There was a great pure devotee named Sādhana Kosai, he was a butcher. Lord Kṛṣṇa has said:
naham vasami vaikunthe yoginam hridayena ca mad bhakta gayanti tata distamina narada
Neither I live in Vainkuntha, nor do I live in the heart of the yogis, but where my devotees sing my glories, where they do harinama sankirtan, there I come and take my seat.
In the story of this pure devotee, Sādhana Kosai, even though he was cutting meat, he was always engaged in singing the glories of the Lord. He would not directly harm the animal, he would only cut the meat that was brought from the outside and he would sell it. This profession came to him through his family line, from generation to generation, so he inherited this work. He was not interested in this style of living. When he was doing this, he had a śālagrāma-śilā, his black idol, which he had received, from somewhere. He did not know that this was God, he used to take it and weight the meat. If someone wanted one kilo of meat then the śālagrāma would weigh one kilo, and when some would say “Give me two kilos of meat”, it would become a two kilo s śālagrāmaji. He was thinking that this was a very good arrangement for weighing the meat.
One day a saint, a Vaiṣṇava, came and saw him and thought, “Oh he is using the śālagrāma as a weight, how could he be so mean, doing like this?” He scolded and chastised him he said “Give me this sila, this is God” He took from Sādhana and then began his own puja to the śilā and remarked “God this person is a madman, he was using You to weigh meat”. He then began to purify and clean the śālagrāma idol with ‘pancamrita’, honey, milk, yogurt, ghee, and water.
He offered fragrant oils to the śālagrāma. However, when he slept Lord Kṛṣṇa came to him in a dream and said “Oh I am not pleased with this service, you should give Me back to my devotee Sādhana Kosai. When he uses Me as a weight for the meat, he sings My glories. He does harinama saṅkīrtana, and you, you do not do any harinama saṅkīrtana or sing My glories. I am very pleased with him, for he always is absorbed in the kirtan sevas. Therefore take Me away and give Me back to Sādhana”. The saint asked “Where do you generally reside then?” The Lord then said “I do not live in Vaikuntha, nor do I live in the hearts of yogis, only I am where my devotees sing my glories and chant harinama sankirtan, there is where I am seated”.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the glories of the gopīs are described, how they were such pure devotees, even in their outward life they used to wander in the forest, they did not have ‘civilized behavior’, nor knowledge of the scriptures, but their emotional feelings, their heart was filled with love, and because of that they had purchased the Lord. It is said that any foolish man if he does not do the bhajan of God, if he prays to God, even though his Krsna consciousness has limited realization, that within his heart if there is some emotional feeling, then that pleases the Lord, Who blesses and benefits His devotee. ‘Bhāva śakti’, the pure devotion and feelings of his heart, elevates him up to the highest position. If somebody drinks nectar in anger, even though in the wrong consciousness, it still makes him immortal, he still benefits, in the same way if any foolish person does bhajan of God, he becomes purified and will reach the supreme destination.
Kṛṣṇa wants only pure emotion. He does not want anything that is empty, like money or anything material. He just wants pure love.
[Bābā sings a bhajan that the great saint Sura das has sung.]
Here he says that in this world the highest thing is the love of God, love of Kṛṣṇa. In Hindi it is said ‘savyaseya uchi prema gaya’, love of God is the highest thing in this world, in the universe, love of Kṛṣṇa]. Love of Kṛṣṇa is the highest thing; it is the relationship between God and His devotee.
Suraji gives the example that during the Mahābhārata time, Dhritarastra was a great king, the Kauravas, and the sons of Dhritarastra, headed by Duryodhana invited Śrī Kṛṣṇa for a feast. Duryodhana implored, “Please come”, but Śrī Kṛṣṇa did not accept this invitation, but He went to Vidura instead. Vidura was the brother of Dhritarastra, and he belonged to a lower caste, but Kṛṣṇa went to his place with out any invitation. By this Kṛṣṇa showed that “I am only attracted by the love of heart. I don’t like such hollow offerings as feasts and mundane opulences”. Duryodhana had arranged for so many delicious preparations, 56 kinds of eatables, But Kṛṣṇa did not accept the invitation, and on the other hand, Viduraji had not even planned for the Lord to come to his house, but the Lord came because he had so much love for Krsna. Krsna went there and He ate a very common type of vegetable, so simple, but He accepted it because it was offered in great love.
In the same way, in the time of Lord Rāma, there was a great devotee whose name was Sabari. When Lord Rāma went into the forest, there were so many great ṛṣis, they were all doing tapasya for millions of years, not eating anything, and Lord Rāma did not go to them, but He went to Sabari’s kuti because she had such love for Him. The pure devotee does not go to rich persons, he loves poor persons, he does not mix with the wealthy persons. He likes poor persons who have no money. The pure devotee loves them. If a sādhu has the pressure of material wealth, he thinks “Oh this man has such wealth, I should go to him, I should do something for him”, if he shows favour for any wealthy person, he is not a pure devotee, he is not a true sādhu. If he has some interest, because somebody has some wealth like money, then he is not a bonefide sādhu, not a pure devotee, Sabari on the other hand was such a pure devotee. The ṛṣi munis had boycotted her because she had belonged to the lowest caste. Her spiritual master Mattan Ṛṣi, a great ṛṣi , had accepted her, and they had also rejected him because he had allowed her to stay in his ashram, they said “This ṛṣi has accepted such a low class woman in his ashram”, the women also avoided Mattan Ṛṣi, but he did not care for those persons. Because Sabari was a pure devotee, he accepted and gave her shelter in his ashram.
When Lord Rāma came to the forest where Sabari used to live, He did not go to these ṛṣis but went directly to the kuti of Sabari. When He arrived Sabari, in her love, saw that Lord Rāma had come; she then provided so many plums, ‘bera’. She was so absorbed in her Lord Rāma, she just tasted the plum to find out whether it is presentable to Lord Rāma, then she said “Yes this is very sweet”, and just gave it to the Lord saying “Please eat this it is very sweet”. She had no knowledge that we should not offer something that has been eaten by us, but she had such love for Lord Rama and was not aware of any etiquette how to properly feed Him. She was just thinking “Such a sweet fruit should be given to Lord Rāma”, so she tasted, and then she exclaimed “Oh Lord Rāma you should eat this”. Lord Rāma was filled with so much love for her and He said “Oh give Me, give Me; hmmnn this is very sweet, very sweet”.
There was a pure devotee name Sena, he was a barber of the king, and one day he was supposed to go to massage the king, but that day so many saints came to his house and he forgot about his service to the king. Kṛṣṇa then took the form of Sena and He went to the king and Kṛṣṇa Himself massaged the king. Then Sena remembered his duty and thought “Alas what will the king think, what will he say to me?” He went to the king, and the rāja said, “You have already come here, why have you come again?” Sena said “No I did not come here” The king replied “No you were just here”. Then he understood; Lord Kṛṣṇa had come disguised to serve the king.
In the Mahābhārata, Yudhiṣṭira arranged a very great yajña, the Rājasūya yajña. In that year there were so many ṛṣi munis, and many great kings had come that year. There was so many services for everybody and Lord Kṛṣṇa took the service of cleaning and collecting many bad things, when people used to eat their food, they used to throw the plates about and Śrī Kṛṣṇa used to collect that refuse in a basket and throw outside. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa took up this humble service.
Similarly, Lord Kṛṣṇa took the service of driving the chariot of Arjuna. In a chariot the driver sits in the lower part and the warrior sits on the upper side. Arjuna was above Lord Kṛṣṇa, as He drove, doing the lowest kind of service for His devotee. Why? It was because Arjuna had full devotion for Kṛṣṇa. This is why Kṛṣṇa had accepted this seva. Now Surya das says in this bhajan “Because of the love of Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa drove his chariot” Kṛṣṇa forgot that “I am the Lord and master of this universe, and that I am all powerful”.
It was this Supreme Lord, Who drove the chariot of Arjuna in the Mahābhārata. This is why Suradasji said, “That love of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the greatest thing of this world. Because of this love Kṛṣṇa forgets all of His superiority”.
Suradasji says that when Kṛṣṇa was in Brajabhumi, that because of the love of the gopīs, Kṛṣṇa reciprocated and teased the gopīs all the time. Kṛṣṇa was dancing before the gopīs like a toy puppet. Whatever the gopīs would ask of Him, Kṛṣṇa would just do. The gopīs were making Kṛṣṇa dance and dance. When Kṛṣṇa was very little, He would say “Give Me butter” and the gopīs would respond “No no we will only give you some chach(buttermilk) after you come dance for us”. So Kṛṣṇa would dance and the gopis would give Him this chach. Kṛṣṇa is all-powerful and his true greatness is shown, when the pure love of His devotee defeats Him, all His powers are defeated by this loving power. Great ṛṣis and yogis meditate on Kṛṣṇa for millions of years, but they could not see Kṛṣṇa. But the gopi girls of Brajabhumi made Kṛṣṇa dance before them. They were saying “Kṛṣṇa you should dance then we will give you some chach” and He would dance for them for just a little amount of chach, just a small handful. They were saying in a greedy way “Dear Kṛṣṇa you dance and then we will give you chach” Part of a bhajan by the Brajabāsīs, the gopīs say to Him “kṛṣṇa khilauna de doongi muraliya me radhe radhe gaana: We will give you a toy, but you should sing Radhe Radhe in your flute”.
In Braja the Brajabāsīs used to address Kṛṣṇa by His fathers name ‘Nandaki’, “Oh son of Nanda”. Outside of Brajabhumi, they would address Kṛṣṇa as “Oh God, oh my master, oh Lord”, but in Braja they would simply address Kṛṣṇa as “Oh Nandaki, oh son of Nanda do this, oh son of Nanda do that”. In the love of the Brajabāsīs, there was no out ward formalities. In the outer world when someone shows love that is full of formalities, but in natural, pure love there are no formalities. The Brajabāsīs addressed Kṛṣṇa in a very simple way, as a simple boy, this is pure love. Gopīs were also saying “We will give you some butter and sugarcane candy, but you should sing Rādhe Rādhe in your flute. We will give you butter and candy, but you should join and dance with us and we will dance with You.”
In Śrīji temple, there was a Gosvāmī who used to sing this bhajan “We will give you some butter and sugar candy, but first you should dance in my house. Please come dance with us in my house” The gopīs say this to Krsna. “Oh son of Nanda we will give you some toy but first say Radhe Radhe in your flute” I have learned this bhajan from that Gosvāmī at Śrī Ji temple, a very old Gosvāmī, a long time ago. A gopī said that “I am going to sell my cart in Vṛndāvana and we should meet there by the passage along the road near the Kadamba tree, we should meet under that Kadamba tree there and then I will go sell my cart in Vṛndāvana.”(refrain).
A great pure devotee composed this bhajan, his name was Jati Sakhī , he was in sakhī bhāva. He said “I am surrendered to you Kṛṣṇa and will give you some toy but first you should sing Rādhe Rādhe in your flute”.
This is the power of emotion that makes Kṛṣṇa dance like a toy, therefore in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam , Śukadeva Gosvāmī uses very harsh words, the gopīs were living in the forest and there their out ward actions were not very civilized. They were not taking bath all the time, they had no etiquette of spiritual things. As this bhajan describes the gopīs as such, even today such events are taking place in the Braja villages, as we go on yatra, one can see how the gopīs are very uncivilized(laughter), when we would enter a village from the outside we can see stool here and there, where the gopīs would pass stool on the road(laughter). It was said by Śukadeva Gosvāmī that the gopīs did not have any etiquette behavior. They had no sense of keeping the body clean, but their heart was filled with love of Kṛṣṇa, so Kṛṣṇa became their servant.
I used to go for madhucari bikṣa getting roṭi in a Brajabāsīs house, there was this one gopī, she was with her baby and she was cleaning herself after passing stool. When I went I said “Meya Rādhe Syama give me some roṭi” She said “Take bābā, take bābā, take this roṭi” and immediately she gave without cleaning her hand. The gopīs do not know that monthly blood falls from their body, but they do not know that this is bad, they continue to do things not caring for any bodily purification.
There were these great pure devotee ṛṣi munis, so many of them, they were doing a big fire sacrifice and they were glorifying and appreciating Kṛṣṇa, quoting from the Vedas and they were saying “Come Kṛṣṇa come”, quoting so many sanskrit verses and they had a pot of sacrifice made of gold and they are calling Kṛṣṇa “Please come”. But Kṛṣṇa did not go there to such a sacrifice. He will not go to the great ṛṣi munis, but would go to the gopīs and say ”Give me some butter” when the gopīs say to Kṛṣṇa “You just wander here and there, stay here and do some work and then we will give you some butter”. And then they would not talk with him, so Kṛṣṇa would go to the cows and then talk with the calves and say “Oh calf your mother feeds you milk?” Then the calf says “Ooah yes”…
There are so many great ṛṣis calling Kṛṣṇa saying “That you should come to the fire sacrifice yajna”, but He did not go there. There are so many wise and intelligent persons but Kṛṣṇa did not go, He does not even become their master. But before the gopīs in Braja, he became their servant. He rendered basic services to them. They say, “Do this” and He engaged in such low services, but he would not even become the master of the great ṛṣi munis. (bhajan)…This is a bhajan of the Brajabāsīs and here the gopīs were working, there was the stool of cow, that is called ‘govar’ so when they were collecting in a very big pot and one gopi said “Oh Kṛṣṇa you should place this pot on my head” Kṛṣṇa used to come and place the pot on the head of the gopī. Because this pot was very heavy she kept asking “You should place it on my head”. So Kṛṣṇa was doing this service.
This is pure love and emotion, pure bhāva, that the Lord of the universe was doing such a menial service in Braja. Surya dasji says “The love of the gopīs increased so much that they made Kṛṣṇa dance in this Brajabhumi, He would just dance before them. The biggest concern in this world is love of Kṛṣṇa”. In the last stanza he says “In my heart there is no love for Kṛṣṇa, oh I am very cruel, my heart is not full of love for Kṛṣṇa, my heart is full of cruelty. How can I glorify the beauty of this pure love, the topmost thing in this universe is love of Kṛṣṇa ”
(Now Bābā is refering to the story of the pure devotee Sādhana Kosai) So God said to that sādhu “You should take me to Sādhana Kosai, you should give Me to him”. The Lord was in the form of the idol of śālagrāma and came in a dream and said “you should bring Me back there”. The sādhu said “Oh what happiness do you have in such a bad place, he is using you to sell meat, what delight do you get there?” The Lord said “His heart is filled with love, he is singing My glories so I take pleasure there”. The sādhu replied “But there are so very bad things there because he is selling meat, it is a very inauspicious place” But despite the external situation, his heart was filled with love for Krsna, so Kṛṣṇa was very pleased there.
Uddhavaji says in the Bhāgavatam that the gopīs have no civilized or great expressionistic qualities but they had acquired pure love for Kṛṣṇa, which is called ‘adhirudha bhāva’. Their situation was of pure ‘raganuga bhakti’, pure love for Kṛṣṇa then they had achieved this position of adhirudha bhāva, the purest experience of prema. This position even great ṛṣi munis, great saints cannot acquire. If in your heart there is no emotion, no pure emotion for Kṛṣṇa, then all your bhajan is futile and useless. When Lord Kṛṣṇa said to that sādhu “You should return Me to Sadhana Kosai”, the sādhu then went to Sādhana and gave the śālagrāma to him and said “Please forgive me”. Sādhana said “Why have you come to me?” The sādhu said “This Lord is pleased with you, He wants to live with you, He does not want to live with me. Kṛṣṇa does not like, my vaisnava qualities, your behavior is greater than my Vaiṣṇava acara”.
There is a similar story in Jagannath Puri, there was an old women named Karmabai who used to feed Lord Jagannath kitchari without taking bath. In the early morning when she used to get up, first she would cook kitchari for the Lord without taking bath and Lord Jagannath used to go there and eat. He would just run away from the temple and eat her kitchari.
A sādhu, a priest of Lord Jagannath came and saw this and said “Oh what are you doing, you do not clean your body and you are cooking for Lord Jagannath? This is very bad, you should clean your body you should take bath. You should clean your house and your pots, then you should prepare for Jagannathji”. But when she did this then she became very late in preparing the kitchari for the Lord. Lord Jagannath came time after time and saw that “Oh she was only cleaning her body, she was scrubbing the pots and she was very late” The Lord then had to wait for His kitchari which was late. The Lord then said to His priest, “Tell Karmabai, that she should cook as she had done previously. Explain to her that you should prepare the kitchari before taking bath and continue as you had done before. There is no need to take bath and to clean the pots and the house. Without cleanliness you should prepare your kitchari!”
This Sādhana Kosai was a very great devotee. He worshipped the same idol of Śrī Śālagrāma in a previous birth. In this second birth the śālagrāma came again to him, but in this life he was very simple, but a butcher. Being simple he did not know the importance of the śālagrāma. In his previous life he was also a great devotee, he would only speak the truth. One time there was a cow that was running away from a butcher who was trying to kill the cow. He asked Sādhana at that time, “Have you seen a cow running by here?” In this life Sādhana had read the books of God regarding truthfulness, so he did not speak but he indicated which direction the cow had gone. The butcher went, caught and killed the cow. Because of this aparādha, he had to become a butcher in this present life.
At that time he should have told a lie, he should have said “I don’t know where the cow went”, but he spoke the truth and the cow was killed and because of this he himself became a butcher, cutting meat, but even despite this he was filled with devotion towards the Lord, his heart was pure. In the Bhāgavatam it is stated that in some circumstances you should not speak the truth. Even for women also one can tell a lie if there is some calamity, somebody is going to die and for the safety of the cow or devotees and if someone wants to do violence, then in such conditions you should not speak the truth, but should tell a lie. Even if one lies in this situation, there is no sin. Even in joking you can also speak a lie.
While laughing, Lord Rāma even told a lie. When Lord Rāma was in the forest, the sister of Rāvaṇa, her name was Suparnaka, she went to Rāma, though a demon, as a very beautiful woman. She said to Rāma, “Oh in this world no man is as handsome as you and no women is as beautiful as I am. Lord Brahmā has made such a beautiful couple in this universe, a most handsome man like you and a beautiful woman like me. I could not find a suitable husband for me but when I saw you I thought oh you can be my husband”. She said this as though she was bestowing mercy upon Lord Rāma, saying, “ You can be my husband”. Then Lord Rāma jokingly replied, “I am married and how can you marry Me and live with my wife Sita? But my brother Lakṣmaṇa, he is unmarried, you should marry him!” Here Lord Rāma spoke a lie because Lakṣmaṇa was married, but the Lord said, “He is unmarried then you should marry him”.
Lord Rāma did not speak the truth in this situation. Suparnaka thought “This is true, this is good because Rāma is married and his wife is with him, I can not live with him, but Lakṣmaṇa is not married so I should go to him”. Then she went to Lakṣmaṇa (class ends).