Radhanath Swami on Krishna’s descent into the world – A big mystery


man-mayā mām upāśritāḥ

bahavo jñāna-tapasā

pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ

Being freed from attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in me, and taking refuge in me, many many persons in the past became purified by knowledge of me and thus they all attained transcendental love for me.

Today we are celebrating the most auspicious and holy event of Sri Janamashtami. Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared out of his causeless mercy, into this world of Birth and Death, to give everyone the opportunity of enjoying an eternal life of bliss and knowledge. Krishna descent into this world is one of the greatest mysteries and Krishna explains one who understands this mystery never has to suffer birth and death again within this world but achieves the spiritual kingdom.

janma karma ca me divyam

evaḿ yo vetti tattvataḥ

tyaktvā dehaḿ punar janma

naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna

Essentially everyone is meant to love Krishna.

jivera ‘svarupa’ haya-krsnera nitya-dasa
krsnera ‘tatastha-sakti’, bhedabheda-prakasa

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has described that within the heart of every living entity is the atma, the eternal souls and that soul is part of Krishna.

mamaivāḿśo jīva-loke

jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ


prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

But due to attachment to the mind and the senses which are conditioned by forgetfulness of Krishna, that eternal soul is identifying itself with this temporary body, which is subject to death, and with all of the attachments that surround this body.

Krishna descends to attract all living beings without discrimination to a life of real joy and that life can only be experienced through the process of purifying our heart. Purification is all that is required.


Radhanath Swami – Purification is all that is required

Srila Prabhupada used the example, when there is water in a glass, water in its pure state has the quality that you can perceive through it because it is already transparent, but when that water becomes filled with mud, mixed with dirt, its transparency is lost. All you see is the mud and the dirt but if you filter that water and bring it back to its original quality, it is transparent. In the same way we have this mind, and the mind is meant to be the transparent mirror to reflect the original image of the soul in its divine love for Radha and Krishna but through many many births we have been accumulating more and more and more dirt within our mind, mountains and mountains and mountains of dirt have been gathered and people spend their entire lives working and toiling so hard like beast of burden just to get more and more dirt to add to the mountain of rubbish in their mind. It is a fact. What do people work for? They work so that they can get more and more attachments, more and more facilities for sense gratification. They collect more and more prestige, and more and more greed, lust, pride anger and illusion and after so many millions of birth of accumulating dirt in minds, then we realise by the grace of the vaishanavas that we are suffering, that we are in illusion. Now we have to somehow undo everything we have done. We must cleanse the mind and Krishna descends to teach us this process. Through the process of gyan, through the process of Ashtanga yoga, through the process of Karma yoga, we can better our situation in this world to some extent, but these processes do not purify the mind.


Radhanath Swami – Approaching Krishna to cleanse our mind

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti

yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ

tato māḿ tattvato jñātvā

viśate tad-anantaram

The only thing, the only person that has the power to cleanse the rubbish from our mind is Krishna.

Om apavitra-pavitro-va

sarva-vastam gato api

va yah smaret pundarikaksham

sah bhayabhyantara suchih

Because Krishna is pavitra, he is all pure and whatever comes in contact with Krishna becomes purified. The whole purpose of all the great religions in the world is simply to purify our hearts and whatever rituals, whatever religions we may be following, whether it is the Hindu religion, or Islam religion or the Christian religion, or the Buddhist religion, or the Jewish religion, if by following these principles we do not purify or heart and awaken love of God, Bhagavatam says, “It is all a waste of time”. Today in the name of religion, people are fighting and killing each other and hating each other, what does it has to do with religion. In the name of God, they are just becoming more egoistic. Krishna descended in this world in his original form, just to give all of us a chance of associating with him, by transcendental sound vibrations, and that sound vibration is all-powerful and can purify our hearts and bring it back to its original natural condition.

nama cintamanih krsnas, caitanya-rasa-vigrahah

Krishna is non different than his name, he is non different than the remembrance of his beautiful form in the temple, the murti, he is non different than the sound vibration of his beautiful pastime, in his teachings as he has spoken in Bhagavad Gita. He is non different than his Holy Dham of Vrindavan, or mayapur or Jagannath Puri or Dwarka.


Radhanath Swami on Just remember names and pastimes of Krishna and get delivered

When Krishna descends into this world, he establishes all the means by which we can become purified. Krishna performed many wonderful activities. He lifted Govardhan hill and anyone who simply chants that name of Giridhaari with attention and faith will become cleansed of all material miseries forever, and anyone who simply remembers that pastime with faith and love will achieve love for Krishna. Krishna stole the butter from the Gopis, thus he became known as Makhan-chor, one who chants that name of Makhan chor or hears or describes that name and pastime with full faith and devotion becomes cleansed without and within. Krishna, he is known as Gopi Vasanohar, because on one night he stole the clothes of the Gopis. One who chants that name with proper attention and who hears that wonderful pastime with faith becomes cleansed without and within. He is nanda-Gopala. When Nanda maharaja would come home, Yashoda mai would tell Krishna, “Bring your father his slippers” and although Krishna is the supreme absolute, the controller of all controllers, ishvara parama Krishna, even the devatas like brahma, Indra, Shiva, Vayu, Agni, Varuna, they with folded hands are obeying the orders of Krishna, he took the wooden sandles of Nanda Maharaja and placed upon his head and with great great efforts, he bought them to his father, taking the feet of devotees on his head. Therefore he is known as Nanda Gopala and anyone who remembers that wonderful pastime and chants the Holy name Sri Nanda Nandana will become purified without and within. He is Yashoda Nandana, mother Yashoda, such Bhakti, Krishna was sub-due, he was captured like a prisoner with the bhakti of Yashoda, although he is abhigya and svarat, he is all-knowing and independent. He becomes dependent on the love of his mother. “If you do not feed me mother the milk from your body, I’ll die”. He’s crying, he’s weeping tears waiting for the milk from Yashoda mai, and when Yashoda mai asked bring that wooden plank, my sitting place, Krishna with great effort would struggle and strain to bring that. Krishna’s expansion of ananta-sesa is holding all the universes on his hoods without even feeling their weight but just to show his love for mother, he appears to be struggling and straining to bring the wooden plank, one who remembers these beautiful pastimes, how mother Yashoda bound Krishna with the rope, Queen Kunti was thinking that when Yashoda mai had stick in her hand, Krishna was weeping and crying and trembling with fear, although fear personified is afraid of Krishna, he is afraid of this gopi. He’s killing Putana, he’s killing Trinavarta, he’s killing Agasura, Keshi, Arishtasura, big big mighty Rakshasas, he’s killing Kamsa, but he’s frightened of this lady who is just a damsel of vraja, herding the cows, One who chants the Holy name of Yashoda Nanada with faith and devotion, and hears these beautiful pastime becomes purified within and without. Krishna had performed innumerable pastimes.

In fact Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explains that the pastimes of Krishna are unlimited like an ocean that has no bottom and no sides, an unlimited ocean and even the greatest of all devotees and greatest of all scholars, the perfection of that person’s life is to attempt with sincerity to describe one small portion from one small drop from the unlimited ocean. Krishna descended into this world approximately 5000 years ago as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, in the prison cell of Mathura. According to Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur he simultaneously appeared as the child of Yashoda in Gokula Mahavan and Vasudeva brought child across Yamuna as per child’s order. Krishna wanted to show the world that he’s not like an ordinary child, he simply appeared from the womb of Devaki in his beautiful 4 handed form of Narayana, Vasudeva, holding the conch-shell and the club and the disc and the lotus flower, and he was decorated with beautiful garlands and jewels and silks. What child can be brought like this? When we are born we come out crying, because it’s such a miserable situation taking birth and all sorts of messy substances are over us, I don’t know so much I’m a Sanyasi, but I’ve heard, and the babies, They don’t even look like human beings when they come, they look like some dried fruits. But when Krishna came out, he was the 4 armed form of Narayana, splendid with all forms of opulence and beauty and on the request of Devaki, he appeared in the form of a small baby, but he was all attractive and Nanda Maharaj brought him to Gokula and that form merged into the original form of Krishna born of Yashoda. She had twins and then he took Baby girl Yogamaya, back to Mathura.


Radhanath Swami answers Why does Krishna descends into the material world

Krishna’s appearance in this world is completely transcendental, and why does the Lord come, this is the world of exploitation; it is the land of the cheaters and the cheated. The jeev-atma comes into this world at once to enjoy separate from God, and whoever you are

ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ

punar āvartino ‘rjuna

mām upetya tu kaunteya

punar janma na vidyate

Whether you are a little indra gopam, an insect, or whether you are Brahma himself, everyone has to die, everyone has to suffer in this material existence, whatever material arrangements you make. Why Krishna comes to the world of Birth and Death from the Spiritual abode? Simply because of his infinite causeless mercy. Because he is the reservoir, an embodiment of Supreme love for every living being. When Krishna appears in this world, everything which he does, is for the ultimate benefit of everyone in this world.

yaḿ yaḿ vāpi smaran bhāvaḿ

tyajaty ante kalevaram

taḿ tam evaiti kaunteya

sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ

When we remember Krishna, we will achieve Krishna. That is the ultimate perfection of life, to remember Krishna, because by remembering Krishna in our mind, that remembrance is so pure like fire it burns to ashes all the anarthas or unwanted things, the name of Krishna cleanses, purifies everything. And that is really what we must meditate upon on this Holy day of Janmastami. How to actually receive and accept the mercy of the lord that he has given to everyone upon his appearance in this world, by making a firm vow in our life, to live according to the regulative principles of Bhakti, which enable us to always remember Krishna. Just as Krishna appeared within the womb of Devaki, if we always keep Krishna within our heart, he’ll appear to us from within. Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught, in this age of Kali, it is very simple to become cleansed of all the material contaminations and awaken our original spiritual consciousness, by associating with devotees of the lord, by living a very pure life, no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, no meat eating, these 4 pillars of sinful activities, more than anything else just accumulate in great quantities of filth and dirt within our hearts.


Radhanath Swami on Always be in association of the devotees of the lord

It’s explained in sixth canto of Bhagavatam that we should not clean our self like the elephant. The elephant would bath in the water and scrub themselves very clean and then come out of the water and roll in the dust. We should live a very pure and pious life, and this is very simple if we are in the association of the lord’s devotees. Association of sadhus, sincere devotees of the lord, make everything natural, and easy in Krishna consciousness, but if we are keeping close association of those who are too much attached to the senses and the objects of the senses, they are influenced and their spiritual life is very difficult. In the association, we follow 9 processes of devotional service, beginning with glories of the lord, chanting the Holy names of the lord, in this way remembering lord.

We have impure senses, we cannot perceive Krishna who is all-pure but if we associate with Krishna, beginning with his name, we become cleansed and in that clean state we can have the darshan of the supreme personality of Godhead. Service to the lord begin with our tongue, by taking only Krishna Prasad and by always speaking his glories and chanting his names we can cleanse out heart and achieve the ultimate perfection of eternal bliss in his loving service. So Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given us the Harinam sankirtan movement.




vidya-vadhu-jivanam anandabhudhi-vardhanam

Congregational chanting of the Holy names is non different than Krishna in sound vibration and it cleanses the mirror of the heart and reawaken the pure state of consciousness.

The temple of the lord is very important because the beautiful form of the murti is the means by which the natural thirst of our eyes to see something beautiful can be satisfied by seeing the beauty of Krishna. The beautiful things of the world only entangle just more and more in the network of the complexities of Karma and seeing the beauty of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath alleviates all the bondages of world. Krishna is all-attractive.

He appears in this world simply to attract us. So let us, on this most Holy occasion of Janamashtami, make a great determined resolution of life to utilise this rare human existence for its true and highest principle. Athato Brahma jignasa, to surrender to Krishna, to surrender to Krishna and hearing his glories by associating with his devotees and by utilising whatever facilities we have for his service, for his pleasure.


Radhanath Swami on Using the facilities for Krishna’s pleasure

If we can sing beautifully, the perfection of our life is to sing for Krishna. If we can speak nicely, we speak for Krishna. If we can cook nicely, we cook for Krishna. If we know how to make money, we make money for Krishna. If we are scholarly, we write books for Krishna. If we have a very strong body, we build temples for Krishna, we clean Krishna’s temple, we protect Krishna’s devotees. If we are mechanical engineer, we work the sound system for Krishna. Whatever, if you are a doctor, you dedicate your medical profession for Krishna and offer the fruits of actions to Krishna. If you are mother, be a mother for Krishna, you teach your child how to become a lover of God. If you are father, by your example, by your words, by your association, guide your child in such a way so that he never takes birth in this world again and attains Krishna’s abode. Whatever our inclinations are, the path of Bhakti is the process by which it can purify our hearts by connecting it to Krishna.

Sri Sri Radha Gopinath temple is humbly endeavouring on behalf of our Guru Maharaj Prabhupada to educate people to be Krishna conscious in every situation and how to find the greatest joy in coming together before the deity of lord, raising our arms and chanting Holy names, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. It was his divine grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who came in the great line of madhava-gaudiya vaishnava sampradaya. He took this pure message to every continent and even in India, he revive in the hearts of so many fortunate people the true spiritual heritage, and we see so many people today that place their head on the feet for so kindly accepting Prabhupada mercy. Tomorrow is the 100th birthday of Srila Prabhupada. That’s the most auspicious occasion. Janamasthami is the day we celebrate glories of Krishna and vyas puja is the day we celebrate the glories of his devotee. Krishna says,

Krishna says“I’m more pleased when you worship my devotee.”

Krishna had sent Prabhupada to this world in 1896 just the day after he took birth on Nandotsava. So devotees from all parts of the world come together and celebrate these two most auspicious occasions together. Janamasthami and Srila Prabhupada’s vyas puja. Tomorrow is his centennial vyas puja, which begin at Sri Sri Radha Gopinath temple at 10.30 in the morning, I request please come and offer your homage, gratitude and worship to Srila Prabhupada on this most auspicious occasion. In evening at Radha Rasbihari mandir in Juhu, there will be a wonderful abhishek. Tonight, janamasthami, we have a wonderful kirtan near Bharati Vidya bhavan. We welcome you to come to Radha Gopinath Mandir to see the beautiful beautiful abhishek of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath ji and celebrate the most wonderful occasion in the association of the devotees with beautiful kirtans, and divine arrangement that can cleanse our heart and direct us on the path of Bhakti.

Thank you very much.

The congregational chanting of Holy names is the most sublime of all methods of transcendental purification because this loud chanting not only awakens our own spiritual consciousness, but anyone who hears it even the insects and the trees and the grass, what to speak of the human beings and the animals, anyone who comes in contact with the name of Krishna, when it is emanating from the mouth of sincere devotees following the proper spiritual master, it will have incomprehendable, unestimatable benefits to that person. Anyone who appreciates the sound of Krishna’s name or the activities of Krishna’s devotees is guaranteed human birth in the next life and guaranteed the opportunity to continue spiritual life. Harinam Sankirtan, as taught by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is the Yuga-dharma. It is the sublime process by which we can all together go back home, back to Godhead. It is the greatest gift. So we should raise our arms high and with grateful heart, cry out the Holy names of Krishna

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare

As I’m chanting please welcome the Holy name of Krishna into your hearts with folded hands and as you are chanting, please lift your arms very high in the mood of Draupadi, helplessly offering your life, offering at the lotus feet of Krishna, who has mercifully appeared in his name.

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.