Vishrama Ghat

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Now we have arrived at Talavan, the place where Lord Balaram killed the ass demon, Dhenukasur. The pastime of the original spiritual master, Lord Balaram was enacted here. Nothng spiritual can commence without the mercy of the spiritual naster. This applies also to Lord Nityananda, who is a direct, nondifferent expansion of Lord Balaram. Krishna das Kaviraja vrites: "I have received the mercy of Madan Mohan, Govindaji, Gopinath, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Krishna, as well I have had the vision of the transcendental land of Vraja only by the inconceivable, causeless mercy of Lord Nityananada, who is nonjifferent from Lord Balaram the original spiritual master.

The prime duty of the spiritual master is to eradicate all the inarthas and unwanted desires within the hearts of his disciples. Our hearts are filled with so many unwanted material desires and offenses. Because of this we have great difficulty in properly engaging ourselves in devotional service. Our hearts are filled with pride, deceit, dishonesty, ignorance, anger, lust, and forgetfulriess of our true nature. So we must depend upon the mercy of the spiritual to help us and this mercy is what we will receive here at Talavan from Lord Balaram, the original spiritual master Without receiving Lord Balaram’s mercy it is not possible to complete Sri Vraja Mandala Parikrama, or sucessfully execute any form of devotional service, neither is it possible to get the shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

This place Talavan is where Dhenukasu, the evil ass demon friend of Kamsa was living. He was a spy of Kamsa and he was an enemy of Krishna and any difficulties he could cause the in-habitants of Vraja, he would not hesitate to commit. This entire area was once covered with thousands of tal trees which would bear sweet and delicious fruits whose scent would be carried far and wide. Dhenukasu was the master of this forest and the leadei of a large community of ass demons. In order to keep Kamsa happy these ass demons sent use to send hundreds of fresh, ripe tal fruits to him daily in Mathura and what was left they ate themselves. Know for certain that all these tal fruits were eaten only by demons. Not a single fruit was ever offered to the Lord, nor was any of these fruits ever offerred to the devotees of the Lord So we can ascertain that an asura or demon is anyone who does not want to first offer whatever they have to the Lord or to the Lord’s bona fide representatives, who will surely offer it the Him first without any hesitation. To make matters worse, the whole ass demon community was vigilantly guarding this tal forest day and night to make sure that not a single fruit would ever be eater by any devotee of the Lord. None of the cowherd boys had evei eaten a tal fruit from this forest and Nanda Maharaja and his community and King Vrishabanu and his community as well as all the Vrajabasis avoided this place like the plague.

As I mentioned earlier Dhenukasur was the demon leader in this forest. Now dhenuk means ass, and an ass is someone who applies all his senses, intelligence and energy oniy onto the material platform. One who sees his only his friends, wife, sons, daughters and relatives as being everything and who believes this material world to be all in all having no conception of the absolute truth, karma, dharma, maya shakti, bhagavat tattva, knowledge of the Supreme Lord, this person is unrefutably veritable ass. Another activity of an ass is that it is a beast of burden. From the time it is born until the time that it dies, an ass is orced to carry heavy weights. Similarly a person who is an ass is ilso a dumb beast of burden, because this person is forced to carry the weight of all the sins he has accumalated over millions of lifetimes, and due to being exclusively on the material platorm, this ass of a human being is born, exists for some time and lies without ever knowing that life has much more meaning than nerely exerting all one’s energy to satisfy one’s senses. So we can ee that being an ass is the morbid condition of the gross naterialists and pleasure seekers who live their lives only on nana dharma or the dictates of the mind, with not even the lightest propensity for going beyond their mundane mentalities i’d their sense gratification.

One day Krishna and Balaram and their cowherd friends passed this way coming from a swimn and play excursion. They vere thirsty and a little hungry and when a gentle breeze brought lie sweet smell of ripe, delicious tal fruits to their noses, some of lie cowherd boys suggested that it would be extremely refreshng to eat some sweet, fresh tal fruits at that moment. Krishna agreed and asked who was in charge of this forest. The cowherd boys told him that the forest was controlled by an ass demon ‘ailed Dhenukasu and that only demons are allowed to eat his tal fruits. Krishna and Balaram smiled at each other and imneadiately Balaram dashed into the tal forest and began shaking he tall tal trees very vigourously with his strong, powerful arms, using all the ripe fruits to fall to the ground. Upon seeing the fresh, ripe, succulent tal fruits falling to the ground, all the cowherd friends cheered happily and gleefully began gathering he them and eating them joyfully. Even some passers by, also seeing the fresh, ripe fruits available, came and helped themselves and joined the fun also.

The ass demons outraged that anyone would dare to come to eal their tal fruits, they kicked up their legs and braying loudly raced for the cowherd boys. Seeing that Lord Balaram was there nonchalantly shaking all the ripe tal fruits off the trees, Dhenukasur sneaked up behind him and braying angrily, tried to give him a mighty kick; but Balaram was prepared for him and he neatly sidestepped it and then with the speed of lightning he grabbec ihe grabbed the demons hind leg with his left hand and whirling him powerfully around and around threw him into the treetops Simply by this powerfifi whirling motion, the ass demor Dhenukasur lost his life and was sent to the abode of Yamaraj. Seeing the death of their leader the rest of the ass demons angn ly attacked; but Krishna and Balaram grabbed each one of then by their hind legs and whirling them to death tossed them into the treetops. After all the ass demons were killed, Lord Balaram took his bath in this pond, named Sankarsana kunda in his honor Sankarsana is another name for Lord Balaram. The news soor reached Kamsa that the reason why he was not receiving fresh ta fruits any longer was because the entire ass, demon community was completely exterminated by Lord Krishna and Lord Balaran and that the whole countryside was now enjoying fresh tal fruits This infuriated him immensely and he became even more deter mined to destroy the two Lords.

This pastime is significant in this way. That Lord Balaram is the original spiritual master and that he cleanses our heart of the tel offenses against the holy name. He also cleanses our heart of al anarthas, all undesireable qualities and all unwanted desires. This he exhibited wonderfully by killing the ass demoi Dhenukasu who symbolizes and represents all undesireabl qualities and unwanted material desires.

We will now take acaman from Sankarsana kunda and givin our full and unreserved obeisances, prostrate ourselves in thq dust and beg Balaramji for his mercy with our heart and soul while we reverently remember this pastime. Hari! Haribol!!

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