Janmāṣṭamī, Kṛṣṇa Book Reading — September 1, 1972, New Vrindavan

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya.

Devotee: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda! [devotees chanting in the background]

Prabhupāda: Where is Kṛṣṇa book?

Devotees: Kṛṣṇa book?

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa book? Kṛṣṇa book?

Kīrtanānanda: There are getting it, Prabhupāda. It is coming.

[devotees chanting in the background] [curtains open]

Prabhupāda: It is nicely done. Hmm, very intricate. [kīrtana]

Prabhupāda: So read “The Advent of Kṛṣṇa.”

Kīrtanānanda: “Once the world was overburdened by the unnecessary defense forces of different kings, who were actually demons, but were posing themselves as the royal order.

[kīrtana in background]

At that time, the whole world became perturbed, and the predominating deity of this earth, known as Bhūmi, went to see Lord Brahmā to tell of her calamities due to the demoniac kings.

“Bhūmi assumed the shape of a cow and presented herself before Lord Brahmā with tears in her eyes. She was bereaved and was weeping just to invoke the Lord’s compassion. She related the calamitous position of the earth, and after hearing this, Lord Brahmā became much aggrieved, and he at once started for the ocean of milk, where Lord Viṣṇu resides. Lord Brahmā was accompanied by all the demigods headed by Lord Śiva, and Bhūmi also followed. Arriving on the shore of the milk ocean, Lord Brahmā began to pacify the Lord Viṣṇu, who formerly saved the earthly planet by assuming the transcendental form of a boar.

“In the Vedic mantras, there is a particular type of prayer called a Puruṣa-sūkta. Generally, the demigods offer their obeisances unto Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by chanting the Puruṣa-sūkta. It is understood herein that the predominating deity of every planet can see the supreme lord of this universe, Brahmā, whenever there is some disturbance in his planet. And Brahmā can approach the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, not by seeing Him directly, but by standing on the shore of the ocean of milk.

“There is a planet within this universe called Śvetadvīpa, and on that planet there is an ocean of milk. It is understood from various Vedic literatures that just as there is an ocean of salt water within this planet, there are various kinds of oceans in other planets. Somewhere there is an ocean of milk, somewhere there is an ocean of oil, and somewhere there is an ocean of liquor and many other types of oceans. Puruṣa-sūkta is the standard prayer which the demigods recite to appease the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṣīrodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu. Because He is lying on the ocean of milk…”

Prabhupāda: Sannyāsis may come here.

Kīrtanānanda: “Because He is lying on the ocean of milk, He is called Kṣīrodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, through whom all the incarnations within this universe appear.

“After all the demigods offered the Puruṣa-sūkta prayer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they apparently heard no response. Then Lord Brahmā personally sat in meditation, and there was a message-transmission from Lord Viṣṇu to Brahmā. Brahmā then broadcast the message to the demigods. That is the system of receiving Vedic literature. The Vedic knowledge is received first by Brahmā from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, through the medium of the heart. As stated in the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, tene brahma hṛdā [SB 1.1.1]: the standard knowledge of the Vedas was transmitted to Lord Brahmā through the heart. Here also, in the same way, only Brahmā could understand the message transmitted by Lord Viṣṇu, and he broadcast it to the demigods for their immediate action.

“The message was: the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear on the earth very soon, along with His supreme powerful potencies, and as long as He remains on this earth planet to execute His mission of annihilating the demons and establishing the devotees, the demigods should also remain there to assist Him. They should all immediately take birth in the families of the Yadu dynasty, wherein the Lord will also appear in due course of time.

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, Kṛṣṇa, personally appeared as the son of Vasudeva. Before He appeared, all the demigods, just to assist the Lord in the execution of His mission, took birth in the various pious families of the world. The exact word used here is tatpriyārtham, which means the demigods should appear on the earth in order to please the Lord. In other words, any living entity who lives only to satisfy the Lord is a demigod. The demigods were further informed that the plenary portion of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Ananta, who is maintaining the universal planets by extending His millions of hoods, would also appear on the earth just before Lord Kṛṣṇa’s appearance. They were also informed that the external potency of Viṣṇu (māyā), with whom all the conditioned souls are enamored, would also appear just to execute the purpose of the Supreme Lord.

“After instructing and pacifying all the demigods, as well as Bhūmi, with sweet words, Lord Brahmā, the father of all prajāpatis, or progenitors of universal population, departed for his own abode, the highest material planet, called Brahmaloka.

“The leader of the Yadu dynasty, King Śūrasena, was ruling over the country known as Mathurā (the district of Mathurā) as well as the district known as Śūrasena. On account of the rule of King Śūrasena, Mathurā became the capital of all the kings of the Yadus. Mathurā was also made the capital of the kings of the Yadu dynasty because the Yadus were a very pious family and knew that Mathurā is the place where Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa lives eternally, just as He also lives in Dvārakā.

“Once upon a time, Vasudeva, the son of Śūrasena, just after marrying Devakī, was going home on the chariot with his newly wedded wife. The father of Devakī, known as Devaka, had contributed a sufficient dowry because he was very affectionate toward his daughter. He had contributed hundreds of chariots completely decorated with gold equipment. At that time, Kaṁsa, the son of Ugrasena, in order to please his sister, Devakī, had voluntarily taken the reins of the horses of Vasudeva’s chariot and was driving.

“According to the custom of the Vedic civilization, when a girl is married, the brother takes the sister and brother-in-law to their new home. Because the newly married girl may feel too much separation from her father’s family, the brother goes with her until she reaches her father-in-law’s house.

“The full dowry contributed by Devaka was as follows: 400 elephants fully decorated with golden garlands, 15,000 decorated horses, and 18,000 chariots. He also arranged for two hundred beautiful girls to follow his daughter. The kṣatriya system of marriage, still current in India, dictates that when a kṣatriya is married, a few dozen of the bride’s young girlfriends (in addition to the bride) go to the home of the king. The followers of the queen are called maidservants, but actually they act as friends to the queen. This practice is prevalent from time immemorial, traceable at least to the time before the advent of Lord Kṛṣṇa 5,000 years ago. So Vasudeva brought home another two hundred beautiful girls along with his wife.

“While the bride and bridegroom were passing along on the chariot, there were different kinds of musical instruments playing to indicate the auspicious moment. There were conchshells, bugles, drums and kettledrums; combined together, they were making a very nice concert. The procession was passing very pleasingly, and Kaṁsa was driving the chariot, when suddenly there was a miraculous sound vibrated from the sky which especially announced to Kaṁsa: ‘Kaṁsa: you are such a fool. You are driving the chariot of your sister and your brother-in-law, but you do not know that the eighth child of this sister will kill you.’

“Kaṁsa was the son of Ugrasena, of the Bhoja dynasty. It is said that Kaṁsa was the most demoniac king of the whole Bhoja dynasty kings. Immediately after hearing the prophecy from the sky, he caught hold of Devakī’s hair and was just about to kill her with his sword. Vasudeva was astonished at Kaṁsa’s behavior, and in order to pacify the cruel, shameless brother-in-law, he began to speak as follows, with great reason and evidence. He said, ‘My dear brother-in-law, Kaṁsa, you are the most famous king of the Bhoja dynasty, and people know that you are the greatest warrior and a valiant king. How is it that you are so infuriated that you are prepared to kill a woman who is your own sister at this auspicious time of her marriage? Why should you be so much afraid of death? Death is already born along with your birth. From the very day you took your birth, you began to die. Suppose you are twenty-five years old; that means you have already died twenty-five years. Every moment, every second, you are dying. Why then should you be so much afraid of death? Final death is inevitable. You may die either today or in a hundred years; you cannot avoid death. Why should you be so much afraid?

“ ‘Actually, death means annihilation of the present body. As soon as the present body stops functioning and mixes with the five elements of material nature, the living entity within the body accepts another body, according to his present action and reaction. It is just as when a man walks on the street; he puts forward his foot, and when he is confident that his foot is situated on sound ground, he lifts the other foot. In this way, one after another, the body changes and the soul transmigrates. See how the plant-worm changes from one twig to another so carefully. Similarly, the living entity changes his body as soon as the higher authorities decide on his next body. As long as a living entity is conditioned within this material world, he must take material bodies one after another. His next particular body is offered by the laws of nature, according to the actions and reactions of this life.

“ ‘This body is exactly like one of the bodies which we always see in dreams. During our dream of sleep, we create so many bodies according to mental creation. We have seen gold and we have also seen a mountain, so in a dream we may see a golden mountain by combining the two ideas. Sometimes, in dreams, we see that we have a body which is flying in the sky, and at that time we completely forget our present body. Similarly, these bodies are changing. When you have one body, you forget the past body. During a dream, you may make contact with so many new kinds of bodies, but when we are awake we forget them all. And actually these material bodies are the creations of our mental activities. But at the present moment we do not recollect our past bodies.

“ ‘The nature of the mind is flickering. Sometimes it accepts something, and immediately it rejects the same thing. Accepting and rejecting is the process of the mind in contact with the five objects of sense gratification: form, taste, smell, sound and touch. In its speculative way, the mind comes in touch with the objects of sense gratification, and when the living entity desires a particular type of body, he gets it. Therefore, the body is an offering by the laws of material nature. The living entity accepts a body and comes out again into the material world to enjoy or suffer according to the construction of the body. Unless we have a particular type of body, we cannot enjoy or suffer according to our mental proclivities inherited from our previous life. The particular type of body is actually offered to us according to our mental condition at the time of death.

“ ‘The luminous planets like the sun, moon or the stars reflect themselves in different types of reservoirs, like water, oil or ghee. The reflection moves according to the movement of the reservoir. The reflection of the moon is on the water, and the moving water makes the moon also appear to be moving, but actually the moon is not moving. Similarly, by mental concoction, the living entity attains different kinds of bodies, although actually he has no connection with such bodies. But on account of illusion, being enchanted by the influence of māyā, the living entity thinks that he belongs to a particular type of body. That is the way of conditioned life.

“ ‘Suppose a living entity is now in a human form of body. He thinks that he belongs to the human community, or a particular country or particular place. He identifies himself in that way and unnecessarily prepares for another body, which is not required by him. Such desires and mental concoctions are the cause of different types of body. The covering influence of material nature is so strong that the living entity is satisfied in whatever body he gets, and he identifies with that body with great pleasure. Therefore, I beg to request you not to be overwhelmed by the dictation of your mind and body.’

“Vasudeva thus requested Kaṁsa not to be envious of his newly married sister. One should not be envious of anyone, because envy is the cause of fear both in this world and in the next when one is before Yamarāja (the lord of punishment after death). Vasudeva appealed to Kaṁsa on behalf of Devakī, stating that she was his younger sister. He also appealed at an auspicious moment, at the time of marriage. A younger sister or brother are supposed to be protected as one’s children. ‘The position is overall so delicate,’ Vasudeva reasoned, ‘that if you kill her, it will go against your high reputation.’

“Vasudeva tried to pacify Kaṁsa by good instruction as well as by philosophical discrimination, but Kaṁsa was not to be pacified because his association was demoniac. Because of this demoniac association, he was always a demon, although born in a very high royal family. A demon never cares for any good instruction. He is just like a determined thief: one can give him moral instruction, but it will not be effective. Similarly, those who are demoniac or atheistic by nature can hardly assimilate any good instruction, however authorized it may be. That is the difference between demigod and demon. Those who can accept good instruction and try to live their lives in that way are called demigods, and those who are unable to take good instruction are called demons.

“Failing in his attempt to pacify Kaṁsa, Vasudeva wondered how he would protect his wife, Devakī. When there is imminent danger, an intelligent person should try to avoid the dangerous position as far as possible. But if, in spite of endeavoring by all intelligence, one fails to avoid the dangerous position, there is no fault on his part. One should try his best to execute his duties, but if the attempt fails, he is not at fault.

“Vasudeva thought of his wife as follows: ‘For the present let me save the life of Devakī, then later on, if there are children, I shall see how to save them.’ He further thought, ‘If in the future I get a child who can kill Kaṁsa—just as Kaṁsa is thinking—then both Devakī and the child will be saved from the law of Providence, because the law of Providence is inconceivable. But now, some way or other, let me save the life of Devakī.’

“There is no certainty how a living entity contacts a certain type of body, just as there is no certainty how the blazing fire comes in contact with a certain type of wood in the forest. When there is a forest fire, it is experienced that the blazing fire sometimes leaps over one tree and catches another by the influence of the wind. Similarly, a living entity may be very careful and fearful in the matter of executing his duties, but it is still very difficult for him to know what type of body he is going to get in his next life. Mahārāja Bharata was very faithfully executing the duties of self-realization, but by chance he contracted temporary affection for a deer, and he had to accept his next life in the body of a deer.

“Vasudeva, after deliberating on how to save his wife, began to speak to Kaṁsa with great respect, although Kaṁsa was the most sinful man. Sometimes it happens that a most virtuous person like Vasudeva has to flatter a person like Kaṁsa, a most vicious person. That is the way of all diplomatic transactions. Although Vasudeva was deeply aggrieved, he presented himself outwardly as cheerful. He addressed the shameless Kaṁsa in that way because he was so atrocious.

“Vasudeva said to Kaṁsa, ‘My dear brother-in-law, please consider that you have no danger from your sister. You are awaiting some danger because you have heard a prophetic voice in the sky. But the danger is to come from the sons of your sister, who are not present now. And who knows? There may or may not be sons in the future. Considering all this, you are safe for the present. Nor is there cause of fear from your sister. If there are any sons born of her, I promise that I shall present all of them to you for necessary action.’

“Kaṁsa knew the value of Vasudeva’s word of honor, and he was convinced by his argument. For the time being, he desisted from the heinous killing of his sister. Thus Vasudeva was pleased and praised the decision of Kaṁsa. In this way, he returned to his home.

“After due course of time, Vasudeva and Devakī gave birth to eight male children, as well as one daughter. When the first son was born, Vasudeva kept his word of honor and immediately brought the child before Kaṁsa. It is said that Vasudeva was very much elevated and famous for his word of honor, and he wanted to maintain this fame. Although it was very painful for Vasudeva to hand over the newly born child, Kaṁsa was very glad to receive him. But he became a little compassionate with the behavior of Vasudeva.

“This event is very exemplary. For a great soul like Vasudeva, there is nothing considered to be painful in the course of discharging one’s duty. A learned person like Vasudeva carries out his duties without hesitation. On the other hand, a demon like Kaṁsa never hesitates in committing any abominable action. It is said, therefore, that a saintly person can tolerate all kinds of miserable conditions of life, a learned man can discharge his duties without awaiting favorable circumstance, a heinous person like Kaṁsa can act in any sinful way, and a devotee can sacrifice everything to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“Kaṁsa became satisfied by the action of Vasudeva. He was surprised to see Vasudeva keeping his word, and being compassionate upon him and pleased, he began to speak as follows: ‘My dear Vasudeva, you need not present this child to me. I am not in danger from this child. I have heard that the eighth child born of you and Devakī will kill me. Why should I accept this child unnecessarily? You can take him back.’

“When Vasudeva was returning home with his first-born child, although he was pleased by the behavior of Kaṁsa, he could not believe in him because he knew that Kaṁsa was uncontrolled. An atheistic person cannot be firm in his word of honor. One who cannot control the senses cannot be steady in his determination. The great politician, Cāṇakya Paṇḍit, said, ‘Never put your trust in a diplomat or in a woman.’ Those who are addicted to unrestricted sense gratification can never be truthful, nor can they be trusted with any faith.

“At that time the great sage Nārada came to Kaṁsa. He was informed of Kaṁsa’s becoming compassionate to Vasudeva and returning his first-born child. Nārada was very anxious to accelerate the descent of Lord Kṛṣṇa as soon as possible. He therefore informed Kaṁsa that personalities like Nanda Mahārāja and all the cowherd men and girls and the wives of the cowherd men in Vṛndāvana, and, on the other side, Vasudeva, his father Śūrasena and all his relatives born in the family of Vṛṣṇi in the Yadu dynasty, were preparing for the appearance of the Lord.

“Nārada warned Kaṁsa to be careful of the friends and well-wishers and all the demigods taking birth in those families. Kaṁsa and his friends and advisors were all demons. Demons are always afraid of demigods. After being thus informed by Nārada about the appearance of the demigods in different families, Kaṁsa at once became alert. He understood that since the demigods had already appeared, Lord Viṣṇu must be coming soon. He at once arrested both his brother-in-law Vasudeva and Devakī and put them behind prison bars.

“Within the prison, shackled in iron chains, Vasudeva and Devakī gave birth to a male child year after year, and Kaṁsa, thinking each of the babies to be the incarnation of Viṣṇu, killed them one after another. He was particularly afraid of the eighth child, but after the visit of Nārada, he came to the conclusion that any child might be Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it was better to kill all the babies who took birth of Devakī and Vasudeva.

“This action of Kaṁsa is not very difficult to understand. There are many instances in the history of the world of persons in the royal order who have killed father, brother, or a whole family and friends for the satisfaction of their ambitions. There is nothing astonishing about this, for the demoniac can kill anyone for their nefarious ambitions.

“Kaṁsa was made aware of his previous birth by the grace of Nārada. He learned that in his previous birth he was a demon by the name of Kālanemi and that he was killed by Viṣṇu. Having taken his birth in the Bhoja family, he decided to become the deadly enemy of the Yadu dynasty; Kṛṣṇa was going to take His birth in that family, and Kaṁsa was very much afraid that he would be killed by Kṛṣṇa, just as he was killed in his last birth.

“He first of all imprisoned his father, Ugrasena, because he was the chief king among the Yadu, Bhoja and Andhaka dynasties, and he also occupied the kingdom of Śūrasena, Vasudeva’s father. He declared himself the king of all such places.

“Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the First Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, ‘Advent of Lord Kṛṣṇa.’ ”

Prabhupāda: [indistinct, coughing]

Kīrtanānanda: “ ‘Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb.’ King Kaṁsa not only occupied the kingdoms of the Yadu, Bhoja and Andhaka dynasties and the kingdom of Śūrasena, but he also made alliances with all the other demoniac kings, as follows: the demon Pralamba, demon Baka, demon Cāṇūra, demon Tṛṇāvarta, demon Aghāsura, demon Muṣṭika, demon Ariṣṭa, demon Dvivida, demon Pūtanā, demon Keśī and demon Dhenuka. At that time, Jarāsandha was the king of Magadha province (known at present as Behar state). Thus by his diplomatic policy, Kaṁsa consolidated the most powerful kingdom of his time, under the protection of Jarāsandha. He made further alliances with such kings as Bāṇāsura and Bhaumāsura, until he was the strongest. Then he began to behave most inimically toward the Yadu dynasty into which Kṛṣṇa was to take His birth.”

Devotee: “Being harassed by Kaṁsa, the kings of the Yadu, Bhoja and Andhaka dynasties began to take shelter in different states, such as the state of the Kurus, the state of the Pañcālas and the states known as Kekaya, Śālva, Vidarbha, Niṣadha, Videha and Kośala. Kaṁsa broke the solidarity of the Yadu kingdom, as well as the Bhoja and Andhaka. He made his position the most solid within the vast tract of land known at that time as Bhārata-varṣa.

“When Kaṁsa killed the six babies of Devakī and Vasudeva one after another, many friends and relatives of Kaṁsa approached him and requested him to discontinue these heinous activities. But all of them became worshipers of Kaṁsa.

“When Devakī became pregnant for the seventh time, a plenary expansion of Kṛṣṇa known as Ananta appeared within her womb. Devakī was overwhelmed both with jubilation and lamentation. She was joyful, for she could understand that Lord Viṣṇu had taken shelter within her womb, but at the same time she was sorry that as soon as her child would come out, Kaṁsa would kill Him. At that time, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, being compassionate upon the fearful condition of the Yadus, due to atrocities committed by Kaṁsa, ordered the appearance of His yogamāyā, or His internal potency. Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of the universe, but He is especially the Lord of the Yadu dynasty.

“This yogamāyā is the principal potency of the Personality of Godhead. In the Vedas it is stated that the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has multipotencies. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate [Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. [Prabhupāda corrects pronunciation] All the different potencies are acting externally and internally, and yogamāyā is the chief of all potencies. He ordered the appearance of Yogamāyā in the land of Vrajabhūmi, in Vṛndāvana, which is always decorated and full with beautiful cows. In Vṛndāvana, Rohiṇī, one of the wives of Vasudeva, was residing at the house of King Nanda and Queen Yaśodā. Not only Rohiṇī, but many others in the Yadu dynasty were scattered all over the country due to their fear of the atrocities of Kaṁsa. Some of them were even living in the caves of the mountains.

“The Lord thus informed Yogamāyā: ‘Under the imprisonment of Kaṁsa are Devakī and Vasudeva, and at the present moment, My plenary expansion, Śeṣa, is within the womb of Devakī. You can arrange the transfer of Śeṣa from the womb of Devakī to the womb of Rohiṇī. After this arrangement, I am personally going to appear in the womb of Devakī with My full potencies. Then I shall appear as the son of Devakī and Vasudeva, and you shall appear as the daughter of Nanda and Yaśodā in Vṛndāvana.

“ ‘Since you will appear as My contemporary sister, people within the world will worship you with all kinds of valuable presentations: incense, candles, flowers and offerings of sacrifice. You shall quickly satisfy their desires for sense gratification. People who are after materialistic affection will worship you under the different forms of your expansions, which will be named Durgā, Bhadrakālī, Vijayā, Vaiṣṇavī, Kumudā, Caṇḍikā, Kṛṣṇā, Mādhavī, Kanyakā, Māyā, Nārāyaṇī, Īśānī, Śāradā and Ambikā.’

“Kṛṣṇa and Yogamāyā appeared as brother and sister—the Supreme Powerful and the supreme power. Although there is no clear distinction between the powerful and the power, power is always subordinate to the powerful. Those who are materialistic are worshipers of the power, but those who are transcendentalists are worshipers of the powerful. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Powerful, and Durgā is the supreme power within the material world. Actually, people in the Vedic culture worship both the powerful and the power. There are many hundreds of thousands of temples of Viṣṇu and Devī, and sometimes they are worshipped simultaneously. The worshiper of the power, Durgā, or the external energy of Kṛṣṇa, may achieve all kinds of material success very easily, but anyone who wants to be elevated transcendentally must engage in worshiping the powerful in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

“The Lord also declared to Yogamāyā that His plenary expansion, Ananta Śeṣa, was within the womb of Devakī. On account of being forcibly attracted to the womb of Rohiṇī, He would be known as Saṅkarṣaṇa and would be the source of all spiritual power, or bala, by which one could be able to attain the highest bliss of life, which is called ramaṇa. Therefore the plenary portion Ananta would be known after His appearance either as Saṅkarṣaṇa or Balarāma.

“In the Upaniṣads it is stated, nāyam ātmā bala hīnena labhya [Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.2.4]. The purport is that one cannot attain the Supreme or any form of self-realization without being sufficiently favored by Balarāma. Bala does not mean physical strength. No one can attain spiritual perfection by physical strength. One must have the spiritual strength which is infused by Balarāma, or Saṅkarṣaṇa. Ananta, or Śeṣa, is the power which sustains all the planets in their different positions. Materially this sustaining power is known as the law of gravitation, but actually it is the display of the potency of Saṅkarṣaṇa. Balarāma, or Saṅkarṣaṇa, is spiritual power, or the original spiritual master. Therefore Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, who is also the incarnation of Balarāma, is the original spiritual master. And the spiritual master is the representative of Balarāma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who supplies spiritual strength. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is confirmed that the spiritual master is the manifestation of the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. [break]

“When Yogamāyā was thus ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she circumambulated the Lord and then appeared within this material world according to His order. When the Supreme Powerful Personality of Godhead transferred Lord Śeṣa from the womb of Devakī to the womb of Rohiṇī, both of them were under the spell of Yogamāyā, which is also called yoga-nidrā. When this was done, people understood that Devakī’s seventh pregnancy was a miscarriage. Thus although Balarāma appeared as the son of Devakī, He was transferred to the womb of Rohiṇī to appear as her son.

After this arrangement, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, who is always ready to place His full potencies in His unalloyed devotees, entered as the Lord of the whole creation within the mind of Vasudeva. It is understood in this connection that Lord Kṛṣṇa first of all situated Himself in the unalloyed heart of Devakī. He was not put into the womb of Devakī by seminal discharge. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, by His inconceivable potency, can appear in any way. It is not necessary for Him to appear in the ordinary way by seminal injection within the womb of a woman.

“When Vasudeva was sustaining the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart, he appeared just like the glowing sun, whose shining rays are always unbearable and scorching to the common man. The form of the Lord situated in the pure unalloyed heart of Vasudeva is not different from the original form of Kṛṣṇa. The appearance of the form of Kṛṣṇa anywhere, and specifically within the heart, is called dhāma. Dhāma does not only refer to Kṛṣṇa’s form, but His name, His form, His quality.”

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa was impregnated within the heart of Devakī, not in the womb of Devakī.

Devotee:Dhāma does not only…”

Prabhupāda: Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9] Kṛṣṇa does take birth not in the ordinary way, but in a transcendental way. He was given a place—in everyone’s heart was there, Kṛṣṇa. So the potent can appear from anywhere, so he appeared from the heart of the woman, not from the pleasure division[?], as stated in the Bhāgavatam.

Devotee:Dhāma does not only refer to Kṛṣṇa’s form, but His name, His form, His quality and His paraphernalia. Everything becomes manifested simultaneously. Thus the eternal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead with full potencies was transferred from the mind of Vasudeva to the mind of Devakī, exactly as the setting sun’s rays are transferred to the full moon rising in the east.

“Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, entered the body of Devakī from the body of Vasudeva. He was beyond the conditions of the ordinary living entity. When Kṛṣṇa is there, it is to be understood that all His plenary expansions, such as Nārāyaṇa, and incarnations like Lord Nṛsiṁha, Varāha, etc., are with Him, and they are not subject to the conditions of material existence. In this way, Devakī became the residence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is one without a second and the cause of all creation.

Devakī became the residence of the Absolute Truth, but because she was within the house of Kaṁsa, she looked just like a suppressed fire, or like misused education. When fire is covered by the walls of a pot or is kept in a jug, the illuminating rays of the fire cannot be very much appreciated. Similarly, misused knowledge, which does not benefit the people in general, is not very much appreciated. So Devakī was kept within the prison walls of Kaṁsa’s palace, and no one could see her transcendental beauty which resulted from her conceiving the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“Kaṁsa, however, saw the transcendental beauty of his sister Devakī, and he at once concluded that the Supreme Personality of Godhead had taken shelter in her womb. She had never before looked so wonderfully beautiful. He could distinctly understand that there was something wonderful within the womb of Devakī. In this way, Kaṁsa became perturbed. He was sure that the Supreme Personality of Godhead would kill him in the future and that He had now come. Kaṁsa began to think: ‘What is to be done with Devakī? Surely she has Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa within her womb, so it is certain that Kṛṣṇa has come to execute the mission of the demigods. And even if I immediately kill Devakī, His mission cannot be frustrated.’

“Kaṁsa knew very well that no one can frustrate the purpose of Viṣṇu. Any intelligent man can understand that the laws of God cannot be violated. His purpose will be served in spite of all impediments offered by the demons. Kaṁsa thought: ‘If I kill Devakī at the present moment, Viṣṇu will enforce His supreme will more vehemently. To kill Devakī just now would be a most abominable act. No one desires to kill his reputation, even in an awkward situation; if I kill Devakī now, my reputation will be spoiled. Devakī is a woman, and she is under my shelter; she is pregnant, and if I kill her, immediately all my reputation, the result of pious activities and duration of life, will be finished.’

“He also further deliberated: ‘A person who is too cruel, even in this lifetime, is as good as dead. No one likes a cruel person during his lifetime, and after his death, people curse him. On account of his self-identification with the body, he must be degraded and pushed into the darkest region of hell.’ Kaṁsa thus meditated on all the pros and cons of killing Devakī at that time.

“Kaṁsa finally decided not to kill Devakī right away but to wait for the inevitable future. But his mind became absorbed in animosity against the Personality of Godhead. He patiently waited for the deliverance of the child, expecting to kill Him, as he had done previously with the other babies of Devakī. Thus being merged in the ocean of animosity against the Personality of Godhead, he began to think of Kṛṣṇa and Viṣṇu while sitting, while sleeping, while walking, while eating, while working—in all the situations of his life. His mind became so much absorbed with the thought of the Supreme Personality of Godhead that indirectly he could see only Kṛṣṇa, or Viṣṇu, around him. Unfortunately, although his mind was so absorbed in the thought of Viṣṇu, he is not recognized as a devotee, because he was thinking of Kṛṣṇa as… ”

Prabhupāda: That is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kaṁsa was always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, but it is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness because he was thinking of Kṛṣṇa as enemy. Bhakti…, Kṛṣṇa consciousness means not as enemy. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Not pratikūlyena, pratikūlyena—adversary. If we think of Kṛṣṇa adversely, that is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We must think of Kṛṣṇa in terms of love and service. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the distinction between the demon and the demigods. The demigods or devotees, they think of Kṛṣṇa favorably, favorably in terms of satisfying Kṛṣṇa, and the demons also sometimes think of Kṛṣṇa always, but not favorably—unfavorably. So thinking of Kṛṣṇa unfavorably is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is the distinction.

Go on.

Devotee: “The state of mind of a great devotee is also to be always absorbed in Kṛṣṇa, but a devotee thinks of Him favorably, not unfavorably. To think of Kṛṣṇa favorably is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but to think of Kṛṣṇa unfavorably is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

“At this time Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, accompanied by great sages like Nārada and followed by many other demigods, invisibly appeared in the house of Kaṁsa. They began to pray for the Personality of Godhead in select prayers which are very pleasing to the devotees and which award fulfillment of their desires. The first words they spoke acclaimed that the Lord is true to His vow.”

Prabhupāda: Yes. Somebody? [coughs]

Hṛdayānanda: “As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa descends in this material world just to protect the pious and destroy the impious. That is His vow. The demigods could understand that the Lord had taken His residence within the womb of Devakī in order to fulfill this vow. The demigods were very glad that the Lord was appearing to fulfill His mission, and they addressed Him as satyam param, or the Supreme Absolute Truth.

“Everyone is searching after the truth. That is the philosophical way of life. The demigods give information that the Supreme Absolute Truth is Kṛṣṇa. One who becomes fully Kṛṣṇa conscious can attain the Absolute Truth. Kṛṣṇa is the Absolute Truth. Relative truth is not truth in all the three phases of eternal time. Time is divided into past, present and future. Kṛṣṇa is Truth always—past, present and future. In the material world everything is being controlled by supreme time, in the course of past, present and future. But before the creation, Kṛṣṇa was existing, and when there is creation, everything is resting in Kṛṣṇa, and when this creation is finished, Kṛṣṇa will remain. Therefore, He is Absolute Truth in all circumstances.

“If there is any truth within this material world, it emanates from the Supreme Truth, Kṛṣṇa. If there is any opulence within this material world, the cause of the opulence is Kṛṣṇa. If there is any reputation within this material world, the cause of the reputation is Kṛṣṇa. If there is any strength within this material world, the cause of such strength is Kṛṣṇa. If there is any wisdom and education within this material world, the cause of such wisdom and education is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is the source of all relative truths.

“This material world is composed of five principal elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether, and all such elements are emanations from Kṛṣṇa. The material scientists accept these primary five elements as the cause of material manifestation, but the elements in their gross and subtle states are produced by Kṛṣṇa. The living entities who are working within this material world are also products of His marginal potency. In the Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, it is clearly stated that the whole manifestation is a combination of two kinds of energies of Kṛṣṇa: the superior energy and the inferior energy. The living entities are the superior energy, and the dead material elements are His inferior energy. In its dormant stage, everything remains in Kṛṣṇa.

“The demigods continued to offer their respectful prayers unto the supreme form of the Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, by analytical study of the material manifestation. What is this material manifestation? It is just like a tree. A tree stands on the ground. Similarly, the tree of the material manifestation is standing on the ground of material nature. This material manifestation is compared with a tree because a tree is ultimately cut off in due course of time. A tree is called vṛkṣa. Vṛkṣa means that thing which will be ultimately cut off. Therefore, this tree of the material manifestation cannot be accepted as the Ultimate Truth. The influence of time is on the material manifestation, but Kṛṣṇa’s body is eternal. He existed before the material manifestation, He is existing while the material manifestation is continuing, and when it will be dissolved, He will continue to exist.

“The Kaṭha Upaniṣad also cites this example of the tree of material manifestation standing on the ground of material nature. This tree has two kinds of fruits: distress and happiness. Those who are living on the tree of the body are just like two birds. One bird is the localized aspect of Kṛṣṇa, known as the Paramātmā, and the other bird is the living entity. The living entity is eating the fruits of this material manifestation. Sometimes he eats the fruit of happiness, and sometimes he eats the fruit of distress. But the other bird is not interested in eating the fruit of distress or happiness, because he is self-satisfied.

“The Kaṭha Upaniṣad states that one bird on the tree of the body is eating the fruits, and the other bird is simply witnessing. The roots of this tree extend in three directions. That means the root of the tree is in the three modes of material nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. Just as the tree’s root expands, so, by association of the modes of material nature (goodness, passion and ignorance), one expands his duration of material existence. The taste of the fruits are of four kinds: religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and, ultimately, liberation. According to the different associations in the three modes of material nature, the living entities are tasting different kinds of religiosity, different kinds of economic development, different kinds of sense gratification and different kinds of liberation.

“Practically all material work is performed in ignorance, but because there are three qualities, sometimes the quality of ignorance is covered with goodness or passion. The taste of these material fruits is accepted through five senses. The five sense organs through which knowledge is acquired are subjected to six kinds of whips: lamentation, illusion, infirmity, death, hunger and thirst. This material body, or the material manifestation, is covered by seven layers: skin, muscle, flesh, marrow, bone, fat and semina. The branches of the tree are eight: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego. There are nine gates in this body: the two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, one genital, one rectum. And there are ten kinds of internal air passing within the body: prāṇa, apāna, udāna, vyāna, samāna, etc. The two birds seated in this tree, as explained above, are the living entity and the localized Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

Kīrtanānanda: “The root cause of the material manifestation described here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead expands Himself and takes charge of the three qualities of the material world. Viṣṇu takes charge of the modes of goodness, Brahmā takes charge of the modes of passion and Lord Śiva takes charge of the modes of ignorance. Brahmā, by the modes of passion, creates this manifestation, Lord Viṣṇu maintains this manifestation by the modes of goodness, and Lord Śiva annihilates it by the modes of ignorance. The whole creation ultimately rests in the Supreme Lord. He is the cause of creation, maintenance and dissolution. And when the whole manifestation is dissolved, in its subtle form as the energy of the Lord, it rests within the body of the Supreme Lord.

“ ‘At the present,’ the demigods prayed, ‘the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa is appearing just for the maintenance of this manifestation.’ Actually, the Supreme Cause is one, but, being deluded by the three modes of material nature, less intelligent persons see that the material world is manifested through different causes. Those who are intelligent can see that the cause is one, Kṛṣṇa. As it is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā: sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1]. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the cause of all causes. Brahmā is the deputed agent for creation, Viṣṇu is the expansion of Kṛṣṇa for maintenance, and Lord Śiva is the expansion of Kṛṣṇa for dissolution.

“ ‘Our dear Lord,’ the demigods prayed, ‘it is very difficult to understand Your eternal form of personality. People in general are unable to understand Your actual form; therefore You are personally descending to exhibit Your original eternal form. Somehow people can understand the different incarnations of Your Lordship, but they are puzzled to understand the eternal form of Kṛṣṇa with two hands, moving among human beings exactly like one of them. This eternal form of Your Lordship is ever increasing in transcendental pleasure for the devotees. But for the nondevotees, this form is very dangerous.’ As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa is very pleasing to the sādhu. It is said, paritrāṇāya sādhūnām [Bg. 4.8]. But this form is very dangerous for the demons because Kṛṣṇa also descends to kill the demons. He is, therefore, simultaneously pleasing to the devotees and dangerous to the demons.

“ ‘Our dear lotus-eyed Lord, You are the source of pure goodness. There are many great sages who simply by samādhi, or transcendentally meditating upon Your lotus feet, and thus being absorbed in Your thought, have easily transformed the great ocean of nescience created by the material nature to no more than water in a calf’s hoofprint.’ The purpose of meditation is to focus the mind upon the Personality of Godhead, beginning from His lotus feet. Simply by meditating on the lotus feet of the Lord, great sages cross over the vast ocean of material existence without difficulty.

“ ‘O self-illuminated one, the great saintly persons who have crossed over the ocean of nescience, by the help of the transcendental boat of Your lotus feet, have not taken away that boat. It is still lying there on that shore.’ The demigods are using a nice simile. If one takes a boat to cross a river, the boat also goes with one to the other side, and so when one reaches the destination, how can the same boat be available to those who are still on the other side? To answer this difficulty, the demigods say in their prayer that the boat is not taken away. The devotees still remaining on the other side are able to pass over the ocean of material nature because the pure devotees do not take the boat with them when they cross over. When one simply approaches the boat, the whole great ocean of material nescience is reduced to the size of water in a calf’s hoofprint.

“Therefore, the devotees do not need to take a boat to the other side; they simply cross the ocean immediately. Because the great saintly persons are compassionate toward all conditioned souls, the boat is still lying at the lotus feet of the Lord. One can meditate upon His feet at any time, and by so doing, one can cross over the great ocean of material existence.

“Meditation means concentration upon the lotus feet of the Lord. ‘Lotus feet’ indicates the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who are impersonalists do not recognize the lotus feet of the Lord, and therefore their object of meditation is something impersonal. The demigods express their mature verdict that persons who are interested in meditating on something void or impersonal cannot cross over the ocean of nescience. Such persons are simply imagining that they have become liberated.

“ ‘O lotus-eyed Lord! Their intelligence is contaminated because they fail to meditate upon the lotus feet of Your Lordship.’ As a result of this neglectful activity, the impersonalists fall down again into the material way of conditioned life, although they may temporarily rise up to the point of impersonal realization. Impersonalists, after undergoing severe austerities and penances, merge themselves into the Brahman effulgence or impersonal Brahman existence. But their minds are not free from material contamination; they have simply tried to negate the material ways of thinking. That does not mean that they have become liberated. Thus they fall down.

“In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that the impersonalist has to undergo great tribulation in realizing the ultimate goal. At the beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, it is also stated that without devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot achieve liberation from the bondage of fruitive activities. The statement of Lord Kṛṣṇa is there in the Bhagavad-gītā, and in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the statement of the great sage Nārada is there, and here also the demigods confirm it. ‘Persons who have not taken to devotional service are understood to have come short of the ultimate purpose of knowledge and are not favored by Your grace.’ The impersonalists simply think that they are liberated, but actually they have no feeling for the Personality of Godhead. They think that when Kṛṣṇa comes into the material world, He accepts a material body. They therefore overlook the transcendental body of Kṛṣṇa.

“This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā: avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ [Bg. 9.11]. In spite of conquering material lust and rising up to the point of liberation, the impersonalists fall down. If they are engaged just in knowing things for the sake of knowledge and do not take to the devotional service of the Lord, they cannot achieve the desired result. Their achievement is the trouble they take, and that is all. It is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that to realize Brahman identification is not all. Brahman identification may help one become joyful without material attachment or detachment and to achieve the platform of equanimity, but after this stage, one has to take to devotional service.

“When one takes to devotional service after being elevated to the platform of Brahman realization, he is then admitted into the spiritual kingdom for permanent residence in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the result of devotional service. Those who are devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead never fall down like the impersonalists. Even if the devotees fall down, they remain affectionately attached to Their Lordship. They can meet all kinds of obstacles on the path of devotional service, and freely, without any fear, they can surmount such obstacles. Because of their surrender, they are certain that Kṛṣṇa will always protect them. As it is promised by Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā: ‘My devotees are never vanquished.’

“ ‘Our dear Lord, You have appeared in Your original unalloyed form, the eternal form of goodness, for the welfare of all living entities within this material world. Taking advantage of Your Lordship, all of them can now very easily understand the nature and form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Persons who belong to the four divisions of the social order (the brahmacārīs, the gṛhasthas, the vānaprasthas and the sannyāsīs) can all take advantage of Your appearance.’ ”

Prabhupāda: All these descriptions are required to understand Kṛṣṇa; otherwise these false philosopher and scientist, they take Kṛṣṇa as ordinary human being, anthropomorphism, that they consider that Kṛṣṇa is ordinary man, but some people have accepted Him on account of His some…, uncommon activities, accepted Him as God. That is called anthropomorphism. So to nullify this argument of anthropomorphism so many descriptions about Kṛṣṇa is given here. We are accepting Kṛṣṇa, not by sentiment that we have accepted some human being as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These are the symptoms described by the demigods. So we should carefully hear.

Go on.

Kīrtanānanda: “ ‘Dear Lord, husband of the goddess of fortune, devotees who are dovetailed in Your service do not fall down from their high position like the impersonalists. Being protected by You, the devotees are able to traverse over the heads of many of māyā’s commanders-in-chief, who can always put stumbling blocks on the path of liberation. My dear Lord, You appear in Your transcendental form for the benefit of the living entities so that they can see You face to face and offer their worshipful sacrifices by ritualistic performance of the Vedas, mystic meditation and devotional service, as recommended in the scriptures. Dear Lord, if You did not appear in Your eternal transcendental form, full of bliss and knowledge—which can eradicate all kinds of speculative ignorance about Your position—then all people would simply speculate about You according to their respective modes of material nature.’

The appearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa is the answer to all imaginative iconography of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everyone imagines the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to his mode of material nature. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that the Lord is the oldest person. Therefore a section of religionists imagine that God must be very old, and therefore they depict a form of the Lord like a very old man. But in the same Brahma-saṁhitā, that is contradicted; although He is the oldest of all living entities, He has His eternal form as a fresh youth. The exact words used in this connection in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are vijñānam ajñāna-bhidāpa…

Prabhupāda: Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam, ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca [Bs. 5.33].

Kīrtanānanda: ”…means transcendental knowledge of the Supreme Personality. Vijñānam is also experienced knowledge. Transcendental knowledge has to be accepted by the descending process of disciplic succession, as Brahmā presents the knowledge of Kṛṣṇa in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Brahma-saṁhitā is vijñ…, ānam…

Prabhupāda: Vijñānam.

Kīrtanānanda:…vijñānam as realized by Brahmā’s transcendental experience, and in that way he presented the form and the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa in the transcendental abode. Ajñāna…, bhid…

Prabhupāda: Ajñāna-timirāndhasya?

Kīrtanānanda:Ajñānabhid means that which can match all kinds of speculation. In ignorance, people are imagining the forms of the Lord; sometimes He has no form and sometimes He has form, according to their different imagination. But the presentation of Kṛṣṇa in the Brahma-saṁhitā is vijñānam—scientific, experienced knowledge given by Lord Brahmā and accepted by Lord Caitanya. There is no doubt about it. Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s form, Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s flute, Kṛṣṇa’s color—everything is reality. Here it is stated that this vijñānam is always defeating all kinds of speculative knowledge. ‘Therefore, without Your appearing as Kṛṣṇa, as You are, neither ajñānabhid [nescience of speculative knowledge] nor vijñānam…

Prabhupāda: Vijñānam. Ajñāna, vijñānam.

Kīrtanānanda: “ '…which is realized.’ ”

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Kīrtanānanda: “ 'Ajñānabhid āpamārjanam—by Your appearance the speculative knowledge of ignorance will be vanquished, and the real experienced knowledge of authorities like Lord Brahmā will be established. Men influenced by the three modes of material nature imagine their own God according to the modes of material nature. In this way God is presented in various ways. But Your appearance will establish what the real form of God is.’

“The highest blunder committed by the impersonalist is to think that when the incarnation of God comes, He accepts the form of matter in the modes of goodness. Actually, the form of Kṛṣṇa or Nārāyaṇa is transcendental to any material idea. Even the great impersonalist, Śaṅkarācārya, has admitted that nārāyaṇaḥ paro ‘vyaktāt: the material creation is caused by the avyakta, the impersonal manifestation of matter or the nonphenomenal total reservation of matter, and Kṛṣṇa is transcendental to that material conception. That is expressed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as śuddha-sattva, or transcendental. He does not belong to the material mode of goodness, and He is above the position of material goodness. He belongs to the transcendental eternal status of bliss and knowledge.

“ ‘Dear Lord, when You appear in Your different incarnations, You take different names and forms according to different situations. Lord Kṛṣṇa is Your name because You are all attractive; You are called Śyāmasundara because of Your transcendental beauty. Śyāma means blackish, yet they say that You are more beautiful than thousands of Cupids. Kanda…

Prabhupāda: Kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobhaṁ [Bs. 5.30].

Kīrtanānanda: “ 'Kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya. Although You appear in a color which is compared to the blackish cloud, because You are transcendental Absolute, Your beauty is many, many times more attractive than the delicate body of Cupid. Sometimes You are called Giridhārī because You lifted the hill known as Govardhana. Sometimes You are called Nandanandana or Vāsudeva or Devakīnandana, because You appear as the son of Mahārāja Nanda or Devakī or Vasudeva. Impersonalists think that Your many names or forms are according to a particular type of work and quality, because they accept You from the position of a material observer.

“ ‘Our dear Lord, the way of understanding is not to study Your absolute nature, form and activities by mental speculation. One must engage himself in devotional service; then one can understand Your absolute nature, transcendental form, name and quality. Actually, only a person who has a little taste for the service of Your lotus feet can understand Your transcendental nature or form and quality. Others may go on speculating for millions of years, but it is not possible for them to understand even a single part of Your actual position.’

“In other words, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, cannot be understood by the nondevotees, because there is a curtain of yogamāyā which covers Kṛṣṇa’s actual features. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, nāhaṁ prak…

Prabhupāda: Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya, yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ [Bg. 7.25].

Kīrtanānanda: “The Lord says, ‘I am not exposed to anyone and everyone.’ When Kṛṣṇa came, He was actually present on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and everyone saw Him. But not everyone could understand that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still, everyone who died in His presence attained complete liberation from material bondage and was transferred to the spiritual world.

“ ‘O Lord, the impersonalists or nondevotees cannot understand that Your name is identical with Your form.’ ” Since the Lord is Absolute, there is no difference between His name and His actual form. In the material world there is a difference between name and form. The mango fruit is different from the name of the mango. One cannot taste the mango fruit simply by chanting ‘mango, mango, mango.’ But the devotee who knows that there is no difference between the name and the form of the Lord chants Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, [everyone chants] Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, and realizes that he is always in Kṛṣṇa’s company.

“For persons who are not very advanced in absolute knowledge of the Supreme, Lord Kṛṣṇa exhibits His transcendental pastimes. They can simply think of the pastimes of the Lord and get the full benefit. Since there is no difference between the transcendental name and form of the Lord, there is no difference between the transcendental pastimes and the form of the Lord. For those who are less intelligent (like women, laborers or the mercantile class), the great sage Vyāsadeva wrote Mahābhārata. In the Mahābhārata, Kṛṣṇa is present in His different activities. Mahābhārata is history, and simply by studying, hearing and memorizing the transcendental activities of Kṛṣṇa, the less intelligent can also gradually rise to the standard of pure devotees.

“The pure devotees, who are always absorbed in the thought of the transcendental lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and who are always engaged in devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, are never to be considered to be in the material world. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī has explained that those who are always engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by body, mind and activities are to be considered liberated even within the body. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā: those who are engaged in the devotional service of the Lord have already transcended the material position.

“Kṛṣṇa appears to give a chance both to the devotees and nondevotees for realization of the ultimate goal of life. The devotees get the direct chance to see Him and worship Him. Those who are not on that platform get the chance to become acquainted with His activities and thus become elevated to the same position.

“ ‘O dear Lord,’ the demigods continued, ‘You are unborn; therefore we do not find any reason for Your appearance other than for Your pleasurable pastimes.’ Although the reason for the appearance of the Lord is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (He descends just to give protection to the devotee and vanquish the nondevotee), actually He descends for His pleasure-meeting with the devotees, not really to vanquish the nondevotees. The nondevotees can be vanquished simply by material nature.

“ ‘The action and reaction of the external energy of material nature (creation, maintenance and annihilation) are being carried on automatically. But simply by taking shelter of Your holy name—because Your holy name and Your personality are nondifferent—the devotees are sufficiently protected.’ The protection of the devotees and the annihilation of the nondevotees are actually not the business of the Supreme Personality of Godhead when He descends. They are just for His transcendental pleasure. There cannot be any other reason for His appearance.

“ ‘Our dear Lord, You are appearing as the best of the Yadu dynasty, and we are offering our respectful obeisances unto Your lotus feet. Before this appearance, You have appeared as the fish incarnation, the horse incarnation, the tortoise incarnation, the swan incarnation, as King Rāmacandra, as Paraśurāma, and many other incarnations. You appeared just to protect the devotees, and we request You in Your present appearance as the Supreme Personality of Godhead to give us similar protection all over the three worlds and remove all obstacles for the peaceful execution of our lives.

“ ‘Dear mother Devakī, within your womb is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing along with His plenary extensions.’ ”

Prabhupāda: So the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, confirms that position of Kṛṣṇa, and they are assuring mother Devakī that “Your child is not ordinary child.”

Go on reading.

Kīrtanānanda: “ ‘He is the original Personality of Godhead appearing for our welfare. Therefore you should not be afraid of your brother, the King of Bhoja. Your son Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the original Personality of Godhead, will appear for the protection of the pious Yadu dynasty. The Lord is appearing not only alone, but accompanied by His immediate plenary portion, Balarāma.’

“Devakī was very much afraid of her brother Kaṁsa, because he had already killed so many of her children. She used to remain very anxious about Kṛṣṇa. In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa it is stated that in order to pacify Devakī, all the demigods, along with their wives, used to always visit her to encourage her not to be afraid that her son would be killed by Kaṁsa. Kṛṣṇa, who was within her womb, was to appear not only to diminish the burden of the world but specifically to protect the interest of the Yadu dynasty, and certainly to protect Devakī and Vasudeva.

“Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Second Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, ‘Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb.’ ”

Prabhupāda: Next. Who is that reading? Yes, now.

Viṣṇujana[?]: “ ‘Birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa.’ As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says that His appearance, birth and activities are all transcendental, and one who understands them factually becomes immediately eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The Lord’s appearance or birth is not like that of an ordinary man who is forced to accept a material body according to his past deeds. The Lord’s appearance is explained in the Second Chapter: He appears out of His own sweet pleasure.

“When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. The astrological influence of the star known as Rohiṇī was also predominant, because this star is considered to be very auspicious. Rohiṇī is under the direct supervision of Brahmā. According to the astrological conclusion, besides the proper situation of the stars, there are auspicious and inauspicious moments due to the different situations of the different planetary systems. At the time of Kṛṣṇa’s birth, the planetary systems were automatically adjusted so that everything became auspicious.

“At that time, in all directions—east, west, south, north, everywhere—there was an atmosphere of peace and prosperity. There were auspicious stars visible in the sky, and on the surface in all towns and villages or pasturing grounds and within the minds of everyone there were signs of good fortune. The rivers were flowing full of waters, and lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The forests were full with beautiful birds and peacocks. All the birds within the forests began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance, along with their consorts. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, and the sensation of bodily touch was very pleasing.

“At home, the brāhmaṇas, who were accustomed to offer sacrifices in the fire, found their homes very pleasant for offerings. Due to disturbances created by the demoniac kings, the sacrificial fire altar had been almost stopped in the houses of brāhmaṇas, but now they could find the opportunity to start the fire peacefully. Being forbidden to offer sacrifices, the brāhmaṇas were very distressed in mind, intelligence and activities, but just on the point of Kṛṣṇa’s appearance, automatically their minds became full of joy because they could hear loud vibrations in the sky of transcendental sounds proclaiming the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“The denizens of the Gandharva and Kinnara planets began to sing, and the denizens of Siddhaloka and the planets of the Cāraṇas began to offer prayers in the service of the Personality of Godhead. In the heavenly planets, the angels, along with their wives, accompanied by the Apsaras, began to dance.

“The great sages and demigods, being pleased, began to shower flowers. At the seashore, there was the sound of mild waves, and above the sea there were clouds in the sky which began to thunder very pleasingly.

“When things were adjusted like this, Lord Viṣṇu, who is residing within the heart of every living entity, appeared in the darkness of night as the Supreme Personality of Godhead before Devakī, who also appeared as one of the demigoddesses.”

Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa appeared first as Viṣṇu, Lord Viṣṇu, four-handed. Then, go on.

Viṣṇujana: “The appearance of Lord Viṣṇu at that time could be compared with the full moon in the sky as it rises on the eastern horizon. The objection may be raised that, since Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on the eighth day of the waning moon, there could be no rising of the full moon. In answer to this it may be said that Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in the dynasty which is in the hierarchy of the moon; therefore, although the moon was incomplete on that night, because of the Lord’s appearance in the dynasty wherein the moon is himself the original person, the moon was in an overjoyous condition, so by the grace of Kṛṣṇa he could appear just as a full moon.

“In an astronomical treatise by the name Khamāṇikya, the constellations at the time of the appearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa are very nicely described. It is confirmed that the child born at that auspicious moment was the Supreme Brahman, or the Absolute Truth.

“Vasudeva saw that wonderful child born as a baby with four hands, holding conchshell, club, disc and lotus flower, decorated with the mark of Śrīvatsa, wearing the jeweled necklace of kaustubha stone, dressed in yellow silk, appearing dazzling like a bright blackish cloud, wearing a helmet bedecked with the vaidūrya stone, valuable bracelets, earrings and similar other ornaments all over His body and an abundance of hair on His head. Due to the extraordinary features of the child, Vasudeva was… [break] …Lord Kṛṣṇa had now appeared, and he became overpowered by the occasion.

“Vasudeva very humbly wondered that although he was an ordinary living entity, conditioned by material nature, and was externally imprisoned by Kaṁsa, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, was appearing as a child in his home, exactly in His original position. No earthly child is born with four hands decorated with ornaments and nice clothing, fully equipped with all the signs of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Over and over again, Vasudeva glanced at his child, and he considered how to celebrate this auspicious moment: ‘Generally, when a male child is born,’ he thought, ‘people observe the occasion with jubilant celebrations, and in my home, although I am imprisoned, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has taken birth. How many millions of millions of times should I be prepared to observe this auspicious ceremony!’ When Vasudeva, who is also called Ānakadundub…”

Prabhupāda: Ānakadundubhi.

Viṣṇujana: ”…was looking at his newborn baby, he was so happy that he wanted to give many thousands of cows in charity to the brāhmaṇas. According to the Vedic system, whenever there is an auspicious ceremony in the kṣatriya king’s palace, the king gives many things in charity. Cows decorated with golden ornaments are delivered to the brāhmaṇas and sages. Vasudeva wanted to perform a charitable ceremony to celebrate Kṛṣṇa’s appearance, but because he was shackled within the walls of Kaṁsa’s prison, this was not possible. Instead, within his mind he gave thousands of cows to the brāhmaṇas.

“When Vasudeva was convinced that his newborn child was the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, he bowed down with folded hands and began to offer Him prayers. At that time Vasudeva, who was in the transcendental position, became completely free from all fear of Kaṁsa. The newborn baby was also flashing His effulgence within the room in which He appeared.

“Vasudeva then began to offer his prayers: ‘My dear Lord, I can understand who You are. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul of all living entities and the Absolute Truth. You have appeared in Your own eternal form, which is directly perceived by us. I understand that because I am afraid of Kaṁsa, You have appeared just to deliver me from that fear.’ [devotees begin chanting] ‘You do not belong to this material world; You are the same person who brings about the cosmic manifestation simply by glancing over material nature.’ [devotees laugh]

“One may argue that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who creates the whole cosmic manifestation simply by His glance, cannot come within the womb of Devakī, the wife of Vasudeva. To eradicate this argument, Vasudeva said, ‘My dear Lord, it is not a very wonderful thing that You appear within the womb of Devakī, because the creation was also made in that way. You were lying in the Causal Ocean as Mahā-Viṣṇu, and by Your breathing process, innumerable universes came into existence. Then You entered into each of the universes as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Then again You expanded Yourself as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and entered into the hearts of all living entities and entered even within the atoms. Therefore Your entrance in the womb of Devakī is understandable in the same way. You appear to have entered, but You are simultaneously all-pervading.

“ ‘We can understand Your entrance and nonentrance from material examples. The total material energy remains intact even after being divided into sixteen elements. The material body is nothing but the combination of the five gross elements—namely earth, water, fire, air and ether. Whenever there is a material body, it appears that such elements are newly created, but actually the elements are always existing outside of the body. Similarly, although You appear as a child in the womb of Devakī, You are also existing outside. You are always in Your abode, but still You can simultaneously expand Yourself into millions of forms.

“ ‘One has to understand Your appearance with great intelligence, because the material energy is also emanating from You. You are the original source of the material energy, just as the sun is the source of the sunshine. The sunshine cannot cover the sun globe, nor can the material energy—being an emanation from You—cover You. You appear to be in the three modes of material energy, but actually the three modes of material energy cannot cover You. This is understood by the highly intellectual philosophers. In other words, although You appear to be within the material energy, You are never covered by it.’

“We hear from the Vedic version that the Supreme Brahman exhibits His effulgence, and therefore everything becomes illuminated. We can understand from Brahma-saṁhitā that the brahmajyoti, or the Brahman effulgence, emanates from the body of the Supreme Lord. And from the Brahman effulgence, all creation takes place. It is further stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that the Lord is also the support of the Brahman effulgence. Originally He is the root cause of everything. But persons who are less intelligent think that when the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes within this world, He accepts the material qualities. Such conclusions are not very mature, but are made by the less intelligent.

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead is directly and indirectly existing everywhere; He is outside this material creation, and He is also within it. He is within this material creation not only as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu; He is also within the atom. Existence is due to His presence. Nothing can be separated from His existence. In the Vedic injunction we find that the Supreme Soul, or the root cause of everything, has to be searched out because nothing exists independent of the Supreme Soul. Therefore the material manifestation is also a transformation of His potency. Both inert matter and the living force—soul—are emanations from Him. Only the foolish conclude that when the Supreme Lord appears He accepts the conditions of matter. Even if He appears to have accepted the material body, He is still not subjected to any material condition. Kṛṣṇa has therefore appeared and defeated all imperfect conclusions about the appearance and disappearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“ ‘My Lord, Your appearance, existence and disappearance are beyond the influence of the material qualities. Because Your Lordship is the controller of everything and the resting place of the Supreme Brahman, there is nothing inconceivable or contradictory in You. As You have said, material nature works under Your superintendence. It is just like government officers working under the orders of the chief executive. The influence of subordinate activities cannot affect You. The Supreme Brahman and all phenomena are existing within You, and all the activities of material nature are controlled by Your Lordship.

“ ‘You are called śuklam. Śuklam, or “whiteness,” is the symbolic representation of the Absolute Truth because it is unaffected by the material qualities. Lord Brahmā is called rakta, or red, because Brahmā represents the qualities of passion for creation. Darkness is entrusted to Lord Śiva because he annihilates the cosmos. The creation, annihilation and maintenance of this cosmic manifestation is conducted by Your potencies, yet You are always unaffected by those qualities. As confirmed in the Vedas, harir hi nirgu-ṇaḥ sākṣāt: the Supreme Personality of Godhead…’ ”

Prabhupāda: Harir hi nirguṇaḥ sākṣāt.

Viṣṇujana: “ ‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead is always free from all material qualities. It is also said that the qualities of passion and ignorance are nonexistent in the person of the Supreme Lord.

“ ‘My Lord, You are the Supreme Controller, the Personality of Godhead, the supreme great, maintaining the order of the cosmic manifestation. And in spite of Your being the Supreme Controller, You have so kindly appeared in my home. The purpose of Your appearance is to kill the followers of the demonic rulers of the world who are in the dress of royal princes but who are actually demons. I am sure that You will kill all of them and their followers and soldiers.

“ ‘I understand that You have appeared to kill the uncivilized Kaṁsa and his followers. But knowing that You were to appear to kill him and his followers, he has already killed so many of Your predecessors, elder brothers. Now he is simply awaiting the news of Your birth. As soon as he hears about it, he will immediately appear with all kinds of weapons to kill You.’ ”

Devotee (3): “After this prayer of Vasudeva, Devakī, the mother of Kṛṣṇa, offered her prayers. She was frightened because of her brother’s atrocities. Devakī said, ‘My dear Lord, Your eternal forms, like Nārāyaṇa, Lord Rāma, Śeṣa, Varāha, Nṛsiṁha, Vāmana, Baladeva and millions of similar incarnations emanating from Viṣṇu are described in the Vedic literature as original. You are original because all Your forms as incarnations are outside of this material creation. Your form was existing before the cosmic manifestation was created. Your forms are eternal and all-pervading. They are self-effulgent, changeless and uncontaminated by the material qualities. Such eternal forms are ever-cognizant and full of bliss; they are situated in transcendental goodness and are always engaged in different pastimes. You are not limited to a particular form only; all such transcendental eternal forms are self-sufficient. I can understand that You are the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu.

“ ‘After many millions of years, when Lord Brahmā comes to the end of his life, the annihilation of the cosmic manifestation takes place. At that time the five elements—namely earth, water, fire, air and ether—enter into the mahat-tattva. The mahat-tattva again enters, by the force of time, into the nonmanifested total material energy; the total material energy enters into the energetic pradhāna, and the pradhāna enters into You. Therefore after the annihilation of the whole cosmic manifestation, You alone remain with Your transcendental name, form, quality and paraphernalia.

“ ‘My Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You because You are the director of the unmanifested total energy and the ultimate reservoir of the material nature. My Lord, the whole cosmic manifestation is under the influence of time, beginning from the moment up to the duration of the year. All act under Your direction. You are the original director of everything and the reservoir of all potent energies.

“ ‘Therefore, my Lord, I request You to save me from the cruel hands of the son of Ugrasena, Kaṁsa. I am praying to Your Lordship to please rescue me from this fearful condition, because You are always ready to give protection to Your servitors.’ The Lord has confirmed this statement in the Bhagavad-gītā by assuring Arjuna, ‘You may declare to the world, My devotee shall never be vanquished.’

While thus praying to the Lord for rescue, mother Devakī expressed her motherly affection: ‘I understand that this transcendental form is generally perceived in meditation by the great sages, but I am still afraid because as soon as…’ ”

Prabhupāda: Devakī was suspecting because Kṛṣṇa appeared as Lord Viṣṇu with four hands. So Devakī was thinking that “Kaṁsa has killed my other sons, suspecting him to be Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu, although they appeared in two hands. Now You have appeared in four hands, so as soon as he will see, immediately will kill you.” That was his [her] fear, therefore he [she] is requesting “Better You become two hand”.

Go on.

Devotee (3): “ ‘I am still afraid, because as soon as Kaṁsa understands that You have appeared, he might harm You. So I request that for the time being You become invisible to our material eyes.’ In other words, she requested the Lord to assume the form of an ordinary child. ‘My only cause of fear from my brother Kaṁsa is due to Your appearance. My Lord Madhusūdana, Kaṁsa may know that You are already born. Therefore I request You to conceal this four-armed form of Your Lordship which holds the four symbols of Viṣṇu—namely the conchshell, the disc, the club and the lotus flower. My dear Lord, at the end of the annihilation of the cosmic manifestation, You put the whole universe within Your abdomen; still, by Your unalloyed mercy You have appeared in my womb. I am surprised that You imitate the activities of ordinary human beings just to please Your devotee.’ ”

“On hearing the prayers of Devakī, the Lord replied, ‘My dear mother, in the millennium of Svāyambhuva Manu, My father Vasudeva was living as one of the prajāpatis, and his name at that time was Sutapā, and you were his wife, named Pṛśni. At that time, when Lord Brahmā was desiring to increase the population, he requested you to generate offspring. You controlled your senses and performed severe austerities. By practicing the breathing exercise of the yoga system, both you and your husband could tolerate all the influences of the material laws: the rainy season, the onslaught of the wind, and the scorching heat of the sunshine. You also executed all religious principles. In this way you were able to cleanse your heart and control the influence of material law. In executing your austerity, you used to eat only the leaves of the trees which fell to the ground. Then with steady mind and controlled sex drive, you worshiped Me, desiring some wonderful benediction from Me.’ ”

Prabhupāda: How much austerities they underwent in their previous birth to get Kṛṣṇa as their son.

Devotee: Jaya.

Prabhupāda: Go on.

Devotee (3): “ ‘Both of you practiced severe austerities for twelve thousand years by the calculation of the demigods. During that time, your mind was always absorbed in Me. When you were executing devotional service and always thinking of Me within your heart, I was very much pleased with you. O sinless mother, your heart is therefore always pure. At that time also I appeared before you in this form just to fulfill your desire, and I asked you to ask whatever you desired. At that time you wished to have Me born as your son. Although you saw Me personally, instead of asking for your complete liberation from the material bondage, under the influence of My energy, you asked Me to become your son.’

“In other words, the Lord selected His mother and father—namely Pṛśni and Sutapā—specifically to appear in the material world. Whenever the Lord comes as a human being, He must have someone as mother and father, so He selected Pṛśni and Sutapā perpetually as His mother and father. And on account of this, both Pṛśni and Sutapā could not ask the Lord for liberation. Liberation is not so important as the transcendental loving service of the Lord.

“The Lord could have awarded Pṛśni and Sutapā immediate liberation, but He preferred to keep them within this material world for His different appearances, as will be explained in the following verses. On receiving the benediction from the Lord to become His father and mother, both Pṛśni and Sutapā returned from the activities of austerity and lived as husband and wife in order to beget a child who was the Supreme Lord Himself.

“In due course of time Pṛśni became pregnant and gave birth to the child. The Lord spoke to Devakī and Vasudeva: ‘At that time My name was Pṛśnigarbha. In the next millennium also you took birth as Aditi and Kaśyapa, and I became your child of the name Upendra. At that time My form was just like a dwarf.’ ”

Prabhupāda: So whenever God incarnates, takes birth, He has a particular set of father and mother. Not ordinary.

Devotee (3): “ ‘At that time My form was just like a dwarf, and for this reason I was known as Vāmanadeva. I gave you the benediction that I would take birth as your son three times. The first time I was known as Pṛśnigarbha, born of Pṛśni and Sutapā, the next birth I was Upendra, born of Aditi and Kaśyapa, and now, for the third time, I am born as Kṛṣṇa from you, Devakī and Vasudeva.’ ” [break]

Prabhupāda: Now Kṛṣṇa will be taken by the order, Kṛṣṇa, to mother Yaśodā’s house. And I think you are getting impatient. [laughter] So we shall discuss this matter tomorrow. Is that all right?

Devotees: Jaya, Śrīla Prabhupāda. All glories to you.

Prabhupāda: Now we can open…

Kīrtanānanda: We can finish the chapter, I think.

Prabhupāda: All right. All right.

Devotee (3): “I appeared in this Viṣṇu form just to convince you that I am the same Supreme Personality of Godhead again taken birth. I could have appeared just like an ordinary child, but in that way you would not believe that I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, have taken birth in your womb. My dear father and mother, you have therefore raised Me many times as your child, with great affection and love, and I am therefore very pleased and obliged to you. And I assure you that this time you shall go back to home, back to Godhead, on account of your perfection in your mission. I know you are very concerned about Me and afraid of Kaṁsa. Therefore I order you to take Me immediately to Gokula and replace Me with the daughter who has just been born to Yaśodā.’

“Having spoken thus in the presence of His father and mother, the Lord turned Himself into an ordinary child and remained silent.

“Being ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva attempted to take his son from the delivery room, and exactly at that time, a daughter was born of Nanda and Yaśodā. She was Yogamāyā, the internal potency of the Lord. By the influence of this internal potency, Yogamāyā, all the residents of Kaṁsa’s palace, especially the doorkeepers, were overwhelmed with deep sleep, and all the palace doors opened, although they were barred and shackled with iron chains. The night was very dark, but as soon as Vasudeva took Kṛṣṇa on his lap and went out, he could see everything just as in the sunlight.

“In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said that Kṛṣṇa is just like sunlight, and wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, the illusory energy, which is compared to darkness, cannot remain. When Vasudeva was carrying Kṛṣṇa, the darkness of the night disappeared. All the prison doors automatically opened. At the same time there was thunder in the sky and severe rainfall. While Vasudeva was carrying his son Kṛṣṇa in the falling rain, Lord Śeṣa in the shape of a serpent spread His hood over the head of Vasudeva so that he would not be hampered by the rainfall. Vasudeva came onto the bank of the Yamunā and saw that the water of the Yamunā was roaring with waves and the whole span was full of foam.

“Still, in that furious feature, the river gave passage to Vasudeva to cross, just as the great Indian Ocean gave a path to Lord Rāma when He was bridging over the gulf. In this way Vasudeva crossed the river Yamunā. On the other side, he went to the palace of Nanda Mahārāja situated in Gokula, where he saw that all the cowherd men were fast asleep. He took the opportunity of silently entering into the house of Yaśodā, and without difficulty he replaced his son, taking away the baby girl newly born in the house of Yaśodā. Then, after entering the house very silently and exchanging the boy with the girl, he again returned to the prison of Kaṁsa and silently put the girl on the lap of Devakī. He again clamped the shackles on himself so that Kaṁsa would not recognize that so many things had happened.

“Mother Yaśodā understood that a child was born of her, but because she was tired from the labor of childbirth, she was fast asleep. When she awoke…”

Prabhupāda: Now, Vasudeva is practically doing something irreligious because he is replacing his male child for protection and taking the girl child. He knew that as soon as the girl will be in the hand of Kaṁsa she will be killed, but he is doing that intentionally. So, from Vedic conclusion it is irreligious, why he should protect his own child and take other’s child to be killed. But the thing is that Vāsudeva, although he is very religious, he presented all his children in the hands of, but he could not do so in case of Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya.

Prabhupāda: That is the purpose. He broke his promise, so what Kṛṣṇa says, the devotee can do anything. Yes. Finished?

Devotee (3): “When she awoke she could not remember whether she had given birth to a male or female child.

“Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Third Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, ‘Birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa.’ ”

Devotees: Jaya.

Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa is now resting on the lap of mother Yaśodā, and tomorrow mother Yaśodā and Nanda Mahārāja will perform a great ceremony known as Nandotsava.

Devotees: Jaya.

Kīrtanānanda: Śrīla Prabhupāda, I want to say just a word on behalf of the residents of New Vrindavan, and at this auspicious time of the conjunction of your appearance and Lord Kṛṣṇa’s appearance. We want to offer this temple to you and Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. That’s a great achievement. Now open and offer ārati, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya. Haribol. Haribol.

[96:02] [Hṛdayānanda leads kīrtana]

Prabhupāda: [during the kīrtana] Why late? Why late? [kīrtana continues] [prema-dhvani] [break] Hare Kṛṣṇa. [kīrtana] Where is [indistinct]? [coughs] [end]

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