Paradise Lost

When Adam and Eve were in a surrendered position, no labour was necessary. Everything was automatic. The soul, the spiritual, eternal body, does not require any food to maintain itself. There is no necessity of any addition from the outside to keep up the vitality there, in the surrendered life of the pure spiritual soul.

Satan’s opinion is that it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. But it is just the opposite: it is better to serve in heaven than to reign in hell. It is the opposite of the satanic doctrine. ‘Paradise Lost’: because they lost their faith in sharanagati, surrender, in the truth of surrender. That was disturbed, and they came to live with their freedom and free judgement; Adam and Eve had to come down to the world of calculation of one’s self, of one’s individual free will, of their own responsibility. Then they had to earn and eat, enjoy. We have come to the world of ‘earn and enjoy’. Earn and enjoy, labour and live. It is the world of labour and live.

There [in heaven], without labour, sustenance is to come. When Adam and Eve were in a surrendered position, no labour was necessary. Everything was automatic. The soul, the spiritual, eternal body, does not require any food to maintain itself. There is no necessity of any addition from the outside to keep up the vitality there, in the surrendered life of the pure spiritual soul. When free choice came, instead of the surrendered stage, then they had to enter the world of labour and live. And Satan was at the back, “Why are you a slave?”

Srimad Bhagavat has discarded knowledge: “Don’t rely on your knowledge.” The fruit of the tree of knowledge was tasted by Eve first, and then Adam. The tree of knowledge is dangerous, and brought them down to the world of calculation here. But surrender brings one to the good man’s society, the higher society where there is no deception, no hypocrisy, no conspiracy. There, knowledge, calculation, good, bad, all these are meaningless there. There is an automatic flow of goodness in the atmosphere, and no doubt, no suspicion, no meanness to cheat one another. So there is no question of calculation.

That is in the lower part of Vaikuntha, and it is again higher in Goloka. In Goloka it is more beautiful, more loving, more sustaining, more sweet and ecstatic. We want to have practical faith in the charm of that sort of life.

sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaranaṁ vraja

In the Bible there is the history of the fall, and ‘going up’ is not very expressively presented there. The son of God has come to take them again up there, and that is vague. The fall of Adam and Eve is very clear. But that one man is taken from this plane to that plane is not such a very explicit or clear history.

Who is there like Christ, that has such full faith in God’s land, God’s action, God’s goodness that they can treat the wealth, the prosperity, the charm of this world of enjoyment as something to trample under their feet? “I resign all covetable posts in this world, whatever they may be: a kingship, a leadership, a lover like Romeo, a beloved like Juliet. All are dismissed. I am ready to dismiss all these things, for some higher, mystic unknown, for a sweet, sweet life and a sweet, sweet home. I have finished with everything else.”

Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaj speaking on 2 January 1983, in Sri Nabadwip Dham.

Photo: Domenico Cunego: The Original Sin and The Banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. After Michelangelo’s fresco.