King Prataparudra Meets Mahaprabhu

by Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

[Part 3 of a Lecture Given in Birmingham, England: June 26, 2001]

King Prataparudra was a high class of devotee. He wanted to take darsana of the lotus feet of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but Mahaprabhu told His associates, "I cannot give him darsana. Because he is a king, he is like a black serpent."

Mahaprabhu has also said that a wooden statue of a lady can attract even a muni. Dharu vigraha hare munir apiman. Muni means one who is renounced and realized, like Visvamitra Muni and Narada Muni. (To set an example for us, to teach us how careful we must be, they each performed a pastime in which they were under the spell of illusion.) We should be very careful regarding the association of ladies and men, because they are like kamadeva for each other. When they are together, they cannot control their senses or heart. I therefore request my disciples and friends to be very careful. Although you are independent, always remember these principles.

Although that King was a very advanced devotee, still Mahaprabhu did not give him His association. He was very strict. When Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Acarya, Raya Ramananda, and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya requested Mahaprabhu to see the King, He told them, "I am leaving Puri and going to Alalanatha or somewhere else. I will not remain here. You should remain here with him." Caitanya Mahaprabhu is here, there, and everywhere. He looks into our hearts, and if we have some immoral association there, He cannot tolerate it.

Because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would not agree to see the King, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Raya Ramananda and other associates told him, "Your beautiful son went to Mahaprabhu, who embraced him and said, 'You should come and meet Me daily.' Somehow, you have half-taken His darsana and He has shown you mercy. Especially because you are a very simple person, engaged in the service of a sweeper, Mahaprabhu is very much satisfied and pleased, and He has given so much mercy to you. If you want to have His darsana directly, however, then, being very simply dressed, go to the Ratha-yatra festival at the time Mahaprabhu becomes tired from dancing in seven parties. He will be in the mood of Radhika, continually lamenting, and at that that time you can go to Him and sing the very sweet Gopi-gita:

gopya ucuh
jayati te ídhikam janmana vrajah
srayata indira sasvad atra hi
dayita drsyatam diksu tavakas
tvayi dhrtasavas tvam vicinvate
(SB 10.31.1)
["The gopis said: 'O beloved, Your birth in the land of Vraja has made it exceedingly glorious, and thus Indira, the goddess of fortune, always resides here. It is only for Your sake that we, Your devoted servants, maintain our lives. We have been searching everywhere for You, so please show Yourself to us."]

tava kathamrtam tapta-jivanam
kavibhir iditam kalmasapaham
sravana-mangalam srimad atatam
bhuvi grnanti ye bhuri-da janah
(SB 10.31.9)
["The nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your activities are the life and soul of those suffering in this material world. These narrations, transmitted by learned sages, eradicate oneís sinful reactions and bestow good fortune upon whoever hears them. These narrations are broadcast all over the world and are filled with spiritual power. Certainly those who spread the message of Godhead are most munificent."]

These slokas are some of the most valuable diamonds in the Srimad Bhagavatam. First comes purva-raga in Venu-gita, then this Gopi-gita, and then Yugala-gita, Bhramara-gita and Pranaya-gita. These most precious jewels and are called panca-prana-vayu, and entering the deep truths of these gitas is our main objective. If you can realize these topics, these highest truths, particularly with the commentaries of Sri Sanatana Gosvami and Sri Jiva Gosvami, and more so with that of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, your life will be successful. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has especially explained these slokas in a marvelous way. There are many commentaries on Srimad Bhagavatam, more than one thousand, but the moods of Caitanya Mahaprabhu are expressed by the commentaries of our Gosvamis.

By the Kings brooming, Caitanya Mahaprabhu had become very pleased and satisfied. Therefore, when He was dancing simultaneously in seven groups, by the influence of His Yogamaya-sakti the King told Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, "What am I seeing? This is very wonderful. There is one Caitanya Mahaprabhu dancing in each party." Sarvabhauma replied, "This is His mercy. You broomed like a street beggar, and He is now pleased with you. Not everyone sees this as you do. Others think, 'He is only in our party.' Because you have received His mercy, what else remains? Just dress as a very simple devotee and wait for the time when He will take rest in the garden.'"

If you give up all your opulence and the conception that you are intelligent and qualified, if you become like King Prataparudra who had a heart as hollow as a flute that could be played upon by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and if you serve your Gurudeva and Radha-Krsna in this way, then Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will sprinkle His mercy upon you. By His mercy you can know His opulence, and you can also know everything about His love and affection.

Midway between the Jagannatha temple and Gundica, Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Ratha-yatra car stopped. The lakhs and lakhs of devotees present offered many coconuts from where they stood. They threw their coconuts towards Jagannatha, thousands and thousands at a time, and He was accepting the essence of the offerings by His eyes. They offered so many very sweet and tasteful preparations, from one or two miles distance, and He ate them with His eyes.

In the meantime, Caitanya Mahaprabhu took some rest along with Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Acarya, Svarupa Damodara, Vakresvara Pandita, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Paramananda Puri, and other exalted associates. He went inside the Jagannatha-vallabha garden at Aitota in a mood of great separation, and His heart was melting as tears flowed from His eyes. He laid His head on the root of a tree and cried, "Where is my Prananatha? Where is My Krsna?"

In the meantime, the King offered pranama to all the devotees, and, wearing only a dhoti, he approached Mahaprabhu, took His lotus feet in his hands, and very gently and sweetly began to massage them and sing:

jayati te ídhikam janmana vrajah
srayata indira sasvad atra hi
dayita drsyatam diksu tavakas
tvayi dhrtasavas tvam vicinvate
Caitanya Mahaprabhu cried, "Who is giving such sweet nectar to my ears? Go on, go on." He had been sleeping, but now He sat up and said, "Go on, go on. Give this nectar to Me."

The King continued:

tava kathamrtam tapta-jivanam
kavibhir iditam kalmasapaham
sravana-mangalam srimad atatam
bhuvi grnanti ye bhuri-da janah
Mahaprabhu could not control Himself. He embraced the King and asked, "Who are you? Who are you?"

King Prataparudra told Him, "I am the dasa of the dasa of the dasa of Your dasa."

Mahaprabhu was satisfied and said, "I am a street beggar. I am a niskincana sannyasi. I have nothing to give you. I have no pocket at all. I shall therefore give you my only wealth, and that is My embrace." Mahaprabhu embraced the King from heart to heart, both hearts mixed, and His moods were somewhat transferred to the heart of the King. He empowered that King's heart and satisfied him.

All the slokas of Gopi-gita have beautiful meanings, and they all have connection with each other. Janmana vrajah means, "You took birth in Gokula Vrndavana, in Vraja, and for this reason Maha-Laksmi is sweeping and serving here and making Vrndavana is so beautiful. It is the best place for Your sweet pastimes."

There are so many hundreds of meanings for 'tava kathamrtam tapta jivanam,' but I will tell you two meanings in brief. The first is general and the second one is somewhat deep. The gopis tell Krsna, "Tava kathamrtam. O, Your sweet pastimes are the life and soul of those who are facing many difficulties, sorrows, and sufferings in the endless chain of birth and death in this world. Your pastimes are like nectar for them. If one hears Your pastimes, then You Yourself, in the form of hari-katha, comes in his heart."

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
punya-sravana-kirtanah
hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti suhrt satam
(SB 1.2.17)
["Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma in everyoneís heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses the desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted."]

For those who very carefully hear these pastimes of Krsna, Krsna Himself enters through their ears into their hearts as a bandhu, a bosom friend, and He clears away their lust, anger, worldly desires, and problems. All impediments are quickly swept from their hearts and made clear, and Krsna comes to live there. If one is being tossed in the ocean of problems and is always unhappy, he will become happy by hearing hari-katha.

Pariksit Maharaja was to die in seven days from the bite of a poisonous snake, and no one in this world was qualified to save him. Therefore, for seven days he remained on the bank of the Ganges, giving up all food, water, and sleep, and during that time he heard from Sukadeva Gosvami.

Nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanat. Sukadeva Gosvami had no worldly desires at all. If such a person as he, a rasika tattva-jna devotee, speaks hari-katha, that hari-katha is the maha high class of medicine for you. You will be cured. Snakebites and other calamites will quickly disappear along with all desires and lust and anger. Donít have any doubt in this.

Tava kathamrtam tapta-jivanam. If any self-realized devotee explains the sweet pastimes of Krsna, his hari-katha will pacify you and you it will become calm and quiet. Kavibhir iditam. Kavis (poets and writers) like Brahma, Sukadeva Gosvami, Valmiki, and the most high class of kavi, Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva, have all said, 'kalmasapaham.' All kinds of sins and past fruitive karmas will disappear very soon. Sravana-mangalam. If you do nothing but hear, all kinds of auspiciousness will come to you. Srimad atatam. By this your sri, that is, your opulence, wealth, beauty, and fortune will spread over the world.

Srimad atatam. One who purely gives hari-katha will be famous throughout the world. For example, before taking sannyasa and coming to the West, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was not a very popular speaker. Although he was very learned, not many people came to hear him and his wife and children rejected him. Then, after taking the renounced order and reaching America, a miracle occurred. In a moment he established many centers all over the world, and he made lakhs and lakhs of devotees. We cannot count the number; so many became his servants and his disciples. This was is a miracle. And, although I am like a dry straw, I am also realizing something of this.

Those who explain sweet hari-katha under the guidance of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, my Gurudeva and Srila Swamiji Maharaja, are the greatest donors in this world. Bhuvi grnanti ye bhuri-da. They glorify Krsna, and by this they benefit the whole world. There are so many donors who can give thousands and thousands of pounds or dollars, and rich persons can give their whole kingdom or the opulence and wealth of the whole world, but they are not bhuri da. The greatest donors are those who give these sweet pastimes to others.

This is a general understanding of that sloka, tava kathamrtam, and it is clearly a glorification. Perhaps this is Candravali speaking and praying. Srimati Radhika, on the contrary, is in an angry mood, and She says, "Tava katha mrtam. Your katha is not amrtam, nectar. It is poison. What type of poison? Deadly poison. There is no need to even drink this poison. One can be far away from it. As long as one smells it he will die, and no one will be able to save him. Those who hear Your pastimes must die. They die like flapping fishes. First they will flap, and then they will die.

Tapta-jivanam. Gopis like Radhika say, "We are the proof of this. We were extremely happy in our family life, but then Krsna came and created so many problems, and now we are helpless. He made us street beggars, and now we have no place to stay and we are on the edge of death. If one wants to be happy with his family, he should never hear the pastimes of Krsna.

"Kavibhir iditam. Kavis will glorify even a paper horse. They will say, 'It is very strong, and it runs faster then the air and mind.' There is no substance in their words. Similarly, such kavis have said, 'By hearing hari-katha you will be very happy.' This is a bogus idea. It is not true. When we heard this sweet katha we became street beggars with no place to live. Krsna cheated us and His hari-katha also cheated us.

"Now we are intelligent, however. We donít believe in hearing these pastimes anymore, and we are warning everyone never to hear them. If a lady hears these pastimes, she will forget her husband and children, she will become like a bird without any place to live, and she will always weep.

"If you donít want to be like this, then donít hear the pastimes of Krsna, especially from the mouths of cheaters. They will come to you with a book under their arms and say, 'Come here, come here. I will tell you the sweet and beautiful pastimes of Krsna and I wonít charge any donation at all. Donít worry that you will have to give a donation. There is no cost. Simply hear.' Such kavis will sing in a beautiful tune like a suka parrot. They will charm you and then they will at once kill you with a very sharp knife. They are Bhuri-da janah, which means they will take all your worldly happiness, get you in trouble, and make you like a beggar. So donít hear from them.

"Sravana-mangalam. Hearing Krsna's pastimes seems to be very sweet, but it is actually like poison or a sharp knife. Krsna is very tricky, and He will ruin your life forever. So donít hear His topics and donít chant His name."

Once the gopis were greatly lamenting to Krsna, "Without You we cannot maintain our lives."

Krsna said, "Then why don't you die? Why are you still not dead? I am separated from You, but I see that You have not died."

The gopis replied, "Do You know why we are still alive? You and Your friend Brahma, the creator, are very cruel. You both want to give suffering to others. If you see that anyone is suffering, You become so happy. If we die, how will You be able to give suffering to others? We are the best recipients and best candidates for those suffering due to You, and You will never find anyone like us. We tolerate so much. If we die, to whom will You give suffering? How will You be happy? Your friend is also like You. He also wants to see us suffering. That is why Your very cruel creator-friend gave our life to You, and that is why we donít die. Our soul is not here within us. It is in You and it was Brahma who created us like this. If our souls were with us, we would have already died long ago."

The gopis lamented and wept in this way. "Why do we remember You, hear so much about You, and chant Your name?"

mrgayur iva kapindram vivyadhe lubdha-dharma
striyam akrta virupam stri-jitah kama-yanam
balim api balim attvavestayad dhvanksa-vad yas
tad alam asita-sakhyair dustyajas tat-katharthah
(Bhramara-gita)
["Like a hunter, He cruelly shot the king of the monkeys with arrows. Because He was conquered by a woman, He disfigured another woman who came to Him with lusty desires. And even after consuming the gifts of Bali Maharaja, He bound him up with ropes as if he were a crow. So let us give up all friendship with this dark-complexioned boy, even if we canít give up talking about Him."]

We donít want to have any love and affection for You. What can we do about it? We cannot do anything. We want to forget You, but Your pastimes are always coming in our remembrance."

The gopis are anupama, incomparable. No one in this world can compare with them. You should hear their pastimes and try to remember them. They will give you so much energy and strength that all your unwanted, bad habits and anarthas will disappear very soon.

It is better to forget your jobs and everything else. There is no harm in that. Yogamaya will arrange everything for your maintenance. Krsna has given an order to Yogamaya, and I, myself, will also manage everything for you. Don't worry that you will have to go to your job and perform so many other duties. I have no job. Who is managing all my affairs? I have thousands and thousands of servants who always help me. They worry about me and think, "I should give something to Maharaja." Who is behind this? It is Krsna Himself. Have strong faith in Krsna. Donít worry about your maintenance. Chant and remember more and more.

Donít worry and wonder, "Who will look after me? After Maharaja leaves this world, what will become of me? This is a very big problem." Actually there is no problem at all. Chant and remember. By Krsna's order, Yogamaya will always help you, and Krsna's cakra will always save you from danger. Donít be worried. This is the message in this car festival and this meeting. When you return to your homes, keep this valuable jewel in you hearts and chant and remember.

These are not my teachings. They are the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and all others like them. I have brought their message to you like a postman. Take it and return to your homes and be happy. Try to help each other and be happy.

Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol.

Transcriber-editor: Srimati Sulata devi dasi
Typist: Srimati Savitri devi dasi
Ass't editor: Srimati Syamarani devi dasi
Proofreader: Srimati Premavati devi dasi
HTML: Bhutabhavana dasa


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