Devotee: Maharaj, why is it that we especially chant the Name of Krishna when there are so many names of Krishna like Gopal, Govinda, and Vasudeva?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: One chants the Name of Krishna according to the position of one’s realisation. In the Veda, the Name of Krishna is mentioned as that of an asura, a demon. In Vaikuntha, Narayan is in the centre with twenty-four delegated figures around Him, and one of those is also called Krishna. Then, there is Svayam Bhagavan Krishna, then Dvaraka Krishna and Mathura Krishna. There is also differentiation there. According to the quality of differentiation, the Name Krishna will have its importance. The mayavadis also have some sort of faith in Krishna, but that is on this side, the side of maya. They also have respect for Krishna, but Brahman is above Krishna in their estimation. According to the nature of realisation, the meaning and purpose of Krishna differs; it will depend on the source from which the first impression is coming and guiding us.
We find that the highest understanding of Krishna is who can attract everyone. Krish in Krishna means akarsan: the centre of gravitation. Attraction can create the cosmos. The sun, moon, and so many planets are all depending on the force of attraction, and by attraction so many molecules and atoms are producing things of different shapes and different colours. Everything is a combination of attraction and depends on attraction in its differentiated character. Otherwise, all would be dissolved, with no figure. Nothing can exist without attraction.
When attraction is endowed with life, it becomes love. And the centre of love is twofold—positive and negative—and they are attracted by one another. Everyone, even the jiva, has got some attraction; it can attract something around them. Absolute attraction is Krishna, and when that is living, that is love. The centre of love, the centre of prema, is Krishna, and nothing else is necessary. The dire necessity of everyone’s existence is attraction, and Krishna is the wholesale attractor.
I feel that when we take the Name Krishna every nerve is attracted. The very existence outside of Him and His interest is challenged. The wholesale attraction of everything comes from that centre, from Krishna. We must be conscious of this fact of our existence. The basic principle of our life is almost solved. Where do we take our stand? That is attraction. There we stand. The earth and everything stands on that plane; it moves by attraction, gravitation. On the higher zone, there is no attraction, so they cannot walk. After coming down from this Sputnik, they cannot walk as they do here. Is it not? Coming out of that, they cannot walk as on the earth; they have to something like swim. Attraction is the foundation of our existence. Without attraction, we cannot move on the earth. Attraction helps us in all phases of our life. We cannot eliminate its utility and necessity from our existence: we must be conscious of that, and that our satisfaction consists of that.
There is physical attraction, and then there is living attraction: love, affection. That is a very happy and pleasing thing. We say that the point [centre] of attraction is loving, and love and charm can banish our enquiry. If we are satisfied with love, if we have got our desired end—the taste of love—then our imagination and our aspiration for further enquiry and discovery is finished. That seems to be the highest thing of our aspiration. We can stop our journey if we can land in a loving land, in the land of love. That is explicitly given in Bhagavatam and specially inaugurated by Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanyadev. Prema, Bhagavat-prema, that mystic realisation of charm and beauty, that is our innate enquiry, and we are to detect that.
Spoken on 9 January 1982.
Listen to the original audio recording of this talk here.