(The Search For the Lord's Mercy)
Chapter Five: Priya Nama (The Devotees)
1 Dancing and overcome with happiness, Narada flew to Kurudesa, where he quickly entered the capitol.
2-5 When Narada Muni arrived at the door, Maharaj Yudhisthira was saying to his relatives: "Let us arrange for either a grand Vedic sacrifice, or else a terrible calamity. That will force Lord Krishna to come here, and then we will be able to see him." Seeing Narada at the door, Maharaj Yudhisthira, accompanied by his brothers, mother, and wives, at once stood up, hastily ran to him, greeted him, bowed down before him, brought him into the palace, carefully seated him on a grand throne, and brought various articles to worship him. O mother, Narada then took the articles of worship and began himself to worship your fathers-in-law and their servants.
6 His words ornamented by vina music, Narada elaborately repeated Hanuman's description of Lord Krishna's great mercy to the Pandavas.
7 Narada Muni said: My dear Maharaj Yudhisthira, all of you (the Pandavas) are extremely fortunate, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, lives in your palace just like a human being. Great saintly persons know this very well, and therefore they constantly visit this house.*
8-9 Even Brahma, Shiva, and the other great demigods can only rarely see Him in a trance of meditation. The words of the Vedas describe Him. Lord Nrsimha, Vamana, and Ramacandra are His plenary portions, and the other incarnations are portions of His plenary portions. Brahma and the other demigods are considered His potencies. The illusory potency, Maya, who creates, maintains and destroys the material universes, is a maidservant on the pathway of His glance.
10-1 Inspired by the lament of Mother Earth, Brahma and the demigods went to the shore of the milk ocean and, although they faithfully worshipped the Lord with prayers, they could not obtain the Lord's mercy. Then the order of the Lord was manifested in the sky, and when Brahma understood it in his own heart, all the demigods became happy.
12 In a secluded place the very intelligent sages, headed by Garga Muni, secretly revealed that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Narayana, and no one is His equal.
13 Then He went to Mathura City, where He became known as Dirgha-Vishnu, Maha-Hari, Maha-Vishnu, and Maha-Narayana.
14 We pray that by spiritual activities beginning with vows of silence, being peaceful, and engaging in devotional service, we may attain His mercy. You, however, have already pleased Him and brought Him under your control.
15 Listen. Although in His previous incarnations He gave it to only a chosen few, this time He gives liberation to everyone.
16-7 Although Kalanemi, Hiranyaksa, Hiranyakasipu, Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and many other demons were personally killed by Him, they did not attain liberation. Pure devotional service was not given to any of them. Devotional service was given only to the demon Prahlad during the advent of Lord Nrsimha.
18 Although Sri Hanuman, Jambavan, Sugriva, Vibhisana, Guha, Dasaratha, and a few others attained pure devotional service from Him, during the advent of Lord Ramacandra there was not even the briefest mention of the highest stage of pure love of God.
19 Now your maternal cousin Krishna has caused many to become liberated. May He has given pure devotional service, and many He has filled with pure love of God.
20 Demons killed by Lord Krishna, by Arjuna, or by the Lord's associates, although they deserved to go to hell, attained a glorious liberation.
21 Visvamitra, Gautama, Vasistha, and many other sages intently performing austerities, chanting mantras, and seeking knowledge, went to Kuruksetra and by Lord Krishna's mercy came to desire only pure devotional service. They all became pure devotees.
22 Even trees, vines and other immobile living entities in forms of life darkened by ignorance have now attained pure ecstatic love for Lord Krishna. Now they are all nourished by the nectar rains of pure love for Him.
23-4 O cousins of Lord Krishna, how can I describe the great, never-seen-before wonder of the sweetness of the handsomeness of His transcendental form? His pastimes, qualities, love, glory, and pastime-places are unprecedented and wonderful.
25 I think that if He had not descended to this world, the fact that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead would not have been revealed.
26 The great wonder of His sweetness and glory is now displayed to its fullest perfection.
27 Let the description of Lord Krishna's kindnesses stay far away. His mercy is shown even in His fighting Kamsa, Kaliya, Putana, Bali and a host of others bear witness to this.
28 Sri Pariksit said: After singing these words, Narada Muni instructed his tongue, which was greedy for Lord Krishna's glories: "Aha! You are chanting the glories of the Lord!" Narada then bit the tongue with his teeth.
Note: Narada feels he is not qualified to say anything about Lord Krishna.
29 O tongue, you are very fortunate to have spoken these words. Now, as much as you are able, please glorify the dear devotees of the Lord.
30 O great souls, what person would be so bold to think that the Lord's kindness and love for you can be actually brought to his tongue?
31 When your mother Kunti heard from Akrura's mouth a single sentence of affectionate consolation from Lord Krishna, she at once became plunged in a great flood of pure love.
32 Lord Krishna's many wonderful words of consolation made her cry. That cry pierced the chests and hearts of the stoutest men. She loved you so much only because you are so dear to Lord Krishna.
33 When, after a long time, Lord Krishna, the life of the Yadus, was about to leave for Dvaraka, she spoke many prayers in a voice choked with emotion and convinced Him to continue to stay as a guest in her home.
34 Lord Krishna made Yudhisthira very famous in both this world and the next. Although Lord Krishna was Himself the actual cause of Jarasandha's death, He gave all the credit to Bhima.
35 Lord Krishna and Arjuna became famous for Their close friendship. Hundreds of the greatest Puranas are not able to properly describe the glory of that friendship.
36 Everyone saw how the twins Nakula and Sahadeva, who are both full of love for Lord Krishna, recommended that the Lord be worshipped first in the Rajasuya-yajna.
37 During the Rajasuya-yajna and other festive occasions, Lord Krishna personally performed the auspicious ritual of sprinkling water on Draupadi's hair. He used to address her "O My dear friend." He protected her from the fearful dangers presented by Durvasa, Duhsasana and others. He removed all her grief.
38 He accepted the boiled rice offered by Vidura. He performed the funeral-festival of Bhisma. Please consider how many times He has taken your part in a dispute.
39 Ah! It is very wonderful that the learned and devoted prayers the women in your palace offered to Lord Krishna are now glorified by the greatest poets and philosophers.
40 Although Prahlad, his grandson Bali, and Hanuman received the Lord Hari's mercy, you and all your friends and relatives have received both His great mercy and His sincere love.
41 When He had just received opulent gifts from the Kurus, Lord Krishna said to me and my friends: "They who are friends of the Pandavas are My friends, and they who are their enemies are My enemies. The Pandavas are My life-breath."
42 Ah, how bold and arrogant I am! Only the Supreme Lord has the power to know or describe your virtues. I think the Lord descended to this world for your sake only.
43 Sri Pariksit said: After a moment's embarrassed silence, Maharaj Yudhisthira sighed, and, in the company of his mother, brothers, and wives, said:
44 O crest-jewel of eloquent orators, Lord Krishna did not give His mercy to me and my brothers. We thought about this for a long time and we decided that He never gave His mercy to us.
45 By seeing the many calamities that have fallen on me and my brothers materialistic men will lose faith in Lord Krishna and they will become less interested to engage in devotional service to Him.
46 If that were to happen it would be a great torment for us. Lord Krishna is our life and soul. Without Him we are like men without food or fish without water.
47 For this reason I prayed to the Lord: "O Lord, please use this Rajasuya-yajna as a trick to grant to both devotees and non-devotees faith in Your pure devotional service.
Note: The Rajasuya-yajna displayed the opulent position of the devotees. Maharaj Yudhisthira considered that the sight of the devotees' opulence will encourage materialistic men to become devotees.
48 "In this way all the people of the world will see the splendid, wonderful, and extraordinary opulences of Your devotees, both in this world and the next. Then the people will become full of faith and they will worship Your lotus feet. In this way they will become free from suffering and fear and they will attain perfect transcendental happiness."
49 Now that He has given us a kingdom and killed the irreligious men who were our enemies, our grief is greater than before.
50 My teachers, headed by Drona and Bhisma, my sons, headed by Abhimanyu, and many others also, have entered the realm of death for my sake.
51 I wish for the association of the devotees of Lord Vishnu more than I wish to remain alive. Separated from them I cannot for a moment find the smallest amount of happiness.
52 Because we are now pressed with so many duties it has been a long time since we have enjoyed the happiness of seeing Lord Krishna's lotus face.
53 Now He always stays in Dvaraka, giving pleasure to His dear relatives, the extremely fortunate Yadu dynasty.
54 Your lordship personally saw how He became our messenger, chariot-driver, and servant in many other ways. Still, all this was only to protect the principles of religion, and, by vanquishing a host of sins, to remove the burden of the earth.
55 Sri Pariksit said: Then Krishna's dear friend Bhima laughed aloud and said: O student of Lord Krishna, please listen to these words.
56 No one has the power to understand the vast ocean of Krishna's pastimes. Krishna is the original creator of all illusions. He is the guru of all skilful liars and cheaters. When has He not been very clever in His words and deeds? We do not understand Him, and neither do we trust Him.
57 O mother, repeatedly sighing, my grandfather, Sriman Arjuna, the dear fried of Lord Krishna, then spoke the sorrowful words:
58 Sri Bhagavan Arjuna said: O Lord Narada, the great mercy your dearmost Lord Krishna gave us simply led to our suffering.
59 Bhisma and others, all intent on performing their religious duty as ksatriyas, and all fixed in transcendental knowledge, hurled many powerful weapons at me in the battlefield to break my armour and pierce my heart. Lord Krishna, who carries the Sudarsana cakra in His hand, for my sake again and again intercepted all those weapons, allowing them to fall on His own transcendental body instead of mine.
60 Even today, as I think of this act I cannot pull the arrow of grief from my heart. O brahmana Narada, how is it possible for me to be happy?
61 Action that brings pain to a dear friend is not the symptom of either love or kindness.
62 Originally I refused to fight with Bhisma, Drona and the others, but then Lord Krishna, the greatest of philosophers, taught me something that convinced me to fight with them.
63 Hearing those words Lord Krishna spoke to me gives great pleasure to the dry impersonalist philosophers. This fact brings great pain to those of us who live by glorifying the path of devotional service.
64 When I reflect on the words He spoke to me then I do not become happy. Those words were a trick to cheat me.
65-6 I always have full faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, who is supremely pure, boundlessly merciful, always true to His word, and the very best of friends. No one is more dear to me than the Supreme Brahman, Lord Krishna, whose glorious transcendental form completely enchants the heart and mind.
67-8 Sri Nakula and Sahadeva said; Lord Krishna gave us the power to be peaceful in the midst of a host of calamities. He killed our enemies. He enabled us to perform the asvamedha-yajna and other Vedic rituals. He gave us great fame. He gave us a kingdom others could not attain even with a host of pious deeds. O Lord Narada, we do not consider any of these acts to be Lord Krishna's kindness to us.
69 By accepting the offering of first-worship He brought us great happiness and made our festival of many great Vedic sacrifices a grand success. That was His mercy to us.
70 Now it is difficult to see Him! We have been cheated by Him! How is it possible for us to remain alive?
71 Sri Pariksit said: By hearing these words Draupadi became overwhelmed with grief. Composing herself with a great effort, she still continued to cry as she spoke the following words in a voice choked with emotion:
72 Sri Draupadi said: Many times my dear friend Sri Krishna rescued me from great embarrassment. Many times He killed the demons who were my enemies.
73 I always thought He would be merciful to me. Now my father, brothers, sons and everyone else have fallen on the battlefield.
74 I do not lament. I am surrendered to His will. What shall I desire? On the pretext of these calamities, He grants a great benediction that fulfils all desires.
75 When all my relatives had been killed, Lord Krishna personally sat by my side and consoled me with many eloquent words.
76 I pray that I may always drink the charming sweet nectar of His smiling words in this way.
77 I am very far from any fortune. He no longer comes as He came to us before. O sage, what kind of mercy is this?
78 Sri Pariksit said: Kunti, for whom the sight of Lord Krishna was her life and soul, became stricken with grief. Shedding tears as she remembered Krishna's kindness and cruelty, she spoke the following pitiful words:
Note: Kunti considered Lord Krishna's staying in Dvaraka, where she could not have His continued association, to be His cruelty to her.
79 Sri Kunti said: Lord Krishna repeatedly delivered me, a helpless widow with sons, from a host of calamities. For this reason I thought He was more kind to me than He was to His own mother, Devaki.
80 Now both in my own home as well as in the homes of others I can hear the wailing of the women whose relatives are now dead. My heart does not see this as mercy.
81 I shall abandon this prosperous condition that robs me of the sight of Lord Krishna, and I shall pray for a host of calamities to bring Him again within my sight.
82 Thinking, "Because I have given them an unrivalled kingdom, the Pandavas are now happy," He has abandoned us. Now He stays always in Dvaraka.
83 Gone is the hope that He will return here. For a long time I thought my death would be His mercy to me.
84 The rope of hope that is the thought "Krishna is our dear friend" is now broken, severed by friction with the strong family ties Krishna keeps with the Yadu dynasty.
85 Please go to visit the Yadu dynasty. They are most dear to Lord Krishna. They are plunged in a great ocean of incomparable transcendental bliss. O lord Narada, you know their incomparable greatness. What can we say to describe it?
86 Sri Pariksit said: O mother, O wife of the son of the sister of Lord Krishna, at that moment the great sage Narada quickly went to Dvaraka. He entered the palace and saw in the distance the exalted leaders of the Yadu dynasty. He repeatedly fell down like a stick to offer respectful obeisances.
87 Narada saw the members of the Yadu dynasty comfortably sitting in their own seats in the Sudharma assembly-house. They wore garlands of parijata flowers. They were very richly ornamented with the handsomeness of their bodily forms.
88 They were entertained by splendid and festive music and dance, and they were glorified by poets with wonderful words.
89 The spoke wonderful joking words among themselves and laughed. They were very charming and the splendour of their forms eclipsed the sun.
90 They were wonderfully decorated with many kinds of very splendid ornaments. Everyone, even the very old, was in the prime of youth.
91 For them the greatest happiness was always to drink the nectar of Lord Krishna's lotus face. Surrounding Maharaj Ugrasena, they repeatedly waited for the arrival of Lord Krishnadeva.
92 Countless millions of Yadus waited, eagerly talking about Lord Krishna, and their hearts and eyes fixed on the path coming from Lord Krishna's residential quarters.
93 Becoming aware of Narada's presence, the Yadavas hastily ran to him, lifted him up, and at once led him by the hand into the assembly-hall.
94 He was offered a great and splendid throne, but he would not sit on it. By his own wish he sat on the floor. Everyone at once sat around him.
95 When they brought paraphernalia to worship him, Narada, the humble leader of the divine sages, bowed down before them with folded hands, stood up, and addressed them:
96 O great souls who have obtained the mercy of Lord Krishna's lotus feet, please be kind to me and allow me to wander through this universe always singing your glories.
97 Ah, the Yadu dynasty is the most glorious. The Yadus are more glorious than the residents of Vaikuntha. By the mercy of the Yadus this world of men has become more glorious than Vaikuntha.
98 O earth, now your life is a great success, for now the Yadus have taken birth, reside, and enjoy pastimes on your surface. Now the Supreme Personality of Godhead resides on your surface in the homes of the Yadus, and enjoys with them many unprecedented transcendental pastimes.
99-100 By placing Himself before the eyes of the Yadavas, by conversing with them, touching them, following them, sitting with them, eating with them, sleeping with them, arranging for marriages between their families, and in many other ways, Lord Krishna bound the Yadavas with unbreakable bonds of intense love stronger than the love they bore for their own selves. In this way He broke their desire for impersonal liberation or residence in the celestial material planets, and greatly increased their pure devotion to Him.
101 By enjoying transcendental pastimes in their company, Lord Krishna, who has now forgotten Vaikunthaloka, gives to the Yadus an indescribable and intense transcendental pleasure that is newer and newer at every moment.
102 Even though engaged in sleeping, sitting, walking, talking, playing, bathing, eating, and a host of other activities, they are so absorbed in love for Lord Krishna they cannot remember anything except Him.
103 O great king Ugrasena, who is able to describe the wonderful glory of your great good fortune?
104 Ah, it is very wonderful! It is a great jewel-mine of wonders! It is a great jewel-mine of wonders! The Supreme Personality of Godhead allows Himself to be controlled by the love of His devotees.
105 O king of the Yadus, when you are seated on the throne, Lord Krishna stands before you like a servant, and respectfully says:
106 "O my lord, please be kind to Me," and "I am your servant, please order Me." For his reason I offer my respectful obeisances to you again and again. For this reason I offer my respectful obeisances to all your relatives, friends, servants, and everyone connected with you.
107 Sri Pariksit said: Then all the Yadus, who are great devotees of Lord Krishna, the Deity of the brahmanas, bowed down before the great sage Narada, touched his feet, and said:
108 The Yadavas said: "Even our master, the great Lord Krishna, worships you. O lord, why do you bow down like a lowly person to offer respects to us, who are so lowly and unimportant?
109 O eloquent orator who has defeated even Lord Brahma, it is only because of the great power of Lord Krishna, the king of the Yadus, that what you have said about us is not untrue.
110 With the slightest scent of Lord Krishna's association, what person will not attain perfection? Lord Krishna is a jewel-mine of great mercy. He is the best friend of everyone.
111 He is an ocean of great transcendental glory. Remembering Him grants all the goals of one's life. He is the only shelter of the poor and shelterless. To the humble and lowly He gives a benediction far more valuable than material piety, economic-development, sense-gratification, or liberation.
112 However, among us the fortunate Uddhava is the real object of Lord Krishna's great mercy. Uddhava is Lord Krishna's counsellor, disciple, servant, and dear friend.
113 The Lord sometimes leaves us and goes travelling. Not noticing our suffering, He goes away.
114 We do not know when or where He will go again. Uddhava, however, always stays with Him and serves Him.
115 Sometimes the Lord sends Uddhava to go accomplish something that should actually be done by the Lord Himself. Uddhava's going to deliver Samba is an example of such a mission.
116 When the Lord enjoys the pastime of taking His meals, Uddhava stays nearby. Uddhava alone regularly obtains the maha-prasadam remnants of Lord Krishna's meals.
117 Uddhava happily massages the Lord's lotus feet. Uddhava enters the happiness of sleep with the Lord's feet pressed against his chest.
118 Sometimes Uddhava accompanies the Lord in His confidential pastimes. In the government assembly-hall Uddhava is the prime minister, who speaks many jewels of good counsel to the Lord. By repeating Lord Krishna's many wonderful joking words and charming words of praise, Uddhava delights us and fulfils all our desires.
119 Is it possible to describe his great good fortune? Since childhood he has always been rapt in service to the Lord's lotus feet. For this reason a host of ignorant fools proclaim him a madman.
120 Because he has attained the wonderful glory of always intensely desiring Lord Krishna's lotus feet, Uddhava has now abandoned his human material form and attained a transcendental form resembling that of Lord Krishna.
121 Uddhava is more handsome than Pradyumna, and also more dear to Lord Krishna. Always wearing yellow silk garments, jewelled shark-shaped earrings, garlands of forest flowers and necklaces of jewels that had all been worn at one time by Lord Krishna, Uddhava delights us by bewildering us into thinking that instead of him we are actually seeing before us Lord Krishna, whose handsome splendour attracts the hearts of His devotees.
122-3 Sri Pariksit said: When he heard these words describing Uddhava's transcendental good fortune, Narada Muni became very eager to go to Uddhava's home. Overwhelmed with wonderful ecstatic love for Lord Krishna, and already knowing the way, Narada began to walk on the path to Uddhava's place when Maharaj Ugrasena, the king of the Yadus spoke.
124 Sri Ugrasena said: My lord, please hear something for a moment. Without the Lord's express command, Uddhava never leaves Lord Krishna's company.
125 I cannot associate with Him whenever I wish. The temporary maintenance of the kingdom robs me of that great attainment.
126 I am happy to execute His order, but still I am cheated by the false respect He offers me.
127 Uddhava,, however, is very happy. Because he has the good fortune always to serve at the Lord's side, he is never cheated by Lord Krishna.
128 Please go there at once and give my message to Uddhava. Tell him: "The time for the Lord's arrival is already past. Please bring the Lord. Please give the royal-assembly its Lord."