We have come for the darshan of Sri Yamuna Mayi at the holy place, Keshi Ghat. Kamsa sent the monsters here, Keshi, to Vrindavana. Actually, time and again, Kamsa was sending tremendous, powerful, mystic demons, who can assume incredible forms and create utter terror, and each time (0:01:14.3) effortlessly and then to the abode of death.

He began when He was only about two, three days old. When the great (0:01:32.8) rakshasi, Putana, came into Gokul (0:01:36.9). Each time, Kamsa was receiving this news, he became more and more and more desperate.


Lord Krsna’s Kills the Demon Keshi

Keshi (0:01:58.6). Really, really extraordinary, assumed the form of a gigantic horse. He was galloping into Vrindavana with speed of mind. The (0:02:23.8) declares he was galloping with the speed of mind. There are no race horses in history that can compete with this. And he was so huge. As he was galloping and galloping and galloping so fast, he was literally, with his foot, tearing up the earth. His size was so immense that the mane or the hair on his neck was scattering the clouds and was even scattering the airplanes of the demigods. He was neighing, he was roaring in the voice of a horse, in such a loud, hideous sound that that sound vibration of his (0:03:18.8) terrified everyone.

The earth was shaking. When Krsna saw that all the vraja-basis were utterly terrified by the presence of Keshi running into Vrindavana, searching for Krsna, Krsna personally appeared at once. When Keshi saw Him, he roared. Immensely, he roared.

And he opened his gaping mouth and ran toward Krsna. His mouth was so wide, it appeared that he was about to swallow the entire universe. He ran toward Krsna. With his front legs, he tried to pulverize the stalk body of the Lord.

But Krsna dodged all of his front legs, trying to stampede Him. And Krsna grabbed his legs, and whirled him around and threw him one hundred bomans, which means 600 feet, and Keshi fell to the ground, unconscious.

Sri Krsna Bhagwan ki Jay!

When Keshi came back to consciousness, he was more angry than ever. In a state of utter fury, his eyes just blazing with rage, opened his mouth as wide as it could be and ran toward Krsna. With his mouth opened, Krsna stood before him and He smiled. Then Krsna laughed and said to Keshi, “Oh! You want something to eat?” Krsna showed him His left thumb. He said, “You want something to eat? Here, eat this!” And then, Krsna plunged his left arm in Keshi’s mouth.

And this was horrible. Can you imagine what Maharaja Parikshit was going through listening to this story?

Krsna’s arm besought like the stem of a blue lotus flower. And Keshi howled with terrible – it was like death personified – and his teeth were terrible. Krsna thrust his arm into Keshi’s mouth the same way a snake enters into a hole to kill a mouse. Keshi closes his mouth with his ferocious teeth to bite Krsna’s arm. As soon as Keshi’s teeth touched Krsna’s lotus like arm, all of his teeth were uprooted and fell to the ground. And Krsna’s arm began to expand into bigger and bigger and bigger proportions.

It is explained that, for the devotees, Krsna’s arm was as soft and cool as the stem of a lotus flower. But for Keshi, it was hot and it was hard as a thunderbolt. Just as, if a person has jaundice, he’s eating a sweet sugar candy, tastes very, very bitter. Because of Keshi’s ironic disease and mentality, he was experiencing Krsna. His lotus like arm which would embrace the gopis, he experienced that arm like the personification of pain and death.

The arm expanded and expanded and expanded until it completely blocked all Keshi’s ability to breathe. He suffocated with eyes (0:07:59.1). He flipped over. He just kicked all of his four legs violently. He profusely perspired. He passed immense quantities of stool. And then, he died. And his body just broke open like an over-ripe piece of melon.

Krsna effortlessly, with a beautiful smile on His face, extracted His arm from the mouth of the dead demon. It makes you think how Krsna did this in so effortless way. And free of any sense of pride for having killed Keshi, without even any effort He accepted the worship of the demigods as they showered fragrant flowers from the (0:09:09.2) garden of the heavenly world of swarga, upon Krsna.

False Ego

The Keshi demon represents, please listen carefully, especially you senior devotees. The Keshi demon represents the vanity, the false ego of thinking, I am an advanced devotee. I am an advanced devotee. Even people look at me like a guru. That mentality is the demon Keshi.

Hare Krsna.

It will soil the spiritual life. Keshi also represents the sense of ego. Thinking oneself to be very important, arising from attachment, for having a lot of wealth, and even doing great achievements in the service of Krsna. If we become proud of our achievements in Krsna’s service, that is another serious anarta, which corrupts our devotional service.

Oftentimes, we speak of the story of Kurumakshetra, when Krsna gave the leper Vasudeva, who was suffering so horribly. He gave him special (0:11:08.3). Vasudeva’s body, that was covered from head to feet with moving worms. His entire form was decaying. Therefore, he was ostracized from civilization.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu embraced him and gave him a perfectly healthy, effulgent, beautiful body. Vasudeva was very pleased. “Protect me Lord, protect me, from becoming proud. I have received your special mercy. How will I be free of pride, now that I have received such a unique blessing?”

When there is pride in the heart, Krsna no longer takes pleasure in anything we do.

dharmasya hy apavargyasya

nartho ‘rthayopakalpate

It is described in the Bhagavatam that whatever we gain through our execution of devotional service, we should never sue it for our own sense gratification. We should never think, ‘I am the doer or this is mine.’

Janasya moho ‘yam aham mameti

These are the two basic, imprisoning forms that keep us within material bondage. It is the perception if ‘I’ and ‘mine’.

And ‘I’ is so strong that even as we execute devotional service, this false ego can corrupt us.

When we chant the holy names, when we follow regulative principles, when we preach fearlessly, when we develop Shakti, as a reciprocation for our efforts, this is lesson of God. But as soon as we feel proud of that, as soon as we think I’m better than others, now you pick me, I am advanced. Usually we find that these proud ones in any spiritual society – he’s not so much the junior devotees. Or usually think that they’re junior. Because nobody respects you too much. Yes? When you first come, nobody respects you too much. Unless you’re very wealthy or powerful or something like that. But, as you make advancement, as you – if you just stay around for a while, people will start respecting you. Just because you’ve been around. Yes?

Nothing else. Just carry on chanting and soon, so many people are going to die off, and you’re going to be considered a great soul. What to speak if you actually accomplish great things? You open temples and you cook nice offerings or you worship the deities beautifully or you have so many people who are following you? Maya can use that good fortune, that benediction to destroy your spiritual life. Because she can see that we’re spiritually advanced we realize, ‘Am I advanced? Look at the prayers of the great souls!’


Advancement in Spiritual Life

Thakur Narottama – He’s not saying ‘I am advanced! See how many hundreds and thousands of disciples I have? Read all the beautiful prayers and songs I have made.’ No! He’s considering Himself the most fallen.

Hari Hari! Bifale janama gonainu

He’s declaring Himself to be burned in the fire of material existence. Praying for mercy. Praying for help. That is advancement.

Thakur Bhaktivinod – what is His prayers? “Oh Gopinath! I’m a servant of lust and shackled by material desires. Please save me. I’m full of pride. The sufferings of others are my happiness. And the happiness of others is my suffering.” Now, how can someone who is para-dukha-duki speak like this? Because His heart is so pure, so humble. Because He loves Krsna.

And the classic expression of humility of Kaviraj Goswami. Almost all the Goswamis of Vrindavana dham, they all pressured Him the biography and the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Ragunath Das Goswami, Lokanath Goswami, (0:16:57.6) Goswami, Jiva Goswami, (0:16:59.7) – such acharyas – intimate persons, associates of Lord Chaitanya – but they selected Him to write. Because of His incredible scholarship, and spiritual advancement. And what else He’s writing? He’s revealing His heart. “I’m lower than the worm stool.” How many people can honestly say that? “I’m lower than the worm stool.”

I remember years ago, when Sri Krsna Chaitanya was giving me pancha-karma, and there’s something called biration. And, I’m not going to go into too many details, but one day I looked down after responding to nature’s loud call, and there was a gigantic worm – I knew what a worm was – and I was looking. And at first I was thinking, ‘That’s inside of me?’ And then I tried to think more philosophically. But Krsna Das Kaviraj Goswami has considered Himself lower than that! I can’t possibly think like that! This is beyond human! (0:18:41.6) it’s the conclusion for blind state of total humility.

Only can be understood, only can be exhibited by one who’s in the presence of God. “I’m lower than the worm in stool! And more fallen than Jagai and Madai. If anyone hears my name they’ll lose their piety. If anyone speaks my name they’ll become sinful.” And it’s Krsna Das Kaviraj Goswami, as He’s writing Chaitanya Caritamrita. That is the heart of a Vaishnava. That is advancement.

(0:19:30.6) simply great achievers. (0:19:34.0).

So, yes, Keshi represents the mad horse, the all-devouring horse of death in the form of the thought that, ‘I am an advanced devotee.’ The pride that, ‘Just see what I have achieved.’

We must pray to Krsna to save us from this event. By sincerely trying to please Him in the mood of the servant of the servant of the servant. By absorbing our heart in hearing His glories. By following the footsteps of the great souls. And by really taking shelter helplessly. By chanting the Holy Names.

The Holiest of the Holy Rivers – River Yamuna

Yamuna Mayi – eternal (0:21:09.7) and the eternal spiritual world of Goloka. Yamuna is (0:21:20.6).

We have spoken today how Srimati Radharani told Lord Sri Krsna that, “I do not feel happiness anywhere where there is not river Yamuna, the forests of Vrindavana and Gokul dham.”

So Yamuna Mayi is actually an expansion of Vishaka, one of the two most confidential maid-servants of Srimati Radharani. In fact, Vishaka Devi is an expansion of Radharani Herself.

To enhance the pleasure of Krsna’s pastimes, she expands Herself as the river Yamuna. She appeared in this world as the daughter of Surya, and the sister of Yamaraja. And Yamaraja is very affectionate to His sister. So anyone She blesses, Yamaraja will not disturb that person.

So Yamuna is descending from the spiritual world, Krsnaloka. And She’s coming to this world of Yamunothri and flowing to meet mother Ganga at Prayag.

Jiva Goswami quotes from the Shastras how the river Ganges is the caranamrita of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And there are so many narrations declaring the glories of (0:23:19.1). But if you multiply the power of purification of bathing in the Ganges one hundred times, that is the effect of bathing in Yamuna. The Yamuna is eternally participating in the Lord’s lila.

Srila Prabhupada explains the night, midnight, when Krsna appeared in the prison of Kamsa in Mathura, as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki. Krsna ordered Vasudeva, “Bring Me to Gokul (0:24:03.4), and change me with the daughter of Yashoda and Nanda.”

So Vasudeva brought the newborn baby to Gokul, and He had to cross river Yamuna. And as He was crossing, Yamuna’s desire to serve was so great that Krsna, in infant form, reciprocated and slipped right out of the hands of Vasudeva and fell right into the waters of Yamuna. Where that (0:24:44.3) nectar of Her love in the form of Her water bathed Krsna.

Yes, it was Yamuna who supplied water to Krsna’s calves and His cows and the place where Krsna is (0:25:04.1) to perform the most beautiful pastimes of taking Prasad on Her bank. For the pleasure of Krsna, Yamuna’s water was sweeter than the sweetest of all nectar. It was an (0:25:20.2). Always perfect temperature, perfect taste, perfect everything in the (0:25:9.0). Pleasure of Krsna is the most important.

And during rasa-lila, Krsna would perform His beautiful dance with Sri Radharani and gopis on the bank of the Yamuna.

Chaitanya Caritamrita describes beautiful pastimes of their water sports in Yamuna. All together.

So, yes, the Yamuna is the eternal caranamrita of Sri Sri Radha Krsna, the gopas and the gopis. And when we bathe in Yamuna, we are bathing in that nectar. And most of all, it is Her love – Yamuna Mayi’s love that consists the water. Therefore, bathing in Yamuna is one of the most important aspects of worshipping the holy land of Vrindavana. Where (0:26:37.9) supremely powered offerings in Vrindavana is giving to the devotee.

Where dust, the water of Yamuna and the hill Govardhana. By worshipping these three, one can gain unlimited purification. So, at this time, with gratitude and sincere spirit of devotion, and prayer, we will (0:27:24.9) and the vraja-basis, who will bring us across the river and there, we will take holy bath in Yamuna.

And not consider so much what people put in Yamuna. It’s there, no doubt. There are some open sewage systems just pouring in Yamuna and people do so many things in Yamuna. But that’s not Yamuna.

Just like Prabhupada said, “Originally our consciousness is Krsna Consciousness. But there’s so many pollutions, so many sewage trenches that are coming into our consciousness. Yes? So many desires that just pollute our consciousness. But our consciousness is pure. This is really not our consciousness. The chanting of the Holy Names filters that consciousness and removes that which is not our consciousness and brings like” – Prabhupada said, “Like filtering water and taking away its contamination, then the substance of the pure water is there.”

(0:28:49.6) – the ultimate goal is to love God.


Love of God is (0:28:58.1). We simply have to remove everything else. So that that love can shine. To illuminate the world and give pleasure to the Lord.

So Yamuna is pure – whatever anyone puts in it – no one can contaminate Yamuna. What’s not Yamuna may be contaminated. But what’s Yamuna cannot be contaminated.

So when we bathe in Yamuna, we are bathing in the essence, not of the sewage, but of the Yamuna. That sweet, nectarine, (0:29:45.3).

And the caranamrita of Radha and Krsna and the vraja-basis. And the caranamrita of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Adwaita Prabhu, and the six Goswamis and all the acharyas. It’s all there. It’s not that it flows down the stream and goes into the ocean. It is eternally present. The caranamrita of all the great souls.

Prabhupada said, “When one has bathed, even bathing in Ganga, even if he’s seeing some stool floating, you should push it away and drink the water.”

With great love and faith, let us all bathe in the holy river Yamuna. (0:30:38.0) nectar that has descended from the spiritual world for the special purpose of purifying our hearts and awakening unconditional, unmotivated loving service of the inhabitants of Vrindavana.

Sri Yamuna Mayi ki Jay!

Thank you very much.

After bathing in Yamuna, (0:31:06.7) go to the ashram for Prasad. And now, there are several alternatives – those of you who would like to walk back, the same way we came from, (0:31:26.8) it is a little closer. You can walk back along Yamuna. Those of you who are a little older, we have five vehicles or cars that can drive you back. And those who simply would like to go back in a different way, you can just enter into the town of Vrindavana, which is just here, and find rickshaws and reach in for Prasad.

Now, let us take our holy bath.

Thank you very much.


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.