Mahanidhi Swami

Our acharyas advise us that on the path of raganuga-bhakti sadhana one must first read gaura-lila in order to successfully approach and benefit from reading Radha-Krishna’s vraja-lila. If possible, it’s best to read a particular gaura-lila that is analogous to the vraja-lila you intend to read or hear.

For example, first read about Gaura-Gadadhara’s nishanta-lila (3.36-6 a.m.), waking in the flower groves of Srivasa Thakura’s estate before reading Radha-Madhava’s nikunja bhanga lila in Nidhivana during the same time.

This practice is called Gaurachandrika, which means the moonbeams (chandrika) of Lord Gauranga’s most merciful and purifying lilas illuminate the dark forest path within our hearts to show us the way to the brilliantly, blissful keli-nikunjas, wherein Vrindavanachandra forever relishes conjugal intimacies with His dearly beloved Radha.

Before we narrate the beautiful story of Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s appearance, let’s hear the acharyas conclusions regarding the interplay of Gaura and Krishna lila.

Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati said (Sri Chaitanya-chandramrta 88), “As much as you are devoted to the lotus feet Lord Gaura, to that same extent the ocean of nectar at the lotus feet of Sri Radha will automatically arise in your heart” (gaura-padaravinde bhaktim…radha-padambhoja-sudhambu-rasih).”

Sri Narahari dasa an eternal intimate associate of both Gaura and Govinda reveals the essential contribution of Lord Chaitanya to raganuga-bhakti. In one bhajana, “Yadi Gaura Na Hoito”, he said, “If Mahaprabhu had not come to this world, who would have ever understood the glories of Sri Radha’s unlimited prema-rasa? And from whom would one get the power to render ecstatic devotional service that follows in the footsteps of the damsels of Vraja?” (radhar mahima, prema-rasa-sima, jagate janato ke, baraja-yuvati, bhaver bhakati, shakati hoito kar)

Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja (Cc. 2.25.271) wonderfully describes the sweet connection between gaura and krisna-lila: “Krishna lila is the essence of bliss ambrosia flowing in all directions in hundreds of rivers. Chaitanya lila is an imperishable reservoir of nectar, saturated with the pastimes of Krishna. O swanlike mind, please wander in this transcendental lake” (krishna-lila amrta sara, caitanya-lila sarovara).

In Prarthana, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, “If you submerge yourself in the rasa-filled ocean of Gaura prema, you will become a confidential servant of Radha-Madhava” (gaura-prema rasarnave se, tarange yeba dube, se radha-madhava antaranga)

Following the principle of Gaurachandrika, we will first narrate from Chaitanya Caritamrta (2.15.17-31) how Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates celebrated Sri Krishna Jayanti. Then we will recount Madhukantaji’s wonderful narration of Krishna’s exciting birthday extracted from Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s Gopala Champu.

Every year, Gauranga’s bhaktas would relish the four months of Chaturmasya in Jagannatha Puri observing various spiritual festivals in the blissful association of Mahaprabhu. One year they celebrated Krishna Janmastami and Nandotsava, the day after. Everyone including Mahaprabhu dressed up as a cowherd boys (prabhu gopa vesh).

Everyone carried pots of milk and yogurt balanced on rods over their shoulders, and walked to the Janmastami festival grounds chanting euphorically, “Hari, Hari!” Kanai Khuntiya dressed as Nanda Maharaja and Jagannatha Mahiti dressed as Vrajeshvari Yasoda. Mahaprabhu danced jubilantly, and all the bhaktas began to throw milk, yogurt and turmeric (haldi) water on each other to celebrate Sri Krishna’s birthday.

At this time, Advaita Acharya jestfully challenged Gaura Gopala, “I’ll believe You’re a cowherd boy only if You can wheel this lagudi (a stick carried by gopas).”

Mahaprabhu then wheeled His lagudi around and around, and repeatedly tossed it into the sky and caught it when it fell. Gaura Gopala threw the rod over His head, behind His back, in front of Him, and between His legs. Gauranga’s display of expertise in this playful art of the Vraja gopas, brought uproarious laughter to one and all. As His grand finale, Gaurasundara astonished everyone by whirling His lagudi so rapidly in a circle that it appeared like a firebrand (alata-cakra).

Entering the deep mood of Gaura’s sakhya-prema (gopa-bhaava gudha), Nitai-Balarama picked up His lagudi and also whirled it about in amazing ways. In this way, Gauranga-sundara experienced the greatest ecstasy observing the Janmastami festival of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who is non-different from Himself.

In Gopal Champu, Sri Jiva Goswamipada describes the appearance of Sri Krishna thus: One night when all his family members had assembled in the palace entertainment hall, Nanda Baba asked Madhukanta, a court pandita and reciter, to narrate the lila of Krishna’s birth, Janmastami.

Thus Madhukanta spoke: One day Nanda Baba said to Vrajeshvari (Yasoda), “O devi! I see very attractive child with a dark complexion and long lotus petal eyes playing on your lap. And milk is profusely flowing from your breasts. O my priya-patni! Tell me the truth. Is this a dream or is this jewel-like child within your womb?”

Then some time later, a middle-aged, saffron-clad yogini arrived in Nandagrama accompanied by a slightly chubby brahmana boy. Introducing herself to Nanda Baba she said, “My name is Paurnamasi and this boy is my grandson, Madhumangala. O Baba, I can predict the future, and I see that you will have a most beautiful and sensational son who fill the universe with bliss.”

After a some months had passed, Yasoda Ma had a vision of a celestial child entering the lotus of her heart and a divine maiden (Yogamaya) entering her womb. The presence of the Bhagavan Sri Krishna within her womb made Yasoda Ma radiant like a thousand suns. Understanding she was pregnant, all the elderly gopis of Nanda Vraja brought gifts and auspicious items to offer Yasoda. As it often happens with pregnant mothers, Yasoda Ma had a craving to eat tulasi decorated rice mixed with camphor and lots of ghee and sugar, a favorite of Gopala.

On Wednesday, Bhadra krishna-astami, as the moon rose in the Rohini star during a harsha-yoga, Krishnachandra, the ocean of surprises, appeared to relish the intense motherly love of Yasoda Ma. Baby Krishna’s tender body was more effulgent than a brilliant blue sapphire. The moon of Nandulala’s face conquered the full moon. Gopala’s eyes resembled astonishing lotuses. Krishna’s lovely hands were more splendorous than the newly unfurled leaves of a celestial desire tree. Gopala cried sweetly while slightly moving His splendid hands and feet.

While gazing lovingly at her newborn, Yasoda thought, “Is He an empire of radiant darkness? Is He the topmost object of beauty for the eyes to see?” When the child cried at this time, Yasoda Ma took it to mean, “Yes, Yes Indeed I am all that and much more!”

When the village ladies came to see the baby, they all became overwhelmed with motherly affection. Gathering around Yasoda’s bed, they gazed at Gopala and started chattering excitedly. One lady said, “Ah! I will caress His darling head.” A second lady said, “I want to offer my very self to His heart and reside there forever.” While looking lovingly upon the Lord of Love, each lady expressed her personal desires.

Although Yasoda Ma gazed continually at her baby Gopala, she could not satiate her thirst. Streams of nectar poured from her breasts and tears of trickled from her loving eyes.

Concluding the story of Krishna’s birth, Madhukanta said, “O Nanda Baba! Your son Gopala bestows extraordinary auspiciousness to the people of Vraja, and gives the highest bliss to the people of the universe.”

Though not speaking this openly to the assembly, Madhukanta thought the following after narrating the pastime of Krishna’s appearance: “These Vrajavasis have a unique perfection, for there is nothing but Krishna in their hearts. All their heart’s affection is for Krishna alone. And Krishna will only reveal Himself to a devotee whose heart is full of love for Him. Thus Sri Krishna is always present in the hearts of these Vrajavasis.

Sri Krishna Jayanti ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Nand Ke Anand Bhayo Jai ho nand lal ki

Nand ke anand bhayo Jai Kanhiya lal ki

Hey Braj mein anand bhayo Jai Yashoda lal ki

Nand ke anand bhayo Jai Kanhiya lal ki

Hey anand umang bhayo Jai ho nand lal ki

Gokul ke anand bhayo Jai Kanhiya lal ki

Jai Yashoda lal ki Jai ho Nand lal ki

Hathi, ghoda, palki Jai Kanhiya lal ki


All glories to the darling boy of Vraja we call Nandalal, Yashodalal and Kanhaiyalal ki jai! That sweet boy of Gokula fills Nanda Baba’s heart with bliss. Celebrating the wonderful birth of his matchless child, Nanda Baba profusely gave in charity elephants, horses and lavishly decorated palanquins.”

Sri Krishna ki jai ho!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Krishna

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By:Mahanidhi Swami

As an innocent and pure, tender sweet baby of six days, Gopala annihilated a most powerful mystic yogini—a nasty witch named Putana! Before meeting her “Angel of Death”, Putana Rakshasi was traveling through the sky all over Vraja Mandala ruthlessly murdering newborn babies and fiendishly sucking their blood.

Nevertheless, even though Putana was a ferocious, cruel evil witch who came to murder our most adorable and worshipable baby, Gopala liberated her! But not only that wonderful promotion.

In addition, the all-merciful Lord Sri Krishna gave her a spiritual body (siddha-deha), and promoted Putana to Goloka Vrndavana to serve in a mood of motherly love. Isn’t this the most inconceivable display of dispensing the topmost degree of causeless mercy to a totally undeserving entity!!

Sri Brahmaji was totally amazed by this. So he praised Sri Krishna for it in his Brahma Stuti: “This wicked witch Putana came to kill you, although she dressed like a devoted cowherd lady of Vraja. But You gave such blessings to her, so I cannot even imagine how You will reward the Vrajavasis who love You absolutely, and have offered everything they have for Your pleasure!” (SB 10.14.35)

Sri Uddhava Mahashaya was so astounded by this karuna-lila of Krishna that he once glorified it in an outburst of ecstasy:

aho baki yam stana-kala-kutam!!!

jighamsaya apayayad apy asadhvi

lebhe gatià dhatry ucitam tato ’nyam

kam va dayalum sharanam vrajema

O! Evil Putana [baki, sister of Bakasura], who offered her poisonous breast, smeared with the most deadly kala-kuta poison, to Krishna to drink with the intention of killing Him, attained the position of a nurse in the spiritual world. Who else is so merciful? I surrender to Krishna! (SB 3.2.23)

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada comments (SB 10.6): “Putana Rakshasi pretended to have the sentiments of a mother, and came to Krishna in the dress of a devotee. This shows that despite one’s intentions, even if one just dresses as a devotee and pretends to render some seva, he will get emancipated.

“Such a unique pastime clearly and beautifully shows Sri Krishna’s quality of giving pure bhakti and liberation to Goloka Vrindavana, even to those who hate him.

“Putana attained a status “like a nurse” (dhatri), but not like Ambika and Kalimba—Govinda’s eternal nursemaids in Krishnaloka. Why? Putana’s heart was filled with sukhaishvarya, reverential happiness, and not service in prema. So Putana was kept at distance from Damodara as an indirect nurse.”

Cakravartipada continues, “If a demoniac rakshasi like Putana could attain the highest destination, will a sincere devotee of Bhagavan Sri Krishna not attain the highest award? Surely he/she will.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada adds, “There is a deeper meaning to Sri Krishna’s most merciful act of killing Putana at the very beginning of His prakata-lila on Earth. This incredible pastime attracts all classes of devotees to Sri Krishna’s sweeter than sweet qualities of compassion upon the wicked and protection of His bhaktas.

In closing, I must say whose heart will not flood with hope after hearing how Krishna mercifully redeems even the most fallen—a wicked murderous witch?

Now let us pray for the mercy of parama krpalu, Putanari Sri Krishna while crying out the following prayer of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura:

“O Gopinatha! I am a wretched person full of laziness and bad qualities. And I am a wicked materialist addicted to all kinds of worldly desires. But You my Lord Gopinatha can do anything, and You have delivered many sinners in the past.

“However, I am so sinful that although all the demons [like Putana Rakshasi] attained Your lotus feet, only I am left behind. O Gopinatha! Piteously weeping, I beg for Your mercy.”

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Devotees often ask, “If the Vrajavasis loved Krishna so much, then why didn’t they go to Mathura to meet their dearest after Akrura whisked Krishna away from their hearts one dismal day in February? After all, Mathura is only eight kilometers from Vrndavana.”

For the following five reasons, the Vrajavasis did not go to Mathura:

1) Sweet Intimate Pastimes:

Mathura and Dvaraka are filled with opulence and grandeur (aishwarya), formality and social etiquette which generate an atmosphere of awe and reverence that creates a bridge between loving hearts. Vaikuntha is God’s office and Vrndavana is God’s playground. Only here in Vrndavana, and nowhere else, can Krishna experience the sweet and natural, free-flowing, uninhibited love of the Vrajavasis. In Vrndavana, Krishna carries Nanda’s slippers on head; Yasoda bathes Krishna in cow urine and dung; Govinda carries the winning gopas upon His shoulders; Madhava massages Radha’s feet and bathes them with His tears to mollify Her maan; and Krishna sometimes dons a female disguise to meet Radha in Her in-laws home. In nowhere else but Vraja Dhama can such inconceivably close and warm loving exchanges take place. Thus the Vrajavasis could not leave Vrndavana, and visit Krishna in Mathura.

2) Faith in Krishna’s Promise:

Because of their innocence and simple love, the Vrajavasis had full faith in Krishna’s promise that He would return soon. Thus they patiently awaited Krishna’s arrival.”

3) Memories

Although the Vrajavasis were all burning in separation from Krishna, they sustained their lives by remembering Krishna’s lilas in the fields, forests and towns of Vraja. Memories connect separated hearts.

4) News Reports

The regular visits of Narada Muni and Uddhava to Vraja, bringing the latest news of Krishna’s activities in Mathura, gave immense pleasure. Thus the Vrajavasis remained in Vrndavana, because for them, Vrndavana was Krishna and Krishna was Vrndavana.

5) Prevent Suffering for Krishna

The Vrajavasis felt so distressed without Krishna that they wanted to give up their bodies. But they didn’t, because they thought it would cause too much pain to Krishna when He finds out. So they dragged on somehow maintaining their lives.

Our goal is Vrndavana and Vraja Prema; to lovingly serve Radha and Krishna like the Vrajavasis do in Vrndavana. I have revealed here just one drop from the unlimited ocean of attachment for Krishna that the Vrajavasis swim in. By hearing this, we can get a little understanding of the degree and depth of their absolutely selfless, totally self-sacrificing pure divine love for Krishna.

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Scriptures state that Bhagavan Sri Krishna has 64 transcendental qualities exhibited in their highest degree. Sri Krishna’s good qualities are also inexhaustible, unlimited in quantity and eternally existing. Exalted personalities like Brahma and Siva can possess 55 of these qualities, and living entities like ourselves can have 50 of these qualities in a minute quantity for a brief time.

In Priti Sandarbha, Sri Jiva Goswamipada lists seventeen unique qualities possessed only by Bhagavan Sri Krishna. While chanting nama-japa, one can remember these divine qualities of our Sweet Lord Shyama, and thus mentally worship Krishna’s most wonderful and variegated Personality.

1. Power to attain ANYTHING simply by desiring it.

2. Complete control over a host of achintya-shaktis.

3. Sole resting place of perfect goodness.

4. Protector of all the worlds.

5. Grants Vaikuntha residence to demons He kills.

6. Attractive to all liberated souls.

7. Served by Brahma, Siva, all demigods and sages.

8. Krishna’s spiritual form contains inconceivable transcendental potencies.

9. Krishna’s beauty and other virtues are limitless, eternally new and fresh.

10. In His purusha-avatara forms, Sri Krishna controls the world of Maya.

11. Krishna is God—the generator, operator and destroyer of the material worlds.

12. Krishna is the source of all avataras.

13. Unlimited material universes reside in the pores of His transcendental form.

14. Within His form as the original Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan Sri Krishna has all the inconceivable potencies and transcendental qualities of Vishnu, Narayana, Vasudeva and all other divine expansions.

15. Sri Krishna gives liberation and devotional service to the demons He kills.

16. Sri Krishna’s divine form and features display a wonderful, incomparable sweetness.

17. Association with Krishna brings a perfect bliss—far, far beyond anything the material mind and senses can ever know.

Ananda Khanda Bhagavan Sri Krishna ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Many yogis meditate on the seven chakras, psychic energy centers within the human body, and on the anahata naad (shabda). This anahata naad is the unstruck mysticsound. It is not the sound produced by striking or beating something. It is an internal sound heard within the cave of the heart during the deep stage of meditation. The Yoga sastras state that there are from 5 —- 13 different sounds, i.e., sea waves, bells, conch etc.; which are perceivable within the heart during deep concentration. Of all these sounds, yogis say that when one hears the flute sound, his entire being is permeated with Divine bliss and he loses body consciousness.

The result of the flute sound resembles the experience of the elegant young ladies of Vraja who faint in ecstasy upon hearing Syama’s sweet song. Upon hearing the bewildering sound of Syama’s murali, doe-eyed damsels become stunned. Their heads pins and their jeweled tiaras whirl and fall off. Abandoning all other duties, the sakhis scurry off to meet Syama.

Acaryas say Krsna’s flute sound is the Mahamantra svarupa, the very form of the greatest mesmerising mantra. At the beginning of the Rasa dance, Syama engages the spell-binding magic of this Mahamantra to bring His beloveds to His side. The sweet seductive sound of Syama’s murali is hidden within the all-powerful Kama Gayatri chanted meticulously everyday by yogis of devotion, Krsna’s bhaktas.

“ O Syama! O all-attractive flute player of Vraja! When will you cast your spell on me and call me to your side by manifesting the Mahamantra of your enchanting flute song as I chant mystic Kama Gayatri. Other than this, I have no other desire or kama.”

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

10.9 (ten years nine months) leaves Vrndavana for Mathura, kills Kamsa, installs Ugrasena as king.

10.10 Goes to Avantipura, 2 months schooling with Sandipani Muni.

12 years Kåñëa returns to Mathura; sends letters to Vrndavana with Uddhava, who remains in Vrndavana for two months pacifying the Vrajavasis with Kåñëa-katha.

12.2 Kåñëa visits Vrndavana for two months as a cowherd boy enjoying with the gopis and other Vrajavasis; returns to Mathura and stays about 24 years.

38 Kåñëa moves to Dvaraka, midway in His 36th year.

44 Kåñëa attends Kuruksetra solar eclipse; meets Vrsnis and Vrajavasis, especially Sri Radha and the Vraja-gopis.

44.3 Kåñëa stays three months in Kuruksetra associating with the Vrajavasis.

45? Or so Kåñëa returns to Vrndavana after killing Dantavakra near Mathura.

45.2 Sri Kåñëa returns to Dvaraka after two month stay in Vraja. Sri Kåñëa remained in Våndävana in His unmanifest form as He always does. This time, however, Sri Kåñëa was visible to the Vraja-väsés, and thus they were able to associate with Kåñëa constantly.

57 Sri Kåñëa at Kuruksetra, where Pandavas win the war.

110 Dvaraka; Çrématé Rädhäräëé, along with Her other svakéya-gopé expansions, come to Dvärakä and Sri Kåñëa marries them. Then Sri Kåñëa stays in Dvärakä, with the svakéya-gopé expansions and His queens, for another fourteen years.

125 Sri Kåñëa returns to Goloka, thus closing His earthly pastimes.

By: Mahanidhi Swami

With a graceful movement of his hand extended from his compassionate heart, he drops a few wisps of cotton soaked in scent on my open palm.

Overwhelmed by the intensely rich herbal/floral fragrance, I immediately blurt out, “Wow, what an amazing aroma! O Pujari ji, what is this smell? It is most the unusual and captivating aroma my nose has ever experienced!”

This amazing mercy is called Thakuraji’s prasadi scent (sugandhi, itra), which devotees regularly receive when visiting temples in Vrindavana. It is special and uniquely fragrant for two reasons—the exotic natural oils comprising it; and its contacting the divine transcendental bodies of Radha-Krishna when They smelled it.

This is the secret of its remarkable aroma and captivating effect on our consciousness. Even without any additional scents, oils or perfumes the beautiful divine forms of Radha-Shyama naturally emit the most exotic and intoxicatingly attractive aromas. So it is not so much the exotic herbal/floral oils as it is the direct contact with Priya and Priyatama.

If just smelling Sri Krishna’s prasadi scent is so sensational and transformational, just imagine the experience of directly smelling Krishna’s body?

Now let’s read some descriptions of the incredible fragrance of Radha-Krishna’s perfect original forms and the astonishing effects it produces.

During the Maha Rasa dance, the Vraja-gopis frantically searched for Shyama who had secretly slipped away with Sri. Although not finding Yugala Kishora, the damsels suddenly smelled the attractive aroma of Their divine bodies. In the madness of separation, the girls asked the forest deer, “Have you seen Acyuta pass by? The breeze here is carrying the fragrance of Shyama’s flower garland mixed with kunkuma from the breasts of His beloved when He embraced Her.” (sb 10.30.11)

“Placing Kishori His lap, Krishna runs His handsome fingers through Syama-jivani’s curly black hair while repeatedly smelling the fragrance of Kalyani’s golden lotus flower face. Kanu then raises Rai’s beautiful chin and repeatedly kisses Radha’s bimba fruit lips. Please meditate on this Sri Krishna, the shrngara murtiman, reigning Deity of conjugal love in Vrindavana.” Vrindavana-mahimamtra 6.31)

One day in Jagannatha Puri, Mahaprabhu was deeply absorbed in Radhika’s mahabhava. Then Gaurahari started speaking like Sri Radha telling Her sakhis how much She hankered to smell the celestial scent of Shyama’s body (Krishna-gandha-lubdha).

Radhika said, “The waves of scent emanating naturally from Kåñëa’s transcendental body conquer the aromatic smell of musk and a bluish lotus flower. It spreads everywhere, attracts the minds of all women and then blinds them.

“The eight lotus-like parts of Liladhara’s body (face, navel, eyes, palms and feet) emanate the compelling fragrance of lotuses mixed with camphor. That scent is associated with Krishna’s body. The scent of all these substances— musk, aguru, camphor, kunkuma, and sandalwood combine with Kåñëa’s own natural bodily fragrance to steal the mind of Cupid.” (Cc. 3.19.90-96)

The scent of Shyama’s elegant form certainly induces erotic desires, but sometimes it induces mirth and merry in hasya rasa. Srila Rupa Goswamipada explains:

“One day after Krishna stole yogurt from two gopis, He addressed one: “O Priya Sundari! I swear that I haven’t taken even a drop of yogurt from your pot! But still your sakhi Radha keeps shamelessly smelling the fragrance of My mouth. Kindly forbid Sumukhi from this devious policy of putting Her face near Mine.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu cp. 33)

However, the mind of that Madhusudana, whose bodily smell steals the minds of all creatures, is Himself completely captivated by Radha’s superb bodily fragrance. Once Sri Krishna said, “Although My body makes the whole universe sweet smelling, My mind and heart are stolen by the fragrance of Radha’s body (mora citta-prana hare radha-anga-gandha).”(Cc. 1.4.245)

Srila Sanatana Goswamipada adds: “Finally Krishna came down from the kadamba tree to return the clothes He had stolen from Vraja kumaris. But when Shyama smelled the sweet fragrance of the young gopis’ charming lotus faces He forgot everything. (Gopala Champu purva 3.21.34)

Sri Krishna’s transcendental fragrance is powerful and causes tremendous effects within His devotees. Besides fully satiating one’s sense of smell, it also purifies one of material desires and attachments. During Sri Krishna’s mathura-lila, the young girl Kubja was instantly freed from all lusty desires simply by smelling the fragrance of Sri Krishna’s sweet lotus feet. (sb 10.48.7)

By once smelling the natural fragrance of Narayana’s lotus feet mixed with tulasé, the Four Kumaras upgraded their spiritual perception and became blissful personalists.

King Ambarisha, famous for engaging every aspect of his body in Krishna’s service, used his nose to smell the fragrance of tulasi offered to Lord Krishna. (sb 9.4.19)

When Srila Sanatana Goswamipada simply smelled the divine fragrance of the kheer prasadam offered by Sri Rupa, which Sriji had brought earlier, he felt extraordinary happiness in his heart.” (Bhakti-ratnakara)

While delineating the daily practices for sadhakas treading the path of love divine, Srila Rupa Goswamipada said, “Smelling the fragrance of incense, garlands, and scents offered to Sri Krishna is the 39th limb of bhakti sadhana (dhüpa-malyadi-saurabha-grahanam). We often relish the seva of smelling Krishna’s scents, but do we think deeply over the depth of the experience?

In Utkalika vallarih (30) Srila Rupa Goswamipada prays to experience the delightful bodily fragrance of Radha Govinda Yugala.

“O king of lovers and crest jewel of consorts, Radha-Madhava! Just a whiff of Your glorious fragrance humbles all other aromas. When will the honeybee of my nose experience a festival of bliss by inhaling the luxuriant scent of Your blazing golden and bluish limbs, smeared with musk and kunkuma?”

A mere drop from that surging stream of Radha-Shyama’s divine fragrance completely smothers the full spectrum of all other smells. So whenever we fortunately receive Thakurjis’ prasadi scent, we should think, “This amazingly enchanting smell is a drop from the unlimited ocean of Radha-Govinda’s natural bodily aromas. O, when will that day come when I will directly perceive the wonderful fragrance of Radha-Shyamasundara?”

Sugandhit Shyama ki jai!

Gandharvika Radha ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

While living in Dwaraka Balarama once felt intense separation from the Vrajavasis, so He returned to Vraja for two months (Mar-Apr, chaitra-vasaka). His pangs of love and separation became so great that Dauji (Krsna’s elder brother, Balarama) even left His dearly beloved brother behind in Dwaraka and ran to Vrndavana. Although Sri Krsna wanted to accompany His brother, the Yadus in Dwaraka prevented Krsna from going to Vrnddavana due to fear that Krsna would not return. This is the magical and mystic power of Vrndavana that once you go there and actually taste the unique flavor of Vraja prema, you can never leave.
Upon meeting His beloved cowherd friends, Balarama ’s voice choked with prema as He enquired about their welfare. Although they are extremely shy and would never reveal before Balarama their internal pain of separation from Krsna, Krsna’s beloved gopis smiled ecstatically when they saw Balarama. This happened because they were overwhelmed by transcendental madness and prema. The gopis asked Balarama about Krsna’s welfare, and if Krsna still remembered the many sevas that they had offered like stringing flower garlands, smearing sandal wood on His body, making fans, bed and canopies of fragrant flowers. As the gopis remembered Syama’s sweet smile, playful talks, exciting glances, graceful gait and loving embraces, they broke down and started crying right in front of Balarama. To pacify the distressed gopis, Balarama relayed to them Krsna’s heartfelt internal messages, which were dignified, sweet, apologetic and full of divine wisdom. For two months, Balarama danced at Ramaghata beside the Yamuna, with His own gopis, as well as those gopis who had missed Krsna’s rasa dance because of being too young at that time. The Rasa Mandala was bright with the rays of full moon, fragrant with blooming white lotuses and refreshed by cool breezes. Balarama wore white Vyajayanti mala and a single earring. The beads of perspiration decorating His smiling lotus face looked like snowflakes. For two months, Balarama enjoyed dancing with His gopis. However, all those nights passed as if they were a single night since each night brought a completely new experience of joy in association with the beautiful damsels of Vraja.

Rasabihari Balarama ki jai!
Krsna Kanhaiya Dauji ka bhaiya ki jai!!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!!!

By: Mahanidhi Swami

Every day when Govinda takes the cows out to pasture, all the Vrajavasis eagerly come out to marvel at Krishna’s incomparable beauty. Especially all the newlyweds stand in their doorways, on the rooftops or peer through the lattice windows to catch a glimpse of Shyama. And with love-thirsty eyes Manohara is also always searching for new hearts to steal.

One particular newlywed gopi girl was very restless, hankering to have darshana of Krishna whom she had heard so much about. Her mother-in-law forbid her from going, however, and warned her that if she goes she would be bitten by a black snake whose poison is impossible to remove. The mother-in-law and her daughter then went to see Krishna and she was left behind. Opening the front door a crack, that new gopi peeked out and saw Krishna in the distance playing His flute and filling the entire area with showers of pure nectar.

Sri Krishna knows the pure hankering of every devotees’ heart, so when the time is right He mercifully grants His sweet darshana. In order to see that newlywed gopi, Krishna played a trick by twisting the tail of a calf. Somehow or other…that calf ran straight to her door. Following the calf, Shyama appeared directly before that new gopi, gave His beautiful darshana, stole her heart in an instant and slipped away.

Dumbstruck, the newlywed just stood there motionlessly for fifteen minutes or so. Upon returning and observing her condition, her envious sister-in-law said, “Just see, I warned you. That black snake Syamasundara has bitten you!” Shaking the girl out of her trance, she managed to bring her inside the house.

To bring her back to consciousness, the sister-in-law engaged her in preparing butter. But she got the pots mixed up and started “churning” mustard seeds instead of yogurt. Seeing this, the sister-in-law shouted, “Hey! What are you doing you paagal? I’m going to tell my mother about you!” The mother in-law came and told her to take a water pot and fill it at the well, and also take her other son’s child with her.

Arriving at the well, she tied the rope for lowering the water pot into the well around the neck of the child instead. Just as she was about to drop the kid down the well, someone shouted, “Wait, stop! What are you doing?” Running over there, he took the rope from her hands and saved the child.

At that time, one gopi said, “It appears she’s possessed!”

Another gopi who knew everything, said, “But it’s not just any ordinary ghost,

It’s the ghost of Nandanandana!”

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!