Over here is shyam van ,where there is a sacred Govardhan sila ,with a very holy explicit foot print of Lord Krishna ,that has been worshipped by devotees ,for thousands and thousands of years.Shyam van is where there is RatnaSingha ,the place where Shrimati Radharani will sit and offer various types of services and where Radha and Krishna would sit together .The Bhagwatam describes a very important story that took place in Shyamvan.It was the night of holi and Krishna,Balaram with the gopis were performing beautiful pastimes .Krishna Balaram to please their Gopis were singing with the most sweet and divine voices.They were singing very loudly and the melodious sound of the voice was ambrosial nectar to the gopis heart.In this way Krishna,Balaram were dedicating their energy just to give pleasure to their devotees.And for the gopis their lives and souls were only for the pleasure of Krishna.So in this beautiful moonlit forest of Shyam van,in their midst of wonderful pastime of love the demon Sankachuda appeared.Sanka chuda was a devotee and close associate of Kuber ,who has access to large wealth.Sankachuda became so wealthy and so physically powerful he was intoxicated by his opulence and became a horrible demon.He considered that nobody could defeat him in any way.He heard about the powers of kamsa and that outraged him ,that there was a competitor. So in great anger he ferociously challenged kamsa to fight and they fought to an incredible fight .They were fighting and fighting ,they were breaking each other’s club, when they had no more clubs ,they were beating each other with their fists .They were both mystic yogis.Each of them had the strength of 10000 elephants .They fought like this for 27 days.And Garga muni approached and said that it is impossible for each of you to defeat other.You are two equal in strength .My suggestion is you become allies. He said Krishna is your real enemy.He said both of you are either going to kill Krishna or be killed by Krishna.That is my prophecy. So they became allies .Something like two political parties that hate each other and united for a common purpose of defeating an enemy.They live in Mathura together.Sakhachuda came to shyamvan in the Govardhan hill in the moonlit night of Holi.And Krishna and Balaram and Gopis were enjoying the sweet pastimes of love,Sankhachuda appeared.He could’nt tolerate seeing Krishna and Balaram enjoying such beautiful women.Srila Prabhupad explains this – when one is too much intoxicated with false pride due to too much wealth and influence one thinks I am the enjoyer.Beautiful women are meant for me,cannot tolerate someone else having.So as if theGopis were his property,he was demanding them to go in norther direction with him.He was forcing ,screaming at them go this way ,come with me and the Gopis were being led away and they were piteously screaming Krishna ,Balaram help help we are being taken away by the demon.So Krishna and Balaram both become.. and charge this Sankachuda .Sankhachuda when he saw this ,he understood this is too much left the Gopis behind and ran away.So much for his heroism.So Krishna entrusted the care of gopis with Balaramji and he went and chased after Sankha chuda.For two reasons.
one – ‘Paritrany sadhunam vinasachaya duskritam ‘.Bhagwad gita .But also Sanka chuda was very proud.Because he had a unique jewel that was priceless .It was the shape of conchshell and he wore it on top of his head.So Krishna chased after Sankhachuda and caught him and with one blow of his fist ,Krishna liberated the asura.And then he sized the jewel and came back to shyamvan.Balaram and Gopis were waiting and he presented that jewel to Lord Balaram.There is a long story of that jewel .Later on that jewel came into the possession of Shrimati Radharani and later on it came into the possession of Sun God,Surya who gave it to Satyajit.It was known as the Shyamtaka jewel.Sankha chuda represents the proness to name and fame ,which is a great anartha ,obstacle for those who are in the path of devotional service.It is very irresistible.Krishna tells in BG that lust is like fire it burns in the heart and the more fuel we give to fire the hotter and hungry it becomes.Cannot satisfy lust by giving it objects to enjoy ,you only make it worse.And name and fame ,prathistha is subtle form of lust. It goes in our heart.And we see when people get name and fame ,the more they get ,the more they need.The more they get the more frustrated they are when they don’t get it.The more they have the more they are prone to become envious of anybody who maybe their competitor.Vaishnavism is just the opposite.Vaishnav wants to be the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant.We want to exalt and glorify everyone .We want to see everyone get blessings.Srila prabhupad would say he was praying that all of his disciples become better than him and more successful than him and do more than him.He was praying that of course,if any disciple thinks that they could even do anything near Prabhupad ,they would be in very deep trouble.But that was Prabhupad’s wish .Whatever any one could do is only by his power .So yes we see in the lives of Vaishnava sages, very happy to take the lowliest humblest position and they want to see everyone get the mercy of the Lord.They want to see every devotee empowered by the Lord.And they take their pleasure not in praising themselves ,but in praising others.But we have this deep seated tendency this proness for name and fame .We want our attributes our glories ,to show this conchshell like jewel on our heads to attract people.Let us pray that Krishna will kill that propensity ,steal that jewel of false ego away and give it to Balaram the original spiritual master and be his humble obedient servant.Vishwath Chakravati Thakur also tells another story about Shyamvan.He says one day Krishna ,he told Shrimati Radharani ,he had received a mantra from Purnamasi and he wanted to test this mantra with her.So she came into Shyamvan and Krishna took black kajal and covered her body with it. Then Krishna took clothes identical to his own and put it around Radharani ,so she looked ,just like him.And then Krishna with the perfect imitation of Shrimati Radharani’s voice called the gopis to come.When the gopis arrived they saw two Krishna.One was standing and one was sitting. And they were confused.And then Krishna with the voice of Shrimati Radharani said that Krishna ,he pointed to radharani ,who looked like Krishna- ‘Krishna by the power of mantra has made me look like him’.Now I have the identical form but the only difference is I still have my own voice. Lalita sakhi enquired ,why did Krishna do this?Krishna pretending in Radharani’s voice said I am too embarrassed to tell in public, but I will tell each and everyone of you the secret in a private place .And then Krishna went into a very secret kunja and each gopi came individually and Krishna gave them his private darshan and fulfilled her hearts desire.And ofcourse seeing all gopis getting Krishna’s special mercy Radharani who everyone thought was Krishna was very very happy.Vishwanath Chakravati tells this nice story in regard to Shyamvan.We are now in this kund ,we are sitting around is called GoalPokar,very very holy place.Everyday Krishna with the gopas would come to this place.This was one of the favourite places for taking Prasad together .They would have prasad together have so many beautiful pastimes in Sakyaras of playing amongst one another .And after lunch Prasad ,Krishna and Madhumangal would very very quietly ,just disappear and go to suryakund.because they knew the time Shrimati Radharani was going to suryakund everyday to worship the sun god.To all of you remember last year when we went to suryakund such a holy and beautiful place.So Krishna would disguise himself as Brahman priest and Madhumangal was his assistant and they would perform the puja and in this way they would have a very nice way of leading with Shrimati Radharani and her friends.And at one particular day Shrimati Radharani and gopis they gave Madhumangal dakshina or donation for his wonderful puja that he had performed to suryadev.They gave him manohar laddus.A whole bag full of them.manohar laddus are the most favourite laddus of Shri Krishna. Very nectarean ,she also gave Madhumangal a gold ring. Madhumangal who is quite well known through out the forty worlds as one who has a very very special attraction for laddus.He wrapped those laddus in the clothes and he kept them and guarded them very carefully.So ,they came back to Goalpokar where the gopas were playing so many nice pastimes with each other .Balaram said hey Madhumangal ,what is in that cloth that you have.Madhumangal became very timid.And he looked at the ground and said nothing.He was really protective ,really guarding .Then Balaram indicated to the cowherd boys ,two of the cowherd boys each took and held one of the Madhumangals hand each.And when another cowherd boy came from behind put both of his palms over Madhumangals eyes. So he couldn’t move and couldn’t see .And then another boy ,snatched the cloth bag of Manohar laddus from Madhumangal which was tied around his waist .And that boy distributed the laddus to the other cowherd boys and they were eating up and just laughing and laughing and laughing ,telling Madhumangal these laddus are so good ,most enjoyable best laddus we ever had.And Madhumangal was so angry ,he was becoming so angry.So to increase the nectar of this lila one cowherd boy started pulling out the front and back of his dhoti . and another cowherd boy was pulling his sikha.Meanwhile his sikha is being pulled ,his hands are tied, cant see ,his dhoti is coming off ,all telling how wonderful these laddus are. Madhumangal is so angry he said I am a brahmana and I am going to curse you(devotees laugh).When the boys heard Madhumangal is cursing ,they laugh louder.By this time Madhumangal was really upset .So he just marched away and he said I am going to the village of vraj and tell all your mothers what you have done to me.On his way he met Krishna ,Krishna pacified him and Krishna dressed him nicely and took by the hands and Krishna brought him back to here,Goalpokar.And there were a few little crumbs left of those manohar laddus and Madhumangal was given that.And then he was really happy .And then all they laughed and laughed in great sakhya ras,happiness ,after performing this lila.Goalpokar is a place of wonderful pastimes of Krishna and the cowherd boys .
Let us offer our very sincere prayers that we may develope a genuine and real attraction and attachment for hearing the beautiful pastimes of the Lord.The lord performs these charming lilas in this world ,just to enchant our hearts ,Madan mohan,Steals our hearts away from material enjoyment which is the road to death.The pastimes of Lord ,the names of Lord ,the service to the lord is the path to eternal life and eternal love.
Jai jai shri radhe shyam.
Suryadev is the father of Yamuna ,Ramchandra is a descendant of Suryadev,we should be happy to get the blessings of suryadev.We should be grateful,when suryadev shines and his heat upon devotees who are doing the govardhan parikrama we should understand it is great great blessing.Le t us take shelther upon the holy names and continue circumbulation around the Govardhan Hill.
Thank you very much.