Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The King of rasikas, Syama is beautifully decorated. The Holi festival begins with great enthusiasm as Radha and Krsna douse each other with red powder. Again and again Yugala Kisora throw musk, sandal, kumkuma and flower pollen. The gopis gaze at the splendor of the Divine Couple and go wild with bliss and start singing and playing musical instruments. The restless charming gopis soak each other’s garments with color dyes sprayed from syringes. Syama calls out, “ ho! ho! Holi!!” and claps His hands after spraying Lalita’s head with colored water, making her kajal run down her face. The Divine King of Seasons now thinks, “Who will conclude this blissful pastime of Holi?” The cuckoos answer by continuous cooing saying “Jai, Jai!” Thus everyone is stunned with wonder and bliss.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

After reading a recent Srila Bhakti siddhanta Sarasvati’s article about the descent of pure name on our FB, someone wrote that he did not understand how Krishna descends from Goloka into our hearts. Our reply may help others, so here it is, all based on the following verse:

atah sri Krishna namadi, na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau, svayam eva sphuraty adah

“Thus, with one’s blunt material senses, one cannot understand the absolutely transcendental name, form, qualities and pastimes of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

“But when one serves Sri Krishna beginning with the tongue (offenselessly chanting japa and kirtana), then Krishna directly shows Himself to one in a deep inner vision.”(Bhakti-rasamrita sindhu 1.2.234)Also, this verse means that if Krishna is pleased with a devotee, then Krishna personally manifests Himself on our tongue by allowing and inspiring us to chant His sweet Divine Names.

If a devotee saturates his/her mind, heart and life with pure seva bhava for Bhagavan Sri Krishna, then Krishna will be attracted to descend from Goloka in the form of the HOLY NAME to move one’s tongue in japa, and enter the heart and rest their (Govinda vishram) to accept one’s moment to moment loving sevas.

Then at the time of chanting kirtan or japa, Krishna gets excited, wakes up from your heart, comes to your tongue and dances along with you in the blissful experience of nama japa and sankirtana ullasa, Gaura nacha re.

Ah, just see Gaurahari, His long arms extended to Goloka and chanting in ecstasy…. (Caitanya Caritamrtam 1.17.122)

(hari) haraye namah krishna, yadavaya namah
gopala govinda rama, sri madhusudana

Nama dances, Krishna dances, and you dance along with Krishna enjoying and serving Him while blissfully singing in Sri Harinama Sankirtana. That is what Siddhanta Sarasvatipada is saying here. Simple: pure seva bhava, then Krishna appears along with the pure name and off you go…vaikuntha arohana.

Jai Radhe!!!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Did you ever wonder at what transcendental age Krishna performed His various pastimes in Vrindavana? Sri Jiva Goswami answers this question in his Srimad Bhagavatamtika (10.45.3), which lists the pastimes and Sri Krishna’s age at that time. All pastimes are described in the Tenth Canto. * mark means added by editor because not mentioned by Sri JivaGoswami.

1. *Putana killed (6th Chapter) Krishna only six days old. (not in list)

2. Tṛṇāvarta killed (7th Chapter) – after a full year passed (varṣepūrṇe).

3. Damodāra-līlā (Chapters 9-10) – in the beginning of the third year during Kārttika month (tṛtīya-varṣārambhekārtike) (2 years and 2 months).

4. Move from Gokula to Vrindavana (Chapter 11) Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma and all the cowherds move to Vṛndāvana. This happened a few days after Damodāra-līlā (katicid-dināntevṛndāvana-praveśaḥ) (2 years and 2 months).

5. Vatsa Charana Lila (Chapter 11.37) Kṛṣṇa began herding the calves 2-3 months after moving to Vṛndāvana (dvi-tra-māsānantaraṁvatsa-cāraṇārambhaḥ) (2 years and 4-5 months).

6. Vatsāsura, Bakāsura and Vyomāsura killed (10.11.41-54) during that time (tatravatsa-baka-vyoma-vadhaḥ) (2 years and 4-5 months).

7. BrahmāVimohana Lila- Brahmaji stole the cowherd boys and calves (Chapters 12-14) in the autumn after the third year passed and the fourth year started, (tṛtīyepūrṇecaturthārambheśaradibāla-vatsa-haraṇaṁ) (little more than 3 years)

[Note: At this time Gopala actually entered paugaṇḍa age but it was manifested only after a year passed. (ref. 10.12.41] Paugaṇḍa age manifested (10.12.37) – in the beginning of the fifth year (paṣcamārambhepaugaṇḍa-prakāśaḥ) (little more than 4 years).

8. Go Charan Lila– Krishna started herding the cows (10.15.1) on śukla-aṣṭamī of Kārtika month [Gopastami] (tatrakārtika-śuklāṣṭamyāṁ go-cāraṇārambhaḥ) (4 years, 2 months and 2 weeks).

9. Kāliya-damana-līlā (Chapters 16-17) – in the summer of the fifth year (paṣcamasyanidāghekāliya-damanaṁ) (4 years and appr. 10 months).

[Note: Due to ecstasy, Sri Suka Muni described this līlā out of sequence by mentioning it after killing of Dhenukāsura.]

In His sixth year Gopala was immersed in herding the cows – (ṣaṣṭhe go-cāraṇa-kautuka-mātraṁ). Govinda entered kaiśora age in the beginning of the seventh year (saptamārambhekaiśora-praveśaḥ) (little more than 6 years).

10. Dhenuka killed (15th Chapter) during the time and season when the tāla-fruits are ripe (tatraivapakva-tālāvasaredhenuka-vadhaḥ). On that evening also the gopīs for the first time manifested their loving mood described in 10.15.43. (little more than 6 years).

11. Pralamba killed (18th Chapter) – in the summer of the seventh year (saptamasyanidāghepralamba-vadhaḥ) (6 years and appr. 10 months).

12. Veṇu-gītā pastime (21st Chapter) – in the eighth year during Aśvina [Sept-Oct] month (aṣṭamasyāśvineveṇu-gītaṁ) (7 years and 1 month).

13. Govardhana Lila- Sri Krishna lifted Govardhana (24th Chapter) – in His eighth year on the first day of the waxing moon in Kārttika month (kārtīkegovardhanoddharaṇaṁ) (7 years, 2 months and 7 days).

14. Indra Surabhi Govinda-abhiṣeka (27th Chapter) – in the beginning of Krishna’s eighth year, on śukla-ekādaśī of Kārtika month (aṣṭamārambheevakārtika-śuklaikādaśyāṁgovindābhiṣekaḥ) (7 years, 2 months and 17 days).

15. Journey to Varuṇa’s planet (10.28.1-11) – on the following dvādaśī (dvādaśyāṁ ca varuṇa-loka-gamanaṁ) (7 years, 2 months and 18 days).

16. Brahma-hrada Lila- Sri Krishna’s Vrajavāsīs bathed in Brahma-hrada (10.28.16) – on Karttika purnima; (tat-pūrṇimāyāṁ brahma-hradāvagāhanaṁ) (7 years, 2 months and 21 days).

17. Vastra-haraṇa-līlā (22nd Chapter) – in the winter of Krishna’s eighth year (hemantevastra-haraṇaṁ) (7 years and apx. 3 months).

18. Yajna Patni Anugraha lila (23rd) Krishna shows mercy to the wives of the sacrificial brāhmaṇas (23rd Chapter) – in the summer of His eighth year (nidāgheyajṣa-patnī-prasādaḥ) (7 years and appr. 10 months).

[Note: In 10.24.1 tika, Sri Jiva Goswami says that these līlās are described out of chronological order because of Śukadeva Gosvāmī’s lack of self-control due to his prema (prema-vaivaśyāt).

19. Rāsa-līlā (Chapters 29-33) – in the beginning of His ninth year, in the autumn season (navamasyaśaradirāsa-līlā) (8 years and 1.5 months).

20. Ambika-vanaGamana Lila—to observe the Shiva ratri festival (Phalguna Krishna chaturdasi) Nanda Baba and his clan travel to Ambikā-vana on chaturdasi (10.34.1-3 (śiva-rātri-caturdaśyāmambikā-vana-yātrā) (8 years, 6 months and 6 days).

21. Śaṅkhacūḍa killed (10.34.25-32) – in Phālguna [Purnima] month (phālgunyāṁśaṅkhacūḍa-vadhaḥ) (appr. 8.5 years).

22. Ariṣṭāsura killed (10.36.1-15) – on the full moon of Caitra month (April) (ekādaśasyacaitra-paurṇamāsyāmariṣṭa-vadhaḥ [and Radha-kunda formed]) (10 years, 7 months and 21 days).

23. Keśī killed (10.37.1-8) – on the twelfth day of the dark fortnight of Phālguna (dvādaśasyagauṇa-phālguna-dvādaśyāṁkeśi-vadhaḥ) (11 years, 6 months and 4 days).

24. * Krishna Mathura Gamana Lila- Uncle Akrura takes Krishna and Balarama to Mathura (39th Chapter “Viraha Gita”) on Phalguna Krishna trayodashi, (11 years, 6 months and 5 days).

25. Kaṁsa killed (44th Chapter) – on the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight of Phālguna month [2 days later] (taccaturdaśyāṁkaṁsa-vadhaḥ) (11 years, 6 months and 6 days).

Adapted from Sri Advaita Dasji Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This new series will reveal secret facts about Sri Vrindavana Dhama to help everyone better appreciate its unique position, and the incredible fortune and value of visiting, serving or living in Vraja Dhama. The secrets in these “LOV Posts” (Light on Vraja) come from various Gaudiya Vaisnavashastra.

It is often heard that sadhana done in the Holy Dhama of Vrindavana is 1000X more effective than elsewhere. This is established in the Srimad Bhagavatam (7.14.33): “Religious acts performed in Mathura/Vrindavana give 1000x more result than at other places, madhupuridharmohyatrehitaḥpuṁsāṁ, sahasrādhiphalodayaḥ.”

Besides the 1000x effect, anyone can practically experience that the divinely charged, devotional atmosphere of Vrindavana, unlike anywhere else, is very supportive and makes it easier to chant nama-japa and perform other devotional acts. As the locals say, “In Vraja, bhakti is flowing in the air!”

Is also said that sins and offenses committed in Vrindavana bring 1000x the reaction. This statement may serve as a helpful warning or as a cautionary note to be careful. But this point is NOT FOUND in any Gaudiya Vaisnava shastras we have seen.

It is true that punishment for sins in Vrindavana may be experienced [not 1000x], but at the same time merciful Vrindavana will also destroy that sin’s reactions. Vrindavana is often compared to a mother (Sri Vrindatavi Mata) because she actually forgives the sinner just like a compassionate mother forgiving her wayward child.

Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Mathura Mahatmya (MM) proves this point in several verses:

“Sins committed knowingly or unknowingly in Mathura/Vrindavana will be destroyed in Vrindavana itself, mathurayaṁkṛtaṁpapaṁ, mathurayaṁvinaśyati, jñanatoajñanatovapi.” (Vayu &AdiVaraha P. MM 23/28)

“The sins from many, many births are destroyed at once in Mathura/Vrindavana, bahujanmanipapani, mathuraprabhavamnashyatikshanamatratah.” (Padma Purana MM 29)

Sri VarahaBhagavan said, “Sins are destroyed at once merely by SEEING THE LAND of Mathura/Vrindavana, papaninaśyanti, mathuradarśanatkṣanat.” (AdiVaraha Purana MM 8)

“By bathing anywhere in Vraja Mandala, one will be liberated from all sins, mathuramandalamsnato, mucyatesarvapatakaih.” (AdiVaraha Purana MM 3)

However, one visiting or living in Vraja should not take advantage of Vraja Dhama and willfully commit offenses and sins while thinking, “Oh, merciful Vrindavana will forgive me, and keep blessing me with spiritual advancement.” This thought itself is also a sin as seen in the seventh offense to the Holy Name, nāmnādbalādyasya hi pāpa-buddhir: “It is an offense if one sinfully thinks, ‘I can sin on the strength of Krishna’s Divine Name [and the Name will remove that sin].’

Nama, Dhama and Shyama are all equally transcendental and completely personal. If one displeases (apa/radh) any one of Them by committing sins and offenses then surely reaction will come. No one can fool or cheat either Nama, Dhama or Shyama.

It is privilege and rare fortune to live in Vrindavana which is the heart and eternal home of Sri SriRadha and Krishna. Only by Their divine grace can one visit or live in Their home. Radha and Krishna are completely independent to allow one in or kick one out of Their dhama! Therefore, devotees living in Vrindavana should remain ever-grateful, and always live and act purely.

Sri Rupa Gosvami explains this point: “Without the mercy of Vishnu/Krishna no one can live in Vrindavana for even a moment, vināviṣṇoḥprasādena, kṣaṇamekaṁnatiṣṭhati. Residence in Vraja can NEVER BE ATTAINED by punya, jnana, tapa, japa or yajnas. However, if one is favored by Sri Krishna one can attain residence in Vrindavana, śrī-viṣnoḥkṛpayanunaṁ, tatravasobhaviṣyati.” (AdiVaraha Purana MM 82-83)

The following prayers from Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada’s Vrindavana Mahimamrita are very useful for devotees living in Vrindavana and should always be remembered:

“Again and again I have committed inexcusable offenses to you. Still, O mother Vṛndāvana, I am like your son so please do not abandon me, su-durmarṣaiḥsvasminnasakṛdaparādhairapiyutaṁ, sutaṁmātevatvaṁvisṛjabatavṛndāṭavinamām!” (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 1.96)

“O mother Vṛndāvana, you are my life and soul! Out of affection for me, please drag me from my friends and relatives and keep me on your lap.” (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 1.93)

śrī-vṛndāṭavimātarekamihamaj-jīvāturastisvayaṁ
yattvaṁsnehamayīvikṣyajanatāṁsvāṇkaṁsamāneṣyasi

“O noble mother Sri Vrindatavi, by nature You are overflowing with boundless affection, sumātaḥśrīmatvṛndāṭavitvamsahaja, niravadhisnehapūre. Please hold on your lap this very mischievous child who has been playing in the dirt. Be merciful and forgive my offenses; always feed me the breast-milk of transcendental love for your master and mistress; and give me all protection. (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 11.1)

“I have fallen into the blind well of household-life, and I am being devoured by the black snakes of lust, greed, anger, envy and so on. O mother Vrindavana! When will you lift me out of this well, and give me shelter on your lap.” (Vrinadavan Mahimamrita 1.88)

gṛhāndha-kūpepatitaḥkadāmām, uddhṛtyamūḍhaṁkrpayāsvayaiva
kāmādi-kālāhi-guṇairnigīrṇaṁ, mātevavṛndāṭavineṣyase’ṅkam

Pavana Radhe tero nama, pavanasri Vrindavana Dhama! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sometimes devotees attracted to raga-marga think that continuous chanting of Radha Nama, “Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! is the means to perfection.

They say, “Radha is the goal, so only Radha is important. Thus when I chant my Hare Krishna japa, I am just thinking Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe!”

Such devotees are innocent and well-meaning, but not very clear in their understanding of Gaudiya Vaisnava tattva siddhanta. Of course, sometimes the enthusiastic chanting of Srimati Radharani’s Divine Name is and can be done on special occasions like Radhastami, Vraja Mandala Parikrama, during a Bhagavata sapataha or special festivals.

How do they get this idea? Believe it or not, this misconception of innocent devotees arises after they sincerely read the Goswami granthas. After reading they conclude that Radha’s name is everything, and we should just chant Radhe! Radhe!

There are many but we will cite one verse as an example:Gaudiya Vaisnava mahajana Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati writes, “The nectarean name of Sri Radha—the complete form of prema, rasa and ananda—is my very life!” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 97)

Yes, our purvacharayas often glorify the amazing power and fantastic benefits of chanting Radha nama in their books. However, such verses should be seen as beautiful praises of Sri Radha’s Divine Name arising from their personal loving ecstasies.

Such ecstatic premi bhaktas are described in the Srimad Bhagavatam (11.2.40): “At the stage of prema, a devotee will incessantly chant his favorite name of His beloved Bhagavan [sva priya nama kirtya]. Melting his heart, the ecstasy of prema will make him laugh, cry, become restless, and sing and dance like a madman without caring for anyone or anything.”

evam vratam sva, priya nama kirtya, jatanurago, drutacitta uccaih
hasaty atho roditi, rauti gayaty, unmade van nrtyati, lokabahyah

One should not think however that such verses are establishing a new sadhana, a more powerful mantra to chant, or a fast track to perfection. The prime sadhana for all Gaudiya Vaisnava devotees is chanting Sri Krishna nama along with meditation upon the meaning of the mantra, and the form, qualities and pastimes of Radha-Krishna who are personally present in the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was not chanting Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Rather, Mahaprabhu chanted Krishna nama, and gave the same instruction to most everyone He met, which indirectly includes all of us. Raising His radiant golden arms into the spiritual sky, Gauranga told one and all, “Continually chant the Divine Name of Sri Krishna, and serve Krishna and the Vaisnavas, prabhu kahena krsna seva vaisnava sevana, nirantara kara krsna nama sankirtana.” (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.15.104)

In the same book wonderfully praising exclusive Radha nama chanting, Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati also gives the conclusive truth regarding the proper sadhana for all raganugiya bhaktas.

Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati says, “May Sri Radhika, the very life of Sri Krishna, be pleased with me when I fill my consciousness with the nectar lake of govinda-katha; and pass my days glorifying Krishna’s qualities, performing His archana and puja, and living in loving relationships with His devotees.” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 115)

The conclusion of this topic and the essence of nama-bhajana for manjari bhava upasakas is given by Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati himself in the following verse:

“I always meditate on Krishna wearing a peacock feather crown; I chant Krishna’s Divine Names; I always perform archana and puja of Sri Krishna; I chant the Krishna mantra [gopala-mantra], His best mantra; and while doing all this I continually hold the cherished desire in my heart to attain the service of Sri Radha’s beautiful lotus feet!” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 259)

dhyāyantaṁ śikhi-piccha-mauli-maniśaṁ tan nāma-saṁkīrtayan
nityaṁ tac caraṇāmbujaṁ paricaran tan-mantra-varyaṁ japan
śrī rādhā padāsyam eva paramābhīnṭaṁ hṛdā dhārayan
karhi syāṁ tad anugraheṇa paramādbhutānurāgotsavaḥ

Basically, the final word is that the Hare Krishna maha-mantra means, “O Krishna, give me Radha!”

Harinama sankirtana ki jai! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Please read Part One here.

One day, two brahma-rakshasas (ghosts) came and took shelter under that tree. Their previous life-story was as follows:

There was a brahmana by the name of Kushibal, who was very learned in the Vedas and had studied all branches of knowledge. His wife’s name was Kumati, who was very evil-minded. Although that brahmana was very learned, he was also very greedy. Along with his wife, he used to collect lots of charity everyday, but he would never give charity to any other Brahmana. When their time came to die, they both attained the forms of brahma-rakshasas. As brahma-rakshasas, they continuously wandered here and there over the earth suffering from hunger and thirst. One day they rested under that date-palm-tree. At that time, the wife inquired from the husband “How can we get free from this curse of being brahma-rakshasas?” He replied, “By knowledge of Brahma, by knowledge of the Self, by knowledge of fruitive activities. Without such knowledge it is not possible to get free from our sinful reactions.” Upon hearing this, the wife inquired, “Oh, my Sri, what is Brahma, what is the Self? What are fruitive activities? (kim tad brahma kim adhyatmam kim karma purusottama)”Completely by accident, the wife happened to chant half of the first sloka of the Eighth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. At that time, having heard that half sloka, Bhavasharma broke free from that form as a tree, and again attained a body of a brahmana, completely free from all sin. Suddenly from the sky came a flower-airplane, which took that husband and wife back home, back to Godhead, Vaikuntha.

Afterwards, that Brahmana, Bhavasharma, with great respect, wrote down that half sloka (kim tad brahma kim adhyatmam-kim karma purusottama) and with the intention of worshipping Sri Krishna, he went to Kashipuri and started performing great austerities, while continuously chanting that half sloka.

Meanwhile in Vaikuntha, Lakshmi seeing Sri Vishnu, had risen suddenly from taking rest, inquired with folded hands “Why have You risen so suddenly from Your sleep?” Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, in Kashipuri, on the bank of the river Ganges, my devotee is performing great austerities continuously chanting half a sloka of the Eighth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. For a long time I have been thinking how to award his devotion”. Parvati inquired from Sri Siva, “when Sri Vishnu was so pleased with His devotee, what benediction did He bestow upon him?”

Sri Siva said, “Bhavasharma went to Vaikuntha, to engage in the eternal service of the lotus-feet of Sri Vishnu. Not only that, but all of his ancestors also attained the lotus feet of Sri Vishnu.

My dear Parvati, I have described to you just a little of the glories of the Eighth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita

 

 The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Nine

Sri Siva said. “My dear Parvati, now I will relate to you the glories of the Ninth Chanter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

There was a town of the name Mahismati on the bank of the Narmada River, where one brahmana of the name Madhava lived. That brahmana very strictly followed all the injunctions of the Vedas, and possessed all the good qualities of the brahminical class. Due to his being so learned, he would receive a lot of charity. And with his accumulated wealth, he started to perform a great fire-sacrifice. For offering in sacrifice, one goat was bought, and when they started to cleanse that goat in preparation for the sacrifice, to everyone’s great surprise the goat started to laugh and in a loud voice said; “Oh, brahmana, what is the benefit of performing so many fire-sacrifices that simply bind us up in the wheel of birth and death. Just see my position due to my performing so many fire-sacrifices.”

When everyone gathered there heard the words of the goat, they became curious, and that brahmana inquired with folded hands, “how did you become goat? In your previous life, which caste did you belong to and what activities did you perform?” The goat replied, “Oh, brahmana, in my previous birth I was born in a very pure brahmana family and I very carefully performed all the ritualistic activities enjoined in the Vedas.

One day wife wished to worship Durga, so that our child might he cured of his disease, for this purpose she requested me to bring one goat. When we sacrificed the goat at the temple of Mother Durga; the goat cursed me, “Oh, sinful, lowest of all, you wish to make my children fatherless. For this reason you will also take birth as a goat.” Oh, Madhava, when the time for my death came I attained this body of a goat but by the grace of Sri Govinda I can remember my previous births. If you wish to hear one other interesting story then I will tell you.

In the place known as Kuruksetra which is capable of giving liberation, there once lived a king of the name Chandrasharma, who was in the dynasty of the sun-god. Once, at the time of the solar-eclipse, the king wished to give charity to one brahmana. Included in that charity was a Sudra, whose body was completely black. After going with his priest and taking bath in the sacred lake, putting on clean cloth and applying sandalwood, he returned to his place. With devotion he gave charity to a qualified Brahmana. After he had presented the charity, all of a sudden from that black Sudras’s heart, one very sinful chandala (dog-eater) appeared and after a little while, a female chandala appeared from that black sudras’s body, and together they went close to the brahmana. All of a sudden they entered in to the body of the brahmana. That brahmana remained undisturbed and started to chant the Ninth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, while remembering Sri Govinda. The king witnessing all these activities was stunned, unable to say anything. As soon as the words of the Ninth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita came on the lips of that brahmana, the Vishnudutas appeared there and chased away those two chandalas. At that time the king inquired from the brahmana, “Oh, learned one, who were those two persons and which mantra did you chant? Which deity did you remember?” The brahmana replied, “Taking the form of a chandala, sin personified appeared, along with offense personified in the form of that female chandala. At that time I started chanting the Ninth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, which is capable of releasing one from all fearful situations. By reciting the Ninth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, I am always able to remember the lotus-feet of Sri Govinda”.

Upon hearing this the king learned the chanting of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Ninth Chapter, from the brahmana. Gradually he managed to attain the lotus-feet of Sri Govinda. When Madhava heard this discourse from the goat, he immediately freed the goat and started to engage in reciting the Ninth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita daily and thus he also gained the lotus-feet of Sri Govinda.

 

 The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Ten

Sri Siva said, “My dear Parvati, I will now relate to you the glories of the Tenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, as related by Sri Vishnu to Lakshmi-Devi which in itself is a stairway to the spiritual world.

In Kashipuri, there was a Brahmana of the name Dhirabuddhi, who was as dear to me as Nandi, my carrier. He was always peaceful and all of his senses were fixed in the glorification of Sri Krishna. Wherever he would go, I would follow him with great love, so that I could protect and serve him. Seeing my activities, my eternal servant Bhringiriddhi inquired from me, “What kind of austerities and other pious activities has this great devotee performed, that you are personally rendering service to him?”

Hearing Bringiridhi’s inquiry I replied as follows. “Once, in Kailash parvata, in the garden known as punnaag, I was enjoying sitting in the moonlight, and suddenly there was a great wind, which caused the trees to shake with a very loud noise. Suddenly a shadow was cast all around as if a mountain was moving. Suddenly, in the sky, a very large bird in the color of a rain cloud appeared. Due to the flapping of its wings, it was causing the trees to shake and the dust to swirl around. Suddenly the bird landed on the ground and offered his respects to me and also one beautiful lotus flower. After which, he said, “Oh Mahadeva! All glories to you, the shelter of all. There is no limit to your glories. You are the protector of the devotees, who have control over their senses. And you are the foremost of all the devotees of the Supreme Sri Krishna. Great souls such as Brihaspati are always chanting your glories. But even the thousand-headed Ananta Sesa, is not able to fully describe your glories. So what to speak of a bird like me, with such small intelligence.”

After hearing the bird’s prayer, I inquired, “who are you, and where are you coming from? You look like a swan and your bodily color is that of a crow.” That bird said, “please understand that I am the swancarrier of Sri Brahma. And the reason for my body having attained a black color, I will relate to you.

Just close to Saurashtra (Surat) there is one beautiful lake, from where this wonderful heavenly lotus came from. I had been enjoying there for some time. Just as I was flying off from that pIace, I suddenly fell to the ground and my body took on this black color. At that time I was thinking to my self. How have I fallen down, and how has my body which was white like camphor, turned black? While thinking in this way I heard a voice, coming from the lotuses in the lake “Oh, swan, get up, I will tell you the reason why you fell down, and your body turned black.” At that time I got up and went to the center of the lake, where there were five extraordinary beautiful lotuses out of which came a very beautiful lady. After circumambulating her, I inquired as to the reason of my falling down. She replied; “Oh, black swan, while you were flying, you flew over me, and due to this offense, your body has now become black. When I saw you fall down, I felt sorry for you, thus, I called you here. When I opened my mouth, the scent emanating from it was able to purify at one time seven thousand black bees, who immediately attained admission into the heavenly realm. My dear king of birds, the reason I have such power I will tell you.

Previous to this birth, three births before, I was born in a Brahmana family, and my name was Sarojavadana, my father had always instructed me in the principles of chastity and when I got married I served my husband very faithfully. One day I found a Maina (a black bird), and due to looking after it, my service to my husband became affected, for which he became angry, and cursed me, “Oh, sinful woman, you will become a maina in your next birth.”

In my next birth I became a maina, but due to my following the principles of chastity strictly, I managed to come in contact with some sages, who kept me at their ashram. One of the sage’s daughters used to look after me. While staying there, every morning and evening I would hear the recitation of the tenth chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, due to which in my next birth I attained the body of an apsara in the heavenly planets of the name Padmavati. One day, I was travelling in a flower airplane when I saw the beautiful lotus flower on this lake. Coming here, I started to enjoy in the water. At that time, Durvasa-Muni arrived and saw me completely naked. Being afraid of him I immediately took on the form of five lotuses. My two arms became two lotuses and my two legs became two lotuses, and the rest of my body became the fifth lotus. From Durvasa Muni’s eyes fire started to emanate: “Oh, sinful one, you will stay in that form for one hundred years”. After cursing me, he immediately disappeared. But fortunately, I was able to remember the Tenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. And today, I have become free from the curse, due to your crossing over me, you fell to the ground and your body became black. But if you hear from me the Tenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, you will be able to become free from this situation.”

After Padmavati had completed reciting the Tenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, she left in an airplane for Vaikuntha. After that I came here and offered this beautiful lotus from that lake to you.”

Sri Siva said, “After that black swan completed his story he immediately gave up his body and took birth in a Brahmana family as Dhirabuddhi, who, from his childhood, always chanted the Tenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

And whoever would hear that chanting from him would attain darshan of Sri Vishnu, who is holding the Shankha and Chakra. Whoever would hear that chanting, whether they are fallen and addicted to intoxication, or even killers of brahmanas, they would attain the darshan of Sri Vishnu, who is holding the Shankha and Chakra. For that reason my dear Bhringiriddhi, I am always serving Dhirabuddhi.”

My dear Parvati, whether one be male or female, sannyasi or grhastha in fact whatever situation one may be in, if he chants the Tenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, he will attain the darshan of Sri Vishnu.

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Eleven

Sri Siva said; “My dear Parvati, now I will relate to you the glories of the Eleventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. It is not possible to tell it’s full glories, as there are thousands of stories, I will relate one of them only.

On the banks of the Pranita river is a large town of the name Megankara in which is the famous temple of Jagat Isvara. Jagat lsvara is holding in His hand a bow. In that town of Megankara, there was a pure brahmana of the name Sunand, who remained a brahmachari his whole life.

Sunand would sit in front of Sri Jagat Isvara and recite the Eleventh Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita and remember the Universal Form of the Sri. By reciting that Eleventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, he gained complete control over his senses and was able to remember Sri Jagat Isvara continuously.

Once that pure brahmana Sunand went on a tour of the holy places on the banks of the Godavari River. He visited all the sacred places, starting with Viraj-Tirtha. In all the holy places he visited, he bathed, and took darshan of the presiding deity. One day he reached the town of Vivaha Mandap. Along with his associates he searched for a place to stay and eventually in the middle of that town they found a dharmashala, where they all took rest for the night. When Sunand woke up in the morning he found that all his associates had left. While searching for them, he met the headman of the town, who immediately fell at his feet and said, “Oh great sage, I cannot say where your associates have gone, but I can tell you that there is no devotee equal to you. I have never seen anyone as pure as you. Oh, my dear brahmana, I am begging you to stay in this town.”

When Sunand heard the humble request of the headman of the town, he decided to stay for some days.

That headman made every arrangement for the comfortable stay of Sunand and engaged in his service day and night. After eight days had passed, one villager came before Sunand, crying very loudly and said, “Oh pure Brahmana, last night one rakshasa ate my son.” Sunand inquired, “Where does that rakshasa stay? And how did he eat your son?”

The villager replied, “In this town one very frightful rakshasa lives, who every day was eating villagers as and when he pleased. One day, we all went to that rakshasa and requested him to protect us, in return for which we would provide him with his daily food. One dharmashala was built, and any travelers who came here were sent there to stay and while they were sleeping the rakshasa would eat them, In this way we have been able to protect ourselves from this rakshasa. You, along with your associates, stayed at that dharmashala, but that rakshasa did not eat you along with everyone else. The reason I will tell you. Last night a friend of my son came but I did not realize that he was a very close and dear friend of my son, so I sent him to stay in dharmashala. Later when my son found out, he went after him to try and bring him back from the dharmashala but when he went there, he was also eaten by that rakshasa. Today, in the morning, I went to that rakshasa and asked him, why he had eaten my son along with the other travelers. I also requested him, if there was any way, I could get back my son. That rakshasa told me, “I did not know that your son had also entered the dharmashala, thus he was eaten with everyone else. As far as getting him back that will be possible when I am freed from this rakshasa body which will be possible by the mercy of a person who recites the Eleventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita daily.

Right now, there is one brahmana staying in this town, who had stayed at this dharmashala, but I had not eaten him, because he daily recites the Eleventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. If He daily recites the Eleventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita seven times then sprinkles water on me, then I will be able to get free from the curse of this rakshasa body”.

Sunand inquired, from that villager, “What sin did this person perform to attain a rakshasa body?” The villager replied, ‘Long ago there had been a farmer living in this town. One day he was guarding the fields when, just a little distance away from him, one large vulture attacked a person, who was travelling on the road. At that time, one yogi was passing by and when he saw that person being attacked by that vulture he came running to his aid but when he reached him, it was too late. Then that yogi became very angry with the farmer and spoke to him as follows, “One who sees others in danger from thieves, snakes, fire, attack by weapons etc., and even though he is capable of helping them, but does not come to help, is punished by Yamaraja. After suffering in hell for a very long time, he takes birth as a wolf. And one, who helps someone in need of help, certainly pleases Sri Vishnu. One, who attempts to save a cow from the hands of a ferocious animal, a low-class man or a wicked ruler, attains Sri Vishnu. Wicked farmer, you saw that vulture attacking that person but still you made no attempt to save him. Now I curse you to take birth as a rakshasa.” The Farmer said, “I was watching the fields for the whole night and I am very tired, so kindly be merciful to me, oh, gentle sage.” The yogi replied, “When someone, who is daily reciting the Eleventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, sprinkles water on your head, then you will become free from this curse”.

The villager said. “My dear Sunand, with your hand kindly sprinkle water on the head of this rakshasa.” After hearing that history from the villager, Sunand went along with him to the place where that rakshasa was staying and while he was reciting the Eleventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, sprinkled water on his head. That rakshasa immediately attained a four-armed form like that of Sri Vishnu. Not only he, but all the thousands of persons he had eaten also attained a four-armed form like that of Sri Vishnu. Then they all sat down in the flower aeroplane, which had been sent to take them all to Vaikuntha.

Seeing those amazing events, the villager inquired from the rakshasa which one was his son. The rakshasa started to laugh and pointed at one of those thousands of beautiful persons sitting in the transcendental airplane and replied, “That is your son”. The villager requested his son to come home with him. Hearing his father’s request the son smilingly replied, “My dear sir, many times you have been my son and I yours but now by the grace of this great pure devotee Sunand, I have been released from this wheel of birth and death and now I am going to my real home, Vaikuntha. Dear sir, kindly surrender unto the lotus-feet of Sunand and hear from him the Eleventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and you also will be able to attain the abode of Sri Vishnu (Vaikuntha), of this there is no doubt. From Sri Krishna’s mouth, these nectarian instructions came on the battlefield of Kuruksetra in reply to the questions of His friend Arjuna. And only by hearing and reciting this discourse can one break the tight knot which is binding us to this wheel of birth and death.”

Sri Siva said; “After speaking those words, full of wisdom, to his father, along with all those other fortunate souls, he went to Vaikuntha and his father learned the Eleventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita from Sunand and very soon they also went to Vaikuntha.

My dear Parvati, you have heard the glories of the Eleventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, which is capable of destroying all sinful reactions.”

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Twelve

Sri Siva said, “I will recite the wonderful glories of the twelfth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita before you, dear Parvati.”

In the South there is an important holy place by the name of Kolbapur, where the temple of the Sri’s divine consort Maha Lakshmi, is situated. Maha Lakshmi is continuously worshipped by all of the demigods. That place is the fulfiller of all desires. Rudragaya is also situated there. One day, one young prince arrived there. His body was the color of gold. His eyes were very beautiful. His shoulders were very strong and his chest was broad. His arms were long and strong. When he arrived in Kohlapur, he first went to the lake known as Manikanth-tirth, where he took bath and offered worship to his ancestors. And then he went to the temple of Maha Lakshmi, where he offered his obeisances, and then started to pray, “Oh Devi, Whose heart is full of mercy, Who is worshipped throughout the three worlds and is the giver of all fortune and the Mother of Creation. All glories to You, Oh shelter of all living entities. Oh fulfiller of all desires. You are the wonderful energy of Sri Achyuta, Who is maintaining the three worlds. You are the Supreme Goddess. Oh protector of the devotees. All glories to You. Oh Devi, it is You who fulfills the desires of the devotees, and it is You, who engages them in the service of Sri Achyuta. You are eternal and deliverer of all fallen souls. All glories unto You. Oh Devi, for the welfare and protection of the three worlds, You take on many forms such as Ambika, Brahmi, Vaishnavi, Maheshwari, Varahi Maha-Lakshmi, Narasimhi, Indri, Kumari, Chandika, Lakshmi, Savitri, Chandrakala, Rohini, Parameshwari. All glories unto You, whose glories are unlimited. Kindly be merciful upon me.”

When Maha Lakshmi heard those prayers, She became very pleased and said to the prince, “Oh prince, I am very happy with you, please request any benediction according to your heart’s desire from me.”

That prince said, “Oh Mother of the three worlds, my father; King Brahadrathy was performing the famous sacrifice known as Ashwamedha. But before having completed that yajna, he dies due to disease. And before I was able to complete that Ashwamedha yajna, someone stole the horse that had traveled all over the world and had been purified for sacrifice in that Ashwamedha, I sent persons in all directions in search of that horse, but they were unable to find it. Then I took permission from the priest to come and pray for Your help. And, if You are pleased with me, then kindly let me know, how I can get back that horse and complete the fire sacrifice and thus fulfill my father’s desire.”

Maha-Lakshmi said, “Oh noble prince, by the gate of my temple one highly elevated Brahmana lives, who is known by the name of Siddha-Samadhi. He will be able to fulfill your desire.”

When the prince heard these words of Maha-Lakshmi, he went to the place, where Siddha-Samadhi lived and offered obeisances to him. After having offered obeisances, he stood before Siddha-Samadhi silently with fold hands. Siddha Samadhi then said, “You have been sent here by mother Maha Lakshmi, so I will fulfill your desire.”

Then chanting some mantras, Siddha-Samadhi brought all of the demigods before him. The prince at that time saw all of the demigods standing before Siddha Samadhi, awaiting his instructions. Then Siddha-Samadhi said to those demigods, “Oh devas, this prince’s horse, which he had kept ready for his sacrifice, was stolen at night by Sri Indra. Kindly bring that horse back now.”

Immediately those demigods brought that horse before him, after which Siddha-Samadhi dismissed them. When the prince saw all these wonderful happenings, he fell at the feet of Siddha-Samadhi, and inquired from him. “How have you attained such power, which I have not seen or heard of any one else possessing? Oh great sage, kindly hear my request.

My father, king Brahadratha while beginning the Ashwamedha-sacrifice, died unexpectedly. And thus I kept his body in pure boiled oil. Kindly, if you desire, please bring him back to life.”

Hearing this, Siddha-Samadhi gave a little chuckle, and said, “Let us go to that place, where you have kept your father’s body.” When they reached that place, Siddha-Samadhi took some water in his hand and while chanting some mantras, he sprinkled the water onto the head of the dead body of King Brahadratha. As soon as that water touched his head, the King sat up and inquired from Siddha- Samadhi, “Oh, great devotee, who are you?” The prince immediately informed his father of all the events, which had taken place. When the King heard that narration, he again and again offered his obeisances to Siddha-Samadhi, and inquired from him, What austerities he had performed to attain such divine powers. Hearing the King’s inquiry, Siddha-Samadhi replied “My dear king Brahadratha, daily I recite the Twelfth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.”

Hearing those words of that great devotee, the king learnt from Siddha-Samadhi the Twelfth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. In the course of time, boyh the king and his son attained the lotus-feet of Sri Krishna. Many other persons have achieved the topmost goal, devotion to Sri Krishna’s lotus-feet, by reciting the Twelfth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita daily.

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Thirteen

Sri Siva said, “Oh Parvati, please hear the unlimited glories of the Thirteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, by hearing which, you will become very happy.

In the South, there was a very large river of the name Tungabhadra, on the banks of which; there is a very beautiful town of the name Hariharpur. There, the deity of Sri Siva, known by name Harihar, is worshipped. One, who has His darshan, attains auspicious things.

In Hariharpur lived one brahmana by the name of Hari-diksit, who was very learned, and lived a simple, austere life. His wife was called Duracara, by the people. The reason for this was due to her low-class activities. She would always speak to her husband in abusive language, and she had never slept with him. She was always rude to her husband’s friends, and she would keep company with other men, to satisfy her lusty desires. She was also addicted to taking various kinds of intoxicants. Seeing that the town was becoming more and more populated, she constructed a small structure in the forest where she could meet her lovers.

One night, feeling very lusty, and not having been able to find any lover to satisfy her lust, she went out into the forest to her meeting place, to see if any of her lovers were there. Not finding anyone at that place, and burning up with lust, she started to wander in the forest in the hope of finding someone to satisfy her lusty desires. After having wandered for some time, and finding that her body, senses and mind were paining so much, due to not being able to satisfy their lust, she became bewildered and sat down and started to cry.

Hearing the sound of her crying, one hungry tiger, who was sleeping, woke up and reached that place very quickly. Hearing the tiger coming, the lusty woman got up and thinking to herself that surely someone is coming who would satisfy her needs, she all of a sudden saw a tiger arrive in infront of her. He was about to rip her apart with his sharp claws.

At that time, the lusty woman addressed the tiger, “Oh tiger, why have you come here to kill me? First you must tell me this and then you can kill me.” That king of animals refrained from killing Durachara, and laughed. Then he related the following story.

“In the South there is a river of the name Malapaha. On the bank of which is the town of Muniparna. At that place, there is a famous deity of Sri Siva, known as Panchalinga. In that town I had taken birth in a brahmana family. Although I had taken such a high birth, I was still very greedy, and had no control over my senses. I used to sit on the banks of the river and perform sacrifices for those persons, who were not qualified to partake in such performances. I would also eat from the homes of materialistic persons. I would also collect more funds than necessary in the name of performing sacrifices and worship for the deity, and use the same for my own sense gratification. I would also criticize those brahmanas, who were strictly following the regulative principles, and I would never give charity to anyone. Slowly I became old, my hair turned white, my teeth fell out, my eyes became weak, but even still, I did not lose my lust to collect and hoard more funds. One day, by mistake, I went to the house of some brahmanas, who were very cruel and expert at cheating, to beg some food, when they set the dogs on me. One of those dogs bit my leg and I fell over and very quickly died. After that, I attained this tiger’s body, and I am living in this dangerous forest.

Fortunately, I am able to remember my last birth and in this birth I do not attack any devotee, sannyasi or chaste lady. Only those sinful. persons and unchaste woman I take as my food. As you are the most unchaste, and sinful woman, you will definitely become my lunch.”

After the tiger had finished his narration, he devoured that sinful woman. Thereafter, the Yamadutas threw her into the hell known as Duyada, which is a lake full of stool, urine and blood. And she had to stay in that filthy place for ten million kalpas. After that, she was thrown into the hell known as Raurava, where she stayed for one hundred manvataras, after which she again took birth on earth as a female candala. Again she lived in the same sinful way as she had previously. Due to her sinful activities, she got leprosy and also tuberculosis. By chance and good fortune, she once went to the holy place of Hariharpur and close to the temple of Jambakadevi (Parvati). She saw the great saint Vasudeva who was always reciting the Thirteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. From his mouth she heard that recitation, and becoming attracted, she heard it again and again and by that hearing, she was able to give up that body of a chandala and becoming completely free from the reactions of her past sinful activities. She attained a four-armed form similar to Sri Vishnu, and she was taken to Vaikuntha.

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Fourteen

Sri Siva said “Oh, Parvati kindly hear from Me the glories of the Fourteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, with the greatest attention.

In Simhaldvip was a king of the name Vikram-Betual. One day, when he was going to the forest for hunting, he took his son and two hunting dogs along with him. When he reached the forest he released one dog to chase a rabbit. When that dog was chasing it, the rabbit looked as if it was flying. Running and running, that rabbit reached a beautiful hermitage, which was very peaceful. The deer were sitting happily under the shade of the trees. And the monkeys were joyfully eating the fruits of those trees. The cubs of the tigers were playing with the baby elephants, and the snakes were crawling over the peacocks. In this forest, the great sage Vatsa lived, who worshipped Sri Krishna by reciting the Fourteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita ? Near the ashram of Maharaja Vatsa, one of his disciples was washing his feet while chanting the Fourteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. The earth at that spot became wet. Just then that rabbit came running and slipped in the mud. Immediately that rabbit attained a heavenly body. An airplane came down, picked him up and took him off to the heavenly planets. After a moment, that dog arrived there in search of the rabbit, and he also slipped in the mud; gave up that dog body and attained a heavenly body and was also taken off to the heavenly planets.

Seeing all of this, the disciple of Maharaja Vatsa started to laugh. King Vikram-Betal, having witnessed those amusing events inquired from that Brahmana, “How is it possible that the rabbit and dog went off to heaven in front of our eyes?” That Brahmana said, “in this forest, a great sage of the name Vatsa, who has completely conquered his senses, is always engaged in chanting the Fourteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. I am his disciple, and I am also by his grace always engaged in chanting the Fourteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Due to that rabbit and dog slipping in the mud, which had been made wet from the water, which had washed my feet, they both attained the higher planets. Now I will tell you the reason why I was laughing; In Maharastra, there is the town of the name Pratudhak. One Brahmana of the name Keshava had lived there. He was the most cruel of men. His wife’s name was Vilobbana. She was a very loose lady, who always enjoyed the company of other men. For this reason, her husband became very angry and killed her. In her next life she became that dog. And that Brahmana Keshava, due to his sinful activities became that rabbit.”

Sri Siva said, “After hearing the glories of the Fourteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, King Vikram-Betal also began daily reciting the Fourteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, when he gave up that body, he went to Vaikuntha where he was able to engage eternally in the service of the lotus-feet of Sri Vishnu.

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Fifteen

Sri Siva said, “My dear Parvati, now I will tell you the glories of the Fifteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, kindly listen carefully.

In Gaudadesa, there was a king of the name Narasingha. He was so powerful that he was able to defeat the demigods. The commander of his army was known by the name Sarabhmerund. He was very greedy and along with the prince, he planned to kill the king, and become the ruler of Gaudadesa. But before he was able to carry out his plan, he got cholera and very quickly died. After he took his next birth as a horse in the country known as Sindhu. That horse was very beautiful and was very fast at running. He had all the qualities of a prize horse, one day, the son of a very rich man of Gaudadesa saw that horse and decided to buy him with the intention of selling him to the king of Gaudadesa. After having purchased that horse, he took him to the capital of Gaudadesa, When he reached the city he went straight to the palace of the king and requested the guards to inform the king of his arrival.

When he came before the king, the king inquired from him, “What has brought you here?” That business man replied, “Oh, king, in Sindhu I found a horse of the highest quality and it’s equal cannot be found in the whole universe. I paid very much money for it”. The king ordered, “Bring that horse immediately.” That horse was very quickly brought before the king who became very pleased with the high qualities of the horse. After having examined the horse, the king paid to that businessman whatever amount he had requested without thinking twice.

After some days the king decided to go hunting. Riding that horse, he set off for the forest, where he saw a deer, to which he immediately gave chase. Following behind that deer, he followed in every direction it turned. After some time he left the rest of his party far behind. After chasing for a long time and becoming very tired and thirsty, he stopped to take rest. He tied the horse to the branch of a tree and he himself sat down on a large rock.

After a little while he saw a piece of parchment blowing in the wind and land next to him on the rock. On that piece of parchment was written half a sloka of the Fifteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. The king started to read, and as the first sound came out of his mouth, that horse fell down to the ground and gave up that horse-body. He attained a transcendental four-armed form and immediately sat down in a flower-airplane, which had come from Vaikuntha to take him to that transcendental abode Vaikuntha.

The king noticed that close by; there was a beautiful ashram, which was surrounded by fruit-trees. Sitting in that ashram was a brahmana who had complete control over his senses. The king offered respects to that brahmana and with folded hands inquired from him, “How was it possible that my horse was able to attain Vaikuntha?” The brahmana, whose name was Vishnusharma, replied, “Oh, king, previously, you had a commander-in chief of your army, who was known by the name Sarabhmerund. He had planned along with the prince to usurp you from your throne. Before he was able to, he got cholera and died, after which he took birth as that horse. By chance he heard some words from the Fifteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita and attained Vaikuntha.”

The king offered his respects to that brahmana and returned to his capital and again and again read what was written on that parchment. After a short time he installed his son as the king of Gaudadesa and himself went off to the forest, where he recited regularly the Fifteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita and very quickly, attained the lotus feet of Sri Vishnu.

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Sixteen

Sri Siva said, “My dear Parvati, I will now tell you the glories of the Sixteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

In Gujarat, there is a town of the name Sourastra (Surat). King Khadgabahu had his kingdom there, where he lived just like another lndra, king of heaven. He kept a very passionate male elephant of the name Arimardana from whose temples liquid oozed due to his pride. One day that elephant, in a fit of anger, broke loose from his chains and started to destroy the elephant shed, after which he began running here and there, wildly chasing the citizens. Everyone fled as fast as possible. The elephant keepers immediately reported the news to the king and when the king heard, he went along with his son to the place, where the mad elephant was. King Khadgabahu knew the art of controlling wild elephants. When the king reached the spot, where the elephant was running amok, he saw that many persons had been trampled and others were running here and there to avoid that elephant. Just then, as the king was watching that chaotic scene, he saw one brahmana peacefully returning from taking his bath in the lake. That brahmana was silently reciting the first three slokas from the Sixteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, which start with the word; abhayam (fearlessness). When the people saw that brahmana walking towards the elephant, they tried to tell him not to go near him, but that brahmana did not take any notice of them and walked straight up to that mad elephant and started to stroke him. When the elephant saw the Brahmana approaching, he immediately lost all anger and lay down peacefully.

After that brahmana had patted the elephant for a few moments, he went peacefully on his way. When the king and all the citizens saw these amazing incidents, they were astonished. The king immediately went and fell at the feet of that brahmana and inquired from him, “what austerities and worship have you performed to attain such peacefulness and amazing powers?” The brahmana replied; “Daily I am reciting some slokas from the sixteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita.”

Sri Siva said; “That king requested the brahmana to come to the palace, where he offered to him in charity, one hundred gold coins and requested that pious brahmana to instruct him in the chanting of those verses from the Sixteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita

After King Khadgabahu had been chanting those verses for some time, he one day along with his guards went to the place where that mad elephant was kept and ordered the elephant keepers to release him. At that, the citizens became upset with the king thinking that the elephant would begin to run amok again. The king went before that mad elephant, which immediately lay down and he started to stroke him. After that the king returned to his palace and installed his son on the throne and left for the forest, where he worshipped Sri Krishna by chanting those slokas from the Sixteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita and very quickly he attained the lotus-feet of Sri Krishna.

Anyone who chants the Sixteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, however sinful he is, very quickly attains the same goal as King Khadgabahu, the lotus-feet of Sri Krishna.

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Seventeen

Sri Siva said, “My dear Parvati, you have heard the unlimited glories of the Sixteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Now, kindly hear the nectarian glories of the Seventeenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

King Khadgabahu’s son had a servant by the name of Dushasan who was very crafty and exceptionally foolish. Dushasan made a bet with the prince that he could ride the elephant, at which time he jumped upon the elephant and after going a few steps, the people there started requesting him, not to ride that dangerous elephant. But foolish Dushasan started to prod that elephant and used strong words to urge him on. Suddenly, that elephant became very angry and started to run wildly here and there. Unable to hold on, Dushasan fell to the ground. The elephant stomped on him and Dushasan died. After that he attained the body of an elephant in Simbaldwip, where he stayed in the king’s palace.

The king of Simbaldwip was a close friend of King Khadgabahu. One day the king of Simhaldwip decided to send that elephant as a present to his friend, King Khadgabahu, who in turn presented that elephant to one poet, who pleased him with his beautiful poetry.

Thereafter, that poet sold that elephant for one hundred gold coins to the king of Malva. After some time, that elephant contracted a terminal disease. When the elephant-keepers saw that the elephant had stopped eating and drinking, they reported the matter to the king. When the king found out, he went to the place of the elephant, along with the best of doctors. At that time, to the surprise of that king, the elephant started to speak, “My dear king you are very pious, and a strict follower of the Vedas. You always worship the lotus feet of Sri Vishnu. So you should know, that at this time, these medicines and doctors will be of no use. Neither any kind of charity of sacrifice will help at the time of death. If you care for me and want to help me, then bring someone, who daily recites the Seventeenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.”

As requested by that elephant, the king brought one great devotee, who regularly recited the Seventeenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. That devotee, while chanting the Seventeenth Chapter, sprinkled water on the elephant at which time he gave up his elephant body and attained a four-armed form, similar to that of Sri Vishnu. He immediately sat down in a flower airplane, which had been sent to take him to Vaikuntha. While sitting in that airplane, the king inquired from him about his previous birth, and Dushasan, after telling him everything, left for Vaikuntha. After which, that best of men, the king of Malva, started regularly reciting the Seventeenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. After a short time he attained the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.

 

 The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Eighteen

Parvati said “My dear husband, you have told me the glories of the Seventeenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, now kindly relate the glories of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

Sri Siva said; “Oh daughter of the Himalayas (Parvati), please listen to the glories of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, which is higher than the Vedas and the giver of unlimited bliss. When it enters into one’s ears it destroys all material desires. For the pure devotee, it is divine nectar, it is Sri Vishnu’s very life and it is a solace to the hearts of Sri Indra and the demigods as well as the great yogis headed by Sanak and Sananda.

One who recites it sends the messengers of Yamaraja far away. There is no other recitation, which can so quickly destroy all sin and free one from the threefold miseries of this world. Now listen with great devotion.

On the topmost peak of Mount Meru is Amaravati, which was built by Visvakarma. In that heavenly kingdom, Sri Indra along with his wife Saci is served by the demigods. One day while Sri Indra was sitting peacefully, he saw that one very beautiful person had arrived there, whom the servants of Sri Vishnu were serving. When. Sri Indra saw that beautiful young person; he immediately fell from his throne unto the ground. At that time those demigod who had been worshipping Indra picked up the crown that he was wearing and placed it on the head of that new beautiful person. After that, all the demigods and other denizens of the heavenly planets started to perform artik and sing wonderful songs to that new King Indra. The great rishis came there and offered their blessings and chanted Vedic mantras and the Gandharvas and Apsaras started to sing and dance joyfully. In this way, the new Indra, who had not performed the usual one hundred horse sacrifices, started to enjoy hundreds of different types of services rendered by the demigods and other denizens of the heavenly planets. When the old Indra saw this he became very surprised.

He started to think to himself, “This person here has never built wells or dug kunds or planted trees for the welfare of others, and when there were droughts, he did not provide grains in charity. He never performed any fire-sacrifices or great charities in the holy places. So how has he managed to attain my seat?” The old Indra, feeling greatly disturbed in his mind, left to the ocean of milk to pray to Sri Vishnu. When he managed to obtain darshan of Sri Vishnu, he asked Him “My dear Sri Vishnu, in the past I performed many sacrifices and other pious activities, for which I was installed as the Sri of heaven. But at this time another person has come there and taken my place as the king of heaven. This person in his life never performed any great, wonderful pious activities, nor had he performed any great Vedic sacrifices. So, how is it possible that he has managed to obtain my throne?”

At that time Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Indra, That great soul has performed the recitation daily of the Eighteenth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Everyday during his life, he recited five slokas from this Chapter, and because of that activity he has attained the results of all sorts of pious activities and yajnas and after enjoying for many years as the king of heaven, he will attain My personal abode. If you perform the same activity of reciting the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, you can also attain My divine abode.”

After hearing Sri Vishnu’s words, Sri Indra took the form of a brahmana and went to the bank of the Godavari River, where he saw the town of Kalegrani, which is very sacred. At that place, the Supreme Sri in His form known as Kalesva, resides. Close to this town, on the bank of the Godavari river, one very pure brahmana was sitting, who was very merciful and had understood the topmost goal and secret of the Vedic literatures. Daily he would sit at that spot and recite slokas of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. When Sri Indra saw him he became very happy. He immediately fell at his lotus-feet and requested him to teach him the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. After Sri Indra had practiced the recitation, of the Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita for sometime he managed to attain the topmost place of Vishnuloka. When he attained that place, he realized that the pleasure he had enjoyed as King Indra, along with the demigods, was nothing in comparison.

My dear Parvati, for this reason, the great sages, especially chant this Eighteenth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita and by so doing very quickly attain the lotus-feet of Sri Vishnu.

Anyone who hears or studies this Gita Mahatmya very quickly destroys all sins, which he has accumulated. And that person, who remembers this discourse with great faith attains the results of all kinds of pious activities and great sacrifices, and after enjoying all worldly opulences, attains the abode of Sri Vishnu.

Thus ends the glories of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita as spoken by Sri Siva to his wife Parvati Devi.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

To glorify the Bhagavad-gita, Sri Vishnu said, “O Lakshmi Devi! I Myself have personally manifested in the Form of Bhagavad-gita. It is My murti form! An intelligent person who daily recites one chapter, one sloka, a half or quarter sloka will attain Vaikuntha!” After saying this, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu spoke the glories of Bhagavad-gita’s first six chapters to His dearly beloved Sri Lakshmi Devi.

Then Sri Shivaji narrated the glories of reading, hearing, or chanting chapters six through eighteen to His most beautiful Parvati Devi. In closing his narration, Sri Shivaji gave this shruti phala, verse of blessings:

Sri Shivaji said, “Hearing or studying the Gita Mahatmya quickly destroys all one’s sins. One who faithfully remembers this discourse will attain the benefits of all kinds of yajnas and punya karma. In addition, one will enjoy all worldly pleasures, and then go to Vaikuntha.”

Sri Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa recorded this great Gita Mahatmya in the Padma Purana. My teacher recommended reciting the Gita Mahatmya after reciting the Bhagavad-gita on Gita Jayanti. Thus we present it here for the benefit of all.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita ki jai!

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter One

Parvati said “My dear husband, You know all the transcendental truths, and by your mercy I have heard the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Oh Sri, now I long to hear from You the glories of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, which was spoken by Sri Krishna, and by hearing which, one’s devotion to Sri Krishna increases”

Sri Siva replied “That person, Whose body is the color of a dark rain cloud, whose carrier is the king of birds, Garuda, and Who is lying on Ananta-Sesa, the thousand headed serpent, that Sri Vishnu, Whose glories have no limit, I am always worshipping.

My dear Parvati once after Sri Vishnu had killed the demon Mura, He was resting peacefully on Ananta-Sesa, when the bestower of all good fortune of the universe, Sri Lakshmi, respectfully inquired from Him.

“Bhagavan, You are the controller and maintainer of the whole universe, but yet You are sleeping unhappily on this ocean of milk. What is the reason?”

Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, I am not sleeping, but I am watching how wonderfully My energy is working. It is by this wonderful energy of Mine, by which I am controlling all things, and yet remain separate. And it is by remembering these divine activities of Mine, that the great devotees and yogis manage to free themselves from the wheel of birth and death, and attain that transcendental nature of Mine, which is eternal and free from all qualities”

Lakshmi said, “O, controller of all things. You are the goal of the meditation of great yogis. Nothing can go on without You. And yet You are separate. You are the cause of creation, maintenance and destruction of all the material universes. Kindly inform me about the workings of Your wonderful energies, which are so attractive, that even You are lying here, meditating upon them”

Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, the workings of My multi-fold energies, and how to become free from the bonds of birth and death, and attain My eternal Nature, can only be understood by one of pure intelligence, who has an inclination to render service unto Me. This transcendental knowledge is fully explained in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita”

Lakshmi inquired, “My dear Sri, if you yourself are amazed, by the workings of Your energies, and are ever trying to fathom their limit, then how is it possible that the Bhagavad-gita can describe those unlimited energies of Yours, and how to cross over them, and attain the transcendental nature?”

Sri Vishnu said, “I Myself have manifested in the Form of Bhagavad-gita. Please understand that the first five chapters are My five heads, the next ten chapters are My ten Arms, and the Sixteenth Chapter is My stomach. The last two chapters are My lotus-feet. In this way you should understand the transcendental Deity of the Bhagavad-gita. This Bhagavad-gita is the destroyer of all sins. And that intelligent man who daily recites one chapter or even one sloka, one half sloka, or at least one quarter sloka, will attain the same position as Susharma had attained.”

Lakshmi inquired, “Who was Susharma? What class did he belong to? And what destination did he attain?”

Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, Susharma was a very wicked and a most sinful man. Although he was born in a brahmana family, his family had no Vedic knowledge. And he only took pleasure from hurting others. He never engaged in the chanting of, My names, in giving charity, or receiving guests. In fact, he never performed any pious activities. For his livelihood he collected leaves, and sold them in the bazaar. He especially enjoyed drinking wine, and eating flesh. In this way he passed his life.

“One day that foolish Susharma had gone to the garden of one sage for collecting leaves, when a snake came and bit him, and he died. After his death he was cast into many hells, where he suffered for a long time. After which he attained the body of a bull. That bull was purchased by a crippled man, who engaged him in his service. For about seven or eight years he was carrying extremely heavy loads. One day that crippled man had piled a very heavy load onto the back of his bull. Very quickly he was forcing that bull along when suddenly the bull fell over and became unconscious. Many persons gathered there, to see what was happening, feeling sorry for that bull. One pious man bestowed upon that bull the results of some of his pious activities. Seeing that, other persons standing there started remembering their pious activities, and offered the results of some of those activities to that bull. In that crowd there was also one prostitute who did not know if she had ever performed any pious activities, but seeing everyone else offering their pious credits to that bull, she also offered the results of any pious activities she might have performed After that, the bull died, and was taken to the abode of Yamaraja, the God of Death.

There, Yamaraja informed him, “You are now free from the reactions of all your previous sinful deeds, due to the pious credits given to you by that prostitute.” Then he took birth in a very high brahmana family. In that birth, he was able to remember his past lives. After many days, he decided to search out that prostitute, who had been the cause of freeing him from his hellish situation.

After he had found and introduced himself to that lady he inquired from her “ What were the pious activities performed by you, the fruits of which freed me from my hellish situation?” The prostitute replied to him, “My dear sir, in that cage is one parrot, which recites something everyday. Hearing that recitation, my heart has become completely pure. The results of hearing that recitation I had given to you.” Thereafter they both inquired from that parrot about that recitation. That parrot. remembering his previous life, started to narrate his history. “Previously, I had been a very learned brahmana. But due to my pride, I used to insult other learned persons. I was also extremely jealous. After I died, I was cast into many hells, and after a long time of suffering, I achieved this body of a parrot. Due to my past sinful activities, my mother and father died while I was a baby. One day, while I was lying on the hot sands, with no protection, some rishis saw me, and took me to their ashram, and put me in a cage. At that same place, the children of those rishis were learning the recitation of the First Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Hearing them repeat those slokas, I also started repeating those slokas along with them.

“Shortly after, one thief stole me from that place and sold me to this pious lady.” Sri Vishnu continued, “By reciting the First Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, that parrot had become completely pure. And by hearing that recitation, that prostitute also became completely pure. And by receiving some of the pious results of hearing that recitation, Susharma also become completely pure.

After discussing for some time the glories of the first chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Susharma returned to his home, and the three of them individually engaged in reciting the First Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and very quickly attained the supreme destination, Vaikuntha.” Anyone who recites, who hears, or studies the First Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, will very easily cross over the ocean of material miseries, and attain the service of the lotus-feet of Sri Krishna.

 

 The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Two

Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, you have heard from Me the glories of the First Chapter of Bhagavad-gita Now please listen carefully, as I tell you the glories of the Second Chapter.

Once in the South in the town of Pandharpur, a very learned brahmana by the name of Devashyama lived. He was able to perform all kinds of fire sacrifices. He also knew the importance of receiving guest. And by his activities he managed to satisfy all the demigods. But he was not happy and peaceful in his heart and mind. He had the desire to attain knowledge of the soul’s relationship with the Supersoul, Paramatma, and towards this end he would invite many yogis and tapasvis, and render all kinds of service to them and inquire from them about the Absolute Truth. In this way he passed many years of his life.

One day, while he was walking, he saw one yogi in front of him, sitting cross-legged with his eyes fixed on the tip of his nose, totally absorbed in meditation. Devashyama could perceive that this yogi was completely peaceful, and without any material desires. Devashyama, with the greatest respect and reverence, fell at the feet of that yogi, and inquired from him, how he could attain complete peace of mind. At that time, that yogi, who had complete knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, advised Devashyama to go to the village of Sowpur and meet one Mitravan; who was a goat-herder by profession, and take instructions in the science of God-realization from him. After hearing this, Devashyama again and again offered his respectful obeisances at the feet of that yogi and immediately left for Sowpur. When he arrived there he found on the northern side, one beautiful forest where he was informed that Mitravan lived. When he entered that forest, he saw on the bank of a small river, Mitravan seated on top of some rocks.

Mitravan looked very beautiful and totally peaceful. In that forest the wind was blowing very gently and a beautiful aroma was emanating from every direction. The goats were peacefully moving here and there, totally unafraid. Some were seen to be sitting next to tigers and other ferocious animals very peacefully.

When Devashyama saw this scene, his mind became very peaceful, and he respectfully approached Mitravan and sat close to him. Mitravan appeared to be fully absorbed in his meditation. After some time Devashyama inquired from him, how he would be able to attain devotion to Sri Krishna. When Mitravan heard this question, for a moment he was lost in deep thought. Then he replied, “My dear learned Devashyama, once long ago, I was in the forest looking after the goats, when a very ferocious tiger attacked. At that time all the goats ran here and there to save themselves. I also ran off, due to fear of that tiger. From some distance I looked back and saw that that tiger on the bank of this river encountered one of my goats. At that time a strange and wonderful thing happened. That tiger lost all his anger and desire to eat my goat. Thereupon, my goat inquired from that tiger, “You have attained your food, so why are you not eating the meat of my body? You should immediately kill me, and with great relish eat up my flesh. Why are you hesitating?”

That tiger said, “My dear goat, since I have come to this place, all anger has left me, and I have no hunger or thirst”. The goat said, “I also do not know why I am feeling so fearless and peaceful. What can be the reason for this? If you know, then kindly inform me”.

The tiger replied, “I also do not know. Let us inquire from that person” When I saw this change take place in the activities of that tiger and goat, I become very much astonished. At that time they both approached me, and inquired as to the reason. I noticed that a monkey was sitting on the branch of a nearby tree. I went along with the two of them and inquired from that monkey-king. That monkey replied to our question with great respect.

“Listen, I will tell you, it is a very old story. In that forest, just in front of you, there is a very large temple in which Sri Brahma installed a Shivalinga. Long ago, a learned sage of the name Sukama, who had performed many austerities, lived there. Daily he would bring flowers from the forest and water from the river, and worship Sri Shiva.

In this way he was living here for many years, when one day one sage arrived. At that time, Sukama brought fruits and water and fed that sage. After the sage had eaten and rested, Sukama spoke to him. “Oh learned one, only for the reason of obtaining knowledge of Sri Krishna, am I living here, performing austerities and worship. But the results of my austerities have been attained today by coming in contact with you.”

When the sage heard the words of Sukama, which were full of submission, he became greatly pleased. And he wrote on one piece of stone the Second Chapter Srimad Bhagavad-gita. He then instructed Sukama to daily read those verses. “By so doing, you will quickly attain your goal.” After having spoken thus, that sage disappeared from that place while Sukama was looking on. After that, following the instructions of that sage, Sukama recited those verses daily for the rest of his life. Very quickly he attained complete knowledge of Sri Krishna. And from the day he started reciting those verses, he felt no more thirst or hunger.

And due to this austerities and devotion, at this place, any one who visits here does not, feel the pangs of hunger and thirst, and immediately attains complete peace.”

Mitravan said, “My dear Devashyama, after the monkey had finished telling us that wonderful story, I along with the tiger and goat went to that temple. We found there written on a piece of stone the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. And I started to recite those verses daily. In this way, we were able to attain very quickly devotion to Sri Krishna. My dear brahmana, if you also start reciting the verses of the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, you will very quickly attain the mercy of Sri Krishna.”

Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, in this way Devashyama attained knowledge from Mitravan and after worshipping that great soul, he returned to Pandharpur and daily recited that Second Chapter. And whoever visited Pandharpur, Devashyama would first recite before him the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. In this way Devashsyama attained the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.

My dear Lakshmi these are the glories of the Second Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

 

 The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Three

Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, in the town of Janasthan was a brahmana of the name Jada, who was born in the dynasty of Kaushik. That brahmana gave up the religious activities enjoined in the shastras to be followed by the brahmana class, and took to many irreligious activities. He was very fond of gambling and drinking, hunting, and visiting the prostitutes. In this way, he wasted his wealth. He went to the northern countries on a business trip. While there, he gained much wealth and decided to return to Janasthan. After having traveled a long distance he found himself in a very deserted place. One day, as the sun set, and everywhere became engulfed by darkness, he decided to take rest for the night under a tree. While resting, some robbers came and beat him to death, and stole his wealth. Because Jada had given up all religious activities and led a sinful life, after his death he attained the form of a ghost.

The son of Jada was very religious and learned in the Vedic shastras. When he saw that his father had not returned to Janasthan after a long time, he decided to go and search for him. For many days he traveled here and there, in search of his father, and whatever travelers he would meet, he would inquire from them, about his father. One day, he met one person who knew his father, and informed him of the events that had taken place. When the son of Jada heard the news of his father’s death, he decided to go to Kasi (Banaras) to offer pinda (worship) for the release of his father from his hellish condition. On the ninth day of his journey, he happened to take rest under the same tree under which his father had been killed. At that place, in the evening, he performed his daily worship to Sri Krishna, and he also recited the Third Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. As he completed his recitation, a loud sound came from the sky. When he looked up, he saw his father there, and in front of his eyes, his father’s form changed into one of the most beautiful beings, who had four hands, and was wearing a yellow dhoti. His body was the color of a dark rain cloud and his bodily effulgence was lightening up all the directions. At that time, his father offered his blessing to him. The son inquired from the father, as to the meaning of these wonderful happenings. The father said, “My dear son, you recited the Third chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and thus freed me from the ghost form which I had received, due to my sinful activities. Now you should return to your home, because the purpose for which you were travelling to Kasi (Banaras) has been achieved by your reciting the Third Chapter of Bhagavad-gita”.

When the son inquired from the father, if there were any further instructions from him, the father said, “My brother also had led a very sinful life and he is suffering some where in the darkest regions of hell. So if you wish to free him, and our other ancestors, who are suffering here and there, in different species in the material universe, then kindly, recite the Third Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. And by that recitation they will all attain a form similar to Sri Vishnu’s, and go to Vaikuntha”.

When the son heard the father’s instructions he replied, “If that is the case, then I will recite the Third Chapter until all the souls, who are trapped in the hellish life, are freed” At that time his father blessed him with the words, “Let it be.” Then an airplane arrived from the spiritual world of Vaikuntha and took the father to his destination.

Thereafter, the son returned to Janasthan and sat in front of the Deity of Sri Krishna, and with a desire to free all of the conditioned souls in the hellish condition, started reciting the Third Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. While his recitation was continuing, day after day, Sri Vishnu sent His messengers, the Vishnudutas, to the kingdom of Yamaraja, who is in charge of administering punishment to the sinful living entities. When the Vishnudutas arrived in front of Yamaraja, they informed him, that they had a message from Sri Vishnu, who is lying on the bed of Ananta-Sesa in the ocean of milk. They told him that Sri Vishnu was inquiring as to his welfare, and also was ordering him to free all of the conditioned souls, who were suffering in hell.

When Yamaraja heard this instruction from Sri Vishnu, he immediately had all of the conditioned souls released from hell and then personally went with those Vishnudutas to the ocean of milk, known as Svetadwipa, to have the darshan of Sri Vishnu. When he arrived there, he saw Sri Vishnu, lying on the bed of Ananta-Sesa. His body had the effulgence of suns, and Lakshmi-Devi, the Goddess of Fortune, was massaging His feet. He was surrounded on all sides by rishis, sages, and demigods, headed by Sri Indra, who were all singing the Praises of Sri Vishnu. Sri Brahma was also present, reciting the Vedas. Yamaraja fell down and offered his respects before Sri Vishnu, and offered the following praise, “My dear Vishnu, You are the well-wisher of all the conditioned souls. There is no Limit of Your glories. From You the Vedas have come, You are time. And in The course of time You will destroy all things. You are the cause and maintainer of the three worlds and You are the Supersoul in every one’s heart, who is directing their activities. You are the Guru of the whole universe, and the goal of all devotees. Oh, lotus-eyed one, please accept my obeisances again and again. Your glories are unlimited.”

In this way Yamaraja with folded hands offered his respects to Sri Vishnu. Yamaraja continued, “As per Your instructions, I have released all the conditioned souls from hell. So kindly instruct me, what work You wish me to perform now” Sri Vishnu replied in a voice as deep as thunder, and as sweet as nectar, “My dear Dharmaraja (Yamaraja), you are equal to every one, and I do not need to instruct you on your duties. Kindly return to your abode with my full blessings, and continue your duty”

At that time, Sri Vishnu disappeared from the vision of Yamaraja, and Yamaraja returned to his own abode. After that brahmana had successfully freed all of his ancestors and the rest of the conditioned souls from hell, the Vishnudutas came, and took him to the abode of Sri Vishnu, where he was able to engage in the service of the lotus-feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead eternally.

 

 The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Four

Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, now I will describe the glories of the Fourth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

On the bank of the river Ganges there is a town of the name Kasi, (Banaras), where at the temple of Vishvanath, a great saint of the name Bharata lived. Daily with the greatest devotion, he would recite the fourth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Previously, when Bharat had been travelling on pilgrimage he had gone to the town of Tapodan to take darshan of the Deity of Sri Krishna there. While leaving that town, he saw two Bael fruit trees. Deciding to take rest under the shade of those trees, he lay down, using the root of one of the tree as a pillow. and a root of the other to rest his feet upon.

After some time, when Bharat left from that place, those two trees started to dry up. Within five or six days both trees completely dried up and died. The two souls, who had been living in those trees, took their next birth as the daughters of a very pious Brahmana. Once, when those girls had reached the age of seven years, they had gone on pilgrimage to Kasi (Banaras). While wandering in Kasi, they happened to see the great sage Bharata. When they saw Bharata Maharaja they immediately went and fell at his feet and in sweet words said, “Oh. Maharaja Bharat, due to your mercy we both became freed from the tree form of life.” When Bharata Maharaja heard their statement, he became surprised. He inquired from them, “My dear daughters, where and when did I come in contact with you, and free you from the form of trees? Also kindly inform me, how you attained the form of trees? Because I do not know anything of this matter.” Thereafter, those two girls first informed Bharata Maharaja the reason for their attaining the form of trees.

The two girls said, “Maharaja, on the bank of the river Godavari there is a sacred place of the name Chinnapaap. At that place, there was a rishi of the name, Sachatapa. He was performing very great and difficult austerities. In the hot season he would sit in between many fires, and in the cold season, he would stand in the cold river. In the course of time, he became completely pure, and had complete control of his senses, and slowly he attained the Lotus-Feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Sri Brahma started visiting daily to take the darshan of Sachatapa and put questions before him about the devotional service of Sri Krishna. Sri Indra meanwhile, was becoming very worried seeing the elevated position of Sachatapa, thinking that he might one day usurp his own position as king of heaven. At that time, Sri Indra called the two of us, who in that birth were apsaras in the heavenly kingdom, an instructed us, ‘Go and cause the fall down of Sachatapa, before he tries to usurp me from my position.”

After receiving Sri Indra’s instructions, we left from his presence and went to the bank of the Godavari River, where Sachatapa was performing austerities. At that place, we both started to sing and dance very provocatively close to Sachatapa, with the intention of causing that sage to engage in a sexual relationship with us. While dancing, our covering cloth slipped down and our breasts became visible. At that time, taking water in his hand, that sage cursed us in the following words.

“You both go and become Bael trees on the bank of the river Ganga.” upon hearing his curse, we both fell at his feet and begged his forgiveness. “My dear sage, please forgive us, for we are simply the servants of Sri Indra.” Seeing our submissive attitude that sage became pleased and informed us that we would remain as trees until Maharaja Bharata came in contact with us. And he also blessed us, that we would be able to, remember our previous births.

“My dear Maharaja Bharata at the time when you visited Tapodan, you rested beneath us. When we were in the form of Bael trees, you were reciting the Fourth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, and by hearing that recitation, we not only became free from that tree form of life and attained birth in a devotee family, also we lost all desire for enjoying in this material world.”

Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, when those two girls recited their history before Bharata Maharaja, he became very happy, and left for his ashram. Those two girls throughout their life carefully recited the Fourth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita daily and attained devotion to My lotus-feet.”

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Five

Sri Vishnu said, “Now I will describe to you the unlimited glories of the Fifth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita. Listen very carefully.

In the state of Madra, there is a town of the name Puru Kutsapur. There lived a brahmana by the name of Pingala. During his childhood he was trained in various brahminical activities and was taught the Vedas. But he had no interest in his studies. When he reached his youth he gave up his brahminical pursuits and started to learn how to play instruments as well as singing and dancing. Slowly he became so famous in this field that the king himself invited him to live in the palace. While he was living there he slowly degraded more and more into sinful life. He started to enjoy with other men’s wives and engage in all kinds of sinful activities and intoxication.

He became so proud of his position as he gained more and more intimacy with the king. He especially enjoyed criticizing others to the king in private. Pingala had a wife whose name was Aruna, who was born in a low-class family. She was very lusty and enjoyed relationships with many other men. When her husband found out about her activities, she decided to kill him. Late one night she chopped off his head and buried his body in the garden. After his death Pingala fell into the deepest regions of hell and after having suffered there for a long time he took birth as a vulture. Aruna, after freely enjoying with many men contacted venereal disease and her youthful body very soon became ugly and unattractive. When she died she went on to hell and after having suffered for a long time, she, attained the body of a female parrot. One day that parrot was searching here and there for food. In the meantime the vulture, who in his previous life had been Pingala, saw the female parrot and remembering his last life and understanding that this parrot had been his wife, he attacked her with his sharp beaks. The parrot fell down into the water contained in a human skull and drowned. Just then a hunter came and shot the vulture with an arrow. The vulture fell and his head dropped into the water of that skull and he drowned.

Then the messengers of Yamaraja came and took them to the abode of death. At that time they became very afraid remembering their past sinful lives.

When they came in front of Yamaraja he told them, “You are now free of all sins and you may go to Vaikuntha”. When Pingala and Aruna heard this they inquired from Yamaraja how two sinful persons such as they had attained the right to go to Vaikuntha.

Yamaraja replied, “On the banks of the river Ganga lived a great devotee; of Sri Vishnu by the name of Vat, he was free from lust and greed. Daily he recited the Fifth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita and when Vat gave up his body he went straight to Vaikuntha. Due to his reciting the Fifth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita daily, his body became completely pure, and because of your coming in contact with the skull of the body of that devotee you both have attained Vaikuntha. This is the glory of the Fifth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita “

Sri Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, when they both heard the glories of Bhagavad-gita from Yamaraja they became very happy and sat down in the flower airplane which had come to take them to Vaikuntha.”

Anyone who hears the Fifth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, even the most sinful, will attain Vaikuntha.

 

 The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Six

Sri Vishnu said, “Now I will tell you the glories of the Sixth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Whoever hears this description, will be liberated from the material world.

On the bank of the Godavari river, there is a beautiful town of the name Pratishthanpur (Paithan), where I am famous by the name of Pippalesh. In that town there was a king of the name Janshruti, Whom the people loved very much and whose qualities were unlimited. He performed daily fire sacrifices, which were so opulent and large that the smoke from them reached the Heavenly pleasure garden known as Nandanvan, and made the leaves of the Kalpavrksa trees black. Those trees appeared as if they were offering their respects to king Janashruti. Due to the pious activities of that great king, demigods always resided in Pratishthanpur.

When Janshruti would give charity, he would distribute just as the clouds distribute the rain. Due to Janshruti’s pure religious activities, rain always comes at the right time. And the fields were always full of crops, which were not disturbed by the six types of rodents. He was always digging wells and lakes for the welfare of the citizens. The demigods, being very pleased with Janashruti, went to his palace in the form of swans to bless him. They were flying through the sky, one behind the other, talking together. Bhadrashva, along with two or three other swans, flew ahead of the rest. At that time, the other swans addressed Bhadrashva, “Oh, brother, why are you flying ahead? Do you not see in front of you the great king Janashruti, who is so powerful that he can burn up his enemies by his desire.” When Bhadrashva heard the words of the other swans, he started to laugh and said, “Oh brothers, is this king Janashruti as powerful as the great sage Raikva?”

When the king heard the words of the swans, he immediately came down from the roof of his high palace and happily sat on his throne. At that time he called his chariot driver and instructed him to go and find the great sage Raikva. When the chariot driver of the name Maha heard the king’s instructions, he became very happy, and left immediately to search out Raikva. First he traveled to Kashipuri, where Sri Vishvanath resides, for the welfare of all beings. Next, he went to Gaya, where the lotus-eyed Sri Gadadhara who is capable of freeing all beings from the bondage of birth and death, stays. After having traveled to many holy places, he came to Mathura, which is capable of destroying all sins. In this place the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, resides. All of the great sages, demigods, also the Vedas, and other shastras, in their personal forms, perform austerities, and render service to Sri Krishna. Mathura which is in the shape of a half-moon, and is situated on the bank of the beautiful devotion-giving river Jamuna. In that area is the beautiful Govardhana hill, which adds to the splendor and glory of Mathura-Mandala like a large jewel in a crown. It is surrounded by pure trees and creepers. There are twelve wonderful forests surrounding Mathura in which Sri Krishna enjoys His wonderful pastimes.

After leaving Mathura, Maha traveled to the West, and then to the North. One day, he came to a town known as Kashmir in which he saw a very large and shining white place. At that place all of the people, even the foolish men, looked as beautiful demigods due to the fact that many sacrificial fires were burning continuously. It looked as if a row of clouds always hung over the town. The Deity of Sri Siva, known as Manikeshvara, resided in that town. The king of Kashmir had just returned from defeating many kings, and was engaged in worshipping Sri Siva. Due to his great devotion to Sri Siva, that king was known as Manikeshvar. Just close to the door of the temple, sitting on a small cart, underneath a tree, Maha saw the great sage Raikva. When he recognized Raikva from the description of Janashruti, he immediately fell at his feet and inquired from him. “Oh, great sage, where do you live? And what is your full name? You are such a highly elevated person. Why are you sitting in this place?” When Raikva heard the words of Maha, he thought for some time, and then replied, “I am fully satisfied, I do not require anything.”

When Maha heard this reply, in his heart he could understand everything. He immediately left on the long journey, back to Pratishthanpur. When he reached his destination, he immediately went and offered his respects to the king, and with folded hands informed the king of all the events, which had taken place. After the king had heard everything from Maha he decided to leave at once, to take the darshan of the great sage Raikva. Sitting in a beautiful chariot, and taking with him many valuable gifts, he left for Kashmir. When he reached the place, where the sage Raikva was staying, he fell at his feet and placed the entire valuable silks and jewels, which he had brought with him before Raikva. At that time, the great sage Raikva became very angry. He said, “Oh foolish king, you take all these useless things and put them in your chariot, and leave from this place”. The king immediately with great devotion, fell at the feet of Raikva, and begged his forgiveness, asking him to be merciful upon him. He inquired from Raikva, “Oh, sage, how have you attained such a high state of renunciation and devotion to the Sri?”

Becoming pleased with the king’s submissive attitude, Raikva replied “Daily I recite the Sixth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita “. After that, king Janashruti heard from Raikva the Sixth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. And thereafter, he engaged in daily reciting that Sixth Chapter. And in course of time a flower airplane arrived and took him to Vaikuntha. Meanwhile, that great sage, who was reciting the Sixth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita daily, went to Vaikuntha, where he engaged in the service of the lotus-feet of the Supreme Sri Vishnu.

Anyone, who recites this Sixth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, will very soon attain service to the lotus-feet of Sri Vishnu, of this there is no doubt.

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Seven

Sri Siva said, “My dear Parvati, now I will tell you the glories of the Seventh Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita, hearing which, one feels his ears have been filled with divine nectar.

Pataliputra is the name of one large town, which has many large gates. In that town lived a brahmana of the name Shankukama He had taken to the occupation of a businessman, and had amassed a very large wealth. But he had never performed any type of devotional activities, nor had he performed the necessary ritualistic performances for the sake of his forefathers. He became very rich, so much that even great kings would dine at his house. Shankukarna was also the most miserly of persons, and he kept his wealth buried under the ground.

Once, when that brahmana was going along with his children and other relatives for the purpose of his fourth marriage, they stopped at one place to rest for the night. While he was sleeping, a snake came and bit him. When his sons and relatives realized that a snake had bitten him, they called for the doctors and mantra-chanters. But no one was able to help Shankukarna, and shortly he died. After that he attained the body of a Preta-Sarp, a snake-ghost. The only thing he was able to think about was his wealth, which was buried close to the house where he had lived. He had not even informed his own family of the whereabouts of his wealth. Even in the form of a Preta-Sarp he resided at the place where his wealth was buried, so that no one else could take that wealth. After some time he became tired of being trapped in the form of a Preta-Sarp and he appeared in dreams to his sons and requested them to help him. In the morning, when his lazy sons woke up, they told each other about the dream they had seen. One of his sons took a large digging instrument in his hands and went to the place the father had indicated that he was living. When he reached that place he realized that he was not aware of the exact spot where the wealth was buried. That son was exceptionally greedy, and he searched for a long time, until he came across a snake-hole, which he promptly started to dig out.

Shortly a very large and fearful looking snake came out of that hole and spoke the following, “Oh, fool, who are you? Why have you come here? Who has sent you? And why are you digging at this place? Reply to my questions at once.”

The son replied, “I am your son. My name is Shiva. In a dream last night. I saw that there were hidden treasures buried at this place and I came to take them. When he heard Shiva speaking that way the Preta-Sarp started to laugh and said, “If you are my son, then why are you not performing the necessary rituals to free me from this hellish situation. Due to greed in my last life, I attained this body and now you are heading the same way.”

The son inquired, “My dear father, kindly tell me how you can be freed from this hellish situation?” The Preta-Sarp said, “Not by any kind of charity, tapasya or yajna, only by reciting of the Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita will I be able to become free from the wheel of birth and death. My dear son kindly perform the shraddha ceremony and on that day, invite a Brahmana, who is in the habit of chanting the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita and feed him very sumptuously.”

Thereafter, Shiva, along with his other brother fulfilled the instructions of their father and while the Brahmana was chanting the Seventh Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Sankukarna gave up that frightful body of a Preta-Sarp and attained a divine four-armed body. At that time he blessed his sons and informed them where his wealth was and then left for Vaikuntha.

Those sons, whose minds had become fixed in devotion to Sri Krishna, used that wealth for building temples, digging wells and kinds, and distributing foodstuffs. They all engaged daily in the recitation of the Seventh Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. And very quickly they attained the lotus feet of Sri Krishna.

Sri Siva said, “My dear Parvati, I have told you the wonderful glories of the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita. Anyone, who hears this description, will be freed from all sinful reactions.”

 

The Glories of Bhagavad-gita: Chapter Eight

Sri Siva said, “My dear Parvati, now please listen to the glories of the Eighth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-gita. After listening to this, you will feel great joy.

In the South is an important town of the name Amardhkapur in which one brahmana of the name Bhavasharma lived, who had taken a prostitute as his wife. Bhavasharma enjoyed eating meat, drinking wine, stealing, going with other’s wives; and hunting. One day, that sinful Bhavasharma was invited to a party, where he drank so much alcohol that it started to come out of his mouth. After the party, he became very sick and suffered from chronic dysentery, and after many days of suffering he died and attained the body of a date-palm-tree.

Gita Mahatmya of Padma Purana – Part Two is awailable here.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

If you ask twenty different initiated Gaudiya Vaisnavas (aka Chaitanya Vaisnavas) to explain what is a Gaudiya Vaisnava; who is their worshipable ishta-devata; what is the goal of attainment (sadhya); and what is the practice (sadhana) or means to attain that goal—you will get TWENTY DIFFERENT ANSWERS!

Now we will cite the sacred scriptures to correctly answer these questions. First of all, who is Sri Chaitanya? Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is directly Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who, after immersing His heart in Srimati Radharani’s ecstatic loving emotions and covering Himself with Her supremely radiant golden color, appeared as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago in Navadvipa Dhama, W. Bengal.

To put it simply, a Gaudiya Vaisnava is a Krishna devotee who follows the philosophy, teachings and the sadhana practices taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, the sole founder of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s personal words and exact teachings on the worshipable ishta-devata, the daily sadhana practices, and the spiritual goal i.e. sadhya are clearly presented in the books of the Gaudiya Vaisnava  mahajana  acharyas i.e. Six Goswamis, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura, and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti.

So, if one is not following Sri Chaitanya’s teachings and practices to attain Mahaprabhu’s definition of spiritual perfection, he/she is not really a Gaudiya Vaisnava.

Here are Mahaprabhu’s personal instructions and answers to the opening questions.

In the beginning of Chaitanya-caritamrita, Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja presents the basis or foundation of Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma by quoting the direct words of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

In one of His first teachings, Sri Krishna Chaitanya said, “I have come to this world to taste the essence of ecstatic Krishna prema and TO PREACH RAGANUGA-BHAKTI to the people [what to speak of the devotees!], prema-rasa-niryāsa, kariteāsvādana, rāga-mārga bhakti loke, karitepracāraṇa.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.15)

Sri Krishna Chaitanya said, “When My devotees hear about the immaculately pure love of the Vrajavasis, they will worship Me on the PATH OF RAGANUGA BHAKTI, and there by give up their duties within the varnashrama-system, vrajeranirmala raga, śunibhakta-gaṇa,  rāga-mārgebhajeyena, chāḍi dharma-karma.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.33)

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: “I relished the mellows of love in various ways. And through My pastimes I TAUGHT THE DEVOTEES HOW TO PRACTICE RAGANUGA-BHAKTI, prema-rasa āsvādila, vividhaprakāra, rāga-mārgebhakta bhakti, kare ye prakāre, tāhāśikhāilalīlā, ācaraṇadvāre.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.4.264-5)

Throughout Chaitanya-caritamrita, Mahaprabhu describes the Gaudiya sadhana of raganuga-bhakti (raga-marge)—both the physical practices and the internal mental practices of meditation on one’s siddha-deha and the eternal pastimes of Radha and Krishna.

Goal of Gaudiya Vaisnava

The essential teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma is fully described in just two chapters of Chaitanya-caritamrita (adi four, and madhya eight. Every Gaudiya Vaisnava should deeply study these two chapters. By this one will get a clear understanding of the actual true goal (sadhya) and proper means of attaining it (sadhana).

Chaitanya-caritamrita, madhyalila chapter eight is titled “Sri Ramananda Raya Samvad”. Here, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, inspires and empowers His devotee Sri Ramananda Raya to answer His questions concerning Gaudiya Vaisnava sadhana and sadhya.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, “O Ramananda! WHAT IS THE GOAL OF LIFE, prabhukahepaḍaśloka, sādhyeranirṇaya?” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.57)

Sri Ramananda Raya answered by describing many paths to God realization including varnashrama-dharma, karma-yoga, karmarpanam, niskama karma-yoga, jnana-misra bhakti, shuddha-bhakti, dasya-bhakti, sakhya-bhakti, vatsalya-bhakti, madhurya-bhakti, pure Vrajaprema, Srimati Radharani’s mahabhava, and lastly prema-vilasa-vivarta—the melting of Radha-Madhava’s  hearts and identities in the union of ultimate divine love.

After listening to each of these paths and goals, Mahaprabhu would say, “This is not it, go further, go further.” When Sri Ramananda Raya described the Vrajasrngara-madhurya-bhava, and the love of Radha and Krishna relished in prema-vilasavivarta, Mahaprabhu confirmed, “YES! This is the topmost goal of life, prabhukahesādhyavastura, avadhieihaya.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.196)

Means to Attain the Goal

Mahaprabhu inquired, “But without practicing the proper sadhana, no one will attain this goal (sadhya). So please tell me the sadhana to attain this goal [i.e. Radha-Krishna premaseva in Vrindavana], sādhyavastusādhanavinu, kehanāhipāya, kṛpākari’ kaharāya, pābāraupāya?” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.197) 

Sri Ramananda Raya replied: “Those who develop the feelings and moods of the sakhis (sakhi/gopi-bhava) can attain the [Gaudiya Vaisnava] goal of life, Radha-Krishna’s seva in the beautiful bowers of Vrindavana. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO REACH THIS GOAL.”

sakhīvināeilīlāya, anyeranāhigati//sakhī-bhāve ye tāṅre, kareanugati
rādhākṛṣṇakuñjasevā, sādhyaseipāya//seisādhyapāiteāra, nāhikaupāya

Qualification to Start Raganuga Bhakti

Sri Ramananda Raya: “A Gaudiya Vaisnava who has “divine” greed to attain the gopīs’ nectareanprema (gopibhava amrita) will abandon the rites and rituals of the social/spiritual system i.e. varṇāśrama, and disregard the opinions or prohibitions of others to worship Krishna on the path of raganuga-bhakti, seigopī-bhāvāmṛte, yāṅralobhahaya, veda dharma lokatyaji, se kṛṣṇebhajaya.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.220)

Attaining Sri Krishna: Vraja or Vaikuntha? 

Sri Ramananda Raya: “One who practices raganugabhajana will attain Vrajendranandana Sri Krishna in Vraja, rāgānuga-mārgetāṅre, bhajeyeijana, sei-janapāyavraje, vrajendra-nandana. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.221)

“One, who follows the path of raganuga-bhakti, after accepting the gopi-bhava of one of Sri Krishna’s eternal associates in Vrindavana, will get a spiritual body (siddha deha), and the appropriate bhava and qualification to attain Sri Krishna in Vraja, vraja-lokerakonabhāva, lañāyeibhaje, bhāva-yogyadehapāñā, kṛṣṇapāyavraje.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.222)

Then Sri Ramananda Raya explains the importance of accepting/following the mood and feeling of a Vrajagopi like Sri Rupa or Tulasi manjari. By doing this the raganuga sadhaka will attain an eternal siddha deha in Vrindavana.

Sri Ramananda Raya: “If one follows the mood and bhava of a gopi, one will attain the spiritual body of a gopi, seibhāveanugati, gopī-deha-prāpti.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.225)

But then Sri Ramananda Raya gives a stern warning (verses 226, 230) that Gaudiya Vaisnava sadhakas WILL NEVER ATTAIN KRISHNA in Vrindavana without practicing raganuga-bhakti.

Sri Ramananda Raya: “One who just follows the path of vaidhi-sadhana will never attain Krishna’s association, taste the nectar of His lotus feet, nor attain Krishnachandra in Vraja, aṅghripadmasudhāyakahe, krishnasaṅgānanda, vidhimārgenāpāiye, vrajekrishna-candra.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.226)

The Gaudiya Vaisnava Sadhana & Sadhya

Sri Ramananda Raya concludes his teachings by presenting Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s essential instructions about the actual goal and path of practice for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas. This particular type of sadhana and sadhya is the unique gift to humanity by the Krishna Prema Avatara Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, which He only gives every 310 billion years or so!

Sri Ramananda Raya: “Listen, O Gaudiya Vaisnavas! You all must accept gopi-bhava, and day and night think about Radha-Krishna’s pastimes while mentally serving the Divine Couple in your siddha deha. By practicing raganuga-bhakti like this, you will definitely attain sakhi/gopi-bhava and the lotus feet of Radha-Krishna.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.6.228-229)

ataevagopī-bhāva, kariaṅgīkāra, rātri-dinacinterādhā, kṛṣṇeravihāra
siddha-dehecintikare, tāhāṅñisevana, sakhī-bhāvepāyarādhā, kṛṣṇeracaraṇa

After hearing Sri Ramananda Raya’s clear and exact explanations about His own teachings, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was extremely pleased and happy, so He warmly embraced Ramananda as they cried together in ecstatic Krishna prema, eta suniprabhutāṅre, kailaāliṅgana, dui janegalāgali, karenakrandana. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.233)

Later in madhya-lila, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself gave the same instructions on raganuga-bhakti sadhana and sadhya to Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Sanatana Goswami. Mahaprabhu empowered the divine brothers, and ordered them to describe the details of raganuga-bhakti in their books for the benefit of all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “O Sanatana Gosvami! There are two types of sādhana in rāgānugā-bhakti: external and internal. In the external sādhaka body, the devotee performs śravaṇa and kīrtana. Internally, within the mind, one should meditate on one’s own siddha-deha and mentally serve Sri Krishna day and night in Vraja.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.22.156-157):

bāhyaantaraihāra, dui ta’ sādhana, bāhyesādhakadehekare, śravaṇa-kīrtana
manenija-siddha-deha, kariyābhāvana, rātri-dine karevraje, krishnerasevana

So…Who is a Gaudiya Vaisnava? It is a devotee who knows and follows the personal teachings of Sri Chaitanya  Mahaprabhu, the founder of Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma, regarding the goal and means of attainment. 

By reading this post, we hope all our devoted friends will now have a clear understanding about what is the Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta regarding the actual sadhana and sadhya needed to attain the goal of our precious human forms of life.

May all find the true path, follow it, and attain the eternal prema-seva of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Yugala in the groves of Vrindavana.

Raganuga-bhakti ki jai! Radha-Krishna nitya-sevaki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

 

You may also like  related articles:

GAUDIYA VAISNAVA, IDENTITY AND GOAL

25 ESSENTIAL TEACHINGS FOR GAUDIYA VAISNAVAS

ESSENCE OF RAGANUGA BHAKTI

ARE YOU A VAISNAVA?

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Upon hearing about Bhishma-panchaka, non-devotees respond by saying, “O what a terrible vrata!” The following information comes from Padma and Skanda Purana.

I. BENEFITS & INTRODUCTION:

Bhishma Panchaka is a 5-day vrata, vow of fasting, starting on Utthana Ekadashi tithi (which usually means Dashami when the Ekadashi tithi starts) and ending on Karttika Purnima. Pure Krishna bhakti is easily obtained by Bhishma Panchhaka Vrata. Doing Bhishma Panchaka in Vrindavana can fulfill all one’s desires and easily give one pure bhakti for Sri Krishna.

II. STARTING BATH:

Begin with sunrise bath in holy place or at home on Dashami. Then starting the vrata, worship Bhismadeva with a bhoga offering, water and afterwards aratik. (use a painting of Bhishmadeva for puja).

Then offer obeisances and water to Bhishma along with this prayer: “I offer this water to Bhishma, who has Vaiyaghra pada gotra and Sanskrit pravara. I offer respectful obeisances to Bhishma, the incarnation of Vasu, who is the son of Shantanu and a lifelong celibate.” Worship Bhishma and pray for his mercy to complete the vow. Everyday bathe in silence at sunrise.

III. PUJA:

Daily bathe Thakurji with panchamrita. Offer new clothes to the Thakurji. Offer excellent food and cloves to the Thakurji. Offer aratika with incense, ghee lamp, water in a conchshell, napkin, flowers and camara. *also offer camphor lamp mixed with aguru oil.

Maintain an akhanda dipa near Thakurji or Tulasi for the entire five days. Offer ghee lamp in morning and evening to Thakurji. Daily offer ghee lamp to Tulasi devi.

IV. ACTION:

Observe celibacy and sleep on the floor. After Thakurji puja, chant 108 times the mantra: “Om Namo Vasudevaya” [Hare Krishna maha-mantra].

V. EATING:

Begin Dashami fasting til sunset and eat phalahara, no grains. Every day eat once only after sunset.

Eat fruits only ripe papaya, apple, mousambi, banana, all dried fruits, all raw nuts, sabzis only arbi, green banana and papaya, potato, yams (suran), and sweet potato (shakarkandi).

Ok to eat ghee, ekadashi salt, black pepper and ginger. No other spices can be taken. Continue this diet every day until Purnima.

DASAMI (DURING THE EKADASHI TITHI): Eat ½ tsp of cow dung; then eat only once after sunset.

EKADASI: Nirjala vrata; if you can’t do this, then eat muni-phala (apple, papaya, banana, mousambi) only once after sunset.

DVADASI: Breakfast with Maha Tulasi leaf and water; if you ate muniphala on ekadashi, then breakfast with charanamrit or a few cashews, almonds or raisins; then drink 50 ml of cow urine; eat the recommended foods once a day after sunset.

TRAYODASHI: Eat ghee once after sunrise. After sunset, eat recommended foods.

CATURDASHI: Eat yoghurt once after sunrise. After sunset, eat recommended foods.

PURNIMA: Drink milk once after sunrise; and follow the rules below for fast breaking.

VI: BREAKING THE FAST:

Before you break your fast, you must first feed brahmanas sweet rice made from cow’s milk and serve them all the foods you fasted from during your vratas of Bhisma, Karttik and Chaturmasya. Give money, gifts, sesame seeds and pots of water to the brahmanas.

Now break your fast during Purnima Abhijit Muhurta (11:45 am to 12:30 pm appx.), or later if necessary, but before sunset of Purnima day. First eat panchagavya (cow dung, cow urine, cow milk, cow yoghurt and cow ghee). Then eat sweet rice.

NOW eat all foods fasted from for Chaturmasya, Karttika Vrata and Bhisma Pancaka (eg. spinach, yoghurt, urad dal, milk, sweets, honey etc.)

All the above actions should be completed before sunset or before the end of Purnima tithi.

*NOTE: Eating five things from Gomata and sweet rice on Purnima is optional.

SRI BHISMA PANCAKA VRATA KI JAI!!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The minds of most people are filled with thoughts, which change from moment to moment. Like ocean waves, these thoughts, arise in the ocean of the mind, stay awhile and then disappear in the murky waters of forgetfulness—never to be thought again.

Devotees, however, try to still the ocean of thoughts by always thinking, remembering and speaking about the sweet and satisfying names, forms and pastimes of Radha and Krishna. In this regard, Sri Suka Muni says, “Devotees, who have accepted the essence of life, only talk about the ever-fresh topics of Acyuta Sri Krishna at every moment, satamsarabhrtamprati-kshanam, navya-vadacyutasyayat sadhu varta.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.13.2)

The practice of remembering Sri Krishna is so powerful and purifying that just by this one can attain liberation from birth and death, even while living. Think of Krishna—Go to Krishna!

The Vedas say, “One who remembers Sri Hari at every moment is liberated even while living in this world, harihsmrtihanukshanamjivanmuktasya.” (Brahma Vivarta Purana 4.16.122)

For Gaudiya Vaisnavas, the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are the essence of all spiritual instructions on how to attain the perfection of Krishna prema. In the following dialogue, Mahaprabhu reveals the importance of remembering Radha and Krishna and Their divine Vrajalilas.

Mahaprabhu said, “O Ramananda Raya! What should one always remember?”

Ramananda Raya: “One should mainly remember Sri Krishna’s name, qualities and pastimes, Krishna nama, guna, lila pradhana smarana.”

Mahaprabhu: “Among all the topics one can listen to, which is the best, sravanamadhyeshreshthasravana?”

Ramananda Raya: “The best topic is Radha-Krishna’s transcendental, amorous affairs that are a nectar tonic for the ears, Radha Krishna prema kelikarnarasayan.” (Caitanya Caritamrta. 2.8.252, 255)

During His youth, Nimai Pandita’s Sanskrit students once asked Prabhu a question about perfecting letters (varna siddha). Mahaprabhu replied in an equivocal way, which actually gives the answer to all questions, the solution of all problems, and the best means to attain spiritual perfection in human life. At that time, Mahaprabhu said, “Remember Sri Krishna at every moment, prabhu bale sarvakshanasrikrishnasmarana! (Caitanya Bhagavata 2.1.254)

In pursuance of Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s instruction to remember Krishna from moment to moment, we present the following outline of one transcendentally blissful, ever-new and fresh day in the loving lives of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna in Gokula Vrindavana.

Throughout the day, many people look at their mobiles to find out the time, weather, road conditions, news, sms messages, missed calls etc. If one keeps this asta-kaliya-lila outline on his/her phone, then one can always tune into the spiritual world, and thereby experience the peace and bliss of remembering Krishna from moment to moment.

We pray that the sensitive devotional readers will fill their minds and hearts with these pastimes, and thereby always think of Krishna from moment to moment. This outline can be saved on mobiles, pc’s or even printed out for constant review and relish of love divine.

Radha-Krishna lila smarana ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

SRI SRI RADHA KRISHNA**** ASTA KALIYA LILA

Period  One   Pastimes at the End of Night (3:36 a.m.—6:00 a.m.) Niśānta-līlā

3:36 a.m.—4:24 a.m.

The sakhīs’ morning services
The birds awaken Rādhā-Mādhava
The pleasure fatigue
Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s sweet fatigue

4:24 a.m.—5:36 a.m.

Mañjarīs’ services and Kṛṣṇa’s agitation
Female parrots speak to Rādhā
The male parrots speak to Kṛṣṇa
The sakhīs joy in seeing Rādhā& the pleasure bed

5:36 a.m.—6:00 a.m.

Forgetting to go home and Kakkhatī’s poetry
Rādhā’s lamentation and sleeping

 

Period Two   Morning Pastimes (6:00 a.m.—8:24 a.m.) Prātaḥ-līlā

6:00 a.m.—6:24 a.m.

The mañjarīs activities and Rādhā’s abode
Performing services for Rādhā
Dawn and arrival of Mukharā
Rādhā awakens
Talks with ŚyāmalāSakhī
Madhurikā Sakhī describes Kṛṣṇa’s waking and milking cows
Milking the cows
Rādhā’s condition &Śyāmalā’s departure
Rādhā brushes Her teeth
Kalāvatī narrates Kṛṣṇa’s cow-milking pastime

6:24 a.m.—6:48 a.m.

Rādhā’s bath and dressing

6:48 a.m.—7:36 a.m.

Hiraṇyāṅgī Sakhī describes Kṛṣṇa’s wrestling match
Kṛṣṇa’s dress & ornaments
Kundalatā takes Rādhā to Nanda’s house
Joking with the sakhīs
Tuṅgavidyā describes Nandīśvara
Seeing Kṛṣṇa at the entrance gate
Rādhā meets Yaśodā
Yaśodā’s cooking instructions
Rādhā & Rohiṇī cook
Yaśodā inspects the preparations

7:36 a.m.—8:24 a.m.

Serving and eating
The breakfast joking
Kṛṣṇa loses His appetite upon seeing Rādhā
The sakhīs eat

 

Period Three   Forenoon Pastimes (8:24 a.m.—10:48 a.m.) Purvāhna-līlā

8:24 a.m.—9:12 a.m.

Kṛṣṇa’s dressing & meeting His friends
Service items for forest playing
The gopīs’ responses to Kṛṣṇa’s leaving
Yaśodā instructs Kṛṣṇa
Bidding farewell to the Vrajavāsīs
Rādhā’s plans to meet Kṛṣṇa

9:12 a.m.—10:00 a.m.

Description of Kṛṣṇa& His friends
The Vṛndāvana forest and the boy’s sports
The forest welcomes Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa sees Rādhā everywhere
Dhaniṣṭhā’s news & Kṛṣṇa’s water sports
Picnic & Kusuma Sarovara meeting
Tulasī brings news of Rādhā
Śaibyā Sakhī deceived

10:00 a.m.—10:48 a.m.

Rūpa-mañjarī describes Rādhā’s anguish
Rādhā goes to Rādhā-kuṇḍa
Description of Lalitānanda-da Kuñja

 

Period Four   Midday Pastimes (10:48 a.m.—3:36 p.m.) Madhyāhna-līlā

10:48 a.m.—11:12 a.m.

Rādhā’s attraction to Kṛṣṇa
Power of Kṛṣṇa’s flute
Tulasī-mañjarī brings news of Kṛṣṇa
Dhaniṣṭhā describes the beauty of spring
The love journey to Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa sends Vṛndā to bring Rādhā
Rādhā, Vṛndā and Kundalatā’s discussion
Rādhā-Govinda’s mutual vision
Kṛṣṇa’s joy on meeting Rādhā

11:12 a.m.—11:36 a.m.

Conversations while picking flowers
Rādhā’s ownership of the forest
A clever conversation
Kṛṣṇa embraces Rādhā
Lalitā jokes with Kṛṣṇa

11:36 a.m.—12:00 p.m.

Flute stealing pastimes
Kṛṣṇa enters Rādhā’s bower

12:00 p.m.—12:24 p.m.

Description of Rādhā

12:24 p.m.—1:12 p.m.

Service of the six seasons
Beauty of Vṛndāvana
Service of the creepers
Rādhā’s pretense of anger
The Spring Forest

1:12 p.m.—1:36 p.m.

Spring festival of Holī
Summer forest pastimes
Entering the monsoon forest
Swing pastimes
The autumn forest
The winter forest
The dewy season forest
Rādhā transformations in prema
Pastimes of drinking madhvikā nectar

1:36 p.m.—2:00 p.m.

Sleeping pastimes
Talks about Rādhā’s intimacy

2:00 p.m.—2:24 p.m.

Divine water sports in Rādhā-kuṇḍa
Dressing at the lotus pavilion
Forest lunch

2:24 p.m.—2:48 p.m.

The parrots glorify Kṛṣṇa’s beautiful form

2:48 p.m.—3:12 p.m.

The parrots describe Kṛṣṇa’s divine qualities

3:12 p.m.—3:36 p.m.

The sakhīs praise Rādhā’s elegant form
The female parrot describe the sakhīs
The gambling match
Sun-god worship

 

Period Five   Afternoon Pastimes (3:36 p.m.—6:00 p.m.) Aparāhna-līlā

3:36 p.m.—4:00 p.m.

Candanakalā Sakhī relieves Rādhā

4:00 p.m.—4:24 p.m.

Rādhā cooks Kṛṣṇa’s favorite five sweets

4:24 p.m.—4:48 p.m.

Rādhā praises Kṛṣṇa’s flute

4:48 p.m.—6:00 p.m.

The sakhīs receive the returning Kṛṣṇa
The meeting of Rādhā-Mādhava

 

Period Six   Dusk Pastimes (6:00 p.m.—8:24 p.m.) Sāyāhna-līlā

6:00 p.m.—6:24 p.m.

The attractive features of Kṛṣṇa
Tulasī relieves Rādhā
Yaśodā’s motherly affection for Kṛṣṇa

6:24 p.m.—6:48 p.m.

Kṛṣṇa’s bath
Kṛṣṇa&Balarāma’s meal

6:48—8:24 p.m.

Kṛṣṇa milks the cows

 

Period Seven   Evening Pastimes (8:24 p.m.—10:48 p.m.) Pradośa-līlā

8:24 p.m.—8:48 p.m.

Induprabhā Sakhī brings Rādhā news of Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa’s sleeping chamber
Kṛṣṇa describes Rādhā’s beauty
Subala describes Rādhā’s separation
Nanda entertains Kṛṣṇa

8:48 p.m.—10:00 p.m.

Kṛṣṇa goes to His bedroom
Rādhā’s evening meal

10:00 p.m.—10:24 p.m.

Kṛṣṇa goes to meet Rādhā
Rādhā describes Kṛṣṇa’s beauty
Lalitā comforts Rādhā and their departure
Description of Govinda-sthali Yogapitha

10:24 p.m.—10:48 p.m.

Meeting Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa searches for Rādhā

 

Period Eight   Midnight Pastimes (10:48 p.m.—3:36 a.m.) Niśa-līlā

10:48 p.m.—11:12 p.m.

Vṛndā serves Rādhā-Mādhava
Pastimes in the forest
Glory of the forest

11:12 p.m.—1:12 a.m.

The rāsa dance begins
Rāsa-līlā

1:12 a.m.—1:36 a.m.

Rest & more dancing

1:36 a.m.—2:00 a.m.

Drinking party
Rādhā-Mādhava’s intimate pastimes
Pastimes with other gopīs

2:00 a.m.—2:24 a.m.

Water pastimes

2:24 a.m.—2:48 a.m.

Dressing, eating and resting

2:48 a.m.—3:12 a.m.

The mañjarīs serve Rādhā-Mādhava

3:12 a.m.—3:36 a.m.

Rādhā-Mādhava’s confidential pastimes
Mādhava enjoys the other gopīs

Radha-Krishna lila smarana ki jai! Remembering Radha Govinda moment to moment ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!