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C H A P T E R 3 1
Madhurya-Rasa: Krishna's Svarupa,
the Nayaka, & Svakiya-Nayikas
It was a very pleasant time in the autumn season. One night, at
about ten o'clock, the earth had put on a sari of cool and gentle
moonlight, and her beauty had become intensely attractive. Vijaya
Kumara was reading Ujjvala-nilamani and pondering deeply on the
subject matter when his gaze suddenly fell upon the auspicious
radiance of the moonlight. His heart became filled with an indescribable
rapture, and he thought, "This is a very beautiful time.
Why not go immediately and have darsana of Sundaracala? I have
heard that whenever Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had darsana of
Sundaracala, He saw a sphurti of vraja-dhama." Thinking like this,
he set off alone in the direction of Sundaracala. By this time, Vijaya
Kumara was taking instructions in the practice of bhajana in pure
madhura-rasa. His thoughts only flowed towards hearing about
Krishna's vraja-lila and specifically, Shri Krishna's pastimes with the
gopis; any other topics had become tasteless to him.
He passed Balagandi and made his way towards Sraddhabali. As
he saw the small forests on either side, a sphurti of Vrndavana
manifested before his eyes. He became overwhelmed with prema,
and said, "Aho! I am so very fortunate! I am having darsana of that
vraja-bhumi, which is extremely difficult to attain, even for the
devatas such as Brahma. How beautiful these forest bowers are!
Look at this kunja-vana! Oh! What am I seeing? Within this
mandapa of madhavi-malati creepers, the master of my life, Shri Krishna,
is sitting with the gopis and laughing and joking with them!" Vijaya
Kumara became very restless. Abandoning fear and consideration
of formalities, he ran at full speed in that direction, not even aware
of his body and mind. However, after going just a short distance,
he fainted and fell to the ground unconscious. A gentle breeze
began to serve him, and after a short time he regained his external
senses. He looked in all directions, but the vision was nowhere to
be seen. After some time, he returned to his dwelling, grief-stricken,
and lay down on his bed without saying anything to anyone.
Vijaya was exceedingly delighted by the sphurti of vraja-lila. In
his heart, he thought, "Tomorrow, at the lotus feet of Shri Gurudeva,
I will submit a description of the confidential mystery that I have
seen tonight." However, the next moment he recalled that one
should not tell others, if by great fortune one happens to see the
confidential aprakrta-lila. Reflecting like this, he gradually fell
The next day, after honoring prasada, he went to the house of
Kasi Misra, offered his sastanga pranama to his Gurudeva, and sat
before him. Shri Gurudeva embraced him affectionately and inquired
about his well-being.
Vijaya Kumara was very happy to see his Gurudeva. Composing
himself, he said, "Prabhu, by your unlimited grace my human life
has become successful. Now, I long to know some confidential
tattvas in regard to shri-ujjvala-rasa. I have been reading Ujjvalanilamani,
and there are certain parts whose purport I cannot comprehend.
May I ask you some questions about it?
Gosvami: Vijaya, you are my beloved disciple. You are quite welcome
to ask whatever questions you wish to, and I will try to answer
them as far as I can.
Vijaya: Prabhu, of the mukhya rasas, madhura-rasa has been called
the rasa that gives rise to an abundance of mysteries. And why not?
Since the qualities of the other four rasas - santa, dasya, sakhya,
and vatsalya - are eternally present in madhura-rasa, whatever
astonishing and wonderful qualities they lack are perfectly and
beautifully established in madhura-rasa. Consequently, madhurarasa
is without any doubt superior to all others. Madhura-rasa is
quite inappropriate for those who take shelter of the path of impersonal
renunciation, because their hearts are dry. At the same
time, those who are attracted to mundane sense gratification also
find madhura-rasa difficult to understand, because it is exactly the
opposite of mundane nature. The madhura-rasa of Vraja is not easy
to attain because it is completely different from srngara-rasa within
the material world. So why does the aprakrta-madhura-rasa appear
just like the despicable mundane rasa between men and women in
Gosvami: Vijaya, you know well that all the varieties in the mundane
sphere are a reflection of the varieties in the transcendental
sphere, and the material world itself is also the reflection of the
spiritual world. There is a profound secret in this, namely, that
the nature of the reflected experience is naturally reversed. Whatever
is most exalted in the original existence or form becomes most
abominable in the reflection, and whatever is lowest in the original
form is seen as highest in its reflected existence. Every part
and limb of a body appears in a reversed form in its reflection in a
mirror; similarly, the parama-vastu (supreme transcendental Reality)
is reflected by the influence of His own inconceivable sakti. The
shadow of that sakti has expanded itself in full detail in the form of
mundane existence. Consequently, all the characteristics of the
parama-vastu appear in their reversed form in material existence.
Transcendental rasa, which is the very nature of parama-vastu,
is reflected in this insentient material world as the abominable,
mundane rasa. The astonishing, matchless, variegated happiness
in the parama-vastu is its own innate rasa, but when it is reflected
in the inert plane, the conditioned jiva imagines that this principle
has material designations and attributes. He then decides
that the spiritual substance is only formless and featureless
(nirvisesa), and imagines that, since variety is absent in the
nirvisesa-tattva, all kinds of variety must be essentially mundane.
Consequently, he cannot comprehend the eternal nature of transcendental
existence, which is free from all material attributes
because it is totally beyond them. This is the inevitable result of
using logic to try to understand the truth.
Actually, the parama-vastu is full of astonishing varieties because
it is the embodiment of all rasa. Since spiritual varieties are
reflected in mundane rasa, one can take help from the varieties of
mundane rasa to infer the existence and qualities of the spiritual
rasa that is beyond one's sense perception. The varieties of rasa in
the parama-vastu are as follows: In the spiritual world, the santadharma
that embodies santa-rasa is in the lowest position; above
this is dasya-rasa, and above that sakhya-rasa; above sakhya-rasa is
vatsalya-rasa; and madhura-rasa reigns splendidly above all. In the
material world, everything is in the reversed order, so madhurarasa
is on the lowest level, vatsalya is above it, sakhya is above
vatsalya, and santa-rasa is the highest of all.
The position and activities of the reflection of madhura-rasa in
the mundane world are extremely petty and shameful. Consequently,
people who deliberate on rasa-tattva from the mundane
perspective conclude that madhura-rasa is wretched and contemptible.
Actually, in the spiritual world, it is completely pure, immaculate
and full of astonishing sweetness. There the meeting of Krishna
with His various types of sakti as purusa-prakrti is completely pure
and the origin of all truth.
In the material world, the mundane behavior between men and
women is indeed shameful. However, there is no transgression of
dharma in the spiritual world because Krishna is the only purusa and
all the cit-tattvas in this rasa are prakrti. In the material world, one
jiva becomes the enjoyer and another jiva becomes the enjoyed,
and they want to relate with each other in that way. This affair
becomes abhorrent and shameful because it is completely opposed
to fundamental tattva. In tattva, one jiva is not the enjoyer of another
jiva. On the contrary, Shri Krishna is the only enjoyer and all
jivas are to be enjoyed by Him. The situation in which the jiva becomes
the enjoyer is against his eternal dharma. Actually, there is
no doubt that this state of affairs is utterly shameful and despicable.
From the perspective of reality and its reflection, it is inevitable
that the behavior of mundane men and women will appear to be
identical to Krishna's immaculate pastimes, even though one is thoroughly
base and the other is supremely valuable and meaningful.
Vijaya: Prabhu, now that I have heard this unprecedented
siddhanta and conception, my purpose has been accomplished. My
self-evident conviction has now become firm and all my doubts
are dispelled. I have now understood the position of madhura-rasa
within the spiritual world. Aho! Just as the very word madhurarasa
means sweet, its transcendental bhava also gives rise to such
supreme bliss (paramananda). Who is so unfortunate as one who
finds satisfaction in santa-rasa when there is a rasa such as madhurarasa?
Prabhu, I wish to hear the elaborate and full explanation of
the philosophy and principles of the confidential madhura-rasa.
Gosvami: Listen, Baba! Krishna is the visaya of madhura-rasa, His
dearly beloved gopis are the asraya, and both together are the
alambana of this rasa.
Vijaya: What is the beautiful form of Krishna as the visaya of this
Gosvami: Aho, what a sweet question! Krishna's complexion is the
hue of a monsoon cloud. He is charming and sweet, and He has all
auspicious bodily characteristics. He is a strong, budding youth,
and an eloquent and endearing speaker. He is intelligent, splendid,
sober, skillful, clever, happy, grateful, sincere, and He is controlled
by love. He is profound, super-excellent, and famous. He
steals the hearts of young damsels, and He is ever-fresh. He enjoys
incomparable pastimes, He is exquisitely beautiful, and He is the
most dearly beloved who plays upon His vamsi. Krishna is the only
person who has these qualities. The beauty of His two lotus feet
has crushed to dust Kandarpa's pride. His sidelong glance enchants
the hearts of all, and He is a treasury of playful pastimes.
Vijaya: I have fully realized that Shri Krishna with His aprakrta form
and qualities is the only nayaka of the supremely wonderful, transcendental
madhura-rasa. Previously, I studied various sastras, and
I used logic and reasoning to meditate on the form of Krishna, but
my faith in His form did not become firmly established. However,
through your mercy, bhakti based on ruci has arisen within my heart.
Since my heart has been purified by devotion, I am continuously
experiencing the sphurti of Krishna there, day and night. Even
though I leave Krishna, Krishna does not leave my heart. Aho! How
merciful He is! Now I really understand:
sarvathaiva duruho 'yam abhaktair bhagavad-rasah
tat-padambuja-sarvasvair bhaktair evanurasyate
vyatitya bhavana-vartma yas camatkara-bhara-bhuh
hrdi sattvojjvale badham svadate sa raso matah
(Southern Division 5.78-79)
Only the suddha-bhaktas who accept Shri Krishna's lotus feet
as their all-in-all can experience this bhagavad-rasa. One
can never experience this rasa or realize it if his heart does
not have the slightest scent of bhakti, if he is full of mundane
sentiments, or if his samskaras have molded his nature
so that he is addicted to logic.
Prabhu, I have realized that rasa is the supremely pure and wondrous
bhava that arises in the heart when it is illuminated by
suddha-sattva, and that it transcends the limit of a human being's
power of contemplation. Rasa is the entity of the spiritual world,
and it is absent in the mundane world. It manifests upon the pure
existence (satta) of the jiva who is by nature an atomic particle of
consciousness (cit-kana). This rasa is experienced in the state of
bhakti-samadhi. One who has Shri Gurudeva's mercy and can discriminate
between suddha-sattva (pure goodness) and misra-sattva
(mixed goodness) will have no doubt about this at all.
Gosvami: What you have said is absolutely true. Now, I will ask
you a question to dispel many of your doubts. Simply by answering
it, you will realize a transcendental tattva. Tell me, what is the difference
between suddha-sattva and misra-sattva?
Vijaya Kumara offered sastanga-dandavat-pranama at Shri
Gurudeva's feet, and said humbly, "Prabhu, by your mercy, I will
explain it to the best of my ability. Please correct me if I make any
mistake. That which has existence is called satta, and a substance
that has an actual position, form, quality and activity can be
called sattva. Suddha-sattva is sattva that has no beginning or end,
and whose form is eternally new. It is not contaminated by the
divisions of past and future time, and it always remains thoroughly
astonishing. Suddha-sattva includes all aspects of existence
that are the products of the pure spiritual energy (suddhacit-
"In maya, which is the shadow of the cit-sakti, there is transformation
of time as past and future. All aspects of existence in this
maya contain the rajo-dharma (function of the mode of passion)
of maya, for they have a beginning. They also contain the tamodharma
(function of the mode of ignorance) for they have an end.
Misra-sattva refers to aspects of mayika-sattva that have a beginning
and an end.
"Now, the pure jiva is suddha-sattva, and his form, qualities, and
activities are also composed of suddha-sattva. However, since the
suddha-jiva was conditioned, the two qualities of maya - rajo-guna
and tamo-guna - have become mixed with his pure sattva. Therefore
the conditioned jiva is called misra-sattva (mixed existence or
Gosvami: Baba, you have presented an extremely subtle siddhanta.
Now tell me, how is the heart of the jiva illuminated by suddha-sattva?
Vijaya: The suddha-sattva (pure existence) of the jiva does not
manifest clearly as long as he remains conditioned in the material
world. He realizes his svarupa to the extent that this suddha-sattva
arises, but he cannot attain this result by any sadhana of karma or
jnana. The reason is as follows. No bodily impurity can be eradicated
by another substance that is itself impure. Mundane karma
is impure by nature, so how can it remove the contamination of
mayika impurity on the jiva? As for jnana, it is like fire, for it burns
the impurity and at the same time it obliterates the fundamental
sattva (existence) along with it. How can this give rise to the happiness
that comes from having cleansed the impurity? Thus,
suddha-sattva can only appear through bhakti, which arises by the
mercy of Krishna and the Vaishnavas. When bhakti appears, suddhasattva
illuminates the heart.
Gosvami: It is a pleasure to give instructions to a person as qualified
as you. Now, what else do you wish to inquire about?
Vijaya: You have already explained that there are four types of
nayaka: dhirodatta, dhira-lalita, dhira-santa, and dhiroddhata. Which
one of these is Krishna?
Gosvami: All of these four types of heroic characteristics are present
in Krishna. The mutually contradictory bhavas that are seen in these
four types of nayaka are all present in nayaka Krishna, through His
acintya-sakti, and He has the sakti to maintain all the rasas at once.
These bhavas act according to Krishna's desire. Krishna, who is endowed
with the characteristics of all four types of nayaka, also has another
fascinating and secret peculiarity, which only extraordinarily
qualified persons are eligible to know.
Vijaya: Since you have already bestowed your great mercy upon
me, kindly tell me this tattva also.
Vijaya Kumara's eyes filled with tears as he said this, and he fell
at Gosvamiji's feet. Gosvamiji lifted him up and embraced him.
His own eyes also filled with tears, as he said in a voice choked
with emotion, "Baba, the confidential mystery is that in madhuraMADHURA-
rasa Krishna is two distinct types of nayaka: He is husband (pati) and
paramour (upapati) as well."
Vijaya: Prabhu! Krishna is our eternal pati. He should only be called
pati, so why is there the relationship of upapati?
Gosvami: This is a profound mystery. Spiritual affairs are like mysterious
jewels, but among them parakiya-madhura-rasa is like the
Vijaya: Bhaktas who have taken shelter of madhura-rasa engage in
bhajana with the bhava that Krishna is their pati. What is the deep
import of considering Krishna one's upapati?
Gosvami: No rasa whatsoever appears if one conceives of para-tattva
as impersonal and worships it in an impersonal mood (nirvisesabhava).
This process denies the validity of Vedic statements such
as raso vai sah: "That supreme Absolute Truth is the personification
of all rasa"(Chandogya Upanisad 8.13.1). Nirvisesa-bhava is
useless because of its severe lack of happiness. However, from another
angle of vision the experience of rasa can develop progressively
in accordance with the variety of savisesa-bhava. You should
understand that rasa is the primary tattva of the para-tattva. The
savisesa-bhava called isvara-bhava, in which one relates to the Supreme
as Controller, is somewhat superior to nirvisesa-bhava, and
the prabhu-bhava of dasya-rasa is higher than the isvara-bhava of
santa-rasa. Sakhya-bhava is more elevated than dasya-bhava, vatsalyabhava
is still more superior, and madhura-rasa is the topmost of all.
Just as there is a sequence among these bhavas, each being better
than the previous one, similarly parakiya-madhura-rasa is superior
There are two tattvas: atma (one's own) and para (others as
asraya). The natural tendency to be fixed in the self (atma-nistha
dharma) is called atmaramata (the satisfaction from being situated
in the self), and in this atmaramata, rasa has no assistance from
any separate entity. Krishna has this quality of being eternally selfsatisfied.
However, at the same time, the quality of enjoying with
the assistance of others (pararamata-dharma) also exists in Him
eternally. The aggregate of contradictory characteristics is present
together simultaneously in parama-purusa, Shri Krishna. This is the
intrinsic and constitutional nature of the Supreme Absolute Truth
(para-tattva). In one aspect of krishna-lila there is atmaramata, while
in its counterpart, the quintessence of pararamata reigns splendidly
to its fullest extent. The summit of this pararamata is parakiyabhava.
Parakiya-rasa is the astonishing rasa that appears when the
nayaka and nayika are united by raga (attraction), even though the
relationship between them is para-bhava (bhava of accepting para
- another's consort).
From atmaramata to parakiya-madhura-rasa is the full spectrum
of rasa. As rasa is drawn in the direction of atmaramata, it gradually
becomes dry, whereas to the extent that it is drawn towards
parakiya, it attains its fully blossomed state. When Krishna is the
nayaka, parakiya-rasa can never be disgraceful, whereas if any ordinary
jiva becomes the nayaka, the consideration of dharma and
adharma arises, and parakiya-bhava then becomes extremely base.
Thus, poets have determined that the meeting between a male paramour
and a married woman is utterly contemptible. However, Shri
Rupa Gosvami has said that, although alankara-sastra has described
the upapati as detestable and contemptible, this only applies to a
mundane (prakrta) nayaka. No such conclusion can apply to Shri
Krishna, who is directly the transcendental source of all avataras.
Vijaya: Kindly tell me about the distinct characteristic of pati.
Gosvami: A pati is one who has accepted the hand of a bride in
Vijaya: Please explain the characteristics of upapati and parakiya.
Gosvami: The upapati is a man who is driven by intense attachment
to transgress dharma and accept a parakiya as his most dearly
beloved. A parakiya is a woman who neglects the dharma of this
world and the next, transgresses the regulations of marriage, and
completely offers herself to a man other than her husband. There
are two types of parakiya, namely unmarried (kanya) and married
Vijaya: What are the symptoms of svakiya?
Gosvami: A chaste woman who has been married according to the
regulative principles, and who is always absorbed in following the
orders of her husband, is called svakiya.
Vijaya: Who are svakiya and who are parakiya for Shri Krishna?
Gosvami: The married ladies of Dvaraka Puri are svakiya, and the
young gopis of Vraja are mainly parakiya.
Vijaya: Where are these two types of consort situated in the
Gosvami: This is a very confidential matter. You know that the
domain of the para-tattva comprises four quarters. Three quarters
of His opulences (vibhuti) are manifest in the spiritual realm, and
one quarter is in the mundane realm. Thus, the entire realm of
maya, consisting of fourteen planetary systems, is situated in one
quarter of His vibhuti. The River Viraja lies between the material
and spiritual worlds, the world of maya being situated on this side
of it, and the spiritual world on the other side. Brahma-dhama,
which is composed of effulgence, surrounds the spiritual world (citjagat)
on all sides. Apart from that, when one penetrates beyond
the Viraja, the spiritual sky (paravyoma) is seen as samvyoma-rupa
Vaikuntha. There, aisvarya is prominent and Narayana reigns as
the Lord of lords, attended by unlimited transcendental majestic
saktis. In Vaikuntha, Bhagavan has svakiya-rasa, and the shri, bhu,
and nila-saktis serve Him as svakiya consorts. Above Vaikuntha lies
Goloka. In Vaikuntha, the svakiya consorts of the city (pura) remain
absorbed in their respective appropriate services. In Goloka,
the young ladies of Vraja serve Krishna in their particular rasa.
Vijaya: If Goloka is Krishna's highest dhama, then why have the
wonderful glories of Vraja been extolled?
Gosvami: Places such as Vraja, Gokula and Vrndavana are within
Shri Mathura-mandala. Mathura-mandala and Goloka are non??
different from each other (abheda-tattva). When this one phenomenon
is situated in the highest region of the cit-jagat, it is
known as Goloka, and when it is manifested within this material
universe, it is known as Mathura-mandala. Thus, it is celebrated
simultaneously in these two svarupas.
Vijaya: How is that possible? I don't understand.
Gosvami: Such phenomena are possible only by Krishna's acintyasakti.
All the activities within the jurisdiction of acintya-sakti are
beyond comprehension and argument. That eternal abode of
Goloka is called Mathura-dhama in the prakata-lila within the
world of gross elements (prapanca), and this very same place is
called Goloka in aprakata-lila. Krishna's transcendental pastimes are
eternal, and Goloka is eternally manifest in the nitya-jagat. Those
who have become eligible to have darsana of the pure spiritual substance
see Goloka. Not only that, but they can have darsana of
Goloka in Gokula itself. However, the jiva whose intelligence is
material cannot attain the darsana of Goloka. Even though Gokula
is Goloka, jivas with mundane intelligence see Gokula as an ordinary
place of this material world consisting of five gross elements.
Vijaya: What is the qualification to have the darsana of Goloka?
Gosvami: Shri Sukadeva Gosvami has said:
iti sancintya bhagavan mahakaruniko vibhuh
darsayamasa svam lokam gopanam tamasah param
satyam jnanam anantam yad brahma-jyotih sanatanam
yad dhi pasyanti munayo gunapaye samahitah
Although the gopas are eternally perfect, they nonetheless
descend to this world as assistants in Krishna's pastimes. The
sadhana-siddha-gopas were the followers of those nityasiddha-
gopas. These sadhana-siddha-gopas thought, "Due to
ignorance, the jivas in this world identify themselves with
their material bodies. Thus they are hankering with many
types of desires, and they engage in various types of work
in order to fulfill them. As a result, they wander aimlessly
accepting repeated birth in higher and lower species. We
are also engaged in the same activity".
Considering this, the greatly compassionate Bhagavan Shri
Krishna, who has inconceivable majestic opulence, granted
to those gopas darsana of His parama-dhama, Goloka, which
is beyond the dense darkness of maya. The variety in that
dhama is eternal, absolute reality, full of unlimited spiritual
pastimes. That dhama is eternally self-illuminated with the
effulgence of brahma, and it is perceived by the hosts of sages
and sadhakas through trance in the stage beyond the influence
of the three gunas.
[above verses 10.28.14-15]
Baba, one cannot have darsana of Goloka without Krishna's mercy.
Krishna bestowed mercy on the vraja-vasis and granted them darsana
of Goloka. This Goloka is the excellent transcendental abode
beyond material nature, and its variegatedness is the embodiment
of eternal truth and endless spiritual pastimes. The spiritual
effulgence of the brahmajyoti exists there eternally as the brilliant
radiance (prabha) of His limbs. When the sadhaka is free from all
mundane connections with matter, he can have darsana of that
Vijaya: Can all liberated personalities have darsana of Goloka?
Gosvami: Even among millions of liberated souls, a bhakta of
Bhagavan is very rare. In brahma-dhama the jivas who become liberated
by the practice of astanga-yoga and brahma-jnana, enjoy
forgetfulness of the self. Just as a man in a state of deep sleep
(susupti) remains completely inactive, being bereft of power to
perceive, to understand, to desire and so forth, similarly, the jivas
who attain brahma-dhama are oblivious to their own atma, so they
remain like inanimate lumps. What to speak of them, even bhaktas
absorbed in aisvarya cannot see Goloka. Bhaktas with a mood of
aisvarya render service to an opulent form of the Lord in Vaikuntha
according to their respective bhavas. Even one who engages in
krishna-bhajana in vraja-rasa can only have darsana of Goloka if he is
so fortunate that Krishna bestows mercy upon him and releases him
from the maya's endless bondage.
Vijaya: Well, if only this type of liberated bhakta can see Goloka,
why has Goloka been described in sastras such as Shri Brahmasamhita,
Hari-vamsa and the Padma Purana? If Krishna's mercy is only
available through vraja-bhajana, what was the point of mentioning
Gosvami: Those vraja-rasika-bhaktas whom Krishna elevates to
Goloka from this world of five gross elements (prapanca) can see
Goloka completely. Furthermore, suddha-bhaktas in vraja-bhava can
also see Goloka to a certain extent. There are two types of bhaktas:
sadhaka and siddha. Sadhakas are not qualified to see Goloka. Again,
there are two types of siddha-bhaktas, namely vastu-siddha-bhaktas
and svarupa-siddha-bhaktas. Vastu-siddha-bhaktas are brought directly
to Goloka by Krishna's mercy, whereas svarupa-siddha-bhaktas
see the svarupa of Goloka, but they are still situated in the prapanca
(material existence), and not directly in Goloka. By Krishna's mercy,
their eyes of bhakti are in the process of gradually opening, thus
there are many grades of eligibility in this group. Some see a little,
some see something more, and others see more still. To the extent
that Krishna is merciful to them, they will see Goloka. As long as
they are in the sadhana stage of bhakti, whatever darsana they attain
of Gokula is tinged with some mayika-bhava. After crossing
the stage of sadhana and reaching the level of bhava, their darsana
is somewhat pure, and when they arrive at the stage of prema, they
begin to have darsana to the full extent.
Vijaya: Prabhu, in what respects are Goloka and Vraja different
from each other?
Gosvami: Everything that one sees in Vraja is present in Goloka,
but the various aspects appear somewhat different because of
differences in the nistha of the observer. In fact, there is no difference
between Goloka and Vrndavana; they appear differently to
different observers, depending on their different vision. Extremely
ignorant people see everything in Vraja as material. The vision of
a person in rajo-guna is somewhat more auspicious compared to
this, and those who are situated in sattva-guna have darsana of
suddha-sattva according to their ability to see. Everyone's vision
is different according to their adhikara.
Vijaya: Prabhu, I have some realization, but will you kindly give
an example to clarify the subject further? A material object cannot
serve as a complete example to illustrate spiritual subjects, but
still, even a partial indication can give rise to a full realization.
Gosvami: This is a very difficult problem. We are forbidden to reveal
our own confidential realization to others. When you also
have some confidential realization by Krishna's mercy, you should
always keep it hidden. I will explain this subject to you only as far
as our previous acaryas have revealed it, and by Krishna's mercy, you
will be able to see the rest yourself. Perception in Goloka is purely
spiritual, and there is not the slightest tinge of material perception.
To nourish rasa there, the cit-sakti has manifested varieties
of bhava in many places, and amongst them there is one spiritual
conception known as abhimana. For instance, Krishna has no beginning
and no birth in Goloka, but to assist the lila, vatsalya-rasa
is personified there by the conception (abhimana) in the spiritual
existence of fatherhood and motherhood in the forms of Nanda
and Yasoda. Again, wonderful varieties of srngara-rasa, such as
separation (vipralambha) and meeting (sambhoga), exist in this conception
(abhimana) form. Although the actual situation in
parakiya-bhava is suddha-svakiya, the self-conceptions (abhimana)
of paramour beloved (parakiya) and paramour lover (upapati) are
eternally present in it.
Just see! All these abhimana are completely convincing in Vraja,
for they are exhibited in a gross outward form by the potency of
yogamaya. For example, in Vraja, Yasoda labors to give birth to
Krishna in her maternity room, and the nitya-siddha-gopis have a
parakiya-abhimana that arises from their marriages to husbands
such as Abhimanyu and Govardhana-gopa. In other words, the
abhimana of Goloka are all visible in Vraja in very tangible forms,
which are managed by yogamaya from the exceedingly subtle, original
reality. There is not even the slightest trace of falsity in Vraja,
and it resembles Goloka in all respects. Differences in vision arise
only according to the degree of material obstruction of the observer.
Vijaya: Then should one meditate on the appropriate aspects of
asta-kaliya-lila by proper deliberation?
Gosvami: No, it is not like that. One who has darsana of vraja-lila
should remember asta-kaliya-lila according to his realization. By
Krishna's mercy, the lila manifests itself in the sadhaka's heart through
the power of his bhajana. It is not necessary to try and improve the
bhavas of the lila by one's own endeavors.
Vijaya: Yadrsi bhavana yasya siddhir bhavati tadrsi. According to this
logic, the perfection that one attains corresponds exactly to the
type of meditation performed at the time of sadhana, so it seems
that one must perform purified, immaculate meditation on Goloka.
Gosvami: What you are saying is correct. All the perceptions in
Vraja are pure reality, and not even a single one is contrary to this;
otherwise, there would be a fault. Perfection occurs when sadhana
becomes pure, and the purer one's meditation is at the time of
sadhana, the faster one attains siddhi. You should endeavor in such
a way that your sadhana may be accomplished beautifully, but still,
it is beyond your power to purify your sadhana. Only Krishna,
through His acintya-sakti, can do this. If you try to do it yourself,
you will become entangled in the thorny thickets of jnana, but if
Krishna bestows His mercy, there will be no such injurious result.
Vijaya: Today I have become fortunate. I want to ask one further
question. Is the abode of the Dvaraka consorts only in Vaikuntha,
or in Goloka as well?
Gosvami: The endless ananda of the cit-jagat is attained in
Vaikuntha; there is no attainment higher than Vaikuntha. Cities
such as Dvaraka are there and the young ladies of those cities
reside in their own palaces', rendering service to Krishna. The
only ones who are situated in the madhura-rasa of Goloka are
the vraja-ramanis. All the pastimes that are in Vraja are in
Goloka. However, it is mentioned in Gopala-tapani Upanisad
that Rukminiji is situated in svakiya-rasa in Mathura Puri, which
is in Goloka.
Vijaya: Prabhu, do all the activities in Goloka occur in the same
sequence as I see them in Vraja?
Gosvami: Yes, they all exist there in the same order, but without
the divisions based on mayika conceptions. However, all such
mayika conceptions have their own supremely pure spiritual origins,
which I cannot explain. This you can understand only by
the power of your bhajana.
Vijaya: The whole of mundane existence (prapanca) becomes
completely dissolved at the time of the universal dissolution
(maha-pralaya), so in what sense is vraja-lila eternally present?
Gosvami: Vraja-lila is eternal from both the prakata and aprakata
perspective. The present perception (samprata-pratiti) of vrajalila
is eternally existing in one of the unlimited universes, which
revolve in cyclic order like a wheel. A particular lila now present
in one brahmanda appears the next moment in another brahmanda.
Thus, that particular lila is aprakata-lila in the first brahmanda,
but it is present in the next brahmanda as prakata-lila. In this way,
all types of prakata-lila are eternal. Even in the aprakata state, all
the lilas are eternally present.
Vijaya: If prakata-lila occurs in all the brahmandas, does vrajadhama
exist in each brahmanda?
Gosvami: Yes, it does. Goloka is a self-manifesting phenomenon
which is present in every universe as the abode of krishna- lila.
Goloka also manifests itself in the heart of all suddha-bhaktas.
Vijaya: Why does Mathura-mandala remain manifest in a universe
where the lila is non-manifest (aprakata)?
Gosvami: The aprakata-lila is eternally present in the dhama, which
remains to bestow mercy upon the bhaktas who reside there.
That day's discussion drew to a close. While returning to his
residence, Vijaya Kumara repeatedly meditated upon his seva in
THUS ENDS THE THIRTY-FIRST CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,
"MADHURA-RASA: KRSNA'S SVARUPA, THE NAYAKA, & SVAKIYA-NAYIKAS"