A Devotee Is One Who Gives Fame

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.90.48-50 - A Devotee Is One Who Gives Fame (download mp3)
by Braj Mohan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.90.48
jayati jana-nivaso devaki-janma-vado
 yadu-vara-parisat svair dorbhir asyann adharmam
sthira-cara-vrjina-ghnah su-smita-sri-mukhena
 vraja-pura-vanitanam vardhayan kama-devam

Lord Sri Krsna is He who is known as jana-nivasa, the ultimate resort of all living entities, and who is also known as Devakinandana or Yasoda-nandana, the son of Devaki and Yasoda. He is the guide of the Yadu dynasty, and with His mighty arms He kills everything inauspicious, as well as every man who is impious. By His presence He destroys all things inauspicious for all living entities, moving and inert. His blissful smiling face always increases the lusty desires of the gopis of Vrndavana. May He be all glorious and happy!

The translation and word meanings for this verse are taken from Srila Prabhupada’s English rendering of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 13.79). According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has composed this beautiful verse to console those who lament the fact that Lord Krsna did not continue to manifest His intimate pastimes down to the present time. Here Sri Sukadeva reminds his listeners that the Lord is eternally present in this world — in His holy abode, His name and the recitation of His glories. This idea is expressed by the word jayati (“He is victorious”), which is in the present tense rather than the past.

Srila Prabhupada explains this verse as follows in Krsna: “Srila Sukadeva Gosvami thus concludes his description of the superexalted position of Lord Krsna by glorifying Him in the following way: ‘O Lord Krsna, all glories unto You. You are present in everyone’s heart as Paramatma. Therefore You are known as Jananivasa, one who lives in everyone’s heart.’ As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ’rjuna tisthati: ‘The Supreme Lord in His Paramatma feature lives in everyone’s heart.’ This does not mean, however, that Krsna has no separate existence as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Mayavadi philosophers accept the all-pervading feature of Parabrahman, but when Parabrahman, or the Supreme Lord, appears, they think that He appears under the control of material nature. Because Lord Krsna appeared as the son of Devaki, the Mayavadi philosophers accept Krsna to be an ordinary living entity who takes birth within this material world. Therefore Sukadeva Gosvami warns them: devaki-janma-vadah, which means that although Krsna is famous as the son of Devaki, actually He is the Supersoul, or the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“The devotees, however, take this word devaki-janma-vada in a different way. The devotees understand that actually Krsna was the son of mother Yasoda. Although Krsna first of all appeared as the son of Devaki, He immediately transferred Himself to the lap of mother Yasoda, and His childhood pastimes were blissfully enjoyed by mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja. This fact was also admitted by Vasudeva himself when he met Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda at Kuruksetra. He admitted that Krsna and Balarama were actually the sons of mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja. Vasudeva and Devaki were only Their official father and mother. Their actual father and mother were Nanda and Yasoda. Therefore Sukadeva Gosvami describes Lord Krsna as devaki-janma-vada.

“Sukadeva Gosvami then glorifies the Lord as one who is honored by the yadu-vara-parisat, the assembly house of the Yadu dynasty, and as the killer of different kinds of demons. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, could have killed all the demons by employing His different material energies, but He wanted to kill them personally in order to give them salvation. There was no need of Krsna’s coming to this material world to kill the demons. Simply by His willing, many hundreds and thousands of demons could have been killed without His personal endeavor. But actually He descended for His pure devotees, to play as a child with mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja and to give pleasure to the inhabitants of Dvaraka. By killing the demons and by giving protection to the devotees, Lord Krsna established the real religious principle, which is simply love of God. By following the factual religious principles of love of God, even the living entities known as sthira-cara were also delivered from all material contamination and were transferred to the spiritual kingdom. Sthira means the trees and plants, which cannot move, and cara means the moving animals, especially the cows. When Krsna was present, He delivered all the trees, monkeys and other plants and animals who happened to see Him and serve Him both in Vrndavana and Dvaraka.

“Lord Krsna is especially glorified for giving pleasure to the gopis and the queens of Dvaraka. Sukadeva Gosvami glorifies Lord Krsna for His enchanting smile, by which He enchanted not only the gopis of Vrndavana but also the queens at Dvaraka. The exact words used in this connection are vardhayan kamadevam. In Vrndavana, as the boyfriend of many gopis, and in Dvaraka, as the husband of many queens, Krsna increased their lusty desires to enjoy with Him. For God realization or self-realization, one generally has to undergo severe austerities and penances for many, many thousands of years, and then it may be possible to realize God. But the gopis and the queens of Dvaraka, simply by enhancing their lusty desires to enjoy Krsna as their boyfriend or husband, received the highest type of salvation.”

In this way Srila Prabhupada wonderfully illuminates the meaning of this verse by Sukadeva Gosvami, which summarizes Lord Krsna’s pastimes.

SB 10.90.49
ittham parasya nija-vartma-riraksayatta-
 lila-tanos tad-anurupa-vidambanani
karmani karma-kasanani yaduttamasya
 sruyad amusya padayor anuvrttim icchan

To protect the principles of devotional service to Himself, Lord Krsna, the best of the Yadus, accepts the pastime forms that have been glorified here in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. One who desires to faithfully serve His lotus feet should hear of the activities He performs in each of these incarnations — activities that suitably imitate those of the forms He assumes. Hearing narrations of these pastimes destroys the reactions to fruitive work.

SB 10.90.50
martyas tayanusavam edhitaya mukunda
tad dhama dustara-krtanta-javapavargam
 gramad vanam ksiti-bhujo ’pi yayur yad-arthah

By regularly hearing, chanting and meditating on the beautiful topics of Lord Mukunda with ever-increasing sincerity, a mortal being will attain the divine kingdom of the Lord, where the inviolable power of death holds no sway. For this purpose, many persons, including great kings, abandoned their mundane homes and took to the forest.

For the Srimad-Bhagavatam’s Tenth Canto, this verse is the phala-sruti, the promise of success given to one who hears it. The process of devotional service begins with hearing topics about the Supreme Lord. When one has heard these topics properly, he can then proceed to chant them for others’ benefit and reflect on their significance. This leads to faithful adherence to the principles of devotional service, which culminates in absolute faith in Lord Krsna. Such perfect faith gives one the right to enter the Lord’s intimate service and, in due course of time, return to one’s eternal, spiritual life in one of the Lord’s personal domains.

Humbly offering his comments on the Tenth Canto at the lotus feet of his worshipable Lord, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti prays:

mad-gavir api gopalah
 svi-kuryat krpaya yadi
tadaivasam payah pitva
 hrsyeyus tat-priya janah

“If Lord Gopala mercifully accepts the cows of my words, then His dear devotees may enjoy the pleasure of drinking their milk — the nectar produced by hearing them.”

Thus end the purports of the humble servants of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to the Tenth Canto, Ninetieth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “Summary of Lord Krsna’s Glories.”