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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The famous 64 arts and talents, which Krishna and Balarama mastered in two months at Gurukul, are mentioned in many shastras, including Srimad Bhagavatam (10.45.35-36); Brahma-samhita (37 tika); Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (2.1.84); Vrindavan Mahimamrita (11.69,13.4); Govinda-lilamrita (13.1140; and Sadhana Amirta Chandrika (19), catuh-shashthi-kalanvitam.

Srila Prabhupada: “Srimati Radharani makes Krishna happy in so many ways with the sixty-four arts i.e. dancing, cooking, making peace, and smiling in many attractive ways.”

(BBT folio: Discussions, Syamsundar das)

Our Gaudiya Vaisnava Goswamis and acharyas explain how Srimati Radharani’s intimate, sweet and loyal, most loving dasi serving maids, Her dearest kinkaris and manjaris, pleasantly serve Priya-Priyatam with 64 different arts and talents.

The manjaris learn these 64 arts directly from Srimati Radharani and Her sakhis. In the next para, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami mentions a few of the arts that the sadhana siddha manjaris will learn after arriving in Bhauma Vrindavan to serve Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

  1. Radharani Herself will personally and repeatedly teach (gandharva –asakrt- shikshayati) four arts to the nava dasis: drama/play writing, poetry, riddles and vina, kavyam-nataka-prahelli-vina.
  2. Vishakha will teach the art of telling clever, tasteful and funny jokes, narma.
  3. Champakalata will teach how to cook amazing feasts.
  4. Citra-sakhi will teach painting pictures on Radha-Krishna, citra.
  5. Tungavidya will teach 18 different kinds of knowledge and science, vividha vidya.
  6. Rangadevi will teach how to dance in rasa-lila, natana.
  7. Sudevi will teach the art of playing dice and advising Radha in defeating Krishna. (Stavavali, Sva Sankalpa Prakash Stotram 2-11)

Next we will list the basic 64 arts. For the Sanskrit names and more elaborate descriptions, please refer to KRSNA BOOK or our book “Gayatri Mahima Madhuri” (cp. 7 pg. 100-102).

The most amazing point about the 64 arts is that every Gaudiya Vaisnava following Sri Caitanya’s path of raga bhakti, will some beautiful fine day in the future go directly to Radha-Krishna’s Bhauma Vrndavana lila, and then learn all these wonderful skills and talents DIRECTLY FROM SRI RADHA and Her dearest sakhis.

In a divine passage, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami reveals how one day in Varshana, Sri Radha holds a nava dasi’s hand and takes her alone into a cave in Govardhan to personally teach Her own love poem. Later in the nikunja on Radha’s signal (ingite), the fortunate manjari will recite Radha’s prema-filled poem for the ecstatic pleasure of Her Priyatam.

This is definitely the ultimate Guru/Shishya sambandha!

THE SIXTY-FOUR ARTS

 1-Architecture

2-Arguing with adi-vasis

3-Bed covers, pillow making

4-Bird training for sports

5-Body ornaments, jewellery placing

6-Cakes, bread, salad making

7-Carpentry

8-Children’s games

9-Cloth, hiding quality, cheap look good

10-Conversation

 

11-Costumes, make and store

12 Crossbreeding plants, trees

13-Crossword puzzle solving

14-Dancing

15-Decorating, hanging pictures

16-Dialects, speaking different

17-Dictionary using

18-Disguise

19-Drama writing

20-Drinks, with red color making

 

21-Dyeing cloth

22-Earrings, flowers, leaves making

23-Embroidery

24-Face, body painting

25- Flower asanas, beds making

26-Gemstone dyeing

27-Hair care, dressing

28-Hand, sleight of, magic tricks

29-Hypnosis

30-Jewel testing

 

31-Jokes telling

32-Jugglery, magic

33-Kavaca making

34-Marionettes using

35-Metallurgy

36-Mineralogy

37-Miniture carts making

38-Mystical charms, casting

39-Others, respecting, glorifying

40-Painting, drawing

 

41-Parrots, train to speak

42-Pathways, cover with flowers

43-Perfumes, make and apply

44-Playing musical instruments

45-Plays, acting in

46-Poetry, mentally compose

47-Rangoli making

48- Recite books

49-Riddles, make, solve

50-Rites, rituals performing

 

51-Sign language using

52-Singing

53-Skin care

54-Splashing water

55-Stringing necklaces and flowers

56-Tongue twisters

57-Thread making on spinning wheel

58-Turbans, topknots, crown making

59-Victory, attaining

60-Vina, drum playing

61-Wagering

62-Water music making

63-Weapons, bows, arrows, big sticks making

64-Yantra making

 

Sri Radha teaching arts to manjaris ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

What is the difference between sincerely practicing bhakti and serving Krishna with and without diksha?

Diksha is a ritual involving surrendering of oneself to a spiritual guide to receive divine knowledge, purification and liberation. What counts most, however, is the humble mentality, submissive attitude and loving feelings behind a devotee’s practice. Sastras define diksha as an act of self-surrender, sincerely offering one’s body, mind, heart and very self, atma, to Sri Guru and the loving service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu says:

diksha –kale -bhakta -kore –atma –samarpaëa,
sei -kale –krishna –tare -kore -atma -sama

“At the time of diksha, one fully surrenders his/her very self to Sri Guru. Krishna then spiritualizes one’s body [makes transcendental], and accepts that body and devotee as His very own. (Caitanya Caritamrita. 3.4.192)

Two atmas are mentioned, the disciple and Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The disciple offers and surrenders his/her self, atma-samarpana, to Guru. Sri Krishna then accepts that atma like Himself, atma-sama, in the sense that the new devotee becomes a divine being, very dear to Krishna’s heart.

Though purifying like all rites and rituals, the diksha ritual alone will not purify the heart. Only offenseless bhakti bhajan will purify one’s existence and deliver one to Krishna.

One may just chant Hare Krishna japa and practice Krishna bhakti without diksha. But one’s progress will be slow and full of obstacles. This is not the way of shastra, nor the million-year-old tradition of surrendering to a spiritual teacher, Sri Guru, taking diksha, humbly serving, and learning how to attain spiritual perfection, mukti and Krishna prem.

Such independent practice sans diksha is bound to be offensive and fraught with difficulties. Two major offenses will retard one’s progress, namely Nama Aparadha one and four: Sadhu ninda, offending the instructions and example of the sadhus and previous acharyas who all took diksha; and shastra ninda, offending, disregarding and not following the sacred scriptures which all direct one to surrender to a Guru and take diksha.

In Hari Bhakti Vilasa (II.5-6), Sri Sanatana Goswami quotes shastra on the dire need to take diksha.

The Skanda Purana, Karttika-mahatmya, Brahma Narad samvad says:

te –narah -pashavo –loke, kim –tesham –jivane –phalam,
yair -na -labdha -harer –diksha, narchito –va -janardanah

“Persons devoid of diksha who don’t worship Sri Hari are like animals, and attain no benefit in human life.”

The Vishnu-yamala, Rukmangada Sri Mohini samvada says:

adikshitasya –krtam –sarvam – nirarthakam,
pashu -yonim -avapnoti –diksha -virahito -janah

“Without diksha, all one’s actions are worthless and one takes birth in an animal’s womb.”

In summary, although diksha is not the only requirement, it is absolutely necessary to attain spiritual perfection. Sri Sanatana Goswami says:

yasya -deve -ca -mantre –ca, gurau -trishvapi -nishchala
na -vyavacchidyate -buddhis, tasya -siddhir -aduratah

“Perfection is guaranteed for one who has unflinching faith in Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Sri Guru and one’s diksha mantra [Gopal mantra].”

mantratma -devata –gyaneya, devata -guru -rupini
tesham -bhedo -na –karttavyo, yadicched -ishtam -atmanah

One should know that the diksha mantra is one with and non-different from the mantra devata i.e. Sri Krishna Govinda. The Guru is the form of the mantra devata, non-different from Sri Krishna Govinda. One desiring beneficial results should never distinguish between these three.

The absolute necessity of a diksha Guru is beautifully described in the “Samadhi” chapter of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (IV.9):

durlabho –vishaya –tyago, durlabham –tattva –darshanam
durlabhha –sahaja -vastha, sad -guro –karunam –vina

“Without the compassion of a true Guru, one cannot renounce material sense enjoyment; understand spiritual truths, attain darshan of the Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna; or achieve spiritual perfection, Krishna prema.”

Thus every fortunate soul should take mantra diksha from a proper Guru. And for those who surrender to and humbly serve Sri Guru, the all-merciful master gives:

– mantras to purify the heart and establish an eternal loving relationship with Sri Krishna, bhagavan –atma –prem -sambandha;

– mercy and love to overcome offenses and negative mentalities;

– a personal example of devotion to follow;

– and realized teachings to remove all doubts, and illuminate the path of proper bhakti bhajan leading to the eternal service of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Yugala in Goloka Vrndavana!

Guru diksha ki jai! Sri Guru ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Most all of the 8,400,000 species of life have eyes to see the reality they live in. It is only human beings, however, that have the eyes to see God, Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

In Gita, Sri Krishna describes the vision of the perfect person who sees Krishna everywhere. By such divya -drshti, divine sight, one captures Krishna in the heart, and keeps Krishna forever bound in the embrace of one’s loving eyes.

Sri Krishna explains this point in Bhagavad-gita (6.30):

yo –mam –pashyati -sarvatra
sarvam -ca -mayi -pashyati
tasyaham -na –pranashyami
sa -ca -me -na -pranashyati

Bhagavan Sri Krishna says, “One who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, never loses sight Me, nor do I lose sight of him.”

Sri Sridhar Swamicharan: In other words, Sri Krishna is saying, ‘Since I am continually present before one, one is never lost to Me.’

There are two levels of seeing Bhagavan Sri Krishna everywhere.

1- With eyes coated with pure spiritual love, Krishna prema, like the cowherd damsels of Vrajabhumi and sadhana-siddha Krishna premi-bhaktas.

2- With eyes coated with desire and eagerness to see Sri Krishna everywhere.

At this level, one has not yet attained Krishna prema, but one does have a strong, focused and continuous desire, backed by intense eagerness to see Sri Krishna. One thinks, “I really, really want to see Krishna. No matter what it takes, I MUST SEE KRISHNA in this very life!”

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, “A devotee is one who firmly believes Krishna will show His mercy, krishna –krpa-karibena- drdha- kari-jane.” (Caitanya-caritamrta 2.23.28)

Having a genuine, driving desire and eagerness to see Sri Krishna will automatically make one detached from maya and one’s unlimited material desires. Srila Prabhupada said that eagerness is absolutely essential to make tangible spiritual advancement.

Srila Prabhupada says, “We must be very, very eager to see Krishna; then you can see Krishna. Whether you are lusty or a thief or whatever, somehow you must develop this eagerness, this desire: ‘I MUST SEE KRISHNA!’ Then KRISHNA WILL BE SEEN!” (Journey of Self Discovery 2.2)

Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja says, “Eagerness is the very LIFE FORCE OF BHAJAN! A devotee with loving eagerness will receive abundant grace from Sri Krishna. Eagerness is always the best means to fulfill our desires. Without it, there is no taste in sadhana and one can’t attain anything!”

Out of His infinite love and compassion, Sri Krishna personally teaches how anyone, even without Krishna prem, can always see and remember Krishna everywhere throughout the day and night. All it takes is the desire to see Krishna, and the eagerness to sincerely try.

By reading and remembering the following simple Gita verses, one will easily SEE KRISHNA EVERYWHERE day after day, until the last when Sri Krishna Himself will appear, and take you to Vraja Dham to see and be with Krishna forever!

We have arranged the following verses, all personally spoken by Sri Krishna in Gita, in a logical sequence of time and category that follow one’s daily activities beginning with waking.

Time: I am time, kala -asmi. 11.32

Existence: I am the life of all that lives, jivanam –sarva –bhuteshu. 7.9

Speech: I am the letter A, aksharanam –aksharo –asmi. (10.32) I am the sound in ether, shabdah –khe –aham. 7.8

Water: I am the taste of water, rasa -aham -apsu. 7.8

Chirping Birds: Of birds, I am Garud, vainateyash -ca -pakshinam. 10.30

Trees: Of trees, I am peepul, ashwattah -sarva -vrkshanam. 10.26

Nama/Diksa: I am japa, japa –yagya- asmi. 10.25

Beauty, Wealth, Strength: All beauty, wealth and strength is just a spark of My splendor, yad -yad –vibhutimat- sattvam, srimad -urjitam -mama -tejah -amsha. 10.41

Perfumes: I am the beautiful fragrance of the earth, punyo –gandha –prthivi -asmi. 7.9

Food: I am the fire of digestion, aham -vaishvanaro, (15.14) I am the heat in fire, asmi –vibhavasau. (7.9)

Sunshine, Moonshine: I am the light of the sun and moon, prabha –asmi –shashi- suryayoh. (7.8) Of all bright things, I am the radiant sun, jyotisham –ravih -asmi. 10.21.

Exercise: I am the strength of the strong, balam –balavatam –aham. 7.11

Wind: Of purifiers, I am the wind, pavana –pavatam –asmi. 10.31

Months: I am November-December, masa -margashirsha -aham. 10.35

Seasons: I am spring, rtu –kusumakara. 10.35

School: I am the intelligence of the intelligent, buddhi –buddhimatam –aham. (7.10) Of all knowledge, I am knowledge of the self, adhyatma –vidya –vidyanam.

Intelligence: I am the knowledge of the wise, gyanam –gyanavatam –aham. 10.38

Work: I am the ability in persons, paurusham –nrshu. (7.8) I am the beginning, middle and end of all creations, sargan –adir –madhya- anta. 10.32

Animals: Of all animals, I am the lion, mrganam –mrgendra –aham. 10.30

Ocean: Of all water bodies, I am the ocean, sarasam -asmi -sagarah. 10.24

Rivers: I am Ganga, asmi -jahnavi. 10.31

Fish: I am the shark (dolphin ?), jhashanam -makara -asmi, 10.31

War: Of generals, I am Skanda (son of Siva), senaninam -aham -skanda. 10.24

Moon: Among all the stars, I am the moon, nakshatranam -aham -shashi. 10.21

Intimacies: I am union that is not against religious principles, dharma –aviruddha –kama –asmi. 7.11

Secrets: Of secrets, I am silence, maunam -asmi -guhyanam. 10.38

In all these simple everyday ways, you can always remember Krishna everywhere, and see His beautiful sweet and charming, smiling face in everyone’s heart and everything that you see throughout the day.

Seeing Krishna everywhere ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Srimad Bhagavatam is called the “king of all spiritual books” (Grantha Raja) for good reason. Within this triguna-free, transcendental treatise, the amala-purana, which showcases the absolutely selfless, divine love of Srimati Radharani, one can find all the sweet, majestic and beautiful truths about the sadhana and sadhya (daily practice and perfection) of Gaudiya Vaisnavism.

In his most compassionate and wonderful shastra, Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja summarizes the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the six Goswamis of Vrindavana by mentioning the same Bhagavatam verses that they used to substantiate their sublime instructions.

To emphasize the importance of these particular verses for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, the same Bhagavatam verse is often mentioned two, three or more times in the Sri Chaitanya Caritamrta.

This series of posts presents these verses, along with selected tikas of our acharyas and the compiler. We will cover the beautiful truths, tattvas, of Krishna, Radha, Vaisnavas, Sri Guru, Bhakti Sadhana, Nama, Prema and more.

GLORIES OF SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM

* Sri Krishna is the Main Topic of Bhagavatam

janmad -yasya –yaton -vayad –itaratash, carthesh -vabhigyah –svarat
-tene -brahma –hrda -ya –adi –kavaye, -muhyanti -yat -surayah
tejo -vari-mrdam -yatha -vinimayo, -yatra -tri-sargo ’mrsha,
dhamna -svena -sada -nirasta-kuhakam, -satyam param dhimahi (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.1/Caitanya Caritamrita, 3 times)

“One should meditate upon the Supreme Truth, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, as the source of all manifestations. Krishna is both present in and aloof from everything in existence. Krishna is completely independent and omniscient. Krishna manifested the wisdom of Veda in the heart of Brahma, the primeval rishi. Just as sun’s rays are mistaken for water (in a mirage), Krishna deludes the greatest devatas by making the temporarily manifest material world seem real. Sri Krishna Himself, however, is forever free from all illusion because Krishna eternally exists in the divine realm.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.1)

BBT Tika of Srila Prabhupada:

“Acharyas like Sri Jiva Goswami, Sri Sanatana Goswami, Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada and Vallabhacharya made elaborate commentaries on Bhagavatam. Serious students should go through them to better relish the transcendental messages.”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: PLEASE NOTE how in the very beginning of Bhagavatam, published in 1962, Srila Prabhupada directs his disciples to study the tikas of both the Gaudiya and Vallabha Sampradayas. Srila Prabhupada is not only appreciating other great Vaisnavas, “in print” he is ordering his disciples to study their sacred words. One may wonder if such a broad-minded, devotional attitude still prevails.

Srila Prabhupada continues: “[In his tika on this verse] Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada explains that the very first word of the Srimad Bhagavatam “janmaady” indicates the “adi-rasa”, the madhurya-rasa (divine amorous love) found in the transcendental realm of Goloka Vrndavana. In modern civilization, amorous enjoyment is the focal point for all activities.

“However, its real and true form is only experienced in the spiritual world in the Absolute Truth. Without knowing about the actual spiritual form of amorous pleasure, everyone has accepted its material counterpart as the all in all. This Srimad Bhagavatam will gradually elevate the reader to the highest perfectional stage of transcendence.”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: Srila Prabhupada ki jai! What an amazing, straight to the point commentary by His Divine Grace! Sitting in the shade of the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Jiva Goswami in Seva Kunj, Srila Prabhupada, with the blessings of Sri Sri Radha Damodar Jiu, translated and commented on the First Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam from 1959-1964.

Like all Gaudiya acharyas, Srila Prabhupada knows that the whole purpose of the 18,000 verse Bhagavatam is to reveal the eternal truth and glories of Srimati Radharani’s nirmal –vishuddha -vraja –prema and madhurya-rati for Rasikashekar Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Forever we remain grateful to Srila Prabhupada for teaching us through his KRSNA BOOK, Nectar of Devotion, Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, and this opening verse of Srimad Bhagavatam that the goal of human life is to attain the “adi-rasa” (janmaady yasya), which means the eternal prema seva of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna in Vrndavana.

“Jaya Radha Madhava, Kunja Bihari, Gopijanavallabha, Girivaradhari” ki jai!

Indeed, true to their beautiful rasika drshti kon, angle of vision, our Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas show how the Bhagavatam starts off with a BANG!

Radha-Govinda Yugala’s divine madhura-rati, the “adi-rasa”, and Their eternally blissful Vraja nikunja-lilas are indicated in the very FIRST WORD OF THE BHAGAVATAM!

Out of his infinite kindness, Srila Prabhupada in his very first commentary on the Bhagavatam has revealed to the sensitive reader the real rasik essence of the Bhagavata which proclaims the supreme position of Radha-Govinda Yugala and Their uniquely blissful “adi-rasa” in Vraja Dhama!

Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai! Adi-rasa ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

What is a paribhasa sutra? It is often seen that one of the first few verses of a spiritual book or chapter presents its very essence. If it does, then this verse is called the paribhasa-sutra. Although usually appearing only once in a whole book or chapter, it is the regulator, the king ruling over all the other verses.

In other words, the paribhasa-sutra presents the sole purpose, conclusion and final message of the book ruling over and taking precedence over all the other ideas or teachings appearing in that book or chapter.

In Krishna Sandarbha (29), Sri Jiva Goswami says, “A paribhasa-sutra explains the proper method for understanding a book. It is the key shloka to understand the actual purport of a book or chapter, and a series of apparently unrelated facts and arguments that may follow.

“There may be millions of statements or verses in a book, but they are all regulated and subordinate to this one “the strongest” verse or superior statement, “the final word”, the paribhasa sutra, which is what the book is really about and the message it wants to convey.”

According to tattva-vichar (transcendent truth), Sri Jiva Goswami and other Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas say the paribhasa-sutra of Bhagavatam is (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28), krishnas –tu –bhagavan –svayam, which establishes Bhagavan Sri Krishna as the supreme and topmost personal form among all the Vishnu forms.

However, according to rasa-vichar, the consideration of rasa, divine love and bliss, the first verse of the Srimad Bhagavatam is the paribhasa-sutra, because it presents the adi-rasa, or madhurya-rasa of Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana, the ultimate conclusion and purpose of Srimad Bhagavatam.

Acharyas say that the paribhasa-sutra of Caitanya Caritamrita is (Cc. 1.1.4) because it describes the internal reason for Mahaprabhu’s advent i.e. giving the gift of Sri Radha’s mahabhava madhurya prema, and the beautiful service of Sri Radha as Her confidential maidservant, gopi/manjari.

Thus the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta follows the lead of its source, the Srimad Bhagavatam, by presenting and focusing mostly on the adi-rasa, the intimate loving pastimes of Rasaraja Sri Krishna and Mahabhavati Sri Radha in Sridham Vrndavana, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic experience of Them.

anarpita-carim –cirat, karunaya -vatirnah -kalau
samarpayitum –unnatojjvala –rasam, -sva-bhakti-sriyam
harih -purata-sundara, dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah
sada -hridaya-kandare, -sphuratu -vah -saci-nandanah

“May Shachinandan Sri Chaitanya, who is Sri Hari Himself appearing in a splendidly beautiful golden form in Kali-yuga to mercifully give the never before given special treasure of bhakti i.e. the brilliant and supreme, mahabhava madhurya-prema of Sri Radha (unnatojjvala- rasam) and the beauty of Radha’s service as Her manjari (sva-bhakti-sriyam), always be manifest within the core of your heart.” Caitanya Caritamrita 1.1.4)

Srila Prabhupada tika: “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave madhurya-rasa, gopi-bhava, and the method of worship done by the gopis. Therefore, the six Goswamis of Vrndavana also followed the gopis. Gaudiya Vaisnavas especially worship Krishna in the madhurya-rasa while aspiring to become assistants of the gopis.” (BBT Folio: 740210BG.VRN)

“In Radha-Krishna lila, the gopis are simply helping Radha and Krishna combine together in the kunjas of Vrndavana, “jaya radha madhava kunja bihari”. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s contribution is Radha-Krishna lila, so we Gaudiyas worship Radha and Krishna.

“The idea of this verse (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.1.4) is that if one becomes attracted to the loving affairs of Radha-Krishna, then one will forget the so-called amorous enjoyment in this material world.” (BBT Folio: Installation C-116 0108)

mmgd: Although many tattvas, rasas and truths are revealed in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, however, since (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.1.4) IS THE PARIBHASA SUTRA, everyone must accept that its essential teaching, real meaning and ultimate message is Radha-Krishna madhuyra-lila, gopi-bhava and the eternal loving service of Srimati Radharani in Vrndavana.

One may quote Sri Caitanya Caritamrita to argue so many personal prejudices or viewpoints, but in truth, the actual meaning and purpose of Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja’s wonderful book is perfectly clear.

Summarizing all the shrutis and smrtis, Sri Rupa Goswamipada gives the most perfect definition of shuddha-bhakti or pure devotion. It is the paribhasa-sutra of his most excellent Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11), and it appears in the mangalacaran, auspicious prayers beginning the book. Since we are practicing bhakti-yoga, the way of pure divine love, every genuine Gaudiya should perfectly know this verse. Srila Prabhupada quoted it 394 times in his books and classes!

anyabhilashita –shunyam, gyana –karmad -yanavritam,
anukulyena krishnanu, shilanam bhaktir uttama

“Pure bhakti means maintaining a positive, spiritually-charged and favourable attitude, and enthusiastically engaging all the activities of one’s body, mind and words in the joyful service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna solely for the happiness and pleasure of Sri Krishna.

“Such uttama-bhakti is completely devoid of all ulterior, selfish motives; totally free from aparadhas (vaishnav, nam, seva and jiva); and it is not mixed with GYAN (mundane views and philosophies), KARMA (selfish reward gaining pujas, yagnas, homas, etc.); YOGA, astrology or anything else.”

This verse establishes the purpose and essential teaching of the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu which is the topmost pure devotion. Sri Rupa Goswamipada shows in the book that Srimati Radharani and the Vraja gopis are the supreme and topmost pure devotees of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Although the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, like the Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya Caritamrta describes other tattvas and rasas, its ultimate conclusion is madhurya-rati, Radhika and the damsels of Vraja because they exemplify the topmost standard of pure devotion, uttama-bhakti.

Acharyas say the paribhasa-sutra of Sri Bhagavad-gita is (10.8):

aham -sarvasya -prabhavo, mattah -sarvam pravartate
iti -matva -bhajante –mam, buddha –bhava -samanvivitah

Bhagavan Sri Krishna says, “I manifest everything both material and spiritual, and [as Paramatma] make everything work and move. Knowing this well, the intelligent worship Me with all their hearts.”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: To underscore its significance, Srila Prabhupada quoted this verse 277 times in his books and classes! Krishna says I manifest everything, so “everything” must also include Srimati Radharani, the gopi/manjaris, bhava, mahabhava and Vraja dham. Sri Krishna says budha –bhava -samanvitah, intelligent persons worship Me with bhava. Since Srimati Radharani worships Krishna with the topmost bhava, MAHABHAVA, Sri Radha is certainly by far the most intelligent of all.

The word “samanvitah” means decorated, accompanied, following or with a relationship. Thus Krishna’s words bhava –samanvitah means in a relationship with bhava or the mahabhava of Srimati Radharani. So for the devotees and bhava-bhaktas, this means cherishing gopi-bhava in relationship with Radhika as Her intimate serving maid following the path of raganuga-bhakti.

Thus, according to tattva-vichar, the paribhasa-sutra of Bhagavad-gita is (10.8), which establishes that Sri Krishna, the source of everything, is best worshiped by bhava-bhaktas, and especially by the MAHABHAVA of Srimati Radharani and Her gopi/manjaris.

However, according to rasa-vichar, the paribhasa-sutra of Gita is (18.65), which Sri Krishna Himself says is the sarva –guhyatamam, the topmost secret of all secret spiritual teachings in Gita; it’s very core and essence.

man -manah -bhava -mad -bhakto,
mad -yaji -mam –namaskuru
mam –evaishyasi –satyam –te
pratijane –priyo –si -me

Sri Krishna says, “Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer obeisances unto Me. Then certainly you will come to Me. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.” (Bhagavat Gita. 18.65)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: Here Sri Krishna mentions bhava, surrender and becoming His priya-jana, dear one. Srimati Radharani is the fullest embodiment of this verse because Sri Radha constantly thinks only of Krishna and Radha is the topmost of all Krishna devotees.

And because Kishori worships Krishna with Her every breath, thought, word, deed and dream, Radha is always with Krishna. For Krishna, Sri Radha is His one and only best sweet heart and dearly beloved PRIYAJI. And for Radha, Krishna is Her PRIYATAM! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Thus in closing, we see that just like all the other essential books of Gaudiya Vaisnavism, i.e. Bhagavatam, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Caitanya Caritamrta, the Bhagavad-gita also describes different tattvas and rasas. However, if one closely examines Gita, one will see that its ultimate conclusion is madhurya-rati, Radhika and the damsels of Vraja.

This is why acharyas say the Gaudiya Sampradaya is a raganuga-sampradaya teaching Vraja bhakti and the eternal loving service of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Yugala in gopi-bhava, following the moods and feelings of Srimati Radharani and the cowherd damsels of Vrajabhumi. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Paribhasa-sutra ki jai! Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya ki jai! Sri Guru ki jai!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The eighteen syllable Gopal (Krishna) mantra, highlighted in the Gopal Tapani Upanisad, is the actual diksha mantra for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas. In Brhad Bhagavatamrita, Sri Sanatana Goswami reveals the inconceivably amazing power and effect of the Gopal mantra.

In his narrative of an archetypal, young Vrajavasi cowherd named Gopa-kumar, Sri Sanatana Goswami explains that this simple, uneducated boy attained the topmost spiritual perfection just by chanting the Gopal-mantra received from his Guru.

Sitting on the same asana in the same place, his Govardhan home, and in the same body, Gopa-kumar, by his diksha mantra-purified mind and consciousness, attained and experienced many positions and realms or regions of both material and spiritual reality, wherein one lives for thousands or even millions of years!

Commenting on his own verse (Brihad Bhagavatamrita II.3.9), Sri Sanatana Goswami says, “Gopa-kumar did not die, or give up his present body to accept another body. Rather, his young cowherd body became so refined and pure that he was able to “travel” to all these different regions or planes of reality, and finally enter the supreme spiritual abode.”

During his galactic spiritual odyssey, Gopa-kumar encountered the lokas of Svarga, Tapa, Satya, Shiva, Visnuloka and sakshad darshan of Sri Lakshmi Narayan.

At last, by the mercy of Sri Guru and the power of chanting his diksha Gopal-mantra, Gopa-kumar attained his cherished spiritual perfection. He received an eternal, blissful spiritual body (siddha svarupa/deha) of a cowherd boy, and entered Goloka Vrndavana.

Bhagavan Govinda Gopal greeted Gopa-kumar and locked him in a loving embrace of eternal fraternity. Now, Gopal, Gopa-kumar and all the boys will play and sport together for time eternal in the forests, rivers, lakes and pasture lands of the happy realm of Nanda Vraj!

The most significant point is that Gopa-kumar achieved all these phenomenal experiences, realizations and realities of consciousness even though he received practically no association or personal instructions from his diksha Guru.

Gopa-kumar himself explains, “I received diksha in the Gopal-mantra, but then my Guru, overwhelmed in bliss, immediately went away. I didn’t have the slightest idea how to chant the mantra, mantra –katham –sadhaniya, gyatam –na –kinchana.” (Brihad Bhagavatamrita II.1.122-24)

Sri Sanatana Goswami comments: “Just by the power of Guru and chanting his diksha Gopal-mantra, Gopa-kumar’s mind became pure and free from lust, envy and greed, and he developed deep faith, japena –chitta –shuddha, sraddha –ajayata.” (Brihad Bhagavatamrita II.1.126)

In these days of world-class Gurus, most disciples get practically no association or personal teachings from their Gurus. The example of Gopa-kumar’s full faith in Guru, and his daily diksha mantra chanting is most encouraging for all Krishna bhaktas.

Sri Sanatana Goswami says, “Even without association of one’s diksha Guru, just by a few words directly heard from Guru, and also by the inspirations and indications received indirectly from Guru, a disciple will learn all the necessary spiritual truths needed for perfection, kinchin –mukhena –sanketan –abhyavedayat.” (Brihad Bhagavatamrita II.3.5)

Ah, what astonishing power Sri Guru possesses! Like the diksha mantra, which has unlimited power because it is non-different from Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Sri Guru also has unlimited power because the Guru is being directly blessed and fully empowered by Sri Krishna, Sri Guru and one’s own Guru parampara.

Thus Sri Sanatana Goswami establishes the astonishingly inconceivable and unlimited power of the Gopal diksha mantra so kindly bestowed upon a disciple by one’s most merciful and loving eternal master, Sri Guru.

At their last meeting, Gopa-kumar’s Guru blessed him saying, “You are dear to me so I have given you everything I have. By the power of the Gopal diksha mantra you will understand and attain everything on your own, svayam –gyasyasi –lapsyase.” (Brihad Bhagavatamrita II.3.6)

Sri Guru ki jai! Gopal-mantra ki jai! Sri Guru diksha ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

From Shravan month, sukla tritiya “Hariyali Teej” until Shravan Purnima, all the Thakurjis in Vraj enjoy Their annual twelve-day blissful rainy season swing festival (jhulanotsava). Below are translations of popular Hindi and Bengali jhulan bhajans, you can meditate upon while chanting Hare Krishna maha-mantra japa.

Radha-Krishna Jhulan Lila Meditation Japa Chanting Technique

** Copy and save this post on your mobile. Since all of Radha Govinda’s lilas are eternal, nitya-lila you can chant japa with these meditations anytime or the year. By doing lila japa you will feel very satisfied, spiritually refreshed and blissful in your heart.

This is the proper way to chant Hare Krishna nama japa; hear, chant and deeply remember the eternal asta-kaliya lilas of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna in Vrndavana.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

1) Before japa, first slowly read one bhajan translation. While reading, try to visualize Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, the sakhis and manjaris, the forest scene, and all the props.

2) Slowly read again, increasing the visualization while trying to identify with the feelings and sevas of the sakhis and manjaris caring for Lila Yugal.

3) Close your eyes, try to recapture the scene, sevas and feelings being exchanged between the sakhis, manjaris, and Sri Sri Radha Govinda Yugal.

4) Open your eyes, read the entire piece again out loud.

5) Close your eyes and begin chanting japa while trying to mentally see, feel, enter into, and serve everything you just read about.

Without a doubt, if you do this sincerely you will have an amazingly sublime and sweet experience during your jhulan lila japa meditations.

Jhulan Lila Japa Meditations

# 1 The sakhis gossip from house to house in Varsana: “Hey sakhi! Quickly, dress and let’s go meet gallant Shyamasundara.”

Lalita and Vishakha dress Radhika, and then everyone rushes to the Jhulan site. Radhika and the sakhis joke and laugh in great fun.

Upon meeting Shyam, they burst with joy. Radha’s loving eyes meet Shyams and Their minds spin with amorous desires.

Mohana dasa observes this lila in great happiness, as Rasik Yugal swing together being as the gopis push back and forth.

# 2 Shyam inebriates with the joy of jhulan swinging with golden Radha on His left, jhulato shyam, gauri bama—ananda range matiya). Exchanging mild smiles, Radha-Shyam arouse amorous mutually moods.

Radhika sweetly gestures to Her sakhis to push the swing. Swarms of bees hover around the fragrant flowers decorating the golden swing. Shyam looks like a rain cloud as the playful Rai embraces His left side like a brilliant lightning strike.

Dangling necklaces and moon lockets toss about as Radha-Shyam embrace. Mrdangas enchantingly pound, bi-dhi, bi-dhik, a-di-ya; tini-na, tini-na, and ta-ti-ya!

The indescribable atmosphere is saturated with the gopis’ high-pitched singing of jhulan bhajans.

Mixing sweetly with the jhunara (large karatals), their bangles, ankle bells and waist bells resound—jha-na, jha-na, jha-na, jha-ti-jha! Overcome with joy, Uddhava dasa takes shelter at the lotus feet of Radha-Mohana.

# 3 “Sakhi, look! As Yugala-kishora look like a blue sapphire set in gold as They swing.” Lalita and Vishakha happily push the swing while relishing the beauty of Their faces. Rai’s playful sakhis surround the flower decorated swing and dense rainclouds rumble overhead.

The sakhis drown in ecstasy as they swing the Divine Couple. Some sakhis clap their hands gleefully while telling lovely-faced Radha, “Tightly hold Your Pranavallabha so You don’t fall off the jhulan!”

As Radha-Shyama swing faster and faster, Their hair loosens and beads of perspiration, like drops of nectar, glide down their moon-like faces. To relieve Radha-Shyama’s fatigue, the sakhis wave chamaras.

The bees and cuckoos watch from the trees and sing out, “Jaya Jaya Radha-Krishna! Jaya Radha-Krishna!”

Padakarta Jagannatha dasa says, “O when will I behold Yugala-kishor’s beautiful jhulan-lila in the groves of Vrindavan?”

# 4 Sweet-faced Radha on His left, the topmost gallant lover floates in an ocean bliss while joyfully swinging on the elegant hindola. The amazing sight of their matchless beauty captivates the universe!

The irresistible enchantment of Radha’s beautiful face and enticing eye gestures induces Shyam to kiss Kishori again and again. Radha’s voice falters as Cupid’s spell seizes Shyama-Shyam!

# 5 The sakhis say, “O Vrishabhanunandini! Auspicious teej has come, so let’s go swing in the cool breeze of monsoon! Black clouds shower tiny rain drops and enthrall everyone with their romantic rumbling.

O Kishori! O Karunamayi Radhe, who takes away everyone’s misery! The beautiful swings on the kadamb trees anxiously await to serve Your exquisitely divine form.

O Vrajeshvari! Please accept our humble request. Wear a bright, colorful sari and come to the jhulan. A gentle smile adorns Your lovely, softly glowing beautiful face which shames the radiance of the moon.”

# 6 O Radhe, costly ornaments adorn Your splendid form, and kajal accents the elegance of Your lotus eyes. O Pyarijeu! Please come for jhulan and bless the anxious monsoon clouds.

O most wise and learned Vrishabhanu-dulari, please give up your angry disposition toward Shyam.

Your beloved Rasika Pritam eagerly waits for You. When Vilasini Radha arrives at the jhulan, Krishna folds His hands in surrender and says, “O Shyamajiu! I submit to Your lotus feet.”

# 7 O Bihariji! You forever relish swing pastimes in Vrindavan. Just see how the keli -kunjas of Vraja are covered with a blanket of green! Here stands Nandabihari and Bhanudulari. O how sweet the Divine Couple look in our eyes! Wearing dazzlingly artistic clothing, You both look so beautiful standing beside the Yamuna.

The kadamb trees blossom with an abundance of fragrant flowers. The shining black luster of Ghanashyam mixes with the resplendent golden hue of Radha like a lightning flash in a raincloud. This incredible sight our hearts with bliss. Shyam’s chakora eyes relish every drop of sweet nectar mercifully dripping from the rasa moon of Madhuri’s countenance. Excited sakhis serve Their every wish.

# 8 At midday, Sri Radha and the sakhis walk to the jhulan mandap. Beautiful blossoming kalpa vrksha trees stand on all sides. The fragrant creepers of madhavi and malati wrapped around the intertwining, densely foliated, bending branches of the trees to form a natural canopy overhead. The pleasure swings hanging from the trees have comfortable seats with soft cushions and pillows.

On the pretext of admiring the forest beauty, Sri Krishna slips away from the boys and cows. With His confidantes Subala and Madhumangala, Krishna quickly goes to meet Radhika and the sakhis. Some sakhis and manjari expertly play vinas, drums and other instruments. And other lovely damsels of Vraja sing and dance for the pleasure of Priya-Priyatam.

With their sweetest possible voices, the cuckoos and parrots join the concert, and the peacocks fan their tails while ecstatically shrieking “Ke Ka! Ke Ka!”

Bees buzz, deer frolic and the entire forest vibrates with festive bliss. Radha-Shyama and Their intimate sakhis sit together in the center of the spectacular thousand-petal lotus jhulan. Nearby on other swings, different yutheshvaris sit with their sakhis.

On her swing in the east is Candravali and her party; south, Bhadra and her sakhis; north, Shyamala and friends; and wes, Dhanya and company. Hovering in their transports, devas and devis happily observe the jhulan utsav from the sky.

Just to make it a super spectacle bliss festival, Vrinda-devi mixes in Holi too! She and her allies bring heaps of colored powders made of pulverized fragrant flowers; flowers bombs, and powerful one meter syringes to completely drench everyone in festive colors of joyful love.

“Preme Se! Preme Se!” Holi Hey! Holi Jhulan Utsava ki jai! Radha’s yutheshvaris team up to bombard Lila Yugal with clouds of color, and streams of rainbow-hued liquids shot from their gem-studded golden syringes (huge squirt guns).

Clever Lalita and Her sakhis form a human shield all around Yugal to protect Radha-Govinda from the attack. In seconds, the sakhis are simultaneously wet and dusted from the torrents of colored liquids, powders and flower bombs. The color monsoon turns the day into night.

After some time, the dense powder clouds settle, and the sakhis get off their individual swings to eagerly push Radha-Shyam’s jhulan. Due to the rapid swinging, Radha-Madhava’s malas start to oscillate. Nectar thirsty bumblebees try to land on these malas. But they end up just chasing the jhulan back in forth without getting any nectar.

Krishna then enjoys jhulan with different partners each taking turn. First Radha, then Lalita and all others. Descending from the swing, Radha seats a pair of sakhis on Shyam’s sides, and personally pushes the swing in great joy. Then Shyama gets off and pushes Priyaji and Her dearest gopis.

When Jhulan ends, the kinkaris relieve the Prem Yugal by fanning Them, daubing Them with sandalwood paste, and offering Them tasty sweet fruits and refreshing cool drinks. (Gutika, adapted)

Jhulan japa meditation ki jai! Sri Sri Radha Govinda Yugal Jhulan Utsav ki jai!

JAI JAI SRI RADHE!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura describes how Caitanya Mahaprabhu instituted the first Gaudiya Vaisnava Vyasa-puja ceremony in 1509 a.d. through Sri Nityananda Prabhu in Shrivasa Angana, Navadvipa.

“Srivasa Pandita, the head priest for the function, gave Prabhu Nityananda a flower garland to offer to a painting of Vyasadeva. Holding the garland in His beautiful lotus hand, Nityananda Prabhu hesitated and began glancing here and there as if He was looking for someone.

“Then to everyone’s surprise, Nityananda offered the garland to Sri Caitanyadeva instead. At that moment, Sri Caitanya immediately manifested His six-armed form, sad-bhuja, i.e. the combined visnu-tattva forms of Sri Krishna, Sri Rama, and Sri Caitanya).” (Caitanya Bhagavata (Madhya khanda chp. 5)

Thus, Sri Nityananda Prabhu completed the Vyasa-puja ceremony by offering a garland to that personality from whom everything emanates and whose empowered incarnation is Sri Vyasa-deva. By this Nityananda Prabhu established the real meaning of Vyasa-puja by worshiping the Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sri Gauranga is the guru of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. This is the basis of the worship performed by Lord Nityananda. Therefore, the worship of Vyasa-deva, therefore, is actually the worship of Sri Gauranga in the form of the present acarya.

Although Sri Krishna and Sri Baladeva Prabhu are identical with Sri Caitanyadeva and Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Their activities are different. Nitai and Gaura are the supreme masters, para-tattva Bhagavans, yet they play the role of devotees. Gaur-Nitai act as devotees in order to teach all bhaktas the art of devotional service.

Thus, in this pastime from Caitanya Bhagavata, one Bhagavan, Nityananda Prabhu, is teaching us Gaudiya Vaisnavas that the ultimate recipient of the worship of Vyasa-deva or the spiritual master is Bhagavan Sri Krishna Caitanyadeva.

In the scriptures, Sri Krishna tells Uddhava that the acharya is the manifestation of Himself:

acharyam mam vijaniyan, navamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhy asuyeta, sarva-deva-mayo guruh

“One should know the acharya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.17.27)

If Sri Guru is not regarded as identical with Bhagavan, the worship of the acharya is not properly performed, and the said worshiper will not realize the true purport of the Vedas.

yasya deve para bhaktir, yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah, prakashshante mahatmana

For one who has unflinching faith in the lotus feet of the Sri Krishna, as well as in the spiritual master, the real import of Vedic knowledge can be revealed. (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.23)

Sri Guru is empowered by Sri Krishna to save the fallen souls from the clutches of Maya. As Sri Krishna’s delegated authority, the spiritual master liberates the conditioned souls from material world by engaging them in the direct service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

The story of Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami’s repeated attempts to leave home and run to Jagannatha Puri to be with Sri Caitanya show the necessity of first receiving the mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Nityananda before one can attain the service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna Caitanyadeva.

Sri Guru ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

You said work. But is it work? Let’s see the difference between “work” and “service”.

Two words: work and service. Work means doing, toiling, labour, struggle, drudgery. Work means karm, and karm brings bondage, samsara and misery.

Service is not work. The word service means to help, aid, assist. Service with devotion is seva, Krishna’s seva, which means devotional, loving service for the pleasure of Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas. This type of service or seva is bhakti, giving service, and bhakti seva brings one freedom, liberation and mukti, joy and satisfaction.

In Gita, 4.34, Bhagavan Sri Krishna says a disciple needs three things to approach a Guru and learn about the Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna.

=1 Pranipat means “unconditional surrender,”

=2 Pariprashna means “a variety of questions related to spiritual life.”

=3 Seva means “a mind and heart having the feeling to serve and please another person.”

If you approach Sri Guru with these three attitudes, you will certainly gain knowledge about Sri Krishna and make your human birth successful.

The Srimad Bhagavatam says the RESULT OF SERVING Sri Hari, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas, is that by this seva, or service, one’s bhakti will deepen and become steady and strong. This is the difference between “work” and “service” or seva, the loving service of Krishna.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

There is an amazing relationship between the destruction of karma in bhakti bhajan, and the first six children of Mother Devaki who were brutally murdered at birth by the asuric King Kamsa.

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada explains:

“First, I want to ask, ‘how is it possible that before the advent of Balarama and Devakinandan Sri Krishna, that six material children appeared in the divine womb of Bhagavan’s mother Devaki, who is Sri Krishna’s internal spiritual energy, chit -shakti?’

“The answer is that just as unlimited material universes exist within Sri Krishna without affecting or contaminating Him, mat-sthāni -sarva-bhūtāni, na -cāhaṁ -teṣv -avasthitaḥ (Bhagavat Gita 9.4); similarly, six material children could exist within Devaki without contaminating her.

“The conjunction of material and spiritual in Krishna’s pastimes is there to illustrate the methodical nature of bhakti. While devotees perform sadhana -bhakti in the form of hearing and chanting about Krishna, they also enjoy the six material sense objects (form, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought) which is a secondary effect of bhakti.

But at the time of “enjoying” these objects, the devotee cries out pitifully, ‘O Krishna! Because of this enjoyment I will fall into the dark well of material existence. Please help me!’

“When a devotee repents like this and shows fear of material enjoyment, gradually the tendency to enjoy matter subsides. Then pure bhakti in the form of hearing and chanting Krishna’s names, glorifying His transcendental forms, qualities and pastimes, and serving Sri Hari in various ways becomes prominent.

“Finally, Sri Krishna Himself, the ocean of all wonderful, transcendent beautiful forms and qualities, will appear within the devotee just as He did with His devotee Devakimata.

“By nature, bhakti is shuddha-sattva, pure goodness, and thus it can directly manifest Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The Sruti says: bhaktir evainam darshayati, “Devotion makes Krishna give His darshan.”

“As it is said in the lila of Krishna’s advent that Marici (a bygone demon) appeared from the mind, Marici can be considered the incarnation of the mind. And Marici’s six children (who appeared in Devaki’s womb) represent the six objects of the senses: sound, touch, form, taste, smell, and thought.

Since Devaki possesses the power to make Bhagavan Sri Krishna appear, she can be considered the incarnation of bhakti. Kamsa can be considered the incarnation of fear, as it is often said “out of fear of Kamsa.”

Just as fear of the material world removes the six sense objects from the womb of bhakti, so Kamsa destroyed the six children of Devaki. Krishna-prema, which is characterized by intense service to Sri Krishna, necessarily appears in the womb of bhakti after the desire for sense objects is extinguished.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.8, Sarartha Darshini tika), Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada ki jai!

Thus concludes part of one of our new series discussing bhakti, karma and falldown in spiritual life. Subsequent posts will answer questions like, “Is repentance part of bhakti?” “Are devotees suffering due to their karma?” “Why do devotees fall down from the all-purifying and blissful path of devotional bhajan?” “Who’s arranging a devotee’s life, one’s self, one’s karma, or is it all Krishna’s personal will and jurisdiction?”

Srimad Bhagavatam Maha Purana ki jai! Gaudiya Vaisnava rasik janas ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Jai Jai Sri Shyam! Jai Jai Sri Vrndavana Dhama!