The venerable Babaji’s teachings from the previous night made a deep impression upon Vrajanatha, and as he contemplated all those instructions he felt satisfied.
Sometimes he thought, “Oh! How extraordinary and unparalleled are Sri Gauranga’s teachings; just hearing them, I feel as if thrust within the waves of an ocean of nectar, and the more I hear, the more thirsty and eager I become to hear. It appears that the condensed nectar of all tattvas streams from Babaji Maharaja’s lotus mouth, and my heart never becomes satiated by hearing. All his teachings on siddhanta are perfectly balanced, without a trace of inconsistency. It is as if the sástras are all running after those conclusions to verify every letter of them. I can’t understand why the brahmana society criticizes these teachings. I think that their bias towards Mayavada has made them adopt a false philosophy.”
Vrajanatha was thinking in this way as he reached Raghunatha dasa Babaji’s kutira. First he offered obeisances to the kutira, and then seeing Babaji Mahasaya, he offered obeisances to him. Babaji Mahasaya lovingly embraced him and made him sit beside him. Sitting down with great enthusiasm, Vrajanatha asked, “Prabhu! You told me yesterday that you would explain the third sloka of Dasa-mula. I earnestly desire to hear it. Kindly be merciful and explain it to me.”
Babaji became very happy to hear this, and with his hairs standing on end in rapture, began to speak:
parakhyayah sakter aprthag api sa sve mahimani
sthito jivakhyam svam acid-abhihitam tam tri-padikam
sva-tantrecchah saktim sakala-visaye prerana-paro
vikaradyaih sunyah parama-puruso ‘yam vijayate
Athough Sri Bhagavan is non-different from His inconceivable transcendental potency (para-sakti), He has His own independent nature and desires. His para-sakti consists of three aspects – cit-sakti (spiritual potency), jiva-sakti (marginal potency), and maya-sakti (external potency) –and He always inspires them to engage in their respective functions. That para-tattva (Supreme Absolute Truth), even while performing all these activities, still remains immutable and is eternally situated in the fully transcendental svarupa of His own glory.
Vrajanatha: The brahmanas declare that the brahma form of the para-tattva has no sakti, and they say that His sakti is only manifest in His Isvara form. I would like to hear the conclusions of the Vedas about this.
Babaji: The sakti of para-tattva manifests in all of His forms. The Vedas say:
na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate
na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate
parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate
svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca
Svetasvatara Upanisad (6.7–8)
None of the activities of that para-brahma Paramatma is mundane, because none of His senses – such as His hands and legs – is material. Thus through the medium of His transcendental body, He performs His pastimes without any material senses, and He is present everywhere at the same time. Therefore, no one is even equal to Him, what to speak of being greater than Him. The one divine potency of Paramesvara has been described in sruti in many ways, among which the description of His jnana-sakti (knowledge), His balasakti (power), and His kriya-sakti (potency for activity) are most important. These are also called cit-sakti or samvit-sakti; sat-sakti or sandhini-sakti; and ananda-sakti or hladini-sakti respectively.
Regarding a discription of the cit-sakti, it is said:
te dhyana-yoganugata apasyan
devatma-saktim sva-gunair nigudham
yah karanani nikhilani tani
kalatma-yuktany adhitisthaty ekah
Svetasvatara Upanisad (1.3)
The tattva-jna rsis established themselves in samadhi-yoga, and being infused with the qualities of para-brahma, through those qualities they have directly percieved His most confidential, internal, transcendental potencies. Thus, they have realized Bhagavan, who is the basis and governor of all causes, of the jiva, of prakrti (material nature), of kala (time), and of karma.
ajam ekam lohita-sukla-krsnam
bahvih prajah srjamanam svarupah
ajo hy eko jusamano ‘nusete
jahaty enam bhukta-bhogam ajo ‘nyah
Svetasvatara Upanisad (4.5)
There are two types of unborn (aja) jivas. Jivas of the first type are ajnani, ignorant, and worship Bhagavan’s prakrti. That prakrti, whose modes are red, white, and black, is also unborn like Bhagavan. However, the second type of aja are jnanis. They have overcome ignorance and therefore completely renounce that prakrti which the others strive to enjoy.
chandamsi yajnah kratavo vratani
bhutam bhavyam yac ca veda vadanti
asman mayi srjate visvam etat
tasmims canyo mayaya sanniruddhah
Svetasvatara Upanisad (4.9)
Paramatma, who is the master of maya-prakrti (the deluding material nature), has created all the teachings of the Vedas; special yajnas, such as jyotistoma, that are performed with ghee; various types of vrata (fasts, sacrifices, penances); and everything else in existence in the past, present and the future – that is, the entire world whose description is found in the Vedas. The Isvara of maya has created all of this, and the aja jivas are bound by His maya.
The Vedic mantra, parasya-saktih (quoted previous page, Svet, Up. 6.7-8), explains that there is transcendental sakti in even the highest stage of the para-tattva. The personal appearance of that paratattva is called Bhagavan, and the nirvisesa manifestation is called brahma. Nowhere in the Vedas is the para-tattva described as being without sakti. What is called brahma is a manifestation of paratattva, and this nirvisesa-brahma is also manifested by para-sakti. Therefore, there is transcendental potency in nirguna-nirvisesabrahma as well. In some places in the Vedas and the Upanisads, this para-sakti, is called svarupa-sakti in others cit-sakti, and elsewhere it has been called antaranga-sakti. Actually, there is no such vastu as brahma without sakti; it is simply an imagination of the Mayavadis. In reality, the nirvisesa-brahma is beyond the limited conception of Mayavada. The savisesa-brahma has been described as follows in the Vedas:
ya eko varno bahudha sakti-yogad
varnan anekan nihitartho dadhati
Svetasvatara Upanisad (4.1)
Although He has one color, He assumes several colors (bhavas) by dint of His personal sakti. Many colors – that is, various types of potency – exist within Him. Indeed, the whole world has its being in Him, for He is its creator.
ya eko jalavan isata isanibhih
sarval lokan isata isanibhih
Svetasvatara Upanisad (3.1)
He who is the Isvara of the whole world is one without a
second, and He is the Lord of maya, which is like a net in
which the jivas are ensnared. He regulates the entire world
Now see how the sakti of para-tattva is never absent from Him. Para-tattva is always self-illuminated and self-manifesting. The Vedic mantras describe the three types of sakti of that self-manifested tattva as follows:
sa visvakrd visvavidatma-yonirjnah
kalakalo guni sarvavid yah
Svetasvatara Upanisad (6.16)
That Paramatma is omniscient and the creator of the world. He is Self-born (atma-yoni), the controller of kala (time), the knower of all, the Isvara of pradhana (maya), and the Isvara of all ksetrajnas (jivas). He is full of all transcendental qualities and beyond all material qualities, yet He is their master. He binds the jivas in samsara, places them in their positions, and liberates them from it.
This mantra describes the three states of para-sakti. The word pradhana denotes maya-sakti; the word ksetrajna denotes the jivasakti; and the cit-sakti has been alluded to by the word ksetrajnapati. The Mayavadis explain that brahma is the condition of paratattva without sakti, and that Isvara is of this state with all sakti, but this doctrine is simply imaginary. In reality, Bhagavan always possesses all sakti. Sakti is present in all of His aspects. He is eternally situated in His svarupa, and although He has all sakti in that svarupa, He Himself remains the Supreme Person, full of His own independent will.
Vrajanatha: If He is fully associated with sakti, He only works with the assistance of sakti. Then where is His independent nature and desire?
Babaji: Sakti-saktimator abhedah – according to this statement in Vedanta, sakti (potency) and the saktiman purusa (the Supreme Person who possesses all sakti) are non-different. Work shows the influence of sakti; that is, all work is accomplished only by the means of sakti. However, the desire to do work is an indication of saktiman. The mundane material world is the work of maya-sakti, all the jivas are the work of jiva-sakti, and the cid-jagat (spiritual world) is the work of cit-sakti. Bhagavan inspires the cit-sakti, jivasakti and maya-sakti to be engaged in their respective activities, but He Himself is still nirvikara (unattached and unaffected).
Vrajanatha: How can He remain nirvikara when He works according to His independent desire? Indeed, to be possessed of independent desire (sva-icchamaya) means that He experiences vikara (transformation).
Babaji: Nirvikara means to be free from any material transformations (mayika-vikara). Maya is the shadow of svarupa-sakti. The work of maya is reality, but it is not an eternal reality. Thus the defect of maya is not present in the para-tattva. The vikara that is present in Sri Hari in the form of His desire and pastimes is nothing but the highest manifestation of prema. Such wonderful manifestations of transcendental variegatedness are present in advaya-jnana Bhagavan. In spite of creating the material world by His desire through His maya-sakti, this cit nature remains in eternal, unbroken existence. Maya has no connection with the astonishing, variegated lila of Bhagavan in the spiritual world. However, jivas whose intelligence has been rendered dull by the influence of maya think that the wonderful variegatedness of the spiritual world is just another affair of maya.
One who suffers from jaundice sees everything as yellow, and one whose eyes are covered by clouds perceives the sun also to be covered by clouds. Similarly, those with mayika intelligence imagine that transcendental names, forms, qualities and pastimes are also mayika. The purport is that maya-sakti is a shadow of cit-sakti, so the variegatedness found in spiritual activities is also reflected in the workings of maya. The variegatedness seen in maya-sakti is an inferior reflection, or shadow, of the variegatedness found in cit-sakti, so although these two types of variegatedness are apparently similar to each other, they are actually completely opposite. Superficially, a person’s reflection in a mirror appears the same as his body. However, with careful examination they are seen to be exactly the opposite, for one is the body and the other is its reflection.The body’s various parts appear opposite in their reflection: the left hand appears on the right side and right hand on the left; the left eye appears on the right side and the right eye on the left. Similarly, the variegatedness of the spiritual world and that of the material world appear superficially the same. From a subtle point of view, however, they are opposed to each other, for material variegatedness is a distorted reflection of transcendental variegatedness. Therefore, although there is some apparent similarity, they are nonetheless different in essence. That independent Supreme Person, who works by His own sweet will, is the controller of maya. He is free from any mayika transformation, and through maya He fulfills His purposes.
Vrajanatha: Which of Sri Krsna’s saktis is Srimati Radhika?
Babaji: As Sri Krsna is the complete saktiman-tattva, Srimati Radhika is His complete sakti. She can be called the complete svarupa-sakti. So that They can enact and relish Their lila, Srimati Radhika and Krsna are eternally separate, but They are also eternally inseparable, just as musk and its scent are mutually inseparable, and fire and its heat cannot be separate from each other. That svarupa-sakti, Srimati Radhika, has three kinds of potency of activity (kriya-sakti). They are known as: cit-sakti, jiva-sakti and maya-sakti. The cit-sakti is also called the internal potency (antaranga-sakti); maya-sakti is called the external potency (bahiranga-sakti); and the jiva-sakti is called the marginal potency (tatastha-sakti). Although svarupa-sakti is one, She acts in these three ways. All the eternal characteristics of svarupa-sakti are completely present in the cit-sakti, present to a minute degree in the jiva-sakti, and present in a distorted way in the maya-sakti. Apart from the three kinds of kriya-sakti (potency of activity) that I have described, svarupa-sakti also has three other types of function, named hladini, sandhini and samvit. They are described as follows in the Dasa-mula (4):
sa vai hladinyas ca pranaya-vikrter hladana-ratas
tatha sri-sandhinya krta-visada-tad-dhama-nicaye
rasambodhau magno vraja-rasa-vilasi vijayate
There are three functions of svarupa-sakti: hladini, sandhini and samvit. Krsna remains perpetually immersed in the pranaya-vikara of the hladini-sakti. Because of the confidential bhavas evoked by samvit-sakti, He is ever-situated as rasika-sekhara in relishing newer and newer rasa. That supremely independent pastime prince, Sri Krsna, is everdrowned within the ocean of vraja-rasa in His transcendental bliss-filled abodes, headed by Vrndavana, which are manifest through sandhini-sakti. All glories to Him!
The purport is that the three aspects of svarupa-sakti – namely, hladini, sandhini, and samvit – completely influence all the activities of the cit-sakti, jiva-sakti, and maya-sakti. The hladini-vrtti of svarupa-sakti, as Srimati Radhika, the daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja, gives full transcendental bliss and enjoyment to Krsna. Srimati Radhika is the embodiment of mahabhava. She gives happiness to Krsna in Her own transcendental form, and She also eternally manifests eight bhavas as the eight principal sakhis, who are direct extensions (kaya-vyuha) of Her own svarupa. Besides that, She manifests Her four different types of service moods as the four different types of sakhis – namely, priya-sakhis, narma-sakhis, pranasakhis and parama-prestha-sakhis. All these sakhis are nitya-siddhasakhis within the transcendental realm of Vraja.
The samvit-vrtti of svarupa-sakti manifests all the various moods of the relationships (sambandha-bhavas) within Vraja. Sandhini manifests everything in Vraja that consists of water, earth and so on, such as the villages, forests, gardens, and Giri-Govardhana, which are places of Krsna’s pastimes. It also manifests all the other transcendental objects used in Krsna’s pastimes, as well as the transcendental bodies of Sri Radhika, Sri Krsna, the sakhis, sakhas, cows, dasas and dasis, and so on. Sri Krsna is always engrossed in supreme bliss in the form of the pranaya-vikara of hladini, and being endowed with the various bhavas manifested by the samvit-vrtti, He relishes pranaya-rasa. Through the samvit-vrtti of His para-sakti, Krsna performs activities such as attracting the gopis by playing upon His vamsi, taking the cows out for grazing (go-carana), rasa-lila and other pastimes. Sri Krsna, who is Vraja-vilasi (the enjoyer of pastimes in Vraja), always remains immersed in rasa in His transcendental dhama, which is manifested by the sandhini potency. Amongst all the abodes of His pastimes, the abode of His Vraja pastimes is the sweetest.
Vrajanatha: You have just explained that sandhini, samvit, and hladini are all manifestations of svarupa-sakti. You have also said that jivasakti is an atomic part of svarupa-sakti, and that maya-sakti is the reflection of svarupa-sakti. Now kindly explain how the sandhini, samvit, and hladini tendencies act upon the jiva and on maya.
Babaji: Jiva-sakti is the atomic potency of svarupa-sakti, and all three aspects of svarupa-sakti are present in it to a minute degree. Thus, the hladini-vrtti is always present in the jiva in the form of brahmananda (spiritual bliss); samvit-vrtti is present in the form of brahma-jnana (transcendental knowledge); and sandhini-vrtti is present in the jiva’s minute form. I will explain this subject matter more clearly when we discuss jiva-tattva. In maya-sakti, the hladinivrtti is manifest in the form of mundane pleasure (jadananda); samvit-vrtti is manifest in the form of material knowledge (bhautika-jnana); and the sandhini-sakti is manifest in the form of the entire material universe, which consists of the fourteen planetary systems and the material bodies of the jivas.
Vrajanatha: Why is sakti called inconceivable, if all its activities can be understood like this?
Babaji: These topics can be understood in isolation from each other, but their relationships are inconceivable. In the material world, because opposite qualities have the inherent tendency to annihilate each other, principles that are mutually opposed cannot be present together at the same place. However, Sri Krsna’s sakti has such inconceivable power that in the spiritual world it manifests all the mutually opposing qualities together at the same time and in a very wonderful and beautiful manner. Even though Sri Krsna has the most beautiful form (rupa), He is formless (arupa);He has a transcendental murti (form), but He is present everywhere;He is always active, and yet, being unaffected, He performs no karma; He is the son of Nanda Maharaja, although He is unborn;He is simply a cowherd boy, although He is worshiped by all others; and He has a human-like form and bhava, although He is omniscient. Similarly, at one and the same time, He possesses all qualities (savisesa), and yet He has no qualities (nirvisesa); He is acintya (inconceivable), and full of rasa; He is both limited and limitless; He is very far away, and very close by; He is unaffected (nirvikara), and yet He is afraid of the mana (sulking mood or apparent anger) of the gopis. How far can we enumerate the infinite variety of Sri Krsna’s qualities such as these? They contradict each other, and yet they are eternally and beautifully present without opposition or conflict in His svarupa (form), His abode, and in the various paraphernalia related to Him. This is the inconceivable nature of His sakti.
Vrajanatha: Do the Vedas accept this?
apani-pado javano grahita
pasyaty acaksuh sa srnoty akarnah
sa vetti vedyam na ca tasyasti vetta
tam ahur agryam purusam mahantam
That Paramatma has no material hands or legs, but He accepts everything with His transcendental hands and goes everywhere with His transcendental legs. He has no material eyes or ears, yet He sees and hears everything with His transcendental eyes and ears. He knows all that is to be known and the activities of everything, but no one can know Him unless He reveals Himself. The transcendentalists who know brahma call Him the original Personality, the great purusa who is the cause of all causes.
In the Isa Upanisad, we find the following statements:
tad ejati tan naijati tad dure tad vantike
tad antar asya sarvasya tad usarvasyasya bahyatah
Isa Upanisad (5)
That Paramesvara walks and yet He does not walk. He is further than the furthest, yet He is also nearer than the nearest. He is within everything, and at the same time, outside of everything. This is how the qualities in the spiritual world are perfectly resolved, although they appear to contradict each other.
sa paryyagac chukram akayam avranam
asnaviram suddham apapa-viddham
kavir manisi paribhuh svayambhur
yathatathyato ’rthan vyadadhac chasvatibhyah samabhyah
Isa Upanisad (8)
That Paramatma is omnipresent and pure. He has no material form, but He has an eternal, transcendental form full of knowledge and bliss. This body has no veins or holes, and is beyond all designations. He is the primeval sage and poet, He is omniscient, and He appears by His own desire. He is situated on the highest platform, and He controls everything. By His inconceivable potency, He maintains everything throughout eternity and engages all others in work according to their qualities.
Vrajanatha: Is there any description in the Vedas of Bhagavan, who is completely independent, appearing in this material world of His own volition?
Babaji: Yes, the Vedas mention it in several places. The Talavakara, or Kena Upanisad, relates a dialogue between Uma and Mahendra (Sri Sivaji) which describes how once a fierce battle took place between the devatas and the asuras. On this occasion, the asuras were heavily defeated and fled from the battlefield. The devatas were victorious, although the victory was actually Bhagavan’s alone, and the devatas were only His instruments. However, out of pride and arrogance, the devatas forgot this and began to boast of their strength and valor. At this point, para-brahma Bhagavan, who is the reservoir of mercy, appeared there in a wonderful form, and inquired as to the cause of their pride. He then produced a straw and asked them to destroy it. The devatas were amazed, for the deva of fire could not burn it, nor could the deva of wind lift it, despite exerting all their potency and prowess. The devas were astounded to see Bhagavan’s extraordinarily beautiful form and wonderful power.
tasmai trnam nidadhaveddaheti tadupapreyaya
sarvajavena tanna sasaka dagdhuma. sa tat eva nivavrte,
naitadasakam vijnatum yadetad yaksamiti
Kena Upanisad (3.6)
That Yaksa (who was actually Bhagavan) put a straw in front of Agnideva and said, “Let us see your strength. Can you burn this dry straw?” Agnideva went close to that straw and directed all his powers at it, but he could not burn it. Ashamed, he returned and said to the devatas, “I cannot understand who this Yaksa is.”
The confidential purport of the Vedas is that Bhagavan is an inconceivably beautiful Person. He appears by His own sweet desire, and performs various pastimes with the jivas.
Vrajanatha: Bhagavan has been called an ocean of rasa. Is this described anywhere in the Vedas?
Babaji: It is clearly stated in the Taittiriya Upanisad (2.7):
yad vai tat sukrtam raso vai sah
rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati
ko hy evanyat kah pranyat
yad esa akasa anando na syat
esa hy evanandayati
Para-brahma Paramatma is the sukrta-brahma (the very handsome supreme spirit). His svarupa is unalloyed rasa, and when the jiva realizes this rasa-svarupa para-brahma, he becomes full of ananda. Who would endeavor to live if that undivided Reality were not the embodiment of ananda in the form of rasa? Paramatma alone gives bliss to all.
Vrajanatha: If He is rasa-svarupa, why can’t the materialists see Him or comprehend Him?
Babaji: There are two types of conditioned jivas: those who are turned away from Krsna (parak), and those who are facing Krsna (pratyak). Jivas in the parak state cannot see Krsna’s beauty because they are opposed to Him; they only see and think about material things. Jivas in the pratyak state are opposed to maya and favorable to Krsna, so they can see Krsna’s rasa-svarupa. It is said in Katha Upanisad:
paranci khani vyatrnat svayambhus
tasmat paran pasyati nantaratman
kascid dhirah pratyag atmanam aiksad
avrtta-caksur amrtatvam icchan
The self-born Paramesvara has made all the senses so that they tend towards external objects. That is why the jiva normally perceives only external objects through his senses and is unable to see Bhagavan situated within his heart. Only a grave and resolute person (dhira), who desires liberation in the form of love of Krsna, can disengage his ears and other senses from external objects and see the pratyag-atma Sri Bhagavan.
Vrajanatha: Who is the one who has been called ‘the embodiment of rasa’ in the sloka, raso vai sah?
Babaji: It is said in Gopala-tapani Upanisad, Purva-khanda (12-13):
gopa-vesam abhrabham tarunam kalpa-drumasritam
sat-pundarika-nayanam meghabham vaidyutambaram
dvi-bhujam mauna-mudradhyam vana-malinam isvaram
His dress is like that of a cowherd boy. His eyes are like a fully blossomed white
lotus, the hue of His body is blackish-blue like monsoon clouds, and He wears an effulgent yellow cloth that is as brilliant as lightning. His form is twohanded, and He is situated in jnana-mudra (the pose indicating divine knowledge). His neck is beautified with a garland of forest flowers that reaches to His feet, and He is standing beneath a divine kalpa-vrksa. That Sri Krsna is the Lord of all.
Vrajanatha: Now I understand that Sri Krsna in His nitya-siddhasvarupa within the spiritual world is all-powerful, the embodiment (svarupa) of rasa, and the abode (asraya-svarupa) of all rasa. He cannot be attained by brahma-jnana. If one practices the eight-fold system of yoga, one can only realize His partial manifestation as Paramatma. Nirvisesa-brahma is but the bodily luster of Sri Krsna, who is full of eternal, spiritual qualities, and is the worshipable Lord of all worlds. However, we can find no means to attain Him because He is beyond the juristiction of our thinking power. Moreover, what means do human beings have, apart from their faculty of contemplation? Whether one is a brahmana or an untouchable, he does not have any means other than his mind. Therefore, it is very difficult to attain Sri Krsna’s mercy.
Babaji: It is said in Katha Upanisad (2.2.13):
tam atma-stham ye ’nupasyanti dhiras
tesam santih sasvati netaresam
Only the wise man who sees Paramatma within himself can achieve eternal peace; no one else can.
Vrajanatha: One may be able to attain eternal peace by constantly seeing Him within oneself, but what is the process by which one can see Him? It is difficult to understand this.
Babaji: It is said in Katha Upanisad (1.2.23):
nayam atma pravacanena labhyo
na medhaya na bahuna srutena
yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas
tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam
One cannot attain para-brahma Paramatma by lecturing, by intellect, or by the study of various sastras. He only reveals His transcendental form by His own mercy to one whom He Himself accepts.
It is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.29) :
athapi te deva padambuja-dvayaprasada-
lesanugrhita eva hi
janati tattvam bhagavan mahimno
na canya eko ’pi ciram vicinvan
O Lord, one who attains even a little of the mercy of Your two lotus feet can comprehend the essence of Your transcendental glories. Others cannot realize the essential truth of Your Self, even though they may keep searching for You for many years through jnana and vairagya.
My son, my Prabhu is very munificent. That Sri Krsna, who is the Soul of all souls, cannot be attained by reading or hearing various sastras, or by arguments and discussions. Nor can He be attained through sharp intelligence, or by accepting several gurus. Only one who accepts Him as ‘My Krsna’ can attain Him. He will only manifest His transcendental sac-cid-ananda form to such a bhakta. When we analyze the abhidheya-tattva, you will be able to understand these truths easily.
Vrajanatha: Are the names of Krsna’s abodes written anywhere in the Vedas?
Babaji: Yes, names such as Paravyoma, Brahma-Gopala-puri, and Gokula are found in several places in the Vedas. For example, the Svetasvatara Upanisad says:
rco ‘ksare parame vyoman
yasmin deva adhivisve niseduh
yas tan na veda kim rca karisyati
ya ittad vidus ta ime samasate
One must know that infallible (aksara) brahma who resides in the abode called Paravyoma. He is the subject matter of the mantras in the Rg Veda, and all the devatas take shelter of Him. One who does not know that parama-purusa cannot fulfill any purpose through the Vedas. However, one becomes blessed who realizes that Paramatma in accordance with tattva.
It is said in Mundaka Upanisad (2.2.7):
divye brahma-pure hy esa vyomny atma pratisthitah
That Paramatma eternally resides in the transcendental Brahma-pura that is the form of Paravyoma.
It is said in Purusa-bodhini-sruti:
gokulakhye mathura-mandale dve parsve candravali radhika ca
In the area of Mathura called Gokula, Srimati Radhika is situated on one side of Bhagavan, and Candravali on the other.
It is stated in Gopala-tapani Upanisad:
tasam madhye saksad brahma-gopala-puri hi
Brahma-Gopala-puri is situated in the middle of the group of transcendental abodes.
Vrajanatha: Why do the tantrika-brahmanas call Siva’s potency Durga?
Babaji: The deluding potency (maya-sakti) is called siva-sakti. This maya has three modes – namely, sattva, rajah and tamah. Brahmanas in the sattvika mode worship maya in a pure way as the form that embodies sattva-guna; brahmanas in the rajasika mode worship maya in the form that embodies rajo-guna; and brahmanas in the tamasika mode worship maya as the presiding deity of darkness, tamo-guna, taking ignorance to be knowledge. In fact, maya-sakti is only a name for the transformation (vikara) of Bhagavan’s para-sakti, in the form of its shadow (chaya); it is not a separate, independent sakti. Maya is the sole cause of the jiva’s bondage and liberation.
When the jiva becomes opposed to Krsna, maya punishes him by throwing him into worldly bondage. However, when the jiva becomes favorable to Krsna, the same maya manifests the sattvika quality and gives him knowledge of Krsna. She then liberates him from worldly bondage, and makes him qualified to attain love of Krsna. Consequently, the jivas bound by the modes of maya cannot see the pure form of maya – that is, the svarupa-sakti of Bhagavan – and they worship maya alone as the primeval sakti. The jiva in the state of illusion can only realize these advanced philosophical truths by good fortune, and by the power of sukrti. Otherwise, being bewildered by maya and entangled in false conclusions, he remains bereft of real knowledge.
Vrajanatha: In Gokula-Upasana, Durga-devi has been counted among Sri Hari’s associates. Who is this Durga of Gokula?
Babaji: Durga of Gokula is none other than yogamaya. She is situated as the seed of transformation of cit-sakti, so when she is present in the spiritual world, she considers herself to be nondifferent from the svarupa-sakti. The material maya is only a transformation of that yogamaya. Durga situated in the material world is an attendant maidservant of that Durga of the svarupa-sakti in the spiritual world. The Durga of the svarupa-sakti is lila-posanasakti, the potency that nourishes Krsna’s pastimes. The gopis who have taken complete shelter of the parakiya-bhava (paramour mood) bestowed by yogamaya, nourish Krsna’s rasa-vilas in the spiritual world. The purport of the statement yoga-mayam upasritah (Srimad- Bhagavatam 10.29.1) about the rasa-lila is that there are many such activities in Krsna’s transcendental pastimes that appear like ignorance due to the svarupa-sakti, but factually they are not. In order to nourish maha-rasa, yogamaya stages activities that appear to be performed in ignorance. We will analyze this subject in detail later on, when we discuss rasa.
Vrajanatha: There is one thing that I wish to know concerning dhama-tattva. Kindly tell me, why do the Vaisnavas refer to Navadvipa as Sridhama?
Babaji: Sri Navadvipa-dhama and Sri Vrndavana-dhama are nondifferent from each other, and Mayapura is the highest truth within Navadvipa-dhama. The relationship of Sri Mayapura to Navadvipa is the same as the relationship of Sri Gokula to Vraja. Mayapura is the Maha-Yogapitha (the great place of meeting) of Navadvipa. According to the sloka, channah kalau, of Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.9.38), the plenary avatara of Bhagavan who appears in Kali-yuga (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu) is covered, and similarly, His holy abodes are also covered. In Kali-yuga, no other holy place is equal to Sri Navadvipa. Only one who can realize the transcendental nature of this dhama is actually qualified for vraja-rasa. From an external, material point of view, both Vraja-dhama and Navadvipa-dhama appear to be mundane. Only those whose spiritual eyes have by some good fortune been opened can see the dhama as it is.
Vrajanatha: I want to know the svarupa of this Navadvipa-dhama.
Babaji: Goloka, Vrndavana and Svetadvipa are the inner compartments of Paravyoma, the spiritual sky. Sri Krsna’s svakiya-lila takes place in Goloka. His parakiya-lila takes place in Vrndavana, and its parisista (supplementary) lila takes place in Svetadvipa. In tattva, there is no difference between these three dhamas. Navadvipa is really Svetadvipa, so it is non-different from Vrndavana. The residents of Navadvipa are very fortunate, for they are associates of Sri Gaurangadeva. One can only attain residence of Navadvipa after performing many pious activities. Some rasa is not manifested in Vrndavana, but that very rasa is manifest in Navadvipa as the supplement of Vrndavana rasa. One experiences that rasa only when one becomes competent to relish it.
Vrajanatha: How large is Navadvipa-dhama?
Babaji: The area of Sri Navadvipa-dhama is sixteen krosa, and is shaped like that of a lotus flower with eight petals, which are the eight islands: Simantadvipa, Godrumadvipa, Madhyadvipa, Koladvipa, Rtudvipa, Jahnudvipa, Modruma-dvipa, and Rudradvipa. Antardvipa, which is situated in the center of these islands, is like the whorl of the lotus flower, and Sri Mayapura is situated at the very heart of this Antardvipa. One can quickly attain love of Krsna by performing sadhana-bhajana in Navadvipa-dhama, and especially in Mayapura. The Maha-Yogapitha is the residence or mandira of Sri Jagannatha Misra – is situated in the center of Mayapura, and in this very Yogapitha, the most fortunate of all jivas always take darsana of Sri Gaurangadeva’s nitya-lila.
Vrajanatha: Are the pastimes of Sri Gaurangadeva a work of svarupasakti?
Babaji: Sri Gaura’s pastimes are arranged by the same sakti who arranges Sri Krsna’s pastimes.
radha-krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmad
ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau
caitanyakhyam prakatam adhuna tad-dvayam caikyam aptam
radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krsna-svarupam
Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 1.5)
Radha-Krsna are intrinsically one. However, They are manifest eternally in two forms through the influence of hladinisakti in the form of Their pranaya-vikara, because of the eternality of Their pastimes (vilasa-tattva). Now these two tattvas are manifested in one svarupa in the form of caitanya- tattva. Therefore, I bow down to this svarupa of Krsna that is endowed with the loving sentiments and luster of Srimati Radhika.
Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu are both eternally manifest. It cannot be determined which of Them came earlier and who came later. “First Caitanya was there, and then Radha-Krsna manifested, and now They have merged together again, and appeared in the form of Caitanyadeva” – the understanding of this statement is not that one of Them existed earlier, and the other appeared later. Both manifestations are eternal; They are present for all time, and will exist for all time. All the pastimes of the Supreme Truth are eternal. Those who think that one of these pastimes is principal and the other is secondary are ignorant of the truth and devoid of rasa. Vrajanatha: If Sri Gaurangadeva is directly the complete plenary truth, what then is the process for His worship?
Babaji: Worshiping Gaura by chanting gaura-nama-mantra awards the same benefit as worshiping Krsna by chanting His holy names in krsna-nama-mantra. Worshiping Gaura through the Krsna mantra is the same as worshiping Krsna by the Gaura mantra. Those who believe that there is a difference between Gaura and Krsna are extremely foolish; they are simply servants of Kali.
Vrajanatha: Where can one find the mantra of the hidden avatara Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?
Babaji: The tantras which contain the mantras of the manifest avataras also contain the mantra of the hidden avatara in a secret way. Those whose intelligence is not crooked can understand it. Vrajanatha: By what method is Gauranga worshiped as Yugala (in a dual form)?
Babaji: The bhaktas generally refer to her as bhu-sakti. However, in reality she is the samvit potency combined with the essence of hladini. In other words, she is the personified form of bhakti, who has descended to assist Gaura Avatara in the work of spreading sri-nama. Just as Navadvipa-dhama is the personified form (svarupa) of the nine-fold process of devotional service (navadhabhakti) so Sri Visnupriya is also the svarupa of navadha-bhakti. Vrajanatha: So can Visnupriya-devi be called svarupa-sakti?
Babaji: How can there be any doubt about this? Is the combination
of samvit-sakti and the essence of hladini-sakti anything but
Vrajanatha: Prabhuji, I will soon learn to worship Sri Gaura. I have just remembered something else that I would like you to please explain to me clearly. You have explained that cit-sakti, jiva-sakti, and maya-sakti are three manifestations of svarupa-sakti; that hladini, samvit, and sandhini are three functions (vrttis) of svarupasakti; and that these three functions – namely, hladini, samvit, and sandhini – act on the three manifestations, cit-sakti, jiva-sakti, and maya-sakti. All of this is simply the work of sakti. Apart from this, the spiritual world, the spiritual body, and the spiritual pastimes are also indications of sakti alone. Then what is the indication of saktiman Krsna?
Babaji: This is a very difficult problem. Do you want to kill this old man with the sharp arrows of your arguments? My dear son, the answer is as simple as the question, but it is difficult to find a person who is qualified to understand it. Anyway, I shall explain it, so please try to understand.
I agree that Krsna’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes all indicate the function of sakti. However, freedom (sva-tantrata) and free will (sva-icchamayata) are not the work of sakti; they are both intrinsic activities of the Supreme Person, and Krsna is that Supreme Person who has free will and is the abode of sakti. Sakti is the enjoyed and Krsna is the enjoyer; sakti is dependent but Krsna is independent; sakti surrounds that independent Supreme Person on all sides, but He is always conscious of sakti. The independent purusa is the master of sakti, even though He is covered by sakti. Human beings can only realize that Supreme Person (parama-purusa) by taking shelter of that sakti. That is why the conditioned jiva cannot realize the identity of saktiman independently from realizing the identity of sakti. However, when the bhaktas develop love for saktiman, they are able to perceive Him, who is beyond sakti. Bhakti is a form of sakti, and that is why she has a female form. Being under the guidance of Krsna’s internal potency (svarupa-sakti), she experiences the pastimes of the purusa. Those pastimes indicate that Krsna is possessed of both free will and the intrinsic quality of being the predominating enjoyer.
Vrajanatha: If we accept a tattva beyond sakti that is devoid of characteristics by which it can be identified, that tattva would be the same as the brahma described in the Upanisads.
Babaji: The brahma of the Upanisads is devoid of desires, but Krsna, the parama-purusa who is described in the Upanisads, is actually composed of free will (sva-iccha-maya). There is a big difference between the two. Brahma is nirvisesa, without any attributes. Conversely, even though Krsna is distinct from sakti, He is savisesa, possessed of form and attributes, because He has the qualities of purusatva (manhood), bhoktrtva (being the enjoyer), adhikara (authority), and svatantrata (independence). In reality, Krsna and His sakti are non-different. The sakti that indicates Krsna’s presence is also Krsna, because krsna-kamini sakti in the form of Sri Radha manifests Her identity in a female form. Krsna is the one who is served, and the supreme sakti, Srimatiji, is His sevadasi. Their individual abhimana, self-conceptions, are the only tattva that differentiates Them.
Vrajanatha: If Krsna’s desire and capacity to enjoy indicate the form of purusa, what is Srimati Radhika‘s desire?
Babaji: Srimati Radhika’s desire is subordinate to Krsna’s; none of Her desires or efforts are independent of His desire. Krsna has desires, and Srimati Radhika’s desire is to serve Krsna according to His desires. Srimati Radhika is the complete and original sakti, and Krsna is purusa; that is, He controls and inspires sakti.
After this discussion, Babaji Maharaja observed that it was quite late at night and asked Vrajanatha to return to his home. Vrajanatha offered dandavat-pranama at Babaji Maharaja’s feet, and walked towards Bilva-puskarini in a blissful mood.
Day by day, Vrajanatha’s moods were changing. This very much alarmed his family members, and his paternal grandmother decided to get him married as soon as possible. She started looking for a suitable match but Vrajanatha always stayed aloof from these matters and did not heed the conversations regarding marriage. Rather, he remained constantly absorbed in contemplating the various tattvas that he heard from Babaji Maharaja. He was naturally drawn to Babaji Maharaja in Srivasangana, for he wanted to realize those tattvas he had heard, and was greedy to hear ever new nectarean teachings.