Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Discerning Eye

Hanuman reading“As Sita was not decorated, with difficulty Hanuman could recognize her, like understanding a text which has gotten a different meaning due to a lack of purity.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 15.39)

duhkhena bubudhe sītām hanumān analamkṛtām |
samskāreṇa yathā hīnām vācam artha antaram gatām ||

The task of finding Sita, the princess of Videha and wife of Lord Rama, was quite difficult. It was not known where she was, nor was it known if she was still alive. Sugriva, the leader of the Vanaras in Kishkindha, put his faith in Hanuman, who was the chief minister. That same Hanuman had previously brokered the deal between Rama and Sugriva, two parties who were separated from their wives and could use each other’s help. Hanuman’s discerning eye and attention to detail earned him the trust of Rama and His brother Lakshmana upon the first meeting with them, and through many past incidents Hanuman had earned the top standing with Sugriva. Initially, Sugriva was anxious when he saw the two princes of the Raghu dynasty approaching their forest. Thinking that they might be warriors sent to kill him, the king asked Hanuman to descend the mountain and decipher the purpose of their visit.

“Sent by the great soul Sugriva, the king of Vanaras, I have arrived here. My name is Hanuman and I am a Vanara.” (Hanuman speaking to Rama and Lakshmana, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 3.21)

Carrying out a simple order shouldn’t be too difficult. You get your assignment, know what the objective is, and then understand when to report back your findings. Aside from the obvious issue of being able to carry out the slated tasks, the greatest difficulty in accepting someone else’s work is that you don’t have their mindset. Say, for instance, someone tells you to call up a specific provider of a good or service that your company needs. The boss is in charge of the establishment and he knows what it takes to earn a profit, or at the very least his intention is to earn a profit. He keeps the entire business in mind when making decisions. If he were to call up this service provider, he would hassle them to get the price reduced. This is a standard practice in business dealings, for if you can negotiate your way to a better price, what is the harm?

But delegation to the worker might not produce the same result. The servant may not have the same ability to negotiate, for there is not the same passion to bargain. Each person has specific inherent qualities, and the natural tendency is to think that others are just like us. “What is the big deal? Just negotiate a little. I do it all the time, and it’s no sweat off my back. Why then should it be so difficult for them to do?” But if the worker has no experience negotiating, if they make all of their purchases without any personal interaction and without any desire to bargain, the verbal confrontation and the constant back and forth will not sit well with them. Thus the assigned task may not be completed to the satisfaction of the leader.

“All the worlds - which consist of asuras, Gandharvas, Nagas, human beings, devatas, oceans, earth, and mountains - are known to you.” (Sugriva speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 44.4)

In Hanuman’s case, there were nuances that one couldn’t even think of beforehand. Though Sugriva and Rama reviewed all the obstacles they anticipated he would face, Hanuman’s most difficult challenge would be in recognizing Sita. He had not spent any time with her, nor was he familiar with her appearance. The information of her facial features he received from Rama Himself, i.e. he gathered knowledge through hearing. Hanuman was familiar with the many creatures of the world, and he had the ability to use mysticism to mask his shape. These abilities would indeed come in handy during his journey to Lanka, where it was later learned that Sita was.

Fighting off mental demons that arose due to the pressures of time and the fear of failure, Hanuman finally made it into the Ashoka grove next to the head palace in Lanka. Ravana, the city’s leader, was the fiend who had taken Sita away from the side of her religiously wedded husband. He was afraid to fight Rama, so he took Sita in secret, then practically begging her to become his wife. She refused, and so Ravana placed her in this Ashoka grove. Hanuman wasn’t sure she was in this park of wonderful trees, but he had a hunch that she might fit in with the pristine environment.

After looking around, from a distance Hanuman could spot a woman who was beautiful. The problem was that her beauty was masked by so many inauspicious external conditions. There were no ornaments on her body. She was worn thin from fasting. She was sighing repeatedly due to mental distress. There were female ogres surrounding her, taunting her to give in to Ravana. She looked like the radiant full moon covered by clouds. She looked like a blazing fire surrounded by a cloud of smoke.

Thus Hanuman couldn’t be sure that the woman was Sita. He was really hoping that it was her, but how could he know? In the above referenced verse from the Ramayana, it is said that Hanuman could make her out with great difficulty. The comparison is made to understanding a text that has undergone a change of meaning due to a lack of purification, or samskara. The comparison is quite appropriate in this regard. It also speaks to how the classic Vedic texts can be so misinterpreted to this day by those who lack any culture in the Vedas.

Think of a personal conversation between two parties. One party is describing a specific truth or incident to someone else. If an outsider were to eavesdrop, they might not understand what is going on. They don’t know the parties in question, nor do they know the underlying context to the words. Yet if the words of the conversation were noted down and then shown to others to read, you could get so many different meanings. This is what occurs with famous Vedic texts like the Bhagavad-gita and Ramayana today. The Bhagavad-gita was sung on a battlefield to a hesitant warrior by Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The conversation was meant for the ears of the cultured, those who understood Krishna to be God. The conversation was later documented in the Mahabharata, often considered the fifth Veda, so that other pure souls could hear it in an assembly of like-minded devotees of God.

Bhagavad-gitaThe same applies to the Ramayana, which is an ancient Sanskrit work authored by Maharishi Valmiki. These Vedic texts weren’t published for general consumption like the books that line the shelves of bookstores today. They were safely kept aside with the saintly class, who would pass them down to their disciples. To be a disciple, you had to have discipline and a submissive attitude. The topics discussed in these works were confidential, and if someone with a polluted mind were to hear them they would misunderstand the meaning. Hence today we see that so many bogus interpretations of the Vedas are presented. Some say that the Ramayana is a work of mythology, while others say that the Bhagavad-gita should be understood as a symbolic work that discusses the need to go for what you want in life without fear.

Of course these works have so many lessons packed into the succinct yet brilliant verses, but the string that holds the many pearls of wisdom together is the Supreme Lord. Without His presence, the Ramayana would not be noteworthy. Hanuman is worshiped and honored to this day because of his relationship to God. Indeed, it was his devotion that gave him the purification necessary to distinguish Sita, though she was barely discernible. Of all his qualities, it was this purification that made him most worthy of Rama’s trust. The Supreme Lord gave Hanuman His ring inscribed with His name on it because He knew that Hanuman would succeed. The devoted servant would surely hand over that ring to Sita as a token of remembrance.

Hanuman was a Sanskrit scholar and highly intelligent as well, but it was his devotion to God that proved to be the determining factor in spotting Sita. Ravana was a high scholar of the Vedas as well but since he lacked devotion to God, he took Sita to be a means of enjoyment, a beautiful collection of matter to be kept for himself. Thus even though he saw her up close and personal several times, he couldn’t understand who she was. On the other hand, even with great difficulty and from a distance Hanuman could spot Sita and know that he was on the right path. Know that the devoted servant with the discerning eye never fails in pleasing his master, Shri Rama, whose orders he takes to be his life and soul.

In Closing:

Of Sita’s qualities from Shri Rama learning,

Hanuman could then use his eyes discerning.


In Lanka Supreme Lord’s wife to be found,

By ticking clock of time Hanuman was bound.


Soon Rama’s missing wife he had to find,

Fear of failure Hanuman thus kept in his mind.


With lack of culture Vedic texts are then misused,

To distort meanings of verses the ignorant choose.


Bhagavad-gita and Ramayana meant for devotee’s ears,

Confidential topics originally kept safely with Vedic seers.


Through devotion Hanuman hardest obstacle overcame,

Spotted Sita from afar to earn himself eternal fame.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Block That Vibe

Sita Devi“She was beloved of the whole world like the radiance of the full moon. That lovely woman was seated on the ground like a female ascetic practicing restraint.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 15.30-31)

iṣṭām sarvasya jagataḥ pūrṇa candra prabhām iva ||
bhūmau sutanum āsīnām niyatām iva tāpasīm |

“Okay, be cool. Don’t let them bother you. Just pretend like you can’t hear what they are saying. At least give it a shot. What if you really couldn’t hear what they were saying about you? What if you had headphones on or kept your eyes closed? In this way keeping your concentration, focusing your mind, would be rather easy. But just because their taunts are within audible range somehow the practice of meditation is a chore. If you can learn to block them out, you can find peace in even the most troubling situations.”

Taking the mind away from a distressful situation is easier said than done. Anger can arise from frustration or the challenge to the ego from an outside party. Frustration can be dealt with by knowing that the individual is quite powerless in the grand scheme of things. Just because you get to work on time every day for many years doesn’t mean that tomorrow’s trip to work is guaranteed to take the same amount of time. Outside factors can get in your way. The car could break down. There could be construction on the road that you use, eliminating one or two lanes from the highway. You could be stuck in traffic and thus be late.

If you do end up getting to work late, should you really be that upset? What could you have done to prevent the situation? Should you get angry at your car for breaking down? The automobile is just a collection of mechanical parts after all. And we know that parts can wear down, just like our own bodies. The human being can get hips, knees, and even hearts replaced, so why shouldn’t an inanimate machine require servicing from time to time?

There is also man’s fallibility to consider. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Perhaps you knew that your car required servicing several weeks prior but you just never got around to taking it into the shop. This fallibility should alleviate the anger directed at yourself and at other people. If you can make a mistake, so can others. Just because they make a mistake doesn’t mean that we have to jump on them and constantly remind them of their error.

If the delay to work is caused by construction, one should remember that the roads break down due to constant impact from the many heavy cars and trucks that travel on it each day. If these roads are not properly maintained, they could cause damage to the car. Drive over a pothole at too high a speed and your suspension system can get damaged. If there are holes scattered throughout the pavement, the speed of traffic will lessen, resulting in a longer commute to work.

In the situations where anger is the result of a challenge to the ego, one should remember that what others criticize has nothing to do with one’s internal qualities. Moreover, words should have no impact on one’s behavior. Someone may call me stupid, but then what do they really know about me? They may yell and curse at me for no reason, but why should I get rattled by their stupidity? The wise person remains cool in such circumstances, using their knowledge to avoid anger.

“As a lamp in a windless place does not waver, so the transcendentalist, whose mind is controlled, remains always steady in his meditation on the transcendent Self.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.19)

Staying cool through such difficulty is easier in theory. Who likes to be cursed at? Who likes to be belittled? Who enjoys frustration? Take all the above mentioned difficulties and increase them by a very large factor and you get an idea of what Shri Rama’s wife Sita was up against in the Ashoka grove in Lanka. Separated from her husband due to a cowardly act perpetrated by the King of Lanka, Ravana, Sita now sat without any friends or family, a prisoner in a foreign city.

The criminals get a cell in prison. Perhaps they have to share it with someone else, but the majority of the time is spent alone, where they can contemplate on what they did. Not only had Sita not done anything wrong, but she was not left alone to think. Instead, she was harassed day and night by female Rakshasas. The Rakshasas in Lanka were man-eaters, so they were vile creatures. These specific attendants were ordered to harass Sita because she had refused to give in to Ravana. The King of Lanka already had many beautiful queens, but he wanted Sita to be his chief queen. He practically surrendered everything to her, but she would not so much as look at him.

hindu-gods-rama-02Her husband had all the divine qualities, as He was the Supreme Lord appearing on earth in the guise of a human being. With a perfect husband, what could Sita want with any other man, let alone someone as vile as Ravana? The Rakshasa leader didn’t have the courage to challenge Rama to a fair fight. He instead hatched a plot whereby Sita was taken away in secret. The princess of Videha decided that she would rather quit her body than have anything to do with Ravana. She remained alive only due to the faint glimmer of hope that Rama would come to rescue her.

Rama’s faithful servant Hanuman went to Lanka to first find Sita. After an exhaustive search, he finally spotted her. Though he could see that she had sparkling qualities, at the time her radiance was slightly covered by the terrible conditions surrounding her. Her single cloth for a dress was now covered in dirt, she was worn thin from fasting, and she was sighing repeatedly. It’s never comfortable to see someone else crying in pain, and in Sita’s case her crying was nonstop. The sighing was deep and noticeable in volume.

In the above referenced verse from the Ramayana, we get some more details on what Hanuman saw. It is said that Sita appeared beautiful to the whole world, like the radiance of the full moon. As she was seated on the bare ground, she looked like a female ascetic practicing restraint [niyama]. King Janaka’s daughter was neither a yogi nor a transcendental scholar. She simply loved her husband purely, without personal motive. In this terrifying circumstance, she proved to be the topmost yogi, as she remained above the influence of the Rakshasis constantly harassing her. She was also thin for a reason. She was fasting the whole time, not wanting to enjoy any part of life without her husband. From her perspective, she was more than happy to look disheveled. This way the evil king would hopefully be less attracted to her. In any case, he did not deserve to see her dressed up nicely, as her beauty was meant for Rama’s enjoyment.

For meditation to be successful, it must have a tangible object of contemplation whose qualities are outstanding. If you focus your mind on a negative image or on something that is inferior in quality, why will you want to keep thinking of it? The mind seeks ananda, or pleasure, so why would one try to force their mind to focus on something that is unpleasant?

When reversed this rule can unlock the meaning to life. If you focus on something unpleasant, you won’t have much of a focus. On the other hand, if you think of that which is the most pleasant, which possesses divine features to the highest magnitude, your concentration can not only stay strong for a long period of time, but it can be invoked at any place, no matter the outside circumstances. From Sita’s ability to practice restraint in a situation where it was seemingly impossible we see that her husband had to be the Supreme Lord. How else could her mind stay so focused, staying aloof from the outside world?

Know that Sita’s husband is meant to be the object of contemplation for every single person. And the mood of that contemplation should be a positive one, wherein the qualities of the divine master are appreciated and adored. Ravana too remembered Rama all the time, but he was in the mood of envy. He kept looking for ways to diminish Rama’s stature, though that was impossible. Ravana’s concentration led to destruction, though he still got to see God at the time of death. On the other hand, Sita is still honored to this day. She is a role model for not only wives but also devoted souls. She is a true female ascetic, at least in the way her mind operates.

Hanuman also always thinks of Rama in the proper mood, and thus he holds one of the highest standings a person could ever achieve. The song that has likely been sung the most number of times in history is the Hanuman Chalisa, authored by Goswami Tulsidas, and it is an ode to Shri Hanuman, who is Rama’s dearest servant. To follow that same concentration on the Supreme Lord’s qualities, the mind can remember the activities of the devotees like Sita and Hanuman, who always think of Rama. Our circumstances are not as severe as Sita’s, but we nevertheless face so many distractions on a daily basis. If you choose any avenue of activity besides bhakti-yoga, or devotional service, you are more likely to fit in with everyone else. But if you should happen to enjoy reading the Ramayana, worshiping Hanuman, and chanting the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”, you will face all sorts of opposition. But from Sita’s example, know that the negative vibe can be blocked, and that through the strength of the holy name concentration can be made perfect.

In Closing:

Unconcerned with appearance cosmetic,

Sita in Lanka like a female ascetic,


To harass her Rakshasis tried,

But she knew how to block their vibe.


Secret is in the mind,

Peace instantly it can find.


Must know on what to concentrate,

And mind then from it never to deviate.


Supreme Lord Rama for Sita it was,

Benefit all worship of Him does.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vyasa Puja 2012

Shrila Prabhupada“Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.41)

Okay, so you have your principles. You’ve developed them either through experience or personal instruction offered from an authority figure. Now you’re in a position of importance, so you want to imbibe the same principles in the people you can influence. But in a complex world, where your survival is dependent upon living entities who have their own dependencies, not every situation is ideal. Sometimes you have to compromise in order to get what you want, which thus pecks away at your cherished principles. With the spiritual master, however, his primary dependency is on the word of his spiritual master, who follows the same behavior, which means that the original dependency is on the Supreme Lord. This makes the Vaishnava spiritual master and his message beyond reproach, and so the guru is honored every day and especially on the occasion of Vyasa Puja.

The modern day politician is the classic example of the person who must compromise their principles. In the system of democracy, the citizens are believed to be insulated from despotism. A group of a few cannot impose their will upon everyone else. At least that is the hope with democracy, though in the present state such an imposition can take place through the will of the majority of the highest court in the land. A founding document can prohibit the government from doing something, but nothing can stop the legislature from adopting such a course. The highest court in the land is expected to uphold the principles of the founding document, but as free will is provided to every living entity, nothing is to stop members of the court from disregarding the document they are sworn to uphold and defend. For whatever reason, be it political or personal, members of the court can choose in favor of a law that strips away the very freedoms of the citizen that are supposedly guaranteed in amendments to the founding document.

The politician plays in a game where success is measured by popularity. What easier way is there to earn favor than to hand out goodies? The flaw with this method is that every person is equally a citizen. This means that granting favors to only a few is inherently unfair. That unfairness is also incongruent with trying to abide by principles in one’s own life, especially as they relate to dependents. Say, for instance, that you’re a politician who is also a parent. You don’t want your children doing drugs, skipping school, or drinking alcohol. You may have done these things when you were young, so you know that your kids shouldn’t follow the same dangerous behavior.

Your views can be compromised in this area through the accusation of hypocrisy. “Hey, you did these things when you were young, so why are you getting on my case right now?” Also, what if your child mingles with children of other politicians? What if somebody else’s child introduces drugs and alcohol to the scene? What if the child’s parent is a high ranking government official, someone whose favor you require in order to stay in office? Are you going to reprimand the government official, telling them to keep their delinquent child away from yours?

The Vaishnava spiritual master is in a unique position because they are dependent only upon Krishna, or God, for their livelihood. The spiritual master doesn’t always live in the renounced order, but those who are in such a status are insulated that much more. Vyasa Puja celebrates the spiritual master, and its name is in honor of Vyasadeva, the literary incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one in history has written more than Vyasa. He wrote so much transcendental literature that some fools mistakenly think that he didn’t exist. They will speculate that Vyasa was perhaps a title assigned to various speakers or that maybe he was a mythological character.

He existed in the flesh, and proof of his existence is found in the unmatched brilliance of the teachers who follow in his line. Though Vyasadeva wasn’t in the renounced order, he wasn’t encumbered in his teaching. The brahmana, or priestly person in the mode of goodness, accepts the responsibility to instruct others. That instruction is tailored to the recipient’s qualities. Just as in a school system there are different classes for different subjects and grade levels, the word of God is shaped differently based on the mode of nature one lives in. A person in the modes of passion and ignorance may be better suited for trade and business, whereas a person mostly in passion is an ideal candidate for defending the innocent.

The brahmana is in the mode of goodness, so they live in knowledge. This knowledge is of the difference between matter and spirit. The spirit soul is the essence of identity, and the sum collection of spiritual particles is known as Brahman. Both the spiritual and material energies come from God, and the birth of the living entities takes place through the injection of the marginal potency into the external potency. This implantation is enacted by God, and the result is a seemingly infinite number of creatures who are a combination of matter and spirit.

“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.4)

The brahmana has the highest occupation, and the corresponding highest status of life is sannyasa, or the renounced order. This is typically the last part of one’s time within a specific body, and it occurs after completion of student life. Householder life and retired married life are optional stages after the fact, but sannyasa is where one prepares to die. It is said in the Bhagavad-gita that whatever state of being one remembers at the time of death, that state they will attain without fail. Therefore one who can think of God when dying attains the highest state in the next life. Sannyasa prepares one for this remembrance.

The sannyasa order brings gravitas to the brahmana, as the message carries more weight when the person offering it is not compromised in their beliefs. The principal teaching of the brahmana sannyasi who follows in Vyasadeva’s line is to always think of God. Especially in the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy, where just openly espousing a belief in God makes you a noteworthy fellow, the best way to stay true to the highest principle is to always chant the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.

Shrila PrabhupadaGambling, intoxication, meat eating and illicit sex are the strongest inhibitors to the formation of the divine consciousness. Therefore the Vaishnava spiritual master strongly recommends against these activities, and since they avoid sinful behavior themselves, their message is not tainted. The ideal example in this regard is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Who could speak anything against him? At an old age he abandoned a comfortable life in Vrindavana to preach to the world the glories of bhakti-yoga, the divine love so nicely presented by Vyasadeva in the sacred Shrimad Bhagavatam.

Bhaktivedanta Swami, also known as Shrila Prabhupada, lived bhakti-yoga day and night, and so when he taught others how to practice Krishna consciousness, his message was not compromised. Whether one person heard him or one million, there was no difference in his attitude. In full surrender to the divine, or sharanagati, the burden for success is shifted to the Supreme Lord. This means that no person can check the practice of devotion. There was no fear of compromising principles in Shrila Prabhupada because what could anyone do to him? Could they threaten to get his temples shut down? Could they try to stop his preaching? Certainly nefarious characters may have attempted such things, but the Vaishnava can practice their devotion in any situation, living under a tree if they have to.

Due to his tireless efforts, thousands of humble disciples subsequently took up the cause of devotion, and the chanting of the holy names continues on to this day, as Krishna is now a household name around the world. On the occasion of Vyasa Puja we honor that spiritual master of the world, the jagad-guru Shrila Prabhupada, who continues to spread his uncompromising message through his published works.

In Closing:

To stay true the principled person tries,

But due to dependency they must compromise.


This is the way of life, what can they do?

You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours too.


But Vaishnava only on Krishna relies,

Can live in place small or large in size.


Whether a thousand people or just one hears,

In preaching message of bhakti there is no fear.


I honor Bhaktivedanta Swami, His divine grace,

Of compromise of principles in him not a trace.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Krishna Janmashtami 2012

Vasudeva carrying Krishna“The night was very dark, but as soon as Vasudeva took Krishna on his lap and went out, he could see everything just as in the sunlight.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 3)

Ignorance is darkness and knowledge is light, and so the spirit soul encased in gross and subtle material elements lives in darkness until the true light of knowledge of its inherent relationship to the Supreme is revealed. The revelation can come at any moment, and when it does, the connection to the divine creates a link in consciousness that doesn’t have to break. The realized soul knows that God is with them, so the cloud of nescience never has to return. The transcendental light can come internally through the practice of yoga or externally through the direct presence of Shri Krishna Himself, who showed the power of His effulgence moments after appearing from the womb of mother Devaki. That wonderful incident is still celebrated to this day on the occasion of Shri Krishna Janmashtami.

Krishna is God. Not a deity of sectarian importance or a mythological character of the Hindu faith, Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His name speaks to His all-attractiveness. Krishna’s smile is so enchanting that it takes away the pride of the staunchest devotee of material nature. The sweetness of the sounds emanating from His flute capture the attention of human beings and animals alike. The peacock feather in His hair and the kaustubha gem around His neck keep the eyes focused on His transcendental form. To meditate on Him is the most worthwhile activity for the eyes, which are gifts from nature to be used in the proper way.

“In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.8)

The all-attractive vision is granted to the population of the earth periodically when Krishna decides to appear. He states in the Bhagavad-gita that one of the reasons for His advents is to annihilate the miscreants. The miscreant in this case refers to an enemy of religion, someone who purposefully thwarts the harmless efforts in spirituality of the saintly class. Accompanying the elimination of the miscreant influence is the reinstatement of the religious principles. The highest religious principle is bhakti-yoga, or devotion to God, and so that devotion is reinstituted best when there is the direct vision of the Supreme Lord.

During the Dvapara Yuga, a famous miscreant was ruling over the town of Mathura. A prophecy had stated that his sister’s eighth child would kill him. Not wanting to take any chances, King Kamsa imprisoned his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudeva. Each of her first seven children was then killed by Kamsa immediately after they were born. Ah, but the prophecy would hold true nonetheless, as Devaki’s eighth child was Krishna Himself. When He emerged from the mother’s womb, Krishna first showed His four-handed form of Lord Vishnu, which indicated to the parents that their son was God Himself arriving on the scene to grant them special favor.

Krishna's birthDespite seeing Vishnu, the parents were worried that Kamsa would come and kill their newborn child. Knowing this, Krishna asked Vasudeva to transfer Him to the nearby town of Gokula, which was a farm community. Kamsa would not find out about Krishna’s birth until later on, and so nothing bad could happen in the meantime. Even if it did, young Krishna, though in the body of an infant, would save the day.

As if to show the magic of His transcendental form, Krishna’s effulgence spread immediately. The Lord appeared at midnight in a jail cell, while the outside guards were asleep. Vasudeva was to transfer the child to Gokula immediately; there was no time to waste. The problem was that it was dark outside. How was the father going to see without some kind of external lighting? He didn’t want to draw attention to himself either; as no one was to know where he was going.

When Vasudeva took Krishna in his lap, suddenly he could see everywhere. This wasn’t a magic trick. The boy wasn’t holding a secret lamp. He is naturally effulgent. It is said that the light of Brahman, which represents the sum collection of spiritual fragments in the material universe, emanates from the gigantic body of the Supreme Lord. He is the source of all light, and we know that darkness is only the absence of light. Holding Krishna in His arms, Vasudeva had no problem seeing. Even when he had to cross over the Yamuna river and it started to rain, Krishna’s trusted servant, Ananta Shesha Naga, arrived on the scene to create an umbrella of protection with his many hoods.

Krishna’s transcendental effulgence also exists in stories about Him, including the accounts of His initial appearance in Mathura. It also exists in His holy name. Therefore the illuminating spiritual practice for the modern age, which is applicable to any person in any part of the world, is the chanting of the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.

Krishna Janmashtami is the time to remember Krishna and the influence He had in both Gokula and Mathura. Kamsa would eventually find out about His birth and he would try every which way to kill Krishna. But the Lord can never be annihilated, and conversely nothing could be done to save Kamsa, who was destined to die at the hands of the delight of Devaki. That sweetheart son protected His parents, eventually freeing them from prison and allowing them to live in peace. To always keep the vision of the owner of all matter and spirit in your mind is the way to remain in the light, and to celebrate His appearance on Janmashtami is the way to further reinforce that remembrance for the days that lay ahead.

In Closing:

After child’s birth Lord Vishnu they saw,

Appeared from Devaki’s womb, kept them in awe.


From King Kamsa Krishna needed to be safe,

So boy to Gokula father Vasudeva would take.


But there was a problem in limited sight,

In dead of night father required light.


Krishna’s body automatically is bright,

Effulgent is Vasudeva and Devaki’s delight.


Through the darkness, God to show the way,

Remember His name and glories on Janmashtami day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pious Activities

Krishna stealing butter“How had mother Yashoda and Nanda Maharaja become so fortunate that they enjoyed the complete childhood pastimes of Krishna, which are still glorified by saintly persons? What had they done in the past by which they were elevated to such an exalted position?” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.8.47 Purport)

Maharaja Parikshit, as an attentive listener, was struck by the fact that the Supreme Lord, Shri Hari, the remover of the distresses of the devotees, would bless Maharaja Nanda and mother Yashoda with His sweet childhood pastimes. They were not Krishna’s biological parents during the Lord’s time on earth some five thousand years ago. Of course no one is the father or mother of God, but to enhance the delight of the exalted servants, the Supreme Lord accepts parents during His play in the phenomenal world. Just how Yashoda and Nanda were selected for these unique roles was what piqued the curiosity of the king, who was on the verge of death.

Parikshit had a week to live, and rather than spend it engaged in sense gratification, he wanted to hear what would be most beneficial to him going forward. The soul continues to live on after the body perishes, and its fate is determined by the consciousness while quitting the body. If one is able to focus on God during that time, they will gain His association in the next life. To increase the odds of the divine focus occurring, one can hear regularly about God. This hearing includes descriptions of His names, forms, pastimes and divine qualities. Each of these aspects is limitless, meaning that hearing about them can be an engagement having an infinite length.

In one part of the katha, or discourse, given by Shukadeva Gosvami to Parikshit, Lord Krishna showed the universal form to mother Yashoda. His stature as a small child at the time did not prevent that vision from being shown to the loving mother. She was led to it through her maternal affection and the accusation that Krishna had eaten dirt. To prove that He was innocent, the Lord asked her to look into His mouth. She didn’t see dirt. Instead, the entire cosmos, the largest abstract picture imaginable, was visible to her. Within the abstract were so many details as well, thus mesmerizing the mind.

That vision humbled her, and afterwards she returned to her role as affectionate mother. When this part of the discourse concluded, Parikshit wanted to know just what the mother had done to earn such an exalted status. Implied in the question is that there are different ways to gain spiritual merits. Sukriti, or meritorious behavior, is outlined in the shastras, or scriptures. This shouldn’t be a foreign concept, as even in material endeavors there are ways to earn bonus points, to make yourself better situated for a positive outcome. In school, you can do your homework on time and study at regular intervals. This will help you stay prepared for the exams and assignments, which determine your overall grade in the class. In exercise, eating properly and sleeping sufficiently help to boost your performance.

“Always engaged in serving You, keeping my senses under control and observing the vow of brahmacharya, I shall be with You, O great hero, in the forest fragrant with honey.” (Sita Devi speaking to Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, 27.13)

In spiritual life, two practices that relate to piety are austerity and penance. These are delineated because they are otherwise difficult to practice. The most difficult austerity measure is celibacy, which is known as the vow of brahmacharya in the Vedas. Sometimes even women make this vow, such as when Sita Devi told her husband Rama that she would abide by the principles of brahmacharya while residing in the forest with Him. He had been exiled to the forest for fourteen years one time, and in trying to convince Him to allow her to come along, she assured Him that she would follow all the strict rules and regulations of the punishment, in essence accepting the same fate, sharing in His so-called misery.

Other austerity measures also relate to sex life; gambling, intoxication and meat eating fuel the desire for illicit sexual connections. Austerity helps to clear up the consciousness, to allow it to better focus on God. You are thus benefitted in two ways: acquiring spiritual merits and developing your consciousness. The spiritual merits are guaranteed to pay dividends later on, but the consciousness can degrade at any time. Due to this deficiency, there is a higher method of practice, which has a further goal to reach, wherein the pleasure is also enhanced.

Vasudeva carrying KrishnaParikshit’s questions were sort of like rewinding the tape, trying to decipher the root cause to the wonderful situation that occurred later on. Mother Yashoda was in such a unique position, one not granted to mother Devaki, from whose womb Krishna originally appeared. He was then transferred to Vrindavana because of fears pertaining to the evil King Kamsa, who was Devaki’s brother. The king wanted to kill Krishna because of a prophecy that said her eighth child would kill him. But God can never be defeated in this way, and so Kamsa’s plan to outsmart the prophecy failed.

The fruit of a developed consciousness is the ability to love God. And that love is supported by the direct intervention of the worshiped party. Thus Krishna personally came to deliver to Yashoda a level of interaction unseen anywhere else. The devoted soul can have a similar interaction in love by chanting the holy names. Krishna and His name are non-different, as are Krishna and His stories. Parikshit was already in Krishna’s company just by hearing about Him. The more questions he had, the more he got to hear. The more he got to hear, the more his consciousness was fixed in the spiritual realm, thereby increasing the odds of dying in the proper way.

The moment of death is guaranteed to occur. Know that there will be a time when you quit your body, and you will be thinking of something then. If the mind is trained to hear about Krishna, then the transcendental consciousness will be present at the most critical moment of your life. To hear about the Lord does not require austerity or penance. Hearing can take place just by regularly chanting, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.

Yashoda and Nanda underwent so many austerities in past lives, and so it should also be understood that one who has come to Krishna consciousness in full sincerity has bypassed the need for strict austerity that is devoid of devotion. The pious credits are what bring one to the platform of bhakti-yoga, or devotional service, so in that fortunate state the best course of action is to just move forward, as deference to pious principles is automatic in someone who has a deep love and affection for the origin of all religion, Shri Krishna.

In Closing:

From love for Him highest state to win,

As of all religious paths He is the origin.


Of Yashoda and Nanda’s fortune king wondered,

That how Lord Krishna their protection was under.


Parikshit in seven days about to die,

So to spiritual world he kept his eye.


About young Krishna’s pastimes He heard,

From that more questions in mind stirred.


Pious credits in previous lives already done,

So proud parents now got to watch child Krishna run.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Understanding In An Instant

Krishna with Yashoda“One may be a karmi, a jnani, a yogi and then a bhakta or prema-bhakta. But the ultimate stage of realization is prema-bhakti, as actually demonstrated by mother Yashoda.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.8.45 Purport)

Amazing it is that mother Yashoda considered Krishna to be her own son, born of her womb and requiring her undivided attention. She knew that there was a God. In fact, just after seeing the universal form within the mouth of her beloved young child, she offered worship to that Supreme Lord. She relinquished her stresses relating to daily obligations and surrendered unto Him, knowing Him to be the presiding coordinator. Yet she nevertheless went back to loving her son, who is the same object of contemplation for those who study the three Vedas, the Upanishads, and sankhya philosophy.

Did the mother lose her mind? Could we use the excuse that because she was a woman, and therefore considered less intelligent, she considered He who is indescribable to be within her control? In this instance, Krishna was more than an innocent person resting on her lap. He required attention from the mother because His friends had just accused Him of eating dirt. Like the caretaker running to take out the splinter that accidentally goes into the finger, the mother took the matter of eating dirt very seriously. “Krishna should not be doing this. Why is He always getting into trouble? If He eats dirt, He will get hurt. Who knows what could be in that earth, as everything rolls over it throughout the day. The children walk upon it, as do the cows. Shards of glass could have fallen into it, or maybe even rocks. These don’t mix well in the stomach of a child. Therefore I must check on the situation immediately.”

Meanwhile, the person who studies the three Vedas, the original scriptures of the world, tries to wrap their brain around a person who is unbound and without a form. He has no hands, legs, eyes and ears, and yet He can move at the speed of the wind, lift a hill with His finger, see everything that’s going on and hear every single prayer offered to Him, regardless of the location. One person is praying in China while another in Canada, and though they may be praying at the same time, God still hears them both. Though He hears and understands both prayers, He is not a dual person. He is a singular entity, but He resides within everyone.

How is the mind to understand this? Thus one studies the Vedas, which give so many descriptions for the Supreme Lord. He is known as Krishna because He is all-attractive, but how can something without material hands and legs possess the quality of beauty? We don’t say that the air is beautiful today. We don’t say that silence has a pleasing sound. These objects are absent something. If Krishna is the most attractive, He must have a form, but then if He has body parts, are not they part of the illusory energy known as maya?

There are many other descriptions in the Vedas for the same person. He is Purushottama, or the supreme person. A person is an individual, an entity who thinks, feels and wills. An individual is also distinct from another individual. I can never be you and you can never be me. In the same way we can never be God, though we can be with Him. Krishna is also Rama, the giver of transcendental pleasure to others. He is Aja, or unborn, and Ajita, or unconquerable. He is undefeated in the true sense of the word.

Perhaps this study through names is too much to handle. Maybe there is a preference for in-depth philosophy or stories, real life examples that show how these attributes manifest. For this there are the Upanishads and the Puranas, supplements to the Vedas. These works have the highest philosophy known as Vedanta along with histories of events that took place on this planet and others. Still there are more works, such as the sankhya philosophy, which is commonly translated to mean metaphysics. Study the various elements and how they combine together to make the bodies we see around us. Also learn how the spirit soul, the infinitesimally small spiritual spark within these bodies composed of the various elements, is the director of action, how it is the indestructible force within every life form.

“Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.17)

Put all that effort, all that study, which requires constant attention and daily exercise of the mind, on one side and juxtapose it with mother Yashoda’s thinking. That same person whom the transcendentalists are trying to understand Yashoda took to be her son, her dependent. Shouldn’t she have abandoned this notion? Or perhaps this was her way of moving up the chain of thought? Mistakenly considering God Himself to be her helpless son would help her to develop detachment. She would acquire higher knowledge as a result and thus know the difference between spirit and matter?

Ah, but in actuality Yashoda was already in the superior position. How does this work exactly? From the Vedas we are taught to not be attached to family and friends, to rise above profit and loss and happiness and sadness. Yashoda had just felt a sort of pleasure in surrendering to the divine, leaving Him in charge of the important stuff. But Krishna quickly took away that vision and caused her to reassume her role of affectionate caretaker. This means that superior to the positions of jnana and vijnana is bhakti, or devotion. The aim of life is to have such a strong love for God that you can’t think of letting Him go for a second.

Of course we offer such kinds of service already, though to entities who are not God. The love is therefore checked and doesn’t always develop consciousness properly. On the other hand, the love for God automatically descends down for our benefit. If you love Krishna the way Yashoda did, you will automatically love His other children. Your own dependents are linked to Krishna in the same way that you are, so you share a common bond with them. With the devotional consciousness you are more aware of the proper duty in life and you will take the right steps to stay true to it.

By pleasing Krishna directly your other obligations fall into place. It doesn’t work the same way when the situation is reversed. In study of Vedanta philosophy, you may have to force renunciation upon yourself and devote time to understanding the highest truths. In the process, there is less time for others. You are more or less acting for yourself, trying to develop a higher understanding at the local level. But when your starting point is love for Krishna, the actions you take benefit others. By regularly chanting, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”, others can hear the sounds of the holy name, which are non-different from the person they represent. They can see your example of devotional service and know that there is a higher point to reach in life. From bhakti-yoga the worker exercises their natural abilities in so many ways. The result is a potential for so much happiness, as so many plans can be made with respect to practicing bhakti. There is no monotony and others are free to join you in the devotion.

Krishna and mother YashodaMother Yashoda is an ideal role model in this regard. Though she may have wrongly considered Krishna to be her son, her love for Him benefited more than just herself. We are still talking about Yashoda to this day, so we know that there is something to be learned from her devotion. Moreover, Krishna was pleased by her work; otherwise He wouldn’t have agreed to appear in Vrindavana as her son. Nanda Maharaja got the credit for being a good father, and the community got the benefit of seeing Krishna all the time and delighting in His childish play. The cows received the benefit of seeing and feeling Krishna; they showed their delight by filling their milk bags with milk upon the sight of Yashoda’s delight.

Nanda and his wife had previously undergone many austerities to receive this special benediction. In this way we know that the study of Vedanta and the practice of religious principles lead to a higher stage. Krishna actually removed the veil of ignorance for Yashoda, as she had no desire for a steady philosophical understanding. It’s what you make of your understanding that counts. Think of it like having a law degree or a medical license. Unless you practice what you are certified in, your status doesn’t mean much. It is the exercise that makes the professional, and in the spiritual realm it is the output of devotional love that proves how intelligent you are. The previous study is meant to elevate you to that point, as through the many lifetimes in the material land forgetfulness of God’s true position is strengthened. Like untying a thick knot, the Vedas, the Upanishads, sankhya philosophy and other Vedic literatures represent tools to help you slowly awaken your original consciousness.

With bhakti, however, Krishna personally comes to slash away the knot of ignorance, immediately opening the door for transcendental pleasure that doesn’t have to end. Yashoda validated this with her daily concern for her son. From her exchanges with Him know that the person the mind is searching after is pleased most by devotion in utmost humility. Urgency in the practice of bhakti-yoga also leads to the benefit of the devotee, as their impatience makes them rush towards Krishna’s smiling face, which is the elixir to cure the burning fever of material existence.

In Closing:

Cows’ milk bags become full upon sight,

Of Nanda and Yashoda’s delight.


The minds of devotees He instantly steals,

Pleasure from Yashoda’s love He feels.


Three Vedas, Vedanta and sankhya combine,

For intellectual abilities to refine.


Though intense study and philosophy read,

For devotees such laborious effort no need.


Devotional service to Krishna is the final stage,

From her love, Yashoda wise as any sage.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hugs and Kisses

Yashoda with Krishna“Mother Yashoda regarded the vision of the universal form within Krishna's mouth as an arrangement of yogamaya, like a dream. As one forgets everything after a dream, mother Yashoda immediately forgot the entire incident.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.8.44 Purport)

What will your awe and reverence do for you? Sure, it’s great to look at something that is amazing and feel an overwhelming sense of appreciation for it, but what to do after that? Should your goal be to repeatedly offer that respect going forward, day after day? What about the other party’s perspective? Would they prefer this kind of worship, wherein others are afraid of them? Think of your own life. It’s nice when people you don’t know very well offer you complimentary words, but don’t you enjoy the company of your friends and family more? Wouldn’t you rather have someone around with whom to interact, to share your thoughts and feelings and not worry about their super high level of respect for you?

If this tendency exists in us, it is present in the Supreme Personality of Godhead as well. Respect for Him is required; otherwise the pathways followed in life lead to peril. For instance, only without respect for the Lord of all creatures would we repeatedly inflict violence on the most innocent among us, leading to temporary gains in the short term in the form of animal flesh for consumption, but bringing potentially terrible returns in the form of the same violence inflicted upon us later on. Taking someone else’s property is also an indication of disrespect of the rules instituted by the original proprietor of everything. Every object is but a collection of earth, water, fire, air and ether; thus we can’t lay an original claim to any object. At the time of birth we have nothing, but through temporary exchanges in titles, we think we accumulate this thing and that, not wishing to part with what we deem to be ours.

“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego-altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.4)

Without respect for an original controller we think it’s wise to remain intoxicated, essentially worshiping the bottle of whiskey instead of the Supreme Lord. Intoxication is known to bring a lessening of rational thought and a loss of motor skills, yet somehow we think that this state is superior to sobriety. The mind is very powerful after all, so if we wanted we could think our way to happiness. Just try it. Tell yourself right now that everything is alright. It may be difficult, but think back to a time when you were happy. Perhaps there was a future event that was anticipated. Perhaps there was a previous success enjoyed. Though the external conditions were favorable, it was actually your mind that brought the happiness. That same mind can be programmed to feel pleasure at any time, without reliance on outside factors like intoxication.

Only without respect for God would you be consumed with envy, thinking that another’s good fortune somehow makes you inferior. Whether one is wealthy, middle class, or poor, the enemies of the mind known as hankering and lamenting remain active. The wealthy person’s lamentation over the loss of a cherished object can be so strong that it leads to severe depression. Meanwhile, the poverty stricken person may be at peace with their meager lifestyle, accepting whatever comes their way. Indeed, in the Vedic tradition the highest transcendentalists voluntarily accept a life of real austerity in order to further develop God consciousness.

“The manifestations of the mode of goodness can be experienced when all the gates of the body are illuminated by knowledge.”  (Lord Krishna, Bg. 14.11)

It is in God consciousness that the godly qualities start to develop. In this state, every living being is viewed equally, as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. The prerequisite to this viewpoint is an acknowledgement and steady cognizance of that Supreme Person’s existence. There is no jealousy in the person who respects God because temporary positions of opulence and destitution are known to be but the results of past work, sort of like having winners and losers in a game. The game itself is not to blame, as the participants know the full range of possible outcomes when they start.

The person who respects God understands that all creatures have a right to an existence, even if there is fighting between them. Just because a fish eats other fish or a tiger eats other animals doesn’t mean that the more intelligent human being should imitate such behavior. If you know better, if you know that you have more intelligence, why should you lower yourself to activities of the less intelligent? The person who respects God has no need for such things as intoxication because only with a sober mind can the full awareness of God’s energy be present.

But above awareness is love through action. The elevated Vedic scholars of the past have studied the different kinds of worship in detail, and so they have a corresponding term for every type of worship. In the mindset where there is a lack of worship, the person is deemed a mudha, or fool. If they purposefully try to thwart the worship of the pious, they are known as an asura, or one who is against the people in the mode of goodness, where God is respected. If there is some acknowledgment of a higher power, some respect for God, the person is known as a sura. They are also a devotee in a sense, following bhakti-yoga, or devotional service. Within bhakti-yoga, there are different rasas, or transcendental mellows. Reverential worship is the beginning stage of bhakti, and it is known as shanta-rasa.

Shanta-rasa at least shows an acknowledgment of God’s position; thus it is superior to ignorance. Nevertheless, the more advanced rasas are there to give more pleasure to both the worshiper and the worshiped. How this works can be seen in the interactions between mother Yashoda and Lord Krishna. In shanta-rasa we may not know what God’s features are. If we do, we think of them only in terms of greatness. We see someone who is wealthy, and so in comparison God is considered to be the most wealthy. We see someone who is beautiful, and so we think that God is more beautiful than they are. We see someone with great external opulence, and so we know that God must be more opulently decorated.

In His original position, God’s features are both greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest. This means that even as a small child He is in a superior position. Though He may not appear to be so powerful or opulent as a child crawling around the dirt of the sacred land of Vrindavana, He retains all of His features nonetheless. And in that enchanting body He extracts more love from His innumerable children than He does in His position as Lord Vishnu or the abstract God that is sometimes mistakenly depicted as an old and angry man.

Mother Yashoda and KrishnaThe child Krishna creates a sense of urgency in the caretakers. In this situation worship of God ceases to be an optional pursuit. Mother Yashoda is compelled to love Krishna because if she ignores Him He might get hurt. At least this is what she thinks. Obviously the mindset is not logically based, as Krishna can never be harmed, but when the attitude leads to devotional offerings, it is most beneficial. Hence what is logical is not always what is beneficial in the realm of bhakti.

One time Krishna was accused of eating dirt by His friends and elder brother Balarama. Yashoda took the complaint seriously and wanted to know why Krishna had eaten dirt. He swore that He hadn’t and asked His mother to look into His mouth if she didn’t believe Him. This was a trap, of course, to lure Yashoda into seeing the universal manifestation, the virat-rupa. There is nothing more awe-inspiring than this vision. Think of looking into the sky on a clear night and appreciating the wonder of the infinite beyond. Now multiply that by as large a factor as you can think of and you get a slight idea of what Yashoda saw within Krishna’s mouth.

The awe-inspiring vision immediately made her release some of her concerns. Thinking that her husband belonged to her and that her home and property were also hers was not wise since God is the controller of everything. With a quick show the Lord instilled the proper knowledge within Yashoda, who couldn’t think of anything else but surrendering unto God. “He is in charge of everything, so I leave all of the results up to Him. I shouldn’t worry so much; instead I should just pray for His favor that everything works out.”

This thinking is quite wise, and perhaps we all have had the same realization at some point in our lives. You try so hard to effect a particular outcome only to fail in the end. Other times you don’t try as hard and everything works out. Thus you know that there are higher forces responsible for distributing outcomes, and that you’d be better off just following the righteous path and leaving the rest to the people in charge.

After coming to this realization, however, Yashoda then forgot about the vision and returned to loving her son. It’s not that her attitude necessarily changed; she still respected God. But she didn’t start to apply the reverential attitude to her son, in whose mouth was seen such an awe-inspiring vision. She instead figured it was some mystical event, something that couldn’t be explained. It was like a dream that was now over, so time to go back to loving Krishna. Indeed, this is the natural progression for one who has developed a deep respect for the Supreme Lord. Better than respect is love that continues to be offered. Regardless of what she saw, Yashoda was not going to stop loving Krishna. She would always worry about Him, wherever He was and however powerful He seemed. So in her mind there is complete connection to God, yoga that doesn’t break. That link is both the aim of life and the source of the highest pleasure, showing that God’s path of loving devotion is always the right choice.

In Closing:

In dream one moment you’re dwelling upon,

And then the next moment it is gone.


The universal manifestation in son’s mouth to see,

Then in an instant Yashoda from vision set free.


To loving her beautiful son she returned,

In process a deep respect for God was earned.


But devotion in maternal affection not to stop,

Concern for darling of Vrindavana she couldn’t drop.


Thus know there is higher state than reverence,

Love in bhakti-rasa God’s preference.