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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

“In unalloyed love of Godhead we have to engage our senses, sar vendriya, all the senses. This means that sex is also to be engaged in Krsna consciousness. The conception of God as father or mother (vatsalya-rasa), does not allow engagement of one’s sex in the service of the Lord, because there is no sexual relationship with the father and mother. But in the conception of God as a lover, there is sexual engagement also. Therefore, Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave the most perfect information of our engagement with the Supreme Lord.”

“Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu informs us that one can even have sexual engagement with the Lord. This information is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s unique contribution. In this material world, sexual engagement is considered to be the highest engagement, the greatest pleasure, although it exists only in a perverted form. No one, however, has conceived that there can be sexual engagement in the spiritual world. There is not a single instance of such theology anywhere in the entire world. This information is given for the first time by Caitanya Mahaprabhu; one can have the Supreme Personality of Godhead as one’s husband, as one’s lover.”

“This is possible in the worship of Radha and Krsna, but no one, especially impersonalists can understand Radha-Krsna. The impersonalists have no idea; they cannot even conceive that God has form. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that not only does God have form, but He has sex life also. This is the highest contribution of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” (HDG Srila Prabhupada from book “Science of Self Realisation” SSR)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

From the first day of spring, Vasanta Pancami (Visnupriya’s appearance day) until Gaura Purnima, Lord Gauranga plays Holi for 40 days continuously. On each day of these 40 days, Sri Gaurasundara performs Holi lila in the homes of His various confidential devotees. First Holi is in Advaitacarya’s house on Vasanta Pancami. Then on Trayodasi, He plays Holi in Nityananda’s house. In this month on Sukla Sasthi (March 6) , Gauranga plays Holi in Gauridasa Pandita’s house. Then on astami, in Uddharana Datta’s house. On Purnima, Mahaprabhu plays Holi in own home.

Holi Pastimes of Gauranga

On the bank of the Ganga, Sri Gauranga divided His intimate devotees into two groups: One team with Gauranga, and one team with Gadadhara Pandita. In Gadadhara’s team, there were Svarupa Damodara, Mukunda, Vasu Ghosa and many others. Gauranga’s side was led by Gauridasa Pandita. As previously in Krsna-lila, all the sakhis and manjaris sided with Radha and all the sakhas teamed up together with Krsna to attack the sakhis. And now in Nadiya, the same devotees sided with either Gaura or Gadadhara respectively. Picking up pichkaris (syringes), Gauranga’s team squirted Sri Gadadhara and his team. Then in retaliation, Svarupa Damodara and others began to hurl coloured powders bombarding Gauranga and His party from all sides. As the fun pastimes of Holi progressed, Gauridasa started clapping his hands and shouting excitingly, “Gauranga has won, Gauranga has won!” Then Svarupa Damodara angrily replied, “No, Gauranga has lost. The winner is my Gadadhara!” At this instant, some devotees slapped their chests and others sang and danced raising their hands into the sky, “Haribol! Haribol! Gaura Haribol!” (Mohandasa, disciple of Srinivasa Acarya)

Om tat Sat

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sri Shiva heard these prayers from Sri Brahmaji and later spoke them to the Pracetas. They are called “Rudra Gita” in the Srimad Bhagavatam. This post highlights its special verses along with the wonderful commentaries of Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada.

Sri Shiva: “Bhagavan Sri Krishna, You have revealed yourself as supreme for producing the most auspicious condition for the best of atmaramas. May I also attain that auspicious condition! May I also attain perfection by worshipping you. I offer respects to you, who are everyone, including guru.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.24.33)

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “May I also attain perfection by worshipping you.”

Sri Krishna replies, “But you will attain my worship by the mercy of a guru and no one else. Not by me.”

Shiva: “But you are the form of everyone. You are the guru and the devotee. Thus you can make me worship you.”

Sri Shiva: “I offer my respects to Bhagavan Sri Aniruddha, the master of the mind, which is the chief sense. I offer respects to the perfect sun, who nourishes the jiva.” 36

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “O devata of the sun! Make my eyes see the beauty of Sri Krishna’s form. (The sun is the devata of eyes.) May the energy coming from my body, non-different from the sun’s energy, be purified!”

Sri Shiva: “I offer respects to the deity of the moon.” 38

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “Though already the mind had been purified by offering respects to the upasya devata (for worship) of the mind, Aniruddha, because the mind is difficult to control, Sri Shiva again purifies the mind by offering respects to its presiding deity, the moon devata.”

Sri Shiva: “O Bhagavan Sri Krishna! Show us your form worshipped by the devotees. That beautiful form most treasured by your devotees is endowed with all qualities and senses and we desire to see it.” 44

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “Remembering in this way, purifying the body, senses and mind by offering respects, Sri Shiva has become qualified. Now he prays to see Bhagavan Sri Krishna.”

Sri Krishna: “Sri Shiva, what form should I show you?”

Sri Shiva: “It should be a beautiful form, most loved by your devotees. It is attractive with senses, qualities and form. Your form is a beneficial ointment for all the senses. And by seeing it the senses will give up the blindness of material enjoyment and be able to experience you.”

Sri Shiva: “Bhagavan Sri Krishna shines dark like a rain cloud, the sum of all beauty, with four long arms and noble, attractive face. Sri Krishna has lotus eyes, graceful brows and nose, fine teeth and forehead, and well-proportioned ears.” 45-46

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “Sneha means affectionate and glossy. Sri Krishna’s form is like a rain cloud showering profusely what the devotee desires. It gives relief from suffering and joy to the mind which is like a cataka bird drinking the rain. In Sri Krishna one finds the combined beauty of all material and spiritual objects.”

“Thus Krishna is completely attractive because there is no comparison with Krishna’s beauty. All beauty feels successful in being accepted by Krishna. Four arms mean Sri Krishna has four arms for serving his lovers. Krishna’s face is beautiful like a perfect lotus and his eyes are like the soft petals of a lotus.”

Sri Shiva: “O Krishna! Show your divine form with a foot beautiful as an autumn lotus petal, which dissipates the darkness in the heart by the light from its toenails! O guru! You are the teacher of bhakti for us, who are covered in ignorance!’’ 52

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “Another meaning: Sri Shiva said, ‘O Krishna! I have seen your beautiful form, but I have not seen the beauty of the soles of your feet. Even if you can’t show your two feet completely since you are standing in the Maha-yogapitha, just raise one foot a little while standing on the other. Standing on the earth with your left foot, raise and tilt your right foot to show the sole, so that the fear of material existence will be destroyed.”

Sri Krishna says, ‘Mahadeva! How did such a thought arise in you?’

Sri Shiva: ‘It has arisen by the mercy of guru. O guru! You are the teacher of bhakti for us whose eyes are blinded due to ignorance.’”

Sri Shiva: “Desiring purification of oneself, one should repeatedly meditate on the form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Devotion to Krishna’s form gives freedom from the fear of death, even to those practicing varnashram duties.” 53

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “Sri Shiva gives some special information in this verse. As long as one has not seen Krishna one must repeatedly meditate on his beautiful sweet form. This is the best means to purify one’s identity. Eventually the devotee sees Sri Krishna and becomes his associate. Thus the goal of the shuddha-bhakta has been shown.”

Sri Shiva: “Death, who destroys everyone in the universe with his power, cannot take possession of one surrendered to Krishna’s lotus feet.” 56

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “The devotee has no fear of samsara. What need has he to pray for release from samsara? Time does not consider that person who has taken shelter of Sri Krishna’s lotus feet.”

Sri Shiva: “What to speak of any blessings on this earth or on Svarga, even the blessing of liberation cannot compare with even half a moment’s association with a Krishna bhakta.” 57

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “If by half a moment’s association one obtains such results, then how much more result will be obtained if the association takes place with devotion, which produces further bhakti?”

Sri Shiva: “The devotee whose heart is pure is not agitated by external objects, and does not fall asleep during worship. Thus being blessed by Bhakti-devi herself, certainly one will easily see Krishna’s pastimes and beauty.” 59

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada: “O Sri Krishna! From association with your devotees, the heart becomes especially pure (vishuddham). With a pure heart, one can realize your form, pastimes and beauty. The pure heart (chittam) is described. It is not agitated by external objects nor subject to drowsiness.”

“The reason is that it has been purified by bhakti. Sleep and agitation are caused by nama-aparadha which are offenses to bhakti. When offenses disappear Bhakti-devi becomes pleased and gives mercy. Then there will be no agitation or sleep while doing bhakti. When the heart is pure, one will be able to meditate and see your pastimes and beauty.”

Concluding his “Rudra Gita”, Sri Shiva advises the Pracetas:

tam -evatmanam -atma-stham
sarva-bhuteshv -avasthitam
pujayadhvam –grnantash -ca
dhyayantash –ca -sakrd -dharim

Srila Prabhupada translation: “Therefore, O sons of the King, Bhagavan Sri Hari is situated in everyone’s heart. He is also within your hearts. Therefore, chant the glories of Sri Krishna and always meditate upon Krishna continuously.”

Srila Prabhupada purport: The word asakrt is significant, for it means not just for a few minutes but continuously. That is the instruction given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, kirtaniyah –sada –hari. The holy name of the Krishna should be chanted twenty-four hours daily.

“Because the princes [Pracetas] were ready to enter into some severe austerity in order to worship Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Sri Shiva advised them to constantly chant and meditate upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is significant that Sri Shiva personally offered his prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead just as he was taught by his father, Sri Brahma.

“One can search out Bhagavan Sri Krishna very easily within one’s heart, for Krishna is situated in every living entity’s heart. Anyone can sit down anywhere and simply chant the holy names of Krishna.”

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Rudra Gita ki jai! Sri Shiva ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Everyone in Katwa– old men, women, children, the blind and invalid, scholars and fools– ran to look at the all-attractive form of Lord Gaurahari. Some women carried water pots on their hips. Others stood motionless, captivated by the mystifying beauty of the Lord. People ridiculed Kesava Bharati for giving sannyasa to such a handsome young man.

Everyone praised the mother who gave birth to such a remarkable son of matchless beauty. They thought to themselves, “Sacidevi, the fortunate mother of Gauranga, is as glorious as Devaki, the famous mother of Lord Sri Krishna. Whoever got Gauranga as her husband is the most fortunate woman in the three worlds.

“No one can take their eyes off the indescribably attractive form of Gaurasundara. Any woman would die simply by hearing that He’s taking sannyasa. How can we tolerate His taking sannyasa?” The people who were thinking like this began weeping loudly.

Feeling compassionate, Gauranga called them together telling them not to lament. He said, “Please bless Me that I may fulfill My desire to dedicate My life to serving the lotus feet of Krishna. Everyone wants to get a proper master. One’s beauty and youth should be utilized in service of the right master. Without a master or husband all of one’s talents and qualities are useless.

“The service of the feet of Krishna is My only shelter. I will serve the beloved master and lord of My life by offering everything that I have.” Then Gauranga paid obeisances to Kesava Bharati, smiled, and begged him for sannyasa again.

The next day, Gaurahari followed the orders of His guru in performing all the rituals for taking sannyasa. The Vaisnavas shook in fear, and bit the edge of their garments during the head-shaving of Sri Gaurasundara.

His long, beautiful curly hair tied in a topknot, and decorated with fragrant malati flowers, had previously enchanted the three worlds. Devotees maintained their lives just by meditating on Gauranga’s hair. In a previous yuga, that hair forced the gopis to give up their shyness, abandon their homes, families and everything else. That hair which Brahma, Siva, Narada and other demigods had formerly glorified would now be cut off. All the men and women of Kantaka-nagara wept loudly.

His hands trembling in fear, the barber flatly refused even to touch Lord Gauranga’s head. He said, “O my Lord, I humbly request You. I don’t have the power to shave You. I’ve never seen such beautiful, curly hair which captivates the three worlds. Please don’t cut Your hair for it pleases the hearts of everyone. There’s no one like You in the whole world. Now I realize that You are the Lord of the whole creation.”

On hearing this, Lord Gauranga became displeased. The barber became worried seeing the Lord’s unhappiness. The barber knew it was inevitable, yet he insisted, “My Lord, how can I cut Your hair? I’m shaking in fear that I may commit an offense to You. And if I do that, then whose feet could I touch to nullify my aparadha? I’m just a simple barber coming from a low-class family.”

Lord Visvambhara said, “After today you can give up this hair-cutting business. By the mercy of Sri Krishna you’ll live a happy, prosperous life. And at the end you will return to My abode in the spiritual world.” So at the time of shaving the Lord’s head, the barber received this boon.

With a saddended heart, Locana Dasa narrates this pastime.

Gauranga’s head-shaving and sannyasa ceremony took place during the auspicious constellation of Makara Sankranti in the month of Magh (January 14, 1510 a.d) The Lord heard the sannyasa mantra from Kesava Bharati while the Vaisnavas filled the atmosphere with the holy name of Hari.

Visvambhara was inundated by waves of love of Krishna which increased in size hundreds of times. His body exploded in bumps of ecstasy. Tears of prema flowed without cessation from His reddish eyes. Hiking up His dhoti, Gauranga made roaring sounds. Laughing slowly and deeply, He shouted in ecstasy, “I’ve taken sannyasa!” (excerpt from Chaitanya Mangala)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The following is a wonderfully inspiring prayer written by Gaudiya Vaisnava rasika acharya Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada.

By reading this prayer and absorbing his heart’s moods, the burning candle of desire to hear, and directly serve in Krishna’s Vraja lilas will manifest in your heart.

Sri Krishna is the dashing young son of Yashoda, and the most charming boy in all the universes. Madan Gopalaji is the wealthiest of capitalists, possessing a vast, unlimited treasury of transcendental love.

Nagarendra Shyama is immersed in the sentiments of ever-fresh and amorous love divine. Ananda Bihari always increases the ocean of spiritual joy. Madhava ever delights in the magical mellows of madhura rasa. Pranakantha is the divine necklace adorning Radhika’s graceful neck. All glories to Shyamachandra!

Srimati Radharani is the life and soul of Sri Vrindavana-natha. As the transcendental desire-creeper of brilliant divine rapture, Navina-kishori Radha is forever overwhelmed by intense, amorous love for Nandanandana. Sriji is splendid, virtuous, charmingly youthful and very playful. All glories to Radhika!

Flowing through the amorous pastimes of Radha-Madhava is a sweet river of transcendental joking words. Brahmaji, Shivaji, Naradaji and Sukadeva Gosvami all desire to see the astonishing amorous pastimes of Lila Yugala Radha-Krishna.

I pray that my mind may fully submerge in Radha-Krishna’s immaculately pristine pastimes of sweet divine love. The forest of Vrindavana is the natural home of Radha-Gopinatha’s madhurya-lilas. The ever-fresh nectar of Priya-Priyatama’s pastimes is always manifest in the minds and hearts of Their devotees.

The blissfully fulfilling, divinely sweet lilas Sri Sri Radha-Krishna make impersonal liberation taste completely bitter. Syamaa-Shyama’s pastimes give everyone the most sumptuous experience of Sri Hari’s sweeter than sweet lotus feet. At every moment, the enchanting pastimes of Rasika Yugala, which resemble a vast transcendental ocean of sweet nectar, display the inconceivable zenith of divine amorous love.

Munivara Sukadevaji proclaims that when one understands Radha-Ghanasyama’s Vraja-lila, then even the most exalted post of Brahmaji seems trivial and unimportant. The captivating, heart-thrilling and mind stealing ecstatic divya lilas of Radha-Shyamasundara are far far beyond the dull and insignificant play of Maya.

Radhika’s priya sakhis and manjaris can always directly see Her playful pastimes with Prananatha. But even the essence of the four Vedas can never perceieve them. The scintillating spiritual love of Radha Rasabihari innocently expresses itself in an unlimited variety of divinely crooked lilas.

I, Prabodhananda Sarasvati, pray that the overheated, mad elephant of my mind may plunge into the cooling sweet river flow of Srimati Radharani’s astounding transcendental pastimes, which can easily extinguish the manifold miseries burning everyone in this world!  (Sangita Madhava Cp. 15)

Radha-Krishna nitya vraja lila ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

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!