How can we enter this unnatojvala-rasa? It is not an ordinary thing and the process to attain it is also not an ordinary process. In the rasa-lila, the Srimad Bhagavatam describes the supreme glories of the Gopis. The Vraja-gopis pleased and satisfied Sri Krsna-Mukunda, through their service and their beautiful loving and affectionate manners. They brought Sri Krsna into their hearts and have unnatojvala-rasa.

Krsna saw, “Oh the Gopis are calling Me. They are inviting Me into their hearts. Therefore, I will not let them be disturbed by anything. No longer will they wait or be eager for anything in this world. They will not want any service or help from anyone and will be completely established in nirguna-tattva, the transcendental reality. Therefore, nothing material will bewilder or conquer over them. Nothing negative will have any affect on them. I will always help them in this manner.”

KRSNA TESTS THE GOPIS

Krsna called the Gopis to His beautiful Vrindavan, which was filled with sweet smelling breezes and beautiful blossoming flowers and fruit trees. The Gopis at that time had so much pain in their hearts because they wanted to attain Krsna as their beloved. When they were practicing to attain Krsna as their beloved at the Katyayani-vrata, Krsna gave them a very strong test to see if they were still attached to their bodies.

He said, “If you worship Me but still have material lust, then I cannot accept you. You must give this up. He tested them again and again, and when He saw that they were completely separate and detached from their minds and bodies, He took away their clothes. These clothes represented their gross and subtle bodies, and then He gave them new clothes, which represented their spiritual form. Lust therefore could no longer touch them. If we do not identify with the material gross and subtle bodies, then we cannot be touched by lust. That is why we follow this Katyayani-vrata.

Krsna again called them, and He played on the flute and they all came. Krsna tested them saying, “Why have you come here to the forest?”

The Gopis replied, “Oh! We have come to see the beautiful forest.”

Krsna said, “Now you have seen it, so now you should go back and serve your families, and your husbands. Do not think I will enjoy with you like an ordinary relative or husband.”

Krsna spoke with them like this and could understand that they were free of material desires. Seeing they were completely pure and engaged in His loving service without any distraction, Krsna fully accepted them and performed rasa. When we are free of material identification with the body, samsara cannot touch us. Even though we may be in samsara, we are outside of samsara, just like the lotus is above the water even though it is within the water. We can practically see Vaisnavas who are in this world, that are completely absorbed in Krsna’s pastimes. Because they are spiritualized by this, the material energy, and the three material modes of nature cannot touch them.

In Krsna’s Saradiya-rasa, some Gopis developed pride in their good fortune, but Bhagavan Sri Krsna still accepted them. He then gave them one more test by disappearing and bringing them under the shelter of Srimati Radhika.

During the rasa purnima, Sri Krsna accepted the Gopis, but so many tests were given. In this way, Krsna made them completely qualified and He gave ever fresh moods of love and affection. They could receive that when they came under the guidance of Srimati Radhika and Her nitya-siddha-gopis.

VRAJA RASA IS THE HIGHEST MELLOW

When Srila Gurudeva gives diksa mantras, first he gives faith in transcendental rati. Rati means attraction towards something. Then while waking, sleeping, and moving about, they are attracted towards Krsna’s service and thinking about collecting things for His seva. In this way they become so absorbed, that they become as if merged within thoughts of Krsna and His service. In this way they very easily cross over this worldly existence. Then Sri Krsna completely fulfills them with His transcendental loving mellows.

Nalakuvera and Manigriva had so much lust, but by Narada Rsi’s mercy, He gave them diksa and took them out of their material bodies, giving them a body fit for sadhana in Vraja. They took the form of Arjuna trees and for a long time they had to perform sadhana there. After this they achieved vraja-bhakti-rasa. Therefore, we must take shelter of Sri Guru and be prepared to perform sadhana bhakti. The Vraja-gopis, seeing Krsna’s beautiful form, desired to serve Him. This is not a material thirst or a material desire.

SRIMATI RADHIKA IS THE MOST CHASTE

Srimati Radhika once said, “Oh Lalite, now I am contaminated. My life has no meaning.”

Lalita asked, “Why?”

Srimati Radhika said, “Oh when I was walking on the bank of the Yamuna, I saw a beautiful boy and My mind and heart went to Him. Then I heard someone playing a flute sound and my mind ran towards Him. And then I saw someone’s picture and My heart went to Him. My heart has been divided into three places, to the Boy I saw by Yamuna, to the Boy who played the flute, and to the picture of the Boy I saw.”

Then Lalita said, “Oh Radhe! They are all the same! Therefore, Your heart is only in one place. You are not unchaste.”

HEARING UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE GURU-VARGA

Krsna is so beautiful, so attractive, even Srimati becomes bewildered. This is not to be considered anything material. The form of Sri Krsna and His pastimes are the topmost, transcendental truth. This is the real method of becoming liberated. By experiencing it, you will understand what real rasa and love is. Before that everything is mere speculation. We may hear something but may not understand it, even in the slightest. If you do not have the proper understanding, faith and knowledge of how to accept something, then you are only passing and wasting time. Therefore, you should hear the commentaries of our Guru-varga, and by drinking this nectar and bringing it into your heart, you will understand how to relish this rasa-lila, and your spiritual welfare will be assured.

Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! Guruvarga ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: rasik@kripa.tv)