Kamsa-uncontrolled senses and untrustworthy
We would like to thank all of you for kindly coming and giving us your association on this auspicious evening. This evening we are celebrating the appearance of Lord Sri Balaramji. It is a most important event. Because without properly understanding the mercy of Lord Balaram and understanding how to acquire His causeless mercy, it is most difficult to follow the path of true bhakti.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam it describes, on that faithful evening of the wedding ceremony of Vasudeva and Devaki on the chariot, as Kamsa, the brother of Devaki, was driving her to Vasudeva’s palace. At that time a resounding and ominous voice appeared in the sky, “Kamsa, you are a fool. You are taking such nice care of your sister not knowing that the eighth child, the eighth son of your sister, Devaki, will be the cause of your death.” He became very very much disturbed.
When one considers oneself to be this material body which is the fundamental illusion of all bondage and suffering within this material existence, then one performs even most abominable, atrocious activities simply to protect the sense gratification of this dying body.
Out of fear, Kamsa took the hair of Devaki, took his sword and was about to sever her head from her body. This is the nature of a person who is too much controlled by the senses. You can never trust them. Even if they appear to be your best well wishing loving friend, doing so many favors for you. If you interfere in their sense gratification, they can turn against you and be your worst enemy.
Kamsa was acting like such a loving brother. Can you imagine this gesture? He was such a powerful king. He had so many servants, so many charioteers. But, out of love for his sister, at least physical love for his sister, he was willing to take the position of her charioteer which is actually quite a menial service. Just to please her, just to make her feel very much comforted when going to a strange place like her husband’s home.
So at one moment he was going out of his way to show his love and respect. But, as soon as he found out that his sister was a threat to his sense enjoyment, at the next moment he was ready to ruthlessly, cold heartedly kill her. This is material life.
Therefore the sastra says, “We can only trust someone whose senses are always controlled by being engaged in the loving service of the Lord.” Besides such devotees, we really never know, who is our friend and who is our enemy and who is just superficially appearing to be our friend.
Vasudeva- man of virtue. Die but don’t break your vow
So Vasudeva, with so many arguments tried to convince Kamsa to stop. But Kamsa because he was so infatuated with fear, he could not hear philosophy. But he was able to hear negotiation. What was the negotiation? “I will give you all the children. You have nothing to fear from your sister. But the children, I will give them all to you, you can do whatever you like with them.” And Vasudev was such a man of honor that he kept this promise as painful as it was. Such a man of virtue in this day and age.
Although it is explained, in Kaliyuga, of the four legs of religiosity, truthfulness is only the one that is really surviving at all. Even truthfulness is dwindling so much. That people would turn away from their word so quickly, so whimsically without even thinking twice if it is convenient. But amongst civilized people, when you give your word you should die before you break it. When you make a vow you should die before you break it. There is more dignity in death striving than going on living without maintaining the very honor of your life.
Nowadays, people take vow before their spiritual master. And if it becomes difficult, “Hah! I will no longer keep this vow.” Or if they meet somebody, they are little more inspired by, “Oh! I like him better.” This is uncivilized consciousness. If we actually want to attract the heart of Krsna, we have to live by our vows, live by our words. And Vasudeva was such as extreme example of this.
When the first child was born, Vasudeva brought the child to Kamsa. “Here, he is yours.” Kamsa, “You are such an honest person. I have nothing to fear from this child. It’s the eighth. You can take him.” But due to that… when Vasudeva was walking away with the child, he already had experience of Kamsa. One minute he is so nice to Devaki and in the next second he is ready to kill her. He was thinking, “You cannot trust anybody who doesn’t control their mind and senses. He may be saying nice things now, but what will he do tomorrow?” And sure enough due to evil association, then very shortly after that, he killed the child and imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki. And in that prison six children were born consecutively, and each one, Kamsa would, brutally, cold bloodedly, murder right before their eyes.
Lord Balaram-appearance, original servitor
But the seventh child was a divine incarnation, the very first expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sankarsana appeared within the womb of Devaki. How brilliant and effulgent she was and how joyful she was! She could understand that divinity has entered into my womb. At that time Lord Sri Krsna, He called upon His Yogamaya potency and He instructed her that, “I want you to transfer this beautiful child, who is none other than Balaram, My original expansion, the first of all incarnations of Godhead, to the womb of Rohini from the womb of Devaki.”
See Vasudev had several wives, two of which, were Devaki and Rohini. Now at the time when Kamsa was persecuting so much Vasudeva and Devaki and put them in prison, Vasudea entrusted his other wife, Rohini to live in the cowherd village of his dearmost friend, Nanda Maharaj. So she was living in Gokul along with Nanda and Yashoda and under the protection of the Vrajavasis. She was living a very very happy life. So this child was transfered to her womb. And it was on the full moon night of the month of Sravan, that this beautiful child was born, Sri Balaramji.
When we speak of Vishnu tattva, Balaram’s presence is most important. It is described in the Bhagavat, in the Brahma Samhita, in the Caitanya-Caritamrita,
“krishnas tu bhagawan swayam.”
That Krsna is the original form of the Absolute Truth.
Govindam adi purusham tam aham bhajami.
He is the ‘Adipurusa’ the original person.
Now when Krsna in the spiritual world of Goloka Vrindavan, when He wants to enjoy transcendental lila, first He expands Himself to a Vaibhava Prakash as Baladeva. Baladeva is the original servitor of Godhead. He is Krsna, Himself, that appears to serve Krsna. And how does He appear to serve Krsna?
Balaramji’s serving in 5 rasas
Balaram is unique. There is no other personality like Him because Sri Balaji, Balaramji, He takes part in all the five rasas intimately with Sri Krsna.
As santa rasa, it is Balaramji Who expands Himself through His energy to create Goloka Vrindavan. The spiritual world of Goloka is the expansion of the energy of Balaram. A land which is… and all of the surroundings simply offering the most sweet and loving service to the Lord. Balaram also expands Himself through His energy as Krsna’s crown, as Krsna’s flute, as Krsna’s slippers, as Krsna’s clothes, as all of Krsna’s ornaments. It is all Balaram Himself just appearing in these most wonderful forms just to give pleasure and service to Sri Krsna. And to assist Him in attracting the hearts of all living beings by His beautiful decorated forms.
You see Krsna is all attractive. The supreme pleasure of Lord Krsna is to attract everyone’s heart. So when Balaram appears as the most beautiful crown, the most beautiful flute, the most beautiful jewels, the most beautiful lightening-golden colored dhoti, He assists Krsna by decorating His body in such a way that His attraction becomes even more attractive, to attract the hearts of all. So this is how Balaramji appears in the santa rasa.
As far as dasya rasa, whatever Balaram does is in the mood of the menial servant, simply trying to please Sri Krsna, His brother.
As sakhya rasa He appears as Krsna’s friend. They wrestle together, they play together, they dance together, they herd the cows together, they argue together, they fight together. Why? All in the mood of just giving pleasure to Krsna. Just to supply service to the Lord.
And because Balaramji is Krsna’s elder brother, He also has vatsalya rasa, relationship. Because as elder brother sometimes He takes that position, “Krsna, it’s late. Go home. It’s time to wake up.” “Krsna, Gopal, today is your birthday. You cannot go out and play. You must stay home.” Sometimes in the forest, He would, when there was danger, He would be very protective like a parent to Lord Sri Krsna. Because that is the way an elder brother is supposed to be.
And in madhurya rasa, conjugal love, you see Balaram, cannot directly take part in that lila with Krsna. Because it’s embarrassing when Krsna is dancing with gopis. For the elder brother to be there, who is, kind of, like a parent, Balaram doesn’t want to create an uncomfortable situation. So He expands Himself as Anangamanjari. How clever Balaramji is! Because Radha and Krsna, their relationship is the summit, the peak, the ultimate in loving reciprocation in madhurya rasa.
And because so many secret rendezvous between Radha and Krsna take place, Radharani is very much afraid of Balaram. And out of great respect, Balaram is very much afraid of Radharani, because He knows what Her relationship is with Krsna. So They more or less have Their separate lilas in so many ways. But still Balaram wants to assist the love affairs of Radha and Krsna. So He appears as Anangamanjari who happens to be Radharani’s younger sister. And He lives in the same houses as Her. And He is actually the most intimate confidential sister associate of Radharani. And He is constantly playing with Radharani and making all wonderful arrangements for Her to meet with Krsna.
So in this way Balaram, He provides service to Krsna in all the five primary rasas. And He is purely unique in this manner.
Balaram Is The Source Of All Incarnations
And it is explained, this is happening in Goloka Vrindavan. When, for the purpose of creation, from Krsna, He first expands as Balaram. From Balaram is the expansion of Sankarsana, Aniruddha, Pradyumna and Vasudeva. From that caturvyüha is the expansion of Narayana, the Lord of Vaikuntha. From that expansion is expanded the secondary Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Vasudeva and Sankarsana.
From that Sankarsana is incarnated, Adishankar who is the original Lord Shiva. Actually systematically we can understand that ‘vaishnava nama yatha shambhu.’ That Shiva is the greatest, the supreme most of all Vaishnavas. Why? Because he is an expansion of the original spiritual master Balaram. Now that same Sankarsana also expands Himself, when it’s time for creation as Karanodakasayi Vishnu, Mahavishnu.
From Mahavishnu, the planets emanate from His body, the universes. He enters into each universe as Garbhodakasayi Vishnu. Then He enters into the heart of every living being as Ksirodakasayi Vishnu.
And all of the various incarnations that come in this world- Matsyavatara, Varahavatara, Narasinghavatara, Vamanavatara, Ramavatara. They are all incarnations of that Ksirodakasayi . So in this way we can understand that Balaram is the source of all incarnations. But He is always in the mood of servitor. Because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the mood of servitor. He is considered to be the original spiritual master.
In Goloka Vrindavan, we always see, in pictures, Krsna always holds His flute. Balaramji always holds plough. This is very significant also. Why does Krsna carry His flute? To simply attracts and charm the hearts of all living beings to His loving service.
Balaramji’s Plough ploughs the earth. Guru ploughs our heart
And why Balaramji carries plough? What do we do with a plough? We clear the road. Right? We prepare the field so that the seed will grow. Either use of plough for that purpose in agriculture or even to make roads to clear the obstacles. So as the original spiritual master, Balaramji is personified with His plough for the purpose of… First of all, the guru ploughs our hearts. His words are like plough to make our hearts nice and soft so that the seed of devotion can grow and be attracted to the sweet sound of Krsna’s flute.
Now we must understand that when the dirt of the ground is very dry, it has to be ploughed. And that ploughing, it’s not a very pleasurable thing for the earth. The ground has being ripped apart. Just being ripped and ripped and ripped. So this is the purpose of a guru, to rip our hearts apart until it becomes very soft. To just plough it, plough it and plough it, until all the hardness, to (2300) the false ego and pride and illusion and lust and anger and greed. He has to make our hearts soft for the seed of love can grow in it.
That’s what Balaram’s plough is for. Through His representative, the spiritual master, he softens and prepares the field of our heart for the seed of love to be attracted to the sweet flute of Sri Krsna. And as far as clearing the road, the spiritual master clears all obstacles from our spiritual path just like one uses a plough for that purpose.
And the spiritual master is considered to be the representative of Sri Balaramji. In all of the wonderful incarnations of the supreme Lord, the principle incarnations, we find that Balaram is present as Narayana. Balaram appears as Sankarsana, Sesanaga. He becomes the Lord’s bed. Laxmi is massaging His feet and Balaram is His bed, His resting place.
Laxman’s eagerness to serve. Sitadevi’s anxiety to serve. Guru’s defines services
In the avatar of Sri Ramachandra, Balaramji appears as His younger brother, Laxman. And what was Laxman’s constant meditation? “Simply to be the servant of Rama, always wanting to serve.” He was so anxious to serve that He was doing all the service.
It is described, there is the story of how Sita Devi, when She married Rama, She came back to Ayodhya. And She wanted to have nice, intimate, confidential lila with Ram and do nice services for Him. But wherever She was, Laxman was right there. He was just guarding Rama, with His bow and arrow and anything Rama needed, He was… just before He could even think of what He needed, Laxman anticipated it and had it right there.
And Sita was thinking that, “you know, what is this? I cannot even be alone with my husband. I have nothing to do for Him. This Laxman is doing everything.” So She approached Rama and She told Him that, “Sri Rama, please maybe You can ask Laxman to do something else and go somewhere else for sometime.” And Rama was thinking,” How can I do that? If I take Sita’s side Laxman will be angry. If I take Laxman’s side Sita will be angry. So, I cannot make decision in this regard. So let us take this matter to our Guru Vashishta Muni. He will.”
This is the function of a Guru to make decisions that no body else likes to make. Right? It’s not an easy job. So Rama and Laxman and Sita all came together before Vashishta Muni and Rama said, “Everyone, both of You tell Vashishta Muni what is your problem.” Sita said that, “When I married Sri Rama in Mithila, I took a vow that I would serve Him 24 hours a day. I would never, I would never leave Him. I would always be in His service but I can’t even keep my vow because this Laxman, He is doing everything.”
“And Laxman, He said, “From the day I was born I was serving Rama like this. This is all I know. I have nothing else in My life. How can She take away My service?”
So Vashishta Muni, he had to try to satisfy everyone. So he expertly explained that “Whenever Rama is at home in His private chambers, Sita should be in charge of all services and whenever He leaves His home and He goes out to fight battles or He goes to the state house, then Laxman should always be there and just serve.” So Sita was very happy. But Laxman was not happy at all. Because this is Balaramji, this is Laxman just simply no other and, no other purpose to His existence except pleasing Sri Rama and serving Sri Rama.
Laxman’s service- difficult to execute/ test of surrender
Anyways, Laxman loved Sita as much as He loved Rama. She was the mother of His life. She was the Goddess of His life and as the younger brother of Rama, Laxman had to constantly carry out His orders. And Rama gave Him very difficult orders.
One time Rama told Laxman that, “We are in the forest of Dandakaranya, Sita wants me to catch this golden deer. You must stay here and take care of her.”
“Yes, I am Your obedient servant. I will stay and take..I will guard Sita.”
So Rama went and you know the story how Rama shot His arrow on this deer knowing ultimately that he was an asura. And the deer who was the demon, Maricha, he called out, “Laxman help me! Laxman help me!”
And Sita said, “Laxman, Ram is in trouble go help Him.”
Laxman said, “Rama is not in trouble. Who can harm Rama?”
She said,”No, He is in trouble. Go! Go! Go!”
He said,”But He has given Me an order. He ordered Me not to leave You. I must stay here”
She said,”You, You just want to see Rama in trouble. You want to see Him dead, so that You can enjoy Me.”
And when Laxman heard this, He said, “No, No, No, not like that. Not like that.”
And Then she said,” Well Go, help Him.”
So He went to help Him and when He went, Ravana came and stole Sita away. And then Rama and Laxman came back.
Rama said, “Why did you leave Sita? You know there is no (30:38) danger?”
He Said,” But what can I do?”
Then they came back and Sita was gone. Rama Said. “Laxman how… ??? See what you have done!”
“I was just trying to follow Your orders.”
“I told you to stay.”
“Sita told Me to go.”
Problems come while rendering service, execute them however difficult
Being a servant is not always an easy thing. Sometimes our bramacaris, they… one, one authority gives you one instruction and another authority gives you another instruction. And you wonder what to do. But even God has that problem. So why do you think you shouldn’t have that problem? Laxman is God. So you should be grateful to follow in His footsteps. And you try to please one and you try to please.. [inaudible blank 31:35].This is Krsna’s mercy.
Another time, poor Laxman, not poor Laxman, but in one sense yes. He was feeling poor. Sita, after they destroyed Ravana’s army, She was brought back from Srilanka to Rameshwaram. And they had Her on a beautiful chariot, a palanquin. They had Her on a palanquin. They were bringing Her back to Rama on a palanquin. Rama sees Sita on a palanquin. Rama says, “Tell Sita She shouldn’t be on a palanquin. She should be walking.”
Laxman thinks, “Oh! She is the goddess of fortune. She is the mother of My life. I should tell Her to walk?”
Rama says, “Tell Her walk.”
So Laxman goes and “Sita devi You have to get off your palanquin and walk”.
She got off and walked. She didn’t mind. It was very painful for Laxman to have to say this. And then She comes before Rama after almost a year of separation. You can imagine this grand reunion between Sita and Rama. And what does Rama do?
He says to Laxman, “I cannot take this woman back. She has been with another man.”
And Sita, when She hears this, She just starts to weep. She starts to cry.
She says,”Rama if I knew You were going to deal with me like this, why didn’t You tell Me this a year ago. There wouldn’t have to be(33.37) this big bloody war with so many millions of people killed. I would have committed suicide last year. If I knew You didn’t want Me back. There is no point in Me living anymore.”
“Laxman,” She said, “I want You to collect wood and make a funeral pyre and light it. I am going to enter into the funeral pyre.”
Laxman says, “You want me to start a funeral pyre so that You can walk into?”
And He looked at Rama. He said, “Rama, You don’t want Her to do this? Do You?”
Rama just, “Go ahead.”
While He is collecting this wood, He’s ,He is weeping. He is crying. He is in utter distress that He has to be a part of this lila. So He built a funeral pyre and He lights it. Now He builds it first and then Sita stands right on the wood.
And she says, “Laxman light it.”
And He looks at Rama. “Rama, You don’t want Me to light it? Do You?”
Rama says, “Light it.”
So you can imagine He is trying to be a good servant. He lights it. And then of course we know that when He lit it, Agni Dev proved the utter chastity of Sita. And then She was proven chaste by the fire. And then She came back and was accepted by Rama.
A few years later, there some needless gossip that why this, why this Rama, He is allowing an unchaste woman to live in His house? A man was arguing with his wife. Said, “You expect to me to be so foolish as Rama to have an unchaste women like you live in my house?” So when Rama heard this He was thinking, “For the dignity of the kingdom there can be no suspicion about Me.”
So He told Laxman,”I want You not to say anything to Sita, but to take Her on Your chariot and bring Her into the jungle and banish Her. Bring Her to the asrama of Valmiki Muni, leave Her there. Tell Her you just going to take her on a vacation. She always likes to visit big saints. She always likes to go to the forest. Tell Her You taking her on vacation, leave Her there, come back. She is banished for life. When She gets there, then You have to tell Her.”
Laxman was,”I have to do this now?”
What a servant He was! It was breaking His heart. Here He was driving Sita on the chariot knowing that She was going to be banished from Her beloved, Rama for the rest of Her life. And as He was, driving the chariot tears would flowing from His eyes. He was weeping and crying.
And Sita just looked at Him. “Laxman what’s wrong with You? Why are You crying? We are just going on a nice excursion to the forest to visit Valmiki Rishi. It’s a pleasurable experience. Why You are crying?”
Sitadevi’s service attitide
And she could understand Laxman had to tell her that, “I am taking you because Rama does not want You anymore. I am taking You for life long banishment to the forest.”
And Sita with the heavy heart, tears flowing from Her eyes She simply said,”If that is the will of My Lord Rama then let Me be banished. If that is how I can best serve Him and please Him let Me be banished.” This is the love of Sitadevi.
Meanwhile this was going on as He was driving Sita to the forest to be banished for life He made a vow, ”I am never going to be the younger brother again, too much trouble, too much surrender. Next incarnation I am going to be Rama’s older brother.”
So He appeared as Balaram, older brother. And then if Krsna told Him to do something and He liked it, He would do it. If He didn’t like it, He would just take the role of vatsalya rasa as a parent and say,”Krsna, I am sorry, but not like that.”
Vaishnavas activities –diificult to understand
An example of this was at the out…at very start of the battle of Kurukshetra but for some inconceivable merciful reason, Balaram was dear friends with Duryodhana.
vaishnavera kriya mudra vijneha na bujhaya
Vaishnava is a very difficult to understand and Balaram is the original Guru and it is said, ”Don’t try to understand the mind of your Guru. Just try to follow his instructions.”
So here is the original Guru. He was the teacher of Duryodhana. He used to teach him how to fight with club and he was His favorite student. So when the battle of Kurukshetra started, Krsna took the side of the Pandavas. Balaram could not take the side of Pandavas? Because Krsna was on that side. He didn’t want to fight against Krsna. But at the same time because of His natural affinity for Duryodhana, He didn’t want to fight against Duryodhana.
Now Krsna wanted Balarama to fight with His side. So what did Balaram do? He said, “I am not going to have anything to do with this foolish war. I am going on pilgrimage. I am Your elder brother. You cannot tell Me what to do. I am going on pilgrimage.”
So during the whole battle of Kurukshetra you don’t hear a word about Balaram. He wasn’t anywhere around. He was some where in South India doing yatra. He went to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, Gangotri. He went all the holy places in the north, in the south every where. And after He heard that the whole war was finished, then He came to Kurukshetra to see.
So we find how Balaram in Vrindavan is called upon by the name of Dauji. Dauji means the older brother. But we must understand that all of these wonderful beautiful lilas they are all orchestrated for the pleasure of the Lord. In the spiritual world there is infinite variegatedness and all of that variegatedness is simply expressions of the love of Krsna for His devotee and love of the devotees for Krsna.
Glories of Lord Nityananda
And of course in the next incarnation, He also appeared as older brother, Lord Nityananda. When Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, He appeared along with Lord Nityananda, who although not born in same family, an expansion of Balaram, Visvaroop appeared directly as the older brother of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But the original form of Balaram appeared as Nityananda who was older brother in another way. He was the God brother of Lord Nityananda’s.. I mean Lord Caitanya’s guru. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted initiation from Iswara Puri who accepted initiation from Madhavendra Puri. And Nityananda Prabhu was a direct disciple of Madhavendra Puri. Therefore He was the elder God-brother. He was actually God-uncle of Lord Caitanya. Therefore, He had a superior position.
But what was Lord Nityananda’s constant meditation? “Simply the service of Lord Caitanya”. There was no servant who could equal Lord Nityananda Prabhu. Because He had understood the most intimate meditation of the Lord’s heart which was to deliver to divine mercy of the holy name to everyone and to anyone without discrimination.
Lord Nityananda Prabhu, who was Balaram Himself, was such a servant that although He was completely renounced and was living just like a sanyasi, one day Lord Caitanya told Him,”You should marry.” “I should marry?” He understood why He should marry. Because Lord Caitanya is a sanyasi. He had to uphold the very very high standard. And there were certain places that if He went, He would be criticized for going. But what about those people of those places. Should they be not given the opportunity to surrender to the holy name?
So Lord Nityananda if He accepted the position of a grahastha, nobody would criticize Him, where ever He went. In fact he appeared as an avadhuta, for that purpose, simply for the service of the Lord.
So we find in Caitanya-Caritamrita, Caitanya-bhagavat that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He is preaching to big big high people: Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, Prakashananda Saraswati, King Prataprudra, big big leaders of the Buddhas, big big leaders of the Muslims. He was preaching to them, Chand Qazi, big politicians, big big scholars, great great sanaysis. And He preached to the people in general.
Nityananda Prabhu’s mission- To glorify the holy name
But Lord Nityananda Prabhu, He was preaching to the most fallen, sinful class, such as Jagai and Madhai. The two most sinful creatures in all of the creation. Even Yamaraj could not keep track of the quantity of sins of Jagai and Madhai. But Lord Nityananda was very anxious. “If I can make these two people Vaishnavas by invoking the holy name in their life, then I can do the greatest service for Lord Caitanya. I can glorify Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in such a way that the whole world will understand.”
And He went to them. And He was willing to be verbally abused, blasphemed, physically assaulted. And even while standing with His whole body and His whole dress drenched in blood, He didn’t care anything but the service of Lord Caitanya. “My dear brothers I don’t mind that You hit Me on the head, I don’t mind that you are trying to kill Me. I only mind that you are going to have to suffer the consequences of all your sins. Please take the name of Krsna. Take the name of Gauranga”
bhaja gauranga kaha gauranga
laha gaurangera name
ye jana gauranga bhaje
sei amara prana re
But He knew that Radha and Krsna both appeared in the form of Sri Gaurasundar.
Sri Krsna Caitanya Radha Krsna nahi anya.
That Radha and Krsna appeared in the one form of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. So if they chant the name of Gauranga, if they worship Gauranga, if they meditate on Gauranga, if they become devotees of Gauranga, then they are all automatically worshiping with pure hearts without any misconceptions. Radha and Krsna, Vrindavan was non different. So this was Nityananda Prabhu’s genius, how to bring everyone to Goloka Vrindavan thru the mercy of the name of Gauranga.
And He would go into the lowest places to extent that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Prabhu Himself… just to clarify any doubts that may be in the hearts of the devotees. He said, “If Lord Nityananda is going into a house of prostitution, into a brothel or into a bar, you should know that He is only going there to deliver the fallen souls. He is spotless in His character.” And He was willing to accept a house-hold life. He was willing to accept brutality, blasphemy, condemnation, misunderstandment (48:27) because He understood,”This is the way I can best serve My master.” Nityananda, Balaram is the original Guru, showing us by His example how to be a servant of Guru and how to be the servant of the Lord. To be willing to accept any inconvenience, any humiliation, any pain even up to death, to serve the mission of our Guru Maharaj, to serve the mission of the Lord.
Best master is the best servant
That is the example of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. Because it is said that the best master is simply the one who is the best servant. A master never thinks himself master. A master thinks himself servant. Even God thinks Himself servant. Krsna has the supreme enjoyment. But what is that enjoyment? Simply giving enjoyment to His devotees. So therefore, in the spiritual realm of consciousness everyone is servant, no one is master. But some one takes the position of a master just to serve you by showing you how to serve. That is Lord Balaram tattva.
Mysterious way in which Krsna and devotees enjoy
So on this day of Sri Balaramji’s appearance this should be our meditation. Srila Prabhupada used to tell us that Bala means strength, spiritual strength not physical strength and Rama means one who takes pleasure. So we should pray to Lord Balaram to give us the strength to overcome the obstacles, the impediments on the spiritual path and to carry out our service to the Vaishnavas, to the Guru and to Sri Sri Radha and Krsna.
When Sri Balaramji was living in Vrindavan with Krsna and the Vrajavasis, it is said that one time they were herding their cows and playing near the Talavana forest. And the friends: Stokakrsna, Subala, Madhumangala, they approached Balaramji and Krsna and said, “In this nearby forest, Talavana, there are very ripe delicious fruits growing on the trees everywhere. And they are so sweet and so delicious and they are just falling to the ground because no one is picking them.”
“Why? “Because there is a demon. His name was Dhenukasura. He is in the form of an ass. And he has so many of his associates. And they are the friends of Kamsa and they have a law that no one can take one fruit from this forest. They send their fruits to Kamsa to enjoy and they eat the rest. And out of fear no one has gone there. But Krsna and Balaram, we would like to offer You these fruits and enjoy them with You.”
Now you may ask why the cowherd boys want to enjoy eating fruits? My devotees is not supposed be attached to fruits. Ha…Krsna says in Bhagavad Gita, “You should not be attached to the fruits of your activities. You should offer them to Krsna.” So why the cowherd boys say, “Let us all go there enjoy.”
Who knows the answer? Why the cowherd the boys say, “We are maddened by the smell of these fruits. We want to go there and eat. Let us all eat them together.” If a devotee has no tendency to enjoy for himself, wants to offer the fruits of everything he does and all of nature to Krsna, why they were so anxious enjoy? Raise your hands if you know the answer. [Devotee: catur-vidha-sri-bhagavat-prasäda 53:22]. That’s a good answer.
Krsna’s enjoyment is devotees’s enjoyment
You see what gives Krsna the greatest enjoyment? To see His devotees enjoying. The cowherd boys, they want to just enjoy these fruits like anything just so that Krsna will see them enjoying so that Krsna will enjoy. They don’t care anything about enjoying for themselves. They are just doing it for Krsna.
Just like if you love someone, don’t you feel happiness when they are enjoying? Just like if you have a child and you see the child crying, does that give you pleasure? But if you see the child laughing and dancing it gives you great pleasure. What gives you more pleasure when Priyavrata is in a bad mood or when he dancing and smiling? Dancing. That’s practical. If you want to make someone happy you have to be happy for them. Right? So Krsna, His whole life is simply dedicated to giving pleasure and love to His devotees. So if you want to give pleasure to Krsna you have to reciprocate by showing Him, by coming before Him in such a way that you are happy.
We were discussing this just this morning. When we come before the deities and we are like this ha….. tired…ha… You think Krsna likes to look at you like that? But even if you are tired, I am tired, but I am not going to let Krsna know it. Hari Bol. Krsna thinks, “Just see this devotee so tired he is, but he is… just to make Me happy he is looking happy.” This is Krishna consciousness. So the cowherd boys, they wanted to enjoy the fruits simply for Krsna’s, enjoyment with not a spec of selfish motive themselves.
And similarly the gopis, it is said they were lusty for Krsna. They wanted to embrace Him, enjoy Him but not the slightest intention, not even a spec of motivation for their own self. They simply wanted to dance with Krsna for His enjoyment. And they wanted to enjoy Krsna because the more Krsna saw that they were enjoying Him, the more He would enjoy. So the spiritual world, no one has any selfish intention. Everyone is simply living for the pleasure of Krsna.
Dhenukasura Consciousness. Me and mine
So the cowherd boys, they have made this request to Krsna and Balaram. “Let us go together. Because if we go with You, nothing can harm us.” So Balaramji, He went into the Talavan forest and He went to the big tall Tal tree and started shaking it. He was very powerful. And He loved to exhibit His feats of spiritual strength. And as He was shaking, the big Tal fruit were falling to the ground. And all the cowherd boys were just running down and offering them to Balaram and offering them to Krsna. And they were all eating together having a wonderful time. They were so happy together. This is Vrindavan, being happy together, giving pleasure to Krsna and Guru by enjoying prasad together. Soon we will have this opportunity if I ever stop talking.
So then, while they were enjoying, there was one person that did not enjoy at all. He was very angry, Dhenukasura. This is the nature of asura. The more they see the devotees happy, the more they want to destroy them. Envious people, they hate to see other people happy. They want to enjoy the fruits for themselves exclusively.
Dhenukasura could not tolerate that they were enjoying what was meant for him.So he came charging, screaming like an ass. He was big! He was big like mountain. And he approached Balaram and…strength of an ass in his (5817)hind legs. He turned around and with all of his might he started kicking Balaram in the chest. Phu.. Phu.. Phu..
And Balaram just stood there, calmly just tolerating these massive blows. And then Balaram just was thinking, “What is this? This, this, this demon must come to an end because he is trying to enjoy the fruits of His abode. Talavan was His abode.”
He considered this is mine. And whatever fruits are here are mine to enjoy. This sounds familiar? This is my house and whatever is in this house is mine to enjoy. This is what we called Dhenukasura consciousness. In another words, if anyone who thinks like this, is an ass. No offense or anything. Not that any of you think like this. But it is true. What does an ass think? An ass works hard all day. Foooo…fooooo…foooo foaming at the mouth. They burn on on them(5952) For what? For little sense enjoyment and he thinks that what I work for, the fruits of my action are mine to enjoy. This is animal consciousness.
Balaram/ Guru kills our ass consciousness
But Balaram who is represented by the spiritual master comes and kills that ass like quality in our hearts. And don’t think it’s always so nice, at least to our minds. The spiritual master learns to teach us that all the fruits of our actions, all the fruits of this world are meant for Krsna’s satisfaction. And through his words and through his instructions, in so many ways, he is trying to kill this Dhenukasura ass who is living within the hearts of all of us. That.. what is the Dhenukasura ass? The tendency to want to be the controller, to think that this is mine to enjoy.
So Balaramji took Dhenukasura by the hind legs and started whirling him around, Shew…shew..shew…shew..shew.. threw him in the trees and he was dead. And in the same way the spiritual master, sometimes he just throws us around shew..shew..and we get all dizzy trying to follow his instruction. But ultimately what is the purpose? To kill the ass in our heart? And in that pure heart like the cowherd boys we simply offer all the fruits to Krsna. We enjoy with Krsna. Everything is Krsna’s.
So after Balaramji killed Dhenukasura, so many other asses started coming charging at Him. And He and Krsna they were just..in the same way taking all of them and pretty soon all of the asses were dead like a panoramic scene of dead asses. And then the cowherd boys and Krsna and Balaram from that day on, they just lived happily ever after eating the fruits of Talavan.
So in the same way Sri Balaramji who is represented by Gurudev. If we just allow Him to kill the asses of selfish desire in our heart then we can eternally enjoy with Krsna in the spiritual world of love. And this is the great boon of Sri Balaramji. So we should contemplate, meditate on how to properly receive the mercy of Balaram by receiving the mercy of our spiritual master, His divine representative by simply accepting, humbly. Spiritual master Balaram wants nothing for themselves. Everything they are doing is for us.
We are performing a few austerities. Srila Prabhupada, my Guru Maharaj what little service can I ever do for him? And what has he done for us? He risked his life. He gave every moment of his time, in every way, to just try to help us become God consciousness. He dealt with so many problems, so many problems of health and so many problems of management, so many problems of everything. He wouldn’t give up. At any time he could have just gone to Vrindavan and lived a happy life. But he was experiencing the ultimate happiness because he was sacrificing everything for us. And more than anything else that won the heart of Krsna.
So on Balaram’s appearance day it is a most auspicious time to remember the mercy of our spiritual master and reciprocate with love and devotion.