The Nature Of Divine Love
Srila Jagadananda Pandita
One day Raghunatha dasa Goswami inquired from Sri Svarupa Damodara, “Please instruct me, oh master. Give me some inkling of the nature of divine love. I am unable to fathom the de¬scriptions of love so sublimely sung by the poets Candidasa and Vidyapati.”
I extract only the external mundane meanings of love from the hearings of their poetry. Such mundane sentiments, simply pertain to ordinary attraction between a man and a woman. How can such emotions be considered spiritual? How can mundane dalliances be called spiritual love?
Lord Chaitanya is always singing these songs and relishing their supra mundane mood with yourself, but I have no access to such intimate exchanges. The Lord has placed me in your hands to be under your spiritual tutelage. Please, therefore, guide me in comprehending these confidential truths.
Please be gracious and explain to me the con¬cept of spiritual love. With my doubts dispelled, I will remain ever grateful to you.”
Svarupa Damodara Goswami replied, “My dear Raghunatha, I will reveal this esoteric truth to you in a solitary place. Neither Ramananda Raya, Gadadhara Pandita, nor I completely compre¬hend the spiritual truths which the Lord Himself embodies. But if Lord Gauracandra presides on the tip of my tongue and He Himself reveals this esoteric transcendental truth about Himself by His causeless mercy, then you can be convinced that all you previously heard was totally spiritual, devoid of material taint. Oh Raghunatha, you will experience unmitigated spiritual bliss upon hearing this.
Know without a doubt that the songs by Can¬didasa and Vidyapati, the subject matter of the book Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta, and Ramananda Raya’s dramas are all peerless spiritual scriptures. The topics described in them are completely devoid of material sentiments. They are, in fact, transcen¬dental compositions that contain and foster pure love of Godhead. Descriptions of men and wom¬en in these pages are simply used as substitutes. You must perceive their transcendental signifi¬cance, because one cannot perceive Krishna in mundane literature which deals with mundane erotic dalliance.
Whether man or woman, as long as one is at¬tached to the bodily concept of life and interested only in enjoying the senses, a person will never be able to grasp spiritual truth. The spiritual master who claims to be a representative of Lord Krishna, but does not understand the Lord’s pure loving exchanges, is not fit to be in that position. His show of devotion is a deceptive sham. He remains in the clutches of the lord’s illusory energy called maya and is therefore, her instrument.
The love of Krishna
Spiritual love of Krishna is untainted and pure like the sacred waters of the Ganges river. That love is like an unlimited ocean of nectar. The devotee’s spiritual attachment for such loving relationships is totally free from the slightest ma¬terial contamination, like spotless white linen.
Pure love of Godhead is like an ocean of bliss. It is so great that just one drop of it could inundate the entire universe. I am so wretched that I am one hundred percent attached to my material body and controlled by mundane desires, so my original form of pure spirit is never manifest. When one is blinded by carnal ‘love’ and re¬jects pure spiritual love, then Lord Krishna will never respond to his pretentious and deceitful approach. However, one who sincerely and earnestly implores Krishna for His mercy will certainly be crowned with success.
The spiritual exchanges and emotions of one experiencing love of Krishna are transcendental; all the symptoms of transcendental loving mel¬lows find expression in that person’s heart. The ecstatic symptoms of the conjugal mellow are of the super mundane nature. They are experienced between Krishna and the purely spiritual beings who are his associates and thus these dealing are purely on the spiritual platform.
Oh how fortunate Lilasuka, Bilvamangala Ṭhakura, is ! Lord Krishna appeared before him in person and elevated him so that he could relish loving exchanges with Him in the transcendental mood of Sri Vraja-dhama. Lilasuka became nat¬urally detached from the demands of physical pleasure and developed aversion for mundane sentiments. This pleased Krishna very much.
Vidyapati and Candidasa had similarly devel¬oped distaste for non-scriptural, spurious ‘spiritu¬al’ mellows which they had previously accepted as true devotional sentiments. Previously they had imposed mundane concepts on the spiritual exchanges between Krishna and His beloved devotees. Later however, by the Lord’s mercy they became purified to understand the tran¬scendental mellows. They rejected their imma¬ture sentiments and emotions and surrendered themselves to Krishna, always engaging in the His transcendental loving service.
One who is too engrossed in the pleasures of the flesh never tastes the sublime loving exchang¬es with Krishna. Even the beautiful form of the youthful Krishna playing His flute cannot evoke in him ecstatic emotions and spiritual sentiments. That unfortunate person identifies the self with his body and is busy adorning and pleasing it. When the thunderbolt of death strikes him down, then who knows what his next birth is? He maybe born as an insect or worse.
On the other hand, if one can subdue the urge for material pleasures and develop a real taste for loving devotional service at the lotus feet of Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, then he can directly see the exquisite face of Lord Krishna. Such a blessed person, disassociating himself forever from previous identity and material as¬sociation swiftly returns to his eternal home in the forests of Goloka to sport with Lord Krishna in his eternal spiritual body..
The śloka composed by Lord Caitanya
Lord Caitanya expressed His inner sentiments as follows:
‘I have not the slightest tinge of love of God¬head within my heart. When you see Me crying in separation from Krishna, this merely indicates that I am conceited enough to try and demon¬strate My imaginary good fortune. Indeed, not being blessed with even a glimpse of the beau¬tiful face of Krishna as He plays on His flute, I still continue to live like a moth, whose life is without purpose, except, at best, to rush into the flames and die.’
Only the gopis understand
transcendental conjugal love
Oh Raghunatha, everyone is talking about love, but who really understands what love is? One who realises spiritual amorous exchanges with the Supreme Lord is truly fit to become a damsel in the bowers of Vrndavana.
“The word piriti, consisting of three syllables, indicates pristine spiritual love, and is famous throughout the universe. Whoever is touched by this love, becomes totally obsessed by it, oblivi¬ous to shame or disrepute in this world.
“As one gradually develops the mood of the gopis, he begins to recollect his original identity in the spiritual world and cuts asunder all ma¬terial attachments. Lord Krishna becomes the only object of his love, and the soul becomes the repository of that love. He approaches the Lord through his guru who is an intermediary who constantly reminds him of the features of his beloved Krishna. In this way, the conjugal exchanges in the mood of a paramour constantly grow and develop.
Parakīya-bhāva, or conjugal mellows in the relationship of a paramour, is found in Sri Vraja dhama alone. This same relationship is absent between Lord Narayana and Laksmi-devi in Vaikuntha and is considered immoral by Their followers.”
— Prema-Vivarta of Srila Jagadananda Pandita Translated by Sarv¬abhavana dasa.
The Nature Of Divine Love
The Nature Of Divine Love