The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapatākā Swāmī on March 22d, 1985 in Patna, Bihar, India. The class begins with a reading from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto, Chapter 1, Text 3.
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayam
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ
The first śloka of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam explained how the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is actually the natural commentary of the Vedānta Sūtra, and the second verse very clearly establishes that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has got nothing to do with the material illusion, or material religion, but that it is pure transcendental literature. Now, this third verse apart from stating that it's a transcendental literature, it is confirmed that the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is actually the ripened fruit of the topmost of all Vedic literatures.
It gives the essence. The example is given here about the fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. There's a saying in India you can tell a tree by its fruit. For instance, you say mango tree because the tree produced the mango. If you say apple tree, and so on. Depending on the fruit that the tree produces, it then takes the same name for those who are productive trees. So, when the verse here states that the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the ripened fruit of the Vedic literatures, that means that the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the ultimate understanding, or the real fruit, the real thing to be gained from the Vedic literatures.
The Lord Himself stated in the Bhagavad-gītā vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham, that, "I am the knower of the Vedas, I am the author of the Vedas. So, Kṛṣṇa is also to be known by the Vedas. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is describing all about Lord Kṛṣṇa and His devotees, therefore this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is especially the ripened fruit of the Vedic literatures, and is therefore in the most holy position.
The second point that's made is that one needs patient, submissive hearing if one is going to properly receive the messages given by the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This means that, just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu said tarke bahu-dūra, that to argue takes one far away from the spiritual subject matter. When you have the debates, you find people say, "I think." "My idea is like this."
Then, the other person says, "No. My idea's like this."
And everyone gives their opinion. But, when we approach Vedic knowledge, the system is one should hear the Vedic wisdom with an open mind, and thereafter, the Vedas may be inquired upon, but they're not to be challenged. Nor, can they be understood by some argumentative mentality. But they are to be understood by a very natural process: Hearing, understanding, and chanting.
Next paragraph. Here, the detailed discussion of rasa, or spiritual mellow. We find that there are 12 rasas, five primary, and seven secondary rasas which have been explained here. Rasa is the essence of spiritual realization. The impersonalist philosophers, they always take it that the Lord is and imperson, He's a non-person, and they think that the personality that we find in material life is in fact the same type of personality that Kṛṣṇa has, and therefore they take Kṛṣṇa to be impersonal.
Actually, they are right that the personality of material life is material, but they're wrong to say or think that Kṛṣṇa has got a material personality only. Kṛṣṇa's personality is transcendental, therefore the relishing of His pastimes are also transcendental. The Bhagavad-gītā describes:
janma karma ca me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so 'rjuna
That by knowing Kṛṣṇa's pastimes, one can end the cycle of birth and death. Obviously, His pastimes are not material because by knowing His pastimes, one is able to get liberated from material life. If they were material, there would be no way of being liberated from the material life by meditating upon some mere material activity. Because they definitely have some spiritual content, therefore they are transcendental.
The impersonalist therefore, due to not knowing fully the spiritual science from a bona fide spiritual master, they wrongly take it that Kṛṣṇa's personality is material. Now Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He dedicated the latter part of His life to relishing these mellows and pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. This was after Caitanya Mahāprabhu had given up the entire material world. He was a very strict sannyāsī, so what would He have to do with discussing the topics of Kṛṣṇa unless these topics were themselves transcendental? Lord Caitanya's got nothing to do with discussing mundane affairs. Certainly He's discussing these things because they're all transcendental.
Similarly, when the four Kumāras saw Nārāyaṇa the first time, They bowed down at His lotus feet. They felt some spiritual ecstasy in their body just by seeing the transcendental form of the Lord. Smelling the tulasī offered to His lotus feet. So, although the four kumāras were situated in Brahman realization, the qualities of the Lord were so wonderful that they immediately raised one to the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Similarly, there are so many examples like that. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī himself, he became very attracted to these pastimes of the Lord. Actually material life, as Prabhupāda said here, the condition souls are less able to relish, rather the liberated souls are more able to relish these pastimes, these rasas, these qualities.
In material life, people have a natural taste to hear about so many mundane affairs, but those affairs are actually very dry for the transcendentalist. They're not interested in hearing any mundane affairs. They only want to hear about the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotee, and their exploits. So, just as the materialists, they're not very interested in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the spiritualists, the transcendentalists are not very interested in the material activities or the stories about those material activities. This is the difference; It's like night and day. One is interested in spiritual subject matter while the other one is not, and vice versa.
So, we can gradually come up to that transcendental platform of relishing the Lord's pastimes by serving the Lord in a very sincere and humble way. If we try to artificially achieve that type of realization, if we just try to go and think, "Let me first become very Kṛṣṇa conscious, and then I'll preach." or whatever, what is the process of becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious? The process itself is to act as a Kṛṣṇa conscious person would act.
karmaṇā manasā girā
nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu
jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate
One should act in a liberated way without acting for sense gratification. Then automatically one can start to experience what is his spiritual rasa. Actually, the spiritual rasa is not understandable by those gross materialists. It is only understandable by the more advanced transcendentalists. So, if you want to get into the inner meaning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the way to do that is to act as Kṛṣṇa conscious as we can, thus naturally, we'll be develop a taste for practicing these Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, and hearing about the Lord. Without developing this higher taste, then it's not possible for us to actually understand what is the real significance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One has to ultimately get into this understanding of the Lord's transcendental mellows.
So Prabhupāda said, work now, samādhi later. But we can achieve this type of realization by very sincerely serving the Lord now, or by serving the Lord's representative. That will be the most effective means for us to rise up. Similarly, the way that Śukadeva Gosvāmī has explained the Bhāgavatam is gradually taking one through these different rasas, from the first Cantos to the 10th Canto. Note that in the Ninth Canto, Lord Rāmacandra is described. His pastimes. Rāmacandra's pastimes are the closest to Kṛṣṇa's pastimes.
In the 10th Canto of course, Kṛṣṇa's own pastimes are given, which are the most esoteric. These first chapters are almost introductory, but they give much of the basic understanding of Absolute Truth that we need to know to understand the rasas. We find that if a person has some material conception of Godhead, and tries to take that over into the spiritual understanding, they cannot understand the rasa properly. Then it is known as rasābhāsa, or a mismatching of rasa.
For instance, the Lord is fully transcendental, but if someone has some material conception of the Lord, like they say, daridra-nārāyaṇa. This is a type of rasābhāsa. How can Nārāyaṇa be daridra? How can Nārāyaṇa be poor? Is not possible that Nārāyaṇa is poor because by definition, Nārāyaṇa is possessing all opulence. So they, tried to say that the human beggars, and poor peoples, and all type of human beings who are in a rotten condition of life, that they are to be seen as poor Nārāyaṇas. It's just a concoction which actually is a rasābhāsa, or a mismatching of spiritual concepts.
Actually the people this material world, they are not the same Nārāyaṇa, that's for sure. They're very small parts of Nārāyaṇa. Kṛṣṇa said mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ, that, "All living entities are My part and parcel." But the part is not equal to the whole. So, if you try to artificially say that the part is equal to the whole, this is known as a rasābhāsa, this a type of incongruity, a type of mismatching of spiritual rasa. So, these type of rasābhāsa, or mismatching of rasa totally absent from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and therefore these liberated souls, they can relish the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam very nicely.
For instance, if you're eating something, but that foodstuff has got some kind of, say some rotten thing in it, and you're eating and eating, and all of a sudden you get a stone in your rice, you bite into it, even your tooth can chip off. It becomes... There is no need of even practically digesting.
Just very easily digested, no difficulty whatsoever. The amazing thing is that when Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was hearing the explanation of the Vedānta Sūtra from Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya for so many days was just going on speaking, Lord Caitanya didn't say a word. Finally, he asked Caitanya Mahāprabhu that, "Don't you understand what I'm saying? Why don't you ask any questions? Can't You understand?"
And Lord Caitanya said, "Well, I can understand the main Sanskrit sūtras of the Vedānta Sūtra very easily, but your explanation, I don't understand. For me they're very difficult. So, the explanation is supposed to make a thing simple. So when Lord Caitanya said I can understand the sūtras, which are practically supposed to be inconceivable without training, but He said his explanation were not easily discernible.
So then, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya could realize that Lord Caitanya was criticizing him indirectly by saying that his explanations of the Vedānta Sūtra were going off the track. So then, he said, "Well then you explain something." And of course, when Lord Caitanya explained using the direct process, He was able to convert Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya.
Of course Lord Caitanya described that the natural explanation of these Vedānta Sūtras is the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is taken to the juice state. You can just drink it. You just drink it as it is. You don't have to worry about anything. You can just drink it, straight. Of course, we're so limited in our intelligence that even then, we may misunderstand, so Prabhupāda has so kindly given us his Bhaktivedānta purports as it is, so that we can easily understand and apply this wisdom.
Because each word is filled with so much nectar or rasa, and so many meanings that to properly apply them, it is necessary to expand on the subject matter. So, Śrīla Prabhupāda has done that for our benefit. Otherwise, we may read pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayaṁ and not know, "What does that mean?" Just take the words at face value, and not see all of the inner meanings. Kṛṣṇa is, rasālayam. He is the reservoir of all transcendental mellows. Vedic literature is described ultimately the highest understanding and realization is of rasa or mellow.
The world, naturally people, they are working and playing and reading and so many things and activities, all to get some rasa, to get little juice. You see, nowadays in the Western world, they have these computer games, but people get bored playing games with the machines. They want to have competition with other people because there's some relationship there. Some juice is there, that between people, there is some flavor, some mellow. This material nature, is very dry. So, when you make the material nature appear personal, that's what they do in some of the more complicated video games, is they make a machine act like a person, and then it becomes more interesting. But after a while, when you see that it's only a machine, then you lose your taste.
So, this flavor of exchange is ultimately the highest understanding in material life. That's the thing that people are looking for, the love between a mother and father and child, between friends, you see? Two friends meet with each other, they laugh and they embrace or shake hands, they tell some joke and pat the other on the back. In this way there giving some rasa, some different types of rasa. You can see all these different rasas that are existing in the spiritual world are here in the material world, but they're here in a very limited, perverted reflection.
People make some joke, and they may laugh, but it's about these flickering material affairs, so it simply agitates a little bit on the mental platform. It doesn't go very deep in relation. It doesn't actually reach to the soul. So in the material world, the most involved relationship is a relationship between man and woman. And so there involves so many different intricacies. And that is known as the conjugal rasa, but in the material world, because ultimately, we are not the body, and this relationship between different material bodies ultimately becomes mechanical, because the bodies themselves are machines, it doesn't ultimately satisfy one. It leaves one hankering for more, just like after playing with some kind of video game or something, one wants to go on and act in what appears to be the real world. After playing with all these machines of material nature, still we are not satisfied, because we're hankering for the real personal relationship, but in the material world, the personal relationships are obstructed because they're all done through the via media of these material machines known as bodies. And real heart-to-heart relationship in the material world is not perfectly available.
The real relationship we're hankering for is the relationship between the individual soul and Kṛṣṇa. That relationship is perfect. It's eternal. It's not dependent upon anything material. It can't be taken away by any outside or material source. It is fully satisfying. So much so that even as we read the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, as we read and hear how the Lord and His different devotees have exchanged certain relationships, or even how the guru and disciple are exchanging relationships, such as how Nārada Muni enlightened the King Prācīnabarhi in the Fourth Canto, the mercy of Nārada Muni on that king is very enlightening.
It's very relishable, how Nārada Muni came and gave the mercy to Dhruva Mahārāja. Subsequently, how Dhruva Mahārāja realized Nārāyaṇa. How Nārāyaṇa blessed Dhruva Mahārāja, how even though Dhruva Mahārāja fell a little bit into māyā later, fighting with the yakṣas, how he was protected by Kṛṣṇa, and in the end he returned back to Kṛṣṇa. All these things gradually develop one in one's understanding of how the Lord and His devotees have a very intimate personal relationship.
This further develops to Prahlāda Mahārāja in his relationship with Narasiṁhadeva, where even the demigods were afraid to go before Lord Narasiṁha. Even Lakṣmī devī was afraid to go in front of Lord Narasiṁhadeva. He was so angry. Only Prahlāda could go before the Lord. In this way, the relationships develop.
One sees how even a devotee, who takes a birth as an elephant like Gajendra, forgets his human birth, but remembers the ślokas that he had memorized when a human before, is able to worship the Lord, even from the elephant body, because of previous pious, devotional service rendered, and is ultimately then enabled to return to the spiritual platform.
All these things gradually show how one's relationship with the Lord is very sublime. And while one reads these reciprocations between the Lord and his devotee, one is somehow or another by spiritual blessing of the guru, and the vaiṣṇavas and Kṛṣṇa, to experience a little taste of that spiritual rasa.
Now, this is not possible by those who are mental speculators, by those who are materialists who are trying to study the Bhāgavatam through some scholastic effort. It is only possible by those who are chanting
Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
To be able to get into the Bhāgavatam, one has to be able to be a devotee, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. Only the devotee can know, "Who is Kṛṣṇa?" can he taste properly, "What is this rasa in relation with Kṛṣṇa?" So, even in our conditioned state, by the very potent presence of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, we may get some little taste of devotional rasa by reading and hearing the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and as we become more and more purified, our ability to relish the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam increases.
So, Śrīla Prabhupāda here explains that when a person is fully liberated, they relish the Bhāgavatam like nothing else. They fully can relish it. In fact Śrīnivāsa ācārya, when he came to Jagannātha Purī to find Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he was crushed because to Caitanya Mahāprabhu had already left the world. He was ready to take his own life. He was so frustrated. Then, Lord Caitanya appeared to him and said, "Go to Gadādhara Prabhu and he will teach you the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So then, he went to Śrī Gadādhara Prabhu, of the pañca-tattva, and fell at his lotus feet, and begged him, "Please teach me the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam."
Because one should learn this, should hear this Bhāgavatam from the lips of devotees. Then Gadādhara Prabhu showed his Bhāgavatam, and said, "How can I teach you the Bhāgavatam? Look it. My Bhāgavatam is totally washed out. By reading the Bhāgavatam and appreciating the rasa, the mercy of the Lord, uncontrollably we cried, and the tears have washed away the pages of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam." And then, Śrīnivāsa ācārya could see that their Bhāgavatam pages had been washed away by the tears. So, it was impossible to read anymore.
So naturally, this is possible not artificially, but for great souls like Gadādhara Prabhu, and other liberated souls, when they read the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, they are transported directly to the spiritual realm. That shouldn't be imitated artificially by some kind of theatrical performance like sometimes the sahajiyās do. But by chanting, by surrendering to the process of devotional service, one should gradually become more and more purified. Purify oneself, and naturally, one will reach the state where one can relish this rasa of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is a transcendental person, and that is why this realization of transcendental personality is the summum bonum, or the topmost realization, and that realization is enhanced by these various rasas. So you'll find in the material world the reflection of those rasas. We'll find in different levels of spiritual realization, different degrees of rasa.
When you come to the ultimate, full understanding of the Lord, and his relationships, His rasas, that means devotional service, that is considered to be the topmost understanding. That is why the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the ripened fruit of all the Vedic literatures, because it gives fully this science of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the rasa, or the transcendental mellow realized in His devotional service.
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
There's no shortcut. Before you're purified, you can theoretically understand, but you have to become purified to practically understand. There's no shortcut. Without purification, one can't in fact, realize the rasas. Like sometimes the sahajiyās, they're putting on a whole act that they have got some high rasa with the Lord. And then after the act is over, they're going and they're eating some non-sense, or they're smoking or doing something. That's why they're supposed sahajiyā, because they're taking the whole thing cheap, they made it all material. They're not actually able to realize the transcendental rasa.
If one is realizing the transcendental rasa, he won't be overtly attracted, or desirous of doing all these material things, but he'll be very fully absorbed in the transcendental platform. You will be pure. So we should first concentrate on purification. Then naturally our understanding of rasa will manifest in a very sublime way. That is the shortcut is to concentrate on purification.
Just like as you have some brass pot, and it has all sorts of... or say the wall here, the wall now is getting dirty. If somebody says that without sanding, and preparing the surface, we just throw paint over it, it will make the wall look nice, that may appear to look nice for a very short time, but then that coat of paint will all peel off and make more of a mess. You have to prepare the surface. So like that, we can just jump. We have to prepare ourself.
We have to free ourselves from material conceptions of Godhead, free ourself from anārthas, or various bad habits, and then we can actually enter into this understanding. If we read or hear about the Lord's pastime, and material ideas come in our mind, that will be detrimental. We should then stop hearing about those aspects of the Lord's pastimes that agitate our mind, which we have to purify ourselves. We should know thoroughly Kṛṣṇa's transcendental position.
Śrīla Prabhupāda explained that Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Kṛṣṇa himself. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Enjoyer. Living entities are the enjoyed. So, when Lord Caitanya came, even as a devotee, He was enjoying being a devotee. So, it was His prerogative to sit and to enjoy all the pastimes of His Kṛṣṇa pastimes in relation with Rādhā and the gopīs. That was his position to enjoy those things, to relish those different pastimes. He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead as devotee. And great devotees like Rāmānanda Rāya, and Svarūpa Dāmodara, Śikhi Māhiti, they were assisting the Lord in His relishing of those pastimes, at that time.
Now, Śrīla Prabhupāda explained we shouldn't imitate the Lord. It's not our position to imitate the Lord. Not even other associates. We don't find that they absorb themselves like Lord. They were assisting Lord Caitanya in relishing. He was on the level of Mahā-bhāva, and He Himself is the Lord, and that was the purpose. His inner, inner purpose was to relish those pastimes. So, some few devotees, they assisted the Lord, but they also, they weren't in the mood of trying to enjoy those, or relish them. They were in the mood of trying to help Lord Caitanya relish them more. They were all in a serving attitude.
Of course, Lord Caitanya, being on the level of Mahā-bhāva, it also was of course giving Kṛṣṇa the Supreme-most pleasure, of course He Himself was Kṛṣṇa anyway, His personality is very mysterious, but we cannot imitate Lord Caitanya. It's not our position. Just like we don't imitate Kṛṣṇa, we shouldn't imitate Lord Caitanya. But rather, we should assist Lord Caitanya in some aspect of His pastimes, not artificially try imitate Him. We are not the Supreme Lord. We are very insignificant devotees who are to assist Him.
So, that is the first point is that apart from Lord Caitanya, none of the associates of Lord Caitanya did what He did, so we should not imitate Caitanya Mahāprabhu. We should follow in the example of the other great ācāryas, just like Śrīnivāsa ācārya, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, they were in Vṛndāvana, relishing the pastimes for a short time, studying under Jīva Gosvāmī, but they were sent out to preach. And then after that, they spent their whole lifetime preaching. Sometime, they'd come together for a short time, and they would sing bhajanas, and kīrtana, and like that, they'd be absorbed, but their overall effort was involved in spreading Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement, and in fact, even whatever bhajanas or meditations they wrote, that was not only for their own relishment, but also to attract the conditioned souls to devotional service.
So actually, just as Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rāmānanda Rāya, on the very high level, they were assisting Lord Caitanya in His pastimes, we find that the other devotees, just like Rūpa and Sanātana were ordered by Lord Caitanya to write śāstra explaining the path of bhakti. You see, only two, three devotees were kept with Lord Caitanya for the rasa discussion. Other devotees, so many were given, great devotees like Rūpa and Sanātana, they were given the order to write scriptures for uplifting the whole humanity.
Sometimes we find the sahajiyās say, "Well, this is Lord Caitanya's external purpose to spread the saṅkīrtana movement." Internal, Lord Caitanya would shift from these different attitudes. It's not an inferior purpose. It may be external, but it's not in any way inferior, or any way less pleasing to the Lord. The Lord is fully pleased and desirous to see all the people become devotees, and when He was in that attitude, that was His primal consideration. And He ordered great devotees who were themselves, even the sahajiyās admit that Rūpa Gosvāmī was Rūpa Mañjarī. He wasn't a condition soul. He was one of the 108 gopīs, the ninth gopī in fact, the first mañjarī came right down, was given the assignment to write books for preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And these other great souls like Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Śrīnivāsa, the were liberated souls. They spent their whole life preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Just because Rāmānanda Rāya, who was Viśākhā, if I'm not wrong, and Svarūpa Dāmodara, who was Lalitā, would come down to assist Lord Caitanya, if we try to imitate those two, and take up, "They're the only standard." this is totally artificial, it's totally inappropriate, and out of focus. We have to see the all hundreds and thousands of liberated devotees of Lord Caitanya were engaged in the saṅkīrtana movement.
Now, a few He kept personally in His inner secret little līlā, which is revealed just for our relishment and purification, was that He was also trying to understand something about Kṛṣṇa's relationship, His relationship with Rādhārāṇi, Rādhā's relationship with Kṛṣṇa, with Himself in His Kṛṣṇa form. That's an inner thing which He came to do, which we can't assist Him in that. We don't have any capacity to assist Lord Caitanya in that. He didn't need even Rūpa or Sanātana to assist Him in that aspect although, Rūpa Gosvāmī understood His inner purpose, but to assist Him, he had Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rāmānanda Rāya, Śikhi Māhiti and Mādhavī. They were assisting. Other's they assisted in His other purposes. They're going on simultaneously.
So at this time, Lord Caitanya's not here. Where's the question of assisting Him in His inner realization? His inner realization, whatever He was going to realize, He's realized. He's relished it, now He's gone back to the spiritual world. Now our service is simply to assist Him as Rūpa, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and other great ācāryas have done in carrying out His order to spread the saṅkīrtana movement. That mood of assisting the Lord, of serving the Lord's desire is transcendental rasa. It is transcendental service. It's not that...
Liberated souls, when they render that service to the Lord, they are by every step experiencing transcendental nectar. They are experiencing their relationship with the Lord. Because that was the desire of the Lord. They're serving the desire. That's the mood of the gopīs, that they are willing to do whatever Kṛṣṇa wanted for His pleasure.
Lord Caitanya said, "I have a headache. I want people to be delivered to pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Who will relieve this headache of Mine?" So all the devotees are running, trying to relieve this headache, this anxiety of Lord Kṛṣṇa. They're just following in the footsteps of the Vraja-vāsīs. Those who fully absorb themselves in that attitude of serving Kṛṣṇa, they are already in the spiritual world. They are already vraja-dhāma. They are experiencing the highest rasa of assisting Rādhārāṇī, of assisting Kṛṣṇa.
Now let's see, there was another point in relation to that, so therefore, we should understand that those devotees who are able to fully absorb themselves in the saṅkīrtana movement of Lord Caitanya, it's described very clearly Caitanya-caritāmṛta, they're very confidential devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Nowhere is it recommended, nor do we find of artificially just imitating Lord Caitanya, and sitting around, and trying to relish the pastimes discussing the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa... find the devotees, they glorify these pastimes. They glorify Lord Caitanya's relishing these pastimes, but everything is done in the context of service, serving Lord Caitanya, and expanding the saṅkīrtana movement. Not imitating artificially Lord Caitanya.
So, Śrīla Prabhupāda was the perfect example of that transcendental dedication and service attitude to serving Kṛṣṇa's pastimes. And one who is fully absorbed in that service attitude, they can't help but relish Kṛṣṇa's pastimes whenever they hear them, because they get, by this preaching, by this full surrender to the saṅkīrtana movement, one becomes the most rapidly purified more than any other way. For one who is already purified, well, they're relishing nectar at every step. Prabhupāda was already nitya-siddha, so he was relishing this nectar at every step.
Just take it like the residents of Vṛndāvana. Whether gopī, or gopa, or sakhā or sakhī, whatever, all the residents of Vṛndāvana, they were thoroughly dedicated to making Kṛṣṇa happy at all costs. And so in that mood, the devotees of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they take up this difficult process of preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that mood of complete surrender to making Kṛṣṇa happy, "Kṛṣṇa wants this, let me do this." And then they absorb themselves in spontaneous devotional service in glorifying Kṛṣṇa. Saṅkīrtana means to glorify Kṛṣṇa, so what can be a more confidential activity? Kṛṣṇa says in Gītā that of all devotees, know that there is no one is more dear to Me, nor will there ever be one more dear to Me than one who explains this science of devotional service to My devotees. If you want to be dear to Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa has said it in unequivocal terms, that, "This is the person who is dearest to Me. And there will never be one who is more dear."
So here we are, miscreants in the material world, fallen souls, and Kṛṣṇa saying, "You want to become dear to Me, this is the way to do it. You understand the science, and then you preach it to others." So, from Jagāi-Mādhāi, a person gets the opportunity of becoming a dear confidential servitor of the Lord. What other hope?
Should we think ourselves to be equivalent to Rāmānanda Rāya or something like that, and we should be sitting relishing? We should be taking the humble attitude that here, somehow or another we're in the material world, by the mercy of guru, we've been engaged in devotional service, and now we have this opportunity of being the dearmost servitor of the Lord. He didn't say only for conditioned souls, He didn't make any qualification. Even liberated souls, they are engaging in that saṅkīrtana, in glorifying and teaching.
If a conditioned soul can get blessed to come up to that level, well he's already then Kṛṣṇa said, "There's no one dearer to Me." He's the dearest. If we're dear to Kṛṣṇa, then naturally, Kṛṣṇa will be dear to us. We're on the perfect platform. So, we shouldn't be confused about our duty. We shouldn't be confused about the necessity and the importance and the perfection of engaging in glorifying the Lord. The vraja-vāsīs, there always glorifying Kṛṣṇa. The elder cowherd ladies, they're going and telling to Mother Yaśodā, "Today your Kṛṣṇa did this and that." The cowherd boys, and everyone is glorifying, they're always doing kīrtana. So, here we are in the material world. You don't see Kṛṣṇa anywhere, but by the mercy of Lord Caitanya, we can constantly glorify Kṛṣṇa, telling the conditioned souls about the glories of Kṛṣṇa.
So, if one thoroughly absorbs himself in that saṅkīrtana mood, you can see there's a tremendous, I won't say similarity, there's a tremendous unity, or more than similarity. You can see the correlation, anyway, similarity, for lack of a better word right now, between the non-difference of this process, and the process of the vrija-vāsīs.
Lord Caitanya said the vraja-vāsīs, they have the topmost process. The process Lord Caitanya gave is non-different. The vraja-vāsīs are always feeling separation from the Lord. They're always glorifying the Lord. We're in the material world. We're definitely separated from the Lord. We feel separation. But we're not able to directly engage in service, so we're serving in separation. And were constantly glorifying the Lord. So this same process has been given by the Lord Caitanya, and by that process, one is drawn to Kṛṣṇa quicker than any other way.
There is no better process. Lord Caitanya confirms this. The whole Vedic literatures confirm, and that is why the result is that one does relish the rasa very quickly, very quickly. Not by sitting around dreaming that one's a peacock, or something that. Hare Kṛṣṇa!
Transcribed by Jagannātha dāsa
November 21st, 2018