35 / Summary Description of Lord Krsna's Pastimes
After returning from the spiritual kingdom, which he was able to visit personally along with Krsna, Arjuna was very much astonished. He thought to himself that although he was only an ordinary living entity, by the grace of Krsna it had been possible for him to see personally the spiritual world. Not only had he seen the spiritual world, but he had also personally seen the original Maha-Visnu, the cause of the material creation. It is said that Krsna never goes out of Vrndavana. Vrndavanam parityajya na padam ekam gacchati. Krsna is supreme in Mathura, He is more supreme in Dvaraka, and He is most supreme in Vrndavana. Krsna's pastimes in Dvaraka are displayed by His Vasudeva portion, yet there is no difference between the Vasudeva portion manifested in Mathura and Dvaraka and the original manifestation of Krsna at Vrndavana. In the beginning of this book we have discussed that when Krsna appears, all His incarnations, plenary portions and portions of the plenary portions come with Him. Thus some of His different pastimes are manifested not by the original Krsna Himself but by His different portions and plenary portions of incarnation. Arjuna was therefore puzzled about how Krsna went to see the Karanarnavasayi Visnu in the spiritual world. This is fully discussed in the commentaries of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur.
It is understood from the speech of Maha-Visnu that He was very anxious to see Krsna. It may be said, however, that since Maha-Visnu took away the brahmana's sons, He certainly must have gone to Dvaraka to do so. Therefore, why did He not see Krsna there? A possible answer is that Krsna cannot be seen even by the Maha-Visnu who is lying in the Causal Ocean of the spiritual world, unless Krsna gives His permission. Thus Maha-Visnu took away the brahmana's sons one after another just after their births so that Krsna would come personally to retrieve them, and then Maha-Visnu would be able to see Him there. If that is so, the next question is this: Why would Maha-Visnu come to Dvaraka personally if He were not able to see Krsna? Why did He not send some of His associates to take away the sons of the brahmana? A possible answer is that it is very difficult to put any of the citizens of Dvaraka into trouble in the presence of Krsna. Therefore, it was not possible for any of Maha-Visnu's associates to take away the brahmana's sons, and thus He personally came to take them.
Another question may also be raised: The Lord is known as brahmanya-deva, the worshipable Deity of the brahmanas, so why was He inclined to put a brahmana into such a terrible condition of lamentation over one son after another until the ninth son was taken away? The answer is that Lord Maha-Visnu was so anxious to see Krsna that He did not hesitate even to give trouble to a brahmana. Although giving trouble to a brahmana is a forbidden act, Lord Visnu was prepared to do anything in order to see Krsna--He was so anxious to see Him. After losing each of his sons, the brahmana would come to the gate of the palace and accuse the King of not being able to give the brahmanas protection and of thus being unfit to sit on the royal throne. It was Maha-Visnu's plan that the brahmana would accuse the ksatriyas and Krsna, and Krsna would be obliged to come see Him to take back the brahmana's sons.
Still another question may be raised: If Maha-Visnu cannot see Krsna, then how was Krsna obliged to come before Him after all to take back the sons of the brahmana? The answer is that Lord Krsna went to see Lord Maha-Visnu not exactly to take away the sons of the brahmana but only for Arjuna's sake. His friendship with Arjuna was so intimate that when Arjuna prepared himself to die by entering the fire, Krsna wanted to give him complete protection. Arjuna, however, would not desist from entering the fire unless the sons of the brahmana were brought back. Therefore Krsna promised him, "I will bring back the brahmana's sons. Do not try to commit suicide."
If Lord Krsna were going to see Lord Visnu only to reclaim the sons of the brahmana, then He would not have waited until the ninth son was taken. But when the ninth son was taken away by Lord Maha-Visnu and Arjuna was therefore ready to enter the fire because his promise was going to prove false, that serious situation made Lord Krsna decide to go with Arjuna to see Maha-Visnu. It is said that Arjuna is an empowered incarnation of Nara-Narayana. He is even sometimes called Nara-Narayana. The Nara-Narayana incarnation is also one of Lord Visnu's plenary expansions. Therefore, when Krsna and Arjuna went to see Lord Visnu, it is to be understood that Arjuna visited in His Nara-Narayana capacity, just as Krsna, when He displayed His pastimes in Dvaraka, acted in His Vasudeva capacity.
After visiting the spiritual world, Arjuna concluded that whatever opulence anyone can show within the material or spiritual worlds is all a gift of Lord Krsna. Lord Krsna is manifested in various forms, as visnu-tattva and jiva-tattva, or, in other words, as samsa and vibhinnamsa. Visnu-tattva is known as samsa, and jiva-tattva is known as vibhinnamsa. He can, therefore, display Himself by His different transcendental pastimes, either in the portion of samsa or vibhinnamsa, as He likes, but still He remains the original Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The concluding portion of Krsna's pastimes is found in the Ninetieth Chapter of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, and in this chapter Sukadeva Gosvami wanted to explain how Krsna lived happily at Dvaraka with all opulences. Krsna's opulence of strength has already been displayed in His different pastimes, and now it will be shown how His residence at Dvaraka displayed His opulences of wealth and beauty. In this material world, which is only a perverted reflection of the spiritual world, the opulences of wealth and beauty are considered to be the highest of all opulences. Therefore, while Krsna stayed on this planet as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His opulences of wealth and beauty had no comparison within the three worlds. Krsna enjoyed sixteen thousand beautiful wives, and it is most significant that He lived at Dvaraka as the only husband of these hundreds and thousands of beautiful women. It is specifically stated in this connection that He was the only husband of sixteen thousand wives. It is, of course, not unheard of in the history of the world that a powerful king would keep many hundreds of queens, but although such a king might be the only husband of so many wives, he could not enjoy all of them at one time. Krsna, however, enjoyed all of His sixteen thousand wives simultaneously.
Although it may be said that yogis also can expand their bodies into many forms, the yogis’ expansion and Lord Krsna's expansion are not one and the same. Krsna is therefore sometimes called yogesvara, the master of all yogis. In the Vedic literature we find that the yogi Saubhari Muni expanded himself into eight. But that expansion was like a television expansion. The television image is manifested in millions of expansions, but those expansions cannot act differently; they are simply reflections of the original and can only act exactly as the original does. Krsna's expansion is not material like the expansion of the television or the yogi. When Narada visited the different palaces of Krsna, he saw that Krsna, in His different expansions, was variously engaged in each and every palace of the queens.
It is also said that Krsna lived at Dvaraka as the husband of the goddess of fortune. Queen Rukmini is the goddess of fortune, and all the other queens are her expansions. So Krsna, the chief of the Vrsni dynasty, enjoyed with the goddess of fortune in full opulence. The queens of Krsna are described as permanently youthful and beautiful. Although Krsna had grandchildren and great-grandchildren, neither Krsna nor His queens looked older than sixteen or twenty years of age. The young queens were so beautiful that when they moved they appeared like lightning moving in the sky. They were always dressed with excellent ornaments and garments and were always engaged in sportive activities like dancing, singing or playing ball on the roofs of the palaces. The dancing and tennis playing of girls in the material world appear to be perverted reflections of the original pastimes of the original Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and His wives.
The roads and streets of the city of Dvaraka were always crowded with elephants, horses, chariots and infantry soldiers. When elephants are engaged in service, they are given liquor to drink, and it is said that the elephants in Dvaraka were given so much liquor that they would sprinkle a great quantity of it on the road and still would walk on the streets intoxicated. The infantry soldiers passing on the streets were profusely decorated with golden ornaments, and horses and golden chariots plied along the streets. In all directions of Dvaraka City, wherever one would turn his eyes he would find green parks and gardens, and each of them was filled with trees and plants laden with fruits and flowers. Because there were so many nice trees of fruits and flowers, all the sweetly chirping birds and buzzing bumblebees joined together to make sweet vibrations. The city of Dvaraka thus fully displayed all opulences. The heroes in the dynasty of Yadu used to think themselves the most fortunate residents of the city, and actually they enjoyed all transcendental facilities.
All the sixteen thousand palaces of Krsna's queens were situated in this beautiful city of Dvaraka, and Lord Krsna, the supreme eternal enjoyer of all these facilities, expanded Himself into sixteen thousand forms and simultaneously engaged in different family affairs in those sixteen thousand palaces. In each and every one of the palaces there were nicely decorated gardens and lakes. The crystal-clear water of the lakes contained many blooming lotus flowers of different colors like blue, yellow, white and red, and the saffron powder from the lotus flowers was blown all around by the breeze. All the lakes were full of beautiful swans, ducks and cranes, crying occasionally with melodious sounds. Lord Sri Krsna sometimes entered those lakes, or sometimes the rivers, with His wives and enjoyed swimming pastimes with them in full jubilation. Sometimes the wives of Lord Krsna, who were all goddesses of fortune, would embrace the Lord in the midst of the water while swimming or taking bath, and the red vermilion of kunkuma decorating the beauty of their breasts would adorn the chest of the Lord with a reddish color.
The impersonalists would not dare believe that in the spiritual world there are such varieties of enjoyment, but in order to demonstrate the factual, ever-blissful enjoyment in the spiritual world, Lord Krsna descended on this planet and showed that the spiritual world is not devoid of such pleasurable facilities of life. The only difference is that in the spiritual world such facilities are eternal, never-ending occurrences, whereas in the material world they are simply impermanent perverted reflections. When Lord Krsna was engaged in such enjoyment, the Gandharvas and professional musicians would glorify Him with melodious musical concerts, accompanied by mrdangas, drums, kettledrums, stringed instruments and brass bugles, and the whole atmosphere would change into a greatly festive celebration. In a festive mood, the wives of the Lord would sometimes sprinkle water on the Lord's body with a syringe-like instrument, and the Lord would similarly wet the bodies of the queens. When Krsna and the queens engaged themselves in these pastimes, it seemed as if the heavenly king, Yaksaraja, were engaged in such pastimes with his many wives. (Yaksaraja is also known as Kuvera and is considered to be the treasurer of the heavenly kingdom.) When the wives of Lord Krsna thus became wet, their breasts and thighs would increase in beauty a thousand times, and their long hair would fall down to decorate those parts of their bodies. The beautiful flowers which were placed in their hair would fall, and the queens, being seemingly harassed by the Lord's throwing water at them, would approach Him on the plea of snatching the syringe-like instrument, and this attempt would create a situation wherein the Lord could embrace them as they willingly approached Him. Upon being embraced, the wives of the Lord would feel on their mouths a clear indication of conjugal love, and this would create an atmosphere of spiritual bliss. When the garland on the neck of the Lord then touched the breasts of the queens, their whole bodies became covered with saffron yellow. Being engaged in their celestial pastimes, the queens forgot themselves, and their loosened hair appeared like the beautiful waves of a river. When the queens sprinkled water on the body of Krsna or He sprinkled water on the bodies of the queens, the whole situation appeared just like an elephant enjoying in a lake with many she-elephants.
After enjoying fully amongst themselves, the queens and Lord Krsna would come out of the water, and their wet garments, which were very valuable, would be given up by them to be taken away by the professional singers and dancers. These singers and dancers had no other means of subsistence than the rewards of valuable garments and ornaments left by the queens and kings on such occasions. The whole system of society was so well planned that all the members of society in their different positions as brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras had no difficulty in earning their livelihood. There was no competition among the divisions of society. The original conception of the caste system was so planned that one group of men engaged in a particular type of occupation would not compete with another group of men engaged in a different occupation.
In this way, Lord Krsna used to enjoy the company of His sixteen thousand wives. Devotees of the Lord who want to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the mellow of conjugal love are elevated to the position of becoming wives of Krsna, and Krsna also keeps them always attached to Him by His kind behavior. Krsna's behavior with His wives, His movements, His talking with them, His smiling, His embracing, and similar other activities just like a loving husband kept them always very much attached to Him. That is the highest perfection of life. If someone remains always attached to Krsna, it is to be understood that he is liberated, and his life is successful. With any devotee who loves Krsna with his heart and soul, Krsna reciprocates in such a way that the devotee caannot remain unattached to Him. The reciprocal dealings of Krsna and His devotees are so attractive that a devotee cannot think of any subject matter other than Krsna.
For all the queens, Krsna only was their worshipable objective. They were always absorbed in thought of Krsna, the lotus-eyed and beautifully blackish Personality of Godhead. Sometimes, in thought of Krsna, they remained silent, and in great ecstasy of bhava and anubhava they sometimes spoke as if in delirium. Sometimes, even in the presence of Lord Krsna, they vividly described the pastimes they had enjoyed in the lake or in the river with Him. Some of such talk may be described here.
One of the queens said to the bird kurari, "My dear kurari, now it is very late at night. Everyone is sleeping. The whole world is now calm and peaceful. At this time, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is sleeping, although His knowledge is undisturbed by any circumstance. Then why are you not sleeping? Why are you lamenting like this throughout the whole night? My dear friend, is it that you are also attracted by the lotus eyes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by His sweet smiling and attractive words, exactly as I am? Do those dealings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead pinch your heart as they do mine?
"Hello cakravaki. Why have you closed your eyes? Are you searching after your husband, who might have gone to foreign countries? Why are you lamenting so pitiably? Alas, it appears that you are very much aggrieved. Or is it a fact that you are also willing to become an eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? I think that you are anxious to put a garland on the lotus feet of the Lord and then place it on your hair.
"O my dear ocean, why are you roaring all day and night? Don't you like to sleep? I think you have been attacked by insomnia, or, if I am not wrong, my dear Syamasundara has tactfully taken away your gravity and power of forbearance which are your natural qualifications. Is it a fact that for this reason you are suffering from insomnia like me? Yes, I admit that there is no remedy for this disease.
"My dear moon-god, I think you have been attacked by a severe type of tuberculosis. For this reason, you are becoming thinner and thinner day by day. O my lord, you are now so weak that your thin rays cannot dissipate the darkness of night. Or is it a fact that, just as I have, you also have been stunned by the mysteriously sweet words of my Lord Syamasundara? Is it a fact that it is because of this severe anxiety that you are so grave?
"O breeze from the Himalayas, what have I done to you that you are so intent on teasing me by awakening my lust to meet Krsna? Do you not know that I have already been injured by the crooked policy of the Personality of Godhead? My dear Himalayan breeze, please know that I have already been stricken. There is no need to injure me more and more.
"My dear beautiful cloud, the color of your beautiful body exactly resembles my dearmost Syamasundara's bodily hue. I think, therefore, that you are very dear to my Lord, the chief of the dynasty of the Yadus, and because you are so dear to Him, you are, exactly as I am, absorbed in meditation. I can appreciate that your heart is full of anxiety for Syamasundara. You appear to be excessively eager to see Him, and I see that for this reason only, there are drops of tears gliding down from your eyes, just as there are from mine. My dear black cloud, we must admit frankly that to establish an intimate relationship with Syamasundara means to purchase unnecessary anxieties while we are otherwise comfortable at home."
Generally the cuckoo sounds its cooing vibration at the end of night or early in the morning. When the queens heard the cooing of the cuckoo at the end of night, they said, "Dear cuckoo, your voice is very sweet. As soon as you vibrate your sweet voice, we immediately remember Syamasundara because your voice exactly resembles His. We must frankly admit that your voice is imbued with nectar, and it is so invigorating that it is competent to bring back life to those who are almost dead in separation from their dearmost friend. So we are very much obliged to you. Please let us know how we can welcome you or how we can do something for you."
The queens continued talking like that, and they addressed the mountain as follows: "Dear mountain, you are very generous. By your gravitation only, the whole crust of this earth is properly maintained, and because you are discharging your duties very faithfully, you do not know how to move. Because you are so grave, you do not move hither and thither, nor do you say anything. Rather, you always appear to be in a thoughtful mood. It may be that you are always thinking of a very grave and important subject matter, but we can guess very clearly what you are thinking of. We are sure that you are thinking of placing the lotus feet of Syamasundara on your raised peaks, as we want to place His lotus feet on our raised breasts.
"Dear dry rivers, we know that because this is the summer season, all your beds are dry and you have no water. Because all your water has now been dried up, you are no longer beautified by blooming lotus flowers. At the present moment, you appear to be very lean and thin, so we can understand that your position is exactly like ours. We have lost everything due to being separated from Syamasundara, and we no longer hear His pleasing words. Our hearts no longer work properly, and therefore we also have become very lean and thin. We think, therefore, that you are just like us. You have turned lean and thin because you are not getting any water from your husband, the ocean, through the clouds." The example given herewith by the queens is very appropriate. The river beds become dry when the ocean no longer supplies water through the clouds. The ocean is supposed to be the husband of the river and therefore is supposed to support her. Unless a woman is supported by her husband with the necessities of life, she also becomes as dry as a dry river.
One queen addressed a swan as follows. "My dear swan, please come here, come here. You are welcome. Please sit down and take some milk. My dear swan, can you tell me if you have any message from Syamasundara? I take you to be a messenger from Him. If you have any such news, please tell me. Our Syamasundara is always very independent. He never comes under the control of anyone. We have all failed to control Him, and therefore we ask you, is He keeping Himself well? I may inform you that Syamasundara is very fickle. His friendship is always temporary; it breaks even by slight agitation. But would you kindly explain why He is so unkind to me? Formerly He said that I alone am His dearmost wife. Does He remember this assurance? Anyway, you are welcome. Please sit down. But I cannot accept your entreaty to go to Syamasundara. When He does not care for me, why should I be mad after Him? I am very sorry to let you know that you have become the messenger of a poor-hearted soul. You are asking me to go to Him, but I am not going. What is that? You talk of His coming to me? Does He desire to come here to fulfill my long expectation for Him? All right. You can bring Him here. But don't bring with Him His most beloved goddess of fortune. Do you think that He cannot be separated from the goddess of fortune even for a moment? Could He not come here alone, without Laksmi? His behavior is very displeasing. Does it mean that without Laksmi, Syamasundara cannot be happy? Can't He be happy with any other wife? Does it mean that the goddess of fortune has the ocean of love for Him, and none of us can compare to her?"
All the wives of Lord Krsna were completely absorbed in thought of Him. Krsna is known as yogesvara, the master of all yogis, and all the wives of Krsna at Dvaraka used to keep this yogesvara within their hearts. Instead of trying to be master of all yogic mystic powers, it is better if one simply keeps the supreme yogesvara, Krsna, within his heart. Thus one's life can become perfect, and one can very easily be transferred to the kingdom of God. It is to be understood that all the queens of Krsna who lived with Him at Dvaraka were in their previous lives very greatly exalted devotees who wanted to establish a relationship with Krsna in conjugal love. Thus they were given the chance to become His wives and enjoy a constant loving relationship with Him. Ultimately, they were all transferred to the Vaikuntha planets.
The Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead is never impersonal. All the Vedic literatures glorify the transcendental performance of His various personal activities and pastimes. It is said that in the Vedas and in the Ramayana, only the activities of the Lord are described. Everywhere in the Vedic literature, His glories are sung. As soon as soft-hearted people such as women hear those transcendental pastimes of Lord Krsna, they immediately become attracted to Him. Soft-hearted women and girls are therefore very easily drawn to the Krsna consciousness movement. One who is thus drawn to the Krsna consciousness movement and tries to keep himself in constant touch with such consciousness certainly gets the supreme salvation, going back to Krsna at Goloka Vrndavana. If simply by developing Krsna consciousness one can be transferred to the spiritual world, one can simply imagine how blissful and blessed were the queens of Lord Krsna, who talked with Him personally and who saw Lord Krsna eye to eye. No one can properly describe the fortune of the wives of Lord Krsna. They took care of Him personally by rendering various transcendental services like bathing Him, feeding Him, pleasing Him and serving Him. Thus no one's austerities can compare to the service of the queens at Dvaraka.
Sukadeva Gosvami informed Maharaja Pariksit that for self-realization the austerities and penances performed by the queens at Dvaraka have no comparison. The objective of self-realization is one: Krsna. Therefore, although the dealings of the queens with Krsna appear just like ordinary dealings between husband and wife, the principal point to be observed is the queens' attachment for Krsna. The entire process of austerity and penance is meant to detach one from the material world and to enhance one's attachment to Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krsna is the shelter of all persons advancing in self-realization. As an ideal householder, He lived with His wives and performed the Vedic rituals just to show less intelligent persons that the Supreme Lord is never impersonal. Krsna lived with wives and children in all opulence, exactly like an ordinary conditioned soul, just to exemplify to those souls who are actually conditioned that one may enter into the circle of family life as long as Krsna is the center. For example, the members of the Yadu dynasty lived in the family of Krsna, and Krsna was the center of all their activities.
Renunciation is not as important as enhancing one's attachment to Krsna. The Krsna consciousness movement is especially meant for this purpose. We are preaching on the principle that it does not matter whether a man is a sannyasi or grhastha. One simply has to increase his attachment for Krsna, and then his life is successful. Following in the footsteps of Lord Sri Krsna, one can live with his family members or within the society or nation, not for the purpose of indulging in sense gratification but to realize Krsna by advancing in attachment for Him. There are four principles of elevation from conditional life to the life of liberation, which are technically known as dharma, artha, kama and moksa (religion, economic development, sense gratification and liberation). If one lives a family life following in the footsteps of Lord Krsna's family members, one can achieve all four of these principles of success simultaneously by making Krsna the center of all activities.
It is already known to us that Krsna had 16,108 wives. All these wives were exalted liberated souls, and among them Queen Rukmini was the chief. After Rukmini there were seven other principal wives, and the names of the sons of these eight principal queens have already been mentioned. Besides these eight queens, Lord Krsna had ten sons by each of the other queens. Thus all together Krsna's children numbered 16,108 times ten. One should not be astonished to hear that Krsna had so many sons. One should always remember that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that He has unlimited potencies. He claims all living entities as His sons, so even if he had sixteen million sons attached to Him personally, there would be no cause for astonishment.
Among Krsna's greatly powerful sons, eighteen sons were maha-rathas. The maha-rathas could fight alone against many thousands of soldiers, charioteers, cavalry and elephants. The reputations of these eighteen sons are very widespread and are described in almost all the Vedic literatures. The eighteen maha-ratha sons are listed as Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Diptiman, Bhanu, Samba, Madhu, Brhadbhanu, Citrabhanu, Vrka, Aruna, Puskara, Vedabahu, Srutadeva, Sunandana, Citrabahu, Virupa, Kavi and Nyagrodha. Of these eighteen maha-ratha sons of Krsna, Pradyumna is considered to be the foremost. Pradyumna happened to be the eldest son of Queen Rukmini, and he inherited all the qualities of his great father, Lord Krsna. He married the daughter of his maternal uncle, Rukmi, and Aniruddha, the son of Pradyumna, was born from that marriage. Aniruddha was so powerful that he could fight against ten thousand elephants. He married the granddaughter of Rukmi, the brother of his grandmother, Rukmini. Because the relationship between these cousins was distant, such a marriage was not uncommon. Aniruddha's son was Vajra. When the whole Yadu dynasty was destroyed by the curse of a brahmana, only Vajra survived. Vajra had one son, whose name was Pratibahu. The son of Pratibahu was named Subahu, the son of Subahu was named Santasena, and the son of Santasena was Satasena.
It is stated by Sukadeva Gosvami that all the members of the Yadu dynasty had many children. Just as Krsna had many sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, so each one of the kings named herewith also had similar family extensions. Not only did all of them have many children, but all were extraordinarily rich and opulent. None of them were weak or short-lived, and above all, all the members of the Yadu dynasty were staunch devotees of the brahminical culture. It is the duty of the ksatriya kings to maintain the brahminical culture and to protect the qualified brahmanas, and all these kings discharged their duties very rightly. The members of the Yadu dynasty were so numerous that it would be very difficult to describe them all even if one had a duration of life of many thousands of years. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami informed Maharaja Pariksit that he had heard from reliable sources that simply to teach the children of the Yadu dynasty, there were as many as 38,800,000 tutors or acaryas. If so many teachers were needed to educate their children, one can simply imagine how vast was the number of family members. As for their military strength, it is said that King Ugrasena alone had ten quadrillion soldiers as personal bodyguards.
Before the advent of Lord Krsna within this universe, there were many battles between the demons and the demigods. Many demons died in the fighting, and they all were given the chance to take birth in high royal families on this earth. Because of their royal exalted posts, all these demons became very much puffed up, and their only business was to harass their subjects. Lord Krsna appeared on this planet just at the end of Dvapara-yuga in order to annihilate all these demoniac kings. As it is said in the Bhagavad-gita, paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam: The Lord comes to protect the devotees and to annihilate the miscreants. Some of the demigods were also asked to appear on this earth to assist in the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krsna. When Krsna appeared, He came in the association of His eternal servitors, but the demigods also were requested to come down to assist Him, and thus all of them took their births in the Yadu dynasty. The Yadu dynasty had 101 clans in different parts of the country. All the members of these different clans respected Lord Krsna in a manner befitting His divine position, and all of them were His devotees heart and soul. Thus all the members of the Yadu dynasty were very opulent, happy and prosperous, and they had no anxieties. Because of their implicit faith in and devotion to Lord Krsna, they were never defeated by any other kings. Their love of Krsna was so intense that in their regular activities--in sitting, sleeping, traveling, talking, sporting, cleansing and bathing--they were simply absorbed in thoughts of Krsna and paid no attention to bodily necessities. That is the symptom of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna. Just as when a man is fully absorbed in some particular thought, he sometimes forgets his other bodily activities, so the members of the Yadu dynasty acted automatically for their bodily necessities, but their actual attention was always fixed on Krsna. Their bodily activities were performed mechanically, but their minds were always absorbed in Krsna consciousness.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has concluded the Ninetieth Chapter of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam by pointing out five particular excellences of Lord Krsna. The first excellence is that before Lord Krsna's appearance in the Yadu family, the River Ganges was known as the purest of all things; even impure things could be purified simply by touching the water of the Ganges. This superexcellent power of the Ganges water was due to its having emanated from the toe of Lord Visnu. But when Lord Krsna, the Supreme Visnu, appeared in the family of the Yadu dynasty, He traveled personally throughout the kingdom of the Yadus, and by His intimate association with the Yadu dynasty, the whole family not only became very famous but also became more effective in purifying others than the water of the Ganges.
The next excellence of Lord Krsna's appearance was that although apparently He gave protection to the devotees and annihilated the demons, both the devotees and the demons achieved the same result. Lord Krsna is the bestower of five kinds of liberation, of which sayujya-mukti, or the liberation of becoming one with the Supreme, was given to the demons like Kamsa, whereas the gopis were given the chance to associate with Him personally. The gopis kept their individuality to enjoy the company of Lord Krsna, but Kamsa was accepted into His impersonal brahmajyoti. In other words, both the demons and the gopis were spiritually liberated, but because the demons were enemies and the gopis were friends, the demons were killed and the gopis were protected.
The third excellence of Lord Krsna's appearance was that the goddess of fortune, who is worshiped by demigods like Lord Brahma, Indra and Candra, remained always engaged in the service of the Lord, even though the Lord gave more preference to the gopis. Laksmiji, the goddess of fortune, tried her best to be on an equal level with the gopis, but she was not successful. Nevertheless, she remained faithful to Krsna, although generally she does not remain at one place even if worshiped by demigods like Lord Brahma.
The fourth excellence of Lord Krsna's appearance concerns the glories of His name. It is stated in the Vedic literature that by chanting the different names of Lord Visnu a thousand times, one may be bestowed with the same benefits as by thrice chanting the holy name of Lord Rama. And by chanting the holy name of Lord Krsna only once, one receives the same benefit. In other words, of all the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, including Visnu and Rama, the holy name of Krsna is the most powerful. The Vedic literature therefore specifically stresses the chanting of the holy name of Krsna: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Lord Caitanya introduced this chanting of the holy name of Krsna in this age, thus making liberation more easily obtainable than in other ages. In other words, Lord Krsna is more excellent than His other incarnations, although all of them are equally the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The fifth excellence of Lord Krsna's appearance is that He established the most excellent of all religious principles by His one statement in the Bhagavad-gita that simply by surrendering unto Him, one can discharge all the principles of religious rites. In the Vedic literature there are twenty kinds of religious principles mentioned, and each of them is described in different sastras. But Lord Krsna is so kind to the fallen conditioned souls of this age that He personally appeared and asked everyone to give up all kinds of religious rites and simply surrender unto Him. It is said that this age of Kali is three-fourths devoid of religious principles. Hardly one fourth of the principles of religion are still observed in this age. But by the mercy of Lord Krsna, this vacancy of Kali-yuga has not only been completely filled, but the religious process has been made so easy that simply by rendering transcendental loving service unto Lord Krsna by chanting His holy names, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, one can achieve the highest result of religion, namely, being transferred to the highest planet within the spiritual world, Goloka Vrndavana. One can thus immediately estimate the benefit of Lord Krsna's appearance and can understand that His giving relief to the people of the world by His appearance was not at all extraordinary.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami thus concludes his description of the superexalted position of Lord Krsna by glorifying Him in the following way: "O Lord Krsna, all glories unto You. You are present in everyone's heart as Paramatma. Therefore You are known as Jananivasa, one who lives in everyone's heart." As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati: The Supreme Lord in His Paramatma feature lives within everyone's heart. This does not mean, however, that Krsna has no separate existence as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Mayavadi philosophers accept the all-pervading feature of Parabrahman, but when Parabrahman, or the Supreme Lord, appears, they think that He appears under the control of material nature. Because Lord Krsna appeared as the son of Devaki, the Mayavadi philosophers accept Krsna to be an ordinary living entity who takes birth within this material world. Therefore Sukadeva Gosvami warns them that devaki-janma-vada, which means that although Krsna is famous as the son of Devaki, actually He is the Supersoul or the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead. The devotees, however, take this word devaki-janma-vada in a different way. The devotees understand that actually Krsna was the son of mother Yasoda. Although Krsna first of all appeared as the son of Devaki, He immediately transferred Himself to the lap of mother Yasoda, and His childhood pastimes were blissfully enjoyed by mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja. This fact was also admitted by Vasudeva himself when he met Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda at Kuruksetra. He admitted that Krsna and Balarama were actually the sons of mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja. Vasudeva and Devaki were only Their official father and mother. Their actual father and mother were Nanda and Yasoda. Therefore Sukadeva Gosvami addressed Lord Krsna as devaki-janma-vada.
Sukadeva Gosvami then glorifies the Lord as one who is honored by the yadu-vara-parisat, the assembly house of the Yadu dynasty, and as the killer of different kinds of demons. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, could have killed all the demons by employing His different material energies, but He wanted to kill them personally in order to give them salvation. There was no need of Krsna's coming to this material world to kill the demons. Simply by His willing, many hundreds and thousands of demons could have been killed without His personal endeavor. But actually He descended for His pure devotees, to play as a child with mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja and to give pleasure to the inhabitants of Dvaraka. By killing the demons and by giving protection to the devotees, Lord Krsna established the real religious principle, which is simply love of God. By following the factual religious principles of love of God, even the living entities known as sthira-cara were also delivered of all material contamination and were transferred to the spiritual kingdom. Sthira means the trees and plants, which cannot move, and cara means the moving animals, specifically the cows. When Krsna was present, He delivered all the trees, monkeys and other plants and animals who happened to see Him and serve Him both in Vrndavana and in Dvaraka.
Lord Krsna is especially glorified for His giving pleasure to the gopis and the queens of Dvaraka. Sukadeva Gosvami glorifies Lord Krsna for His enchanting smile, by which He enchanted not only the gopis at Vrndavana but also the queens at Dvaraka. The exact word used in this connection is vardhayan kamadevam. In Vrndavana as the boy friend of many gopis and in Dvaraka as the husband of many queens, Krsna increased their lusty desires to enjoy with Him. For God realization or self-realization, one generally has to undergo severe austerities and penances for many, many thousands of years, and then it may be possible to realize God. But the gopis and the queens of Dvaraka, simply by enhancing their lusty desires to enjoy Krsna as their boy friend or husband, received the highest type of salvation.
This behavior of Lord Krsna with the gopis and queens is unique in the history of self-realization. Usually people understand that for self-realization one has to go to the forest or to the mountains and undergo severe austerities and penances. But the gopis and the queens, simply by being attached to Krsna in conjugal love and enjoying His company in a so-called sensuous life full of luxury and opulence, achieved the highest salvation, which is impossible to be achieved even by great sages and saintly persons. Similarly, demons such as Kamsa, Dantavakra, Sisupala, etc., also got the highest benefit of being transferred to the spiritual world.
In the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srila Vyasadeva offered his respectful obeisances to the Supreme Truth, Vasudeva, Krsna. After that he taught his son, Sukadeva Gosvami, to preach Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is in this connection that Sukadeva Gosvami glorifies the Lord as jayati. Following in the footsteps of Srila Vyasadeva, Sukadeva Gosvami and all the acaryas in disciplic succession, the whole population of the world should glorify Lord Krsna, and for their best interest they should take to this Krsna consciousness movement. The process is easy and helpful. It is simply to chant the mahamantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Lord Caitanya has therefore recommended that one should be callous to the material ups and downs. Material life is temporary, and so the ups and downs of life may come and go. When they come, one should be as tolerant as a tree and as humble and meek as the straw in the street, but certainly he must engage himself in Krsna consciousness by chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, the Supersoul of all living entities, out of His causeless mercy comes down and manifests His different transcendental pastimes in different incarnations. Hearing the attractive pastimes of Lord Krsna's different incarnations is a chance for liberation for the conditioned soul, and the most fascinating and pleasing activities of Lord Krsna Himself are still more attractive because Lord Krsna personally is all-attractive.
Following in the holy footsteps of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, we have tried to present this book Krsna for being read and heard by the conditioned souls of this age. By hearing the pastimes of Lord Krsna, one is sure and certain to get salvation and be transferred back home, back to Godhead. It is recommended by Sukadeva Gosvami that as we hear the transcendental pastimes and activities of the Lord, we gradually cut the knots of material contamination. Therefore, regardless of what one is, if one wants the association of Lord Krsna in the transcendental kingdom of God for eternity in blissful existence, one must hear about the pastimes of Lord Krsna and chant the mahamantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
The transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna are so powerful that simply by hearing, reading and memorizing this book Krsna, one is sure to be transferred to the spiritual world, which is ordinarily very difficult to achieve. The description of the pastimes of Lord Krsna is so attractive that automatically it gives us an impetus to study repeatedly, and the more we study the pastimes of the Lord, the more we become attached to Him. This very attachment to Krsna makes one eligible to be transferred to His abode, Goloka Vrndavana. As we have learned from the previous chapter, to cross over the material world is to cross over the stringent laws of material nature. The stringent laws of material nature cannot check the progress of one who is attracted by the spiritual nature. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita by the Lord Himself: although the stringent laws of material nature are very difficult to overcome, if anyone surrenders unto the Lord, he can very easily cross over nescience. There is, however, no influence of material nature in the spiritual world. As we have learned from the Second Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the ruling power of the demigods and the influence of material nature are conspicuous by their absence in the spiritual world.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has therefore advised Maharaja Pariksit in the beginning of the Second Canto that every conditioned soul should engage himself in hearing and chanting the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami also informed King Pariksit that previously many other kings and emperors went to the jungle to prosecute severe austerities and penances in order to go back home, back to Godhead. In India, it is still a practice that many advanced transcendentalists give up their family lives and go to Vrndavana to live there alone and completely engage in hearing and chanting of the holy pastimes of the Lord. This system is recommended in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana followed it, but at the present moment many karmis and pseudo-devotees have overcrowded the holy place of Vrndavana just to imitate this process recommended by Sukadeva Gosvami. It is said that many kings and emperors formerly went to the forest for this purpose, but Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Gosvami Maharaja does not recommend that one take up this solitary life in Vrndavana prematurely.
One who goes prematurely to Vrndavana to live in pursuance of the instructions of Sukadeva Gosvami again falls a victim to maya, even while residing in Vrndavana. To check such unauthorized residence in Vrndavana, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur has sung a nice song in this connection, the purport of which is as follows: "My dear mind, why are you so proud of being a Vaisnava? Your solitary worship and chanting of the holy name of the Lord are based on a desire for cheap popularity, and therefore your chanting of the holy name is only a pretension. Such an ambition for a cheap reputation can be compared to the stool of a hog because such popularity is another extension of the influence of maya." One may go to Vrndavana for cheap popularity, and instead of being absorbed in Krsna consciousness, one may always think of money and women, which are simply temporary sources of happiness. It is better that one engage whatever money and women he may have in his possession in the service of the Lord because sense enjoyment is not for the conditioned soul.
The master of the senses is Hrsikesa, Lord Krsna. Therefore, the senses should always be engaged in His service. As for material reputation, there were many demons like Ravana who wanted to go against the laws of material nature, but they all failed. One should therefore not take to the demoniac activity of claiming to be a Vaisnava just for false prestige, without performing service to the Lord. But when one engages oneself in the devotional service of the Lord, automatically the Vaisnava reputation comes to him. There is no need to be envious of the devotees who are engaged in preaching the glories of the Lord. We have practical experience of being advised by the so-called babajis in Vrndavana that there is no need to preach and that it is better to live in Vrndavana in a solitary place and chant the holy name. Such babajis do not know that if one is engaged in preaching work or in glorifying the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the good reputation of a preacher automatically follows one. One should not, therefore, prematurely give up the honest life of a householder to lead a life of debauchery in Vrndavana. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami's recommendation to leave home and go to the forest in search of Krsna is not for immature persons. Maharaja Pariksit was mature. Even in his householder life, or from the very beginning of his life, he worshiped Lord Krsna's murti. In his childhood he worshiped the Deity of Lord Krsna, and later, although he was a householder, he was always detached, and therefore when he got the notice of his death, he immediately gave up all connection with household life and sat down on the bank of the Ganges to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of devotees.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Ninetieth Chapter of Krsna, "Summary Description of Lord Krsna's Pastimes."
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