Based on a series of lectures delivered by

r rmad Bhaktivednta Nryaa Gosvm Mahrja

on rla Santana Gosvms commentary to the final verse

of r Bhakti-rasyanain in  r Bhad-bhgavatmta


An Ocean in the Palm of Ones Hand

By rla Bhaktivednta Nryaa Gosvm Mahrja

[NOTE: This page uses Balarama font (available here)
for better transliteration of Sanskrit into English]


jayati jana-nivso devak-janma-vado

     yadu-vara-pariat svair dorbhir asyann adharmam

sthira-cara-vjina-ghna su-smita-r-mukhena

    vraja-pura-vanitn vardhayan kma-devam


rmad-Bhgavatam (10.90.48),

r Bhad-bhgavatmta (2.7.154)




All glories to r Ka who is known as jana-nivsa, He who lives in the hearts of all living entities, or He who is their ultimate resort. Although He is famous as having taken birth from the womb of Devak, there is some controversy about this. He is served by the exalted Yadus, who are His associates. With His mighty arms, the Pavas, He kills the demons; and by thus destroying irreligion, He dispels the suffering of all living entities, both moving and inert. His gentle, smiling lotus face always increases the kma (prema) of the gops of Vndvana, as well as the queens of Mathur and Dvrak.


Setting the Scene


As rla ukadeva Gosvm spoke this verse, he remembered the sweet pastimes of r Ka from His birth to His final days in Dvrak. This verse not only encompasses the Mahbhrata battle, but all pastimes leading up to it and following it.


After hearing this verse, Mahrja Parkit was about to leave the place where he had been hearing hari-kath. r ukadeva Gosvm, who was also preparing to depart, said to him, Dont waver or be afraid. Always remember that guru and Ka are with you.


rla ukadeva Gosvm gave Mahrja Parkit the fruit of mahat-saga, or association with a pure devotee namely, the paramour mood of a gop. This was r Parkits eternal, constitutional position. r Parkit said to r ukadeva Gosvm, Now that I have received what you wanted to give me, I feel fully satisfied. r Parkit did not think he would actually

be fortunate enough to receive this gift, but mahatsaga bestows complete perfection. He never thought this highest fruit would come to him, but it did.


If you are sincere and focused exclusively on r Ka, and if you have guru-nih, unshakable faith in r guru, then your life will very quickly be successful and you will attain this same goal. Be one-pointed like Parkit Mahrja. During rla ukadeva Gosvms

seven-day narration of rmad-Bhgavatam, he asked Parkit Mahrja if he wanted to drink some water, and Parkit Mahrja replied, No, I am satisfied drinking the nectar of your hari-kath.


Glory unto r Ka!


jayati jana-nivso devak



rla ukadeva Gosvm remembered the entirety of r Kas sweet pastimes and said, Jayati may r Ka be glorious. What does glorious mean here? Why do we pray Nitynanda Prabhu ki jaya, Gauracandra ki jaya, Vaiava-jana ki jaya? Jaya, or glory, means victory, the opposite of defeat. By this prayer we mean, May the Lord and His associates be victorious over me. May they conquer over all my anarthas my lust, anger, greed, pride, illusion and envy. May they defeat me. Then I too will be glorious.


r Ka: The Shelter of All Souls


Jana-nivso means r Ka is everywhere. He resides within all beings and all beings exist within Him. Nivsa means abode or shelter. r Ka is the reservoir and shelter of every living being, whether demon or demigod, and He supports and nourishes all living creatures.

The word jana has two meanings. It refers, first, to non-devotees in whose hearts r Ka sits as a witness to their activities. Dont doubt that r Ka sees when we misbehave. He is all-pervading. If you want to hide your activities from others, it means you are doing something

crooked. r Ka is everywhere, as is r guru. You cannot conceal anything from Him.


The general meaning of jana-nivsa is You are always in the hearts of all beings as the Supersoul, but Ka cannot reside in the hearts of His devotees in this form. He can be there only as their worshipable deity that is, as their master, friend, son or lover.


The second meaning of jana is personal associates. Here it means nija-jana, the pure Vaiavas that is, His very own devotees. The Vrajavss are this kind of jana. The residents of Mathur are also pure devotees, but they are not as exalted as the Vrajavss, for whom Ka is their very life air. r Kas nija-jana include Yaod-maiy, Nanda Bb, the cowherd boys like rdma and Madhumagala, and the gops. The Vrajavss are His life as much as He is theirs. The gops are the highest class of jana. Yaod-maiy is exalted, but the gops are more so; and among all the gops, rmat Rdhik is the highest and the most dear to Ka. If you think Ka is mahat-saga, exalted association, then rmat Rdhik is mahyas-saga, the most exalted association. Her association is even more elevated and desirable than r Kas.


r Ka takes shelter in the hearts of His nijajana and rests there. In others words, He personally manifests there. And to remove the pain of separation of His devotees in this world He manifests here as His many incarnations.


The Impartial Lord


Once, at the time of the Rjasya-yaja, Yudhihira Mahrja asked r Nrada i a question. This was the same question Parkit Mahrja asked rla ukadeva Gosvm: r Ka is equal to all. Why, then, does He side with the demigods and fight against the demons to protect them? As r Nsihadeva, r Rma and other incarnations, He killed Hirayakaipu, Rvaa, Kumbhakara and other demons. These activities seem to indicate that the Lord is partial.


In reply, r Nrada spoke Canto Seven of rmad- Bhgavatam. As the Supersoul, r Ka lives in the hearts of all beings and is therefore equal to all, just as the sun shines impartially upon everyone. But if an owl shuts its eyes and refuses to come out of its hideout, how will it ever be able to see the sun? It will never be able to. Demons do not perform bhakti and are like that owl. They dont believe in God. Nonetheless, r Ka descends to this world in His

various incarnations and bestows His

mercy upon them.


r Ka, the Son of Yaod


Devak-janma-vado. The residents of Mathur and people in general say that Ka took birth from the womb of Mother Devak. This statement, however, can be challenged for two reasons. No one can become the father or mother of the Supreme Lord. r Ka is the master and father of everyone, including Devak, but He is truly the son of rmat Yaod-dev. She is His real mother. He is partly the son of Devak and Vasudeva, but fully the son of Nanda and Yaod.


When Ka released Devak and her husband Vasudeva from jail, they returned to their palace and Devak wept. She lamented, How fortunate Yaod is to have directly experienced and relished Kas childhood pastimes. I did not get the chance to experience this. r Ka would beg rois and butter from Yaod, but He never once begged anything from me. He would tell lies to Yaod, but He never once lied to me. Yaod is more fortunate than I am.


r Ka is para-brahma, the Supreme Truth. He is the Supersoul, the controller of everything and the source of all incarnations. His opulence is unsurpassed. When, as a young boy, Ka put some earth in His mouth, the gops complained to Yaod-maiy, but r Ka denied what He had done. Yaod-maiy forcibly made Him open His mouth, and there she beheld His universal form. She saw that He is in fact the Supreme Truth, the controller of all controllers, the Supersoul, r Nsihadeva, etc., and that all existence lies within Him.


This verse does not mention r Kas name directly, but the previous verse does, and this verse refers to that same r Ka. He took birth from the womb of Yaod-maiy, Devak being but another name of Yaod, and He killed Aghsura, Baksura, Ptan and other demons, and fought in the Mahbhrata battle. The context of this verse indicates that it is referring to r Ka. May that r Ka be glorious.


At the beginning of Ratha-ytr, r Caitanya Mahprabhu chanted this verse in the mood of rmat Rdhik meeting with r Ka at Kuruketra. By their sentiments, the gops brought Ka to Vndvana at that time and decorated Him with flowers. In their hearts they forcibly handed Him the flute He left with Yaod-maiy in Vndvana, along with His peacock feather, and they whispered in His ear, Dont think that Your father and mother are Vasudeva and Devak. Dont believe that You have come from the Yadu dynasty and that You are a Ydava. Consider Yourself to be a gopa only. r Ka replied, Yes, I will accept what you say.


Vanquisher of the Demons


yadu-vara-pariat svair dorbhir asyann adharmam


All members of the Yadu dynasty are the nija-jana of r Ka who resides in Dvrak, for they are His associates. His arms, the Pavas, destroyed all the demons. He did not vanquish the demons with His own hands, but through the hands of Bhma, Arjuna and others. Although He did kill demons personally, in the Mahbhrata war it was Arjuna and Bhma who annihilated the entire army of the enemy. Out of affection for His devotees, He gave all the credit for killing wicked kings like Jarsandha to His devotees, although He could have easily performed such a feat Himself, simply by desiring it.


This verse seems to describe Kas pastimes in Dvrak, but in its deeper meaning it in fact glorifies Vrajendra-nandana r Ka. In Vndvana, Ka killed Ptan and other demons with his own arms. Moreover, in Vndvana He killed the greatest of demons the deep separation experienced by rmat Rdhik and the gops.


He Who Removes All Suffering


Sthira-cara-vjina-ghna means He who removes lifes endless pain and suffering. r Ka takes away the suffering of all moving and nonmoving living entities in the endless cycle of birth and death. It also means He whose flute playing removes all suffering. r Kas smiling face increases the love and affection of the gops and relieves them from their pangs of separation from Him. May this r Ka be glorious.


Sthira-cara-vjina-ghna describes r Kas supreme magnanimity in the form of bestowing His prema-bhakti to all living beings. Here, sthira refers to non-moving entities of Vndvana, like creepers, grass and bushes, and cara to moving living entities, including worms. r Ka does not first look for a reason to bestow His prema-bhakti such as the recipients qualification. Through the gift of prema, He destroys the material miseries of all beings, as well as the suffering that comes from separation from Him. When one lights a fire for cooking, darkness and cold are dissipated as a secondary result. Similarly, when one performs bhakti, the cycle of birth and death is halted as a secondary result. Thus, He is truly glorious.


In Vndvana, Kas smiling face and flute playing remove the suffering of the Vrajavss. What distress do they endure? They suffer only from feelings of separation from Him. They have no other problem.

 When one lights a fire for cooking,

r Kas Sweet Smile


This verse contains the pastimes of Gokula,

Vndvana, Rdh-kua and yma-kua, as well as

the rsa-ll and all the other pastimes of Vraja:



vraja-pura-vanitn vardhayan kma-devam


The smile on Kas beautiful face always increases the kma (prema) of the damsels of Vndvana and the queens of Dvrak. Here, kma-devam does not refer to material lust, but to prema. What kind of prema? Sneha, mna, praaya, rga, anurga, bhva and mahbhva. The gops tell Ka, You are the personification of that Kmadeva.


Kma-devam refers to that r Ka who causes the desire to satisfy Him to appear in the hearts of His devotees. It also means that by increasing the kma (prema) of the gops, He destroys any remaining attachment they may have for their relatives in this world. In other words, He cuts their material entanglement. This kma is known to vanquish all types of goals. For the gops, however, that same kma, or prema, uproots their entanglement in family life. The limits of that kma increase at every moment, assuming ever new forms.


r Ka resides in the hearts of the gops as Kmadeva. The function of kma acts everywhere in this world, but r Ka Himself performs that function in the gops hearts. As Kmadeva, He stimulates kma, and therefore He exists eternally in full splendour. Here the words r-mukhena mean whose gentle, smiling lotus face is full of beauty and sweetness. He expands the playful activities of kma, which are characterised by His enjoyment with the

gops of Vraja, and thus He exists gloriously.


If we take the word pura to denote Mathur and Dvrak also, the meaning becomes He who

stimulates the kma of the vraja-gops and the queens of Mathur and Dvrak exists in full glory. The word pura also implies Kas going to Mathur, and thus indicates the gops highest pangs of separation from Him. Therefore His pastime of leaving Gokula and

then returning manifests the supreme excellence of His prema.


Another meaning can be taken: That person who increases the paramour mood of kma (prema) in others wives, namely, the gops, intensifies the highest level of suffering. But for this He cannot be blamed. It is the nature of the gentle, sweet smile on His lotus face to burn the hearts of others. The gops glorify r Kas smile, knowing that it captivates the hearts of all the living entities and destroys the heat of lust in His devotees. But they also criticise this same smile, because it has severed their worldly attachments. This severance, however, is in fact nothing but r Kas compassion.



The Essence of All Vedic Scriptures


It is with this verse that rla ukadeva Gosvm concluded his description of Kas pastimes in rmad-Bhgavatam. Mahrja Parkit later recited this same verse at the end of r Bhadbhgavatmta. With this one verse, rla ukadeva Gosvm gave Parkit Mahrja in one handful the essence of the entire purport of the Vedas, Puras, Mahbhrata, Bhagavad-gt and Rmyaa.


This verse is indeed the essence of the vast ocean of r Kas pastimes as described in various scriptures. It was rla ukadeva Gosvms desire to place it in Parkit Mahrjas heart. With this one verse in the palm of his hand, Mahrja Parkit then taught his mother the essence of all Vedic literature, including rmad-Bhgavatam. All knowledge from the past, present and future lay in those teachings.


Mahrja Parkit first drank that nectar himself, thus becoming immortal and rasika, that is, realized in all transcendental mellows. He thereafter imparted this essence to his mother, telling her, Dont think of r Ka as the Supreme Lord and the knower of all truths. Dont think of Him as He who has unlimited opulence. Think of Him only as the gops most beloved, and remember Him as your most beloved. May that very r Ka, the son of

Yaod-maiy, be victorious.


The Power of the Holy Name


All the deep purports of this verse can be realised by taking shelter of r Kas holy name. Agastya is chanting of the holy name was so powerful that he was able to control the ocean. By sipping a mere palmful of water from the sea he dried up the entire ocean. Dont think that your chanting will not bear fruit. Through continuous chanting, anarthas will disappear and rati (bhvabhakti) and sthyibhva, your permanent relationship with Ka, will manifest. You will become more powerful than Agastya i. Chanting the holy name will end your repeated birth and death in this world:


harer nma harer nma

    harer nmaiva kevalam

kalau nsty eva nsty eva

    nsty eva gatir anyath


r Caitanya-caritmta (di-ll 17.21)


In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the sole means of

deliverance is chanting the holy name of r Ka.

There is no other way. There is no other way. There

is no other way.


All of r Kas sweet pastimes will enter the heart of the devotees who chant His holy name:


harinma tuw aneka svarpa,

yaod-nandana,      nanda-vardhana,

nanda-tanaya rasa-kpa


Harinma Tuw (1)


O Harinma, you possess unlimited forms, such as

Yaods beloved son, He who increases the bliss of

Gokula, the son of Nanda, and the deep well of rasa.


All the pastimes of r Ka reside in the mahmantra: Hare Ka Hare Ka Ka Ka Hare Hare / Hare Rma Hare Rma Rma Rma Hare Hare.




In his Bhad-bhgavatmta, rla Santana Gosvm quotes this verse from Canto Ten, which has many profound meanings. Previously, r Caitanya Mahprabhu had explained to him sixty-one meanings of the tmrma verse (rmad-Bhgavatam 1.7.10). rla Santana Gosvm similarly offers numerous explanations for each word of the verse jayati jananivsa.

His sole purpose is to convince his readers to enter the line of ka-bhakti. He and Caitanya

Mahprabhu can explain this verse in countless different ways each meaning being deeper and more difficult to fathom than the previous one.


Based on the following lectures:

25 June 2004 (Verbania, Italy) and

2429 September 2004

(r Keavaj Gauya Maha, Mathur)


Rays of the Harmonist No. 14 Karttika 2004



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