śrī-prahlāda uvāca

tvayaiva dattaḿ padam aindram ūrjitaḿ

hṛtaḿ tad evādya tathaiva śobhanam

manye mahān asya kṛto hy anugraho

vibhraḿśito yac chriya ātma-mohanāt

(SB 8.22.16)


Translation :

Prahlāda Mahārāja said: My Lord, it is Your Lordship who gave this Bali the very great opulence of the post of heavenly king, and now, today, it is You who have taken it all away. I think you have acted with equal beauty in both ways. Because his exalted position as King of heaven was putting him in the darkness of ignorance, You have done him a very merciful favor by taking away all his opulence.


PURPORT by his Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad

As it is said, yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaḿ śanaiḥ (Bhāg. 10.88.8). It is by the mercy of the Lord that one gets all material opulence, but if such material opulence causes one to become puffed up and forget the process of self-realization, the Lord certainly takes all the opulence away. The Lord bestows mercy upon His devotee by helping him find out his constitutional position. For that purpose, the Lord is always ready to help the devotee in every way. But material opulence is sometimes dangerous because it diverts one’s attention to false prestige by giving one the impression that he is the owner and master of everything he surveys, although actually this is not the fact. To protect the devotee from such a misunderstanding, the Lord, showing special mercy, sometimes takes away his material possessions. Yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaḿ śanaiḥ.


Vaman Dev’s 3 steps

In this chapter of Srimad Bhagvatam we find the Bali Maharaj has just been arrested by the supreme personality of Godhead Sri Vamana Dev. Vamana Dev came as a Brahman dwarf to beg at the door of Bali who had just recently conquered the entire universe and was residing in the most elegant palace of Indra, the king of Heaven. While Indra who was the yielder of the great thunderbolt, was hiding in fear of his life, because Bali Maharaj due to his pleasing of the Brahmans had become very powerful. Bali became the most wealthy and most powerful and the most famous man in all of this universe. When Vamana dev came, he begged for three steps of land. Bali Maharaj agreed although he offered far more than what he expected he would take. He offered him planets , wealth ,beautiful women ,great power and influence over others, but Vaman explained that all he wanted was just three steps. He explained that if you are satisfied with whatever little is provided that comes by it’s natural accord then you will be satisfied in any situation. But if you are not satisfied with that, no matter how much you work and endeavour for more and more and more, it will only burn the anxiety of your heart.

Vaman Dev took two steps and covered the entire universe. And because Bali had promised him three steps of land, he had no where else to put it. Vamana asked where he should put his third step. So just see the fate the destiny of Bali Maharaj. At one moment he was the conquerer, the ruler, the controller  and the proprietor of the universe. And just five minutes later he had absolutely nothing, everything literally was taken away. Bali understood there was no where else to put it because everything else was taken away.


Prahlad Maharaj appears to help Bali Maharaj

At that time, as he was in that predicament, hand and foot bound by ropes, in an utterly poverty striken condition and very embarrassed, his grand father Prahlad Maharaj appeared. Now obviously Prahlad Maharaj was not an ordinary grandfather. Most parents and grand parents are very much concerned with the material situation of their dependents. Sometimes when someone comes to the Krishna consciousness movement the parents , the grand parents they become very worried thinking where will you get your money? Where will you get your wealth? How will you take care of your family if you put your attention on Krishna. And people become very fearful due to family attachment. But Prahlad Maharaj – he was grandfather. The grandfather cares more about the grand children than the father cares about the child. That is natural. The father is sometime very strict with his son. But you will never find a grandfather strict with the grand children. They are very soft. They just want to spoil them and give them everything. That is the nature of material attachment.


Prahlad Maharaj’s realization

But just see the consciousness of Prahlad. His own grandson whom he loved so dearly had just attained the highest position and it was all taken away and now he had nothing. And Prahlad Maharaj was happy to come to that place and congratulate Bali. He offered his obeisances to Lord Vamana Dev and said that he was so kind because he has acted with equal beauty. First you gave him the whole kingdom of heaven and made him King of the universe. You gave him the most regal, royal opulence anyone ever had. That was your mercy. But I see it is even more your mercy that you have taken everything away and he does not even have a place to sleep at night. He will have to go out and beg for his food now. He has nothing.

Prahlad Maharaj explained  that because of Bali Maharj’s exalted position as a king of a heaven, it was putting him in the darkness of ignorance. He was grateful to Vaman Dev that he had done a very merciful favour by taking away all of his opulence. Prahlad Maharaj was a first class grand father a first class parent because he understood what was actually the need of his child, what was actually good for him. It was Krishna Consciousness. That top priority in every aspect of our lives is how we develop out Krishna consciousness. If anything diverts our attention away from that then that is our failure of life. It is not a success.

yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāḿ

tasyāḿ jāgarti saḿyamī

yasyāḿ jāgrati bhūtāni

sā niśā paśyato muneḥ


Material success v/s spiritual success

Krishna says in the Gita that what is day for the ordinary being is night for a transcendentalist. And what is day for a transcendentalist is the time to go to sleep for a gross materialist. So how does this world define the caliber of success? How much name, fame, prestige, wealth, property, sense enjoyment can you acquire? People consider these materialistic attributes very great and are envious of people  who have them. But learned souls, who are not completely immersed in the illusion of ignorance, understand that there is only one standard of success in this world and that is how much we are coming closer to God, how we are becoming free from the entanglements of this temporary existence, and how we are becoming attached to the eternal. And, therefore, when devotees see all sorts of material greatness they are not affected. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur our param guru used to say that sometimes people would sing beautiful Kristans and tens and thousands of people would come to hear such people sing so wonderfully , so beautifully. But Bhakti siddhanta would say that if he had no devotion, he was not pure in heart, then what was the use of that beautiful voice. He would much rather hear from someone who had no melodious talents whatsoever but was singing from their hearts with devotion, who is actually attached to Krishna.


True Spiritual Standard

So this is the standard of someone who understands the truth or is aspiring for the truth. He only makes one standard for success in his life or in his observation of others lives and that is how a person progresses on the path of self realization. Everything else is a phantasmagoria, it is an illusion. So, here we find Prahlad Maharaj setting the proper standard for all parents and grand parents. Whatever it takes for that person you love to be Krishna conscious, you should be happy with that. And Prahlad Maharaj was very dissatisfied when he saw Bali as the king of heaven. Why? He was enjoying like anything. But he was bewildered by false prestige, by pride and in such a heart, Krishna does not manifest. So Prahlad Maharaj was very proud that his son had totally failed materially why? Because he saw that his son had become humble devotee of the Lord and surrendered everything and with the source support of Prahlad Maharaj. Bali Maharaj said to the Lord that the third step had to be put somewhere.  He told the Lord that he had taken everything he owned and he had nothing else to give except his life. Bali Maharaj requested the Lord to put his third step on top of his head as he had surrendered to him – atma nivedanam. When Prahlad Maharaj saw this he was ecstatic and joyful. This is true love. True love is to understand what is really good for a person and to find joy when a person is coming closer to Krishna and to lament if a person attains any other position other than Krishna. This is the standard of Prahlad. And Prahlad was not a sanyasi. Some people may think oh well! this is the way sanyasis think but this is not the way Grihasthas think. Prahlad was a grihastha , he was father, he was a grand father , he was also a king , but he was not attached to anything but  the service of the Lord. And he found no other standard of progress other than the developing love of God. So sometimes Krishna puts his devotees in various types of situations because Krishna knows exactly what is best for his devotees. Krishna puts his devotee in just the proper situation to increase that devotees attachment and love for him. Krishna puts his devotee in such a situation that the devotee understands how it is important it is to take shelter of the lotus feet of the supreme personality of Godhead.


The story of a great devotee named Murari Gupta

There is a story of one very great devotee, his name was Murari and he was in the renounced order of life, he was sanyasi living in Jagannath Puri Dham. He became very well known and was very much loved by everyone because of his very simple life and very innocent devotion and love for all living beings and also his tremendous extent of renunciation. He would sit in front of Jagannath Mandir and he would beg for alms and whatever little he got in few minutes he would take that and be content and not ask for anything else. So people would see him there begging everyday and they were thinking that Murari was actually very learned and very qualified and very great but he was living such a simple life. He was just accepting whatever little Krishna provides as a beggar. Such a humble position. And the rest of the day he was simply engaged in serving humanity by glorifying God, the highest welfare work, not expecting anything in return. So one night in a dream Krishna appeared  to him and told Murari that he was very hungry and wanted mangoes. There is only one place where there is first class mangoes and that is in the garden of the head pujari of the Jagannath temple. So these mangoes are very strictly forbidden for anyone to take. But I want you to secretly come with me and will steal mangoes together for my pleasure. So Murari was thinking how can I go and steal mangoes from the Lord’s own personal servant but if you go Krishna I will come with you. Krishna appeared before him and they went to the mango trees and Krishna climbed up the trees and he was plucking the mangoes and tossing them to Murari. And then he told Murari to climb up the next tree and to pluck the mangoes and toss them down to him. So they were tossing and making noise. Then the head Pujari and his watchmen woke up and came near the trees. Krishna was on the bottom  and he ran away. And Murari was just still on the tree when Krishna left all the mangoes at the bottom of the tree – a big mountain of mangoes. So the Pujari and watchmen came and they saw Murari a great sanyasi stealing his mangoes. The head pujari thought that Murari was a great hypocrat. He told Murari that he was  a rascal. He claimed that throughout the day he was making everyone believe that he was such a renounced sanyasi by sitting there begging and willing to accept some rice. He told Murari that he knew why he was so content with so little because every night he was stealing opulent mangoes from every body else garden.


Krishna’s pastimes are unfathomable

So he became very angry, very very angry and the watchmen and the pujari began to beat Murari with sticks and he was feeling such pain. And mean while Murari was thinking Krishna what you are doing? Why is this happening? He was beaten with sticks, then he was brought to the king. And when the king heard of this, he punished Murari and put him in prison for stealing from the temple property. And Murari was just sitting in prison and thinking Krishna if this is what you want , then I will be very happy to be part of this special lila of your’s. I cannot understand your inconceivable will but whatever it is, it must be perfect. So that night the head pujari had a dream and Jagannath appeared to him and Jagannath told him that he had personally taken Murari to the Mango garden and he was taking those mangoes for him(Jagannathji) and when the pujari came he(Krishna) ran away but Murari got caught. But actually he was doing this for Jagannathji. He didn’t take or taste any of those mangoes himself. It was all his loving service on the Lord’s order. And when the pujari heard this he was thinking, oh! such a great saint, this Murari is greater than anybody else as Krishna was having these wonderful pastimes personally with him. And he went and told the king and the king announced to the whole kingdom that this was what had happened and then everybody was just bringing mangoes and gifts and everything to Murari and they were all worshipping him and he became very much embarrassed. He was thinking that all this praise and all this prestige was not good for his spiritual life as and very quietly without telling anyone he left that place and moved to Vrindavan, because he wanted to live a simple life. So here we find that we cannot judge whatever Krishna does by the way it appears to our eyes. He knows what is perfect for everyone whatever their stage of Krishna consciousness is and how to bring them closer to Krishna and how to make them attached exclusively to him.


Love is to repose all one’s affection in one object

Bhishma in the Mahabharat explains the definition of love. Love is to repose all one’s affection in one object. And there is no living creature on the earth that we can repose all our affection. It will always be divided. Only Krishna has the power to attract and to accept all the affection of a living being, because the soul has eternal love that is simply longing and dying to be expressed and directed towards someone. But we cannot express or offer all of our eternal love to some temporary form, object or person of this world. Only Krishna can reciprocate that love. Therefore to love means to love God. And without love of God, in a true sense, there is no love at all. What goes in the name of love in this world is simply a type of mutual exploitation tinged with selfishness. It is affection but it is not love.


sa vai puḿsāḿ paro dharmo

yato bhaktir adhokṣaje

ahaituky apratihatā

yayātmā suprasīdati


The supreme occupation for all humanity is that which awakens unmotivated uninterrupted love of God. Only such love can completely satisfy the self. That is the goal of life. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in his instructions to Srila Sanatana Goswami explained Prema pumarto Mahan. That means it is this prema, this love of God that is the supreme goal, the perfection of life. It is the purushartha siromani of all goals of life. Of all the attainments, it is the crest jewel, it is the highest. It is the only level of consciousness that completely satisfies the heart. So here we find such a beautiful example. Prahalad Maharaj how he is so happy and so proud of Bali Maharaj that he is making spiritual progress even though materially he has just become a total failure. From the material point of view he is lost all the respect of his followers, lost all his property , his own guru shukracharya, who he accepted out of prestige, rejected him. He was a total reject. But Prahlad was so happy and proud that Bali Maharaj would now take shelter of Krishna, now that he had surrendered to him. Because Prahlad knew that if we surrender to Krishna,  everything else follows. Krishna says in the Gita.

ananyāś cintayanto māḿ

ye janāḥ paryupāsate

For one who is my devotee surrendering to me, I preserve what he has and I carry what he lacks. So what is there to fear?


Surrendering to Krishna

Someone who is in knowledge understands if someone surrenders to Krishna there is nothing to worry about. Krishna will take charge of every aspect of his life. Someone who surrenders to Krishna does’nt even have to concern himself with his bodily maintenance or where his food and so forth are coming from. It will come. Krishna will arrange. There is no doubt. Of course we have our practical responsibilities in this world, but they are all shrama eva hi kevalam. It is a total waste of time if we are not pursuing through the agency of whatever our occupation is, to deepen our spiritual lives, deepen the level of our love and attachment to Krishna and his devotees. Prahlad Maharaj continues.


yayā hi vidvān api muhyate yatas

tat ko vicaṣṭe gatim ātmano yathā

tasmai namas te jagad-īśvarāya vai


(SB 8.22.17)


Transalation :

Material opulence is so bewildering that it makes even a learned, self-controlled man forget to search for the goal of self-realization. But the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, the Lord of the universe, can see everything by His will. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.


Purport by Srila Prabhupada :

The words ko vicaṣṭe gatim ātmano yathā indicate that when one is puffed up by the false prestige of possessing material opulence, he certainly neglects the goal of self-realization. This is the position of the modern world. Because of so-called scientific improvements in material opulence, people have entirely given up the path of self-realization. Practically no one is interested in God, one’s relationship with God or how one should act. Modern men have altogether forgotten such questions because they are mad for material possessions. If this kind of civilization continues, the time will soon come when the Supreme Personality of Godhead will take away all the material opulences. Then people will come to their senses.


Greatness of Dhruva Maharaj and Prahlad Maharaj

Rupa Goswami in Bhakti rasmarita sindhu explains that Prakinchitya Bhutya hari sambandhi vasana mumuksha that if something that appears to be material can be used in service of Krishna to renounce it, to reject it, is incomplete renunciation. Complete or full renunciation means to utilize everything that the Lord provides in the loving service of the Lord. We find this in the lives of Dhruva Maharaj and Prahlad Maharaj who were both disciples of Srila Narada Muni. Both Dhruva and Prahlad were God brothers. Dhruva went to the forest to perform tapasya where he had the beautiful darshan of Sri Narayan and he became so much attached to Lord Narayan that he didn’t care for his kingdom for which he had aspired so much. When Lord Narayan asked him what benediction he would like, he said that he wanted nothing. He was content to be there in the forest, living on leaves. All that he wanted was to never forget the Lord because his rememberance  was the fulfilment of all his desires and the nectar of his soul. He  had no other wants, no other needs other than simply remembering the Lord. .But the Lord told him that he was supposed to be the king and that there was no need for him to give that up. The Lord said that it was his benediction that he should be king, but that he should  always remember him and rule world in such a way that everyone remembers the Lord. So Dhruva Maharaj went back and became a great king, lived in palace, had children, wife and everything else but utilized everything in the loving service of the Lord, never being attached to false prestige, never letting any situation or aspiration divert his attention away from Krishna consciousness. And Prahlad Maharaj was only five years old. When his father Hirayankashipu killed by Lord Narahari, he did not want to be the king. Lord Narahari told him that he would give him any benediction that he desired. Prahlad said that he had not come to do business and he wanted nothing. He simply wanted to always remember the Lord and be servant of the Lord’s devotees. Other than that, he  wanted nothing. Prahlad said that if the Lord insists on giving him something, then he would like his father, a sinful demon, to be liberated. Lord Narasingha dev liberated his father and also coronated Prahlad as king and he went on to become a very great king.


Greatness of Bali Maharaj’s wife Vindya Valli

So Rupa Goswami explains whether you have everything or whether you have nothing, it doesn’t matter. Whatever you have, use it for Krishna. By not using it in rememberance of Krishna, whatever you have becomes like a rope binding your neck and choking your very soul suffocating your spirituality by material attachments. But whatever we have, if it is utilized in Krishna consciousness in reference to love of God, then it becomes complete renunciation. That is fully sanyas. To use everything for Krishna. So Prahlad Maharaj is explaining here how merciful the supreme personality of Godhead is. That he will do whatever is best for a devotee to advance in spiritual life. Therefore such a loving Lord is superior to all demigods because they will give you so many things that are not good for your spiritual life if you ask for them. But Krishna will do whatever is necessary to bring you closer to his lotus feet. So we are speaking about Bali Maharaj’s family. Here we find how Prahlad Maharaj reacted to this situation. Now I  am sure you are very fascinated by the idea of hearing how Bali Maharaj’s wife responded to Bali losing everything and being completely poverty striken, having nothing, no one and just surrendered his head to the lotus feet of Lord Vamana. I don’t think she will lament. You will lament? But I don’t think she will. Husbands always want their wives to take credit for their short comings.But Bali Maharaj’s chaste wife,afraid and aggrieved at seeing her husband arrested,  immediately offered obeisances to Lord Vamana dev. Her name was Vindyavalli.She was very agitated and afraid and she folded her hands and spoke as follows: “O my Lord, you have created the entire universe for the enjoyment of your personal pastimes. But foolish unintelligent men have claimed proprietorship for material enjoyment.  Certainly they are shameless like nastikas, falsely claiming proprietorship where they think they can give in charity and joy. In such a condition what good can they do for you, who is the independent creator, maintainer and anhilator of this universe?”.


Vindya Valli, Bali Maharaj’s wife accusing him of claiming Proprietorship over the  Lord’s property

She was a very good wife. She was really thinking in terms of her husband’s welfare. Most women are attached to their husbands because of the material resourses they can provide for. But Vindya Valli was actually a loving wife. She was only concerned about whatever was good for him. She was thinking that right now I have nothing, my husband is imprisoned, he is arrested. But he is getting the special mercy of Krishna. He’s going to go back to Godhead. This is the success of our marriage. This is the highest opulence. The opulence of Krishna’s mercy was being receved by bali Maharaj. It is the supreme treasure of wealth. In Srila Prabhupad’s purport, he explains that Bali Maharaj’s wife who is most intelligent supported the best of her husband and accused him of having no intelligence because he had claimed proprietorship of the property of the Lord. If everyone had a wife like this then all would be in Vaikuntha there will be no reason to take sanyas. But in kali yuga it’s not like that. So such a claim is a sign of demoniac life. She was calling her husband a demon. Although the demigods were officials appointed by the Lord for management, they are attached to materialistic enjoyment. They never claim to be the proprietor of the universe. Bali Maharaj’s wife accused Bali Maharaj by saying although the supreme personality of Godhead had arrested him showing him extraordinary mercy and although Bali Maharaj was offering his body to the supreme Lord for the third step he was still in the darkness of ignorance. She was accusing him of being in darkness of ignorance although he just surrendered everything. This was because she was so wise and intelligent that she understood that her husband had nothing to surrender for everything was already Krishna’s.  The fact that you think that you are giving something to Krishna is an illusion. Actually the body did not belong to him. But because of his long standing demoniac mentality he could not understand this. He thought that since he had been defamed for his inability to fulfill his promise of charity and since the body belonged to him he would free himself from defamation by offering his body. Actually however the body does not belong to any one but the supreme personality of Godhead by whom the body is given. As stated in Bhagavad Gita

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāḿ

hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati

bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni

yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

The Lord is situated in everyone’s heart. And according to the material desires of the living entity the Lord offer’s a particular type of machine – the body through the agency of material energy. The body actually does not belong to the living entity, it belongs to the supreme personality of Godhead.  Under these circumstances how could Bali Maharaj claim that the body belonged to him? Thus Vindya Valli Bali Maharaj’s intelligent wife prayed that her husband be released by the Lord’s causeless mercy. Otherwise Bali Maharaj was nothing but a shameless demon.


True success of life is surrendering everything to Krishna

Specifically described as taktva rihastvad avarokti karatirbadha.A foolish person claiming proprietorship over the property of the supreme person. So this in truth is the real duty of a wife. It is said that a husband is meant to protect the wife but the wife is also meant to protect the husband. A good loving wife a wife who actually knows what it means to love. She will never be content with her husband if he does anything that’s detrimental to his spiritual progress and she will see the only real success in his life is how he is developing love of God. And she will see the only standard of success in the family is how we are putting our time and energy in making our children Krishna Conscious. This is love. In Kali Yuga people have misunderstanding of what is love. People are fearful when their husband or their wife or their children are becoming too involved in spiritual life. They become fearful that means they don’t have any compassion for the soul. They are depriving the soul by their influence. So through this beautiful story of Bali Maharaj being arrested by Lord Vamana dev, we are learning what is ideal family life and of course as God brothers, as God sisters and as fellow human beings who have the same father – aham bija pratapita. In one sense we are all family members. Whether we are Brahmacharis, sanyasis, Grihasthas,    Vanaprasthas ,Brahmanas , Ksatriyas ,Vaisyas , Shudra’s we are all in this divine mission of Sri Caitanya. We are all in this mission together. We are all one family under the father of our Guru Maharaj and the supreme Lord Sri Krishna. And the spirit of family should be not only in the small nucleus of husband, wife and children.  It must be there, but it should also be in the broader spectrum of our family. And the love of this family will be expressed in truth to the degree we are concerned with each other’s spiritual welfare. Prahlad Maharaj the grandfather of Bali Maharaj, as well as Vindya Valli his wife were not ashamed to speak publicly. In the pages of Srimad Bhagvatam, their words would be heard by hundreds and billions of living beings for rest of time to come. They were not afraid to express what they were really feeling and how proud they were that Bali was receiving they mercy of Sri Krishna. How proud they were that he was surrendering his life, his soul, his everything for Krishna’s pleasure. He surrendered all his wealth, his position, all of his power, all of his followers, he even surrendered his own body and the grandfather and the wife were so proud. This is the true success of life. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.Is there any questions?


Question and Answer session

Question:- Maharaj it is difficult sometimes to deal with material opulence. How to overcome that?

Answer:- You see for an ordinary person if he loses everything it is due to his past karma. Everything you gain and everything you lose is due to your past pious and impious activities. But for a devotee

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī

mama māyā duratyayā

For a devotee the Lord personally does whatever is good for him. He is not being influenced by the laws of karma. He is being influenced by the Lord’s special mercy. Therefore when a materialistic person loses everything, it is not directly Lord’s mercy. It’s the Lord’s mercy in the sense that the Lord is casting according to the laws of karma that we have to just accept the results based on whatever he has done. So people lose everything because of their past sins. Even if you have been pious, you have to suffer sins of your past actions for many many years and eventually your pious credits will come. That’s the law of material nature. Krishna just leaves you to the laws of nature. But you see Bali Maharaj, what was his special feature? He was dear to Prahlad. Prahlad surrendered everything to the Lord willingly and voluntarily. And anyone who is dear to his devotee of the Lord gets the special mercy of the Lord even if that person is a rascal. If you are dear to a devotee, you are no longer subjected only to karma. Krishna will personally act. There is a story in Caitanya Charitamrita of a devotee named Amogha who was the son-in-law of Sarvabhuma Bhattacharya who was such a fault finder. There is no greater offense than finding faults in the devotees of the Lord and Amogha’s business was only to find faults with Lord Caitanya. Devotees would come give Lord Chaitnaya nice Prasad and Amogha would accuse him of eating like a pig. He used to say “You call yourself a sanyasi but simply eat opulent foods! And Sarvbhuma Bhattacharya wanted to kill his son-in law for blaspheming the Lord. Not really kill him but beat him And his son-in law ran away. He actually wanted to kill his demoniac mentality. And a few days later his son-in-law got Cholera. And he was lying in his death bed. So Sarvabhuma, when he heard the news he was happy that the rascal was suffering for what he had done. But the Lord came right in the room and put his hand on the heart of Amogha and said “you are son of a Brahmana. A Brahmana’s heart is meant to be the residence of Krishna. Why is this envy there in your heart? Krishna will not reside in a heart that is filled with envy. Rise up and chant the holy names. And he got up and started chanting the holy names and was completely purified. Then he realized how merciful the Lord was to him. And he asked Lord Chaitanya that though he had been so blasphemous, so critical, so antagonistic, why did he show his mercy on him? He said because you are Sarvabhuma Bhattacharya’s son-in –law and  he has surrendered to me, anything that has relationship to him is dear to me, therefore I put you in this cholera situation just so that you would ultimately become my pure devotee. So Bali is in similar situation because Prahlad was affectionate toward him so he got the causeless mercy of the Lord. So if you are near and dear to a devotee, Krishna will take personal charge of purifying your life and he will give you what you need. But ordinary people they are simply been encased this way and that way by the waves of the ocean of karma and the ocean of material existence. Any other questions?


Question:- Why did Murari Gupta leave all the respect and adulation that he received and go to Vrindavan? He could have stayed there and become a leader.

Answer:- There are different moods of devotees. Krishna is in the heart of his pure devotee’s

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāḿ

hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati

He is directing them according to where they could best serve. If he didn’t go to Vrindavan  we wouldn’t be talking about today. Krishna wanted his name to be famous. He utilizes different devotees to show different attributes. Dhruva Maharaj, Maharaj Priyavratand and Maharaj Yudhistir they were ruling over kingdoms. Krishna wanted to show how these devotees were so exalted that they would accept everything and use it in God’s service. But he wants to show some other aspect of other devotees, that they are so humble and so meek that they just want to lead a very simple life. They are not attached to any of these positions of glorification. They simply want to humbly serve the Lord and serve his devotees without expecting anything in return. So Krishna utilizes various devotees to show different examples for the betterment for all of us.

Question:- Maharaj many times we hear that the only qualification a person has, to obtain the mercy of the Lord, is that he attached to a devotee. Is this true?

Answer:- According to the shastra, Prahlad Maharaj himself had said that by performance of penances and austerity, by studying the scripture or even by engaging in all in sorts of devotional activities, one cannot understand Krishna, one cannot gain the mercy of Krishna. Only by taking the dust of the lotus feet of the great devotees and smearing it upon your body, can you truly get great mercy of Sri Krishna. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo. Krishna’s mercy comes through the great devotees of the Lord in this world. Therefore this is the supreme means of getting the mercy of Krishna. Pari Prashnena sevaya. By hearing submissively from the great souls and rendering service to them, Krishna reveals the truth through them .So by some how or other if we becoming dear to a devotee, that is the greatest qualification for Krishna to take interest and shower him with his causeless mercy. Krishna is so grateful to a devotee who surrenders to him that ten generations in the past and future get liberated, no matter what they do, just because of their connection to that devotee. That is how much Krishna loves the Sadhus. When Durvasa Muni offended Ambarish, he went right to Narayan and begged his forgiveness and Narayan said I cannot forgive you. Sadhu nam  hridayam mahyam sadhunam hridayam tv aham mad-anyat te na jananti naham tebhyo manag api. So don’t you know Durvasa Muni, that the sadhu, the devotee who has given his life to me, I am always in his heart and therefore he is always in my heart. He is always remembering me and therefore I am always remembering him. My sadhu has given everything up for me and therefore I am willing to give up everything for my devotee. This is the nature of the love between Krishna and his devotee. So if you really want to help your family, your friends, your relatives, your forefathers, your ancestors, become Krishna’s pure devotee. They will all get his special mercy. And whoever becomes dear to you becomes dear to Krishna. Even if that person is a demon. Krishna will purify him someway or the other.

Question:-causelessly Prabhupad said

Answer:- Yes, and therefore Krishna will. Once you become dear to a pure devotee even if you do all nonsense, Krishna will never leave you alone until you go back to Godhead. If you need to be crushed he will crush you , if you need to be uplifted, he will do whatever is necessary to bring that devotee back.

Question:- Maharaj How do we understand the statement that Lord Krishna reciprocates only if we surrender to him? Is’nt it conditional love?

Answer:-  Between us and God? Krishna is doing everything for you always. Are you breathing now? Where you getting the breath from? Are you seeing now? Where you are getting the light to see from? Are you thinking now? Where are you getting the power to think from? You are wearing clothes now? Where did you think these clothes came from? Everything you have, you are getting from Krishna. Krishna is doing everything for everyone at all times. But what are we doing for him? That is the question? He is doing everything for everyone always but he reveals the love in your heart, which is the ultimate satisfaction of life, to the extent you are willing to reciprocate with his love. But even if you don’t reciprocate with his love he will be giving you everything you have for the rest of eternity. That’s God’s love. Some people when they are children totally abandon their father. Does father keep giving them? But here we find Krishna he is giving even the grossest atheist who are blaspheming him day and night, he is giving them their wealth, he is giving them their car, he is giving them their family, he is giving them breath, he is giving them food, he is giving them everything like a father. But they don’t want to love him so why should he give them the love? Why should he give something so wonderful to someone who doesn’t want it? That love of God, he will only give to someone who wants that love, more than anything else of this world. That is the price of Krishna consciousness that you want that more than anything else,that you are willing to strive to approach guru and  vaishnava, that you are willing to strive on the path of Sadhana Bhakti in order to cultivate this desire to be the prominent guiding force of your life, the desire to love God. When Krishna sees your seriousness in this regard, he reciprocates according to how you approach him. Thank you very much. One more question?

Question:– When Murari Gupta was beaten up, was it Krishna’s mercy or his past karma ?

Answer:- It was Krishna’s mercy. By Karma Krishna doesn’t come and take you to the garden to pick mangoes .It is only by his mercy that such pastimes take place. As for Murari gupta being beaten up, it was Krishna’s divine lila and he was very happy to be beaten up for Krishna. BhaktiVinod Thakur prayed the inconveniences he endured on behalf of Krishna was his greatest pleasure. So you can imagine how much pleasure he was getting in being beaten up for Krishna. It is an ecstasy.

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.