[Rasa Pancadhyayi Verse 22]
CAN WE UNDERSTAND TRANSCENDENTAL MADNESS?
The Vrajavasis of Vrndavan were always fully absorbed in Sri Krsna, especially the Gopis who were so absorbed in the Lord that they forgot, “I am a Gopi”.
As long as we have an independent mood and independent tendency we will be separate and far away from Lord Sri Krsna. When we regain our pure Krsna consciousness because of high class pure association, only then may we become one pointed. It is possible to become one pointed because of our free choice and individualism. Because we are separate from the Lord and we have separate identities, then we can think I am one with the Lord, meaning one at heart with Sri Krsna. If we were fully one, then there is no possibility of even thinking like this, so this does not mean impersonalism, but to be fully absorbed in the Lord, which is not always so easy.
Whatever we have, has been given to us by the Lord, such as the very existence of our soul, the spiritual body, all of these originate from the spiritual potency, the sat, cit, Ananda, tattva, transcendental spirituality, existence, and bliss. When we go far away from this spiritual reality or sat cit ananda tattva, then we become, vicar grestha, married to, or a transformation of the material energy. Immersed in material affairs and material nature, we forget the Lord.
Just as when a iron rod is placed in a fire, the rod does not lose its nature, but it shows the nature of the fire, the iron does not become the fire but the fire enters within the iron rod. We can become fully absorbed in the Lord through the performance of vraja bhakti, in the same way as the iron rod was absorbed in the fire and in that way we will lose the mood of being a separate enjoyer.
When the Vrajavasis were caught in the forest fire that had come to Vraja, they took shelter of Krsna and nothing could harm or touch them. When we are not Krsnamayi, “one in heart with Krsna”, ie thinking of Him constantly, then everything mundane will attract us. We will be drawn into the material dualities of happiness and distress. In this material prison, the bars are the illusion that we can attain happiness in this material world, when in fact all we will get is misery and unhappiness.
KRSNAMAYI – ONE IN HEART WITH KRSNA
The Gopis said, “O Krsna you are so merciful” even though Kaliya came and poisoned the Yamuna River, threatening Vrajabhumi and all its inhabitants, still you liberated Kaliya, freeing him from his own disturbed and poisonous mind. Kaliya was always disturbed, he felt so much distress and anxiety because the Lord’s bird carrier, Sri Garuda who had previously banished him, always haunted his mind. When Sri Krsna danced on Kaliyas numerous hoods all his distress was crushed into ashes. Kaliya had become completely purified by the touch of the Lord’s lotus feet. By this his mind became absorbed in always thinking of Sri Krsna. Krsna entered into his mind and he could only think of the Lord at all times. After being blessed by this merciful touch, Kaliya would meditate only on Krsna and without Him he could no longer see anything.
In the same way to be absorbed in krsnamayi, “one in heart with Krsna”, does not mean you become Krsna, you don’t become Brahman, you become brahmamayi, absorbed in spiritual existence or sat, cit, anandamayi, it is not possible for the individual jivatma to completely merge into or become the supreme brahman, you simply become fully absorbed in your pure original cognizant spiritual relationship with Sri Krsna and naturally you forget all material existence by regaining your original position in Krsna consciousness.
When we become independent from the Lord and separate from him, we lose our connection to the sat,cit,ananda tattva, the various forms of material transformations occur and take us into the prison of material existence. At that time so many different kinds of anarthas develop from all sides and attack us. Four kinds of anarthas develop, rupa brahma, sat trsna, hrdaya durlabhya and aparadha all these contribute to the misidentification of the self with material existence. We develop so many material desires, hankering for material objects and commit offenses pursuing temporary goals, thus we become weak hearted.
In order to become free of these anartha’s and not materially diseased, we must always be absorbed in Sri Krsna and always have our thoughts in Him. In that way anartha’s cannot touch us and we will become fixed in our true spiritual form. When the Gopis achieved this transcendental aprakrta rasa, they had this full absorption in Krsna. Previously they were surrounded by their relatives and friends so they had some awareness and relationships with them. Gradually they became so dear and close to Krsna, that by the awakening of transcendental aprakrta rasa they became rasamaya tadatmika or “one in heart”, with the Lord. They had no idea of their body or mind or even if they were a Gopi, they completely lost this idea, that I am a young girl, a balika, or maiden, they didn’t think of any of these things, they only had one idea of Sri Krsna and His pastimes.
TAKING KRSNA NAMA WITH ABSORPTION
Srila Jiva Goswami explains that if you take Sri Krsna nama, chanting with complete absorption in nama, the Lord’s qualities and pastimes will enter into your heart. By meditating in complete absorption on Krsna, from His lotus feet, on up to his beautiful lotus face, this dhyana or meditation, will enable a continuous flowing stream of remembrance, bringing about all the qualities of the Lord within your heart.
The transcendental qualities of the Lord, nirguna cintamini, are transcendental qualities that adorn the devotees, they are like beautiful, and amazing jewels, decorating the soul. These are displayed in the form of the “ekadas bhavas”, or eleven special moods and features that have awakened in the blossoming soul, who is situated in his original spiritual form with Krsna.
In this way Sri Krsna decorates the devotees with these wonderful qualities and through these bhavas or spiritual emotions they can do sringa or decoration the Lord. When devotees chant the holy names, meditating on the form of Lord, the streams of these bhavas in their heart, flood the mind with absorption in His form and service.
All his gunas, qualities, will come within you and his lila manifests. Only then will all the confidential truths of his pastimes awaken within your heart, Krsna therefore says sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto I am present within everyones heart, then Sri Krsna told Arjuna, I will tell you the most confidential thing, sarva dharman parityajya, give up everything, mam ekam, come to me, saranam vraja, I will take you to Vraja and I will show you how the Vrajavasis are mam ekam saranam. They have no concept of sin or piety moksayisyami ma sucah, Arjuna there is no need to worry about sin or piety because the Vrajavasis are always absorbed in Krsna rasa, in Krsna lila, they are never separate from me, because they have tightly bound me up in their hearts with the inescapable chains of love, Krsnamayi Bhakti.
When the Gopis met with Sri Krsna and he awakened their aprakrta rasa, they became fully absorbed in the Lord and began to imitate him in an unprecedented way. One Gopi stood on another Gopi and began to kick her, as if she was the Lord dancing on Kaliyas hoods. Even though one gopi kicked the other, she did not complain or develop the poisonous envious mood of Kaliya. Previously he had polluted so many streams, rivers and bodies of water by coveting everything for himself and poisoning anyone who opposed him.
Instead she was thinking, “I am so fortunate even though I never prayed for this dust of Sri Krsna’s lotus feet, now by the touch of his lotus feet my pride has been vanquished and defeated by His beautiful dancing steps, without which I was so far away from Krsna and was only suffering”.
Many gopis would become so absorbed in Sri Krsna and his wonderful qualities, that they suddenly forgot themselves and instead thought I am Krsna, another Gopi would be meditating on how wonderful Krsna’s foot dust was and pray for at least one particle of it, so that her life would become successful. Then the Gopis would give each other’s foot dust on each other’s head and feel very blissful. It was as if Sri Krsna had appeared and given them his foot dust in person. even though it was simply the manifestation of Krsna’s Yogamaya potency coming from within their own hearts.
At that time the Gopis began to imitate all the pastimes of Sri Krsna, One said “O cowherd boys, look a dangerous fire is coming to engulf us, close your eyes, don’t worry I will protect you from this danger. “They were so absorbed in the pastime of the Davanala forest fire, the Gopis didn’t even see one another, all they saw was that each of them was one of Krsna’s cowherd boyfriends, the sakhas and that they were protecting the calves. The fire had completely surrounded them and the gopis told one another “Close your eyes, I will save you! Don’t worry“! Srila Jiva Goswami says, in this way they began to imitate the pastime of Kaliya lila first, then the subsequent lila of the forest fire that threatened the cowherd boys and calves.
On the occasion of Sri Krsna dancing on the hoods of Kaliyas heads, the Gopis were considering how fortunate Kaliya was that he was embracing Krsna in his coils and kissing (biting) him. Today Kaliya’s fortune has dawned because he has achieved something that we have not, the chance to dance with Krsna. When Krsna escaped the embrace of Kaliya he wanted to show the Gopis his expertise in dancing on Kaliyas many hoods in order to increase their desire for the rasa lila in the future.
The Gopis thought “Oh Kaliya you are so fortunate Kaliya, Krsna has easily given you the dust of his lotus feet on your heads, without any endeavour you are receiving this, Krsna’s lotus feet are rarely obtained “. When the gopis prayed to Krsna in the “Gopi Gita”, can you please put your lotus feet on our chests, Krsna replied; “I cannot put my feet on your chests, because they are so hot that they will burn my feet “. So the Gopis were thinking how did Kaliya get the immeasurable wealth of the lotus feet of Sri Krsna on his heads, despite being so envious and malicious that he would destroy anybody who came near him. Simply by the touch of Krsna’s lotus feet Kaliya became the, “servant of Krsna’s servants”, and all his violence and enmity left him.
As previously mentioned, all the gopis were immersed in remembering Krsna’s pastimes with such absorption, that they forgot who they were and became “one in heart” with Krsna. After remembering Kaliya, they remembered the Davanala forest fire. One gopi in complete absorbtion of Krsna said; “Oh Sakha close your eyes I will protect you, if you don’t close your eyes, the bright blazing glare of the forest fire will blind you, so close your eyes quickly, and I will save you from this fire”. In a forest fire the heat and glare are so intense and dangerous that it can destroy your eyes making you blind, so the gopis who were totally absorbed in Krsna cautioned the sakhas in this way. Then another Gopi came in the mood of Yasoda mata with a rope and said; “O Krsna why have you spilt this milk, come here and I will bind you”. And another Gopi replied; “O Vrajesvari I was so hungry and you didn’t feed me”, while tears of fear streamed down her cheeks. It was as if she was the little darling Krsna Himself being subject to Yasodamayis chastisement.
KRSNA LILA SHAKTI
Jiva Goswami explains in his commentary that if anything is lacking, if there is any fault or shortcoming in his pure devotees, then, “Krsna lila shakti”, personally comes into the heart of the devotee, making him, purna rasattva, completely satisfied in His relationship with Krsna. He also fulfills their earnest desire to associate with the Lord in loving communion.
If someone has the desire to serve Sri Krsna or has already come into his loving service but for some reason, they have some shortcoming or deficiency, then they may at some point leave that service, but for someone who is completely absorbed in the mood of the Vrajadevis this can never happen. If we give even a little space or room in our heart for something other than Sri Krsna then there is a chance of falling down.
One Gopi took the mood of Yasoda Vrajesvari, the mother of Sri Krsna and had a garland of flowers to bind another Gopi, who had taken the mood of Krsna. Taking Krsna she bound him with a garland of flowers which represented the rope. Then the Gopi who was absorbed in the mood of Krsna protested; “Oh Maiya I didn’t break the pot of milk, or steal any butter don’t punish me or beat me.“ The other Gopi in the mood of Yasoda, took the Gopi’s hands, thinking them Krsna’s and bound her waist with the flower garland.
Feeling acute vipralamba, separation mood, from Krsna, one Gopi fainted while the other Gopi playing Krsna, began to shiver and weep. By their intense moods and the influence of lila shakti, the Vrajadevis were feeling all these “unmadas”, various madnesses, in the various transcendental moods. These transcendental moods overtook the Gopis consciousness and could not be defeated or diminished easily, because it had fully internalized and blazed strongly within their hearts. The antardasa, antarbahir, and bahir, stages begin within the heart, manifesting as external displays and absorption in Krsna lila. Eventually when the Vrajagopis regained full external consciousness, they were completely disorientated began to wonder where they were. This was because of complete absorption in Krsna lila, they had completely forgotten themselves.
Yasoda Mata said; “Oh naughty boy, Oh you stole the butter and ran away, today I will bind you“. In this way the Gopi who is imitating Yasoda Mata took her garland and then bound the waist of the other Gopi who was Krsna, that Gopi began to rub her lotus eyes and weep just like Krsna, she was so absorbed in being Krsna that real tears rolled down her cheeks, falling to the ground creating a pitter patter, like the sound of rain. Had they really become Yasoda and Krsna?
No, stharvara jangama dekhe na dekhe tara murthi sarvatra haya nija ista deva sphurthi, this is the mood of uttama maha bhagavat devotees, everywhere they see Krsna, just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu would see the ocean and think it was the Yamuna, or a hill and think it was Giriraja Goverdhana, or a jungle and think this is the Vrndavana forest,but the ocean is not the Yamuna and the hill isn’t Giriraja or the jungle Vrndavana. Similarly our Guruvarga have the power to bless some place that is not the Yamuna, Giriraja or Vrndavana to become surcharged with the shakti of those pastime places, so by the power of Yogamaya, the Yamuna, Giriraja and Vrndavana may appear in those places for the benefit of the devotees.
Sri Rupanuga Gaudiya Guruvarg ki Jaya! Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming book publication, “Rasa-pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: [email protected] )