Kartik is a very auspicious time for spiritual advancement. Another name for Kartik is Urja-vrata. Urja means power. The supreme power, the original power, is Srimati Radharani. So Urja-vrata, or Kartik-vrata, is for Srimati Radharani. Many important pastimes took place in the month of Kartik. On the full moon night, Lord Krishna played on His flute and enjoyed the rasa-lila, which is considered the best of Krishna’s pastimes. Also during Kartik, Lord Krishna saw that the residents of Vrindavan were preparing to worship Indradeva, and He convinced them not to worship Indra but to use the same paraphernalia to worship Govardhana Hill, the brahmans, and the cows. When Indra saw that his worship had been stopped, he became furious and wanted to take revenge against Krishna and the Vraja-vasis. So he sent torrential rains and hail. And to give protection to the residents of Vrindavan, Lord Krishna lifted Govardhana Hill and kept it aloft for seven days on the little finger of His left hand. Thus King Indra’s pride was shattered and he came to beg forgiveness from Lord Krishna.
Also in the month of Kartik, our beloved founder-acharya, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, left this world and entered the eternal pastimes of Krishna.
Another event that took place during Kartik was Lord Krishna’s killing of the demon Arista, who had assumed the form of a bull. Thereafter, Lord Krishna manifested Syama-kunda and Radha-kunda. Because today is celebrated as the appearance day of Radha-kunda, we shall read a relevant verse from The Nectar of Instruction, an authorized English presentation by Srila Prabhupada of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Sri Upadesamrta.
The Nectar of Instruction, Text Ten:
karmibhyah parito hareh priyataya vyaktim yayur jnaninas
tebhyo jnana-vimukta-bhakti-paramah premaika-nisthas tatah
tebhyas tah pasu-pala-pankaja-drsas tabhyo ’pi sa radhika
prestha tadvad iyam tadiya-sarasi tam nasrayet kah krti
karmibhyah—than all fruitive workers; paritah—in all respects; hareh—by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; priyataya—because of being favored; vyaktim yayur—it is said in the sastra; jnaninah—those advanced in knowledge; tebhyah—superior to them; jnana vimukta—liberated by knowledge; bhakti-paramah—those engaged in devotional service; prema-eka-nisthah—those who have attained pure love of God; tatah—superior to them; tebhyah—better than them; tah—they; pasu-pala-pankaja–drsah—the gopis who are always dependent on Krsna, the cowherd boy; tabhyah—above all of them; api—certainly; sa—She; radhika—Srimati Radharani; prestha—very dear; tadvat—similarly; iyam—this; tadiya-sarasi—Her lake, Sri Radha-kunda; tam—Radha-kunda; na—not; asrayet—would take shelter of; kah—who; krti—most fortunate.
In the sastra it is said that of all types of fruitive workers, he who is advanced in knowledge of the higher values of life is favored by the Supreme Lord Hari. Out of many such people who are advanced in knowledge [jnanis], one who is practically liberated by virtue of his knowledge may take to devotional service. He is superior to the others. However, one who has actually attained prema, pure love of Krsna, is superior to him. The gopis are exalted above all the advanced devotees because they are always totally dependent upon Sri Krsna, the transcendental cowherd boy. Among the gopis, Srimati Radharani is the most dear to Krsna. Her kunda [lake] is as profoundly dear to Lord Krsna as this most beloved of the gopis. Who, then, will not reside at Radha-kunda and, in a spiritual body surcharged with ecstatic devotional feelings [aprakrta-bhava], render loving service to the divine couple Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, who perform Their astakaliya-lila, Their eternal eight-fold daily pastimes. Indeed, those who execute devotional service on the banks of Radha-kunda are the most fortunate people in the universe.
PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada
At the present moment almost everyone is engaged in some kind of fruitive activity. Those who are desirous of gaining material profits by working are called karmis, or fruitive workers. All living entities within this material world have come under the spell of maya. This is described in the Visnu Purana (6.7.61):
visnu-saktih para prokta
ksetrajnakhya tatha para
trtiya saktir isyate
Sages have divided the energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead into three categories—namely, the spiritual energy, marginal energy, and material energy. The material energy is considered to be the third-class energy (trtiya saktih). Those living beings within the jurisdiction of the material energy sometimes engage themselves like dogs and hogs in working very hard simply for sense gratification. However, in this life, or, after executing pious activities, in the next life, some karmis become strongly attracted to performing various kinds of sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas. Thus on the strength of their pious merit, they are elevated to heavenly planets. Actually those who perform sacrifices strictly according to Vedic injunctions are elevated to the moon and planets above the moon. As mentioned in Bhagavad-gita (9.21), ksine punye martya-lokam visanti: After exhausting the results of their so-called pious activities, they again return to the earth, which is called martya-loka, the place of death. Although such persons may be elevated to the heavenly planets by their pious activities and although they may enjoy life there for many thousands of years, they nonetheless must return to this planet when the results of their pious activities are exhausted.
COMMENT by Giriraj Swami
The lowest category mentioned here is the karmi. The principle of the karmi is to work to get money for sense gratification. Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are karmis, and they fall into two categories: those who are regulated according to Vedic principles and those who are not regulated. Those who are not regulated are like animals, cats and dogs and hogs. They simply want to eat, drink, and enjoy. They engage in all sorts of sinful activities, and as a result they are pushed down into hellish conditions. Those in the other category, the regulated, follow the Vedic injunctions in order to enjoy a higher standard of material happiness. By performance of pious activities, such as Vedic sacrifices, such persons can be elevated to the heavenly planets, where they enjoy the results of their pious deeds. But after their pious credits are exhausted, they again fall down to earth.
One time on a morning walk in New York City, Srila Prabhupada pointed to some blades of grass growing up between the cracks of the concrete pavement. “What is this?” he asked, and a devotee replied, “It’s grass, Srila Prabhupada.” “Yes, I know it is grass,” he said. “But how did it come up here between the cracks?” Nobody could answer. Then Srila Prabhupada explained that after the fruitive workers exhaust their pious credits on the higher planets, they fall down to earth. And how do the spirit souls get here from the higher planets? They come in the rain. The rain falls on the earth, between the cracks of the sidewalk, and the living entities who were enjoying life in the heavenly planets take birth as blades of grass or sprouts of grain on earth. This is because their pious credits have been exhausted.
From the point of view of one in Krishna consciousness, that happiness of sense gratification is not real happiness. But even if someone is on a lower level and thinks that material enjoyment is happiness, still he cannot enjoy for long. As soon as his pious credits are finished, he will have to suffer. Therefore, intelligent persons do not try to enjoy the material world.
This is the position of all karmis, including those who act piously and those who act impiously. On this planet we find many businessmen, politicians, and others who are simply interested in material happiness. They attempt to earn money by all means, not considering whether such means are pious or impious. Such people are called karmis, or gross materialists. Among the karmis are some vikarmis, people who act without the guidance of Vedic knowledge. Those who act on the basis of Vedic knowledge perform sacrifices for the satisfaction of Lord Visnu and to receive benedictions from Him. In this way they are elevated to higher planetary systems. Such karmis are superior to the vikarmis, for they are faithful to the directions of the Vedas and are certainly dear to Krsna. In Bhagavad-gita (4.11), Krsna says: ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham. “In whatever way one surrenders unto Me, I reward him accordingly.”
In shastra, Lord Krishna states that “the injunctions of the Vedas are My orders, and one who goes against the injunctions of the Vedas goes against Me.” So, one who follows the Vedic injunctions follows the orders of Krishna, and he tends to be dearer to Krishna than one who goes against them.
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