Srimad Bhagavatam 11.01.13-15 - Material Disease-I Have Right to be Disrespectful (download mp3)
by Radhanath Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty
kridantas tan upavrajya
te vesayitva stri-vesaih
esa prcchati vo vipra
prastum vilajjati saksat
kim svit sañjanayisyati
To that holy place, the young boys of the Yadu dynasty had brought Samba, son of Jambavati, dressed in woman’s garb. Playfully approaching the great sages gathered there, the boys grabbed hold of the sages’ feet and impudently asked them with feigned humility, “O learned brahmanas, this black-eyed pregnant woman has something to ask you. She is too embarrassed to inquire for herself. She is just about to give birth and is very desirous of having a son. Since all of you are great sages with infallible vision, please tell us whether her child will be a boy or a girl.”
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati has made the following comment: “The impudent behavior of the young Yadus toward the sages headed by Narada, who were all brahmanas and devotees of the Lord, was a display of deviation from the path of Lord Krsna. Similarly, although the prakrta-sahajiyas think of themselves as intimate associates of Krsna, the supremely merciful Lord’s determination is perfectly correct in working to finish such false devotees. Such impostors actually never accept real service to Krsna. The yadu-kumaras’ deception is termed ‘seemingly humble,’ meaning that in fact they were anything but humble. Therefore, the ridiculing of Vaisnavas by the Lord’s family resulted in a great offense against the devotees of the Lord.”
A similar incident occurred during the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when His own mother offended Sri Advaita Acarya. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally rectified this offense against a great Vaisnava, and thus the Lord showed His magnanimity. Lord Krsna’s pastime of destroying the Yadu dynasty is also a demonstration of His mercy to His devotees.
Believing the brahmanas, Vaisnavas and rsis to be foolishly lacking knowledge in material affairs of sense gratification, the yadu-kumaras dressed Samba, the son of Jambavati, as a woman and tried to mock the saintly assembly. Lord Krsna wanted to teach that such an offense committed against great devotees by His associate Samba would be the cause of the Yadu dynasty’s destruction, all as part of His lila.
In modern times such misbehavior has also manifested itself within the Gaudiya Vaisnava community. Unauthorized persons have initiated the process of deceitfully bestowing a woman’s dress on their followers. This process is to be counted as a variety of aparadha, or offense against Krsna. Such an attempt to cheapen and ridicule devotional service to Krsna is certainly caused by envy toward the real Vaisnavas, who are faithfully engaged in devotional service according to the rules and regulations of the Vedic literature. Thus Rupa Gosvami has said:
aikantiki harer bhaktir
“If one wants to demonstrate his great devotion to the Supreme Lord but his process of devotional service violates the standard rules of revealed scriptures such as sruti, smrti, Puranas and Narada-pañcaratra, then his alleged love of Godhead will simply disturb society by misleading people from the auspicious path of spiritual advancement.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.101) The taking of a woman’s clothing by a man in krsna-lila was intended to point out this fact. Such an act amounts to cheating and ridicule of the devotees of Krsna. Samba is a personal associate of the Lord, but acting as a harbinger of the future misfortune to be created in Kali-yuga by bogus followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Samba displayed this didactic pastime to help the living entities be blessed on the correct path of devotional service.
The boys said to the sages, “O rsis, O brahmanas, O Narada and other great personalities, can you tell us whether it will be a son or a daughter that will be born from this pregnant woman’s womb?” By addressing pure Vaisnavas in this way, they anticipated the fraudulent sampradayas of the modern age in their practice of sakhi-bheka, or dressing men as female associates of the gopis. This unauthorized activity constitutes contempt and mockery of the pure devotees of the Lord.
Many false yogis, imagining they are distributing first-class devotion on the liberated platform, attempt to award the status of “pure devotee” to candidates totally ignorant of the transcendental tastes of madhura-rati, or the Lord’s conjugal love in the spiritual world. Even though they know that the general populace is unfit to imitate the liberated associates of the Lord, they artificially decorate ordinary persons with the ornaments of spiritual perfection, such as tears, a melted heart, and the standing on end of the bodily hairs. Thus these bogus yogis introduce a process that misleads the world. Because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu understood that the great misfortune caused by such false yogis, or kuyogis, was impossible to forestall in the Kali-yuga, He infected them with insane desires for material objects of lust so that ordinary persons can easily identify such false yogis as deviated from the path of pure devotional service.
The mockery of the brahmanas and Vaisnavas by the young boys of the Yadu dynasty who dressed Samba in woman’s garb, and the resultant destruction of the Yadu dynasty, conclusively demonstrate the uselessness of the sahajiyasampradayas.
Srila Jiva Gosvami has confirmed that the lack of humility shown by the sons of the Yadu dynasty was an arrangement by the Lord Himself. In other words, the members of the Yadu dynasty are ultimately associates of Lord Krsna, and to facilitate the instructive pastimes of the Lord they acted in apparently unethical ways.