All glories 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 Consciousness: 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

      ~Bhagavad-gita (18.65)

"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.

When 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.

Gauranga 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 no use.

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 the sun.

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 harmonise things.

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
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