śrī-śuka uvāca

nandas tv ātmaja utpanne

jātāhlādo mahā-manāḥ

āhūya viprān veda-jñān

snātaḥ śucir alańkṛtaḥ

vācayitvā svastyayanaḿ

jāta-karmātmajasya vai

kārayām āsa vidhivat

pitṛ-devārcanaḿ tathā

Çukadeva Gosvämé said: Nanda Mahäräja was naturally very magnanimous, and when Lord Çré Kåñëa appeared as his son, he was overwhelmed by jubilation. Therefore, after bathing and purifying himself and dressing himself properly, he invited brähmaëas who knew how to recite Vedic mantras. After having these qualified brähmaëas recite auspicious Vedic hymns, he arranged to have the Vedic birth ceremony celebrated for his newborn child according to the rules and regulations, and he also arranged for worship of the demigods and forefathers.


Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has discussed the significance of the words nandas tu. The word tu, he says, is not used to fulfill the sentence, because without tu the sentence is complete. Therefore the word tu is used for a different purpose. Although Kṛṣṇa appeared as the son of Devakī, Devakī and Vasudeva did not enjoy the jāta-karma, the festival of the birth ceremony. Instead, this ceremony was enjoyed by Nanda Mahārāja, as stated here (nandas tv ātmaja utpanne jātāhlādo mahā-manāḥ). When Nanda Mahārāja met Vasudeva, Vasudeva could not disclose, “Your son Kṛṣṇa is actually my son. You are His father in a different way, spiritually.” Because of fear of Kaḿsa, Vasudeva could not observe the festival for Kṛṣṇa’s birth, Nanda Mahārāja, however, took full advantage of this opportunity.

The jāta-karma ceremony can take place when the umbilical cord, connecting the child and the placenta, is cut. However, since Kṛṣṇa was brought by Vasudeva to the house of Nanda Mahārāja, where was the chance for this to happen? In this regard, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura desires to prove with evidence from many śāstras that Kṛṣṇa actually took birth as the son of Yaśodā before the birth of Yogamāyā, who is therefore described as the Lord’s younger sister. Even though there may be doubts about the cutting of the umbilical cord, and even though it is possible that this was not done, when the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears, such events are regarded as factual. Kṛṣṇa appeared as Varāhadeva from the nostril of Brahmā, and therefore Brahmā is described as the father of Varāhadeva. Also significant are the words kārayām āsa vidhivat. Being overwhelmed with jubilation over the birth of his son, Nanda Mahārāja did not see whether the cord was cut or not. Thus he performed the ceremony very gorgeously. According to the opinion of some authorities, Kṛṣṇa was actually born as the son of Yaśodā. In any case, without regard for material understandings, we can accept that Nanda Mahārāja’s celebration for the ceremony of Kṛṣṇa’s birth was proper. This ceremony is therefore well known everywhere as Nandotsava.

Vasudev and Devaki are true preachers

Viswanath Cakravarti Thakur in his commentary is bringing out the reality of the position of Devaki and Vasudev. You see throughout the last several chapters we have read in The Srimad Bhagavatam there is very little mention of Nanda and Yasoda. We have been reading for the past many weeks about the great tribulations and difficulties that Vasudev and Devaki had to endure, why? because they were sincere devotees, who are interested in assisting Krishna in his mission. Krishna’s mission is to come to this world out of compassion for the fallen souls to attract our hearts back to him and to save them from the suffering of birth and death. Otherwise he has no business coming to this world. So Vasudev and Devaki, they are preachers in true sense, in the sense that a real preacher is simply trying to assist the great souls. No one to think that I can deliver by my words, by my actions, people to the spiritual platform of Krishna Consciousness, no one to think that I am good preacher, no one to think that they I can save anyone. We can only assist the mission of the great souls. That is the ultimate that we can aspire for in our life. Our own Gurudev Srila Prabhupada, he never considered he had any qualifications, he never even considered himself a preacher. He considered that his Guru Maharaj Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, he was truly the greatest preacher of all preachers and is unqualified as I am Srila Prabhupada explains my God brothers, so many others are far more qualified than me, he would tell us. But my Gurudev gave me a mission, so I am honestly trying to simply carry out that mission to assist him in his preaching. He begged us, all of his disciples; just try to help me assist my Guru Maharaj in his preaching mission. So you see the great preachers are free of pride. They are simply aspiring to assist to be an instrument. Of course these days many people poses as Jagad Gurus and they want in their own right to be seen as very very great personalities, very powerful deliverers of mankind. But this is not the Vaishnava School. No Vaishnava will ever think like this. A Vaishnava never thinks he has anything but an assistant, the servant of the servant. Simply trying to carry out the mission of the Lord and those who are willing to risk everything and do over all sort of difficulties, for the purpose of the assisting the great souls in that mission they are truly those persons who are most dear to the Lord and they are the one’s who are most divinely empowered to be the instruments in the hands of Sri Krishna.

Following orders of Guru is the perfection

So Vasudev and Devaki actually, sometimes that in assisting the mission of the Guru whatever way you are asked to do so, that is the perfection of your life. Some people think that preaching means giving nice lectures. That is preaching provided your Gurudev wants you to do that. If your Guru would rather have you take care of orphan children or if he would rather have you cook for the deities or cook for the devotees or be a doctor, or be a dentist or be a brahmachari and wash the temple floor or be a housewife. If that is what Guru wants you to do, then that is the top most way you can assist him in his mission. But if that’s how we can best assist our Gurudev in his mission, then that is the perfection of our preaching, simply to be an instrument. Srila Prabhupada told many of his disciples to go out and give lectures. He told others to distribute his books. Some of these people were tremendous speakers but he said you distribute these books. He said whatever you say will not have neither potency as if you convince somebody to reads these books.

Menial service attitude attracts Krishna

So in this way we should understand that none of us know what it means to be a preacher. Only the great authorities of Krishna Consciousness they know what it means to be preacher and we should never consider that we are good preachers. If we do we are fallen, we are fallen to pride. We should simply think that Gurudev! He is a great preacher. He can deliver people to the Lotus Feet of Sri Krishna. I cannot. I am not qualified. Therefore whatever he wants me to do to help him, I’ll do it. If he wants me to change diapers, I’ll change diapers for the rest of my life. If he wants me to collect funds, I’ll do that for the rest of my life. If he wants me to clean floors, if he wants me to do pujari we are simply his assistants. That menial attitude of service alone attracts Krishna to truly empower us. Empower us to change people’s hearts, to change people’s lives and that willingness, that surrender to the will of the Lord, and His representative that is what brings about an intimate relationship between ourselves and Krishna within our heart only that, nothing else. Krishna takes nothing for anything except that willingness to serve, according to His will. Thy will not my will be done my Lord.

Tribulations of Vasudev and Devaki

Well Vasudev and Devaki, such an example. As I say, for so many months we have been reading from this first canto of the Bhagavatam and we have just been reading about the all terrible tribulations of Vasudev and Devaki first the wedding ceremony, then the omen from the sky. “Kamsa! The 8th son will kill you, you are a fool” and then Kamsa take his sister’s hair and is ready to severe her head with the sword, and an entire chapter is the beautiful speech of Vasudev trying to somehow or other convince Kamsa to come to his senses. Then we read about the honour of Vasudev, how he promised, ‘Spare my wife, you can have all the children I promise’ and how he kept that word and brought every child to Kamsa and right before his very eyes with Devaki he saw that child murdered. Can you imagine?  a mother carrying this child for nine months how much attachment and love you have when a child is nourished within your womb for nine months and then the day he comes out you see him ruthlessly slaughtered with blood and everything flowing, skull crushed everything coming out dead, crying. Six years in a row she went through this and Vasudev and then finally alas she has a child beautiful effulgent child and by the arraignment of yogamaya it appears to be a miscarriage and it transferred from her womb right at the last minute to the womb of Rohini. So she never even got to see that child and an another child, demigods are coming and worshiping Vasudev and Devaki and offering flowers and offering prayers because they are going through so much, so much tribulation, so much anxiety, so much suffering just to help Krishna and his mission in reciprocation Krishna is taking birth within their womb and he takes birth and he comes first as Narayan and then as the most beautiful, charming, lovable, baby that anyone has ever seen. You can imagine when Krishna became a baby how Devaki and how Vasudev just their heart must have melted in an ecstatic love upon seeing and just wanted to just like any father and mother millions of time even more they affectionately embrace him and kiss him and I don’t know what else you the parents do to your babies but everything they wanted to do. But they were ordered immediately take me to Gokul and Nanda and Yashoda we haven’t heard much about them, Krishna goes to them. Devaki and Vasudev they are sitting in the prison broken hearted that the child is gone, and Nanda and Yashoda having wonderful glorious festival “Nandostava”. So the Vishwanath Chakravarty Thakur explaining here how Vasudev and Devaki so surrendered, Bhagavad-Gita explains you should not be attach to the fruits if your action this is the very nice example I would say. Nine years they had to suffer to get this fruit and they have to surrender it within minutes.

Vasudev and Devaki are not attached to the fruit of action

This is very good example for all of us. It is explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam that when one performs devotional service in material life karma yoga means to work without being attached to the fruit. But in spiritual life it is said in Bhagvatam that when you perform devotional service certain benefits, certain fruits will come from that action of devotional service you should not be attached to that, you should understand it is for Krishna’s enjoyment. Sometimes we perform great austerities in the service of our guru and were expecting some result if the result doesn’t come or if it comes and the credit is given to somebody else, if we are attached to the fruits very painful very very painful, we have seen sometimes devotees work so hard, sacrificing for many years to get something accomplish and after its actually accomplished somebody else gets the credit who hardly did anything and all you do is just, you are neglected you are attach to the fruits its very painful, for sometimes you work for so many years to get something accomplish which your Gurudev has asked you to accomplish and then whole thing fails, there is no result very painful. In Krishna consciousness in the service of our guru we are often given so many goals to achieve build the temple in Rishikesh, build the beautiful temple in Bombay and whatever our service we have to utilise our present mind our present senses to tangibly accomplish something our spiritual master gives us something that we can tangibly achieve because through this process we can engage our mind and senses in Krishna’s service and if we do not hear properly of such great souls as Vasudev and Devaki, if we do not hear properly from Bhagavatam and sadhus and from the Gita then we think that the attainment of that tangible goal which we been striving for so hard is actually the fruit, the result and the achievement but it is not at all it is the striving itself we should not be attached that is the detachment from the fruit that is being exemplified hereby Vasudev and Devki. But in the end how Krishna keeps everyone in suspense.

Krishna fulfils everyone’s desires

We are here reading about the beginning of this beautiful “Nandostava festival”. When Nandamaharaj, he is rejoicing ecstatically that Krishna is our child the most beautiful, lovable of all children is ours and it’s the most, the most galliant, the most wonderful, the most beautiful celebration that is ever taken place in the history of creation. To this day 5000 years later everywhere in India and so many other parts of the world this “Nandostava’’ celebration is celebrated with such love, such devotion, such grandor the abhishek of Sri Krishna of course wonderful and pleasing, you can imagine the ecstasy of Nanda and Yashoda  as they were seeing all the Brahman’s chanting him and they were personally bathing this beautiful, beautiful child with all auspicious substances and there was music and there was dancing and there was throwing of colours it’s a such a beautiful exciting ceremony. In mean while Vasudev and Devaki were sitting in their prison cell alone in darkness thinking where is our boy? he is gone but if that is the lords will then that is our will. But then what happened twelve and half years later Krishna left Vrindavan and Nanda and Yashoda was simply weeping and crying and weeping and crying and weeping and crying their heart was utterly voided that Krishna is left. Who did he go to leave with? Vasudev and Devaki for the next over 115 years he lived with Vasudev and Devaki and fulfilled all their desires. In fact, in Udipi there is a deity of Krishna and that deity it really shows how Krishna fulfils everyone’s desire ultimately who surrendered to him. When he fulfils your desires? That is his priority we have to have faith. Vasudev and Devaki they simply, they had the desire simply to please the lord but they also had that desire obviously for mother to have that relationship with the baby never she was deprived of that. Krishna came he was a grown boy. She raised him, loved him, and was in his presence for next over 100 years. Mean while Nanda and Yashoda never saw him practically. How Krishna turns the tables?

Krishna fulfilled desire of Devaki

So Devaki when they were living in Dwaraka Krishna was king. She said – “Krishna you are my son I am so proud to be see you as a king. But I heard all these Leelas how you showed such a nice Leelas with you when you were little baby please I was deprived of all those, I was in prison all those years, can I see you when you were baby like that”. So Krishna fulfilled all her desires and he became a little child, he became Gopal and he began stealing butter and everything right in front of her and she liked it so much. Even Rukmini she liked it so much that they carved that murti in that form that they could always worship.  So in this way in the end because they surrendered everything for the will of Krishna not considering anything, anything in terms of what I like, what I want this is not devotional service what I likes and what I want this is just material consciousness. They naturally, they had their like and their wants but they surrendered them however painful it was to serve Krishna’s mission and in the end Krishna fulfilled all of their desires. They got to live with Krishna constantly; they even got to serve him as a baby child, so this is our faith that if we simply surrender, we never the looser, If we simply surrender, Krishna will give us everything. But how does he give us everything not according to our calculations, not according to our wants, but according to his mercy and devotee has that faith.

Krishna’s enjoyment is our pleasure

You see Vasudev and Devaki were not attached they were willing to go on with their service surrendering to Krishna whether he ever came back or not. After Krishna left Vrindavan Nanda, Yashoda and brajvasi’s all they did is serve Krishna make garlands for him cook for him cry for him, chant his name for next 100 and so many years they never gave up they were never attached to the fruits they were only attached to Krishna they were only attached to the service so we find Vasudev and Devaki first they suffered terribly then they rejoiced, Nanda and Yashoda first they rejoiced then they suffered terribly, but actually in this suffering, and in this rejoicing they were all in the state of spiritual ananda and spiritual bliss because in Krishna consciousness there is no difference between rejoicing and suffering. In Krishna consciousness we are concerned how Krishna is enjoying. If Krishna is enjoying then even our suffering becomes greatest pleasure. Bhaktivinod Thakur has prayed like this – my dear lord the sufferings, the tribulations, the pain that I have to endure to please you are my greatest pleasure in life, that is Bhakti and we are teaching Bhakti, our Gurudevs are teaching Bhakti we are not Karma-kanda or Jnana-kanda or Yoga-kanda we are teaching Bhakti exclusively.

Serving Krishna in both sambhog and vipralambha

The separation of Nanda and Yashoda was more ecstatic than they are rejoicing, the Nandostava was such an ecstatic meeting of laughter and after Krishna left Braj-bhumi there was the ecstatic offering of tears. There was no laughter when Krishna left Vrindavan there was no laughter only tears but there is no difference on spiritual platform whether we are crying in separation or we are rejoicing and meeting, sombhog, vripralambha this is the two ways we serve Krishna, we love Krishna sombhog and vripralambha in separation and in meeting why should we discriminate, we should feel so fortunate that we are entitled to remembering Krishna, to serving Krishna under any circumstances.

So is there any question?

Maharaj: Do you know where Krishna is? Say it, don’t just shake your head. Do you know where Krishna is? I want it to go on tape. Do you know where Krishna is, Ashok Parekh? He said ‘no’. So you don’t know where Krishna is, how do you even know whether you are going farther or closer to him. What is your answer? If you don’t know what something is, how in the world you know whether you are coming closer or going farther? Guru knows where Krishna is. He knows how to bring you closer. We have to stop calculate the things according to our imperfect senses. We come closer to Krishna if we surrender and only through that process. When the guru sees you are surrendering he knows you are coming closer to Krishna. When Vasudev took this baby boy and gave him to Nanda and Yasoda and then come home, was he close to Krishna? According to sense perception he was very far from Krishna, but actually he was very close to Krishna, because he surrendered. When Krishna left Vrindavan, even though they felt so far from, actually they were very close to him, because of their surrender. He was living in Dwaraka. You know how far Dwaraka is from Vrindavan in those days? There were no Indian Airlines or North Western Railways. They never had the opportunity to go to see him; he may, as well go back to Vaikunta. They felt so far from but actually they were so close to him because of their surrender. So don’t be so concerned with how you feel, be more concerned with how you are surrendering. Many devotees they think, oh let me just go to Vrindavan and just dance around the groves and chant the holy names and associate with babajis and sadhus and I just feel so close to Krishna in that mood. But that is not being close to Krishna. We are close to Krishna to the extent we are surrendering to the order of guru. We have to trust that he knows where Krishna is, I do not know where Krishna is. I don’t know what is close and what is far, I am only your servant. Gadhadhar Pandit, he was told by Mukunda that the greatest vaishnava is Pundarik Vidyanidhi, such a great devotee, such a ecstatic love so much Krishna consciousness, I want you to go and meet him. Gadhadhar was thinking, this is the perfection of my life to meet such a great sadhu. He was just so anxious to meet this great sadhu, so went in. Pundarik Vidyanidhi was sitting on a beautiful silken couch with all kinds of jewellery and a big silken turban, he was chewing bettle, all these servants fanning him, massaging him, and he had golden furniture, beautiful carpets, beautiful draperies and Gadhadhar was thinking “what kind of Sadhu is this”? Can’t figure it out! Pundarik Vindyanidhi just started talking to him, social talk, who are you? Where are you from? What? This is the Sadhu? This person is Krishna Conscious? He looks like just totally, materially attached sense enjoyer. That’s what his senses told him. Mukunda could understand this, so he started singing beautiful song about Krishna and immediately Pundarik Vidyanidhi when he heard the song he just went in to ecstatic trance and he started crying, he started ripping his clothes, tearing his couches, breaking all his furniture and he just started rolling on the ground and then he fell unconscious, he was in ecstatic trance of Samadhi for six hours. Gadhadhar Pandit was thinking I never seen such a thing, what an offender I am? Then Sri Gadhadhar Pandit, after Pundarik Vidyanidhi came back to consciousness, Gadhadhar understood that he is so high in ecstatic love and I offended him by thinking he was ordinary sense enjoyer. So he decided the only way I can atone for this offense is to accept him as my guru and receive diksha from him. So Gadhadhar went to Caitanya Mahaprabhu and told him about this, Lord Caitanya was very happy “yes he is a very great devotee”. So our senses may see things in a certain way, we have to understand things not seeing through our eyes, but seeing through our ears. From the great souls we have to understand what is rut?. Acaryopasanam, this means when you hear from the acarya you can understand what is what, otherwise you cannot understand whether Krishna is near, whether Krishna is far. Whether I am making advancement, whether I am not making advancement. This is all sense perception, this is all mental conception unless we simply humble ourselves to the great souls then we can understand. That answers your question.

Any other question?

Maharaj: We are not here to enjoy. We are here to be enjoyed. We are not attached, that means if the enjoyment comes from our devotional service we accept it. If the suffering comes we accept it with the same consciousness that Krishna let your will be done, another words when a wonderful kirtan going on it is not that we should just grit our teeth and say I am not going to enjoy this. Somehow or other everyone is in so much ecstasy but I am not going to enjoy Krishna is the enjoyer. It is not like that, you join the kirtan because it is the order to be in the kirtan. So if the enjoyment is there then you enjoy to your heart’s content. What if you are not enjoying? You do the same thing. If you are enjoying dancing and chanting with everyone else and there is waves of ecstasy according to what we know of the ecstasy rushing through our body our mind, let it be Krishna is enjoying these ecstasies, I am feeling these ecstasies for you Krishna. What if you thinking oh my legs are paining, I don’t like this kirtan, really there people are crazy, I have been with them so long now I am realizing they are very crazy people, sometimes our mind is thinking like that. Let me just me just go somewhere else and feel sorry for myself. But if it guru’s order and devotees desire that I join the kirtan, I am dancing and chanting I am feeling miserable and terrible, you offer that misery to Krishna, you will enjoy that as much as your ecstasy. He enjoys our surrender. It is not that we avoid enjoyment, when it is in our service we are not attached to it. It comes we offer to Krishna. Whatever pleasure and ecstasy we may feel we offer to Krishna. Whatever suffering misery we may feel we offer to Krishna. That’s all. How do we offer misery to Krishna? For your enjoyment Krishna I am doing this for you. I am willing to accept this for you my Lord. That is offering and if you are enjoying like anything I am willing to enjoy like this my Lord, I am willing to suffer like this my Lord. This way you remain equal in happiness and distress. Again that is your conception what is taking you farther or closer to Krishna? If you are sincerely endeavouring to surrender to the will of guru and the sadhus you are coming closer to Krishna. This is such a difficult service my consciousness is going go away from God, if I don’t this war if I go to ashram and chant Hare Krishna it will be very nice close to God. But what did Krishna say(B.G 18.66)

sarva-dharman parityajya 
mam ekam saranam vraja 
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo 
moksayisyami ma sucah

Abandon all your conception of religion and just surrender unto Me. That’s all. First of all you cannot attain Krishna, Krishna come down and picks you up.

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.