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Nectar of Devotion



1: Characteristics of Pure Devotional Service

2: The First Stages of Devotion

3: Eligibility of the Candidate for
Accepting Devotional Service

4: Devotional Service Surpasses All Liberation

5: The Purity of Devotional Service

6: How to Discharge Devotional Service

7: Evidence Regarding Devotional Principles

8: Offenses to Be Avoided

9: Further Considerations of Devotional Principles

10: Techniques of Hearing and Remembering

11: Aspects of Transcendental Service

12: Further Aspects of Transcendental Service

13: Five Potent Forms of Devotional Service

14: Devotional Qualifications

15: Spontaneous Devotional Service

16: Spontaneous Devotion Further Described

17: Ecstatic Love

18: Character of One in Ecstatic Love

19: Devotional Service in Pure Love of God

20: Transcendental Mellow

21: Qualities of r Ka

22: Qualities of Ka Further Explained

23: Ka's Personality

24: Further Traits of r Ka

25: Devotees of Ka

26: Stimulation for Ecstatic Love

27: Symptoms of Ecstatic Love

28: Existential Ecstatic Love

29: Expressions of Love for Ka

30: Further Features of Ecstatic Love for Ka

31: Additional Symptoms

32: Symptoms of Continuous Love

33: Indirect Expressions of Ecstatic Love

34: The Nectar of Devotion

35: Neutral Love of God

36: Transcendental Affection (Servitude)

37: Impetuses for Ka's Service

38: Indifference and Separation

39: Ways of Meeting Ka

40: Reverential Devotion of Sons
And other Subordinates

41: Fraternal Devotion

42: Fraternal Loving Affairs

43: Parenthood

44: Devotional Service in Conjugal Love

45: Laughing Ecstasy

46: Astonishment and Chivalry

47: Compassion and Anger

48: Dread and Ghastliness

49: Mixing of Rasas

50: Further Analysis of Mixed Rasas

51: Perverted Expression of Mellows

NoD Preface


The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by rla Rpa Gosvm Prabhupda. He was the chief of the six Gosvms, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahprabhu. When he first met Lord Caitanya, rla Rpa Gosvm Prabhupda was engaged as a minister in the Muhammadan government of Bengal. He and his brother Santana were then named Dabira Khsa and Skara Mallika respectively, and they held responsible posts as ministers of Nawab Hussain Shah. At that time, five hundred years ago, the Hindu society was very rigid, and if a member of the brhmaa caste accepted the service of a Muhammadan ruler he was at once rejected from brhmaa society. That was the position of the two brothers, Dabira Khsa and Skara Mallika. They belonged to the highly situated srasvata-brhmaa community, but they were ostracized due to their acceptance of ministerial posts in the government of Hussain Shah. It is the grace of Lord Caitanya that He accepted these two exalted personalities as His disciples and raised them to the position of gosvms, the highest position of brahminical culture. Similarly, Lord Caitanya accepted Haridsa hkura as His disciple, although Haridsa happened to be born of a Muhammadan family, and Lord Caitanya later on made him the crya of the chanting of the holy name of the Lord: Hare Ka, Hare Ka, Ka Ka, Hare Hare/ Hare Rma, Hare Rma, Rma Rma, Hare Hare.

Lord Caitanyas principle is universal. Anyone who knows the science of Ka and is engaged in the service of the Lord is accepted as being in a higher position than a person born in the family of a brhmaa. That is the original principle accepted by all Vedic literatures, especially by Bhagavad-gt and rmad-Bhgavatam. The principle of Lord Caitanyas movement in educating and elevating everyone to the exalted post of a gosvm is taught in The Nectar of Devotion.

Lord Caitanya met the two brothers Dabira Khsa and Skara Mallika in a village known as Rmakeli in the district of Maldah, and after that meeting the brothers decided to retire from government service and join Lord Caitanya. Dabira Khsa, who was later to become Rpa Gosvm, retired from his post and collected all the money he had accumulated during his service. It is described in the Caitanya-caritmta that his accumulated savings in gold coins equaled millions of dollars and filled a large boat. He divided the money in a very exemplary manner, which should be followed by devotees in particular and by humanity in general. Fifty percent of his accumulated wealth was distributed to the Ka conscious persons, namely the brhmaas and the Vaiavas; twenty-five percent was distributed to relatives; and twenty-five percent was kept against emergency expenditures and personal difficulties. Later on, when Skara Mallika also proposed to retire, the Nawab was very much agitated and put him into jail. But Skara Mallika, who was later to become rla Santana Gosvm, took advantage of his brothers personal money, which had been deposited with a village banker, and escaped from the prison of Hussain Shah. In this way both brothers joined Lord Caitanya Mahprabhu.

Rpa Gosvm first met Lord Caitanya at Prayga (Allahabad, India), and on the Davamedha bathing gha of that holy city the Lord instructed him continually for ten days. The Lord particularly instructed Rpa Gosvm on the science of Ka consciousness. These teachings of Lord Caitanya to rla Rpa Gosvm Prabhupda are narrated in our book Teachings of Lord Caitanya.

Later, rla Rpa Gosvm Prabhupda elaborated the teachings of the Lord with profound knowledge of revealed scriptures and authoritative references from various Vedic literatures. rla rnivsa crya describes in his prayers to the six Gosvms that they were all highly learned scholars, not only in Sanskrit but also in foreign languages such as Persian and Arabic. They very scrutinizingly studied all the Vedic scriptures in order to establish the cult of Caitanya Mahprabhu on the authorized principles of Vedic knowledge. The present Ka consciousness movement is also based on the authority of rla Rpa Gosvm Prabhupda. We are therefore generally known as rpnugas, or followers in the footsteps of rla Rpa Gosvm Prabhupda. It is only for our guidance that rla Rpa Gosvm prepared his book Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu, which is now presented in the form of The Nectar of Devotion. Persons engaged in the Ka consciousness movement may take advantage of this great literature and be very solidly situated in Ka consciousness.

Bhakti means devotional service. Every service has some attractive feature which drives the servitor progressively on and on. Every one of us within this world is perpetually engaged in some sort of service, and the impetus for such service is the pleasure we derive from it. Driven by affection for his wife and children, a family man works day and night. A philanthropist works in the same way for love of the greater family, and a nationalist for the cause of his country and countrymen. That force which drives the philanthropist, the householder and the nationalist is called rasa, or a kind of mellow (relationship) whose taste is very sweet. Bhakti-rasa is a mellow different from the ordinary rasa enjoyed by mundane workers. Mundane workers labor very hard day and night in order to relish a certain kind of rasa which is understood as sense gratification. The relish or taste of the mundane rasa does not long endure, and therefore mundane workers are always apt to change their position of enjoyment. A businessman is not satisfied by working the whole week; therefore, wanting a change for the weekend, he goes to a place where he tries to forget his business activities. Then, after the weekend is spent in forgetfulness, he again changes his position and resumes his actual business activities. Material engagement means accepting a particular status for some time and then changing it. This position of changing back and forth is technically known as bhoga-tyga, which means a position of alternating sense enjoyment and renunciation. A living entity cannot steadily remain either in sense enjoyment or in renunciation. Change is going on perpetually, and we cannot be happy in either state, because of our eternal constitutional position. Sense gratification does not endure for long, and it is therefore called capala-sukha, or flickering happiness. For example, an ordinary family man who works very hard day and night and is successful in giving comforts to the members of his family thereby relishes a kind of mellow, but his whole advancement of material happiness immediately terminates along with his body as soon as his life is over. Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death. At death everything is finished, and one has to begin a new chapter of life in a new situation, perhaps higher or lower than the last one. In any field of activitypolitical, social, national or internationalthe result of our actions will be finished with the end of life. That is sure.

Bhakti-rasa, however, the mellow relished in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, does not finish with the end of life. It continues perpetually and is therefore called amta, that which does not die but exists eternally. This is confirmed in all Vedic literatures. Bhagavad-gt says that a little advancement in bhakti-rasa can save the devotee from the greatest dangerthat of missing the opportunity for human life. The rasas derived from our feelings in social life, in family life or in the greater family life of altruism, philanthropy, nationalism, socialism, communism, etc., do not guarantee that ones next life will be as a human being. We prepare our next life by our actual activities in the present life. A living entity is offered a particular type of body as a result of his action in the present body. These activities are taken into account by a superior authority known as daiva, or the authority of God. This daiva is explained in Bhagavad-gt as the prime cause of everything, and in rmad-Bhgavatam it is stated that a man takes his next body by daiva-netrea, which means by the supervision of the authority of the Supreme. In an ordinary sense, daiva is explained as forms; the choice does not depend on our selection, but is awarded to us according to our destiny. If our body at present is engaged in the activities of Ka consciousness, then it is guaranteed that we will have at least a human body in our next life. A human being engaged in Ka consciousness, even if unable to complete the course of bhakti-yoga, takes birth in the higher divisions of human society so that he can automatically further his advancement in Ka consciousness. Therefore, all bona fide activities in Ka consciousness are amta, or permanent. This is the subject matter of The Nectar of Devotion.

This eternal engagement in bhakti-rasa can be understood by a serious student upon studying The Nectar of Devotion. Adoption of bhakti-rasa, or Ka consciousness, will immediately bring one to an auspicious life free from anxieties and will bless one with transcendental existence, thus minimizing the value of liberation. Bhakti-rasa itself is sufficient to produce a feeling of liberation, because it attracts the attention of the Supreme Lord, Ka. Generally, neophyte devotees are anxious to see Ka, or God, but God cannot be seen or known by our present materially blunt senses. The process of devotional service as it is recommended in The Nectar of Devotion will gradually elevate one from the material condition of life to the spiritual status, wherein the devotee becomes purified of all designations. The senses can then become uncontaminated, being constantly in touch with bhakti-rasa. When the purified senses are employed in the service of the Lord, one becomes situated in bhakti-rasa life, and any action performed for the satisfaction of Ka in this transcendental bhakti-rasa stage of life can be relished perpetually. When one is thus engaged in devotional service, all varieties of rasas, or mellows, turn into eternity. In the beginning one is trained according to the principles of regulation under the guidance of the crya, or spiritual master, and gradually, when one is elevated, devotional service becomes automatic and spontaneous eagerness to serve Ka. There are twelve kinds of rasas, as will be explained in this book, and by renovating our relationship with Ka in five primary rasas we can live eternally in full knowledge and bliss.

The basic principle of the living condition is that we have a general propensity to love someone. No one can live without loving someone else. This propensity is present in every living being. Even an animal like a tiger has this loving propensity at least in a dormant stage, and it is certainly present in the human beings. The missing point, however, is where to repose our love so that everyone can become happy. At the present moment the human society teaches one to love his country or family or his personal self, but there is no information where to repose the loving propensity so that everyone can become happy. That missing point is Ka, and The Nectar of Devotion teaches us how to stimulate our original love for Ka and how to be situated in that position where we can enjoy our blissful life.

In the primary stage a child loves his parents, then his brothers and sisters, and as he daily grows up he begins to love his family, society, community, country, nation, or even the whole human society. But the loving propensity is not satisfied even by loving all human society; that loving propensity remains imperfectly fulfilled until we know who is the supreme beloved. Our love can be fully satisfied only when it is reposed in Ka. This theme is the sum and substance of The Nectar of Devotion, which teaches us how to love Ka in five different transcendental mellows.

Our loving propensity expands just as a vibration of light or air expands, but we do not know where it ends. The Nectar of Devotion teaches us the science of loving every one of the living entities perfectly by the easy method of loving Ka. We have failed to create peace and harmony in human society, even by such great attempts as the United Nations, because we do not know the right method. The method is very simple, but one has to understand it with a cool head. The Nectar of Devotion teaches all men how to perform the simple and natural method of loving Ka, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If we learn how to love Ka, then it is very easy to immediately and simultaneously love every living being. It is like pouring water on the root of a tree or supplying food to ones stomach. The method of pouring water on the root of a tree or supplying foodstuffs to the stomach is universally scientific and practical, as every one of us has experienced. Everyone knows well that when we eat something, or in other words, when we put foodstuffs in the stomach, the energy created by such action is immediately distributed throughout the whole body. Similarly, when we pour water on the root, the energy thus created is immediately distributed throughout the entirety of even the largest tree. It is not possible to water the tree part by part, nor is it possible to feed the different parts of the body separately. The Nectar of Devotion will teach us how to turn the one switch that will immediately brighten everything, everywhere. One who does not know this method is missing the point of life.

As far as material necessities are concerned, the human civilization at the present moment is very much advanced in living comfortably, but still we are not happy, because we are missing the point. The material comforts of life alone are not sufficient to make us happy. The vivid example is America: the richest nation of the world, having all facilities for material comfort, is producing a class of men completely confused and frustrated in life. I am appealing herewith to such confused men to learn the art of devotional service as directed in The Nectar of Devotion, and I am sure that the fire of material existence burning within their hearts will be immediately extinguished. The root cause of our dissatisfaction is that our dormant loving propensity has not been fulfilled despite our great advancement in the materialistic way of life. The Nectar of Devotion will give us practical hints how we can live in this material world perfectly engaged in devotional service and thus fulfill all our desires in this life and the next. The Nectar of Devotion is not presented to condemn any way of materialistic life, but the attempt is to give information to religionists, philosophers and people in general how to love Ka. One may live without material discomfiture, but at the same time he should learn the art of loving Ka. At the present moment we are inventing so many ways to utilize our propensity to love, but factually we are missing the real point: Ka. We are watering all parts of the tree, but missing the trees root. We are trying to keep our body fit by all means, but we are neglecting to supply foodstuffs to the stomach. Missing Ka means missing ones self also. Real self-realization and realization of Ka go together simultaneously. For example, seeing oneself in the morning means seeing the sunrise also; without seeing the sunshine no one can see himself. Similarly, unless one has realized Ka there is no question of self-realization.

The Nectar of Devotion is specifically presented for persons who are now engaged in the Ka consciousness movement. I beg to offer my sincere thanks to all my friends and disciples who are helping me to push forward the Ka consciousness movement in the Western countries, and I beg to acknowledge, with thanks, the contribution made by my beloved disciple rman Jaynanda brahmacr. My thanks are due as well to the directors of ISKCON Press, who have taken so much care in publishing this great literature. Hare Ka.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

ISKCON Headquarters

Los Angeles, California

NoD Introduction


Invoking auspiciousness: Lord r Ka is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, the reservoir of all rasas, or relationships, which are called neutrality (passive adoration), servitorship, friendship, parenthood, conjugal love, comedy, compassion, fear, chivalry, ghastliness, wonder and devastation. He is the supreme attractive form, and by His universal and transcendental attractive features He has captivated all the gops, headed by Trak, Plik, ym, Lalit, and ultimately rmat Rdhr. Let His Lordships grace be on us so that there may not be any hindrance in the execution of this duty of writing The Nectar of Devotion, impelled by His Divine Grace r rmad Bhaktisiddhnta Sarasvat Gosvm Prabhupda.

Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of rla Rpa Gosvm Prabhupda and of rla Bhaktisiddhnta Sarasvat Gosvm Prabhupda, by whose inspiration I have been engaged in the matter of compiling this summary study of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu. This is the sublime science of devotional service as propounded by r Caitanya Mahprabhu, who appeared five hundred years ago in West Bengal, India, to propagate the movement of Ka consciousness.

rla Rpa Gosvm begins his great book by offering his respectful obeisances unto r Santana Gosvm, who is his elder brother and spiritual master, and he prays that Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu may be very pleasing to him. He further prays that by residing in that ocean of nectar, r Santana Gosvm may always feel transcendental pleasure in the service of Rdh and Ka.

Let us offer our respectful obeisances to all the great devotees and cryas (holy teachers), who are compared to sharks in the great ocean of nectar and who do not care for the various rivers of liberation. Impersonalists are very fond of merging into the Supreme, like rivers that come down and merge into the ocean. The ocean can be compared to liberation, and the rivers to all the different paths of liberation. The impersonalists are dwelling in the river water, which eventually comes to mix with the ocean. They have no information, however, that within the ocean, as within the river, there are innumerable aquatic living entities. The sharks who dwell in the ocean do not care for the rivers which are gliding down into it. The devotees eternally live in the ocean of devotional service, and they do not care for the rivers. In other words, those who are pure devotees always remain in the ocean of transcendental loving service to the Lord and have no business with the other processes, which are compared to the rivers that only gradually come to the ocean.

rla Rpa Gosvm prays to his spiritual master, rla Santana Gosvm, for the protection of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhuThe Ocean of the Pure Nectar of Devotional Servicefrom the argumentative logicians who unnecessarily meddle in the science of service to the Lord. He compares their arguments and logic to volcanic eruptions in the midst of the ocean. In the midst of the ocean, volcanic eruptions can do very little harm, and similarly, those who are against devotional service to the Lord and who put forward many philosophical theses about the ultimate transcendental realization cannot disturb this great ocean of devotional service.

The author of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu, rla Rpa Gosvm, very humbly submits that he is just trying to spread Ka consciousness all over the world, although he humbly thinks himself unfit for this work. That should be the attitude of all preachers of the Ka consciousness movement, following in the footsteps of rla Rpa Gosvm. We should never think of ourselves as great preachers, but should always consider that we are simply instrumental to the previous cryas, and simply by following in their footsteps we may be able to do something for the benefit of suffering humanity.

Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu is divided into four parts, just as the ocean is sometimes divided into four parts, and there are different sections within each of these four divisions. Originally, in Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu, the ocean is divided like the watery ocean into east, south, west and north, while the subsections within these different divisions are called waves. As in the ocean there are always different waves, either on the eastern side, the southern side, the western side or the northern side, Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu similarly has different waves. In the first part there are four waves, the first being a general description of devotional service. The second concerns the regulative principles for executing devotional service, and the third wave, devotional service in ecstasy. In the fourth is the ultimate goal, love of God. These will be explicitly described along with their different symptoms.

The authorized descriptions of bhakti, or devotional service, following in the footsteps of previous cryas, can be summarized in the following statement by rla Rpa Gosvm: First-class devotional service is known by ones tendency to be fully engaged in Ka consciousness, serving the Lord favorably. The purport is that one may also be in Ka consciousness unfavorably, but that cannot be counted as pure devotional service. Pure devotional service should be free from the desire for any material benefit or for sense gratification, as these desires are cultivated through fruitive activities and philosophical speculation. Generally, people are engaged in different activities to get some material profit, while most philosophers are engaged in proposing transcendental realization through volumes of word jugglery and speculation. Pure devotional service must always be free from such fruitive activities and philosophical speculations. One has to learn Ka consciousness, or pure devotional service, from the authorities by spontaneous loving service.

This devotional service is a sort of cultivation. It is not simply inaction for people who like to be inactive or devote their time to silent meditation. There are many different methods for people who want this, but cultivation of Ka consciousness is different. The particular word used by rla Rpa Gosvm in this connection is anulana, or cultivation by following the predecessor teachers (cryas). As soon as we say cultivation, we must refer to activity. Without activity, consciousness alone cannot help us. All activities may be divided into two classes: one class may be for achieving a certain goal, and the other may be for avoiding some unfavorable circumstance. In Sanskrit, these activities are called pravtti and nivttipositive and negative action. There are many examples of negative action. For instance, a diseased person has to be cautious and take medicine in order to avoid some unfavorable illness.

Those who are cultivating spiritual life and executing devotional service are always engaged in activity. Such activity can be performed with the body or with the mind. Thinking, feeling and willing are all activities of the mind, and when we will to do something, the activity comes to be manifest by the gross bodily senses. Thus, in our mental activities we should always try to think of Ka and try to plan how to please Him, following in the footsteps of the great cryas and the personal spiritual master. There are activities of the body, activities of the mind and activities of speech. A Ka conscious person engages his words in preaching the glories of the Lord. This is called krtana. And by his mind a Ka conscious person always thinks of the activities of the Lordas He is speaking on the Battlefield of Kuruketra or engaging in His various pastimes in Vndvana with His devotees. In this way one can always think of the activities and pastimes of the Lord. This is the mental culture of Ka consciousness.

Similarly, we can offer many services with our bodily activities. But all such activities must be in relationship with Ka. This relationship is established by connecting oneself with the bona fide spiritual master, who is the direct representative of Ka in disciplic succession. Therefore, the execution of Ka conscious activities with the body should be directed by the spiritual master and then performed with faith. The connection with the spiritual master is called initiation. From the date of initiation by the spiritual master, the connection between Ka and a person cultivating Ka consciousness is established. Without initiation by a bona fide spiritual master, the actual connection with Ka consciousness is never performed.

This cultivation of Ka consciousness is not material. The Lord has three general energiesnamely the external energy, the internal energy and the marginal energy. The living entities are called marginal energy, and the material cosmic manifestation is the action of the external, or material, energy. Then there is the spiritual world, which is a manifestation of the internal energy. The living entities, who are called marginal energy, perform material activities when acting under the inferior, external energy. And when they engage in activities under the internal, spiritual energy, their activities are called Ka conscious. This means that those who are great souls or great devotees do not act under the spell of material energy, but act instead under the protection of the spiritual energy. Any activities done in devotional service, or in Ka consciousness, are directly under the control of spiritual energy. In other words, energy is a sort of strength, and this strength can be spiritualized by the mercy of both the bona fide spiritual master and Ka.

In the Caitanya-caritmta, by Kadsa Kavirja Gosvm, Lord Caitanya states that it is a fortunate person who comes in contact with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Ka. One who is serious about spiritual life is given by Ka the intelligence to come in contact with a bona fide spiritual master, and then by the grace of the spiritual master one becomes advanced in Ka consciousness. In this way the whole jurisdiction of Ka consciousness is directly under the spiritual energyKa and the spiritual master. This has nothing to do with the material world. When we speak of Ka we refer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, along with His many expansions. He is expanded by His plenary parts and parcels, His differentiated parts and parcels and His different energies. Ka, in other words, means everything and includes everything. Generally, however, we should understand Ka to mean Ka and His personal expansions. Ka expands Himself as Baladeva, Sakaraa, Vsudeva, Aniruddha, Pradyumna, Rma, Nsiha and Varha, as well as many other incarnations and innumerable Viu expansions. These are described in the rmad-Bhgavatam to be as numerous as the uncountable waves. So Ka includes all such expansions, as well as His pure devotees. In the Brahma-sahit it is stated that Kas expansions are all complete in eternity, blissfulness and cognizance.

Devotional service means to prosecute Ka conscious activities which are favorable to the transcendental pleasure of the Supreme Lord, Ka, and any activities which are not favorable to the transcendental favor of the Lord cannot be accepted as devotional service. For example, great demons like Rvaa, Kasa and Hirayakaipu were always thinking of Ka, but they were thinking of Him as their enemy. This sort of thinking cannot be accepted as bhakti, or Ka consciousness.

The impersonalists sometimes misunderstand devotional service in such a way that they divide Ka from His paraphernalia and pastimes. For example, the Bhagavad-gt is spoken on the Battlefield of Kuruketra, and the impersonalists say that although Ka is of interest, the Battlefield of Kuruketra isnt. The devotees, however, also know that the Battlefield of Kuruketra by itself has nothing to do with their business, but in addition they know that Ka does not mean just Ka alone. He is always with His associates and paraphernalia. For instance, if someone says, Give something to eat to the man with the weapons, the eating process is done by the man and not by the weapons. Similarly, in Ka consciousness, a devotee may be interested in the paraphernalia and locationssuch as the Battlefield of Kuruketrawhich are associated with Ka, but he is not concerned with simply any battlefield. He is concerned with KaHis speech, His instructions, etc. It is because Ka is there that the battlefield is so important.

This is the summary understanding of what Ka consciousness is. Without this understanding one is sure to misunderstand why the devotees are interested in the Battlefield of Kuruketra. One who is interested in Ka becomes interested in His different pastimes and activities.

The definition of a pure devotee, as given by Rpa Gosvm in Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu, can be summarized thus: his service is favorable and is always in relation to Ka. In order to keep the purity of such Ka conscious activities, one must be freed from all material desires and philosophical speculation. Any desire except for the service of the Lord is called material desire. And philosophical speculation refers to the sort of speculation which ultimately arrives at a conclusion of voidism or impersonalism. This conclusion is useless for a Ka conscious person. Only rarely by philosophical speculation can one reach the conclusion of worshiping Vsudeva, Ka. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gt itself. The ultimate end of philosophical speculation, then, must be Ka, with the understanding that Ka is everything, the cause of all causes, and that one should therefore surrender unto Him. If this ultimate goal is reached, then philosophical advancement is favorable, but if the conclusion of philosophical speculation is voidism or impersonalism, that is not bhakti.

Karma, or fruitive activities, are sometimes understood to be ritualistic activities. There are many persons who are very much attracted by the ritualistic activities described in the Vedas. But if one becomes attracted simply to ritualistic activities without understanding Ka, his activities are unfavorable to Ka consciousness. Actually, Ka consciousness can be based simply on hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. Described in the rmad-Bhgavatam are nine different processes, besides which everything done is unfavorable to Ka consciousness. Thus, one should always be guarding against falldowns.

rla Rpa Gosvm has also mentioned in this definition of bhakti the word jna-karmdi. This karmdi (fruitive work) consists of activities which are unable to help one attain to pure devotional service. Many forms of so-called renunciation are also not favorable to Ka conscious devotional service.

rla Rpa Gosvm has also quoted a definition from the Nrada-pacartra, as follows: One should be free from all material designations and, by Ka consciousness, must be cleansed of all material contamination. He should be restored to his pure identity, in which he engages his senses in the service of the proprietor of the senses. So when our senses are engaged for the actual proprietor of the senses, that is called devotional service. In our conditional state, our senses are engaged in serving these bodily demands. When the same senses are engaged in executing the order of Ka, our activities are called bhakti.

As long as one identifies himself as belonging to a certain family, a certain society or a certain person, he is said to be covered with designations. When one is fully aware that he does not belong to any family, society or country, but is eternally related to Ka, he then realizes that his energy should be employed not in the interests of so-called family, society or country, but in the interests of Ka. This is purity of purpose and the platform of pure devotional service in Ka consciousness.

NoD 1: Characteristics of Pure Devotional Service

Chapter One

Characteristics of Pure Devotional Service

In rmad-Bhgavatam, Third Canto, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verses 12 and 13, rla Kapiladeva, while instructing His mother, has given the following characteristics of pure devotional service: My dear mother, those who are My pure devotees, and who have no desire for material benefit or philosophical speculation, have their minds so much engaged in My service that they are never interested in asking Me for anythingexcept to be engaged in that service. They do not even beg to live in My abode with Me.

There are five kinds of liberation, namely to become one with the Lord, to live with the Supreme Lord on the same planet, to have the same features as the Lord, to enjoy the same opulences as the Lord and to live as a companion of the Lord. A devotee, what to speak of rejecting material sense gratification, does not even want any of the five kinds of liberation. He is satisfied simply by discharging loving service to the Lord. That is the characteristic of pure devotion.

In the above statement by Kapiladeva from rmad-Bhgavatam, the actual position of a pure devotee is described, and the primary characteristics of devotional service are also defined. Further characteristics of devotional service are described by Rpa Gosvm with evidences from different scriptures. He states that there are six characteristics of pure devotional service, which are as follows:

(1) Pure devotional service brings immediate relief from all kinds of material distress.

(2) Pure devotional service is the beginning of all auspiciousness.

(3) Pure devotional service automatically puts one in transcendental pleasure.

(4) Pure devotional service is rarely achieved.

(5) Those in pure devotional service deride even the conception of liberation.

(6) Pure devotional service is the only means to attract Ka.

Ka is all-attractive, but pure devotional service attracts even Him. This means that pure devotional service is even transcendentally stronger than Ka Himself, because it is Kas internal potency.

Relief from Material Distress

In Bhagavad-gt, the Lord says that one should surrender unto Him, giving up all other engagements. The Lord also gives His word there that He will protect surrendered souls from the reactions of all sinful activities. rla Rpa Gosvm says that the distresses from sinful activities are due both to the sins themselves and to sins committed in our past lives. Generally, one commits sinful activities due to ignorance. But ignorance is no excuse for evading the reactionsinful activities. Sinful activities are of two kinds: those which are mature and those which are not mature. The sinful activities for which we are suffering at the present moment are called mature. The many sinful activities stored within us for which we have not yet suffered are considered immature. For example, a man may have committed criminal acts, but not yet been arrested for them. Now, as soon as he is detected, arrest is awaiting him. Similarly, for some of our sinful activities we are awaiting distresses in the future, and for others, which are mature, we are suffering at the present moment.

In this way there is a chain of sinful activities and their concomitant distresses, and the conditioned soul is suffering life after life due to these sins. He is suffering in the present life the results of sinful activities from his past life, and he is meanwhile creating further sufferings for his future life. Mature sinful activities are exhibited if one is suffering from some chronic disease, if one is suffering from some legal implication, if one is born in a low and degraded family or if one is uneducated or very ugly.

There are many results of past sinful activities for which we are suffering at the present moment, and we may be suffering in the future due to our present sinful activities. But all of these reactions to sinful deeds can immediately be stopped if we take to Ka consciousness. As evidence for this, Rpa Gosvm quotes from rmad-Bhgavatam, Eleventh Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 19. This verse is in connection with Lord Kas instruction to Uddhava, where He says, My dear Uddhava, devotional service unto Me is just like a blazing fire which can burn into ashes unlimited fuel supplied to it. The purport is that as the blazing fire can burn any amount of fuel to ashes, so devotional service to the Lord in Ka consciousness can burn up all the fuel of sinful activities. For example, in the Gt Arjuna thought that fighting was a sinful activity, but Ka engaged him on the battlefield under His order, and so the fighting became devotional service. Therefore, Arjuna was not subjected to any sinful reaction.

rla Rpa Gosvm quotes another verse from the Third Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Thirty-third Chapter, verse 6, in which Devahti addresses her son, Kapiladeva, and says, My dear Lord, there are nine different kinds of devotional service, beginning from hearing and chanting. Anyone who hears about Your pastimes, who chants about Your glories, who offers You obeisances, who thinks of You and, in this way, executes any of the nine kinds of devotional serviceeven if he is born in a family of dog-eaters [the lowest grade of mankind]becomes immediately qualified to perform sacrifices. As such, how is it possible that anyone actually engaged in devotional service in full Ka consciousness has not become purified? It is not possible. One who is engaged in Ka consciousness and devotional service has without doubt become freed from all contaminations of material sinful activities. Devotional service therefore has the power to actually nullify all kinds of reactions to sinful deeds. A devotee is nevertheless always alert not to commit any sinful activities; this is his specific qualification as a devotee. Thus rmad-Bhgavatam states that by performing devotional service a person who was born even in a family of dog-eaters may become eligible to take part in the performance of the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas. It is implicit in this statement that a person born into a family of dog-eaters is generally not fit for performing yaja, or sacrifice. The priestly caste in charge of performing these ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas is called the brhmaa order. Unless one is a brhmaa, he cannot perform these ceremonies.

A person is born in a brhmaa family or in a family of dog-eaters due to his past activities. If a person is born in a family of dog-eaters it means that his past activities were all sinful. But if even such a person takes to the path of devotional service and begins to chant the holy names of the LordHare Ka, Hare Ka, Ka Ka, Hare Hare/ Hare Rma, Hare Rma, Rma Rma, Hare Harehe is at once fit to perform the ritualistic ceremonies. This means that his sinful reactions have immediately become neutralized.

It is stated in the Padma Pura that there are four kinds of effects due to sinful activities, which are listed as follows: (1) the effect which is not yet fructified, (2) the effect which is lying as seed, (3) the effect which is already mature and (4) the effect which is almost mature. It is also stated that all these four effects become immediately vanquished for those who surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viu, and become engaged in His devotional service in full Ka consciousness.

Those effects described as almost mature refer to the distress from which one is suffering at present, and the effects lying as seed are in the core of the heart, where there is a certain stock of sinful desires which are like seeds. The Sanskrit word kam means that they are almost ready to produce the seed, or the effect of the seed. An immature effect refers to the case where the seedling has not begun. From this statement of Padma Pura it is understood that material contamination is very subtle. Its beginning, its fruition and results, and how one suffers such results in the form of distress, are part of a great chain. When one catches some disease, it is often very difficult to ascertain the cause of the disease, where it originated and how it is maturing. The suffering of a disease, however, does not appear all of a sudden. It actually takes time. And as in the medical field, for precautions sake, the doctor injects a vaccination to prevent the growing of contamination, the practical injection to stop all the fructifications of the seeds of our sinful activities is simply engagement in Ka consciousness.

In this connection, ukadeva Gosvm speaks in the Sixth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Second Chapter, verse 17, about the story of Ajmila, who began life as a fine and dutiful brhmaa, but in his young manhood became wholly corrupted by a prostitute. At the end of his wicked life, just by calling the name Nryaa [Ka], he was saved despite so much sin. ukadeva points out that austerity, charity and the performance of ritualistic ceremonies for counteracting sinful activities are recommended processes, but that by performing them one cannot remove the sinful desire-seed from the heart, as was the case with Ajmila in his youth. This sinful desire-seed can be removed only by achieving Ka consciousness. And this can be accomplished very easily by chanting the mah-mantra, or Hare Ka mantra, as recommended by r Caitanya Mahprabhu. In other words, unless one adopts the path of devotional service, he cannot be one-hundred-percent clean from all the reactions of sinful activities.

By performing Vedic ritualistic activities, by giving money in charity and by undergoing austerity, one can temporarily become free from the reactions of sinful activities, but at the next moment he must again become engaged in sinful activities. For example, a person suffering from venereal disease on account of excessive indulgence in sex life has to undergo some severe pain in medical treatment, and he is then cured for the time being. But because he has not been able to remove the sex desire from his heart, he must again indulge in the same thing and become a victim of the same disease. So medical treatment may give temporary relief from the distress of such venereal disease, but unless one is trained to understand that sex life is abominable, it is impossible to be saved from such repeated distress. Similarly, the ritualistic performances, charity and austerity which are recommended in the Vedas may temporarily stop one from acting in sinful ways, but as long as the heart is not clear, one will have to repeat sinful activities again and again.

Another example given in rmad-Bhgavatam concerns the elephant who enters into a lake and takes a bath very seriously, cleansing his body thoroughly. Then as soon as he comes onto shore he again takes some dust from the earth and throws it over his body. Similarly, a person who is not trained in Ka consciousness cannot become completely free from the desire for sinful activities. Neither the yoga process nor philosophical speculations nor fruitive activities can save one from the seeds of sinful desires. Only by being engaged in devotional service can this be done.

There is another evidence in the Fourth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Twenty-second Chapter, verse 39, wherein Sanat-kumra says, My dear King, the false ego of a human being is so strong that it keeps him in material existence as if tied up by a strong rope. Only the devotees can cut off the knot of this strong rope very easily, by engaging themselves in Ka consciousness. Others, who are not in Ka consciousness but are trying to become great mystics or great ritual performers, cannot advance like the devotees. Therefore, it is the duty of everyone to engage himself in the activities of Ka consciousness in order to be freed from the tight knot of false ego and engagement in material activities.

This tight knot of false ego is due to ignorance. As long as one is ignorant about his identity, he is sure to act wrongly and thereby become entangled in material contamination. This ignorance of factual knowledge can also be dissipated by Ka consciousness, as is confirmed in the Padma Pura as follows: Pure devotional service in Ka consciousness is the highest enlightenment, and when such enlightenment is there, it is just like a blazing forest fire, killing all the inauspicious snakes of desire. The example is being given in this connection that when there is a forest fire the extensive blazing automatically kills all the snakes in the forest. There are many, many snakes on the ground of the forest, and when a fire takes place, it burns the dried foliage, and the snakes are immediately attacked. Animals who have four legs can flee from the fire or can at least try to flee, but the snakes are immediately killed. Similarly, the blazing fire of Ka consciousness is so strong that the snakes of ignorance are immediately killed.

Ka Consciousness Is All-auspicious

rla Rpa Gosvm has given a definition of auspiciousness. He says that actual auspiciousness means welfare activities for all the people of the world. At the present moment groups of people are engaged in welfare activities in terms of society, community or nation. There is even an attempt in the form of the United Nations for world-help activity. But due to the shortcomings of limited national activities, such a general mass welfare program for the whole world is not practically possible. The Ka consciousness movement, however, is so nice that it can render the highest benefit to the entire human race. Everyone can be attracted by this movement, and everyone can feel the result. Therefore, Rpa Gosvm and other learned scholars agree that a broad propaganda program for the Ka consciousness movement of devotional service all over the world is the highest humanitarian welfare activity.

How the Ka consciousness movement can attract the attention of the whole world and how each and every man can feel pleasure in this Ka consciousness is stated in the Padma Pura as follows: A person who is engaged in devotional service in full Ka consciousness is to be understood to be doing the best service to the whole world and to be pleasing everyone in the world. In addition to human society, he is pleasing even the trees and animals, because they also become attracted by such a movement. A practical example of this was shown by Lord Caitanya when He was traveling through the forests of Jhrikhaa in central India for spreading His sakrtana movement. The tigers, the elephants, the deer and all the other wild animals joined Him and were participating, in their own ways, by dancing and chanting Hare Ka.

Furthermore, a person engaged in Ka consciousness, acting in devotional service, can develop all the good qualities that are generally found in the demigods. It is said by ukadeva Gosvm in the Fifth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Eighteenth Chapter, verse 12, My dear King, persons who have unflinching faith in Ka and are without any duplicity can develop all the good qualities of the demigods. On account of a devotees high grade of Ka consciousness, even the demigods like to live with him, and therefore it can be understood that the qualities of the demigods have developed within his body.

On the other hand, a person who is not in Ka consciousness has no good qualities. He may be highly educated from the academic point of view, but in the actual field of his activities he can be seen to be baser than the animals. Even though a person is highly educated academically, if he cannot go beyond the sphere of mental activities then he is sure to perform only material activities and thus remain impure. There are so many persons in the modern world who have been highly educated in the materialistic universities, but it is seen that they cannot take up the movement of Ka consciousness and develop the high qualities of the demigods.

For example, a Ka conscious boy, even if he is not very well educated by the university standard, can immediately give up all illicit sex life, gambling, meat-eating and intoxication, whereas those who are not in Ka consciousness, although very highly educated, are often drunkards, meat-eaters, sexmongers and gamblers. These are practical proofs of how a Ka conscious person becomes highly developed in good qualities, whereas a person who is not in Ka consciousness cannot do so. We experience that even a young boy in Ka consciousness is unattached to cinemas, nightclubs, naked dance shows, restaurants, liquor shops, etc. He becomes completely freed. He saves his valuable time from being extravagantly spent in the way of smoking, drinking, attending the theater and dancing.

One who is not in Ka consciousness usually cannot sit silently even for half an hour. The yoga system teaches that if you become silent you will realize that you are God. This system may be all right for materialistic persons, but how long will they be able to keep themselves silent? Artificially, they may sit down for so-called meditation, but immediately after their yogic performance they will engage themselves again in such activities as illicit sex life, gambling, meat-eating and many other nonsensical things. But a Ka conscious person gradually elevates himself without endeavoring for this so-called silent meditation. Simply because he is engaged in Ka consciousness he automatically gives up all this nonsense and develops a high character. One develops the highest character by becoming a pure devotee of Ka. The conclusion is that no one can truly have any good qualities if he is lacking Ka consciousness.

Happiness in Ka Consciousness

rla Rpa Gosvm has analyzed the different sources of happiness. He has divided happiness into three categories, which are (1) happiness derived from material enjoyment, (2) happiness derived by identifying oneself with the Supreme Brahman and (3) happiness derived from Ka consciousness.

In the tantra-stra Lord iva speaks to his wife, Sat, in this way: My dear wife, a person who has surrendered himself at the lotus feet of Govinda and who has thus developed pure Ka consciousness can be very easily awarded all the perfections desired by the impersonalists; and beyond this, he can enjoy the happiness achieved by the pure devotees.

Happiness derived from pure devotional service is the highest, because it is eternal. The happiness derived from material perfection or understanding oneself to be Brahman is inferior because it is temporary. There is no preventing ones falling down from material happiness, and there is even every chance of falling down from the spiritual happiness derived out of identifying oneself with the impersonal Brahman.

It has been seen that great Myvd (impersonalist) sannyssvery highly educated and almost realized soulsmay sometimes take to political activities or to social welfare activities. The reason is that they actually do not derive any ultimate transcendental happiness in the impersonal understanding and therefore must come down to the material platform and take to such mundane affairs. There are many instances, especially in India, where these Myvd sannyss descend to the material platform again. But a person who is fully in Ka consciousness will never return to any sort of material platform. However alluring and attracting they may be, he always knows that no material welfare activities can compare to the spiritual activity of Ka consciousness.

The mystic perfections achieved by actually successful yogs are eight in number. Aim-siddhi refers to the power by which one can become so small that he can enter into a stone. Modern scientific improvements also enable us to enter into stone, because they provide for excavating so many subways, penetrating the hills, etc. So aim-siddhi, the mystic perfection of trying to enter into stone, has also been achieved by material science. Similarly, all of the yoga-siddhis, or perfections, are material arts. For example, in one yoga-siddhi there is development of the power to become so light that one can float in the air or on water. That is also being performed by modern scientists. They are flying in the air, they are floating on the surface of the water, and they are traveling under the water.

After comparing all these mystic yoga-siddhis to materialistic perfections, we find that the materialistic scientists try for the same perfections. So actually there is no difference between mystic perfection and materialistic perfection. A German scholar once said that the so-called yoga perfections had already been achieved by the modern scientists, and so he was not concerned with them. He intelligently went to India to learn how he could understand his eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord by means of bhakti-yoga, devotional service.

Of course, in the categories of mystic perfection there are certain processes which the material scientists have not yet been able to develop. For instance, a mystic yog can enter into the sun planet simply by using the rays of the sunshine. This perfection is called laghim. Similarly, a yog can touch the moon with his finger. Though the modern astronauts go to the moon with the help of spaceships, they undergo many difficulties, whereas a person with mystic perfection can extend his hand and touch the moon with his finger. This siddhi is called prpti, or acquisition. With this prpti-siddhi, not only can the perfect mystic yog touch the moon planet, but he can extend his hand anywhere and take whatever he likes. He may be sitting thousands of miles away from a certain place, and if he likes he can take fruit from a garden there. This is prpti-siddhi.

The modern scientists have manufactured nuclear weapons with which they can destroy an insignificant part of this planet, but by the yoga-siddhi known as it one can create and destroy an entire planet simply at will. Another perfection is called vait, and by this perfection one can bring anyone under his control. This is a kind of hypnotism which is almost irresistible. Sometimes it is found that a yog who may have attained a little perfection in this vait mystic power comes out among the people and speaks all sorts of nonsense, controls their minds, exploits them, takes their money and then goes away.

There is another mystic perfection, which is known as prkmya (magic). By this prkmya power one can achieve anything he likes. For example, one can make water enter into his eye and then again come out from within the eye. Simply by his will he can perform such wonderful activities.

The highest perfection of mystic power is called kmvasyit. This is also magic, but whereas the prkmya power acts to create wonderful effects within the scope of nature, kmvasyit permits one to contradict naturein other words, to do the impossible. Of course, one can derive great amounts of temporary happiness by achieving such yogic materialistic perfections.

Foolishly, people who are enamored of the glimmer of modern materialistic advancement are thinking that the Ka consciousness movement is for less intelligent men. I am better off being busy with my material comfortsmaintaining a nice apartment, family and sex life. These people do not know that at any moment they can be kicked out of their material situation. Due to ignorance, they do not know that real life is eternal. The temporary comforts of the body are not the goal of life, and it is due only to darkest ignorance that people become enamored of the glimmering advancement of material comforts. rla Bhaktivinoda hkura has therefore said that the advancement of material knowledge renders a person more foolish, because it causes one to forget his real identity by its glimmer. This is doom for him, because this human form of life is meant for getting out of material contamination. By the advancement of material knowledge, people are becoming more and more entangled in material existence. They have no hope of being liberated from this catastrophe.

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya it is stated that Prahlda Mahrja, a great devotee of the Lord, prayed to Nsihadeva (the half-lion, half-man incarnation) as follows: My dear Lord, I repeatedly pray unto Your lotus feet that I may simply be stronger in devotional service. I simply pray that my Ka consciousness may be more strong and steady, because happiness derived out of Ka consciousness and devotional service is so powerful that with it one can have all the other perfections of religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and even the attainment of liberation from material existence.

Actually, a pure devotee does not aspire after any of these perfections, because the happiness derived from devotional service in Ka consciousness is so transcendental and so unlimited that no other happiness can compare to it. It is said that even one drop of happiness in Ka consciousness stands beyond comparison with an ocean of happiness derived from any other activity. Thus, any person who has developed even a little quantity of pure devotional service can very easily kick out all the other kinds of happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and liberation.

There was a great devotee of Lord Caitanya known as Kholvec rdhara, who was a very poor man. He was doing a small business selling cups made from the leaves of plantain trees, and his income was almost nothing. Still, he was spending fifty percent of his small income on the worship of the Ganges, and with the other fifty percent he was somehow living. Lord Caitanya once revealed Himself to this confidential devotee, Kholvec rdhara, and offered him any opulence he liked. But rdhara informed the Lord that he did not want any material opulence. He was quite happy in his present position and wanted only to gain unflinching faith and devotion unto the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya. That is the position of pure devotees. If they can be engaged twenty-four hours each day in devotional service they do not want anything else, not even the happiness of liberation or of becoming one with the Supreme.

In the Nrada-pacartra it is also said that any person who has developed even a small amount of devotional service doesnt care a fig for any kind of happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification or the five kinds of liberation. Any kind of happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, liberation or sense gratification cannot even dare to enter into the heart of a pure devotee. It is stated that as the personal attendants and maidservants of a queen follow the queen with all respect and obeisances, similarly the joys of religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and liberation follow the devotional service of the Lord. In other words, a pure devotee does not lack any kind of happiness derived from any source. He does not want anything but service to Ka, but even if he should have another desire, the Lord fulfills this without the devotees asking.

The Rareness of Pure Devotional Service

In the preliminary phase of spiritual life there are different kinds of austerities, penances and similar processes for attaining self-realization. However, even if an executor of these processes is without any material desire, he still cannot achieve devotional service. And aspiring by oneself alone to achieve devotional service is also not very hopeful, because Ka does not agree to award devotional service to merely anyone. Ka can easily offer a person material happiness or even liberation, but He does not agree very easily to award a person engagement in His devotional service. Devotional service can in fact be attained only through the mercy of a pure devotee. In the Caitanya-caritmta (Madhya 19.151) it is said, By the mercy of the spiritual master who is a pure devotee and by the mercy of Ka one can achieve the platform of devotional service. There is no other way.

The rarity of devotional service is also confirmed in the tantra-stra, where Lord iva says to Sat, My dear Sat, if one is a very fine philosopher, analyzing the different processes of knowledge, he can achieve liberation from the material entanglement. By performance of the ritualistic sacrifices recommended in the Vedas one can be elevated to the platform of pious activities and thereby enjoy the material comforts of life to the fullest extent. But all such endeavors can hardly offer anyone devotional service to the Lord, not even if one tries for it by such processes for many, many thousands of births.

In rmad-Bhgavatam it is also confirmed by Prahlda Mahrja that merely by personal efforts or by the instructions of higher authorities one cannot attain to the stage of devotional service. One must become blessed by the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee, who is completely freed from the contamination of material desires.

In the Fifth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Sixth Chapter, verse 18, Nrada also says to Yudhihira, My dear King, it is Lord Ka, known as Mukunda, who is the eternal protector of the Pavas and the Yadus. He is also your spiritual master and instructor in every respect. He is the only worshipable God for you. He is very dear and affectionate, and He is the director of all your activities, both individual and familial. And whats more, He sometimes carries out your orders as if He were your messenger! My dear King, how very fortunate you are, because for others all these favors given to you by the Supreme Lord would not even be dreamt of. The purport to this verse is that the Lord easily offers liberation, but He rarely agrees to offer a soul devotional service, because by devotional service the Lord Himself becomes purchased by the devotee.

The Happiness of Becoming One with the Supreme

rla Rpa Gosvm says that if brahmnanda, or the happiness of becoming one with the Supreme, is multiplied by one trillionfold, it still cannot compare to an atomic fraction of the happiness derived from the ocean of devotional service.

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya Prahlda Mahrja, while satisfying Lord Nsihadeva by his prayers, says, My dear Lord of the universe, I am feeling transcendental pleasure in Your presence and have become merged in the ocean of happiness. I now consider the happiness of brahmnanda to be no more than the water in the impression left by a cows hoof in the earth, compared to this ocean of bliss. Similarly, it is confirmed in the Bhvrtha-dpik, rdhara Svms commentary on the rmad-Bhgavatam, My dear Lord, some of the fortunate persons who are swimming in the ocean of Your nectar of devotion, and who are relishing the nectar of the narration of Your pastimes, certainly know ecstasies which immediately minimize the value of the happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and liberation. Such a transcendental devotee regards any kind of happiness other than devotional service as no better than straw in the street.

Attracting Ka

rla Rpa Gosvm has stated that devotional service attracts even Ka. Ka attracts everyone, but devotional service attracts Ka. The symbol of devotional service in the highest degree is Rdhr. Ka is called Madana-mohana, which means that He is so attractive that He can defeat the attraction of thousands of Cupids. But Rdhr is still more attractive, for She can even attract Ka. Therefore devotees call Her Madana-mohana-mohinthe attractor of the attractor of Cupid.

To perform devotional service means to follow in the footsteps of Rdhr, and devotees in Vndvana put themselves under the care of Rdhr in order to achieve perfection in their devotional service. In other words, devotional service is not an activity of the material world; it is directly under the control of Rdhr. In Bhagavad-gt it is confirmed that the mahtms, or great souls, are under the protection of daiv prakti, the internal energyRdhr. So, being directly under the control of the internal potency of Ka, devotional service attracts even Ka Himself.

This fact is corroborated by Ka in the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 20, where He says, My dear Uddhava, you may know it from Me that the attraction I feel for devotional service rendered by My devotees is not to be attained even by the performance of mystic yoga, philosophical speculation, ritualistic sacrifices, the study of Vednta, the practice of severe austerities or the giving of everything in charity. These are, of course, very nice activities, but they are not as attractive to Me as the transcendental loving service rendered by My devotees.

How Ka becomes attracted by the devotional service of His devotees is described by Nrada in rmad-Bhgavatam, Seventh Canto, Tenth Chapter, verses 48 and 49. There Nrada addresses King Yudhihira while the King is appreciating the glories of the character of Prahlda Mahrja. A devotee always appreciates the activities of other devotees. Yudhihira Mahrja was appreciating the qualities of Prahlda, and that is one symptom of a pure devotee. A pure devotee never thinks himself great; he always thinks that other devotees are greater than himself. The King was thinking, Prahlda Mahrja is actually a devotee of the Lord, while I am nothing, and while thinking this he was addressed by Nrada as follows: My dear King Yudhihira, you [the Pava brothers] are the only fortunate people in this world. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has appeared on this planet and is presenting Himself to you as an ordinary human being. He is always with you in all circumstances. He is living with you and covering Himself from the eyes of others. Others cannot understand that He is the Supreme Lord, but He is still living with you as your cousin, as your friend and even as your messenger. Therefore you must know that nobody in this world is more fortunate than you.

In Bhagavad-gt when Ka appeared in His universal form Arjuna prayed, My dear Ka, I thought of You as my cousin-brother, and so I have shown disrespect to You in so many ways, calling You Ka or friend. But You are so great that I could not understand. So that was the position of the Pavas; although Ka is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the greatest among all greats, He remained with those royal brothers, being attracted by their devotion, by their friendship and by their love. That is the proof of how great this process of devotional service is. It can attract even the Supreme Personality of Godhead. God is great, but devotional service is greater than God because it attracts Him. People who are not in devotional service can never understand what great value there is in rendering service to the Lord.

NoD 2: The First Stages of Devotion

Chapter Two

The First Stages of Devotion

The three categories of devotional service which rla Rpa Gosvm describes in Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu are listed as devotional service in practice, devotional service in ecstasy and devotional service in pure love of Godhead. There are many subheadings in each of these categories. Generally it is understood that in the category of devotional service in practice there are two different qualities, devotional service in ecstasy has four qualities, and devotional service in pure love of Godhead has six qualities. These qualities will be explained by rla Rpa Gosvm later on.

In this connection, rla Rpa Gosvm suggests that the person eligible for Ka consciousness, or devotional service, can be classified by his particular taste. He says that devotional service is a continual process from ones previous life. No one can take to devotional service unless he has had some previous connection with it. For example, suppose in this life I practice devotional service to some extent. Even though it is not one-hundred-percent perfectly performed, whatever I have done will not be lost. In my next life, from the very point where I stop in this life, I shall begin again. In this way there is always a continuity. But even if there is no continuity, if only by chance a person takes interest in a pure devotees instruction, he can be accepted and can advance in devotional service. Anyway, for persons who have a natural taste for understanding books like Bhagavad-gt and rmad-Bhgavatam, devotional service is easier than for those who are simply accustomed to mental speculation and argumentative processes.

To support this statement there are many authoritative assertions by the learned scholars of bygone ages. According to their general opinion, a person may become governed by certain convictions derived by his own arguments and decisions. Then another person, who may be a greater logician, will nullify these conclusions and establish another thesis. In this way the path of argument will never be safe or conclusive. rmad-Bhgavatam recommends, therefore, that one follow in the footsteps of the authorities.

Here is a general description of devotional service given by r Rpa Gosvm in his Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu. Previously, it has been stated that devotional service can be divided into three categoriesnamely devotional service in practice, devotional service in ecstasy and devotional service in pure love of God. Now r Rpa Gosvm proposes to describe devotional service in practice.

Practice means employing our senses in some particular type of work. Therefore devotional service in practice means utilizing our different sensory organs in service to Ka. Some of the senses are meant for acquiring knowledge, and some are meant for executing the conclusions of our thinking, feeling and willing. So practice means employing both the mind and the senses in practical devotional service. This practice is not for developing something artificial. For example, a child learns or practices to walk. This walking is not unnatural. The walking capacity is there originally in the child, and simply by a little practice he walks very nicely. Similarly, devotional service to the Supreme Lord is the natural instinct of every living entity. Even uncivilized men like the aborigines offer their respectful obeisances to something wonderful exhibited by natures law, and they appreciate that behind some wonderful exhibition or action there is something supreme. So this consciousness, though lying dormant in those who are materially contaminated, is found in every living entity. And, when purified, this is called Ka consciousness.

There are certain prescribed methods for employing our senses and mind in such a way that our dormant consciousness for loving Ka will be invoked, as much as the child, with a little practice, can begin to walk. One who has no basic walking capacity cannot walk by practice. Similarly, Ka consciousness cannot be aroused simply by practice. Actually there is no such practice. When we wish to develop our innate capacity for devotional service, there are certain processes which, by our accepting and executing them, will cause that dormant capacity to be invoked. Such practice is called sdhana-bhakti.

Every living entity under the spell of material energy is held to be in an abnormal condition of madness. In rmad-Bhgavatam it is said, Generally, the conditioned soul is mad, because he is always engaged in activities which are the causes of bondage and suffering. Spirit soul in his original condition is joyful, blissful, eternal and full of knowledge. Only by his implication in material activities has he become miserable, temporary and full of ignorance. This is due to vikarma. Vikarma means actions which should not be done. Therefore, we must practice sdhana-bhaktiwhich means to offer magala-rati (Deity worship) in the morning, to refrain from certain material activities, to offer obeisances to the spiritual master and to follow many other rules and regulations which will be discussed here one after another. These practices will help one become cured of madness. As a mans mental disease is cured by the directions of a psychiatrist, so this sdhana-bhakti cures the conditioned soul of his madness under the spell of my, material illusion.

Nrada Muni mentions this sdhana-bhakti in rmad-Bhgavatam, Seventh Canto, First Chapter, verse 32. He says there to King Yudhihira, My dear King, one has to fix his mind on Ka by any means. That is called Ka consciousness. It is the duty of the crya, the spiritual master, to find the ways and means for his disciple to fix his mind on Ka. That is the beginning of sdhana-bhakti.

r Caitanya Mahprabhu has given us an authorized program for this purpose, centered around the chanting of the Hare Ka mantra. This chanting has so much power that it immediately attaches one to Ka. That is the beginning of sdhana-bhakti. Somehow or other, one has to fix his mind on Ka. The great saint Ambara Mahrja, although a responsible king, fixed his mind on Ka, and similarly anyone who tries to fix his mind in this way will very rapidly make progress in successfully reviving his original Ka consciousness.

Now this sdhana-bhakti, or practice of devotional service, may also be divided into two parts. The first part is called service according to regulative principles: one has to follow these different regulative principles by the order of the spiritual master or on the strength of authoritative scriptures, and there can be no question of refusal. That is called vaidhi, or regulated. One has to do it without argument. Another part of sdhana-bhakti is called rgnug. Rgnug refers to the point at which, by following the regulative principles, one becomes a little more attached to Ka and executes devotional service out of natural love. For example, a person engaged in devotional service may be ordered to rise early in the morning and offer rati, which is a form of Deity worship. In the beginning, by the order of his spiritual master, one rises early in the morning and offers rati, but then he develops real attachment. When he gets this attachment, he automatically tries to decorate the Deity and prepare different kinds of dresses and thinks of different plans to execute his devotional service nicely. Although it is within the category of practice, this offering of loving service is spontaneous. So the practice of devotional service, sdhana-bhakti, can be divided into two partsnamely, regulative and spontaneous.

Rpa Gosvm defines the first part of devotional practice, or vaidhi-bhakti, as follows: When there is no attachment or no spontaneous loving service to the Lord, and one is engaged in the service of the Lord simply out of obedience to the order of the spiritual master or in pursuance of the scriptures, such obligatory service is called vaidhi-bhakti.

These principles of vaidhi-bhakti are also described in rmad-Bhgavatam, Second Canto, First Chapter, verse 5, where ukadeva Gosvm instructs the dying Mahrja Parkit as to his course of action. Mahrja Parkit met ukadeva Gosvm just a week before his death, and the King was perplexed as to what should be done before he was to pass on. Many other sages also arrived there, but no one could give him the proper direction. ukadeva Gosvm, however, gave this direction to him as follows: My dear King, if you want to be fearless in meeting your death next week (for actually everyone is afraid at the point of death), then you must immediately begin the process of hearing and chanting and remembering God. If one can chant and hear Hare Ka and always remember Lord Ka, then he is sure to become fearless of death, which may come at any moment.

In the statements of ukadeva Gosvm it is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is Ka. Therefore ukadeva recommends that one should always hear about Ka. He does not recommend that one hear and chant about the demigods. The Myvds (impersonalists) say that one may chant any name, either that of Ka or those of the demigods, and the result will be the same. But actually this is not a fact. According to the authorized version of rmad-Bhgavatam, one has to hear and chant about Lord Viu (Ka) only.

So ukadeva Gosvm has recommended to Parkit Mahrja that in order to be fearless of death, one has to hear and chant and remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Ka, by all means. He also mentions that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is sarvtm. Sarvtm means the Supersoul of everyone. Ka is also mentioned as vara, the supreme controller who is situated in everyones heart. Therefore, if some way or other we become attached to Ka, He will make us free from all danger. In Bhagavad-gt it is said that anyone who becomes a devotee of the Lord is never vanquished. Others, however, are always vanquished. Vanquished means that after getting this human form of life, a person does not come out of the entanglement of birth and death and thus misses his golden opportunity. Such a person does not know where he is being thrown by the laws of nature.

Suppose one does not develop Ka consciousness in this human form of life. He will be thrown into the cycle of birth and death, involving 8,400,000 spieces of life, and his spiritual identity will remain lost. One does not know whether he is going to be a plant, or a beast, or a bird, or something like that, because there are so many species of life. The recommendation of Rpa Gosvm for reviving our original Ka consciousness is that somehow or other we should apply our minds to Ka very seriously and thus also become fearless of death. After death we do not know our destination, because we are completely under the control of the laws of nature. Only Ka, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is controller over the laws of nature. Therefore, if we take shelter of Ka seriously, there will be no fear of being thrown back into the cycle of so many species of life. A sincere devotee will surely be transferred to the abode of Ka, as affirmed in Bhagavad-gt.

In the Padma Pura, also, the same process is advised. There it is said that one should always remember Lord Viu. This is called dhyna, or meditationalways remembering Ka. It is said that one has to meditate with his mind fixed upon Viu. Padma Pura recommends that one always fix his mind on the form of Viu by meditation and not forget Him at any moment. And this state of consciousness is called samdhi, or trance.

We should always try to mold the activities of our lives in such a way that we will constantly remember Viu, or Ka. That is Ka consciousness. Whether one concentrates his mind on the four-handed form of Viu or on the form of two-handed Ka, it is the same. The Padma Pura recommends: somehow or other always think of Viu, without forgetting Him under any circumstances. Actually this is the most basic of all regulative principles. For, when there is an order from a superior about doing something, there is simultaneously a prohibition. When the order is that one should always remember Ka, the prohibition is that one should never forget Him. Within this simple order and prohibition, all regulative principles are found complete.

This regulative principle is applicable to all varas and ramas, the castes and occupations of life. There are four varas, namely the brhmaas (priests and intellectuals), the katriyas (warriors and statesmen), the vaiyas (businessmen and farmers) and the dras (laborers and servants). There are also four standard ramas, namely brahmacarya (student life), ghastha (householder), vnaprastha (retired) and sannysa (renounced). The regulative principles are not only for the brahmacrs (celibate students) to follow, but are applicable for all. It doesnt matter whether one is a beginnera brahmacror is very advanceda sannys. The principle of remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly and not forgetting Him at any moment is meant to be followed by everyone without fail.

If this injunction is followed, then all other rules and regulations will automatically fall into line. All other rules and regulations should be treated as assistants or servants to this one basic principle. The injunctions of rules and regulations and the resultant reactions are mentioned in the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Fifth Chapter, verses 2 and 3. Camasa Muni, one of the nine sages who came to instruct King Nimi, addressed the King and said, The four social orders, namely the brhmaas, the katriyas, the vaiyas and the dras, have come out of the different parts of the universal form of the Supreme Lord as follows: the brhmaas have come out from the head, the katriyas have come out from the arms, the vaiyas have come out from the waist, and the dras have come out from the legs. Similarly, the sannyss have come out from the head, the vnaprasthas from the arms, the ghasthas from the waist and the brahmacrs from the legs.

These different orders of society and grades of spiritual advancement are conceived in terms of qualification. It is confirmed in Bhagavad-gt that the four social orders and the four spiritual orders are created by the Lord Himself, in terms of different individual qualities. As the different parts of the body have different types of activities, so the social orders and spiritual orders also have different types of activities in terms of qualification and position. The target of these activities, however, is always the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gt, He is the supreme enjoyer. So, whether one is a brhmaa or a dra, one has to satisfy the Supreme Lord by ones activities. This is also confirmed in rmad-Bhgavatam by a verse which reads, Everyone must be engaged in his particular duty, but the perfection of such work should be tested by how far the Lord is satisfied with such activities. The injunction herein is that one has to act according to his position, and by such activities one must either satisfy the Supreme Personality or else fall down from ones position.

For example a brhmaa, who is born out of the head of the Lord, has as his business to preach the transcendental Vedic sounds, or abda-brahma. Because the brhmaa is the head, he has to preach the transcendental sound, and he also has to eat on behalf of the Supreme Lord. According to Vedic injunctions, when a brhmaa eats it is to be understood that the Personality of Godhead is eating through him. It is not, however, that the brhmaa should simply eat on behalf of the Lord and not preach the message of Bhagavad-gt to the world. Actually, one who preaches the message of the Gt is very dear to Ka, as is confirmed in the Gt itself. Such a preacher is factually a brhmaa, and thus by feeding him one feeds the Supreme Lord directly.

Similarly, the katriya has to protect people from the onslaughts of my. That is his duty. For example, as soon as Mahrja Parkit saw that a black man was attempting to kill a cow, he immediately took his sword, wanting to kill the black man, whose name was [i]Kali. That is a katriyas duty. Violence is required in order to give protection. In Bhagavad-gt Lord Ka directly gave His order to Arjuna to commit violence on the Battlefield of Kuruketra, just to give protection to the people in general.

The vaiyas are meant for producing agricultural products, trading them and distributing them. And the working class, or dras, are those who havent the intelligence of the brhmaas or the katriyas or the vaiyas, and therefore they are meant to help these higher classes by bodily labor. In this way, there is full cooperation and spiritual advancement among all the different orders of society. And when there is no such cooperation, the members of society will fall down. That is the present position in the Kali-yuga, this age of quarrel. Nobody is doing his duty, and everyone is simply puffed up by calling himself a brhmaa (intellectual) or a katriya (soldier or statesman). But actually such people are without status. They are out of touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead because they are not Ka conscious. Therefore, the Ka consciousness movement is intended to set the whole of human society in proper condition, so that everyone will be happy and take profit from developing Ka consciousness.

Lord r Ka instructed Uddhava that by following the injunctions of the social and spiritual orders of human society, one can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as a result of such satisfaction the whole society gets all the necessities of life amply and without difficulty. This is because, after all, the Supreme Personality of Godhead maintains all other living entities. If the whole society performs its respective duties and remains in Ka consciousness, there is no doubt that all of its members will live very peacefully and happily. Without wanting the necessities of life, the whole world will be turned into Vaikuha, a spiritual abode. Even without being transferred to the kingdom of God, by following the injunctions of rmad-Bhgavatam and prosecuting the duties of Ka consciousness all human society will be happy in all respects.

There is a similar statement by r Ka Himself to Uddhava, in the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Twenty-seventh Chapter, verse 49. The Lord says there, My dear Uddhava, all persons are engaged in activities, whether those indicated in the revealed scriptures or ordinary worldly activities. If by the result of either of such activities they worship Me in Ka consciousness, then automatically they become very happy within this world, as well as in the next. Of this there is no doubt. We can conclude from this statement by Ka that activities in Ka consciousness will give everyone all perfection in all desires.

Thus the Ka consciousness movement is so nice that there is no need of even designating oneself brhmaa, katriya, vaiya, dra, brahmacr, ghastha, vnaprastha or sannys. Let everyone be engaged in whatever occupation he now has. Simply let him worship Lord Ka by the result of his activities in Ka consciousness. That will adjust the whole situation, and everyone will be happy and peaceful within this world. In the Nrada-pacartra the regulative principles of devotional service are described as follows: Any activities sanctioned in the revealed scriptures and aiming at the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are accepted by saintly teachers as the regulative principles of devotional service. If one regularly executes such service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master, then gradually he rises to the platform of serving in pure love of God.

NoD 3: Eligibility of the Candidate for Accepting Devotional Service

Chapter Three

Eligibility of the Candidate for Accepting Devotional Service

On account of his association with mahtms, or great souls one hundred-percent in the devotional service of the Lord, one may attain a little bit of attraction for r Ka. But at the same time one may remain very much attached to fruitive activities and material sense enjoyment and not be prepared to undergo the different types of renunciation. Such a person, if he has unflinching attraction to Ka, becomes an eligible candidate for discharging devotional service.

This attraction for Ka consciousness in association with pure devotees is the sign of great fortune. It is confirmed by Lord Caitanya that only the fortunate persons, by the mercy of both a bona fide spiritual master and Ka, will get the seed of devotional service. In this connection, Lord Ka says in rmad-Bhgavatam, Eleventh Canto, Twentieth Chapter, verse 8, My dear Uddhava, only by exceptional fortune does someone become attracted to Me. And even if one is not completely detached from fruitive activities, or is not completely attached to devotional service, such service is quickly effective.

Devotees may be divided into three classes. The devotee in the first or uppermost class is described as follows. He is very expert in the study of relevant scriptures, and he is also expert in putting forward arguments in terms of those scriptures. He can very nicely present conclusions with perfect discretion and can consider the ways of devotional service in a decisive way. He understands perfectly that the ultimate goal of life is to attain to the transcendental loving service of Ka, and he knows that Ka is the only object of worship and love. This first-class devotee is one who has strictly followed the rules and regulations under the training of a bona fide spiritual master and has sincerely obeyed him in accord with revealed scriptures. Thus, being fully trained to preach and become a spiritual master himself, he is considered first class. The first-class devotee never deviates from the principles of higher authority, and he attains firm faith in the scriptures by understanding with all reason and arguments. When we speak of arguments and reason, it means arguments and reason on the basis of revealed scriptures. The first-class devotee is not interested in dry speculative methods meant for wasting time. In other words, one who has attained a mature determination in the matter of devotional service can be accepted as the first-class devotee.

The second-class devotee has been defined by the following symptoms: he is not very expert in arguing on the strength of revealed scripture, but he has firm faith in the objective. The purport of this description is that the second-class devotee has firm faith in the procedure of devotional service unto Ka, but he may sometimes fail to offer arguments and decisions on the strength of revealed scripture to an opposing party. But at the same time he is still undaunted within himself as to his decision that Ka is the supreme object of worship.

The neophyte or third-class devotee is one whose faith is not strong and who, at the same time, does not recognize the decision of the revealed scripture. The neophytes faith can be changed by someone else with strong arguments or by an opposite decision. Unlike the second-class devotee, who also cannot put forward arguments and evidences from the scripture, but who still has all faith in the objective, the neophyte has no firm faith in the objective. Thus he is called the neophyte devotee.

Further classification of the neophyte devotee is made in the Bhagavad-gt. It is stated there that four classes of mennamely those who are distressed, those who are in need of money, those who are inquisitive and those who are wisebegin devotional service and come to the Lord for relief in the matter of their respective self-satisfaction. They go into some place of worship and pray to God for mitigation of material distress, or for some economic development, or to satisfy their inquisitiveness. And a wise man who simply realizes the greatness of God is also counted among the neophytes. Such beginners can be elevated to the second-class or first-class platform if they associate with pure devotees.

An example of the neophyte class is Mahrja Dhruva. He was in need of his fathers kingdom and therefore engaged himself in devotional service to the Lord. Then in the end, when he was completely purified, he declined to accept any material benediction from the Lord. Similarly, Gajendra was distressed and prayed to Ka for protection, after which he became a pure devotee. Similarly Sanaka, Santana, Sananda and Sanat-kumra were all in the category of wise, saintly persons, and they were also attracted by devotional service. A similar thing happened to the assemblage in the Naimiraya Forest, headed by the sage aunaka. They were inquisitive and were always asking Sta Gosvm about Ka. Thus they achieved the association of a pure devotee and became pure devotees themselves. So that is the way of elevating oneself. In whatever condition one may be, if he is fortunate enough to associate with pure devotees, then very quickly he is elevated to the second-class or first-class platform.

These four types of devotees have been described in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gt, and they have all been accepted as pious. Without becoming pious, no one can come to devotional service. It is explained in Bhagavad-gt that only one who has continually executed pious activities and whose sinful reactions in life have completely stopped can take to Ka consciousness. Others cannot. The neophyte devotees are classified into four groupsthe distressed, those in need of money, the inquisitive and the wiseaccording to their gradations of pious activities. Without pious activities, if a man is in a distressed condition he becomes an agnostic, a communist or something like that. Because he does not firmly believe in God, he thinks that he can adjust his distressed condition by totally disbelieving in Him.

Lord Ka, however, has explained in the Gt that out of these four types of neophytes, the one who is wise is very dear to Him, because a wise man, if he is attached to Ka, is not seeking an exchange of material benefits. A wise man who becomes attached to Ka does not want any return from Him, either in the form of relieving distress or in gaining money. This means that from the very beginning his basic principle of attachment to Ka is, more or less, love. Furthermore, due to his wisdom and study of stras (scriptures), he can understand also that Ka is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

It is confirmed in Bhagavad-gt that after many, many births, when one becomes actually wise, he surrenders unto Vsudeva, knowing perfectly well that Ka (Vsudeva) is the origin and cause of all causes. Therefore, he sticks to the lotus feet of Ka and gradually develops love for Him. Although such a wise man is very dear to Ka, the others are also accepted as very magnanimous, because even though they are distressed or in need of money, they have come to Ka for satisfaction. Thus they are accepted as liberal, broad-minded mahtms.

Without being elevated to the position of a jn, or wise man, one cannot stick to the principle of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The less intelligent or those whose intelligence has been taken away by the spell of my are attached to different demigods on account of the influence of the modes of nature. The wise man is he who has thoroughly understood that he is spirit soul and not simply a body. Because he realizes that he is spirit and Ka is the supreme spirit, he knows that his intimate relationship should be with Ka, not with this body. The distressed and the man in want of money are in the material concept of life, because distress and need of money are both in relationship with this body. One who is inquisitive may be a little above the distressed and the man in need of money, but still he is on the material platform. But a wise man who seeks Ka knows perfectly well that he is spirit soul, or Brahman, and that Ka is the supreme spirit soul, or Parabrahman. He knows that the spirit soul, being subordinate and finite, should always dovetail himself with the infinite and supreme soul, Ka. That is the relationship of the wise man with Ka.

It can be concluded that a person who is freed from the bodily concept of life is an eligible candidate for pure devotional service. It is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gt that after Brahman realization, when one is freed from material anxieties and can see every living entity on an equal level, he is eligible to enter into devotional service.

As stated before, there are three kinds of happinessmaterial, spiritual and devotional. Devotional service and the happiness due to its execution are not possible as long as one is materially affected. If someone has desire for material enjoyment or for becoming one with the Supreme, these are both considered material concepts. Because the impersonalists cannot appreciate the spiritual happiness of association and the exchange of loving affairs with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, their ultimate goal is to become one with the Lord. This concept is simply an extension of the material idea. In the material world, everyone is trying to be the topmost head man among all his fellow men or neighbors. Either communally, socially or nationally, everyone is competing to be greater than all others, in the material concept of life. This greatness can be extended to the unlimited, so that one actually wants to become one with the greatest of all, the Supreme Lord. This is also a material concept, although maybe a little more advanced.

However, the perfect spiritual concept of life is complete knowledge of ones constitutional position, in which one knows enough to dovetail himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. One must know that he is finite and that the Lord is infinite. Thus it is not possible to actually become one with the Lord even if one aspires for this. It is simply not possible. Therefore, anyone who has any desire or aspiration for satisfying his senses by becoming more and more important, either in the material sense or in the spiritual sense, cannot actually relish the really sweet taste of devotional service. rla Rpa Gosvm has therefore compared possessing these bhukti (material) and mukti (liberation) desires with being influenced by the black art of a witch: in both cases one is in trouble. Bhukti means material enjoyment, and mukti means to become freed from material anxiety and to become one with the Lord. These desires are compared to being haunted by ghosts and witches, because while these aspirations for material enjoyment or spiritual oneness with the Supreme remain, no one can relish the actual transcendental taste of devotional service.

A pure devotee never cares for liberation. Lord Caitanya Mahprabhu prayed to Ka, My dear son of Nanda, I do not want any material happiness in the shape of many followers, nor immense opulence in wealth, nor any beautiful wife, nor do I want cessation from material existence. I may take birth many times, one after another, but what I pray from You is that my devotion unto You may always remain unflinching.

The attention of a pure devotee is so much attracted to glorification of the Lords pastimes, name, qualities, forms, etc., that the devotee does not care for mukti. r Bilvamagala hkura has said, If I am engaged in devotional service unto You, my dear Lord, then very easily can I perceive Your presence everywhere. And as far as liberation is concerned, I think liberation stands at my door with folded hands, waiting to serve me. To pure devotees, therefore, liberation and spiritual emancipation are not very important things.

In this connection, in the Third Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Chapter Twenty-five, verse 36, Kapiladeva has advised His mother, Devahti, as follows: My dear mother, My pure devotees are charmed by seeing My different forms, the beauty of My face, the structure of My body so enchanting. My laughing, My pastimes and My glance appear to them so beautiful that their minds are always absorbed in thoughts of Me and their lives are dedicated fully unto Me. Although such people do not desire any kind of liberation or any kind of material happiness, still I give them a place among My associates in the supreme abode.

This evidence from rmad-Bhgavatam gives assurance to the pure devotee of being elevated to association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. rla Rpa Gosvm remarks in this connection that one who is actually attracted by the beauty of the lotus feet of r Ka or His service, and whose heart, by such attraction, is always full with transcendental bliss, will naturally never aspire after the liberation which is so valuable to the impersonalists.

A similar passage is also there in the Third Canto, Fourth Chapter, verse 15, of the same book, wherein Uddhava addresses Lord Ka and says, My dear Lord, for persons who are engaged in Your transcendental loving service there is nothing worth obtaining from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification or liberationalthough happiness from these different sources can be very easily had by them. In spite of such facilities, my dear Lord, I do not aspire to achieve any such results. My only prayer is that I may have unflinching faith and devotion unto Your lotus feet.

A similar passage appears in the Third Canto, Twenty-fifth Chapter, verse 34, wherein Kapiladeva instructs His mother and says, My dear mother, devotees whose hearts are always filled in the service of My lotus feet and who are prepared to do anything for My satisfaction, especially those fortunate devotees who assemble together to understand My qualities, pastimes and form and thus glorify Me congregationally and derive transcendental pleasure therefrom, never desire to become one with Me. And what to speak of becoming one with Me, if they are offered a post like Mine in My abode, or opulence like Mine, or even personal association with Me with similar bodily features, they refuse to accept, because they are satisfied simply by being engaged in My devotional service.

In rmad-Bhgavatam, Fourth Canto, Ninth Chapter, verse 10, King Dhruva says, My dear Lord, the transcendental pleasure derived by meditation upon Your lotus feet, which is enjoyed by the pure devotees, cannot be approached by the transcendental pleasure derived by the impersonalists through self-realization. So how can the fruitive workers, who at most can aspire to promotion to the higher heavenly planets, understand You, and how can they be described as enjoying a happiness similar to the devotees happiness?

NoD 4: Devotional Service Surpasses All Liberation

Chapter Four

Devotional Service Surpasses All Liberation

How much a devotee is seriously attached to the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be understood from the statement of Mahrja Pthu (di-rja) which is described in rmad-Bhgavatam, Fourth Canto, Twentieth Chapter, verse 24. He prays to the Supreme Personality of Godhead thus: My dear Lord, if after taking liberation I have no chance of hearing the glories of Your Lordship, glories chanted by pure devotees from the core of their hearts in praise of Your lotus feet, and if I have no chance for this honey of transcendental bliss, then I shall never ask for liberation or this so-called spiritual emancipation. I shall simply always pray unto Your Lordship that You may give me millions of tongues and millions of ears, so that I can constantly chant and hear of Your transcendental glories.

The impersonalists desire to merge into the existence of the Supreme, but without keeping their individuality they have no chance of hearing and chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord. Because they have no idea of the transcendental form of the Supreme Lord, there is no chance of their chanting and hearing of His transcendental activities. In other words, unless one is already beyond liberation, one cannot relish the transcendental glories of the Lord, nor can one understand the transcendental form of the Lord.

A similar statement is found in rmad-Bhgavatam, Fifth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 44. ukadeva Gosvm addresses Parkit Mahrja there and says, The great soul King Bharata was so much attached to the service of the lotus feet of Ka that he very easily gave up his lordship over the earthly planet and his affection for his children, society, friends, royal opulence and beautiful wife. He was so very lucky that the goddess of fortune was pleased to offer him all kinds of material concessions, but he never accepted any of these material opulences. ukadeva Gosvm praises this behavior of King Bharata very highly. He says, Any person whose heart is attracted by the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Madhusdana, does not care even for that liberation which is aspired to by many great sages, what to speak of material opulences.

In the Bhgavatam, Sixth Canto, Eleventh Chapter, verse 25, there is a similar statement by Vtrsura, who addresses the Lord as follows: My dear Lord, by leaving Your transcendental service I may be promoted to the planet called Dhruvaloka [the polestar], or I may gain lordship over all the planetary systems of the universe. But I do not aspire to this. Nor do I wish the mystic perfections of yoga practice, nor do I aspire to spiritual emancipation. All I wish for, my Lord, is Your association and transcendental service eternally.

This statement is confirmed by Lord iva in rmad-Bhgavatam, Sixth Canto, Seventeenth Chapter, verse 28, wherein Lord iva addresses Sat thus: My dear Sat, persons who are devoted to Nryaa [Ka] are not afraid of anything. If they are elevated to the higher planetary systems, or if they get liberation from material contamination, or if they are pushed down to the hellish condition of lifeor, in fact, in any situation whateverthey are not afraid of anything. Simply because they have taken shelter of the lotus feet of Nryaa, for them any position in the material world is as good as another.

There is a similar statement by Indra, the King of heaven, in rmad-Bhgavatam, Sixth Canto, Eighteenth Chapter, verse 74. There Indra addresses mother Diti in this manner: My dear mother, persons who have given up all kinds of desire and are simply engaged in devotional service to the Lord know what is actually their self-interest. Such persons are actually serving their self-interests and are considered first-class experts in the matter of advancing to the perfectional stage of life.

In the Seventh Canto of the Bhgavatam, Sixth Chapter, verse 25, Mahrja Prahlda says, My dear friends born into atheistic families, if you can please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Ka, then there is nothing more rare in this world. In other words, if the Supreme Lord Ka is pleased with you, then any desire you may have within the core of your heart can be fulfilled without any doubt. As such, what is the use of elevating yourself by the results of fruitive activities, which are automatically achieved in all events by the modes of material nature? And what is the use for you of spiritual emancipation or liberation from material bondage? If you are always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord and always relishing the nectar of the lotus feet of the Lord, then there is no necessity for any of these. By this statement of Prahlda Mahrja it is clearly understood that one who takes pleasure in chanting and hearing the transcendental glories of the Lord has already surpassed all kinds of material benedictions, including the results of pious fruitive activities, sacrifices and even liberation from material bondage.

Similarly, in the same Seventh Canto, Eighth Chapter, verse 42, when the demigods are offering prayers to Lord Nsiha, Indra the King of heaven says, O supreme one, these demons talk of our share of participation in the performances of ritualistic sacrifices, but simply by Your appearance as Lord Nsihadeva You have saved us from terrible fears. Actually, our shares in the sacrificial performances are due to You only, because You are the supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices. You are the Supersoul of every living entity, and therefore You are the actual owner of everything. Long were our hearts always filled with fear of this demon, Hirayakaipu. But You are so kind toward us that by killing him You have removed that fear from within our hearts and have given us the chance to place Your Lordship within our hearts again. For persons who are engaged in the transcendental loving service of Your Lordship, all the opulences which were taken away from us by the demons are counted as nothing. Devotees do not care even for liberation, what to speak of these material opulences. Actually, we are not enjoyers of the fruits of sacrifices. Our only duty is to always be engaged in Your service, for You are the enjoyer of everything.

The purport of this statement by Indra is that beginning from Brahm down to the insignificant ant, no living entities are meant for enjoying the material opulences. They are simply meant for offering everything to the supreme proprietor, the Personality of Godhead. By doing so, they automatically enjoy the benefit. The example can be cited again of the different parts of the body collecting foodstuffs and cooking them so that ultimately a meal may be offered to the stomach. After it has gone to the stomach, all the parts of the body equally enjoy the benefit of the meal. So, similarly, everyones duty is to satisfy the Supreme Lord, and then automatically everyone will become satisfied.

A similar verse is found in the Eighth Canto, Third Chapter, of rmad-Bhgavatam, verse 20. Gajendra says there, My dear Lord, I have no experience of the transcendental bliss derived from Your devotional service, so therefore I have asked from You some favor. But I know that persons who are pure devotees and have, by serving the lotus feet of great souls, become freed from all material desires, are always merged in the ocean of transcendental bliss and, as such, are always satisfied simply by glorifying Your auspicious characteristics. For them there is nothing else to aspire to or pray for.

In the Ninth Canto of the Bhgavatam, Fourth Chapter, verse 67, the Lord of Vaikuha replies to Durvs Muni thus: My pure devotees are always satisfied being engaged in devotional service, and therefore they do not aspire even after the five liberated stages, which are (1) to be one with Me, (2) to achieve residence on My planet, (3) to have My opulences, (4) to possess bodily features similar to Mine and (5) to gain personal association with Me. So when they are not interested even in these liberated positions, you can know how little they care for material opulences or material liberation.

There is a similar prayer by the nga-patns (wives of the Kliya serpent), in the Tenth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Sixteenth Chapter, verse 37. The nga-patns say there, Dear Lord, the dust of Your lotus feet is very wonderful. Any person who is fortunate enough to achieve this dust does not care for heavenly planets, lordship over all the planetary systems, the mystic perfections of yoga, or even liberation from material existence. In other words, anyone who adores the dust of Your lotus feet does not care a fig for all other perfectional stages.

There is a similar statement in the Tenth Canto, Eighty-seventh Chapter, verse 21, wherein the rutis, the Vedas personified, pray to the Lord as follows: Dear Lord, it is very difficult to understand spiritual knowledge. Your appearance here, just as You are, is to explain to us this most difficult subject of knowledge of the spirit. As such, Your devotees who have left their domestic comforts to associate with the liberated cryas [teachers] are now fully merged in the devotional service of Your Lordship, and thus they do not care for any so-called liberation.

In explaining this verse it should be noted that spiritual knowledge means understanding the self and the Supersoul, or Superself. The individual soul and the Supersoul are qualitatively one, and therefore both of them are known as Brahman, or spirit. But knowledge of Brahman is very difficult to understand. There are so many philosophers engaged in the matter of understanding the soul, but they are unable to make any tangible advancement. It is confirmed in Bhagavad-gt that out of many millions of persons, only one may try to understand what is spiritual knowledge, and out of many such persons who are trying to understand, only one or a few may know what is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So this verse says that spiritual knowledge is very difficult to achieve, and so in order to make it more easily attainable, the Supreme Lord Himself comes in His original form as r Ka and gives His instruction directly to an associate like Arjuna, just so that the people in general may take advantage of this spiritual knowledge. This verse also explains that liberation means having completely given up all the material comforts of life. Those who are impersonalists are satisfied by simply being liberated from the material circumstances, but those who are devotees can automatically give up material life and also enjoy the transcendental bliss of hearing and chanting the wonderful activities of Lord Ka.

In the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Twentieth Chapter, verse 34, Lord Ka says to Uddhava, My dear Uddhava, the devotees who have completely taken shelter of My service are so steadfast in devotional service that they have no other desire. Even if they are offered the four kinds of spiritual opulences,[ii]* they will refuse to accept them. So what to speak of their desiring anything within the material world! Similarly, Lord Ka says in another passage of the Bhgavatam, Eleventh Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 14, My dear Uddhava, a person whose consciousness is completely absorbed in My thought and activities does not aspire even to occupy the post of Brahm, or the post of Indra, or the post of lordship over the planets, or the eight kinds of mystic perfections, or even liberation itself. In the Twelfth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Tenth Chapter, verse 6, Lord iva says to Dev, My dear Dev, this great brhmaa sage Mrkaeya has attained unflinching faith and devotion unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such he does not aspire after any benedictions, including liberation from the material world.

Similarly, there is a statement in Padma Pura describing the ritualistic function during the month of Krttika (October-November). During this month, in Vndvana it is the regulative principle to pray daily to Lord Ka in His Dmodara form. The Dmodara form refers to Ka in His childhood when He was tied up with rope by His mother, Yaod. Dma means ropes, and udara means the abdomen. So mother Yaod, being very disturbed by naughty Ka, bound Him round the abdomen with a rope, and thus Ka is named Dmodara. During the month of Krttika, Dmodara is prayed to as follows: My dear Lord, You are the Lord of all, the giver of all benedictions. There are many demigods, like Lord Brahm and Lord iva, who sometimes offer benedictions to their respective devotees. For example, Rvaa was blessed with many benedictions by Lord iva, and Hirayakaipu was blessed by Lord Brahm. But even Lord iva and Lord Brahm depend upon the benedictions of Lord Ka, and therefore Ka is addressed as the Lord of all benefactors. As such, Lord Ka can offer His devotees anything they want, but still, the devotees prayer continues, I do not ask You for liberation or any material facility up to the point of liberation. What I want as Your favor is that I may always think of Your form in which I see You now, as Dmodara. You are so beautiful and attractive that my mind does not want anything besides this wonderful form. In this same prayer, there is another passage, in which it is said, My dear Lord Dmodara, once when You were playing as a naughty boy in the house of Nanda Mahrja, You broke the box containing yogurt, and because of that, mother Yaod considered You an offender and tied You with rope to the household grinding mortar. At that time You delivered two sons of Kuvera, Nalakvara and Maigrva, who were staying there as two arjuna trees in the yard of Nanda Mahrja. My only request is that by Your merciful pastimes You may similarly deliver me.

The story behind this verse is that the two sons of Kuvera (the treasurer of the demigods) were puffed up on account of the opulence of their father, and so once on a heavenly planet they were enjoying themselves in a lake with some naked damsels of heaven. At that time the great saint Nrada Muni was passing on the road and was sorry to see the behavior of the sons of Kuvera. Seeing Nrada passing by, the damsels of heaven covered their bodies with cloth, but the two sons, being drunkards, did not have this decency. Nrada became angry with their behavior and cursed them thus: You have no sense, so it is better if you become trees instead of the sons of Kuvera. Upon hearing this, the boys came to their senses and begged Nrada to be pardoned for their offenses. Nrada then said, Yes, you shall become trees, arjuna trees, and you will stand in the courtyard of Nanda Mahrja. But Ka Himself will appear in time as the foster son of Nanda, and He will deliver you. In other words, the curse of Nrada was a benediction to the sons of Kuvera because indirectly it was foretold that they would be able to receive the favor of Lord Ka. After that, Kuveras two sons stood as two big arjuna trees in the courtyard of Nanda Mahrja until Lord Dmodara, in order to fulfill the desire of Nrada, dragged the grinding mortar to which He was tied and struck the two trees, violently causing them to fall down. From out of these fallen trees came Nalakvara and Maigrva, who had by then become great devotees of the Lord.

There is a passage in the Hayara-pacartra which states, My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I do not want any resultant benediction from my religious life, nor do I want any economic development, nor do I want to enjoy sense gratification, nor liberation. I simply pray to be an eternal servant at Your lotus feet. Kindly oblige me and give me this benediction.

In the same Hayara-pacartra, after Nsihadeva wanted to give benedictions to Prahlda Mahrja, Prahlda did not accept any material benediction and simply asked the favor of the Lord to remain His eternal devotee. In this connection, Prahlda Mahrja cited the example of Hanumn, the eternal servitor of Lord Rmacandra, who also set an example by never asking any material favor from the Lord. He always remained engaged in the Lords service. That is the ideal character of Hanumn, for which he is still worshiped by all devotees. Prahlda Mahrja also offered his respectful obeisances unto Hanumn. There is a well-known verse spoken by Hanumn in which he says, My dear Lord, if You like You can give me salvation from this material existence, or the privilege of merging into Your existence, but I do not wish any of these things. I do not want anything which diminishes my relationship with You as servant to master, even after liberation.

In a similar passage in the Nrada-pacartra it is stated, My dear Lord, I do not wish any perfectional stage by performing the ritualistic religious ceremonies or by economic development or by sense gratification or liberation. I simply pray that You grant me the favor of keeping me under Your lotus feet. I do not wish any kind of liberation such as slokya (to reside on Your planet) or srpya (to have the same bodily features as You). I simply pray for Your favor that I may be always engaged in Your loving service.

Similarly, in the Sixth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 5, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Mahrja Parkit inquires from ukadeva Gosvm, My dear brhmaa, I understand that the demon Vtrsura was a greatly sinful person and that his mentality was completely absorbed in the modes of passion and ignorance. How did he develop to such a perfectional stage of devotional service to Nryaa? I have heard that even great persons who have undergone severe austerities and who are liberated with full knowledge must strive to become devotees of the Lord. It is understood that such persons are very rare and almost never to be seen, so I am astonished that Vtrsura became such a devotee!

In the above verse, the most important thing to be noted is that there may be many liberated persons who have merged into the existence of the impersonal Brahman, but a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nryaa, is very, very rare. Even out of millions of liberated persons, only one is fortunate enough to become a devotee.

In rmad-Bhgavatam, First Canto, Eighth Chapter, verse 20, Queen Kunt is praying to Lord Ka at the time of His departure, My dear Ka, You are so great that You are inconceivable even to great stalwart scholars and paramahasas [fully liberated souls]. So if such great sages, who are transcendental to all the reactions of material existence, are unable to know You, then as far as we are concerned, belonging to the less intelligent woman class, how is it possible for us to know Your glories? How can we understand You? In this verse, the particular thing to be noted is that the Personality of Godhead is not understood by great liberated persons, but only by devotees such as Queen Kunt in her humbleness. Although she was a woman and was considered less intelligent than a man, still she realized the glories of Ka. That is the purport of this verse.

Another passage which is very important is in rmad-Bhgavatam, First Canto, Seventh Chapter, verse 10, and is called the tmrma verse. In this tmrma verse it is stated that even those who are completely liberated from material contamination are attracted by the transcendental qualities of Lord Ka.[iii]* The purport of this verse is that a liberated soul has absolutely no desire at all for material enjoyment; he is wholly freed from all kinds of material desires, yet still he is irresistibly attracted by the desire to hear and understand the pastimes of the Lord. We may therefore conclude that the glories and pastimes of the Lord are not material. Otherwise, how could the liberated persons known as tmrmas be attracted by such pastimes? That is the important point in this verse.

From the above statement it is found that a devotee is not after any of the stages of liberation. There are five stages of liberation, already explained as being (1) to become one with the Lord, (2) to live on the same planet as the Lord, (3) to obtain the same bodily features as the Lord, (4) to have the same opulences as the Lord and (5) to have constant association with the Lord. Out of these five liberated stages, the one which is known as syujya, or to merge into the existence of the Lord, is the last to be accepted by a devotee. The other four liberations, although not desired by devotees, still are not against the devotional ideals. Some of the liberated persons who have achieved these four stages of liberation may also develop affection for Ka and be promoted to the Goloka Vndvana planet in the spiritual sky. In other words, those who are already promoted to the Vaikuha planets and who possess the four kinds of liberation may also sometimes develop affection for Ka and become promoted to Kaloka.

So those who are in the four liberated states may still be going through different stages of existence. In the beginning they may want the opulences of Ka, but at the mature stage the dormant love for Ka exhibited in Vndvana becomes prominent in their hearts. As such, the pure devotees never accept the liberation of syujya, to become one with the Supreme, though sometimes they may accept as favorable the other four liberated states.

Out of many kinds of devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the one who is attracted to the original form of the Lord, Ka in Vndvana, is considered to be the foremost, first-class devotee. Such a devotee is never attracted by the opulences of Vaikuha, or even of Dvrak, the royal city where Ka ruled. The conclusion of r Rpa Gosvm is that the devotees who are attracted by the pastimes of the Lord in Gokula, or [iv]Vndvana, are the topmost devotees.

A devotee who is attached to a particular form of the Lord does not wish to redirect his devotion to other forms. For example, Hanumn, the devotee of Lord Rmacandra, knew that there is no difference between Lord Rmacandra and Lord Nryaa, and yet he still wanted to render service only unto Lord Rmacandra. That is due to the specific attraction of a particular devotee. There are many, many forms of the Lord, but Ka is still the original form. Though all of the devotees of the different forms of the Lord are in the same category, still it is said that those who are devotees of Lord Ka are the topmost in the list of all devotees.

NoD 5: The Purity of Devotional Service

Chapter Five

The Purity of Devotional Service

All of the previous instructions imparted by rla Rpa Gosvm in his broad statements can be summarized thus: as long as one is materially inclined or desirous of merging into the spiritual effulgence, one cannot enter into the realm of pure devotional service. Next, Rpa Gosvm states that devotional service is transcendental to all material considerations and that it is not limited to any particular country, class, society or circumstance. As stated in rmad-Bhgavatam, devotional service is transcendental and has no cause. Devotional service is executed without any hope for gain, and it cannot be checked by any material circumstances. It is open for all, without any distinction, and it is the constitutional occupation of the living entities.

In the Middle Ages, after the disappearance of Lord Caitanyas great associate Lord Nitynanda, a class of priestly persons claimed to be the descendants of Nitynanda, calling themselves the gosvm caste. They further claimed that the practice and spreading of devotional service belonged only to their particular class, which was known as Nitynanda-vaa. In this way, they exercised their artificial power for some time, until rla Bhaktisiddhnta Sarasvat hkura, the powerful crya of the Gauya Vaiava sampradya, completely smashed their idea. There was a great hard struggle for some time, but it has turned out successfully, and it is now correctly and practically established that devotional service is not restricted to a particular class of men. Besides that, anyone who is engaged in devotional service is already at the status of being a high-class brhmaa. So rla Bhaktisiddhnta Sarasvat hkuras struggle for this movement has come out successful.

It is on the basis of his position that anyone can now become a Gauya Vaiava, from any part of the world or any part of the universe. Anyone who is a pure Vaiava is situated transcendentally, and therefore the highest qualification in the material world, namely to be in the mode of goodness, has already been achieved by such a person. Our Ka consciousness movement in the Western world is based on the above-mentioned proposition of rla Bhaktisiddhnta Sarasvat Gosvm Prabhupda, our spiritual master. On his authority, we are claiming members from all sections of the Western countries. The so-called brhmaas claim that one who is not born into a brhmaa family cannot receive the sacred thread and cannot become a high-grade Vaiava. But we do not accept such a theory, because it is not supported by Rpa Gosvm nor by the strength of the various scriptures.

rla Rpa Gosvm specifically mentions herein that every man has the birthright to accept devotional service and to become Ka conscious. He has given many evidences from many scriptures, and he has especially quoted one passage from Padma Pura, wherein the sage Vasiha tells King Dilpa, My dear King, everyone has the right to execute devotional service, just as he has the right to take early bath in the month of Mgha [December-January]. There is more evidence in the Skanda Pura, in the K-khaa portion, where it is said, In the country known as Mayradhvaja, the lower-caste people who are considered less than dras are also initiated in the Vaiava cult of devotional service. And when they are properly dressed, with tilaka on their bodies and beads in their hands and on their necks, they appear to be coming from Vaikuha. In fact, they look so very beautiful that immediately they surpass the ordinary brhmaas.

Thus a Vaiava automatically becomes a brhmaa. This idea is also supported by Santana Gosvm in his book Hari-bhakti-vilsa, which is the Vaiava guide. Therein he has clearly stated that any person who is properly initiated into the Vaiava cult certainly becomes a brhmaa, as much as the metal known as kasa (bell metal) is turned into gold by the mixture of mercury. A bona fide spiritual master, under the guidance of authorities, can turn anyone to the Vaiava cult so that naturally he may come to the topmost position of a brhmaa.

rla Rpa Gosvm warns, however, that if a person is properly initiated by a bona fide spiritual master, he should not think that simply by the acceptance of such initiation his business is then finished. One still has to follow the rules and regulations very carefully. If after accepting the spiritual master and being initiated one does not follow the rules and regulations of devotional service, then he is again fallen. One must be very vigilant to remember that he is the part and parcel of the transcendental body of Ka, and that it is his duty as part and parcel to give service to the whole, or Ka. If we do not render service to Ka then again we fall down. In other words, simply becoming initiated does not elevate one to the position of a high-class brhmaa. One also has to discharge the duties and follow the regulative principles very rigidly.

r Rpa Gosvm also says that if one is regularly discharging devotional service, there will be no question of a falldown. But even if circumstantially there is some falldown, the Vaiava need have nothing to do with the pryacitta, the ritualistic ceremony for purification. If someone falls down from the principles of devotional service, he need not take to the pryacitta performances for reformation. He simply has to execute the rules and regulations for discharging devotional service, and this is sufficient for his reinstatement. This is the mystery of the Vaiava (devotional) cult.

Practically there are three processes for elevating one to the platform of spiritual consciousness. These processes are called karma, jna and bhakti. Ritualistic performances are in the field of karma. Speculative processes are in the field of jna. One who has taken to bhakti, the devotional service of the Lord, need have nothing to do with karma or jna. It has been already explained that pure devotional service is without any tinge of karma or jna. Bhakti should have no tinge of philosophical speculation or ritualistic performances.

In this connection rla Rpa Gosvm gives evidence from rmad-Bhgavatam, Eleventh Canto, Twenty-first Chapter, verse 2, in which Lord Ka says to Uddhava, The distinction between qualification and disqualification may be made in this way: persons who are already elevated in discharging devotional service will never again take shelter of the processes of fruitive activity or philosophical speculation. If one sticks to devotional service and is conducted by regulative principles given by the authorities and cryas, that is the best qualification.

This statement is supported in rmad-Bhgavatam, First Canto, Fifth Chapter, verse 17, wherein r Nrada Muni advises Vysadeva thus: Even if one does not execute his specific occupational duty, but immediately takes direct shelter of the lotus feet of Hari [Ka], there will be no fault on his part, and in all circumstances his position is secure. Even if, by some bad association, he falls down while executing devotional service, or if he doesnt finish the complete course of devotional service and dies untimely, still he is not at a loss. A person who is simply discharging his occupational duty in vara and rama, however, with no Ka consciousness, practically does not gain the true benefit of human life. The purport is that all conditioned souls who are engaged very frantically in activities for sense gratification, without knowing that this process will never help them get out of material contamination, are awarded only with repeated births and deaths.

In the Fifth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam it is clearly stated by abhadeva to His sons, Persons engaged in fruitive activities are repeatedly accepting birth and death, and until they develop a loving feeling for Vsudeva, there will be no question of getting out from these stringent laws of material nature. As such, any person who is very seriously engaged in his occupational duties in the varas and ramas, and who does not develop love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vsudeva, should be understood to be simply spoiling his human form of life.

This is confirmed also in the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Eleventh Chapter, verse 32, in which. the Lord says to Uddhava, My dear Uddhava, any person who takes shelter of Me in complete surrender and follows My instructions, giving up all occupational duties, is to be considered the first-class man. In this statement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is understood that people who are generally attracted to philanthropic, ethical, moral, altruistic, political and social welfare activities may be considered nice men only in the calculation of the material world. From rmad-Bhgavatam and other authentic Vedic scriptures we learn further that if a person simply acts in Ka consciousness and discharges devotional service, he is considered to be far, far better situated than all of those persons engaged in philanthropic, ethical, moral, altruistic and social welfare activities.

The same thing is still more emphatically confirmed in rmad-Bhgavatam, Eleventh Canto, Fifth Chapter, verse 41, in which Karabhjana Muni addresses Mahrja Nimi as follows: My dear King, if someone gives up his occupational duties as they are prescribed for the different varas and ramas, but takes complete shelter, surrendering himself unto the lotus feet of the Lord, such a person is no more a debtor, nor has he any obligation to perform the different kinds of activities we render to the great sages, ancestors, living entities and family and society members. Nor has he any need to bother executing the five kinds of yajs [sacrifices] for becoming free from sinful contamination. Simply by discharging devotional service, he is freed from all kinds of obligations. The purport is that as soon as a man takes his birth, he is immediately indebted to so many sources. He is indebted to the great sages because he profits by reading their authoritative scriptures and books. For example, we take advantage of the books written by Vysadeva. Vysadeva has left for us all the Vedas. Before Vysadevas writing, the Vedic literature was simply heard, and the disciples would learn the mantras quickly by hearing and not by reading. Later on, Vysadeva thought it wise to write down the Vedas, because in this age people are short-memoried and unable to remember all the instructions given by the spiritual master. Therefore, he left all the Vedic knowledge in the form of books, such as the Puras, Vednta, Mahbhrata and rmad-Bhgavatam.

There are many other sages, like akarcrya, Gautama Muni and Nrada Muni, to whom we are indebted because we take advantage of their knowledge. Similarly, we are obliged to our forefathers, because we take our birth in a particular family, where we take all advantages and inherit property. Therefore, we are indebted to the forefathers and have to offer them pia (prasda) after they are dead. Similarly, to the people in general we are also indebted, as well as to our relatives, friends and even animals such as cows and dogs who render us so much service.

In this way, we are indebted to the demigods, to the forefathers, to the sages, to the animals and to society in general. It is our duty to repay them all by proper discharge of service. But by the one stroke of devotional service, if someone gives up all obligations and simply surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is no longer a debtor, nor obliged to any other source of benefit.

In Bhagavad-gt also, the Lord says, Give up all your occupations and just become surrendered unto Me. I give you assurance that I shall give you protection from all sinful reactions. One may think that because he is surrendering unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead he will not be able to perform all of his other obligations. But the Lord says repeatedly, Dont hesitate. Dont consider that because you are giving up all other engagements there will be some flaw in your life. Dont think like that. I will give you all protection. That is the assurance of Lord Ka in Bhagavad-gt.

There is additional evidence in the Agastya-sahit: As the regulative principles of scripture are not required by a liberated person, so the ritualistic principles indicated in the Vedic supplements are also not required for a person duly engaged in the service of Lord Rmacandra. In other words, the devotees of Lord Rmacandra, or Ka, are already liberated persons and are not required to follow all the regulative principles mentioned in the ritualistic portions of the Vedic literature.

Similarly, in the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Fifth Chapter, verse 42, Karabhjana Muni addresses King Nimi and says, My dear King, a person who has given up the worship of the demigods and has completely concentrated his energy in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has become very, very dear to the Lord. As such, if by chance or mistake he does something which is forbidden, there is no need for him to perform any purificatory ceremonies. Because the Lord is situated within his heart, He takes compassion for the devotees accidental mistake and corrects him from within. It is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gt in many places that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Ka, takes a special interest in His devotees and declares emphatically that nothing can cause His devotees to fall down. He is always protecting them.

NoD 6: How to Discharge Devotional Service

Chapter Six

How to Discharge Devotional Service

rla Rpa Gosvm states that his elder brother (Santana Gosvm) has compiled Hari-bhakti-vilsa for the guidance of the Vaiavas and therein has mentioned many rules and regulations to be followed by the Vaiavas. Some of them are very important and prominent, and rla Rpa Gosvm will now mention these very important items for our benefit. The purport of this statement is that rla Rpa Gosvm proposes to mention only basic principles, not details. For example, a basic principle is that one has to accept a spiritual master. Exactly how one follows the instructions of his spiritual master is considered a detail. For example, if one is following the instruction of his spiritual master and that instruction is different from the instructions of another spiritual master, this is called detailed information. But the basic principle of acceptance of a spiritual master is good everywhere, although the details may be different. rla Rpa Gosvm does not wish to enter into details here, but wants to place before us only the principles.

He mentions the basic principles as follows: (1) accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master, (2) becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him, (3) obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion, (4) following in the footsteps of great cryas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master, (5) inquiring from the spiritual master how to advance in Ka consciousness, (6) being prepared to give up anything material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, r Ka (this means that when we are engaged in the devotional service of Ka, we must be prepared to give up something which we may not like to give up, and also we have to accept something which we may not like to accept), (7) residing in a sacred place of pilgrimage like Dvrak or Vndvana, (8) accepting only what is necessary, or dealing with the material world only as far as necessary, (9) observing the fasting day on Ekda and (10) worshiping sacred trees like the banyan tree.

These ten items are preliminary necessities for beginning the discharge of devotional service in regulative principles. In the beginning, if a neophyte devotee observes the above-mentioned ten principles, surely he will quickly make good advancement in Ka consciousness.

The next set of instructions is listed as follows: (1) One should rigidly give up the company of nondevotees. (2) One should not instruct a person who is not desirous of accepting devotional service. (3) One should not be very enthusiastic about constructing costly temples or monasteries. (4) One should not try to read too many books, nor should one develop the idea of earning his livelihood by lecturing on or professionally reciting rmad-Bhgavatam or Bhagavad-gt. (5) One should not be neglectful in ordinary dealings. (6) One should not be under the spell of lamentation in loss or jubilation in gain. (7) One should not disrespect the demigods. (8) One should not give unnecessary trouble to any living entity. (9) One should carefully avoid the various offenses in chanting the holy name of the Lord or in worshiping the Deity in the temple. (10) One should be very intolerant toward the blasphemy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Ka, or His devotees.

Without following the above-mentioned ten principles, one cannot properly elevate himself to the platform of sdhana-bhakti, or devotional service in practice. Altogether, rla Rpa Gosvm mentions twenty items, and all of them are very important. Out of the twenty, the first threenamely accepting the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, taking initiation from him and serving him with respect and reverenceare the most important.

The next important items are as follows: (1) One should decorate the body with tilaka, which is the sign of the Vaiavas. (The idea is that as soon as a person sees these marks on the body of the Vaiava, he will immediately remember Ka. Lord Caitanya said that a Vaiava is he who, when seen, reminds one of Ka. Therefore, it is essential that a Vaiava mark his body with tilaka to remind others of Ka.) (2) In marking such tilaka, sometimes one may write Hare Ka on the body. (3) One should accept flowers and garlands that have been offered to the Deity and the spiritual master and put them on ones body. (4) One should learn to dance before the Deity. (5) One should learn to bow down immediately upon seeing the Deity or the spiritual master. (6) As soon as one visits a temple of Lord Ka, one must stand up. (7) When the Deity is being borne for a stroll in the street, a devotee should immediately follow the procession. (In this connection it may be noted that in India, especially in Viu temples, the system is that apart from the big Deity who is permanently situated in the main area of the temple, there is a set of smaller Deities which are taken in procession in the evening. In some temples it is the custom to hold a big procession in the evening with a band playing and a nice big umbrella over the Deities, who sit on decorated thrones on the cart or palanquin, which is carried by devotees. The Deities come out onto the street and travel in the neighborhood while the people of the neighborhood come out to offer prasda. The residents of the neighborhood all follow the procession, so it is a very nice scene. When the Deity is coming out, the servitors in the temple put forward the daily accounts before Them: so much was the collection, so much was the expenditure. The whole idea is that the Deity is considered to be the proprietor of the whole establishment, and all the priests and other people taking care of the temple are considered to be the servants of the Deity. This system is very, very old and is still followed. So, therefore, it is mentioned here that when the Deity is on stroll the people should follow behind.) (8) A devotee must visit a Viu temple at least once or twice every day, morning and evening. (In Vndvana this system is followed very strictly. All the devotees in town go every morning and evening to visit different temples. Therefore during these times there are considerable crowds all over the city. There are about five thousand temples in Vndvana city. Of course it is not possible to visit all the temples, but there are at least one dozen very big and important temples which were started by the Gosvms and which should be visited.) (9) One must circumambulate the temple building at least three times. (In every temple there is an arrangement to go around the temple at least three times. Some devotees go around more than three timesten times, fifteen timesaccording to their vows. The Gosvms used to circumambulate Govardhana Hill.) One should also circumambulate the whole Vndvana area. (10) One must worship the Deity in the temple according to the regulative principles. (Offering rati and prasda, decorating the Deity, etc.these things must be observed regularly.) (11) One must render personal service to the Deities. (12) One must sing. (13) One must perform sakrtana. (14) One must chant. (15) One must offer prayers. (16) One must recite notable prayers. (17) One must taste mah-prasda (food from the very plate offered before the Deities). (18) One must drink caramta (water from the bathing of the Deities, which is offered to guests). (19) One must smell the incense and flowers offered to the Deity. (20) One must touch the lotus feet of the Deity. (21) One must see the Deity with great devotion. (22) One must offer rati (rtrika) at different times. (23) One must hear about the Lord and His pastimes from rmad-Bhgavatam, Bhagavad-gt and similar books. (24) One must pray to the Deity for His mercy. (25) One should remember the Deity. (26) One should meditate upon the Deity. (27) One should render some voluntary service. (28) One should think of the Lord as ones friend. (29) One should offer everything to the Lord. (30) One should offer a favorite article (such as food or a garment). (31) One should take all kinds of risks and perform all endeavors for Kas benefit. (32) In every condition, one should be a surrendered soul. (33) One should pour water on the tulas tree. (34) One should regularly hear rmad-Bhgavatam and similar literature. (35) One should live in a sacred place like Mathur, Vndvana or Dvrak. (36) One should offer service to Vaiavas (devotees). (37) One should arrange ones devotional service according to ones means. (38) In the month of Krttika (October and November), one should make arrangements for special services. (39) During Janmam (the time of Kas appearance in this world) one should observe a special service. (40) One should do whatever is done with great care and devotion for the Deity. (41) One should relish the pleasure of Bhgavatam reading among devotees and not among outsiders. (42) One should associate with devotees who are considered more advanced. (43) One should chant the holy name of the Lord. (44) One should live in the jurisdiction of Mathur.

Now, the total regulative principles come to an aggregate of sixty-four items. As we have mentioned, the first are the primary ten regulative principles. Then come the secondary ten regulative principles, and added to these are forty-four other activities. So all together there are sixty-four items for discharging the regulative practice of devotional service. Out of these sixty-four items, five itemsnamely worshiping the Deity, hearing rmad-Bhgavatam, associating among the devotees, sakrtana, and living in Mathurare very important.

The sixty-four items of devotional service should include all of our activities of body, mind and speech. As stated in the beginning, the regulative principle of devotional service enjoins that all of our senses must be employed in the service of the Lord. Exactly how they can be thus employed is described in the above sixty-four items. Now, rla Rpa Gosvm will give evidence from different scriptures supporting the authenticity of many of these points.

NoD 7: Evidence Regarding Devotional Principles

Chapter Seven

Evidence Regarding Devotional Principles

Accepting the Shelter of a Bona Fide Spiritual Master

In the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Third Chapter, verse 21, Prabuddha tells Mahrja Nimi, My dear King, please know for certain that in the material world there is no happiness. It is simply a mistake to think that there is happiness here, because this place is full of nothing but miserable conditions. Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters. Everyone should try to find such a bona fide spiritual master in order to fulfill his mission of life, which is to transfer himself to the plane of spiritual bliss.

The purport is that one should not accept as a spiritual master someone who is fool number one, who has no direction according to the scriptural injunctions, whose character is doubtful, who does not follow the principles of devotional service, or who has not conquered the influence of the six sense-gratifying agents. The six agents of sense gratification are the tongue, the genitals, the belly, anger, the mind and words. Anyone who has practiced controlling these six is permitted to make disciples all over the world. To accept such a spiritual master is the crucial point for advancement in spiritual life. One who is fortunate enough to come under the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master is sure to traverse the path of spiritual salvation without any doubt.

Accepting Initiation from the Spiritual Master and Receiving Instructions from Him

Sage Prabuddha continued to speak to the King as follows: My dear King, a disciple has to accept the spiritual master not only as spiritual master, but also as the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Supersoul. In other words, the disciple should accept the spiritual master as God, because he is the external manifestation of Ka. This is confirmed in every scripture, and a disciple should accept the spiritual master as such. One should learn rmad-Bhgavatam seriously and with all respect and veneration for the spiritual master. Hearing and speaking rmad-Bhgavatam is the religious process which elevates one to the platform of serving and loving the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The attitude of the disciple should be to satisfy the bona fide spiritual master. Then it will be very easy for him to understand spiritual knowledge. This is confirmed in the Vedas, and Rpa Gosvm will further explain that for a person who has unflinching faith in God and the spiritual master, everything becomes revealed very easily.

Serving the Spiritual Master with Faith and Confidence

Regarding accepting initiation from the spiritual master, in the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Seventeenth Chapter, verse 27, it is stated by Lord Ka, My dear Uddhava, the spiritual master must be accepted not only as My representative, but as My very self. He must never be considered on the same level with an ordinary human being. One should never be envious of the spiritual master, as one may be envious of an ordinary man. The spiritual master should always be seen as the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and by serving the spiritual master one is able to serve all the demigods.

Following in the Footsteps of Saintly Persons

In the Skanda Pura it is advised that a devotee follow the past cryas and saintly persons, because by such following one can achieve the desired results, with no chance of lamenting or being baffled in his progress.

The scripture known as Brahma-ymala states as follows: If someone wants to pose himself as a great devotee without following the authorities of the revealed scriptures, then his activities will never help him to make progress in devotional service. Instead, he will simply create disturbances for the sincere students of devotional service. Those who do not strictly follow the principles of revealed scriptures are generally called sahajiysthose who have imagined everything to be cheap, who have their own concocted ideas, and who do not follow the scriptural injunctions. Such persons are simply creating disturbances in the discharge of devotional service.

In this connection, an objection may be raised by those who are not in devotional service and who do not care for the revealed scriptures. An example of this is seen in Buddhist philosophy. Lord Buddha appeared in the family of a high-grade katriya king, but his philosophy was not in accord with the Vedic conclusions and therefore was rejected. Under the patronage of a Hindu king, Mahrja Aoka, the Buddhist religion was spread all over India and the adjoining countries. However, after the appearance of the great stalwart teacher akarcrya, this Buddhism was driven out beyond the borders of India.

The Buddhists or other religionists who do not care for revealed scriptures sometimes say that there are many devotees of Lord Buddha who show devotional service to Lord Buddha, and who therefore should be considered devotees. In answer to this argument, Rpa Gosvm says that the followers of Buddha cannot be accepted as devotees. Although Lord Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of Ka, the followers of such incarnations are not very advanced in their knowledge of the Vedas. To study the Vedas means to come to the conclusion of the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead. Therefore any religious principle which denies the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead is not accepted and is called atheism. Atheism means defying the authority of the Vedas and decrying the great cryas who teach Vedic scriptures for the benefit of the people in general.

Lord Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of Ka in the rmad-Bhgavatam, but in the same rmad-Bhgavatam it is stated that Lord Buddha appeared in order to bewilder the atheistic class of men. Therefore his philosophy is meant for bewildering the atheists and should not be accepted. If someone asks, Why should Ka propagate atheistic principles? the answer is that it was the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to end the violence which was then being committed in the name of the Vedas. The so-called religionists were falsely using the Vedas to justify such violent acts as meat-eating, and Lord Buddha came to lead the fallen people away from such a false interpretation of the Vedas. Also, for the atheists Lord Buddha preached atheism so that they would follow him and thus be tricked into devotional service to Lord Buddha, or Ka.

Inquiring About Eternal Religious principles

In the Nradya Pura it is said, If one is actually very serious about devotional service, then all of his purposes will be served without any delay.

Being Prepared to Give Up Everything Material for Kas Satisfaction

In the Padma Pura it is stated, For one who has given up his material sense enjoyment and has accepted the principles of devotional service, the opulence of Viuloka [the kingdom of God] is awaiting.

Residing in a Sacred Place

In the Skanda Pura it is also said that for a person who has lived in Dvrak for six months, for one month, or even for one fortnight, there is awaiting elevation to the Vaikuhalokas and all the profits of srpya-mukti (the privilege of having the same four-handed bodily features as Nryaa).

In the Brahm Pura it is said, The transcendental significance of Puruottama-ketra, which is the eighty-square-mile field of Lord Jaganntha, cannot be properly described. Even the demigods from higher planetary systems see the inhabitants of this Jaganntha Pur as having exactly the same bodily features possessed by one in Vaikuha. That is, the demigods see the inhabitants of Jaganntha Pur as being four-handed.

When there was a meeting of great sages at Naimiraya, Sta Gosvm was reciting rmad-Bhgavatam, and the importance of the Ganges was stated as follows: The waters of the Ganges are always carrying the flavor of tulas offered at the lotus feet of r Ka, and as such the waters of the Ganges are ever flowing, spreading the glories of Lord Ka. Wherever the waters of the Ganges are flowing, all will be sanctified, both externally and internally.

Accepting Only What Is Necessary

In the Nradya Pura it is directed, One should not accept more than necessary if he is serious about discharging devotional service. The purport is that one should not neglect following the principles of devotional service, nor should one accept the rulings of devotional service which are more than what he can easily perform. For example, it may be said that one should chant the Hare Ka mantra at least one hundred thousand times daily on his beads. But if this is not possible, then one must minimize his chanting according to his own capacity. Generally, we recommend our disciples to chant at least sixteen rounds on their japa beads daily, and this should be completed. But if one is not even able to chant sixteen rounds, then he must make it up the next day. He must be sure to keep his vow. If he does not strictly follow this out, then he is sure to be negligent. That is offensive in the service of the Lord. If we encourage offenses, we shall not be able to make progress in devotional service. It is better if one fixes up a regulative principle according to his own ability and then follows that vow without fail. That will make him advanced in spiritual life.

Observing Fasting on Ekda

In the Brahma-vaivarta Pura it is said that one who observes fasting on Ekda day is freed from all kinds of reactions to sinful activities and advances in pious life. The basic principle is not just to fast, but to increase ones faith and love for Govinda, or Ka. The real reason for observing fasting on Ekda is to minimize the demands of the body and to engage our time in the service of the Lord by chanting or performing similar service. The best thing to do on fasting days is to remember the pastimes of Govinda and to hear His holy name constantly.

Offering Respect to the Banyan Trees

In the Skanda Pura it is directed that a devotee should offer water to the tulas plant and malaka trees. He should offer respect to the cows and to the brhmaas and should serve the Vaiavas by offering them respectful obeisances and meditating upon them. All of these processes will help the devotee to diminish the reactions to his past sinful activities.

Giving Up the Company of Nondevotees

Lord Caitanya was once asked by one of His householder devotees what the general behavior of a Vaiava should be. In this connection, Lord Caitanya replied that a Vaiava should always give up the company of nondevotees. Then He explained that there are two kinds of nondevotees: one class is against the supremacy of Ka, and another class is too materialistic. In other words, those who are after material enjoyment and those who are against the supremacy of the Lord are called avaiava, and their company should be strictly avoided.

In the Ktyyana-sahit it is stated that even if one is forced to live within a cage of iron or in the midst of a blazing fire, he should accept this position rather than live with nondevotees who are through and through against the supremacy of the Lord. Similarly, in the Viu-rahasya there is a statement to the effect that one should prefer to embrace a snake, a tiger or an alligator rather than associate with persons who are worshipers of various demigods and who are impelled by material desire.

In the scriptures it is instructed that one may worship a certain demigod if he is desirous of achieving some material gain. For example, one is advised to worship the sun-god if he is desirous of getting rid of a diseased condition. For a beautiful wife, one may worship Um, the wife of Lord iva, and for advanced education one may worship Sarasvat. Similarly, there is a list in the rmad-Bhgavatam for worshipers of all demigods, according to different material desires. But all of these worshipers, although they appear to be very good devotees of the demigods, are still considered to be nondevotees. They cannot be accepted as devotees.

The Myvds (impersonalists) say that one may worship any form of the Lord and that it doesnt matter, because one reaches the same destination anyway. But it is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gt that those who are worshipers of the demigods will ultimately reach only the planets of those demigods, while those who are devotees of the Lord Himself will be promoted to the Lords abode, the kingdom of God. So actually these persons who are worshipers of demigods have been condemned in the Gt. It is described that due to their lusty desires they have lost their intelligence and have therefore taken to worshiping the different demigods. So in the Viu-rahasya these demigod worshipers are forcefully condemned by the statement that it is better to live with the most dangerous animals than to associate with these persons.

Not Accepting Unfit Disciples, Constructing Many Temples or
Reading Many Books

Another stricture is that a person may have many disciples, but he should not act in such a way that he will be obliged to any of them for some particular action or some favor. And one should also not be very enthusiastic about constructing new temples, nor should one be enthusiastic about reading various types of books, save and except the ones which lead to the advancement of devotional service. Practically, if one very carefully reads Bhagavad-gt, rmad-Bhgavatam, Teachings of Lord Caitanya and this Nectar of Devotion, that will give him sufficient knowledge to understand the science of Ka consciousness. One need not take the trouble of reading other books.

In the Seventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Thirteenth Chapter, verse 8, Nrada Muni, while discussing with Mahrja Yudhihira the various functions of the different orders in society, especially mentions rules for the sannyss, those persons who have renounced this material world. One who has accepted the sannysa order of life is forbidden to accept as a disciple anyone who is not fit. A sannys should first of all examine whether a prospective student is sincerely seeking Ka consciousness. If he is not, he should not be accepted. However, Lord Caitanyas causeless mercy is such that He advised all bona fide spiritual masters to speak about Ka consciousness everywhere. Therefore, in the line of Lord Caitanya even the sannyss can speak about Ka consciousness everywhere, and if someone is seriously inclined to become a disciple, the sannys always accepts him.

The one point is that without increasing the number of disciples, there is no propagation of the cult of Ka consciousness. Therefore, sometimes even at a risk, a sannys in the line of Caitanya Mahprabhu may accept even a person who is not thoroughly fit to become a disciple. Later on, by the mercy of such a bona fide spiritual master, the disciple is gradually elevated. However, if one increases the number of disciples simply for some prestige or false honor, he will surely fall down in the matter of executing Ka consciousness.

Similarly, a bona fide spiritual master has no business reading many books simply to show his proficiency or to get popularity by lecturing in different places. One should avoid all these things. It is also stated that a sannys should not be enthusiastic about constructing temples. We can see in the lives of various cryas in the line of r Caitanya Mahprabhu that they are not very enthusiastic about constructing temples. However, if somebody comes forward to offer some service, the same reluctant cryas will encourage the building of costly temples by such servitors. For example, Rpa Gosvm was offered a favor by Mahrja Mnsigh, the commander-in-chief of Emperor Akhbar, and Rpa Gosvm instructed him to construct a large temple for Govindaj, which cost vast amounts of money.

So a bona fide spiritual master should not personally take any responsibility for constructing temples, but if someone has money and wants to spend it in the service of Ka, an crya like Rpa Gosvm may utilize the devotees money to construct a nice, costly temple for the service of the Lord. Unfortunately, it happens that someone who is not fit to become a spiritual master may approach wealthy persons to contribute for temple constructions. If such money is utilized by unqualified spiritual masters for living comfortably in costly temples without actually doing any preaching work, this is not acceptable. In other words, a spiritual master neednt be very enthusiastic for constructing temple buildings simply in the name of so-called spiritual advancement. Rather, his first and foremost activity should be to preach. In this connection, rla Bhaktisiddhnta Sarasvat Gosvm Mahrja recommended that a spiritual master print books. If one has money, instead of constructing costly temples, one should spend his money for the publication of authorized books in different languages for propagating the Ka consciousness movement.

Straightforwardness in Ordinary Dealings and Equilibrium in Loss and Gain

There is a statement in the Padma Pura: Persons who are engaged in Ka consciousness should never be disturbed by some material gain or loss. Even if there is some material loss, one should not be perturbed, but should always think of Ka within himself. The purport is that every conditioned soul is always absorbed in thinking of materialistic activities; he has to free himself from such thoughts and transfer himself completely to Ka consciousness. As we have already explained, the basic principle of Ka consciousness is to always think of Ka. One should not be disturbed in material loss, but, rather, should concentrate his mind upon the lotus feet of the Lord.

A devotee should not be subjected to lamentation or illusion. There is the following statement in the Padma Pura: Within the heart of a person who is overpowered by lamentation or anger, there is no possibility of Kas being manifested.

The Demigods

One should not neglect to offer due respect to the demigods. One may not be a devotee of demigods, but that does not mean that he should be disrespectful to them. For example, a Vaiava is not a devotee of Lord iva or Lord Brahm, but he is duty-bound to offer all respects to such highly positioned demigods. According to Vaiava philosophy, one should offer respect even to an ant, so then what is there to speak of such exalted persons as Lord iva and Lord Brahm?

In the Padma Pura it is said, Ka, or Hari, is the master of all demigods, and therefore He is always worshipable. But this does not mean that one should not offer respect to the demigods.

Not Giving Pain to Any Living Entity

This is the statement of Mahbhrata: A person who does not disturb or cause painful action in the mind of any living entity, who treats everyone just like a loving father does his children, whose heart is so pure, certainly very soon becomes favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

In so-called civilized society there is sometimes agitation against cruelty to animals, but at the same time regular slaughterhouses are always maintained. A Vaiava is not like that. A Vaiava can never support animal slaughter or even give pain to any living entity.

NoD 8: Offenses to Be Avoided

Chapter Eight

Offenses to Be Avoided

In the supplementary Vedic literature, there is the following list of thirty-two offenses in the matter of serving the Lord: (1) One should not enter the temple of the Deity in a car or palanquin or with shoes on the feet. (2) One should not fail to observe the various festivals for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, such as Janmam and Ratha-ytr. (3) One should not avoid bowing down before the Deity. (4) One should not enter the temple to worship the Lord without having washed ones hands and feet after eating. (5) One should not enter the temple in a contaminated state. (According to Vedic scripture, if someone dies in the family the whole family becomes contaminated for some time, according to its status. For example, if the family is brhmaa their contamination period is twelve days, for the katriyas and vaiyas it is fifteen days, and for dras thirty days.) (6) One should not bow down on one hand. (7) One should not circumambulate in front of r Ka. (The process of circumambulating the temple is that one should begin circumambulating from the Deitys right-hand side of the temple and come round. Such circumambulation should be performed outside the temple structure at least three times daily.) (8) One should not spread his legs before the Deity. (9) One should not sit before the Deity holding the ankles, elbows or knees with ones hands. (10) One should not lie down before the Deity of Ka. (11) One should not accept prasda before the Deity. (12) One should never speak a lie before the Deity. (13) One should not talk very loudly before the Deity. (14) One should not talk with others before the Deity. (15) One should not cry or howl before the Deity. (16) One should not quarrel or fight before the Deity. (17) One should not chastise anyone before the Deity. (18) One should not be charitable to beggars before the Deity. (19) One should not speak very harshly to others before the Deity. (20) One should not wear a fur blanket before the Deity. (21) One should not eulogize or praise anyone else before the Deity. (22) One should not speak any ill names before the Deity. (23) One should not pass air before the Deity. (24) One should not fail to worship the Deity according to ones means. (In Bhagavad-gt it is stated that the Lord is satisfied if some devotee offers Him even a leaf or a little water. This formula prescribed by the Lord is universally applicable, even for the poorest man. But that does not mean that one who has sufficient means to worship the Lord very nicely should also adopt this method and try to satisfy the Lord simply by offering water and a leaf. If he has sufficient means, he should offer nice decorations, nice flowers and nice foodstuffs and observe all ceremonies. It is not that one should try to satisfy the Supreme Lord with a little water and a leaf, and for himself spend all his money in sense gratification.) (25) One should not eat anything which is not offered first to Ka. (26) One should not fail to offer fresh fruit and grains to Ka, according to the season. (27) After food has been cooked, no one should be offered any foodstuff unless it is first offered to the Deity. (28) One should not sit with his back toward the Deity. (29) One should not offer obeisances silently to the spiritual master, or in other words, one should recite aloud the prayers to the spiritual master while offering obeisances. (30) One should not fail to offer some praise in the presence of the spiritual master. (31) One should not praise himself before the spiritual master. (32) One should not deride the demigods before the Deity.

This is a list of thirty-two offenses. Besides these, there are a number of offenses which are mentioned in the Varha Pura. They are as follows: (1) One should not touch the Deity in a dark room. (2) One should not fail to strictly follow the rules and regulations in worshiping the Deity. (3) One should not enter the temple of the Deity without first making some sound. (4) One should not offer any foodstuff to the Deity which has been seen by dogs or other lower animals. (5) One should not break silence while worshiping. (6) One should not pass urine or evacuate while engaged in worshiping. (7) One should not offer incense without offering some flower. (8) Useless flowers without any fragrance should not be offered. (9) One should not fail to wash his teeth very carefully every day. (10) One should not enter the temple directly after sexual intercourse. (11) One should not touch a woman during her menstrual period. (12) One should not enter the temple after touching a dead body. (13) One should not enter the temple wearing garments of red or blue color or garments which are unwashed. (14) One should not enter the temple after seeing a dead body. (15) One should not pass air within the temple. (16) One should not be angry within the temple. (17) One should not enter the temple after visiting a crematorium. (18) One should not belch before the Deity. So, until one has fully digested his food, he should not enter the temple. (19) One should not smoke marijuana, or gaj. (20) One should not take opium or similar intoxicants. (21) One should not enter the Deity room or touch the body of the Deity after having smeared oil over his body. (22) One should not show disrespect to a scripture teaching about the supremacy of the Lord. (23) One should not introduce any opposing scripture. (24) One should not chew betel before the Deity. (25) One should not offer a flower which was kept in an unclean pot. (26) One should not worship the Lord while sitting on the bare floor; one must have a sitting place or carpet. (27) One should not touch the Deity before one has completed taking bath. (28) One should not decorate his forehead with the three-lined tilaka. (29) One should not enter the temple without washing his hands and feet.

Other rules are that one should not offer foodstuff which is cooked by a non-Vaiava, one should not worship the Deity before a nondevotee, and one should not engage himself in the worship of the Lord while seeing a nondevotee. One should begin the worship of the demigod Gaapati, who drives away all impediments in the execution of devotional service. In the Brahma-sahit it is stated that Gaapati worships the lotus feet of Lord Nsihadeva and in that way has become auspicious for the devotees in clearing out all impediments. Therefore, all devotees should worship Gaapati. The Deities should not be bathed in water which has been touched by the nails or fingers. When a devotee is perspiring, he should not engage himself in worshiping the Deity. Similarly, there are many other prohibitions. For example, one should not cross or step over the flowers offered to the Deities, nor should one take a vow in the name of God. These are all different kinds of offenses in the matter of executing devotional service, and one should be careful to avoid them.

In the Padma Pura it is stated that even a person whose life is completely sinful will be completely protected by the Lord if he simply surrenders unto Him. So it is accepted that one who surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes free from all sinful reactions. And even when a person becomes an offender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, he can still be delivered simply by taking shelter of the holy names of the Lord: Hare Ka, Hare Ka, Ka Ka, Hare Hare/ Hare Rma, Hare Rma, Rma Rma, Hare Hare. In other words, the chanting of Hare Ka is beneficial for eradicating all sins, but if one becomes an offender to the holy names of the Lord, then he has no chance of being delivered.

The offenses against the chanting of the holy name are as follows: (1) To blaspheme the devotees who have dedicated their lives for propagating the holy name of the Lord. (2) To consider the names of demigods like Lord iva or Lord Brahm to be equal to, or independent of, the name of Lord Viu. (Sometimes the atheistic class of men take it that any demigod is as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viu. But one who is a devotee knows that no demigod, however great he may be, is independently as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, if someone thinks that he can chant Kl, Kl! or Durg, Durg!and it is the same as Hare Ka, that is the greatest offense.) (3) To disobey the orders of the spiritual master. (4) To blaspheme the Vedic literature or literature in pursuance of the Vedic version. (5) To consider the glories of chanting Hare Ka to be imagination. (6) To give some interpretation on the holy name of the Lord. (7) To commit sinful activities on the strength of the holy name of the Lord. (It should not be taken that because by chanting the holy name of the Lord one can be freed from all kinds of sinful reaction, one may continue to act sinfully and after that chant Hare Ka to neutralize his sins. Such a dangerous mentality is very offensive and should be avoided.) (8) To consider the chanting of Hare Ka one of the auspicious ritualistic activities offered in the Vedas as fruitive activities (karma-ka). (9) To instruct a faithless person about the glories of the holy name. (Anyone can take part in chanting the holy name of the Lord, but in the beginning one should not be instructed about the transcendental potency of the Lord. Those who are too sinful cannot appreciate the transcendental glories of the Lord, and therefore it is better not to instruct them in this matter.) (10) To not have complete faith in the chanting of the holy names and to maintain material attachments, even after understanding so many instructions on this matter.

Every devotee who claims to be a Vaiava must guard against these offenses in order to quickly achieve the desired success.

NoD 9: Further Considerations of Devotional Principles

Chapter Nine

Further Considerations of Devotional Principles


One should not tolerate blasphemy of the Lord or His devotees. In this connection, in the Tenth Canto, Seventy-fourth Chapter, verse 40, of rmad-Bhgavatam, ukadeva Gosvm tells Parkit Mahrja, My dear King, if a person, after hearing blasphemous propaganda against the Lord and His devotees, does not go away from that place, he becomes bereft of the effect of all pious activities.

In one of Lord Caitanyas ikaka verses it is stated, The devotee should be more tolerant than the tree and more submissive than the grass. He should offer all honor to others, but may not accept any honor for himself. In spite of Lord Caitanyas being so humble and meek as a devotee, when He was informed about injuries inflicted on the body of r Nitynanda, He immediately ran to the spot and wanted to kill the offenders, Jagi and Mdhi. This behavior of Lord Caitanyas is very significant. It shows that a Vaiava may be very tolerant and meek, foregoing everything for his personal honor, but when it is a question of the honor of Ka or His devotee, he will not tolerate any insult.

There are three ways of dealing with such insults. If someone is heard blaspheming by words, one should be so expert that he can defeat the opposing party by argument. If he is unable to defeat the opposing party, then the next step is that he should not just stand there meekly, but should give up his life. The third process is followed if he is unable to execute the above-mentioned two processes, and this is that one must leave the place and go away. If a devotee does not follow any of the above-mentioned three processes, he falls down from his position of devotion.

Tilaka and Tulas Beads

In the Padma Pura there is a statement describing how a Vaiava should decorate his body with tilaka and beads: Persons who put tulas beads on the neck, who mark twelve places of their bodies as Viu temples with Vius symbolic representations [the four items held in the four hands of Lord Viuconch, mace, disc and lotus], and who have viu-tilaka on their foreheads, are to be understood as the devotees of Lord Viu in this world. Their presence makes the world purified, and anywhere they remain, they make that place as good as Vaikuha.

A similar statement is in the Skanda Pura, which says, Persons who are decorated with tilaka or gop-candana [a kind of clay resembling fullers earth which is produced in certain quarters of Vndvana], and who mark their bodies all over with the holy names of the Lord, and on whose necks and breasts there are tulas beads, are never approached by the Yamadtas. The Yamadtas are the constables of King Yama (the lord of death), who punishes all sinful men. Vaiavas are never called for by such constables of Yamarja. In the rmad-Bhgavatam, in the narration of Ajmilas deliverance, it is said that Yamarja gave clear instructions to his assistants not to approach the Vaiavas. Vaiavas are beyond the jurisdiction of Yamarjas activities.

The Padma Pura also mentions, A person whose body is decorated with the pulp of sandalwood, with paintings of the holy name of the Lord, is delivered from all sinful reactions, and after his death he goes directly to Kaloka to live in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Accepting Flower Garlands

The next instruction is that one should put on flower garlands which are offered to the Deity. In this connection, in the Eleventh Canto, Sixth Chapter, verse 46, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Uddhava says to Ka, My dear Ka, I have taken things which You have used and enjoyed, such as garlands of flowers, saintly articles, garments and ornaments, and I eat only the remnants of Your foodstuff, because I am Your menial servant. So, therefore, I am sure that I shall not be attacked by the spell of material energy. The purport of this verse is that for any person who simply follows these rules and regulations of decorating the body with the marks of tilaka of gop-candana or sandalwood pulp, and who puts on the garlands which were offered to Ka, there is no question of being conquered by the spell of material energy. At the time of death, there is no question of such a persons being called by the constables of Yamarja. Even if one does not accept all the Vaiava principles, but still takes the remnants of foodstuff offered to Ka, or ka-prasda, he will gradually become qualified to rise to the platform of a Vaiava.

Similarly, in the Skanda Pura Lord Brahm tells Nrada, My dear Nrada, anyone who puts on his neck the flower garland which was formerly used by Ka becomes relieved from all disease and reactions to sinful activities, and gradually he is liberated from the contamination of matter.

Dancing Before the Deity

In the Dvrak-mhtmya the importance of dancing before the Deity is stated by Lord Ka as follows: A person who is in a jubilant spirit, who feels profound devotional ecstasy while dancing before Me, and who manifests different features of bodily expression can burn away all the accumulated sinful reactions he has stocked up for many, many thousands of years. In the same book there is a statement by Nrada wherein he asserts, From the body of any person who claps and dances before the Deity, showing manifestations of ecstasy, all the birds of sinful activities fly away upward. Just as by clapping the hands one can cause many birds to fly away, similarly the birds of all sinful activities which are sitting on the body can be made to fly away simply by dancing and clapping before the Deity of Ka.

Bowing Down in Honor of the Deity

In the Nradya Pura there is a statement about bowing down and offering respect to the Deity. It is said there, A person who has performed a great ritualistic sacrifice and a person who has simply offered his respectful obeisances by bowing down before the Lord cannot be held as equals. The person who has executed many great sacrifices will attain the result of his pious activities, but when such results are finished, he has to take birth again on the earthly planet; however, the person who has once offered respects, bowing down before the Deity, will not come back to this world, because he will go directly to the abode of Ka.

Standing Up to Receive the Lord

In the Brahma Pura it is said, A person who sees the Lords Ratha-ytr car festival and then stands up to receive the Lord can purge all kinds of sinful results from his body.

Following the Deity

A similar statement is there in the Bhaviya Pura, in which it is said, Even if born of a lowly family, a person who follows the Ratha-ytr car when the Deities pass in front or from behind will surely be elevated to the position of achieving equal opulence with Viu.

Going to the Temple of Viu or to Places of Pilgrimage

It is stated in the Puras, Persons who attempt to visit the holy places of pilgrimage, like Vndvana, Mathur or Dvrak, are actually glorified. By such traveling activities, they can pass over the desert of material existence.

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya there is a statement about the benefit of visiting the temples of Lord Ka. As we have explained previously, in Vndvana, Mathur and Dvrak the system is that all the devotees take advantage of visiting various temples situated in those holy places. It is stated in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya, Persons who are impelled by pure devotional service in Ka consciousness and who therefore go to see the Deities of Viu in the temple will surely get relief from entering again into the prison house of a mothers womb. The conditioned soul forgets the trouble of living within the mothers womb during birth, but it is a very painful and terrible experience. In order to make an escape from this material condition, one is advised to visit a temple of Viu with devotional consciousness. Then one can very easily get out of the miserable condition of material birth.

Circumambulating the Temple of Viu

It is said in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya, A person who is circumambulating the Deity of Viu can counteract the circumambulation of repeated birth and death in this material world. The conditioned soul is circumambulating through repeated births and deaths on account of his material existence, and this can be counteracted simply by circumambulating the Deity in the temple.

The Cturmsya ceremony is observed during the four months of the rainy season in India (approximately July, August, September and October), beginning from rvaa. During these four months, saintly persons who are accustomed to travel from one place to another to propagate Ka consciousness remain at one place, usually a holy place of pilgrimage. During these times, there are certain special rules and regulations which are strictly followed. It is stated in the Skanda Pura that during this period, if someone circumambulates the temple of Viu at least four times, it is understood that he has traveled all over the universe. By such circumambulation, one is understood to have seen all the holy places where the Ganges water is flowing, and by following the regulative principles of Cturmsya one can very quickly be raised to the platform of devotional service.


Arcan means worship of the Deity in the temple. By executing this process one confirms himself to be not the body but spirit soul. In the Tenth Canto, Eighty-first Chapter, verse 19, of rmad-Bhgavatam, it is told how Sudm, an intimate friend of Kas, while going to the house of a brhmaa, murmured to himself, Simply by worshiping Ka one can easily achieve all the results of heavenly opulence, liberation, supremacy over the planetary systems of the universe, all the opulences of this material world, and the mystic power of performing the yoga system.

The events leading to Sudms murmuring this statement are as follows. r Ka had ordered His friend Sudm to go to a brhmaas house and ask for some food. The brhmaas were performing a great sacrifice, and r Ka told Sudm to plead with them that He and Balarma were feeling hungry and needed some food. When Sudm went there, the brhmaas refused to offer anything, but the wives of the brhmaas, upon hearing that r Ka wanted some foodstuff, immediately took many palatable dishes and went to offer them to r Ka. In the Viu-rahasya, also, it is stated, Any person within this world who is engaged in the worship of Viu can very easily achieve the ever-blissful kingdom of God, known as Vaikuhaloka.

Rendering Service to the Lord

It is stated in the Viu-rahasya, Any person who can arrange for service to the Lord in the same way that a king is given service by his attendants is surely elevated to the abode of Ka after death. Actually, in India the temples are just like royal palaces. They are not ordinary buildings, because the worship of Ka should be performed in just the way that a king is worshiped in his palace. So in Vndvana there are many hundreds of temples wherein the Deity is worshiped exactly like a king. In the Nradya Pura it is stated, H a person stays in the Lords temple even for a few moments, he can surely achieve the transcendental kingdom of God.

The conclusion is that those who are rich men in society should construct beautiful temples and arrange for the worship of Viu, so that people may be attracted to visit such temples and thereby be offered the opportunity of dancing before the Lord or chanting the holy name of the Lord, or else of hearing the holy name of the Lord. In this way, everyone will be given the chance to elevate himself to the kingdom of God. In other words, even a common man, simply by visiting such a temple, will be able to attain the highest benedictions, not to mention the devotees who are constantly engaged in the service of the Lord in full Ka consciousness.

In this connection, there is a statement in the Fourth Canto, Twenty-first Chapter, verse 31, of the rmad-Bhgavatam, wherein King Pthu says to his subjects, My dear citizens, please note that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is actually the deliverer of all fallen, conditioned souls. No demigod can perform this act of delivering the conditioned souls, because the demigods themselves are conditioned. A conditioned soul cannot deliver another conditioned soul. Only Ka or His bona fide representative can deliver him. The Ganges water which is flowing down from the toe of Lord Viu falls upon the earthly planet and other planets and thereby delivers all the conditioned sinful living entities. So what need is there to speak of the deliverance of persons who are always engaged in the service of the Lord? There is no doubt about their liberation, even if they have stocks of sinful activities from many, many births. In other words, a person who is engaged in the worship of the Deities can minimize his stock of sinful reactions coming from many, many previous births. This process of worshiping the Deity has already been described, and one should try to follow these rules and regulations seriously.


In the Liga Pura there is a statement about glorifying and singing about the Lord. It is said there, A brhmaa who is constantly engaged in singing the glories of the Lord is surely elevated to the same planet as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Ka appreciates this singing even more than the prayers offered by Lord iva.


When a person loudly chants the glories of the Lords activities, qualities, form, etc., his chanting is called sakrtana. Sakrtana also refers to the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord.

In the Viu-dharma there is a statement glorifying this process of congregational chanting: My dear King, this word Ka is so auspicious that anyone who chants this holy name immediately gets rid of the resultant actions of sinful activities from many, many births. That is a fact. There is the following statement in Caitanya-caritmta: A person who chants the holy name of Ka once can counteract the resultant actions of more sinful activities than he is able to perform. A sinful man can perform many, many sinful activities, but he is unable to perform so many that they cannot be wiped out by one single uttering of Ka.

In the Seventh Canto, Ninth Chapter, verse 18, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Mahrja Prahlda offers the following prayers to the Lord: My dear Lord Nsiha, if I can be elevated to the position of Your servant, then it will be possible for me to hear about Your activities. You are the supreme friend, the supreme worshipable Deity. Your pastimes are transcendental, and simply by hearing of them one can counteract all his sinful activities. Therefore, I shall not care for all those sinful activities, because simply by hearing about Your pastimes I shall get out of all the contamination of material attachment.

There are many songs about the Lords activities. For example, there is the Brahma-sahit, sung by Lord Brahm; Nrada-pacartra, sung by Nrada Muni; and rmad-Bhgavatam, sung by ukadeva Gosvm. If these songs are heard by any person, he can easily get out of the clutches of material contamination. There should be no difficulty in hearing these songs of God. They are coming down from many, many millions of years ago, and people are still taking advantage of them. So why, at this time, should one not take full advantage and thus become liberated?

In the First Canto, Fifth Chapter, verse 22, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Nrada Muni tells his disciple Vysadeva, My dear Vysa, you should know that persons who are engaged in executing austerities and penances, studying the Vedas, performing big sacrifices, chanting the hymns of the Vedas, speculating on transcendental knowledge and performing charitable functions have for all their auspicious activities simply to gain a place in the association of devotees and chant the glories of the Lord. It is indicated here that chanting about and glorifying the Lord is the ultimate activity of the living entity.


Chanting a mantra or hymn softly and slowly is called japa, and chanting the same mantra loudly is called krtana. For example, uttering the mah-mantra (Hare Ka, Hare Ka, Ka Ka, Hare Hare/ Hare Rma, Hare Rma, Rma Rma, Hare Hare) very softly, only for ones own hearing, is called japa. Chanting the same mantra loudly for being heard by all others is called krtana. The mah-mantra can be used for japa and krtana also. When japa is practiced it is for the personal benefit of the chanter, but when krtana is performed it is for the benefit of all others who may hear.

In the Padma Pura there is a statement: For any person who is chanting the holy name either softly or loudly, the paths to liberation and even heavenly happiness are at once open.


In the Skanda Pura there is a statement about submission unto the lotus feet of the Lord. It is said there that those who are sober devotees can offer their submission to Ka in the following three ways: (1) samprrthantmik, very feelingly offering prayers; (2) dainyavodhik, humbly submitting oneself; (3) llasmay, desiring some perfectional stage. This desiring some perfectional stage in spiritual life is not sense gratification. When one realizes something of his constitutional relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he understands his original position and wants to be reinstated in this position, either as friend, servant, parent or conjugal lover of Ka. That is called llasmay, or very eagerly desiring to go to ones natural position. This llasmay stage of submission comes in the stage of perfect liberation, which is technically called svarpa-siddhi, when the living entity understands, by perfect spiritual advancement and revelation, his original relationship with the Lord.

In the Padma Pura there is a statement of submission in feeling by devotees praying to the Lord: My Lord, I know that young girls have natural affection for young boys, and that young boys have natural affection for young girls. I am praying at Your lotus feet that my mind may become attracted unto You in the same spontaneous way. The example is very appropriate. When a young boy or girl sees a member of the opposite sex there is a natural attraction, without the need for any introduction. Without any training there is a natural attraction due to the sex impulse. This is a material example, but the devotee is praying that he may develop a similar spontaneous attachment for the Supreme Lord, free from any desire for profit and without any other cause. This natural attraction for the Lord is the perfectional stage of self-realization.

In the same Padma Pura there is a statement about submission in humbleness. It is stated there, My dear Lord, there is no sinful living entity who is more of a sinner than myself. Nor is there a greater offender than myself. I am so greatly sinful and offensive that when I come to confess my sinful activities before You, I am ashamed. This is a natural position for a devotee. As far as the conditioned soul is concerned, there is no wonder that he has some sinful activities in his past life, and this should be admitted and confessed before the Lord. As soon as this is done, the Lord excuses the sincere devotee. But that does not mean that one should take advantage of the Lords causeless mercy and expect to be excused over and over again, while he commits the same sinful activities. Such a mentality is only for shameless persons. Here it is clearly said, When I come to confess my sinful activities I become ashamed. So if a person is not ashamed of his sinful activities and continues to commit the same sinful activities with the knowledge that the Lord will excuse him, that is a most nonsensical proposition. Such an idea is not accepted in any part of the Vedic literature. It is a fact that by chanting the holy name of the Lord one becomes washed clean of all sinful activities from his past life. But that does not mean that after being washed off, one should again begin sinful activities and expect to be washed again. These are nonsensical propositions and are not admitted in devotional service. Someone may think, For a whole week I may commit sinful activities, and for one day I will go to the temple or church and admit my sinful activities so that I can become washed off and again begin my sinning. This is most nonsensical and offensive and is not acceptable to the author of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu.

In the Nrada-pacartra there is a statement of submission accompanied by the desire for perfection. The devotee says, My dear Lord, when shall that day come when You will ask me to fan Your body, and according to Your pleasure, You will say, You just fan Me in this way? The idea in this verse is that the devotee is desiring to personally fan the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That means that he is desiring to become the personal associate of the Supreme Lord. Of course, any devotee in any capacity, either as servant, friend or conjugal lover, always has direct association with the Lord. But according to his different individual taste, a person desires for just one of these relationships. Here the devotee is desiring to become a servant of the Lord and desires to fan the Lord, as does His internal energy, Lakm, the goddess of fortune. He also wishes that the Personality of Godhead will be pleased to give him directions as to how to fan. This submission with transcendental desire, or llasmay vijapti, is the highest perfectional stage of spiritual realization.

In the same Nrada-pacartra, there is another expression of submission, wherein the devotee says, My dear Lord, O lotus-eyed one, when will that day come when on the bank of the Yamun I shall become just like a madman and continue to chant Your holy name while incessant tears flow from my eyes? This is another perfectional stage. Lord Caitanya also desired that a moment will appear unto me as twelve years of time, and the whole world will appear to me as vacant on account of not seeing You, my dear Lord. One should feelingly pray and become eager to render his particular type of service to the Lord. This is the teaching of all great devotees, especially Lord Caitanya.

In other words, one should learn how to cry for the Lord. One should learn this small technique, and he should be very eager and actually cry to become engaged in some particular type of service. This is called laulyam, and such tears are the price for the highest perfection. If one develops this laulyam, or excessive eagerness for meeting and serving the Lord in a particular way, that is the price to enter into the kingdom of God. Otherwise, there is no material calculation for the value of the ticket by which one can enter the kingdom of God. The only price for such entrance is this laulyam llasmay, or desire and great eagerness.

Reciting Notable Prayers

According to great learned scholars, the whole Bhagavad-gt contains many authorized prayers, especially in the Eleventh Chapter, where Arjuna prays to the universal form of the Lord. Similarly, in the Gautamya-tantra all the verses are called prayers. Again, in rmad-Bhgavatam there are hundreds of prayers to the Lord. So a devotee should select some of these prayers for his recitation. In Skanda Pura the glories of these prayers are stated as follows: Devotees whose tongues are decorated always with prayers to Lord Ka are always given respect even by the great saintly persons and sages, and such devotees are actually worshipable by the demigods.

Those who are less intelligent want to worship different demigods for some material gain rather than worship Ka. But here it is stated that a devotee who is always engaged in offering prayers to the Lord is worshipable even by the demigods themselves. The pure devotees have nothing to ask from any demigod; rather, the demigods are anxious to offer prayers to the pure devotees.

In the Nsiha Pura it is stated, Any person who comes before the Deity of Lord Ka and begins to chant different prayers is immediately relieved from all the reactions of sinful activities and becomes eligible, without any doubt, to enter into the Vaikuhaloka.

Partaking of Prasda

There is this specific statement in the Padma Pura: A person who honors the prasda and regularly eats it, not exactly in front of the Deity, along with caramta [the water offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, which is mixed with seeds of the tulas tree], immediately can achieve the results of pious activities which are obtained through ten thousand performances of sacrificial rites.

Drinking Caramta

Caramta is obtained in the morning while the Lord is being washed before dressing. Scented with perfumes and flowers, the water comes gliding down through His lotus feet and is collected and mixed with yogurt. In this way this caramta not only becomes very tastefully flavored, but also has tremendous spiritual value. As described in the Padma Pura, even a person who has never been able to give in charity, who has never been able to perform a great sacrifice, who has never been able to study the Vedas, who has never been able to worship the Lordor, in other words, even one who has never done any pious activitieswill become eligible to enter into the kingdom of God if he simply drinks the caramta which is kept in the temple. In the temple it is the custom that the caramta be kept in a big pot. The devotees who come to visit and offer respects to the Deity take three drops of caramta very submissively and feel themselves happy in transcendental bliss.

Smelling the Incense and Flowers Offered to the Deity

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya there is a statement about the incense which is offered in the temple: When the devotees smell the good flavor of the incense which is offered to the Deity, they thus become cured of the poisonous effects of material contamination, as much as one becomes cured of a snakebite by smelling the prescribed medicinal herbs. The explanation of this verse is that there is an herb found in the jungles which expert persons know how to use to revive the consciousness of one who is bitten by a snake. Simply by smelling that herb one becomes immediately relieved of the poisonous effects of the snakebite. The same example is applicable: when a person comes to visit the temple and smells the incense offered to the Deity, he is cured at that time from all his material contamination.

Any devotee coming into the temple should always offer something to the Deityfruit, flowers, incense, etc. If one cannot offer anything in cash, something else must be offered. In India the system is that all the ladies and gentlemen who come in the morning to visit the temple bring so many things. Even one morsel of rice or one morsel of flour can be offered. It is a regulative principle that one should not go to see a saintly person or the Deity in the temple without any offering. The offering may be very humble, or it may be priceless. Even a flower, a little fruit, a little waterwhatever is possiblemust be offered. So when a devotee comes to offer something to the Deity in the morning, he is sure to smell the good flavor of the incense, and then at once he will become cleansed of the poisonous effect of material existence.

It is stated in the Tantra-stra, If the smell of the garland which was offered to the Deity in the temple enters into a persons nostrils, immediately his bondage to sinful activities becomes cleared. And even if one has no sinful activities, still, by smelling such remnants of flowers, one can advance from Myvd [impersonalist] to devotee. There are several instances of this, a prime one being the advancement of the four Kumras. They were impersonalist Myvds, but after smelling the remnants of flowers and incense in the temple, they turned to become devotees. From the above verse it appears that the Myvds, or impersonalists, are more or less contaminated. They are not pure.

It is confirmed in rmad-Bhgavatam, One who has not washed off all reactions of sinful activities cannot be a pure devotee. A pure devotee has no more doubts about the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead, and thus he engages himself in Ka consciousness and devotional service. A similar statement is in the Agastya-sahit: just to purify the impurities of our nostrils, we should try to smell the remnants of flowers offered to Ka in the temple.

Touching the Deity

In the Viu-dharmottara there is a statement about touching the lotus feet of the Lord. It is said, Only a person who is initiated as a Vaiava and is executing devotional service in Ka consciousness has the right to touch the body of the Deity. In India there was agitation during Gandhis political movement because the lowborn classes of men like street-sweepers and calas are prohibited, according to the Vedic system, from entering the temple. Due to their unclean habits they are prohibited, but at the same time they are given other facilities so they may be elevated to the highest grade of devotional service by association with pure devotees. A man born in any family is not barred, but he must be cleansed. That cleansing process must be adopted. Gandhi wanted to make them clean simply by stamping them with a fictitious name, harijana (children of God), and so there was a great tug-of-war between the temple owners and Gandhis followers.

But anyway, the present law is the law of all scripturethat if anyone is purified he can enter into the temple. Actually, that is the position. Only one who is properly initiated, who is properly following the rules and regulations, can enter, and touch the Deitynot all. And one who touches the body of the Deity, following such regulative principles, is immediately delivered from the contamination of material sins, and all of his desires become fulfilled without delay.

Seeing the Deity

In the Varha Pura there is a statement praising the seeing of the Deity of r Ka in the temple. A devotee says there, My dear Vasundhar, any person who goes to Vndvana and sees the Deity of Govindadeva is free from the courthouse of Yamarja and is allowed to enter into the highest planetary system, in which reside the demigods. This means that even an ordinary person who goes to Vndvana out of inquisitiveness and by chance sees the temple, especially that of Govindadeva, even if he is not elevated to the spiritual kingdom, is still assured promotion to the higher planetary systems. This means that simply by visiting the Deity of Govinda in Vndvana one becomes highly elevated in pious life.

Observing rati and Celebrations of the Lord

In the Skanda Pura there is the following description of the result of seeing rati (worship) of the Deity: If someone sees the face of the Lord while rati is going on, he can be relieved of all sinful reactions coming from many, many thousands and millions of years past. He is even excused from the killing of a brhmaa or similar prohibited activities.

As we have already explained, there are different ceremonies to be observed, such as the birthday of Ka, the birthday of Lord Rmacandra, the birthday of some prominent Vaiavas, the ceremony of Jhulana-ytr with the Lord sitting on a swing, and Dola-ytr (the Lords activities in the month of March). In all festivals the Lord is seated on a car, and the car moves through different streets of the city so that people may take advantage of visiting the Lord. In the Bhaviya Pura it is said, In such a ceremony, if even a cala [dog-eater], simply out of curiosity, sees the Lord on the cart, he becomes counted as one of the associates of Viu.

In the Agni Pura it is stated, Any person who in gladness sees the worship of the Deity in the temple will obtain the results of kriy-yoga which are described in the Pacartra scripture. Kriy-yoga is a system of practice much like practical devotional service, but it is especially meant for the mystic yogs. In other words, by this gradual process the mystic yogs are eventually elevated to the devotional service of the Lord.

NoD 10: Techniques of Hearing and Remembering

Chapter Ten

Techniques of Hearing and Remembering


The beginning of Ka consciousness and devotional service is hearing, in Sanskrit called ravaam. All people should be given the chance to come and join devotional parties so that they may hear. This hearing is very important for progressing in Ka consciousness. When one links his ears to give aural reception to the transcendental vibrations, he can quickly become purified and cleansed in the heart. Lord Caitanya has affirmed that this hearing is very important. It cleanses the heart of the contaminated soul so that he becomes quickly qualified to enter into devotional service and understand Ka consciousness.

In the Garua Pura the stress on hearing is expressed very nicely. It is said there, The state of conditioned life in the material world is just like that of a man lying unconscious, having been bitten by a snake. This is because both such unconscious states can be ended by the sound of a mantra. When a man is snake-bitten he does not die immediately, but first becomes unconscious and remains in a comatose condition. Anyone who is in the material world is also sleeping, as he is ignorant of his actual self or his actual duty and his relationship with God. So materialistic life means that one is bitten by the snake of my, illusion, and thus, without any Ka consciousness, is almost dead. Now, the so-called dead man bitten by a snake can be brought back to life by the chanting of some mantra. There are expert chanters of these mantras who can perform this feat. Similarly, one can be brought back into Ka consciousness from the deadly unconscious state of material life by hearing of the mah-mantra: Hare Ka, Hare Ka, Ka Ka, Hare Hare/ Hare Rma, Hare Rma, Rma Rma, Hare Hare.

In the Fourth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verse 40, the importance of hearing of the pastimes of the Lord is stated by ukadeva Gosvm to Mahrja Parkit: My dear King, one should stay at a place where the great cryas [holy teachers] speak about the transcendental activities of the Lord, and one should give aural reception to the nectarean river flowing from the moonlike faces of such great personalities. If someone eagerly continues to hear such transcendental sounds, then certainly he will become freed from all material hunger, thirst, fear and lamentation, as well as all illusions of material existence.

r Caitanya Mahprabhu also recommended this process of hearing as a means of self-realization in the present age of Kali. In this age it is very difficult to follow thoroughly the regulative principles and studies of the Vedas which were formerly recommended. However, if one gives aural reception to the sound vibrated by great devotees and cryas, that alone will give him relief from all material contamination. Therefore it is the recommendation of Caitanya Mahprabhu that one should simply hear from authorities who are actually devotees of the Lord. Hearing from professional men will not help. If we hear from those who are actually self-realized, then the nectarean rivers, like those which are flowing on the moon planet, will flow into our ears. This is the metaphor used in the above verse.

As stated in Bhagavad-gt, A materialistic person can give up his material hankerings only by becoming situated in Ka consciousness. Unless one finds a superior engagement, he will not be able to give up his inferior engagement. In the material world everyone is engaged in the illusory activities of the inferior energy, but when one is given the opportunity to relish the activities of the superior energy performed by Ka, then he forgets all his lesser pleasures. When Ka speaks on the Battlefield of Kuruketra, to the materialistic person it appears that this is simply talk between two friends, but actually it is a river of nectar flowing down from the mouth of r Ka. Arjuna gave aural reception to such vibrations, and thus he became freed from all the illusions of material problems.

In the Twelfth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Third Chapter, verse 15, it is stated, A person who desires unalloyed devotional service to Lord Ka, who is praised by transcendental sound vibrations, should always hear about His glorification and transcendental qualities. This will surely kill all kinds of inauspiciousness in the heart.

Expecting the Lords Mercy

In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 8, it is said, My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim.

This statement of rmad-Bhgavatam should be the guide of all devotees. A devotee should not expect immediate relief from the reactions of his past misdeeds. No conditioned soul is free from such reactionary experiences, because material existence means continued suffering or enjoying of past activities. If one has finished his material activities then there is no more birth. This is possible only when one begins Ka conscious activities, because such activities do not produce reaction. Therefore, as soon as one becomes perfect in Ka conscious activities, he is not going to take birth again in this material world. A devotee who is not perfectly freed from the resultant actions should therefore continue to act in Ka consciousness seriously, even though there may be so many impediments. When such impediments arise he should simply think of Ka and expect His mercy. That is the only solace. If the devotee passes his days in that spirit, it is certain that he is going to be promoted to the abode of the Lord. By such activities, he earns his claim to enter into the kingdom of God. The exact word used in this verse is dya-bhk. Dya-bhk refers to a sons becoming the lawful inheritor of the property of the father. In a similar way, a pure devotee who is prepared to undergo all kinds of tribulations in executing Ka conscious duties becomes lawfully qualified to enter into the transcendental abode.


Some way or other, if someone establishes in his mind his continuous relationship with Ka, this relationship is called remembrance. About this remembrance there is a nice statement in the Viu Pura, where it is said, Simply by remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead all living entities become eligible for all kinds of auspiciousness. Therefore let me always remember the Lord, who is unborn and eternal. In the Padma Pura the same remembrance is explained as follows: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Ka, because if someone remembers Him, either at the time of death or during his span of life, he becomes freed from all sinful reactions.


To meditate means to engage the mind in thinking of the form of the Lord, the qualities of the Lord, the activities of the Lord and the service of the Lord. Meditation does not mean anything impersonal or void. According to Vedic literature, meditation is always on the form of Viu.

In the Nsiha Pura there is a statement about meditation on the form of the Lord. It is said there, Meditation focusing on the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead has been accepted as transcendental and beyond the experience of material pain and pleasure. By such meditation, even one who is grossly miscreant can be delivered from the sinful reactions of his life.

In the Viu-dharma there is a statement about meditation on the transcendental qualities of the Lord. It is said, Persons who are constantly engaged in Ka consciousness, and who remember the transcendental qualities of the Lord, become free from all reactions to sinful activities, and after being so cleansed they become fit to enter into the kingdom of God. In other words, no one can enter into the kingdom of God without being freed from all sinful reactions. One can avoid sinful reactions simply by remembering the Lords form, qualities, pastimes, etc.

In the Padma Pura there is a statement about remembering the activities of the Lord: A person who is always engaged in meditation on the sweet pastimes and wonderful activities of the Lord surely becomes freed from all material contamination.

In some of the Puras the evidence is given that if someone is simply meditating on devotional activities, he has achieved the desired result and has seen face to face the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this connection, there is a story in the Brahma-vaivarta Pura that in the city of Pratihnapura in South India there was once a brhmaa who was not very well-to-do, but who was nevertheless satisfied in himself, thinking that it was because of his past misdeeds and by the desire of Ka that he did not get sufficient money and opulence. So he was not at all sorry for his poor material position, and he used to live very peacefully. He was very openhearted, and sometimes he went to hear some lectures delivered by great realized souls. At one such meeting, while he was very faithfully hearing about Vaiava activities, he was informed that these activities can be performed even by meditation. In other words, if a person is unable to actually perform Vaiava activities physically, he can meditate upon the Vaiava activities and thereby acquire all of the same results. Because the brhmaa was not very well-to-do financially, he decided that he would simply meditate on grand, royal devotional activities, and he began this business thus:

Sometimes he would take his bath in the River Godvar. After taking his bath he would sit in a secluded place on the bank of the river, and by practicing the yoga exercises of pryma, the usual breathing exercises, he would concentrate his mind. These breathing exercises are meant to mechanically fix the mind upon a particular subject. That is the result of the breathing exercises and also of the different sitting postures of yoga. Formerly, even quite ordinary persons used to know how to fix the mind upon the remembrance of the Lord, and so the brhmaa was doing this. When he had fixed the form of the Lord in his mind, he began to imagine in his meditations that he was dressing the Lord very nicely in costly clothing, with ornaments, helmets and other paraphernalia. Then he offered his respectful obeisances by bowing down before the Lord. After finishing the dressing, he began to imagine that he was cleaning the temple very nicely. After cleansing the temple, he imagined that he had many water jugs made of gold and silver, and he took all those jugs to the river and filled them with the holy water. Not only did he collect water from the Godvar, but he collected from the Ganges, Yamun, Narmad and Kver. Generally a Vaiava, while worshiping the Lord, collects water from all these rivers by mantra chanting. This brhmaa, instead of chanting some mantra, imagined that he was physically securing water from all these rivers in golden and silver waterpots. Then he collected all kinds of paraphernalia for worshipflowers, fruits, incense and sandalwood pulp. He collected everything to place before the Deity. All these waters, flowers and scented articles were then very nicely offered to the Deities to Their satisfaction. Then he offered rati, and with the regulative principles he finished all these activities in the correct worshiping method.

He would daily execute similar performances as his routine work, and he continued to do so for many, many years. Then one day the brhmaa imagined in his meditations that he had prepared some sweet rice with milk and sugar and offered the preparation to the Deity. However, he was not very satisfied with the offering because the sweet rice had been prepared recently and it was still very hot. (This preparation, sweet rice, should not be taken hot. The cooler the sweet rice, the better its taste.) So because the sweet rice had been prepared by the brhmaa very recently, he wanted to touch it so that he could know whether it was fit for eating by the Lord. As soon as he touched the sweet rice pot with his finger, he immediately was burnt by the heat of the pot. In this way, his meditation broke. Now, when he looked at his finger, he saw that it was burnt, and he was wondering in astonishment how this could have happened. Because he was simply meditating on touching the hot sweet rice, he never thought that his finger would actually become burnt.

While he was thinking like this, in Vaikuha Lord Nryaa, seated with the goddess of fortune, Lakm, began to smile humorously. On seeing this smiling of the Lord, all the goddesses of fortune attending the Lord became very curious and asked Lord Nryaa why He was smiling. The Lord, however, did not reply to their inquisitiveness, but instead immediately sent for the brhmaa. An airplane sent from Vaikuha immediately brought the brhmaa into Lord Nryaas presence. When the brhmaa was thus present before the Lord and the goddesses of fortune, the Lord explained the whole story. The brhmaa was then fortunate enough to get an eternal place in Vaikuha in the association of the Lord and His Lakms. This shows how the Lord is all-pervading, in spite of His being locally situated in His abode. Although the Lord was present in Vaikuha, He was present also in the heart of the brhmaa when he was meditating on the worshiping process. Thus, we can understand that things offered by the devotees even in meditation are accepted by the Lord, and they help one achieve the desired result.

NoD 11: Aspects of Transcendental Service

Chapter Eleven

Aspects of Transcendental Service


In the opinion of the karms (fruitive workers), offering the results of karma is called servitorship. But according to Vaiava cryas like Rpa Gosvm, servitorship means constant engagement in some kind of service to the Lord.

In the Skanda Pura it is said that those who are attached to ritualistic activities, the four orders of social life and the four orders of spiritual life, are considered devotees. But when devotees are actually engaged in offering service to the Lord directly, these must be bhgavatas, or pure devotees. Those who are engaged in fruitive activities, or prescribed duties according to the four orders of social and spiritual life, are not actually pure devotees. But still, because they are offering the result to the Lord, they are accepted as devotees. When one has no such desire, but acts spontaneously out of love of God, such a person must be accepted as a pure devotee. The conditioned souls who have come into contact with the material world are all more or less desirous of lording it over material nature. The system of varrama and the prescribed duties under this system are so designed that the conditioned soul may enjoy in the material world according to his desire for sense gratification and at the same time gradually become elevated to spiritual understanding. Under these prescribed duties of vara and rama there are many activities which belong to devotional service in Ka consciousness. Those devotees who are householders accept Vedic ritualistic performances as well as the prescribed duties of devotional service, because both are meant for satisfying Ka. When householder devotees perform some Vedic ritualistic duties, they do so to satisfy Ka. As we have previously discussed, any activity aiming at satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead is considered devotional service.

rla Rpa Gosvm describes one who is fit for becoming engaged in devotional service. He says that persons who are neophytes and who have developed a little love of Godhead are not interested in the activities of sense gratification, in proportion to their devotion. But if there is still some attraction for sense gratifying activities, then the result of such activities should be offered to Ka. This is also called engagement in the service of the Lord, with the Lord as the master and the worker as the servant.

In the Nradya Pura there is a statement of how this servitorship is transcendental. It is said there that a person who is constantly engaged in devotional service by his body, mind and words, or even a person who is not practically engaged but is simply desiring to be so, is considered to be liberated.

Devotional Service in Friendship

Devotional service in friendship can be divided into two categories: the first is to act as the confidential servant of the Lord, and the other is to act as the well-wisher of the Lord. The devotee who has confidence in devotional service to the Lord systematically follows the rules and regulations, with the faith that lie will achieve the platform of transcendental life. The second type of devotional friendship is to become a well-wisher of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gt it is said that the Lord accepts a preacher as the most dear servant. Anyone who is preaching the confidential message of the Gt to the people in general is so dear to Ka that no one can be equal to him in human society.

In the Mahbhrata, Draupad says, My dear Govinda, Your promise is that Your devotee can never be vanquished. I believe in that statement, and therefore in all kinds of tribulations I simply remember Your promise, and thus I live. The purport is that Draupad and her five husbands, the Pavas, were put into severe tribulations by their cousin-brother Duryodhana, as well as by others. The tribulations were so severe that even Bhmadeva, who was both a lifelong brahmacr and a great warrior, would sometimes shed tears thinking of them. He was always surprised that although the Pavas were so righteous and Draupad was practically the goddess of fortune, and although Ka was their friend, still they had to undergo such severe tribulations. Though their tribulations were not ordinary, Draupad was not discouraged. She knew that because Ka was their friend, ultimately they would be saved.

A similar statement is there in the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Second Chapter, verse 53, where Havi, the son of King abha, addresses Mahrja Nimi: My dear King, a person who never deviates even for a moment from engagement in service at the lotus feet of the Supreme Person (engagement which is sought even by great demigods like Indra), with firm conviction that there is nothing more worshipable or desirable than this, is called the first-class devotee.

r Rpa Gosvm says that a neophyte devotee who has simply developed a slight love of Godhead is certainly a prospective candidate for devotional service. When he becomes firmly fixed in such devotional service, that assured status becomes a confidential part of his devotional service.

Sometimes it is found that a pure devotee lies down in the temple of the Lord in order to serve Him as a confidential friend. Such friendly behavior of a devotee may be accepted as rgnug, or spontaneous. Although, according to regulative principles, no one can lie down in the temple of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this spontaneous love of Godhead may be grouped under devotional service in friendship.

Surrendering Everything to the Lord

Regarding complete self-surrender, there is a nice description in the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verse 34, where the Lord says, A person who has completely surrendered unto Me and has completely given up all other activities is protected by Me personally, both in this life and in the next. In other words, I wish to help him become more and more advanced in spiritual life. Such a person is to be understood as having already achieved sri [having equal opulences with the Supreme]. It is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gt that as soon as a person surrenders unto the lotus feet of Ka, Ka takes charge of him and gives him a guarantee of protection from all sinful reactions. He also instructs from within, so that the devotee may very quickly make advancement toward spiritual perfection.

This self-surrender is called tma-nivedana. According to different authorities, self is differently defined. Self is sometimes considered to refer to the spirit self, or soul, and self is sometimes considered to refer to the mind or to the body. Full self-surrender, therefore, means not only surrendering ones self as spirit soul, but also surrendering ones mind and body to the service of the Lord. rla Bhaktivinoda hkura has sung a nice song in this connection. While offering himself as a fully surrendered soul, he said, My mind, my household affairs, my body, whatever is in my possession, my dear Lord, I offer to You for Your service. Now You can do with them as You like. You are the supreme possessor of everything, so if You like You can kill me, or if You like You can give me protection. All authority belongs to You. I have nothing to claim as my own.

r Ymuncrya, in his prayers to the Lord, has expressed a similar idea in the following words: My dear Lord, I may be living within some body as a human being or as a demigod, but whatever mode of life, I do not mind, because these bodies are simply by-products of the three modes of material nature, and I, who am in possession of these bodies, am surrendering myself unto You.

In the Hari-bhakti-viveka, there is a statement regarding how one can offer his body in self-surrender. There the devotee says, My dear Lord, as a sold animal has no need to think about his maintenance and sustenance, so, because I have given up my body and soul unto You, I am no longer concerned with my maintenance and sustenance. In other words, one should not bother about his personal or family maintenance or sustenance. If one is actually surrendered in body and soul, he should always remember that his only concern is to be engaged in the service of the Lord.

rla Rpa Gosvm says that devotional service in friendship and devotional service in self-surrender are two difficult processes. Therefore such relationships with the Lord can very rarely be seen. Only for the advanced devotees are these two processes easily executed. The purport is that it is very rare to see surrender which is mixed with sincere ecstatic devotion. One must give himself completely to the will of the Lord.

Offering a Favorite Article

In the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Eleventh Chapter, verse 41, Lord Ka tells Uddhava, My dear friend, if someone offers Me the best thing in his possession, or anything which is very pleasing to him, he will be eternally benefited.

Performing All Endeavors for Ka

In the Nrada-pacartra there is a statement of how one can act in all spheres of life for the satisfaction of the Lord. It is stated there that a person who is actually in devotional service must be engaged in all kinds of activitiesthose prescribed in the revealed scriptures and also those which are accepted for livelihood. In other words, not only should a devotee engage himself in the prescribed duties of devotional service which are mentioned in the revealed scriptures, but he should also perform the duties of his practical life in Ka consciousness. For example, a devotee who has a great establishment or factory may offer the fruits of such a material possession for the service of the Lord.

Being a Surrendered Soul

In the Hari-bhakti-vilsa there is the following statement about self-surrender: My dear Lord, a person who has surrendered himself unto You, who is in firm conviction that he is Yours, and who actually acts in that way by his body, mind and words, can actually relish transcendental bliss.

In the Nsiha Pura, Lord Nsihadeva says, Anyone who prays unto Me and takes shelter from Me becomes My ward, and I protect him always from all sorts of calamities.

Serving Trees Such as the Tulas

In the Skanda Pura there is a statement praising the tulas tree as follows: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the tulas tree, which can immediately vanquish volumes of sinful activities. Simply by seeing or touching this tree one can become relieved from all distresses and diseases. Simply by offering obeisances to and pouring water on the tulas tree, one can become freed from the fear of being sent to the court of Yamarja [the King of death, who punishes the sinful]. If someone sows a tulas tree somewhere, certainly he becomes devoted to Lord Ka. And when the tulas leaves are offered in devotion at the lotus feet of Ka, there is the full development of love of Godhead.

In India all Hindus, even those not belonging to the Vaiava group, take special care of the tulas tree. Even in great cities where it is very difficult to keep a tulas tree, people are to be found very carefully keeping this plant. They water it and offer obeisances to it, because worship of the tulas tree is very important in devotional service.

In the Skanda Pura there is another statement about tulas, as follows: Tulas is auspicious in all respects. Simply by seeing, simply by touching, simply by remembering, simply by praying to, simply by bowing before, simply by hearing about or simply by sowing this tree, there is always auspiciousness. Anyone who comes in touch with the tulas tree in the above-mentioned ways lives eternally in the Vaikuha world.

NoD 12: Further Aspects of Transcendental Service

Chapter Twelve

Further Aspects of Transcendental Service

Hearing the Revealed Scriptures

According to rla Rpa Gosvm, any book which gives enlightenment in the matter of advancing in devotional service is considered to be revealed scripture. rla Madhvcrya has also defined revealed scriptures as referring to books such as the Rmyaa, Mahbhrata, Puras, Upaniads, Vedntaand any other literature written in pursuance of such revealed scriptures.

In the Skanda Pura there is this statement: A person who is constantly engaged in reading literature enunciating the cultivation of Vaiava devotional service is always glorious in human society, and certainly Lord Ka becomes pleased with him. A person who very carefully keeps such literature at home and offers respectful obeisances to it becomes freed from all sinful reactions and ultimately becomes worshipable by the demigods.

It is also said to Nrada Muni, My dear Nrada, a person who writes Vaiava literature and keeps such literature at home has Lord Nryaa always residing in his house.

In rmad-Bhgavatam, Twelfth Canto, Thirteenth Chapter, verse 15, it is stated, rmad-Bhgavatam is the essence of all Vednta philosophy. Any person who has become attached in some way or other to the reading of rmad-Bhgavatam cannot have any taste for reading any other literature. In other words, a person who has relished the transcendental bliss of rmad-Bhgavatam cannot be satisfied with mundane writings.

Residing in Mathur

In the Varha Pura there is a statement praising the residential quarters of Mathur. Lord Varha tells the men of earth, Any person who becomes attracted to places other than Mathur will certainly be captivated by the illusory energy. In the Brahma Pura it is said that all the results of traveling on all the pilgrimages within the three worlds can be achieved simply by touching the holy land of Mathur. In many stras (scriptures) it is said that simply by hearing, remembering, glorifying, desiring, seeing or touching the land of Mathur, one can achieve all desires.

Rendering Service to Devotees

In the Padma Pura, there is a nice statement praising the service of the Vaiavas, or devotees. In that scripture Lord iva tells Prvat, My dear Prvat, there are different methods of worship, and out of all such methods the worship of the Supreme Person is considered to be the highest. But even higher than the worship of the Lord is the worship of the Lords devotees.

A similar statement is in the Third Canto, Seventh Chapter, verse 19, of rmad-Bhgavatam: Let me become a sincere servant of the devotees, because by serving them one can achieve unalloyed devotional service unto the lotus feet of the Lord. The service of devotees diminishes all miserable material conditions and develops within one a deep devotional love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

In the Skanda Pura there is a similar statement: Persons whose bodies are marked with tilaka, symbolizing the conchshell, wheel, club and lotusand who keep the leaves of tulas on their heads, and whose bodies are always decorated with gop-candanaeven seen once, can help the seer be relieved from all sinful activities.

A similar statement is found in the First Canto, Nineteenth Chapter, verse 33, of rmad-Bhgavatam: There is no doubt about ones becoming freed from all reactions to sinful activities after visiting a devotee or touching his lotus feet or giving him a sitting place. Even by remembering the activities of such a Vaiava, one becomes purified, along with ones whole family. And what, then, can be said of rendering direct service to him?

In the di Pura there is the following statement by Lord Ka Himself, addressed to Arjuna: My dear Prtha, one who claims to be My devotee is not so. Only a person who claims to be the devotee of My devotee is actually My devotee. No one can approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. One must approach Him through His pure devotees. Therefore, in the system of Vaiava activities, the first duty is to accept a devotee as spiritual master and then to render service unto him.

r Rpa Gosvm affirms that all the quotations given in the Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu from different scriptures are accepted by the great cryas and devotees of the Lord.

Serving the Lord According to Ones Position

In the Padma Pura there is a statement that one should perform the ceremonies for the Lord according to ones financial position. Everyone should observe the different ceremonies and celebrations of the Lord by all means.

Performing Devotional Service in Krttika

One of the most important of these ceremonial functions is called rja-vrata. rja-vrata is observed in the month of Krttika (October-November); especially in Vndvana, there is a specific program for temple worship of the Lord in His Dmodara form. Dmodara refers to Kas being bound with rope by His mother, Yaod. It is said that just as Lord Dmodara is very dear to His devotees, so the month known as Dmodara or Krttika is also very dear to them.

The execution of devotional service during rja-vrata in the month of Krttika is especially recommended to be performed at Mathur. This system is still followed by many devotees. They go to Mathur or Vndvana and stay there during the month of Krttika specifically to perform devotional services during this period.

In the Padma Pura it is said, The Lord may offer liberation or material happiness to a devotee, but after some devotional service has been executed, particularly in Mathur during the month of Krttika, the devotees want only to attain pure devotional service unto the Lord. The purport is that the Lord does not award devotional service to ordinary persons who are not serious about it. But even such unserious persons who execute devotional service according to the regulative principles during the month of Krttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathur in India, are very easily awarded the Lords personal service.

Observing Festivals Celebrating the Lords Activities

In the Bhaviya Pura there is a statement about observing different ceremonies celebrating the Lords appearance (birthday) and other transcendental activities. It is said, My Lord Janrdana [Ka], please let us know the date when Your mother Devak-dev gave birth to You. If You kindly inform us about this, then we shall observe a great celebration on this date. O killer of Ke, we are souls one-hundred-percent surrendered unto Your lotus feet, and we wish only to please You with our ceremonies.

This statement of the Bhaviya Pura gives evidence that by observing different functions in relationship with the Lord one is sure to become pleasing to the Lord.

Serving the Deity with Great Devotion

It is said in the di Pura, A person who is constantly engaged in chanting the holy name and who feels transcendental pleasure, being engaged in devotional service, is certainly awarded the facilities of devotional service and is never given just mukti [liberation].

Mukti means liberation from material contamination; when liberated, one does not have to take birth again in the material world. The impersonalists desire to merge into the spiritual existence, to end their individual existence, but according to rmad-Bhgavatam, mukti is only the beginning of ones becoming situated in his normal condition. The normal condition of every living entity is to be engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. From the statement of the di Pura it appears that a devotee is satisfied simply with being engaged in devotional service. He does not aspire for any liberation from material, conditional life. In other words, anyone who is engaged in devotional service is not in the material condition of life, although he may appear so.

Recitation of rmad-Bhgavatam Among Devotees

rmad-Bhgavatam is the desire tree of Vedic wisdom. Veda itself means the aggregate of knowledge. And whatever knowledge is required for human society is perfectly presented in rmad-Bhgavatam. There are different branches of knowledge in the Vedic writings, including sociology, politics, medicine and military art. All these and other branches of knowledge are perfectly described in the Vedas. So, as far as spiritual knowledge is concerned, that is also perfectly described there, and rmad-Bhgavatam is considered to be the ripened fruit of this desire-fulfilling tree of the Vedas. A tree is honored by the production of its fruit. For example, a mango tree is considered very valuable because it produces the king of all fruits, the mango. When the mango fruit becomes ripened it is the greatest gift of that tree, and rmad-Bhgavatam is similarly held to be the ripened fruit of the Vedic tree. And as ripened fruit becomes more relishable when first touched by the beak of a parrot, or uka, rmad-Bhgavatam has become more relishable by being delivered through the transcendental mouth of ukadeva Gosvm.

rmad-Bhgavatam should be received in disciplic succession without any breakage. When a ripened fruit comes from the upper part of the tree onto the ground by the process of being handed down from a higher branch to a lower branch by persons in the tree, the fruit does not break. rmad-Bhgavatam, when received in the parampar system, or disciplic succession, will likewise remain unbroken. It is stated in Bhagavad-gt that the disciplic succession, or parampar, is the way of receiving transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge must come down through the disciplic succession, through authorized persons who know the real purpose of the stra.

r Caitanya Mahprabhu recommended that one learn rmad-Bhgavatam from the mouth of the self-realized person called bhgavatam. Bhgavata means in relationship with the Personality of Godhead [Bhagavn]. So the devotee is sometimes called bhgavatam, and the book which is in relationship with devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also called Bhgavatam. r Caitanya Mahprabhu recommended that, in order to relish the real taste of rmad-Bhgavatam, one should take instruction from the person bhgavatam. rmad-Bhgavatam is relishable even by a liberated person. ukadeva Gosvm admitted that although he was liberated from within the very womb of his mother, it was only after relishing rmad-Bhgavatam that he became a great devotee. Thus, one who is desirous of advancing in Ka consciousness should relish the purport of rmad-Bhgavatam through the discussions of authorized devotees.

In rmad-Bhgavatam, Second Canto, First Chapter, verse 9, ukadeva Gosvm admits that although he was very much attracted by the impersonal Brahman, when he heard the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from the mouth of his father, Vysadeva, he became more attracted to rmad-Bhgavatam. The idea is that Vysadeva was also a self-realized soul, and his mature contribution of transcendental knowledge was delivered directly to ukadeva Gosvm in the manner indicated.

Associating with Advanced Devotees

The importance of discussing rmad-Bhgavatam in the society of pure devotees was explained by aunaka Muni during the meeting at Naimiraya, in the presence of Sta Gosvm. Sta Gosvm confirmed that if someone is fortunate enough to associate with a pure devotee of the Lord even for a moment, that particular moment is so valuable that even those pious activities which can promote one to the heavenly planets or give liberation from material miseries cannot compare to it. In other words, those who are attached to rmad-Bhgavatam do not care for any kind of benefit derived from elevation to the higher planetary kingdoms, or for the liberation which is conceived of by the impersonalists. As such, the association of pure devotees is so transcendentally valuable that no kind of material happiness can compare to it.

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya there is a conversation between Prahlda Mahrja and his father, Hirayakaipu, in which Hirayakaipu addresses Prahlda in this way: My dear son, association is very important. It acts just like a crystal stone, which will reflect anything which is put before it. Similarly, if we associate with the flowerlike devotees of the Lord, and if our hearts are crystal clear, then certainly the same action will be there. Another example given in this connection is that if a man is potent and if a woman is not diseased, then by their conjugation there will be conception. In the same way, if the recipient of spiritual knowledge and the deliverer of spiritual knowledge are sincere and bona fide, there will be good results.

Chanting the Holy Name of the Lord

The importance of chanting Hare Ka, Hare Ka, Ka Ka, Hare Hare/ Hare Rma, Hare Rma, Rma Rma, Hare Hare is very strongly stressed in the Second Canto, First Chapter, verse 11, of rmad-Bhgavatam in the following way. ukadeva Gosvm tells Mahrja Parkit, My dear King, if one is spontaneously attached to the chanting of the Hare Ka mah-mantra, it is to be understood that he has attained the highest perfectional stage. It is specifically mentioned that the karms who are aspiring after the fruitive results of their activities, the salvationists who are aspiring to become one with the Supreme Person, and the yogs who are aspiring after mystic perfections can achieve the results of all perfectional stages simply by chanting the mah-mantra. ukadeva uses the word nirtam, which means it has already been decided. He was a liberated soul and therefore could not accept anything which was not conclusive. So ukadeva Gosvm especially stresses that it has already been concluded that one who has come to the stage of chanting the Hare Ka mantra with determination and steadiness must be considered to have already passed the trials of fruitive activities, mental speculation and mystic yoga.

The same thing is confirmed in the di Pura by Ka. While addressing Arjuna He says, Anyone who is engaged in chanting My transcendental name must be considered to be always associating with Me. And I may tell you frankly that for such a devotee I become easily purchased.

In the Padma Pura also it is stated, The chanting of the Hare Ka mantra is present only on the lips of a person who has for many births worshiped Vsudeva. It is further said in the Padma Pura, There is no difference between the holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself. As such, the holy name is as perfect as the Lord Himself in fullness, purity and eternity. The holy name is not a material sound vibration, nor has it any material contamination. The holy name cannot, therefore, be chanted offenselessly by one who has failed to purify his senses. In other words, materialistic senses cannot properly chant the holy names of the Hare Ka mah-mantra. But by adopting this chanting process, one is given a chance to actually purify himself, so that he may very soon chant offenselessly.

Caitanya Mahprabhu has recommended that everyone chant the Hare Ka mantra just to cleanse the dust from the heart. If the dust of the heart is cleansed away, then one can actually understand the importance of the holy name. For persons who are not inclined to clean the dust from their hearts and who want to keep things as they are, it is not possible to derive the transcendental result of chanting the Hare Ka mantra. One should, therefore, be encouraged to develop his service attitude toward the Lord, because this will help him to chant without any offense. And so, under the guidance of a spiritual master, the disciple is trained to render service and at the same time chant the Hare Ka mantra. As soon as one develops his spontaneous service attitude, he can immediately understand the transcendental nature of the holy names of the mah-mantra.

Living in Mathur

In the Padma Pura there is a statement about the importance of living at holy places like Mathur or Dvrak. It is stated there, To travel to different places of pilgrimage means to attain emancipation from material bondage. This emancipation, however, is not the highest perfectional stage. After attaining this liberated stage, one has to become engaged in devotional service to the Lord. After attainment of the brahma-bhta [liberation] stage, one can further advance to engagement in devotional service. So this attainment of transcendental loving devotional service to the Lord is the goal of life, and it can be achieved very easily for one who lives in Mathur-maala even for a few seconds.

It is further said, Who is that person who will not agree to worship the land of Mathur? Mathur can deliver all the desires and ambitions of the fruitive workers and of the salvationists, who desire to become one with the Supreme Brahman. Certainly Mathur will deliver the desires of the devotees, who simply aspire to be engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. In the Vedic literature it is also stated, How wonderful it is that simply by residing in Mathur even for one day, one can achieve a transcendental loving attitude toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead! This land of Mathur must be more glorious than Vaikuha-dhma, the kingdom of God!

NoD 13: Five Potent Forms of Devotional Service

Chapter Thirteen

Five Potent Forms of Devotional Service

Rpa Gosvm has stated that five kinds of devotional activitiesnamely residing in Mathur, worshiping the Deity of the Lord, reciting rmad-Bhgavatam, serving a devotee and chanting the Hare Ka mantraare so potent that a small attachment for any one of these five items can arouse devotional ecstasy even in a neophyte.

Regarding worship of the form of the Lord, or Deity, Rpa Gosvm has written the following verse: My dear friend, if you still have any desire to enjoy the company of your friends within this material world, then dont look upon the form of Ka, who is standing on the bank of Ke-gha [a bathing place in Vndvana]. He is known as Govinda, and His eyes are very enchanting. He is playing upon His flute, and on His head there is a peacock feather. And His whole body is illuminated by the moonlight in the sky.

The purport of this verse is that if someone becomes attached to the r-mrti, or Deity of Ka, by worshiping at home, then he will forget his relationships of so-called friendship, love and society. Thus it is the duty of every householder to install Deities of the Lord at home and to begin the process of worshiping along with all of his family members. This will save everyone from such unwanted activities as going to clubs, cinemas and dancing parties, and smoking, drinking, etc. All such nonsense will be forgotten if one stresses the worship of the Deities at home.

Rpa Gosvm further writes, My dear foolish friend, I think that you have already heard some of the auspicious rmad-Bhgavatam, which decries seeking the results of fruitive activities, economic development and liberation. I think that now it is certain that gradually the verses of the Tenth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, describing the pastimes of the Lord, will enter your ears and go into your heart.

In the beginning of rmad-Bhgavatam it is said that unless one has the ability to throw out, just like garbage, the fruitive results of ritualistic ceremonies, economic development and becoming one with the Supreme (or salvation), one cannot understand rmad-Bhgavatam. The Bhgavatam deals exclusively with devotional service. Only one who studies rmad-Bhgavatam in the spirit of renunciation can understand the pastimes of the Lord which are described in the Tenth Canto. In other words, one should not try to understand the topics of the Tenth Canto, such as the rsa-ll (love dance), unless he has spontaneous attraction for rmad-Bhgavatam. One must be situated in pure devotional service before he can relish rmad-Bhgavatam as it is.

In the above two verses of Rpa Gosvm there are some metaphorical analogies that indirectly condemn the association of materialistic society, friendship and love. People are generally attracted to society, friendship and love, and they make elaborate arrangements and strong endeavors to develop these material contaminations. But to see the r-mrtis of Rdh and Ka is to forget such endeavors for material association. Rpa Gosvm composed his verse in such a way that he was seemingly praising the material association of friendship and love and was condemning the audience of r-mrti or Govinda. This metaphorical analogy is constructed in such a way that things which seem to be praised are condemned, and things which are to be condemned are praised. The actual import of the verse is that one must see the form of Govinda if one at all wants to forget the nonsense of material friendship, love and society.

rla Rpa Gosvm has similarly described the transcendental nature of relishing topics which concern Ka. A devotee once said, It is very astonishing that since I have seen this Personality of Godhead, who is washed by the tears of my eyes, there is shivering of my body, and He has made me a failure in executing my material duties. Since seeing Him, I cannot remain silently at home. I wish to go out to Him always. The purport of this statement is that as soon as one is fortunate enough to contact a pure devotee, one must be anxious immediately to hear about Ka, to learn about Ka, or, in other words, to become fully Ka conscious.

Similarly, there is a statement about hearing and chanting the mah-mantra: It is said that saints have been able to hear the vibrating strings of the v in the hands of Nrada, who is always singing the glories of Lord Ka. Now this same sound vibration has entered my ears, and I am always feeling the presence of the Supreme Personality. Gradually I am becoming bereft of all attachment for material enjoyment.

Again, rla Rpa Gosvm has described Mathur-maala: I remember the Lord standing by the banks of the Yamun River, so beautiful amid the kadamba trees, where many birds are chirping in the gardens. And these impressions are always giving me transcendental realization of beauty and bliss. This feeling about Mathur-maala and Vndvana described by Rpa Gosvm can actually be felt even by nondevotees. The places in the eighty-four-square-mile district of Mathur are so beautifully situated on the banks of the River Yamun that anyone who goes there will never want to return to this material world. These statements by Rpa Gosvm are factually realized descriptions of Mathur and Vndvana. All these qualities prove that Mathur and Vndvana are situated transcendentally. Otherwise, there would be no possibility of invoking our transcendental sentiments in these places. Such transcendental feelings are aroused immediately and without fail after one arrives in Mathur or Vndvana.

In these statements about devotional service, sometimes it may appear that the results have been overestimated, but actually there is no overestimation. Some devotees, as revealed scriptures give evidence, have had immediate results by such association, although this is not possible for all. For example, the Kumras immediately became devotees simply by smelling the incense in the temple. Bilvamagala hkura simply heard about Ka and then immediately gave up his beautiful girl friend and started out for Mathur and Vndvana, where he became a perfect Vaiava. So these statements are not overestimations, nor are they stories. They are actual facts, but are true for certain devotees and do not necessarily apply to all. These descriptions, even if considered overestimations, must be taken as they are, in order to divert our attention from the fleeting material beauty to the eternal beauty of Ka consciousness. And for a person who is already in contact with Ka consciousness, the described results are not unusual.

Some scholars argue that simply by following the principles of vara and rama one can gradually rise to the perfections reached by practicing devotional service, but this argument is not accepted by the great authorities. Lord Caitanya also condemned this idea while He was talking with Rmnanda Rya about the gradual development of devotional service. He rejected the idea of the importance of varrama-dharma when it was put forward by Rmnanda Rya. He said that this advancement of vara and rama is merely external. There is a higher principle. In Bhagavad-gt also the Lord says that one has to give up all other principles of elevation and take simply to the method of Ka consciousness. That will help one in achieving the highest perfection of life.

In the Eleventh Canto, Twentieth Chapter, verse 9, of rmad-Bhgavatam, the Lord Himself says, One should execute the prescribed duties of vara and rama as long as he has not developed spontaneous attachment for hearing about My pastimes and activities. In other words, the prescribed forms of vara and rama are ritualistic ceremonies of religion intended for economic development, sense gratification or salvation. All of these things are recommended for persons who have not developed Ka consciousness; in fact, all such activities are recommended in the revealed scriptures only to bring one to the point of Ka consciousness. But one who has already developed spontaneous attachment for Ka does not require to execute the duties prescribed in the scriptures.

NoD 14: Devotional Qualifications

Chapter Fourteen

Devotional Qualifications

Some scholars recommend that knowledge and renunciation are important factors for elevating oneself to devotional service. But actually that is not a fact. Actually, the cultivation of knowledge or renunciation, which are favorable for achieving a footing in Ka consciousness, may be accepted in the beginning, but ultimately they may also come to be rejected, for devotional service is dependent on nothing other than the sentiment or desire for such service. It requires nothing more than sincerity.

It is the opinion of expert devotees that mental speculation and the artificial austerities of yoga practice may be favorable for becoming liberated from material contamination, but they will also make ones heart harder and harder. They will not help at all in the progress of devotional service. These processes are therefore not favorable for entering into the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Actually, Ka consciousnessdevotional service itselfis the only way of advancing in devotional life. Devotional service is absolute; it is both the cause and the effect. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the cause and effect of all that be, and to approach Him, the Absolute, the process of devotional servicewhich is also absolutehas to be adopted.

This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gt by the Lord Himself: One can understand Me only through devotional service. In beginning His teaching of the Gt, the Lord said to Arjuna, Because you are My devotee, I shall teach these secrets to you. Vedic knowledge means ultimately to understand the Supreme Lord, and the process of entering into His kingdom is devotional service. That is accepted by all authentic scriptures. Mental speculators neglect the process of devotional service, and by simply trying to defeat others in philosophical research they fail to develop the ecstasy of devotion.

In the Eleventh Canto, Twentieth Chapter, verse 31, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Ka says, My dear Uddhava, for persons who are seriously engaged in My service, the cultivation of philosophical speculation and artificial renunciation are not very favorable. When a person becomes My devotee he automatically attains the fruits of the renunciation of material enjoyment, and he gets sufficient knowledge to understand the Absolute Truth. That is the test of advancement in devotional service. A devotee cannot be in darkness, because the Lord shows him special favor and enlightens him from within.

In the Eleventh Canto, Twentieth Chapter, verses 32 and 33, of rmad-Bhgavatam the Lord further instructs Uddhava, My dear friend, the profits derived from fruitive activities, austerities, the culture of philosophical knowledge, renunciation, the practice of mystic yoga, charity and all similar auspicious activities are automatically achieved by My devoteesthose who are simply attached to Me by loving service. These devotees have everything at their disposal, but they desire nothing outside of My devotional service. If ever a devotee should desire some material profit, like promotion to the heavenly planets, or some spiritual profitto go to the Vaikuhasby My causeless mercy his desires are very easily fulfilled.

Actually, a person who is developing Ka consciousness and still has some attachment to material enjoyment will soon be freed from such a tendency by regularly discharging devotional service under the instruction of a bona fide spiritual master.

rla Rpa Gosvm, then, recommends that one should not be attached to material sense enjoyment, but should accept everything enjoyable which is in relationship to Ka. For example, eating is necessary, and one wants some palatable dishes to satisfy his sense of taste. So in that case, for the satisfaction of Ka rather than for the satisfaction of the tongue, some palatable dishes may be prepared and offered to Ka. Then it is renunciation. Let the palatable dishes be prepared, but unless they are offered to Ka one should not accept them for eating. This vow of rejecting anything which is not offered to Ka is actually renunciation. And by such renunciation one is able to satisfy the demands of the senses.

The impersonalists, who try to avoid everything material, may undergo severe austerities, but they miss the opportunity of being engaged in the service of the Lord. Thus their renunciation is not sufficient for perfection. There are many instances where, following such artificial renunciation without any contact with devotional service, the impersonalist again fell down and became attracted to material contamination. There are many supposed renouncers even at the present moment who officially become sannyss, or renouncers, and outwardly claim that spiritual existence is truth and material existence untruth. In this way, artificially they make a show of renunciation of the material world. However, because they cannot reach the point of devotional service, they fail to achieve the goal, and they again come back to material activities, such as philanthropic work and political agitation. There are many examples of so-called sannyss who gave up the world as untruth but again came to the material world, because they were not seeking their real repose at the lotus feet of the Lord.

One should not give up anything which can be utilized in the service of the Lord. That is a secret of devotional service. Anything that can be utilized in advancing Ka consciousness and devotional service should be accepted. For instance, we are using many machines for the advancement of our present Ka consciousness movement, machines like typewriters, dictating machines, tape recorders, microphones and airplanes. Sometimes people ask us, Why are you utilizing material products if you condemn the advancement of material civilization? But actually we do not condemn. We simply ask people to do whatever they are doing in Ka consciousness. This is the same principle on which, in Bhagavad-gt, Ka advised Arjuna to utilize his fighting abilities in devotional service. Similarly, we are utilizing these machines for Kas service. With such sentiment for Ka, or Ka consciousness, we can accept everything. If the typewriter can be utilized for advancing our Ka consciousness movement, we must accept it. Similarly, the dictating machine or any other machine must be used. Our vision is that Ka is everything. Ka is the cause and effect, and nothing belongs to us. Kas things must be used in the service of Ka. That is our vision.

This does not mean, however, that we should give up the principles of discharging devotional service or neglect abiding by the rules and regulations prescribed therein. In the neophyte stage of devotion one must follow all the principles, regulated by the authority of the spiritual master. The acceptance and rejection of things should always be in pursuance of the devotional principles; not that one can independently manufacture some idea of what should be accepted or rejected. The spiritual master as the visible manifestation of Ka is necessary, therefore, to direct the devotee on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The spiritual master must never be carried away by an accumulation of wealth or a large number of followers. A bona fide spiritual master will never become like that. But sometimes, if a spiritual master is not properly authorized and only on his own initiative becomes a spiritual master, he may be carried away by an accumulation of wealth and large numbers of disciples. His is not a very high grade of devotional service. If a person is carried away by such achievements, then his devotional service becomes slackened. One should therefore strictly adhere to the principles of disciplic succession.

A Ka conscious person, being naturally purified, has no need of developing any other purificatory process of thought or action. On account of his being highly elevated in Ka consciousness, he has already acquired all the good qualities and is following the rules and regulations prescribed for the mystic yogic process. Such rules are automatically practiced by the devotees. A concrete example is the quality of nonviolence, which is considered a good qualification. A devotee is naturally nonviolent and therefore doesnt have to practice nonviolence separately. Some people seek purification by joining a vegetarian movement, but a devotee is automatically a vegetarian. He doesnt need to practice separately in this matter or to join any society for vegetarians. He is automatically a vegetarian.

There are many other instances showing that a devotee neednt practice anything but Ka consciousness; all the good qualities of the demigods automatically develop within him. Those who are intentionally practicing to be vegetarians or to become nonviolent may have good qualifications by a material estimation, but these qualifications are not sufficient to make them devotees. A vegetarian is not necessarily a devotee, nor is a nonviolent person. But a devotee is automatically both vegetarian and nonviolent. We must conclude, therefore, that vegetarianism or nonviolence is not the cause of devotion.

In this connection, there is a story in the Skanda Pura about a hunter who was converted into a great devotee under the instruction of Nrada Muni. When the hunter became a perfect devotee, he was not prepared to kill even an ant. Parvata Muni, a friend of Nradas, saw the wonderful transformation of the hunter by devotional service and remarked, My dear hunter, your unwillingness to kill even an ant is not very astonishing. Any person who develops the devotional attitude has all the good qualities automatically manifested in his person. A devotee is never a cause of distress to anyone.

r Rpa Gosvm affirms herein that purification of consciousness, purification of bodily activities, austerities, peace of mind, etc., all become automatically manifest in the person who is engaged in devotional service.

r Rpa Gosvm affirms herein that there are nine different kinds of devotional service, which are listed as hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping the Deity in the temple, praying, carrying out orders, serving Ka as a friend and sacrificing everything for Him. Each and every one of these processes is so powerful that if anyone follows even one single one of them, he can achieve the desired perfection without fail. For example, if one is attached simply to hearing about the Lord and another is attached to chanting the glories of the name, both will achieve their desired goal in devotional service. In the Caitanya-caritmta this has been explained. One may execute one, two, three or all the different processes of devotional service, and at the ultimate end he will achieve the desired goal of being established in devotional service.

There are concrete examples of how a devotee discharged one of these services and achieved perfection. King Parkit achieved the desired goal of life simply by hearing rmad-Bhgavatam. ukadeva Gosvm achieved the desired goal of life simply by reciting rmad-Bhgavatam. Prahlda Mahrja became successful in his devotional service by always remembering the Lord. Lakm, the goddess of fortune, was successful by engaging herself in massaging the lotus feet of the Lord. King Pthu became successful by worshiping in the temple. Akrra became successful by offering prayers. Hanumn became successful by rendering personal service to Lord Rmacandra. Arjuna became successful by being a friend of Ka. And Bali Mahrja became successful simply by offering all of his possessions to Ka.

There are also examples of devotees who discharged all the different items together. In the Ninth Canto, Fourth Chapter, verses 18, 19 and 20, of rmad-Bhgavatam, there is a statement about Mahrja Ambara, who followed every one of the devotional processes. In these verses, ukadeva Gosvm says, King Ambara first of all concentrated his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Ka and then engaged his speech in describing the pastimes and activities of the Lord. He engaged his hands in washing the temple of the Lord. He engaged his ears in hearing of the transcendental glories of the Lord. He engaged his eyes in seeing the beautiful Deity in the temple. He engaged his body in associating with the pure devotees of the Lord. [When you associate with someone you have to sit down together, eat together, etc.and in this way the touch of your body with his body is inevitable. Ambara Mahrja made his association only with pure devotees and did not allow his body to be touched by anyone else.] He engaged his nostrils in smelling the flowers and tulas offered to Ka, and he engaged his tongue in tasting Ka prasda [food prepared specifically for offering to the Lord, the remnants of which are taken by the devotees]. Mahrja Ambara was able to offer very nice prasda to Ka because he was a king and had no scarcity of finances. He used to offer Ka the most royal dishes and would then taste the remnants as ka-prasda. There was no scarcity in his royal style, because he had a very beautiful temple wherein the Deity of the Lord was decorated with costly paraphernalia and offered high-grade food. So everything was available, and his engagement was always completely in Ka consciousness. The idea is that we should follow in the footsteps of great devotees. If we are unable to execute all the different items of devotional service, we must try to execute at least one of them, as exemplified by previous cryas. If we are engaged in the execution of all the items of devotional service, as was Mahrja Ambara, then the perfection of devotional service is guaranteed from each one of these items. With the first complete engagement, one becomes automatically detached from material contamination, and liberation becomes the maidservant of the devotee. This idea is confirmed by Bilvamagala hkura. If one develops unalloyed devotion to the Lord, liberation will follow the devotee as his maidservant.

rla Rpa Gosvm says that the regulative principles of devotional service are sometimes described by authorities as the path of serving the Lord in opulence.

NoD 15: Spontaneous Devotional Service

Chapter Fifteen

Spontaneous Devotional Service

Examples of spontaneous devotional service can be easily seen in Kas direct associates in Vndvana. The spontaneous dealings of the residents of Vndvana in relationship with Ka are called rgnug. These beings dont have to learn anything about devotional service; they are already perfect in all regulative principles and have achieved the spontaneous loving service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For example, the cowherd boys who are playing with Ka do not have to learn by austerities or penances or yogic practice how to play with Him. They have passed all tests of regulative principles in their previous lives, and as a result they are now elevated to the position of direct association with Ka as His dear friends. Their spontaneous attitude is called rgnug-bhakti.

r Rpa Gosvm has defined rgnug-bhakti as spontaneous attraction for something while completely absorbed in thoughts in it, with an intense desire of love. Devotional service executed with such feelings of spontaneous love is called rgnug-bhakti. Devotional service under the heading of rgnug can be further divided into two categories: one category is called sensual attraction, and the other is called relationship.

In this connection, there is a statement by Nrada Muni to Yudhihira in the Seventh Canto, First Chapter, verse 30, of rmad-Bhgavatam. There Nrada says, My dear King, there are many devotees who first become attracted to the Personality of Godhead for purposes of sense gratification, from being envious of Him, out of fear of Him or from desiring to associate affectionately with Him. Ultimately these attractions become freed from all material contamination, and gradually the worshiper develops spiritual love and achieves that ultimate goal of life desired by the pure devotee.

The gops may be considered to be examples of spontaneous love in sensual attraction. The gops are young girls, and Ka is a young boy. Superficially it seems that the gops are attracted to Ka on grounds of sex. Similarly, King Kasa was attracted to Ka because of fear. Kasa was always fearful of Ka, because it had been foretold that his sisters son, Ka, would kill him. iupla was also always envious of Ka. And the descendants of King Yadu, due to their family relationship with Ka, were always thinking of Him as one of their members. All of these different kinds of devotees have a spontaneous attraction for Ka, in different categories, and they achieve the same desired goal of life.

The attraction of the gops for Ka and the affection of the members of the Yadu dynasty are both accepted as spontaneous, or rgnug. The attraction of Kasa to Ka in fear and the attraction of iupla in envy are not accepted as devotional service, however, because their attitudes are not favorable. Devotional service should be executed only in a favorable frame of mind. Therefore, according to rla Rpa Gosvm, such attractions are not considered to be in devotional service. Again, he analyzes the affection of the Yadus. If it is on the platform of friendship, then it is spontaneous love, but if it is on the platform of regulative principles, then it is not. And only when affection comes to the platform of spontaneous love is it counted in the category of pure devotional service.

There may be some difficulty in understanding that both the gops and Kasa achieved the same goal, so this point should be clearly understood, because the attitudes of Kasa and iupla were different from that of the gops. Although in all these cases the focus is on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and all of the devotees are elevated to the spiritual world, there is still a distinction between these two classes of souls. In the First Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam it is said that the Absolute Truth is one and that He is manifested as impersonal Brahman, Paramtm (Supersoul) and Bhagavn (the Supreme Personality of Godhead). Here is a spiritual distinction. Although Brahman, Paramtm and Bhagavn are the same-and-one Absolute Truth, devotees like Kasa or iupla could attain only to the Brahman effulgence. They could not have realization of Paramtm or Bhagavn. That is the distinction.

An analogy can be given with the sun globe and the sunshine: to remain in the sunshine does not mean one has gone to the sun globe. The temperature of the sun globe is different from the temperature of the sunshine. One who has gone through the sunshine in jet planes or in spaceships has not necessarily gone to the sun globe. Although the sunshine and the sun globe are actually one and the same, still there is a distinction, for one is the energy and one is the energetic source. The Absolute Truth and His bodily effulgence are in the same way simultaneously one and different. Kasa and iupla attained to the Absolute Truth, but they were not allowed to enter into the Goloka Vndvana abode. Impersonalists and the enemies of the Lord are, because of attraction to God, allowed to enter into His kingdom, but they are not allowed to enter into the Vaikuha planets or the Goloka Vndvana planet of the Supreme Lord. To enter the kingdom and to enter the kings palace are not the same thing.

rla Rpa Gosvm is trying here to describe the different achievements of the impersonalists and the personalists. Generally, those who are impersonalists and are inimical to the Supreme Personality of Godhead get entrance only into the impersonal Brahman, when and if they reach spiritual perfection. The impersonalist philosophers are in one sense like the enemies of the Lord, because the out-and-out enemies of the Lord and the impersonalists are both allowed to enter only into the impersonal effulgence of the brahmajyoti. So it is to be understood that they are of similar classification. And actually the impersonalists are enemies of God, because they cannot tolerate the unparalleled opulence of the Lord. They try always to place themselves on the same level with the Lord. That is due to their envious attitude. r Caitanya Mahprabhu has proclaimed the impersonalists to be offenders of the Lord. The Lord is so kind, however, that even though they are His enemies, they are still allowed to enter into the spiritual kingdom and remain in the impersonal brahmajyoti, the undifferentiated light of the Absolute.

Sometimes an impersonalist may gradually elevate himself to the personal conception of the Lord. Bhagavad-gt confirms this: After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me. By such surrender, an impersonalist can be elevated to the Vaikuhaloka (spiritual planet) where, as a surrendered soul, he attains bodily features like those of the Lord.

In the Brahma Pura it is stated, Those who have achieved liberation from material contamination and those who are demons and are killed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead become absorbed in the Brahman concept of life and reside in the spiritual sky of the brahmajyoti. That spiritual sky is far beyond the material sky, and it is confirmed also in Bhagavad-gt that beyond this material sky there is another, eternal sky. The enemies and the impersonalists may be allowed to enter into this Brahman effulgence, but the devotees of Ka are promoted all the way to the spiritual planets. Because the pure devotees have developed their spontaneous love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are allowed to enter into the spiritual planets to enjoy spiritual bliss in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

In the Tenth Canto, Eighty-seventh Chapter, verse 23, of rmad-Bhgavatam, the Vedas personified address the Lord in this way: My dear Lord, yogs meditate upon Your localized feature, and thus they achieve the spiritual perfection of being merged in the impersonal brahmajyoti. Persons who treat You as an enemy achieve the same perfection without meditating. The gops, who are embraced by Your serpentine hands and who have such lusty attitudes, also achieve the same perfection. And as far as we are concerned, being different demigods in charge of the different parts of Vedic knowledge, we are always following in the footsteps of the gops. Thus we hope to attain the same perfection. By the same perfection we must always remember the example of the sun and the sunshine. Those who are impersonalists can merge into the sunshinelike brahmajyoti, whereas those who are in love with the Supreme Person enter into the supreme abode of the Lord, Goloka Vndvana.

The lusty attitude of the gops does not refer to any sort of sex indulgence. rla Rpa Gosvm explains that this lusty desire refers to the devotees particular attitude of association with Ka. Every devotee in his perfectional stage has a spontaneous attraction to the Lord. This attraction is sometimes called the lusty desire of the devotee. The lust is the devotees excessive desire to serve the Lord in a particular capacity. Such a desire may seem to be a desire for enjoying the Lord, but actually the endeavor is to serve the Lord in that capacity. For example, a devotee may be desiring to associate with the Personality of Godhead as His cowherd friend. He will want to serve the Lord by assisting Him in controlling the cows in the pasturing ground. This may appear to be a desire to enjoy the company of the Lord, but actually it is spontaneous love, serving Him by assisting in managing the transcendental cows.

Sensual Attraction

This extreme desire to serve the Lord is manifest in the transcendental land of Vraja. And it is specifically manifested among the gops. The gops love for Ka is so elevated that for our understanding it is sometimes explained as being lusty desire.

The author of r Caitanya-caritmta, Kavirja Kadsa, has explained the distinction between lusty desire and the service attitude in this statement: Lusty desire refers to the desire to gratify ones personal senses, and transcendental desire refers to the desire for serving the senses of the Lord. In the material world there is no such thing as a lovers wanting to please the senses of his beloved. Actually, in the material world, everyone wants mainly to gratify his own personal senses. The gops, however, wanted nothing at all but to gratify the senses of the Lord, and there is no instance of this in the material world. Therefore the gops ecstatic love for Ka is sometimes described by scholars as being like the lusty desire of the material world, but actually this should not be taken as a literal fact. It is simply a way of trying to understand the transcendental situation.

Great devotees up to the standard of Uddhava are very dear friends of the Lord, and they desire to follow in the footsteps of the gops. So the gops love for Ka is certainly not material lusty desire. Otherwise, how could Uddhava aspire to follow in their footsteps? Another instance is Lord Caitanya Himself. After accepting the sannysa order of life, He was very, very strict about avoiding association with women, but still He taught that there is no better method of worshiping Ka than that conceived by the gops. Thus the gops method of worshiping the Lord as if impelled by lusty desire was praised very highly even by r Caitanya Mahprabhu. This very fact means that although the attraction of the gops for Ka appears to be lusty, it is not in the least bit material. Unless one is fully situated in the transcendental position, the relationship of the gops with Ka is very difficult to understand. But because it appears to be just like ordinary dealings of young boys and girls, it is sometimes misinterpreted to be like the ordinary sex of this material world. Unfortunately, persons who cannot understand the transcendental nature of the love affairs of the gops and Ka take it for granted that Kas love affairs with the gops are mundane transactions, and therefore they sometimes indulge in painting licentious pictures in some modernistic style.

On the other hand, the lusty desire of Kubj is described by learned scholars as being almost lusty desire. Kubj was a hunchbacked woman who also wanted Ka with a great ecstatic love. But her desire for Ka was almost mundane, and so her love cannot be compared to the love of the gops. Her loving affection for Ka is called kma-pry, or almost like the gops love for Ka.

NoD 16: Spontaneous Devotion Further Described

Chapter Sixteen

Spontaneous Devotion Further Described


In the attitude of the denizens of Vndvana, such as Nanda Mahrja and mother Yaod, is to be found the ideal transcendental concept of being the father and mother of Ka, the original Personality of Godhead. Factually, no one can become the father or mother of Ka, but a devotees possession of such transcendental feelings is called love of Ka in a parental relationship. The Vis (Kas relatives at Dvrak) also felt like that. So spontaneous love of Ka in the parental relationship is found both among those denizens of Dvrak who belonged to the dynasty of Vi and among the inhabitants of Vndvana.

Spontaneous love of Ka as exhibited by the Vis and the denizens of Vndvana is eternally existing in them. In the stage of devotional service where regulative principles are followed, there is no necessity of discussing this love, for it must develop of itself at a more advanced stage.

Eligibility for Spontaneous Devotional Service

Persons desiring to follow in the footsteps of such eternal devotees of the Lord as the Vis and Vndvana denizens are called rgnug devotees, which means that they are trying to attain to the perfection of those devotees. These rgnug devotees do not follow the regulative principles of devotional service very strictly, but by spontaneous nature they become attracted to some of the eternal devotees such as Nanda or Yaod, and they try to follow in their footsteps spontaneously. There is a gradual development of the ambition to become like a particular devotee, and this activity is called rgnug.

We must always remember, however, that such eagerness to follow in the footsteps of the denizens of Vraja (Vndvana) is not possible unless one is freed from material contamination. In following the regulative principles of devotional service, there is a stage called anartha-nivtti, which means the disappearance of all material contamination. Sometimes someone is found imitating such devotional love, but factually he is not freed from anarthas, or unwanted habits. It has been seen that a so-called devotee proclaims himself a follower of Nanda, Yaod or the gops, while at the same time his abominable attraction for mundane sex life is visible. Such a manifestation of divine love is mere imitation and has no value. When one is actually spontaneously attracted to the loving principles of the gops, there will be found no trace of any mundane contamination in his character.

Therefore, in the beginning, everyone should strictly follow the regulative principles of devotional service, according to the injunctions of the scriptures and the spiritual master. Only after the stage of liberation from material contamination can one actually aspire to follow in the footsteps of the devotees in Vndvana.

It is said by r Rpa Gosvm, When one is actually liberated from material contamination, he can always remember an eternal devotee in Vndvana in order to love Ka in the same capacity. And developing such an aptitude, one will always live in Vndvana, even within his mind. The purport is that if it is possible one should go and physically be present at Vrajabhmi, Vndvana, and be engaged always in the service of the Lord, following the devotees in Vraja-dhma, the spiritual realm of Vraja. If it is not possible, however, to be physically present at Vndvana, one can meditate anywhere upon living in that situation. Wherever he may be, one must always think about life in Vraja-dhma and about following in the footsteps of a particular devotee in the service of the Lord.

A devotee who is actually advanced in Ka consciousness, who is constantly engaged in devotional service, should not manifest himself, even though he has attained perfection. The idea is that he should always continue to act as a neophyte devotee as long as his material body is there. Activities in devotional service under regulative principles must be followed even by the pure devotee. But when he realizes his actual position in relationship with the Lord, he can, along with the discharging of regulative service, think within himself of the Lord, under the guidance of a particular associate of the Lord, and develop his transcendental sentiments in following that associate.

In this connection, we should be careful about the so-called siddha-pral. The siddha-pral process is followed by a class of men who are not very authorized and who have manufactured their own way of devotional service. They imagine that they have become associates of the Lord simply by thinking of themselves like that. This external behavior is not at all according to the regulative principles. The so-called siddha-pral process is followed by the prkta-sahajiy, a pseudosect of so-called Vaiavas. In the opinion of Rpa Gosvm, such activities are simply disturbances to the standard way of devotional service.

r Rpa Gosvm says that learned cryas recommend that we follow the regulative principles even after the development of spontaneous love for Ka. According to the regulative principles, there are nine departmental activities, as described above, and one should specifically engage himself in the type of devotional service for which he has a natural aptitude. For example, one person may have a particular interest in hearing, another may have a particular interest in chanting, and another may have a particular interest in serving in the temple. So these, or any of the other six different types of devotional service (remembering, serving, praying, engaging in some particular service, being in a friendly relationship or offering everything in ones possession), should be executed in full earnestness. In this way, everyone should act according to his particular taste.

Conjugal Love

Devotional service following in the footsteps of the gops of Vndvana or the queens at Dvrak is called devotional service in conjugal love. This devotional service in conjugal love can be divided into two categories. One is indirect conjugal love, the other direct. In both of these categories, one has to follow the particular gop who is engaged in such service in Goloka Vndvana. To be directly attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in conjugal love is technically called keli. This keli performance means to directly join with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are other devotees who do not wish direct contact with the Supreme Person, but who relish the conjugal love affairs of the Lord with the gops. Such devotees enjoy simply by hearing of the activities of the Lord with the gops.

This development of conjugal love can be possible only with those who are already engaged in following the regulative principles of devotional service, specifically in the worship of Rdh and Ka in the temple. Such devotees gradually develop a spontaneous love for the Deity, and by hearing of the Lords exchange of loving affairs with the gops, they gradually become attracted to these pastimes. After this spontaneous attraction becomes highly developed, the devotee is placed in either of the above-mentioned categories.

This development of conjugal love for Ka is not manifested in women only. The material body has nothing to do with spiritual loving affairs. A woman may develop an attitude for becoming a friend of Ka, and, similarly, a man may develop the feature of becoming a gop in Vndvana. How a devotee in the form of a man can desire to become a gop is stated in the Padma Pura as follows: In days gone by there were many sages in Daakraya. Daakraya is the name of the forest where Lord Rmacandra lived after being banished by His father for fourteen years. At that time there were many advanced sages who were captivated by the beauty of Lord Rmacandra and who desired to become women in order to embrace the Lord. Later on, these sages appeared in Goloka Vndvana when Ka advented Himself there, and they were born as gops, or girl friends of Ka. In this way they attained the perfection of spiritual life.

The story of the sages of Daakraya can be explained as follows. When Lord Rmacandra was residing in Daakraya, the sages who were engaged in devotional service there became attracted by His beauty and immediately thought of the gops at Vndvana, who enjoyed conjugal loving affection with Ka. In this instance it is clear that the sages of Daakraya desired conjugal love in the manner of the gops, although they were well aware of the Supreme Lord as both Ka and Lord Rmacandra. They knew that although Rmacandra was an ideal king and could not accept more than one wife, Lord Ka, being the full-fledged Personality of Godhead, could fulfill the desires of all of them in Vndvana. These sages also concluded that the form of Lord Ka is more attractive than that of Lord Rmacandra, and so they prayed to become gops in their future lives to be associated with Ka.

Lord Rmacandra remained silent, and His silence shows that He accepted the prayers of the sages. Thus they were blessed by Lord Rmacandra to have association with Lord Ka in their future lives. As a result of this benediction, they all took birth as women in the wombs of gops at Gokula, and as they had desired in their previous lives, they enjoyed the company of Lord Ka, who was present at that time in Gokula Vndvana. The perfection of their human form of life was thus achieved by their generating a transcendental sentiment to share conjugal love with Lord Ka.

Conjugal love is divided into two classificationsnamely, conjugal love as husband and wife and conjugal love as lover and beloved. One who develops conjugal love for Ka as a wife is promoted to Dvrak, where the devotee becomes the queen of the Lord. One who develops conjugal love for Ka as a lover is promoted to Goloka Vndvana, to associate with the gops and enjoy loving affairs with Ka there. We should note carefully, however, that this conjugal love for Ka, either as gop or as queen, is not limited only to women. Even men can develop such sentiments, as was evidenced by the sages of Daakraya. If someone simply desires conjugal love, but does not follow in the footsteps of the gops, he is promoted to association with the Lord at Dvrak.

In the Mah-krma Pura it is stated, Great sages who were the sons of fire-gods rigidly followed the regulative principles in their desire to have conjugal love for Ka. As such, in their next lives they were able to associate with the Lord, the origin of all creation, who is known as Vsudeva, or Ka, and all of them got Him as their husband.

Parenthood or Friendship

Devotees who are attracted to Ka as parents or as friends should follow in the footsteps of Nanda Mahrja or Subala, respectively. Nanda Mahrja is the foster father of Ka, and out of all of the friends of Ka, Subala is the most intimate in Vrajabhmi.

In the development of becoming either the father or friend of the Lord, there are two varieties. One method is that one may try to become the father of the Lord directly, and the other is that one may follow Nanda Mahrja and cherish the ideal of being Kas father. Out of these two, the attempt to directly become the father of Ka is not recommended. Such a development can become polluted with Myvda (impersonal) philosophy. The Myvds, or monists, think that they themselves are Ka, and if one thinks that he himself has become Nanda Mahrja, then his parental love will become contaminated with the Myvda philosophy. The Myvda philosophical way of thinking is offensive, and no offender can enter into the kingdom of God to associate with Ka.

In the Skanda Pura there is a story of an old man residing in Hastinpura, capital of the kingdom of the Pus, who desired Ka as his beloved son. This old man was instructed by Nrada to follow in the footsteps of Nanda Mahrja, and thus he achieved success.

There is a statement in the Nryaa-vyha-stava prayers that persons who are always engaged in thinking of the Lord as their husband, friend, father or well-wisher are always worshipable by everyone. This spontaneous love for Ka can be developed only by the special mercy of Ka or His pure devotee. This process of devotional service is sometimes called pui-mrga. Pui means nourishing, and mrga means path. Such development of sentiment nourishes devotional service to the highest standard. Thus it is called the path of nourishment, or pui-mrga. The Vallabha-sampradya, which belongs to the Viusvm sect of Vaiava religion, worships Ka in this pui-mrga. Generally devotees in Gujarat worship Bla Ka, under this heading of pui-mrga.

NoD 17: Ecstatic Love

Chapter Seventeen

Ecstatic Love

By the process of executing regulated devotional service, one is actually elevated onto the transcendental stage, beyond the material modes of nature. At that time ones heart becomes illuminated like the sun. The sun is far above the planetary systems, and there is no possibility of its being covered by any kind of cloud; similarly, when a devotee is purified like the sun, from his pure heart there is a diffusion of ecstatic love which is more glorious than the sunshine. Only at that time is the attachment to Ka perfect. Spontaneously, the devotee becomes eager to serve the Lord in his ecstatic love. At this stage the devotee is on the platform of uttama-adhikr, perfect devotion. Such a devotee has no agitation from material affections and is interested only in the service of Rdh and Ka.

To clarify, in the previous chapters the symptoms of devotional service were explained along with instructions as to how we may execute devotional service with our present senses and gradually rise to the platform of ecstasy in spontaneous love. And the two kinds of devotional servicenamely devotional service through regulative principles and through spontaneous lovewere discussed. Within the stage of the regulative principles of devotional service there are two divisionsnamely executive and effective. This effective portion of devotional service is called bhva, or ecstasy. In this connection, there is a statement in the tantras that ecstasy is the first symptom of pure love for the Personality of Godhead, and in that stage one is sometimes found shedding tears or shivering. Not always are these symptoms manifest, but occasionally. When King Ambara was put into difficulty by Durvs, he began to think of the lotus feet of the Lord, and thus there were some changes in his body, and tears were falling from his eyes. These symptoms are activities of ecstasy. They are visible in the shivering of the body and the shedding of tears. After the outward appearance of these ecstatic symptoms, they stay within the mind, and continuation of the ecstasy is called samdhi. This stage of appreciation becomes the cause of future exchanges of loving affairs with Ka.

Elevation to this stage of ecstasy can be possible in two ways. One way is by constant association with pure devotees. The other way is by the special mercy of Ka or by the mercy of a pure devotee of Ka. Elevation to the ecstatic stage of life is generally attained through association with pure devotees, while elevation to that stage by the special mercy of Ka or His devotee is very rare. The purport is that one should execute devotional service rigidly in the association of devotees so that there will be certainty in raising oneself to that ecstatic position. In special cases, of course, there is special favor from Ka, and although we should always expect that, we should not sit idly and simply wait for Kas special mercy; the regular duties must be performed. It is just as when, sometimes, it is found that a person who never attended school or college may be recognized as a great scholar, or an honorary degree from great universities may be offered to him. But this does not mean that one should avoid school and expect to automatically receive an honorary degree from some university. Similarly, one should devoutly execute the regulative principles of devotional service and at the same time hope for Kas favor or for His devotees favor.

An example of rising to the stage of ecstatic love by executing the regulative principles of devotional service is given in the life story of Nrada, which is described to Vysadeva in rmad-Bhgavatam. Nrada tells there of his previous life and how he developed to the stage of ecstatic love. He was engaged in the service of great devotees and used to hear their talks and songs. Because he had the opportunity to hear these pastimes and songs of Ka from the mouths of pure devotees, he became very attracted within his heart. Because he had become so eager to hear these topics, he gradually developed within himself an ecstatic love for Ka. This ecstatic love is prior to the pure love of Ka, because in the next verse Nrada confirms that by the gradual process of hearing from the great sages he developed love of Godhead. In that connection, Nrada continues to say in the First Canto, Fifth Chapter, verse 28, of the Bhgavatam, First I passed my days in the association of the great sages during the rainy autumn season. Every morning and evening I heard them while they were singing and chanting the Hare Ka mantra, and thus my heart gradually became purified. As soon as I heard them with great attention, the influence of the modes of material ignorance and passion disappeared, and I became firmly fixed in devotional service to the Lord.

These are practical examples of how one can develop to the stage of ecstatic love simply by the association of pure devotees. It is essential, therefore, that one constantly associate with pure devotees who are engaged morning and evening in chanting the Hare Ka mantra. In this way one will get the chance to purify his heart and develop this ecstatic pure love for Ka.

This statement is also confirmed in the Third Canto, Twenty-fifth Chapter, verse 25, of rmad-Bhgavatam, where Lord Kapila says, My dear mother, when a person is actually in association with pure devotees, the sublime potency of My devotional service can be experienced. In other words, when a pure devotee speaks, his words act upon the hearts of the audience. What is the secret of hearing and chanting? A professional speaker cannot impress transcendental ecstasy within the hearts of the listeners. However, when a realized soul who is engaged in the service of the Lord is speaking, he has the potency to inject spiritual life within the audience. One should, therefore, seek the association of such pure, unalloyed devotees, and by such association and service a neophyte devotee will certainly develop attachment, love and devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

In the Padma Pura there is the story of a neophyte devotee who, in order to raise herself to the ecstatic platform, danced all night to invoke the Lords grace upon her.

Sometimes, however, it is found that without undergoing any devotional process, one all of a sudden develops devotion for Lord Ka. This sudden development of the devotional attitude in a person must be understood as a special mercy of Ka or of His devotee. This apparently accidental development of ecstatic feelings through the causeless mercy of Ka can be divided into three groups: simply by speaking, simply by glancing and simply by good wishes.

In the Nradya Pura there is a statement about development of ecstatic love simply by speaking. Lord Ka said to Nrada, O best of the brhmaas, I wish that you may develop unalloyed devotional service to Me, which is full of transcendental bliss and all auspiciousness.

In the Skanda Pura there is a statement about developing ecstatic love toward Ka simply by glancing. It is stated there, When the inhabitants of Jgala Province saw the Personality of Godhead, Ka, they were so stricken with feeling that they could not withdraw their glance from Him.

As far as heartfelt wishes are concerned, there is a statement in the uka-sahit where Nrada tells rla Vysadeva, You have a son who is the greatest devotee of the Personality of Godhead, and I can observe that without any following of the regulative principles of devotional service, he is already enriched with many of the symptoms achieved by the execution of devotional service after many, many births.

As for ecstatic love of Ka, there is a statement in the Seventh Canto, Fourth Chapter, verse 36, of rmad-Bhgavatam, in which Nrada addresses King Yudhihira, My dear King, it is very difficult to describe the character of Prahlda. He developed a natural attraction for Ka, and whatever I can explain about his character will simply be an arrangement of words; his actual character is impossible to describe. This means that Nrada himself admitted that the natural development of Prahldas ecstatic love was by the grace of Lord Ka.

This natural attraction for Ka on the part of Prahlda was developed simply by the mercy of Nrada. When Prahlda Mahrja was within the womb of his mother, she was being sympathetically instructed by Nrada about the science of devotional service, and at the same time Nrada was wishing that the child within the womb could also take advantage of the instructions. Because Nrada, an authorized devotee and great associate of the Personality of Godhead, was desiring auspiciousness for Prahlda Mahrja, he developed all the characteristics of a high-grade devotee. This is called natural attraction. It is caused by the special grace of the Personality of Godhead or by the special grace of a great devotee like Nrada.

There is a statement in the Skanda Pura wherein Parvata Muni tells Nrada, My dear Nrada, of all saintly persons you are so great and glorious that simply by your good wishes a lowborn hunter also has become a great, elevated devotee of Lord Ka.

This ecstatic love for Ka can be divided into five divisions, which will be described by r Rpa Gosvm later on.

NoD 18: Character of One in Ecstatic Love

Chapter Eighteen

Character of One in Ecstatic Love

Rpa Gosvm next describes the characteristics of a person who has actually developed his ecstatic love for Ka. The characteristics are as follows:

(1) He is always anxious to utilize his time in the devotional service of the Lord. He does not like to be idle. He wants service always, twenty-four hours a day, without deviation.

(2) He is always reserved and perseverant.

(3) He is always detached from all material attraction.

(4) He does not long for any material respect in return for his activities.

(5) He is always certain that Ka will bestow His mercy upon him.

(6) He is always very eager to serve the Lord faithfully.

(7) He is very much attached to the chanting of the holy names of the Lord.

(8) He is always eager to describe the transcendental qualities of the Lord.

(9) He is very pleased to live in a place where the Lords pastimes are performed, e.g., Mathur, Vndvana or Dvrak.

Utilization of Time

An unalloyed devotee who has developed ecstatic love for Ka is always engaging his words in reciting prayers to the Lord. Within the mind he is always thinking of Ka, and with his body he either offers obeisances by bowing down before the Deity or engages in some other service. During these ecstatic activities he sometimes sheds tears. In this way his whole life is engaged in the service of the Lord, with not a moment wasted on any other engagement.


When a person is undisturbed even in the presence of various causes of disturbance, he is called reserved and perseverant. An example of this perseverance and reservation is found in the behavior of King Parkit, as described in the First Canto, Nineteenth Chapter, verse 15, of rmad-Bhgavatam. The King says there to all the sages present before him at the time of his death, My dear brhmaas, you should always accept me as your surrendered servant. I have come to the bank of the Ganges just to devote my heart and soul unto the lotus feet of Lord Ka. So please bless me, that mother Ganges may also be pleased with me. Let the curse of the brhmaas son fall upon meI do not mind. I only request that at the last moment of my life all of you will kindly chant the holy name of Viu, so that I may realize His transcendental qualities.

This example of Mahrja Parkits behavior, his remaining patient even at the last point of his life, his undisturbed condition of mind, is an example of reservation. This is one of the characteristics of a devotee who has developed ecstatic love for Ka.


The senses are always desiring sense enjoyment, but when a devotee develops transcendental love for Ka his senses are no longer attracted by material desires. This state of mind is called detachment. There is a nice example of this detachment in connection with the character of King Bharata. In the Fifth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 43, of rmad-Bhgavatam it is stated, Emperor Bharata was so attracted by the beauty of the lotus feet of Ka that even in his youthful life he gave up all kinds of attachments to family, children, friends, kingdom, etc., as though they were untouchable stools.

Emperor Bharata provides a typical example of detachment. He had everything enjoyable in the material world, but he left it. This means that detachment does not mean artificially keeping oneself aloof and apart from the allurements of attachment. Even in the presence of such allurements, if one can remain unattracted by material attachments, he is called detached. In the beginning, of course, a neophyte devotee must try to keep himself apart from all kinds of alluring attachments, but the real position of a mature devotee is that even in the presence of all allurements, he is not at all attracted. This is the actual criterion of detachment.


When a devotee, in spite of possessing all the qualities of pure realization, is not proud of his position, he is called prideless. In the Padma Pura it is stated that King Bhagratha was the emperor above all other kings, yet he developed such ecstatic love for Ka that he became a mendicant and went out begging even to the homes of his political enemies and untouchables. He was so humble that he respectfully bowed down before them.

There are many similar instances in the history of India. Even very recently, about two hundred years ago or less, one big landlord known as Ll Bbu, a Calcutta landholder, became a Vaiava and lived in Vndvana. He was also begging from door to door, even at the homes of his political enemies. Begging involves being ready to be insulted by persons to whose home one has come. That is natural. But one has to tolerate such insults for the sake of Ka. The devotee of Ka can accept any position in the service of Ka.

Great Hope

The strong conviction that one will certainly receive the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is called in Sanskrit -bandha. -bandha means to continue to think, Because Im trying my best to follow the routine principles of devotional service, I am sure that I will go back to Godhead, back to home.

In this connection, one prayer by Rpa Gosvm is sufficient to exemplify this hopefulness. He says, I have no love for Ka, nor for the causes of developing love of Kanamely, hearing and chanting. And the process of bhakti-yoga, by which one is always thinking of Ka and fixing His lotus feet in the heart, is also lacking in me. As far as philosophical knowledge or pious works are concerned, I dont see any opportunity for me to execute such activities. But above all, I am not even born of a nice family. Therefore I must simply pray to You, Gopjana-vallabha [Ka, maintainer and beloved of the gops]. I simply wish and hope that some way or other I may be able to approach Your lotus feet, and this hope is giving me pain, because I think myself quite incompetent to approach that transcendental goal of life. The purport is that under this heading of -bandha, one should continue to hope against hope that some way or other he will be able to approach the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord.

Eagerness for Achieving the Desired Success

When one is sufficiently eager to achieve success in devotional service, that eagerness is called samutkah. This means complete eagerness. Actually this eagerness is the price for achieving success in Ka consciousness. Everything has some value, and one has to pay the value before obtaining or possessing it. It is stated in the Vedic literature that to purchase the most valuable thing, Ka consciousness, one has to develop intense eagerness for achieving success. This intense eagerness is very nicely expressed by Bilvamagala hkura in his book Ka-karmta. He says, I am eagerly waiting to see that boy of Vndvana whose bodily beauty is captivating the whole universe, whose eyes are always bounded by black eyebrows and expanded like lotus petals, and who is always eagerly glancing over His devotees and therefore moving slightly here and there. His eyes are always moist, His lips are colored like copper, and through those lips there comes a sound vibration which drives one madder than a mad elephant. I want so much to see Him at Vndvana!

Attachment to Chanting the Holy Names of the Lord

In the same Ka-karmta there is another statement, about the chanting of Rdhr. It is said by one of the associates of Rdhr, O Lord Govinda, the girl who is the daughter of King Vabhnu is now shedding tears, and She is anxiously chanting Your holy nameKa! Ka!

Eagerness to Describe the Lords Transcendental Qualities

Attachment for chanting the glories of the Lord is also expressed in the Ka-karmta as follows: What shall I do for Ka, who is pleasing beyond all pleasurable conceptions, and who is naughtier than all restless boys? The idea of Kas beautiful activities is attracting my heart, and I do not know what I can do!

Attraction for Living in a Place Where Ka Has His Pastimes

In the book Padyval by Rpa Gosvm there is the following statement about Vndvana: In this place the son of Mahrja Nanda used to live with His father, who was king of all cowherd men. In this place Lord Ka broke the cart in which the akasura demon was concealed. At this place Dmodara, who can cut the knot of our material existence, was tied up by His mother, Yaod.

A pure devotee of Lord Ka resides in the district of Mathur or Vndvana and visits all the places where Kas pastimes were performed. At these sacred places Ka displayed His childhood activities with the cowherd boys and mother Yaod. The system of circumambulating all these places is still current among devotees of Lord Ka, and those coming to Mathur and Vndvana always feel transcendental pleasure. Actually, if someone goes to Vndvana, he will immediately feel separation from Ka, who performed such nice activities when He was present there.

Such attraction for remembering Kas activities is known as attachment for Ka. There are impersonalist philosophers and mystics, however, who by a show of devotional service want ultimately to merge into the existence of the Supreme Lord. They sometimes try to imitate a pure devotees sentiment for visiting the holy places where Ka had His pastimes, but they simply have a view for salvation, and so their activities cannot be considered attachment.

It is said by Rpa Gosvm that the attachment exhibited by pure devotees for Ka cannot possibly be perfected in the hearts of fruitive workers (karms) or mental speculators, because such attachment in pure Ka consciousness is very rare and not possible to achieve even for many liberated persons. As stated in Bhagavad-gt, liberation from material contamination is the stage at which devotional service can be achieved. For a person who simply wants to have liberation and to merge into the impersonal brahmajyoti, attachment to Ka is not possible to acquire. This attachment is very confidentially kept by Ka and is bestowed only upon pure devotees. Even ordinary devotees cannot have such pure attachment for Ka. Therefore, how is it possible for success to be achieved by persons whose hearts are contaminated by the actions and reactions of fruitive activities and who are entangled by various types of mental speculation?

There are many so-called devotees who artificially think of Kas pastimes known as aa-klya-ll. Sometimes one may artificially imitate these, pretending that Ka is talking with him in the form of a boy, or else one may pretend that Rdhr and Ka both have come to him and are talking with him. Such characteristics are sometimes exhibited by the impersonalist class of men, and they may captivate some innocent persons who have no knowledge in the science of devotional service. However, as soon as an experienced devotee sees all of these caricatures, he can immediately evaluate such rascaldom. If such a pretender is sometimes seen possessing imitative attachment to Ka, that will not be accepted as real attachment. It may be said, however, that such attachment gives the pretender hope that he may eventually rise onto the actual platform of pure devotional service.

This imitative attachment can be divided into two headingsnamely, shadow attachment and par (transcendental) attachment. If someone, without undergoing the regulative principles of devotional service or without being guided by a bona fide spiritual master, shows such imitative attachment, this is called shadow attachment. Sometimes it is found that a person actually attached to material enjoyment or salvation has the good fortune to associate with pure devotees while they are engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord. By the good grace of the Lord one may also cooperate and join in the chanting. At that time, simply by the association of such pure devotees, the moonlike rays from their hearts reflect on him, and by the influence of the pure devotees he may show some likeness of attachment caused by inquisitiveness, but this is very flickering. And if by the manifestation of such shadow attachment one feels the disappearance of all material pangs, then it is called par attachment.

Such shadow attachment or par attachment can develop if one associates with a pure devotee or visits holy places like Vndvana or Mathur, and if an ordinary man develops such attachment for Ka and fortunately performs devotional activities in the association of pure devotees, he can also rise to the platform of pure devotional service. The conclusion is that transcendental attachment is so powerful that if such attachment is seen manifested even in some common man, by the association of a pure devotee it can bring one to the perfectional stage. But such attachment for Ka cannot be invoked in a person without his being sufficiently blessed by the association of pure devotees.

As attachment can be invoked by the association of pure devotees, so attachment can also be extinguished by offenses committed at the lotus feet of pure devotees. To be more clear, by the association of pure devotees attachment for Ka can be aroused, but if one commits offenses at the lotus feet of a devotee, ones shadow attachment or par attachment can be extinguished. This extinguishing is like the waning of the full moon, which gradually decreases and at last becomes dark. One should therefore be very careful while associating with pure devotees to guard against committing an offense at their lotus feet.

Transcendental attachment, either shadow or par, can be nullified by different degrees of offenses at the lotus feet of pure devotees. If the offense is very serious, then ones attachment becomes almost nil, and if the offense is not very serious, ones attachment can become second class or third class.

If someone becomes attached to the principles of salvation or to merging into the existence of the brahmajyoti, his ecstasies gradually diminish into shadow and par attachment or else transform into the principles of ahagrahopsan. This ahagrahopsan describes a living entity when he begins spiritual realization by identifying himself with the Supreme Lord. This state of self-realization is technically known as monism. The monist thinks himself one with the Supreme Lord. Thus, because he does not differentiate between himself and the Supreme Lord, it is his view that by worshiping himself he is worshiping the supreme whole.

Sometimes it is found that a neophyte is taking part in chanting and dancing very enthusiastically, but within himself he is under the impression that he has become one with the supreme whole. This conception of monism is completely different from pure, transcendental devotional service. If, however, it is seen that a person has developed a high standard of devotion without having undergone even the regulative principles, it is to be understood that his status of devotional service was achieved in a former life. For some reason or another it had been temporarily stopped, most probably by an offense committed at the lotus feet of a devotee. Now, with a good second chance, it has again begun to develop. The conclusion is that steady progress in devotional service can be attained only in the association of pure devotees.

If one can gradually advance his status in devotional service, this is understood to be due to the causeless mercy of Ka Himself. If a person is completely detached from material enjoyment and has developed pure ecstatic devotion, even if he is sometimes accidentally found not living up to the standard of devotional service, one should not be envious of him. It is confirmed also in Bhagavad-gt that a devotee who has unflinching faith in and devotion to the Lord, even if sometimes found to be accidentally deviated from pure devotional characteristics, should still be counted among the pure. Unflinching faith in devotional service, in Lord Ka and in the spiritual master makes one highly elevated in the activities of devotional service.

In the Nsiha Pura it is stated, If a person has completely engaged his mind, body and activities in the service of the Supreme Godhead, but externally he is found to be engaged in some abominable activities, these abominable activities will surely be very quickly vanquished by the influence of his staunch devotional force. The example is given that on the full moon there are some spots which may appear to be pockmarks. Still, the illumination spread by the full moon cannot be checked. Similarly, a little fault in the midst of volumes of devotional service is not at all to be counted as a fault. Attachment for Ka is transcendental bliss. Amid unlimited volumes of transcendental bliss, a spot of some material defect cannot act in any way.

NoD 19: Devotional Service in Pure Love of God

Chapter Nineteen

Devotional Service in Pure Love of God

When ones desire to love Ka in ones particular relationship becomes intensified, this is known as pure love of Godhead. In the beginning a devotee is engaged in the regulative principles of devotional service by the order of his spiritual master. When one thereby becomes completely purified of all material contamination, there develop an attachment and taste for devotional service. This taste and attachment, when gradually intensified in the course of time, become love. The word love can be actually applied only in relationship with the Personality of Godhead. In the material world, love is not applicable at all. What goes on under the name of love in the material world is nothing but lust. There is a gulf of difference between love and lust, like the difference between gold and iron. In the Nrada-pacartra it is clearly stated that when lust is completely transferred to the Supreme Godhead and the concept of kinship is completely reposed in Him, such is accepted as pure love of God by great authorities like Bhma, Prahlda, Uddhava and Nrada.

Great authorities like Bhma have explained that love of Godhead means completely giving up all so-called love for any other person. According to Bhma, love means reposing ones affection completely upon one person, withdrawing all affinities for any other person. This pure love can be transferred to the Supreme Personality of Godhead under two conditionsout of ecstasy and out of the causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.


Ecstatic love of Godhead can be potently invoked simply by following the rules and regulations of devotional service as they are prescribed in scriptures, under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master. In the Eleventh Canto, Second Chapter, verse 40, of rmad-Bhgavatam, this ecstatic love, born of the execution of regulative devotional service, is explained: A devotee, in the course of executing the regulative principles of devotional service, develops his natural Ka consciousness, and being thus softened at heart he chants and dances like a madman. While performing chanting of the holy name of the Lord, he sometimes cries, sometimes talks wildly, sometimes sings and sometimeswithout caring for any outsiderdances like a madman.

In the Padma Pura there is a statement about ecstatic love born of spontaneous affection. Candraknti, a celebrated fair-faced girl, rigidly observed celibacy in order to obtain Ka as her husband. She always engaged herself in meditating on the transcendental form of the Lord and always chanted the glories of the Lord. She did not desire to accept anyone else as her husband. She had firmly decided that only Lord Ka would be her husband.

The Lords Extraordinary Mercy

When a devotee is found to be always associated with the Lord in ecstatic love, it is to be understood that such a position has been awarded by the Lord Himself out of His causeless extraordinary mercy. An example of such extraordinary mercy is given in the Eleventh Canto, Twelfth Chapter, verse 7, of rmad-Bhgavatam, wherein Lord Ka tells Uddhava, The gops in Vndvana did not study the Vedas to achieve Me. Nor had they ever been in holy places of pilgrimage. Nor did they devoutly execute any regulative principle. Nor did they undergo any kind of austerity. It is simply by My association that they have attained the highest perfection of devotional service.

From the example of Candraknti as found in the Padma Pura and from the example of the gops as found in rmad-Bhgavatam, it appears that a devotee who always thinks of Ka and who always chants His glories in ecstatic love, regardless of his condition, will attain the highest perfection of unalloyed devotional love due to Lord Kas extraordinary mercy. This is confirmed in rmad-Bhgavatam: If a person worships, adores and loves Hari, the Supreme Lord, he should be understood to have finished all kinds of austerities, penances and similar processes for self-realization. On the other hand, if after undergoing all types of austerities, penances and mystic yoga practices one does not develop such love for Hari, then all his performances are to be considered a useless waste of time. If someone always sees Ka inside and out, then it is to be understood that he has surpassed all austerities and penances for self-realization. And if, after executing all kinds of penances and austerities, one cannot always see Ka inside and out, then he has executed his performances uselessly.

Spontaneous attraction to Ka, which is said to be due to the extraordinary mercy of the Lord, can be placed under two headings: one is profound veneration for the greatness of the Lord, and the other is ones being automatically attracted to Ka without any extraneous consideration. In the Nrada-pacartra it is said that if on account of profound veneration for the greatness of the Supreme Lord one attains a great affection and steady love for Him, one is certainly assured of attaining the four kinds of Vaiava liberationnamely achieving the same bodily features as the Lord, achieving the same opulence as the Lord, dwelling on the planet where the Lord is residing, and attaining eternal association with the Lord. The Vaiava liberation is completely different from the Myvda liberation, which is simply a matter of being merged into the effulgence of the Lord.

In the Nrada-pacartra pure, unalloyed devotional service is explained as being without any motive for personal benefit. If a devotee is continuously in love with Lord Ka and his mind is always fixed upon Him, that devotional attitude will prove to be the only means of attracting the attention of the Lord. In other words, a Vaiava who is incessantly thinking of the form of Lord Ka is to be known as a pure Vaiava.

Generally, a devotee who has achieved the causeless mercy of the Lord on account of following the strict rules and regulations of devotional service becomes attracted by the supreme greatness of the Lord, by the transcendental beauty of the Lord and by the spontaneous execution of devotional service. To be more clear, by executing the regulative principles of devotional service one can fully appreciate the transcendental beauty of the Lord. In any case, such exalted positions are possible only by the extraordinary mercy of the Lord upon the devotee.

Association with Pure Devotees

Although many different processes for developing love of Godhead have been explained so far, rla Rpa Gosvm now gives us a general description of how one can best achieve such a high position. The beginning of ecstatic love of Godhead is basically faith. There are many societies and associations of pure devotees, and if someone with just a little faith begins to associate with such societies, his advancement to pure devotional service is rapid. The influence of a pure devotee is such that if someone comes to associate with him with a little faith, one gets the chance of hearing about the Lord from authoritative scriptures like Bhagavad-gt and rmad-Bhgavatam. Thus, by the mercy of the Lord, who is situated in everyones heart, one gradually develops his faith in the descriptions of such authoritative scriptures. This is the first stage of association with pure devotees. In the second stage, after one becomes a little advanced and mature, he automatically offers to follow the principles of devotional service under the guidance of the pure devotee and accepts him as the spiritual master. In the next stage, under the guidance of the spiritual master, the devotee executes regulative devotional service, and as a result of such activities, he becomes freed from all unwanted occupations. When he is freed from unwanted occupations, his faith becomes steadily fixed, and he develops a transcendental taste for devotional service, then attachment, then ecstasies, and in the last stage there is pure love of Godhead. These are the different stages of the development of pure love.

Only the most fortunate persons can achieve such success in life. Those who are simply academic students of the Vedic scriptures cannot appreciate how such a development takes place. In the Nrada-pacartra Lord iva therefore tells Prvat, My dear supreme goddess, you may know from me that any person who has developed the ecstasy of love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and who is always merged in transcendental bliss on account of this love, cannot even perceive the material distress or happiness coming from the body or mind.

The affection and the dealings of love that are different branches of the original tree of love precede many varieties of affectionate manifestations that will not be discussed here. These different manifestations have been described by Santana Gosvm in his Bhgavatmta. Although the subject of such affections and dealings of love is very confidential, Santana Gosvm has described them very explicitly.

r Rpa Gosvm thus concludes the first division of the Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu, offering up his treatise for the transcendental pleasure of Santana Gosvm, who has established the transcendental beauty, and of Gopla Bhaa Gosvm, r Raghuntha Bhaa Gosvm and Raghuntha dsa Gosvm. It appears from this statement that the great rla Jva Gosvm was not yet active when Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu was written.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta summary study of the first division of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu, up to the descriptions of ecstatic love of Godhead, which are to follow next.

NoD 20: Transcendental Mellow

Chapter Twenty

Transcendental Mellow

In this second division of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu the author offers his respectful obeisances unto Santana. This Santana can be interpreted as either r Ka Himself or as Santana Gosvm, the elder brother and spiritual master of Rpa Gosvm. In the case where Santana is accepted to mean r Ka, the obeisances are offered to Ka because He is naturally so beautiful and because He is the killer of the demon Agha. If it is interpreted to mean Santana Gosvm, then it is because he is so greatly favored by Rpa Gosvm, being always served by him, and because he is the annihilator of all kinds of sinful activities. In this division of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu the author wants to describe the general symptoms of the transcendental mellow (loving mood) of discharging devotional service.

In this division of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu there are five general topics: (1) vibhvaspecial symptoms or causes of ecstasy, (2) anubhvasubsequent ecstasy, (3) sttvika-bhvaconstitutional or existential ecstasy, (4) vyabhicr-bhvaaggressive ecstasy and (5) sthyi-bhvafervent or continuous ecstasy.

The word rasa, used in the Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu, is understood by different persons differently because the exact English equivalent is very difficult to find. But as we have seen our spiritual master translate this word rasa into mellow, we shall follow in his footsteps and also translate the word in that way.

The particular loving mood or attitude relished in the exchange of love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead is called rasa, or mellow. The different types of rasa, when combined together, help one to taste the mellow of devotional service in the highest degree of transcendental ecstasy. Such a position, although entirely transcendental to our experience, will be explained in this section as far as possible, following in the footsteps of rla Rpa Gosvm.

Without relishing some sort of mellow, or loving mood, in ones activities, no one can continue to perform such activities. Similarly, in the transcendental life of Ka consciousness and devotional service there must be some mellow, or specific taste, from the service. Generally this mellow is experienced by chanting, hearing, worshiping in the temple and being engaged in the service of the Lord. So when a person feels transcendental bliss; that is called relishing the mellow. To be more clear, we may understand that the various feelings of happiness derived from discharging devotional service may be termed the mellows of devotional service.

This relishing of transcendental mellow in discharging devotional service cannot be experienced by all classes of men, because this sweet loving mood is developed only from ones previous lifes activities or by the association of unalloyed devotees. As explained above, association with pure devotees is the beginning of faith in devotional service. Only by developing such faith in the association of a pure devotee, or by having in ones previous life executed devotional activities, can one actually relish the mellow of devotional service. In other words, this transcendental bliss is not to be enjoyed by any common man unless he is so extraordinarily fortunate as to be in association with devotees or to be continuing his previous births devotional activities.

The gradual process of development to the stage of devotional service is explained in rmad-Bhgavatam, First Canto: The beginning is to hear about Lord Ka in the association of devotees who have themselves cleansed their hearts by association. Hearing about the transcendental activities of the Lord will result in ones feeling transcendental bliss always. It is also explained in Bhagavad-gt that for one who has actually come to the spiritual platform, the first symptom visible will be that he is always joyful. This joyous life is attained by ones reaction to reading Bhagavad-gt or rmad-Bhgavatam, or else from associating with persons who are very interested in the spiritual life of Ka consciousnessspecifically those who have made the determination to achieve the favor of Govinda by being engaged in transcendental loving service at His lotus feet. Being encouraged by such a feeling, one who is constantly engaged in discharging the regulative principles of devotional service in such a way as to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead develops two principles of compelling force, which come under the heading of vibhva. Thus one enjoys transcendental bliss.

There are several origins or causes for this compulsive love of Ka, such as Ka Himself, the devotees of Ka, and Kas playing on the flute. The effect is sometimes loving and sometimes stunted.

There are eight transcendental symptoms found in the body during ecstasy, and all of them are possible only by a mixture of the above-mentioned five ecstatic divisions. Without some mixture of these five ecstatic principles, one cannot relish transcendental bliss. The cause or basis for relishing transcendental mellow is exactly what we mean by vibhva. This vibhva is divided into twonamely, basic and impelling, or impetus-giving. In the Agni Pura the description of vibhva is given as follows: The basis from which ecstatic love is born is called vibhva, which is divided into twobasic and impelling. In other words, there are two kinds of ecstatic love. The object of basic ecstatic love is Ka and His devotee. Lord Ka is the object of basic ecstatic love, and His pure devotee, a reservoir of such love, is the object of impelling ecstatic love. Impelling ecstatic love, then, is that love which develops when one sees an object which reminds him of Ka.

Lord Ka, who is the possessor of inconceivable potencies and qualities of transcendental knowledge and bliss, is the basic cause of ecstatic love. Lord Ka also becomes the reservoir (impetus) of ecstatic love by His different incarnations and expansions. In rmad-Bhgavatam there is a statement in connection with the brahma-vimohana-ll which demonstrates something of this impelling or impetus-giving feature of ecstatic love. When Brahm was deluded by Ka, who expanded Himself into so many cowherd boys, calves and cows, Kas elder brother, r Baladeva (a direct expansion of Ka Himself), felt astonishment and said, How wonderful it is that My ecstatic love for Ka is again being attracted to so many cowherd boys, calves and cows! He was struck with wonder by thinking in this way. This is one of the examples in which Ka Himself becomes the object and reservoir of ecstatic love in the impelling aspect.

NoD 21: Qualities of r Ka

Chapter Twenty-one

Qualities of r Ka

Personal features can be divided into two: one feature is covered, and the other feature is manifested. When Ka is covered by different kinds of dress, His personal feature is covered. There is an example of His covered personal feature in rmad-Bhgavatam in connection with His dvrak-ll (His residence in Dvrak as its king). Sometimes Lord Ka began to play by dressing Himself like a woman. Seeing this form, Uddhava said, How wonderful it is that this woman is attracting my ecstatic love exactly as Lord Ka does. I think she must be Ka covered by the dress of a woman!

One devotee praised the bodily features of Ka when he saw the Lord in His manifested personal feature. He exclaimed, How wonderful is the personal feature of Lord Ka! How His neck is just like a conchshell! His eyes are so beautiful, as though they themselves were encountering the beauty of a lotus flower. His body is just like the tamla tree, very blackish. His head is protected with a canopy of hair. There are the marks of rvatsa on His chest, and He is holding His conchshell. By such beautiful bodily features, the enemy of the demon Madhu has appeared so pleasing that He can bestow upon me transcendental bliss simply by my seeing His transcendental qualities.

rla Rpa Gosvm, after consulting various scriptures, has enumerated the transcendental qualities of the Lord as follows: (1) beautiful features of the entire body; (2) marked with all auspicious characteristics; (3) extremely pleasing; (4) effulgent; (5) strong; (6) ever youthful; (7) wonderful linguist; (8) truthful; (9) talks pleasingly; (10) fluent; (11) highly learned; (12) highly intelligent; (13) a genius; (14) artistic; (15) extremely clever; (16) expert; (17) grateful; (18) firmly determined; (19) an expert judge of time and circumstances; (20) sees and speaks on the authority of Vedas, or scriptures; (21) pure; (22) self-controlled; (23) steadfast; (24) forbearing; (25) forgiving; (26) grave; (27) self-satisfied; (28) possessing equilibrium; (29) magnanimous; (30) religious; (31) heroic; (32) compassionate; (33) respectful; (34) gentle; (35) liberal; (36) shy; (37) the protector of surrendered souls; (38) happy; (39) the well-wisher of devotees; (40) controlled by love; (41) all-auspicious; (42) most powerful; (43) all-famous; (44) popular; (45) partial to devotees; (46) very attractive to all women; (47) all-worshipable; (48) all-opulent; (49) all-honorable; (50) the supreme controller. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has all these fifty transcendental qualities in fullness as deep as the ocean. In other words, the extent of His qualities is inconceivable.

As parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, the individual living entities can also possess all of these qualities in minute quantities, provided they become pure devotees of the Lord. In other words, all of the above transcendental qualities can be present in the devotees in minute quantity, whereas the qualities in fullness are always present in the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Besides these, there are other transcendental qualities which are described by Lord iva to Prvat in the Padma Pura, and in the First Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam in connection with a conversation between the deity of the earth and the King of religion, Yamarja. It is said therein, Persons Who who are desirous of becoming great personalities must be decorated with the following qualities: truthfulness, cleanliness, mercy, perseverance, renunciation, peacefulness, simplicity, control of the senses, equilibrium of the mind, austerity, equality, forbearance, placidity, learning, knowledge, detachment, opulence, chivalry, influence, strength, memory, independence, tactfulness, luster, patience, kind-heartedness, ingenuity, gentility, mannerliness, determination, perfection in all knowledge, proper execution, possession of all objects of enjoyment, gravity, steadiness, faithfulness, fame, respectfulness and lack of false egotism. Persons who are desiring to become great souls cannot be without any of the above qualities, so we can know for certain that these qualities are found in Lord Ka, the supreme soul.

Besides all of the above-mentioned fifty qualities, Lord Ka possesses five more, which are sometimes partially manifested in the persons of Lord Brahm or Lord iva. These transcendental qualities are as follows: (51) changeless; (52) all-cognizant; (53) ever fresh; (54) sac-cid-nanda (possessing an eternal blissful body); (55) possessing all mystic perfections.

Ka also possesses five other qualities, which are manifest in the body of Nryaa, and they are listed as follows. (56) He has inconceivable potency. (57) Uncountable universes generate from His body. (58) He is the original source of all incarnations. (59) He is the giver of salvation to the enemies whom He kills. (60) He is the attractor of liberated souls. All these transcendental qualities are manifest wonderfully in the personal feature of Lord Ka.

Besides these sixty transcendental qualities, Ka has four more, which are not manifest even in the Nryaa form of Godhead, what to speak of the demigods or living entities. They are as follows. (61) He is the performer of wonderful varieties of pastimes (especially His childhood pastimes). (62) He is surrounded by devotees endowed with wonderful love of Godhead. (63) He can attract all living entities all over the universes by playing on His flute. (64) He has a wonderful excellence of beauty which cannot be rivaled anywhere in the creation.

Adding to the list these four exceptional qualities of Ka, it is to be understood that the aggregate number of qualities of Ka is sixty-four. rla Rpa Gosvm has attempted to give evidences from various scriptures about all sixty-four qualities present in the person of the Supreme Lord.

1. Beautiful Bodily Features

Any comparison of the different parts of the Lords body to different material objects cannot factually be a complete comparison. Ordinary persons, who cannot understand how exalted are the bodily features of the Lord, are simply given a chance to understand by a material comparison. It is said that Kas face is as beautiful as the moon, His thighs are powerful just like the trunks of elephants, His arms are just like two pillars, His palms are expanded like lotus flowers, His chest is just like a doorway, His hips are dens, and the middle of His body is a terrace.

2. Auspicious Characteristics

There are certain characteristics of different limbs which are considered to be very auspicious and are fully present in the body of the Lord. In this connection, one friend of Nanda Mahrja, speaking about Lord Kas auspicious bodily symptoms, said, My dear King of the cowherds, I can find thirty-two auspicious symptoms on the body of your son! I am wondering how this boy could have taken His birth in a family of cowherd men. Generally, when Lord Ka appears He does so in a family of katriyas (kings), as did Lord Rmacandra, and sometimes in a family of brhmaas. But Ka accepted the role of son to Mahrja Nanda, despite the fact that Nanda belonged to the vaiya community. The business of the vaiya community is trade, commerce and the protection of cows. Therefore his friend, who may have been born into a brhmaa family, expressed his wonder at how such an exalted child could take birth in a family of vaiyas. Anyway, he pointed out the auspicious signs on the body of Ka to the boys foster father.

He continued, This boy has a reddish luster in seven placesHis eyes, the ends of His hands, the ends of His legs, His palate, His lips, His tongue and His nails. A reddish luster in these seven places is considered to be auspicious. Three parts of His body are very broad: His waist, forehead and chest. Three parts of His body are short: His neck, thighs and genitals. Three parts of His body are very deep: His voice, intelligence and navel. There is highness in five parts of His body: His nose, arms, ears, forehead and thighs. In five parts of His body there is fineness: His skin, the hairs on His head and on the other parts of His body, His teeth and His fingertips. The aggregate of all these bodily features is manifest only in the bodies of great personalities.

The fate lines on the palm are also considered to be auspicious bodily symptoms. In this connection, one old gop informed King Nanda, Your son possesses various wonderful fate lines on His palms. There are the signs of lotus flowers and wheels on His palms, and on His soles there are the signs of a flag, a thunderbolt, a fish, a rod for controlling elephants, and a lotus flower. Please observe how auspicious these signs are!

3. Pleasing

Beautiful bodily features which automatically attract the eyes are called rucira (pleasing). Ka possesses this attractive feature of rucira in His personal features. In the Third Canto, Second Chapter, verse 13, of rmad-Bhgavatam, there is a statement about this. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His pleasing dress, appeared at the scene of the sacrificial arena when King Yudhihira was performing the Rjasya sacrifice. All important personalities from different parts of the universe had been invited to the sacrificial arena, and all of them, upon beholding Ka there, considered that the Creator had ended all of His craftsmanship in the creation of this particular body of Ka.

It is said that the transcendental body of Ka resembles the lotus flower in eight partsnamely His face, His two eyes, His two hands, His navel and His two feet. The gops and inhabitants of Vndvana used to see the luster of lotus flowers everywhere, and they could hardly withdraw their eyes from such a vision.

4. Effulgent

The effulgence pervading the universe is considered to be the rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The supreme abode of Ka is always throwing off the effulgence known as brahmajyoti, and that effulgence is emanating from His body.

The luster of the hosts of jewels fixed on the chest of the Lord can defeat even the luster of the sun, and still, when compared with the bodily luster of the Lord, that crest of jewels appears to be only as bright as one of the stars in the sky. Therefore the transcendental influence of Ka is so great that it can defeat anyone. When Ka was present in the sacrificial arena of His enemy King Kasa, the wrestlers present, although appreciating the softness of the body of r Ka, were afraid and perturbed when they thought of engaging with Him in battle.

5. Strong

A person who has extraordinary bodily strength is called balyn. When Ka killed Arisura, some of the gops said, My dear friends, just see how Ka has killed Arisura! Although be was stronger than a mountain, Ka plucked him up just like a piece of cotton and threw him away without any difficulty! There is another passage wherein it is said, O my dear devotees of Lord Ka, may the left hand of Lord Ka, which has lifted Govardhana Hill like a ball, save you from all dangers.

6. Ever Youthful

Ka is beautiful at His different agesnamely His childhood, His boyhood and His youth. Out of these three, His youth is the reservoir of all pleasures and is the time when the highest varieties of devotional service are acceptable. At that age, Ka is full with all transcendental qualities and is engaged in His transcendental pastimes. Therefore, devotees have accepted the beginning of His youth as the most attractive feature in ecstatic love.

At this age Ka is described as follows: The force of Kas youth was combined with His beautiful smile, which defeated even the beauty of the full moon. He was always nicely dressed, in beauty surpassing even Cupid, and He was always attracting the minds of the gops, who were thereby always feeling pleasure.

7. Wonderful Linguist

Rpa Gosvm says that a person who knows the languages of different countries, especially the Sanskrit language, which is spoken in the cities of the demigodsas well as other worldly languages, including those of the animalsis called a wonderful linguist. It appears from this statement that Ka can also speak and understand the languages of the animals. An old woman in Vndvana, present at the time of Kas pastimes, once stated in surprise, How wonderful it is that Ka, who owns the hearts of all the young girls of Vrajabhmi, can nicely speak the language of Vrajabhmi with the gops, while in Sanskrit He speaks with the demigods, and in the language of the animals He can even speak with the cows and buffalo! Similarly, in the language of the Kashmir Province, and with the parrots and other birds, as well as in most common languages, Ka is so expressive! She inquired from the gops as to how Ka had become so expert in speaking so many different types of languages.

8. Truthful

A person whose word of honor is never broken is called truthful. Ka once promised Kunt, the mother of the Pavas, that He would bring her five sons back from the Battlefield of Kuruketra. After the battle was finished, when all the Pavas had come home, Kunt praised Ka because His promise was so nicely fulfilled. She said, Even the sunshine may one day become cool and the moonshine one day become hot, but still Your promise will not fail. Similarly, when Ka, along with Bhma and Arjuna, went to challenge Jarsandha, He plainly told Jarsandha that He was the eternal Ka, present along with two of the Pavas. The story is that both Ka and the Pavasin this case Bhma and Arjunawere katriyas (warrior-kings). Jarsandha was also a katriya and was very charitable toward the brhmaas. Thus Ka, who had planned to fight with Jarsandha, went to him with Bhma and Arjuna in the dress of brhmaas. Jarsandha, being very charitable toward the brhmaas, asked them what they wanted, and they expressed their desire to fight with him. Then Ka, dressed as a brhmaa, declared Himself to be the same Ka who was the Kings eternal enemy.

9. Pleasing Talker

A person who can speak sweetly even with his enemy just to pacify him is called a pleasing talker. Ka was such a pleasing talker that after defeating His enemy Kliya in the water of the Yamun, He said, My dear King of the snakes, although I have given you so much pain, please do not be dissatisfied with Me. It is My duty to protect these cows, which are worshiped even by the demigods. Only in order to save them from the danger of your presence have I been obliged to banish you from this place.

Kliya was residing within the water of the Yamun, and as a result the back portion of that river had become poisoned. Thus so many cows who had drunk the water had died. Therefore Ka, even though He was only four or five years old, dipped Himself into the water, punished Kliya very severely and then asked him to leave the place and go elsewhere.

Ka said at that time that the cows are worshiped even by the demigods, and He practically demonstrated how to protect the cows. At least people who are in Ka consciousness should follow in His footsteps and give all protection to the cows. Cows are worshiped not only by the demigods. Ka Himself worshiped the cows on several occasions, especially on the days of Gopam and Govardhana-pj.

10. Fluent

A person who can speak meaningful words and with all politeness and good qualities is called vvadka, or fluent. There is a nice statement in rmad-Bhgavatam regarding Kas speaking politely. When Ka politely bade His father, Nanda Mahrja, to stop the ritualistic offering of sacrifice to the rain-god, Indra, a wife of one village cowherd man became captivated. She later thus described the speaking of Ka to her friends: Ka was speaking to His father so politely and gently that it was as if He were pouring nectar into the ears of all present there. After hearing such sweet words from Ka, who will not be attracted to Him?

Kas speech, which contains all good qualities in the universe, is described in the following statement by Uddhava: The words of Ka are so attractive that they can immediately change the heart of even His opponent. His words can immediately solve all of the questions and problems of the world. Although He does not speak very long, each and every word from His mouth contains volumes of meaning. These speeches of Ka are very pleasing to my heart.

11. Highly Learned

When a person is highly educated and acts strictly on moral principles, he is called highly learned. A person conversant in different departments of knowledge is called educated, and because he acts on moral principles, he is called morally stout. Together, these two factors constitute learning.

Kas receiving education from Sndpani Muni is described by r Nrada Muni as follows: In the beginning, Lord Brahm and others are like clouds of evaporated water from the great ocean of Ka. In other words, Brahm first received the Vedic education from Ka, as the clouds receive water from the ocean. That Vedic education or instruction which was spoken by Brahm to the world was then reposed upon the mountain of Sndpani Muni. Sndpani Munis instructions to Ka are like a reservoir of water on the mountain, which flows as a river and goes again to mix with the source, the ocean of Ka. To be more clear, the idea is that Ka actually cannot be instructed by anyone, just as the ocean does not receive water from any source but itself. It only appears that the rivers are pouring water into the ocean. So it is clear that Brahm received his education from Ka, and from Brahm, via the disciplic succession, this Vedic instruction was distributed. Sndpani Muni is likened to the river which is flowing down again to that same original ocean of Ka.

The Siddhas, the inhabitants of Siddhaloka (where all are born with fully developed mystic powers), and the Craas, the inhabitants of a similar planet, pray to Ka as follows: My Lord Govinda, the goddess of learning is decorated with fourteen kinds of educational ornaments, her intelligence is all-pervading within the four departments of the Vedas, her attention is always on the lawbooks given by great sages like Manu, and she is appareled in six kinds of expert knowledgenamely Vedic evidence, grammar, astrology, rhetoric, vocabulary and logic. Her constant friends are the supplements of the Vedas, the Puras, and she is decorated with the final conclusion of all education. And now she has acquired an opportunity to sit with You as a class friend in school, and she is now engaged in Your service.

Ka, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, does not require any education, but He gives a chance to the goddess of learning to serve Him. Being self-sufficient, Ka does not require the service of any living entity, although He has many devotees. It is because Ka is so kind and merciful that He gives everyone the opportunity to serve Him, as though He required the service of His devotees.

Regarding His moral principles, it is stated in rmad-Bhgavatam that Ka is ruling over Vndvana as death personified to the thieves, as pleasing bliss to the pious, as the most beautiful Cupid to the young girls and as the most munificent personality to the poor men. He is as refreshing as the full moon to His friends, and to His opponents He is the annihilating fire generated from Lord iva. Ka is therefore the most perfect moralist in His reciprocal dealings with different kinds of persons. When He is death personified to the thieves, it is not that He is without moral principles or that He is cruel; He is still kind, because to punish thieves with death is to exhibit the highest quality of moral principles. In Bhagavad-gt, also, Ka says that He deals with different kinds of persons according to their dealings with Him. Kas dealings with devotees and with nondevotees, although different, are equally good. Because Ka is all-good, His dealings. with everyone are always good.

12. Highly Intelligent

A man is called intelligent if he has a sharp memory and fine discretion. As far as Kas memory is concerned, it is said that when He was studying in the school of Sndpani Muni in Avantpura, He showed such a sharp memory that by once taking instructions from the teacher He immediately became perfect in any subject. Actually, His going to the school of Sndpani Muni was to show the people of the world that however great or ingenious one may be, he must go to higher authorities for general education. However great one may be, he must accept a teacher or spiritual master.

Kas fine discretion was exhibited when He was fighting with the untouchable king who attacked the city of Mathur. According to Vedic rites, those who are untouchable are not to be touched by the katriya kings, not even for killing. Therefore, when the untouchable king seized the city of Mathur, Ka did not think it wise to kill him directly with His own hand. Still the king had to be killed, and therefore Ka decided with fine discretion that He should flee from the battlefield so that the untouchable king would chase Him. He could then lead the king to the mountain where Mucukunda was lying asleep. Mucukunda had received a benediction from Krttikeya to the effect that when he awoke from his sleep, whomever he might see would at once be burnt to ashes. Therefore Ka thought it wise to lead the untouchable king to that cave, so that the kings presence would awaken Mucukunda and he would at once be burnt to ashes.

13. Genius

A person is called a genius when he can refute any kind of opposing element with newer and newer arguments. In this connection there is a statement in Padyval which contains the following conversation between Ka and Rdh. One morning, when Ka came to Rdh, Rdh asked Him, My dear Keava, where is Your vsa at present? The Sanskrit word vsa has three meanings: one meaning is residence, one meaning is fragrance, and another meaning is dress.

Actually Rdhr inquired from Ka, Where is Your dress? But Ka took the meaning as residence, and He replied to Rdhr, My dear captivated one, at the present moment My residence is in Your beautiful eyes.

To this Rdhr replied, My dear cunning boy, I did not ask You about Your residence. I inquired about Your dress.

Ka then took the meaning of vsa as fragrance and said, My dear fortunate one, I have just assumed this fragrance in order to be associated with Your body.

rmat Rdhr again inquired from Ka, Where did You pass Your night? The exact Sanskrit word used in this connection was yminymuita. Yminym means at night, and uita means pass. Ka, however, divided the word yminymuita into two separate words, namely yminy and muita. By dividing this word into two, it came out to mean that He was kidnapped by Ymin, or night. Ka therefore replied to Rdhr, My dear Rdhr, is it possible that night can kidnap Me? In this way He was answering all of the questions of Rdhr so cunningly that He gladdened this dearest of the gops.

14. Artistic

One who can talk and dress himself very artistically is called vidagdha. This exemplary characteristic was visible in the personality of r Ka. It is spoken of by Rdhr as follows: My dear friend, just see how Ka has nicely composed songs and how He dances and speaks funny words and plays on His flute, wearing such nice garlands. He has dressed Himself in such an enchanting way, as though He had defeated all kinds of players at the chessboard. He lives wonderfully at the topmost height of artistic craftsmanship.

15. Clever

A person who can perform various types of work at once is called clever. In this connection one of the gops said, My dear friends, just see the clever activities of r Ka! He has composed nice songs about the cowherd boys and is pleasing the cows. By the movement of His eyes He is pleasing the gops, and at the same time, He is fighting with demons like Arisura. In this way, He is sitting with different living entities in different ways, and He is thoroughly enjoying the situation.

16. Expert

Any person who can quickly execute a very difficult task is called expert. About the expertise of Ka there is a statement in the Tenth Canto, Fifty-ninth Chapter, verse 17, of rmad-Bhgavatam, wherein ukadeva Gosvm tells Mahrja Parkit, O best of the Kurus, r Ka cut to pieces all the different weapons used by different fighters. Formerly, fighting was done by releasing different kinds of arrows. One party would release a certain arrow, and the other party had to defeat it by counteracting it with another arrow. For example, one party might release an arrow which would cause water to pour from the sky, and to counteract this the opposing party would have to release an arrow which could immediately turn the water into clouds. So from this statement it appears that Ka was very expert in counteracting the enemys arrows. Similarly, at the rsa dance, each and every gop requested that Ka individually become her partner, and Ka immediately expanded Himself into so many Kas in order to be coupled with each and every gop. The result was that each gop found Ka by her side.

17. Grateful

Any person who is conscious of his friends beneficent activities and never forgets his service is called grateful. In the Mahbhrata, Ka says, When I was away from Draupad, she cried with the words, He govinda! This call for Me has put Me in her debt, and that indebtedness is gradually increasing in My heart! This statement by Ka gives evidence of how one can please the Supreme Lord simply by addressing Him, He ka! He govinda!

The mah-mantra (Hare Ka, Hare Ka, Ka Ka, Hare Hare/ Hare Rma, Hare Rma, Rma Rma, Hare Hare) is also simply an address to the Lord and His energy. So to anyone who is constantly engaged in addressing the Lord and His energy, we can imagine how much the Supreme Lord is obliged. It is impossible for the Lord to ever forget such a devotee. It is clearly stated in this verse that anyone who addresses the Lord immediately attracts the attention of the Lord, who always remains obliged to him.

Another instance of Kas feeling of obligation is stated in connection with His dealings with Jmbavn. When the Lord was present as Lord Rmacandra, Jmbavn, the great king of the monkeys, rendered very faithful service to Him. When the Lord again appeared as Lord Ka, He married Jmbavns daughter and paid him all the respect that is usually given to superiors. Any honest person is obliged to his friend if some service has been rendered unto Him. Since Ka is the supreme honest personality, how can He forget an obligation to His servitor?

18. Determined

Any person who observes regulative principles and fulfills his promises by practical activity is called determined. As far as the Lords determination is concerned, there is an example in His dealings in the Hari-vaa. This is in connection with Lord Kas fighting the King of heaven, Indra, who was forcibly deprived of the prijta flower. Prijta is a kind of lotus flower grown on the heavenly planets. Once, Satyabhm, one of Kas queens, wanted that lotus flower, and Ka promised to deliver it; but Indra refused to part with his prijta flower. Therefore there was a great fight, with Ka and the Pavas on one side and all of the demigods on the other. Ultimately, Ka defeated all of them and took the prijta flower, which He presented to His queen. So, in regard to that occurrence, Ka told Nrada Muni, My dear great sage of the demigods, now you can declare to the devotees in general, and to the nondevotees in particular, that in this matter of taking the prijta flower, all the demigodsthe Gandharvas, the Ngas, the demon Rkasas, the Yakas, the Pannagastried to defeat Me, but none could make Me break My promise to My queen.

There is another promise by Ka in Bhagavad-gt to the effect that His devotee will never be vanquished. So a sincere devotee who is always engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord should know for certain that Ka will never break His promise. He will always protect His devotees in every circumstance.

Ka showed how He fulfills His promise by delivering the prijta flower to Satyabhm, by saving Draupad from being insulted and by freeing Arjuna from the attacks of all enemies.

The promise of Ka that His devotees are never vanquished had also previously been admitted by Indra when he was defeated in the govardhana-ll. When Ka stopped the villagers of Vraja (Vndvana) from worshiping Indra, Indra became angry and therefore inundated Vndvana with continuous rain. Ka, however, protected all of the citizens and animals of Vndvana by lifting Govardhana Hill, which served as an umbrella. After the incident was over, Indra surrendered to Ka with many prayers, in which he admitted, By Your lifting Govardhana Hill and protecting the citizens of Vndvana, You have kept Your promise that Your devotees are never to be vanquished.

19. Expert Judge of Time and Circumstances

Ka was very expert in dealing with people according to circumstances, country, time and paraphernalia. How He could take advantage of a particular time, circumstance and person is expressed by Him while talking to Uddhava about His rsa dance with the gops. He says, The most opportune time is the full-moon night in autumn, like tonight. The best place within the universe is Vndvana, and the most beautiful girls are the gops. So, My dear friend Uddhava, I think I should now take advantage of all these circumstances and engage Myself in the rsa dance.

20. Seer by the Authority of the Scriptures

A person who acts exactly according to the tenets of scripture is called stra-cakus. stra-cakus means one who sees through the eyes of the authorized scriptures. Actually, any man of knowledge and experience should see everything through these books. For example, with our naked eye we perceive the sun globe simply as some glaring substance, but when we see through authorized books of science and other literature, we can understand how much greater the sun globe is than this earth and how powerful it is. So seeing things through the naked eye is not actually seeing. Seeing things through the authorized books or authorized teachers is the correct way to see. So, although Ka is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and can see all that is past, present and future, to teach the people in general He used to always refer to the scriptures. For example, in Bhagavad-gt, although Ka was speaking as the supreme authority, He still mentioned and quoted Vednta-stra as authority. There is a statement in rmad-Bhgavatam wherein a person jokingly says that Ka, the enemy of Kasa, is known as the seer through the stras. In order to establish His authority, however, He is now engaged in seeing the gops, whereby the gops are becoming maddened.

21. Pure

There are two kinds of supreme purity. When one type is possessed, one is able to deliver a sinful person. When the other type is possessed, one does not do anything which is impure. A person who possesses either of these qualities is called supremely pure. Ka is both; He can deliver all sinful conditioned souls, and at the same time, He never does anything by which He can be contaminated.

In this connection, Vidura, while trying to detach his elder brother, Dhtarra, from his familial attachments, said, My dear brother, you just fix your mind on the lotus feet of Ka, who is worshiped with beautiful, erudite verses by great sages and saintly persons. Ka is the supreme deliverer among all deliverers. Undoubtedly there are great demigods like Lord iva and Lord Brahm, but their positions as deliverers depend always upon the mercy of Ka. Therefore Vidura advised his elder brother, Dhtarra, to concentrate his mind and worship only Ka. If one simply chants the holy name of Ka, this holy name will rise within ones heart like the powerful sun and will immediately dissipate all the darkness of ignorance. Vidura advised Dhtarra to therefore think always of Ka, so that the volumes of contaminations due to sinful activities would be washed off immediately. In Bhagavad-gt also Ka is addressed by Arjuna as para brahma para dhma pavitram [Bg. 10.12]the supreme pure. There are many other instances exhibiting Kas supreme purity.

22. Self-controlled

A person who can control his senses fully is called va, or self-controlled. In this connection it is stated in rmad-Bhgavatam, All the sixteen thousand wives of Ka were so exquisitely beautiful that their smiling and shyness were able to captivate the minds of great demigods like Lord iva. But still they could not even agitate the mind of Ka, in spite of their attractive feminine behavior. Every one of the thousands of wives of Ka was thinking that Ka was captivated by her feminine beauty, but this was not the case. Ka is therefore the supreme controller of the senses, and this is admitted in Bhagavad-gt, where He is addressed as Hkeathe master of the senses.

23. Steadfast

A person who continues to work until his desired goal is achieved is called steadfast.

There was a fight between Ka and King Jmbavn, and Ka was to take the valuable Syamantaka jewel from the King. The King tried to hide himself in the forest, but Ka would not become discouraged. Ka finally got the jewel by seeking out the King with great steadfastness.

24. Forbearing

A person who tolerates all kinds of troubles, even though such troubles appear to be unbearable, is called forbearing.

When Ka was residing at the place of His spiritual master, He did not mind taking all troubles in rendering service to His guru, although His body was very soft and delicate. It is the duty of the disciple to execute all services unto the spiritual master, despite all kinds of difficulties. The disciple living at the residence of the spiritual master has to go begging from door to door and bring everything back to the spiritual master. When prasda is being served, the spiritual master is supposed to call each and every disciple to come eat. If by chance the spiritual master forgets to call a disciple to partake of the prasda, it is enjoined in the scriptures that the student should fast on that day rather than accept food on his own initiative. There are many such strictures. Sometimes, also, Ka went to the forest to collect dry wood for fuel.

25. Forgiving

A person who can tolerate all kinds of offenses from the opposite party is known to be forgiving.

Lord Kas forgiving quality is described in the iupla-vadha in connection with His forbidding the killing of iupla. King iupla was the monarch of the Cedi kingdom, and although he happened to be a cousin of Kas, he was always envious of Him. Whenever they would meet, iupla would try to insult Ka and call Him ill names as much as possible. In the arena of the Rjasya sacrifice of Mahrja Yudhihira, when iupla began to call Lord Ka ill names, Ka did not care and remained silent. Some of the people at the arena were prepared to kill iupla, but Ka restricted them. He was so forgiving. It is said that when there is a thundering sound in the clouds, the mighty lion immediately replies with his thundering roar. But the lion doesnt care when all the foolish jackals begin to make their less important sounds.

r Ymuncrya praises Kas power of forgiveness with the following statement: My dear Lord Rmacandra, You are so merciful to have excused the crows clawing on the nipples of Jnak simply because of his bowing down before You. Once Indra, the King of heaven, assumed the form of a crow and attacked St (Jnak), Lord Rmacandras wife, by striking her on the breast. This was certainly an insult to the universal mother, St, and Lord Rmacandra was immediately prepared to kill the crow. But because later on the crow bowed down before the Lord, the Lord excused his offense. r Ymuncrya further says in his prayer that the forgiving power of Lord Ka is even greater than that of Lord Rmacandra, because iupla was always in the habit of insulting Kanot only in one lifetime, but continually throughout three lives. Still, Ka was so kind that He gave iupla the salvation of merging into His existence. From this we can understand that the goal of the monist to merge into the effulgence of the Supreme is not a very difficult problem. Persons like iupla who are consistently inimical to Ka can also get this liberation.

26. Grave

A person who does not express his mind to everyone, or whose mental activity and plan of action are very difficult to understand, is called grave. After Lord r Ka had been offended by Brahm, Brahm prayed to Him to be excused. But in spite of his offering nice prayers to Ka, Brahm could not understand whether Ka was satisfied or still dissatisfied. In other words, Ka was so grave that He did not take the prayers of Brahm very seriously. Another instance of Kas gravity is found in connection with His love affairs with Rdhr. Ka was always very silent about His love affairs with Rdhr, so much so that Baladeva, Kas elder brother and constant companion, could not understand the transformations of Ka on account of His gravity.

27. Self-satisfied

A person who is fully satisfied in himself, without any hankering, and who is not agitated even in the presence of serious cause for distress, is called self-satisfied.

An example of Kas self-satisfaction was exhibited when He, Arjuna and Bhma went to challenge Jarsandha, the formidable king of Magadha, and Ka gave all credit to Bhma for the killing of Jarsandha. From this we can understand that Ka never cares at all for fame, although no one can be more famous.

An example of His not being disturbed was shown when iupla began to call Him ill names. All the kings and brhmaas assembled at the sacrificial arena of Mahrja Yudhihira became perturbed and immediately wanted to satisfy Ka by offering nice prayers. But all these kings and brhmaas could not discover any disturbance in Kas person.

28. Possessing Equilibrium

A person who is unaffected by attachment and envy is said to possess equilibrium.

An example of Kas equilibrium is given in the Tenth Canto, Sixteenth Chapter, verse 33, of rmad-Bhgavatam in connection with His chastising Kliya, the hundred-headed serpent. While Kliya was being severely punished, all of his wives appeared before the Lord and prayed as follows: Dear Lord, You have descended to punish all kinds of demoniac living creatures. Our husband, this Kliya, is a greatly sinful creature, and so Your punishment for him is quite appropriate. We know that Your punishment for Your enemies and Your dealings with Your sons are both the same. We know that it is in thinking of the future welfare of this condemned creature that You have chastised him.

In another prayer it is said, My dear Lord Ka, best of all the Kuru dynasty, You are so impartial that if even Your enemy is qualified, You will reward him; and if one of Your sons is a culprit, You will chastise him. This is Your business, because You are the supreme author of the universes. You have no partiality. If anyone finds any partiality in Your characteristics, he is surely mistaken.

29. Magnanimous

Any person who is very charitably disposed is called magnanimous.

When Ka was reigning over Dvrak, He was so magnanimous and charitably disposed that there was no limit to His charity. In fact, so great was His charity in Dvrak that even the spiritual kingdom, with all of its opulence of cintmai (touchstone), desire trees and surabhi cows, was surpassed. In the spiritual kingdom of Lord Ka, named Goloka Vndvana, there are surabhi cows which give unlimited quantities of milk. There are desire trees from which anyone can take all kinds of fruits, as much as he may desire. The land is made of touchstone, which when touched to iron will transform it into gold. In other words, although in the spiritual kingdom, the abode of Ka, everything is wonderfully opulent, still when Ka was in Dvrak His charity exceeded the opulences of Goloka Vndvana. Wherever Ka is present, the limitless opulence of Goloka Vndvana is automatically present.

It is also stated that while Lord Ka was living in Dvrak, He expanded Himself into 16,108 forms, and each and every expansion resided in a palace with a queen. Not only was Ka happily living with His queens in those palaces, but He was giving in charity from each palace an aggregate number of 13,054 cows completely decorated with nice clothing and ornaments. From each of Kas 16,108 palaces, these cows were being given in charity by Ka every day. No one can estimate the value of such a large number of cows given in charity, but that was the system of Kas daily affairs while He was reigning in Dvrak.

30. Religious

A person who personally practices the tenets of religion as they are enjoined in the stras and who also teaches others the same principles is called religious. Simply professing a kind of faith is not a sign of religiousness. One must act according to religious principles, and by his personal example he should teach others. Such a person is to be understood as religious.

When Ka was present on this planet, there was no irreligion. In this connection, Nrada Muni once addressed Ka jokingly, My dear Lord of the cowherd boys, Your bulls [bulls are the representation of religion], while eating grass from the pasturing ground and moving on their four legs, have certainly eaten up all the grass of irreligion! In other words, by the grace of Ka, religious principles were so well cared for that hardly any irreligious activities could be found.

It is said that because Ka was constantly performing various types of sacrifices and was inviting the demigods from the higher planetary systems, the demigods were almost always absent from their consorts. Therefore the wives of the demigods, regretting the absence of their husbands, began to pray for the appearance of Lord Buddha, Kas ninth incarnation, who appears in the age of Kali. In other words, instead of being pleased that Lord Ka had come, they began to pray for Lord Buddha, who is the ninth incarnation, because Lord Buddha stopped the ritualistic ceremonies and sacrifices recommended in the Vedas in order to discourage animal-killing. The demigods wives thought that if Lord Buddha appeared, all kinds of sacrifices would be stopped, and thus their husbands would not be invited to such ceremonies and would not be separated from them.

Sometimes it is inquired, Why dont the demigods from higher planetary systems come to this earth planet nowadays? The plain answer is that since Lord Buddha appeared and began to deprecate the performance of sacrifice in order to stop animal-killing on this planet, the process of offering sacrifices has been stopped, and the demigods do not care to come here anymore.

NoD 22: Qualities of Ka Further Explained

Chapter Twenty-two

Qualities of Ka Further Explained

31. Heroic

A person who is very enthusiastic in military activities and expert in releasing different kinds of weapons is called heroic.

Regarding Kas heroism in fighting, there is the following statement: My dear killer of the enemy, just as the elephant while taking bath in the lake destroys all the lotus stems within the water by swinging its trunk, so simply by moving Your arms, which are compared to the trunks of elephants, You have killed so many lotuslike enemies.

Regarding Kas expertise in releasing weapons, when Jarsandha and thirteen divisions of soldiers attacked Kas army, they were unable to hurt even one soldier on the side of Ka. This was due to Kas expert military training. This is unique in the history of military art.

32. Compassionate

A person who is unable to bear anothers distress is called compassionate.

Kas compassion for distressed persons was exhibited when He released all of the kings imprisoned by Magadhendra. While dying, Grandfather Bhma prayed to Ka and described Him as the sun which eradicated darkness. The kings imprisoned by Magadhendra were put into dark cells, and when Ka appeared there, the darkness immediately disappeared, just as if the sun had risen. In other words, although Magadhendra was able to imprison so many kings, upon the appearance of Ka they were all released. Ka released the kings out of His sincere compassion for them.

Kas compassion was also exhibited when Grandfather Bhma was lying on the bed of arrows which had been shot through his body. While lying in this position, Bhma was very anxious to see Ka, and thus Ka appeared there. Upon seeing the pitiable condition of Bhma, Ka began speaking with tears in His eyes. Not only was He shedding tears, but He also forgot Himself in His compassion. Therefore, instead of offering obeisances to Ka directly, devotees offer obeisances to His compassionate nature. Actually, because Ka is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is very difficult to approach Him. But the devotees, taking advantage of His compassionate nature, which is represented by Rdhr, always pray to Rdhr for Kas compassion.

33. Respectful

A person who shows adequate respect to a spiritual master, a brhmaa and an old person is to be understood as being respectful.

When superior persons assembled before Ka, Ka first of all offered respect to His spiritual master, then to His father, and then to His elder brother, Balarma. In this way Lord Ka, the lotus-eyed, was completely happy and pure at heart in all of His dealings.

34. Gentle

Any person who neither becomes impudent nor exhibits a puffed-up nature is called gentle.

The example of Kas gentle behavior was manifested when He was coming to the arena of the Rjasya sacrifice arranged by Mahrja Yudhihira, Kas older cousin. Mahrja Yudhihira knew that Ka was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he was attempting to get down from his chariot to receive Ka. But before Yudhihira could get down, Lord Ka got down from His own chariot and immediately fell at the feet of the King. Even though Ka is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He never forgets to show social etiquette in His dealings.

35. Liberal

Any person who is by his natural behavior very mild is called liberal.

A statement by Uddhava after the Syamantaka jewel plundering confirms that Ka is so kind and favorable that if a servitor is accused even of great offenses, Ka does not take this into consideration. He simply considers the service that is rendered by His devotee.

36. Shy

A person who sometimes exhibits humility and bashfulness is called shy.

As described in the Lalita-mdhava, Kas shyness was manifested when He lifted Govardhana Hill by the little finger of His left hand. All of the gops were observing Kas wonderful achievement, and Ka was also smiling at seeing the gops. When Kas glance went over the breasts of the gops, His hand began to shake, and upon seeing His hand shake, all of the cowherd men underneath the hill became a little disturbed. Then there was a tumultuous roaring sound, and they all began to pray to Ka for safety. At this time Lord Balarma was smiling, thinking that these cowherd men had been frightened by the shaking of Govardhana Hill. But, seeing Balarma smile, Ka thought that Balarma had understood His mind in observing the breasts of the gops, and He immediately became bashful.

37. Protector of Surrendered Souls

Ka is the protector of all surrendered souls.

Some enemy of Kas was enlivened with the thought that he neednt fear Ka, because if he simply surrendered unto Him, Ka would give him all protection. Ka is sometimes compared to the moon, which does not hesitate to distribute its soothing rays, even on the houses of the calas and other untouchables.

38. Happy

Any person who is always joyful and untouched by any distress is called happy.

As far as Kas enjoyment is concerned, it is stated that the ornaments which decorated the bodies of Ka and His queens were beyond the dreams of Kuvera, the treasurer of the heavenly kingdom. The constant dancing before the doors of Kas palaces was not to be imagined even by the demigods in the heavenly kingdom. In the heavenly kingdom, Indra always sees the dancing of the society girls. But even Indra could not imagine how beautiful were the dances being performed at the gates of Kas palaces. Gaur means white woman, and Lord ivas wife is called Gaur. The beautiful women residing within the palaces of Ka were so much whiter than Gaur that they were compared to the moonshine, and they were constantly visible to Ka. Therefore, no one can be enjoying more than Ka. The conception of enjoyment is beautiful women, ornaments and riches. And all of these were fabulously present in the palaces of Ka, defeating even the imagination of Kuvera, Lord Indra or Lord iva.

Not even a slight distress can touch Ka. Once some of the gops went to the place where the brhmaas were performing sacrifices and said, Dear wives of the brhmaas, you must know that not even a slight smell of distress can touch Ka. He knows no loss, He knows no defamation, He has no fear, He has no anxiety, and He does not know calamity. He is simply encircled by the dancers of Vraja and is enjoying their company in the rsa dance.

39. Well-wisher of His Devotees

It is said of Kas devotees that if they offer even a little water or a tulas leaf in devotion to Lord Viu, Lord Viu is so kind that He will sell Himself to them.

Kas favoritism toward His devotees was exhibited in His fight with Bhma. When Grandfather Bhma was lying at the point of death on the bed of arrows, Ka was present before him, and Bhma was remembering how Ka had been kind to him on the battlefield. Ka had promised that in the Battle of Kuruketra He would not even touch a weapon to help either side; He would remain neutral. Although Ka was Arjunas charioteer, He had promised that He would not help Arjuna by using any weapons. But one day Bhma, in order to nullify Kas promise, exhibited his fighting spirit so magnificently against Arjuna that Ka was obliged to get down from His chariot. Taking up a broken chariot wheel, He ran toward Grandfather Bhma as a lion runs toward an elephant to kill it. Grandfather Bhma remembered this scene, and He later praised Ka for His glorious favoritism toward His devotee, Arjuna, even at the risk of breaking His own promise.

40. Controlled by Love

Ka becomes obliged to the loving spirit of the devotee and not exactly to the service rendered. No one can serve Ka completely. He is so complete and self-sufficient that He has no need of any service from the devotee. It is the devotees attitude of love and affection for Ka that makes Him obliged. A very nice example of this obligatory behavior was manifested when Sudm Vipra went to Kas palace. Sudm Vipra had been a class friend of Kas, and due to his poverty he was induced by his wife to see Ka to request some aid. When Sudm Vipra reached Kas palace, Ka received him very well, and both He and His wife washed the feet of Sudm Vipra, showing respect to the brhmaa. Remembering His loving affairs with Sudm in their childhood, Ka began to shed tears while receiving him.

Another instance of Kas obligation to His devotee is described in the Tenth Canto, Ninth Chapter, verse 18, of rmad-Bhgavatam, where ukadeva Gosvm tells King Parkit, My dear King, when mother Yaod was perspiring, tired of trying to bind Ka up with rope, Ka agreed to allow her to bind Him. Ka, as a child, was disturbing His mother by His naughty activities, and she wanted to bind Him up. Mother Yaod brought some rope from the house and tried to tie up the child, but she could not tie a knot due to the shortness of the rope. She tied together many ropes, but when she finished still the rope was too short. After a while she felt very tired and began to perspire. At that time Ka agreed to be bound up by His mother. In other words, no one can bind Ka by any means other than love. He is bound only by obligation to His devotees, because of their ecstatic love for Him.

41. All-auspicious

A person who is always engaged in auspicious welfare activities for everyone is known as all-auspicious.

After the disappearance of Lord Ka from this planet, Uddhava began to remember the activities of the Lord and said, Ka satisfied all great sages by His wonderful pastimes. He demolished all of the demoniac activities of the cruel royal order, protected all pious men and killed all cruel fighters on the battlefield. Therefore He is all-auspicious for all men.

42. Most Powerful

A person who can always put his enemy into calamities is called powerful.

When Ka was present on this planet, just as the powerful sun drives all darkness to take shelter in caves, He drove away all of His enemies, who fled like owls to take shelter beyond His sight.

43. All-famous

A person who becomes well known due to his spotless character is called famous.

It is stated that the diffusion of Kas fame is like the moonshine, which turns darkness into light. In other words, if Ka consciousness is preached all over the world, the darkness of ignorance and the anxiety of material existence will turn into the whiteness of purity, peacefulness and prosperity.

When the great sage Nrada was chanting the glories of the Lord, the bluish line on the neck of Lord iva disappeared. Upon seeing this, Gaur, the wife of Lord iva, suspected Lord iva of being someone else disguised as her husband, and out of fear she immediately left his company. Upon hearing the chanting of Kas name, Lord Balarma saw that His dress had become white, although He was generally accustomed to a bluish dress. And the cowherd girls saw all of the water of the Yamun River turn into milk, so they began to churn it into butter. In other words, by the spreading of Ka consciousness, or the glories of Ka, everything became white and pure.

44. Popular

Any person who is very dear to people in general is called a popular man.

As for Kas popularity, there is a statement in the First Canto, Eleventh Chapter, verse 9, of rmad-Bhgavatam, that deals with His returning home from the capital of Hastinpura. While He had been absent from Dvrak at the Battle of Kuruketra, all the citizens of Dvrak had become morose. Then, when He returned, the citizens joyfully received Him and said, Dear Lord, while You were absent from the city, we passed our days in the darkness of night. As in the darkness of night every moment appears to be a long duration of time, so while You were gone every moment appeared to us like millions of years. Your separation is completely unbearable to us. This statement shows how popular Ka was all over the country.

A similar incident occurred when Ka entered the arena of sacrifice arranged by King Kasa for His death. As soon as He entered the place, all the sages began to cry, Jaya! Jaya! Jaya! (which means Victory!). Ka was a boy at that time, and all the sages offered their respectful blessings to Him. The demigods who were present also began to offer beautiful prayers to Ka. And the ladies and girls present expressed their joy from all corners of the arena. In other words, there was no one in that particular place with whom Ka was not very popular.

45. Partiality to Devotees

Although Ka is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is therefore not partial to anyone, it is stated in Bhagavad-gt that He has special attraction for a devotee who worships His name in love and affection. When Ka was on this planet, one devotee expressed his feeling in this way: My dear Lord, if You had not appeared on this planet, then the asuras [demons] and atheists would have surely created havoc against the activities of the devotees. I cannot imagine the magnitude of such devastation prevented by Your presence. From the very beginning of His appearance, Ka was the greatest enemy of all demoniac persons, although Kas enmity toward the demons is actually comparable to His friendship with the devotees. This is because any demon who is killed by Ka receives immediate salvation.

46. Very Attractive to All Women

Any person who has special qualifications becomes immediately very attractive to women.

A devotee made the following statement about the queens of Dvrak: How shall I describe the glories of the queens of Dvrak, who were personally engaged in the service of the Lord? The Lord is so great that simply by chanting His name all the great sages like Nrada can enjoy transcendental bliss. So what can be said about those queens, who were at every moment seeing the Lord and serving Him personally? Ka had 16,108 wives in Dvrak, and each and every one of them was attracted to Ka just as iron is attracted by a magnet. There is a statement by a devotee: My dear Lord, You are just like a magnet, and all the damsels of Vraja are just like iron: in whichever direction You are moving they are following You, as iron is attracted by magnetic force.

47. All-worshipable

A person who is respected and worshiped by all kinds of human beings and demigods is called sarvrdhya, or all-worshipable.

Ka is worshiped not only by all living entities, including the great demigods like Lord iva and Lord Brahm, but also by Viu expansions (forms of Godhead) such as Baladeva and ea. Baladeva is a direct expansion of Ka, but He still accepts Ka as worshipable. When Ka appeared in the arena of the Rjasya sacrifice organized by Mahrja Yudhihira, to all present, including great sages and demigods, Ka became the cynosure, the center of attraction, and everyone offered Him respects.

48. All-opulent

Ka is full in all opulencesnamely strength, wealth, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. When Ka was present in Dvrak, His family, which is known as the Yadu dynasty, consisted of 560 million members. And all of these family members were very obedient and faithful to Ka. There were more than 900,000 big palatial buildings there to house all the people, and everyone in them respected Ka as the most worshipable. Devotees were astonished to see the opulence of Ka.

This was verified by Bilvamagala hkura when in Ka-karmta he addressed Ka thus: My dear Lord, what can I say about the opulence of Your Vndvana? Simply the ornaments on the legs of the damsels of Vndvana are more than cintmai, and their dresses are as good as the heavenly prijta flowers. And the cows exactly resemble the surabhi cows in the transcendental abode. Therefore Your opulence is just like an ocean that no one can measure.

49. All-honorable

A person who is chief among all important persons is called all honorable.

When Ka was living at Dvrak, demigods like Lord iva, Lord Brahm, Indra the King of heaven and many others used to come to visit Him. The doorkeeper, who had to manage the entrance of all these demigods, one very busy day said, My dear Lord Brahm and Lord iva, please sit down on this bench and wait. My dear Indra, please desist from reading your prayers. This is creating a disturbance. Please wait silently. My dear Varua, please go away. And my dear demigods, do not waste your time uselessly. Ka is very busy; He cannot see you!

50. The Supreme Controller

There are two kinds of controllers, or lords: one who is independent is called controller, and one whose orders cannot be neglected by anyone is called controller.

Regarding Kas complete independence and lordship, rmad-Bhgavatam says that although Kliya was a great offender, Ka still favored him by marking his head with His lotus feet, whereas Lord Brahm, although having prayed to Ka with so many wonderful verses, still could not attract Him.

This contradictory treatment by Ka is just befitting His position, because in all the Vedic literature He is described as the complete independent. In the beginning of rmad-Bhgavatam the Lord is described as svar, which means completely independent. That is the position of the Supreme Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth is not only sentient, but is also completely independent.

As for Kas orders not being neglected by anyone, in rmad-Bhgavatam, Third Canto, Second Chapter, verse 21, Uddhava tells Vidura, Lord Ka is the master of the three modes of material nature. He is the enjoyer of all opulences, and therefore there is no one equal to or greater than Him. All the great kings and emperors used to come before Him, offer their gifts and pay obeisances with their helmets at the feet of the Lord. One devotee said, My dear Ka, when You order Brahm, Now you may create the universe, and when You order Lord iva, Now you dissolve this material manifestation, You are in this way creating and dissolving the material creation Yourself. Simply by Your orders and by Your partial representation of Viu, You are maintaining the universes. In this way, O Ka, O enemy of Kasa, there are so many Brahms and ivas who are simply carrying out Your orders.

51. Changeless

Ka does not change His constitutional position, not even when He appears in this material world. Ordinary living entities have their constitutional spiritual positions covered. They appear in different bodies, and under the different bodily concepts of life they act. But Ka does not change His body. He appears in His own body and is therefore not affected by the modes of material nature. In the First Canto, Eleventh Chapter, verse 38, of rmad-Bhgavatam it is stated that the special prerogative of the supreme controller is that He is not at all affected by the modes of nature. The practical example of this is that devotees who are under the protection of the Lord are also not affected by material nature. To overcome the influence of material nature is very difficult, but the devotees or the saintly persons who are under the protection of the Lord are not affected. So what need is there to speak of the Lord Himself? To be more clear, although the Lord sometimes appears in this material world, He has nothing to do with the modes of material nature, and He acts with full independence in His transcendental position. This is the special quality of the Lord.

52. All-cognizant

Any person who can understand the feelings of all persons and incidents in all places at all times is called all-cognizant.

A nice example of the all-cognizant quality of the Lord is described in rmad-Bhgavatam, First Canto, Fifteenth Chapter, verse 11, in connection with Durvs Munis visit to the house of the Pavas in the forest. Following a calculated plan, Duryodhana sent Durvs Muni and his ten thousand disciples to be guests of the Pavas in the forest. Duryodhana arranged for Durvs and his men to reach the place of the Pavas just when the Pavas lunchtime ended, so that the Pavas would be caught without sufficient means to feed such a large number of guests. Knowing Duryodhanas plan, Ka came to the Pavas and asked their wife, Draupad, if there were any remnants of food which she could offer to Him. Draupad offered Him a container in which there was only a little fragment of some vegetable preparation, and Ka at once ate it. At that moment all of the sages accompanying Durvs were taking bath in the river, and when Ka felt satisfaction from eating Draupads offering, they also felt satisfaction, and their hunger was gone. Because Durvs and his men were unable to eat anything more, they went away without coming into the house of the Pavas. In this way the Pavas were saved from the wrath of Durvs. Duryodhana had sent them because he knew that since the Pavas would not be able to receive such a large number, Durvs would become angry, and the Pavas would be cursed. But Ka saved them from this calamity by His trick and by His all-cognizant quality.

53. Ever Fresh

Ka is always remembered, and His name is always chanted by millions of devotees, but the devotees never become saturated. Instead of becoming disinterested in thinking of Ka and in chanting His holy name, the devotees get newer and newer impetus to continue the process. Therefore Ka is ever fresh. Not only Ka Himself, but also Kas knowledge is ever fresh. Bhagavad-gt, which was imparted five thousand years ago, is still being read repeatedly by many, many men, and still new light is always being found in it. Therefore, Ka and His name, fame, qualitiesand everything in relationship with Himis ever fresh.

All the queens at Dvrak were goddesses of fortune. It is said in rmad-Bhgavatam, First Canto, Eleventh Chapter, verse 33, that the goddesses of fortune are very fickle and restless, so no one can consistently captivate them. Thus ones luck will always change sometime. Yet the goddesses of fortune could not leave Ka for even a moment when they were residing with Him at Dvrak. This means that Kas attraction is ever fresh. Even the goddesses of fortune cannot leave His company.

Regarding Kas attractive features being ever fresh, there is a statement by Rdhr in the Lalita-mdhava in which Ka is compared to the greatest sculptor, because He is expert in chiseling at the chastity of women. In other words, although chaste women may follow the rules and regulations of Vedic principles to become ever faithful to their husbands, Ka is able to break their stonelike chastity with the chisel of His beauty. Most of the girl friends of Ka were married, but because Ka was their friend before their marriages, they could not forget His attractive features, which were always fascinating to them, even after their marriages.

54. Sac-cid-nanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]

Kas transcendental body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. Sat means ever-existing for all time and in all places; in other words, all-pervading in time and space. Cit means full of knowledge. Ka has nothing to learn from anyone. He is independently full of all knowledge. nanda means the reservoir of all pleasure. The impersonalists are seeking to merge into the Brahman effulgence of eternity and knowledge, but the major portion of the absolute pleasure which is in Ka is avoided by them. One can enjoy the transcendental blissfulness of merging into the Brahman effulgence after being freed from the contamination of material illusion, false identification, attachment, detachment and material absorption. These are the preliminary qualifications of a person who can realize Brahman. It is stated in Bhagavad-gt that one has to become full of joyfulness; this is not exactly joyfulness, but a sense of freedom from all anxieties. Freedom from all anxieties may be the first principle of joyfulness, but it is not actual joyfulness. Those who realize the self, or become brahma-bhta, are only preparing themselves for the platform of joyfulness. That joyfulness can be actually achieved only when one comes into contact with Ka. Ka consciousness is so complete that it includes the transcendental pleasure derived from impersonal or Brahman realization. Even the impersonalist will become attracted to the personal form of Ka, known as ymasundara.

It is confirmed by the statement of Brahma-sahit that the Brahman effulgence is the bodily ray of Ka; the Brahman effulgence is simply an exhibition of the energy of Ka. Ka is the source of the Brahman effulgence, as He Himself confirms in Bhagavad-gt. From this we can conclude that the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth is not the ultimate end; Ka is the ultimate end of the Absolute Truth.

The members of the Vaiava schools therefore never try to merge into the Brahman effulgence in their pursuit of spiritual perfection. They accept Ka as the ultimate goal of self-realization. Therefore Ka is called Parambrahman (the Supreme Brahman) or Paramevara (the supreme controller). r Ymuncrya has prayed as follows: My dear Lord, I know that the gigantic universe and gigantic space and time within the universe are covered by the ten layers of the material elements, each layer ten times larger than the previous one. The three material modes of nature, the Garbhodakay Viu, the Krodakay Viu, the Mah-Viu, and beyond them the spiritual sky and its spiritual planets, known as Vaikuhas, and the Brahman effulgence in that spiritual skyall of these taken together are nothing but a small exhibition of Your potency.

55. Possessing All Mystic Perfections

There are many standards of perfection. The highest material perfections, obtained by perfect yogs, are listed as eight: to become the smallest of the small, to become the greatest of the great, etc. All of these material perfections, as well as all spiritual perfections, can be found fully in Kas personality.

56. Kas Inconceivable Potencies

Ka is present everywhere, not only within the universe, not only within the hearts of all living entities, but also within every atom. In the prayers of Queen Kunt we find mention of this inconceivable potency of Ka. While Ka was talking with Kunt, He simultaneously entered the womb of Uttar, who was in danger due to the atomic weapon of Avatthm. Ka can illusion even Lord Brahm and Lord iva, and He can protect all surrendered devotees from the reactions of sinful activities. These are some of the examples of His inconceivable potencies.

rla Rpa Gosvm therefore offers his obeisances unto Ka by saying, Ka, who is present as a human being, has as His mere shadow the whole material nature. He has expanded Himself into so many cows, calves and cowherd boys, and He has again manifested Himself in all of them as the four-handed Nryaa. He has taught millions of Brahms self-realization, and thus He is worshipable not only by the heads of all universes, but by everyone else also. Therefore let me always accept Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

When Indra was defeated by Ka in the matter of taking the prijta plant from heaven, Nrada met Indra and criticized him, O Indra, great King of heaven, Ka has already defeated Lord Brahm and Lord iva. So what can be said of an insignificant demigod like you? Nrada Muni, of course, was criticizing Indra jokingly, and Indra enjoyed it. In Nradas statement it is confirmed that Ka was able to illusion even Lord Brahm and Lord iva, as well as Indra. So there is no question of Kas power to do the same to lesser living entities.

A description of Kas power in minimizing the sufferings of sinful reactions is given in Brahma-sahit as follows: Beginning from the great King of heaven down to the ant, everyone is undergoing the reactions of past deeds. But a devotee of Ka is relieved from such reactions by the grace of Ka. This was clearly proved when Ka went to the place of Yamarja, the Lord of death, to reclaim the dead son of His teacher. Kas teacher had requested Ka to bring back his dead son, and to do so Ka went to the place of Yamarja to claim that soul, who had been brought there by Yamarja and was being kept under his control. Ka immediately ordered Yamarja, Be benefited by My order and return that soul unto Me! The purport of this incident is that even a person who is under the regulative principles of the laws of nature, and is therefore punishable by Yamarja under these laws, can be granted complete immunity by the grace of Ka.

Kas inconceivable potencies have been described by ukadeva Gosvm as follows: Ka is bewildering my intelligence because, although He is unborn, He has appeared as the son of Nanda Mahrja. He is all-pervading, but still He is held on the lap of Yaod. In spite of His being all-pervasive, He has become limited by the love of Yaod. Although He has innumerable forms, still He is moving as one Ka before His father and mother, Nanda and Yaod. In the Brahma-sahit also it is said that although Ka is eternally living in Goloka Vndvana, His transcendental abode, He is still present everywhere, even within the atoms.

57. Kas Body Generates Innumerable Universes

In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 11, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Lord Brahm says, My dear Lord, false ego, intelligence, mind, sky, air, fire, water and earth are the material ingredients of this universe, which can be compared to a gigantic pot. In that gigantic pot my body is of insignificant measurement, and even though one of the many universes is created by me, innumerable universes are coming and going from the pores of Your body, just as atomic particles are seen flickering in the sunlight. I think I am very, very insignificant before You, and I am therefore begging Your pardon. Please be merciful toward me.

If one takes account of only one universe, he will find so many combinations of wonderful things within, because there are innumerable planets, innumerable residences and places of demigods. The diameter of the universe is four billion miles, and it is infested with many unfathomable regions known as Ptlas, or lower planetary systems. Although Ka is the origin of all this, He can always be seen in Vndvana, exhibiting His inconceivable potencies. So who can adequately worship such an all-powerful Lord, possessed of such inconceivable energy?

58. The Original Source of All Incarnations

Jayadeva Gosvm, in his Gta-govinda, has sung as follows: The Lord has saved the Vedas in His form as a fish, and He has borne the whole universe on His back in the form of a tortoise. He has picked up this earthly planet from the water in the form of a boar. He has killed Hirayakaipu in the form of Nsiha. He has cheated Mahrja Bali in the form of Vmana. He has annihilated all the dynasties of the katriyas in the form of Paraurma. He has killed all the demons in the form of Lord Rma. He has accepted the great plow in the form of Balarma. He has annihilated all the atheistic persons in the form of Kalki. And He has saved all the poor animals in the form of Lord Buddha.[v]* These are some of the descriptions of the incarnations emanating from Ka, and from rmad-Bhgavatam it is understood that innumerable incarnations are always coming out from the body of Ka, just like waves in the ocean. No one can even count how many waves there are, and similarly no one can count how many incarnations are coming from the Lords body.

59. Ka Gives Salvation to the Enemies That He Kills

Another name for salvation is apavarga. Apavarga is the opposite of pavarga, or the various miserable conditions of material existence. The word pa-varga indicates the combination of five Sanskrit letters: pa, pha, ba, bha and ma. These letters are the first letters of the words for five different conditions as described below. The first letter, pa, comes from the word parbhava, which means defeat. In this material struggle for existence, we are simply meeting defeat. Actually, we have to conquer birth, death, disease and old age, and because there is no possibility of overcoming all these miserable conditions, due to the illusion of my we are simply meeting with parbhava, or defeat. The next letter, pha, is taken from the word phena. Phena is the foam which is found on the mouth when one is very tired (as is commonly observed with horses). The letter ba comes from the word bandha, or bondage. Bha is taken from the word bhti, or fearfulness. Ma is taken from the word mti, or death. So the word pavarga signifies our struggle for existence and our meeting with defeat, exhaustion, bondage, fearfulness and, at last, death. Apavarga means that which can nullify all of these material conditions. Ka is said to be the giver of apavarga, the path of liberation.

For the impersonalists and the enemies of Ka, liberation means merging into the Supreme. The demons and the impersonalists do not care for Ka, but Ka is so kind that He gives this liberation even to His enemies and to the impersonalists. There is the following statement in this connection: O Murri [Ka]! How wonderful it is that although the demons, who were always envious of the demigods, have failed to penetrate Your military phalanx, they have penetrated the region of mitra, the sun globe. The word mitra is used metaphorically. Mitra means the sun globe, and mitra also means friend. The demons who opposed Ka as enemies wanted to penetrate His military phalanx, but instead of doing this, they died in battle, and the result was that they penetrated the planet of Mitra, or the sun planet. In other words, they entered into the Brahman effulgence. The example of the sun planet is given here because the sun is ever-illuminating, like the spiritual sky, where there are innumerable illuminating Vaikuha planets. The enemies of Ka were killed, and instead of penetrating Kas phalanx, they entered into the friendly atmosphere of the spiritual effulgence. That is the mercy of Ka, and therefore He is known as the deliverer of His enemies also.

60. The Attractor of Liberated Souls

There are many examples of how Ka attracted even great liberated souls like ukadeva Gosvm and the Kumras. In this connection the following statement was given by the Kumras: How wonderful it is that although we are completely liberated, free from desire and situated at the stage of paramahasa, we are still aspiring to taste the pastimes of Rdh and Ka.

61. Performer of Wonderful Activities

In the Bhad-vmana Pura, the Lord says, Although I have many fascinating pastimes, whenever I think of the rsa-ll, which I perform with the gops, I become eager to have it again.

One devotee has said, I know about Nryaa, the husband of the goddess of fortune, and I also know about many other incarnations of the Lord. Certainly all the pastimes of such incarnations are exciting to my mind, but still the pastimes of the rsa-ll performed by Lord Ka Himself are wonderfully increasing my transcendental pleasure.

62. Ka Is Surrounded by Loving Devotees

When we speak of Ka, Ka is not alone. Ka means His name, His qualities, His fame, His friends, His paraphernalia, His entourageall of these are included. When we speak of a king, it is to be understood that he is surrounded by ministers, secretaries, military commanders and many other people. Similarly, Ka is not impersonal. In His Vndvana ll especially, He is surrounded by the gops, the cowherd boys, His father, His mother and all the inhabitants of Vndvana.

In the Tenth Canto, Thirty-first Chapter, verse 15, of rmad-Bhgavatam, the gops lament, My dear Ka, during the daytime when You go out into the forest of Vndvana with Your cows, we consider one moment to be twelve years, and it is very difficult for us to pass the time. And again when You come back at the end of the day, by seeing Your beautiful face we are so much attracted that we are unable to stop looking upon You constantly. At these times, when there is occasional blinking of our eyelids, we condemn the creator, Lord Brahm, as a dunce, because he does not know how to make perfect eyes! In other words, the gops were disturbed by the blinking of their eyes, because for the moment that their eyes were closed they could not see Ka. This means that the gops love for Ka was so great and ecstatic that they were disturbed by even His momentary absence. And when they saw Ka, they were also disturbed. This is a paradox.

One gop, expressing herself to Ka, says, When we meet You at night, we consider the duration of night to be very small. And why speak of only this night? Even if we had a [vi]night of Brahm we would consider it a very short time! We get an idea of Brahms day from the following statement of Bhagavad-gt (8.17): By human calculation, a thousand yuga cycles taken together is Brahms one day. And such also is the duration of his night. The gops said that even if they could have that duration of night, it would still not be sufficient for their meeting with Ka.

63. Kas Attractive Flute

In the Tenth Canto, Thirty-fifth Chapter, verse 15, of rmad-Bhgavatam, the gops tell mother Yaod, When your son plays on His flute, Lord iva, Lord Brahm and Indraalthough they are supposed to be the greatest learned scholars and personalitiesall become bewildered. Although they are all very great personalities, by hearing the sound of Kas flute they humbly bow down and become grave from studying the sound vibrated.

In his book Vidagdha-mdhava, r Rpa Gosvm thus describes the vibration of Kas flute: The sound vibration created by the flute of Ka wonderfully stopped Lord iva from playing his iima drum, and the same flute has caused great sages like the four Kumras to become disturbed in their meditation. It has caused Lord Brahm, who was sitting on the lotus flower for the creative function, to become astonished. And Anantadeva, who was calmly holding all the planets on His hood, was moving in this way and that due to the transcendental vibration from Kas flute, which penetrated through the covering of this universe and reached to the spiritual sky.

64. Kas Exquisite Beauty

In the Third Canto, Second Chapter, verse 12, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Uddhava tells Vidura, My dear sir, Kas form was most wonderful when He appeared on this planet and exhibited the potency of His internal energy. His wonderfully attractive form was present during His pastimes on this planet, and by His internal potency He exhibited His opulences, which are striking to everyone. His personal beauty was so great that there was no necessity for His wearing ornaments on His body. In fact, instead of the ornaments beautifying Ka, Kas beauty enhanced the ornaments.

Regarding the attractiveness of Kas bodily beauty and the sound vibration of His flute, in the Tenth Canto, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verse 40, of rmad-Bhgavatam, the gops address Ka as follows: Although our attitude toward You resembles loving affairs with a paramour, we cannot but wonder at how no woman can maintain her chastity upon hearing the vibration from Your flute. And not only women, but even stronghearted men are subject to falling down from their position at the sound of Your flute. In fact, we have seen that in Vndvana even the cows, the deer, the birds, the treeseveryonehas been enchanted by the sweet vibration of Your flute and the fascinating beauty of Your person.

In Rpa Gosvms Lalita-mdhava, it is said, One day Ka happened to see the shadow of His beautiful form reflected on the jeweled foreground. Upon seeing this bodily reflection, He expressed His feelings: How wonderful it is that I have never seen such a beautiful form! Although it is My own form, still, like Rdhr, I am trying to embrace this form and enjoy celestial bliss. This statement shows how Ka and His shadow reflection are one and the same. There is no difference between Ka and His shadow reflection, nor between Ka and His picture. That is the transcendental position of Ka.

The above statements describe some of the wonderful reservoirs of pleasure within Ka, as well as the transcendental qualities of His personality. The transcendental qualities of Ka are compared to the ocean: no one can estimate the length and breadth of the ocean. But as one can understand the oceans contents simply by testing one drop of it, so these statements will give us some understanding of Kas transcendental position and qualities.

In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 7, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Lord Brahm says, My dear Lord, the inconceivable qualities, beauties and activities which You have revealed by Your presence on this planet cannot be calculated by any material measurement. If one even tries to imagine, Ka may be like this, that is also impossible. The day may come when the material scientist, after many, many births or after many, many years, will be able to estimate the atomic constitution of the whole world, or he may be able to count the atomic fragments that permeate the sky, or he may even give an estimate of all the atoms within the universe, but still he will never be able to count the transcendental qualities in Your reservoir of transcendental bliss.

NoD 23: Ka's Personality

Chapter Twenty-three

Kas Personality

rla Rpa Gosvm states that although Lord Ka is the reservoir of unlimited pleasure and the greatest leader of all, He is still dependent upon His devotees in three ways. According to the emotional status of the devotee, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is appreciated in three ways: as the most perfect, as very perfect and as perfect. When He exhibits Himself in fullness, He is appreciated by great learned scholars as most perfect. When He exhibits Himself in lesser degrees, He is called very perfect. And when He exhibits still less, He is called perfect. This means that Ka is appreciated for three degrees of perfection. These three degrees of perfection are especially exhibited as follows: when He is in Goloka Vndvana His transcendental qualities are exhibited as most perfect, when He is in Dvrak He exhibits His qualities as very perfect, and when He is in Mathur He exhibits His qualities as perfect.

Kas personality is analyzed as dhrodtta, dhra-lalita, dhra-pranta and dhroddhata. If one asks how a personality can be beheld in four quite opposing ways, the answer is that the Lord is the reservoir of all transcendental qualities and activities. Therefore, His different aspects can be analyzed according to the exhibition of His limitless variety of pastimes, and as such there is no contradiction.


A dhrodtta is a person who is naturally very grave, gentle, forgiving, merciful, determined, humble, highly qualified, chivalrous and physically attractive.

In this connection, the following statement given by Indra, the King of heaven, is very significant: My dear Lord, I admit that I have committed great offenses unto You, but I cannot express my feelings of regret, being bewildered at seeing Your extraordinary chivalrous spirit, Your endeavor to protect Your devotees, Your determination, Your steadiness in lifting the great hill of Govardhana, Your beautiful bodily features and Your astonishing characteristic of being pleased simply by accepting the prayers of Your devotees and offenders.

The above statement by the King of heaven is an exact corroboration of Kas being dhrodtta. Many learned scholars have agreed to also accept Lord Rmacandra as dhrodtta, but all of Lord Rmacandras qualities are also included in the character of Lord Ka.


A person is called dhra-lalita if he is naturally very funny, always in full youthfulness, expert in joking and free from all anxieties. Such a dhra-lalita personality is generally found to be domesticated and very submissive to his lover. This dhra-lalita trait in the personality of Ka is described by Yaja-patn, the wife of one of the brhmaas who were performing sacrifices in Vndvana. She tells her friends, One day rmat Rdhr, accompanied by Her associates, was taking rest in Her garden, and at that time Lord r Ka arrived in that assembly. After sitting down, He began to narrate very impudently about His previous nights pastimes with Rdhr. While He was speaking in that way, Rdhr became very embarrassed. She was feeling ashamed and was absorbed in thought, and Ka took the opportunity to mark Her breasts with different kinds of tilaka. Ka proved Himself to be very expert in that art. In this way Ka, as dhra-lalita, was enjoying His youthful proclivities in the company of the gops.

Generally, those who are expert in writing drama choose to call Cupid the ideal dhra-lalita, but we can more perfectly find in the personality of Ka all the characteristics of dhra-lalita.


A person who is very peaceful, forbearing, considerate and obliging is called dhra-pranta. This dhra-pranta trait of Ka was exhibited in His dealings with the Pavas. On account of the Pavas faithful devotion to the Lord, He agreed to become their charioteer, their advisor, their friend, their messenger and sometimes their bodyguard. Such is an example of the result of devotional service toward Viu. When Ka was speaking to Mahrja Yudhihira about religious principles, He demonstrated Himself to be a great learned scholar, but because He accepted the position of younger cousin to Yudhihira, He was speaking in a very gentle tone which enhanced His beautiful bodily features. The movements of His eyes and the mode of His speech proved that He was very, very expert in giving moral instruction. Sometimes, Mahrja Yudhihira is also accepted by learned scholars as dhra-pranta.


A person who is very envious, proud, easily angered, restless and complacent is called dhroddhata by learned scholars. Such qualities were visible in the character of Lord Ka, because when He was writing a letter to Klayavana, Ka addressed him as a sinful frog. In His letter Ka advised Klayavana that he should immediately go and find some dark well for his residence, because there was a black snake named Ka who was very eager to devour all such sinful frogs. Ka reminded Klayavana that He could turn all the universes to ashes simply by looking at them.

The above statement by Ka seems apparently to be of an envious nature, but according to different pastimes, places and times this quality is accepted as a great characteristic. Kas dhroddhata qualities have been accepted as great because Ka uses them only to protect His devotees. In other words, even undesirable traits may also be used in the exchange of devotional service.

Sometimes Bhma, the second brother of the Pavas, is also described as dhroddhata.

Once, while fighting with a demon who was appearing as a deer, Ka challenged him in this way: I have come before you as a great elephant named Ka. You must leave the battlefield, accepting defeat, or else there is death awaiting you. This challenging spirit of Kas is not contradictory to His sublime character; because He is the Supreme Being, everything is possible in His character.

There is a nice statement in the Krma Pura about these contradictory traits of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is stated there that the Supreme Person is neither very fat nor very thin; He is always transcendental to material qualities, and yet His bodily luster is blackish. His eyes are reddish, He is all-powerful, and He is equipped with all different kinds of opulences. Contradictory traits in Kas person are not at all surprising; one should not consider the characteristics of Ka, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to be actually contradictory. One should try to understand the traits of Ka from authorities and try to understand how these characteristics are employed by the supreme will of the Lord.

In the Mah-varha Pura it is confirmed that the transcendental bodies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His expansions are all existing eternally. Such bodies are never material; they are completely spiritual and full of knowledge. They are reservoirs of all transcendental qualities. In the Viu-ymala-tantra there is a statement that because the Personality of Godhead and His expanded bodies are always full of knowledge, bliss and eternity, they are always free from the eighteen kinds of material contaminationsillusion, fatigue, errors, roughness, material lust, restlessness, pride, envy, violence, disgrace, exhaustion, untruth, anger, hankering, dependence, desire to lord over the universe, seeing duality and cheating.

Regarding all of the above-mentioned statements, it is understood that the Mah-Viu is the source of all incarnations in the material world. But because of His greater, extraordinary opulence, we can understand that the son of Nanda Mahrja is the source of the Mah-Viu also. This is confirmed in the Brahma-sahit, wherein it is stated, Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Govinda, whose partial representation is the Mah-Viu. The gigantic form of the Mah-Viu is the source of generation for innumerable universes. Innumerable universes are coming out of His exhaling breath, and the same universes are going back in with His inhaling breath. This Mah-Viu is also a plenary portion of a portion of Ka.

NoD 24: Further Traits of r Ka

Chapter Twenty-four

Further Traits of r Ka

After describing the different opulences of Ka, rla Rpa Gosvm tries to further describe the transcendental beauties and qualities of the Lord as decorated, enjoying, pleasing, dependable, steady and predominating. He is also described as a meticulous dresser and a magnanimous personality. These are generally considered to be the qualities of great personalities.


It is said that a person is great if he is decorated with the qualities of being very merciful toward the unfortunate, very powerful, superior, chivalrous, enthusiastic, expert and truthful. These decorations were manifested in the character of Ka during His govardhana-ll. At that time the whole tract of land in Vndvana was being disturbed by the rains sent by Indra, as described elsewhere. At first Ka thought, Let Me retaliate against this vengeance of Indra by destroying his heavenly kingdom, but later on, when He thought of the insignificance of the King of heaven, Ka changed His mind and felt merciful toward Indra. No one is able to tolerate the wrath of Ka, so instead of retaliating against Indra, He simply showed His compassion for His friends in Vndvana by lifting the whole of Govardhana Hill to protect them.


When a person is seen to be always happy and is accustomed to speak smilingly, he is considered to be in the mode of enjoyment. This trait was found in Ka when He appeared at the sacrificial arena of King Kasa. It is described that the lotus-eyed Ka entered among the wrestlers without being impolite to them, glanced over them with determination and seemed to them just like an elephant attacking some plants. Even while speaking to them, Ka was still smiling, and in this way He stood valiantly upon the wrestling dais.


When ones characteristics are very sweet and desirable, his personality is called pleasing. An example of Kas pleasing nature is thus described in rmad-Bhgavatam: One day while Ka was awaiting the arrival of rmat Rdhr by the bank of the Yamun, He began to make a garland of kadamba flowers. In the meantime, rmat Rdhr appeared there, and at that time Murri [Ka], the enemy of Mura, glanced over Rdhr very sweetly.


Any person who is reliable in all circumstances is called dependable. In this connection Rpa Gosvm says that even the demons were relying upon the dependability of Ka, because they were confident that Ka would never attack them without due cause. Therefore, with faith and confidence, they used to live with their doors wide open. And the demigods, although afraid of the demons, were confident of the protection of Ka. Therefore, even in the midst of danger they were engaged in sportive activities. Persons who had never undergone the reformatory ritualistic ceremonies of the Vedas were confident that Ka would accept only faith and devotion, and so they were engaged in Ka consciousness and were freed from all anxieties. In other words, all kinds of men, from the demigods down to the uncultured, can rely on the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord.


A person who is not disturbed even in a situation of reverses is called steady. This steadiness was observed in Ka in connection with His chastising the demon known as Ba. The Ba demon had many hands, and Ka was cutting off these hands one after another. This Ba was a great devotee of Lord iva and the goddess Durg. Thus, when Ba was being chastised, Lord iva and Durg became very furious at Ka. But Ka did not care for them.


A person who can affect the mind of everyone is called predominating. As far as Kas predomination is concerned, in the Tenth Canto, Forty-third Chapter, verse 17, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Ka is described thus by ukadeva Gosvm to King Parkit: My dear King, Ka is a thunderbolt to the wrestlers; to the common man He is the most beautiful human being; to the young girls He is just like Cupid; to the cowherd men and women He is the most intimate relative; to the impious kings He is the supreme ruler; to His parents, Nanda and Yaod, He is just a baby; to Kasa, the King of Bhoja, He is death personified; to the dull and stupid He is just like a stone; to the yogs He is the Supreme Absolute Truth; and to the Vis He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In such a predominating position, Ka appeared in that arena along with His older brother, Balarma. When Ka, the reservoir of all mellows, was present in the arena of Kasa, He appeared differently to the different persons who were related to Him in different mellows. It is stated in Bhagavad-gt that He appears to every person according to ones relationship with Him.

Sometimes learned scholars describe predominating to mean a person intolerant of being neglected. This peculiarity in Ka was visible when Kasa was insulting Mahrja Nanda. Vasudeva was asking Kas assistance in killing Kasa, and Ka was glancing over Kasa with longing eyes, just like a prostitute, and was just preparing to jump at the King.

Meticulous Dresser

A person who is very fond of dressing himself is called lalita, or a meticulous dresser. This characteristic was found in Ka in two ways: sometimes He used to decorate rmat Rdhr with various marks, and sometimes, when He was preparing to kill demons like Arisura, He would take care to arrange His belt very nicely.


Persons who can give themselves to anyone are called magnanimous. No one could be more magnanimous than Ka, because He is always prepared to give Himself completely to His devotee. Even to one who is not a devotee, Ka in His form of Lord Caitanya is prepared to give Himself and to grant deliverance.

Although Ka is independent of everyone, out of His causeless mercy He is dependent upon Garga i for religious instruction; for learning the military art He is dependent upon Styaki; and for good counsel He is dependent upon His friend Uddhava.

NoD 25: Devotees of Ka

Chapter Twenty-five

Devotees of Ka

A person who is always absorbed in Ka consciousness is called a devotee of Ka. rla Rpa Gosvm says that all the transcendental qualities discussed previously are also found in the devotees of Ka. The devotees of Ka can be classified into two groups: those who are cultivating devotional service in order to enter into the transcendental kingdom and those who are already in the perfectional stage of devotional service.

A person who has attained the stage of attraction for Ka and who is not freed from the material impasse, but who has qualified himself to enter into the kingdom of God, is called sdhaka. Sdhaka means one who is cultivating devotion in Ka consciousness. The description of such a devotee is found in the Eleventh Canto, Second Chapter, verse 46, of rmad-Bhgavatam. It is said there that a person who has unflinching faith in and love for the Personality of Godhead, who is in friendship with devotees of Ka, and who is very merciful to the ignorant, raising them to the standard of devotional service, and who is uninterested in nondevotees, is considered to be situated in the position of cultivating devotional service.

When one is found shedding tears by hearing of the pastimes of the Lord, it is to be understood that the blazing fire of material existence will be extinguished by such watering. When there is shivering of the body and the hairs of the body stand up, it is to be understood that the devotee is nearing perfection. An example of a sdhaka cultivating devotional service is Bilvamagala hkura.

When a devotee is never tired of executing devotional service and is always engaged in Ka conscious activities, constantly relishing the transcendental mellows in relationship with Ka, he is called perfect. This perfectional stage can be achieved in two ways: one may achieve this stage of perfection by gradual progress in devotional service, or one may become perfect by the causeless mercy of Ka, even though he has not executed all the details of devotional service.

There is the following nice statement in the Third Canto, Fifteenth Chapter, verse 25, of rmad-Bhgavatam, describing a devotee who achieves perfection by regularly executing devotional service: A person who is freed from the false egotism of material existence, or an advanced mystic, is eligible to enter into the kingdom of God, known as Vaikuha. Such a mystic becomes so joyful by constant execution of the regulative principles of devotional service that he thereby achieves the special favor of the Supreme Lord. Yamarja, the mighty superintendent of death, is afraid to go near such a devotee; so we can imagine the potency of advanced devotional service, especially when devotees sit together and engage in talking of the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those devotees express their feelings in such a way that they automatically melt with ecstasy, and many transcendental symptoms become manifested in their bodies. Anyone desiring advancement in devotional service must follow in the footsteps of such devotees.

Prahlda Mahrja said that no one can attain the perfectional stage of devotional service without bowing down before exalted devotees. Learned sages like Mrkaeya i attained perfection in devotional service simply by executing such regulative principles of service.

A persons achieving perfection in devotional service simply by the causeless mercy of the Lord is explained in rmad-Bhgavatam in connection with the brhmaas and their wives who were engaged in performing yaja, or sacrifice. When the wives of the brhmaas were favored by Lord Ka and immediately attained the ecstasy of love of Godhead, their husbands said, How wonderful it is that although these women have undertaken no reformatory performances such as accepting the sacred thread, have not resided in the monasteries of the spiritual master, have not observed the strict principles of celibacy, have not undergone any austerities and have not philosophized upon the observance of ritualistic ceremonies, they still have attained the favor of Ka, which is aspired after even by great mystics! How wonderful it is that these women have attained such perfection, while we, although brhmaas who have performed all the reformatory activities, cannot attain to this advanced stage!

There is a similar statement by Nrada, addressed to ukadeva Gosvm: My dear ukadeva Gosvm, you never took the trouble to reside under the care of a spiritual master, and yet you have attained such a great status of transcendental knowledge. You never took the trouble to undergo severe austerities, and still, how wonderful it is that you have been situated in the most perfect stage of love of Godhead.

ukadeva Gosvm and the wives of the brhmaas performing yaja are vivid examples of devotees who achieved the perfectional stage of devotional service by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Eternal Perfection

Persons who have achieved eternal, blissful life exactly on the level of r Ka, and who are able to attract Lord Ka by their transcendental loving service, are called eternally perfect. The technical name is nitya-siddha. There are two classes of living entitiesnamely, nitya-siddha and nitya-baddha. The distinction is that the nitya-siddhas are eternally Ka conscious without any forgetfulness, whereas the nitya-baddhas, or eternally conditioned souls, are forgetful of their relationship with Ka.

The position of the nitya-siddhas is explained in the Padma Pura in connection with the narration of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Satyabhm-dev. The Lord tells Satyabhm, My dear Satyabhm-dev, I have descended to this earthly planet by the request of Lord Brahm and other demigods. Those who are born into this family of Yadu are all My eternal associates. My dear wife, you should not consider that My associates are ever separated from Me; they are My personal expansions, and as such, you must know that they are almost as powerful as I am. Because of their transcendental qualities, they are very, very dear to Me, as I am very, very dear to them. Anyone who becomes exhilarated by hearing of the pastimes of Lord Ka when He was present on this earth with His associates is to be understood as nitya-siddha, eternally perfect.

In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 32, of rmad-Bhgavatam there is this statement: How wonderful are the fortunate residents of Vndvana, such as Nanda and the other cowherd men. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Brahman, has actually become their intimate friend!

A similar statement is there in the Tenth Canto, Twenty-sixth Chapter, verse 10, of rmad-Bhgavatam. When Lord Ka lifted Govardhana Hill, the cowherd men, under the protection of Lord Ka, became struck with wonder and went to Nanda Mahrja and inquired from him, My dear Nanda Mahrja, how is it that we are so intensely attached to Ka and that Ka is also so affectionately attached to us? Does it mean that He is the Supersoul of everyone?

All of the residents of Vndvana and Dvraknamely, the cowherd men and the members of the Yadu familyare eternally perfect devotees of the Lord. As the Lord descends by His causeless mercy upon this planet, so, in order to help in the pastimes of the Lord, these devotees also come here. They are not ordinary living entities or conditioned souls; they are ever-liberated persons, associates of the Personality of Godhead. And just as Lord Ka behaves like an ordinary man when He descends to this planet, so the members of the Yadu dynasty and the residents of Vndvana execute activities just like ordinary men. But they are not ordinary men; they are as liberated as Lord Ka Himself.

In the Padma Pura, Uttara-khaa section, it is stated, Just as Lord Rmacandra descends along with Lakmaa (an expansion of Sakaraa) and Bharata (an expansion of Pradyumna), so the members of the Yadu dynasty and the cowherd men of Vndvana also descend with Lord Ka in order to join in the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. When the Supreme Lord returns to His eternal abode, His associates return with Him to their respective places. As such, these ever-liberated Vaiavas are not bound by the material laws of birth and death.

As stated in Bhagavad-gt by the Lord Himself, His birth, deeds and activities are all transcendental. Similarly, the birth, deeds and activities of the associates of the Lord are also transcendental. And as it is an offense to consider oneself to be Ka, so it is offensive to consider oneself to be Yaod, Nanda or any other associate of the Lord. We should always remember that they are transcendental; they are never conditioned souls.

It is described that Ka, the enemy of Kasa, has sixty-four transcendental qualities, and all of the ever-liberated souls who accompany the Lord have the first fifty-five of the qualities, without any doubt. Such devotees are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in any of five transcendental mellowsnamely neutrality, servitorship, friendship, parenthood and conjugal love. These relationships with the Lord are eternal, and therefore nitya-siddha devotees do not have to strive to attain the perfectional stage by executing regulative devotional principles. They are eternally qualified to serve Ka.

NoD 26: Stimulation for Ecstatic Love

Chapter Twenty-six

Stimulation for Ecstatic Love

Some things which give impetus or stimulation to ecstatic love of Ka are His transcendental qualities, His uncommon activities, His smiling features, His apparel and garlands, His flute, His buffalo horn, His leg bells, His conchshell, His footprints, His places of pastimes (such as Vndvana), His favorite plant (tulas), His devotee and the periodical occasions for remembering Him. One such occasion for remembrance is Ekda, which comes twice a month on the eleventh day of the moon, both waning and waxing. On that day all the devotees remain fasting throughout the night and continuously chant the glories of the Lord.

Kas Transcendental Qualities,
His Uncommon Activities and His Smile

As far as Kas transcendental qualities are concerned, they can be divided into three groups: qualities pertaining to His transcendental body, qualities pertaining to His transcendental speech and qualities pertaining to His transcendental mind.

Kas age, His transcendental bodily features, His beauty and His mildness are qualities pertaining to His body. There is no difference between Ka and His body, and therefore the transcendental features pertaining to His body are the same as Ka Himself. But because these qualities stimulate the devotees ecstatic love, they have been analyzed as separate causes of that love. To be attracted by the qualities of Ka means to be attracted by Ka Himself, because there is no real distinction between Ka and His qualities. Kas name is also Ka. Kas fame is also Ka. Kas entourage is also Ka. Ka and everything related with Ka which gives stimulation to love of Ka are all Ka, but for our understanding these items may be considered separately.

Ka is the reservoir of all transcendental pleasure. Therefore, the impetuses to love of Ka, although seemingly different, are not actually distinct from Ka Himself. In the technical Sanskrit terms, such qualities as Kas name and fame are accepted both as reservoirs of and as stimulation for love of Ka.

Kas age is considered in three periods: from His appearance day to the end of His fifth year is called kaumra, from the beginning of the sixth year up to the end of the tenth year is called paugaa, and from the eleventh to the end of the fifteenth year is called kaiora. After the beginning of the sixteenth year, Ka is called a yauvana, or a youth, and this continues with no change.

As far as Kas transcendental pastimes are concerned, they are mostly executed during the kaumra, paugaa and kaiora periods. His affectionate pastimes with His parents are executed during His kaumra age. His friendship with the cowherd boys is exhibited during the paugaa period. And His friendship with the gops is exhibited during the age of kaiora. Kas pastimes at Vndvana are finished by the end of His fifteenth year, and then He is transferred to Mathur and Dvrak, where all other pastimes are performed.

rla Rpa Gosvm gives us a vivid description of Ka as the reservoir of all pleasure in his Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu. Here are some parts of that description.

Kas kaiora age may be divided into three parts. In the beginning of His kaiora agethat is, at the beginning of His eleventh yearthe luster of His body becomes so bright that it becomes an impetus for ecstatic love. Similarly, there are reddish borders around His eyes, and a growth of soft hairs on His body. In describing this early stage of His kaiora age, Kundalat, one of the residents of Vndvana, said to her friend, My dear friend, I have just seen an extraordinary beauty appearing in the person of Ka. His blackish bodily hue appears just like the indranla jewel. There are reddish signs on His eyes, and small soft hairs are coming out on His body. The appearance of these symptoms has made Him extraordinarily beautiful.

In this connection, in the Tenth Canto, Twenty-first Chapter, verse 5, of rmad-Bhgavatam, ukadeva Gosvm tells King Parkit, My dear King, I shall try to describe how the minds of the gops became absorbed in thought of Ka. The gops would meditate on Kas dressing Himself just like a dancing actor and entering the forest of Vndvana, marking the ground with His footprints. They meditated on Kas having a helmet with a peacock feather and wearing earrings on His ears and yellow-gold colored garments covered with jewels and pearls. They also meditated on Kas blowing His flute and on all the cowherd boys singing of the glories of the Lord. That is the description of the meditation which the gops used to perform.

Sometimes the gops would think about His soft nails, His moving eyebrows and His teeth, which were catechu-colored from chewing pan. One description was given by a gop to her friend: My dear friend, just see how the enemy of Agha has assumed such wonderful features! His brows are just like the brows of Cupid, and they are moving just as though they were dancing. The tips of His nails are so softit is as if they were dried bamboo leaves. His teeth are reddish, and so it appears that He has assumed a feature of anger. Under the circumstances, where is the chance for a young girl not to be attracted by such beautiful features and not to be afraid of becoming a victim to such beauty?

Kas attractive features are also described by Vnd, the gop after whom Vndvana was named. She told Ka, My dear Mdhava, Your newly invented smile has so captivated the hearts of the gops that they are simply unable to express themselves! As such, they have become bewildered and will not talk with others. All of these gops have become so affected that it is as if they had offered three sprinkles of water upon their lives. In other words, they have given up all hope for their living condition. According to the Indian system, when a person is dead there is a sprinkling of water on the body. Thus, the statement of Vnd shows that the gops were so enchanted by the beauty of Ka that because they could not express their minds, they had decided to commit suicide.

When Ka arrived at the age of thirteen to fourteen years, His two arms and chest assumed an unspeakable beauty, and His whole form became simply enchanting. When Ka attained thirteen years of age, His two thighs were challenging the trunks of elephants, His rising chest was trying to come to peace talks with doors of jewels, and His two arms were minimizing the value of the bolts found on doors. Who can describe the wonderful beauty of these features of Ka? The special beauty of Kas body was His mild smiling, His restless eyes and His world enchanting songs. These are the special features of this age.

There is a statement in this connection that Ka, on arriving at this age, manifested such beautiful bodily features that His restless eyes became the playthings of Cupid, and His mild smile resembled the newly grown lotus flower. The enchanting vibration of His songs became a great impediment to the young girls, who were supposed to remain chaste and faithful to their husbands.

At this age Ka enjoyed the rsa-ll, exhibiting His power of joking with the cowherd girls and enjoying their company in the bushes of the gardens by the bank of the Yamun.

In this connection there is the following statement: Throughout the whole tract of land known as Vndvana there were the footprints of Ka and the gops, and in some places peacock feathers were strewn about. In some places there were nice beddings in the bushes of the Vndvana gardens, and in some places there were piles of dust due to the group-dancing of Govinda and the gops. These are some of the features which are due to the different pastimes invented by r Ka in the place known as Vndvana.

There is the following statement by one gop, describing Kas attractive feature during this age: My dear friend, just see how all of a sudden in the sky of Ka there is a powerful rising sun and how this rising sun is minimizing the rays of our chastity moon. Our attraction for Ka is so intense that it is drying up the lotus flower of our discrimination, and we are losing our senses in deciding whether we shall continue as chaste women or be victimized by the beauty of Ka. My dear friend, I think that we have lost all hope of life!

In the kaiora age, beginning from the eleventh year and continuing up to the end of the fifteenth year, Kas arms, legs and thighs became marked with three divisional lines. At that time Kas chest challenged a hill of marakata jewels, His arms challenged pillars of the indranla jewel, the three lines of His waist challenged the waves of the River Yamun, and His thighs challenged beautiful bananas. One gop said, With all these exquisite features of His body, Ka is too extraordinarily beautiful, and therefore I am always thinking of Him to protect me, because He is the killer of all demons.

The idea expressed in this statement is that the gops were comparing their attraction for Ka to an attack by demons; and to counteract their attraction for the beauty of Ka, they were also turning to Ka hopefully, because He is the killer of all kinds of demons. In other words, they were perplexed, because on one hand they were attracted by the beauty of Ka, and on the other they needed Ka to drive away the demon of such attraction.

This kaiora age can be translated as adolescence. At the end of this period all the gops said, Ka is the killer of the attraction of Cupid, and as such He disturbs the patience of all newly married girls. Kas bodily features have become so exquisiteit is as if they were all manifesting an artistic sense of the highest sort. His dancing eyes have dimmed the brilliance of the most expert dancer, and so there is no longer any comparison to the beauty of Ka. Learned scholars therefore describe the features of His body at this time as nava-yauvana, newly invented youthfulness. At this stage of Kas bodily features, the conjugal love affairs with the gops and similar pastimes become very prominent.

There are six features of conjugal love affairs, called peacemaking, picking a quarrel, going to meet ones lover, sitting together, separation and support. Lord Ka expanded an empire of these six features, of which He was the ruling prince. Somewhere He was picking quarrels with the young girls, somewhere He was scratching them with the nails of parrots, somewhere He was busy going to visit the gops, and somewhere He was negotiating through cowherd friends to take shelter of the gops.

Some of the gops addressed Him thus: Dear Ka, because of Your adolescent age, You have just become the spiritual master of these young girls, and You are teaching them to whisper among themselves. You are teaching them to offer solemn prayers, as well as training them to cheat their husbands and to join You in the gardens at night, without caring for the instructions of their superiors. You are enthusing them by the vibration of Your enchanting flute; and, as their teacher, You are teaching them all the intricacies of loving affairs.

It is said that even when Ka was a boy of five He manifested such youthful energies, but learned scholars do not explain them because of the absence of suitable age. Ka was beautiful because every part of His body was perfectly arranged without any defect. Such perfect bodily features of Ka are described as follows: My dear enemy of Kasa, Your broad eyes, Your rising chest, Your two pillarlike arms and the thin middle portion of Your body are always enchanting to every lotus-eyed beautiful girl. The ornaments on the body of Ka were not actually enhancing His beauty, but just the reversethe ornaments were beautified by Ka.

A person is called mild when he cannot even bear the touch of the most soft thing. It is described that every part of Kas body was so soft that even at the touch of newly grown leaves, the color of the touched part of His skin would change. At this kaiora age, Kas endeavors were always bent toward arranging the rsa dance, as well as toward killing the demons in the forest of Vndvana. While Ka was engaged in enjoyment with the boys and girls within the forest of Vndvana, Kasa used to send his associates to kill Ka, and Ka would show His prowess by killing them.

Kas Apparel and Garlands

Generally, there are four kinds of garments on the body of Ka: His shirt, turban, belt and wearing garments. In Vndvana, He used to put on reddish garments, with a golden shirt on His body and an orange-colored turban on His head. The different kinds of belts, combined with His enchanting smile, used to always increase the transcendental bliss of His associates. This dress of Ka is described as gorgeous. As a baby elephant is sometimes dressed in colorful clothing, so Kas gorgeousness was manifested by decoration with such colorful clothing on the different parts of His body.

kalpa refers to the texture of Kas hair, His nicely dressed body anointed with sandalwood pulp and decorated with flower garlands, His tilaka and His chewing pan. Ka was decorated constantly in this kalpa process. Kas hair was some times decorated with flowers placed on the middle of His head, or else it was reaching down to His back. In this way Ka dressed His hair differently at different times. As for the ointment on His body, the pulp of sandalwood generally appeared to be white, and when it was mixed with saffron dye it appeared to be yellow.

Ka used to put a vaijayant garland around His neck. This vaijayant garland is made of flowers of at least five different colors. Such a garland was always long enough to touch Kas knees or feet. Besides this garland of flowers, there were other kinds of flower garlands toosometimes decorating His head, sometimes hanging around His neck and chest. Artistic paintings with sandalwood pulp and colored sandalwood were also to be found on the body of Ka.

One gop addressed her friend and began to praise the bodily features of Ka. She praised His blackish complexion, the reddish color of chewing pan enhancing His beauty hundreds of times, the curling hair on His head, the [vii]kukum red spots on His body and the tilaka on His forehead.

His helmet, His earrings, His necklace, His four garments, the bangles on His head, the rings on His fingers, His ankle bells and His flutethese are the different features of Kas ornaments. Ka, the enemy of Agha, always looked beautiful with His incomparable helmet, His earrings made of diamonds, His necklace of pearls, His bangles, His embroidered garments and the beautiful rings on His fingers.

Ka is sometimes called vana-ml. Vana means forest, and ml means gardener, so vana-ml refers to one who extensively uses flowers and garlands on different parts of His body. Ka was dressed like this not only in Vndvana but also on the Battlefield of Kuruketra. Seeing such colorful dress and the garlands of different flowers, some great sages prayed, Lord Ka was going to the Battlefield of Kuruketra not to fight, but to grace all of the devotees with His presence.

Kas Flute

As far as His flute is concerned, it is said that the vibration of this wonderful instrument was able to break the meditation of the greatest sages. Ka was thus challenging Cupid by advertising His transcendental glories all over the world.

There are three kinds of flutes used by Ka. One is called veu, one is called mural, and the third is called va. Veu is very small, not more than six inches long, with six holes for whistling. Mural is about eighteen inches long with a hole at the end and four holes on the body of the flute. This kind of flute produces a very enchanting sound. The va flute is about fifteen inches long, with nine holes on its body. Ka used to play on these three flutes occasionally when they were needed. Ka has a longer va, which is called mahnand, or sammohin. When it is still longer it is called kari. When it is even longer it is called nandin. The nandin flute is very pleasing to the cowherd boys and is technically named vaul. These flutes were sometimes bedecked with jewels. Sometimes they were made of marble and sometimes of hollow bamboo. When the flute is made of jewels it is called sammohin. When made of gold, it is called kari.

Kas Buffalo Horn

Ka used a buffalo horn as a bugling instrument. This instrument was always highly polished and circled with gold bands, and on the middle there was a hole. Regarding these instruments, there is a metaphorical statement about a gop named Trval. It is said that Trval was bitten by the most venomous snake of Kas flute. Then, in order to neutralize the poisonous effect, she drank the milk produced by the buffalo horn in the hand of Ka. But instead of decreasing the poisonous effect, it increased it a thousand times. The gop was thus put into the most miserable poisoned condition.

The Attraction of Kas Leg Bells

A certain gop once stated to her friend, My dear friend, when I heard the sound of the leg bells of r Ka, I immediately started to go out of the house to see Him. But most regrettably, my superiors were present just before me at that time, and I could not go out.

Kas Conchshell

Kas conchshell is known as Pcajanya. This Pcajanya conch is also mentioned in Bhagavad-gt. Ka sounded it before the Battle of Kuruketra. It is said that when Lord Ka blows on His transcendental conchshell, the wives of the demons become subject to abortions, and the wives of the demigods become blessed with all auspiciousness. In this way, the sound of Kas conchshell used to vibrate and circulate all over the world.

Kas Footprints

It is stated in rmad-Bhgavatam that when Akrra, who drove Ka from Vndvana to Mathur, saw the footprints of Ka on the land of Vndvana, his ecstatic love for Ka increased so much that the hairs on his body stood up. His eyes became overflooded with tears, and in such ecstasy he jumped out of the chariot and fell down on the ground and began to chant, How wonderful this is! How wonderful this is!

Similar feelings were expressed by the gops when they were going to the bank of the Yamun and saw Kas footprints in the dust. When Ka walked on the ground of Vndvana, the marks of His sole (flag, thunderbolt, fish, a rod for controlling elephants, and a lotus flower) would be imprinted upon the dust of the land. The gops became overwhelmed simply at seeing those marks on the ground.

Kas Places of Pastimes

One devotee has exclaimed, Oh, I have not as yet visited the wonderful places where the pastimes of the Lord were performed. But simply by hearing the name of Mathur I have become overwhelmed with joy!

Kas Favorite Plant: Tulas

Lord Ka is very fond of tulas leaves and buds. Because tulas buds are usually offered up to the lotus feet of Ka, a devotee once prayed to the tulas buds to give him some information about the lotus feet of the Lord. The devotee expected that the tulas buds would know something about the glories of Lord r Kas lotus feet.

Kas Devotees

One may sometimes become overwhelmed with joy by seeing a devotee of the Lord. When Dhruva Mahrja saw two associates of Nryaa approaching him, he immediately stood up out of sincere respect and devotion and remained before them with folded hands; but because of his ecstatic love, he could hardly offer them a proper reception.

There is a statement by a gop who addressed Subala, a friend of Ka: My dear Subala, I know that Ka is your friend and that you always enjoy smiling and joking with Him. The other day I saw you both standing together. You were keeping your hand upon Kas shoulder, and both of you were joyfully smiling. When I saw the two of you standing like that in the distance, my eyes at once became overflooded with tears.

Special Days for Remembering Ka

There are many statements about the festive days in connection with Kas different activities. One of these festive days is Janmam, the day of Kas birth. This Janmam day is the most opulent festival day for the devotees, and it is still observed with great pomp in every Hindu house in India. Sometimes even the devotees of other religious groups take advantage of this auspicious day and enjoy the performance of the ceremony of Janmam. Ecstatic love for Ka is also aroused on the days of Ekda, which are other festive days in connection with Ka.

NoD 27: Symptoms of Ecstatic Love

Chapter Twenty-seven

Symptoms of Ecstatic Love

The bodily symptoms manifested by a devotee in expressing ecstatic love for Ka are called anubhva. Practical examples of anubhva are as follows: dancing, rolling on the ground, singing very loudly, stretching the body, crying loudly, yawning, breathing very heavily, neglecting the presence of others, drooling, laughing like a madman, wheeling the head and belching. When there is an extraordinary excess of ecstatic love, with all of these bodily symptoms manifested, one feels relieved transcendentally.

These symptoms are divided into two parts: one is called ta, and the other is called kepaa. When there is yawning, the symptoms are called ta, and when there is dancing they are called kepaa.


While watching the rsa dance performed by Lord Ka and the gops, Lord iva beheld the beautiful face of Ka and immediately began to dance and beat upon his small diima drum. While Lord iva was dancing in ecstasy, his eldest son, Gaea, joined him.

Rolling on the Ground

In the Third Canto, First Chapter, verse 32, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Vidura inquires from Uddhava, My dear friend, is Akrra in an auspicious condition? Not only is he a learned scholar and sinless, but he is also a devotee of Lord Ka. He has such ecstatic love for Ka that I have seen him rolling upon Kas footprints in the dust as if bereft of all sense. Similarly, one gop gave a message to Ka that Rdhr, because of Her separation from Him and because of Her enchantment with the aroma of His flower garlands, was rolling on the ground, thereby bruising Her soft body.

Singing Loudly

One gop informed Ka that when rmat Rdhr was singing about His glories, She enchanted all of Her friends in such a way that they became stonelike and dull. At the same time, the nearby stones began to melt away in ecstatic love.

When Nrada Muni was chanting the Hare Ka mantra, he chanted so loudly that it was apprehended that Lord Nsiha had appeared. Thus all the demons began to flee in different directions.

Stretching the Body

It is said that sometimes when Nrada, the carrier of the v, remembers his Lord Ka in great ecstasy, he begins to stretch his body so vigorously that his sacred thread gives way.

Crying Loudly

A gop once said to Ka, My dear son of Nanda Mahrja, by the sound of Your flute rmat Rdhr has become full of lamentation and fear, and thus, with a faltering voice, She is crying like a kurar bird.

It is described that by hearing the vibration of Kas flute, Lord iva becomes very puzzled and begins to cry so loudly into space that the demons become vanquished and the devotees become overwhelmed with joy.


It is said that when the full moon rises, the lotus petals become expanded. Similarly, when Ka used to appear before Rdhr, Her face, which is compared to the lotus flower, would expand by Her yawning.

Breathing Heavily

As far as breathing heavily is concerned, it is state d, Lalit [one of the gops] is just like a ctak bird, which only takes water falling directly from the rain cloud and not from any other source. In this statement Ka is compared to the dark cloud, and Lalit is compared to the ctak bird seeking only Kas company. The metaphor continues to say, As a heavy wind sometimes disperses a mighty cloud, so the heavy breath from Lalits nostrils caused her to miss Ka, who had disappeared by the time she recovered herself.

Neglecting the Presence of Others

As far as neglecting the presence of others is concerned, the wives of the brhmaas who were performing sacrifices at Vndvana left home as soon as they heard that Ka was nearby. They left their homes without caring for their learned husbands. The husbands began to discuss this among themselves: How wonderful is the attraction for Ka that it has made these women leave us without any care! This is the influence of Ka. Anyone who becomes attracted to Ka can be relieved from the bondage of birth and death, which can be compared to the locked-up homes that were neglected by the wives of the brhmaas.

In the Padyval there is a statement by some devotees: We shall not care for any outsiders. If they should deride us, we shall still not care for them. We shall simply enjoy the transcendental mellow of chanting Hare Ka, and thus we shall roll on the ground and dance ecstatically. In this way we shall eternally enjoy transcendental bliss.


As an example of the running down of saliva from the mouth, it is stated that sometimes when Nrada Muni was chanting the Hare Ka mantra, he remained stunned for a while, and saliva oozed from his mouth.

Laughing like a Madman

When a devotee laughs very loudly like a madman, it is done out of an extraordinary agitation of ecstatic love within the heart. Such mad laughing is an expression of the condition of the heart which is technically called aa-hsa. When a devotee becomes affected with this mental condition, his love is expressed through the lips. The laughing sounds, coming one after another, are compared to flowers falling from the creeper of devotion which grows within the heart of the devotee. In the Caitanya-caritmta devotional service to the Lord is also compared to a creeper which rises up to the lotus feet of Ka in Goloka Vndvana.

Wheeling of the Head

One gop told her friend, It appears that Lord Ka, the enemy of the demon Agha, has released from His mouth a whirlwind which is acting on your head and is gradually proceeding to do the same to the other lotus-eyed gops.


Sometimes belching also becomes a symptom of ecstatic love for Ka. There is evidence of this in Pauramss address to one crying associate of Rdhr: My dear daughter, dont be worried because rmat Rdhr is belching. I am about to offer a remedial measure for this symptom. Do not cry so loudly. This belching is not due to indigestion; it is a sign of ecstatic love for Ka. I shall arrange to cure this belching symptom immediately. Dont be worried. This statement by Paurams is evidence that ecstatic love for Ka is sometimes manifested through belching.

Sometimes trembling of the whole body and hemorrhaging from some part of the body are also manifested in response to ecstatic love for Ka, but such symptoms are very rare, and therefore rla Rpa Gosvm does not discuss any further on this point.

NoD 28: Existential Ecstatic Love

Chapter Twenty-eight

Existential Ecstatic Love

When a devotee is always intensely affected by love for Ka in a direct relationship with Himor even a little apart from Himhis status is called existential ecstatic love. The symptoms originating from such existential ecstatic love are divided into three headingsnamely moist, burnt and dried-up.

Moist existential ecstatic love aroused in connection with Ka is divided into two: direct and indirect. Rdhr was weaving a garland of kunda flowers, and upon hearing the vibration of Kas flute, She immediately stopped Her work. This is an example of direct moistened existential ecstatic love. Indirect moistened existential ecstatic love is described in the following statement: Ka, who is also called Puruottama, is to the eyes of mother Yaod just like the cloud is to the eyes of the ctak bird. When Ka had been brought to Mathur, mother Yaod, being very anxious and angry, began to rebuke the King of Mathur.

Burnt existential ecstatic love is divided into three, and one example is as follows: One day, mother Yaod was dreaming that the gigantic demon Ptan was lying on the courtyard of her house, and she immediately became anxious to seek out Ka.

When there are manifestations of ecstatic symptoms in the body of a nondevotee, these are called dried-up symptoms of ecstatic love. The nondevotees are actually materialistic, but in contact with some pure devotee, they sometimes may manifest some symptoms of ecstasy. Devotional scholars call these dried-up symptoms.

There are eight symptoms of existential ecstatic love: becoming stunned, perspiring, standing of the hairs on the body, faltering of the voice, trembling of the body, changing of bodily colors, shedding of tears and devastation.

The scientific explanation of these eight symptoms is given by Rpa Gosvm as follows. When the vital force of life is in contact with the earth, one is stunned. When the same force comes into contact with water, there is the shedding of tears. When the same force comes into contact with fire, there is perspiration. When the force comes into contact with the sky, there is complete devastation. And when that force comes into contact with the air, there is trembling, failing of the voice and standing of the hairs on the body.

These symptoms are sometimes manifested internally and sometimes externally. The pure devotee always feels such symptomatic expressions within himself, but being afraid of outsiders he does not generally manifest them externally.

Becoming Stunned

The symptom of being stunned is caused by ecstatic tribulation, fearfulness, astonishment, lamentation and anger. This symptom is exhibited by a stoppage of talking, a stoppage of movement, a feeling of voidness and an extreme feeling of separation.

When Uddhava was describing Kas pastimes to Vidura, he said, One day the gops became stunned when Ka, in the dress of a gardening maid, entered the greenhouse and enlivened them with joking and laughter. Then when Ka left the greenhouse, the gops were seeing Ka so ecstatically that it was as though both their minds and eyes were following Him. These symptoms signify that although the gops business was not finished, they had become stunned with ecstatic love.

Another example of being stunned took place when Ka was surrounded by various wrestlers in the sacrificial arena of Kasa. His mother, [viii]Devak, then became stunned, and her eyes dried up when she saw Ka among the wrestlers.

There is also an example of the astonishment of Lord Brahm. It is explained in the Tenth Canto, Thirteenth Chapter, verse 56, of rmad-Bhgavatam, that when Brahm understood that this cowherd boy was the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, he became stunned. All of his sensory activities stopped when he saw all the cowherd boys again, along with Ka. Lord Brahm was so stunned that he appeared to be a golden statue with four heads. Also, when the residents of Vraja found that Ka had lifted Govardhana Hill with His left hand, they became stunned.

Astonishment caused by lamentation was exemplified when Ka was entering into the belly of the Baksura demon and all the demigods from higher planets became stunned with lamentation. A similar example of becoming stunned was visible in Arjuna when he saw that Avatthm was attempting to release his [ix]brahmstra at Ka.


An example of perspiring because of jubilation is described in rmad-Bhgavatam. One gop addressed Rdhr thus: My dear Rdhr, You are rebuking the sunshine unnecessarily, but I can understand that You are perspiring only because of Your becoming too lusty at seeing Ka.

Perspiration caused by fearfulness was exhibited by Raktaka, one of the servants of Ka. One day Ka dressed Himself just like Abhimanyu, the husband of Rdhr. Abhimanyu did not like Rdhrs association with Ka, and therefore when Raktaka saw Ka in the dress of Abhimanyu and thus mistook His identity, he began to strongly rebuke Him. As soon as Raktaka finally understood that it was Ka in the dress of Abhimanyu, he began perspiring. This perspiration was caused by fearfulness.

Perspiration due to anger was exhibited by Garua, the eagle who is the carrier of Viu. Once the heavenly king, Indra, was sending torrents of rain over Vndvana. Garua was observing the incident from above the clouds, and because of his anger, he began perspiring.

Standing of Hairs on the Body

The standing up of hair on the body was manifested when mother Yaod found within Kas mouth all of the universal planetary systems. She had asked Ka to open His mouth wide just to see whether He had eaten dirt. But when Ka opened His mouth, she saw not only the entire earth, but also many other planets within His mouth. This caused a standing up of the hair on her body.

The standing up of hair on the body resulting from jubilation is described in the Tenth Canto, Thirtieth Chapter, verse 10, of rmad-Bhgavatam, in connection with the gops engaged in the rsa dance. During this rsa dance Ka disappeared all of a sudden with Rdhr, and the gops began to search Him out. At that time they addressed the earth and said, Dear earthly planet, how many austerities and penances you must have undergone to have the lotus feet of Ka always touching your surface. I think that you must be very jubilant, because the trees and plants, which are just like hairs on your body, are standing up so gloriously. May we ask when you first got these symptoms? Have you been enjoying this jubilation since you were touched by the incarnation Vmana or since you were delivered by the incarnation Varha?

Ka would sometimes perform mock fighting along with the cowherd boys. When Ka blew His horn in this mock fighting, rdm, who was on the opposing side, felt his bodily hairs stand up. Similarly, when Arjuna saw Ka in His gigantic universal form, there was a standing of the hairs on his body.

Faltering of the Voice

When Ka was going to Mathur on the chariot driven by Akrra, Yaod and all the gops came to try to forbid Him to pass and to block His way. At that time Rdhr was so perturbed that in a faltering voice She requested mother Yaod to please stop Akrra.

Faltering of the voice resulting from wonder was exhibited by Brahm. It is said in rmad-Bhgavatam, Tenth Canto, Thirteenth Chapter, verse 64, that after bowing down before Lord Ka, when Brahm began to rise he prayed to the Lord in a faltering voice.

In the Tenth Canto, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verse 30, another example of faltering of the voice was exhibited by the gops when they came to Ka, desiring to dance with Him. Ka asked them to go back to their husbands and homes. The gops apparently became very angry and began to talk to Ka with faltering voices.

In the Tenth Canto, Thirty-ninth Chapter, verses 56 and 57, of rmad-Bhgavatam, a faltering voice due to jubilation was exhibited by Akrra when he was shown all of the Vaikuha planets resting within the River Yamun. When Akrra understood that Ka was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he bowed his head to Kas lotus feet and with folded hands began to pray in a faltering voice.

There are also examples of faltering of the voice caused by fearfulness. One of Kas friends praised Him thus: My dear friend, Your flute was given to Your servant Patr, and when I asked him to return it he began speaking in a faltering voice, and his complexion became yellow.


When Ka was trying to capture the demon akha, Rdhr began trembling out of fearfulness. Similar trembling of the body was exhibited in Sahadeva, the younger brother of Nakula. When iupla was vehemently blaspheming the Lord, Sahadeva began to tremble out of anger.

Trembling of the body was also exhibited by Rdhr out of tribulation. Rdhr trembled as She told one of the gops, Dont joke with this disappointing boy! Please ask Him not to approach Me, because He is always the cause of all grief for us.

Changing of Bodily Color

Sometimes, due to great aggrievement caused by the dealings of Ka, the body changes color. The gops therefore addressed the Lord thus: Dear Ka, due to separation from You, all of the denizens of Vndvana have changed their color. And because of this change of color even the great sage Nrada was thinking of Vndvana as a white island in the ocean of milk.

When Ka and Balarma were present in the arena of Kasa, Kasas body changed color. Similarly, Indras face changed color when he saw that Ka was protecting all the denizens of Vraja by lifting Govardhana Hill. If the color change takes place due to excessive jubilation, the hue turns red. Because such a change of color is so rare, rla Rpa Gosvm does not further discuss this point.


Out of jubilation, anger or separation there may be the pouring down of tears from the eyes. When such tears are very cold they are due to jubilation, and when they are due to anger the tears become hot. In all cases there is a severe movement of the eyes, and the eyes generally become reddish. There is also an itching sensation which causes the sufferer to rub his eyes.

When the lotus-eyed Rukmi, the first queen of Ka in Dvrak, was shedding tears out of ecstatic jubilation, she did not like the tears. There is a passage in the Hari-vaa wherein Satyabhm begins to shed tears because of her great affection for Ka.

An example of shedding tears because of anger was exhibited by Bhma when he saw that iupla was insulting Ka in the Rjasya arena of sacrifice. Bhma wanted to kill iupla immediately, but because Ka did not order him to do so, he became morose with anger. It is described that there were hot tears covering his eyes, as a thin cloud sometimes covers the evening moon. In the evening, when the moon is slightly covered by a thin cloud, it looks very nice, and when Bhma was shedding tears on account of his anger, he also looked very nice.

In the Tenth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Sixtieth Chapter, verse 23, there is a nice example of Rukmi's shedding tears of lamentation. When Ka and Rukmi were talking, Rukmi became frightened of separation from Ka, and therefore she began scratching the earth with her red, lotuslike nails. Because she was shedding tears, the black ointment from her eyes was dripping, along with the tears, onto her breasts, which were covered with kukum powder. Rukmi was so aggrieved that her voice was choked up.


When a person is confused by simultaneous happiness and tribulation and does not know what to do, this state of confusion is called pralaya, or devastation. In this condition of pralaya one sometimes falls down on the ground, and all the symptoms of ecstatic love become manifest. When the gops were searching after Ka and all of a sudden He came out from the bushes and creepers, all of them became stunned and almost senseless. In this state the gops appeared very beautiful. This is an example of pralaya, or devastation, in happiness.

There are also instances of pralaya in distress. One such example is described in the Tenth Canto, Thirty-ninth Chapter, verse 15, of rmad-Bhgavatam, wherein ukadeva Gosvm tells King Parkit, My dear King, when the gops were missing Ka, they were so much absorbed in meditation upon Him that all of their senses stopped functioning, and they lost all bodily sense. It was as though they had become liberated from all material conditions.

Degrees of Ecstatic Symptoms

Out of the many ecstatic symptoms of the body, the symptom of being stunned is especially significant. According to the degree of being stunned, the vital force within the body becomes agitated, and due to such a state, the other ecstatic loving symptoms sometimes become altered. These transcendental ecstatic symptoms gradually develop, and in the course of such development they are sometimes called smoky, sometimes called blazing, and sometimes called shining. These three degrees are experienced for many, many years, and they extend to different parts of the body. Unlike the shedding of tears and faltering of the voice, the condition of being stunned is spread all over the body. The shedding of tears and faltering of the voice are simply localized symptoms.

The shedding of tears, however, sometimes makes the eyes become swollen and whitish, and sometimes the lenses of the eyes become differently focused. Faltering of the voice may sometimes cause choking in the throat and extreme anxiety. As the different symptoms of these ecstatic manifestations are localized, they are accompanied by different local reactions; e.g., when the throat is choked up because of a faltering voice, there may be a sound like ghura. Such sounds choke the voice, and with extreme mental anxiety they may be manifest in different ways. All these symptoms are listed under the dried-up existential condition known as smoky, and they are exhibited in different ways.

Sometimes, while participating in ceremonies celebrating Kas pastimes, or in the society of devotees, there is dancing ecstasy. Such sentiments are called blazing.

None of the above symptoms can be manifested without the basic principle of strong attachment for Ka. In the smoky condition of such ecstatic expressions, the symptoms could otherwise be hidden. This type of symptom was experienced by Priest Gargamuni, who was performing some ritualistic ceremony in the house of Nanda Mahrja. When he heard about Kas killing of the Aghsura demon, there were some tears visible in his eyes, his throat was trembling, and perspiration covered his whole body. In this way Priest Gargamunis beautiful face assumed a nice condition.

When several such ecstatic symptoms are visible, the condition is called blazing. For example, one of Kas friends told Him, My dear friend, as soon as I heard the sound of Your flute from within the forest, my hands became almost motionless, and my eyes became full of tearsso much so, in fact, that I could not recognize Your peacock feather. My thighs became almost completely stunned so that I could not move even an inch. Therefore, my dear friend, I must acknowledge the wonderful vibration of Your transcendental flute.

Similarly, one gop said to another, My dear friend, when I heard the sound of Kas flute, I tried to hide myself from the reaction of the vibrations. But still I could not check the trembling of my body, and therefore all of my friends in the house could detect my attachment for Ka without any doubt.

When the ecstatic symptoms cannot be checked and they simultaneously appear in four or five different categories, this stage of ecstatic love is called shining. The example is cited, in this connection, that when the sage Nrada saw Lord Ka standing before him, his body became so stunned that he stopped playing on his v. Because of his faltering voice, he could not offer any prayers to Ka, and his eyes filled with tears. Thus, Nradas ability to see Ka was also obstructed.

When similar symptoms were manifest in the body of rmat Rdhr, some of Her friends criticized Her: Dear friend, You are blaming the aroma of the flowers for the tears in Your eyes. You are rebuking the air for the standing of the hairs on Your body. And You are cursing Your walking in the forest for Your thighs being stunned. But Your faltering voice reveals the cause to be different: it is just Your attachment for Ka!

rla Rpa Gosvm remarks that when various symptoms become manifest very prominently, the devotees condition may be called the brightest. For example, a friend of Ka addressed Him as follows: My dear Ptmbara, because of separation from You all the residents of Goloka Vndvana are perspiring. They are lamenting with different words, and their eyes have become moistened with tears. Actually, all of them are in great confusion.

There is a supreme symptom of ecstatic love which is called mahbhva. This mahbhva expression was possible only in Rdhr, but later on when r Ka Caitanya appeared to feel the mode of love of Rdhr, He also expressed all of the symptoms of mahbhva. r Rpa Gosvm says in this connection that when the symptoms of ecstatic love become the most bright, that stage is accepted as mahbhva.

rla Rpa Gosvm further analyzes the ecstatic loving expression into four divisions which are called sttvikbhs.

Sometimes impersonalists, who are not actually in devotional service, may also exhibit such symptoms of ecstatic love, but this is not accepted as actual ecstasy. It is a reflection only. For example, sometimes in Vras, a holy city for impersonalist scholars, there may be seen a sannys crying from hearing the glories of the Lord. Impersonalists also sometimes chant the Hare Ka mantra and dance, but their aim is not to serve the Lord. It is to become one with the Lord and merge into His existence. Rpa Gosvm therefore says that even if the reactions to chanting are manifested in the impersonalists body, they should not be considered to be symptoms of actual attachment, but reflections only, just like the sun reflected in a dark room through some polished glass. The chanting of Hare Ka, however, is so nice and transcendental that it will eventually melt even the hearts of persons who are impersonalists. Rpa Gosvm says that the impersonalists symptoms are simply reflections of ecstatic love, not the real thing.

Sometimes it is found that when staunch logicians, without any trace of devotional service and without actually understanding the transcendental glories of the Lord, sit down to hear the glories of the Lord, they appear to be melting and shedding tears. In this connection there is a statement by a devotee who addresses the Lord thus: My dear Mukunda, I cannot properly express the glories of Your pastimes. Even when the nondevotees hear of Your glorious pastimes they become affected and shed tears and start to tremble. Such nondevotees are not actually melted; they are hardhearted. But the influence of the glories of the Lord is so great that even the nondevotees sometimes shed tears.

Sometimes it is found that a nondevotee who has practically no taste for Ka and who follows no rules or regulations can, by practice, make a show of devotional symptoms, even crying in an assembly of devotees. This shedding of tears is not actually an ecstatic loving expression, however. It is done simply by practice. Although there is no need to describe these reflections of ecstatic love, Rpa Gosvm gives some instances where there is no actual devotional service and such expressions are manifested.

NoD 29: Expressions of Love for Ka

Chapter Twenty-nine

Expressions of Love for Ka

There are some bodily symptoms which express overwhelming ecstatic love (vyabhicri-bhva). They are counted at thirty-three as follows: disappointment, lamentation, humility, guilt, fatigue, intoxication, pride, doubt, apprehension, intense emotion, madness, forgetfulness, disease, confusion, death, laziness, inertness, bashfulness, concealment, remembrance, argumentativeness, anxiety, thoughtfulness, endurance, happiness, eagerness, violence, haughtiness, envy, impudence, dizziness, sleepiness and alertness.


When one is forced to act in a way which is forbidden, or to refrain from acting in a way which is proper, he becomes regretful and thinks himself dishonored. At that time there is a sense of disappointment. In this kind of disappointment one becomes full of anxiety, sheds tears, changes bodily color, feels humility and breathes heavily.

When Ka, in punishing the Kliya serpent, appeared to have drowned Himself in the poisonous water of the Yamun, Nanda Mahrja addressed Yaod-dev thus: My dear wife, Ka has gone deep into the water, and so there is no longer any need to maintain our bodies, which are so full of sinful activities! Let us also enter into the poisonous water of the Yamun and compensate for the sinful activities of our lives! This is an instance of severe shock, wherein the devotee becomes greatly disappointed.

When Ka left Vndvana, Subala, His intimate friend, decided to leave also. While leaving, Subala was contemplating that without Ka there was no longer any pleasure to be found in Vndvana. The analogy is given that as the bees go away from a flower that has no honey, Subala left Vndvana when he found that there was no longer any relishable transcendental pleasure there.

In Dna-keli-kaumud rmat Rdhr addresses one of Her friends in this manner: My dear friend, if I cannot hear of the glorious activities of Ka, it is better for Me to become deaf. And because I am now unable to see Him, it would be good for Me to be a blind woman. This is another instance of disappointment due to separation from Ka.

There is a statement in the Hari-vaa wherein Satyabhm, one of the queens of Ka in Dvrak, tells her husband, My dear Ka, since I heard Nrada glorifying Rukmi before You, I can understand that there is no need of any talking about myself! This is an instance of disappointment caused by envy. Rukmi and Satyabhm were co-wives, and because Ka was husband of both, there naturally was some feminine envy between them. So when Satyabhm heard the glories of Rukmi, she was envious of her and thus became disappointed.

In the Tenth Canto, Fifty-first Chapter, verse 47, of the rmad-Bhgavatam, there is this statement: My dear Ka, I cannot say that it is only other people who are implicated in material existence, because I too am much entangled with the bodily concept of life. I am always too anxious about my family, home, wife, wealth, land and kingdom. And because I have been so maddened by this material atmosphere, I am thinking now that my life has been simply spoiled. This statement is an instance of disappointment caused by lamentation.

According to Bharata Muni, this disappointment is inauspicious. But there are other learned scholars who have accepted such disappointment as being in the mood of neutrality and as being a preservative of ecstatic love.


When one is unsuccessful in achieving his desired goal of life, when one finds no fulfillment in his present occupation, when one finds himself in reversed conditions and when one feels guiltat such a time one is said to be in a state of lamentation.

In this condition of lamentation one becomes questioning, thoughtful, tearful, regretful and heavy-breathed. His bodily color changes, and his mouth becomes dry.

One aged devotee of Ka addressed Him in this way: My dear Ka, O killer of the demon Agha, my body is now invalid due to old age. I cannot speak very fluently, my voice is faltering, my mind is not strong, and I am often attacked by forgetfulness. But, my dear Lord, You are just like the moonlight, and my only real regret is that for want of any taste for Your pleasant shining I did not advance myself in Ka consciousness. This statement is an instance of lamentation due to ones being unable to achieve his desired goal.

One devotee said, This night I was dreaming of collecting various flowers from the garden, and I was thinking of making a garland to offer to Ka. But I am so unfortunate that all of a sudden my dream was over, and I could not achieve my desired goal! This statement is an instance of lamentation resulting from nonfulfillment of ones duties.

When Nanda Mahrja saw his foster son Ka embarrassed in the sacrificial arena of Kasa, he said, How unfortunate I am that I did not keep my son bolted within a room. Unfortunately, I have brought Him to Mathur, and now I see that Hes embarrassed by this giant elephant named Kuvalaya. It is as though the moon of Ka were eclipsed by the shadow of the earth. This is an instance of lamentation caused by reversed conditions.

In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 9, of the rmad-Bhgavatam there is a statement by Brahm: My dear Lord, just see my impudence! You are the unlimited, the original Personality of Godhead, the Supersouland You rule over the most perfect illusory energies! And just see my impudence! I wanted to supersede You by my own personal power, and I was very puffed up with this tiny power of mine. Just as a simple spark from a fire cannot do any harm to the fire, so my bewildering potency was completely unsuccessful in thwarting Your superior illusory power. Therefore I find myself to be most insignificant and think of myself as a most useless person. This statement by Brahm is an instance of lamentation caused by committing an offense.


A sense of weakness caused by distress, fear or offensiveness is called humility. In such a humble condition one becomes talkative, small in heart, dirty in mind, full of anxiety and inactive.

In the Tenth Canto, Fifty-first Chapter, verse 57, of the rmad-Bhgavatam, there is the following statement by King Mucukunda: My dear Lord, because of my bad deeds in the past I am everlastingly aggrieved. I am always suffering from my desires, but still my senses are never satisfied with material enjoyments. Somehow or other, by Your grace, I am now in a peaceful condition because I have taken shelter of Your lotus feet, which are always free from all lamentation, fear and death. O supreme protector, O supreme soul! O supreme controller! Kindly give me Your protection. I am so much embarrassed. This statement by Mucukunda is an instance of humility resulting from a severely miserable condition of material existence.

When Uttar was attacked by the brahmstra of Avatthm, she became afraid of losing her child, Mahrja Parkit, who was still within the womb. She immediately surrendered to Ka and said, My dear Lord, kindly save my child! I do not mind if I myself must be killed by the brahmstra of Avatthm. This is an instance of humility caused by fear.

In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 10, of the rmad-Bhgavatam, Lord Brahm says, O infallible one! I am born in the mode of passion, and therefore I have been falsely proud of being the creator of this material world. My false pride was just like dense darkness, and in this darkness I had become blind. In my blindness I was considering myself a competitor to You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But, my dear Lord, even though I am accepted as the creator of this universe, I am eternally Your servant. Therefore, kindly always be compassionate toward me and excuse me in that way. This statement by Brahm is another instance of humility resulting from committing an offense.

Sometimes there is humility due to shyness. For example, when Ka stole all of the garments from the gops while they were bathing in the river, all of them begged Ka not to commit this injustice upon them. The gops addressed Him thus: Dear Ka, we know that You are the son of Nanda Mahrja and that You are the most beloved of all Vndvana. And You are very much loved by us also! But why are You giving us this trouble? Kindly return our garments. Just see how we are trembling from the severe cold! This humility was due to their shyness from being naked before Ka.


When a person blames himself for committing an inappropriate action, his feeling is called guilt.

One day rmat Rdhr was churning yogurt for Ka. At that time the jeweled bangles on Her hands were circling around, and She was also chanting the holy name of Ka. All of a sudden She thought, I am chanting the holy name of Ka, and My superiorsMy mother-in-law and My sister-in-lawmay hear Me! By this thought Rdhr became overanxious. This is an instance of feeling guilty because of devotion to Ka.

One day the beautiful-eyed rmat Rdhr entered into the forest to collect some flowers to prepare a garland for Ka. While collecting the flowers, She became afraid that someone might see Her, and She felt some fatigue and weakness. This is an instance of guilty feelings caused by labor for Ka.

There is a statement in Rasa-sudhkara that after passing the night with Ka, Rdhr became so weak that She was unable to get up from bed. When Ka took Her hand to help Her, Rdhr felt guilty about having passed the night with Him.


One feels fatigue after walking a long distance, after dancing and after sexual activity. In this kind of fatigue there is dizziness, perspiration, inactivity of the limbs, yawning and very heavy breathing.

One day Yaod was chasing Ka in the yard after He had offended her. After a while, Yaod became very fatigued, and therefore she was perspiring, and her bunched hair became loosened. This is an instance of becoming fatigued because of working too much.

Sometimes all of the cowherd friends of Ka, along with Balarma, danced together in some ceremony. At these times the garlands on their necks would move, and the boys would begin to perspire. Their whole bodies became wet from their ecstatic dancing. This is an instance of fatigue caused by dancing.

In rmad-Bhgavatam, Tenth Canto, Thirty-third Chapter, verse 20, it is said that after enjoying love affairs with Ka by dancing, embracing and kissing, the gops would sometimes become very tired, and Ka, out of His causeless mercy and compassion, would smear their faces with His lotus hands. This is an example of fatigue caused by laboring in the rsa dance.


When one becomes arrogant with false prestige due to drinking intoxicants or being too lustful, the voice becomes faulty, the eyes become swollen, and there are symptoms of redness on the body. There is a statement in the Lalita-mdhava that Lord Baladeva, intoxicated from drinking excessive quantities of honey, once began to address the ants, O you kings of the ants! Why are you hiding yourselves in these holes? At the same time He also addressed the King of heaven, O King Indra! You plaything of ac! Why are you laughing? I am now prepared to smash the whole universe, and I know that Ka will not be angry with Me.[x]* Then He addressed Ka, My dear Ka, tell Me immediately why the whole world is trembling and why the moon has become elongated! And O you members of the Yadu dynasty, why are you laughing at Me? Please give Me back My liquors made of honey from the kadamba flower! rla Rpa Gosvm prays that Lord Balarma will be pleased with all of us while He is thus talking just like an intoxicated person.

In this state of intoxication, Balarma felt tired and lay down for rest. Generally, those who are exalted personalities lie down when they feel intoxicated, whereas those who are mediocre laugh and sing during intoxication, and those who are lowly use vulgar language and sometimes cry. Such intoxication is manifested according to different ages and mentalities. rla Rpa Gosvm does not describe further in this direction because there is no necessity for such a discussion.

There is another description of the symptoms of intoxication in the person of r Rdhr after She saw Ka. Sometimes She was walking hither and thither, sometimes She was laughing, sometimes She was covering Her face, sometimes She was talking without any meaning, and sometimes She was praying to Her associate gops. Seeing these symptoms in Rdhr, the gops began to talk among themselves: Just see how Rdhr has become intoxicated simply by seeing Ka before Her! This is an instance of ecstatic love in intoxication.


Expressions of ecstatic love in pride may be the result of excessive wealth, exquisite beauty, a first-class residence or the attainment of ones ideal goal. One is also considered proud when he does not care about the neglect of others.

Bilvamagala hkura said, My dear Ka, You are leaving me, forcibly getting out of my clutches. But I shall be impressed by Your strength only when You can go forcibly from the core of my heart. This is an instance of feeling pride in ecstatic love for Ka.

Once during the rsa dance, when Rdhr left the arena and Ka went to seek Her out, one of the dear friends of Rdhr addressed Ka thus: My dear Ka, You have been very much obliging in serving the form of our r Rdhr, and now You have left all the other gops to search for Her. Please allow me to inquire how You want Her to treat You. This is an instance of feeling pride on account of exquisite beauty.

Sometimes Rdhr felt pride within Herself and said, Although the cowherd boys prepare nice flower garlands for Ka, when I present My garland to Him, He becomes struck with wonder and immediately accepts it and puts it on His heart.

Similarly, in the Tenth Canto, Second Chapter, verse 33, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Lord Brahm says, My dear Madhusdana, persons who are pure devotees of Your Lordship actually feel Your ecstatic friendship, and as such they are never vanquished by enemies. They know they are always protected by You, and so they can matter-of-factly pass over the heads of their enemies without any care. In other words, one who has taken complete shelter under the lotus feet of the Lord is always proud of being able to conquer all enemies.

One weaver at Mathur addressed Ka in this way: My dear King of Vndvana, I have become so proud of Your causeless mercy upon me that I do not even count upon the mercy of the Lord of Vaikuha, which is sought after by many great sages in deep meditation. In other words, although the yogs and great sages sit in meditation upon Lord Viu, who is residing in Vaikuha, a devotee of Ka is so proud that he does not consider such meditation to be very valuable. This feeling of pride is due to ones having achieved the highest goal of lifeKa.


After Lord Brahm had stolen all of the calves, cows and cowherd boys from Ka, he was trying to go away. But all of a sudden he became doubtful about his stealing affairs and began to watch on all sides with his eight eyes. Lord Brahm has four heads, and therefore he has eight eyes. This is an instance of ecstatic love in doubt, caused by stealing.

Similarly, just to please Ka, Akrra stole the Syamantaka mai, a stone which can produce unlimited quantities of gold, but later on he repented his stealing. This is another instance of ecstatic love for Ka in doubt caused by stealing.

When the King of heaven, Indra, was causing torrents of rain to fall on the land of Vraja, he was advised to surrender himself at the lotus feet of Ka. At that time Indras face became very dark because of doubt.


When a person becomes disturbed in his heart by seeing lightning in the sky, by seeing a ferocious animal or by hearing a tumultuous sound, his state of mind is called apprehensive. In such a state of apprehension, one tries to take shelter of something which provides safety. There may be standing of the hairs on the body, trembling of the body and sometimes the committing of mistakes. And sometimes the body may become stunned.

In the Padyval there is the following statement: My dear friend, Kas residence in the demoniac circle at Mathur, under the supremacy of the king of demons, Kasa, is causing me much worry. This is one instance of apprehending some danger to Ka in ecstatic love for Him.

When Vsura appeared in Vndvana as a bull, all of the gops became greatly affected with fear. Being perturbed in that way, they began to embrace the tamla trees. This is an instance of fear caused by a ferocious animal and of the search for shelter while remembering Ka in ecstatic love. Upon hearing the jackals crying in the forest of Vndvana, mother Yaod sometimes became very careful about keeping Ka under her vigilance, fearing that Ka might be attacked by them. This is an instance of ecstatic love for Ka in fear caused by a tumultuous sound. This kind of fear is a little different from being actually afraid. When one is afraid of something, he can still think of past and future. But when there is this kind of ecstatic apprehension, there is no scope for such thinking.

Intense Emotion

Emotion is caused by something very dear, by something very detestable, by fire, by strong wind, by strong rainfall, by some natural disturbance, by the sight of a big elephant or by the sight of an enemy. When there is emotion caused by seeing something very dear, one can speak very swiftly and use kind words. When there is emotion caused by seeing something detestable, one cries very loudly. When there is emotion caused by seeing fire, one tries to flee. There may also be trembling of the body, closing of the eyes and tears in the eyes. When one becomes emotional on account of a strong wind, one tries to run very swiftly and rubs his eyes. When one is emotional because of rainfall, one takes an umbrella, and there is tension in his body. When there is emotion due to a sudden disturbance, ones face becomes discolored, one becomes struck with wonder, and there is trembling of the body. If there is emotion from seeing an elephant, one may jump and show various signs of fear, and sometimes one may keep looking behind him. When there is emotion due to the presence of an enemy, one looks for a fatal weapon and tries to escape.

When Ka returned from the forest of Vndvana, mother Yaod was so emotional from seeing her son that milk began to flow from her breasts. This is an instance of emotion caused by seeing a dear object.

In the Tenth Canto, Twenty-third Chapter, verse 18, of rmad-Bhgavatam, ukadeva Gosvm informs King Parkit, My dear King, the wives of the brhmaas were usually very much attached to the glorification of Ka, and they were always anxious to get an opportunity to see Him. Because of this, when they heard that Ka was nearby, they became very anxious to see Him and immediately left their homes. This is an instance of emotional activity caused by the presence of someone very dear.

When Ptan, the demoniac witch, was struck down and killed by Ka, mother Yaod was struck with wonder and began to cry emotionally, Oh, what is this? What is this? When she saw that her dear baby Ka was playing on the chest of the dead demoniac woman, mother Yaod, at a loss what to do, began to walk this way and that. This is an instance of being emotional on account of seeing something ghastly.

When Ka uprooted the two arjuna trees and Yaod heard the sound of the trees crashing down, she became overcome with emotion and simply stared upward, being too bewildered to know what else to do. This is an instance of being emotional from hearing a tumultuous sound.

When there was a forest fire in Vndvana, all the cowherd men assembled together and desperately appealed to Ka for protection. This is an instance of emotion caused by fire.

The whirlwind demon known as Tvarta once carried Ka off from the ground and blew Him around, along with some very big trees. At that time, mother Yaod could not see her son, and she was so disturbed that she began to walk this way and that. This is an instance of emotion caused by severe wind.

In the Tenth Canto, Twenty-fifth Chapter, verse 11, of rmad-Bhgavatam, there is a description of Indras causing severe torrents of rain at Vndvana. All the cows and cowherd boys became so afflicted by the wind and cold that they all gathered together to take shelter under the lotus feet of Ka. This is an instance of emotion caused by severe rainfall.

There were severe torrents of hail when Ka was staying in the forest of Vndvana, and the elderly persons bade Him, Ka, dont You move now! Even persons who are stronger and older than You cannot move, and You are just a little boy. So please stay still! This is an instance of emotion caused by heavy hailing.

When Ka was chastising Kliya in the poisonous water of the Yamun, mother Yaod began to speak emotionally: Oh, see how the earth appears to be trembling! There appears to be an earth tremor, and in the sky tears are flying here and there! My dear son has entered into the poisonous water of the Yamun. What shall I do now? This is an instance of emotion resulting from a natural disturbance.

In the arena of Kasa, when Ka was attacked by big elephants, all of the ladies present began to address Him in this way: My dear boyplease leave this place immediately! Please leave this place immediately! Dont You see the big elephants coming to attack You? Your innocent gazing upon them is causing us too much perturbation! Ka then told mother Yaod, My dear mother, dont be perturbed by the appearance of the elephants and horses that are so forcibly coming and raising dust, causing blindness to these lotus-eyed women. Let even the Ke demon come before Me; My arms will still be adequate for victory. So please dont be perturbed.

In the Lalita-mdhava, a friend tells mother Yaod, How wonderful it is that when the akhaca demonvast and strong as a great hillattacked your Cupid-like beautiful son, there was no one present in Vndvana to help. And yet the demon was killed by your little son. It appears to be due to the result of severe penances and austerities in your past lives that your son was saved in this way.

In the same Lalita-mdhava there is an account of Kas kidnapping Rukmi at her royal marriage ceremony. At that time all of the princes present began to converse among themselves, saying, We have our elephants, horses, chariots, bows, arrows and swords, so why should we be afraid of Ka? Let us attack Him! He is nothing but a lusty cowherd boy! He cannot take away the princess in this way! Let us all attack Him! This is an instance of emotion caused by the presence of enemies.

rla Rpa Gosvm is trying to prove by the above examples that in relationship with Ka there is no question of impersonalism. All personal activities are there in relationship with Ka.


rla Bilvamagala hkura prays in his book as follows: Let rmat Rdhr purify the whole world, because She has surrendered Herself completely unto Ka. Out of Her ecstatic love for Him, She sometimes acted just like an addled person and attempted to churn yogurt, although there was no yogurt in the pot. And seeing this, Ka became so enchanted by Rdhr that He began to milk a bull instead of a cow. These are some of the instances of insanity or madness in connection with the love affairs of Rdh and Ka. In rmad-Bhgavatam it is said that when Ka entered the poisonous waters of the Yamun, rmat Yaod-dev went insane. Instead of searching for curative herbs, she began to speak to the trees as if they were snake chanters. With folded hands she began to bow down to the trees, asking them, What is the medicinal herb which can check Kas dying from this poisonous water? This is an instance of insanity caused by some great danger.

How a devotee can be in a state of insanity because of ecstatic love is described in the Tenth Canto, Thirtieth Chapter, verse 4, of rmad-Bhgavatam, wherein the gops were searching for Ka in the forests of Vndvana. The gops were loudly singing the glories of Ka and wandering from one forest to another in search of Him. They knew that Ka is not localized, but all-pervading. He is in the sky, He is in the water, He is in the air, and He is the Supersoul in everyones heart. Thus the gops began to inquire from all kinds of trees and plants about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is an instance of ecstatic madness on the part of devotees.

Similarly, there are symptoms of diseases caused by ecstatic love. This condition is credited by learned scholars as being mahbhva. This highly elevated condition is also called divyonmda, or transcendental madness.


When Ka was absent from Vndvana and was staying in Mathur, rmat Rdhr sent news to Him that His mother, the Queen of Vraja, was feeling such separation from Him that there was foam coming from her mouth, like the foam on the shore of the ocean. And sometimes she was raising her arms like the waves of the ocean, and because of her intense feelings of separation, she was rolling on the ground and creating a tumultuous roaring sound. And sometimes she was remaining completely silent, like a calm sea. These symptoms of separation from Ka are called apasmra, or forgetfulness. One completely forgets his position when he manifests these symptoms in ecstatic love.

Another message was once sent to Ka informing Him that after He had killed Kasa, one of Kasas demon friends had gone insane. This demon was foaming at the mouth, waving his arms and rolling on the ground. This demoniac demonstration is in relationship with Ka in a ghastly humor. This mellow or flavor is one of the indirect relationships with Ka. The first five kinds of relationships are called direct, and the other seven are called indirect. Some way or other, the demon must have had some relationship with Ka, because these symptoms developed when he heard that Ka had already killed Kasa. rla Rpa Gosvm remarks that there is also transcendental excellence in this kind of symptom.


When Ka was absent from Vndvana and was staying at Mathur, some of His friends informed Him, Dear Ka, because of their separation from You, the inhabitants of Vraja are so afflicted that they appear to be diseased. Their bodies are feverish, and they cannot move properly. They are simply lying down on the ground and breathing heavily.

In the Tenth Canto, Twelfth Chapter, verse 44, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Mahrja Parkit asked about Lord Ananta, and upon hearing this question, ukadeva Gosvm began to show symptoms of collapsing. Yet he checked himself and answered King Parkits question in a mild voice. This collapsing condition is described as a feverish state resulting from ecstatic pleasure.

There is another statement in rmad-Bhgavatam telling of the damsels of Vraja meeting Ka at the sacred place of Kuruketra, many years after their childhood pastimes. When they met in that sacred place, all the gops became stunned by the occurrence of a solar eclipse. Their breathing, blinking of the eyes and all similar activities stopped, and they stood before Ka just like statues. This is another instance of a diseased condition resulting from exuberant transcendental pleasure.

NoD 30: Further Features of Ecstatic Love for Ka

Chapter Thirty

Further Features of Ecstatic Love for Ka


There is the following statement in the Hasadta: One day when rmat Rdhr was feeling much affliction because of Her separation from Ka, She went to the bank of the Yamun with some of Her friends. There Rdhr saw a cottage wherein She and Ka had experienced many loving pleasures, and by remembering those incidents She immediately became overcome with dizziness. This dizziness was very prominently visible. This is an instance of confusion caused by separation.

Similarly, there is a statement describing confusion caused by fearfulness. These symptoms were exhibited by Arjuna when he saw Kas universal form on the Battlefield of Kuruketra. His confusion was so strong that his bow and arrows fell from his hand and he could not perceive anything clearly.


Once the Baksura demon assumed the shape of a very big duck and opened his mouth in order to swallow Ka and all the cowherd boys. When Ka was entering into the demons mouth, Balarma and the other cowherd boys almost fainted and appeared as though they had no life. Even if devotees are illusioned by some ghastly scene or by any accidental occurrence, they never forget Ka. Even in the greatest danger they can remember Ka. This is the benefit of Ka consciousness: even at the time of death, when all the functions of the body become dislocated, the devotee can remember Ka in his innermost consciousness, and this saves him from falling down into material existence. In this way Ka consciousness immediately takes one from the material platform to the spiritual world.

In this connection there is a statement about persons who died at Mathur: These persons had a slight breathing exhilaration, their eyes were wide open, the colors of their bodies were changed, and they began to utter the holy name of Ka. In this condition they gave up their material bodies. These symptoms are prior manifestations of death.


When, because of self-satisfaction or dislike of excessive labor, a person does not perform his duty in spite of having the energy, he is called lazy. This laziness also is manifested in ecstatic love of Ka. For example, when some brhmaas were requested by Nanda Mahrja to circumambulate Govardhana Hill, they told him that they were more interested in offering benedictions than in circumambulating Govardhana Hill. This is an instance of laziness caused by self-satisfaction.

Once when Ka, along with His cowherd boyfriends, was having a mock battle, Subala showed the symptoms of fatigue. Ka immediately told His other friends, Subala is feeling too fatigued from mock-fighting with Me. So please do not disturb him any more by inviting him to fight. This is an instance of laziness caused by dislike of excessive labor.


In the Tenth Canto, Twenty-first Chapter, verse 13, of rmad-Bhgavatam, there is an appreciation by the gops of the inertia of the cows in Vndvana. The gops saw that the cows were hearing the sweet songs vibrated by Kas flute and were appearing to be drinking the nectar of these transcendental sounds. The calves were stunned, and they forgot to drink the milk from the milk bags. Their eyes seemed to be embracing Ka, and there were tears in their eyes. This is an instance of inertia resulting from hearing the transcendental vibrations of Kas flute.

When Lakma became disturbed upon hearing words against Ka, she remained inert and did not move her eyelids. This is another example of inertia caused by hearing.

In the Tenth Canto, Seventy-first Chapter, verse 39, of rmad-Bhgavatam, there is an account of King Yudhihiras bewilderment after his bringing Ka into his home with the greatest respect. King Yudhihira was very much bewildered because of his transcendental pleasure at having Ka present in his house. In fact, while receiving Ka, King Yudhihira forgot himself. This is an instance of inertia resulting from the ecstasy of seeing Ka.

There is another instance in the Tenth Canto, Thirty-ninth Chapter, verse 36, of rmad-Bhgavatam. When Ka was going to Mathur, all of the gops were standing behind Ka, and upon seeing the chariot leaving, they stood there stunned and did not move. They remained like that until the flag of the chariot and the dust thrown up by its wheels became invisible.

Ka was once addressed by His friend thus: My dear Mukunda [Ka], due to their being separated from You, the cowherd boys are standing just like neglected Deities in the house of a professional brhmaa. There is a class of professional brhmaas who take to Deity worship as a means of earning their livelihood. Brhmaas in this class are not very interested in the Deity; they are interested mainly in the money they can earn as holy men. So the Deities worshiped by such professional brhmaas are not properly decorated, Their dress is not changed, and Their bodies are not cleaned. They look dirty and are not very attractive. Actually, Deity worship should be done very carefully: the dress should be changed daily, and as far as possible there should be ornaments. Everything should be so clean that the Deity is attractive to all visitors. Here the example is given of the Deities in the house of a professional brhmaa because such Deities are not at all attractive. The friends of Ka, in the absence of Ka, were appearing like such neglected Deities.


When Rdhr was first introduced to Ka, She felt very bashful. One of Her friends addressed Her in this way: My dear friend, You have already sold Yourself and all Your beauty to Govinda. Now You should not be bashful. Please look upon Him cheerfully. One who has sold an elephant to another person should not make a miserly quarrel about selling the trident which controls the elephant. This kind of bashfulness is due to a new introduction in ecstatic love with Ka.

The heavenly King, Indra, upon being defeated in his fight with Ka for possession of the prijta flower, became very bashful because of his defeat. He was standing before Ka, bowing down his head, when Ka said, All right, Indra, you can take this prijta flower. Otherwise, you will not be able to show your face before your wife, acdev. Indras bashfulness was due to defeat. In another instance, Ka began to praise Uddhava for his various high qualifications. Upon being praised by Ka, Uddhava also bowed down his head bashfully.

In the Hari-vaa, Satyabhm, feeling slighted by Rukmis high position, said, My dear Ka, the Raivataka Mountain is always full of spring flowers, but when I have become persona non grata to You, what is the use of my observing them? This is an instance of bashfulness resulting from being defeated.


There is a symptom of ecstatic love known as concealment, or trying to hide ones real mental condition by externally showing another attitude. In this state of mind one tries to hide his mind by looking away in different directions, by unnecessarily trying for something which is impossible, or by using words which cover ones real thoughts. According to cryas expert in the study of psychological activities, these attempts at hiding ones real affections are another part of ecstatic feeling for Ka.

In the Tenth Canto, Thirty-second Chapter, verse 15, of rmad-Bhgavatam, ukadeva Gosvm states, My dear King, the gops were always beautiful and decorated with confidential smiles and alluring garments. In their movements, intended to give impetus to lusty feelings, they would sometimes press Kas hand on their laps, and sometimes they would keep His lotus feet on their breasts. After doing this, they would talk with Ka as if they were very angry with Him.

There is another instance of this concealment in ecstatic love. When Ka, the supreme joker, planted the prijta tree in the courtyard of Satyabhm, Rukmi, the daughter of King Vidarbha, became very angry, but due to her natural gentle behavior, she did not express anything. No one could understand Rukmis real mental condition. This is an instance of competitive concealment.

There is another instance in the First Canto, Eleventh Chapter, verse 32, of rmad-Bhgavatam. After entering Dvrak, Ka was received in different ways by different members of His family. Upon seeing their husband from a distance, the queens of Dvrak immediately embraced Him within their minds and slowly glanced over Him. As Ka came nearer, they pushed their sons forward to embrace Him. Others were trying, out of shyness, not to shed tears, but they still could not keep the tears from gliding down. This is an instance of concealment caused by shyness.

On another occasion, when rmat Rdhr thought that Ka was involved with another woman, She addressed Her friend in this manner: My dear friend, as soon as I think of Ka the cowherd boy attached to some other woman, I become stricken with fear, and the hairs on My body stand up. I must be very careful that Ka not see Me at such times. This is an instance of concealment caused by shyness and diplomatic behavior.

It has been stated, Although rmat Rdhr developed a deep loving affection for Ka, She hid Her attitude in the core of Her heart so that others could not detect Her actual condition. This is an instance of concealment caused by gentleness.

Once when Ka and His cowherd friends were enjoying friendly conversation, Ka began to address His associates in casual language. At that time Kas servant Patr was also enjoying the conversation. But then, remembering his position of servitude, Patr bowed down before his master, and with great respect and control, he stifled his smiling. This subdued smiling is an instance of concealment caused by a respectful attitude.


There are many symptoms of ecstatic love caused by remembering Ka. For example, one friend of Ka informed Him, My dear Mukunda, just after observing a bluish cloud in the sky, the lotus-eyed Rdhr immediately began to remember You. And simply by observing this cloud She became lusty for Your association. This is an instance of remembering Ka in ecstatic love because of seeing something resembling Him. Kas bodily complexion is very similar to the bluish hue of a cloud, so simply by observing a bluish cloud, rmat Rdhr remembered Him.

One devotee said that even when he was not very attentive he would sometimes, seemingly out of madness, remember the lotus feet of Ka within his heart. This is an instance of remembrance resulting from constant practice. In other words, devotees who are constantly thinking of the lotus feet of Ka, even if they are momentarily inattentive, will see the figure of Lord Ka appearing within their hearts.


Madhumagala was an intimate friend of Ka coming from the brhmaa community. Kas friends were mostly cowherd boys belonging to the vaiya community, but there were others who belonged to the brhmaa community. Actually, in Vndvana the vaiya community and the brhmaa community are considered prominent. This Madhumagala one day addressed Ka in this fashion: My dear friend, I can see that You are not aware of the peacock feathers that are falling on the ground, and at the same time You are unmindful of the flower garlands which are offered to You. I think I can guess the reason for Your absentmindedness when I see Your two eyes flying over to the eyes of rmat Rdhr, just like black drones flying to lotus flowers. This is an instance of an argumentative suggestion in ecstatic love.

Once while Ka was out walking, one of the associates of Rdhr told Her, My dear friend, do You think that this walking personality is a [xi]tamla tree? If He is a tamla tree, then how is it possible for Him to walk and be so beautiful? Then, this personality might be a cloud. But if Hes a cloud, then where is the beautiful moon within? Under the circumstances, I think it may be granted that this person is the same enchanting Personality of Godhead by whose flute vibration the three worlds are captivated. He must be the same Mukunda who is standing before Govardhana Hill. This is another instance of an argumentative presentation of ecstatic love.


In the Tenth Canto, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verse 29, of rmad-Bhgavatam, when Ka asked all the gops to go back to their homes, they did not like it. Because of their grief at this, they were sighing heavily, and their beautiful faces appeared to be drying up. In this condition they remained, without making a sound. They began to draw lines on the ground with their toes, and with their tears they washed the black ointment from their eyes onto their breasts, which were covered with red kukum powder. This is an instance of anxiety in ecstatic love.

One of the friends of Ka once informed Him, My dear killer of the demon Mura, Your kind and gentle mother is very anxious because You have not returned home, and with great difficulty she has passed the evening constantly sitting on the balcony of Your home. It is certainly astonishing how You could forget Your mother while You are off somewhere engaged in Your playful activities! This is another instance of deep anxiety in ecstatic love.

When mother Yaod was very anxiously waiting for Ka to return from Mathur, Mahrja Nanda gave her this solace: My dear Yaod, please dont be worried. Please dry your beautiful lotuslike face. There is no need for you to breathe so hotly. I will go immediately with Akrra to the palace of Kasa and get your son back for you. Here is an instance of anxiety in ecstatic love caused by Kas awkward position.


In the Vaikha-mhtmya section of the Padma Pura a devotee states that though in some of the eighteen Puras the process of glorifying Lord Viu is not mentioned and the glorifying of some demigod is offered, such glorification must be continued for millions of years. For when one studies the Puras very scrutinizingly, he can see that ultimately Lord Viu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is an instance of ecstatic love developed out of thoughtfulness.

In the Tenth Canto, Sixtieth Chapter, verse 39, of rmad-Bhgavatam, there is an account of Rukmidevs writing a letter to Ka requesting Him to kidnap her before her marriage to another person. At that time the specific attachment of Rukmi for Ka was expressed by Rukmi as follows: My dear Lord Ka, Your transcendental glories are chanted by great sages who are free from material contamination, and in exchange for such glorification You are so kind that You freely distribute Yourself to such devotees. As one can elevate oneself simply by Your grace, so also by Your direction alone one may be lost to all benedictions, under the influence of eternal time. Therefore I have selected Your Lordship as my husband, brushing aside personalities like Brahm and Indranot to mention others. Rukmi enhanced her love for Ka simply by thinking of Him. This is an instance of thoughtfulness in ecstatic love.


When a person is fully satisfied due to attaining knowledge, transcending all distress or achieving his desired goal of life in transcendental devotional service to God, his state of endurance or steady-mindedness is called dhti. At this stage one is not perturbed by any amount of loss, nor does anything appear to be unachieved by him.

According to the opinion of Bharthari, a learned scholar, when a person is elevated to this state of endurance, he thinks as follows: I do not wish to be a highly posted government servant. I shall prefer to remain naked, without proper garments. I shall prefer to lie down on the ground without any mattress. And despite all these disadvantages, I shall refuse to serve anyone, even the government. In other words, when one is in ecstatic love with the Personality of Godhead, he can endure any kind of disadvantages calculated under the material concept of life.

Nanda Mahrja, the father of Ka, used to think, In my pasturing ground the goddess of fortune is personally present, and I possess more than ten hundred thousand cows, which loiter here and there. And above all, I have a son like Ka, who is such a powerful, wonderful worker. Therefore, even though I am a householder, I am feeling so satisfied! This is an instance of mental endurance resulting from the absence of all distress.

In another instance a devotee says, I am always swimming in the nectarean ocean of the pastimes of the Personality of Godhead, and as such I have no more attraction for religious rituals, economic development, sense gratification or even the ultimate salvation of merging into the existence of Brahman. This is an instance of the minds endurance due to achieving the best thing in the world. The best thing in the world is absorption in Ka consciousness.


It is described in the Viu Pura that when Akrra came to take Ka and Balarma to Mathur, just by seeing Their faces he became so cheerful that all over his body there were symptoms of ecstatic love. This state is called happiness.

It is stated in the Tenth Canto, Thirty-third Chapter, verse 11, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Upon seeing that Kas arm was placed on her shoulder, one of the gops engaged in the rsa dance became so ecstatically happy that she kissed Ka on His cheek. This is an instance of feeling happiness because of achieving a desired goal.


In the Tenth Canto, Seventy-first Chapter, verse 33, of rmad-Bhgavatam, it is said, When Ka first came from His kingdom, Dvrak, to [xii]Indraprastha, the young females of the city became so eager to see Him that even at night, when they were lying down with their husbands, they could not restrain their eagerness. Even though they were not properly dressed and although their hair was loose and there were many household duties to perform, they still gave up everything and immediately went into the street to see Ka. This is an instance of eagerness in ecstatic love.

In his book Stavval, r Raghuntha dsa Gosvm has prayed for the mercy of Rdhr, who was so captivated by the flute vibrations of Ka that She immediately asked information of His whereabouts from residents in the Vndvana forest. Upon first seeing Ka, She was filled with such ecstatic love and pleasure that She began to scratch Her ears. The damsels of Vraja and Rdhr were very expert in talking cunningly, so as soon as they saw Ka they began their talkings; and Ka, pretending to go for some flowers for them, immediately left that place and entered into a mountain cave. This is another instance of eager loving exchanges on the parts of both the gops and Ka.


When Ka was fighting with the Kliya snake by dancing on his heads, Kliya bit Ka on the leg. At that time Garua became infuriated and began to murmur, Ka is so powerful that simply by His thundering voice the wives of Kliya have had miscarriages. Because my Lord has been insulted by this snake, I wish to devour him immediately, but I cannot do so in the presence of my Lord, because He may become angry with me. This is an instance of eagerness to act in ecstatic love as a result of dishonor to Ka.

When iupla objected to the worship of Ka in the Rjasya arena at a sacrifice organized by Mahrja Yudhihira, Sahadeva, the younger brother of Arjuna, said, A person who cannot tolerate the worship of Ka is my enemy and is possessed of a demoniac nature. Therefore I wish to strike my left foot upon his broad head, just to punish him more strongly than the wand of Yamarja! Then Baladeva began to lament like this: Oh, all auspiciousness to Lord Ka! I am so surprised to see that the condemned descendants of the Kuru dynasty, who so unlawfully occupied the throne of the Kuru kingdom, are criticizing Ka with diplomatic devices. Oh, this is intolerable! This is another instance of eagerness caused by dishonor to Ka.

Haughtiness, Resulting in Dishonorable Words

In the Vidagdha-mdhava, Jail, the mother-in-law of Rdhr, began to criticize Ka in this way: Ka, You are standing here, and Rdhr, who has just been married to my son, is also standing here. Now I know both of You very well, so why should I not be very anxious to protect my daughter-in-law from Your dancing eyes? This is an instance of dishonorable words used to indirectly criticize Ka.

Similarly, some of the gops once began to address Ka with these dishonorable words: My dear Ka, You are a first-class thief. So please leave this place immediately. We know You love Candrval more than us, but there is no use in praising her in our presence! Kindly do not contaminate the name of Rdhr in this place! This is another instance of dishonorable words cast upon Ka in ecstatic love.

There is another statement in the Tenth Canto, Thirty-first Chapter, verse 16, of rmad-Bhgavatam. When all the gops came out of their homes to meet Ka in the Vndvana forest, Ka refused to accept them and asked them to go home, giving them some moral instruction. At that time the gops spoke as follows: Dear Ka, there is extreme distress in being out of Your presence, and there is extreme happiness simply in seeing You. Therefore we have all left our husbands, relatives, brothers and friends and have simply come to You, being captivated by the sound of Your transcendental flute. O infallible one, You had better know the reason for our coming here. In plain words, we are here simply because we have been captivated by the sweet sound of Your flute. We are all beautiful girls, and You are so foolish that You are rejecting our association. We do not know anyone, other than Yourself, who would miss this opportunity to associate with young girls in the dead of night! This is another instance of indirect insults used against Ka in ecstatic love.


In the Padyval, one of the friends of Rdhr once addressed Her thus: My dear friend, please do not be too puffed up because Ka has decorated Your forehead with His own hand. It may be that Ka is yet attracted by some other beautiful girl. I see that the decoration on Your forehead is very nicely made, and so it appears that Ka was not too disturbed in painting it. Otherwise, He could not have painted such exact lines! This is an instance of envy caused by Rdhs good fortune.

In the Tenth Canto, Thirtieth Chapter, verse 30, of rmad-Bhgavatam, there is the following statement: When the gops were searching for Ka and Rdh after the rsa dance, they thus began to speak among themselves: We have seen the footprints of Ka and Rdh on the ground of Vndvana, and they are giving us great pain, because although Ka is everything to us, that girl is so cunning that She has taken Him away alone and is enjoying His kissing without sharing Him with us! This is another instance of envy of the good fortune of rmat Rdhr.

Sometimes when the cowherd boys used to play in the forests of Vndvana, Ka would play on one side, and Balarma would play on another. There would be competition and mock fighting between the two parties, and when Kas party was defeated by Balarma, the boys would say, If Balarmas party remains victorious, then who in the world can be weaker than ourselves? This is another instance of envy in ecstatic love.


In the Tenth Canto, Fifty-second Chapter, verse 41, of rmad-Bhgavatam, Rukmi addresses a letter to Ka as follows: My dear unconquerable Ka, my marriage day is fixed for tomorrow. I request that You come to the city of Vidarbha without advertising Yourself. Then have Your soldiers and commanders suddenly surround and defeat all the strength of the King of Magadha, and by thus adopting the methods of the demons, please kidnap and marry me.

According to the Vedic system there are eight kinds of marriages, one of which is called rkasa-vivha. Rkasa-vivha refers to kidnapping a girl and marrying her by force. This is considered to be a demoniac method. When Rukmi was going to be married to iupla by the choice of her elder brother, she wrote the above letter to Ka requesting Him to kidnap her. This is an instance of impudence in ecstatic love for Ka.

One of the gops said, May Kas sweet flute be washed away by the waves of the Yamun, and let it fall into the ocean! The sweet sound of that flute is so impudent that it makes us lose all composure before our superiors.


Every evening at sunset Ka used to return from the pasturing ground where He herded cows. Sometimes when mother Yaod could not hear the sweet vibration of His flute she would become very anxious, and because of this she would feel dizzy. Thus, dizziness caused by anxiety in ecstatic love for Ka is also possible.

When Yaod had tied Ka up one time, she began to think, Kas body is so soft and delicate. How could I have tied Him with rope? Thinking this, her brain became puzzled, and she felt dizziness.

The gops were advised by their superiors to bolt the doors at night, but they were so carefree that they did not carry out this order very rigidly. Sometimes, by thinking of Ka, they became so confident of being out of all danger that they would lie down at night in the courtyards of their houses. This is an instance of dizziness in ecstatic love due to natural affection for Ka.

It may be questioned why devotees of Ka should be attacked by dizziness, which is usually considered a sign of the mode of ignorance. To answer this question, r Jva Gosvm has said that the devotees of Lord Ka are always transcendental to all the modes of material nature; when they feel dizziness or go to sleep, they are not considered to be sleeping under the modes of nature, but are accepted as being in a trance of devotional service. There is an authoritative statement in the Garua Pura about mystic yogs who are under the direct shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead: In all three stages of their consciousnessnamely wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleepthe devotees are absorbed in thought of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, in their complete absorption in thought of Ka, they do not sleep.


Once Lord Baladeva began to talk in His sleep as follows:O lotus-eyed Ka, Your childhood adventures are manifest simply according to Your own will. Therefore, please immediately dispose of the stubborn pride of this Kliya serpent. By saying this, Lord Baladeva astonished the assembly of the Yadus and made them laugh for some time. Then, yawning so hard as to make ripples on His abdomen, Lord Baladeva, the bearer of the plow, returned to His deep sleep. This is an instance of sleepiness in ecstatic love.


A devotee once stated, I have already conquered the mode of ignorance, and I am now on the platform of transcendental knowledge. Therefore I shall be engaged only in searching after the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is an instance of alertness in ecstatic love. Transcendental alertness is possible when the illusory condition is completely overcome. At that stage, when in contact with any reaction of material elements, such as sound, smell, touch or taste, the devotee realizes the transcendental presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this condition the ecstatic symptoms (e.g., standing of the hair on the body, rolling of the eyeballs and getting up from sleep) are persistently visible.

When rmat Rdhr first saw Ka, She suddenly became conscious of all transcendental happiness, and the functions of Her different limbs were stunned. When Lalit, Her constant companion, whispered into Her ear the holy name of Ka, Rdhr immediately opened Her eyes wide. This is an instance of alertness caused by hearing the sound of Kas name.

One day, in a joking mood, Ka informed Rdhr, My dear Rdhr, I am going to give up Your company. Upon saying this, He immediately disappeared, and because of this Rdhr became so afflicted that the hue of Her body changed, and She immediately fell down upon the ground of Vndvana. She had practically stopped breathing, but when She smelled the flavor of the flowers on the ground, She awoke in ecstasy and got up. This is an instance of transcendental alertness caused by smelling.

When Ka was touching the body of one gop, the gop addressed her companion thus: My dear friend, whose hand is this touching my body? I had become very afraid after seeing the dark forest on the bank of the Yamun, but suddenly the touch of this hand has saved me from hysterical fits. This is an instance of alertness caused by touching.

One of the gops informed Ka, My dear Ka, when You disappeared from the arena of the rsa dance, our most dear friend, Rdhr, immediately fell on the ground and lost consciousness. But after this, when I offered Her some of Your chewed betel nut remnants, She immediately returned to consciousness with jubilant symptoms in Her body. This is an instance of alertness caused by tasting.

One night rmat Rdhr was talking in a dream. My dear Ka, She said, please do not play any more jokes on Me! Please stop! And please dont touch My garments either. Otherwise I shall inform the elderly persons, and I shall disclose all of Your naughty behavior. While She was talking like this in a dream, She suddenly awoke and saw some of Her superiors standing before Her. Thus Rdhr became ashamed and bowed Her head. This is an instance of alertness after awakening from sleep.

There is another instance of this. A messenger from Ka came to rmat Rdhr while She was sleeping, and Rdhr immediately awakened. Similarly, when Ka began to blow on His flute in the night, all of the gops, the beautiful daughters of the cowherd men, immediately got up from their sleep. There is a very beautiful comparison made in this connection: The lotus flower is sometimes surrounded by white swans, and sometimes it is surrounded by black wasps who are collecting its honey. When there is a thundering in the sky, the swans go away, but the black wasps stay to enjoy the lotus flowers. The gops sleeping condition is compared to the white swans, and the sound of Kas flute is compared to a black wasp. When Kas flute sounded, the white swans, which represent the sleeping condition of the gops, were immediately vanquished, and the black wasp sound of the flute began to enjoy the lotus flower of the gops beauty.

NoD 31: Additional Symptoms

Chapter Thirty-one

Additional Symptoms

All the previously mentioned thirty-three symptoms of ecstatic love are called vyabhicr, or disturbing. All these symptoms refer to apparently disturbed conditions, but even in such disturbed conditions there is acute ecstatic love for Ka. These symptoms, however, can be divided into three groups: first class, second class and third. There are many disturbing symptoms in ecstatic love, such as envy, anxiety, pride, jealousy, conclusion, cowardliness, forgiveness, impatience, hankering, regret, doubtfulness and impudence. These are included in the thirty-three conditions of ecstatic love. rla Rpa Gosvm has very nicely analyzed the different kinds of disturbing symptoms, and although it is very difficult to find the exact English equivalents for many Sanskrit words used here, his analysis will now be presented.

When one becomes malicious upon seeing anothers advancement of life, his state of mind is generally called envy. When one becomes frightened at seeing a lightning bolt in the sky, that fearfulness brings on anxiety. Therefore, fearfulness and anxiety may be taken as one. Ones desire to hide his real mentality is called avahitth, or concealment, and a desire to exhibit superiority is called pride. Both of these may be classified under pretension. In a pretentious attitude both avahitth and pride are to be found. Ones inability to tolerate an offense committed by another is called amara, and ones inability to tolerate the opulence of another is called jealousy. Jealousy and amara are both caused by intolerance. Ones ability to establish the correct import of a word may be called conclusiveness. And before such a conclusive determination of import, there must be thoughtful consideration. Therefore, the act of consideration is present during the establishment of a conclusion. When one presents himself as ignorant, his attitude is called humility, and when there is absence of enthusiasm it is called cowardice. Therefore, in humility, there is sometimes cowardice also. When the mind is steadfast it is called enduring, and ones ability to tolerate others offenses is also called endurance. Therefore, forgiveness and endurance can be synonymous. Anxiousness for time to pass is called impatience, and when one sees something wonderful one is said to be struck with wonder. Impatience may be caused by being struck with wonder, and so impatience and being struck with wonder can be synonymous. When anxiety is in its dormant stage it is called hankering. Therefore, anxiety and hankering can also be synonymous. When one becomes regretful for some offense, his feeling is called bashfulness. In this way, bashfulness and regret can be synonymous. Doubtfulness is one of the aspects of argument. After exhibiting impudence one becomes restless. Therefore restlessness and impudence can be synonymous.

When all such symptoms are included in ecstatic love, they are called sacr, or continuously existing ecstatic symptoms. All of these symptoms are transcendental, and they are exhibited in different ways, acting and interacting under different conditions. They are like the reciprocation of love between the lover and beloved.

When a person is envious or defamed, there may be a change in the color of the body. This may be classified as vibhva, or subecstasy. Sometimes illusion, collapse and strong anxiety are also considered to be vibhva. When there are many such symptoms, they can simply be grouped together under ecstatic love.

rla Rpa Gosvm says that fright, sleep, fatigue, laziness and the madness of intoxication are sometimes grouped under continuous symptoms of ecstatic love, and they are due to a strong attraction.

False argument, determination, steadiness, remembrance, joyfulness, ignorance, humility and unconsciousness are also different symptoms of ecstatic love. Dependence is also grouped under ecstatic love, and this can be divided into superior dependence and inferior dependence. The direct differentiations between superior and inferior dependence are ascertained by Rpa Gosvm and will be presented in due course.

One devotee exclaimed, Oh, I cannot see the district of Mathur! Even though by simply hearing the name of Mathur the hairs of my body are standing up, I cannot see the place. So of what use are my eyes? This statement reveals a strong anxiety to see the district of Mathur resulting from a strong attachment to Ka. There is another instance of this strong attachment for Ka expressed by Bhma when he began to murmur, My arms are just like thunderbolts, but despite these arms I could not smash iupla while he was blaspheming Ka. Therefore, of what use are these strong arms? In this instance Bhma became angry, and being influenced by such anger, his hopelessness became a cause for strong attachment to Ka. This instance can be described as strong attachment for Ka in anger.

When Arjuna witnessed the universal form of Ka, whose dazzling teeth were practically devouring the very existence of the universe, Arjunas mouth became dried up. At that time Arjuna forgot himself and could not understand that he was Arjuna, Kas friend, although he was always dependent upon Kas mercy. This incident is an example of inferior dependence.

Sometimes ghastly activities also support strong ecstatic love for Ka. This state of mind is called ecstatic fearfulness under illusion. In the Tenth Canto, Twenty-third Chapter, verse 40, of rmad-Bhgavatam, there is the following statement by the brhmaas who were performing sacrifices: We have all been born into three advantageous conditions: we are in high brhmaa families, we have ceremoniously received the sacred thread, and we are also properly initiated by a spiritual master. But, alas, in spite of all these advantages, we are condemned. Even our observance of brahmacarya is condemned. The brhmaas thus began to condemn their own activities. They realized that in spite of being so elevated by birth, education and culture, they still were under the spell of the illusory energy. They also admitted that even great yogs who are not devotees of the Lord are covered by the influence of material energy. This kind of hopelessness felt by the brhmaas who were performing ritualistic ceremonies shows practically no attachment for Ka. There is another hopelessness, however, which shows attachment for Ka. When the bull demon attacked the damsels of Vraja, they began to cry out, Dear Kaplease save us! We are now gone! This is hopelessness with attachment for Ka.

When the Ke demon was assassinated by Ka, Kasa became hopeless. He said, Ke-daitya was as dear to me as my own life, but he has been killed by some cowherd boy who is crude, uneducated and ignorant in fighting. Even though I have defeated the King of heaven without difficulty, still I do not know the value of life. Because this hopelessness has a slight touch of attraction for Ka, it is considered to be a reflection of ecstatic love in hopelessness.

Kasa once rebuked Akrra by saying, You are such a fool that you are accepting a cowherd boy to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead simply because He has defeated some harmless water snake! The boy may have lifted one pebble called Govardhana Hill, but what is more surprising than that is your statement that this boy is the Personality of Godhead! This is an instance of a maliciously opposing element, caused by hopelessness in ecstatic love for Ka.

One devotee tried to console a kadamba tree when the tree was lamenting because Ka had not touched even its shadow. The devotee said, My dear kadamba tree, do not be worried. Just after defeating the Kliya snake in the Yamun River, Ka will come and satisfy your desire. This is an instance of inappropriate hopelessness in ecstatic love for Ka.

Garua the eagle, the carrier of Viu, once said, Who can be more pure than I? Where is there a second bird like me, so able and competent? Ka may not like me, He may not wish to join my party, but still He has to take advantage of my wings! This is an instance of hopelessness in the neutral mood of ecstatic love.

The symptoms of ecstatic love are sometimes grouped under four headingsnamely generation, conjunction, aggregation and satisfaction.

Ka once told Rdhr, My dear friend, when You tried to meet Me alone in the morning, Your friend Mekhal remained hungry with envy. Just look at her! When Ka was joking with Rdhr in this way, Rdhr moved Her beautiful eyebrows crossly. Rpa Gosvm prays that everyone may become blessed by this movement of rmat Rdhrs eyebrows. This is an instance of the generation of malice in ecstatic love of Ka.

One night, after the Ptan demon had been killed, baby Ka could be seen playing upon her breast. Upon seeing this, Yaod became stunned for some time. This is an example of a conjunction of various symptoms of ecstatic love. The conjunction can be auspicious or inauspicious. That the Ptan demon had been killed was auspicious, but that Ka was playing on her breast in the dead of night, with no one to help Him in case of trouble, was inauspicious. Yaod was caught between auspiciousness and inauspiciousness.

After Ka had just learned to walk, He was going in and out of the house very frequently. Yaod became surprised and said, This child is too restless and cannot be controlled! He is incessantly going about the neighborhood of Gokula [Vndvana], and then He is coming back inside the house. I see that the child is very fearless, but in spite of His fearlessness, I am becoming more and more afraid of His falling into some danger. This again is an instance of the conjunction of two opposing elements: the child was very fearless, but at the same time Yaod was becoming fearful of some danger. Here danger is the cause, and Yaods feelings are in a conjunction of two opposing symptoms. In other words, Yaod was feeling both happiness and doubt, or growing fear.

When Devak, the mother of Ka, saw her son very jubilant in the presence of the wrestlers in Kasas arena, two kinds of tears were simultaneously gliding down her cheeks: sometimes her tears were warm, and sometimes they were cold. This is an instance of a conjunction of jubilation and lamentation due to different causes of ecstatic love.

Once when rmat Rdhr was standing on the bank of the Yamun River in the forest of Vndvana, She was attacked by Ka, who was stronger than She. Although She externally expressed a disturbed mood from this incident, within Herself She was smiling and feeling great satisfaction. Externally She moved Her eyebrows and made a show of rejecting Ka. In this mood Rdhr looked very beautiful, and rla Rpa Gosvm glorifies Her beauty. This is an instance of exhibiting varying feelings in ecstatic love, although the cause is one onlyKa.

Sometimes there were great festivals in the house of Nanda Mahrja, and all of the inhabitants of Vndvana would assemble for these festivals. During one such festival, rmat Rdhr was seen wearing a golden necklace given Her by Ka. This was immediately detected by mother Yaod as well as by Rdhrs mother, because the necklace was too long for Rdhrs neck. At the same time Rdhr could see Ka nearby, as well as Her own husband, Abhimanyu. So all of these things combined to make Rdhr feel very much ashamed, and with Her face shriveled She began to look very beautiful. In this case there was a combination of bashfulness, anger, jubilation and lamentation. This is an instance of an aggregate of symptoms of ecstatic love.

Kasa once said, What harm can this boy do to me? He has no power. The next moment Kasa was informed that all of his friends had been killed by the boy. Then Kasa began to think in perplexity, Shall I go immediately and surrender unto Him? But how can a great warrior do this? The next moment he thought, Why should I be afraid of Him? There are still so many wrestlers standing to support me. But the next moment he began to consider, The boy is certainly not common, because He has lifted Govardhana Hill with His left hand. So what can I do in this connection? Let me go to Vndvana and inflict pains on all the residents there. But still I cannot even go out, because my heart is trembling from fear of this boy! This condition of Kasas mind reveals an instance of pride, lamentation, humility, determination, remembrance, doubtfulness, anger and fear. Actually eight different symptoms comprised the mental condition of Kasa. This is another instance of an aggregate of symptoms in hopeless ecstatic love.

One householder devotee once said, My Lord, I am so wretched that these two eyes are never desiring to see the glorious city of Mathur. Therefore, my eyes are actually condemned. I am nicely educated, but my education has simply been used in government service. I have not considered formidable time, stronger than anything else, which creates and annihilates everything. To whom shall I leave all of my wealth and fortune? I am becoming older and older. What shall I do? Shall I execute devotional service from here at home? This I cannot do, because my mind is being attracted by the transcendental land of Vndvana.

This is an instance of hopelessness, pride, doubt, patience, lamentation, determination and eagernessan aggregation of seven different symptoms in ecstatic love for Ka.

There is a proverb in Sanskrit which says, Disappointment gives rise to the greatest satisfaction. In other words, when ones sentiment or ambition becomes too great and is not fulfilled until after seemingly hopeless tribulation, that is taken as the greatest satisfaction. Once the cowherd boys in Vndvana were vainly searching after Ka for a long time, and for that reason their faces became blackened, and their complexions appeared faded. Just then they could hear on the hill a faint vibration from Kas flute. Immediately all of them became very much gladdened. This is an instance of satisfaction in the midst of disappointment.

rla Rpa Gosvm says that although he has no expert knowledge about the sounds and meanings and mellows of the symptoms of ecstatic love, he has tried to give some examples of different varieties of love of Ka. He further states that the thirty-three disturbing symptoms of ecstatic love, plus eight other symptoms, all taken together equal forty-one primary symptoms of ecstatic love. These symptoms create transformations of bodily activities as well as movements of the senses. All of them can be accepted as different feelings of the heart. Sometimes some of the feelings are quite natural. Sometimes some of the feelings are just temporary appearances. Those symptoms which are very natural always remain, both within and without the devotee.

As one can detect the color of dye a cloth was soaked in by looking at the cloth, so, simply by understanding the different signs of these symptomatic features, one can understand the actual position. In other words, attachment for Ka is one, but because there exist different kinds of devotees, such attachment is manifested in many varieties. As clothing tinged red appears red, so the temporary appearance of a certain type of feeling can be detected or observed by the specific ecstatic symptom. In fact, all the different humors and mellows of the devotees produce various specific feelings within the mind. And according to these differences, the symptoms of ecstatic love appear in different forms and degrees. If ones heart is highly elevated, grave and magnanimous, or if ones heart is rough and crude, different symptoms of ecstatic love will appear, influenced by the condition of the heart. Actually, people cannot generally understand such different qualities of mentality, but when ones heart is very soft or gentle, these symptoms become very easily visible, and one can understand them very clearly. The heart of one who is highly elevated and grave is compared to gold. If ones heart is very soft and gentle, his heart is compared to a cotton swab. When there is an ecstatic sensation within the mind, the golden heart or grave heart is not agitated, but the soft heart immediately becomes agitated.

To offer another example, a grave, magnanimous heart is compared to a great city, and a soft heart to an insignificant cottage. There may be many lights, or even great elephants in the big city, but no one will take particular notice of them. But when such lights or elephants are seen near a small cottage, everyone can distinctly point them out.

A hard heart is compared to a lightning bolt, to gold and to shellac. The lightning bolt is very strong and never becomes soft. Similarly, the hearts of those who are engaged in severe austerities and penances do not become very easily softened. The golden heart becomes melted at high temperature, as in ecstatic love. And the shellac heart is very easily melted in slight temperature.

A soft heart is compared to honey, to butter and to nectar. And the condition of the mind is compared to sunshine. As honey and butter become melted even in slight sunshine, softhearted persons become easily melted. Nectar, however, is by its nature always liquid. And the hearts of those who are in pure ecstatic love with Ka are by nature always liquified, just like nectar.

A pure devotee of Ka is always specifically qualified with nectarean qualifications and sometimes with the qualifications of butter and honey. On the whole, the heart in any of the different conditions mentioned above can be melted under certain circumstances, just as a hard diamond is sometimes melted by a combination of certain chemicals. In the Dna-keli-kaumud it is stated, When love develops in the heart of a devotee, he cannot check the transformation of his sentiments. His heart is just like the ocean at the rising of the moon, when the ebb tide cannot be checked: immediately there must be movement of high waves. Although in its natural state the ocean is always grave and unfathomable, when the moon rises, nothing can check the oceans agitation. Similarly, those who are pure devotees cannot on any account check the movement of their feelings within.

NoD 32: Symptoms of Continuous Love

Chapter Thirty-two

Symptoms of Continuous Love

The continuous ecstasy of love can remain like a powerful king, subduing all temporary manifestations of love as well as any opposing elements of anger. It can be exhibited directly or indirectly, and thus ecstatic love can be described as direct or indirect. These symptoms of ecstatic love are possible only when one is fully situated in a transcendental position. Direct ecstatic love can be divided into two groupsnamely, selfish and selfless.

When noncontradictory symptoms of ecstatic love are distinctly manifest, any contradictory symptoms create a sense of abomination. Contradictory ecstatic love is called selfish. That ecstatic love which can adjust all contradictory or noncontradictory symptoms is called direct selfless love. These selfless symptoms can again be divided into five groups: neutrality, servitude, fraternity, parenthood and conjugal love. Such ecstatic love assumes a particular mode in contact with different objects of love.


Neutrality can be further subdivided into general, transparent and peaceful. An attraction for Ka by the people in general or by children cannot take any specific or satisfactory position. It can be manifest sometimes in trembling of the body and changing of the color of the eyes (to red, white, etc.), although there is no symptom of any particular affection.

One old man was told by a young man, Just see how this childonly three years oldis so jubilant! Simply by seeing Ka he is running so swiftly, making a tumultuous sound. Just see! This is an instance of neutral ecstatic love in the heart of a child, without any specific subdivision.

Due to the different types of attraction for Ka, there are different varieties of devotees. Their symptoms are manifested transparently, just like jewels. It is said that a great devotee brhmaa would sometimes address the Supreme Personality of Godhead as master and sometimes joke with the Lord, using different kinds of familiar words. Sometimes he would protect the Lord with a filial affection, sometimes he would cry out to the Lord, addressing the Lord as his beloved, and sometimes he would meditate on the Lord as the Supersoul. This means that the brhmaa expressed his ecstatic loving symptoms in different ways at different times. But in each instance, because of ecstatic love, the brhmaa merged himself in the ocean of happiness and became situated in pure love. Thus he was a transparent medium, like a jewel that shows reality in varying colors according to its own nature.

When the great sage Nrada was glorifying the pastimes of the Lord with his v, the four Kumras, headed by Sanaka, although merged in the impersonal conception of Brahman, were trembling all over. Another devotee once exclaimed, Although I can achieve liberation simply by serving the devotees, my mind is still very much anxious to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose bodily complexion is just like a dark cloud. When a devotee is so anxious to contact the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that can also be accepted as a symptom of neutral love.

Pure and Mixed Flavors

Generally, a devotee of Lord Ka may be placed into one of three groups. One group consists of those who are completely dependent on the merciful affection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, another group consists of devotees who are dealing with Ka on friendly terms, and the third group consists of those who are dealing with Ka as His superiors, with parental affection. These three classes of devotees gradually develop different relationships of transcendental mellow with the Personality of Godhead. When the attraction for Ka is based on only one particular humor, that humor is called keval, or the pure state. One in this pure state of devotional service gradually develops the desire to follow in the footsteps of an eternal associate of Ka, e.g., to follow in the footsteps of Rasla, the personal attendant of Ka in Goloka Vndvana, or to follow Kas friends, like rdm and Sudm, or to follow Nanda and Yaod, devotees in parenthood. Ecstatic love for Ka is never manifested directly with Ka Himself. The devotee has to follow in the footsteps of the eternal associates of Ka in Goloka Vndvana.

When transcendental humors in relationship with Ka become mixed (e.g., when the relationships with Ka in friendship, servitorship and parental love become mixed together), the result is called mixed humor or flavor. Such mixed transcendental flavors are manifested by such devotees as Uddhava, Bhma and Mukhar, the personal attendant of mother Yaod. Although devotional humors are sometimes found in mixtures, a particular humor is always found to be a prominent and constant factor. That prominent humor is to be accepted as the devotees main relationship with Ka. For example, Uddhava is in relationship with Ka as a friend, but in Uddhavas character a trace of servitude to Ka is also visible. Such friendship is called friendship in reverence. The friendship typified by rdm and Sudm, however, is the standard of friendship without any tinge of reverence.

Subordinate Ecstatic Love

The devotees who always think of Ka as a superior are in subordinate ecstatic love. To such a devotee the concept of inferiority to the Lord is very prominent, and he rarely takes interest in any other kind of transcendental loving humor with the Lord.

In the Mukunda-ml-stotra, compiled by King Kulaekhara, one of the prayers says, My dear Lord, You are the deliverer of living entities from the hellish condition of materialistic life, but that does not matter to me. Whether I am elevated to the heavenly platform or remain on this earthly planet or am dispatched to some hellish planet, that does not matter at all to me. My only prayer is that at the time of my death I may simply remember Your two beautiful feet, which are just like lotus flowers fructifying during the autumn season.


As far as friendship is concerned, those high-grade devotees who are almost like Ka are considered to be great authorities in the modes of friendly relations with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. On that friendly platform there are different kinds of laughing and joking conversations. An example of such a friendly relationship with Ka is described in rmad-Bhgavatam when Ka was once thinking, Today, while I was engaged in tending the cows in the pasturing ground of Vndvana, I went to collect some flowers in a beautiful garden. At that time My friends, the cowherd boys, were unhappy even to tolerate a two-minute separation from Me. And when they found Me, there was competition between us as to who would touch the other first with the flowers we had in hand.

One friend criticized Ka thus: My dear Dmodara, although You have been defeated by rdm and have become sufficiently minimized in strength, by a false expression of strength You have somehow covered Your shameful condition of defeat.

Parenthood, or Superiority

When mother Yaod heard that Kas cows were being forcibly moved by the strong servants of Kasa and that the tender cowherd boys were trying to protect their cows, she began to think, How can I protect these poor boys from the invasion of Kasas servants? This is an instance of a superior attitude in a devotee.

As soon as mother Yaod found her son Ka returning from the pasturing ground, she immediately began to pat Him, touching her fingers to the cheeks of the Lord.

Conjugal Love

Above even the humor of love between Ka and His parents is the relationship of conjugal love. The Lord and the young gops exhibit this in different waysglancing, moving the eyebrows, speaking very sweet words and exchanging smiles.

There is a statement in Govinda-vilsa to this effect: rmat Rdhr was looking for Ka very anxiously and almost disappointedly. When there is such an indirect expression of conjugal love, there is smiling, astonishment, enthusiasm, lamentation, anger, dread and sometimes ghastliness. These seven exchanges of conjugal love form another state of ecstatic love.

In a direct relationship of conjugal love, there is laughter, astonishment, chivalry, lamentation, anger and dread, but there is no ghastliness. These expressions are considered to be great reservoirs of pleasure. When these seven kinds of ecstatic loving exchanges are manifested, they attain the status of steadiness by which the taste of conjugal love expands.

NoD 33: Indirect Expressions of Ecstatic Love

Chapter Thirty-three

Indirect Expressions of Ecstatic Love


After He had stolen some yogurt from the pots of two gops, Ka told one of His gop friends, My dear beautiful friend, I can take oath that I have not stolen even a drop of yogurt from your pot! But still your friend Rdhr is very shamelessly smelling the flavor of My mouth. Kindly forbid Her from this devious policy of putting Her face near Mine. When Ka was speaking like this, the friends of Rdhr could not check their laughter. This is an instance of laughter in ecstatic love.


Once Brahm was watching all the cows and the cowherd boys dressed in yellow garments and decorated with valuable jewels. The boys were expanding their four arms and were being worshiped by many hundreds of other Brahms. All the cowherd boys began to express their joyfulness for being with Ka, the Supreme Brahman. At that time, Brahm showed his astonishment by exclaiming, What am I seeing here? This is an instance of astonishment in ecstatic love.


On the bank of the Yamun, once there was the crackling sound of dry leaves, giggling from the cowherd boys and thundering from the sky. rdm was tightening his belt to fight with Ka, the conqueror of the demon Agha. This is an instance of chivalry in ecstatic love.


In the Tenth Canto, Seventh Chapter, verse 25, of rmad-Bhgavatam, there is a description of Kas being taken away by the whirlwind demon, Tvarta. As Ka was being thus carried up into the sky, all the gops began to cry aloud. They approached mother Yaod, stating that they could not find the son of Nanda. He had been taken away by a whirlwind. This is an instance of lamentation in ecstatic love.

When Ka was fighting with Kliya, mother Yaod exclaimed, Ka is now entrapped within the hoods of the Kliya snake, and yet I am not tattered to pieces! So I must admit how wonderful is the preserving power of this material body! This is another instance of lamentation in ecstatic love.


When Jail, the mother of Abhimanyu, saw Ka wearing a necklace, she could understand that the jeweled ornament had been given to Him by Rdhr. She therefore became absorbed in anger and began to move her eyebrows, expressing her anger in ecstatic love.


There is a statement by Ymuncrya to this effect: Since I have begun to enjoy these transcendental exchanges of love, which are always newer and newer, whenever I remember the pleasure of past sex life, my lips curl and I wish to spit on the idea. This is an instance of ecstatic love in ghastliness.


One old devotee said, My dear Lord, when we are away from You we become so anxious to see You again, and there is great misery in our lives. But then when we do see You, there immediately comes the fear of separation. Under the circumstances, both when we see You and when we do not see You, we are subjected to different kinds of tribulation. This is an instance of a contradictory mixture of ecstatic love for Ka. Such ecstatic love is palatable, and expert critics have compared such ecstatic love to a mixture of curd, sugar candy and a little black pepper. The combined taste is very palatable.

NoD 34: The Nectar of Devotion

Chapter Thirty-four

The Nectar of Devotion

The particular type of ecstatic loving sentiment that develops within the heart of a particular devotee is considered to be vibhva. And the resultant manifestations such as moving of the eyebrows, fear, astonishment and smiling, which have been explained hereinbefore, are called anubhva. The different causes for developing anubhva and vibhva are called steady ecstasy, or sacri-bhva.

Whenever there is a recitation of poetry or a dramatic play on the different pastimes of Ka, the audience develops different kinds of transcendental loving service for the Lord. They enjoy different types of vibhva, anubhva and sacri-bhva.

No one, while remaining on the material platform, should discuss these different descriptions of bhva and anubhva by quoting different statements of transcendental literatures. Such manifestations are displays of the transcendental pleasure potency of the Lord. One should simply try to understand that on the spiritual platform there are many varieties of reciprocal love. Such loving exchanges should never be considered to be material. In the Mahbhrata, Udyama-parva, it is warned that things which are inconceivable should not be subjected to arguments. Actually, the transactions of the spiritual world are inconceivable to us in our present state of life. Great liberated souls like Rpa Gosvm and others have tried to give us some hints of transcendental activities in the spiritual world, but on the whole these transactions will remain inconceivable to us at the present moment. Understanding the exchanges of transcendental loving service with Ka is possible only when one is actually in touch with the pleasure potency of the Supreme Lord.

In this connection r Rpa Gosvm gives an example of the clouds in the sky. The clouds in the sky arise from the ocean, and when the clouds become water again and fall to the ground, they glide back to the ocean. Thus the pleasure potency of Ka is compared to the ocean. The pure devotee is the pleasure-possessing cloud, and when he is filled with transcendental loving service, then he can bestow his mercy as a downpour of rainand the pleasure potency returns to the ocean of Ka.

Direct and Indirect Attraction for Ka

Transcendental pleasure derived from devotional service can be divided into two groups: direct devotional service and indirect devotional service. Direct devotional service is divided into five transcendental humors or flavors, and indirect devotional service is divided into seven transcendental humors. Direct devotional services are as follows: neutrality, servitude, fraternity, paternity and conjugal love. Indirect devotional service is divided into laughter, compassion, anger, chivalry, dread, astonishment and ghastliness. Devotional service can therefore be divided into twelve types, each of which has a different color. The colors are white, multicolored, orange, red, light green, gray, yellow, off-whitish, smoky, pink, black and cloudy. The twelve different kinds of transcendental humors are controlled by different incarnations of God, such as Kapila, Mdhava, Upendra, Nsiha, Nanda-nandana, Balarma, Krma, Kalki, Rghava, Bhrgava, Varha and Matsya.

Sustenance, manifestation, expansion, reflection and lamentation are the five visible symptoms in exchanges of ecstatic love. The test of devotional service can therefore be made in terms of these five symptoms. In the devotional service of neutrality there is sustenance, in chivalrous devotional service there is expansion, in compassionate devotional service there is reflection, in angry devotional service there is lamentation, and so on.

An apparently pitiable condition in devotional service may appear distressing to the inexperienced student, but the feelings of the devotee in this pitiable condition are considered to be ecstatic by expert devotees. For example, the subject matter of the Rmyaa is sometimes considered pitiable and distressing to the heart, but actually that is not the fact. The Rmyaa narrates how Lord Rma was sent to the forest by His father just when He was going to be enthroned. After Lord Rmas departure, Mahrja Daaratha, His father, died. In the forest His wife, Stdev, was kidnapped by Rvaa, and there was a great war. When Stdev was finally delivered from the clutches of Rvaa, Rvaas whole family and kingdom, and Rvaa himself, were vanquished. When Stdev came home she was tried by fire, and after some days she was again banished to the forest. All of these subjects in the Rmyaa seem very pitiable, and they may appear very distressing to the reciter, but actually they are not. Otherwise, why would Hanumn, the great devotee of Lord Rmacandra, read daily about the activities of Lord Rmacandra, as described in the Rmyaa itself? The fact is that in any of the above-mentioned twelve transcendental humors of devotional service, everything is transcendentally pleasing.

rla Rpa Gosvm mourns in this connection for persons who are in the fire of false renunciation, the dry speculative habit, and who neglect devotional service. Persons who are attached to the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas and to the impersonal Brahman cannot relish the transcendental pleasure of devotional service. r Rpa Gosvm advises, therefore, that devotees who have already tasted the nectar of devotion be very careful to protect devotional service from such dry speculators, formal ritualistic elevationists and impersonal salvationists. Devotees should protect their valuable jewel of spiritual love from the clutches of thieves and burglars. In other words, a pure devotee should not describe devotional service and its different analytical aspects to dry speculators and false renouncers.

Those who are not devotees can never achieve the benefits of devotional service. For them the subject of devotional service is always very difficult to understand. Only persons who have dedicated their lives unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can relish the real nectar of devotion.

When one transcends the status of ecstatic love and thus becomes situated on the highest platform of pure goodness, one is understood to have cleansed the heart of all material contamination. In that pure stage of life, one can taste this nectar, and this tasting capacity is technically called rasa, or transcendental mood.

Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta summary study of the second division of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu, in the matter of general devotional service.

NoD 35: Neutral Love of God

Chapter Thirty-five

Neutral Love of God

Personality of Godhead, who is always so beautiful and for whom the pure devotees are always engaged in loving transcendental service. This third division of Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu describes the five primary kinds of devotional servicenamely neutrality, servitude, fraternity, parenthood and conjugal love. These five items will be very elaborately explained here, and thus they have been figuratively described as the five waves on the western side of this ocean of the nectar of devotion.

When one is actually able to maintain the transcendental position, his stage is called neutrality in devotional service. Some great sages have attained this neutral position by practicing austerity, penance and meditation to control the senses. Such sages are generally called mystic yogs, and in most cases they are inclined to appreciate the spiritual pleasure of the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth. They are practically unaware of the transcendental pleasure derived from personal contact with the Supreme Godhead.

Actually the transcendental pleasure derived in association with the Supreme Person is far greater than the pleasure derived from impersonal Brahman realization, because of the direct meeting with the eternal form of the Lord. Impersonalists do not directly derive the transcendental pleasure of association with the Lord by hearing of His pastimes. As such, the impersonalists cannot derive any relishable transcendental pleasure from the topics of Bhagavad-gt, in which the Lord is personally talking with Arjuna. The basic principle of their impersonal attitude does not allow them the transcendental pleasure which is relished by a devotee whose basic principle of understanding is the Supreme Person. The impersonalistic commentary on Bhagavad-gt is therefore disastrous, because without understanding the transcendental pleasure of the Gt, the impersonalist wants to interpret it in his own way. If an impersonalist can, however, come in contact with a pure devotee, his transcendental position can be changed for greater elevation. Great sages are therefore recommended to worship the form of the Lord in order to achieve that highest transcendental pleasure.

Without worshiping the arc-vigraha, the form or Deity of the Lord, one cannot understand such literature as Bhagavad-gt and rmad-Bhgavatam. For those great sages situated in the position of transcendental neutrality, the beginning should be to take shelter of Lord Viu, the four-handed eternal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The mystic yogs are therefore advised to meditate on the form of Lord Viu, as recommended by Kapila Muni in the skhya yoga system. Unfortunately, many mystic yogs try to meditate on something void, and as stated in the Gt, the result is that they simply undergo trouble and do not achieve any tangible result.

When some great saintly persons who had undergone penances and austerities saw the four-handed transcendental form of Viu, they remarked, This four-handed form of the Lord, manifested in a bluish color, is the reservoir of all pleasure and the center of our living force. Actually, when we see this eternal form of Viu, we, along with many other paramahasas, become immediately captivated by the beauty of the Lord. This appreciation of Lord Viu by saintly persons is an instance of situation in nta-rasa, or the neutral stage of devotional service. In the beginning, those who are aspiring for salvation try to get out of the material entanglement by performing painful austerities and penances, and ultimately they come to the impersonal status of spiritual realization. At this brahma-bhta stage of liberation from material entanglement, the symptoms, as explained in Bhagavad-gt, are that one becomes joyous beyond any hankering or lamentation and gains a universal vision. When the devotee is situated in the nta-rasa, or neutral stage of devotional service, he appreciates the Viu form of the Lord.

Actually, all Vedic culture is aiming at understanding Lord Viu. In the g Veda one mantra says that any advanced saintly person is always aspiring to be fixed in meditation upon the lotus feet of Viu.

In rmad-Bhgavatam it is said that the foolish do not know that Viu is the ultimate goal of life. According to the conclusion of all authoritative Vedic scriptures, when a person comes to the stage of appreciating Viu, he is at the beginning of devotional service. If one cultivates devotional service further and further, under proper guidance, other features of devotional service will gradually become manifest. At this stage of nta-rasa, one can see Lord Viu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the deliverer of even the demons. The Lord is appreciated by such would-be devotees as the eternal transcendental form, the chief of all self-realized souls, the Supersoul and the Supreme Brahman. He is also appreciated as being completely peaceful, completely controlled and pure, merciful to the devotees and untouched by any material condition. This appreciation of Lord Viu in awe and veneration by the saintly is to be understood as the sign that they are situated in the nta-rasa, or the neutral stage of devotional service.

This stage of nta-rasa can be attained by the impersonalists only when they are in association with pure devotees. Otherwise it is not possible. After Brahman realization, when a liberated soul comes in contact with a pure devotee of Lord Ka and submissively accepts the teachings of Lord Ka without misinterpretation, he becomes situated in this neutral stage of devotional service. The best example of saintly persons situated in the nta-rasa are Sanaka, Santana, Sananda and Sanat-kumra, the Kumra brothers. These four saintly persons (known as Catu-sana) are sons of Lord Brahm. After their birth, when they were ordered by their father to become householders and increase human society, they refused the order. They said that they had already decided not to become entangled with family life; they would rather live as saintly brahmacrs for their own perfection. So these great saints have been living for millions of years now, but still they appear to be just like boys of four or five years. Their complexions are very fair, there is an effulgence in their bodies, and they always travel naked. These four saintly persons almost always remain together.

In one of the prayers of the Kumra brothers, this declaration is made: O Lord Mukunda [Ka, the giver of liberation], only so long as one does not happen to see Your eternal form of bliss and knowledge, appearing just like a newly-grown tamla tree, with a bluish hueonly for so long can the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth, known as Brahman, be very pleasing to a saintly person.

The qualifications of a saintly person are described in the Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu as follows. A saintly person is one who understands fully that simply by discharging devotional service he can become confident of liberation. He is always situated in the regulative principles of devotional life and at the same time aspires to be liberated from material entanglement.

A saintly person thinks like this: When shall I be able to live alone in the caves of the mountains? When shall I be dressed simply with undergarments? When shall I be satisfied by eating simply a little fruit and vegetables? When will it be possible for me to think always of the lotus feet of Mukunda, who is the source of the Brahman effulgence? When, in such a spiritual condition of life, shall I fully understand my days and nights to be insignificant moments in eternal time?

The devotees and self-realized persons who are engaged in preaching the glories of the Lord always maintain an ecstatic love for the Lord within their hearts. Thus they are benefited by the rays of the ecstatic moon, and they are called saintly persons.

The impulse of a saintly person is to be engaged in the study of the Vedas, especially the Upaniadic portions, to live always in a place where there is no disturbance from the common people, to think always of the eternal form of Ka, to be ready to consider and understand the Absolute Truth, to be always prominent in exhibiting knowledge, to see the Supreme Lord in His universal form (viva-rpa), to associate always with learned devotees and to discuss the conclusion of the Vedas with similarly elevated persons. All of these qualifications of a saintly person serve to raise him to the status of nta-rasa.

In the Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu it is stated that all those who attended the pious meeting held by Lord Brahm for the study of Vedic literature like the Upaniads became overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Ka, the chief of the Yadu dynasty. Actually, the result of studying the Upaniads is to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Negation of material existence is only one of the subjects of the Upaniads. The next subject concerns becoming situated in the impersonal realization. And then, after penetrating through the impersonal Brahman, when one comes to the platform of associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one reaches the ultimate goal in studying the Upaniads.

Those who are situated on the platform of nta-rasa get their impetus for advancement in devotional service by smelling the tulas offered at the lotus feet of the Lord, by hearing the sound of His conchshell, by seeing a sanctified place in some mountain or hill, by observing a forest like the ones in Vndvana, by going to a place of pilgrimage, by visiting the course of the Ganges River, by being victorious over the dictations of bodily demands (i.e., eating, sleeping, mating and defending), by understanding the devastation of eternal time and by constantly associating with devotees engaged in Ka consciousness. All these different items are favorable in elevating saintly persons situated in nta-rasa to the advanced stage of devotional service.

In the Third Canto, Fifteenth Chapter, verse 43, of the rmad-Bhgavatam, there is a statement by the four saintly persons known as Catu-sana, headed by Sanaka-kumra. They went to visit the Lord of Vaikuhaloka in the spiritual sky, and when they bowed down before the Lord, the aroma of the tulas, mixed with saffron, entered their nostrils and immediately attracted their minds. Although these four saintly persons were always absorbed in the thought of impersonal Brahman, from association with the Lord and from smelling the tulas leaves the hairs on their bodies immediately stood up. This shows that even a person who is situated in Brahman realization, if he is put into association with devotees in pure devotional service, will immediately become attracted to the personal feature of the Lord.

There are certain symptoms of great sages who are situated in nta-rasa devotional service, and these symptoms are exhibited as follows. They concentrate their eyesight on the tip of the nose, and they behave just like an avadhta. Avadhta means a highly elevated mystic who does not care for any social, religious or Vedic conventions. Another symptom is that such persons are very careful to step forward when giving speeches. When they speak, they join together the forefinger and thumb. (This is called the jna-mudr position.) They are not against the atheists, nor are they particularly inclined to the devotees. Such persons give stress to liberation and detachment from the materialistic way of life. They are always neutral and have no affection for nor misidentification with anything material. They are always grave, but fully absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These uncommon features develop in devotees who are situated in nta-rasa.

Regarding concentration of the eyesight on the tip of the nose, there is a statement in the Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu by a devotee who observed this being performed by a yog. He remarked, This great sage is concentrating his eyesight on the tip of his nose, and from this it appears that he has already realized the eternal form of the Lord within himself.

Sometimes a devotee in nta-rasa yawns, stretches his limbs, instructs on devotional service, offers respectful obeisances unto the form of the Lord, offers nice prayers to the Lord and has a desire to give direct service with his body. These are some of the common symptoms of the devotee who is situated in neutrality. One devotee, after observing the yawning of another devotee, addressed him thus: My dear mystic, I think that within your heart there is some ecstatic devotional love which is causing you to yawn. It is sometimes found that a devotee in the nta-rasa falls down on the ground, his hairs stand up on his body, and he trembles all over. In this way, different symptoms of ecstatic trance are exhibited automatically by such devotees.

In the Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu it is said that when Lord Ka was blowing His conchshell known as Pcajanya, many great sages who were living in the caves of the mountains immediately reacted, being awakened from their trance of meditation. They immediately saw that the hairs of their bodies were standing. Sometimes devotees in nta-rasa become stunned, peaceful, jubilant, deliberate, reflective, anxious, dexterous and argumentative. These symptoms indicate continuous ecstasy, or established emotion.

Once a great realized sage was lamenting that the Supreme Lord Ka was living in Dvrak but that he was unable to take advantage of seeing Him. After thinking this, the sage immediately became stunned. He was thinking that he was simply wasting his time. In other words, the sage lamented because the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally present but he still could not take advantage of this because of his meditation.

When a mystic is transcendental to all kinds of mental concoctions and is situated in Brahman, his state is called trance, beyond the influence of the material conception of life. In that stage, when one hears about the transcendental pastimes of the Lord, there may be shivering in the body.

When a Brahman-realized devotee who has come to the stage of steady trance comes into contact with the eternal form of Ka, his transcendental pleasure increases millions of times. One great sage once inquired from another, My dear friend, do you think that after I perfect the eightfold yoga performance I shall be able to see the eternal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? This inquiry from the sage is an instance of inquisitiveness in a devotee situated in the neutral stage of devotional service.

When Lord Ka, along with His elder brother Balarma and sister Subhadr, came to Kuruketra in a chariot on the occasion of a solar eclipse, many mystic yogs also came. When these mystic yogs saw Lord Ka and Balarma, they exclaimed that now that they had seen the excellent bodily effulgence of the Lord, they had almost forgotten the pleasure derived from impersonal Brahman realization. In this connection one of the mystics approached Ka and said, My dear Lord, You are always full with transcendental bliss, excelling all other spiritual positions. And so, simply by seeing You from a distant place, I have come to the conclusion that there is no need of my being situated in the transcendental bliss of impersonal Brahman.

When a great mystic was once awakened from his meditative trance by hearing the vibration of Kas Pcajanya conchshell, the mystic became overpoweredso much so, in fact, that he began to bash his head on the ground, and with eyes full of tears of ecstatic love, he violated all the rules and regulations of his yoga performances. Thus he at once neglected the process of Brahman realization.

Bilvamagala hkura, in his book Ka-karmta, says, Let the impersonalists be engaged in the process of transcendental realization by worshiping the impersonal Brahman. Although I was also initiated into that path of Brahman realization, I have now become misled by a naughty boyone who is very cunning, who is very much attached to the gops and who has made me His maidservant. So I have now forgotten the process of Brahman realization.

Bilvamagala hkura was first spiritually initiated for impersonal realization of the Absolute Truth, but later on, by his association with Ka in Vndvana, he became an experienced devotee. The same thing happened to ukadeva Gosvm, who also reformed himself by the grace of the Lord and took to the path of devotional service, giving up the way of impersonal realization.

ukadeva Gosvm and Bilvamagala hkura, who gave up the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth to take to devotional service, are the best examples of devotees situated in the neutral state. According to some authorities, this condition cannot be accepted as one of the transcendental humors, or rasas, but rla Rpa Gosvm says that even if one does not accept it as a transcendental humor, one must still accept it as the beginning position of devotional service. However, if one is not further raised to the platform of actual service to the Lord, he is not considered to be on the platform of transcendental mellow. In this connection, in the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Lord Ka personally instructs Uddhava like this: The state of being established in My personal form is called nta-rasa, and without being situated in this position, no one can advance to actual pure devotional service. In other words, no one can be situated in the personal feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead without being situated at least in nta-rasa.

NoD 36: Transcendental Affection (Servitude)

Chapter Thirty-six

Transcendental Affection (Servitude)

The transcendental mellow of affection has been accepted by authorities like rdhara Svm as a perfectional stage of devotion. It is just above the humor of neutrality and is a requisite for the development of the serving humor. In literature such as Nma-kaumud this state of existence is accepted as continuous affection for or attraction to Ka. Authorities like ukadeva consider this stage of affection to be in the neutral stage, but in any case this affection is relished by the devotees in different transcendental tastes, and therefore the general name for this state is affection, or pure affection for Ka.

Devotees engaged in servitude are attached to Ka in the affection of reverence. Some of the inhabitants of Gokula (Vndvana as exhibited on earth) are attached to Ka on this platform of affection in reverence. The inhabitants of Vndvana used to say, Ka is always manifest before us with a complexion like a blackish cloud. He holds His wonderful flute in His lotus hands. He is dressed in yellow silks and bedecked with a peacock feather on His head. When Ka walks near Govardhana Hill with these personal features, all the inhabitants of the heavenly planets, as well as the inhabitants of this earth, feel transcendental bliss and consider themselves the eternal servants of the Lord. Sometimes the devotee becomes filled with the same awe and reverence by seeing a picture of Viu, who is dressed like Ka and who has a similar complexion. The only difference is that Viu has four hands, in which He holds the conchshell, the disc, the club and the lotus flower. Lord Viu is always decorated with many valuable jewels, such as the candraknta stone and the sryaknta stone.

In the Lalita-mdhava by Rpa Gosvm there is the following statement by Druka, one of the servants of Ka: Certainly Lord Viu is very beautiful with His necklace of kaustubha jewels, His four hands holding conchshell, disc, club and lotus flower, and His dazzlingly beautiful jewelry. He is also very beautiful in His eternal position, riding upon the shoulder of Garua. But now the same Lord Viu is present as the enemy of Kasa, and by His personal feature I am completely forgetting the opulence of Vaikuha.

Another devotee once said, This Supreme Personality of Godhead from whose bodily pores come millions of universes, permanently rising, who is the ocean of mercy, who is the owner of inconceivable energies, who is always equipped with all perfections, who is the origin of all incarnations, who is the attraction for all liberated personsthis very Supreme Personality of Godhead is the supreme controller and the supremely worshipable. He is all-cognizant, fully determined and fully opulent. He is the emblem of forgiveness and the protector of surrendered souls. He is munificent, true to His promise, expert, all-auspicious, powerful and religious. He is a strict follower of the scripture, He is the friend of the devotees, and He is magnanimous, influential, grateful, reputable, respectable, full of all strength, and submissive to pure love. Surely He is the only shelter of devotees who are attracted to Him by the affection of servitorship.

The devotees of the Lord in servitude are divided into four classes: appointed servants (such as Lord Brahm and Lord iva, who are appointed to control the material modes of passion and ignorance), devotees in servitude who are protected by the Lord, devotees who are always associates and devotees who are simply following in the footsteps of the Lord.

Appointed Servants

In a conversation between Jmbavat, one of Kas wives, and Klind, her friend, Jmbavat inquired, Who is this personality circumambulating our Ka?

Klind replied, She is Ambik, the superintendent of all universal affairs.

Then Jmbavat inquired, Who is this personality who is trembling at the sight of Ka?

Klind replied, He is Lord iva.

Then Jmbavat inquired, Who is the person offering prayers?

Klind replied, He is Lord Brahm.

Jmbavat then asked, Who is that person who has fallen on the ground and is offering respect to Ka?

Klind replied, He is Indra, the King of heaven.

Jmbavat next inquired, Who is this person who has come with the demigods and is laughing with them?

Klind replied, He is my elder brother, Yamarja, the superintendent of death.

This conversation offers a description of all the demigods, including Yamarja, who are engaged in services appointed by the Lord. They are called adhikta-devat, or demigods appointed to particular types of departmental service.

Devotees Under the Protection and Shelter of the Lord

One resident of Vndvana once told Lord Ka, My dear Ka, O pleasure of Vndvana! Being afraid of this material existence, we have taken shelter of You, for You can completely protect us! We are well aware of Your greatness. As such, we have given up our desire for liberation and have taken complete shelter under Your lotus feet. Since we have heard about Your ever-increasing transcendental love, we have voluntarily engaged ourselves in Your transcendental service. This statement is by a devotee who is under the protection and shelter of Lord Ka.

Upon being chastised by Kas constant kicking on his head, Kliya, the black snake of the Yamun, came to his senses and admitted, My dear Lord, I have been so offensive unto You, but still You are so kind that You have marked my head with the impression of Your lotus feet. This is also an instance of ones taking shelter under the lotus feet of Ka.

In the Apardha-bhajana a pure devotee expresses his feelings: My dear Lord, I am ashamed to admit before You that I have carried out the orders of my masters named lust, anger, avarice, illusion and envy. Sometimes I have carried out their orders in a way most abominable. Yet in spite of my serving them so faithfully, they are not satisfied, nor are they kind enough to give me relief from their service. They are not even ashamed of taking service from me in that way. My dear Lord, O head of the Yadu dynasty, now I have come to my senses, and I am taking shelter of Your lotus feet. Please engage me in Your service. This is another instance of surrendering and taking shelter of the lotus feet of Ka.

There are many instances in the various Vedic writings of persons who were aspiring after liberation by speculative knowledge but gave up this process in order to take complete shelter under the lotus feet of Ka. Examples of such persons are the brhmaas headed by aunaka in the forest of [xiii]Naimiraya. Learned scholars accept them as devotees having complete wisdom. There is a statement in the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya in which these great brhmaas and sages, headed by aunaka i, told Sta Gosvm, My dear great soul, just see how wonderful it is! Although as human beings we are contaminated with so many taints of material existence, simply by our conversing with you about the Supreme Personality of Godhead we are now gradually decrying our desire for liberation.

In Padyval a devotee says, Persons who are attached to speculative knowledge for self-realization, who have decided that the supreme truth is beyond meditation and who have thus become situated in the mode of goodnesslet them peacefully execute their engagement. As for us, we are simply attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is by nature so pleasing, who possesses a complexion like a blackish cloud, who is dressed in yellow garments and who has beautiful lotuslike eyes. We wish only to meditate upon Him.

Those who are from the very beginning of their self-realization attached to devotional service are called sev-niha. Sev-niha means simply attached to devotional service. The best examples of such devotees are Lord iva, King Indra, King Bahulva, King Ikvku, rutadeva and Puarka. One devotee says, My dear Lord, Your transcendental qualities attract even the liberated souls and carry them to the assembly of devotees where Your glories are constantly chanted. Even great sages who are accustomed to living in solitary places are also attracted by the songs of Your glory. And, observing all Your transcendental qualities, I have also become attracted and have decided to dedicate my life to Your loving service.

Constant Associates

In the city of Dvrak the following devotees are known as Kas close associates: Uddhava, Druka, Styaki, rutadeva, atrujit, Nanda, Upananda and Bhadra. All of these personalities remain with the Lord as His secretaries, but still they are sometimes engaged in His personal service. Among the Kuru dynasty, Bhma, Mahrja Parkit and Vidura are also known as close associates of Lord Ka. It is said, All the associates of Lord Ka have lustrous bodily features, and their eyes are just like lotus flowers. They have sufficient power to defeat the strength of the demigods, and the specific feature of their persons is that they are always decorated with valuable ornaments.

When Ka was in the capital Indraprastha, someone addressed Him thus: My dear Lord, Your personal associates, headed by Uddhava, are always awaiting Your order by standing at the entrance gate of Dvrak. They are mostly looking on with tears in their eyes, and in the enthusiasm of their service they are not afraid even of the devastating fire generated by Lord iva. They are souls simply surrendered unto Your lotus feet.

Out of the many close associates of Lord Ka, Uddhava is considered the best. The following is a description of him: His body is blackish like the color of the Yamun River, and it is similarly as cool. He is always decorated with flower garlands first used by Lord Ka, and he is dressed with yellow silk clothing. His two arms are just like the bolts of a door, his eyes are just like lotus flowers, and he is the most important devotee among all the associates. Let us therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto Uddhavas lotus feet.

Uddhava has described the transcendental qualities of r Ka as follows: Lord r Ka, who is our master and worshipable Deity, the controller of Lord iva and Lord Brahm, and the controller of the whole universe as well, accepts the controlling orders of Ugrasena, His grandfather. He is the proprietor of millions of universes, but still He begged a little land from the ocean. And although He is just like an ocean of wisdom, He sometimes consults me. He is so great and magnanimous, yet He is engaged in His different activities just like an ordinary person.

Followers of the Lord

Those who are constantly engaged in the personal service of the Lord are called anugas, or followers. Examples of such followers are Sucandra, Maana, Stamba and Sutamba. They are all inhabitants of the city of Dvrak, and they are dressed and ornamented like the other associates. The specific services entrusted to the anugas are varied. Maana always bears the umbrella over the head of Lord Ka. Sucandra is engaged in fanning with the white cmara bunch of hair, and Sutamba is engaged in supplying betel nuts. All of them are great devotees, and they are always busy in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.

As there are anugas in Dvrak, so there are many anugas in Vndvana also. The names of the anugas in Vndvana are as follows: Raktaka, Patraka, Patr, Madhukaha, Madhuvrata, Rasla, Suvilsa, Premakanda, Marandaka, nanda, Candrahsa, Payoda, Bakula, Rasada and rada.

Descriptions of the bodily features of the anugas in Vndvana are given in the following statement: Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the constant associates of the son of Mahrja Nanda. They always stay in Vndvana, and their bodies are decorated with garlands of pearls and with bangles and bracelets of gold. Their colors are like black bees and the golden moon, and they are dressed just to suit their particular special bodily features. Their specific duties can be understood from a statement by mother Yaod, who said, Bakula, please cleanse the yellowish dress of Ka. Vrika, you just flavor the bathing water with aguru scent. And Rasla, you just prepare the betel nuts. You can all see that Ka is approaching. There is dust overhead, and the cows can be seen very distinctly.

Among all the anugas, Raktaka is considered to be the chief. The description of his bodily features is as follows: He wears yellow clothing, and his bodily color is just like newly grown grass. He is very expert in singing and is always engaged in the service of the son of Mahrja Nanda. Let us all become the followers of Raktaka in offering transcendental loving service to Ka! An example of the attachment felt by Raktaka toward Lord Ka can be understood from his statement to Rasada: Just hear me! Please place me so that I may always be engaged in the service of Lord Ka, who has now become famous as the lifter of the Govardhana Hill.

The devotees of Ka engaged in His personal service are always very cautious, because they know that becoming personal servitors of Lord Ka is not an ordinary thing. A person who offers respect even to the ants engaged in the service of the Lord becomes eternally happy, so what is there to say of one who offers Ka direct service? Raktaka once said within himself, Not only is Ka my worshipable and servable Lord, but also the girl friends of Ka, the gops, are equally worshipable and servable by me. And not only the gops, but anyone who is engaged in the service of the Lord is also worshipable and servable by me. I know that I must be very careful not to become overly proud that I am one of the servitors and devotees of the Lord. From this statement one can understand that the pure devotees, those who are actually engaged in the service of the Lord, are always very cautious and are never overly proud of their service.

This mentality of the direct servitor of Ka is called dhrya. According to expert analytical studies of the direct associates of the Lord, rla Rpa Gosvm has divided these into three classesnamely dhrya, dhra and vra. Raktaka is classified among the dhrya, or those who are always attached to serving the most beloved gops.

One dhra associate of Ka is the son of Satyabhms nurse. Satyabhm is one of the queens of Lord Ka in Dvrak, and when she was married to Ka, the son of her nurse was allowed to go with her because they had lived together from childhood as brother and sister. So this gentleman, the son of Satyabhms nurse, used to live with Ka as His brother-in-law, and sometimes as brother-in-law he used to play jokes with Ka. He once addressed Ka in this way: My dear Ka, I never tried to gain the favor of the goddess of fortune, who is married to You, but still I am so fortunate that I am considered one of the members of Your house, the brother of Satyabhm.

A vra associate once expressed his pride, declaring, Lord Baladeva may be a great enemy of Pralambsura, but I have nothing to worry about from Him. And as far as Pradyumna is concerned, I have nothing to take from him, because he is simply a boy. Therefore I do not expect anything from anyone else. I simply expect the favorable glance of Ka upon me, and so I am not even afraid of Satyabhm, who is so dear to Ka.

In the Fourth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Twentieth Chapter, verse 28, King Pthu addresses the Lord, saying, My dear Lord, it may happen that the goddess of fortune becomes dissatisfied with my work, or I may even have some misunderstanding with her, but I will not mind this, because I have full confidence in You. You are always causelessly merciful to Your servants, and You consider even their menial service to be very much advanced. So I have confidence that You will accept my humble service, although it is not worthy of being recognized. My dear Lord, You are self-sufficient. You can do anything You like without the help of anyone else. So even if the goddess of fortune is not satisfied with me, I know that You will always accept my service anyway.

Devotees attached to the transcendental loving service of the Lord may be described either as surrendered souls, as souls advanced in devotional knowledge, or as souls completely engaged in transcendental loving service. Such devotees are called (respectively) neophyte, perfect and eternally perfect.

NoD 37: Impetuses for Ka's Service

Chapter Thirty-seven

Impetuses for Kas Service

The causeless mercy of Ka, the dust of His lotus feet, His prasda and association with His devotees are some impetuses toward a devotees engagement in transcendental loving service to the Lord.

Ka exhibited His causeless mercy when He was present at the departure of Grandfather Bhma. During the Battle of Kuruketra, Bhmadeva, the grandfather of Arjuna, was lying on a bed of arrows before departing from this mortal world. When Lord Ka, Mahrja Yudhihira and the other Pavas approached Bhmadeva, he was very grateful to Lord Ka, and he addressed the brhmaa military commander Kpcrya thus: My dear Kpcrya, just see the wonderful causeless mercy of Lord Ka! I am most unfortunate. I have no qualification. I was opposing Kas most intimate friend, ArjunaI even tried to kill him! I have so many disqualifications, and yet the Lord is still so kind that He has come to see me at the last point of my life. He is worshipable by all great sages, but still He is so merciful that He has come to see an abominable person like me.

Sometimes the vibration of Lord Kas flute, His bugling, His smiling, His footmarks on the ground, the transcendental fragrance of His body and the appearance of a new cloud in the sky also become impetuses for ecstatic love of Him.

In the Vidagdha-mdhava there is the following statement: When Ka was playing on His flute, Baladeva very anxiously declared, Just see how, after hearing the transcendental sound of Kas flute, Indra, the King of heaven, is crying in his heavenly kingdom! And from his teardrops falling on the ground, Vndvana appears to have become a celestial residence for the demigods.

Ecstatic love for Ka, which is known as anubhva, is symptomized by the following signs: one becomes engaged exclusively in the service of the Lord, being attentive to carry out the orders of the Lord faithfully; one becomes undisturbed and nonenvious in full transcendental loving service to the Lord; and one makes friendship with the devotees of the Lord who are situated in faithful service to Him. All of these symptoms are called anubhva, ecstatic love.

The first symptom of anubhva, or engagement in a particular type of service, is exemplified by Druka, a servant of Ka who used to fan Ka with a cmara, a bunch of hair. When he was engaged in such service, he was filled with ecstatic love, and the symptoms of ecstatic love became manifest in his body. But Druka was so serious about his service that he checked all of these manifestations of ecstatic love and considered them hindrances to his engagement. He did not care very much for these manifestations, although they automatically developed.

In rmad-Bhgavatam, Tenth Canto, Eighty-sixth Chapter, verse 38, there is a statement of how rutadeva, a brhmaa from the country called Mithil in northern India, became so overpowered with joy as soon as he saw Ka that immediately after bowing to the Lords lotus feet he stood up and began to dance, raising his two arms above his head.

One of the devotees of Lord Ka once addressed Him in this manner: My dear Lord, although You are not a professional dancer, by Your dancing You have so astonished us that we can understand that You are personally the master of all dancing. Certainly You must have learned this dancing art directly from the goddess of love. When a devotee dances in ecstatic love, there are manifestations of symptoms which are called sttvika. Sttvika means that they are from the transcendental platform. They are not symptoms of material emotion; they come from the soul proper.

In rmad-Bhgavatam, Tenth Canto, Eighty-fifth Chapter, verse 38, ukadeva Gosvm tells Mahrja Parkit that after surrendering everything unto the lotus feet of Vmanadeva, Bali Mahrja immediately caught hold of the lotus feet of the Lord and pressed them to his heart. Being overwhelmed with joy, he manifested all the symptoms of ecstatic love, with tears in his eyes and a faltering voice.

In such expressions of ecstatic love there are many other subsidiary symptoms, such as jubilation, withering, silence, disappointment, moroseness, reverence, thoughtfulness, remembrance, doubtfulness, confidence, eagerness, indifference, restlessness, impudence, shyness, inertness, illusion, madness, ghastliness, contemplation, dreaming, disease and signs of death. When a devotee meets Ka, there are symptoms of jubilation, pride and perseverance, and when he is feeling great separation from Ka, the symptoms of ghastliness, disease and signs of death become prominent.

It is stated in the First Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Eleventh Chapter, verse 5, that when Lord Ka returned from the Battlefield of Kuruketra to His home at Dvrak, all the residents of Dvrak began to talk with Him, as a child talks lovingly to his father after the fathers return from foreign countries. This is an example of jubilation.

When Bahulva, the King of Mithil, saw Ka at his palace, he decided to offer his respects by bowing down before Him at least a hundred times, but he was so overcome by feelings of love that after bowing down only once, he forgot his position and could not rise again.

In the Skanda Pura a devotee tells Lord Ka, My dear Lord, as the sun evaporates all the water on the ground by its scorching heat, so my mental state has dried away the luster of my face and body, due to separation from You. This is an example of withering in ecstatic love.

An expression of disappointment was made by Indra, the King of heaven. When he saw the sun-god, Indra told him, My dear sun-god, your sunshine is very glorious because it reaches unto the lotus feet of Lord Ka, the master of the Yadu dynasty. I have thousands of eyes, but they have proved to be useless because not even for a moment are they able to see the lotus feet of the Lord.

Reverential devotion for the Lord gradually increases and transforms itself into ecstatic love, then affection and then attachment. In the Tenth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Thirty-eighth Chapter, verse 6, Akrra says, Because I am going to see Lord Ka today, all symptoms of inauspiciousness have already been killed. My life is now successful, because I shall be able to offer my respects unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead!

Another devotee in ecstatic reverential affection once said, When will that glorious day in my life come when it will be possible for me to go to the bank of the Yamun and see Lord r Ka playing there as a cowherd boy?

When there is no diminishing of this ecstatic love and when it is freed from all kinds of doubt, the devotee has reached the stage called steady love for Ka. In this stage, all expressions of unhappiness by the devotee are called anubhva, or ecstatic loving symptoms.

The symptom of ecstatic affection with reverence felt by Bali Mahrja was expressed as follows: My dear Lord, You have simultaneously punished me and showed me Your causeless mercy. My conclusion is that when I have taken shelter of Your lotus feet I shall never be disturbed in any condition of life. Whether You give me the opportunity to enjoy all the yogic perfections or You put me into the most abominable condition of hellish life, I shall never be disturbed.

Ka Himself, after seeing Bali Mahrja, told Uddhava, My dear friend, how can I express the glorious characteristics of Bali Mahrja, the son of Virocana? Although the King of the suras [demigods] was cursed by this son of Virocana, and although I cheated him in My incarnation as Vmana, taking away his dominions throughout the universe, and although I still criticized him for not fulfilling his promise, I have just now seen him in his kingdom, and he feelingly expressed his love for Me.[xiv]*

When such a feeling of love becomes intensified, it is called affection. In that affectional stage, one cannot bear separation from Ka even for a moment.

One devotee told Druka, the servant of Ka, My dear Druka, when you become like wood because of your separation from Ka, it is not so wonderful. Whenever any devotee sees Ka, his eyes become filled with water, and in separation any devotee like you would become stunned, standing just like a wooden doll. That is not a very wonderful thing.

There is a statement about Uddhavas symptoms of love. When he saw Lord Ka his eyes filled with tears and created a river which flowed down toward the sea of Ka to offer tribute, as a wife offers tribute to her husband. When his body erupted with goose pimples, he appeared like the kadamba flower, and when he began to offer prayers, he appeared completely distinct from all other devotees.

When affection is symptomized by direct happiness and distress, it is called attraction. In such an attracted state of ecstatic love, one can face all kinds of disadvantages calmly. Even at the risk of death such a devotee is never bereft of the transcendental loving service of the Lord. A glorious example of this ecstatic love was exhibited by King Parkit when he was at the point of death. Although he was bereft of his entire kingdom, which spread over all the world, and although he was accepting not even a drop of water in the seven days remaining to him, because he was engaged in hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Lord from ukadeva Gosvm he was not in the least distressed. On the contrary, he was feeling direct transcendental ecstatic joy in association with ukadeva Gosvm.

One devotee has confidently expressed this opinion: If a drop of Lord Kas mercy can be bestowed upon me, then I shall feel completely carefree, even in the midst of a fire or an ocean. But if I become bereft of His causeless mercy, then even if I became the King of Dvrak, I would be simply an object for pinpricks.

Devotees such as Mahrja Parkit and Uddhava are all situated in ecstatic attraction on the basis of affection, and in that state of affection a feeling of friendship becomes manifest. When Uddhava was freed from all material contamination, he saw the Lord, and his throat became choked up, and he could not speak. By the movements of his eyebrows alone he was embracing the Lord. Such ecstatic love has been divided by great scholars into two groupsaddition and subtraction. If a devotee is not directly associated with the Lord, it is called subtraction. In this state of love, one is constantly fixed with his mind at the lotus feet of the Lord. A devotee in this state becomes very eager to learn of the transcendental qualities of the Lord. The most important business of such a devotee is attaining the association of the Lord.

In the Nsiha Pura there is a statement about King Ikvku which illustrates this state of ecstatic love. Because of his great affection for Ka, King Ikvku became greatly attached to the black cloud, the black deer, the deers black eyes and the lotus flower, which is always compared to the eyes of the Lord. In the Tenth Canto, Thirty-eighth Chapter, verse 10, of the Bhgavatam, Akrra thinks, Since the Lord has now appeared to diminish the great burden of the world and is now visible to everyones eyes in His personal transcendental body, when we see Him before us, is that not the ultimate perfection of our eyes? In other words, Akrra realized that the perfection of the eyes is fulfilled when one is able to see Lord Ka. Therefore, when Lord Ka was visible on the earth by direct appearance, everyone who saw Him surely attained perfection of sight.

In the Ka-karmta, written by Bilvamagala hkura, there is this expression of eagerness in ecstatic love: How miserable it is, my dear Ka, O friend of the hopeless! O merciful Lord, how can I pass these thankless days without seeing You? A similar sentiment was expressed by Uddhava when he wrote a letter to Ka and said, My dear Supreme King of Vraja, You are the vision of nectar for the eyes, and without seeing Your lotus feet and the effulgence of Your body, my mind is always morose. I cannot perceive any peace under any circumstance. Besides that, I am feeling every moments separation to be like the duration of many, many long years.

In the Ka-karmta it is also said, My dear Lord, You are the ocean of mercy. With my arms placed upon my head, I am bowing down before You with all humility and sincerity. I am praying unto You, my Lord. Would You be pleased just to sprinkle a little of the water of Your glance upon me? That will be a great satisfaction.

A devotee of Lord Ka said, When even aiekhara [Lord iva] is unable to see You, what chance is there for me, who am lower than an ordinary worm? I have only committed misdeeds. I know that I am not at all fit to offer my prayers to You, but because You are known as Dnabandhu, the friend of the fallen, I humbly pray that You will kindly purify me by the beams of Your transcendental glance. If I become thoroughly bathed by Your merciful glance, then I may be saved. Therefore, my Lord, I am requesting You to please bestow upon me Your merciful glance.

NoD 38: Indifference and Separation

Chapter Thirty-eight

Indifference and Separation

The great devotee Uddhava once wrote a letter to Ka, My dear Ka, I have just finished the study of ail kinds of philosophical books and Vedic verses about the goal of life, and so now I have a little reputation for my studies. But still, in spite of my reputation, my knowledge is condemned, because although enjoying the effulgence of Vedic knowledge, I could not appreciate the effulgence emanating from the nails of Your toes. Therefore, the sooner my pride and Vedic knowledge are finished, the better it will be! This is an example of indifference.

Another devotee very anxiously expressed himself thus: My mind is very flickering, so I cannot concentrate it upon Your lotus feet. And seeing this inefficiency in myself I become ashamed, and the whole night I am unable to sleep because I am exasperated by my great inability.

In the Ka-karmta Bilvamagala hkura has explained his restlessness as follows: My dear Lord, Your naughtiness in boyhood is the most wonderful thing in the three worlds. And You Yourself know what this naughtiness is. As such, You can very easily understand my flickering mind. This is known to You and me. Therefore, I am simply yearning to know how I can fix my mind on Your lotus feet.

Another devotee expressed his impudence by saying, My dear Lord, without considering my lowly position, I must confess to You that my eyes are just like black wasps, desiring to hover at Your lotus feet.

In the Seventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Fourth Chapter, verse 37, the great sage Nrada informs Mahrja Yudhihira about Prahlda Mahrja, who was a devotee from the very beginning of his life. The proof of Prahldas natural devotion is that even when he was a small child he did not play with his playmates, but was always eager to preach the glories of the Lord. Instead of joining in their sportive acrobatic feats, he remained an inactive child because he was always in trance, meditating on Ka. As such, there was no possibility of his being touched by the external world.

The following statement is about a brhmaa devotee: This brhmaa is very expert in all kinds of activities, but I do not know why he is looking up without moving his eyes. It appears that his body is fixed motionless just like a dolls. I can guess that in this condition he has been captivated by the transcendental beauty of that expert flute-player, r Ka, and being attached to Him, he is simply staring at the black cloud, remembering the bodily hue of r Ka. This is an example of how a devotee can become inert due to ecstatic love.

In rmad-Bhgavatam, Seventh Canto, Fourth Chapter, verse 40, Prahlda Mahrja says that even in his childhood, when he was loudly speaking the glories of the Lord, he used to dance just like a shameless madman. And sometimes, being fully absorbed in thought on the pastimes of the Lord, he used to imitate such pastimes. This is an instance of a devotees being almost like a madman. Similarly, it is said that the great sage Nrada was so ecstatically in love with Ka that he would sometimes dance naked, and sometimes his whole body would become stunned. Sometimes he would laugh very loudly, sometimes he would cry very loudly, sometimes he would remain silent, and sometimes he would appear to be suffering from some disease, although he had no disease. This is another instance of becoming like a madman in the ecstasy of devotion.

In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya it is stated that when Prahlda Mahrja was thinking himself unfit to approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he immersed himself in great distress, in an ocean of unhappiness. As such, he used to shed tears and lie down on the floor as though unconscious.

The students of a great devotee once talked among themselves in this way: My dear Godbrothers, our spiritual master, after seeing the lotus feet of the Lord, has thrown himself into the fire of lamentation, and because of this fire the water of his life has almost dried away. Let us now pour the nectar of the holy name through his ears, and by our doing so the swan of his life may again show signs of life.

When Lord Ka went to the city of oitapura to fight with Balis son Ba and to cut off all his hands, Uddhava, being separated from Ka and thinking of His fight, was almost completely stunned into unconsciousness.

When a devotee is fully in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there may be the following symptoms due to his feelings of separation from the Lord: a feverish condition of the body, withering of the body, lack of sleep, nonattachment, inertness, appearing diseased, madness, unconsciousness and sometimes death.

As far as the feverish condition of the body is concerned, Uddhava once told Nrada, My dear great sage, the lotus flower that is a friend of the sun may be a cause of distress for us, the fire in the ocean may cause us some burning sensation, and Indvara, the friend of a demon, may distress us in various wayswe do not mind. But the most regrettable factor is that all of them remind us of Ka, and this is giving us too much distress! This is an instance of the feverish condition which is due to being separated from Ka.

Some of the devotees who went to see Ka at Dvrak and were detained at the door said, My dear Ka, O friend of the Pus, as the swan loves to dive into the water among the lily flowers and would die if taken from the water, so we wish only to be with You. Our limbs are shrinking and fading because You have been taken away from us.

The King of Bahula, although very comfortably situated in his palace, began to think the nights very long and distressing because of his separation from Ka.

King Yudhihira once said, Ka, the chariot driver of Arjuna, is the only relative of mine within the three worlds. Therefore, my mind is becoming maddened day and night with separation from His lotus feet, and I do not know how to situate myself or where I shall go to attain any steadiness of mind. This is another example of lack of sleep.

Some of the cowherd friends of Ka said, Dear Ka, O enemy of the Mura demon, just think of Your personal servant Raktaka. Simply because he saw a peacock feather, he is now closing his eyes and is no longer attentive to pasturing the cows. Rather, he has left them in a faraway pasture and has not even bothered to use his stick to control them. This is an instance of mental imbalance due to separation from Ka.

When Lord Ka went to the capital of King Yudhihira, Uddhava was so afflicted by the fire of separation from r Ka that the perspiration from his inflamed body and the tears from his eyes poured from him, and in this way he became completely stunned.

When r Ka left the city of Dvrak to seek out the Syamantaka jewel and He was late returning home, Uddhava became so afflicted that the symptoms of disease became manifest on his body. Actually, due to his excessive ecstatic love for Ka, Uddhava became known in Dvrak as crazy. To his great fortune, on that day Uddhavas reputation as a crazy fellow was firmly established. Uddhavas craziness was practically proved when he went to Raivataka Hill to minutely observe the congested black clouds. In his disturbed condition, he began to pray to these clouds, and he expressed his jubilation by bowing down before them.

Uddhava informed Ka, My dear leader of the Yadu dynasty, Your servants in Vndvana cannot sleep at night thinking of You, so now they are all lying down on the bank of the Yamun almost paralyzed. And it appears that they are almost dead, because their breathing is very slow. This is an instance of becoming unconscious due to separation from Ka.

Ka was once informed, You are the life and soul of all the inhabitants of Vndvana. So because You have left Vndvana, all of the servitors of Your lotus feet there are suffering. It is as if the lakes filled with lotus flowers have dried up from the scorching heat of separation from You. In the example given here, the inhabitants of Vndvana are compared to lakes filled with lotus flowers, and because of the scorching heat of separation from Ka, the lakesalong with the lotus flowers of their livesare being burned up. And the swans in the lakes, who are compared to the vitality of the inhabitants of Vndvana, are no longer desiring to live there. In other words, because of the scorching heat, the swans are leaving the lakes. This metaphor is used to describe the condition of the devotees separated from Ka.

NoD 39: Ways of Meeting Ka

Chapter Thirty-nine

Ways of Meeting Ka

When Ka and His devotees meet, the meeting is technically called yoga, or linking up with the Lord. Such meetings between Ka and His devotees can be divided into three classesnamely perfection, satisfaction and steadiness.

When the devotee meets with Ka in great eagerness, that state of meeting is called perfection. In the Ka-karmta, Bilvamagala hkura describes how Ka meets His devoteewith peacock feather on His head, with marakata jewels on His chest and with His ever enchanting smile, His restless eyes and His very delicate body.

In the Tenth Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Thirty-eighth Chapter, verse 34, ukadeva Gosvm tells King Parkit, My dear King, as soon as Akrra the chariot driver saw Lord Ka and His elder brother Balarma in Vndvana, he immediately got down from the chariot and, being greatly afflicted by affection for the transcendental Lord, fell down upon His lotus feet to offer respectful obeisances. These are some of the instances of perfectional meetings with Ka.

When a devotee meets Ka after long separation, the meeting is one of satisfaction. In the First Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Eleventh Chapter, verse 10, it is stated that when Lord Ka returned to His capital, Dvrak, the inhabitants said, Dear Lord, if You remain in foreign countries for so long, we shall certainly be bereft of seeing Your smiling face! Upon observing Your face, we, Your eternal servitors, become greatly satisfied. All the anxieties of our existence are immediately mitigated. If we cannot see You because You are long absent from Dvrak, then it will be impossible for us to live anymore. This is an instance of satisfaction in meeting Ka after long separation.

Kas personal servant, Druka, seeing Ka at the door of Dvrak, forgot to offer Him respects with folded hands.

When a devotee is ultimately situated in association with Ka, his position is called steadiness in devotional service. This steady position in devotional service is explained in the book known as Hasadta. It is described there how Akrra, who was considered by the gops to be terror personified, would talk with Ka about the activities of the Kuru dynasty. A similar steady position was held by Uddhava, the disciple of Bhaspati. He would always massage the lotus feet of Ka while kneeling down on the ground before Him.

When a devotee is engaged in the service of the Lord, he is said to have reached the attainment of yoga. The English equivalent of the word yoga is linking up. So actual linking up with Ka, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, begins when the devotee renders service unto Him. Devotees situated in the transcendental rasa of servitorship render their particular service whenever there is an opportunity. Sometimes they sit down in front of Ka to receive orders. Some persons are reluctant to accept this level of devotional service as actual bhakti-yoga, and in some of the Puras also this servitorship in devotional service to Ka is not accepted as the actual bhakti-yoga system. But rmad-Bhgavatam has clearly indicated that the servitor relationship with Ka is the actual beginning of yoga realization.

In the Eleventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Third Chapter, verse 32, it is stated that when devotees are engaged in the discharge of bhakti-yoga, sometimes they cry from thinking of Ka, sometimes they laugh, sometimes they become jubilant, and sometimes they talk in very uncommon ways. Sometimes they dance, sometimes they sing, sometimes they are actually engaged in the service of the Lord, and sometimes they sit down silently as if absorbed in trance.

Similarly, in the Seventh Canto of rmad-Bhgavatam, Chapter Seven, verse 34, Prahlda Mahrja says to his friends, My dear friends, as soon as pure devotees of Lord Ka hear of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord, who is the eternal reservoir of pastimes, or hear about His transcendental qualities, they become overpowered with jubilation. Ecstatic symptoms are manifested in their bodies. They shed tears, talk falteringly, glorify the Lord in a loud voice and chant and dance in ecstasy. These ecstasies are always there, but sometimes they overcome all limits, and the symptoms become manifest to all.

In the process of surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead there are six items: to accept everything favorable for devotional service, to reject everything unfavorable for devotional service, to believe that Ka will always give protection, to identify oneself with Kas devotees, always to feel inability without the help of Ka and always to think oneself inferior to Ka, even though one may have full capacity to perform something on his own. When one is substantially convinced that he is always protected by Ka in all circumstances, that feeling is called reverential devotion. Reverential devotion is executed in relation with the Supreme Personality of Godhead and with His other protected devotees.

When Ka was residing in Dvrak, some of the elderly members of the Yadu family would occasionally put some important matter before Him. At such a time, Ka would carefully give attention to those matters. And if there were some humorous topics mentioned, Ka would immediately respond with a smiling face. Sometimes when Ka was executing His duties in the assembly known as Sudharm, He would ask the elderly members for good advice. By such activities He is manifest as the supreme spiritual master, the supreme executive head, the superior intelligence and the supreme power, protector and maintainer.

NoD 40: Reverential Devotion of Sons and other Subordinates

Chapter Forty

Reverential Devotion of Sons and other Subordinates

True reverential devotion is exhibited by persons who think themselves subordinate to Ka and by persons who think themselves sons of Ka. The best examples of this subordination are Sraa, Gada and Subhadr. They were all members of the Yadu dynasty, and they always used to think themselves protected by Ka. Similarly, Kas sons, such as Pradyumna, Crudea and Smba, felt the same way. Ka had many sons in Dvrak. He begot ten sons by each of His 16,108 queens, and all of these sons, headed by Pradyumna, Crudea and Smba, used to think themselves always protected by Ka. When Kas sons dined with Him, they would sometimes open their mouths for Ka to feed them. Sometimes when Ka would pat one of His sons, the son would sit on Kas lap, and while Ka was blessing the sons head by smelling it, the others would shed tears, thinking how many pious activities he must have performed in his previous life. Out of Kas many sons, Pradyumna, a son of Kas chief queen, Rukmi, is considered the leader. Pradyumnas bodily features resemble Kas exactly. Pure devotees of Ka glorify Pradyumna because he is so fortunate: like father like son.

There is a description in the Hari-vaa of Pradyumnas activities when he kidnapped Prabhvat. Pradyumna addressed Prabhvat at that time and said, My dear Prabhvat, just look at the head of our family, r Ka. He is Viu Himself, the supreme driver of Garua, and He is our supreme master. Because we have become so proud and confident of His protecting us, we sometimes do not even care about fighting with Tripurri [Lord iva].

There are two kinds of devotees engaged in devotional service with awe and venerationthe Lords subordinates and His sons. The servitors in the abode of Dvrak always worship Ka as the most respectable and revered Personality of Godhead. They are captivated by Ka because of His superexcellent opulences. The members who always thought themselves protected by Ka could readily convert their conviction into practical demonstration, because it was sometimes found that the sons of Ka acted very unlawfully in various places but were nonetheless given full protection by Ka and Balarma.

Even Balarma, the elder brother of Ka, sometimes unknowingly offered respect to Him. Once when Ka came before Lord Balarma, Ka was anxious to offer His respects to His elder brother, but at that time Balarmas club was lowered down upon Kas lotus feet. In other words, the club in Balarmas hand offered its own respects to Ka. These feelings of subordination, as explained above, are sometimes manifested as anubhva.

When demigods from the heavenly planets came to r Ka, all of Kas sons followed them, and Lord Brahm sprinkled water from his kamaalu upon them. When the demigods came before Ka, the sons, instead of sitting on golden chairs, sat down on the floor, which was covered with deerskin.

Sometimes the behavior of Kas sons appears similar to the behavior of His personal servants. For example, the sons used to offer their obeisances, they were silent, submissive and gentle, and they were always ready to carry out Kas orders, even at the risk of life. When present before Ka, they bowed down on the ground. They were very silent and steady, and they used to restrain coughing and laughing before the Lord. Also, they never discussed Kas pastimes in conjugal love. In other words, devotees who are engaged in reverential devotional service should not discuss the conjugal love affairs of Ka. No one should claim his eternal relationship with Ka unless he is liberated. In the conditioned state of life, the devotees have to execute the prescribed duties as recommended in the codes of devotional service. When one is mature in devotional service and is a realized soul, he can know his own eternal relationship with Ka. One should not artificially try to establish some relationship. In the premature stage it is sometimes found that a lusty, conditioned person will artificially try to establish some relationship with Ka in conjugal love. The result of this is that one becomes prkta-sahajiy, or one who takes everything very cheaply. Although such persons may be very anxious to establish a relationship with Ka in conjugal love, their conditioned life in the material world is still most abominable. A person who has actually established his relationship with Ka can no longer act on the material plane, and his personal character cannot be criticized.

When Cupid came on one occasion to visit Lord Ka, some devotee addressed him thus: My dear Cupid, because you have been so fortunate as to have placed your eyesight on the lotus feet of Ka, the drops of perspiration on your body have become frozen, and they resemble kaak fruits [a kind of small fruit found in thorny bushes]. These are signs of ecstasy and veneration for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the princes of the Yadu dynasty heard the vibration of Kas Pcajanya conchshell, the hairs on their bodies immediately stood up in ecstatic jubilation. It seemed at that time that all the hairs on the bodies of the princes were dancing in ecstasy.

In addition to jubilation, there are sometimes symptoms of disappointment. Pradyumna once addressed Smba with these words: My dear Smba, you are such a glorified personality! I have seen that once when you were playing on the ground, your body became covered with dust; yet our father, Lord Ka, still took you up on His lap. But I am so unfortunate that I could never get such love from our father! This statement is an example of disappointment in love.

To regard Ka as ones superior is called reverential feeling, and when, in addition to this, a devotee feels that Ka is his protector, his transcendental love for Ka is increased, and his combined feelings are called reverential devotion. When this steady reverential devotion increases further, it is called love of Godhead in reverential devotion. Attraction and affection are two prominent symptoms of this stage. In this reverential devotional attitude, Pradyumna never talked to his father in a loud voice. In fact, he never so much as unlocked the lips of his mouth, nor did he ever show his face filled with tears. He would always glance only at the lotus feet of his father.

There is another example of steady and fixed love for Ka in the instance of Arjunas informing Him of the death of Arjunas son, Abhimanyu, who was also the nephew of Ka. Abhimanyu was the son of Subhadr, Kas younger sister. He was killed at the Battle of Kuruketra by the combined efforts of all the commanders in King Duryodhanas armynamely Kara, Avatthm, Jayadratha, Bhma, Kpcrya and Drocrya. In order to assure Ka that there was no change of love on Subhadrs part, Arjuna informed Him, Although Abhimanyu was killed almost in Your presence, Subhadrs love for You is not agitated at all, nor has it even slightly changed its original color.

The affection that Ka has for His devotees was expressed by Him when He asked Pradyumna not to feel so bashful before Him. He addressed Pradyumna thus: My dear boy, just give up your feeling of inferiority, and do not hang your neck. Just talk with Me in a clear voice, and do not shed tears. You may look straight at Me, and you may place your hands on My body without any hesitation. There is no need of exhibiting so much reverence before your father.

Pradyumnas attachment for Ka was always exhibited by his action. Whenever he was ordered by his father to execute something, he would immediately execute the order, taking the task as nectarean even though it may have been poison. Similarly, whenever he would find something to be disapproved of by his father, he would immediately reject it as poison, even though it may have been nectarean.

Pradyumnas attachment in anxiety for Ka was expressed when he said to his wife Rati, The enemy, ambara, is already killed. Now I am very anxious to see my father, who is my spiritual master and who always carries the conchshell known as Pcajanya. Pradyumna felt great separation from Ka when He was absent from Dvrak at the Battlefield of Kuruketra. He said, Since my father has left Dvrak, I do not take much pleasure in practicing fighting, nor am I interested in any kind of sporting pastimes. And what need is there to speak of these things? I do not even wish to stay at Dvrak in the absence of my father.

When Pradyumna came back home after killing ambarsura and saw his father, Ka, before him, he at once became so overjoyed that he himself could not understand his joy on that occasion. This is an instance of success in separation. A similar satisfaction was observed when Ka returned from the Battlefield of Kuruketra to His home at Dvrak. All of His sons were so overjoyed that out of ecstasy they repeatedly made many mistakes. These mistakes were a sign of complete satisfaction.

Every day Pradyumna looked over Kas lotus feet with tears in his eyes. These signs of reverential devotion on the part of Pradyumna may be described in the same way they have been described in the cases of other devotees.

NoD 41: Fraternal Devotion

Chapter Forty-one

Fraternal Devotion

When a devotee is permanently situated in devotional service, and by different symptoms of ecstasy he has developed and matured a fraternal mellow or flavor in relationship with the Personality of Godhead, his feeling is called fraternal love of Godhead.

The impetus for such fraternal love of God is God Himself. When one is liberated and discovers his eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord, the Lord Himself becomes the impetus for increasing fraternal love. The eternal associates of the Lord in Vndvana have described this as follows: The Lord, Hari, whose bodily hue is like the indranla jewel, whose smiling is as beautiful as the kunda flower, whose silk dress is as yellow as golden autumn foliage, whose chest is beautified with garlands of flowers and who is always playing upon His flutethis enemy of the Agha demon is always attracting our hearts by wandering about Vndvana.

There are similar statements of fraternal love expressed outside the jurisdiction of Vndvana. When the sons of Pu, headed by Mahrja Yudhihira, saw Ka in His four-handed form on the Battlefield of Kuruketra, holding His conchshell, disc, club and lotus flower, they completely forgot themselves and became merged in the ocean of nectarean happiness. This shows how the sons of PuKing Yudhihira, Bhma, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadevawere all caught up in fraternal love for Ka.

Sometimes the different names, forms, paraphernalia and transcendental qualities provoke fraternal love. For instance, Kas nice dress, His strongly built body, the all-auspicious symptoms on His body, His knowledge of different languages, His learned teachings in Bhagavad-gt, His uncommon genius in all fields of endeavor, His exhibition of expert knowledge, His mercy, His chivalry, His behavior as a conjugal lover, His intelligence, His forgiveness, His attraction for all kinds of men, His opulence and His happinessall provoke fraternal love.

The impetus to fraternal love upon seeing the associates of Ka in Vndvana is also very natural, for their personal bodily features, their qualities and their dress are all equal to Kas. These associates are always happy in their service to Ka, and they are generally known as vayasyas, or friends of the same age. The vayasyas are fully confident of protection by Ka. Devotees sometimes pray, Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the vayasyas of Ka, who are firmly convinced of Kas friendship and protection and whose devotion to Ka is ever fixed. They are fearless, and on a level equal with Ka they discharge their transcendental loving devotional service. Such eternal vayasyas are also found beyond the jurisdiction of Vndvana, in places such as Dvrak and Hastinpura. Except for Vndvana, all the places of Kas pastimes are called puras (towns). Mathur and Hastinpura, the capital of the Kurus, are both puras. Personalities like Arjuna, Bhma, Draupad and rdm Brhmaa are counted among Kas fraternal devotees in the puras.

How the sons of Pu, the Pavas, enjoy Kas association is described as follows: When r Ka arrived in Indraprastha, the capital of the Kurus, Mahrja Yudhihira immediately came out to smell the flavor of Kas head. It is the Vedic custom that a superior smells the heads of his subordinates when the subordinates offer respect to the superior by touching his feet. Similarly, Arjuna and Bhma embraced Ka with great jubilation, and the two younger brothers, namely Nakula and Sahadeva, touched the lotus feet of Ka with tears in their eyes and offered their respects. In this way all the five Pava brothers enjoyed the fraternal friendship of Ka in transcendental mellow. Of the five Pavas, Arjuna is the most intimately connected with Ka. He has a nice bow called Gva in his hand. His thighs are compared to the trunks of elephants, and his eyes are always reddish. When Ka and Arjuna are together on a chariot, they become celestial beauties, pleasing to the eyes of everyone. It is said that once Arjuna was lying on his bed with his head upon Kas lap and was talking and joking with Ka in great relaxation, enjoying Kas company with smiling and great satisfaction.

As far as the vayasyas (friends) in Vndvana are concerned, they become greatly distressed when they cannot see Ka even for a moment.

There is the following prayer by a devotee for the vayasyas in Vndvana: All glories to Kas vayasyas, who are just like Ka in their age, qualities, pastimes, dress and beauty. They are accustomed to playing on their flutes made of palm leaves, and they all have buffalo-horn bugles ornamented like Kas with jewels such as indranla and with gold and coral. They are always jubilant like Ka. May these glorious companions of Ka always protect us!

The vayasyas in Vndvana are in such intimate friendship with Ka that sometimes they think themselves as good as Ka. Here is an instance of such friendly feeling: When Ka was holding up Govardhana Hill with His left hand, the vayasyas said, Dear friend, You have been standing for the last seven days and nights without any rest. This is very troublesome for us, because we see that You have undertaken a severely laborious task. We think, therefore, that You need not continue to stand in that way holding the hill. You can just transfer it onto Sudms hand. We are very much aggrieved to see You in this position. If you think that Sudm is not able to support Govardhana Hill, then at least You should change hands. Instead of supporting it with Your left hand, please transfer it to Your right hand, so that we can give Your left hand a massage. This is an instance of intimacy, showing how much the vayasyas considered themselves to be equal to Ka.

In rmad-Bhgavatam, Tenth Canto, Twelfth Chapter, verse 11, ukadeva Gosvm tells King Parkit, My dear King, Ka is the Supreme Personality of Godhead to the learned transcendentalist, He is the supreme happiness for the impersonalist, He is the supreme worshipable Deity for the devotee, and He is just like an ordinary boy to one who is under the spell of my. And just imaginethese cowherd boys are now playing with the Supreme Person as though they were on an equal level! By this anyone can understand that these boys must have accumulated heaps of the results of pious activities to enable them to associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in such intimate friendship.

There is a description of Kas feeling for His vayasyas in Vndvana. He once said to Balarma, My dear brother, when My companions were being devoured by the Aghsura, hot tears poured down from My eyes. And as they were washing My cheeks, My dear elder brother, for at least one moment I completely lost Myself.

Within Gokula, Kas vayasyas are generally divided into four groups: (1) well-wishers, (2) friends, (3) confidential friends and (4) intimate friends. Kas well-wisher friends are a little bit older than Ka, and they have some parental affection for Him. Because of their being older than Ka, they always try to protect Him from any harm. As such, they sometimes bear weapons so that they can chastise any mischievous persons who want to do harm to Ka. Counted among the well-wisher friends are [xv]Subhadra, Maalbhadra, Bhadravardhana, Gobhaa, Yaka, Indrabhaa, Bhadrga, Vrabhadra, Mahgua, Vijaya and Balabhadra. They are older than Ka and are always thinking of His welfare.

One of the elderly friends said, My dear Maalbhadra, why are you wielding a shining sword as though you were running toward Arisura to kill him? My dear Baladeva, why are You unnecessarily bearing that heavy plow? My dear Vijaya, dont be unnecessarily agitated. My dear Bhadravardhana, there is no need to make these threatening motions. If you will all look more closely you will see that it is only a thundercloud upon Govardhana Hill; it is not the Arisura in the shape of a bull, as you have imagined. These older, well-wishing friends of Ka had imagined a large cloud to be the Arisura, appearing in the shape of a huge bull. In the midst of their excitement one of them ascertained that it was actually only a cloud on Govardhana Hill. He therefore informed the others not to take the trouble of worrying about Ka, because there was no present danger from Arisura.

Among the well-wisher friends, Maalbhadra and Balabhadra are the chiefs. Maalbhadra is described as follows. His complexion is yellowish, and his dress is very attractive. He always carries a stick of various colors. He wears a peacock feather on his head and always looks very beautiful. Maalbhadras attitude is revealed in this statement: My dear friends, our beloved Ka is now very tired from working with the cows in the pasturing grounds and from traveling all over the forests. I can see that He is very fatigued. Let me massage His head silently while He is taking rest in His house. And you, Subalayou just massage His thighs.

One devotee described the personal beauty of Baladeva as follows Let me take shelter of the lotus feet of Balarma, whose beauty is enhanced by the earrings touching His cheeks. His face is decorated with tilaka made from kastr [musk], and His broad chest is decorated with a garland of guj [small conchshells]. His complexion is as white as an autumn cloud, He wears garments of blue color, and His voice is very grave. His arms are very long, touching His thighs, and He has shown His great strength by killing the Pralamba demon. Let me take shelter of this chivalrous [xvi]Balarma.

Baladevas affection for Ka is illustrated in this statement to Subala: My dear friend, please inform Ka not to go to Kliyas lake today. Today is His birthday, and so I wish to go along with mother Yaod to bathe Him. Tell Him He should not leave the house today. This shows how Balarma, Kas elder brother, took care of Ka with parental love, within the scope of fraternal affection.

Friends who are younger than Ka, who are always attached to Him and who give Him all kinds of service are called ordinary friends, or, simply, friends. Such ordinary friends are called sakhs, and the names of some sakhs are Vila, Vabha, Ojasv, Devaprastha, Varthapa, Maranda, Kusumpa, Maibandha and Karandhama. All of these sakh friends of Ka seek only to serve Him. Sometimes some of them would rise early in the morning and immediately go to Kas place and wait at the door to see Ka and to accompany Him to the pasturing grounds. In the meantime, Ka would be dressed by mother Yaod, and when she would see a boy standing at the door, she would call him, Well, Vila, why are you standing there? Come here! So with the permission of mother Yaod, he would immediately enter the house. And while mother Yaod was dressing Ka, he would try to help put on Kas ankle bells, and Ka would jokingly strike him with His flute. Then mother Yaod would call, Ka, what is this? Why are You teasing Your friend? And Ka would laugh, and the friend would also laugh. These are some of the activities of Kas sakhs. Sometimes the sakhs would take care of the cows who were going hither and thither. They would tell Ka, Your cows were going off here and there, and Ka would thank them.

Sometimes when Ka and His sakhs went to the pasturing ground, Kasa would send a demon to kill Ka. Therefore, almost every day there was a fight with some different kind of demon. After fighting with a demon, Ka would feel fatigued, the hairs on His head would be scattered, and the sakhs would immediately come and try to relieve Him in different ways. Some friends would say, My dear Vila, please take this fan of lotus leaves and fan Ka so that He may feel some comfort. Varthapa, you just brush the scattered hairs on Kas head which have fallen upon His face. Vabha, dont talk unnecessarily! Immediately massage Kas body. His arms have become tired from fighting and wrestling with that demon. Oh, just see how our friend Ka has become tired! These are some examples of the treatment given to Ka by the sakhs.

One of the sakhs, known as Devaprastha, is described as follows. He is very strong, a ready scholar, and is very expert in playing ball. He wears a white dress, and he ties his hair into a bunch with a rope. Whenever there is a fight between Ka and the demons, Devaprastha is the first to help, and he fights just like an elephant.

One of the gops once said to her friend, My dear beautiful friend, when Ka, the son of Mahrja Nanda, was taking rest within the cave of a hill, He was keeping His head on the arms of rdm, and He was putting His left hand on Dms chest. Taking this opportunity, Devaprastha, out of his strong affection for Ka, immediately began to massage His legs. Such are the activities of Kas friends out on the pasturing grounds.

The more confidential friends are called priya-sakhs and are almost Kas age. Because of their very confidential friendship, their behavior is only on the basis of pure friendship. The behavior of other friends is on the ground of paternal love or servitude, but the basic principle of the confidential friends is simply friendship on an equal level. Some confidential friends are as follows: rdm, Sudm, Dm, Vasudm, Kikii, Stoka-ka, Au, Bhadrasena, Vils, Puarka, Viaka and Kalavika. By their various activities in different pastimes, all of these friends used to give transcendental pleasure to Ka.

The behavior of these confidential friends is described by a friend of Rdhr who told Rdhr, My dear graceful Rdhr, Your intimate friend Ka is also served by His intimate boyfriends. Some of them cut jokes with Him in mild voices and please Him very much by this. For example, Ka had one brhmaa friend whose name was Madhumagala. This boy would joke by playing the part of a greedy brhmaa. Whenever the friends ate, he would eat more than all others, especially laus, of which he was very fond. Then after eating more laus than anyone else, Madhumagala would still not be satisfied, and he would say to Ka, If You give me one more lau, then I shall be pleased to give You my blessings so that Your friend Rdhr will be very much pleased with You. The brhmaas are supposed to give blessings to the vaiyas (farming and merchant caste), and Ka presented Himself as the son of Mahrja Nanda, a vaiya; so the brhmaa boy was right in giving blessings to Ka. Thus Ka was very pleased by His friends blessings, and He would supply him with more and more laus.

Sometimes a confidential friend would come before Ka and embrace Him with great affection and love. Another friend would then come up from the rear and cover Kas eyes with his hands. Ka would always feel very happy by such dealings with His confidential friends.

Out of all these confidential friends, rdm is considered to be the chief. rdm used to put on a yellow-colored dress. He would carry a buffalo horn, and his turban was of reddish, copper color. His bodily complexion was blackish, and around his neck there was a nice garland. He would always challenge Ka in joking friendship. Let us pray to rdm to bestow his mercy upon us!

Sometimes rdm used to address Ka, Oh, You are so cruel that You left us alone on the bank of the Yamun, and we were all mad from not seeing You there! Now it is our great fortune that we are able to see You here. If You want to pacify us, You must embrace each one of us with Your arms. But believe me, my dear friend, a moments absence from You creates great havoc, not only for us but for the cows also. Everything becomes disarranged, and we become mad after You.

There are other friends who are still more confidential. They are called priya-narm, or intimate friends. Counted among the priya-narm friends are Subala, Arjuna, Gandharva, Vasanta and Ujjvala. There was talk among the friends of Rdhr, the gops, about these most intimate friends. One gop addressed Rdhr thus: My dear Kg [delicate one], just see how Subala is whispering Your message into Kas ear, how he is delivering the confidential letter of ym-ds silently into Kas hand, how he is delivering the betel nuts prepared by Plik into Kas mouth, and how he is decorating Ka with the garland prepared by Trak. Did you know, my dear friend, that all these most intimate friends of Ka are always engaged in His service in this way? Out of the many intimate priya-narms, Subala and Ujjvala are considered to be the most prominent.

Subalas body is described as follows. His complexion is just like molten gold. He is very, very dear to Ka. He always has a garland around his neck, and he wears yellow clothing. His eyes are just like lotus flower petals, and he is so intelligent that by his talking and his moral instructions all the other friends take the highest pleasure. Let us all offer our respectful obeisances unto Kas friend Subala!

The degree of intimacy shared by Ka and Subala can be understood by the fact that the talks between them were so confidential that no one else could understand what they were saying.

The description of Ujjvala, another intimate friend, is given as follows. Ujjvala always wears some garment of orange color, and the movements of his eyes are always very restless. He likes to decorate himself with all kinds of flowers, his bodily hue is almost like Kas, and on his neck there is always a necklace of pearls. He is always very dear to Ka. Let us all worship Ujjvala, the most intimate friend of Ka!

About the confidential service of Ujjvala, this statement is to be found, addressed by Rdhr to one of Her friends: My dear friend, it is impossible for Me to keep My prestige! I wanted to avoid talking to Ka anymorebut just see! There again is His friend Ujjvala, coming to Me with his canvassing work. His entreaties are so powerful that it is very difficult for a gop to resist her love for Ka, even though she may be very bashful, devoted to her family duties and most faithful to her husband.

The following is a statement by Ujjvala, showing his jubilant nature: My dear Ka, O killer of Aghsura, You have extended Your loving affairs so much that You can be compared to the great ocean, which is without limitations. At the same time, the young girls of the world, who are all searching after the perfect lover, have become just like rivers running into this ocean. Under the circumstances, all these rivers of young girls may try to divert their courses to some other place, but at the end they must come unto You.

Among the groups of different friends of Ka, some are well known from various scriptures, and some are well known by popular tradition. There are three divisions among Kas friends: some are eternally in friendship with Ka, some are elevated demigods, and some are perfected devotees. In all of these groups there are some who by nature are fixed in Kas service and are always engaged in giving counsel; some of them are very fond of joking and naturally cause Ka to smile by their words; some of them are by nature very simple, and by their simplicity they please Lord Ka; some of them create wonderful situations by their activities, apparently against Ka; some of them are very talkative, always arguing with Ka and creating a debating atmosphere; and some of them are very gentle and give pleasure to Ka by their sweet words. All of these friends are very intimate with Ka, and they show expertise in their different activities, their aim always being to please Ka.

NoD 42: Fraternal Loving Affairs

Chapter Forty-two

Fraternal Loving Affairs

Kas age, His beauty, His bugle, His flute, His conchshell and His pleasing attitude all provoke love in friendship for Him. His exceptional joking abilities, exhibited sometimes by His pretending to be a royal prince, or even the Supreme Personality of Godhead, also give impetus to devotees developing love for Ka in friendship.

Learned scholars have divided Kas age into three periods: the age up through five years is called kaumra, the age from the sixth through the tenth year is called paugaa, and the age from the eleventh through fifteenth year is called kaiora. While Ka is spending His days as a cowherd boy, He is in the kaumra and paugaa ages. In the kaiora age, when Ka appeared in Gokula, He acted as a cowherd boy, and then, when He was sixteen, He went to Mathur to kill Kasa.

The kaumra age is just suitable for reciprocating the love of a child with mother Yaod. In the Tenth Canto, Thirteenth Chapter, verse 11, of rmad-Bhgavatam, ukadeva Gosvm tells King Parkit, My dear King, although Lord Ka is the supreme enjoyer and the beneficiary of all kinds of sacrificial ceremonies, He still used to eat with His cowherd boyfriends. This is because at that time He accepted the pastimes of an ordinary boy, keeping His flute under His arm and His bugle on the right side in His belt, along with His cane. In His left hand He would hold a lump of rice paste with yogurt, and in His fingers would be plu, the king of fruits. When He would thus sit among His friends, it would appear that He was the whorl of a lotus flower and that the friends surrounding Him were petals. As they thus enjoyed joking among themselves, the denizens of heaven would become struck with wonder and would only stare at the scene.

Kas paugaa age can be further divided into three periodsnamely the beginning, middle and end. In the beginning of the paugaa age there is a very nice reddish luster on His lips, His abdomen is very thin, and on His neck are circles like those on a conchshell. Sometimes, some outside visitors would return to Vndvana to see Ka and, upon seeing Him again, would exclaim, My dear Mukunda, Your beauty is gradually increasing, just like the leaf on a banyan tree! My dear lotus-eyed one, Your neck is gradually manifesting circles like those of the conchshell. And in the shining moonlight Your teeth and cheeks are competing with the padmarga jewels in their beautiful arrangement. I am sure that Your beautiful bodily development is now giving much pleasure to Your friends.

At this age Ka was garlanded with various kinds of flowers. He used to put on a silk dress, colored with various kinds of dye. Such beautiful decorations are considered cosmetics for Ka. Ka would wear this dress when He used to go into the forest to tend the cows. Sometimes He would wrestle there with His different friends, and someti