Krishna Lilas - The Nectarian Pastimes of the Sweet Lord

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47. Kṛṣṇa Pleases His Devotees

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Lord Krishna

For days together, Kṛṣṇa heard from Uddhava all the details of his visit to Vṛndāvana, of the condition of His father and mother, and of the gopīs and the cowherd boys. Lord Kṛṣṇa was fully satisfied that Uddhava was able to solace them by his instruction and by the message delivered to them.

Lord Kṛṣṇa then decided to go to the house of Kubjā, the hunchback woman who had pleased Him by offering Him sandalwood when He was entering the city of Mathurā. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa always tries to please His devotees, and the devotees try to please Kṛṣṇa. As the devotees always think of Kṛṣṇa within their hearts, so Kṛṣṇa also thinks of His devotees within Himself. When Kubjā was converted into a beautiful society girl, she wanted Kṛṣṇa to come to her place so that she could try to receive and worship Him in her own way. Society girls generally try to satisfy their clients by offering their bodies to the men to enjoy. But this society girl, Kubjā, was actually captivated by a lust to satisfy her senses with Kṛṣṇa. When Kṛṣṇa desired to go to the house of Kubjā, He certainly had no desire for sense gratification. By supplying the sandalwood pulp to Kṛṣṇa, Kubjā had already satisfied His senses. On the plea of her sense gratification, He decided to go to her house, not actually for sense gratification, but to turn her into a pure devotee. Kṛṣṇa is always served by many thousands of goddesses of fortune; therefore He has no need to satisfy His senses by going to a society girl. But as He is kind to everyone, He decided to go there. It is said that the moon does not withhold its shining from the courtyard of a crooked person. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa's transcendental mercy is never denied to anyone, whether one has rendered service unto Him through lust, anger, fear or pure love. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is stated that if one wants to serve Kṛṣṇa and at the same time wants to satisfy his own lusty desires, Kṛṣṇa will handle it so that the devotee forgets his lusty desire and becomes fully purified and constantly engaged in the service of the Lord.

In order to fulfill His past promise, Kṛṣṇa, along with Uddhava, went to the house of Kubjā. When Kṛṣṇa reached her house, He saw that it was completely decorated in a way to excite the lusty desires of a man. This suggests that there were many nude pictures, on top of which were canopies and flags embroidered with pearl necklaces, along with comfortable beds and cushioned chairs. The rooms were provided with flower garlands and were nicely scented with incense and sprinkled with scented water. And the rooms were illuminated by nice lamps.

When Kubjā saw that Lord Kṛṣṇa had come to her house in order to fulfill His promised visit, she immediately got up from the chair to receive Him. Accompanied by her many girl friends, she began to talk with Him with great respect and honor. After offering Him a nice place to sit, she worshiped Lord Kṛṣṇa in a manner just suitable to her position. Uddhava was similarly received by Kubjā and her girl friends, but he was not on an equal level with Kṛṣṇa, and he simply sat down on the floor.

Without wasting time, as one does in such situations, Kṛṣṇa entered the bedroom of Kubjā. In the meantime, Kubjā took her bath and smeared her body with sandalwood pulp. She dressed herself with nice garments, valuable jewelry, ornaments and flower garlands. Chewing betel nut and other intoxicating eatables and spraying herself with scents, she appeared before Kṛṣṇa. Her smiling glance and moving eyes were full of feminine bashfulness as she stood gracefully before Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is known as Mādhava, the husband of the goddess of fortune. When Kṛṣṇa saw that Kubjā was hesitating to come before Him, He immediately caught hold of her hand, which was decorated with bangles. With great affection, He dragged her beside Him and made her sit by His side. Simply by having previously supplied pulp of sandalwood to the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, Kubjā became free from all sinful reactions and eligible to enjoy with Him. She then took Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet and placed them on her breasts, which were burning with the blazing fire of lust. By smelling the fragrance of Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, she immediately became relieved of all lusty desires. She was thus allowed to embrace Kṛṣṇa with her two arms and thus mitigate her long-cherished desire to have Kṛṣṇa as a visitor in her house.

It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that without being freed of all material sinful reactions, one cannot be engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Simply by supplying sandalwood pulp to Kṛṣṇa, Kubjā was thus rewarded. She was not trained to worship Kṛṣṇa in any other way; therefore she wanted to satisfy Him by her profession. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that the Lord can be worshiped even by one's profession, if it is sincerely offered for the pleasure of the Lord. Kubjā then told Kṛṣṇa, "My dear friend, kindly remain with me at least for a few days. Enjoy with me, You and Your lotus-eyed friend. I cannot leave You immediately. Please grant my request."

As stated in the Vedic versions, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has multi-potencies. According to expert opinion, Kubjā represents the puruṣa-śakti potency of Kṛṣṇa, just as Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī represents His cit-śakti potency. Although she requested Kṛṣṇa to remain with her for some days, Kṛṣṇa politely impressed upon her that it was not possible for Him to stay. Kṛṣṇa visits this material world occasionally, whereas His connection with the spiritual world is eternal. Kṛṣṇa is always present either in the Vaikuṇṭha planets or in the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet. The technical term for His presence in the spiritual world is prakaṭa-līlā.

After satisfying Kubjā with sweet words, Kṛṣṇa returned to His place along with Uddhava. There is a warning in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that Kṛṣṇa is not very easily worshiped because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the chief among the Viṣṇu-tattvas. To worship Kṛṣṇa or have association with Him is not a very easy job. Specifically, there is a warning for devotees who are attracted to Kṛṣṇa through conjugal love; it is not good for them to desire to have sense gratification by direct association with Kṛṣṇa. Actually, the activities of sense gratification are material. In the spiritual world there are symptoms like kissing and embracing, but there is no sense-gratificatory process as it exists in the material world. This warning is specifically for those known as sahajiyā, who take it for granted that Kṛṣṇa is an ordinary human being. They desire to enjoy sex life with Him in a perverted way. In a spiritual relationship, sense gratification is most insignificant. Anyone who desires a relationship of perverted sense gratification with Kṛṣṇa must be considered to be less intelligent. His mentality requires to be reformed.

After a while, Kṛṣṇa fulfilled His promise to visit Akrūra at his house. Akrūra was in relationship with Kṛṣṇa as His servitor, and Kṛṣṇa wanted to get some service from him. He went there accompanied by both Lord Balarāma and Uddhava. When Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and Uddhava were approaching the house of Akrūra, Akrūra came forward, embraced Uddhava and offered respectful obeisances, bowing down before Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and Uddhava offered him obeisances in turn and were offered appropriate sitting places by Akrūra. When all were comfortably seated, Akrūra washed their feet and sprinkled the water on his head. Then he offered nice flowers and sandalwood pulp in regular worship. All three of them became very satisfied by the behavior of Akrūra. Akrūra then bowed down before Kṛṣṇa, putting his head on the ground. Then, keeping Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet on his lap, Akrūra began to gently massage them. When Akrūra was fully satisfied in the presence of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, his eyes became filled with tears of love for Kṛṣṇa, and he began to offer his prayers as follows.

"My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, it is very kind of You to have killed Kaṁsa and his associates. You have delivered the whole family of the Yadu dynasty from the greatest calamity. Your saving of the great Yadu dynasty will always be remembered by them. My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, You are the original personality from whom everything has emanated. You are the original cause of all causes. You have inconceivable energy, and You are all-pervasive. But for Yourself, there is no other cause and effect, gross or subtle. You are the Supreme Brahman realized by the study of the Vedas. By Your inconceivable energy, You are actually visible before us. You create this cosmic manifestation by Your own potencies, and You enter into it Yourself. As the five material elements, earth, water, fire, air, and sky, are distributed in everything manifested by different kinds of bodies, so You alone enter into different varieties of bodies, created by Your own energy. You enter the body as the individual soul as well as independently as the Supersoul. The material body is created by Your inferior energy. The living entities, individual souls, are part and parcel of You, and the Supersoul is Your localized representation. This material body, the living entity and the Supersoul constitute an individual living being, but originally they are all different energies of the one Supreme Lord.

"In the material world, You are creating, maintaining and dissolving the whole manifestation by interaction of three qualities, namely goodness, passion and ignorance. You are not implicated by the activities of those material qualities because Your supreme knowledge is never overcome, as is the case with the individual living entity."


As the Supreme Lord enters into this material creation and thus the creation, maintenance and destruction are going on in their due course, so the part and parcel living entity enters the material elements and has his material body created for him. The difference between the living entity and the Lord is that the living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and has the tendency to be overcome by the interactions of material qualities. Kṛṣṇa, the Parambrahman or the Supreme Brahman, being always situated in full knowledge, is never overcome by such activities. Therefore Kṛṣṇa's name is Acyuta, meaning He who never falls down. Kṛṣṇa's knowledge of spiritual identity is never overcome by material action, whereas the identity of the minute part and parcel living entities is prone to be overcome by material action. The individual living entities are eternally part and parcel of God. As minute sparks of the original fire, Kṛṣṇa, they have the tendeny to become extinguished.

Akrūra continued: "The less intelligent class of men misunderstand Your transcendental form to be also made of material energy. That concept is not at all applicable to You. Actually, You are all spiritual, and there is no difference between You and Your body. Because of this, there is no question of Your being conditioned or liberated. You are ever-liberated in any condition of life. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, 'Only the fools and rascals consider You to be an ordinary man.' To consider Your Lordship to be one of us, conditioned by the material nature, is a mistake due to our imperfect knowledge. When people deviate from the original knowledge of the Vedas, they try to identify the ordinary living entities with Your Lordship. Your Lordship has appeared on this earth in Your original form in order to reestablish the real knowledge that the living entities are neither one with nor equal to the Supreme God. My dear Lord, You are always situated in uncontaminated goodness (śuddha-sattva). Your appearance is necessary to reestablish actual Vedic knowledge, as opposed to the atheistic philosophy which tries to establish that God and the living entities are one and the same. My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, this time You have appeared in the home of Vasudeva as His son, along with Your plenary expansion, Śrī Balarāma. Your mission is to kill all the atheistic royal families, along with their huge military strength. You have advented Yourself to minimize the overburden of the world, and in order to fulfill this mission, You have glorified the dynasty of Yadu, appearing in the family as one of its members.

"My dear Lord, today my home has become purified by Your presence. I have become the most fortunate person in the world. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is worshipable by all different kinds of demigods, Pitṛs, living entities, kings and emperors, and who is the Supersoul of everything, has come into my home. The water of His lotus feet is purifying the three worlds, and now He has kindly come to my place. Who is there in the three worlds among factually learned men who will not take shelter of Your lotus feet and surrender unto You? Who, knowing well that no one can be as affectionate as You are to Your devotees, is so foolish that he will decline to become Your devotee? Throughout the Vedic literature it is declared that You are the dearmost friend of every living entity. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā: suhṛdām sarva-bhūtānām. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, completely capable of fulfilling the desires of Your devotees. You are the real friend of everyone. In spite of giving Yourself to Your devotees, You are never depleted of Your original potency. Your potency neither decreases nor increases in volume.

"My dear Lord, it is very difficult for even the great mystic yogīs and demigods to ascertain Your movement. You cannot be approached by them, and yet out of Your causeless mercy You have kindly consented to come to my home. This is the most auspicious moment in the journey of my material existence. By Your grace only, I can just understand that my home, my wife, my children and my worldly possessions are all different bonds to material existence. Please cut the knot and save me from this entanglement of false society, friendship and love."

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was very pleased by Akrūra's offering of prayers. His smile was captivating Akrūra more and more. The Lord replied to him as follows: "My dear Akrūra, in spite of your submissiveness, I consider you to be My superior, on the level with My father and teacher and most well-wishing friend. You are, therefore, worshipable by Me, and since you are My uncle, I am always to be protected by you. I desire to be maintained by you because I am one of your own children. Apart from this filial relationship, you are always to be worshiped. Anyone who desires good fortune must offer his respectful obeisances unto personalities like you. You are more than the demigods. People go to worship the demigods when they are in need of some sense gratification; the demigods offer benediction to their devotees after being worshiped by them. But a devotee like Akrūra is always ready to offer the greatest benediction to the people. A saintly person or devotee is free to offer benediction to everyone, whereas the demigods can offer benediction only after being worshiped. One can take advantage of the place of pilgrimage only after going there. By worshiping the particular demigod, it takes a long time for fulfillment of the desire; but saintly persons like you, My dear Akrūra, can immediately fulfill all the desires of the devotees. My dear Akrūra, you are always Our friend and well-wisher. You are always ready to act for Our welfare. Kindly, therefore, go to Hastināpura and see what arrangement has been made for the Pāṇḍavas."

Kṛṣṇa was very anxious to know about the sons of Pāṇḍu, because at a very young age, they had lost their father. Being very friendly to His devotees, Kṛṣṇa was anxious to know about them, and therefore He deputed Akrūra to go to Hastināpura and get information of the real situation. Kṛṣṇa continued to say, "I have heard that after the death of King Pāṇḍu his young sons, Yudhiṣṭhira, Bhīma, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, along with their widowed mother, have come under the charge of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, who is to look after them as their guardian. But I have also heard that Dhṛtarāṣṭra is not only blind from birth, but also blind in his affection for his cruel son, Duryodhana. The five Pāṇḍavas are the sons of King Pāṇḍu, but Dhṛtarāṣṭra, due to his plans and designs, is not favorably disposed towards the Pāṇḍavas. Kindly go there and study how Dhṛtarāṣṭra is dealing with the Pāṇḍavas. On receipt of your report, I shall consider how to favor the Pāṇḍavas." In this way the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, ordered Akrūra to go to Hastināpura, and then He returned home, accompanied by Balarāma and Uddhava.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-seventh Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, "Kṛṣṇa Pleases His Devotees."

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