Vrindavana, October 26, 1972
When the eyes are smeared with the ointment of love of Krishna, by these eyes, you’ll see Krishna.
Pradyumna: “Invoking auspiciousness: Lord Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, the reservoir of all rasas, or relationships, which are called neutrality, or passive adoration, servitorship, friendship, parenthood, conjugal love, comedy, compassion, fear, chivalry, ghastliness, wonder, and devastation. He is the supreme attractive form, and by His universal and transcendental attractive features, He has captivated all the gopis, headed by Taraka, Palika, Shyama, Lalita, and ultimately, Srimati Radharani. Let His Lordship’s grace be on us so that there may not be any hindrance in the execution of this duty of writing The Nectar of Devotion, impelled by His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada.”
Prabhupada: Krishna is described as akhila-rasamrta-sindhu. So there are different rasas. Rasa means the mellow or the taste which we enjoy in every activity. Whatever you do, you must enjoy some taste out of it. There are twelve rasas, out of which five rasas are primary and seven rasas are secondary. They are described here.
Kissing with Arrows
For example Krishna’s fighting with Bhisma. Bhisma was criticized by Duryodhana: “My dear grandfather, you are not fighting in full strength with Pandavas, because they are your grandsons and you have affection for them. I think you are not fighting according to your strength. Otherwise, they would have been finished by this time.”
Bhisma could understand his criticism. He promised, “Tomorrow I shall finish all these five brothers. Will that make you happy? I am keeping five arrows to be used tomorrow to kill these five brothers.”
Duryodhana became doubtful. He requested, “My dear grandfather, may I keep these five arrows with me so that you can take them from me tomorrow and use them?” “All right,” he said. “You keep them.”
Krishna understood that Bhisma had promised to kill the Pandavas the next day, and had selected five arrows for them. Krishna had to protect His devotees. He told Arjuna, “Duryodhana had promised to give you some benediction. Now is your opportunity. Go to Duryodhana. He has kept five arrows very carefully; you take them.”
After fighting in the day, one could go to the other camp in the evening as friends, brothers without enmity. So Arjuna went to Duryodhana and Duryodhana received him according to Vedic etiquette. “Arjuna, why have you come?” he asked. “Ask something from me. I am ready to give. If you want the kingdom without fighting, I’ll give it to you.”
Arjuna said, “No, my dear brother, I’ve not come for that purpose. But I have come for that benediction you wanted to give me.” “Yes, I am prepared,” replied Duryodhana. Arjuna requested the five arrows, and they were immediately delivered.
The next morning, when Bhishmadeva asked for the five arrows, Duryodhana said, “Sir, they were taken away by Arjuna.” Bhishmadeva could understand that it was Krishna’s trick, so immediately, out of devotion, he became angry. Devotional service can also be executed in anger, not simply by flowers. A devotee can serve Krishna by becoming angry. Bhisma vowed, “Today Krishna has to break His promise.” Krishna had promised that He would simply drive Arjuna’s chariot and not fight even while on the battlefield. Bhisma said, “Krishna has broken my promise, so today I shall fight in a way that either Krishna has to break His own promise, or His friend Arjuna will be killed.” Two alternatives!
So with Bhisma fighting fiercely, Arjuna’s chariot was broken and he fell down. At that time Krishna took one of the wheels of the chariot and immediately rushed towards Bhisma. Bhisma was piercing Krishna’s body with arrows, but He accepted the arrows as if they were flowers. Therefore that is a rasa, ghastly rasa. Though it appears to be very severe that Krishna is being pierced by the arrows but Krishna was feeling pleasure. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained this portion, by the example of kissing. Sometimes there is hard pressure of the teeth, but still it is pleasurable. Although Krishna was being pierced by the arrows of Bhishmadeva, He still found it very pleasing. And Bhishmadeva on his death bed, wanted to see that form of Krishna, angry and approaching to kill him on the battlefield.
We can enjoy Krishna’s loving service in so many ways. Not only by the embrace of the gopis, but in the fight of Bhisma with Krishna piercing His body with arrows. Therefore Krishna is akhila-rasamrta-murti. He can associate with you in any rasa, humor, you like
Lord Sees the Brighter Side
There are twelve rasas, either primary rasa or secondary rasa. Krishna is ready to respond to any rasa. That is Krishna’s position. Kamat krodhad bhayat dvesat: Either by lusty desire or by anger or by fear, if one comes in contact with Krishna, then he becomes purified, what to speak of those who love Him. For example Putana wanted to kill Krishna, but when Putana was killed by sucking both her breast and life, she was given the position of Krishna’s mother. Because Krishna took the bright side. Krishna thought “Whatever her intention may be, she came to Me just like a mother, and I sucked her breast. Therefore she is My mother.” Tejiyasam na dosaya: one who is very powerful should be understood to be faultless [Bhag. 10.33.29]. Similarly, the gopis came to Krishna out of lust, but out of lust, they became purified. Just like the sun soaks the water from the urinal but does not become polluted, rather, the urinal becomes sterilized. This is the process. Try to approach Krishna some way or other, then your life will be successful. It doesn’t matter. Kamat krodhad bhayad dvesat. What to speak of those who are constantly engaged in love with Krishna? Everything is love. As soon as you divert your attention to Krishna, that is love. It may be perverted, just like Kamsa. Kamsa was always thinking of Krishna. He was also Krishna conscious, but he was thinking in terms of killing Krishna, as enemy. This is not bhakti. This is not anukula, favorable; it is pratikula, un-favorable. But still, Krishna is so kind that Kamsa was also given liberation. This is the special kindness of Krishna.
Fixing the Mind
Yena tena prakarena manah krsne nivesayet. That is the direction given by Srila Rupa Goswami. “Some way or other, fix up your mind on Krishna.” Then your life is successful. Some way or other, Yena tena. If your mind is fixed up always in Krishna, then your senses will also be engaged in Krishna’s service. Because the mind is the center of all activities of the senses.
Ambarisa Maharaja first of all engaged his mind in Krishna. Sa vai manah Krishna-padaravindayoh [Bhag. 9.4.18]. By fixing up his mind in Krishna, then he could use all other senses, including the tongue. Actually bhakti begins with the tongue. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. Beginning from tongue, Krishna-bhakti begins. It may be very awkward to hear, “by tongue, how can bhakti begin?” But that is the statement in the sastras. Atah sri-Krishna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. Our present blunt, materially covered senses, cannot taste what is Krishna’s name, what is Krishna’s form, what is Krishna’s quality, what is Krishna’s pastime, what is Krishna’s paraphernalia. Senses, they taste. But just like when one is suffering from liver disease, or jaundice, he cannot taste the sugar candy. The sugar candy is sweet, but it will taste bitter to a jaundiced patient. Similarly, our senses, being covered with material consciousness, cannot at the present moment taste Krishna’s form, Krishna’s name, Krishna’s quality, Krishna’s pastime, and Krishna’s paraphernalia. It is not possible. Atah sri-Krishna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. Our senses are materially contaminated. Therefore we cannot directly perceive Krishna with our present senses. So they have to be purified.
Just like when the eyes suffer from cataracts, you cannot see properly. But if by surgical operation, the cataract is moved, the eyes become purified, you can see. That is also stated in Brahma-samhita:
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Premanjana-cchurita. You have to collect the ointment of love for Krishna, just like we use surma for clear vision. And when the love of Krishna-surma is applied on the eyes, you’ll see Krishna. This is the process.
Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. You have to get yourself freed from the upadhis, designations. The sum and substance of designation is this material body. “I am this body.” “I am Hindu.” “I am Mussalman.” “I am American.” “I am Indian,” all are designations of this body. One has to become free from the contamination of this bodily concept of life. That is called sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Tat-paratvena nirmalam: one is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified. When our spiritual body becomes revealed, the material body, contamination, is washed off, nirmalam, purified. At that time, the senses remain. They are simply covered by the material energies.
Features of the Soul
The living entity is not nirakara. The living entity has got hands, legs, everything, spiritual. Just like I have got my body, and this body is covered by this shirt, and because I have got this arm, the shirt has got an arm. Otherwise where does this arm come from? Unless the spirit soul has arms and legs, how we have got these material arms and legs?
So the soul has got form. It is not formless. Similarly, Krishna has also got form, but that form is different from this form. When in the sastras it is said, nirakara, nirakara means nirakrta akara: this akara, this form, is being nullified. Nirakara does not mean there is no akara, no body. When it is said nirakara, that means the Supersoul or the soul has no akara as we see. Just like we see a dog, cat, hog, tree, plants eight million four hundred thousands of forms but this is not the actual form. Nirakareti. Not this form. The soul has a different form. Kesagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca: the dimension of the soul is 1/10,000th part of the tip of the hair. [Cc. Madhya 19.140]. We cannot see the soul at the present moment. I am not seeing you, you are not seeing me. Just like a man’s father dies. He cries, “Oh, my father is gone, my father is gone.” Where has your father gone? Your father is lying on the floor. Why do you say the father has gone? “No, he’s gone. He’s no more.” That means this thing, the soul that has gone he has never seen. He has simply seen this outward body, dress. This is called ignorance. I am not seeing you; still, I say that I see you. So if I cannot see you, the part and parcel of God, how can I see God with these eyes?
Coming in touch with God
Therefore, sastra says,
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah
[Cc. Madhya 17.136]
You cannot see Krishna by your blunt senses, but you can do so if you purify your senses: sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. That purification begins from the tongue. By the tongue we can do two things. We can taste foodstuff and we can vibrate sound. So if you engage your tongue in vibrating this transcendental sound Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, and do not take anything except prasada of Krishna, then your spiritual life immediately begins. Then gradually, as you advance in spiritual life, Krishna reveals Himself to you, “Here I am.” You cannot see Krishna, but by being satisfied with your service, Krishna sees you. Just like you cannot see the sun at night, but when the sun sees you, you can see the sun and yourself, both. Similarly, when Krishna sees you, being satisfied with your service, then you can see Krishna, you can see yourself and you can see the whole world.
Now, whatever you are seeing, this is all illusion. Because our senses are too blunt to see things as they are. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita it is said that
brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
One who has got the eyes to see, he does not see that “Here is a learned brahmana, and here is a dog.” He sees both the learned brahmana and the dog in equal vision. Because he does not see the dress, he sees the spirit soul within the brahmana and within the dog. That is called brahma-darsana. Samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param [Bg. 18.54]. When one has got that vision, transcendental vision, samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhakti, then devotional service begins. Not that with blunt eyes and senses one can serve God and do devotional service.
This is the process. So when our senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate, at that time our senses become purified. Because Krishna is spirit, the Supersoul, He cannot be served by matter. He has to be served with spirit.
Therefore Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati: “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” [Bg. 9.26]. This bhakti is spiritual activity. If you offer something to Krishna, “Krishna, I have brought a very palatable dish. You take it.” Krishna will not take it. Naham prakasah sarvasya yogamaya-samavrtah [Bg. 7.25]. He’s not exposed to everyone. You cannot serve Krishna if you are not a devotee. Therefore Krishna says, yo me bhaktya prayacchati with devotion. That is the real thing, bhaktya. Not that “I have brought a nice plate and Krishna will accept.” Krishna can accept when you offer something with devotion. It doesn’t matter what it is. It may be a simple flower, a fruit, a small piece of leaf or little water. For worshiping Krishna, there is no impediment. If you want to worship other demigods, there are so many things required. But for worshiping Krishna the poorest man in the world, in any part of the world, can offer his love, his offering to Krishna. Patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati [Bg. 9.26].
This Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu by Rupa Goswami which we have translated by the name The Nectar of Devotion, the complete science of bhakti-yoga, is a very important book for understanding how to become purified in devotional service, how to approach Krishna, and how to satisfy Krishna. These things are described very nicely. And Krishna, being Supersoul cannot be approached with our material consciousness. Therefore the consciousness has to be changed. Then we can approach Krishna. That is the Krishna consciousness movement. Just like, without being fire, you cannot enter into fire. The sastra says, without being Brahman, you cannot approach Brahman. Similarly, without being purified of all material contamination, you cannot approach Krishna. Hrsikena hrsikesa. How, what kind of hrsika, senses? Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. The senses are to be purified. Tat-paratvena. Tat-paratvena means always being attached to Krishna. If you simply see Krishna with your eyes, then your eyes will be purified and spiritualized. Just like if you keep yourself always in touch with fire, you become warm. If you put an iron rod in the fire, it becomes warmer and warmer, and at last, it becomes red hot. When it is red hot, it is fire. It is not an iron rod. You touch that red hot iron anywhere, it will burn. Similarly, if you always keep in touch with Krishna, you become Krishna, Krishna-ized, and you can appreciate what is Krishna.
Thank you very much.