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The Ecstasy Potency of the Divine

by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja

We must have the selflessness to admit that He is all-in-all: “Even my existence can be effaced by His sweet will. Although we are told that the soul is eternal, still, He is the Absolute who can efface me.” We are krta-das – slave; the master can make or marr us. Marobi rakhobi yo ichha tohara – You can keep me, You can do away with me; this is Your constitutional right. I am quite dependent. You can make or marr my fortune, anything you like.

As much as you’ll be able to realize your position of helplessness, so much you are enriching yourself from the real standpoint. You are acquiring a position there. Just the opposite from here – no vanity is allowed there. All humility – humility has got value there. Constitutionally we are in the negative, not in the positive. We have no right, but all right is in His sweet will alone. That is Prema, Love; His grace. Our existence depends on that aspect of reality.

Sakti – the female aspect has its particular importance, and not that it will go to imitate the right of the male. That would be her failure. So, there is the ‘predominating’, and the ‘predominated’. If we want to assert our predominating self, then we have to come into connection with Maya, the illusory energy; there we are purusa. But if we want to uphold that tatastha or marginal nature of our own, then we are not purusa; we are of female type, dependent type, or sakti (energy).

In consideration with Him, we are sakti and in consideration with maya, we are saktiman, purusa, exploiter, enjoyer. If we seek our relationship with the upper existence, we have to be enjoyed or handled. On that side, subjective existence is there; and here, we come to exploit, to assert; and in connection with maya we can do that. And we are suffering from the reaction. Here in the illusory world, we can assert, ‘We are purusa, we are enjoyer.’ But this is false and reactionary.

So try to develop the attitude of your potency characteristic. If you will be able to do that, you’ll have value on the higher realm. By submission – pranipata, pariprasna, seva – you may be allowed to enter into that domain, otherwise not. You have to be utilized by them, by the interest of the higher land. Only then are you allowed entrance. No exploitation for the jiva-soul is possible in that land. The country of Paramatma, the Soul of all souls.

Devotee: Does the false endeavour of the Mayavadis by jnana – this is one type of endeavour ...

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: They cannot enter into that domain. They are showing their feats only here within this mundane, up to only Satyaloka. Then in Brahmaloka they merge – finished. They cannot pass trough Brahmaloka to Vaikuntha with their idea “so ‘ham – I am a part of the highest entity”. That idea detains them in the Brahmaloka, and they can never go upward. But by the conception “Daso ‘ham – I am a servitor”, you will be allowed to enter into the higher level. So, nirmatsaranam satam moksabhisandhir api nirastah – these are the authoritative scriptural comments.

Devotee: Maharaj, in vaidhi-bhakti, what is the endeavour of the sadhaka (practitioner)?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: To follow the programme as recommended in the Sastra and by the sadhu. Later, one will gradually find himself in the proper soil, and that he is gaining some ground. That will encourage one to continue his attempt towards that upper realm. It is to be considered when ruchi (conscious) taste will come. Up to ruchi one must undergo some programme recommended by the sadhu and Sastra, and one will progress by that help. Sravana-dasa (stage of hearing), varana-dasa (stage of selection), up to apana-dasa, he will take the trouble of practising life or sadhana-dasa. When the plane of self-realization or apana-dasa will begin, he himself will stand guarantee for his own activity. He will feel it for himself – Bhava-Bhakti – and he won’t be taken away from that position. He will feel, “I am realizing a novel type of ecstasy.” From ruchi, the progression is to asakti (attachment) and Bhava.

We can acquire higher things by service. There’s so much to consider. Sacrifice, and have. Pay for it. Not ‘pay’ in terms of money or such things, but in terms of your own self. Surrender, and have; give, and get. As you give, you can get a similar thing.

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaive bhajamy aham
mama varttmanuvarttante
manusyah partha sarvasah

Effectively, the Lord says, “There is non beyond Me; so even if the people pray for trifling things, I give them those too.” So all culminates in His final say. That is His play. “But those who seriously want Me – they, also, have to pay for that.” But He is the whole Self. He gives Himself wholly. “He gets Me wholly.” As He gives, so they get. Come out with your little capital – you will get Him in return.

Devotee: My friend says he’s bankrupt.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: It is a good sign to be bankrupt here. Then he will seek some shelter. He is seeking a shelter sincerely.

Devotee: He would like to arrange a loan from you.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj (laughs): This is all loan. I am also in loan – reaction; we are continuing the business in loan from Gurudev. A borrowing business loan. Business on the negative side, all is on loan. Mahaprabhu said, “yare dekha tare kaha ‘krsna’ upadesa (Teach whoever you see about Krsna), amara ajnaya – I am the Capitalist.” He takes the position of a capitalist.

The truth about Maya, illusion, is difficult for us to digest. ‘I am small’ – I don’t like to digest or accept this. That’s the rub. That is my inner evil tendency to capture another’s right. We need to understand what is freedom. We are actually accustomed to think that we can encroach on the freedom of others of the environment. That is the disease. Otherwise, we rebel, “I shall commit suicide. If I cannot freely exercise my will over the environment outside, I shall enter into the grave.” But I won’t accept slavery – a serving attitude to the environment.

We are afraid to become a servant. “I want to be an exploiting unit, but not a serving unit that is bound to give its freedom to another superior hand.” This is where we fail, and this is the inner defect. We understand ‘freedom’ as exercising our right over the environment. Why should we not accept service for the environment? Why? There, we’ll be reduced to the minimum position. But that is healthy for us. To serve others, to become a servant. There we can thrive, by serving the environment, and, especially the Lord of the whole. We think that we are dying if we accept service. That false temperament has grown in us; that is a foreign element entered into the jiva. It is a bitter pill to swallow.

So what is service proper? We may consider the Hegelian philosophy – ‘Die to live!’ ‘Mercilessly dissolve your ego as it is at present. Die!’ Here, ‘die’ means dissolve mercilessly. Throw yourself into the fire; you’ll come out with a bright self. Learn to die as you are – that mentally concocted body or energy, or whatever it is. Take the Name of the Lord and die! Bhaktivinoda aj apane bhulila. Forget yourself, as you are; and you’ll find your proper self there, that does not die. Death is ordained for our present existence, and we must give that part of our existence to death. And what does not die will remain.

Mahaprabhu has discussed physical death in this way:

sanatana, deha-tyage krsna yadi paiye
koti-deha ksaneke tabe chharite pariye

“If I could get Krsna by dying, I am ready to die millions of times in a second; but that is nothing.” This is physical death is tamasika, a very lower death. The mental death is necessary. Real death is mental death, wholesale. Even then, also, one may only reach the tatastha or marginal stage. But He says, ‘Die or not die, go on cultivating Krsna consciousness with the company of a sadhu, a Krsna devotee. Try to accumulate that internal wealth, however it is possible. Kriyatam yadi kuto ‘pi labhyate.

The internal capital can be had only from the sadhu. Whever you’ll get it, try to secure that innermost wealth at any price. Mere physical or mental death cannot take you to that higher stage. You have to dive deep into Krsna consciousness. Whenever and wherever you find such strong attachment for Krsna, try to secure it from him at any price. That will be the best utilization of our life and energy. To purchase the higher thing.

And that is also at the sacrifice of the higher thing within you – innermost hankering. By surrendering your innermost existence. Such a transaction is there. The physical encasement and the mental encasement is of different types: Bhur, Bhuvar, Svar, Mahar, Janar, Tapa, Satya. These are the gradations of encasements from gross to finer. There many such varieties. Not only that, further there is the Viraja, Brahmaloka, Vaikuntha. So many subtle forms of consciousness take their manifest forms in Vaikuntha.

So most subtle within you is Krsna consciousness, where the dedication is intense to its highest capacity.

And this is dedication to the Autocrat, not to a constitutional king or agent of justice. But dedication to Krsna is to the Autocrat. Anything can happen. The highest degree of dedication is necessary there. The gain is also similar. As much as you can risk, so much you can expect to gain. That is Mahaprabhu’s direction. “Don’t be a miser. Surrender yourself to the Autocrat, the Absolute Good, and you will be the best gainer.” That is His recommendation. Don’t be too calculative and a miser. If you find a proper place, give yourself totally.

Devotee: Atma-niksepa?

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Atma-niksepa. Niksepa (to throw oneself) to a proper place. So Krsna is the greatest bidder, as in an auction. He will pay the most. No one can pay as much as He. He’s the highest capitalist. Whimsical, prodigal.

Gopendra suta bina teho na sparse anya jan. The highest giver, the highest dedicator is Radharani. No one but Vrajendranandan can venture to approach Her. She is Mahabhava-Svarupini. Sacrifice at its zenith is there in Her.

The highest standard ever is eternally represented there. Sacrifice in self-giving, self-surrendering – beyond all standards ever known to the world of Scriptures. As Laksmidevi has no place near Krsna, so also Narayan cannot approach Radharani, what to sepak of others. Not even Dvarakesa or Mathuresa, not even Gopesa. Mahabhava-Svarupini - Sri Radha’s unique Sentiment

sadharana-preme dekhi savatra ‘samata’
radhara kutila-preme ha-ila ‘bamata’
gopi-ganera rasa-nrtya-mandali chadiya
radha chahi’ vane phire vilapa kariya

All the Gopis are of equal rank in the Rasa Pastimes, but some fine jealousy came only in the mind of Radharani. And after showing Her superiority in chanting, dancing, etc. She suddenly disappeared, after conquering the common Gopis. Krsna suddenly found Himself vacant. The entire source of His energy was from that one point, and that is the theme of His Pastimes. But when that very vitality was drawn away – He found Himself vacant; and searching after Her. He couldn’t find Her, and then He stealthily left the company of the Gopis, in search of Radha. Jayadev has said,

kamsarir api samsara-vasana-baddha-srnkhalam
radham adhaya hrdaye tayaja vraja-sundarih

So many of the Braja-sundari (beautiful Gopis of Braja) were on one side, and Radharani was on the other side. They were all abandoned by Him, and He was out searching for Her. In Ramananda-samvad it’s also said, a categorical qualitative difference is there in the loving service of the Gopis and Radharani. It is admitted there, as happening in Rasa Pastimes, and Jayadev has also been quoted in this connection.

I also have written a poem:

yad amiya-mahima-sri-bhagavatyam kathayam
pratipadam anubhuta chapy alabdhabhidheya
tad akhila-rasa-murteh syama-lilavalamba-
madhura-rasadhi-radha-padapadmam prapadye

In every poem of Bhagavatam there is the presence of Radharani, because that is the conclusion to be established in Bhagavatam by so many tales and stories, and so on. The highest aim of Bhagavatam is to establish Radha-dasyam. So all through, the Bhagavatam is preparatory for that; still, Her Name is not mentioned anywhere in Bhagavatam – alabdhabhidheya. Every word is used only to prove Her noblest position; still, no name is expressly used there. Akhila-rasa-murti – all sorts of ecstasy combined, is Krsna; and the main support of that akhila-rasamrta-murti is Radhika. She is the only support of the Lila of Syama; the fountain of Madhura-rasa. I surrender myself to the holy feet of that Radharani. She is the gist of the whole life of akhila –rasamrta-murti, Krsna, who consists in Himself of all sorts of high Rasa, Ecstasy. She is His only support.

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