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  • Christianity and Vaishnavism

    Q: Christmas: the Western world is celebrating the appearance of Jesus Christ. We know that Srila Prabhupada mad several statements about Jesus while he was preaching. Also in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam (4.6.47): “A Vaiṣṇava should follow the examples of such Vaiṣṇavas as Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Nityānanda Prabhu and also Lord Jesus Christ.” — Tolerating personal insults. Before that he gives the 3rd verse of Siksastakam. Can you, please, expand on Prabhupada’s statement. Are there any comments of Sila Gurudev or Srila Guru Maharaj?

    Loving glance of the Vaishnavas towards Christianity. — Controversial service for the confidential servitor: Shiva, Judas. — Swami Prabhupada talks on Christianity. — Sridhar Maharaj asks, if Jesus can come to Vaishnavism. — Everyone saw Krishna in a different way at Kamsa’s arena. — Gopis never not see Krishna. In separation their seeing becomes intensified. — Lakshmi and Vishnu, Dwaraka Krishna are astonished by the beauty of Vrindavan Krishna. — Christianity is a partial representation of loving relations, the full range is expressed in Krishna conception. — Oldest of all — ever youthful. — Christianity: ore and reverential devotion. — Gradation of religions: rasa, loving intimacy, as a standard. — Public and private lives of God. — The case of Ma Yashoda. — When a devotee in a superior position, Krishna is happy. — Tolerance, humility, giving honor to others — that mood can be appreciated by the Christians. — Separation is a “hunger” stage before meeting. — Mad search for Krishna that yields substance. — She who controls Krishna.                                                                                     

    Chiang Mai 2017 - Christianity and Vaishnavism

    Author: Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Cycle: Chiang Mai 2017 Uploaded by: Priyanana Created at: 18 January, 2018
    Duration: 00:57:29 Date: 2017-12-25 Place: Gupta Govardhan Chiang Mai Downloaded: 383 Played: 873
    Transcribed by: Anand Prabhu, Suvasini Devi Dasi

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    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Some question?
    Devotee: Yes, Mahārāj. [There is a ] question referring to Christmas. The Western world is celebrating the appearance of Jesus Christ. And there is a question referring to Śrīla Prabhupāda and...we know that he made several statements while he is preaching about Jesus Christ, and then...Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 4th Cānto, and 6th chapter, verse 47, in his purport, he says a Vaiṣṇava should follow the examples of such Vaiṣṇavas as Haridās Ṭhākur, Nityānanda Prabhu and also Lord Jesus Christ. So, can you give...
    Goswāmī Maharaj: And what does he say? What is that example?
    Devotee: The purport itself...the śloka...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: I'm saying, he is saying you should [follow their example]...what is the example they've shown that he's saying should follow?
    Devotee: Just [that] there's no need to kill anyone who has already been killed. And...but it should be noted herewith that a Vaiṣṇava should not tolerate the blaspheming of Viṣṇu or Vaiṣṇavas, although he should tolerate personal insults to himself.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Um-hmm. Tolerating the personal insults...I think...
    Devotee: Before that he gives the third verse from Śikṣāṣṭakam....
    Goswāmi Mahārāj: And the question is?
    Devotee: Just....expand the idea and the...about Prabhupāda's statements about the...Jesus Christ in particular and if there are any comments given by Śrīla Gurudeva or Guru Mahārāj, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, you can recollect.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: I remember being in Italy with Śrīla Gurudeva and we were atop some mountain, I think it is called, Monte Barro, according to my memory. And there was a chapel there. And, you know, a small little church, and inside rather than the typical cross — [did the plug come out? Transcriber note: side conversation] — rather than the typical cross, there was a statue of Mary holding Jesus. You know, like, a very sweet thing. And, it was said to be 500 years old.
    So, of course, whenever devotees hear 500 years old, they think, the time of Mahāprabhu. So, you could say that this chapel had been there since the time of Mahāprabhu. That was interesting. But when Śrīla Gurudeva, he saw, like, Mary, sometimes they say Madonna, holding the baby Jesus, he said, Mother Maria ki jai ! [Laughter]. So, there's Christianity and what it is, and they themselves have varieties of presentation or interpretation about that, those who consider themselves Christians, and we know there's some variety there, different ways of interpretation.
    And then there's...when the Vaiṣṇavas, the loving glance of the Vaiṣṇavas toward Christianity, you might say. So, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, like an example, he said that when he was exploring the theme that only a confidential servitor could handle a very controversial role in pastimes. Just like, we know, Śiva, on account of his unique tattva, position, he is doing things that are....that even he himself sometimes laments about. māyāvādam asac-chāstraṁ pracchannaṁ bauddham ucyate (Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta Madhya-līlā: 6.182). You know, preaching Māyāvād...giving benedictions to followers in the mode of ignorance, who are likely to misuse these boons for mischief, and things like that, saying, I'm repeatedly brought into clash with Kṛṣṇa because of these followers I have, being merciful, or gracious to them.
    So, on that theme, that really only a confidential servitor could be entrusted with some controversial type sevā, you could say, Guru Mahārāj discussed Judas. And, a perspective, that actually he would have to be a dear servitor to perform this betrayal. This is a very generous view. [Transciber note:The following seems to be related to what is going on where Maharaj is giving his talk, and not directly related to the topic being being discussed]. If they can sit this way, I can't see through this opaque sign, so I'm talking to someone's knees, you know...Just, to the side, yeah, to the side of the sign...
    So, again, this is Guru Mahārāj's interpretation. So he's saying, when Jesus is going up to Mount Calvary, carrying the cross, and...different events happen. At one point, he sees Judas. And, we're told, and they exchange glances. And then we're told that Judas goes off and hangs himself. But Guru Mahārāj said, what was in that glance? And he said, it was that Jesus looked at him and said, in a very pathetic and appealing way, forgive me, for what I have done to you. Your name will be black for all time. To this day, I don't think people name their child Judas.
    There's someone, you will find someone in California somewhere who just did. But other than that, generally they're avoiding. So he said, your name will be black from all time to come, you know, Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus. He said, but in the exchange of glances, Jesus is saying, please forgive me, for using you in this way. And then, Guru Mahārāj is saying, Judas, the betrayer, [thinks], he is asking me for forgiveness! He feels so remorseful and distraught, he goes off and hangs himself. So, that's a non-conventional interpretation of these things.
    We know, Śrīla Gurudeva, perhaps a couple of times, mentioned that...what was it, the song of Solomon, which I believe is in the Old Testament...he saw some parallels there to, like, madhura-rasa conceptions. But again, there's...this is something being put before the Vaiṣṇavas, and they're generously trying to be inclusive. So, I think in the case of Śrīla Prabhupāda, [and this is] my own opinion, that some of the things he expressed was [sic] based upon understanding who his audience was.
    So, he is talking to people who are primarily Christian or [of] Christian background. So, some times, in a propaganda sense he said many things. You know, like, Jesus Christ, he is our guru! But you won't find his name in the guru-paramparā. But he is speaking in a particular way. Or, Christ, Christos, Kṛṣṇa. But we are not chanting Christ and Christos, we're chanting Kṛṣṇa. But he may say, you know, Kṛṣṇa, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, you have something, you can chant that, he is talking in a general, inclusive, appealing way. But he is promoting the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahāmantra as the Vedas indicate...in Vedic literature, the purānas, and [so forth].
    So, there's a chapter in the [book] "Search for Śrī Kṛṣṇa: Reality the Beautiful" called Beyond Christianity. And, Guru Mahārāj speaks there about Jesus having a dynamic position. That he can go, he can go deeper into reality. So, after this was published, it was being translated into other languages. The devotees in the Spanish-speaking world, some of them, felt that this might be a bit much, where, in these countries where Catholicism in particular is very [strong], it's like the religion of the people. And they...some of them, again, just a [handful], a few, two or three, they had an idea. They put forward the notion that Śrīla Guru Mahārāj was misinformed about the position of Jesus.
    So, later, it came up to him. Someone trying to push this idea that perhaps he wasn't properly informed about Jesus. They didn't understand, Guru Mahārāj had Christian teachers in school, who, they...he remembers them teaching that Christ — and this perhaps is relevant to this passage — demonstrating the principle of self-sacrifice, but even higher self-forgetfulness. [It] was a greater type of self-sacrifice. Because self-sacrifice from analytical point of view, we could say, well there's some notion of myself and possible remuneration for this sacrifice I'm about to perform. Whereas self-forgetfulness, [there's] no [concept of that]. So lost in the other without self-extinction. But so wholly given over to the other at no consideration of self. So self-forgetfulness being higher.
    So, he listened very well to those Christian teachers. So, when those devotees suggested maybe he wasn't properly informed about the position [of Jesus], [or suggested that] maybe he was talking about Christians and not Jesus. And Guru Mahārāj, he said, no, I am speaking about Jesus himself. He said, is he holding a dynamic position or not. Can he make any progress? And then he said, in the, you know....how do you say, in the wave of his infinite progress, he may come to Vaiṣṇavism. Because there are those who would like to suggest, no, Christ said there are many things I have to tell you, but you are not ready to hear them. And they make a big [assumption], so that's all about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But they weren't ready to hear it, so he didn't tell them about it. [Laughter].
    Again, it reminds me, when Guru Mahārāj says...he said about many things, that, like, on the basis of Kṛṣṇa's entering Kamsa's arena in Mathurā, that, according to the individual, He is showing something. Different to each one, simultaneously. The famous verse says:
    mallānām aśanir nṛṇāṁ nara-varaḥ strīṇāṁ smaro mūrtimān
     gopānāṁ sva-jano ’satāṁ kṣiti-bhujāṁ śāstā sva-pitroḥ śiśuḥ
    mṛtyur bhoja-pater virāḍ aviduṣāṁ tattvaṁ paraṁ yogināṁ
     vṛṣṇīnāṁ para-devateti vidito raṅgaṁ gataḥ sāgrajaḥ
    (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.43.17)
    Sāgraja — that means ḥis brother, Balarām, when He entered with Balarām, after killing the Kuvalayāpīḍa, that big elephant.
    Wearing Kamsa's clothes, they just killed the elephant. He is carrying a tusk, there's blood dripping from the tusk, so Kamsa is going, I guess the elephant program didn't work out so well. [Laughter]. Kṛṣṇa body-slamming the elephant and then pulled his tusk out and stabbed him with it. That is our Lord! [Laughter]. But so, He is there, Balarām, and what we're told is mallānām aśanir — these wrestlers, [to] them, it was like lightning. [Noise simulating lightning]. And they're huge, these wrestlers. Some people thought it wasn't fair. Because they saw Kṛṣṇa and Balarām, they look so gentle and sweet and everything, and then these big wrestlers, and somebody [said], "This isn't fair!"
    I mean, from another point of view, it's not...there's Balarām and Kṛṣṇa against two large-sized less than divine personalities. But the ladies were saying, "Ohh, who arranged this, this isn't right!" Kṛṣṇa [is saying], "don't worry..." But so, those wrestlers, when they saw Them, they weren't thinking, they look small, or unworthy opponents. It was like lightning striking. They were deeply concerned. nara-varaḥ. Some people saw, this is...if there was to be a perfect person, this would be that. Like, the personification of the perfect human being, you know, and beyond. But like that.
    Or, like, I've mentioned, nara-varaḥ, naṭa can also mean the actors. Like, when they have the handsome and beautiful men and women attend the awards. Like, academy awards or something like that. And all the people come, and then they see some super-handsome movie star in the flesh. And they kind of go crazy. Just to realize, there's that person. And they are thinking, how handsome they look, and their every movement seems to be perfect, and then they laugh, they throw their head[s] back and laugh, and point at people and they're just saying, "ohh, how perfect they are, their lives must be perfect, and, their every movement..." We think that about people in this world. So, what do you think it's like when actually it's Kṛṣṇa. And He is laughing and moving and...people are enamoured, they're mesmerized by the glance of Kṛṣṇa, the movement of His eyebrows, His smile, the way He moves His hands, the way He walks...
    Sometimes it says He walks like a baby elephant. [Laughter]. What kind of a walk is that? But like, charming. We've seen baby elephants walk, here. So, in other words, the way we view these movie stars, multiply that ten million times, and you're dealing with the fascination of observing the smile, beauty, movements, gestures of Kṛṣṇa. So, just think, those wrestlers, they're going, "ohh, no!" Lightning strikes. Someone else is saying, "my god, how beautiful, just everything so perfect."
    strīṇāṁ smaro mūrtimān — and the women are saying, "Is this not cupid personified!" And someone might say, "No! If ten million cupids personified as one...is that possible?" Kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa śobhaṁ (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā: 5.30). Brahmā, no less than Brahmā, he is trying to convey to us something by saying this. Kandarpa means cupid. Koṭi means ten million. He is saying, if ten million cupids personified as one, that...and that's just shorthand, because we can't go beyond ten million. So, he is saying, they personified as one, that would be the seductive charm and attraction of Kṛṣṇa. My god, in this world, one cupid is driving everybody crazy. Right? We always see cupid with the bow and arrow — poing! [sound to indicate arrow hitting someone].
    And the people, they become mad. Mohan. Bewildered. Madan, by Madan, cupid. But what is Kṛṣṇa's other name? Madan-Mohan. The cupid's struck, looking at Kṛṣṇa, then cupid's attacked. Irresistible, charm, beauty, sweetness of Kṛṣṇa. strīṇāṁ smaro mūrtimān, smara also means cupid. Smara-mūrti, that's how the ladies of Mathurā see Him. And then some of those ladies say...they start...it's so beautiful, because they start thinking about the gopīs. They are not overwhelmed, but immediately their thoughts turn to the vraja-gopīs.
    gopyas tapaḥ kim acaran yad amuṣya rūpaṁ
     lāvaṇya-sāram asamordhvam ananya-siddham
    dṛgbhiḥ pibanty anusavābhinavaṁ durāpam
     ekānta-dhāma yaśasaḥ śriya aiśvarasya
    (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.44.14)
    They're thinking gopyas tapaḥ kim acaran. What did they do, they're...because now they're seeing Kṛṣṇa. What do the gopīs do, they see Him all the time. And we know actually, they never not see Kṛṣṇa. Even when Kṛṣṇa's apparently not there. Their seeing of Kṛṣṇa becomes intensified. [Laughter]. The opposite of what we would think, we think Oh, no, when someone is not there…no, when Kṛṣṇa is not there, their seeing is heightened.
    Becomes deeper and broader. That reminds me of, like in photography, as we look at the cameras, the so-called infinite depth of field. There's one thing where you focus on the person, and everything else blurred. But in infinite depth of field, everything is in focus. So, in separation, we can say, the gopīs achieved infinite depth of field in that everything reminds them of Kṛṣṇa. Everything they see is a source of remembrance, not forgetfulness, of remembrance. So, these ladies, gopyas tapaḥ kim acaran, they're [saying], what did those gopīs do, they get to see Him all the time, incessantly drink the beauty of Krsna. How fortunate they are!
    And Who is He? Lāvaṇya-sāram means like beauty cream, but not like the kind here. Means like the cream, the creme de la creme of beauty. If you had beauty, and then the cream of beauty, and then the cream of the cream, the creme de la creme of beauty. Lāvaṇya-sāram asamordhvam asamordhvam — means nothing, there's no equal, no comparison to this. What's the evidence? Kṛṣṇa in Dwārkā is astonished by the beauty of Vṛndāvan Kṛṣṇa. Because we could say, well, in this world, those comparisons are being....but then, Lakṣmī devī of Lakṣmī and Nārāyaṇa, She... yad-vāñchayā śrīr lalanācarat tapo
    vihāya kāmān su-ciraṁ dhṛta-vratā (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.16.36) she is doing austerities trying to get in the rāsa-līlā and then the gopīs are saying, does that bother Nārāyaṇa?
    You know...no, He's trying to get Kṛṣṇa's darśan also. He is sympathetic. We hear [in] Viṣṇu's pastimes, he is stealing people to get Kṛṣṇa: "I just wanted see You, here, I am sorry I did that." Very un-Viṣṇu-like. [Laughter]. Kidnapping. "I just wanted to see Your beauty.” Viṣṇu is enamored, Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa. So...what about Kṛṣṇa, Dwārkā Kṛṣṇa is astonished by the beauty of Vṛndāvan Kṛṣṇa. So even Kṛṣṇa. [Laughter].
    Lāvaṇya-sāram asamordhvam ananya-siddham dṛgbhiḥ pibanty anusavābhinavaṁ durāpam. (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.44.14). Ahh, I forget [the verse]. [I] forget the last line. [ekānta-dhāma yaśasaḥ śriya aiśvarasya]. Anyway, they think like that. gopānāṁ sva-jano. And the gopas, gopa, gopī, the people from Vṛndāvan, they think that Kṛṣṇa is theirs. So when they see Him, it's like, you know, like this one man used to say in Calcutta, he gave the deity of Mahāprabhu, this Bengali gentlemen, [name not clear]kanti Ghosh, the minister of commerce and tourism, used to come by and go, "Āmāra Gaurāṅga!" My Gaurāṅga! He was so happy.
    Āmāra Gaurāṅga. [Laughter]. [He used] to come by and have the darśan of the deity. So, they looked and they said, “That's our Kṛṣṇa, He is with us. You know, He is from our hometown.” Like whenever you ask someone, they go, “you know they are from the same hometown.” We all do that. So just think about, they're doing that with Kṛṣṇa, you know He is from our town. Vṛndāvan, small, but...50 square kilometers, but it has Vaikuṇṭha in the soil...Gopīs wear chintamaṇi gems for jewellery, that Vṛndāvan, we're from there, He is also from there. [Laughter]. The most famous hometown, in all the three worlds. gopānāṁ sva-jano ’satāṁ kṣiti-bhujāṁ śāstā sva-pitroḥ śiśuḥ.
    And they're....what does it say, the...some are seeing Him as the personification of rod of chastisement. Like, the heavy punishment is about to come down! But, the...Devakī and Vasudeva, they're saying, “That's our son, He was taken away when He was a little baby. And now, He's returned, and they're shackled on the side, pitiful situation, but they're thinking in a particular way...vṛṣṇīnāṁ para-devateti and the vṛṣṇis, this is the para-devata, has come in our line, vṛṣṇīnāṁ para-devateti. Tattvaṁ paraṁ yogināṁ and the yogis...
    They're saying, that Paramātmā, that we're always meditating in our heart, He's standing in front of us. In a more charming aspect. Anyway...so, these many different, ten, perhaps different ways of seeing Kṛṣṇa, they're all going on simultaneously. So, Kṛṣṇa is akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrti. So, if there are different ways of seeing these....Jesus and his pastimes, it can all be accommodated. One doesn't necessarily cancel another. But, still, Christianity itself, Guru Mahārāj reminds us, is a partial representation of the Supreme Reality.
    Because, where is the feminine aspect? And [then we might say], no, in Mary, Mother Maria. Like Gurudeva, "Mother Maria ki jai!" But, the balance, we can say, that... of the full spectral range of loving relationship, is expressed comprehensively in Kṛṣṇa conception. Because, Christianity, Judeo-Christian tradition, the main thrust of their conceptualization, if there is — it's also leaning a little bit in the impersonal side of things, God's personality is not clearly defined, it's more or less abstract.
    Like when Bon Mahārāj came back from preaching in Germany, he was in England and Germany, and he was telling Guru Mahārāj he saw a play and God was this man high in a balcony with a big, long beard. And, so they're kind of you know, chuckling about that, because this idea that, well, He is the oldest of all. And He is so old, that was before shaving was invented. [Laughter]. So, he must have a beard that just like, ooh...[very long]. [Laughter]. But, in Kṛṣṇa conception, we're saying He is the oldest of all, what is that ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ nava-yauvanaṁ ca (Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā: 5.33). So, He is purāṇa-puruṣam, means the oldest person. And how does He look? Nava-yauvana. Eternally youthful.
    If someone says, well, [what is] the difference, like, there is a difference. Here, oldest of all is being portrayed in this way, here oldest of all, how is He portrayed? Nava-yauvana. He is like an eternal teenager. He is always beautiful. And He is the oldest person, He is the original person. So, don't impose these mundane standards or concept on the Supreme entity. Like that, and many things, but for the most part, it's....how do say, [awe and reverence]en reverence [transcriber note: meaning in reverence in French]. If we want to take it that there's substance there, en reverential devotion. Like, dāsya rasa. Right?
    But...I like one Christian theologian, his name is John Hick. He said, some years back, he said Christianity is on the verge of a Copernican revolution. And what he meant was, just like before Copernicus, there was the geocentric conception of the universe. The earth is in the centre, and the sun and so many planets are orbiting. Then Copernicus came along with a heliocentric conception, saying, the sun is at the centre, and the earth is one of a plurality of planets orbiting that sun. So, this man is a Christian theologian. He's not someone who's lost his faith or anything. But he's broad, open, perhaps realized, and he said Christianity is on the verge of Copernican revolution.
    He said, up to this point, we've thought this is the central conception, and there are so many spin-offs. Or, there is a plurality, but they're off-centre, shall we say. He's saying, but we're on the verge of a Copernican revolution in which we're going to realize there's one Supreme central absolute truth, and this is one among a plurality of theistic conceptions that are orbiting that truth. So, if someone can accept that, like, modern people, they like to present themselves as being like, very open, and broad-minded. So, often, they'll go so far as to say that they can recognize a plurality. Right? But, they kind of want to leave it there.
    This is another aspect of so-called modern [thinking]. They — because they know, like, if we say both is there any way to grade, to understand gradation amongst the plurality, that they don't want to touch. So, they would prefer to say, no, there's...it's just different names for the same thing. Leave it at that. But, for those who are truly progressive, and want to understand gradation, particularly of substance, could there be a way to measure their relative value against the absolute standard. So, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj says that standard is rasa. And I've told this on different occasions just to give people some idea, the idea of currency.
    Like, there's money. Things that have monetary value, and we know every time you look at the sign of currency exchange, and they show like, dollars, euros, thai baht, russian rouble, rupees, yen, the different currencies, and you see, one of these — and RMB, yuan to our Chinese friends — and you see, one of these equals so many of those. So, when it comes to plurality of currencies, we don't say, they're all the same. If you believe that, then we could engage in a lucrative exchange business with somebody who thinks just one of these is always equal to one of those. Right? But that's not the fact. So, there has to be a standard by which you can judge that one of these equals so many of those.
    So, in the context of this example, we'll call that the absolute standard. Used to be gold, but it doesn't even matter. We're only talking theory. So, then we can say, well, what is the gold standard by which all theistic systems should be evaluated or measured. Right? That's a reasonable question. It's not offensive. Śrīla Guru Mahārāj suggests that it is rasa. So, then, someone will say, well, everyone doesn't know what rasa means. Yeah, but so....then for the sake of this discussion, because it is....it's a very difficult word to represent out[side], to translate out of Sanskrit, or Bengali. Because, it means [so many things], it means liquid, it means sweetness, it means love, affection, and feeling, it means so many things.
    But for the sake of this discussion, we can say it means loving intimacy. Right? We'll say that rasa indicates loving intimacy. So, to re-frame it, we'll say, to a degree that a theistic system encourages, allows, accommodates loving intimacy, it shows superior qualities and characteristics. Then, what are the possibilities of loving intimacy? We say śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, madhura. So, śānta, as you know, passive, but going to dāsya. To...servitorship. Master and servant.
    Right? Awe and veneration, between the...[from the] servant toward the master. That is a legitimate sentiment, but it is the sentiment that pre-dominates religion for the most part. Judeo-Christian and otherwise. This master and servant theme. And it's also within Vaiṣṇavism. But that, what we shall say is, we recognize that and its legitimacy, but it's not the only legitimate sentiment. So, we hear, even Vaikuṇṭha is pre-dominated by awe and reverence. Aiśwarya-jñāna. But we hear, one reason why Chaitanya-Charitāmṛtam is such a confidential literature, in the beginning, we have Kṛṣṇa saying, if someone is too much under the influence of aiśwarya-jñāna, and that prevents them, their hearts from opening up, and fully expressing love to Me, I'm disappointed.
    Wow! That He could say something like that, that this book can express that, like, a candid observation, of the Supreme entity saying, it's good for everyone else, aiśwarya-jñāna — that's very good for them, but for Me, not so much. Like, the king, all the citizens, when they are doing the awe and reverential treatment of the king, the president, the prime minister, and…that's good for the citizenry. But the king, he is almost fulfilling a duty in that respect. But we know, he has friends, he has a wife, or a mistress, or whatever the case may be, a mother, he has other types of relationships that are not known to the people in general.
    Right? His private life. There's public life and private life. So, for the most part, religion is dealing with the public life of the Supreme entity. And so then, naturally, the sort of reciprocation going on there is characterized by awe and reverential devotion. Taking it that we're dealing with things that are real and substantial. So, we hear Kṛṣṇa, in Charitāmṛtam, saying that, that is...leaves something to be desired, from His point of view. And then He starts saying, He said, if a devotee — and we're not talking about bogus sahajiyā imitators, or pre-maturely approaching, we're not talking about that, we're talking about legitimate rāga-bhaktas.
    So, He's saying, if they treat Me as an equal, that catches my attention and my heart. And think about that, just theoretically. It's one thing in this world, when — back to those movie stars, when, what do we hear, their common complaint of movie stars, or rich people, you know, I can't have a relationship with someone who just likes me. Right? It's always, most famous man in the world, sexiest man alive, the richest man, you know, he's a billionaire, and the people can't stop thinking about that when they're dealing with them. And they see that. That's here, right? So, Kṛṣṇa is saying, like, they are looking at Me, He is the Supreme reality, and all those things are true in His case.
    But if someone can't shake that — and Rūpa Goswāmī shows, incrementally, things like that. When Kṛṣṇa, after He broke free from Kāliya and came out — to show that there is gradation, everywhere and [in] everything — he's saying, one, one of the younger cowherd boys, who — they’re friends of a little more, like dāsya to friendship range, he wanted to really go up and hug Kṛṣṇa, and then he, like, hesitated. He is, like, conflicted about that. Even Vasudeva and Devakī, when they realize...there's, like, their paternal affection, but He is the Supreme reality...we're good, you know [transcriber note: probably side conversation]. So, it's very confidential, what's being revealed there. Kṛṣṇa's saying, but if they deal with Me like a friend, this is exciting...how exciting it must be for Him...there are these people, and it's not, like I say, bogus, impersonation or imitation.
    But they...they're so...[they] have so much love for Kṛṣṇa, they only see Him as a person. And the aiśwarya aspect, awe and opulence [etc], is suppressed. It's gone [under the surface], the love is so intense that it's pushing that into the background. Like, here in this world, when the mother of the king, president, prime minister sees her son, she sees her son. Doesn't matter he's the president, the king, it's her son. And she can chastise him, correct him, listen to me, mister president. [Laughter]. He's saying, mom! And he has to do what she says, too. He has to obey his mother. [Laughter].
    So, that's a delightful thing...so Kṛṣṇa, He...imagine though, you are Supreme entity, and you have to obey your [mother]. Mom! Stop! You have to obey your mother, or you're afraid of your mother. One famous author, she was being interviewed, and they said, what is your fear? She said that when my children get older, they won't be afraid of me anymore. [Laughter]. So, that the Supreme entity can be afraid of His mother....Kuntī said that this is astonishing and mesmerizing. gopy ādade tvayi kṛtāgasi dāma tāvad yā te daśāśru-kalilāñjana-sambhramākṣam (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.8.31). And she is saying, and seeing Kṛṣṇa running, Yaśodā is running after Kṛṣṇa, with a stick, and Kṛṣṇa is running from her. And we know, He has kajjal, black eye-makeup, they still do that, with children in India, boy, little boys.
    They have black makeup, and He is crying and all the makeup is running down His face, and He is running from His mother, because He's afraid. That, Kṛṣṇa likes. This, for Him, is fun. She loves Him so much, no conception He's the Supreme entity. When she...Balarām and the others, they complained against Kṛṣṇa, to get Him in trouble, like Bābājī Mahārāj is saying, "I know how to deal with You, [I'll] complain to Ma Yaśodā, and she'll deal with [You], that is the best way." So, they're saying, Kṛṣṇa has eaten earth, He is being naughty. And mother Yaśodā [says], "Kṛṣṇa, come here! Did you eat earth?" And He's saying, "No! No! No! Because I'm defeating them in play, they're trying to get me in trouble, that's all."
    "No...and in fact, if you want to see if I have eaten any earth, look in my mouth." He opens His mouth, and she sees the earth planet, and all the other planets, the milky way, the universe, innumerable universes, she is seeing all of this, and is going deep into Krsna's belly. And she is seeing all that, and for a [moment]...this is the case in Yaśodā, momentarily, she is thinking, He is God, and under the influence of yoga-māyā, I'm thinking I'm His mother. Just for a moment, she thinks like that. Then we hear a cat goes, "meow!" like that cat we have, and Kṛṣṇa [gasps], He is afraid, and then He grabs her skirts, and clings to His mother for protection. And then she is thinking, yeah, that's my boy. And she thinks whatever she saw is some kind of a hallucination. Doesn't even pay attention to it. Saw innumerable universes inside the mouth of her son, [and] she's like, pfft, some nonsense. [Laughter].
    [Mother Yaśodā says], people say [Kṛṣṇa is God], there are these people spreading vicious rumours that Kṛṣṇa is God. I thought that's what we were supposed to preach, right, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. [Laughter]. Not if mother Yaśodā is around. Not in that plane. She says the people who say that are spreading vicious rumours. [Laughter]. Saying He is either a devatā or the Supreme Lord Himself. Because I have this wonderful son, they have to make up stories. Like, he belongs [elsewhere], he is somebody else's son, or he is a god, or he is God Himself, these people are insane. It's my child. That, Kṛṣṇa likes, that type of claimant, someone who is claiming Kṛṣṇa as their own. We're told, one thing we can say, "I'm yours." Ghrita-sneha, madhu-sneha. But superior to that is to say, "You're mine! You belong to me."
    Again, that's not expressed through imitation, but we hear of that from the higher servitors. So, Kṛṣṇa... like we see in the pastimes with Viṣṇu, and also in Dwārkā Kṛṣṇa, when He...where does He go, to get the pārijāta tree...ahh, Indraloka. But He is riding on Garuḍa. Viṣṇu, and Kṛṣṇa, various times...and Garuḍa is soaring in ecstasy, He's got the Lord, on His shoulders...so happy, ecstatic. His feathers are standing on end.
    But what Kṛṣṇa, in Charitāmṛtam, in the introductory text, says, "When I'm fighting with the cowherd boys, who think we're equal, sometimes they win. They defeat me." And the victors ride on the shoulders of the losers. And we're told, devotion is where the infinite is conquered by the finite. So, now, Krṣṇa has to carry the devotee on His shoulders. He feels like Garuḍa, He is flying. He thinks, I'm more happy with the devotee riding on my shoulders than riding on the shoulders of another. And the devotee is in the superior position, makes me [Kṛṣṇa] happy. Sakhya, vātsalya, and madhura.
    So, the full spectral range of human-like loving relationships is only fully expressed, comprehensively expressed in Kṛṣṇa conception. So, if rasa is the gold standard by which we measure the relative value of theistic systems, then we'll see that Kṛṣṇa conception, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is occupying the supreme position. And that others, something is there, partial representation, that has its value, so we're acknowledging that, appreciating that, but Kṛṣṇa by His own admission, He's saying it only really gets exciting when it approaches, like, equality to devotees are superior.
    That, He is irresistibly charmed by, and drawn to. Rāga-bhakti, the rāga-bhaktas. Merry Christmas! But we see, one thing we learn about it, just to back up a little bit, that's charming, is how hard-wired people are to believe. That, I like. To, at least take some time to think about these things and hopefully divine things, take a few moments to reflect on that in their lives. Practice Mahāprabhu's teachings, be humble, tolerant, give honour to others, that kind of mood, I think is very...could be appreciated by Christians. It's a very Christian kind of approach to life. There's some overlap there. Yes?
    Devotee: Numerous daṇḍavats, from all around the world. From Dāmodar Priya Dās from Ukraine, Suchitra and Ānanda Līlā, Rasheswari didi, daṇḍavat pranāms from Ivoti, Brazil, Praneswari didi in Florida, USA Jai Nitāi, humble pranāms and Merry Krsna. [Laughter]
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Mahayogi sent me a Skype message which said, "We Viṣṇu a Hare Krsna." [Laughter]. I mean, long and short of it is, we're Kṛṣṇa-loving people, but we like it. We like to see where people are expressing their theistic tendencies, we like that, we encourage that. And still, we're Kṛṣṇa-loving people. Because we can't imagine a situation where there's no Rādhā, Kṛṣṇa, Lalitā, Viśākā, Yaśodā, Nanda-Yaśodā, the cowherd-boys, gopīs, the Jamunā, the peacocks, the Vṛndāvan, like, prasādam.
    You know, I like to remind, remember, when the gopīs...[when] Kṛṣṇa separates Himself from them, His apparent cruelty is to make their hearts go deeper. In separation the heart yields a superior substance. Hunger makes eating more enjoyable. So He likes to throw them deep into the hunger stage, before there's meeting. And some times they're searching madly, like Guru Mahārāj says, ‘Search for Śrī Kṛṣṇa: Reality the Beautiful’, the search, that's what valued. Prabhupāda used to say this too, "Hey [Rādhe]..." quoting Śrīnivās Āchārya in Śrī Śrī Ṣad-Gosvāmy-aṣṭakam, he rādhe vraja-devīke cha lalite he nanda-sūno kutaḥ (Verse 8) Kutaḥ means, where are They?
    Are They in.rādhā-kuṇḍa-taṭe kalinda (Verse 7)… Are they on the banks of the Rādhā- Kuṇḍa or the Jamunā, where are they? They're searching. It's all about the search. Here the search yields substance. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness lamentation yields substance. To lament at one's own lack of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is substance-producing. And the way of the superior servitors. So, those gopīs searching for Kṛṣṇa, and they think they see Him hiding in the kuñja and they go, there's Kṛṣṇa! And they all start running that way, and Kṛṣṇa is thinking oh-oh, what to do? Oh, [He] pushes out two more arms. So He looks like four-armed Nārāyaṇa, and they come and they go, "Ohhh....Namo-Nārāyaṇa..." and we're told, rāgodayaḥ kuñchati.(Śṛī Chaitanya-charitāmṛtam: Madhya-līlā: 9.150). Rūpa Goswāmī says they're hearts are like, crushed.
    And they think...how, on the one hand, how arrogant can these teenage girls be? They're saying, [it's just] Nārāyaṇa...[Laughter]...who is otherwise known as God. Right, that's one of His other Names, God. So, here He is, and they're disappointed with this level of God. So, you're going to say, there's some other level of God, that they'll be interested in? They see Nārāyaṇa, and they're like...[disappointed], trying to conceal their disappointment. And then they think, wait a minute, He's omniscient, He knows everything, [so we can ask Him], Have you seen Kṛṣṇa? Maybe in His omniscience, He knows where Kṛṣṇa is, so, He could be useful. [Laughter].
    Interestingly, he [Rūpa Goswāmī] couples that, pairs that with Kṛṣṇa trying to play the same trick on Rādhārāṇī and arms keep disappearing. And He can only be two-armed Kṛṣṇa. Because She is Kṛṣṇa-mayī, Her glance...you know, from the heart of Rādhārāṇī, when She...Kṛṣṇa can't do that to Her. [Laughter]. She's controlling Him. He may be īśvara-parama-kṛṣṇa, but He's under Her control. Therefore, we say Hare Kṛṣṇa!