Immaculate Rasa and the Absolute Name
by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
We should always place ourselves in a serving mood. We should always welcome the Name of Krsna and bend our speech, thoughts and actions toward serving Him. In contrast, if we are bent on personally enjoying rasa, using Krsna as the medium, we will find ourselves degraded to the lowest ditch of selfishness in which we will assume the role of the enjoyers of something worldly. There, we will surely be deprived of the immaculate rasa.
The rasa we usually indulge in is never expected to persist, for its components are trivial by nature. But Krsna is rasa-amrta-murti, the embodiment of nectarean rasa. If we depend on Him, the ocean of eternal rasa, we can look forward to giving Him all facilities to enjoy our eternal, spiritual activities. Trying to enjoy rasa because of an appetite born of the senses will only lead us to deal with inanimate and transitory things. When we extract some rasa from dependent objects, that rasa can never become our perpetual companion. That rasa will unfailingly desert us, and because we will simply be tantalizing our poor senses, we will have no real satisfaction.
Sri Krsna, on the other hand, is not likely to delude us by allowing us to keep our affinity for something else. He is a Spiritual Being, not insentient (acit). Not only does He enjoy rasa, He is Himself full of rasa. And if we want to be in touch with eternal rasa, we must become rasika – experts in the science of transcendental rasa. If we were to seek temporary rasa, we would receive vi-rasa – perverted rasa. Krsna has the monopoly on all real rasas. He is the fountainhead of all real rasas.
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The Name is the very storehouse of all rasa. We should seek the Name without making any distinction between the Name and the Object pointed to by the Name, quite unlike the differentiation we find in this temporal world. Krsna, the person, is identical with the word Hari, with His colour, with His form and with all of His attributes and activities. Krsna Himself is Eternal. The Name of Krsna is eternal. It does not refer to any object within nature. Nature’s phenomena have nothing to do with Krsna, who is not a transitory, momentarily manifest aspect of this world. Nature’s phenomena are all temporary things and we must not confuse Krsna’s lila with them. If we do, our conception will be erroneous; we should refrain from mistaking mundane thought for transcendent thought.
In this regard, we should be clear about our position. He is full in Himself. Unlimited varieties of activities are manifest in Him. He is the treasure-house of everything. When we, the minute living entities, want to exercise our senses, we resort to help from others. But it is quite different for Krsna. He does not require assistance from anyone. He is nitya (eternal), suddha (pure), purna (complete) and mukta (liberated) in Himself; He is absolutely unconditioned. Nothing can wrap Him.
This discourse about Krsna, His Name, the Transcendental Name, is identical with Krsna. But that is not the case with things other than Krsna. When we name an object in nature, the opportunity of examining the validity of the name via different senses necessarily arises. Our sense of taste, smell and sight, and all faculties of sensual perception, offer to examine the very being of these things. But Krsna is not an object within the jurisdiction of our senses. He does not require such examination. He is the Autocrat. He has no need for our help.
So, ordinary names, names apart from the names of Krsna, do not have the same significance as the transcendent Name of Krsna. We must not place all names – names of various demigods, men, lower creations and insentient objects, which all exist under the deluding influence of maya – in the same category as that of the Absolute – Krsna. We would be very foolish to consider the Name “Krsna” to be a mere word in our vocabulary, or that this Name has been given to a hero whose deeds were simply recorded in history. This is not the case with the Transcendental Name, which history and other mundane subjects cannot possibly comprehend. The Name is completely identical with Krsna, the Divine Personality. Krsna’s Name is not different from Krsna the person. That difference relates to temporal and limited objects alone.
Adapted from The Gaudiya, Volume 29, Number 6