The spiritual world of Goloka Vrindavan by Radhanath Swami:
Srila Narottam Das Thakur is praying to Sri, Sri Radha and Krishna, “Oh! Radha Krishna my living force, oh youthful couple in life or death I have nothing more than you.” He is praying in the mood of the servant of the servant of the servant of Lord Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to be engaged in the loving pastimes of Vrindavan. The highest conception of spiritual realization is brought to this earth by Lord Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu not to become God, not to imitate God by attaining great powers but to be the servant of the servant of those great personalities whose life and soul is to give pleasure to Radha and Krishna. In the spiritual world of Goloka Vrindavan, the wonderful pastimes that are taking place by the supreme most exchanges of spiritual love infinitely greater than any of the exchanges of this material world, even of the heavenly planets and even of the planets of Vaikuntha, where Laxmi Narayan eternally reside. And Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to welcome everyone into that supreme abode of divine love of Vrindavan and He has given us the understanding and the process by which we are given the opportunity to purify our lives and following the footsteps of such great souls as Sri Narottam Das Thakur.
In the land of Vrindavan, it is described in the Shastras, by those great Paramhamsa Vaishnav’s, Radha Krishna’s transcendental exchanges of love are directly assisted by the counterpart expansions of Radha and Krishna in the form of Sakhis and the sakhas. The Sakhis, the primarily the ashta-sakhis, are directly the expansions of Srimati Radharani herself. She expands herself to enhance the degree of pleasure that she can give to Lord Sri Krishna. And all those of Vrindavan who enter into this wonderful Lila take part as the servant of the servant of the servant of these divine transcendental personalities.
Radhanath Swami on Desperation of Srimati Radharani to meet Krishna:
Today, we are celebrating the appearance of the most confidential, the leader of all the Sakhi, Lalita Sakhi. In a place very close to Barsana, the village of the name Unchagaon and in that most holy abode, Lalita Sakhi descended from the eternal world of Goloka Vrindavan to appear on this earth. She is the constant associate of Srimati Radhikarani and she also is accepted as the Guru, the siksha guru of Radharani and all of those gopi assistants of Radharani. Her and Vishaka, as Narottam Das Thakur is praying Lalita Vishaka, he is praying to somehow assist in wonderful service of these two great personalities, they are the constant companions within Radha Krishna’s divine pastimes. It is explained in the Shastras, the Bhakti Shastras, that it is Lalita Devi that teaches Srimati Radharani the intricate ways and means by which she can best present herself in a pleasing way to attract the heart of Lord Krishna. Sometimes she chastises out of love Srimati Radharani because out of haste her of sari is not properly arranged or her hair is not properly waded.
There is a beautiful story in the Garga Samhita, which explains how one time Lalita and Vishaka, they came to Barsana and they came to the solitary place where Sri Radharani was sitting, and they began to narrate the wonderful qualities and attributes of Lord Sri Krishna and this intensified, expanded the love of Sri Radharani. She said ‘can you draw me a picture of this Krishna?’ So Lalita Devi draw a picture of Krishna and when Radharani saw it, she fainted in ecstasy of love and then as she was in a trance, she had a dream that she was meeting Lord Krishna with His beautiful blackish form on the banks of river Yamuna and Lalita and Vishakha, they were calling Srimati Radharani to come out of her dream state and then she came out, they took her by the hand to the window of the palace and they said you see walking through that Narrow forest lane there is Lord Shyamsunder along with His cowherd boyfriends playing upon His flute, herding the cows.
When Srimati Radharani saw the beautiful of Lord Shri Krishna all of Her limbs began to tremble in ecstatic love, the Mahabhava that only Srimati Radharani possesses and she fainted to the ground. Meanwhile when Lord Shri Krishna His beautiful lotus eyes saw the loving form of Sri Radharani. His heart was also captured. So Krishna persuaded on with His friends and Lalita she brought Sri Radharani to external consciousness and she began to instruct Her, She said Sri Radhikarani this beautiful personality Shyamsunder you can obtain His divine Darshan by giving all of the love of your life exclusively to Him. The greatest treasure of your heart would be attain by making your every thought, your every word in offering of love to Him, Sri Radharani she explained Lalita, if I do not obtain Lord Shri Krishna then I will not be able to maintain my life. Hearing these words Lalita Devi approached Krishna on the bank of Yamuna and she explained to Him that Shri Radharani will not be able to survive and preserve Her life unless you grant Her your divine Darshan, unless you personally give Her your most charming association. Krishna spoke and He revealed sublime philosophical truth in very simple words, He said, “you must understand Lalita Sakhi, that whatever love Shri Radharani she has towards me, I am always feeling the same toward Her. that she is my heart just as I am Her heart and as she cannot live without me I cannot live without Her” and then He explained that you must know that Radha and Krishna are one, we are not separate we are that one Supreme Personality of Godhead who have expanded into two forms to eternally enjoy the highest pleasures of spiritual love and anyone who considers Sri Radharani to be different from myself will have to remain trying to enjoy the suffering conditions of this material world for ever. You assure Srimati Radharani that we are one and the same.” So Lalita Sakhi returns and explained that “Krishna has told me that you are one supreme person and you can never be separated and that soon He certainly fulfill all of your desires.” So in this way we find that the greatest spiritual personalities their life and soul is simply to be assistance servant of Radha and Krishna and the result is that out of such love Krishna and Srimati Radharani want to be the servant of their devotees.
Radha Krishna’s Lila when Magnanimity is added becomes the Lila of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
There is a story of how once Srimati Radharani invited Krishna to a particular mountain in Vrindavan and then Lalita Sakhi arrived and Radharani took Krishna’s hand a placed in Lalita Sakhi’s hand and then she began to chant the Mantra’s for a marriage playing the pastime of marrying Krishna to Lalita. In this way the transcendental sweetness of Vrindavan is revealed how out of gratitude for her servitors Srimati Radharani wants them all to enjoy the treasure of Her heart Lord Shri Krishna. Of all of the servants of Lalita Sakhi, Rupa Manjari is the leader of all of them. Rupa Manjari is eternally a very young Gopi, always absorbed under Lalita Sakhi’s instruction and assisting in every possible way.
This Lila of Radha and Krishna can only be understood properly by those who are completely free from all material attachments, it can only be realized by those who have receive the supreme grace of the Lord coming through the devotees. But the same transcendental pastimes of Goloka which we enacted on this earth five thousand years ago Nandagaon, Barsana, Unchagaon, Govardhan, Kamyavan, Mahavan, Vrindavan was revealed again in such a wonderful way that even the most fallen souls are given the chance to have access to entering into it and this was the Lila of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Çré-kåñëa-caitanya rädhä-kåñëa nahe anya. Krishna it is explained there is a story that during a dance with Srimati Radharani she had left Him and He was sitting under the Imlital tree and while sitting under the sacred tree in separation His body turn golden like that of Srimati Radharani. When Srimati Radharani appeared before Him, she asked “what is this wonderful exhibition that I am seeing that your beautiful black form has turn golden” and He explained that “Absorbed in thinking of you I was beginning to taste a drop of that love that you experience for me. In the age of Kali Yuga I will appear with your love, as the treasure of my heart, in the form of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I will appear with your complexion and with your sentiments of Mahabhava. So Radha and Krishna combined again into one form as Lord Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and appeared in Shri Mayapur Dham in the nine islands of Navadwip in the district of Nadia. Along with Mahaprabhu Shri Caitanya appeared many of His most confidential and intimate associates Lalita Sakhi appeared as Srila Swaroop Damodar Goswami, Vishaka Sakhi appeared as Sri Rämänanda Räya and that leader amongst all the servant of the Lord Shri Rupa Manjari appeared as Srila Rupa Goswami.
But in this wonderful Lila of Lord Gaurasunder all of the exalted realizations of Vrindavan were being given to anyone who would simply receiver it. Radha Krishna’s Lila when Magnanimity is added becomes the Lila of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We find in the Gambhira of Jagannath Puri how according to the particular mood of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sentiments of love in meeting in separation Swaroop Damodar and Rämänanda Räya Lalita and Vishaka they would sing beautiful verses from the Srimad Bhagvatam or other divine scriptures just to increase the sentiments of Lord Caitanya’s love. In fact Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami explains that the exact same service that Lalita perform for Srimati Radharani in arranging Her meeting with Krishna Swaroop Damodar performed for Lord Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Swaroop Damodar Goswami was born Navadwip and from childhood he was an intimate friend of Lord Gaurasunder but after Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left and took Sanyaas Swaroop Damodar Goswami whose name was then Purshottam Acarya he become mad in ecstatic love and he also accepted the Sanyaas order of life. Later he came to Jagannath Puri and he was the constant association of Lord Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Radhanath Swami explains the first step to approach for spiritual world is to control our senses:
But as Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami explains in order to properly understand this wonderful Lila of Lord Caitanya, we must follow in the footstep of Srila Rupa Goswami who again appeared as the chief assistant for all living beings to come and engage in the loving service of Lord Gaurasunder. Srila Rupa explains the science of Krishna consciousness, in the Bhaktirasamrita Sindhu he explains how from the beginning most stages, where in we have material conditioning and attachments we can gradually purify ourselves and evolve to higher and higher and higher realms of pure consciousness.
Preliminary to the ‘Bhaktirasamrita Sindhu,’ Rupa Goswami wrote the Upadeshamrita which is a very, very essential book for all Gaudiya Vaishnav’s to read and to understand? Because the Upadeshamrita describes the basic fundamental principles by which we can become Krishna consciousness. väco vegaà manasaù krodha-vegaà. It explains first that we must learn how to control our senses, to control our mind, to control the tendencies of to speak, to eat, to control the tendencies of our sex urges, to control anger. These Vegams these pushing are as long as they are uncontrolled there is no question of any understanding of real spirituality.
The Sahajya class who are very much condemned by the authorized Vaishnava they want to directly immediately consider themselves more advanced than all others because they study high information about brijlila. But anyone can study those books and any one could memorize those books. Just like we have some devotees who go to medical college and they memorize so many, I have seen some of those books so many of the various elements and diseases of this material body and others take history where they memorize so much of what has gone on in this world over the years the centuries. Generally history is centered on various wars and conflict. So similarly we can study the Lila of Vrindavan very advance scriptures and we may be able to speak from them but what realization do we have, it is all imagination, it is all imitation unless we purify our minds, purify our hearts and purify our lives but still just to get an understanding of what it is we are ultimately striving for to be the servant of the servant of the servant of. Some basic preliminary information of the beauty of Vrindavan is very important. But we must know that to approach that realm of consciousness we must follow the guideline of Srila Rupa Goswami and it begins by controlling our minds and senses.
Then Rupa explains the six greatest impediments for advancement in spiritual life and he also explains the six most important factors that should be accepted for helping our spiritual life, primarily the association of devotees and avoidance of association of those who are not spiritual or Krishna conscious. I humbly urge all of you on this auspicious day to very, very carefully again and again and again study the nectar of instruction which is the translation of Upadeshamrita given by his divine grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, to establish the strong foundation to your spiritual life, it is necessary. How Rupa Goswami explains we should control our mind and senses under the instruction of a spiritual master, in the association of sincere devotees to engage all of our senses in Krishna’s service, by coming to the temple, to hear the philosophy of Bhagavad Dharma, to see the beautiful form of the deity and to worship the deity. According to the particular rules and regulation that are meant to discipline our lives, disciple means discipline.
Learning discipline to become undisciplined in Goloka Vrindavan :
In the spontaneous abode of Vrindavan there is no such thing of discipline all of the Brijwasi’s have attained such an ultimate state of consciousness that they are immersed in Raga bhakti, Prema bhakti, and spontaneous love where there are no rules, there no regulations. Sometimes Lalita Sakhi chastise’s Krishna and sometimes other Gopis assisting her also join her side and chastise Krishna. But we cannot chastise Krishna, but we can be chastised by Krishna. Sometimes the Gopas they jump on Krishna, sometimes they give Krishna food from their own plates to try. The cowherds boys when they are sitting on bank of Yamuna each of their mothers pack certain lunch and they all with leafs they sit and they start eating their lunch and one of the cowherd boy taste something and its delicious that his mother made and they want Krishna to try it, so they give Krishna their remnants from their plate, “Try this, Krishna!! This is very nice.” Then Krishna tries it and he says “Oh very, very good!! Thank you so much!!” And then Krishna distributes to others and then this way they play, there is no rules and regulations in Vrindavan.
In Vaikuntha everyone lives according to rules and regulation eternally, in Vaikuntha when you enter into the gates you are taught that this Narayana, this is Laxmi, this is their palace, this is how you serve them, this is how you bow down to them, this is how you pray to them and eternally in ecstatic love you engage in those offerings. But in Vrindavan when you come they don’t teach you how to bow down they teach you ‘how to chastise and how to wrestle, how to play.’ Vrindavan dham ki jai! Rupa Goswami has given us the ways and the means by which we can enter into that realm and it begins, ”väco vegaà manasaù krodha-vegaà” that you have to learn how to discipline your mind and senses by engaging in the processes of Vaidhi bhakti, devotional service under rules and regulation. Gradually our mind and senses become Krishnized. Just like if you inherit a great treasure, often it is said that although it is yours by natural birth right until you grow to a particular age of maturity it’s not actually given to you that is similar to our situation.
When we come to this line of Gaudiya Vaishnavism Rupanugas, in the line of Rupa Goswami we are actually connected to that intimate service of the Manjari’s who are engaged in assisting Lalita sakhi in the loving affairs of Radha and Krishna. as soon as you sincerely come and take initiation into the Sampradaya it becomes your birth right, it becomes your connection but that realization is not actually revealed to you or given to you until you come to age spiritually, until you are mature and that maturity means you have no more material desires, no more material aspirations, no more false ego at all but you have surrendered your life to be the servant of the servant of the servant through worshiping the deity according the proper process, through dressing and bathing and making aspect of our lives a proper way by which we cleansed ourselves inside and outside to make our self approachable and acceptable to engage in Krishna’s service.
Of course Srila Rupa explained on behalf of Lord Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that the most important factor to re-spiritualize our whole lives is to regularly and attentively chant the holy names Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare. Srila Rupa Goswami he wrote many beautiful prayers one set of prayer were to Lalita Sakhi where he explains that because you are most confidentially dear most to Srimati Radharani and Lord Shri Krishna you are her very guru and you are her life and soul and she is your life and soul and she is your life and soul that anyone who sincerely desires that residence in Vrindavan in the service of Radha and Krishna that you personally take them under your own divine mercy and it is only by your mercy that we can enter into the transcendental realm of pure devotional service. Srila Rupa Goswami is the excess for the whole world into this mercy of Lalita Sakhi and ultimately Radha and Krishna.
We should strive for the higher taste like Cataka bird:
Srila Rupa Goswami in one prayer he explain the consciousness by which all of his servant should live. There is a bird called a Cataka bird and that Cataka bird will never accept any water that has touched the earth because that water that touches the earth has lost its real sweetness, the water that touches the earth is contaminated by the earth itself therefore the Cataka bird is always looking up to the clouds, it will only accept the drop of water that comes directly from the cloud. As looking toward the cloud just waiting sometimes the cloud does not rain and that bird Cataka just remains in a bitter state of great thirstiness although on the earth there reservoirs and reservoirs of water and lakes and ponds and wells but Cataka bird will never even look in the direction of the earth for any of that water. Even if weeks and months and years go by he will not consider taking any water save and accept from that cloud.
In the same way we must thirst for bhakti, for devotion to Krishna and we must never ever divert our attention away from that. We must keep our mind and our senses always focused in Krishna and even, if we are experiencing no spiritual pleasure. Now even if our heart is like a drought we must never look to the pleasures of this world however plentiful and abundant they may be we must never look that direction. We would rather starve to the point of death then to again take part in those activities which divert our attention away from Krishna with faith we will continue looking to Krishna. Sometimes as that Cataka bird is looking toward the cloud instead of water a thunderbolt comes to strike it, may hear the rumbling of thunder and lightning but that Cataka bird still will not turn back let the lightning come, my Lord,
äçliñya vä päda-ratäà pinañöu mäm
adarçanän marma-hatäà karotu vä
yathä tathä vä vidadhätu lampaöo
mat-präëa-näthas tu sa eva näparaù
If you like my Lord you can embrace me, you can give me that drop of sweet nectarine water of if you like you can trample upon me, you can strike me on a head with a thunderbolt or if you like you can make me broken hearted by not being present before me like a drought, where no water comes, unbearable. But Rupa Goswami taught that a Vaishnav must pray to be like this Cataka bird, whatever Krishna may do we will never turn our attention away from Him we will accept His mercy in whatever way it comes. Although the Cataka bird has tiny little beak that can only hold one little drop of water sometimes the cloud may just pour Torrance and drown the little bird but the Cataka bird will never turn its attention away from that cloud.
In the same way we must always under all circumstances keep our attention on Krishna and we should be grateful to whatever way Krishna deals with us according to His infinite wisdom and we should never, ever consider turning back to any life outside of a life to being the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord. Those who adopt this determination in which Rupa Goswami instructs us they are sure to attain the supreme goal of life of prema bhakti. Following in the footsteps of those great devotees who are imparting the wisdom of Srila Rupa Goswami we should confirm and reconfirm our vows to make the holy land of Vrindavan and devotional service to be servants of Vrindavan our life and our soul. We should be willing to die to live, die to live for Krishna consciousness that is the price and actually it is such a small price.
So please come to this temple regularly on the basis of Srila Prabhupada’s illustrious books which are most purely presenting Rupa Goswami’s teachings to the whole world in so many languages we could learn the actual and true science of bhakti of devotional service except no substitute, except no imitation. Do be illusion by those who claim to give you something higher according to all of the great scriptures there is nothing but it must be approached in such that it can be assimilated by our consciousness. We want to be purified not putrefied and that means we have to accept the basic fundamental principles of Krishna consciousness and we must learn them carefully and gradually by following them in our life attract the mercy of Guru and attract the mercy of all the previous Acaryas and by their mercy we can have connection to the infinite mercy of Sri, Sri Radha Gopinathji.
In Srinivas Acaryas prayers to the six Goswami headed by Rupa Goswami, the first principle which he enunciate is kåñëotkértana-gäna-nartana-parau that by their example the six Goswami taught us this most wonderful and important of all spiritual disciplines the congregational chanting of the holy names. We must take very seriously that the purification of the mind and the heart begins through Sravanam, kirtananam Vishnu, and the association of devotees. Actually simply by the performance of this Naam Sankirtan in the association of devotees gradually all purification and all realization are made available to us by the mercy of Guru and Gauranga and of all types of Krishna kirtan Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught the most affective, the most powerful is the congregational chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare.