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2. The Proper Attitude: Meeting in Separation
Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of love of God, taught us how to meet krishna through strong feelings of separation (vipra-lambha). This attitude is a prerequisite for coming into contact with krishna. If we can chant the holy name with such understanding, we will meet krishna in the maha-mantra. Therefore, as Srlla Prabhupada explains, it is the task of the spiritual master to instruct his disciples how to obtain a platform on which they can feel deep longing for krishna while performing devotional service.
This is possible if the devotee, by regularly hearing about krishna, develops the strong desire to surrender to krishna's lotus feet. Such a mood is expressed in the prayer of Princess Rukmini: My dear krishna, O infallible and most beautiful one, any human being who happens to hear about Your transcendental form and pas¬times immediately absorbs through his ears Your name, fame and qualities; thus all his material pangs subside, and he fixes Your form in his heart. Through such transcendental love for You, he always sees You within himself; and by this process all his desires are ful filled.1
If in this world two persons are living in separation, it becomes a sad affair and tears of despair are shed. However, since krishna is not a living being of this world, He is not limited by space and time and therefore appears in the heart of a devotee who feels separation from Him. If a devotee just thinks intensely about krishna, He will manifest. The Six Gosvamis give a good example of these advanced feelings in separation. Although most of them came from aristocratic families, they accepted the dress of simple mendicants and led the renounced life of ascetics in Vrndavana. There, in the holy land of krishna's appearance, they were writing books about devotional service.1 Since they were spiritually very advanced, they were constantly diving in the waves of the nectarean ocean of the holy name. Srlla Prabhupada used their example to explain that this sincere longing for krishna, causing the devotee even to cry for Him, is the price for entering the kingdom of God.
In other words: Spiritual life is not an automatic process. It is not like in a big factory, where at the end of the assembly line a fully fabricated car comes out. But if someone seriously tries to serve krishna, then this longing for krishna manifests quite naturally— which means, almost automatically. The holy name appears out of its own desire on the tongue of a devotee who enthusiastically performs devotional service and whose senses are purified by devotion to krishna. In one lecture, Srlla Prabhupada explains how to cry for krishna:
So we are addressing, Hare krishna, Hare krishna: "O the energy of the Lord, O the Lord, please accept me." That's all. "Please accept me.'" We have no other prayer. "Please accept me." Lord Caitanya taught that we should simply cry, and we shall simply pray for accepting us. That's all. So this vibration is simply a cry for addressing the Su¬preme Lord, requesting Him, "Please accept me. Please accept me."2
By commenting on Caitanya Mahaprabhu's own feelings of separation, Srlla Prabhupada writes: Those under the shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu can understand that His mode of worship of the Supreme Lord krishna in separation is the real worship of the Lord. When the feelings of separation become very intense, one attains the stage of meeting Sri krishna. So-called devotees like the sahajiyas cheaply imagine they are meeting krishna in Vrndavana. Such thinking may be useful, but actually meeting krishna is possible through the attitude of separation taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.3
Although it may seem paradoxical, but if the feelings of separation become very intense, krishna reveals Himself while chanting the holy name. This stage should not be imitatedit develops naturally when a devotee feels that the whole world has become meaningless without krishna. To express it in Srila Prabhupada's words:
Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He's sannyasT, He has no necessity. Why He's crying for Govinda? He has given up the whole world, became sannyasT. And why He's crying for Govinda? That is real necessity. Govinda-virahena me? Govinda necessity. The necessity is Govinda, and He is not alone. There's again life, again Vrndavana, again gopTs, again dancing, again eating, again everything. That is real necessity.2