OPULENCE AND SWEETNESS
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
After the scorching heat of the summer season, it is very pleas-ing to see dark clouds in the sky. As confirmed in Brahma-sa_hitā, barhāvata_sam asitāmbuda- sundarā_gam. The Lord wears a peacock feather in his hair, and his bodily complexion is just like a blackish cloud. The word sundara, or snigdha, means “very pleasing.” kandarpa-ko_i-kamanīya. Krishna’s beauty is so pleasing that not even millions upon millions of Cupids can compare to it.
The Lord’s form as Vishnu is decorated in all opulence; therefore Lord Shiva is trying to see that most opulent form of Narayan, or Vishnu. Generally the worship of the Lord begins with the worship of Narayan, or Vishnu, whereas the worship of Lord Krishna and Radha is most confidential. Lord Narayan is worshiped by the pāṣcarātrika-vidhi, regulative principles, whereas Lord Krishna is worshiped by the bhāgavata-vidhi. No one can worship the Lord in the bhāgavata-vidhi without going through the regulations of the pāṣcarātrika-vidhi. Actu-ally, neophyte devotees worship the Lord ac-cording to the pāṣcarātrika-vidhi, the regulative principles enjoined in the Nārada-paṣcarātra. Radha-Krishna cannot be approached by the neophyte devotees; therefore temple worship according to regulative principles is offered to Lakshmi-Narayan. Although there may be a Radha-Krishna vigraha, or form, the worship of the neophyte devotees is accepted as Lakshmi-Narayan worship. Worship according to the pāṣcarātrika-vidhi is called vidhi-mārga, and worship according to the bhāgavata-vidhi principles is called rāga-mārga. The principles of rāga-mārga are especially meant for devotees who are elevated to the Vrindavan platform.
The inhabitants of Vrindavan — the gopis, mother Yasoda, Nanda Maharaja, the cow-herd boys, the cows, and everyone else — are actually on the rāga-mārga or bhāgavata-mārga platform. They participate in five basic rasas — dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, mādhurya and śānta. But although these five rasas are found in the bhāgavata-mārga, the bhāgavata-mārga is espe-cially meant for vātsalya and mādhurya, pater-nal and conjugal relationships. Yet there is the viśrambha-sakhya, the higher fraternal worship of the Lord especially enjoyed by the cowherd boys. Although there is friendship between Krishna and the cowherd boys, this friendship is different from the aiśvarya friendship be-tween Krishna and Arjuna. When Arjuna saw the viśva-rūpa, the gigantic universal form of the Lord, he was afraid for having treated Krishna as an ordinary friend; therefore he begged Krishna’s pardon. However, the cow-herd boys who are friends of Krishna in Vrindavan sometimes ride on the shoulders of Krishna. They treat Krishna equally, just as they treat one another, and they are never afraid of him, nor do they ever beg his par-don. Thus the rāga-mārga or bhāgavata-mārga friendship exists on a higher platform with Krishna, namely the platform of viśrambha friendship. Paternal friendship, paternal ser-vice and conjugal service are visible in the Vrindavan rāga-mārga relationships.
Without serving Krishna according to the vidhi-mārga, regulative principles of the pāṣcarātrika-vidhi, unscrupulous persons want to jump immediately to the rāga-mārga prin-ciples. Such persons are called sahajiyā. There are also demons who enjoy depicting Krishna and his pastimes with the gopīs, taking ad-vantage of Krishna by their licentious charac-ter. These demons that print books and write lyrics on the rāga-mārga principles are surely on the way to hell. Unfortunately, they lead others down with them. Devotees in Krishna consciousness should be very careful to avoid such demons. One should strictly follow the vidhi-mārga regulative principles in the wor-ship of Lakshmi-Narayan, although the Lord is present in the temple as Radha-Krishna. Radha-Krishna includes Lakshmi-Narayan; therefore when one worships the Lord accord-ing to the regulative principles, the Lord ac-cepts the service in the role of Lakshmi- Narayan. In The Nectar of Devotion, full instruc-tions are given about the vidhi-mārga worship of Radha-Krishna, or Lakshmi-Narayan. Al-though there are sixty-four kinds of offenses one can commit in vidhi-mārga worship, in rāga-mārga worship there is no consideration of such offenses because the devotees on that platform are very much elevated, and there is no question of offense. But if we do not follow the regulative principles on the vidhi-mārga platform and keep our eyes trained to spot of-fenses, we will not make progress. _
— Purport to Bhāg. 4.24.45-46
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