Found in Sanga, Sanga 2000.

Stop the Mind

April 7th, 2000 | No Comments

Q. I have heard that Prabhupada is in sakhya rasa like Subala sakha. Did he say this, or is this just an opinion? And if this is true, does this create difficulty for his disciples who are in madhurya rasa?

A. This is an opinion, not an unreasonable one. Sridhara Maharaja felt that Prabhupada had affinity for sakhya rasa, either owing to this being his actual sentiment, or out of deference to Nityananda prabhu who had empowered him. In consideration of the latter, he may have veiled his madhurya sentiment.

Some of his disciples may have the vision that his is a follower of Subala. If the guru is in manjari bhava, he can also give sakhya bhava, and thus could be perceived by different disciples as representing different potencies of Krishna.

If your guru is in sakhya rasa, this is not a problem. It is difficult to find a guru with affinity for any rasa these days. Sakhya rasa is very compatible with madhurya, especially Subala’s love.

Subala is a priya narma sakha. It is a mixture of friendship and conjugal love. With emphasis on the conjugal side of it. Rupa Goswami calls Subala’s love “sakhi bhava.” While the manjaris are tendering to Radha in her plight of separation, Subala and others are consoling Krishna in his separation from Radha. We find in Caitanya Caritamrita that Mahaprabhu was sometimes consoled by Ramamanda Ray, just as Subala consoled Krishna in the Vraja lila.

A siddha guru situated in the sakhi bhava of Subala, that by its nature is not competitive with Radha, is a very capable guide for one who will find his eternal service in manjari bhava for Radha, although he may turn this disciple to siksa guru of manjari bhava in the long run.

Q. Could you please explain the importance of attending mangala arati?

A. For the sadhaka mangala arati represents awakening to the auspicious ending of the darkness of ignorance acquired over many births. It corresponds with the nisanta lila of Radha Govinda, the end (anta) of sleep (nisa). We have been sleeping for many births, and we are called by our Guru to awaken from this slumber and serve Radha Govinda as they themselves awaken from sleep in their eternal lila. Visvantha Cakravarti Thakura says that singing in praise of Sri Guru during the brahma muhurta, which occurs at this time, assures that one will attain Vrindavana.

While this mangala arati is auspicious for the sadhaka, it is in some ways inauspicious for the siddha, who knows that the end of the night brings with it the separation of Radha Govinda. As news of the night’s end and the rise of the light of the sun awaken Radha Govinda, the divine couple must return to their respective homes. Just see how the gopis of Vraja have turned the Veda upside down!

Q. Is Chandravali one of the eight gopis? What is her position?

A. Yes. She is Radharani’s chief competitor, and an expansion of Radha herself. She and other gopis represent aspects of the completeness of Radha’s love for Krishna. They are required in order to bring out the fullness of Radha’s love in varied expressions. Without a competitor gopi, Krishna would not be able to relish Radharani’s transcendental jealousy.

Q. Why did Krishna not marry Radha?

A. Jiva Goswami says that they do in the aprakata (unmanifest) lila for the sake of stressing the siddhanta that all souls belong (svakiya) to Krishna alone. Otherwise, unmarried love is considered sweeter. In order that Krishna might taste this in the prakata (manifest) lila, Paurnamasi (Yogamaya), on the pretext of astrological considerations, arranged that Radha and Krishna would not be married, even while secretly assuring those concerned that Radha would not really marry another. Gaudiya Vaisnavas have discussed this at length for centuries and determined that parakiya bhava (unmarried love) gives the greatest pleasure to Krishna, and thus it is the supreme form of dharma.

It exists both in the prakata and aprakata lilas. However it has nothing to do with paramour love of humans, other that the fact that this illicit love contains elements of excitement and risk that add something to the conjugal relationship, heightening the experience. Transcendental paramour love is the highest expression of dharma because it is centered on Krishna and enacted with the same kind of intensity as mundane paramour love, to which nothing can compare. Within the drama of Krishna lila it only appears to be illicit, thus creating a mystical spiritual illusion that Radha does not belong to Krishna for the pleasure of both Radha and Krishna.

Q. If Lord Chaitanya is Radha and Krishna combined, where is the necessity for the appearance of Gadadhara Pandit?

A. It has been explained that Mahaprabhu is Krishna in search of the bhava of Radha. Gadadhara Pandita represents that bhava, and thus he is at the side of Mahaprabhu to assist him in his search. In this explanation Gadadhara gives his bhava to Gauranga willingly.

It has also been explained that Krishna has stolen the bhava of Radha and appears as Mahaprabhu, Radha Krishna combined. Gadadhara represents that which is left of Radha after Krishna steals her bhava. Neither Radha nor Krishna appear on the purnima (full moon), but when they combine as Mahaprabhu, this appearance in the world occurs on the Purima in Navadwipa. Gadadhara appears on the new moon and leaves the world on the same day. New moon means no moon. He also appeared in a land that is desert-like, dry and vacant in contrast to the lush Ganga basin of Navadwipa.

All of this indicates the condition of Gadadhara. He is empty. What remains in him is the bhava of Rukmini, who is Radha’s expansion in Dvaraka. Thus his surface mood in Gaura lila is like that of a dakshine (right wing) gopi rather than a vama (left wing) gopi. He is submissive to the extreme. However, no one loves Gauranga more than Gadadhara. He takes much abuse from Gauranga but cannot leave him. His necessity is very great. He/she wants to get his/her bhava back from Krishna. To unite Gaura with Gadadhara is the highest ideal of Gaudiya Vaisnavism.

Q. I came across a statement, Krishna-nitya-brahmacari, durvasa nirahari. I don’t understand the meaning. Could you kindly explain it?

A. This is from Gopala tapani upanisad. It means “Krishna is always a brahmacari, Durvasa never eats.” The first half is spoken by Krishna, the second by Durvasa. Sri Radha (Gandharvi) asks Durvasa how she and the other gopis are to understand these statements after having danced in rasa lila with Krishna, and having witnessed Durvasa satisfy his large appetite.

Durvasa answers by explaining that neither the indwelling guide (antaryami Krishna) present within the material elements, nor the jivatma are the enjoyers of the interaction of the material elements. They are witnesses to the movements of material nature. Krishna is always aware of his position in this regard being self satisfied (atamrama), and the jiva soul can realize this truth about itself. The sense of enjoying an object in material life that bears the fruit of karmic reaction is mediated by the mind, connecting the atma to the senses and the experience of a material object.

It’s all in the mind. Stop the mind by fixing it on Krishna, and you will not be involved in material life even while appearing so to others.

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