"He is the divine son of Vasudeva
by his wife Rohini. He is also known as Rohini-nandana, the beloved son of
Rohini. He was also entrusted to Nanda Maharaja along with His mother, Rohini,
when Vasudeva embraced imprisonment by mutual agreement with Kamsa. So Nanda
Maharaja is also the foster father of Baladeva along with Lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna and Lord Baladeva were constant companions from
Their very childhood, although They were stepbrothers. He is the plenary
manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore He is as
good and powerful as Lord Krishna. He belongs to the vishnu-tattva (the
principle of Godhead). He attended the svayamvara (selection of her bridegroom)
ceremony of Draupadi along with Sri Krishna.
When Subhadra was kidnapped by Arjuna by the organized plan
of Sri Krishna, Baladeva was very angry with Arjuna and wanted to kill him at
once. Sri Krishna, for the sake of His dear friend, fell at the feet of Lord
Baladeva and implored Him not to be so angry. Sri Baladeva was thus satisfied.
Similarly, He was once very angry with the Kauravas, and He wanted to throw
their whole city into the depths of the Yamuna. But the Kauravas satisfied Him
by surrendering unto His divine lotus feet.
He was actually the seventh son of Devaki prior to the birth
of Lord Krishna, but by the will of the Lord He was transferred to the womb of
Rohini to escape the wrath of Kamsa. His other name is therefore Sankarsana,
who is also the plenary portion of Sri Baladeva. Because He is as powerful as
Lord Krishna and can bestow spiritual power to the devotees, He is therefore
known as Baladeva.
In the Vedas also it is enjoined that no one can know the
Supreme Lord without being favored by Baladeva. Bala means spiritual strength,
not physical. Some less intelligent persons interpret bala as the strength of
the body. But no one can have spiritual realization by physical strength.
Physical strength ends with the end of the physical body, but spiritual
strength follows the spirit soul to the next transmigration, and therefore
the strength obtained by Baladeva is never wasted. The strength is eternal, and
thus Baladeva is the original spiritual master of all devotees.
Sri Baladeva was also a class friend of Lord Sri Krishna as
a student of Sandipani Muni. In His childhood He killed many asuras along with
Sri Krishna, and specifically He killed the Dhenukasura at Talavana.
During the Kurukshetra battle, He remained neutral, and He
tried His best not to bring about the fight. He was in favor of Duryodhana, but
still He remained neutral. When there was a club-fight between Duryodhana and
Bhimasena, He was present on the spot. He was angry at Bhimasena when the
latter struck Duryodhana on the thigh or below the belt, and He wanted to
retaliate the unfair action. Lord Sri Krishna saved Bhima from His wrath. But
He left the place at once, being disgusted at Bhimasena, and after His
departure Duryodhana fell to the ground to meet his death.
The funeral ceremony of Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, was
performed by Him, as He was the maternal uncle. It was impossible to be
performed by any one of the Pandavas, who were all overwhelmed with grief. At
the last stage, He departed from this world by producing a great white snake
from His mouth, and thus He was carried by Sesanaga in the shape of a
Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.11.16-17, Purport, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
"Sadhu-sastra-guru: one has to
test all spiritual matters according to the instructions of saintly persons,
scriptures and the spiritual master. The spiritual master is one who follows
the instructions of his predecessors, namely the sadhus, or saintly persons. A
bona fide spiritual master does not mention anything not mentioned in the
authorized scriptures. Ordinary people have to follow the instructions of
sadhu, sastra and guru. Those statements made in the sastras and those made by
the bona fide sadhu or guru cannot differ from one another."
"If you accept somebody as guru,
then you have to corroborate it whether sastra says that he is guru or any
saintly person says that he is guru. This is the way. Similarly, when you take
a scripture, you have to know it from the spiritual master, whether that is
actually scripture, whether it is accepted by the saintly person. Sadhu.
Similarly sadhu also, whether guru says, "Yes, he is sadhu." Whether
sastra says, "Yes, he is sadhu." There are three things,
sadhu-sastra-guru. So to accept one, you have to take the opinion of the other
two. Then you'll get the right way."
Prabhupada Room Conversation, 07-18-73, London
"What is spoken in the scripture
is accepted by saintly person, and what is spoken in the scripture, the
spiritual master explains only that thing. That's all. So via media is the
scripture. ... Saintly person means who confirms the Vedic injunction, who
accepts. And scripture means what is accepted by the saintly person. And
spiritual master means who follows the scriptures. So things equal to the same
thing are equal to one another. This is axiomatic truth."
Prabhupada Lecture, 10-18-68, Seattle
"Sadhu sastra, guru vakya,
tinete kariya aikya. Spiritual realization can be perfected by three
parallel process. Sadhu. Sadhu means saintly persons, who are realized souls,
sadhu. And sastra. Sastra means scriptures, authoritative scriptures, Vedic
scriptures, sastra. Sadhu, sastra, and guru, a spiritual master. Three parallel
line. And if you place your car or vehicle on these three parallel line, your
car will go direct to Krsna. Tinete kariya aikya. Just like in the
railway line you see two parallel lines. If they are in order, the railway carriages
are carried very smoothly to the destination. Here also, there are three
parallel lines--sadhu, sastra, guru: saintly person, association of saintly
person, acceptance of bona fide spiritual master, and faith in the scriptures.
That's all. Then your carriage will be going nicely, without any
One has to perform devotional service in full tapasya, austerity. One should fast on the two Ekadashi days, which fall on the eleventh day of the waxing and waning moon, and on the birthdays of Lord Krishna, Lord Rama and Caitanya Mahäprabhu. There are many such fasting days. Yogena means “by controlling the senses and mind.” Yoga indriya-saàyamaù. Yogena implies that one is seriously absorbed in the self and is able, by development of knowledge, to understand his constitutional position in relationship with the Superself. In this way one becomes fixed in devotional service, and his faith cannot be shaken by any material allurement.
As far as His flute is concerned, it is said that the vibration of this wonderful instrument was able to break the meditation of the greatest sages, and Krsna was thus challenging Cupid by advertising His transcendental glories all over the world.
There are three kinds of flutes used by Krsna. One is called venu, one is called murali, and the third is called vamsi. Venu is very small, not more than six inches long, with six holes for whistling. Murali is about eighteen inches long with a hole at the end and four holes on the body of the flute. This kind of flute produces a very enchanting sound. The vamsi flute is about fifteen inches long, with nine holes on its body. Krsna used to play on these three flutes occasionally when they were needed. Krsna has a longer vamsi, which is called mahananda, or sanmohini. When it is still longer it is called akarsini. When it is even longer it is called anandini. The anandini flute is very pleasing to the cowherd boys and is technically named vamsuli. These flutes were sometimes bedecked with jewels. Sometimes they were made of marble and sometimes of hollow bamboo. When the flute is made of jewels it is called sanmohini. When made of gold, it is called akarsini.
We are in a very precarious condition. Very unfavorable condition. The best thing is to pray Krsna, "Please pick me up very soon and let me go back to Your place." If you have to come back again, oh, you do not know how much misery we have to undergo. Because with the advancement of Kali-yuga, everything is becoming more and more miserable. There is no happiness in family life, there is no happiness in social life, there is no happiness in political life, there is no happiness in earning livelihood. Everything is encumbered. All impediment, full of impediments. Morning Walk at Stow Lake -- March 23, 1968, San Francisco
Brahmananda: In Mayapur there is one astrologer and he... Prabhupada: Who is that astro...? Brahmananda: I don't know his name. He lives in..., across, on the other side there, where the bank is. Prabhupada: Oh, Bamanpukur. Brahmananda: No, on the other side of the... Prabhupada: Navadvipa? Brahmananda: No, on the..., where the railway is. Prabhupada: Oh, Svarup Ganj. Brahmananda: Yes, Svarup Ganj. So he likes our movement very much, and he said that, he told one of our devotees that you were the most powerful personality in the world. And he has given very accurate astrology readings to some of our devotees. Prabhupada: And he was, what he has told about me? Brahmananda: That you are the most powerful personality in the world. Prabhupada: If I am representative of Krsna, then I must be the most powerful. Krsna has got..., all omnipotent. (laughs) Most powerful, the most my Godbrothers. That is my credit. They are thinking like that, "This man became most powerful than all of us. (Still laughing) He was a grhastha." They used to say all the grhasthas, paca-grhastha. Paca means decomposed Morning Walk -- June 30, 1975, Denver
Prabhupada: First-class men. Our definition of God is: na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate. "He has nothing to do." This is God. Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate: "He has nothing to do." He is simply enjoying, dancing with the gopis, that's all. Why He should go to work? Then what kind of God he is? Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate. Devotee: But He also says in Gita that He works too. Prabhupada: Just to teach these rascals to work. Because here, without working, you cannot get your food. Therefore laziness condemned here in this material world. And in the spiritual world the Supreme Person is the most lazy person. (laughter) Morning Walk -- July 17, 1975, San Francisco
From the very beginning of his childhood life Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
introduced the system of observing a fast on the ekadasi day. In the
bhakti-sandarbha, by Srila Jiva Gosvami, there is a quotation from the Skanda Purana
admonishing that a person who eats grains on ekadasi becomes a murderer of his
mother, father, brother and spiritual master, and even if he is elevated to a
vaikuntha planet, he falls down. On ekadasi, everything is cooked for Visnu,
including regular grains and dahi, but it is enjoined that a vaisnava should
not even take Visnu-Prasada on ekadasi. It is said that a vaisnava does not
accept anything eatable that is not offered to lord visnu, but on ekadasi a
vaisnava should not touch even maha-prasada offered to Visnu, although such
prasada may be kept for being eaten the next day. It is strictly forbidden for
one to accept any kind of grain on ekadasi, even if it is offered to lord Visnu.
The Caturmasya period begins in the month of Asadha (June-July) from the day of Ekadasi called Sayana-ekadasi, in the fortnight of the waxing moon. The period ends in the month of Kartika (October-November) on the Ekadasi day known as Utthana-ekadasi, in the fortnight of the waxing moon. This four-month period is known as Caturmasya. Some Vaisnavas also observe it from the full-moon day of Asadha until the full-moon day of Kartika. That is also a period of four months. This period, calculated by the lunar months, is called Caturmasya, but others also observe Caturmasya according to the solar month from Sravana to Kartika. The whole period, either lunar or solar, takes place during the rainy season. Caturmasya should be observed by all sections of the population. It does not matter whether one is a grhastha or a sannyasi. The observance is obligatory for all asramas. The real purpose behind the vow taken during these four months is to minimize the quantity of sense gratification. This is not very difficult. In the month of Sravana one should not eat spinach, in the month of Bhadra one should not eat yogurt, and in the month of Asvina one should not drink milk. One should not eat fish or other nonvegetarian food during the month of Kartika. A nonvegetarian diet means fish and meat. Similarly, masura dal and urad dal are also considered nonvegetarian. These two dals contain a great amount of protein, and food rich in protein is considered nonvegetarian. On the whole, during the four-month period of Caturmasya one should practice giving up all food intended for sense enjoyment. Madhya 4.170 Cc. Madhya 4.170
Hayagriva: Is the humorous direct or indirect? One in humor?
Prabhupada: Humor, humor is practically in every direct relationship. And indirect also, there is humor. "I am thinking of you as enemy" -- that is also another type of humor. (Chuckles) Yes.
Pradyumna: Do the five direct rasas take place between jiva souls also when they are...
Prabhupada: Everything for jiva souls, all relationship. Krsna is one, the Supreme, and all the jiva souls are part and parcel of Krsna. Therefore the eternal relationship is there. Now they are exhibited in these twelve kinds of humor, either directly or indirectly. Jiva soul, a part and parcel, cannot be separated from the Supreme. Sun and the light, electric bulb, and the diffusion of light, they cannot be separated. But this portion is covered. It appears darkness. So when it is covered, that is called maya, and he thinks that "I have no relationship with God," or "I am God," "There is no God." This is maya. He is covered. He cannot see. So he has to be treated by this Krsna consciousness treatment, and the maya will be separated, and he will see, "Ah, yes, I am part and parcel of Krsna." Then he comes to the direct relationship. Anyone, so-called spiritualist or transcendentalist, if he is claiming that "There is no God," "I am God," "There is voidness," these are all disturbing positions, different symptoms of this disease of maya. It is disease. How one can think of, that he is God? That means he does not know what is God. If I say here that "I am President Nixon," would you accept it? Would you accept? Any one of you, if I say that "I am President Nixon," will you accept? Why? Why? Why? Why you do not accept me? I say, "I am President Nixon." Why do you not accept? Why?
Woman: I would say you are if you say you are.
Kirtanananda: You don't have the characteristics.
Prabhupada: No. That means you are not rascal. You are sane, that you do not accept me as President... That is one thing. At least you are not insane. So if I say, "God," and you accept, then how much insane you are. Just try to understand. How much insanity is there, one who is claiming that "I am God" and one who is accepting that he is God. This is insanity.
Devotee: They're always saying that the devotees are parasites. Everyone is always saying that the sadhus...
Prabhupada: That we have already answered. Just the Rockefeller. He may be also called parasite.
Devotee: He is.
Prabhupada: But he has got enough money to engage you to work for me. "You work; I enjoy." Devotees are so clever that you collect money... Just like our Krsna dasa collected money by doing hard work and gave me a check. Why shall I work? (laughter) I am so intelligent, I have created an organization-check is coming without my work. So who is intelligent? Why shall I work?
Bahulasva: Better to just chant and dance.
Bahulasva: That is why they become mad because they become envious that we are chanting and dancing. They are working very hard.
Paramahamsa: They won't join.
Prabhupada: Yes, they asked in Los Angeles that "How is that? You do not work and you are living so comfortably?" They are envious. And the greatest economist, Professor Marshall, he has said that if man gets money, automatically he will not work. That is the basic prin... Therefore they are creating daily new invention.
You have asked about Balarama Krsna deities. No, Balarama and Krsna are already there as Caitanya and Nitai: Vrajendranandana yei, saci suta hailas sei . . . The best thing is to establish Gaura Nitai deities. In Vrindaban we are establishing Balarama Krsna deities because most of the temples there have Radha Krsna and there is not Balarama-Krsna. That has a different purpose. We should not imitate that. Better to have Gaura-Nitai, Radha-Krsna, and Lord Jagannatha -- that system must continue. Letter to: Kirtanananda -- Los Angeles 12 January, 1974