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Attainment of Divine Love

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Radhastami Festival, Kolkata-Worldwide, 26 August 2020, part 2

 

Now, how you will get this kind of divine love, divine love of God(!) without the mercy of Srimati Radharani, without the mercy of Sri Gurupadpadma?

[His Divine Grace then proceeds to read from Guidance, Volume 4 (chapter "Association and mercy of Sri Gurupadpadma give divine love").]

Performing his pastimes, Sri Gurupadpadma comes to this material world from the transcendental world to give surrendered souls the joy of association with the worshippable Lord. This guru current has been coming since time immemorial. Just as creation is going on eternally, so do the pastimes of the Lord's and His devotees' appearance are taking place eternally. The Lord performs His appearance pastimes in the form of a guru within the material world to bestow His pure mercy upon the jiva souls. As a result of the mercy and association of Sri Gurupadpadma, tatastha-sakti (marginal potency) is transformed into a spiritual soul, i.e. a jiva soul has no other way except for service to the Lord if it wants to get eternal benefit or real happiness.

Generally, it is possible to see only material elements or practise only things related to the five material elements in this material world—it is not possible to practise transcendental practices. However, this material body and material existence comes from the transcendental plane. This cannot be denied. The Lord is present within the entire universe and all created material bodies as Paramatma (the Supersoul). He is transcendental. Jiva, or atma, is His atomic particle. It is not possible for material vision or for the entities of flesh and blood to serve or behold the transcendental Supreme Lord or Supersoul. The jiva soul with its fleshy eyes has been ignorant of its own identity, the source of its identity (the Supersoul), and the Supreme Lord since time immemorial, and because of it, the jiva soul has been covered by unwanted elements and ignorance, identifying itself with the body. Sri Gurupadpadma, the knower of the Vedas, imparts divine knowledge about the self and the world unto the souls who have forgotten Krishna and, liberating them from ignorance, guides them on the path to eternal spiritual benefit. Sri Gurudev is the eternal object of the soul's love, he bestows the knowledge of the soul's relationship with the Lord (that the Lord is the master of the world, and the jiva soul is His servant—he establishes the soul within this eternal identity). When the jiva soul becomes fixed in this knowledge of the relationship, it becomes possible for it to practise transcendental processes. The highest contribution of Gaudiya guru-varga is that they impart the spiritual knowledge about Krishna onto the jiva souls and inspire them to serve Krishna and Kasna (Krishna and His devotees).

Krishna and Kasna (the Lord and His devotee) are both transcendental, and the nature of the relationship between them is called devotion or divine love (prema). The devotees who take shelter of divine love always serve and love the object of their love—the Supreme Lord; the Lord also always relishes loving relationship with His exclusive devotees. Divine love is a transformation of Hladini, the personal energy of the Lord. This divine love is present between a devotee and the Lord—both experience this love and both relish it. A life without divine love ends without any result. Although Brahma (impersonal form of the Lord) and the Supersoul are considered to be parts of the Lord, divine love can be seen only within the Supreme Personality of Godhead (personal aspect of the Lord). The worshippers of impersonal Brahman and the yogis who worship Paramatma are happy with the realisation of their own form, but they cannot relish the play and pastimes of the Lord's internal potency. Jnanis and yogis receive liberation of merging into Brahman and the Supersoul, respectively, and become also liberated from happiness, unhappiness, suffering, etc. Devotees, however, establish a loving relation with the Lord, and always strive to serve and please the Lord with all their senses, exclusively and continuously following their Sri Gurupadpadma, their main shelter. If you live your life guided by the rules set by Gurudev himself, then the desire and eagerness to please the Lord will come within your heart. It is necessary to live following the restrictions and guidance given by Sri Gurudev—by hearing and practising the instructions emanating from his lotus mouth, you can get love and devotion for the Lord. Devotion, of divine love, are eternally present in the land of Vaikuntha and Goloka. Divine love is the highest necessity or attainment of the jiva soul. It is impossible for a jiva soul to love the Lord or to have devotion for the Lord without the shelter and mercy of Gurudev.

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

"Having travelled throughout the universe and got the mercy of Guru, Krishna, a fortunate soul receives a seed of the devotional creeper."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 19.151)

If you stay in the association and company of Sri Gurupadpadma who both experiences and relishes divine love for the Lord, then exclusive happiness of Lord Krishna becomes more important—when practitioners hear about the Lord with a service mood and honest enquiry, their hearts become clean and they establish themselves in servitude to the Lord. In this case, the Holy Name of the Lord that is the object of meditation of the liberated souls, easily and naturally reveals itself.

The super-excellence of the mercy of Gaudiya guru-varga is that they nurture and nourish us guiding us on the path of pure devotion, initiating us into this line and continuously teaching us about the transcendental Lord. If fortunate souls get even a drop of their caring compassion, they can always, at every moment, dip and immerse themselves into the narrations about the Lord and services to the Lord that are like an ocean of the nectarean divine love. The genuine affection of their inexhaustible mercy and association cannot even compare to parental love.

Now, I will read to you about Sri Gaura Hari, who is a combined form of Sri Radha and Krishna—Krishna took the heart and halo of Srimati Radharani and became Gaura Hari. I want to say something now about Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu and how Gaura Hari bestows His mercy.

[His Divine Grace then proceeds to read from Guidance, Volume 4 (chapter "Merciful Sri Gaura Hari").]

Magnanimous Sri Sri Gaurasundar is an incarnation of mercy. Sri Gaura Hari appeared in Nadiya almost five hundred years ago to give the jiva souls of this age of Kali the divine love of Sri Krishna—the mysterious love of Goloka, that had never before been given in this world by any incarnation of the Lord, the love that even the Vedas are searching for. He taught the jiva souls the gist of the Vedas, Upanisadas, as well as the pure conception of Srimad Bhagavatam. Who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Who is the jiva soul? What is this world and what is the relationship between the Lord and the jiva soul? He established the jiva souls who have forgotten the Lord, in this knowledge of the relationship and bestowed upon all jiva souls greatest gifts: He showed in His own life that the highest method of attaining the goal, or the highest practising life, is pure devotion, and that the attainment reached as the result of practising devotion is divine love for the Lord.

The Lord's forms are unlimited. The form that Sri Gaura Hari spoke about is Sri Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaj. The Lord has unlimited pastimes, He embodies all divine mellows of devotion (rasa). Sri Sri Gaurasundar showed the beauty and excellence of worship of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna is full of sweet pastimes, He is the acme of all types of divine relationships (rasa) and divine love (prema). Sri Gaurasundar Himself appeared in six forms to teach the souls about this divine love—Sri Nityananda (His non-different form), Sri Advaita Acharya (incarnation of a devotee), Sri Gadadhar (the Lord's internal potency), Srivas Pandit (bhakta-tattva), and Sri Guru. Sri Krishna performs many sweet pastimes, He is the source of all incarnations, and He is the only object of worship—this is the opinion of Sri Gaura Hari.

If we consider the position of Sri Krishnachandra among all the incarnations, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. The qualities of all incarnations manifest from Him. It is impossible to reach such embodiment of sweet divine love that is found within Sri Krishna through any practice, but Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave His darsan to all jiva souls and noted to Srila Sanatan Goswami:

veda-sastre kahe sambandha, abhidheya, prayojana
krsna, krsna-bhakti, prema—tina maha-dhana

"In the Vedic scriptures, Krishna is the central point of attraction, and His service is our activity. To attain the platform of love of Krishna is our life's ultimate goal. Therefore Krishna, Krishna's service and love of Krishna are the three great riches of life."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, 2.20.143)

Although Vedas extol dharma, etc. and advise methods how to attain religion, prosperity, material desires, liberation, etc., the highest main teaching is the realisation of the transcendental sambandha (the relationship), abhidheya (the goal), and prayojana (the means). In terms of divine love, Sri Krishna is the only related personality for the jiva soul. This whole conscious and unconscious world is simultaneously one and different manifestation of the Lord, a transformation of His potency. There are many forms in the transcendental world, and each of the forms has many pastimes. The acme of such manifestations is sweet Sri Krishna, the son of the king of Vraja. The Lord is not only a creator or a giver of liberation—this is not such a great gift. He gives devotees the gift of His own divine love—devotees make Him powerless. When He sees that devotees serve Him with love, He becomes subjugated by them and bestows the gift of divine love onto them. Such is His greatest contribution. Although He is the object of love, He is also an embodiment of shelter of divine love—He gives joy to His devotees and through that becomes happy Himself. He is always happily engaged in loving dealing with His devotees. Although He treats various kinds of devotees with love, the highest loving pastimes that He performs with His sweet associates in Vraja, are the most astonishing of all His loving pastimes; and among all the residents of Vraja, Sri Krishna becomes controlled by Sri Radharani more than by anyone else. Such pure unblemished love is the highest attainment for a jiva soul, and Sri Gaurasundar taught it to the jiva souls of this material world by His own example.

Those who get this kind of divine love, have no need for any religiosity, knowledge, renunciation, etc. Through religious, educational, renounced, and other practices a jiva soul may attain religiosity, material prosperity, sense-gratification, and liberation, but these are not the real eternal necessities of the soul. If a jiva soul wants to attain the highest and ultimate divine love for Krishna, it must practise pure devotion. The object of love is the Lord, and the shelter of divine love is a devotee. Divine love eternally resides within devotees and the Lord. Sweet Lord Krishna appeared in this Kali-yuga in Sri Nabadwip Dham in the form of Sri Gaura Hari to teach pure devotion to the jiva souls and to teach how to practise such pure divine love. Thus, Gaura Dham is an incarnation of Sri Vraja Dham. Just as sweetness, nectar is scattered around Sri Vraja Dham, in the same way, Sri Gaura Dham (the prema-ksetra) is full of magnanimity. Sri Gaura Hari appears as an embodiment of condensed form of mercy of playful Sri Krishna. Krishna appears as magnanimous Sri Gaura Hari. The jiva souls who take shelter of Sri Gaura Hari (a form of sweet Krishna), can practise loving devotion very easily. If practitioners want to practise loving devotion but they have desires for material happiness, or even the happiness of liberation, they will not get any result. The object of divine love is the Lord, and this divine love is attained by the mercy and association of shelter-giving devotees. An embodiment of magnanimity, Sri Gaurasundar, appears in this material world together with His magnanimous associates, and advises the jiva souls to learn the meaning of the association of devotees.

When conditioned souls associate with the material world created by Maya, they experience material happiness and unhappiness. The souls averse to the Lord are engrossed with material things and fall in love with material entities. You cannot get unalloyed happiness or uninterrupted peace by indulging in such love. When a father gets the association of his son, or a husband gets the association of his wife, or a mother gets the association of her daughter, this gives only temporary and transient happiness. However, the Lord is the master, and jiva souls are His servants; there is no possibility for them to attain eternal peace or happiness for as long as they are situated in the material world. Those who desire liberation leave illusory material association and try so hard to get free from the material world and get some happiness of the soul, but even liberation is not an eternal or highest necessity for the soul. Sri Gaura Hari, an incarnation of divine love, has shown the inferiority and insignificance of the happiness of enjoyment, the happiness of liberation, and the happiness of mystic powers, and established the super-excellence of the attainment of divine love for the Lord. Love for the Lord is the only highest and ultimate necessity of a jiva soul. The embodiment of mercy, Sri Gaurasundar has discovered the easiest method for the souls who are greedy for material enjoyment and covered by bad elements, to attain this love—this method is chanting of the Holy Name in the association of loving devotees (premik-bhaktas). If jiva souls can chant the Holy Name that was revealed by Gaura, without offences and in the association of devotees of Gaura, then they will attain the best result—they will get divine love for Lord Sri Krishna. Chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, hearing the Holy Name of the Lord and remembering the Holy Name of the Lord, and worshipping the Holy Name of the Lord in the association of pure devotees, completely (with the root) destroys all kinds of unwanted elements, ignorance and secondary pursuits and interests, etc.

krsna-bhakti-janma-mula haya 'sadhu-sanga'
krsna-prema janme, tiho punah mukhya anga

"Sadhu-sanga, good association, is what the devotion to Krishna is ultimately born from; even when the highest love for Krishna is born, good association remains a principle part of the devotee's life."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, 2.22.80)

When jiva souls get the association and proximity of the devotees of the Lord, especially the association and mercy of Sri Gurupadpadma, all kinds of bad desires and other expectations are removed from them—worshipping the Lord's Name, qualities, glories, and pastimes (through hearing, chanting, and service) progressively increases one's taste for it. Sri Gaura Hari bestows honest (without deceit) mercy upon the jiva souls suffering from three types of miseries, who have forgotten Lord Krishna, and inspires them to embark on the spiritual path by teaching them the importance of devotees' association—He similarly spoke about the highest mercy of Sri Nabadwip Dham, the very place of His divine appearance.

'Sri Gauda-mandala bhumi yeba jane chintamani—devotees consider Sri Gauda Mandal to be a transcendental conscious touchstone.' Sri Nabadwip Dham is a magnanimous abode of divine love of the sweetest play. Every atom and molecule of this holy abode assists jiva souls in coming in touch with Sri Gaura Hari, an embodiment of condensed mercy. The very dust of this holy place is endowed with consciousness—it is not only conscious, but it is super conscious, i.e. it is actually transcendental touchstones. If jiva souls roll in the super conscious dust of this holy abode, all their sins, suffering, unhappiness, pain, anxiety become subsequently relieved, and they progress on the path towards eternal benefit, or real peace. The sweetness of the mercy of Sri Gaura Hari, the magnanimous crest jewel, arises through the aural paths in the hearts of loving devotees when they circumambulate the nine islands of Nabadwip Mandal. Just as Vraja Mandal is an abode of sweet pastimes, in the same way, Gaura Dham is the abode where Gaura Hari, mercy incarnate, performs His magnanimous pastimes. This abode's water, wind, particles of dust, trees, everything is tainted with the divine love of Sri Gaura. "Vrindavana-abhede Nabadwipa dhame vadhira kutira khani. I will build my small cottage in Nabadwip Dham seeing this land as being non-different from Vrindavan Dham." The holy abode of Lord Krishna, Vrindavan Dham, is the shelter of liberated souls, but Gaura Dham grants shelter to everyone—the sinful, suffering, low, poor, fallen, and wicked. "Ye yata patita haya, taba daya-lata taya. The more fallen one is, the taller their creeper of mercy is."

Gaura is the only friend of the fallen souls. The holy abode of Gaura manifests to bestow pure mercy upon the lowest jiva souls who are devoured by Kali and embody a playground for lust and anger. Siddha-baba Srila Jagannath Das Babaji, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur, Srila Gaura Kisor Das Babaji, Srila Prabhupad, and other guru-varga took shelter of this holy abode and were fulfilled. There is no difference between Gaura Dham and Vraja Dham. Worshipping Krishna in Gaura Dham and worshipping Gaura in Krishna Dham is one and the same. "Gauda-vraja-jane bheda na heriba haiba baraja-basi. I will see no difference between the residents of Gauda and the residents of Vraja, and I will become a resident of Vraja." (Saranagati, Siddhi-lalasa, 4)

If you circumambulate this transcendental abode in pure devotee association and follow Sri Gurupadpadma, it makes Gaurasundar happy. Sri Nabadwip Mandal and the banks of the Ganges, sanctified by the lotus footprints of Sri Gaurasundar, arouse remembrance of the Lord's magnanimous pastimes. One can get the mercy of Gaura by circumambulating the holy abode without deceit, chanting in the kirtan inaugurated by Gaura Hari, following the footsteps of loving devotees. Except for the practise of sankirtan in the association of devotees as instructed by Gaura, there is no other way or practice to attain His mercy. The true practice aimed at attaining divine love means giving up all other desires and practising devotional processes striving to please the Supreme Lord.

Devotees' distinctive feature is that they see the entire material world in relation to the Lord, i.e. see all things as ingredients for the service of the Lord, not to try to satisfy their own senses through that but to use everything in the service of the Lord. Devotees become fixed in exclusive adherence to Gurudev and the perception of Gurudev as both an object of service and as a super servant, and very soon attain the result of following Krishna consciousness (practices favourable to devotion)—they attain divine love, the true necessity of the jiva soul. Among the nine devotional practices, Sri Gaura Hari gave special priority to Sri Nama-sankirtan (vachak, that which denotes the Lord). If you chant the Holy Name inaugurated by Gaura without offences, it will help you progress on the path towards divine love. If you nurture desires for fame, adoration, selfish gain, etc. within your heart, even if you chant the Holy Name, you will be forever deceived and will not attain divine love. Great souls said,

yadi karibe krsna-nama sadhu-sanga kara
bhukti-mukti siddhi vanchha dure parihara

"If you want to chant the Name of Krishna, then associate with sadhus and leave behind the desires for enjoyment, liberation, and mystic power."

(Sri Prema-vivarta, 7.3)

Except for satisfaction of the Lord, there are no other desires in the hearts of the highest devotees who dedicate their lives to sankirtan in strict adherence to a great guru. Gaura Hari actually appears in the kirtan of pure devotees. He is the father of sankirtan. He incarnates within pure kirtan. He has vested His entire power in Nama-sankirtan. If you strictly follow the main embodiment of shelter (asraya-vigraha, Sri Guru) and intently strive to satisfy the Lord, it makes Lord Gaurasundar very happy. Gaurasundar's appearance means the appearance of pure Nama-sankirtan. If you do not chant the Holy Name following the method prescribed by Gaura, then instead of attaining the result (divine love), you will only create material garbage—and you will be cheated out of Gaura's mercy. Gaurasundar appears through kirtan in the hearts of those who sincerely take shelter of a bona fide guru and are eager to serve—He showers such surrendered souls with His mercy.

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay
Jay Sri Gaurasundar, Sachinandan Gaura Hari ki jay
Jay Srimati Radharani ki jay

 

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