An exchange of transcendental love
The atmosphere of the supreme spiritual abode of Krishna. Goloka Vrindavana is brimming with transcendental love of the Lord. In that entrancing realm the Lord reciprocates in diverse relationships of deep intimacy with His innumerable devotees. In the spiritual sky resplendent with the Brahman effulgence(Brahma Jyoti) float countless spiritual planets. Of all these glowing planets Goloka Vrindavana is the topmost.
In a conversation in New York, Srila Prabhupada teaches about this abode.
“Let’s take a circle to represent the entirety of the two worlds (material and spiritual). I say a “circle,” but it is limitless. The circle is the Brahmajyoti effulgence. Within this great circle, down in one section, is a little circle. This little circle represents the material world.
The remainder of the large circle is filled with spiritual planets of which the topmost is Krishnaloka.
Dwelling in bliss in the numberless Vaikuntha planets are the devotees of adoration.
Those of pure love who forget that Krishna is greater than them get transferred to Krishnaloka.
In Vaikunthaloka they wear diamond necklaces and worship the Lord as Narayana in full opulence and adoration.
In Krishnaloka, Goloka Vrindavan, they wear simple cowherd dress. There they do not know who is Krishna and who is an ordinary boy.
Although all function in equal freedom from contamination in these spiritual planets, there is differentiation.”
Ref. => (Questions asked by congregation and devotees and answered by HDG A.C Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, New York, Sept-Dec.1966)
In Vrindavan, everyone loves Krishna. They do not see Him reverentially. To them Krishna is their friend, son or lover and their whole life is Krishna. Although Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Absolute Truth, in complete control over all existence, the villagers of Vrindavan relate with Him in the intimacy of pure love. Such an intimacy towards the Lord is amazing. Lord Brahma expresses his wonder:
aho bhāgyam aho bhāgyaṁ
pūrṇaṁ brahma sanātanam
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.32
“I am simply surprised with the fortunate position of Mahārāja Nanda, mother Yaśodā and the cowherd men and gopīs, because You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, are existing here as their most intimate lovable object.”
Excerpt From: HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead” – 1970 Edition, Chapter 14
“The difference between the pure devotees of Vṛndāvana and other devotees is that the residents of Vṛndāvana have no other desire but to be associated with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa, being very kind to His devotees, fulfills their desire; because they always want Kṛṣṇa’s association, the Lord is always prepared to give it to them. The devotees of Vṛndāvana are also spontaneous lovers. They do not follow the regulative principles. ”
Excerpt From: HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead” 1970 Edition, Chapter 14
In the Srimad Bhagavatam Shukadev Goswami narrates the pastime of a day in Vrindavan. Just after Krishna fell two Arjuna trees in the courtyard of Nanda Maharaja, Krishna and Balarama were playing on the bank of the Yamuna. Mother Yashoda went to call her Children for lunch. Shukadev Goswami teaches this simple dealing as an example of the pinnacle of relationship with the Supreme Absolute Truth.
It was late morning at Nanda Gokula. Krishna and Balarama were small children. They were playing on the bank of the Yamuna with some of the cowherd boys of Vraja. Rohini came looking for Them. She called out to the two Children to return home, but, engrossed in their play, refusing to be disturbed, they neglected her calls and carried on playing. Unable to get Them to return, Mother Rohini, sent Mother Yashoda. She knew Yashoda was more affectionate to Them and They would surely listen to her. Shukadeva Goswami uses the words ‘putra-vatsalām’ to indicate Yashoda. It means Yashoda was a more affectionate mother to Krishna and Balarama.
Mother Yashoda so intensely loved Krishna and Balarama that her breasts welled up with milk as she called out to her children. This is expressed in the following words in Srimad Bhagavatam “putra-sneha-snuta-stanī-while she was calling Them, milk flowed from her breast because of her ecstatic love and affection.” She repeatedly cried, “My dear children, please come back home. It’s past lunchtime. O my dear Krishna, my lotus-eyed one, come, drink the milk of my breast. You have played enough. My little one, You must be very hungry and tired from playing so long.” She called to Balarama, “My dear Balarama, O glory of our family, please come back with Your younger brother Krishna immediately. You have been playing all morning, and You must be very tired. Please come back and take Your lunch at home.”The children continued to ignore her. She called, “Your father Nanda Raja has not yet eaten, waiting for You. So please come back that he may eat.”Krishna and Balarama hearing Nanda Maharaja was waiting instantly stopped their play and started to return.
The cowherd boys began to complain to Krishna and Balarama “Just when the game is reaching the peak you are leaving. We will never let you play with us again.” Krishna and Balarama afraid of being excluded shuffled towards the playing friends. Mother Yashoda became firm “My dear Kṛṣṇa, do You think that You are a street boy? You have no home? Please come back to Your home. My dear son, playing all morning your body is covered in dust. Please come and take your bath. Today is your birthday, and you have to give cows in charity to Brahmanas after getting cleansed.”
Yashoda took another tack. She compared Them with the other children and said,
paśya paśya vayasyāṁs te
tvaṁ ca snātaḥ kṛtāhāro
“Just see how all Your playmates of Your own age have been cleansed and decorated with beautiful ornaments by their mothers. You should come here, and after You have taken Your bath, eaten Your lunch and been decorated with ornaments, You may play with Your friends again.”
Excerpt From: HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “Srimad-Bhagavatam” 10.11.19
Yashoda was inciting the competitive spirit of her Children.
itthaṁ yaśodā tam aśeṣa-śekharaṁ
matvā sutaṁ sneha-nibaddha-dhīr nṛpa
haste gṛhītvā saha-rāmam acyutaṁ
nītvā sva-vāṭaṁ kṛtavaty athodayam
“My dear Mahārāja Parīkṣit, because of intense love and affection, mother Yaśodā, Kṛṣṇa’s mother, considered Kṛṣṇa, who was at the peak of all opulences, to be her own son. Thus she took Kṛṣṇa by the hand, along with Balarāma, and brought Them home, where she performed her duties by fully bathing Them, dressing Them and feeding Them”
Excerpt From: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “Srimad-Bhagavatam” 10.11.20
Krishna is addressed as “tam aśeṣa-śekharam-unto Kṛṣṇa, who was on the peak of everything auspicious, with no question of dirtiness or uncleanliness.” Yashoda was oblivious to her son’s position as the Supreme Transcendence.
In her intense motherly affection, Yashoda treated Krishna and Balarama as merely her children. Their divinity was completely overcome by her love for Them. Such was the transcendental pleasure that the inhabitants of Vraja took in the pastimes of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Personalities of Godhead, Krishna and Balarama were playing exactly like small Children and had captivated the inhabitants of Vraja with Their divine beauty and enchanting activities.