AFFECTIONATE GUIDANCE: CHAPTER ONE
The Divine Service of Krishna
Krishna is the highest, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are five types of rasas or divine ecstasies. Every rasa is fully present in Krishna. The servitors of Krishna are all happy in His exclusive service. There are so many religious conceptions to be found in the world. Some favour santa-rasa (peacefulness), others dasya-rasa (servitude), or sakhya-rasa (friendship), or vatsalya-rasa (parenthood). But Madhura-rasa (Divine Consorthood) is found in the extreme only in the line of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
For example, Jesus Christ introduced himself as a son of God, and so he showed us the Fatherhood of Godhead, taking himself as the son. That is taken as the highest relationship, and that the Kingdom of God is Heaven. This was Jesus' explanation to the general mass. We see that his conception and that of the Vaisnavas is sometimes quite similar. Guru Maharaj also showed appreciation for Christianity. But the highest goal is Madhura-rasa, and that is possible only by worshipping Krishna in various ways. That type of service is not explained anywhere in the general scriptures such as the Bible or Koran, etc. It is given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the glories of which were sung by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It was He who distributed in the world the rasa of madhuryya, Divine Sweetness. The good souls who are attracted by this sweetness cannot be attracted anywhere else except to the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and thus begin the worship of Lord Krishna.
The domain of Krishna is Goloka. We should know of two basic divine natures of the Lord—madhuryya and audaryya. In madhuryya the Lord enjoys His own divine loving sweetness with His eternal associates. But in His mood of audaryya He is always employing different ways to distribute divine ecstasy to the pure souls, the devotees.
In the Koran we hear of Khoda and banda. Khoda means 'God' and banda means 'servant.' There also we find a relationship between God and the soul. And in the line of Christ the supreme relationship is shown as father and son. We have seen in the Song of Solomon only a hazy mention of consorthood. Actually, all the religions of the world generally reach to Brahmaloka, or the nondifferentiative plane of the Absolute. Before Brahmaloka or the plane of Brahman is the river called Viraja, but beyond Brahmaloka is the divine plane of Vaikuntha. Our devotional life starts in Vaikunthaloka. This is Vaisnavism. Sankaracharyya's conception of nirvvisesa or nirakara—an impersonal or formless 'God,' is only the plane of Brahman. But our Vaisnava sastra or Scripture say that He has divine form.
Although we cannot perceive it, within the sun there are also many forms. If we observe a jungle from afar, we see only a mass. But when we enter a jungle we can properly observe so many things—birds, beasts, trees, flowers, etc., all engaged in their mutual affairs within the jungle. Similarly, from a distance people say "God is this, God is that, He has no form," etc. They describe Him according to their vision. But if we exclusively try to know the form of God and the domain of God, we shall have to come to the conception of Vaikunthaloka. From there, the five rasas progressively appear, culminating in Krishnaloka. Krishnaloka is the highest plane, as confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
ete chamsa-kalah pumsah
"The descents of the Lord are either His plenary portions or portions of those portions. In every age They descend to relieve the world of the disturbance created by demons. But the original form of Godhead is Krishna, the son of Nanda."
Whatever one may see with the eye of transcendence, all that is auspicious has its origin in Krishna. This interpretation is given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Supreme Personality has everything. In Him there are not only the five kinds of chief rasas or mukhya-rasas, there are also the indirect or gauna-rasas. Everything is in Him, and everything is auspicious in Him.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to distribute the ecstasy of our transcendental life. And after Mahaprabhu, many of His pure followers or associates, parsadas, came into this world. In this way, we think ourselves most fortunate to have as our Guardian, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj. We are trying to serve him to our best capacity, in the company of the Vaisnavas. That is our happiness. I am very happy when devotees from all over the world come here to Sri Nabadwip Dham for transcendental life, leaving aside the mundane. We are trying to practise in the plane of seva—divine service. That alone can give us the highest goal.
In this mundane world there are the methods of karmma, jnana, yoga, or works, knowledge, meditation, etc. But every method cannot take us to the Absolute, although every method is somehow connected with the line of bhakti, devotion. Otherwise, they have no substance or factual existence. In Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna has said,
sarvvam karmmakhilam partha
"Works ultimately culminate in knowledge."
tapasvibhyo 'dhiko yogi jnanibhyo 'pi mato 'dhikah
"I consider the yogi superior to the performer of austerity, superior to the worshipper of Brahman, and superior to the worldly worker. Therefore, Arjuna, be a yogi.
"And of all yogis, supreme is the faithful devotee who surrenders unto Me and serves Me with all his heart."
Thus, the jiva-soul may progress in devotional life, up to exclusive devotion, ananya-bhakti. He must be the gainer, and with the blessings of sadhu, Guru and Vaisnava, he must come to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Service is life. Everybody is always doing something—thinking, feeling and willing. It is the nature of the jiva-soul in this world to be always active. But if he functions properly, in the line of devotion, that is called seva, and he becomes the greatest gainer. So we are trying to maintain our spiritual life under the guidance of Guru and Vaisnava. Our spiritual life is the service of Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga-Gandharvva- Govindasundar.
We are living souls, we are not dull matter. If we are not scholarly it does not matter. We can communicate by heart. One boy came here from Hungary—he could not even speak to us. He could not even say, "I want to eat something." Still, he stayed with us happily for about four or five weeks without difficulty, maybe a little of course, but negligible. In this way, our sraddha or faith will guide us.
Guru Maharaj always directed his devotees to engage themselves twenty-four hours daily in the service of the Lord. In this way, you can ignore the mundane world and you must reach your destination. Some may engage themselves in fasting for spiritual life. It is very commendable that they want spiritual life, but in spiritual advancement we still need to maintain our mundane body. The safest course is to follow the line of Srila Rupa Goswami:
(Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu: Purvva: 2.255)
"Yukta-vairagya is said to be the detachment of one who with disinterest accepts objects favourable to the practice of devotion. Krishna's relativity is the predominant factor."
The purport is, the person detached from mundane objects yet eager for objects associated with Krishna, accepts with the spirit of detachment objects conducive to his devotion while rejecting those unconducive to it. His detachment is known as integrated detachment. For example, we cannot live in this world without food. But that food should be the Prasadam of Krishna and Mahaprabhu.
Those who cook for themselves are eating sinful things. But those who cook for the Deity, for Krishna, for Bhagavan—God—and take His remnants, as His mercy—they proceed correctly. They will not be attacked by maya. They will not be attacked by Kali, or the onslaught of sin.
Everybody has some good qualities, no doubt; and in the absolute sense, there is no sin in the jiva-soul. Sin is a mayik form—an illusory form.
ahankara-nivrttanam kesavo nahi duragah
"Kesava, Krishna, can be found in the company of the selfless, but the egotistic are mountains apart from Him."
When we think 'this is mine,' that is called ahankara. 'This boy is my son, this man is my father, this house is my house'—such consciousness that 'this is mine' is called maya. And when that type of shadow comes over us, we cannot see the sun. Like a cloud. A cloud comes in the sky and blocks our view of the sun. Maya is like this. When the illusion of ahankara or false ego comes over us, we cannot see God. But in the light of God we can see maya, and in the light of the jiva-soul, we can see our ahankara. In this way, we can realise everything. Our realisation will come in this way, and this is the proper way.
Section 1 — 'Siddhanta'
Section 3 — 'Our Devotional Line'
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