were not angry for their personal interests. They were angry because they were forbidden to enter the palace to see the Personality of Godhead. Therefore the theory that in the perfectional stage one should not have anger is not supported in this verse.
To Me, the brāhmaṇa is the highest and most beloved personality. The disrespect shown by My attendants has actually been displayed by Me because the doormen are My servitors. I take this to be an offense by Myself; therefore I seek your forgiveness for the incident that has arisen.
The Lord, the personal enjoyer of all sacrifices, now discharged His beloved Sudarśana, which was capable of dispersing the magical forces displayed by the demon.
After that, Brahmā gave up that shining and beloved form of moonlight. Viśvāvasu and other Gandharvas gladly took possession of it.
Having equipped himself with austere penance, adoration, mental concentration and absorption in devotion, accompanied by dispassion, and having controlled his senses, Brahmā, the self-born living creature, evolved great sages as his beloved sons.
What wise man would not welcome her, the very ornament of womanhood, the beloved daughter of Svāyambhuva Manu and sister of Uttānapāda? Those who have not worshiped the gracious feet of the goddess of fortune cannot even perceive her, yet she has come of her own accord to seek my hand.
Maitreya continued: O Vidura, seeking to please his beloved wife, the sage Kardama exercised his yogic power and instantly produced an aerial mansion that could travel at his will.
The sage Kardama was completely perfect in yoga. As the result of real yoga practice there are eight kinds of perfection: the yogī can become smaller than the smallest, greater than the greatest or lighter than the lightest, he can achieve anything he likes, he can create even a planet, he can establish influence over anyone, etc. In this way yogic perfection is achieved, and after this one can achieve the perfection of spiritual life. Thus it was not very wonderful for Kardama Muni to create a mansion in the air, according to his own desire, to fulfill the desire of his beloved wife. He at once created the palace, which is described in the following verses.
It appears from this verse that in the beginning Devahūti thought herself to be dirty and dressed in a very niggardly way. When her husband asked her to enter the lake, she saw the maidservants, and they took care of her. Everything was done within the water, and as soon as she thought of her beloved husband, Kardama, she was brought before him without delay. These are some of the powers attained by perfect yogīs; they can immediately execute anything they desire.
Though seemingly attached to his beloved consort while served by the Gandharva girls, the sage did not lose his glory, which was mastery over his self. In the aerial mansion Kardama Muni with his consort shone as charmingly as the moon in the midst of the stars in the sky, which causes rows of lilies to open in ponds at night.
The Lord is always compassionate towards the fallen souls of this material world, and therefore He comes Himself or sends His confidential servants to deliver them. Since He is perpetually compassionate towards them, if some of His devotees also become compassionate towards them, He is very pleased with the devotees. In Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly stated that persons who are trying to elevate the condition of the fallen souls by preaching the conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā—namely, full surrender unto the Personality of Godhead—are very dear to Him. Thus when the Lord saw that His beloved mother was very compassionate towards the fallen souls, He was pleased, and He also became compassionate towards her.
Śrī Maitreya said: The Supreme Personality of Godhead Kapila, after instructing His beloved mother, took permission from her and left His home, His mission having been fulfilled.
SB Canto 4
The word śiva means "all auspicious." No one can be an enemy of Lord Śiva's, for he is so peaceful and renounced that he does not even construct a house for his residence, but lives underneath a tree, always detached from all worldly things. The personality of Lord Śiva symbolizes the best of gentleness. Why, then, was Dakṣa, who offered his beloved daughter to such a gentle personality, inimical towards Lord Śiva so intensely that Satī, the daughter of Dakṣa and wife of Lord Śiva, gave up her body?
The blessed goddess said: Lord Śiva is the most beloved of all living entities. He has no rival. No one is very dear to him, and no one is his enemy. No one but you could be envious of such a universal being, who is free from all enmity.
In this verse Dakṣa has been described as mahātmā. The word mahātmā has been commented upon by different commentators in various manners. Vīrarāghava Ācārya has indicated that this word mahātmā means "steady in heart." That is to say that Dakṣa was so stronghearted that even when his beloved daughter was prepared to lay down her life, he was steady and unshaken. But in spite of his being so stronghearted, he was perturbed when he saw the various disturbances created by the gigantic black demon. Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks in this connection that even if one is called mahātmā, a great soul, unless he exhibits the symptoms of a mahātmā, he should be considered a durātmā, or a degraded soul.
When Deities are installed, They are washed with milk, yogurt and water, and this ceremony is called abhiṣeka. In this verse it has been especially mentioned that the tears which flowed down from the eyes of Sunīti were all-auspicious. This auspiciousness of the abhiṣeka ceremony performed by his beloved mother was an indication that in the very near future Dhruva Mahārāja would be installed on the throne of his father. The history of Dhruva Mahārāja's leaving home was that his father refused to give him a place on his lap, and Dhruva Mahārāja determined that unless he got the throne of his father he would not come back. Now this abhiṣeka ceremony performed by his beloved mother was an indication that he would occupy the throne of Mahārāja Uttānapāda.
The residents of the palace praised the Queen: Dear Queen, your beloved son was lost a long time ago, and it is your great fortune that he now has come back. It appears, therefore, that your son will be able to protect you for a very long time and will put an end to all your material pangs.
Although it is misconceived that formerly the monarchial government was autocratic, from the description of this verse it appears that not only was King Uttānapāda a rājarṣi, but before installing his beloved son Dhruva on the throne of the empire of the world, he consulted his ministerial officers, considered the opinion of the public, and also personally examined Dhruva's character. Then the King installed him on the throne to take charge of the affairs of the world.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is death personified to miscreants and the supreme beloved Lord to the devotees. In Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says, mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham: (BG 10.34) "I am all-devouring death." Faithless unbelievers, who challenge the appearance of God, will be delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead when He appears before them as death. Hiraṇyakaśipu, for example, challenged the authority of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Lord met him in the form of Nṛsiṁhadeva and killed him. Similarly, the planet earth saw Mahārāja Pṛthu as death personified, and she also saw him in the mood of anger personified.
When thus attracted by the beauty of the material energy, one becomes very eager to enjoy. This is elaborately described in this instance of Purañjana's becoming attracted by the beautiful woman. In conditional life the living entity is attracted by a face, eyebrows or eyes, a voice or anything. In short, everything becomes attractive. When a man or a woman is attracted by the opposite sex, it does not matter whether the opposite sex is beautiful or not. The lover sees everything beautiful in the face of the beloved and thus becomes attracted. This attraction causes the living entity to fall down in this material world.
The living entity comes down into this material world for sense gratification, and his intelligence, represented by the woman, gives him the proper direction by which he can satisfy his senses to their best capacity. In actuality, however, intelligence comes from the Supersoul, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He gives full facility to the living entity who has come down to this material world. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (2.41):
- vyavasāyātmikā buddhir
- ekeha kuru-nandana
- bahu-śākhā hy anantāś ca
- buddhayo 'vyavasāyinām
"Those who are on the spiritual path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched."
The wife of King Purañjana was lying on the ground because she was neglected by her husband. Actually the woman must always be protected by her husband. We always speak of the goddess of fortune as being placed on the chest of Nārāyaṇa. In other words, the wife must remain embraced by her husband. Thus she becomes beloved and well protected. Just as one saves his money and places it under his own personal protection, one should similarly protect his wife by his own personal supervision. Just as intelligence is always within the heart, so a beloved chaste wife should always have her place on the chest of a good husband.
The King, with aggrieved mind, began to speak to his wife with very pleasing words. Although he was filled with regret and tried to pacify her, he could not see any symptom of anger caused by love within the heart of his beloved wife.
All living entities are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Unfortunately, in this present civilization both men and women are allowed to be attracted to one another from the very beginning of life, and because of this they are completely unable to come to the platform of self-realization. They do not know that without self-realization they suffer the greatest loss in the human form of life. Thinking of a woman always within one's heart is tantamount to lying down with a woman on a valuable bedstead. The heart is the bedstead, and it is the most valuable bedstead. When a man thinks of women and money, he lies down and rests on the arms of his beloved woman or wife. In this way he overindulges in sex life and thus becomes unfit for self-realization.
"Those who are on the spiritual path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched."
When the vital force within the body becomes weak, the body itself also becomes weak. At such a time the death symptoms—that is, the dangerous soldiers of death's superintendent, Yamarāja—begin to attack very severely. According to the Vedic system, before coming to such a stage one should leave home and take sannyāsa to preach the message of God for the duration of life. However, if one sits at home and is served by his beloved wife and children, he certainly becomes weaker and weaker due to sense gratification. When death finally comes, one leaves the body devoid of spiritual assets. At the present time, even the oldest man in the family does not leave home, being attracted by wife, children, money, opulence, dwelling, etc. Thus at the end of life one worries about how his wife will be protected and how she will manage the great family responsibilities.
At the end of life, a person thinks of what he has done throughout his whole life; thus he gets another body (dehāntara) according to his thoughts and desires at the end of life. One overly addicted to life at home naturally thinks of his beloved wife at the end of life. Consequently, in the next life he gets the body of a woman, and he also acquires the results of his pious or impious activities. In this chapter the acceptance of a woman's body by King Purañjana will be thoroughly explained.
The Sanskrit word strī means "expansion." Through the wife one expands his various objects of attraction—sons, daughters, grandsons and so on. Attachment to family members becomes very prominent at the time of death. One often sees that just before leaving his body a man may call for his beloved son to give him charge of his wife and other paraphernalia. He may say, "My dear boy, I am being forced to leave. Please take charge of the family affairs." He speaks in this way, not even knowing his destination.
The conclusion is that one cannot become a spiritual master unless he is a pure devotee of the Lord. One who is a spiritual master in accordance with the above descriptions of devotional service is to be understood as the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally present. According to the words mentioned here (gurur hariḥ), consulting a bona fide spiritual master means consulting the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally. One should therefore take shelter of such a bona fide spiritual master. Success in life means accepting a spiritual master who knows Kṛṣṇa as the only supreme beloved personality. One should worship such a confidential devotee of the Lord.
SB Canto 5
Even though engaged in worldly affairs, he does not take pleasure in them, but remains always absorbed in the Lord's service. While thus serving the Lord, he deals externally with worldly affairs without being affected. For example, although he has no attraction for his children, he cares for them and educates them to become devotees. Similarly, he speaks to his wife with affectionate words, but he is not attached to her. By rendering devotional service, a devotee acquires all the good qualities of the Supreme Lord. Lord Kṛṣṇa had sixteen thousand wives, all of them very beautiful, and although He dealt with each of them as a beloved husband, He was not attracted or attached to any of them. In the same way, although a devotee may enter family life and act very affectionately toward his wife and children, he is never attached to these activities.
Sometimes, due to bodily hunger and thirst, the conditioned soul becomes so disturbed that he loses his patience and becomes angry with his own beloved sons, daughters and wife. Thus, being unkind to them, he suffers all the more.
When the conditioned soul is embraced by his beloved wife, he forgets everything about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The more he becomes attached to his wife, the more he becomes implicated in family life. One Bengali poet, Bankim Chandra, says that to the eyes of the lover the beloved is always very beautiful, even though ugly. This attraction is called deva-māyā. The attraction between man and woman is the cause of bondage for both. Actually both belong to the parā prakṛti, the superior energy of the Lord, but both are actually prakṛti (female). However, because both want to enjoy one another, they are sometimes described as puruṣa (male).
"Lord Caitanya replied, 'Lord Kṛṣṇa has a specific characteristic. He attracts everyone's heart by the mellow of His personal conjugal love. By following in the footsteps of the inhabitants of the planet known as Vrajaloka or Goloka Vṛndāvana, one can attain the shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. However, the inhabitants of that planet do not know that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unaware that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, the residents of Vṛndāvana like Nanda Mahārāja, Yaśodādevī and the gopīs treat Kṛṣṇa as their beloved son or lover. Mother Yaśodā accepts Him as her son and sometimes binds Him to a grinding mortar. Kṛṣṇa's cowherd boy friends think He is an ordinary boy and get up on His shoulders. In Goloka Vṛndāvana no one has any desire other than to love Kṛṣṇa.' "
Another aspect of the Lord's instructions is that one who accepts a wife must be a faithful husband and give her full protection. Human society is divided into two classes of men—those who strictly follow the religious principles and those who are devotees. By His personal example, Lord Rāmacandra wanted to instruct both of them how to fully adopt the discipline of the religious system and how to be a beloved and dutiful husband. Otherwise He had no reason to undergo apparent tribulations. One who strictly follows religious principles must not neglect to provide all facilities for the complete protection of his wife.
A Vaiṣṇava is always firmly situated in transcendental bliss because of engagement in devotional service. Although he may appear to suffer material pains, his position is called transcendental bliss in separation (viraha). The emotions a lover and beloved feel when separated from one another are actually very blissful, although apparently painful. Therefore the separation of Lord Rāmacandra from Sītādevī, as well as the consequent tribulation they suffered, is but another display of transcendental bliss. That is the opinion of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura.
Since Lord Śrī Rāmacandra is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, He is not attached to anything in this material world. He is the most beloved Supersoul of all self-realized souls, and He is their very intimate friend. He is full of all opulences. Therefore He could not possibly have suffered because of separation from His wife, nor could He have given up His wife and Lakṣmaṇa, His younger brother. To give up either would have been absolutely impossible.
After hearing from the sun and moon demigods about Rāhu's attack, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, engages His disc, known as the Sudarśana cakra, to protect them. The Sudarśana cakra is the Lord's most beloved devotee and is favored by the Lord. The intense heat of its effulgence, meant for killing non-Vaiṣṇavas, is unbearable to Rāhu, and he therefore flees in fear of it. During the time Rāhu disturbs the sun or moon, there occurs what people commonly know as an eclipse.
SB Canto 6
"O Kṛṣṇa, beloved son of Nanda Mahārāja, I am Your eternal servant, but somehow or other I have fallen into this ocean of nescience, and although I am struggling very hard, there is no way I can save myself. If You kindly pick me up and fix me as one of the particles of dust at Your lotus feet, that will save me."
The demigods said: Beloved Viśvarūpa, may there be all good fortune for you. We, the demigods, have come to your āśrama as your guests. Please try to fulfill our desires according to the time, since we are on the level of your parents.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O beloved demigods, you have offered your prayers to Me with great knowledge, and I am certainly most pleased with you. A person is liberated by such knowledge, and thus he remembers My exalted position, which is above the conditions of material life. Such a devotee is fully purified by offering prayers in full knowledge. This is the source of devotional service to Me.
A pure devotee always yearns to associate personally with the Lord and render service unto Him. The examples given in this regard are most appropriate. A small baby bird is practically never satisfied except when the mother bird comes to feed it, a small calf is not satisfied unless allowed to suck the milk from the mother's udder, and a chaste, devoted wife whose husband is away from home is never satisfied until she has the association of her beloved husband.
To surrender to Kṛṣṇa means to surrender to His devotees also, for no one can be a proper servant of Kṛṣṇa unless he is a proper servant of a devotee. Chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā nistāra pāyeche kebā: without serving a servant of Kṛṣṇa, one cannot be elevated to being a servant of Kṛṣṇa Himself. Therefore mother Pārvatī spoke to Citraketu exactly like a mother who says to her naughty child, "My dear child, I am punishing you so that you won't do anything like this again." This tendency of a mother to punish her child is found even in mother Yaśodā, who became the mother of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mother Yaśodā punished Kṛṣṇa by binding Him and showing Him a stick. Thus it is the duty of a mother to chastise her beloved son, even in the case of the Supreme Lord. It is to be understood that mother Durgā was justified in punishing Citraketu. This punishment was a boon to Citraketu because after taking birth as the demon Vṛtrāsura, he was promoted directly to Vaikuṇṭha.
In dreams we sometimes enjoy eating sweet rice and sometimes suffer as if one of our beloved family members had died. Because the same mind and body exist in the same material world of duality when we are awake, the so-called happiness and distress of this world are no better than the false, superficial happiness of dreams. The mind is the via medium in both dreams and wakefulness, and everything created by the mind in terms of saṅkalpa and vikalpa, acceptance and rejection, is called manodharma, or mental concoction.
SB Canto 7
Different persons achieve different types of mukti-sāyujya, sālokya, sārūpya, sāmīpya and sārṣṭi—according to their own intense desire, which is called bhāva. Thus it is described here that the gopīs, by their lusty desires, which were based upon their intense love for Kṛṣṇa, became the most beloved devotees of the Lord. Although the gopīs at Vṛndāvana expressed their lusty desires in relationship with a paramour (parakīya-rasa), they actually had no lusty desires. This is significant of spiritual advancement. Their desires appeared lusty, but actually they were not the lusty desires of the material world. Caitanya-caritāmṛta compares the desires of the spiritual and material world to gold and iron. Both gold and iron are metal, but there is a vast difference in their value. The lusty desires of the gopīs for Kṛṣṇa are compared to gold, and material lusty desires are compared to iron.
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira inquired: O my lord, Nārada Muni, why was there such enmity between Hiraṇyakaśipu and his beloved son Prahlāda Mahārāja? How did Prahlāda Mahārāja become such a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa? Kindly explain this to me.
The human form of life affords one a chance to return home, back to Godhead. Therefore every living entity, especially in the human form of life, must engage in devotional service to the lotus feet of Lord Viṣṇu. This devotional service is natural because Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the most beloved, the master of the soul, and the well-wisher of all other living beings.
One should therefore glorify the Lord in the adoration of śānta-rasa or revive his eternal relationship with Viṣṇu as a servant in dāsya-rasa, a friend in sakhya-rasa, a parent in vātsalya-rasa or a conjugal lover in mādhurya-rasa. All these relationships are on the platform of love. Viṣṇu is the center of love for everyone, and therefore the duty of everyone is to engage in the loving service of the Lord. As stated by the Supreme Personality of Godhead (SB 3.25.38), yeṣām ahaṁ priya ātmā sutaś ca sakhā guruḥ suhṛdo daivam iṣṭam. In any form of life, we are related with Viṣṇu, who is the most beloved, the Supersoul, son, friend and guru. Our eternal relationship with God can be revived in the human form of life, and that should be the goal of education. Indeed, that is the perfection of life and the perfection of education.
SB Canto 8
O beloved husband, the fires, guests, servants and beggars are all being properly cared for by me. Because I always think of you, there is no possibility that any of the religious principles will be neglected.
SB Canto 9
Thus Sukanyā explained how her husband had received the beautiful body of a young man. When the King heard this he was very surprised, and in great pleasure he embraced his beloved daughter.
Mahārāja Daśaratha had three wives. One of them, Kaikeyī, served him very pleasingly, and he therefore wanted to give her a benediction. Kaikeyī, however, said that she would ask for the benediction when it was necessary. At the time of the coronation of Prince Rāmacandra, Kaikeyī requested her husband to enthrone her son Bharata and send Rāmacandra to the forest. Mahārāja Daśaratha, being bound by his promise, ordered Rāmacandra to go to the forest, according to the dictation of his beloved. And the Lord, as an obedient son, accepted the order immediately. He left everything without hesitation, just as a liberated soul or great yogī gives up his life without material attraction.
The Lord is neither impersonal nor impotent. Rather, He is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1), the eternal form of knowledge and bliss. Thus He has all the symptoms of spiritual bliss. Feeling separation from one's beloved is also an item of spiritual bliss. As explained by Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, rādhā-kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī-śaktiḥ: the dealings of love between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are displayed as the pleasure potency of the Lord. The Lord is the original source of all pleasure, the reservoir of all pleasure. Lord Rāmacandra, therefore, manifested the truth both spiritually and materially.
Seeing His wife in that condition, Lord Rāmacandra was very compassionate. When Rāmacandra came before her, she was exceedingly happy to see her beloved, and her lotuslike mouth showed her joy.
After many, many years of sexual relationships and enjoyment in the material world, King Yayāti finally became disgusted with such materialistic happiness. When satiated with material enjoyment, he devised a story of a he-goat and she-goat, corresponding to his own life, and narrated the story before his beloved Devayānī. The story is as follows. Once upon a time, while a goat was searching in a forest for different types of vegetables to eat, by chance he came to a well, in which he saw a she-goat. He became attracted to this she-goat and somehow or other delivered her from the well, and thus they were united.
The śāstra therefore advises that by intelligence one renounce the life of enjoyment. Without great endeavor, those with a poor fund of knowledge cannot give up sense enjoyment, especially in relation to sex, because a beautiful woman bewilders even the most learned man. King Yayāti, however, renounced worldly life and divided his property among his sons. He personally adopted the life of a mendicant, or sannyāsī, giving up all attraction to material enjoyment, and engaged himself fully in devotional service to the Lord. Thus he attained perfection. Later, when his beloved wife, Devayānī, was freed from her mistaken way of life, she also engaged herself in the devotional service of the Lord.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Yayāti was very much attached to woman. In due course of time, however, when disgusted with sexual enjoyment and its bad effects, he renounced this way of life and narrated the following story to his beloved wife.
My dearly beloved wife, daughter of Śukrācārya, in this world there was someone exactly like me. Please listen as I narrate the history of his life. By hearing about the life of such a householder, those who have retired from householder life always lament.
When the she-goat who had fallen into the well saw her beloved goat engaged in sexual affairs with another she-goat, she could not tolerate the goat's activities.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
O beloved son, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, when the bride and bridegroom were ready to start, conchshells, bugles, drums and kettledrums all vibrated in concert for their auspicious departure.
When a human being enters into the study of the Vedas to obtain vidyā, knowledge, he begins to take part in human civilization. Then he advances further to study the Upaniṣads and gain brahma jñāna, impersonal realization of the Absolute Truth, and then he advances still further, to sāṅkhya-yoga, in order to understand the supreme controller, who is indicated in Bhagavad-gītā (paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān/puruṣaṁ śāśvatam (BG 10.12)). When one understands that puruṣa, the supreme controller, to be Paramātmā, one is engaged in the method of yoga (dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ (SB 12.13.1)). But mother Yaśodā has surpassed all these stages. She has come to the platform of loving Kṛṣṇa as her beloved child, and therefore she is accepted to be on the highest stage of spiritual realization.
The Absolute Truth is realized in three features (brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11)), but she is in such ecstasy that she does not care to understand what is Brahman, what is Paramātmā or what is Bhagavān. Bhagavān has personally descended to become her beloved child. Therefore there is no comparison to mother Yaśodā's good fortune, as declared by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu (ramyā kācid upāsanā vrajavadhū-vargeṇa yā kalpitā).
In other words, Yamarāja also fears Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's devotees. Yet this Kṛṣṇa became so dependent on mother Yaśodā that when she simply showed Kṛṣṇa the stick in her hand, Kṛṣṇa admitted to being an offender and began to cry like an ordinary child. Mother Yaśodā, of course, did not want to chastise her beloved child very much, and therefore she immediately threw her stick away and simply rebuked Kṛṣṇa, saying, "Now I shall bind You so that You cannot commit any further offensive activities. Nor for the time being can You play with Your playmates." This shows the position of a pure devotee, in contrast with others, like jñānīs, yogīs and the followers of Vedic ritualistic ceremonies, in regarding the transcendental nature of the Absolute Truth.
Nanda Mahārāja was surprised that Yaśodā, Kṛṣṇa's mother, could have bound her beloved child in such a way. Kṛṣṇa was exchanging love with her. How then could she have been so cruel as to bind Him to the wooden mortar? Nanda Mahārāja understood this exchange of love, and therefore he smiled and released Kṛṣṇa. In other words, as Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, binds a living entity in fruitive activities, He binds mother Yaśodā and Nanda Mahārāja in parental affection. This is His pastime.
Lokasyājānato vidvāṁś cakre sātvata-saṁhitām (SB 1.7.6). The secret of success is unknown to people in general, and therefore Śrīla Vyāsadeva, being compassionate toward the poor souls in this material world, especially in this age of Kali, has given us the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-bhāgavataṁ purāṇam amalaṁ yad vaiṣṇavānāṁ priyam (SB 12.13.18). For Vaiṣṇavas who are somewhat advanced, or who are fully aware of the glories and potencies of the Lord, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is a beloved Vedic literature. After all, we have to change this body (tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13)). If we do not care about Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, we do not know what the next body will be. But if one adheres to these two books—Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—one is sure to obtain the association of Kṛṣṇa in the next life (tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so 'rjuna (BG 4.9)).
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
The aborigine women of the Vṛndāvana area become disturbed by lust when they see the grass marked with reddish kuṅkuma powder. Endowed with the color of Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, this powder originally decorated the breasts of His beloveds, and when the aborigine women smear it on their faces and breasts, they feel fully satisfied and give up all their anxiety.
Although the gopīs had been thoroughly cheated, deprived of their modesty, ridiculed and made to act just like toy dolls, and although their clothing had been stolen, they did not feel at all inimical toward Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Rather, they were simply joyful to have this opportunity to associate with their beloved.
The gopīs were addicted to associating with their beloved Kṛṣṇa, and thus they became captivated by Him. Thus, even after putting their clothes on they did not move. They simply remained where they were, shyly glancing at Him.
Taking along in large vessels the four kinds of foods, full of fine tastes and aromas, all the ladies went forth to meet their beloved, just as rivers flow toward the sea.
O ruler of men, for a long time those brāhmaṇa ladies had heard about Kṛṣṇa, their beloved, and His glories had become the constant ornaments of their ears. Indeed, their minds were always absorbed in Him. Through the apertures of their eyes they now forced Him to enter within their hearts, and then they embraced Him within for a long time. In this way they finally gave up the pain of separation from Him, just as sages give up the anxiety of false ego by embracing their innermost consciousness.
O Parīkṣit, beloved of the Kuru dynasty, upon the ceremonial bathing of Lord Kṛṣṇa, all living creatures, even those cruel by nature, became entirely free of enmity.
The moon then rose, anointing the face of the eastern horizon with the reddish hue of his comforting rays, and thus dispelling the pain of all who watched him rise. The moon was like a beloved husband who returns after a long absence and adorns the face of his beloved wife with red kuṅkuma.
For those gopīs who could not go to see Kṛṣṇa, intolerable separation from their beloved caused an intense agony that burned away all impious karma. By meditating upon Him they realized His embrace, and the ecstasy they then felt exhausted their material piety. Although Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Soul, these girls simply thought of Him as their male lover and associated with Him in that intimate mood. Thus their karmic bondage was nullified and they abandoned their gross material bodies.
Although Kṛṣṇa was their beloved, and although they had abandoned all other objects of desire for His sake, He had been speaking to them unfavorably. Nonetheless, they remained unflinching in their attachment to Him. Stopping their crying, they wiped their eyes and began to speak, their voices stammering with agitation.
Expert transcendentalists always direct their affection toward You because they recognize You as their true Self and eternal beloved. What use do we have for these husbands, children and relatives of ours, who simply give us trouble? Therefore, O supreme controller grant us Your mercy. O lotus-eyed one, please do not cut down our long-cherished hope to have Your association.
Because the beloved gopīs were absorbed in thoughts of their beloved Kṛṣṇa, their bodies imitated His way of moving and smiling, His way of beholding them, His speech and His other distinctive features. Deeply immersed in thinking of Him and maddened by remembering His pastimes, they declared to one another, "I am Kṛṣṇa!"
O friend, wife of the deer, has Lord Acyuta been here with His beloved, bringing great joy to your eyes? Indeed, blowing this way is the fragrance of His garland of kunda flowers, which was smeared with the kuṅkuma from the breasts of His girlfriend when He embraced Her.
O friend, wife of the deer, has Lord Acyuta been here with His beloved, bringing great joy to your eyes? Indeed, blowing this way is the fragrance of His garland of kunda flowers, which was smeared with the kuṅkuma from the breasts of His girlfriend when He embraced Her.
These footprints of that special gopī greatly disturb us. Of all the gopīs, She alone was taken away to a secluded place, where She is enjoying the lips of Kṛṣṇa. Look, we can't see Her footprints over here! It's obvious that the grass and sprouts were hurting the tender soles of Her feet, and so the lover lifted up His beloved.
Please observe, my dear gopīs, how in this place lusty Kṛṣṇa's footprints are pressed more deeply into the ground. Carrying the weight of His beloved must have been difficult for Him. And over here that intelligent boy must have put Her down to gather some flowers.
Just see how in this place dear Kṛṣṇa collected flowers for His beloved. Here He has left the impression of only the front part of His feet because He was standing on His toes to reach the flowers.
As the gopīs wandered about, their minds completely bewildered, they pointed out various signs of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes. The particular gopī whom Kṛṣṇa had led into a secluded forest when He had abandoned all the other young girls began to think Herself the best of women. "My beloved has rejected all the other gopīs," She thought, "even though they are driven by Cupid himself. He has chosen to reciprocate with Me alone."
Thus addressed, Lord Kṛṣṇa replied, "Just climb on My shoulder." But as soon as He said this, He disappeared. His beloved consort then immediately felt great remorse.
The gopīs said: O beloved, Your birth in the land of Vraja has made it exceedingly glorious, and thus Indirā, the goddess of fortune, always resides here. It is only for Your sake that we, Your devoted servants, maintain our lives. We have been searching everywhere for You, so please show Yourself to us.
O beloved, Your all-auspicious appearance vanquishes the distress of those living in Vraja's forests. Our minds long for Your association. Please give to us just a bit of that medicine, which counteracts the disease in Your devotees' hearts.
O dearly beloved! Your lotus feet are so soft that we place them gently on our breasts, fearing that Your feet will be hurt. Our life rests only in You. Our minds, therefore, are filled with anxiety that Your tender feet might be wounded by pebbles as You roam about on the forest path.
All the gopīs enjoyed the greatest festivity when they saw their beloved Keśava again. They gave up the distress of separation, just as people in general forget their misery when they gain the association of a spiritually enlightened person.
My dear girls, understanding that simply for My sake you had rejected the authority of worldly opinion, of the Vedas and of your relatives, I acted as I did only to increase your attachment to Me. Even when I removed Myself from your sight by suddenly disappearing, I never stopped loving you. Therefore, My beloved gopīs, please do not harbor any bad feelings toward Me, your beloved.
A tumultuous sound arose from the armlets, ankle bells and waist bells of the gopīs as they sported with their beloved Kṛṣṇa in the circle of the rāsa dance.
After an entire night of Brahmā had passed, Lord Kṛṣṇa advised the gopīs to return to their homes. Although they did not wish to do so, the Lord's beloved consorts complied with His command.
Now Kṛṣṇa is standing somewhere counting His cows on a string of gems. He wears a garland of tulasī flowers that bear the fragrance of His beloved, and He has thrown His arm over the shoulder of an affectionate cowherd boyfriend. As Kṛṣṇa plays His flute and sings, the music attracts the black deer's wives, who approach that ocean of transcendental qualities and sit down beside Him. Just like us cowherd girls, they have given up all hope for happiness in family life.
The gopīs then turned back, without hope that Govinda would ever return to them. Full of sorrow, they began to spend their days and nights chanting about the pastimes of their beloved.
Lord Janārdana took the conchshell that had grown around the demon's body and went back to the chariot. Then He proceeded to Saṁyamanī, the beloved capital of Yamarāja, the lord of death. Upon arriving there with Lord Balarāma, He loudly blew His conchshell, and Yamarāja, who keeps the conditioned souls in check, came as soon as he heard the resounding vibration. Yamarāja elaborately worshiped the two Lords with great devotion, and then he addressed Lord Kṛṣṇa, who lives in everyone's heart: "O Supreme Lord Viṣṇu, what shall I do for You and Lord Balarāma, who are playing the part of ordinary humans?"
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The supremely intelligent Uddhava was the best counselor of the Vṛṣṇi dynasty, a beloved friend of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and a direct disciple of Bṛhaspati.
The minds of those gopīs are always absorbed in Me, and their very lives are ever devoted to Me. For My sake they have abandoned everything related to their bodies, renouncing ordinary happiness in this life, as well as religious duties necessary for such happiness in the next life. I alone am their dearmost beloved and, indeed, their very Self. I personally sustain such devotees, who for My sake give up all worldly duties.
Thus speaking, the gopīs, whose words, bodies and minds were fully dedicated to Lord Govinda, put aside all their regular work now that Kṛṣṇa's messenger, Śrī Uddhava, had arrived among them. Constantly remembering the activities their beloved Kṛṣṇa had performed in His childhood and youth, they sang about them and cried without shame.
One of the gopīs, while meditating on Her previous association with Kṛṣṇa, saw a honeybee before Her and imagined it to be a messenger sent by Her beloved. Thus She spoke as follows.
O friend of My dear one, has My beloved sent you here again? I should honor you, friend, so please choose whatever boon you wish. But why have you come back here to take us to Him, whose conjugal love is so difficult to give up? After all, gentle bee, His consort is the goddess Śrī, and she is always with Him, staying upon His chest.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Having heard this, Uddhava then tried to pacify the gopīs, who were most eager to see Lord Kṛṣṇa. He thus began relating to them the message of their beloved.
My good ladies, now please hear your beloved's message, which I, the confidential servant of my master, have come here to bring you.
But the actual reason why I, the beloved object of your sight, have stayed far away from you is that I wanted to intensify your meditation upon Me and thus draw your minds closer to Me.
Does He recall those nights in the Vṛndāvana forest, lovely with lotus, jasmine and the bright moon? As we glorified His charming pastimes, He enjoyed with us, His beloved girlfriends, in the circle of the rāsa dance, which resounded with the music of ankle bells.
Calling forward His beloved, who was anxious and shy at the prospect of this new contact, the Lord pulled her by her bangled hands onto the bed. Thus He enjoyed with that beautiful girl, whose only trace of piety was her having offered ointment to the Lord.
(Trivakrā said:) O beloved, please stay here with me for a few days more and enjoy. I cannot bear to give up Your association, O lotus-eyed one!
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King, thus graced by Lord Kṛṣṇa, Mucukunda circumambulated Him and bowed down to Him. Then Mucukunda, the beloved descendant of Ikṣvāku, exited through the mouth of the cave.
The city's streets were cleansed by the intoxicated elephants belonging to the beloved kings who were guests at the wedding, and these elephants further enhanced the beauty of the city by placing trunks of plantain and betel-nut trees in all the doorways.
"I wish to visit King Videha, who is most dear to Me." O King, having said this, Lord Balarāma, the beloved descendant of Yadu, entered the city of Mithilā.
Lord Keśava arrived in Dvārakā and described the demise of Śatadhanvā and His own failure to find the Syamantaka jewel. He spoke in a way that would please His beloved, Satyabhāmā.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O beloved descendant of Kuru, the Supreme Lord was pleased, and after accepting a comfortable seat He smiled and addressed the King in a voice as deep as the rumbling of a cloud.
The Lord then went to the abode of Indra, the demigods' king, and gave mother Aditi her earrings; there Indra and his wife worshiped Kṛṣṇa and His beloved consort Satyabhāmā. Then, at Satyabhāmā's behest the Lord uprooted the heavenly pārijāta tree and put it on the back of Garuḍa. After defeating Indra and all the other demigods, Kṛṣṇa brought the pārijāta to His capital.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Rukmiṇī had thought herself especially beloved by the Lord because He never left her company. By saying these things to her He vanquished her pride, and then He stopped speaking.
Goddess Rukmiṇī had never before heard such unpleasantries from her beloved, the Lord of universal rulers, and she became frightened. A tremor arose in her heart, and in terrible anxiety she began to cry.
Seeing that His beloved was so bound to Him in love that she could not understand the full meaning of His teasing, merciful Lord Kṛṣṇa felt compassion for her.
The greatest pleasure worldly householders can enjoy at home is to spend time joking with their beloved wives, My dear timid and temperamental one.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, Queen Vaidarbhī was fully pacified by the Supreme Personality of Godhead and understood that His words had been spoken in jest. Thus she gave up her fear that her beloved would reject her.
There she found Pradyumna's son Aniruddha sleeping upon a fine bed. With her yogic power she took Him away to Śoṇitapura, where she presented her girlfriend Ūṣā with her beloved.
(Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued:) Thus scolded by the Lord, O King, the frightened river-goddess Yamunā came and fell at the feet of Śrī Balarāma, the beloved descendant of Yadu. Trembling, she spoke to Him the following words.
There he saw the Lord playing at dice with His beloved consort and His friend Uddhava. Lord Kṛṣṇa worshiped Nārada by standing up, offering him a seat, and so on, and then, as if He did not know, asked him, "When did you arrive? What can needy persons like Us do for those who are full in themselves? In any case, My dear brāhmaṇa, please make My life auspicious." Thus addressed, Nārada was astonished. He simply stood up silently and went to another palace.
Lying in her beloved's arms, Queen Vaidarbhī did not like this most auspicious hour, for it meant she would lose His embrace.
He treated me just like one of His brothers, making me sit on the bed of His beloved consort. And because I was fatigued, His queen personally fanned me with a yak-tail cāmara.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: While gazing at their beloved Kṛṣṇa, the young gopīs used to condemn the creator of their eyelids, (which would momentarily block their vision of Him). Now, seeing Kṛṣṇa again after such a long separation, with their eyes they took Him into their hearts, and there they embraced Him to their full satisfaction. In this way they became totally absorbed in ecstatic meditation on Him, although those who constantly practice mystic yoga find such absorption difficult to achieve.
Once, while traveling among the various planets of the universe, the Lord's beloved devotee Nārada went to visit the primeval sage Nārāyaṇa at His āśrama.
When this human body is used for Your devotional service, it acts as one's self, friend and beloved. But unfortunately, although You always show mercy to the conditioned souls and affectionately help them in every way, and although You are their true Self, people in general fail to delight in You. Instead they commit spiritual suicide by worshiping illusion. Alas, because they persistently hope for success in their devotion to the unreal, they continue to wander about this greatly fearful world, assuming various degraded bodies.
Lord Kṛṣṇa was the sole beloved of His sixteen thousand wives. Expanding Himself into that many forms, He enjoyed with each of His queens in her own richly furnished residence. On the grounds of these palaces were clear ponds fragrant with the pollen of blooming utpala, kahlāra, kumuda and ambhoja lotuses and filled with flocks of cooing birds. The almighty Lord would enter those ponds, and also various rivers, and enjoy sporting in the water while His wives embraced Him, leaving the red kuṅkuma from their breasts smeared on His body.
O sweet-throated cuckoo, in a voice that could revive the dead you are vibrating the same sounds we once heard from our beloved, the most pleasing of speakers. Please tell me what I can do today to please you.
My dear Uddhava, an intelligent person should never take to literatures that do not contain descriptions of My activities, which purify the whole universe. Indeed, I create, maintain and annihilate the entire material manifestation. Among all My pastime incarnations, the most beloved are Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. Any so-called knowledge that does not recognize these activities of Mine is simply barren and is not acceptable to those who are actually intelligent.
My dear Uddhava, O beloved of the Yadu dynasty, because you are My servant, well-wisher and friend, I shall now speak to you the most confidential knowledge. Please hear as I explain these great mysteries to you.
Dear Uddhava, all of those nights that the gopīs spent with Me, their most dearly beloved, in the land of Vṛndāvana seemed to them to pass in less than a moment. Bereft of My association, however, the gopīs felt that those same nights dragged on forever, as if each night were equal to a day of Brahmā.
When the great Battle of Kurukṣetra had ended, King Yudhiṣṭhira was overwhelmed by the death of many beloved well-wishers, and thus, after listening to instructions about many religious principles, he finally inquired about the path of liberation.
Beloved King Parīkṣit, I have narrated to you the topics you originally inquired about—the pastimes of Lord Hari, the Supreme Soul of the universe. Now, what more do you wish to hear?
O Lord, because fearlessness, spiritual happiness and the kingdom of God are all achieved through the mode of pure goodness, Your devotees consider this mode, but never passion and ignorance, to be a direct manifestation of You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Intelligent persons thus worship Your beloved transcendental form, composed of pure goodness, along with the spiritual forms of Your pure devotees.