Excerpt from a lecture on rla Santana Gosvms r Bhad-bhgavatmta

delivered by

r rmad Bhaktivednta Nryaa Gosvm Mahrja



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

25 May 2003

San Francisco, California



The Ultimate Attainment


What kind of ka-prema do we want? Not the prema of Hanumn or the Pavas or even Uddhava. We will not reject their prema; we will offer prama to it. But we do not want it. What do we want? Do we want to serve Ka as rmat Rdhik is serving Him? No. We also offer so many pramas to that prema. Our goal is to serve that prema, but we do not desire it ourselves.


We want to serve rmat Rdhik and r Ka in the way rla Rpa Gosvm and r Rpa Majar serve Them. By this one will be perfect. It is the topmost status for the jva. You should realize this and not waste a single moment in sense gratification. Try to maintain your life, but make this status the aim and object of your life.


Arjuna Laments


We have discussed the various stages of devotees up to the Pavas, whom we have been glorifying. They are Kas bosom friends, and Ka is their servant. What to speak of serving them, Ka even grooms and massages their horses. Kunt is like Kas mother, Yudhihira His father and elder brother, and Bhma His brother and friend. Arjuna has

more intimate a friendship with Ka than does Bhma, and Draupad has even more intimacy with Ka than do any of the Pavas, although she sometimes also has a mood of reverence towards Him. She is a sakh of Ka. Try to know all these facts.


Speaking to Nrada i, Arjuna explained that he and the other Pavas are actually bereft of good fortunate. Ka teaches us the Gt, he said. He tells us to be aragata, surrendered souls; but we are His intimate associates, His friends. I cannot say how many lives ago we surrendered to Him. Thus we are very unfortunate.


Also, when Ka performs any service for us we become quite ashamed. One time, against our wishes, He became my charioteer and was even washing and massaging my horses. Why did He do this? It was not in fact for me. It was simply part of His overall plan to kill the demons.


I did not want to slay Bhma-pitmaha, Drocrya and my other worshipable superiors, but I had to do so. I told Ka that I could not fight with Droa and Bhma-pitmaha because they are my gurus; nonetheless Ka obliged me to kill them. How painful it was. Bhma was an exalted bhakta, and to kill him was very sinful.


I further told Ka, You are known as Madhusdana, killer of the Madhu demon, and not as killer of your guru. No one is to kill his guru, who should be regarded as superior to ones own father. Nonetheless Ka repeatedly urged me to shoot my gurus. He has not actually served us, nor are we near and dear to Him. Why has Ka come to this world? To protect the entire universe, to assist the demigods and vanquish the demons. This is His sole purpose.


Arjuna continued, If you really want to see an exalted reservoir of love and affection for

Ka, you should at once fly to Dvrak and seek out Uddhava.


The Speciality of Uddhava


Who is Uddhava?


r-uka uvca

vn pravaro mantr

kasya dayita sakh

iyo bhaspate skd

uddhavo buddhi-sattama


rmad-Bhgavatam (10.46.1)


ukadeva Gosvm said: The supremely intelligent

was the best counselor of the Vidynasty, a beloved

friend of r Ka and a direct disciple of Bhaspati.


Ka Himself told Uddhava:


na tath me priyatama

tma-yonir na akara

na ca sakarao na rr

naivtm ca yath bhavn


rmad-Bhgavatam (11.14.15)


Ka said, Uddhava, you are most dear to Me. Brahm, who is My son; akara, who is non-different from Me; My brother Sakaraa; the goddess of fortune r Lakm; and even My very own life, are not as dear to Me as you are. You are so close to Me. Ka has also declared, Do not think that Uddhava is even slightly inferior to Me. He is as good as I am,

and sometimes he may even be greater. How exalted Uddhava is.


Nrada thus left Arjuna and traveled to Dvrak to meet Uddhava. He glorified Uddhava and the Ydavas, to which Uddhava replied, Dont speak like this. I know that I am a high-class devotee of Ka and that Kas queens are also very dear to Him. Ka once gave a prijta flower to Rukmi, and He also stole an entire prijta tree from heaven and planted it in Satyabhms courtyard.


The Story of the Prijta Flower


One day Ka was sitting among His wives in Dvrak all 16,108 queens were present, including Rukmi and Satyabhm. Nrada arrived there with a prijta flower plucked from heaven and told Ka, Please take this flower and give it to Your favourite queen. Ka thought, Nrada is very tricky; he wants to throw Me in a dilemma. If I give this flower to

Rukmi, then Satyabhm and the other queens will be angry, and it will take great effort to pacify them. And if I hand it to Satyabhm, then Rukmi will be jealous.


Nrada interrupted His thoughts, Dont delay. I have pressing business to complete. Please give the flower to one of Your queens now, in my presence, before I leave. Ka wondered what to do. Nrada kept insisting, so He took the flower, closed His eyes, and gave it to Rukmi. He thought that by closing His eyes, the other queens would be unable to tell that He was intentionally selecting her. At once, breathing heavily like a serpent, Satyabhm ran to her palace. She threw off all her garments and ornaments, put on some old, ragged and dirty clothes and, weeping, entered her kop-bhavan, anger-room.


Kings used to build anger-rooms for their queens. If a queen took shelter there, the king knew he would have to pacify her. Now Satyabhm went into her kop-bhavan and began to weep loudly. Her many maidservants were pacifying her, in a way that Ka would know He had committed a great wrong. Ka approached Satyabhm and gently put His

hand on her, but she immediately pushed Him away. Go away at once, she said bitterly. Return to Your dearest queen. You are a liar. You ridiculed and insulted me in front of the entire assembly.


Ka said, Listen, I gave a single prijta flower to Rukmi, and you have become so upset. I will bring an entire prijta tree from the heavenly planets and plant it in your courtyard.


Satyabhm replied, You could not give me even a single flower, and now You say You will bring me a whole tree.


Come with me, Ka said. At once he called Garua and, sitting on his back, they traveled to the heavenly planets together. There, Ka fought against Indra and the demigods and defeated them. He uprooted a prijta tree and planted it in Satyabhms courtyard.


The Glorious Ydavas


Uddhava continued speaking to Nrada i: After defeating the demigods, Ka also forcibly took away Sudharm-sabh, their famed heavenly assembly house, and brought it back with Him. Why? He knew the demigods had the false ego of being masters of the universe; so to crush their false pride He stole away Sudharm-sabh and brought it to Dvrak. Just see how Ka is serving the Ydavas in Dvrak.


Also, you should know that Ka established Ugrasena, Kasas father, as emperor and said to him, I am your servant. Please order Me and I will collect taxes for you from across the universe. Dont be concerned. Ka thus became his subordinate.


Sakaraa, the son of Vasudeva Mahrja and Rohi, is Kas own brother. Ka also has ten sons and one daughter from each of His queens that is, 11 x 16,108 children in all. Through them He has so many grandchildren. These are all Kas blood-relatives, His svajana. Although the Pavas are like Kas brothers, they have no blood relation with Him; they are His friends. So how glorious are the residents of Dvrak, the Ydavas.


Uddhava admitted to Nrada, We are very highclass devotees and most dear to Ka. I accept everything Ka has said to me that I am His advisor, friend, servant and so on. Nonetheless, I still lament.


Why do you lament? asked Nrada.


I was proud that I was serving Ka in so many ways, but my false ego was crushed when I went to Vndvana and witnessed the gops glories. Their love is as high as Mount Everest and as deep as the Pacific Ocean. It has no limits. I could not measure it. If you want to see how glorious the Vrajavss are, go to Vraja.


The Blessed Land of Vraja


Lord Brahm declares:


aho bhgyam aho bhgya


yan-mitra paramnanda

pra brahma santanam


-Bhgavatam (10.14.32)


Ka is the supreme authority, the Lord of lords. He is unrivalled and all-powerful, and yet He is very sweet. He can destroy an entire universe in a moment, and create millions of universes in another. Nevertheless, that same Ka wants to serve the gops. He is the dear friend and son of everyone in Vraja-Nandagram.


Uddhava himself has prayed:


et para tanu-bhto bhuvi gopa-vadhvo

govinda eva nikhiltmani rha-bhv

vchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vaya ca

ki brahma-janmabhir ananta-kath-rasasya


rmad-Bhgavatam (10.47.58)


In this world the land of Gokula is most blessed. Why? Because the gops, who alone have perfected their lives through their spotless love for r Govinda, reside there; without them it would not be as glorious. r Govinda, who sustains all universes, is especially the very life and soul of the Vrajavss, such as the gopas, gops, calves and cows.


Although r Govinda lives in Goloka-

Vndvana, He also sustains and nourishes all

beings in all parts of His creation. Therefore

Uddhava has prayed, Those who fear material

existence, as well as others such as myself and

so many is and munis, hanker to serve that

Ka, especially when He is in the company of

the gops. We have no desire to take birth in a

brhmaa dynasty, or even to become Brahm



Uddhava Weeps


sm aho caraa-reu-jum aha sy

vndvane kim api gulma-latauadhnm

y dustyaja sva-janam rya-patha ca hitv

bhejur mukunda-padav rutibhir vimgym

rmad-Bhgavatam (10.47.61)


Uddhava desired to become grass in

Vndvana. He prayed, When Ka associates

with the gops or when the gops go to

meet Ka, they will place their feet on that

grass and my life will be successful. What is

the status of the gops and their love and affection

for Ka, and how does it compare with

the love of Uddhava?


y vai riyrcitam ajdibhir pta-kmair

yogevarair api yad tmani rsa-gohym

kasya tad bhagavata cararavinda

nyasta staneu vijahu parirabhya tpam


rmad-Bhgavatam (10.47.62)


Brahm, akara and all other demigods perform arcana of the feet of Lakm, and that very Lakm performed austerities to serve Ka in Vndvana,but was unable to attain His service. She wanted to enter the rsa-ll, but Ka did not accept her. Uddhava began to weep as he continued:


vande nanda-vraja-str

pda-reum abhkaa

ys hari-kathodgta

punti bhuvana-trayam

rmad-Bhgavatam (10.47.63)


We are gradually approaching the aim and object of our sdhana. You should have some greed to collect this jewel. Uddhava is saying here, O gops, I want to be the dust of your lotus feet; not many dust particles, but only a single one, as I cannot digest good fortune greater than this. There are countless gops, but in his mind Uddhava has selected one particular gop, namely, rmat Rdhik. He desired just one particle of Her foot-dust.


Uddhava prayed to the gops:


sarvtma-bhvo dhikto

bhavatnm adhokaje

virahea mah-bhg

mahn me nugraha kta

rmad-Bhgavatam (10.47.27)


He is saying, O gops, you have conquered Ka and controlled Him in all respects. He is now totally yours. I am unable to convey to Him what you have said out of separation from Him. He may even die upon hearing it. I do not have your mood of separation. You are mah-bhg, most fortunate. You are superior to Yudhihira, me and even Girirja- Govardhana. You have bestowed so much mercy upon me, but I am very unfortunate, being unqualified to receive it. And thus Uddhava wept.


The Height of Selfless Service


Hearing the glories of the Vrajavss, the old and senile Padmvat, mother of wicked Kasa, shook her head and said, Alas! Those merciless cowherd men are very cruel. They made Ka take their cows out to graze all day, from His early childhood. They never gave Him any shoes or an umbrella to shield Him from the blazing sun. They never even fed Him. And when, tortured by hunger, He ate a little butter, the cowherd women tied Him up!


To this, Rohi replied sharply: Padmvat, you are shameless and have no heart. You are the one who is very cruel. You have spoken as you have because you know nothing of love and affection.


Vraja was beset by great calamities. Many demons, like Ptan, Aghsura, Baksura and Ke,

came to create a huge disturbance and torment the Vrajavss. Nonetheless, the Vrajavss never blamed Ka for this. Everything they do is out of love for Him and is only to please Him. They are unequalled in their love and affection; they are indeed unique in this world.


Indra also wanted to destroy Vraja, and for this he sent torrential rain and thunderbolts to Vraja. Then the yamala-arjuna trees almost crushed Ka. In every such incident, the gops only desired Kas welfare. They uttered mantras like magalam bhavatu and kalynam bhavatu May auspiciousness be upon You. In whatever they do, whether it is the worship of Girirja-Govardhana, Nryaa or any other deity, they pray, O Nryaa, please let me behold Ka. Just see the glory of the gops.


Ka Himself has told the gops, na praye ha niravadya-sayuj I can never repay you. I am unable to abandon any of My devotees, not even a sdhaka in this world, whereas you have left your very own fathers, mothers, sisters, wealth, reputation and worldly dharma. I cannot do this, and so I am unable to repay you. I therefore pray that you will be merciful to Me and be satisfied by your own good activities. Only in this way can I be freed from my debt to you.


r Rdhs Victory


And who is the most glorious of all?


venu karn nipatita skhalita ikhaa

bhraa ca pta-vasana vrajrja-sno

yasy kaka-ara-ghta-vimrcchitasya

t rdhik paricarmi kad rasena


r Rdh-rasa-sudh-nidhi (39)


rla Prabodhnanda Sarasvat has established that of all the gops, rmat Rdhik is the most prominent. He explains here: As Ka was on his way to go cow-herding, Rdhik threw a sidelong glance at Him, which pierced Him like an arrow. It went straight into His heart, and at once His va fell from His hands.


Brahm, and indeed all living creatures, are attracted by Kas va. Upon hearing its sweet sound, the gops immediately abandoned the service of their husbands and the cooking in their homes. Their chapts were burning on the fire and their milk was boiling over, but they left all their duties. That same va, which controls all the gops, now dropped out of Kas hands, due to the sidelong, arrow-like glance of rmat Rdhik.


Day and night, Ka carries His va, and His peacock feather always rests on His head. But having been shot by rmat Rdhiks side-long glance, Ka began to reel and lose consciousness His peacock feather fell at r Rdhs feet, and His yellow cdara slid down from His shoulders. When will Rdhik sprinkle Her mercy on me so that I may serve Her with rasa? What rasa? Prema, sneha, mna, praaya, rga, anurga and so on.


The Unrivalled Status of the Majars


What to speak of Rdhik, Ka falls at the feet of even Her maidservants:


yat-kikaru bahua khalu kku-v

nitya parasya puruasya ikhaa-maule

tasy kad rasa-nidher vabhnu-jys

tat-keli-kuja-bhavangana-marjan sym


r Rdh-rasa-sudh-nidhi (8)


Once Rdhik was in a sulky mood in a forest grove, and She ordered Rpa Majar and others to guard Her. She said, Go to the entrance of this kuja, and when that black cheater comes you should stop Him. Dont let him enter My grove.


Thus, when black Ka arrived, Rpa Majar and Rati Majar, standing guard at the entrance, checked Him: You may enter only if Rdh orders us to let You in. But now She is angry with You, so return to Candrval. Dont come here. Placing His head on the lotus feet of those kikars (maidservants), Ka begged for forgiveness. r Prabodhnanda Sarasvat is praying to become one stick in the broom used for sweeping kujas. How glorious are those kikars.




vndraya-mahevar priyatay

ys toayanti priy

pra-preha-sakh-kuld api

kilsa kocit bhmik

kel-bhmiu rpa-majar-mukhs

t dsik araye


Stavval, Vraja-vilsa-stava (38)


These kikars serve r Rdh alone or the Divine Couple together in all Their pastimes. They offer Them betel nuts (tmbla), massage Them, fetch water, serve Rdh when She goes out to meet Ka, and engage in many other services. Here rla Raghuntha dsa Gosvm prays, I take shelter at the lotus feet of those kikars, who have r Rpa Majar as their leader, because they and no one else can perform all these services.


I too bow down at the lotus feet of the majars headed by r Rpa Majar, and I pray that they will sprinkle their mercy on me. Beyond this, I dont know anything.


Rays of the Harmonist

No. 13 Karttika 2003

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