Conflict Among Devotees – Part 1

ASK BVKS | June 26, 2011 |

English;

Question:

I have experienced that there is conflict between devotees serving under different leaders: many devotees consider their own service or approach to bhakti as the most authentic, and associating with different genres of devotees sometimes creates confusion in my mind. Why does this conflict emerge although all devotees are engaged in service of Krishna? How can we overcome conflict and instead cooperate to fight against our common enemies, impersonalism and materialism.

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Question: 1) My question is that why god Krishna is coupled with Radharani in every temple and in every poster. What about his wives Rukmini and Satyabhama. Did Krishna loves only Radharani? What is that reason if my question is wrong? Please pardon me. 2) Why is it that only Lord Krishna in a deity form is worshiped with Srimati Radharani? Lord Balaram an immediated expansion of Lord Krishna, is not with a deity form with his wife in spiritual world?… Expand>

Question:

1. My question is that why god Krishna is coupled with Radharani in every temple and in every poster. What about his wives Rukmini and Satyabhama. Did Krishna loves only Radharani? What is that reason if my question is wrong? Please pardon me.

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

Well, what about his: “In every temple in every poster Kṛṣṇa is coupled with Rādhārāṇī.” Would be nice if it was. I guess in ISKCON it’s like that, pretty much. What about His wives Rukmiṇī and Satyabhāmā? Well, what about the other wives too? Like Kalindi, Bhadra, Satyā, Mitravinda; there are so many other wives. Rohiṇī. Nāgnajitī is Satyā; it’s another name. I said, didn’t I? Satyā. So, Jāmbavatī; now we got almost all of them. Who was there, Madri? I think that’s pretty much it now. So yeah, and then Rohiṇī, I said is… There are 16,108, so there are eight famous ones. So Rohiṇī is the foremost of the other 16,100. So does Kṛṣṇa only love Rādhārāṇī? Well, it’s point to consider that we in our temples, we have Deities of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, not much of Rukmiṇī and Satyabhāmā. In ISKCON Chennai the Deities are there Kṛṣṇa-Rukmiṇī-Satyabhāmā, because someone donated them at some point. Although when the main temple’s open, they’re going to install Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. We do have Rukmiṇī-Dvārakādhīśa in Los Angeles, but Kṛṣṇa’s laying a flute; and Prabhupāda used to refer to them as Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. 

Yeah, it’s an interesting point that we have Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in every temple. We do have Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in every temple, but at the same time we say that to be very careful in approaching Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Don’t just jump in. So on the one hand, for the public and temples are especially meant for neophytes, so we’re told… The people, they like to come to the temple. They see Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. But on the other hand, we say not to inquire too deeply into these matters, because to understand the actual answer to this requires more than a Bhakti-śāstrīdegree. You have to go up to Bhakti Sārvabhauma, or [you] have to come up to the level of Caitanya Mahāprabhu practically to understand this. So, it’s a very intimate subject. In short we can say that Rukmiṇī, Satyabhāmā, all the queens, all the Lakṣmīs, Sītā – they’re all expansions of Rādhārāṇī. Rādhārāṇī is the ādi-śakti. She’s the original source of all the forms. So, just as Kṛṣṇa’s the source of all Narayana forms, so Rādhā’s the source of all Lakṣmī forms. So when we worship Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, actually we are worshiping also Rukmiṇī and Kṛṣṇa and Satyabhāmā. Rādhārāṇī is all those persons. 

There’s much more to be said about this, but from the way question’s asked, I can understand that to discuss in detail won’t be understood. It’s like someone who’s just a child and just beginning to learn 1+1=2 and they see in some textbook some integral calculus calculations and they hear the word integral calculus and they ask the teacher: “Can you explain integral calculus to us?” So they may have heard the word and they have some vague idea – maybe not even that – but it’s not possible for the teacher to explain that at the student’s present level of understanding. So just very basically we can say that Rādhā is the original form of all the śaktis. But to understand in detail – it’s not that it cannot be understood, but one has to go through various levels of understanding. It’s not that one can immediately come to the highest understanding. 

Question 2. Why is it that only Lord Krishna in a deity form is worshiped with Srimati Radharani? Lord Balaram an immediated expansion of Lord Krishna, is not with a deity form with his wife in spiritual world?

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

Yeah, Balarāma has His wives, two wives – Revatī and Vāruṇī. And there are temples of Balarāma with Revatī in Vraja, in the Vraja area. But where we worship Balarāma in ISKCON, we mostly worship Him with Jagannatha and Subhadra, who are traditional forms worshiped in this way; and also Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma. To worship Balarāma separately with His wife, that is a special bhava which a few devotees have. Just like some people worship Sītā-Rāma, so some people worship Revatī-Balarāma. Vāruṇī we don’t hear much of.

So again it’s people asking a question which is… Very intricate and esoteric matters which… Unless we first of all understand Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then to understand His intimate personal dealings won’t be possible for us.

(On the photo: Deity of Lord Balarama with His wives Revati and Varuni, Tota Gopinatha temple, Jagannatha Puri, Orissa) 

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Question:

I have been practicing for several years but when recently asked by another young devotee regarding when one gets the taste for chanting I had to frankly admit that I hadn't got it yet. I can understand that it is due to offences and inattentive chanting. If it is not too impertinent to ask, may I request you to share your personal experience about chanting. I have heard from your lectures that you were chanting 16 rounds from the day you joined. Of course it depends on the devotee's level of sincerity and one cannot put a timeline on when one gets a taste from chanting and consequently other things such as waking up early, but hearing from you will definitely inspire those of us who are struggling.

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