Transcendental Associates in Vatsalya-rasa
Krsna, Balarama and Friends Playing with Nanda
Aug 23, CANADA (SUN) Five moods of transcendental relationship with the Lord.
Vatsalya-rati is described as follows in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (2.5.33): When a living entity is situated on the platform of vatsalya-rati, he thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His childhood feature. In this feature, the Lord has to be protected by the devotee, and at this time the devotee takes the position of being worshiped by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The feelings of paternal love are called vatsalya-rati. When the devotee is situated on this platform, he wants to maintain the Lord like a son, and he desires all good fortune for the Lord. He offers blessings to the Lord by touching His feet and head. As a parent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the devotee sometimes chastises the Lord and considers himself to be the Lord's maintainer. This transcendental sense of being the maintainer of the supreme maintainer is very pleasing both to the devotee and to the Supreme Lord.
On the platform of parental love, the qualities of santa-rasa and dasya-rasa are fully developed in another form-the sense of maintaining the Lord. Therefore on the platform of parental love there exists a combination of four transcendental qualities-santa, dasya, sakhya, and the qualities of paternity, which put the devotee in the position of a maintainer. Thus on the platform of parental love the four qualities of transcendental love are present.
Those devotees relating to Krsna in paternal love include Krsna's mother, Yasoda, his father, Maharaja Nanda, along with his aunts, uncles, and similar relatives. the The elder gopis and gopas serve Krsna as His relatives, who are also called worshipable superiors.
"When ecstatic love develops into the relationship of parenthood and becomes steadily established, the relationship is called vatsalya-rasa. The exhibition of this vatsalya-rasa standard of devotional service can be found in the dealings of Krsna with His devotees who represent themselves as superior personalities like father, mother and teacher.
Learned scholars have described the impetuses for parental love for Krsna, existing in the elderly personalities who are in relation with Him, as follows: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose bodily complexion is just like a bluish, new-grown lotus flower, whose body is very delicate and whose lotus eyes are surrounded by scattered hair as black as bees, was walking on the streets of Vrndavana when mother Yasoda, the beloved wife of Nanda Maharaja, saw Him. Immediately the milk began to flow from her breasts, soaking her body." Some specific provocations for parental love of Krsna are listed as His blackish bodily hue, which is very attractive and pleasing to see, His all-auspicious bodily features, His mildness, His sweet words, His simplicity, His shyness, His humility, His constant readiness to offer respect to the elderly and His charity. All of these qualities are considered ecstatic provocations for parental love.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam, Tenth Canto, Eighth Chapter, verse 45, it is stated by Sukadeva Gosvami that mother Yasoda accepted Lord Krsna as her son, although He is accepted in the Vedas as the King of heaven, in the Upanisads as the impersonal Brahman, in philosophy as the supreme male, by the yogis as the Supersoul and by the devotees as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Once mother Yasoda addressed one of her friends in this way: "Nanda Maharaja, the leader of the cowherd men, worshiped Lord Visnu, along with me, and as a result of this worship, Krsna has been saved from the clutches of Putana and other demons. The twin arjuna trees were, of course, broken due to a strong wind, and although Krsna appeared to have lifted Govardhana Hill along with Balarama, I think that Nanda Maharaja actually held the mountain. Otherwise how could it have been possible for a little boy to lift such a great hill?" This is another example of ecstasy in parental love. This kind of parental love is generated in a devotee out of his conviction, in love, that he himself is superior to Krsna and that without being taken care of by such a devotee Krsna could not possibly live. One devotee therefore prayed to the parents of Lord Krsna as follows: "Let me take shelter of the elderly parental devotees of Lord Krsna. They are always anxious to serve Krsna and to maintain Him, and they are always so kind to Him. Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto them for being so kind to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the parent of the whole universe!"
There is a similar prayer by a brahmana who says, "Let others worship the Vedas and the Upanisads, and let others worship the Mahabharata if they are afraid of material existence and want to become liberated from that condition. But as far as I am concerned, I wish only to worship Maharaja Nanda, because the supreme absolute Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is crawling in his courtyard as his own child."
Following is a list of respectful personalities who enjoy parental affection toward Krsna: (1) mother Yasoda, the Queen of Vraja, (2) Maharaja Nanda, the King of Vraja, (3) mother Rohini, the mother of Balarama, (4) all the elderly gopis whose sons were taken away by Lord Brahma, (5) Devaki, the wife of Vasudeva, (6) the other fifteen wives of Vasudeva, (7) Kunti, the mother of Arjuna, (8) Vasudeva, the real father of Krsna and (9) Sandipani Muni, Krsna's teacher. All these are considered respectable elderly personalities with parental love for Krsna. This list is in order of superior importance, and thus we can see that mother Yasoda and Maharaja Nanda are considered to be the supermost of all elderly personalities."
Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 43
Mother Yasoda and Father Nanda
"In Srimad-Bhagavatam, Tenth Canto, Ninth Chapter, verse 3, Sukadeva Gosvami gives Maharaja Pariksit a description of the form and beauty of mother Yasoda. He says, "My dear King, the wide hips of mother Yasoda were surrounded by silk and linen clothes, and her breasts were flowing with milk because of her affection. When she was churning butter and tightly holding the rope, the bangles on her hands and the earrings on her ears were moving, and from the nice decoration in her hair the flowers were slackening and falling down. Due to her excessive labor, there were drops of perspiration on her face."
There is another description of mother Yasoda in a devotee's prayer: "Let me be given protection by mother Yasoda, whose curly hairs are bound with thread, whose hair is very brightly beautified by the vermilion placed in the part and whose bodily frame derides all her ornaments. Her eyes are always engaged in seeing the face of Krsna, and thus they are always filled with tears. Her complexion, which resembles the bluish lotus flower, is enhanced in beauty by her dressing herself with many colorful garments. Let her merciful glance fall on all of us so that we may be protected from the clutches of maya and smoothly progress in our devotional service!"
There is the following description of mother Yasoda's affection for Krsna. After rising early in the morning, mother Yasoda first of all offered her breast milk to Krsna, and then she began to chant various mantras for His protection. Then she would decorate His forehead very nicely and bind His arms with protective talismans. By all of these activities, it is definitely understood that she is the emblem of all maternal affection for Krsna.
The description of Nanda Maharaja's bodily features is as follows. The hairs on his head are generally black, but some of them are gray. His garments are of greenish color, like the new-grown leaves of a banyan tree. His belly is fatty, his complexion is exactly like the full moon, and he has a beautiful mustache. When Krsna was a baby, one day He was walking in the courtyard, capturing the finger of His father, and because He could not walk steadily He appeared to be almost falling down. While Nanda Maharaja was giving protection to His transcendental son in this way, all of a sudden there were drops of tears in his eyes, and he became overwhelmed with joy. Let us all offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of King Nanda!
....When Nanda Maharaja saw the beauty of child Krsna, with tiger nails on His chest, a complexion like the new-grown tamala tree, beautifully decorated tilaka made with cow's urine, arm decorations of nice silk thread, and silk clothes tied around His waist--when Nanda Maharaja saw his child like this, he never became satiated by the child's beauty."
Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 43
Parjanya Maharaja (paternal grandfather)
Krsna's fair-complexion, white-haired and white-attired grandfather is named Parjanya Maharaja, because he is like a great cloud (parjanya) showering the nectar of auspiciousness. He is the best of all the residents of Vraja.
Desiring a worthy descendant, he followed the advice of Devarsi Narada and engaged in the worship of Lord Narayana, the husband of Laksmi. As he was worshiping Narayana at Nandisvara-pura, a pleasant voice spoke the following words from the sky:
"Because of your pious austerities you will obtain five sons. Of these sons the middle one, named Nanda, will be the best. Nanda's glorious son will delight the residents of Vraja. He will defeat all oppositions. Both the demigods and demons will worship Him, touching the jewels of their crowns to His lotus feet."
Hearing this, Parjanya Maharaja became happy and decided to reside at the place. He lived there until he saw the Kesi demon arrive and at that time he became frightened and fled with all his associates to Mahavana.
Parjanya Maharaja's brothers are named Urjanya and Rajanya and his sister is an expert dancer named Suverjana. Her husband is named Gunavira and they live in the town named Surya-kunja.
Having taken a vow of friendship in their youth, Parjanya and Sumukha (Krishna's maternal grandfather) always remain the best of friends. Nanda Maharaja and many other of the cowherds are descended from their families.
Variyasi (paternal grandmother)
Krsna's grandmother Variyasi is respected in the land of Vraja. She is short in stature and her complexion is the colour of a kusumbha flower. She is attired in green garments and her hair is the color of milk.
Nanda Maharaja (father)
Krsna's father is Nanda Maharaja. Nanda delights the residents of Vraja and he is worshiped by all the worlds. He has a protuberant belly, his complexion is the colour of sandalwood, he is tall in stature and his garments are the colour of a bandhujiva flower. His beard is a mixture of black and white hairs, like rice and toasted sesame seeds mixed together.
Nanda is the king of the cowherd men, the younger brother of Upananda and the intimate friend of Maharaja Vasudeva. Nanda and his wife Yasoda are the king and queen of Vrajabhumi and the parents of Lord Krsna.
Because he possesses the splendor (deva) of great wealth (vasu), Nanda Maharaja is also known as Vasudeva. He is also famous by the name Anakadundubhi and it is known that in his previous birth he was named Drona. These names of Maharaja Nanda are described in the Mathura-mahima section of the Garuda Purana. Nanda's most intimate friend is named Maharaja Vrsabhanu.
Nanda Maharaja's elder brothers are Upananda and Abhinanda and his younger brothers are Sannanda and Nandana. These are the names of Lord Krsna's parental uncles.
Krsna's father has two sisters, Sananda-devi and Nandini-devi. They both dress in garments of many different colors. They have beautiful teeth and their complexions are the color of white foam. Sananda-devi's husband is Mahanila and Nandini's husband is Sunila.
Catu and Batuka are Nanda Maharaja's two ksatriya cousins born in Vasudeva Maharaja's dynasty. Catu's wife is Dadhisara and Batuka's wife is Havihsara. Mangala, Pingala, Pinga, Mathura, Pitha, Pattisa, Sankara, Sangara, Bhrngaq, Ghrni, Ghatika, Saragha, Pathira, Dandi, Kedara, Saurabheya, Kala, Ankura, Dhurina, Dhurva, Cakranga, Maskara, Utpala, Kambala, Supaksa, Saudha, Harita, Harikesa, Hara and Upananda are among the contemporary associates of Krsna's father, Nanda Maharaja.
Krnsa's mother is named Yasoda because she bestows (da) fame (yasah) on the cowherd residents of Vraja. She is like the personification of parental love for Krnsa. Her complexion is dark and her garments are like a rainbow. Mother Yasoda's body is of a medium size, neither large nor small. She has long black hair. Her closest friends are Aindavi and Kirtida.
Yasoda is the wife of Nanda, the king of Gokula. She is the queen of the cowherd men in Vraja, the friend of Devaki and the mother of Lord Krsna.
The friendship of Yasoda is described in the following statement of the Adi Purana: "The wife of Maharaja Nanda was known by two names, Yasoda and Devaki. Partly because they share the same name (Devaki) the wife of Maharaja Nanda and the wife of Maharaja Vasudeva were great friends."
Yasodevi and Yasasvini are the sisters of Krsna's mother Yasoda. Yasasvini's husband is named Malla. Yasodevi is elder. Her complexion is dark and she is also known by the name Dadhisara. Yasasvini is younger. Her complexion is fair and she is also known by the name Havihsara. Both dress in vermillion-colored garments. Yasoda's sisters married the two ksatriyas Catu and Batuka. Yasoda's uncle Carumukha has one son who is named Sucaru.
Vatsala, Kusala, Tali, Medura, Masrna, Krpa, Sankini, Bimbini, Mitra, Subhaga, Bhogini, Prabha, Sarika Hingula, Niti, Kapila, Dhamanidhara, Paksati, Pataka, Pundi, Sutunda, Tusti, Anjana, Tarangaksi, Taralika, Subhada, Malika, Angada, Visala, Sallaki, Vena and Vartika are among the contemporary associates of Krsna's mother, Yasoda-devi.
Rohini (Balarama's mother)
Lord Balarama's mother is named Rohini, because she is filled with a constantly rising (arohini) flood of transcendental bliss. Although she dearly loves her son Balarama, she loves Krsna millions of times more.
Upananda (paternal uncle)
Upananda's complexion is pink. He has a long beard and wears green garments. Tungi-devi is his dear wife. Both her complexion and garments are the colour of a cataka bird. Kandava and Dandava are the two sons of Upananda. Their faces are as beautiful as lotus flowers and they become especially happy in the association of their friend Subala.
Abhinanda (paternal uncle)
Abhinanda wears dark garments and his long beautiful beard is like a great conchshell. Pivari-devi is his wife. She wears blue garments and her complexion is pink.
Sannanda (paternal uncle)
Sannanda is also known as Sunanda. His complexion is white and he wears dark-colored clothing. He has two or three white hairs and he is very dear to Lord Kesava. Kuvalaya-devi is Sannanda's wife. Her complexion is the colour of a blue lotus flower and she wears red garments.
Nandana (paternal uncle)
Nandana wears garments the color of a candata flower and his complexion is like the color of a peacock. Nandana lives in the same house with his father, Parjanya Maharaja. He is full of love for his yound nephew Krsna. Atulya-devi is Nandana's wife. Her complexion is like lightning and her garments resemble a dark cloud.
Sumuka (maternal grandfather)
Krsna's energetic and enthusiastic maternal grandfather is named Sumukha. His long beard is like a great conchshell and his complexion is the color of a ripe jambu fruit.
Carumukha is Sumukha's younger brother. His complexion is the color of black eye-cosmetics and his wife Balaka-gopi was raised by her stepparents. Kila, Antakela, Tilata, Krpita, Purata, Gonda, Kallota, Karanda, Tarisana, Varisana, Viraroha and Vararoha are among the contemporary associates of Krsna's maternal grandfather.
Patala devi (maternal grandmother)
Queen Patala-devi is Krsna's maternal grandmother and she is very famous in Vrajabhumi. Her hair is the white color of yogurt, her complexion is the pink color of a patala flower and her garments are green.
Patala-devi's dear friend is named Mukhara-gopi. Out of intense affection for her friend, Mukhara used to feed the infant Yasoda with her own breast milk. Bharunda, Jatila, Bhela, Karala, Karabalika, Gharghara, Mukhara, Ghora, Ghanta, Ghoni, Sughantika, Dhvankarunti, Handi, Tundi, Dingima, Manjuranika, Cakkini, Condika, Cundi, Dindima, Pundavanika, Damani, Damari, Dambi and Danka are among the contemporary associates of Krsna's maternal grandmother.
Gola (brother of Patala devi)
Gola is the brother of Patala-devi, Krsna's maternal grandmother. His garments are the color of smoke. His brother-in-law, Sumukha, used to make fun of him and laugh and because of this Gola was very angry with him. Because he had worshiped Durvasa Muni in his previous birth, Gola was allowed to take birth in Vrajabhumi in the family of Ujjvala.
Jatila-devi is Gola's wife. She has a large belly and her complexion is the color of a cow. Her sons Yasodhara, Yasodeva and Sudeva head the group of Krsna's maternal uncles. Krsna's maternal uncles have complexions like the color of a dark atasi flower and they dress in white garments. Their wives have complexions like karkati flowers and they dress in smoke-colored garments.
Paurnamasi devi (yogamaya)
Full of transcendental opulences, Paurnamasi-devi is the incarnation of the Lord's Yogamaya potency. She makes the arrangements of Lord Krsna's pastimes to be properly performed. She is slightly tall in stature and has a fair complexion. Her hair is the color of kasa flowers and she wears red garments. She is greatly respected by Nanda Maharaja and all the other residents of Vrajabhumi. She was the dear student of Devarsi Narada and on his advice she left her favorite son, Sandipani Muni, in Avantipura and came to Gokula, impelled by great love for her worshipable Lord Krsna.
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.