Sri Bhagvan uvaca

Bhuya eva maha baho

Srnu me paramam vacah

Yat tea ham priyamanaya

Vaksyami hita kamyaya



The Supreme Personality of Godhead Said: listen again, o mighty armed arjuna. Because you are my dear friend, for your benefit I shall speak to you further, giving knowledge that is better than what I have already explained.



 The word bhagavan is explained thus by Parasara Muni: one who is full in six opulences, who has full strength, full fame, wealth, knowledge, beauty and renunciation, is Bhagavan, or the supreme personality of Godhead. WhileKrishnawas present on this earth, He displayed all six opulences. Therefore great sages like Parasara Muni have all acceptedKrishnaas the Supreme personality of Godhead. NowKrishnais instrctiong Arjuna in more confidential knowledge of His opulences and His work. Oreviously, beginning with the seventh chapter, the Lord has already explained His different energies and how they are acting. Now in this chapter He explains His specific opulences to Arjuna. In the previous chapter He has clearly explained His different energies to ectablish devotion in firm conviction. Again in this chapter He tells Arjuna about His manifestations and various opulences.

The more one hears about the Supreme God, the more one becomes fixed in devotional service. One should always hear about the Lord in the association of devotees; that will enhance one’s devotional service. Discourses in the society of devotees can take place only among those who are really anxious to be inKrishnaconsciousness. Others cannot take part in such discourses. The Lord clearly tells Arjuna that because Arjuna is very dear to Him, for his benefit such discourses are taking place.


Krishna the possessor of Six Opulence.

In the 10th canto of the Srimad Bhagvatam, in the description of rasa lila by Sukhadev Goswami to Maharaj Parikshit. Maharaj Parikshit inquired that the gopis of Vrindavan they were not even consciously aware that Sri Krishna is absolute truth, the personality of Godhead. They were thinking Him to be a very beautiful lover. And they were so fixed in concentration that some of the gopi’s when they were not allowed by their in – laws and elders to go to forest to meet Sri Krishna, they were locked in their rooms with no means of escaping. They were so fixed in their meditation on Sri Krishna and in that meditation the fire of separation from Him was burning, burning so terribly in their hearts that it consumed their very lives. They left their present body and their soul was immediately transported to the spiritual world. So does that mean that, if anybody meditates on someone they love with such intensity they will be transferred to the spiritual world? Maharaj Parikshit wanted to understand this. And Sukadeva Goswami explained that whether you understandKrishna is God or do not understandKrishna is God, He is God.  He is the absolute truth.  Some how or other by any means if you can fix your consciousness onKrishna, you will become purified because He is all pure.  The nameKrishna indicates that He is all attractive.  Why is He all attractive?  It is described here in this verse, because He is parmam, supreme, He is Bhagvan.  He possess all opulence in full.  All wealth, all beauty, all strength, all knowledge, all fame, and all renunciation are present in Bhagvan, Sri Krishna in full.  Therefore, Krishna explains in Gita that all things that you consider to be beautiful in this world, all glorious objects that come before and attracts your mind, you should understand that they are all just little sparks springing from My supreme unlimited splendor.


Krishna – Source of Everything.

Janamady asya yato everything is emanating from the absolute truth.  Sri Krishna is the absolute truth and every thing is coming from Him. Therefore all glorious things that we see, whatever attracts our attention, we should understand that actually it is the essence of Krishna within it. That is the very basis of His sweetness.Krishnatold gopi’s, when they met Him under Bamshi vat tree, you go home. They explained to Him that you are telling us to go home, to our family members, but who are our family members in truth. You residing in their heart give them life.  As soon as you leave their hearts they are dead corpses. No sane person is attracted to a dead corps. We take the corps and bury it underground and we never see it again.  Or we put it in the funeral fire and burn it to ashes with fire.  Or we bring it to the roof of the temple and feed it to birds.  Or we throw it into the river.  No one is attracted to a dead corps. And the only difference between the dead corps and the loved ones, for whom we are willing to give our life for, is the presence ofKrishnawithin their hearts. The presence of one tiny little infinitesimal spark or particle of Krishna, and how much madly we become attach to that particle. How much a father is attached to his wife and children?  How much mother is attached to a baby child? How much a child is attached to his parents?  How much a lover is attached to a beloved?  These attachments make people completely mad in this world.  And that energy that is lovable is infinitesimal tiny spark of the supreme lovable object Sri Krishna.  Therefore,Krishnasays “Mattah parataram nanyat kincidastidhananjaya mayi sarvam idam protam sutre mani gana iva That there is no truth superior to Me.  Everything is resting upon Me like pearls on a string. So therefore, the more we hear ofKrishna, the more we chant His glories, the more we remember Him, the more naturally we become attracted to Him.  The more we become attached to Him.  The more that innate love within us begins to blossom from within the core of our very heart.


Tongue – The Radar of Human Body

Bhakti means to water the seed of devotion within our heart. And it also means to be very careful to pull out the weeds as they are growing along side.  Topics of mundane subject matters of this world are very nourishing waters to the weeds that are always very anxious to chock the creeper of bhakti. People are very much fond of listening to nice rumors or hearing nice gossips or speaking. The tongue is the most ferocious of all the senses. The tongue has two functions; to taste and to vibrate or speak.  And of the two this tendency to vibrate is very difficult to control.  Some times it is explained that this human body is a suitable boat to carry us across the ocean of birth and death.  The spiritual master is the captain of the boat.  The Vedic knowledge, the books of the Acharyas are the favorable breezes which push the boat in the proper direction.  Now this body is of a reasonable size.  For those of you who know about boats, a boat may be very big but there is a part of the boat which is called radar.  It is very small.  It is just a tiny part of the boat which is in the back – underneath.  And the steering wheel moves that radar.  And according to the direction radar is facing the whole boat goes to that direction.  The tongue is considered to be the radar of the boat of this human form of life.  Although, it is just a tiny little organ, according to the way that the direction in which that radar vibrates, according to how you are willing to control it, that will establish the direction that the human form of life you will take.   Therefore, it is said Jive phele visaya sagore that a devotee must learn to control what he speaks. Atah SriKrishnanamadi na bhaved grahyam andriyaih sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah It is explained by Rupa Goswami that beginning of devotional service is to control all one’s senses and keep them engaged in the loving service of the Lord and become purified. And whatever the tongue do all the other senses will follow.  So therefore, the process of hearing and chanting is the basic principle of our spiritual life. And here Lord Sri Krishna is explaining to Arjuna “I shall impart please listen again to my supreme word which I shall impart to you for your benefit and it will give you great joy. So we must always strive to keep our consciousness within the realm of transcendental sound vibration. Sound vibration is the most powerful. When one is sleeping, if some one writes a note ‘ wake up, it is now two o’clock  in the morning’  will you wake up?  You will not wake up.  But if some one calls your name ‘wake up – jeeva jago, jeeva jago – wake up sleeping soul’ you wake up. Sound vibration, more than any of our senses, the ear is awake and alert 24 hours a day even when we are sleeping. So the sleeping soul that is merged in forgetfulness of God can be awakened to its natural, dynamic state through the process of hearing and chanting transcendental sound vibration. And there is nothing more polluting to our consciousness than sound vibration in the mode of passion and ignorance.


Importance of hearing in Devotional Service

When we talk about the association with devotees, it means hearing from them.  Hearing is different then listening. Listening means to simply accumulate the data that is coming through our ears.  But hearing means that, that sound vibration propels us to act accordingly.  When Krishna says “surrender to Me”, to listen to Krishna means – Yes I am supposed to surrender to Krishna. I know Bhagvad Gita very nicely. I know Krishna. What can you tell me? That is listening. Hearing means ‘my god, Krishna is telling me to surrender’.  That means I have to SURRENDER. And that sound vibration, just like in Diwali they are lighting matches and sending rockets in the sky. Hearing is like, it is meant to ignite. Ignite our soul. Ignite our heart. Ignite our senses. Ignite every element of our body to propel itself forward and forward, higher and higher towards the loving service of Sri Krishna. Therefore, pariprasnena sevaya One must hear transcendental sound vibration from a pure transcendental source.  And then one must act upon what he hears, that is called bhakti, or devotional service.


Krsna- The Butter Thief

This is the month, which the Vaishnavas celebrate as the month of Damodar. It is the month when we remember Krishna in His form of Bal Gopal – a small baby child. Sometimes people of other religion, they have difficult time, understanding how it is possible. Many people have a conception of God that He is very old and He has long white beard and white hairs, and He has a very wrinkled aged face, and He is very stern, grave and harsh, and if you commit sin, from His finger tips will emanate thunder bolt, and if He is pleased, by His supreme position as the ancient manager of creation, He will arrange all kinds of nice facilities in your life. In this way they picture God as a supreme ancient controller.  But then they come to our temple and they see that the devotees are worshiping God as a little baby, who is hardly even able to walk – crawling.  Krishna is everything for every one and He appears just to attract every ones mind. Krishna is older than the oldest but at the same time He is navyouvanam ca – He is younger than the youngest. He appears in the form of a tiny little baby child and He is eternally accepting this form just to accept the pure love of those who want to love Him as a child. The love of a baby is a love of unconditional quality. You expect noting from a baby. What you expect? Simply for the pleasure of that child you are willing to give up your life. SoKrishna appears in this way, but He is not an ordinary baby. He is the supreme all attractive parmam – Bhagvan. In the month of Damodar we worship Krishna as a butter thief. In the home of mother Yashoda, sometimes He would break the pots of butter and He would steal that butter, and some times He would even go to the home of His friends and He would break in and steal their butter and their yogurt, and their ghee, and He would eat it with great relish.  He and His friends, by any means they would be stealing like this. And it is explained that sometimes Gopi’s would approach mother Yashoda that your son Krishna is constantly causing harassment through out the Brajdham. But sometimes Krishna, He steals everything we have.  He breaks it all over the floor. And after He finishes eating it, and then He gives to his friends, if there is any left He gives to monkeys. If monkeys are full, He starts throwing on the walls, throwing on the floor saying its useless, worthless butter, even monkey do not like it. So mother Yashoda said ‘why do not you hide it better”. They said “we do we hide it, but some how or other He finds it”.  But sometimes He does not find it and then He become so angry that He puts water in the ears of our baby children and makes them cry.  Other times when He does not find it just to let us know that He is here, He passes urine on the floor.  One may think what kind of a God is this – passing urine on the floor. This is the difference between you and God. How many times have you passed urine in your life? Does any body know?  Does any body care?  Does any body interest in how many times you have passed urine?  In fact we have always locks in the bath room so no body knows that you are passing urine. It is secret, it’s abominable. But Krishna passed urine once and five thousand years later we are still writing song about it. This is just one time and the greatest, most learned sages, the most intelligent pundits; they cry tears of love when they hear about the story that Krishna passed urine on the floor. This is a difference between you and Krishna. When we steal something nobody likes it. But whenKrishna steals every one is in great ecstasy. The proof is, mother Yashoda told the gopis “alright I will keepKrishna in the house, I will tie Him up, He will not come out, and there will be no problem. They said “ Please do not lock Him up”, do not keep Him in the house, because actually through out the day we are simply awaiting for that ecstatic joy of seeing Krishna stealing our butter and yogurt. We milk for only that. In fact we work all day herding the cows, feeding them grass, milking them, churning the butter only with the expectation that Krishna may come to my house and steal, so let me prepare it very nicely.

Krishna says in Bhagvad Gita “sarva loka maheshvaram” That He is the proprietor of everything. If somebody owns something, is it a question that they can steal it. It is just like, if your father gives you a thousand rupees and says “hold this for me, take care of that for me” and then he comes and says “alright, give me my thousand rupees, and you say no. no. it is mine, and then he takes it away. Is he a thief? What do you think?  You are a thief for not giving to him voluntarily. SoKrishna is not a thief but we are thieves. Krishna is a proprietor of every thing.  He is creating everything, He is maintaining every thing, He has annihilated everything, and therefore, He is the proprietor.  What have you created, what can you maintain and what can you destroy nothing without the help of God. So therefore whenKrishna steals, it is His transcendental love upon us. And a devotee understands that whateverKrishna does is a manifestation of His love. Whether he gives us or whether He takes away. Sometimes the Lord says yes. Sometimes He says no. sometimes He says wait. He is the supreme controller we are His servants. This is humility. Some times people ask what does it means to be humble. You are always talking about of being humble. There are many explanations. But in essence to be humble means to have the conviction that I deserve the worst of everything and therefore I expect nothing. If you think you deserve something that is due to pride. If you think I am so great, I am so qualified, I deserve. And then you expect what you deserve. And then you don’t get it you become very frustrated. Sometimes we even give up. But inKrishna consciousness humility means I don’t deserve anything. In fact I deserve to be burning in the flames of hell; I am such a sinful person.  For so many births I have been claiming proprietorship over what belongs to God. But by the causeless mercy, infinite causeless mercy of Guru andKrishna they are allowing me to chant His names. They are allowing me to associate with His devotees. They are allowing me to traverse the path back home back to godhead. I don’t deserve this.  But we become impatient.  Why do we become impatient?  We are thinking I have chanted Hare Krishna for ten years.  And I have been following the regulative principles and some times I come for Mangla Arti. And I listen to the pravachan as much as I can.  Why am I still not floating in the ecstasy of the nectar of devotion?  Why my hairs are not standing on end?  Why tears are not flowing like torrents of rain from my eyes. Why my limbs are not trembling?  Why my heart is not over flooding with pure love? I deserve it. Look what I have done for Krishna. Look what I have done for my Guru. This is a very proud condition. All the anxieties of your life is, you think you deserve something good and when you do not get it you suffer, and when you do get it, it is not enough. Is it not true? Is not the way of this world? But the humble position is I deserve noting. I deserve to be punished. Whatever good is coming into my life is only by the infinite, inconceivable love of God. And therefore, I am rendering service for His pleasure. I am rendering service for the satisfaction of guru and Krishna.  Whatever guru andKrishna decide is best for me.  Let that be.


Bhakti – No Expectation but A Selfless Service

Surrender means what gives pleasure toKrishna. What gives pleasure to His devotees. This is what it means to be the humble service. To expect nothing but to give. The process of jnana is the process of expectation. The process of jnana is the process when we attain a high state of joy. I have done this much and I will get this much in return. The process of mystic yoga, the astanga yoga system is the same thing. But bhakti is altogether different. Bhakti, we only expect more service. We do not expect anything for ourselves. We are not concerned with joy, we are not concerned with suffering, but we are only concerned with service. That is the transcendental platform. That is the platform of love. Krishna says in Gita for one who is honored, dishonored is worse than death. Because when you are honored you start believing what people say. People start saying “you are very expert, you are very important”. Such an important person you are. You are very handsome, very beautiful, very spiritual advanced, very charitable, very religious, and very pious. And you are very expert at your occupational field. And in our insane condition we believe these people. And then we become very proud. And then when some body tells some thing different or when they do not give us any honor, Krishna says “it is worth than death”. For one who has been honored, dishonored is worse than death. Because we expect some thing, we think we deserve some thing. That is the seed of all suffering in this world.


Expecting In Return

Similarly, SP tells story about one very high positioned Magistrate during the British rule inIndia, earning a large sum of money.  But when Mahatma Gandhi advertised to the citizens ofIndia, his non-participation movement, due to social pressure this person had to give up his high post position under the British rulers, and he accepted a very simple position, where he was getting just a simple income just enough. Within one year he died. It was not a physical death, it was a mental death. His mind could not tolerate that he was not getting what he felt he deserved.  Therefore, he was in so much anxiety.

The Selfless Service of The Six Goswamis

But then we have the story of Rupa and Santana Goswami. They were multi-millionaire. They had enough wealth to fill boats with gold, high position. And they gave it all up to go to Vrindavan, where they only wore the old cloths that were thrown out by the villagers. And even then just one piece of cloth. They would sleep on the hard cold ground under a different tree every night. They would only eat what came of its own accord by begging. Takyatva turnama asesa mandala patisrenm sada tuccha vat Did they die out of anxiety?  Because they were so humble they were thinking that Krishna you are so kind, what I can do for you. I want nothing from You. I want only to give to you.

Raghunath Das Goswami, such a personality he was. His father was practically financing all the activities of all the Vaishnavas in all over Bengal. Raghunath was the only son. He had a beautiful wife, beautiful palace of his own. He had so much money; he did not know what to do with all.  He had such respect and honor from every one. But then he left it. He would only eat the rice that was rejected by human society and fed to the cows. And he would not compete with the cows. He considered the cows are better than me, they are more important than me. So after the cows fully ate to their satisfaction, what was left, the part that stale and spit out by the cows, he would eat that, nothing else. And he would wear old torn cloths. He would not beg for it. If he found in the street, he would accept it. And he was sleeping under different trees every night. And his eyes were always filled with tears of ecstasy. He was not looking for that ecstasy. That ecstasy was causelessly coming because he was constantly engaged in the selfless service of the Lord. He wanted nothing from Krishna. He only wanted to give, give, give, give everything. I deserve nothing, but You deserve everything. I expect nothing except more and more service for Your satisfaction.


The Undeserving Nature of A Devotee

There is a story; one time Raghunath Das Goswami  was sitting at the banks of Yamuna and he was chanting the holy name “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare”. At that time a tiger came to eat him. But he was so engrossed in chanting the name of Lord for the pleasure of the Lord; he did not even notice the tiger.  Rupa Goswami, his associate, his senior god-brother, from distance he was watching this, and Rupa Goswami was thinking ‘O my God, Raghunath is finished, tiger is about to eat him. And right at the last minute Krishna appeared and with the stick herding for cows he chased the tiger away.  So Raghunath Das Goswami when he was told that Krishna had come and chased this tiger away, Raghunath was saying ‘O my God, what a sinful fool I am? I am so sinful that Krishna is coming to serve me. I am His servant and He is coming to serve me. I am bothering Him in this way. So he felt very bad. And he was thinking the only way to atone for this offence is to chant the holy name with even more sincerity, even more devotion. So Raghunath to atone for his began to chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. He was so immersed in his chanting thatnoonday son was blazing and it was about to just burn his body. Rupa Goswami was watching and that time Srimati Radharani came and with the end of Her sari She held it over his head to shade him. He didn’t even know it. He was engrossed in chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. So as the sun went down Srimati Radharani left. Rupa Goswami told Raghunath das, do you know Radharani came just to shade from the sun. Again I am accepting service from my worship able Lord, Srimati Radhika. This is horrible. Rupa Goswami said, yes. The whole idea of chanting the name of is you are begging the Lord for service. The Maha Mantra translated in to English means “Oh! All attractive Lord, Sri Krishna. Oh! Supreme reservoir of pleasure, Sri Rama. Oh! Divine energy of Sri Krishna, who captures even the mind of Sri Krishna, Srimati Radharani. Please engage me in your service. When we chant the holy name, we are pleading. We are begging the Lord, please engage me in your service. And Raghunath, what is this? While you are begging for service you are forcing Srimati Radha,Krishnato come to serve you. Then Raghunath decided that I will build a hut, call the bhajan kutir, which will be safe from the tiger and which will shade me from sun and in this way selflessly, unconditionally I can be praying to serve the Lord. I do not deserve anything from Them. When you do not deserve some thing and you get it any way, you feel embarrassed. This is the difference between a humble devotee and some body who is infected by pride. Somebody who is infected by pride they lament and they give up. But someone who is in pride and they get what they want, they think yes, yes I deserve this but I should get more. But some one who is humble, if he gets nothing he is very happy. He is thinking I deserve worst than nothing. If something bad comes to him, tatte nu kampa…  due to my previous karma I deserve millions of times worst, but Krishna is so kind just giving a little, what we call a sample, of I really deserve. Therefore Krishna, “Thank You very much, thank You for this suffering.” You are very kind. And when such a person gets something very good, get some praise; get some honor, some get glorification, some get success in his endeavors, he feels embarrassed. He is thinking why, why it is coming? I don’t deserve it.Krishnais so kind. So we have learned the art of humility from Raghunath das Goswami and from all the great Acharyas who are teaching by their example. Therefore whenKrishnacomes to steal from us we should feel grateful. When Lord Damodar, Makhan chor, that little baby butter thief, he comes in to our life and takes something away, we should think how nice, how niceKrishnais so kind that He is allowing me to be part of this Lila. He is taking some thing from me too. In fact we should work so hard hoping thatKrishnasteals it. Just like the Gopi’s all day working hard just hoping that Krishna will come and steal it and enjoy it. Of course if we offer it toKrishnawith devotion he doesn’t have to come and steal it. The fact is at cruel death He comes and steals everything. Therefore surrender means voluntarily, willingly giving our lives toKrishnawithout expecting any thing in return, simply be concerned with service.


Unconditional Service to the Lord

Today we were discussing this topic with one very nice devotee, that a devotee he is not concerned or she is not concerned with the happiness or distress. We are not even concerned with making spiritual advancement. Forget about your spiritual advancement, you are only concern with one thing, service – seva. Bhakti means service. I will follow four regulative principles strictly because it pleases my Guru. I will chant Hare Krishna Maha mantra, 16 rounds or 64 rounds, whatever Guru tells me strictly because it pleases Guru. I will offer all my food for his pleasure and take nothing else for than his pleasure. Whoever I meet, whoever I touch, I will try to preach in their hearts the message of godhead for His pleasure. Yat karosi…. it is meant for His pleasure as an act for service to Him. This is the state of peace. This is the state ofKrishna consciousness. So simply be concern with service. Expect nothing but service. Aspire nothing but service. That attitude of service is the attitude of love. And it is only this love that satisfies the soul. We are not trying to be spiritually advanced. We are trying to be servants of God. And we aspire for that only Krishna will fulfill our desire that is His promise. So in this month of Damodar let us remember with great devotion and gratitude, this beautiful form of Sri Gopal, who is coming to steal. And let us find the greatest satisfaction and treasure in our life by offering everything for His pleasure. This is the prayer of devotee “my Lord please steal my heart away from the sensory attachments of this world. Please steal my mind and keep it always in your loving service. Hare Krishna Hare KrishnaKrishnaKrishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.


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.