(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 25 July 2016, Swiss Summer Camp, Switzerland, Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.1-2)
Uddhava is very broadly described in our scriptures. Uddhava was a devotee of the Lord from his childhood. Advanced souls get the chance to take birth in a devotee family; the liberated soul never forgets Krsna. Vidura is actually Yamaraj who had been cursed to be born as a sudra. When Vidura met Uddhava and inquired about Krsna, Uddhava would get overwhelmed.
Uddhava mentioned that Krsna had just left Vrindavan recently and is in Mathura. He had already killed the elephant and popped-out Chanura’s eyes. Krsna had “accidentally” killed Kamsa too! He wanted to kick-off Kamsa’s crown but Kamsa died from falling. Then they forced Krsna to become the ruler of Mathura.
Nanda Maharaj asked Krsna to come home to Vrindavan. Krsna told him that the Yadus would insist that he stay and not leave again thus Krsna wanted to send a messenger to Vrindavan. Uddhava was the only suitable one to send as a messenger as they were best friends.
Uddhava and Krsna had a secret language because Uddhava spoke such a difficult language that only Krsna could understand. Uddhava spoke the Bhagavatam in 100 000 verses in the heavenly planets. In the heavenly planets, the level of Vedic knowledge exceeds ours. Bhaktivinoda Thakur explained that only 6% of Vedic culture was existing and many years have passed since he said that.
But ultimately, we don’t depend so much on all other scripture because we have the essence in the Srimad Bhagavatam therefore we are not missing out. Almost all that is inauspicious in the heart will be destroyed by reading the Bhagavatam. But why not ALL inauspiciousness? There is one complication which is that as one gets learned, one may get proud! Pride is the one thing that will not be removed by reading Bhagavatam BUT when we chant japa, pride is destroyed!
In kirtan one may still get really proud, “I’m feeling bhava or ruci!” but while chanting japa no one feels bhava. (Laughter!) We realize that we do not have taste yet as we do not chant in ecstasy. Therefore, we need the mercy of vaisnavas!
So why was Uddhava chosen as the messenger? He was well learned because he was educated by Brihaspati and Uddhava looked almost the same as Krsna, especially from a distance. When Uddhava got to Vrindavan and said to the gopis, “Krsna is everywhere, why are you lamenting?” he was able to generate some faith in the gopis because Uddhava looked so much like Krsna, and because he knew Krsna’s heart.
Uddhava was the most intimate associate of Krsna outside of Vrindavan. Rohini is in the Vrindavan and Dvaraka pastimes, and so is Balarama, therefore Krsna got them to bless Uddhava because if one wants to go to Vraja one needs the blessings of one who has access. One cannot go to Vrindavan by mundane transport. Uddhava saw Krsna in every tree on the way to Vrindavan – uddipan, how things remind us of Krsna.
Krsna is all pervading but so what, the residents of Vrindavan still want personal exchange. They do not care about philosophy; only personal association matters to them. Uddhava could not understand the mood of the residents of Vrindavan.
Back to Vidura now. Vidura saw that Uddhava as an extraordinary devotee. Krsna was supposed to meet Duryodhan to discuss and try to avoid the war. He was invited to the big palace but he stayed at Vidura’s place because he could not stay at the place of one who was envious of the Pandava’s. How exalted Uddhava and Vidura are! And how far away we are… Uddhava was praying to be a blade of grass at Kusum Sarovar. We consider Uddhava as a prototype and we follow in his footsteps.
*Notes taken by Nimai during the lecture