Goswāmī Mahārāj: Some questions?
Devotee: Yes, first question is from Dhanañjaya Prabhu: on the one hand, we hear that to receive Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you need laulyam, strong desire for that.
Goswāmī Mahārāj: Laulyam. You need...right, he's saying that's required.
Devotee: Strong desire for that. For Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And, on the other hand, it is said that we are lucky because Kṛṣṇa is a thief and He can enter your heart no matter what. Please tell us how can the Lord charm us regardless of our desire.
Goswāmī Mahārāj: How the Lord can charm? Charm us, regardless of our desire?
Well, in light of the Appearance of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, when He is Viśwambhara, Nimāi, as a baby, one of His pastimes is that He is stolen. [We are] talking [about] Kṛṣṇa as a thief, but...one of His pastimes [is] some thieves steal Him. And they want to get His jewels sort of things, they want to take Him away and...but He is so charming and bewildering that they think they're going far, far away, and actually they're just circling and coming back to the house of Jagannātha Miśra and Sachī mātā.
So, they want, we can say they're approaching the Lord for some mundane purpose. But He is so kind and charming that even that mundane purpose becomes converted to something else. Like when Mukunda wants to bring our Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, he's quoting the Bhāgavatam ślokā with regard to Pūtanā:
aho bakī yaṁ stana-kāla-kūṭaṁ
jighāṁsayāpāyayad apy asādhvī
lebhe gatiṁ dhātry-ucitāṁ tato ’nyaṁ
kaṁ vā dayāluṁ śaraṇaṁ vrajema
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 3.2.23)
Originally Uddhava and Vidura. He's saying, who is a more merciful Lord than Kṛṣṇa? That Pūtanā rākṣasī...Hare Kṛṣṇa....and then there's King ???? also, that story we will tell. He was found at the bottom of a well as a lizard. Because he was cursed, but Kṛṣṇa liberated him. But, on this … about Pūtanā. She approached Kṛṣṇa with murderous intentions, and you know, dhātrī, means mother. Means like, motherly position because the āchāryas will analyze whether actually mother or motherly, and...good, anyway you parse it.
So, Viśwanāth Chakravartī Ṭhākur, he mentions in his commentary that if this is the result you get from approaching Krsna with murderous intentions, the first point he makes, he says: then what about if you're just neutral? Then, neutral you'll get a better result. He doesn't go [further]. First, he's talking about the neutral will deliver a better result than that. Then, what's above neutral? Dāsya — servitorship. Then, that must yield a superior result. Friendship, superior, vātsalya superior, madhura.
As Guru Mahārāj said, there's gradation everywhere, in everything. So, that actually, I think that...was Saumya Shyām, a schoolteacher before? He is...Guru Mahārāj liked to talk to him. Have conversations with [him]. He was one of the few Gurudeva would allow to go and sit with Guru Mahārāj on the verānda because he would always draw Guru Mahārāj into some Hari-kathā. And he mentioned to Guru Mahārāj about, you know, one gentleman said that our solace is that Kṛṣṇa is a thief. And this made Guru Mahārāj very happy, he was delighted to hear this.
And he said, "yes, the thief..," he said, "we have created bulwarks on all sides." Kind of an old word, like, the Russian word we could say is kremlin. Right? Means, a fort, a fortress, to keep Kṛṣṇa out, unfortunately. We've created all these barriers that keep Kṛṣṇa out. He said, "but, fortunately for us, Kṛṣṇa is a thief." And he said, "a thief needs no invitation." He enters stealthily for His own purpose. And we know, Kṛṣṇa is also known as bhava-grāhī janārdan. He's a bhāva consumer, a heart consumer, that's his interest.
patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
Offer something with love and affection, Kṛṣṇa will receive it with love and affection. Not just officially. The sort of bhāva, loving sentiment it is offered in, he's personally charmed by that. But, we're....because of our ego, causeless unwillingness and other things, we've created all these barriers that try and keep Kṛṣṇa out. We mentioned the other night about Aghāsura, and I forgot to say one thing I find personally delightfully amusing. [It]'s, you know, after all the cowherd boys enter Aghāsura, he's waiting, then Kṛṣṇa enters, then he closes his mouth, and inside Kṛṣṇa expands, pushing his soul and the life-airs up out of the Brahma-randhra, [and] he merges into Kṛṣṇa.
But, on this point of Kṛṣṇa entering Aghāsura, perhaps Viśwanāth Chakravarthī Ṭhākur, or one āchārya [in] their commentary they say, somehow or other, we have to allow Kṛṣṇa conception to enter. So, this is a real unusual example. Kṛṣṇa is personally entering into him [Aghāsura]. So, the conclusion is, somehow or other, for Kṛṣṇa to enter. So, that...our hope lies in the fact, and Guru Mahārāj is saying here, and knowing that Kṛṣṇa is a thief, and that He can enter for His own purpose. But, where the laulyam comes involved...means, this earnest hankering, hunger, that is the response, the desired response to exposure to Kṛṣṇa conception.
Why are there so many avatārs? Actually, there are avatārs at every moment. As we are saying, so long, so many years have passed, we're saying, anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau (Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā: 1.4) . But, if we factor in that pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, pastimes of Mahāprabhu, they're going from universe to universe to universe to universe. Actually, always going on. And so many avatārs, so many incarnations. Means so many opportunities are being presented, so much exposure to Krsna conception in so many different varieties, to capture the attention of fallen souls, conditioned souls.
But, this laulyam is mentioned in regard, we could say, to rāga-bhakti, more specifically.
krīyatāṁ yadi kuto ’pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate
(Chaitanya-charitāmṛta- Madhya-līlā: 8.70)
Interestingly, janma-koṭi-sukṛtair means ten million births of accumulated sukṛti won't deliver this to you. There are many different things one can do [in] our culture. [They're] saying, that won't give you that. tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ janma-koṭi sukṛtair. But laulyam is the purchase price.
So, inadvertently, indirectly, it's pointing us in the direction of the vaiṣṇava, of Kṛṣṇa's agents, of Kṛṣṇa's devotee. Because, where are you going to get this? It's like, we were telling the other day, contagious, an infectious disease. You have to go to someone, have contact with someone who's infected. But we mean this all in a good way. bhaktyā sañjātayā bhaktyā (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 11.3.31) Bhakti alone can give birth to bhakti. One who [is] associating and serving — and by association service is implied, not mere proximity. Service — sevana mukhe, sevana mukhtaḥ.
Then, we're told, by serving that vaiṣṇava, dāsa’ kari’ vetana more deha prema-dhana (Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta Antya-līla: 20.37). What is the vetana, the remuneration, in a sense, although pure service seeks nothing in exchange. But it's observed [that] the remuneration is the sort of love, devotion, in this case, hunger, earnestness, sincerity, hankering in the heart of that vaiṣṇava, that substantial agent, is transferred to the heart of the aspiring servitor.
So, Narottam Ṭhākur,
Āśraya loiya bhaje, tare kṛṣṇa nāhi tyaje
Āro saba more akāraṇa
(Ṭhākura-vaiṣṇava-pada — Song by Narottam dās Ṭhākur)
He's saying, don't try approach Kṛṣṇa directly. That is uncertain. He's saying, it's your good fortune if Kṛṣṇa enters your heart stealthily...what a wonderful thing [if that happens]. But don't try to approach Kṛṣṇa directly, but take shelter of the lotus feet of his devotee, serve that devotee, and Kṛṣṇa will have to extend Himself to that servitor. And [this is] certified by Kṛṣṇa Himself: those who say they are my devotees directly, they are not my real devotees. But my real devotees are those who are devoted to my devotees.
It's interesting. Famous ślokā in the Bhāgavatam: dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 6.3.19). I mean, [I am] quoting the Mahābhārata, actually. No, that's in the Bhāgavatam— dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ. The one that’s in [the Mahābhārata is]:
dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ
mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ
(Mahābhārata, Vana-pārva: 313.117).
Kṛṣṇa is substantially, you can say, hidden, or present within the hearts of his devotees mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. And we should follow their path.
But that's still a general statement. Then, we want to say, well, who are the ..what's the highest conception of a mahātmā, or great personality? Or, who are the greatest devotee[s]? Bhagavad-gītā again:
mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam
Saying, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīm prakṛtim āśritāḥ —those who are fully sheltered in the daivīm prakṛtim. bhajanty ananya-manaso means 24 hours engagement. Bhajan, tva, ananya. Never-ending. We, in a general sense think of all of the superior realized souls in that sort of non-ending, ceaseless, never-ending flow. But Guru Mahārāj makes this point, really 24 hours engagement is only available in madhura-rasa.
Why? Because...and he means in this way, of this direct service that...Mother Yaśodā, she is concerned about Kṛṣṇa's health. ….Like again….. Mahāprabhu's parents...Jagannāth Miśra, he and Sachī mātā, they...talking about jñāna-sūnya bhakti, pure-hearted devotion, they, after the birth of Nimāi, they notice in their house, like, the footprints, auspicious symbols from the footprints of the Lord. And they're so pure-hearted, simple-hearted, they think that their śāligrāma-śilā is performing pastimes in the house.
They're thinking, we're so fortunate, our deity is showing some pastimes. That's what they're thinking, they're discussing with one another. And, Sachī mātā, she is sharing, saying, sometimes I am lying down with Nimāi and these effulgent personalities, ladies and gent[lemen] in the sky, and they're offering prayers to someone. To someone. But then, when she is holding baby Nimāi, and she — he has different pastimes, for a time He sort of, like, lays on his back with His feet in the air— [and] she sees those symbols that were on the floor, they're on the lotus feet of Nimāi.
And Jagannāth Miśra, he has some dream, where some great personalities come and say, your son is Nārāyaṇa Himself, He is the Supreme Lord, and you know, you are instructing Him and treating Him like an ordinary child, but He is not. And Jagannāth Miśra is saying, "I don't care who He is, but He is my son and if I don't train Him, who will?" He is saying, whatever you say, that doesn't affect me. So...then, he wakes up [and] shares this dream with the others. But, why did I say that? Because....before....the gopīs, mahātmās, oh, Yaśodā.
Sort of like, Jagannāth Miśra, his vātsalya concerns. So, Yaśodā, she wants Kṛṣṇa to get a good night's rest. You know, cow-herding is...you know, it's a very intense activity...[laughter]...After the death of Kaṁsa, his mother, they gave her shelter in Dwārka, and when she is concerned that they're trying to take Kṛṣṇa back to Vṛndāvan, because of like, feeling too much separation...there's some movement to take Kṛṣṇa back to Vrndavan. Her part — we can say assigned by yoga-māyā in this play — she starts saying, like, "those people in Vṛndāvan, they made Him herd cows, which is very intense, you know, physical labour, they didn't even give Him a pair of shoes !"
Because they don't wear shoes in Vṛndāvan. [Laughter]. Because they're barefoot. She is saying, they... He didn't even get a pair of shoes for all the work He did. "And," she said, "if they insist upon taking Him there, then what is the market rate for cow-herding." Like, how much is it per hour, per day. [She is saying,] they just, they want to get Him back there for the cow-herd program, [then] we'll pay you something. What's the going rate for cow-herd[s], we'll pay you that. [Laughter].
So, mother Yaśodā...we know when Kṛṣṇa comes back at the end of the day, he's covered in go-rajaḥ, the dust of the cow-[herd]. But we're told he looks very beautiful like that. What Guru Mahārāj called agreeable negligence, He's covered in cow-dust… Like when....we were in Govardhan with Śrīla Gurudeva, and those winds come. Sandeep knows the name...and all the dust is blowing, and all the devotees are coughing [coughing sounds]. And Gurudeva said, "Prabhu, you were praying, I heard you were praying for the dust and....and now the dust has come... [Laughter]. And you are coughing, but I know you were praying for that, that very thing." [Laughter].
He can enter those pastimes and add something. So, mother Yaśodā..when Krsna is coming back], at the end of the day, there's...Brahma's there, Śiva's there, in their demigod position, they show up some times. At the end of the [day], to see Kṛṣṇa returning. Mother Yaśodā's think[ing], these people are going to [exhaust Krsna], He's already tired, they're going to make Him more tired. So, you can see, her way of seeing things are [sic] very different. So, she wants Kṛṣṇa to bathe, have a nice meal, and get a good night's sleep. Because the same thing will happen again tomorrow, in the nitya-līlā. But the Vraja-gopīs, they're ever hopeful, hearing the sound of Kṛṣṇa's flute — karṣan veṇu-svanair gopīr. Every day we are singing,
karṣan veṇu-svanair gopīr
gopī-nāthaḥ śriye ’stu naḥ
(Śrī Chaitanya-Charitāmṛta Ādi-līlā: 1.17)
They're irresistibly drawn in attraction by the sweet sound of Kṛṣṇa's flute. Gopinātha. Gopināth. He's the lord of the gopīs. So they want Kṛṣṇa not to sleep, they want to rendezvous with Kṛṣṇa in the dead of night in the forest of Vraja. So Guru Mahārāj said, 24-hours engagement only possible in madhura-rasa. From this type of analysis. So, if we take these statements, and start as Guru Mahārāj said, as connotation increases, denotation decreases.
We connote more what is the meaning of mahātmā, who are the greatest souls. It says, real religion is in the heart, to be found in the hearts of the mahātmās. dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ (Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Madhya-līlā: 17.186). But they...you know, what is it? ārya-pathaṁ ca hitvā (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.47.61). They've crossed over the ārya-pathaṁ, means the Āryan, the Vedic path, ārya-patham. ārya-pathaṁ ca hitvā. They're...that cannot, what's the word, obstruct their eagerness, their laulyam, their earnest hankering.
Nothing can obstruct that flow, that's what it means. Sometimes, devotees hear these things and they think it means that they don't follow principles. There are certain principles [we are] told to follow, particularly, the aspiring section, to advance, progressively advance and the like. And they think, ohh, but we hear the higher devotees don't follow that. That's not what it's saying. It's saying, nothing, no principle, rule, regulation shall obstruct this natural flow of rāga-bhakti that's in their hearts. That's what it is talking about. And Guru Mahārāj...what [does it say] [SLOKA SNIPPET]. Something like that, from Rūpa Goswāmī, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. Guru Mahārāj said, until you have bhāva-bhakti, and in case you are wondering, Rūpa Goswāmī also defines, what are the criteria for that.
Which are, you know, māna-śūnyatā, the total absence of false ego, there's maybe ten things are listed there. You know, nāma-ruchi, actual taste for taking the Holy Name, oh, this one, 24-hours engaged, non-stop incessant, pure Kṛṣṇa conscious thoughts even while sleeping. Right? Even in the dream stage, full Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And, other [places], it's given in Charitāmṛtam, referencing Bhakti-rasāmrta-sindhu….. So, until that natural flow has been released, then what, vaidhi-bhakti, one will follow the rules, regulations, the principles of vaidhi-bhakti.
And, Guru Mahārāj would say, we should never think that we have achieved that. He said, in fact, higher souls, they will...what to speak of bhāva-bhakti, they will never think of themselves as anartha-nivṛtti, free from undesirable influences. Look at the statements of the great devotees, as collected by Śrīla Guru Mahārāj in Prapanna-jīvanāmṛtam. They're always pointing to their lack of qualifications. And how they are in need and want.
So, the greatest devotees, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Madhya-līlā: 17.186) also means this: in this world, there is calculation. And varieties of calculation. Guru [Mahārāj], to make a point, Śrīla [Guru Mahārāj]....we know Śrīla Saraswati Ṭhākur, …… Sūrya-siddhānta, he has fully developed astrological knowledge and...but Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur, he's not an astrologer. He, for his panjika, he consults this P. N. Bhakshi. There is a book they have in Bengal to this day, the calendar. When they say calendar, they don't mean like, you know twelve pictures and twelve months, or one picture with twelve months. It's a book that's around 900 pages, all kinds of calculations are there.
And it was mentioned by Guru Mahārāj that Saraswati Ṭhākur's own calculations sometimes would differ with those of P.N. Bhakshi. But, and we assume Saraswati Ṭhākur's are perfect. And this further underscores the point. But because it differed from the calendar that Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur is following, he deferred to show that faith is higher than calculation. That's the point. The type of devotion in the plane that we seek is higher than calculation. And he would rather sacrifice mundane calculation, the calculation of this world to revere that plane. Even if apparently there was some contradiction.
So, Viśwanāth Chakravarthi Ṭhākur, in a nutshell ślokā, he's...you could say, summarized [the] pastimes of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, with reference to the Vraja-gopīs. And then we can understand who the highest mahātmās are and what is their path.
ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa tanaya tad dhāma vṛndāvanam
ramyā kāchid upāsanā vraja-vadhū-vargeṇa yā kapitā
śrīmad bhāgavatam pramāṇam-amalam premā pumartho mahān
śrī chaitanya mahāprabhur-matam-idaṁ tatrādaro naḥ paraḥ
(Śrīla Viśwanāth Chakravartī Ṭhākur)
What's the first line? ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa tanaya tad dhāma vṛndāvanam. He is saying ārādhyo bhagavān, he just [gets] right to the point, ārādhyo bhagavān. What is the highest type of worship? vrajeśa tanaya — Vraja – īśa –tanayā —Means Kṛṣṇa. Highest abode —Tad dhāma vṛndāvanam —Vṛdāvan. ramyā kāchid upāsanā vraja-vadhū-vargeṇa yā kapitā. There's nothing superior, and these were Guru Mahārāj's words, he said, than the path invented, imagined, invented, envisioned by the vraja-gopīs. Their method is giving yourself. Sometimes [people say], offer this, offer that, under these circumstances you should offer this, and then when you hold this, chant this mantra. They're offering themselves.
And [in] one place Guru Mahārāj said, we're told, you know, ātma-nivedanam should be, like, the basis of everything, some self-giving. dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kare ātma-samarpaṇa (Śrī Chaitanya charitāmṛta, Antya-līlā: 4.192). When you're offering yourself...he said, but from another point of view, actually, that's the goal. That's why it's ātma-nivedanam. From another point of view, [that’s] why [that] comes at the end. At last, to fully, totally, offer oneself. Ārādhya. Ārādhita. This is how Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is referenced in the pages of the Bhāgavatam. Whose method of service is giving Herself. And what is that person?
[She] is the supreme devotee of all devotees of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa-mayī. She's really responsible for all of this, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. What does She say? na prema-gandho ’sti darāpi me harau krandāmi saubhāgya-bharaṁ prakāśitum (Śrī Chaitanya charitāmṛta, Madhya-līlā: 2.45). I have this reputation as wholly giving myself to Kṛṣṇa, but I am ashamed to say, really, I could not give myself to Him fully. I fell short of that mark. That's how She feels. The Supreme devotee of Kṛṣṇa. The One whom Kṛṣṇa Himself wants to emulate as Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu. Then how shall others be?
This cannot be dismissed. If, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, She says this...and, those sentiments are expressed from the heart of Mahāprabhu, echoed from the heart of Mahāprabhu, then how shall anyone else feel, or express themselves? So, Guru Mahārāj says, negativity, this laulyam, this hankering can be measured in terms of feeling of want, or need. Means the absence of something. And separation itself is implied. I am in want of....what the heart is searching for, I am without that. That creates some need, some want, some hunger, some hankering.
Then, connection can be appreciated. Like they have that saying, that hunger is the best spice. I know, sometimes, [one is] so hungry [that] a bland cracker tastes incredible. You feel like, wow, this is amazing. Because you are hungry, every mor[sel tastes good]. He is saying, that hunger...and, to appreciate the least thing.
devīṁ guṇaiḥ sulalitāṁ lalitāṁ namāmi
(Śrī Lalitāṣṭakam: 1)
Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī praising Lalitā-sakhī, as possessing the highest magnitude of eagerness for the least seva, service. That shows hunger, earnestness, hankering, eagerness. And, those in her line, the Rūpānuga line, that's why we're not interested to get the mantram, this, that, from anywhere and everywhere. But from someone who's... the seed of that hankering is there. Like Guru Mahārāj wrote in Gurudeva's pranām, Kṛṣṇa-prema-bīja pradam. He's distributing the seed of Kṛṣṇa-prema.
So...one of Mahāprabhu's pastimes also, is that...when He is a little child, this brahmin stops by the house and...it is part of the culture...Jagannāth Miśra, [and his family], they arranged to give him some bhoga to offer...he wants to make an offering to Kṛṣṇa, very sincere and....how earnest he is, he is unaware of how pure he is actually. And Nimāi Paṇḍit comes and eats his offerings. And this shows his purity, he is thinking, ohhh, the child spoiled everything. Cleans everything, now to offer again, very earnestly he is praying that the Lord will accept his offering. Nimāi comes in, eats his offering.
He is saying, dahh! Until finally, Nimāi reveals who He is. And, in Kṛṣṇa-līlā, you also came to the house of Nanda [and] Yaśodā, same pastime we're having, here [a] little different. But think of this. The reason I am mentioning this, [and there is] more than one point, is that, look how pure he is. The Lord is coming and personally eating his offerings, and he is thinking that everything has been ruined. That's pure to the extreme. Only when Kṛṣṇa [says] now you can see who I am.
Those simple-hearted girls, now they're like...they have all their offerings, they're on the banks of the Ganga, and then Nimāi Paṇḍit, He's not paṇḍit yet, maybe He's just Nimāi, comes and He is taking their offerings. And they're saying, you know, you shouldn't do this, we're trying to worship the Lord, and He is saying, no, like, what lords, the people you pray to, they worship Me. Ohh, You're so arrogant ! He said no, I'm telling you the truth ! Brahma, Śiva, they all worship Me ! Do you understand that? They're going, Nimai ! you shouldn't talk like that ! He's saying, no, if you give these offerings to Me, I guarantee you...you know, and He starts telling [them] what they're going to have, and they'll have intelligent husbands who are very handsome, and, you'll have each seven children who are very intelligent and this and that, and lots of rice in your house and....
And then some girls, they're like, taking their offerings and going away. And He's saying, you know, for you, you'll have four co-wives and you're going to be...you know, he starts telling them inauspicious things and then they're thinking, like, OK...you know, then they give their offerings too. [Laughter]. They're thinking...like Gurudeva said about that lady offering daṇḍavats to different stones in Calcutta. He would say, "dīdī, what are you doing?" And she said, "one of them might be Śiva !" [Laughter]. So, she's like, got everything covered, you know. So, [in the same way, the girls] they're thinking, well, maybe what Nimāi says is true. And certainly we don't want that inauspicious thing to happen.
That's being a happy victim of His stealth. But Rūpa Goswāmī said in Bhakti Rasāmṛta sindhu, those gopīs, sometimes they are feigning sleep, they're pretending to sleep, and they know Kṛṣṇa is entering their house to steal butter, and yogurt. They can hear Him, blowing out the lamps, they can hear Him eating, it's making them very happy, actually. And he says there, when Nārada muni is observing this, and he sees this one gopī pretending to be asleep, but she can't stop smiling and Kṛṣṇa is stealing everything. Nārada muni becomes so ecstatic, he [Rūpa Goswāmī] said, he smiles and his smile turns the cloud silver. Now, that’s a smile !
When Kṛṣṇa and Balarām are in the Vṛndāvan forest in their cow-herding pastimes, they're hungry, and Kṛṣṇa sends some cow-herd boys to meet their yajñak —brāhmins doing their yajña nearby. And the boys show up in the name of Kṛṣṇa and Balarām asking for a little, prasād, something. And they're saying, ohh, time is not right. There's some more mantras to be chanted, more offerings to be made, and after some time, then something will be available, but not now.
And those boys go back to Kṛṣṇa empty-handed. But Kṛṣṇa is only smiling. He's saying, then go approach their wives. The vipra-patnīs. The brāhmins' wives. And when they get this opportunity, they're taking everything they have, and they're running to give those things to Kṛṣṇa, Balarām. And it's mentioned, they didn't go to the gurukula, they don't know all the mantras their husbands know, and all of these things. But their hearts are in the right place. Their hearts are just magnetically drawn to give themselves to Kṛṣṇa.
And they enter this clearing, and we are told that there's Kṛṣṇa, just leaning on maybe Balarām or cowherd boys, like that, and He's smiling and twirling a lotus flower.
śyāmaṁ hiraṇya-paridhiṁ vanamālya-barha-
vinyasta-hastam itareṇa dhunānam abjaṁ
(Śrīmad Bhagavatam: 10.23.22)
So, He's smiling, He's twirling a lotus flower and those [wives], they're there with their offering...and [the ślokā is] saying, as the lotus flower is rotating, their hearts are turning. They're like, becoming light, like light, and their hearts are imbued with madhura-rasa sentiment.
So, they have that. And how did they get this? They...there were flower-sellers and fruit-sellers in Vṛndāvan, who would come by where they lived, and singing the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. That He just...kāliya-daman, and this pastime [and that]. They're, like, girls growing up in Vṛndāvan hearing these things. Like we saw there in Kārthik, the girls, the local village girls [are] going to kāliya rath and singing these songs every day in the afternoon.
So, I was discussing this with Sandeep. One of the beautiful things to observe is, they think Kṛṣṇa is theirs. They don't think, like, they're a particular way, and then there's this Kṛṣṇa that they're hearing about. They think of Him as their own. You know, their Kṛṣṇa, did this and that — sva-janam.
mallānām aśanir nṛṇāṁ nara-varaḥ strīṇāṁ smaro mūrtimān
gopānāṁ sva-jano ’satāṁ kṣiti-bhujāṁ śāstā sva-pitroḥ śiśuḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.43.17)
The cow-herd men, when they see Kṛṣṇa, they're saying, "He's with us ! That's our boy !" Just like in this world, people, they're proud when someone from their hometown or their village becomes famous or does something extraordinary. They have some, like, pride. So, they have that type of pride for Kṛṣṇa and all of His accomplishments and His fame.
So they're singing those songs, and hearing about Kṛṣṇa from such a...you know, from the beginning of their lives. So those vipra-patnīs, they're hearing all the...growing up hearing all these things about Kṛṣṇa, it's awakening what is the capacity of the heart. nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema ‘sādhya’ kabhu naya śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya (Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta Madhya-līlā: 22.107). Śravaṇādi — śravaṇ, kīrtan, etc. can...udaya means awaken these sentiments in the heart.
There’s another question?
Devotee: Yes, when you start to analyse, there's no realization. So, what does it mean to be on the plane of consciousness?
Goswāmī Mahārāj: Who's asking this question?
Devotee: Anonymous, it's not mentioned.
Goswāmī Mahārāj: Ohh, anonymous.
Goswāmī Mahārāj: Uh-huh. [Laughter]. Can you say that again? When you start to analyse...
Devotee: When you start to analyse, there's no realization.
Goswāmī Mahārāj: There's no realization.
Goswāmī Mahārāj: You mean like, analysis leads to paralysis kind of thing.
Devotee: Mmm...if you are thinking about something, it's some mental knowledge, not something you [realize], something like that.
Goswāmī Mahārāj: OK, and then what?
Devotee: And, so what does it mean to be on the plane of consciousness?
Goswāmī Mahārāj: The plane of consciousness. Like Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or some other kind of consciousness?
Devotee: I think Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Goswāmī Mahārāj: Yeah. Because just consciousness alone is not enough. Sat-chit-ānandam. Sat, meaning to exist, then... what's the old [saying] — cogito ergo sum — I think, therefore I am, to be aware of one's existence, conscious of your existence. But accompanying consciousness of one's existence, a third aspect presents itself to us. The necessity for ānandam, happiness. Consciousness allows us to feel happiness.
And in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even the feeling of sad, unhappy things can produce ānandam. Guru Mahārāj liked to quote the poet, perhaps Shelley, where he said, "Our sweetest songs are those that tell the saddest thoughts." And we know, like, Rāmāyan, heart-breaking love story, and there is something [about] heart[-breaking], particularly heart-breaking love stories. Something compelling about the heart-breaking love story, that people want to hear that. They're shedding tears, they're crying, it's heart-breaking, but they can't stop hearing that.
Heart-breaking love songs. bāhye viṣa-jvālā haya, bhitare ānanda-maya,
kṛṣṇa-premāra adbhuta carita (Ṣrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta Madhya-līlā: 2.50). It's a mysterious and wonderful thing, what's presented in the pastimes of Mahāprabhu. Remember, twenty-four years...He's in manifest pastimes in this world for forty-eight years, twenty-four years in Navadwīp. Like we were telling, His childhood pastimes, then He becomes Nimāi Paṇḍit, the scholar/teacher, and as He approaches twenty-four [He] begins behind closed-door the Nāma-saṅkīrtan — when Nityānanda Prabhu comes, and Śrīvas Ṭhākur, Advaita Āchārya, Haridās Ṭhākur, Gadādhar Paṇḍit, Chandrasekhar Āchārya, Mukunda, and others.
But then at 24, He takes sannyāsa. For six years, Purī is the base, but traveling around South India, always showing the superiority of Kṛṣṇa conception to all other conceptions. Then those last eighteen years, in Purī. We can say, another six with the devotees, Ratha-yātrā coming every year, and more accessible. But then the last twelve years, mostly behind closed doors with Rāmānanda and Svarūp Dāmodar Rādhā-bhāva-dyūti-suvalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇa-svarūpam (Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta Ādi-līlā: 1.5).
What is He [doing]? He is plunging the depths of Rādhā-bhāva. And particularly, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and what She feels in separation from Kṛṣṇa. And that should give us a clue, a hint, that Kṛṣṇa, who is rāsa-rāj, He is that ānandam, that everyone is searching for, personified. To the extreme. We're told: kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobhaṁ (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā: 5.30). Ten million times cupid, personified, condensed as one, only a hint of His position. Ecstasy personified. Why is it that one who is ecstasy personified wants to spend the last twelve years of His manifest pastimes plunging the depths of Rādhā-bhāva, and particularly what Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī feels in separation from Kṛṣṇa?
Because the heart in separation yields a superior substance. As Gurudev liked to quote this verse of Rūpa Goswāmī:
pīḍābhir nava-kāla-kūṭa-kaṭutā-garvasya nirvāsano
nisyandena mudāṁ sudhā-madhurimāhaṅkāra-saṅkocanaḥ
premā sundari nanda-nandana-paro jāgarti yasyāntare
jñāyante sphuṭam asya vakra-madhurās tenaiva vikrāntayaḥ
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta Madhya-līlā: 2.52).
He's saying, Rūpa Goswāmī says, it's like, what is this type of prema compared to? Suffering the effects of cobra venom while being showered in an endless shower of nectar. It's very peculiar. So Gurudeva said, everyone can understand the joys of union. He said, even the animals, even those lizards.
He said, but who can understand the type of ecstatic joy you can experience in separation? That's only fully...the depths are plumbed in Mahāprabhu's pastimes. And what are two focal points? When every year, what, why is that pastime so important? Ratha-yātrā. Because separation reached the zenith point. That...so Guru Mahārāj said, what is the formula? Service, according to the intensity of its necessity, draws remuneration. At Kurukṣetra, separation has reached its zenith point. There's the greatest necessity for assistance from the servitors. So...and Rādhārāṇī is feeling the height of separation from Kṛṣṇa. So, what comes from Her heart is of the most superior quality. That's one focal point for Mahāprabu.
And every year they're having that. And even though it's public, in a certain extent, what He's expressing is confidential and esoteric. And only Rūpa Goswāmī reveals that. And, what is the other point? The last twelve years, we're told, Uddhava darśan. Means, when Uddhava comes, brings Kṛṣṇa's message to assuage the separation, the anguish in the hearts of Rādhārāṇī and Vraja-gopīs. And Rādhārāṇī goes into the extremes of divine madness with the bhramara-gītā, the song of what She sings to the bumblebee. Again where separation has reached the zenith point. These, Mahāprabhu cannot, how do you say, keep Himself from going in this direction.
And, that, knowing that in the background, this is ānandam personified, Krsna, He, this, He wants to experience, and taste. Incessantly, particularly for the last twelve years of His manifest pastimes. So, Kavirāj Goswāmī will say in different places, particularly in the beginning of chapters in Chaitanya-charitāmṛtam, by the grace of Mahāprabhu, a dog can cross over the ocean of nescience. A child can speak all sorts of siddhānta. We don't have to analyse these things. The great devotees, they have done this, they share this with us, they make this comparative analysis for our benefit, so that we can appreciate that. And it's by their grace that we can understand it, not because we have some intellectual ability, some mental this, that, or the other thing. No such thing, it's all grace, actually.
What we seek is only achieved by the grace of the Lord, particularly manifest through His merciful devotees and we seek the service of their lotus feet. That's how we express our appreciation for what they're giving to us, by offering ourselves in service to them.
So, Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya. Śrīla Prabhupāda, Swāmi Mahārāj, he gave this expression, actually. Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He coined that phrase, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And Guru Mahārāj liked it, he said because it's like a rendering of Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya. Because sometimes we can say Chaitanya means consciousness. So Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that Guru Mahārāj liked. I really have [nothing more], I don't understand this question, but I still liked the answer. [Laughter]. Because it ends with Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Begins with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and Kṛṣṇa consciousness along the way, and ends with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, can't go wrong. [Laughter].
Saraswati Ṭhākur, they say, he looked at articles for the Harmonist, and sometimes, say like, "How many times did he mention Kṛṣṇa or Mahāprabhu?" And [if] they say, "Ohh, a lot," then he'll go, "Then it's a good article." [Laughter]. Whatever is being said, it has a lot of Kṛṣṇa in it, [then] it's good. From the right sources. And Mahāprabhu, what is that prayer He liked to chant?
Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa he!
Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, he!
Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, pāhi mām.
Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, rakṣa mām.
Rāma Rāghava, Rāma Rāghava, Rāma Rāghava rakṣa mām,.
Kṛṣṇa Keśava, Kṛṣṇa Keśava, Kṛṣṇa Keśava pāhi mām
And Mahāprabhu is like, apparently, can't get enough of Kṛṣṇa.
And Hare Kṛṣṇa is Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, we should not forget that. Nāma-Saṅkīrtan. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
And this He liked.
Hari haraye namaḥ, Kṛṣṇa yādavāya namaḥ....[saṅkīrtan begins].