– By His Holiness Śrīla Indradyumna Swami
I think that Kṛṣṇa has been very kind to his devotees. It has been extremely warm here in Vṛndāvan Dhām for the last several months; and just last night on the first day of Kārtik it rained and it cooled things down. Thus instead of sitting under a blazing sun we are under clouds; although it’s a little warm but nothing like it was the last few months. This is the first day and it’s cooled down and I have seen kind of a cover of clouds in the sky. Kṛṣṇa says, yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham: For my devotee I protect what they have and I provide whatever they need; this can all be realized on the first day of our Kārtik Parikramā. Nothing happens by chance, not a blade of grass moves without the will of Kṛṣṇa.
I think that Kṛṣṇa has been very kind to His devotees. It has been extremely warm here in Vṛndāvan Dhām for the last several months; and just last night on the first day of Kārtik it rained and it cooled things down. Thus instead of sitting under a blazing sun we are under clouds; although it’s a little warm but nothing like it was the last few months. This is the first day and it’s cooled down and I have seen kind of a cover of clouds in the sky. Kṛṣṇa says, yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham: For My devotee, I protect what they have and I provide whatever they need; this can all be realized on the first day of our Kārtik Parikramā. Nothing happens by chance; not a blade of grass moves without the will of Kṛṣṇa.
We’re here in Kāmyavana. Kāmyavana doesn’t mean just this little courtyard that we are in. Vana means forest. Kāmyavana is one of the 12 forests that comprise Vraja-maṇḍala. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has given more details about the forests in Vṛndāvan. He says that there are five forests on the eastern bank of the Yamunā River. And there are seven forests on the western bank of the river Yamunā; so seven and five is twelve. The five forests on the eastern bank of the Yamunā are as follows; you can repeat:
- Bhāṇḍīravana and
Not my disciple Mahāvana but the forest Mahāvana.
And the seven forests on the western side of the Yamunā are as follows.
- Vṛndāvana and
These are the kind of details that make sense to memorize, we are in school and we have to memorize so many details we never use when we graduate. But here are some details that you can remember and will always remember.
Kāma means desire; so Kāmyavana means that forest where all your desires are fulfilled; Of course that doesn’t mean material desires, it means spiritual desires. We’re all very familiar with our material desires; they’re quite embarrassing. But by the mercy of our spiritual masters we’re beginning to learn what are the real desires of the heart? Our spiritual desires. Actually in His Śikṣāṣṭakam prayers, Lord Caitanya has helped us understand, what are the material desires that we want to reject? And what are the spiritual desires we want to awaken deep within our heart?
na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ
kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye.
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi
“Lord I have no desire to accumulate wealth, I don’t want to enjoy beautiful women, I don’t want to be famous and have many followers. I don’t even desire liberation. All that I want is your causeless devotional service in my life, birth after birth.”
If you come here to Kāmyavana and you ask the Lord to please fulfill your spiritual desires that can be very easily achieved here in Kāmyavana. As we know, we’re struggling with material desires. And it’s very hard to awaken our Bhāva for Kṛṣṇa, our spiritual desire. But Sādhus they come to Kāmyavana because they know here it’s very easy to let go of their material desires. It means the spiritual atmosphere here is such that it [sound indicating sudden change—“poof!”]—you just don’t struggle with material desires in your mind, like: “OUT! Go away! Be rid of you!” No problem here in Kāmyavana. That Bhāva—Prema towards Kṛṣṇa, which is there deep in our hearts in a seed-like form can be very easily awakened by coming to Kāmyavana and chanting:
We often hear that when we go to a holy place like Vṛndāvan, whatever Sevā we do, whatever devotional service we do, the result we get from that activity is magnified a thousand times. So if you call your mom or dad or your brother and sister back home and they ask you, “How many rounds are you chanting every day?” You can say “16 thousand.” But be careful because offenses in the Dhām, Dhām aparādhās—the result of the offense is also magnified a thousand times. So be careful. When you look around, you may think, “Is this a spiritual place? Doesn’t look like what in my mind what I would imagine. Doesn’t look like the ISKCON paintings in the books of a spiritual place with flowers, lakes, swans and Kṛṣṇa.” But the difficulty is that we are seeing with material eyes. When our material vision is purified through the process of devotional service, one day we will see Kāmyavana; we will see Vṛndāvan like it really is.
This is very nicely discussed by Śrīla Bhaktivinode Ṭhākur. He wrote one book called Navadvīpa Bhāva Taraṅga. There he says, “One whose eyes are covered by material illusion; this is only a small house situated here, plus some ordinary earth, water and a few articles. But if Māyā becomes merciful and lifts her covering one can see a grand spiritual dwelling.” Then he continues, “The qualification for seeing the Dhām is something spiritual and is the combined mercy of Kṛṣṇa and His devotees.” He said, “Kṛṣṇa is very merciful but His devotees are even more merciful and out of compassion, the Sādhus bestow transcendental qualifications on other devotees. At the very moment that the living entity gives up material illusion, his eyes will behold the splendor of Śrī Vṛndāvan Dhām.” Then he says, “When, Oh when will that day be mine?”
It’s the devotees of the Lord who are even more merciful than the Lord Himself, so we come here to receive Kṛṣṇa’s mercy and we are getting that mercy from His devotee, Vṛndā Devī. The glories of Kāmyavana are further described by our Ācāryas. Actually you can almost think, “Oh, the following must be some sort of exaggeration.” But no, this is not exaggeration. Our scriptures, the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava scriptures, describe that by visiting this forest, Kāmyavana, just one time, all of one’s sinful desires are destroyed. Not reactions, but all of one’s sinful desires will be destroyed. It’s from the desires that the reactions come, so whatever bad desires you have in your heart by coming here and sitting a few hours: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam—[sound indicating immediate change—Vroom!] Gone.
Now a special feature of this forest Kāmyavana is the number of things that are prominent by the number eighty four (84).
There are 84 prominent lakes in Kāmyavana.
There are 84 prominent thrones.
There are 84 prominent temples.
There are 84 pillars in every one of those 84 temples.
These are details. We want to fill our minds with details, things about the spiritual world. When you go home next—at the end of this month, and someone says, “Where did you go?” “I went to Kāmyavana.” “What was it like?”
“Well, everything was 84 there! [Laughter] There are 84 temples, 84 pillars, 84 cows and some more facts. The center of the Kāmyavana forest is the ancestral home of Mother Yaśodā.” “Prabhuji, Do you know anything about mother Yaśodā?” “Yes, her grandparents lived in Kāmyavana.” “Oh, you are such a scholar. Where did you learn that?” [Laughter]
The Pandavas, when they had to go into exile for those whatever—12 or 14 years—this is one place they lived in exile. When Lord Caitanya came to Vṛndāvan exactly 500 years ago, out of the 60 billion holy places, He made a special point to visit Kāmyavana just after visiting Govardhan Hill and he did the whole Parikramā around Kāmyavana. He visited each and every holy place in this transcendental forest and Jīva Gosvāmī says he also bathed in all the 84 lakes. Mahāprabhu is teaching us how to go on Parikramā.
Now if you could go, take a drone, [buzzing sound of drone] you could see the video in the drone, you would see lots of lakes in Kāmyavana. I think one of the more famous, most prominent lake is called Vimala-Kuṇḍa.
You know Sādhus, when they go to holy places they very often reside on the bank of a river or next to a lake, because they need water for bathing and washing and doing puja.
In Satya-yuga, Durvāsā Muni came here. He resided on the bank of this lake called Vimala–Kuṇḍa. One day he took his bath and came out; he was sitting on the bank and he had very long dreadlocks. You know how the Sādhus sometimes they tie their hair like this; [action] it’s called a Jata. Big! His dreadlocks measured in length from here to the entrance of the temple. I actually met a Sādhu in Nepal whose hair was that long. One day he was drying it on the river bank. I went and saw, “Oh my God. That’s some pretty long dreadlocks.”
There were some local boys there. You know boys, they can be little rascals sometimes. One of the boys, he said to his friends, “Look at that man, his hair is 15 times longer than the length of his body! [Laughs] Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha.” They started making fun of Durvāsā Muni. We say in Polish “…Uważaj…” “Watch out!.” Durvāsā is like Śiva. Śiva is Āśutoṣa; he is easily pleased and he is easily displeased. Sādhus are often like that. If you please Durvāsā Muni you can get a wonderful benediction, if you displease him, watch out!
So Durvāsā Muni said to that boy, “Since you like to crawl around and make mischief, then become a crocodile and you can crawl around on the ground for the duration of four ages: Satya, Treta, Dvāpara, and Kali-yuga as a crocodile.” Who would like that curse—to be a crocodile for millions and millions and millions and millions of years?
But when we make a mistake the way we become free from the mistake or the offense—is to express some remorse, “Oh I am sorry, please forgive me.” The little boy; he was only nine but he was going to be a crocodile for a million years, he said, “Bābā, I am sorry. Please?” [Crying sound: “Uhn… Uhn…”].
Now when a sādhu or brāhmaṇa curses, just the nature of life, the way this world is constructed is: he can’t take back the curse. The brāhmaṇas, they would take their sacred thread and they would touch water and then “shuu…zz” [throwing curse]. But if they wanted to take it back, they can’t do it—that’s not the way things work. He couldn’t take the curse back, even if he wanted to. “Oops!” But they can decrease the potency of the curse somewhat; they can make some compromises. So Durvāsā said, “Come here, come here young man, sit next to me.” “Okay, this is Satya-yuga and we are in Kāmyavana and when the Lord of this forest Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa appears in Navadvīpa in Kali-yuga, as the son of Śaci, He will deliver you by Nāma–Sankirtana.” The boy had to wait four yugas until Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared and then Durvāsā said, “When He chants,
then you’ll be freed from my curse. It’s a compromise but—well— you get to see Mahāprabhu!”
The boy immediately became a crocodile and he lived in a lake in Godruma—Navadvīpa, Māyāpura and he did what crocodiles do. He terrorized everyone around them—all the animals, the frogs and the fish and the rabbits that come to drink the water. When people came, he would eat them [sound of crocodile’s jaw] “CRAKZZ.” He was famous for eating people on the side of the bank. He was a very bad crocodile.
yajanti hi sumedhasah”
[Sound of descending from the sky to the earth: “Shuuuu–Tshuuoo!”]
That means Caitanya Mahāprabhu came into this world and He appeared in Māyāpura. When He was a little boy He was called? Nimāi Paṇḍita. He was a boy but He was a great scholar and He would defeat all the other Paṇḍitas. He wasn’t just a Paṇḍita, He was playing the part of a human being so to speak and He had His childish activities like the rest of His friends. Just like Kṛṣṇa has His childhood pastimes as Dāmodara in the month of Kārtik which melts the hearts of all the devotees.
One day Nimāi and His friends were playing in Godruma-dvipa and it was hot out and so Nimāi‘s friends said, “Let’s go down to that lake and take a bath.” There were some cowherd men who were herding the cows there and they overheard this conversation. They said, “Nimāi, don’t go down there! There’s this big crocodile and he eats human beings and he especially loves tasty little children. It’s a very dangerous place. Go home, go home to your Mother.”
Nimāi turned around and put His hands on His back and said, “Watch this!” Then He went down to the shore of the lake and He started wading in up to His waist and the crocodile appeared [sound of crocodile’s jaw] “CRAKZZ.” You could see in the waters big eyes and he is coming towards little Nimāi. All the cowherd men said, “Oh No! Nimāi is there! No No! The crocodile is going to eat Nimāi!” So Nimāi, He held His hands up like this,
Now that had a special effect. Because Kṛṣṇa is in His incarnation as Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one of His duties was to introduce the Yuga–Dharma. What is the Yuga–Dharma for the age of Kali? Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa!
Dharmāṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]: Other than the Lord, no one else can introduce this system of religion. Now we have heard how when the pure devotee chants Hare Kṛṣṇa, something miraculous happens. When Prabhupāda would chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, all the drugged hippies and the sleeping people on 22nd, all wake up and dance in ecstasy, cry and be blissful.
Now imagine if you heard the Holy Name from the lips of the Yuga-Avatar, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, what effect that would have? So as soon as that crocodile heard the chanting of the Holy Names from the lips of Nimāi, he closed his mouth, and he very slowly swam up, took his nose down into the water and put it on the lotus feet of Nimāi Paṇḍita. By doing that, he easily assumed his Siddha deha, his original spiritual form and in front of everyone he came out of the water in his spiritual form and went back to? Goloka Vṛndāvan.
Śrī Nimāi Paṇḍita ki – Jaya!
Goloka Premadhana Harināma Sankirtana Yajña ki– Jaya! Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahamantra ki – jaya!
Kāmyavana ki – Jay!
It all started here in Kāmyavana in Satya-yuga; there are many pastimes here. I was mentioning the Pandavas lived in exile here. They actually lived right near here—not far from this very spot. At that time, it looked more like a forest. Now modernizations, they have cut on down all the trees, and they’re constructing buildings and making agriculture. But it used to be a forest so thick you could hardly see the rays of light come through the trees. One of my friends, a Godbrother and a deep friend of Prabhupāda–Viṣṇu Mārga Swami, he told us one time that when he came to Vṛndāvan in 1932, the road from Raman-Reti, where Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma temple is out to Govardhana Hill, it was so thick with trees that you could walk and not even see one ray of light between Raman-Reti and Govardhan Hill. Now there are hardly any trees. This is in 1932; now it’s becoming a concrete jungle.
So because it was so thick with trees, the Pandavas they hid here for some years during their exile. And you know, this is Dvāpara–Yuga, Durvāsā Muni really likes this place for various reasons. So he came here with 60,000 disciples and they were hungry. They heard, “Oh, the Pandavas are living nearby here, and Draupadi is the cook.” You know the story, so Durvāsā Muni shows up, “Hey, Yudhiṣtira, hey Bhīma, Nakula, Sahadeva, Arjuna, How you all doing? We’re hungry, and your wife, she is a good cook! Cook for my 60,000 disciples.” So how is Draupadi going to cook for 60,000—Brahmacārīs? You know Brahmacārīs when they eat it’s like the plates are this big [demonstrating how big the plates are]. But it wasn’t a problem for Draupadi, because she had received a benediction from the sun god, Sūrya Bhagavān. Many of you ladies would like this benediction she got. The Sun god gave Draupadi a magical plate and with that plate she could feed as many people as she wanted—ten, a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, ten billion people she could feed from that magic plate. Wouldn’t that be nice? You come home, cook dinner, and very easy [sound of plate filling up].
She could feed as many people as she desires. But the sun god told her, “Once you’ve taken Prasādam yourself and washed the plate, the potency of that plate is gone until the next sun-rise, the next morning.” No problem! She can feed Durvāsā Muni and 60 billion disciples. But that day, she had already taken Prasādam and was just cleaning the plate and Durvāsā Muni came. “Uh-Oh”, so she looked at Yudhiṣtira [Laughter] and Yudhiṣtira, “What do I do?” kind of connection going on. Yudhiṣtira is very intelligent, he is a Rājarṣi, so he said, “Okay, so look, why don’t you guys just go and take a bath—you know—because cleanliness is next to godliness; just go take your bath and when your bath is finished in Vimala–Kuṇḍa. Come back, nice Prasādam for all of you.” Thus, they all went away and Draupadi said, “Oh king, I have not only eaten off the magic plate, but I have also washed the magic plate. What do we do now?”
Yudhiṣtira thought for a moment, “What do we do?” He said to Draupadi, “We pray to Kṛṣṇa.” That’s how our Ācāryas have commented on Mahābhārata, different pastimes like this. One of our Ācāryas said, “Just like when we as devotees try everything, exhaust all our plans and nothing works, we turn to Kṛṣṇa and ask for His help,” and that way, sometimes difficulties, even tragedies, are mixed blessings from Kṛṣṇa because they cause the devotee to turn to Kṛṣṇa and really chant from the heart.
“Kṛṣṇa Pomóż mi” [“Help me” in Polish].
Actually Kṛṣṇa tells Yudhiṣtira in the 11th canto of the Bhāgavatam, “Hey, Yudhiṣtira, my first mercy upon my devotee, is that I take everything away from that poor fool, so he has no other recourse than to take full shelter of me.” So what did Draupadi do, she immediately folded her hands, started praying, “Kṛṣṇa, help, Kṛṣṇa help. Durvāsā Muni gets really angry, one time he cursed a little boy to be a crocodile [Laughter] for one million years.”
At that time, Lord Kṛṣṇa was in Dvārakā and He was resting on the couch with Queen Rukmini; and He heard the prayers of Draupadi. How did He hear? Because He is in the heart of every living entity He heard her prayers. One day, I was chanting with one devotee. He was chanting so loud, “Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa.” I said, “You don’t have to chant that loud, you know.” He said “No, but Kṛṣṇa is in Goloka, I want Him to hear me.” “Do you know the philosophy? Kṛṣṇa is in Goloka, but He is all pervading by His energies and He is in the heart of every living entity. If you just whisper Hare Kṛṣṇa, He can hear you, He is right here. He is the closest thing to your soul as a Supersoul, Kṛṣṇa. Soul and Supersoul are like this.” “Hare Kṛṣṇa.” So he started chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa (softly).
Thus He heard her prayer although He was in Dvārakā, lying down and having a casual conversation with Queen Rukmini, “Oh, what’s that? Draupadi’s calling. She needs help.” Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākur said Kṛṣṇa arrived from Dvārakā to Kāmyavana in 2.5 seconds. Viśvanāth said He came so fast that His hair was all messed up, His clothes were not ironed. He was covered with perspiration out of anxiety for His devotee. Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa ki – jay. Draupadi got really surprised like she said to Kṛṣṇa, “Well, that was pretty fast Kṛṣṇa! [Laughter] Only 2.5 seconds?” Kṛṣṇa said, “Draupadi, give me the plate.” She said, “Lord, it’s already washed, my benediction doesn’t work.” So she gave the plate and Kṛṣṇa kind of looked amazed. One little tiny grain of rice stuck underneath the corner of the plate, and Kṛṣṇa took that grain of rice and He ate it with great greed. Why? Because the prasad was cooked by His devotee Draupadi with Bhāva, with Prema.
As the devotee is greedy to love Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is greedy, hankering, Laulyaṁ to love His devotees. Love is a two-way street, both ways. As God loves His devotee, the devotee loves God. Kṛṣṇa took one grain of rice and what happened? Viśvanāth says, “Because He’s the Soul of all souls, not only Durvāsā Muni and all the 60,000 sages immediately felt like they ate a big feast; but every created being in the material creation felt, “Oh—up to the neck—Oh, Oh. What can I do? I can’t eat one more bite.” Every living creature in creation was full. This is Yogeśvara, Master of mystic powers.
Thus Durvāsā and the 60,000 disciples, they are in the water, being satisfied “Oh”; and Yudhiṣtira is saying [loudly], “If there’s anyone who can hear my voice, please come and take Prasādam,” and Durvāsā Muni says, “We got to get out of here!” [Laughs] “We don’t want to be offensive and not come and eat.”
If someone invites you to their house:
(Guest): Oh, I’m not so hungry.
(Invitee): I cooked for five hours!
(Guest): Just maybe a glass of water.
(Invitee): Get out of my house!
Durvāsā Muni didn’t want to offend the Pandavas. He’s a Sādhu, so he very quietly left that place. Kṛṣṇa saved the day. Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa ki – jay!
Viśvanāth thus concludes, he says there are three lessons that we can learn from this pastime that happened here at Kāmyavana.
- Kṛṣṇa is always ready to protect His devotee.
- Kṛṣṇa is always satisfied with whatever is offered to Him in pure devotion.
- When Kṛṣṇa’s satisfied, everyone is satisfied.
So many things happened here. Actually this is the famous place where four of the Pāṇḍava brothers drank the poisoned water and to revive them Yudhiṣtira had to properly answer ten questions from Yamarāja. I won’t tell that pastime today. But most of you know that pastime. The famous last question Yamarāja asked Yudhiṣtira [loudly], “Yudhiṣtira, what is the most amazing thing in this world?” Yudhiṣtira said:
“ahany ahani bhūtāni gacchantīha yamālayam ..”
[Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.116]
This is a famous shloka, which says, “At every moment, millions and billions of living entities are going to the kingdom of death but I think I am going to live here forever. What could be more amazing than this?”
Okay, one more pastime, then we’ll have breakfast. And then after breakfast, we will have another Kīrtana. Then Caturātmā Prabhu will tell a pastime and then we’ll have lunch. We are not going anywhere other than this place. We spent the millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of births to come here to Kāmyavana. Why then to become restless and want to go back somewhere else? You may think, “My mind is wandering; Mahārāja keeps talking and talking and talking. It is hot and I just got off the airplane.” [Loudly] ’vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ, jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam‘: We have to learn to control our mind and control our senses and fully focus on Kṛṣṇa.
As it’s the first day, it’s a little hard, but this is practice. We’re going to make you practice and practice and practice, so the last day you will be like this: [Loudly] “More Kathā!” [Laughter]. I can speak 11 hours: “More Kathā.” [Laughter]. “I am fixed on your every word. More Kathā!” [Laughter]. Okay, we’ll tell a pastime of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. We told two pastimes of Durvāsā Muni, one from Mahābhārata and one from wherever; and because this is the place where many of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes took place, so we’ll now tell you one of those. Okay, are you ready? Sit properly. [Laughter] Prabhupāda said, “Sit properly.” Hands in the air, take a deep, deep breath. [Inhale, exhale].
[Loudly in call and response of 2 words]:
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa-Kṛṣṇa Hare-Hare
Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Govinda Deva ki – Jaya!
Śrī Vṛndā-Devi ki – Jaya!
Śrī Kāmyavana ki – Jaya!
Gaur Bhakta Vṛndā ki – Jaya!
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe ……………..……………Śyāma!
There is another lake here called Setu-Bandha Kuṇḍa and it was summertime when it gets really hot here. This is one place Kṛṣṇa does Rasa Līlā, He came with Gopīs and you know they were dancing and it got really hot and so they decided to relax on the shores of that lake, because the wind was being a cool breeze–cooling off. You will also see later if you walk around, there are lots of monkeys here. So Rādhā, Kṛṣṇa and Gopīs were watching the monkeys—you know, they come in the water and they kind of swim. They’re real cute and they jump and the babies are playing. Thus they are watching and enjoying the monkeys.
This is Vṛndāvan, so sometimes the monkeys would come out of the water and offer obeisances to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. One little monkey really catches everyone’s attention. He jumped out, and he picked up Kṛṣṇa’s toes and put them on top of his head. This little monkey put his head under Kṛṣṇa’s feet and he was putting Kṛṣṇa’s toes down on his head, and all the Gopīs were laughing, “Oh how cute! He’s so cute, cute little monkey!” Lalitā said to Viśākā, “These monkeys, their friendship with Kṛṣṇa reminds me of Lord Rāma’s friendship with the monkeys.” Then Viśākā replied, “But that Rāma, He was so great. He could inspire monkeys to build a floating bridge; that’s Rāma!” Kṛṣṇa was listening, He became a little jealous.
(Kṛṣṇa): “Hey, Hey wait, Hey girls, wait a minute. I’m Rāma. I am Rāma, I am the son of Dasharatha. I really am.” And the Gopīs, they just couldn’t stop laughing. They were just holding their stomachs rolling on the ground. (Gopīs) [Sarcastically]: “Yeah, sure, you’re Rāma! You’re just a cowherd boy.” (Kṛṣṇa): “No, No, I was also Rāma like last few years ago, I was Rāma—really.” (Gopīs): “Right. You are a cowherd boy. You play the flute. You know You run when Your mommy calls You. [Sarcastically] You were the great Kṣatriya Rāma? Get out of here, Kṛṣṇa.”
Lalitā said, “If You are actually the leader of the monkeys, Kṛṣṇa, then You have to take these monkeys and float a bridge across this little lake. Just do that, not the ocean. Take these monkeys, Kṛṣṇa, and build a bridge over this lake and then we will believe you are Rāma.” Now at this point, the Ācāryas comment that, “There were lots of monkeys. The monkeys, they’re not very submissive, they’re just into mischief, and they’re running here, and stealing that and jumping and doing all kinds of frivolous stuff. How is Kṛṣṇa going to get all these monkeys serious about building a floating bridge?”
The Ācāryas said, what Kṛṣṇa did is He took His flute—Venu, one of His favorite instruments, and He played a song that melted the hearts of all the monkeys in Kāmyavana. They become very submissive. Just like Kṛṣṇa can control the Gopīs by playing His flute; so all the monkeys, they became attracted. They lined up and they became very quiet and very submissive. Just like, you can just imagine children in the kindergarten and the playground and all of a sudden, they become very submissive to the teacher, they line up. Thus they said to Kṛṣṇa, “Our dear lord Kṛṣṇa, we are Your devotees, what would You like us to do?”
Kṛṣṇa gave work to the monkeys, “Bring as many stones as you can gather in Kāmyavana and place them at My lotus feet.” So you know children can be quieted down for a few moments and then again, they’re all mischievous. The monkeys were thus getting very active again and they said, “But okay, we can do that Kṛṣṇa but you have to play a flute song that inspires us to collect stones.” So Kṛṣṇa went, “I have got to think for a minute: a flute song to inspire monkeys to collect stones? Let me think for a minute.” But then [flute sound] he played, and they all ran around and brought all these stones to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. Gopīs are watching and they’re laughing.
Viśākā, she takes a stone. She said, “Right, just like Rāma floated the stone; Right?” She takes a stone and throws it. It sinks to the bottom of the lake. Kṛṣṇa just looked at Viśākā and smiled. He put His lotus foot on one of the stones and touched it and told the monkeys, “Throw that in the lake.” The monkeys threw it and it floated. Gopīs got all red and embarrassed, “Oh, Kṛṣṇa defeated them!”
Thus Kṛṣṇa touched all the stones with His feet and the monkeys had a good time, “Oh, throw, throw, throw!” [Laughter]. And they were throwing everywhere, but there were so many stones that eventually they made a floating bridge. The monkeys were very proud of themselves. They were running back and forth on the bridge, jumping up and down, shaking it, chattering, falling in the water, they were very proud of their achievement. The Gopīs were speechless. They didn’t know that they will be defeated by Kṛṣṇa. But Viśvanāth says that, “There is nothing wrong in that, because in loving pastimes one enjoys being defeated by the lover.” All the Gopīs stood up, they raised their arms, they looked at Kṛṣṇa and they said, ”Jay Śrī Rāma, Jay Śrī Rāma, Jay Śrī Rāma.”
Now Viśvanāth says, “When you know, you get an applause, the etiquette is when you are being glorified, you don’t say, “Yes, yes, I am a great person”—No! You become very humble and bow down.” So Kṛṣṇa did something very wonderful, He folded the palms of His hands and He went and He bowed at the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Because She is Vṛndāvanesvari, She is the controller of Vṛndāvan and she is the controller of Kṛṣṇa: Madana-Mohan-Mohini.
The monkeys are engaged in their monkey business and then all the girls, they decided they wanted to make a victory garland for Rāma, so they went to the fields to collect flowers. So everyone was gone, monkeys were playing in the forest and Gopīs were collecting flowers. It was just Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa left. So Kṛṣṇa took Rādhārāṇī’s hand and He said, “Let’s walk together over the bridge together.” They walked together over the bridge and had Their amorous pastimes on the other side.
Śrī Kāmyavana ki – Jaya!
Śrī Vṛndāvan ki – Jaya!
Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Govinda Deva ki – Jaya!
And we can conclude with a very, very beautiful verse by Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī from his Vraja-Vilas-Stava. So he says,
yātrā kāmasara sākshada gopikā ramana sara
rādhā madhaviyor kṛṣṇam tada vanam kāmyavana bhajet
“Let me worship this forest of Kāmyavana, it is very dear to Rādhā and Mādhava, because it contains the Kāmya Sarovara lake, the place where the Gopīs and Kṛṣṇa enjoy Their loving pastimes.”
Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Vṛndāvanesvari ki –Jaya!
Śrī Vṛndā Devi ki – Jaya!
The 12 forests of Vṛndāvan ki – Jaya!
Kāmyavana ki – Jaya!
Śrīla Prabhupāda ki – Jaya!
Gaur Bhakta Vṛndā ki – Jaya!
Kārtik Parikramā 2015 ki – Jaya!
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe……………………………….
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe……………………………….
Jaya-Jaya Śrī Rādhe………………………………. Śyāma!
Śrī Breakfast Prasādam ki – Jaya!
So please take your breakfast. Usually at breakfast you have to bring your own breakfast. If you didn’t bring your own breakfast, you can steal like the monkeys! [Laughter] We’ll take a little break. It’s 10:20 a.m., we can take a break until a quarter to 11. We’ll come back, have a little Kīrtana and then Caturātmā will continue the Kathā. And lunch Prasādam will arrive at 1 p.m.
Tomorrow, we’re going to Mathurā. We haven’t been to Mathurā yet as a Parikramā party. It’s a little difficult because the place we go in Mathurā, the streets are very narrow, and the temples, they’re very small. They can fit sometimes only five or six people. They built them very small in those days. So I have never taken you there, because it’s just like, “How do you do it?” and I still haven’t figured it out, but I’m sure Kṛṣṇa will give us the intelligence. But it will be a little experimental. I know one temple we can have some Kathā, and maybe we’ll go in small groups and visit the other temples. Very ancient temples, beautiful Deities. I have been there many times myself. It’s a wonderful experience visiting the Mathurā temples. Okay.
Śrī Bhagavata-Prasādam ki Jaya!