Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Wealth of Dvārakā

1.11.11

Madhu, Bhoja, Daśārha, Arha, Kukura, and the Vṛṣṇi – all equally powerful – protected it like the dragons protect their capital, Bhogavatī.

It seems that all the nearby kingdoms allied themselves with the Vṛṣṇi, whose capitol was therefore very secure. It was at least as opulent and secure as the fabled capitol city of the dragons.

12

It was surrounded by all the seasons, all natural amenities, and residents of saints amidst very good trees and flowers. There were parks with gardens and orchards surrounding lakes full of beautiful lotuses.

On earth, seasons result from the position of the Sun relative to the equator. They are therefore time-dependent and it is not possible for all of them to manifest simultaneously at will. However Sūta tells us here that Dvārakā had this opulence. The implication is either that, (a) Sūta is telling us fairy tales, or (b) Dvārakā exists above the normal earthly dimension with which it maintained a link for some time.

A reader might favor the former, if he doesn’t really understand Sūta’s education, erudition and personality as well as the type of gathering he was addressing – most similar in modern terms to a symposium of doctorates and scientific researchers. One who embraces the later explanation, however, cracks open a doorway into Kṛṣṇa’s dimension. Opened wide enough, one can attempt to walk through it.

13-15

Gates, doors and roads were enthusiastically painted and decorated with flags bearing auspicious signs. Pleasant shade spread beneath all these decorations. The shops and halls and roads big and small were very clean and sprinkled with perfumes, flowers, fruits, and whole seed.

Things for welcoming a respected guest were assembled in the doorways to each and every house: yoghurt, fresh fruit, sugarcane, full water pots, incense and lamps.

What is your reaction to hearing about such a place? Mine is, “Wow, what a great place to live. I want to be a guest at these houses, feel the peace of such natural opulence, relax in these beautiful parks, and enjoy life in such a fine place.” Paradoxically, this self-focused frame of mind is exactly what makes it impossible to live in a place like Dvārakā. It is because each and every citizen is so focused on the same central figure of enjoyment, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, that their city is so peaceful, beautiful, opulent, and – ironically – enjoyable.

Upon the return of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, his city decorated herself exquisitely and appeared at the height of blushing beauty. Kṛṣṇa was very pleased to see her ecstatic romantic symptoms as she welcomed the handsome lord into her loving embrace.

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Greetings, Citizens of Dvaraka

1.11.6

Oh topmost master, we are at your lotus-like feet!
Brahmā, his offspring, and the king of gods worship these feet,
Desiring the utmost protection
Into which destiny has no power.

7

For our sake, you, the creator of everything
Have become our mother, protective husband, and father.
You are the eternal guru and topmost divinity.
Everything we do is for your sake.

8

O yes, you are our focal point!
It is very difficult for even the masters of the three worlds to see
Your smiling, affectionate, love-laden glance.
But we freely look upon your all-auspicious beauty.

9

O Infallible, whenever your lotus-eyes go elsewhere,
Looking with care towards the people of Kuru and Madhu,
Each moment becomes a million years
And we feel like eyes without sunlight.

10

Oh husband, how can we go on living if you remain away from us
Unable to see your satisfied glance vanquishing all troubles,
And your mind-enchanting face
Ornamented with a beautiful smile?

11

Hearing these words spoken by the citizens, the Nourisher of Lovers expanded his affectionate glances upon all of them as he entered the city.

~ ~ ~

Human beings turn to the gods for help in facing the trials and tribulations of daily lives. And certainly these powerful beings can help somehow or another. But since they too are under the sway of all powerful destiny, they are limited in how they can protect one from fate. The All-Attractive Original Person who existed before destiny began, and who controls its impartial enforcement, is the only being who can grant the topmost perfection.

Kṛṣṇa is the singular undifferentiated being, but for our sake he manifests multiplicity. It is only out of a desire to share the pure bliss of existence with others that the One becomes Many. Towards those many he takes personal roles which seem to be far less than his natural station as the supreme authority and divinity – becoming the mother, father and protector of many. In truth, however, these stations are superior to the hierarchical station of the All-Powerful, because they exhibit the most important essence of Godhead: loving, personal blissful affection.

The citizens express “Aho! You have become our focal point.” The key word here is sanātha. Everyone requires a nātha, a focal point. Thus men and women walk about the world in the peculiar manner in which we do, as if involved in some sort of parade or exhibition – searching for an attractive person to make our focal point. Those without focal points, or with blurry, boring and old ones, envy those focused newly paired couples walking down the sidewalk exuding their good fortune. To be without a nātha, without a focal point, is universally pitiful. The residents of Dvārakā how found the ultimate focal point, the All-Attractive personality whom everyone in the tree worlds, including the gods themselves, desires.

The citizens consider their most valuable treasure to be the loving glances of Kṛṣṇa. So when Kṛṣṇa looks away from them, it is as calamitous as being robbed blind. Kṛṣṇa’s mind is always full of concern for the people of Kuru (the Pāṇḍava) and the people of Madhu (Mathurā and Vṛṇdāvana). He makes great efforts to keep his glances upon the people of Dvārakā but from time to time cannot help but allow his eyes to move away from them and towards Kuru and Mathurā. When this happens, the people of Dvārakā become very, very anxious. Each moment that Kṛṣṇa’s glance is not upon them drags out for millions of years. Not seeing Kṛṣṇa’s satisfied glance, they think their eyes have become blind – like eyes in the absence of light. This addiction for the satisfied recognition of Kṛṣṇa is a trademark shared by all self-realized personalists, and which becomes more and more intense the more intimate the realization becomes. Śrī Caitanya expressed this same sentiment very poignantly in his eight-verse poem: “Moments become like ages… Floods pour from my eyes… The world becomes empty… without Govinda.”

If even the anticipation of Kṛṣṇa’s departure causes such anxiety, how could the residents of Dvārakā survived the long months he was away during the war? They simply could not have. Therefore Kṛṣṇa never leaves his devotee. He is within and without everything. Once one has tangibly and directly established a relationship with him, that relationship is never lost. If he is not present physically, he is even more present emotionally.

Kṛṣṇa fulfilled everyone’s desires by abundantly showering each and every one with sweet glances of heartfelt affection as they all moved towards the edge of the city itself. This sort of attentiveness is why Kṛṣṇa is called the “Nourisher of Lovers” (bhakta-vatsala).

 


Flutes and Conch-shells, and Expressions of Inner Joy

1.10.36

When the sun would set into the ocean in the west, overtook by evening, Hari would rest. In each place the people came to see him and give him gifts.

1.11.1

Drawing neigh to his own very prosperous city in the Land of Plenty (ānartā), he resounded upon his wondrous conch just to relieve the worries of the citizens.

2

Though the bowl of that conch was white, it became brilliantly reddened by the redness of the Great Adventurer’s lips. While resounding in the grip of his lotus-like hand, it was like a swan singing among lotuses.

The conch shell blushed when kissed by Kṛṣṇa, and radiated an exquisite beauty when touched by his hand.

3

Hearing that sound, which causes all fears to flee, all the citizens ran quickly towards it; greedy to see their protector.

Kṛṣṇa’s conch seems to act upon the residents of Dvārakā very similarly to how his flute acts upon the Gopīs. We can attempt to gain access to these sounds by listening attentively to the sound of Kīrtana.

4

They gave him many gifts, which is like giving a candle to the sun because he is self-blissful and all his desires are completely fulfilled by the his own means, incessantly.

The sun can be respected by offering it a candle. If you think about it for a second, the sun doesn’t need any extra light and neither does the person standing before the sun with the candle. The candle is not “needed” it is simply a vehicle expressing respect. This candle is exactly analogous to the actions of divine love. Neither the divine lover nor the divine beloved actually need anything, both are already completely satisfied and full by dint of divine love itself. A person in divine love is already completely fulfilled, like a person standing before the Sun is effortlessly bathed in light. In the absence of divine love’s light, all actions result from a need to cover or fill some horrible emptiness inside. The sun-drenched actions of divine love may appear very similar, but have a completely different foundation, because they exist not to fill an inner void but to express and amplify an inner fullness of joy and bliss.

5

Their faces made cheerful by love, they spoke eager and stammering words – like children to their ever-caring father.


Kṛṣṇa’s Itinerary from Hastināpura to Dvārakā

1.10.32

The Foeless king sent four squadrons of guards to accompany Madhu’s Enemy, desiring out of affection to protect him.

33

Overwhelmed by the impending separation from the god, the Kurus followed him for a great distance. But he affectionately yet firmly persuaded them to return. Then he continued towards his beloved home city.

34-35

In the lands of the Kurus he went through the Kuru Jungle (kuru-jāñgala), and along the Yamunā river past Fivelands (pāñcāla),  Godsland (śūrasena), to Creatorsland (brahmā-varta). Then he passed the Fisherlands (matsya) and went through the dry desert s towards the Sarasvatī river. There he entered Heroic Country (Sauvīra) at the Powerful City (abhīra) and finally came to the Land of Plenty (ānartā). O Bhārgava, the horses seemed to become weary at the end of the long journey.

Here is the route Kṛṣṇa traveled from Hastinapura to Dvaraka. He followed rivers as much as possible, and crossed the desert directly and in a hurry.

In modern geography, Hastinapura is north of Delhi, and the jungles to its west (whatever little remain, since the desert has spread over the centuries) are now the eastern part of Haryana. Pāñcāla a confederacy of five clans between the Ganges and Yamuna, which would now be considered part of Uttara Khandha. Godsland, the land of Brahmā (brahma-varta) is south of there and probably centered around modern Kanpur (of Rajasthana). From there Kṛṣṇa went through the Fisherlands (matsya) which was a province founded by fishers on the Yamuna, and represented the entrance into the deserts of Rajasthan – probably passing what is now Jaipur. The country of Heroes is now Pakistan. Abhira has no major city near it now but is the border of India and Pakistan along the Sarasvati river in the direction of Pakistani Hyderabad, coming from Rajasthani deserts. There Kṛṣṇa moved south along the Sarasvati river coming to Anarta – the land of plenty, which is now essentially the north eastern border of Gujarat. From there Kṛṣṇa could proceed the last easy stretch westward towards his home city, Dvārakā, which is now under water.

Krsna's Approximate Route from Hastinapura to Dvaraka


Krishna: The Sexiest Man in the Universe (Conclusion of “Philosophy in the City”)

29-30

He took her from the midst of very powerful heroes headed by King Caidya [Śiśupāla] who were competing for her hand in marriage, belittling them all. He took others in a similar manner. So he has many children like Pradyumna and Sāmba. He even took thousands of women at once by killing Bhauma. They were no longer single, no longer pure, but oh how perfectly they express the highest aspirations of femininity! The Lotus-Eyed Husband always stays within their homes, with heartfelt gifts and caresses.

“He took her” refers to Kṛṣṇa’s first queen, Rukmiṇī. “He took others” refers to Satyabhāmā and Jāmbavatī. “Thousands” refers to all the women who had been kidnapped into the harem of King Bhauma. Kṛṣṇa killed Bhauma to rescue these women. Having been members of the harem, they were no longer good candidates for marriage, but Kṛṣṇa ignored such formalities and married them all.

A significant portion of male attractiveness lies in heroism and strength, which represents his capacity to defeat other men and thus protect women and children from harassment. Here, the city ladies appreciate the unparalleled extent to which Kṛṣṇa, the ultimate and original male, displays such heroic and manly attractiveness by boldly belittling and destroying other men to claim his brides.

Most of the remaining portion of male attractiveness lies in his ability to be gentle and sensitive to a woman. Truly attractive men (among whom even the most legendary cannot hold a candle to Kṛṣṇa) are bold and aggressive when appropriate, but gentle and sensitive at other times.

The city girls appreciate Kṛṣṇa’s gentleness as well as his boldness. He paid loving attention to each and every one of his thousands of wives. It is difficult for one man to pay sufficient attention to even two or three women, but Kṛṣṇa did so for thousands. Kṛṣṇa is the original Godhead and his form is formlessness itself. Thus he easily exists in thousands of different places simultaneously. In fact, because Kṛṣṇa is omnipresent he never leaves his beloved consorts. Even when he was on the chariot in the road of Hastinapura, he still remained with his wives in their palaces. And while at home with them the scene is always one of intimate, heartfelt love expressed through carefully chosen gifts and gentle caresses.

Female attractiveness – the real sort, which makes a man see a woman as wife, not a date – mainly depends on the purity of her love and devotion, for these are the qualities than enable a woman to repair and mend the troubles of men and children. Women from the harem of a fallen king would not exactly seem to be emblems of pure loving fidelity and devotion. But Kṛṣṇa was deeply attracted to all of them, and flaunted all social convention to marry them. Why? It is because they possessed the most attractive quality of all – abject devotion and love of the All-Attractive. This quality is the perfection of devotion, and therefore the perfection of femininity. The women liberated from Bhauma’s harem were therefore exemplars of the highest virtues of femininity.

The number of wives and children of Kṛṣṇa is impossible, of course, because Kṛṣṇa himself is impossibility in reality. He is the unlimited being. Numbers are insignificant in regards to his unfathomable dimension.

31

Hearing all this talk from the city ladies, Hari sent them his blissful glance and smile. Then he departed.

An ordinary human cannot hear the chatter of women on the rooftops when he is surrounded by drums and trumpets and crowds. But Kṛṣṇa is Paramātmā, the spiritual substance linking every ear to every soul. Thus he can easily hear everything and anything. The last thing he did before his chariot left the city is cast a love-laden, smiling glance upon the dear women who were speaking so affectionately about him.

One can hardly imagine the surge of bliss felt by those women upon receiving such a glance.

To summarize the salient points raised by the ladies of Hastinapura:

  1. Kṛṣṇa is the Complete Original Male who alone exists. Everything else is his energy, which flows out from and returns into him. The ladies wish to return into him in a highly intimate and personal manner, which is far superior to the impersonal and tasteless manner conceived by yogis and priests.
  2. Kṛṣṇa is more virile than any other man – from his seed comes all the life born from the womb of the material and spiritual worlds.
  3. Kṛṣṇa is not merely attractive to young, impressionable girls – the gods and godly strive to purify their hearts of selfishness so they too can see him as these girls do.
  4. Kṛṣṇa is the most enjoyable topic for song, poems, and even for chit-chat.
  5. The more intimately one embraces Kṛṣṇa, the more intimately Kṛṣṇa reveals himself. Understanding him in his officious feature as the creator, maintainer and destroyer of the universes is only the beginning of tasting what he truly is.
  6. Understanding the motive of his actions as the will to balance good and bad in the world is only the beginning of knowing the real inspiration behind his deeds.
  7. These ladies are fortunate to see him, but his family is more fortunate. He no longer lives with his family, though, so the residents of his city are even more fortunate because they regularly see him. Most fortunate of all those citizens are his queens, who always drink the nectar of his lips. But most fortunate of all his lovers are the cowherd girls of Vrindavana, who are so deeply and constantly connected to Kṛṣṇa that the mere hope of his kiss brings realization of Kṛṣṇa deeper than the queens can taste in thousands of kisses. So the ultimate hope of the ladies of Hastinapura  is to gain a place, any place, among these cowherd girls.
  8. Kṛṣṇa is infinitely more attractive than any other brave and heroic man, and infinitely more attentive a lover than any doting gentleman.

It is very difficult to argue with these sublime conclusions.

How The Cowherd Girls of Vrindavana Always Relish Krishna, and Visa Versa, even when they are not apparently together.


Philosophy in the City – Part 4

1.10.27

Aho! Rising higher than the fame of heaven
The Land of Kusha Grass raises the virtuous fame of the earth.
It’s citizens always see the kindness-laden smiling glance
Of the soul’s true husband.

The “Land of Kusha Grass” (kuśasthali) is Kṛṣṇa’s home city, Dvārakā. The citizens of Dvārakā are more celebrated than the citizens of heaven, because in Dvārakā the blessing-filled, pleasant and loving glances of Kṛṣṇa – the soul’s true husband – are always seen.

28

In their previous lives, certainly his queens must have
Perfectly worshiped the Master with vows involving rituals, baths, and so on;
For these women drink, again and again, the heavenly nectar of his lips,
The mere hope for which causes the women of Vraja to faint.

Much of what the ladies discus, especially in texts 27 and 28, directly mocks the foolishness of the Vedic priests who were chanting benedictions, hymns, and mantras while Kṛṣṇa makes ready to depart. The heavenly planets and the nectar of immortality found there are primary objectives of Vedic rituals, but these girls are ridiculing those objectives in comparison to what is easily and automatically found in Kṛṣṇa.

They said that the everyone present is more fortunate than anyone else in the three worlds, because the Supreme Being playfully walks among them. Then they said, “He is only here temporarily, imagine the glory of his home city, Dvārakā! The residents there are truly fortunate because they regularly get what we rarely get. The glory of that place belittles the attractions of heaven!”

Then another lady continues the theme, “All those residents are fortunate because they experience the glance of Kṛṣṇa, but imagine the queens there, who always drink the nectar of his lips!!! Such nectar makes the nectar of heaven seem like old coffee!”

Then another says, “But my friends, best of all are the women of Vraja – where Kṛṣṇa was unreservedly intimate. Their love for him is so great that they swoon from the taste of that nectar without even needing to physically have it!”


Philosophy in the City – Part 3

24

This man, O friend, is certainly the most fitting topic for song,
The most intimate object known by the most intimate knowers.
He alone is the master of everything,
As his own play he creates, maintains and destroys it without attachment.

Another girl turns to a friend close by her side, tugs gently upon her arm and says, “Dear friend, that man is the real topic for love songs! Such songs are real spiritual discussion.”

“Ah,” answers her friend, “but who will write such songs?  The world is full instead of worthless hymns, mantras, poems, and lyrics.”

The girl answers quickly and confidently, “We will! And we will inspire others too! We are guhya-vādī – the most intimate philosophers. We alone know the Veda’s most intimate secret (vedeṣu guhyeṣu). That is why our gossip and chatter is better than any sermon, it is sat-katha! Those who listen to the lyrics we now weave will later expand them into new song!”

At this point, an older woman who was sitting a bit apart with folded arms finally expressed her growing dissatisfaction and suspicion of these young ladies, “Oh please,” she blurted out. “You are just ridiculously in love with that charismatic heartbreaker, that’s all. You are just lusty, pritter-prattering young urban girls. Why on earth are you insulting priests, scholars and real spiritualists by pretending to be some deep and mysterious philosophers and transcendentalists!?”

“Oh be quiet, you old crow!” Shout the young ladies in unison. “If you had half an ear you would already know the answer to your own question, for we have already explained all that. He is no ordinary charmer! He alone is the true master of everything in the universe! You people speak of gods of universal creation, maintenance and annihilation – but the truth is that all such things take place effortlessly as a result of his playful will!”

“Playful!?”  The old woman attempts to retort. “What could possibly be ‘playful’ about universal creation and destruction!?!?”

With a long sigh and quiet laugh, the girls said, “You really are thick-headed, grandma. Everything exists merely for the sake of joy, for play. All the sufferings and disasters in this world are our own doing, as a result of protest against our inherent nature to facilitate his play. Yes, we say this entire universe is nothing but play.”

Seeing the persistent sour look on the old woman’s face start to barely give way to curiosity, they invited her, “Unfold your arms, and come over here with us. Get a good clear view of our handsome Master. We think your dry old breasts will again perk up when you see him with your own eyes! And when your bosom blossoms with love for him you too will clearly see all these confidential secrets of reality kept hidden from those with eyes blinded by turning away from the sunlight of Godhead towards the darkness of ego.”

Opening their arms and waving her over, the encouraged, “Come dear woman, come…”

25

When immoral and dark-hearted kings thrive
Then, with his absolute goodness he manifests
Opulence, reality, truthfulness, compassion and fame
In many forms, aeon after aeon.

Now the old, reluctant woman has joined the young ladies and looks down upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa seated upon a fabulous chariot slowly rolling into the road in front of the palace. The young ladies help the old woman appreciate him by recounting a well-known philosophical principle of the time.

“You see that handsome man?” They gently ask her. “He is the one that scriptures say appears aeon after aeon in so many different forms for the sake of counteracting immorality and dark-heartedness by broadcasting his beautiful opulence, reality, truthfulness, compassion.”

26

Aho! How very praiseworthy is the Yadu family!
Aho! How very praiseworthy is the Sweet Forest!
The greatest person of all, the husband of the Goddess of Fortune,
Was born from them, and walked amongst them!

Now all the women, young and old, overcome with the ecstasy and deepest profound visions of divine love exclaim Kṛṣṇa’s glories in one voice: This man who walks among us is actually that All-Attractive godhead who sets the world aright age after age. How fortunate and lucky are we, therefore!

We often have “God” rammed down our throats, “now get down on your knees and fear his wrath, and be in awe of his power.” So, we are prone to misunderstand Kṛṣṇa as a self-centered being, imparting on him the imperfections of greed and hunger ingrained within our own mentalities. In fact Kṛṣṇa is a being of purely selfless love who purposefully invests other persons, places and things with the power to lift him to his highest heights. Thus the husband of the Goddess of Fortune decides to be born amongst simple cowherd people in the sweet forest of Madhu-vana, and be loved, raised, and even protected by them.

 


Philosophy in the City – Part 2

1.10.23

This man is certainly very virile!
He impregnates nature with his own power of life, empowering her to create offspring.
Entrusting her to award names and forms to the nameless, formless souls;
And creating the rules by which to do so.

The ladies continue their enthusiastic chatter about Kṛṣṇa as his chariot pulls into the road to leave the city. They cling to these words about him, as if by holding them they can keep Kṛṣṇa from leaving their vision.

“To say that he is ‘sexy’ is the universes most preposterous understatement,” declares a beautiful young lady excitedly. “Do you know how virile he really is???”

“Yes, we know!” exclaims another. “His seed is the original seed! He impregnates Mother Nature herself! And thus gives her the power to develop so many millions of children in her womb, again and again throughout history.”

Then the lady who spoke the previous verse turned quickly towards the others with a flourish, “His seed is none other than the quantum of life itself! In that energy are infinite individual proto-souls, as mere potential consciousness – without definite shape or identity. By placing them into the care of his wife’s womb, he entrusts her to bestow appropriate names and forms to them, according to the design he sets forth.

“And, good women,” she continues loudly, “this is true for both the conditioned as well as the liberated souls. The only difference between the two is which of his wives he impregnates! He impregnates the wife named Mahā-Prakṛti, or Mahā-Māyā, to give names and forms to the souls who desire a venue for imitating his own exploits. But he impregnates another, dearer wife named Daivi-Prakṛti, or Yoga-Māyā to give names and forms to those souls who desire to partake directly in his spiritual pastimes of joy.”

23

This very same man is he for whom the gods and the godly
Struggle to conquer their senses and control their lifestyles,
In the effort to purify themselves, so that their hearts may give rise to divine love
By which they can see him.

There really is no other point to self-purification!

“Do you see that man?” Asks another woman, pointing towards Kṛṣṇa with a timid hand trembling out of excitement. “We see him before us with our very eyes! Do you know how much trouble the gods themselves go through to be able to see him!? They work so hard to control the selfish desires in the heart which obscure pure devotion, because they know that pure love is the only eye that can behold the limitless beauty of the All-Attractive.”

He voice faded into a whisper and then fell silent. The women stood motionless for a few moments. Then, with a very deep sign, someone concluded, “Really, besides seeing that man, nothing else in the world is worth striving for.”


Philosophy in the City

Kṛṣṇa is leaving Hastinapura amidst an extremely emotional outpouring of affection. The narrator, Sūta, chooses to ignore the benedictive hymns of scholastic priests and focuses our attention instead upon the chatter and gossip going on between the women of the city as Kṛṣṇa’s chariot moves onto the road.

1.10.21

This man is most certainly the Complete Original Male,
Who singularly existed in the beginning as the self without differentiation.
All variations spring from him, the master and soul of the universe.
All energies return into him in slumber.

I did not expect that the chatter and gossip of city women to be so philosophical, but that is exactly the point Sūta infers by focusing our attention on them and not the priests. True knowledge requires affection. We can never know something as deeply and thoroughly as when we are completely dedicated and devoted to it. Thus people who are deeply in love with the All-Attractive wind up with  philosophical understandings far deeper than philosophers who are mainly in love with the philosophical process itself, or priests who are mainly in love with the accoutrements of religion, ritual and ecclesiastical governances.

But their philosophy is strongly marked by romantic perfume.

They point to Kṛṣṇa with graceful hands and love-laden glances, saying, “That man is unlike all other men! He is the Complete Original Male!”

“What do you mean by that?” One lady asks excitedly.

“It means,” another answers, glancing over her shoulder again at Kṛṣṇa, “that he and he alone existed in the very beginning of things.”

“Tell me more!” Cries another.

Eyes fixed upon Kṛṣṇa sitting on his chariot amidst all the flowers they had showered from the rooftops, one of the women explained to the others. “In the beginning was only him, existing as an undifferentiated, non-relativistic quantum of self.”

In a breathy tone, one lady protests, “Oh but how could an ‘undifferentiated entity,’ as you say, be as handsome and attractive as Kṛṣṇa???”

Inspired by love, the central woman continues to explain. “This singular, absolute self,” she says, gesturing as if in a dance towards Kṛṣṇa, “expands into all the differentiations, individualities and relativities that we see all around us, and more.”

“But why?” asks a lady barely able to think in her swoon as Kṛṣṇa’s driver takes up the reigns.

“I will explain it in words, but everyone already knows it well from practical experience:

  • To exist is to experience
  • The height of experience is in pleasure
  • The height of pleasure is in love
  • Love is realized through relationships involving varieties of situations

“That is why the original singular existence, full of experiential potency, manifests all varieties of people, things and relationships via his unlimited energies.”

Satisfied, all the ladies fell silent for some moments, gazing upon the beauty and charms of the All-Attractive. All the energies of their being flowed like rivers from their hearts through their eyes, and merged lovingly into the ocean of sweetness, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The lady who started the topic spoke again to bring it full circle. “Since all things come from him, all things yearn to return to him. All energy must complete its circuit. So, my friends, all us of only exist for him. When we give all our energy and being to him, the circuit is complete and we feel peace and satisfaction, similar to the deepest sleep.”

“Do you mean,” asks another lady, “that we must merge back into the source from which we have come? Is that why we are so hopelessly and completely attracted to Kṛṣṇa?”

“Yes,” the main woman answers with a very suggestive flicker of her eyebrows, “we must merge ourselves into him, my dear!”

Another woman now speaks up, “Just look at those bald-headed priests! They are sitting so calmly chanting mantras and hymns. What is that all about!? To them, the idea of ‘merging back into the original self’ means complete annihilation of their miserable existence! In so doing they do not please the Original Husband at all. They merely erase themselves from displeasing him – which I suppose is better… than… nothing… If you get my pun.”

Amidst laughter, the women continued, “Yes, The Original One made us individuals because he wanted individuals – so he could share the bliss of love. How odd that those called doctors and scholars can’t understand such simple things! Fools who know nothing of the ways and powers of love seek to lose their differentiation by ending their individuality. Ha! We ladies are no such fools, are we!? I think we alone have the right idea about how to ‘merge’ with that man in ‘sleep’! We will lose our differentiation from him in the heights of that love.”


Gossiping Women Are Far Better Than Hymn Chanting Priests

1.10.1

Saunaka asked:

 

Having eliminated the aggressors who tried to usurp what was rightfully his, how did Yudhisthira and his brothers, the greatest upholders of morality, enjoy or restrict themselves?

2

Suta answered:

 

The Kuru dynasty was thinned like a fire-stricken bamboo forest, but its good seedlings were protected by Hari. The Controller’s mind became pleased by reestablishing Yudhisthira in to his rightful throne.

3

Having heard the words of Bhisma and the Infallible, he was cleansed of all confusions and took up his duties with deep wisdom. He ruled the globe and even its oceans like Indra protected by Visnu; and his brothers assisted him.

 

4

The rains poured as much as desired. The earth produced everything desired. The leaking udders of the happy cows moistened the pastures.

5

Rivers, oceans, hills, vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbs certainly fulfilled everyone’s desires.

 6

There was no distress or disease nor any sufferings from the gods, creatures, or self. No one ever became inimical towards the king.

 

7

Hari stayed in Hastinapura for a few months, too. To console and please his relatives and beloved sister.

Krsna’s sister, Subhadra, was Arjuna’s wife, so she stayed in Hastinapura.

8

With his permission, embrace, and respect he ascended his chariot being embraced and respected by so many.

After a few months, Krsna again asked Yudhisthira’s permission to return to home.

9-10

Subhadra, Draupadi, Kunti, Virata’s daughter, Gandhari, Dhrtarastra, Yuyutsu, Gautama, the Twins, Wolf-Belly, Dhaumya, the royal ladies like the Fisherman’s Daughter, could not tolerate the loss of the Bow-Weilder, and almost fainted.

 

Subhadra is Krsna’s sister and Arjuna’s wife. Draupadi is the wife of all five Pandavas. Kunti is the mother of the Pandavas. Virata’s daughter is Uttara,, the wife of Arjuna’s son and the mother of Pariksit. Gandhari and Dhritarastra are the mother and father of the children who tried to usurp Yuddhisthira, Yuyutsu is Dhritarastras child from a different wife. Gautama is the family guru. The Twins are the Pandavas Nakula and Sahadeva. Dhaumya is a sage. The Fisherman’s Daughter is the stepmother of Bhisma and grandmother of the Pandavas. The Bow-Wilder is Krsna addressed with reference to his being identical to Visnu, who weilds the unique bow called Sarnga.

11-12

Appreciating what is real and casting off what is unreal, an intelligent person could never attempt to give up the kirtan of his fame; which upon the first sound immediately delights. Arjuna had given his very consciousness to him. How could he tolerate losing him after personally touching, conversing, reclining, sitting, and eating together?

 

Those who can appreciate what is real and unreal cannot give up the pleasure of hearing about Krsna’s name and fame. So just imagine the pain Arjuna felt in having to give up Krsna’s personal intimate company.

13

All of them could not even blink as they stared at him with hearts melted, moving aimlessly here and there like puppets on the strings of love.

14

All the palace women tried to stop their flood of tears, out of a great fear that it would be an omen of ill-fortune at the moment of Devaki’s son stepping out from the palace.

 

15

Then, mrdanga drums, conch shells; trumpets, flutes and bugles; kettledrums, bells and more sounded rhythmically.

 

16

The Kuru princesses went up to the roof of the palace to see Krsna. They lovingly showered flowers upon him, while casting flirtatious glances.

 

17

The beloved Sleepless Arjuna took up for his Supreme Beloved a cooling umbrella decorated with lace and pearl, and a bejeweled handle.

 

18

Uddhava and Satyaki fanned with the most wondrous fans the Master of Sweetness, who sat amongst the strewn flowers and gave the command to take to the road.

 

When Krsna left the palace a wonderful concert resounded. The ladies on the rooftops and terraces held back their tears for his sake and instead sent him delightfully flirtatious glances and showers of flowers. Arjuna took the kingdoms finest umbrella and held it above his dearmost friend as they walked from the gate to the chariot, while the driver Satyaki and his constant attendant Uddhava fanned him with wondrously opulent fans. When he arrived at his chariot it was covered in flowers, so he took his seat amongst the glorious spontaneous decorations and gave the order for Satyaki to drive the chariot onto the road.

19

Here and there you could hear spiritual benedictions pronounced by the priests. It was befitting but not really befitting for the Formless in Form.

 

The scholars miss the point out of too much affection for scholarship. However it is their nature and therefore not entirely unbefitting. Still their offering of mundane benedictions to the Supreme Personality seemed a bit out of place.

In music a dissonant note well placed increases the beauty of the melody. This is the role filled by these priests at the departure of Krsna.

20

Far more enchanting and pleasing than all their mantras was the gossip going on between all the women of the city; who had their hearts wrapped around the Subject of Topmost Poetry.

 

The only need for comment here is to note that there is absolutely no need to comment on the profundity of what Suta has just said in verses 19 and 20. The next group of verses will allow us to be a “fly-on-the-wall” and listen in on some samples of this divine chatter.