HH RADHANATH SWAMI
Just at the base of Nandeshwar here, the mountain on which rests the eternal home of Sri Krsna, Balarama, Nanda, Yashoda, we are seated at Pavan Sarovar.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally came, bathed and worshiped this Holy place.
Why is it so Holy? It is explained by Vrindavana Das Thakur if the personified Vedas had millions of mouths and each mouth had millions of tongues, still they could not fully describe the pastimes that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performed in even one day.
And that same description can be applied to these very Holy places of Sri Braj dham.
Pavan Sarovar was the personal bathing place of Sri Nanda Maharaja and the gopas while they resided at Nandagaon. Nanda Maharaja, along with Krsna, Balarama would regularly take their baths here. Yashoda Mayi would sometimes come and bathe Lord Sri Krsna in these ambrosia waters of Pavan Sarovar.
When Krsna was herding cows each day, as He was returning to Nandagaon, He would first stop at Pavan Sarovar and Krsna would personally invite each and every cow to come and drink the waters as well as to take bath in the waters of Pavan Sarovar.
Srimati Radharani at Pavan Sarovar
Sometimes Srimati Radharani and Her friends would be bathing in one particular corner of Pavan Sarovar. And Krsna, on another side of the sacred place would swim underwater and take the dust of the feet of Srimati Radharani and the gopis secretly.
Pavan Sarovar is such a place of countless pastimes. We have already heard that Srimati Radharani, under the direction of Yashoda Mayi, would come here each day to cook the breakfast for Lord Krsna, Balarama and the gopas.
Durvasa Muni came to Braj. Now, other gopis were very fearful of him because he has quite a reputation. If there is even a slight flaw in one’s etiquette, as we hear about Amrish Maharaja that Madhuban or the Pandavas at Kamyavan.
So Sri Radharani, She served him so very nicely and pleased his heart with Her simple, innocent and pure devotion, that He gave Her benediction that whatever She cooks will taste like nectar, and whoever tastes what She cooks will never fall ill and will be empowered with great health.
When Yashoda Mayi and the Braj-basis heard that Sri Radharani received such a benediction, it was their desire that She cook for Krsna each and every day. So She would come here, sometimes from Barsana, sometimes from Gravat and an incredible, wonderful kitchen was set up here and Srimati Radharani was directing and with Her own loving hands personally preparing preparations for Krsna.
When Sanatana Goswami was living in Vrindavana, one of his principle Bhajana Kutirs was on the banks of Pavan Sarovar. Today, many of us have already visited; just on the side is that Holy place of Sanatana Goswami’s eternal lila.
Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja and Srila Prabhupada
One of Srila Prabhupada’s very dear Godbrothers has his samadi mandir on the banks of Pavan Sarovar. We do not have much time because it is getting dark. His Holiness Srila Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja, very, very dear friend of our beloved Guru Maharaja, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
In 1959, when Srila Prabhupada took the vows of Sanyaas, he personally invited Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja to sing kirtan during the yajna and the ceremony. And, of course, for Srila Prabhupada, the real essence of all ceremonies in Krsna Consciousness is the performance of sankirtan.
During the installation ceremony of Krsna-Balarama temple in Vrindavana, they had several days of yajna taking place by very highly respected Brahmins of Vrindavana. They were chanting the mantras, performing the offering of oblations of ghee to the sacred fire and performing so many rituals and simultaneously, in another part of the temple Srila Prabhupada has his disciples performing Hari Naam sankirtan.
And Srila Prabhupada even writes in his books and he’s spoken on several occasions as well that the real installation of Krsna-Balarama was not the Brahmins performing the pujas and mudras and yajnas and yantras and tantras and mantras. But it was the sincere devotees, with mridangas, karatals and sincere hearts, very loudly calling out Krsna’s Holy names.
So as the prescribed rituals were going on in the ceremony of Prabhupada’s Sanyaas, he was encouraging Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja to chant Hare Krsna Maha Mantra and other beautiful songs in glorification of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Radha, Krsna. And the priest would sometimes tell him, “Quieter, quieter!”, because he was chanting mantras. But then when he would turn his attention to the fire, Prabhupada would turn to Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja, and with his hand say, “Louder, louder!”
And of course, that was 1959. Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja would often visit with Srila Prabhupada at Sri Radha Damodara temple. Sometimes they would meet together at Imlital. Sometimes at the ashram of one of Prabhupada’s Godbrothers, Bon Maharaja, where Babaji Maharaja was residing at the time. They had very frequent relationship because they had a very deep bond of their hearts and their love for Guru and Gauranga.
And in 1965, Prabhupada left Vrindavana to begin the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. Years later, Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja would speak with tears of affection in his eyes about that Sanyaas ceremony. And he was expressing how he had faith that Prabhupada would spread the Holy name all over the world because he understood that Prabhupada had complete, absolute faith in the power of the Holy names.
How Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja Spent His Days
For some time, several months, I lived in the same ashram as Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja. Absolutely a wonderful experience. No one ever saw him not chanting. He was always chanting. Every now and then, he would speak about Krsna. But practically, at all times, the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra was just dancing from his tongue.
During the morning, he’d sit and sing in front of the deities for about five hours every single day, with a mridanga, just chanting Maha Mantra and other beautiful Vaishnava bhajans and prayers. During the day, sometimes he’d go to some Holy place. He’d always be chanting japa. And whichever place he’d go, he’d have a mridanga, and he was chanting Hare Krsna. And practically the only words he would speak to anyone was in a jubilant voice – Hare Krsna Hare Krsna. And at night, at any time of the night, if you walk by his little Kutir, you would hear his voice loudly chanting japa.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
The acharya of that Gaudiya Matt told me. He said he has never found an instance in years where Babaji Maharaja was even sleeping. Any time, day and night, he went by his Kutir, he was chanting the Holy names with jubilance and love.
And I remember and I’ve told the story many times but I will tell it again for Babaji Maharaja’s pleasure, who is residing in samadi just a few feet away from us.
Srila Prabhupada Meets Krishnadas Babji Maharaja
In November or December of ’71, when we went together to visit Prabhupada at Sarat Bhavan near Madan Mohan temple. And the two of us were walking up the steps. He was so eager to see Swami Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada. And there was a guard guarding the steps and he would not allow Babaji Maharaja to come. In fact, Babaji Maharaja was so eager to see Prabhupada. He said, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna – I will see him.”
He said, “No, you are not allowed.”
He was about to stop him physically. We requested, “Please, please, inquire from Prabhupada whether he wants to see Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja. He’s one of the most highly respected saints of Vrindavana, and without doubt, he’s the most loved kirtan leader of all Gaudiya Matts.”
He was beyond all concepts there may be between – because he never spoke anything but the Holy name. So someone asked Prabhupada – yes, he wants to see him immediately. And we walked in together.
Srila Prabhupada was sitting on the floor having darshan with maybe about ten or twelve people. And as soon as Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja walked in the room, Prabhupada stood up and with great eagerness, he ran to the door, and Babaji Maharaja ran to him and they met in the center of the room and they embraced in crying, in ecstatic union. They were crying with happiness. And Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja was just calling out, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna”, and Prabhupada was saying, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna”. They were so happy to see each other.
And Prabhupada brought him and put him in Prabhupada’s little seat on the floor. They both shared it. And they were speaking in Bengali. With so much love, they were laughing. There were tears in their eyes. They were just engrossed in sharing Hari katha, Hari kirtan and their hearts.
And I was thinking, ‘This is spiritual love. This is the natural, spontaneous affection that takes place when Krsna is in the center of a relationship.’
The union of two great parama hamsa saints who have complete faith in the Holy name and pure, unalloyed love for Sri Sri Radha Govinda.
It was a beautiful experience. They became so oblivious to everyone else in the room. When all the other guests left and for almost an hour, they just laughed and shared their hearts with one another. It was a joyful experience.
Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja, a very divine follower of the six Goswamis. His last wish in his very old age was to come to the banks of Pavan Sarovar and at the Bhajana Kutir of the great Srila Sanatana Goswami, he chanted the Holy names, he chanted the Holy names, he chanted the Holy names, until Sri Radha Gopinath brought his soul back to Goloka.
These are just a few of the (0:17:59.3) beautiful pastimes that are taking place here at Pavan Sarovar. Actually this is one of the special places that I personally like to come all alone. But today, that opulence is not mine. But coming with 1550 of you or whatever is another type of opulence.
Please, in this very, very beautiful divine Holy place, let us pray for the humility and the dedication to the mission of Sri Guru and Gauranga. Let us pray for the taste, the real taste and enthusiasm to call out Krsna’s Holy name with love. If we can just chant the name of the Lord once with innocent and simple love, every anarta of the heart will be destroyed and the spiritual world will unfold before us.
Lord Shiva Comes to Nandeshwar to Take the Darshan of Lord Krsna
Let us offer this prayer as we take the acamana of the waters of Pavan Sarovar and then we will proceed in Hari naam sankirtan procession to Nanda bhavan to have the darshan of Sri Krsna-Balarama, Yashoda Mayi, Nanda Maharaja, Sri Radharani, Sridhama, Madhumangala and Nandeshwar Mahadev.
This special deity of Nandeshwar Mahadev. We have heard the story of how Lord Shiva came to have the darshan of Krsna in Nandagaon. But when He came to the door, Yashoda Mayi saw this yogi with ashes on His body and necklaces of snakes, she became very much alarmed.
“What do you want?”
He said, “I want to see your son.”
She said, “No, no, that is impossible. If He sees you with snakes and ashes and trident, He will become afraid.”
So He begged, He pleaded. It was worth Shiva, Mahadev, the destroyer of universes, begging Yashoda Mayi, with all humility, desperately, taking such a subordinate position to Nandagopi.
And ultimately, Yashoda Mayi told Him, “Go away.”
So He went into the forest and He was deeply, deeply meditating on Krsna, praying for the darshan of Gopal. And Krsna understood His devotee’s heart. So He started crying and crying and crying. And nothing Yashoda Mayi or any of the gopis could do to stop Him from crying.
So the gopis were discussing among themselves what happened. Something must have happened. And Yashoda Mayi understood that, ‘Perhaps I made some offence to that yogi.’ So she sent her gopis, “Go and find Him and bring Him here.”
Lord Shiva appeared at the door and Yashoda Mayi brought Him into the house and there, He had the darshan of Krsna. And Krsna, who was crying up to this point, when He saw Lord Shiva and remembered Shiva chanting His Holy names with His transcendental drum, Krsna smiled.
So Yashoda Mayi, who only wants the pleasure of Krsna, she asked Lord Shiva that, “Will you stay here? You make my son so happy.”
He said, “I will stay under one condition that I will get to see the child’s beautiful pastimes and whenever you bathe Him, you’ll give me caranamrita and whenever you feed Him, you will give me some of His remnants.”
So from that time, Vajranabha is called a Shiva lingam, Nandeshwar Mahadev. And even today, they actually perform the puja and bhoga offerings to Krsna-Balarama in the temple, they bring the caranamrita and the Maha-Prasad and offer it to Nandeshwar Mahadev. Even 5000 years later, the promise of Yashoda Mayi is still being honored by the Goswamis of the temple.
And you’ll also see beautiful, beautiful paintings of Krsna’s divine lilas and let us have a very ecstatic kirtan at Nandagaon. It’s a very, very beautiful place for chanting and dancing in great joy. After all, it is Krsna-Balarama’s eternal home.
And Mahaprabhu taught us the nicest way to please Krsna and Balarama is when devotees come together with love and devotion to perform sankirtan, the loud chanting of the Holy names.
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
Thank you very much.