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  • Feeling and experience

    Chiang Mai 2013 - Feeling and experience

    Author: Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Cycle: Chiang Mai 2013 Uploaded by: Radha Raman das Created at: 14 August, 2013
    Duration: 00:54:07 Date: 2013-03-04 Size: 74.32Mb Place: Gupta Govardhan Chiang Mai Downloaded: 1924 Played: 3824
    Transcribed by: Enakshi Devi Dasi, Radha Raman Prabhu

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    Devotee: What is a feeling and what is an experience?
    Goswāmī Mahāraj: What is feeling and what is experience?
    Devotee: What's its meaning in our line?
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Yes, well, that's a very important question. And, we need some background, foundation to understand this. So, from Vedic perspective, we're told three things to conceive; sat, cit, and ānandam. And sat loosely translates as existence. Just as we have... existence. Cit means cognition, cognizance, awareness of existence. So, the famous saying of Descartes, the French thinker was, “Cogito ergo sum.” I can assume that I exist because I'm thinking, meaning, I am aware of my existence.
    So, that's two − sat and cit, existence and then awareness of existence. They're many things that exist, that are not aware of their existence. We're surrounded by these, so-called inanimate objects, they exist, they're not aware of their existence. We are aware of their existence. We're aware of our own existence, and we're aware of the existence of inanimate things in the objective world. So, those two things, sat and cit; existential plane and cognitive plane − cognition. But, ānandam, this is the important thing, and that means, happiness, pleasure, satyam, śivam, sundaram, beauty.
    And, here we address the target of awareness. What does cognition allow for? − feeling, to feel something. And, so, we seek to feel pleasurable things. We... as Descartes said, “I think therefore, I am.” We published one little video excerpt, it says, you know... “I feel, therefore, I seek.” So, we're seeking pleasure, fulfillment, happiness. Sometimes Śrīla Guru Mahārāj says that, “That happiness, that ānandam, that's the food of consciousness.” Consciousness is seeking something that will not be satisfied by knowledge, or data, or information.
    That doesn't address the feeling potential, capability, and necessity of consciousness. So, how to achieve that... that sort of happiness. I was thinking about something today, that there was this story in the New York Times about Wittgenstein, the famous linguistic philosopher, arguably the greatest linguistic philosopher of the 20th century. And, he lived above a petrol station. And, that's where he was doing all this deep philosophical thought, that was above a petrol station. But, while he'd be working on his philosophical ideas and treatises; treaty-ses, the men downstairs at the petrol station, they would be making coffee.
    And the aroma of the coffee, would come wafting up into where Wittgenstein was dealing with all these heavy philosophical problems. So, then one day, Wittgenstein had this realization, which was... he said, “With all my linguistic skills and ability and my philosophical capacity, and my ability to use words, to express things.” He said, “I cannot convey to you the aroma of coffee.” I could describe it. And, we see, when you buy something they have description, “This has a nutty aroma of... this is like this, this is like that.” He said, “But, no matter what I say, no matter what words I use, I won't be able to convey to you the aroma of coffee.” And this is... how is this relevant, how is this important.
    So, here he's showing the limitation of words projecting concepts to deliver experience, the real substantial feeling thing. So, this is dealt with in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, in the 10th canto, eighty-seventh chapter, called the Veda-stuti: The Prayers of the Personified Vedas. In there, the question is asked... [see, someone has to pay attention, if this goes down then you have to like, be aware of that.] So, there the question is asked, “If all we're capable of doing with sound and words and sound vibrations, is the tongue is made out of flesh, the ear's a fleshy thing and it works in a particular way, with auditory sensations. If all we're able to do is make mundane vibrations, how can the Vedas be transmitting spiritual sound or spiritual substance?”
    It's a very important question, actually. And, many time Śrīla Guru Mahārāj will say, quoting Jagadānanda Paṇḍita in the Prema-Vivarta: nāmākṣara bāhirāya baṭe tabu nāma kabhu naya (Śrī Śrī Prema-vivarta: 7:1.2), that the nāmākṣar, just the syllables of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣ − ṇa, saying that, that's not necessarily the Holy Name. But, there's some inner quality, inner substance that makes it the Holy Name or not. [It would be good if now that... that the volume can be reduced, just for this hour.] So, what am I saying?.. [Devotee: Syllable] Oh, the syllables of the Holy Name, the substance.
    Like, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, one of his examples he'd like to give was about homeopathic medicine. In homeopathic medicine, for those who know, there're these little white globules or pills, they all look identical. In all homeopathic medicine looks the same. But, what makes it difference, as Guru Mahārāj would say, “Is the potency within.” And, that's what makes this one particular medicine and something else, another medicine. Sometimes Guru Mahārāj would say with reference to mantra, that, “If you insert in the mantra the name Śiva, then it's going to Śiva. You remove the name Śiva, insert the name Kṛṣṇa, then it's going in the direction of Kṛṣṇa.” So, on the principle that,
    kṛṣṇa-mantra haite habe saṁsāra-mocana
    kṛṣṇa-nāma haite pābe kṛṣṇera caraṇa
    (Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta:Ādi-līlla, 7.73)
    That the Holy Name, the name occupies a superior position to the mantram. So, anyway, the point is, it's that it's the potency within. So, that chapter in the 10th canto, is the longest chapter in the book. And it's so many ślokas and there's so much commentary on it, but, in summary, Guru Mahārāj's answer is, “Yes, no amount of finite can produce the infinite, no amount of finite can generate the infinite, no configuration of finite can generate what is infinite, what is spiritual, what is substantial. But, the infinite can descend in this plane and move the finite.” As Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur says in his Śaraṇāgati, when he's talking about the Holy Name, he's saying, kṛṣṇa-nām, hṛdaya ha-ite bale, he's saying, “When the Holy Name heard from the Vaiṣṇava enters through the ear of the chanter and then enters into the heart, then the heart can express that sound, using the tongue, the voice box, etc...
    And this is Guru Mahārāj's contention, not the inverse. Not that I made with my voice box, back to the... the vedic conversation, not I'm making the sound, I'm going, “Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa..,” then I'm listening to that sound and purifying my heart. That doesn't... that doesn't compute spiritually. Because, then you'll be purifying yourself. This doesn't work, you vibrate this sound, listen to it, and it purifies you heart, and reveals Kṛṣṇa. [laughing] I mean, when put this way, it sounds somewhat absurd. But, this is the impression that most devotees, or aspiring devotees, in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness movement have, for years on end. That's what they think they're doing, “I'm vibrating... I chanted good rounds today...” Or there were... they would... I don't want to mock anyone, but there were different methods how to achieve this.
    Where Guru Mahārāj is saying, “Actually, the inverse is true.” You hear... that's why you need the Vaiṣṇava. From the Vaiṣṇava you get substantial kṛṣṇa-nām. You're going to the Vaiṣṇava to get the proper concept and put yourself under the influence of their concept. So, hearing from them, and not just literally at the time of initiation hearing some sound, but, you're hearing a conception, āvṛttir sarva śāstrāṇām bodhād api garīyasi (vedic aphorism) . Guru Mahārāj found this vedic aphorism peculiar and... it was difficult for him to digest and adjust at first, because, what it says is, “It's not so important to understand the meaning, as it is, to go on continually hearing.” So, what it alludes to, is the accumulative affect of hearing transcendental sounds, spiritual sound.
    So, hearing the... Guru Mahārāj's concept and backed up by Saraswati Ṭhākur, Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur, Jagadānanda Paṇḍita, that the Holy Name is not the syllables of the name, or the superficial aspect of the sound, but, the spirit within, the quality with which the name is vibrated. Therefore, you need the Vaiṣṇava, kṛṇṣa-nāma-sudhā koriyā pān (Aruṇodoya-kīrttan: Part 1, 6.1), you need kṛṇṣa-nāma-sudhā, the pure nectarean expression of the Holy Name, which we can only get from the Vaiṣṇava. Otherwise, you can find the Holy Name on the internet. You could get a little recording of some people in India, in a Bombay studio, saying the gāyatrī mantram or anyone of the number of things. But, what is the potency within the sound is what is different. So, the Padma-purāṇa... or... excuse me... Rūpa Goswāmī, he say's,
    ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi
    na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
    sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
    svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
    (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: 1.2.234)
    This says, śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi, ādi means et cetera here. His nāmādi means nām-rūpa-guṇa-līlā. Nām means sound, rūpa means divine form, guṇa means quality, līlā means pastimes. Here it's saying, the nām-rūpa-guṇa-līlā of Kṛṣṇa are what? ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi, na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (Brs:, they're beyond the grasp of the mind, the intellect, and the senses. Then we'll say, “What, what does this have to do with feeling?” It has everything to do with feeling. Because, Kṛṣṇa is ānanda-mūrti, He's ānanda-vigraha, He's ecstasy personified, He's what you... the ultimate thing that could be felt. You can't separate happiness from Kṛṣṇa conception. He's happiness personified... to the extreme, to the infinite degree personified.
    So, that's why either directly or indirectly, we're all engaged in the search for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This search for happiness is synonymous with search for Kṛṣṇa. And, if we're told, that Kṛṣṇa is beyond the grasp of your mind, your intellect, your senses, then you can understand, that is, it's one of the reasons, by inverted consideration, that happiness remains illusive to us. Why we can't find it, because, it's beyond the grasp of the mind, intellect, etc... All you get is a semblance of happiness, of feeling, as a substitute for genuine spiritual feeling and experience. So, they're different planes of knowledge and understanding, you can say experience mentioned, pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja, aprākṛta.
    Pratyakṣa means direct experience, that means, like, akṣa means eyes. Means what you see, through your eyes, what you hear through your ears, what you... all your sensual... your senses are like instruments gathering information. And, what do we want... data, you know, sense... different types of data. The sense... the smelling data, hearing seeing, touching, tasting, all of these things. So, pratyakṣa means your direct experience. And on the basis of that, you can make certain observations. But, then you notice, well, there're others, they're also seeing and experiencing, tasting, touching, smelling, and feeling. So... and, since we have similar interest, at heart, similar pursuits, then it will be good if we share our information. I'll share... we're searching for something and I realize the benefit of sharing information with you.
    Then, we say, well, why don't... if we fast forward it becomes Google. What are they saying? We want to take the sum total of all human experience, knowledge, wisdom, data, information, and make that available to everyone. We want to share that knowledge, data, information, for the benefit of everyone. And... so, this is what we would call parokṣa. Pratyakṣa means what you can see, para-akṣa − parokṣa means what not seen by you, but seen by others, so, collective experience. And, that not only includes everyone living now, but everyone before us. So, we have inheritive−inherited, collective human wisdom. And, we want to use this to address our search for pleasure, or happiness, or purpose fulfillment. So, that's the second stage; pratyakṣa, parokṣa.
    But, the third stage is called aparokṣa. And, this is interesting, this is where the Eastern meditators, sages, etc..., come in. And, they're certain people in the West, who also, think along these lines. They're thinking, actually, all of... gathering all this... it's like, sensory overload, all this information is not really helpful in achieving the ultimate goal. It's clouding our vision, rather then clarifying it. So, our approach will be tabula rasa, to cleanse the slate. Free ourselves from the prejudice of acquired experience, free ourselves from the prejudice of acquired tendencies, and get us to that pristine original state. And, they're thinking, “So, cleanse my sense palette of that's been seen, all that's been heard and experienced, and then I'll be in a position to have a divine experience, or experience higher reality.” That's their idea.
    It's sometime described as samādhi, it's described variously. But, their idea is the opposite. The first one is through individual and collective experience to expand the range of what you can feel, see, verify, etc... Here, they're saying, “Just get rid of all of that, it's deluding you.” It's limiting you, to your limited experience of the limited world, no matter how vast the database is. Like, Isaac Asimov has a story about, that each time the computer tries to assess what the ultimate reality is, it says, “Not enough data available.” And it happens agains, cycles thousands and thousands of years, that kind of thing. So, they're saying, “No, just get rid of all of it. It's all illusion, deceptive, temporary, then you'll be in a fit position to understand.”
    But, Śrīla Guru Mahārāj... Śrīla Guru Mahārāj he has a famous story when he's preaching. Where someone from the audience says to him, you know, in a challenging questioning way, and the person says, “If the finite can know the Infinite, it's not Infinite.” This is his point. He's saying, it's just because, by the nature of finite, means limitation. Whatever you... you may think relatively speaking, compared to another person, that what your perceiving is Infinite but, it's not really the Infinite, because of your finite capacity. So, he's dismissing the possibility that the finite can truly, really know the infinite. And, it's sort of half true.
    Because, we'll concede, we'll say “Yes, what your saying has some merit. Because, by finite means, how are we going to verify what is Infinite?” But, Guru Mahārāj response to him is the all important critical point. He responded by saying, “If the Infinite cannot make Himself know to the finite, then He's not Infinite.” Just as I said to that professor, on the flight from Beijing to New York, the computer scientist− who is a hardcore scientist, and so, I thought, I'll run by a few ideas by him. And I said, “Can you say, with absolute certainty, that the original source of all fragrance has no olfactory capacity?” In other words, cannot smell. And, he said, “No, the way you've said that, can we say with absolute certainty, that the original source of all aroma cannot smell− we cannot.”
    And I said, “That's all I want you to say, because you just opened the door for theistic culture.” That possibility, that prospect, as Guru Mahārāj said, “That the Infinite can make itself known to the finite,” and so therefore, now we're talking about descending knowledge− revealed truth, as oppose to, individual experience, what I'm seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling touching, feeling, observing, expanding the range by shared, collective sensory observations and those who lived before that, we're trying to make it priority. That's the 'down-to-up' process, empiric approach. Which, as Guru Mahārāj will put it very nicely in one phrase, “The sum total of the finite is never equal to the Infinite.” But, where... then we say, “Well, then we're hopeless to know.” No, what does it say, “If the Infinite wants to make Himself known to the finite, therein lies our prospect and the culture of revealed truth.”
    So, the latter part of the verse saying, “Yes, the name of Kṛṣṇa, the form of Kṛṣṇa, the qualities of Kṛṣṇa, the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are beyond the grasp of the intellect, the mind, and the senses, but they exist.” And, what do they represent− total happiness, ecstasy, love, affection, beauty, charm, sweetness fulfillment. Then, how to connect with that, sevonmukhe hi jihvādau, svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs:, through offering yourself as a vehicle, as an instrument, a servitor. Not by intellect as Brahmā thought, with his four heads, jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva (SB:, give up trying to measure Him. “I tried to measure Him and lost, and was deluded.” So, that's not the way to approach, but through submission, offering yourself, as an instrument for Divine revelation. In this sense, as a canvas.
    I've mentioned at other times, when you talk about art, an artist. And, we mean in the high level. When they speak of master works, they will start using almost religious sounding terminology. By saying, “What he produced here is divine, the level of inspiration.” And, what they mean to say too, it's very interesting, that artist, maybe they have a reputation of having a big ego, or not being the, you know, a nice guy. Like, they put out a book around, some years ago, on the lives of like, twelve major artist. And, everyone was shocked to find out they weren't just, like, nice guys and nice people. But they were... you know, it was shocking to find out what their actual behavior was. But, they were conduits or instruments for this... these divine-like, artistic creations.
    So, what is the idea when critics will observe them, they will say, “We see in this work the total absence of ego.” In other words, something came down and was expressed through them. Not filtered through ego, filtered through limited experience of the limited, but something divine came down. That's why Oscar Wilde in his introduction to the The Picture of Dorian Gray, when he gives this little essay on art, the concluding word is, he says, “All art is quite useless.” And, everyone, “What?! How can he say that?” But, he's Oscar Wilde, he's trying to make another point. He's pressing your buttons, he's saying, “All art is quite useless.” No, it has value. That's not what he's saying. What he's saying is, “If it's really art, it has no mundane function.”
    As we hear from the example of the shaligram being used as a nutcracker. Yes, you can crack nuts with a shaligram, but that's not what it purpose is, it's a worshipable object. To use it as a nutcracker is, actually, an offense. So, saying, real art, it doesn't have some ulterior motives, some ulterior purpose to fulfill, it's not a political act. It exists for itself and by itself, in Hegelian terms. That's real art, that's real Divinity, exists for itself and by itself, not to fulfill someone of this world, their purpose. Saying, “Oh, I want to be happy, I want to experience happiness, can I us God to experience that happiness?” “Can I use religion to achieve happiness?” That's called karma-kāṇḍa, it's a lower idea, it's not pure devotion. Pure devotion is called,
    ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
    śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
    (Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: 19.167)
    No ulterior motive, but, offering oneself in service. Why is Rādhāṛāṇī's name Ārādhita, Rādhā, Ārādhana? Her method of worship is to offer herself. She's not trying to take Kṛṣṇa and use for a lower purpose. Just as Gurudev use to tell the story, he once said, described in this way, he said, “One bogus Rādhārāṇī.” That's what he called it. And what is she doing, he said, “She's stringing a garland of Bakful...” −which is a particular type of flower. It's a flower but, it can also be cooked as a vegetable. So, he said, “She's stringing this garland of Bakful.” And, someone says, “Oh, what are you doing?”, and she said, “I'm making a garland for Kṛṣṇa.” “Oh.” And they're saying, “How nice.” And she said, “And, if Kṛṣṇa comes, I will offer Him this garland, and, if Kṛṣṇa doesn't come, I'll make a subji.”
    So, Rūpa Goswāmī saying, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ (Cc: 19.167.1) , there can't be some ulterior motive why your doing this, because then that is to trying to bring the inverse of theistic culture, to make the Infinite serve your lower purpose. When, our actual position is to offer ourselves in service to a higher purpose. So, we misconceive pleasure as consumption, as oppose to dedication. We're riveted to think that we will achieve pleasure or happiness, feeling, experience by acquiring, controlling, and consuming something, as oppose to offering ourselves in service to something higher.
    So, Guru Mahārāj put it this way once, by saying, “There's a joy that comes from stealing and there's a joy that comes from giving.” So, we've misconceived that we'll find fulfillment through the joy of stealing, in the world of exploitation, as opposed to reconfiguring ourselves as dedicating units and experiencing the pleasure or happiness of giving, of serving, of offering oneself in service to something higher− as opposed to trying to acquire, control, and consume something lower. So, we're told, hlādinī-śakti; puṣṭi-kārān, the hlādinī-śakti, which means ultimately, Rādhārāṇī and her serving group. There... Kṛṣṇa is ecstasy personified, they're extracting from Him. Guru Mahārāj once compared it to honey extraction. They're extracting from Him and then nourishing all the servitors with the nectar that they have extracted. But, it's through self-giving, offering themselves in service. Yes.
    Devotee: So, you talk about parokṣa, aparokṣa...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Yeah, oh, I didn't... yes... Wait, let me finish this this two... so, on this point, so, we got to aparokṣa... like, tabula rasa, that neutral stage. But, this... the Infinite making Itself known to the finite, that's called adhokṣaja. Listen, each word, so far, has 'akṣa' in it. Prat-akṣa (pratyakṣa); what you see, para-akṣa ( parokṣa) ; what others see combined, then the apar-akṣa (aparokṣa); no thing − nothing. But, now adho-akṣaja; akṣa, akṣaja, adha-akṣaja (adhokṣaja). And, this is very interesting, means that what you see when mundane seeing is suppressed. Well, we'll think, “Well, then you can't see anything.” No, no, it's saying, when your mundane way of seeing, when this higher substance descends, automatically your lower way of seeing, hearing, tasting will be suppressed. And, the higher way of seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, smelling, and feeling will be activated.
    Just like in the Gīta, rasa-varjaṁ raso ’py asya , paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (Bg 2.59.3-4) , by experiencing a higher taste, automatically the lower taste gives way and diminishes and vanishes. So, adhokṣaja, what descends, adha-akṣaja. When Guru Mahārāj gave an example mildly, you know, light example. Humorous... he said, “Like UFO.” He said, “You could never see a UFO just because you want to.” He said, “But, when they come down, then you can see.” So, then people thought, “Oh, Guru Mahārāj's is saying UFO...” No, Guru Mahārāj is giving an example. He's not hear to talk about UFOs or promote UFO. He's giving an example, and we know, it's like, everyone wants to see one... it's not based upon your desire to see it. That's why it's a perfect example, he's saying, “But, when they descend and show themselves to you, then you can see.”
    So, the Upaniṣads say, nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo, na medhayā na bahunā śrutena (Ku:, you won't realize God, Kṛṣṇa, Divinity just because, you know, on your own time schedule, or just because you want to, or your curious, or your very... very intelligent, your a deep intellectual. Or, your expert reading books, even scriptural books. But, what does that say, yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas, tasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanūṁ svām (Ku: , He reveals Himself to whom, through whom He chooses. So, that adhokṣaja realm, that mean Vaikuṇṭha. But, as Guru Marārāj will say, “That's the lower hemisphere of the spiritual world, the adhokṣaja realm; Vaikuṇṭha.” The southern hemisphere of the spiritual world, and what's above that, aprākṛta. And, what does this mean?
    Prākṛta means mundane. Aprākṛta means not mundane. And, so many words could've been used to express what is genuinely spiritual. But, that this word is used, is very significant. And, what it means to say is, in the highest realm of the spiritual world, it appears like the mundane, but it's not. What does that mean?
    kṛṣṇera yateka khelā, sarvottama nara-līlā,
    nara-vapu tāhāra svarūpa
    gopa-veśa, veṇu-kara, nava-kiśora, naṭa-vara,
    nara-līlāra haya anurūpa
    (Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 21.101)
    Human-like pastimes, human-like dimension. When I was in Vṛndāvan, at Ganga Prasad's, the cloth merchant, and the old father was there. And, he had like, a paralyzed arm, because whenever you come in, he would always go like this, like... you know, when he'd give paranam. He was a very sweet man. But, when we're there, your there with another person, two, three, and so they order some Limcas, some soft drinks. So, this particular time, they needed to get four drinks. So, think, if some American guy was told to get the drinks, he would bunch four bottles together and bring them over. But, what happened, in this instance, he told someone to get four Limcas, and mangos, and he gets two and brings them over. And, then he goes and get another two and brings them over. And I... he saw... Ganga Prasad, just to show you he had a little something in his heart. He saw this look on my face, like, “Why did you do two, two instead of like... four at one time?”
    He said... he look at me and he said, “We are not in Vaikuṇṭha, we are in Vṛndāvan.” [laughing]... Very sweetly. And I thought, “Oh, so we're doing this little cloth transaction, but there's something deeper in the background.” … What did he mean? If we're in Vaikuṇṭha, they have four arms, they could bring four Limcas at one time. We're in Vṛndāvan, we get two and then we bring another two. That's the aprākṛta-līlā of Kṛṣṇa. And, we're thinking, “Oh, no, Durgā Devī has ten arms, she must be in the supreme position... Kṛṣṇa's only got two, Viṣṇu's got four.” This type of foolish anthropomorphic or projecting... no, Kṛṣṇa, here he has human-like form. We're told that Kṛṣṇa's civilization and culture in the highest realm of the spiritual world, provides the template for human civilization.
    So, that means, you know, the raising of an eyebrow, the subtleties of human emotion and expression. I can raise my eyes, and make you think something or feel something. This subtlety of gesture, of movement, of feeling, that's the aprākṛta-līlā of Kṛṣṇa. All of these things, where the... and what did Guru Mahārāj say very sweetly... that... and he said, “Kṛṣṇa likes to surround Himself with ignorant people.” And we think, “What...?” “I thought the spiritual world is full of the highest realized souls, the most enlightened souls, and Guru Mahārāj is saying, He likes to surround Himself with ignorant people, what does that mean?” And Guru Mahārāj said, “Jñāna-śūnyā bhakti.” Where, in that realm, their awareness of Kṛṣṇa's Divinity, His majestic aspect, is all suppressed. And they're dealing with Him, just personally.
    So, I mentioned, when George Clooney went to Italy, near our temple in Milano... what's the place... Como... Como, Lake Como... near by it, wealthy people will get some property there. So, they're all like, “Oh, George Clooney's coming to our town.” And, then he met with the mayor and all the local people, and he said, “I want to be like one of you.” And, he's going... “Yes?” “Yes, I don't want any special treatment, I just want to live here and be like one of you.” And they said, “Alright, it's ok, we can do that.” So, if you can understand that principle, he's yearning for that type of dealings, where people will not be thinking, “Oh, this is that George Clooney, most handsome man in the world, big Hollywood movie star.” Where people are relating to him on the basis of his position, or his wealth, his fame, all of these things. All those... many people like that in similar position, when they interview them, they're saying, “I just want to be loved for who I am, as a person.”
    “Not for my movie star identity, or that I'm the wealthiest person, or I own this or I own that, I just want to have a relationship with someone where they can love me as I am, not knowing those things.” That's what Guru Mahārāj means. And, if you can see, in principle, why someone in this world seeks that. They seek a plane where they can move anonymously, as one of the people. Guru Mahārāj's saying, “This is the brilliance, the beauty, and the sweetness, charm of Vṛndāvan and Kṛṣṇa conception, is the infinite is moving amongst the finite, like He's one of them.” So, He's walking, riding the chariot, doing what you do with two arms, enquiring from someone, “What do you think we should do?” And, this is giving Him great joy, that those devotees are not aware of His supreme position. They just love Him as a person.
    And, then we hear about parakīyā-bhāv, the deeper feeling in the heart, that comes with the suggestion that He might be other than what you think. And, the case of Yaśodā, what does that mean? There're rumors in Vṛndāvan that Kṛṣṇa is not her son. That, He's the son of some other parents; Vasudev and Devakī. So, that makes Yaśodā think, “What?! These are vicious rumors, I have this wonderful son and some envious people started these rumors that He's not my son, they're crazy.” And, then this opens up a whole another aspect for us, because we'll think, “Wait, we're the people in the world, who are aspired to telling everyone about Kṛṣṇa's Divinity.” And, then we're told, through this glimpse at reality, that in that upper world, where there's Yaśodā and Kṛṣṇa, if you were to talk about Kṛṣṇa's Divinity, that would upset Mother Yaśodā.
    So, then what sort of a transition and transformation will you have to go through to enter that plane. Jñāna-śūnyā bhakti, where it... Kṛṣṇa's identity, as the supreme entity, the supreme Godhead, the supreme reality, will be suppressed. And, that will allow, as Mahāprabhu−Kṛṣṇa reveals in the beginning of Charitāmṛtam, He says, “Under the influence of Yoga-māyā, they will think of me in this way, and I'll think of them in that way, and we'll have wonderful, sweet, divine, loving exchange, and pastimes.” And, we're talking about feeling, Kṛṣṇa's is known as, bhāva-grāhī janārdana, He's a bhāv consumer. Means He eats 'heart,' 'heart' is what nourishes Him. That's what He wants.
    So, we find that interesting, when you finally achieve the tenth canto, the pañcādhyāya, the five chapters that deal with the rāsa-līlā, Kṛṣṇa meets the gopīs in the Vṛndāvan forrest, teases them, tries to send them back to their homes, says many things. Then, the pastimes begin, and they've hardly begun, when Kṛṣṇa vanishes. And, we think, “How... why is that?” The whole book has led up to this point, now these pastimes have begun, they've hardly begun, and now Kṛṣṇa vanishes. We're told, He goes off in search of Rādhārāṇi, different reasons are given. Visvanatha Chakravarti Ṭhākur will reveal that Kṛṣṇa's saying, “If we want to get the real feeling from the heart, and have a real rāsa dance, then by My removing Myself from the vraja-gopīs at this point, that will cause such a deeper zone of heart to be achieved in separation. They'll be mad in separation from Me, that when I return, at that time, then we'll have a real rāsa dance. But, the way it is right now, this doesn't fully satisfy Me. But, by removing Myself −what do we say, absence makes the heart grow fonder− it will increase the intensity of their feeling.”
    And, as Gurudev said, “Anyone can understand the joys of union.” He said, “Even the animals.” He said, “But, whats sort of peculiar joy the heart can experience in separation?” That is only known in the human section, and particularly in the devotee section, and the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, and what is relished by Mahāprabhu. So many times Gurudev said, in a simple way and direct way about Mahāprabhu, “What was His tasting matter?” You wonder... what is the... why did Mahāprabhu come? Gurudev said, “What is His tasting matter?” Two critical points, both are where separation has achieved it's zenith. His 'tasting matter' is not the joy of union. Kṛṣṇa as rāsarāj, He knows everything about that, ādi-puruṣa-govinda... lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānaṁ (Bs: 5.29.3). As Gurudev said once, also simply, he said, “Vaikuṇṭha; one Lakṣmī, one Nārāyaṇ, many different types of Nārāyan, but one Lakṣmī and one Nārāyan, that's Vaikuṇṭha.” He said, “Goloka-Kṛṣṇa, lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānaṁ (Bs: 5.29.3), hundreds of thousands, millions, billions, trillions of Lakṣmīs-gopīs, for one Kṛṣṇa.”
    So, He knows everything there is to know, about enjoyment. So, did He descend to taste that? No. What he descended... [this is going to end in five minutes]... what he descended to taste was separation. That's what Mahāprabhu... and where the two high points of that? 1) After a hundred years of separation of Kṛṣṇa and the vraja-gopīs... a hundred years... Those who can not tolerate a blink of an eye, they're cursing Brahmā the creator, for creating eyes that blink. Because, when we blink, we didn't see... drink the beauty of Kṛṣṇa's Divine form. A hundred years separation, they're meeting again in Kuru-kṣetra. So, that's one point. And, that's why Mahāprabhu's pastimes, central pastimes, is the celebration of Ratha-yātrā. He's mining the depth of that feeling, that sentiment. That's every year when they're meeting.
    Then, after so many years of that, what does He do finally in the last twelve years of His life? Behind closed doors, with Rāmānanda Rāy and Svarūp Dāmodara, the Brahmar-gītā, when Uddhava's delivering the message on behalf of Kṛṣṇa to Rādhārāṇī and vraja-gopīs. And Rādhārāṇī enters this state of Divine madness, the ten stages of separation. Those are the two areas of focus for Mahāprabhu. Gurudev said... Guru Mahārāj said, “After He does His public service of nām-saṅkīrtan, distribution for everyone. Then Advaita gives release, “You've inundated the world with the flood of kṛṣṇa-prem.” Now, He's going to go into His private life with His two companions, Svarūp Dāmodara, Rāmānanda Rāy. And, in the gambhīr, they're going to plunge the depths of separation of rādhā-bhāv, rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-suvalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇa-svarūpam (Cc: 1.5.4).
    So, Guru Mahārāj makes this point, “The greater depths of heart and feeling is achieved in separation, than the joy of meeting.” So, that means, these are very high things, what about us? The only realistic type of culture for us, is separation. That we can understand. To the culture of the joys of union and meeting, Saraswati Ṭhākur said, “The can very injurious for neophytes.” But, what we can relate to, in our present situation, is being separated from Kṛṣṇa. Separated from the object of our ultimate search, and what the heart wants to feel. So, we're told that, that sort of culture will be appropriate for us. Bhaktivod Ṭhākur also gives the guidelines, to saying that, “The pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, childhood pastimes up to... that are before rāsa-līlā, those are safe to cultivate, and the pastimes of Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu as presented in Chaitanya-charitāmṛtam. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
    Devotee: Marārāj
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Yes.
    Devotee: So, aprākṛta and adhokṣaja...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: No, adhokṣaj and, then aprākṛta.
    Devotee: So, what you are saying now, how does it relate with...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Yes, so, in the beginning... Right, here's the point, thank you. And, I'll use this to say, Rukmiṇī in her famous śloka about inviting Kṛṣṇa to kidnap her. She writes a letter and sends through a brahmin, saying, “I'm surrounded by karmic circumstances, I'm meant for you, the only thing I can do is pray for you to kidnap me.” But, what does she say,
    śrutvā guṇān bhuvana-sundara śṛṇvatāṁ te
    nirviśya karṇa-vivarair harato ’ṅga-tāpam
    rūpaṁ dṛśāṁ dṛśimatām akhilārtha-lābhaṁ
    tvayy acyutāviśati cittam apatrapaṁ me
    (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.52.37)
    She's saying, “Hearing about you...” Just like those yajña-patnyas, the wives brahmin... what happened?.. They heard... they hadn't seen Kṛṣṇa yet. Sometimes it's called pūrva-rāg, what can... this sort of Divine feelings that can come in the heart, before meeting. They would hear from fruit sellers about what this wonderful boy, Gopāl-Kṛṣṇa-Govinda, what He's doing. And, it awakens some attraction within them. So, nāma; sound, through sound −then what happens− then the form comes streaming, springing out of the sound. Not, that we look at the picture and try, and bring the image in, not that way. From the sound, the form comes out of the sound, and then reveals specific quality and takes one into pastimes. So, Rukmiṇī says that “Hearing about You, I could understand, You're the most beautiful thing in the world. And not only that, then I understood why we have this sense of hearing. Now, hearing makes sense. The very sense, capacity to hear, now I understand why we have it.”
    And, it's back to that 'Vedas Personified,' they're saying, “Yes, the real reason you have senses...” You'll say, “Oh, you can't experience Kṛṣṇa− nāmādi na bhaved, etc− with your senses.” But, the good news is, the reason you have senses is to experience Kṛṣṇa, and the joy of Kṛṣṇa, if you want to say. So, she says, “Hearing about You, I now understand You're the most beautiful thing in the world. And I understand why we have hearing. Through that sound, the concept of Your Divine form came to me. Seeing you, now I understand what eyes are for. They're for seeing Your beautiful form.” And on and on, like that.
    Devotee: So... you conclude, from a very short form, how we move from the gross perception of our mundane consciousness.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: The search for beauty... the search for beauty, the search for reality will lead to Reality the Beautiful. And, then we'll understand, what we wanted all along is personified in Kṛṣṇa, Reality the Beautiful.
    Devotee: OK, but, when we talk about parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Aprākṛta. It goes, pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja, aprākṛta.
    Devotee: Right. So, what is the movement of our, like, awakeness. How's it going through allthese levels?
    Goswāmī Mahāraj: Is the heart's inner necessity. What is the heart... what is the heart searching for? It's searching for it's counterpart. The heart, meaning here, the deep hearts core, as the poet says, because there're superficial aspects of heart. We're talking about the deep hearts core, what is it searching for? It's searching for it's counterpart. But, we're thinking, our counterpart is a person, place, or thing in this world. Whereas... and, I've mentioned this before, just like when you go on a dating site, or something like that. Online, they ask you, “What is your ideal criteria of who you envision to be your soulmate, your counterpart?” And, people starting, like... “Well, he or she will be like this, they'll look like that, they'll have these tendencies...” They start making a list of ideal criteria.
    So, what I'm suggesting is, 'ideal' should be equated with the Absolute. So, really what everyone is looking for is a Absolute ideal. They want the most beautiful person, the sweetest, the most intelligent. Who is capable of delivering that, is no one less than the Absolute. And, they we'll say, “But, how can one deal with so many, we're talking billions, trillions...” That's the meaning of Absolute, that this Absolute person can reciprocate the hearts hankering, every atom of the soul and heart's hankering of everyone, simultaneously. That's the Absolute, that's Divinity, that's God, that's Kṛṣṇa. And, He can't be anything less than that. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
    Nāma-Saṅkīrttan by Śrīla Narottam dās Ṭhākur
    Bg: Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā
    Brs: Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu
    Bs: Brahma-saṁhitā
    Cc: Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta
    Ku: Kaṭha-upaniṣad
    SB: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam