We heard up to this point that Krsna is raso vai sah, and worshipping Him through rasa (transcendental mellow) one can develop sambandha-jnana, a transcendental relationship with Him, and only by this can one satisfy the Lord.
However here the Lord is described as sat-cid-ananda-tattva – transcendental. There is sat-svarupa, cid-svarupa and ananda-svarupa. Sat is sandhini or the existence potency, cid is samvit or the cognizance potency, and ananda is hladini or the bliss potency. Sandhini-sakti is Baladeva, cid-sakti is Krsna, and hladini-sakti is Radhika, They are the presiding deities of these rasas.
Sandhini-sakti is Baladeva and without His mercy we cannot get our spiritual existence. Through our spiritual practice we can attain the mercy of Baladeva, and attain the svarupa-siddhi the perfection of our spiritual form and vastu-siddhi, our place in the spiritual world. After this the desire will awaken on how to please Sri Krsna.
WORSHIPPING WITH RASA
Krsna is rasa-svarupa, the very embodiment of loving mellows. Where is that rasa, loving mellow? We may be obtaining water from a well, but how long will the wells water supply last? There is no guarantee. Where can we find water if our well dries out? Can we find it in the air, sky or in fire? If there is no rasa in an element or place then it will be very dry. Even though a stone is so dry there is still water in it. Even if one heats up gold hot enough, it has liquid inside it. Rasa is liquid and it is present everywhere, but it cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Krsna started a rasa-utsava, a festival of rasa. He called all the gopis to His rasa festival and started a festival of rasa. He said to them, “If you want transcendental-rasa you can collect it here from Me. Then you can please Me, by performing My worship. By worshipping and associating with other objects or things I can never be satisfied.”But what do people do? They worship Madhava without worshiping Radha.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur says:
kevala mādhava pūjaye so ajñānī
rādhā anādara koro-i abhimānī
(Radha Bhajane Jadi Mati verse 3)
“Those who worship Madhava without worshiping Radharani are foolish and ignorant.” But how can it be that one is foolish and ignorant by worshipping God? But no, kevala mādhava pūjaye so ajñānī, if they are worshiping only Madhava, Krsna or God, without worshiping sakti Srimati Radhika, then that is like accepting sat and cid, but not ananda.
NEVER WORSHIP KRSNA WITHOUT RADHARANIA
nanda is rasa. This bliss potency is Srimati Radhika and without Her shelter then there is no rasa in samvit and sandhini. Samvit is the consciousness potency and sandhini is the existence potency which gives our spiritual or material form. Without Ananda Svarupini Srimati Radharani who is Mahabhava Svarupini, the very embodiment of transcendental bliss and ananda then we will not have any rasa in which to serve and please Krsna. We must take shelter of Srimati Radhika. If we desire to please the Lord then we must take shelter of Ananda Svarupini, Hladini-sakti, Srimati Radhika.
umā, ramā, satyā, śacī, candrā, rukminī
(Radha Bhajane Jadi Mati verse 7)
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur sings, “The scriptures declare that all the different Goddesses come from Srimati Radhika.”
All the different avatars have sakti. Bahiranga-sakti – maya or the external energy – is also Srimati Radhika’s reflection or manifestation of Her power. They are all Her manifestations.
If we give up Radharani then everywhere it is only nirvisesa-brahma, without any attributes or qualities. Like impersonal brahman, without any rasa or upasana, that is nirvisesa nirguna ananta anadi, without beginning, qualities, attributes, personality, then you can not even experience that.
Through rasa-upasana – worship with rasa – then the Lord will manifest His Divine form before us. But without Radharani we cannot have that rasa, or serve with rasa. Therefore to have relation with the Divine form of the Lord then we must take shelter of Srimati Radhika.
In the festival of rasa Krsna called all the Gopis to Him. When they arrived before Him, He looked at them and saw they had many different moods, so He began to test them in different ways.
After this Krsna began the Ananda Utsava – the festival of dancing, singing and bliss. By this festival the majority of the gopis developed saubhagya-mada – pride in their good fortune. Krsna had held their hands and embraced them around the neck, so they began to think, “I am the most fortunate and dear to the Lord.” They lost perspective of their own position compared to the nitya-siddha Gopis and Srimati Radhika Herself. Then they started to say, “Oh this is my place, no one else has the right to be here. I am alone Sri Krsna’s beloved.” This is anadhikara cesta an unqualified endeavor. We are not eligible for this.
DON’T TRY TO BE THE BIG CONTROLLER
When a new bride comes into a home she gradually takes control of the house. Then she says, “Oh who is this sas, mother-in-law?” But sas, also means breath, so she will take big breaths, putting her head back high and her shoulders back and says, “This is mine, that is mine, this house is mine, the kitchen is mine, the rooms are mine. Everyone must follow my authority, I am in charge now.” She will not let any place be out of her control, she wants complete control. This is their nature.
If this nature gradually develops and is not limited then, even in the spiritual world, we will try to make different areas ours and try to control things. We come to the dhama and try to control everything and make everything under our control, so the Lord does not allow that to happen. In the spiritual realm, in transcendental life, our own mental speculation and material desires will not be allowed to continue.
The Lord is very strong and crooked in a three fold bending form, He is crooked in all manners. He knows very easily how to take away people’s pride. People come and try to take over everything and so Krsna then gives them a lesson and makes them very humble. He takes everything away.
We hear the Gopis began to ask the plants, the trees, the creepers, the rivers, even the earth about Krsna. They searched everywhere for Krsna and begged everyone for mercy and glorified everyone. They went to the dust of Vraja and prayed there and to Tulasi Devi and everyone. The Lord witnessed this.
Why did they do this? Because they were filed with the pride of their good fortune. Is there any pride in the spiritual world? For the nitya-siddhas the eternal associates of the Lord – there is nothing like this. But for the sadhana-siddhas, before they have achieved the association and mercy of the nitya-siddhas, then the Lord will manifest some of this to help them further increase their faith and develop desire for the shelter of Srimati Radhika and the nitya-siddhas.
FOLLOWING THE FOOTPRINTS
Gradually the gopis proceeded forward and they finally found the footprints of the Lord. On seeing those footprints they began to meditate on them. They thought, “We have not taken shelter of His lotus feet therefore we have gone far away.” These gopis began to pray to the lotus footprints of Krsna.
In the kirtanas of our acaryas, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur says that Brahma as well as Narada Rsi and Siva Thakura all considered their lives successful by taking shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, which grant fearlessness. These lotus feet of the Lord give shelter to everyone and everyone is under their shelter. Until we come to the Lord’s feet then our mind and senses will always be moving around in samsara and we will always be climbing atop the mountain of pride. But if we develop attachment and love for the lotus feet of the Lord, and take shelter of them, then we will gain everything and we will get transcendental vision.
The Gopis then saw all the transcendental symbols in Krsna’s footprints. What are the meanings of these symbols? There is the lotus, the goad and so many others. In the Bhagavad-gita, the sastras, and their commentaries, we hear the glories of these symbols. The gopis took shelter of the footprints of the Lord and from there, power began to enter within them. This is like the fountainhead of this sakti, the mula-srota.
If you take water from its very source then it is pure, however if you take it from somewhere else then it may be contaminated. As long as you are in the shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna then you will be at the source of all sakti.
What happened when the Gopis took shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord? They thought, “Who is this with Krsna’s lotus feet?” They saw Krsna had not been alone. There was another set of footprints of someone who must be the very dear and beloved of Krsna. Some distance further they saw the second footprints were no longer present, and only the Lord’s footprints were seen.
Then taking shelter and meditating on the Lord’s lotus feet the gopis then prayed to His footprints saying, “We are taking shelter of You. Please give us a place in Your shelter and give us darsana of the Lord.” At that time they saw Radharani’s footprints and meditated on them as well. However when they saw that Her footprints were no longer present, they then thought, “Oh She is so dear to Krsna that Krsna has carried Her on His shoulders. Where have they gone? Who is this Gopi?”
They began to pray, “If Her mercy comes upon us then the Lord will accept us as well.” Now the Gopis took shelter of Krsna as well as His beloved, and they desired Her shelter. Now all the pride of their good fortune disappeared.
MUST GET THE KRIYA-SAKTI SHELTER OF SRIMAT RADHIKA
Those who are in Radharani’s svapaksa group understood that this was Radharani. They were very exalted. The other sakhis began to meditate on Krsna and His beloved upon seeing Their footprints. They thought that Krsna wanted to show them that if they do not get the shelter of the the feet of Kriya-sakti Srimati Radhika, the active potency, and Mahabhava Svarupini, the very embodiment of all transcendental bliss, then Krsna will never accept them or anyone, no matter who they are or what qualities they have.
Krsna is brahma or nirguna – without qualities – we cannot perceive Him. Why? He uses this brahma-svarupa like a barrier so those who do not take shelter of His svarupa-sakti cannot perceive Him and disturb Him.
Nanda-nandana Syamasundara was walking with His beloved with His hand on Her shoulder. The Gopis saw Her footprints and they developed some eagerness to see the Lord and His beloved and for Their shelter.
Sridhara Swami says, “When Krsna walks He likes to put His hand on the shoulder of a friend or beloved. But the gopis thought, ‘Who did Krsna carry on His shoulders or in His arms? Who has controlled Sri Krsna like this, who is like the wild elephant of Vraja? What to speak of controlling Him, even to have a meeting with Him is very difficult for us. Who has such a power to be able to control the wild elephant of the Prince of Vraja, Sri Krsna?”
Srila Jiva Goswami says, “All the Gopis were present and began to speak at once. They said, ‘Oh whose footprints are these?’ They understood Krsna had taken someone with Him and began to question who it was. Some however already knew.
They saw Krsna’s footprints and the other footprints which were slightly smaller and a little hidden in the dust. They understood Krsna must have carried this Gopi in His arms or on His shoulders and given all His qualities and all His love to that very dear beloved Gopi. They realized that He was taking Her with Him somewhere.
Those gopis who were Radharani’s svapaksa, own group, knew everything. The other gopis however developed a strong eagerness to understand who this Gopi was and why She was so fortunate. They were not upset, but they began to think that perhaps they could take shelter of this Gopi. Seeing that Krsna had given so much love to her, they realized she must be the most beloved of Krsna and now desired to get Her mercy. They thought, ‘How did this Gopi control Krsna?’
Sukadeva Goswami told Pariksit Maharaja, ‘Oh King, the gopis all then began to worship and pray to this Gopi. They saw no one that could tell them where Krsna was, and no one would give them shelter. He had disappeared and left them and they could not find Him anywhere. So they began to do austerities and became absorbed.’ What austerity did they do? They prayed:
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
yan no vihāya govindaḥ
prīto yām anayad rahaḥ
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10:30:28)
They said, “This beloved has certainly worshiped the Lord Hari the best of all. He has taken Her alone away from all of us. The Lord and beloved of our lives, has given us all up, and that Govinda has taken Her to a confidential place. She has performed the highest aradhana, worship. Now by taking shelter of Her and worshiping Her we may also become very dear to Him and He will not forsake us. Otherwise if we do not now take shelter of She who is the greatest, then He will not accept or stay with us.”
Guruvarga ki Jaya! Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Rasa-pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org )