In Rūpa Gosvāmī's Lalita-mādhava, it is said, "One day Kṛṣṇa happened to see the shadow of His beautiful form reflected on the jeweled foreground. Upon seeing this bodily reflection, He expressed His feelings: 'How wonderful it is that I have never seen such a beautiful form! Although it is My own form, still, like Rādhārāṇī, I am trying to embrace this form and enjoy celestial bliss.'" This statement shows how Kṛṣṇa and His shadow reflection are one and the same. There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa and His shadow reflection, nor between Kṛṣṇa and His picture. That is the transcendental position of Kṛṣṇa.
Celestial (CC & Other Books)
Lord Caitanya's movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is full of dancing and singing about the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. It is compared herein to the pure waters of the Ganges, which are full of lotus flowers. The enjoyers of these lotus flowers are the pure devotees, who are like bees and swans. They chant like the flowing of the Ganges, the river of the celestial kingdom. The author desires such sweetly flowing waves to cover his tongue. He humbly compares himself to materialistic persons who always engage in dry talk from which they derive no satisfaction. If they were to use their dry tongues to chant the holy name of the Lord—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—as exemplified by Lord Caitanya, they would taste sweet nectar and enjoy life.
“Just as the celestial waters of the Ganges flow unobstructed into the ocean, so when My devotees simply hear of Me, their minds come to Me, who reside in the hearts of all."
"My devotees, having fulfilled their desires by serving Me, do not accept the four kinds of salvation that are easily earned by such service. Why then should they accept any pleasures that are lost in the course of time?"
This verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (9.4.67) was spoken by the Lord in connection with the characteristics of Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. Merging into the existence of the Absolute is as temporary as living in the celestial kingdom. Both of them are controlled by time; neither position is permanent.
The Gandharvas, who are residents of Gandharvaloka, are celebrated as celestial singers. Whenever singing is needed in the celestial planets, the Gandharvas are invited to sing. The Gandharvas can sing continuously for days, and therefore Vakreśvara Paṇḍita wanted to dance as they sang.
The meeting of Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya with Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is vividly described in Madhya-līlā, Chapter Six. Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya wrote a book of one hundred verses named Caitanya-śataka or Suśloka-śataka. Two other verses he wrote, beginning with the words vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yoga (CC Madhya 6.254) and kālān naṣṭaṁ bhakti-yogaṁ nijaṁ yaḥ, are very famous among Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā (119) states that Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya was an incarnation of Bṛhaspati, the learned scholar from the celestial planets.
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī also comments in this connection that Lord Kṛṣṇa first appeared in the mind of Ānakadundubhi, Vasudeva, and was then transferred to the mind of Devakī-devī. Thus the spiritual bliss in the mind of Devakī-devī gradually increased, just as the moon increases every night until it becomes a full moon. At the time of His appearance, Lord Kṛṣṇa came out of the mind of Devakī and appeared within the prison house of Kaṁsa, by the side of Devakī’s bed. At that time, by the spell of yogamāyā, Devakī thought that her child had now been born. In this connection, even the demigods from the celestial kingdom were also bewildered. As it is stated, muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ (SB 1.1.1). They came to offer their prayers to Devakī, thinking that the Supreme Lord was within her womb. The demigods came to Mathurā from their celestial kingdom. This indicates that Mathurā is still more important than the celestial kingdom of the upper planetary system.
Dressing themselves as the wives of brāhmaṇas, all the celestial ladies, including the wives of Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, King Indra and Vasiṣṭha Ṛṣi, along with Rambhā, a dancing girl of heaven, came there with varieties of gifts.
When Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was a newborn baby, He was visited by the neighboring ladies, most of whom were the wives of respectable brāhmaṇas. In the dress of brāhmaṇas' wives, celestial ladies like the wives of Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva also came to see the newborn child. Ordinary people saw them as respectable brāhmaṇa ladies of the neighborhood , but actually they were all celestial ladies dressed in that way.
Sometimes, taking her son with her, mother Śacī would lie down on her bed, and she would see that denizens of the celestial world had come there, filling the entire house.
Mother Śacī said, “I also saw another wonder. People were coming down from the celestial kingdom and crowding the entire courtyard."
“‘Just as the celestial waters of the Ganges flow unobstructed into the ocean, so when My devotees simply hear of Me, their minds come to Me. I reside in the hearts of all."'
This verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.9.10) was spoken by Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He was answering the questions of Parīkṣit Mahārāja, who asked how the living entity falls down into the material world. Śukadeva Gosvāmī explained the cream of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in four verses, which had been explained to Lord Brahmā at the end of the severe austerities he performed for one thousand celestial years. At that time, Brahmā was shown the spiritual world and its transcendental nature.
All the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu should go to that lake and, remaining always under the shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, become swans and cakravāka birds in those celestial waters. They should go on rendering service to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and enjoy life perpetually. In this way all miseries will be diminished, the devotees will attain great happiness, and there will be jubilant love of God.
While resting in Satyabhāmā-pura, he dreamed that a celestially beautiful woman came before him and very mercifully gave him the following order.
“‘When Kṛṣṇa takes His bath in universally purifying rivers like the Yamunā and the Ganges of the celestial world, the great personalities of those rivers greedily and jubilantly drink the remnants of the nectarean juice from His lips.'"
"As an independent leader among elephants enters the water with its female elephants, Kṛṣṇa, who is transcendental to the Vedic principles of morality, entered the water of the Yamunā with the gopīs. His chest had brushed against their breasts, crushing His flower garland and coloring it with red kuṅkuma powder. Attracted by the fragrance of that garland, humming bumblebees followed Kṛṣṇa like celestial beings of Gandharvaloka. In this way, Lord Kṛṣṇa mitigated the fatigue of the rāsa dance."
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Nectar of Devotion
In the Vidagdha-mādhava there is the following statement: "When Kṛṣṇa was playing on His flute, Baladeva very anxiously declared, 'Just see how, after hearing the transcendental sound of Kṛṣṇa's flute, Indra, the King of heaven, is crying in his heavenly kingdom! And from his teardrops falling on the ground, Vṛndāvana appears to have become a celestial residence for the demigods.' "
It is the Vedic custom that a superior smells the heads of his subordinates when the subordinates offer respect to the superior by touching his feet. Similarly, Arjuna and Bhīma embraced Kṛṣṇa with great jubilation, and the two younger brothers, namely Nakula and Sahadeva, touched the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa with tears in their eyes and offered their respects. In this way all the five Pāṇḍava brothers enjoyed the fraternal friendship of Kṛṣṇa in transcendental mellow. Of the five Pāṇḍavas, Arjuna is the most intimately connected with Kṛṣṇa. He has a nice bow called Gāṇḍīva in his hand. His thighs are compared to the trunks of elephants, and his eyes are always reddish. When Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna are together on a chariot, they become celestial beauties, pleasing to the eyes of everyone. It is said that once Arjuna was lying on his bed with his head upon Kṛṣṇa's lap and was talking and joking with Kṛṣṇa in great relaxation, enjoying Kṛṣṇa's company with smiling and great satisfaction.
Easy Journey to Other Planets
Materialistic-minded men, who have no information of the kingdom of God, are always mad after material acquisition of wealth, fame and adoration. Such men are interested in the progressive weal of their particular family unit for their own self-satisfaction and so are also interested in the progress of social and national welfare. These men attain their desired objects by material activities. They are mechanically engaged in the ritualistic discharge of prescribed duties and are consequently inclined to satisfy the Pitās, or bygone forefathers, and controlling demigods by performance of sacrifices as prescribed by the revealed scriptures. Addicted to such acts of sacrifices and ceremonial observances, such souls enter into the moon after death. When one is thus promoted to the moon, he receives the capacity to enjoy the drinking of soma-rasa, a celestial beverage. The moon is a place where the demigod Candra is the predominating deity. The atmosphere and amenities of life there are far more comfortable and advantageous than those here on earth. After reaching the moon, if a soul does not utilize the opportunity for promotion to better planets, he is degraded and forced to return to earth or a similar planet. However, materialistic persons, although they may attain to the topmost planetary system, are certainly annihilated at the time of the cosmic manifestation's dissolution.
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
From above, the goddess addressed Kaṁsa: “You rascal, how can you kill me? The child who will kill you is already born before me somewhere within this world. Don’t be so cruel to your poor sister.” After this appearance, the goddess Durgā became known by various names in various parts of the world. After hearing these words, Kaṁsa became very much overwhelmed with fear. Out of pity, he immediately released Vasudeva and Devakī from the bondage of their shackles and very politely began to address them. He said, “My dear sister and brother-in-law, I have acted just like a demon in killing my own nephews—your children—and thereby I have given up all consideration of our intimate relationship. I do not know what will be the result of these envious acts of mine. Probably I shall be sent to the hell where killers of brāhmaṇas go. I am surprised, however, that the celestial prophecy has not come true. It is not only in human society that false propaganda is found. Now it appears that even the celestial denizens speak lies. Because I believed in the words of the celestial denizens, I have committed so many sins by killing the children of my sister. My dear Vasudeva and Devakī, you are both very great souls. I have no instructions to give you, but still I request that you not be sorry for the death of your children.
Vasudeva expressed his sorrow due to not being able to give protection to his own sons born of Devakī. He was thinking that religious principles, economic development and the satisfaction of his senses were therefore all lost. Upon hearing this, Nanda Mahārāja replied, "My dear Vasudeva, I know that you are very much aggrieved because the cruel king Kaṁsa has killed all your sons born of Devakī. Although the last child was a daughter, Kaṁsa could not kill her, and she has entered into the celestial planets. My dear friend, do not be aggrieved; we are all being controlled by our past unseen activities. Everyone is subjected to his past deeds, and one who is conversant with the philosophy of karma and its reactions is a man in knowledge. Such a person will not be aggrieved at any incident, happy or miserable."
When all the limbs of Pūtanā’s body were burning, the smoke emanating from the fire created a good aroma of aguru. This aroma was due to her being killed by Kṛṣṇa. This means that the demon Pūtanā was washed of all her sinful activities and attained a celestial body. Here is an example of how the Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-good: Pūtanā came to kill Kṛṣṇa, but because He sucked her milk, she was immediately purified, and her dead body attained a transcendental quality. Her only business was to kill small children; she was only fond of blood. But in spite of being envious of Kṛṣṇa, she attained salvation because she gave her milk to Him to drink.
When the boys saw the showering of flowers and heard the celestial sounds, they became struck with wonder. And when they saw Kṛṣṇa freed from the mouth of the great demon Bakāsura, all of them, including Balarāma, were so pleased that it seemed as if they had regained their very source of life. As soon as they saw Kṛṣṇa coming toward them, they one after another embraced the son of Nanda and held Him to their chests. After this, they assembled all the calves under their charge and began to return home.
"O Supersoul of the universe, let us bathe You with our milk, for You are our Indra. O Lord, You appear just to diminish the burden of impure activities on the earth.”
Then the surabhi cow bathed Kṛṣṇa with her milk, and Indra bathed Him with the water of the celestial Ganges through the trunk of his carrier elephant. After this, the surabhi cows and all the demigods and their mothers joined the heavenly king, Indra, in worshiping Lord Kṛṣṇa by bathing Him with Ganges water and the milk of the surabhis. Thus Govinda, Lord Kṛṣṇa, was pleased with all of them. The residents of all higher planetary systems, such as Gandharvaloka, Vidyādharaloka, Siddhaloka and Cāraṇaloka, all combined and glorified the Lord by chanting His holy name as their wives and damsels danced with great joy.
The demigods in the celestial planets showered flowers on Kṛṣṇa for His wonderful achievement. Kṛṣṇa was already the life and soul of the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, and after killing this demon in the shape of a bull, He became the cynosure of all eyes. With Balarāma, He triumphantly entered Vṛndāvana village, and the inhabitants glorified Him and Balarāma with great jubilation. When a person performs some wonderful feat, his kinsmen and relatives and friends naturally become jubilant.
Arjuna duly carried the message of the girl Kālindī to Kṛṣṇa, although Kṛṣṇa, as the Supersoul in everyone's heart, knew everything. Without further discussion, Kṛṣṇa immediately accepted Kālindī and asked her to sit down on the chariot. Then all of them approached King Yudhiṣṭhira. After this, Kṛṣṇa was asked by King Yudhiṣṭhira to help in constructing a suitable house to be planned by the great architect Viśvakarmā, the celestial engineer in the heavenly kingdom. Kṛṣṇa immediately called for Viśvakarmā and made him construct a wonderful city according to the desire of King Yudhiṣṭhira. When this city was constructed, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira requested Kṛṣṇa to live with them a few days more to give them the pleasure of His association. Lord Kṛṣṇa accepted the request of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and remained there for many days more.
Actually, Kṛṣṇa had purposely taken His wife Satyabhāmā with Him so that she could collect the pārijāta with her own hand. But the denizens of the heavenly planets, including Indra, were very irritated. Without their permission, Satyabhāmā had uprooted a pārijāta tree, which is not to be found on the earth planet. Indra, along with other demigods, offered opposition to Kṛṣṇa and Satyabhāmā for taking away the tree, but in order to please His favorite wife Satyabhāmā, Kṛṣṇa became determined and adamant, so there was a fight between the demigods and Kṛṣṇa. As usual, Kṛṣṇa came out victorious, and He triumphantly brought the pārijāta tree chosen by His wife to this earth planet, to Dvārakā. After this, the tree was installed in the palace garden of Satyabhāmā. On account of this extraordinary tree, the garden house of Satyabhāmā became extraordinarily beautiful. As the pārijāta tree came down to the earthly planet, the fragrance of its flowers also came down, and the celestial drones migrated to this earth in search of their fragrance and honey.
To the citizens who came to see the Lord and all the assembled sages, it seemed as though the sun were present along with his various satellite planets. In that journey, Lord Kṛṣṇa and the sages passed through the kingdoms of Ānarta, Dhanva, Kuru-jāṅgala, Kaṅka, Matsya, Pāñcāla, Kuntī, Madhu, Kekaya, Kośala and Arṇa, and thus all the citizens of these places, both men and women, could see Lord Kṛṣṇa face to face. In this way they enjoyed celestial happiness, with open hearts full of love and affection for the Lord, and when they saw the face of the Lord, it seemed to them that they were drinking nectar through their eyes. When they saw Kṛṣṇa, all the ignorant misconceptions of their lives dissipated.
Upon being embraced, the wives of the Lord would feel on their mouths a clear indication of conjugal love, and this would create an atmosphere of spiritual bliss. When the garland on the neck of the Lord then touched the breasts of the queens, their whole bodies became covered with saffron yellow. Being engaged in their celestial pastimes, the queens forgot themselves, and their loosened hair appeared like beautiful waves of a river. When the queens sprinkled water on the body of Kṛṣṇa or He sprinkled water on the bodies of the queens, the whole situation appeared just like that of an elephant enjoying in a lake with many she-elephants.
Light of the Bhagavata
All these various planets are within the universe in which our planet is situated. Persons who are too materialistic always engage in sense enjoyment. Such persons worship the material demigods and goddesses to fulfill their material desires. They are fond of performing many yajñas to propitiate the various demigods and the forefathers in heaven. Such persons are automatically promoted to the moon, where they enjoy soma, a celestial beverage.
The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is always filled with transcendental bliss (ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt). When He was present at Vṛndāvana in India five thousand years ago, He always remained in transcendental bliss, even from the beginning of His childhood pastimes. The killings of various demons—such as Agha, Baka, Pūtanā and Pralamba—were but pleasure excursions for Him. In His village of Vṛndāvana He enjoyed Himself with His mother, brother and friends, and when He played the role of a naughty butter thief, all His associates enjoyed celestial bliss by His stealing. The Lord's fame as a butter thief is not reproachable, for by stealing butter the Lord gave pleasure to His pure devotees. Everything the Lord did in Vṛndāvana was for the pleasure of His associates there. The Lord created these pastimes to attract the dry speculators and the acrobats of the so-called haṭha-yoga system who wish to find the Absolute Truth.