Our Disciplic Succession:
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Bhagavan Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad
"The Sun Never Sets on Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math":
Worldwide Affiliate Branches and Centres





We are worshipers not of the fatherhood of Godhead, but of the sonhood of Godhead. We don't worship Him as the creator or as the controller, out on the circumference, but in the conception of sonhood, He is in the center. He is not on the circumference, but in the center. That is the conception of Srimad-Bhagavatam: sonhood, and then consorthood, a more heavenly expression, is found there. He is in the center and His extentions emanate from Him. So in our conception of the absolute, His father is controlling Him, His mother is abusing Him, and He is seen to fall at the feet of His beloved.

This can be understood by considering that we are worshipers not of the fatherhood of Godhead, but of the sonhood of Godhead. We don't worship Him as the creator or as the controller, out on the circumference, but in the conception of sonhood, He is in the center. He is not on the circumference, but in the center. It is not that from one side He is furnishing everything, creating everything in the background. No; He is in the center. That is the conception of Srimad-Bhagavatam: sonhood, and then consort-hood, a more heavenly expression, is found there. He is there in the center, and His extensions emanate from Him. So in our conception of the absolute. His father is controlling Him, His mother is abusing Him and punishing Him, and He is also seen to fall at the feet of His beloved. What to speak of guru, even Godhead Himself may appear to become bewildered about His absolute position.

And why? Love divine. Prema. So how highly precious a thing divine love must be. After liberation, beyond calculative devotion, in the highest plane of the whole creation, eternal love reigns supreme. And that divine love emanates from Him just as rays of light emanate from the sun.

So He is at the center and His extension is on all sides. Baladeva on one hand supplies the energy of existence, maintaining everything in the background, and the ecstatic side is controlled by His potency Srimati Radharani, who can make the Absolute Independent a ball in the play of Her hand.

It is inconceivable, it is incalculable, but this is the very nature of divinity. The Lord says, aham bhakta-paradhino... "Yes, I have freely accepted subjugation to My devotees. I have no independence of My own. The way My devotees treat Me is so wonderful that it makes Me subservient to them." Divine love is so charming that it is considered to be the ultimate goal of life, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally came along with Nityananda Prabhu to broadcast that news to the world.



We may have a taste of that divine life only in that plane of nectar. That we may live in the waves of that ocean of love is the highest objective of our lives.

In that divine realm our individual personalities can be maintained. It is not necessary that if we dive deep into the plane of consciousness, we must lose our own personality, our own individuality. It is not necessary at all. And yet the nature of divine love, is that you are still living, but you are living on His behalf, wholesale converted into His service. It is a wonderful thing: you can keep your personality for the interest of Krsna. But you must have no selfish motive, no conception of separate interest. Merging there is not physical, mortal merging, not merging of the losing variety, but the kind of merging spoken of in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.29.34):

martyo yada tyakta-samasta-karma
niveditatma vicikirsito me
tadamrtatvam pratipadyamano
mayatma-bhuyaya ca kalpate vai

"One who is subjected to birth and death attains immortality when he gives up all material activities, dedicates his life to the execution of My order, and acts according to My directions. In this way, he becomes fit to enjoy the spiritual bliss derived from exchanging loving mellows with Me."

And in Bhagavad-gita (18.55) Krsna says:

bhaktya mam abhijanati
yavan yas casmi tattvatah
tato mam tattvato jnatva
visate tad-anantaram

"Only through love and devotion can I be understood as I am. Thereafter, fully understanding Me, you can merge into My entourage."

This "merging" is explained by Krsna: "They enter into Me to become a person in My family. Among the circles of My friends, he enters: visate tad anantaram. He becomes as if My own. That means that without losing your personality you can be fully My own." To enter into the Lord's family is a living merging, not a physical or dead merging into Brahman, spirit. That is the result of prema, divine love.

That ideal is above the general conception of merging into the oneness of Brahman, where one loses oneself in the ocean of consciousness as if in a sound sleep. We are not interested in that. Rather, through Krsna consciousness, we become lost swimming in the ocean of sweetness. This has been accepted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.



Once, Radharani left the rasa-lila when She saw that all the gopis were being dealt with almost equally by Krsna. Equal treatment towards one and all did not satisfy Her. So She decided to display a composition of singing and dancing to please Krsna in a most wonderful transcendental way. Radharani showed Her skill in various wavs, and then at the last moment. She suddenly disappeared. And as Krsna was engaged in that combined singing and dancing. He suddenly found that Radharani was absent. So He left everyone to search for Radharani. He met Her on the way, and after walking for some time, Radharani told Him, "I can't move, I can't walk anymore. If You would like to go on, You will have to carry Me. I cannot go further." And suddenly, Krsna disappeared.

A disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura once asked him why Krsna had disappeared in such a way. But our guru maharaja was very disturbed to hear such a question. In this lila, Krsna is apparently showing some disregard for Radharani. So our guru maharaja, by his very nature, could not even tolerate such a question. He had so much partiality towards Radharani that he was not disposed to hear anything against Her. And so, in a rather excited mood he answered, "Do you find any devotion here? What bhakti do you find here that you have asked me this question?" The question was rejected. He could not tolerate even an inquiry regarding that pastime.

When this news came to me, I tried to find what Bhaktivinoda Thakura had written in his own words about this verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam in his own translation, Bhagavatarka-Marici-Mala. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has harmonized the difficulties in the verse. He explains that Krsna was thinking, "I would like to see what will be the mentality of separation in Her." Only to appreciate the depth of the separation She felt from Him did Krsna disappear. Then of course Krsna returned after some time.

But our guru maharaja could not even tolerate the idea. "Where is devotion to be found here?" But Bhaktivinoda Thakura interpreted this pastime to mean that Krsna was driven to see what kind of happiness in separation Srimati Radharani would experience. He took this as an example of how the absolute becomes subservient to His devotee. And so we find that the negative, Srimati Radharani, is so powerful that the positive, Krsna, becomes powerless near Her. It is as if the positive loses its separate existence. This is the victory of devotion.

Devotion is represented in the negative side, drawing from the positive. There is the juice in a fruit and the one who extracts the juice from the fruit. The highest devotion is found where the extraction is in its most intensified condition—there is the victory of the devotees: where the absolute accepts defeat before His servitors. This reveals the real presence of devotion, dedication, surrender.



Surrender is so powerful that it can even capture the absolute. We are aspiring for that kind of potency. And whoever possesses that—they are all in all; they are our masters. For our highest interest, we must look towards the direction in which that power is intensified. We shall try to look wherever we find surrender in a thick, condensed stage. Our aim should be directed towards that. We are beggars of that. We are not beggars for anything which can be found in this mundane world: na dhanam na janam na sundarim... not wealth, followers or the enjoyment of women, but eliminating everything else, our aim should be directed towards one thing—that most intensified condition of divine service to the Lord of Love.

We should try to convert everything in such a way that it can go to that unknown quarter beyond the jurisdiction of our sense experience or mental acquisition, like a rocket sent towards deep space. Srimad-Bhagavatam, which draws the essence from all of the revealed scriptures, says that divine love is the most desirable and original thing. We must not allow ourselves to run here and there searching for base fulfillment. We must forceably concentrate our attention on divine love. Divine love is the highest thing for us; it is the highest in creation, the highest in eternity.

And to take our stand in the negative position is the strategy of remaining in the relativity of the highest quarter of service to Krsna. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura once composed a verse expressing the proper attitude. Pujala ragapatha gaurava bange mattala sadhu-jana visaya range. "The path of divine love is worshipable to us and should be held overhead as our highest aspiration."

He ordered that a cottage be built for him in Govardhana and said, "I shall live there. I am not fit to live in Radha-kunda. So I shall live in a lower position, but my gurus—Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and others—are fit to serve there. So I shall go and serve them there in Radha-kunda, and then return to a little lower position, in Govardhana. There I shall stay." That is the proper tactic to maintain a subjective position in the subjective world.

Otherwise, if we think that we are in the highest quarter, that higher reality will vanish from us. Only from a little lower position shall we view that higher plane with respect. But whenever we think that we have attained that higher position, that we are there—we are nowhere. That is the nature of the higher world. So we must maintain a respectable distance. If we try to look directly, we lose, but if we try to look at that plane through a screen or from a hidden place, then we may see. It is most peculiar. If we want to come in direct contact with things of a higher order, then they vanish from our experience. If you can't come in direct connection with something, you may find out about it by espionage—it is something like espionage. If you try to know it directly, it is impossible. Only from behind a screen can we have a glimpse.

In that way we can experience the highest ontological truth. As if by chance ontological truth comes to us. He accepts us suddenly, and we can find Him. He is absolute. He is an autocrat, He is independent; whenever He comes by His own whim to give His connection to us, we can have it. It is never within my clutches. He is not an object to come directly within my control. He is always above.

By this system we can come to the highest realization. In the highest order of lila of Radha-Govinda, Krsna asks Radharani to do something, and She refuses, saying "No, I won't do that." And yet this has been accepted as the highest mood of the negative side. To deny Krsna whatever He may want is called bhama-bhava. And Radharani is full of that nature. But that enhances the eagerness, the earnestness of Krsna. The whole system is a crooked one. And yet this is the way recommended for the poorest to come in contact with the highest. It is a wonderful device. The direct transaction, the clear face-to-face transaction, is absent there. Everything is like stealing. Everything there is a stealthy performance. In the highest area, in the area of autocracy, it is wholly black-marketeering. And for that reason it is known as aprakrta—just similar to the lowest conception of things. In our present living condition, we can't tolerate autocracy. It is considered the lowest thing. But autocracy is there in the highest world. So it is known as aprakrta: the highest quarter of the transcendental world which can harmonize everything.

The beauty of that plane is that even what is considered to be of the lowest type here is all harmonized there. The harmonious strength is so great there that what is undesirable, nasty, and bad here is harmonized in such a way that it gets the highest position there. Krsna's peculiar position is such that the lowest has been proven to be the highest by His magical touch. Because He is there, no blot is a blot; it is pure. Krsna consciousness is the touch of Krsna, the beauty of the highest order. Just as the touchstone will not only convert silver into gold, but it will also transform even iron, lead, or any lower thing into gold, the touchstone of Krsna is so powerful that the lowest type of everything within our conception receives the highest position by His magical touch.

Raghunatha Dasa Goswami says that if you are unable to accept this as truth, then you will be thrown down into Vaikuntha: "Go live there, where general law rules, where there are fair dealings. Go down to the land of fair dealings, simple dealings, where you can calculate and go on living very nicely."



But the higher world of Vrndavana is a most diplomatic position. Even Mahadeva and Brahma are both bewildered in understanding it. Baffled by Krsna, Brahma surrendered to Him and confessed, "How could I know that the highest truth was a cowherd boy with a rod under His armpit and a morsel of food in His hand, searching for His friends?" Brahma said: "I have some intimacy with my father Narayana; whenever any difficulty appears, I approach Him to get some instruction and then act accordingly. But 1 have never come in connection with any supreme power like this. A cowherd boy taking His food in one hand and a rod in the other, going off in search of His friends—He is the highest? It is inconceivable. But now I see that You are far above my father Narayana. Vaikuntha is a fair and lawful field we know. But we have never experienced such pastimes of tactful and obscure diplomacy. That this sort of thing is going on in the highest quarter, we should not be blamed for being unaware of that. It is wonderful and hidden, obscure. And yet there is a plane where so much wealth and sweetness are unknown to us." Thomas Gray once wrote:

"Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air."

—Elegy in a Country Churchyard

How peculiar it is to find that the master of everything is a thief. Everything is in His possession, and yet He comes as a thief. Everyone belongs to Him, but He plays the part of a debauchee. Krsna's pastimes are all wonderful. Everything belongs to Him, yet He behaves like a thief, like one of us. That is a peculiar plane and a peculiar type of pastime.

There, all are equal, and some may even be superior. The father and mother of the absolute may be chastising Him, and the Lord may be weeping. Here is bhakti. Where is bhakti? What is the symptom of pure devotion? Where the highest authority is submissive to the servant—that is devotion. Bhakta-paradhinah: The highest has been forcibly taken down to serve the devotee. Devotion has such a peculiar position and power. Ksetra-hari prema bhajana: The last acquisition of devotion is that which can control the Supreme Lord and forcibly take Him to the devotee as a friendly servant. The master surrenders to the servant.

The infinite is at the disposal of the finite. Can we conceive of this? Not only that, but it is done stealthily in various diplomatic ways. So in Krsna consciousness, the finite achieves the supreme-most unthinkable position, when the infinite comes to serve him. Such a glorious and unthinkable position appears impossible. Yet this impossibility can be effected by devotion, raga, love. Love's power is unthinkable. Although it is impossible, the infinite is defeated by the finite. What is that unthinkable position? It can only be attained through love.

And how adorable and precious and valuable love is! To acquire a drop of that divine love, no sacrifice is sufficient. So we are encouraged to "die to live." And in that sense, wholesale death is adorable. To achieve such divine love is the impossible of the impossible, but Mahaprabhu came to give us that. How magnanimous He is! He Himself took the position of a canvasser begging from door to door, "Enlist your name. I have come to recruit everyone for that highest quarter where the infinite will be a slave to the finite. Take a drop of that valuable thing." It is the impossible of the impossible, the inconceivable of the inconceivable.

So give up your wild-goose-chasing habit and collect and concentrate all your might to progress in this line, to try to go to the temple of love divine.

In Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.61), Uddhava says:

asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam
vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam
ya dustyajam svajanam arya-patham ca hitva
bhejur mukunda-padavim srutibhir vimrgyam

"The gopis of Vrndavana gave up their husbands, children, and families who are very difficult to renounce, and sacrificed even their religious principles to take shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna, which are sought after even by the Vedas themselves. O! Grant me the fortune to take birth as a blade of grass in Vrndavana, so that I may take the dust of the lotus feet of those great souls upon my head."

Risk enhances the mood of love. It is a necessary part of the highest form of love: to risk so-called worldly achievement. The quest of divine love must be undertaken even at the risk of so much so-called purity of this world. That commands the highest position. Still, it should be very carefully taken. It should follow the line of humility shown by Newton, who was considered by scientists of his day to know everything. He said, "I know nothing." That is the way of proper realization: As much as one is in the midst of genuine purity, so much he thinks that "I am impure." That is the nature of infinite measurement. Because the charm is so infinite, it cannot but be estimated in that way.

The more they achieve, the more they thirst, the more earnestness is found within them. This is the characteristic of realization of the infinite. As much as one progresses, so much he thinks himself helpless in going further for measurement. No part of the infinite comes into the plane of measurement.

mukam karoti vacalam
panghum langhayate girim
yat krpa tam aham vande
sri gurun dina-taranam

We cannot understand the infinite; we don't find ourselves qualified to give any expression about that, so we become dumb, thinking, "What shall I say?" But He makes us speak. He makes us open our mouths. Otherwise the reader, the knower, becomes dumb.

A bona fide searching person is struck dumb with Krsna's ways. He cannot give any expression to that. But the power from on high comes down to make him give some statement. In that way, the truth from that part comes here. He begins to speak, to give vent to his feelings, being pressed by the higher plane, that higher entity. He has no power of his own to walk, but the Lord's wonderful power can help him cross mountains. This is the nature of the grace of the almighty, of the absolute: by His power, everything can move and live. Yato va imani bhutani jayante, yena jatani jivanti, yat prayanty abhisamvisanti: "He is the cause of production, sustenance, and again withdrawal. Evolution, dissolution, and sustenance in the middle. He is the prime, universal cause."

We are quarreling in a foreign land for fictitious gain. But Krsna is engaged in a loving search for His long lost servants. He wants to save them and take them all home. Only by the grace of that absolute is it possible. A wave is coming from there to take us home, to where everything finally enters. Everything which is created disappears into the subtle existence at the wholesale dissolution of this world. But again with a new evolution they come out. And some enter into the permanent lila and do not come back into this world of exploitation and renunciation.



We must inquire after Krsna. But first we should inquire, "Who am I? Where am I? In which way shall I move to approach the higher domain?" We are always inquiring, but for what type of thing? Now we should open our hearts wide and inquire about Him. This is our dire necessity. We can't avoid it. And what that inquiry contains, we can't predict the level of thought. Brahman, Paramatma, Bhagavan. Bhagavan inquiry is the highest: the search for Sri Krsna, Reality the Beautiful.

It is a natural necessity within us, for our own interest; we can't avoid it. A sane man who does not want to deceive himself can't avoid the search for Sri Krsna. The most general thing in our nature is to inquire after happiness. This is the general question of all animated beings (The search for Sri Krsna means searching for rasa, the highest form of ecstasy.

If we examine ourselves, we will read and cry: "What have I done? What is my necessity? And how am I passing my days? I must repent, cry. I have passed my days uselessly, I am a traitor to my own self, I am committing suicide. My real complaint is against myself and my so-called friends. We have nothing to do here." So, read and cry; do or die! Progress in the right way, or you are inviting your death. The general tenor of life, of all existence, in the most scientific way, will be this: Search for Sri Krsna, Reality the Beautiful. That is the highest goal not only of humanity, but for all creation. And all problems are harmonized and solved by that.

No complaints against this attempt can be normal. Deviation from this general instruction, the general call, is all false, unnecessary, and injurious. This is the truth, the necessity of everyone, wherever there is life. The most grand, extensive, and friendly call to all, to the whole of the world— the only friendly call—is this: "March towards Krsna!" It is the only call. All others should be silenced. All other topics should be silenced, should be stopped, and only if this call remains, the real welfare of the world remains. So the Upanisads say: Yasmin vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati yasmin prapte sarvam idam praptam bhavati. "Inquire into that upon knowing which, nothing further remains to be known. Try to achieve that upon gaining which, nothing further remains to be gained."

A comprehensive call is going out, and this is really nonsectarianism. Apparently it is thought to be sectarian by the abnormal thinkers. But to every normal-thinking person, it is the most general universal thing that can be dealt with.

At present, we are quarreling in a foreign land for fictitious gain. But a sweet wave is coming from above to save us and take us all home. Only by the grace of the Lord's loving search for His lost servants is it at all possible. And all that is expected from us is to join the search for Sri Krsna and march towards the divine domain. Let us join the universal march towards the divine domain, save ourselves, and go back home, back to Godhead.






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

Everybody is doing some service, but only a few people have attachment to their service.