HH RADHANATH SWAMI
…and Sri Malati Devi. When Malati Devi (0:00:11.0) Srila Prabhupada, I believe She was (0:00:16.4) Hari Hari from the love of Her heart, and gives us His personal darshan.
(0:00:30.1) Prabhu ki Jay!
In relation to proper understanding, Krsna sent Uddhava to Vrindavana to deliver a message to the vraja-basis, and particularly to the gopis. Being Krsna’s dearest friend of the Yadus, His most intimate, loving devotee, Krsna also wanted to give the highest mercy to Uddhava. He sends Him to Vrindavana so that He could understand the sweetness, the purity and the depth of the gopi’s love in separation from Him.
Uddhava Goes to Vrindavana
Uddhava was with Krsna most frequently. He would speak confidential topics with Him. Sometimes lay with Him, sit with Him, joke with Him. In the eleventh canto of Bhagavatam, the importance of Uddhava is so illustriously revealed where Krsna spoke Uddhava-Gita. Almost an entire canto of instructions on all levels of bhakti was shared with Uddhava.
He sent Him to Vrindavana because He wanted Him to inspire for something He didn’t have. The intimate love of the residents of Vrindavana.
So Uddhava came here thinking that He was going to give something to Them. But then He realized what They were giving to Him – an understanding of true, spontaneous love.
Uddhava wanted to reciprocate by putting the dust of the feet of the gopis and their maid-servants on His head, but that would be improper – They were simple village girls, milking cows and churning yoghurt, and Uddhava was a very, very esteemed prince of the Yadu dynasty. He was royalty.
So Uddhava prayed from His heart to be a creeper of grass on the ground of Vrindavana so that the gopis and their servants may step on top of His head and He would get the dust of their lotus feet. He considered that the greatest treasure.
And Krsna fulfilled His prayer. Just to cross the Uddhava kunda is kusum-sloher because (0:04:17.0) from here. And just in the corner, very close to Uddhava kunda is where Uddhava was blessed with the fulfillment of His prayer. He became kulumalata – a small piece of grass, where He’s eternally a resident of Vrindavana, just waiting and waiting and waiting for the dust of the feet of the vraja-basis to come upon His head.
Just before Krsna went to (0:05:00.3) to perform His (0:05:03.4) lila of leaving this world, He spoke with Uddhava. His glorious instructions of Uddhava Gita. And Krsna sent Uddhava to Badrik ashram.
How Uddhava is travelling to Badrik ashram, Krsna, Balarama and the whole Yadu dynasty left to go back to Goloka. But many of the Kurus remained. Those Kurus of Dwaraka were submerged in ecstasies of separation.
At that time, Vajranabha was the king of Vraja. Vajranabha, great-grandson of Krsna, which means, related to the Kurus – He brought them here, to Uddhava kunda. And there, Vajranabha performed Hari naam sankirtan, chanting the Holy Names of Krsna.
The Kirtan at Uddhava Kunda
And amongst the Kurus, they were chanting with so much devotion and separation, that one by one, various associates of Krsna, who had already departed from this world began to appear. Therein, members of the Yadu dynasty began to appear again.
And the kirtan was becoming more and more and more transcendentally intense with separation from Krsna. And at the same time, joyful, because the devotees, Krsna’s associates, the Vaishnavas were coming, one after another after another.
And unable to resist this wonderful opportunity, all of a sudden, out from a clump of grass, appeared Uddhava. And He started dancing and singing ecstatically.
Darshan at Uddhava Kunda
Soon, there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of devotees chanting. And before everyone’s eyes, Radha, Krsna, Gopis appeared, and gave Their darshan. And They disappeared after fulfilling the devotees’ intimate desires.
Uddhava, in order to pacify Krsna’s Kurus, here at Uddhava kunda, He spent many days speaking Bhagavad of Krsna’ lilas. And, therefore, this is a very, very sacred place. Where this great servant of Lord Krsna, Uddhava, revealed the glories of Vrindavana.
Many of us are coming from western world, some from Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, so many places. Uddhava came from Dwaraka. But what was His rule coming to Vrindavana? He did not want to come and be a guru here. Or be a proprietor of land here. Or be a department head or president here.
Uddhava is millions and millions times more intimate than Krsna than we can imagine. He wanted to be a piece of grass here. That He can see that as an achievement that He did not deserve. That was His prayer. That was how much Uddhava valued, honored and appreciated what Vrindavana represents. The highest realm of spiritual (0:10:02.5).
Please understand that Dwaraka is millions of times higher and more intimate than Vaikunda. And He’s the most intimate servant of Dwaraka. We’re not talking about Bombay or Delhi or London. He was the most intimate, personal servant of Dwaraka – Dwaraka lila! That would be an eternal resident of Goloka! Krsnaloka, I’m sorry, Krsnaloka.
When He came to Vrindavana, He just wanted to be a piece of grass to be stepped on. He wanted no precision. He wanted no prestige. He wanted no honor. He wanted no control. Because as far as He was concerned, Vrindavana is such a place. ‘If I can just be a piece of grass, that will be the ultimate mercy of the Lord.’
How to Approach Vrindavana
Uddhava’s teaching is how to approach Vrindavana.
trinad api sunicena
taror iva sahishnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
We speak this verse often, but Uddhava – not only did He aspire to be a blade of grass, He became a blade of grass.
He just wanted to have the most insignificant precision underneath the feet of every other devotee. That was His aspiration.
And that is how we should approach Vrindavana. In that humble, mere spirit of the servant of the servant of the servant. And if Krsna and the Vaishnavas and guru want that blade of grass to serve as a leader or in a very high position, then it’s our duty to take it. In obedience, in the spirit of a blade of grass.
So we ask, while we are here doing the Govardhana parikrama and travelling through vraja, let us remember Uddhava kunda and let us remember the aspiration that Uddhava longed and (0:12:49.9) for in Vrindavana. Let us adopt that mood.
Because when through our humility, our dedication, our faithful and loyal service to guru and the Vaishnavas, Krsna’s pleased with us. Radharani shows Her favor to us. Then They can lift us up and put us in whatever They want us to do in Their lila.
But from our side, let Them do whatever They want with us. But let us long just to be a piece of grass where Radharani, Gopis, the Vaishnavas and everyone can just put Their feet on our head. Because in the path of bhakti, the more humble position of service we long for, the more Krsna will exalt us. So let us keep that message that Krsna taught the world through Uddhava in our hearts as we are performing Vraja parikrama and let us long for that type of humility as we chant the Holy Names.
We Are Not the Proprietor
Sometimes, people, they buy property in Vrindavana and think, ‘Now, I am proprietor of Vrindavana land.’
‘I have my house in Vrindavana.’ I’m not against people buying property in Vrindavana. But you have to have the proper mentality. You cannot own Vrindavana. Radharani is Vrindavaneshwari. This is a total illusion to think that this is my property. The Holy dham, mine. That’s maha maya. That’s maha maya, just duping you, and cheating you.
We should just want to be a blade of grass in Radharani’s land. And that’s something that may take millions and billions of births to achieve. But if we have hope even in billions of births to be that blade of grass, we’re going to sacrifice our lives for all those billions of births and never give up the service to guru. Because that’s a small price – to have one little tiny place where we can serve the dham.
Which, by Prabhupada’s mercy, He taught us that if we just follow our vows carefully and humbly try to follow His instructions, in this very life, He will take us back home, back to godhead. That is His causeless, inconceivable mercy.
So no, we don’t want to be proprietors. Sometimes even when coming to Vrindavana, maha maya deceives us. This is Radharani’s abode. We can’t enter through the covering of maya until we really have this humility, beginning – beginning! – with Uddhava’s humility to just want to take the lowliest position of service, here in Vrindavana dham.
Shyamananda Goswami’s Service
Shyamananda Goswami – great scholar! Great Vaishnava! He was just, from His heart and soul, so grateful to have the service of just sweeping pathways that everyone would walk on.
Yesterday during parikrama, there was one old lady. Very old lady, very simple. Tattered up clothes. And after we passed Her, just before Surabhi kunda, She had one of those little brooms – She was on Her knees, sweeping. And it was unbelievable. It was unbelievable what She did. It melted anyone’s heart who saw this. She so perfectly and meticulously swept one part of the road, so that whoever passed it – not a speck of dust would rise. She just swept it thoroughly for the pleasure of the devotees. She wasn’t getting paid anything for it. She didn’t ask anything from anyone. She just wanted to do the most meaningless service of sweeping. And she swept it so meticulously and so immaculately clean – it was from her heart! It wasn’t ritualistic. And She did it in such a way that nobody even knew. She just got out of the way and hid when She saw people coming.
But Radharani and Nandanandana – They were watching Her. For Shyamananda was just sweeping – just sweeping the pathways for the common people. And sweeping the pathways, meditating on the (0:19:24.2). And He found Radharani’s ankle bell. It was so effulgent, so beautiful; He understood it must be Hers.
And Radharani told Lalitha sakhi, “Please, find my ankle bell. I lost it.” Then Lalitha sakhi approached – His name was then Duhki Krsna – and said, “Did you see an ankle bell?” He said, “Yes, I found it, and I have it. Whoever it belongs to, I would like to give it to her.”
So Lalitha sakhi brought Shyamananda into the (0:20:13.3) lila of Radharani. Brought Him right into the spiritual essence of Vrindavana. And Radharani accepted the ankle bell, which was all filled with pure love and devotion. And then Srimati Radharani pressed that ankle bell on His forehead and made a special, unique tilak, which descendents of Shyamananda Goswami still wear that shape tilak on their head.
And also Srimati Radharani gave Him name: Duhki Krsna was miserable Krsna. His name was Duhki by His father and mother. The reason is because the mother – so many children died – one after another, every child they had died, and finally, one child they didn’t want to die, so they named Duhki, thinking that Yamaraja would feel sorry for Him if His name was Duhki. And when He got initiated by Lord Chaitanya, He added Krsna – Duhki Krsna Das.
But Srimati Radharani personally gave Him the name in the (0:21:38.3) lila of Shyamananda. Krsna gives bliss to Sri Radharani – Shyama.
And then He came out of that wonderful – and it’s a nice story that follows. Please understand Shyamananda Goswami, when He came to Vrindavana, as great and powerful as He was as a scholar of Vaishnava, He was happy in the most menial service of just sweeping the earthen pathways.
So let this be our consciousness, because this is the consciousness that will attract Radharani’s mercy.
Thank you very much.
Now we will continue our parikrama and next place is a very wonderful surprise. So as we are going, let us keep chanting the Holy Names, begging for the most menial, simple place as a servant of the servant of the servant of the Holy dham. That is the spirit of Uddhava kunda. And in this spirit, let us loudly chant:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Is everyone surviving? Is the sun too oppressing to you? While we’re gathered here, people please, whoever is on the lower steps, everyone just take the acamana and sprinkle water on their heads and also for those who may not be able to come down, if you can perform nice service by offering the water to those in the top.