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105- Love of God
1. How is prema defined?
Drdha mamatasaydtmikd priti prema means, "When ptiti is firm and mixed with affection, it is called prema." (Amndya-sutra 87)
2.How does prema gradually develop? How are prema-sneha-mdna and pranaya defined?
Rati has the power to surpass everything. Therefore, it is called samarthd. It also has the power to make us forget everything. When rati intensifies and is unaffected by opposing moods, it is known as prema. Gradually manifesting its own sweetness, prema transforms into sneha, mdna, pranaya, rdga, anuraga, and bhava. When prema matures and possesses the power of illumination, it melts the heart and is called sneha. Sneha is of two types, butterlike and honeylike. Sneha with intense affection is like butter. Sneha in the form of possessiveness is like honey.
Rati is also of two types, "I belong to Him," and, "He is mine." The mood of "I belong to Him" is the butterlike sneha of Candravali. The mood of "He is mine" is the honeylike sneha of Sri Radha. When sneha matures and manifests symptoms like inability and arrogance, it is called mana. Mana is of two kinds, udatta and lalita. When mdna becomes more intense and the lover and the beloved are considered one, it is called pranaya. When pranaya matures, both the extreme happiness and the miseries experienced through the relationship are called rdga, which appears in two types, riilimd and raktimd.
The forty-one types of bhdva are sthdyi-mddhurya-bhdva, thirty-three vyabhicdri-bhdvas, and seven secondary bhdvas. The rdga that gives ever-newer pleasures to the lover is called anurdga. Fully controlled varieties of prema and the desire to take birth among inanimate beings are symptomatic of anurdga. Anurdga manifests Krsna in the mood of separation. The variegatedness of love of God contains the mood of separation.* (Caitanya-siksamrrta 111)
3. What is the definition and function of priti?
Priti is the personification of spiritual pastimes. It always gives unlimited pleasure to Krsna, who is eternally full of knowledge and bliss. Because oi priti's nature, Krsna enjoys the wonderful mellow of ecstatic love. Krsna's holy names are the manifestation of Krsna's all-attractive feature. His form as Syamasundara is the embodiment of complete spiritual bliss and is full of nectarean love. Krsna, the lover of the gopls, is always complete with His unlimited auspicious qualities. He eternally enjoys the mellows of the transcendental pastimes. By meditating on the Lord's holy names, forms, qualities, and pastimes, the living entity associates directly with his beloved Lord, Sri Krsna. (Sri Manah-siksd, Verse 11)
4.What is the ultimate goal of life?
According to the teachings of Sriman Mahaprabhu, love of God is the ultimate goal of life. Love of God is twofold, love of God born from bhdva and love of God born from mercy. Love of God born from bhdva is divided into two: vaidhi and raganuga. Love of God born from mercy is very rare, whereas love of God born from bhdva is common.
(Sri Manah-siksd, Verse 11)
5. What is the difference between unalloyed love of God and love of God in awe and reverence?
Love of God is divided into two classes, unalloyed love of God and love of God in awe and reverence. By cultivating rdgdnugd-bhakti, we awaken unalloyed love of God. Those practicing vaidhl-bhakti attain love of God mixed with opulence. They obtain liberation, such as possessing the same opulence as the Lord.
(Sri Manah-siksd, Verse 11)
6. What are the symptoms and impediments of prema ?
The absence of satisfaction is a symptom of love of God. Love of God is the ultimate fruit of devotional service. Liberation and so forth are devotion's irrelevant fruits. Since self-satisfaction is an impediment to love of God, saintly persons consider it loathsome. (Brhad-bhagavatamrta, purport)
7. What is the prayer of one who loves Krsna?
With my body, mind, and speech, may my love for the reddish lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu increase day by day. Let me have unflinching love for the pure Vaisnavas. Let me have love for the ocean of the Lord's transcendental qualities. Let me have love for the service of Krsna and the Vaisnavas. Let me have love for chanting Krsna's holy name. Let me love those persons who have taken shelter of the Lord and who are inclined to worship Him. Let me also love myself, who am inclined toward Krsna, so that I may attain devotion to Him.
(Commentary on Bhajanamrtam)
8. What is the most important object of life?
Pure devotees of Krsna are the mahajanas or great personalities. Love for them is desirable. We are the field into which the seed of love is to be sown. Try to capture love of God within your heart. Krsna alone is the only wealth in this world. The Vaisnavas are dear to Him. Love of God is the most important object of life. There is nothing greater than this.
(Commentary on Bhajanamrtam)
9. What branch among the innumerable branches of the Vedas is dear to Gaurasundara? What is the goal of that branch?
The Vedic literature has thousands of branches. Among them, only one is dear to the Lord. That branch is devotional service to Krsna. Love of God is the fruit of that branch. There is nothing better than love of God in the material world. Love of God is the only desirable object. (Commentary on Bhajanamrtam)
10. What is Mahaprabhu's weapon?
Love of God is the Lord's only weapon. If that weapon is put to use, all obstacles will be destroyed and everyone will be happy; the living entities will no longer suffer the pangs of material existence. (Commentary on Bhajanamrtam)
11. If love of God is the eternally perfect object, why does attachment develop for objects not related to Krsna?
Just as a childless father does not develop affection for a child, an unmarried woman does not realize affection for a husband, a benefited person does not express gratitude to his benefactor due to ignorance, those foolish people who are attached to objects not related to Krsna cannot understand love of God. (Tattva-sutra 4)
12. Which is greater, love or liberation? How does a devotee who has attained love of God live?
There is nothing greater than love of God for a living entity. Liberation is temporary, and, when compared to love of God, insignificant. Among the many irrelevant fruits of love of God, liberation is only one. If love of God awakens while we are still connected with matter, we will find that we no longer appreciate our connection with matter. Those who have attained love of God are devoid of material association and full in Krsna consciousness. Glowworms hide when the sun rises. Similarly, the rules and regulations hide when love of God awakens. For a loving devotee, this material world appears as Vaikuntha. (Caitanya-siksamrrta 6/1)
13. What are the irrelevant and principal fruits of devotional service?
As soon as a living entity becomes free from material contamination by the strength of devotional service, he attains liberation. But liberation is an irrelevant fruit of devotional service, not the principal fruit. Pure love of Krsna is the principal fruit of sddhana-bhakti, and it can be achieved by liberated souls. (Sajjana Tosani 10/11)
14. What is the difference between loving oneself and loving others?
Universal love, or love between people, is simply a transformation of loving oneself. Love between spirit souls is the only ideal love.
(Sajjana Tosani 8/9)
15. Is it possible to awaken love of God without the association of saintly persons?
Love of God is the supremely pure medium for exchanging spiritual reciprocation. Only the hearts of saintly persons are qualified and prone to accept this medium. Nondevotional hearts distract from it. Unless we associate with saintly persons, this medium will not enter our heart. Just as attraction and repulsion are opposites in magnestism, so association with sadhus and nondevotees are opposites. Their association pushes us in opposite directions. Therefore, if we wish to attain love of God, we should associate with saintly persons.
16. What is the difference between love of Krsna and love of humanity?
Pure love of God is the root of all varieties of love. Uncivilized living entities experience pure love in a materially perverted state. A Western moralist named Comte instructed his followers to become a little selfless and to endeavor for universal love. Sri Mahaprabhu taught everyone to cultivate pure transcendental love of God. Comte, a materialist, tried to expand the materially perverted form of pure love instead. The living entity finds no benefit in following Comte; his teachings instruct us to give up our iron shackles for gold ones. To relish pure love of God, Mahaprabhu taught the living entities about Sri Radha-Krsna's pastimes. (Sajjana Tosani 2/9)
17. What is the inconceivable influence of love of Krsna?
Love of Krsna is such that it transforms happiness into distress and distress into happiness. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 39)
18. What are the eternal rasa-Ma pastimes of Krsna? What is the nature of pure love?
A giant object attracts a tiny object. The sun, a gigantic object, attracts other planets and satellites toward it, but to remain apart from the sun, the planets and satellites move in a circle. Moreover, the speed and attraction between the planets keeps them in orbit. As we understand things in this perverted world, we should understand things in the spiritual world. The transcendental personality, who enjoys His pastimes in Vrndavana, is the sun of the spiritual world; the living entities are His associates. Lord Krsna attracts the living entities on the principle of love. Because of their independent nature, the living entities try to remain apart from Him. Still, the attraction forcefully pulls the living entities and brings them toward Krsna. Although the tiny living entities are defeated, they circle around the sun, Krsna. This is Krsna's eternal rasa-lild. The companions who belong to His internal potency are particularly close to Him, and the companions who have attained perfection through sddhana are a little distant. Krsna's transcendental pastimes have the nature of pure love.
(Sajjana Tosani 8/9)
19. What are the primary symptoms of pure love?
According to its natural tendency, iron is attracted toward a magnet when it enters the magnetic field. Similarly, the minute spirit souls display their natural inclination toward Krsna, the supreme consciousness, when they are fully Krsna conscious. This inclination toward Krsna is the primary symptom of pure love.
(Sri Manah-siksa, Verse 11)
20. What is the difference between love of God and love for material objects?
The difference between love for matter and love for Krsna is seen when the loving propensity transcends matter and becomes purely inclined toward Krsna. When that propensity is deviated toward material enjoyment, it is love for matter or attachment for material objects. (Sri Mana-siksa, Verse 11)
21. Is conjugal rasa enjoyable for the living entities in the material world?
According to Mahaprabhu, the living entities who have taken birth in the material world should relish the mood of separation, vipralambha-rasa.
(Commentary on Siksastaka)
22. Do the devotees who relish the mellows of devotional service respect anything other than the happiness of chanting Krsna's holy name?
yoga-sruty-upapatti-nirjana-vana-dhyanadhva-sambhavita-svarajyam pratipadya nirbhayam ami mukta bhavantu dvija asmdkam tu kadamba-kunja-kuhara-pronmilad-indivara-sreni-syamala-dhama-nama jusatarh janmastu laksavadhi
"Let the twice-born enter the fearless kingdom of yoga, Vedic study, and solitary meditation in the forest. Let them become liberated in that way. As for us, we will spend hundreds of thousands of births chanting the holy name of Lord Krsna, whose splendid dark complexion and yellow garments are like a host of blue lotus flowers blooming in a grove of yellow-flower-bearing kadamba trees."
This verse was spoken by Srlmad Isvara Purl, a dear disciple of Srlmad Madhavendra Purl. In this verse he states that for devotees who can relish the mellows of devotional service, the happiness of liberation is insignificant. Instead, we derive our happiness from chanting the Lord's holy names, because such happiness is much more intense than the happiness of liberation. There are eight types of yoga, beginning with sitting postures, breathing excercises, and so on. Study of the Vedas in this verse refers to the knowledge of impersonal Brahman contained in the Upanisads. Residing in a solitary place means practicing vanaprastha. Devotees who are devoid of pride in their varnasrama status and who are satisfied by chanting Krsna's holy name do not care if they have to accept millions of births.
23. What is the difference between residing in Vrndavana in the self-realized state and in the perfected state?
Lord Krsna is present in the spiritual abode of Vrndavana as the fresh Cupid. The materialistic poets describe "Cupid" as extremely mundane. Their explanations are full of abominable, lusty topics, and their poems refer only to the attraction of material flesh for material flesh. Being conditioned by maya and identifying the body as the self, the living entities have become subordinate to lust.
When a living entity understands his relationship with Krsna, he resides in the transcendental abode. This state is twofold. When we are self-realized but our contact with matter has not yet been destroyed, spiritual truth is revealed to some extent and we reside in Vrndavana. This state is called svarupa-siddhi. When our relationship with the gross and subtle bodies is completely destroyed by Krsna's will, we actually reside in Vrndavana. This stage is called vastu-siddhi.*
In svarupa-siddhi, we must practice sadhana. At that time, we continue to worship Krsna by chanting the spiritual kdma-gayatri and kama-bija mantras. The all-attractive Krsna, who can enchant even Cupid, attracts everyone—men, women, and all other animate and inanimate beings.
(Commentary on Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 8.137-138)
24. What is the ultimate goal of life? What is the first stage of pure devotional service?
Loving devotional service is the ultimate goal of life. In its first stage, pure devotional service appears as santa-bhakti. At this stage there are no feelings of affection toward Krsna.
(Commentary on Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 8.68)
25. Why is ecstatic love of Krsna the crest jewel of all happiness?
In pursuit of happiness, living entities in the material world follow various processes such as logic and mystic yoga Some kings, seeking happiness, wage war with one another; other people
in search of happiness renounce the material world and go to the forest. Others run after women and wealth, while others study arts and sciences. In pursuit of happiness, some people reject happiness and learn to tolerate life's miseries, while others simply drown themselves in the ocean.
Raising His lotus hands in the air, Lord Nityananda exclaims, "Come, living entities! Give up the troubles of karma and jhdna. Since you are endeavoring for happiness, I will give you happiness without asking anything in exchange. In this happiness I will give you, there will be no trouble, loss, or pain. Just chant the name of Gaurahga and dance without anxiety. There's nothing equal to the happiness I am offering. That happiness is pure, eternal ecstasy, beyond all illusion!" (Navadvipa-mdhdtmya, Chapter 1)
26. Are a pure soul's ecstatic transformations (such as pranaya or mahabhdva) transformations of material nescience?
jivasya nitya-siddhasya sarvam etad anamayam
vikaras cid-gata sasvat kadapi no jadanvitam
Some people say that unless there is oneness between the dtmd and the Paramatma, there will be no pranaya in spiritual affairs. They add that mahabhdva is a false acceptance of material feelings as spiritual. Regarding these impure opinions, we say that the living entity's different emotions arising from pranaya are not transformations of material nescience. Rather, they are spiritual emotions.
vaikunthe suddha-cid-dhdmni vildsd nirvikdrakd, dnanddbdhi-tarahgds te sadd dosa-vivarjita
"The pastimes in the pure spiritual abode of Vaikuntha are faultless and are like waves in the ocean of bliss. The word vikdra, transformation, cannot be applied to these pastimes."
(Sri Krsna-samhitd, Chapter 1/11-12)
27. Where is the temple of love situated?
The temple of Krsna-prema is situated on the highest peak of Goloka Vrndavana. To reach that peak, we must first cross the fourteen planetary systems of karma-kdnda, the Viraja River, and the Brahmaloka of jhdna-kdnda. Then we must rise above Vaikuntha. By gradually giving up attachment to karma and jndna, we become eligible for bhakti. After crossing the various stages of bhakti, we reach the temple door of prema. (Sajjana Tosani 10/10)
28. How did Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura instruct those who have attained love of God about progress on the devotional path?
O devotees of Krsna! You have surpassed the fourteen gross planetary systems in the material world and attained bhdva by following regulative devotional service. Now try to cross the four subtle layers of Hari-dhama, which are situated above the fourteen planetary systems. Then penetrate the two pure layers of the Viraja, Brahma-dhama and Vaikuntha. Thus you will reach the border of Goloka Vrndavana. There are five brightly shining layers in Goloka: sdnta, ddsya, sakhya, vdtsalya, and mddhurya. After reaching madhurya, take the eternally perfect spiritual body of a gopi and enter among the associates of Srimati Lalita in SrimatI Radhika's group. By Sri Rupa-manjarl's mercy, enhance the sthdyi-bhdva in your own heart with the help of pure, transcendental vibhdva and the sdttvika- and vyabhicdri-bhdvas. If you are attracted both to chanting the holy names and to someone who understands transcendental mellows, you can easily obtain the treasury of love to the point of mahabhdva. In this way, you should make your life successful. After considering your present qualification and becoming detached from your material body, you should earn the highest qualification of constantly drinking the nectar of the holy names.
29. What is the difference between those who have attained love of God and those who are fully enriched with love of God?
Love of God is the living entity's ultimate goal. When bhdva is fully mature, it is called prema. When a living entity makes further advancement and becomes inclined toward Krsna, he gradually attains the temple of love of God. There are thus two stages to love of God; the stage where the devotees have attained love of God and the stage where the devotees are fully absorbed in ecstatic love. Those who have reached the latter stage have nothing more to achieve, because their love for Krsna is uninterrupted. In the former stage, we are simply unalloyed devotees of Krsna; full surrender is our general symptom. (Caitanya-siksamnta 6/3)
30. Who are prema-rudha-bhaktas—devotees fully absorbed in love of God?
While aiming for love of God, swanlike personalities quickly achieve their desired result. They are on the platform of love of God. Very soon, such devotees become devotees fully absorbed in love of God and are called prema-rudha-paramahamsas, sahaja-paramahamsas, or spontaneous paramahamsas. (Caitanya-siksamrrta 6/4)
31. Can the symptoms of love be found anywhere other than irf a pure soul? Is there any pure love in this material world? Where did the attraction and movement for matter come from?
Both the supreme consciousness and the minute consciousness possess the symptoms of love. Pure love cannot exist anywhere except in a soul. The perverted reflection of pure love is found in the material world, a shadow of the spiritual world. Pure love cannot therefore be found in any material object in this visible world. Attraction and movement, which are perverted forms of pure love, are found here. Because of that perverted nature, all atoms are attracted to one another and are transformed into gross objects. Moveover, being attracted to one another, gross objects come closer to one another. (Sajjana Tosani 8/9)
32. What is prema-vilasa-vivarta, inebriety or confusion in the enjoyment of love?
There are two moods in the enjoyment of love. They are the mood of direct enjoyment and the mood of separation. Without the mood of separation, the mood of direct enjoyment does not become inspired. Disconnection is called separation, and it causes inebriety and confusion in love of God. During separation, the devotee still enjoys, but direct enjoyment is absent because of intense love. When Ramananda Raya sang a song he had composed, Mahaprabhu became overwhelmed by ecstasy and immediately covered Ramananda's mouth with His own hands. The song contained the words Radharani spoke while She was separated from Krsna. This proves that even while experiencing separation, the devotee can still enjoy.
(Commentary on Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 8.193)
33. What is enjoyment like during separation?
Just as there is enjoyment during loving pastimes, there is enjoyment during separation. In the mood of separation, one becomes particularly confused. The devotee might mistake a tamdla tree for Krsna just as we might mistake a rope for a snake. This confusion comes because of mahabhava, and it brings pleasure.
(Commentary on Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 8.194)