The loving affairs of Radha and Krsna are on the highest spiritual platform. 
Our attempts to imitate them are on the lowest material one.

A lecture in Mayapur, India, on March 29, 1975 

radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmad
ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau
caitanyakhyam prakatam adhuna tad-dvayam caikyam aptam
radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krsna-svarupam

Srimati Radharani

"The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krsna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord's internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Krsna are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united in the form of Sri Krsna Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Srimati Radharani, although He is Krsna Himself." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi 1.5)

Here Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, the author of Caitanya-caritamrta, is describing another feature of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Previously, Lord Caitanya has been described as the ultimate Absolute Truth, Bhagavan. The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases, and the ultimate phase is Bhagavan, who is sad-aisvaryaih purnah, "full in six opulences. " Nowadays there are so many "Bhagavans," but they have no opulence. But the actual Bhagavan is full in six kinds of opulence beauty, wealth, strength, fame, knowledge, and renunciation.

So, Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has descended as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu just to bestow the topmost understanding of loving affairs with Krsna (samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam [Cc. Adi 1.4]). In devotional service there are different stages, although spiritually there is no difference among them. There is ultimately no difference between a devotee in the mood of servitude (dasya-rasa) and one in the mood of conjugal love (madhurya-rasa). But each devotee likes to serve the Supreme Lord according to his particular inclination. Someone wants to love Him in a neutral mood (santa-rasa),someone wants to love Him in the mood of a servant, someone wants to love Him as a friend, another as a parent, and another as a conjugal lover. While there is no spiritual difference between these phases of loving affairs, great devotees and learned scholars have given their decision that the loving affairs with Krsna in the conjugal mood like those between husband and wife or, above those, between lover and beloved are on the highest platform.

In the Western countries these affairs between boyfriend and girlfriend are very prominent, and in the spiritual world this relationship of lover and beloved, without marriage, is considered the highest. Whatever so-called loving affairs we see here are a perverted reflection of the loving affairs between Radha and Krsna.

In the Bhagavad-gita this perverted reflection is described as urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham: a tree with its roots up and its branches down. In other words, the material world is a reflection of the real, spiritual world. Unless this material world is a reflection, how could the roots be upward? There is a tree like this: a tree on the bank of a pond will be reflected with its roots upwards and its branches down.

This world is a reflection only, a shadow. The reality is in the spiritual world. There the topmost thing is the conjugal love between Radha and Krsna, and here the same thing, when pervertedly reflected as sexual affairs between a girl and a boy, is the lowest abomination. We should know this: In the spiritual world, for Radha and Krsna to remain as girlfriend and boyfriend is the topmost pleasure, while in the material world this same thing is most abominable.

We cannot imitate the loving affairs of Krsna and Radharani. We have to understand the facts of Their relationship, as described here: radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir. "The loving affairs of Radha and Krsna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord's internal pleasure-giving potency."

The word sakti means "energy." From the Vedas we understand that the Lord, the Supreme Person, has many energies: parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate. When Arjuna requested Krsna in the Bhagavad-gita"Kindly explain some of the energies You display," Krsna listed His different energies, and at last He concluded,

athava bahunaitena
kim jnatena tavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam
ekamsena sthito jagat

The words idam krtsnam … jagat mean "the entire material manifestation." There are many universes in the material manifestation. We see only one universe, but there are many millions of universes (yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti). So, Krsna says that all these universes in the material world display only one-fourth of His energy (ekamsena).

Just imagine what Krsna's energy is! And we are trying to imitate Him. So many rascals declare they are Bhagavan, but they have no idea what Bhagavan is. Innumerable universes are coming out from the breathing of Maha-Visnu, who is just a part of a plenary part of Bhagavan, Lord Krsna. When Maha-Visnu exhales, the universes come out, and when He inhales, everything goes within Him. This is Bhagavan.

This material creation is a partial exhibition of the energy of the Lord, onefourth of His energy. This material world is made of His material energy, and we are His marginal energy. But the other three-fourths of His energies are in the spiritual world, where Krsna exhibits only His spiritual energies. And when Krsna wants to enjoy, He enjoys loving affairs like those between a man and a woman.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that the mellow of the loving affairs between a man and a woman comes from the Supreme Person. Unless the loving propensity is there in the Supreme, how can it be reflected here? This material world is only a perverted reflection of the spiritual world, so the origin of the loving propensity must be there.

The impersonalistic, Mayavadi philosophers cannot understand the spiritual loving affairs of Radha and Krsna. Because they have bitter experience of the so-called loving affairs in this material world, they think the ultimate goal must be without personality or varieties (nirvisesa). Impersonalism and voidism are of the same nature. The voidists, the Buddhist philosophers, say that ultimately everything is zero, and the Mayavadi philosophers say, "No, not zero but impersonal." Both of them are wrong. The Absolute Truth is actually personal and full of variety, but because the philosophers with a poor fund of knowledge cannot understand, they make it out to be zero or variety-less.

To clear away these false ideas, Kaviraja Gosvami says that while radha-krsna prema, the loving affairs between Radha and Krsna, are factual they are not imagination these affairs are different from the so-called loving affairs we experience in this world. That is to be understood. Don't be like the sahajiyas, who take radha-krsna prema to be just like ordinary lusty affairs in this material world. A verse in the Srimad-Bhagavatam states that the loving affairs of the gopis and Krsna in the rasa-lila are not an ordinary thing, and that if one can hear of them from the proper source and understand the real facts of the rasa-lila, then all the lusty desires in one's heart will vanish. There will be no more lusty desires. In other words, one will become dhira, calm and sober-minded.

Here in this material world everyone is adhira, agitated by lusty desires. But in the spiritual world everyone is dhira. They are not agitated by lusty desires. As long as we are agitated by lusty desires, we are in the material world. That is the test. As Yamunacarya says,

yad-avadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamany udyatam rantum asit
tad-avadhi bata nari-sangame smaryamane
bhavati mukha-vikarah susthu nisthivanam ca

"Since I've been engaged in rendering more and more service to Krsna and getting spiritual pleasure, as soon as I think of sex life with a woman I immediately spit. I hate to think of it." This is the result of understanding the loving affairs between Radha and Krsna.

Kaviraja Gosvami explains that these affairs are a transformation of Krsna's hladini sakti, His pleasure potency. The Supreme Lord has three primary spiritual potencies: sandhini, His existence potency; samvit, His knowledge potency; and hladini, His pleasure potency. The loving affairs of Radha and Krsna are a transformation of His pleasure potency.

These loving affairs have nothing to do with the so-called loving affairs of this material world, because Krsna is Parabrahman. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna is described as Parabrahman. Arjuna says to Krsna,param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan: "You are the Supreme Brahman, the supreme abode and purifier." That is the declaration of Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita, and we should accept it. This is the parampara system, the system of disciplic succession.

The Mayavadi philosophers are after brahma-sukha, the happiness of merging with Brahman. The source of brahmasukha is Krsna, but the Mayavadis cannot reach up to that point. There are two kinds of transcendentalists: one is the Brahmavadi, or Mayavadi impersonalist, and the other is the Vaisnava, or devotee. The Vaisnavas accept the philosophy that we are servants of Krsna: jivera 'svarupa' haya krsnera 'nitya-dasa.' And the Mayavadi philosophers falsely think that they have become one with the Supreme, that they have become Narayana. That's a misleading philosophy, and we should not accept it.

Now, Krsna being Parabrahman, what will be the platform of His loving affairs? This is to be considered. To attain brahma-sukha, spiritual happiness, many saintly persons give up everything of this material world and take sannyasa. Sannyasa means giving up everything for the Supreme. So, simply to relish a little bit of brahma-sukha, great, great saintly persons give up everything and try to purify their existence. They try to find real happiness. Every one of us is after happiness, but we are seeking happiness in the perverted reflection, where it is not possible to find it. Therefore one has to give up this perverted happiness and come to the real fact.

Our point is that since great saintly persons give up all pleasures in this material world to find pleasure in Brahman, why should Krsna, who is the Supreme Brahman, take pleasure in this material world? This is the argument. Therefore those who are thinking that Krsna enjoyed with the gopis as we enjoy in the company of many girls such people are great fools. They have no knowledge. They're misled. Our affairs, being a perverted reflection, appear like the loving affairs of Radha and Krsna, but the reflection is different from the reality.

So we should not be misled; we should follow the teachings of Caitanya-caritamrta. We should understand that the loving affairs between Radha and Krsna are not like those between an ordinary boy and girl. And if we take Radha's and Krsna's loving affairs to be ordinary, we will be misled. Therefore the sahajiyas, those who believe that Krsna enjoys with ordinary girls, are very, very much misled.

We shouldn't be so foolish as to think we can be equal to Krsna. There is no competition for Krsna: na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate. Nobody can be equal with Him, nobody can be greater than Him. That is Parabrahman; that is Krsna. In the Bhagavad-gita also, Krsna says, mattah parataram nanyat. "There is no entity superior to Me." We have to very carefully study Krsna.

The Krsna consciousness movement is meant to give everyone a chance to understand Krsna very scientifically. Krsna consciousness is not sentimentality. One must be very philosophically advanced to understand this scientific knowledge, or vijnana.

Without understanding the science and philosophy of Krsna consciousness, it is not possible to understand Krsna. You may ask, "Do you think all the devotees are scientists and philosophers?" The answer is yes. They may not have degrees in science or philosophy, but they have been taught by Krsna from within. If you want to learn science and philosophy, you have to approach some person who knows the subject. But the greatest scientist, the greatest philosopher, is Krsna, who is within your heart: isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthatiAnd He says, tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam dadami buddhi-yogam tam. "To anyone who is a sincere devotee of Mine and always engages in My service, I give education and intelligence. I make him a scientist and a philosopher." That is the way of receiving vijnana, scientific understanding of Krsna.

You may ask, "Why does Krsna reveal this knowledge only to His devotees and not to all? If the Supreme Lord is sitting in everyone's heart, why is He especially inclined toward those who engage twentyfour hours a day in His service? Why not to others?" That is His special mercy for the devotees:

tesam evanukampartham
aham ajnana-jam tamah
nasayamy atma-bhava stho
jnana-dipena bhasvata

"I live in everyone's heart, but out of special mercy for My devotees I destroy their ignorance with the lamp of transcendental knowledge."

This is the process of understanding God. You cannot understand God, or Krsna, without being His faithful servant. This is the secret. If we become His faithful servant under the guidance of a proper spiritual master, we can understand Krsna and His loving affairs with Radharani, and we can understand Lord Caitanya. These things will all be revealed.

This knowledge is not acquired by mundane efforts. That is not possible. Svayam eva sphuraty adah: Krsna will reveal Himself when He is pleased with your service. Suppose it is dark outside and you want the sunshine. That is not possible. But in the morning, when the sun comes out automatically, the darkness is dissipated. Similarly, knowledge of Krsna will automatically be revealed to us if we serve Him faithfully. So we should always remain faithful servants of Krsna, and when He is pleased by our service He will reveal Himself to us. Otherwise, it is not possible to understand Him.

Thank you very much.