Now we have arrived at the auspicious forest of Mahavan. Factually speaking Gokula and Mahavan are one and the same place. They are just two different names for the same site; but no to cause any confusion I will elucidate upon each. This is the place where baby Krishna killed the wicked demoness Putana when she smearing poison on her breast came to kill him. Here also baby Krishna killed Trnavarta, the whirlwind demon whc had kidnapped baby Krishna from his mother, Yashoda and tool him high into the air to dash him to the ground. Here also baby Krishna killed the ghost demon Sakatasura who had hidden him self in the form of a cart to try to do some harm to him. These early pastimes all happened here. Now we shall go to Brahmanda ghat and see what transpired there. Hare Krishna!
This is the place where Krishna playfully ate dirt. When Mother Yashoda heard this, she anxiosly caught Krishna to scold him telling Him to open His mouth. Krishna obeyed Yashoda’s order and opened His mouth wide. At the same time he denied the whole affair, saying that His friends were lying on him because they lost in games and his brother was bribed by some sweet balls and rasghullas to join in the conspiracy. But Mother Yashoda was determined. Quickly she opened Krishna’s mouth and peeked in. But she did not see any clay or mud.
What she saw took her breath away. She saw the entire universal creation. She saw Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Mahavishnu lying on Ananta Sesa in the casual ocean. She saw unlimited dimensions totally unfettered by time and space, completely beyond the imagination and scope of earthly reality. She even saw herself sitting on the ground holding Krishna on her lap and looking in his mouth. Stunned and shocked by seeing this, she quickly went and took some cow dung thinking she was possessed by demons or that maybe some evil was about to occur or perhaps she was dreaming, she did not know what to think. So she took some cowdung and started chanting mantras to counteract any reactions that might be forthcoming.
But in Vraja no one chants mantras to the Supreme Lord. Here the Lord is just a small little boy playing around with His friends, causing mischief just like an ordinary child. In Vraja there is no feeling of awe and reverence and the worshipping of the Lord by prayers and mantras and Vedic hymns. In Vraja the Supreme Lord is simply one’s son, one’s friend, or one’s lover and this wonderful and most ecstatic relationship is only to be had in Vraja. Whether Krishna shows His universal form lifting Giriraj, swallows a forest fire, subdues Kaliya, or kills Putana or Bakasura or all these demons, Krishna while performing these wonderful pastimes makes all the Vrajavasis think that He is doing this just by the mercy of the Lord.
Krishna does not want to be worshipped in Vraja. Here Krishna wants no pompous adoration or feelings of awe and reverence in the mood of aisvarya. Here in Vraja, Krishna wants to be loved only as the small little darling boy of Mother Yashoda and Nanda Maharaja just like any other darling little boy He does not want any of His devotees to offer Him awe and reverence in Vraja. So now let us take a little water upon our head and give our humble obeisances remembering this mood. Gaura’ Premanadi! Hari! Haribol!!
These pillars you see here in the temple of Nanda Maharaja are called Caurasi Khambha. If you remember we saw another Caurasi Khambha in the village of Kamyavan. Both places have eighty-four pillars. There are 8,400,000 different species of life within the material worlds. Each of the eighty-four pillars symbolizes 100,000 species of life, thus representing the total material existence. Hare Krishna!
Here at this temple called Nanda Bhavan is where Krishna and Balaram lived with Nanda Maharaja and Yashodamayi. These very big and powerful murtis that you see are Lord Balaramji and Nanda Maharaja and Mother Yashoda. Krishna is present as a little boy and if you look you can see that He is swinging in a cradle. Now let us all go and pay our respects to Krishna’s sister Yogamaya, in her form as Durga here. Haribol!
Now we are in the month of Kartik. Hari Bhakti Vilas states that in the month of Kartik one should offer lamps to Lord Damodara each day and worship Him with the Sri Damodarastaka beginning:
namamviswaram saccidananda rupam
lasat kundalan gokule brajamanam
To the Supreme Lord whose form is eternal knowledge, existence and bliss, who is beautifully shining in the divine realm of Gokul. (Hari Bhakti Vilas from Padma Purana)
Here is where the Damodara lila was enacted and where Krishna delivered Nalakuvara and Manigriva, the sons of Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods. These two demigods, because of inappropriate behavior ,were cursed by Narada Muni to descend down from the heavenly planets and become two arjuna trees here on earth.
Once Mother Yashoda became very angry with Krishna for being naughty and hiding after breaking a butter pot. Taking up a stick, she went looking for Him. When Krishna saw His mother coming with a stick He began to run in fear but Mother Yashoda was able to capture Him, who even great yogis and sages can never come near, simply because she was a great devotee.
Seeing that Krishna was overly afraid because of the stick she carried, she tossed it aside and instead took some rope and began to bind Him to a wooden mortar for grinding grains. But when she went to tie it, she found that it was too short by two inches. So she added more rope and tried to tie it around Krishna but again the rope was short by two inches. Again and again she attempted to tie He who can never be tied accept by the rope of devotional service. Finally the Supreme Lord playing the part of a little child in front of his mother became compassionate towards her and allowed her to tie Him up. Then Mother Yashoda went back to her household duties.
Left alone Krishna dragged the wooden mortar between the two trees and the mortar being too big could not pass through and got stuck. Then Krishna, in order to fulfill the promise of His devotee Narada Muni, that the two sons of Kuvera would be released by Him, the Supreme Lord pulled strongly and the twin arjuna trees fell down with a thunderous roar.
Out of them came two celestial gandharva figures, Nalakuvara and Manigriva. After assuming their original forms they offered first to untie Krishna, but the Supreme Lord informed them that if they did that His mother might get angry with them, so instead the two demigods offered choice prayers and praises and circumambulated him three times.
Krishna being pleased gave them prema bhakti, love of godhead and not only that but He made them His eternal associates as Snigdakanta and Madhukanta. In the eternal lilas of Krishna that are constantly being enacted, their service is to eternally narrate in sweet voices the Lord’s pastimes. Every evening when all the relatives and friends of Nanda Maharaja come to the assembly hall, Snigdakanta and Madhukanta come there also and chant and sing the pastimes of the Lord.
Then they go to Varsana to King Vrishabanu’s assembly hall and there also they sing Krishna’s pastimes very, very beautifully. The wonderful and astonishing potency that the Lord had blessed them with, was that when they were relating a pastime, it is asif the Lord is there performing the pastime in front of the eyes of everyone, so nicely is their harmonious singing and poetical chanting of these pastimes. Gaura Premanandi! Haribol!!