Radhanath Swami describes Uddhava Chanting Lord Krishna’s Glories

Just to expand Himself according to His transcendental features, the Lord begot in each and every one of them ten offspring with exactly His Own qualities.

tasv apatyany ajanayad atma-tulyani sarvatah

ekaikasyam dasa dasa prakrter vibubhusaya

Kalayavana, the King of Magadha and Salva attacked the city of Mathura, but when the city was encircled by their soldiers, the Lord refrained from killing them personally, just to show the power of His own men.

kala-magadha-salvadin anikai rundhatah puram

ajighanat svayam divyam sva-pumsam teja adisat

Uddhava was the dear most friend and associate of Lord Krishna in Dwaraka Dhama. In these verses, Uddhava in ecstasy of separation from Lord Krishna, is remembering beautiful past times of Dwaraka to Vidura. In Text 9, he’s chanting the glories of that beautiful pasttime of Krishna who rescues 16,100 queens from the great daemon Narakasura.

Radhanath Swami narrates the Story of Demon Narakasura

Narakasura was actually the son of Krishna. When Lord Varaha dev appeared as requested by Lord Brahma and the demigods, he lifted the Earth with his tusks. By his inconceivable potency through his process, he impregnated the mother earth, Bhumi with a child. This child was rich with all the qualities and was raised in all the auspicious surroundings. But by the misuse of his free will, he became a friendly associate with Banasura. When you associate with Demon, you become a Demon. Our birth is not very important. In India today, it will take a perversion of the real understanding of the Varnashrama system. People put so much importance on one’s birth. People categories others on the basis of their birth. But actually more important than our birth is the association we keep in after we are born  because that will determine what type of qualities we develop in life. After All, Ravana was a Brahman, but we don’t call him to our house to perform Puja. He comes to your house; the puja he’ll perform will be with blood, because of evil association. Similarly it is actually explained in the scriptures, In Kaliyuga, rakshasas, ghosts and Demons take birth in Brahman family.  Just to create havoc in the faith of the innocent people. It doesn’t mean that all the Brahmans are ghost or rakshasas or Demons. But sometimes they are. And similarly,

aho bata śvapaco’to garīyān
āgre vartate nāma tubhyam.

There is a verse in Bhagavatam which describes that even  if you are born in a family of Chandalas, if you associate with devotees and chant the holy name, you are considered the best of the Brahmans and you are empowered to make disciples all over the world. So when Krishna wants to teach us a lesson, he teaches us in the most amazing, wonderful way and unmistakable way. Krishna wanted to teach us that caste by birth is not authorized but according to the activities and the qualities which we manifest through our association that is all-important. And this disciplic succession of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, from the very beginning has ferociously fought against of perverted image of caste by birth. Therefore Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he made his principle preacher, Srila Haridasa Thakur. In Kaliyga, Yuga-dharma is the Holy name of the lord. And he made Haridasa Thakur – namacharya, the acharya of  the yuga-dharma, the savior of all humanity. And he was born in a family which was considered untouchable by Hindu society. But Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally embraced him when he would see him. And when Haridasa Thakur was about to leave his body, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was personally present there to dance with his body and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the supreme Lord, born in the highest class of Brahman family, personally performed the funeral rights for Haridasa thakur. Narottam Das Thakur, was born in the caste Kayasthas, in Bengal they are called shudras. But Jiva Goswami proclaimed him to be Narottam Das Thakur Mahashoy, the highest title to a Brahman and a Vaishnava. And in Howard, Narottam Dasa Thakur  to initiate even the most learned prestigious Brahmans of the day. Nandnarayana and Kaviraj, they were very very very highly learned Brahmans, but they were the surrendered disciples of Sri Narottam Dasa Thakur. Srila Bhakti Sidhhanth Saraswati Thakur, because he was preaching so much against caste by birth and the caste Goswamis, when he was in Navadveepa, the caste Goswamis actually made a plot to kill him. One appeasement  approached Srila Bhakti Siddhanth Saraswati Goswami and said, “Caste Goswamis do not like you. They offered me 20,000 bribes to murder you. Usually I always take these bribes, but because you are a great sadhu, I’ll not take this bribe but I’ll warn you Please be careful.”  When Bhakti Sidhhanth Saraswati Thakur went to Vrindavan, the caste Brahmans and caste Goswamis threw stones at him and Vrajmandal Parikrama Party. The reason was simply that he was initiating people who were from lower caste. But he had all the Vedic sastras and all the previous acharyas to support that a person’s categorisation depends upon the association he keep and qualities he develop to keep that association. Then here we find Lord Krishna, giving the most powerful example of this truth. Bhauma, the son of Prithvi, was directly the son of Krishna. But because he associated with materialistic person, Bana, he became a materialistic rascal and a Demon. We see how this works. Here, the most exalted person, if he associates with low people, he becomes low. Srila Prabhupada went to the west and lowest simple people associated with Prabhupada and became Pure Vaishnavas by association, the most qualified Brahmans on Earth. Therefore Srila Rupa Goswami explains, the most important of all the principles is the association of devotees. This is the most precious gift that Krishna has given us.

Radhanath Swami explains Association with Different Devotees

How to associate with devotees is the most important factor of your life. Even you have very very strict sadhana, if you are not properly associating with devotees, it will have minimal effect in purifying you. Because you may be chanting 64 rounds every day, you may be following the 4 regular principles, you may be doing so many strict pujas, and other sorts of studies learning slokas, but the first most important aspect of sadhana is proper association of devotees. Associating with devotees means serving devotees. It means becoming intimate friends with devotees. Rupa Goswami explains the six loving exchanges.  Revealing one’s mind and confidence in hearing, giving gifts and receiving gifts, giving Prasad and receiving Prasad. These are all expressions of friendliness. If hurt the minds and hearts of devotees, this will the great stumbling block in our spiritual progress. We should be very kind to the Vaishnavas. We should help them in every possible way. If they are in a position higher than us, we should help them by carrying out their instructions and assisting them with their spiritual activities. By hearing from them submissively. If they are equal level as us in terms of etiquette, we should befriend them, encourage them and work with them in every possible way. We should be enlightening each other by hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord and serving Gurudev together. And if a devotee is younger than us, then out of great compassion we should never criticise them, but encourage them uplift them and inspire them. We should make them so happy that they have chosen to become Krishna conscious. We should welcome them for coming to temple and they should feel so appreciated for any little service they are willing to do. So this type of association will makes our lives very dear to Krishna. And most of all, we should come together to hear Srimad Bhagavatam.  We should come together to participate in the beautiful sankirtan of Hare Krishna Mahamantra. We should chant together and dance together and then after the pravachan and kirtan of Holy Name, we should joyfully have prasadam. This is the most wonderful life that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given us. But if even with children of the best devotees or disciple of very good Guru, if we associate with materialistic people, we will lose all our good qualities. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was asked how to become a Vaishnava. He gave a very simple reply. If you associate with Vaishnava, you become a Vaishnava. If you associate with materialistic people, you become a materialistic person. And Srila Prabhupada explains that this whole mission of International Society for Krishna Consciousness is just to give people association with devotees and make their lives perfect. So Narakasura, whose name was then Bhauma, was associated with a Demon named Bana. And therefore he rejected all the wonderful training that his mother and father gave him and he became a Demon. And he went from Bhauma, the son of Krishna, to Bhaumasura. /he become so hellish in his way of life that he was named Narakasura. And what he would do is he would go out and he would conquer various kings. And he would kill so many. But all the beautiful young princesses, he would kidnap and he would keep them in palace. But Krishna, who happened to be the father of Bhauma wanted to show the world what he thinks of the son who acts like a Demon. So he attacked the kingdom of Bhaumasura. Krishna Book describes very very great details what type of battle took place. Hari Bol! Belgaum Technology ki Jai!

This Belgaum Technology is very good. It helps to always remember that this material world is a miserable place. We should just depend on Krishna and go back to Godhead.

So Krishna fought with Bhauma and with his own hands, he killed his son. And Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, when he took the form of Varaha dev and went to Murari Gupta, he exclaimed that even if my own son associates with Demons and offends Vaishnavas, I’ll kill him with no mercy at all. So this is a very good lesson. Krishna will kill his own son if he offense Vaishnavas. So we should not offend Vaishnavas. We should be kind to Vaishnavas. We should encourage Vaishnavas and we should always be their servant.

Radhanath Swami describes Lord Krishna’s Family

After killing, there were 16,000 princesses and they were doing Puja in order to get Sri Krishna as husband. So Krishna sees them and released them from their imprisonment. And they all looked upon him with eyes of love, not the kind of love that ladies put on men in this world, or men put on women, that is called Kama. But they actually had pure hearts. By remembering Krishna, their hearts were completely pure and they had divine spiritual love, free of any selfish material desire. They wanted to surrender to Krishna and dedicate their entire life in serving him as his wife. So Krishna, who is so merciful, agreed to marry all 16,000. And there was wonderful wedding ceremony. Krishna can do anything. But Sukadeva Goswami explains, that if a man had 16,108 wives in total, he already had others, it would make them feel very lonely that their husbands would come and give them association.  But Krishna, who is unlimited, expanded himself in 16,108 forms and built 16,108 beautiful palaces in Dwaraka, and lives with all 16,108 wives simultaneously. And each palace was more beautiful and majestic than the palace of Indra, the god of Heaven. And then Krishna begot in each of his 16,108 wives, 10 children. And every single one of the offspring exactly resembled Krishna in his transcendental features and quality. And then Krishna, being a good father, got each of his 1,60,000 children married. And each one of those 1,60,000 had 10 children. And each one resembled Krishna exactly in qualities and characteristics. So, how many? 16,00,000 grandchildren plus 1,60,000 children plus 16,108 wives. Anyways, Krishna had a very nice family. And they all lived together in Dwaraka, and each one had so many servants. And Uddhava lived amidst this wonderful wonderful environment, where there were hundreds and thousands, millions of Krishna’s descendents, who all were just like Krishna.

Attack of Demon Kalayavana

But then Uddhava goes on to explains, in this materialistic world, at such a wonderful place, still Demons were attacking. He describes the attack of Salva, and while Krishna was living in Mathura, the attack of Kalayavana and Jarasandha. And especially, this beautiful story is being told how Krishna ran away from these Demons. To those of less intelligence, it appeared that he was afraid to fight them. Therefore his name is Ranchor, the one who runs away from the battle. Why would Krishna run away from battle? Many nice reasons. One is to show his supreme renunciation or Vairagya. Krishna doesn’t care what anyone says about him. You know in Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, for Kshatriyas, who have been dishonour is worse than death. When Krishna was living in Vrindavan, he was son of Nanda and Yashoda so he was a Vaishya. But in Mathura and Dwaraka, he was the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, so he was a Kshatriya. So for a Kshatriya, to leave the battlefield  is the worst thing he could do. It is total dishonour. And for a Kshatriya to have an equal opponent in battle, and to run away and to be dishonoured is millions of times worse than death.  But Krishna was fighting with Kalayavana and Jarasandha on two different occasions and he left the battle field in both the occasion and both of them chastising Krishna as being a coward, afraid to fight them. So in this way, Krishna manifested his divine opulence of renunciation. But he had a higher purpose.

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ   vināśāya ca duktām

dharma-sasthāpanārthāya   sambhavāmi yuge yuge

Krishna came to earth to destroy Demons and Krishna is glorified for this purpose, but Krishna likes his devotees to be glorified. Krishna wanted to give credit to the devotees for what he was supposed to do. In fact, ultimately whatever power and strength a devotee has comes from Krishna. Krishna gives all the credit to his devotee, that is the quality of a great soul. If you do something wonderful, if you want to be dear to Krishna, give the credit to someone else. Srila Prabhupada never took the credit for anything. He gave all the credits to his spiritual master. But very often, he would give credit to his disciples. When the movement spread all over the world and people said, “Prabhupada, you are doing so wonderful”he said, “It is all by the blessings of my spiritual master” But sometimes he would say, “It is all because of the sincere efforts of you”, talking to his disciples. Prabhupada loved to give credit to his disciples. He’d glorify his disciples for doing so much incredible seva. Hari Bol!

And when disciples would say “Prabhupada it is all by your mercy.”he said, “No, by the mercy of my Guru Maharaj.” See the qualification of a great soul. Also this is a qualification which Krishna has.

Rupa Goswami said Enthusiasm and Patience. That is the quality of surrender.

Krishna wanted to give all credit to his devotees. He wanted to accept the post of a coward but that his devotees would get the credit of being the great killers of the Demon. Kalayavana was with his huge army and when he attacked, he was ready with all his weapons, to fight with Krishna. And then Krishna walked by. Where did he go? Kalayavana chased him. He was running as fast as he could, Krishna was just walking nicely. But still he could touch Krishna. Krishna went in a forest in a cave, and Kalayavana enter the cave and the cave is very dark, he saw someone lying in the cave sleeping. So he was thinking what non-sense is Krishna. I asked him to fight, and he goes to sleep. So with his foot, with great force, he tried to kick Krishna. But it was not Krishna. It was the great devotee Mucukunda. And when he woke up, he was very angry. Because he was very happy sleeping. You know how sometimes you become very angry when someone wakes you up. Even more angry. Because this Mucukunda, he was a great king, and one time, the demigods and Demons were in a war, and the demigods asked Mucukunda to fight for them. So he fought for thousands of years without sleeping. And with his help the demigods conquered the Demons. But the demigods, headed by Kartikeya said, we will give you any benediction you like for helping us, and you know when you are tired, nothing else matters except getting some rest. Just like I see some of you do in my class. You feel like Mucukunda. So Mucukunda said “I want the benediction that I could sleep as long as I like without being disturbed by anyone. And if anyone disturbs me, give me the power to burn him into ashes with my glance.” So Krishna led Kalayavana to that cave, and Kalayavana thought Mucukunda to be Krishna and Mucukunda looked Kalayavana with anger for waking him up and burned the Demon into ashes with his glance. In this way, Krishna wanted to give his devotee the credit for killing the Demons.

Radhanath Swami describes Killing of Jarasandha

As far as the king of Magadha, Jarasandha, he was the father of the wives of Kamsa. They had nice marriages within the caste of rakshasas. So Jarasandha could see that Kamsa was a suitable rakshasa, a very good Demon, so he gave his two daughters to him for marriage. But then Krishna killed Kamsa in the wrestling arena in Mathura and the two wives, they went back to Jarasandha and said, “Krishna is a Demon. By all unfair means, he killed our husband. And now our hearts are broken and we are lonely.” So Jarasandha decided to destroy Krishna. So he sent so many armies, In fact he came at the same time as Kalayavana with so many 100’s and 1000’s of soldiers. Actually, in this particular battle, Krishna just ran away from Jarasandha and Balaram is also with him. Jarasandha chased him, and Krishna and Balaram just walked away and they climbed a big mountain. And Jarasandha was saying, “You are a coward. What type of person are you.  I am challenging you to fight, why are you running away from me” And they could not find Krishna in the mountain so they surrounded the mountain through all sides with their armies so that Krishna could not escape. Then they lit the whole mountain on fire. And that mountain was very High Mountain. It was 80 miles high. So Krishna and Balaram, when the mountain was blazing on fire, from the top of the mountain, jumped down. And without being seen by anyone, they went to Dwaraka. Meanwhile, Jarasandha thought Krishna and Balaram are burnt to death and was exclaiming that I have killed them. But later he found out that they were alive and in Dwaraka, so 17 times, Jarasandha mobilized forces and attacked Dwaraka to get Krishna and each and every time, Krishna destroyed his armies and let him go free. Because Jarasandha was a terrible Demon, but ultimately Krishna wanted his devotees to kill him and that devotee was Bhima. Bhima, Krishna and Arjuna dressed up as Brahmans and went to the king of Magadha to beg arms. And Jarasandha got his powers by serving Brahmans, even though he was a Demon. Very scientific. So, he looked at them and said, “I can see that you are not Brahmans, you are Kshatriyas. But still, whatever arms you beg I’ll give you”. So they said we want to fight with you. So, it was decided that he would fight with Bhima, and they had very big fight. And so many days went by, and neither of him killed the other. Then Krishna explained how Jarasandha was born, to Bhima. He was born in two heads, he was quite useless, and he was thrown to the Jungle. And a lady named Jara, by the power; she put the two heads together and made him alive. So, the seal with which he was put together is his weakness.  If you take him one side and pull the other side, you will tear him in half. So, by Krishna’s direction,Bhima tore Jarasandha into two. Similarly in the battle of Kurukshetra, Krishna told Arjuna that I have already killed everyone, whatever I desire will happen, but I want to give credit to your glory. In this way, Lord Krishna wants to show the nature of love he has for his devotees. And therefore Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explains, In this Kali Yuga there are only two religious principles. Service to the Vaishnavas and loud chanting of the Holy name of the Lord.

Thank you very much!!



Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.