jueves, 6 de enero de 2011

Hearing Kaliya Lila









His


Holiness


Dhanurdhara


Swami



Hearing Kaliya Lila

 
de Dhanurdhara Swami, el sábado, 04 de diciembre de 2010 a las 9:37

Hearing Kaliya Lila

Vraja Kishor das'

H. H. Dhanurdhara Swami: Hearing Kaliya Lila



Hearing Kaliya Lila de Dhanurdhara Swami, el sábado, 04 de diciembre de 2010 a las 9:37
Vraja Kishor das' Thoughts on Srila Dhanurdhar Swami's Sanga Discussion on the 3rd of November, 2010. The recording of this sanga is here:

H. H. Dhanurdhara Swami: Hearing Kaliya Lila



 
The Story

Shukadev Goswami told King Parikshit how Krsna's friends and some of the cows rushed ahead of Krsna to refresh themselves from the summer heat by drinking water from the Yamuna river. As soon as the water touched their lips, they fell down dead from the poison within it. Krsna then arrived on the scene and brought them back to life with the mercy of his glance. 

Then, the Goswami seemed to change gear completely. Instead of going into further detail he stopped in his tracks and gave a very brief summary: "Krsna saw that a black serpent named Kaliya had made the waters toxic with his venom. To purify the river, Krishna banished the snake from the lake."

And with that he paused, for a long while.

The King became worried. "Maybe the Goswami thinks I don't want to hear about this in detail? Does he think don't want to hear about the extreme danger my beloved Krsna is about to find himself in??? I better speak up right away before he moves on to the next topic! But what should I say? I must express my enthusiasm to hear this lila in full detail! And I have to show him that I have no fear that anything truly bad could happen to Krsna."

So King Parikshit said to Sukadeva Goswami, "You are an extremely learned sage. Please explain to me in full detail how Bhagavan subdued that snake within the unfathomably deep waters? And tell me how was that snake able to live there for so many ages before this? I am well aware that all of Bhagavan's activities are expressions of his own divine free will. Nothing bad could ever truly happen to him. So there is nothing that you need keep from me! I am delighted to hear every detail of every lila. Indeed, who would ever feel like he has heard enough about a being as delightful as Krsna!?"

The Main Lesson

I feel that the main lesson here is the need to be enthusiastic to hear about Krsna. Dhanurdhara Swami said, "Your level of spiritual advancement is exactly commensurate with the extent of your desire to hear about Krsna." There is no measure for spiritual advancement except how naturally interested I am in hearing about Krsna!

If I am not very advanced, I will not be very eager to hear about Krsna. Thus Krsna will not be able to give himself to me, for he never violates my freewill. Krsna comes to me in my materially conditioned state through Guru. The Guru can give Krsna to me, but I am not yet fit to take Krsna from my Guru. Why not? Because I am not eager enough to open myself to it. The primary concern for me, then, is to heighten my eagerness to hear and chant about Krsna. The more this increases, the more my Guru can give me.

Parikshit Maharaja knows this. His Guru, Shukadeva Goswami, was going to hold back on some information about Krsna - for various reasons. So Parikshit Maharaja had to make an effort to demonstrate to his Guru that he was extremely eager to learn, and that he already had fundamental understandings which qualified him to understand what he was asking the Guru to teach.

First he shows his Guru that he has the fundamental knowledge to understand the lesson. He does this by stressing the words bhagavan, vibhu and vishuddha. By stressing the word "Bhagavan" Parikshit tells his Guru clearly that he knows Krsna is no ordinary boy, and that his actions are transcendental. This is the basic qualification I need to have before the guru will explain any Lila to me. The more deeply I understand this, the more deeply the guru can reveal the Lila to me.

By stressing the word "Vibhu" he tells his Guru that he understands that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that no harm can come to him. This is a more subtle emotional thing rather than a strictly philosophical communication. The word Bhagavan already expressed this on a philosophical level. Now, Parikshit uses the word Vibhu to address the appropriateness of hearing this lila on a higher, emotional level. Remember that his Guru stopped because he doubted, "maybe this great soul does not want to hear horrible and frightening stories about someone he loves so dearly?" With the word Vibhu Parikshit Maharaja replies specifically to this doubt - saying, "I love Krsna so much, yes, but don't worry I am fully aware that no real harm can come to him, because he is all powerful, Vibhu."

With the word Vishuddha he demonstrates that he already knows the outcome of the Lila, the lake will be purified (vishuddha - completely pure). 

Beyond philosophical and emotional qualification to hear, is the spontaneous attraction of the heart to hearing. Remember, this is the sole ultimate barometer of spiritual advancement. So Parikshit Maharaja makes his guru confident that the disciple is fit to hear Krsna Katha by saying, "I would never tire of hearing about Krsna!"

Now his guru is convinced that the disciple is philosophically and emotionally ready, willing and able to hear in exciting detail about Krsna's pastime of banishing the serpent Kaliya - so he will dive headlong into the frightening, thrilling details. [Next Wednesday Sanga]

Some Other Lessons

What is Kaliya Lila "About"?

Kaliya is about selfishness, and the tendency to exploit the world for my own benefit - not caring about how my enjoyment affects others. Kaliya resides in Vrindavana, but is misusing it for his own pleasures, not Krsna's. This creates a "poison" or "toxin" in Vrndavana, which Krsna will remove. This is allegorical of my own desire to use Krsna's world, this world, for my own sense gratification. In some sense it also reflects how God's world becomes polluted and disturbed by selfish systems like capitalism and sense gratifying modern cultures. 

One thing I can pray for when hearing the story of Kaliya is that Krsna would banish the "Kaliya" serpent from the deep waters of my own heart. When that happens my heart would be liberated from the toxins of selfish desire, exploitation, and the polluting results there of. Perhaps I could also pray that the world may also be rid of it's "Kaliya mentality" so that the environment of Mother Earth could heal. Particularly I might pray from the ecosystem of Sri Vrindavana Dhama.

A Horror Story / Thriller

One reason (among hundreds) that Kaliya Lila is so enchanting and wonderful is that it includes so very many different flavors of emotional experiences ("rasa"). In one sense, it is like a horror movie. Innocent boys drop dead from poison. A thousand headed sea-dragon like creature spits venom at our darling Krsna, who is nearly crushed to death and drowned. There is an extreme amount of fear, horror, some disgust, and astonishment inherent in this story. These secondary emotions rise and thrill the persons watching it, who we will see are the cowherd boys, the parental figures, and the future girlfriends of Krsna. So the thriller-like emotions experienced during this pastime are churning and exciting the friendship, parental love, and romantic love of the devotees watching it, and, hopefully, the devotees hearing about it now too.

Just as sub-emotions like fear and astonishment serve and assist primary emotions like friendship, similarly we see in this lila how Krsna's infinite power as Godhead ("Aishwarya") serves and assists his more important feature of being sweet, and infinitely lovable and endearing ("Madhurya"). Krsna brings the dead back to life, for example, and those revived friends think, "Wow our friend is so amazing!!!" The amazement at Krsna's godly power heightens their sweet friendly love for him!

The Name "Gopal"

Gopal is a name for Krsna, meaning "Cow Tender" - Krsna enjoys caring for his dependents, especially animals, and particularly his dearmost cows. The name is made of two Sanskrit components, Go and Pal. The later means "protector." Go means "cows" and also means "senses." Krsna loves to take care of cows, and he also loves to take care of pleasing other people, caring for our senses. 

The most important sense is the sense of hearing. Gopal will take care of our ears by filling them with the nectar of his name, form, qualities and pastimes! Calling Krsna "Gopal" is an opportunity to request him to fill our ears with his delightful glories.

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