Krishna Book Chapter Seven
HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is always full of
six opulences--namely complete wealth, complete strength,
complete fame, complete knowledge, complete beauty and complete renunciation.
The Lord appears in different complete, eternal forms of incarnation. The conditioned
soul has immense opportunity to hear about the transcendental activities of the
Lord in these different incarnations. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said,
janma karma ca me divyam. The pastimes and activities of the Lord are not
material; they are beyond the material conception. But the conditioned soul can
benefit by hearing such uncommon activities. Hearing is an opportunity to associate
with the Lord; to hear His activities is to evolve to the transcendental nature--simply
by hearing. The conditioned soul has a natural aptitude to hear something about
other conditioned souls in the form of fiction, drama and novel. That inclination
to hear something about others may be utilized in hearing the pastimes of the
Lord. Then one can immediately evolve to his transcendental nature. Krishna's
pastimes are not only beautiful; they are also very pleasing to the mind.
If someone takes advantage of hearing the pastimes of the Lord,
the material contamination of dust, accumulated in the heart due to long association
with material nature, can be immediately cleansed. Lord Caitanya also instructed
that simply by hearing the transcendental name of Lord Krishna, one can cleanse
the heart of all material contamination. There are different processes for self-realization,
but this process of devotional service--of which hearing is the most important
function--when adopted by any conditioned soul, will automatically cleanse him
of the material contamination and enable him to realize his real constitutional
position. Conditional life is due to this contamination only, and as soon as it
is cleared off, then naturally the dormant function of the living entity--rendering
service to the Lord--awakens. By developing his eternal relationship with the
Supreme Lord, one becomes eligible to create friendship with the devotees. Maharaja
Pariksit recommended, from practical experience, that everyone try to hear about
the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. This Krishna treatise is meant for
that purpose, and the reader may take advantage in order to attain the ultimate
goal of human life.
The Lord, out of His causeless mercy, descends on this material
world and displays His activities just like an ordinary man. Unfortunately the
impious entities or the atheistic class of men consider Krishna to be an ordinary
man like themselves, and so they deride Him. This is condemned in the Bhagavad-gita
by the Lord Himself when He says, "avajananti mam mudhah." The mudhas,
or the rascals, take Krishna to be an ordinary man or a slightly more powerful
man; out of their great misfortune, they cannot accept Him as the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. Sometimes such unfortunate persons misrepresent themselves as incarnations
of Krishna without referring to the authorized scriptures.
When Krishna grew up a little more, He began to turn Himself backside
up; He did not merely lie down on His back. And another function was observed
by Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja: Krishna's first birthday. They arranged for Krishna's
birthday ceremony, which is still observed by all followers of the Vedic principles.
(Krishna's birthday ceremony is observed in India by all Hindus, irrespective of
different sectarian views.) All the cowherd men and women were invited to participate,
and they arrived in jubilation. A nice band played, and the people assembled enjoyed
it. All the learned brahmanas were invited, and they chanted Vedic hymns
for the good fortune of Krishna. During the chanting of the Vedic hymns and playing
of the bands, Krishna was bathed by mother Yasoda. This bathing ceremony is technically
called abhiseka, and even today this is observed in all the temples of
Vrndavana as Janmastami Day, or the birthday anniversary of Lord Krishna.
On this occasion, mother Yasoda arranged to distribute a large
quantity of grains, and first-class cows decorated with golden ornaments were
made ready to be given in charity to the learned, respectable brahmanas.
Yasoda took her bath and dressed herself nicely, and taking child Krishna, duly
dressed and bathed, on her lap, she sat down to hear the Vedic hymns chanted by
the brahmanas. While listening to the chanting of the Vedic hymns, the
child appeared to be falling asleep, and therefore mother Yasoda very silently
laid Him down on the bed. Being engaged in receiving all the friends, relatives
and residents of Vrndavana on that holy occasion, she forgot to feed the child
milk. He was crying, being hungry, but mother Yasoda could not hear Him cry because
of the various noises. The child, however, became angry because He was hungry
and His mother was not paying attention to Him. So He lifted His legs and began
to kick His lotus feet just like an ordinary child.
Krishna had been placed underneath a hand-driven cart, and while He was kicking
His legs, He accidentally touched the wheel of the cart, and it collapsed. Various
kinds of utensils and brass and metal dishes had been piled up in the handcart,
and they all fell down with a great noise. The wheel of the cart separated from
the axle, and the spokes of the wheel were all broken and scattered hither and
thither. Mother Yasoda and all the gopis, as well as Maharaja Nanda and
the cowherd men, were astonished as to how the cart could have collapsed by itself.
All the men and women who were assembled for the holy function crowded around
and began to suggest how the cart might have collapsed. No one could ascertain
the cause, but some small children who were entrusted to play with baby Krishna
informed the crowd that it was due to Krishna's striking His feet against the
wheel. They assured the crowd that they had seen how it happened with their own
eyes, and they strongly asserted the point. Some were listening to the statement
of the small children, but others said, "How can you believe the statements of
these children?" The cowherd men and women could not understand that the all-powerful
Personality of Godhead was lying there as a baby, and He could do anything. Both
the possible and impossible were in His power. While the discussion was going
on, baby Krishna cried. Without remonstration, mother Yasoda picked the child
up on her lap and called the learned brahmanas to chant holy Vedic hymns
to counteract the evil spirits. At the same time she allowed the baby to suck
her breast. If a child sucks the mother's breast nicely, it is to be understood
that he is out of all danger. After this, all the stronger cowherd men put the
broken cart in order, and all the scattered things were set up nicely as before.
The brahmanas thereafter began to offer oblations to the sacrificial fire
with yogurt, butter, kusa grass, and water. They worshiped the Supreme
Personality of Godhead for the good fortune of the child.
The brahmanas who were present at that time were all qualified
because they were not envious; they never indulged in untruthfulness, they were
never proud, they were nonviolent, and they never claimed any false prestige.
They were all bona fide brahmanas, and there was no reason to think that
their blessing would be useless. With firm faith in the qualified brahmanas,
Nanda Maharaja took his child on his lap and bathed Him with water mixed with
various herbs while the brahmanas chanted hymns from the Rg, Yajus
and Sama Vedas.
It is said that without being a qualified brahmana, one
should not read the mantras of the Vedas. Here is the proof that
the brahmanas were qualified with all the brahminical symptoms. Maharaja
Nanda also had full faith in them. Therefore they were allowed to perform the
ritualistic ceremonies by chanting the Vedic mantras. There are many different
varieties of sacrifices recommended for different purposes, but the mantras
are all to be chanted by qualified brahmanas. And because in this age of
Kali such qualified brahmanas are not available, all Vedic ritualistic
sacrifices are forbidden. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has therefore recommended only
one kind of sacrifice in this age--namely sankirtana-yajna, or simply chanting
the mahamantra, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama,
Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
As the brahmanas chanted the Vedic hymns and performed
the ritualistic ceremonies for the second time, Nanda Maharaja again gave huge
quantities of grains and many cows to them. All the cows which were given in charity
were covered with nice gold-embroidered garments, and their horns were bedecked
with golden rings; their hooves were covered with silver plate, and they wore
garlands of flowers. He gave so many cows just for the welfare of his wonderful
child, and the brahmanas in return bestowed their heartfelt blessing. And
the blessings offered by the able brahmanas were never to be baffled.
day, shortly after this ceremony, when mother Yasoda was patting her baby on her
lap, the baby felt too heavy, and being unable to carry Him, she unwillingly placed
Him on the ground. After a while, she became engaged in household affairs. At
that time, one of the servants of Kamsa, known as Trinavarta, as instructed by
Kamsa, appeared there in the shape of a whirlwind. He picked the child up on his
shoulders and raised a great dust storm all over Vrndavana. Because of this, everyone's
eyes became covered within a few moments, and the whole area of Vrndavana became
densely dark so that no one could see himself or anyone else. During this great
catastrophe, mother Yasoda could not see her baby, who was taken away by the whirlwind,
and she began to cry very piteously. She fell down on the ground exactly like
a cow who has just lost her calf. When mother Yasoda was so piteously crying,
all the cowherd women immediately came and began to look for the baby, but they
were disappointed and could not find Him. The Trnavarta demon who took baby Krishna
on his shoulder went high in the sky, but the baby assumed such a weight that
suddenly he could not go any further, and he had to stop his whirlwind activities.
Baby Krishna made Himself heavy and began to weigh down the demon. The Lord caught
hold of his neck. Trnavarta felt the baby to be as heavy as a big mountain, and
he tried to get out of His clutches, but he was unable to do so, and his eyes
popped out from their sockets. Crying very fiercely, he fell down to the ground
of Vrndavana and died. The demon fell exactly like Tripurasura, who was pierced
by the arrow of Lord Siva. He hit the stone ground, and his limbs were smashed.
His body became visible to all the inhabitants of Vrndavana.
the gopis saw the demon killed and child Krishna very happily playing on
his body, they immediately picked Krishna up with great affection. The cowherd
men and women became very happy to get back their beloved child Krishna. At that
time they began to talk about how wonderful it was that the demon took away the
child to devour Him but could not do so; instead he fell down dead. Some of them
supported the situation: "This is proper because those who are too sinful die
from their sinful reactions, and child Krishna is pious; therefore He is saved
from all kinds of fearful situations. And we too must have performed great sacrifices
in our previous lives, worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, giving great
wealth in charity and acting philanthropically for the general welfare of men.
Because of such pious activities, the child is saved from all danger."
The gopis assembled there spoke among themselves: "What
sort of austerities and penances we must have undergone in our previous lives!
We must have worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, offered different kinds
of sacrifices, made charities and performed many welfare activities for the public
such as growing banyan trees and excavating wells. As a result of these pious
activities, we have got back our child, even though He was supposed to be dead.
Now He has come back to enliven His relatives." After observing such wonderful
happenings, Nanda Maharaja began to think of the words of Vasudeva again and again.
After this incident, when Yasoda once was nursing her child and
patting Him with great affection, there streamed a profuse supply of milk from
her breast, and when she opened the mouth of the child with her fingers, she suddenly
saw the universal manifestation within His mouth. She saw within the mouth of
Krishna the whole sky, including the luminaries, stars in all directions, the
sun, moon, fire, air, seas, islands, mountains, rivers, forests, and all other
movable and immovable entities. Upon seeing this, mother Yasoda's heart began
to throb, and she murmured within herself, "How wonderful this is!" She could
not express anything, but simply closed her eyes. She was absorbed in wonderful
thoughts. Krishna's showing the universal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
even when lying down on the lap of His mother, proves that the Supreme Personality
of Godhead is always the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whether He is manifested
as a child on the lap of His mother or as a charioteer on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra.
The concoction of the impersonalist, that one can become God by meditation or
by some artificial material activities, is herewith declared false. God is always
God in any condition or status, and the living entities are always the parts and
parcels of the Supreme Lord. They can never be equal to the inconceivable supernatural
power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Seventh Chapter
of Krishna, "Salvation of Trinavarta."