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segunda-feira, 27 de setembro de 2010

Invitation To A Play-Marriage

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Discussions with ISKCON GBC Members
On Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's Raga-Vartma-Candrika, [part 10] (parts 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, and audio files)
Mathura, India: 1991

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura advises us to be very careful. Some persons say that Radhika is svakiya (married to Krsna), not parakiya (His paramour); that parakiya is only in Krsna's pastimes as they are performed in this material world (prakata-lila), not in His pastimes as manifest in Goloka-Vrndavana (aprakata-lila). And it appears that one of our acaryas has also written this. [*See endnote 1]

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Jiva Gosvami.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Srila Jiva Gosvami and the followers of Jiva Gosvami.

Srila Cakravarti Thakura says that none of the books written by rasika Vaisnava acaryas, like Narada, Vyasa, Suka, Sankara, and the father of Vyasadeva, namely Parasara, state that Radha and Krsna are a married couple (svakiya), neither have any of the Puranas stated it.

We should know that whether Radha and Krsna's pastimes are manifest as prakata-lila (Their pastimes as manifest in this material world) or aprakata-lila (their unmanifest pastimes, in Goloka-Vrndavana), Radhika has parakiya-bhava (the mood of a beloved in unwedded or paramour love). Moreover, when it is said by any bona fide acarya, like Srila Jiva Gosvami, that She is svakiya, then in that connection 'svakiya' simply means that She belongs to Krsna because She is the embodiment of His hladini-sakti, or His pleasure potency. Regarding Her personal mood, however, She always has the mood of parakiya.

Thus, we should think of and worship Radhika in parakiya-bhava, serving Her in this way and meditating on the verse beginning "Nikunja yuno rati keli siddhyai, ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya."

nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai
ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya
tatrati-daksyad ati-vallabhasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

"The spiritual master is very dear, because he is expert in assisting the gopis, who at different times make different tasteful arrangements for the perfection of Radha and Krsna's conjugal loving affairs within the groves of Vrndavana. I offer my most humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master." (Sri Gurvasakam, Verse 5)

Srimati Radhika and the gopis engage in cheating their husbands, fathers-in-law, mothers-in-law, brothers, and all other relatives, in order to meet with Krsna.

If we have greed for this service, we should know the sixteen kinds of services performed by the gopis in parakiya-bhava. Moreover, if we do not become like those gopis, we will not be able to serve Srimati Radhika in this way:

The activities performed by the sakhis for the service of Radha-Krsna are described in the Ujjvala-nilamani as follows: "(1) Glorify the transcendental love and qualities of the Hero (Krsna) to the Heroine (Radhika) and vice versa. (2) Increase the attachment of one for the other. (3) Arrange the meeting at the previously-appointed time. (4) Engage the other sakhis in service. (5) Joke or ridicule. (6) Solace one lover or the other. (7) Dress the Heroine and Hero. (8) Expertly help to fulfill Their inner desires. (9) Hiding the Heroine's faults. (10) Cheat the husbands in order to meet with Krsna. (11) Give Them instructions. (12) Bring Them together at the proper time. (13) Offer service with camara etc. (14) Chastise Hero or Heroine according to time and situation. (15) Relay messages. (16) Protect the life of the Heroine."

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Can I ask a question? I've heard that Jiva Gosvami sometimes talked about svakiya because of some of his disciples were not qualified to understand parikiya.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is certainly true, so we should reconcile this. He personally accepted parakiya-bhava – and he explained for qualified devotees that Radhika's relationship with Sri Krsna is parakiya. However, for those who doubted the supreme purity of Their relationship, he told to strictly follow the understanding of svakiya-bhava. [*See endnote]

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: I have one more question. In Radha-Krsna's lila, we sometimes see that They are married.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We should see such marriages as parakiya, not svakiya. For instance, a marriage may take place when the gopis want to joke with Krsna.

[Everyone hears the ring of an alarm-clock.]

Burijana dasa: What is that horrible sound?

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: One hour has passed.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Who has put that alarm-clock there?

Burijana dasa: I think it is only a crow, not a cuckoo (as in cuckoo clock).

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What was I telling?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: You were saying that in the lila of...

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, we were speaking about the play-marriage of Radha and Krsna. Once, while Krsna and the gopis were engaged in sitting and joking with each other, Lalita stealthily went behind Krsna and Srimati Radhika. She took the ends of Their...

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Their sari and dhoti cloth [Srimati Radhika's veil and Krsnas chaddar -ed].

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: And tied them together. Visakha then began uttering mantras, and the gopis began singing marriage songs. The gopis told Krsna, "You should do like this, and like that, and follow these procedures," and everyone present was very pleased. This is a joking pastime in parakiya-bhava – a play-marriage – and Brahma, as a priest, also performed Their play marriage.

Burijana dasa: In Bhandiravana.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Such play-marriages have two purposes. The inner purpose is the nourishment of parakiya-rasa. The outer purpose is to close the mouths of unqualified persons; those who would criticize parakiya-rasa, thinking that the paramour love of Radha and Krsna is immoral. By these play-marriages, such persons can be told, "Oh, They were married here."

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: They can be told, "It's legitimate."

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: In that way, both purposes are served.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: In this world we sometimes see that children play marriage; so it was something like that?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is for pleasure only.

Now, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura will explain something else, and perhaps this will be his last topic.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: But there are so many more pages to the book.

What is this next thing?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I am about to tell you.

A sadhaka of raganuga-bhakti has crossed the stages of sraddha (faith), nistha (steadiness), ruci (taste), asakti (attachment), bhava (the stage of spiritual emotions, just prior to pure love of God, or prema). After bhava there is nothing to do in this world; sadhana-bhakti here has been completed for the first rays of prema have come.

Because this physical body cannot contain the 'load' of prema, what happens? Does the devotee go directly to Goloka Vrndavana? From that time, what does he do and where does he live?

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura quotes some persons as saying that the devotee goes directly to Goloka Vrndavana, but he says this is not a fact. He quotes Sri Ujjvala-nilamani as saying that after this stage they go to Vrndavana, but that it is not clear there whether this refers to prakata Vraja (Vraja as manifest in Krsna's pastimes in this world), or aprakata Vraja (Goloka Vrndavana).

If it is thought that they go directly to Goloka Vrndavana, then some confusion will arise. It is only after attaining the stages of prema, sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava (different from the bhava that comes before the attainment of prema), and mahabhava that one can meet Radha and Krsna in Vraja. Without mahabhava, no one can meet Them. This is the qualification of the gopis who meet Them and serve Radha. Under these circumstances, if the devotee can go directly to aprakata Goloka Vrndavana, from where has he received the stages of sneha up to mahabhava?

They have not gone through these stages, so they cannot directly go there. Do you understand? In the body of the sadhaka, the devotee practitioner in this world, even sthayi-bhava (one's permanent constitutional ecstasy in pure love of God) cannot come; and what to speak of sneha, maan, pranaya, and mahabhava.

Burijana dasa: Sthayi-bhava cannot come when?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It cannot appear in this physical body. This body cannot tolerate prema; it can tolerate only up to the stage of bhava, so sthayi-bhava cannot appear in this body. It appears at the stage of prema, when all bhavas – asraya, alambana, uddipana, vyabhicari, etc. *[See endnote 2] will gather together.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is telling us that although it is not expressed in Ujjvala-nilamani whether one enters aprakata Vraja or prakata Vraja, our acaryas have done some investigation on this subject. He tells us that if someone says that because we have to take birth from the womb of gopis we must go directly to aprakata Vraja...

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Aprakata Vraja?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He's saying that "If anyone says..."

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Oh, "if..."

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No, there is no sadhana-bhumika in aprakrata Vraja, They do not go directly there. There is no opportunity or place for training under the guidance of the nitya-siddha (eternally perfect) associates of Radha and Krsna) in aprakata-lila, which is siddha-bhumi, the place of perfection. After taking birth in the womb of a gopi in prakata Vraja and receiving training there, he then goes to aprakata Vraja.

So Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura rejects this idea and gives his own opinion. He says that by the wish of Krsna and Srimati Radhika, Yogamaya takes that sadhaka situated it the advanced stage of bhava-bhakti to prakata-lila Vraja. Prakata-lila is present at all times, in this or that world.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: In some universe.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: In some universe it is always present. By the wish of Krsna and Srimati Radhika, Yogamaya takes that lucky jiva to any universe where Their pastimes are going on, and gives them birth from the womb of a gopi. Thus, from childhood, that young gopi has the association of nitya-siddha gopis. Sometimes she sees Krsna, and she has greed to meet Him; that stage is called purva-raga. She goes through so many stages from prema to mahabhava.

Even if she has been wedded and has associated with her husband, still, she has prema for Krsna. And, if she has a child, Yogamaya will not immediately approve her association with Krsna and gopis. In that case, she will weep and burn in feelings of separation from Krsna, and those separation feelings will wash away all obstacles to meeting Him. She will know that "This is not my child and this is not my husband" – this mood goes away, and then she will meet Krsna.

Those gopis who have had the association of the nitya-siddha gopis have reached up to mahabhava, and they meet Krsna. Then, when that prakata-lila is completed, when Krsna's associates in prakata-lila go to aprakata-lila [simultaneous to that prakata-lila continuing on Krsna's 'roadshow' throughout the various universes –ed], those gopis will go with them to serve there forever.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura declares, "O maha-anuragi Vaisnava, O raganuga Vaisnava. Don't be worried; don't be afraid. Go on with your practices of raganuga-bhajana. After you leave your body, you will go to any one of the universes in which Krsna is performing His pastimes. He will attract you. He will be waiting for you there."

He teaches us how to pray: "O Gokulananda, You are always sinking in the ocean of the gopis' prema. You are a swan, swimming...where?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: In the ocean of Krsna's pastimes.

Burijana dasa: Lake.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: In the lake of gopi-prema. "You are the swan in the lake of gopi-prema. You are the taster of that gopi-prema.

"Even though You are sarvajna (all-knowing), You are also mugdha (bewildered in prema). You are mugdha, and at the same time, by Your inconceivable potency, acintya-sakti, You are sarvajna. So please hear my prayers. Don't be mugdha. If you are mugdha, You are not able to hear. I pray that You will be both mugdha and sarvajna as well. In this way you will know my heart and my prayer.

"O Gokulananda, O Enjoyer of amorous pastimes, You are like a honeybee attracted by and always relishing the beautiful, fragrant manjaris of bhakti, the budding flowers of devotion, wherever they are found in any devotee, and especially in Srimati Radhika." [from Raga-vartma-candrika, second Illumination]

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: "Dadami buddhi-yogam." Do you know the meaning of this phrase?

Sripad Giriraja Svami: "I give you the intelligence by which you can come to Me."

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes. "I pray that You will give me intelligence so that I may receive Vraja-prema for both You and Radhika. If You do not answer my prayer, I will declare that You are not fulfilling Your promise; so You must keep Your word.

O Vrajendra-nandana, Your lotus feet are always taking great pleasure in being decorated by the breasts of the gopis. How will I obtain this stage of service to You? Please give me that kind of buddhi-yoga, so that I can receive this."

Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura is now ending his book. He tells us, "Those who say that raganuga-bhakti is beyond any sastra-vidhi..." What is the meaning of sastra-vidhi? Beyond...

Sripad Giriraja Svami: Sastric injunctions.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Sastric injunctions. Those who say this, and those who say that one who has left aside sastric injunctions can enter raganuga-bhakti, are wrong. Such persons don't know anything.

He says that without following sastras like Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the sastras written by Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Sri Narada Rsi (Bhakti-Sutra), and all related sastras, one simply creates troubles for himself.

Burijana dasa:
pancaratra-vidhih vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir
utpatayaiva kalpate

"Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, Puranas and Narada-pancaratra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.101)

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, Srila Cakravarti Thakura has quoted this sloka. We should not follow those persons who reject sastric injunctions. It is most difficult for even the gods to achieve raganuga-bhakti, what to speak of general persons.

He says, "I have written this Raga-vartma-candrika, The Moonbeam Illuminating the Path Of Raga, for those who are very qualified and who have received the grace of guru and Gauranga, in order that they may search the way and then proceed along that path." He tells us, I have given some light, and if others take advantage of that light I will consider my endeavor successful."

Burijana dasa: Maharaja, moonlight (candrika) is cool, but this makes it more hot.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura has explained this. Now it is cool, but afterwards, when you have some realization, it will gradually become hot, then hotter, and then hottest.

Today we have concluded the teachings of Raga-vartma-candrika.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: May I ask a question?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: You have told us that one in gopi-bhava should know what is one's name, what is one's age, who are one's parents, where one is born, and so many things like this. At what stage in bhakti does this come? In the progression there is bhava, there is prema, there is sneha and so on. At what stage does that come?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: As long as we have dhairya...What is the meaning of dhairya?

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Patience.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Patience. As long as we have patience for this, [the lack of a sense of craving, or the idea of being restricted by a sense of propriety -ed] we can know that our qualification to receive it has not yet come. That realization comes when all patience has been washed away, when we are so totally impatient for this that we don't care whether or not we are qualified.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: You mentioned that when prema comes it cannot be withstood by this material body. The body cannot tolerate its intense presence, so one must first take birth in Krsna's prakata-lila (His pastimes as they are manifest in this world) in some universe. Before that time, if one is meditating that, "My age as a gopi is this, my name is this..."

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: There must be pure greed. When that pure greed comes, God and guru will arrange that everything is revealed. Somehow, by their arrangement, we will surely have the required realizations. At that time we will be convinced that we will not be able to remain alive if we do not know all these things.

So pure greed must come first. At that time there will be no consideration of whether or not we are qualified, and no consideration of what stage we are in. Krsna will arrange everything; but we should not do any kalpana. Do you know the meaning of kalpana?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Imagination.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Imagination.

This is our Gaudiya Vaisnava speciality. We should continue practicing, and go on trying to learn everything that is needed in order to enter raganuga-bhakti. We are sure that Srimati Radhika will arrange everything for us. If She made arrangements for Gopa Kumara and the Govardhana brahmana, why would She not arrange for us as well? Surely, She will do so. She sent one of Her associates to you, to bring you up to this stage. Why would She not arrange further?

Whatever mercy has come to you already will surely continue. If you have greed and a very strong desire, She must arrange for you to progress. And, if someone is not available to come in person, Krsna will inspire you through caitya-guru (Supersoul) in your hearts.

At this present time we can pray with a strong desire. This is within our custody, and after that, what the Lord will do, He will do. In our present stage we can have this desire; we are not qualified to do more than this.

Next time we will discuss some slokas of Vilapa Kusumanjali. This will be very helpful in the matter of entering raganuga-bhakti. [To download Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's discussions with the ISKCON GBC on Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali, please visit this page at]

[*Endnote 1 –For readers interested in this subject:]

(Excerpts from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's commentary on Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's Raga-vartma-candrika)

"We are presenting herein the essence of Srila Jiva GosvmI's and Srila Visvanrtha Cakravarti Thakura's views on svakiya (marital love) and parakiya (extramarital love) imparted in both their commentaries on sloka 2.21 of Sri Ujjvala-Nilamani. Both mahajanas have very skillfully given their respective visions of the same ultimate Absolute Truth from the point of view of tattva and lila, based on logic and proof from sastra.

"The Line of Thought of Srila Visvanrtha Cakravarti Thakura

"Srila Cakravartipada maintains that Srila Jiva Gosvami-pada is one of the prominent rupanuga Vaisnavas. It is not possible for him to give an explanation in favor of svakiya, or marital love. Whatever he has explained supporting svakiya, he has done simply to satisfy others. Therefore, concluding his explanation, he himself has stated, 'likhitam kincid atra parecchaya – I have written this to satisfy the desires of others.'

"To allow unqualified persons of different inclinations to understand that this inconceivable lila is completely immaculate, he has presented his commentary in support of svakiya so that they too can come forward to meditate on this lila with unwavering faith. For the surrendered, intimate devotees of Sriman Mahaprabhu, however, this explanation can never be acceptable, because it is not fully consistent with some of the topics found elsewhere throughout Srila Jiva Gosvami's commentary.

"The Opinion of Srila Jiva Gosvami

(1) "Aupapatya, that is, upapati-bhava, is opposed to dharma and leads to hellish life." This statement refers only to worldly nayakas (heros). But how can there be even the slightest doubt regarding Sri Krsna, the crown-jewel ruler of dharma and adharma? The meeting of mundane partners entails a touch of immorality, but lila-purusottama Sri Krsna, who creates and destroys all the innumerable universes simply by a movement of His eyebrows, and the gopis, who as the embodiments of hladini-sakti are the most prominent among all His immeasurable potencies, can never be touched by this fault. "Thus, Srila Rupa Gosvami has written in Nataka-Candrika: "It should be understood that whatever scholars have described as inferior about extramarital affairs between a married woman and her paramour applies only to mundane lovers, not to Sri Krsna and the gopis." This is also the opinion of Sri Kavi Karnapura in his Alankara-Kaustubha. This upapati-bhava for the transcendentally perfect Sri Krsna and parakiya-bhava for the gopis are not defects (dusana); rather, they are their ornaments (bhusana).

(2) "Sri Krsna's prakata-lila is not illusory. In reality, there is no distinction between prakata and aprakata-lila. Srila Jiva Gosvami's thought in regard to sloka 43 of Brahma-Samhita is worth considering and following. When Sri Krsna, to show mercy to the jivas, manifests His lila-madhurya in the material world, it is called prakata-lila. When this lila disappears from the eyes of the living entities in the material realm, it is called aprakata-lila. In Laghu-Bhagavatamrta (1.244), Srila Rupa Gosvami states: 'Anadim eva janmadi lilam eva tathadbhutam / hetuna kenacit krsnah praduskuryat kadacana – Even though Krsna is unborn, His birth and other pastimes are supremely wonderful. For various reasons, He manifests such greatly astonishing, transcendental lilas in the material world.'

(3) "It is illogical to think that there is an eternal husband-wife relationship in aprakata-lila and an illusory unwedded love in prakata-lila, because paramour love is splendidly manifest throughout rasa-lila, the crown-jewel of all Krsna's pastimes, from beginning to end. It is totally inappropriate to consider this pastime as mayika, or illusory. In each and every chapter of Rasa-Pancadhyayi, there are many proofs supporting extramarital love and paramourship.

"Sri Sukadeva Gosvami has clearly established parodha (the gopi's paramour love) and upapati-bhavas by quoting the following verses spoken directly by Sri Krsna and by the gopis: ta varyamanah patibhih (10.29.8), bhratarah patayas ca vah (10.29.20), evam yat-patyapatya suhrdam anuvrttir anga (10.29.32), tad-gunan eva gaya...etc.

(15) "We see that the word pati (generally referred to by people as 'husband,') is mentioned in a few places. Actually, this does not refer to a married man. Rather, it should be understood as gati, meaning, 'You are my everything, you are my ultimate shelter.' It is not always correct to say that pati refers only to a married man, the husband of a nayika (feminine beloved). For example, in the chapter in Ujjvala-Nilamani describing various types of nayikas, the term svadhina-bhartika (a woman who controls her pati) is used in relation to parakiya. Furthermore, it may be said that Krsna has been described as the pati of the nayikas, but He has no marital relationship with them. If Krsna is the married husband of them all, then the topic 'paradarabhimarsanam' (to enjoy with another's wife – SB 10.33.27) would not arise. Srimad-Bhagavatam also mentions the vraja-devis' husbands. Moreover, it is also stated (in Ujjvala-Nilamani) that the gopis never had union with their husbands at any time.

(16) "In the statement sa vo hi svami bhavati from Gopala-Tapani, the word svami indicates aisvarya, not marriage... This is authenticated in Panini's grammar (5.2.126), which says svaminn-aisvarya. However, some texts cite the following application: 'Loke hi yasya hi yah svami bhavati, sa tasya bhokta bhavatibhi – In this world, svami is he who maintains and supports others (like a king or any magnanimous benefactor) and who is the enjoyer of all.' Therefore, the word svami does not always refer to a husband.

(17) "All relationships in Vraja are transcendental. Wherever the word maya is used, it should be understood as Yogamaya. Therefore, Srimati Radhika's acceptance of Abhimanyu as Her husband should be seen as a transcendental arrangement. As one inseparable link in the chain of Sri Bhagavan's pastimes, this relationship is also not illusory. Yogamaya is behind it.

(18) "Srimati Radhika is the hladini-sakti of Sri Krsna, His pleasure potency. Of this there is no doubt. The object of our adoration is Radha-Krsna Yugala along with Their special lilas. To worship Radha-Krsna devoid of Their pastimes is outside our line of thought and concept of bhajana."

"Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura on Svakiya and Parakiya

"Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given a beautiful, detailed elucidation of this subject matter in his commentary on the sloka, ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih (Brahma-Samhita, verse 37). We are presenting it here for the benefit of the sadhakas:

"In his commentaries on this sloka, and on Ujjvala-Nilamani, in Krsna-Sandarbha, and in his other works, our worshipful acarya Srila Jiva Gosvami says that Krsna's prakata-lilas are arranged by Yogamaya. Because of their connection with the illusory realm, they appear to have assimilated some mundane features that cannot exist in svarupa-tattva, the intrinsic fundamental reality. Examples of such pastimes include killing the demons, attracting the wives of others, taking birth, and so on. It is an established truth that the gopis are Krsna's svarupa-sakti, extensions of His personal power; hence, they are Krsna's svakiya, unquestionably His own. There is no possibility of their being anyone else's wives. We see that in prakata-lila, the gopis do appear to be the wives of others, but this is only an implicit conviction created by Yogamaya.

"There is a secret meaning in the statement of Sri Jiva Gosvami, which, if brought to light, will automatically dispel all types of doubts. The revered Sri Jiva Gosvami, the foremost follower of Srila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, is the tattva-acarya of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Furthermore, in krsna-lila he is a manjari. Therefore, there is no secret truth that is unknown to him. Those who do not understand his esoteric intentions raise arguments accepting and rejecting his ideas by presenting their own concocted interpretations.

"According to Sri Rupa-Sanatana's vision, there is no difference between prakata and aprakata-lila – they are identical. The only distinction is that one manifestation is beyond the material domain and the other is within it. ...A fine point to note here is that, just as Goloka is the completely pure, divine truth beyond the illusory realm, in the same way, even though Bhauma Gokula is pure and always uncontaminated, it appears in the material world by Bhagavan's cit-sakti, Yogamaya.

"In regard to prakata and aprakata, there is not even the slightest touch of material defect, degradation, or imperfection. Different visions are perceived depending on the qualification of the person viewing the lila. Defect (contamination), foulness, designation,

illusion, ignorance, impurity, falsity, loathsomeness and grossness are all perceived through the conditioned jivas' eyes, intelligence, and false ego dulled by the material nature, but these shortcomings have no footing in the spiritual realm. The more one is free from defects, the more one is granted vision of the transcendental truth. The truth is revealed in sastra, but the purity of realization for those who deliberate on these tattvas will depend upon one's qualification.

"According to the views of Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana, whichever lilas manifest in Bhauma-Gokula are present in Goloka in their pure form without a tinge of maya. That is why parakiya-bhava, in some form or another, is also certainly present in Goloka in its inconceivably pure state. All the manifestations created by Yogamaya are immaculate. Para-dara (parakiya) bhava, the creation of Yogamaya, is therefore established on the pure absolute reality. ...Jiva Gosvami has proved that there is no difference between the lilas of Goloka and Gokula, so it must be admitted that all pastimes have their origin in Gokula:

"One who takes the hand of a virgin girl according to the sacred rites of marriage is called a husband (pati). And he who, being overcome by passion, violates conventional morality in order to win another's wife (parakiya-ramani) is called a paramour (upapati). In Goloka, the religious obligation binding one within matrimonial regulation does not exist. Thus, no husbandhood ascribed with those characteristics is found there. In this connection, the gopis, who are Krsna's own potency, are not married elsewhere; thus, they are also not para-dara, other men's wives.

"Furthermore, it is not possible for parakiya and svakiyabhava to be separate from each other. In the manifest pastimes within the illusory realm, the strictures of marriage do exist, but Sri Krsna is beyond their jurisdiction.

"...Parakiya-rasa is the very essence of all rasas. To deny its presence in Goloka minimizes that realm. It is not possible that the highest delight in rasa is absent in the topmost abode Goloka. Sarvavatari Sri Krsna, the source of all avataras, relishes this rasa in one way in Goloka and in another way in Gokula. Thus, even though there appears to be a transgression of dharma according to material vision, nevertheless, this truth also exists in Goloka. "Atmaramo 'py ariramat (SB 10.29.42) – Krsna performed amorous pastimes although He is atmarama, self-satisfied." "Atmany avaruddha-sauratah (SB 10.33.25) – Satya-kama Sri Krsna, whose every desire comes to fruition, keeps in His heart the hava, bhava and other anubhavas arising from His amorous diversions." "Reme rameso vraja-sundaribhir yatharbhakah sva-pratibimbavibhramah (SB 10.33.16) – Just as an innocent child plays with his reflection without undergoing any transformation, in the same manner rama-ramana Bhagavan Sri Krsna enjoyed with the beautiful Vraja maidens."

"It is understood from these statements from sastra that Sri Krsna's intrinsic nature is to be self-satisfied. Sri Krsna manifests His own sakti (as Laksmi) in those spiritual planets dominated by aisvarya and consorts with her in svakiyabhava. There, with the sense of svakiya prevailing, rasa goes only up to the stage of dasya. But in Goloka, Krsna manifests millions and millions of gopis and, forgetting any sentiments of svakiya, continuously enjoys with them. In the svakiya conception, as there are no obstacles in meeting, the enjoyment of rasa is not so exceptional. Therefore, from time eternal, the gopis, who are naturally imbued with an innate parodha sentiment, see themselves as other men's wives. Sri Krsna, reciprocating with their mood, intrinsically assumes the identity of their paramour and, taking the help of His intimate companion the flute, who is His priya-sakhi, accomplishes rasa and other lilas.

"Goloka, which is eternally perfect and free from illusion, is the rasa-pitha, the abode of divine rapture. Thus, the flow of rasa in the conception of paramourship finds its perfection there. Even vatsalya-rasa is not found in Vaikuntha because of aisvarya. However, in paramamadhurya-maya Goloka, the fountainhead of ultimate sweetness (situated in Vraja), there exists nothing other than the original conception of rasa (srngara-rasa). There, Nanda and Yasoda are actually present, but there is no occurrence of birth. In the absence of birth, parenthood does not actually exist. Nanda and Yasoda only have the mood (abhimana) of being parents. This is substantiated in the verse, "Jayati jana-nivaso devaki-janmavadah. ' This abhimana (self-conception) is eternal for the sake of perfect rasa.

"Similarly, in srngara-rasa also, since parodha and upapati-bhavas are simply eternal self-conceptions, there is no fault or transgression of sastra. When Goloka tattva manifests in prakata Vraja, both of these conceptions are seen in tangible form by worldly vision. This is the only difference. In vatsalya-rasa, the mood of Nanda and Yasoda being parents becomes apparent in a concrete way through birth and other lilas; and in srngara-rasa, the idea of the Vraja maidens being the wives of others takes on a perceptible shape in the form of their marriages with Abhimanyu, Govardhana Malla and others. In reality, the gopis have no separately existing husbands, either in Gokula or in Goloka.

"Therefore, sastra proclaims: 'Na jatu vraja-devinam patibhih saha sangamah – The vraja-devis never had union with their husbands." Thus, rasa-tattva acarya Srila Rupa Gosvami, the master of the truths of rasa, has written: "Patis copapatis ceti prabhedav iha visrutau – In ujjvala-rasa, the mellow of amorous love, there are two types of nayakas (heroes) – pati and upapati." Srila Jiva Gosvami, in his commentary on this sloka, has written: "Patih puravanitanam dvitiyo vraja-vanitanam – The nayaka of Dvaraka-puri's vanitas (young women) is called pati, a wedded husband, and in Vraja, nayaka Sri Krsna is the upapati of the Vraja vanitas." This passage shows that Srila Jiva Gosvami has accepted Krsna as the pati in Vaikuntha and Dvaraka and as the eternal upapati in Goloka-Gokula. In the Lord of Goloka-Gokula, the characteristics of a paramour are exhibited to their full extent.

"...Therefore, in Goloka both svakiya and parakiya-rasa exist. Their divergence and oneness are inconceivable by material intelligence (acintya-bhedabheda). It can be said that there is no difference between them, and it can also be said that there is difference. Why? The essence of parakiya is svakiya-nivrtti, or loving enjoyment outside of the sanction of wedlock, and the essence of svakiya is parakiya-nivrtti, or the abstention from unlawful connections. Krsna has no unlawful commections with the gopis because they are His svarupa-sakti, personal potency. Thus parakiya and svakiya are one rasa, and they also exist eternally as two varieties. Furthermore, although the form of rasa in Gokula is the same, mundane observers view it otherwise.

"...The supremely relishable and splendid form of bhagavad-rasa, tasted through four types of transcendentally variegated ingredients – vibhava, anubhava, sattvika, and vyabhicari – is eternally present in Goloka and Vaikuntha. By the authority of Yogamaya, this very rasa of Goloka manifests in the material realm for the benefit of the devotees in the form of vraja-rasa. One should know that all the rasas seen in this Gokula must surely be found also in Goloka in their radiantly pure state. That is why the wonderful varieties of nagara and nagari (Krsna and the gopis), the diversity of rasa in them, and all the surroundings and paraphernalia of Gokula, including the land (Vraja), rivers (Yamuna, Manasi Ganga), mountain (Giriraja), residences (Yavata, Nandagaon, etc.), gateways, kunjas, cows and so on, collectively exist in the same form in Goloka.

"...In bhakti-marga, it is crucial to renounce any subject matter which, on acceptance, would ultimately give rise to a nirvisesa conception. Suddha-parakiya-rasa free from all mundane conception, as described in Goloka lila, is very rarely attained. Raganuga devotees should adopt this concept and perform sadhana. By doing so, they will achieve this highly auspicious fundamental truth upon perfection. When persons of gross worldly intellect endeavor for parakiya-bhakti, it generally culminates in immoral activity in the material sphere.

"Our master of truth, tattva-acarya Srila Jiva Gosvami, took this into consideration and presented his line of thought out of great concern. The spirit of pure Vaisnavism is to accept the essence of his statements. It is an offense to disregard the acarya by attempting to establish another theory."

[Endnote 2: "Situated above these two emotions is permanent love, which is called sthayibhava. In other words, attachment to Krsna is permanent. That permanent loving attitude is sometimes mixed with different kinds of taste, called vibhava, anubhava and vyabhicari. Vibhava is a particular taste for attachment to Krsna, and it can be divided into two further categories-alambana and uddipana. In the Agni Purana and other authoritative scriptures, that which increases one's love of Krsna is said to be vibhava, and when Krsna is the objective, vibhava is increased as alambana. Uddipana is induced by Krsna's transcendental qualities, His activities, His beautiful smiling face and the aroma of His body, the sound of His flute, the sound of His conchshell, the marks on the bottoms of His feet, His dwelling place and His paraphernalia of devotional service (such as tulasi leaves, devotees, ceremonial performances and Ekadasi).


Opulence, Or Sweetness?

Discussions with ISKCON GBC Members

On Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's Raga-Vartma-Candrika [Part 9] (parts 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, part 9 audio)
Mathura, India: 1991

[Respected Harikatha Readers,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Many thanks to the ISKCON GBC members and other ISKCON sannyasis present in these 1991 Mathura discussions – for asking Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja excellent questions about the true mission of our Gaudiya-sampradaya, for probing for more and more and more clarity and depth in Srila Maharaja's replies, and for supplying good English equivalents to Hindi words when Srila Maharaja was searching for them during the discussions.

Your aspiring servants,
The hari-katha team]

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura tells us that we should know what is aisvarya and what is madhurya.

What is aisvarya?

Sripad Giriraja Svami: Aisvarya means 'opulence,' or 'majesty.'

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: It is the majestic feature of the Lord in Dvaraka, Mathura, and Narayana's Vaikuntha; it is worship with awe and reverence.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: And what is madhurya?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Sweetness which overpowers His opulence. It is the sweetness of the Lord's pastimes.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is not a sufficient answer. Sweetness alone is not madhurya. We taste sweet things, but this is not madhurya. We taste something like this in our family relations; and a teenage boy tastes what he calls madhurya, but this is not madhurya. In the background there must be aisvarya, opulence. Without aisvarya there cannot be madhurya.

Do you know what is maha-aisvarya? As aisvarya means 'opulence,' maha-aisvarya means 'great opulence.' Whether or not great opulence is present, if Krsna's pastimes go on as nara-lila, then it is madhurya.

Do you know the meaning of nara-lila?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Worldly.

Burijana dasa: As with humans.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Whether or not maha-aisvarya is present, if Krsna's pastimes are nara-lila, then it is madhurya. On the other hand, if by the presence of maha-aisvarya Krsna knows that, "I am Isvara, God," and His bhakta also knows that He is God, that is aisvarya-lila.

Someone may propose: "One should understand that sarvajnata, omniscience, indicates an abundance of maha-aisvarya, great opulence, devoid of madhurya, sweetness, while madhurya is simply the mugdhata, or bewilderment, that results from completely setting aside aisvarya and imitating nara-lila, human-like behavior." Only dull-headed people will speak like this.

The conclusion regarding madhurya and related topics is that whether maha-aisvarya is exhibited or not, if the mood of human-like pastimes is not transgressed even slightly, then it is called madhurya. (from Raga-vartma-candrika, Second Illumination)

For example, we have seen that when Krsna and Arjuna were about to fight in the Battle of Kurukshetra, Arjuna saw Krsna's Universal Form and then told Krsna. "I've committed so many offenses at Your lotus feet. I've addressed You as 'friend,' and I have ordered You to drive my chariot. But You are God, my worshipable Lord." This is aisvarya-lila, because Krsna was in the mood that "I am God," and He showed Arjuna His Universal Form. When Arjuna saw that form, he left his mood of friendship with Krsna.

Also, when Krsna went with Baladeva to see Vasudeva and Devaki after killing Kamsa, Vasudeva and Devaki began to worship Krsna with many prayers of glorification. In this instance Krsna was in isvarya-bhava, the conception that He is God. He considered Himself God, and they also knew that He is God.

On the other hand, the Vrajavasis never considered Him to be God. He went to Govardhana and lifted it with only one finger (the pinky finger of His left hand) for seven days. Indra then came and performed an opulent bathing ceremony for Him, employing several sacred substances, called abhisekha. After this, the elderly gopas assembled and decided, "Let us call Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja. Let us tell them, 'Do not imagine that Krsna is your son. Do not call Him thief, liar, or any other bad name; that will be an offense.'" They advised Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda Maiya to understand that Krsna is perhaps some demigod, or perhaps Narayana Himself, since this is what they had heard from Gargacarya.

Yasoda never thought of Krsna as God. Rather, extremely pleased that her son had lifted Govardhana for seven days, she considered, "Everyone is offering praise to my son," and her breasts became swollen with great pride. If a woman hears anything good about her children, she becomes so pleased. Although Yasoda knew that the act of lifting Govardhana was not that of an ordinary person, she still considered, "Krsna is merely my child; my son." This is madhurya.

As I explained on a previous day, Uddhava came to console the gopis in their mood of separation from Krsna after Krsna went to Mathura. There, he overheard the gopis saying, "We have heard from Paurnamasi and Garga Rsi that Krsna is Isvara, Bhagavan; not only in this birth, but in past births as well, and when He was Ramacandra as well. But we know that even as Ramacandra He did so many wrong things; and He was controlled by Sitadevi."

So, although it had come to their attention through Purnamasi and Gargacarya that Krsna is God, they personally never saw Him as such. This is the nature of their "isvara-bhava." They would tell Him, "Oh, come here. The red lac (decorative paint) on my feet is no longer there. You should repaint it." They would order Him to perform so many services for them, and they would also become angry with Him. If they were actually aware of Krsna's Godhood, how could they have become angry with Him?

Rather, the gopis behaved with Him only as their lover. In their version of "isvara-bhava," they know nothing beyond the idea that He is their beloved. This is madhurya-bhava.

Thus, when Krsna knows that He is Isvara and His bhakta also knows this, that pastime is in aisvarya-bhava. On the other hand, when He and His associates both forget this – and even when some idea comes to them that He may be God, they only behave towards Him like a lover – that is madhurya-bhava.

In Vraja, Krsna is always in Vraja-bhava. He is always overpowered by prema, meaning Yogamaya, His internal desire potency; all actions in Vraja are performed by this prema. It is not against siddhanta to say that Krsna is overpowered by prema, because prema and Krsna are the same Truth: sat-cit-ananda-maya, consisting of eternal existence, unlimited knowledge, and unfathomable joy. This prema is the intrinsic nature of Krsna. Do you know the meaning of svabhava?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Can we say that prema is a sakti (potency) of Krsna, or not?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We may say so. Krsna Himself is known as raso vai sah (the reservoir of the unlimited pleasure of rasa). Rasa is prema (pure love for Krsna), prema is Krsna, and Krsna is prema. And, at the same time, prema is the sakti of Krsna.

Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura tells us that at the time of rasa-lila, Krsna was sarvajna, all-knowing, because He knew, "All the gopis love Me and want to dance with Me. He knew this, and He therefore expanded into innumerable Krsnas. On the other hand, when He did what the gopis desired, He was mugdha, unaware of His aisvarya. Both qualities are present in Him at the same time. Why? This is due to His acintya-sakti, His potency of inconceivability, which is beyond all mundane logic.

Srila Cakravarti Thakura then says that when, by vaidhi-bhakti, someone worships Narayana, or Rama, or any other plenary expansion of Krsna, that devotee goes to Vaikuntha after attaining perfection.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What about Rukmini-Dvarakadhisa?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I will explain this afterwards, separately. When one performs vaidhi-bhakti and discusses topics regarding Vaikuntha, after achieving perfection he attains Vaikuntha. Regarding those who have no greed but want to serve Radha and Krsna, and they are worshiping Radha and Krsna by the regulations of vaidhi-bhakti – where do they go at the time of perfection (siddhi)?

Burijana dasa: With no greed?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No greed. They are worshiping by vaidhi-bhakti.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: To Dvaraka

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Why Dvaraka? There is no relation with Dvaraka here.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: They are worshiping Radha and Krsna?

Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja: They want Radha and Krsna.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: But no greed?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No greed, and by vaidhi bhakti. In that case, they will attain Goloka. They know nothing about parakiya (Krsna's paramour love with Radhika and the gopis). They only know svakiya (the idea of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna as a married couple). This svakiya is in Goloka.

The planet of Goloka is vast; so many prakostas (separate sections) are situated there.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Levels.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: So many. So, if one is worshiping Radha-Krsna by vaidhi-bhakti and has no greed...

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Goloka; he goes to Goloka.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Goloka. There in Goloka we find aisvarya-jnana, knowledge of Krsna's Godhood, and svakiya-bhava, the mood of Radha-Krsna as a married couple. There is no conception of parakiya there; only svakiya-bhava – but with the Lord as Radha and Krsna. Every kind of aisvarya (opulence) is present there, almost like that of Narayana, but Krsna is not manifest as Narayana there.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: I was reading Garga Samhita, which describes this. As I was reading, I was thinking that this is like Narayana but it is Radha and Krsna. It is not like the Radha-Krsna we always hear about in Vrndavana and Gokula. It's a different mood.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The twenty-four prominent forms of Narayana, as well as all His other forms, reside in lower Vaikuntha. Higher than that is Rama-loka, and higher than that is Krsna-loka. Krsna-loka begins from Goloka, and in Goloka there are so many divisions: Goloka, Dvaraka, Mathura, and then Vraja. In lower Goloka there is only svakiya-bhava with aisvarya-jnana, with no greed at all towards Vraja-bhava.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: At the place where Akrura took his bath when he was taking Krsna and Balarama to Mathura, Krsna showed the residents of Vrndavana a vision of Goloka.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, they only saw Goloka, not Vraja, not Vrndavana.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: They saw this Goloka?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This Goloka.

Burijana dasa: Krsna showed Vaikuntha to Akrura.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: 'Vaikuntha' in this connection refers to this Goloka. He also showed this to the Vrajavasis – not Vraja, only Goloka. Krsna and all His associates including Radhika and Yasoda were there in Goloka in their own forms, but they were not in Vraja-bhava.

Next, suppose someone worships Radha and Krsna in vaidhi-bhakti – not in raga-marga, not under the guidance of a rasika Vaisnava – and at the same time has greed. That devotee will go to Dvaraka. [For example, Brhad-Bhagavatamrta states that Gopa-kumara went to many places before reaching Goloka Vrndavana – even to Dvaraka. He had greed, but because he did not have sufficient rasika association, he could not easily complete his journey to Goloka Vrndavana. -Sripad Madhava Maharaja]

Why will they go there? It is because Radhika manifests as Satybhama there in Dvaraka and Candravali manifests as Rukmini; and because aisvarya-jnana (knowledge of Krsna's Godhood) is present there. When Radha and Candravali are present with Krsna as Satyabhama and Rukmini, Krsna is in His feature as Dvarakadisa and He is served by them in Dvaraka.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What is the difference between someone who worships and goes to Goloka, and someone who worships and goes to Dvaraka?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Those who worship without greed go to Goloka.

Burijana dasa: Only one has greed, but both are worshipping in vaidhi-bhakti?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: In Dvaraka there's greed?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Those bhaktas have greed, but they are worshiping in vaidhi-bhakti. In that case Radhika manifests as Satyabhama, Candravali as Rukmini, and their associates as the other queens of Dvaraka. Krsna is in the same form there as He is in Vrndavana, but there He is a young Yadava.

Next, those who have greed for Vraja-bhava and worship Radha-Krsna by raganuga-bhakti under the guidance of a rasika Vrajavasi will achieve Vraja-bhava. Is this clear?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: This is very important

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is a very important thing. So I am not wasting my time.

Without knowing these truths, we cannot have a proper idea of Vraja, and we may be deceived. One's svarupa (constitutional spiritual form) will only manifest when one is under the guidance of a rasika Vaisnava.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: This gives us the conviction that we must try for the thing you are teaching – raganuga-bhakti.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, raganuga-bhakti.

But you will have to give me daksina (a donation) for this.

Sripad Giriraja Svami: I'll give anything...

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I am very greedy. I want daksina.

Sripad Giriraja Svami: Tell me what to give.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I will have to tell you?

Sripad Giriraja Svami: My heart.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes.

These are such good topics; we are certainly lucky that we are discussing them. In the practice of bhakti, hundreds of thousands of births may go by and it is not sure that one will have the fortune to discuss such things. It is only the mercy of Guru and Gauranga that we are able to do so.

Another important point: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that we should not worship Sri Sri Radha and Krsna without pastimes. Do you understand? If we chant "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna" without remembering Their pastimes, only a very simple thing can be achieved. Srila Rupa Gosvami has therefore said that chanting Krsna's name and remembering His pastimes should be amalgamated – then there will be rasa (the mellow taste of a relationship with Radha and Krsna). For example, if sugar and water remain as they are, without being mixed, there will be no rasa (no nectar-taste of a good drink). Both must mix together; then it will be rasa.

What kind of pastimes should we remember? We should remember Krsna's pastimes with the gopis – if we have a greed for that relationship. It is true that Krsna is always with His hladini-sakti, His pleasure potency. It is also true that Radhika is the personification of His hladini-sakti, also known as His svarupa-sakti (His complete, intrinsic potency). Still, we should not remember Radha and Krsna without Their pastimes. If we remember Them without pastimes, hladini-sakti will not act upon us.

When we go to the mandira (temple), we see Radha and Krsna simply standing on the altar. If this is what we meditate upon when we chant Hare Krsna, then we will have darsana of Satyabhama and Rukmini, or Laxmi. Thus, it is not certain that we will attain Vraja-bhava simply by the worship of Radha and Krsna in the mandira.

We should remember the pastimes of Radha and Krsna as they are served by the manjaris who are under the order of Rupa Manjari and Rati Manjari, and we should meditate on our Gurudeva as one of the manjaris. We should remember the pastimes as described by our Gosvamis and Srimad-Bhagavatam.

When we do arati of Radha and Krsna, we should remember Their pastimes. What pastimes? In the morning, the pastimes of Their morning; and at midday, the pastimes of Their midday; thinking our self as one of Their associates and our Gurudeva as one of them. In that case our bhajana will be raganuga, otherwise it will be simply vaidhi-bhakti.

Burijana dasa: Did the gopis or manjaris ever offer arati? Would they offer arati to Radha and Krsna?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, but you must know what kind of arati they are doing. They have a pradipa.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Lamp

Burijana dasa: Ghee lamp.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: But in this connection the ghee (clarified butter) is their heart's prema, the pradipa is their heart, and the cotton...

Burijana dasa: Wick.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is their bhava (their mood of service). What kind of bhava? A special bhava. Every bhakta has a special bhava, and that bhava comes out through the eyes. The gopis worship Krsna by the corners of their eyes, and by Krsna's eyes He accepts their worship and takes it into His heart. The gopis do arcana (worship) in this way; not in the way we do it.

When Krsna comes home from cow-grazing, Yasoda Ma takes a ghee lamp and other paraphernalia, and offers arati to Krsna. The gopis stand at the doorways so that they will not be seen as they perform arcana (worship) with their amour-filled eyes. Due to His glance being absorbed in the arcana of the gopis, Krsna does not see His mother's arati. The gopis' arcana is the best arcana and the best arati. We should see their arati through our arati.

[To be continued...]