Srimad Bhagavatam 11.06.34-35 - Glories of Gopal Bhatta Goswami (download mp3)
by Radhanath Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty
ete vai su-mahotpata
sapas ca nah kulasyasid
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Our dynasty has been cursed by the brahmanas. Such a curse is impossible to counteract, and thus great disturbances are appearing everywhere around us.
na vastavyam ihasmabhir
yasyamo ’dyaiva ma ciram
My dear respected elders, we must not remain any longer in this place if we wish to keep our lives intact. Let us go this very day to the most pious place Prabhasa. We have no time to delay.
Many demigods, coming to the earth to assist Lord Krsna in His pastimes, took birth within the Yadu dynasty and appeared as Lord Krsna’s associates. When the Lord had completed His earthly pastimes He wanted to send these demigods back to their previous service in universal administration. Each demigod was to return to his respective planet. The transcendental city of Dvaraka is so auspicious that whoever dies there immediately goes back home, back to Godhead, but because the demigod members of the Yadu dynasty, in many cases, were not yet prepared to go back to Godhead, they had to die outside the city of Dvaraka. Thus Lord Krsna, pretending to be an ordinary living being, said, “We are all in danger. Let us all immediately go to Prabhasa.” In this way, by His yoga-maya Krsna bewildered such demigod members of the Yadu dynasty and led them away to the holy place Prabhasa.
Since Dvaraka is parama-mangala, the most auspicious place, not even an imitation of inauspiciousness can take place there. Actually, Lord Krsna’s pastime of removing the Yadu dynasty is ultimately auspicious, but since it outwardly appeared inauspicious, it could not take place in Dvaraka; therefore Lord Krsna led the Yadus away from Dvaraka. After having sent the demigods back to their planets, Lord Krsna planned to return to the spiritual world, Vaikuntha, in His original form and remain in the eternal city of Dvaraka.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has made the following important comments on this verse. Prabhasa is a famous holy place located near the Veraval railway station, within the region of Junagarah. In Chapter Thirty of the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam it is written that after hearing the words of Sri Krsna, the Yadavas went to the mainland from the island city of Dvaraka by means of boats and then traveled to Prabhasa in chariots. At Prabhasa-ksetra they drank a beverage called maireya and became engaged in a mutual quarrel. A great battle ensued, and killing each other with hard stalks of cane, the members of the Yadu dynasty acted out the pastime of their own annihilation.
Lord Sri Krsna, manifesting His four-armed form, sat down under a pippala tree, placing His left foot, the heel of which was colored red like the red koka-nada lotus, upon His right thigh. A hunter named Jara, watching from the shore of the ocean at Prabhasa, mistook the Lord’s red-colored foot to be the face of a deer and shot his arrow at it.
At the base of that same pippala tree under which Lord Krsna had sat there is now a temple. One mile away from the tree, on the seashore, is the Vira-prabhañjana Matha, and it is said that from this point the hunter Jara fired his arrow.
In the conclusion to his work Mahabharata-tatparya-nirnaya, Sri Madhvacarya-pada has written the following purport to the mausala-lila. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in order to bewilder the demons and ensure that the word of His own devotees and of the brahmanas be maintained, created a body of material energy into which the arrow was shot. But the Lord’s actual four-armed form was never touched by the arrow of Jara, who is actually the Lord’s devotee Bhrgu Rsi. In a previous age Bhrgu Muni had placed his foot on the chest of Lord Visnu. In order to counteract the offense of improperly placing his foot on the Lord’s chest, Bhrgu had to take birth as a degraded hunter. But even though a great devotee willingly accepts such a low birth, the Personality of Godhead cannot tolerate seeing His devotee in such a fallen condition. Thus the Personality of Godhead arranged that at the end of Dvapara-yuga, when the Lord was winding up His manifest pastimes, His devotee Bhrgu, in the form of the hunter Jara, would cast the arrow into a material body created by the Lord’s illusory energy. Thus the hunter would become remorseful, gain release from his degraded birth and go back to Vaikuntha-loka.
Therefore, to please His devotee Bhrgu and to confuse the demons, the Supreme Lord manifested His mausala-lila at Prabhasa, but it should be understood that this is an illusory pastime. The Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna, from His very appearance on the earth, did not manifest any of the material qualities of ordinary human beings. The Lord did not appear from the womb of His mother. Rather, by His inconceivable power He descended into the maternity room. At the time of His giving up this mortal world, He similarly manifested an illusory situation for the sake of bewildering the demons. To bewilder the nondevotees, the Lord created an illusory body out of His material energy while simultaneously remaining personally in His own sac-cid-ananda body, and thus He manifested the downfall of an illusory material form. This pretense effectively bewilders foolish demons, but Lord Sri Krsna’s actual transcendental, eternal body of bliss never experiences death.
Also at Prabhasa-ksetra there is the holy place known as Bhrgu-tirtha, which was manifested by Lord Parasurama. The place at which the two rivers Sarasvati and Hiranya flow together into the ocean is named Bhrgu-tirtha, and there the hunter cast his arrow. There is an elaborate description of Prabhasa-tirtha in the Prabhasa-khanda of the Skanda Purana. There are also many phala-srutis given within the Mahabharata in connection with Prabhasa-tirtha. Phala-srutis are scriptural statements that promise various auspicious results for one who performs a particular pious activity. In the following verses the Lord Himself will explain the particular benefits to be derived from visiting Prabhasa-ksetra and performing religious activities there.