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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Gopal Eats Clay Laddus

One day Krsna ate some clay in order to expand the glories of His beloved land of Vrndavana and to purify the universe. Upon seeing that, Balarama, who possesses keen powers of discrimination, and a group of cowherd boys ran to tell mother Yasoda.

“Mother! Krsna cannot control His mind. Out of greed He just ate some clay! Despite our rebukes, He Just keeps eating more and more.”

On hearing such harsh words about her son, Mother Yasoda felt disturbed. Her eyebrows raised in anger, she grabbed a bundle of sticks and quickly ran out of the house. Finding Krsna, she said. “Hey You naughty boy! Why did You eat clay? Didn’t I give You enough sweets? Who can enjoy eating clay?

“Just as we caught You before doing mischief in others’ homes, now we caught You again. Don’t You realize that You cannot hide Your faults? Your elder brother and friends are always there to witness all Your misbehavior.”

In fear of His mother, Krsna tried to conceal His faults. Though performing many mischievous deeds. He pretended to be completely innocent, and poured profuse tears from His lotus eyes. In order to counteract the charges, Krsna said emphatically, “Mother! I did not eat any clay. They are all lying. If you do not believe Me, then just look in My mouth.”

Vrajesvari Yasoda replied, “Alright, open Your mouth.” Krsna, the embodiment of unlimited power and the abode of good fortune, smiled and opened His lotus mouth. Mother Yasoda saw Bhuloka and the seven islands amidst limitless oceans. Bhuloka extended for a great distance with varieties of human beings and roaring rivers along its edges.

Both small and large forests covered its surface. Trees wrapped with flowering creepers blowing in the wind spread in all directions.

Lions and many types of animals inhabited its huge mountain chains. She saw the lower planetary systems including Nagaloka and the Nagapatnis serving their master. She saw the heavens complete with stars, planets, constellations, and the passing of the days. She saw the abodes of the celestials populated by Siddhas, Caranas, Gandharavas, and Vidyadharas.

Munis such as Marichi, Atri, and other famous sages beautified that realm with their radiant auras. Beyond that, Yasoda saw Maharloka, Tapaloka, and other universes as well. Countless living entities from the insignificant insects up to demigods like Indra and Brahma inhabited those regions.

Within Krsna’s mouth Yasoda also saw herself, Nanda Maharaja, Vraja-dhama, and her son Nandanandana. Upon marveling at these sights, mother Yasoda said, “What am I seeing? Am I dreaming? Is it the illusory energy? Is it a show of magic? Am I under a hypnotic spell?” ‘

This pastime put Yasoda into complete bewilderment. But after a moment, the wise Yasoda thought, “Indeed, this must have been a display of Krsna’s limitless power and opulence.”

Forgetting all these ideas, Yasoda tried to find out what had happened. Regardless of what she had seen, Yasoda felt that Krsna must protect her.

Upon seeing that amazing universal form, mother Yasoda concluded that her son was a most extraordinary personality. She thought, “Mahadeva himself must be astounded by the majesty and influence of my son. Certainly Krsna must be the supreme controller.”

Yasoda continued to treat Krishna as her dependent son. In order to expedite the free exchange of sweet intimate love between Himself and His dear devotees, Krsna quickly abandoned His mood as the Absolute Supreme Controller.

Excerpt: Sri Kavi Karnapura’s Ananda Vrindavana Campu ki jai!

Krishna Nectar Lilas ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

All parts of Krishna Nectar Lilas can be found here.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Krishna Plays in Dirt

One day Vrajaraja Nanda and Yasoda spoke about their son Krishna. “When Krsna is out playing He likes to wander off alone leaving the powerful Balarama behind. We should hire someone to supervise Their play, and send some expert servants to accompany Them. Let them wander all over Vrndavana serving our two boys.”

Shortly later, Nanda engaged some servants to take care of his boys. As a baby elephant picks up dirt with his trunk and throws it all around, Krsna entered the open fields of the village, and olayfully covered Himself and His friends with vraja-raja (dust of Vrndavana). At this time Krsna used to sport with both young boys and girls of the same age.

Sometimes Krsna quarreled with the gopas and gopis and beat them, and other times they beat Him. Krsna responded by laughing, getting angry, or by not reacting at all.

Playing in the dirt Krsna, built houses, a toy wall, or a small town. Other times He broke the dirt houses of His friends and they broke His. When Krsna rebuilt His house, they would break it again.

While curiously observing these antics from the sky, the demigods thought, “Simply by His glance thousands of unlimited universes come into existence and then again are dissolved. Instead of bothering with that work, He now plays in the dirt making roads, homes, and villages.

“Although He is becoming exhausted from doing this, He does not give it up.” Krsna’s perplexing pastimes captivated the minds of the demigods. While Krsna delighted in the dirt, He looked like the sun shining in the sky.

The housewives of Vrndavana, full of motherly affection, addressed Krsna with sweet words, “O darling boy! Please come to our beautiful courtyards, play with our children, and take some food.”

Hearing this, Krsna smiled and replied softly, “I cannot come because I do not have any spare time.”

Thus, the all-attractive beloved of every mother’s heart cleverly responded to the elderly gopis. Anxious to express their motherly affection toward Krsna, these impatient gopis held His hand and hurried to their homes. In their eyes, fortune had blessed Krsna alone as the sole recipient of matchless beauty.

Brimming with love, the elderly gopis served Krsna by rubbing His body and bathing Him. With great devotion they fed Him butter, rabri and ksira, and then sent Him home.

Excerpt: Sri Kavi Karnapura’s Ananda Vrindavana Campu ki jai!

Krishna Nectar Lilas ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

All parts of Krishna Nectar Lilas can be found here.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Gopis Complain

Once the Vraja gopis talked amongst themselves, “Krsna brings good fortune wherever He goes, and His presence make everyone’s life glorious. Who in this world is not enchanted by the frivolous and amusing childhood pastimes of Krsna? Who cannot appreciate these mirthful activities?”

Rather than getting upset, they felt the greatest happiness whenever Krsna broke their clay pots and stole their butter. Still the housewives of Vrndavana pretended to be angry and complained to Yasoda about Krsna’s stealing.

In a mixed mood of love and laughter the gopis warned Yasoda, “O Queen of Vrndavana, Yasoda! In the future you will suffer for the mischievous acts of your son. Although now your son is like a young sprout with tender leaves, already He is disrupting the whole creation.

“But be careful, in the future when this tender sprout grows into a tree full of leaves and branches, He will bring you tremendous pair- Now your boy’s adventures are just beginning, but by nature they are forever expanding. Your son’s naughty behavior will soon destroy our own village. We have no idea what mischief He will do next.

“Before our cows have been milked, your son unties the calves and makes them drink all the milk. If someone tries to rebuke Him, He simply smiles sweetly and that person immediately forgets all his anger. If we keep our butter in a dark storeroom, He uses His natural effulgence to easily find and steal it.

“But instead of eating it Himself, He takes great pleasure in feeding it to the monkeys. When the monkeys reach their fill and are unable to eat more, Krsna breaks the pot and throws the butter on the ground. He catches the butter pots which are beyond His reach by stacking many small tables on top of each of other, climbing them, and extending His arm to grab the pots.

“Krsna is always stealing our butter and yogurt. If someone tries to stop Him, He immediately drops the food on the ground and quickly escapes. If by chance a housewife captures Him, Krsna twists her wrist and runs away. Then from a safe distance He yells back, ‘Hey just stay where you are! If you come any closer, I will give you even more trouble by teasing your babies and making them cry.’

“If someone calls, ‘Hey thief, stop!’ Krsna becomes angry and shouts, ‘You are the thief. This house is Mine and everything in this house belongs to Me.’ In the morning we spread a fresh layer of clay on the outer walls of our houses, and paint beautiful designs on top of it with powdered limestone. Then your son Krsna comes along to spoil everything by throwing dirt all over our houses.

“In front of you, Krsna is so quiet and well behaved. But when He enters our homes He acts frivolously, steals our food, speaks sharp words, and becomes angry and greedy.”

In this way the ladies of Vrndavana, pretending to be angry, made many complaints against Krsna. But in reality Krsna’s joyous pranks filled everyone with pleasure. When accused by the gopis, Krsna feigned innocence and shed false tears. Though culpable for His immoral acts of stealing and offending the villagers in various ways, Krsna tried to minimize His misdeeds by speaking very sweetly.

Responding to the charges of the gopis, Krsna said, “Mother, none of these ladies have any affection in their hearts. They are not speaking a single word of truth. Actually they are all liars, and have given up their human dignity. Whenever I see them or their sons I feel completely happy because of the natural affection I have for them, I regularly visit their homes every morning at sunrise.

“Ma, so knowing My motives you can easily understand they are deliberately telling lies. You should not believe them at all. Mother, since you are My worshipable superior, from now on I will not visit My friends any more.” Saying this, Kaña sobbed and cried.

Vrajesvari Yasoda put Kaña on her lap and smiled shyly at the gopis in order to conceal her real mood. Then just to please Kaña, Yasoda said, “You gopis are all telling lies, Only Kaña is telling the truth. He is just an innocent boy, so how could He possibly do such things? I think you have already scolded my son sufficiently.”

After saying this, Yasoda spoke affectionately with the gopis. Then as a friendly gesture, Rohini applied tilaka to their foreheads and sent them home. After the departure of the gopis, Yasoda, who is expert in the laws of etiquette, spoke to Krsna, “My son, because of greed You performed many improper acts in the homes of our friends.

“Although in Your own home such behavior is acceptable, in the home of another it is totally unbecoming. O beautiful one! These deeds of Yours were not good at all. From now on just stay here and play.” After instructing her son Yasoda caressed Him lovingly.

Just then Vrajaraja Nanda arrived and brightened the room with his favorable feelings. Nanda spoke pleasing words to encourage and pacify his charming son. “O Vatsa! Come sit on my lap.” Leaving Yasoda lap, Krsna climbed up on Nanda’s lap and wrapped His arm around His father’s neck.

Then Krsna said softly, “Why is mother chastising Me for nothing?”

Nanda responded, “What is this all about?”

That fabulous boy of oceanic intelligence replied, “Mother, now tell truthfully what happened.”

Then mother Yasoda recounted the misdeeds of Krsna by repeating the words uttered by the gopis. Pointing to Queen Yasoda, Vrajaraja Nanda said, “My son is faultless. He has not done anything wrong. I always see Him behaving nicely.

“By siding with those who made fun of Him and with those who showed envy toward my jewel-like son, you have wrongly accused my well-behaved son and so you should be punished.” Concealing his real mood behind these words, Nanda rebuked Yasoda and comforted his son: “0 my darling son, just stay in my lap and do not go to anyone else.”

Though hearing His father’s words, Krsna immediately jumped off his lap just like an unpredictable child, and quickly climbed on Yasoda’s lap. Seeing this gave both parents a hearty laugh.

Excerpt: Kaviraja Sri Karnapura Goswami’s Ananda Vrindavana Campu ki jai!

Krishna Nectar Lilas ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

All parts of Krishna Nectar Lilas can be found here.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Churning Kheer & Other Fun

Krishna: “Mother please tell Me about that churning of the milk ocean by the Devas and Daityas? How many milk cows made that ocean?”

Yashoda: “Darling, the milk ocean was not made by cows.”

Krishna: “Mother, you are lying to Me. How can there be milk without cows?

Yashoda: “The one who gave cows the ability to produce milk can also make milk even without cows.”

Krishna: “Who is He?”

Yashoda: “He is Bhagavan, the cause of creation. Bhagavan is immovable and all pervading. Although Bhagavan is everywhere, I cannot show Him to You.”

Krishna: “Well mother, are you telling Me the truth?”

Yashoda: “Long ago the Devas and the demons had a fight. To favor the Devas and bewilder the demons, Bhagavan churned the ocean of milk. Mandara Mountain served as the churning rod and Vasuki, the king of the serpents, offered his body for the rope. The demons and Devas stood on opposite sides pulling that rope.”

Krishna: “Mother, did they churn the way the gopis do?”

Yashoda: “Yes my son. The churning of the Kheer-sagara produced a poison named kalakuta.”

Krishna: “Mother, how did churning milk produce poison? Only snakes have poison.”

Yashoda: “Darling, Mahadeva drank that poison. But the snakes drank the drops of poison that fell from his mouth. As a result, they now have poison. The poison rising from that milk is also the energy of Bhagavan.”

Krishna: “Yes mother that is indeed true.”

Yashoda: “Darling, this condensed butter You are seeing in the sky is produced from that Kheer-sagara. That is why the moon is spotted with the remnants of that poison. Look carefully, do You see it? Therefore, do not try to eat that butter, but please take my freshly churned butter instead.”

After hearing this description, Krishna felt sleepy so mother Yashoda put Him to rest in an opulent golden bed on a fluffy soft mattress, whiter than powdered camphor.

The next morning Yashoda brought butter, yogurt and other eatables to Krishna’s room. Lovingly fondling Krishna’s body, she said, “Wake up! God forbid, you seem to be weak from not eating sufficiently yesterday.” After Krishna awoke, Yashoda cleansed His mouth with scented water. Then she offered Krishna a golden plate full of butter, yogurt and other delights while saying, “O my beloved son, take whatever You like.”

Krishna replied, “Mother, I will not eat anything that you have brought Me. Last night you lied to Me and put Me to sleep. And I felt very distressed due to hunger.”

Yashoda: “Krishna, if You went to sleep then who stole the butter?”

Krishna replied, “Mother, when did I steal your butter? You are lying.”

With His charming transcendental pastimes Krishna continually captivated the heart of mother Yashoda.

Sometimes while roaming in the courtyard Krishna caught a stray calf, put it on His lap, and kissed it with His lotus mouth. Seeing this Yashoda felt both pleased and apprehensive. In the pasturing ground Krishna sometimes grabbed the tail of a calf. Startled, the calf would jump up and run away dragging Krishna, dressed only by the wind, behind him. Thus Krishna Gopal stole the hearts of the Vrajavasis.

Sometimes, Krishna smeared cow dung all over Himself. Seeing it as musk covering His body, the Vrajavasis enjoyed a festival of beauty. At other times, Yashoda tied a very attractive turban on Krishna’s head, and dressed Him in gorgeous yellow garments. After marking Krishna’s body with tilaka the color of gorochana, she would anoint Krishna’s lotus eyes with soft kajala.

Adopting the mood of an ordinary mother, Yashoda placed her saliva on Krishna’s forehead to prevent people from casting an evil eye on her son, whose sublime elegance enchants the entire creation. While playing in the courtyards of the gopis, Krishna often wore a necklace of tiger nails set in gold and a waist belt bedecked with costly jewels.

Excerpt: Kaviraja Sri Karnapura Goswami’s Ananda Vrindavana Campu ki jai!

Krishna Nectar Lilas ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

All parts of Krishna Nectar Lilas can be found here.

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.

Krishna’s Expertise in Fulfilling Desires

As a compassionate father gives his children whatever they ask, Bhagavan Sri Krishna also fulfils the desires of His devotees.   satyam -disaty -arthitam -arthito -nrnam
narvarthado -yat -punar -arthita -yatah
svayam -vidhatte -bhajatam -anicchatam
iccha -pidhanam -nija -pada -pallavam

“Bhagavan Sri Krishna certainly fulfills the material desires of a devotee, but Krishna  does it in a way that the devotee will not ask for more material things. Even though the devotee does not aspire for it, Sri Krishna mercifully gives the devotee shelter at His lotus feet, which satisfy all one’s desires.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 5.19.27)

Sri Sanatana Goswami tika:

If Sri Krishna does not give what is requested, Krishna’s reputation as the fulfiller of desires will be destroyed. However, Krishna gives what is valuable, not what is worthless (artha-dah).

What is that valuable thing that Krishna gives? Krishna gives bhakti to His lotus feet. Since bhakti includes all types of bliss, by attaining bhakti one becomes indifferent to everything else. (Brhad Bhagavatmrita 3.2.131-132)

Sri Jiva Goswami tika:

Being requested, Krishna gives what humans ask for. But by just giving, material desire will not be extinguished and again the person will request the desired object (yatah-punar- arthita). Manu-samhita confirms: “Desires are not extinguished by enjoying the objects of desire, just as fire increases by adding ghee.” (Bhakti Sandarbha 98)

Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika:

Even if one has material desires the bhakti sadhaka becomes successful. Being requested by His worshippers for desired objects, Krishna gives those objects. But Krishna does not give the object in such a way that object is again requested after enjoyment. What does this mean? Krishna gives His lotus feet which satisfy all desires (iccha-pidhanam).

Srila Prabhupada tika:

Sri Krishna is so kind even to a sakama-bhakta, a motivated devotee, that He satisfies his desires in such a way that one day he becomes an akama-bhakta [desireless].

Dhruva Maharaja, for example, became a bhakta with the motive of getting a better kingdom than his father. But finally, Dhruva became an akama-bhakta and said, “My dear Lord, I am very satisfied simply to serve Your lotus feet. I do not want any material benefits.”

Sometimes it is found that a small child eats dirty things but his parents take away the dirty things and offer him a sandesh or some other sweetmeat. Devotees who aspire for material benedictions are compared to such children.

Sri Krishna thinks, “Why should I give such a foolish person the dirty things of material enjoyment? It would be better for Me to give the shelter of My lotus feet, then one will give up all material desires and become My eternal servant.”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das:

In Sri Gita 2.59, Bhagavan Sri Krishna says:

vishaya -vinivartante
niraharasya -dehinah
rasa-varjam -raso ‘py -asya
param -drstva -nivartate

“One who refrains from eating stops the sense objects from functioning, but the desire for tasting remains. Having experienced the highest taste, one can stop the desire for tasting material pleasures.”

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught the same principle in Sri Chaitanya-caritamrita (2.22.41):

kama -lagi -krsne -bhaje, paya -krsna-rase
kama -chadi -dasa -haite -haya -abhilashe

“One who worships Krishna to fulfill desires receives a taste for Krishna, Krishna rasa. Then one gives up desires and aspires to become Krishna’s loving servant.”

The “highest taste” of Krishna bhakti bhajan is so powerful that the sweet taste of devotion makes one forget all material desires as seen in Balak Dhruva.

Sri Krishna is the transcendental form of supreme sweetness, raso-vai-sah. Thus, when a devotee tastes the sweetness of Krishna’s nama, rupa, guna and lila, all sense objects become completely tasteless and detestable.

Relishing Krishna bhakti-rasa ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The Skanda Purana states that Ratha-yatra began a few billion years ago in Satya-yuga during the reign of Svarocisa Manu, the second of the fourteen Manus. Every year Lord Jagannatha enacts the Ratha-yatra (Mahavedi Yatra) in order to see His appearance place at the Yajna Vedi in the Gundica Mandira. (Skanda Purana 29.25-44)
In Orissa, the Ratha-yatra festival is known as Jagannatha’s journey to Gundica. Although outsiders call it Ratha-yatra, the residents of Orissa call it the Gundica Yatra in honor of Gundica Devi, King Indradyumna’s queen, who purportedly initiated this festival. The songs of many Oriyan poets state that Ratha-yatra started with the request of King Indradyumna’s wife named Gundica.
Ratha-yatra is also known as the Patita Pavana Mahotsava because non-Hindus get the opportunity to see Lord Jagannatha. This auspicious darshana cleanses all sins and grants liberation.
(An excerpt from Jagannatha Puri Guide Book)
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
In a purport of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada gives a wonderful illumination about the esoteric meaning of Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha-yātrā.
After giving up the company of the Vraja-gopis, Vrajendranandana performed His pastimes in Dvaraka. When Sri Kṛṣṇa visited Kurukshetra during a solar eclipse, He was accompanied by Baladeva, Subhadra, and other Dvarakavasis. At Kurukshetra, Kṛṣṇa again met the Vrajavasis, especially Srimati Rādhikā and His beloved sakhis.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Sri Kṛṣṇa Himself assuming the part of Sri Rādhā in order to understand Kṛṣṇa. Lord Jagannatha is Kṛṣṇa and Sri Caitanya is Rādhā. Lord Gauranga’s leading Jagannatha Swami toward the Gundica Temple corresponded to Srimati Rādhikā’s leading Kṛṣṇa toward Vrndavana from Kuruksetra.
Sri Ksetra, Jagannatha Puri, was taken as the kingdom of Dvaraka, the place where Sri Kṛṣṇa enjoys supreme opulence. However, Kṛṣṇa was being led by Mahaprabhu to Vrndavana (represented by Gundica Temple), the simple village where all Vrajavasis are filled with ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa. Sri Ksetra, Jagannatha Puri, is a place of richly opulent pastimes (aisvarya-lila) just as Vrndavana is the place of intimate conjugal pastimes (madhurya-lila).
Lord Gauranga’s following at the rear of Lord Jagannatha’s car indicated that Lord Jagannatha, Kṛṣṇa, was forgetting the Vrajavasis. Although Sri Kṛṣṇa neglected the Vrajavasis, He never forgot them.
Thus in His opulent Ratha-yātrā, Sri Kṛṣṇa was returning to Vrndavana. In the role of Srimati Rādhikā, Sri Caitanyadeva was examining whether Sri Kṛṣṇa still remembered the Vrajavasis. When Lord Gauranga fell behind the Ratha car, Jagannatha-deva, Kṛṣṇa Himself, understood the mind of Srimati Rādhikā.
Therefore, Jagannatha sometimes fell behind the dancing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to indicate to Srimati Rādhikā; He had not forgotten.
Thus Lord Jagannatha waited on His cart for their forward march. In this way, Lord Jagannatha showed that He could not feel satisfied without the ecstasy of Srimati Rādhikā. While Jagannatha thus waited, Gaurasundara, in His ecstasy of Rādhā, immediately rushed foward to Kṛṣṇa. At such times Lord Jagannatha proceeded very slowly.
These competitive exchanges were all part of the love affairs between Sri Kṛṣṇa and Srimati Rādhikā. In that competition between Mahaprabhu’s ecstasy for Jagannatha and Jagannatha’s ecstasy for Srimati Rādhikā, Mahaprabhu emerged successful. This is the purport of the Ratha-yātrā cars going from the Jagannatha Temple to the Gundica Temple. (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.13.119 p.)
Sri Jagannatha Swami’s Ratha-yātrā festival ki jai!
(An excerpt from Jagannatha Puri Guide Book)
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Pilgrims in Puri often ask the question, “Why does the Deity of Jagannatha Deva have such an unusual form?” The answer is simple—God wants to appear like this, in this most unusual form, to establish religion in this most unusual age of Kali.
The Vamadeva Samhita and the Skanda Purana (Utkala Khanda 18.3, 37) state that Bhagavan Sri Kṛṣṇa appears in this covered wooden form out of His independent will and due to the prayer of Lord Brahma. Ultimately, Jagannatha Deva exhibits whatever form His devotee wants to see as stated in Skanda Purana (Utkala Khanda 23.49-50).
The following story is a slightly different version of the third story told above about the appearance of the Jagannatha Deity. I personally like this pastime, and as they say, anything good is worth repeating.
Kahnai Khuntia, a 16th century Oriya Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava, gives an amazing explanation for Jagannatha Deva’s form in his classic drama entitled Mahābhāva Prakāśa. He states that Lord Jagannatha’s form is actually the form Bhagavan Sri Kṛṣṇa once manifested while experiencing intense separation from Srimati Rādhārani.
Jagannatha is the mahābhāva-prakāśa rupa of Sri Kṛṣṇa—with fully dilated, blooming lotus eyes, a big round face and shrunken hands, arms and legs. A summary of Mahābhāva Prakāśa follows:
In Dvaraka, Bhagavan Sri Kṛṣṇa resided simultaneously in the palaces of each and every one of His 16,108 wives. Yet in the stillness of midnight, Sri Kṛṣṇa often wept and cried out piteously in His sleep, Rādhe! Rādhe!! Rādhe!!!
Even though His queens served Him with so much love and care, still Sri Kṛṣṇa was not happy. Something was missing. The fact is that after His departure from Vrndavana, Syama’s pangs of separation from Srimati and the damsels of Vraja were as acute as their feelings were for Him. Kṛṣṇa was dreaming of Vrajabhumi and crying, Gopi! Gopi!! Gopi!!! Rādhe! Rādhe!! Rādhe!!!
Perplexed, Kṛṣṇa’s queens once asked mother Rohini to explain their husband’s strange behavior. Rohini Ma replied, “You cannot understand the sweet, intoxicating nature of Sri Kṛṣṇa’s Vraja madhurya-lila because you are all royal people absorbed in grandeur and opulence. Nevertheless, I will describe it just to satisfy your curiosity. I am afraid, however, that if Kṛṣṇa or Balarama happen to pass by and hear the narration, They will totally forget themselves and go mad in ecstasy.”
After collecting all the queens in a big hall, Rohini suggested, “Let Subhadra-devi stand outside the door to prevent Kṛṣṇa and Balarama from entering. If They come, Subhadra will warn me and I will stop speaking.”
While standing by the door, Subhadra became absorbed in the Vraja lila-katha and completely forgot herself. She became stunned and manifested a uniquely ecstatic form with dilated eyes and arms and legs retracted into her body.
Meanwhile, Kṛṣṇa and Balarama came there and saw Subhadra’s bizarre form. Curious, the two brothers listened to Rohini’s narration. Within a few minutes, They lost themselves in the sweet memories of Vraja and swooned in ecstasy. The lotus eyes of Kṛṣṇa and Balarama fully blossomed and Their arms, hands, legs and feet withdrew into Their divine bodies like a tortoise.
Devarsi Narada suddenly appeared and from a distance gazed upon these three beautiful, ecstatic forms manifesting the symptoms of the topmost Vraja madhurya-prema in Their mahābhāva-prakāśa forms. As Narada neared, Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra concealed that bhāva and assumed Their original forms. It was too late!
Narada joyfully exclaimed, “I have seen it! I have seen it! O my Lord! Please hear my prayer. May that mahābhāva-prakāśa form of Yours be manifest in some place on the earth. Let all the people in the world see that beautiful form and worship You in that form!”
Sri Kṛṣṇa, who always fulfills the desires of His pure devotees, replied, “Let it be” (tathāstu). In this way, Sri Jagannatha Deva, Sri Baladeva and Srimati Subhadra manifested the unique forms visible today in Sri Purusottama Dhama. (Embankment of Separation, adapted)
(An excerpt from Jagannatha Puri Guide Book)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This audio series presents narrations of the occassional and eternal pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha and Krishna. In Japa Walk Thru Lila Meditations, we mix japa chanting with meditation on Krishna’s pastimes. The result is a most wonderful, blissful, satisfying and enlightening experience of chanting Hare Krishna japa.
The practice of combining japa with lila meditation is a standard practice among most Gaudiya Vaisnavas. In fact, the founder-acharya of the world famous Hare Krishna Movement, Srila Prabhupada said, “You should know that it is not offensive to think of Krishna’s pastimes while chanting Hare Krishna japa. Rather IT IS REQUIRED!” (SP Letter Dec. 4, 1968)

The Japa Walk ThruLila Meditation Technique

1. Take your tulasi japa mala, and sit comfortably in a clean, sanctified place.

2. Play the desired lila audio tracks while listening through speakers, headphones or earplugs (or one ear plug).

3. Keep the audio player or the remote control within reach of your left hand, so you can occassionally pause or replay the audio track to deepen your contemplation on a particular scene, expression or loving exchange.

4. Start chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra japa either silently in the mind or by softly whispering.

5. Adjust the audio volume so that you simultaneously hear the lila and attentively hear the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Experiment until you find the perfect sound level that affords maximum concentration on both the pastimes of Krishna and His sweet Holy Names.

6. While chanting japa with full-heart concentration, listen to the lila narration while mentally trying to vizualize the pastime, to be there, to feel the loving exchanges of Radha and Krishna, and to think what seva you would be offering Them at that moment.

7. Whenever you want to deeply meditate or reflect upon a particular lila, a part of a lila, or a special exchange or scene within a lila, you can simply pause the audio track while continuing your nama japa. For example, sometimes we adjust our audio player so it repeatedly plays the same lila such as “Radha’s Morning Bath”.
Then while listening to that pastime and continuing our maha-mantra japa, we submerge our minds and hearts in all the minute details and sweet dealings of Srimati Radharani and Her sakhi/manjaris at that tender time of morning.

8. The japa walk thru technique is easy and blissful. Instead of wrestling with our wandering minds during japa, we can fill our minds with Radha and Krishna’s beautiful forms, qualities and pastimes while chanting. By this practice our scattered, monkey-jumping minds become pacified, pointed, and absorbed in hearing Krishna’s sweet Holy Names, mentally seeing Krishna’s form and pastimes, and feeling the hearts of Krishna and His loving friends.

9. After sometime of chanting japa and listening to the japa walk thru series, you will no longer think you are just a listener or observer of the lila. If Sri Krishna is merciful to you, you will feel that you are personally there, directly walking with Radha and Krishna and serving Them in every possible way. This is the perfection of Hare Krishna Maha Mantra japa. And this audio series is presented to help everyone attain this perfection.

Maha-mantra Radha-Krishna lila meditation ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Please read previous part one before.

On the path of Radha-Krishna bhakti bhajana, one must pass through nine steps or stages to reach the final goal, Krishna prema.

1) Beginning with faith in Sri Krishna (Shraddha); bhakti grows, deepens and progresses successively through the levels of:
2) Sadhu sanga;
3) Bhajana kriya (practicing nine limbs of Radha-Krishna hearing, chanting and remembering);
4) Anarthanivrtti (sensual, mental and emotional, purification);
5) Nishtha (firmness, strong conviction, enthusiasm and mental peace);
6) Ruchi (taste, joy and fulfillment in bhakti bhajana;
7) Asakti (strong attachment to Radha-Krishna with intense yearning to meet Them);
 Bhava (experience spiritual ecstasy, and intense desire to see and intimately serve Radha-Krishna along with occasional deep visions or even darshana;
9) Krishna prema (the final stage of perfect, transcendent loving bliss eternal, and constant rapturous Vrajamadhurya-lila immersions in one’s siddha.

One should be forewarned, however, that the fourth stage, anarthanivrtti (cessation of offenses and all bad habits), is the most difficult one to pass through. It may take lifetimes!

In Madhurya-kadambini (3.16,18), Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti explains exactly how aparadhas and anarthas i.e. offenses, unwanted obstacles and impediments gradually disappear from the mind and heart of the sincere sadhaka. He describes five stages in gradual cessation of all aparadhas and anarthas:

STAGES OF PERFECTION IN KRISHNA CONSCIOUNESS:

1) Partial—15% anarthas & aparadhas destroyed; Bhajankriya stage.At this stage one is 15% attached to serving and being with Krishna and 85% attached to enjoying his/her material body and senses. 15% Krishna consciousness v.s. 85% MAYA!
2) Pervasive—75% anarthas & aparadhas destroyed; Nishtha stage.At this stage one is 75% attached to serving and being with Krishna and 25% attached to enjoying his/her material body and senses. 75% Krishna consciousness v.s. 25% MAYA!
3) Almost complete—95% destroyed; Bhava stage. 95% Krishna consciousness v.s. 5% MAYA!
4) Complete—100% destroyed; Prema stage. 100% Krishna consciousness v.s. .0,01% MAYA!
Even here however, there is a slight chance anarthas may reappear. Sri Rupa Gosvami confirms this: “Yes, it’s true and possible that even at the stage of bhava or prema, one may commit an aparadha if one offends a great devotee of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Krishna presthaaparadhatah.”(Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu 1.3.54)
5) Absolute—100/100% destroyed; 100% Krishna consciousness v.s. 0,00% MAYA!

For the fully realized Krishna premibhakta, the cessation and destruction of ALL ANARTHAS AND APARADHAS IS ABSOLUTE because one has received the complete mercy Sri Krishna along with His direct seva and association (sakshad seva & sanga). There is not even the slightest chance for the appearance of anarthas or aparadhas. One has now attained the perfection of his/her human life and the final goal of Krishna consciousness.

Thus one can see that advancing in Radha-Krishna bhakti bhajana is a gradual process that may extend for many lifetimes.

In Sri Gita, Bhagavan Sri Krishna explains this point:“In the next life, one is automatically attracted to the type of sadhana bhajana one practiced in the previous life, pūrvābhyāsena tenaiva hriyate hy avaśo ’pi saḥ.”(Bhagavad Gita 6.44)
Sridhara Swami tika:“Thus struggling under the momentum of his former practice, the sadhaka gradually attains liberation in Krishna consciousness.”

Sri Krishna continues, “Unlike one’s previous life, the bhakti yogi will now strive for spiritual perfection with intense effort and become purified of his/her anarthas and aparadhas. Then after many births, one will finally attain perfection in Krishna consciousness, Krishna prema. (6.45)

prayatnād yatamānas tu, yogī saṁśuddha-kilbiṣaḥ
aneka-janma-saṁsiddhas, tato yāti parāṁ gatim

Sri Baladeva Vidya bhushana tika: “Due to fear of his previous obstacles, the sadhaka now makes even more effort in bhajana. And this additional effort purifies one of all material desires.”

Srila Prabhupada tika: “With determination, therefore, the bhakta begins his/her unfinished task, and thus one completely cleanses oneself of all material contaminations. When one is finally free from all contaminations, one attains the supreme perfection—Krishna consciousness.”

The principle of a gradual process also applies to the realization and perception of one’s Guru received or mentally conceived siddha svarupa, siddha deha. In the beginning, awareness of one’s eternal, transcendental female identity as Srimati Radharani’s loving loyal maidservant is slight, and bodily attachment is great. Gradually as one advances in meditation and receives more mercy from Sri Krishna and Sri Guru, he/she will more deeply identify with the siddha deha and Sri Radha’s seva, and simultaneously identify less with the external material body and enjoying material sense gratification.

The material body and siddha deha are like communicating vessels—more identity with body, less identity with siddha deha; or more identity with siddha deha, then less identity with one’s temporary material body.

In this regard, Srila Prabhupada said, “The more we make progress in Krishna consciousness, this ‘my consciousness and I consciousness’ will vanish. So this is a natural consequence. And as soon as you begin to eat, your weakness will disappear along with your hunger and satisfaction will come.

“Similarly, these two things cannot stand together, maya and Krishna. If I am in Krishna consciousness then there is no question of maya. It may be that I’m not fully Krishna conscious. Just like while eating it is not that immediately my hunger is satisfied; it takes a little time. Similarly, Krishna consciousness is a gradual process of advancement. That is the test. If I am still in illusion, then I should understand that my Krishna consciousness is not progressing. This is the test.” (folio: 670116CC.NYC)

Further, Srila Prabhupada said, “Material hankerings and spiritual advancement go ill together. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.27 tika) Material attachment and taking shelter of the lotus feet of Bhagavan Sri Krishna go ill together. Material attachment means ignorance of transcendental happiness under the shelter of Sri Krishna (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.12.27 tika). Increasing one’s love for Krishna is a gradual process. “(folio: TLK Verse 36)

In the next wonderful quote, Srila Prabhupada perfectly and beautifully explains the gradual journey to Krishna prema:
“The development of intimacy between Bhagavan Sri Krishna and the living entity happens by a gradual process of progressive devotional activities. Such a progressive march of transcendental devotion for Sri Krishna culminates in the attainment of loving service of Krishna, which is called prema in different transcendental varietgatedness called rasas, [astonishingly tasty, loving divine mellows].” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.37 tika)

The conclusion is that one must try his/her best to perform bhakti bhajana, all the while understanding that perfection does not come easy. One should think, “Krishna prema may come in one life, two or even ten lifetimes, but still I must attain this perfection no matter what! The joy, the peace and the fulfillment I have found so far in bhakti bhajana completely eclipses and surpasses all other pleasures I obtained by trying to enjoy my body and this mundane world.

“I am totally convinced that nothing else in this world but Krishna consciousness is so supremely beautiful, sweet, blissful, tasteful and fulfilling. I know that I am far, far away from Krishna prema perfection, yet I will keep moving on and on. I am sure that if not now then in some future life, my most loving and merciful Radha-Govinda Yugala will grant me Their sweet love, Their blissful darshana and Their tight, loving embrace!!!!

Bhakti bhajana ki jai! Radha-Govinda Yugala prema seva in Vrajanikunjas ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!