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— { LOVING SEARCH FOR THE LOST SERVANT } —


5 | BENEATH THE LOVING EYE OF GOD

 

The Rg Veda mantra says: Om tad visno paramam padam sada pasyanti suraya diviva caksur atatam: The divine feet of our holy Lord are like the sun above our heads. His holy feet are like the vigilant eye of a grand guardian hanging over our heads like the sun, and we are living beneath the glance of that vigilant eye.

We are interested not in objective, but in subjective reality. We shall always try to live not in objective but in subjective relativity. We should never think, "Under my feet I have firm ground to stand on; I am big. I shall stand erect." Rather we should think, "Above my consciousness is superconsciousness; the vigilant guardian's eye is always watching me. I am living under the glance of that eye." Our support comes not from below, but from above. He is our shelter. We are hanging from that substantial upper world wherein He resides; our support is found there. We must always be conscious of that.

This is a principle mantra in the Rg Veda. Before anyone approaches a new duty, he should think about his own position. We have been instructed by this verse from the Vedas to think in this way: "You are under the vigilant eye of your guardian, and that great eye is as living as the sun; its glance is just like that of the sun which is over your head. Like a light that can pierce through to see anything within you. His piercing glance is upon you." With this understanding of identity we should approach our duty. We are never encouraged to think that we stand firmly here on solid earth, and that on the basis of a strong position, independent of His grace we can carry out our dharma.

Actually, in our subjective relationship with divinity, we are just like the rays of the sun. Where do the sun's rays stand? They stand on the sun—that is their source. In the same way, we should think that our stand is in the realm of divinity; we are so many particles of consciousness, and our stand, our motherland, is that conscious area. God consciousness means Krsna consciousness. We are consciousness and we are meant for Krsna consciousness—that is our relationship. We should always be conscious of this fact. We are connected with Krsna consciousness. We are members of the Krsna conscious world. And we have come to wander in the foreign land of material consciousness, mayika misconception, thinking that we are units of this material world, but it is not so.

We are units of the conscious world—the Krsna conscious world—and somehow we have come within this material conception of existence, the world of matter. Matter is what we can exploit, the objective side of reality, and the subjective side is the element we should revere. Our relationship with the subjective is that of reverence and devotion to the higher entity, and not that of exploitation or enjoyment. Real enjoyment, divine enjoyment, comes from service— not from exploitation.

We must understand all these basic principles. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja once remarked to me that although the engineers in New York have built so many skyscraper buildings that will stand for ages, they were never mindful of how long their own bodies would last. The buildings will stand for a long, long time. But those who will live in those buildings have forgotten how long their bodies will stand. In this way people are very busy on the objective side, but they are neglecting the subjective values. Their concern is with objects and not with who will use them. They think that no subjective cultivation is necessary for the user of the objective world. In this way they give all importance to the objective side, neglecting totally the subjective side.

 

CONSCIOUSNESS RAYS


Our real position is like the rays of the sun. A sun ray touches the earth. Where is its home? A sun ray comes to our plane and touches the hills and the water, but what should be considered as its home? Necessarily the sun, and not the earth it touches. Our position is similar. As rays of consciousness, we pertain not to the material world, but to the conscious world. Our home connection is there: in the sun—the spiritual sun.

We are advised by the Vedas to consider: "Although you have been cast in a hole of this earth, still your native soil is the conscious sun. You emanate from there, you are sustained from there, and your prospect is there. You have to conceive of reality in that way. Because you are conscious, your home is the source of consciousness. Whether you are bird or beast, whether you are in the mountains, earth, or water—wherever you are, whatever position you hold, your source is in consciousness, existence. Your source is in consciousness just as the rays of light have their home in the sun."

The Vedas tell us: "You are not a child of this soil. You may be a captive here, but this is not your home; this is a foreign land. All your hopes and prospects can be supplied from that higher soil, because your nature is of that order. Your food, your sustenance, your everything should be made of that higher stuff. But what is found within this material world is all poison to you."

Again, although what is pertaining to consciousness is the immediate, nearest realization of our nature, if we are to go deeper into the conscious world, we shall find something more substantial. If we cross beyond the vision of light-consciousness, we shall find the real necessity of our existence: happiness—ecstasy—and divine love.

After establishing ourselves in the realm of consciousness, we must establish ourselves in the realm of divine love, ecstasy and beauty. We must search for our fortune there, and never in this material world. Ecstasy is above light; transcendental mellow is above consciousness. Beauty and charm are above mere consciousness and understanding. Feeling is not complete in itself. Feeling must be for something. So the fullest conception of a perfect thing is something which is full in beauty or ecstasy. Mere existence or consciousness alone cannot be the highest perfection. Ecstasy is the most perfect thing. Ecstasy, divine love, and beauty presuppose consciousness and existence.

Spiritual reality is composed of three substances: sat, existence, cit, consciousness, and ananda, ecstasy. And of these three, ananda or ecstasy is the final conception of spiritual substance. Ecstasy can exist by itself. Neither existence nor consciousness are complete in themselves. Consciousness alone hankers for ecstasy. And existence without consciousness is to exist with no purpose. But when existence is endowed with consciousness, it can search for its own good: ecstasy. Ecstasy is an independent and concrete substance. Both existence and consciousness are subservient to ecstasy.

And one who realizes the ecstasy of Krsna consciousness becomes free from this mortal world. When one realizes that, he need not be afraid of anything. He need have no apprehension from any fear that can arise here in this material world where there is the constant threat of nonexistence. Here in the material world we not only have no fulfillment, but our very existence is also at stake. At any moment we may be devoured by nonexistence.

 

DIVE DEEP INTO REALITY


But to come to the plane of ecstasy, we shall have to dive deep into reality. We must not be satisfied with the formal, the superficial. If we concentrate our attention on the outward form of a thing, neglecting its inner substance, then we shall find that we are looking in the wrong place. When Mahaprabhu would look at the Deity of Jagannathadeva, apparently it seemed that His aim was fixed on the same thing we see when we look at the Deity. To our vision, however, the Deity of Jagannatha is only a doll made of wood. And yet when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would fix His eye there, He would shed tears of joy, and His tears flowed in an incessant current. Where is His vision of reality connected? What we see as a wooden doll. He sees in a completely different way. And just by looking at that, an incessant current of tears pours from His eyes. Where is His connection with reality located? He is viewing things from the opposite side, from the subjective world.

So how should we approach the Deity? When we have a look at the Deity, what should be our attitude? The Deity form of the Lord is not a mundane thing, and so we should learn the proper way in which to see the Deity. And more than this, we must try to look at this from the other point of view. As we are trying to see the Deity, He sees us. He has come down to help the fallen souls in this material world, and He has come down in such a way as to take us up to His domain.

Ramanuja has classified the expression of the Supreme Entity in five forms: para, vyuha, vaibhava, antaryami, and arcana. Para, the central conception of the highest entity; vyuha, His extended self in different functions, in different figures; vaibhava, His appearance in this mundane plane as avataras like Matsya, Kurma, and Varaha; antaryami, His presence in every heart and every soul, every conscious unit; and arcana, His appearance in the plane of our physical perception as the Deity. In His form as the Deity, I can touch Him, I can see Him, and I can serve Him. In a concrete form He has come to help our understanding.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu looked at the Deity and His eyes were flooded with tears. It is not that His eyes were fixed upon the superficial characteristics of wood when He saw the Deity form of Lord Jagannatha, but He was connected on a vastly higher level with Krsna consciousness. His thoughts were deep with Krsna consciousness. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu thought, "Lord Jagannatha has come here and is making arrangements to deliver millions of fallen souls, especially by extending His own prasadam to one and all in great magnitude. His magnanimous presence has manifest here for the relief of this world."

And Krsna consciousness is the highest relief work. Our guru maharaja used to say that there is a famine of krsna katha. There is a famine at present. But is the world suffering from a lack of food? No. The world is suffering from the famine of Krsna consciousness, Krsna talk, krsna kirtan. So we must try to open offices of food distribution so that we may distribute the food of Krsna consciousness to all souls. Mahaprabhu said, "Whoever you come across, talk of Krsna (yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa)." Give them the food of Krsna consciousness, krsna katha. The world is filled with famine-stricken people. We must distribute food, give the life and breath of Krsna consciousness to whomever we meet by speaking about Krsna.

That was the feeling of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja carried that out in the West. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta used to say, "I do not admit any other conception of famine. The only famine is that of krsna katha, krsna smrti, Krsna consciousness." With such seriousness he conceived of our necessity for Krsna consciousness.

Krsna is of vital importance to our existence. Only Krsna can give us vitality. And as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krsna Himself distributes Krsna consciousness. Vasudeva Ghosh says, therefore, "Sri Gauranga is my life and soul, my only vitality. If Gauranga had not come, how could I live? (Yadi gaura na ha'ta tabe ki haita kemane dharitam de.) By His grace I have tasted such valuable food that without this, my life would be completely impossible."

Krsna consciousness is the vitality of vitality. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada did his best to give Krsna consciousness to the people of India, and Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja distributed that vitality all over the world. It is by their grace and by the grace of Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself that so many have come to Krsna consciousness. Haridasa Thakura once told Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "By Your chanting of the holy name of Krsna, both the animate and inanimate world has been supplied with the food of Krsna consciousness. Whatever position they may occupy, their life is fulfilled. I heard of how, when You traveled through the jungle and chanted and danced, the elephants and tigers also danced and chanted the holy name of Krsna. What wonder, then, should there be if I say that the stones and trees have also attained their highest end—Krsna consciousness—when You are chanting. What an intense degree of Krsna consciousness has been produced here by Your chanting!"

But in order to chant the holy name of Krsna, something is required from our side also. Amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih. We should resort to kirtana always, but our attitude should be as Mahaprabhu recommends: Trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena. Our attitude should be one of humility, and if we think that we are being done wrong, still we should be patient, and under no circumstances should we work for our own position and prestige; that should not be our aim.

When the lower stands against the higher, offense arises. That tendency should be shunned. Primary education is also education, but that should not compete with higher education; we must be careful about that. At the same time, the differentiation between higher education and lower education must be genuine. Still, primary education must not be thought of as the highest education. That will be dangerous. There is a saying in Bengali—alpa vidya bhayam kori—"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." We must be careful about that, otherwise our attitude will be suicidal. The question of offense arises whenever primary education stands against higher education. That sort of assertion is offensive.

Slow and steady wins the race. Our march towards the infinite is a long journey, not a journey to be finished within a few hours, a few days, or a few years. And we have to adjust accordingly. It is not that we shall run quickly to make progress and then stop and sleep. It is a long way we shall have to go. We will only be successful if we develop humility—trnad api suncena. We should not create any circumstance that invites resistance. Still, if any resistance unexpectedly approaches us, we should try our best to forbear. And we must always be conscious that our guardian's eye is always over us, eager to help us in our campaign. We are not alone. We may go on confidently: there is a person above us to redress the wrong that may be shown to us, so we should not take the initiative.

We must not allow any ulterior purpose or temptation to induce us to give up our search for Sri Krsna. Let the satisfaction of guru, Gauranga, Krsna, and the Vaisnavas be our only objective. Let no other element enter upon our path. Our purity of purpose must always be very scrupulously maintained. We should think, "Alone I shall go on with my duty. I won't be always searching for someone to come and help me. Let them do their own duty. This is my duty."

With this attitude we shall go on. With this sort of adjustment our concentration may become more intense, our confidence in Krsna will be increased, and our duty will be pure and clear. We should be conscious that hindrances and obstacles are almost sure to attack us, but we must deal with them with humility and forbearance. So this life is not a life of comfort.

 

HOLY FEET OF VISHNU


But in order to develop this kind of humility and forbearance, we must learn to see the Lord's hand in everything. And therefore the Vedas tell us to remember that the glance of the Lord is always upon us. Om tad visno paramam padam sada pasyanti suraya: We are asked to see the holy feet of Narayana as we see the sun in the sky. Why the sun? The sun is described as pradarsaka: the seer, the witness. Apparently we see the sun, but really the sun helps us to see. The holy feet of Visnu means the lowest part of Visnu—yoge vidhayam yasya vidyate kvacit. His lower part to us is the beginning of realization for us. The beginning of realization is to think that God is always seeing us. As the sun helps us to see, Visnu's holy feet are like the sun. So we should try to always see everything by the rays of the holy feet of Visnu.

From another point of view, His holy feet are like a big eye spread over the sky. He sees everything. Whatever we do, our guardian's vigilant eye is over our head like the sun. Before we enter into any action we must remember this Vedic mantra. The Rg Veda is the first Veda and this is the most important mantra of the Rg Veda. The brahmanas of the Vedic school are told that whenever they do any service pertaining to religion or varnasrama, they must first remember this Rg Veda mantra: "Visnu's feet are over you and they are looking at you like a guardian's vigilant eye. Always remembering this, do your duty."

If you always remember that He is seeing everything you do, you can't do anything wrong. You won't be able to venture to do anything offensive to the Lord as long as you remember that through everything, the searching eye, the all-knowing, omniscient eye of the Lord is always watching over you. This remembrance cannot but purify your heart and understanding and the whole of your mental system, and help you to approach divinity in the right way. It is not that you can do anything and everything without His knowing; not that you are the master wire-puller of both your own life and of the world; not that you are going to exert your mastery, your influence over the environment in a selfish attempt. Always remember that one big eye is spread over your head seeing everything like the searching light of a strong x-ray. What even you do not know about yourself, He knows. What is underground in the innermost subconscious region of your heart, He can also see. If you remember this as you move and live, you cannot but be purified. Just as cancer can be removed from the body by a laser ray, the whole disease of material existence will vanish from our hearts by this purifying influence of the divine rays of light from the holy feet of Visnu.

 

 

⇐ THE ENVIRONMENT

LORD OF THE COWS ⇒

CONTENTS:

Invocation
Introduction
Planets of Faith
The Environment
Beneath the Loving Eye of God
Lord of the Cows
Brahma's Illusion
Sonhood of God
Knowledge-Free Devotion
The Holy Name
The Service of Sri Radha

When you serve prasadam to devotees, you must be like a mother.

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