Om namah. I offer my respectful obeisances to Sri Krishna, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, who is the rescuer from distress, who is understood by Vedanta, who is the supreme spiritual master, and who is the witness in everyone’s heart.

Commentary by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti:

I glorify the Gopala-tapani Upanisad. showering the nectar of the Supreme Lord’s spiritual form, it delights the devotees.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Gopala-tapani Upanisad, which is part of the Atharva Veda, and which describes the transcendental form and pastimes of Lord Krishna.

I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Krishna, whom the Sama Upanishad and Srimad-Bhagavatam proclaim the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The name of Krishna refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose spiritual form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. This is confirmed in the following verse of Mahabharata:

“The word krs is the attractive feature of the Lord’s existence, and na means spiritual pleasure. when the verb krs is added to affix na, it becomes “Krishna”, which indicates the Absolute Truth.”

The name Krishna may also be interpreted to mean the perfection of transcendental knowledge and bliss.

Lord Krishna’s mercy is described in the word “aklita-karine”, which means that the Lord rescues the living entities from the five-fold miseries of material existence, and also that the Lord is so kind that He even liberated those demons fortunate enough to be personally killed by Him.

The word “vedanta-vedyaya” means that Lord Krishna may be understood only by following the instructions of the Vedas, which lead the follower to liberation. Other so-called spiritual paths will not help one become liberated.

The word “gurave” means that the Lord becomes the teacher who enlightens His devotees. The Lord does this by appearing as the Supersoul (buddhi-saksine) in everyone’s heart.

This is confirmed in the following verses from the Vedic literatures:

“Become My devotee, accept Me as your spiritual master, come to Me and worship Me.”

“Appearing as the spiritual master in the heart, the Supreme Personality of Godhead reveals the path of spiritual enlightenment.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam)

“To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they may come to Me.” (Bhagavad-gita 10.11)

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

May our heart eternally rest on Govinda, who is full of bliss, the master of unlimited inconceivable transcendental potencies, the witness of everything, the expert protector of the devotees, and the creator of the material world.

Appearing in this word with Sri Sanatana Gosvami and Srila Rupa Gosvami, and bringing great tidal waves to the ocean of transcendental bliss, may the wonderful and splendid rising moon of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dispel the darkness within our hearts.

I glorify the Gopala-tapani Upanisad, which to the pious reveals Lord Krishna, the original Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul near to all moving and unmoving creatures.

The name “Krishna” is used to describe the Personality of Godhead because His complexion is like a dark atasi flower. This is confirmed in the following verse from the Narayaniya, where the Lord Himself says:

“O Arjuna, because My complexion is blackish, I am known as Krishna.”

Text 2

Om. Some sages said to the demigod Brahma: “Who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Whom does death fear? By knowing whom does everything else become known? Who created this world.

Commentary by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti:

The sages here are the Four Kumaras. They phrased their questions in such a way as to elicit the eighteen-syllable Gayatri mantra as their father’s reply.

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

The syllable om is used here, as it is generally used in the Vedic hymns, to invoke auspiciousness.

The Kumara’s first question is “Who is the supremely opulent and worshipable Personality of Godhead, than whom no one is greater or equal?” The subsequent questions all relate to the qualities of the Supreme Person.

Text 3

Brahma replied to them: “Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Death fears Govinda. By understanding Gopijanavallabha everything becomes known. By pronouncing the word “svaha” the Personality of Godhead created the world.

Commentary by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti:

The statement that death fears Govinda means that Krishna rescues the living entities from the hands of death. The name Gopijanavallabha means “Krishna, who is very dear to the gopis.” By knowing Him, the entire spiritual and material world becomes known. The process of understanding Him is described by Lord Gopijanavallabha Himself in the Bhagavad-gita (18.56):

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead can be understood only by devotional service.”

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

By answering the Kumaras’ question in this way, Brahma initiated them in the chanting of the eighteen-syllable Gayatri mantra.

Text 4

They then said: “Who is Krishna? Who is Govinda? Who is Gopijanavallabha? What is Svaha?”

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

The sages asked these questions to elicit from Brahma a more elaborate description of Lord Krishna’s qualities.

Text 5

To them Brahma said: “Krishna means He who delivers from sin, Govinda means He who is famous on the earth, in the Vedas, and among the surabhi cows, Gopijanavallabha means He who enchants the gopis, and Svaha means the potency of the Supreme. All these names refer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Commentary by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti:

The name papa-karsana may also be interpreted to mean:

1) He whose transcendental pastimes attract the minds of even the sinful conditioned souls, or 2) The merciful Supreme Person who liberated Putana, Agha, Kesi and many other demons killed by Him.

The name Govinda means the Supreme Lord who is famous to the Surabhi cows of Vraja. He is glorified in the verses of the Vedas, and He is famous on the earth because He removed the burden of demoniac kings.

Govinda also means He who protects the cows, land and Vedas. Lord Govinda is the Supreme protector, who rescues the living entities from the hands of death. Gopijanavallabha means He who enchants the gopis, who are all manifestations of His hladini potency. Then Lord enchants them with the sweetness His handsomeness and other transcendental qualities, removes their materialism, and grants them ecstatic love for Him. In this way He has become very dear (vallabha) to them.

The name svaha means the Lord’s potency by which everything is manifested.

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

The following explanation of the name Krishna is found in the Vedic literatures:

“For they who chant the auspicious holy name of Krishna, millions of grievous sinful reactions become immediately burned to ashes.”

“One who chants “Krishna Krishna Krishna” at the time of death becomes eligible for liberation.”

In the name Gopijanavallabha the gopis are expansions of the Lord’s internal potency. This is confirmed in the following verses:

“I worship the Personality of Godhead, Govinda, who, by expansion of His internal potency of transcendental existence, knowledge and bliss, enjoys in His own and expanded forms.

“The gopis are expansions of My own internal potency.”

The Lord is glorious in the gopi’s association. This is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.7):

“Lord Krishna appeared very glorious in the association of the gopis.”

The sruti describes the Lord as the master of transcendental potencies (Svaha):

“The sages say that Lord Visnu, is the master of all transcendental potencies.”

Text 6

One who meditates on this Supreme Personality of Godhead, glorifies Him, and worships Him, becomes liberated. He becomes liberated.

Commentary by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti:

Liberation means freedom from the cycle of birth and death and eternal association with Lord Krishna.

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

In this text the goal of life is described: By meditating on, glorifying and worshipping Lord Krishna, one becomes liberated.

Text 7

They said: What is His form? what is His glorification? How does one worship Him? Please describe this to us

Texts 8 and 9

Brahma said: He appears like a cowherd boy. His complexion is like a monsoon cloud. He stays under a desire-tree. The following verses describe Him.

Text 10(a)

Meditating with all his heart on Lord Krishna, whose eyes are handsome lotus flowers, whose complexion is a monsoon cloud, whose garments are lightning, who has two arms, who is rich in transcendental knowledge, who wears a garland of forest flowers, who is the supreme controller, who is surrounded by gopas, gopis, and surabhi cows, who rests under a sura-druma tree, who is decorated with splendid ornaments, who stands in the middle of a red lotus flower, and who is served by breezes that have touched the Yamuna’s waves, a person becomes free from repeated birth and death.

Text 11

This mantra should be repeatedly chanted: “klim krishnaya govindaya gopijanavallabhaya svaha”.

Text 12

By chanting these five names one attains the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose potencies are manifested as the heavenly planets, the earth, sun, moon, and fire.

Text 13

A person who even once chants the mantra “Klim krsnaya govindaya gopijanavallabha svaha” quickly attains the association of Lord Krishna. He does not attain any other result.

Text 14

Devotional service to Lord Krishna is performed when the heart no longer desires any material benefit to be obtained in this life or the next. This is freedom from the bonds of karma.

Commentary by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti:

Devotional service to Krishna and liberation are actually synonymous, this is confirmed in the Padma Purana:

“Pure devotional service to Lord Hari is actual liberation.”

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

Bhakti means engaging the senses in the service of Lord Krishna. This is confirmed in the Narada Pancharatra in the following words:

“One should be free from all material designations, and cleansed of all material contamination. He should be restored to his pure identity, in which he engages his senses in the service of the proprietor of the senses. This is called devotional service.

The activities of bhakti are listed in the following way: 1. hearing the Lord’s glories, 2. reciting the Lord’s glories, 3. remembering the Lord constantly, 4. serving the lotus feet of the Lord, 5. worshipping the Lord, 6. chanting prayers to the Lord, 7. carrying out the orders of the Lord, 8. making friends with the Lord, and 9. surrendering everything to the Lord.

As a result of engaging in Lord Krishna’s service, one develops intense ecstatic love for Him. This is described in the Eleventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

“As one becomes advanced in devotional service to the Lord, he becomes ecstatic. The hairs of his body stand on end, and he manifests ecstatic symptoms.”

Text 15

Many brahmanas worship Krishna. Many worship eternal Govinda. Gopijanavallabha maintains the worlds. Powerful Svaha moves the universe.

Commentary by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti:

Many brahmanas, following the path of the sastras, worship Krishna. Many others, following of the path of spontaneous love as the residents of Gokula followed it, worship Lord Govinda, the hero of Gokula.

Text 16

Although originally one, air becomes the five life-airs in the bodies of all living entities. In the same way, for the benefit of the world Lord Krishna appears as these five words.

Text 17

They said: Please describe the worship of Govinda, the Supersoul, who maintains everything.

Text 18

Brahma said: The Lord’s altar should be a golden lotus with eight petals. Within that lotus should be placed two triangles and the mantra klim krsnaya namah, the Kama-gayatri (klim krsnaya govindaya gopijanavallabhaya svaha), and the ananga-gayatri (kamadevaya sarva-jana-priyaya sarva-jana-sammohanaya jvala jvala prajvala prajvala sarva-janasya hrdayam me vasam kuru kuru svaha) should be written there. then anga should be offered with the sula-matra (astraya phat). Then one should worship the Lord’s expansions, beginning with Rukmini, the devotees headed by Indra, the devotees headed by King Vasudeva, the devotees headed by Arjuna, and the devotees headed by Indranidhi.

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

This is described in the Padma Purana:

“O Narada, placing the Lord on His altar, I worship Him with prayers, incense ,lamps, arghya and other gifts.”

Text 19

He who at sunrise, noon and sunset, makes various offerings to the Deity, obtains everything. He obtains everything.

Text 20

In this matter there are the following verses: Lord Krishna is the worshipable, all-pervading supreme controller, and although He is one, He manifests in many forms. They who are intelligent worship Him as He stands on His altar. They, and not others, attain eternal happiness.

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

That Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead is confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28):

“Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead.”

Text 21

The brahmanas, who worship, as He stands on His altar, the one greatest among the eternals and greatest among conscious persons, the one who fulfils the desires of the many, they, and not others, attain perfection.

Text 22

To they who always diligently worship Lord Visnu’s transcendental form, the Lord, in His original form as a cowherd boy, shows His lotus feet.

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

This is confirmed in Vedanta-sutra:

“The Personality of Godhead reveals Himself to His pure devotees.”

Text 23

It was Krishna who in the beginning instructed Brahma in Vedic knowledge and who disseminated Vedic knowledge in the past. They who desire liberation surrender to Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who grants transcendental knowledge to His devotees.

Text 24

To they who chant the five-word mantra with om and govinda (om krsnaya govindaya gopijanavallabha svaha) the Lord reveals His own form. Therefore, to attain transcendental peace, they who desire liberation should regularly chant this mantra.

Text 25

From this five-word mantra have come all other govinda-mantras in human society, including the ten-syllable govinda-mantra chanted by Indra’s followers and by they who desire opulences.

Commentary by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti:

The persons desiring opulence in this verse are the four Kumaras’ followers, who desire liberation, and Narada’s followers, who desire pure devotional service.

Text 26

They asked: Please tell us the nature of this mantra

Text 27 and 28

Brahma said: I continually glorified the Lord and meditated upon Him for millions of years, and at last I was able to understand the transcendental form of the Lord as Sri Krishna, in the dress of a cowherd boy. With devotion in my heart I bowed down before Him. He gave me the eighteen-syllable mantra to be used for the activity of creation, and then He disappeared.

Text 29

When I desired to create the universe He again appeared before me, showing me in these syllables the universe that was to be.

Text 30

From the letter k, I created water, from the letter l, earth, from the letter i, fire, from the letter m, the moon, and from the entire word klim, the sun. From the word krsnaya, I created ether, from govindaya, air, from gopijanavallabha, knowledge and the surabhi cows, and from svaha, men, women, and everything else. Everything else.

Text 31

By worshipping Him, Shiva became free from illusion, and by chanting this mantra in a solitary place, he attained the Lord.

Text 32

The demigods gaze at Visnu’s abode, which is like a splendid sun in the sky.

Text 33

Therefore one should regularly chant this mantra. One should regularly chant this mantra.

Text 34

Some have said that from the first word of this mantra earth was created, from the second word water, from the third fire, from the fourth air, and from the fifth ether. To attain liberation one should chant this five-word Vaishnava mantra, which reveals Lord Krishna.

Text 35

About this are the following verses: One should chant this mantra, of which from the first word the element earth came, from the second word water, from the third fire, from the fourth air, and from the fifth ether.

Text 36

By chanting this mantra Shiva entered Lord Visnu’s eternal spiritual abode.

Text 37

That spiritual world, completely pure, uncontaminated, free from suffering, free from greed and all other vices, and identical with this five-word mantra, is manifested from Lord Vasudeva. It is not separate from Him.

Text 38

With eloquent prayers I and the Maruts please Lord Govinda, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, who stays under a desire tree in Vrndavana, and who is this five-word mantra.

Text 39

Om namah. To Lord Govinda, who is the form of the universe, the creator. maintainer, and destroyer of the universe, the master of the universe, and the universe itself. I offer my respectful obeisances.

Text 40

Obeisances to Lord Govinda, whose form is full of knowledge, whose form is full of supreme bliss, who is all-attractive, and who is the master of the gopis.

Text 41

Obeisances to Him, His eyes lotus flowers. Obeisances to Him, garlanded with lotuses. Obeisances to Him, His navel a lotus. Obeisances to Him, the husband of the goddesses of fortune.

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

The goddesses of fortune here are the gopis. This is described in verses 29 and 56 of the Brahma-samhita:

“Lord Govinda is served with great reverence by hundreds and thousands of gopis.”

“The damsels of Vrndavana, the gopis, are super goddesses of fortune.”

Text 42

Obeisances to Lord Govinda, handsome with a peacock-feather crown, identical with Balarama, His intelligence sharp, and He the swan in the Manasa lake of the goddess of fortune’s thoughts.

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

The goddess of fortune here is Srimati Radharani, who is described in the Purusa-bodhini Upanisad.

“Candravali and Radhika always remain at Lord Krishna’s side. Laksmi, Durga, and the Lord’s other potencies are expansions of Sri Radhika.”

The Gautamiya Tantra also explains:

The transcendental goddess Srimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Sri Krishna. She is the central figure for the goddess of fortune. She possesses all the attractiveness to attract the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. She is the primeval internal potency of the Lord.

Text 43

Obeisances to Him, the death of Kamsa and his allies, the killer of Kesi and Canura, the object of worship for Siva, and the chariot-driver of Arjuna.

Text 44

Obeisances to Him, the cowherd boy fond of playing the flute, the crusher of Kaliya, the person who walks on the Yamuna’s shore and whose earrings gracefully swing to and fro.

Text 45

Obeisances to Sri Krishna, the protector of the surrendered souls. Obeisances to Him, the expert dancer garlanded with the gopi’s lotus glances.

Text 46

Obeisances to Him, the death of sin, the lifter of Govardhana Hill, the end of Putana’s life, the thief of Trnavarta’s life.

Text 47

Obeisances to Sri Krishna, decorated with a golden necklace, charming, pure, the enemy of impurity, one without a second, the greatest.

Commentary by Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti:

The Word niskalaya may also mean “He who is beyond the influence of material illusion” and the word vimohaya may be interpreted to mean “He who is omniscient and cannot be put into illusion even by Brahma or Siva”. The word “asuddhi-vairine” may be interpreted to mean “He who removes material impurities from the hearts of those attached to hearing and chanting His glories.”

Text 48

Be kind, O blissful one. Be kind, O Supreme Lord. O Lord, please rescue me, bitten by the snake of physical and mental pain.

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

Vyadhi, or physical pain, inevitably comes when one fulfils his material desires. when material desires remain unfulfilled, however, the conditioned soul experiences mental pain, or adhi. Either condition is inauspicious for the conditioned soul.

Text 49

O Krishna, O husband of Rukmini, O enchanter of the gopis, O master of the universe, please rescue me, drowning in the ocean of repeated birth and death.

Text 50

O Kesava, O Narayana, O Govinda, O Janardana, O source of all transcendental bliss, O Lord who rescues the devotees from distress, O Madhava, please rescue me.

Commentary by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

In the Hari-vamsa, Lord Shiva explains the meaning of the name Kesava:

“Both Brahma (ka) and I (isa), the master of all living entities, were born from You, and for this reason, O Lord, You are known as Kesava.”

Text 51

Brahma said: As I worship Him, so should you. Chanting this five-word mantra, and meditating on Lord Krishna, you will transcend the world of birth and death.

Text 52

One who chants this five-word mantra easily attains His transcendental abode.

Text 53

Although fixed in His abode, the Personality of Godhead is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running. Even the powerful demigods cannot approach Him.

Text 54

Therefore, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should meditate upon Him, glorify Him, serve Him and worship Him. Om tat sat.

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