By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Lecture given in Mayapur, West Bengal on June 27, 1973
Knowing that Krsna is difficult to attain, Lord Caitanya and the devotees in His line sustain their lives by service in separation.
iti syad bandhava-striyah
“The female relatives, whose eyes were flooded with tears out of anxiety for Krishna, came out of the palace. They could stop their tears only with great difficulty. They feared that tears would cause misfortune at the time of departure.” – Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.10.14
Ladies generally are very apt to shed tears in an ecstatic moment. Krishna was leaving Hastinapura, and the Pandavas and all of the residents of the palace – not only the ladies, the men also – were very, very much affected. We have already discussed this point in the previous verses. Especially the ladies could not check their tears from forcibly coming out. But at the same time they were thinking, “Krishna is going. Everything must be auspicious. There must not be something inauspicious.”
They were in a very perplexed position. Tears were coming by force, and they wanted to check them so that there might not be any inauspiciousness in the matter of Krishna’s departure. This is the picture.
These are symptoms of love for Krishna. That is the highest perfection of life – to shed tears for Krishna. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught us this method of worship in separation, called vipralambha-seva. Not that we think, “Oh, last night I saw Krishna. He was snatching my clothes.” These are the words of the sahajiyas, sentimentalists who think Krishna is easy to attain.
Actually, our worship of Krishna should be in separation. The Six Goswamis of Vrindavan taught us like that. They are authorized persons, direct followers of Lord Chaitanya. They were always searching for Krishna. They never said, “We have got Krishna.”
In the Ṣad-gosvamy-ashtaka, Srinivasa Acharya has revealed the mood of the Six Goswamis:
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Six Goswamis, namely Sri Rupa Goswami, Sri Sanatana Goswami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Sri Jiva Goswami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Goswami, who were chanting very loudly everywhere in Vrindavan, shouting, “Queen of Vrindavan, Radharani! O Lalita! O son of Nanda Maharaja [Krishna]! Where are you all now? Are you just on the hill of Govardhan, or are you under the trees on the bank of the Yamuna? Where are you?’ These were their moods in executing Krishna consciousness.” Khedair maha-vihvalau: they were lamenting in separation from Krishna. This is the process of worship given by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He once fell into the ocean, crying, “Oh, I could not see Krishna.”
When He was a grihastha, living at home with his wife and mother, He was consulting His mother, “Mother, I could not realize Krishna. What shall I do? Where shall I go?”
His mother said, “My dear son, why are You impatient? Everything will be all right in due course.”
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was indicating, “I must leave home.” His mother understood. “This boy wants to leave us.” Like the ladies in Hastinapur, His mother was also perplexed.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught,
“O Govinda [Krishna]! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.” (Sikshashtaka 7) Govinda-virahena: “In separation from Govinda I am thinking one moment to be twelve years.” All of us have got this experience. If we want something very, very eagerly, then every moment becomes a long time. “Oh, it is not yet received. It is not yet received. It is not yet done.”
Yugayitam nimeshena. A moment – the blink of an eye – is called a nimesha. That appears to be twelve years. The gopis, Krishna’s cowherd girlfriends, could not tolerate even the blinking of their eyes. They were condemning the creator. “The creator does not know the art of creating. Why has he created this blinking that disturbs us from seeing Krishna? He does not know the art of creation.” This is love.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, the Absolute Supreme Person, the Supreme Spirit. But He appeared as a devotee in the mood of the gopis to taste the gopis’ feelings of love.
Difficult to Attain
For spiritual enjoyment – brahmanubhuti – great saintly persons, sages, give up all material enjoyment. They give up everything.
yamena niyamena va
“To concentrate the mind, one must observe a life of celibacy and not fall down. One must undergo the austerity of voluntarily giving up sense enjoyment. One must then control the mind and senses, give charity, be truthful, clean, and nonviolent, follow the regulative principles, and regularly chant the holy name of the Lord.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.13)
Shukadeva Goswami said,
sakam vijahruh krita-punya-punjah
“Here is the Supreme Person, who is considered the impersonal Brahman by great sages, the Supreme Personality of Godhead by devotees, and a product of material nature by ordinary men. Now these boys, who have performed many, many pious activities in their past lives, are playing with that Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.12.11)
“Here is Krishna, playing with the cowherds boys. Who is He?” Ittham satam brahma-sukhanubhutya: “The great sages, saintly persons, are trying to taste spiritual realization – that supreme objective is here: He is playing as a cowherd boy.” Dasyam gatanam para-daivatena: “For those who are devotees, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Mayashritanam nara-darakena: “Those who are mayashrita, deluded by the material energy, are thinking, ‘This Krishna is an ordinary human child.'” Sakam vijahruh krita-punya-punjah: “The boys who are playing with this boy – the transcendental cowherd boy Krishna – are not ordinary. They accumulated pious activities life after life for many, many thousands and millions of lives. Now they have the opportunity to play with Krishna.”
This Krishna consciousness movement is very serious and important. In today’s verse we see the signs of how the ladies of Hastinapur love Krishna. They cannot check the tears from coming out. “Krishna is going away.” But they are thinking, “Oh, if I shed tears then there may be inauspiciousness.” How much perplexity! Two sides. Dilemma. Between the horns of Scylla and Charybdis. That is the position. Intense love of God creates such a situation, as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited.
“If I cannot see Govinda, the whole world is vacant.” This is love. Not that one thinks, “Let me try to become Krishna conscious. If it is achieved, all right. If it is not, I shall remain in my position. What is the loss?” Not like that. One must be so eager for Krishna consciousness that without attaining it one becomes mad. That is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teaching: We should always feel separation from Krishna and not think that we have made direct contact with Him.
Direct contact is not possible for us. Nor is that the method of worshiping Krishna taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. That is sahajiya-vada, the way of the sahajiyas. “I am talking with Krishna. Krishna is snatching my clothes.”
One lady has written a book in which she says that Krishna comes to her, talks with her, and snatches her clothing. She has written openly. But Krishna is not so cheap. Many sahajiyas think they can attain Krishna by imitating Him, such as by keeping a paramour. But that is not Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s way. No. He observed complete sannyasa life. He followed very, very severe, rigid restrictions in regard to associating with women. But now these sahajiyas are carrying on illicit relations with women in the name of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement, His sampradaya. They are creating apa-sampradayas, unauthorized sampradayas. In the real Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sampradaya one should feel like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: one should feel separation from Krishna.
Always Feel Separation
That is called vipralambha-seva, service in separation: “Oh, I am so wretched that I could not serve Krishna. How can I see Krishna? It is not possible.” That is the mood taught by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. “I do not see Him, nor is it possible for me to see Him. What am I? I am an insignificant person. Why should Krishna come and see me?” This is right. “Why shall I aspire to see Krishna? What qualification do I have?”
This is bhajana, worship. Why should I be proud and think, “Now I shall see Krishna”? What am I? That is the teaching of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
“I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally. (Sikshashtaka 8). Adarshana: “Without giving me audience, You kill me; You break my heart. Still, You – and nobody else – are my Lord, my worshipable Lord.” This is love. “Krishna may not come. I may not see Krishna for thousands and thousands of lives. I may rot in the hellish condition of life for many, many births. That doesn’t matter. Still, I cannot give up Krishna consciousness.” This is required. I may be sent to hell or heaven; it doesn’t matter. What qualification have I got that I want to go back home, back to Godhead? It is not so easy. So why should I be sorry for that? I should be happy even in hell simply by thinking of Krishna. That is wanted. That is Krishna consciousness.
So here is the example. Tears by force are coming out: “Oh, Krishna is going away.” At the same time they want to check: “There must not be any inauspiciousness for Krishna.” They’re thinking about Krishna’s welfare, not their own. Not “Oh, I am now crying. I have become very fortunate. I am crying for Krishna.” No. “My crying will create inauspiciousness for Krishna; I must check it.” This is Krishna consciousness.
Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.