Going Beyond Vaikuṇṭha

From Going Beyond Vaikuṇṭha Chapter 7
by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja

Bhagavān’s Inconceivable Potency When Brahmā stole the gopas and calves and Kṛṣṇa Himself became all of them, He took on the same nature as all the boys and calves. He also became the

sticks, blankets, everything-all were Kṛṣṇa Himself, and none were different from Him. Brahmā personally experienced this.

durvitarkyā hi sā śaktir adbhutā parameśvarī kintv asyaikānta-bhakteṣu gūḍham kiṣcin na tiṣṭhati Bṛhad-bhāg. 2.4.165

“Although Bhagavān’s potency is wonderful and inconceivable, it is not a secret to His exclusive devotees.”

But devotees do not keep the same feelings for all of those mūrtis. If they do, then their sentiment will not be perfected. If we see Them all as equal, then will we treat those sticks which Kṛṣṇa became the same as the original form of Kṛṣṇa Himself? Rāmacandra, Nārāyaṇa, Nṛsiṁha, Vāmana-Kṛṣṇa is one with all of Them. So an ordinary man, a neutral person, will consider Them all equal, just as one may consider that all tulasī leaves are equal: which one is smaller or bigger, which one has holes in it, which are dry, wet, or immature doesn’t matter; all are equal.

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja

Similarly, those who are neutral say, “For us, all Vaiṣṇavas are equal. We don’t consider who is an uttama-bhāgavat, madhyama-bhāgavat, or kaniṣṭha. We see only that they are all Vaiṣṇavas. They all wear saffron cloth, apply tilaka, and take harināma, so for us they are all representatives of Bhagavān.” Some people speak like this, but in bhagavad-bhakti, such neutrality is not desirable. In bhakti there should be exclusive feeling for one mūrti. Kṛṣṇa, Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Nārāyaṇa

They are all one, but for a devotee one iṣṭadeva or favourite Deity must come. Then there can be perfection in bhajana. Otherwise, the vision that all are equal and that all are one from the viewpoint of tattva is correct, but from the viewpoint of upāsanā or worship, there are some shortcomings in it. For instance, Kṛṣṇa steals from houses and tells lies.


Yaśodā asks, “Hey! Have You been stealing from the houses of others?” Kṛṣṇa replies, “When could I have done it? Early in the morning you sent Me to the forest to take the cows grazing. All day they are grazing, and then I bring them back in the early evening. Then I come to you. Tell Me, when could I have stolen anything?” And He had done it also! This is mugdhatā. This is a positive quality of Bhagavān which is accepted by devotees, but nirviśeṣa-vādīs consider this to be a fault.

They consider this to be a defect and will not understand it. This is a quality of Bhagavān’s variegatedness, but a neutral person will not be able to understand it. In the realm of bhakti, neutrality is the most undesirable thing. Exclusive sentiment is the specific quality of bhakti; therefore in relation to Kṛṣṇa there will never be neutrality. There is neutrality in Brahman, so this is a desirable quality for brahmavādīs.

If someone says that complete neutrality is a quality of Kṛṣṇa, then he is certainly a neutral person. In the war between the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas, by cleverness and cheating Kṛṣṇa took the side of the Pāṇḍavas, His devotees. One can also say that the sun is neutral. When you are in front of it, it gives you light and heat, but when you remain inside the house you don’t get its rays. Then where is the sun’s neutrality? Bhagavān is just like this. Kṛṣṇa is just seated quietly, just like the master of a house is seated.

For everything He has appointed a department head and has told everyone, “All of you do your own work!” Then He just sits quietly and oversees them all. Like this Kṛṣṇa possesses all śaktis, and lets everyone automatically do their work. In the management of the universe these śaktis see to it that there is never any disturbance. There never has been, and never will be; such is the efficacy of His śaktis. Kṛṣṇa stole something, and when the news of His theft reached Yaśodā, she became angry.

Parabrahma had stolen from houses and broken pots, so He will have to be punished. But because His limbs are so soft, she will not hit Him, but bind Him; then He will learn His lesson. Taking a rope in her hands, she tried to bind Kṛṣṇa, but the rope was short by a measurement of two fingers length. She tried again with more rope, and again the rope was two fingers length short. Trying and trying, from early until ten o clock in the morning, the rope was still two fingers length short.

At that time, Yaśodā was very astonished, and the gopīs were very delighted. Originally they had angrily come to speak against Kṛṣṇa so that He would be given punishment, and now they were clapping their hands and laughing, saying to Yaśodā, “Just see, you cannot control Him! How will you possibly bind Him?” They brought all of the ropes of Vraja and still couldn’t bind Him. It was always two fingers length short.

Yaśodā had applied such a long rope, and neither His waist or waist ornaments had increased in size, so how is this? Bhagavān’s acintya-śakti remains in an inactive state, not doing anything, but is always searching for an opportunity for service. Just like the person who doesn’t work all of the time but simply waits for the order of his master, Bhagavān’s millions and millions of śaktis are waiting for His order. But it is not like our giving an order to someone. Bhagavān simply desires something in His mind and simultaneously that task is done.

Here Kṛṣṇa thought, “Today Mother is binding Me, but outside the cows are waiting for My darśana. Until I come, they will not give milk. The calves are also waiting for Me. Now the sakhās will come, and because I won’t be able to go and play with them, they will be very unhappy.” The cowherd boys saw all of this and said, “Today Your mother has taught You a good lesson!” They were very unhappy that on that day they wouldn’t be able to play with Kṛṣṇa, but at the same time they loved Kṛṣṇa so much that just by seeing Him very briefly they felt great happiness.

Kṛṣṇa is very small in this pastime, only three and one-half years old. So these other boys are only three and even two years old, yet seeing Kṛṣṇa in this condition they felt great happiness. But they also lamented, “Oh, today Kṛṣṇa will not be able to play with us because Mother has bound Him.” This is mugdhatā, not sarvajñatā. This svarūpa-śakti is also called Yogamāyā, the energy by which Kṛṣṇa performs so many activities and pastimes.

Yogamāyā saw that an opportunity for service was available, and she responded accordingly. “His waist will not be bound, and then He will be able to go and play.” Regardless of how much rope was applied, the rope remained two fingers length short. This is impossible, but it becomes possible by the arrangement of this svarūpa-śakti, the medium by which Bhagavān performs His pastimes. What determines whether Yogamāyā gives the darśana of Bhagavān to someone or not?

If Yogamāyā is pleased, then someone can receive Kṛṣṇa’s darśana. If she is not pleased, then they won’t get His darśana. This Yogamāyā is the foundation for all of His pastimes, and this same Yogamāyā in full form, expanded to the highest limit, is Śrīmatī Rādhikā Herself. The same śakti is present in Dvārakā in the forms of Satyabhāmā, Rukmiṇī, and others, in Vaikuṇṭha in the forms of Lakṣmī, and in the heavenly planets in the forms of the wives of the plenary portions of Bhagavān there. In heaven there is the form of caṣcala or restless Lakṣmī, and in Vaikuṇṭha there is the form of acaṣcala or steady Lakṣmī. They are all Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s reflected forms or expansions.

From Going Beyond Vaikuṇṭha Chapter 7
by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja


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