Nama Om Vishnu paadaaya..
Hari Haraya Naama Krishna …
Haribol! Haribol! Hari Hari Hari bol! Gauranga! Nityananda! Sitapati Advaita Gosain, Tava krpa pai Caitanya Nitai! Haribol!
So how was your Vaishnava Etiquette class? Who attended? So now you will be perfect vaishnavas or vaishnavis! You will act according to the etiquette! Where is our TV it is blank!
Name of the Chapter: Balaram’s Raasa lila under the section, Meeting Nityananda Prabhu
“Lord Balaram the Personality of Godhead resided there for the two months of Madhu and Madhava and during the nights He gave His cowherd girlfriends conjugal pleasure.”
Since Vrndavandas Thakur who wrote the Caitanya Bhagavat, and is said by Krishnadas Kaviraj to be the Vyasa incarnation of the Caitanya leela, since his guru is Lord Nityananda, he wants to establish, how as the first expansion of Krishna, He has similar activities. So Lord Balaram has His raasa lila in the spring, and Lord Krishna has His raasa lila in the fall. So there are specific gopis that relate with Balaram, or with Krishna. It is not that they interchange. Of course, Balaram would also glorify Krishna to Krishna’s gopis, and give them some relief from their separation.
This is a verse from Srimad Bhagavatam in Sanskrit, so I don’t know Sanskrit, I only know Bengali. The translation:
“In the company of numerous women Lord Balaram enjoyed in the garden by the Yamuna river. This garden was bathed in the rays of the full moon and caressed by breezes bearing the fragrance of night blooming lotuses.”
Normally lotuses bloom in the day time. So these are very special lotuses that bloom at night. So the full moon which shone in Vrndavan, was actually the eternal moon in the spiritual world, which manifested in the sky in Vrndavan, to give more pleasure to the Vrajwasis. The place where Balaram had His raasa lila is known as Rama Ghat. It is far away from the place where Krishna had His raasa lila pastimes.
Translation: “As the Gandharvas sang His glories, Lord Balaram enjoyed within the brilliant circle of young women. He appeared just like Indra’s elephant, the lordly Airavat, enjoying in the company of she elephants. At that time kettle drums resounded in the sky, the Gandharvas joyfully rained down flowers and the great sages praised Lord Balaram’s heroic deeds.”
So we are reminded that Balaram is the source of all incarnations. One day we were riding out from Kolkata, in the car, with Prabhupad, and they had a picture of Krishna and Balaram. He was saying that Lord Balaram, is holding up all the universes. So who is the most powerful? Krishna or Balaram. Some people said Balaram. Then Prabhupad said but Krishna is holding up Balaram. Ha! Ha! Haribol! Krishna Balaram ki jai! Our Krishna Balaram, Balaram has His hand on Krishna’s shoulder, Krishna is holding up Balaram. So the last two verses are not in the old edition of Bhagavatam. All the acharyas in the Gaudiya sampradaya, did not give any commentary on these verses. But there is commentary by Ramanujacharya sampradaya, Veeraraghava acharya, and Vijay Dwaja Thirtha who comes in the Brahma Madhva sampradaya.
The sages criticize or condemn association of unmarried women, but they glorify Lord Balaram’s association with the cowherd girls of Vrndavan. So in the Srimad Bhagavatam Shukadev Goswami, he condemns the materialistic householders who are envious and who do not inquire into their ultimate welfare, and rather they are depending on their fallible soldiers – their body, their children, their wife – although they are sufficiently experienced, they don’t see their inevitable destruction. Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur said that it is auspicious for the grihasthas to talk to their wife, touch their wife or touch each other if their devotional service is also increased. The difference between a grihamedi and a grihastha is very specific. People engaged in devotional service, they are considered transcendentally situated. Even though they are living in the material situation if they are engaging in Krishna’s service, they are not to be considered in the same light as the envious grihamedis. One sage he came to the house of some grihastha and he asked for some bhiksha, some donation, or food. But the grihamedi said give him ashes from the fire. So what is the use of the ashes? But that sage thought at least if they give ashes, that will be something good for them. It would be their effort to do some service. He said alright give me ashes. So the sages want to benefit all the people. Therefore, they beg and if they could get some milk or something, they can survive. If a person has like a big plate of food and he says, give him ashes, he is envious. He is not thinking that the food I have is given to me by Krishna, and therefore I should give it to others also. So such a person, mean minded is heading to hell. He is devoid of truthfulness, cleanliness, mercy and other good qualities. So Krishna says that the power of His maya is that in the form of a woman, everyone from Brahma down, except for the great sage Narayana who is Himself a Vishnu avatar, everyone could be attracted. Even just by the flick of her eyebrows, a great conqueror like Caesar can be stopped. I think that Caesar was defeated by Cleopatra. I don’t know the history so well but. So this is how we are kept in the material world. But if the girls and boys are all Krishna conscious, then in this way Prabhupad was saying, how they can be every effective to spread Krishna consciousness. Haribol!
So in the material world everyone thinks that they are the enjoyers, and all the things are created for their enjoyment. But the devotee know that they are the servitors and that they are meant to please Krishna. The pastimes of Balaram are seen by the sages with trans vision.
So the different devas and they came and showered flowers on the raasa lila of Balaram. Because they know there is no difference between Krishna and Balaram. So in the Caitanya Caritamrita, Krishna says that He is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Lord Balaram is His second body. They are both one and the same identify. They are different only in form. Lord Balaram is the first expansion of Lord Krishna. And He assists Lord Krishna in His transcendental pastimes. Krishna and Balaram have different bodily colors. Otherwise, Balaram, He is equal to Krishna in all respects. Prabhupad explained that it is like, if you light one candle and then light another candle. Both candles are the same. But one is original. So Krishna is the original form, and He expands like lighting lamps into many different forms. He is not at all diminished. So all of them know that He is the original, and He can manifest through these different forms. So the cowherd girls or gopis they get such mercy form Lord Balaram, even Lakshmi, goddess of fortune, she hankers for such blessings.
So the four Vedas do not reveal the characteristics of Lord Balaram. They are confidential, but the puranas elaborate. What will I describe? So we know that Lord Caitanya came down to give His mercy. But He also had some confidential purposes. So Balaram took the role of giving out the mercy, freeing Lord Caitanya for doing His confidential purposes. So in this way Lord Caitanya fulfilled all the purposes of His advent. Giving out the mercy, establishing the Harinaam, and researching what love His devotees have for Him. Haribol!
Are there any questions?
About conference today on vaishnava etiquette.
Guru maharaj: They didn’t cover that in the seminar? Your question is what etiquette you have for the dham and dham vaasis? Just like there are ten offences for the holy name, similarly there are ten offences for the holy dham. Those offences are usually printed in the program book of the Gaur Purnima, very similar. Not to commit any offence unto those who are serving the holy dham. Not to criticize any scriptures that glorify the holy dham. So similarly, just put the dham instead of the holy name.
Question: Hare Krishna guru maharaj: Guru Maharaj said HAREEE KRISHNA! How to develop vaishnava qualities? Your useless servant Nandapriya Nivedita devi dasi.
GM: We should always be associating with the advanced devotees. We can do that by directly association or by reading. How the vaishnavas in the shaastra behaved in different situations. And we try to correct ourselves, we talk to our spouses or we talk to some guru, how to refine our activities, how to be more vaishnava or vaishnavi. And there are some like in the Nectar Of Devotion, some chapters give all your seva aparadhs and naama aparadhs, so one can see these and keep them to heart. There are somethings which are external, like putting your feet out to the deities. Most Indians know, they should not do such a thing, but in other countries they don’t have this basic knowledge. They will ask what is wrong with my feet? My feet, my hands what is the difference? So this is etiquette. So like that, not gossiping in front of the deities. We take it that we are in the presence of God, in the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we don’t just gossip in front of the Lord. Not even in the presence of some president or governor or someone, you don’t just speak among yourselves but you will be respectful. What to speak of the Supreme Person? So most of the etiquettes are common sense, but today people don’t have even common sense. So therefore, it is written down We should not gossip in front of the deities, should not put our feet to the deities, should not wear shoes in the temple. The things that are second nature in India, they don’t understand in the West. On my first visit to South America, I asked someone please take care of my shoes because in India they steal shoes, I don’t know. So when I was offering my pranam and praying to the deity, I looked over and that devotee who had I had told to take care of my shoes, brought my shoes in front of the deity! Ha! I said, what are you doing? He said, I am taking care of your shoes! Ha! So they are very simple. They don’t have this culture. That if you don’t wear shoes, you don’t carry the shoes in front of the deities. So you have to be very patient and have to gradually explain to them. So if you get too heavy, then they will think this is not nice. Maybe they are eating with the wrong hand. They don’t know the difference between right hand or left hand! So if you go – YOU ARE IN MAYA, YOU ARE EATING WITH THE LEFT HAND, NO! They will fly out! The person will say, oh it is so heavy, I will leave! So you should gently explain what is our culture, and they will appreciate. But we cannot say it aggressively.
Is tere anyone leaving and need introduction?
A group of 20 devotees from Gujarat were being introduced.
Khem cho ? guru maharaj said. (how are you in Gujarati).
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi
26 March 2019