Contrary Emotions

Everything Śrī Jagadānanda is writing about concerns prema-vivarta, the reversed movements of love. An ordinary person can never understand this prema-vivarta; only devotees can understand it. The word āvartana means “to move” or “to turn”; so vivarta means viśeṣa-āvarta, “a movement that is reversed in a unique manner”. It is the state of love when it turns against its natural flow.This was portrayed when Śrīman Mahāprabhu departed from Purī to go to Vṛndāvana, leaving Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita behind. At that time, Śrī Gadādhara told Him, “Of what use is my kṣetra-sannyāsa? I only took kṣetra-sannyāsato be with You; it was not for any purpose of my own. I do not want it!” These contrary emotions were thus churning his heart.

When a person vows to renounce the world by remaining in one holy place for his entire life, it is called kṣetra-sannyāsa.

We see another example of this in Śrī Jagadānanda himself. He has written, “I left Śrīman Mahāprabhu, with His permission, and set off for Vṛndāvana. Alas, who could be more insane? Why did I take His leave?”

Śrī Jagadānanda initially left for Vṛndāvana, but ended up in Navadvīpa, which is the real Vṛndāvana, concealed. Śrī Jagadānanda was living very closely with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but he never stood before Him to say, “I love you!”

In turn, Śrīman Mahāprabhu treated him the same way: After carefully preparing excellent sandalwood oil, Śrī Jagadānanda underwent great trouble to bring it from Bengal for Mahāprabhu, but Mahāprabhu simply told Govinda to use it in the lamps offered to Śrī Jagannātha in the temple. Śrīman Mahāprabhu loves all of His associates. Was Choṭā Haridāsa not His associate? Did Mahāprabhu not have affection for him? According to outsiders, He rejected him, but later He was so anxious to see him that He would inquire, “Oh, what happened to Choṭā Haridāsa?” When someone finally informed Him that Choṭā Haridāsa had committed suicide in Prayāga, He simply remarked, “Oh well, good.” But then, as a Gāndharva, that same Haridāsa would secretly come and sing for Mahāprabhu. He had not rejected him after all.

To the eyes of outsiders, Śrī Rāmacandra banished Śrī Sītā-devī, but did He really reject her? There is no question of Him rejecting her; she is not someone to reject! If you have true love (prema) for someone, you can never leave them. Lust can easily be abandoned, but no one can possibly abandon aprākṛta prema, true spiritual love. Could Śrī Rāma leave Sītā? Could she leave Him? He simply staged her exile and then He waited for Her in Their spiritual abode.

Once, Śrī Yaśodā bound Śrī Kṛṣṇa to a grinding mortar. Sometimes she brandishes a stick at Him, chastises Him and threatens to punish Him. Sometimes she even slaps Him and twists His ear. What is this? Is this prema? It is prema-vivarta, the reversed movements of love. What can be truly understood from an external perspective? If another person sees us chastising our child, they will think we are very cruel and they will assume that we have no love for our child. But our chastisement is in fact an example of prema-vivarta. Prema is thus extremely difficult to understand. As Śrī Yaśodā sometimes threatens Kṛṣṇa with a stick or twists His ear, Śrī Śacī-maiyā also chastises Gaurahari and sometimes, she punishes Him by keeping Him home from school.

Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra left Vṛndāvana and went to Mathurā and then Dvārakā. In the eyes of all, this act was extremely cruel. The gopīs were writhing in the pain of separation from Him. They were dying as they wept and cried out to Him. Even Uddhava could not bear this sight. “How could Śrī Kṛṣṇa be so cruel?” He thought. “How could He have left this place? How could He leave those who are crying for Him?” But in truth, Kṛṣṇa did not leave, and neither Śrī Rādhā nor Śrī Kṛṣṇa ever forgot each other. This is an example of mādana-bhāva, the paramount expression of prema, manifested solely in the meeting of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

from the second issue of ‘Engineering Your Inner Self’.