yac chrotavyam atho japyaṁ,
yat karttavyaṁ nṛbhiḥ prabho
smarttavyaṁ bhajanīyaṁ vā,
brūhi yad vā viparyyayam
(Parīkṣit Mahārāja put this question to Śukadeva Goswāmī): "We are exercising our senses in this plane but what will be the most beneficial for us? We are receiving things from outside to meet the demand of our internal self, but what will be the best utility of our senses? Which things should we imbibe within ourselves for our best interest? We are always accepting something from the environment for the inner interest. Now how should we utilise our senses, the channel of our knowledge, that they may best help our inner interest?" (S-B, 1.19.38) + (SOTGOD, v 3, p 1) (see also śloka 545)
yadamiya-mahimā-śrī bhāgavatyāṁ kathāyāṁ
pratipadam anubhūtam apyālabdhā-abhidheya
"It is She, whose unlimited nectarean glories, qualities, beauty and love for Kṛṣṇa have always been deeply felt and recognised throughout the whole Bhāgavatam at every step of its ultimate meaning and purport of all descriptions. Yet, out of feelings of awe and reverence, and to protect Her high honour, Her Name has not even been mentioned by Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. She therefore remains mystically unavailable as the most confidential, ultimate objective of life. She is the shelter and promoter of all divine pastimes (līlā ) of Kṛṣṇa, Who is the personification of all beauty and bliss (rasa ). I offer my most regardful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhikā, who is the unlimited ocean of all conjugal ecstasy or mellows (mādhurya-rasa )." (SRP ) + (ARO, p 12) + (SBRBM, p 31-2)
sapadi gṛha-kuṭumbaṁ dīnam utsṛjya dīnā
bahava iha vihaṅgā bhikṣu-caryāṁ caranti
"The transcendental līlā of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is great nectar for the ears. Those who relish just a single drop of that nectar even once have their attachment to material duality totally ruined. Many such persons have immediately given up their futile homes and families and have come to Vṛndāvana like a free bird out of a cage. Becoming totally detached from their material life, those devotees have taken up the path of renunciation and have accepted alms just to maintain their lives on this plane. In this way they continue to search for Him, the all fulfilment of life." (S-B, 10.47.18) + (SBRBM, p 26-7)
yadā paśya paśyate rukma-varṇaṁ
kartāraṁ īśam purusaṁ brahma-yonim
"When one sees an exalted or extraordinary personality with lustrous golden complexion He should be known as the omniscient all mighty Lord who is the divine origin of everything." (ARO, p 23)
"Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Brahman, appears in a golden form." Rukma-varṇaṁ means golden. (MU ) + (TGVODL, p 4) + (see also śloka 53)
yadā sa deva jāgartti,
jadedaṁ ceṣṭitaṁ jagat
tadā sarvvaṁ nimīlate
"When the jagad-puruṣa or universal form of the Lord, falls asleep. Then everything naturally falls asleep along with Him. Then there is no more creation, no more external activity because all are dissolved. And again, with the awakening of Him, everything becomes active." (MS )
Just as we see in our dream that we have entered one garden, and this garden seems to be known to the dreamer within the context of the dream, similarly, this whole universe has been evolved from our different kinds of desires of heart - desires of the soul. The soul has some type of compartmental feeling - a certain kind of joy - whether individual or collective, which encourages progressive steps through different planes of reality. The great, exalted souls have given us the realistic ideas of such subtle evolutions of higher conception - finer conclusions of the conception of life. (SS, v 6, # 1, '92, p 8)
yad āsīt tad api nyūnaṁ,
tenānyad api sandadhe
tad api dvy-aṅgulaṁ nyūnaṁ,
yad yad ādatta bandhanam
"After joining the original rope with another that rope was also short by the measure of two fingers. Then she tied more rope; that also was short by the same measure. In this way, no matter how much rope she added, it was always short by two fingers." (S-B, 10.9.16)
To think: "I can know You, I can measure You" - that is impossible, wild goose chasing, and this has been declared by Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You can never know Him. The closer you come to the boundary of your knowledge, the more you will find Him transcending it. None can bind Him. That was shown in the attempt of Mother Yaśodā. When she went to bind Dāmodara, Kṛṣṇa, around the waist, the rope was always two fingers short. Yad āsīt tad api nyūnaṁ, tenānyad api sandadhe.
Mother Yaśodā tried to bind Kṛṣṇa with rope after she found Him stealing butter, but even after adding more, and more rope, it was always just two fingers short. Due to her affection, Kṛṣṇa allowed Himself to be bound. It is a mathematically impossible margin, but it is such. Similarly, we must know that the Absolute is subjective, not objective. Examples like this show us the failure of objective calculation. Don't go to calculate the transcendental truth by the objective process. The factor of His will can never be eliminated, and that is the real factor. If you approach to calculate about Him, the most realistic thought you must keep in your mind is that it depends on His Supreme Will. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 159-60) + (see also śloka 197)
yad-avadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa padāravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt
tad-avadhi bata nāri-saṅgame smaryamāne
bhavati mukha-vikaraḥ suṣṭhu niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca
"Since I have been engaged in the transcendental loving service of Kṛṣṇa, realising ever-new pleasure in Him, whenever I think of sex-pleasure, I spit at the thought, and my lips curl with distaste." (B-r-s, dakṣiṇa-vibhāga, 5.39 - quoted from Yamunācārya)
Yamunācārya says: "Before I came in touch with the Kṛṣṇa-love of Vṛndvana, worldly pleasure was of much importance to me; but now, if any mundane taste comes in my memory, my face becomes disfigured, and I spit at the thought."
What is real joy and ecstasy? We are not acquainted with that. This is our present trouble. Yet as much as we progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we shall become conscious of a practical feeling of real joy and ecstasy, beauty and charm, and in this way, we shall become more encouraged. Yamunācārya says: yad-avadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa padāravinde.
So if we get a slight taste of that ecstasy, then at once we come to the conclusion that there can be no comparison between that and any peace or pleasure here in this mundane world. At the same time, once we are settled in that atmosphere, no pain can disturb or affect us in any way. (TGVODL, p 150-1)
yadā yadā hi dharmasya,
glānir bhavati bhārata
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
"O Bhārata, whenever there is a decline of religion and an uprising of irreligion, I personally appear, like a being born in this world." (B-g, 4.7)
"I appear in every age to deliver the saintly devotees, to vanquish sinful miscreants, and to firmly establish true religion." (B-g, 4.8)
"Whenever and wherever religion declines and irreligion becomes prevalent, I advent Myself. In order to protect the saintly and punish the wicked, as well as to re-establish religious principles, I appear millennium after millennium."
Here, Kṛṣṇa says: "I come here now and then to help re-establish the scriptural injunctions, as well as to do away with the demoniac." These are the references from the scriptures describing how Kṛṣṇa comes in search of His servants. By accepting these statements as our starting point, we can see that He is always coming to this world to help the fallen souls, His own servants. (LSFTLS, p V1) + (see also śloka 200)
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Kṛṣṇa says: "First I transmitted Vedic knowledge to this world through Brahmā. And that was entrusted to his disciples: the four Kumāras, Marīci, Aṅgirā, and other sages."
The knowledge was first invested in them and later in books. First it was presented in the form of sound, not script. Gradually it became fixed in writing. In the beginning, it descended directly through sound from one man to another, from lip to ear. No script or writing was invented at that time, but knowledge was contained in the form of sound. Passing through the ear to the mouth, and again to the ear of another, gradually it became lost. In connection with the mediator sometimes it becomes lost and disfigured, distorted, and then again the Lord feels the necessity of appearing in this world. (yadā yadā hi dharmasya ).
Sometimes Kṛṣṇa comes Himself, and sometimes He sends a normal thinking man to reinstate the standard of true religion. Kṛṣṇa says: "This karma yoga that I have spoken to you, Arjuna, I spoke first to Sūrya, and from Sūrya it was passed down from generation to generation. And so it has become mutilated and disfigured. Again I am speaking that very same thing to you today."
The enervating plane gradually erodes the truth. The truth is bright when it first appears, but gradually with the contact of this enervating plane, it becomes weak, disfigured, and demoralised, and so Kṛṣṇa appears from time to time to rejuvenate it, and bring about a renaissance. (SGAHG, p 16-7)
In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Uddhava posed the question: "Why in the name of religion are there so many "isms" in the world. Will every "ism" that is found here independently take me to the goal? Or is there any gradation?"
Kṛṣṇa told him: "When the creation began, I transmitted the truths of religion into the heart of Brahmā, the creator, and from Brahmā, that came to his disciples. But according to the different capacity of those disciples, what they received was a little changed when they delivered it to others. When I gave it to Brahmā, that knowledge was one. Brahmā told his disciples, and when they received it in the soil of their heart, it entered, but with some modification. Again, when they gave delivery to their disciples there was more modification."
It became lost due to the vitiating nature of the mundane plane. One point is the difference in the receiver and another, in the succession. So, gradually the truth was modified, and now we see that the religious world is a jungle. Some give stress on penance, some on charity, some this, some that. So many branches of religion have sprung up. And antagonistic, ascending opinions like atheism have also grown from the human mind to oppose those modified descending opinions. So, now we find there is a jungle. Kṛṣṇa appears now and then to re-establish the principles of religion. (yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati ). When religion becomes extremely degraded, Kṛṣṇa comes again, or sends His representative, telling him: "Go and set it right."
There must be religious differences, but one who can catch the real internal meaning of the truth will be saved. Others will be misguided, and it will be a long time before they are delivered. Once having a real connection with a bona fide guru, he won't be lost. In this way Kṛṣṇa answered Uddhava's question in the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and it is quite intelligible. It is neither unreasonable nor dogmatic. If we are sincere, we won't be lost. (SGAHG, p 95)
During the time of my Guru Mahārāja's (Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura's) preaching, one newspaper in Calcutta complained: "Gauḍīya Maṭh is spreading slave mentality to the country - this is most objectionable. This will destroy the military spirit of the land, so they can't be encouraged to spread slavery. They have no patriotism, what are they! That they are nothing, they do not belong to Him, the country does not belong to us, no interest, eh! What are they? Go, hence, and live in Vaikuṇṭha. We won't allow you to spread this poison into the country."
The atheists cannot tolerate the call to come hither and live in Vaikuṇṭha. They can't tolerate the spreading of this 'poison' within the country. And they hold that in Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa supported war. But that was not from their standpoint.
Yadā yadā hi dharmasya - The Lord says: "Sometimes the world is so thickly and powerfully attacked by the atheistic influence, that I have to come down again to re-establish some sort of religious environment here. The dreaded enemies are vanquished and killed and the good thinkers are given certain relief in their lives. For this I have to come." (SOTGOD, v 2, p 213-4) + (SVT, v 2, # 1, '93, p 4)
yad dhāmnah khalu dhāma caiva nigame brahmeti sanjṣāyāte
yasyāṁśāsya kalaiva duḥkha nikarair yogeśvarair mṛgyate
vaikuṇṭhe paramukta-bhṛṅga-caraṇo nārāyaṇo yaḥ svayam
tasyāṁśī bhagavān svayaṁ rasa-vapuḥ kṛṣṇo bhavān tat-pradāḥ
"The effulgent, nondifferentiated aspect of divinity known as Brahman is composed of infinite particles of individual consciousness, and has been considered by the Upaniṣads and by Vedic scholars to be the halo of the Absolute. The localised plenary portion of Godhead known as Paramātmā is sought after by the great yogīs practising extreme penances. Nārāyaṇa Himself, the predominating Lord of the Vaikuṇṭha planets, whose lotus feet are worshipped and served by His unexcelled beelike devotees, is only a partial representation of the original Personality of Godhead. The original or full-fledged aspect of divinity is Kṛṣṇa. O Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, you have not come to distribute Brahman or Paramātmā or even Nārāyaṇa-bhakti, but svayam-bhagavān Kṛṣṇa, the original conception of the Absolute, who is all-ecstasy. It is you, O Gurudeva, who can gently place me in His hands, and you have come to give Him to the public." (S-B-v-d, v 7, SKM, p 53) + (SGG )
"Just as the moon, he helps the stars to twinkle, and he's (the moon) supposed to also help the 'asadhi'. Many drugs, the moon's rays help to gain their potency it is told - so also you have come to enliven the scriptures with the proper meaning and to please the real saints that are in the world. Like a moon, you have come here in this world." Then the next, "You have done a great service to the worldly people by composing many devotional scriptures, books and so many other things. Ācārya Rāmānuja, the great scholar, and many others also did, but your greatness and nobility is not to be limited there. Then, what is more... yad dhāmnah khalu dhāma caiva nigame brahmeti.
That Brahman has been considered by the Vedic scholars to be the halo of the Absolute and even by the great yogīs. They are, with great trouble, searching after the Paramātmā - the All-Pervasive Spirit, All-Comprehensive, and All-Permeating. With great penance they are searching after that which is only a partial representation of Nārāyaṇa, Who is searched after by the great and are above this self-salvation. Personally, they are engaged in the serving of this Nārāyaṇa in a happy way.
But, Nārāyaṇa, whose original full-fledged aspect is Kṛṣṇa, you have come here to give that! Not this Paramātmā, nor Brahman, nor even Nārāyaṇa-bhakti, but Svayaṁ Bhagavān, who is the very full representation of the different types (expansions) that they are. That original conception of the Absolute, Svayaṁ Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa, who is All-Ecstasy, You have come to give that thing to the public. And, that is also in Vṛndāvana, the highest sphere, where He's receiving the different types of services including vātsalya, filial service, and, where Rādhārāṇī, with all of Her paraphernalia, is giving Him the highest form of affectionate service, you can give us the position of service in that plane!" (SS, v 3, # 1, '85, p 11)
yadi gaura nā hoita, tabe ki hoita, kemone dharitām de
rādhāra mahimā, prema-rasa-sīmā jagate jānāta ke
madhura vṛndā vipina mādhurī praveśa cāturī sāra
baraja yuvatī bhāvera bhakati śakati hoita kāra
Vāsudeva Datta has said: "If Mahāprabhu had not appeared then how could we sustain our lives? How could we live? What type of ecstatic rasa has He imbibed that we have been able to have a little taste? Without this our lives would be impossible. Who else could take us to the acme of realisation of the position of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. She holds the highest position. She is the greatest victim to the consuming capacity of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. She stands as the greatest sacrifice before Kṛṣṇa's infinite consuming power. Rasarāj-Mahābhav - the rasa is there, and She is the drawer of that rasa from the storehouse. She has such negative capacity that She can draw out the rasa to the highest degree both in quality and quantity." (C, v 1, # 7, Spr. '95, p 10) + (see also śloka 257)
"What great insurmountable, unsurpassable loss would we have faced in our life, if Śrī Gaurāṅga had not appeared before us on this earth? How could we bear our unfulfilled, empty life without Him? Who in this world would have described the super excellent transcendental glory of Śrī Rādhikā, Who is the last limit of divine love and devotion for the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa? Without His grace, who would be able to know the super excellent devotional path that gives entrance into the transcendental realm of the ambrosial ecstasy of Vṛndāvana? Who would be able to attain the mood and taste of the topmost devotional ecstasy of the young damsels of Vraja?" (SBRBM, p 32)
Kṛṣṇa is of vital importance to our existence. Only Kṛṣṇa can give us vitality. And as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa Himself distributes Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Vāsudeva Ghosa says, therefore: "Śrī Gaurāṅga is my life and soul, my only vitality. If Gaurāṅga had not come, how could I live? By His grace I have tasted such valuable food that without this, my life would be completely impossible." (LSFTLS, p 31) + (see also śloka 522)
Caitanya Mahāprabhu demonstrated to the scholars that His intelligence and scholarship excelled everyone else's. So when He came with the tidings of divine love, then it was easier for the ordinary men to accept it as the highest ideal and try for it.
So Vasudev Ghosh says: "If Mahāprabhu had not appeared in this Kali-yuga, then how could we tolerate living? How could we sustain our lives? What He has given - the very gist of life, the very taste, the charm of life - without that, we think it is impossible for anyone to live in this world. Such a thing has been invented, discovered by Gaurāṅga. If He had not come, then how could we live? It is impossible to live devoid of such a holy and gracious thing as divine love. Without Caitanya Mahāprabhu, how could we know that Rādhārāṇī stands supreme in the world of divine love? We have received all these things from Him, and now we think that life is worth living. Otherwise to live would be suicidal."
And serving those who can serve Rādhārāṇī is the way to approach Her vicinity. By serving the servants of the servants, we are assured of success in getting the grace of Kṛṣṇa. If somehow one can be counted in the group of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī's servitors, one's future is assured. Within the group of Rādhārāṇī's servitors, we aspire to be rūpānugas, followers of Śrī Rūpa. (LSFTLS, p 102)
In the pastimes of Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu, one of the principal gopīs of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, one of the aṣṭa-sakhīs of Vṛndāvana, came here as Vāsudeva Ghosh. In appreciation of Mahāprabhu's descent here, he says: "How could I keep up my life if Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu did not come down? If I did not come in touch with Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu, how could I live at all? That is so near to life, so near to vitality. It is the vitality of the vitality. If I had not come in touch with such a potent vitality, I should have been finished." In this way, our intimacy may accommodate Śrīman Mahāprabhu. Vāsudeva Ghosh said: "I could not live at all if such nectar had not been extended into me. It would have been completely impossible to go on with my life." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 109)
"If Gaurāṅga did not come, who else could come and inform us about the highest quarter of ecstatic pastimes?" Yadi gaura nā hoita, tabe ki hoita, kemone dharitām de. "Then how could we keep our existence, maintaining our very existence? So much prospect we have got! We did not know? We have dragged down our existence so far. Now, we find such a happy fulfilment is awaiting. Such is our fate, our fortune. Now, "Yes," our creation, our existence is real and desirable. Otherwise, it is all dry and undesirable."
Rādhāra mahimā, prema-rasa-sīmā jagate jānāta ke. Prema - we give two Paisa to another and we find much ecstasy in the heart - a Paisa or two and some food, some morsel are all on the relative circle - giving some morsel to the body - not the real representation of the living being. And what I am giving, that is not touching the real plane of life! We are all thinking, "doing this," we are big men, we are generous hearted, we are patron = puffed up with our pride. But we did not reach the real plane of life at all.
Prema-rasa-sīmā. Given that the self-satisfaction of self-distribution can reach so far, so high - by giving to others. But how to give? And what quality of giving is real gift? Proper gift? All these things we did not know at all, prema-rasa-sīmā, prema. We give, and what we get in reaction? That is prema, love. That is the ecstasy. By distributing ourselves, what will we get as a reaction? The quality of that may be so high that such a reaction may come - the prema-rasa-sīmā - rādhāra mahimā. And where is the acme of all self-giving? That is to be found in Rādhikā only, how the self-forgetfulness, the self-distribution to be found in the Absolute, how far it may grow? To what standard? This we find in Rādhārāṇī.
Rādhāra mahimā, prema-rasa-sīmā jagate jānāta ke. And, who will bring this secret of the transcendental to the mortal plane without Gaurāṅga? Has anyone done such? What is the real standard of a noble life? What is nobility? We are all suffering from mean consciousness. We do not know how to give ourselves. What standard of giving is a real gift? Self-distribution, self-forgetfulness - these are big words. What is their real meaning? How far may it go up? Only big words won't do, but the real meaning - how far it may reach? It may reach to Vṛndāvana. The acme is there. That Gaurāṅga! He brought it down. By His realisation. But of course, it is He Himself that He has come to distribute. He is incomparable with anyone! What to do? But anyhow, we have got this information of the highest type of noble life through Gaurāṅga. To give, to become unconscious of one's own self. To give a touch of that līlā, that high pastime, a finishing of the life of this world." (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 9-10)
yadi karibe kṛṣṇa-nāma sādhu-saṅga kara
bhukti-mukti-siddhi-vāṣchā dūre parihara
"If you are going to chant the Holy Name, keep the association of the pure devotee and totally abandon all your desires for enjoyment, liberation, yogic perfections or miracles." (P-v )
We are but tiny souls and many things may be miraculous to us. Yogīs and mystic persons can show many miracles and captivate us. It is easy to capture a tiny soul by miracles. There are so many powerful miracle-men in the world. Let God save us from their hands! We must not allow ourselves to be the prey of so many miracles; may that charm leave us, once and for all. Yadi karibe kṛṣṇa-nāma sādhu-saṅga kara.
May all these alternative prospects - exploitation, renunciation, miracles - retire forever. We want only the Lord of our heart, who can award the deepest satisfaction. All the atoms of our innermost constitution have their corresponding engagement with Him, and that too, is of the highest quality. This proposal is given by the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava school under the direction of Śrī Caitanyadeva and Śrī Nityanānda Prabhu.
In the Vṛndāvana proposal, the Infinite is in the nearest position with the finite: aprākṛta. Aprākṛta is where the Infinite has come nearest to the finite, as though one of them. When He is so close, so near, no one can easily recognise whether He is infinite or not. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 11-12) + (see also ślokas 221 & 480)
sukhinaḥ kṣatriyāḥ pārtha,
labhante yuddham īdṛśam
"O Pārtha, such a battle, present of its own accord like the open gates of heaven, can be gained only by the most fortunate warriors." (B-g, 2.32)
yadyapy anyā bhaktiḥ kalau karttavyā
"In this Kali-yuga, of the nine basic forms of devotional practices, the forms other than kīrtana certainly should be practised, but they must be conducted subserviently to kīrtana." (B-s, saṅkhya 273)
And this is the principle of Mahāprabhu's preaching. Kīrtana has its own special characteristic, particularly in Kali-yuga. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 22) (see also ślokas 236, 217, 138 & 258)
yāhe tāra sukha haya sei sukha mama
nija sukhe-duḥkhe mora-sarvadāi sama
"Which ever way He feels satisfied to treat me is my happiness." (TSOBT, p 142) + (SBRBM, p 30)
yajṣārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra,
loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
tad-artham karma kaunteya,
"Selfless duty performed as an offering to the Supreme Lord is called yajṣa, or sacrifice. O Arjuna, all action performed for any other purpose is the cause of bondage in this world of repeated birth and death. Therefore, remaining unattached to the fruits of action, perform all your duties in the spirit of such sacrifice. Such action is the means of entering the path of devotion, and with the awakening of true perception of the Lord, it will enable you to attain to pure, unalloyed devotion, free from all material qualities (nirguṇa-bhakti )." (B-g, 3.9)
"Unless work is done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu, one's own work will be the cause of bondage; therefore work on My behalf, and free yourself from the chain of action and reaction." Bhagavad-gītā (3.9) says that any work, no matter what it is, causes a reaction. For example, you may nurse a patient. Apparently, it is a good thing, but you are giving the patient medicine that comes from killing so many insects, trees, creepers, and animals. You may think that your nursing is a very pure duty, but you are causing a disturbance in the environment, and you will have to pay for that. In this way, whatever we do here cannot be perfectly good. (TSFSK, p 48-9)
We must firmly establish the conception of īśāvāsyam: everything, including ourselves, is meant for the Supreme Lord. We are all His servants, and we are meant to utilise everything in His service. Any work we perform will bind us in this environment of matter, unless we perform yajṣa, sacrifice (yajṣārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra, loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ ). (TSFSK, p 50) + (see also ślokas 581, 582 & 13)
What is the meaning of dedication or sacrifice? yajṣārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra, loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ. Work should be done only as a sacrifice. All other work is mere energising force. (GOD, p 11) + (see also ślokas 581, 582 & 13)
To live here we cannot but consume, and we cannot but create devastation in the environment by our eating. If we go to consume anything, even plants, grasses or seeds, then microscopic creatures are being killed. So the question is how to get rid of this reaction? It is said in Bhagavad-gītā (3.9), we shall get relief from that reaction only if we can successfully connect everything with the Supreme Satisfaction, with Him whose pleasure all existence is meant to fulfil. So, in the taking of food, really we are to be conscious that we are collecting the ingredients for His satisfaction, and then cooking and offering to Him for His satisfaction - that should be our real purpose. And then because our whole life and energy is for serving Him, we need energy and must take something out of that.
But the main point, the real substance of the transaction will be to collect, cook, and offer to Him according to His will expressed in the scriptures. That is the first step, and only after the foodstuffs have been offered to Him shall we take anything ourselves. This will help to make us always conscious of why we are taking. We are taking because we want only to serve Him. Furthermore, whatever has been accepted by the Lord, the "poison," the bad reaction, will have been absorbed and digested by Him just as in the case of Mahādeva who drank the poison generated from the Ocean of Milk.
Kṛṣṇa is Absolute and can digest anything. Not only that, but those things which have been consumed in His connection also receive promotion, so actually there is no hiṁsā, violence. What appears to be hiṁsā is not really so, because those whom are apparently violently treated actually receive a high promotion through connection with the Supreme. In addition whoever has been instrumental in fulfilling that connection will also receive some reward. So the devotee must think: "What shall I take? I won't take anything from the world, I shall take only from my Master, as His grace. It is His grace, His free grace to me - Prasāda."
The word Prasāda means 'kindness,' 'grace.' The devotee will feel: "Whatever service I do, I am not expecting anything to be paid to me in return. It is a free transaction. And whatever I receive is only His grace. So I shall take Prasāda, then I shall be free from all entanglement of action and reaction even though I am in the midst of it. Because it is a fact that with every action I must disturb the environment, then if all my actions are meant for Him, the Supreme Lord, there will be no bad reaction coming to me, but rather the opposite reaction will occur and help not only me but those that were offered also. Through me, through myself as a centre, such waves will emanate that will help others to progress in their path of purification." (SOTGOD, v 3, p 11-12) + (see also śloka 518)
bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā,
ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt
"Saintly persons who partake of the remnants of sacrifice become liberated from all the sins arising from the five kinds of violence to living beings. But those who cook for their own consumption, those sinners eat only sin." (B-g, 3.13)
We are entitled only to taste the remnants left by the Vaiṣṇavas. We are to accept those remnants and continue our lives in that way. (SOTGOD, v 3, p 76) + (see also śloka 528)
yajṣo vai kṛṣṇa
The Lord or Guardian says that: "It must be devoted towards Me, to My satisfaction, otherwise it is not yajṣa." Sacrifice means that it must be for the Absolute centre, and not for any provincial interest, sectarian purpose or anything else. It must go to the Absolute and then it will be real yajṣa. (GOD, p 11)
yajṣo vai viṣṇu
"Sacrifice is meant exclusively for Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa." (TSFSK, p 50)
tathāddhātmā na śāmyati
"The agitated mind, repeatedly taken captive by its enemy in the form of depravity rooted in lust and greed, is directly mastered by serving the Supreme Lord, Mukunda. It can never be likewise checked or pacified by practising the eight-fold yogic discipline, which is generally based on sensual and mental repression (yama, niyama, etc)." (S-B, 1.6.35) + (SSPJ, p 66)
Here, Śrī Nārada Muni is saying: "You yogīs think that by the process of controlling the breath you are getting peace of mind and also control over the senses. But it is only for the time being. Even if it continues for lives together, it is an artificial thing. It cannot have any permanent contribution. You think that control of lust and anger is everything, and that you will find a sort of peace within yourself that you are master of lust, anger, and greed, etc. (kāma, krodha, lobha, etc.). But you cannot retain that position. That is a lower position, a lower peace, it cannot be maintained permanently. You will have to fall down. It is temporary (hato muhuḥ - controlled repeatedly). But mukunda-sevayā yadvat …śāmyati: the peace you attain from yoga practice cannot reach to the degree of peace you will find in yourself by serving Mukunda. This yoga is the artificial means of checking the kāma, krodha, etc., that disturb the mind and bring quick reactions. By the practice of controlling the breath, the prāṇa-vāyu, one can become a 'master' of the senses, but it is temporary." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 92) + (see also śloka 267)
The practices of sitting postures (āsanas), breath control (prāṇāyāma), etc, may help us to a slight degree, but only superficially. The deep seed can be eliminated only by taking Mukunda on the throne of our heart. (Mukunda-sevayā yadvat ) If one goes on with the artificial means of prāṇāyāma and so on, lust and anger may seem to be a little reduced in power for the time being, but this is not a permanent cure. When the practices are slackened, they arise again. The relief from lust, anger and greed is only temporary. The meditators and renouncers (yogīs, jṣānīs) think these practices will quench their inner thirst, and they go on with constant deep meditation (nidhidhyāsanam) while keeping guard outwardly with some external practices. But the devotees do not have any faith in this method. They consider the whole thing artificial. They only want to invite Vāsudeva in all phases of their lives, and in this way they permanently do away with those enemies. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 2)
It may be possible for us to control our senses to a certain extent and for some time by the practice of yoga, but yoga cannot give the Absolute. That He is Absolute means He is above all. Absolute means that He is self sufficient; He is not dependent on any other thing. Yoga can only help us to control our mental and physical anomalies or eccentricities, that too only for the time being, not for eternity. For the time being, lust, anger, greed, illusion, etc. (kāma, krodha, lobha, moha, etc.) all may be brought under control but only for some temporary period. Mukunda-sevayā - but if we can engage ourselves in the service of Mukunda, then all disturbances will leave us once and for all. By finding the sweet taste in His service and company, all these so-called charming proposals will retire eternally. The charm for lust, the charm for anger or for greed, all these things will vanish altogether and won't come back again if only we can get the taste of serving the Lord, Mukunda. (SOTGOD, v 3, p 50) + (see ślokas 305 & 434)
yam evaiṣa vṛnute tena labhyaḥ
Whoever He chooses to make Himself known to can know Him. Otherwise, no one can know Him against His will. He has reserved all the right of not being exposed to the senses of anyone and everyone. He is so high, He can do that. If He does not wish to make Himself known, no one can know Him - whenever He wishes to make Himself known to someone, they can know Him. This is His position. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 87) + (see also śloka 335)
Whomever Kṛṣṇa will accept can understand Him - others cannot. (yam evaiṣa vṛnute tena labhyaḥ ) When Kṛṣṇa delegates power sufficiently to a Vaiṣṇava, and wants to deliver many fallen souls through him, it takes place by His will. (SGAHG, p 131) + (see also śloka 4)
yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ,
tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī
yasyāṁ jāgrati bhūtāni,
sā niśā paśyato muneḥ
"While spiritual awareness is like night for the living beings enchanted by materialism, the self-realised soul remains awake, directly relishing the divine ecstasy of his un-interrupted spiritual intelligence. On the contrary, the wakefulness of materialistic persons addicted to sense enjoyment is night for the self-realised person who is completely indifferent to such pursuits. The realised souls, indifferent to the mundane, are ever joyful in the divine ecstatic plane, while the general mass is infatuated by fleeting mundane fancies devoid of spiritual joy." (B-g, 2.69)
Śrīman Mahāprabhu portrayed in His character how much He intensely searched for Kṛṣṇa and how deeply and intensely He became absorbed in Kṛṣṇa-līlā. He ignored so many other facts competing in the outside world. Forgetting everything, despising everything which is so important to us on this mundane plane, i.e., so many functions, so many duty considerations - all of this, He neglected. How deeply and intensely He engaged Himself in Kṛṣṇa-līlā. Diving deep into it, it was to capture His whole heart so intensely that externally, He was found to be helpless; jumping into the ocean, crossing the wall, coming to the Jagannātha Temple unknowingly - what sort of deep attraction did He have for that Reality in Jagannātha?
We see the Vigraha, the wooden form of Jagannātha. But how could Caitanya Mahāprabhu see? Tears! Running down incessantly filling up so many pits, one after another! - pits are being filled by the tears. What does He see? What is the depth of His vision? Is He seeing the wooden form of Jagannātha that we see? What is He to see? How is He to feel? What intensity is in Him? Yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ. Our existence is all night to Him; our day world is really like all night to Him! And what is night to us? It was clearly day to Him. He was fully awake there. So He showed by His example. What gratefulness we have for this apparently interesting world; how wonderful we think of our imagination, superstition, etc. But diving deeply there, He showed by His own characteristic and nature, His own example and practices, just how sweet, how captivating is the life of a devotee in the internal world of reality. (SS, v 2, # 1, '84, p 6) + (see also śloka 93)
"What is night to a particular person, that is day to another section; what is day to the phenomenal engagement, that is night to the transcendental mentality." (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 2)
Some persons are awake in the world of experience. Their day is the world of experience and their night is the soul's world, God's world. And another class of men are wakeful in the soul's world and are sleeping in this world of experience. This world is darkness to them, and they are quite awake in the world of faith. They find that the world of faith is a permanent world.
The soul, however tiny, has a substantial position in eternity; it is an eternal factor in the world of faith. There, we shall find: "Whatever I see is eternal. Nothing will be effaced at any time. I am a member of the world of reality, and through faith I can reach such a subtle plane that never dies or changes. There is such a subtle, higher plane, and my soul is a member of that plane. The soul is wakeful there and is asleep in this world of experience, having no connection with it. And the man of the world of experience with flesh and blood, he is wakeful here, whereas that real world - the soul world - is like dark night to him."
In our present condition it may seem almost non-existent, but such a plane is the substantial eternal reality. Its existence supersedes all. All may vanish, but faith stands forever. Faith is the particular potency of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 20-1) + (see also śloka 485)
We are wakeful in this material world, but there are others who are completely awake in that plane of faith, while this world of matter, this tangible world of enjoyment and exploitation, is underground to them; it is far, far away from their conception. They are deeply engaged in the world of service, through śraddhā, faith (yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ, tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī ).
To them, even to see Kṛṣṇa is a type of enjoyment. They think: "No, we won't disturb His sweet will; whenever He likes to, He may call for us, and then we shall have a chance to see Him - otherwise not." If for my personal satisfaction I desire to see Kṛṣṇa: "O Kṛṣṇa, come and stand before me so that I can see You and satisfy my eyes or inner hankering," this is a kind of imposition by our exploiting nature. A devotee does not want this. Actual devotees do not allow these thoughts to enter their minds, but they maintain the mood: "Whenever He wishes to, He will call for me, and then I shall have a chance to see Him." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 22) + (see also śloka 31)
In the Navadwīpa-bhāva-taraṅga by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, he seems to be having actual visions of the Pastimes of the Lord on the various islands of Navadwīpa; yet he writes in such a way that he also seems to be aspiring for those visions. But of course he was actually having those visions. His vision is inspired. The Dhāma allows us to see it, according to the degree of our devotion. A doctor sees a patient according to his capacity. Higher intelligence can see deeper. Such is the case always. A higher politician can see a higher strategy, and so on. Yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ, tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī. "The detached, self-realised soul remains awake in the night of all beings, and the world of exploitation that all beings awaken in is similarly his night." A detector can see the depth afforded by its capacity. The X-ray can detect to a certain depth, the microscope has another dimension of utility. There is revelation according to one's capacity. Deserve - and have. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 99) + (see also śloka 281)
A higher conception of the finer world is here. It is real, and where you are trying your utmost to make a stand, the place that you consider real is unreal. Yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ. "You are asleep to your real self-interest and the real truth, while you are awake in the plane of self-deception." We must establish ourselves in the plane of reality, and try our best to extend it to others. And to preach means this: "I sincerely have faith in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and relish it to the utmost. I find that my future prospect is here also. Because I feel that it is very tasteful, useful, and wholesome, I have come to distribute it to you, my friends. Take it, and you will be successful in fulfilling the goal of your life." (TSFSK, p 7-8)
yat prahvaṇād yat smaraṇād api kvacit
śvādo 'pi sadyaḥ savanāya kalpate,
kutaḥ punas te bhagavan nu darśanāt
Devahūti says: "O Lord, if he just hears Your Name, then chants it, offer You obeisances and remembers You, even a person born as a dog-eating outcaste instantly becomes eligible to perform the Soma sacrifice; to say nothing of the purification of those who see You directly." (S-B, 3.33.6)
Those dog-eaters and lowest class of people can be immediately purified by taking the Name of the Lord. When the prārabdha has gone, the person becomes like Indra, but not Indra proper, a little less. Savanāya kalpate means Indra-kalpa. Now, please note very attentively Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī's remark in his commentary.
Savanāya kalpate means 'he becomes purified to such a standard that he can perform the sacrifice which is reserved only for the brāhmaṇas. 'Kalpate means 'a little difference.' So here, Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī has given his own commentation. What is the little difference? When that person's prārabdha has gone, he attains the position of a boy of a brāhmaṇa.
But the boy is not allowed to perform the brāhmaṇa yajṣa until and unless he is given the sacred thread. A saṁskāra (purificatory ceremony) is necessary. Janmanā jāyate śūdraḥ - by birth everyone is impure, but by saṁskāra they are purified. But who will be fit for the saṁskāra? Only the brāhmaṇa boy. Now, he reaches the stage of the brāhmaṇa boy, and not the brāhmaṇa.
He may have come from any caste, but after taking Hari-Nāma he should be considered to have reached the stage of a brāhmaṇa boy; and again when that gāyatrī saṁskāra or brāhmaṇa saṁskāra is given, he gets the recognition of a bona fide brāhmaṇa and he can perform the yajṣa and Śālagrāmārccana (worship of the Deity Śālagrāma-śilā), etc. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 157-9) + (see also ślokas 44, 90 & 103)
yānra pativratā dharma vāṣce arundhatī
We find in the scripture that Arundhatī is the famous example for her outstanding chastity. The quality of chastity found in the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu even excels that of Arundhatī in all respects. Yānra pativratā dharma vāṣce arundhatī: "She who is famous for her ideal chastity also deeply aspires after the transcendental beauty and quality of the chastity of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī." (ARO, p 16)
yanra saubhagya-guna vanche satyabhama yanra
thani kala-vilasa sikhe vraja-rama
yanra saundaryadi-guna vanche laksmi-parvati
yanra pativrata-dharma vanche arundhati
"Even Satyabhāmā, one of the queens of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, desires the fortunate position and excellent qualities of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. All the gopīs learn the art of dressing from Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and even the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmi, and the wife of Lord Śiva, Pārvatī, desire Her beauty and qualities. Indeed, Arundhatī, the celebrated chaste wife of Vasiṣṭha, also wants to imitate the chastity and religious principles of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 8. 183-4) 588
ya'o paḍa bhāgavata vaiṣṇavera sthane
But the human form of life alone is not sufficient. Sat-saṅga, sādhu-saṅga, is necessary, sad-guru caraṇāśraya. Anyone who has received the grace of a sādhu can have that nectar, whereas, even a brāhmaṇa may not be qualified to enter into the Bhāgavatam. Śrīman Mahāprabhu said: "Go to a Vaiṣṇava, from him you will get the real stand-point of Bhāgavatam and how to approach it." (SOTGOD, v 3, p 18) + (see also śloka 358)
yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa
āmāra ājṣāya guru haṣā tāra ei deśa
kabhu nā vādhibe tomāra viṣaya-taraṅga
punarapi ei ṭhāṣi pābe mora saṅga
"Instruct whoever you meet in the science of Kṛṣṇa. Teach them the instructions of Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā, and the teachings about Kṛṣṇa in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way, on My order, become a guru and liberate everyone in the land. If you follow this instruction, the waves of materialism within this world will not affect you. Indeed, if you follow My order, you will soon attain My association." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 7.128-9)
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wants His followers to be agents to preach Kṛṣṇa's devotion to the public (yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa ) - speak about the special prospect of the land of Kṛṣṇa, Vṛndāvana. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 127) + (see also śloka 455)
By imbibing and exporting we can make good progress and the Absolute Capitalist will supply as much as the customers can receive from Him. This is Mahāprabhu's advice. yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa. "Deliver these goods to anyone and everyone and new light will come to you which in turn you are to distribute to others. In this way you will have a dynamic and progressive life and there will be no shortage of higher backing." (SOTGOD, v 3, p 9) + (see also śloka 257)
Mahāprabhu has issued a general order: "Whomever you meet, talk with him only about Krsna." Yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa. "Whomever you find, talk with him only about Krsna. In that case, I am your guru." Mahāprabhu has given this most broad and wide advice. The underlying feeling is, "Do relief work. All are in danger, acute danger. So don't consider so many minor things but go on with relief work and connect all fully with Kṛṣṇa. The jaw of death is devouring them - save them! Now they are in the human species, but after death they may be lost in some other species. So, while their heads are on the surface, try to hold them, otherwise they may dive deep into the inner current and you won't be able to see them. From the human species they may go down to another species and be lost waiting there. There are so many different layers, but when they are floating, their heads are seen above the water, catch them, save them, otherwise at the next moment they may go down under the water and they will be lost without trace. So wherever you find them, somehow connect them with Krsna. Try to give them that connection. It is so urgent: "Take the Name of Krsna! - always! You can have no plea of, 'I am taking food,' or, 'I am going to sleep.'"
Our Guru Mahārāja wanted the continuous attempt. He said: "While taking food, or going to bed, doing anything or going anywhere, keep connection with Krsna. Only try to keep His connection." Our connection with Krsna is so urgent. What a valuable life that is, and where are we? - in the jaws of mortality! So, everyone needs to be saved. Save them. Do relief work. In this general activity no specific order is necessary. It is a general thing; it is common sense in the devotional school and by this process you will be helped yourself. You will be able to keep yourself from sinking just as by the movement of one's hands and feet one can keep himself floating on water - it is something like that. Kīrtana will help you in that way. So try to practice Krsna consciousness, at any and every time, to anyone and everyone. (SOTGOD, v 3, p 68) + (see also śloka 558)
The descriptions about Kṛṣṇa are like divine nectar. So, go on with this transaction, always giving Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and if you give Kṛṣṇa consciousness you will have an ample supply of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That will descend from the higher position. If you are sincere to distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you will have no want in your own capital. New capital will be supplied to you as much as you can give to others. It will have connection with the infinite source. So go on. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says: yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa - "Whomever you find, talk with him only about Kṛṣṇa." We have no other engagement. Whomever you find, any soul you come across, try to save him from this desert of mortality. I command you. Don't be afraid; take the position of guru, the giver, and give it to everyone.
(SGAHG, p 56-7) + (see also śloka 209)
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura used to say that there is a famine of kṛṣṇa-kathā. There is a famine at present. But is the world suffering from lack of food? No. The world suffering from the famine of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Kṛṣṇa talk, kṛṣṇa-kīrtana. So we must try to open offices of food distribution so that we may distribute the food of Kṛṣṇa consciousness to all souls. Mahāprabhu said: "Whoever you come across, talk of Kṛṣṇa (yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa )." Give them the food of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, kṛṣṇa-kathā. The world is filled with famine-stricken people. We must distribute food, give the life and breath of Kṛṣṇa consciousness to whomever we meet by speaking about Kṛṣṇa.
That was the feeling of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī, and Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Mahārāja carried that out in the West. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta used to say: "I do not admit any other conception of famine. The only famine is that of kṛṣṇa-kathā, kṛṣṇa-smṛti, Kṛṣṇa consciousness." With such seriousness he conceived of our necessity for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is of vital importance to our existence. Only Kṛṣṇa can give us vitality. And as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa Himself distributes Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (LSFTLS, p 31) + (see also śloka 574)
A patient can also become a doctor when he's fully cured, has studied about medicine, and has undergone the necessary education of a doctor, he may become a doctor. It is necessary to be qualified and also appointed. You see, first of all it is necessary to be qualified, then by the appointment of the high administration you can become a doctor in the hospital. You may engage in private practice if you are qualified, but to become a doctor in a hospital you must have some sanction from above. In this way a sādhu can give assistance in several ways, but the Ācārya, holding a big position, should have sanction from above. And that is prāpana-daśā. And who will decide whether the patient is qualified to be a doctor? External sanction is not necessary by letter, but he is to be already awake and fixed in the internal world. Inspiration will come from the internal world: "The people are suffering, and you have the medicine. You should distribute the medicine to the patients." This may be seen in a dream, but while awake also, internal inspiration will come to you, and, because you know the medicine and you know the symptoms of the disease, irresistibly you will advance to help the patients. You have the medicine and you cannot but engage yourself in treating them. You will see this more clearly than daylight, more really than this world of experience.
People are suffering but you have the medicine. You used that medicine and you were cured. Now you find another to be suffering from the same disease. You have the cure in your hand, so why should you not apply it? What explanation do you have not to do so? It will not be for making money that you will give the medicine, nor for fame, but it will be due to the internal urge to help them. And you will find that the noble predecessors have also asked you to do so: yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed: "Whomever you meet, try to rescue them by talking about Kṛṣṇa." If there is a ditch and you see a man about to blindly fall into it, will you not try to save him ? It is a natural feeling. When it is plain, so very plain that it will happen, but you don't help him, then you will be responsible. This common sense may be applied. But we must be sincere. The danger is that we must not be motivated by money, fame, or any worldly gain. kanak, kāmanī, and pratiṣṭhā are the three main disturbing elements that misguide us and draw us from this side to that. But when we are free from them, the street we walk shall be broad and clear. God is good, and you will like to see everyone becoming good by getting God. God is good and God is great. When that superior type of thinking will be clear to you, all your activities will be controlled only by that one principle of life. And with that you will go on helping others with the firm faith that this must be given to all: "This is very tasteful. Please come to a safe position away from the danger-zone, and you will become happy." The tasteful medicine will make people happy, and if that is actually in your possession you cannot but feel the urge within to help others. (SGD, SGPI, '91, p 19-20) + (see also ślokas 209, 227 & 337)
yasmin vijṣāte sarvam evam vijṣātam bhavati
yasmin prāpte sarvam idam prāptam bhavati
"By knowing Him, everything is known - by getting Him, everything is gained." We have come to enquire about Brahman, the biggest, the all-accommodating principle by knowing which we can know anything and everything. And it is possible; it is not impossible. The Upaniṣads say: "If you want to know anything, then know the whole. And what is the nature of the whole? Everything is coming from Him, everything is being maintained by Him, and again everything enters into Him. That is Brahman; so try to know that. If you can know that, everything will be known to you." This is also explained in the Bhāgavatam (4.31.14). (TSFSK, p 45) + (see also ślokas 600 & 603)
The general tenor of life, of all existence, in the most scientific way, will be this: Search for Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Reality the Beautiful. That is the highest goal not only of humanity, but for all creation. And all problems are harmonised and solved by that.
No complaints against this can be normal. Deviation from this general instruction, the general call, is all false, unnecessary, and injurious. This is the truth, the necessity of everyone, wherever there is life. The most grand, extensive, and friendly call to all, to the whole world - the only friendly call - is this:
"March towards Kṛṣṇa!" It is the only call. All others should be silenced. All other topics should be silenced, should be stopped, and only if this call remains, the real welfare of the world remains. So the Upaniṣads say: Yasmin vijṣāte sarvam evam vijṣātam bhavati: "Enquire into that upon knowing which, nothing further remains to be known. Try to achieve that upon gaining which, nothing further remains to be gained."
A comprehensive call is going out, and this is really nonsectarianism. Apparently it is thought to be sectarian by the abnormal thinkers. But to every normal thinking person, it is the most general universal thing that can be dealt with. At present we are quarrelling in a foreign land for fictitious gain. But a sweet wave is coming from above to save us and take us all home. Only by the grace of the Lord's loving search for His lost servants is it at all possible. And all that is expected from us is to join the search for Śrī Kṛṣṇa and march towards the divine domain. Let us join the universal march towards the divine domain, save ourselves, and go back home, back to Godhead. (LSFTLS, p 64-5)
In the Vedic literature we find it said: "Try to find the one by knowing whom everything is known." There is a central point by knowing which, everything is known, by attaining which everything is attained. The long and short of the entire Vedic advice is to try to find out that Centre. Therefore try to find out that Centre. In the beginning, some may think this to be a ludicrous claim: "By knowing one, everything is known, by getting one, everything is got - what is this? Only a madman can say such a thing!"
So an analogy is given in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, (4.31.14): when you pour water onto the root of a tree, the whole tree is fed, and if you put food into the stomach, the whole body is fed, similarly, if you do service to the Centre, everything is served. (śloka 600)
It is possible, and to do that, means to enter the plane of dedication. Avoiding the plane of exploitation, and also that of renunciation, try to enter the plane of dedication. Your ātmā, your soul proper, is a member of that plane. That is the real world, whereas this is the perverted reflection. (HC, p 2-3)
Yasmin vijṣāte sarvam evam vijṣātam bhavati: "You are searching for this and that - this is all futile. Only try to know Me, and everything is known. Your searching life will be finished. There will no longer be any necessity for searching if you can know Me." (SCS, p 35) + (see also ślokas 93 & 548)
yasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭam priṇite priṇito jagat
By satisfying Kṛṣṇa, the whole universe becomes satisfied, for one who is dear to Kṛṣṇa is dear to the whole universe. Just as by watering the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are automatically nourished, by fulfilling one's duty towards Lord Kṛṣṇa, all one's duties are automatically fulfilled. (TSFSK, p 49)
yasya deve parā bhaktir,
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ,
"The key to success in spiritual life is unflinching devotion to both the spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa. To those great souls who have full faith in both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, the inner meaning of the scriptures is fully revealed." (SU, 6.23)
The guru is Kṛṣṇa's representative. We are in search of divinity, and so, we must try to concentrate all our energy wherever we find a real connection with divinity. That is the key to success, because Kṛṣṇa is all-conscious. So, the response to our devotional efforts will come from Kṛṣṇa according to our attentiveness to Him. He is everywhere. In the conception of infinite, everywhere there is centre, nowhere is there circumference. In every point there may be centre. Prahlāda Mahārāja saw the centre present everywhere. Hiraṇyakaśipu asked him: "Is your God in this pillar?" Prahlāda replied: "Yes. He is there." And when Hiraṇyakaśipu demolished the pillar, Lord Nṛsṁhadeva came out. (SGAHG, p 14)
yasyā kadāpi vasanāṣcala khelanottha
dhanyāti dhanya pavanena kṛtārtha mānī
yogīndra durgama gatiḥ madhusūdano'pi
tasyā namo'stu vṛṣabhānu bhuvo diśe'pi
Prabodhānanda Saraswatī says: "From a reverential distance with full adoration I offer my obeisances unto the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu, Śrī Rādhikā. Once a gentle gust of wind wafted the sweet scent of Her clothing towards Kṛṣṇa, the supreme beautiful God, making Him feel so blessedly fulfilled that He immediately embraced that fragrance to His heart." (ARO, p 13)
"From a reverential distance, with all adoration, I offer my obeisances, unto the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu, Śrī Rādhikā, who captivated the heart of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, Who is rarely attained even by the foremost of yogīs. Once a gentle gust of wind wafted the sweet scent of Her clothing towards Kṛṣṇa and He felt so blessedly fulfilled that He embraced that fragrance to His heart." (RRSNM, 2) + (SBRBM, p 38)
Here it has been told that once the flow of the wind had touched some part of the cloth or dress of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī; that wind touched Kṛṣṇa's body, and Kṛṣṇa was besides Himself with cheer, with gladness, with pleasure. "Oh I felt a touch of the wind that blew past the dress of Rādhārāṇī - I am so fortunate!"
And who is that Kṛṣṇa? All the religious experts, scholars, yogīs, etc, they are all hunting after Kṛṣṇa's grace - and that Kṛṣṇa, He thinks Himself fortunate if He gets a little touch of the breeze that blew past the dress of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. So pure is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Her surrender, Her service, is so pure, that even a touch of that wind makes Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavān, the Supreme Lord Himself, think that He has gained the highest fortune. He feels: "I am so fulfilled in My life." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 194) + (see also śloka 119)
yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo,
yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi
dhyāyan stuvaṁs tasya yaśas tri sandhyaṁ,
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam
"By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Kṛṣṇa. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master." (SOTVA, G - 8, p 18)
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says in his Śrī Gurvaṣṭakam: "I bow down to the lotus feet of śrī gurudeva. By his grace, we achieve the grace of Kṛṣṇa; without his grace, we are lost. Therefore, we should always meditate on śrī gurudeva, and pray for his mercy."
This is the position of śrī guru, by whose grace we can get everything, we can get the grace of Kṛṣṇa, and without whose grace, we have no other prospect. So, in this way, we must have reverence for he who has given us our first connection with Kṛṣṇa consciousness (vartma-pradarśaka-guru ).
But at the same time we offer reverence to gurudeva, we must not conceive that the guru is a doll, a lifeless figure. Because we are familiar with a particular figure and accept that as our guru we should not become misled. The important thing is what he says, his instructions, or vāṇī, which exist eternally. That is attracting our inner hearts, not the vapu, the physical presence of the spiritual master.
I am not this body. I am the enquirer. That thing which is satisfying me, drawing the enquirer to the enquired - I must try to locate that thing in him. I must not rely on material calculation. I am not this body. Who am I, the disciple? Am I only this body, this figure, this colour, this caste? Or am I this temperament, this scholarship and intellectualism? No. I am he who has come to seek. Who is the party within me, and who is the party in guru? We must be fully awake to that. What is the inner thing? I have come for that. We must be awake to our own interest.
There is the relative principle and the absolute principle. We shall have to eliminate the form, ignore the form; we shall always have to keep the spirit. Otherwise, we shall become form worshippers, idol worshippers. (SGAHG, p 34) + (see also śloka 106)
yataḥ pravṛttir bhūtānāṁ,
yena sarvvam idaṁ tatam
svakarmmaṇā tam abhyarccya,
siddhiṁ vindati mānavaḥ
"A man achieves perfection by the performance of the appropriate duties prescribed for him according to his qualification. By the execution of his duties, he worships the Supreme Lord from whom the generation and impetus of all beings arises, and who permeates and pervades this entire universe (exercising His Supreme qualification of Lordship over one and all.") (B-g, 18.46) (SOTGOD, v 2, p 90) + (see also ślokas 150 & 489)
yata vaiṣṇavagana sei sthāna vṛndāvana
Advaita Prabhu tells Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: "Wherever You are, there is Vṛndāvana." Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says wherever we find a true devotee of Kṛṣṇa - there is Vṛndāvana. (yata vaiṣṇavagana sei sthāna vṛndāvana ). Outwardly we may think that they are members of this ordinary world, but the object of all their conversation and behaviour is Vṛndāvana. Still, although they are in Vṛndāvana, they do not feel themselves to be there. (PBC ) + (TGVODL, p 81)
yathā mahānti bhūtāni,
tathā teṣu na teṣv aham
"O Brahmā, please know that the universal elements enter into the cosmos and at the same time do not enter into the cosmos; similarly, I also exist within everything and at the same time I am outside everything." (S-B, 2.9.35)
If the earth vanishes, that does not mean that the whole solar system will vanish. The solar system may remain, but the men on the earth cannot see it any longer. Its influence on earth can no longer be felt. In a similar way, Gokula exists in another plane. It exists in the finest plane of reality. It is beyond the creation, beyond evolution and dissolution. Such subtle energy can be understood by analogy with ether. If the earth is destroyed, ether may not be destroyed. Ether is within and outside earth, but with the dissolution of earth, ether may not dissolve, but continue to exist. The position of Gokula is something like that. (SEOC, p 32) + (SGD, SGPI, '91, p 12)
(The ontological base of the whole Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is contained within these four ślokas. (S-B, 2.9.33-36) + (see also ślokas 12, 149 & 408)
yathā nabhasi meghaugho,
reṇur vā pārthivo 'nile
evaṁ draṣṭari dṛsyatvam, āropitam abuddhibhiḥ
"The unintelligent equate the sky with the clouds, the air with the dust particles floating in it, and think that the sky is cloudy or that the air is dirty." (S-B, 1.3.31)
Unintelligent people take the subject as an object. It is ignorance to confuse the eye with the seer or the brain with the knower. Consciousness is not a product of the world; the world is a product of consciousness. The world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. In the material world, the world of exploitation, as Darwin says, it is a question of survival of the fittest. We must exploit to survive (jīvo jīvasya jīvanam). But in the spiritual world, the land of dedication, everyone is a serving unit. There we will find a happy life through dedication. In that supersubjective realm, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is eternally engaged in His divine play with His most intimate servitors. And as our consciousness evolves through dedication, we will find our highest prospect there, where we have a part to play in the pastimes of the Sweet Absolute. (SEOC, p ll) + (see also śloka 508)
yathā prakāśayaty ekaḥ,
kṛtsnaṁ lokam imaṁ raviḥ
kṣetraṁ kṣetrī tathā kṛtsnaṁ
"O Bhārata, as one sun illuminates the entire universe, so does the knower of the sphere of action, the Supersoul, illuminate the whole universe (and the souls within it); and so does the knower of the sphere of action, the soul, illuminate the entire body." (B-g, 13.34)
What really gives us perception and allows us to see gross things? It is not actually the sun that helps us see; we see with the help of the soul. This is found in Bhagavad-gītā (yathā prakāśayaty ekaḥ, kṛtsnaṁ lokam imaṁ raviḥ). The soul reveals this world to us just as the sun does. The sun can show colour to our eyes, the ear can reveal the sound world, and the hand can reveal the touch world. But really in the centre is the soul. Śrī Govinda sings; ekaḥ kṛtsnaṁ lokam imaṁ raviḥ; soul "observer." It is the soul who gives light to this world, who gives us an understanding of the environment, the world of perception. All perception is possible only because of the soul. (SEOC, p 159) + (see also ślokas 50, 100 & 350)
yathā taror mula niṣecanena,
tṛpyanti tat-skandha bhujopaśākhāḥ
prānopahārāc ca yathendriyānāṁ,
tathaiva sarvārhaṇam acyutejyā
"Just as if you pour water onto the root of a tree, the whole tree is fed, and just as when you supply food to the stomach, the whole body is fed, so if you can gain knowledge of the prime cause, rahman, then you can know anything and everything." (S-B, 4.31.14)
Faith in this is called śraddha. (TSFSK, p 45) + (see also ślokas 66, 590 & 603)
"By watering the root of a tree, all the leaves and branches are automatically nourished. Similarly, by supplying food to the stomach, all the limbs of the body are nourished. In the same way, if we satisfy the central conception of the Supreme Absolute, all our obligations are automatically fulfilled."
Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Goswāmī Mahārāja recalls: "When I first came to the Gauḍīya Maṭh, I mixed very carefully with the devotees. I thought: 'The transcendental truths that I hear from these devotees don't come within the clutches of worldly intelligence, but still, when I want to throw myself into that association, I shall use my reason and intellect as far as possible, understanding that I am going to jump into something which will be beyond my calculation.
From their talks in general, I found that they do not care for the opinion of anyone else; with abhorrence they summarily reject all the stalwarts of the then society, they don't care for anyone. But when anything is quoted from the Scripture, they are all-in-all, they give a patient hearing, they soberly consider and evaluate. This was their nature, they care only for Scriptural truth. They say that what they teach is the only truth and that all else is false, they say: 'Everyone is suffering from ignorance. And what we say is the right thing.'
I thought: 'What is this! A sane person cannot easily swallow such a bitter pill.' I also could not digest it so easily at first, but I had an attraction, a taste for them and I could identify with them. But what they were saying was confirmed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, and the Upaniṣads. All these authorities say: 'Yes, it is so. If you know Him, everything is known. If you get Him, everything is gotten."
Yathā taror mula niṣecanena: If we put food in the stomach, the whole body is fed. If we pour water on the root of the tree, the whole tree is fed. In the same way, if we do our duty towards the centre, then everything is done. This is the greatness, the mysterious position of the Absolute Centre: He has control over the complete whole. This is the peculiar position of the centre in the system of the organic whole.
If a particular position of the brain is captured, then the whole body is controlled: one needle in that particular section of the brain, and all the functions of the body are paralysed. The peculiar position of the absolute centre is something like that. So the impossible becomes possible.
Suppose I am a poor girl who has nothing. Ordinarily it would not be possible to acquire anything. But if I marry a rich man who is the owner of a big property, I can have command over many things by my relationship with him. Although we may be poor, our relationship with a powerful master makes us the master of many things. In the same way, the Absolute Centre controls everything, and our affectionate relationship with Him may endow us with the command of many things. This is how it is possible for the finite soul to have possession of everything - through the subtle link of affection. (see śloka 437)
Without having a real connection with the absolute centre, your attempts to know everything will be useless. If you try to know even a particle of sand, lifetimes will come and go, millions of lives will pass, and you will continue to analyse the sand, finding no end to understanding even one particle.
We are told: "If you want to enquire - enquire about the centre. That is the call of the Upaniṣads: "Don't waste your time trying to analyse the smallest part of this creation, trying to be its master; it is not possible. Your enquiry should be properly guided."
Kṛṣṇa says: "I am the centre, and I say, 'Come to know Me, and through Me you will be able to know everything because I know everything and I control everything. Your connection with Me can give you that capacity. Approach everything through Me. Then you will be able to know the proper position of all things. Otherwise you will become acquainted with only a partial aspect of reality, and that will be external and incomplete. And you will pass millions of lives trying to know and understand reality to no end.'" (LSFTLS, p 67-8) + (see also śloka 65)
The Vaiṣṇava section - those who serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead - are of the opinion that there is another world, the world of dedication. That dedication is just the opposite of exploitation. In the mundane plane every unit wants to exploit the environment, but in the plane of dedication, every unit wants to serve the environment; and not only the environment, but the real key to life of that plane is to serve the Centre. We are living in an organic whole, so every point must be true to the organic Centre. The explanation is given in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by the analogy of serving the root of a tree. yathā taror mula niṣecanena tṛpyanti tat-skandha bhujopaśākhāḥ. (HC, p 2) + (see also śloka 590)
yathā yathā gaura padāravinde,
vindeta bhaktiṁ kṛta puṇya rāśiḥ
tathā tathot sarpati hṛdy akasmāt,
rādhā padāmbhoja sudhāmbhu-rāśiḥ
Prabodhānanda Saraswatī Ṭhākura says: "As much as we devote ourselves to the lotus feet of Śrī Gaurāṅga, we will automatically achieve the nectarine service of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in Vṛndāvana. An investment in Navadwīpa Dhāma will automatically take one to Vṛndāvana. How one will be carried there will be unknown to him. But those who have good fortune invest everything in the service of Gaurāṅga. If they do that, they will find that everything has automatically been offered to the divine feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. She will accept them in Her confidential service and give them engagement, saying: "Oh, you have a good recommendation from Navadwīpa; I immediately appoint you to this service." (C-Cand, 88)
Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is introduced in the form of Gaurāṅga with the added element of magnanimity. No selfish sensualism can enter our consideration of the pastimes of Śrī Gaurāṅga, for there He appears as a sannyāsī and a devotee.
Of course, if we are to analyse Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, we shall find Kṛṣṇa in the garb of Rādhārāṇī. According to the impersonal philosophers, when negative and positive combine, they become non-differentiated oneness, but Vaiṣṇava philosophy says that when both positive and negative aspects of Godhead are combined, personality is not lost. Rather, in the garb of the negative, the positive is converted and begins searching for Himself in the mood of the highest searcher. According to Vaiṣṇavism, when positive and negative combine, they do not create equilibrium; rather their dynamic character is always maintained. The combination of Rādhā and Govinda is Śrī Gaurāṅga, and by the grace of Nityānanda Prabhu, we may be attracted to Śrī Gaurāṅga. (TGVODL, p 27-8)
"As devotion unto the lotus feet of Śrī Gaurasundara is attained by a greatly pious person, unexpectedly the ocean of nectar which is the service of the lotus feet of Śrī Śrī Rādhā is accordingly born within his heart." Percolated by the mercy of Śrī Gaurāṅga, try to approach Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Then there will be no possibility of any dirt entering you and disturbing you in that plane. That will be percolated by Śrī Gaurāṅga. If you have the shelter of Śrī Gaurāṅga you can be sure that you will very safely, smoothly, and intimately attain to the service of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Otherwise it is very dangerous, and sometimes suicidal. If you do not approach through Śrī Gaurāṅga the attempt will be reactionary. It is very dangerous to approach Śrī Vṛndāvana and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī directly. You must approach commanded by Śrī Gaurāṅga. In other words, if you can appreciate the life of Śrī Gaurāṅga, then kāma (mundane desire), etc., will be exhaustively eliminated. You will be really purified to be acceptable to that domain of the highest līlā. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 191-2)+(see śloka 264)
Strictly stick to Gaura-līlā, Mahāprabhu, and you will find automatically within your heart that Rādhā-rasa-sudhānidhi is flowing. Don't attempt directly to have it. It will come automatically, spontaneously. Not intellectually you shall approach that, for that will give you a bad prejudice. Not only that, but it will be harmful prejudice and you will have to expend more energy to do away with that layer of misunderstanding. So our Śrīla Prabhupāda did not allow these things. Do your duty in your plane, according to what you deserve, and that will come naturally. That is his instruction all through, not only temporarily, but all through.
Don't go to be a disbeliever and be very eager to see the final result. Don't do like that, for then you will get Māyā instead of Yoga-Māyā. He knows it fully well, She knows it fully well, when you are to be taken in to the confidential area, and that cannot be acquired by any other thing but His sweet will - the flow of Her sweet will, or His sweet will. Try to have the natural thing, not any thing of imitation or any reflection. Reflection and shadow, these two kinds of misconceptions may come there. Reflection is more dangerous. In Harinām also it has been stated like that. Reflection and shadow, both are misguiding. And we are to cross that. On our way that sort of temptation may come, but we must not think that everything will come within the fist of our intellect. (SGD, '96, p 29)
"As much as you surrender to the lotus feet of Śrī Gaurāṅga, you'll find yourself safely situated in the service of Rādhā-Govinda. Don't 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." (LSFTLS, p 103) + (see also śloka 463)
"As a pious soul fortunately attains pure devotion to Gaura within his heart and becomes absorbed in rendering service to His lotus feet, to his delightful astonishment, the nectar ocean of devotional ecstasy flowing from the Lotus Feet of Śrī Rādhikā suddenly floods his heart." (SBRBM, p 11)
As Devotion unto the Lotus Feet of Śrī Gaurasundar is attained by the most virtuous person, the Queen of Nectar - the Service of the Lotus Feet of Śrī Śrī Rādhikā - spontaneously wells up within his heart. The internal identity of Śrī Prabodhānanda Saraswatīpāda (the writer of this śloka ) is the Sakhī Tuṅgavidyā, amongst the eight principal Sakhīs in Vraja-Maṇḍala. She became Prabodhānanda in Gaura-līlā. His writings are both very sweet and grand, most appealing, and hitting to the mark. (SCS, p 40)
yato vācho nivarttante,
aprāpya manasā saha
ānandaṁ brahmaṇo vidvān,
na vibheti kutaścaneti
"As one gets subjective realisation of the transcendental blissful aspect of the Supreme Divinity, he sheds fear completely for all time. Such a realised man of wisdom is freed totally from negative thoughts. Having his thoughts fully attentive to the All-Blissful Divinity, he is spared from such torture. Such is the secret doctrine." (T, 11.9.1, p 522) + (Dvaipāyana Vyāsadeva, transl: B.P Yati, TEU )
When we can come to the conclusion that the Infinite really is ānandam (bliss), not pain, (that the Whole is pleasure and no pain is there) - then, all apprehension of pain will disappear. It is all pleasure. There is no pain. The Bhagavad-gītā is always asking us, "Concentrate in you! Have no complaint against the outside environment; everything is in you." So be attentive to you, to your ego. There is no necessity to correct your outside environment. (SS, v 3, # 1, '85, p 4) + (see also śloka 497)
yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante,
yena jātāni jīvanti
yat prayanty abhiṣamviśanti,
tad brahma tad vijijṣāsa
"The Supreme Brahman is the origin and shelter of all living beings. When there is creation, He brings them forth from their original state, and at the time of annihilation, He devours them. After creation, everything rests in His omnipotence, and after annihilation, everything again returns to rest in Him." (TU, 3.1) (TSFSK, p 44) + (see also ślokas 590 & 600)
"He is the cause of production, sustenance, and again withdrawal. Evolution, dissolution, and sustenance in the middle. He is the prime, universal cause."
We are quarrelling in a foreign land for fictitious gain. But Kṛṣṇa is engaged in a loving search for His long lost servants. He wants to save them and take them all home. Only by the grace of that absolute is it possible. A wave is coming from there to take us home, to where everything finally enters. Everything which is created disappears into the subtle existence at the wholesale dissolution of this world. But again with a new evolution they come out. And some enter into the permanent līlā and do not come back into this world of exploitaion and renunciation. (LSFTLS, p 64)
A certain section claims, like the philosopher Cārvāka, that: "No, no, there is no God or higher substance. Whatever we see on the surface is everything." But deeper faith says that the cause is He from whom everything emanates, He by whom everything is maintained, and He into whom everything finally enters. yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante.
Merely the effect is not everything, but the cause has its existence. And what is the nature of the cause? Some identify Him as Brahman, some as Paramātmā, and some as Bhagavān. God is the destiner and designer of everything - He has created everything, and He is controlling everything. Everything is automatically existing with Him, as a particular potency of His. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 26) + (see also śloka 423)
Śaṅkarācārya's interpretation of the Vedas is not proper, because he has thrust his own idea or conception forward in the name of the Vedānta. Śaṅkarācārya's interpretation of Vedānta is artificial. It is selfish and provincial. This is the refutation of Śaṅkarācārya given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and as far as we are concerned, it cannot be seen otherwise. If we try to follow the interpretation of Śaṅkarācārya, then what meaning can be found in this statement of the Upaniṣads:
Yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante, yena jātāni jīvanti: "The Absolute Truth is He from whom everything is coming, who is maintaining everything, within whom everything exists, and into whom everything enters at the time of annihilation."
What does this mean? Does this statement say that the Absolute Truth is non-differentiated? It is sufficient for our understanding to accept its direct meaning. The self-explanatory meaning of these words is sufficient to understand this simple statement of the Upaniṣads.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu defeats Śaṅkarācārya through common sense. This is the unique character of His argument. He defeats His philosophical opponents not with difficult, abstract, intellectual arguments, but with common sense.
When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to demonstrate the supremacy of Lord Nārāyaṇa over Lord Śiva, He said that one may just consider the position of the Ganges. The Ganges is the water that washes the feet of Nārāyaṇa, and yet she rests on the head of Śiva. From this, we can easily use common sense to see which of the two holds the superior position. When Śrī Caitanya wanted to show that Kṛṣṇa is greater than Nārāyaṇa, He pointed to the example of Lakṣmī Devī. She aspires after the association of Kṛṣṇa. Although she has everything with Nārāyaṇa, still she has some aspiration for the company of Kṛṣṇa. On the other hand the gopīs have no attraction for Nārāyaṇa. When they meet Nārāyaṇa, they pray that by His grace, their devotion to Kṛṣṇa may be enhanced. (SEOC, p 62)
'ye dine gṛhe bhajane dekhi
gṛhete goloka bhāya caraṇa-sīdhu,
dekhiyā gaṅgā, sukha nā sīmā pāya
"Goloka Vṛndāvana appears in my home whenever I see the worship and service of Lord Hari taking place there. When I see the Ganges, that river of nectar emanating from the Lotus Feet of the Lord, my happiness knows no bounds." (TSOBT, p 37-8)
"We can make out the real inner meaning that this whole universe is engaged in the service of Śrī Hari when the prejudice or cover of our ego is torn off."
And the moment that this screen is removed, then one sees that everywhere - that Goloka, the līlā of Goloka is going on there. 'Ye dine gṛhe bhajane dekhi gṛhete goloka bhāya. In such a divine, lofty realisation of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, our Śrīla Gurupāda Pādma urged all jīva souls to come to that plane of perfect reality - he wanted to take us all to that plane of lofty realisation. Anything less than that is just some beneficial activity (karma-kanda ) to be scorned. Such activity is most unworthy in comparison. (SS, v 6, # 1, '92, p 4)
ye kāle vā svapane,
dekhinu vaṁśi vadane,
sei kāle āilā dui vairi
'ānanda' āra 'madana,
' hari' nila mora mana,
dekhite nā pāinu netra bhari'
punaḥ yadi kona kṣaṇa,
kayāya kṛṣṇa daraśana,
tabe sei ghaṭī-kṣaṇa-pala
alaṅkṛta karimu sakala
Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī says: "When in My trance, I came to have a divine vision of Kṛṣṇa, two enemies suddenly appeared: ecstasy, and also a feeling which is corresponding to extreme love in complete self surrender. In that state, I could not see Kṛṣṇa very clearly. These two enemies disturbed Me. Ecstasy was my enemy, for it made me self-forgetful and My greed for His touch was another enemy. They did not allow me to have a clear vision of Kṛṣṇa, so my thirst for seeing Him was unquenched.
If by good fortune I have another chance to have His darśana, then what should I do? Avoiding Kṛṣṇa I shall instead try to worship time. I shall worship that moment, that minute, that second in which I have the divine vision of Kṛṣṇa. I shall try to propitiate time, so that time itself may stay for some time. With garlands, sandalwood paste, and jewels, I shall try to worship time and not Kṛṣṇa. If time stands still, being propitiated with My respectful behaviour, then Kṛṣṇa will remain. In this way, I shall try to fix the time: 'You please stay here for some time. Kṛṣṇa is showing Himself - time, you be eternal here.' Otherwise, like lightning, Kṛṣṇa comes and vanishes."
(This śloka, ye kāle vā svapane, was spoken by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu while in trance in the mood of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, in the company of Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāmānanda Rāya, and recorded by Rāmānanda in the Jagannātha-vallabha-nāṭaka, (3. 12-3) + (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 2.37-8)
We worship the time, the land, the place, the paraphernalia of Kṛṣṇa. Anything in connection with Kṛṣṇa is cinmaya, transcendental. The paraphernalia of Kṛṣṇa is worthy of our worship. In fact, we shall have to honour Kṛṣṇa's paraphernalia even more that Kṛṣṇa Himself. That is the clue to success. Kṛṣṇa's abode, His paraphernalia, and His devotees have a relationship with Kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa-sambandha. They are Kṛṣṇa's devotees, and He is at their disposal. So, if we can propitiate them, they will take interest in us and take us up into that realm. Otherwise we are helpless. (SGAHG, p 121-2) + (see also śloka 45)
ye lāgi kahite bhaya, se yadi nā jāne
ihā va-i kibā sukha āche tribhuvane
"For fear of them I do not wish to speak, but if they do not understand, then what can be happier in all the three worlds?" (C-c, Ādi-līlā, 4.236)
We are afraid of ecstasy! The truth we should not express it here, there and everywhere. We should rather be controlled in our tongue. But, if we say that we are afraid that it will be misunderstood? But the public do not care to know it at all. "It is beneath their dignity" to try to search for the real meaning in our words. Then, we are relieved in one sense.
It will be accepted and misused, mishandled - the public do not care for these things at all. And we are safe here. In one sense, that is our safety - that they do not know. They won't come to give this any attention. So, although we express it uncautiously, they won't care for it. So, we are safe from that standpoint. (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 3) + (see also ślokas 28 & 212)
ye me bhakta-janāḥ partha,
ne me bhaktaś ca te janāḥ
mad bhaktānāṁ ca ye bhaktās,
te me bhaktatamā mataḥ
"Those who worship Me directly are not real devotees; real devotees are those who are devoted to My devotees." (AP ) + (L-B, 2.6)
This is confirmed by Kṛṣṇa, and this principle is true in our own experience. It is said: "If you love me, love my dog." How intense one's love for his master must be if he can love the master's dog. And he loves the dog only because it is his master's dog; not that he wants to take away the dog for himself. He loves it not with the idea of independent love for the dog, but because it is the master's dog. This is a higher test of our love than simply to love the master. This will test the whether we are really lovers.
Kṛṣṇa is more pleased if He sees that His servant is being served. Why? Because His servant always serves Him, but won't take anything in return from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa tries to give His devotees something, but they won't take it. They have no aspiration to fulfil, no petition to enter in the course of their service. They want only cent per cent service. There is no possibility for Kṛṣṇa to award any remuneration there, He can't find the slightest hole in their devotional service through which some remuneration can be pushed. His devotees are wholesale servants, nothing but.
Kṛṣṇa tries His best to give something to His devotees in return for their service, but He fails. So, when Kṛṣṇa sees that His desired aim of rewarding His servants is being done by someone else, He becomes indebted to that person thinking: "What I wanted to do for My servant, they are doing. I wanted to do that, but failed: it was not accepted. But now someone else is doing the same thing I wanted to do."
Kṛṣṇa is more favourable to the devotee who serves His servant. Then Kṛṣṇa comes to serve them. That is the underlying purpose of His saying: "Those who are devotees of My devotee, they are the real devotees My heart." So, bhakta-pūjā, worship of the devotees, is the best kind of worship. This statement is confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in the Vedas and by Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura in the Caitanya Bhāgavata. (SGAHG, p 123-4) + (see also śloka 27)
yena bhaje tāre bale danta tṛṇa dhari,
āmāre kiniyā laha bala gaura-hari
eta bali nityānanda bhūme gaḍi yāya,
sonāra parvata yena dhūlāya loṭāya
"The compassionate Nityānanda Prabhu most humbly approached those who did not feel any loving appreciation for Śrī Gaurāṅga due to their false pride and hard heartedness. Not to hurt their pride, He took a few blades of grass between His teeth as a token of humility and appealed to them saying, "O dear friend, try to understand that your own highest good is Gaura Hari. You can attain the greatest fortune of your life if you connect to Him with love and devotion. Please take His Holy Name, even if only once, and chant it from the core of your heart. With devotional faith speak about His glories and share your relish with other devotees. Sincerely pray for His grace, for you will surely receive great spiritual benefit. I am your most well wishing friend. If you can please take My advice and act accordingly then you can own Me forever."
Imploring in such a way, Śrī Nityānanda's heart melted in spiritual compassion. Incited by that deep emotional ecstasy He became so tender before those proud people that He invalidated all their pride. As an act of noble humility He began to roll on the ground before them. As His form became decorated with the dust of the earth the devotees around Him beheld with tearful eyes the extraordinary manifestation of causeless mercy of Prabhu Nityānanda. They marvelled at how their divine guru Tattva, could sacrifice His exalted position and honour and come down to the dust of the earth with such compassionate humility." (Locana dāsa Ṭhākur) (SBRBM, p 4)
ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas,
tvayi asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ,
patanty adho 'nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ
(Someone may say that aside from Vaiṣṇavas, who always seek shelter at the Lord's lotus feet, there are those who are not Vaiṣṇavas but who have accepted different processes for attaining salvation. What happens to them? In answer to this question, Lord Brahmā and the other demigods said:)
"O lotus-eyed Lord, although non-devotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. Although they may rise to the level of impersonal Brahman realisation, they fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they neglect to worship Your lotus feet." (S-B, 10.2.32 )
They do not perceive the mistake in their calculation, but they think they have attained the highest type of liberation, and so they try to recruit others for their purpose. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 124) (see śloka 447)
ye tīrthe vaiṣṇava nāi,
se tīrthete nāhi yāi
ki lābha hāṭiyā dūradeśa
sei sthāna vṛndāvana,
sei sthāne ānanda aśeṣa
Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says: "Where is Vṛndāvana? We may only reach Vṛndāvana at the proper stage of realisation. If we take Vṛndāvana in the physical sense, we will commit so many offences according to our habit and we shall have to mentally go downwards. So the illumination given by the sādhu and śāstra should be our guide. Only by that way can we go to Vṛndāvana, or anywhere and everywhere. But the guiding star must always be our guru, to guide us and show us what is what. As long as my self is not rising to that stage, I am always in need of a guide to show me what is what, what is Vṛndāvana."
Vṛndāvana is not a physical eye-experience. It is not in the world of our flesh experience. It is the highest of the high. Through śraddha, faith, we must begin our journey beyond the subjective, towards the supersubjective area. That is Vṛndāvana proper, where we can find Kṛṣṇa proper.
It is not to be found in any physical plane. He can come here: the higher plane can come in the gross, but it is not easy for those who are living in the gross plane to rise up to the higher. They can come, an agent can come, and they can take us there. But without the help of the agent it is not so easy to go to that highest plane by our own experience. So our necessity is always sādhu-saṅga. To go to Vṛndāvana we must have a guide. He will always caution us to see things with a proper angle of vision. A guide, sādhu-saṅga, is the most important factor in the life of a bona fide seeker of the truth. And next is śāstra, revealed scriptures. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 169-70) + (see also śloka 520)
ye yatha patita haya,
tava dayā tata tāya,
tāte āmi supātra dayāra
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says: "Your grace is given in accordance with the necessity of those who really deserve it. In that consideration, I have some claim. I am fallen of the fallen, the most fallen, so I have some claim to Your grace." (G, Y-b, 19)
That should be the attitude of the servitors. Increase the negative side. "I am the most deserving because I am the meanest of the mean, poorest of the poor." We have to increase and develop our knowledge towards that side: "I am so low, so needy, so mean, in all respects." That consciousness will draw Him towards you. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 158) + (see also śloka 570)
"I can claim, because I am the most fallen. I realise that I am the most fallen, therefore I have got the greatest claim for Your grace, Your mercy." That should be the attitude of a real devotee. As lowly as one genuinely conceives oneself to be, then so great s/he is in the eyes of the devotees. Dainyam - humility, and laulyam - hankering, that is the wealth of the devotees. I am proud of the power of my gurudeva and never of myself. That should be the attitude of the devotee. (C, v1, # 5, Summer 93, p 11) + (see also śloka 564)
yo māṁ paśyati sarvatra,
sarvaṁ ca mayi paśyati
tasyāhaṁ na praṇaśyāmi,
sa ca me na praṇaśyati
"For one who sees Me in everything and everything in Me, I do not remain unseen and he also is not unnoticed by Me: he never sways in his thought of Me." (B-g, 6.30)
Everything is in Him, and He is also everywhere. This is the characteristic of He for whom we are searching. Oṁkāra, the monosyllable Oṁ, is the seed of theism. Oṁ means "Yes." Always, wherever we cast our glance to search, in one word the answer is yes. "Yes, what you are searching for, is. You are searching for happiness, pleasure, joy, fulfilment. You are in want, and in one word - 'yes,' fulfilment is there." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 27-8, & p 175)
Everywhere we shall try to draw the hints of the auspicious presence of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa says: "One who can see Me everywhere, and everything in Me is never lost to Me, nor I to Him." We shall try to see Him in every medium. Then our position is safe. (SGAHG, p 117)
"I am everywhere. Only see in that connection, with that angle of vision. Try to find Me, and everything in Me. Then you will be out of danger. Otherwise, that which is non-God will take you otherwise. If you can see the connection of God everywhere then you are safe. No one will be your enemy. You will have no foes, you are in the midst of friends. He is everywhere and everything. He is not lost in My sight, and I am not lost in his sight." (GOD, p 11) + (see also śloka 433)
śūnyāyitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ,
"O Govinda! Without You, the world is empty. Tears are flooding my eyes like rain, and a moment seems like forever." (S, 7)
Sometimes this verse is translated: "O Govinda, without You, I feel a moment to be twelve years or more." The word yuga is sometimes translated "twelve years." Some devotees say this is because Mahāprabhu experienced the most intense separation from Kṛṣṇa in the mood of Rādhārāṇī for twelve years. In the Sanskrit dictionary it is said that one yuga means twelve years. This is one conception. Another meaning is "millennium" or "age." A yuga can also mean an unlimited amount of time.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says: "One moment seems like an unlimited period of time. And My eyes are shedding tears like rain. The rainy season produces so many floods, and now it seems to Me that My eyes are flooding. The visible is becoming invisible to Me. I am so withdrawn from the present environment that I can't see anything. My mind feels so much internal attraction towards the centre of the Infinite that wherever I cast My glance I see nothing. Everything appears vacant, because I feel as if Govinda has withdrawn from Me.
Such a peculiar sort of feeling is within Me - I have no interest in anything. All My interest is drawn towards Govinda, and to such a degree that I am a stranger to My present environment. I have nothing: no consciousness. It has gone somewhere else, towards the Infinite. When there is a drought, all the rivers and lakes dry up. The water is drawn towards the gas world. Nowhere is a drop of water to be found. It is something like that. All charm is withdrawn so extensively that everything is empty. My senses, mind, and everything else has been drawn up, attracted by the all-attractive, all-charming, all-sweet Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Reality The Beautiful."
Sometimes it seems that the gap between union and separation is like so many millennia. A devotee thinks: "I have lost the consciousness of meeting Kṛṣṇa long, long ago." He has a faint remembrance: "I had some union with Kṛṣṇa, but I left that so far behind, so far off, that it appears to be an unlimited gap of time. I once had a faint recollection, but now it is gone, perhaps forever." He feels such a great degree of disappointment and despair.
This is the standard of the infinite world. Just as we measure the distance of the planets and stars by light years, here the transcendental temperament is being measured by such a standard. What audacity we have to deal with things so great and beyond our jurisdiction.
At first the devotee thought: "If I am raised to that standard of service, my heart will be fulfilled. My thirst will be quenched, and I will feel some ease and satisfaction within me." But the development of his devotion took him to an unexpected plane of life. It is the nature of divine love that when a drop of that medicine is given to a hankering patient, the patient thinks he is cured, but he is taken into a dangerous position.
He thinks: "Seeing the devotees shedding tears incessantly, the hairs of their bodies standing on end, their voices choked up while chanting the Name of Kṛṣṇa, I was charmed. Those symptoms attracted me and I thought that if I could attain this, I would feel real satisfaction, but upon attaining that plane, what do I find? Just the opposite.
Coming in real connection with the infinite, he feels hopeless. He thinks: "There is no limit to progress. Rather, as much as I come in intimate connection with the infinite, I feel hopeless." The more we advance, the more we find it unlimited, and finding it unlimited, we become hopeless but we can't turn back. There is not possibility of retracing our steps; we can only go ahead. This is the spirit of a genuine devotee.
Finding the infinite characteristic of our prospect, we can't leave - we become hopeless, thinking: "The highest kind of nectar is just before me, but I can't taste it - I am unable to touch it or get it within my fist. Still, its charm is so great that I can't retreat from this entanglement. And without that, a small span of time seems like millions of years."
The devotee thinks: "Oh, long, long ages have passed away; still I am in want! I am trying to get it, but I can't get it, and time is passing. Time is also infinite. So many rivers of tears take birth from my eyes; tears profusely run down from my eyes over my body, but I don't find the position of success within my reach. My mind is fully vacant. I can't find any trace of my future. I have no charm, no attraction for anything else that might seem to console this diseased body.
I find no possibility of solace from any other quarter. All alternatives have been eliminated. I am fully in the clutches of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and love of Kṛṣṇa. If there is anyone who can come to my relief, help me! I am lost. I am helpless. If there is anyone who can help me, please come to me rescue."
Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that when we are deeply situated in love of Kṛṣṇa, we can't leave it, but our thirst increases and we feel no satisfaction. We are in the midst of such an apparently horrible position.
The hankering for Kṛṣṇa which awakens in one's mind takes this direction. When a devotee really comes in connection with Kṛṣṇa, his position will be all-eliminating and all-exclusive. His complete concentration will be on Kṛṣṇa.
In this verse, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu describes how a devotee goes further, awakens a higher conception of Kṛṣṇa, and then, seeing Kṛṣṇa just before him but not getting him, feels this kind of separation. The more he progresses, the more he finds himself in this position of hopelessness. This highest advice of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu helps us adjust ourselves to this intense mood of separation. He tells us: "You are going to be lost in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And what will be your position? You are a drop and you will be thrown into the ocean of divine love."
(TGVODL, p 137-142) + (SSPJ, p 137) + (SBRBM, p 29) + (see also śloka 58)
yuvatīnām yathā yūni,
yūnaṣca yuvatau yathā
mano 'bhiramate tadvan,
mano 'bhiramatām tvayi
"Just as a young boy feels attraction for a young girl, I want that sort of attraction towards You. I want to be engrossed in You, forgetting all material paraphernalia. And by sincere surrender, at once, our progress begins. And the development of that kind of attraction takes us to the topmost rank. I want that intimate connection with You, my Lord. I am the neediest of the needy, but at the same time I have this ambition. I am so disgusted with the world outside that I want the most intense and comprehensive relationship with You. With this attitude, the surrendering process begins and rises step by step. I want that standard of divine love, of intimacy with You. I want to dive deep within You." (B-r-s, 1.2.153) + (SGAHG, p 144)