Lila, Faith and Hankering

by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja

Sometimes it has been mentioned that Gokula Krsna, He is the original, and Goloka is the extension of Gokula. It is very peculiar. It appears like te prakrta (mundane), but actually it is transcendental – aprakrta. Aprakrta – the term has been used to this effect; it is very similar to prakrta, very near to prakrta. So to give us warning that it is not prakrta, it has been termed as aprakrta. There is every possibility of taking the Divine lila of Sri Krsna to be prakrta, to be an ordinary, fallible, mortal thing, because it is so similar. Due to that similarity the warning is given, “aprakrta, not prakrta.”

This all happens by His sweet will, from child to grown-up, the wave of His lila is always moving in a circular way. In Brhad-bhagavatamrta you will find that Sanatan Goswami has written that it seems that Krsna-lila begins from the birth of Krsna in Vrndavan, then He grows up, then the play with the cowherd boys, and so many things. Then Akrura comes and takes Him to Mathura. And after, when krsna is away from home, then Nanda and Yasoda they are in a very mournful stage, passing their days in a great sorrow. Krsna is in Mathura and they are suffering from separation in this way. Then suddenly, the wheel changes, changed by Yogamaya.

Then the atmosphere comes, “Oh, Nanda Maharaj and Yasodamayi, for such a long time they are suffering, suffering because they have no child.” This previous stage, the stage before the birth of Krsna, that suddenly again comes within the wheel. Then gradually some hope, some offering to the Deities etc., that they may have a child, then again, Krsna the new child of Yasoda is born. Gradually Krsna’s lila evolves and then again Krsna goes to Mathura, all these rasas moving in a circular way, just as in a circular way, winter, summer, rainy season, then the autumn, in this way it is moving. And Kaviraj Goswami has given us to think in another way; the sun is rising here, and the next minute it is rising over there. Sunrise is always to be found somewhere in one portion of the world. Is it not? So also, Krsna-lila from Brahmanda to Brahmanda (universe to universe) it is extended like the sun. The balya-lila when it is past here then it is happening in another Brahmanda – continued, like the sun. In Chaitanya-charitamrta we find:

‘nitya-lila’ krsnera sarva-sastre kaya
bujhite na pare lila kemane ‘nitya’ hava

(Chaitanya-charitamrta Madhya 20.385)
“Although Krsna’s eternal lila is described in all the Scriptures, still it cannot be understood how it is ‘eternal’”. It is continuous. The morning is everywhere, the noon is everywhere. It is revolving. And in a different Brahmanda Krsna is taking birth, the next moment in another Brahmanda, next moment in another Brahmanda, it is always continued.

In Goloka we find that it is also dynamic, it must move in a circular way. It is nitya – eternal. Generally we have gotten this understanding. It is nitya-lila, and not only that, we are to also have a conception of this; that if we meditate on the balya-lila of Krsna, if we meditate on the kaisora-lila of Krsna, if we meditate that Akrura is taking Him away to Mathura, then simultaneously if our meditation is real, then immediately we have a touch. So all lila is crossing space and time, every lila, every point of lila is nitya, and continuous, and that is something even sadhus cannot understand. Krsna is there and you will find His lila is of such characteristic, and also, it is not to be eliminated that there is a continuous flow; the bala, the pauganda, the kaisora, all are continuous. This is the acintya-bhedabheda of Mahaprabhu.

maya tatam idam sarvvam, jagad avyakta-murtina
mat-sthani sarvva-bhutani, na caham tesv avasthitah
na ca mat-sthani-bhutani, pasya me yogam aisvaram
bhuta-bhrn na ca bhuta-stho, mamatma bhuta-bhavanah

(Bhagavad-gita 9.4 &5)
“I am everything, and everything is in Me, I am nowhere, and nothing is in Me. I am not a madman. Try to have an estimation of what I am, Arjuna. What am I? “ Such a bold statement has come into the world of philosophy. “I am everywhere and nowhere. Everything in Me, nothing in Me. Try to ascertain what I am.” This sort of straight, simple and most perplexing, impossible idea, all possible together. He is that.
jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-varttam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanuvan-manobhir
ye prayaso ‘jita jito ‘py asi tais trilokyam

(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.3)
Give up your attempt to measure Him, and try to approach Him through faith. We are finite, so how much faith can we accommodate in the infinite? Very little, so don’t thing that you will be deceived, that your faith will deceive you. What is the length and the breadth of your faith, you are tiny person? In the infinite anything is possible. So, don’t be afraid of your blind when you come in the search of Krsna, the infinite. Only faith can take you there, and not knowledge. It is clearly stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Never approach with the instrument of knowledge as your weapon, for that will deceive you. But by faith, the adhoksaja plane can come down to you. But if you doubt, then it may not care to come down to you. So open, spread wide your heart to receive Him, and whatever sort of wonderful lila He comes to show you, prepare yourself for that. It is so much, so broad, and wait; what are the waves of the infinite? What sort of wave comes to touch you from the infinite, the centre of the infinite, of love, of beauty. Wait and see, remain clear, open, and unbiased. Don’t go to measure with your tiny examples of this finite world of nasty nature.
Tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
(Chaitanya-charitamrta Madhya 8.70)
It is your hankering only that can help you to have a touch of that magnanimous divine thing. If you go to challenge, He’ll not care to come. What is the loss to Him? – you are deceived. Go with your heart willing, but go forward. Jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva, jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vattam. Brahma says, jananta eva janantu (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.38) “Those that say that they know something, let them be, let them enjoy their self-deception. But I have determined that manaso vapuso vaco vaibhavam tava gocarah, I could not enter into even the very negligent, slightest point of Your acquaintance. This is my finding.” Brahma says that the puffed-up fools, they may talk about anything, they can know this, they can know that, they think that everything can be known. Those fools, let them dance their foolish dance, but I am sure that no weapon, no instrument can catch even the slightest touch of Him.

He is always new, of eternally new characteristic. He is infinite, and the finite and infinite are of opposite characteristics. Then how it is possible to know Him? Once we went to preach in Karachi at the invitation of the Arya Samaj. They thought, “These Vaisnavas will be our prey, they are idolaters.” Their president came to attack and he told me, “If the finite can know the infinite, then He is not infinite.” It came to my mind immediately, and I replied, “If the infinite cannot make Himself known to the finite, then He is not infinite.” Just the opposite to his challenge, then I gave him a handshake and said “namaste” and departed.

That is our only solace, that the infinite can make Himself known to the finite, otherwise the finite cannot know the infinite. So always try to foster His Grace. The most gracious aspect of the infinite, that should be our fare, our attitude. That I have come not to deal with the limited thing, my aspiration is not so base, and mean. I have come in the relativity of the infinite. So my behaviour must be according to that. Bhakti – trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena. Negative, the negative tendency should be increased to attract the positive; “I cannot but want You, I am unfit but Your least connection I must have”, and thus we have to invite Him.

“I am poor, I am mean, there is no meaner fellow than me.” That is the way. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada used to give this example; that in a fun-fair there is a bamboo post smeared with oil and ripe banana pulp, so it is very slippery. And if anyone can climb up he’ll be given a reward, but wherever one catches the pole he slides down – cannot go up. So it is like that, we cannot to up. – Aroha-pantha (ascending method, gain by assertion) that will not give us entrance there. That path is slippery, slippery, slippery. We can come down, but we cannot go up. So are we brave enough to deal with such a thing, we have such audacity?

But still the position is there. It is by His grace, the line of His grace. He wants to distribute Himself in a line, so srauta-pantha-guru-sampradaya (disciplic line teaching the descending method of receiving Divine Grace). It is exclusive, the necessity is there. The srauta parampara, guru parampara. The knowledge and the bhajan, everything comes down from the infinite to the finite, and never from finite to infinite via aroha-pantha. That should be the backbone of our movement, always. So whatever we shall go to do, we shall look up to Gurudev.

“If you do it, it may be done, I am nothing, I am nowhere sir.” I found this in the character of Ramanuja. Once he had a debate with a Mayavadi pandit, for fourteen days, and came back frustrated, he could not defeat him. And he came to Lord Varadaraja, “What am I? I can’t defeat this man. I am in discussion for so many days and I am trying to argue, but to no avail. I am nothing, nowhere. I should not go with my head erect as an acarya of the sampradaya.” He prayed to Sri Varadaraja in His temple, and the next day, no sooner had they began their talk, than that gentleman expressed his defeat, he clearly saw, “Yes, what you have said all these days, I have understood. I am wrong. What you say is right.” By His will, that man was defeated.

So devotees are always expectant, upward. By Guru’s will, He may do anything through me, but otherwise I have nothing. If I go to assert myself, I’ll not only be defeated, but I shall also be lost. But when I shall go to show the proud attitude in the name of my Guru, sincerely, then it will be bhajan. I will help me and others also. As much as I have the tendency of receiving power from above, then my attempt will be real. And also the attempt of the acarya will always be to bring things from above, from his Guru and he is also always dependent. He can never say I am in possession. I have got, I am in possession of the potency power. No.

jagai madhai haite muni se papistha
purisera kita haite muni se laghistha

(Chaitanya-charitamrta Adi 5.205)
“I am more sinful than Jagai and Madhai and lower than a worm in dung.” This is negativity, the conception of the ego of the negative. Negativity so intense, that, “I am nowhere but Nityanananda Prabhu is so great, He is patita-pavana. So I have gotten everything by His grace Ye yata patita haya, tava daya tata raya, tate ami supatra dayara. (Gita-mala – Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur) “I can claim, because I am the most fallen. I realise that I am the most fallen. I realise that I am the most fallen, therefore I have got the greatest claim for Your grace, Your mercy.” That should be the attitude of a real devotee. As lowly as one genuinely conceives himself to be, then so great he is in the eyes of the devotees. Dainya – humility, and laulyam – hankering, that is the wealth of the devotees. I am proud of the power of my Gurudev and never of myself. That should be the attitude of the devotee.

Mahaprabhu says to Sanatan Goswami, “Sanatan, Krsna is very gracious to you, He is sending so many things for your through Me. I don’t understand them, but for you so many things are passing through Me.” This is in Chaitanya-charitamrta, Mahaprabhu says to Sanatan Goswami. “The grace of Krsna is flowing through Me to you, I feel. I do not know all these things, it is not Mine.” It has also been mentioned, vyaso vetti na vetti va, that Vyas who has written Srimad-Bhagavatam, he may or may not know what is its meaning. It is coming for the others through him. It is also possible, sometimes. Krsna is independent, all glories to His independence.

We are His servants, what responsibility is with us? We are His instruments. He may do everything in His own way. By His will things are going on in a particular way, if His will is otherwise, then it makes another way. It is part of His lila. Everything is part of His lila, the Absolute is lila-moya. Lila – the continuous and irresistible flow of ananda – ecstasy. Only our narrow ego deceives us. Only egoism prevents us from partaking of that universal wave, the flow of Love Divine and that is the greatest thing ever conceived of, and that is the great gift of our Golden Lord – Sri Chaitanyadev. Gaura Hari, Lord Chaitanyadev.


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