to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
Excerpts related to Sri Baladev
compiled on His Appearance Day 2012
from books by Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Sri Baladev and Sri Krishna
From Search for Sri Krishna Reality The Beautiful,
First Chapter, Krishna
Love and Beauty, section: Eternal Vacuum.
Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita (2.47), "Never be
attached to not doing your duty (ma te sango 'stv
akarmani). Because you are required to work for Me, will
you stop work? Don't subject yourself to that painful
reaction, for then you will be doomed. Don't be
attached to stop work and strike. No. That is a dangerous
vacuum. Don't jump there in that eternal vacuum,
but work for Me, and you will thrive." Krishna
says, "Abandon all varieties of duty, and just surrender
unto Me (sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja). My position is such: I am your guardian, your
friend, your everything. Your goal of life is to be found
in Me. Believe it, Arjuna. At least I must not deceive you. You are my friend - you can take it for certain."
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me
"Think of Me always, and become My devotee.
Worship Me, and bow down before Me. In this way you will certainly come to Me. My dear friend, I promise
you on oath, I am speaking the truth. I am everything.
Try to come to Me. I am the goal, the fulfilment of life
not only for you, but for everyone. From the absolute
consideration My position is such. At least you are My
friend. I won't deceive you. You can believe Me. I
promise that I am so."
How shamelessly Krishna is expressing Himself
here. He has come to plead for Himself so much, for
our benefit. And a record is kept in the Bhagavad-gita for our guidance. And Lord Krishna came as Sri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to preach about Himself. He
came as His own canvasser with His eternal associates.
He even brought Srimati Radharani, devotion personified,
along with Him, saying, "I will show how
charming Your position in My service is, how beautiful
and dignified the devotion of My other half can be.
So, come along with Me." And Baladev has come as
Nityananda to canvass, and Vrindavan has come to
canvass itself in Nabadwip. So we are most indebted
to the canvasser, especially when Krishna Himself
has come to canvass and to show how beautiful, how
magnanimous, and how sacrificing divine love is.
From Sri Guru and His Grace, Chapter Four, The Original Guru, section: The Original Guru.
The original spiritual master is Nityananda Prabhu. He is the general
representation of guru. In the spiritual world, he is the guru-tattva
principle in the four primary mellows of devotion, excluding the
conjugal mellow. In madhurya-rasa, Baladeva's representation is
Ananga Manjari, the sister of Radharani.
The position of Nityananda is greater than that of Baladev. Why? He
is distributing prema, divine love. And what is prema? It is higher than
all other achievements. If one can give divine love, then all others
must be subordinate to him. If Krishna is subordinate to Mahaprabhu,
then of course, Balaram is subordinate to Nityananda. They are
similar, but when magnanimity is added, Balaram becomes
Nityananda. That Balaram who can distribute divine love, who can
perform that higher function has come here as Nityananda. Our
foundation must be solid and proper. Then the structure should be
erected. Otherwise the whole thing will go down (heno Nitai vine bhai
Radha Krishna paite nai). We can get a solid foundation from Nityananda Prabhu.
Section: Take the Name of Gauranga.
Nityananda Prabhu walked from door to door in Bengal, saying, "Take the Name of Gauranga! I'll become your servant. You can
purchase Me if you only take the Name of Gauranga. I'll be sold to you
without any price or condition." That was his temperament.
Mahaprabhu was in Puri, he sent Nityananda Prabhu to Bengal. At
that time, He said, "Without you I don't find anyone who can spread
the Holy Name of Krishna, or devotional service to Krishna, in Bengal.
They are more engaged in the tantric method and the smrti. They
make too much of these trifling things. They are puffed up, thinking
that they have finished all knowledge. So, Bengal is a very hard field
for preaching. Without you, no one will be able to awaken the masses.
Separate yourself from the higher castes and approach the masses with
the Holy Name of Krishna. You are the fittest person for this work."
Nityananda Prabhu went to Bengal, but without trying to preach the
glories of the Holy Name of Krishna, Nityananda began to preach the
Name of Gauranga. Nityananda Prabhu found that there is some
danger of thinking that Krishna's Pastimes are very much akin to the
mundane debauchery, lying, and stealing of a degraded soul. Krishna's
Pastimes are of a highly confidential nature. It is very difficult for the
masses to understand the purity of Krishna-lila. The mass mind cannot
accept Krishna-lila as the highest attainment. So, Nityananda Prabhu
found it would be difficult to preach Krishna-lila, but he found it would
be easy to preach Gaura-lila, where Krishna has come to distribute
Himself to the public with so much capital in his mind.
means a dynamo which wants to distribute Krishna, surcharged with the
most magnanimous, intensified, pity and kindness for the ordinary
people, with the greatest affection even for the criminals. Nityananda
Prabhu wanted to bring them in connection with Gauranga, for then
Krishna-lila would automatically be within their fist. So, He began to
preach about Gauranga, not Radha-Krishna, as commanded by
Mahaprabhu. So, Nityananda Prabhu says, "Bhaja Gauranga kaha
Gauranga, laha Gauranga Nama: worship Gauranga, speak only of
Gauranga, and chant the Name of Gauranga."
There is another instance of the relationship between Krishna and
Balaram, and Gauranga and Nityananda which is described in Sri
Chaitanya-bhagavat. Sachi Devi had a dream that Krishna and Balaram
were sitting on a throne, and Nityananda was fighting with Balaram, "Come down from the throne. It is no longer Dvapar-yuga. The Age
of Kali has come and My master Gauranga must occupy Your position
on this throne. You come down!"
Balaram began giving some
opposition. "No, no, why should we come down? We have been
sitting on this throne for such a long time." Nityananda Prabhu began
forcibly taking him down, and Balaram submitted slightly.
Nityananda Prabhu said, "My master Gauranga wants to take the
position now. The age for Him has come." So Nityananda is very
partial to Gauranga. He says, "Krishna is far off. My Lord is Gauranga."
So, we must be very grateful to Nityananda Prabhu, for He is our Guru. And Guru's grace is so important that Raghunath Das Goswami says, "O, Radharani, I want Your grace. Without You, I don't want Krishna
separately. I never want Krishna without You." That should be the
healthy attitude of a devotee.
From Loving Search for The Lost Servant, Chapter Five, Brahma's Illusion, section: Krishna Balaram.
When Krishna and Balaram are playing with Their friends in the
jungle, They generally play in two groups. Krishna is in one group and
Balaram is in another. Krishna is considered to be less strong than
Balaram. Balaram was the strongest person there, and the next
strongest was Sridam, so Sridam used to play on the side of Krishna.
Whenever Balaram was defeated, He would become enraged. Krishna
would diplomatically help His own team, and when Balaram saw that
His own team was disloyal due to Krishna's tricks, He would turn to His
younger brother Krishna and say, "I shall punish You!" But Krishna
would say, "No, You cannot punish Me; Mother Yasoda has entrusted
Me in Your care. You can't mistreat Me."
One day, Balaram slapped Krishna, but Krishna went to Mother Yasoda
and told on Him. Balaram was very disturbed and said, "I slap You
once, and You complain to Your mother that I do not love You?
Krishna, how could You do this?" At last Krishna was perplexed and
accepted His defeat.
So Krishna-lila moves in a crooked way (aher iva gatih premna...).
This fundamental point, the foundation of our understanding about
Krishna-lila has been given by Rupa Goswami in this verse. He says, "Don't be eager to find reason everywhere in the Pastimes of divinity.
They are naturally crooked. In Krishna-lila we shall find that although no
party is defective, still, one will find fault with another and begin a
quarrel. No defect can be found there. But still, for the necessity of
lila, false defects are found, and some quarrel begins. This is the
meaning of lila, Pastimes: what we find here by necessity flows there
automatically. We can't try to apply our reason or our standard of
measurement to the movements of the infinite. And whatever gain we
have made by connecting with that flow of lila will be lost in our
attempts to measure it; that will be the only consequence of our
analysis. So we should try to have a taste of lila with a submissive
attitude. Sometimes reason, logic, and analysis are necessary, but only
to preach to the people in general who have a lower understanding.
Only for the purpose of preaching to people addicted to reason do we
have to take the help of reason. But when devotion becomes
automatic, anuraga, then both reason and scripture are left in the
subterranean position. There is no place for scriptural arguments there.
To a certain extent, reason is necessary for our development up to
vaidhi-bhakti, the elementary stages of devotion. But above that, it has
Anuraga-bhajana is automatic; that is the nature of lila: aher iva gatih
premna. Everything there moves by His sweet will. Sweet will means
that it is not a fixed programme. It moves in such a way that we can't say, "It will pass by this road."
When the Maharaja of Mysore used to drive into town, he would not
speak to his driver, giving him directions which way to go, because if
any fixed programme were arranged, then his life might be in danger. So
whenever he would come to a crossing in the road, he would touch his
stick to a particular shoulder of the driver. If at the crossing, the
Maharaja wanted to go to the right, he would touch the driver on his
right shoulder. In this way, he would never disclose which way he
would go, but only at the last moment he would beckon the driver to
take a particular course.
So Krishna's divine movements are kept in reserve by His sweet will: "All Rights Reserved." We want to search for some law above His
sweet will, but this is inconsistent. It is self-contradictory. On the one
side we say that Krishna moves by His own sweet will, but on another side we try to find some law governing His movement. This is a
contradiction. Lila moves by sweet will. When we say it is lila, then
we can't give any shape to that. We can say that it was shown in a
particular place in a particular way. But we cannot be sure whether
today the same course will be taken.
This is why we find differences in the explanations given about
different lilas in different ages. Jiva Goswami has explained that the
reason for different descriptions of the Pastimes of the Lord in the
Puranas is because at one time that lila was played in one way, and
another time it was played in another way. So we find differences
even in the explanations of the same Pastime.
Scholars may challenge: "Why is it that somewhere in Padma-purana the lila is mentioned in this way, but the Bhagavat-purana reveals the
description in another way? Why does Harivamsa differ from
Mahabharata?" We say that in different kalpas, or ages, the Pastimes
are enacted in different ways. In infinite ways a particular lila of the
Lord may be represented within this world, because He is infinite,
independent, and absolute. So leaving aside all doubts and suspicions,
we shall be most generous in approaching the absolute, free from all
inhibitions. We shall approach Him with that spirit, and try more and
more to leave aside our past prejudices and precedents, the records of
our past experience.
Sixth Chapter, Sonhood of God, section: Bala Krishna.
We are worshipers not of the fatherhood of Godhead, but of the
sonhood of Godhead. We don't worship Him as the creator or as the
controller, out on the circumference, but in the conception of sonhood,
He is in the centre. He is not on the circumference, but in the centre.
That is the conception of Srimad-Bhagavatam: sonhood, and then
consorthood, a more heavenly expression, is found there. He is there
in the centre, and His extensions emanate from Him. So in our
conception of the absolute, His father is controlling Him, His mother
is abusing Him and punishing Him, and He is also seen to fall at the
feet of His beloved. What to speak of guru, even Godhead Himself may appear to become
bewildered about His absolute position.
And why? Love divine. Prema. So how highly precious a thing divine
love must be. After liberation, beyond calculative devotion, in the
highest plane of the whole creation, eternal love reigns supreme. And
that divine love emanates from Him just as rays of light emanate from
So He is at the centre and His extension is on all sides. Baladev on
one hand supplies the energy of existence, maintaining everything in
the background, and the ecstatic side is controlled by His potency
Srimati Radharani, who can make the Absolute Independent a ball in
the play of Her hand.
It is inconceivable, it is incalculable, but this is the very nature of
divinity. The Lord says, "Aham bhakta-paradhino... Yes, I have freely
accepted subjugation to My devotees. I have no independence of My
own. The way My devotees treat Me is so wonderful that it makes Me
subservient to them." Divine love is so charming that it is considered
to be the ultimate goal of life, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
personally came along with Nityananda Prabhu to broadcast that news
to the world.
From Golden Staircase, Chapter Two,
The Eye to see Sri Guru, section: Harmonising Instructions of the Upper House.
And one thing we must always keep in mind is that we
can't investigate all of the subtle, higher knowledge as a
subjective researcher. Rather, according to the degree of our
saranagati, our surrender, the Truth will come down to make
Himself known to us. We must always remember this, otherwise
some spirit of imitation will be created in us. Knowledge of the
higher domain is not under the jurisdiction of the intellect, and to
think so is very dangerous. Intellectualism is dangerous; it will
cause us to think that we have "caught the Infinite". It will be
negligence to the infinite characteristic, the infinite aspect of the
Lord. He is Adhoksaja, beyond the grasp of academic research.
One time I asked Prabhupad (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Saraswati Thakur), "Srila Rupa Goswami gives his explanation
of Lord Balaram's Rasa-lila in one way and Srila Sanatan
Goswami gives his explanation in another way, but both get their
instruction from Mahaprabhu, so why is there this difference?"
My Guru Maharaj said, "Why has Krishna been called
Adhoksaja? Adhoksaja cannot be harmonised within our
intellect. It is achintya-bheda-bheda, inconceivably and
simultaneously one and different. Both explanations may be true
simultaneously. It is achintya, inconceivable. The Acharyas have
explained that when Baladev is performing Rasa-lila, He is
actually conducting Rasa for Krishna in His heart. Externally
Baladev is seen to be participating in Pastimes with the Gopis
directly, but internally He is making Krishna enjoy that Rasa. Baladev is not the enjoyer Himself." These are the harmonising
instructions of the upper house, and in this way we shall