My life is only meant for Krishna

By His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Devotee: Guru Maharaj, how can we please you? What can we do that will be pleasing to you?
Srila Guru Maharaj: Krishna is for Himself, that is He exists for His own purpose, and we also exist for him. When you can adopt this line of life, for which I am also trying to use my energy wholesale, when you will join that concern, then I will be pleased.
What I am to do with this life, I like that others will also follow that. My life is only meant for Krishna, and naturally I would like that others will also follow this same route. That is only natural. “Sri Chaitanya manobhistam”, what is the desire of Sri Chaitanyadev, and accordingly, the desire of my Guru Maharaj, I want to work towards fulfilling that.
Under the direction of my Gurudev, I am following the path to Radha-Krishna consciousness, where we will enter the domain where Radharani is serving Her most beloved Lord Krishna. We consider this to be our highest goal, and anyday, anytime in this infinite time, we want to reach that goal, the highest ideal. It is our only aim in life, and we consider that everyone should accept it as their summum bonum.
What is the most faultless, purest conception of life? Exploitation is filthy, and renunciation is zero, therefore service, loving service is the highest zenith of purity. We want to prepare ourselves for that cause—the most intense loving service with no tinge of exploitation. Purity depends only on how much we can sacrifice our self for the highest object, and that is love proper. It is based on sacrifice, not on exploitation. Love proper stands on the plane of sacrifice. As much sacrifice, then that much we will have love, the basis of love must be sacrifice—the pure love. Die to live. Sacrifice does not end only in renunciation. That is only the negative side, but there is positive sacrifice. Sacrifice for the perfect cause, the absolute good. And that sacrifice is living, it does not just reach the zero and disappear, not that samadhi. No, it is the most intensified life, possessed of the highest degree of living energy. The standard of that sacrifice we cannot conceive of and we may never be able to reach that standard. Here we have some experience of heat but within the sun how much heat is there? It is inconceivable, and intolerable to us, but we cannot deny that it exists. The highest degree of heat is found in the sun and there are also substances that can stand that heat, but we can only tolerate the sun from some distance. So in the same way, we can only render service under the direction of the highest servitors. In Krishnaloka there is a special group of servitors in every rasa; dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhura (servitude, friendship, parental and consorthood), and we are to reach that certain distance in relation to them where we will thrive most. We cannot stand if we venture to go nearer. So Radha-dasya is necessary, or Yashoda-dasya, Nanda-dasya, Sudhama-dasya, because their degree of serving sacrifice will be intolerable to us, due to our constitution. Only from behind them can we render our service. We can do our duty and that will be our acme. Our highest aspiration should be there, this has been recommended for us.
The first group is already there, and we can never take the place of them. Only from behind them, in the second or third line, we can do our best work, and our highest attainment will be from that position. From there we will be able to have some experience of the higher order, we will get some view how things are going on in the area of most intense heat.
One poet has written that if the fly falls into the pot of honey while trying to taste its sweetness, then he will die. Its wings will be covered with honey and it will drown there. But if, instead of honey the pot is filled with amrta then the fly won’t die, because it is amrta. Taking the sweetness of that amrta one will get eternal life.
So we cannot tolerate the “heat” but that heat is sweet heat. It will not burn us but we can’t stand, we can’t raise ourselves up to that degree. It is not within us. Just like we are limited as to what we can see. The most intense light is invisible to us, for example the X-ray. And sound, a very high sound will be inaudible to us, as will a very low sound. Only in the middle can we hear. The senses are like that, and the position of the soul is also like that, it has its range within which it thrives.
Visvanath Chakravarti has in a nutshell described what is our duty, that our object of adoration is the Lord Nandanandana, Krishna, the son of the King of Vraja, and His capital is Vrindavan. A sweet forest town. The Jamuna is there, Radha Kunda, the Govardhan Hill, and so many kadamba trees, lotus flowers—many wonderful things. A garden town, Vrindavan, that is His capital. And there we find a peculiar type of worship which has been designed by the damsels of Vrindavan, the Gopis. They have discovered a very peculiar, sweet type of service, worship of their Lord of Love. We have much charm for that. The type of worship and adoration designed by the Gopis, that is the most attractive.
How do we know that this is the truth? This may all be imagination. Where is your evidence, your witnesses, where is your guarantee that you may get that thing? Who can say that it is not purely imagination? The great scripture Srimad Bhagavatam, which is acknowledged as the very gist of all revealed scriptures, that holy book stands guarantee for us all. And what does it offer, that Bhagavatam? You are to aspire and strive so hard, but what will be your remuneration?
You will receive the fifth end of life, and that is Love Divine. You will be able to taste that nectar of Love Divine. That has been reserved for you. And where do you get that? Who has taught that? Who has given this information to you? Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, that great Lord, Chaitanyadev. He has come with all these fine things, these wonderful things and our greatest respect is for this advice, this direction of our life.
Devotee: Maharaj, can we all get there?
Srila Guru Maharaj: Yes, we can all have our birth in that land. All can be accommodated there, that is the nature of the infinite. But there is gradation according to our capacity. Santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, madhura, in this way the hierarchy is there. There is the clerk, the officer, the confidential officer—gradation. The friendly circle, they will have to serve under Subala, Sudhama, Sridham, etc., their eternal leaders in that rasa. In the filial circle, Nanda, Yashoda and others are the permanent leaders, and we may serve under them. In madhura-rasa also there is the selected group. So we are to be located in some area of service. So many services are there; the garland service, the food service, the fanning service, and so on. So according to my inner taste I shall be grouped there in a particular section where I will get my duty. There I will get my best satisfaction, I will be fulfilled as much as may be contained within my heart. And sometimes, like hunger, I will feel separation and then there will be union. Separation will prepare us for relishing the food even more. In this way there are so many arrangements in that land. Heart’s transaction has its facility there. Bhakti comes from the heart. Heart holds a higher position than the brain. Ruchi (taste) is the sweetest thing there. No calculation is found in Vrindavan. In Vaikuntha of course, the position of brain is there to some degree. But in Vrindavan—reflex action, inspiration, love is the moving force.
In this article Srila Sridhar Maharaj beautifully illuminates this well known verse encapsulating Mahaprabhu’s conception,
aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam
ramya kachid upasana vrajavadhu-vargena ya kalpita
srimad-bhagavatam pramanam amalam prema pumartho mahan
sri-chaitanya-mahaprabhor matam idam tatradarah nah parah
(Srila Visvanath Chakravarti)
“‘Our worshippable Lord is the son of the King of Vraja, Krishna, whose abode is Vrndavan. The most pleasing worship is that performed by the wives of Vraja. Srimad Bhagavatam is the flawless authority, and divine love is the ultimate goal of human life.’ This is the conception of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and we adore it as supreme.”
This text was originally published in Counterpoint by Sriman Devashis Prabhu

In the playground with Krishna

Srila Govinda Maharaj

The gift of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

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no dīkāṁ na cha sat-kriyāṁ na cha puraścharyāṁ manāg īkṣate
mantro ’yaṁ rasanā-spṛg eva phalati śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmātmaka
(Padyāvalī: 29)
[“Sri Krishna’s Name does not rely upon (pancharatrik) initiation, pious works, or preparatory practices in the least; Sri Krishna’s Name produces results simply by touching the tongue.”]
With love and affection, and without offence, try to chant this Holy Name of Lord Kṛṣṇa. It will rescue everything—that power is with Kṛṣṇa-nām. The Lord’s Name is always so auspicious and can rescue everyone. But Kṛṣṇa’s Name has some speciality: He is attracting and giving His nectar. That is the speciality of Kṛṣṇa-nām. Other names of God are also so powerful and so beautiful, but Kṛṣṇa-nām is mixing with the hearts of the Kali-yuga people; it is the nearest and most extremely beautiful form of the Lord. That is Kṛṣṇa-nām.
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
There is no other alternative except Kṛṣṇa-nām. It is not necessary to do many things or anything else: only connect with Hari-nām, the transcendental divine form of the Lord. It is not my speculation, but all the scriptures have told this: in the Veda, Vedānta, Upaniṣads, eighteen Purāṇas, Mahābhārata—everywhere, even in the Āyurveda. Where is He not present? Kṛṣṇa is present everywhere.
In the Upaniṣads, that example of two birds is given: one is hearing, one is eating; one is sleeping, and another is watching. Paramātmā, who is watching, has some influence over all, and through that all the jīva-souls are getting some help. That is the special quality of Paramātmā. There is Brahma, Paramātmā, and then supremely Bhagavān.
Bhagavān means the Supreme Personality of Godhead, where we will find everything: love and affection. Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu says, all divine forms of God have good qualification for the jīva-souls, but Kṛṣṇa is so special. If you want to embrace Kṛṣṇa, He will be very happy with you, but other Gods are sitting in the chair, and the jīva-souls are fearful of Them. This is not the position of Kṛṣṇa.
(Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: Dakṣiṇa-vibhāga, 141–2)
[“Kṛṣṇa is like an ocean filled with waves of pastimes that evoke wonder within everyone in the three worlds. In His activities of conjugal love, He is always surrounded by His dear devotees who possess unequaled love for Him.”]
Everything in connection with Kṛṣṇa is very familiar for the conditioned souls. You can feed Kṛṣṇa, you can play with Kṛṣṇa, you can chastise Kṛṣṇa, and you can give your love, affection, and everything to Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa will always be very happy with you. That is the most palatable and suitable position for the jīva-souls.
We honour everyone and we must give our full daṇḍavat to everyone, but after that we will go to our playground and play with Kṛṣṇa in śānta-rasa, dāsya-rasa, sakhya- rasa, vātsalya-rasa, and madhura-rasa: servitorhood, friendship, parenthood, and even paramour love is possible with God. Who can believe it?
Kaṁ prati kathayitum īśe ko vā pratītim āyātu: to whom shall I tell, and who will believe? This śloka’s meaning is this. Kaṁ prati kathayitum īśe: to whom shall I tell? Ko vā pratītim āyātu: who will believe that Kṛṣṇa is playing with the Vraja-gopīs in the Kuñja-līlā, and playing happily in the courtyard of Nanda Mahārāj? There is no obstacle there.
kaṁ prati kathayitum īśe samprati ko vā pratītim āyātu
go-pati-tanayā-kuñje gopa-vadhūṭī-viṭaṁ brahma
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: 2.19.98)
The youthful mood of Kṛṣṇa; playing with the girls of Vraja and the Vraja-vāsīns; friendship, fatherhood, motherhood; the trees are giving palatable fruits, the cows are giving so much palatable milk—it is all a very joyful situation there with God, with the Lord. With our Divine Master it is possible, and Sri Chaitanya Mahāprabhu has given a connection to us through the Holy Name. It will reveal in our heart. We need to chant without offence, and one day we must be qualified, no doubt.
Spoken by His Divine Grace in Italy at Villa Govinda Ashram during his visit in September 2007.

Living on nectar

The great clouds of the sādhus always shower this nectar over the garden of the world, and as a result, fruits produced by this nectar ripen. The devotees constantly eat these fruits, and by their love the people of the world live.

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śrī-chaitanya-sama āra kṛpālu vadānya
bhakta-vatsala nā dekhi trijagate anya 

We do not see anyone throughout the three worlds who is more merciful, magnanimous, and affectionate to devotees than Śrī Chaitanya.

śraddhā kari’ ei līlā śuna, bhakta-gaṇa
ihāra śravaṇe pāibā chaitanya-charaṇa 

O devotees, listen to these Pastimes with faith! By hearing them, you will attain the feet of Śrī Chaitanya.

ihāra prasāde pāibā kṛṣṇa-tattva-sāra
sarva-śāstra-siddhāntera i̐hā pāibā pāra 

By their grace, you will understand the essence of Kṛṣṇa’s nature and you will reach the culmination of the conclusions of all the scriptures.

kṛṣṇa-līlā-amṛta-sāra tāra śata śata dhāra
daśa-dike vahe yāhā haite
se chaitanya-līlā haya sarovara akṣaya
mano-haṁsa charāha tāhāte 

Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes are the essence of nectar, and Śrī Chaitanya’s Pastimes are the inexhaustible reservoir from which hundreds and hundreds of streams of that nectar flow in the ten directions. May the swan of your heart play there.

bhakta-gaṇa, śuna mora dainya-vachana
tomā-sabāra pada-dhūli aṅge vibhūṣaṇa kari’
kichhu muñi karo̐ nivedana 

O devotees, please listen to my humble words. Adorning my body with the dust of your feet, I submit something before you.

kṛṣṇa-bhakti-siddhānta-gaṇa yāte praphulla padma-vana
tāra madhu kari’ āsvādana
prema-rasa-kumuda-vane praphullita rātri-dine
tāte charāo mano-bhṛṅga-gaṇa 

(In the reservoir of Śrī Chaitanya’s Pastimes) The principles of devotion to Kṛṣṇa are the forest of blooming lotus flowers and the rasa of divine love is the forest of lilies blooming there night and day. May the bees of your hearts play amongst them, tasting their nectar.

nānā-bhāvera bhakta-jana haṁsa-chakravāka-gaṇa
yāte sabe karena vihāra
kṛṣṇa-keli-mṛṇāla yāhā pāi’ sarva-kāla
bhakta-haṁsa karaye āhāra 

Devotees of various moods sport there as swans and chakravāka birds. For eternity, these devotee-swans find and eat the lotus flowers of Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes.

sei sarovare giyā haṁsa-chakravāka hañā
sadā tā̐hā karaha vilāsa
khaṇḍibe sakala duḥkha pāibā parama sukha
anāyāse habe premollāsa 

May you all go to that reservoir and play there forever as swans and chakravāka birds. All your suffering will end, you will experience the greatest happiness, and easily you will feel the joy of divine love.

ei amṛta anukṣaṇa sādhu mahānta-megha-gaṇa
viśvodyāne kare variṣaṇa
tāte phale amṛta-phala bhakta khāya nirantara
tāra preme jīye jaga-jana 

The great clouds of the sādhus always shower this nectar over the garden of the world, and as a result, fruits produced by this nectar ripen. The devotees constantly eat these fruits, and by their love the people of the world live.

chaitanya-līlā—amṛta-pūra kṛṣṇa-līlā—sukarpūra
duhe mili’ haya sumādhurya
sādhu-guru-prasāde tāhā yei āsvāde
sei jāne mādhurya-prāchurya 

When the condensed milk of Śrī Chaitanya’s Pastimes and the fine camphor of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes combine, they become very sweet, and those who taste them by the grace of Śrī Guru and the sādhus know the magnitude of their sweetness.

ye līlāmṛta vine khāya yadi anna-pāne
tabe bhaktera durbala jīvana
yāra eka-bindu-pāne utphullita tanu-mane
hāse, gāya, karaye nartana 

Without the nectar of these Pastimes, even if devotees eat rice, their vitality remains weak, but by drinking just one drop of this nectar, their bodies and minds flourish, and they laugh, sing, and dance.

e amṛta kara pāna yāra sama nāhi āna
chitte kari’ sudṛḍha viśvāsa
nā paḍa’ kutarka-garte amedhya karkaśa āvarte
yāte paḍile haya sarva-nāśa 

So drink this nectar, of which there is nothing equal, with firm faith in your heart. Do not fall into the ditch of false argument. If you fall into this foul and harsh whirlpool, you will lose everything.

śrī-chaitanya, nityānanda śrī-advaita, bhakta-vṛnda
āra yata śrotā bhakta-gaṇa
tomā-sabāra śrī-charaṇa kari’ śire vibhūṣaṇa
yāhā haite abhīṣṭa-pūraṇa 

I hold on my head as an ornament the divine feet of Śrī Chaitanya, Nityānanda, Śrī Advaita, the devotees, and all the devotee-listeners, by whom all desires are fulfilled.

śrī-rūpa-sanātana- raghunātha-jīva-charaṇa
śire dhari—yāra kari āśa
kṛṣṇa-līlāmṛtānvita chaitanya-charitāmṛta
kahe kichhu dīna kṛṣṇadāsa 

I hold the feet of Śrī Rūpa, Sanātan, Raghunāth, and Jīva on my head. Aspiring for them, the poor Kṛṣṇadās narrates something of the nectar of Śrī Chaitanya’s Pastimes infused with the nectar of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes.

Verses 2.25.268–281 of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami. Translation originally published on by Sripad B.K. Tyagi Maharaj.

Hinduism & Krishna Consciousness

Question: Is Kṛṣṇa consciousness the same as Hinduism?
Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Previously Hindus were identified by who was living on the bank of the Sindhu River and following the Vedic knowledge and culture. The culture grew on both sides of that river. They were identified as Hindu. The Veda in Hinduism came down from the transcendental level: that knowledge was not made by any one man, but it came from God, and the Hindus followed that Vedic culture and knowledge as their religion.
Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness exists within that Vedic cultural society, but the conception is always different in some way with them. We know that this religion of Vaiṣṇavism has come from Viṣṇu as well as Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is our Guru, Kṛṣṇa is our Lord, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this is the conception. This conception is written in the Vedas, Vedānta, Upaniṣads, and so many other scriptures and it is indicated as the religion for all jīva-souls. ‘Jīva-souls’ means all the living entities in human form as well as other species of life; there are eighty-four hundred thousand species that are identified as jīva-souls. In the human form there is willing, feeling, and thinking. Within humans there is consciousness, blossoming consciousness, and fully blossomed consciousness. Other life-forms have consciousness but it is more suppressed than in humans. Trees have consciousness but it is suppressed consciousness. It is proved by the scientists now, but we know this knowledge from the time of the Vedic revelation, when it first descended. There are five levels of consciousness flowing.
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the religion for all the jīva-souls. Here there is no differentiation based on caste, creed, race, colour, or anything else. In Hinduism there is some differentiation between brāhmaṇ, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, and brahmachārī, vānaprastha, gṛhastha, sannyās, and according to their different levels their living style is indicated. But our religion is not differentiating in that way. We know that we are part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but we are within the illusory environment, and from this illusory environment we need to connect with the transcendental world. And if anyone will follow this religion of the jīva-soul he will be benefitted. This is our conception. Hindusim differentiates between caste and creed, but this is non-sectarian. Īśvara, God, is one, and we are all part and parcel of God. Because we are very tiny jīva-souls, then our power is very little, and because of that we are defeated by the illusory environment. But in this age of Kali there is a super chance, that God has descended as a transcendental vibration form. If we try to satisfy Him through chanting, we can transform our plane from material to transcendental. For the transformation of material consciousness to transcendental consciousness we are practising chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, and we are also following some other Bhakti Yoga practices. This is my answer.
Spoken by Srila Gurudev during his visit to Italy in September 2000

Sri Jagannathdev

The following article by our Param Gurudev Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj has been excerpted from the magazine ‘Counterpoint’, Vol 1 No 6 Spring ’94, which was published by Sriman Devashis Prabhu.
The full text of that edition can be found here in pdf format
and here in epub format
Braja-rasa in Dwaraka
Sometimes there is a conception amongst the Queens of Dwārakā that, “Although we have Kṛṣṇa as our husband, we feel that somehow He is not Kṛṣṇa in His fullness. He always seems absentminded, as if His heart is not wholly with us.” Pondering the cause of this, the Queens came to know that previously Kṛṣṇa had some very sweet connection with Vṛndāvan and the Gopīs there. Thinking this to be the key to Kṛṣṇa’s absentminded mood, they began searching for an opportunity to find out how Kṛṣṇa was living in Vṛndāvan. They wanted to know about His pastimes there with the Gopīs, and to hear the descriptions from His childhood. Balarām’s mother Rohiṇī had lived in Vṛndāvan during Kṛṣṇa’s childhood, and although she is situated in vātsalya-rasa (parental relationship), she had heard many things about Kṛṣṇa’s Līlā with the Gopīs. So meeting her privately the Queens requested her, “Please describe Kṛṣṇa’s mādhurya-līlā in Vṛndāvan to us.” Rohiṇī was unable to avoid the Queens’ sincere request, and so posting Kṛṣṇa’s sister Subhadrā to keep watch, she began to narrate about His Līlā with the Milkmaids of Vraja.
It so happened that at that same time, Kṛṣṇa and Balarām were taking rest in a nearby room, and as Rohiṇī was describing the Vṛndāvan-līlā, They became aware of what was taking place. Coming to the door where Subhadrā was standing guard, Kṛṣṇa and Balarām could hear the talk of Rohiṇī, and remembering Vṛndāvan, the Gopīs and all these things, a great intensity of feeling came over Them. A great change of feeling came over Kṛṣṇa and Balarām, so great that Their bodies also began to change; just as Mahāprabhu had shown when He fell at the gate of the Jagannāth Mandir and His arms and legs entered into His body. Such a change in the body is possible according to some particular feeling of ecstasy, and feeling the ecstasy of Vṛndāvan, Kṛṣṇa and Balarām were undergoing such a transformation. And Subhadrā, although She had not lived in Vṛndāvan, seeing Her Brothers in this way, She also experienced some sort of sympathetic transformation. Internally that feeling came to Her and externally She was also transformed. The cause of Their disfiguration was the Vṛndāvan statement of Rohiṇī. Remembering that Vṛndāvan-līlā and feeling that, such change came in Their bodies.
Suddenly the group of Rohiṇī could understand that Kṛṣṇa and Balarām were there listening to their talk, and so immediately they stopped. The Līlā thus suspended, the disfigured formation of Kṛṣṇa remained, and He fell into a trance. Nothing could be done to reverse the situation, and so in desperation Kṛṣṇa was taken to the Nava-Vṛndāvan; a replica of Vṛndāvan that had been created in Dwārakā by Brahmā for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure. Although Kṛṣṇa was awake He could not come out of that mentality, that trance, until He could be taken to that Nava-Vṛndāvan. There in His trance He could only see Baladev, and all others present were eliminated from His vision. Seeing Baladev, Kṛṣṇa was happy that He was in Vṛndāvan. Then He saw Rohiṇī, “Oh yes, it is Vṛndāvan.” Mannequins of all the other residents of Vṛndāvan were also arranged there, and the Queens were following from a distance to see what will happen. After seeing Baladev, Kṛṣṇa sees His cowherd friends Śrīdām and Sudām are also there. In another part the Gopīs are there, and in one part Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is standing. Seeing Her mannequin Kṛṣṇa ran and embraced Her, and when Satyabhāmā saw this, some disfigurement also came in Her body. While Kṛṣṇa was in this temperament, Baladev was able to go to Him and gradually he was able to bring Kṛṣṇa back to the consciousness of Dwārakā. The sudden stopping of His experience of Vṛndāvan caused His condition and only by a gradual process, His mentality was again taken to Dwārakā.
This sort of tale is there, and when Dwārakā and Vṛndāvan mix, that is Jagannāth. He is mainly in Dwārakā, but the posing of Vṛndāvan is there. He has infinite forms of Līlā, so what can we trace or know with our finite capacity? In Dwārakā-Saṁhitā we find that there was an arrangement of Rāsa-līlā in Dwārakā also. The Queens had heard that in Vṛndāvan there was the Rāsa-līlā and that it is most wonderful. So when on one occasion the whole Vṛndāvan party was invited to Dwārakā, they privately approached Kṛṣṇa and petitioned Him, “The Gopīs have come, and for a long time it is our hearts’ desire that you will show Your Rāsa-līlā to us. Will You request them?” Kṛṣṇa replied, “If they will give their consent then I have no objection.” The Queens made their request to the Gopīs and the Rāsa-līlā was arranged. When it was complete, all that saw it were astonished, and the Queens went to the camp of the Gopīs to express their wonder. “What we have seen is the most wonderful thing, it is impossible to conceive even. We cannot properly express such a thing.” And Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī made this statement in reply, “What have you seen? That was nothing — an almost dead representation. Where is the Yamunā?Where is the kadamba tree, the peacock, the deer, and all these things? There in Vṛndāvan that was a natural stage, and that was performed there in our youth. What you saw, that is nothing, a sham, a mere mockery.” Then the Queens began to reflect, “If what we saw is of such lower order, then what type of superior quality Līlā must be found in the Original? It is totally inconceivable.”
So the psychology of Vṛndāvan is all-important. The attraction for that Vrndāvan-līlā — when that was suddenly stopped the result was a great change in the physical plane. Of course it is not physical, but for the purpose of explanation we can say physical. That check caused the disfigurement of the external plane. It is something like when there is an earthquake. The internal movement of the Earth disfigures the surface, so the internal disturbance that was created by the recollection of Vṛndāvan-līlā, that caused a great transformation in the superficial appearance. And when that was suddenly checked, that appearance remained. That has been pictured and shown in Jagannāthdev. When the higher prospect is suddenly checked, then the reaction comes. So Jagannāth is a reactionary stage between Vṛndāvan and Dwārakā. The conflict between the emotion of Swayaṁ-Bhagavān and the Vaibhava-vilās of Kṛṣṇa. It is something like rasābhās. In higher ecstasy also, rasābhās is possible. The clash of two different waves of rasa. The train may be proceeding in a particular motion and the carriage along with it. But if suddenly the train should brake, then the contents inside the carriage will be thrown into a great disorder. It is something like that.
ādau yad dvāro ’plavate,
sindhuḥ pārer apauruṣaṁ
This verse says that the Jagannāth mūrti has been there from the very conception, from the most ancient time. So every Līlā of the Lord is eternal. Every part of the infinite is eternal. In the beginning of Mahābhārat there is “Dhṛtarāṣṭra-vilāp”, and there Dhṛtarāṣṭra is naming the main incidents of Mahābhārat, and lamenting that, “Because of this incident and that incident I know that my party must be defeated”. But at this stage of Mahābhārata none of these incidents had taken place. So how can Dhṛtarāṣtra speak of these incidents at the beginning of the narration? It is because it is nitya, eternal. The beginning of the Līlā and the end of the Līlā cannot be differentiated. It is in a cyclic order and it is eternal. That is a very difficult thing to understand. To adjust to the eternal. Everywhere beginning, everywhere end. Everywhere there is centre and nowhere is there circumference. This is the meaning of infinite. This is Nitya-līlā. Everywhere beginning, everywhere end, and all coexistent at the same time.
Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāj Goswāmī has represented this in a particular way He has given the example that the sunrise is to be found always in one place or another. Now it is here, now there, and so on in this way. So like the sun Kṛṣṇa-līlā is moving, the birth, the childhood, being shown here and then extended to another brahmāṇḍa, another universe. That is the aspect of Bhauma-līlā. And in another aspect, in Goloka, we find that every Līlā is also nitya. It is reflected here in this world and the reflection is revolving like the sun. It may be traced here, now here, now there — a question of space, but in Goloka, in the central place it is all there simultaneously. It is also no less in the heart of the devotees. When a devotee remembers a Līlā, it may be Vraja-līlā, and now Dwārakā-līlā, but what is reflected in the heart of a devotee, that is also true. So in this way it is coexistent and it is continuing always. Every Līlā and every part of Līlā is always present, coexistent. Succession and coexistence both harmonised.
Devotee: Maharaj, is Guru-paramparā also part of Līlā?
Śrīla Śrīdhar Maharaj: Of course. It is the Līlā of Kṛṣṇa. But not only that, Māyā and everything else is included in Līlā from His standpoint. It is His sweet will, His independence.
mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ, jagad avyakta-mūrtinā
mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni, na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ
(Srimad Bhagavad Gita: 9.4)
“Everything is in Me, yet nothing is in Me. I am everywhere and I am nowhere.”
Everything will come within this conception. He can even interfere with the free will of the jīva, but still He doesn’t. He is within and He can control, yet He does not. He may choose not to control. He has this independence. This sort of conception we shall have to indent. This is the conception of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu and this is what separates His conception from the Hegalian philosophy and the philosophy of Aurobindo. Māyā is not a necessary part of existence, and by Kṛṣṇa’s will Māyā may be finished, and if He so desires, again recreated.
koṭi-kāmadhenu-patira chāgī yaiche mare
ṣaḍ-aiśvarya-pati kṛṣṇera māyā kibā kare?
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: 2.15.179)
He can make or mar. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākur has written in his Tattva-sūtra that by His will, even the existence of the jīva-soul may be extinguished. This is not the general case, but still Absolute Power is with Him. Everything is designed and destined by Him, that is the expression of swarūp-śakti.
kṛṣṇa-līlāmṛta-sāra, tāra śata śata dhāra’
daśa-dike vahe yāhā haite
se chaitanya-līlā haya, sarovara akṣaya,
mano-haṁsa charāha’ tāhāte
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: 2.25.271)
Chaitanya-līlā is the Infinite sweetness from Chaitanya —whatever is within and whatever is coming from Him, that is all the high nectar of Kṛṣṇa-līlā and nothing else. Chaitanya-līlā means the centre from which Kṛṣṇa-līlā flows in different forms, oozing from all sides and even from every pore. Nothing but Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa-līlā, Braja-līlā embodied in Him, and coming out to help the public. The voluntary distribution of Kṛṣṇa-līlā of different nectarine tastes; that is Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu. He has no separate existence from the Nāma, Guṇa, Rūpa, and Līlā of Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and this includes Yaśodā and all others within the relativity of Kṛṣṇa. If one is there then all others must necessarily be there. So Kṛṣṇa-līlā means Kṛṣṇa with His group. Also Vṛndāvan — the water, the forest, the animals, the birds, all are included in Kṛṣṇa-līlā, Braja-līlā. And that and nothing else is all coming from Śrī Chaitanya. That is Rādhā Kṛṣṇa in self-distributing nature. Whatever comes from Him — that is all Kṛṣṇa. Even in Śrī Chaitanya’s childhood, when one could not trace anything of Kṛṣṇa, it was there, and in different ways He was creating the background for distributing Kṛṣṇa-līlā to others.
kṛṣṇa-nāma dhare kata bala
(Śrī-Nāma-Māhātmya — Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākur)
This sound “Kṛṣṇa”, what is its value? Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmi has explained that Kṛṣṇa has four unique, special qualities. Every jīva has fifty innate qualities. Certain devatās have fifty-five, the five additional qualities partially manifest in them. Śrī Nārāyaṇ has sixty qualities in full, and Kṛṣṇa has four more qualities not found in Nārāyaṇ. Those four qualities are: rūpa-mādhurya (sweet form), veṇu-mādhurya (sweet flute), līlā-mādhurya (sweet pastimes), and parikara-mādhurya (sweet associates). Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmi has established the speciality of Kṛṣṇa-līlā in this way. And this is only found in Vṛndāvan. Vāsudev-Kṛṣṇa has no flute, and it has been mentioned that even Dwārakeśa-Kṛṣṇa is charmed to search for the rūpa-mādhurya of Vṛndāvan-Kṛṣṇa, the sweet Lord of Braja, Reality the Beautiful.
Photo: By Dreamodisha – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,