Stories shared by Srila Prabhupada during conversations and lectures.
For a devotee, Krishna is within the palms of a devotee. Ajita, jito 'py asau. Although Krishna is not conquerable, but He likes to be conquered by His devotee. That is the position. Just like He willingly placed Himself to be conquered by Mother Yasoda, to be conquered by Radharani, to be conquered by His friends. Krishna became defeated, and He has to take His friend on the shoulder. Practically sometimes we see that a king keeps a joker amongst his associates, and sometimes the joker insults the king, and the king enjoys.
Just like there is a famous joker, Gopala Bon, in Bengal. So one day the king asked him, "Gopala, what is the difference between you and an ass?" So he immediately measured the distance from the king. He said, "It is three feet only, sir. The difference is only three feet." So everyone began to laugh. And the king enjoyed that insult. Because sometimes it is required.
So Krishna also... Everyone praises Him in exalted position. Everyone. That is Krishna's position - the Supreme Lord. In Vaikuntha, there is only praising. There is no such thing. But in Vrindavana, Krishna is free to accept insult from His devotee. The people do not know that, what is Vrindavana life. So devotees are so exalted. Radharani orders, "Don't allow Krishna to come here," Krishna cannot come in. He flatters the other gopis, "Please allow Me to go there." "No, no. There is no order. You cannot go." So Krishna likes that.
Reference: The Nectar of Devotion - Calcutta, January 30, 1973
The real purusha is Krishna. And there is a nice example. When Rupa Gosvami was there in Vrindavana in his bhajana, Mirabhai went to see him. And Rupa Gosvami's message was that he does not see any woman. They were very strict. At least, the story is like... So Mira challenged that, "I came to Vrindavana. I know that only Krishna is purusha here, and everyone is woman. So how does it mean that Rupa Gosvami's declined to see another woman?" So Rupa Gosvami agreed, "Yes, I am mistaken. Yes, Krishna is the only purusha." So purusha means the enjoyer, and prakriti means the instrument of enjoyment.
Reference: Bhagavad-gita Lecture - Ahmedabad, December 8, 1972
Now, there is a story. It is very interesting. Visvamitra Muni, he was a great king, kshatriya, but his priest, Vasishtha Muni, he had great spiritual power. So he renounced his kingdom. He wanted to advance. He was kingly, royal order, but still, he wanted to advance in the spiritual order. So he adopted yoga process, meditation. That time it was possible for adopting this yoga process.
So he was meditating in such a way that the Indra, who was the king of heaven, he thought that, "This man is trying to occupy my post." As there is competition... Heaven means that is also material world. So this competition - no businessman wants another businessman go ahead. He wants to cut down. Competition of price, quality. Similarly, that Indra, he thought that, "This man is so strongly meditating, I may be deposed and he come to my seat." Then he arranged one of his society girls, Menaka, to go there and allure this muni.
So when Menaka approached that rishi, Visvamitra Rishi, he was meditating. And simply by the sound of her bangles, he could understand, "There is some woman." And as soon as he saw that is heavenly, celestial beauty, he was captivated. Then there was a result, Shakuntala. Perhaps some of you may know. There is a book made by Kalidasa, Shakuntala. This Shakuntala is supposed to be the most beautiful girl in the world, and she was born by this combination of Visvamitra Muni and Menaka.
So when this girl was born, then Visvamitra thought, "Oh, I was advancing in my spiritual culture, and again I have been entrapped." So he was going out. At the same time his wife, Menaka, brought this girl before her, and little child is always attractive. She showed that, "Oh, you have got such a nice girl, such beautiful girl, and you are going away? No, no. You should take care." So there is a picture, very nice. That is a very famous picture, that Menaka is showing Visvamitra Muni the girl, and the muni is like that, "No more show me." Then he went away.
So there are chances of failure. Just like a great sage like Visvamitra Muni, he also failed, failed for the time being. But Krishna says that this failure is not, I mean to say, unsuccessful. As we have sometimes the proverb that, "Failure is the pillar of success," especially in the spiritual life, this failure is not discouraging. So Krishna says that, "Even one fails in completing his spiritual course, still, there is no loss on his part."
Reference: Bhagavad-gita 6.40-43 - September 19, 1966, New York
I will recite one story in this connection, that one brahmana in South India, in Ranganatha temple, he was reading Bhagavad-gita. And he was illiterate. He did not know neither Sanskrit nor any letter. Illiterate. So the people, neighborhood, they knew that, "This man is illiterate, and he is reading Bhagavad-gita." He is opening the Bhagavad-gita, "Uh, uh," like that he was. So somebody was joking, "Well, brahmana, how you are reading Bhagavad-gita?" He could understand that, "This man is joking, because I am illiterate."
So in this way, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also happened to be that day in the Ranganatha temple, and He could understand that, "Here is a devotee." So He approached him and He asked, "My dear brahmana, what you are reading?" So he could also understand that, "This man is not joking." So he said, "Sir, I am reading Bhagavad-gita. I am trying to read Bhagavad-gita, but I am illiterate. So my Guru Maharaja said that, 'You must read eighteen chapters daily.' So I have no knowledge. I cannot read. Still, Guru Maharaja said, so I am just trying to carry out his order and opening the pages, and that's all. I do not know how to read it."
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said that, "You are crying sometimes, I see." Then, "Yes, I am crying." "How you are crying if you cannot read?" "No, because when I take this Bhagavad-gita book, I see one picture, that Krishna is so kind that He has taken the chariot driver, sarathi, of Arjuna. He is His devotee. So Sri Krishna is so kind that He can accept the position of a servant because Arjuna was ordering, 'Keep my chariot here,' and Krishna was serving him. So Krishna is so kind. So when I see this picture within my mind, I am crying." So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu immediately embraced him that, "You are reading Bhagavad-gita. Without any education, you are reading Bhagavad-gita." He embraced him.
So this is... How he was seeing the picture? Because he was a lover of Krishna. It doesn't matter he could read these shlokas or not, but he was absorbed in love of Krishna, and he was seeing Krishna was sitting there, and He was driving the chariot of Arjuna. This is required, not that education.
Reference: Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.26 - Bombay, November 26, 1974
Prabhupada: His name was Gopal Ban. And there was a king, Krishnacandra. So the kings would relax by joking words by the jokers. That was system formerly. So Gopal Ban was constructing a house. So the king advised another friend that, "If you go to his new house and evacuate..." Because the house is not yet opened, not yet established, "then I'll give you one thousand rupees."
So this man said, "Yes, I'll go and do it." So he came to Gopal Ban's house and began to say, "Gopal Ban! Oh! I am called by nature. Kindly show me where is your privy. I have to pass." So he could understand that, "Why this man has come here to evacuate?" So he, "Yes, yes. Come in, come in, come in." So he opened the new lavatory and brought a big stick. So he said, "Why you have brought the stick?" "Yes, you can pass, you can pass stool, but if you urine one drop, I'll kill you."
So, "How it is possible?" "If it is not possible, I cannot allow." So these foolish scientific men, "You can speak, but if you use microphone, then I'll kill you." Yes. The Gopal Ban's policy. They would not say, "Not allow," but in a different way.
Reference: Room Conversation - August 11, 1973, Paris