[Kona, Hawaii: January 16, 2007]
We discussed the birth of Sri Krsna, He who is certainly the son of Yasoda. He is partly the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, but fully the son of Yasoda. After He took birth, His father Nanda Baba went to Mathura to pay taxes to Kamsa, the King of Surasena-pradesh in Mathura. Then at night, after paying the tax, he went to meet Vasudeva.
Vasudeva told Nanda Baba, “I am happy that you have a son in your old age. Now go at once to Vraja. Don’t delay. There are many demons moving about, here and there, and anything dangerous may happen.”
Nanda Baba left very soon after that, and on the way to Vraja he prayed to Lord Narayana, “Please save my boy.”
When he reached his house he saw that a demoness was lying dead nearby. She was Putana, a friend of Kamsa who had had the power of ten thousand elephants, and who now looked like a very large hill.
On the advice of her friend Kamsa, Putana had been wondering here and there with the purpose of killing all the babies who had been born within the previous ten days.
You should know that wherever devotees are speaking hari-katha and glorifying hari-katha among each other, no ghost, witch, or demon can be present. Krsna only wanted to enjoy some sweet pastimes, and that is why Yogamaya, Sri Krsna’s desire potency, had arranged for Putana to come to Vrndavana. Although no demons can enter Vrndavana, still, Putana, Trnavarta, Sakatasura, Aghasura, Bakasura and many other demons were sent there. Why? In order to renew the love and affection of the gopis, Nanda Baba, Yasoda devi, and the other Vrajavasis for Krsna.
Thus, by the arrangement of Yogamaya, Putana had gone to Vrndavana at night, in a very beautiful form. Her waist was thin, and it seemed as if a Gandharva, or Laxmi or Sarasvati, had come to see Krsna. She went directly into the house of Mother Yasoda, where Yasoda and Rohini were lovingly caressing Krsna. They saw that very beautiful ‘devi’ and did not think to stop her. She at once approached Krsna, saying, “My darling little boy, my dear boy,” and she placed Him on her lap.
Krsna closed His eyes at this time. Why? Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained five reasons. When a baby sits on the lap of his mother and drinks her breast milk, her lap becomes a very happy place for playing. Then, when an unknown person comes, the baby closes his eyes. Secondly, although Putana had come in a very beautiful form, she came to kill Krsna by giving Him poison. He therefore closed His eyes, thinking, “I don’t want to see this inauspicious lady.” She came to kill all the babies of the Vrajavasis and, by the potency of Yogamaya, she came first to the home of Nanda Baba. She had not yet gone to other places. Now she took Krsna in her lap, and Krsna saw this as inauspicious. Therefore, He closed His eyes.
If one is in Sri Krsna’s presence, no maya or hypocrisy can remain with that person. It will at once disappear. If Krsna had looked at Putana, maya would have disappeared. The gigantic form of Putana would have been disclosed, and Mother Yasoda and the Vrajavasis would have understood the true situation.
Because Putana came in the form of a mother, saying, “Oh my dear son, my dear darling boy,” Krsna did not want to give her pain and make her cry. He thought, “When I suck out her life and she begins to die, she will suffer tremendously. I cannot bear to do this.”
Putana said, “Oh darling baby, they are really not Your mothers. How could they have left You here alone?” She took Krsna in her arms and gave Him her breast-milk. Krsna closed His eyes and sucked out her poison, and with that He sucked out her life. Thus, Putana could no longer maintain her maya form. Krsna was holding her breasts tightly with His feet and mouth, and while he was sucking, she became twelve miles long.
Thinking, “My brother can save me,” she wanted to return to Kamsa, but Krsna did not allow that. He told her, “I cannot give you up. Since you came to Me in Vraja, how can I give you up?”
putana loka-bala-ghniPutana then fell down – not on any cow or Vrajavasi, but on the trees of Kamsa’s garden nearby, where beautiful mangos were growing – and everything there was crushed. All the Vrajavasis had followed her, and now they came near and saw that Krsna was saved and still playing on her breast. They took Him to Mother Yasoda, who called all the brahmanas.
stanam dattvapa sad-gatim
[“Putana was always hankering for the blood of human children, and with that desire she came to kill Krsna; but because she offered her breast to the Lord, she achieved the greatest attainment.” (SB 10.6.35)]
Then, with a black cow’s urine and dung, they began to bathe (abhiseka) Krsna. Holding and placing the tail of the cow on different parts of Krsna’s body, they uttered special mantras for His protection.
avyad ajo ’nghri manimams tava janv athoruMother Yasoda then began to caress Krsna.
yajno ’cyutah kati-tatam jatharam hayasyah
hrt kesavas tvad-ura isa inas tu kantham
visnur bhujam mukham urukrama isvarah kam
cakry agratah saha-gado harir astu pascat
tvat-parsvayor dhanur-asi madhu-hajanas ca
konesu sankha urugaya upary upendras
tarksyah ksitau haladharah purusah samantat
Sukadeva Gosvami informed Maharaja Pariksit that the gopis, following the proper system, protected Krsna, their child, with this mantra: May Aja protect Your legs, may Maniman protect Your knees, Yajna Your thighs, Acyuta the upper part of Your waist, and Hayagriva Your abdomen. May Kesava protect Your heart, Isa Your chest, the sun-god Your neck, Visnu Your arms, Urukrama Your face, and Isvara Your head. May Cakri protect You from the front; may Sri Hari, Gadadhari, the carrier of the club, protect You from the back; and may the carrier of the bow, who is known as the enemy of Madhu, and Lord Ajana, the carrier of the sword, protect Your two sides. May Lord Urugaya, the carrier of the conchshell, protect You from all corners; may Upendra protect You from above; may Garuda protect You on the ground; and may Lord Haladhara, the Supreme Person, protect You on all sides. (SB 10.6.22-23)
pranan narayano ’vatu
mano yogesvaro ’vatu
May Hrsikesa protect Your senses, and Narayana Your life air. May the master of Svetadvipa protect the core of Your heart, and may Lord Yogesvara protect Your mind. (SB 10.6. 24)
prsnigarbhas tu te buddhim
atmanam bhagavan parah
kridantam patu govindah
sayanam patu madhavah
vrajantam avyad vaikuntha
asinam tvam sriyah patih
bhunjanam yajnabhuk patu
May Lord Prsnigarbha protect Your intelligence, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead Your soul. While You are playing, may Govinda protect You, and while You are sleeping may Madhava protect You. May Lord Vaikuntha protect You while You are walking, and may Lord Narayana, the husband of the goddess of fortune, protect You while You are sitting. Similarly, may Lord Yajnabhuk, the fearful enemy of all evil planets, always protect You while You enjoy life. (SB 10.6.25-26)
Where devotees are reciting these beautiful pastimes, singing, dancing and glorifying Hari or any form of Krsna, or Krsna Himself, no demon or witch can come. Why, then, was Putana able to come? She came so that Krsna could play His beautiful, sweet pastimes. These narrations would then be sung everywhere in the world, and all calamities of life – the endless pain of birth and death – would disappear for the hearers. For this reason, Krsna’s Yogamaya inspired demons like her and took them to Vraja. In this way, Krsna is performing so many pastimes.
Now I want to tell you about King Puranjana, from the Fourth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is a very beautiful and inspiring story that Narada told to King Pracinabarhi, which reveals the nature of this world. Hearing this story will act like a powerful injection. I want this injection to be given to you all.
[Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja tells the allegorical history of King Puranjana, beginning from Srimad Bhagavatam 4.25.10; and then Srila Narayana Maharaja speaks:]
When King Puranjana returned home after hunting and killing many animals, he saw that his wife was angry and not speaking to him. Then he pacified her and she told him, “You should not go anywhere without my permission. You should always be controlled by me.” Thus, time passed, and King Puranjana became one hundred years old. At that time Chandavega [*See Endnote 1], Time or Death Personified, with his entire army of thousands of diseases, attacked and defeated King Puranjana and took his life. Meditating on his wife, Puranjana became a lady in his next life.
King Puranjana had been fully absorbed in family life for many lives, and in each life Personified Time had come and ended his life. Narada Muni told King Pracinabarhisat, “Do not live your life in like way. You have enjoyed your life with wives and children in so many lives. You have been a pig, hog, and so many animal species, and you have never been satisfied. You can never be satisfied by this. This human life is very precious. Don’t lose this opportunity and don’t always be entangled in material enjoyment.”
I have told this especially to Prema-prayojana prabhu. He is my dear one. In his previous lives he has been a hog, pig, dog, etc.
All Vedas, sastras, guru-parampara, I myself, and all others will be happy if you give up all these things, come in this line, and preach my mission. The devotees want this. Come in my line and preach my mission. Our guru-parampara and Sri Sri Radha and Krsna will be happy.
You should especially remember this verse:
yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadoWhat is the meaning? If Krsna is angry, Guru can save you, but if Gurudeva is angry, Krsna cannot save you. If I am Guru, then for my satisfaction you should come again and preach, otherwise you will have to suffer and no one will be able to save you. I will not be able to save you.
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto’pi
dhyayam stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri caranaravindam
[“Only by the mercy of Sri Gurudeva can one receive the mercy of Krsna; without his grace the living entities cannot make any advancement nor be delivered. Meditating three times a day on the glories of Sri Gurudeva and reciting stava-stuti, I offer prayers unto his lotus feet.” (Sri Guruvastakam, verse 8)]
[Moreover, I want to tell you something. When Sankaracharya was only seven or eight years old, he wanted to take sannyasa. He was an only child, and his mother was very attached to him. She did not want to give him permission to take sannyasa, and she made him promise not to do so. Then, with the help of mystical power, Sankaracharya arranged that a crocodile attacked him when he was bathing in the river. As the crocodile was about to swallow him, he raised his arm, looking at his mother who was standing on the shore in utter despair. He asked his mother “Please allow me to take sannyasa just now, so that I will be liberated and my life will be successful.” His mother, thinking that there was no more hope to rescue his life, agreed and gave her permission for him to take sannyasa. As soon as she gave her permission, the crocodile vanished, and Sankaracharya at once come out of the water and prepared to leave his mother. She cried, but Sankaracharya never again considered her condition. He left at once and took sannyasa. The sacred order of sannyasa is the most auspicious position, and it allows one to obtain gopi-bhava. To give up sannyasa and become entangled in household life is the most inauspicious thing that can happen to a person. (This bracketed paragraph was personally added by Srila Narayana Maharaja after this lecture was spoken. He requested that it be inserted here, for the benefit of all the readers worldwide.)]
[Srila Narayana Maharaja now resumed his discussion of Sri Krsna’s pastimes in Vraja:] Krsna began to play very sweet pastimes. After a few months, when He was a little grown, all the Vrajavasis became very happy and held many festivals. When He was about 2 ½ years old, He was bound by the rope of Mother Yasoda. I have told this pastime many times during the Kartika festival, and I also told the history of the fruit-seller many times.
After Krsna’s next birthday celebration, Nanda Baba, Abhinanda, Upananda and other elderly cowherd men held a meeting and decided. “So many demons are coming, and the grass for the cows is not growing as well as before. We should go to Vrndavana.”
Then, all the Vrajavasis crossed the Yamuna River and went to Cattikara in Vrndavana with all their cows. After they arrived, Krsna wanted to know about the residents there. He asked His mother, “Mother, who is that person who is trembling? Who is he?” Mother Yasoda replied, “This is the Pippal.tree.” [The leaves of the Pippal tree tremble –ed.] “And who is he with those long, long hairs?” “Oh, this is the banyan tree.” “And who are they who are laughing and running?” “These are deer.” In this way Krsna was learning many new things.
In order to protect their new land, the cowherd men placed their bullock carts together in a circle. They also placed many thorn bushes around the carts and all this created a protective wall.
Krsna was bigger now, and along with His sakhas He began to take out thousands upon thousands of calves to graze. After some time, He came to Talavana, and there Baladeva Prabhu killed the ass-demon Dhenakusara. Dhenakasura, the demon who was in the form of a donkey, represents ignorance. Dhenakasura was a foolish donkey and he was killed by Baladeva Prabhu. As Guru, Baladeva Prabhu killed ignorance.
The donkey is repeatedly kicked by the hind-legs of the she-donkey as he follows behind her. Still, even though his face is full of blood, he never give up following, Donkeys are very lusty and also very foolish.
During the summer season in India, when all grasses are dry, the donkeys graze. They walk for one or two miles, but get nothing to eat. Because they don’t see any grass, they think, “I have grazed so much.” In the rainy season, on the other hand, when there is so much grass, they walk a little forward and their stomachs are filled by that lush grass. Yet, those donkeys think, “I have hardly eaten anything.”
One thing more: the donkey carries beautiful cloths, sugar, and so many items up hills and here and there, but he cannot enjoy any of it himself.
What is ignorance? Although one knows, “Without bhakti to Krsna, I cannot be happy,” still, controlled by maya, one is engaged in sense gratification. This is ignorance. Gurudeva’s association and powerful speaking is like a sword. By that sword, Gurudeva cuts that ignorant person’s attachment to all worldly things and makes him a self-realized devotee. Not only that; Gurudeva gives that person an attainment as high as radha-dasyam, service to the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika. How fortunate you are; so don’t waste your time.
After Baladeva killed Kamsa’s associate Dhenakasura, Kamsa sent Aghasura in the form of an eight mile-long snake. Aghasura stretched his mouth open just like a mountain cave. Desiring to swallow all the boys at once, including Krsna and Balarama, he sat on the path. The demon in the shape of a large serpent expanded his jaws from land to sky; his lower lip touching the ground and his upper lip touching the clouds. His jaws appeared like a big mountain cave, without limitation, his teeth appeared just like mountain summits, and his tongue appeared to be a broad traffic-way.
The cowherd boys were thinking, “Krsna is behind and we are now here. This looks like a snake, but it is not a snake. It might be a cave. We should go inside and see what happens. Even if it is a demon, Krsna will surely save us.”
Krsna was about to warn His friends, “Don’t go, don’t go,” but they had already gone in with their calves. Aghasura wanted to swallow Krsna also, so he waited with his mouth open.
Krsna thought, “All the boys have gone inside. I must go there to save them. He then entered, and then Aghasura closed his mouth. When Krsna reached the throat of that demon, He expanded Himself and thus became very big and hot, and in this way the demon’s breath was stopped.
The demons eyes popped from his head like rasagullas. A dazzling light burst out from a hole in his skull and, flashing, went into the sky. In the meantime, Krsna came out of the demon’s mouth with all of His friends, for by His nectarean glance He had brought them all back to life. That effulgent light then entered His lotus feet, and this was seen by the demigods.
Especially Brahma saw this, and he thought, “Aghasura attained mukti, which is very rare to attain. Those who are always thinking, ‘aham brahmasmi, I am that spirit whole,’ must perform severe austerities. But Aghasura easily attained mukti.”
Brahma wanted to see more sweet pastimes of Krsna, but he thought that he could create Krsna’s pastimes himself, by his own power. He thought, “I should steal the cowherd boys and calves, and then I will see what happens.” Brahma used his own intelligence. If he would have prayed to Krsna, “Please allow me to see Your pastimes,” it would have been okay. But he did something wrong, and therefore Krsna’s Yogamaya potency covered his intelligence.
Krsna considered, “All the cows want Me to be their calves, all the elderly gopis want Me to be their sons, and the Vraja gopis want Me to be Their most beloved.” So He accomplished many tasks by this one pastime.
What did Brahma do?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja called on Prema-prayojana dasa to relate this history, and then he himself spoke again:]
You have heard the sweet pastimes of Krsna and Brahma. Baladeva wondered what had happened.*[See endnote 2] He thought, “Whose maya is this? Is this a demon’s maya? No, it cannot be so, because material maya cannot cover Me. He then asked Krsna, “What is going on?”
Krsna began to laugh and said, “Brahma wanted to see My pastimes, and also I desired to be the son of the gopis and the calves of the cows. I wanted to perform a miracle like this.”
Gargacarya had foretold, “This year is very auspicious. All fathers and mothers should marry their sons and daughters in this year.” Thus, the Vrajavasis married even those children who were in the womb. They promised each other, “If my child is a girl and your child is a boy, they will be married.” Thus, all the Vrajavasis married their daughters and sons.
But the gopas were Krsna. In this way, all the gopis were married to Krsna, a miracle that was created by Yogamaya.
Nanda Baba and Mother Yasoda-devi wanted that Srimati Radhika marry their son Krsna, and Vrsabhanu Maharaja and Kirtida-devi also wanted this. Vrsabhanu Maharaja thought, “My daughter should be married to the son of Nanda, Krsna, because there is no one more beautiful and qualified than He.”
Yogamaya saw that Krsna’s desire would not be fulfilled if He were to be married to Srimati Radhika. In marriage, a wife becomes like a servant; she is controlled by her husband. So by trick, Yogamaya changed the minds of Radha’s and Krsna’s parents’ mind, and now they thought that if Srimati Radhika would marry Krsna, there might be some problems. They now thought it would be better that She marry into a good family like that of Abhimanyu, the son of Goal-gopa and Jatila.
That marriage was performed with a shadow of Radhika, not actually with Radhika. Yogamaya created that shadow, and then Abhimanyu thought, “I am the husband of Radhika.” But he could never be so. He was a eunuch.
In this way, by the arrangement of Yogamaya, all the gopis, like Lalita and Visakha, were married to gopas in Yavat. Vrsabhanu Maharaja could not marry his daughter to Krsna, and in this way Sri Sri Radha and Krsna could remain beloveds. This is parakiya-rasa (the mood of paramour).
It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.31.16):
pati-sutanvaya-bhratr-bandhavanSri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself with the beauty and intrinsic mood of Srimati Radhika. Krsna came as the son of Srimati Saci-devi and declared that the paramour mood of the gopis is the highest devotion to Sri Krsna. Paramours are banned from meeting each other, and this makes their relationship more interesting. Rukmini and Satyabhama cannot fully satisfy Krsna. They are like servants. Krsna can tell Satyabhama, “Oh, I will send you out of My palace.” In fact [as stated in Brhad-Bhagavatamrta], He told her this once in New Vrndavana.
ativilanghya te `nty acyutagatah
kitava yositah kas tyajen nisi
[“Dear Krsna, we gopis have neglected the order of our husbands, sons, family, brothers and friends and have left their company to come to You. You know everything about our desires. We have come only because we are attracted by the supreme music of Your flute. But You are a great cheater, for who else would give up the company of young girls like us in the dead of night?”]
Can He say this to Srimati Radhika? She had never taken any garments, meals, ornaments or anything else from Him. She was not supplied anything by Him. Krsna is simply controlled by Her love and affection, and that is why He told Her and the other gopis,
na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujamSri Uddhava has prayed, “I want to be a blade of grass, and take the lotus dust of the gopis on my head.
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
[“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)]
vande nanda-vraja-strinam[Question:] Why did Brahma see the cowherd boys’ expansions of Krsna in Vraja as four-armed forms of Lord Narayana?
[“I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaja's cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Sri Krsna, the vibration purifies the three worlds. (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.47.63)]
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Brahma always worships Lord Narayana. To show that, “I am the same Narayana,” Krsna appeared in the form of Narayana, one of His vaibhava-prakasa manifestations. After that, He again assumed His original form as a cowherd boy, at which time Brahma realized, “Krsna is really the Supreme Lord.”
[Question:] What did the cowherd boys do for one year?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Brahma is not able to kidnap Krsna’s cowherd boys. Krsna desired it, and Yogamaya arranged it. It was not by Brahma’s maya, but by Yogamaya, that they slept. The calves also slept. After that, when Brahma returned and Krsna gave him darsana, the boys thought, “We just fell asleep a moment ago. Where is Krsna?” Similarly Krsna was searching for them: “Oh Sridama, Oh Subala, where are you?”
[*Endnote 1: “Time is figuratively described here as Candavega. Since time and tide wait for no man, time is herein called Candavega, which means "very swiftly passing away." As time passes, it is calculated in terms of years. One year contains 360 days, and the soldiers of Candavega herein mentioned represent these days. Time passes swiftly; Candavega's powerful soldiers of Gandharvaloka very swiftly carry away all the days of our life. As the sun rises and sets, it snatches away the balance of our life-span. Thus as each day passes, each one of us loses some of life's duration. It is therefore said that the duration of one's life cannot be saved. But if one is engaged in devotional service, his time cannot be taken away by the sun. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.17), ayur harati vai pumsam udyann astam ca yann asau. The conclusion is that if one wants to make oneself immortal, he should give up sense gratification. By engaging oneself in devotional serv ice, one can gradually enter into the eternal kingdom of God. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.27.13 purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada]
[*Endnote 2 -- Taken from Krsna , Ch. 14:
When Balarama saw this extraordinary exchange of affection between the cows and their calves and between the fathers and their children – when neither the calves nor the children needed so much care –He began to wonder why this extraordinary thing had happened. He was astonished to see all the residents of Vrndavana so affectionate to their own children, exactly as they had been to Krsna. Similarly, the cows had grown affectionate to their calves – as much as to Krsna.
Balarama therefore concluded that the extraordinary show of affection was something mystical, either performed by the demigods or by some powerful man. Otherwise, how could this wonderful change take place? He concluded that this mystical change must have been caused by Krsna, whom Balarama considered His worshipable Personality of Godhead. He thought, “It was arranged by Krsna, and even I could not check its mystic power.” Thus Balarama understood that all those boys and calves were only expansions of Krsna. Balarama inquired from Krsna about the actual situation.
He said, “My dear Krsna, in the beginning I thought that all these calves and cowherd boys were either great sages and saintly persons or demigods, but at present it appears that they are actually Your expansions. They are all You; You Yourself are playing as the calves and boys. What is the mystery of this situation? Where have those other calves and boys gone? And why are You expanding Yourself as the calves and boys? Will You kindly tell Me what is the cause?” At the request of Balarama, Krsna briefly explained the whole situation: how the calves and boys were stolen by Brahma and how He was concealing the incident by expanding Himself so people would not know that the original calves and boys were missing.]
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