Radhanath Swami quotes Krishna’s lila in vrindavan to explain what it means to be a family of devotee. He explains that Vrindavan is just a family, everyone is a family. There was no envy or no fighting over position. There was just love and trust and whatever pleases Krishna most, everyone liked that. It was not that who is doing it, but real concern was happiness of Krishna. That’s all.
Parjanya was the king of Gokula mahavan. He had five sons Upananda, Abhinanda, Nanda, Sunanda & Nandan. Nanda Maharaj was the middle son. It was the custom, tradition and everybody expected eldest son to be the next king of the cowherd community. From Upananda’s birth, everyone knew that Upananda will be the next king.
Now we see within history, the types of envy and violence between family members for the next successor. e.g. Shahjahan had several children and Taj Mahal was built for his wife. Aurangazeb was his youngest son. Aurangazeb imprisoned, banished, killed his brothers, imprisoned his father so that he could take the throne and be the king. Imagine the suffering of his father to have seen this. There are so many conspiracies amongst family members for power, money, property. This happens in business, politics, family and it also happens in spirituality.
So Prajanya was getting older and he wanted to go from Gokul into the deeper jungle of Vrindavan to pray. He gave the throne of his kingdom to Upananda and declared that Upananda would the king of Vraja. Everybody was happy. All brothers were totally happy. But Upananda said that actually Nanda, my younger brother, two brothers down, is more qualified than me. Everybody loves him. He is kind, gracious, benevolent. There is no envy in his heart. He simply wants to serve and help everyone, he loves everyone. He is so intelligent. He is the most qualified. He will give the greatest experience to the whole kingdom, so he should be the king. Radhanath Swami says that, Upananda was absolutely qualified. He had descended from spiritual world, he had no lacking, no shortcoming but he appreciated his younger brother Nanda so deeply that he wanted him to be the king. Nanda maharaj said that No, No, I have no aspiration or desire to be king. you are my elder brother and I am your servant. Upananda said that everyone would like you to be the king. I am formally proclaiming you to be the king. Nanda was very humble and basically whatever way you want me to serve you, i will do. That was the spirit of Nanda Maharaj in becoming king. You are my elder brother and if this is what you want from me in your heart of heart then I will serve you by taking that position. But interesting thing is that there was no envy, competition. Nanda maharaj was not thinking that later on Upananda may change his mind so I must banish him. No he made Upananda his prime minister and anything and everything, Upananda has ever advised him to do, he did it without question. He is my elder brother and whatever he says I will do it. He wanted me to be king so i will be the king.
We read this in SB. In Gokula, many demon was sent by Kamsa to kill Krishna e.g. Putana, Trnavarta, Shaktasura, big arjuna trees. After observing all this calamity, Upananda said that we must move from Gokula to forest of Vrindavan and immediately Nanda maharaj said that we are going. Everybody, entire community, there were ten and thousands of peoples, they had their houses, incredible number of cows, fields that they were cultivating. But since Upananda said we should move, Nanda maharaj said we will move and everybody in Vrindavan said we will move. There were no demonstration, no petition, no dictatorship. They were such a family. Everyone was well wisher of each other and therefore everyone trusted each other. From spiritual prospective, trust comes from affection, When you see somebody having genuine affection for you without any personal ulterior motive, you trust them not intellectually but from the heart. When we feel that some one has affection without ulterior motive then trust comes.
So when Nanda maharaj said let us move, everybody said let us move. They were happy. It is not that they gave order to some construction contractor to build a housing community for them etc. They had to build new home for themselves, new crops, etc, but they were joyfully doing it since they were together and what brought them together was trust and love for each other centered around Krishna. Because they had loving affection for each other, a community based on love for Krsna, Krishna appeared as their son, their neighbors, etc. Krishna appeared in Vrindavan because everybody was united together in His love. Love for Godhead made each other unmotivated, unselfish, humble servant and that is the place where Krishna wants to live. Vrindavan is a family, a family of unlimited people who honor, respect and serve each other as an expression of their love for Krishna. It is a community. It is a family !!!
Therefore it is very important on an individual and collective level for our own & others spiritual benefit to develop such type of family, a community of sincere practice of Krishna consciousness without ulterior motive, to develop love and trust on each other based on love for Krishna. Then that family, community will nourish us, sustain our faith, sustain our enthusiasm, sadhana and will give us strength to resist temptation of the illusions of this world.
Srimad Bhagavatam 4.30.8
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear sons of the King, I am very much pleased by the friendly relationships among you. All of you are engaged in one occupation—devotional service. I am so pleased with your mutual friendship that I wish you all good fortune. Now you may ask a benediction of Me.