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Srila Guru Maharaj—His Holy Teachings

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All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Chapter Fourteen

Harmony—Beauty's Necessity


By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj


The theistic school says, "Absolute means Absolute Good. It is not zero, rather everything is fully represented there. The whole is so great that it can accommodate all." But Sankaracharya sacrificed plurality and accepted only oneness, saying, "Enemies and friends all become nothing. They become jumbled together." Such a thing is possible only in the zero-conception. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained, "What Sankaracharya gave is not proper acceptance of the revealed truth, but both variety and oneness must be recognized."

In the Upanisads it is said, "There is no variegatedness." And Sankaracharya says, "There is no plurality but only oneness: Brahman." But Mahaprabhu says, "No! Variety also exists, otherwise there would be no necessity of saying anything whatsoever, as all would unanimously agree. Rather, there is One who is the Master and all else are subordinate; and they are active in a system—the controlled and the controller." He explained, "If you say that variety does not exist then what is the necessity of so much discussion? To whom have you come to preach? And if there is no variety then what is the necessity of preaching to those who are already one with you? Illusion also has its existence otherwise why have you come to try to remove illusion? If maya—misunderstanding and misconception—does not exist then why are you preaching?"

It is a reality that there is always the possibility of misconception. Therefore there is always the necessity of a Guru to teach the truth.

There is not only the Absolute conception but also the relative, provincial conception, and they both co-exist. This is called chid-vilasa: it is not the negation of a particular thing, but the adjustment of everything with the Whole, the Absolute, the Centre. Variety and oneness both exist simultaneously and this is called achintya bhedabheda-tattva, and this is the all-accommodating conclusion of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Still Sankaracharya accepts only one part; his conception is limited and not all-accommodating.

The only origin of fear is lack of harmony. Fear is born through disappointment resulting from lack of harmony. If that does not exist, then there is no place for fear.

'Undesirability' is represented in Sanskrit as 'apprehension' or 'fear' and is regarded as something secondary to the Absolute. But how does it reach, and become transformed into, perfection? If we can introduce many interests into one common interest, then there is harmony without any fear, and all is perfect.

At present we are suffering from the mania of separate interest. Only because we have deviated from our common Master, our common Guardian, we have come to suffer the disease of apprehension. If one Master is common to all, then no apprehension can arise. We will feel true unity amongst ourselves. If we fall on the ground, with the help of that same ground we can again stand.

So, forgetfulness of our Guardian is the cause of the all-disastrous situations in which we find ourselves. The only way to get out of that disaster is to be reinstated in the idea of common guardianship, and that is to be effected by the true sadhus who have not deviated from God consciousness. With their help we have to appeal to the all-controlling agency. Then we can again be reinstated in that echelon where we have our Master under whose holy feet we are to take shelter. If we can accept this, harmony will again be installed in our lives. So we are always to be conscious of our Guardian, the highest harmoniser—and that is true God consciousness.

Krishna's two mothers, Yasoda and Devaki, do not have an open relationship with each other. Krishna's foster mother, Yasoda, is always afraid that Devaki and her husband, Vasudeva, may come to claim Krishna as their child. How can it be that this happens? Similarly the members of Radharani's camp consider Chandravali's camp to be an anti-party to the main group of servitors. But the indirect section is always a necessary part of the Lord's Pastimes. Chandravali has more intellect, whereas Radharani has more sentiment. Similarly in all rasas (devotional mellows) there is harmony and also discord. Some opposition enhances the play of dedication.

In sakhya-rasa (the mood of serving the Lord as a friend) when Krishna began to play with His friends, the cowherd boys, there were two parties: one side with Krishna and the other with His brother, Balarama. The cowherd boys were divided into two sections to represent opposite sides, and then they began to playfully fight. The punishment for whichever party would be defeated was that each was to carry a boy from the winning party on their shoulders. In this way a service-punishment was given.

Balarama is very strong while on the opposing party Sridama is also very strong. In fact, Sridama came into Krishna's party because Krishna is not as strong as Balarama. In this way their playing began. When the two parties fought, Balarama generally would not accept that He was defeated, rather His nature was that He would become enraged.

Sometimes a demon would enter one of the parties by taking the form of a cowherd boy. In this manner Pralambasura and Vyomasura mixed with the play of the cowherd boys seeking an opportunity to take a boy on their shoulders and abduct him. One day Pralambasura carried Balarama into the depths of the jungle. But when Balarama came to understand that He was being carried by a demon impostor He struck him with a great blow to the head. In this way the higher conception of truth runs in order to not only remove all difficulties—personified as demons—but to positively fill up the whole heart with sweet nectar. And the sweetest nectar is personified in Krishna.

On another occasion Krishna was considering the case of another miscreant, Sisupala, and how he could be removed. For this purpose He convened a meeting between Himself, Balarama, and Uddhava, but Balarama opposed everything Krishna said. Whenever Krishna wanted a policy to be adopted, Balarama would object, "What is this policy? Just leave it to Me, I shall kill him outright! What need is there of all these politics?—I do not understand." All the while Uddhava, who by nature is not partial to violence, tried to pacify Balarama. The example of enhancement of the beauty of the Lord's Pastimes by discord and opposition is represented very cleverly in this story, in an ornamental way.

Musaladhara, a name of Balarama meaning 'the wielder of the club-like weapon,' gives us a hint that He does not delight in the finer mental level of intellect and politics. He likes to solve everything with the strike of His club. So in Balarama we find less intelligence, but stronger force. Still the greatest, most suble opposing forces can only be harmonised by Krishna. 'Harmony' means to control opposite forces.

Lord Ramachandra expressed, "There is no greater friend than a brother to be found anywhere," while His own brother, Laksmana, instead stressed the opposite angle of vision: "The brother is the worst type of enemy because when he emerges from the mother's womb the elder brother can no longer suck her breast. Indeed the elder brother is not only deprived of his mother's milk but he is also dispossessed of his mother's lap, as the new brother captures that also." So opposite conceptions have to be accommodated.

Disciple: We are all trying to be devotees but sometimes we see that there is some differentiation made between the Western and Indian devotees.

Srila Guru Maharaj: You have so many differences such as your hair, eyes, etc.!

Disciple: These are material differences.

Srila Guru Maharaj: But these are all drawn from the spiritual, they cannot demand any originality of their own.

There are so many things to be understood. Even it is found that in the presence of Krishna at Puskaratirtha the whole of the Yadu dynasties including such a host of great personalities were annihilated before His very eyes. But these dynasties fought in order to reveal the deeper realities of the plane of the soul. Whatever He wills is truth proper. Can you understand this? Krishna was a sightseer! He simply watched. How can you adjust to that? Can you understand that fighting is life?

All the Pandavas including Arjuna were submissive to King Yudhisthira, but still they sometimes revolted against him.

Peace such as in the deep slumber of Brahma-nirvana is wanting in vitality; it is not true lasting peace. And the Absolute Truth is not impersonal but a Person.

Disciple: My desire is to see Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's unity, to see full harmony.

Srila Guru Maharaj: Harmony presupposes independent thinking, but in consonance with the common plane.

When a mother cooks food, one child may say, "This is bitter," another may say, "This is salty," and another, "This is sour." So where there are many varieties there must be the question of life. Variety shows that life is present. In diversity there is polarity within unity, otherwise simply "unity" means jumbling everything together—a dead unity.

Visnu does not represent just one feature but He represents infinite features which accommodate infinite possibilities. Krishna is akhila rasamrta-murtih (the emporium of all nectarean rasas). Different groups of His servitors have so many diverse elements. Even Radharani and Chandravali compete with each other. They each head separate camps which fight in competition to satisfy Him. We have to understand how all this is possible. Mildly, with humility, we have to try to follow.

In the parliament there is an opposition party, but it is there to enhance the work of the main party. In this way the direct and the indirect combine in order to make the government complete, and if that principle is applied everywhere, it is not difficult to understand the nature of difference. We are not to try to create another world, but we are to understand what already exists. Why is it so? What is the underlying meaning behind it? What are the differences between Krishna and Balarama? Balarama sometimes sides with Duryodhana and Krishna sides with the Pandavas, yet Krishna and Balarama are almost one and the same. So how are we to understand that? What is your answer? Do you think it is all bogus?!

Disciple: I can simply say I came to the Gaudiya Math for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's gift of Love.

Srila Guru Maharaj: Yes, this is true. And love means that there is classification amongst brothers. Rupa Goswami gave the explanation

aher iva gatih premnah svabhava-kutila bhavet

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, Madhya 8.110)

Just as a serpent moves in a crooked way, the nature of Love's progress is similar to that. The nature of affection is not straightforward because it has to accommodate everything in it. Everything possible in existence is accommodated in love. Love means sacrifice to such a high degree that it can embrace everything. The movement of love is generally crooked and, for the satisfaction of Krishna, it has been designed in this way by the Lord's Divine Power, Yogamaya, in order to prevent any staleness or sterility from entering the Pastimes. So try to adjust to this. Do not be eager to create another world.

To do away with opposition, greater harmony is necessary. And in the higher type of harmony, opposition even enhances the beauty of that harmony and helps it. When harmony is successful then it is found to be the necessity of beauty. Krishna represents beauty, and His harmonising capacity supersedes everything. There is nothing He cannot harmonise, and all enemies become friends in that harmony. In so many ways this is to be accommodated. The Lord is the centre of highest harmony, He is sweetness, He is our Master, and He is the Divine Love of us all.

Chandravali is in opposition to Srimati Radharani yet by Yogamaya their competition produces more satisfaction for Krishna. Everything is for Him. Through akhila-rasamrta-murti all possible types of ecstasy are harmonised, nothing is neglected. Justification of all existence is found there. That diversity and unity is all to satisfy His purpose. Radharani Herself said, "The other Gopis do not know it, but I have no objection if they come forward, for My only concern is for Krishna's satisfaction. My concentration is always there, but the standard of their service is not so exclusive as to give full satisfaction to Him properly. That is my objection. They rush forward to serve Krishna but they do not know how to fully satisfy Him, otherwise I would allow them to." In this way Radharani's statement justified Her feeling. This statement of Radharani, where She does not consider Her devotion to be commonplace in the company of those exclusive servitors competing for Krishna's affection—that is Her special beauty.

Her degree and intensity of endeavour to satisfy Krishna is above all others. Krishna represents the whole play, He is the Centre and the source of everyone's love. But certain servitors like Lalita and Visakha are directly serving Radharani; while there are also those in Chandravali's camp who are serving her in opposition to Radharani. That anti-party group is essential, just as the opposition party is necessary in a democratic parliament.

What is the purpose of this world? That is known only to Him. The first verse of Srimad Bhagavatam states that He alone is fully aware of the purpose of His activity. He is the Absolute Autocrat, He doesn't have to explain Himself to anyone. Everything is for Him. Also, in some way He is for us.

aham bhakta-paradhino, hy asvatantra iva dvija
sadhubhir grasta-hrdayo, bhaktair bhakta-jana-priyah

(Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.63)

"I do not know anyone but My devotees. All the saints are my sweethearts, and I am also their sweetheart. They do not know anyone but Me and I also do not care to know anyone but them."

He is for the devotees and the devotees are for Him. That is the Substance and the potency, the Enjoyer and the enjoyed, the Positive and the negative, the Served and the servitor—both combine to make the Whole: the Subject and the object.

No subject can exist without an object. Subject means the thinking thinker; and there must be something to be thought otherwise the subject cannot exist. There must be some thinker and then recognition of a particular thing.

Disciple: Radharani sends Her different associates to canvas on Her behalf. Does Chandravali also have her associates canvassing for her?

Srila Guru Maharaj: Yes, there is a clash between Radharani's followers like Lalita and Visakha and the followers of Chandravali such as Saibya and Padma. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur has written, "As the attendant of Radharani's camp, I do not like to see that area in Vrindavan where the camp of Chandravali is, because Padma's interest is always to take Krishna from Radharani's special place to Chandravali's camp and if Krishna goes there then our place will become dark." But still opposition is necessary in the development of different levels of service just as hunger or fasting is necessary for relishing food. It is all designed only to intensify the standard of service.

And what degree of attraction and service to Radharani do we find in Lalita Devi? If a drop of perspiration is found on the feet of Radha or Govinda she prays for one hundred thousand bodies to busily remove that perspiration. This sort of intense devotion is the unit of measurement to gauge love for one's beloved. This is the inner feeling. Waves of such nature come from within one who comes in connection with that Vrindavan proper.

In Goloka Vrindavan, the abode of Sri Krishna, there are so many parties. There the Pastimes appear to be similar to the competition that goes on here in this world, but the difference is all in the degree of sacrifice the devotee has for their Lord. The life of a devotee is a life of endless sacrifice.

The Gopis of Vrindavan are perfectly self-forgetful of their own interest and well-being; they are cent-percent devoted not only in the present but also in the eternal future. There they live in the land of mercy, beauty, charm and affection; the plane of Absolute surrender. And that is the highest plane of our life. Nothing less than wholesale surrender is required there. As Krishna states, "If you give yourself wholesale to Me, then I will give Myself wholesale to you."

Srila Rupa Goswami has given us an example of the gradation of service: When Krishna is at the summit of Govarddhan Hill and He sees Balaram and His sakhya friends playing in the pasturing ground below, He also sees Yasoda with all her helpers busily preparing His meal. All the dasya servitors are seen to be engaged in some arrangement under the direction of Yasoda. Chandravali, with her group, is approaching a particular meeting place; while His beloved Srimati Radharani is coming with Her friends to an appointed place to be united with Krishna. All the different groups represented together around Govardhan are assembling there—santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhura—all are in His sight. He is overseeing everything. So very many affectionate servitors are all vying for His attention, but His eyes are always drawn to Srimati Radharani and Her group.

Even Laksmi Devi—the Goddess of Fortune and wife of Lord Visnu—wanted to participate in the Rasa-lila of those simple cowherd girls of Vrindavan, the Gopis, but She could not enter, for that market—that place of the Rasa-lila Pastime—is so very exclusive. Although she has all the wealth and grandeur of Lord Sri Visnu in Vaikuntha, still, unsatisfied, She is running to join in that great dance in which Krishna is at the centre.

No capitalist can enter that market and open a shop there for He has the full monopoly. There is only one commodity in the market and that commodity is Krishna consciousness.

The earth itself feels the charming union with Krishna by the divine touch of His Feet. The birds, insects, His friends—everything in the environment—sing in His sweet play. Only unconditional exclusive Divine Love can enter there. So much so, the attraction of Krishna has captured the hearts of everyone there wholesale. God's grace is of such charming, intense nature that there is no way out but to serve the sweetness—not by fear, nor by hope, nor by the sense of duty, but all are helplessly attracted to sweet Krishna. Living harmony reigns there in its most natural and intense form. The servants of that quarter feel they cannot live without that service. That is their food.

Srimati Radharani prays, "You have captured My heart fully. Every atom of My body wants only You, but the circumstances are so cruel that we are parted. So I will jump into that deep well, taking My life. I pray You will come and take My position and I will take Yours, O Krishna, O Sri Nandanandan. Then You will realise what hopelessness I am going through and will understand My trouble."

In that self-same mood Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "My friends save Me by showing Me Krishna, otherwise I can not maintain My existence! What I once saw, touching My heart like lightning then withdrawing, show Me once again for I cannot tolerate the separation. How many times can one die in a second to earn that fortune, to get a moment's perception of Krishna? I am ready to die millions of times. My heart bursts without having a second view of that wonderful thing! I had a little experience previously, but beauty and sweetness can be so cruel! If I do not get that vision I shall die."





Chapter 13: The Harmonizing Spirit

Chapter 15: Ambition of Life



Foreword: The Exclusive Line of Srila Saraswati Thakur
Introduction: This Extremely Auspicious Day

Chapter 1: Siksa-Guru
Chapter 2: Transcendental History
Chapter 3: Srila Guru Maharaj Remembers

Chapter 4: Hearing to See
Chapter 5: The Guide
Chapter 6: Specific Service
Chapter 7: The Willing and the Able
Chapter 8: A Wonderful Touch
Chapter 9: Faith and Harmony
Chapter 10: Focussed to Guru
Chapter 11: Unadulterated Purity
Chapter 12: Surrender, Service Dedication
Chapter 13: The Harmonizing Spirit
Chapter 14: Harmony—Beauty's Necessity
Chapter 15: Ambition of Life
Chapter 16: Place of Solution: Sri Nabadwip Dham
Sri Guru-Prasastih