Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Krsna continued to walk along with the calves and cowherd boys. He carried a flute in His tender leaf-like left hand, an elegant stick in His right, and an enchanting buffalo horn tucked in His belt. A peacock feather crown rested upon His splendid curly locks. An attractive gunja mala hung from His neck, a pair of earrings dangled from His ears, and sparkling rings adorned His fingers.

As Krsna ran along with the cowherd boys a vaijayanti garland swung gracefully across His chest, graced with a splendid golden line. Actually Krsna did not like gem-studded armlets, jeweled bangles, and the other valuable ornaments given by His mother. He preferred to wear the simple, natural decorations produced from Vraja’s forest flowers, leaves, unguents, and mineral powders given by His beloved friends.

The gopa boys looked very attractive with the sticks of foodstuffs suspended over their shoulders, and buffalo horns, panpipes, and flutes tucked in their belts. They wore gunja berry ear ornaments and peacock feathers in their topknots. Wrapped in yellow cloth, their thin wastes looked very pleasant and handsome. They wore armlets, bangles, earrings, necklaces, waist-belts, ankle-bells, and jewels tied with black strings looking like creepers.

Krsna absorbed Himself in sporting with His friends and calves. For a long time, Mother Yasoda curiously watched the boys play and wander behind the calves. Driving the calves forward, Krsna walked behind. As peacocks dance jubilantly upon seeing a monsoon cloud and lake bound lotuses open to drink the sunrays, Mahadeva, Brahma, Indra and other self-satisfied demigods hid behind the clouds to view the breath-taking pastimes of Krsna. Lord Brahma was especially enthusiastic to witness the festival of Krsna’s taking out the calves.

Whenever Krsna sped ahead to a distant place, the cowherd boys scurried behind shouting excitedly, “I will touch Him first!” “O no you won’t, I will touch Him first!” Upon reaching Krsna, they impelled Him to choose the winner. The cheeks and lips of the Lord bathed in the nectar of His broad smile as He responded to His friends, “It does not matter who got here first, because somehow you have come here and met Me.”

While rambling through the forest one boy stole another’s boy’s lunch package and passed it to a third. And when the boy discovered his lunch bag stolen, he tried to retrieve it. But the thief would throw it to another. After stealing someone’s lunch bag they quickly took some food from it and replaced it with their own.

The boy who lost his food smiled upon getting it back. Some boys snatched each other’s horns, flutes, or herding sticks. One boy stole a second boy’s gunja mala, and then a third boy would steal the mala from the second, and then a fourth boy took from the third. Finally, after a short time and a few scuffles all the boys recovered their personal belongings. In this way Krsna’s friends enjoyed the festival of stealing.

While the calves grazed in distant places to relish fresh green grasses, the gopas leaned their poles against the trees and rested in the shade with Krsna. Then for the pleasure of Krsna they invented various games. Seeing an intoxicated peacock dancing nearby, the boys mimicked its jerky neck movements.

Contracting their bodies in funny poses, they attempted to imitate the ducks sitting in the marsh. Some boys played with frogs, and when the frogs jumped in the water, the boys immediately dove in after them. When birds flew overhead, the boys ran after their shadows on the ground trying to follow their exact courses.

They scared the monkeys by exactly imitating their facial expressions and pulling their tails. When the monkeys climbed the trees, the boys followed and jumped with them. Some boys sang and danced with exaggerated steps while other boys laughed at their antics.

One boy pretended to be an emperor, and others adopted the roles of his subordinate kings and ministers. A cowherd boy constable caught a boy disguised as a thief while others angrily chided him. One posed as a judge and sentenced that thief. Two boys acting like lambs charged and butted heads while an audience of boys cheered the contest.

One boy roared like a tiger to frighten the innocent cowherd boy lambs. Sneaking up from behind, one boy covered the eyes of a friend with his palms and said, “Guess who?”

As lion cubs frolic in a forest, and as intoxicated baby elephants play with their parents, the cowherd boys of Vraja, the personified forms of bliss, joyfully sported with the Supreme Lord appearing amongst them as a simple village boy.

Krsna, who killed demons while tending the calves, who is inconceivable to peaceful, self-controlled persons, and who is always restless, looked like a dark cloud floating across a moonlit sky as He moved behind the cows. In this way Krsna and the cowherd boys spent their time absorbed in play and merriment.

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

Devas Pray

At that time two effulgent persons emerged from the trees. Delivered from their curse, the two demigods offered prayers to Krsna, “0 embodiment of eternity and boundless bliss. You appear more attractive than a cluster of soft, beautiful dark blue rain clouds. All glories to You! All glories to You!

“No one can understand the mysteries of Your transcendental pastimes. You have appeared on earth just to enact Your splendid spiritual sports. Along with Your appearance came many mighty demons eager to fight with You. However You always exhibited greater power and easily defeated them in an artistic fashion.

“Even though just a tender boy, You have personally uprooted these two massive arjuna trees. You are definitely one without a second. You pour mercy upon everyone and bestow abundant affection to the fallen. As a common man enjoys different playful sports, You relish wonderful varieties of rasa in all Your pleasantly artistic transcendental pastimes.

“Truly You are the embodiment of auspiciousness appearing in Vrndavana to benedict all the Vrajavasis. The moon, lord of the stars, becomes totally afflicted upon seeing the beautiful radiance of Your moon-like face. The natural glow of Your attractive lips surpasses the reddish color of a bimba fruit. You delight learned sages by cutting the dense vines of ignorance with the axe of Your mercy.

“Human intelligence cannot penetrate the fathomless ocean of Your transcendental pastimes. But one can attain Your lotus feet by following pure devotees. The words of the lotus-born Brahma, the blue-throated Mahadeva, and other demigods are always ornamented with descriptions of Your transcendental qualities.

“While Your effulgence alone displays complete and unlimited power, You personally perform various playful pastimes. Strands of jeweled necklaces adorn Your broad chest. Your fes’ deride the purity of land lotuses. Although You appear in specific forms in all four yugas, You have as many unlimited names and forms as there are stars in the sky. As the white incarnation Your glorious deeds wer pure and faultless.

“O Lord of the three worlds! You quickly satisfy the desires of all materialistic people who proudly proclaim, “This is mine!” 0 master! We offer our respectful obeisances unto You. In this whole creation who can compare with You? You are one without a second! 0 Supreme Personality of Godhead! Who is not bewildered by Your illusory energy? 0 enchanter of all minds! You astonish everyone with Your matchless ability to do the impossible.

“O bliss personified! O darling son of Nanda Maharaja! As the crest-jewel among all the immortals who wander through the pleasure groves of Vrndavana You perform superexcellent pastimes. Though using the choicest Sanskrit slokas, the best of sages fail to properly praise You.

“You exist simultaneously as formless bliss and bliss personified. In either gross or subtle forms. You alone exist everywhere. You exhilarate both Your humble servants and the realized souls. The incessant stream of consciousness flowing from Your lotus feet looks like a form of the nectarean Mandakini (celestial Ganges). Please shelter us under Your splendidly sweet lotus feet, and destroy all attachments preventing this.

“O friend of the distressed! We have no desire other than the desire to touch the pollen dust on Your lotus feet. Narada’s curse turned into our greatest boon. Association with sadhus who intensely yearn for Your service, therefore, always gives good results. May our words perpetually glorify You. May our minds be forever fixed on Your lotus feet. May our ears be constantly absorbed in hearing Your teachings.

“What more can we say? Now that all our senses are engaged in pleasing You, we can relish the nectar of Your loving service. Narada Muni, that saintly honeybee who always drinks the nectar of Your feet, has released rain clouds of mercy upon us by His apparent curse. You, who display Your attractive pastimes in thousands of universes, have kindly allowed such fallen souls as us to see them.

“O Lord! Who can describe the immense fortune of Your mother who bound You to this mortar? What more can we say? Even Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, Indra, and all the exalted sages in the universe do not possess even a fraction of a grain of the good fortune of mother Yasoda. 0 omnipotent one! Even the greatest jnanis, vedantists, and yogis cannot understand You. But You quickly avail Yourself to premi-bhaktas intent on hearing Your transcendental pastimes as Nandanandana.

“O Lord! We want to become completely attached to Your lotus feet. we beg You to please reveal within in our hearts the right prayer to in this. Alas! Show us how to live righteously by accepting the results of our good and bad karma.” Praying thus the demigods proceeded Northward and disappeared.

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
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:


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!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The “Japa Mini Lila Meditation” series presents short audio files describing transcendental sevas and lilas to be meditated upon while chanting one to two rounds of Hare Krishna japa.
These Radha-Krishna nitya-lila meditations are very helpful for sadhakas aspiring to become eternal maidservants (manjaris) of Srimati Radharani. For other devotees, the meditations will give a taste of an amazing inner joy and satisfaction that arises from combining nama-japa with Radha-Krishna lila.

The Basic Meditation Technique
While attentively chanting japa and listening to the audio, try to mentally visualize the time, place, personalities and pastime being described. Completely forget this world and think that you are in the spiritual realm of Vrindavana, standing right beside Srimati Radhika and expertly serving Her in so many special and intimate ways.
Try to see, hear and take part (mentally of course) in all the loving exchanges of Radha-Madhava, Their sakhis and the manjaris in the lilas you are hearing. Try to feel what they are feeling, saying and doing by mixing your heart, even in small way, with the heart of Sri Radha and Her dasis, the manjaris. Intensely pray for the mercy of your beloved Gurudeva, and also Sri Rupa Manjari, Sri Tulasi-manjari (Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami) and Sri Radhika to help you identify, albeit in a tiny way, with Their feelings and moods during each wonderful lila.
In your known or desired mentally conceived and cherished spiritual body (siddha svarupa) try to visualize that you are seeing, hearing, speaking, serving and personally moving with Radha-Krishna in Their beautiful sweet pastimes as they flow on into eternity.
For the meditation to be fruitful, blissful and transforming, however, you must use your powers of concentration and visualization. Concentration means to withdraw your mind from all internal thoughts and external sense stimuli. Visualization means to mentally “see” the whole panorama of the setting, the personalities, the clothes, the colors and the various articles and places being described in the narration.
Focus all your conscious attention on the lila narration and the internal vibration of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. You can become peaceful and increase your concentration on hearing the Divine Name and visualizing the lilas if you close your eyes, relax your face, and breathe slowly and deeply while fixing your attention on the point between the eyebrows. Try to really feel and mentally identify yourself as a humble serving maid of Srimati Radharani who really wants to be there with Sri Radha, serving Her and Her beloved Sri Krishna from moment to moment in the eternal realm of loving bliss—Vrindavana.
Japa lila meditation is a sadhana, and like all sadhanas one must practice it every day without fail. In the beginning, it will be difficult to hear and chant while simultaneously concentrating and visualizing the pastimes. However, by daily practice (abhyasa), your ability to concentrate and visualize will improve more and more.
Within a short time of six months or so of diligent practice, you will definitely have some amazing meditations, and also experience an extraordinary taste of transcendental sweetness by this Japa Mini Meditation practice.
It is also very important to remember that during any sadhana practice, you must always remain humble and patient, feeling confident that our affectionate Loving Lord Sri Krishna will surely reciprocate with our efforts and bring us success.
So now let’s begin the Japa Mini Lila Meditations. Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

After coming to Vrndavana, Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami used to worship eleven salagrama silas. He never had a fixed residence. Carrying His salagrams in a cloth bag, he would wander around Vraja just like Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana Gosvamis. Once a wealthy man, desiring to serve Gopala Bhatta, gave him some opulent cloth and ornaments.

Gopala Bhatta kept those gifts and thought, “If I had a Deity then I could nicely decorate Him with these things.” That evening after offering bhoga and arati to his salagrama-silas, he put them to rest in a basket. The next morning after returning from his Yamuna bath he started his salagrama puja. He was completely astonished when he woke the Lord, and found a gorgeous Deity of Krsna playing a flute. There were now ten silas and this Deity.

Overwhelmed in spiritual bliss, he fell to the ground and offered dandavats¸avats. Then he recited various stutis and stotras [hymns and prayers]. Sri Rupa, Sanatana, and many other devotees came running when they heard the amazing news. The whole universe became enchanted by the Lord’s beautiful form. Everyone just gazed at the Lord as their tears fell in streams to bathe Him.

The Deity of Sri Radharamana Deva appeared on the full moon day of Vaisakha in the year 1542. Radharamanaji is one of the few original Deities of the Gosvamiss who never left Vrndavana. Radharamana Deva still receives a high standard of worship full of loving attention in His temple beside Nidhuvana in Vrndavana.

Sri Radharamana Deva has a uniquely gorgeous form. He has a smooth and brilliant Syama-blue complexion, a broad chest, long arms, a waist as thin as a lion’s, and powerful sloping thighs. He has many intricate features which include lotus-petal eyes, fingernails and even teeth. Anyone who even once sees His all-attractive threefold bending form will be captivated forever. On the back of Radharamana one can still see parts of the original salagrama sila from which He manifested.

In Goloka Vrndavana, Gopala Bhatta is Sri Radha’s beloved maidservant named Guna Manjari. Let us remember the mind-enchanting Sri Radharamana Deva, and pray for the mercy of Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami as we meditate on the following translation of a sucaka kirrtana written by Manohara Dasa.

“Whenever I see the beautiful lotus feet of Sri Gopala Bhatta Prabhu my eyes flood with tears. One becomes free from the cycle of birth and death by hearing about your unlimited qualities. Being attracted by your moonlike face and lips, which are radiant like the rising sun, I am no longer pierced by Cupid’s ten golden arrows. Your beautiful teeth resemble a string of pearls. Your joyful words are saturated with the sweetest nectar.

Sri Rupa and Sanatana, Dasa Raghunatha, Bhatta Raghunatha, Raghava Panditá, Kaviraja Gosvami, and Lokanatha Gosvami are your life. Radharamanaji is your very soul. You offer obeisances to Lord Caitanya with your body overflowing with love. You are like a honeybee attached to His nectarean lotus feet. You so kindly gave shelter to Srinivasa Acarya [his disciple]. Your only activities are relishing rasa, associating with pure devotees, and tasting the divine madness of gopi bhava.”

“The pastimes of Radharamana flow through your mind like the celestial Ganges. You are the crest-jewel of rasika Vaisnavas. By relishing prema rasa you become overwhelmed with ecstatic emotions. Oh, ocean of spontaneous love for Radharamana, you are the friend of the fallen.

“Your fame is sung throughout the universe. Your divine form is sweet to behold and full of mercy. Your unlimited transcendental qualities act like a touchstone. O master, just once let me see your lotus feet, which are the essence of all sweetness.”

“After many many births I have attained the rare fortune of serving the servants of your eternal associates. Due to my bad karma I have simply wasted my life enjoying sense gratification. I am full of offenses. My only hope is that you, who are full of merciful qualities, will deliver this fallen soul. I am greedy and sinful, and although my mind is fickle, still this Manohara Dasa calls out to you: Please don’t neglect me!”

Sri Sri Radharamana Deva ki jai!
Gopala Bhatta Gosvami ki jai!
(An excerpt from Radha Kunda Mahima Madhuri)

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.

Where Does Bhakti Come From?

In Uddhava-gita, Sri Krishna answers this question saying:

yadrcchaya -mat-kathadau
jata-sraddhas -tu -yah -puman
na -nirvinno -nati-sakto
bhakti-yogo -’sya -siddhi-dah

If by unexpected association with devotees one develops faith in hearing hari-katha, such a person, who is neither completely detached from sense gratification nor too much attached to it, can attain perfection by practicing bhakti-yoga.  (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.20.8)

Comments Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das:

Some translate the word yadrcchaya as “by good fortune”.  However, the dictionary meaning of yadrcchaya is “complete independence” or “freedom of will and action” and that is the meaning in this verse.

Sri Jiva Goswami tika:

The cause of bhakti is faith alone. That is explained in this verse. Faith arises from associating with devotees (yadrcchaya). The person develops faith in Krishna-katha and thinks, “This Krishna-katha is the best.” One then becomes disgusted with other activities.

However, one cannot give up objects of enjoyment which are the remnants of results of pious acts from previous lives even though one knows they give suffering. This person is not completely detached and not too attached. This is the devotee’s initial state. (Bhakti Sandarbha 171)

Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika:

A person develops faith (jata-shraddha) in Krishna-katha by the merciful association of devotees (yadrcchaya). That is the meaning of yadrcchaya in this verse. By the unexpected association of the devotee, even a person extremely attached to sense objects becomes qualified for bhakti.

The cause of a devotee’s mercy manifesting itself is bhakti itself residing within the devotee’s heart. Without the devotee having bhakti, there is no possibility of the devotee manifesting mercy to others. Bhakti causes the devotee’s mercy which causes bhakti in another person. Bhakti causes bhakti. The self-manifesting, causeless, independent nature of bhakti is thus concluded.

Pandit Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja tika:

That bhakti manifests in an individual without any reason is the intent of this text. The word yadrcchaya, “by chance,” appears repeatedly in the Bhagavatam. Bhakti’s appearance in an individual does not depend on any external cause.

One may ask, if devotion is truly spiritual, then how can it manifest in a devotee’s material senses? The answer is that an iron bar put into fire attains the qualities of fire—brilliance, heat and the power to burn. So too bhakti, by its own potency, destroys the material nature of a person’s senses and spiritualizes them.

Shruti and Smriti describe bhakti as sac-cid-ananda-mayi just like Bhagavan Sri Krishna and as a self-manifesting aspect of Sri Krishna’s svarupa-shakti. It is only by the mercy of devotees that ordinary human beings can attain bhakti. As Krishna is under the control of His devotees, His mercy follows that of a devotee.

By carefully considering this point, one can understand that it is bhakti herself, residing in the heart of a devotee, that causes the devotee to give mercy to others. The conclusion is that bhakti alone is the cause of bhakti. Bhakti does not depend on any other cause for its appearance. Bhakti residing in a devotee’s heart, inspires one to act mercifully to others.

Krishna on the other hand is always absorbed in His own divine bliss and can therefore not feel the pain of the conditioned souls. Compassion arises only when one becomes aware of another’s misery. As Sri Krishna is the embodiment of concentrated bliss, it is impossible for even the omnipotent Krishna to truly feel pity for the bound jiva.

The only way the misery-bound souls can attain liberation is through the independent kindness of a Vaishnava. However, Vaishnavas also exist in the realm of bliss, but they can remember the miseries of their previous lives.

Sri Krishna has given full independence to His devotees to give blessings to others, and these blessings are the only way to reach Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The conclusion is that the jivas can only receive Krishna’s grace through the form of a devotee and not directly from Him. (Madhurya Kadambini tikas)

Comments Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das:

Vaishnavas are the personified forms of Sri Krishna’s mercy, krpa-shakti-murtis. Vaishnavas have direct experience of the struggles, anxiety, tension, stress, frustration, pain and miseries of material existence.

And they themselves are the recipients of mercy, krpa-patras, from other kind-hearted, compassionate Vaishnavas. Thus, without the mercy of a Vaishnava no one can attain bhakti and the eternal loving service of Radha Govinda Yugal in Goloka Vrindavan!

Vaishnava krpa-shakti murtis ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

These amazingly sweet and charming nectar-filled verses will carry you into the realm of Srimati Radharani’s eternal seva. The original Sanskrit verses of Radha Rasa Sudha Nidhi by Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati are all incomparably beautiful and worthy of remembrance.

However, since most people cannot memorize Sanskrit verses, we have presented mostly just the English translations. These verses paint wonderful lila pictures for meditation on Radha Krishna’s Vrajalilas. And most importantly, they will help a sadhaka to adopt the feelings and sentiments, gopi-bhava, of a dasi of Sri Radha. The verses have titles to facilitate their remembrance.

Verse 191 Manjari Protects Radhika
O Radhe! When will I follow You down the road and fully enchant You and Your rasika lover by pushing Krishna away from You while saying, “O most shameless boy! Don’t come anywhere near my dear friend, who becomes enchanted like a little girl whenever You simply touch the borders of Her breasts!”

Verse 208 Manjari Protects Radhika
O Radhike! When will I hide the signs of Your amorous union with Krishna from Your cruel superiors by saying, “My sakhi was picking flowers far away from here, and on the way back Radha’s breasts were scratched by the thorns, Her tilaka was washed off Her forehead from sweating, and Her lips were bruised by the cold wind!”

Verse 213 Sleeping Manjari
When will I somehow fall asleep at the end of Your flowerbed while I am softly massaging Your lotus-feet, padambhoja -samvahanani -shayyante -patita -prapta -tandra -bhaveyam?

Verse 219Manjari Helps Krishna
O Pranayini Radhe! When You are angry with Krishna, He falls at my feet, holding a straw between His teeth, and prays to me with many pitiful words. Krishna constantly follows me to ask me to arrange a meeting with You. O Radhe! I am tired of this, so now I submit Krishna’s plea to You.

Verse 224 Manjari’s Humor
O Vrshabhanu-nandini! When will I tell Your Priyatama, “O Gopendra-kumara! Don’t vainly make such proud jokes over here! With great difficulty You held one Govardhana Hill on Your hand. But as soon as You even see Sri Radha’s two golden mountains You become afraid, sri -radha -hema -shaila -yugale -drshte -bhayam!

Verse 243 Radha Teaches Manjaris
When will my Ishvari Radha engage me in serving Her Praneshvara Sri Krishna in the solitary places of Vrindavan by teaching me how to string flower garlands, grind sandal paste, make wonderful sweet-balls, and sweep the kunja?

Verse 246 Krishna’s Bewilderment
May Sri Radha’s smile protect us when Radha smiles upon seeing Hari marveling at His own form reflected in Radha’s shining golden breasts. At that time, Krishna says, “O Radha! I see two beautiful boys in Your breasts! Their luster steals the glories of hosts of blue lotus-flowers! I am completely enchanted by their forms. Please make Me Your girlfriend, so that we two girls can tightly embrace these two boys!”

Verse 247 Radha’s Bewilderment
O Radhike! When at the very beginning of Your love festival will I hear You sarcastically tell Shyam, “O Nitigya! (knower of morality) Stay away from Me!”
Then I will watch You push away Krishna’s hand before You storm out of the kunja to go angrily lament with tear-filled eyes to Your sakhi’s that You just saw Krishna with another sakhi. Although it was actually Your own sweet form seen in Krishna’s Kaustubha gem.

Verse 259 Radha: Aim of Sadhana
I always meditate on Krishna wearing a crown of peacock-feathers. I always sing Krishna’s name in sankirtana. I always serve Krishna’s murti, and repeat His best of mantras, Gopala-mantra. During all these activities, however I am holding in my heart the desire to attain the supremely cherished service of Sri Radha’s lotus-feet.

Verse 267 Manjari Darshan
When will I, in a body maddened by ecstatic love, live in Vrindavan, that purifying, effulgent, and most amazing rasika abode that witnesses Sri Radha’s artful loving pastimes? And when will I clearly see my divine spiritual form, eyes, ears and so on that is just suitable for serving Radha Krishna in the effulgent kunjas?
Manjari meditations ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

These amazingly sweet and charming nectar-filled verses will carry you into the realm of Srimati Radharani’s eternal seva. The original Sanskrit verses of Vrindavan Mahimamrita by Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvati are all incomparably beautiful and worthy of remembrance.

However, since most people cannot memorize Sanskrit verses, we have presented mostly just the English translations. These verses paint wonderful lila pictures for meditation on Radha Krishna’s Vraja lilas. And most importantly, they will help a sadhaka to adopt the feelings and sentiments, gopi-bhava, of a dasi of Sri Radha. The verses have titles to facilitate their remembrance.

Sataka 14.57 Manjaris’ Guru

Radhika personally teaches her dasi manjaris, radhika -dasih -shikshayate.

Sataka 14.70 Manjari Begs Radha Krishna 

A manjari holds the lotus feet of Radha Madhava and begs, “O Swami and Swamini Radha! Please come to my dear sakhi’s supremely charming kunja.” Radha Madhava then happily go there and lavishly praise that dasi. Just meditate on this.

Sataka 15.2 Manjari Makes a Garden

With her own hands the manjari prepares an astonishing flower garden in the forest of Vrindavan. Within it she builds a charming mandap and decorates it with varieties of fragrant flowers. She sprinkles lots of soft lotus petals on the path leading to that mandap. Radha Govinda Yugal then come there and enjoy many loving pastimes.

Sataka 15.44 Sakhis Teach Manjaris

The main gopis like Lalita and Vishakha personally teach their own extraordinary arts and skills to the newly arrived young gopis, sadhana siddhas, nava -prakata-ballavih -samupashikshya -mukhyalibhir, nijam -nijam -ananyagadbhutatamam -kala-kaushalam.

Radha Govinda merge in happiness whenever They call out the names of these wonderful new manjaris and accept their seva.

Sataka 15.73-75 The Topmost Secret Mantra

I will tell you a mantra hidden from the Vedas, and not found anywhere even in the most confidential scriptures. This infinitely glorious mantra is the sweetest nectar, the zenith of all auspiciousness, and the ultimate goal of all attainments.

It is the supreme madness of all forms of maddening bliss. It is the secret of all secrets. Without thinking of anything else, day and night chant this mantra: RADHA!

Sataka 15.83 Extreme Intimacy of Manjaris

All glories to Radha, who on the pathway just outside the nikunja confides to her manjari saying, “O auspicious well behaved dasi, anuchari -shubha -shile! I have a problem, so please tell me what should I do?

“During our never-ending love battles my lover always becomes totally exhausted, nitya -klanta -sa -kanta, even though Lalita, Vishakha and other sakhis try to encourage Shyam.”

Sataka 16.15 Fanning Radha Krishna 

I blissfully worship Radha Krishna as They sit facing each other on a beautiful cushion at the door of a vine cottage. Within Their hearts They are relishing a recent lover’s quarrel as They happily throw dice, and I gently fan Them with a camara fan.

Sataka 16.62 Reading Radha’s Hints

Remember Radha’s manjaris as they expertly serve Ishvari Radha according to Radha’s every splendid hint, motion or tasteful gesture.

Sataka 17.2 All Senses Connected with Vrindavan

May my feet walk in the forest of Vrindavan; may eyes see the beauty of Vrindavan; may my tongue sing the glories of Vrindavan and may my ears hear them. May my nose smell the sweet fragrance of Vrindavan. May my body, its hair erect in ecstasy, roll on the ground of Krishna’s lila sthalis.

Sataka 17.83 Proper Vision of Vrajavasis

If one lives in Vrindavan committing the offense of thinking that the Vrajvasis do not have eternal spiritual forms of condensed bliss and knowledge, one will not attain Goloka Vrindavan.

Sataka 17.84 Becoming Genuine Servant of Radha

When one understands that the moving and non-moving residents of Vrindavan have forms of eternal spiritual nectar, one will attain the form of a beloved servant of Radha, radha-priya-sevi-rupah.

Manjari meditations ki jai! Sridham Vrindavan ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!