śvo bhāvini tvam ajitodvahane vidarbhān
guptaḥ sametya pṛtanā-patibhiḥ parītaḥ
nirmathya caidya-magadhendra-balaṁ prasahya
māṁ rākṣasena vidhinodvaha vīrya-śulkām
śvaḥ bhāvini — tomorrow; tvam — You; ajita — O unconquerable one; udvahane — at the time of the marriage ceremony; vidarbhān — to Vidarbha; guptaḥ — unseen; sametya — coming; pṛtanā — of Your army; patibhiḥ — by the leaders; parītaḥ — surrounded; nirmathya — crushing; caidya — of Caidya, Śiśupāla; magadha-indra — and the King of Magadha, Jarāsandha; balam — the military strength; prasahya — by force; mām — me; rākṣasena vidhinā — in the Rākṣasa style; udvaha — take in marriage; vīrya — Your prowess; śulkām — the payment for whom.
O unconquerable one, tomorrow when my marriage ceremony is about to begin, You should arrive unseen in Vidarbha and surround Yourself with the leaders of Your army. Then crush the forces of Caidya and Magadhendra and marry me in the Rākṣasa style, winning me with Your valor.
As Śrīla Prabhupāda points out in Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Rukmiṇī, being born of royal blood, certainly had a brilliant grasp of political affairs. She advised Śrī Kṛṣṇa to enter the city alone and unnoticed and then surround Himself with His military commanders so He could do what was needed. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī compares the coming fight to the Lord’s churning of the ocean to extract the goddess Lakṣmī. Gorgeous Rukmiṇī, the goddess of fortune, would be gained in the coming turbulence.
om agyana timirandasya jnananjana-salakaya
chaksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
vanca kalpataru bhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavenebhyo vaishnavebhyo namo namah
sri krishna –caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda
HARE KRSNA HARE KRSNA
KRSNA KRNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
Supreme Position of Srimati Radharani and Rukminidevi
O unconquerable one, tomorrow when my marriage ceremony is about to begin, You should arrive unseen in Vidarbha and surround Yourself with the leaders of Your army. Then crush the forces of Caidya and Magadhendra and marry me in the Rākṣasa style, winning me with Your valor.
We are reading the beautiful prayers of Rukmini in Her desperate plea to Lord Sri Krishna to save Her from the unthinkable and unimaginable tragedy of Her being exploited by the wicked demon Shishupal. We find in this story being narrated by Srila Shukadev Goswami, that Rukmini being so young, so beautiful, she is none other than the Goddess of Fortune. In Padma Purana it explains, that what Radharani is to Krsna in Vrindavan, Srimati Rukmini Devi is to Krishna in Dwarka. Just as there were so many thousands of thousands of gopis in Vrajabhumi for of those gopis it is explained that one hundred and eight were prominent and of those one hundred and eight the eight sakhis are most prominent. But Srimati Radharani is the supreme most beloved and dear to Lord Sri Krishna. In fact although Shyamsundar was enjoying beautiful loving relationships with all of the gopis during the rasalila when Srimati Radhikarani left that rasamandala, Krsna could not experience any pleasure with none of the others. So He left with all other Vraja gopis to pacify the desires of Srimati Radharani. And of course this story is explained in Srimad Bhagwatam because Shukadev Goswami wanted to make it very clear the supreme most position of Vrindavaneshwari Sri Radhikarani. As the pleasure potency of the Lord in whom Krishna is always captured by Her love and Her supremely devotional qualities. My Guru Maharaja gave me the name by His causeless mercy Radhanath Das. In Vrindavan it is said that Krishna is always subordinate to the love of Sri Radharani so then how is Krishna Radhanath, the Lord of Radha? It has been explained in various ways from Krishna’s point of view, He is always conquered by the love of Srimati Radharani. But from Srimati Radharani’s point of view Krishna is always Radhanath, the Lord of Her life and one of Srila Prabhupada’s dear friend was asked this question and he said that Radhanath means the Lord of Radha, Sri Krishna, but that also was a name of Radharani, Radhanath, which means Radha who is the Lord of Krishna. So in this way so many wonderful moods in which we can understand the beautiful wonderful pastimes of Vrindavandham. But in any case, it has been explained by Padma Purana that just as Srimati Radharani has such complete prominence in Vrindavan lila, in the same way Rukmini who is an expansion of Srimati Radharani to enjoy the aishwarya rasa or the beautiful pastimes of awe and reverence in Dwarka, Srimati Radharani appears as Rukmini and she has the same prominence of all of the Queens of Dwarkadham. So, here we are been given the most wonderful story of the first meeting of Krishna and Rukmini.
Love for Krsna is awaken by hearing from a genuine Vaishnava
Rukmini was the daughter of a king of the name Bhishmaka and king Bhishmaka was a very great devotee. And in the kingdom of such great devotees, great saints and sages where Vaishnavas would always be coming to visit. You see, it is natural that devotees are attracted to those places where they are sincerely desired. Just like Srila Prabhupada one time his devotees were in a particular place and they were very much not welcome and nobody was appreciating anything they were trying to do although they were sacrificing so much of their lives to try to give these people Krishna Consciousness. So Prabhupada said, then you leave that place. He said that you go to people who are willing to appreciate the message you are trying to give them. So if we really want great Vaishnavas to come to our homes or to come to our place of residence then simply we have to genuinely and sincerely appreciate what they want to give. And then for sure such devotees will find the greatest pleasure and happiness and the greatest meaning in coming to that place. So such great devotees were always coming to the kingdom of Bhishmaka because he was giving them all facilities to render their service to the Lord and while there they were explaining the glories of Lord Sri Krishna because they understood what a great personality Krishna was. So Rukmini, she was hearing again and again the glories of Lord Sri Krishna . And because she is none other than Laxmi Devi, the Supreme Goddess of fortune when she hears the beautiful pastimes of Lord Krishna, hear His names and qualities it would naturally awaken the love within Her heart . In a similar way we are all eternally Krishna’s loving servant. It is our constitutional position to know Krishna, to love Krishna, to surrender our lives for the pleasure of Krishna. And although we have forgotten our real life when we hear the glories of the Lord, when we hear the names of the Lord being spoken by great personalities who are sincerely surrendering to the mission of the Lord, the sound vibration awakens our original natural consciousness. Rupa Goswami describes :
ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-
sańgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyā
tato ‘nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt
tato niṣṭhā rucis tataḥ
athāsaktis tato bhāvas
sādhakānām ayaḿ premṇaḥ
prādurbhāve bhavet kramaḥ
that the process of Krishna consciousness begins when we sincerely associate with the devotees of the Lord when we hear them speak. An ordinary person who speaks Krishna katha he does not have any potency in his words to awaken your dormant love for Krishna. Nor can impersonal philosophers. Only a genuine Vaishnava who was humbly endeavouring to be the servant of the servant of the Lord and repeat His message in a mood of devotion only such a person does Krishna agree to appear within the sound vibration of his words. When such a person speaks it awakens faith within our heart. And when we associate with such person that faith is nourished and gradually it awakens within our heart our natural inclination to want to be Krishna Conscious, to want to serve the Lord, to want to please the Lord. But it doesn’t end there, then we have to be willing to do bhajan kriya, we have to be willing to perform tapasya, we have to be willing to surrender to their instructions in order to actually purify ourselves to make this desire that is awaken in our heart a realization. It is not something so cheap. We have to be willing to fight against Maya at that point. When we hear from the great sages we understand what is Krishna consciousness, we understand that I am ensnared and entrapped in material energy and there are so many agents of Maya like an army all around me, they are surrounding me, and they are trying to keep me bound to the senses of their objects, they are trying to keep me away from Krishna because basically those who are around us although they may be so called well wishers they are envious of Krishna. Anyone who desires their own personal sense enjoyment in life is envious of Krishna because everything is meant for Krishna’s pleasure. So when we hear the words of great souls at that time we have to be willing to fight, we have to be willing to really pray to Krishna in taking risks and separate ourselves from those envious forces around us trying to keep, trying to deliver our consciousness and our life to Maya. That was the position of Rukmini .
Rukmi’s enviousness towards Krishna
Her father heard Her plea that I want to marry Krishna and He wanted so much that She marry Krishna .But Her brother Rukmi was an envious rascal, he hated Krishna. Why did he hate Krishna? Because he was envious, because Krishna had everything He wanted. And he knew it that he would never get it from Krishna. So he wanted to somehow or rather defy Krishna. And how did he want to defy Krishna? Rukmini, Her heart was exclusively given to Krishna that Rukmi demanded that we give our sister to Shishupal in marriage, who happen to be the number one most envious enemy of Krishna. And Her father because of the custom of the day he couldn’t really deny the terribly aggressive demands of the eldest son. So king Bhishmaka basically kind of remain neutral and His son take over and everything was arranged that Shishupal was to marry Rukmini. And then when marriage is about to take place on the next day and who did Shishupal invite as the special guest to attend this marriage? Jarasandha, who happen to hate Krishna so much. He was the father-in-law of Kamsa. Everyone knows how much Kamsa hated Krishna. Kamsa hated Krishna so bad. In his previous life he was Kaalnemi and he fought against Lord Narayana. During the battle of the ocean of milk and Lord Vishnu killed this Kaalnemi who came and attacked him riding on a lion. And because he died with such terrible envy toward the Lord when he was born again he became Kamsa. And Kamsa was told that in your last life you were killed by Vishnu. So he was thinking that in this life I will avenge Him and I will kill Him. Kamsa was so powerful that when he was young he used to love to wrestle, and he would just defeat and kill practically anybody he would wrestle and when he got little older he decided in order to kill Vishnu and in order to conquer the world I have to get all the asuras to be my servants. So he travelled all over the world. Wherever there were any asuras and he would challenge them to battle. And if you defeat me then I will be your servant but if I defeat you, you have to surrender to me and be my servant till the day you die .You have to live and die for me. So he didn’t killed but he defeated expertly everybody. He went to where Trinavarta was living, where Dhenukasura was living, or Aghasura was living, or Pralambhasura was living, Bhomasura, Bhaamasura etc. All the demons we read in Krishna’s lila Vatsasura , Vyomasura, Keshiasura. He went to each of them individually and challenged them to battle and he fought with him and he easily defeated all of them.
Until they were at the verge of death and he told them that I will spare you alive but you have to be my servant forever and they would say, yes we are surrendered to you. And then ultimately when Devaki and Vasudeva were being married, Kamsa who attained such power, he conquered every other asura on the planet and he will be armed, even defeated Indra in battle, he was so powerful. When he was driving the chariot and that divine voice spoke that the eighth son of Devaki will kill you, he was about to kill his sister. But Vasudeva through good argument saved Devaki with the agreement that all the sons will be delivered to Kamsa. And Kamsa began to kill each and every one of the sons of Devaki . And when the eighth son, Krishna, was within the womb, he saw that Devaki became so effulgent, so brilliant, she was actually emanating all the qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He understood my enemy Vishnu is in her womb. And when he tried to kill Krishna, of course he could not be successful. Vasudeva, while they were all in mystic slumber, brought Krishna and others to Gokula, brought came back with Yogamaya and Yogamaya told Kamsa that the eighth son Vishnu has been born somewhere else. So then Kamsa started bringing all of his servants, all the demons from all over the planet, he was sending for and sending them into Vrindavan . And Krishna was killing all of them one by one. Kamsa also defeated Chaanura and Mushtika in wrestling. Ultimately Krishna defeated them and then Krishna easily killed Kamsa. Jarasandha was also a servant of Kamsa. It was for this reason when Kamsa saw that the unbelievable enormous strength of Kamsa when Kamsa defeated Jarasandha in battle, Jarasandha gave his two daughters Asti and Prapti to Kamsa. So when Krishna killed Kamsa and left Jarasandha’s two daughters as widows, he became terribly envious of Krishna. He wanted bitter revenge again and again and again he would attack Mathura with many many divisions of soldiers up to twenty three akshauhini division of soldiers is more than the total amount of soldiers on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. In Jarasandha’s army, very powerful person. Anyways he was one of the chief guests that Shishupal invited at the wedding between Shishupal and Rukmini. And what all other demons remaining, they were all there. So Rukmini was thinking what a terrible circumstances I am in, but Krishna can save me. I am about to be completely surrendered over, handed over to demoniac materialistic envious forces. In the same way in this material world, when you associate with sadhus you hear their words, devotion to Krishna start to awaken in your heart, you want to make spiritual advancement and you realize that even the name of loved ones, friends and relatives they are like Rukmis. They want you to remain, they want to keep you as Shishupal and as envious materialistic colleagues. They want you to drink, they want you to dance to non-sense music, they want you to eat all nonsense food, they want you to watch television and go to the cinema and they want you to smoke cigarettes or they want you to get lots and lots and lots of money in very somebody who is very prestigious and beautiful and handsome and will give you all sorts of material enjoyments. In the name of love they are like Rukmi, envious of Krishna. You trying to be a chaste faithful devotee, trying to live according to the nature of the soul, they want to cast you into such an environment and the fact is that you are already in that environment, you are already surrounded by the armies of Shishupal, by maya, by the agents of maya. And your loved ones are like Rukmi, are trying to keep you their forever and when they see you have an inclination toward Krishna they want to break that by fixing you in such a situation where you become completely trapped with vows to remain faithful to material life. What is our hope? We must follow in the footsteps of Rukmini, we must pray to Krishna, please save me. Raghunath das Goswami, even though his parents were actually devotees, still they were very materialistic and Raghunath wanted to give his heart and life to Krishna whether you are man or woman we are all meant to be the chaste wives of Krishna, we are all meant to be faithful and chaste servants of Krishna. In this sense we are all prakriti Krishna’s purusha, we are all female, we are all meant for Krishna’s enjoyment. The material energy is trying to steal us away and make us unchaste and unfaithful. We cannot allow us this to happen.
Rukmini’s sincere prayers and complete surrender to Krishna
So Rukmini cried out for Krishna, save Me. And of course Krishna always hears the prayers of His devotees but not only did Rukmini cried out to Krishna to save Her but She was also willingly to give up everything else to be saved. If Krishna , if Rukmini send all this beautiful words Krishna please save Me, I am being surrounded by Maya, do you think what would happen if Krishna came without His armies, and said Rukmini get on the chariot and she said Ahhhh what will my father say? What will my mother say? All the arrangement for marriage has already been made, don’t you see? It’s the day of marriage, how can I just leave now ? It will be disgrace for my family. What will the rest of my cast say about us? No, not like that. She pray to Krishna, You come, when she was willing to go with Him. Similarly when you pray to Krishna, you better be ready to go when He comes. Sometimes we pray to Krishna- take away these material attachments, bring me to You and then Krishna starts taking away the material attachments and you say what are you doing Krishna? Why you doing like this, I didn’t meant like that what would people say? When you pray to Krishna you have to be ready He is going to come, He is going to fulfil your prayers, He is going to take you away from all these things.
Krishna says when I show these instalment of my mercy often times I take everything away to detach you from all this, all this bondage. Rukmini was willing to give up everything behind. Her life was backing Her prayers . She was willing. We were discussing Raghunath Das Goswami. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told him that Raghunath your parents and your environment all around you is trying to keep you in material life every time you tried to run away to go to Jagannath Puri they capture you and bring you back in the name of love. Raghunath Das Goswami everyday he would run away from home, trying to take shelter of Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And every day the family would send the guards and police to capture him and forcibly drag him back engage him in worldly activities. He was actually a prisoner of their material attachments. Because in material life, if someone is materially attach they want you to become just like them because it is their standard of happiness even though they are suffering.
They want you to inherit all their suffering and bondage in the name of love. That is material life. So Raghunath Das Goswami was told by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, you just pretend like you are attach to all these material things. And you pacify them but in your heart don’t be attached to anything just always pray to Krishna to deliver you. And at the right time Krishna will arrange so then you will be free from all of these entanglements and you will attain uninterrupted, unobstructive loving service to the Lord. So we see when the chance, when the opportunities came when Yadunandan Acharya told in the middle of the night, come and help me, Raghunath saw that this is Krishna. Krishna has arranged this. I have the opportunity to leave, what did he do? He left, he went to Krishna, he went to Mahaprabhu. But first he was tested, he was kidnapped, he was chastised everything. Krishna did not free you easily. You have to go to turmoil, pain, you have to go through great crisis in your life and you have to be firm in your resolution before Krishna will actually came and take you away from this material energy. Raghunath spend years in bondage always keeping his mind faithfully fixed in Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet. And then he was given the opportunity. In the same way Rukmini, She was just a young girl. What could She do to defend herself against such maharathi kshatriyas that were surrounding Her ? And nobody cared what she had to say. She was ordered, She had no choice, the entire atmosphere was against Her. By material standard She had no hope, but She prayed to Krishna. She heard the glories of Krishna, She had the faith in Krishna and She prayed to Krishna. And She was ready to do whatever Krishna wanted Her to do. And how wonderful of an example it is that Krishna, He came and took Rukmini away at the last possible second just when She was about to be ……..Shishupal was right there, She was just about to be connected with him. In a matter of seconds it would have been too late and right then as Shishupal…., it is explained that Rukmini was so beautiful that as She was coming out of the temple of Amba, the kshatriya princes they were literally falling of their chariots, they were so lusty because She was so beautiful. And Shishupal upon seeing Her he was utterly infatuated. And just when he is about to have the fulfilment of all his desires in life to be united with such a beautiful, wonderful woman, just when he is about to think that I am victorious, finally I have defeated Krishna because everyone knows She is attached to Krishna and everyone knows that Krishna is attached to Her, but I am about to get her. And every level, subtle and gross, he was absolutely thoroughly attached to this wonderful arrangement being made. And just at that point Krishna will appear. Hari Bol…….. and snatch Her away! And Rukmini when Krishna comes and says get on my chariot She does not look back, and He does not look back at what She has been given or what She had or what Her relationships are? She doesn’t care what the society thinks. Understand what She is asking Krishna in this prayer. She is coming from a superbly cultured royal family where everything is done in a very very proper, very distinguished manner. And She is telling Krishna that You kidnap Me by the rakshasas duet. It’s called the rakshasas marriage when you are kidnapped. She didn’t care. Of course if people in this world for their own sense gratification in this world today in kaliyuga everyone’s having rakshasa marriage, but it is abominable. We should not compare ourselves to Rukmini or we should not compare ourselves to Krishna. Rukmini had completely pure motives to surrender to the Absolute Truth, just as the gopis because they were surrendering to Krishna. Even though they left their husbands in the middle of the night, it was considered the supreme most pure form of spiritual morality. Even they broke all traditions of the material sense. Rukmini was willing to do the same thing, rakshasa marriage. She is saying come Krishna; let us have a rakshasa marriage. That’s the only way, but I am willing, anything for you. And try to understand, Rukmini did not want to enjoy Krishna. In the heart of Rukmini, there was not the slightest tinge of desire towards Her own selfish pleasure. She had no ego, She simply understood that my life, my soul, my everything is meant for Krishna’s enjoyment. It wasn’t that She was just infatuated by Krishna beauty for Her own self. She was a completely purified soul. She is in fact the pleasure potency of the Lord. But she understood that Krishna I meant for Your enjoyment and I will not be enjoyed by anybody. My words and life are only meant for Your service. I am surrendered to You. This was Her mood, Her mood of total selfless sacrifice.
Krishna purifies us before giving His mercy
Vishwanath Chakravarty Thakur compares the coming fight to the Lords churning of the ocean to extract the Goddess Laxmi. It was a similar example in which we are explaining how Raghunath had to be churned to all sorts of opposition, and so did Rukmini. In model example being quoted by the great Vishwanath Chakravarty Thakur is the churning of the ocean of milk. You know the story. That demigods and the demons, they wanted nectar. So they make alliance and they first have to pick up the Mandara Mountain which is a big gigantic mountain of gold, they have to be bring it to the ocean of milk which was far distance away. And as they were trying to lift it up, the demigods and the demons first they have to make choose with their own enemies for this nectar and as they were trying to lift it , it was so heavy that arms were breaking, their fingers were breaking, they will be crushed to death. They will be tortured by the weight of this mountain. But they are just kept trying and trying ultimately they said Vishnu help us. So Vishnu lifted the mountain and brought. Then when they are about to churn, they took the snake, the king of the serpents Vashuki and they went to start churning this mountain and the mountain start sinking deeper and deeper and deeper into the ocean and was about to disappear . They were trying to hold the rock, but they couldn’t. It was torturous, tragedy, crisis and they all cried to Vishnu and He appeared as Kurma Avatara and He sat under the mountain to support it and when they were doing the tops they were going like this, they couldn’t hold the top straight. So Vishnu, they cried out to Vishnu again and He appeared as Ajita and He was under the top mountain holding it and as they were churning the serpent Vashuki started weaker so tired and worn out by all this churning of his body that this fire started flying out of his mouth as if burning people into ashes. Again Vishnu appeared as like rains to cool Vashuki up. And then they were churning and churning and churning and nothing was happening. And they were again so tired they couldn’t churn anymore. Then Krishna incarnated as the mode of goodness to give strength to the demigods and the mode of passion and ignorance to give strength to the demons so that they can continue. They then churn and churn and what was the first thing that came out…. hala hala poison, deadly poison. One drop could destroy all humanity and they were just volumes of poison pouring out of this ocean which churned out. And they cried out to Vishnu again, He said you go to Shiva. And Lord Shiva out of supreme compassion for all living beings seeing that everyone was going to be destroyed from this poison , Lord Shiva who is such an magnanimous divine personality and expansion of the Supreme Absolute Truth, He took the poison, he condensed it all and He drank it. He was ready to drink all the poison of the year of the universe just to relieve us from the terrible consequences of this poison. He became known as Nilakantha, because His throat turns black due to the effects of this poison. And then they churn again, and so many wonderful things were coming out and one of the things that came out was Lakshmi Devi, the Goddess of Fortune. And She was so beautiful, all the demigods, all the demons they all wanted to marry Her. So they had swayamvara where she can choose Her own. And everyone was showing of whatever way they could to attract Her attention, but then She saw Lord Narayana and she brought the garland of victory and put it on Him. And the demigods were very happy and the demons were very angry. Who is this Narayana? So in the same way, we should know that when we are, that when we want to attract Krishna’s mercy, when we pray to Him, He teaches us the process of churning of our hearts and the churning will takes place. All sorts of poison will come up; all sorts of opposition will come up into our life. But we must follow in the footsteps of the Rukmini. We must be perfectly chaste, we must be perfectly faithful to Krishna, we must be willing to accept whatever He asks of us in the process of being His servant.
Any Questions ?
Question: Maharaja, Krishna is our true husband. Material husbands are made up of pus, stool, bones and muscles. So how important are household affairs? If you have a choice of worshiping the Lord directly, how important are household affairs. Yesterday you mentioned that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Vishwanath Chakravarty Thakur renounced very early in their lives when they should be protecting their wives. Same time their wives when they know that their real husband is Krishna, so how important are household affairs?
Answer : You are not so advanced as them, do not try to imitate these nitya siddhas bhaktas. You have to follow the regulative principles of Krishna Consciousness. That means that the safe path for most persons who are not able and willing to renounce everything, who still have too much ego and too much attachment, is to follow grihastha ashram. And to follow it under the guidance of saintly persons, then you will in a very honest, in a very secure manner you will make spiritual progress toward the goal of life. But if you jump like a monkey, trying to imitate these great renunciates and you don’t have that realization and you do not have that detachment, then you will simply commit offences and you will not make proper spiritual advancement. So therefore these great souls you must understand how unusually advanced they are. And we must simply look up to them and worship their lotus feet, but don’t try to imitate them. Follow in their footsteps, understand their exclusive devotion to Krishna and aspire for that. We also find Advaita Acharya, his appearance day is coming up Friday in our centre and we will be discussing his glories. He was a householder, his beloved wife was Sita Thakurani , he never left her. And Srivas Thakur, he was married to Malini and Chandrashekhar Acharya , he was married to Malati and Shivananda Sen he was also grihastha and Nityananda prabhu he was married to Yashoda and Jahanava. Sudama vipra, he was also married . Vashishta muni , he was also, Arundhati . So we understand they are the great souls in the grihastha ashram by perfectly practicing their ashram they attain the supreme perfection every bit as high as the others. Are you going to say that Raghunath was more advanced then Advaita Acharya or Nityananda prabhu. They were all in their own right in the most advanced stages of Krishna Consciousness. So therefore we must understand that there is a message, a divine message in the lives of all of these great acharyas that we have to learn from. But the essence of all of their lives is complete exclusive devotion to Krishna. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was in south India , the Kurma brahmana, he also became a pure unalloyed devotee and he wanted to leave his family and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, no, you stay with them and you worship Krishna together , keep Krishna in the centre. Whoever you meet you tell about Krishna. He said you use your family arrangement as an opportunity to preach Krishna Consciousness and always chant the Holy names and your life will be perfect, don’t leave them. That was His instruction to almost everybody. His instruction to Raghunath was very rare, His instruction to Rupa Sanatana was very rare, and they were exceptions. To the general population of people he was preaching to stay in the condition you were in and you become Krishna Conscious, you put Krishna in the centre. Whoever you meet you discuss Krishna and always chant His names. Yaare dekhe tare kahen Krishna upadesh…... So we need spiritual guidance. We don’t know what is best for us, if we think we do we are condemned from any spiritual advancement. That is the first principle of devotion. That I am a fool, I must have the guidance of senior devotees and they will guide me. And if they tell me that grihastha life is best for you, then you accept it. And you will be a first class Krishna Conscious grihastha. And you will attain perfection. And if they tell me if you can do it, you remain a brahamachari. And you try, you go for it. Krishna Conscious society needs both. First class grihasthas, first class renunciates. They are both essential. And we have to work together in the mission of Lord Chaitanya to give Krishna bhakti to society. Is that answering your question?
Question : But what happens for wives…..?
Answer : Why you segregating, the same principle is there, what is the difference? If they are both living together in Krishna Consciousness, they will both go back to Godhead together. The wife, according to the culture that Krishna has created, the wife is supposed to be a chaste, faithful servant of a Krishna conscious husband in grihastha life. According to materialistic ways everyone is fighting for top position, the Vedic culture is the wife is the faithful chaste servant of the husband and if this husband is a Krishna Conscious, facilitates Krishna consciousness then her life will be perfect. If she puts Krishna in the centre and surrenders to Krishna in that process. And there is no such thing as divorce in Vedic culture, people are peaceful and happily living together because religious principles are first and foremost. In a western society, traditionally was the same way in religious circles, that with western society became so irreligious, that the modern ways is that what is this chastity and faithfulness and service to husband? Everyone wants to be a Lord; everyone wants to be the enjoyer. And therefore 67% divorce rate within three years, broken families, broken homes, children insecure, becoming drug addicts, alcoholics, juvenile delinquencies, the whole society is in turmoil because no one wants to be a humble servant, everyone wants to be an enjoyer. So take your pick, which culture you want to give your life to and your family to, the culture given by Krishna or by manipulative, exploitative, conditioned souls? That is the difference between Vedic civilization and western civilization. We don’t care for it. We will accept Krishna’s words. Is that answering your question? But that does not make the wife less, nowhere in Vedic culture does it says that women’s are less, the gopis are at the highest position, the brahmanas wife are at the highest position. They accept the subordinate position, but never they are given any less opportunity to be Krishna Conscious. They have every access, whether you are man or woman on the path of bhakti you have complete access to come in before the Lord and giving your life to the Lord and no one can stand between anyone and the right to surrender to Krishna and worship Krishna and love Krishna. So for the purpose of sanctity, there must be a distinguished separation between man and woman that must be there, there must be a respectful separation between man and woman. Or rather than that there should be no discrimination. Any other question? Yes.
Question : You have mentioned that the family ties and relatives tried to take Rukmini from Krishna. In the process of understanding how do you know that you are actually detached or you are trying to run away from reality?
Answer : You know when you are attached, when Krishna’s says get on my chariot and you say but what about all of them. What will they say, if you are willing to accept what you are supposed to do in Krishna Consciousness and you know you are detached, if you are asked to eat only vegetarian foods, no garlic no onions and your family members are saying why not take it, we feel bad if you don’t. And you say well I don’t want to make you feel bad so I will eat anything. If you say with all respects my dear relatives, this is the vows I have taken kindly respect it and if they don’t respect it then don’t have anything to do it with them. Or at least don’t have anything to do with them on that level. Does that answer your question?
Question : We are in this material world; we are grihasthas, what are our duties towards our relatives? When they are in some problem and in the mood of Krishna consciousness sometime we try to run away from responsibilities toward them. Don’t you think we become very stone hearted?
Answer : No, those types of obligations should not divert away your attention from Krishna Consciousness. If they try to make you obliged to activities that are contrary to Krishna Consciousness you should reject it. What if is to help them as family members, when they are in need and in the process at least you should make an endeavour to give them an appreciation of Krishna Consciousness in the process? In other words certain responsibilities are part of grihastha ashram but they should not be contrary to the principles of Krishna Consciousness and you should be thinking of ways and means to directly or indirectly inject Krishna Consciousness in their hearts in the process. That will spiritualize that obligation. And give them Prasad or you can somehow or rather preach to them. You cannot be stone hearted, because in grihastha life there are certain moral social responsibilities we have to accept which may appear mundane we should try to spiritualize as far as possible. But they should not be based on sinful activities. A sannyasi is no longer obliged any of those things, but a grihastha is morally obliged to some extent. So you have to accept those responsibilities. But do it in a distinguished Krishna Consciousness manner. Otherwise it will be bad for preaching, no one will take you seriously if don’t accepts at least a minimum of those responsibilities when they have to be done. Prabhupada use to say do the needful. If your mother is dying and she says please come and help me and you say this is Maya, let her die. That is not grihastha look, sannyasi can do that if he wants but grihastha cannot do that. You go and help her but it doesn’t mean you give her meat; you try to help her in Krishna Conscious way as you possibly can. That is your moral duty as a grihastha.
Question : I know one sannyasi, when his father died three years ago and then he stayed with them in California and then he brought the ashes to the Ganges. And that group of devotees went with him to the Ganges and threw the ashes in the Ganges, so some kind of ceremony also and a feast was held like that so for sannyasi is this ok?
Answer : Yes, he is not obliged. Grihasthas are obliged to these things, sannyasis are not obliged. But if the sannyasi sees that they are some way to help a person become Krishna consciousness, it’s not a restriction against that.
Question : Bhakti Vinod Thakur, I heard at one point he was demanding that his wife assist him more in the actual, I am not sure, in printing or something with the books or in actual devotional service than just taking care of kids, and there were lot of children of course, and he meant that if you do not help me then you and the kids can leave. Have you heard this?
Answer : I haven’t heard this. I cannot comment on something that I never heard of. But I can say that taking care of ten children and raising them in Krishna Consciousness is a very full time service. We have seen one of our matajis having two children and she has no time for anything. So speak of ten and they all became nice devotees. So we worship her lotus feet, whether Bhakti Vinod Thakur chastised her or not on this transcendental platform, we still worship her lotus feet. Being a mother was also a service to the Lord, we shouldn’t think that the thing mother is a Maya that we have to just dress the Deities and distribute books to serve the Lord. That is a service. But if you are a Krishna Conscious mother that in itself is a service. But Bhakti Vinod Thakur was very enthusiastic to engage everyone in devotional services, more and more devotional services.
Question : Maharaja such differences arises. Many times they say that I am helping you in Krishna Consciousness by making you more detached from me. Talking about husband and wife, there are some differences and they say why you are irritating me. Sometimes the answer we get is that I am helping you in Krishna consciousness by making you more detached.
Answer : Is that your wife tells you? (Laughter….). Just chant Hare Krishna. Both chant 16 rounds every day. The wife is not supposed to make you detached like that. You will become detached anyway, the wife is supposed to cooperate and help you in your service. If you are doing some non sense thing then she can try to make you detached, but if you want her to assist you in your Krishna Conscious life then she should assist you. Shouldn’t use this justified excuse of being disobedient in the name of being your servant by making you detached by being such a disobedient disrespectful woman I am actually your best servant. Not like that. Might be true on a higher level but don’t try to imitate the higher level, you should try to cooperate and live in harmony with the desire of our spiritual master. Haribol!
Thank you very much.