This is one of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja’s last darśanas (September 5, 2010), spoken on the roof of Śrī Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha in Mathurā. It was given just before he left for New Delhi, for Rādhāṣṭamī, and before he entered his pastime of illness there, published in Walking with a Saint – Morning Walks and Conversations 2010
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Kaṁsa gave a seat to Akrūra and said, “There is no one else who can help me apart from you.
Please help me!”
Akrūra asked, “What can I do for you?
Kaṁsa caught his hand and said, “Somehow, by any means – by trick, by strength, by spending whatever time it takes to convince Them – bring Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma to the wrestling arena that I have built near Raṅgeśvara Mahādeva. There will be demonstrations of wrestling ability by many strong heroes, and there will be other events as well. So go to Vraja, and somehow bring Them here to Mathurā.”
Akrūra thought, “Even though he is very cruel, today he is speaking very sweetly. Anyway, whatever happens, at least I will get the darśana of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. How fortunate is this Earth planet, because in Vṛndāvana, the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa runs barefoot behind the cows. Kaṁsa doesn’t understand that he has grabbed a poisonous snake, and has wrapped it around his neck like a garland. He doesn’t know when that snake will bite him.”
Thinking like this, Akrūra went to Vraja, where Nanda Bābā welcomed him with great respect. That night, He took Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma to a secluded spot and told Them, “Listen to me, Kṛṣṇa. Nanda and Yaśodā are not Your real parents. Your birth parents are Devakī and Vasudeva. The night You were born, Vasudeva took You across the Yamunā and exchanged You for the daughter of Yaśodā; so You are actually the son of Devakī. Kaṁsa has chained Your parents by hands and feet in his prison house, where they are suffering greatly. Sometimes he kicks them with his feet and shouts, ‘Where is your son?! Tell me now!’ They cannot tolerate their great suffering, and certainly they will die.
“Do whatever You desire. Do You want Your parents to die? Is that what You want? And even if You don’t think they are Your parents, at least they are Your devotees. It is Your duty to save them.”
Balarāma told Kṛṣṇa, “I know that Nanda and Yaśodā are Our mother and father. Although Rohiṇī gave birth to Me, it is Nanda and Yaśodā who maintained Me and protected Me, just as eyelids protect the pupils of the eyes. Let us go to Mathurā as the well-wishers of Vasudeva and Devakī. We will finish Kaṁsa, and tomorrow or the day after we will return.”
The words of Bhagavān are the Absolute Truth; they can never be false. Whatever Lord Rāma or Lord Kṛṣṇa speak, They will do. So Kṛṣṇa went to Mathurā, where He killed Kaṁsa and the demonic wrestlers, Cāṇūra and Mūṣṭika, and where He established Ugrasena as the King. He was engaged in this way for two days and nights.
Meanwhile, surrounded by their bullock carts on the bank of the Yamunā, Nanda Mahārāja and the cowherd men and boys were anxiously awaiting the return of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. They were constantly thinking in great anxiety, “When will They come? Why have They not come? Kaṁsa has been killed and Ugrasena has been made King, but still They have not returned.”
It has been written in the Purāṇas, vṛndāvanaṁ parityajya padam ekaṁ na gacchati. Kṛṣṇa says that He never takes one foot out of Vraja. So He should have stayed in Vraja. How could it be possible for Him to leave Vraja and go to Mathurā? Why did He go?
Here is a point worth considering: A person never leaves that place which is most dear to Him. After finishing his work elsewhere, he would immediately return to that place. Vraja is most dear to Kṛṣṇa, and among the Vrajavāsīs, the sakhās are most dear to Him. Even more dear than the sakhās are Nanda and Yaśodā, and even more dear than them are the gopīs, of whom Candrāvalī and Rādhikā are the most dear. And, between Candrāvalī and Rādhikā, Rādhikā’s devotion is top-most. There is no one more dear to Kṛṣṇa than Her.
Śrīmatī Rādhikā also never leaves Vraja. So who went to Kurukṣetra to meet with Śrī Kṛṣṇa there? That was saṁyoginī Rādhā. She stayed there for two days and then returned to Vraja. And who cried in separation from Kṛṣṇa in Uddhava-kyārī, on the outskirts of Nandagaon? That was viyoginī Rādhā.
The question comes: When Kṛṣṇa Himself promised the Vrajavāsīs, “I will return the day after tomorrow,” did He lie? His words can never be false. What happened then? If He did not return after many, many years, how, then, can His words be true?
Having realized the internal meaning behind the statement in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam*, Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura wrote in his Bhāgavatam commentary, “Brother, I am not satisfied by this statement. He must have returned to Vraja.” Śrīla Cakravartī Ṭhākura wrote that if Kṛṣṇa could expand Himself into millions of forms to dance with the gopīs in the rāsa-līlā, why could He not perform a similar pastime here? He declared that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma both manifested a second form of Themselves. As one pair, the two brothers remained with Vasudeva Mahārāja in Mathurā, and as another pair, They were seen with Nanda Mahārāja, laughing and dancing as They returned with him to Vraja.
When Kṛṣṇa sent Uddhava to Nandagrāma in Vraja with His message of consolation, Uddhava thought, “I don’t know anyone except Kṛṣṇa. He is everything to me. How can I live without Him for so many days? That is impossible for me.”
Kṛṣṇa assured him, “When you go there, to Vraja, you will see that we are all there – Myself, the gopīs, and all My friends. Every day the gopīs light ghee lamps, and while churning yoghurt, they chant My names, ‘Govinda, Dāmodara, Mādhava.’ ” [Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja leads the devotees present in singing this bhajana.] There are many songs like this.
When Uddhava arrived in Vraja, he thought, “Where is Kṛṣṇa? I left Him in Mathurā, but I see Him here with all His sakhās. How is this possible? Just now all the cowherd boys are returning with Kṛṣṇa from cow grazing.”
Then, after some time, everything became covered [and Uddhava saw Vraja in separation from Kṛṣṇa].
Kṛṣṇa showed Uddhava that He came to Vraja, stayed in Vraja, and has always been in Vraja. How is this possible? In one prakoṣṭha (section) the Vrajavāsīs are meeting with Kṛṣṇa, and in another prakoṣṭha they are experiencing separation from Him.
Both pastimes occur simultaneously. Are you understanding something?
[By this kathā, Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja is indicating to the devotees in Mathurā and around the entire world that, “In one form I am separating myself from you, but in another form we will always be together.”]
* The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam states that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma stayed in Mathurā, after giving Their clothes and ornaments as presents to Nanda Bābā, who returned to Vraja alone.
Image/Art made possible by Pixabay.com, Krishnapath.org and/or Bhaktiart.net
Unless indicated differently, all verse translations and quotes are from the books
by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda (Vedabase.com)