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— { LOVING SEARCH FOR THE LOST SERVANT } —


7 | BRAHMA'S ILLUSION

 

LORD BRAHMA


I offer my prayers unto You, O praiseworthy Lord who are the child of the cowherd Nanda. Your complexion is the dark-blue color of a thundercloud and You are clad in silk garments that shine like lightning. Your charming face is adorned with gunja mala ornaments, and Your hair is decorated with a peacock feather. You look beautiful wearing a garland of forest flowers, and that beauty is enhanced by the morsel of food in Your left hand. You carry a buffalo horn and a stick for herding cows tucked beneath Your left arm. You hold a flute and other emblems, and Your feet are as soft as a lotus.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, the ultimate cause of all harmony, is so wonderful that simply by approaching Him, we will be charmed by His ways. He is known as Urukrama, for His strides are wonderful, unthinkable, unknown, and unknowable. There is no end to His wonders. Ascaryavat pasyati kascid enam ascaryavad vadati tathaiva canyah: At every step towards Him, one feels wonder. We find no end to that feeling. Krsna is infinite; He is the wonderful wonder of wonders. As much as we search Him out, we will find no end to His wonders.

Even Lord Brahma, the creator of this universe and the original guru of our sampradaya, was astonished by the wonders of Krsna. Once when Krsna was living in Dwaraka, He heard that Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, had come to see Him. Krsna asked His messenger, "Which Brahma?" When the messenger put this question to Brahma, Brahma thought, "Are there other Brahmas also? How is it possible?" He told the messenger, "You just inform Krsna that I am the father of the four Kumaras: the four-headed Brahma." The messenger went to Krsna with the news.

"Yes, show him in," Krsna said, knowing Brahma's temperament. Brahma went in, but he was astounded to see that so many Brahmas had gathered there from all of the universes in the creation. There were hundred-headed, thousand-headed, million-headed Brahmas—all present there. Because the whole creation is based on Krsna's hypnotism, the four-headed Brahma could see Krsna and all those other Brahmas, but the other Brahmas could not see each other. Each one of them saw only Krsna. Each one of them thought, "Krsna has come in my universe and called for me out of some necessity." But the Brahma of this universe could see everything because he had inquired,"'Which Brahma?' What is the meaning of 'Which Brahma?' Are there any other Brahmas? I wonder...." In this way, Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, was baffled by the wonderful ways of Krsna.

Previously, in Vrndavana, Brahma had also had some doubt about the position of the Lord. He thought, "Who is this cowherd boy? His ways are very questionable. He moves in such a way that it appears that He does not care for anyone. He is within my brahmanda, my universe, but He does not care to know me. What is this attitude? Who is He? He is not Narayana. Only Narayana is above me. And I am a little accustomed to His ways and manners. But this boy is not Narayana. That anything can exist above Narayana is impossible. Then who is He?"

To test Krsna, Brahma took away the cowherd boys and calves accompanying Him and hid them in a cave. After a year he returned to see how life was continuing in Vrndavana, to see how Krsna was doing without His calves and cowherd boys. And he found that everything was as before. The Lord, surrounded by His cowherd boyfriends, was carrying His flute under His armpit and a morsel of food in His hand. He found everything going on as it had been.

Then Brahma began to think, "What is this? Have the calves and cowherd boys come back without my notice?" He again checked the cave where he had hid them and found that they were all there. Then he thought, "How is this possible? I stole the calves and cowherd boys and hid them here and now that I have returned, I find they are all still here just as before."

Finally, perplexed, he fell at Krsna's lotus feet, praying, "My Lord, I could not recognize You. You have come to play such a plain and ordinary part, that of a cowherd boy. How can anyone believe that You hold an even greater position than that of Narayana? Please forgive whatever I have done."

In many places in Srimad-Bhagavatam, we find Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, being tested by Krsna. And still, Brahma is our gurudeva. He is the original guru of our line. That he could become bewildered is so perplexing and difficult to understand that Madhvacarya eliminated that section from the Srimad-Bhagavatam. He could not accept those two chapters of Srimad-Bhagavatam where Brahma was under illusion, where he had some misunderstanding about Krsna. But Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted everything in toto.

This is a very peculiar thing. How can the original guru of our sampradaya become bewildered about Krsna? It is acintya, inconceivable. Still, everything is intelligible through the philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda-tattva, "inconceivable oneness and difference." How can we accommodate that our original guru becomes perplexed, not only once, but twice? That is lila, a divine pastime. An example of acintya-bhedabheda-tattva is found in the way Krsna deals with His devotees. Krsna Himself is independent of everything. Still, sometimes He shows Himself to be completely subordinate to His servants and must do whatever they want Him to. Then again, sometimes He completely ignores them. These are the spontaneous pastimes of the Sweet Absolute. Sometimes He shows absolute submission to Srimati Radharani, and again, sometimes He ignores Her. This is the very nature of Krsna's lila.

 

CROOKED PASTIMES


Rupa Goswami has supplied a verse from his Ujjvala-nilamani as the basis of the proper understanding of krsna-lila. When we think about the pastimes of the absolute, we, the finite, will have to wear this armor: aher iva gatih premnah svabhava-kutila bhavet. We must understand that Krsna's pastimes are naturally crooked, just like the movement of a snake. A snake cannot move in a straight line; he moves in a zig-zag way. The waves that flow from the absolute move in the same way. That characteristic of krsna-lila is always maintained above everything else. Krsna can never be ruled by any law. With this initial consideration we should approach any study of the absolute. We must always keep in mind that He is absolute, and we are infinitesimal. He is adhoksaja, transcendental, beyond the world of our experience.

Once I asked our Prabhupada, "Why is there a difference between Sanatana and Rupa in their conception of the final part of krsna-lila? Sanatana closed his summary of Krsna's pastimes in his Krsna-lila-stava in Mathura, and Rupa took it another step towards Dvaraka in his Lalita-madhava. He wrote two plays dealing with krsna-lila: one about Dvaraka and one about Vrndavana. Vidagdha-madhava takes place in Vrndavana; Lalita-madhava takes place in Dvaraka. But Sanatana Goswami liked to complete Krsna's pastimes in Mathura.

According to Sanatana Goswami, after a long separation between Krsna and His family and friends, like a wheel the pastime moves from Mathura again to Vrndavana. After Krsna has gone to Mathura, the residents of Vrndavana, overwhelmed by separation, begin to think, "Krsna has been gone for such a long time. Nanda and Yasoda have lost their child!" The separation intensifies and develops further until they begin to think, "Oh, Nanda and Yasoda have no child!" Then they think, "They must have a child," and begin to pray for the appearance of Krsna. Then Krsna appears as the son of Nanda and Yasoda. The cycle is complete and everyone is happy thinking, "Oh yes, Yasoda has got a child." In this way Krsna's pastimes again begin developing in Vrndavana and move to Mathura, where He kills Kamsa.

In his Krsna-lila-stava, his summary of krsna-lila, Sanatana Goswami did not take Krsna into Dvaraka from Mathura Mandala. But Rupa Goswami, in his play Lalita-madhava, showed the parallels between krsna-lila in Vrndavana and krsna-lila in Dwaraka. And so, in his Lalita-madhava, Rupa Goswami draws a parallel between Lalita as Jambavati, Radharani as Satyabhama, and Candravali as Rukmini. In this way, he shows the transformation between Vrndavana and Dvaraka.

 

BEYOND EXPERIENCE


I asked Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada about this difference between Rupa and Sanatana. He simply said, "It is adhoksaja, beyond our understanding." So krsna-lila is "un-understandable" (acintya). Everything is not bound to come within our fist. The Supreme Lord has "All Rights Reserved." This must be understood if we at all want to be in connection with that plane of reality.

So Srimad-Bhagavatam says: jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva: It is a defect to want to understand everything about divinity. Knowledge may be a qualification here in this world, but in relation to the transcendental truth of the highest order, the tendency to want to know everything is a disqualification.

We want to know the value of everything. We want to have the key to everything in our possession. But this is really a bar to progress. If we assert ourselves in this way, we rather lose what confidence we might have in divinity, and there will be some delay in extending the key to us. If a servant, upon getting employment in the master's house, is very eager to be entrusted with the house keys, then the master will suspect him. So to want to know everything is a type of disease, it is an enemy to our progress.

This is, of course, difficult to accept. But still, it is true. Surrender is everything. What cultivation of knowledge do we find in the gopis—the most exalted devotees of Krsna? What was their acquaintance with scripture? Nothing.

What we understand to be "standard purity," what we think to be knowledge—all these things are disqualifications in giving pleasure to the absolute. An example of how our misconceived standards of "purity" and "chastity" are a disqualification can be seen in the following story.

 

A MYSTIC PHYSICIAN


In order to prove the supreme position of Srimati Radharani, one day, Krsna appeared to suddenly fall ill. As He lay sick, He came in another form, disguised as a physician, and said: "O Yasoda, I have heard that your boy has caught some disease. Is it true?"

"Yes, yes, who are you?"

"I am a physician—a mystic physician. I would like to see your son. What is His disease?"

"He fainted; perhaps He has a headache."

Then Krsna in the dress of the physician told Mother Yasoda, "This is a very serious disease. I want to cure Him. But I can only do so if I can have some water brought in a porous pot. Some water should be brought from the Yamuna in a pot that has many holes in it. Only a chaste lady can do this. A chaste girl must bring some water in a porous pot. With the help of that I shall give some medicine to this boy, and He will come to consciousness immediately."

Then Yasoda madly began to search Vrndavana for a chaste lady. Jatila and Kutila were Radharani's mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Because they naturally preached that there was doubt or suspicion about the chastity of the other girls among the gopis, they themselves were generally considered to be chaste. So Yasoda appealed to one of them, Jatila, first. "Take this porous pot and fetch some water from the Yamuna."

"How is it possible? To fetch water in a porous pot is impossible."

"No. The physician says that if one is really a chaste lady, then she can fetch water in a porous pot."

Jatila could not avoid the mad request of Yasoda. Her request was so intense that she had to go. But she could not fetch water from the Yamuna because there were so many holes in the pot. Then Kutila was requested to fetch water in the pot, but she dared not venture to try it, seeing the attempt of her mother. Still, Yasoda was so earnest in her request that Kutila also could not avoid the task. Yasoda couldn't tolerate for a second that her son was in such a condition. And so her request was so intense that Kutila had to go. But she could not fetch water either, because there were so many holes in the waterpot that the water just poured through.

They were astonished, thinking, "What can we do? Among all the girls in Vraja, not a single chaste girl is to be found? What a horrible thing!" So Krsna, in the garb of a physician, singled out Radharani, saying: "I think that She is a chaste lady. Request Her to fetch the water."

And at the request of Yasoda, Radharani could not avoid the task. She had to go fetch water, but She was thinking of Krsna: "If You come to My relief, then only it may be possible; otherwise it is impossible," She prayed. Radharani dipped the porous pot in the water as Krsna touched the pot from within the water. And Radharani with great suspicion took the pot from the water and in great wonder She said, "The water is there!" She had taken some of Her maids, the sakhis, Her chief friends, with Her, and they were all astounded to find that She drew the water from the Yamuna. The holes were there but still the water remained within the pot. So She brought the water to Yasoda and everyone was astounded. And that water with some fictitious medicine was given to the boy Krsna, and Krsna arose from His "unconscious" state.

This was a tactic by Krsna to show the position of Radharani, to show what chastity is. What is chastity? Ordinary "chastity" is not real chastity. Real purity, real chastity, is far above all relative considerations of chastity. And that is inconceivable, beyond our knowledge and reason, just as how a porous pot can contain water. It is a miracle.

But God works wonders. His ways are filled with miracles. We should be prepared for that. We should be prepared that all the knowledge of this world, all our experience, will prove to be wrong. So it is said, jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva: Be clear of your past experiences, what you have drawn from the world of the senses, empiric knowledge (pratyaksa-jnana). Your tendency will always be to try to push your way into the transcendental world on the strength of mundane knowledge. But this verse is saying, "You fallen people, your capital is the experience of this world, of the senses. But it won't do, it won't have any value in that higher plane. What is found there is a new thing, so approach that world with an open mind; understand that everything is possible with the infinite. All your expectations, your past experience, has no value. Why don't you give up trying to dodge this point?"

The transcendental world is something quite new to us. It is very difficult to get out of this superstition of so-called "truth" here. But still it is necessary that we accept that anything and everything is possible with God. He is the master of impossibilities. Possibility and impossibility are found only in our dictionary, yet even Napoleon wanted to remove the word "impossible." He said, "'Impossible' is a word in a fool's dictionary."

How are we to understand that the original guru of our sampradaya becomes bewildered? It is "impossible." We must suspend our "knowledge" (jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva). We may take it that Krsna is playing hide and seek, perhaps, with Brahma, our gurudeva. It is like a game of hide and seek. Sometimes Krsna is defeating others and sometimes He is defeated.

 

KRISHNA & BALARAM


When Krsna and Balarama are playing with Their friends in the jungle. They generally play in two groups. Krsna is in one group and Balarama is in another. Krsna is considered to be less strong than Balarama. Balarama was the strongest person there, and the next strongest was Sridama, so Sridama used to play on the side of Krsna.

Whenever Balarama was defeated, He would become enraged. Krsna would diplomatically help His own team, and when Balarama saw that His own team was disloyal due to Krsna's tricks, He would turn to His younger brother Krsna and say, "I shall punish You!" But Krsna would say, "No, You cannot punish Me; Mother Yasoda has entrusted Me in Your care. You can't mistreat Me."

One day, Balarama slapped Krsna, but Krsna went to Mother Yasoda and told on Him. Balarama was very disturbed and said, "I slap You once, and You complain to Your mother that I do not love You? Krsna, how could You do this?" At last Krsna was perplexed and accepted His defeat.

So krsna-lila moves in a crooked way (aher iva gatih premna...). This fundamental point, the foundation of our understanding about krsna-lila, has been given by Rupa Goswami in this verse. He says, "Don't be eager to find reason everywhere in the pastimes of divinity. They are naturally crooked. In krsna-lila we shall find that although no party is defective, still, one will find fault with another and begin a quarrel. No defect can be found there. But still, for the necessity of lila, false defects are found, and some quarrel begins. This is the meaning of lila, pastimes: what we find here by necessity flows there automatically.

We can't try to apply our reason or our standard of measurement to the movements of the infinite. And whatever gain we have made by connecting with that flow of lila will be lost in our attempts to measure it; that will be the only consequence of our analysis. So we should try to have a taste of lila with a submissive attitude. Sometimes reason, logic, and analysis are necessary, but only to preach to the people in general who have a lower understanding. Only for the purpose of preaching to people addicted to reason do we have to take the help of reason. But when devotion becomes automatic, anuraga, then both reason and scripture are left in the subterranean position. There is no place for scriptural arguments there. To a certain extent, reason is necessary for our development up to vaidhi-bhakti, the elementary stages of devotion. But above that, it has no use.

Anuraga-bhajana is automatic; that is the nature of lila: aher iva gatih premna. Everything there moves by His sweet will. Sweet will means that it is not a fixed program. It moves in such a way that we can't say, "It will pass by this road."

When the Maharaja of Mysore used to drive into town, he would not speak to his driver, giving him directions which way to go, because if any fixed program were arranged, then his life might be in danger. So whenever he would come to a crossing in the road, he would touch his stick to a particular shoulder of the driver. If at the crossing, the Maharaja wanted to go to the right, he would touch the driver on his right shoulder. In this way, he would never disclose which way he would go, but only at the last moment he would beckon the driver to take a particular course.

So Krsna's divine movements are kept in reserve by His sweet will: "All Rights Reserved." We want to search for some law above His sweet will, but this is inconsistent. It is self-contradictory. On the one side we say that Krsna moves by His own sweet will, but on another side we try to find some law governing His movement. This is a contradiction. Lila moves by sweet will. When we say it is lila, then we can't give any shape to that. We can say that it was shown in a particular place in a particular way. But we cannot be sure whether today the same course will be taken.

This is why we find differences in the explanations given about different lilas in different ages. Jiva Goswami has explained that the reason for different descriptions of the pastimes of the Lord in the Puranas is because at one time that lila was played in one way, and another time it was played in another way. So we find differences even in the explanations of the same pastime.

Scholars may challenge: "Why is it that somewhere in Padma Purana the lila is mentioned in this way, but the Bhagavata Purana reveals the description in another way? Why does Harivamsa differ from Mahabharata?" We say that in different kalpas, or ages, the pastimes are enacted in different ways. In infinite ways a particular lila of the Lord may be represented within this world, because He is infinite, independent, and absolute. So leaving aside all doubts and suspicions, we shall be most generous in approaching the absolute, free from all inhibitions. We shall approach Him with that spirit, and try more and more to leave aside our past prejudices and precedents, the records of our past experience.

 

IS GOD DEAD?


We shall approach Him remembering that He is still living. It is not a stereotyped thing. We should not expect only what was done once before. If we expect the same thing it will only reassure us by its repetition that He is not a living thing; that Divinity is under historical law. Should we think that in the past He showed Himself in a particular way, so He is compelled to show Himself in that way always? Is He not living today? Can He not show anything new?

At every moment, every second. He can show everything in quite a new way. So our heart should open wide when we approach the highest authority of the absolute plane of play. That means surrender must be increased to no limit. Surrender is limitless, and His play or lila is also limitless. With that sort of deep vision, we shall try to read His lila. So although Brahma and the other gods and gurus and the givers of many sastras may have given some description of His pastimes, we shall have to realize that Krsna's pastimes are not bound by their descriptions. Krsna is not confined within a cage.

So for this reason, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not hesitate to give a description of the bewilderment of Brahma (brahma-vimohana-lila). Brahma was bewildered in krsna-lila in Vrndavana, and again when Brahma went to have an interview with Krsna in Dwaraka, we find the same condition. The boundary of the sweet will of the infinite is such that anything can be accommodated there, and even Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, can be perplexed by Krsna.

All these pastimes are like so many lighthouses showing us which way to go. Brahma is our guru, but he was bewildered by Krsna. And Vedavyasa, the universal guru, was also chastised by Narada. Narada was put to the test many times. All these examples are showing us the way, they are pointing out the direction. It is said, srutibhir vimrgyam: The authentic books about the revealed truth are only showing the way. They say: "Go in this direction. Where? We do not exactly know, but you may go in this direction." They are only showing the direction. All the srutis, the guidance given by the scholars of revealed truth, give some direction: "Go this way, in this direction, and perhaps you may find it."

Krsna says: Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo: "All the Vedas are intended to reveal Me, the infinite." They mean to show how the infinite is moving. If I analyze one atom within my fist, I can analyze it again and again and reanalyze it to no end. It is already within my fist, and yet it is infinite. So it has been said that we may get the maximum benefit by surrendering. Krsna says, "Give up all your prejudices and the limitations drawn from the limited world and be open. Then it will be easy for the infinite to cast different shades of light on your soul and your knowing faculty. And then it will be easy for you also to cleanse your plane of understanding, cleanse your glass, the mirror of your heart."

In connection with the infinite you will find that everywhere there is center, nowhere circumference. But to realize this, you must try to live in eternity, in Vaikuntha. Kuntha means "measurement." Vaikuntha means "no crookedness, no limit, no measure." That is Vaikuntha.

When Krsna opened His mouth, Yasoda was astonished to find the entire universal creation. Yasoda was nonplussed. "What do I see? The whole universe? The infinite in the finite?" At that moment she almost fainted, but then her cat cried aloud. And Krsna, as if He was very much afraid of the sound of the cat, caught hold of His mother out of fear. Then at once, Yasoda's apprehension disappeared. She thought, "Oh, no... He is my son! There is no representation of the infinite within Him; He is my son." And she embraced Him.

When Brahma took away the cowherd boys and calves, he thought that he had created some want in the lila, but he came to find it flowing just as it had been. Not even the least part of it had been disturbed. Krsna had expanded Himself to become the calves and the cowherd boys. When Krsna Himself took the form of all the calves and cowherd boys, then the mothers felt an infinite type of affection, so much so that they could not understand, but were rather entranced, thinking, "How beautiful these boys are!" And the cows were also mad to show their affection to those calves. Then, Brahma thought, "Have those cowherd boys and calves that I have stolen come here stealthily to join Him?" Again he went to see where he had hidden them. He saw, "No, the boys and calves are where I kept them in the caves of the mountain. They are there!" Again he returned to where Krsna was and saw everything continuing as it had been. At that time Brahma surrendered and was reassured. He spoke the following prayer:

naumidya te 'bhravapuse tadidambaraya
gunjavatamsa-paripicchala-sanmukhaya
vanyasraje kavalavetravisana-venu-
laksmasriye mrdupade pasupangajaya

—Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.1

"I offer my prayers unto You, O praiseworthy Lord who are the child of the cowherd Nanda. Your complexion is the dark blue color of a thundercloud and You are clad in silk garments that shine like lightning. Your charming face is adorned with gunja-mala ornaments, and Your hair is decorated with a peacock feather. You look beautiful wearing a garland of forest flowers, and that beauty is enhanced by the morsel of food in Your left hand. You carry a buffalo horn and a stick for herding cows tucked beneath Your left arm. You hold a flute and other emblems, and Your feet are as soft as a lotus."

That is the general meaning of this verse. The internal meaning of this verse, however, is this: "O venerable one, we submit our prayers to You. Who are You? You are unseeable, unfeelable, unknown, and unknowable. Your complexion is the color of a black cloud, and therefore You are very difficult to see, but You can be seen because of Your yellow garb." Yellow is Radharani's color. So only by the help of Krsna's potency can it be ascertained who He is. Tadit means lightning. By the help of lightning we can see a black cloud at night. So although Krsna is unknown and unknowable, His potency can reveal Him to us. Brahma says, "You are the venerable entity I have come to know. Now I bow down to You. Your body is like that of a black cloud, and that is some mystic representation. Black generally cannot be detected. But Your dress of yellow color helps us to know what You are. It is carrying some similarity to the yellow dress of Narayana. Your black body and yellow dress hints towards the personification of Narayana. You are unknown and unknowable Yourself. But Your yellow dress—Your potency— makes You known to us.

"And You come down to our level as if You were one in our position. You are dressed as a cowherd boy, playing in the jungle with a lump of foodstuffs in Your hand. That deceives us in ascertaining who You are. And You adore ordinary things. Even the garland that You wear is collected from ordinary jungle flowers. Your taste appears to be for lower things.

"And all these signs are misleading us. You take a morsel of food in Your hand and run after cows. That is a sign of being low-class. The higher-caste people like brahmanas and ksatriyas cannot move like this or behave in such a way with their food. The instrument you carry—a bamboo flute—is also unsophisticated. And Your stride is short. All this is misleading us to have a lower conception of You. You are hiding Yourself, so how can we understand You? What fault is there on our part, then, for not recognizing Your supremacy? It is difficult to accept that You, Krsna, are the master of everything.

"You have so many plain ornaments. We don't find anything that is gorgeous or filled with splendor here in Vrndavana. We are accustomed to find those things in Vaikuntha. But this is new. You have come here to show Your playful pastimes. Here in Vrndavana we have come across a new conception. And it is wonderful, plain, and charming. Plain, yet most attractive.

"With simple ordinary things You have decorated Yourself, but You are so extraordinarily charming. It is impossible to understand and to describe. Generally in this world, the position of cowherd boys is of no real significance. They represent the lower section of society. But here in Vrndavana, such a position is so wonderful and charming that we find You all-attractive—hypnotizing us.

"And Your movement is very slow but sure. Your movement is such that You don't care for anything else in this world. Though You are in a lower position, Your posture is such that apparently You don't care for anything in this world. In You we find the highest conception garbed in a very plain way—but a very wonderful way. In connection with You, things of ordinary value become charming. Although I am the Creator and have created everything, I fail to understand this sort of creation. I am proud that I have created so many things in the world, but I am overwhelmed to see the beauty of the environment here in Vrndavana. Here Your movement is slow, but sure and beautiful. You may be the son of that human being who keeps the cows; this is not a very high status in society or in the scriptures, but it is the nature of Your personality that whatever You do. You make it hold the highest position. What is this! Whoever You may be, my vanity is defeated. I take refuge at Your holy feet—I surrender. Please help me to understand what You really are."

In this way, Brahma surrendered. And so, Krsna is beyond the understanding even of the creator of the universe. He is infinite. And He is infinite not only in the consideration of space, but also in the consideration of time—He is infinite in every sort of consideration. Infinite. His infinite potency is represented in consciousness, in existence, and then in dealings of love.

 

ABSOLUTE SWEETNESS


The scriptures give us three conceptions of the infinite: Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. The Brahman conception is the all-comprehensive infinite. Whatever we can conceive is within it. Paramatma is the smallest of the small: anor aniyan. Whatever you can conceive of that is small, it is smaller than that. And the Bhagavan, or personal conception of Godhead, is of two types: one is as the master of infinite majesty and power, and the other is of absolute sweetness.

Jiva Goswami has given the essential meaning of Bhagavan in his Bhakti-San-darbha. He says, bhagavan bhajaniya-sarva-sad-guna visistha. By Bhagavan, he describes this aspect of infinite: bhajaniya, worshipable. When we come in touch with Him, then we want to surrender ourselves for His satisfaction—that type of infinite. There are various types of infinite. The highest conception of the infinite is bhajaniya guna visistha: He is so beautiful and attractive that He is attracting all to surrender to Him. No other conception of the infinite, neither infinite space, nor time, nor anything else can approach this highest conception of the infinite: the all-attractive infinite. All the other aspects of the infinite—infinite time, infinite space, infinite power—are external. But infinite love which attracts love and self-surrender is the highest type of infinite. And that is Krsna.

Attraction is the most fundamental element everywhere. All else can be eliminated and forgotten if we come in touch with attraction and love. Everything can be ignored if we are in connection with love. The fulfillment of our existence, of all existence, of everything, is in love. Love is the principle in the center which is the only fulfillment of all existence. The very gist of existence is there; it can't be ignored or challenged by any other forms or aspects of our substantial existence. It is unchallengeable and absolute.

Whatever we may experience, the most central need for fulfillment remains: love. The absolute king of everything is love. Nothing can stand in comparison with it. Coming in clash with the principle of love, all will have to accept defeat. Mahaprabhu pointed out that this is the most substantial thing in this world.

Madhvacarya, in his conception of how one should see the acarya, the spiritual master, could not harmonize Brahma's bewilderment. After all, he is the sampradaya guru, the foremost guru of the tradition, the Brahma-Madhva-sampradaya. So Madhvacarya omitted these two chapters on the illusion of Brahma from Srimad-Bhagavatam. But Mahaprabhu did not. He accepted Sridhara Swami's edition, which is in accordance with the suddhadvaita philosophy of Visnuswami. The Visnuswami sampradaya are followers of raga-marga, spontaneous devotion. Sridhara Swami included those two chapters with his commentary, and Mahaprabhu accepted that, and it is corroborated in Caitanya-caritamrta. Madhvacarya could not accommodate the idea that guru may be seduced. He could not tolerate that guru may not know everything, may not be omniscient, but Mahaprabhu could.

 

 

⇐ LORD OF THE COWS

SONHOOD OF GOD ⇒

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

Sometimes, as a manager, you will have to chastise others, but not everyone is
fortunate enough to be able to tolerate chastisement.

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"