THE HIGHEST OBJECTIVE
(Alachua, USA, May 24, 2001, pm)
In my class last evening I explained that we should fix our goal. We should know what is the goal of our life, and we should know what is the goal of our sadhana and bhajana. It was for this reason that I read to you from Caitanya-Caritamrta, Adi-lila, third and fourth chapters.
What are the reasons for Caitanya Mahaprabhu's appearance in this world?
Srila Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami has explained four reasons, and the last two reasons are the most important and prominent. The first of these two internal reasons was to give raga-marga-bhakti, the path by which one can attain the service of the gopis. Caitanya Mahaprabhu mercifully came to give this path, raga-marga vartma, which is the way or process by which we can attain raga. What is raga? In the gradual development if the stages of prema there are sneha, mana, pranaya, and then raga. This raga is transcendental and exists only in Goloka Vrndavana. There it is found only in the gopis, mostly in the group of Srimati Radhika, and anywhere else you can have only some part of it. This mood in full is especially in Radhika, and it cannot be attained by anyone else.
This mood can be realized by Krsna, and He can taste and enjoy it, but it is not a thing that can be given to others. We can only know how to ttain that high class of raga in Vraja that is available to the jivas. The process can be given in this world, but that raga can never be attained here. We can only attain up to rati here, and after rati there is no practice as there is in this world. You can attain up to rati, that is sthayi-rati (love and affection in one of the five primary or permanent emotions or relationships) and all ratis (such as affection in one of the seven secondary rasas). You cannot actually have real rati (love and affection in prema-bhakti) here, but you can realize something of it (in bhava-bhakti) in this world. From the third and fourth chapters it is clear that the highest goal of any devotee, especially one in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Rupa Gosvami, is to serve the gopis, especially Radhika, and to attain that gopi mood.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave the means through nama-sankirtan. Before this, prior to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, nobody could give this raga, but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates gave it. They gave the highest kinds of love within maha-bhava, that is, mohana, modana, and then madana, which is property of Srimati Radhika alone. Even Krsna does not have that. He wanted to relish that kind of maha-bhava, and that is why He took the golden beauty and intrinsic mood of Radhika.
When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu descended to the Earth, He went to South India and met Sri Raya Ramananda on the bank of Godavari. Raya Ramananda is Visakha sakhi. Visakha can help to teach the moods of Radhika, because she knows Her so intimately. She knows how to train. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, being Krsna, took shelter of Visakha devi and was admitted in her school. There He learned something, and from there He returned to the Gambhira where He enjoyed the moods of Radhika. [This was the supreme internal reason for His descent.]
Radhika's moods cannot be given to anyone. We can only receive some service to the gopis, and we can have some part of their mood. We cannot be Lalita or Visakha. We cannot be Radhika. We cannot be any one of them. We can only become the maidservants of the gopis. This is the highest attainment for any conditioned soul, and also for liberated souls.
In the dialogue between Raya Ramananda and Mahaprabhu this has been clarified. Caitanya Mahaprabhu questioned Raya Ramananda, and Raya Ramananda presented various kinds of sadhya and sadhana, objectives and processes to attain them. According to your qualification you can choose among them. If there is no sadhya, no objective or goal, there can be no sadhana, process to attain it. First the object should be fixed, and to achieve that object, the process must be given. This is why Caitanya Mahaprabhu met with Raya Ramananda Prabhu, and from the beginning He asked so many
questions. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rejected the philosophy of the Gita as the goal: He said, "eho bahya. It is external. It has relation to this world. It does not tell about the soul's relationship to Krsna." In the last part of the Gita, Krsna has said:
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
["Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear."]
Where is the pure relation between the soul and Krsna? Krsna is saying, "You should take My shelter, and you should very quickly give up all worldly religions. What religions? Give up your worldly jobs, your father, mother, relatives, and so on. Quickly give them up, and if any sin is incurred, I
will protect you. Don't worry about this." This was the last instruction. If there is some personal motivation, then one's practices will be karma-misra bhakti (mixed with the desire to enjoy the fruits of one's actions) and jnana-misra bhakti (mixed with the desire to cultivate knowledge leading to impersonal liberation):
brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kankcati
samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param
["One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me." (Bg.18.54)]
What we are doing now is karma-misra bhakti. It will not suffice. Mahaprabhu said, "Reject it. It is external." What of jnana-misra bhakti? Samah sarvesu bhutesu means to be equal to all and do not worry for what you do not have. If any difficulty comes, don't lament. Always be happy. If you learn this, it MAY be that you can have pure bhakti.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami himself has defined pure bhakti, suddha-bhakti. He explained that raganuga-bhakti is pure suddha-bhakti. Only raganuga-bhakti. He has vividly declared this in his commentary on Caitanya Caritamrta (see Cc. Adi-lila 4.22purp.) Prema-bhakti is raganuga- bhakti.
Vaidhi-bhakti is not suddha-bhakti. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that 'samah sarvesu bhutesu' is for beginners. They should practice this, and thus gradually they can enter into the realm of actual bhakti.
At last Raya Ramananda said:
jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-vah-manobhir
ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam
["O my Lord Krsna, a devotee who abandons the path of empiric philosophical speculation aimed at merging in the existence of the Supreme and engages himself in hearing Your glories and activities from a bona fide sadhu, or saint, and who lives an honest life in the occupational engagement of his social life, can conquer Your sympathy and mercy even though You are ajita, or unconquerable." (Bhag. 10.14.3)]
Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but you should eventually try to forget even this. You cannot forget it, but Krsna says, "By My causeless mercy I will manage it through Yogamaya." Without this mercy you cannot forget. First you should know that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme power, having all opulences. In an instant He can destroy all the universes and in the next moment He can create new ones, but you will have to forget this.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja came to give the philosophy that only Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then I came, by his order, to tell you that this knowledge will not suffice. You should try to forget this and be like the Vrajavasis. You should try to be a Vrajavasi. Neither Yasoda Mayia, Nanda Baba, Sridama, Subala, Madhumangala, nor any servant of Nanda Baba believes that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They only know that He is a very ignorant and naughty child, and that He is the son of Nanda Baba. They never think, "He is actually the father and mother of Nanda Baba." You should forget this; otherwise you cannot realize gopi-prema or Vraja-prema. Vraja-prema is the highest love, and Raya Ramananda proved this by scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam.
Yet, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was still not fully satisfied. When Raya Ramananda said that gopi-prema was the highest love, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabu replied, "O yes, yes. Very good. But please speak further." Then, when Ramananda Raya said that among the gopis, the love of Srimati Radhika is the highest, Mahaprabhu expressed a doubt. He inquired, "You said that Krsna disappeared from the rasa-dance. Why did He disappear? He never wanted to displease all the gopis. There were lakhs and lakhs of gopis there, and all of them had left their husbands and loka-lajja, worldly shyness. They had left maryada, societal restrictions, and everything else. Each and every one of the gopis had left everything and come to Krsna. How, then, could Krsna forget any one of them? He wanted to please each and every gopi, and that is why He became the same number as all the gopis who were present there and He danced with each one."
All the gopis saw that "Krsna is only with me", but Radhika saw that Krsna was very tricky. She thought, "He is with all the gopis, and also with Me", and She could not tolerate this. "Krsna is a liar and a cheater. He assures Me, 'You are My most beloved. I love You the most. You are the topmost.' And to Lalita, Visakha, and Candravali He tells, 'You are My most beloved.' He will even go to Kubja, and what will He say to her? 'Oh, you are My most dear preyasi.'"
Srimati Radhika then became somewhat manini. There is no word for manini in English, but it means having so much love and affection internally, and outwardly some anger. It seems like jealousy, but it is not actually so. In pure devotion, prema-bhakti, there is no dvesa, jealosy. We see that in Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Haridasa Thakura, and Sri Prahlad Maharaja there is no jealousy. How, then, can it be present in the gopis' pure transcendental love? Radhika wanted to please Krsna, and thus He came and He apologized to Her, "Please forgive Me. I will never again commit any offense at Your lotus feet." This pleased Krsna Himself, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was also enjoying all these moods. These moods cannot be given to any jiva, but we can receive the service to the gopis.
Srimati Radhika had some doubt. She thought that Krsna was equally loving all the other gopis. He disappeared, therefore, so that no other gopi would be displeased with Him. He wanted to meet Radhika alone and did not want the other gopis to know. You should clarify this point.
Aranya Maharaja: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has heard from Raya Ramananda that the love of the gopis is the highest, and He is asking, "Can you go further?" Ramananda Raya is replying, "Yes, the love of Radharani is the highest." But Caitanya Mahaprabhu has made one condition. Anything that
Ramananda Raya would say must be backed with evidence from sastra, and therefore Ramananda Raya has quoted a verse to prove that Radharani is the highest:
bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
prito yam anayad rahah
In the Bhagavatam it is stated, "This gopi must have worshiped the Supreme Lord more than anyone else because Govinda has fulfilled Her desires. He has taken her away and is meeting with Her in a solitary place, leaving all the other gopis behind." Then a doubt came in the heart of Caitanya
Mahaprabhu and He said, "This does not prove that Radharani is more dear to Krsna than
the other gopis. Why did He sneak Her away secretly without the others knowing? That means that perhaps He had love for other gopis and therefore He took Her away secretly so that they would not become angry with Him. Therefore, I don't accept this as proof that Radharani is the highest." Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu knows everything, but He is giving a teaching for us. He said, "You should give some other evidence."
Raya Ramananda then quoted from the Gita Govinda by Sri Jayadeva Gosvami:
kamsarir api samsara-
radham adhaya hrdaye
In this verse, Srila Jayadeva Gosvami is not explaining the saradiya- rasa at Vrndavana which is described in Srimad Bhagavatam, but rather the vasanti-rasa at Govardhana. In front of all the other gopis, Krsna left the rasa and He went to search for Srimati Radharani. Then Mahaprabhu was satisfied and said, "Yes, this evidence is good. Radharani is supermost among all the gopis of Vrindavan."
Srila Narayana Maharaja: After this Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to hear something more. What did Raya Ramananda reply? He said that in this world there are only very rare persons qualified to hear all these topics. These are the most hidden facts. First we should be qualified, and then we can properly hear. Try to know all these things.
The highest objective of any jiva, to know the glory of Srimati Radhika and serve Her, has now been expressed. There are so many goals, but this is the highest. All of these goals have been described in the dialogue with Srila Sanatana Gosvami. They were also described in the dialogue between Mahaprabhu and Rupa Gosvami, but especially in the dialogue with Sanatana Gosvami, from beginning to end. They have been described in relation to the life of Haridasa Thakura, moreover in the lives of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami, moreover in the life of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and moreover in relation with Mahaprabhu in the Gambhira.
Sometimes Mahaprabhu used to go out of the Gambhira in the dark night, and in mahabhava He sometimes stayed in the ocean for two or three days. Sometimes He was in the garden of Jagannatha, totally mad. Sometimes He became like a tortoise, and at that time all His limbs retracted inside His
Krsna once showed something like this at Paithagaon, in Vraja Mandala. At that time He exibited four arms, and when He saw Srimati Radhika, automatically two arms withdrew. Regarding Mahaprabhu, however, all His limbs went inside His body like a tortoise, and at other times He became very long, six yards long, with all His joints separated. How could this be? Even in Srimad Bhagavatam such symptoms have not been described, but all these transformations were seen in Radha. Otherwise, from where could Caitanya Mahaprabhu have learned all this? All these moods were in Radhika. In this way, Radhika's love and affection is the highest. Raya Ramananda quoted Her:
pahilehi raga nayana-bhange bhela
anudina badhala, avadhi na gela
["Alas, before We met there was an initial attachment between Us brought about by an exchange of glances. In this way attachment evolved. That attachment has gradually grown, and there is no limit to it."]
After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left Godavari, we can see what process He adopted. In order to understand that process, however, we must try to understand the process adopted by Srila Haridasa Thakura. In Caitanya Caritamrta, Antya-lila first Chapter, Krsnadasa Kaviraja has described the life and character of Haridasa Thakura. He taught by his life that we should have strong belief that the name is directly Radha and Krsna. Hare Krsna is Radha and Krsna. Moreover, in some ways Their names are more powerful and more merciful than They are. We are very unfortunate that we have no taste in chanting these names.
You can know the power of the name by reading 'Harinama Cintamani,' written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and something more is given in his 'Bhajana Rahasaya'. If you are not chanting and remembering the pastimes of Krsna, especially while chanting the name, then your all practices are like zero. Chanting nama-aparadha will deliver some wealth and worldly reputation only; these are all results of nama-aparadha. We should therefore try to chant the pure name. Daily you should try. If you try, it may be that sometimes nama-abhasa will come, and after some time it may be that one, two, or three nama-abhasa will come daily. Later, when you will be madhyama-adhikari, that is, madhyama-madhyama or madhyama-uttama, then it may be that almost all your names will be nama-abhasa. And, by good luck, one name can be the pure name. If the pure name comes, that means that love and affection (prema) for Krsna is coming.
The symptoms of the sprout of prema, called rati, have been described. What are they?
ksantir avyartha-kalatvam viraktir mana-sunyata
asa-bandhah samutkantha nama-gane sada rucih
asaktis tad-gunakhyane pritis tad-vasati-sthale
ity-adayo 'nubhavah syur jata-bhavankure jane
["When the seed of rati for Krsna fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one's behavior: forgiveness, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment, absence of false prestige, hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord, attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides-that is, a temple or a holy place like Vrndavana. These are all called anubhava, subordinate signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed of love of God has begun to
We should try to know all these topics, and we should first enter them by reading, beginning with the life of Srila Haridasa Thakura. We should learn from him how he practiced chanting the holy name. He was a Mohammedan by birth. Why did he come? Previously he was Brahma, and, as Brahma, he had created some disturbance. He wanted to see some pastimes of Krsna, but he used his intelligence to try to make Krsna perform those pastimes. That is why he took away the all the cowherd boys and calves.
After this incident, Brahma prayed to Krsna. He saw that Krsna had done something wonderful, but Krsna never looked towards him at that time. Brahma was rolling down on the earth, but Krsna neglected him. All the cowherd boys called to Krsna, "O Cauma, Cauma! That four-faced one. Who is he?" But Krsna never even looked at him.
After that, in Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's lila, Brahma became a Mohammedan, and he was very, very humble. If there is a very poor man, and an aristocratic and wealthy person will give him a slap, what will that poor man do? If he demands, "Why are you slapping me?" that wealthy person may give him more and more slaps. Therefore, there is nothing for the poor person to do except tolerate. For this reason Krsna wanted Brahma to come as an ignorant Muslim boy who did not even go to school.
We should therefore learn tolerance from Haridasa Thakura. He was beaten in twenty-two market places, and yet he was praying, "O Krsna, save them. Be merciful to them." Why did he pray in that way? He was thinking, "They are not beating me; my karma is beating me. They have not done anything wrong." We think that another person is our enemy because he is giving us so many problems. We think, "I should cut his head", but this is very, very bad. Those kinds of persons who want revenge can never do bhajana.
Why are problems coming? They are due to the conceptions of' 'I' and 'mine'. We have the false ego that, "I am the president of America." "I can manage the whole world." "I am so wealthy." "I am so beautiful." "I know so many things. I am more intelligent than my wife, children, and all my relatives." "I can control all." What is this? In the words of Srila Swami Maharaja it is nonsense. We should not be like this.
If you want to chant harinama, first try to be like Haridasa Thakura. When he was a boy, he would meet with Advaita Acarya and always chant Krsna's name. The Zamindar (landowner), who was like the king, became envious of him. This zamindar thus sent a very beautiful, teen-aged prostitute to deviate him. But what happened? Although he was seeing a half-naked, very beautiful teenaged girl who was begging him, "You should fulfill my lust," he was unmoved.
Can you control your lust like Haridasa Thakura? I think that you would not be able to control yourselves. Only Haridasa Thakura could do so. Not even Visvamitra or Brahma could control themselves, and once Narada was also deviated. He was not actually deviated, but he posed like that. He was showing us, "A person like me, who is liberated, can be controlled by lust, so what to say of you." In other words he is saying, "Even if you think you are advanced, you should be so careful." Brahma and Siva also posed in this way. Brahma, our first guru, could not control himself when he became attracted to his daughter, and Sankara became naked and ran towards Mohini (the incarnation of Krsna as a woman) to embrace Her. Parvati was running behind Sankara and calling out, "Oh, what are you doing?" but he was at that time shameless.
On the other hand, even the second time, when Maya herself came to Haridasa Thakura, he passed that examination. We cannot do so, whether we are ladies or males. In a moment all our practices will leave. Syamarani should explain something in brief.
Syamarani didi: Srila Gurudeva has asked me to summarize the story of the prostitute who came to Srila Haridasa Thakura. The political leader of that time, Ramacandra Khan, was very envious of Haridasa Thakura's popularity, as all pure devotees are very popular. Therefore he sent the best
prostitute of the society to deviate him. Because Srila Haridasa Thakura had taken a vow to chant three lakhs of names of the Hare Krsna mantra daily, which is about one hundred ninety-four rounds, he told her, "Just sit down. I will surely fulfill your desires, but just wait until I have finished my vows." In this way the night passed, and the next night and the following night also passed.
After three days of hearing suddha-nama, the pure name, from the lotus lips of Srila Haridasa Thakura, that prostitute fell at his feet and begged pardon. She told him that Ramacandra Khan had sent her to deviate him. She begged for his mercy, and Haridasa told her, "I already knew that you would be coming."
All pure devotees are sarva-jna or tri-kala-jna. They know everything of the past, present, and future, and they know the hearts of all. They can enter into the hearts of all, and thus he said, "I knew you would come. I would have left before you came, but I wanted to purify and rectify you. Now you should go home and distribute all of your possessions. There are so many greedy brahmanas who will be very happy to take your possessions. Distribute them and then come back to my courtyard. I am leaving Tulasi here, and Ganges is also here. You should sit and continuously chant. You should keep only one worn and torn white sari, and shave your head. Give everything else away.
The prostitute did that, and soon she also became very honored and popular. So many great Vaisnavas came to take her darsana and hear her hari-katha. They brought her many gifts, but she refused them and would only accept what she required to keep body and soul together. She had come to change the heart of Srila Haridasa Thakura, but as Srila Gurudeva told one young man about an hour ago, "I have a magic wand and I can change you. I can change all of your ideas and make you pure a bhakta." Similarly, Haridasa Thakura changed the heart of that prostitute.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: You know that Brahma and Prahlada have come together as Haridasa Thakura. He was not only Brahma. He was also Prahlad Maharaja, who was also his source of tolerance. Why did he come? Because all the devotees of all the avataras were associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They were all there with Him. Thus, wherever there was a need to give any siksa, teachings, they taught us.
If you want to chant harinama, you should think that there are two very powerful enemies of bhajana. What are they? Lust and intolerance. If you become angry, you cannot do bhajana. You will have to give up your anger forever. If you have anger, your bhajana will be ruined forever. This is the root of all sins and all evil, and this is present in everyone including aspiring devotees. They will tell others, "Oh, you should be tolerant", but they themselves are not tolerant.
Secondly, all have some lust in their hearts. We should try to give it up. We cannot destroy it because it is the gift of Krsna, but we can change it into love and affection for Krsna. Bilvamangala. Thakura was previously such a lusty person, and he could not control himself. In the end, however, he changed. He transformed his lust into krsna-prema, which is the highest position. We should try to take a lesson from him.