|Srīla Gurudeva explained the conception of the Gosvāmīs in regard to parakīya-rasa in detail to his close associates. In Vraja, many people accept the superiority of svakīya-rasa, or the wedded relation, between Kṛṣṇa and His beloveds, the gopīs, and especially Śrīmatī Rādhikā. In his classes, Śrīla Gurudeva established the deep truths of parakīya-rasa and that parakīya-rasa is more exalted than svakīya-rasa. |
Some of the brahmacārīs asked Gurudeva, “It seems that Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī established the prominence of svakīya-rasa. How can we understand this properly?”
Śrīla Gurudeva responded, “The conditioned souls have sinful desires and natures. To protect them from committing immoral acts and thereby become more degraded, Jīva Gosvami established svakīya–rasa (the wedded relation between Kṛṣṇa and His beloveds) for those unable to understand the transcendental paramour relations of Kṛṣṇa with His eternal potencies.
“All souls are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa,” Gurudeva said. “He is the Supreme Proprietor. For a soul to have an inmate relation with someone other than Kṛṣṇa is against the soul’s eternal nature and hence against eternal religion. Irreligion is when one being turns away from God and cultivates loving relations with others. When one is in a loving relation with Bhagavān, then all other relations are wholesome; but if the soul, which is part and parcel of God, is separated from the Whole, then relations with other souls are unnatural and the root of irreligion. If you love the Supreme Lord, you can subsequently have affection for everyone.
“Having a paramour relation with another’s spouse is a heinous sin. But in Vraja-maṇḍala, Kṛṣṇa apparently dances and dallies with the wives of other cowherd men. How can this be reconciled? To increase the experience of loving mellows in the spiritual world, Yogamāyā arranges for Kṛṣṇa’s eternal beloveds to be the wives of other cowherds, although those cowherds do not harbor a mentality of proprietor towards the gopīs. Still, for those who cannot accept this fact, Jīva Gosvāmī said that Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and all Her expansions, the gopīs, are the svakīya wives of Kṛṣṇa. He based this on the truth that the Lord and His energies are intrinsically inseparable, as verified by scripture. At a constitutional level, all beings are Kṛṣṇa’s svakīya, or very own beloveds. Another point that should be considered is that in Vraja-maṇḍala both Kṛṣṇa and the vraja-gopīs are very young. So there should be no doubt that any activities other than friend and the play of young children occurred. At their age relations and meetings are innocent and light-hearted. No lust or selfishness exists in these exchanges. There is only pure and deep affection which is continuous and unbreakable.
“For those who were qualified, Jīva Gosvāmī established parakīya-rasa as the highest mellow of loving relation with Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura strongly preached parakīya-rasa, as did Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. Seeing the present state of society, Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura instructed his followers not to read the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describing Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes with the gopīs. He kept these esoteric topics confidential. In the Gauḍīya Maṭha, general devotees did not sing rasa-kīrtanas, such as Jaya Rādhā Mādhava and Yasoma-nandana. However, Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura sanctioned the rasa-kīrtanas for qualified sādhakas. Why would the Gosvāmīs and Guru-varga have composed transcendental literature and songs if not for their reading and recital?
“Prabhupāda cautioned against charlatans, and said, ‘Unqualified people who contemplate Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s inmate pastimes make offenses, considering the Divine Couple to be a mundane lover and beloved. When the sādhaka gains higher experience, and his anarthas are somewhat cleared as an effect of advanced sādhu-saṅga, he could engage in hearing, chanting, and remembering Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes.”
Śrīla Gurudeva kindled spiritual greed in people, giving them a glimpse of the sweetness of transcendental Vraja so that they would have a craving to endeavor for the highest goal of life. He did not speak out of place; everything he did was by the will of the entire Guru-varga. Each Acarya has a specific function and specialty. Śrīla Gurudeva came to give entrance into vraja-sevā. He said, “Until the souls hear of vraja-rasa, they will have no means to progress. They must enter Vraja’s method of worship.”
Śrīla Gurudeva explained the parakīya conception as follows:
“Seeing the gopīs’ observance of Kātyāyanī-vrata, stemming from their unwavering love and intense endeavor to achieve Him as a beloved, at the completion of their vows the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa promised them,
‘I will certainly accept you and arrange for your protection. I will not allow there to be any loss in your character and one-pointed love for Me. No man will be able to touch you. I am yours and you are Mine. No one can come between our love.
“Kṛṣṇa also said:
na mayy āveśita-dhiyāṁ kāmaḥ kāmāya kalpate
bharjitā kvathitā dhānāḥ prāyo bījāya neśate
‘The desire of those who fix their minds on Me does not lead to material aspirations for sense enjoyment, just as barley corns burned by the sun and then cooked can no longer grow into new routs.’
“Kṛṣṇa never deceives anyone, and having once accepted someone, He never rejects that person. Before accepting the gopīs, Kṛṣṇa tested them in many ways and gave them families and possessions to see if they would lose interest in Him. They never faltered in their love and remembrance of Him.
“In the tasting of transcendental loving mellows, the bliss of wedded love is paltry in comparison to the super-excellence of paramour
love—the parakīya-rasa manifest in Vraja. These truths are confidential and even demigods and advanced sages cannot fathom them. Those who are attached to svakīya-rasa can never understand the truths of parakīya-rasa.
“During the year-long episode in which Brahma stole the calves and sakhās, Kṛṣṇa assumed the forms of all the boys of Vraja and married all the gopīs. e Lord of all was thereby able to meet with them in their homes as well as in the forest in His original form. The gopīs knew this was Kṛṣṇa, but their relatives did not. The Vrajavāsīs were unaware that the original sakhās were gone for one year in a cave under the mystical spell of Brahmā. In the meantime, Kṛṣṇa performed His loving pastimes with the gopīs in the form of the sakhās. By marrying the gopīs, He protected them from being married and sent out of Vraja by their parents. One year later, when the original boys returned and found the gopīs in their homes, they thought, ‘Kṛṣṇa is so merciful to us—He sent His beloveds to serve our kin in the household.’ When the sakhās asked Kṛṣṇa why the gopīs were in their homes, Kṛṣṇa said, ‘You still have not fully recovered from the poison of Aghāsura, so I sent the gopīs to take care of you all.’ The sakhās were aware the gopīs were Kṛṣṇa’s dear friends, solely devoted to Him, and they respected them from a distance. Thinking Kṛṣṇa had sent the girls to help in their households, the sakhās’ love, mamatā, and respect for Kṛṣṇa increased. The sakhās knew in their hearts, ‘We are Kṛṣṇa’s sakhās, and they are Kṛṣṇa’s sakhīs,’ and they never considered the sakhīs as their wives. They were fully satisfied in their loving relation as friends with Kṛṣṇa and needed no other relation.
“The gopīs in mādhurya-rasa have no children. The word sutanvaya in the sixteenth verse of the Gopi-gīta means the children of the gopīs’ kin. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa checks how the gopīs are in their homes with the sakhas they are aware Kṛṣṇa has a friend with the gopīs—they consider it to be the innocent bond of young children. Vraja-līlā is very confidential. To understand and enter these pastimes is only possible by the mercy of Yogamāyā, the internal potency. The Gauḍīya-acarya’s proclaim that parakīya-rasa is the highest form of love—jaya jayojjvala-rasa sarva-rasa-sāra parakīya-bhāve jaha vrajete pracāra—all glories, all glories to divine amour, supreme among the rasas.
“Parakīya-bhāva is the essence of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and this esoteric conception is what Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to disseminate. Śrīmatī Rādhikā did not live in the house of Nanda Baba as a bride because She is Kṛṣṇa’s paramour. When Kṛṣṇa left Vraja, Rādhārānī stayed with Her sakhīs at Uddhava-kyārī, lamenting in separation from Kṛṣṇa, while the sakhās lamented in Maṭavana. Neither group returned to their homes or associated with each other. Jaṭilā and Kuṭilā considered Rādhārānī to be Abhimanyu’s wife. Abhimanyu never thought like this. Jaṭilā and Kuṭilā were anxious and suspicious of Kṛṣṇa’s affairs with Rādhārānī, but Abhimanyu was never envious.
“One day, Jaṭilā asked Abhimanyu, ‘Do you never think about Rādhārānī? Is She not your wife?’ ‘How can that be, Mother? She is Kṛṣṇa’s. Kṛṣṇa is so merciful that He sent His most cherished one to bless our poor household. She would go to Nandagaon and make prasāda for Kṛṣṇa, and also stay at your house and follow all your instructions. You don’t understand Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. You unnecessarily blame them.’
“Abhimanyu and all the gopas see the gopīs as friends of Kṛṣṇa and think Kṛṣṇa sent the gopīs to their homes to help their mothers and sisters in household affairs. Hearing Abhimanyu glorify Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, Jaṭilā and Kuṭilā approached Her and begged forgiveness for having ever doubted Her.
“All Vrajavāsīs have unparalleled love for Kṛṣṇa. The mothers and fathers in Vraja feel parental love for Him and see Him as a mere child. They are aware Kṛṣṇa has a friend with the gopīs—they consider to be the innocent bond of young children. Vraja-līlā is very confidential. To understand and enter these pastimes is only possible by the mercy of Yogamāyā, the internal potency.The Gauḍīya-acaryas proclaim that parakīya-rasa is the highest form of love—jaya jayojjvala-rasa sarva-rasa-sāra parakīya-bhāve jaha vrajete pracāra—all glories, all glories to dine amour, supreme among the rasas . Present only in Vraja, it is preached by the ācāryas to attract souls to Vraja.