Radhanath Swami: Today, we are reading from Srimad Bhagavatam canto 8, chapter 9, entitled – The Lord incarnates as Mohini Murthi, text 27 and 28. This chapter is the combination or let us say the conclusion, of a long historical epic. This story, like so many other stories of Srimad Bhagavatam reveals essential truths for anyone who wants to make spiritual progress for many levels, many perspectives. This story is full of so many instructions critical to our progress on the path of Bhakti; we find herein the very foundational essence of psychology of human nature and especially the very essence of spiritual life. Everyone is searching for happiness, Anandamayobyashath. Everyone is looking for pleasure but according one particular state of consciousness and according one’s free will, one looks for pleasure in different ways. Pleasure we are all seeking is to release the natural energy of the atma or the soul. Premapumartha mahan. The goal of life is to realize the love of God that is within us. Such love is unmotivated and uninterrupted. But due to free will of the Jiva, strives to find that pleasure in forgetfulness of our relationship with all attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead who is both within and without. And the nature of the material mind, it is so complex that in forgetfulness of our relationship with Krsna, it can create an endless justifications and unlimited methods for trying to exploit material nature. But the bottom line is simply selfishness. Janasya mohoyamahamam emethy. This is the crux of all misery is we are bound by this misconception of I and Mine, “I am this body, I am this mind and anything in relation to it, it is mine.” But in fifth chapter of Gita, Krsna gives us a peace formula.
jnatva mam santim rcchati
We are all looking for peace for real happiness it is only possible when we accept intellectually and within our hearts practically the Krsna is the Supreme proprietor of everything. Therefore to please him is the perfection of life. Sangsadira hairtho suno, Samsadir – the full, complete perfection of everything. Harithoshuno – is just to make Krsna happy. And this is possible when we Suradasarva Bhutaram. When we actually have faith then Krsna is really our well wishing friend. He is Hari; he comes to take away our inauspiciousness to give us himself. Whatever Krsna does, for everyone, is out of love.
Radhanath Swami on Krsna responds according to one’s love.
Krsna, or let us say Lord Narasimha Dev loved Hiranyakashipu millions and billions and trillions of times and you could ever love your husband or wife or your own little baby children who are just looking at you within his helpless eyes. Did you ever think of that way? He is giving Hiranyakashipu, what Hiranyakashipu needs out of his divine love. Krsna is not partial to anyone, in the sense he is equal to everyone. But he naturally reciprocates according to how we approach him. This is what Prabhupad is explaining in Purport – ye yathā māḿ prapadyante tāḿs tathaiva bhajāmy aham. As we approach the Supreme Lord as we surrender and everyone is surrendering in one way or another, Krsna responds according to his love. His anger, his love. Lord Narasimha Dev looked very angry but Prahalad Maharaj recognized that the anger was just a very extraordinary expression of his sweet love. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was in Simhachala, beautiful mountain near the sea in Vishakapatnam in south India, he stood before the Murthi the deity of Lord Narasimha and he was offering this beautiful prayer that the lion looks very ferocious but actually to her cubs she is most gentle and kind. Material nature sometimes seems very ferocious. But for a devotee who has faith and love in Krsna. Krsna from within the heart, reveals himself. In the famous story, when the Japanese were bombing Calcutta in World War II people were running to the air age shelters, when Prabhupad was very calm I think he was cooking puris chanting Hare Krsna and he told us he saw that Krsna is coming in the form of these bombs. Prabhupad was lovingly welcoming whether his body was blown into thousands of pieces or whether he was protected, he had complete faith in the love of God.
Maro bhi rakho bhi ….
Bhakti Vinod Thakur prays like this: “My Lord you can protect me or you can kill me that’s for you to decide, I am you servant unconditionally”.
Mahapurana speaks basic philosophical truth
In this story, these and many other lessons are described very graphically in a very enchanting and exciting way, this is the glory of the Puranas and especially the Mahapurana, this basic philosophical truth are spoken in such fantastic ways that captivate our attention. Because truth is only as beneficial as we digest it. Just like food, even a food has very good nutrients if you cannot digest it; you get no benefits from those nutrients. In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, digestion is very, very fundamental principle. You can give the best medicines but if your body cannot assimilate them it is useless. So assimilation is very important. Krsna Says in Gita:
bhakto ‘si me sakhā ceti
rahasyaḿ hy etad uttamam
The Bhagavad-Gita, the knowledge is there for everybody, but unless we have humility and devotion, tad-viddi pranipanathena pari prashnena sevaya. Unless we have humility and devotion and an eagerness to serve we cannot digest the knowledge. It could remain possibly in our intelligence and our memory but to touch the heart that’s what actually may take affect in our life and awakens the soul. So Srila Vyasadev, he wrote the Puranas and empowered his son Sukhadeva Goswami especially to present these fundamental basic spiritual truths and the whole elaborate philosophy around them in such mystical fantastic stories. And we may say how this is true? It must be mythology. But that type of thinking is mythology. Everything we see around us is miraculous. We take miraculous things for granted because we see them all the time, every tree, every plant, every human being, there is a lot of them in Bombay, it is a miracle, if you really study, if you really study with the heart and with the intellect a single cockroach or rat you will be mystified by the miracle of how they work, you have to see God behind it all. And there is lot of them. But we see them mystified in fact we are reposed because we are not seeing the beautiful creative energy of God which is in according to what we like and what we don’t like according to our conditioning. But it is really relative conditioning because rats and cockroaches love each other. Just because you have a different body and different mind you think in a different way but who is right? This is where sectarianism comes through. The rat will never agree that humans are more beautiful that another rat and a human will never agree that a rat is more beautiful than my lover because we have relative perceptions. This is how nationalism, racism, sectarianism among religions based on this relativity. “This is what I identify with, this is what I am conditioned to connect to, and so it must be the truth”. But the fact is material creation is a great wonder. If we really see how God is working through nature with an open and receptive mind then it is not even a surprise to read about the demons and demigods churning the ocean of milk. But that’s how it begins. These difficulties on the path of devotion always bring about glorious revelations and priceless gifts if we simply have the patience, the perseverance and the faith to carry on.
Radhanath Swami on Bhagavatam – breaks faith in illusion
Now in the story the Devatas are not just coming to God and instantly everything is fulfilled, they are going through years of inconceivable labor and efforts before they actually get what they want. And even when they get what they want it is not that easy. So Bali Maharaj emperor of the Asuras, very powerful, he conquered the demigods. And the Devatas are helpless, they are practically homeless, they have nothing to do all their power, all their duties, all their properties being snatched away by a superior force, now this is what it is like in the heavenly planets sometimes. This is a very philosophical principle instructive, relate little where so insignificant on this little tiny earth where life span is so small and things are so uncertain.
padaḿ yad vipadāḿ na teṣām
Krsna says in Gita this entire material existence is endlessly beautiful.
punar āvartino ‘rjuna
mām upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate
From the highest planet down to lowest there is all places where there is going to be suffering because everything is temporary and the only thing that is certain is everything in material nature is uncertain. Krsna is the manufacturer. He has certified this truth. We are trying to find happiness through our material arrangements in this temporary world even the Devatas can’t to do it. What is our position? Srimad Bhagavatam is trying to break our faith in illusion, because unless we break our faith in illusion we cannot establish real faith in truth. This is very important. The Isoponishad explains you have to understand ignorance and knowledge simultaneously. So, so many stories are there, there are inseparable for a conditioned soul. Our faith in illusion has to be crushed before there can be true faith in truth. We have to cultivate so books simultaneously. So here the Devatas they are great devotees and we should honor and respect them, every one of them because we make mistakes too, but they mistakes. But when you really bake like them, there mistakes are much more sensational than ours. Here mistakes are not put in the Srimad Bhagavatam because nobody really cares that one. But when the demigods make mistakes the whole universe is affected. So here we find they make some mistakes, they make some Aparadhs to great souls. However a greater Vaishnav you are, if you make aparadhs to souls Krsna is going to withdraw his mercy to teach you a lesson which is another type of mercy. They lost everything. Our tendency when things are going right “I am the doer”. But when things are going are wrong then we are not the doer we are Don. What to do? No one else to do they were done. They reach their limits and they failed at that point they turned to Krsna. Janmaishwarya…. Kuntidevi says it is very difficult to call out God’s name feelingly when you have high beauty, high knowledge, high fame, and high education and wealth, great wealth; because we become complacent and proud. We think we are doer. What is that beautiful verse Prabhupad often quotes that when Krsna wants to show his special favor he may take everything away and that’s what he did here.
Radhanath Swami – Working on higher principle
So the demigods they were not just Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. They were really crying out for God’s mercy and Krsna came and he wanted to teach them and he wanted to teach the entire all living beings the best possible lessons. So he orchestrated the story in such a fantastic way, here we find the perfection of politics, diplomacy, psychology, history, everything is there. He tells the demigods “ they are stronger than you, make truce with them and how do make a truce,, on the basis of higher principles this is very important, we can focus on this for a longer time but we are not going to do it.
But just think you may be having problems with your god brothers and god sisters or with god brothers or god sisters or some other Guru or some other person or you may be having difficulty with your brothers/ sisters or your husband’s or your wife but Krsna Consciousness just means to unite on a higher principle than our present quarrels and disagreements or even a higher principles on the relative things that we agree on. Yes sometimes in marriage for the higher principle of the children or for the higher principle of the vows we have taken before God we have to work things out no matter what. This is duty, this is civilization. For Brahmachari even though there may be disturbance, agitation, there may be conflict in the ashram, and we may not like the color of another Brahmachari’s kaupin, anything could cause disturbance. But the reality is, we cannot just everything if we just focus on a higher principle. What is a higher principle, to please Krsna, to please guru to please Vaishnavas. Everything can be worked out if we are dutiful to the higher principle, everything could be adjusted in a very auspicious way. And Krsna wants to teach us this because it is something we have to deal with if we want to be faithful to anything in this world.
Pleasure common thing for Asuras and Devatas
So Krsna wants to teach us in the most graphic way between the demons and the demigods. Now these are not just little guys these are the most egoistic conquerors of the universe. The higher principle the devatas and the asuras disagree on almost everything. They disagree philosophically, socially, everyway. But there’s one thing that they agree on they are looking for pleasure. They have very different ideas of pleasures; for the demigods the standard is the pleasure is in sattva guna the mode of goodness. For the Asuras is either rajo guna – passion or ignorance. Different kinds but they are both looking for pleasures. So Vishnu is so expert. Nectar is the facility that empowers you to enjoy whatever kind of pleasure you want millions of times greater than you do now. And everyone wants to be healthy and live long lives so that they can enjoy these pleasures without interference the nectar will give you that. So such a unifying principle, a higher principle. Vishnu got the demigods and the demons to work together. Can you imagine that? To work together harmoniously on the same project on the basis of a higher principle. So if they can do why can’t we? The higher principle was Amrita – nectar something that they could all some how or other there are millions and trillions of disagreements but they could agree on this one point. So can’t we?
Krsna Consciousness is based on the higher principle of Amrita – Nectar
As Vaishnavas we all agree that the goal of life is to love Krsna, to please Krsna. We all want that awakening of divine love although due to our conditionings our upbringing our experiences in life we have so many differences. But somehow or other whoever we are in whatever relationships we have in Krsna Consciousness we adjust everything for the highest principle. And we are duty bound to that higher principle and we are willing to make harmony with each other on the basis of that higher principle. This is Krsna Consciousness.
Radhanath Swami on Asuras Vs Devatas – on one project
So here they are the same people who were murdering each other, assassinating each other hating each other bitterly fundamental philosophies and ideologies that totally opposed each other. Krsna got them to work together on the same project harmoniously on the basis of this higher principle, as long as we focus on higher principle we can always adjust whatever disturbances and make progress together. But if we forget the higher principle then all that is left is our egoistic differences. There is no possibility. Srila Prabhupad explain there was the league of nations after World War I and then there was the United nations after World War II but there is never been a time when there is no wars. Because they are forgetting the basic principle that can unify us; our connection to the absolute truth to Krsna to go order. So here the demigods and the demons now there instead of two teams there were one team. They both had very different motivations but they were working together for the nectar. And so many lessons that Krsna likes to teach us. They didn’t just get the nectar they go to the ocean of milk and they take the mountain and the mountain starts sinking and crushing them and breaking their bones in killing them and they realize they are completely helpless and they turn to Krsna. Krsna comes and lifts and holds the mountain. And as they were doing you know Vasuki starts they are arguing over who gets the head and who gets the tails and ultimately the demon say “we will not do it unless we will not churn unless we get the heads we don’t want the tails the tails that tails is the weird end of the snake, we want the front of the snake”. That is the way we are, we want the prestigious position. But like any prestigious position in this world it is like the head of the snake, looks nice, gives you some pleasure for sometime but then fire starts coming out. As Vasuki was getting hot there was massive flames pouring out of his mouth scorching the demons and the demigods were in the back, it was nice and cool in the back. So this is a great lesson here to, Trunadapi sunichena take a humble simple position in life and you can close through all difficulties but when you try, even if you are in a high position Akinchinna gocharam if you don’t claim that this is mine, if you are not looking for the prestige or the power of that position you are just looking for the service of that position even if there are flames you don’t get burnt. But if we want the credit, we want the prestige that when the flames come and flames to come it burns and that’s an excruciating experience to be burnt. Krsna says in Gita: For one who is been honored, dishonor is worse than death, what that really means is one who is attached to that honor, if you are honored but you accept that the honor really belongs to my Guru and Krsna, then dishonor does not destroy you, in fact it is just like another wave passing on the current of material existence, you go on with your service.
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
tāḿs titikṣasva bhārata
We tolerate all these dualities because they come and they go but as soon as we attach ourselves to either of these dualities very difficult so much impediment and suffering. So then Krsna had to send rain to cool of Vasuki. They continued on so many difficulties, so many troubles they were churning for long time and nothing happened. But they didn’t give up, they kept going and then finally this was one of the most amazing parts of the story, they are risking their lives, they are struggling, they are working together the two most inimical parts of God’s family are working together and actually they are all related, both the demigods and the demons they are all descendants of Kashyapa muni are they are not, leaders, they are all cousin brothers or half brothers what they are brothers. And they worked so hard for so long and then what comes out of the ocean “Poison”. The exact opposite of what they want. Now they could have just said, “forget it, we will go on home, this is the end, all this work for nectar we get poison. No way we aren’t going to do this any more. But they had faith in Vishnu’s word that you are going to get nectar just keep churning. So same situation with ourselves we have to have that faith.
For churning our hearts for nectar individually, collectively together but sometimes just the opposite things happen. It is very difficult. And you know what difficulties we have compared to the poison.
Shiva drinks the poison
This poison was about to exterminate all life in the entire universe, that’s how powerful it was. And ultimately they went to Krsna and Krsna said: “Go to Shiva and even went with them” and Shiva drank it all just to show, the Bhagavatam explains, there is no quality of a Vaishnav that pleases Krsna more than being willing to endure difficulties for the welfare of others. So this wonderful pastime of the poison eternally glorifies Kalakanta, Nilakanta Shiva as the “Vaishnavanam yatha shambu” the greatest Vaishnav giving the greatest example of how to make Krsna happy.
Beautiful and attractive distractions
Now this took sometime and then they go on churning, churning faith in their higher principle and then all sorts of temptations start coming, beautiful elephants and horses, apsaras, Surabhi Cow, Laxmi devi goddesses of fortune, everything is coming out and Krsna is warning the demigods if you get attracted to any of these things you are not going to get the nectar, you are going to be just distracted just focus on the nectar. So is spiritual life, the path of Bhakti, sometimes the nectar comes, sometimes the most wonderful, wonderful opportunities to enjoy are manifested through our devotional service and sometimes the most horrible impediments come in the path of our devotional service. We shouldn’t get distracted by any of them; we should carry on performing our duty of churning for the nectar of pure love of God. Whatever may come, the temptations are often times more greater than distractions, and the nice things are greater distractions than the horrible things. If we are focused on the essence Saragrahi, focussed on the essence of why we are doing it? Then even horrible things we see in a different light, we welcome them.
Radhanath Swami – Dhanvantari appears with nectar
So after all this finally Dhanvantari appears holding the nectar. The cresendo of the whole story and the Asuras, the demons grabbed the whole pot for themselves and demi-gods are too weak to fight against them. Now imagine what they are going through? They have done all this work, they fully co-operated with Lord Vishnu’s instructions, they suffered a lot in the whole process and finally when nectar comes and the demons take it all. And the demons are already stronger than them, they can’t fight and if they drink the nectar they are going to be millions of times more strong. It appears totally hopeless, everything is finished for the demi-gods. In fact if the demons drink all the nectar which they had the full facility to do so there was absolutely nothing that demi-gods could do about it. They had everything. If they drink it, it would vnsmake things millions of times worse than the very beginning when they approach Vishnu and said: “We need your help”. Now everything is totally disturbed, they were absolutely defeated, they were hopeless and helpless. It is dramatic story. Imagine the demons hold one hundred percent of the nectar that’s giving such power and the demi-gods were just standing on the side lines thinking everything is finished, they turned to Vishnu. That’s all they could do. Fantastic story. They were really crying out for shelter at that state more than ever before. But here the demons they have all the nectar, all they have to do it is just share it and drink it. But their egos, each one wanted the prestige of getting the first drink of nectar. So each one was thinking “I am more qualified than all the others” and they were fighting over the nectar, they became hateful and inimical toward each other because each of the demons was trying to oppose each other one’s from getting it first. So they were fighting then it wasn’t just like playful wrestling match, they were. They were, really their hearts were burning with envy and enmity toward each other. And they won, they were the winning team but they wouldn’t let each other enjoy their results of their winning. Very good lesson here.
Karmi Vs Devotee’s view on enjoying nectar
Even in Krsna Consciousness we have the nectar Sri Caitanya Caritamrita repeatedly echoes this message- that a Vaishnav is one who takes pleasure in seeing another devotee get nectar. And if a person is opposed or envious of somebody else getting nectar, that person is not a Vaishnav. And we find here in Prabhupad’s purport, he is very strong. He is talking about people who several times in this purport there are many karmis in the dress of devotees but the Supreme Personality of Godhead can detect their purpose so don’t think that becoming a Vaishnav is just joining the movement. That’s necessary for our spiritual progress but we have to be willing to make spiritual progress to actually become a Vaishnav. It is not a matter of “I were they don’t so I am better than them”.
Radhanath Swami on Ahimsa – Vegetarianism a principle not ritual
One time a devotee read the news paper and saw what the Pope, the previous Pope was very instrumental in getting rid of communism and in getting rid of communism open the doors to the devotees, activities and these Iron curtain countries but he had his breakfast lunch and dinner and there was so much meat and a devotee was giving a class and just blasting “you see this is a spiritual leader, he is eating meat and this, eating this, cows, chickens, lambs and goats. I said to him: “Of course that is defect in one’s spiritual life if you are not following ahimsa if you are causing harm to other living beings but may be you know he is not showing kindness to animals but he showing to humans but you my friend, you might be very nice to animals but look how do you treat other Vaishnavas. Are we kind to each other?” Vegetarianism is not just an a formality of not eating meat, it is a principle of Ahimsa which means to be Paradukha Dukhi that another person’s suffering is my suffering and other person’s happiness I my happiness. And that may mean that we have to extend this principle all the way to other humans, even to other devotees. It is the principle; it is mentality not just the ritual.
Transcendental competition among Vaishnavas
In Krsna Consciousness a Vaishnav is a person who loves to see another devotee making advancement, getting the mercy of the Lord, tasting the nectar. There are different kinds of competition. There is transcendental competition, there is just crude egoistic competition, Prabhupad encouraged transcendental competition “I am going to work harder to try to defeat, what you do so that you be inspired to defeat what I do and then I will be more inspired to defeat what you do and you are more inspired to defeat what I do but we are not envious of each other we are actually trying to help each other so that together we are doing the most for the pleasure of Guru and Krsna”. And we are happy to loose. We are happy to loose if somebody else is getting glory and has done so much service as long as we know we have done whatever we can do.
Hanuman=squirrel to Lord Rama
Hanuman and that little squirrel. Hanuman was doing big things the squirrel was doing little things. From a mundane comparative platform, Hanuman defeated the squirrel but from Ram’s position he didn’t. He sees our intent. The Lord sees our purpose how we are trying to please him. The squirrel was doing hundred percent his capacity as was Hanuman. In Ram’s perspective they both win. It is equal, he sees our love, he doesn’t see the thing, and he sees the love, the intention in which it is offered.
Maya bewildering asuras
So they are fighting. If they were Vaishnavas, there would be a completely opposite fight, the nectar would be their and someone would say: “Prabhu you take it first”, he said “no,” he would say, “no, no you take it first you are more qualified than me and somebody else would say, no, no you take it first, well then they both say, why don’t he, he take it first, no, no, actually she should take it first. This is Vaishnav society, not me, me, I, I, me, me. But we are thinking about you, we are thinking about we. So here it is they have all secret of success and power in their hands and they cannot even assimilate it, because they are so envious of each other. And the demi-gods, they can’t do anything, they are just standing and watching the demons blaspheming each other, fighting each other and really hating each other over this nectar. Can you imagine? They hate each other. So the Lord knows exactly, he knows everyone’s strength and everyone’s weakness.
Material nature is under the control of Krsna. Maya is his external energy, inferior energy and Maya knows exactly what is our strengths and what is our weaknesses and she is going to, she may nourish your strengths and nourish your strengths and nourish your strengths so that your ego gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger but then she knows exactly what your weakness is, she knows how to crush you, everyone, expert. She is a creative genius Maya getting power from Krsna.
So here in this particular story Maya is bewildering the demons so that none of them can touch a drop of the nectar because of their envy toward each other, because of their egos, that is the problem. Because of their egos none of them can get any of it. That is Maya. But then Vishnu appears in this extra ordinary incarnation of Mohini. Now please understand this is not the Maya potency, this is Krsna himself directly coming to bewilder them. Very serious pastime. As she comes walking in very young, very beautiful and in the presence of so many Brahmacharis I am not going to go on tell many details. But she is very beautiful, everything about her is just perfect physically, emotionally everything, just her glances, her smiles, her movements totally captivated the egos of the demons. They looked at her, she looked at them, and she looked at each one of them. And each one of them was thinking by her glance, “she loves me”. And because of that sense that “she loves me, of all these powerful heroes she sees my provest, she sees how handsome I am, she sees my accomplishments, she is in love with me” and therefore because they though that she honored and had such deep affection for them, their egos were so totally stimulated by that glance that they had complete faith in her. Hare Krsna. And then all the demons now they are united on the higher principle, they were united to get nectar now when they got it they were fighting over who drinks it first and now they are united on the higher principle that they all agreed they would ever Mohini says this is right and I know what she says, because she loves me. She just right to the very core of their false egos and they know it but beyond their false egos. They were actually completely attracted to Krsna; every one is ultimately attracted to Krsna. Krsna tells in Gita: All the beautiful, wonderful things in this entire creation are just a tiny little spark of my splendor, the only reason we are attracted to anybody or anything in the entire creation is because it is a spark of Krsna and Krsna is the complete whole. Can we imagine how attractive he is? So the demons are actually their hearts, their souls are stirred because of being attracted by God but because of their egoistic mentality they don’t realize it is God, they are just attracted. And each is thinking that glance convince them that she loved only them, that one person. And their egos were really, really out of control. “She loves me, everyone of my brother’s is mad after her but she only loves me”.
Radhanath Swami on Gopas bewildered in Krsna prema
Now from the pure devotional perspective, when Krsna is sitting on the bank of Yamuna with the cowherd boys the Gopas, each Gopa thinks Krsna is only looking at me. And they are in the circle around him. Described like Lotus flower and Krsna is the world of Lotus flower and all the Gopas are petals in the circle around him there is four, and there is eight and sixteen and thirty two and sixty four and then there are hundreds and thousands of Gopas they are all sitting around Krsna eating lunch. And Sri Caitanya Caritamrita explains that every Gopa is thinking “Krsna is only looking at me” and when Krsna was when dancing with Gopis in the forest of Braj Bhoomi on the bank of Yamuna during his Raslila, each Gopi is thinking Krsna is only dancing with me, of all these other Gopis he is only with me. But it didn’t create envy, it created gratitude. That is the spiritual world.
Mohini Murti’s tricks on asuras
But Mohini Murti on a very, very different level she played the same kind of trick, each asura is thinking she only loves me, she is looking at me, even if she looks at the others you know they would see the glance of others as not like what, when she looks at me, they are all thinking that way. And they all unanimously agree we are all brothers of Kashyapa muni, we are all on the same team as Asuras but we are fighting, there is enmity, there is inimical mess between us, so bad because we all want to drink this nectar first, there is a major crisis in our dynasty and only you could solve it. You decide who drinks the nectar first, because they were all absolutely convinced that she would choose them. And she just speaks the truth she said: “you don’t even know who I am, where I am coming from, what my family, I am just wandering alone here, I could be a prostitute, you don’t know anything, how could you put so much faith in me”. And the amazing thing is they thought she was joking. This is how covered over they were she was just telling them as it is, exactly what was going to happen but they couldn’t hear.
Maya’s effect on us
Just like so many instructions we hear from Prabhupad, so many things, beautiful things, but when we become enamored or infatuated by the ego and Maya we can’t hear. Lust, envy, anger, pride, greed when we become under the influence of these things, even if it is told directly to us through the books or through another devotee exactly what’s going to happen if we don’t do something about this, they can’t hear. Because we are intoxicated Krsna showed Duryodhana the Viratrupa, but he couldn’t see because he was so envious, he was so viewistic he still thought he could defeat Krsna after seeing Viratrupa that’s how powerful Maya is.
Mohini Murti story continued
So she is telling them the straight out truth and they are laughing. So nice, your words are so full of sweetness and then they all came, they are fighting over the nectar they all together gave the nectar to her and said: “You decide because we have complete faith in you only”. So what she did next is fascinating, she just smiled and started talking to all the demons, very sweet talk, and very nice talk. Another words “I am giving myself to you, I am giving my association to you” and she was just talking and talking and talking and in her talks it was just charming and enchanting them. And then in her talk she said listen: “You are big self controlled heroes, you are great yogis of the highest platform so you know you can tolerate a little inconvenience but these demi-gods they are nothing, they are just you know, they are all agitated guys so they can’t wait, I am going to distribute a little bit of nectar to them because they are so agitated and they are so, they can’t control their senses and then I am going to come back and I am going to give massive portion to you.” Again she was playing with their false egos to defeat them that’s how Krsna through Maya defeats us by playing with our false egos by infatuating us. So they were: “Yes, yes, yes, slow, slow, we are yogis we can wait, we are self controlled go and give a little nectar to those neo-phyte”. I am putting my own words to it. But really that is the spirit of what’s happening here. So she goes over and she starts giving nectar to the demi-gods and the demons were just sitting there. For first actually there was a big thing Mohini Murti is going to distribute the nectar so just to make it completely auspicious they all went to take their baths and they put on flower garlands and ornaments and they started doing Yajnas to make everything very ritualistically auspicious and they all sat and Mohini Murti had the demi-gods sit a distance away and she was right their associating with the demons and talking to them and glancing at them and laughing with them and smiling with them and capturing their minds and then said: “You are all such heroes, you are all so self-controlled and you have attracted my heart so much by these qualities but you know as a formality we have to give something to the demi-gods, so let me just give to them first because they can’t wait”.
On a completely transcendental platform when Prabhupad would give out cookies he would always give to the children first because they can’t wait.
Radhanath Swami on Rahu drinks nectar
So Mohini Murti went over to the demi-gods they were at distant place and the demons were watching very proudly and then they saw she was giving large amounts, she is giving huge amounts to each demi-god but the demons didn’t want to displease her, so they didn’t say anything, they didn’t do anything they just sat there and watched as all the nectar. Only Rahu, Rahu was very much intelligent in among in this way and he disguised himself as a Devata and opened his mouth as Mohini Murti they were just opening their mouths and she was pouring in each mouth and Rahu poured and then Chandra and Surya they recognized him. “This is actually asura in disguise as demi-god and Sudarshan Chakra came and cut his head off but his head lasted for ever because he drank the nectar but she cut it off before it went below his neck rest of his body was dead.
This is another thing, we can fool people around us but we can never fool Krsna. Because he is seeing from within he sees our intention, he sees our motives, he sees what, he doesn’t see what we do he sees why do it? And it is that why that distinguishes a Karmi from a Vaishnav. It is the what as well as why. The what is incomplete without the why and why is incomplete without the what. We have to have the right intentions but then we have to actually express those intentions through our actions and words.
Mohini Murti transforms into Vishnu
So Rahu, cut his all the demi-gods until the very last drop of the pot was emptied into the mouths of demi-gods and the demons were still watching wondering what she is going to do for me. She is definitely, she loves me she has to do something for me and then the combination of the whole story was Mohini Murti changes her form into Vishnu. The ultimate arch enemy of the demons and she gets on Garuda and flies away. Finished, that’s the end of the story.
Moral from the story: Enthusiasm, patience and faith
So in this way the demi-gods ultimately got what Krsna promised them but not without a lot of challenges, a lot of which required patience, perseverance and faith.
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
Krsna promise each and every one of us, you will come to me without fail, I will give to you ecstatic love of God; you will come to my abode to live eternally in my pastimes. Just always think of me, become by devotee, worship me and offer your homage unto me, which means just follow the path of Bhakti. Srila Prabhupad gave a promise on behalf of Krsna just chant your sixteen rounds attentively, guard against the ten offences, follow these four regulative principles and live by the character and qualities of what he has given us in his books and guaranteed in this life we could attain the perfection. It is promise, so we accept the promise. But there will be challenges and these challenges an apparent extreme reversals come in every devotee’s life. Sometimes even it seems hopeless it so far away because our inner heart is so strong. But if we just persevere with patience and faith. Rupa Goswami explains two qualities of surrender are enthusiasm and patience. That’s what we find in this story; Krsna is expecting enthusiasm to perform our duties. In our case it is to follow the principles of Bhakti, enthusiasm to serve, enthusiasm to chant, enthusiasm to hear, enthusiasm to associate, enthusiasm to worship but with patience. But we may not feel anything; we may even feel the opposite and opposite things may be happening to us. But we have enthusiasm and we have patience and we can only have that enthusiasm and patience if we have faith. Faith in the promise, faith in the prospect and that faith comes by hearing and chanting in the association of devotees, it is critical, it is foundational. And whatever twists and turns spiritual path may take in the end it is a hundred percent guaranteed if we just remain faithful, the nectar awaits us. But without the challenges we may not even appreciate if it comes. Krsna has a purpose, a divine, brilliant, expert purpose, a perfect purpose for putting us through the challenges of life. And in the end Sri Sri Radha Gopinath removed the curtain of our own egos that stand between us and bestow their merciful all beautiful Darshan, which is the Supreme nectar of all the nectar and then we could truly taste the sweetness of their Holy names:
Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Question to Radhanath Swami: Thank you Maharaj for your association of class. You were mentioning about how Srimad Bhagavatam tries to break our faith in illusion so that we can also develop faith in the truth so both has to go on together simultaneously, I wanted to ask this question that last few years, 4-5 years while preaching one unique challenge comes up that people in Bombay especially are spreading lot of propaganda against Vedic culture, a lot of pamphlets are being distributed blaspheming deity worship and cow protection like that. Devotees we get agitated although we know that Prabhupad said that we should identify ourselves as Hindu, Muslim, American, Indian, we are not the body but we get agitated and we feel we want to do something, so while preaching can we also present arguments which break people’s faith in these theories which they are promoting, can we do that and how do we address this anger that we experience, how should we handle this emotion?
Answer by Radhanath Swami: That is our sacred duty to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, our parampara and Srila Prabhupad; with the light of knowledge to dissipate the darkness of all those propaganda of ignorance. Yes it is our duty to be very strong in counteracting these misleading speculations that are misdirecting innocent people. We have Sakshi Gopal Prabhu here from Kurukshetra. Kurukshetra is a place where Krsna told Arjuna; “we have to fight for Krsna, not for ourselves but for Krsna”. Bhagavad-Gita is about Krsna telling Arjuna “Fight, to protect the world from ignorance and exploitation”. So Arjuna as a Kshatriya was fighting according to his propensity. We are essentially a Brahminical culture. So we don’t fight with weapons our weapon is the Holy name, our weapon is the truth. So in a humble but enthusiastic and bold way we should, yes, we should challenge the illusory propaganda that is deluding the world, it is our universal principles.
Question to Radhanath Swami: Then actually Maharaj, we have take to names also for example, Islamic people are spreading propaganda in India and also Christian missionaries so these young boys when they come and ask question, we answer them, we are tempted to tell them about flaws in that system also though we know that Prabhupad said we should not criticize other religions but the kind of propaganda, it is very difficult to resist, can we actually explain the truth but at the same time may be al so tell them that their preaching is very dangerous, that will actually shake their faith in their path. Can we do that also? In principle is that ok?
Answer by Radhanath Swami: It depends on the time, place and circumstance, but in principle we defend the truth. That is our duty. Factually because the Vedic path of spirituality is so deep and so broad in the sense of understanding the essence, that it could embrace and accommodate the essence in other religions, whereas people who are superficially externally identifying with the particular religion, they can’t tolerate an other one because it just doesn’t fit in their tiny little scenario of what religion is? But the Vedas are so deep and so broad. That is why when the Zoroastrians were being persecuted in Iran they came to India they found shelter. When the Tibet & Buda’s were prosecuted in Tibet they came to India and found shelter, when the Jews were being prosecuted by the Romans 2000 years ago they found shelter in India and have been providing shelter for ever since then. One of the largest, when the oldest Jewish community is on the planet is in India. And Christianity at times when they were being prosecuted they found shelter in India. And factually as far as I could see Islam the Muslims in India are the freest Muslims in the entire world. They don’t have oppressive leaders that are forcing them to follow according to their conceptions but they have total freedom. Because of the openness in the depth of Vedic culture people of all religions are accepted and have freedom here more than anywhere else on the planet earth, finding shelter. And now they are saying people who have found shelter here because of the graciousness of the Vedic culture and Indian culture now they are attacking it trying to show their own sectarian abusive ignorant little tiny scope of truth as the only way and because we don’t match them because the Vedic culture doesn’t match them therefore we are something deluded and dangerous. This is the reality of situation. So now, we should be strong not to oppose other religions but to oppose ignorance and sectarianism which breeds hatred not love. Does it answer your question?
Krsna Kshetra Prabhu ki Jai.
Srila Prabhupad ki Jai