Saturday, March 20, 2010
There was a beautiful mountain named Trikuta. The waves of the ocean lapped at the foot of Trikuta. There were thick forests on the mountain. And in the forests there lived a king of elephants namedGajendra. He ruled over all the other elephants in the herd.
One day Gajendra was playing with his family & friends, the other elephants in a lake in the forest. Suddenly, a crocodile that lived in the pond caught Gajendra by his leg. Gajendra, in spite of being an elephant could not break free. He then, called out for help. All his friends, the other elephants gathered around him and tried to help, but in vain. The crocodile was stronger than all the elephants put together. They gave up. Gajendra tried for a long time to escape from the crocodile. He trumpeted until he was hoarse. The crocodile simply would not let go.
The elephant and the crocodile struggled for a thousand years. When a thousand years over, the elephant began to tire, although the crocodile’s strength was still undiminished. Gajendra lost a lot of blood and he became very weak. He finally realized that onlyGod could help him and called out to Lord Narayana.
The elephant started to pray to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu heard Gajendra’s cries for help and appeared on his vehicle, Garuda. He sent the Sudarshana Chakra whirling down. The Chakra killed the crocodile and set Gajendra free. Gajendra offered Lord Narayana a Lotus and thanked him for saving his life.
Strange as it may seem, the crocodile then adopted the form of a gandharva. His name was Huhu. He had been cursed by a sage that he would become a crocodile. And the sage had told him that he would be freed from the curse by Lord Vishnu. That had now happened. In fact. the elephant had earlier also been a king named Indradyumna. And he had been cursed by a sage that he would be born as an elephant. Indradyumna too was freed from his curse and became Vishnu’s companion.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Chapter 20: Lord Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu Instructs Sanātana Gosvāmī in the Science of the Absolute Truth
gokulākhyaḿ mahat padam
sahasra-patram — with thousands of petals; kamalam — resembling a lotus flower; gokula-ākhyam — named Gokula; mahat padam — the supreme abode; tat-karṇikāram — the whorl of that lotus flower; tat-dhāma — the abode of the Lord; tat — that; ananta-aḿśa — from the expansion of the energy of Ananta; sambhavam — creation.
"'Gokula, the supreme abode and planet, appears like a lotus flower that has a thousand petals. The whorl of that lotus is the abode of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. This lotus-shaped supreme abode is created by the will of Lord Ananta.'
This verse is quoted from the Brahma-saḿhitā (5.2).
Canto 10: The Summum Bonum
Chapter 21: The Gopīs Glorify the Song of Kṛṣṇa's Flute
barhāpīḍaḿ naṭa-vara-vapuḥ karṇayoḥ karṇikāraḿ
bibhrad vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśaḿ vaijayantīḿ ca mālām
randhrān veṇor adhara-sudhayāpūrayan gopa-vṛndair
vṛndāraṇyaḿ sva-pada-ramaṇaḿ prāviśad gīta-kīrtiḥ
barha — a peacock feather; āpīḍam — as the decoration of His head; naṭa-vara — of the best of dancers; vapuḥ — the transcendental body; karṇayoḥ — on the ears; karṇikāram — a particular kind of blue lotuslike flower; bibhrat — wearing; vāsaḥ — garments; kanaka — like gold; kapiśam — yellowish; vaijayantīm — named Vaijayantī; ca — and; mālām — the garland; randhrān — the holes; veṇoḥ — of His flute; adhara — of His lips; sudhayā — with the nectar; āpūrayan — filling up; gopa-vṛndaiḥ — by the cowherd boys; vṛndā-araṇyam — the forest of Vṛndāvana; sva-pada — because of the marks of His lotus feet; ramaṇam — enchanting; prāviśat — He entered; gīta — being sung; kīrtiḥ — His glories.
Wearing a peacock-feather ornament upon His head, blue karṇikāra flowers on His ears, a yellow garment as brilliant as gold, and the Vaijayantī garland, Lord Kṛṣṇa exhibited His transcendental form as the greatest of dancers as He entered the forest of Vṛndāvana, beautifying it with the marks of His footprints. He filled the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sang His glories.
The gopīs remembered all the transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa mentioned in this verse. Kṛṣṇa's artful way of dressing and the beautiful blue flowers placed over His ears excited the gopīs' romantic desires, and as He poured the nectar of His lips into His flute, they simply lost themselves in ecstatic love for Him.
MiraBai was born in 1504 AD at Chaukari village in Merta District of Rajasthan. Merta was a small state in Marwar, Rajasthan ruled by the Ranthors, great devotees of Vishnu. Her father, Ratan Singh, was the second son of Rao Duda ji, a descendent of Rao Jodha ji Rathor, the founder of Jodhpur. MiraBai was raised and nurtured by her grandfather. As customary with royal families, her education included knowledge of scriptures, music, archery, fencing, horseback riding and driving chariots – she was also trained to wield weapons in case of a war. However, MiraBai also grew up amidst an atmosphere of total Krishna consciousness, which was responsible in molding her life in the path of total devotion towards Lord Krishna.
When she was just four years of age, she manifested her deep devotion to Krishna. MiraBai watched a marriage procession in front of her residence. MiraBai, the child, spotted the well-dressed bridegroom and asked her mother innocently, "Dear mother, who will be my bridegroom?" MiraBai’s mother smiled, and half in jest and half in earnest, pointed towards the image of Sri Krishna and said, "My dear Mira, Lord Krishna - this beautiful fellow – is going to be your bridegroom". Soon after, MiraBai’s mother passed on. As MiraBai grew up, her desire to be with her Krishna grew intensely and she believed that Lord Krishna would come to marry her. In due course, she became firmly convinced that Krishna was to be her husband.
MiraBai was soft-spoken, mild-mannered, gifted, sweet, and sang with a melodious voice. She was reputed to be one of the most extraordinary beauties of her time with fame spreading to several kingdoms and provinces. Her fame spread far and wide. Rana Sangram Singh, commonly known as Rana Sangha, the powerful King of Mewar, approached Rao Duda for MiraBai’s hand in marriage to his son Bhojraj (also known as Rana Kumbha or KumbhaRana). Bhojraj wanted to marry MiraBai for her pious nature and divine intent. Rao Duda agreed to the union. However, MiraBai could not bear the thought of marrying a human being when her heart was filled with thoughts of every nature, all about her Krishna. But unable to go against her beloved grandfather’s word, she finally consented to the marriage. MiraBai was wed to Rana Kumbha in 1513, before she turned 14. As ordained, MiraBai was dutiful. She left for (Chittorgarh) Mewar with the Rana Kumbha.
After her household duties were over, Meera would go to the temple of Lord Krishna, worship, sing and dance before Lord Krishna Idol daily. KumbhaRana’s mother and other ladies of the palace did not like the ways of MiraBai, as they were worldly-minded and jealous. MiraBai’s mother-in-law forced her to worship Durga and admonished her often. But MiraBai maintained, "I have already given up my life to my beloved Lord Krishna". MiraBai’s sister-in-law Udabai formed a conspiracy and began to defame the innocent Meera. She informed Rana Kumbha that Meera was in secret love with some one that she witnessed Meera talking to her lover in the temple, and that she would show him the persons if he would accompany her one night. The ladies further raved that MiraBai, by her conduct, had brought a great slur on the reputation of the Rana family of Chittor. The enraged Kumbha ran with sword in hand towards Meera, but as luck would have it Meera had gone to her Krishna temple. A sober relative of the Rana counseled him, "Rana! You will forever repent for your hasty behavior and consequences. Enquire into the allegation carefully and you will find the truth. Meera bai is a great devotee of the Lord. Remember why you sought her hand. Out of sheer jealousy the ladies might have concocted scandals against Meera Bai to incite you and ruin her". Kumbha calmed down and accompanied his sister who persistently took him to the temple at dead of night. Rana Kumbha broke open the door, rushed inside and found Meera alone in her ecstatic mood talking and singing to the idol.
The Rana shouted at Meera, "Meera, show me your lover with whom you are talking now". Meera replied, "There sits He—my Lord—the Nanichora who has stolen my heart". She went into a trance. The ladies floated other rumors that Meera was mixing very freely with Sadhus. Meera was unaffected by such scandals and continued to invite Bhagavathas to join her in Krishna bhajan at the temple. She stood unruffled in the face of accusations from the royal family. When questioned about her marital responsibilities, Meera responded that it was Krishna to whom she was married. KumbhaRana was heart-broken but remained a good husband and sympathizer of Meera until his death.
Rana’s relatives began persecuting Meera in various ways, even though Meera had no desire for the throne. Meera was sent a basket with a cobra inside and a message that the basket contained a garland of flowers. Meera, after meditation, opened the basket and found inside a lovely idol of Sri Krishna with a garland of flowers. The relentless Rana (her brother-in-law) sent her a cup of poison with the message that it was nectar. Meera offered it to her Lord Krishna and took it as His Prasad. It was real nectar to her. The bed of nails that the Rana sent transformed into a bed of roses when Meera reposed on it.
When the torture and scandals continued, Meera sent a letter to Goswami Tulsidas and asked for his advice. She wrote, "Simply because I am constantly tortured by my relatives, I cannot abandon my Krishna. I am unable to carry on with my devotional practices in the palace. I have made Giridhar Gopala my friend from my very childhood. I feel a total bondage with him. I cannot break that bond".
Tulsidasji sent a reply: "Abandon those who cannot understand you and who do not worship Rama or Syama, even though they are your dearest relatives. Prahlada abandoned his father; Vibhishana left his brother Ravana; Bharata deserted his stepmother; Bali forsook even his Guru; the Gopasthrees, the women of Vraja, disowned their husbands to get to their Krishna. Their lives were all the happier for having done so. The relation with God and the love of God are the only elements that are true and eternal; all other relationships are unreal and temporary". Meera met up once again with her Guru and mentor Raidas, who is said to have lived to a ripe age of 118 years. She went into the slums often to be in the satsang of this great teacher. This was the impetus and inspiration behind the many queries and controversies that she raised about Kulam in her songs.
The turning point in Meerabai’s life occurred when once Akbar and his court musician Tansen came in disguise to Chittor to hear Meera’s devotional and inspiring songs. Both entered the temple and listened to Meera’s soul - stirring songs to their heart’s content. Before he departed, he touched the holy feet of Meera and placed a necklace of priceless gems in front of the idol as a present. Somehow the news reached the KumbhaRana that Akbar had entered the sacred temple in disguise, touched the feet of Meerabai and even presented her a necklace. The Rana became furious. He told Meerabai, "Drown yourself in the river and never show your face to the world in future. You have brought great disgrace on my family".
Meerabai obeyed the words of King. She proceeded to the river to drown herself. The names of the Lord "Govinda, Giridhari, Gopala" were always on her lips. She sang and danced in ecstasy on her way to the river. When she raised her feet from the ground, a hand from behind grasped her and embraced her. She turned behind and saw her beloved Giridhari. She fainted on him. After a few minutes she opened her eyes. Lord Krishna smiled and gently whispered: "My dear Meera, your life with your mortal relatives is over now. You are absolutely free. Be cheerful. You are and have always been mine."
Meera walked barefoot on the hot sandy beds of Rajasthan. On her way, many ladies, children and devotees received her with great hospitality. She reached Brindavan (or Vrindaban). It was at Brindavan that she again met and was inspired by Sant Raidas. She went about Brindavan doing Oonchavritti and worshipped in the Govinda Mandir which has since become famous and is now a great place of pilgrimage for devotees from all over the world.
A repentant Kumbha came to Vrindavan to see Meera and prayed that he may be forgiven for all his previous wrongs and cruel deeds. He begged that Meera return to the kingdom and was assume her role as the queen once more. Meera said to Rana that Krishna is only one King and my life belongs to him. The KumbhaRana, for the first time, truly understood Meera’s exalted state of mind and prostrated before her in reverence. He then promptly left Vrindavan a changed soul.
Jiva Gosain was the head of the Vaishnavites in Brindavan. Meera wanted to have Darshan of Jiva Gosain. He declined to see her. He sent word to Meera that he would not allow any woman in his presence. Mirabai retorted: "Everybody in Brindavan is a woman. Only Giridhar Gopala is Purusha. Today only I have come to know that there is another Purusha besides Krishna in Brindavan". Jiva Gosain was put to shame. He at once went to see Meera and paid her due respects.
Meera’s fame spread far and wide. She was immersed in satsang day in and out. At the request of KumbhaRana, Meera returned to Mewar and Kumbha agreed to her request that she would reside in the temple of Krishna but would not restrict her movements and wanderings. From Mewar, she once again returned to Brindavan, and then went on to Dwaraka. The King went with her.
On Krishna’s Janmashtami at the temple of Krishna. There was much happiness all around in the abode of the Lord. The light of the lamps, the sound of the bhajans and the energy from the devotees’ ecstasy were filling the air. With Tamburi in one hand and cymbals or chipla in the other the great tapasvini was singing ecstatically with her Gopala smiling in front of her closed eyes. Meera stood up and danced with her song ‘Mere Janama Maran ke sathee’, and when the song ended, Kumbha gently approached her and requested her to come back. Meera said, ‘Ranaji, the body is yours and you are a great devotee, but my mind, emotions and the soul are all his. I do not know what use am I to you at this state of mind’. Kumbha was moved and he started singing with her in unison. Meera rose up abruptly, stumbled and fell at the flowers on the feet of Giridhari. ‘Oh, Giridhari, are you calling me, I am coming’. When Kumbha and the rest were watching in awe, there was a lightning which enveloped Meera and the sanctum doors closed on their own. When the doors opened again, Meera’s saree was enveloping Lord Krishna’s idol and her voice and the flute accompaniment were the only sounds that could be heard.
So many princesses and queens have come and gone. So many princesses, and queens have appeared on the stage of this world and vanished. How is it that the queen of Chittor alone is still remembered? Is this on account of her beauty? Is this on account of her poetic skill? No. It is on account of her renunciation, single-minded devotion to Lord Krishna and the self-realization. She conversed with Krishna. She ate with Krishna, her Beloved. She drank the Krishna-premarasa. She sang from the core of her heart about her unique spiritual experiences. She was indeed one of the foremost embodiments of Premabhakthi that ever walked on earth.
Once Arjuna asked to lord Krishna
"hai,krishnaa, you always appreciate the karna too much for being an enormous donator and the extreme courageous but no body can see the massive donator like Yudhishttira." Shri Krishna thinks for a moment and in subsequently he said- this time you will get your answer tomorrow.
On next day after get in the appearance of Brahmin, Arjuna and Shri Krishna firstly entered in to Udhishttira's palace.Yudhishttira expressed the great owner to both of the Brahmans and asked "hai vipra, what can I do for you? Order Me.! Two brahmins (Arjuna and Krishna) ask him for the woods of chandan to cook his food by himself for lunch.
King (Yudhishttira) spokes, both of you please take your seats, the woods of chandan are going to arrange soon. And king acquaint with his men to arrange the woods of chandan. All the men search the markets of the entire conurbation but all the woods are wet because of the last night rain. That’s why the men came back vacant and with the great embarrassment they convey all the information to their king.
Although the time is fleeting, that is also one of the problems for the king owing to which king is in heartrending. Both the Brahmins solicit to the king that we will take the food tomorrow there is no problem. Because of the last night rain, all the wood are wet that’s why that may be unavailable. Afterward both the Brahmins moved from there and went to the karna's palace.
Karna salute both of the Brahmins in blasting manner and asked how can I serve you? We are hungry and we cook our food by ourselves using woods of chandan so can you arrange the wood? Karan said- that’s it, you take your seats. Afterward he took his archery and an arrow and throws that arrow into his mahal gate, which is of wood of chandan. The gate is fully shattered.
Then karna asked the Brahmins in what amount you want the wood you can take. Brahmin took the wood and after having the food they give their blessing to the Karna.
The people of Mathura were extremely unhappy with the wicked king Kamsa who put his father, king Ugrasen in prison and declared himself the king of Mathura. It was to put an end to his evil ways and other demons that Lord Vishnu decided to take birth on Earth in human form. According to heavenly voice at the wedding of his beloved sister Devki, Kamsa got to know that the eighth child of his sister will take birth to kill him. So, in turn he rushed to kill his sister. Kamsa gave up the idea of killing after being assured by Vasudev that he will handover all his children to him. He put them in Prison. Kansa killed all the six infants as soon as they were born. The seventh child (Balrama) was saved due to divine intervention, when he was transferred from Devki's womb to that of Rohini's (other wife of Vasudev).
According to some scholars, Krishna was born on Wednesday,the eighth day of second fortnight in Sravana month in the year of Visvavasu around 3227 BC, also known as Dwapur Yug. July 19th 3228 BC to be more accurate. He lived for 125 years and disappeared on February 18th 3102 BC on the new moon night of Phalguna. His death was the onset of the current corrupt age known as Kaliyug.
Around the time of Bhagwan Krishna's birth, Rohini Nakshatra was predominant as it is considered to be quite auspicious. This is so because it is under the supervision of Brahma, the creator of Universe. Sri Krishna was born in the month Of Sravana more than 5000 years ago.
The main objective of Lord Krishna's birth was to free Mother Earth from the wickedness of demons. Playing an important part in Mahabharata (legendary battle in Kurukshetra) and propagating the theory of bhakti and good karma were other important objectives.
From the time, Devki conceived Sri Krishna, she began to glow and exude divine light. The prison walls glowed with the aura of the new born infant. Atmosphere of peace and happiness prevailed all over, Forests were all green and full of trees with all kinds of beautiful flowers, rivers were all swollen due to joy, peacocks began to dance in sheer joy, people in all villages started being happy.
Lord Krishna was born in a prison cell in the captivity of King Kamsa. He took birth in divine form with lotus like eyes,his palms bearing the signs of a lotus and discus. He had a swastika sign on his sole. Wearing a yellow colored silk cloth, adorned with precious diamond ear rings and a crown made of emeralds. Soon after the birth, a chain of events astonished Vasudev,when he saw the gates of the cell flow open and all the guards fast asleep. He immediately thought of Nand ,his close friend in Gokul and decided to handover his child to him in order to save him from the clutch of Kamsa.
The night of birth was witnessed by heavy rains which led to River Yamuna being in floods. As soon as the feet of Lord immersed in the river, the flow became normal and Yamuna made way for the Lord. Sheshnag, the serpent formed an umbrella to save the new born baby from rain.
Vasudev kept his child next to fast asleep Yashoda and took the baby girl lying with him back to Mathura. The baby girl is believed to be the sister of Lord Vishnu.
On hearing the news of birth of the eighth child of Devki and Vasudev, Kamsa rushed to the prison-cell and lifted the baby girl to kill her despite pleadings from Devki. However, instead of hitting the stone, the child flew up in the air and announced that the annihilator of Kansa was born and in safe hands.
Krishna later grew in Gokul and finally killed his uncle, King Kamsa.
Krishna later grew in Gokul and finally killed his uncle, King Kamsa.