Prayers Offered by Lord Brahmā to Lord Kṛṣṇa
Brahmā said, “My dear Lord, You are the only worshipable Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead; therefore I am offering my humble obeisances and prayers just to please You. Your bodily features are the color of clouds filled with water. You are glittering with a silver electric aura emanating from Your yellow garments.
“Let me offer my respectful repeated obeisances unto the son of Mahārāja Nanda, who is standing before me with conch shell earrings and a peacock feather on His head. His face is beautiful; He is wearing a helmet and is garlanded by forest flowers, and He stands with a morsel of food in His hand. He is decorated with a cane, a buffalo-horn bugle and a flute. He stands before me with small lotus feet.
“My dear Lord, people may say that I am the master of all Vedic knowledge, and I am supposed to be the creator of this universe, but it has been proved now that I cannot understand You, who are present before me just like a child. You are playing with Your boyfriends and calves, which might imply that You do not even have sufficient education. You are appearing just like a village boy, carrying Your food in Your hand and searching for Your calves. And yet there is so much difference between Your body and mine that I cannot estimate the potency of Your body. As I have already stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā, Your body is not material.”
In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that the body of the Lord is all-spiritual; there is no difference between the Lord’s body and His self. Each limb of His body can perform the actions of all the others. The Lord can see with His hands, He can hear with His eyes, He can accept offerings with His legs, and He can create with His mouth.
Brahmā continued, “Your appearance as a cowherd child is for the benefit of the devotees, and although I have committed an offense at Your lotus feet by stealing away Your boys and calves, I can understand that You have bestowed Your mercy upon me. This shows Your transcendental quality of being very affectionate toward Your devotees. But in spite of Your great affection for me, I cannot estimate the potency of Your bodily activities. It is to be understood that when I, Lord Brahmā, the supreme personality of this universe, cannot estimate the childlike body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then what to speak of others? And if I cannot estimate the spiritual potency of Your childlike body, then what can I understand about Your transcendental pastimes? Therefore, as it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, anyone who can understand a little of the transcendental pastimes, appearance and disappearance of the Lord becomes immediately eligible to enter into the kingdom of God after quitting the material body. This statement is confirmed in the Vedas, where it is stated: Simply by understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can overcome the chain of repeated birth and death. I therefore recommend that people should not try to understand You by their speculative knowledge.
“The best process for understanding You is to submissively give up the speculative process and try to hear about You, either from Yourself as You have given statements in the Bhagavad-gītā and many similar Vedic literatures, or from a realized devotee who has taken shelter at Your lotus feet. One has to hear from a devotee without speculation. One does not even need to change his worldly position; he simply has to hear Your message. Although You are not understandable by the material senses, simply by hearing about You one can gradually conquer the nescience of misunderstanding. By Your own grace only, You become revealed to a devotee. You are unconquerable by any other means. Speculative knowledge without any trace of devotional service is simply a useless waste of time in the search for You. Devotional service is so important that even a little attempt can raise one to the highest perfectional platform. One should not, therefore, neglect this auspicious process of devotional service and take to the speculative method. By the speculative method one may gain partial knowledge of Your cosmic manifestation, but it is not possible to understand You, the origin of everything. The attempt of persons who are interested only in speculative knowledge is simply wasted labor, like the labor of a person who attempts to gain something by beating an empty husk of rice paddy. A little quantity of paddy can be husked by the grinding wheel, and one can gain some grains of rice, but if the skin of the paddy has already been beaten by the grinding wheel, there is no further gain in beating even a huge quantity of the husk. It is simply useless labor.
“My dear Lord, there are many instances in the history of human society where a person, after failing to achieve the transcendental platform, engaged himself in devotional service with his body, mind and words and thus attained the highest perfectional state of entering into Your abode. The processes of understanding You by speculation or mystic meditation are all useless without devotional service. One should therefore engage himself in Your devotional service even in his worldly activities, and one should always keep himself near You by the process of hearing and chanting Your transcendental glories. Simply by being attached to hearing and chanting Your glories, one can attain the highest perfectional stage of entering into Your kingdom. If a person, therefore, always keeps in touch with You by hearing and chanting Your glories and offers the results of his work for Your satisfaction only, he very easily and happily attains entrance into Your supreme abode. You are realizable by persons who have cleansed their hearts of all contamination. This cleansing of the heart is made possible by chanting and hearing the glories of Your Lordship.”
The Lord is all-pervading. As it is stated by Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā, “Everything is sustained by Me, but at the same time I am not in everything.” Since the Lord is all-pervading, there is nothing existing without His knowledge. The all-pervasive nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can never be within the limited knowledge of a living entity; therefore, a person who has attained steadiness of the mind by fixing the mind on the lotus feet of the Lord is able to understand the Supreme Lord to some extent. It is the business of the mind to wander over varied subject matter for sense gratification. Therefore only a person who always engages the senses in the service of the Lord can control the mind and be fixed at the lotus feet of the Lord. This concentration of the mind upon the lotus feet of the Lord is called samādhi. Until one reaches the stage of samādhi, or trance, he cannot understand the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There may be some philosophers or scientists who can study the cosmic nature from atom to atom; they may be so advanced that they can count the atomic composition of the cosmic atmosphere or all the planets and stars in the sky, or even the shining molecular particles of the sun or of the stars and other luminaries in the sky. But it is not possible to count the qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
As described in the beginning of the Vedānta-sūtra, the Supreme Person is the origin of all qualities. He is generally called nirguṇa. Nirguṇa means “whose qualities are beyond estimation.” Guṇa means “quality,” and nir means “beyond estimation.” But impersonalists interpret this word nirguṇa as “having no quality.” Because they are unable to estimate the qualities of the Lord in transcendental realization, they conclude that the Supreme Lord has no qualities. But that is actually not the position. The real position is that He is the original source of all qualities. All qualities are emanating constantly from Him. How, therefore, can a limited person count the qualities of the Lord? One may estimate the qualities of the Lord at one moment, but the next moment the qualities have increased; so it is not possible to make an estimation of the transcendental qualities of the Lord. He is therefore called nirguṇa.
One should not uselessly labor in mental speculation to estimate the Lord’s qualities. There is no need of adopting the speculative method or exercising the body to attain mystic yoga perfection. One should simply understand that the distress and happiness of this body are predestined; there is no need to try to avoid the distress of this bodily existence or to attempt to achieve happiness by different types of exercises. The best course is to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead with body, mind and words and always be engaged in His service. This transcendental labor is fruitful, but other attempts to understand the Absolute Truth are never successful. Therefore an intelligent man does not try to understand the Absolute Truth by speculative or mystic power. Rather, he engages in devotional service and depends on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He knows that whatever may happen to the body is due to his past fruitive activities. If one lives such a simple life in devotional service, then automatically he inherits the transcendental abode of the Lord. Actually, every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and a son of the Godhead. Each has the natural right to inherit and share the transcendental pleasures of the Lord, but due to the contact of matter, conditioned living entities have been practically disinherited. If one adopts the simple method of engaging himself in devotional service, automatically he becomes eligible to be freed from material contamination and elevated to the transcendental position of associating with the Supreme Lord.
Lord Brahmā presented himself to Lord Kṛṣṇa as the most presumptuous living creature because he wanted to examine the wonder of His personal power. He stole the boys and calves of the Lord in order to see how the Lord would recover them. Now Lord Brahmā admitted that his attempt was most presumptuous, for he was attempting to test his energy before the person of original energy. Coming to his senses, Lord Brahmā saw that although he was a very powerful living creature in the estimation of all other living creatures within this material world, his power was nothing in comparison with the power and energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The scientists of the material world have invented wonders such as atomic weapons, and when tested in a city or some insignificant place on this planet, such powerful weapons create so-called havoc, but if the atomic weapons are tested on the sun, what is their significance? They are insignificant there. Similarly, Brahmā’s stealing of the calves and boys from Śrī Kṛṣṇa may be a wonderful display of mystic power, but when Śrī Kṛṣṇa exhibited His expansive power in so many calves and boys and maintained them without effort, Brahmā could understand that his own power was insignificant.
Brahmā addressed Lord Kṛṣṇa as Acyuta because the Lord is never forgetful of a little service rendered by His devotee. He is so kind and affectionate toward His devotees that a little service by them is accepted by Him as a great deal. Brahmā has certainly rendered much service to the Lord. As the supreme personality in charge of this particular universe, he is, without a doubt, a faithful servant of Kṛṣṇa; therefore he could appease Kṛṣṇa. He asked that the Lord understand him as a subordinate servant whose little mistake and impudence might be excused. He admitted that he was puffed up by his powerful position as Lord Brahmā. Because he is the qualitative incarnation of the mode of passion within this material world, this was natural for him, and therefore he committed the mistake. But Lord Brahmā hoped that since he was, after all, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s subordinate, the Lord would kindly take compassion upon him and excuse him for his gross mistake.
Lord Brahmā realized his actual position. He is certainly the supreme teacher of this universe, in charge of the production of material nature, consisting of the complete material energy, false ego, sky, air, fire, water and earth. Such a universe may be gigantic, but it can be measured, just as we measure our body as seven spans. Generally everyone’s personal bodily measurement is calculated to be seven spans of his hand. This particular universe may appear as a very gigantic body, but it is nothing but the measurement of seven spans for Lord Brahmā. Aside from this universe, there are unlimited other universes which are outside the jurisdiction of this particular Lord Brahmā. Just as innumerable atomic infinitesimal fragments pass through the holes of a screened window, so millions and trillions of universes in their seedling form are coming out from the bodily pores of Mahā-viṣṇu, and that Mahā-viṣṇu is but a part of a part of the plenary expansion of Kṛṣṇa. Under these circumstances, although Lord Brahmā is the supreme creature within this universe, what is his importance in the presence of Lord Kṛṣṇa?
Lord Brahmā therefore compared himself to a little child within the womb of his mother. If the child within the womb plays with his hands and legs, and while playing touches the body of the mother, is the mother offended with the child? Of course she isn’t. Similarly, Lord Brahmā may be a very great personality, and yet not only Brahmā but everything that be is existing within the womb of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord’s energy is all-pervading: there is no place in the creation where it is not acting. Since everything is existing within the energy of the Lord, the Brahmā of this universe and the Brahmās of the many other millions and trillions of universes are existing within the energy of the Lord; therefore the Lord is considered to be the mother, and everything existing within the womb of the mother is considered to be the child. And the good mother is never offended with the child, even if he touches the body of the mother by kicking his legs.
Lord Brahmā then said that his birth was from the lotus flower which blossomed from the navel of Nārāyaṇa after the dissolution of the three worlds, or three planetary systems, known as Bhūrloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka. The universe is divided into three divisions, namely Svarga, Martya and Pātāla. These three planetary systems are merged into water at the time of dissolution. At that time Nārāyaṇa, a plenary portion of Kṛṣṇa, lies down on the water, and gradually a lotus stem grows from His navel, and from that lotus flower, Brahmā is born. It is naturally concluded that the mother of Brahmā is Nārāyaṇa. Because the Lord is the resting place of all the living entities after the dissolution of the universe, He is called Nārāyaṇa. The word nāra means the aggregate total of all living entities, and ayana means the resting place. The form of Garbhodaka-śāyī Viṣṇu is called Nārāyaṇa because He rests Himself on that water. In addition, He is the resting place of all living creatures. Besides that, Nārāyaṇa is also present in everyone’s heart, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. In that sense, also, the Lord is Nārāyaṇa, as ayana means the source of knowledge as well as the resting place. It is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that the remembrance of the living entity is due to the presence of the Supersoul within the heart. After changing the body, a living creature forgets everything of his past life, but because Nārāyaṇa, the Supersoul, is present within his heart, he is reminded by Him to act according to his past desire. Lord Brahmā wanted to prove that Kṛṣṇa is the original Nārāyaṇa, that He is the source of Nārāyaṇa, and that Nārāyaṇa is not an exhibition of the external energy, māyā, but is an expansion of spiritual energy. The activities of the external energy, or māyā, are exhibited after the creation of this cosmic world, and the original spiritual energy of Nārāyaṇa was acting before the creation. So the expansions of Nārāyaṇa – from Nārāyaṇa to Kāraṇodaka-śāyī Viṣṇu, from Kāraṇodaka-śāyī Viṣṇu to Garbhodaka-śāyī Viṣṇu, from Garbhodaka-śāyī Viṣṇu to Kṣīrodaka-śāyī Viṣṇu, and from Kṣīrodaka-śāyī Viṣṇu to everyone’s heart – are actually Kṛṣṇa’s expansions, manifestations of His spiritual energy. They are not conducted by the material energy; therefore they are not temporary. Anything conducted by the material energy is temporary, but everything executed by the spiritual energy is eternal.
Lord Brahmā reconfirmed his statement establishing Kṛṣṇa as the original Nārāyaṇa. He said that the Lord’s gigantic universal form is resting on the water known as Garbhodaka. He spoke as follows: “This gigantic universal form is another manifestation of Your energy. On account of His resting on the water, this universal form is also Nārāyaṇa, and we are all within the womb of this Nārāyaṇa form. I see Your different Nārāyaṇa forms everywhere. I can see You on the water, I can feel You within my heart, and I can also see You before me now. You are the original Nārāyaṇa.
“My dear Lord, in this incarnation You have proved that You are the supreme controller of māyā. You remain within the cosmic manifestation, and yet the whole creation is within You. This fact has already been proved by You when You exhibited the whole universal creation within Your mouth before Your mother, Yaśodā. By Your inconceivable potency of yogamāyā, You can effect such things without external help.
“My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, the whole cosmic manifestation that we are visualizing at present is all within Your body. Yet I am seeing You outside, and You are also seeing me outside. How can such things happen without being influenced by Your inconceivable energy?”
Lord Brahmā stressed herein that without accepting the inconceivable energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot explain things as they are. He continued: “My dear Lord, leaving aside all other things and just considering today’s happenings – what I have seen – are they not all due to Your inconceivable energies? First of all I saw You alone; thereafter You expanded Yourself as Your cowherd boyfriends, the calves and the whole existence of Vṛndāvana; then I saw You and all the boys and calves as four-handed Viṣṇus, and They were being worshiped by all elements and all demigods, including myself. Again They were all wound up, and You remained alone, as You were before. Does this not mean that You are the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa, the origin of everything, that everything emanates from You and again enters into You, leaving You the same as before?
“Persons who are unaware of Your inconceivable energy cannot understand that You alone expand Yourself as the creator (Brahmā), the maintainer (Viṣṇu) and the annihilator (Śiva). Persons who are not in awareness of things as they are contemplate that I, Brahmā, am the creator, Viṣṇu is the maintainer, and Lord Śiva is the annihilator. Actually, You alone are everything – creator, maintainer and annihilator. Similarly, You expand Yourself in different incarnations: among the demigods You incarnate as Vāmanadeva, among the great sages You incarnate as Paraśurāma, among the human beings You appear as Yourself, Lord Kṛṣṇa, or as Lord Rāma, among the animals You appear as the boar incarnation, and among the aquatics You appear as the fish incarnation. And yet You have no appearance or disappearance: You are always eternal. Your appearance and disappearance are made possible by Your inconceivable energy just to give protection to the faithful devotees and to annihilate the faithless demons. O my Lord, O all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead, O Supersoul, controller of all mystic powers, no one can appreciate Your transcendental pastimes as they are exhibited within these three worlds. No one can estimate how You have expanded Your yogamāyā and Your incarnations and how You act by Your transcendental energy. My dear Lord, this whole cosmic manifestation is just like a flashing dream, and its temporary existence simply disturbs the mind. As a result, we are full of anxiety in this existence; to live within this material world means simply to suffer and to be full of all miseries. And yet this temporary existence of the material world appears to be pleasing and dear on account of its having evolved from Your body, which is eternal and full of bliss and knowledge.
“My conclusion is, therefore, that You are the Supreme Soul, the Absolute Truth, and the supreme original person; and although by Your inconceivable transcendental potencies You have expanded Yourself in so many Viṣṇu forms, and also in the living entities and other energies, You are the supreme one without a second, the supreme Supersoul. The innumerable living entities are simply like sparks of the original fire, Your Lordship. The conception of the Supersoul as impersonal is wrong because I see that You are the original person. Persons with a poor fund of knowledge may think that because You are the son of Mahārāja Nanda You are not the original person, that You are born just like a human being. They are mistaken. You are the actual original person; that is my conclusion. In spite of Your being the son of Nanda, You are the original person, and there is no doubt about it. You are the Absolute Truth, and You are not of this material darkness. You are the source of the original brahma-jyotir as well as the material luminaries – the sun, moon and stars. Your transcendental effulgence is identical with the brahma-jyotir. As it is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā, the brahma-jyotir is nothing but Your personal bodily effulgence. There are many Viṣṇu incarnations and incarnations of Your different qualities, but all those incarnations are not on the same level. You are the original lamp. Other incarnations may possess the same candlepower as the original lamp, but the original lamp is the beginning of all light. And because You are not one of the creations of this material world, even after the annihilation of this world, Your existence as You are will continue.
“Because You are the original person, You are described in the Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad, as well as in the Brahma-saṁhitā, as govindam ādi-puruṣam. Govinda is the original person, the cause of all causes. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is stated that You are the source of the Brahman effulgence. No one should conclude that Your body is like an ordinary material body. Your body is akṣara, indestructible. The material body is always full of threefold miseries, but Your body is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha: full of bliss, knowledge and eternality. You are also nirañjana because Your pastimes, as the little son of Mother Yaśodā or the lover of the gopīs, are never contaminated by the material qualities. And although You exhibited Yourself as so many cowherd boys and calves, Your transcendental potency was not reduced. You are always complete. As it is described in the Vedic literature, even if the complete is taken away from the complete – the Supreme Absolute Truth – it remains the complete Supreme Absolute Truth. And although many expansions from the complete are visible, the complete is one without a second. Since all Your pastimes are spiritual, there is no possibility of their being contaminated by the material modes of nature. When You place Yourself as subordinate to Your father and mother, Nanda and Yaśodā, You are not reduced in Your potency; this is an expression of Your loving attitude toward Your devotees. There is no second identity to compete with You. A person with a poor fund of knowledge concludes that Your appearance and pastimes are simply material designations. You are transcendental to both nescience and knowledge, as it is confirmed in the Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad. You are the original amṛta, indestructible nectar of immortality. As confirmed in the Vedas, amṛtaṁ śāśvataṁ brahma. Brahman is the eternal, the supreme origin of everything, who has no birth or death.
“In the Upaniṣads it is stated that the Supreme Brahman is as effulgent as the sun and is the origin of everything, and that anyone who can understand that original person becomes liberated from the material, conditioned life. Anyone who can simply be attached to You by devotional service can know Your actual position, birth, appearance, disappearance and activities. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, simply by understanding Your constitutional position, appearance and disappearance, one can be immediately elevated to the spiritual kingdom after quitting this present body. Therefore to cross over the ocean of material nescience, an intelligent person takes shelter of Your lotus feet and is easily transferred to the spiritual world.
“There are many so-called meditators who do not know that You are the Supreme Soul. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, You are the Supreme Soul present in everyone’s heart. Therefore there is no necessity of one’s meditating on something beyond You. One who is always absorbed in meditation on Your original form of Kṛṣṇa easily crosses over the ocean of material nescience. But persons who do not know that You are the Supreme Soul remain within this material world in spite of their so-called meditation. If, by the association of Your devotees, a person comes to the knowledge that Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original Supersoul, then it is possible for him to cross over the ocean of material ignorance. For instance, when a person mistakes a rope for a snake he is filled with fear, but as soon as he understands that the rope is not a snake, he is liberated from fear. If one understands You, therefore, through Your personal teachings, as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, or through the teachings of Your pure devotees, as stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and all other Vedic literatures – if one realizes that You are the ultimate goal of understanding – he need no longer fear this material existence.
“So-called liberation and bondage have no meaning for a person who is already engaged in Your devotional service, just as a rope is not fearful to a person who knows that it is not a snake. A devotee knows that this material world belongs to You, and he therefore engages everything in Your transcendental loving service. Thus there is no bondage for him. For a person who is already situated in the sun planet, there is no question of the appearance or disappearance of the sun in the name of day or night. It is also said that You, Kṛṣṇa, are just like the sun, and that māyā is like darkness. When the sun is present, there is no question of darkness; so, for those who always remain in Your presence by engaging in Your service, there is no question of bondage or liberation. They are already liberated. On the other hand, persons who falsely think themselves to be liberated without taking shelter of Your lotus feet fall down because their intelligence is not pure.
“If one therefore thinks that the Supersoul is something different from Your personality and thus searches out the Supersoul or the Supreme Brahman somewhere else, in the forest or in the caves of the Himālayas, his condition is very lamentable. Your teachings in the Bhagavad-gītā are that one should give up all other processes of self-realization and simply surrender unto You, for that is complete. Because You are the Supreme in every respect, those who are searching after the Brahman effulgence are also searching after You. And those who are searching after Supersoul realization are also searching after You. You state in the Bhagavad-gītā that You Yourself, by Your partial representation as the Supersoul, have entered into this material cosmic manifestation. You are present in everyone’s heart, and there is no need to search out the Supersoul anywhere else. If someone does so, he is simply in ignorance. One who is transcendental to such a position understands that You are unlimited; You are both within and without. Therefore Your presence is everywhere. Instead of searching for the Supersoul anywhere else, a devotee only concentrates his mind on You within. Actually, one who is liberated from the material concept of life can search for You; others cannot. The example of thinking the rope to be a snake is applicable only to those who are still in ignorance of You. Actually, when one mistakes a rope for a snake, the existence of the snake is only within the mind. The existence of māyā, similarly, is only within the mind. Māyā is nothing but ignorance of Your personality. When one forgets Your personality, that is the conditioned state of māyā. Therefore one who is fixed upon You both internally and externally is not illusioned.
“One who has attained a little result of devotional service can understand Your glories. Even one striving for Brahman realization or Paramātmā realization cannot understand these features of Your personality unless You bestow on him the result of at least a slight bit of devotional service. One may be the spiritual master of many impersonalists, or he may go to the forest or to a mountain cave and meditate as a hermit for many, many years, but he cannot understand Your glories without being favored by a slight degree of devotional service. Brahman realization or Paramātmā realization are also not possible even after one searches for many, many years unless one is touched by the wonderful effect of devotional service.
“Therefore, my dear Lord, I pray that I may be so fortunate that in this life or in another life, wherever I may take my birth, I may be counted as one of Your devotees. Wherever I may be, I pray that I may be engaged in Your devotional service. I do not even care what form of life I get in the future, because I can see that even in the form of cows and calves or cowherd boys, the devotees are so fortunate to be always engaged in Your transcendental loving service and association. Therefore I wish to be one of them instead of such an exalted person as I am now, for I am full of ignorance. The gopīs and cows of Vṛndāvana are so fortunate that they have been able to supply their breast milk to You. Persons who are engaged in performing great sacrifices and offering many valuable goats in sacrifice cannot attain the perfection of understanding You, but simply by devotional service these innocent village women and cows are all able to satisfy You with their milk. You have drunk their milk to satisfaction, yet You are never satisfied as much by those engaged in performing sacrifices. I am simply surprised, therefore, with the fortunate position of Mahārāja Nanda, Mother Yaśodā and the cowherd men and gopīs, because You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, are existing here as their most intimate lovable object. My dear Lord, no one can actually appreciate the good fortune of these residents of Vṛndāvana. We are all demigods, controlling deities of the various senses of the living entities, and we are proud of enjoying such privileges, but actually there is no comparison between our position and the position of these fortunate residents of Vṛndāvana because they are actually relishing Your presence and enjoying Your association by dint of their sensory activities. We may be proud of being controllers of the senses, but here the residents of Vṛndāvana are so transcendental that they are not under our control. Actually they are enjoying their senses through service to You. I shall therefore consider myself fortunate to be given a chance to take birth in this land of Vṛndāvana in any of my future lives.
“My dear Lord, I am therefore not interested in either material opulences or liberation. I am most humbly praying at Your lotus feet for You to please give me any sort of birth within this Vṛndāvana forest so that I may be able to be favored by the dust of the feet of some of the devotees of Vṛndāvana. If I am given the chance to grow as a humble blade of grass in this land, that would be a glorious birth for me. But if I am not so fortunate to take birth within the forest of Vṛndāvana, I beg to be allowed to take birth outside the immediate area of Vṛndāvana so that when the devotees go out they will walk over me. Even that would be a great fortune for me. I am just aspiring for a birth in which I will be smeared by the dust of the devotees’ feet, because I can see that everyone here is simply full of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. No one here knows anything but the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, or Mukunda, for which the Vedas themselves are searching.”
It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that the purpose of Vedic knowledge is to find Kṛṣṇa. And it is said in the Brahma-saṁhitā that it is very difficult to find Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by systematic reading of the Vedic literature. But He is very easily available through the mercy of a pure devotee. The pure devotees of Vṛndāvana are fortunate because they can see Mukunda (Lord Kṛṣṇa) all the time. This word mukunda can be understood in two ways. Muk means liberation. Lord Kṛṣṇa can give liberation and therefore transcendental bliss. The word also refers to His smiling face, which is just like the kunda flower. Mukha means “face.” The kunda flower is very beautiful, and it appears to be smiling. Thus the comparison is made.
The difference between the pure devotees of Vṛndāvana and devotees in other places is that the residents of Vṛndāvana have no other desire but to be associated with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa, being very kind to His devotees, fulfills their desire; because they always want Kṛṣṇa’s association, the Lord is always prepared to give it to them. The devotees of Vṛndāvana are also spontaneous lovers. They are not required to strictly follow regulative principles because they are already naturally developed in transcendental love for Kṛṣṇa. Regulative principles are required for persons who have not achieved such a position of spontaneous love. Brahmā is also a devotee of the Lord, but he is an ordinary devotee subject to following regulative principles. He prays to Kṛṣṇa to give him the chance to take birth in Vṛndāvana so that he might be elevated to the platform of spontaneous love.
Lord Brahmā continued: “My Lord, sometimes I am puzzled as to how Your Lordship will be able to repay, in gratitude, the devotional service of these residents of Vṛndāvana. Although I know that You are the supreme source of all benedictions, I am puzzled to know how You will be able to repay all the service that You are receiving from these residents of Vṛndāvana. I think of how You are so kind, so magnanimous, that even Pūtanā, who came to cheat You by dressing herself as a very affectionate mother, was awarded liberation and the actual post of a mother. And other demons belonging to the same family, such as Aghāsura and Bakāsura, were also favored with liberation and achieved You. Under the circumstances, I am puzzled. These residents of Vṛndāvana have given You everything – their bodies, their minds, their love, their homes, their possessions. Everything is being utilized for Your purpose. So how will You be able to repay Your debt to them? You have already given Yourself to Pūtanā! I surmise that You shall ever remain a debtor to the residents of Vṛndāvana, being unable to repay their loving service.
“My Lord, I can understand that the superexcellent quality of the service rendered by the residents of Vṛndāvana is due to their spontaneously engaging all natural instincts in Your loving service. It is said that attachment for material objects and home is due to illusion, which makes a living entity conditioned in the material world. But this is only the case for persons who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious. In the case of the residents of Vṛndāvana, such obstructions as attachment to hearth and home are nonexistent. Because their attachment has been directed unto You and their homes have been converted into temples by Your constant presence there, and because they have forgotten everything for Your sake, there is no impediment. For a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, there is no such thing as impediments due to attachment for hearth and home. Nor is there illusion.
“I can also understand that Your appearance as a small cowherd boy, a child of the cowherd men, is not at all a material activity. You are so much obliged by their affection that You are here to inspire them with more loving service by Your transcendental presence. In Vṛndāvana there is no distinction between material and spiritual because everything is dedicated to Your loving service. My dear Lord, Your Vṛndāvana pastimes are simply to inspire Your devotees. If someone takes Your Vṛndāvana pastimes to be material, he will be misled.
“My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, those who deride You, claiming that You have a material body like an ordinary man, are described in the Bhagavad-gītā as demoniac and less intelligent. You are always transcendental. The nondevotees are cheated because they consider You to be a material creation. Actually, You have assumed this body, which exactly resembles that of an ordinary cowherd boy, simply to increase the devotion and transcendental bliss of Your devotees.
“My dear Lord, I have nothing to say about people who advertise that they have already realized God or that by their realization they have themselves become God. But as far as I am concerned, I admit frankly that for me it is not possible to realize You by my body, mind or speech. What can I say about You, or how can I realize You by my senses? I cannot even think of You perfectly with my mind, which is the master of the senses. Your qualities, Your activities and Your body cannot be conceived of by any person within this material world. Only by Your mercy can one understand, to some extent, what You are. My dear Lord, You are the Supreme Lord of all creation, although I sometimes falsely think that I am the master of this universe. I may be the master of this universe, but there are innumerable universes, and there are also innumerable Brahmās who preside over these universes. But actually You are the master of them all. As the Supersoul in everyone’s heart, You know everything. Please, therefore, accept me as Your surrendered servant. I hope that You will excuse me for committing the great offense of disturbing You in Your pastimes with Your friends and calves. Now if You will kindly allow me, I will immediately leave so You can enjoy Your friends and calves without my presence.
“My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, Your very name suggests that You are all-attractive. The attraction of the sun and the moon are all due to You. By the attraction of the sun, You are beautifying the very existence of the Yadu dynasty. With the attraction of the moon, You are enhancing the potency of the land, the demigods, the brāhmaṇas, the cows and the oceans. Because of Your supreme attraction, demons like Kaṁsa and others are annihilated. Therefore it is my deliberate conclusion that You are the only worshipable Deity within the creation. Accept my humble obeisances until the annihilation of this material world. As long as there is sunshine within this material world, kindly accept my humble obeisances.”
In this way, Brahmā, the master of this universe, after offering humble and respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead and circumambulating Him three times, was ready to return to his abode, known as Brahmaloka. By His gesture, the Supreme Personality of Godhead gave him permission to return.
As soon as Brahmā left, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa immediately returned to the bank of the Yamunā and rejoined His calves and cowherd boyfriends, who were situated just as they had been on the very day they had vanished. Kṛṣṇa had left His friends on the bank of the Yamunā while they were engaged in lunch, and although He returned exactly one year later, the cowherd boys thought that He had returned within a second. That is the way Kṛṣṇa’s different energies act. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that Kṛṣṇa Himself is residing in everyone’s heart, and He causes both remembrance and forgetfulness. All living entities are controlled by the supreme energy of the Lord, and sometimes they remember and sometimes they forget their constitutional position. His friends, being controlled in such a way, could not understand that for one whole year they were absent from the Yamunā’s bank and were under the spell of Brahmā’s illusion. When Kṛṣṇa appeared before the boys, they thought, “Kṛṣṇa has returned within a minute.” They began to laugh, thinking that Kṛṣṇa was not willing to leave their lunchtime company. They were very jubilant and invited Him, “Dear friend Kṛṣṇa, You have come back so quickly! All right, we have not as yet begun our lunch, not even taken one morsel of food. So please come and join us, and let us eat together.” Kṛṣṇa smiled and accepted their invitation, and He began to enjoy the lunchtime company of His friends. While eating, Kṛṣṇa was thinking, “These boys believe that I have come back within a second, but they do not know that for the last year I have been involved with the mystic activities of Lord Brahmā.”
After finishing their lunch, Kṛṣṇa and His friends and calves began to return to their Vrajabhūmi homes. While passing, they enjoyed seeing the dead carcass of Aghāsura in the shape of a gigantic serpent. When Kṛṣṇa returned home to Vrajabhūmi, He was seen by all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. He was wearing a peacock feather in His helmet, which was also decorated with forest flowers. Kṛṣṇa was also garlanded with flowers and painted with different colored minerals collected from the caves of Govardhana Hill. Govardhana Hill is always famous for supplying natural red oxides, and Kṛṣṇa and His friends painted their bodies with them. Each of them had a bugle made of buffalo horn and a stick and a flute, and each called his respective calves by their particular names. The cowherd boys were so proud of Kṛṣṇa’s wonderful activities that, while entering the village, they all sang His glories. All the gopīs in Vṛndāvana saw beautiful Kṛṣṇa entering the village. The boys composed nice songs describing how they were saved from being swallowed by the great serpent and how the serpent was killed. Some described Kṛṣṇa as the son of Yaśodā, and others as the son of Nanda Mahārāja. “He is so wonderful that He saved us from the clutches of the great serpent and killed him,” they said. But little did they know that one year had passed since the killing of Aghāsura.
In this regard, Mahārāja Parīkṣit asked Śukadeva Gosvāmī how the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana suddenly developed so much love for Kṛṣṇa although He was not a member of any of their families. Mahārāja Parīkṣit inquired, “During the absence of the original cowherd boys, when Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself, why is it that the boys’ parents became more loving toward Him than toward their own sons? Also, why did the cows become so loving toward the calves, more than toward their own calves?”
Śukadeva Gosvāmī told Mahārāja Parīkṣit that every living entity is actually most attached to his own self. Outward paraphernalia such as home, family, friends, country, society, wealth, opulence and reputation are all only secondary in pleasing the living entity. They please only because they bring pleasure to the self. For this reason, one is self-centered and is attached to his body and self more than he is to relatives like wife, children and friends. If there is some immediate danger to one’s own person, he first of all takes care of himself, then others. That is natural. That means he loves his own self more than anything else. The next important object of affection, after his own self, is his material body. A person who has no information of the spirit soul is very much attached to his material body, so much so that even in old age he wants to preserve the body in so many artificial ways, thinking that his old and broken body can be saved. Everyone is working hard day and night just to give pleasure to his own self, under either the bodily or spiritual concept of life. We are attached to material possessions because they give pleasure to the senses or to the body. The attachment to the body is there only because the “I,” the spirit soul, is within the body. Similarly, when one is further advanced, he knows that the spirit soul is pleasing because it is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Ultimately, it is Kṛṣṇa who is pleasing and all-attractive. He is the Supersoul of everything. And in order to give us this information, Kṛṣṇa descends and tells us that the all-attractive center is He Himself. Without being an expansion of Kṛṣṇa, nothing can be attractive.
Whatever is attractive within the cosmic manifestation is due to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is therefore the reservoir of all pleasure. The active principle of everything is Kṛṣṇa, and highly elevated transcendentalists see everything in connection with Him. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is stated that a mahā-bhāgavata, or highly advanced devotee, sees Kṛṣṇa as the active principle in all moving and nonmoving living entities. Therefore he sees everything within this cosmic manifestation in relation to Kṛṣṇa. For the fortunate person who has taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa as everything, liberation is already there. He is no longer in the material world. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā: Whoever is engaged in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa is already on the brahma-bhūta, or spiritual, platform. The very name Kṛṣṇa suggests piety and liberation. Anyone who takes shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa enters the boat for crossing over the ocean of nescience. For him, this vast expanse of the material manifestation becomes as insignificant as the water in a calf’s hoofprint. Kṛṣṇa is the shelter of all great souls, and He is also the shelter of the material worlds. For one who is on the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Vaikuṇṭha, or the spiritual world, is not far away. He does not live within the material world, where there is danger at every step.
In this way, Kṛṣṇa consciousness was fully explained to Mahārāja Parīkṣit by Śukadeva Gosvāmī as he recited to the king the statements and prayers of Lord Brahmā. These descriptions of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes with His cowherd boys, His eating with them on the bank of the Yamunā and Lord Brahma’s prayers unto Him, are all transcendental subject matters. Anyone who hears, recites or chants them surely gets all his spiritual desires fulfilled. Thus Kṛṣṇa’s childhood pastimes, His sporting with Balarāma and the cowherd boys in Vṛndāvana, were described.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the fourteenth chapter of Kṛṣṇa , “Prayers Offered by Lord Brahmā to Lord Kṛṣṇa.”
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