Vishrama Ghat

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Pavana Sarovara

Now we are at Pavan Sarovar. Here Nanda Maharaja and all the male members of his family use to come and take bath. Krishna when He would return from grazing the cows would come here and give the calves a nice bath and drink this water. Srimati Radharani would come here too and cook for Krishna. Here also we will see the bhajan kutir of Sanatan Goswami, he spent a long time here performing bhajan. Here he wrote so many books like Hari Bhakti Vilas, Brhad Bhagavatamrta, Dasama Tippani and others.

Pavan means something that purifies. Does this mean that we become purified by taking this water or that we become 100% faultless? No it does not mean that. It means that by taking this water upon our heads as acaman we receive the mercy to enter and to begin to understand these lilas of Krishna. We get the mercy so that we can begin to relish the taste of these pastimes and gradually we can become purified. We do not have even the slightest desire of hearing these things or the smallest interest in chanting Krishna’s names. But by taking this water it will create an interest and attraction in our hearts and we will one day be able to truly relish and appreciate these pastimes of Krishna. This is Pavan Sarovar’s special potency for purifying.

Srimati Radharani was a favorite of Mother Yashoda. Whenever Srimati Radharani would come mother Yashoda would treat Her just like her own daughter. She loved Her as much as she loved Krishna. When She came in the mornings to cook for Krishna, Mother Yashoda would immediately embrace Her and inquire about Her family and their well being.

Mother Yashoda would then invite Her to wash Her hands and take a little breakfast before beginning to cook for Krishna. She told Her that everything was prepared for Her, the vegetables were washed and diced, the fresh cow milk had just been boiled for the milk sweets, and all the spices were laid out. Srimati Radharani was naturally a little shy as a young girl in the house of her beloved would be and when Mother Yashoda saw that She was a little hesitant in accepting she said, my dear child why are you feeling shy? This is your house you have the right to do anything you want here, feel free, and as of today I give you the keys. Now this house is your responsibility, you take care of this house, you are in charge. With that Mother Yashoda left and Srimati Radharan went to the kitchen to cook for Krishna.

When Srimati Radhika was in Jawat burning in the fire of separation from Krishna, Her body was burning so hot internally that the heat from it would evaporate any body of water that was near to Her. But here in Krishna’s kitchen where there were at least 50 ovens all lit and burning brightly. (Lalita devi and Vishaka and all the sakhis had come before and prepared everything.) Here She was totally cool and calm and in a very short period of time She had made dozens of wonderful preperations and all of them exactly in the way that Krishna loved the best. Krishna at this time would be peeping in through the window trying to get a look at her. He could smell the cooking from outside and immediately He would know that His beloved Radharani had come to cook for him.

After all the cooking was done Mother Yashoda and Mother Rohini would lovingly serve all the prasadam to Krishna and Balaram and their cowherd friends, who would begin eating happily. Srimati Radhika would be standing behind the curtain where she could not be seen and she would watch Krishna enjoy His meal and she would be completely pleased and satisfied.

So many pastimes like this are happening and even now they continue to happen. What I have related to you is a mere semblance of the pastimes that actually transpired. These pastimes are eternal and they are happening eternally. They are never subjected to the laws of time and space in the material condition which we are subject to. Now let us give our dandavats begging this place simply for the mercy to always be attracted to the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani and Krishna and then let us move on to a very sacred and mysterious place called Uddhava Keyari. Hare Krishna!

Uddhava Keyari

The place we have now arrived at is full of spiritual mysteries. It is a very unique and confidential location. Uddhava wanted to come to this place but he became so perplexed that he lost his way. When Krishna had gone to Mathura after being taken away by Akrura, the gopis spent months together in this place we are now. They did not eat or sleep or bathe or change their clothes, they were completely oblivious to all material considerations. They would not even return home to their families. They just laid around here totally shattered in utter despair. If there is any place in Vraja that could symbolize the most intense mood of separation, then this place is it. This place where we now stand within the boundaries of Nandagram exemplifies the highest mood of love in separation.

Once a bumblebee mistook Srimati Radharani’s lotus feet to be actual lotuses as it buzzed and whirled around them. It has been revealed that Krishna came in the form of a black bumblebee just to see with His own eyes the condition of the gopis deep in the mood of separation. He also wanted to relish the nectarean mood of Srimati Radharani’s love. But witnessing their extrordinary symptoms and realizing the depth and magnitude of their love for Him he was amazed and wonderstruck. To try to evaluate the glories of Nandagram is beyond our ability to mentally tabulate because this place is far beyond all material considerations and designations. It is possible to give you a hint so you will be able to understand just a litle about how glorious Nandagram truly is.

Laksmi devi, the goddess of fortune is the consort and wife of Lord Narayana. She is constantly receiving all kinds of service in the mood of opulence and grandeur from all the residents of Vaikuntha; but she herself came here to Nandagram in all humility and disassociating herself from all splendor and luxury she executed devotional service for 24 hours just like a maidservant. Here even the goddess of fortune scrubbed pots and cleaned floors with her own hands. So such are the glories of Nandagram. This area is where the early childhood pastimes, the mischievous pranks, the playful jokes are scattered by the millions. And here also is the most intimate and intense mood of love in separation, vipralamba, exhibited.

Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur explains in the Tika, that Krishna lived from birth to three years and four months in Gokula. From Gokula they went to Vrindavan from three years and four months till He was six years and eight months then they moved to Nandagram from six years and eight months till He was ten. Then from the age of ten till 28 years and four months He lived in Mathura and then for the next 96 years and eight months he lived in Dwaraka until he was 125 years old.

If one has studied Srimad Bhagavatam a little one can perceive that during Krishna’s last days in Nandagram before departing for Mathura, there was an acute increase of demons harassing Nanda Maharaj’s community and the residents of Vraja. Kamsa in a frenzy to destroy both Balaram and Krishna sent his last most powerful demons, the bull demon Aristasura, the horse demon Kesi and the magician demon, Vyomasura. When these three had failed to return because of being killed by Krishna, Kamsa then decided that he better change his tactics. All the most powerful demons on the earth had been destroyed and annihilated by either Krishna or Balaram and Kamsa realised that the only way he would have a chance to kill the two Lords was to somehow get them both to come to Mathura. So as a last gasping, desperate hope, Kamsa sent for Akrura.

Kamsa knowing fully the art of diplomacy had Akrura sit down on a comfortable seat and placing his hand in his said, my dear Akrura, most benevolent one, I am depending on you to do me a favour out of your respect and friendship for me. Please go to Nandagram at once, without delay and bring Krishna and Balaram here to me in Mathura. Now when Akrura was called by Kamsa it was Dvadasi, he had fasted on the Ekadashi and early the next morning Kamsa had called him and ordered him to bring back Krishna and Balaram. Akrura was thinking, yes it is true I am being sent as a horrible messenger from a demon; but never the less this is my golden opportunity to see the lotus feet of Krishna and Balaram. Akrura of course knew that the two Lords were all powerful and that nothing could harm Them and even before breaking his Ekadashi fast he started off on his journey, which is actually against the rules and regulations. But Akrura thought, the wonderful nectar that I will receive by seeing the lotus faces of Krishna and Balaram will be millions of times more beneficial for me then properly breaking my fast, and besides I can break my fast by taking prasad at the house of the Lord.

When Akrura arrived in Nandagram and delivered the message, all the gopis began whispering, he should not be called Akrura, this means merciful, he should be called Krura, the unmerciful. He is so unkind he is taking our beloved Krishna away from us without even trying to console us. When Nanda Maharaja heard about this, his heart began to beat so rapidly in ansiety that he felt it could not be contained within his chest. When Mother Yashoda heard the news she fainted. The same Mother Yashoda who would run ten times to the fields and pasturing grounds each day to see if Krishna had eaten or if the food pleased Him or if He wanted something else. She would be constantly thinking, is He dressed nicely enough, does He need a bath, has He fallen down and hurt Himself, did I give Him enough sweets. As soon as Krishna would leave her sight she would begin to feel faint, and now Krishna was going all the way to Mathura. Who knows when He will return? She could not bear the thought and thinking like this she could not stop her tears and so she just cried continuosly. Seeing Krishna coming into the courtyard and realizing that He was still there with Her, she immediately took a big quilt and covered Him with it and embraced Him tightly so nobody could take Him away from her. It was Nanda Maharaja who after some time was finally able to persuade mother Yashoda to let Krishna go. All these wonderful pastimes took place in these sacred and holy grounds.

Srimati Radharani has reached the highest state of ecstasy, this state often turns into madness and delirium; but even in this acute state She would never come in front of people who were senior to Her in terms of age and position, as a matter of etiquette and respect. But now, even She could not control Herself any longer and right in front of Nanda Maharaja and Yashodamayi and all the senior members of the community, She began crying and rolling around on the ground. Then wailing hysterically She threw Herself down in front of the horses that were pulling the chariot that was taking Her beloved Krishna away from Her. Forcing Akrura to stop, she pulled Herself up by the very reins that were being used to take Her beloved away. Then somehow finding the strength, She ran to Lord Balaram’s side of the chariol and embracing His lotus feet with tears streaming from Her eyes begged Him as the elder brother not to allow Krishna, who was Her life and soul to ever depart but to remain here always with Her.

At one stage Srimati Radharani’s delirium increased and looking around She uttered, is this Uddhava or is this My Shyamsundar? Is this a chariot and if it is, is this supposed to take Him away, from me? No! No! No! I think I must be seeing a mirage, yes, this is a mirage; and unable to contain Her pain, anguish, and suffering any longer She fell lifeless to the ground unconscious.

At this time Lalita devi told Vishaka, I must go and fan my lady, look She is lying there crumpled like a withered flower. I must go get a lotus leaf so I can fan Her and bring Her back to consciousness before She dies of grief. So saying this, Lalita devi ran to Pavana Sarovara, but unbeknown to her, Srimati Radharani’s intense, burning mood of vipralamba had dried up Pavana Sarovara and there was not a single drop of water there. How can a lotus survive without any water? It can’t and Lalita devi was not able to find one.

The story of the Bhramar Gita took place here. When Uddhava finally arrived here he saw Srimati Radharani lying on the ground in total abandon. The burning fire of separation which was incinerating Her was so intense that if She fell down onto some muddy ground, within moments it would become dry and dusty. Sometime during Her delirious state of ecstatic love another black bumblebee came and She started speaking all sorts of things to it. At one point She began advising the bee. She said, did you come here to hear about this other black person that I know? Because if you only once hear about Him then you will be in danger, just like He put us in danger.

One should definitely not ever hear about Krishna, because as soon as one drop of His nectarean transcendental activities are poured into one’s ears, immediately one becomes distasteful towards all material attractions and attachments. A father is attached to his firstborn son, but hearing about Krishna he will leave him with his mother. A newly wedded wife happilly married to a good husband hears about Krishna and wants to leave her home. A young boy perfectly brought up, well mannered, totally obedient to the will of his parents, hears about Krishna, and then shamelessly abandons them. This is the effect that one has when one simply hears about His activities.

One will give up all attachment for family, home, wife, children and all that is materially precious to people in this world. Acting in this way one makes his relatives and loved one’s very unhappy as one is forced to wander always in search of Krishna. So be very careful before you hear about Him or else yot too will be in a terrible predicament.

What Srimati Radharani is saying is very prophetic and as a warning to you all, those of you who are with us now on Sri Vraja Mandala Parikrama for 1988 and those of you who will be hearing about this in the future. We can see that for the last 20 years, Krishna has been empowering a great number of His devotees and representatives, sending them out into the world with Srimad Bhagavatams and Bhagavad-gitas under their arms. They are on patrol, looking for those souls who are interested in hearing about Krishna. It has been reported many, many times that as soon as these souls hear about the transcendental pastimes of Krishna immediately they run away from all material attachments forgetting about parents, wife , family and home.

So you better think twice and be very, very careful before associating with this Krishna’s people. They are only interested in hearing and talking about Krishna’s transcendental qualities and pastimes all day long, and in between eating all the prasad they can get their hands on and distributing the nectar of Krishna katha throughout the world, they sing and dance to His glories. So unless you also wish to participate in this kind of activities, then I would seriously advise you not to ever allow the name of Krishna to enter your ears, otherwise you will be floating across this dangerous ocean of materialism safely aboard the creeper of bhakti, dancing in ecstay. Haribol!

Now to continue the story, Srimati Radharani said, further more since you are black just like Him you must have His qualities also, so kindly leave the vicinity. By seeing you my anger has inceased. You go now far away from here. I don’t want to have anything to do with anything black anymore. The bee replied, I know Him, He’s not as bad as you make Him to be. What are His faults? Srimati Radharani said, you do not know much about Krishna, but we have heard how hard-hearted and ungrateful He is from Paurnamasi. You want to know what his faults are? Did vou know that in the treta Yuga He took birth as a dark person, and then this dark person took his wife to the forest. There, Surpanakha one of Ravana’s sisters came to him in a very alluring and beautifully equisite form proposing marriage to him. But he was so captivated by the beauty of his wife that he refused her offer, spurning her, and not only that, afterwards he cut off her ears and nose as well. Was that a noble thing to do? She was unable to marry anybody after that. Then again, this same dark person, born in a ksatriya royal family, had to kill an enemy of a friend as part of an agreement. Instead of killing this person, named Vali, who in actuality was not this dark person’s enemy at all, instead of killing him like a ksatriya, face to face, this dark person killed him just like a hunter, from behind a tree. Do you think that was fair? He never even gave Vali a chance. But that’s not all, in another life he took birth as a brahmana boy known as Vamanadeva. This Vamanadeva was a dwarf who once surreptitiously approached Bali Maharaja, who was master of the three worlds during an auspicious sacrifice and tricked him into giving away all he had under the pretense of begging for charity. Do you call cheating good? After taking all that Bali Maharaja possessed this brahmana, Vamanadeva sent him all the way down to Pataloka.

The bumblebee replied, perhaps this blackish person had good reason to perform these things; but there is one thing! I do not understand. You are saying that this blackish person is not good and that He is a cheater and dishonest and cruel; but if all this is true then why are You and your gopi friends always talking about Him, singing His pastimes, chanting His glories and praising hi name all the time? What is the reason for this I would like to know? Can’t you speak about anything else? Srimatj Radharani looked at the bee very gravely and said, that is the crux of the problem, once anybody hears the name Krishna even one time everything else is finished. One loses taste for everything and anything that is not connected with Him. One simply yearns and desires to hear more about His transcendental pastimes again and again and again not caring for family or friends or loved ones. This is the reason why we are not thinking, singing or chanting about anyone else but Him, it is because we are totally powerless to do anything about it.

When Uddhava saw the extreme griefstricken condition of Srimati Radharani and the gopis, he was thunderstruck. They all appeared just like wilted flowers giving a last farewell fragrance before departing on. Uddhava felt tremendous compassion for them and began immediately talking very authoritatively aboul Krishna’s transcendental pastimes, but halfway through he realized that his devotion to Krishna and his understanding of the more intimate regions of Krishna’s ecstatic mellows, was extremly shallow and limited compared to that of the gopis. At that moment the gopis became worshippable to him and falling down at their lotus feet offering obeisances, he spoke the famous sloka that is in Srimad Bhagavatam, beginning "asam aho carana renu jusam aham shyam". Uddhava only desires to become a creeper or a blade of grass in Vraja, waiting patiently for the dust of the gopis lotus feet to fall upon him when they run to meet Krishna. This was Uddhava’s dream, to be born as an insignificant blade of grass in the land of Vraja. O the humility of a Vaisnava is a wonderfu phenomena. Vancha kalpa ta rubias ca kripa sinhubhya eva ca patitanam pavane byo vaisnave byo namo namah.

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