Gopeshwar Mahadev's Surrender

His Divine Grace
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj,
20 April 2010

 

Gopeshwar Mahadev always stays near the rasa-mancha in Vrindavan (the place where the rasa-lila takes place) because the Lord told him, "It is not necessary for you to go anywhere. Stay with Me."

Even Laksmi Devi stays so far, in Belvan, but Gopeshwar Mahadev always stays at the rasa-mancha. Whenever you see the Vamsivat tree, you should remember and keep it in your heart. In the kirtan Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna Jaya Vrindavan we sing "Vamsivata, Dvadasa-kanan: all glories to the Vamsivat tree, where Krishna attracted all the gopis to come by playing His flute. Glories to all of the twelve forests of Vraja." Vamsivat is near the place where Gopeshwar stays.

One day, Gopeshwar Mahadev wanted to go to the rasa-mancha, but Parvati asked him,

"How will you go there? You are a man! Only ladies, gopis, are allowed into the rasa-mancha. It is not that anybody can enter it."

"Please, give me a gopi's dress then. I will become a gopi!"

"You do not know how to wear it, you do not know how to wear the ankle bells and so many other things. I will dress you, do not worry."

Parvati always serves devotees' devotees, you know that. There is a sloka in Padma-purana,

আরাধনানাং সর্ব্বেষাং বিষ্ণোরারাধনং পরম্ ।
তস্মাৎ পরতরং দেবি তদীয়ানাং সমর্চ্চনম্ ॥

aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param
tasmat parataram devi tadiyanam samarchanam

When Parvati asked Lord Siva, "Who shall I worship? Whose worship is the highest?" Lord Siva replied, "Although the Vedas recommend the worship of demigods, the worship of Lord Vishnu is the best." Hearing this, Parvati became very sad. She thought, "I always worship Lord Siva, but he says that the worship of Lord Vishnu is the best..." Then Lord Siva said, "However, above the worship of Lord Vishnu is the worship of Vaishnavs, who are related to Lord Vishnu." Then Parvati understood it and became peaceful.

So, Lord Siva, dressed as a gopi now, asked Parvati, "Please give me some mercy. I am going to the rasa-mancha..."

"You look like a gopi now, but are you actually a gopi?" We dress as a sannyasi, dress as a devotee, but we must be a devotee. This is very important. If you make yourself look like a gopi and think you are the best, you will not enter there. Only if you serve a gopi there—if go there with this mood—then you can enter there. If you think, "I will come to the temple and become the manager, I will become the guru," you cannot serve there like this; but if you want to be the foot dust of the Vaishnavs, the great devotees—if you surrender fully in this way—then you can enter there. Otherwise not. Parvati taught this lesson to Lord Siva, and it is an example for us all.

So, Parvati said to Siva, "If you want to be a gopi, you must surrender to a gopi. Can you do that? Can you serve under their guidance?"

"Yes, if you allow me, if you give me mercy and bless me, then I can try my best."

Lord Siva entered the rasa-mancha in this mood, and Krishna understood who had come. He spent much time talking to him, and everyone could see that this new gopi was very dear to Him. Everyone wondered where she had come from and why Krishna was giving her so much honour. Some older gopis even charged her, "Who are you?! How did you come to this place?" Krishna pacified them, "She has some quality, so only she can enter this rasa-mancha." You can understand then what the power of surrender is. This is when Krishna told to Gopeshwar Mahadev, "You do not have to stay so far away. Stay always with Me."

It is very important to understand that only surrendered souls, only those who serve under the guidance of a great Vaishnav, under the guidance of their Guru, can enter this lila. Even Laksmi Devi cannot enter there: she always stays in Belvan, crying. She cannot cross the Yamuna River to enter there...

The followers of Narayan sometimes say, "Narayan is so majestic. He is not like your Krishna who always grazes and milks the cows and is up to all sorts of things." The devotees of Krishna, on the other hand, reply, "Your Narayan is sitting in Vaikuntha on His vyasa-asan, and is so great, but why is it then that Laksmi Devi left Him and is crying now in the jungle?"

 

 

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