An Excerpt from "Suddha Bhakti"

A Book by His Divine Grace

Sri Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja

"Suddha Bhakti, the path of pure devotion" is presently available through GOKUL and other devotional outlets. This book is a discourse on the topics of Sambandha-tattva (the principle of relationships), Abhideya (the methodology used to attain the ultimate goal) and Prayojana (the ultimate goal of existence). Below is a brief excerpt taken from the final section, "Prayojana."

In Krishna lila we find that, one day, there were no servants in Nanda Maharaja's house. So mother Yasoda went herself to churn butter from the milk. While she was churning the milk, the young child Krishna came to her. At this time Krishna had just learned how to walk and was playing the pastime of being hungry. He said, "O mother, stop churning, I am hungry. Give me milk!" To this Yasoda replied, "There are no servants here, so I am busy. Don't disturb me."

After hearing this, Krishna, with His beautiful small hand, grabbed hold of the churning stick. Yasoda was charmed and put the child on her lap to breastfeed Him, but at that very instant, the milk on the stove started to boil over. So, Yasoda said to Gopala, "Get down, the milk is boiling." But Krishna's appetite had not been appeased and He did not want to get down. He said, "Give me more milk." Yasoda thrust Krishna down and ran to the stove. Krishna became very angry because of this and wanted to break the pot containing the yogurt, but He was at the same time afraid of His mother. So, with a small stone, He silently struck the pot until the pot broke and all the curd spilled onto the floor. Then, seeing other pots hanging from the ceiling, He climbed onto the mortar and broke all the pots.

Sometimes the other gopis complained to Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja. They complained that Krishna was very naughty, and would come to their houses at night. They said, "We light lamps to keep the thieves away, but your boy blows them out. Then He steals our butter." Then Nanda would ask Krishna, "Kanhaiya, did you do this?" "No father. I did not. They are telling lies." Krishna would put on a very innocent face, like a sadhu or a saint. When His parents saw this innocent expression, they thought it impossible that Krishna could have done such a thing. Nanda Maharaja would answer the gopis' charges, "I have thousands of cows. I am the king of Vraja. Why should my son go to another house to steal butter?" The reason was that sometimes Krishna wants to go to other people's houses to give them a chance to serve Him. Normally His parents would not allow Him to go anywhere else to eat. They love Krishna too much themselves. That is why He sometimes acts like a thief, to give all His devotees a chance to serve Him, to fulfill their desires. So, outwardly, it seems as though Krishna was destroying everything and spoiling the yogurt by eating it and feeding it to the monkeys. But the fact is that the yogurt was prepared from the milk of cows who desired that their milk be used in Krishna's service. So actually Krishna was giving all a chance to serve Him in this way.

When Yasoda returned from the stove she saw what mischief Krishna had wrought. He had destroyed all the pots and was feeding the monkeys. As a result, she wanted to punish Him. She thought, "If I do not correct Him, His character will be spoiled." So, Yasoda decided to cane the Supreme Lord Bhagavan to correct His character. She approached Krishna silently, hoping to catch Him by surprise. But just when she was about to catch Him, Krishna jumped up and ran away. Soon Yasoda was chasing Krishna all over the courtyard, but she quickly became tired and started to move more slowly. Although nobody is able to catch Krishna, He Himself slowed down and allowed her to catch Him because of her pure affection for Him.

Yasoda said, "What have you done? I shall cane you!" Krishna was afraid of the cane in His mother's hand and started to cry. Even the god of death fears Krishna, the Supreme Lord, but Krishna is afraid when He sees a cane in the hand of His mother. How is this possible? This is Vraja prema. The Vrajavasis do not see Krishna as God. They only love Him from their hearts.

Then, Yasoda felt pity for Krishna and decided instead to fasten Him with some rope, so He could do no more mischief. She tried to tie the rope around His belly, but the rope was short by two fingers. Again and again she brought more rope, but it was always two fingers short. So, although we see, on the one hand, that Krishna was limited like a small boy, in fact He is unlimited even in His apparent limitation.

Why was the rope always two fingers short? What is the significance of this? One finger represents the grace of Krishna, the other, the sincere service with which we can attract His grace. Yasoda never stops in her service of Krishna, and that is why in the end Krishna allowed her to bind Him with the ropes of her love. We must also make the same kind of sincere effort to serve Guru and Vaisnava; then we will be able to attract their grace.

Srila Rupa Gosvami has written this song:


bandhu sange jadi taba ranga pariahs thake abhilas
tabe mor katha rakha jeyo naka jeyo naka
vrndavane kesitirtha ghater sakas
nayane bankina-drsti mukhe manda-has


"If you still desire to amuse yourself with your friends, you should not go to Vrndavana. And if you go to Vrndavana, you should especially not go to Kesi Ghat. There is a danger lurking there. What is that danger? It is Sri Hari, Krishna Himself, who has taken the form of Govinda, Govinda vigraha dhari. The danger is that if you go there and see Him, if you have a vision of Govinda, you will not be able to return to the customary amusements of your ordinary household life.

The look of His eyes, His crooked glance, is very dangerous-- nayane bankima-drsti mukhe manda-has. He is not standing straight, but tri-bhanga, with three curves. If this Krishna enters you, He will not come out. If Narayana enters, He may come out. Narayana is straight. But Krishna is curved like a hook and that is dangerous.

His color is like the color of a rain cloud-- varna samujjvala syama. You will find that in the springtime the leaves of the trees are so fresh. Similarly, Krishna is not old, but rather, a young adolescent. The lips of His mouth are very dangerous and if you see the peacock feather on His head, you will not be able to come back to your household life. So, if you want to have fun with your friends, you should not go to Vrndavana, and should not see Krishna.

Unfortunately, we go to Vrndavana and still come back. We do not have such devotion. If anybody truly had the greed for Govinda, he could not return to his mundane life. His worldly relations would be destroyed. Greed for devotion is developed by associating with the pure devotees of the Lord. By their grace it becomes possible for us to attain Krishna prema, divine love for God, the ultimate goal of life.

[BVML Home Page] Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja Page

Srila Bhakti Ballabh
Tirtha Maharaja Page