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on Krishna's Pastimes
esha lila vibhor nitya goloke shuddha-dhamani
svarupa-bhava-sampanna cid-rupa-vartini kila
It was previously described how Vaikuntha was created by the sandhini aspect of the spiritual potency of the superior energy. Vaikuntha is divided into three divisions—the sweet division, the opulent division, and the impersonal division. The impersonal division is the covering of Vaikuntha, the outer apartment is called the abode of Narayana, and the inner apartment is called Goloka. The impersonalists attain Brahma-dhama, the impersonal division, and become free from lamentations caused by maya. The devotees who worship the opulent aspect of the Lord attain Narayana-dhama and become fearless. The devotees who worship the sweet aspect of the Lord attain the inner apartment and relish the nectar of Krishna. Freedom from lamentation, fearlessness, and nectar are the three-quarter opulences of the Lord known as Vaikuntha. When the Supreme Lord is endowed with opulence, He is known as Vibhu. This material world is the one-quarter opulence of Krishna. Various pastimes beginning with the Lord's appearance and continuing to His disappearance are eternally manifested in Goloka. The mood of Goloka is reflected in the conditioned living entities' hearts, wherein the pastimes of Krishna are also eternally manifest. Therefore according to the devotees' qualification, at a particular time Krishna is taking birth in some devotee's heart, He is stealing the gopis' clothes in another devotee's heart, He is performing the rasa dance in someone's heart, He is killing Putana in another's heart, He is killing Kamsa in someone else's heart, He is having an affair with Kubja in yet another's heart, and He enacts His disappearance in the heart of some devotee who is leaving his body. As the living entities are innumerable, the planets are also. As one pastime takes place on one planet, another pastime takes place on another planet. In this way each pastime continually takes place. Therefore all of the Lord's pastimes are eternal; there is no break, because the Lord's energies are always active. All these pastimes are purely spiritual, without a trace of material contamination. Although for the conditioned living entities in illusion these pastimes appear perverted, in reality they are most confidential and spiritual.
jive sambandhiki seyam desha-kala-vicaratah
pravarteta dvidha sapi patra-bheda-kramad iha
These pastimes are constitutionally manifest in Goloka, but the conditioned living entities perceive them in a relative way. A pastime appears different because the nature of conditioned souls varies according to time, place, and person. The pastimes of the Lord are never contaminated, but they may appear to be due one's contaminated consideration. It was previously described that the activities of the spiritual world are not clearly seen by conditioned souls. Although something may be realized through samadhi, that also is seen through the perverted material medium of the original spiritual nature. Examples65 are seen in the place66, time67, and persons68 that are mentioned in the pastimes of Vraja. All these examples may be understood in two ways. For the kanishtha-adhikaris these examples are only appreciated through complete faith. There is no other possibility for their advancement. But for the uttama-adhikaris these examples are accepted as indications of spiritual variegatedness. When conditioned souls are free from material affinity, then they will perceive the constitutional pastimes of the Lord.
vyakti-nishtha bhaved eka sarva-nishtha 'para mata
bhakti mad dhridaye sa tu vyakti-nishtha prakashate
Conditioned souls naturally perceive the pastimes of the Lord in terms of their affinity for Him. This affinity is of two kinds—that which is found in an individual and that which is found in a general mass of people. The affinity found in the hearts of particular devotees is that which is found in an individual. The hearts of Prahlada and Dhruva were sitting places for the pastimes of the Lord as a result of their individual affinity.
ya lila sarva-nishtha tu samaja-jnana-varddhanat
narada-vyasa-citteshu dvapare sa pravartita
Just as a particular feature of the Lord appears in and purifies the heart of a person according to the awakening of his knowledge, if we similarly envision the whole society as one person and consider its childhood, youth, and old age, then the particular feature of the Lord that manifests becomes a community asset. As the community's knowledge matures, they first take to fruitive activities, then the cultivation of knowledge, and ultimately they take to spiritual activities and become purified. The affinity that is found in a general mass of people first appeared in the hearts of Narada and Vyasa in Dvapara-yuga and has progressively been propagated as pure Vaishnava religion.
dvarakayam harih purno madhye purnatarah smritah
mathurayam vijaniyat vraje purnatamah prabhuh
purnatvam kalpitam krishne madhurya-shuddhatakramat
vraja-lila-vilaso hi jivanam shreshtha-bhavana
This Vaishnava religion in the form of the pastimes of the Lord is divided into three parts according to the development of a society's knowledge. The first part is the pastimes of Dvaraka, where the Lord is opulent, where He is known as Vibhu, and where His is worshiped through regulative principles. The second part is seen around Mathura, where the Lord's opulence is partially manifest with a greater portion of sweetness. But the third part, the pastimes of Vraja, is the best of all. Pastimes that contain more sweetness are superior and more intimate by nature. Therefore Krishna is most complete in the pastimes of Vraja. Although opulences are part of the Lord's splendor, they cannot become prominent before Krishna; because wherever opulences are more prominent, sweetness is diminished. This is also the case in the material world. Therefore objects of sweetness like cows, gopas, gopis, cowherds' dress, butter, forests, fresh leaves, the Yamuna, and the flute are the only wealth of Vraja-Gokula, or Vrindavana. What is the need for opulence there?
gopika-ramanam tasya bhavanam shreshtha uccate
shri-radha-ramanam tatra sarvorddha-bhavana mata
Supreme rasas under the shelter of the four relationships—dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhurya—are eternally existing in the pastimes of Vraja as the ingredients of all spiritual activities. Among all these rasas, the pastimes of the Lord with the gopis are the highest. And among these, the Lord's pastimes with Shrimati Radharani, who is the crest jewel amongst the gopis, are still higher.
etasya rasa-rupasya bhavasya cid-gatasya ca
asvadana-para ye tu te nara nitya-dharminah
Those who relish this topmost spiritual rasa are said to have accepted their eternal constitutional activities.
samanya-vakya-yoge tu rasanam kutra vistritih
ato vai kavibhih krishna- lila-tattvam vitanyate
Fearing to cross the threshold of argument, some madhyama-adhikaris say, “Just try to explain these feelings with simple words. There is no need to use Krishna's pastimes as examples.” But such type of comments are faulty, for the variegatedness of Vaikuntha cannot be explained with simple words. Just by saying, “There is a Lord. Worship Him,” does not properly explain the living entities' supreme constitutional duties. The act of worship is not possible without a relationship. To be situated in Brahman after giving up maya cannot be called worship, because in this process only an indirect mood of negation is accepted; there is nothing positive. But by saying, “See the form of the Lord. Take shelter of the Lord's lotus feet,” the quality of variegatedness is somewhat accepted. At this juncture we must consider that if one is not fully satisfied with spiritual variegatedness, one may still address the Absolute Truth as “Lord” or “Father.” Although these relationships appear mundane, there is nonetheless an indescribable purpose behind them. Since one must accept material ingredients, activities, and all the perverted mundane reflections of the relationships of Vaikuntha as examples, swanlike persons must not fear to extract from these the understanding of spiritual activities and ingredients by the propensity of swans. Out of fear that foreign scholars will not understand this and accuse us as idol worshipers, should we submerge the jewel of spiritualism? Those who will criticize are certainly immature in their conclusions. Being on a higher platform, why should we fear their fallacious conclusions? The science of rasa cannot be fully explained by ordinary words, therefore poets such as Vyasadeva have elaborately described the pastimes of Krishna. Those wonderful pastimes of the Lord are the respected wealth for both kanishtha-adhikaris and uttama-adhikaris.
isho dhyato brihaj jnatam yajnesho yajitas tatha
na rati paramanandam yatha krishnah prasevitah
The happiness that Lord Krishna bestows when He is properly served is not obtained when He is worshiped as Yajneshvara through karma-yoga, as impersonal Brahman through jnana-yoga, or as Paramatma, the companion of the living entity, through dhyana-yoga. Therefore serving Krishna is the supreme occupational duty for all living entities—whether kanishtha-adhikari or fortunate uttama-adhikari.
vadanti tattvatah krishnam pathitvedam suvaishnavah
labhante tat phalam yat tu labhed bhagavate narah
All Vaishnavas should read this Krishna-samhita and understand the science of Krishna. All the results that one achieves by studying Shrimad Bhagavatam will be achieved by studying this book.
Thus ends the Seventh Chapter of Shri Krishna-samhita, entitled “Considerations on Krishna's Pastimes.”
May Lord Krishna be pleased.