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The Glories of Sri Navadvipa-dhama



Navadvipa-dhama Destroys Offences


Today, we are very close to performing Navadvipa-dhama parikrama. So, I have to speak about Navadvipa-dhama, Shvetadvipa-dhama, which is a very special dhama. Yesterday, I mentioned how even if aparadhis, offenders, go to Navadvipa-dhama, Navadvipa-dhama will give shelter to them. Brahma and Shiva committed offences on the lotus feet of Krishna during His vrindavana-lila. For this reason, Brahma and Shiva, both came to Navadvipa-dhama and performed hard austerities. 


Every different brahmanda or universe has its own Brahmaji. In this brahmanda Brahma has four heads. And this brahmanda is the smallest amongst all universes. 


So in Krishna’s vrindavana-lila, Brahmaji stole Krishna’s cowherd boys and calves. This is because Brahma was confused as to whether Krishna was Bhagavan or not. Nowadays, many have these types of misconceptions which cause countless doubts. Conditioned souls are full of doubt, ‘saṁśayātmā vinaśyati’. Is this not true? There are numerous kinds of doubts in the hearts of conditioned souls: doubts in Guru; doubts in sadhu; doubts in shastra— do you understand? Also in Kali-yuga, even if you don’t have any doubts, others will simply create doubts in your heart. 


Even if you are simple-hearted, many people will still create doubt in your heart. And now, you can easily become confused over what to do and what not to do. There are many things to be confused about. One may think, “Whom will I worship? Shiva, Kali, Durga or Krishna?” These things cause doubts in your heart. And this is because conditioned souls do not know the perfect conclusions of the scriptures. So, their minds become disturbed. What to do? What not to do? Etcetera, etcetera.


In this material world, doubts are caused by many things everywhere; doubts over your wife or your husband, doubts about sons, daughters, everything— even doubts about your food. Because in Kali-yuga, when you buy something at the market, you may wonder whether the quality is good or bad, as people may try to cheat you by using many artificial ingredients in things. Isn’t this true? Kali-yuga means that everyone’s minds are disturbed. What to speak of spiritual things— even Brahmaji’s mind became disturbed. 


I will tell you simply, Krishna is Svayam Bhagavan— He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. ‘Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam. Ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam’. Krishna is Svayam Bhagavan, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  Shukadeva Gosvami told Parikshit Maharaja the very nice and beautiful katha of Krishna delivering the demon Aghasura— aghasura-moksha-lila-katha

You see, Aghasura was a friend of Kamsa. And one day, Kamsa told him, “You must go to Vraja and kill Krishna.” Aghasura replied, “O my friend Kamsa, don’t worry. I am going to Vrindavana and will very quickly kill Krishna and return.” Then Kamsa said, “As soon as you return from killing Krishna, I will have a very nice reward prepared for you.”


Aghasura was an asura, demon, with mystic powers. With his abilities he manifested himself into a very large snake. He then slithered into the forest, found a good place to settle. Then he opened his huge mouth. 


Have you seen a cobra or python’s mouth when they stretch it open with their big jaws? One can easily swallow you, and your entire body will go inside his stomach; some can even swallow a big elephant! 

So with his mystic powers, Aghasura transformed into a gigantic snake. From afar, his body appeared like a big mountain, and when he opened his mouth, his huge tongue rolled out for a long length. Remember, Krishna is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus, Krishna was thinking, “Today, I have to kill Aghasura.” Also, according to our tattva-siddhanta, one who comes to Vraja can never leave. 


na tad bhāsayate sūryo

na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ

yad gatvā na nivartante

tad dhāma paramaṁ mama


Bhagavad-gita (15.6)


[That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world.]


Krishna Himself says, “One who attains My abode will not return to this material world.” If you go to Vraja, you cannot come back. Who will come to Vrindavana? And when you go, will you return home? Some visit Vraja, but they purchase a return flight home. When you go to Vrindavana, you should come with a one-way ticket. That way, you cannot go back. Except, you are very clever. Before even going to Vrindavana, you have already bought your return ticket. 


One-way Ticket to Vrindavana


Once, a devotee had asked Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, “Why won’t the Lord give darshana to us even though we have come to Vrindavana?” Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada answered, “Before even arriving in Vrindavana, you have already bought your return ticket. How is it possible that the Lord will now give you darshana?” Here, what is the meaning of a ‘return ticket’? Enjoying material sense gratification. And what does a one-way ticket mean? Only being one-pointed with Krishna in Vrindavana. 


However,  this is very difficult for you. You have many attachments to material things. For this reason, you have bought your return ticket. And also for this reason, Krishna is thinking, “I will not give darshana to you.” Only when you buy a one-way ticket, and are one-pointed with Krishna, will He give darshana to you. 


Like Mirabai, who left her house to stay in Vrindavana. Have you heard of Mirabai? Her husband kicked her out of the house, then she went to Vrindavana and never returned home. And while she stayed in Vrindavana, she performed her bhajana and sadhana. But we are very clever, and we first purchased a return ticket. This is why Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada said, “How will the Lord possibly give you darshana?” If you’re in Vrindavana and you’re talking with your family members on your phone everyday, how will the Lord give darshana to you? While staying in Vrindavana, you are calling home every day. And when you are home, you are calling Vrindavana.


Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada very nicely explained that a one-way ticket means you are one-pointed with Krishna. And being one-pointed means: “In this life I will perform bhajana and sadhana to Krishna only”. Or higher; only becoming one-pointed with Srimati Radhika:


radha meri swamini

main radhe ko das

janam janam mohi dijiyo

sri vrindavan ko vas


The Muslim poet Rakshan wrote, “Srimati Radhika is my mistress and I’m Her maid servant. O Srimati Radhike, may I take birth, life after life, in Vrindavana.” 


Brahmaji Sees Krishna’s Aishvarya


So now Krishna was thinking, “Oh, Aghasura has come to My Vrindavana. I must give liberation to him.” Then, Krishna performed His sweet cow-herding lila with His friends. Meanwhile, Aghasura, in the form of a gigantic snake, opened his mouth and rolled out his long tongue. Aghusura’s long tongue stretched out when he opened his mouth, and one part of his mouth touched the sky, while the other touched the earth. 


Aghasura thought, “When Krishna and His friends and calves come, they will enter my mouth, I will close my jaw and trap them in my stomach.” Krishna is Bhagavan, He knows everything. Despite this, He sometimes plays the role of a very small baby. The Lord simultaneously has two qualifications, sarvajnata and mugdhata. That is, He knows everything and at the same time, He is completely innocent and knows nothing. So, Krishna realised, “Oh, now Aghasura has come, the friend of Kamsa.” Kamsa’s best friend. And, whom do you make friends with? Those who are like-minded. So since Aghasura is an asura, and Kamsa is one also, they made nice friends. 


Coming upon the gigantic snake, Krishna’s sakhas said, “Oh, we have arrived at a very nice and beautiful mountain. Where has it come from?” Then, they said, “Let’s play inside!” You see, our scriptures state that sometimes, a mountain may travel from one place to another as, in previous ages, mountains would fly! And on some of those occasions, Indra would cut the mountain’s wings off, and the mountain would fall and stay in this new place. For this reason, Subala, Sridama and Madhumangala all said to each other, “Today, we will play in the caves of this mountain. It’s very nice!” However, Krishna shouted, “O My sakhas, don’t go inside! This is not a good mountain. There is a very bad smell coming from it.” But, Subala and Sridama continued, “No, no, we have to go and play in here. Look, perhaps inside, somewhere in the caves of this mountain, there is a big festival taking place. So, we have to go and attend the festival. It could be a very nice and beautiful celebration, with much to eat!” Still Krishna insisted, “No no! Please come back! This is not a good mountain.” 


But Subala, Sridama and Madhumangala insisted, not hearing Krishna’s advice, “Perhaps there is a very nice festival going on. Look, there is even a very beautiful red carpet here.” Normally, for big festivals, they will lay out a long, soft red carpet in the entrance. And for this reason, they all began dancing on the carpet, which was actually the snake’s tongue. 


Now, Krishna again said, “Hey Subala, Sridama, Madhumangala, My sakhas, don’t go!” But they didn’t listen, and dancing along the carpet, they entered into the snake’s mouth. While passing through, they even pinched Aghasura’s teeth and asked, “Where have these teeth come from? Oh these are not teeth. Maybe some sadhus have arrived at the festival and left their beds hanging here.”  


Krishna began thinking of what He should do, “If My friends enter the mouth of Aghasura, they will all go into his stomach. Then, how will they return?” So, Krishna had no choice but to also go inside the mouth of Aghasura. Excited, Aghasura thought, “Oh, this is my chance. I have to slowly, slowly lift my jaw.” After doing so, all the friends of Krishna said, “Look, we are very lucky, maybe this is the lift!” The sakhas became very happy while proclaiming, “Now we are going up!” 


Shortly after, the sakhas thought, “Hmm, is the festival happening? There are no lights nor any decorations.” Then, one sakha said, “Maybe the electricity has failed? Perhaps when we go further inside we will see some lights or the power will come back on soon.”


Thus, all of the sakhas continued entering the mouth of Aghasura, and once all inside, the demon closed his mouth— causing all of Krishna’s sakhas to faint. Remember, Krishna is Svayam Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And when Krishna was inside the mouth of Aghasura, what did He do? He became incredibly hot, like a hot iron rod. This caused the asura to leave his body. 


Aghasura’s prana-vayu (life-air flow) burst and his atma came out of his head and went up into the sky; Brahmaji witnessed this occurring. And when Krishna came out of the mouth of Aghasura, that same Aghasura entered into the toe-nails of Krishna. Now Brahmaji realised that Krishna is Bhagavan, as our shastras explain, daityāś ca hariṇā hatāḥ; when asuras are killed by the Lord, their atmas enter into the toe-nails of Krishna and they attain sayujya-mukti. 


Krishna's Human-like Behaviour Bewilders Brahma 


In another lila, Krishna was sitting with His friends, Subala, Sridama and Madhumangala, and they were taking prasada which they brought from their homes. Then, Subala and Sridama began to joke with Krishna. They even began giving their own remnants to Krishna, and Krishna would take them. Subala ate half of one rasagulla, and fed the other half to Krishna. This is called sakhya-rasa or friendship mood. 


Upon seeing Krishna accept the remnants of His friends, Brahmaji became confused again and thought, “Krishna is Bhagavan! How can this be possible? Everyone wants the remnants of Lord Narayana, Bhagavan’s remnants, maha-prasada. But here, everything seems the opposite. Krishna, who is Bhagavan, is now taking the remnants from cowherd boys— who are traditionally considered a lower caste. Shivaji and all other demigods are all hankering  to take just one small piece of the remnants from Lord Narayana. And now Krishna is taking remnants from cowherd boys, who are low-caste. How is it possible that Krishna is Bhagavan?” Now, Brahmaji’s mind was very disturbed. Normally, everyone wants to take the remnants of Lord Narayana. And Krishna is Bhagavan Narayana, so how is that Krishna is taking the remnants of simple cowherd boys? For this reason, Brahma’s mind was completely perplexed. Now Subala or Sridama said, “Krishna, my mother sent these very nice and beautiful rasagullas.” Then, Krishna replied, “Okay, give Me some.” “Just close Your eyes and open Your mouth,” answered Madhumangala. 


Following his instructions, Krishna closed His eyes and opened His mouth. And, all of the sakhas very quickly ate all of the rasagullas. Krishna remained with His mouth opened for one minute, then two minutes…and no-one put any rasagulla in His mouth. Then, Madhumangala took one flower and placed it inside Krishna’s mouth. Then, Krishna opened His eyes and said, “Hey Madhumangala, this is not the rasagulla, this is a flower. Where is the rasagulla?” Madhumangala replied, “Krishna, keep patient, keep patient.” “Where is the rasagulla?” asked Krishna. “Listen,” answered His sakhas, “One demon came and he ate all the rasagullas”. 


Then, Krishna became very angry, “Where is the demon? Where is the demon? I have to kill him! Tell Me. What is the name of the demon?” Madhumangala told Krishna, “The name of the demon is Lobhasura— the demon of greed.” Krishna said, “Where is he now? Where is he now? Tell Me.” Madhumangala told Krishna, “You know, Lobhasura, he is hiding in our stomachs!”


Brahmaji Wants to Test Krishna


In this way, this humorous and playful lila goes on. However, Brahmaji still remained confused. He doubted whether Krishna was Bhagavan. He questioned how it was possible that Krishna, being Bhagavan, is now taking the remnants of cowherd boys. Then, Brahmaji thought, “If Krishna is Bhagavan, then He knows everything. So I will test Krishna to see if He is Bhagavan or not.” 


Now Krishna was thinking, “Hey Brahma! I gave this position to you. And now, you are going to test Me to see whether I am Bhagavan or not? Okay, I accept your test.” In the meantime, Brahmaji saw that all of the calves were running here and there. Subala and Sridama said, “Hey look Krishna, our calves are running away!” Then Krishna replied, “O My sakhas don’t worry, I am going to return the calves.” 


The moment Krishna left, Brahmaji stole Krishna’s friends and hid them in a cave. When Krishna returned, He was holding rice mixed with yoghurt in His hand, and after seeing His friends were no longer there, He wondered where they had gone. Here, Krishna is simply performing His human-being lila, nara-lila. So Krishna asked, “Where are My friends? Where are My calves?” Then, Krishna thought, “Oh, Brahma! He stole them all!” Next, Bhagavan manifested Himself into all of His missing friends and calves. He then began herding the calves. 


Sri Bhagavan Crushes Brahma’s Pride


Meanwhile, Brahmaji had returned to his own residence in Satyaloka. Just as he entered the doors of his palace, his doorkeeper stopped him. Actually before that, Krishna had arrived at the same palace, cleverly disguised in the form of Brahma. Turning into Brahma, Krishna told the doorkeeper, “Hey, My doorkeeper, listen, perhaps a fake Brahma will come and attempt to enter, you must stop him.” 


Thus, when the original Brahma arrived, the doorkeeper, thinking he was an imposter, stopped Brahma. Then, Brahmaji said, “Hey! You are my security guard. Why have you stopped me? This is my house!” The security guard replied, “No! No! This is not your house. Our master Brahma has just entered. And, He told me that you are actually a fake Brahma. So, get out of here!” Now, Brahmaji was questioning, “What has just happened? In my own palace, my own security guard is saying that I am fake?”


So, Brahmaji returned back to the place where he stole Krishna’s calves and cowherd boys. When he arrived, Brahmaji saw that all of the calves and cowherd boys were still unconscious inside the cave. And simultaneously, with his other two heads, Brahmaji, noticed Krishna was still herding the calves with all of His friends. 


Now Brahmaji was so confused. With his four heads, he was looking at both scenes at once and he confirmed that Krishna’s  calves and friends were still inside the cave. Yet, at the same time, he could see that Krishna was herding the calves with His friends.


This caused Brahmaji to become very confused. Then, he realised, “Oh, Krishna indeed is Bhagavan.” And afterwards, Brahma paid many stavas and stutis to Krishna. Now, when Brahmaji looked at everyone, he saw that all the calves and all the friends of Krishna were in a four-handed, chatur-bhuja form. Then, Brahmaji saw all the original calves and original friends there also. 


Krishna’s Love for Vrajavasis


Brahmaji again praised Krishna and offered Him his obeisances. He asked for forgiveness for the offences he had committed at Krishna’s lotus feet. Brahmaji recited around forty shlokas, stavas-stutis for Krishna— called Brahma-stuti. ‘Naumīḍya te 'bhra-vapuṣe taḍid-ambarāya...’ 


Again and again, Brahmaji, with his four heads, bowed down to the lotus feet of Krishna. However, Krishna was not fully pleased with him. Then, Brahmaji recited one verse and Krishna smiled. Which verse? 


aho bhāgyam aho bhāgyaṁ

nanda-gopa-vrajaukasām

yan-mitraṁ paramānandaṁ

pūrṇaṁ brahma sanātanam


Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.32)


[How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend.]


Brahmaji recited this verse, “O how fortunate are the residents of Vraja! They make friendship with Krishna as if He was their family member.” Try to understand that Krishna will be very pleased if you create a friendship with Him as if He were a family member. So, why did Krishna smile after hearing this verse? Because Brahmaji glorified the Vrajavasis. If you glorify Vrajavasis, Krishna will be pleased. 


Vrajavasis are absorbed twenty four hours with Krishna. You are a Vrajavasi, you are chanting the holy names and remembering Krishna. Being a Vrajavasi means this: 


yā dohane ’vahanane mathanopalepa

preṅkheṅkhanārbha-ruditokṣaṇa-mārjanādau

gāyanti cainam anurakta-dhiyo ’śru-kaṇṭhyo

dhanyā vraja-striya urukrama-citta-yānāḥ


Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.44.15)


[The ladies of Vraja are the most fortunate of women because, with their minds fully attached to Krishna and their throats always choked up with tears, they constantly sing about Him while milking the cows, winnowing grain, churning butter, gathering cow dung for fuel, riding on swings, taking care of their crying babies, sprinkling the ground with water, cleaning their houses, and so on. By their exalted Krishna consciousness they automatically acquire all desirable things.]


Whenever a Vrajavasi performs any kind of household duty, they are always absorbed with Krishna and chant His name. When they are milking the cows, what are they singing? Govinda, Damodara, Madhaveti. Hey Krishna! Hey Yadava! Hey Sakheti! Govinda, Damodara, Madhaveti. That is called being a Vrajavasi. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada explained that those who are following the footsteps of Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Sanatana Gosvami, in the same mood of Rupa Sanatana, are called Vrajavasis.

 

So now, when Brahmaji recited this particular verse, glorifying the Vrajavasis, Krishna became very pleased. Finally, Brahmaji paid his obeisances and performed parikrama to Krishna and left. However, Brahmaji was now thinking, “I have committed an offence at the lotus feet of Krishna. How will I be free from all my offences, aparadha?” 


Navadvipa-dhama is the Topmost Dhama


For this reason Brahmaji came to Navadvipa-dhama and performed hard austerities there; he also performed a fire sacrifice— called Brahma’s tapasya-sthali. We frequently visit Yogapitha, the birthplace of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Actually, that place is also known as Brahma’s tapasya-sthali, as he performed his austerities and fire sacrifice there. 


For thousands and thousands of years, Brahmaji performed hard austerities in the birth place of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. There, Krishna appeared in front of Brahmaji and said, “O Brahma, you have come to this Navadvipa-dhama, now all of your sinful activities and all of your offences have automatically disappeared.” If one goes to Navadvipa-dhama, all kinds of offences will be destroyed. And if one performs bhajana and sadhana in Navadvipa-dhama, upon attaining spiritual perfection, they will go to Shvetadvipa-dhama and simultaneously to Vrindavana-dhama. This is why Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explained, “Go to Navadvipa-dhama, then all of your offences will be destroyed.”

 

After hearing His words,  Brahmaji requested Krishna, “Please give me some service, so perhaps I may be free from all kinds of offences.” Krishna then replied, “In Kali-yuga, I will manifest in the form of Gaurahari, then you can assist My preaching nama-sankirtana.” Brahmaji asked, “What is Your gaura-svarupa, form? Please show it to me.” Then, Krishna manifested His very nice and beautiful gauranga-svarupa in front of Brahmaji. Upon seeing His form, Brahmaji’s heart melted and tears began rolling down his face.

 

Brahmaji further requested, “Prabhu, please let me take birth in a low-caste family.” And because of this, Brahma took birth in a Muslim family in Navadvipa-dhama in the form of Haridasa Thakura— Yavana Haridasa. 


Simultaneously, Yogamaya arranged for Brahma and Prahlada Maharaja to combine into the form of Haridasa Thakura. And Haridasa Thakura was always staying with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explained that any kind of offences, aparadha, are destroyed when you go Navadvipa-dhama. Try to understand that Navadvipa-dhama is the topmost dhama. For this reason, in Brahma-samhita, Brahmaji quoted one verse, “Kṣiti-virala-cārāḥ katipaye.” (That realm is known only to a very few self-realised souls in this world)


Very few people know the glories of Shvetadvipa-dhama, Gaura-dhama. If you visit Navadvipa-dhama, radha-prema will automatically manifest in your heart. Do you want radha-prema or not?

 

Indra also committed an offence at the lotus feet of Krishna. So, to remove these offences, Indra came to Navadvipa and performed hard austerities there. And Shivaji committed an offence at the lotus feet of Krishna. He then came to Navadvipa-dhama to remove his aparadha. Navadvipa-dhama is the topmost dhama. So everyone come to Navadvipa-dhama. Navadvipa-dhama ki jaya!


If it is not possible for you to physically go to Navadvipa, then you have to go to Navadvipa-dhama with your mind. Sometimes you are burdened by responsibilities, or perhaps there is some problem keeping you from travelling— if so, just come to Navadvipa-dhama in your mind. And how will you go Navadvipa-dhama with your mind? By becoming absorbed in remembrances of Navadvipa-dhama hari-katha, shravana. Where are you now? You are in Navadvipa-dhama. When you listen to navadvipa-katha, gaura-dhama-katha, it means you are actually in that same Navadvipa-dhama, Gaura-dhama.


Bolo Vrindavana Bihari lala ki jaya!

[Sri Navadvipa-dhama ki jaya!]

Date: 16 January 2022 Location: Brazil


 

Transcriber: Chandrika dasi (UK) Editor: Sanatana dasa (USA) Proofreading: Chandrika dasi (UK) Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Image: Navina-krishna dasa (Holland)



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