THE FOLLOWING LECTURE GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI IS THE SECOND
OUT OF NINE IN A WONDERFUL SERIES ON THE HISTORY OF VAISHNAVA HERITAGE.
In the last session we discussed that Vaishnavism or Vaishnava religion is
the eternal characteristic of a living entity. And in this way we came to
the understanding that a pure devotee is a person or a pure Vaishnava is he
who does not have any other desire than serving the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. Today we will discuss about the appearance of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead as a devotee, as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead descends in order to establish sanatana-
dharma, the eternal religion of the living entity. This sanatana-dharma or
Vaishnavism is the means by which the living entity can be freed from the
material contamination and become qualified to go back to the spiritual sky.
A Vaishnava is actually a pure spirit soul. And what is the meaning of a
pure spirit soul? The pure spirit soul is the soul that is completely free
from this material contamination. Although he may be in the material nature
but he is not affected by the material nature. That is actually a pure
devotee. The Supreme God comes from time to time to establish this eternal
religion. But in this age of Kali, particularly in this age… This age of
Kali is a very special age. The time cycle just before this one that we are
in, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared in His original identity in
his svayam rupa. And in the following Kali-yuga He appeared as a devotee.
And by appearing as a pure devotee He preaches how to become a pure devotee.
Now is this point clear to everybody that in this age Krishna appeared as
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. If it is not clear then I will try to elaborate on
this a little more. So it’s clear to everybody. To how many it’s clear ?
Raise your hands. Okay, so it’s clear and no need to explain.
Actually the time cycle in a larger concept is the chatur-viyuga, the cycle
that consists of Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dwapara-yuga and Kali-yuga. So that
makes one cycle. And thousands of such cycles make a day of Brahma. And once
in a day of Brahma the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna appears. Which
cycle out of this one thousand it is ? How many of you know, raise your
hands. Okay, only Nrishingananda knows.
Every day of Brahma has thousand of cycles. And in the 28th cycle of
chatur-viyuga, in Dwapara-yuga Krishna appears in His svayam rupa, in His
original identity as Krishna. And in the following Kali-yuga the Lord
appears as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So this is that Kali-yuga. And
appearing in this age Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gives a very strong fortune
for the living entity. And what is that good fortune? Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu opens the door of Vrindavana for anyone and everyone. Now let us
discuss about the geography of the spiritual sky.
Beyond the material nature there is the causal ocean. This material nature
consists of innumerable universes. And those universes are like bubbles
created by Mahavishnu’s breathing. Maha-Vishnu is lying in which ocean? In
the causal ocean. Causal ocean means He lies in the ocean of cause. Just
like there is an ocean of water, there is an ocean of a substance called
cause. And as He breathes the bubbles that are created due to his breath is
a universe. And in this way there are innumerable universes caused by the
breathing of Maha-Vishnu. Now if you consider the universe we are situated
in one such universe. So if you go out of the universe what will you find?
If we get out of this universe we will find cause, the causal ocean.
Now beyond that causal ocean is brahma-jyoti. The spiritual light that
emanates from the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And beyond
that brahma-jyoti there are innumerable Vaikuntha planets. In the spiritual
sky also there are many spiritual planets. Those spiritual planets are known
as Vaikuntha. And in Vaikuntha the presiding personality is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead in His Narayana form or in His different forms like
Sankarshana, Vamana, Varaha, Kurma etc. The Lord is present in each planet
along with His devotee.
And in those planets the Lord is worshipped by His devotees with awe and
reverence. There the Lord is present as the Supreme Personality of Godhead
and the Lord is worshipped by all the exalted personalities as the eternal
servant. And in this way if you go even higher in the region of Vaikuntha,
then we will come across the Vaikuntha planet called Ayodhya. And there Lord
Ramachandra is residing along with His devotees. Even higher than Ayodhya is
Dwaraka where Krishna stays with [unclear] and His devotees. And even beyond
Dwaraka is Mathura mandala. And beyond Mathura is Vrindavana. And in
Vrindavana the original Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna resides along
with His devotees.
Now there is a difference between Vaikuntha and Vrindavana. In Vaikuntha
God resides with His devotees who worship Him with great awe and reverence
as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and all the devotees serve the Lord as
the servant. So the predominating mood in Vaikuntha is servitorship.
Everyone serves the Lord and the Lord is the Supreme Master. But in
Vrindavana the Supreme Personality of Godhead allows His devotees to
develop some very special relationships and these are friendship, parental
and conjugal. These relationships are deeper and more intense and
progressively become even more intense and intimate. Now for example, say in
your house you have a servant so you have some relationship with your
servant. But your relationship with your friend is different than the
relationship with your servant. Isn’t it?
Then your relationship with your parents is even more intimate than with
your friend. And your relationship with your wife is even more intimate than
with your parents. So in this way we see that the conjugal relationship or
the relationship between the lover and the loved is the highest or the most
intimate relationship. Now in Vrindavana the Supreme Personality of Godhead
allows His devotees to develop these very keen intimate relationships,
friendship, parental and conjugal.
Whereas in Vaikuntha these relationships are not available. In Vaikuntha no
one is the Lord’s friend, everyone is the servant. Now in Ayodhya which is
higher than the Vaikuntha planets, because in Ayodhya we see that Hanuman
although he is serving the Lord as the servant is developing a relationship
akin to friendship. There the Lord asks Hanuman, “Hanuman ask anything you
want from me”. And Hanuman says “My Lord if you so desire, give me Your
embrace.” And Lord Ramachandra embraced Hanuman.
So here servitorship is merging into friendship. The friendship is not ever
lasting. Hanuman’s real or basic relationship with the Lord is that of a
servant. But when we go to Dwaraka we find that Uddhava has a more
established friendship with Krishna. That’s why Dwaraka is even higher than
Ayodhya. But when we go to Vrindavana we find that Krishna serves His
friends. They treat Krishna just like their friend. And they don’t care that
Krishna is God. That is due to the influence of Yogamaya.
Now Maya means illusion and Yogamaya is the spiritual illusion or the
illusion caused by love. There are two types of illusions. Illusion due
to ignorance that is in the material nature, but what is that illusion ? We
do not know who Krishna is. But in Vrindavana they do not treat Krishna as
God. Due to some sort of illusion. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of
Godhead and therefore worshippable. But in Vrindavana Krishna’s friends
don’t treat him as God. Why ? Due to illusion. It is not due to ignorance
but due to illusion. Their love is so intense and deep that they don’t care
if Krishna is God or not.
Just like if a person becomes the state president, does his mother treat him
like the state president? No. Why? Because of love for him, because of the
intense love. Similarly in Vrindavan the devotees don’t treat Krishna as
God, because they treat Him as a friend. And some other individuals in
Vrindavana they treat Krishna as their son, like mother Yasoda and Nanda
Maharaja. And in Vrindavana some individuals treat Krishna as their lover.
Just like a young girl falls in love with a young boy, these gopis
have fallen in love with Krishna. And that’s all that they care. All they
care is that Krishna is the object of their love. And they want to dance
with Krishna, have loving exchanges with Krishna. And that’s about all they
want. And whether Krishna is God or not they don’t bother. And as a matter
of fact even when God comes in front of them, they neglect God and go after
For example, when the gopis were dancing with Krishna in Vrindavana,
the rasa dance, at one point Krishna left them, at the dead of night.
Krishna playing his flute invited all these young damsels of Vrindavan and
then He was dancing with them and all of a sudden he left them. And all
these young girls in the dead of the forest in the middle of the night they
were searching for Krishna. And they kept searching and crying. And the song
that we just sung displays their intense feeling of separation from Krishna.
And when the gopis were searching in this way, Krishna just to have fun
achieved his four-armed Narayana form and stood there in their way. So
the gopis saw Narayana and offered their respectful obeisances to Him and
prayed to Him that please bless us that we can find Krishna. So the gopis
know that Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but then they are
not interested in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are simply in
love, all that they care is simply for Krishna.
It is not that they don’t know that Krishna is God. But out of love they
barely care about the fact that Krishna is God. So in this song of
separation that we just sang, “jayati te ‘dhikam janmana vrajah”. Ever since
you took birth in Vrindavana, Vrindavan has become glorious. “Srayata indira
sasvad atra hi”. And Lakshmi devi has taken permanent residence here.
Because she is the eternal consort of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So
they knew that Krishna is Narayana. And Krishna took birth in Vrindavana,
Lakshmidevi is also residing there because she is the eternal consort of
The next paragraph will actually reveal that point. So they know that
Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are saying ‘na khalu
gopika-nandano bhavan, akhila-dehinam antaratma-drik’. They are saying that
you are not the son of the gopi yasoda ‘na khalu gopika-nandano bhavan’, you
are the Supreme soul residing in every living entity, ‘akhila-dehinam
antaratma-drik’. So they know that Krishna is God. But their attitude is
even if you are God so what?
It doesn’t really matter to us. So that is the meaning of Yogamaya. So this
is due to the arrangement of Yogamaya. Yogamaya affects the relationship
with Krishna. Now you can understand that this type of relationship with the
Supreme Personality of Godhead is very, very rare. Actually everyone is
actually a servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Brahma is a
servant of Narayana. Shiva is a servant of Narayana. Lakshmidevi is a maid
servant of Narayana. So you can see that all the great personalities are
serving the Lord in the mood of servitorship.
But the residents of Vrindavana treat Krishna as a friend. So whose position
is higher ? Lord Brahma and Shiva are serving Narayana as servants. Whose
position is higher, the residents of Vrindavana. And in Vaikuntha everyone
is serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Lord. But the residents of
Vrindavana have the facility or the opportunity to serve Krishna as a
friend. So whose position is higher, the residents of Vrindavana. So in this
way we can feel that the residents of Vrindavana have a very, very special
relationship with Krishna that even the residents of Vaikuntha do not have.
Now is this point clear to everyone ?
Does anybody have any questions up to this point that we discussed? It is
not just a lecture, but a seminar; it is a class to have a proper
understanding. So that’s why at this point I would stop and ask if anybody
has any questions?
Let’s deal with the point which we have discussed so far. Lord Shiva is not
just an ordinary demigod. The demigods are called devas, but lord Shiva is
known as Mahadeva, the greatest of all the demigods. And also the speciality
of Lord Shiva is that he is an incarnation of Vishnu, he is a Gunavatara.
Lord Shiva is a transformation of Vishnu. Vishnu doesn’t deal with the
material nature directly, the material nature is His external energy.
Because if He does that, then the material energy will become His internal
potency not an external potency.
Therefore in order to deal with the material energy Vishnu transformed
Himself in to Lord Shiva. So lord Shiva is actually a direct transformation
of Vishnu to deal with the material nature. And it is through Lord Shiva
that all the living entities are projected into the material nature. So
that’s why Lord Shiva is the greatest of all the demigods. Since he is
dealing with the entire material nature he can be classified as a demigod,
but the supreme demigod. That’s why Lord Shiva is the husband of Mahamaya.
And he is the greatest devotee, because it is through Lord Shiva that the
living entities came into the material nature. And it is through Lord Shiva
that the living entities will go back to the spiritual sky.
So he is actually performing some function for the sake of Vishnu, therefore
he is the greatest Vaishnava. Okay I think I should just continue because
many of the questions will be answered in the next part that we will be
discussing and then I will come back and answer these questions. Can you
bear with me a little longer?
So the point actually was, whether you all understood the difference between
Vaikuntha and Vrindavana. Very good, you are all very intelligent and an
So Krishna in Vrindavana, He resides in the spiritual
Vrindavana. But that Krishna comes down to the material nature once in the
day of Brahma. Now let me see how attentively you are listening. How many
chatur-yugas make a day of Brahma?
1000, Okay. So out of these 1000 chatur-yugas. Satya-yuga, treta-yuga,
dwapara yuga and Kali-yuga make 1 chatur-yuga. And the duration of this 1
chatur-yuga is 4.32 million years. So multiply it by 1000. So 4.32 billion
years is a day of Brahma. And the same is the duration of Brahma’s night.
And in this way Brahma lives up to 100 years, according to that calculation.
The day of Brahma is of 8,64 billion years. So 30 such days make a month, 12
such months make a year. And 100 such years make a life of Brahma. Now once
in a day of Brahma the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes to perform His
Vrindavana pastimes. And by enacting or revealing His Vrindavan pastimes,
God informs the living entity what His Vrindavana pastimes are like. And in
those pastimes some very fortunate souls get a chance to participate.
Actually when Krishna enacts His Vrindavana pastimes, Krishna’s associates
come along with Him to take part in this pastime. Like Nanda Maharaja,
mother Yasoda, Radharani, Lalita, Vishakha, Shubal, Shridam, Vasuda, these
are all the associates of Krishna in Goloka Vrindavana. They came along
with Krishna in Vrindavana and perform their pastimes. And those living
entities who have developed some very very special relationship with Krishna
due to their inconceivable good fortune and the mercy of the Lord. They get
a chance to participate in Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavana.
For example, when Lord Ramachandra was performing His pastimes in the Treta
Yuga, some sages in Dandakaranya… When Lord Ramchandra was in exile from
his kingdom for 14 years, residing in Dandakaranya for a while. And in
Dandakaranya some sages actually developed some intense love for Lord
Ramchandra. They actually felt some kind of conjugal relationship with Lord
Ramchandra. And Lord Ramchandra told them that look in this pastime I have
only one wife and I can’t allow you this relationship, because I can’t be
unfaithful to my wife. But when I will come in the Dwapara-yuga as Krishna,
then I will fulfill your desire and develop a loving relationship.
So these sages of Dandakaranya, some took birth in Vrindavana during
Krishna’s pastimes as the gopis. The 108 exponents of the Upanishads they
also got a chance to be elevated to Krishna’s Vrindavana pastimes. In this
way some very, very few fortunate souls got the opportunity to get into
Krishna’s Vrindavana pastimes. When Krishna enacted those pastimes on this
Now performing these pastimes on this planet, Krishna considered that I
revealed my renowned pastimes to the living entities of this world. But not
many will have access to this pastime. Why ? Krishna considered that a devotee
serves the Supreme Personality of Godhead in awe and reverence. A devotee
serves the Lord as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and his mood is that
of a servant. And by serving the Lord in this mood which is known as Vaidhi
Following all the rules and regulations when they attain their perfection
for devotion, they will attain Vaikuntha. One serves the Lord following
Vaidhi bhakti, following the rules and regulations, one attains the
Vaikuntha. Now every devotee will serve the Lord in awe and reverence in
Vaidhi bhakti, so everyone will enter Vaikuntha, where he attains his
perfection. Then how will anybody get a chance to enter Vrindavan ? So
Krishna considered that point. Now is this point clear ? Okay, very smart
audience I have here today.
So then Krishna considered how my devotees will have the opportunity to
enter my Vrindavan pastimes. Therefore Krishna made a very special
arrangement. What is that special arrangement ? Krishna appeared as a
devotee and by serving the Lord as a devotee and by following the
scriptures, the rules and regulations of Vaidhi bhakti, one will get an
opportunity to enter Vrindavana. That is the reason why Krishna came as Sri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This is a very very important point and every Gaudiya
Vaishnava must understand this point
Why we need to follow the rules and regulations of the Vaidhi bhakti when we
can enter the pastimes of Vrindavana ? Following the rules and regulations
and applying those rules and regulations of devotion to Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu. Everyone serves Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead
according to the rules and regulations of the scriptures. We cannot serve
whimsically. We can just walk along and put our hands along His shoulders
and ask “Hi Krishna! How are you doing?” We can’t do that. Or to be more
precise I will give an example how impossible it is to develop this
relationship of friendship with Krishna.
Now in friendship the friends of Krishna in Vrindavana play with Him. And
sometimes in the play they wrestle, and the condition is that the loser will
have to carry the winner on his back. And when wrestling with his friends
Krishna is defeated and according to the condition of the referee the loser
will have to carry the winner on his back. And when the winner says Krishna
now you will have to carry me on your back, Krishna says no I will not
carry you, I didn’t lose actually. I just slipped over a banana peel. And
when I just slipped then you jumped on me and now you are claiming that you
won. So I won’t carry you. Then the friend says Krishna you are defeated,
you have to carry me. Krishna says nothing doing, I am not going to carry
Then the friend forces his way on to Krishna’s back, and for that he puts
his foot on Krishna’s back. Now which devotee will dare to walk up to the
altar and get on Krishna’s body. Will any devotee ever dare to do that? So
that is why direct Vrindavana relationship is not possible. This
relationship can only develop when we are under the influence of Yogamaya.
Therefore we have to come under the influence of Yogamaya. Now how does one come under the influence of Yogamaya in this way ? By Krishna’s mercy. But Krishna cannot be partial to anybody. Krishna’s doesn’t say I am into My [unclear] so I will bestow My mercy unto them and let them enter Vrindavana. Krishna doesn’t act like that he is completely neutral. Now Krishna is afraid of one thing that people may say that He is partial. So Krishna always remains impartial.