Hare Krishna Mahamantra

हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण, कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे || हरे राम हरे राम, राम राम हरे हरे||

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Sadhana Bhakti - Five types of relationships with God

In the sadhana bhakti we start to build a feeling of relational love with God. Most teachings about God's personality refer to Him as the Supreme Being. It is difficult to feel related to such a personality.

To develop love, saints have stressed to forming a close personal relationship with Krishna through a Bhava -- a particular quality of love, expressed in a style of relationship. These are:

  • Shant bhava -- loving God as a supreme governor
  • Dasya bhava -- loving God as a master
  • Sakhya bhava -- loving God as your close friend
  • Vatsalya bhava --loving God as your child
  • Madhurya bhava -- tloving God as your beloved

Each of these loving sentiments have their own quality of divine love bliss. For example, you know the feeling of closeness that a dear friend inspires. But the love you have for your mother is different and more intimate, but in its own style. The love of two beloveds can only be compared to itself. Each has its own special quality of intimacy that you can use in sadhana bhakti.

Most of the examples that Saints give for these loving bhavas relate to these Divine leelas. However you have complete freedom to use your own modern version of these relational feelings in your sadhana bhakti meditation. Cultivate that sense of closeness in your devotional imagination the same way you would develop a similar style of relationship in the world.

The highest class of saints do not give special importance to feelings of shant bhava, because in this relationship there is no loving intimacy or any particular manifestation of divine love bliss.

Divine love bliss starts from dasya bhava - feelings of servitude. A devotee with deep feelings of servitude towards his beloved Master says,

"Oh Lord! When I die, may the material elements that comprise my body still be used in Your service. May the water element mix in the well where You go to bathe. May the fire element enter the mirror where You see your reflection. May the space element merge in the space in which You walk. May the earth element mix with the ground upon which You place Your lotus feet. May the air element mix with the breeze that is created when You are fanned."

This humble sentiment is so strong that such a servant desires to serve his Master even after death.
Sadhana Bhakti - Dasya Bhava

In sakhya bhava, the bliss of Divine love is more unique and closer. This example is seen in the Gwalbals or childhood friends of Krishna. Although these young boys were illiterate villagers, when they called Krishna the nickname 'Kanua', Krishna would become absorbed in love.
Sadhana Bhakti - Sakhaya Bhava
If Krishna saw them offended or annoyed, He would also feel unhappy. He would tease them on picnics by snatching morsels of half-eaten food from their mouths. If the Gwalbals defeated Krishna in their childhood games, they would make Krishna become a horse and they would climb on his back and ride Him.
Sadhana Bhakti - Sakhaya Bhava
If these friends had even the slightest idea that Krishna was almighty supreme God, the sweetness of their love and feeling of intimacy would have instantly vanished.
Sadhana Bhakti - Sakhaya Bhava

In vatsalya bhava -- feelings of maternal love, the bliss of Divine love is even more intimate. This is represented through the love of Krishna's mother, Yashoda.
Sadhana Bhakti - Vatsalya Bhava

Sadhana Bhakti - Vatsalya Bhava
Once Yashoda tied Krishna to a heavy mortar to punish him for eating earth. She approached him with a thin stick in her hand to spank him. Krishna cried, trembled and tearfully begged, "Mother, let me go this time! I promise I won't eat earth again!" Seeing his tears, Yashoda felt emotions only a mother could understand.
Sadhana Bhakti - Vatsalya Bhava
If she knew that she had bound supreme almighty God, who has unlimited powers, her love would have disappeared immediately.
Sadhana Bhakti - Vatsalya Bhava

In madhurya bhava, the bliss of Divine love is the most intimate. Madhurya bhava incorporates all the bhavas within itself. In your sadhana you can think of Krishna as your beloved, son, friend, lord or king whenever you wish. The madhurya bhav of the Gopis is well known. Under the influence of the Gopis love, Krishna forgets all his almighty majesty
Sadhana Bhakti - Madhurya Bhava

Sadhana Bhakti - Madhurya Bhava

A glimpse of such feelings is expressed by a Gopi in the Bhagwatam (10/30/40):

"Oh Lord! (Feeling of servitude) Oh my Sweet One! (Feeling of maternal love) Oh darling! (Feeling of beloved relationship) I am yearning to see You. Oh, my only companion, Krishna! We, the Gopis, are Your eternal servants. Please come before us and show us Your beautiful face."
Sadhana Bhakti - Madhurya Bhava

Also read story of salvation of Dantavaktra by Lord Krishna:

*** Hare Krishna ***

Salvation of Dantavaktra by Lord Krishna

Dantavakra was the king of Karusha, which is said to have been situated in the southern province of Kalinga which was in modern day Orissa, although there was also an ancient kingdom called Kurusha near Kashi (Varanasi). The Puranas reveal that Dantavakra was Krishna’s cousin, but unfortunately due to his envious and demoniac nature, right from his very birth, he was envious of Krishna and bore Him great enmity throughout his life.

After the death of his friend Sishupala at the hands off Krishna, Dantavakra was very upset; but when Krishna killed his most dear friend Salva, the king of Kashi, Dantavakra became furious and in order to avenge his friend’s death, he took a solemn vow that he would kill Krishna.

By the will of providence, Dantavakra received news that Krishna was arriving from Dwaraka to meet all the Vrajavasis in Vrindavana and therefore Dantavakra immediately rushed to Datiha in order to challenge Krishna to a fight. The foolish Dantavakra was so furious and overcome with rage that he forgot his chariot, his bow, his armor, and even his helmet, and hurriedly rushed onto the battlefield with only his club.

Seeing Dantavakra approach, Lord Krishna quickly picked up His club, jumped down from His chariot and stopped His advancing opponent just as the shore holds back the ocean.

Raising his club, the reckless King of Karusha said to Lord Mukunda, "What luck! What luck - to have You come before me today! You are our maternal cousin, Krishna, but You committed violence against my friends, and now You want to kill me also. Therefore, fool, I will kill You with my thunderbolt club. Then, O unintelligent one, I who am obliged to my friends will have repaid my debt to them by killing You, my enemy disguised as a relative, who are like a disease within my body."

Thus trying to harass Lord Krishna with harsh words, as one might prick an elephant with sharp goads, Dantavakra struck the Lord on the head with his club and roared like a lion. Although hit by Dantavakra's club, Lord Krishna, the deliverer of the Yadus, did not budge from His place on the battlefield. Rather, with His massive Kaumodaki club the Lord struck Dantavakra in the middle of his chest. His heart shattered by the club's blow, Dantavakra vomited blood and fell lifeless to the ground, his hair disheveled and his arms and legs sprawling. A most subtle and wondrous spark of light then [rose from the demon's body and] entered Lord Krishna while everyone looked on, O King, just as when Sisupala was killed.
Shri Krishna killled Dantavakra
But then Dantavakra's brother Viduratha, immersed in sorrow over his brother's death, came forward breathing heavily, sword and shield in hand. He wanted to kill the Lord. O best of kings, as Viduratha fell upon Him, Lord Krishna used His razor-edged Sudarsana disc to remove his head, complete with its helmet and earrings.

Having thus destroyed Salva and his Saubha airship, along with Dantavakra and his younger brother, all of whom were invincible before any other opponent, the Lord was praised by demigods, human beings and great sages, by Siddhas, Gandharvas, Vidyadharas and Mahoragas, and also by Apsaras, Pitas, Yakshas, Kinnaras and Caranas. As they sang His glories and showered Him with flowers, the Supreme Lord entered His festively decorated capital city in the company of the most eminent Vrishnis.

Also read about story of Shiva meeting Shri Krishna in Nandgaon:

*** Hare Krishna ***

Lord Shiva meet Shri Krishna in Nandgaon

Just as the Ganges is the best river among all rivers, similarly among all Shiva is the best devotee among all the Lord's devotees.  

When Krishna came to planet earth, Shiva goes to Gokul for a glimpse of child Krishna (just like he went to Ayodhya when Ramji took incarnation).

Once Shiva wished also see the manifestation Shri Krishna in the form of small child. Lord Shiva arrived in Gokul and reached at the gate of Nanda’s home. 

A maid came out of home and said “These alms have been sent by Yashoda Ji, please accept these and give your blessings to the child”. Shiva said “I won’t accept anything. I don’t want anything except that I want to see little Krishna”. The maid informs Yashoda Ji about this. Meanwhile Shiva sings sings outside... “O Mother! I want to see the face of your little child. In your cradle lies the supreme ruler of the universe.  Show me his face O Mother!”

Lord Shiva meet Shri Krishna in Nandgaon
Yashoda looked outside and said “Yashoda looked outside and said “’ i won’t bring my child outside you have snake wrapped around your neck that will frighten my child. Shiva said, “O mother, your Kanhayya is deadly for death. He is Brahma of Brahma. How can he get frightened? No one can harm him and he also cannot be frightened? No one can harm him and he also knows me.

Yashoda Ji said.” What are you talking? My child is very small. Please don’t be so stubborn. Lord Shiva said, “I won’t go from here until I see the face of your child I’d stay here forever in the state of Samadhi."

When Krishna comes to know that Shiva has come to see him and he’d go in state of Samadhi if I failed to see him. He started started crying loudly because he knew that once Bhole Baba goes into Samadhi. He’d come back after thousands of years from it.

When Krishna couldn’t be lulled by any means, mother thought that a great saint was standing at the door and she brought Kanhiya outside the door where Shiva was there. Shiva saw Krishna and hailed him in his heart but he was not satisfied by it. He wanted to take Krishna in his lap. He said to Yashoda that if she wanted to know about the future of the child she must put him in his lap so that he could see the lines of palm proper his palm proper his palm properly. Yashoda puts the child in Lord Shiva’s lap. In this way, the destroyer and the Sustainer of the world unified and whole world sees spellbound.

Shiv took Shri Krishna in lap

Also read story about how Shri Krishna liberated Demon Shatkasur:

*** Hare Krishna ***

Shri Krishna liberated Demon Shatkasur

To celebrate Krishna's turning over in the bed, Yashoda organised festivities and performed ceremonial ablutions. After the function was over, Yashoda was busy attending to the guests. She placed Krishna under a cart outside the house and put him to sleep. This cart was a ghost named Shaktasur. 

Mother Yashoda carried on with zeal honouring the people of Vraja who had gathered there. She did not notice the cries of Krishna from outside. Being a ghost, Shaktasur had no gross body. Ghostly beings try to enter into another body to haunt people and create havoc in the world. Shaktasur especially wanted to kill Krishna. He took the opportunity and entered into the cart. Knowing this well, Krishna tossed up his feet and hit the cart, which turned upside down. All the vessels, containing various delicious substances, were crushed under the impact, its wheels and axle tree inverted and its pole shattered. Krishna destroyed the cart and also liberated Shaktasur. 

The womenfolk along with Yashoda and Nanda rushed to the spot wondering how the cart could actually collapse by itself. Boys who were playing there, told the wondering cowherds that Krishna had actually knocked it down with his foot. Those cowherds however do not believe, assuming it to be a mere talk of children. They did not know the strength of that baby boy Krishna.
Shatkasur killed by Shri Krishna
Who Shatkasur was & how he got a chance to attain liberation by touch of feet of supreme Lord Krishna:
The demon Hiranyaksha (who was slain by Varaha) had a son, Utkachh, who was strong and powerful. Once he crushed the trees of the hermitage of the sage Lomasha. Lomasha cursed him to remain disembodied forthwith. He felt that his physical sheath was about to fall off like a slough. He fell prostrate at the feet of the sage and sought forgiveness. The sage blessed him that he would be liberated by the touch of the feet of Lord Krishna. It was Utkachh who had entered the cart in Nanda's residence in the disembodied state and was liberated by Krishna.

Also read salvation of Demon Trinavarta by Lord Krishna:

*** Hare Krishna ***

Salvation of Demon Trinavarta by Lord Krishna

When Krishna's maternal uncle Kansa came to know that Baby Krishna also killed Shatkasur. Then he got very angry and called Trinavarta to execute the task of killing Baby Krishna. Kansa made Trinavarta aware of the powers of Little Krishna. Trinavarta assured Kansa that he has ha magnificent power of blowing away everything and he will surely blow away Krishna and will through him from the height that will finally kill him. 

Kansa sent the whirlwind-demon Trinavarta to finish off Lord Krishna. At the same time, and another function was observed by Yashoda and Nanda Maharaja (King Nanda): Krishna's first birthday. They arranged for Krishna's birthday ceremony. Lord Krishna, who was carried by his mother Yashoda in her lap, had come to know of this through his divine powers about new plan of Kansa and made himself heavy on her lap. He wanted to support the intent of Trinavarta just so that he could slay the wicked demon.

Yashoda had to finally put him down on the floor, finding him very heavy. She left him and went away to do some housework. Taking both the opportunity and the form of a powerful tornado, Because of this, everyone's eyes became covered within a few moments, and the whole area of Vrindavan became densely dark so that no one could see himself or anyone else. During this great catastrophe, mother Yashoda could not see her baby, who was taken away by the whirlwind, and she began to cry very piteously. She fell down on the ground exactly like a cow who has just lost her calf. When mother Yashoda was so piteously crying, all the cowherd women immediately came and began to look for the baby, but they were disappointed and could not find Him.

Trinavarta taking baby Krishna high in sky
Trinavarta kidnapped baby Krishna, and spun him high into the sky. Trinavarta flew higher and higher up into the sky so that he could drop down Lord Krishna and kill him. Krishna made himself unbearably heavy for Trinavarta too that suddenly he could not go any further, and he had to stop his whirlwind activities. Baby Krishna made Himself heavy and began to weigh down the demon. The Lord caught hold of his neck. Trinavarta felt the baby to be as heavy as a big mountain, and he tried to get out of His clutches, but he was unable to do so, and his eyes popped out from their sockets. Crying very fiercely, he fell down to the ground of Vrindavan and died. He hit the stone ground, and his limbs were smashed to pieces by the transcendent baby Krishna, who emerged without a scratch. His body became visible to all the inhabitants of Vrindavan. 
Trinavarta fell down and died

Also read about killing of demon Dhenukasura in Talavana:

*** Hare Krishna ***

Killing of Demon Dhenukasura in Talavana

When Krishna and Balarama entered sixth year of their ages, they got the permission to take the cattles out for grazing. Along with their fellow cowherds the two brothers too began to take their cattle to Vrindavana. Thus they sanctified the earth of Vrindavana with their pious feet. Seeing the beauty of Vrindavana, with beautiful, colourful flowers and sweet fruits, Lord Krishna felt overjoyed. He then used to graze his cattles at the foothills of Govardhan and on the banks of Yamuna River. Playing flute was his favourite pass time. 
Krishna Balram taking cows for grazing grass of Talvana
One day one of the Krishna's beloved friend said: Kanhaiya, there is a beautiful forest name Talvana. It has uncountable numbers of trees laden with ripe fruits. But a formidable demon Dhenukasura guards that forest, He is very strong. So no one, even animals and birds, doesn't go there. But we are tempted to eat those sweet delicious fruits. If you and Daau (Balarama) wish, we may go there and eat those delicious fruits."
Cowherd boys telling Krishna and Balrama about Talvana
Thus hearing this, Krishna and Balarama guided all of them to Talvana. There they shook the trees and in no time a heap of ripe, delicious fruits gathered under the trees. All the cowherds began to eat fruits. While eating, they were also making lot of noises. 

Disturbed by the sound of fruits falling and noise of the cowherds, the demon Dhenukasura arrived there by assuming a form of donkey to hide his real identity and confuse Krishna, Balram and his friends. He was braying loudly and tried to hit Balarama, but Balrama caught him by his hind legs and threw him in the air over the palm trees. The demon died in an instance.  Because of the dead bodies of the asses, there was a panoramic scene.  It appeared as if clouds of various colors were assembled in the trees. 
Balrama swinging Dhenukasura in air
Hearing of this great incident, the demigods from the higher planets began to shower flowers on Krsna and Balarama and began to beat their drums and offer devotional prayers.

A few days after the killing of Dhenukasura, people began to come into the Talavana forest to collect the fruits, and animals began to return without fear to feed on the nice grasses grown there. Just by chanting or hearing these transcendental activities and pastimes of the brothers Krsna and Balarama, one can amass pious activities.

Also read story of Shri Krishna taking up Govardhan Hill and crushing ego of Indra:

*** Hare Krishna ***

Shri Krishna taking up Govardhan Hill and crushing ego of Indra

As always, once the people of Vraj started planning for the Puja and Yagya for Lord Indra. So all the elder personality including Nand Maharaj, started discussing about the arrangements to be made. But Lord Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead, questioned them as to why they are serving Lord Indra. Nand Maharaj nd the elder Villagers told the Lord that this is done every year to please Lord Indra so that he continue bestow his grace on the people of Vraj by providing us rain as and when required. Lord Krishna debated with the villagers about what their ‘dharma’ truly was. They were farmers, they should do their duty and concentrate on farming and protection of their cattle. He continued to say that all human beings should merely do their ‘karma’, to the best of their ability and not pray or conduct sacrifices for natural phenomenon. The villagers were convinced by Krishna, and did not proceed with the special puja (prayer)

On seeing that the inhabitants of Vrindavan had neglected to worship him, lndra, the King of Heaven, decided to punish them by sending terrible rain clouds to inundate the land of Vrindavan. Seething with rage, King lndra was thinking that simply on the advice of a talkative village boy named Krishna the Vrajavasis had stopped the lndra-yajna and instead worshiped Govardhana Hill, the brahmanas, and the cows.
Krishna lifting Govardhan Hill on His little finger of left hand
Unfortunately, being so puffed-up with his own self-importance and false prestige, lndra could not understand that this simple village boy called Krishna was in fact the Supreme Personality of Godhead enjoying His transcendental pastimes as a cowherd boy in the land of Vrindavan.

Calling for the samvartaka clouds of devastation that are used to destroy the whole cosmic manifestation at the end of a kalpa, lndra ordered them to proceed to Vrindavan and cause extensive floods that would destroy the livelihood of the inhabitants. Within no time torrents of rain as thick as pillars, accompanied by thunder, lighting and howling winds, descended on Vrindavan, causing great misery to its inhabitants. The land became so full of water that no one could distinguish between high ground and low ground. Shivering because of the severe cold brought about by the torrential rains, the inhabitants of Vrindavan approached Lord Krishna for shelter.
Krishna lifting Govardhan Hill and giving shelter to Vrajwasi

Understanding the situation, Krishna immediately lifted Govardhana Hill with His left hand, just as a child picks up a mushroom, and held it up like an umbrella. Bringing all their household possessions, the inhabitants of Vrindavan, along with their cows, took shelter from the torrential rains under Govardhana Hill. For seven days they remained safe under the hill, not even disturbed by hunger and thirst. They were simply astonished to see beautiful Krishna balancing Govardhana Hill on His little finger.

His false pride cut to pieces, baffled and dumbstruck, King Indra called back the clouds of devastation. At that moment the rains stopped, the sky cleared and the sun shone again over the beautiful land of Vrindavan. Krishna asked the Vrajavasis to return to their homes without fear, and then He gently replaced Govardhana Hill in exactly the same place. Nanda Baba, mother Yasoda, Balarama and all the inhabitants of Vrindavan embraced Krishna to their hearts content. The demigods in the higher planets began to beat kettledrums and shower the earth with fragrant flowers. As the gopis began to sing beautiful songs about the glorious and uncommon pastimes of Sri Krishna, all the inhabitants of Vrindavan returned to their respective homes along with their cows.

Then Lord Indra arrived to Lord Krishna, folding hands went to holy feet of the Lord, asking for forgiveness. The Supreme God, Shri Krishna told him about his dharma and duties. Lord Krishna bestowed his grace on Indra. Indra asked Shri Krishna to provide him a boon. Indra requested the Lord to bestow his grace on Arjun (Indra’s son), and show him right path in the years to come. Lord Krishna pleased with Indra, provided him the boon.

Also read pastime to Shri Krishna when He killed Aghasura and rekindled life in his dead friends:

*** Hare Krishna ***