23 May 1996 Bath U.K.
The Seed of Bhakti
[Hari-katha spoken by Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja – Srila Gurudeva]
To listen to the audio file of this class, please click on this link:
Srila Gurudeva: We have come to the house of Sudevi and her husband. There is not sufficient place here for all the devotees to stay for a day or two, so we have to leave this place very soon. But I am so glad that I have come to Sudevi’s house. I am especially glad to see the devotees who have come from our previous preaching programs. I am very happy to see that those devotees are here. Wherever I go, I see a lot of sweet faces, hence, I think that I am in Vrndavan. (Just then a bird sings and everybody laughs)
Devotee: The parrot is from Vrindavana Gurudeva.
Sripada Madhava Maharaja: He is telling, “Gurudeva! Gurudeva!”
Devotee: He is also telling, “Krishna! Krishna!”
Srila Gurudeva: Is that an actual bird?
Devotees: Yes Gurudeva.
Srila Gurudeva: I want to see the bird. Is the bird from Vrndavan or from here? He is so happy that all the Vaisnavas are here and are chanting, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.”
I was thinking in India that when I will have to go to Holland, England, and various places, I will be out of Vrndavan and Mathura, but now, I feel that I am not out of Mathura or Vraja-mandala. There are so many devotees everywhere, so much sweet hari katha is being spoken, and sweet behaviour is being exhibited among all the devotees. There is harmony between each other, and when I think of this I become so happy. I follow the ideas and conceptions of Swamiji; he would often say, “When I was in the foreign or western countries, I never thought for a moment that I am out of Vrndavan or out of India.” I am now seeing and experiencing the same phenomenon; everywhere I go, I see that there are many sweet devotees, who patiently listen to harikatha. They are trying to develop on their devotional activities. But here, there is a lack of sadhu-sanga and that is why I have come here to the Western countries. Swamiji has planted the seeds of devotion in many hearts, but some of them are still seeds, while some of them have sprouted a little. Some seeds have sprouted and have blossomed into little plants with leaves; but now, they all want water, they all want water. If water is not given, the seeds will die and the seeds that have sprouted and grown into a creeper having leaves will also die.
So, Swamiji ordered me, “I am giving some water to you, go there and water the seeds, creepers, and plants who are in dire need of being nourished. Otherwise, they will dry, wither, and ultimately die.”
So, I came with the water of harikatha. What I speak is based on what I have heard from my bonafide Guruvarga, Gurudeva, and many Siksha Gurus. Some of my Siksha Gurus are—Pujyapada Sridhar Maharaj, Pujyapada Vaman Maharaj, Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaj, Pujyapada Srauti Maharaj, Pujyapada Bon Maharaja, and all the disciples of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakur, who are very senior devotees. I have studied the Srimad Bhagavatham, and Sri Caitanya Caritamrta under their guidance many a times. Under their tutelage, I collected some of this transcendental water and I have also collected many gems of devotion from Swamiji, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. With a basket of invaluable jewels I have come here and I see that all the devotees are so energetic now; all are so happy and the dark color of gloom has been lifted and the color of hope and enthusiasm has set in. The seed of devotion seemed to be drying, but now, as would a normal seed, their seed is turning green, which signifies advancement of their Krishna consciousness.
Fresh buds of various colors have spring forth from the seeds that have now grown into little creepers of devotion. These buds are preparing to blossom, and they will yield proper, sweet fruits. Srila Rupa Gosvami says that the sadhaka should carefully water his creeper of devotion that has its roots in this world with the water of harikatha and seva, devotional services. Upon tending meticulously to this creeper of devotional service, the practitioner will see that his creeper of devotion has crossed this universe consisting of the planets—Bhu, Bhuvar, Svar, Mahar, Janas, Tapas, Satya, Tala, Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Talatala, Mahatala, Sutala, and the 14 planets altogether. This creeper will have even crossed the Viraja, the border between the spiritual and material realms. If this creeper of bhakti is given the water of harikatha, by its proper mali, gardener, then it spirals upwards and crosses Brahma-loka, Siva-loka, the abode of Sada-Siva and enters into Vaikunta.
Continuing on its journey, the creeper of devotion crosses the realm of Vaikunta. Going past the holy abodes of Ayodhya, Goloka, and even past the border of Dwaraka, this bhakti-lata, creeper of bhakti enters Mathura at Visrama ghat. Here, it is nourished by fresh, new water. It is tended to by the naga-patnis, the yajna-patnis, and Uddhava. Going forward in its journey, the creeper first enters Vraja-Gokul and from Gokul, the creeper goes to Vrindavana. Flourishing in its growth, the creeper has many branches appear on it and these branches spread out to Nandagaon, Varsana, and all over Vraja-mandala. At last, it comes to Govardhana, and in Govardhana, who is the main centre of Vraja-mandala, this creeper of devotion finds its final shelter at the eyes of Govardhana, that is Syama Kunda and Radha Kunda. It takes shelter of the lotus feet of Syama Kunda, thus taking shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna Himself. And then, it takes the shelter of Radha Kunda, thus attaining shelter at Srimati Radhika’s lotus feet.
What becomes of the creeper when it finally finds shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Krishna? Very sweet, juicy fruits manifest from its branches, and these fruits are automatically let loose from their branches and on falling down, they come to Earth and settle near the mali, gardener, who has been diligently watering the creeper from the time it’s seed has been sown. We are the gardeners, Gurudeva gives the water of harikatha to us and when we take care of that creeper with great attention, the sweetest ripened fruits, which are skinless and pervaded with rasa, will make their way through and place themselves before us. How do these fruits come? A parrot pecks at the fruits and these transcendental fruits are gradually handed down by the disciplic order. The mali, the gardener takes them and on tasting them, he exclaims, “Oh so sweet!” And then he slowly ascends on the creeper. This creeper crosses all the realms of the mundane creation and does not rest even on reaching the spiritual realm. Crossing past the many spiritual realms, the creeper goes to Gokul, Vrindavana, Nandagaon, Varsana, and to Govardhan, where it finds its final shelter at Syama Kunda and Radha Kunda. There, the devotee sees that lakhs and lakhs of fruits, indeed, uncountable fruits are there. Taking all those fruits that have descended to the earth, the devotees taste them. This is the description of the creeper of devotion given by Rupa Goswami, as stated in Caitanya Caritamrta.
But, the unlucky person will not obtain and taste that fruit, even though lakhs and lakhs of fruits are coming from there. Such an unlucky person has no faith in bhakti, he only outwardly chants the holy name while internally, he desires that his material desires be fulfilled. He will not obtain the fruits of devotion by cheating others while being in the garb of a so-called guru or a so-called devotee. They will only have the fruits of this material world, what are those fruits? Wine, wealth, and women are the fruits of this material world that they crave for. These fruits will destroy their lives. Have a very strong faith and be grounded in the conviction that, “Krsna is always protecting us.” The six basic principles of Saranagati are the platform of bhakti. No one can save us, only Krsna can save us, none other, so why should you fear? Don’t think, “What will happen after Maharaja will go? What will happen if all are against me? If my husband, or my wife, my father, and whole world is against me, then what am I to do? Then I will have to suffer.” This is not true, we should have the firm faith that, “ Krsna will surely save us, He has the power to save us.”
He saved Arjuna from all the Kauravas whose numbers were in the millions. He saved Draupadi from the midst of many demons. He saved all who surrendered to His lotus feet, who accepted saranagati. He saved Dhruva maharaja, He saved Prahlada Maharaja. Do you know who Prahlada is? How was he saved? Prahlada did not at any time pray to Krsna that He should save him, but every time there was an attempt to have him killed, he was magically saved. There was one sister of Hiranyakasipu, whose name was Holika. She had a benediction from lord Brahma that if she was inside a fire, she would not be burnt. So, Hiranyakasipu ordered his sister, “Take my five year old son on your lap and enter into a raging conflagration!” So, she took Prahlada and entered into a powerful inferno. But, she was burnt to ashes whereas Prahlada emerged unscathed. In repeated attempts to kill Prahlada, Prahlada was thrown into the sea, he was thrown from mountains, he was surrounded by venomous serpents. Lions were set to attack and eat Prahlada Maharaja, but he was saved every time. Despite trying to have his son killed numerous times, Hiranyakasipu was himself killed by the hands of the Lord.
So, if you want to do bhajan of Krsna, then you should have solid, unflinching faith in Krsna that He will save you, and that there is nothing for you to fear. If this faith does not come in the heart of a devotee, then he cannot serve Krsna. Guru teaches all his disciples to be completely surrendered to Krishna. If a devotee like Srivas Pandit; do you know him? Srivas had nothing, he was penniless. There weren’t even any rats in his house, do you know why? Because there were no grains, there was not even the slightest particle of food for the rats to eat and that was normal for his house. If it rained, the rainwater would not flow off the roof, rather, all the rain came inside, why? Because, his house had no roof.
So one day, Caitanya Mahaprabhu told him, “Srivasa, I know that you are a very poor man. I also know that your four brothers and yourself are always engaged in kirtana, the whole day and night. Accompanied by the chiming of big karatalas, all of you sing, ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.’ You don’t try to earn money and manage wealth, so how will you maintain your life? You should do something to maintain your life.”
On listening to Mahaprabhu speak, Srivas Pandit clapped his hands thrice while counting, “One, two, three.”
Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked, “I don’t understand what you mean to say by clapping your hands thrice.”
Srivas Pandit replied, “If we don’t have Mahaprasada for one day, I will bear it. I will wait the second day; I will fast, we will all fast. We will wait the third day also, and if there is no Mahaprasada for us to honor on the third and fourth day and we are made to fast, then the river Ganges is here, and we will all jump in. Why? Because, You may be criticized. The residents of this world may say, ‘Krishna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu cannot give anything.’” Srivasa Pandit and his entire family were pure devotees, hence, if they were deprived of Mahaprasada, the sloka of the Gita wherein Krishna promises to look after His devotees will be proven false. The sloka is:
Ananyas cintayanto mam ye jana paryapasute…
In this sloka, Krishna promises to collect everything that the devotee needs to maintain his life. Krishna will even take what the devotee needs on His head, He will take all responsibility. Krishna always protects His devotees from all troubles and calamities.
He will give and protect, He promises to.
There was a devotee called Arjuna Misra. He would regularly read and explain the Bhagavad Gita. On one such perusal of the Bhagavad Gita, he came across the line, “Yoga-ksemam vahamy aham.” Thinking that Krishna Himself will not carry what His devotee needs, he cut the line.
He thought, “Krishna will Himself not carry what the devotee lacks. He can order someone else to carry what the devotee lacks. Personalities like Hanuman and Garuda can carry. Indeed, everyone is the servant of Krishna, hence, except for Him, all can carry. He will order them. So, why would He carry anything by Himself?” So, he cut that line. For several years, Arjuna Misra would diligently chant, remember, and meditate on Krishna. Yet, he was so poor that he had to beg daily. So, he cut that line and went to beg.
He thought, “I should try and something may come.” When he went out to beg on that day, he was unable to procure anything. He decided to return home when he saw that the sun was about to set. In the meantime, a twelve year old boy, who had the complexion of new rain clouds, and who had a Pitambara (yellow shawl) on His shoulders reached the doorstep of Arjuna Misra’s home. Carrying two big baskets on his shoulders, he knocked on the door of Arjuna Misra.
The wife of Arjuna Misra was there, but he had not yet returned. He was on the way to his house, but had not yet reached . The boy knocked on the door and the wife called out, “Who are You?”
In a very sweet voice, the boy replied, “I am a disciple of our Gurudeva.”
So, she opened the door and led Him in. She saw how He was profusely sweating and looked extremely tired. Making the boy sit down, she asked, “From where have You come?”
The boy replied, “I am coming from my Gurudeva. My Gurudeva ordered and told Me, ‘Take these things and go to my house at once! Give all these things to my wife.’ But, I feared that I could not bear the load and while I decided on how to carry it, it became a little late. Gurudeva had ordered me to go earlier, but I was late by a minute or two. I was ready to go, but to punish Me, he scratched My back with his nails. See these scratches for yourself.”
She saw those scratches. Blood was on the verge of coming out, the marks on the little boy’s back were reddish. Seeing the punishment meted out to this young boy by her husband, she became furious and began to think, “How beautiful, soft, and sweet this boy is! How has my husband become so cruel hearted that he has done something like this? Let him come home, I will give him a good lesson.”
In the meantime, she told that boy, “You should sit here, I am going to cook just now, I will offer the bhoga (unoffered foodstuffs) to Narayana, and I will feed You and You should then go.”
The boy replied, “Okay mother, you should cook, I am just sitting here.”
Meanwhile, the husband returned and knocked on the door. Being so furious, she confronted him and said, “Oh Brahmin, why did you give such a heavy load to that boy? Don’t you have any pity? You are so cruel-hearted!”
Arjuna Misra replied, “Which boy? Where?”
“Your disciple, he has come to me.”
“I have no disciple at all, I have not sent anything by anyone. I have just come home!”
“Why did you scratch Him?”
“I want to see who this boy is.”
The wife told her husband, “Come on. I will show you who the boy is.” They entered the room, but there was no boy here or there. They searched everywhere, but could not find Him. Then bitterly weeping, Arjun Misra told her, “Bring my book, the Gita.” And when it was brought in front of him, he saw that the line he had cut through with a pen, has perfectly legible again. Then he began to roll on the earth crying, “Oh Krsna, Oh Krsna, I have committed many offenses at Your lotus feet by cutting this line. I had no faith in that line. And for this reason, You have come and brought all these things. This is an example to the whole world; that Krsna Himself takes all the burdens of His followers.”
Then he took the dust of his wife’s feet and said, “Oh you are so lucky! Krsna Himself came to you and you saw Him. You gave water to Him and He took it, but I am so foolish and fallen that I could not see Him.” Then they both began to cry and weep. So, why should we fear and think, “What will happen tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow? All are against me, they will kill me!” But anyone cannot be killed if Krishna desires so. If Krsna wants to protect and save someone, then no one can do them harm. But, if Krsna does not like to save and protect someone, then by their own efforts these people can never save themselves. Even powerful men like Hiranyakasipu, Ravana, and Kamsa could not save themselves by their own efforts. So you should have a very firm belief in Krishna. You should be carefree and fearless. Thus, we should always proceed and develop our Krsna consciousness.
Gaura premanande! Hari Haribol!
Have you all heard this story before?
Srila Gurudeva: This is the essence of Srimad Bhagavad Gita. This sloka is mentioned in the 18th chapter. The self-realized souls have no requirements from this world, they don’t want anything. They have nothing to lose and nothing to gain from this world. They don’t lament when they lose something. They see Brahma everywhere. There is not a single particle or an atom of this world that exists separately from Brahma.
He sees Brahma in everyone. He sees Brahma in cows, elephants, ants, trees, creepers, seeds, and in every object.
Devotee: This is the latest technology Maharaja. People call this gadget a cell phone. While you are giving class, they sit in their homes listening.
Devotee 2: They can’t be here, but they want to hear you speak.
Srila Gurudeva: These persons who have realized Brahma are realized Brahma-jnanis. If by their good fortune, they meet a devotee who is Krishna-tattva-vit, they can become devotees themselves. The Krishna-tattva-vit devotee is one-pointed in his worship of Krishna, he is rasik and knows all the tattvas of Krishna. He is always absorbed in devotional services. He is constantly engaged in chanting and remembering. If a Brahma-jnani has the association of these rasik, maha-bhagavat Vaisnavas, then he will achieve Para-bhakti. What is para bhakti? It is the supreme form of bhakti, devotion that is characterized by the cultivation of Krishna-prema. A devotee who has this para-bhakti can tell, “Gopi-bhava, the service of the gopis to Sri Radha and Krishna Conjugal, is the highest form of love and affection.” If the brahma-jnanis associate with devotees of such calibre, they will achieve para-bhakti. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to give Vraja-gopi bhava. Even Svamiji has come for the same purpose.
We see that jnani-bhaktas are superior to brahma-jnanis. Superior to the jnani-bhaktas are the suddha bhaktas. They are far superior to jnani-bhaktas. Prahlada Maharaja and the Four Kumaras are examples of jnani-bhaktas. The Pandavas are superior to the jnani-bhaktas. Their services are superior to that of Hanumana’s. But the Pandavas have much regard for Krishna. Krishna sits on the chariot of Arjuna and obeys his orders. They even sleep on the same bed. During the battle of Kurukshetra, Krishna showed His universal form to Arjuna and said, “I am Brahma. I am Parambrahma. Everything is in Me. All the warriors who are fighting on both the sides are dead already. I have killed them all, so, you only have to be the instrument Arjuna.
But, when Arjuna saw this universal form, he repeatedly offered pranama to Krishna. He said, “I have called you ‘Krishna’ many times, so I have committed many offenses. On my behalf, You are seated on this chariot. I will not call You, “Sakha,” anymore. You are the root of all Isvaras (controllers) and You are the source of all emanations. You are Adi-Purusa, the beginning less person. You are the source of Brahma, Visnu, Mahesh, and all other personalities. I will never call you, ‘friend’ again. Please forgive me for committing many offenses at Your lotus feet. You are the Lord of lords while I am an ignorant person.” On seeing Krishna’s universal form, Arjuna’s friendship to Krishna was broken.
But, when Yasoda Maiya sees the universal form in Krishna’s mouth, she thinks, “What have I just seen! Is someone playing on a trick on my son? Or maybe, I am seeing a dream.” Yasoda then folded her palms and rubber her eyes. Yasoda saw the universal form, twice or thrice. Even Arjuna has not seen the universal form as many times as Yasoda did. Yasoda did not realize that Krishna is Parabrahma or the God of gods. After what she had seen, Yasoda immediately called for the priests and brahmanas.
The priests told her, “Oh there is nothing to worry about. Bring some cow dung and cow urine. Also, please bring a black cow.” With all arrangements made, they began to chant mantras. They chanted, “Om tad Visnu paramam-pada sada pasyanti dvivah….Narayanam rakset,” and they chanted many corresponding mantras.
The priests then bathed Krishna with the cow dung and cow urine. Yasoda never cares for any formal worship of her son. Her love and affection to Krishna never diminishes. Just so her son will grow up to be a good boy, she chastises and orders Krishna. She tells Krishna, “I will give You a good slap! I received many complaints that You are always stealing butter.”
Above all, we see in the gopis’ character of how they are the topmost servants of Krishna. This Brahma, Krishna plays with the gopis in the groves of Gokula-Vrindavana. He even carries the orders of the gopis. This prema controls everyone in Vraja—Radha and Krishna, the gopas, the gopis, and all the residents of Vraja. All are controlled by prema, hence, prema is prayojana. Prema is the goal of all living beings. To distribute this prema to the conditioned souls and to facilitate an easy process by which the souls can achieve this prema, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who is Krishna and Ramacandra Himself descended with all His associates to this material world.
Our religion is not Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, or any other religion. The aim of the practice of modern day religions is to have a good position in society and to live peacefully in this world by maintaining harmony with each other. Our ancient Rsis and sages practiced Sanatana-dharma. They established a system that combined all the masses of people and inspired them to lead good lives. The actual religion of not just human beings, but of all living beings, is to obtain this Krishna-prema. This goal has been stated everywhere in all the scriptures like the Vedas, Srimad Bhagavatham, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, and Sri Caitanya Caritamrita.
In the Bhagavad Gita, it has been stated:
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo ‘si me
—Sri Bhagavad Gita 18.65
[Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.]
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
—Bhagavad Gita 18.66
[“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”]
So, I started the discussion by describing some of the characteristics of the brahma-jnanis. I will describe a history that is as follows:
Maharaja Janaka while seated on the throne was giving proper respects to all the Rsis, Maharsis, Brahma-jnanis, Bhagavad-bhaktas, and everyone according to their qualifications. All the members of the assembly were involved in an ista-gosti, like how we are involved in one presently. In an ista-gosti, questions are asked by the members of the assembly and an authoritative figure answers those questions. An ista-gosti, is an assembly (gosti) for the worshipful Lord (ista) of the members. The aim of an ista-gosti is how the ista-deva (worshipful Lord) can be pleased and achieved. The members of an ista-gosti concern themselves on how they can realize their worshipful Lord. It is not an assembly of worldly friends who discuss trivial, worldly subject matters among themselves.
An ista-gosti was arranged in the royal palace of Janaka Maharaja and in the meantime, a saint called Astavakra Rsi arrived in the royal palace. He was a very realized yogi, have you heard his name before? He was very famous in India when India was still following Vedic culture and Vedic knowledge. His body was crooked in eight places.
[Srila Gurudeva points out to the different part of the body that were crooked]
He body was crooked in eight parts. He was black in color and had an ugly face. Most of his teeth had fallen out. When he would walk, it seemed that each of the two legs were moving in separate directions. The stick he would use the help of was also crooked. He came from a very distant place in the Himalayas. When he reached the precincts of the palace, he told the gatekeepers, “I want to meet Janaka Maharaja and I also want to attend the meeting conducted by the king. He has honourably said that there is no ban on any rishi or maharsi. So, may I be allowed inside?”
The gatekeepers allowed him inside sensing his saintliness. When Astavakra rsi entered the assembly, except for the king, all the members began to laugh loudly on seeing Astavaktra rsi’s physical appearance. Resting on his crooked stick, Astavakra rsi started laughing more loudly than the members of the royal assembly. Maharaja Janaka and all the rsis were surprised and they asked among themselves, “Why is he laughing?”
Maharaja Janaka then approached Astavakra rsi and asked, “Why are you laughing rsiji?”
Astavakra rsi retorted, “Why did everyone else laugh? I want to know.”
“All laughed on seeing your ugly body. You are ugly and crooked at eight parts because of a boon. A lot of dust has accumulated on your body. It seems that you haven’t bathed for a long time. You have not dressed yourself in good garments, it seems you don’t have anything. But, why have you dared to come here to this assembly of well-educated scholars? You are so daring!”
Maharaja Janaka then said, “Now can you please tell us why you laughed?”
Astavakra rsi replied, “I have come from a very long distance. I heard that this assembly consisted of knowledgeable, intelligent jnanis and rsis. Maharaja Janaka is also a learned, well-educated brahma jnani. He is a very saintly king, he is a rajarsi. It seemed that I was laughing, but rather, I was weeping. I thought, ‘Why did I even come here?’ Because all the members in this assembly are cobblers. Cobblers only concern themselves with leather and skin. They are always pre-occupied with the thoughts of proper and improper leather. Their knowledge is only based on skin and leather. They have no knowledge of the atma. So, I weep because all the members are cobblers.”
All the members of the assembly were greatly affected by Astavakra rsi’s words, and they fell at his feet and begged for forgiveness. Maharaja Janaka fell flat at the lotus feet of Astavakra rsi and taking his hand, led him to the throne and seated him there. All the members of the assembly folded their hands and requested the rsi to impart some instructions.
Astavakra rsi told all the members of the assembly, “Who is a brahma jnani? He is one who can see the atma, the soul everywhere. He doesn’t see the skin or the external body of a person.”
The platform of Gita and the first stage of devotion is to realize that you are not this body. This serves as a foundation for all kinds of knowledge. Therefore, we should try to understand these facts. To realize that you are not the body is the first stage of Vedic culture and knowledge. The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the Vedas and Upanisads. You should realize that this body is like a cloth. The body may be worn and torn like a cloth, but our soul never takes birth and never dies. He is not prone to the suffering of this world. The soul is always atmarama, he always takes pleasure in his own self. The soul is brahma, but he is not Parabrahma. The soul will only be completely pleased when he realizes Parabrahma. Krishna is Parabrahma. He is more than Parabrahma, He is Svayam Bhagavan. He is an ocean of all kinds of rasas, nectarean mellows. Hence, Parabrahma can only be known by a loving relationship. Otherwise, He cannot be known. Krishna can only be known, realized, and seen by prema. The devotee must develop a relationship with Krishna that is based on spontaneous love and affection. He must love Krishna like how the Vrajavasis do. Our real and ultimate goal is to love Krishna like how the Vrajavasis do. By following in the footsteps of the Vrajavasis, Krishna will be controlled. The Vrajavasis are Krishna’s life and soul. Prema is a manifestation of Srimati Radhika’s ananda sakti and Krishna’s samvit sakti. Knowledge and ananda combined together form prema.
Our goal and motive is to attain this love. This is the essence of all the teachings of our Guruvarga. “Om tad Vishnu paramam padam, sada pasyanti surayah dviva caksuh..,” tad Vishnu paramam padam, Vishnu is everywhere. He is present in the heart of every being and is also present in inanimate objects. He is all-pervading. “Vyapnoti iti Vishnu,” He is everywhere. He knows everyone but none know Him. Only the devotees can know, realize, and see Him. This mantra has been stated in the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda, and in many other scriptures. It is a very important mantra.
Parama padam, sada pasyanti—those who are self-realized see Him. How can you see a formless, quality less, non-distinctive entity? But He can be seen by the eyes of devotion. All the realized souls see Him in such a manner. In the Bible, it is stated, “God created man after His own image.” If God has no image, then how did He create man? God has created millions of forms, none can create like how He does. God alone has the potency to create innumerable life forms.
Therefore, Krishna-God has many attributes, forms, qualities, and potencies. So, we should try to realize Him. He can only be realized by Bhakti. The way to pure bhakti can be shown by a bona fide teacher, spiritual master. So, we should bow down to the lotus feet of our Guruvarga and pray that we can attain that prema, by which Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will be controlled.
Gaura Premanande! Haribol!
[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]