by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaja
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, May 12, 2003

Sri Jayadeva Gosvami was a very high class of maha-bhagavata, and he wrote a book called “Gita-govinda,” meaning “The Glories of Govinda.” When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw this book, He made a copy and instructed His followers to also obtain one. At that time there was no press – books were reproduced by hand – so Mahaprabhu ordered His followers to write it down and then preach. In Jagannatha Puri, all the Vaisnavas and associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wrote down that book and made a necklace for themselves of the beautiful songs therein.

Sri Gita-govinda is a jewel-book, brought by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We all know that Sri Jayadeva Gosvami has written this beautiful Gita-govinda, but without Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, it would have remained locked like a pearl in an oyster shell or a jewel in a locked case. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu manifested the glories of Sri Gita-govinda.

Just as without Srila Rupa Gosvami no one would have known the inner moods of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, similarly, by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu relishing the moods of Sri Gita-govinda, its glories became manifest for the entire world. I have explained this very high-class philosophy, but only rare devotees in this world can understand it. I have called you here only to give you this.

Our subject is so high, and I request you all to hear this sweet and powerful discussion about Sri Krsna very carefully. I know that although some of the devotees are now hearing, after my departure from here, they will keep my words in cold storage. Never keep this in cold storage. Try to repeat in your mind what we have discussed. If anything else comes in your mind after hearing hari-katha and you repeat that thing, the hari-katha may go out of your heart. In the evening, therefore, before going to sleep, remember all these topics and try to make them yours. I have given hari-katha for you, so try daily to remember what I have said and try to note it down in your hearts. We are discussing very exalted topics.

Gita-govinda, The Jewel Book
Badger, California: May 19, 2003

rase harim iha vihita-vilasam
smarati mano mama krta-praihasam
(Sri Gita-govinda, Act 2, Verse 2)

[“O dear one, Sri Krsna’s loving smile during His rasa pastimes still awakens within My mind. Aha! As His sweet lips blew into His enchanting flute, His eyes were restless and full of longing; thus His crown tilted as His earrings played over His cheeks.”]

rase harim iha vihita-vilasam
smarati mano mama krta-parihasam
(Sri Gita-govinda, Act 2, Verse 3)

[“Krsna’s hair, decorated by peacock feathers in the curvature of a half moon, looked like a glistening cloud sheltering many rainbows.”]

This song is very exalted. Sometimes Srimati Radhika – with or without reason, or with a shadow of a reason, or having created a reason in Her mind – becomes manavati. Manavati means sulky (with transcendental loving jealous anger). Once, when Krsna approached Her while She was in that mood, She told Him, “O Black One, You should go away from here.” And She turned Her face away from Him. He continually begged Her to forgive Him, but that day Her mana was very strong and at last He left that place.

After Krsna left, Lalita-devi saw that Srimati Radhika was greatly lamenting and weeping for Him, and singing, “Why did I do what I did? Now I am remembering how He came to Me, how sweet He was, and how He placed His flute at My lotus feet. Oh, why did I do mana? Fie on Me! Why did I do so?” She was continually repenting, thinking, “How very lovingly He talks. He can take anyone’s heart so easily.”

Lalita said, “Why can’t You forget Him?”

Srimati Radhika replied, “How can I forget Him? This is the thing – I want to forget Him, but I cannot.”

Lalita said, “Then what can I do? I cannot help You! I told You to give up that Black One; but You do not obey me, so what can I do?!”

Always remember that any karma, jnana, yoga, tapasya, and worldly matters should not cover your bhakti. Don’t give importance to anything other than bhakti. Always remember that pure bhakti is our aim and object. This was also the aim of Srila Rupa Gosvami, of all Sri Rupanuga Vaisnavas, and of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja and myself. I have come only to sprinkle these sacred truths.

Jayadeva’s Mood on Dasa Avatara

“In the ten verses of the first song of Act One of Sri Gita-govinda, Sri Jayadeva has depicted the charming pastimes of the avataras of Bhagavan Sri Krsna. Sri Krsna manifests Himself in the form of these ten avataras. He has delivered the Vedas in the form of Matsya, He upheld the world in the form of Kurma, He saved Mother Earth in the form of Varaha, He killed Hiranyakasipu in the form of Nrsimha, He cheated Bali and made him His own in the form of Vamana, He annihilated the wicked ksatriyas in the form of Parasurama, He chastised the miscreants in the form of Balabhadra, He advocated compassion in the form of Buddha and He slew the barbarians in the form of Kalki. O Bhagavan Sri Krsna! O You who assume these ten incarnations, obeisan­ces unto You.”

(Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja’s
Commentary on Gita-govinda, Act 1, Verse 16)
Mathura, India: Janmastami morning, August, 2000

Why is Jayadeva Gosvami, who is so rasika, beginning his Sri Gita-govinda with a description of the ten prominent avataras? If a person eats only rasamalaya for breakfast, lunch and dinner, he will never appreciate it. If he takes something bitter, savory, sour, and so many other preparations, then, when he tastes rasamalaya he thinks, “This is the king of all preparations!” Similarly, Jayadeva Gosvami has glorified the astonishing pastimes of all the avataras to enhance our appreciation of Krsna. Kesava dhrta-dasa-vidha-rupa. Krsna Himself has appeared in these ten forms. If there are twenty mighty wrestlers assembled together in one place and they all fight each other, when all have been defeated and only one is left standing, then we will think that he is so powerful and expert. Otherwise, if we were to meet that same wrestler in a situation where there were no opponents, we would not be able to appreciate his marvelous prowess.

In this song, Jayadeva Gosvami presents the gradual evolution of the theistic conception for the sake of attracting all jivas who are in different stages of their own spiritual evolution. Not everyone will be attracted to rasa-lila, but their first attraction may be to Matsya, Kurma or Nrsimha. Even Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu performed pastimes in many forms to attract and give mercy to all.

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