Śrī Kṛṣṇa-saṁhitā – Chapter 7 – Considerations on Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes
eśā līlā vibhor nityā goloke śuddha-dhāmani
svarūpa-bhāva-sampannā cid-rūpa-vartinī kila
It was previously described how Vaikuṇṭha was created by the sandhinī aspect of the spiritual potency of the superior energy. Vaikuṇṭha is divided into three divisions—the sweet division, the opulent division, and the impersonal division. The impersonal division is the covering of Vaikuṇṭha, the outer apartment is called the abode of Nārāyaṇa, and the inner apartment is called Goloka. The impersonalists attain Brahma-dhāma, the impersonal division, and become free from lamentations caused by māyā. The devotees who worship the opulent aspect of the Lord attain Nārāyaṇa-dhāma and become fearless. The devotees who worship the sweet aspect of the Lord attain the inner apartment and relish the nectar of Kṛṣṇa. Freedom from lamentation, fearlessness, and nectar are the three-quarter opulences of the Lord known as Vaikuṇṭha. When the Supreme Lord is endowed with opulence, He is known as Vibhu. This material world is the one-quarter opulence of Kṛṣṇa. Various pastimes beginning with the Lord’s appearance and continuing to His disappearance are eternally manifested in Goloka. The mood of Goloka is reflected in the conditioned living entities’ hearts, wherein the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are also eternally manifest. Therefore, according to the devotees’ qualification, at a particular time Kṛṣṇa is taking birth in some devotee’s heart, He is stealing the gopīs’ clothes in another devotee’s heart, He is performing the rāsa dance in someone’s heart, He is killing Pūtanā in another’s heart, He is killing Kaṁsa in someone else’s heart, He is having an affair with Kubjā in yet another’s heart, and He enacts His disappearance in the heart of some devotee who is leaving his body. As the living entities are innumerable, the planets are also. As one pastime takes place on one planet, another pastime takes place on another planet. In this way each pastime continually takes place. Therefore, all of the Lord’s pastimes are eternal; there is no break, because the Lord’s energies are always active. All these pastimes are purely spiritual, without a trace of material contamination. Although for the conditioned living entities in illusion these pastimes appear perverted, in reality they are most confidential and spiritual.
jīve sāmbandhikī seyaṁ deśa-kāla-vicārataḥ
pravarteta dvidhā sāpi pātra-bheda-kramād iha
These pastimes are constitutionally manifest in Goloka, but the conditioned living entities perceive them in a relative way. A pastime appears different because the nature of conditioned souls varies according to time, place, and person. The pastimes of the Lord are never contaminated, but they may appear to be due one’s contaminated consideration. It was previously described that the activities of the spiritual world are not clearly seen by conditioned souls. Although something may be realised through samādhi, that also is seen through the perverted material medium of the original spiritual nature. Examples are seen in the place, time and persons that are mentioned in the pastimes of Vraja. All these examples may be understood in two ways. For the kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs these examples are only appreciated through complete faith. There is no other possibility for their advancement. But for the uttama-adhikārīs these examples are accepted as indications of spiritual variegatedness. When conditioned souls are free from material affinity, then they will perceive the constitutional pastimes of the Lord.
vyakti-niṣṭhā bhaved ekā sarva-niṣṭhā ‘parā matā
bhakti mad dhṛdaye sā tu vyakti-niṣṭhā prakāśate
Conditioned souls naturally perceive the pastimes of the Lord in terms of their affinity for Him. This affinity is of two kinds—that which is found in an individual and that which is found in a general mass of people. The affinity found in the hearts of particular devotees is that which is found in an individual. The hearts of Prahlāda and Dhruva were sitting places for the pastimes of the Lord as a result of their individual affinity.
yā līlā sarva-niṣṭhā tu samāja-jñāna-varddhanāt
nārada-vyāsa-citteṣu dvāpare sā pravartitā
Just as a particular feature of the Lord appears in and purifies the heart of a person according to the awakening of his knowledge, if we similarly envision the whole society as one person and consider its childhood, youth, and old age, then the particular feature of the Lord that manifests becomes a community asset. As the community’s knowledge matures, they first take to fruitive activities, then the cultivation of knowledge, and ultimately they take to spiritual activities and become purified. The affinity that is found in a general mass of people first appeared in the hearts of Nārada and Vyāsa in Dvāpara-yuga and has progressively been propagated as pure Vaiṣṇava religion.
dvārakāyāṁ hariḥ pūrṇo madhye purṇataraḥ smṛtaḥ
mathurāyāṁ vijānīyāt vraje pūrṇatamaḥ prabhuḥ
pūrṇatvaṁ kalpitaṁ kṛṣṇe mādhurya-śuddhatākramāt
vraja-līlā-vilāso hi jīvānāṁ śreṣṭha-bhāvanā
This Vaiṣṇava religion in the form of the pastimes of the Lord is divided into three parts according to the development of a society’s knowledge. The first part is the pastimes of Dvārakā, where the Lord is opulent, where He is known as Vibhu, and where His is worshiped through regulative principles. The second part is seen around Mathurā, where the Lord’s opulence is partially manifest with a greater portion of sweetness. But the third part, the pastimes of Vraja, is the best of all. Pastimes that contain more sweetness are superior and more intimate by nature. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa is most complete in the pastimes of Vraja. Although opulences are part of the Lord’s splendour, they cannot become prominent before Kṛṣṇa; because wherever opulences are more prominent, sweetness is diminished. This is also the case in the material world. Therefore, objects of sweetness like cows, gopas, gopīs, cowherds’ dress, butter, forests, fresh leaves, the Yamunā, and the flute are the only wealth of Vraja-Gokula, or Vṛndāvana. What is the need for opulence there?
gopikā-ramaṇaṁ tasya bhāvānāṁ śreṣṭha uccate
śrī-rādhā-ramaṇaṁ tatra sarvorddha-bhāvanā matā
Supreme rasas under the shelter of the four relationships—dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, and mādhurya—are eternally existing in the pastimes of Vraja as the ingredients of all spiritual activities. Among all these rasas, the pastimes of the Lord with the gopīs are the highest. And among these, the Lord’s pastimes with Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the crest jewel amongst the gopīs, are still higher.
etasya rasa-rūpasya bhāvasya cid-gatasya ca
āsvādana-parā ye tu te narā nitya-dharminaḥ
Those who relish this topmost spiritual rasa are said to have accepted their eternal constitutional activities.
sāmānya-vākya-yoge tu rasānāṁ kutra vistṛtiḥ
ato vai kavibhiḥ kṛṣṇa līlā-tattvaṁ vitanyate
Fearing to cross the threshold of argument, some madhyama-adhikārīs say, “Just try to explain these feelings with simple words. There is no need to use Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes as examples.” But such type of comments are faulty, for the variegatedness of Vaikuṇṭha cannot be explained with simple words. Just by saying, “There is a Lord. Worship Him,” does not properly explain the living entities’ supreme constitutional duties. The act of worship is not possible without a relationship. To be situated in Brahman after giving up māyā cannot be called worship, because in this process only an indirect mood of negation is accepted; there is nothing positive. But by saying, “See the form of the Lord. Take shelter of the Lord’s lotus feet,” the quality of variegatedness is somewhat accepted. At this juncture we must consider that if one is not fully satisfied with spiritual variegatedness, one may still address the Absolute Truth as “Lord” or “Father.” Although these relationships appear mundane, there is nonetheless an indescribable purpose behind them. Since one must accept material ingredients, activities, and all the perverted mundane reflections of the relationships of Vaikuṇṭha as examples, swan-like persons must not fear to extract from these the understanding of spiritual activities and ingredients by the propensity of swans. Out of fear that foreign scholars will not understand this and accuse us as idol worshipers, should we submerge the jewel of spiritualism? Those who will criticize are certainly immature in their conclusions. Being on a higher platform, why should we fear their fallacious conclusions? The science of rasa cannot be fully explained by ordinary words, therefore poets such as Vyāsadeva have elaborately described the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. Those wonderful pastimes of the Lord are the respected wealth for both kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs and uttama-adhikārīs.
īśo dhyāto bṛhaj jñātaṁ yajñeśo yajitas tathā
na rāti paramānandaṁ yathā kṛṣṇaḥ prasevitaḥ
The happiness that Lord Kṛṣṇa bestows when He is properly served is not obtained when He is worshiped as Yajñeśvara through karma-yoga, as impersonal Brahman through jñāna–yoga, or as Paramātmā, the companion of the living entity, through dhyāna-yoga. Therefore, serving Kṛṣṇa is the supreme occupational duty for all living entities—whether kaniṣṭha-adhikārī or fortunate uttama-adhikārī.
vadanti tattvataḥ kṛṣṇaṁ paṭhitvedaṁ suvaiṣṇavāḥ
labhante tat phalaṁ yat tu labhed bhāgavate naraḥ
All Vaiṣṇavas should read this Kṛṣṇa-saṁhitā and understand the science of Kṛṣṇa. All the results that one achieves by studying Śrīmad Bhāgavatam will be achieved by studying this book.
Thus ends the Seventh Chapter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-saṁhitā, entitled “Considerations on Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes.”
May Lord Kṛṣṇa be pleased.