Radhanath Swami reads out “Mahäräja Parékñit heard that out of His causeless mercy Lord Kåñëa [Viñëu], who is universally obeyed, rendered all kinds of service to the malleable sons of Päëòu by accepting posts ranging from chariot driver to president to messenger, friend, night watchman, etc., according to the will of the Päëòavas, obeying them like a servant and offering obeisances like one younger in years. When he heard this, Mahäräja Parékñit became overwhelmed with devotion to the lotus feet of the Lord”



snigdheñu päëòuñu jagat-praëatià ca viñëor

bhaktià karoti nå-patiç caraëäravinde


Lord Kåñëa is everything to the unalloyed devotees like the Päëòavas. The Lord was for them the Supreme Lord, the spiritual master, the worshipable Deity, the guide, the chariot driver, the friend, the servant, the messenger and everything they could conceive of. And thus the Lord also reciprocated the feelings of the Päëòavas. Mahäräja Parékñit, as a pure devotee of the Lord, could appreciate the Lord’s transcendental reciprocation of the feelings of His devotees, and thus he himself also was overwhelmed with the dealings of the Lord. Simply by appreciating the dealings of the Lord with His pure devotees, one can attain salvation. The Lord’s dealings with His devotees appear to be ordinary human dealings, but one who knows them in truth becomes at once eligible to go back home, back to Godhead. The Päëòavas were so malleable to the will of the Lord that they could sacrifice any amount of energy for the service of the Lord, and by such unalloyed determination they could secure the Lord’s mercy in any shape they desired.

Radhanath Swami explains Krishna is always in the association of Pure Devotees

In his travels he is hearing the glories of his forefathers, the Pandavas and the relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One cannot separate the Lord from His devotees nor can one separate the devotees from the Lord. Srila Prabhupada would tell us that Krishna is never alone, because He is Rasaraj, Rasabihari. He is enjoying the supreme most pleasure and therefore He is always in the association of those pure devotees, who have surrendered their lives utterly for His pleasure. And in reciprocation the Lord surrenders His very life for the pleasure of His devotees, thus He is known as Bhakta vatsala.

Radhanath Swami quotes Krishna – As the Servant of the Servant of the Servant .   

Mahäräja Parékñit is hearing about how Krishna who is the absolute truth, the cause of all causes, the all powerful creator, maintainer and destroyer of everything within the cosmic manifestation; how He is taking such a humble position of being the servant of His devotees. On the battlefield of Kurushetra by the request of Arjuna; Krishna revealed his Supreme nature in the “Viräö-rüpa” or the “Universal form”. There it could be seen that Krishna is the all and all, the all powerful; and in His mere expansion in the form of time even the greatest, the most mighty conquerors are being destroyed. What to speak of the great conquerors like Bhishma and Drona, even the demigods -Indra, Väyu, Sürya, Brahma, Shiva; they are all devoured by this mighty form of Lord Narayan at the time of universal destruction. Yet that same Krishna is taking such a humble position, in any way the Pandavas so desired. An example is given; He was Parthasarathi, the Chariot driver of Arjuna, a most menial task. The chariot driver has only one business to simply carry out orders. Arjuna said- take my chariot to the centre of this battle field, I want to see who has assembled for this Great War. And in great obedience Krishna took the chariot to the centre of the battle field. Being a Kshatriya is a very very prestigious royal dignified service- fighting for justice or Dharma. During the battle of Kurushetra when Arjuna was battling and fighting the greatest warriors on earth displaying such heroic feats, the horses were tired. So as Arjuna was performing this very very great service of fighting, Krishna was taking his horses to drink water. And he was brushing the horses with the brush with his own hands just to give them some refreshment And after the horses were very nicely refreshed He brought them back and Arjuna again mounted his chariot and he said Krishna bring me forward, and Krishna drove the horses forward. “Parthasarathi!”  It is also explained here that He became the president of the Rajasuya Yajïa; this was by the arrangement of Yudhishtir. On his request He was willing to take any position, but He also took another position during the Rajasuya Yajïa; He was in charge of welcoming the guests. Because Yudhishtir was the presiding king, and anyone who is coming to this Rajasuya Yajïa to attend was the guest of Maharaj Yudhishtir; whoever they may be, that was not important. The important thing-that they were the guest of Yudhishtir Maharaj. So Krishna in order to glorify Maharaj Yudhishtir and show his love as the servant of the servant of the servant of this great king He took the position of washing everyone’s feet as they came. Krishna with sweet words would welcome them, offer them nice sitting place and with His own hands He would wash their feet. This is very wonderful Lila to understand.

Radhanath Swami explains how to Treat Guest as God.

We were discussing this with some devotees just recently that, this temple is the temple of Shri Radhagopinathji the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Srila Prabhupada is the founder acharya, he is the supervisor, in charge of the temple on behalf of the Lord, and anyone who comes to this temple is Srila Prabhupad’s special guest, and we are the servants. We are not the Lord and our position is to welcome every guest in every way we can. When a guest comes to a wealthy man’s house, even if the guest is little strange the servants have no right to chastise him; if he is a special friend and guest of the Lord of the house. So similarly it is not our bussiness to discriminate according to our whims who we like and who we do not like. Unless someone is acting atrociously then we have to act to protect the temple; anyone who comes anyway in good faith, we have to understand they are the guests of Srila Prabhupada and as a servant we have only one bussiness; to do everything within our power to give them hospitality and to make them feel like they never want to leave this temple for the rest of their life; in fact for the rest of eternity. That was the standard Srila Prabhupada wanted in ISKCON

Radhanath Swami tells how Krishna risks his own prestige for the pleasure of his devotees

So Krishna as the servant of the servant, washing the feet of each guest that came, just to show his love for Maharaj Yudhishtir. At other times He was a messenger; many times Maharaj Yudhishtir…. there was very very difficult diplomatic negotiations they were trying make between the Pandavas and the Kurus before the great battle. And Maharaj Yudhishtir would state his massage and he would give it to Krishna to go and personally deliver to Duryodhana, Dhritarashtra and the others. This is a very humble service to be the post-man. Postal peon, Prabhupada would say. Even Krishna took this position to show His love for His devotees. He was also friend with Arjuna; sometime they would sit together, talk together, laugh together, eat together, sleep together, and travel together. In fact Krishna behaved with Arjuna in such a way that Arjuna sometime by the power of yoga mäyä would forget that, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Radhanath Swami shares how Krishna finds pleasure in being defeated by his devotees.  

And Srila Prabhupada explains, by the power of Krishna’s own yogamäyä even Krishna would forget he is the Supreme Lord and He would just think I am Arjuna’s friend. In the beautiful Lila of Vrindavan we find how Krishna in his various relationships with the vrajaväsés, so lovingly becomes the servant, the intimate friend, the child and a lover of his own devotees. Sometime with devotees, the sakhäs, gopas they would play games, they would wrestle and Krishna would very much be fond of loosing. Because after all it is not a great thing for him to win, but it’s a very good thing for him to lose. An example is given, just like a father and child; a father may be very big strong man, thirty five years old and the child may be six years old. And the child tells the father I want to wrestle with you, and the father he doesn’t wrestle to show that he is the champion; he wrestle to give pleasure to the son, that’s the only business the father is wrestling with the child. So they wrestle. Now if the father wants to try as hard as, he can he can kill the child within seconds, he can put him in a wrestling hole and strangle him or break every limb of his body, he can lift him up and crush his back, his skull; there is no end to how he can cause miseries to his child during this wrestling match. But is that gives pleasure to the child? Pulverising him? Nor does it give pleasure to father. So therefore the father actually pretends to be trying as hard as he can and the son knocks the father to the ground and he falls to the ground; and he gets on him and the son says I win, I win and the father he says, I give up, I give up. And the son is very happy. He goes and tells the mother and all the other brothers; I defeated father, I beaten him up today. And everyone says very good very good; and the father says, yes I could not defend myself against him. In this way the son is blissful, the father is blissful, everyone in the family is blissful; because it in an expression of love, intimacy. And after Krishna loses; just so that everyone in Vrindavan knows that Krishna lost; he has to carry the champion cowherd boy who defeated him, on his shoulders and carry through the cowherd pastures. Because he wants everyone to know that, I am always defeated by the love of my devotees.

Radhanath Swami explains how the master of death becomes fearful of his loving devotees

And Queen Kunti, she was praying in remembrance how mother Yashoda when Krishna would steal the butter, mother Yashoda would pick up a stick and say Krishna you are naughty boy; I will punish you and Krishna would run away, and when he would be caught, he would say I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, the monkeys did it. My friends did it, somebody did it. When He saw there is way that, He argues His way out of His predicament His limbs would tremble and tears of fear would come from His eyes. And Yashoda Mayi when she would see Krishna so afraid, she was thinking oh… he is such a gentle delicate little boy. I should not make Him so afraid. Queen Kunti was praying how this that fear personified is afraid of Krishna and Krishna is afraid of this lady, Gopi. Yashoda did not have big muscles; she did not have astras or Brahmastras or bows and arrows or clubs; she was just a very gentle lady with a little tiny stick. But Krishna was trembling with fear…. Yashodanandana.  Because he wants to give pleasure to mother Yashoda; and Nanda Maharaj would come after hearing about all of the naughty activities of little Krishna and he would say to mother Yashoda, can your son do anything besides play; can He do any work? Is there anything this boy could do? And mother Yashoda would say “ah! Gopal bring Nanda Maharaja’s shoe”, and Krishna would run and He would take the shoe of Nanda Maharaj, wooden shoes and with great great difficulty He starts to lift and somehow gets it to the top of His head. And then very carefully He would walk step by step and with a wonderful and beautiful smile on His face He would say “My dear father here is your wooden slippers”. Taking the shoes, which represents the feet of His devotee on top of His head for the whole world to see? And when Nanda Maharaj would see this and his heart would simply melt in ecstatic bliss, and he would say “Very well very good, come on come on very nice Krishna”

Radhanath Swami elucidates how Krishna is glorified everywhere

And Srila Prabhupada explains in relation to Gopis; sometime they would chastise Him, sometime they would actually accuse Him of many bad names. The whole world is glorifying the supreme Lord; in the songs of Devas; in Old Testament there are so many glorifications of great reverence to God, ‘the Almighty’. The Quran is filled with so many prayers, the God the Almighty, ‘Allah’. In the Vedas, in the Upanishads there are so many wonderful wonderful sutras, slokas glorifying the almighty Supreme Godhead, the cause of all causes. Srila Prabhupada explained that, Krishna is glorified eternally on all the Vaikuntha planets, by all devotees in the material world. Sometime he wants something else, he wants someone to chastise him, he wants to experience that intimacy of love. So who is it that can chastise? Only his dear most purest, most loving devotees. So they accuse Krishna, we know who you are; that in your incarnation as Ram, from behind the tree you shot arrow into the back of Waali. What type of Shatriya? Why didn’t you face to face fight with him? And as far as Bali Maharaj; you cheated him, you said three steps of land and you ultimately took the whole universe and you tied him up with ropes and took his whole life. And as far as shatriyas… shatriyas are supposed to protect women; what did you do to Surpanakha? All she did is come to you attracted by your beauty and you cut off her nose, you cut off her ears… In this way Krishna was receiving great ecstatic joy hearing the loving words of his devotees; and this is a very high subject.

Radhanath Swami tells that Krishna can be understood only by devotional service

And Krishna explains in Gita;

janma karma ca me divyam

evaà yo vetti tattvataù

tyaktvä dehaà punar janma

naiti mäm eti so ‘rjuna

One who understands in truth, the transcendental nature of my appearance and activities in this world, never takes birth again in this material world, but attains my abode.

Only a devotee can understand these transcendental activities of the Lord.

bhakto ‘si me sakhä ceti

rahasyaà hy etad uttamam

Krishna reveals the inner truths of His nature only to those who surrenders to His loving service. Maharaj Parikshit, he was overwhelmed with devotion upon hearing these wonderful past times of the Lord; this is actually the sign, the symptom of an advanced soul; that they love to hear the glories of the Lord, and they are never tired of hearing the glories of the Lord. And especially these wonderful glories of how the Lord becomes subordinate to His devotees to give pleasure to His devotees

Radhanath Swami cites that Only pure devotees can enjoy the pastimes of the Lord

Srila Prabhupada during that wonderful festival at New Vrindavan in 1972; he asked us to read Krishna book, beginning around midnight. For three hours we were reading Krishna book and everyone was fasting and everyone was tired; just like many of you are tired because last night it was very late programme and so many of you are so enthusiastic that you all woke up for mangal ärati so nicely. So very little sleep, so much hard work and somehow or other you are trying to hear this Bhagvatam class; praying for the mercy of the Lord that it will end. But on that night every devotee without exception from the most learned Brahman to the most stalwart sanyaasis, to the most surrendered brahmacharis, to the most exemplary charitable grahastas, they were all struggling to somehow or other not snore too loud. Everyone was sleeping, standing up and falling on each other. Those who were sitting, they were like pillows for those who were falling. And the greatest danger was, you might fall on the top of one of sanyaasi’s dandas and injure yourself. It was actually very hard struggle. As devotees were taking turn reading Krishna book, Prabhupada was sitting on Vyasasana back straight looking at Radha-Vrindavan chandra, just listening intensively; he was actually experiencing Krishna’s Lila by the sound vibration, he was seeing it, and he was participating in it as he was hearing it. And we were trying to follow in his footsteps. But Prabhupada is Prabhupada, and when the chapter ended…. thus ends the first chapter of Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead, first chapter entitled ‘The birth of Krishna’. And everybody somehow or other woke up when that passage was spoken. And everyone with whatever energy they had left in their bodies; they said Jai! Jai didn’t mean all glories to this chapter, jai meant all glories to the fact that the chapter has ended. The room was very crowded… so crowded and it was hot, and it was raining, pouring out side. Devotees wanted to just take prasädam. Ans Srila Prabhupada reciprocated with those immortal words… next chapter. So the sanyaasis started to read. The chapter of ‘Prayers by the demigods to Krishna in the womb’ that seemed to last for rest of eternity.  Seemed like it will never end. Devotees were thinking, why these demigods are praying so much? …The demigods one prayer after another. And Prabhupada just with rapt attention, tears in the corners of his eyes as he was listening and the devotees were every now and then… ah! They would hear somebody fall, they would hear somebody snore…. thus ends the next chapter of Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead entitled “Prayers by the demigods to Krishna in the womb.”And that sloka there was hope, and everyone said, jai! And then Prabhupada responded, “Next chapter.” Prabhupada, he also didn’t have any prasädam, he didn’t sleep that day, and he was busier than everyone doing his wonderful seva, greeting so many people, doing translations. But he had such taste for hearing about Krishna, unlimited taste for hearing about Krishna. After so many chapters hours went by, when they read, thus ends another chapter…. the devotees didn’t even have enough energy to say jai; because they knew that it might not work. The basically after that chapter was just like… Jai. So Srila Prabhupada he looked at us in great compassion, in his eyes you could see that, he must be thinking this is what Krishna has sent me, this is who I am. He looked, and there was compassion, pity in his eyes. Then he actually smiled; it was amusing to him, how little taste we have to hear about Krishna. And we were just listening, is he going to say next chapter? I’m sure some devotees would be praying at the lotus feet of Radha Vrindavanchandra that, he would not say it again; I know one who was.  Prabhupada said I think you are all tired, so perhaps we should end here; and then it was tumultuous echoing, resounding of everyone joyfully saying, jai! So to hear these beautiful stories of the glories of the Lord with his devotees is the greatest treasure of life. It is the life and soul of Vaishnavas. How Krishna shows His love to His devotees and how His devotees show love for Him…

Radhanath Swami explains how Even Krishna cannot understand the love of His devotees

As Lord Narayan said to Durväsä Muni that, “My devotees have sacrificed their lives for me, and therefore I have sacrificed my life for my devotees. They know no one, but I know no one but them. I am their heart and they are my heart.” This is Bhakti. Srila Prabhupada would often say; the Mäyävädés, they want to become God. But the devotee wants to become the father of God, the friend of God, the lover of God. And even Krishna wants to experience the ecstasy of His devotees. And therefore He personally appeared as Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, just to experience the nature of love of His own devotees. And during the Ratha-yäträ, Lord Caitanya was in the role of a devotee before Jagannath. And Jagannath Himself was experiencing greater ecstasy as His devotee than He was sitting on the Jagannath cart. And the reciprocation was something wonderful. This is the supreme Lila, the supreme realization, the realization of Bhakti, the love between the Lord and His devotee. And this Krishna consciousness movement is meant to give entrance into the this realization to all living beings, by simply living as the servant of the servant of the Lord, simply following the simple principles of Krishna consciousness and attentively chanting the holy names. By mercy of guru and Krishna, we can naturally realise our eternal loving relationship with Lord Krishna; which is the perfection of fulfilment of all the souls’ desires. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. Thank you very much. Is there any question?

Radhanath Swami answers how Krishna is beyond the influence of mäyä

Q. Maharaj you said that, Krishna by the influence of His own yoga mäyä, would sometime forget that He is supreme Lord, can you please explain that?

Ans. Krishna can do anything. If Krishna cannot forget, that means there is something He cannot do. So you may ask that means forgetfulness is greater than Krishna; no because He does not forget like we forget. Just like sometime strange minded people say, I am God. If you are God, show me your universal form, if you are God, why you are suffering from so many problems? Oh I am God, but I’ve forgotten that I am God. It is my Lila. But this is not Lila, this is illusion. But Krishna is the supreme controller of everything, and simply for His pleasure, He sometimes by His own sweet will decides out of ecstatic love to forget. It is not a type of illusion, it is just a particular type of ecstasy; where the ecstasy of Krishna’s love for his devotee is so unlimitedly intense and to enhance and increase it even more, he actually forgets that, He is God. But then whenever He so desires, He remembers. It is under His complete control, it is Lila, just to give greater pleasure to his devotees. His forgetfulness is not like ours.

Radhanath Swami stresses that Devotee of Krishna is never destroyed.

Q. Maharaj you said that, bhagavän Krishna when he was showing his Viratrupa to Arjuna, in that Shiva and Brahma is devoured. But we hear that devotee of the Lord is never vanquished, how could they be devoured by Lord Krishna?

Ans. In the Viratrupa, doesn’t actually show Shiva and Brahma being devoured, but we understand that, at the end of life of Brahma their bodies seize to exist along with destruction of this universe. Those particular forms they are temporarily taking are also no longer existing. So in that sense, the soul of a devotee never dies, soul of no one ever dies. Where is Shankaracharya? Where is Ramanujacaraya? Where is Madhvacharya, where is Bhaktisiddhanta, Bhaktivinod, Gaur Kiçore, Srila Prabhupada; their physical forms went through the course of physical nature, but their eternal souls are ever fresh in loving service of Lord Krishna. So even the devatas at the end of this universe their form no longer exists; they are devoured by almighty time. Lord Shiva is an eternal expansion of Krishna, but still within this universe he takes birth at a certain time and he disappears at a certain time that is his lila

Radhanath Swami on Siva and Sadasiva

Q. Is this Shiva same as Sadashiv or different than Sadashiv?

Ans. Sadashiv is a Vaikuntha form of the Lord and the Shiva who enters into this universe is an expansion of the Lord.

Srila Prabhupada ki jai.

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.