You are here
Madhya 23: Life’s Ultimate Goal — Love of Godhead
ā-pāmaraṁ yo vitatāra gauraḥ
kṛṣṇo janebhyas tam ahaṁ prapadye
jayādvaita-candra jaya gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
yāhāra śravaṇe haya bhakti-rasa-jñāna
kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasera ei ‘sthāyi-bhāva’-nāma
kṛd asau bhāva ucyate
This verse is found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.3.1).
premera lakṣaṇa ebe śuna, sanātana
The word śuddha-sattva-viśeṣātmā means “situated on the transcendental platform of pure goodness.” In this way the soul is purified of all material contamination, and this position is called svarūpa-lakṣaṇa, the constitutional symptom of bhāva, emotion. By various tastes, one’s heart is softened, and there is an awakening of one’s loving propensity to render spontaneous service to the Lord. This is called taṭastha-lakṣaṇa, the marginal symptom of bhāva.
bhāvaḥ sa eva sāndrātmā
budhaiḥ premā nigadyate
This verse is also found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.4.1).
bhaktir ity ucyate bhīṣma-
This verse, quoted from the Nārada-pañcarātra, is found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.4.2).
tabe sei jīva ‘sādhu-saṅga’ ye karaya
sādhana-bhaktye haya ‘sarvānartha-nivartana’
niṣṭhā haite śravaṇādye ‘ruci’ upajaya
āsakti haite citte janme kṛṣṇe prīty-aṅkura
sei premā ‘prayojana’ sarvānanda-dhāma
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura summarizes this growth of love of Godhead as a gradual process. A person becomes interested in devotional service by some good fortune. Eventually he becomes interested in pure devotional service without material contamination. At that point, a person wants to associate with devotees. As a result of this association, he becomes more and more interested in discharging devotional service and hearing and chanting. The more one is interested in hearing and chanting, the more he is purified of material contamination. Liberation from material contamination is called anartha-nivṛtti, indicating a diminishing of all unwanted things. This is the test of development in devotional service. If one actually develops the devotional attitude, he must be freed from the material contamination of illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat-eating. These are the preliminary symptoms. When one is freed from all material contamination, his firm faith in devotional service awakens. When firm faith develops, a taste arises, and by that taste one becomes attached to devotional service. When this attachment intensifies, the seed of love of Kṛṣṇa fructifies. This position is called prīti or rati (affection) or bhāva (emotion). When rati intensifies, it is called love of Godhead. This love of Godhead is actually life’s highest perfection and the reservoir of all pleasure.
Thus devotional life is divided into two stages — sādhana-bhakti and bhāva-bhakti. Sādhana-bhakti refers to the development of devotional service through the regulative principles. The basic principle for the execution of devotional service is faith. Above that, there is association with devotees, and after that there is initiation by a bona fide spiritual master. After initiation, when one follows the regulative principles of devotional service, one becomes freed from all unwanted things. In this way one becomes firmly fixed and gradually develops a taste for devotional service. The more the taste grows, the more one desires to render service to the Lord. In this way one becomes attached to a particular mellow in the Lord’s service — śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya or madhura. As a result of such attachment, bhāva develops. Bhāva-bhakti is the platform of purified goodness. By such purified goodness, one’s heart melts in devotional service. Bhāva-bhakti is the first seed of love of Godhead. This emotional stage is there before one attains pure love. When that emotional stage intensifies, it is called prema-bhakti, or transcendental love of Godhead. This gradual process is also described in the following two verses, which are found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.4.15-16).
saṅgo ’tha bhajana-kriyā
tato ’nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt
tato niṣṭhā rucis tataḥ
sādhakānām ayaṁ premṇaḥ
prādurbhāve bhavet kramaḥ
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati
This is a quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.25.25).
tāṅhāte eteka cihna sarva-śāstre kaya
nāma-gāne sadā ruciḥ
ity-ādayo ’nubhāvāḥ syur
These two verses are found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.3.25-26).
prākṛta-kṣobhe tāṅra kṣobha nāhi haya
gaṅgā ca devī dhṛta-cittam īśe
dvijopasṛṣṭaḥ kuhakas takṣako vā
daśatv alaṁ gāyata viṣṇu-gāthāḥ
This is a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.19.15) spoken by Mahārāja Parīkṣit while he was sitting on the bank of the Ganges expecting to be bitten by a snake-bird summoned by the curse of a brāhmaṇa boy named Śṛṅgi, who was the son of a great sage named Śamīka. News of the curse was conveyed to the King, who prepared for his imminent death. Many great saintly persons, sages, brāhmaṇas, kings and demigods came to see him in his last days. Mahārāja Parīkṣit, however, was not at all afraid of being bitten by the snake-bird. Indeed, he requested all the great personalities assembled to continue chanting the holy name of Lord Viṣṇu.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit’s expression of anxiety is explained in this verse. He says, “Let whatever is destined to happen take place. It doesn’t matter. Just let me see that not a moment of my time is wasted without a relationship with Kṛṣṇa.” One has to tolerate all obstacles on the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and one has to see that not a moment of his life is wasted outside of Kṛṣṇa’s service.
tanvā namanto ’py aniśaṁ na tṛptāḥ
bhaktāḥ śravan-netra-jalāḥ samagram
āyur harer eva samarpayanti
This verse from the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya is found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.3.29).
jahau yuvaiva mala-vad
These are the signs of virakti (detachment) found in a person who has developed bhāva, the preliminary stage of love of Godhead. This verse is quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.14.43).
bhikṣām aṭann ari-pure
śva-pākam api vandate
This is a quotation from the Padma Purāṇa.
jñānaṁ vā śubha-karma vā kiyad aho saj-jātir apy asti vā
hīnārthādhika-sādhake tvayi tathāpy acchedya-mūlā satī
he gopī-jana-vallabha vyathayate hā hā mad-āśaiva mām
This verse is found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.3.35).
mac-cāpalaṁ ca tava vā mama vādhigamyam
tat kiṁ karomi viralaṁ muralī-vilāsi
mugdhaṁ mukhāmbujam udīkṣitum īkṣaṇābhyām
This is a verse from the Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta (32).
tava madhura-svara-kaṇṭhī gāyati nāmāvalīṁ bālā
This verse is found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.3.38).
madhuraṁ madhuraṁ vadanaṁ madhuram
madhu-gandhi mṛdu-smitam etad aho
madhuraṁ madhuraṁ madhuraṁ madhuram
This is a verse quoted from Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura’s Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta (92).
nāmāni tava kīrtayan
This verse is found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.156).
‘kṛṣṇa-premera’ cihna ebe śuna sanātana
tāṅra vākya, kriyā, mudrā vijñeha nā bujhaya
antar-vāṇibhir apy asya
mudrā suṣṭhu su-durgamā
This verse is also found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.4.17).
jātānurāgo druta-citta uccaiḥ
hasaty atho roditi rauti gāyaty
unmāda-van nṛtyati loka-bāhyaḥ
This verse is quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.40).
rāga, anurāga, bhāva, mahābhāva haya
śarkarā, sitā-michari, śuddha-michari āra
rati-premādira taiche bāḍaye āsvāda
śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, madhura āra
In the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (220.127.116.11), rati (attraction) is thus described:
vyaktaṁ masṛṇitevāntar lakṣyate rati-lakṣaṇam
mumukṣu-prabhṛtīnāṁ ced bhaved eṣā ratir na hi
kintu bāla-camatkāra- kārī tac-cihna-vīkṣayā
abhijñena subodho ’yaṁ raty-ābhāsaḥ prakīrtitaḥ
“The real symptoms of the fructification of the seed of love (rati) are manifested because the heart is melted. When such symptoms are found among speculators and fruitive actors, they cannot be accepted as real symptoms of attachment. … Foolish people without knowledge of devotional service praise such symptoms of attachment even when they are based on something other than a desire to serve Kṛṣṇa. However, one who is expert in devotional service calls such symptoms raty-ābhāsa, a mere glimpse of attachment.”
ye-rase bhakta ‘sukhī’, kṛṣṇa haya ‘vaśa’
In the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.5.1), sthāyi-bhāva, permanent ecstasy, is thus described:
aviruddhān viruddhāṁś ca bhāvān yo vaśatāṁ nayan
su-rājeva virājeta sa sthāyī bhāva ucyate
sthāyī bhāvo ’tra sa proktaḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-viṣayā ratiḥ
“These moods (bhāvas) bring under control the favorable ecstasies (such as laughing) and unfavorable ecstasies (such as anger). When these moods continue to remain as kings, they are called sthāyi-bhāva, or permanent ecstasies. Continuous ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa is called permanent ecstasy.”
kṛṣṇa-bhakti rasa-rūpe pāya pariṇāme
In the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.4-5), the following definition is given:
athāsyāḥ keśava-rater lakṣitāyā nigadyate
sāmagrī-paripoṣeṇa paramā rasa-rūpatā
vibhāvair anubhāvaiś ca sāttvikair vyabhicāribhiḥ
svādyatvaṁ hṛdi bhaktānām ānītā śravaṇādibhiḥ
eṣā kṛṣṇa-ratiḥ sthāyī bhāvo bhakti-raso bhavet
“Love for Kṛṣṇa, Keśava, as previously described, reaches the supreme state of being composed of mellows when its ingredients are fulfilled. By means of vibhāva, anubhāva, sāttvika and vyabhicārī, hearing and chanting are activated, and the devotee is able to taste love for Kṛṣṇa. Then attachment for Kṛṣṇa, or permanent ecstasy (sthāyi-bhāva), becomes the mellow of devotional service (bhakti-rasa).”
sthāyi-bhāva ‘rasa’ haya ei cāri mili’
‘rasālākhya’ rasa haya apūrvāsvādane
vaṁśī-svarādi — ‘uddīpana’, kṛṣṇādi — ‘ālambana’
In the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.14), vibhāva is described as follows:
tatra jñeyā vibhāvās tu raty-āsvādana-hetavaḥ
te dvidhālambanā eke tathaivoddīpanāḥ pare
“The cause bringing about the tasting of love for Kṛṣṇa is called vibhāva. Vibhāva is divided into two categories — ālambana (support) and uddīpana (awakening).”
In the Agni Purāṇa it is stated:
vibhāvyate hi raty-ādir yatra yena vibhāvyate
vibhāvo nāma sa dvedhā- lambanoddīpanātmakaḥ
“That which causes love for Kṛṣṇa to appear is called vibhāva. That has two divisions — ālambana (in which love appears) and uddīpana (by which love appears).”
In the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.16), the following is stated about ālambana:
kṛṣṇaś ca kṛṣṇa-bhaktāś ca budhair ālambanā matāḥ
raty-āder viṣayatvena tathādhāratayāpi ca
“The object of love is Kṛṣṇa, and the container of that love is the devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Learned scholars call them ālambana — the foundations.” Similarly, uddīpana is described as follows:
uddīpanās tu te proktā bhāvam uddīpayanti ye
te tu śrī-kṛṣṇa-candrasya guṇāś ceṣṭāḥ prasādhanam
“Those things which awaken ecstatic love are called uddīpana. Mainly this awakening is made possible by the qualities and activities of Kṛṣṇa, as well as by His mode of decoration and the way His hair is arranged.” (B.r.s. 2.1.301) The Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.302) also gives the following further examples of uddīpana:
smitāṅga-saurabhe vaṁśa- śṛṅga-nūpura-kambavaḥ
“Kṛṣṇa’s smile, the fragrance of His transcendental body, His flute, bugle, ankle bells and conchshell, the marks on His feet, His place of residence, His favorite plant [tulasī], His devotees, and the observance of fasts and vows connected to His devotion all awaken the symptoms of ecstatic love.”
stambhādi — ‘sāttvika’ anubhāvera bhitara
The Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.2.1) describes anubhāva as follows:
anubhāvās tu citta-stha- bhāvānām avabodhakāḥ
te bahir vikriyā prāyāḥ proktā udbhāsvarākhyayā
“The many external ecstatic symptoms, or bodily transformations which indicate ecstatic emotions in the mind and which are also called udbhāsvara, are the anubhāvas, or subordinate ecstatic expressions of love.” Some of these symptoms are dancing, falling down and rolling on the ground, singing and crying very loudly, bodily contortions, loud vibrations, yawning, deep breathing, disregard for others, the frothing of saliva, mad laughter, spitting, hiccups and other, similar symptoms. All these symptoms are divided into two divisions — śīta and kṣepaṇa. Singing, yawning and so on are called śīta. Dancing and bodily contortions are called kṣepaṇa.
In his Anubhāṣya, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura quotes the following verse from the Vedic literature describing udbhāsvara:
udbhāsante sva-dhāmnīti proktā udbhāsvarā budhaiḥ
nīvy-uttarīya-dhammilla- sraṁsanaṁ gātra-moṭanam
jṛmbhā ghrāṇasya phullatvaṁ niśvāsādyāś ca te matāḥ
“The ecstatic symptoms manifest in the external body of a person in ecstatic love are called udbhāsvara by learned scholars. Some of these are a slackening of the belt and a dropping of clothes and hair. Others are bodily contortions, yawning, a trembling of the front portion of the nostrils, heavy breathing, hiccupping and falling down and rolling on the ground. These are the external manifestations of emotional love.” Stambha and other symptoms are described in Madhya-līlā 14.167.
saba mili’ ‘rasa’ haya camatkāra-kārī
Nirveda, harṣa and other symptoms are explained in Madhya-līlā 14.167. The transitory elements (vyabhicārī) are described in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.4.1—3) as follows:
athocyante trayas triṁśad- bhāvā ye vyabhicāriṇaḥ
viśeṣeṇābhimukhyena caranti sthāyinaṁ prati
vāg-aṅga-sattva-sūcyā ye jñeyās te vyabhicāriṇaḥ
sañcārayanti bhāvasya gatiṁ sañcāriṇo’pi te
unmajjanti nimajjanti stāyiny amṛta-vāridhau
ūrmi-vad vardhayanty enaṁ yānti tad-rūpatāṁ ca te
“There are thirty-three transitory elements, known as vyabhicārī ecstatic emotions. They especially wander about the permanent sentiments as assistants. They are to be known by words, by different symptoms seen in the limbs and in other parts of the body, and by the peculiar conditions of the heart. Because they set in motion the progress of the permanent sentiments, they are specifically called sañcārī, or impelling principles. These impelling principles rise up and fall back in the permanent sentiments of ecstatic love like waves in an ocean of ecstasy. Consequently they are called vyabhicārī.”
madhura-nāma śṛṅgāra-rasa — sabāte prābalya
dāsya-rati ‘rāga’ paryanta krameta bāḍaya
subalādyera ‘bhāva’ paryanta premera mahimā
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura says that the mellow of neutrality increases to simple love of Godhead. In the mellow of servitorship, love of Godhead increases beyond that to affection, counterlove (anger based on love), love and attachment. Similarly, the mellow of friendship increases to affection, counterlove, love, attachment and subattachment. It is the same with the mellow of parental affection. The special feature of the mellow of friendship exhibited by personalities like Subala is that it increases from fraternal affection to counterlove, to spontaneous attachment, to subordinate attachment, and finally to the ecstasy where all the ecstatic symptoms continuously exist.
sakhya-vātsalye yogādira aneka vibheda
In the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (3.2.93), these divisions are described:
ayoga-yogāvetasya prabhedau kathitāv ubhau
“In the mellows of bhakti-yoga, there are two stages — ayoga and yoga.” Ayoga (viyoga) is described in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (3.2.94) as follows:
saṅgābhāvo harer dhīrair ayoga iti kathyate
ayoge tvan-manaskatvaṁ tad-guṇādy-anusandhayaḥ
tat-prāpty-upāya-cintādyāḥ sarveṣāṁ kathitāḥ kriyāḥ
“Learned scholars in the science of bhakti-yoga say that when there is an absence of association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, separation takes place. In the stage of ayoga (separation), the mind is filled with Kṛṣṇa consciousness and is fully absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa. In that stage, the devotee searches out the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is said that in that stage of separation, all the devotees in the different mellows are always active in thinking of ways to attain Kṛṣṇa’s association.”
The word yoga (“connection”) is thus described in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (3.2.129):
kṛṣṇena saṅgamo yas tu sa yoga iti kīrtyate
“When one meets Kṛṣṇa directly, that is called yoga.”
In the transcendental mellows of neutrality and servitorship, there are similar divisions of yoga and viyoga, but they are not variegated. The divisions of yoga and viyoga are always existing in the five mellows. However, in the transcendental mellows of friendship and parental affection, there are many varieties of yoga and viyoga. The varieties of yoga are thus described:
yogo ’pi kathitaḥ siddhis tuṣṭiḥ sthitir iti tridhā
“Yoga (connection) is of three types — success, satisfaction and permanence.” (B.r.s. 3.2.129) The divisions of ayoga (separation) are described as follows:
utkaṇṭhitaṁ viyogaś cety ayogo ’pi dvidhocyate
“Thus ayoga has two divisions — longing and separation.” (B.r.s. 3.2.95)
mahiṣī-gaṇera ‘rūḍha’, ‘adhirūḍha’ gopikā-nikare
The adhirūḍha ecstasies are explained in the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (Sthāyi-bhāva-prakaraṇa 170):
rūḍhoktebhyo ’nubhāvebhyaḥ kām apy āptā viśiṣṭatām
yatrānubhāvā dṛśyante so ’dhirūḍho nigadyate
The very sweet attraction of conjugal love increases through affection, counterlove, love, attachment, subattachment, ecstasy and highly advanced ecstasy (mahābhāva). The platform of mahābhāva includes rūḍha and adhirūḍha. These platforms are possible only in conjugal love. Advanced ecstasy is found in Dvārakā, whereas highly advanced ecstasy is found among the gopīs.
sambhoge ‘mādana’, virahe ‘mohana’ nāma tāra
‘udghūrṇā’, ‘citra-jalpa’ — ‘mohane’ dui bheda
For further information, see Madhya-līlā 1.87.
‘bhramara-gītā’ra daśa śloka tāhāte pramāṇa
Imaginative mad talks, known as citra-jalpa, can be divided into ten categories — prajalpa, parijalpa, vijalpa, ujjalpa, sañjalpa, avajalpa, abhijalpa, ājalpa, pratijalpa and sujalpa. There are no English equivalents for these different features of jalpa (imaginative talk).
virahe kṛṣṇa-sphūrti, āpanāke ‘kṛṣṇa’-jñāna
sambhogera ananta aṅga, nāhi anta tāra
Vipralambha is described in the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (Vipralambha-prakaraṇa 3-4):
yūnor ayuktayor bhāvo yuktayor vātha yo mithaḥ
abhīṣṭāliṅganādīnām anavāptau prakṛṣyate
sa vipralambho vijñeyaḥ sambhogonnati-kārakaḥ
na vinā vipralambhena sambhogaḥ puṣṭim aśnute
“When the lover and the beloved meet, they are called yukta (connected). Previous to their meeting, they are called ayukta (not connected). Whether connected or not connected, the ecstatic emotion arising due to not being able to embrace and kiss each other as desired is called vipralambha. This vipralambha helps nourish emotions at the time of meeting.” Similarly, sambhoga is described in the following verse quoted from the Vedic literature by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in his Anubhāṣya:
darśanāliṅganādīnām ānukūlyān niṣevayā
yūnor ullāsam ārohan bhāvaḥ sambhoga īryate
“Meeting each other and embracing each other are aimed at bringing about the happiness of the lover and the beloved. When this stage becomes increasingly jubilant, the resultant ecstatic emotion is called sambhoga.” When awakened, sambhoga is divided into four categories:
(1) pūrva-rāga-anantara — after pūrva-rāga (attachment prior to meeting), sambhoga is called brief (saṅkṣipta);
(2) māna-anantara — after māna (anger based on love), sambhoga is called encroached (saṅkīrṇa);
(3) kiñcid-dūra-pravāsa-anantara — after being a little distance away for some time, sambhoga is called accomplished (sampanna);
(4) sudūra-pravāsa-anantara — after being far away, sambhoga is called perfection (samṛddhimān).
The meetings of the lovers that take place in dreams also have these four divisions.
pravāsākhya, āra prema-vaicittya-ākhyāna
Pūrva-rāga is described in the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (Vipralambha-prakaraṇa 5):
ratir yā saṅgamāt pūrvaṁ darśana-śravaṇādi-jā
tayor unmīlati prājñaiḥ pūrva-rāgaḥ sa ucyate
“When attachment produced in the lover and beloved before their meeting by seeing, hearing and so on becomes very palatable by the mixture of four ingredients, such as vibhāva and anubhāva, this is called pūrva-rāga.”
The word māna is also described in the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (Vipralambha-prakaraṇa 68):
dam-patyor bhāva ekatra sator apy anuraktayoḥ
svābhīṣṭāśleṣa-vīkṣādi- nirodhī māna ucyate
“Māna is a word used to indicate the mood of the lover and the beloved experienced whether they are in one place or in different places. This mood obstructs their looking at each other and embracing each other, despite the fact that they are attached to each other.”
Pravāsa is also explained in the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (Vipralambha-prakaraṇa 139), as follows:
pūrva-saṅgatayor yūnor bhaved deśāntarādibhiḥ
vyavadhānaṁ tu yat prājñaiḥ sa pravāsa itīryate
“Pravāsa is a word used to indicate the separation of lovers who were previously intimately associated. This separation is due to their being in different places.”
Similarly, prema-vaicittya is also explained in the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (Vipralambha-prakaraṇa 134):
priyasya sannikarṣe ’pi premotkarṣa-svabhāvataḥ
yā viśeṣa-dhiyārtis tat prema-vaicittyam ucyate
“Prema-vaicittya is a word used to indicate an abundance of love that brings about grief from fear of separation, although the lover is present.”
‘prema-vaicittya’ śrī-daśame mahiṣī-gaṇe
svapiti jagati rātryām īśvaro gupta-bodhaḥ
vayam iva sakhi kaccid gāḍha-nirviddha-cetā
This verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.90.15) was spoken by Lord Kṛṣṇa’s queens. Although they were with Kṛṣṇa, they were still thinking of losing His company.
nāyikāra śiromaṇi — rādhā-ṭhākurāṇī
kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
yatra nityatayā sarve
This verse is also found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.17).
kāntiḥ sammohinī parā
This text is found in the Bṛhad-gautamīya-tantra. For an explanation, see Ādi-līlā 4.83-95.
eka eka guṇa śuni’ juḍāya bhakta-kāṇa
ruciras tejasā yukto
This verse and the following six verses are also found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.23-29).
śāstra-cakṣuḥ śucir vaśī
gambhīro dhṛtimān samaḥ
vadānyo dhārmikaḥ śūraḥ
sukhī bhakta-suhṛt prema-
samudrā iva pañcāśad
durvigāhā harer amī
This verse is found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.30). Living entities are parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As Lord Kṛṣṇa states in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.7):
mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati
“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.”
The qualities of Kṛṣṇa are present in the living entity in minute, atomic quantities. A small portion of gold is certainly gold, but it cannot be equal to a gold mine. Similarly, the living entities have all the characteristics of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in minute quantity, but the living entity is never equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. God is therefore described as the Supreme Being, and the living entity is described as a jīva. God is described as the Supreme Being, the chief of all living beings, because He is supplying the necessities of all others — eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān. The Māyāvādīs maintain that everyone is God, but even if this philosophy is accepted, no one can maintain that everyone is equal to the Supreme Godhead in every respect. Only unintelligent men maintain that everyone is equal to God or that everyone is God.
This verse and the following seven verses are also found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.37-44).
amī kṛṣṇe kilādbhutāḥ
Māyāvādī philosophers, who have a poor fund of knowledge, simply dismiss the subject by explaining that kṛṣṇa means “black.” Not understanding the qualities of Kṛṣṇa, these atheistic rascals do not accept Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although the Lord is described and accepted by great personalities, ācāryas and sages, the Māyāvādīs still do not appreciate Him. Unfortunately, at the present moment human society is so degraded that people cannot even provide themselves with life’s daily necessities, yet they are captivated by Māyāvādī philosophers and are being misled. According to the Bhagavad-gītā, simply by understanding Kṛṣṇa one can get free from the cycle of birth and death. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna. Unfortunately this great science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness has been impeded by Māyāvādī philosophers, who are opposed to the personality of Kṛṣṇa. Those who are preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement must try to understand Kṛṣṇa from the statements given in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (The Nectar of Devotion).
ity asādhāraṇaṁ proktaṁ
yei guṇera ‘vaśa’ haya kṛṣṇa bhagavān
kīrtyante pravarā guṇāḥ
bahunā kiṁ guṇās tasyāḥ
saṅkhyātītā harer iva
These verses are found in the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (Śrī-rādhā-prakaraṇa 11-15).
sei dui śreṣṭha, — rādhā, vrajendra-nandana
vātsalye mātā pitā āśrayālambana
yaiche rasa haya, śuna tāhāra lakṣaṇa
nīyamānā tu rasyatām
kāṣṭhām āpadyate parām
These verses are found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.1.7-10).
kṛṣṇa-bhakta-gaṇa kare rasa āsvādane
This verse is also found in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.5.131).
pañcama-puruṣārtha — ei ‘kṛṣṇa-prema’-dhana
tomāra bhāi rūpe kailuṅ śakti-sañcāre
mathurāya lupta-tīrthera kariha uddhāra
bhakti-smṛti-śāstra kari’ kariha pracāra
Sanātana Gosvāmī was enjoined (1) to broadcast the revealed scriptures on devotional service and establish the conclusions of devotional service, (2) to reestablish lost places of pilgrimage like Vṛndāvana and Rādhā-kuṇḍa, (3) to establish the Vṛndāvana method of temple worship and install Deities in temples (Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī established the Madana-mohana temple, and Rūpa Gosvāmī established the Govindajī temple), and (4) to enunciate the behavior of a Vaiṣṇava (as Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī did in the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa). In this way Sanātana Gosvāmī was empowered to establish the cult of Vaiṣṇavism. As stated by Śrīnivāsa Ācārya in his Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka (2):
lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau tri-bhuvane mānyau śaraṇyākarau
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvāmīs, namely Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī and Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, who are very expert in scrutinizingly studying all the revealed scriptures with the aim of establishing eternal religious principles for the benefit of all human beings. Thus they are honored all over the three worlds, and they are worth taking shelter of because they are absorbed in the mood of the gopīs and are engaged in the transcendental loving service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.”
This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement continues the tradition of the six Gosvāmīs, especially Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī and Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Serious students of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement must understand their great responsibility to preach the cult of Vṛndāvana (devotional service to the Lord) all over the world. We now have a nice temple in Vṛndāvana, and serious students should take advantage of it. I am very hopeful that some of our students can take up this responsibility and render the best service to humanity by educating people in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
śuṣka-vairāgya-jñāna saba niṣedhila
This is the technique for understanding śuṣka-vairāgya and yukta-vairāgya. In the Bhagavad-gītā (6.17) it is said:
yuktāhāra-vihārasya yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā
“He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.” To broadcast the cult of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one has to learn the possibility of renunciation in terms of country, time and candidate. A candidate for Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the Western countries should be taught about the renunciation of material existence, but one would teach candidates from a country like India in a different way. The teacher (ācārya) has to consider time, candidate and country. He must avoid the principle of niyamāgraha — that is, he should not try to perform the impossible. What is possible in one country may not be possible in another. The ācārya’s duty is to accept the essence of devotional service. There may be a little change here and there as far as yukta-vairāgya (proper renunciation) is concerned. Dry renunciation is forbidden by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and we have also learned this from our spiritual master, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Gosvāmī Mahārāja. The essence of devotional service must be taken into consideration, and not the outward paraphernalia.
Sanātana Gosvāmī wrote his Vaiṣṇava smṛti, Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, which was specifically meant for India. In those days, India was more or less following the principle of smārta-vidhi. Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī had to keep pace with this, and his Hari-bhakti-vilāsa was compiled with this in mind. According to smārta-brāhmaṇas, a person not born in a brāhmaṇa family could not be elevated to the position of a brāhmaṇa. Sanātana Gosvāmī, however, says in the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (2.12) that anyone can be elevated to the position of a brāhmaṇa by the process of initiation.
yathā kāñcanatāṁ yāti kāṁsyaṁ rasa-vidhānataḥ
tathā dīkṣā-vidhānena dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām
“As bell metal is turned to gold when mixed with mercury in an alchemical process, so one who is properly trained and initiated by a bona fide spiritual master immediately becomes a brāhmaṇa.”
There is a difference between the smārta process and the gosvāmī process. According to the smārta process, one cannot be accepted as a brāhmaṇa unless he is born in a brāhmaṇa family. According to the gosvāmī process, the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa and the Nārada-pañcarātra, anyone can be a brāhmaṇa if he is properly initiated by a bona fide spiritual master. This is also the verdict of Śukadeva Gosvāmī in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.4.18):
ābhīra-śumbhā yavanāḥ khasādayaḥ
ye ’nye ca pāpā yad-apāśrayāśrayāḥ
śudhyanti tasmai prabhaviṣṇave namaḥ
“Kirātas, Hūṇas, Āndhras, Pulindas, Pulkaśas, Ābhīras, Śumbhas, Yavanas and members of the Khasa races, and even others who are addicted to sinful acts, can be purified by taking shelter of the devotees of the Lord, due to His being the supreme power. I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.”
A Vaiṣṇava is immediately purified, provided he follows the rules and regulations of his bona fide spiritual master. It is not necessary that the rules and regulations followed in India be exactly the same as those in Europe, America and other Western countries. Simply imitating without effect is called niyamāgraha. Not following the regulative principles but instead living extravagantly is also called niyamāgraha. The word niyama means “regulative principles,” and āgraha means “eagerness.” The word agraha means “not to accept.” We should not follow regulative principles without an effect, nor should we fail to accept the regulative principles. What is required is a special technique according to country, time and candidate. Without the sanction of the spiritual master, we should not try to imitate. This principle is recommended here: śuṣka-vairāgya-jñāna saba niṣedhila. This is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s liberal demonstration of the bhakti cult. We should not introduce anything whimsically, without the sanction of the bona fide spiritual master. In this connection, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments on these points by quoting two verses by Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.255-256).
anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate
prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo vairāgyaṁ phalgu kathyate
“When one is not attached to anything but at the same time accepts everything in relation to Kṛṣṇa, one is rightly situated above possessiveness. On the other hand, one who rejects everything without knowledge of its relationship to Kṛṣṇa is not as complete in his renunciation.” To preach the bhakti cult, one should seriously consider these verses.
maitraḥ karuṇa eva ca
yo mad-bhaktaḥ sa me priyaḥ
One should not be jealous of members of other castes or nations. It is not that only Indians or brāhmaṇas can become Vaiṣṇavas. Anyone can become a Vaiṣṇava. Therefore one should recognize that the bhakti cult must be spread all over the world. That is real adveṣṭā. Moreover, the word maitra, “friendly,” indicates that one who is able to preach the bhakti cult all over the world should be equally friendly to everyone. These two and the following six verses were spoken by Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā (12.13-20).
lokān nodvijate tu yaḥ
mukto yaḥ sa ca me priyaḥ
yo me bhaktaḥ sa me priyaḥ
The word anapekṣa means that one should not be concerned with mundane people and should not depend upon them. One should depend solely on the Supreme Personality of Godhead and be free from material desires. One should also be clean, within and without. To be outwardly clean, one should regularly bathe with soap and oil, and to be inwardly clean one should always be absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa. The words sarvārambha-parityāgī indicate that one should not be interested in the so-called smārta-vidhi of pious and impious activities.
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
bhaktimān yaḥ sa me priyaḥ
santuṣṭo yena kenacit
bhaktimān me priyo naraḥ
bhaktās te ’tīva me priyāḥ
naivāṅghri-pāḥ para-bhṛtaḥ sarito ’py aśuṣyan
ruddhā guhāḥ kim ajito ’vati nopasannān
kasmād bhajanti kavayo dhana-durmadāndhān
This is a quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.2.5). In this verse, Śukadeva Gosvāmī advises Mahārāja Parīkṣit that a devotee should be independent in all circumstances. The body can be maintained with no problem if one follows the instructions given in this verse. To maintain the body, we require shelter, food, water and clothing, and all these necessities can be obtained without approaching puffed-up rich men. One can collect old garments that have been thrown out, one can eat fruits offered by the trees, one can drink water from the rivers, and one can live within the caves of mountains. By nature’s arrangements, shelter, clothing and food are supplied to the devotee who is completely surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a devotee does not need a puffed-up materialistic person to maintain him. In other words, devotional service can be discharged in any condition. This is the version of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.6):
sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati
“The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted in order to completely satisfy the self.” This verse explains that devotional service cannot be checked by any material condition.
bhāgavata-siddhānta gūḍha sakali kahilā
indra āsi’ karila yabe śrī-kṛṣṇere stuti
In the Vedic scripture Hari-vaṁśa (Viṣṇu-parva, chapter nineteen), there is the following description of Goloka Vṛndāvana:
manuṣya-lokād ūrdhvaṁ tu khagānāṁ gatir ucyate
ākāśasyopari ravir dvāraṁ svargasya bhānumān
svargād ūrdhvaṁ brahma-loko brahmarṣi-gaṇa-sevitaḥ
tatra soma-gatiś caiva jyotiṣāṁ ca mahātmanām
tasyopari gavāṁ lokaḥ sādhyās taṁ pālayanti hi
sa hi sarva-gataḥ kṛṣṇaḥ mahā-kāśa-gato mahān
upary upari tatrāpi gatis tava tapo-mayī
yāṁ na vidmo vayaṁ sarve pṛcchanto ’pi pitām aham
gatiḥ śama-damāṭyānāṁ svargaḥ su-kṛta-karmaṇām
brāhmye tapasi yuktānāṁ brahma-lokaḥ parā gatiḥ
gavām eva tu goloko durārohā hi sā gatiḥ
sa tu lokas tvayā kṛṣṇa sīdamānaḥ kṛtātmanā
dhṛto dhṛtimatā vīra nighnatopadravān gavām
When the King of heaven, Indra, surrendered to Kṛṣṇa after Kṛṣṇa had raised Govardhana Hill, Lord Indra stated that above the planetary systems wherein human beings reside is the sky, where birds fly. Above the sky is the sun and its orbit. This is the entrance to the heavenly planets. Above the heavenly planets are other planets, up to Brahmaloka, where those advancing in spiritual knowledge reside. The planets up to Brahmaloka are part of the material world (Devī-dhāma). Because the material world is under the control of Devī, Durgā, it is called Devī-dhāma. Above Devī-dhāma is a place where Lord Śiva and his wife Umā reside. Those brightened by spiritual knowledge and liberated from material contamination reside in that Śivaloka. Beyond that planetary system is the spiritual world, where there are planets called Vaikuṇṭhalokas. Goloka Vṛndāvana is situated above all the Vaikuṇṭhalokas. Goloka Vṛndāvana is the kingdom of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and the parents of Kṛṣṇa, Mahārāja Nanda and mother Yaśodā. In this way there are various planetary systems, and they are all creations of the Supreme Lord. As stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.43):
goloka-nāmni nija-dhāmni tale ca tasya
devī-maheśa-hari-dhāmasu teṣu teṣu
te te prabhāva-nicayā vihitāś ca yena
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
“Below the planet named Goloka Vṛndāvana are the planets known as Devī-dhāma, Maheśa-dhāma and Hari-dhāma. These are opulent in different ways. They are managed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, the original Lord. I offer my obeisances unto Him.”
Thus Goloka Vṛndāvana-dhāma is situated above the Vaikuṇṭha planets. The spiritual sky containing all the Vaikuṇṭha planets is very small compared to Goloka Vṛndāvana-dhāma. The space occupied by Goloka Vṛndāvana-dhāma is called mahākāśa, or “the greatest sky of all.” Lord Indra said, “We asked Lord Brahmā about Your eternal planet, but we could not understand it. Those fruitive actors who have controlled their senses and mind with pious activities can be elevated to the heavenly planets. Pure devotees who are always engaged in Lord Nārāyaṇa’s service are promoted to the Vaikuṇṭha-lokas. However, my Lord Kṛṣṇa, Your Goloka Vṛndāvana-dhāma is very difficult to attain. Yet both You and that supreme planetary system have descended here upon this earth. Unfortunately, I have disturbed You by my misdeeds, and that was due to my foolishness. I am therefore trying to satisfy You by my prayers.”
Śrī Nīlakaṇṭha confirms the existence of Goloka Vṛndāvana-dhāma by quoting the Ṛg-saṁhitā (Ṛg Veda 1.154.6):
tā vāṁ vāstūny uśmasi gamadhyai
yatra gāvo bhūri-śṛṅgā ayāsaḥ
atrāha tad urugāyasya kṛṣṇaḥ
paramaṁ padam avabhāti bhūri
“We wish to go to Your [Rādhā’s and Kṛṣṇa’s] beautiful houses, about which cows with large, excellent horns are wandering. Yet distinctly shining on this earth is that supreme abode of Yours that showers joy on all, O Urugāya [Kṛṣṇa, who is much praised].”
keśāvatāra, āra yata viruddha vyākhyāna
vyākhyā śikhāila yaiche susiddhānta haya
Due to envy, many asuras describe Kṛṣṇa to be like a black crow or an incarnation of a hair. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told Sanātana Gosvāmī how to counteract all these asuric explanations of Kṛṣṇa. The word kāka means crow, and keśa means hair. The asuras describe Kṛṣṇa as an incarnation of a crow, an incarnation of a śūdra (a blackish tribe) and an incarnation of a hair, not knowing that the word keśa means ka-īśa and that ka means Lord Brahmā and īśa means Lord. Thus the word keśa indicates that Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of Lord Brahmā.
Some of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are mentioned in the Mahābhārata as mauṣala-līlā. These include the stories of the destruction of the Yadu dynasty, Kṛṣṇa’s disappearance, His being pierced by a hunter’s arrow, the story of Kṛṣṇa’s being an incarnation of a piece of hair (keśa-avatāra) as well as mahiṣī-haraṇa, the kidnapping of Kṛṣṇa’s queens. Actually these are not factual but are related for the bewilderment of the asuras, who want to prove that Kṛṣṇa is an ordinary human being. They are false in the sense that these pastimes are not eternal, nor are they transcendental or spiritual. There are many people who are by nature averse to the supremacy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu. Such people are called asuras. They have mistaken ideas about Kṛṣṇa. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, the asuras are given a chance to forget Kṛṣṇa more and more, birth after birth. Thus they make their appearance in a family of asuras and continue this process, being kept in bewilderment about Kṛṣṇa. Asuras in the dress of sannyāsīs even explain the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in different ways according to their own imaginations. Thus they continue to remain asuras birth after birth.
As far as the keśa-avatāra (incarnation of a hair) is concerned, it is mentioned in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.7.26). The Viṣṇu Purāṇa also states, ujjahārātmanaḥ keśau sita-kṛṣṇau mahā-bala.
Similarly, it is stated in the Mahābhārata (Ādi-parva 189.31-32):
sa cāpi keśau harir uccakarta
ekaṁ śuklam aparaṁ cāpi kṛṣṇam
tau cāpi keśāv āviśatāṁ yadūnāṁ
kule striyau rohiṇīṁ devakīṁ ca
tayor eko balabhadro babhūva
yo ’sau śvetas tasya devasya keśaḥ
kṛṣṇo dvitīyaḥ keśavaḥ sambabhūva
keśaḥ yo ’sau varṇataḥ kṛṣṇa uktaḥ
Thus in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the Viṣṇu Purāṇa and the Mahābhārata there are references to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma being incarnations of a black hair and a white hair respectively. It is stated that Lord Viṣṇu snatched two hairs — one white and one black — from His head. These two hairs entered the wombs of Rohiṇī and Devakī, members of the Yadu dynasty. Balarāma was born from Rohiṇī, and Kṛṣṇa was born of Devakī. Thus Balarāma appeared from the first hair, and Kṛṣṇa appeared from the second hair. It was also foretold that all the asuras, who are enemies of the demigods, would be cut down by Lord Viṣṇu by His white and black plenary expansions and that the Supreme Personality of Godhead would appear and perform wonderful activities. In this connection, one should see the Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta, the chapter called Kṛṣṇāmṛta, verses 156-164. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has refuted this argument about the hair incarnation, and his refutation is supported by Śrī Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s commentaries. This matter is further discussed in the Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha (29) and in the commentary known as Sarva-saṁvādinī, by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī.
nivedana kare dante tṛṇa-guccha lañā
siddhānta śikhāilā, — yei brahmāra agocara
mora mana chuṅite nāre ihāra eka-bindu
vara deha’ mora māthe dhariyā caraṇa
ei tomāra vara haite habe mora bala”
vara dilā — ‘ei saba sphuruka tomāre’
vistāri’ kahana nā yāya prabhura prasāda
acirāt milaye tāṅre kṛṣṇa-prema-dhana
caitanya-caritāmṛta kahe kṛṣṇadāsa
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports to Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā, twenty-third chapter, describing love of Godhead.