“The devotee who gains the new-found love is indeed blessed. Even the Vedic scholars are unable to comprehend his speech and actions.” – (B.R.S.)
“The devotee who has achieved love – even the wise cannot understand his speech and actions.”
Ordinary people feel joy and sorrow related with their body and material conditions. Although a premik devotee too expresses such feelings, it is entirely different from those expressed by materialistic people. A devotee who has gained love is absorbed in bliss all day and night. His joy and sorrow depends on whether he has attained Sri Bhagavân or is in viraha from Him. These are divine joy and sorrow. They are realizations that are always ras-full and supremely sweet. We can never compare these realizations with any happiness or suffering of this world. The loving devotee rides on the waves of transcendental pleasure and pain that whatever feelings he may express externally – forget ordinary mortals – even Vedic scholars who may be inexperienced in the mysteries of love – are incapable of understanding. When they see the premik laughing, weeping, singing and dancing, they simply think he is a lunatic. Of course those who know the mysteries of love can understand such a devotee.
Love depends on your relation with Sri Bhagavân
We already know what is love – “when we feel that only Sri Krishna belongs to me and I posssess nothing else”. Now, this possessiveness depends on our relation with Him. It is possible for us to feel like this only when we have established some sort of bonding with Him, for instance, that of a servant, friend, parent or sweetheart. Therefore love is of four types – depending on the bond – namely -
- Dâsya-prem – love in servitude
- Sakhya-prem – friendly love
- Vâtsalya-prem – parental love
- Madhur prem – conjugal love
The shânta devotees are happy just to get His darshan. They never feel He belongs to them. Their idea is – Sri Krishna is âtmârâm and âptakâm; He does not require any sevâ. Therefore a shânta devotee does not wish to perform sevâ, yet bhakti means ‘sevâ’. Srimat Jiva Goswâmipâd has called the shânta devotee as a borderline case due to two reasons -
- He does not feel that Sri Bhagavân belongs to him and
- He does not wish to do sevâ
“The shânta devotee has absolutely no sense of possessiveness regarding Sri Krishna. His head is crammed with the knowledge that He is the Supreme Brahman and Paramâtmâ. When a devotee is in shânta-ras he can only realize the true form of Sri Krishna and nothing else.” – (C.C.Madhya.19.177-178)
“A shânta devotee has only two qualities -
- 1. he has firm belief in Sri Krishna
- 2. he has no desire for anything not pertaining to Sri Krishna.”
A devotee who is bound to Sri Krishna as a servant has the qualities of a shânta devotee – that is – he is a firm believer of Sri Krishna and has no desire for anything not pertaining to Sri Krishna. Moreover he longs to perform sevâ. Eg. Sri Krishna’s servants in Dwâraka, such as, Dâruk.
“The servant is completely in awe of Him and thinks of Him as a Master. He considers Sri Krishna as Almighty God and reveres Him highly. He pleases Sri Krishna by constantly serving Him. He has all the qualities of a shânta devotee and also one more – and that is – ‘sevâ‘.” – (C.C. Madhya.19.178-180)
The Vrajavâsis have keval prem for Sri Krishna since none here considers Him God. The servants in Vrajadhâm such as Raktak and Patrak do consider Him a prince (the Son of Nanda Mahâraj), but they never feel He is God. Hence Srimat Jiva Goswâmipâd has called their love ‘sweet’.
The Gopa boys such as Shridâm, Subal etc have pure friendly love. True, Sri Krishna has friends such as Uddhav and Arjun in Dwâraka; however they are in aishwarya-gyân.
“Love decreases when a devotee senses opulence (aishwarya), however when a devotee has keval prem, even though he may behold Sri Krishna’s majesty he does not accept it.” – (C.C.)
When Arjun saw Sri Krishna’s majestic Universal Form, he was astounded, and his love diminished. He had begged forgiveness from Sri Krishna for his earlier behavior in a friendly mood. We find this in Bhagavad-Gita. On the other hand see how the sakhâs in Vrajadhâm behave. They were seeing Sri Krishna killing terrible asurs nearly everyday, yet they never thought He is God. They only thought – “Oh! Our friend is so strong!” and they loved Him all the more. They rejoiced when they defeated Him in sports and climbed on His shoulder to punish Him; they merrily bit into fruits before feeding Him. They say -
“As if you are better than any of us! We are all equals.” – (C.C.)
“The sakhâs have the qualities of a shânta devotee and wish to serve like the servants. The difference between the sakhâ and the servant is that while the servant respects Him, the sakhâ has no such feeling. He climbs on Sri Krishna’s shoulders, play and fight with Him. He serves Sri Krishna and also makes Him serve. A friend has great faith in Sri Krishna and is without any respect. Hence sakhya-ras has three qualities by which you can recognize it -
- 1. plenty of possessiveness for Sri Krishna
- 2. considers Sri Krishna non-different from himself
- 3. he as subjugated Sri Bhagavân” – (C.C.Madhya.19.181-184)
In Vrajadhâm Sri Nanda Mahârâj and Mother Yashomati has pure parental love. Vasudev and Devaki too have parental love, but they are in aishwarya bhâv. When Sri Krishna had appeared before them they had fallen at His feet and eulogized Him. Later on also we see that they have reverently stated that Sri Krishna and Baladev are not their sons; rather they are the Supreme controllers. However Sri Nanda-Yashomati were very happy to receive Sri Krishna and they performed pujâ that was appropriate for a new-born baby. They arranged this to protect Him from all inauspiciousness that any ordinary parent would do. They donated huge wealth, gems and cattle seeking His welfare. Mother Yashodâ, in spite of seeing Baby Krishna kill Putanâ with her own eyes, tried to protect Him in everyway by performing some or the other ritual. She never thought for a moment whether one who can kill such a ferocious demoness at such a tender age really needs any protecting ritual or not. She has constanly prayed for His well-being. When she saw her son stealing butter and curds, she even beat Him and scolded Him so that He should grow up to be a good man. When Sri Krishna carried his sandals on His head and brought them to him, Nanda Mahâraj was immersed in the ocean of bliss. So Sri Chaitanya-Charitâmrita states -
“A devotee in Vâtsalya-love has the qualities of a shânta devotee and sevâ that is present in dâsya prem also. However here we call that sevâ as ‘pâlan’1. A devotee in parental mood has no awe and reverence for Sri Krishna – same like a friend. He has more sense of possessiveness and so he beats and chastises Him. He considers himself as Sri Krishna’s protector and feels that He depends on him for survival. A devotee in this mood is full of nectar since he has the qualities of the four sentiments (shânta, dâsya, sakhya and vâtsalya). Therefore he drowns in ocean of nectarine bliss. Even the scholars who are in aishwarya-gyân admit that Sri Krishna is subjugated by His devotees.”
(to be contd……..)
1 Upbringing, caring and protection.