Re-posted from bvml.org
Evening Lecture on Krishna- and Radha-tattva Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja – 17 September 1999, Mathura, India
Translation by Manjulali Dasi
Today is the day before Radhastami. We will discuss Radha-tattva. But before I begin I would like to say that the backbone of bhakti is the nama-sankirtana movement. Our acaryas put special emphasis on this movement and you are present here because of this movement. How did Swamiji preach and get you here? [Gurudeva had ordered everyone to go out on harinama that afternoon and only a handful of brahmacaris had gone.] When I first came to the math, I personally visited and preached from house to house, doing a bhagavat lecture in one house, kirtana in another. Brahmacaris must go for bhiksa on dvadasi and grhasthas should give bhiksa on dvadasi. We should all be very sweet to others. All that we do must be for the happiness of Krsna, guru and the vaisnavas. Sankirtana is part of bhakti.
You are all by-products of nama-sankirtana. In the conversation between Raya Ramananda and Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raya Ramananda started from varnasrama-dharma and went up to gopi-prema. Then Mahaprabhu asked if there was anything higher than that. Raya Ramananda said, ” No one in the entire universe can ask this question – whether there is anything higher than this. Only Krsna can ask it.” Then Mahaprabhu enquired about Krsna-tattva, Radha-tattva, prema-tattva and rasa-tattva. Raya Ramananda said that, ” I do not know anything.
Whatever is coming out of my mouth is only inspired by you.”
There should be a platform, a foundation, in order to sustain harikatha.
Many jnanis, tapasvis, and learned personalities listen to harikatha, but they are unable to sustain it because they do not have a platform (no previous sukrtis). For example when Sukadeva Gosvami was speaking Srimad-Bhagavatam so many learned personalities were there. But how many had the qualification to sustain it? While hearing harikatha for millions of births, first sukrti develops, then slowly all anarthas like kama, krodha, moha disappear, then the modes of rajas and tamas cease to have any affect.
Sukadeva Gosvami does not feel hunger or heat. His heart is completely immersed in Krsna-katha. After hearing continuously a platform develops which destroys the anarthas and then Krsna enters the heart.
kama-lobhadayas ca ye
ceta etair anaviddham
sthitam sattve prasidati
[As soon as irrevocable loving service is established effects of three modes of nature -passion, ignorance, lust etc. disappears. The devotee is then established in the mode of goodness and is completely happy.]
Bhakti is very soft and gentle. How can it remain in a heart which has the demons of kama, krodha, moha? If you are not advancing, if you are stuck in your spiritual life, then surely something is wrong. All the above anarthas are preventing your advancement. So what is the solution? By continuously hearing harikartha they will slowly disappear. If still you are stuck, then go and take help of guru or vaisnavas. Slowly tattva-jnana will come and then affection for the lotus feet of Krsna will automatically develop. If it is still not coming it means too many offences are being committed. Then Krsna and Radha’s prema will look like the prema of Laila and Majnu [Indian version of Romeo and Juliet.] Slowly you will also become Laila and Majnu.
If you are not getting prema with the sanga of vaisnavas, will you get it by the association of ghosts and spirits! If you won’t get it by staying in Mathura and Vrndavana, will you get it staying in Kasi! Vrndavana is so powerful that one can get bhakti even by staying one night there. We sleep in Vrndavana so many nights, but we have not received bhakti. This is because a strong platform is not yet ready.
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki
[By regular attendance in class of Bhagvatam and by rendering service to the pure devotee all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed and loving service to god is established who is praised by transcendental songs.]
Mahaprabhu asked about Krsna-tattva and Raya Ramananda replied:
(Cc Madhya 8.136)
Krsna is all potent, omnipotent and an ocean of mellow. He is svayam avatari and the cause of all causes.
vrndavane ‘aprakrta navina madana’
kama-gayatri kama-bije yanra upasana
(Cc Madhya 8.138)
That Krsna is the ever-youthful transcendental cupid in spiritual Vrndavana.
His upasana, worship, is performed by Kama-gayatri. Guruji gives Kama-gayatri which will eventually make you realize your siddha-deha. Guruji gives knowledge of asta-kaliya-lila. He has given everything possible, but even then you are not doing bhajana properly. By doing Kama-bija-gayatri properly it manifests itself in the heart. Krsna is so beautiful that men, women, moving and non-moving objects, not to mention Krsna Himself, become attracted. He has such a sweet form. As soon as Mahaprabhu heard this He immediately became mad with ecstasy. But what happens to us? How will harikatha enter our hearts if we have anger, greed, lust, and revengeful intentions in our hearts. Gurudeva is the personification of Bhagavat-krpa.
Krsna never comes and talks to us. Guru spreads his long arms to catch those devotees who are running away from Krsna. So guru is even more merciful than Krsna Himself. When Krsna killed Kamsa, or when He did rasa with the gopis, do we know what was going on in His mind and heart? Who can know? Someone who is on the same level as Krsna.
Srimati Radhika is the para-sakti or hladini-sakti of Krsna. Just as Krsna is sat-cit-ananda, in the same way Radhika is the sakti who sustains Krsna.
This is the symptom of Her svarupa. The samvit-sakti sustains sat, the sandhini-sakti sustains cit, and the hladini-sakti sustains ananda. Her svarupa, form and nature is a combination of these three – sandhini, samvit and hladini. Srimati Radhika is like cintamani. As cintamani gives whatever you desire, similarly, Srimati Radhika fulfills all of Krsna’s lakhs and lakhs of desires. ‘Cinta’ means to think or desire, ‘mani’ means jewel.
Srimati Radhika is the jewel who gives whatever Krsna desires.
premera parama-sara ‘mahabhava’ jani
sei mahabhava-rupa radha-thakurani
(Cc Madhya 8.160)
[“The essential part of love of Godhead is called mahabhava, transcendental ecstasy, and that ecstasy is represented by Srimati Radharani.” (BBT)]
sei mahabhava haya ‘cintamani-sara’
krsna-vancha purna kare ei karya tanra
(Cc Madhya 8.164)
[“That supreme ecstasy of Srimati Radharani is the essence of spiritual life. Her only business is to fulfill all the desires of Krsna.” (BBT)]
Krsna pleases all the entities of the universe, but who pleases Him? Srimatiji. If Radhika is not there who will give pleasure to Krsna? This is not easy to understand. Those who have no sanga of vaisnavas and are not doing sadhana will not understand. When we first came in the math, fifteen of us lived in a small room. I used to have the service of washing the dishes and cleaning the lanterns. Vamana Maharaja used to mop the temple and give out the leaf plates. I was a high-ranked police officer, but I was doing this service with love. That is why I am able to tell you today about Radha-tattva — because my gurudeva blessed me after seeing my service.
The ananda that the jivas feel is also a reflection of that sakti, what to say of the ananda of the atma. Light comes from the sun, but it is the sun’s rays that bring this light to us. Without the rays we will not even know that the sun exists. Srimatiji is the sakti who is like the rays.
Now the question arises: if Srimati Radhika is the source of all pleasure to Nandanandana, what is the need of lakhs and lakhs of gopis in the rasa dance? The answer is that Radhaji is cintamani, and to give pleasure to Krsna She assumes kayavyuha-rupa. Not kayavyuha but kayavyuha-rupa. Her expansions are also sometimes called kayavyuha, but actually they are only LIKE kayavyuha. Actually there is a great difference between the two. When Krsna expanded Himself into 16,108 to marry His brides in Dvaraka these forms were kayavyuha because the forms, qualities, characteristics of all His expansions were the same. On the other hand, Srimati’s expansions are different in appearance, qualities and moods (dhira and adhira bhavas). Each gopi is a personification of a particular bhava (mood or emotion) of Srimatiji, just as flowers, fruits and creepers, although one with the tree, also have separate identities. So Radhaji assumes lakhs of forms to give ananda to Krsna.
Krsna, Radha, and the gopis cannot describe or narrate this. Even Mahaprabhu cannot describe all this. Only those persons who are tatastha, neutral, can.
Only in the association of our acaryas, like Rupa Gosvami and Lokanatha Gosvami, who can enter the lilas, can we properly hear and understand. In rasa dance it appears that there are lakhs of expansions of Krsna, but actually He is moving with superspeed, giving the impression that there are lakhs of Krsnas.
Radha, Krsna and Mahaprabhu are so beautiful that They do not need anything to enhance Their beauty. If Mahaprabhu puts mud on Himself He is even more beautiful. Krsna’s beauty is original and complete. If His hair is ruffled He is more beautiful, if it gets covered with dust it is still more beautiful. He beautifies His ornaments. They do not beautify Him. So even if He is without ornaments, even if He is naked, He is always more and more beautiful. Similarly, Srimatiji does not need jewelry and cosmetics to make Her attractive. It is Her beauty which sustains Krsna’s. She wears all this to please Krsna. Her real jewels are Her bhavas. All Her jewels are nondifferent from Her. They are thus all made of mahabhava. She wears sixteen types of decoration like sindura, uptan, bindi, kumkum.
In India the ladies take bath three times a day. Srimatiji also takes three baths a day:
karunyamrta-dharaya snana prathama
tarunyamrta-dharaya snana madhyama
(Cc Madhya 8.167)
[“Srimati Radharani takes Her first bath in the shower of the nectar of compassion, and She takes Her second bath in the nectar of youth.” (BBT)]
Radhika takes Her first bath, early in the morning, called ‘karunyamrta.’ She is actually not taking bath in water but in Krsna’s sneha for Her. What is sneha? That love which increases despites problems and obstacles. When the heart melts, it becomes molten. It liquefies. Krsna’s love for Her is like this, and She bathes in it. She bathes in three types of ages. The first bath symbolizes the age when girl’s body is beginning to show signs of development from childhood to adolescence. Some serious attitude is beginning to develop. The uptan paste that is put on Srimatiji before She takes bath is mixed with essences of beautiful flowers, fragrant aguru, kumkum color etc. This uptan is actually the pranaya (love) of the sakhis for Srimatiji, making Her glow. Srimatiji is ujjvala, She has golden complexion which shines more after Her first bath. This is called vaya-sandhi [mixture of childhood and adolescence – pre-teenage years].
During the middle bath shyness has developed and youth is beginning. First, when there was no development, there was no need to bother with upper cloth.
But now three pieces of cloths are required. One for the head, another for the chest, and one for the lower body, to hide it from Krsna. The color of Srimati’s skirt is red which is the color of anuraga (Krsna’s love for Her and Her love for Him ). This lahanga (full skirt) is called syama-patta, meaning Syama’s anuraga. Srimati’s shyness is manifested in three places — on Her head, in Her eyes and on Her chest. The lavanyamrta, the third bath is taken in the luster of complete and fresh youthful beauty. When Krsna sees Srimatiji, His pitambara and vamsi fall and He even faints at times.
You should meditate on all this. There is no other happiness in this world.
To understand this one must do sadhana.