Srila Govinda Maharaj Janmastami Thumb

Sri Janmastami

In honour of Sri Janmastami, we are presenting an excerpt from the upcoming release Amnaya-Tattva in which Srila Govinda Maharaj explains the transcendental nature of the appearance of Krishna within this world as well as a couple of verses from the Gopi-Gita cited by Srila Govinda Maharaj on this holy occasion.

The Rising of the Divine Sun

Krishna Himself appeared in His human-like form here in this mundane world like the other Avatars. But Krishna’s divine form as Reality the Beautiful is also always present eternally in the spiritual realm of Goloka Vrindavan. In Srimad Bhagavad-gita Krishna said to Arjuna,

janma karma cha me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna
  (Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 4.9)

Arjuna, My birth and death in this world are not like the birth and death of ordinary human persons. I show Myself to be like them when I appear but actually My appearance and disappearance in the material world are like the rising and setting of the sun. I existed before I appeared and continue to exist after I disappear. My personal form and appearance are divyam, divine.”
Divyam means aprakritam. Aprakritam means that Lord Krishna’s divine form appears like an ordinary man’s form but it is actually not made of anything mundane; it is a transcendental form which is perfect, positive and eternally existent in Goloka Vrindavan, the highest plane of Vaikuntha-loka. Anyone who understands Lord Krishna’s divine form and appearance in this way will be liberated from birth and death. So it is necessary to properly understand that His appearance and disappearance are not like the birth and death of mankind. They are actually like the rising and setting of the sun. The sun does not die when it crosses the horizon, it is simply removed from our vision temporarily. Anyone who understands Krishna’s divine appearance and disappearance in this way not only is liberated, he also attains the service of Lord Krishna in the transcendental world. Krishna Himself gave this knowledge to the world in Srimad Bhagavad-gita.

By the grace of the Scriptures, the Gurus and the sadhus we must think, “The birth and death of Lord Krishna are not like that of an ordinary human. They are transcendental and His divine form is also transcendental and eternal. Īśvaraḥ Paramaḥ Kṛṣṇaḥ Sach-chid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. We must think, “Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is the Creator of all creation and He has an eternal divine form.”

Verses from the Gopi-Gita

The Gopis sing the glories of Krishna on the bank of the Yamuna as They pine for Him in separation after He left the rasa dance with Srimati Radharani:

jayati te ’dhikaṁ janmanā vrajaḥ
śrayata indirā śaśvad atra hi
dayita dṛśyatāṁ dikṣu tāvakās
tvayi dhṛtāsavas tvāṁ vichinvate
  (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.31.1)

Oh Beloved, by Your appearance (birth), the land of Vraja has become supremely glorious because Maha-Laksmidevi now always resides here. Your lovers maintain their lives only for You. Having searched for You in all directions, they have become distressed. Please appear before them.”

tava kathāmṛtaṁ tapta-jīvanaṁ
kavibhir īḍitaṁ kalmaṣāpaham
śravaṇa-maṅgalaṁ śrīmad ātataṁ
bhuvi gṛṇanti ye bhūridā janāḥ
  (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 10.31.9)

Oh dearly Beloved, Your nectarean words are the very life of those whose hearts are afflicted with the burning pain of separation from You. They are extolled by those who know the nature of rasa (kavis). They destroy the distress of the fever of separation from You. They are endowed with all spiritual power and most pleasing to the ear. Those who chant and spread Your nectarean words are the most munificient persons in this world.”

Remarks by Srila Govinda Maharaj on Janmastami:

There are some very nice slokas in Srimad Bhagavat in which the Gopis praise Kṛṣṇa. The Gopis are very simple-hearted. They do not know so much philosophy or anything. Although They want to praise Him, they do not know how. But through Vedavyas, Saraswati gives them some very nice simple Sanskrit words. Mahaprabhu Chaitanyadev tasted those slokas. This is one of those very nice slokas:
jayati te ‘dhikaṁ janmanā vrajaḥ
śrayata indirā śaśvad atra hi
It is very small and very simple. Its meter is not very complicated. Here the expression of the Gopis is, “Because You have taken birth in Vraja Dham, the whole of Vraja has gotten so much wealth and opulence. We are all so happy because You taken birth amongst us.”
There is another expression of the Gopis:
tava kathāmṛtaṁ tapta-jīvanaṁ

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