Lord Brahma had earlier entreated the Lord to relieve the burden on Mother Earth [Bhooma devi]. The Lord hence incarnated as Lord Krishna to relieve the burden on mother Earth. After alleviating the burden on Earth and having established righteousness, his birth in the lineage of Yadu clan thus reaped fruit. So Lord Brahma and other Devas beseeched the Lord to return to Vaikunta. The Lord also accepted their request. The Lord decided to destroy the Yadu clan before his departure to Vaikunta. A Brahman’s curse was cast on the Yadu clan and their destruction had also started. The Yadavas who are none other than the Devas and the Lord wanted them to reach the heavenly abode and this Brahmana’s curse was used as a reason to destroy the Yadavas. Uddhava, a close friend of the Lord and also a minister in Lord Krishna’s court had clear indications about the Lord’s departure to Vaikunta. When the Lord was in seclusion, he approached to him and prostrated unto His holy Feet and holding the holy Feet of the Lord and with tears in his eyes, he says –
“Naham Thavangri kamalam Kshanardamapi keshava |
Thayaktum samuthsahae natha svadhama naya mamapi || [ Srimad Bhagavatam11.6.43 ]
Thava vikriditam Krishna nrunaam parama mangalam |
Karnapiyushamasvadhya thyajansanyaspruhaam janaah||” [ Srimad Bhagavatam11.6.44 ]
Seeing Uddhava in that state, Lord Krishna pacified him and enquired with Uddhava for the reason for his sadness. Lord Krishna said “Oh Uddhava, You never have any desires for yourself and so what is troubling you now?” Uddhava in reply to the Lord’s question replied – “Oh Lord! I now know your intentions. You are now going to depart to Vaikunta. Your birth in Yadu clan has reaped fruits.” Uddhava added, Oh Lord! I have one request for you. Can you please take me along with you to Vaikunta?
Uddhava is an epitome of bhakti to Lord Krishna. He never left the Lord even for a second. He requested the Lord to treat him as his Padhuka so that the Lord can lock him forever unto his holy feet akin to how one wears slippers before stepping out.
Uddhava, in a shivering voice confided in Lord Krishna that he had been listening to his divine Kalyana Gunas and witnessed the Lord’s divine leelas every day. I cannot live without you and cannot imagine a life being away from you. He further added “Oh Krishna! I do not have any bondage or attachment in this world. I don’t have any possessions in this mundane world. I have always worn the clothes that have been worn by you. I have always consumed your food remnants and have always worn your pitambara. I have always been living in the shadow of your holy feet. I will boldly say that I have won over Maya because I have always been consuming your Prasad and so please take me along with you, says Uddhava”. Aharam is food and it is not limited to the food that one consumes. For every sense organ the food has to be the prasasdam of the Lord. The ears need to listen to the divine glories of the Lord. The eyes must stay tuned to the Lord’s divine darshan and the mouth should consume the food that was offered to the Lord. If one adheres to this, then one can easily come over Maya.
Uddhava was one such ardent devotee of Lord Krishna. He was a great Bhagavatotama. Even though the Lord did Upadesa to Uddhava it is known as Uddhava Gita unlike other Gita’s. This goes to show the greatness of the Shrota, Uddhava. He was an epitome of Prema Bhakti akin to the Gopis of Brindavan. He was never separated from the Lord even for a second.
Krishna has also acknowledged that Uddhava was his favorite devotee and that he was very dear to him. He says that neither Lord Brahma (who is the Lord’s very own son), nor Lord Shiva (who is the Lord’s very own self), nor Lord Balarama (the Lord’s own brother) nor Goddess Sri (the Lord’s wife) nor the Lord’s very own personality are not so dear to the Lord. Uddhava is Lord’s favorite devotee. The Lord further insinuated that whoever sings his divine glories and chants the Lord’s divine names are indeed dear to the Lord.
“Na thatha me priyathama athmayonihi na shankaraha
Na cha sankarshano na shri naivaathma cha yatha bhavaan”|| [Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.15]\
The Lord also confessed to Uddhava that he desires to purify the material worlds with the dust of His devotee’s feet.
nirapeksham munim shaantam nirvairam sama-darshanam
anuvrajaamy aham nityam / puyeyety anghri renubhih [Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.16]
Our Guru Maharaj beautifully elucidates the fact that when a person does incessant chanting of a Naama in the same place, divinity is created in that place around him. This is verily ‘Saalokya’ [same loka]. That is he attains to that world/loka, here. He then attains the beauty of that Deity or in the case of the worship of a Guru, his gait, talk and everything else becomes just like that of the Guru – ‘Saaroopya’ [same form]. Then, the Deity comes into his heart, which is verily ‘Saameepya’ [proximity] and finally he becomes one with ‘It’ and that is ‘Saayujya. These are not really external factors as deemed but happen wherever the Nama is chanted incessantly in one place.’
Uddhava was one such devotee of Lord Krishna whose thoughts always revolved around the Lord. When he earnestly requested the Lord to take him along with him to Vaikunta, Lord Krishna did not adhere to his request. He said, “Oh Uddhava! Either I should be here or you should be here. I cannot be here for long and so you must stay here”. He further added that the impending Yuga is Kali Yuga in which the mind’s of the people is filled with tamas qualities and so it necessitates that there should be at least one Bhagavata in this earth and there by instill Satvik qualities and devotion in people’s mind. The Lord also mentioned to Uddhava that either one of their feet should be in touch with the earth to establish dharma.
Uddhava after listening to the Lord said “Oh Lord how can I live in this earth after your departure?”. So Lord Krishna acknowledged his concern and advised him to renounce everything and settle in Badrikashramam. The Lord said that by Uddhava’s mere presence satsangs will happen throughout the world. Uddhava being a personification of bhakti cannot mingle with normal mortals in this world.
“Thvam thu sarvam parithyajya sneham swajana bhandushu
Mayya veshya mana samyak samadrug vicharasva gaam”||
After listening to Lord’s order, Uddhava put forth another question to the Lord –
“Yogesa Yogavinyasa Yogathman Yogasambhava|
Nishyaeyasaya mae prokthaha thyaggaha sanyasa lakshanaaha”||
He said,”Oh Lord! You are a very embodiment of Yoga. You are a Karma Yogi. Do you think I am eligible to renounce everything and embrace the path of sanyasa?” He requested the Uddhava to go to Bhadrikashramam and remain there for some time and the Lord gave his holy padhukas to Uddhava. The crux of this is to show the greatness of the Guru Paduka. Guru Paduka is verily the Guru himself. Uddhava’s mind was in tranquil state when he received the Padukas. It is also seen in Ramayana that when Bharata was disturbed about Lord Rama’s departure to the forest and Lord Rama’s darshan to Bharata just bestowed him with immense peace. Such is the greatness of a guru.
Lord Krishna being the Guru knows what the right path is for his disciple. Uddhava being his disciple implicitly obeyed his guru’s orders verbatim. This applies to one and all. One should follow the Guru’s orders and no reasoning out the question at any cost. When one goes in search of the Lord, the Lord will lead that disciple to a Guru, who is verily a human form of the Lord. The Guru cleanses his disciples and throws them unto the holy feet of the Lord. The Guru tattvam is sheer guru’s grace and this Guru Tattvam is all pervading and is infinite. What is the indication that one has been bestowed with Guru’s grace? It is verily the thought in him that everything in this world is his Guru and each and every action is happening due to sheer grace of his Guru. Guru’s grace [krupai] will ensure that the Guru’s orders are followed. Such is the greatness of Guru and his grace.
The Lord in reply to his question started to discourse on the path of Sanyasa dharma. Sanyasa dharma is verily Bhagavata dharma. The sanyasis renounce everything and seek the Lord whereas the Bhagavatas (Gruhastas) lead a house-holder’s life and yet have no bondage to this worldly life. They do not perform any Kamyartha bhakti [bhakti to satiate their worldly desires]. Such is the greatness of a Bhagavata.
It is a normal practice to narrate the incidents that happened in our ancestral lineage as that would instill more bhakti and devotion.
“Yendai thandai thandai than moothappan ezhu paadi kaal thudangi”
Lord Krishna started to expound on the path of Bhagavata Dharma that Avadoota told to King Yadu.
The satsang concluded with prayers and Namasankirtan.