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dhīrādhīra-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pūjitau

nānā-śāstra-vicāraaika-nipuau sad-dharma-sasthāpakau

And now, Chapter 23: Kṛṣṇa's Personality.

lokānāṁ hita-kāriau tri-bhuvane mānyau śarayākarau nānā-śāstra-vicāraaika-nipuau

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī states that although Lord Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of unlimited pleasure

and the greatest leader of all, He is still dependent upon His devotees in three ways.

According to the emotional status of the devotee, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is appreciated

in three ways: as the most perfect, as very perfect and as perfect. When He exhibits Himself

in fullness, He is appreciated by great learned scholars as most perfect. When He exhibits

Himself in lesser degrees, He is called very perfect. And when He exhibits still less,

He is called perfect. This means that Kṛṣṇa is appreciated for three degrees of perfection.

These three degrees of perfection are especially exhibited as follows: when He is in Goloka

Vndāvana His transcendental qualities are exhibited as most perfect, when He is in Dvārakā

He exhibits His qualities as very perfect, and when He is in Mathurā He exhibits His

qualities as perfect. Kṛṣṇa's personality is analyzed as dhīrodātta,

dhīra-lalita, dhīra-praśānta and dhīroddhata. If one asks how a personality can be beheld

in four quite opposing ways, the answer is that the Lord is the reservoir of all transcendental

qualities and activities. Therefore, His different aspects can be analyzed according to the exhibition

of His limitless variety of pastimes, and as such there is no contradiction.

Dhīrodātta A dhīrodātta is a person who is naturally

very grave, gentle, forgiving, merciful, determined, humble, highly qualified, chivalrous and physically

attractive. In this connection, the following statement

given by Indra, the King of heaven, is very significant: "My dear Lord, I admit that I

have committed great offenses unto You, but I cannot express my feelings of regret, being

bewildered at seeing Your extraordinary chivalrous spirit, Your endeavor to protect Your devotees,

Your determination, Your steadiness in lifting the great hill of Govardhana, Your beautiful

bodily features and Your astonishing characteristic of being pleased simply by accepting the prayers

of Your devotees and offenders." The above statement by the King of heaven

is an exact corroboration of Kṛṣṇa's being dhīrodātta. Many learned scholars have agreed

to also accept Lord Rāmacandra as dhīrodātta, but all of Lord Rāmacandra's qualities are

also included in the character of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Dhīra-lalita

A person is called dhīra-lalita if he is naturally very funny, always in full youthfulness, expert

in joking and free from all anxieties. Such a dhīra-lalita personality is generally found

to be domesticated and very submissive to his lover. This dhīra-lalita trait in the

personality of Kṛṣṇa is described by Yajña-patnī, the wife of one of the brāhmaas who were

performing sacrifices in Vndāvana. She tells her friends, "One day Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, accompanied

by Her associates, was taking rest in Her garden, and at that time Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa arrived

in that assembly. After sitting down, He began to narrate very impudently about His previous

night's pastimes with Rādhārāṇī. While He was speaking in that way, Rādhārāṇī became

very embarrassed. She was feeling ashamed and was absorbed in thought, and Kṛṣṇa took

the opportunity to mark Her breasts with different kinds of tilaka. Kṛṣṇa proved Himself to be

very expert in that art." In this way Kṛṣṇa, as dhīra-lalita, was enjoying His youthful

proclivities in the company of the gopīs. Generally, those who are expert in writing

drama choose to call Cupid the ideal dhīra-lalita, but we can more perfectly find in the personality

of Kṛṣṇa all the characteristics of dhīra-lalita. Dhīra-praśānta

A person who is very peaceful, forbearing, considerate and obliging is called dhīra-praśānta.

This dhīra-praśānta trait of Kṛṣṇa was exhibited in His dealings with the Pāṇḍavas. On account

of the Pāṇḍavas' faithful devotion to the Lord, He agreed to become their charioteer,

their advisor, their friend, their messenger and sometimes their bodyguard. Such is an

example of the result of devotional service toward Viṣṇu. When Kṛṣṇa was speaking to Mahārāja

Yudhiṣṭhira about religious principles, He demonstrated Himself to be a great learned

scholar, but because He accepted the position of younger cousin to Yudhiṣṭhira, He was speaking

in a very gentle tone which enhanced His beautiful bodily features. The movements of His eyes

and the mode of His speech proved that He was very, very expert in giving moral instruction.

Sometimes, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira is also accepted by learned scholars as dhīra-praśānta.

Dhīroddhata A person who is very envious, proud, easily

angered, restless and complacent is called dhīroddhata by learned scholars. Such qualities

were visible in the character of Lord Kṛṣṇa, because when He was writing a letter to Kālayavana,

Kṛṣṇa addressed him as a sinful frog. In His letter Kṛṣṇa advised Kālayavana that he should

immediately go and find some dark well for his residence, because there was a black snake

named Kṛṣṇa who was very eager to devour all such sinful frogs. Kṛṣṇa reminded Kālayavana

that He could turn all the universes to ashes simply by looking at them.

The above statement by Kṛṣṇa seems apparently to be of an envious nature, but according

to different pastimes, places and times this quality is accepted as a great characteristic.

Kṛṣṇa's dhīroddhata qualities have been accepted as great because Kṛṣṇa uses them only to protect

His devotees. In other words, even undesirable traits may also be used in the exchange of

devotional service. Sometimes Bhīma, the second brother of the

Pāṇḍavas, is also described as dhīroddhata. Once, while fighting with a demon who was

appearing as a deer, Kṛṣṇa challenged him in this way: "I have come before you as a

great elephant named Kṛṣṇa. You must leave the battlefield, accepting defeat, or else

there is death awaiting you." This challenging spirit of Kṛṣṇa's is not contradictory to

His sublime character; because He is the Supreme Being, everything is possible in His character.

There is a nice statement in the Kūrma Purāṇa about these contradictory traits of the Supreme

Personality of Godhead. It is stated there that the Supreme Person is neither very fat

nor very thin; He is always transcendental to material qualities, and yet His bodily

luster is blackish. His eyes are reddish, He is all-powerful, and He is equipped with

all different kinds of opulences. Contradictory traits in Kṛṣṇa's person are not at all surprising;

one should not consider the characteristics of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead,

to be actually contradictory. One should try to understand the traits of Kṛṣṇa from authorities

and try to understand how these characteristics are employed by the supreme will of the Lord.

In the Mahā-varāha Purāṇa it is confirmed that the transcendental bodies of the Supreme

Personality of Godhead and His expansions are all existing eternally. Such bodies are

never material; they are completely spiritual and full of knowledge. They are reservoirs

of all transcendental qualities. In the Viṣṇu-yāmala-tantra there is a statement that because the Personality

of Godhead and His expanded bodies are always full of knowledge, bliss and eternity, they

are always free from the eighteen kinds of material contaminationsillusion, fatigue,

errors, roughness, material lust, restlessness, pride, envy, violence, disgrace, exhaustion,

untruth, anger, hankering, dependence, desire to lord over the universe, seeing duality

and cheating. Regarding all of the above-mentioned statements,

it is understood that the Mahā-Viṣṇu is the source of all incarnations in the material

world. But because of His greater, extraordinary opulence, we can understand that the son of

Nanda Mahārāja is the source of the Mahā-Viṣṇu also. This is confirmed in the Brahma-sahitā,

wherein it is stated, "Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Govinda, whose partial representation

is the Mahā-Viṣṇu." The gigantic form of the Mahā-Viṣṇu is the source of generation for

innumerable universes. Innumerable universes are coming out of His exhaling breath, and

the same universes are going back in with His inhaling breath. This Mahā-Viṣṇu is also

a plenary portion of a portion of Kṛṣṇa.

The Description of Nectar of Devotion - 23 - Krsna's Personality