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Krsna Book Audio Dictation - Chapter 39

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Chapter Thirty-nine. Subject: "Akrūra's Return Journey and His Visiting of Viṣṇuloka Within the Yamunā River."

In this way, Akrūra was very much warmly received by Lord Kṛṣṇa and Nanda Mahārāja and was offered a resting place for sleeping over the night. In the meantime, the two brothers Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa went for taking Their supper, and Arjuna (Akrūra), sitting on his bed, began to think that all his desires which he thought while coming from Mathurā to Vṛndāvana was by that time fulfilled. Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the husband of the goddess of fortune, being pleased on His pure devotee can offer anything the devotee desires. Still, the devotee does not ask anything from the Lord for personal benefit. Kṛṣṇa, after taking His supper, when He came to bid goodnight to Akrūra, He asked only about Kaṁsa, His maternal uncle, how he was dealing with his friends and relatives, as well as He inquired from Akrūra what was his plan of work in this connection.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa also informed Akrūra that his presence was very much welcome. He inquired also from him whether all his relatives and friends were all well, and also whether they are all freed from all kinds of ailments. Kṛṣṇa also informed Akrūra that He was very sorry that His maternal uncle Kaṁsa was the head of the kingdom and he is the greatest anachronism in the whole system of government; therefore, how could He expect any welfare of the citizens under him. Kṛṣṇa continued to say, "I can understand from the example of My father how much tribulations he has undergone simply on account of My being his son. Simply for this reason he had lost so many other sons. I think Myself as so much fortunate that you have come as My friend and relative. Now, My dear uncle, you can tell Me what is the purpose of your coming here in Vṛndāvana."

After this inquiry, Akrūra, who belonged to the dynasty of Madhu (Yadu), explained the whole incidences in Mathurā, including Kaṁsa's attempt to kill Vasudeva, the father of Kṛṣṇa, and the things which all happened after the disclosure of the fact by Nārada that Kṛṣṇa is the son of Vasudeva, hidden by him in the house of Nanda Mahārāja. Akrūra exactly narrated all the stories how Nārada met Kaṁsa and how he was deputed by Kaṁsa to come to Vṛndāvana to take Him there. In fact, Akrūra explained to Kṛṣṇa that the secret of His being transferred from Mathurā to Vṛndāvana just after His birth and the killing of all kinds of demons sent by Kaṁsa were all disclosed by Nārada to Kaṁsa. Thus Akrūra explained to Kṛṣṇa the purpose of his coming to Vṛndāvana, to take Him there as directed by Kaṁsa.

After hearing this, both Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa, who are very much expert in killing opposing elements, mildly laughed on the plans of Kaṁsa, and They immediately informed Nanda Mahārāja how Kaṁsa had invited them all to go to Mathurā to participate in the ceremony known as Dhanur-yajṣa, and They also informed that Kaṁsa wanted them all to go there to participate in the function.

On hearing this, Nanda Mahārāja immediately called for all the cowherds boys and asked them to collect all kinds of milk preparation and milk, just to take there to present to the king in the ceremony. He also sent information to the police head of Vṛndāvana area, to all the inhabitants about Kaṁsa's great function of Dhanur-yajṣa and informing them to go there and join. Nanda Mahārāja informed all the cowherds boys that they would start tomorrow morning. Therefore, arrange for the carts and bulls to carry them all to the Mathurā City so that they could enjoy the great function to be held by Kaṁsa, the next day, to take part in that great function.

When the gopīs, however, heard that Akrūra had come there to take away Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma to Mathurā, immediately they become overwhelmed with great anxiety. Some of them became so much aggrieved that their faces immediately turned to be blackened and began to breathe warm air with palpitation of heart, so much so that their tightening of the bunch of hair and dress immediately became loosened. And others, who were engaged in household affair duties, just after hearing this news stopped working as if they have forgotten everything, like a person who is called forth to die, leaving this world immediately. And others immediately felt separation from Kṛṣṇa, remembering His attractive smile and His talks with the gopīs. And the gopīs, remembering all these past incidences, immediately became overwhelmed with grief.

They all remembered immediately the characteristics of the Personality of Godhead, how He moves within the area of Vṛndāvana and how, with joking words, He attracts all the hearts of the gopīs. Thus all the gopīs, thinking of Kṛṣṇa and His…, their imminent separation from Them (Him), they assembled altogether with great heavy heart, completely absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa, and shedding tears from the eyes, they began to talk as follows.

"O Providence, you are so cruel that it appears that you do not know how to show mercy to others. By your arrangement, friends contact one another, but without fulfilling their desires you separate them. These actions are exactly like childish play, without any meaning. It is very, very much abominable action by you that you arrange to show us Kṛṣṇa, who is so beautiful, with bluish curling hair on His head, beautifying His broad forehead and sharp nose, and always smiling to minimize all kinds of argument in this material world. You have arranged for our contact with such beautiful Kṛṣṇa; now you are again arranging to separate Him from us.

"O Providence, You are so cruel! But most astonishingly, you have appeared now as 'Akrūra,' which means 'not cruel.' In the beginning we appreciated your workmanship for giving us this eyes to see the beautiful face of Kṛṣṇa, and now, just like a foolish creature, you are trying to take out our eyes that we may not anymore see Kṛṣṇa here. And what to speak of you; Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja, He is also very cruel! He wants simply new friends always. He does not like to keep friendship for a long time with anyone. Otherwise, how it is that we gopīs of Vṛndāvana, having left all our home, friends and relatives, we have become the maidservant of Kṛṣṇa, but He is neglecting us and going away. He does not even look upon us, although we are fully surrendered unto Him.

"Now it is the opportunity of all young girls in Mathurā that they are expecting Kṛṣṇa's arrival and enjoy His sweet smiling face. They are now awaiting the auspicious arrival of Kṛṣṇa there, and drink the honey of His smiling face. Although we know Kṛṣṇa is very steady and strong minded, still we are certain that as soon as He would see the beautiful faces of the young girls in Mathurā, He will forget Himself and immediately He would become controlled by them. Certainly, at that time He would forget us, because we are simply village girls and no more He will be kind upon us. We therefore no more expect Kṛṣṇa coming back to Vṛndāvana, leaving the company of the girls in Mathurā town."

The gopīs began to imagine how in Mathurā City there will be great functions, while Kṛṣṇa will pass through the streets and the ladies and young girls of the city would see Him from the balcony and corridor of their respective houses. The Mathurā City was then inhabited by different communities, known as Daśārha, Bhoja, Andhaka and Sātvata. All these communities were different branches of the same family in which Kṛṣṇa appeared, namely the Yadu dynasty. They were also expecting arrival of Kṛṣṇa, because it is already that Kṛṣṇa, who was the rest of the goddess of fortune and reservoir of all pleasure and transcendental qualities, was coming to visit Mathurā City.

The gopīs then began to condemn the activities of Akrūra. They began to condemn Akrūra in this way, that he was taking Kṛṣṇa, who was dearest than dear to them, and who was the pleasure of all visionary activities for them, was being taken away, long, long away from their sight, without being informed or without being solaced by Akrūra on this action. He should not have done such merciless act, taking compassion for such aggrieved persons like the gopīs.

"And the most astonished feature is that Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda, also without any consideration for us, has already got up on the abode(?) of the chariot. From this incidence it appears that Kṛṣṇa is not very intelligent also. Or even though He may be very intelligent, He is not very merciful also. And what to speak of Kṛṣṇa. All the cowherds men, they are also so hard they are already arranging for yoking the bulls and the carts for going to Mathurā, and the elderly persons in Vṛndāvana, they are also so merciless that they do not take into consideration of our plight and not stopping the journey of the cowherds men and Kṛṣṇa to Mathurā. And what to speak of Akrūra and Kṛṣṇa, the cowherds men and the elderly persons in Vṛndāvana, even the demigods, they are also very unkind to us because they are not putting any impediments for their going to Mathurā."

In other words, the gopīs prayed to the demigods to create some natural disturbance like hurricane, storm or heavy rainfall so that Kṛṣṇa could be checked from going to Mathurā. The gopīs then began to consider that "Without any care for the elderly persons and guardians of our household matters, we shall personally go and check Kṛṣṇa from going to Mathurā. We have no other alternative than to take this direct action because everyone has become against us to take away Kṛṣṇa from our sight, without whom we cannot live for a moment."

The gopīs thus decided to obstruct the passage on which the chariot of Kṛṣṇa was supposed to go. The gopīs then began to talk amongst themselves that "We have passed a very, very long night as momentous only, simply being engaged in the rāsa dance with Kṛṣṇa and looking towards His sweet smiling, embracing, talking. Now, without Him, how we shall live even for a moment if He goes away from us? At the end of day, in the evening, when Kṛṣṇa along with His elder brother Balarāma come back home, along with His cowherds boys friend, and smeared over His face with the dust raised by the hooves of the cows, and smiling and playing on His flute and looking upon us so kindly, how we shall be able to forget Kṛṣṇa, who is our life and soul throughout day and night? He has already taken away our heart in so many ways, and if He goes away then there is no possibility of our living anymore."

Thinking like this, the gopīs became more and more aggrieved in the matter of Kṛṣṇa's going away from Vṛndāvana, and thus, after all, they could not check their minds and began to cry very loudly, exclaim the different names of Kṛṣṇa: "O my dear Dāmodara! My dear Mādhava!” and so on.

The gopīs were crying all over the night before the departure of Kṛṣṇa. But as soon as there was sunrise, Akrūra immediately finished his morning bath and, getting on the chariot, began to start for Mathurā with Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. The cowherds men also, following the chariot of Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma along with Nanda Mahārāja, got up on the bullock carts, loading them with various kinds of presentation of milk preparation like yogurt, milk, ghee, filled up in big, big earthen pots. At this time gopīs, in spite of Kṛṣṇa's asking them not to obstruct, all of them surrounded the chariot and stood up to see Kṛṣṇa with pitiable eyes. Kṛṣṇa was very much affected by seeing the plight of the gopīs; still, He was to start for Mathurā on duty. The duty was already foretold by Nārada; therefore Kṛṣṇa, with His messenger, consoled the gopīs that they should not be aggrieved in that way. He was coming back very soon after finishing His business in Mathurā. But they could not be persuaded to disperse.

On the other hand, the chariot began to move towards the western side, and the gopīs which were seeing the chariot so much impatiently, the chariot proceeded, the minds of the gopīs also began to follow as far as possible and they began to look forward to the flag on the chariot as far as it was visible, and the dust due to the passing of the chariot as far as visible. The gopīs did not move from their place and stood up till the chariot could be seen from distant place. The gopīs remained there stand still, as if painted pictures. In this way, when the gopīs found it that Kṛṣṇa is not returning immediately, with great disappointed heart they also returned to their respective homes. But being too much aggrieved in the absence of Kṛṣṇa, they could simply sing the whole day and night about the pastimes of the Lord and thus remained in condolence.

The Lord also, being accompanied by Akrūra and Balarāma, with great speed drove the chariot towards the bank of the Yamunā, the river which diminishes everyone's reaction of sinful activities simply by taking a bath in it. Both Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma took Their bath in the river of Yamunā and washed Their faces, and after this They took Their seat again on the chariot after drinking the transparent water of Yamunā, as clear as crystal. The chariot was standing underneath the shade of big trees, and both the brothers again came and sat down there. When the two brothers were seated on the chariot, Akrūra took Their permission to take bath in the river of the Yamunā, and according to the ritualistic ceremony he also took bath in the river.

According to Vedic ritualistic ceremony, one, after taking bath in the river, should stand there full merged, or at least half merged, and murmur within the mouth the Gāyatrī mantra regularly. So Akrūra, while he was standing on the water, he saw that both Rāma and Kṛṣṇa were within the water. Akrūra was surprised to see Rāma and Kṛṣṇa there, because he was confident that Rāma and Kṛṣṇa was sitting on the chariot. Therefore, out of his doubtfulness, he immediately came out of the water and went to see where the brothers were there. But still more surprisingly, he saw that Rāma-Kṛṣṇa was sitting on the chariot as before.

When Akrūra saw Rāma and Kṛṣṇa was sitting on the chariot, he began to think within himself whether he wrongly saw Rāma and Kṛṣṇa within the water. He therefore again came back in the river, and this time he saw not only Rāma-Kṛṣṇa there, but many other demigods were present, and all the Siddhas, Cāraṇas, Gandharvas, all of them were standing before the Lords, bowing down. He also saw the Śeṣa Nāga with thousands of hoods. Lord Śeṣa Nāga was covered with bluish garments, and His necks were all white. The white necks of Śeṣa Nāga appeared exactly like mountains with the snow. On the coiled lap of Śeṣa Nāga, Akrūra saw Kṛṣṇa was sitting with four hands and His eyes like reddish petals of lotus flower, sitting very soberly.

In other words, this time after returning, Akrūra saw Balarāma turned into Śeṣa Nāga and Kṛṣṇa turned into Mahā-Viṣṇu. He saw Them the four-handed Supreme Personality of Godhead as smiling very beautiful with His beautiful face, and He appeared to be very much pleasing looking towards everyone with graceful eyes. He was looking so beautiful with His raised nose, broad forehead and spread-up ears and reddish lips. His arms were as long as to reach the knees of His legs, and they were very strongly built. His both shoulders were raised up, chest very broad and the neck like the conchshell, His navel very deep, and abdomen marked with three lines. His waist was broad and big, resembling like the hips of woman, and the thighs were resembling like the trunk of the elephant. So other parts of the leg, the joints and lower part, were all very beautiful, and the nails of His feet were dazzling. The toes were as beautiful as the petals of lotus flower. His helmet on the head was decorated with very, very valuable jewels. There was nice belt around the waist, and there was sacred thread on the broader chest; bangles in the hand and armlets on the upper portion of the hand; leg bells on the ankles, dazzling beauty, with palms like the lotus flower, and still more beautiful with different emblems of viṣṇu-mūrti like conchshell, club, disc and lotus flower, catching them respectively in four hands. His chest being marked with the particular signs of Viṣṇu and flower garlands, all combined together was so beautiful to look at.

Akrūra also saw His Lordship surrounded by His intimate associates like the four sanakana: Sanaka, Sanātana, Sananda, Sanatkumāra, and His other associates like Sunanda and Nanda, as well as other demigods like Brahmā, Lord Śiva and others, as well as the great learned sages, nine in number, and devotees like Prahlāda, Nārada, eight Vasus—all of them engaged in offering nice prayers to the Lord in clean heart and chaste language.

After seeing this transcendental situation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Akrūra immediately become too much overwhelmed with joy, and his great devotion, all over his body there was transcendental shivering. Although for the moment he was bewildered, still he maintained his pure consciousness, and thereby he bowed down his head before the Lord and, with folded hands and great faltering voice, began to offer prayers to the Lord.

Next paragraph.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Thirty-ninth Chapter of Kṛṣṇa in the matter of "Akrūra's Return Journey and Seeing Vaikuṇṭhaloka Within the Water of the River Yamunā."