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Sri Balarama Rasa Yatra

Baladeva Prabhu's Journey to Vrindavana

Today is most auspicious as we honour Baladeva Prabhu’s rasa-lila. Many people complain about Baladeva Prabhu and say, “Oh, He did not perform a rasa dance, because Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and only Krishna performs a rasa dance. So how is it possible that Baladeva also performs rasa-lila?” However, in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Shukadeva Gosvamipada very clearly explains Baladeva Prabhu’s rasa dance with the gopis.

You know that Krishna and Balarama left from Vrindavana to Mathura and killed Kamsa and then Ugrasena who was the king of Mathura. Then, very quickly Devaki and Vasudeva sent Krishna and Balarama to the house of Sandipani Muni in Ujjain. There, Krishna and Balarama learned all of the Vedas, Puranas and everything in sixty four days. They gained all of this knowledge and Krishna and Balarama then offered a donation to Sandipani Muni. Afterwards, They returned to Mathura.

But where is Krishna’s mind always? In Vrindavana. He is always remembering the love of the Vrajavasis’, especially the love of the gopis and Srimati Radhika. So Krishna sent Uddhava to Vraja with some messages for them. This is known as uddhava-sandesha. Uddhava went to Vrindavana and tried to pacify the Vrajavasis, but he completely failed in his mission.

Shukadeva Gosvamipada has described the uddhava-sandesha. After being in Mathura for a couple of years, Krishna and Balarama went to Dvaraka because Jarasandha attacked the city repeatedly. In the middle of the night, Krishna took all the Mathuravasis and manifested them in Dvaraka. There, Krishna married 16,108 queens. At the time, Krishna was known as Dvarakadhisha. He was the King of Dvaraka. But Krishna always remembered the Vrajavasis. He never forgot them. Still Krishna did not return to Vrindavana. Despite Uddhava and Baladeva Prabhu’s continual insistence, “O You should go to Vrindavana and pacify the Vrajavasis, especially the gopis,” Krishna repeatedly told them, “I will go, I will go.” But He did not go to Vrindavana. Baladeva Prabhu especially would tell Him, “Hey Krishna, You should go to Vrindavana.” Krishna then replied, “I will go, I will go.” But He never went. Finally, Baladeva Prabhu decided, “I have to go and try to pacify the Vrajavasis.” Shukadeva Gosvamipada mentions the story of when Balarama returns to Vrindavana. Shukadeva Gosvamipada said, “O best of the Kurus, once, Lord Balarama was eager to be with His friends, so He mounted His chariot and travelled to Nanda Gokula. Baladeva could not tolerate it any longer and began thinking, ‘I have to go, I know You don’t want to go to Vraja, but I have to go.’ So, Baladeva Prabhu went to Vrindavana.”

Due to the suffering and anxiety of separation, the cowherd men and their wives embraced Lord Balarama upon seeing Him. The Lord then offered His respect to His parents and they joyfully greeted Him with prayers. Balarama was also embraced by elder gopis, those who were the age of His mother. In this way, Baladeva Prabhu gave respect to all the Vrajavasis. Especially after a long separation, when Nanda and Yashoda saw Baladeva Prabhu, tears automatically began rolling down their eyes and their throats were completely choked. Baladeva Prabhu sat on the lap of Mother Yashoda and He pacified them by talking about Krishna. Later, some young girls, vraja-gopis, came and told Him, “It is our great fortune that the sinful Kamsa has been killed by our dear relative and friend, and all our relatives of Mathura are free from all kinds of danger.”

Vishvanatha Chakravarti explained that the Vrajavasis did not believe that Krishna killed Kamsa. They thought Kamsa left his body because of his own sinful activities. For this regard, the Vrajavasis said, “Oh, Kamsa left his body because of his own sins.” Then some young girls, who were so attached with Krishna, asked Baladeva, “Is Krishna happy there in Dvaraka?” Balarama answered, “How could Krishna be happy being separated from you?” The gopis replied, “Govinda is enjoying Himself in that city with many beautiful women. So how could He be suffering any unhappiness of separation from us village girls? Certainly, He must be happy.”

A question may come - How could Krishna’s gopis possibly talk with Baladeva Prabhu? Actually, according to Indian culture, younger girls never speak to Baladeva. So this was the first time they were speaking with Baladeva Prabhu. Since their prema increased to very high levels, at this extreme position, they gave up all of their shyness, lajja. Vishvanatha Chakravartipada also explained that their prema is called mahabhava-sthiti.

Understanding this was a sign of their mahabhava, Baladeva Prabhu talked with the gopis of Krishna. Because when Baladeva Prabhu was staying in Vrindavana, these gopis, the very nearest and dearest of Krishna, never spoke to Balarama. But now they were speaking with Him and told, “We know for a fact the women of the city cannot be better than us at giving Krishna conjugal pleasure. And Krishna must remember us for making His flower garlands and smearing sandalwood on His body and making fans, beds and other things.”

With this in mind, the gopis asked, “Does Krishna sometimes remember this service we did for Him? We do not know if His strong arms are still smeared with kunkuma.” In this way, Krishna’s gopis had a conversation with Baladeva Prabhu. While staying in Vrindavana for a couple of months, He witnessed the vraja-gopis’ separation moods: Shukadeva Gosvamipada explained,

dvau māsau tatra cāvātsīn madhuṁ mādhavaṁ eva ca rāmaḥ kṣapāsu bhagavān gopīnāṁ ratim āvahan

Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.65.17)

[Lord Balarama, the Personality of Godhead, resided there for the two months of Madhu and Madhava, and during the nights He gave His cowherd girlfriends conjugal pleasure.]

This means Lord Balarama, the Personality of Godhead resided there for the two months of Madhu and Madhava, meaning, the month of Chaitra and Vishakha. They are referred to as the spring season. During that time, Baladeva Prabhu performed a sweet rasa dance with the gopis. If you do Vraja-mandala parikrama, you will visit that place called Rama-ghata. Many people also argued, “How is it possible that Baladeva Prabhu performs rasa dance with the gopis of Krishna? This is called a sinful activity, papa.” According to Indian culture, the gopis, those young girls, never associated with Baladeva. But when Krishna and Baladeva stayed in Vrindavana, They performed rasa dance with different gopis.

A Rasa Dance of Love with the Gopis

Baladeva Prabhu once performed a rasa dance with His own gopis and Krishna performed a rasa dance with His own gopis. But now, Baladeva Prabhu arrived in Vrindavana and performed a rasa dance with Krishna’s gopis and His own gopis. Some ask how this is possible. Vishvanatha Chakravatipada and our different acharyas explain that rasa dance does not refer to bad things, it does not mean sinful activities. Rasate (āsvādyate) iti rasaḥ - That means, that which is relished is rasa. Rasa is dancing and singing, known as rasa nritya gita iti rasa. What did Baladeva Prabhu also do? He performed a very nice and beautiful singing and dancing lila with them. Another meaning of rasa dance can be embracing and kissing. That is called alingala chumbana iti rasa. How could Baladeva Prabhu possibly embrace and kiss Krishna’s gopis? This is a sinful activity.

Some people argue, “How can Baladeva perform a rasa dance with the gopis of Krishna?” So our Gosvamis clarify, sinful activities are in this material world and are only according to our material minds. If you go to heaven, you will find there are no sinful activities there. Where is this rasa dance performed? Beyond Vaikuntha. Rasa dance does not just take place anywhere. It does not happen in Vaikuntha, Ayodhya, Dvaraka or Mathura. Where does the rasa-lila take place? Only in Vrindavana.

Krishna performed His rasa dance in Vrindavana and only with the gopis, not others. Krishna did not manifest His rasa dance in Dvaraka with His 16,108 queen wives. Some foolish people say, “Oh, once Krishna desired to manifest the rasa dance in Dvaraka. So He played the flute on the beach and all the queens came out from their palace and then Devaki stopped them.” What is this? It is a complete sahajiya mood. Because Krishna leaves His flute in Vrindavana. How could Krishna possibly play the flute in Dvaraka? Sahajiyas are not considering this.

Try to understand, Krishna leaves two things in Vrindavana. Do you know what two things He leaves? Vamshi and mayura mukuta, His flute and peacock feather. Only in Vrindavana does Krishna accept these two things - the flute and peacock feather. Dvarakadhisha Krishna does not have a flute or peacock feathers. If a devotee decorates Him with these things in accordance to their own mood, that is another thing. But Dvarakadhisha Krishna does not have a flute or a peacock feather on His turban.

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also told Rupa Gosvamipada, kṛṣṇere bāhira nāhi kariha vraja haite – “Do not take Krishna out of Vraja, not one step.” Do you understand this? Rupa Gosvamipada explained in Laghu-bhagavatamrita that Krishna says, vṛndāvanaṁ parityajya padam ekaṁ na gacchati – “I never go out, not even one step, from Vrindavana. I always remain there.” Try to understand this philosophy. Vrindavana Krishna always remains in Vrindavana, Mathura Krishna remains in Mathura and Dvarakadhisha Krishna remains in Dvaraka. Only for separation moods does Yogamaya arrange for Vrajavasis to think, “O, Krishna has left Vrindavana and went to Mathura.” Try to understand it. Enter this philosophy, otherwise you will become like those in the story of Sunanda Gandharva. Do you know of Sunanda Gandharva?

Sunanda Gandharva Story

Ok, I will briefly speak on this and tell you what happened. There was once a king’s washer who had shaved his head. The washer met with the king’s purohita; purohita means priest. That time, the king’s priest asked, “Hey washer. Why did you shave your head?” The washer answered, “Do you know? Today is a most auspicious day.” “Why?” asked the priest. “You know today, Sunanda Gandharva left his body.” The royal priest did not inquire as to who Sunanda Gandharva actually was.

Rather, he asked “Oh, today is a most auspicious day?” “Yes. Because Sunanda Gandharva left body.” replied the washer. “The name Sunanda Gandharva is a very nice, sweet name.” said the royal priest. So, the royal priest shaved his head. Just look, he also shaved his head. After, the royal priest met with the minister and he asked the priest, “Hey, why did you shave your head?” The priest told the minister, “Did you know today is a most auspicious day? Because today, Sunanda Gandharva left his body.” Then the minister, “Oh, what a very nice, sweet name, Sunanda Gandharva.” What did the minister also do? Shaved his head. The minister went after to meet with the king and the king asked, “O my minister, why did you shave your head?” The minister replied, “Did you know today is a most auspicious day? Because Sunanda Gandharva left his body.” Without question, the king also shaved his head. Then, the queen met with the king and being very intelligent she asked, “O my king, why did you shave your head?” Then the king told, “Do you know? O my queen, this is a most auspicious day because Sunanda Gandharva left his body.” The queen asked, “Who is Sunanda Gandarva?” “I don’t know who Sunanda Gandharva is. My minister mentioned him to me,” answered the king. So, the queen met with this minister, “You have also shaved your head. Hey, who is Sunanda Gandharva?” The minister said, “I don’t know. Your royal priest is very intelligent and he told me today is a most auspicious day because Sunanda Gandharva left body, so I also shaved my head.” After hearing this, the queen asked the royal priest, “Hey, why did you also shave your head? What happened?” The priest answered, “Oh, I don’t know who Sunanda Gandharva is, but actually, the washer told me today was a most auspicious day because Sunanda Gandharva left his body.”

The queen finally met with the washer and asked, “Who is Sunanda Gandharva? You have shaved your head and now the royal priest, the minister and even the king have done the same. But, who is this Sunanda Gandharva?” The washer replied, “O my queen. Do you know who Sunanda Gandharva is? Have you heard of Sunanda Gandharva? My donkey’s name was Sunanda Gandharva. Since my donkey performed so many hard services, I have to show some form of gratitude towards him, for this reason I shaved my head.” The washer told that today was the most auspicious day because his donkey left his body. Do you understand? Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada very simply explained, “Do not follow the blind following the blind.” Just look, from the washer to the king, they were all blind following the blind. They were blind sheep. Do not follow blind sheep. Understand this. You must enter into proper philosophy, otherwise, what will happen to your bhakti? It will be ruined. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also explains,

siddhānta baliyā citte nā kara alasa ihā ha-ite kṛṣṇe lāge sudṛḍha mānasa

Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi-lila 2.117)

[A sincere student should not neglect the discussion of such conclusions, considering them controversial, for such discussions strengthen the mind. Thus, one’s mind becomes attached to Sri Krishna.]

Do not be lazy to not enter in siddhanta. Try to understand these things. Without siddhanta, bhakti will never manifest in your heart. If you do not know siddhanta, then what? You will become a sahajiya or you will become a brahmavadi. Understand? Chaitanya-charitamrita again and again explains,

siddhānta baliyā citte nā kara alasa ihā ha-ite kṛṣṇe lāge sudṛḍha mānasa

Do not be lazy to not enter in siddhanta.

If you enter in siddhanta then bhakti will automatically manifest in your heart. This is the process. Then you will conform and your mind will be fixed. Otherwise your mind will be agitated, going here and there. You will otherwise become a karajatiya. Do you understand? You are not fixed, your mind is going here and there, and sometimes one becomes a sahajiya or sometimes an аdvaitavadi.

The Divine Abode: Where Srimati Radhika and Krishna Reside

So now returning to my subject matter, I have explained, Vrindavana Krishna always remains in Vrindavana, Dvarakadhisha Krishna always remains in Dvaraka and Mathuradhisha Krishna always remains in Mathura. Though we are seeing in Krishna’s prakata-lila, Krishna goes from Vrindavana to Mathura and from Mathura to Dvaraka. This is called gamana, coming and going. Krishna goes from Vrindavana to Mathura, then Mathura to Dvaraka, and again He returns back to Mathura and kills Dantavakra. Then, He re-enters Vrindavana. If you read Rupa Gosvamipada’s Laghu-bhagavatamrita, you will find these things are very clearly explained.

But how can one reconcile these things? Vṛndāvanaṁ parityajya padam ekaṁ na gacchati – “I never go out one step from Vrindavana,” Krishna says. Actually siddhanta is there, you can see. When Akrura took Krishna and Balarama from Vrindavana to Mathura, Vrindavana Krishna disappeared from the chariot and at the same moment He entered Mathura, Mathuradhisha Krishna manifested and sat on the chariot of Akrura. The border between Mathura and Vrindavana is called Akrura Ghata. So in this way, Vrindavana Krishna always remains in Vrindavana. Because Krishna relishes viraha-lila. Viraha means separation mood. What mood did Krishna previously relish? Meeting, milana-lilas, and now He is relishing viraha-lila and always staying in Vrindavana. In the same way, Srimati Radhika does not leave Vrindavana, She does not go one step from there.

Maybe a question will come, “Oh, Srimati Radhika went from Vrindavana to Kurukshetra, how is this possible?” Shukadeva Gosvamipada has described this as the kurukshetra-milana of Srimati Radhika and Krishna. Srimati Radhika did not leave Vrindavana, because the distance between Vrindavana and Mathura is too far, She did not go. How long is it from Vrindavana to Mathura? How many kilometres? It is one long line between Vrindavana and Mathura. Understand these things. So Srimati Radhika did not come from Vrindavana to Mathura. But we see in Srimad-Bhagavatam, She went to Kurukshetra and met with Krishna, that is called kurukshetra-milana. Chaitanya-charitamrita also very nicely describes this kurukshetra-milana. Which lila is especially described there? The Ratha-yatra. There are very beautiful lilas regarding the Ratha-yatra, and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was always absorbed in this mood.

So how can you reconcile these two things? I just mentioned how Krishna never leaves Vrindavana to go to Mathura, He always remains in Vrindavana. In the same way, Srimati Radhika does not leave from Vrindavana to visit Kurukshetra, She always remains in Vraja. Yatraiva krishna tatraiva radha - Where Radha is, there is Krishna and where Krishna is, there is Radha. Radha and Krishna are always staying together, They are never separated. But we are seeing that Srimati Radhika went to Kurukshetra. Our Gosvamis have reconciled these things, by revealing Srimati Radhika has three forms. Her original form is called Vrishabhanu Nandini Srimati Radhika, the daughter of Vrishabhanu Maharaja. In this form She is always relishing meeting with Krishna in Vrindavana, aprakata-prakasha. Then She has two prakasha, extensions, one is called Samyogini and another is called Viyogini. Where does Viyogini Radha stay? In Vishakha-kunda, called Uddhava Kyari. When Uddhava came to Vrindavana, he witnessed Srimati Radhika’s transcendental madness, called viraha-unmada-dasha. This is also described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, known as Bhramara-gita.

Another expansion of Srimati Radhika is Samyogini Radha. When She went to Kurukshetra it was in the form of Samyogini Radha. In the same way, Krishna has two expansions, Mathuradhisha and Dvarakadhisha Krishna. This is how our Gosvamis have reconciled this subject.

Returning to the topic of Baladeva Prabhu, He performed the rasa dance with the gopis of Krishna. As I mentioned, there are all kinds of sinful activities in this material world. But, even in Svargaloka, there are no sinful activities. So, Krishna, the gopis and Baladeva are all meeting; the rasa-lila is not a sinful activity, because it is beyond this material world. It is not a sinful activity if Baladeva Prabhu is embracing and kissing Krishna’s gopis. Understand? During that time, they are completely absorbed in the mood of separation, and in their state of transcendental madness, divya-unmada, Baladeva Prabhu tries to pacify them.

This is how and why Baladeva Prabhu performed the rasa dance in Vrindavana with the gopis. But one thing, Baladeva Prabhu could not completely pacify them. Because there are three kinds of prema in Vraja. The prema of the cows of Vrindavana is one kind, another kind is the prema felt by Subhala and the sakhis’, and another is gopi’s prema. Gopi’s prema, especially the gopis of Krishna, is very high level. They only want to directly meet with Krishna. Their separation will never be extinguished if Krishna does not come and meet with them directly. Though Baladeva Prabhu performed a rasa dance with the gopis when He came to Vrindavana, their fire of separation was not completely extinguished.

The Fruits of Hearing the Rasa-Lila-Katha

So Baladeva Prabhu performs the rasa dance in Vrindavana with the gopis, especially in the month of Chaitra and Vishakha, also called Madhu and Madhava masa. Today is the most auspicious day when Baladeva Prabhu performs His rasa dance. We pray one day this rasa-lila will manifest in our hearts. In Srimad-Bhagavatam, Shukadeva Gosvamipada described this lila, and has given a special blessing to all who hear about the rasa-lila, that they will attain krishna-prema, specifically, that gopi’s prema will manifest in their heart.

vikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ

śraddhānvito ’nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yaḥ

bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ

hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ

Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.39)

[Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord’s playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrindavana will attain the Lord’s pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart.]

Shukadeva Gosvamipada is giving these blessings to us. Nowadays, many people also think, “I will not listen to rasa-lila kathas, because if I listen to it, my lust will increase.” But in this verse, Shukadeva Gosvamipada very clearly explains that if you listen to rasa-lila kathas all your lust will disappear from your heart and krishna-prema will manifest. If you do not listen to this katha, you will have committed an offence, aparadha. A question may come, “I am a lustful person, kanishtha-adhikari and the shastras give evidence that kanishtha-adhikaris or neophyte devotees should not listen to this high level katha. What will I do?” How do you reconcile? Shukadeva Gosvamipada explains if you do not listen to rasa-lila kathas, where will you go? To hell. But at the same time, how could you digest this rasa-lila katha?

Only Mahadeva can digest poison. Two shlokas found in the rasa-lila, concluded in a completely opposite way.

naitat samācarej jātu manasāpi hy anīśvaraḥ vinaśyaty ācaran mauḍhyād yathārudro ’bdhi-jaṁ viṣam

Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.30)

[One who is not a great controller should never imitate the behaviour of ruling personalities, even mentally. If out of foolishness an ordinary person does imitate such behaviour, he will simply destroy himself, just as a person who is not Rudra would destroy himself if he tried to drink an ocean of poison.]

Naitat samācarej jātu manasāpi hy anīśvaraḥ - Do not attempt to imitate this lila. If you listen and try to imitate the rasa-lila, you will go to hell. Only Shivaji can drink poison, if you do not have Shiva’s powers, how will you possibly digest poison? You will die and go to hell.

On the other hand, Shukadeva Gosvami also explains,

vikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ

śraddhānvito ’nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yaḥ

bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ

hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ

Anuśṛṇuyāt means listen, you must listen and not just one time. How many times should you listen to this katha? Niranta, which means incessantly. You should incessantly listen to the rasa-lila katha. This means continually, incessantly, without stopping and anuśṛṇuyāt means to listen, not only once. Nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yaḥ, means to glorify and also speak. Then bhakti will manifest in your heart and all kinds of lust will disappear from there. What kinds of prema will manifest in your heart? Not dasya, sakhya or vatsalya, but gopi’s prema will manifest in your heart. Bhaktiṁ parāṁ [bhagavati] pratilabhya. So many people say, “No, no, I will not listen to the rasa-lila katha, it is too high level katha. If I listen, then I will become a sahajiya.” Understand? But here, Shukadeva Gosvami is giving us this blessing,

vvikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ

śraddhānvito ’nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yaḥ

bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ

hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ

Hṛd-roga means what? Heart disease. Here, heart disease means lust. This is a very important subject, for most it is not so easy to understand. But try to understand, you must listen to the rasa-lila katha from uttama-mahabhagavata. Guru mukhād śṛṇuyād - you must listen to this rasa-lila katha, this high level katha from the lotus lips of a bona fide, exalted guru. Understand? Not from a kanishtha-adhikari, not even from a madhyama-adhikari. You must only listen to rasa-lila kathas, this high level katha, from a bona fide, exalted guru who is completely what? Absorbed in ashta-kaliya-lila, that kind of guru. Understand that a kanishtha-adhikari can not speak this katha, do not listen to this katha from kanishtha-adhikaris. Do not even listen to this high level katha from madhyama-adhikaris. This high level rasa-lila katha is conjugal. Only listen to shringara-rasa katha from the lotus lips of uttama-uttama-mahabhagavata. It is very important that one understands this.

Śraddhānvito - how will you listen? With firm faith, shraddha. Understand? With firm faith believe, “If I listen to this katha, all of my lust and everything will disappear.” Śraddhānvito 'nuśṛṇuyād, guru mukhād śṛṇuyād - you must listen from the lotus lips of Gurudeva. After hearing, then you can also glorify. But, if that speaker is not on a high level and if you listen to these types of katha from him, then both guru and disciple will go to hell. That time, the guru will be a babaji, mataji or pitaji and you will be finished. There are many examples of this, but I do not want to speak too much on this topic.

Still, very carefully listen to these things. There are many unqualified kanishtha-adhikaris, or maybe even madhyama-adhikaris who want to speak this high level, confidential Radha-Krishna lila-katha. What will happen to both the speaker and listener? They will become a babaji, mataji or pitaji. Very carefully pay attention to these things. You can also read Srila Vishvanatha Chakravartipada’s explanation on these topics. According to your adhikara, you should listen, and according to your adhikara, you speak. If one person is a high level exalted, uttama-uttama-mahabhagavata and if he speaks uttama-katha, you must listen with firm faith, even though you are a neophyte, there is no harm. If you do not listen to these kathas and think, “Oh I am not qualified and Gurudeva is speaking a high level katha. How will I possibly listen? This is not for me; this is for others,” this means you are committing an offence at the lotus feet of guru. Understand? Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti explains that this is called guru-avajñā, meaning you have dishonoured Gurudeva. Na śunile haya – In this verse Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja explains, if you do not listen to this katha from a high class, exalted bona fide guru, then it is called an offence, aparadha.

vikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ

śraddhānvito ’nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yaḥ

bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ

hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ

What does dhīraḥ mean? A sober person. One who reconciles all of these things. So very carefully understand when Gurudeva speaks these types of katha or if one who comes to the stage of bona fide guru and speaks this rasa-katha, you must listen with firm faith. Try to comprehend. Because many say, “No, no, these rasa-lila kathas are not for me.” But Gurudeva is actually speaking this just for you. You may say, “This is not for me. I am a kanishtha-adhikari, how can I listen to this katha from guru?” But our acharyas are saying, “No, this is not correct.” Vishvanatha Chakravartipada in Madhurya-kadambini clearly explains this verse,

bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ

hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ

First, para-bhakti will appear, para-bhakti means high level prema. That is, gopi-prema will manifest in your heart, despite your heart being full of lust. ‘Bhaktiṃ parāṃ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṃ’ - When you receive this prema, vraja-prema, gopi-prema, all your kama, lust, will disappear from your heart. Understand these things. First, you receive gopi-prema, and then your lust disappears from your heart. When a shuddha-bhakta, pure devotee, speaks, he also destroys all lust from your heart. Because whatever sounds a shuddha-bhakta speaks are transcendental.

Aprakrita shabda, these transcendental sounds enter into your heart and all of your lust and anarthas will disappear. So if a high classed, bona fide guru speaks these types of katha never think, “I am qualified or unqualified.” Just listen to the katha with firm faith. And also pray to the lotus feet of Baladeva Prabhu, He is akhanda-guru-tattva, undivided guru-tattva. Only by His causeless mercy will we one day realise the rasa-lila. Namo rādhikāyai tvadīya-priyāyai - Satyavrata Muni also gave the conclusion in Damodarashtaka. Here is the nama-ananta lila, ananta means rasa-lila. I pay my obeisances onto the lotus feet of the rasa-lila. By the causeless mercy of Baladeva Prabhu, akhanda-guru-tattva, we will realise this rasa-lila katha.

Bolo Vrindavana Bihari lala ki jaya!

Date: 2 April 2007 Location: Russia


Transcriber: Sanatana dasa (USA) Editor: Sanatana dasa (USA)

Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Proofreading: Chandrika dasi (UK)

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