Chapter Ten

                Deliverance of the Yamala-arjuna Trees


   This chapter describes how Krsna broke the twin arjuna trees, from which Nalakuvara and Manigriva, the sons of Kuvera, then came out.

   Nalakuvara and Manigriva were great devotees of Lord Siva, but because of material opulence they became so extravagant and senseless that one day they were enjoying with naked girls in a lake and shamelessly walking here and there. Suddenly Narada Muni passed by, but they were so maddened by their wealth and false prestige that even though they saw Narada Muni present, they remained naked and were not even ashamed. In other words, because of opulence and false prestige, they lost their sense of common decency. Of course, it is the nature of the material qualities that when one becomes very much opulent in terms of wealth and a prestigious position, one loses one's sense of etiquette and does not care about anyone, even a sage like Narada Muni. For such bewildered persons (ahankara-vimudhatma), who especially deride devotees, the proper punishment is to be again stricken with poverty. The Vedic rules and regulations prescribe how to control the false sense of prestige by the practice of yama, niyama and so on (tapasa brahmacaryena samena ca damena ca). A poor man can be convinced very easily that the prestige of an opulent position in this material world is temporary, but a rich man cannot. Therefore Narada Muni set an example by cursing these two persons, Nalakuvara and Manigriva, to become dull and unconscious like trees. This was a fit punishment. But because Krsna is always merciful, even though they were punished they were fortunate enough to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. Therefore the punishment given by Vaisnavas is not at all punishment; rather, it is another kind of mercy. By the curse of the devarsi, Nalakuvara and Manigriva became twin arjuna trees and remained in the courtyard of mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja, waiting for the opportunity to see Krsna directly. Lord Krsna, by the desire of His devotee, uprooted these yamala-arjuna trees, and when Nalakuvara and Manigriva were thus delivered by Krsna after one hundred years of the devas, their old consciousness revived, and they offered Krsna prayers suitable to be offered by demigods. Having thus gotten the opportunity to see Krsna face to face, they understood how merciful Narada Muni was, and therefore they expressed their indebtedness to him and thanked him. Then, after circumambulating the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, they departed for their respective abodes.


                                TEXT 1





                       kathyatam bhagavann etat

                        tayoh sapasya karanam

                       yat tad vigarhitam karma

                        yena va devarses tamah




   sri-raja uvaca--the King further inquired; kathyatam--please describe; bhagavan--O supremely powerful one; etat--this; tayoh--of both of them; sapasya--of cursing; karanam--the cause; yat--which; tat--that; vigarhitam--abominable; karma--act; yena--by which; va--either; devarseh tamah--the great sage Narada became so angry.




   King Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami: O great and powerful saint, what was the cause of Nalakuvara's and Manigriva's having been cursed by Narada Muni? What did they do that was so abominable that even Narada, the great sage, became angry at them? Kindly describe this to me.


                              TEXTS 2-3




                            sri-suka uvaca

                        rudrasyanucarau bhutva

                        sudrptau dhanadatmajau

                         kailasopavane ramye

                        mandakinyam madotkatau


                        varunim madiram pitva


                       stri-janair anugayadbhis

                         ceratuh puspite vane




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami replied; rudrasya--of Lord Siva; anucarau--two great devotees or associates; bhutva--being elevated to that post; su-drptau--being proud of that position and their beautiful bodily features; dhanada-atmajau--the two sons of Kuvera, treasurer of the demigods; kailasa-upavane--in a small garden attached to Kailasa Parvata, the residence of Lord Siva; ramye--in a very beautiful place; mandakinyam--on the River Mandakini; mada-utkatau--terribly proud and mad; varunim--a kind of liquor named Varuni; madiram--intoxication; pitva--drinking; mada-aghurnita-locanau--their eyes rolling with intoxication; stri-janaih--with women; anugayadbhih--vibrating songs sung by them; ceratuh--wandered; puspite vane--in a nice flower garden.




   Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King Pariksit, because the two sons of Kuvera had been elevated to the association of Lord Siva, of which they were very much proud, they were allowed to wander in a garden attached to Kailasa Hill, on the bank of the Mandakini River. Taking advantage of this, they used to drink a kind of liquor called Varuni. Accompanied by women singing after them, they would wander in that garden of flowers, their eyes always rolling in intoxication.




   This verse mentions some of the material advantages afforded to persons associated with or devoted to Lord Siva. Apart from Lord Siva, if one is a devotee of any other demigod, one receives some material advantages. Foolish people, therefore, become devotees of demigods. This has been pointed out and criticized by Lord Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (7.20): kamais tais tair hrta jnanah prapadyante 'nya-devatah. Those who are not devotees of Krsna have a taste for women, wine and so forth, and therefore they have been described as hrta jnana, bereft of sense. The Krsna consciousness movement can very easily point out such foolish persons, for they have been indicated in Bhagavad-gita (7.15), where Lord Krsna says:


                       na mam duskrtino mudhah

                        prapadyante naradhamah


                        asuram bhavam asritah


   "Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me." Anyone who is not a devotee of Krsna and does not surrender to Krsna must be considered naradhama, the lowest of men, and duskrti, one who always commits sinful activities. Thus there is no difficulty in finding out who is a third-class or fourth-class man, for one's position can be understood simply by this crucial test: is he or is he not a devotee of Krsna?

   Why are devotees of the demigods greater in number than the Vaisnavas? The answer is given herein. Vaisnavas are not interested in such fourth-class pleasures as wine and women, nor does Krsna allow them such facilities.


                                TEXT 4




                       antah pravisya gangayam


                        cikridatur yuvatibhir

                         gajav iva karenubhih




   antah--within; pravisya--entering; gangayam--the Ganges, known as Mandakini; ambhoja--of lotus flowers; vana-rajini--where there was a congested forest; cikridatuh--the two of them used to enjoy; yuvatibhih--in the company of young girls; gajau--two elephants; iva--just like; karenubhih--with female elephants.




   Within the waters of the Mandakini Ganges, which were crowded with gardens of lotus flowers, the two sons of Kuvera would enjoy young girls, just like two male elephants enjoying in the water with female elephants.




   People generally go to the Ganges to be purified of the effects of sinful life, but here is an example of how foolish persons enter the Ganges to become involved in sinful life. It is not that everyone becomes purified by entering the Ganges. Everything, spiritual and material, depends on one's mental condition.


                                TEXT 5




                        yadrcchaya ca devarsir

                       bhagavams tatra kaurava

                         apasyan narado devau

                        ksibanau samabudhyata




   yadrcchaya--by chance, while wandering all over the universe; ca--and; deva-rsih--the supreme saintly person among the demigods; bhagavan--the most powerful; tatra--there (where the two sons of Kuvera were enjoying life); kaurava--O Maharaja Pariksit; apasyat--when he saw; naradah--the great saint; devau--the two boys of the demigods; ksibanau--with eyes maddened by intoxication; samabudhyata--he could understand (their position).




   O Maharaja Pariksit, by some auspicious opportunity for the two boys, the great saint Devarsi Narada once appeared there by chance. Seeing them intoxicated, with rolling eyes, he could understand their situation.




   It is said:


          'sadhu-sanga,' 'sadhu-sanga'----sarva-sastre kaya

               lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya


   (Cc. Madhya 22.54)


   Wherever Narada Muni goes, any moment at which he appears is understood to be extremely auspicious. It is also said:


                brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva

               guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija


   "According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krsna. By the mercy of both Krsna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service." (Cc. Madhya 19.151) Narada appeared in the garden to give the two sons of Kuvera the seed of devotional service, even though they were intoxicated. Saintly persons know how to bestow mercy upon the fallen souls.


                                TEXT 6




                       tam drstva vridita devyo

                       vivastrah sapa-sankitah

                      vasamsi paryadhuh sighram

                       vivastrau naiva guhyakau




   tam--Narada Muni; drstva--seeing; vriditah--being ashamed; devyah--the young girls of the demigods; vivastrah--although they were naked; sapa-sankitah--being afraid of being cursed; vasamsi--garments; paryadhuh--covered the body; sighram--very swiftly; vivastrau--who were also naked; na--not; eva--indeed; guhyakau--the two sons of Kuvera.




   Upon seeing Narada, the naked young girls of the demigods were very much ashamed. Afraid of being cursed, they covered their bodies with their garments. But the two sons of Kuvera did not do so; instead, not caring about Narada, they remained naked.


                                TEXT 7




                       tau drstva madira-mattau

                       sri-madandhau suratmajau

                         tayor anugraharthaya

                       sapam dasyann idam jagau




   tau--the two boys of the demigods; drstva--seeing; madira-mattau--very intoxicated because of drinking liquor; sri-mada-andhau--being blind with false prestige and opulence; sura-atmajau--the two sons of the demigods; tayoh--unto them; anugraha-arthaya--for the purpose of giving special mercy; sapam--a curse; dasyan--desiring to offer them; idam--this; jagau--uttered.




   Seeing the two sons of the demigods naked and intoxicated by opulence and false prestige, Devarsi Narada, in order to show them special mercy, desired to give them a special curse. Thus he spoke as follows.




   Although in the beginning Narada Muni appeared very angry and cursed them, at the end the two demigods Nalakuvara and Manigriva were able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, face to face. Thus the curse was ultimately auspicious and brilliant. One has to judge what kind of curse Narada placed upon them. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives herein a good example. When a father finds his child deeply asleep but the child has to take some medicine to cure some disease, the father pinches the child so that the child will get up and take the medicine. In a similar way, Narada Muni cursed Nalakuvara and Manigriva in order to cure their disease of material blindness.


                                TEXT 8




                           sri-narada uvaca

                       na hy anyo jusato josyan

                      buddhi-bhramso rajo-gunah

                        sri-madad abhijatyadir

                       yatra stri dyutam asavah




   sri-naradah uvaca--Narada Muni said; na--there is not; hi--indeed; anyah--another material enjoyment; jusatah--of one who is enjoying; josyan--things very attractive in the material world (different varieties of eating, sleeping, mating and defense); buddhi-bhramsah--such enjoyments attract the intelligence; rajah-gunah--being controlled by the mode of passion; sri-madat--than riches; abhijatya-adih--among the four material principles (attractive personal bodily features, birth in an aristocratic family, being very learned, and being very rich); yatra--wherein; stri--women; dyutam--gambling; asavah--wine (wine, women and gambling are very prominent).




   Narada Muni said: Among all the attractions of material enjoyment, the attraction of riches bewilders one's intelligence more than having beautiful bodily features, taking birth in an aristocratic family, and being learned. When one is uneducated but falsely puffed up by wealth, the result is that one engages his wealth in enjoying wine, women and gambling.




   Among the three modes of material nature--goodness, passion and ignorance--people are certainly conducted by the lower qualities, namely passion and ignorance, and especially by passion. Conducted by the mode of passion, one becomes more and more involved in material existence. Therefore human life is meant for subduing the modes of passion and ignorance and advancing in the mode of goodness.


                        tada rajas-tamo-bhavah

                        kama-lobhadayas ca ye

                        ceta etair anaviddham

                       sthitam sattve prasidati


   (Bhag. 1.2.19)


   This is culture: one must subdue the modes of passion and ignorance. In the mode of passion, when one is falsely proud of wealth, one engages his wealth only for three things, namely wine, women and gambling. We can actually see, especially in this age, that those who have unnecessary riches simply try to enjoy these three things. In Western civilization, these three things are very prominent because of an unnecessary increase of wealth. Narada Muni considered all this in the case of Manigriva and Nalakuvara because he found in them so much pride in the wealth of their father, Kuvera.


                                TEXT 9




                        hanyante pasavo yatra

                        nirdayair ajitatmabhih

                        manyamanair imam deham

                         ajaramrtyu nasvaram




   hanyante--are killed in many ways (especially by slaughterhouses); pasavah--four-legged animals (horses, sheep, cows, hogs, etc.); yatra--wherein; nirdayaih--by those merciless persons who are conducted by the mode of passion; ajita-atmabhih--rascals who are unable to control the senses; manyamanaih--are thinking; imam--this; deham--body; ajara--will never become old or diseased; amrtyu--death will never come; nasvaram--although the body is destined to be annihilated.




   Unable to control their senses, rascals who are falsely proud of their riches or their birth in aristocratic families are so cruel that to maintain their perishable bodies, which they think will never grow old or die, they kill poor animals without mercy. Sometimes they kill animals merely to enjoy an excursion.




   When the modes of passion and ignorance increase in human society, giving rise to unnecessary economic development, the result is that people become involved with wine, women and gambling. Then, being mad, they maintain big slaughterhouses or occasionally go on pleasure excursions to kill animals. Forgetting that however one may try to maintain the body, the body is subject to birth, death, old age and disease, such foolish rascals engage in sinful activities, one after another. Being duskrtis, they completely forget the existence of the supreme controller, who is sitting within the core of everyone's heart (isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati). That supreme controller is observing every bit of one's activity, and He rewards or punishes everyone by giving one a suitable body made by material nature (bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya). In this way, sinful persons automatically receive punishment in different types of bodies. The root cause of this punishment is that when one unnecessarily accumulates wealth, one becomes more and more degraded, not knowing that his wealth will be finished with his next birth.


                   na sadhu manye yata atmano 'yam

                     asann api klesada asa dehah


   (Bhag. 5.5.4)


   Animal killing is prohibited. Every living being, of course, has to eat something (jivo jivasya jivanam). But one should be taught what kind of food one should take. Therefore the Isopanisad instructs, tena tyaktena bhunjithah: one should eat whatever is allotted for human beings. Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (9.26):


                      patram puspam phalam toyam

                      yo me bhaktya prayacchati

                       tad aham bhakty-upahrtam

                         asnami prayatatmanah


   "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." A devotee, therefore, does not eat anything that would require slaughterhouses for poor animals. Rather, devotees take prasada of Krsna (tena tyaktena bhunjithah). Krsna recommends that one give Him patram puspam phalam toyam--a leaf, a Mower, fruit or water. Animal food is never recommended for human beings; instead, a human being is recommended to take prasada, remnants of food left by Krsna. Yajna-sistasinah santo mucyante sarva-kilbisaih (Bg. 3.13). If one practices eating prasada, even if there is some little sinful activity involved, one becomes free from the results of sinful acts.


                               TEXT 10




                       deva-samjnitam apy ante


                    bhuta-dhruk tat-krte svartham

                        kim veda nirayo yatah




   deva-samjnitam--the body now known as a very exalted person, like president, minister or even demigod; api--even if the body is so exalted; ante--after death; krmi--turns into worms; vit--or into stool; bhasma-samjnitam--or into ashes; bhuta-dhruk--a person who does not accept the sastric injunctions and is unnecessarily envious of other living entities; tat-krte--by acting in that way; sva-artham--self-interest; kim--who is there; veda--who knows; nirayah yatah--because from such sinful activities one must suffer hellish conditions.




   While living one may be proud of one's body, thinking oneself a very big man, minister, president or even demigod, but whatever one may be, after death this body will turn either into worms, into stool or into ashes. If one kills poor animals to satisfy the temporary whims of this body, one does not know that he will suffer in his next birth, for such a sinful miscreant must go to hell and suffer the results of his actions.




   In this verse the three words krmi-vid-bhasma are significant. After death, the body may become krmi, which means "worms," for if the body is disposed of without cremation, it may be eaten by worms; or else it may be eaten by animals like hogs and vultures and be turned into stool. Those who are more civilized burn the dead body, and thus it becomes ashes (bhasma-samjnitam). Yet although the body will be turned into worms, stool or ashes, foolish persons, just to maintain it, commit many sinful activities. This is certainly regrettable. The human form of body is actually meant for jivasya tattva jijnasa, enlightenment in knowledge of spiritual values. Therefore, one must seek shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta: one must approach a guru. Who is a guru? Sabde pare ca nisnatam (Bhag. 11.3.21): a guru is one who has full transcendental knowledge. Unless one approaches a spiritual master, one remains in ignorance. Acaryavan puruso veda (Chandogya Upanisad 6.14.2): one has full knowledge about life when one is acaryavan, controlled by the acarya. But when one is conducted by rajo-guna and tamo-guna, one does not care about anything; instead, one acts like an ordinary foolish animal, risking his life (mrtyu-samsara-vartmani) and therefore continuing to go through suffering after suffering. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum (Bhag. 7.5.31). Such a foolish person does not know how to elevate himself in this body. Instead, he indulges in sinful activities and goes deeper and deeper into hellish life.


                               TEXT 11




                      dehah kim anna-datuh svam

                        nisektur matur eva ca

                        matuh pitur va balinah

                       kretur agneh suno 'pi va




   dehah--this body; kim anna-datuh--does it belong to the employer who gives me the money to maintain it; svam--or does it belong to me personally; nisektuh--(or does it belong) to the person who discharged the semen; matuh eva--(or does it belong) to the mother who maintained this body within her womb; ca--and; matuh pituh va--or (does it belong) to the father of the mother (because sometimes the father of the mother takes a grandson as an adopted son); balinah--(or does it belong) to the person who takes this body away by force; kretuh--or to the person who purchases the body as a slave; agneh--or to the fire (because ultimately the body is burned); sunah--or to the dogs and vultures that ultimately eat it; api--even; va--or.




   While alive, does this body belong to its employer, to the self, to the father, the mother, or the mother's father? Does it belong to the person who takes it away by force, to the slave master who purchases it, or to the sons who burn it in the fire? Or, if the body is not burned, does it belong to the dogs that eat it? Among the many possible claimants, who is the rightful claimant? Not to ascertain this but instead to maintain the body by sinful activities is not good.


                               TEXT 12




                        evam sadharanam deham


                       ko vidvan atmasat krtva

                       hanti jantun rte 'satah




   evam--in this way; sadharanam--common property; deham--the body; avyakta--from unmanifested nature; prabhava--manifested in that way; apyayam--and again merged with the unmanifested ("for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return"); kah--who is that person; vidvan--one who is actually in knowledge; atmasat krtva--claiming as his own; hanti--kills; jantun--poor animals; rte--except; asatah--rascals who have no knowledge, no clear understanding.




   This body, after all, is produced by the unmanifested nature and again annihilated and merged in the natural elements. Therefore, it is the common property of everyone. Under the circumstances, who but a rascal claims this property as his own and while maintaining it commits such sinful activities as killing animals just to satisfy his whims? Unless one is a rascal, one cannot commit such sinful activities.




   Atheists do not believe in the existence of the soul. Nonetheless, unless one is very cruel, why should one kill animals unnecessarily? The body is a manifestation of a combination of matter. In the beginning it was nothing, but by a combination of matter it has come into existence. Then again, when the combination is dismantled, the body will no longer exist. In the beginning it was nothing, and in the end it will be nothing. Why then should one commit sinful activities when it is manifested? It is not possible for anyone to do this unless he is rascal number one.


                               TEXT 13




                        asatah sri-madandhasya

                       daridryam param anjanam

                         atmaupamyena bhutani

                        daridrah param iksate




   asatah--of such a foolish rascal; sri-mada-andhasya--who is blinded by temporarily possessing riches and opulence; daridryam--poverty; param anjanam--the best ointment for the eyes, by which to see things as they are; atma-aupamyena--with comparison to himself; bhutani--living beings; daridrah--a poverty-stricken man; param--perfectly; iksate--can see things as they are.




   Atheistic fools and rascals who are very much proud of wealth fail to see things as they are. Therefore, returning them to poverty is the proper ointment for their eyes so they may see things as they are. At least a poverty-stricken man can realize how painful poverty is, and therefore he will not want others to be in a painful condition like his own.




   Even today, if a man who was formerly poverty-stricken gets money, he is inclined to utilize his money to perform many philanthropic activities, like opening schools for uneducated men and hospitals for the diseased. In this connection there is an instructive story called punar musiko bhava, "Again Become a Mouse." A mouse was very much harassed by a cat, and therefore the mouse approached a saintly person to request to become a cat. When the mouse became a cat, he was harassed by a dog, and then when he became a dog, he was harassed by a tiger. But when he became a tiger, he stared at the saintly person, and when the saintly person asked him, "What do you want?" the tiger said, "I want to eat you." Then the saintly person cursed him, saying, "May you again become a mouse." A similar thing is going on all over the universe. One is going up and down, sometimes becoming a mouse, sometimes a tiger, and so on. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said:


                brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva

               guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija


   (Cc. Madhya 19.151)


   The living entities are promoted and degraded by the laws of nature, but if one is very, very fortunate, by association with saintly persons he gets the seed of devotional service, and his life becomes successful. Narada Muni wanted to bring Nalakuvara and Manigriva to the platform of devotional service through poverty, and thus he cursed them. Such is the mercy of a Vaisnava. Unless one is brought to the Vaisnava platform, one cannot be a good man. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah (Bhag. 5.18.12). An avaisnava never becomes a good man, however severely he is punished.


                               TEXT 14




                       yatha kantaka-viddhango

                     jantor necchati tam vyatham

                       jiva-samyam gato lingair

                       na tathaviddha-kantakah




   yatha--just as; kantaka-viddha-angah--a person whose body has been pinpricked; jantoh--of such an animal; na--not; icchati--desires; tam--a particular; vyatham--pain; jiva-samyam gatah--when he understands that the position is the same for everyone; lingaih--by possessing a particular type of body; na--not; tatha--so; aviddha-kantakah--a person who has not been pinpricked.




   By seeing their faces, one whose body has been pricked by pins can understand the pain of others who are pinpricked. Realizing that this pain is the same for everyone, he does not want others to suffer in this way. But one who has never been pricked by pins cannot understand this pain.




   There is a saying, "The happiness of wealth is enjoyable by a person who has tasted the distress of poverty." There is also another common saying, vandhya ki bujhibe prasava-vedana: "A woman who has not given birth to a child cannot understand the pain of childbirth." Unless one comes to the platform of actual experience, one cannot realize what is pain and what is happiness in this material world. The laws of nature act accordingly. If one has killed an animal, one must himself be killed by that same animal. This is called mamsa. Mam means "me," and sa means "he." As I am eating an animal, that animal will have the opportunity to eat me. In every state, therefore, it is ordinarily the custom that if a person commits murder he is hanged.


                               TEXT 15




                       daridro niraham-stambho

                       muktah sarva-madair iha

                       krcchram yadrcchayapnoti

                      tad dhi tasya param tapah




   daridrah--a poverty-stricken person; nir-aham-stambhah--is automatically freed from all false prestige; muktah--liberated; sarva--all; madaih--from false ego; iha--in this world; krcchram--with great difficulty; yadrcchaya apnoti--what he gains by chance from providence; tat--that; hi--indeed; tasya--his; param--perfect; tapah--austerity.




   A poverty-stricken man must automatically undergo austerities and penances because he does not have the wealth to possess anything. Thus his false prestige is vanquished. Always in need of food, shelter and clothing, he must be satisfied with what is obtained by the mercy of providence. Undergoing such compulsory austerities is good for him because this purifies him and completely frees him from false ego.




   A saintly person voluntarily accepts a state of poverty just to become free from material false prestige. Many great kings left their princely standard of living and went to the forest to practice austerity according to Vedic culture, just to become purified. But if one who cannot voluntarily accept such austerity is put into a situation of poverty, he automatically must practice austerity. Austerity is good for everyone because it frees one from material conditions. Therefore, if one is very much proud of his material position, putting him into poverty is the best way to rectify his foolishness. Daridrya-doso guna-rasi-nasi: when a person is poverty-stricken, naturally his false pride in aristocracy, wealth, education and beauty is smashed. Thus corrected, he is in the right position for liberation.


                               TEXT 16




                      nityam ksut-ksama-dehasya


                        indriyany anususyanti

                         himsapi vinivartate




   nityam--always; ksut--with hunger; ksama--weak, without necessary strength; dehasya--of the body of a poor man; daridrasya--poverty-stricken; anna-kanksinah--always desiring to get sufficient food; indriyani--the senses, which are compared to snakes; anususyanti--gradually become weaker and weaker, with less potency; himsa api--the tendency to be envious of others; vinivartate--reduces.




   Always hungry, longing for sufficient food, a poverty-stricken man gradually becomes weaker and weaker. Having no extra potency, his senses are automatically pacified. A poverty-stricken man, therefore, is unable to perform harmful, envious activities. In other words, such a man automatically gains the results of the austerities and penances adopted voluntarily by saintly persons.




   According to the opinion of experienced medical practitioners, diabetes is a result of voracious eating, and tuberculosis is a disease of undereating. We should desire neither to be diabetic nor to be tubercular. Yavad artha-prayojanam. We should eat frugally and keep the body fit for advancing in Krsna consciousness. As recommended elsewhere in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.10):


                       kamasya nendriya-pritir

                         labho jiveta yavata

                        jivasya tattva-jijnasa

                      nartho yas ceha karmabhih


   The real business of human life is to keep oneself fit for advancement in spiritual realization. Human life is not meant for making the senses unnecessarily strong so that one suffers from disease and one increases in an envious, fighting spirit. In this age of Kali, however, human civilization is so misled that people are unnecessarily increasing in economic development, and as a result they are opening more and more slaughterhouses, liquor shops and brothels. In this way, the whole civilization is being spoiled.


                               TEXT 17




                        daridrasyaiva yujyante

                        sadhavah sama-darsinah

                      sadbhih ksinoti tam tarsam

                        tata arad visuddhyati




   daridrasya--of a person who is poverty-stricken; eva--indeed; yujyante--may easily associate; sadhavah--saintly persons; sama-darsinah--although sadhus are equal to everyone, to the poor and the rich, the poor man can take advantage of their association; sadbhih--by the association of such saintly persons; ksinoti--reduces; tam--the original cause of material suffering; tarsam--the desire for material enjoyment; tatah--thereafter; arat--very soon; visuddhyati--his material contamination is cleansed off.




   Saintly persons may freely associate with those who are poverty-stricken, but not with those who are rich. A poverty-stricken man, by association with saintly persons, very soon becomes uninterested in material desires, and the dirty things within the core of his heart are cleansed away.




   It is said, mahad-vicalanam nrnam grhinam dina-cetasam (Bhag. 10.8.4). The only business of a saintly person or sannyasi, a person in the renounced order, is to preach Krsna consciousness. Sadhus, saintly persons, want to preach to both the poor and the rich, but the poor take more advantage of the sadhus' preaching than the rich do. A poor man receives sadhus very quickly, offers them obeisances, and tries to take advantage of their presence, whereas a rich man keeps a big greyhound dog at his door so that no one can enter his house. He posts a sign saying "Beware of Dog" and avoids the association of saintly persons, whereas a poor man keeps his door open for them and thus benefits by their association more than a rich man does. Because Narada Muni, in his previous life, was the poverty-stricken son of a maidservant, he got the association of saintly persons and later became the exalted Narada Muni. This was his actual experience. Therefore, he is now comparing the position of a poor man with that of a rich man.


                  satam prasangan mama virya-samvido

                 bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah

                  taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani

                 sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati


   (Bhag. 3.25.25)


   If one gets the advantage of association with saintly persons, by their instructions one becomes more and more purified of material desires.


               krsna-bahirmukha haiya bhoga-vancha kare

                 nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare




   Material life means that one forgets Krsna and that one increases in one's desires for sense gratification. But if one receives the advantage of instructions from saintly persons and forgets the importance of material desires, one is automatically purified. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam (Siksastaka 1). Unless the core of a materialistic person's heart is purified, he cannot get rid of the pangs of bhava-maha-davagni, the blazing fire of material existence.


                               TEXT 18




                        sadhunam sama-cittanam


                    upeksyaih kim dhana-stambhair

                        asadbhir asad-asrayaih




   sadhunam--of saintly persons; sama-cittanam--of those who are equal to everyone; mukunda-carana-esinam--whose only business is to serve Mukunda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and who always aspire for that service; upeksyaih--neglecting the association; kim--what; dhana-stambhaih--rich and proud; asadbhih--with the association of undesirable persons; asat-asrayaih--taking shelter of those who are asat, or nondevotees.




   Saintly persons [sadhus] think of Krsna twenty-four hours a day. They have no other interest. Why should people neglect the association of such exalted spiritual personalities and try to associate with materialists, taking shelter of nondevotees, most of whom are proud and rich?




   A sadhu is one who is engaged in devotional service to the Lord without deviation (bhajate mam ananya-bhak).


                         titiksavah karunikah

                        suhrdah sarva-dehinam

                        ajata-satravah santah

                       sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah


   "The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime." (Bhag. 3.25.21) A sadhu is suhrdah sarva-dehinam, the friend of everyone. Why then should the rich, instead of associating with sadhus, waste their valuable time in association with other rich men who are averse to spiritual life? Both the poor man and the rich man can take advantage of the Krsna consciousness movement, and here it is advised that everyone do so. There is no profit in avoiding the association of the members of the Krsna consciousness movement. Narottama dasa Thakura has said:


                 sat-sanga chadi' kainu asate vilasa

               te-karane lagila ye karma-bandha-phansa


   If we give up the association of sadhus, saintly persons engaged in Krsna consciousness, and associate with persons seeking sense gratification and accumulating wealth for this purpose, our life is spoiled. The word asat refers to an avaisnava, one who is not a devotee of Krsna, and sat refers to a Vaisnava, Krsna's devotee. One should always seek the association of Vaisnavas and not spoil one's life by mixing with avaisnavas. In Bhagavad-gita (7.15), the distinction between Vaisnava and avaisnava is enunciated:


                       na mam duskrtino mudhah

                        prapadyante naradhamah


                        asuram bhavam asritah


   Anyone who is not surrendered to Krsna is a most sinful person (duskrti), a rascal (mudha), and the lowest of men (naradhama). Therefore one should not avoid the association of Vaisnavas, which is now available all over the world in the form of the Krsna consciousness movement.


                               TEXT 19




                      tad aham mattayor madhvya

                       varunya sri-madandhayoh

                         tamo-madam harisyami

                        strainayor ajitatmanoh




   tat--therefore; aham--I; mattayoh--of these two drunken persons; madhvya--by drinking liquor; varunya--named Varuni; sri-mada-andhayoh--who are blinded by celestial opulence; tamah-madam--this false prestige due to the mode of ignorance; harisyami--I shall take away; strainayoh--because they have become so attached to women; ajita-atmanoh--being unable to control the senses.




   Therefore, since these two persons, drunk with the liquor named Varuni, or Madhvi, and unable to control their senses, have been blinded by the pride of celestial opulence and have become attached to women, I shall relieve them of their false prestige.




   When a sadhu chastises or punishes someone, he does not do so for revenge. Maharaja Pariksit had inquired why Narada Muni was subject to such a spirit of revenge (tamah). But this was not tamah, for Narada Muni, in full knowledge of what was for the good of the two brothers, wisely thought of how to cure them. Vaisnavas are good physicians. They know how to protect a person from material disease. Thus they are never in tamo-guna. Sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate (Bg. 14.26). Vaisnavas are always situated on the transcendental platform, the Brahman platform. They cannot be subject to mistakes or the influence of the modes of material nature. Whatever they do, after full consideration, is meant just to lead everyone back home, back to Godhead.


                             TEXTS 20-22




                        yad imau loka-palasya

                      putrau bhutva tamah-plutau

                         na vivasasam atmanam

                         vijanitah sudurmadau


                       ato 'rhatah sthavaratam

                      syatam naivam yatha punah

                      smrtih syan mat-prasadena

                        tatrapi mad-anugrahat


                        vasudevasya sannidhyam

                      labdhva divya-sarac-chate

                       vrtte svarlokatam bhuyo

                      labdha-bhakti bhavisyatah




   yat--because; imau--these two young demigods; loka-palasya--of the great demigod Kuvera; putrau--born as sons; bhutva--being so (they should not have become like that); tamah-plutau--so absorbed in the mode of darkness; na--not; vivasasam--without any dress, completely naked; atmanam--their personal bodies; vijanitah--could understand that they were naked; su-durmadau--because they were very much fallen due to false pride; atah--therefore; arhatah--they deserve; sthavaratam--immobility like that of a tree; syatam--they may become; na--not; evam--in this way; yatha--as; punah--again; smrtih--remembrance; syat--may continue; mat-prasadena--by my mercy; tatra api--over and above that; mat-anugrahat--by my special favor; vasudevasya--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sannidhyam--the personal association, face to face; labdhva--obtaining; divya-sarat-sate vrtte--after the expiry of one hundred years by the measurement of the demigods; svarlokatam--the desire to live in the celestial world; bhuyah--again; labdha-bhakti--having revived their natural condition of devotional service; bhavisyatah--will become.




   These two young men, Nalakuvara and Manigriva, are by fortune the sons of the great demigod Kuvera, but because of false prestige and madness after drinking liquor, they are so fallen that they are naked but cannot understand that they are. Therefore, because they are living like trees (for trees are naked but are not conscious), these two young men should receive the bodies of trees. This will be proper punishment. Nonetheless, after they become trees and until they are released, by my mercy they will have remembrance of their past sinful activities. Moreover, by my special favor, after the expiry of one hundred years by the measurement of the demigods, they will be able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, face to face, and thus revive their real position as devotees.




   A tree has no consciousness: when cut, it feels no pain. But Narada Muni wanted the consciousness of Nalakuvara and Manigriva to continue, so that even after being released from the life of trees, they would not forget the circumstances under which they had been punished. Therefore, to bestow upon them special favor, Narada Muni arranged things in such a way that after being released, they would be able to see Krsna in Vrndavana and thus revive their dormant bhakti.

   Each day of the demigods in the upper planetary system equals six months of our measurement. Although the demigods in the upper planetary system are attached to material enjoyment, they are all devotees, and therefore they are called demigods. There are two kinds of persons, namely the devas and the asuras. Asuras forget their relationship with Krsna (asuram bhavam asritah), whereas the devas do not forget.


                     dvau bhuta-sargau loke 'smin

                          daiva asura eva ca

                      visnu-bhaktah smrto daiva

                        asuras tad-viparyayah


   (Padma Purana)


   The distinction between a pure devotee and a karma-misra devotee is this: a pure devotee does not desire anything for material enjoyment, whereas a mixed devotee becomes a devotee to become a first-class enjoyer of this material world. One who is in direct touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in devotional service remains pure, uncontaminated by material desires (anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam).

   By karma-misra-bhakti one is elevated to the celestial kingdom, by jnana-misra-bhakti one is able to merge in the Brahman effulgence, and by yoga-misra-bhakti one is able to realize the omnipotency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But pure bhakti does not depend on karma, jnana or yoga, for it simply consists of loving affairs. The liberation of the bhakta, therefore, which is called not just mukti but vimukti, surpasses the five other kinds of liberation--sayujya, sarupya, salokya, sarsti and samipya. A pure devotee always engages in pure service (anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama). Taking birth in the upper planetary system as a demigod is a chance to become a further purified devotee and go back home, back to Godhead. Narada Muni indirectly gave Manigriva and Nalakuvara the greatest opportunity by his so-called curse.


                               TEXT 23




                            sri-suka uvaca

                        evam uktva sa devarsir

                         gato narayanasramam


                         asatur yamalarjunau




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued to speak; evam uktva--thus uttering; sah--he; devarsih--the greatest saintly person, Narada; gatah--left that place; narayana-asramam--for his own asrama, known as Narayana-asrama; nalakuvara--Nalakuvara; manigrivau--and Manigriva; asatuh--remained there to become; yamala-arjunau--twin arjuna trees.




   Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Having thus spoken, the great saint Devarsi Narada returned to his asrama, known as Narayana-asrama, and Nalakuvara and Manigriva became twin arjuna trees.




   Arjuna trees are still found in many forests, and their skin is used by cardiologists to prepare medicine for heart trouble. This means that even though they are trees, they are disturbed when skinned for medical science.


                               TEXT 24




                       rser bhagavata-mukhyasya

                       satyam kartum vaco harih

                        jagama sanakais tatra

                        yatrastam yamalarjunau




   rseh--of the great sage and saintly person Narada; bhagavata-mukhyasya--of the topmost of all devotees; satyam--truthful; kartum--to prove; vacah--his words; harih--the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna; jagama--went there; sanakaih--very slowly; tatra--there; yatra--to the spot where; astam--there were; yamala-arjunau--the twin arjuna trees.




   The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, to fulfill the truthfulness of the words of the greatest devotee, Narada, slowly went to that spot where the twin arjuna trees were standing.


                               TEXT 25




                        devarsir me priyatamo

                        yad imau dhanadatmajau

                        tat tatha sadhayisyami

                       yad gitam tan mahatmana




   devarsih--the great saint Devarsi Narada; me--My; priya-tamah--most beloved devotee; yat--although; imau--these two persons (Nalakuvara and Manigriva); dhanada-atmajau--born of a rich father and being nondevotees; tat--the words of Devarsi; tatha--just so; sadhayisyami--I shall execute (because he wanted Me to come face to face with the yamala-arjuna, I shall do so); yat gitam--as already stated; tat--that; mahatmana--by Narada Muni.




   "Although these two young men are the sons of the very rich Kuvera and I have nothing to do with them, Devarsi Narada is My very dear and affectionate devotee, and therefore because he wanted Me to come face to face with them, I must do so for their deliverance."




   Nalakuvara and Manigriva actually had nothing to do with devotional service or seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, for this is not an ordinary opportunity. It is not that because one is very rich or learned or was born in an aristocratic family one will be able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. This is impossible. But in this case, because Narada Muni desired that Nalakuvara and Manigriva see Vasudeva face to face, the Supreme Personality of Godhead wanted to fulfill the words of His very dear devotee Narada Muni. If one seeks the favor of a devotee instead of directly asking favors from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is very easily successful. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has therefore recommended: vaisnava thakura tomara kukkura bhuliya janaha more, krsna se tomara krsna dite para. One should desire to become like a dog in strictly following a devotee. Krsna is in the hand of a devotee. Adurlabham atma-bhaktau. Thus without the favor of a devotee, one cannot directly approach Krsna, what to speak of engaging in His service. Narottama dasa Thakura therefore sings, chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payeche keba: unless one becomes a servant of a pure devotee, one cannot be delivered from the material condition of life. In our Gaudiya Vaisnava society, following in the footsteps of Rupa Gosvami, our first business is to seek shelter of a bona fide spiritual master (adau gurv-asrayah).


                               TEXT 26




                         ity antarenarjunayoh

                       krsnas tu yamayor yayau


                        tiryag-gatam ulukhalam




   iti--thus deciding; antarena--between; arjunayoh--the two arjuna trees; krsnah tu--Lord Krsna; yamayoh yayau--entered between the two trees; atma-nirvesa-matrena--as soon as He entered (between the two trees); tiryak--crossways; gatam--so became; ulukhalam--the big mortar for grinding spices.




   Having thus spoken, Krsna soon entered between the two arjuna trees, and thus the big mortar to which He was bound turned crosswise and stuck between them.


                               TEXT 27




                balena niskarsayatanvag ulukhalam tad

                damodarena tarasotkalitanghri-bandhau

                  nispetatuh parama-vikramitativepa-

              skandha-pravala-vitapau krta-canda-sabdau




   balena--by the boy Krsna; niskarsayata--who was dragging; anvak--following the dragging of Krsna; ulukhalam--the wooden mortar; tat--that; dama-udarena--by Krsna, who was tied by the belly; tarasa--with great force; utkalita--uprooted; anghri-bandhau--the roots of the two trees; nispetatuh--fell down; parama-vikramita--by the supreme power; ati-vepa--trembling severely; skandha--trunk; pravala--bunches of leaves; vitapau--those two trees, along with their branches; krta--having made; canda-sabdau--a fierce sound.




   By dragging behind Him with great force the wooden mortar tied to His belly, the boy Krsna uprooted the two trees. By the great strength of the Supreme Person, the two trees, with their trunks, leaves and branches, trembled severely and fell to the ground with a great crash.




   This is the pastime of Krsna known as damodara-lila. Therefore another of Krsna's names is Damodara. As stated in the Hari-vamsa:


                        sa ca tenaiva namna tu

                       krsno vai dama-bandhanat

                         gosthe damodara iti

                         gopibhih parigiyate


                               TEXT 28




               tatra sriya paramaya kakubhah sphurantau

                siddhav upetya kujayor iva jata-vedah

               krsnam pranamya sirasakhila-loka-natham

                baddhanjali virajasav idam ucatuh sma




   tatra--there, on the very spot where the two arjunas fell; sriya--with beautification; paramaya--superexcellent; kakubhah--all directions; sphurantau--illuminating by effulgence; siddhau--two perfect persons; upetya--then coming out; kujayoh--from between the two trees; iva--like; jata-vedah--fire personified; krsnam--unto Lord Krsna; pranamya--offering obeisances; sirasa--with the head; akhila-loka-natham--to the Supreme Person, the controller of everything; baddha-anjali--with folded hands; virajasau--fully cleansed of the mode of ignorance; idam--the following words; ucatuh sma--uttered.




   Thereafter, in that very place where the two arjuna trees had fallen, two great, perfect personalities, who appeared like fire personified, came out of the two trees. The effulgence of their beauty illuminating all directions, with bowed heads they offered obeisances to Krsna, and with hands folded they spoke the following words.


                               TEXT 29




                       krsna krsna maha-yogims

                       tvam adyah purusah parah

                      vyaktavyaktam idam visvam

                       rupam te brahmana viduh




   krsna krsna--O Lord Krsna, O Lord Krsna; maha-yogin--O master of mysticism; tvam--You, the exalted personality; adyah--the root cause of everything; purusah--the Supreme Person; parah--beyond this material creation; vyakta-avyaktam--this material cosmic manifestation, consisting of cause and effect, or gross and subtle forms; idam--this; visvam--whole world; rupam--form; te--Your; brahmanah--learned brahmanas; viduh--know.




   O Lord Krsna, Lord Krsna, Your opulent mysticism is inconceivable. You are the supreme, original person, the cause of all causes, immediate and remote, and You are beyond this material creation. Learned brahmanas know [on the basis of the Vedic statement sarvam khalv idam brahma] that You are everything and that this cosmic manifestation, in its gross and subtle aspects, is Your form.




   The two demigods Nalakuvara and Manigriva, because of their continuing memory, could understand the supremacy of Krsna by the grace of Narada. Now they admitted, "That we should be delivered by the blessings of Narada Muni was all Your plan. Therefore You are the supreme mystic. Everything--past, present and future--is known to You. Your plan was made so nicely that although we stayed here as twin arjuna trees, You have appeared as a small boy to deliver us. This was all Your inconceivable arrangement. Because You are the Supreme Person, You can do everything."


                             TEXTS 30-31




                       tvam ekah sarva-bhutanam


                        tvam eva kalo bhagavan

                        visnur avyaya isvarah


                      tvam mahan prakrtih suksma


                      tvam eva puruso 'dhyaksah





   tvam--Your Lordship; ekah--one; sarva-bhutanam--of all living entities; deha--of the body; asu--of the life force; atma--of the soul; indriya--of the senses; isvarah--the Supersoul, the controller; tvam--Your Lordship; eva--indeed; kalah--the time factor; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; visnuh--all-pervading; avyayah--imperishable; isvarah--controller; tvam--Your Lordship; mahan--the greatest; prakrtih--the cosmic manifestation; suksma--subtle; rajah-sattva-tamah-mayi--consisting of three modes of nature (passion, goodness and ignorance); tvam eva--Your Lordship is indeed; purusah--the Supreme Person; adhyaksah--the proprietor; sarva-ksetra--in all living entities; vikara-vit--knowing the restless mind.




   You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the controller of everything. The body, life, ego and senses of every living entity are Your own self. You are the Supreme Person, Visnu, the imperishable controller. You are the time factor, the immediate cause, and You are material nature, consisting of the three modes passion, goodness and ignorance. You are the original cause of this material manifestation. You are the Supersoul, and therefore You know everything within the core of the heart of every living entity.




   Sripada Madhvacarya has quoted from the Vamana purana as follows:


                       rupyatvat tu jagad rupam

                      visnoh saksat sukhatmakam

                       nitya-purnam samuddistam

                        svarupam paramatmanah


                               TEXT 32




                       grhyamanais tvam agrahyo

                      vikaraih prakrtair gunaih

                       ko nv iharhati vijnatum

                      prak siddham guna-samvrtah




   grhyamanaih--accepting the body made of material nature as existing at the present moment because of being visible; tvam--You; agrahyah--not confined in a body made of material nature; vikaraih--agitated by the mind; prakrtaih gunaih--by the material modes of nature (sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna); kah--who is there; nu--after that; iha--in this material world; arhati--who deserves; vijnatum--to know; prak siddham--that which existed before the creation; guna-samvrtah--because of being covered by the material qualities.




   O Lord, You exist before the creation. Therefore, who, trapped by a body of material qualities in this material world, can understand You?




   As it is said:


                        atah sri-krsna-namadi

                     na bhaved grahyam indriyaih

                        sevonmukhe hi jihvadau

                       svayam eva sphuraty adah


   (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234)


   Krsna's name, attributes and form are Absolute Truth, existing before the creation. Therefore, how can those who are created--that is, those entrapped in bodies created of material elements--understand Krsna perfectly? This is not possible. But, sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah: Krsna reveals Himself to those engaged in devotional service. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (18.15) by the Lord Himself: bhaktya mam abhijanati. Even the descriptions of Krsna in Srimad-Bhagavatam are sometimes misunderstood by less intelligent men with a poor fund of knowledge. Therefore, the best course by which to know Him is to engage oneself in pure devotional activities. The more one advances in devotional activities, the more one can understand Him as He is. If from the material platform one could understand Krsna, then, since Krsna is everything (sarvam khalv idam brahma), one could understand Krsna by seeing anything within this material world. But that is not possible.


                        maya tatam idam sarvam

                        jagad avyakta-murtina

                       mat-sthani sarva-bhutani

                       na caham tesv avasthitah


   (Bg. 9.4)


   Everything is resting on Krsna, and everything is Krsna, but this is not to be realized by persons on the material platform.


                               TEXT 33




                       tasmai tubhyam bhagavate

                          vasudevaya vedhase

                      atma-dyota-gunais channa-

                        mahimne brahmane namah




   tasmai--(because You are not to be understood from the material platform, we simply offer obeisances) unto Him; tubhyam--unto You; bhagavate--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vasudevaya--unto Vasudeva, the origin of Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha; vedhase--unto the origin of creation; atma-dyota-gunaih channa-mahimne--unto You whose glories are covered by Your personal energy; brahmane--unto the Supreme Brahman; namah--our respectful obeisances.




   O Lord, whose glories are covered by Your own energy, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You are Sankarsana, the origin of creation, and You are Vasudeva, the origin of the caturvyuha. Because You are everything and are therefore the Supreme Brahman, we simply offer our respectful obeisances unto You.




   Instead of trying to understand Krsna in detail, it is better to offer our respectful obeisances unto Him, for He is the origin of everything and He is everything. Because we are covered by the material modes of nature, He is very difficult for us to understand unless He reveals Himself to us. Therefore it is better for us to acknowledge that He is everything and offer obeisances unto His lotus feet.


                             TEXTS 34-35




                         yasyavatara jnayante

                         sariresv asaririnah

                       tais tair atulyatisayair

                      viryair dehisv asangataih


                       sa bhavan sarva-lokasya

                         bhavaya vibhavaya ca

                        avatirno 'msa-bhagena

                        sampratam patir asisam




   yasya--of whom; avatarah--the different incarnations, like Matsya, Kurma and Varaha; jnayante--are speculated; sariresu--in different bodies, differently visible; asaririnah--they are not ordinary material bodies, but are all transcendental; taih taih--by such bodily activities; atulya--incomparable; ati-sayaih--unlimited; viryaih--by strength and power; dehisu--by those who actually have material bodies; asangataih--which activities, enacted in different incarnations, are impossible to be performed; sah--the same Supreme; bhavan--Your Lordship; sarva-lokasya--of everyone; bhavaya--for the elevation; vibhavaya--for the liberation; ca--and; avatirnah--have now appeared; amsa-bhagena--in full potency, with different parts and parcels; sampratam--at the present moment; patih asisam--You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all auspiciousness.




   Appearing in bodies like those of an ordinary fish, tortoise and hog, You exhibit activities impossible for such creatures to perform--extraordinary, incomparable, transcendental activities of unlimited power and strength. These bodies of Yours, therefore, are not made of material elements, but are incarnations of Your Supreme Personality. You are the same Supreme Personality of Godhead, who have now appeared, with full potency, for the benefit of all living entities within this material world.




   As stated in Bhagavad-gita (4.7-8):


                        yada yada hi dharmasya

                        glanir bhavati bharata

                       abhyutthanam adharmasya

                        tadatmanam srjamy aham


                         paritranaya sadhunam

                         vinasaya ca duskrtam


                         sambhavami yuge yuge


   Krsna appears as an incarnation when real spiritual life declines and when rogues and thieves increase to disturb the situation of the world. Unfortunate, less intelligent persons, bereft of devotional service, cannot understand the Lord's activities, and therefore such persons describe these activities as kalpana--mythology or imagination--because they are rascals and the lowest of men (na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah). Such men cannot understand that the events described by Vyasadeva in the puranas and other sastras are not fictitious or imaginary, but factual.

   Krsna, in His full, unlimited potency, here shows that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for although the two trees were so large and sturdy that even many elephants could not move them, Krsna, as a child, exhibited such extraordinary strength that they fell down with a great sound. From the very beginning, by killing Putana, Sakatasura and Trnavartasura, by causing the trees to fall, and by showing the entire universe within His mouth, Krsna proved that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The lowest of men (mudhas), because of sinful activities, cannot understand this, but devotees can accept it without a doubt. Thus the position of a devotee is different from that of a nondevotee.


                               TEXT 36




                         namah parama-kalyana

                         namah parama-mangala

                          vasudevaya santaya

                         yadunam pataye namah




   namah--we therefore offer our respectful obeisances; parama-kalyana--You are the supreme auspiciousness; namah--our respectful obeisances unto You; parama-mangala--whatever You do is good; vasudevaya--unto the original Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva; santaya--unto the most peaceful; yadunam--of the Yadu dynasty; pataye--unto the controller; namah--our respectful obeisances unto You.




   O supremely auspicious, we offer our respectful obeisances unto You, who are the supreme good. O most famous descendant and controller of the Yadu dynasty, O son of Vasudeva, O most peaceful, let us offer our obeisances unto Your lotus feet.




   The word parama-kalyana is significant because Krsna, in any of His incarnations, appears in order to protect the sadhus (paritranaya sadhunam). The sadhus, saintly persons or devotees, are always harassed by nondevotees, and Krsna appears in His incarnations to give them relief. This is His first concern. If we study the history of Krsna's life, we shall find that for most of His life He predominantly engaged in killing demons one after another.


                               TEXT 37




                        anujanihi nau bhumams


                        darsanam nau bhagavata

                         rser asid anugrahat




   anujanihi--may we have permission; nau--we; bhuman--O greatest universal form; tava anucara-kinkarau--because of being servants of Your most confidential devotee Narada Muni; darsanam--to see personally; nau--of us; bhagavatah--of You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; rseh--of the great saint Narada; asit--there was (in the form of a curse); anugrahat--from the mercy.




   O supreme form, we are always servants of Your servants, especially of Narada Muni. Now give us permission to leave for our home. It is by the grace and mercy of Narada Muni that we have been able to see You face to face.




   Unless delivered or blessed by a devotee, one cannot realize that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye. According to this verse of Bhagavad-gita (7.3), there are so many siddhas or yogis who cannot understand Krsna; instead, they misunderstand Him. But if one takes shelter of a devotee descending from the parampara system of Narada (svayambhur naradah sambhuh), one can then understand who is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this age, many pseudo incarnations are advertised simply for having exhibited some magical performances, but except for persons who are servants of Narada and other servants of Krsna, no one can understand who is God and who is not. This is confirmed by Narottama dasa Thakura. Chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payeche keba: no one is delivered from the material conception of life unless favored by a Vaisnava. Others can never understand, neither by speculation nor by any other bodily or mental gymnastics.


                               TEXT 38




                 vani gunanukathane sravanau kathayam

               hastau ca karmasu manas tava padayor nah

               smrtyam siras tava nivasa-jagat-praname

               drstih satam darsane 'stu bhavat-tanunam




   vani--words, the power of speech; guna-anukathane--always engaged in talking about Your pastimes; sravanau--the ear, or aural reception; kathayam--in talks about You and Your pastimes; hastau--hands and legs and other senses; ca--also; karmasu--engaging them in executing Your mission; manah--the mind; tava--Your; padayoh--of Your lotus feet; nah--our; smrtyam--in remembrance always engaged in meditation; sirah--the head; tava--Your; nivasa-jagat-praname--because You are all-pervading, You are everything, and our heads should bow down, not looking for enjoyment; drstih--the power of sight; satam--of the Vaisnavas; darsane--in seeing; astu--let all of them be engaged in this way; bhavat-tanunam--who are nondifferent from You.




   Henceforward, may all our words describe Your pastimes, may our ears engage in aural reception of Your glories, may our hands, legs and other senses engage in actions pleasing to You, and may our minds always think of Your lotus feet. May our heads offer our obeisances to everything within this world, because all things are also Your different forms, and may our eyes see the forms of Vaisnavas, who are nondifferent from You.




   Here the process of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead is given. This process is bhakti.


                       sravanam kirtanam visnoh

                        smaranam pada-sevanam

                       arcanam vandanam dasyam

                        sakhyam atma-nivedanam


   (Bhag. 7.5.23)


   Everything should be engaged in the service of the Lord. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate (Narada-pancaratra). Everything--the mind, the body and all the sense organs--should be engaged in Krsna's service. This is to be learned from expert devotees like Narada, Svayambhu and Sambhu. This is the process. We cannot manufacture our own way of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for it is not that everything one manufactures or concocts will lead to understanding God. Such a proposition--yata mata, tata patha--is foolish. Krsna says, bhaktyaham ekaya grahyah: "Only by executing the activities of bhakti can one understand Me." (Bhag. 11.14.21) This is called anukulyena krsnanusilanam, remaining engaged favorably in the service of the Lord.


                               TEXT 39




                            sri-suka uvaca

                      ittham sankirtitas tabhyam

                        bhagavan gokulesvarah

                       damna colukhale baddhah

                        prahasann aha guhyakau




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued to speak; ittham--in this way, as aforesaid; sankirtitah--being glorified and praised; tabhyam--by the two young demigods; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; gokula-isvarah--the master of Gokula (because He is sarva-loka-mahesvara); damna--by the rope; ca--also; ulukhale--on the wooden mortar; baddhah--bound; prahasan--smiling; aha--said; guhyakau--unto the two young demigods.




   Sukadeva Gosvami continued: The two young demigods thus offered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although Sri Krsna, the Supreme Godhead, is the master of all and was certainly Gokulesvara, the master of Gokula, He was bound to the wooden mortar by the ropes of the gopis, and therefore, smiling widely, He spoke to the sons of Kuvera the following words.




   Krsna was smiling because He was thinking to Himself, "These two young demigods fell from the higher planetary system to this planet, and I have delivered them from the bondage of standing for a long time as trees, but as for Me, I am bound by the ropes of the gopis and am subject to their chastisements." In other words, Krsna submits to being chastised and bound by the gopis because of pure love and affection worthy of being praised by a devotee in so many ways.


                               TEXT 40




                          sri-bhagavan uvaca

                       jnatam mama puraivaitad

                          rsina karunatmana

                     yac chri-madandhayor vagbhir

                      vibhramso 'nugrahah krtah




   sri-bhagavan uvaca--the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; jnatam--everything is known; mama--to Me; pura--in the past; eva--indeed; etat--this incident; rsina--by the great sage Narada; karuna-atmana--because he was very, very kind to you; yat--which; sri-mada-andhayoh--who had become mad after material opulence and had thus become blind; vagbhih--by words or by cursing; vibhramsah--falling down from the heavenly planet to become arjuna trees here; anugrahah krtah--this was a great favor done by him to you.




   The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: The great saint Narada Muni is very merciful. By his curse, he showed the greatest favor to both of you, who were mad after material opulence and who had thus become blind. Although you fell from the higher planet Svargaloka and became trees, you were most favored by him. I knew of all these incidents from the very beginning.




   It is now confirmed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead that the curse of a devotee is also to be regarded as mercy. As Krsna, God, is all-good, a Vaisnava is also all-good. Whatever he does is good for everyone. This is explained in the following verse.


                               TEXT 41




                        sadhunam sama-cittanam

                        sutaram mat-krtatmanam

                      darsanan no bhaved bandhah

                      pumso 'ksnoh savitur yatha




   sadhunam--of devotees; sama-cittanam--who are equally disposed toward everyone; sutaram--excessively, completely; mat-krta-atmanam--of persons who are fully surrendered, determined to render service unto Me; darsanat--simply by the audience; no bhavet bandhah--freedom from all material bondage; pumsah--of a person; aksnoh--of the eyes; savituh yatha--as by being face to face with the sun.




   When one is face to face with the sun, there is no longer darkness for one's eyes. Similarly, when one is face to face with a sadhu, a devotee, who is fully determined and surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one will no longer be subject to material bondage.




   As stated by Caitanya Mahaprabhu (Cc. Madhya 22.54):


          'sadhu-sanga,' 'sadhu-sanga'----sarva-sastre kaya

               lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya


   If by chance one meets a sadhu, a devotee, one's life is immediately successful, and one is freed from material bondage. It may be argued that whereas someone may receive a sadhu with great respect, someone else may not receive a sadhu with such respect. A sadhu, however, is always equipoised toward everyone. Because of being a pure devotee, a sadhu is always ready to deliver Krsna consciousness without discrimination. As soon as one sees a sadhu, one naturally becomes free. Nonetheless, persons who are too much offensive, who commit vaisnava-aparadhas, or offenses to a sadhu, will have to take some time before being rectified. This is also indicated herein.


                               TEXT 42




                      tad gacchatam mat-paramau

                          nalakuvara sadanam

                        sanjato mayi bhavo vam

                        ipsitah paramo 'bhavah




   tat gacchatam--now both of you may return; mat-paramau--accepting Me as the supreme destination of life; nalakuvara--O Nalakuvara and Manigriva; sadanam--to your home; sanjatah--being saturated with; mayi--unto Me; bhavah--devotional service; vam--by you; ipsitah--which was desired; paramah--supreme, highest, always engaged with all senses; abhavah--from which there is no falldown into material existence.




   O Nalakuvara and Manigriva, now you may both return home. Since you desire to be always absorbed in My devotional service, your desire to develop love and affection for Me will be fulfilled, and now you will never fall from that platform.




   The highest perfection of life is to come to the platform of devotional service and always engage in devotional activities. Understanding this, Nalakuvara and Manigriva desired to attain that platform, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead blessed them with the fulfillment of their transcendental desire.


                               TEXT 43




                            sri-suka uvaca

                       ity uktau tau parikramya

                       pranamya ca punah punah

                       baddholukhalam amantrya

                        jagmatur disam uttaram




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; iti uktau--having been ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in this way; tau--Nalakuvara and Manigriva; parikramya--circumambulating; pranamya--offering obeisances; ca--also; punah punah--again and again; baddha-ulukhalam amantrya--taking the permission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who was bound to the wooden mortar; jagmatuh--departed; disam uttaram--to their respective destinations.




   Sukadeva Gosvami said: The Supreme Personality of Godhead having spoken to the two demigods in this way, they circumambulated the Lord, who was bound to the wooden mortar, and offered obeisances to Him. After taking the permission of Lord Krsna, they returned to their respective homes.


Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Tenth Canto, Tenth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Deliverance of the  Yamala-arjuna Trees."

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