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The Dynamic Divinity

Mahaprabhu

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The process is always dynamic. Everything is dynamic in character, progressive. It is līlā and nava-navāyamān [ever-new]. The conception of the Infinite is not a stagnant one but a dynamic one. The infinite is dynamic. But to have such a conception of Infinite, of course, is very difficult.

The Infinite is infinite, not static but dynamic. He is līlāmaya. Līlā means nava-navāyamān, ever-new. This a characteristic of the Infinite, and we are to take direction from this. It is not, however, that the Infinite is in want and is dynamic to have fulfilment. It is not that. It is the nature of the Infinite to be dynamic. This is called līlā. The very nature of the Infinite’s existence within eternity is līlā. The Infinite is always satisfying Himself, and that movement is always a pleasing and moving thing. The pleasure, the ecstasy, itself is of moving character. This is līlā. In it, there is no want to be fulfilled.

kahibāra yogya naya tathāpi bāule kaya
kahile vā kebā pātiyāya
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 2.49)

“This should not be discussed. Still, one cannot but talk about it like a madman. But if one goes on talking and talking in this way, who will believe what is said? No one will waste their time listening to this madman’s delusion.”

āmi—eka bātula, tumi—dvitīya bātula
ataeva tomāya āmāya ha-i sama-tula
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 8.290)

“I am a madman, and you are also a madman of the same type. So, you have come to listen to these delirious statements. We are of the same section. I am mad, and you are also mad. So, we feel enjoyment in such mad talk.”

This is Rāmānanda Rāy and Mahāprabhu.

yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī
yasyāṁ jāgrati bhūtāni sā niśā paśyato muneḥ
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 2.69)

[“Those who have full self-control are awake in that which is night for all beings, and all beings are awake in that which is night for the sages who see.”]

gaura-nāgaro-varo nṛtyan nijair nāmabhiḥ
(Śrī Chaitanya-chandrāmṛta: 132)

Mahāprabhu Gaurāṅgasundar is dancing, taking His own Name and dancing. He utters different sounds, receives some impressions from them, and dances. Getting impressions from the sound of His own Name, He dances. The cause is the effect. In logic perhaps, I have heard the term petitio principii. The movement is circular, like the Napoleonic chair.

Nṛtyan nijair Nāmabhiḥ: His own Name is the cause of His dancing. The suggestions from different Names are coming to Him, those impressions are creating some energy, and that energy is making Him dance. He is a dynamo creating ecstatic energy, and that is the cause of His dancing. Taking His own Name, He is dancing. This is His līlā. Such is Gaurāṅga and His moving ecstasy.

In my Prema-dhāma-stotram, I wrote that He is the ultimate reality, the Absolute. Why? Two things are represented in Him. One, He dances in ecstatic joy as a result of a feeling within, and two, by chanting, He distributes that to others. He finds Himself in ecstasy and distributes that to others. This is Gaura, and the highest principle of ecstatic energy is such. It cannot but be such. He is of a dancing mood; He is fulfilled in Himself. His dancing explains that His inner propensity is that of ecstatic joy, and kīrtan means distribution of that to the public, to the environment. It is assertive. The ecstatic joy is assertive, self-assertive and self-distributed. This we find only in Gaurāṅga. So, Gaurāṅga is the highest entity. In that way, I have dealt with it there. In ecstatic joy, He is dancing, and through kīrtan, He is distributing Himself to others (ātma-vaṇṭanam). He is offering, distributing, Himself to the environment. This is His līlā.

ānanda-līlāmaya-vigrahāya
hemābha-divya-chchhavi-sundarāya
tasmai mahāprema-rasa-pradāya
chaitanyachandrāya namo namaste
(Śrī Chaitanya-chandrāmṛta: 11)

This dhyān [meditation] is from Śrī Prabodhānanda Saraswatī, the Guru of Gopāl Bhaṭṭa Goswāmī. It is a beautiful stanza coming in praise of Śrī Chaitanyadev.

Ānanda-līlā-rasa-vigrahāya: immersed in ecstatic Pastimes, He is rasa personified. Hemābha-divya-chchhavi-sundarāya: He is golden beauty, ecstatic beauty, emitting golden lustre, a most beautiful, divine figure. Mahāprema-rasa-pradāya: He distributes the highest divine love with His movements, His words, and His every gesture and posture. Chaitanyachandrāya namo namaste: I bow my head down to this Śrī Chaitanyadev.

In Archana-kaṇa, this has been taken up for our dhyān. When we meditate on Mahāprabhu, we should do so in this way.

Source

Spoken 21 February 1982

References

ko ’ya paṭṭa-dhaṭī-virājita-kaṭī-deśaḥ kare kakaṇa
hāra vakṣasi kuṇḍala śravaṇayor bibhrat pade nūpurau
ūrdhvīkṛtya nibaddha-kuntala-bhara-protphulla-mallī-sragā
p
īḍaḥ krīḍati gaura-nāgara-varo nṛtyan nijair nāmabhiḥ
(Śrī Chaitanya-chandrāmṛta: 132)

“Wearing a silk sash around His waist, bracelets on His wrists, a necklace across His chest, earrings on His ears, bells on His ankles, and a garland-crown of blooming jasmine flowers atop His top-not of wavy hair—who is that golden king of revellers who frolics, dancing to the chanting of His own Names?”

ātma-siddha-sāvalīla-pūrṇa-saukhya-lakṣaṇa
svānubhāva-matta-nṛtya-kīrttanātma-vaṇṭanam
advayaika-lakṣya-pūrṇa-tattva-tat-parātpara
prema-dhāma-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram
(Śrī Śrī Prema-dhāma-deva-stotram: 66)

“I offer my obeisance to the abode of divine love, Śrī Gaurasundar, the embodiment of complete, self-manifest, dynamic ecstasy. Maddened by experience of Himself, He dances, chants, and distributes Himself. Replete with this unparalleled characteristic, He is the Supreme Absolute Truth.”

ānanda-līlāmaya-vigrahāya
hemābha-divya-chchhavi-sundarāya
tasmai mahāprema-rasa-pradāya
chaitanyachandrāya namo namaste
(Śrī Chaitanya-chandrāmṛta: 11)

“To the embodiment of ecstatic Pastimes, to the divine, splendorous golden personification of beauty, to the giver of the nectar of the highest divine love, to the moon Śrī Chaitanya, I bow again and again.”

Originally published on premadharma.org as ‘The Highest Entity

In The Midst Of World Events

These dark things are always around us in many forms which we can see to varying degrees every day, and I’ve directly experienced this in a more extreme way in my past; but I feel that by trying to connect to the loving center together, we can purify ourselves and help purify those around us in our short lives.

This is a letter written recently by Varun, a sincere newcomer to Krishna consciousness, in response to a message from someone expressing deep frustration over current world events. Continue reading “In The Midst Of World Events”

Divine appearance day of Srila Sridhar Maharaj

A very beautiful, inspired, and flowing discourse by our Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Deva-Goswami Maharaj, speaking on the divine appearance day of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaj in Soquel, California, 3 November 2007. Continue reading “Divine appearance day of Srila Sridhar Maharaj”

Avoiding Envy

by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Deva-Goswami Maharaj. Speaking on 16 January 2006 from Sri Nabadwip Dham.

“For two or three days I have been thinking of how I can say this to the devotees: I am trying as possible, and they must also try as possible; but the cheṣṭā, the trying attitude, must be perfect, otherwise we will cheat our own selves.”

We cannot say that we are always expert and firm in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but we are trying. That is the nature of the Vaiṣṇava. The Vaiṣṇava is always saying, “I want to be a servant of the servant of the servant.” It is necessary to be more and more conscious about this matter. For two or three days I have been thinking of how I can say this to the devotees: I am trying as possible, and they must also try as possible; but the cheṣṭā, the trying attitude, must be perfect, otherwise we will cheat our own selves. This is very exclusive, but important for everyone.

What is religion? This is the first thing. Religion has so many forms, because people have so many natures. Not only humans, but dogs, cows, elephants, lions, tigers, jackals—everyone has some nature, and the jīva-soul is living everywhere. But religion is one for everyone. That is very important to consider.

We cannot get the human body easily.

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 7.19)

Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante: so many births have passed before, and then by sukṛti, by good fortune, by the mercy of the servitors of the Lord, the Vaiṣṇavas, by the mercy of Guru—through so many channels the merciful rain has come to us, and we have got this human body.

There are 400,000 species of humans; but Mahāprabhu said,

bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 9.41)

[“One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people.]

Everywhere in this world there are many species of humans, but that is not sufficient: who has taken birth in Bhārat [India], where the earth is fertile for religion, where the Veda, Vedānta, and Upaniṣads appeared, where āmnāya—the knowledge that descends from the transcendental world through some particular qualified soul—appears, and where God, Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself, appeared in different incarnations; who receives the manuṣya-janma, the human body, here, has more fortune. Mahāprabhu clearly told this to us.

We see that in India there are so many religious ideals: māyāvad, viśiṣṭādvaitavād, Vaiṣṇavism, Madhvāchārya, and so on—so many. Jungle religion, village religion, and city religion take different forms in India, but the pure religious ideal is given in the Vedas, Vedānta, and Upaniṣads, and in a historical form in the Mahābhārata. There is an expression: yā nei Mahābhārate tā nei Bhārate, yata āchhe Mahābhārate sakala-i āchhe Bhārate. “What is not in Mahābhārata, that is not in India, and what is in Mahābhārata, that is all in India.” Then, we can believe that religion is full-fledged in Mahābhārata.

Who has given that to us? We have got some consciousness about different ideals of dharma, religion, but the giver is Vedavyās. Through Vedavyās we have got the knowledge of the Veda, Vedānta, Upaniṣad, and so on. Finally, however, Vedavyās was not happy, because Vedavyās knew, “What I am giving is not palatable for everyone; it is the medicine for sick men, medicine for poor persons, but not medicine for healthy persons.” He did not know how to give this, and for that reason he was very unhappy. “I have given everything. I have given Mahābhārata: inside of that is Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, and we can say that the gist of Mahābhārata and the gist of knowledge is within Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. That has also been given.” But it was not given in a full-fledged way. In the battlefield you cannot say how the gopīs played with Kṛṣṇa! He indicated that as it was possible, but he knew it was not sufficient. He was thinking about this and then through telepathy his Gurudev Nārad Goswāmī came in front of him and asked,

“How are you?”

Vedavyās said, “Well, Prabhu, I am just thinking about your lotus feet, because I am not happy. I am not well. Physically I have no disease, but mentally I am unsatisfied.”

And Nārad Goswāmī said, “I understand that. For that reason I have come to see you, to give some nourishment to you.”

“What, Prabhu, you know my situation?”

“Yes, I know!”

jugupsitaṁ dharma-kṛte ’nuśāsataḥ
svabhāva-raktasya mahān vyatikramaḥ
yad-vākyato dharma itītaraḥ sthito
na manyate tasya nivāraṇaṁ janaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.5.15)

[The people in general are naturally inclined to enjoy, and you have encouraged them in that way in the name of religion. This is verily condemned and is quite unreasonable. Because they are guided under your instructions, they will accept such activities in the name of religion and will hardly care for prohibitions.]

“What can I say to you? You have given everything, but it has not properly manifested, and it will not enter into the heart of everyone, because they do not even know where they are living! You need to settle them; they need to stand in their own land, and then you can give them everything else. They have no land, they are refugees here; you have given them some food, some dress, etc. but they have not got proper accommodation.

You have given,

naiṣkarmyam apy achyuta-bhāva-varjitaṁ
na śobhate jñānam alaṁ nirañjanam
kutaḥ punaḥ śaśvad abhadram īśvare
na chārpitaṁ karma yad apy akāraṇam
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.5.12)

[Knowledge of self-realisation, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible [God]. What, then, is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilised for the devotional service of the Lord?]

When he received these special teachings from Nārada Goswāmī, Vyāsadev meditated; Nārada had also told him, “I am giving this mantram, this knowledge to you, and if you meditate on it, it will reveal itself to you.” Then Vyāsadev meditated and he saw,

bhakti-yogena manasi samyak praṇihite ’male
apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇaṁ māyāṁ cha tad-apāśrayām
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.7.4)

[Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service [bhakti-yoga] without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control.]

Vyāsadev saw the position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His paraphernalia, His devotees, His chit-śakti, His jīva-śakti, His māyā-śakti—everything. Then by the grace of his Gurudev Nārada Goswāmī, he composed the Śrīmad Bhāgavat. ‘Composed’ means that he explained what knowledge he received from Nārada Goswāmī. Then he wanted to distribute that knowledge to others, but he considered: previously he gave so much knowledge to everyone, and now he wanted to give something new, some correction, so who, better than him, could present this knowledge? Then he remembered Śukadev. Only that boy, strī-pum-bhidā na tu sutasya vivikta-dṛṣṭeḥ [“who is so pure that he does not distinguish between male and female bodies” SB: 1.4.5], only that boy can give it. Then he searched for his own boy, Śukadev.

Śukadev had forgotten everything. Pariniṣṭhito ‘pi nairguṇye: he was always existing on the platform of transcendental knowledge. But Vedavyās searched for him and gave him that knowledge, and Śukadev Goswāmī distributed that knowledge in Parīkṣit Mahārāj’s assembly; then Sūta Goswāmī spoke that at the meeting of 60,000 ṛṣis. Vedavyās then composed the full history of Kṛṣṇa-līlā, of that divine abode, and so many beautiful things. Vyāsadev collected everything and gave it to Śukadev; Śukadev gave everything; and then Vyāsadev composed everything and gave it to us, in the divine form of Śrīmad Bhāgavat.

Vyāsadev mentioned that Śrīmad Bhāgavat is the divine form of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead: padau yadiyau prathama dvitīyau (“The first and second cantos are His two feet.” —Padma-purāṇa), and so on.

kṛṣṇe sva-dhāmopagate dharma-jñānādibhiḥ saha
kalau naṣṭa dṛśām eṣa purāṇārko ’dhunoditaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.3.43)

[“After Lord Kṛṣṇa departed for His abode along with religious principles and transcendental knowledge, this Purāṇa, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, has arisen like the sun in this Age of Kali to enlighten those who have no spiritual vision.”]

These are all historical matters, which you know already. What I want to say, what I have been thinking about how to present to you all for two or three days—and it is necessary to follow what I shall say now, that will be so important and so good for my friends—that is, dharma, what I started with: what kind of dharma are we practising?

dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ
(SB: 1.1.2)

[Here, the highest dharma, in which cheating is utterly rejected, is given for the sadhus who are free from envy.] 

That religion: we are the practitioners of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that divine form of religion. That is dharma. Projjhita-kaitavo: we have been given so many explanations from our preceptors, but the main thing we must avoid is kaitava, cheating. And, paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ: we must not be envious. This is the vital point. Paramo nirmatsar: be that kind of sādhu, that kind of practitioner. Envy is very bad.

We are searching for our spiritual life, which is clean from jñāna-karmādy anāvṛtam [the coverings of jñāna and karma]. Ānukūlyena Kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā [“The highest type of devotion is cultivated according to Kṛṣṇa’s satisfaction.” Brs: 1.1.11]. We want to worship our Lord with love and affection. With love and affection: this is the very vital point, because otherwise we cannot be engaged fully, and that is necessary. This is the first thing. And the second thing is: do not be envious. It is harmful for our spiritual movement, our spiritual life. It is very harmful and you must avoid that.

You are all very qualified and very clean-hearted personalities, born in the Western world, because you do not know what is what but you have joined by your sukṛti. Your good fortune is behind you, pushing you, and you have joined in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness can reveal everywhere and you have all had this opportunity. But the obstacle is envy, so do not be envious of others, and always be affectionate and loving. Have a ‘loveful’ heart. Mahāprabhu said everyone should be merciful. Jīve doyā, Nāme ruchi, Vaiṣṇava-seva: serve the Vaiṣṇavas, chant the Holy Name of Lord Kṛṣṇa with love and affection, and be merciful to everyone. In this way proceed in the line of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the real religion of the jīva-soul.

Vedavyās said it! Projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsarāṇām. This gives us the opportunity to receive more and more promotion from this environment. We can very easily cross the specific gravity of the illusory environment. Everywhere there is some specific gravity and we can avoid that specific gravity and that illusion.

Dh dhātu man dharma: dharma can hold us and give us firmness. Holding is necessary for any substance. Our position must be substantial, and that will develop if we can practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness with love and affection. Submission is the first condition and that is the launching pad from where we will throw ourselves. That launching pad must be substantial.

‘śraddhā’-śabde — viśvāsa kahe sudṛḍha niścaya
kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 22.62)

[Sraddha means confident, firm faith that all activity is fulfilled through devotion to Krishna.]

This is necessary.

When I hear that other institutions are getting some joy in the line of preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness, I feel a joyful heart, and through that I think I have got some more nourishment from this world. Otherwise how is it possible that our Mission is spreading around this world, especially to some of the atheistic countries, like Russia, like Hungary, like China, like Poland?

My days are passing and I see and feel that I will leave very soon. All my friends and family and the devotees of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj are proceeding, but I want them to be very serious about their practising life. Within this religion that they have taken, Mahāprabhu’s three directives are living and they must follow these. There is no other way!

tṛṇād api su-nīchena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

[“The Lord’s Name is to be always chanted by one who is more humble than a blade of grass, tolerant like a tree, free from desire for respect, and who offers respect to others.”]

Hari-kīrtan is most essential. It is not necessary for us to capture a Ganges full of scriptures in our brain. At present Mahāprabhu has given us Hari-nām.

nāmaikaṁ yasya vāchi smaraṇa-patha-gataṁ śrotra-mūlaṁ gataṁ vā
śuddhaṁ vāśuddha-varṇaṁ vyavahita-rahitaṁ tārayaty eva satyam
(Padma-purāṇa)

 [If a devotee once utters the Holy Name of the Lord, or if it penetrates his mind or enters his ear, which is the channel of aural reception, that Holy Name will certainly deliver him from material bondage, whether vibrated properly or improperly, with correct or incorrect grammar, or properly joined or vibrated in separate parts.]

If we proceed with offence then the result will not come quickly, but if we will proceed in our line without offence we will get the result very quickly. Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu said this. Then we will try as much as possible.

Our religion is Bhāgavat-dharma, Vaiṣṇava-dharma, jaiva-dharma. That is our religion. There are eighty-four hundred thousand species in this world; we are one of those species and we have received a super-chance, because we have the lotus feet of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, who is the nondifferent form of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. At least we heard the name of Śrī Chaitanyadev!

We have this opportunity, and you are present here in Nabadwīp Dhām, so you must try to observe the mood of devotion of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, His teachings, His divine mission, and activity.

Mahāprabhu said,

pṛthivīte āchhe yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra prachāra haibe mora nāma
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavat: 4.126)

[“My name will be spread in every town and village in the world.”]

Now that is happening: everywhere, in every country, people are chanting and dancing. When I see the list of our ashrams worldwide I am surprised. You are all so fortunate and great, because Kṛṣṇa Himself has entered into your heart, and He will not leave you. You also cannot leave Him, whatever situation will come in your life. But you must be merciful to everyone and continue your spiritual life.

Beyond the Veda

by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Deva-Goswami

jadi gaura nā ho’to, tobe ki hoito,
kemone dhoritām de?
rādhāra mahimā prema-rasa-sīmā
jagate jānāta ke?

(If Lord Gaura had not come, then what would have become of us? How could we have maintained our lives? If he had not come, then how could we know of the glories of Śrī Rādhā and the topmost limit of ecstatic love of Krishna?)

madhura vṛndā, vipina mādhurī,
praveśa chāturī sāra
baraja-juvatī, bhāvera bhakati,
śakati hoito kāra?

(Who would have had the capacity to render ecstatic devotional service, following the mood of the damsels of Braja? Indeed, the clever expertise of the Braja-gopīs is essential for entering the supremely sweet forest of Vṛndā, Śrī Vṛndāvan.)

Śrīman Mahāprabhu said that Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is the supreme gist of Śrīla Vedavyāsa. Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj, expressed in his śloka,

yad amiya-mahimā-śrī-bhāgavatyāḥ kathāyāṁ
pratipadam anubhūtaṁ chāpy alabdhābhidheyā
tad akhila-rasa-mūrteḥ śyāma-līlāvalambaṁ
madhura-rasadhī-rādhā-pāda-padmaṁ prapadye

(Every word in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam glorifies Rādhārāṇī, but her name is not specifically taken there. Kṛṣṇa is the Akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrti, the emporium of all rasa, and Rādhārāṇī is Śyāma-līlāvilamba, the reservoir in which Kṛṣṇa plays and tastes the full ecstasy of madhura-rasa. Rādhārāṇī is the controller of Kṛṣṇa’s heart, the madhura-rasa adhikāriṇī. Her service is the source of all of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s madhura-rasa prema.)

The name of Śrīmati Rādhārāṇī is not directly mentioned in Bhāgavatam, but we can feel her glories there at every moment.

We can also find Radhārānī’s name indirectly in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam:

anayārādhito nūnaṁ bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
yan no vihāya govindaḥ prīto yām anayad rahaḥ

(10.30.28)

(“Certainly this particular gopī has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since he was so pleased with her that he abandoned the rest of us and brought her to a secluded place.”)

Śukadev Goswāmī did not want to take the name of Rādhārāṇī in the public meeting because it is the hidden treasure of Lord Krishna. Only Uddhava and that type of devotee can understand something. It is not for everyone and everyone cannot understand.

Bhagavān Krishna sent Uddhava as his own representative to Braja Dhām and Uddhava met with Braja-bāsīs there, and especially with the gopīs. Rādhārāṇī was present there and in the Brahmara-gītā (‘Song to the bumblebee’, SB 10.47) she expressed,

madhupa kitava-bandho mā spṛśaṅghriṁ sapatnyāḥ
kucha-vilulita-mālā-kuṅkuma-śmaśrubhir naḥ
vahatu madhu-patis tan-māninīnāṁ prasādaṁ
yadu-sadasi viḍambyaṁ yasya dūtas tvam īdṛk

[“O honeybee, O friend of a cheater, don’t touch My feet with your whiskers, which are smeared with the kuṅkuma that rubbed onto Kṛṣṇa’s garland when it was crushed by the breasts of a rival lover! Let Kṛṣṇa satisfy the women of Mathurā. One who sends a messenger like you will certainly be ridiculed in the Yadus’ assembly.”]

When Uddhava saw the prema of Rādhārāṇī and the Braja-gopīs, he was stunned, astonished, and very much surprised: “This is a hidden treasure in the heart of Krishna. No one knows of it but I am fortunate to understand something by the grace of Krishna.

Then he expressed,

āsām aho charaṇa-reṇu-juṣām ahaṁ syāṁ
vṛndāvane kim api gulma-latauṣadhīnām
yā dustyajaṁ sva-janam ārya-pathaṁ cha hitvā
bhejur mukunda-padavīṁ śrutibhir vimṛgyām
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.47.61)

This is a very famous śloka of Uddhava: “I want to be a small plant or blade of grass in Braja Dhām; if I get that chance I will feel that to be a super-fortune. The Braja-bāsins will walk on the grass, and so if I can stay in Braja Dhām in that plant form, if I can get a little bit of space to stay in Braja Dhām, then I shall get the foot dust of the Braja-gopīs on my head. This is my super hankering. I do not want to be a gopī but if I can get the feet dust of the gopīs I shall feel so fortunate.”

This is the conception of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam  that Śrī Chaitanya Mahāpabhu has given to us. As a guru Krishna gave advice to Uddhava. “Uddhava,

tasmāt tvam uddhavotsṛjya chodanāṁ pratichodanām
pravṛttiñ cha nivṛttiñ cha śrotavyaṁ śrutam eva cha
mām ekam eva śaraṇam ātmānaṁ sarva-dehinām
yāhi sarvātma-bhāvena mayā syā hy akuto-bhayaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.12.14–15)

“Leave everything. Whatever advice and ruling is given in the Vedas is not useful in this plane, in Braja Dhām, and you cannot practise it here.”

In the scriptures it is said,

śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi- pañcharātriki-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyaiva kalpate
(Brahma-yāmala; Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu: 1.2.101)

“The rulings of the Vedas, the law of the smṛti and Purānas, and the rules and regulations given in Nārada-pañcharātra: everything is for the practitioner, for their practising life, and if someone does not follow that, and shows that he is devoted to Krishna, he is actually not devoted, and he is like garbage of the religious ground. Who will not follow the śruti, smṛti, Purāṇa, and show, ‘We are religious, pious men’ is actually not religious or pious at all.”

Krishna, however, showed another quality to Uddhava. “This is another quality that I am showing to you. They are all vanaukasām: they are living in the jungle, and they are not following the rules of the Veda or anything else; but no one can understand their devotional property and how deep it is. You go and see and come back and tell me. And that is another world. That is not adjoined with Vaikuṇṭhaloka, not adjoined with the other part of Paravyom.” That was Krishna’s preaching style to Uddhava.

Then Krishna said, “Do you believe me now?”

And Uddhava said, “Yes.”

“Then it is my advice to you to not to tell this to everyone. It is not for everyone. You leave all the rulings of the Vedas, smṛti, and Purāṇas, and surrender to me.”

Mām ekam eva śaraṇam; yāhi sarvātma-bhāvena means, “With your heart, with your name, with your friends, with your family, everything. And when I shall give shelter and assurance you will be fearless from the whole religious environment.”

We can see three stages of religion: śruti, smṛti, and Purāṇa. But the Vraja-prema to Krishna is beyond that.

bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ
kṣīyante chāsya karmāṇi mayi dṛṣṭe ’khilātmani
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.20.30)

The bondage of the heart with religion will be broken through this conception and all kinds of suspiciousness will go out. All questions will get proper answers through this conception. And all karma-bandhan, the binding law in this material world, the law that “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”, will not work within this zone. That law works everywhere but it will not work within this zone. Here there is no question of reaction. Here there is only action and that action is serving the Lord and for the satisfaction of the Lord. He is the only enjoyer and all are suppliers of enjoyment for that supreme sweet absolute. Everything there is for the glory of Lord Krishna, Rādhārāṇī and Mahāprabhu. This is the supreme direction of Śrī Krishna Himself.

Once Krishna told Nārada, “I am very much attacked by a headache.”

“Oh, you are the Lord! If you are suffering, you know what the remedy is.”

“Yes, I know the remedy, but whether you can collect that I do not know.”

“What is the remedy? I can collect it.”

“The only remedy for this is the feet dust of my pure devotees. If I can take some on my head then the headache will go.”

“Yes, Prabhu, there are so many devotees in this world and I will collect some now.”

 “No, it must be from a pure devotee, who is a perfect, 100 percent devotee.”

“Yes, I am going.”

Nārada went but everyone he approached said, “We do not know how much devotion we have, but we are not pure devotees in any way.”

Then Nārada come back. “It is rare, very rare. How are you feeling now?”

“Oh, I am the same as my previous situation. Did you go to Braja Dhām?”

“No.”

“Go to Braja Dhām, see there. There I have some pure devotees.”

Nārada went to Braja Dhām to the Braja-gopīs. Nārada thought that there must be some brāhmaṇs there but in Braja Dhām there are no brāhmaṇs except for Madhumaṅgal. No other brahman was there and so Nārada went to the Braja-gopīs. The Braja-gopīs said, “Yes, yes why didn’t you come here first? We do not know who is a pure devotee but we are devotees no doubt. You take our feet dust and give it to Krishna. There must be one pure devotee amongst us. Take it. Where is your bag, your plastic bag?”

Nārada was surprised. “You are not fearful? Do you know that Krishna is God?”

“Maybe your Krishna is God but our Krishna is not God. We do not feel that. He is,

vraje prasiddhaṁ navanīta-chauraṁ
janmanānāñ cha dukūla-chauram
bhakta-hṛdaya-sarvasva-chauraṁ
chaurāgragaṇyaṁ puruṣaṁ namāmi

(Śrīla Bilvamaṅgal Ṭhākur)

We know him as a thief, a famous thief. You may know he is a god but we know he is famous as a thief. He has stolen our hearts, stolen our clothes, and stolen our food. Supremely, he is stealing the hearts of all devotees. Then will we say he is God? But it is not necessary to talk now: you take the feet dust and go.”

Nārada was surprised to see that.

yathā yathā gaura-padāravinde vindeta bhaktiṁ kṛta puṇya-rāśiḥ
tathā tathot-sarpati hṛdya-kasmād rādhā-padāmbhoja-sudhāmbu rāśiḥ
(Śrī Chaitanya-chandrāmṛta: 88)

(As much as you surrender to the lotus feet of Śrī Gaurāṅga, you will find yourself safely situated in the service of Rādhā-Govinda. Do not try to approach Rādhā-Govinda directly; if you do, there may be some difficulty. But the lotus feet of Śrī Gaurāṅga will take you there safely.)

When Mahāprabhu went somewhere a loving, auspicious environment manifested there. Wherever Mahāprabhu put his lotus feet Rādhārāṇī’s divine, ecstatic lotus feet fully manifested in that place.

Where there is no Rādhārāṇī, there is no Krishna.

sarvasya chāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭho
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ cha
vedaiś cha sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva-chāham
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 15.15)

[“I am situated (as the Supersoul) within the heart of all souls, and from Me arises the soul’s remembrance, knowledge, and forgetfulness {according to his actions}. I alone am the Sweet Absolute to be known through all the Vedas. I am the revealer of the Vedānta—Vedavyāsa, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”]

Without Krishna, the Vedic knowledge is useless. With Krishna everything is beautiful, and without Krishna everything is useless. Without Rādhārāṇī, however, Krishna has no charming power or attraction.

śuka bale, “āmāra kṛṣṇa madana-mohana”
śārī bale, “āmāra rādhā vāme yata kṣaṇa”

Without Rādhārāṇī he is not Madan-mohan [the enchanter of Cupid], He is only Madan, Cupid; and when Rādhārāṇī is with him Cupid will faint to see his divine form.

śuka bale, “āmāra kṛṣṇa chūḍā vāme hele
śārī bale, “āmāra rādhā charaṇa pābe bale

[Śuka says, “My Krishna’s crown slants to the left. Śārī says, “To touch my Rādhā’s feet His crown is slanted so.”]

Śrīla Guru Mahārāj said about Mahāprabhu,

koṭi-kāma-mūrchchhitāṅghri-rūpa-rāsa-raṅgaraṁ
(Prema-dhama-deva-stotram)

Crores [tens of millions] of cupids faint at the lotus feet of Mahāprabhu when they see Him dance.

yākara charaṇa nakhara ruchi hera-ite murachhita kata koṭi-kāma
so majhu pada-tale dharaṇī loṭāyala pālaṭi na herinu hāma

This is a very deep expression of Rādhārāṇī: “If anyone will see Krishna they must faint. Krishna is so sweet, ecstatic, and beautiful that even crores of cupids cannot stand to see His divine form. And yet—He came to me and he took my feet and I did not look at him because I was angry with him. What nonsense I have done.” This is the meaning of this sloka.

Śrīla Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur simply told,

rādhikā-charaṇa-padma, sakala śreyera sadma

“What goodness have you seen within your religion? All goodness is colourless in front of Rādhārāṇī.”

rādhikā-charaṇa-padma, sakala śreyera sadma,
jatane je nāhi ārādhilo
rādhā-padāṅkita dhāma, vṛndāvana jār nāma,
tāhā je nā āśroya korilo

(The lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā are the abode of all auspiciousness, the supreme goal of life. One who in his life has failed to take shelter of that holy dhām named Vṛndāvan which is decorated by the lotus-like Rādhā,…)

rādhikā-bhāva-gambhīra, chitta jebā mahādhīra
goṇ-soṅga nā koilo jīvane
kemone se śyāmānanda, rasa-sindhu-snānānanda,
lobhibe bujhoho eka-mane

(…who in his life has failed to associate with the intimate of Śrī Rādhā who are deeply filled with Rādhā’s mood of devotion and who are greatly intelligent—how will such a person bathe in the rasa-sindhu, the ocean of ecstatic joy which is Śyāmasundar? You must single-mindedly understand this point.)

rādhikā ujjvala-rasera āchārya
rādhā-mādhava-śuddha-prema bichārya

(Śrī Rādhā is the exemplary teacher of the mellows of conjugal love. Pure ecstatic love for Śrī Śrī Rādhā Mādhava is what is to be considered and discussed.)

je dhorilo rādhā-pada parama jatane
se pāilo kṛṣṇa-pada amūlya-ratane

(One who holds tightly to the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā with great care will certainly attain the priceless jewels of the lotus feet of Krishna.)

rādhā-pada binā kobhu kṛṣṇa nāhi mile
rādhāra dāsīr kṛṣṇa sarva-vede bole

(Without taking shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā, one will never meet Krishna. All the Vedas say that Krishna belongs to the maidservants of Śrī Rādhā.)

choḍata dhona-jon, kalatra-suta-mita,
choḍata karama geyān
rādhā-pada-paṅkaja, madhurata sevana,
bhakativinoda paramāṇ

(Having given up wealth, followers, wife, children, family, and friends, material activities and intellectual knowledge, one should become absorbed in the divine sweetness of service to the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā as one of Her maidservants in madhura-rasa. This is Bhaktivinoda’s solemn declaration.)

Actually, we do not know anything about the glories of Rādhārāṇī, and what little we heard from our Guru Mahārāj we also cannot express properly because it is necessary to have some quality and qualification for that, but we are very much unqualified. What we know and what we are telling—everything is useless in front of the proper conception. But what shall we do? I told many times: if I have five dollars I will make my business with five dollars. I will not cheat others. I am not doing a cheating business, and that is my satisfaction. With what I have, I shall try to do.

This is an excerpt from an informal talk of Srila Gurudev, speaking in Italy, September 2000, on the day of Radhastami.

Yes, "Every wave is favourable"—with properly adjusted vision.

I received this question in response to an article of Srila Gurudev’s posted awhile ago:

In regards to your recent post of Srila Gurudeva’s beautiful words of encouragement. Please could you explain to me this: here he says:

“Whatever is considered good and whatever is considered bad in this mundane world—everything is bad here. Maybe that is affection, or maybe that is enviousness. Maybe that is apparently good or bad, but everything is bad.”

Then, my question is: in other places we are hearing, that ‘Everything is good’ and that ‘every wave is favorable’… how shall we explain or harmonize these two?

I thought I would post my response here for the clarification of any others who may have had the same question:

In response to the points that you brought up:

Here Srila Gurudev is referring to everything coming from the wave of the material energy—not how we will perceive and respond to it.

Srila Gurudev quotes this famous verse of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta (3.4.176),

‘dvaite’ bhadrābhadra-jñāna, saba — ‘manodharma’
‘ei bhāla, ei manda’, — ei saba ‘bhrama’

“In the material world, conceptions of good and bad are all mental speculations. Therefore, saying ‘This is good’ and ‘This is bad’ is all a mistake.”

And similarly in Srimad Bhagavad-gita it is repeatedly pointed out that everything pertaining to the material energy should be seen with equal vision because it is all standing on a false platform; it is all within the plane of mundane duality:

sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau
tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṁ pāpam avāpsyasi
(2.38)

“Considering pleasure and pain, gain and loss, and victory and defeat to be one and the same—fight. No sin will be incurred by you.”

vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni chaiva śvapāke cha paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
(5.18)

“The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater.”

From a devotional perspective, everything coming from the material wave, whatever the material energy has to offer to us, whether superficially good or bad (wealth, poverty, beauty, ugliness, fame, obscurity, etc) is of temporary value and will ultimately take us away from Krishna so it should all be seen as unfavourable.

Everything coming from the spiritual wave, on the other hand, is positive and to be embraced, because however it may manifest, whether apparently favourable or unfavourable, it is coming from the plane of truth and can thus adjust us to Reality the Beautiful.

As Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur sings in Atma-nivedana,

tomāra sevāya, duḥkha haya yata,
seo ta’ parama sukha
sevā-sukha-duḥkha, parama sampada,
nāśaye avidyā-duḥkha

“All the distress I encounter in Your service is also my greatest happiness. Both the distress and the happiness that come from engagement in Your service are my greatest fortune; they both destroy the distress of ignorance.”

As we’ve heard from Srila Sridhar Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur in his final days was fond of the expression “Religion is proper adjustment.” So, yes, “every wave is favourable”—with properly adjusted vision. It is all about in what interest what we see and experience is being considered. For example, say you receive a million dollar job offer from a big corporation. You could make a lot of money, but in order to do so you would have to give up all association, service, preaching, etc. Therefore through the lens of spiritual vision you may reject the proposal as being unfavourable to your devotional life. Or on a more base level, say somebody offers you a hamburger, or drugs, etc. A relative or an old friend who loves us dearly may want to sit and discuss many topics with us which are no longer of any interest to us. On a more subtle level, in our day-to-day service life we have to constantly discriminate and make decisions as to what is favourable and unfavourable.

Pratikulya vivarjanah, “Rejection of the unfavourable” is actually one of the six limbs of surrender so it is quite a crucial part of our devotional life. This whole process however is not contradictory to the concept that “every wave is favourable”. Srila Sridhar Maharaj defines progress as “elimination and new acceptance”. Through the devotional lens, in the interest of a higher truth, to reject something which otherwise may be considered favourable, actually clarifies and strengthens our own faith and conception. To assert, “No, I reject this as unfavourable to my spiritual life” is actually a supremely positive moment because it is an embrace of higher truth, it is an embrace of Guru and Gauranga and all they are trying to give us.

This idea that “every wave is favourable” is not something to be applied in a passive way. This is a dangerous way in which this concept can be applied. It is not that everything should be accepted at face value in a passive way. Rather everything must be seen in terms of the higher interest and at times in order to assert the higher interest we may need to resist the mayic flow. Perceiving the environment in terms of the higher interest may entail a fight at times. Someone is coming to attack or insult Guru and Vaishnava and I will sit passively because “every wave is favourable”? That response brings us to the Brahman conception. No, I must assert myself in their interest and protect them. I will see this as a service opportunity and in that way “every wave is favourable.”

So the tricky part is knowing when to respond to situations in a passive or active way. And there’s no ‘one size fits all’ here, we will have to consider on a case by case basis, also factoring in individual capacity and responsibility.

I hope this is somewhat helpful. I’m also reminded of this short article I wrote a couple years ago, which is somewhat related.

Humbly,

—Vishakha dasi.