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V

Priya:
The Beloved
TEXT 1
é[qParqi+aduvac
Ta}a é[qNaardae hzR>ara§==aNTa" SaNaTaRNaMa( )
ku-ådeXa& GaTaae DaavNa( raJaDaaNYaa& Pa[ivívaNa( ))

çré-parékñid uväca
tatra çré-närado harña-
bharäkräntaù sa-nartanam
kuru-deçaà gato dhävan
räjadhänyäà praviñöavän

çré-parékñit uväca — Çré Parékñit said; tatra — there; çré-näradaù


— Çré Närada; harña-bhara — by an excess of joy; äkräntaù —
overcome; sa-nartanam — while dancing; kuru-deçam — to the
kingdom of the Kurus; gataù — went; dhävan — running; räja-
dhänyäm — the capital city; praviñöavän — entered.

Çré Parékñit said: Çré Närada, beside himself with joy, ar-
rived dancing at the kingdom of the Kurus and raced into
their capital city.

C OMMENTARY: In this chapter the Päëòavas refute Närada’s glo-


rification of them by instead glorifying the Yadus, especially
Uddhava.
After the annihilation of Duryodhana’s army at Kurukñetra,
Yudhiñöhira assumed his rightful throne and began ruling at Hasti-
näpura. Thus Närada went to Hastinäpura to see the Päëòavas.
388 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXTS 2–3
TaavTk-SYaaiPa YaaGaSYa ivPaTPaaTaSYa va iMazaTa( )
k*-Z<aMaaNaaYYa PaXYaaMa wiTa MaN}aYaTaa SvkE-" ))

DaMaRraJaeNa Ta& Üair TaQaa Pa[aá& MahaMauiNaMa( )


iNaXaMYa >a]aTa*i>aMaaR}aa PaÒqi>aê SahaeiTQaTaMa( ))

tävat kasyäpi yägasya


vipat-pätasya vä miñät
kåñëam änäyya paçyäma
iti mantrayatä svakaiù

dharma-räjena taà dväri


tathä präptaà mahä-munim
niçamya bhrätåbhir mäträ
patnébhiç ca sahotthitam

tävat — just then; kasya api — one or another; yägasya — of a


sacrifice; vipat-pätasya — calamity; vä — or; miñät — on the
pretext; kåñëam — Kåñëa; änäyya — bringing; paçyämaù — we
shall see; iti — thus; mantrayatä — who was consulting; svakaiù
— with his associates; dharma-räjena — by Dharmaräja Yudhi-
ñöhira; tam — him; dväri — at the door; tathä — and; präptam
— obtained; mahä-munim — the great sage; niçamya — see-
ing; bhrätåbhiù — with his brothers; mäträ — with his mother;
patnébhiù — with his wives; ca — and; saha — together; utthi-
tam — stood up.

Dharmaräja Yudhiñöhira was just then consulting his inner


circle about how to see Kåñëa by bringing Him on the pre-
text of some sacrifice or calamity. When the king heard
that the great sage was at the door, he at once stood up
with his brothers, mother, and wives.

C OMMENTARY: When Närada arrived dancing at the palace


gate, the doorkeepers immediately informed King Yudhiñöhira.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 389

The king and his family at once stood up to greet Närada, even
though they had been busy deliberating on how to induce Kåñëa
to come to Hastinäpura. One idea had been to send Bhéma or
someone else to invite Kåñëa to an Açvamedha sacrifice, but the
assembly thought this wouldn’t make Kåñëa come soon enough,
because sacrifices take a long time to arrange. A second pro-
posal was to ask Kåñëa to help defend Hastinäpura from enemy
attack. Even though there was no need for another sacrifice
and no threat of attack on the city, the Päëòavas were schem-
ing to get Kåñëa’s association by whatever means. In general,
the Supreme Lord’s devotees encounter two kinds of danger,
one created by the Lord to proclaim His devotees’ glories, the
other simulated by the Lord’s devotees when they are intensely
anxious to see Him.

TEXT 4
SaSaM>a]Ma& DaavTaa Tau Saae_i>aGaMYa Pa[<aMYa c )
Sa>aaMaaNaqYa SaTPaq#e= Pa[YaÒaduPaveiXaTa" ))

sa sambhramaà dhävatä tu
so ’bhigamya praëamya ca
sabhäm änéya sat-péöhe
prayatnäd upaveçitaù

sa-sambhramam — eagerly; dhävatä — as he (Yudhiñöhira)


was rushing; tu — but; saù — he (Närada); abhigamya — com-
ing close; praëamya — bowing down; ca — and; sabhäm —
to the assembly hall; änéya — being brought; sat-péöhe — on a
seat of honor; prayatnät — with endeavor; upaveçitaù — made
to sit.

As Yudhiñöhira eagerly rushed forward to meet him, Närada


came close and bowed down. Yudhiñöhira brought him into
the assembly hall and with some effort made him accept a
seat of honor.
390 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 5
raja PaUJaaQaRMaaNaqTaE" PaUvRvd( d]VYaSaÄYaE" )
MaaTaSTvC^(vXauraNaev Sa>a*TYaaNaacRYaTSa TaaNa( ))

räjïä püjärtham änétaiù


pürva-vad dravya-saïcayaiù
mätas tvac-chvaçurän eva
sa-bhåtyän ärcayat sa tän

räjïä — by the king; püjä-artham — for performing worship;


änétaiù — brought; pürva-vat — as done before; dravya-saïca-
yaiù — with the collected items; mätaù — O mother; tvat — your;
çvaçurän — fathers-in-law; eva — indeed; sa-bhåtyän — with
their servants; ärcayat — worshiped; saù — he; tän — them.

As others had done before, dear mother, the king brought


a large assortment of items for worshiping Närada. But
Närada took those items and instead worshiped your
fathers-in-law and their servants.

C OMMENTARY: Before the Päëòavas could reach Närada at the


door, the sage had already come close and offered his prostrate
obeisances. Yudhiñöhira then at once arranged for paraphernalia
for worship of Närada. Although other devotees, like Prahläda,
had also tried to worship Närada, Yudhiñöhira had the means to
offer the opulence of royal worship. But as soon as Yudhiñöhira
began the worship, Närada stopped him, seized the items, and
used them to worship the entire Päëòava household, including
the servants. Parékñit Mahäräja’s mother, being a close relative of
the Päëòavas, could feel special pride in hearing this account.

TEXT 6
hNaUMaÓidTa& Taezu k*-Z<aaNauGa]hvE>avMa( )
Mauhu" SaªqTaRYaaMaaSa vq<aaGaqTaiv>aUizTaMa( ))
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 391

hanümad-gaditaà teñu
kåñëänugraha-vaibhavam
muhuù saìkértayäm äsa
véëä-géta-vibhüñitam

hanümat-gaditam — spoken by Hanumän; teñu — upon them;


kåñëa-anugraha — of Kåñëa’s favor; vaibhavam — the precious
treasure; muhuù — extensively; saìkértayäm äsa — he glori-
fied; véëä-géta — by the music of his véëä; vibhüñitam — accom-
panied.

Närada chanted at length the glories of the precious trea-


sure of which Hanumän had spoken — Kåñëa’s favor on
the Päëòavas. Närada accompanied his words by playing
his véëä.

C OMMENTARY: Kåñëa’s favor towards the Päëòavas, like a vast


treasure of material wealth, was precious and too extensive to
measure. Närada sang the glories of the Päëòavas in a sweet
voice, embellishing the verses of his song with accompaniment
from his musical instrument, the véëä.

TEXT 7
é[qNaard ovac
YaUYa& Na*l/aeke- bTa >aUir>aaGaa
Yaeza& iPa[Yaae_SaaE JaGadqìreXa" )
devae GauåbRNDauzu MaaTaule/Yaae
dUTa" SauôTSaariQaåi¢-TaN}a" ))

çré-närada uväca
yüyaà nå-loke bata bhüri-bhägä
yeñäà priyo ’sau jagad-éçvareçaù
devo gurur bandhuñu mätuleyo
dütaù suhåt särathir ukti-tantraù
392 / CHAPTER FIVE

çré-näradaù uväca — Çré Närada said; yüyam — you; nå-loke —


on the earth; bata — indeed; bhüri-bhägäù — the most fortu-
nate; yeñäm — whose; priyaù — dear friend; asau — He; jagat
— of the universe; éçvara-éçaù — the Lord of lords; devaù — God;
guruù — spiritual master; bandhuñu — among blood relations;
mätuleyaù — maternal cousin; dütaù — messenger; suhåt —
well-wisher; särathiù — chariot driver; ukti-tantraù — order
carrier.

Çré Närada said: You are indeed the most fortunate persons
on earth! The Lord of all lords of the universe is your dear-
est friend. He is your God, your spiritual master, your
blood relation, your maternal cousin. He is your messen-
ger, well-wisher, order carrier, and charioteer.

C OMMENTARY: In texts 7 through 44, Närada tells of Kåñëa’s spe-


cial grace on the Päëòavas. He begins in this verse by indicating
the various ways the Päëòavas enjoyed personal association with
Kåñëa. Because of these manifold relationships with Kåñëa, the
Päëòavas should be considered the most fortunate Vaiñëavas on
earth. This world of human beings is actually the most suitable
place to cultivate pure devotion for Kåñëa. On higher planets like
Svarga-loka greater power and sense gratification are easily to be
had, but such material resources, though attractive to condi-
tioned souls, are obstacles to renunciation and pure devotion.
The Päëòavas are fortunate, therefore, to be with Kåñëa in His
descent upon earth.
The Päëòavas’ good fortune is bhüri, virtually unlimited.
The word bhäga means “good fortune” (bhägadheyam), and it
also means “worship” (bhajanam). In this second sense, bhüri-
bhägäù means that the Päëòavas’ worship of Kåñëa is exception-
ally exalted. Another meaning of bhäga is “part.” The Päëòavas
enjoy a small share of the Supreme Lord’s special favor, since the
Lord has many other devotees besides them, but even that small
part of His favor is great beyond measure.
Although the Päëòavas are richly endowed with love and
compassion for one another and for all creatures, the prime fo-
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 393

cus of their love and affection is Çré Kåñëa, the son of Devaké. The
Päëòavas are exceptionally fortunate because the same Kåñëa
who is the sole object of their love is the supreme controller of
the lords of the universe — Brahmä, Rudra, and the other demi-
gods. The Päëòavas not only love Kåñëa as their friend but also
worship Him as their eternal master and protector. He is their
spiritual master, guiding them in all matters of life. He becomes
one of their family members, specifically on their mother’s side;
Kunté, the Päëòavas’ mother, is the sister of Vasudeva, Kåñëa’s
father, both of them being children of King Çürasena. And mater-
nal cousins are normally affectionate to one another.
Kåñëa sometimes becomes the Päëòavas’ messenger. For
example, they once sent Him to Hastinäpura from the city of
Upaplava in the kingdom of Viräöa to convey a message to
Duryodhana’s court. Kåñëa is also the Päëòavas’ well-wisher
(suhåt), their unmotivated benefactor who never expects any
reward for His services. And sometimes He drives Arjuna’s
chariot, as He did during the Battle of Kurukñetra. Arjuna said,
senayor ubhayor madhye/ rathaà sthäpaya me ’cyuta: “O
Acyuta, please draw up my chariot in the midst of both armies.”
(Bg .)
On such occasions Kåñëa obeys the Päëòavas’ orders with-
out question. Thus Kåñëa is called ukti-tantra, subordinate to the
words of His pure devotees. In a broader sense, also, all of
Kåñëa’s dealings with the Päëòavas display His eagerness to sub-
mit Himself to their control. He readily agrees to whatever they
wish Him to do. This implies the other ways Hanumän had men-
tioned to Närada that Kåñëa helps the Päëòavas — His standing
guard for them at night and so on. Ukti-tantra is also a polite
synonym for the word sevaka (“servant”), which Närada may
have considered an unsuitably discourteous word for describing
Lord Kåñëa.
All these relationships between Kåñëa and the Päëòavas
are pervaded by intimate affection. For the Päëòavas, Kåñëa is
the eternal object of worship, but more than that He is their
eternal friend. Arjuna and his brothers also worship demigods
like Lord Çiva and spiritual masters like Droëa, but the Päëòavas’
394 / CHAPTER FIVE

worship of Kåñëa is unique because it comes forth from unal-


loyed prema.

TEXT 8
Yaae b]øåd]aidSaMaaiDadul/R>aae
vedaei¢-TaaTPaYaRivXaezGaaecr" )
é[qMaaà*iSa&h" ik-l/ vaMaNaê
é[qragaveNd]ae_iPa Yad&XaæPa" ))

yo brahma-rudrädi-samädhi-durlabho
vedokti-tätparya-viçeña-gocaraù
çrémän nåsiàhaù kila vämanaç ca
çré-räghavendro ’pi yad-aàça-rüpaù

yaù — who; brahma-rudra-ädi — of Brahmä, Rudra, and oth-


ers; samädhi — in the advanced meditation; durlabhaù — diffi-
cult to realize; veda-ukti — of the statements of the Vedas; tät-
parya — by the purport; viçeña — special; gocaraù — who can
be perceived; çrémän nåsiàhaù — Çrémän Nåsiàha; kila — in-
deed; vämanaù — Çré Vämana; ca — and; çré-räghavendraù —
Çré Räghavendra (Rämacandra); api — also; yat — whose; aàça-
rüpaù — plenary expansion.

For Brahmä, Rudra, and other demigods He is difficult to


realize even in advanced meditation. He can be known
through the words of the Vedas only when one under-
stands their special purport. Çrémän Nåsiàha, Çré Vämana,
and Çré Räghavendra are His plenary expansions.

C OMMENTARY: The supremely charming transcendental person


Çré Kåñëa is difficult to understand. Great demigods may know
His supremacy theoretically, but they cannot begin to taste
kåñëa-prema. All Vedic texts are ultimately descriptions of Çré
Kåñëa, yet His all-attractive charm is not obvious in the literal
meaning of the Vedic mantras nor in their ritualistic explana-
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 395

tions. One must discover the secret purport of the Vedas,


which is possible only by the mercy of Çré Kåñëa’s pure devo-
tees. Jïänés follow the process of atan-nirasana, negating all
inessential concepts, to find the Supreme gradually in His
impersonal feature; but to obtain a more confidential under-
standing of the Personality of Godhead this neti neti method is
inadequate.
Vaiñëavas adore the Supreme Brahman in various aspects of
His personality. They worship Him at different times as the ava-
täras Nåsiàha, Vämana, Rämacandra, and so on. Each Vaiñëava
has his own favorite form of the Lord, his iñöa-deva. Even though
Lord Nåsiàha is frightening and prone to anger, He has many
devotees, who constantly remember how He cared for Prahläda
and protected him from all dangers. Lord Vämana is also popular
even though a dwarf; His devotees remember how He covered
the universe with three steps and displayed His universal form to
Bali. Countless devotees for millions of years have revered Lord
Rämacandra, remembering His example as a perfect monarch.
But the attraction of each of these avatäras is but a reflection of
Çré Kåñëa’s supreme attractiveness. All the avatäras of Godhead,
finally, are His partial expansions. Each of them is the absolutely
potent Supreme Person, but none of them exhibits all the aspects
of His potency. Only Çré Kåñëa manifests completely the glories
of God.
By the word kila (“indeed”) Närada indicates that Kåñëa’s
primacy among the forms of Godhead is a well-known fact, es-
tablished by scripture. In particular, Çrémad-Bhägavatam (..)
declares:

ete cäàça-kaläù puàsaù


kåñëas tu bhagavän svayam

“These avatäras are all parts, and parts of parts, of the Supreme
Person, but Kåñëa is the original Personality of Godhead.”
Kåñëa is superior to Lord Nåsiàha, Lord Vämana, and Lord
Räghavendra, and therefore the Päëòavas are superior to Çré
Prahläda, Bali, and Hanumän.
396 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 9
ANYae_vTaaraê Yad&Xale/XaTaae
b]øadYaae YaSYa iv>aUTaYaae MaTaa" )
MaaYaa c YaSYae+a<avTMaRviTaRNaq
daSaq JaGaTSa*íyvNaaNTak-air<aq ))

anye ’vatäräç ca yad-aàça-leçato


brahmädayo yasya vibhütayo matäù
mäyä ca yasyekñaëa-vartma-vartiné
däsé jagat-såñöy-avanänta-käriëé

anye — other; avatäräù — incarnations; ca — and; yat — whose;


aàça — of plenary portions; leçataù — as mere sparks; brahma-
ädayaù — Brahmä and so on; yasya — whose; vibhütayaù —
material opulences; matäù — considered; mäyä — material na-
ture; ca — and; yasya — whose; ékñaëa — of the glance; vartma
— on the path; vartiné — standing; däsé — a maidservant; jagat
— of the universe; såñöi — of the creation; avana — protection;
anta — and destruction; käriëé — the doer.

All other incarnations of Godhead expand from mere por-


tions of His plenary portions. Great gods like Brahmä are
considered His material opulences. And material nature is
His maidservant. Standing always in view ready to serve
Him, she enacts the creation, protection, and destruction
of the universe.

C OMMENTARY: Incarnations like Matsya and Kürma manifest


Kåñëa’s potency less than fully, those like Påthu Mahäräja are
jévas empowered by small sparks of His splendor, and Brahmä
and the other demigods are material reflections of Kåñëa’s cre-
ative powers. Authorities on the Vedic scriptures generally do
not label as pastime incarnations the demigods and other ma-
terial vibhütis of Kåñëa. Their reasoning is that the Lord’s pastime
of creating the material universe is not on the same transcen-
dental level as His personal pleasure pastimes, in which He
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 397

reciprocates with loving devotees like Prahläda and Hanumän.


Brahmä explains this to Närada in the Second Canto of Çrémad-
Bhägavatam (..‒):

ahaà bhavo yajïa ime prajeçä


dakñädayo ye bhavad-ädayaç ca
svar-loka-päläù khaga-loka-pälä
nå-loka-päläs tala-loka-päläù

gandharva-vidyädhara-cäraëeçä
ye yakña-rakñoraga-näga-näthäù
ye vä åñéëäm åñabhäù pitèëäà
daityendra-siddheçvara-dänavendräù
anye ca ye preta-piçäca-bhüta-
küñmäëòa-yädo-måga-pakñy-adhéçäù

yat kiïca loke bhagavan mahasvad


ojaù-sahasvad balavat kñamävat
çré-hré-vibhüty-ätmavad adbhutärëaà
tattvaà paraà rüpavad asvarüpam

“Whether in form or formless, any being in the material world


exceptionally possessed of strength, power, beauty, riches, breed-
ing, modesty, forgiveness, or mental and perceptual dexterity
may appear to be the specific truth and the form of the Lord, but
actually is not so. This applies to me [Brahmä], Lord Çiva, Lord
Viñëu, and great generators of living beings like Dakña and Prajä-
pati. It applies to you [Närada and the Kumäras] and to heavenly
demigods like Indra and Candra. It applies to the leaders of the
Bhürloka planets, the earthly planets, the lower planets, and the
Gandharva, Vidyädhara, and Cäraëa planets. It applies to the
leaders of the Yakñas, Rakñas, and Uragas. And it applies to the
great sages, the great demons, the great atheists, and the great
spacemen, as well as to the dead bodies, evil spirits, satans,
jinn, Küñmäëòas, great aquatics, great beasts, and great birds.
They are only fragments of the transcendental potency of the
Lord.
398 / CHAPTER FIVE

prädhänyato yän åña ämananti


lélävatärän puruñasya bhümnaù
äpéyatäà karëa-kañäya-çoñän
anukramiñye ta imän su-peçän

“O Närada, now I shall state, one after another, the transcenden-


tal incarnations of the Lord known as lélä-avatäras. Hearing of
their activities counteracts all foul matters accumulated in the
ear. These pastimes are pleasing to hear and are to be relished.
Therefore they are in my heart.”
Commenting on these verses of the Second Canto, Çréla Çré-
dhara Svämé explains that many opulent expansions of the Su-
preme Person exist in this world and each of them displays part of
the Supreme Lord’s potency. Some display great mahas (physical
strength), others display ojas (sensory strength), and yet others
display sahas (mental power), bala (steadfastness), çré (beauty),
hré (avoidance of karmic entanglement), vibhüti (wealth), ätmä
(intelligence), or adbhuta-arëa (amazing effulgence).
Brahmä mentions the guëa-avatäras (himself, Viñëu, and Çiva)
among the material opulences of the Supreme Person, in the same
way that Kåñëa does in the tenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gétä.
But starting with the verse beginning prädhänyato yän, Brahmä
separately describes the transcendental pastime incarnations of
the Lord. Brahmä enumerates only the most prominent of these
lélä-avatäras, because there are many lesser-known pastime ava-
täras of Viñëu, more than could ever be listed. As Çré Süta Gosvämé
states:

avatärä hy asaìkhyeyä
hareù sattva-nidher dvijäù
yathävidäsinaù kulyäù
sarasaù syuù sahasraçaù

“O brähmaëas, the incarnations of the Lord are innumerable, like


rivulets flowing from inexhaustible sources of water.” (Bhägava-
tam ..) Çré Kåñëa is sattva-nidhi, the original source of all
sattva, which Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé defines here as “compas-
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 399

sion.” The Lord expresses this compassion by descending to the


material world in numerous forms, which are all secondary “rivu-
lets” flowing from Him, their “inexhaustible source.”
Brahmä, Viñëu, and Çiva are incarnations of the Personality of
Godhead for ruling the modes of nature; the three Lords are not
mere material opulences. But because Brahmä and Çiva take the
role of devotees and work as preachers of Kåñëa consciousness,
they are sometimes counted among Kåñëa’s vibhütis. Lord Viñëu
appears from time to time as the companion of Brahmä and Çiva,
and therefore He also is sometimes described as a material vibhüti
of the Supreme. For example, Lord Viñëu incarnates in each
manvantara in His forms of Yajïa and so on. Strictly speaking,
Yajïa and the other manvantara-avatäras are pastime incarna-
tions, but they are also considered vibhütis because they collabo-
rate with Brahmä and Çiva to uphold the reigns of the various
Manus and because they sometimes accept the post of Indra.
All the incarnations and vibhütis of the Supreme Lord have
their source in Çré Kåñëa. Mäyä, the controller of material exist-
ence, cannot have an intimate loving relationship with Him but
must constantly attend Him as a maidservant. She appears prior
to the guëa-avatäras, and she is the creator, maintainer, and
destroyer of the universe. Thus Brahmä and Çiva, being subordi-
nate to her, are humbly situated as servants of the servant of the
Personality of Godhead.

TEXT 10
YaSYa Pa[Saad& Dar<aqivl/aPaTa"
+aqraedTaqre v]TaiNaïYaa iSQaTaa" )
b]øadYa" k-ÄNa Naal/>aNTa
STauTvaPYauPaSQaaNaPara" SaMaaihTaa" ))

yasya prasädaà dharaëé-viläpataù


kñéroda-tére vrata-niñöhayä sthitäù
brahmädayaù kaïcana nälabhanta
stutväpy upasthäna-paräù samähitäù
400 / CHAPTER FIVE

yasya — whose; prasädam — favor; dharaëé — of Mother Earth;


viläpataù — because of the lamenting; kñéra-uda — of the Milk
Ocean; tére — on the shore; vrata — of vows; niñöhayä — with
strict observance; sthitäù — standing; brahma-ädayaù — Brahmä
and the other demigods; kaïcana — any; na alabhanta — could
not obtain; stutvä — reciting prayers; api — although; upasthäna
— in worshiping; paräù — absorbed; samähitäù — with com-
plete concentration.

When Brahmä and other demigods responded to the la-


menting Mother Earth, together they all stood on the shore
of the Milk Ocean, observing strict vows. They recited
prayers and worshiped the Supreme Lord, meditating
with full concentration. Nonetheless, they were unable to
obtain His favor.

C OMMENTARY: At the end of Dväpara-yuga, when armies of god-


less kings burdened the earth, the rulers of the universe found out
for themselves that the Supreme Person cannot be easily seen by
focusing the heart’s attention in yogic samädhi. To relieve Mother
Earth of her distress, the demigods accepted severe vows, restrict-
ing their eating and even their breathing to sharpen their mental
concentration. They then approached the shore of the Ocean of
Milk, which surrounds the island on which Lord Kñérodaka-çäyé
Viñëu resides. They recited the Puruña-sükta and other Vedic
prayers for His pleasure and tried to fix their external and inter-
nal senses on Him. But after all this, they obtained no sign of His
satisfaction — not a single word or gesture to reassure them. From
this experience, recorded in the Tenth Canto, first chapter, of
Çrémad-Bhägavatam, the demigods learned that mechanical
meditation is not an effective means for achieving personal
association with the Supreme Lord.

TEXT 11
b]ø<aEv SaMaaDaaE %e JaaTaaMaiDaGaTaa& ôid )
YaSYa Pa[k-aXYa TaaMaaja& Saui%Taa iNai%l/a" Saura" ))
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 401

brahmaëaiva samädhau khe


jätäm adhigatäà hådi
yasya prakäçya täm äjïäà
sukhitä nikhiläù suräù

brahmaëä — by Brahmä; eva — only; samädhau — in trance;


khe — in the sky; jätäm — generated; adhigatäm — perceived;
hådi — in his heart; yasya — whose; prakäçya — manifesting;
täm — that; äjïäm — command; sukhitäù — satisfied; nikhiläù
— all; suräù — the demigods.

Brahmä then perceived in his heart the Lord’s command,


which he heard as an unembodied voice in the sky. He
repeated that command to the demigods, and they all
became satisfied.

C OMMENTARY: Because sincere worship of the Personality of


Godhead never goes in vain, the demigods did receive their an-
swer. But because their worship was formal and reverential the
Lord chose not to answer them in person. He wanted to remind
them that official worship alone does not satisfy Him. Brahmä
received the Lord’s order, but only in the core of his heart and
after he had carefully withdrawn all the external functions of his
senses and mind. Furthermore, he was able to hear the order
only as a voice in the sky from an unseen speaker. What Brahmä
heard in his meditation and repeated to the demigods is now
famous. Lord Brahmä said:

puraiva puàsävadhåto dharä-jvaro


bhavadbhir aàçair yaduñüpajanyatäm
sa yävad urvyä bharam éçvareçvaraù
sva-käla-çaktyä kñapayaàç cared bhuvi

“Before we submitted our petition to the Lord, He was already


aware of the distress on earth. Consequently, for as long as the
Lord moves on earth to diminish its burden by His own potency in
the form of time, all of you demigods should appear through ple-
nary portions as sons and grandsons in the family of the Yadus.
402 / CHAPTER FIVE

vasudeva-gåhe säkñäd
bhagavän puruñaù paraù
janiñyate tat-priyärthaà
sambhavantv amara-striyaù

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Çré Kåñëa, who has full


potency, will personally appear as the son of Vasudeva. There-
fore all the wives of the demigods should also appear in order to
satisfy Him.

väsudeva-kalänantaù
sahasra-vadanaù sva-räö
agrato bhavitä devo
hareù priya-cikérñayä

“The foremost manifestation of Kåñëa is Saìkarñaëa, who is


known as Ananta. He is the origin of all incarnations within this
material world. Previous to the appearance of Lord Kåñëa, this
original Saìkarñaëa will appear as Baladeva, just to please the
Supreme Lord Kåñëa in His transcendental pastimes.

viñëor mäyä bhagavaté


yayä sammohitaà jagat
ädiñöä prabhuëäàçena
käryärthe sambhaviñyati

“The potency of the Lord, known as Viñëu-mäyä, who is as good


as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will also appear with
Lord Kåñëa. This potency, acting in different capacities, capti-
vates all the worlds, both material and spiritual. At the request of
her master, she will appear with her different potencies in order
to execute the work of the Lord.” (Bhägavatam ..‒)

TEXT 12
k-iSMaàiPa Pa[ajvrEivRiv¢e-=
GaGaaRidi>aYaaeR iNa>a*Ta& Pa[k-aXYaTae )
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 403

NaaraYa<aae_SaaE >aGavaNaNaeNa
SaaMYa& k-QaiÄç>aTae Na caPar" ))
kasminn api präjïa-varair vivikte
gargädibhir yo nibhåtaà prakäçyate
näräyaëo ’sau bhagavän anena
sämyaà kathaïcil labhate na cäparaù

kasmin — in some place; api — only; präjïa — of wise men;


varaiù — by the most excellent; vivikte — secluded; garga-
ädibhiù — by Garga and others; yaù — who; nibhåtam — pri-
vately; prakäçyate — is divulged; näräyaëaù — Näräyaëa; asau
— He; bhagavän — the Personality of Godhead; anena — with
Him; sämyam — equal; kathaïcit — in some aspects; labhate
na — cannot be found; ca — and; aparaù — another.

Only in some confidential meetings did wise sages like


Garga divulge who Kåñëa really is: He whom the Personal-
ity of Godhead Näräyaëa only partly equals, no one else
even coming close.

TEXT 13
ATa" é[qMaDauPauYaa| Yaae dqgaRivZ<auiriTa é[uTa" )
MahahirMaRhaivZ<auMaRhaNaaraYa<aae_iPa c ))

ataù çré-madhu-puryäà yo
dérgha-viñëur iti çrutaù
mahä-harir mahä-viñëur
mahä-näräyaëo ’pi ca

ataù — thus; çré-madhu-puryäm — in Çré Mathurä City; yaù


— who; dérgha-viñëuù — Dérgha Viñëu; iti — thus; çrutaù —
heard of; mahä-hariù — Mahä-hari; mahä-viñëuù — Mahä-viñëu;
mahä-näräyaëaù — Mahä-näräyaëa; api ca — also.

Thus we hear of Çré Kåñëa’s presence in Mathurä City as


the Deity called Dérgha Viñëu, Mahä-hari, Mahä-viñëu, and
Mahä-näräyaëa.
404 / CHAPTER FIVE

C OMMENTARY: We should not surmise that when Kåñëa ap-


peared in response to the request of the demigods He did so
only as another avatära of Çré Näräyaëa. Kåñëa is the original
Godhead, superior to Näräyaëa, and Kåñëa’s devotees like the
Päëòavas are superior to Näräyaëa’s devotees, including Garuòa
and the Lord’s other attendants in Vaikuëöha.
Närada mentions that Garga Muni revealed Kåñëa’s identity
“in some confidential meetings.” Närada prefers not to mention
that these meetings had been with Nanda Mahäräja; Nanda’s
position as a recipient of Kåñëa’s mercy is so advanced that his
name should not be mentioned until later, when the discussion
reaches a higher level.
Garga Muni only tactfully alluded to Kåñëa’s supremacy. He
said that Kåñëa and the Supreme Lord Näräyaëa are equal in
some ways. These words imply that although Näräyaëa is like
Kåñëa in the sense of also being the source of all incarnations
and having a divine body, the Lord of Vaikuëöha is not equal to
Kåñëa in all respects.
Garga referred to Lord Näräyaëa as bhagavän, and accord-
ing to Paräçara Åñi’s definition bhagavän refers to that person
who fully possesses all authority, strength, fame, opulence,
knowledge, and renunciation. Näräyaëa means the Personality
of Godhead who casts His merciful glance (ayate) on the multi-
tude of living beings (nära). By this glance He bestows the
potencies of knowledge and action, thus engaging the jévas in
useful and sanctifying activities. Only Lord Näräyaëa equals
Kåñëa in some respects; the secondary expansions of Godhead
do not even begin to equal Kåñëa.
The creative Puruña form of Viñëu is glorified as the source
of all avatäras:

etan nänävatäräëäà
nidhänaà béjam avyayam

“This Puruña is the source and indestructible seed of multifarious


incarnations within the universe.” (Bhägavatam ..) But in
spite of belonging to the exclusive category of avatäré (“source
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 405

of incarnations”), the Puruña Viñëu does not display all-attractive,


supremely sweet pleasure pastimes like Çré Kåñëa. Only Näräyaëa
in Vaikuëöha exhibits personal pastimes somewhat resembling
Kåñëa’s, but these léläs of Vaikuëöha cannot match the charm and
intimacy of Kåñëa’s sports in Goloka Våndävana.
As we read in the Tenth Canto of the Bhägavatam (..),
Garga Muni specifically told Nanda Mahäräja:

tasmän nandätmajo ’yaà te


näräyaëa-samo guëaiù
çriyä kértyänubhävena
gopäyasva samähitaù

“O Nanda Mahäräja, this child of yours is therefore as good as


Näräyaëa. In His transcendental qualities, opulence, name, fame,
and influence, He is exactly like Näräyaëa. You should all raise
this child very carefully and cautiously.” The real meaning of
Garga’s words is hidden: Näräyaëa is similar to Kåñëa in the
qualities that define the status of God, but He does not share the
unbounded sweetness of Kåñëa’s appearance and attire, His pas-
times, and so on. Outwardly Garga encourages Nanda to take
great care in raising and protecting Kåñëa, but secretly the word
gopa-äya-sva has another interpretation: Because of Kåñëa there
will be a constant increase (äya) of the cowherds’ ecstatic love,
and also because of Him all their desires and needs (sva) will be
fulfilled.

TEXT 14
YaSYa Pa[Saad" SaNMaaENaXaaiNTa>a¢-yaidSaaDaNaE" )
Pa[aQYaaeR Na" Sa SvYa& vae_>aUTPa[Saàae vXavTYaRiPa ))

yasya prasädaù san-mauna-


çänti-bhakty-ädi-sädhanaiù
prärthyo naù sa svayaà vo ’bhüt
prasanno vaça-varty api
406 / CHAPTER FIVE

yasya — whose; prasädaù — satisfaction; sat — first-class; mau-


na — by silence; çänti — peacefulness; bhakti — devotion; ädi
— and so on; sädhanaiù — by these disciplines; prärthyaù —
prayed for; naù — by us; saù — that (satisfaction); svayam —
automatically; vaù — for you; abhüt — arose; prasannaù — sat-
isfied; vaça-varté — submitting to control; api — even.

We can only pray to satisfy Him through our disciplines


of silence, peace, and devotion. But being naturally sat-
isfied with you, He has even submitted Himself to your
control.

C OMMENTARY: Comparing the Päëòavas with world-renowned


sages like himself, Närada finds the Päëòavas greater. Närada
and other great sages worship the Supreme Lord with serious
intent. They are self-satisfied, free from material entanglement,
and strict in their execution of the nine kinds of devotional prac-
tice. But by all their proper sädhana, self-controlled sages
can only hope to obtain the Lord’s mercy in the distant future.
Even though Närada is in fact a first-class Vaiñëava, he humbly
includes himself among impersonalist sages who have not yet
received the Supreme Lord’s mercy.
The Päëòavas, however, have gained Kåñëa’s favor without
having undergone spiritual disciplines. So strong and spontane-
ous is their love for Kåñëa that He falls under its sway, obeying
His devotees’ commands like a menial servant. As described in
the Seventh Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam, during one visit to
Hastinäpura Närada discussed this at length with Yudhiñöhira
while telling him the history of Prahläda. At the end of this narra-
tion, Närada assured Yudhiñöhira and his brothers that they were
no less exalted than Prahläda:

yüyaà nå-loke bata bhüri-bhägä


lokaà punänä munayo ’bhiyanti
yeñäà gåhän ävasatéti säkñäd
güòhaà paraà brahma manuñya-liìgam
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 407

“My dear Mahäräja Yudhiñöhira, all of you [the Päëòavas] are


extremely fortunate, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
Kåñëa, lives in your palace just like a human being. Great saintly
persons know this very well, and therefore they constantly visit
this house.

sa vä ayaà brahma mahad-vimågya-


kaivalya-nirväëa-sukhänubhütiù
priyaù suhåd vaù khalu mätuleya
ätmärhaëéyo vidhi-kåd guruç ca

“The impersonal Brahman is Kåñëa Himself because Kåñëa is the


source of the impersonal Brahman. He is the origin of the tran-
scendental bliss sought by great saintly persons, yet He, the Su-
preme Person, is your most dear friend and constant well-wisher
and is intimately related to you as the son of your maternal uncle.
Indeed, He is always like your body and soul. He is worshipable,
yet He acts as your servant and sometimes as your spiritual
master.

na yasya säkñäd bhava-padmajädibhé


rüpaà dhiyä vastutayopavarëitam
maunena bhaktyopaçamena püjitaù
prasédatäm eña sa sätvatäà patiù

“Exalted persons like Lord Çiva and Lord Brahmä could not prop-
erly describe the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
Kåñëa. He is always worshiped as the protector of all devotees by
great saints who observe vows of silence, meditation, devotional
service, and renunciation. May that Supreme Lord be pleased
with us.” (Bhägavatam ..‒)
While finishing the account of Prahläda’s deliverance by
Lord Nåsiàhadeva, Närada had observed that the Päëòavas
seemed a little discouraged, as if they had no hope of receiving
from the Lord the same mercy as Prahläda. To pacify this anxiety,
Närada spoke these three verses. The life of the Päëòavas could
not factually be as hopeless as they considered it; after all,
408 / CHAPTER FIVE

venerated sages from all over the universe came to their home
just to visit Kåñëa. Kåñëa’s living always with the Päëòavas shows
the Päëòavas’ great fortune and Kåñëa’s extreme favor upon
them. Närada’s father, Brahmä, and other great mystics like the
four Kumäras can only strive to realize Kåñëa with a dim hope of
future success.
The unconditional bliss of oneness hinted at in the Vedas is
actually embodied in the personality of Kåñëa, and He associates
with the Päëòavas in the most intimate ways. He is their most
dear friend, always showing them affection. He is their constant
well-wisher, acting for their benefit without any calculation of
profit. And He is their worshipable Lord and the executor of their
orders. He is not a distant goal of perfection, but is directly pres-
ent in the Päëòava assembly. By using the proximate pronoun
ayam (“this person close by”), Närada implies that Kåñëa is ready
to reciprocate with the Päëòavas at their pleasure. Närada thus
indicates that by Kåñëa’s presence in their royal court the su-
preme good fortune of the Päëòavas overflows and floods the
whole world.
A skeptic may ask, “If Kåñëa in fact is the Absolute Truth,
then why does He become attached to sixteen thousand wives,
and why does He obey ordinary religious principles?” In the
third of these Seventh Canto verses, Närada answers: Do not
expect to understand everything about Kåñëa. Even Lord Çiva,
Brahmä, and other great mystics cannot describe Him com-
pletely. They cannot even fully describe the beauty of any one of
His limbs. They cannot put these transcendental facts into words,
nor even conceive them in their minds. “And if such exalted
authorities are frustrated in trying to explain Kåñëa,” Närada im-
plies, “what can someone like me do?” The Päëòavas, however,
have a special relationship with Çré Kåñëa, by which they know
Him much more intimately than do any of the demigods. Kåñëa
is obviously satisfied with the Päëòavas, whereas the demigods,
by various spiritual practices, must still endeavor to obtain His
satisfaction.
The Absolute Truth does not live in the house of Prahläda,
and therefore sages do not regularly visit Prahläda’s house to see
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 409

the Lord. The Personality of Godhead does not assume the role
of Prahläda’s maternal uncle, nor constantly show Prahläda His
satisfaction in so many ways. Therefore, Närada argues, the
Päëòavas should admit that they are more fortunate than every-
one else — the sages, demigods, and other devotees.

TEXT 15
Ahae Xa*<auTa PaUv| Tau ke-zaiÄdiDak-air<aaMa( )
ANaeNa dqYaMaaNaae_>aUNa( Maae+a" iSQaiTairYa& Sada ))

aho çåëuta pürvaà tu


keñäïcid adhikäriëäm
anena déyamäno ’bhün
mokñaù sthitir iyaà sadä

aho — oh; çåëuta — please hear; pürvam — previously; tu —


but; keñäïcit — for a few; adhikäriëäm — qualified candidates;
anena — by Him; déyamänaù — being given; abhüt — there
came about; mokñaù — liberation; sthitiù — the rule; iyam —
this; sadä — always.

Please just hear what I have to say: Before, Kåñëa gave the
gift of liberation only to a qualified few. And this has
always been the rule.

C OMMENTARY: In texts  though , Närada traces the cause of


the Päëòavas’ superior devotional position: the special influence
of their worshipable Lord, Çré Kåñëa. The Personality of Godhead
in His multitude of incarnations rarely gave liberation. Most de-
mons killed by Kåñëa’s avatäras had to take birth again to be
further purified.

TEXTS 16–17
k-al/NaeiMaihRr<Yaa+aae ihr<Yak-iXaPauSTaQaa )
rav<a" ku-M>ak-<aRê TaQaaNYae gaaiTaTaa" SvYaMa( ))
410 / CHAPTER FIVE

Maui¢&- Na NaqTaa >ai¢-NaR dtaa k-SMaEicdutaMaa )


Pa[úadaYa Par& dtaa é[qNa*iSa&havTaarTa" ))

kälanemir hiraëyäkño
hiraëyakaçipus tathä
rävaëaù kumbhakarëaç ca
tathänye ghätitäù svayam

muktià na nétä bhaktir na


dattä kasmaicid uttamä
prahlädäya paraà dattä
çré-nåsiàhävatärataù

kälanemiù — Kälanemi; hiraëyäkñaù — Hiraëyäkña; hiraëya-


kaçipuù — Hiraëyakaçipu; tathä — and; rävaëaù — Rävaëa;
kumbhakarëaù — Kumbhakarëa; ca — and; tathä — also; anye
— others; ghätitäù — killed; svayam — personally; muktim — to
liberation; na — not; nétäù — led; bhaktiù — devotional ser-
vice; na — not; dattä — given; kasmaicit — to anyone; utta-
mä — pure; prahlädäya — to Prahläda; param — only; dattä —
given; çré-nåsiàha-avatärataù — by the incarnation Çré Nåsiàha.

Kälanemi, Hiraëyäkña, Hiraëyakaçipu, Rävaëa, Kumbha-


karëa, and others were killed by the Supreme Lord, but
none of them received liberation. And pure devotional ser-
vice was given to no one but Prahläda, who received it
from the incarnation Çré Nåsiàha.

C OMMENTARY: Kälanemi was killed by the Lord of Vaikuëöha


during a battle between the demigods and demons. Hiraëyäkña
was killed by Lord Varäha, Hiraëyakaçipu by Lord Nåsiàha,
and the two brothers Rävaëa and Kumbhakarëa by Lord
Rämacandra. Other Daityas and Räkñasas, including relatives of
the demons mentioned in these verses, also met death at the
hands of the Supreme Lord. Nonetheless we know that upon
being killed by the Lord none of them attained liberation, since
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 411

history records that they all took birth again. Only in the pas-
times of Çré Kåñëa did many demons obtain liberation.
Lord Viñëu’s avatäras rarely give liberation, but they even
more rarely bestow pure devotional service. This is confirmed by
Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé in his Laghu-bhägavatämåta. The Puräëas
describe only one case in which pure devotional service was
granted — when Lord Nåsiàha blessed Prahläda — and that de-
votion, at least according to Prahläda’s own testimony, was
mixed with the tendency to cultivate knowledge.

TEXTS 18–19
hNaUMaaNa( JaaMbuvaNa( é[qMaaNa( SauGa]qvae_Qa iv>aqz<a" )
Gauhae dXarQaae_PYaeTae NaUNa& k-iTaPaYae JaNaa" ))

rgauNaaQaavTaare_SMaaC^uÖa& >ai¢&- Tau le/i>are )


ivXauÖSYa c k-SYaaiPa Pa[eM<aae vaTaaRiPa Na iSQaTaa ))

hanümän jämbuvän çrémän


sugrévo ’tha vibhéñaëaù
guho daçaratho ’py ete
nünaà katipaye janäù

raghunäthävatäre ’smäc
chuddhäà bhaktià tu lebhire
viçuddhasya ca kasyäpi
premëo värtäpi na sthitä

hanümän — Hanumän; jämbuvän — Jämbavän; çrémän sugré-


vaù — blessed Sugréva; atha — and; vibhéñaëaù — Vibhéñaëa; gu-
haù — Guha; daçarathaù — Daçaratha; api — also; ete — these;
nünam — indeed; katipaye — few; janäù — people; raghu-
nätha-avatäre — during the incarnation of Lord Raghunätha;
asmät — from Him; çuddhäm — pure; bhaktim — of devotion;
tu — but; lebhire — they obtained; viçuddhasya — of the utmost
pure stage; ca — and; kasya api — for anyone; premëaù — of
prema; värtä — mention; api — even; na — not; sthitä — found.
412 / CHAPTER FIVE

Later, the incarnation Lord Raghunätha bestowed pure de-


votion upon a few — Guha, Hanumän, Jämbavän, Vibhé-
ñaëa, Daçaratha, and the blessed Sugréva. But in relation to
those devotees we never hear of prema, the utmost stage of
pure devotion.

C OMMENTARY: Some of the participants in Lord Rämacandra’s


léläs were not finite living entities. Lord Räma’s three brothers
were incarnations of the masters of Vaikuëöha — Saìkarñaëa,
Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. The Lord’s wife, Sétädevé, was di-
rectly the goddess Lakñmé. These infallible persons need not rise
to the level of love of God, because they are situated on that
level eternally. But some of Lord Rämacandra’s servants who are
jévas, His janas (personal dependents), reaped from His associa-
tion the benefit of pure bhakti. Love of God is pure when free
from the material motives of karma and jïäna. Lord Devaké-
nandana in His appearance as the Lord of the Raghus granted
such bhakti to only a few of His devotees.
Guha, a king of the Niñädas, became a friend of Lord
Rämacandra’s.
Here Närada says that “even Daçaratha” (daçaratho ’pi) ob-
tained bhakti from Lord Räma. Närada qualifies his statement in
this way to answer a potential doubt — that Daçaratha was an
unfortunate person. After all, Daçaratha had been cursed by a
brähmaëa to suffer separation from his son, and that separation
led to his dying untimely and in lamentation. Still, he was blessed
with pure bhakti by virtue of his intense attachment to his son
Räma. His apparent suffering is properly understood to be an
ecstatic symptom of transcendental separation from the Person-
ality of Godhead.

TEXT 20
wdaNaq=& >avdqYaeNa MaaTaule/YaeNa Naae k*==Taa" )
Mau¢-a >a¢-aSTaQaa XauÖPa[eMaSaMPaUirTaa" k-iTa ))
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 413

idänéà bhavadéyena
mätuleyena no kåtäù
muktä bhaktäs tathä çuddha-
prema-sampüritäù kati

idäném — nowadays; bhavadéyena — your; mätuleyena — by


the maternal cousin; na — not; u — indeed; kåtäù — made; muk-
täù — liberated; bhaktäù — devotees; tathä — also; çuddha-
prema — with pure prema; sampüritäù — filled; kati — how
many.

But now so many persons have been granted liberation,


made devotees, and filled with pure prema, all by your
maternal cousin!

C OMMENTARY: Even persons who came into casual contact with


Kåñëa gained liberation and pure devotion, what to speak of the
Päëòavas, who lived with Kåñëa constantly as His intimate friends.
The Päëòavas should not imagine themselves bereft of these
benefits.

TEXT 21
AaTMaNaa MaairTaa Yae c gaaiTaTaa vaJauRNaaidi>a" )
Nark-ahaRê dETaeYaaSTaNMaihMNaaMa*Ta& GaTaa" ))

ätmanä märitä ye ca
ghätitä värjunädibhiù
narakärhäç ca daiteyäs
tan-mahimnämåtaà gatäù

ätmanä — by Himself; märitäù — being killed; ye — who; ca


— and; ghätitäù — being caused to be killed; vä — and; arjuna-
ädibhiù — by Arjuna and others; naraka-arhäù — fit to be sent
to hell; ca — and; daiteyäù — demons; tat — His; mahimnä —
by the glory; amåtam — immortality; gatäù — attained.
414 / CHAPTER FIVE

And by the power of His glory, demons fit for hell have
become immortal after being slain by Him or by such
companions as Arjuna.

C OMMENTARY: From infancy Kåñëa killed many demons, begin-


ning with the witch Pütanä. Arjuna and other devotees also
killed demons, and kings who were partial incarnations of de-
mons, like Karëa and Duryodhana. These demons and inimical
kings were candidates for punishment in hell because they were
active opponents of the Vaiñëavas. But despite being destined for
hell, by the transcendental influence of Çré Kåñëa they obtained
liberation. In the words of Çrémad-Bhägavatam (..‒):

ye ca pralamba-khara-dardüra-keçy-ariñöa-
mallebha-kaàsa-yavanäù kuja-pauëòrakädyäù
anye ca çälva-kapi-balvala-dantavakra-
saptokña-sambara-vidüratha-rukmi-mukhyäù

ye vä mådhe samiti-çälina ätta-cäpäù


kämboja-matsya-kuru-såïjaya-kaikayädyäù
yäsyanty adarçanam alaà bala-pärtha-bhéma-
vyäjähvayena hariëä nilayaà tadéyam

“Many demonic enemies fought vigorously either against the


Lord Hari directly or against Him under His names such as
Baladeva, Arjuna, and Bhéma. Among such demons were Baka,
Keçé, Pralamba, Dhenuka, Ariñöa, Cäëüra, Muñöika, and the ele-
phant Kuvalayäpéòa. Others were Kaàsa, Kälayavana, Pauë-
òraka, Narakäsura, and great marshals like Çälva. Still others were
Rukmé, Balvala, Çambara, Dantavakra, Vidüratha, the seven bulls,
and Dvivida the monkey. And there were also great warriors like
Kuru, Matsya, Såïjaya, Kämboja, and Kekaya. All such demons
attained either the impersonal brahma-jyotiù or the Lord’s
personal abode in the Vaikuëöha planets.”
Lord Balaräma killed Dhenuka, Dvivida, Balvala, and others;
Pradyumna killed Çambara; Mucukunda killed Kälayavana; and
Bhéma, Arjuna, and other devotees killed enemies like the king
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 415

of Kämboja. But actually Kåñëa Himself killed these demons.


Kåñëa simply acted through the agency of His devotees to let
them share the glories of His acts.

TEXTS 22–23
TaPaaeJaPajaNaPara MauNaYaae Yae_QaRSaaDak-a" )
ivìaiMa}aae GaaETaMaê viXaïae_iPa TaQaa Pare ))

Tae ku-å+ae}aYaa}aaYaa& GaTva k*-Z<aPa[SaadTa" )


>ai¢&=- Ta& Pa[aQYaR Taa& Pa[aPYaa>av&STaÙi¢-TaTPara" ))

tapo-japa-jïäna-parä
munayo ye ’rtha-sädhakäù
viçvämitro gautamaç ca
vaçiñöho ’pi tathä pare

te kurukñetra-yäträyäà
gatvä kåñëa-prasädataù
bhaktià taà prärthya täà präpyä-
bhavaàs tad-bhakti-tatparäù

tapaù — austerities; japa — mantra meditation; jïäna — and


spiritual knowledge; paräù — intent on cultivating; munayaù —
sages; ye — whose; artha — aims of life; sädhakäù — as their
goals; viçvämitraù — Viçvämitra; gautamaù — Gautama; ca —
and; vaçiñöhaù — Vasiñöha; api — and; tathä — also; pare — oth-
ers; te — they; kurukñetra — to Kurukñetra; yäträyäm — on holy
pilgrimage; gatvä — going there; kåñëa-prasädataù — by the
grace of Çré Kåñëa; bhaktim — for pure devotion; tam — to Him;
prärthya — praying; täm — it; präpya — obtaining; abhavan —
they became; tat-bhakti — to His devotional service; tat-paräù
— fully dedicated.

Thoughtful sages like Viçvämitra, Gautama, and Vasiñöha


were intent on austerities, mantra meditation, and spiri-
tual knowledge. They had various goals in life. But while
416 / CHAPTER FIVE

they were on pilgrimage at Kurukñetra, Çré Kåñëa merci-


fully inspired them to pray to Him for pure devotion. Thus
they obtained it and became fully dedicated to His devo-
tional service.

C OMMENTARY: Viçvämitra is an especially austere sage, Gautama


an expert chanter of mantras, and Vasiñöha a deep knower of
spiritual philosophy. Prior to meeting Lord Kåñëa, they were not
pure devotees but were seeking success on the paths of mundane
religiosity, prosperity, enjoyment, and liberation. Purified and in-
spired by seeing Kåñëa at the holy site of Kurukñetra, these three
and other sages submitted a transcendental request, which we
find recorded in Çrémad-Bhägavatam (..):

tasyädya te dadåçimäìghrim aghaugha-marña-


térthäspadaà hådi kåtaà su-vipakva-yogaiù
utsikta-bhakty-upahatäçaya-jéva-koçäç
cäpur bhavad-gatim athänugåhäëa bhaktän

“Today we have directly seen Your feet, the source of the holy
Ganges, which washes away volumes of sins. Perfected yogés
can at best meditate upon Your feet within their hearts. But only
those who render You wholehearted devotional service and in
this way vanquish the soul’s covering — the material mind —
attain You as their final destination. Therefore kindly show
mercy to us, Your devotees.”
Çréla Çrédhara Svämé explains in his commentary on Çrémad-
Bhägavatam that the sages considered their audience with Kåñëa
the ultimate reward for their accumulated religious achieve-
ments. Aware of their exceptional good fortune, they dared to
ask Kåñëa for the favor of pure devotional service. In case Kåñëa
might try to dissuade them, saying, “Why do you need devo-
tional service? Just continue performing austerities as you always
have,” they reminded Kåñëa that in the past the coverings of the
gross and subtle bodies were transcended only by His pure
devotees, not by impersonalist ascetics.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 417

TEXT 24
SQaavraê TaMaaeYaaeiNaGaTaaSTaål/TaadYa" )
XauÖSaaitvk->aavaPTYaa TaTPa[eMarSavizR<a" ))

sthävaräç ca tamo-yoni-
gatäs taru-latädayaù
çuddha-sättvika-bhäväptyä
tat-prema-rasa-varñiëaù

sthävaräù — immobile creatures; ca — and; tamaù — in the


mode of ignorance; yoni-gatäù — born into species; taru-latä-
ädayaù — trees, creepers, and so on; çuddha-sättvika — of pure
goodness; bhäva — of the ecstatic mood; äptyä — by the attain-
ment; tat-prema — of pure love for Him; rasa — the nectar-sap;
varñiëaù — raining down.

Even immobile creatures in species covered by the mode of


ignorance — trees, creepers, and so on — have been raised
to the consciousness of pure goodness. Now those trees and
creepers are raining down a nectar-sap of kåñëa-prema.

C OMMENTARY: Plant life is understood to be in the mode of


ignorance, because living entities coming to the plant species
lose the power of their active senses. The trees and creepers of
Våndävana, however, are pure devotees transcendental to the
three modes of material nature, no more covered by ignorance
than any of the inhabitants of that sacred place. Still, Närada
follows the general idea of plant life by describing them as cov-
ered by ignorance. Or, alternatively, he may be describing the
plant life outside Våndävana in areas such as Hastinäpura.
Queen Kunté referred to the condition of the trees and plants
in Hastinäpura in her prayers to Kåñëa:

ime janapadäù sv-åddhäù


supakvauñadhi-vérudhaù
vanädri-nady-udanvanto
hy edhante tava vékñitaiù
418 / CHAPTER FIVE

“All these cities and villages are flourishing in all respects


because the herbs and grains are in abundance, the trees are
full of fruits, the rivers flowing, the hills full of minerals, and
the oceans full of wealth. And this is all due to Your glancing
over them.” (Bhägavatam ..) Although originally covered
by tamo-guëa, the trees and plants of Hastinäpura flourished,
achieving the highest treasure of love of God, because Kåñëa
simply looked at them. These sub-animal species were uplifted
to the pure consciousness called çuddha-sattva, in which Vaiñ-
ëavas realize Kåñëa consciousness. Or, taking another meaning
of the word çuddha-sättvika-bhäva, the trees and plants of
Hastinäpura manifested the sättvika ecstasies of being stunned,
having one’s bodily hair stand on end, and so on. They con-
stantly rained down love for Kåñëa, in tears of love disguised as
sweet sap.

TEXT 25
he k*-Z<a>a]aTarSTaSYa ik&- v<YaaeR_PaUvRdiXaRTa" )
æPaSaaENdYaRl/av<YaMaaDauYaaRêYaRTaa>ar" ))

he kåñëa-bhrätaras tasya
kià varëyo ’pürva-darçitaù
rüpa-saundarya-lävaëya-
mädhuryäçcaryatä-bharaù

he — O; kåñëa-bhrätaraù — brothers of Kåñëa; tasya — His;


kim — how; varëyaù — is to be described; apürva-darçitaù —
never before seen; rüpa-saundarya — of bodily beauty; läva-
ëya — effulgence; mädhurya — and charm; äçcaryatä — of the
amazing character; bharaù — the abundance.

O Kåñëa’s brothers, how can the infinite wonders of His


bodily beauty, His effulgence, and His charm be properly
described? Features so attractive have never been seen in
anyone else.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 419

C OMMENTARY: Why are liberation and pure devotion obtained


more easily from Kåñëa than from any other form of Godhead?
Because He is supremely attractive. The beauty of His all-attractive
features has never been seen in anyone else — not in the Lord of
Vaikuëöha nor in any of the incarnations of Viñëu. In Närada’s
opinion, even to try to describe Kåñëa’s unique beauty would
be futile.

TEXT 26
APaUvRTveNa TaSYaEv Yaae ivSMaYaivDaaYak-" )
TaQaa l/Il/a Gau<aa" Pa[eMaa MaihMaa ke-il/>aUriPa ))

apürvatvena tasyaiva
yo vismaya-vidhäyakaù
tathä lélä guëäù premä
mahimä keli-bhür api

apürvatvena — being unprecedented; tasya — of Him; eva —


alone; yaù — which; vismaya — astonishment; vidhäyakaù —
generating; tathä — in addition; lélä — His pastimes; guëäù —
and qualities; premä — the pure love; mahimä — the glorious
virtues; keli — of His sports; bhüù — the places; api — also.

Those unprecedented attractive features of Kåñëa leave


one struck with amazement. So also do His pastimes, His
qualities, His pure love, His glorious virtues, and the places
where He sports.

C OMMENTARY: Everything about Kåñëa is attractive, not only His


physical beauty. Everything He does is playful and full of variety.
His virtues like compassion are all perfect and unlimited. And He
loves His devotees unconditionally, as they love Him. He exhib-
its all the traits of noble character, like concern for unfortunate
persons, and submission to the desires of His devotees. Çré Våndä-
vana forest and His other pleasure grounds also attract the hearts
420 / CHAPTER FIVE

of all who enter. The Päëòavas, whom Närada has addressed as


“Kåñëa’s brothers,” have certainly realized these truths and are
therefore most fortunate among human beings.

TEXT 27
MaNYae_}aavTairZYaNa( Na SvYaMaevMaSaaE Yaid )
TadaSYa >aGavtaEva>aivZYaTPa[k-$=a Na ih ))

manye ’trävatariñyan na
svayam evam asau yadi
tadäsya bhagavattaivä-
bhaviñyat prakaöä na hi

manye — I think; atra — here; avatariñyat na — had not de-


scended; svayam — in His original form; evam — in this way;
asau — He; yadi — if; tadä — then; asya — His; bhagavattä —
status of being the Personality of Godhead; eva — even;
abhaviñyat — would have been; prakaöä — manifested; na —
not; hi — indeed.

I think that had He not descended in His own original


form, the world would never have known His true identity
as the Personality of Godhead.

C OMMENTARY: There is a logical dilemma in this description: If


the Supreme Lord’s superlative charm did not exist before Kåñëa’s
appearance, that charm would not be eternal. If it did exist,
then Kåñëa would not be superior to the other forms of Godhead.
This apparent contradiction, however, is easily resolved: Before
Kåñëa appeared in Mathurä five thousand years ago, His eternal
complete attractiveness had not been seen in this world for a
very long time. It had been forgotten, even by the Vedic sages
and demigods. Thus without the advent of Kåñëa Himself, no
one would have had any idea of the extent of His perpetual
glories.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 421

TEXT 28
wdaNaq=& ParMaa& k-aïa& Pa[aáa>aUTSavRTa" Sfu-$=a )
iviXaíMaihMaé[e<aqMaaDaurqic}aTaaicTaa ))

idänéà paramäà käñöhäà


präptäbhüt sarvataù sphuöä
viçiñöa-mahima-çreëé-
mädhuré-citratäcitä

idäném — now; paramäm — topmost; käñöhäm — the limit;


präptä — reaching; abhüt — has become; sarvataù — every-
where; sphuöä — visible; viçiñöa — exceptional; mahima — of
glories; çreëé — by a series; mädhuré — and of sweetness;
citratä — by varieties; äcitä — marked.

Now His identity as God has been shown, for He has ap-
peared in all His splendor, adorned with His unique glories
and the varied wonders of His charming sweetness.

C OMMENTARY: As long as Kåñëa stayed on earth everyone could


see His supreme greatness and charm. Kåñëa is the eternal
source of all incarnations, but because for 125 years His full glo-
ries, rarely seen, were manifest on earth, Kåñëa is also consid-
ered a special incarnation. In a way that transcends ordinary
logic, the extremes of divine opulence and simple charm are
simultaneously visible in Çré Kåñëa.

TEXT 29
k*-Z<aSYa k-aå<Yak-QaaSTau dUre
TaSYa Pa[XaSYaae bTa iNaGa]hae_iPa )
k&-SaadYa" k-ail/YaPaUTaNaaÛa
bLYaadYa" Pa[aGaiPa Saai+a<aae_}a ))
422 / CHAPTER FIVE

kåñëasya käruëya-kathäs tu düre


tasya praçasyo bata nigraho ’pi
kaàsädayaù käliya-pütanädyä
baly-ädayaù präg api säkñiëo ’tra

kåñëasya — of Kåñëa; käruëya — about the kindness; kathäù —


discussion; tu — but; düre — putting aside; tasya — by Him;
praçasyaù — praiseworthy; bata — indeed; nigrahaù — punish-
ment; api — even; kaàsa-ädayaù — Kaàsa and others; käliya-
pütanä-ädyäù — Käliya, Pütanä, and others; bali-ädayaù — Bali
and others; präk — previously; api — and; säkñiëaù — witnesses;
atra — in this matter.

We speak of Kåñëa’s kindness, but even the punishments


He metes out are worthy of praise. To this there have been
many witnesses — including Kaàsa, Käliya, and Pütanä
and, in the more distant past, Bali and others.

C OMMENTARY: While Kaàsa was ruling Mathurä, the dread of


being killed by Kåñëa tormented him constantly. But as a side-
effect of this involuntary meditation, Kaàsa became completely
Kåñëa conscious. Çukadeva Gosvämé describes:

äsénaù saàviçaàs tiñöhan


bhuïjänaù paryaöan piban
cintayäno håñékeçam
apaçyat tan-mayaà jagat

“While sitting on his throne or in his sitting room, while lying on


his bed, or indeed while situated anywhere, and while eating,
sleeping, walking, or drinking, Kaàsa saw only his enemy, the
Supreme Lord, Håñékeça. In other words, by thinking of this all-
pervading enemy, Kaàsa became unfavorably Kåñëa conscious.”
(Bhägavatam ..)
At the time of Kaàsa’s death, Kåñëa dragged him from his
platform in the arena and jumped on his chest. Thus, as Kaàsa
left his body he was able to feel Kåñëa’s foot on his chest and see
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 423

Kåñëa’s blessed face. After Kaàsa’s death, Kåñëa arranged a royal


funeral, attended by the Yadu princes, the cowherds of Vraja,
and Lord Kåñëa Himself. Like a dear friend of the family, Kåñëa
further consoled Kaàsa’s widows and granted the vacant throne
to Kaàsa’s father, Ugrasena.
Being punished by Kåñëa also spiritually benefited many al-
lies of Kaàsa, including the wrestlers of Mathurä and kings like
Jaräsandha. Only the most malevolent enemies of the Lord,
namely Çiçupäla and Dantavakra, failed to obtain His full mercy
during their lives. These two demons displeased Kåñëa by com-
mitting offenses against brähmaëas, but because the demons
were actually His eternal servants in disguise, in the end they
also received His mercy.
Opponents like the wrestlers Cäëüra and Muñöika were less
culpable. Fighting against Kåñëa under Kaàsa’s orders, they had
become infected by Kaàsa’s envious spirit. Still, the wrestlers
were allowed to enjoy the favor of being embraced by Kåñëa
during combat, just like the cowherd boys of Vraja in their mock
fights with Kåñëa. Kåñëa also honored the wrestlers by conduct-
ing their funerals:

räja-yoñita äçväsya
bhagaväl m loka-bhävanaù
yäm ähur laukikéà saàsthäà
hatänäà samakärayat

“After consoling the royal ladies, Lord Kåñëa, sustainer of all the
worlds, arranged for the prescribed funeral rites to be performed.”
(Bhägavatam ..)
Lord Balaräma repeatedly captured Jaräsandha in combat but
each time released him, just to glorify Jaräsandha’s prowess.
Kåñëa, Balaräma, and Their friends paid a personal visit to
Jaräsandha’s palace to forever establish his reputation as a great
follower of brahminical culture and a great giver of charity.
Pauëòraka and other enemies of the Lord received similar merci-
ful treatment. In Text , by the words ätmanä märitäù (“all
killed by Him in person”), Närada has implied that they all
424 / CHAPTER FIVE

attained liberation. Närada further confirmed this in a conversation


with Kåñëa’s father, Vasudeva:

vaireëa yaà nå-patayaù çiçupäla-pauëòra-


çälvädayo gati-viläsa-vilokanädyaiù
dhyäyanta äkåti-dhiyaù çayanäsanädau
tat-sämyam äpur anurakta-dhiyäà punaù kim

“Inimical kings like Çiçupäla, Pauëòraka, and Çälva were always


thinking about Lord Kåñëa. Even while lying down, sitting, or
engaging in other activities, they enviously meditated upon the
bodily movements of the Lord, His sporting pastimes, His loving
glances upon His devotees, and other attractive features dis-
played by the Lord. Being thus always absorbed in Kåñëa, they
achieved spiritual liberation in the Lord’s own abode. What then
can be said of the benedictions offered to those who constantly
fix their minds on Lord Kåñëa in a favorable loving mood?”
(Bhägavatam ..)
Demons who invaded Kåñëa’s sacred land of Gokula obtained
from Kåñëa even greater mercy than the kings who opposed Him
in Mathurä and Dvärakä. Käliya was blessed with the touch of
Kåñëa’s limbs more thoroughly than the wrestlers in Kaàsa’s
arena. While Kåñëa enthusiastically danced on Käliya’s heads,
the serpent received Våndävana dust directly from Kåñëa’s feet, a
benefit that Käliya’s wives praised in ecstasy:

kasyänubhävo ’sya na deva vidmahe


taväìghri-reëu-sparaçädhikäraù
yad-väïchayä çrér lalanäcarat tapo
vihäya kämän su-ciraà dhåta-vratä

“O Lord, we do not know how the serpent Käliya has attained this
great opportunity of being touched by the dust of Your lotus feet.
For this end, the goddess of fortune performed austerities for
centuries, giving up all other desires and taking austere vows.”
(Bhägavatam ..) Thus Käliya received special mercy, for
Kåñëa used each one of Käliya’s heads as a dancing stage. Kåñëa
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 425

also accepted worship and prayers from Käliya, issued him per-
sonal orders, and granted him the island of Ramaëaka, where he
could live free from fear of his archenemy Garuòa. Indeed, by
leaving the mark of the Sudarçana disc on Käliya’s heads, Kåñëa
arranged for Käliya to gain Garuòa’s friendship and respect.
Kåñëa allowed Pütanä to enter Gokula respectably, appearing
among the cowherds dressed as a first-class lady. At the begin-
ning of Çukadeva Gosvämé’s description of Pütanä’s encounter
with Kåñëa, we are told:

na yatra çravaëädéni
rakño-ghnäni sva-karmasu
kurvanti sätvatäà bhartur
yätudhänyaç ca tatra hi

“My dear king, wherever people in any position perform their


occupational duties of devotional service by chanting and hear-
ing [çravaëaà kértanaà viñëoù], there cannot be any danger
from bad elements. Therefore there was no need for anxiety
about Gokula while the Supreme Personality of Godhead was
personally present.” (Bhägavatam ..)
In other words, the witch Pütanä posed no threat to the in-
habitants of Gokula. Kåñëa allowed her to enter simply to give
her His mercy. Kåñëa placed His lotus feet, the object of Lord
Brahmä’s meditation, on Pütanä’s lap and allowed her to caress
Him. By this, Yaçodä and Rohiëé were greatly astonished:

täà tékñëa-cittäm ati-väma-ceñöitäà


vékñyäntarä koña-paricchadäsi-vat
vara-striyaà tat-prabhayä ca dharñite
nirékñyamäëe janané hy atiñöhatäm

“Pütanä Räkñasé’s heart was fierce and cruel, but she looked like a
very affectionate mother. Thus she resembled a sword in a sheath.
Although seeing her within the room, Yaçodä and Rohiëé, over-
whelmed by her beauty, did not stop her, but remained silent
because she treated the child like a mother.” (Bhägavatam ..)
426 / CHAPTER FIVE

Thanks to having the opportunity to treat Kåñëa as her infant,


Pütanä became His mother eternally, as several authorities in
Çrémad-Bhägatavam affirm. According to Çukadeva Gosvämé:

pütanä loka-bäla-ghné
räkñasé rudhiräçanä
jighäàsayäpi haraye
stanaà dattväpa sad-gatim

“Pütanä was always hankering for the blood of human children,


and with that desire she came to kill Kåñëa; but because she
offered her breast to the Lord, she attained the greatest achieve-
ment.” (Bhägavatam ..)
As Lord Brahmä said to Lord Kåñëa, sad-veñäd iva pütanäpi
sa-kulä tväm eva deväpitä: “You have already arranged to give
Yourself to Pütanä and her family members in exchange for her
disguising herself as a devotee.” (Bhägavatam ..)
And in the words of Çré Uddhava:

aho baké yaà stana-käla-küöaà


jighäàsayäpäyayad apy asädhvé
lebhe gatià dhätry-ucitäà tato ’nyaà
kaà vä dayäluà çaraëaà vrajema

“Alas, how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who
granted the position of mother to a she-demon [Pütanä] although
she was unfaithful and she had prepared deadly poison to be
sucked from her breast?” (Bhägavatam ..)
Even Pütanä’s dead body, restored to the horrible form of a
witch, was sanctified as Kåñëa’s playground:

bälaà ca tasyä urasi


kréòantam akuto-bhayam
gopyas türëaà samabhyetya
jagåhur jäta-sambhramäù

“Without fear, the child Kåñëa was playing on the upper portion
of Pütanä Räkñasé’s breast, and when the gopés saw the child’s
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 427

wonderful activities, they immediately came forward with great


jubilation and picked Him up.” (Bhägavatam ..) And when
her corpse was burned, it gave off a fragrance like precious
aguru, which spread in all directions:

dahyamänasya dehasya
dhümaç cäguru-saurabhaù
utthitaù kåñëa-nirbhukta-
sapady ähata-päpmanaù

“Because of Kåñëa’s having sucked the breast of the Räkñasé


Pütanä, when Kåñëa killed her she was immediately freed of all
material contamination. Her sinful reactions automatically van-
ished, and therefore when her gigantic body was being burnt,
the smoke emanating from her body was fragrant like aguru
incense.” (Bhägavatam ..)
Other persons who came to Gokula also obtained special
mercy from Kåñëa. The sons of Kuvera entrapped in the bodies of
arjuna trees found themselves in the midst of the wonderful pas-
times of Dämodara. Kåñëa released these two sons from Närada’s
curse, listened to their prayers, and bestowed upon them prema-
bhakti. Aghäsura was graced by Kåñëa’s entrance into Agha’s huge
mouth along with the cowherd boys and calves. And Agha ob-
tained liberation from Kåñëa in a way that astounded the whole
world. His dead body served as an attraction in Vraja:

räjann äjagaraà carma


çuñkaà våndävane ’dbhutam
vrajaukasäà bahu-tithaà
babhüväkréòa-gahvaram

“O King Parékñit, when the python-shaped body of Aghäsura


dried up into merely a big skin, it became a wonderful place for
the inhabitants of Våndävana to visit, and it remained so for a
long, long time.” (Bhägavatam ..)
Sometimes Kåñëa would also punish His loving devotees in
Vraja, as when He abandoned the gopés during the räsa dance.
428 / CHAPTER FIVE

This He did to increase the intensity of their love for Him. Be-
cause Kåñëa was enchanted by the gopés’ love, His prime reason
for abandoning them was to hear them speak like madwomen,
in separation from Him. As He explained:

nähaà tu sakhyo bhajato ’pi jantün


bhajämy améñäm anuvåtti-våttaye
yathädhano labdha-dhane vinañöe
tac-cintayänyan nibhåto na veda

“The reason I do not at once reciprocate the affection of living


beings even when they worship Me, O gopés, is that I want to
intensify their loving devotion. They then become like a poor
man who has gained some wealth and then lost it, and who thus
becomes so anxious about it that he can think of nothing else.

evaà mad-arthojjhita-loka-veda-
svänäà hi vo mayy anuvåttaye ’baläù
mayäparokñaà bhajatä tirohitaà
mäsüyituà märhatha tat priyaà priyäù

“My dear girls, understanding that simply for My sake you had
rejected the authority of worldly opinion, of the Vedas, and of
your relatives, I acted as I did only to increase your attachment to
Me. Even when I removed Myself from your sight by suddenly
disappearing, I never stopped loving you. Therefore, My be-
loved gopés, please do not harbor any bad feelings toward Me,
your beloved.

na päraye ’haà niravadya-saàyujäà


sva-sädhu-kåtyaà vibudhäyuñäpi vaù
yä mäbhajan durjara-geha-çåìkhaläù
saàvåçcya tad vaù pratiyätu sädhunä

“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even


within a lifetime of Brahmä. Your connection with Me is be-
yond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all do-
mestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 429

your own glorious deeds be your compensation.” (Bhägavatam


..‒)
The mercy of Kåñëa’s punishment was evident not only
when He appeared in His original form in Gokula, but also in
many of His incarnations. As Çré Vämana, for example, when the
Lord arrested Bali Daityaräja and humiliated him, the Lord de-
clared to the world the strength of Bali’s sober determination.
Then, having taken away from him the throne of heaven, Lord
Vämana gave him in exchange the greater kingdom of Sutala-
loka with all its riches. The Lord took up the post of doorkeeper
at Bali’s palace and defended the palace gates from the incursion
of Rävaëa, and when Durväsä begged Lord Vämana to leave Bali
for some time and defend Durväsä against the demon Kuça, Lord
Vämana refused to do so without Bali’s permission.
In yet other incarnations, the Personality of Godhead killed
demons like Madhu, Kaiöabha, and Kälanemi, who had enjoyed
the pleasure of opposing the Lord in battle. They received great
mercy from Him. These histories are recounted in various Purä-
ëas. The mercy shown by Çré Kåñëa through His incarnations is a
natural reflection of the supreme mercy He displays in His origi-
nal form. The source of incarnations is glorified by the glories of
each of His expansions.

TEXT 30
é[qParqi+aduvac
wiTa Pa[GaaYaNa( rSaNaa& MauiNaiNaRJaaMa(
AiXa+aYaNa( MaaDavk==IiTaRl/MPa$=aMa( )
Ahae Pa[v*taaiSa Mahtvv<aRNae
Pa[>aaerPaqiTa SvrdEivRdXYa TaaMa( ))

çré-parékñid uväca
iti pragäyan rasanäà munir nijäm
açikñayan mädhava-kérti-lampaöäm
aho pravåttäsi mahattva-varëane
prabhor apéti sva-radair vidaçya täm
430 / CHAPTER FIVE

çré-parékñit uväca — Çré Parékñit said; iti — thus; pragäyan —


while singing; rasanäm — tongue; muniù — the sage; nijäm —
his own; açikñayat — instructed; mädhava — of Lord Mädhava;
kérti — about the glories; lampaöäm — greedy; aho — oh; pra-
våttä — busy; asi — you are; mahattva — of the greatness; var-
ëane — with describing; prabhoù — of our master; api — indeed;
iti — thus saying; sva-radaiù — with his teeth; vidaçya — biting;
täm — it.

Çré Parékñit said: While singing enthusiastically in this way,


the sage instructed his own tongue, which was greedy to
chant the glories of Lord Mädhava, “Oh, you are too busy
talking about the greatness of our master!” To stop that
tongue, he then seized it with his teeth.

C OMMENTARY: In jest, Närada chastised his tongue for mis-


behaving. His tongue was sincerely relishing the pleasure of
glorifying the moon born from the ocean of the Madhu dynasty,
but there was little hope to accomplish much by this attempt.
Brahmä with his four tongues and Ananta with his thousands
had failed to fully describe the glories of Çré Mädhava. How then
could Närada’s one insignificant tongue be so impudent as to try?

TEXT 31
rSaNae Tae MahÙaGYaMaeTadev YadqihTaMa( )
ik-iÄduÀarYaEvEza& TaiTPa[Yaa<aa& SvXai¢-Ta" ))

rasane te mahad bhägyam


etad eva yad éhitam
kiïcid uccärayaivaiñäà
tat-priyäëäà sva-çaktitaù

rasane — dear tongue; te — your; mahat — great; bhägyam —


fortune; etat — this; eva — indeed; tat — that; éhitam — attempt;
kiïcit — something; uccäraya — please speak; eva — indeed;
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 431

eñäm — about these; tat-priyäëäm — beloved devotees of His;


sva-çaktitaù — according to your ability.

“Dear tongue,” he then acknowledged, “this effort of yours


attests to your great fortune. As far as you are able, just go
on speaking something about these beloved devotees of
Kåñëa.”

C OMMENTARY: To avoid discouraging his tongue, Närada gave it


some practical advice: “If you cannot adequately praise Kåñëa,
then at least try to praise His devotees. If you cannot describe the
devotees’ transcendental glories, then simply describe their ac-
tivities. If you cannot describe everything about those activities,
then just describe something. Even if you cannot speak with full
realization, speak anyway. The attempt to say something will be
all-auspicious.”
Närada proposes to his tongue: “You would do better to
glorify the Lord’s devotees than to glorify the Lord.” Although the
greatness of the devotees is also ultimately indescribable, the
Lord’s greatness has no beginning or end, defeats all attempts at
analysis and classification, and cannot be fully understood even
by the Lord Himself. To Närada, however, the Lord’s devotees
appear similar to human beings; he has seen them, so his tongue
should be able to describe their deeds. If his tongue offends the
devotees by making false statements about them or by distorting
accounts of their activities, the devotees will easily overlook those
mistakes, because devotees are always compassionate to unfor-
tunate persons. Therefore Närada recommends glorifying the
Vaiñëavas as the best engagement for his tongue.

TEXT 32
é[qNaard ovac
MahaNau>aava >avTaa& Tau TaiSMaNa(
Pa[iTaSvk&- Ya" iPa[YaTaaivXaez" )
>avTSau TaSYaaiPa k*-PaaivXaezae
Da*íeNa NaqYaeTa Sa ke-Na iJaûaMa( ))
432 / CHAPTER FIVE

çré-närada uväca
mahänubhävä bhavatäà tu tasmin
prati-svakaà yaù priyatä-viçeñaù
bhavatsu tasyäpi kåpä-viçeño
dhåñöena néyeta sa kena jihväm

çré-näradaù uväca — Çré Närada said; mahä-anubhäväù — O


great self-realized souls; bhavatäm — of you; tu — but; tasmin
— for Him; prati-svakam — on the part of each individually;
yaù — which; priyatä — love; viçeñaù — unique; bhavatsu — for
all of you; tasya — His; api — also; kåpä — mercy; viçeñaù —
special; dhåñöena — arrogant; néyeta — can bring; saù — it; kena
— by whom; jihväm — to the tongue.

Çré Närada continued: O great saintly Päëòavas, is anyone


bold enough to let his tongue describe the unique love for
Kåñëa that each of you has or the special mercy He bestows
upon you?

C OMMENTARY: Feeling himself unfit, Närada indicates that only


a shameless person would dare attempt to elaborate on the
greatness of each of the Päëòavas. But Närada cannot stop, be-
cause his tongue is reluctant to speak about anything else and
refuses to remain silent.

TEXT 33
MaaTaa Pa*QaeYa& YaduNaNdNaSYa
òehad]RMaaìaSaNavaKYaMaek-Ma( )
A§U-rv£-aTPa[QaMa& iNaXaMYa
Pa[eMaPa[vahe iNaMaMa SaÛ" ))

mätä påtheyaà yadu-nandanasya


snehärdram äçväsana-väkyam ekam
akrüra-vakträt prathamaà niçamya
prema-pravähe nimamajja sadyaù
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 433

mätä — the mother; påthä — Påthä; iyam — this; yadu-nanda-


nasya — of the darling son of the Yadus; sneha — by affection;
ärdram — moistened; äçväsana — of consolation; väkyam —
statement; ekam — one; akrüra — of Akrüra; vakträt — from
the mouth; prathamam — at first; niçamya — hearing; prema-
pravähe — in a flowing current of transcendental love; nima-
majja — she became submerged; sadyaù — immediately.

Your mother, Påthä, once heard from the mouth of Akrüra


a single statement by Kåñëa, sweet with affection and
meant to console her. As soon as she heard it, she plunged
into a swiftly flowing current of prema.

C OMMENTARY: On one occasion in Mathurä, as recounted in the


Tenth Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam, Kåñëa asked Akrüra to visit
the Päëòavas to see how they were withstanding Duryodhana’s
harassments. Kåñëa told Akrüra:

sa bhavän suhådäà vai naù


çreyän çreyaç-cikérñayä
jijïäsärthaà päëòavänäà
gacchasva gajasähvayam

“You are indeed the best of Our friends, so please go to Hastinä-


pura and, as the well-wisher of the Päëòavas, find out how they
are doing.” (Bhägavatam ..) During this visit, the Päëòa-
vas’ mother, Påthä, met with Akrüra. Because Akrüra was a pure
Vaiñëava, the very first words she heard him speak kindled in her
heart the ecstasies of love for Kåñëa.

TEXT 34
ivic}avaKYaEbRhuDaa åraed
Sfu-$e=à*<aa& YaC^\v<aeNa v+a" )
>avTSviPa òeh>ar& Par& Saa
rr+a k*-Z<aiPa[YaTaaMaPae+Ya ))
434 / CHAPTER FIVE

vicitra-väkyair bahudhä ruroda


sphuöen nåëäà yac-chravaëena vakñaù
bhavatsv api sneha-bharaà paraà sä
rarakña kåñëa-priyatäm apekñya

vicitra — vivid; väkyaiù — with words; bahudhä — variously;


ruroda — she lamented; sphuöet — could shatter; nåëäm — of
men; yat — which; çravaëena — by hearing; vakñaù — the
chests; bhavatsu — for you; api — also; sneha-bharam — the
burden of love; param — only; sä — she; rarakña — maintained;
kåñëa — to Kåñëa; priyatäm — your dearness; apekñya — con-
sidering.

She often lamented with poignant words that could shatter


the heart of anyone who heard them. And she bore the
burden of love for all of you, staying tied to you only be-
cause you are very dear to Lord Kåñëa.

C OMMENTARY: Mother Påthä fully trusted Kåñëa’s protection be-


cause she was a surrendered devotee. Her complaints and ex-
pressions of anxiety did not arise from a materially contaminated
consciousness, but rather were her own special symptoms of
ecstasy. She did not hesitate to open her heart directly to Kåñëa,
as she did during the reunion at Kurukñetra:

kåñëa kåñëa mahä-yogin


viçvätman viçva-bhävana
prapannäà pähi govinda
çiçubhiç cävasédatém

nänyat tava padämbhojät


paçyämi çaraëaà nåëäm
bibhyatäà måtyu-saàsäräd
éçvarasyäpavargikät

“Kåñëa, Kåñëa! O great yogé! O Supreme Soul and protector of the


universe! O Govinda! Please protect me, who have surrendered
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 435

to You. I and my sons are being overwhelmed by trouble.


For persons fearful of death and rebirth, I see no shelter other
than Your liberating lotus feet, for You are the Supreme Lord.”
(Bhägavatam ..‒)
Naturally for a pure devotee of Kåñëa, Påthä wanted to give
all her love to Him, forgetting material attachments to family
and everything else. But because her sons were also exclusive
devotees of Kåñëa, she maintained her affection for them.

TEXT 35
icre<a Üark-a& GaNTauMauÛTaae YaduJaqvNa" )
k-aku-STauiTai>arav*TYa SvGa*he r+YaTae_NaYaa ))

cireëa dvärakäà gantum


udyato yadu-jévanaù
käku-stutibhir ävåtya
sva-gåhe rakñyate ’nayä

cireëa — for a long time; dvärakäm — for Dvärakä; gantum —


to leave; udyataù — attempting; yadu-jévanaù — the life of the
Yadus; käku — plaintive; stutibhiù — with prayers; ävåtya —
being enveloped; sva-gåhe — in her home; rakñyate — is kept;
anayä — by her.

Kåñëa, the life of the Yadus, tried for a long time to leave
for Dvärakä, but by enveloping Him with plaintive prayers
she kept Him in her home.

C OMMENTARY: Çré Kåñëa had stayed with the Päëòavas through-


out the war between Yudhiñöhira and Duryodhana. But He was
also yadu-jévana, the life of the Yadus, so without His presence
the residents of Dvärakä seemed almost dead. Kåñëa tried to
leave Hastinäpura to return to the Yadus, but Mother Påthä dis-
suaded Him with her prayers and induced Him to stay a few
months longer. Those prayers of Påthä are included in the First
Canto, Chapter Eight, of Çrémad-Bhägavatam.
436 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 36
YauiDaiïraYaaiPa MahaPa[iTaïa
l/aek-ÜYaaeTk*==íTara Pa[dtaa )
TaQaa JaraSaNDavDaaidNaa c
>aqMaaYa TaeNaaTMaNa Wv k==IiTaR" ))

yudhiñöhiräyäpi mahä-pratiñöhä
loka-dvayotkåñöatarä pradattä
tathä jaräsandha-vadhädinä ca
bhémäya tenätmana eva kértiù

yudhiñöhiräya — to Yudhiñöhira; api — also; mahä-pratiñöhä —


high prestige; loka-dvaya — in the two planetary systems; utkåñöa-
tarä — the most exalted; pradattä — bestowed; tathä — in addi-
tion; jaräsandha — of Jaräsandha; vadha-ädinä — by the killing
and so on; ca — and; bhémäya — to Bhéma; tena — by Him;
ätmanaù — of his own only; eva — indeed; kértiù — fame.

Kåñëa bestowed upon Yudhiñöhira the highest prestige,


greater than that of anyone else in the upper and lower
worlds. And by favors like allowing Bhéma to kill Jarä-
sandha, Kåñëa granted Bhéma unequaled fame.

C OMMENTARY: To enhance the reputation of King Yudhiñöhira,


Kåñëa encouraged him to perform the Räjasüya sacrifice. Kåñëa
helped the Päëòavas dispose of Jaräsandha, who was the major
obstacle to this sacrifice, by giving Bhéma the honor of defeating
Jaräsandha in one-to-one combat. During Jaräsandha’s repeated
attacks on Mathurä, Kåñëa Himself had gotten many opportuni-
ties to kill him, but Kåñëa patiently waited for the suitable oppor-
tunity so that the credit would go to Bhéma.

TEXT 37
>aGavaNaYaMaJauRNaê TaTa=(‚
iPa[YaSa:YaeNa GaTa" Pa[iSaÖTaaMa( )
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 437

Na Paura<aXaTaE" ParErhae
MaihMaa STaaeTauMaMauZYa XaKYaTae ))

bhagavän ayam arjunaç ca tat-


priya-sakhyena gataù prasiddhatäm
na puräëa-çataiù parair aho
mahimä stotum amuñya çakyate

bhagavän — the godly person; ayam — he; arjunaù — Arjuna;


ca — and; tat — with Him; priya-sakhyena — by virtue of inti-
mate friendship; gataù — achieved; prasiddhatäm — fame; na
— not; puräëa-çataiù — by hundreds of Puräëas; paraiù —
other; aho — oh; mahimä — glories; stotum — to praise; amuñya
— of Him; çakyate — can be done.

Saintly Arjuna became renowned throughout the world for


his intimate friendship with Kåñëa. I can never sing all the
glories of Arjuna even if I recite hundreds of Puräëas.

C OMMENTARY: Närada calls Arjuna bhagavän out of great re-


spect. This term is usually reserved for God, but the sage could
justify using it by citing this scriptural definition:

utpattià pralayaà caiva


bhütänäm ägatià gatim
vetti vidyäm avidyäà ca
sa väcyo bhagavän iti

“A person who knows about the creation and destruction of the


universe, the karmic comings and goings of embodied creatures,
and the forces of enlightenment and illusion may be called bha-
gavän.” (Viñëu Puräëa ..)

TEXT 38
Naku-l/" Sahdevê Yaad*k(==Pa[qiTaParaE YaMaaE )
AGa]PaUJaaivcaradaE SavŒSTaÜ*taMaqi+aTaMa( ))
438 / CHAPTER FIVE

nakulaù sahadevaç ca
yädåk-préti-parau yamau
agra-püjä-vicärädau
sarvais tad våttam ékñitam

nakulaù — Nakula; sahadevaù — Sahadeva; ca — and; yädåk


— of which sort; préti — love; parau — fixed in; yamau — the
twins; agra-püjä — of the initial worship of the most respectable
person attending the sacrifice; vicära — in the decision; ädau —
and in other matters; sarvaiù — by everyone; tat — their; våttam
— behavior; ékñitam — witnessed.

And as for Nakula and Sahadeva, everyone has seen many


times how fixed they are in love for Kåñëa, as shown, for
example, by how those twins behaved in the deliberations
on whom to worship first in the Räjasüya.

C OMMENTARY: The twins Nakula and Sahadeva worked together


so closely that whatever either of them did could as well have
been done by the other. And everything either of them did was
impelled by pure love for Kåñëa.

TEXT 39
é[qd]aEPadq c hir<aa SvYaMaev raJa=‚
SaUYaaidzUTSavvreZvi>aiz¢-ke-Xaa )
SaMbaeDYaTae iPa[YaSa%qTYaivTaai}aPau}a=‚
du"XaaSaNaaid>aYaTaae ôTaSavRXaaek-a ))

çré-draupadé ca hariëä svayam eva räja-


süyädiñütsava-vareñv abhiñikta-keçä
sambodhyate priya-sakhéty avitätri-putra-
duùçäsanädi-bhayato håta-sarva-çokä

çré-draupadé — Çré Draupadé; ca — and; hariëä — by Lord Hari;


svayam — personally; eva — indeed; räjasüya — at the Räjasüya;
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 439

ädiñu — and other; utsava — festivals; vareñu — most impor-


tant; abhiñikta — anointed; keçäù — whose hair; sambodhyate
— is called; priya-sakhi — dear friend; iti — thus; avitä — pro-
tected; atri-putra — of the son of Atri (Durväsä); duùçäsana-ädi
— and of Duùçäsana and others; bhayataù — from fear; håta —
removed; sarva — all; çokä — whose sorrow.

Lord Hari personally sanctified Çré Draupadé’s hair during


the Räjasüya sacrifice and other special festivals. He would
call Draupadé “dear friend.” He relieved her of fear of Atri’s
son Durväsä and fear of others, including Duùçäsana. He
removed all her sorrow.

C OMMENTARY: During the Räjasüya and other sacrifices, Kåñëa


with His own hand sprinkled Queen Draupadé’s hair with water
from the ritual vessel sanctified by mantras. He spoke to her
with the affection reserved for intimate family members. He pro-
tected her in frightening situations involving Durväsä Muni, the
temperamental son of Atri, and saved her from the shame of
being disrobed by Duùçäsana in the royal assembly. Finally, Kåñëa
relieved all her pain by destroying Duùçäsana and his friends at
Kurukñetra.

TEXT 40
AaSvadNa& é[qivduraEdNaSYa
é[q>aqZMaiNaYaaR<aMahaeTSavê )
TataTk*==TaTvad*XaPa+aPaaTa=‚
SYaaPae+aYaEveiTa ivcarYaßMa( ))

äsvädanaà çré-viduraudanasya
çré-bhéñma-niryäëa-mahotsavaç ca
tat-tat-kåta-tvädåça-pakña-päta-
syäpekñayaiveti vicärayadhvam

äsvädanam — the tasting; çré-vidura — of Çré Vidura; odanasya


— of the porridge; çré-bhéñma — of Çré Bhéñma; niryäëa — of
440 / CHAPTER FIVE

the passing away; mahä-utsavaù — the festival; ca — and; tat-


tat — in each such instance; kåta — taken; tvädåça — your;
pakña-pätasya — of the choice of taking the side; apekñayä —
taking into account; eva — indeed; iti — thus; vicärayadhvam
— please judge.

Kåñëa relished Çré Vidura’s porridge and organized the cele-


bration of Çré Bhéñma’s passing away. Please, therefore,
judge your own standing from how in many controversies
both Vidura and Bhéñma took your side.

C OMMENTARY: Çré Kåñëa appeared partial to both Vidura and


Bhéñma. Even though Vidura was the son of a lowborn çüdräëé,
Kåñëa happily shared Vidura’s humble food, praising it as very
tasty. And Kåñëa graced Bhéñma with His presence as Bhéñma
was passing away on the battlefield. Niryäëa means “the soul’s
exit from the body,” but as applied to a perfect transcendentalist
like Bhéñma it also means “merging into the existence of God.”
For devotees of the Lord, merging into His existence can only
mean attaining a spiritual body and entering the eternal kingdom
of Vaikuëöha. Because Grandfather Bhéñma saw Kåñëa before his
eyes at the moment of death, Bhéñma certainly achieved the
Vaikuëöha liberation deserved only by pure devotees.
It appears, then, that Kåñëa highly favored Vidura and Bhéñma,
even more than He favored the Päëòavas. But here Närada cor-
rects that popular misunderstanding. Why indeed were Vidura
and Bhéñma so dear to Kåñëa? Kåñëa was pleased with them not
only because of their own devotional service, which was not that
exceptional, but mainly because they served the Päëòavas, pro-
tecting them from Duryodhana and other enemies. Vidura and
Bhéñma earned high esteem in the opinion of the Lord by giving
shelter and affection to sons of Påthä when they were helpless.

TEXT 41
Ahae bTa MahaêYa| k-vqNaa& GaeYaTaa& GaTaa" )
>avdqYaPaurñq<aa& jaNa>a¢-yu¢-Yaae hraE ))
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 441

aho bata mahäçcaryaà


kavénäà geyatäà gatäù
bhavadéya-pura-stréëäà
jïäna-bhakty-uktayo harau

aho — oh; bata — indeed; mahä-äçcaryam — most amazing;


kavénäm — by poets; geyatäm — the status of being sung; gatäù
— achieved; bhavadéya — your; pura — of the city; stréëäm —
of the women; jïäna — joined with transcendental knowledge;
bhakti — and devotion; uktayaù — the words; harau — about
Lord Hari.

Truly, the words spoken by the ordinary women of your


city amaze me. Those words, focused on Kåñëa and imbued
with transcendental knowledge and devotion, are praised
in songs by accomplished poets.

C OMMENTARY: Generally speaking, the citizens of a state are


virtuous when their rulers are virtuous. As Vyäsadeva and other
sages depict in their epics, everyone in Hastinäpura under the
administration of Yudhiñöhira and his brothers was saintly and
learned. In the First Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam, the women
standing on the roofs of Hastinäpura spoke to one another while
Kåñëa was passing on the road. Their first comments sounded
like those of profound scholars:

sa vai kiläyaà puruñaù purätano


ya eka äséd aviçeña ätmani
agre guëebhyo jagad-ätmanéçvare
nimélitätman niçi supta-çaktiñu

“Here He is, the original Personality of Godhead as we definitely


remember Him. He alone existed before the manifested creation
of the modes of nature, and in Him only, because He is the
Supreme Lord, all living beings merge, as if sleeping at night,
their energy suspended.” (Bhägavatam ..) Then the women
began speaking like Vaiñëavas steeped in devotional ecstasy:
442 / CHAPTER FIVE

aho alaà çläghya-tamaà yadoù kulam


aho alaà puëya-tamaà madhor vanam
yad eña puàsäm åñabhaù priyaù çriyaù
sva-janmanä caìkramaëena cäïcati

“Oh, how supremely glorious is the dynasty of King Yadu, and


how virtuous the land of Mathurä, where the supreme leader of all
living beings, the beloved husband of the goddess of fortune, has
taken His birth and wandered in His childhood.” (Bhägavatam
..)
Since the Päëòavas were the leaders of a community in which
the ordinary people spoke like this, the Päëòavas must have been
exceptionally saintly.

TEXT 42
SahEk-PaaE}ae<a k-YaaDauNaNdNaae
_Nauk-iMPaTaae_NaeNa k-PaqNd] Wk-l/" )
SaSavRbNDau" SvJaNaa >avad*Xaa
Mahahre" Pa[eMak*-Paa>araSPadMa( ))

sahaika-pautreëa kayädhu-nandano
’nukampito ’nena kapéndra ekalaù
sa-sarva-bandhuù sva-janä bhavädåçä
mahä-hareù prema-kåpä-bharäspadam

saha — along with; eka-pautreëa — one grandson; kayädhu-


nandanaù — the son of Kayädhu (Prahläda); anukampitaù —
shown mercy; anena — by Him; kapi-indraù — the best of mon-
keys (Hanumän); ekalaù — alone; sa — along with; sarva — all;
bandhuù — their family members; sva-janäù — along with their
subordinates; bhavädåçäù — such as you; mahä-hareù — of the
Supreme Lord Hari; prema — of the love; kåpä — and mercy;
bhara — of the full extent; äspadam — the recipients.

When Prahläda, the son of Kayädhu, obtained the Su-


preme Lord’s grace, he did so along with a grandson.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 443

The best of monkeys was favored alone. But you rare


souls have received the complete love and mercy of
the great Lord Hari with all your family members and
subordinates.

C OMMENTARY: Here Närada confirms the assertions by Prahläda


and Hanumän that the Päëòavas are greater devotees. Other
than Prahläda, the only pure devotee among Hiraëyakaçipu’s
descendants was Prahläda’s grandson Bali. Hanumän alone in
his family received Lord Rämacandra’s mercy, since Hanumän
was a lifelong brahmacäré and so had no offspring. The Päë-
òavas, in contrast, shared Kåñëa’s mercy with their entire family
and entourage. According to one interpretation, bandhu in this
verse means the Päëòavas’ sons, wives, and other relatives, while
sva-janäù means their ministers and the residents of their capital.
Or, alternatively, bandhu means the relations of the Päëòavas by
marriage, like King Drupada and King Viräöa, sväù means their
blood relatives, including Duryodhana and his brothers, and
janäù means their servants and citizens. Either way, everyone
associated with the Päëòavas obtained the mercy of Çré Kåñëa,
the all-attractive source of all expansions of Godhead.

TEXT 43
oiÕXYa YaaNa( k-aErvSa&Sad& GaTa"
k*-Z<a" SaMa+a& iNaJaGaad Maad*XaaMa( )
Yae Paa<@vaNaa& Sauôdae_Qa vEir<aSa(
Tae Taad*Xaa Mae_iPa MaMaaSavae ih Tae ))

uddiçya yän kaurava-saàsadaà gataù


kåñëaù samakñaà nijagäda mädåçäm
ye päëòavänäà suhådo ’tha vairiëas
te tädåçä me ’pi mamäsavo hi te

uddiçya — referring to; yän — whom; kaurava — of the Kaura-


vas; saàsadam — to the court; gataù — having come; kåñëaù —
444 / CHAPTER FIVE

Kåñëa; samakñam — in their presence; nijagäda — said; mädå-


çäm — of persons like me; ye — those who; päëòavänäm — of
the Päëòavas; suhådaù — well-wishing friends; atha — or; vairi-
ëaù — enemies; te — they; tädåçäù — likewise; me — to Me;
api — also; mama — My; asavaù — life airs; hi — indeed; te —
they.

Once, in the court of the Kauravas, with me and other


sages present, Kåñëa said of you, “A friend of the Päëòavas
is My friend, and their enemy My enemy. The Päëòavas are
My very life airs.”

C OMMENTARY: Whatever Kåñëa says must be absolutely true,


especially what He says in the presence of pious sages like
Närada. So by making this declaration in such a respectable
public forum, Kåñëa ensured that His feelings for the Päëòa-
vas would become well known throughout the world. Just
as the five präëas maintain the spirit soul in a living body,
the five Päëòavas assisted Kåñëa in His pastimes; and as the life
air is very dear to the soul, the Päëòavas were very dear to
Kåñëa. Kåñëa therefore says in the Mahäbhärata (Udyoga-parva
.):

yas tän dveñöi sa mäà dveñöi


yas tän anu sa mäm anu
aikätmyam ägataà viddhi
päëòavair dharma-cäribhiù

“He who hates the Päëòavas hates Me, and he who follows them
follows Me. Know that I am one in spirit with the righteous
Päëòavas.” And Kåñëa elsewhere says:

dviñad-annaà na bhoktavyaà
dviñantaà naiva bhojayet
päëòavän dviñase räjan
mama präëä hi päëòaväù
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 445

“One should not eat the food of one who is hateful, nor should
one feed a hateful person. You, O king, hate the Päëòavas, and
the Päëòavas are My very life airs.”

TEXT 44
Daaíy| MaMaahae >avTaa& Gau<aaNa( ik-l/
jaTau& c v¢u-& Pa[>aveTSa Wk-l/" )
iNa<asTaMaeTatau MaYaa MahaPa[>au"
Saae_}aavTaq<aaeR >avTaa& k*==Tae ParMa( ))

dhärñöyaà mamäho bhavatäà guëän kila


jïätuà ca vaktuà prabhavet sa ekalaù
nirëétam etat tu mayä mahä-prabhuù
so ’trävatérëo bhavatäà kåte param

dhärñöyam — arrogance; mama — my; aho — oh; bhavatäm —


your; guëän — good qualities; kila — indeed; jïätum — to be
aware of; ca — and; vaktum — to describe; prabhavet — is ca-
pable; saù — He (Kåñëa); ekalaù — alone; nirëétam — definitely
decided; etat — this; tu — but; mayä — by me; mahä-prabhuù
— the Supreme Personality of Godhead; saù — He; atra — here;
avatérëaù — descended; bhavatäm — of you; kåte — for the
sake; param — only.

Just see my arrogance! Only Kåñëa can adequately know


and describe your good qualities. But at least I am con-
vinced that the Supreme Lord has descended to this world
only for the sake of you.

C OMMENTARY: It is evident from Kåñëa’s dealings with the Päë-


òavas that Kåñëa understood their sublime character. No one
but Kåñëa was fully qualified to reciprocate with them. Närada,
ashamed to have impudently tried to glorify the brothers, apolo-
gizes by submitting one fact of which he is certain: Çré Kåñëa
descended to this world only to please the Päëòavas and spread
their fame.
446 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 45
é[qParqi+aduvac
AQa +a<a& l/ÂYaev MaaENa& k*-TvaQa iNa"ìSaNa( )
DaMaRraJaae_b]vqNa( MaaTa*>a]aTa*PaÒqi>ariNvTa" ))

çré-parékñid uväca
atha kñaëaà lajjayeva
maunaà kåtvätha niùçvasan
dharma-räjo ’bravén mätå-
bhrätå-patnébhir anvitaù

çré-parékñit uväca — Çré Parékñit said; atha — then; kñaëam — for


a moment; lajjayä — with embarrassment; iva — as if; maunam
— silence; kåtvä — maintaining; atha — and then; niùçvasan —
sighing; dharma-räjaù — the king of religion (Yudhiñöhira); abra-
vét — spoke; mätå — by his mother; bhrätå — brothers; patnébhiù
— and wife; anvitaù — joined.

Çré Parékñit said: For a moment, Dharmaräja Yudhiñöhira


remained quiet, and then he sighed, as if embarrassed. At
last he spoke, followed in turn by his brothers, wife, and
mother.

C OMMENTARY: Hearing his own praise embarrassed Yudhiñöhira,


or so it seemed. Closer to the truth, however, is that he took this
exaggerated praise to be false and thought that Närada was teas-
ing him. In either case, Yudhiñöhira felt sufficiently moved to sigh
audibly, even in front of his mother and younger brothers.

TEXT 46
vavdUk-iXaraeDaaYaR NaEvaSMaaSau k*-Paa hre" )
ivcaYaaR>aq+<aMaSMaai>aJaRaTau k-aPYavDaaYaRTae ))

vävadüka-çiro-dhärya
naiväsmäsu kåpä hareù
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 447

vicäryäbhékñëam asmäbhir
jätu käpy avadhäryate

vävadüka — of brilliant speakers; çiraù-dhärya — O crest jewel;


na eva — not at all; asmäsu — for us; kåpä — mercy; hareù —
of Lord Hari; vicärya — being considered; abhékñëam — for a
long duration; asmäbhiù — by us; jätu — at all; kä api — any;
avadhäryate — is ascertained.

Yudhiñöhira said: O crest jewel of brilliant speakers, Lord


Hari has no mercy for us. We cannot remember any mercy
He has shown us, even after we consider this for a long time.

C OMMENTARY: By calling Närada an eloquent speaker, Yudhi-


ñöhira subtly accused him of distorting the truth. In Yudhiñöhira’s
opinion, proof that Kåñëa blessed him and his brothers with spe-
cial favor cannot be found.

TEXT 47
Pa[ak*==TaaNaa& JaNaaNaa& ih Maad*GaaPaÓ<ae+aYaa )
k*-Z<a>a¢-aE Pa[v*itaê ivìaSaê h[Saeidv ))

präkåtänäà janänäà hi
mädåg-äpad-gaëekñayä
kåñëa-bhaktau pravåttiç ca
viçväsaç ca hrased iva

präkåtänäm — materialistic; janänäm — of persons; hi — indeed;


mädåk — like us; äpat — of disasters; gaëa — the multitude;
ékñayä — by observing; kåñëa-bhaktau — for devotional service
to Kåñëa; pravåttiù — the inclination; ca — and; viçväsaù — faith;
ca — and; hraset — might diminish; iva — as if.

If ordinary materialists see the many calamities that have


come upon us, their faith and their inclination to serve
Kåñëa are likely to wither.
448 / CHAPTER FIVE

C OMMENTARY: In texts  through , King Yudhiñöhira refutes


the idea that the Päëòavas possess Kåñëa’s mercy. Simple people
believe, “Kåñëa’s devotees never suffer misfortune.” Yudhiñöhira
says that when such people see the Päëòavas’ extreme adversi-
ties, this faith will be spoiled. But since he knows that the oppo-
site is true — that by hearing about Kåñëa’s loving dealings with
the Päëòavas people gain faith — Yudhiñöhira qualifies his state-
ment with the word iva (“as if”).

TEXT 48
WTadevaiTak==í& NaSTadek-Pa[a<aJaqivNaaMa( )
ivNaaà& Pa[ai<aNaa& YaÜNa( MaqNaaNaa& c ivNaa Jal/Ma( ))

etad eväti-kañöaà nas


tad-eka-präëa-jévinäm
vinännaà präëinäà yadvan
ménänäà ca vinä jalam

etat — this; eva — certainly; ati-kañöam — extremely painful; naù


— for us; tat — He; eka — only; präëa — as the breath; jévinäm
— whose lives; vinä — without; annam — food; präëinäm —
of living beings; yadvat — just as; ménänäm — of fish; ca —
and; vinä — without; jalam — water.

This would surely cause us great distress, for we have dedi-


cated our life and breath only to Him. We would suffer like
embodied creatures without food or like fish deprived of
water.

C OMMENTARY: The Päëòavas do not resent having been sub-


jected to so many troubles, but they feel responsible for di-
minishing the faith of other devotees, and this makes them
sad. Only the force of Kåñëa’s affection keeps the Päëòavas
alive.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 449

TEXT 49
ATaae_iQaRTa& MaYaa YajSaMPaadNaiMazaiddMa( )
iNaïa& dXaRYa >a¢-aNaaMa>a¢==aNaaMaiPa Pa[>aae ))

ato ’rthitaà mayä yajïa-


sampädana-miñäd idam
niñöhäà darçaya bhaktänäm
abhaktänäm api prabho

ataù — therefore; arthitam — requested; mayä — by me; yajïa


— of a sacrifice; sampädana — of the arranging; miñät — on
the pretext; idam — this; niñöhäm — position; darçaya — please
demonstrate; bhaktänäm — of the devotees; abhaktänäm — of
the nondevotees; api — and; prabho — O master.

Therefore, on the pretext of arranging a sacrifice, I begged


Him, “Dear master, please show how the fortunes of the
devotees and the nondevotees differ.

C OMMENTARY: Yudhiñöhira did not undertake the demanding


Räjasüya-yajïa for the power and fame it would earn him. He
and his brothers were untouched by such material motives. He
wanted only to help the world better understand the glories of
Kåñëa and His devotees:

tad deva-deva bhavataç caraëäravinda-


sevänubhävam iha paçyatu loka eñaù
ye tväà bhajanti na bhajanty uta vobhayeñäà
niñöhäà pradarçaya vibho kuru-såïjayänäm

“Therefore, O Lord of lords, let the people of this world see the
power of devotional service rendered to Your lotus feet. Please
show them, O almighty one, the position of those Kurus and
Såïjayas who worship You, and the position of those who do
not.” (Bhägavatam ..)
450 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXTS 50–51
l/aek-YaNTaae YaTaae l/aek-a" SaveR TvÙ¢-SaMPad" )
Weihk-aMauiZMak==Iiê}aa" XauÖa" SavRivl/+a<aa" ))

>aUTva ParMaivìSTaa >aJaNTaSTvTPadaMbuJaMa( )


iNaduR"%a iNa>aRYaa iNaTYa& Saui%Tv& YaaiNTa SavRTa" ))

lokayanto yato lokäù


sarve tvad-bhakta-sampadaù
aihikämuñmikéç citräù
çuddhäù sarva-vilakñaëäù

bhütvä parama-viçvastä
bhajantas tvat-padämbujam
nirduùkhä nirbhayä nityaà
sukhitvaà yänti sarvataù

lokayantaù — seeing; yataù — because of which; lokäù — peo-


ple; sarve — all; tvat-bhakta — of Your devotees; sampadaù —
the assets; aihika — in this world; ämuñmikéù — and in the next;
citräù — wonderful; çuddhäù — pure; sarva-vilakñaëäù — al-
together unique; bhütvä — becoming; parama — completely;
viçvastäù — convinced; bhajantaù — worshiping; tvat — Your;
pada-ambujam — lotus feet; nirduùkhäù — free from misery;
nirbhayäù — free from fear; nityam — eternally; sukhitvam —
the state of being happy; yänti — they will attain; sarvataù — in
all respects.

“By this sacrifice, all people will see the wonderful assets
that belong to Your devotees in this life and the next,
opulences all-pure and utterly distinct from material as-
sets. Then, gaining absolute trust in You, people will wor-
ship Your lotus feet, become ever free of misery and fear,
and achieve happiness in all respects.”

C OMMENTARY: People tend to be strongly influenced by the ex-


ample of their leaders. The Päëòavas fulfilled their sovereign
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 451

responsibilities perfectly. By the devotion and precise care with


which they carried out the Räjasüya sacrifice, by the perfect jus-
tice of their administration in this life, and by the exalted position
among the demigods they were sure to attain in the next, the
Päëòavas inspired the innocent people to follow the path of
devotional service to Kåñëa. Everyone could see that the extraor-
dinary wealth and power of the Päëòavas was untainted by ma-
terial faults because that wealth and power was intended only
for the service of Kåñëa.

TEXT 52
SaMPa[TYa>a¢==aNaSMaak&- ivPa+aa&STaaNa( ivNaaXYa c )
raJYa& Pa[dta& YataeNa Xaaek-ae_>aUTPaUvRTaae_iDak-" ))

sampraty abhaktän asmäkaà


vipakñäàs tän vinäçya ca
räjyaà pradattaà yat tena
çoko ’bhüt pürvato ’dhikaù

samprati — now; abhaktän — nondevotees; asmäkam — our;


vipakñän — antagonists; tän — them; vinäçya — having de-
stroyed; ca — and; räjyam — kingdom; pradattam — given; yat
— in that; tena — by this; çokaù — unhappiness; abhüt — be-
came; pürvataù — than before; adhikaù — greater.

Now our nondevotee enemies have been destroyed, our


kingdom returned to us — and our grief made greater than
ever before.

C OMMENTARY: After the Räjasüya sacrifice and the Kurukñetra


war, Jaräsandha, Çiçupäla, Duryodhana, and their allies were all
dead, but in fact their existence had been “annihilated” in an
even fuller sense, because they were never to take birth again.
And although the Päëòavas, after long years of suppression,
were free to rule, in Yudhiñöhira’s opinion they had been happier
when struggling against one threat of destruction after another.
452 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 53
d]ae<a>aqZMaaidGaurvae_i>aMaNYauPa[Mau%a" SauTaa" )
Pare_iPa bhv" SaNTaae_SMaÖeTaaeiNaRDaNa& GaTaa" ))

droëa-bhéñmädi-guravo
’bhimanyu-pramukhäù sutäù
pare ’pi bahavaù santo
’smad-dhetor nidhanaà gatäù

droëa-bhéñma-ädi — Droëa, Bhéñma, and others; guravaù —


venerable teachers; abhimanyu-pramukhäù — headed by Abhi-
manyu; sutäù — sons; pare — others; api — also; bahavaù —
many; santaù — saintly persons; asmat-hetoù — on our account;
nidhanam — demise; gatäù — met.

It is our fault that many saintly persons met their demise,


including venerable teachers like Droëa and Bhéñma, and
sons like Abhimanyu.

C OMMENTARY: This is why gaining the kingdom brought no


happiness to the Päëòavas. Most of their noble relatives, many
of them saintly devotees of Kåñëa, had been killed in the
conflict for sovereignty. Yudhiñöhira blamed himself for these
deaths, since the war had been fought to install him on the
throne.

TEXT 54
SvJaqvNaaiDak-Pa[aQYaRé[qivZ<auJaNaSa®Tae" )
ivC^edeNa +a<a& ca}a Na Sau%a&Xa& l/>aaMahe ))

sva-jévanädhika-prärthya-
çré-viñëu-jana-saìgateù
vicchedena kñaëaà cätra
na sukhäàçaà labhämahe
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 453

sva-jévana — than our own lives; adhika — more; prärthya —


desirable; çré-viñëu-jana — of the devotees of Çré Viñëu; saìga-
teù — of the association; vicchedena — because of the depriva-
tion; kñaëam — a single moment; ca — and; atra — here; na —
not; sukha — of happiness; aàçam — a fragment; labhämahe
— we can find.

The company of those devotees of Çré Viñëu is more desira-


ble to us than life itself. Deprived of that association, we
can no longer find any happiness.

TEXT 55
é[qk*-Z<avdNaaM>aaeJaSaNdXaRNaSau%& c TaTa( )
k-daicTk-aYaRYaaeGaeNa ke-NaicÂaYaTae icraTa( ))

çré-kåñëa-vadanämbhoja-
sandarçana-sukhaà ca tat
kadäcit kärya-yogena
kenacij jäyate cirät

çré-kåñëa — of Çré Kåñëa; vadana-ambhoja — the lotus face;


sandarçana — from seeing; sukham — the happiness; ca — and;
tat — that; kadäcit — once in a while; kärya-yogena — because
of some obligation; kenacit — somehow; jäyate — arises; cirät
— after a long time.

We enjoy the pleasure of seeing Çré Kåñëa’s lotus face only


once in a while, when after long times absent He visits us
on some business.

C OMMENTARY: Kåñëa did return to Hastinäpura a few times after


the Kurukñetra war, as when Yudhiñöhira invited Him to attend
the Açvamedha sacrifices. But these few visits were far too short
to allay the pain of separation the Päëòavas suffered most of the
time.
454 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 56
YaadvaNaev SaØNDaUNa( Üark-aYaaMaSaaE vSaNa( )
Sada ParMaSaÙaGYavTaae rMaYaiTa iPa[YaaNa( ))

yädavän eva sad-bandhün


dvärakäyäm asau vasan
sadä parama-sad-bhägya-
vato ramayati priyän

yädavän — the Yädavas; eva — alone; sat — true; bandhün —


His friends; dvärakäyäm — in Dvärakä; asau — He; vasan —
residing; sadä — always; parama — supreme; sat-bhägya-vataù
— who possess good fortune; ramayati — He gives satisfaction;
priyän — to His dear friends.

The Yädavas alone are His true friends. Living always with
them in Dvärakä, He is always busy satisfying those dear
and supremely fortunate friends.

C OMMENTARY: Närada might suggest to the Päëòavas that Kåñëa


will soon finish His business and return to them, because to Kåñëa
they are dearer than anyone else. No, Yudhiñöhira replies, the
Yädavas are even more dear. Kåñëa very much favors the Yädavas
simply because they are the most exalted members of the Lord’s
own dynasty. Moreover, the Yädavas are endowed with the price-
less treasure of pure love for Kåñëa. Therefore Kåñëa goes out of
His way to keep them always happy. Yudhiñöhira reasons that
since the Yädavas are enjoying Kåñëa’s company and the Päëòavas
are not, the Yädavas must be more favored.

TEXT 57
ASMaaSau YataSYa k-daiPa daETYa&
SaarQYaMaNYaÀ >aviÙrq+YaTae )
TaÙUir>aar+aPa<aaYa PaaPa=‚
NaaXaeNa DaMaRSYa c r+a<aaYa ))
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 455

asmäsu yat tasya kadäpi dautyaà


särathyam anyac ca bhavadbhir ékñyate
tad bhüri-bhära-kñapaëäya päpa-
näçena dharmasya ca rakñaëäya

asmäsu — in connection with us; yat — which; tasya — His;


kadä api — on occasions; dautyam — carrying messages; sä-
rathyam — driving chariots; anyat — other engagements; ca —
and; bhavadbhiù — by your good self; ékñyate — are seen; tat —
that; bhüri — heavy; bhära — of debts; kñapaëäya — for the ab-
solving; päpa — of sinful reactions; näçena — by the destroying;
dharmasya — of religious principles; ca — and; rakñaëäya —
for the protecting.

From time to time you have observed Him carrying mes-


sages, driving chariots, and doing other services for us.
But He does these things only to absolve Himself of His
debts to us, destroy our sins, and protect our religious
principles.

C OMMENTARY: In addition to acting as the Päëòavas’ messenger,


charioteer, and general servant, Kåñëa also offered them advice
as a royal counselor and killed irreligious miscreants on their
behalf. But in Yudhiñöhira’s opinion the impartial Supreme Lord
never acted out of preference toward the Päëòavas.

TEXT 58
é[qParqi+aduvac
AQa é[qYaadveNd]SYa >aqMaae NaMaRSauôtaMa" )
ivhSYaaeÀEåvaced& Xa*<au é[qk*-Z<aiXaZYa he ))

çré-parékñid uväca
atha çré-yädavendrasya
bhémo narma-suhåttamaù
vihasyoccair uväcedaà
çåëu çré-kåñëa-çiñya he
456 / CHAPTER FIVE

çré-parékñit uväca — Çré Parékñit said; atha — then; çré-yädava-


indrasya — of the Lord of the Yädavas; bhémaù — Bhéma;
narma-suhåt-tamaù — the closest bosom friend; vihasya —
laughing; uccaiù — loudly; uväca — said; idam — this; çåëu —
please listen; çré-kåñëa — of Çré Kåñëa; çiñya — disciple; he — O.

Çré Parékñit continued: Then Bhéma, the bosom friend of


the Lord of the Yädavas, laughed loudly and said, Please
listen, my dear disciple of Çré Kåñëa.

C OMMENTARY: The word narma denotes natural joking between


intimate friends. Bhéma was so intimate with Kåñëa that Bhéma
could pretend to discern in Närada’s character the faults the sage
had acquired in Kåñëa’s association. For example, Närada must
have learned from Kåñëa how to cleverly juggle the meaning of
words, just as Kåñëa always juggled words Himself.

TEXT 59
AMauZYa dubaeRDacir}avairDaer(
MaaYaaidheTaaeêTauravl=IGaurae" )
Pa[vTaRTae vaGVYavhark-aEXal&/
Na ku-}a ik&- Taà vYa& Pa[TaqMa" ))

amuñya durbodha-caritra-väridher
mäyädi-hetoç caturävalé-guroù
pravartate väg-vyavahära-kauçalaà
na kutra kià tan na vayaà pratémaù

amuñya — of Him; durbodha — difficult to understand; caritra


— of activities; väri-dheù — who is an ocean; mäyä — of decep-
tion; ädi — original; hetoù — who is the source; catura — of
clever deceivers; ävalé — of the disciplic succession; guroù —
who is the preceptor; pravartate — proceeds; väk — of words;
vyavahära — and actions; kauçalam — expertise; na — not;
kutra — whence; kim — whether; tat — therefore; na — do not;
vayam — we; pratémaù — believe.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 457

Kåñëa is the original source of illusion, the guru of all


clever deceivers. His acts are fathomless like an ocean. We
have little faith in the many crafty things He says and does.
Doesn’t He have all sorts of motives?

C OMMENTARY: Mäyä means “magic,” and it also means “material


nature,” the source of illusion in the created world. Kåñëa is the
source of mäyä in both senses of the word. In Bhéma’s opinion,
Kåñëa is too unpredictable and deceptive to trust. Sometimes
Kåñëa acts just for His personal enjoyment, sometimes He manu-
factures illusions out of mere curiosity, and sometimes He uses
His wit to intentionally bewilder His devotees. In any case, His
motive is never simple affection, and the games He plays are not
real. Since Bhéma and his brothers are experienced men of the
world, they are not going to put any trust in such behavior.

TEXT 60
é[qParqi+aduvac
SaXaaek-MavdNa( MaaTaSTaTaae MaMa iPaTaaMah" )
k*-Z<aPa[a<aSa%" é[qMaaNaJauRNaae iNa"ìSaNa( Mauhu" ))

çré-parékñid uväca
sa-çokam avadan mätas
tato mama pitämahaù
kåñëa-präëa-sakhaù çrémän
arjuno niùçvasan muhuù

çré-parékñit uväca — Çré Parékñit said; sa-çokam — sadly; avadat


— spoke; mätaù — O mother; tataù — then; mama — my; pitä-
mahaù — paternal grandfather; kåñëa — of Kåñëa; präëa-sakhaù
— the intimate friend; çrémän — blessed; arjunaù — Arjuna; niù-
çvasan — sighing; muhuù — again and again.

Çré Parékñit said: Then, dear mother, my grandfather Çrémän


Arjuna, the intimate friend of Kåñëa, dejectedly spoke,
sighing again and again.
458 / CHAPTER FIVE

C OMMENTARY: Bhéma was Kåñëa’s narma-sakha, the Lord’s bo-


som friend, but Arjuna was Kåñëa’s präëa-sakha; that is, Kåñëa
and Arjuna were dearer to one another than life. Arjuna was
glorious, çrémän (blessed by the goddess of fortune), because of
his intimate friendship with Kåñëa. It was painful for Arjuna to
think about the friend he now rarely saw.

TEXT 61
é[q>aGavaNaJauRNa ovac
>aviTPa[YaTaMaeXaeNa >aGavàMauNaa k*==Ta" )
k*-Paa>arae_iPa du"%aYa ik-l/aSMaak&- b>aUv Sa" ))

çré-bhagavän arjuna uväca


bhavat-priyatameçena
bhagavann amunä kåtaù
kåpä-bharo ’pi duùkhäya
kiläsmäkaà babhüva saù

çré-bhagavän arjunaù uvaca — the holy Arjuna said; bhavat —


your; priya-tama — most beloved; éçena — by the Lord; bhaga-
van — O godly one (Närada); amunä — by Him; kåtaù — be-
stowed; kåpä — of mercy; bharaù — great extent; api — even;
duùkhäya — leading to sorrow; kila — actually; asmäkam —
for us; babhüva — has become; saù — it.

Blessed Arjuna said: O godly Närada, the great mercy your


beloved Lord supposedly bestowed upon us has in fact
become the cause of our sorrow.

C OMMENTARY: Arjuna’s relationship with Kåñëa is more intimate


than Bhéma’s. Whereas Bhéma discounted Kåñëa’s kindness as a
mere pretense that served other aims of His pastimes, Arjuna had
to acknowledge that Kåñëa’s affection for the Päëòavas was real.
According to Arjuna, Kåñëa’s intentions when He drove Arjuna’s
chariot and served the Päëòavas in various ways were sincere,
yet somehow the results were usually contrary.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 459

TEXTS 62–63
SvDaMaŒk-ParE" XauZk-jaNaviÙ" k*==Taa r<ae )
>aqZMaaidi>a" Pa[hara Yae vMaRMaMaRi>adae d*!a" ))

Tae TaSYaa& MaTk*-Tae SvSYa é[qMaUTaaŒ c§-Paai<aNaa )


vYaRMaa<aeNa c MaYaa Saae!a" Svqk*-TYa varXa" ))

sva-dharmaika-paraiù çuñka-
jïänavadbhiù kåtä raëe
bhéñmädibhiù prahärä ye
varma-marma-bhido dåòhäù

te tasyäà mat-kåte svasya


çré-mürtau cakra-päëinä
varyamäëena ca mayä
soòhäù své-kåtya väraçaù

sva-dharma — in their personal religious principles; eka-paraiù


— exclusively interested; çuñka — dry; jïäna-vadbhiù — influ-
enced by mental speculation; kåtäù — made; raëe — on the
battlefield; bhéñma-ädibhiù — by Bhéñma and others; prahäräù
— attacks; ye — which; varma — armor; marma — and flesh;
bhidaù — piercing; dåòhäù — forceful; te — they; tasyäm —
upon that; mat-kåte — for my sake; svasya — His own; çré-
mürtau — divine body; cakra-päëinä — by the wielder of the
Sudarçana cakra; varyamäëena — being checked; ca — even;
mayä — by me; soòhäù — tolerated; své-kåtya — being accepted;
väraçaù — repeatedly.

Swayed by dry speculation, concerned only with their own


dharma, Bhéñma and others on the field of war fiercely at-
tacked Lord Çré Kåñëa, piercing His armor and flesh. Lord
Kåñëa, the wielder of the Sudarçana cakra, tolerated for my
sake those repeated attacks on His divine body, although I
tried to stop Him.
460 / CHAPTER FIVE

C OMMENTARY: In texts  through , Arjuna explains how


Kåñëa’s good intentions often brought the Päëòavas to grief.
During the eighteen days of battle at Kurukñetra, even though
Kåñëa had promised to take up no weapons Himself, warriors
like Bhéñma more than once attacked Him. Because Kåñëa
wanted Arjuna victorious at all costs, Kåñëa never turned away
from these attacks, but repeatedly exposed to the danger of in-
jury His tender body, more precious to Arjuna than his own.
Bhéñma and the others who tried to harm Kåñëa justified
themselves on the grounds that they were following princi-
ples of righteous warfare: pitr-ädayo ’pi hantavyäù/ kñatriyeëa
raëäìgane (“On the battlefield, a kñatriya should be ready to
kill even his father or other relatives”). But since Kåñëa is the aim
of all true religious principles, the attacks on Him were unrigh-
teous. Arjuna says that the warriors who attacked Kåñëa did so
because their understanding was dry and impersonal. They rea-
soned that since Kåñëa is the Absolute Truth He cannot feel pain
when pierced by weapons, so attacking Him is not wrong. This
means, Arjuna implies, that they were not pure devotees and
had no real understanding of the sweet honey taste of Çré Kåñëa’s
lotus feet.
The blows Kåñëa received in battle seemed to penetrate His
skin and draw blood. The attacks were earnest and forceful
enough to have been fatal for a human fighter. More likely, how-
ever, the so-called blood flowing from Kåñëa’s transcendental
body was actually perspiration, an ecstatic symptom of His com-
passion for His devotees. Kåñëa’s purpose was to show the world
how much concern He always feels for His devotees.
Arjuna tried to dissuade Kåñëa from facing these challenges.
He told Kåñëa, “My Lord, since You promised not to join the
fight, why are You advancing to kill Bhéñma? Why are You ac-
cepting the blows of Bhagadatta and others while I am here to
protect You?” Speaking like this, Arjuna grabbed hold of Kåñëa’s
feet and tried to stop Him from attacking Bhéñma.
Ultimately, Kåñëa’s sweet will is supreme. He is Cakrapäëi,
the wielder of the Sudarçana disc. With this eternal weapon He
could have effortlessly warded off all attacks and killed all oppo-
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 461

nents whenever He wished. But He bore the blows of various


enemies just to increase Arjuna’s fame.

TEXT 64
TaNMae icNTaYaTaae_ÛaiPa ôdYaaàaPaSaPaRiTa )
du"%XaLYaMaTaae b]øNa( Sau%& Mae JaaYaTaa& k-QaMa( ))

tan me cintayato ’dyäpi


hådayän näpasarpati
duùkha-çalyam ato brahman
sukhaà me jäyatäà katham

tat — this; me — of me; cintayataù — who am remembering;


adya api — even today; hådayät — from the heart; na apasar-
pati — does not come out; duùkha — of lamentation; çalyam —
the arrow; ataù — therefore; brahman — O brähmaëa; sukham
— happiness; me — my; jäyatäm — can arise; katham — how.

Even today, O brähmaëa, as I remember those incidents, I


cannot remove the arrow of grief from my heart. How
then can I feel any happiness?

TEXT 65
k-MaR<aa YaeNa du"%& SYaaNa( iNaJaiPa[YaJaNaSYa ih )
Na TaSYaacr<a& Pa[qTae" k-aå<YaSYaaiPa l/+a<aMa( ))

karmaëä yena duùkhaà syän


nija-priya-janasya hi
na tasyäcaraëaà préteù
käruëyasyäpi lakñaëam

karmaëä — because of action; yena — which; duùkham —


unhappiness; syät — comes about; nija — one’s own; priya-
janasya — for the beloved; hi — certainly; na — not; tasya —
462 / CHAPTER FIVE

his; äcaraëam — behavior; préteù — of affection; käruëyasya


— of compassion; api — or; lakñaëam — a sign.

Acts that bring pain to a dear one are not a sign of compas-
sion or love.

TEXTS 66–67
>aqZMad]ae<aaidhNaNaaNa( iNav*ta& Maa& Pa[vTaRYaNa( )
MahajaiNavr" k*-Z<aae YaiTk-iÄduPaidívaNa( ))

YaQaaé[uTaaQaRé[v<aaC^uZk-jaiNaSau%Pa[dMa( )
Mahadu"%k*-dSMaak&- >ai¢-MaahaTMYaJaqivNaaMa( ))

bhéñma-droëädi-hananän
nivåttaà mäà pravartayan
mahä-jïäni-varaù kåñëo
yat kiïcid upadiñöavän

yathä-çrutärtha-çravaëäc
chuñka-jïäni-sukha-pradam
mahä-duùkha-kåd asmäkaà
bhakti-mähätmya-jévinäm

bhéñma-droëa-ädi — of Bhéñma, Droëa, and others; hananät —


from the killing; nivåttam — who was withdrawn; mäm — me;
pravartayan — inducing to act; mahä-jïäni — of wise scholars;
varaù — the best; kåñëaù — Kåñëa; yat kiïcit — what little; upa-
diñöavän — He instructed; yathä-çruta — literal; artha — the
meaning; çravaëät — by hearing; çuñka — dry; jïäni — to schol-
ars; sukha — pleasure; pradam — giving; mahä-duùkha — great
pain; kåt — giving; asmäkam — to us; bhakti-mähätmya — the
glories of pure devotional service; jévinäm — whose very life.

When I refused to kill Bhéñma, Droëa, and others, Kåñëa,


the best of wise scholars, taught me something to induce
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 463

me to go ahead and kill them. Hearing only the literal


meaning of what Kåñëa taught may please dry scholars,
but to us whose life and soul lies in glorifying pure devo-
tional service, those instructions by the Lord give great
pain.

C OMMENTARY: The Upaniñads convey the essence of Vedic


knowledge, and Çrémad Bhagavad-gétä conveys the essence of
the Upaniñads. Various exalted sages became the receivers, or
åñis, of each of the Upaniñads, but Bhagavän Çré Kåñëa chose to
speak His own Gétä directly to His friend and devotee Arjuna.
Because Arjuna is too humble to think himself great and is disap-
pointed by Kåñëa’s having left the Päëòavas, he does not con-
sider himself a favored devotee of Kåñëa’s. Therefore he tries to
deny the transcendental value of the Gétä. This is only a ploy,
however, to distract Närada; Arjuna’s argument here is not valid.
In the Bhagavad-gétä Kåñëa teaches pure devotional service,
and He chose to speak it to Arjuna because Arjuna is one of His
purest devotees:

sarvopaniñado gävo
dogdhä gopäla-nandanaù
pärtho vatsaù su-dhér bhoktä
dugdhaà gétämåtaà mahat

“This Gétopaniñad, Bhagavad-gétä, the essence of all the Upani-


ñads, is just like a cow, and Lord Kåñëa, who is famous as a
cowherd boy, is milking this cow. Arjuna is just like a calf, and
learned scholars and pure devotees are to drink the nectarean
milk of Bhagavad-gétä.” (Gétä-mähätmya )

TEXT 68
TaaTPaYaRSYa ivcare<a k*-TaeNaaiPa Na TaTSau%Ma( )
ik-iÄTk-raeTYauTaaMauZYa vÄNaa& ik-l/ baeDaNaaTa( ))
464 / CHAPTER FIVE

tätparyasya vicäreëa
kåtenäpi na tat sukham
kiïcit karoty utämuñya
vaïcanäà kila bodhanät

tätparyasya — of the purport; vicäreëa — by careful consider-


ation; kåtena — made; api — even; na — not; tat — that; su-
kham — happiness; kiïcit — any; karoti — creates; uta —rather;
amuñya — His; vaïcanäm — deception; kila — indeed; bodha-
nät — due to remembrance.

Even carefully studying the purport of those instructions


has not made me any happier. Rather, His words only
make me remember how He deceived me.

C OMMENTARY: According to all the Vaiñëava commentators —


including Çrédhara Svämé, Rämänujäcärya, Madhväcärya, Jéva
Gosvämé, Viçvanätha Cakravarté, and Baladeva Vidyäbhüñaëa —
the purport of Bhagavad-gétä is that Kåñëa is the Supreme Truth
and that the perfection of life is to serve Him with devotion. But
in the ecstasy of separation, Arjuna reads the purport otherwise:
He thinks Kåñëa spoke these instructions just to trick him into
agreeing to kill his teachers Bhéñma and Droëa.

TEXTS 69–70
YaTSada SavRQaa XauÖiNaåPaaiDak*==Paak-re )
TaiSMaNa( SaTYaPa[iTaje SaiNMa}avYaeR MahaPa[>aaE ))

ivìSTaSYa d*!& Saa+aaTPa[aáataSMaaNa( MaMa iPa[YaMa( )


MahaMaNaaehrak-araNa( Na Parb]ø<a" ParMa( ))

yat sadä sarvathä çuddha-


nirupädhi-kåpäkare
tasmin satya-pratijïe san-
mitra-varye mahä-prabhau
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 465

viçvastasya dåòhaà säkñät


präptät tasmän mama priyam
mahä-manoharäkärän
na para-brahmaëaù param

yat — which; sadä — always; sarvathä — in all ways; çuddha —


pure; nirupädhi — unconditional; kåpä-äkare — for the reser-
voir of mercy; tasmin — Him; satya — true; pratijïe — whose
promise; sat — true; mitra — of friends; varye — the best; mahä-
prabhau — the supreme controller; viçvastasya — who have faith;
dåòham — firmly; säkñät — in person; präptät — due to deliver-
ing; tasmät — than Him; mama — to me; priyam — dear; mahä-
manaù-hara — all-enchanting; äkärät — whose form; na — not;
para-brahmaëaù — than the Supreme Brahman; param —
greater.

No one is dearer to me than the Supreme Brahman, Kåñëa,


with His all-enchanting beautiful form. He has given Him-
self to me, who have complete faith in Him. He is the reser-
voir of pure unconditional mercy, the upholder of His
word, the best of well-wishing friends, the omnipotent
Lord of all.

C OMMENTARY: Here Arjuna admits His firm trust in Kåñëa. This


solid faith is the reality underlying Arjuna’s ecstatic conscious-
ness. His contrary expressions of apparent distrust are counter-
currents of secondary ecstasies, which increase his pleasure, the
pleasure of his beloved Lord, and the pleasure of the rasika
devotees like Närada to whom he divulges these feelings. In this
verse Arjuna states four reasons for His complete trust in Kåñëa:
First, Kåñëa is merciful unconditionally. Second, He always ful-
fills His promises, such as the one He made to Arjuna before the
Battle of Kurukñetra: na me bhaktaù praëaçyati (“My devotee
never perishes”). Third, He is the most reliable friend and bene-
factor. And fourth, He is the Supreme Lord, able to do anything.
Remembering these qualities of Kåñëa — and His exquisite beauty
and the intimate friendship He kindly shared — Arjuna confesses
466 / CHAPTER FIVE

that for him Kåñëa is everything. But for this very reason, Arjuna
cannot bear to consider that Kåñëa would intentionally deceive
him into killing his teachers on the pretext of giving him spiritual
instructions.

TEXTS 71–72
é[qNaku-l/SahdevavUcTau"
YaiÜPaÓ<aTaae DaEYa| vEirvGaRivNaaXaNaMa( )
AìMaeDaaid caSMaak&- é[qk*-Z<a" SaMaPaadYaTa( ))

YaÀ TaeNa YaXaae raJYa& Pau<YaaÛPYaNYadul/R>aMa( )


VYaTaNaaeÙGav&STaeNa NaaSYa MaNYaaMahe k*-PaaMa( ))

çré-nakula-sahadeväv ücatuù
yad vipad-gaëato dhairyaà
vairi-varga-vinäçanam
açvamedhädi cäsmäkaà
çré-kåñëaù samapädayat

yac ca tena yaço räjyaà


puëyädy apy anya-durlabham
vyatanod bhagavaàs tena
näsya manyämahe kåpäm

çré-nakula-sahadevau ücatuù — Çré Nakula and Sahadeva said;


yat — which; vipat-gaëataù — in the face of many dangers; dhai-
ryam — steadfastness; vairi-varga — of our numerous enemies;
vinäçanam — the destruction; açva-medha-ädi — the Açvamedha
and other sacrifices; ca — and; asmäkam — our; çré-kåñëaù —
Çré Kåñëa; samapädayat — arranged for; yat — which; ca — and;
tena — by Him; yaçaù — fame; räjyam — kingdom; puëya-ädi
— pious credits and so on; api — also; anya — by others; durla-
bham — difficult to obtain; vyatanot — He expanded; bhagavan
— O godly one; tena — by this; na — not; asya —His; manyä-
mahe — we consider; kåpäm — mercy.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 467

Çré Nakula and Sahadeva said: Yes, Çré Kåñëa gave us stead-
fastness in the face of many dangers. He arranged for the
doom of all our enemies and for our success in the Açva-
medha and other sacrifices. He expanded our fame, king-
dom, and pious credits, which others could hardly hope to
attain. But, O godly Närada, we do not deem this evidence
of His mercy.

TEXT 73
ik-NTvNaek-MahaYajaeTSav& SaMPaadYaàSaaE )
Svqk-are<aaGa]PaUJaaYaa hzRYaeà" k*-Paa ih Saa ))

kintv aneka-mahä-yajïo-
tsavaà sampädayann asau
své-käreëägra-püjäyä
harñayen naù kåpä hi sä

kintu — rather; aneka — multiple; mahä-yajïa — of sacrifices;


utsavam — for the festival; sampädayan — arranging; asau —
He; své-käreëa — by the acceptance; agra-püjäyäù — of the first
worship; harñayet — He delighted; naù — us; kåpä — mercy; hi
— really; sä — that.

Rather, He gave us His real mercy when, in the festival of


many great sacrifices He had arranged, He delighted us by
accepting the first worship.

TEXT 74
ADauNaa viÄTaaSTaeNa vYa& JaqvaMa TaTk-QaMa( )
TaÕXaRNaMaiPa b]øNa( Yaàae_>aUdiTadugaR$=Ma( ))

adhunä vaïcitäs tena


vayaà jéväma tat katham
tad-darçanam api brahman
yan no ’bhüd ati-durghaöam
468 / CHAPTER FIVE

adhunä — now; vaïcitäù — cheated; tena — by Him; vayam


— we; jéväma — can continue to live; tat — that; katham — why;
tat — of Him; darçanam — the sight; api — even; brahman —
O brähmaëa; yat — which; naù — for us; abhüt — there was;
ati-durghaöam — very difficult to obtain.

Now He has cheated us by going away, so how can we con-


tinue to live? Before, O brähmaëa, at least we had the sight
of Him, so difficult to obtain!

C OMMENTARY: Like their brothers, Nakula and Sahadeva judge


Kåñëa’s mercy on them by whether or not He gives them His
personal association. They could think themselves fortunate only
as long as they could be with Him and see Him, at the Räjasüya
sacrifice and on other occasions.

TEXT 75
é[qParqi+aduvac
TaC^\uTva vcNa& Taeza& d]aEPadq Xaaek-ivûl/a )
Sa&STa>Ya YaÒadaTMaaNa& §-NdNTYaah SaGaÓdMa( ))

çré-parékñid uväca
tac chrutvä vacanaà teñäà
draupadé çoka-vihvalä
saàstabhya yatnäd ätmänaà
krandanty äha sa-gadgadam

çré-parékñit uväca — Çré Parékñit said; tat — those; çrutvä — hear-


ing; vacanam — words; teñäm — of theirs; draupadé — Draupadé;
çoka — with sorrow; vihvalä — overwhelmed; saàstabhya — calm-
ing; yatnät — with effort; ätmänam — her mind; krandanté —
crying; äha — she said; sa-gadgadam — with a choking voice.

Çré Parékñit said: Hearing the words of the Päëòavas,


Draupadé was overwhelmed with sorrow. Calming herself
with great effort, she spoke, crying, in a choked voice.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 469

TEXT 76
é[qk*-Z<aaevac
é[qk*-Z<aeNa MaMa Pa[a<aSa%eNa bhuDaa }aPaa )
iNavar<aqYaa duíaê Maar<aqYaa" ik-le/d*Xa" ))

çré-kåñëoväca
çré-kåñëena mama präëa-
sakhena bahudhä trapä
niväraëéyä duñöäç ca
märaëéyäù kiledåçaù

çré-kåñëä uväca — Çré Kåñëä (Draupadé) said; çré-kåñëena — by


Çré Kåñëa; mama — my; präëa-sakhena — intimate friend; bahu-
dhä — repeatedly; trapä — shame; niväraëéyä — averted; duñ-
öäh — evil persons; ca — and; märaëéyäù — killed; kila —
indeed; édåçaù — who were like this.

Çré Kåñëä [Draupadé] said: So many times my intimate friend


Çré Kåñëa saved me from shame, and so many times He
killed wicked rascals like the Kauravas!

TEXT 77
k-TaRVYaae_NauGa]hSTaeNa SadeTYaaSaqNMaiTaMaRMa )
ADauNaa PaiTaTaaSTaaTa>a]aTa*Pau}aadYaae_i%l/a" ))

kartavyo ’nugrahas tena


sadety äsén matir mama
adhunä patitäs täta-
bhrätå-puträdayo ’khiläù

kartavyaù — will be shown; anugrahaù — mercy; tena — by Him;


sadä — always; iti — thus; äsét — was; matiù — opinion; mama
— my; adhunä — now; patitäù — fallen; täta — father; bhrätå —
brother; putra-ädayaù — sons and others; akhiläù — all.
470 / CHAPTER FIVE

I thought He would always show us mercy, but now my


father, brother, and sons have all fallen in battle.

TEXT 78
Ta}aaiPa ivdDae Xaaek&- Na TaidC^aNauSaair<aq )
ik-NTvEC^& Pa[aáuMaaTMaeí& ik-iÄtataC^l/aTf-l/Ma( ))

taträpi vidadhe çokaà


na tad-icchänusäriëé
kintv aicchaà präptum ätmeñöaà
kiïcit tat-tac-chalät phalam

tatra api — nonetheless; vidadhe — expressed; çokam — lam-


entation; na — not; tat — His; icchä — desire; anusäriëé —
following faithfully; kintu — but; aiccham — I hoped; präp-
tum — to achieve; ätma-iñöam — personal desire; kiïcit — some;
tat-tat-chalät — on one pretext or another; phalam — the
fruit.

Nonetheless I don’t lament, for by nature I accept what-


ever He may desire. But I had hoped that on one pre-
text or another He would arrange for my desires to be
fulfilled.

C OMMENTARY: Duryodhana, Duùçäsana, and their friends had


tormented Draupadé with their unspeakably wicked behavior.
Draupadé knows that Kåñëa alone saved her and her husbands
from this abuse. Although her husbands, by their arms, had
killed their many enemies, it was Kåñëa’s inconceivable poten-
cies that had drawn the doomed warriors into fratricidal combat,
and Kåñëa’s will that had sealed their fate. Even after Draupadé’s
father, Drupada, her brother Dhåñöadyumna, and her five sons,
headed by Prativindhya, had all perished at Kurukñetra, she
hoped against hope that Kåñëa would somehow make her happy
again.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 471

TEXT 79
TaeNa SaaNTviYaTaVYaah& hTabNDauJaNaa SvYaMa( )
é[qk*-Z<aeNaaePaivXYaa}a MaTPaaìeR Yaui¢-Paa$=vE" ))

tena säntvayitavyähaà
hata-bandhu-janä svayam
çré-kåñëenopaviçyätra
mat-pärçve yukti-päöavaiù

tena — by Him; säntvayitavyä — being pacified; aham — I; hata


— killed; bandhu-janä — whose family members; svayam —
personally; çré-kåñëena — by Çré Kåñëa; upaviçya — sitting; atra
— here; mat-pärçve — at my side; yukti — of logical arguments;
päöavaiù — with expert means.

After my family members were killed, Çré Kåñëa personally


sat here at my side and expertly consoled me with persua-
sive arguments.

TEXT 80
TaaiNa TaaiNa TaTaSTaSYa PaaTaVYaaiNa MaYaa Sada )
MaDaurai<a MaNaaejaiNa iSMaTavaKYaaMa*TaaiNa ih ))

täni täni tatas tasya


pätavyäni mayä sadä
madhuräëi manojïäni
smita-väkyämåtäni hi

täni täni — each of the various; tataù — thus; tasya — His;


pätavyäni — imbibed; mayä — by me; sadä — always; ma-
dhuräëi — charming; manaù-jïäni — pleasing to the mind;
smita —with smiles; väkya — words; amåtäni — immortal; hi —
indeed.
472 / CHAPTER FIVE

I always drink the immortal nectar of those charming


words, so pleasing to the mind, and the smiles that went
with them.

C OMMENTARY: With His sweet, compassionate words, Kåñëa had


filled Draupadé’s heart with new hope. Despite the material di-
saster and loss, Draupadé could be consoled by recalling how
Kåñëa had sat and talked with her in concern, and how attractive
His words and smiling face had been.

TEXT 81
TadSTau dUre daE>aaRGYaaNa( MaMa PaUvRvdPYaSaaE )
NaaYaaTYaTaae dYaa k-aSYa MaNTaVYaa MaYak-a MauNae ))

tad astu düre daurbhägyän


mama pürva-vad apy asau
näyäty ato dayä käsya
mantavyä mayakä mune

tat — that; astu — let it be; düre — at a distance; daurbhägyät


— due to the misfortune; mama — my; pürva-vat — as before;
api — even; asau — He; na äyäti — does not come; ataù —
therefore; dayä — mercy; kä — what; asya — His; mantavyä —
should be thought; mayakä — upon me; mune — O sage.

Even so, it is my misfortune that He no longer comes here.


So how, dear sage, can I think He has shown me any
mercy?

TEXT 82
é[qParqi+aduvac
Xaaek-aTaeRv TaTa" ku-NTaq k*-Z<adXaRNaJaqvNaa )
Saaó& Sak-å<a& Pa[ah SMarNTaq TaTk*-Paak*-Pae ))
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 473

çré-parékñid uväca
çokärteva tataù kunté
kåñëa-darçana-jévanä
säsraà sa-karuëaà präha
smaranté tat-kåpäkåpe

çré-parékñit uväca — Çré Parékñit said; çoka — by sorrow; ärtä —


tormented; iva — as if; tataù — then; kunté — Kunté; kåñëa-
darçana — the sight of Kåñëa; jévanä — whose very life; sa-
asram — tearfully; sa-karuëam — pitifully; präha — she spoke;
smaranté — remembering; tat — His; kåpä — mercy; akåpe — and
lack of mercy.

Çré Parékñit said: Mother Kunté, for whom the sight of Kåñëa
was life, seemed tormented with sorrow, remembering
how Kåñëa had at times shown His mercy and at other
times not. She then spoke, pitifully, with tears in her eyes.

C OMMENTARY: Like her sons and their wife, Kunté is a tran-


scendental soul, blessed with the full mercy of Kåñëa. This is
the truth, no matter what she says. The ecstasy of separation,
vipralambha-bhäva, impelled her to complain sorrowfully as if
an ordinary woman. Parékñit Mahäräja qualifies his description
here by saying çokärtä iva, “as if lamenting,” to help clarify the
real situation.

TEXT 83
é[qPa*Qaaevac
ANaaQaaYaa" SaPau}aaYaa MaMaaPaÓ<aTaae_Sak*==Ta( )
TvrYaa MaaecNaaTSaMYaGdevk==IMaaTa*Taae_iPa Ya" )
k*-PaaivXaez" k*-Z<aSYa SvSYaaMaNauiMaTaae MaYaa ))

çré-påthoväca
anäthäyäù sa-puträyä
mamäpad-gaëato ’sakåt
474 / CHAPTER FIVE

tvarayä mocanät samyag


devaké-mätåto ’pi yaù
kåpä-viçeñaù kåñëasya
svasyäm anumito mayä

çré-påthä uväca — Çré Påthä said; anäthäyäù — who had no


protector; sa-puträyäù — along with her sons; mama — of
me; äpat-gaëataù — from the many calamities; asakåt — repeat-
edly; tvarayä — without delay; mocanät — because of being
freed; samyak — complete; devaké-mätåtaù — more than Mother
Devaké; api — even; yaù — which; kåpä — mercy; viçeñaù — spe-
cial; kåñëasya — of Kåñëa; svasyäm — on myself; anumitaù —
was inferred; mayä — by me.

Çré Påthä [Kunté] said: I had no husband to protect me, but


Kåñëa always interceded just in time to save me and my
sons from calamity. From this I understood that Kåñëa’s
mercy on me was special, greater even than His mercy on
His mother, Devaké.

Queen Kunté, in her famous prayers to Kåñëa, compares her rela-


tion with Kåñëa to Devaké’s:

yathä håñékeça khalena devaké


kaàsena ruddhäti-ciraà çucärpitä
vimocitähaà ca sahätmajä vibho
tvayaiva näthena muhur vipad-gaëät

“O Håñékeça, master of the senses and Lord of lords, You have


released me and my children and Your mother, Devaké, who was
long imprisoned and distressed by the envious King Kaàsa,
from a series of constant dangers.

viñän mahägneù puruñäda-darçanäd


asat-sabhäyä vana-väsa-kåcchrataù
mådhe mådhe ’neka-mahä-rathästrato
drauëy-astrataç cäsma hare ’bhirakñitäù
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 475

“My dear Kåñëa, Your Lordship has protected us from a poisoned


cake, from a great fire, from cannibals, from the vicious assem-
bly, from sufferings during our exile in the forest, and from the
battle where great generals fought. And now You have saved us
from the weapon of Açvatthämä.” (Bhägavatam ..‒)
Çrématé Kunté here implies that Kåñëa’s mercy on her differs
from His mercy on Devaké. Kåñëa saved Devaké from Kaàsa’s
persecution, but only after Devaké had been imprisoned for a
long time. Moreover, He released Devaké only once, and even
when freed she was still unhappy because Kåñëa had not res-
cued the first six of her sons from murder by Kaàsa. But Kåñëa
saved Kunté repeatedly, together with her sons. Kåñëa always
came to their rescue without delay — when Duryodhana tried to
feed Bhéma a poisoned cake, when Duryodhana tried to burn
the Päëòavas alive in a palace made of lac, when the brothers
had to face man-eating Räkñasas like Hiòimba, when they were
cheated by the Kauravas in gambling, and on numerous other
occasions. Devaké had protectors other than Kåñëa, including her
husband and other Våñëi heroes, whereas for Kunté, Kåñëa was
the only shelter. Kunté therefore considered her own depen-
dence on Kåñëa more complete.

TEXT 84
Sa caDauNaaTMaNaae_NYaezaMaiPa Gaehezu SavRTa" )
ñq<aa& iNahTabNDaUNaa& MaharaedNaSa&é[uTae" )
MaNaSYaiPa Pad& JaaTau Na Pa[aPanaeiTa ik-YaNMaMa ))

sa cädhunätmano ’nyeñäm
api geheñu sarvataù
stréëäà nihata-bandhünäà
mahä-rodana-saàçruteù
manasy api padaà jätu
na präpnoti kiyan mama

saù — that (special mercy); ca — and; adhunä — now; ätmanaù


— my own; anyeñäm — and of others; api — also; geheñu — in
476 / CHAPTER FIVE

the homes; sarvataù — all around; stréëäm — of the women;


nihata — slain; bandhünäm — whose relatives; mahä-rodana
— the loud crying; saàçruteù — by hearing; manasi — in the
mind; api — even; padam — place; jätu — at all; na präpnoti —
does not find; kiyat — any; mama — my.

But now the thought that Kåñëa is merciful to me never


enters my mind, for everywhere, in our home and the
homes of our neighbors, I hear the loud mourning of the
women whose relatives have been slain.

C OMMENTARY: In the aftermath of the devastating battle at Kuru-


kñetra, Kunté cannot even think to herself that Kåñëa has special
affection for her family. Certainly while speaking to others she is
reluctant to say anything about Kåñëa’s mercy.

TEXT 85
ATaSTaÕXaRNaTYa¢-a" SaMPad" PairôTYa vE )
AaPad" Pa[aiQaRTaaSTaiSMaNMaYaa TaÕXaRNaaiPak-a" ))

atas tad-darçana-tyaktäù
sampadaù parihåtya vai
äpadaù prärthitäs tasmin
mayä tad-darçanäpikäù

ataù — therefore; tat-darçana — of seeing Him; tyaktäù — de-


prived; sampadaù — riches; parihåtya — taking away; vai — cer-
tainly; äpadaù — calamities; prärthitäù — prayed for; tasmin —
from Him; mayä — by me; tat-darçana — the sight of Him;
äpikäù — which cause.

Therefore, deprived of seeing Him, I begged Kåñëa to take


away our wealth and give us more calamities to bring Him
again within our sight.

C OMMENTARY: Though her family has won back their kingdom,


Kunté still sees no happiness, because they no longer can see
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 477

Kåñëa. They were happier when struggling against one danger


after another. Thus Kunté prayed to Kåñëa:

vipadaù santu täù çaçvat


tatra tatra jagad-guro
bhavato darçanaà yat syäd
apunar-bhava-darçanam

“I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again
so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means
that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.” (Bhäga-
vatam ..)
A devotee who has seen the lotus feet of Kåñëa is guaranteed
liberation from the cycle of birth and death. But the Kåñëa con-
scious devotee sees also that this liberation (apunar-bhava-
darçanam) is nothing compared with the pleasure of serving
Kåñëa in one’s own relationship with Him.

TEXT 86
dtva iNaZk-<$=k&- raJYa& Paa<@va" Saui%Taa wiTa )
MaTvaDauNaa ivhaYaaSMaaNa( Üark-aYaaMaviSQaTaMa( ))

dattvä niñkaëöakaà räjyaà


päëòaväù sukhitä iti
matvädhunä vihäyäsmän
dvärakäyäm avasthitam

dattvä — delivering; niñkaëöakam — freed from thorns; räjyam


— their kingdom; päëòaväù — the Päëòavas; sukhitäù — are
satisfied; iti — thus; matvä — thinking; adhunä — now; vihäya
— abandoning; asmän — us; dvärakäyäm — in Dvärakä; ava-
sthitam — is residing.

Kåñëa gave the Päëòavas their kingdom, freed from thorny


opponents. Now, thinking the brothers satisfied, He has
abandoned us and resides in Dvärakä.
478 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 87
ATaae_}a TaSYaaGaMaNae_PYaaXaa Mae_PaGaTaa bTa )
MaNYae_DauNaaTMaNa" Xaqga]Mar<a& TadNauGa]hMa( ))

ato ’tra tasyägamane


’py äçä me ’pagatä bata
manye ’dhunätmanaù çéghra-
maraëaà tad-anugraham

ataù — thus; atra — here; tasya — His; ägamane — for the com-
ing; api — even; äçä — hope; me — my; apagatä — dispelled;
bata — alas; manye — I think; adhunä — now; ätmanaù — my;
çéghra — quick; maraëam — death; tat — His; anugraham —
mercy.

So I have given up hope that He will ever come back. Now


I think His real mercy would be my quick death.

TEXT 88
bNDauvTSal/ wTYaaXaaTaNTauYaRêavl/MbTae )
Sa }au$yeÛdui>aSTaSYa Gaa!SaMbNDaMaXaRNaaTa( ))

bandhu-vatsala ity äçä-


tantur yaç cävalambate
sa truöyed yadubhis tasya
gäòha-sambandha-marçanät

bandhu — to friends and relatives; vatsalaù — He is compas-


sionate; iti — thus; äçä — of hope; tantuù — the thread; yaù —
which; ca — and; avalambate — hangs down; saù — it; truöyet
— would break; yadubhiù — with the Yadus; tasya — His; gäòha
— intense; sambandha — connection; marçanät — because of
considering.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 479

My last thread of hope — that Kåñëa is always compassion-


ate to His friends and relatives — can easily break if I
simply consider how strongly He is attached to the Yadus.

C OMMENTARY: Yudhiñöhira reached this same conclusion, that


the Päëòavas cannot hope to compete for Kåñëa’s attention with
the Yädavas of Dvärakä. The Yädavas, as Kåñëa’s family mem-
bers, have first claim on Kåñëa. They are His uncles, cousins, and
sons. And from Kunté’s point of view, the Yädavas, much more
strongly than the Päëòavas, are connected with Kåñëa as His
loving servants.

TEXT 89
TaÛaih TaSYa ParMaiPa[YavGaRMau:YaaNa(
é[qYaadvaNa( iNaåPaMaPa[MadaiBDaMaGanaNa( )
Taeza& MahtvMaTaul&/ >aGav&STvMaev
JaaNaaiSa TaÜYaMahae ik-Mau v<aRYaeMa ))

tad yähi tasya parama-priya-varga-mukhyän


çré-yädavän nirupama-pramadäbdhi-magnän
teñäà mahattvam atulaà bhagavaàs tvam eva
jänäsi tad vayam aho kim u varëayema

tat — therefore; yähi — you should go; tasya — His; parama —


topmost; priya-varga — of beloved associates; mukhyän — prin-
cipal; çré-yädavän — to the divine Yädavas; nirupama — in-
comparable; pramada — of joy; abdhi — in an ocean; magnän
— who are immersed; teñäm — their; mahattvam — greatness;
atulam — unequaled; bhagavan — O saintly Närada; tvam —
you; eva — indeed; jänäsi — know; tat — that; vayam — we;
aho — oh; kim — how; u — indeed; varëayema — can explain.

Therefore, go see the divine Yädavas, the Lord’s most be-


loved associates, who live immersed in a vast, unequaled
ocean of joy. My lord Närada, you know very well how
great they are. What can I tell you about their glories?
480 / CHAPTER FIVE

C OMMENTARY: Närada, Kunté says, should go to Dvärakä to see


the Yädavas, follow the example of their devotion, and achieve
the mercy of their association. They are the best of all the Su-
preme Lord’s exalted devotees, including Brahmä and the other
demigods in the heavenly planets, Garuòa and the other pärñadas
of Vaikuëöha, and Prahläda, Hanumän, and other Vaiñëavas in
the world of mortals. Kunté thinks that because the Yädavas are
absorbed in ecstasy, Närada’s ecstasy will certainly increase in
their company. Remaining with Kunté and the Päëòavas, how-
ever, will only drag him down into misery.
In case Närada suggests he can derive enough satisfaction
simply by hearing about the Yädavas from Kunté and her sons,
Kunté reminds him that he already knows the residents of Dvärakä
better than the Päëòavas do. Since Närada has visited Dvärakä
many times, what can Kunté tell him that he does not already
know? He should just go to Dvärakä, where he can see Kåñëa’s
full mercy.

TEXT 90
é[qParqi+aduvac
>aae YaadveNd]>aiGaNaqSauTaPaiÒ MaaTa"
é[qÜark-a& MauiNavrSTvrYaaGaTaae_SaaE )
d<@Pa[<aaMaiNak-rE" Pa[ivXaNa( PauraNTar(
dUraÕdXaR Sau>aGaaNa( YaduPau®va&STaaNa( ))

çré-parékñid uväca
bho yädavendra-bhaginé-suta-patni mätaù
çré-dvärakäà muni-varas tvarayägato ’sau
daëòa-praëäma-nikaraiù praviçan puräntar
düräd dadarça su-bhagän yadu-puìgaväàs tän

çré-parékñit uväca — Çré Parékñit said; bhoù — O; yädava-indra


— of Kåñëa, Lord of the Yädavas; bhaginé — of the sister (Su-
bhadrä); suta — of the son (Abhimanyu); patni — O wife; mätaù
— O mother; çré-dvärakäm — at Çré Dvärakä; muni-varaù —
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 481

the best of sages; tvarayä — quickly; ägataù — arrived; asau —


he; daëòa-praëäma — of prostrate obeisances; nikaraiù — with
a multitude; praviçan — entering; pura-antaù — the inner city;
dürät — from a distance; dadarça — he saw; su-bhagän — for-
tunate; yadu — of the Yadus; puìgavän — the heroes; tän —
them.

Çré Parékñit said: O mother, O wife of Lord Yädavendra’s


nephew, the exalted sage Närada swiftly arrived at Çré
Dvärakä. He entered the inner city, repeatedly offering
prostrate obeisances, and saw from a distance the fortu-
nate Yadu heroes.

C OMMENTARY: Çrématé Subhadrä is the sister of Çré Kåñëa, the


worshipable Lord of the Yadu dynasty. And Uttarä, the wife of
Subhadrä’s son Abhimanyu, gave birth to Mahäräja Parékñit. There-
fore, if the Yadus are as fortunate as the Päëòavas describe,
Parékñit’s mother also shares in their blessedness by being a
member of the family.

TEXT 91
Sa>aaYaa& é[qSauDaMaaRYaa& Sau%aSaqNaaNa( YaQaa§-MaMa( )
iNaJaSaaENdYaR>aUza!yaNa( PaairJaaTaóGaaicTaaNa( ))

sabhäyäà çré-sudharmäyäà
sukhäsénän yathä-kramam
nija-saundarya-bhüñäòhyän
pärijäta-srag-äcitän

sabhäyäm — in the assembly hall; çré-sudharmäyäm — the


blessed Sudharmä; sukha — at ease; äsénän — sitting; yathä-
kramam — in order of importance; nija — their own; saun-
darya — with the bodily beauty; bhüñä — and ornaments;
äòhyän — resplendent; pärijäta — of pärijäta flowers; srak —
with garlands; äcitän — adorned.
482 / CHAPTER FIVE

He beheld them sitting at ease in the blessed assembly hall


Sudharmä. Ranked in order of importance, they sat re-
splendent with the ornaments of their own bodily beauty,
and were further adorned with garlands of pärijäta.

C OMMENTARY: Texts 91 through 96 describe the splendor of


the Yadus. Närada found the Yadu rulers convened in the hall
Sudharmä, which had belonged originally to the heavenly king-
dom of Indra. Under the Yadus, however, the glory of Sudharmä
had increased. Now, even more than while in Svargaloka, it
manifested çré, the opulence and favor of Lakñmédevé, the su-
preme goddess of fortune.
Free from envy and petty rivalry, the Yadus sat happily in
order of seniority by age. Although they were all fabulously rich
and powerful, they had no desires for anything material. Their
treasure in life was the prize of their dynasty, Çré Kåñëa. They
accepted the trappings of royalty only because these were suita-
ble for their service to Kåñëa and gave Him pleasure. The heav-
enly hall Sudharmä and the priceless jewels, garments, and
pärijäta garlands added nothing to the natural beauty of their
transcendental bodies, which shone with the splendor of their
pure love for Kåñëa and for one another.

TEXT 92
idVYaaiTaidVYaSa®qTaNa*TYaaidParMaaeTSavE" )
SaeVYaMaaNaaNa( ivic}aae¢-ya STaUYaMaaNaa&ê viNdi>a" ))

divyäti-divya-saìgéta-
nåtyädi-paramotsavaiù
sevyamänän vicitroktyä
stüyamänäàç ca vandibhiù

divya-ati-divya — most celestial; saìgéta — of singing; nåtya —


dancing; ädi — and so on; parama — excellent; utsavaiù —
with festivals; sevyamänän — being served; vicitra — wonder-
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 483

ful; uktyä — with words; stüyamänäù — being praised; ca —


and; vandibhiù — by bards.

They were being regaled by festive song and dance in the


most celestial style, and praised by bards in splendidly
tasteful words.

C OMMENTARY: The music, dance, and drama performed in the


Yadu assembly were divya, equal to those heard and seen in
Indra’s Svarga, and also ati-divya, equal to those in Lord Närä-
yaëa’s Vaikuëöha. All perfections of this world and the kingdom
of God attended the Yadus like menial servants.

TEXT 93
ANYaaeNYa& ic}aNaMaaeRi¢-ke==il/i>ahRSaTaae Mauda )
SaUYaRMaa§-aMaTa" Svai>a" Pa[>aai>aMaaRDaurqMaYaaNa( ))

anyonyaà citra-narmokti-
kelibhir hasato mudä
süryam äkrämataù sväbhiù
prabhäbhir mädhuré-mayän

anyonyam — among one another; citra — bright; narma-ukti —


with jokes; kelibhiù — and sporting; hasataù — laughing; mudä
— happily; süryam — the sun; äkrämataù — eclipsing; sväbhiù
— their own; prabhäbhiù — by the effulgences; mädhuré-mayän
— who were full of charm.

The Yädavas laughed among one another and exchanged


clever jokes and quips, the effulgence of their bodies sur-
passing that of the sun, their personalities full of charm.

C OMMENTARY: Although the light radiating from the bodies of


the Yadus was more brilliant than the sun, that effulgence, unlike
the sun globe’s, did not pain the eyes, because of the Yadus’ very
gentle and pleasing natures.
484 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 94
NaaNaaivDaMahaidVYaiv>aUz<aivici}aTaaNa( )
k-a&iêTPa[vYaSaae_PYaezu NavYaaEvNaMaaiPaTaaNa( )
é[qk*==Z<avdNaaM>aaeJaSauDaaTa*áaNa>aq+<aXa" ))

nänä-vidha-mahä-divya-
vibhüñaëa-vicitritän
käàçcit pravayaso ’py eñu
nava-yauvanam äpitän
çré-kåñëa-vadanämbhoja-
sudhä-tåptän abhékñëaçaù

nänä-vidha — of various kinds; mahä-divya — very precious;


vibhüñaëa — with ornaments; vicitritän — decorated; käàçcit —
some; pravayasaù — elderly; api — even; eñu — among them;
nava-yauvanam — new youth; äpitän — having obtained; çré-
kåñëa — of Çré Kåñëa; vadana-ambhoja — of the lotus face; sudhä
— by the nectar; tåptän — satisfied; abhékñëaçaù — constantly.

Many kinds of precious ornaments decorated the Yädavas.


And even some of the most elderly members of the assem-
bly had obtained new youth by constantly enjoying the
nectar of Çré Kåñëa’s lotus face.

C OMMENTARY: The perpetual youth of even the oldest among


the Yadus is affirmed by Çukadeva Gosvämé:

tatra pravayaso ’py äsan


yuväno ’ti-balaujasaù
pibanto ’kñair mukundasya
mukhämbuja-sudhäà muhuù

“Even the most elderly residents of the city appeared youthful,


full of strength and vitality, for with their eyes they constantly
drank the elixir of Lord Mukunda’s lotus face.” (Bhägavatam
..)
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 485

TEXT 95
oGa]SaeNa& MaharaJa& Pairv*TYa ck-aXaTa" )
Pa[Taq+aMaa<aaNa( é[qk*==Z<adevaGaMaNaMaadraTa( ))

ugrasenaà mahä-räjaà
parivåtya cakäçataù
pratékñamäëän çré-kåñëa-
devägamanam ädarät

ugrasenam — Ugrasena; mahä-räjam — the ruling monarch;


parivåtya — surrounding; cakäçataù — glowing; pratékñamäëän
— awaiting; çré-kåñëa-deva — of Çré Kåñëadeva; ägamanam —
the arrival; ädarät — respectfully.

Surrounding Mahäräja Ugrasena, the Yädavas glowed bril-


liantly, as with reverent eagerness they awaited the arrival
of Çré Kåñëa.

C OMMENTARY: King Ugrasena sat on his throne in the midst of


the assembly, served with his white umbrella, yak-tail fans, and
other royal emblems. Reflecting the king’s imperial potency, all
the Yädava princes glowed brilliantly, like many suns in the sky.
But even though commanding so much material power, every
one of them wanted nothing but to see Kåñëa and be with Him.
Kåñëa joined them every day in their assembly, yet every day
they awaited His arrival with great eagerness. He was their deva,
their only object of worship.

TEXT 96
TadNTa"PaurvTMaeR+aaVYaGa]MaaNaSal/aecNaaNa( )
TaTk-Qaak-QaNaaSa¢-aNaSa&:YaaNa( k-aei$=k-aei$=Xa" ))

tad-antaù-pura-vartmekñä-
vyagra-mänasa-locanän
486 / CHAPTER FIVE

tat-kathä-kathanäsaktän
asaìkhyän koöi-koöiçaù

tat — His; antaù-pura — to the inner palace; vartma — toward


the path; ékñä — whose glances; vyagra — excited; mänasa —
minds; locanän — and eyes; tat — about Him; kathä — topics;
kathana — in discussing; äsaktän — absorbed; asaìkhyän —
innumerable; koöi-koöiçaù — millions upon millions.

Countless millions of Yädavas waited, absorbed in talk


about Kåñëa, their minds and eyes anxiously focused on
the path from Kåñëa’s inner palace.

C OMMENTARY: Just as anyone who feels at ease talks about what


is on his mind, the Yädavas naturally discussed Kåñëa — the pas-
times He had performed on various occasions and also the busi-
ness at hand with Him in the royal assembly. The Yädavas
had no inclination to talk or think about anything not involving
Kåñëa.
The dynasty of the Yädavas was so populous that Çukadeva
Gosvämé thought them practically uncountable:

yadu-vaàça-prasütänäà
puàsäà vikhyäta-karmaëäm
saìkhyä na çakyate kartum
api varña-çatair nåpa

tisraù koöyaù sahasräëäm


añöäçéti-çatäni ca
äsan yadu-kuläcäryäù
kumäräëäm iti çrutam

“The Yadu dynasty produced innumerable great men of famous


deeds. Even in hundreds of years, O king, one could never count
them all. I have heard from authoritative sources that the Yadu
family employed ,, teachers just to educate their chil-
dren.” (Bhägavatam ..‒)
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 487

Çréla Çrédhara Svämé explains that the number of teachers


cited by Çukadeva Gosvämé is a conservative estimate, obtained
from hearsay, but the number might be much higher. Since
teachers often take responsibility for dozens of students, the total
number of school-aged boys in the Yadu family is beyond esti-
mation, and they are only a fraction of the whole family.

TEXT 97
jaTva Ta& Yadvae_>YaeTYa DaavNTa" SaM>a]Maaku-l/a" )
oTQaaPYa Pa[Sa>a& Paa<aaE Da*Tva iNaNYau" Sa>aaNTarMa( ))

jïätvä taà yadavo ’bhyetya


dhävantaù sambhramäkuläù
utthäpya prasabhaà päëau
dhåtvä ninyuù sabhäntaram

jïätvä — discovering; tam — him (Närada); yadavaù — the


Yadus; abhyetya — coming forward; dhävantaù — running; sam-
bhrama — by respectful eagerness; äkuläù — agitated; utthäpya
— raised him; prasabham — quickly; päëau — his hands; dhåtvä
— taking; ninyuù — they led him; sabhä — the assembly hall;
antaram — inside.

As soon as the Yadus learned that Närada had arrived, they


came running out in a flurry. They quickly raised him
from the ground, took him by his hands, and led him into
the assembly hall.

TEXT 98
MahaidVYaaSaNae dtae_NauPaiví& TaidC^Yaa )
>aUMaavevaePaveXYaaMau& PairTa" SvYaMaaSaTa ))

mahä-divyäsane datte
’nupaviñöaà tad-icchayä
488 / CHAPTER FIVE

bhümäv evopaveçyämuà
paritaù svayam äsata

mahä — large; divya — heavenly; äsane — on a seat; datte —


offered; anupaviñöam — not sitting; tat — his (Närada’s); icchayä
— by the desire; bhümau — on the ground; eva — only; upa-
veçya — seating; amum — him; paritaù — surrounding; svayam
— themselves; äsata — sat.

They offered him a large heavenly seat, but he refused to


sit on it. Yielding to his desire, they gave him a place to sit
on the ground, and they all sat down around him.

TEXT 99

devizRPa[vrae_Maqi>a" PaUJaad]VYa& SaMaaôTaMa( )


NaTva SaaÅil/åTQaaYa ivNaqTaae Mauhurah TaaNa( ))

devarñi-pravaro ’mébhiù
püjä-dravyaà samähåtam
natvä säïjalir utthäya
vinéto muhur äha tän

deva-åñi — of sages among the demigods; pravaraù — the chief;


amébhiù — by them; püjä — for worship; dravyam — the para-
phernalia; samähåtam — brought forward; natvä — bowing; sa-
aïjaliù — with folded hands; utthäya — standing up; vinétaù —
humbly; muhuù — at some length; äha — he spoke; tän — to
them.

When they brought paraphernalia for worship, the chief


sage among the gods bowed his head to it with folded
hands. He then stood up and humbly spoke to them at
length.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 489

TEXT 100
é[qNaard ovac
>aae" k*-Z<aPaadaBJaMahaNauk-iMPaTaa
l/aek-aetara MaaMaDauNaa dYaßMa( )
YauZMaak-MaevaivrTa& YaQaah&
k==IiTa| Pa[GaaYaNa( JaGaiTa >a]MaeYaMa( ))

çré-närada uväca
bhoù kåñëa-pädäbja-mahänukampitä
lokottarä mäm adhunä dayadhvam
yuñmäkam evävirataà yathähaà
kértià pragäyan jagati bhrameyam

çré-näradaù uväca — Çré Närada said; bhoù — O; kåñëa-päda-


abja — of Kåñëa’s lotus feet; mahä-anukampitäù — greatest re-
cipients; loka-uttaräù — O you who transcend the material world;
mäm — to me; adhunä — today; dayadhvam — please be mer-
ciful; yuñmäkam — your; eva — indeed; aviratam — incessantly;
yathä — so that; aham — I; kértim — the glories; pragäyan —
singing constantly; jagati — throughout the universe; bhrameyam
— may wander.

Çré Närada said: O greatest receivers of the mercy of Kåñëa’s


lotus feet, you are all transcendental persons. Today please
be merciful to me. Please bless me that I may wander
always throughout the universe, constantly singing your
glories.

C OMMENTARY: Närada would rather not waste time glorifying


anyone but the Yädavas.

TEXT 101
Ahae Al&/ ëagYaTaMa& Yadae" ku-l&/
ck-aiSTa vEku-<#=iNavaiSaTaae_iPa YaTa( )
490 / CHAPTER FIVE

MaNauZYal/aek-ae YadNauGa]hadYa&
ivl/&gYa vEku-<#=MaTaqv raJaTae ))

aho alaà çläghya-tamaà yadoù kulaà


cakästi vaikuëöha-niväsito ’pi yat
manuñya-loko yad-anugrahäd ayaà
vilaìghya vaikuëöham atéva räjate

aho — oh; alam — indeed; çläghya-tamam — most praisewor-


thy; yadoù — of the Yadus; kulam — the family; cakästi — they
are radiant; vaikuëöha-niväsitaù — than the residents of Vai-
kuëöha; api — even; yat — in that; manuñya-lokaù — the human
race; yat — whose; anugrahät — by the grace; ayam — this;
vilaìghya — surpassing; vaikuëöham — Vaikuëöha; atéva — ex-
tremely; räjate — is glorious.

Indeed, this family of the Yadus is most praiseworthy! You


are more radiant than the residents of Vaikuëöha! By your
grace this world of men has surpassed Vaikuëöha and at-
tained supreme glory.

C OMMENTARY: In Vaikuëöha the Personality of Godhead has


many splendid associates, whose character and opulence are
universally praiseworthy and attractive. Närada is surprised to
see that the earthly inhabitants of Dvärakä are still more exalted
than Garuòa and other Vaikuëöha associates. The Yädavas have
mercifully spread pure devotional service to Kåñëa throughout
Martyaloka, the world of short-lived human beings. Thus they
have made this mortal realm more splendorous than Vaikuëöha.
The devotees of Vaikuëöha are certainly favored by the Supreme
Lord, but not as much as the devotees of Dvärakä.

TEXT 102
v*taa Dairi}a >avTaq Saf-l/Pa[YaaSaa
YaSYaa& JaNauvRSaiTa" ke-il/cYa" ik-lE/zaMa( )
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 491

Yaeza& MahahirrYa& iNavSaNa( Ga*hezu


ku-}aaiPa PaUvRMak*-TaE rMaTae ivharE" ))

våttä dharitri bhavaté saphala-prayäsä


yasyäà janur vasatiù keli-cayaù kilaiñäm
yeñäà mahä-harir ayaà nivasan gåheñu
kuträpi pürvam akåtai ramate vihäraiù

våttä — well-situated; dharitri — O earth; bhavaté — being; sa-


phala — fruitful; prayäsä — whose endeavor; yasyäm — upon
whom; januù — the birth; vasatiù — residence; keli — of pas-
times; cayaù — abundance; kila — indeed; eñäm — of them (the
Yädavas); yeñäm — whose; mahä-hariù — Lord Hari; ayam —
this; nivasan — dwelling; gåheñu — in the homes; kutra api —
anywhere; pürvam — previously; akåtaiù — never performed;
ramate — He enjoys; vihäraiù — with pastimes.

Most fortunate Mother Earth, by your fruitful endeavors


these Yadus have manifest upon your surface their birth,
residence, and pleasing acts. The Supreme Lord Hari re-
sides in their homes and enjoys with them unprecedented
transcendental pastimes.

C OMMENTARY: Närada’s shifting moods of ecstasy lead him mo-


mentarily to stop addressing the Yädavas and turn instead to the
planet earth, upon whom Çré Dvärakä-dhäma has descended.
The presiding goddess of the earth is certainly familiar with the
léläs of Lord Näräyaëa in Vaikuëöha and the léläs of His various
avatäras. She has witnessed many of these pastimes, and from
the Puräëas she knows others. But what she sees now in the
sacred district of Dvärakä is altogether unprecedented: the Lord
of the spiritual and material universes consorting with His ser-
vants as their intimate relative.

TEXTS 103–105
Yaeza& dXaRNaSaM>aazaSPaXaaRNauGaMaNaaSaNaE" )
>aaeJaNaaeÜahXaYaNaESTaQaaNYaEdŒ=ihkE-d*R!E" ))
492 / CHAPTER FIVE

duX^edE" Pa[eMaSaMbNDaEraTMaSaMbNDaTaae_iDakE==" )
bÖ" SvGaaRPavGaeRC^a& i^tva >ai¢&- ivvDaRYaNa( ))

k*-Z<aae ivSMa*TavEku==<#=ae ivl/aSaE" SvErNau+a<aMa( )


Nav& NavMaiNavaRCYa& ivTaNaaeiTa Sau%& MahTa( ))

yeñäà darçana-sambhäñä-
sparçänugamanäsanaiù
bhojanodväha-çayanais
tathänyair daihikair dåòhaiù

duçchedaiù prema-sambandhair
ätma-sambandhato ’dhikaiù
baddhaù svargäpavargecchäà
chittvä bhaktià vivardhayan

kåñëo vismåta-vaikuëöho
viläsaiù svair anu-kñaëam
navaà navam anirväcyaà
vitanoti sukhaà mahat

yeñäm — of whom; darçana — by the seeing; sambhäñä — talk-


ing; sparça — touching; anugamana — walking behind; äsa-
naiù — and sitting; bhojana — by eating; udväha — marriages;
çayanaiù — and sleeping; tathä — also; anyaiù — by other;
daihikaiù — bodily activities; dåòhaiù — firm; duçchedaiù —
unbreakable; prema-sambandhaiù — by loving relationships;
ätma-sambandhataù — than meditational relationships in the
heart; adhikaiù — which are greater; baddhaù — bound; svarga
— for heaven; apavarga — and liberation; icchäm — the de-
sires; chittvä — severing; bhaktim — devotion; vivardhayan —
increasing; kåñëaù — Kåñëa; vismåta — who has forgotten; vai-
kuëöhaù — Vaikuëöha; viläsaiù — by the pastimes; svaiù — His
own; anu-kñaëam — at every moment; navam navam — ever-
fresh; anirväcyam — indescribable; vitanoti — He spreads; su-
kham —pleasure; mahat — great.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 493

Kåñëa has now forgotten Vaikuëöha, for He is bound by


intense, unbreakable loving exchanges with these Yadus.
He sees the Yadus, touches them, talks with them, sits with
them. He eats and sleeps with them, follows them when
they walk, takes part in their marriage ceremonies, and
shares in their other activities of embodied life. These rela-
tions are more tangible than the yogés’ union with Him in
meditation. Thus, by His pastimes Kåñëa spreads among
the Yadus infinite pleasure, ever fresh and indescribable,
destroying any desire they might have for heaven or lib-
eration, and increasing more and more their devotion
to Him.

C OMMENTARY: Çré Kåñëa descended to earth not only for His


own enjoyment but also to give pleasure to His devotees. Some
of the Yadus might once have harbored desires to attain the
higher celestial worlds and associate with Kåñëa there. Some of
the Yadus, in fact, had descended from the planets of the demi-
gods, so in their human pastimes they might naturally have felt
an urge to return to heaven. But after they lived for some time
with Kåñëa in Dvärakä such unsuitable desires in their hearts
dissolved. The Yadus lost every trace of interest in liberation
from the cycle of saàsära, because they wanted never to be
deprived of the opportunity to take birth again and again in the
company of Kåñëa.
The Yadus’ meditation on Kåñëa is much more strongly fo-
cused than the dhäraëä and samädhi of yogés. Whereas imper-
sonal meditators fall prey to various distractions even in their
so-called perfection of samädhi, Kåñëa’s devotees in Dvärakä, in
their kåñëa-samädhi, cannot be shaken in any way, at any time,
by anyone or anything. Nothing can distract their meditation,
because at every moment they experience the incomparable
happiness of Kåñëa consciousness.
To achieve limited versions of spiritual perfection, with
dimensions of happiness that are monotonous and meager
compared to pure devotional service, conditioned souls must
undergo disciplines like the eightfold yoga process. The Yadus,
494 / CHAPTER FIVE

however, have purely spiritual bodies and therefore have no


need to submit their bodies and minds to yoga discipline. They
are eternal friends of Yogeçvara, the master of all yoga. Instead
of struggling to cultivate some inward meditation, in the com-
pany of Kåñëa they effortlessly enjoy in various ways with all
their senses. As recorded in Çrémad-Bhägavatam (..‒),
King Yudhiñöhira tells the Yädavas:

yad-viçrutiù çruti-nutedam alaà punäti


pädävanejana-payaç ca vacaç ca çästram
bhüù käla-bharjita-bhagäpi yad-aìghri-padma-
sparçottha-çaktir abhivarñati no ’khilärthän

tad-darçana-sparçanänupatha-prajalpa-
çayyäsanäçana-sayauna-sapiëòa-bandhaù
yeñäà gåhe niraya-vartmani vartatäà vaù
svargäpavarga-viramaù svayam äsa viñëuù

“The water that has washed His feet, the words He speaks in the
form of the revealed scriptures, and His fame, as broadcast by
the Vedas — these thoroughly purify this universe. Although the
earth’s good fortune was ravaged by time, the touch of His lotus
feet has revitalized her, and thus she is raining down on us the
fulfillment of all our desires. The same Lord Viñëu who makes
one forget the goals of heaven and liberation has now entered
into marital and blood relationships with you, who otherwise
travel on the hellish path of family life. Indeed, in these relation-
ships you see and touch Him directly, walk beside Him, con-
verse with Him, and together with Him sit at ease, lie down to
rest, and take your meals.”
In these two verses, spoken during the meeting of Kåñëa’s
devotees at Kurukñetra, Mahäräja Yudhiñöhira congratulates the
Yädavas for the supreme fortune of their intimacy with Kåñëa.
The water that has washed Kåñëa’s feet, in the form of the river
Gaìgä, purifies the whole universe of its sins. His instructions, in
the form of the Vedas, educate human society to the standard of
natural spiritual life, free from illusion. But despite His constant
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 495

presence in these two forms, in course of time the earth picks


up, from the creatures she supports, more sinful contamination
than she can bear. Her glory then becomes a mere shadow of
what it was. To deliver the earth from misfortune, therefore, Kåñëa
appears in the Yadu dynasty. Just by the touch of His lotus feet
she regains her former strength and can once again shower the
Lord’s devotees with the fulfillment of their needs and desires.
The Yadus especially are so satisfied living on the earth with Kåñëa
that they entirely forget about heaven and liberation. They prefer
to stay entangled in their relations with Him through marriage
(sa-yauna) and birth (sa-piëòa).

TEXT 106
XaYYaaSaNaa$=Naal/aPa§==I@aòaNaaXaNaaidzu )
vTaRMaaNaa AiPa SvaNa( Yae k*-Z<aPa[eM<aa SMariNTa Na ))

çayyäsanäöanäläpa-
kréòä-snänäçanädiñu
vartamänä api svän ye
kåñëa-premëä smaranti na

çayyä — in sleeping; äsana — sitting; aöana — walking; äläpa


— speaking; kréòä — playing; snäna — bathing; açana — eat-
ing; ädiñu — and other activities; vartamänäù — being engaged;
api — although; svän — their own (possessions and families);
ye — who; kåñëa-premëä — because of their pure love for Kåñëa;
smaranti na — do not remember.

While eating, sleeping, sitting, walking, speaking, bathing,


enjoying diversions, the Yadus are so absorbed in pure
love for Kåñëa that they even forget their own families and
possessions.

C OMMENTARY: Love for Kåñëa is a deep ocean, in which His pure


devotees dive to their hearts’ content. Thus fully immersed in
Kåñëa consciousness, the Yadus were oblivious of their material
496 / CHAPTER FIVE

assets, including their families and their own bodies. All the riches
in this world could not divert their attention.
This statement by Närada parallels Çukadeva’s words at the
end of the Tenth Canto of the Bhägavatam (..):

çayyäsanäöanäläpa-
kréòä-snänäçanädiñu
na viduù santam ätmänaà
våñëayaù kåñëa-cetasaù

“The Våñëis were so absorbed in Kåñëa consciousness that while


sleeping, sitting, walking, conversing, playing, bathing, eating,
and so on they forgot their own bodies.” Thus Kåñëa once told
His wife Satyä:

ete hi yädaväù sarve


mad-gaëä eva bhämini
sarvadä mat-priyä devi
mat-tulya-guëa-çälinaù

“Dear willful goddess, every one of these Yädavas is My eternal


associate. They are always dear to Me, and their virtues are equal
to My own.”

TEXT 107
MaharaJaaiDaraJaaYaMauGa]SaeNa MahaÙuTa" )
MahaSaaE>aaGYaMaihMaa >avTa" ke-Na v<YaRTaaMa( ))

mahä-räjädhiräjäyam
ugrasena mahädbhutaù
mahä-saubhägya-mahimä
bhavataù kena varëyatäm

mahä-räja — of great kings; adhiräja — O sovereign king; ayam


— this; ugrasena — O Ugrasena; mahä-adbhutaù — most as-
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 497

tonishing; mahä-saubhägya — of the great fortune; mahimä —


the glory; bhavataù — your; kena — by whom; varëyatäm —
can be described.

O Ugrasena, king of exalted kings! Who can describe the


extent of your astonishing great fortune?

C OMMENTARY: Many other kings, including Yudhiñöhira, are sub-


ordinate to Mahäräja Ugrasena. The special favor Kåñëa has shown
him is visible to all but cannot be adequately described.

TEXT 108
Ahae MahaêYaRTar& cMaTk-ar>arak-rMa( )
PaXYa iPa[YaJaNaPa[qiTaPaarvXYa& Mahahre" ))

aho mahäçcaryataraà
camatkära-bharäkaram
paçya priya-jana-préti-
pära-vaçyaà mahä-hareù

aho — oh; mahä-äçcarya-taram — most completely amazing;


camatkära — of wonderment; bhara — of an excess; äkaram
— the mine; paçya — just see; priya-jana — of dear devotees;
préti — to the love; pära-vaçyam — the subservience; mahä-
hareù — of the Supreme Lord Hari.

Oh, just see the utterly amazing, infinitely wonderful ways


in which the Supreme Lord Hari submits to the love of His
dear devotees!

C OMMENTARY: Kåñëa’s mercy is the äkara, or birthplace, of ev-


erything wondrously appreciable. His selfless concern for His
devotees is always astonishing, especially when He willingly
submits to their control.
498 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 109
YaduraJa >avNTa& Sa iNaz<<a& ParMaaSaNae )
AGa]e Saevk-vitaïNa( SaMbaeDaYaiTa SaadrMa( ))

yadu-räja bhavantaà sa
niñaëëaà paramäsane
agre sevaka-vat tiñöhan
sambodhayati sädaram

yadu-räja — O king of the Yadus; bhavantam — you; saù —


He; niñaëëam — sitting; parama-äsane — on your great throne;
agre — in front; sevaka-vat — like a servant; tiñöhan — standing;
sambodhayati — addresses; sa-ädaram — with reverence.

O king of the Yadus, as you sit on your great throne, that


same Hari stands before you like a servant and addresses
you with reverence.

TEXT 110
>aae iNaDaarYa deveiTa >a*TYa& MaaMaaidXaeiTa c )
TaÙvÙyae NaMaae_>aq+<a& >avTSaMbiNDaNae NaMa" ))

bho nidhäraya deveti


bhåtyaà mäm ädiçeti ca
tad bhavadbhyo namo ’bhékñëaà
bhavat-sambandhine namaù

bhoù — O; nidhäraya — please consider; deva — My lord; iti —


thus saying; bhåtyam — your servant; mäm — Me; ädiça — please
order; iti — thus; ca — and; tat — therefore; bhavadbhyaù — to
you; namaù — obeisances; abhékñëam — constantly; bhavat —
your; sambandhine — to the relatives; namaù — obeisances.

He says, “My lord, please consider... Please order Me, your


servant.” I therefore offer constant obeisances to you and
to all your relatives.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 499

C OMMENTARY: The word bhåtya means “servant” in two senses:


“order carrier” and “maintained dependent.” Kåñëa played both
roles in relation to His great-grandfather Ugrasena. On one occa-
sion Kåñëa told him:

mayi bhåtya upäséne


bhavato vibudhädayaù
balià haranty avanatäù
kim utänye narädhipäù

“Since I am present in your entourage as your personal atten-


dant, all the demigods and other exalted personalities will come
with heads bowed to offer you tribute. What, then, to speak of
the rulers of men?” (Bhägavatam ..) Uddhava also told
Vidura:

tat tasya kaiìkaryam alaà bhåtän no


vigläpayaty aìga yad ugrasenam
tiñöhan niñaëëaà parameñöhi-dhiñëye
nyabodhayad deva nidhärayeti

“Kåñëa used to stand before King Ugrasena, who was sitting on


the royal throne, and submit explanations before him, saying,
‘O My lord, please let it be known to you.’ Does it not pain
us, Kåñëa’s servitors, when we remember this?” (Bhägavatam
..)
Närada concludes that of all the Vaiñëavas he has visited thus
far, Ugrasena is the greatest. Närada offers homage to him and to
everyone who has any relationship with him.

TEXT 111
é[qParqi+aduvac
TaTaae b]ø<YadevaNauviTaRNaae Yadvae_i%l/a" )
SaPaadGa]h<a& NaTva MaaTaæcuMaRhaMauiNaMa( ))
500 / CHAPTER FIVE

çré-parékñid uväca
tato brahmaëya-devänu-
vartino yadavo ’khiläù
sa-päda-grahaëaà natvä
mätar ücur mahä-munim

çré-parékñit uväca — Çré Parékñit said; tataù — then; brahmaëya-


deva — of the Supreme Lord, who favors the brähmaëas; anu-
vartinaù — followers; yadavaù — the Yädavas; akhiläù — all;
sa — with; päda-grahaëam — touching of His feet; natvä —
bowing; mätaù — O mother; ücuù — they said; mahä-munim
— to the great sage.

Çré Parékñit said: The Yädavas were all faithful followers of


the Supreme Lord, the Lord who favors the brähmaëas.
Dear mother, those Yädavas then bowed down together
to the great sage, touched his feet, and spoke to him as
follows.

TEXT 112
é[qYaadva Ocu"
é[qk*-Z<aSYaaiPa PaUJYaSTvMaSMadqYaMahaPa[>aae" )
k-QaMaSMaaNa( MahaNaqcaNa( NaqcvNa( NaMaiSa Pa[>aae ))

çré-yädavä ücuù
çré-kåñëasyäpi püjyas tvam
asmadéya-mahä-prabhoù
katham asmän mahä-nécän
néca-van namasi prabho

çré-yädaväù ücuù — the fortunate Yadus said; çré-kåñëasya —


by Çré Kåñëa; api — even; püjyaù — worshipable; tvam — you;
asmadéya — of persons like us; mahä-prabhoù — who is the su-
preme master; katham — why; asmän — to us; mahä-nécän —
most lowly; néca-vat — like a lowly person; namasi — you are
offering respects; prabho — O venerable one.
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 501

The fortunate Yädavas said: Even our supreme master, Çré


Kåñëa, worships you. Why then, O venerable sage, are you
acting like a lowly person by offering respects to us, the
most lowly?

TEXT 113
iJaTavaKPaiTaNaEPau<Ya Yaidd& NaSTvYaaeidTaMa( )
TadSaM>aaivTa& Na SYaaÛadveNd]Pa[>aavTa" ))

jita-väk-pati-naipuëya
yad idaà nas tvayoditam
tad asambhävitaà na syäd
yädavendra-prabhävataù

jita — who has defeated; väk-pati — the master of all speech,


Brahmä; naipuëya — the expertise; yat — what; idam — this;
naù — to us; tvayä — by you; uditam — spoken; tat — that;
asambhävitam — impossible; na — not; syät — can be; yädava-
indra — of the Lord of the Yadus; prabhävataù — by the power.

You can defeat the wit of even Brahmä, the master of


speech. And so, by the power of our Lord Yädavendra,
what you have said to us cannot be untrue.

C OMMENTARY: On one hand, the Yädavas listening to Närada


are inclined to discount Närada’s description of themselves as
exaggerated flattery. Thus they call Närada the most expert word
juggler. On the other hand, when Kåñëa is personally involved,
anything is possible. They are His family members, and Närada
is one of His eternal Vaikuëöha associates. So they are forced to
accept Närada’s statements as true.

TEXT 114
TaSYa ke-NaaiPa GaNDaeNa ik&- va k-SYa Na iSaDYaiTa )
MahadYaak-rae Yaae_Ya& iNaåPaaiDaSauôtaMa" ))
502 / CHAPTER FIVE

tasya kenäpi gandhena


kià vä kasya na sidhyati
mahä-dayäkaro yo ’yaà
nirupädhi-suhåttamaù

tasya — of Him; kena api — by any; gandhena — fragrance;


kim — what; vä — or; kasya — by whom; na sidhyati — is not
achieved; mahä — great; dayä — of mercy; äkaraù — reservoir;
yaù — who; ayam — He; nirupädhi — unconditional; suhåt-
tamaù — best friend.

If one has even a slight trace of a touch with Kåñëa, is there


anything one cannot achieve? Kåñëa is a boundless reser-
voir of mercy and one’s unconditional best friend.

C OMMENTARY: True compassion originates in Kåñëa; or in other


words, only Kåñëa’s pure devotees can be truly compassionate.
The special quality in true compassion is that it is unconditional.
Kåñëa and the devotees who convey mercy on His behalf never
expect any reciprocal favors. They freely distribute mercy to any-
one who will take it. This is the meaning of the words nirupädhi
and ahaituka, often seen in descriptions of Kåñëa’s mercy.

TEXT 115
MahaMaihMaPaaQaaeiDa" SMa*TaMaa}aae_i%l/aQaRd" )
dqNaNaaQaEk-Xar<a& hqNaaQaaRiDak-SaaDak-" ))

mahä-mahima-päthodhiù
småta-mätro ’khilärtha-daù
déna-näthaika-çaraëaà
hénärthädhika-sädhakaù

mahä-mahima — of extreme greatness; päthaù-dhiù — the


ocean; småta — remembered; mätraù — merely; akhila — all;
artha — ambitions; daù — who grants; déna-nätha — the mas-
ter of the most fallen; eka-çaraëam — and the only shelter;
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 503

héna-artha — for those who are deprived of possessions;


artha — wealth; adhika — more than enough; sädhakaù — who
provides.

He is the ocean of all greatness. Simply remembering Him


assures all success. He is the master and only shelter of the
most fallen, the provider of everything desirable to those
who have nothing to possess.

C OMMENTARY: Kåñëa is not satisfied with merely fulfilling the


ambitions of His devotees; He likes to bestow on His devotees
more than they ever desire. Intelligent persons should take shel-
ter of this great quality of His, which is like a vast ocean, deep
and certain. Kåñëa’s mercy need not take long to achieve, and it
pays little regard to the qualifications of those who receive it. As
Närada says here, as soon as one remembers Kåñëa one’s success
is guaranteed, regardless of the purpose of one’s endeavor. Even
if one’s intentions are off target, when one becomes absorbed in
remembering Kåñëa, Kåñëa reciprocates by helping one adjust
those intentions.
In particular, those who have no other shelter can be assured
of Kåñëa’s protection. Helpless persons hoping against hope to
be able to surrender to Kåñëa can be confident of receiving
His mercy even if they have no pious credits, philosophical
knowledge, or devotional accomplishments. Considering this, the
Yädavas present themselves as most fallen and unqualified and
thus quite fit to be favored by Kåñëa. “But so many other fallen
souls can equally gain Kåñëa’s favor,” the Yädavas further tell
Närada. “Our position is nothing unique. Your singling us out for
praise is just clever word jugglery.”

TEXT 116
ik-NTvSMaaSaUÖv" é[qMaaNa( ParMaaNauGa]haSPadMa( )
YaadveNd]SYa Yaae MaN}aq iXaZYaae >a*TYa" iPa[Yaae MahaNa( ))
504 / CHAPTER FIVE

kintv asmäsüddhavaù çrémän


paramänugrahäspadam
yädavendrasya yo mantré
çiñyo bhåtyaù priyo mahän

kintu — but; asmäsu — among us; uddhavaù — Uddhava; çrémän


— blessed; parama — greatest; anugraha — of mercy; äspa-
dam — the recipient; yädava-indrasya — of Kåñëa; yaù —who;
mantré — adviser; çiñyaù — disciple; bhåtyaù — servant; priyaù
— dear; mahän — great.

But among us, blessed Uddhava has received Kåñëa’s great-


est mercy. That exalted soul is Lord Yädavendra’s adviser,
His disciple, His servant, and His extremely dear friend.

C OMMENTARY: Out of respect for Närada, the Yädavas feel


obliged to put aside their doubts and accept his words as true.
Ultimately they cannot deny their own glories, because those
glories are all inseparably related to Kåñëa. All the Yädavas can
do is try to minimize those glories by presenting the greater
glories of a better devotee, Çrémän Uddhava. When the Yädava
princes sit in the royal assembly of Dvärakä, they are accus-
tomed to deliberating with Kåñëa on various important matters of
state. But none of the Yädavas can consider himself as valuable
an adviser as Uddhava.

TEXT 117
ASMaaNa( ivhaYa ku-}aaiPa Yaa}aa& Sa ku-åTae Pa[>au" )
Na ih TaÕu"%MaSMaak&- d*íe TviSMaàPav]JaeTa( ))

asmän vihäya kuträpi


yäträà sa kurute prabhuù
na hi tad-duùkham asmäkaà
dåñöe tv asminn apavrajet

asmän — us; vihäya — abandoning; kutra api — somewhere;


yäträm — a trip; saù — He; kurute — makes; prabhuù — the
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 505

Lord; na — not; hi — certainly; tat — that; duùkham — distress;


asmäkam — our; dåñöe — being seen; tu — even; asmin — He;
apavrajet — does it go away.

Sometimes the Lord abandons us to go on a journey. This


gives us such distress that even when we see Him again the
pain does not go away.

TEXT 118
Na JaaNaqMa" k-da ku-}a PauNarez v]JaeidiTa )
oÖvae iNaTYaMa>Ya<aeR iNavSaNa( SaevTae Pa[>auMa( ))

na jänémaù kadä kutra


punar eña vrajed iti
uddhavo nityam abhyarëe
nivasan sevate prabhum

na jänémaù — we do not know; kadä — when; kutra — where;


punaù — again; eñaù — He; vrajet — might go; iti — thus; ud-
dhavaù — Uddhava; nityam — always; abhyarëe — by His side;
nivasan — residing; sevate — serves; prabhum — his master.

We cannot be sure when He might go somewhere else. But


Uddhava is always by His side, serving Lord Kåñëa, his
master, and residing with Him.

TEXT 119
SvGaMYa Wv ivzYae Pa[ezYaeÙGavaNaMauMa( )
k-aErvav*TaSaaMbqYaMaaecNaaidk*==Tae KvicTa( ))

sva-gamya eva viñaye


preñayed bhagavän amum
kauravävåta-sämbéya-
mocanädi-kåte kvacit
506 / CHAPTER FIVE

sva-gamye — for which He Himself should go; eva — indeed;


viñaye — on a matter; preñayet — may send; bhagavän — the
Personality of Godhead; amum — him (Uddhava); kaurava —
by the Kauravas; ävåta — captured; sämbéya — of Sämba; mo-
cana — of the releasing; ädi — and so on; kåte — for the sake;
kvacit — sometimes.

Sometimes the Lord, the Personality of Godhead, sends


Uddhava on missions on which the Lord Himself should
go. For example, the Lord sent him to gain the release of
Sämba, whom the Kauravas had taken captive.

C OMMENTARY: Kåñëa sent Uddhava on various missions — to


Gokula, to Hastinäpura, and elsewhere. When Sämba, Kåñëa’s
son, tried to elope with Duryodhana’s daughter, the Kaurava
army, headed by Bhéñma and Duryodhana, captured Sämba, and
Uddhava was instrumental in arranging Sämba’s release. Närada
avoids mentioning the journey to Vraja that Uddhava undertook
for Kåñëa, because it is too confidential to discuss in the open
assembly at Dvärakä. Uddhava enjoyed Kåñëa’s association con-
stantly, but when sent out to either rescue or console the Lord’s
dear devotees, Uddhava felt more satisfaction than by staying
with Kåñëa.

TEXT 120
YaiSTaïNa( >aaeJaNa§==I@ak-aETauk-avSare hre" )
MahaPa[SaadMauiC^í& l/>aTae iNaTYaMaek-l/" ))

yas tiñöhan bhojana-kréòä-


kautukävasare hareù
mahä-prasädam ucchiñöaà
labhate nityam ekalaù

yaù — who; tiñöhan — being present; bhojana — of eating; kréòä


— of the sport; kautuka — for the enjoyment; avasare — on
the occasions; hareù — of Lord Kåñëa; mahä-prasädam — the
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 507

mahä-prasäda; ucchiñöam — remnants; labhate — he obtains;


nityam — always; ekalaù — the only person.

Uddhava stays alone with Kåñëa when the Lord playfully


enjoys His meals. So he is the only person who can always
obtain the Lord’s mahä-prasäda remnants.

TEXT 121
PaadarivNdÜNÜ& Ya" Pa[>aae" Sa&vahYaNa( Mauda )
TaTaae iNad]aSau%aiví" XaeTae Svaªe iNaDaaYa TaTa( ))

pädäravinda-dvandvaà yaù
prabhoù saàvähayan mudä
tato nidrä-sukhäviñöaù
çete sväìke nidhäya tat

päda-aravinda — of lotus feet; dvandvam — the pair; yaù —


who; prabhoù — of his master; saàvähayan — massaging; mudä
— with great pleasure; tataù — then; nidrä — of sleep; sukha —
the pleasure; äviñöaù — entering; çete — he lies down; sva-aìke
— on his own lap; nidhäya — placing; tat — them.

With great pleasure Uddhava massages his master’s lotus


feet and then happily falls asleep with the Lord’s feet on
his lap.

TEXT 122
rh"§==I@aYaa& c KvicdiPa Sa Sa®e >aGavTa"
Pa[YaaTYa}aaMaaTYa" Pairzid MahaMaN}aMai<ai>a" )
ivic}aENaRMaaŒgaEriPa hirk*-TaëagaNa>arEr(
MaNaaejE" SavaRNa( Na" Sau%YaiTa vraNa( Pa[aPaYaiTa c ))

rahaù-kréòäyäà ca kvacid api sa saìge bhagavataù


prayäty aträmätyaù pariñadi mahä-mantra-maëibhiù
508 / CHAPTER FIVE

vicitrair narmaughair api hari-kåta-çläghana-bharair


manojïaiù sarvän naù sukhayati varän präpayati ca

rahaù-kréòäyäm — in confidential pleasures; ca — and; kvacit


— sometimes; api — also; saù — he (Uddhava); saìge — in the
company; bhagavataù — of the Lord; prayäti — he goes out;
atra — here; amätyaù — minister; pariñadi — in the assembly;
mahä — excellent; mantra — of advice; maëibhiù — by gems;
vicitraiù — wonderful; narma — of clever comments; oghaiù —
by floods; api — and; hari — by Çré Hari; kåta — made; çläghana
— of praise; bharaiù — by the heaps; manaù-jïaiù — charm-
ing; sarvän — all; naù — to us; sukhayati — he causes delight;
varän — benedictions; präpayati — he causes to be granted;
ca — and.

When the Lord goes out for confidential pleasures, Uddhava


sometimes goes with Him. And when Uddhava serves as
the Lord’s minister in this assembly hall, his precious gems
of advice and his flood of witty and charming comments
earn abundant praise from Çré Hari. They also delight all of
us and fulfill all our desires.

C OMMENTARY: When Kåñëa visited Kubjä, Uddhava accompa-


nied Him.

TEXT 123
ik&- TaSYa SaaE>aaGYaku-l&/ ih vaCYa&
vaTaul/Taa& Pa[aPa ik-l/aYaMaevMa( )
AaXaEXavaÛ" Pa[>auPaadPaÚ=‚
SaevarSaaivíTaYaaeCYaTae_jE" ))

kià tasya saubhägya-kulaà hi väcyaà


vätulatäà präpa kiläyam evam
ä-çaiçaväd yaù prabhu-päda-padma-
sevä-rasäviñöatayocyate ’jïaiù
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 509

kim — what; tasya — his; saubhägya — of the good fortune;


kulam — about the whole series; hi — indeed; väcyam — can
be said; vätulatäm — insanity; präpa — has developed; kila —
certainly; ayam — this person; evam — thus; ä-çaiçavät — since
childhood; yaù — who; prabhu — of his master; päda-padma
— the lotus feet; sevä-rasa — in the mood of serving; äviñöa-
tayä — by being absorbed; ucyate — he is called; ajïaiù — by
foolish people.

What can be said of his continuous good fortune? Since


childhood he has been so absorbed in the taste of serv-
ing his master’s lotus feet that foolish people call him a
madman.

C OMMENTARY: Vätula means “insane,” or, in more exact medical


terms, “suffering mentally from imbalance of the vital airs (vätas).”
When naive persons without spiritual discrimination observed
Uddhava in trance, oblivious of his surroundings, or saw him
babbling like someone haunted by a ghost, they would judge
him such a madman.

TEXT 124
Ahae Sada MaaDavPaadPaÚYaae"
Pa[Paital/aMPa$yMahtvMaÙuTaMa( )
whEv MaaNauZYavPauZYavaPa
SvæPaMauTSa*JYa hre" SvæPaTaaMa( ))

aho sadä mädhava-päda-padmayoù


prapatti-lämpaöya-mahattvam adbhutam
ihaiva mänuñya-vapuñy aväpa
svarüpam utsåjya hareù svarüpatäm

aho — oh; sadä — always; mädhava — of Lord Mädhava; päda-


padmayoù — at the lotus feet; prapatti — for surrender; lämpaöya
510 / CHAPTER FIVE

— of his wanton eagerness; mahattvam — the greatness; ad-


bhutam — amazing; iha — in this; eva — indeed; mänuñya —
human; vapuñi — body; aväpa — he assumed; svarüpam — close
resemblance; utsåjya — abandoning; hareù — to Çré Hari; sva-
rüpatäm — his own form.

Just see how amazing is his great eagerness to surrender


always at the lotus feet of Lord Mädhava! He has even for-
gone the normal bodily features of a human birth and in-
stead assumed a transcendental body closely resembling
that of Çré Hari.

C OMMENTARY: Born as a kñatriya in the middle of India,


Uddhava should have had a light complexion. Instead, by his
intense affinity for Kåñëa he was born with a body almost exactly
like Kåñëa’s.

TEXT 125
Pa[ÛuMNaad]MYaæPa" Pa[>audiYaTaTarae_PYaez k*-Z<aaePa>au¢E==r(
vNYaóKPaqTaPaÆa&Xauk-Mai<aMak-raeta&Saharaidi>aSTaE" )
NaePaQYaE>aURizTaae_SMaaNa( Sau%YaiTa SaTaTa& devk==INaNdNaSYa
>a]aNTYaa SaNdXaRNaeNa iPa[YaJaNaôdYaak-zR<aaeTk-zR>aaJaa ))

pradyumnäd ramya-rüpaù prabhu-dayitataro ’py eña kåñëopabhuktair


vanya-srak-péta-paööäàçuka-maëi-makarottaàsa-härädibhis taiù
nepathyair bhüñito ’smän sukhayati satataà devaké-nandanasya
bhräntyä sandarçanena priya-jana-hådayäkarñaëotkarña-bhäjä

pradyumnät — than Pradyumna; ramya — more attractive; rü-


paù — whose bodily form; prabhu — of his master; dayita-taraù
— the most dear; api — and; eñaù — he; kåñëa — by Kåñëa; upa-
bhuktaiù — enjoyed; vanya-srak — garlands made of forest flow-
ers; péta — yellow; paööa-aàçuka — with silk garments; maëi —
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 511

jewels; makara-uttaàsa — makara-shaped earrings; hära —


necklaces; ädibhiù — and so on; taiù — by these; nepathyaiù —
items of dress; bhüñitaù — decorated; asmän — us; sukhayati
— he delights; satatam — constantly; devaké-nandanasya —with
the darling son of Devaké; bhräntyä — because of confusion;
sandarçanena — by being seen; priya-jana — of the dear devo-
tees; hådaya — the hearts; äkarñaëa — in attracting; utkarña —
excellence; bhäjä — which manifests.

Uddhava’s body is more beautiful than even Çré Pra-


dyumna’s, and Uddhava is even more dear to Kåñëa than
Pradyumna is to Kåñëa. When bedecked with jewels, pearl
necklaces, yellow silk dress, forest-flower garlands, makara-
shaped earrings, and other ornaments, Uddhava delights
us, and we mistake him for the son of Devaké Himself.
No one attracts the hearts of Kåñëa’s devotees more than
Uddhava.

C OMMENTARY: Seeing Uddhava arrayed like Kåñëa was a source


of delight for the Yädavas, especially when Kåñëa was absent
from Dvärakä and they needed relief from their pain of separa-
tion. Among the prasäda ornaments Uddhava would receive
from Kåñëa, the vanya-srak was a garland strung from wild forest
flowers, often long enough to touch the wearer’s feet. The jewels
Kåñëa gave Uddhava included His own Kaustubha, which in
Vaikuëöha no one but Lord Näräyaëa ever wears. The word ädi
(“and so on”) implies Kåñëa’s sandalwood paste, headdresses,
and other ornaments.
Bhräntyä means “by mistake.” When the Yädavas saw
Uddhava from a distance, they often thought he was Kåñëa. And
even after they realized their mistake, the sight of Uddhava still
pleased them, since his exceptional beauty made them remem-
ber Kåñëa’s beauty. A second possible meaning of bhräntyä is
“moving about.” Uddhava was always passing here and there on
Kåñëa’s business, giving the Dvärakä residents many opportuni-
ties to see him.
512 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 126
é[qParqi+aduvac
MaaTairTYaaidk&- é[uTva MahaSaaE>aaGYaMautaMaMa( )
oÖvSYa MauiNaGaeRh& GaNTau& hzRPa[k-zRTa" ))

çré-parékñid uväca
mätar ity-ädikaà çrutvä
mahä-saubhägyam uttamam
uddhavasya munir gehaà
gantuà harña-prakarñataù

çré-parékñit uväca — Çré Parékñit said; mätaù — O mother; iti —


thus; ädikam — and more; çrutvä — hearing; mahä-saubhägyam
— the great fortune; uttamam — supreme; uddhavasya — of
Uddhava; muniù — the sage; geham — to the house; gantum —
to go; harña — of joy; prakarñataù — due to the excess.

Çré Parékñit said: Dear mother, after hearing these and


other exalted glories of Uddhava, Närada Muni, overjoyed,
became eager to go to Uddhava’s house.

TEXT 127
oTQaaYa TaSYa idG>aaGavTMaaRdaTau& SaMauÛTa" )
jaTvae¢-ae YaduraJaeNa ic}aPa[eMaivk-ar>aak( ))

utthäya tasya dig-bhäga-


vartmädätuà samudyataù
jïätvokto yadu-räjena
citra-prema-vikära-bhäk

utthäya — standing up; tasya — of him (Uddhava); dik-bhäga


— in the direction; vartma — the road; ädätum — to take; sa-
mudyataù — prepared; jïätvä — being noticed; uktaù — spo-
ken to; yadu-räjena — by the Yadu king (Ugrasena); citra —
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 513

various; prema-vikära — symptoms of ecstasy; bhäk — mani-


festing.

Showing various symptoms of ecstasy, Närada stood up,


ready to set off on in that direction. Noting this, King
Ugrasena spoke.

C OMMENTARY: The shifting ecstasies felt by Närada produced


various symptoms in his body — perspiration, trembling, and
standing of the hair on his limbs. He was obviously moved by
impulses of spontaneous love, so only transcendental arguments
could change his mind.

TEXT 128
é[qMaduGa]SaeNa ovac
>aGavàu¢-MaevaSaaE +a<aMaek-MaiPa KvicTa( )
NaaNYa}a iTaïTaqXaSYa k*-Z<aSYaadeXaTaae ivNaa ))

çrémad-ugrasena uväca
bhagavann uktam eväsau
kñaëam ekam api kvacit
nänyatra tiñöhatéçasya
kåñëasyädeçato vinä

çrémat-ugrasenaù uväca — Çrémän Ugrasena said; bhagavan —


O my lord; uktam — it is said; eva — indeed; asau — he (Ud-
dhava); kñaëam — moment; ekam — one; api — even; kvacit
— ever; na — not; anyatra — anywhere else; tiñöhati — does he
stand; éçasya — of his Lord; kåñëasya — Kåñëa; ädeçataù — the
order; vinä — without.

Çrémän Ugrasena told Närada: My lord, it is said that with-


out Kåñëa’s order Uddhava never leaves Lord Kåñëa’s pres-
ence even for a moment.
514 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 129
YaQaah& Pa[aQYaR TaTSa®iSQaiTa& NaaPanaeiMa k-ihRicTa( )
TaNMahal/a>aTaae hqNaae_SaTYaYaa raJYar+aYaa ))

yathähaà prärthya tat-saìga-


sthitià näpnomi karhicit
tan-mahä-läbhato héno
’satyayä räjya-rakñayä

yathä — as; aham — I; prärthya — requesting; tat — His; saìga


— in the company; sthitim — constant presence; na äpnomi —
do not obtain; karhicit — ever; tat — of that; mahä — greatest;
läbhataù — achievement; hénaù — deprived; asatyayä — de-
graded; räjya — the kingdom; rakñayä — because of the activity
of protecting.

In contrast, despite my begging to stay in Kåñëa’s com-


pany, I never obtain that blessing. I am deprived of that
achievement because of my degraded occupation of pro-
tecting the kingdom.

C OMMENTARY: By saying that Uddhava never leaves the Lord’s


presence, Ugrasena indirectly advised Närada not to look for
Uddhava at home. At the same time, he also made the point that
he, Ugrasena, was not at all as great as Närada said he was. At
the least, he was not as great as Uddhava, whom Kåñëa kept
always by His side. Ugrasena’s kingdom was indeed a gift from
Kåñëa, granted him after his son Kaàsa fell from the throne. But
the kingdom was a mixed blessing, a kingdom always in danger
of conquest by various enemies. To make Ugrasena accept the
throne, Kåñëa had resorted to duplicity: He had asked Ugrasena
to watch after Mathurä, because the kingdom needed to be
guarded against certain threats while the Lord traveled else-
where. In fact, however, no such threats existed.
We read in Çré Hari-vaàça (..‒, ‒) that during
Rukmiëé’s svayaàvara Lord Kåñëa told Ugrasena:
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 515

tiñöha tvaà nåpa-çärdüla


bhräträ me sahito nåpa
kñatriyä nikåta-prajïäù
çästra-niçcita-darçanäù

puréà çünyäm imäà véra


jaghanyä mäsma péòayan

“O tiger among kings, please stay here with My brother. There


are many warriors who externally follow the rules of scripture
but whose intelligence is perverted. When these kings find the
city vacant, with no ruler in place, they will attack it and impose
terror.”
Ugrasena replied:

tvayä vihénäù sarve sma


na çaktäù sukham äsitum
pure ’smin viñayänte ca
pati-hénä yathä striyaù

tvat-sanäthä vayaà täta


tvad-bähu-balam äçritäù
bibhémo na narendräëäà
sendräëäm api mäna-da

vijayäya yadu-çreñöha
yatra yatra gamiñyasi
tatra tvaà sahito ’smäbhir
gacchethä yädavarñabha

“Without Your presence none of us citizens can live peacefully in


this city or its outlying districts, just as women cannot live happily
without their husbands. Dear son, we all consider You our master.
We depend on the shelter of Your mighty arms. Therefore, O cre-
ator of our honor, we fear no earthly kings nor even Indra, king of
heaven. Wherever You go to find victory in battle, O first and best
of the Yadus, You should please take us with You.”
516 / CHAPTER FIVE

TEXT 130
AajaPaal/NaMaa}aEk-Saevadrk*==TaaeTSav" )
YaQaa c viÄTaae NaqTva iMaQYaaGaaErvYaN}a<aaMa( ))

äjïä-pälana-mätraika-
sevädara-kåtotsavaù
yathä ca vaïcito nétvä
mithyä-gaurava-yantraëäm

äjïä — of the orders; pälana — the carrying out; mätra —


merely; eka — only; sevä — His service; ädara — in honoring;
kåta — created; utsavaù — whose delight; yathä — as; ca —
and; vaïcitaù — cheated; nétvä — being led; mithyä — false;
gaurava — of honor; yantraëäm — to the torment.

I delight in only one real honor: being able to carry out


Kåñëa’s orders. But the false honor He shows me simply
torments me and leaves me feeling cheated.

C OMMENTARY: Ugrasena’s only happiness lies in receiving


Kåñëa’s command, but Kåñëa approaches Ugrasena as a subor-
dinate, praising him: “You are the noble king of the Yadus,
our grandfather, the pride of the Äryan race. Sitting on your
lion throne, please tell Us what service We should do for
you.” Receiving such respect from Kåñëa greatly embarrasses
Ugrasena.
In Çré Hari-vaàça, Kåñëa is described entering Dvärakä after
being anointed “king of kings.” Coming down from His chariot at
the city’s gate, Kåñëa saw Ugrasena standing to receive Him.
Kåñëa then told Ugrasena:

yan mayä sv-abhiñiktas tvaà


mathureço bhavän iti
na yuktam anyathä kartuà
mathurädhipate svayam
PRIYA: The BELOVED / 517

arghyam äcamanaà caiva


pädyaà cätha niveditam
na dätum arhase räjann
eña me manasaù priyaù

“Because I officially anointed you king of Mathurä, it is improper


for you to act in a contrary way. You should not present Me these
offerings of arghya, äcamana, and pädya waters, dear king.
That is My heartfelt wish.” (Hari-vaàça ..‒)
Ugrasena is pained by such statements, considering them
deceptive. To him they are proof that he is certainly not a fortu-
nate recipient of Kåñëa’s mercy.

TEXT 131
k*-Z<aeNa Na TaQaa k-iêduÖvê MahaSau%q )
TaTPaaìRSaevaSaaE>aaGYaaÜiÄTa" SYaaTk-daiPa Na ))

kåñëena na tathä kaçcid


uddhavaç ca mahä-sukhé
tat-pärçva-sevä-saubhägyäd
vaïcitaù syät kadäpi na

kåñëena — by Kåñëa; na — not; tathä — in the same way; kaçcit


— someone; uddhavaù — Uddhava; ca — and; mahä-sukhé —
who enjoys the greatest happiness; tat — His; pärçva — at the
side; sevä — of service; saubhägyät — of the fortunate privilege;
vaïcitaù — deprived; syät — is; kadä api — ever; na — not.

No other devotee of the Lord is ever cheated like this. But


as for Uddhava, he enjoys the greatest happiness. Privi-
leged to stay always by Kåñëa’s side, He is never deprived
of Kåñëa’s association.

TEXT 132
Tata}a GaTva >avTaaXau Maad*Xaa&
SaNdeXaMaeTa& Sa iNavedNaqYa" )
518 / CHAPTER FIVE

AÛaTYaGaadaGaMaNaSYa vel/a
SvNaaQaMaadaYa Sa>aa& SaNaaQaYa ))

tat tatra gatvä bhavatäçu mädåçäà


sandeçam etaà sa nivedanéyaù
adyätyagäd ägamanasya velä
sva-nätham ädäya sabhäà sa-näthaya

tat — therefore; tatra — there; gatvä — going; bhavatä — your


good self; äçu — quickly; mädåçäm — of such persons as us;
sandeçam — message; etam — this; saù — He; nivedanéyaù —
should be requested; adya — today; atyagät — has passed;
ägamanasya — for coming; velä — the appointed time; sva-
nätham — your master; ädäya — bring; sabhäm — for the as-
sembly; sa-näthaya — please provide the master.

Therefore please go to Uddhava quickly and convey from


us this message: The appointed time today to come to the
assembly hall has already passed. Kindly bring Kåñëa and
grace the assembly with our master’s presence.

C OMMENTARY: In the phrase sabhäà sa-näthaya, “please grace


the assembly hall,” the verb sa-näthaya literally means “please
allow to have its master.” The idea implied is that without seeing
Kåñëa the Yädavas would be left helpless. They expect and re-
quire to see Kåñëa in person every day. Another implication in
this verse is that Närada is more fortunate than the Yädavas be-
cause he can freely enter Kåñëa’s private quarters whenever he
wants.

Thus ends the fifth chapter of Part One of Çréla Sanätana


Gosvämé’s Båhad-bhägavatämåta, entitled “Priya: The Beloved.”