KṚṢṆA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Table of Contents
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Chapter 1

Advent of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Once the world was overburdened by the unnecessary defense force of different kings, who were actually demons, but were posing themselves as the royal order. At that time, the whole world became perturbed, and the predominating deity of this earth, known as Bhūmi, went to see Lord Brahmā to tell of her calamities due to the demoniac kings. Bhūmi assumed the shape of a cow and presented herself before Lord Brahmā with tears in her eyes. She was bereaved and was weeping just to invoke the Lord's compassion. She related the calamitous position of the earth, and after hearing this, Lord Brahmā became much aggrieved, and he at once started for the ocean of milk, where Lord Viṣṇu resides. Lord Brahmā was accompanied by all the demigods headed by Lord Śiva, and Bhūmi also followed. Arriving on the shore of the milk ocean, Lord Brahmā began to pacify the Lord Viṣṇu who formerly saved the earthly planet by assuming the transcendental form of a boar.

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Chapter 2

Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb

["Dear mother Devakī, within your womb is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."] King Kaṁsa not only occupied the kingdoms of the Yadu, Bhoja, and Andhaka dynasties and the kingdom of Śūrasena, but he also made alliances with all the other demoniac kings, as follows: the demon Pralamba, demon Baka, demon Cāṇūra, demon Tṛṇāvarta, demon Aghāsura, demon Muṣṭika, demon Ariṣṭa, demon Dvivida, demon Pūtanā, demon Keśī and demon Dhenuka. At that time,…

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Chapter 3

Birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa

“...” As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says that His appearance, birth, and activities, are all transcendental, and one who understands them factually becomes immediately eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The Lord

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Chapter 4

Kaṁsa Begins His Persecutions

After Vasudeva adjusted all the doors and gates, the gatekeepers awoke and heard the newborn child crying. Kaṁsa was waiting to hear the news of the child’s birth, and the gatekeepers immediately approached him and informed him that the child was born. At that time, Kaṁsa got up from his bed very quickly and exclaimed,

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Chapter 5

Meeting of Nanda and Vasudeva

Although Kṛṣṇa was the real son of Vasudeva and Devakī, because of Kaṁsa’s atrocious activities Vasudeva could not enjoy the birth ceremony of his son. But Nanda Mahārāja, the foster father, celebrated the birth ceremony of Kṛṣṇa very joyfully. The next day, it was declared that a male child was born of Yaśodā. According to Vedic custom, Nanda Mahārāja called for learned astrologers and

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Chapter 7

Salvation of Tṛṇāvarta

[Tṛṇāvarta felt the baby to be as heavy as a mountain.] The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is always full of six opulences---namely complete wealth, complete strength, complete fame, complete knowledge, complete beauty and complete renunciation. The Lord appears in different complete, eternal forms of incarnation. The conditioned soul has immense opportunity to hear the transcendental activities of the Lord in these different incarnations. In the…

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Chapter 8

Vision of the Universal Form

[The darling of Vraja.] After this incident, Vasudeva asked his family priest Gargamuni to visit the place of Nanda Mahārāja in order to astrologically calculate the future life of Kṛṣṇa. Gargamuni was a great saintly sage who underwent many austerities and penances and was appointed priest of the Yadu dynasty. When Gargamuni arrived at the home of Nanda Mahārāja, Nanda Mahārāja was very pleased to see him and immediately stood up with folded hands and offered his respectful obeisances. He rece…

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Chapter 9

Mother Yaśodā Binding Lord Kṛṣṇa

[Kṛṣṇa always demanded mother Yaśodā's complete attention.] Once upon a time, seeing that her maidservant was engaged in different household duties, mother Yaśodā personally took charge of churning butter. And while she churned butter, she sang the childhood pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and enjoyed thinking of her son.

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Chapter 10

Deliverance of Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva

[The great sage Nārada Muni.] The story of the cursing of Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva and their deliverance by Kṛṣṇa, under the all-blissful desire of the great sage Nārada, is here described. The two great demigods, Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, were sons of the treasurer of the demigods, Kuvera, who was a great devotee of Lord Śiva. By the grace of Lord Śiva, Kuvera

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Chapter 11

Killing the Demons Vatsāsura and Bakāsura

[With tumulteous sound they started for Vṛndāvana.] When the twin arjuna trees fell to the ground, making a sound like the falling of thunderbolts, all the inhabitants of Gokula, including Nanda Mahārāja, immediately came to the spot. They were very much astonished to see how the two great trees had suddenly fallen. Because they could find no reason for their falling down, they were puzzled. When they saw child Kṛṣṇa bound up to the wooden mortar by the ropes of Yaśodā, they began to think that…

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Chapter 12

The Killing of the Aghāsura Demon

[Kṛṣṇa had to plan how to stop the destruction of His intimate friends.] Once the Lord desired to go early in the morning with all His cowherd boy friends to the forest, where they were to assemble together and take lunch. As soon as He got up from bed, He blew a buffalo horn and called all His friends together. Keeping the calves before them, they started for the forest. In this way, Lord Kṛṣṇa assembled thousands of His boy friends. They were each equipped w…

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Chapter 13

The Stealing of the Boys and Calves by Brahmā

[Seeing Kṛṣṇa enjoying with His cowheard friends, Lord Brahmā decided to play a trick.] Śukadeva Gosvāmī was very much encouraged when Mahārāja Parīkṣit asked him why the cowherd boys did not discuss the death of Aghāsura until after one year had passed. He explained thus: “My dear King, you are making the subject matter of the transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa fresher by your inquisitiveness.

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Chapter 14

Prayers Offered by Lord Brahmā to Lord Kṛṣṇa

["I am offering my humble obeisances and prayers just to please You."] Brahmā said, “My dear Lord, You are the only worshipful Supreme Lord, Personality of Godhead; therefore I am offering my humble obeisances and prayers just to please You. Your bodily features are of the color of clouds filled with water. You are glittering with a silver electric aura emanating from Your yellow garments.

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Chapter 15

Killing of Dhenukāsura

[Kṛṣṇa brought forward the cows and played on His flute through the forest of Vṛndāvana.] In this way, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, along with His elder brother Balarāma, passed the childhood age known as kaumāra and stepped into the age of paugaṇḍa, from the sixth year up to the tenth. At that time, all the cowherd men conferred and agreed to give those boys who had passed their fifth year charge of the cows in the pasturing ground. Given charge of the cows, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma traversed Vṛndāvana, purifying the…

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Chapter 16

Subduing Kāliya

["We think that this apparent punishment to Kāliya is actually some benediction."] When He understood that the water of the Yamunā was being polluted by the black serpent Kāliya, Lord Kṛṣṇa took action against him and made him leave the Yamunā and go elsewhere, and thus the water became purified. When this story was being narrated by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Mahārāja Parīkṣit became eager to hear more Kṛṣṇa

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Chapter 17

Extinguishing the Forest Fire

[Garuḍa struck the body of Kāliya with his effulgent golden wings.] King Parīkṣit, after hearing of the chastisement of Kāliya, inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī as to why Kāliya left his beautiful land and why Garuḍa was so antagonistic to him. Śukadeva Gosvāmī informed the King that the island known as Nāgālaya was inhabited by serpents and that Kāliya was one of the chief serpents there. Being accustomed to eating snakes, Garuḍa used to come to this island and kill many serpents at his will. So…

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Chapter 18

Killing the Demon Pralambāsura

[Kṛṣṇa would praise them, "My dear friends, you are dancing and singing very nicely."] After extinguishing the devastating fire, Kṛṣṇa, surrounded by His relatives, friends, cows, calves and bulls and glorified by their singing, again entered Vṛndāvana, which is always full of cows. While Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were enjoying life in Vṛndāvana, in the midst of the cowherd boys and girls, the season gradually changed to summer. The summer season in India is not very mu…

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Chapter 19

Devouring the Forest Fire

[Kṛṣṇa, the supreme mystic, immediately swallowed up all the flames of the fire.] While Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma and Their friends were engaged in the pastimes described above, the cows, being unobserved, began to wander off on their own, entering farther and farther into the deepest part of the forest, allured by fresh grasses. The goats, cows and buffalo traveled from one forest to another and entered the forest known as Iṣikāṭavi. This forest was full of green grass, and therefore they were allure…

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Chapter 20

Description of Autumn

The killing of Pralambāsura and the devouring of the devastating forest fire by Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma became household topics in Vṛndāvana. The cowherd men described these wonderful activities to their wives and to everyone else, and all were struck with wonder. They concluded that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were demigods who had kindly come to Vṛndāvana to become their children. In this way, the rainy season ensued. In India, after the scorching heat of the summer, the rainy season is very welcome. The cl…

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Chapter 21

The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute

Kṛṣṇa was very pleased with the atmosphere of the forest where flowers bloomed and bees and drones hummed very jubilantly. While the birds, trees and branches were all looking very happy, Kṛṣṇa, tending the cows, accompanied by Śrī Balarāma and the cowherd boys, began to vibrate His transcendental flute. After hearing the vibration of the flute of Kṛṣṇa, the

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Chapter 22

Stealing the Garments of the Unmarried Gopī Girls

[Due to remaining in the water for a long time, the gopīs felt cold and were shivering.] According to Vedic civilization, unmarried girls from ten to fourteen years of age are supposed to worship either Lord Śiva or the goddess Durgā in order to get a nice husband. But the unmarried girls of Vṛndāvana were already attracted by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa. They were, however, engaged in the worship of the goddess Durgā in the beginning of the

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Chapter 23

Delivering the Wives of the Brāhmanas Who Performed Sacrifices

[The wives of the brāhmaṇas saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He entered within their hearts through their eyes.] The morning passed, and the cowherd boys were very hungry because they had not eaten breakfast. They immediately approached Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma and said, “Dear Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, You are both all-powerful; You can kill many, many demons, but today we are much afflicted with hunger, and this is disturbing us. Please arrange for something that will mitigate our hunger.…

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Chapter 24

Worshiping Govardhana Hill

["Do not be afraid of the hill and think that it will fall from my hand."] While engaged with the brāhmaṇas who were too involved in the performance of Vedic sacrifices, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma also saw that the cowherd men were preparing a similar sacrifice in order to pacify Indra, the King of heaven, who is responsible for supplying water. As stated in the

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Chapter 25

Devastating Rainfall in Vṛndāvana

When Indra understood that the sacrifice offered by the cowherd men in Vṛndāvana was stopped by Kṛṣṇa, he became angry, and he vented his anger upon the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, who were headed by Nanda Mahārāja, although Indra knew perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa was personally protecting them. As the director of different kinds of clouds, Indra called for the

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Chapter 26

Wonderful Kṛṣṇa

Without understanding the intricacies of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and without knowing His uncommon spiritual opulences, the innocent cowherd boys and men of Vṛndāvana began to discuss the wonderful activities of Kṛṣṇa which surpass the activities of all men.

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Chapter 27

Prayers by Indra, the King of Heaven

[King Indra from the heavenly planet appeared before Kṛṣṇa from a secluded place.] When Kṛṣṇa saved the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana from the wrath of Indra by lifting Govardhana Hill, a surabhi cow from Goloka Vṛndāvana, as well as King Indra from the heavenly planet, appeared before Him. Indra, the King of heaven, was conscious of his offense before Kṛṣṇa; therefore he stealthily appeared before Him from a secluded place. He immediately fell down at the lotus…

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Chapter 28

Releasing Nanda Mahārāja from the Clutches of Varuṇa

[The god of the waters was holding Nanda captive underneath the sea.] The Govardhana ceremony took place on the new moon day. After this, there were torrents of rain and hailstorms imposed by King Indra for seven days. Nine days of the waxing moon having passed, on the tenth day King Indra worshiped Lord Kṛṣṇa, and thus the matter was satisfactorily settled. After this, on the eleventh day of the full moon, there was

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Chapter 29

The Rāsa Dance: Introduction

[Kṛṣṇa, the supreme enjoyer, desired to enjoy the company of the gopīs.] In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated the rāsa dance took place on the full moon night of the śarat season. From the statement of previous chapters, it appears that the festival of Govardhana Pūjā was performed just after the dark moon night of the month of Kārttika, and thereafter the ceremony of

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Chapter 30

Kṛṣṇa’s Hiding from the Gopīs

When Kṛṣṇa suddenly disappeared from the company of the gopīs, they began to search for Him in every place. After not finding Him anywhere, they became afraid and almost mad after Him. They were simply thinking of the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa in great love and affection. Being absorbed in thought, they experienced loss of memory, and with dampened eyes they began to see the very pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, His beautiful talks with them, His embracing, kissing, and other activities…

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Chapter 31

Songs by the Gopīs

One gopī said, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, ever since You took Your birth in this land of Vrajabhūmi, everything appears to be glorious. The land of Vṛndāvana has become glorious, and it is as if the goddess of fortune is personally always existing here. But it is only we who are very unhappy, because we are searching for You, but cannot see You with our greatest effort. Our life is completely dependent upon You; therefore we request that You again come to us.

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Chapter 32

Kṛṣṇa Returns to the Gopīs

When Lord Kṛṣṇa finally reappeared and assembled with the gopīs, He looked very beautiful, just befitting a person with all kinds of opulences. In the Brahma-saṁhitā, it is stated, ānanda-cin-maya-rasa-pratibhāvitābhiḥ: Kṛṣṇa alone is not particularly beautiful, but when His energy

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Chapter 33

Description of the Rāsa Dance

[Mohan Mādhurī.] Thus hearing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, speaking to pacify them, the gopīs became very much pleased. And not only by hearing His words, but also by touching the hands and legs of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they became completely relieved from the great suffering of separation. After this, the Supreme Personality of Godhead began His

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Chapter 34

Vidyādhara Liberated and the Demon Śaṅkhāsura Killed

[Kṛṣṇa appeared on the scene and touched the serpent with His lotus feet.] Once upon a time, the cowherd men of Vṛndāvana, headed by Nanda Mahārāja, desired to go to Ambikāvana to perform the Śivarātri performance. The rāsa-līlā was performed during the autumn, and after that the next big ceremony is

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Chapter 35

The Gopīs’ Feelings of Separation

The gopīs of Vṛndāvana were so attached to Kṛṣṇa that they were not satisfied simply with the rāsa dance at night. They wanted to associate with Him and enjoy His company during the daytime also. When Kṛṣṇa went to the forest with His cowherd boy friends and cows, the

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Chapter 36

Kaṁsa Sends Akrūra for Kṛṣṇa

[Being kicked by Kṛṣṇa, Ariṣtāsura rolled over and began to move his legs violently.] Vṛndāvana was always absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa. Everyone remembered His pastimes and was constantly merged in the ocean of transcendental bliss. But the material world is so contaminated that even in Vṛndāvana the

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Chapter 37

Killing the Keśī Demon and Vyomāsura

[The hand of Kṛṣṇa felt to Keśī like a hot iron rod.] After being instructed by Kaṁsa, the demon Keśī assumed the form of a terrible horse. He entered the area of Vṛndāvana, his great mane flying and his hooves digging up the earth. He began to whinny and terrify the whole world. Kṛṣṇa saw that the demon was terrifying all the residents of Vṛndāvana with his whinnying and his tail wheeling in the sky like a big cloud. Kṛṣṇa could understand that the horse w…

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Chapter 38

Akrūra’s Arrival in Vṛndāvana

[Akrūra became overwhelmed with all the symptoms of ecstacy; he wept, and his body trembled.] Nārada Muni did not mention Kṛṣṇa’s killing Vyomāsura, which means that he was killed on the same day as the Keśī demon. The Keśī demon was killed in the early morning, and after that the boys went to tend the cows on Govardhana Hill, and it was there that Vyomāsura was killed. Both demons were killed in the morning. Akrūra was requested by Kaṁsa to arrive in Vṛndāvana by evening. After receiving instr…

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Chapter 39

Akrūra’s Return Journey and His Visiting of Viṣṇuloka Within the Yamunā River

["O Dear Dāmodara! Dear Mādhava!"] Akrūra was warmly received by Lord Kṛṣṇa and Nanda Mahārāja and offered a resting place for the night. In the meantime, the two brothers Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa went to take Their supper. Akrūra sat on his bed and began to reflect that all the desires which he had anticipated while coming from Mathurā to Vṛndāvana had been fulfilled. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the husband of the goddess of fortune; being pleased with His pure devotee, He can offer whatever the devotee desires. …

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Chapter 40

Prayers by Akrūra

Akrūra offered his prayers as follows: “My dear Lord, I here pay my respectful obeisances unto You because You are the supreme cause of all causes and the original inexhaustible Personality, Nārāyaṇa. From Your navel a lotus flower grows, and from that lotus, Brahmā, the creator of this universe, is born. Since Brahmā is the cause of this universe, You are the cause of all causes. All the elements of this cosmic manifestation

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Chapter 41

Kṛṣṇa Enters Mathurā

[The florist begged from the Lord that he might remain His eternal servant.] While Akrūra was offering his prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord disappeared from the water, exactly as an expert dramatic actor changes his dress and assumes his original feature. After the Viṣṇu-mūrti disappeared, Akrūra got out of the water. Finishing the rest of his ritualistic performance, he went near the chariot of Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa and was struck with wonder. Kṛṣṇa asked whether he had see…

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Chapter 42

The Breaking of the Bow in the Sacrificial Arena

After leaving the florist’s place, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma saw a hunchbacked young woman carrying a dish of sandalwood pulp through the streets. Since Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of all pleasure, He wanted to make all His companions joyous by cutting a joke with the hunchbacked woman. Kṛṣṇa addressed her,

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Chapter 43

The Killing of the Elephant Kuvalayāpīḍa

[The elephant moved before Kṛṣṇa like inevitable death.] After taking Their baths and finishing all other morning duties, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma could hear the beating of the kettledrums in the wrestling camp. They immediately prepared Themselves to proceed to the spot to see the fun. When Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma reached the gate of the wrestling camp, They saw a big elephant of the name Kuvalayāpīḍa being tended by a caretaker. The caretaker was deliberately bl…

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Chapter 44

The Killing of Kaṁsa

[The audience was not very satisfied because the wrestlers did not appear to be equally matched.] After Kaṁsa’s wrestlers expressed their determination, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the killer of Madhu, confronted Cāṇūra, and Lord Balarāma, the son of Rohiṇī, confronted Muṣṭika. Kṛṣṇa and Cāṇūra and then Balarāma and Muṣṭika locked themselves hand to hand, leg to leg, and each began to press against the other with a view to come out victorious. They joined palm to palm, calf to calf, hea…

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Chapter 45

Kṛṣṇa Recovers the Son of His Teacher

["Some time back you caused the drowning of the son of Our teacher. I order you to return him."] When Lord Kṛṣṇa saw that Vasudeva and Devakī were remaining standing in a reverential attitude, He immediately expanded His influence of yogamāyā so that they could treat Him and Balarāma as children. As in the material world the relationship existing between father and mother and children can be established amongst different living entities by the influence of…

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Chapter 46

Uddhava Visits Vṛndāvana

Nanda Mahārāja returned to Vṛndāvana without Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. He was accompanied only by the cowherd boys and men. It was certainly a very pathetic scene for the gopīs, mother Yaśodā, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and all the inhabitants and residents of Vṛndāvana. Many devotees have tried to make adjustments to Kṛṣṇa

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Chapter 47

Delivery of the Message of Kṛṣṇa to the Gopīs

["Bumblebee, you are the unreliable servant of an unreliable master."] When the gopīs saw Uddhava, they observed that his features almost exactly resembled the features of Kṛṣṇa, and they could understand that he was a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa’s. His hands were very long, and his eyes were just like the petals of the lotus flower. He was dressed in yellow colored garments and wore a garland of lotus flowers. His face was very beautiful. Having achieved the liberation of

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Chapter 48

Kṛṣṇa Pleases His Devotees

[Full of feminine bashfulness, Kubjā stood gracefully before Kṛṣṇa.] For days together, Kṛṣṇa heard from Uddhava all the details of his visit to Vṛndāvana, of the condition of His father and mother, and of the gopīs and the cowherd boys. Lord Kṛṣṇa was fully satisfied that Uddhava was able to solace them by his instruction and by the message delivered to them.

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Chapter 49

Ill-motivated Dhṛtarāṣṭra

Thus being ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Akrūra visited Hastināpura. Hastināpura is said to be the site of what is now New Delhi. The part of New Delhi, which is still known as Indraprastha, is accepted by people in general as the old capital of the Pāṇḍavas. The very name Hastināpura suggests that there were many

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Chapter 50

Kṛṣṇa Erects the Dvārakā Fort

[Their blood began to flow just like the waves of a river.] After his death, Kaṁsa’s two wives became widows. According to Vedic civilization, a woman is never independent. She has three stages of life: In childhood a woman should live under the protection of her father, a youthful woman should live under the protection of her young husband, and in the event of the death of her husband she should live either under the protection of her grown-up children, or if she…

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Chapter 51

Deliverance of Mucukunda

[Kālayavana burnt to ashes within a moment.] When Mahārāja Parīkṣit heard this incident of Kālayavana’s being burned to ashes, he inquired the sleeping man from Śukadeva Gosvāmī: “Who was he? Why was he sleeping there? How had he achieved so much power that instantly, by his glance, Kālayavana was burned to ashes? How did he happen to be lying down in the cave of the hill?

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Chapter 52

Kṛṣṇa, the Ranchor

[Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma jumped from the top of the mountain.] When Mucukunda, the celebrated descendant of the Ikṣvāku dynasty, was favored by Lord Kṛṣṇa, he circumambulated the Lord within the cave and then came out. On coming out of the cave, Mucukunda saw that the stature of the human species had surprisingly been reduced to pigmy size. Similarly, the trees had also far reduced in size, and Mucukunda could immediately understand that the current age was Kali-yuga. Therefore, …

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Chapter 53

Kṛṣṇa Kidnaps Rukmiṇī

After hearing Rukmiṇī’s statement, Lord Kṛṣṇa was very pleased. He immediately shook hands with the brāhmaṇa and said: “My dear brāhmaṇa, I am very glad to hear that Rukmiṇī is anxious to marry Me, since I am also anxious to get her hand. My mind is always absorbed in the thought of the daughter of Bhīṣmaka, and sometimes I cannot sleep at night because I am thinking of her. I can understand that the marriage of Rukmiṇī with Śiśupāla has been arranged by her elder brother in a spirit of animosit…

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Chapter 54

Kṛṣṇa Defeats All the Princes and Takes Rukmiṇī Home to Dvārakā

[Rukmiṇi was praying to Kṛṣṇa for the life of her brother.] All the princes led by Jarāsandha became very angry at Kṛṣṇa’s kidnapping Rukmiṇī. Struck by the beauty of Rukmiṇī, they had fallen from the backs of their horses and elephants, but now they began to stand up and properly arm themselves. Picking up their bows and arrows, they began to chase Kṛṣṇa on their chariots, horses and elephants. To check their progress, the soldie…

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Chapter 55

Pradyumna Born to Kṛṣṇa and Rukmiṇī

[The cook found a nice baby within the belly of the fish.] It is said that Cupid, who is directly part and parcel of Lord Vāsudeva and who was formerly burned to ashes by the anger of Lord Śiva, took birth in the womb of Rukmiṇī begotten by Kṛṣṇa. This is Kāmadeva, a demigod of the heavenly planets especially capable of inducing lusty desires. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, has many grades of parts and parcels, but the quadruple expansions of Kṛṣ…

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Chapter 56

The Story of the Syamantaka Jewel

There was a king of the name Satrājit within the jurisdiction of Dvārakādhāma. He was a great devotee of the sun-god, who awarded him the benediction of a jewel known as Syamantaka. Because of this Syamantaka jewel, there was a misunderstanding between King Satrājit and the Yadu dynasty. Later on the matter was settled when Satrājit voluntarily offered Kṛṣṇa his daughter, Satyabhāmā, along with the jewel Syamantaka. Not only was Satyabhāmā married to Kṛṣṇa on a…

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Chapter 57

The Killing of Satrājit and Śatadhanvā

After Akrūra visited Hastināpura and reported the condition of the Pāṇḍavas to Kṛṣṇa, there were further developments. The Pāṇḍavas were transferred to a house which was made of shellac and was later on set ablaze, and everyone understood that the Pāṇḍavas along with their mother, Kuntī, had been killed. This information was also sent to Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. After consulting together, They decided to go to Hastināpura to show sympathy to Their relatives. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma certainly knew tha…

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Chapter 58

Five Queens Married by Kṛṣṇa

There was a great rumor that the five Pāṇḍava brothers, along with their mother Kuntī, had, under the plan of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, died in a fire accident in the house of shellac in which they were living. But then the five brothers were detected at the marriage ceremony of Draupadī; so again another rumor spread that the Pāṇḍavas and their mother were not dead. It was a rumor, but actually it was so; they returned to their capital city, Hastināpura, and people saw them fac…

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Chapter 59

Deliverance of the Demon Bhaumāsura

The story of Bhaumāsura---how he kidnapped and made captive 16,000 princesses by collecting them from the palaces of various kings and how he was killed by Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord of wonderful character---is all described by Śukadeva Gosvāmī to King Parīkṣit in the

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Chapter 6

Pūtanā Killed

“” While Nanda Mahārāja was returning home, he considered Vasudeva’s warning that there might be some disturbance in Gokula. Certainly the advice was friendly and not false. So Nanda thought, “There is some truth in it.” Therefore, out of fear, he began to take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is quite natural for a devotee in danger to think of Kṛṣṇa because he has no other shelter. When a child is in danger, he takes shelter of his mother or father. Similarly, a devotee is alw…

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Chapter 60

Talks Between Kṛṣṇa and Rukmiṇī

Once upon a time, Lord Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the bestower of all knowledge to all living entities from Brahmā to the insignificant ant, was sitting in the bedroom of Rukmiṇī, who was engaged in the service of the Lord along with her assistant maidservants. Kṛṣṇa was sitting on the bedstead of Rukmiṇī, and the maidservants were engaged in fanning Him with

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Chapter 61

The Genealogical Table of the Family of Kṛṣṇa

Kṛṣṇa had 16,108 wives, and in each of them He begot ten sons, all of them equal to their father in the opulences of strength, beauty, wisdom, fame, wealth and renunciation. “Like father like son.” All the 16,108 wives of Kṛṣṇa were princesses, and when each saw that Kṛṣṇa was always present in her respective palace and did not leave home, they considered Kṛṣṇa to be a henpecked husband who was very much attached to them. Every one of them thought that Kṛṣṇa was her very obedient husband, but ac…

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Chapter 62

The Meeting of Uṣā and Aniruddha

The meeting of Aniruddha and Uṣā, which caused a great fight between Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Śiva, is very mysterious and interesting. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was anxious to hear the whole story from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and thus Śukadeva narrated it.

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Chapter 63

Lord Kṛṣṇa Fights with Bāṇāsura

When the four months of the rainy season passed and still Aniruddha had not returned home, all the members of the Yadu family became much perturbed. They could not understand how the boy was missing. Fortunately, one day the great sage Nārada came and informed the family Aniruddha

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Chapter 64

The Story of King Nṛga

Once the family members of Lord Kṛṣṇa, such as Sāmba, Pradyumna, Cārubhānu and Gada, all princes of the Yadu dynasty, went for a long picnic in the forest near Dvārakā. In the course of their excursion, all of them became thirsty, and so they began to try to find out where water was available in the forest. When they approached a well, they found that there was no water in it, but on the contrary, within the well was a wonderful living entity. It was a large lizard, and a…

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Chapter 65

Lord Balarāma Visits Vṛndāvana

Lord Balarāma became very anxious to see His father and mother, Mahārāja Nanda and Yaśodā. Therefore He started for Vṛndāvana on a chariot with great enthusiasm. The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana had been anxious to see Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma for a very long time. When Lord Balarāma returned to Vṛndāvana, all the cowherd boys and the

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Chapter 66

The Deliverance of Pauṇḍraka and the King of Kāśī

The story of King Pauṇḍraka is very interesting because there have always been many rascals and fools who have considered themselves to be God. Even in the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, there was such a foolish person. His name was Pauṇḍraka, and he wanted to declare himself to be God. While Lord Balarāma was absent in Vṛndāvana, this King Pauṇḍraka, the King of the Karūṣa province, being foolish and puffed up, sent a me…

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Chapter 67

The Deliverance of Dvivida Gorilla

While Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued to speak on the transcendental pastimes and characteristics of Lord Kṛṣṇa, King Parīkṣit, upon hearing him, became more and more enthusiastic and wanted to hear further. Śukadeva Gosvāmī next narrated the story of Dvivida, the gorilla who was killed by Lord Balarāma.

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Chapter 68

The Marriage of Sāmba

Duryodhana, the son of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, had a marriageable daughter by the name of Lakṣmaṇā. She was a very highly qualified girl of the Kuru dynasty, and many princes wanted to marry her. In such cases, the svayaṁvara

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Chapter 69

The Great Sage Nārada Visits the Different Homes of Lord Kṛṣṇa

The great sage Nārada heard that Lord Kṛṣṇa had married 16,000 wives after He had killed the demon Narakāsura, sometimes called Bhaumāsura. Nārada became astonished that Lord Kṛṣṇa had expanded Himself into 16,000 forms and married these wives simultaneously in different palaces. Being inquisitive as to how Kṛṣṇa was managing His household affairs with so many wives, Nārada desired to see these pastimes and so set out to visit Kṛṣṇa

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Chapter 70

Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Daily Activities

From the Vedic mantras we learn that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has nothing to do: na tasya karyaṁ kranaṁ ca vidyate. If the Supreme Lord has nothing to do, then how can we speak of the activities of the Supreme Lord? From the previous chapter it is clear that no one can act in the way that Lord Kṛṣṇa does. We should clearly note this fact: the activities of the Lord should be followed, but they cannot be imitated. For example, Kṛṣṇa

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Chapter 71

Lord Kṛṣṇa in Indraprastha City

In the presence of the great sage Nārada and all the other associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Uddhava considered the situation and then spoke as follows: “My dear Lord, first of all let me say that the great sage Nārada Muni has requested You to go to Hastināpura to satisfy King Yudhiṣṭhira, Your cousin, who is making arrangements to perform the great sacrifice known as Rājasūya. I think, therefore, that Your Lordship should immediately go there to help the King in this great adventure. However, although…

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Chapter 72

The Liberation of King Jarāsandha

In the great assembly of respectable persons, citizens, friends, relatives, brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas, King Yudhiṣṭhira, in the presence of all, including his brothers, directly addressed Lord Kṛṣṇa as follows: “My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, the sacrifice known as the Rājasūya

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Chapter 73

Lord Kṛṣṇa Returns to the City of Hastināpura

The kings and the princes released by Lord Kṛṣṇa after the death of Jarāsandha were rulers of different parts of the world. Jarāsandha was so powerful in military strength that he had conquered all these princes and kings, numbering 20,800. They were all incarcerated within a mountain cave especially constructed as a fort, and for a long time they were kept in that situation. When they were released by the grace of Lord Kṛṣṇa, they all looked very u…

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Chapter 74

The Deliverance of Śiśupāla

King Yudhiṣṭhira became very happy after hearing the details of the Jarāsandha episode, and he spoke as follows: “My dear Kṛṣṇa, O eternal form of bliss and knowledge, all the exalted directors of the affairs of this material world, including Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and King Indra, are always anxious to receive and carry out orders from You, and whenever they are fortunate enough to receive such orders, they immediately take them and keep them in their hearts. O Kṛṣṇa, You are unlimited, and alth…

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Chapter 75

Why Duryodhana Felt Insulted at the End of the Rājasūya Sacrifice

King Yudhiṣṭhira was known as ajātaśatru, or a person who has no enemy. Therefore, when all men, all demigods, all kings, sages and saints saw the successful termination of the Rājasūya

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Chapter 76

The Battle Between Śālva and the Yadu Dynasty

While Śukadeva Gosvāmī was narrating various activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa in playing the role of an ordinary human being, he also narrated the history of the battle between the dynasty of Yadu and a demon of the name Śālva, who had managed to possess a wonderful airship named Saubha. King Śālva was a great friend of Śiśupāla

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Chapter 77

The Deliverance of Śālva

After talking with his charioteer, the son of Dāruka, Pradyumna could understand the real circumstances, and therefore he refreshed himself by washing his mouth and hands. Arming himself properly with bows and arrows, he asked his charioteer to take him near the place where Śālva

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Chapter 78

The Killing of Dantavakra, Vidūratha and Romaharṣaṇa

After the demise of Śiśupāla, Śālva and Pauṇḍra, another foolish demoniac king of the name Dantavakra wanted to kill Kṛṣṇa in order to avenge the death of his friend Śālva. He became so agitated that he personally appeared on the battlefield without the proper arms and ammunition and without even a chariot. His only weapon was his great anger, which was red-hot. He carried only a club in his hand, but he was so powerful that when he moved, ev…

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Chapter 79

The Liberation of Balvala, and Lord Balarāma’s Touring the Sacred Places

Lord Balarāma prepared Himself to meet the demon Balvala. At the time when the demon usually attacked the sacred place, there appeared a great hailstorm, the whole sky became covered with dust and the atmosphere became surcharged with a filthy smell. Just after this, the mischievous demon Balvala began to shower torrents of stool and urine and other impure substances on the arena of sacrifice. After this onslaught, the demon himself appeared with a great trident in his hand. He was a gigantic pe…

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Chapter 80

Meeting of Lord Kṛṣṇa with Sudāmā Brāhmaṇa

King Parīkṣit was hearing the narrations of the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Balarāma from Śukadeva Gosvāmī. These pastimes are all transcendentally pleasurable to hear, and Mahārāja Parīkṣit addressed Śukadeva Gosvāmī as follows:

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Chapter 81

The Brāhmaṇa Sudāmā Benedicted by Lord Kṛṣṇa

Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul of all living entities, knows very well everyone’s heart. He is especially inclined to the brāhmaṇa devotees. Lord Kṛṣṇa is also called brahmaṇyadeva, which means that He is worshiped by the

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Chapter 82

Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma Meet the Inhabitants of Vṛndāvana

Once upon a time while Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were living peacefully in Their great city of Dvārakā, there was the rare occasion of a full solar eclipse, such as takes place at the end of every

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Chapter 83

Draupadī Meets the Queens of Kṛṣṇa

There were many visitors who came to see Kṛṣṇa, and among them were the Pāṇḍavas, headed by King Yudhiṣṭhira. After talking with the gopīs and bestowing upon them the greatest benediction, Lord Kṛṣṇa came to welcome King Yudhiṣṭhira and other relatives who had come to see Him. He first of all inquired from them whether their situation was auspicious. Actually, there is no question of ill fortune for anyone who sees the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, yet when Lord Kṛṣṇa, as a matter of etiquette, inqu…

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Chapter 84

Sacrificial Ceremonies Performed by Vasudeva

Among the women present at Kurukṣetra during the solar eclipse were Kuntī, Gāndhārī, Draupadī, Subhadrā and the queens of many other kings, as well as the gopīs from Vṛndāvana. When the different queens of Lord Kṛṣṇa were submitting their statements as to how they were married and accepted by Lord Kṛṣṇa as His wives, all the female members of the Kuru dynasty were struck with wonder. They were filled with admiration at how all the queens of Kṛṣṇa wer…

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Chapter 85

Spiritual Instruction for Vasudeva and Return of the Six Dead Sons of Devakī by Lord Kṛṣṇa

It is a Vedic custom that the junior members of the family should offer respects to the elderly persons every morning. The children or the disciples especially should offer their respects to the parents or the spiritual master in the morning. In pursuance of this Vedic principle, Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma used to offer Their obeisances to Their father, Vasudeva, along with his wives. One day, after having returned from the sacrificial performances at Kurukṣetra, when Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma went t…

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Chapter 86

The Kidnapping of Subhadrā and Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Visiting Śrutadeva and Bahulāśva

After hearing this incident, King Parīkṣit became more inquisitive to hear Kṛṣṇa and His pastimes, and thus he inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī how his grandmother Subhadrā was kidnapped by his grandfather Arjuna at the instigation of Lord Kṛṣṇa. King Parīkṣit was very much eager to learn his grandfather

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Chapter 87

Prayers by the Personified Vedas

King Parīkṣit inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī a very important topic in understanding transcendental subject matter. His question was, “Since Vedic knowledge generally deals with the subject matter of the three qualities of the material world, how then can it approach the subject matter of transcendence, which is beyond the approach of the three material modes? Since the mind is material and the vibration of words is a material sound, how can the Vedic knowledge, expressing by material soun…

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Chapter 88

The Deliverance of Lord Śiva

As a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa, King Parīkṣit was already liberated, but for clarification he was asking various questions of Śukadeva Gosvāmī. In the previous chapter, King Parīkṣit’s question was, “What is the ultimate goal of the

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Chapter 89

The Superexcellent Power of Kṛṣṇa

Long, long ago, there was an assembly of great sages on the bank of the river Sarasvatī, and they performed a great sacrifice of the name Satrayajña. In such assemblies, the great sages present usually discuss Vedic subject matters and philosophical topics, and in this particular meeting the following question was raised: The three predominating deities of this material world, namely, Lord Brahmā, Lord Viṣṇu and Lord Śiva, are directing all the affairs of the this cosmos, but who among them is t…

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Chapter 90

Summary Description of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes

After returning from the spiritual kingdom, which he was able to visit personally along with Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna was very much astonished. He thought to himself that although he was only an ordinary living entity, by the grace of Kṛṣṇa it had been possible for him to see personally the spiritual world. Not only had he seen the spiritual world, but he had also personally seen the original Mahā-Viṣṇu, the cause of the material creation. It is said that Kṛṣṇa…

The most comprehensive and authoritative Vedic scriptural literature is the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (“The Beautiful Story of the Personality of Godhead”), the mature contribution of Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the compiler of the Vedas. Of the twelve cantos of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the tenth canto is considered the most confidential, since it describes the transcendental pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa is a summary study of the tenth canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

The activities of Kṛṣṇa, which appear to be like those of an ordinary human being, can only be properly understood with the help of a bona fide spiritual master fully realized in the knowledge of this transcendental nature. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda is authorized by an unbreakable disciplic succession of spiritual masters going back thousands of years to the time when Kṛṣṇa appeared. Because he is the representative of the disciplic succession for this age and because of his complete immersion in love of Kṛṣṇa Prabhupāda is uniquely qualified to present Kṛṣṇa as He is.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the original speaker of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, has declared that there are three classes of men and that the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa will be relished by each of them. The liberated soul who is no longer interested in mundane topics most certainly hears about Kṛṣṇa with the highest pleasure. The person who is trying to become liberated will also enjoy these topics of the Personality of Godhead, which purify anyone who hears them. And even the grossest materialist will enjoy hearing about Kṛṣṇa because of the resemblance between His affairs with the gopīs and the loving affairs of ordinary boys and girls.

Foreseeing the publication of this book, with its fifty-eight full color illustrations, Prabhupāda commented, “No other religion has such a full concept of God. I think our Kṛṣṇa book will convince them. Whoever reads it will become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa.

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