VIDEO

THE UNIVERSALS AND PARTICULARS OF GAUDIYA VAISNAVISM

Discourse in May of 1996 at the University of California, Berkeley

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Primary subjects of discussion

  • Jaiva-dharma: the natural function of the soul
  • Revelation in the heart
  • Srimad Bhagavatam as the natural commentary on the Vedanta-sutra
  • Chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra
  • The speciality of the Krishna conception of Divinity

Literal Transcript

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Namaste.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa Prabhu: Other sannyāsīs may sit beside.

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: Jay Om Viṣṇupād Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj kī jay!

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: First we will sing something or … ?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa Prabhu: You speak for ten fifteen minutes as you like and then open up the questions.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj:

oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā
chakṣur unmilitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

vāñchhā-kalpa-tarubhyaś cha kṛpā-sindhubhya eva cha
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te
kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-chaitanya-nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ

By the grace of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, and Mahāprabhu Śrī Chaitanyadev, and your affectionate association, I am here. I cannot speak English properly, but I come here to speak something about Mahāprabhu’s conception, and Doctor Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa Prabhu, he arranged this, and mercifully our Professor, huh?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa Prabhu: Goldman.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: … given this opportunity. He is vastly learned you know everyone.

But I have really no qualification, but Mahāprabhu said very simply, “Everybody will be benefitted if they will follow this conception as Vaiṣṇava-dharma”, what is we are calling jaiva-dharma. Jaiva-dharma, religion, about religion manywhere many things we read and we can see, but really religion is one, and it’s revealing in the heart of real saint. Saint here given some identification in Manu-saṁhitā:

vidvadbhiḥ sevitaḥ sadbhir nityam adveṣa-rāgibhiḥ
hṛdayenābhyanujñāto yo dharmas taṁ nibhodhata
(Manu-saṁhitā: 2.1)

Vidvadbhiḥ sevitaḥ sadbhir. Vidvadbhiḥ: there Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī said Vedavidbhiḥ, who is really learned, he must know about Veda. Veda means śruti, what descending through hearing from the Guru, from the upper level.

ūrdhva-mūlam adhaḥ-śākham

Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteen Chapter there you will see:

ūrdhva-mūlam adhaḥ-śākham aśvattaṁ prāhur avyayam
chhandāṁsi yasya parṇāni yas taṁ veda sa veda-vit
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 15.1)

This way given many description, but Vidvadbhiḥ sevitaḥ, what they are worshipping? Vidvadbhiḥ have some clear quality and qualification, and that is nityam adveṣa-rāgibhiḥ. If we will try to research who have no enviousness, and who is qualified in all the descended knowledge and feeling presence in their heart; kāma, krodha, lobha, mada, moha, mātsarya, who can, who already, conquered in his heart, automatically sthita-dhīḥ, that means stable mind, and in there what is revealing that is called dharma. That type of saint we can see in the line of mahājana. It is called mahājana. Mahājana, what is the English?

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: Great souls, great saints …

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Great souls …

Professor Goldman: Mahātmā …

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Mahātmā, and there given some description:

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo balir vaiyāsakir vayam
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 6.3.20)

Svayambhūḥ means Brahmā, Nārada, Lord Śiva— Śambhuḥ, Kumār—Sanat Kumār, Kapiladev, Manu—they are all is qualified. And what in their, what reveal in their heart, that is the real religion. And if we will try to realise, we can see all the qualities and qualification existing within Vedavyās, Ṛṣi Vedavyās. That is, everybody given much honour to Ṛṣi Vedavyās. And he divided, composed and divided, the Vedas, Vedānta, Purāṇa, Aṣṭadaśa-purāṇa, Mahābhārata, included Gītā in Mahābhārata. Then all the knowledge, vast knowledge about religion, it is coming through Vedavyās.

At present we can see here is no doubt for our all the ṛṣis and munis: Atri, Vaśiṣṭha, Chyavan, Śaradvān, Ariṣṭanemi, Bhṛgu, Aṅgirā …. All the giant and qualified ṛṣis and munis, they everybody respected Śrī Vedavyās. Then, authentic teacher Vedavyās, we can take his comment, and also with full respect what he given, that we can take very happily in our heart. Then religion, real religion, will reveal in our heart.

My English is very poor; I am trying. Honourable Professor can explain everything, that is, I am seeing his face.

Ṛṣi Vedavyās said,

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
(Śrīmad Bhagāvatam: 1.2.6)

He given in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā so many channel of religion. And it is necessary for everybody no doubt. That is we are not everybody qualified to take everything, then he explained in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: karma-miśra bhakti, jñāna-miśra bhakti, yoga-miśra bhakti, śuddha-bhakti. And faith, sincerity, love, and the hankering, with this qualification, we can understand something about what given Vedavyās.

And finally Vedavyās tried to do good for everybody, all the conditioned souls and liberated souls. And all the form of religion, it’s also always trying to give ecstasy to us beyond this material knowledge.

We are living in this material world. We can collect from our environment and from our association, circumstances, but all is in the form always passing show to us, but transcendental knowledge it is revealing from the transcendental world, spiritual world we can say, and that knowledge always taking us to upper level. And here no different with other religious conceptions. The Christianity and Vaiṣṇavism, we have seen it is very close, the practice, practising is very close. And others also all religion, they all tried to do good for us, but Vedavyās, he given that Vedic knowledge and very expertly explained for everybody in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad Bhāgavat. What given in Vedānta-darśana Vedavyās Ṛṣi, that hazy for many searcher, and for that he make Śrīmad Bhāgavatam as interpretation.

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: Commentary.        

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Commentary. Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Bhāgavata-purāṇa, there said, artho ‘yaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇāṁ. Brahma-sūtra means Vedānta-darśana. He given gist of the Vedas in, within, Vedānta-darśana. And later he think it is very hard for others to collect substance of that sūtram. And we also understand something. First Vedānta-darśana, there athāto Brahma jijñāsā first sūtram. Second sūtram is janmādy asya yataḥ.

Here we can see the first question coming from the sincere seeker, and answer giving next sūtra. But that explanation more and commentary form we will get in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. There we can see Vedavyās said, janmādy asya yataḥ, what he told in Vedānta-darśana, janmādy asya yataḥ, that sūtram explanation we can see in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam:

janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś chārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.1.1)

Like the style of gāyatrī mantram, this way he explained his sūtram. Then everybody respected to Vedavyās Ṛṣi and given honour. Then we can take from his scripture our real religion explanation.

All the jīva-soul, they are coming from where? And what is their natural religion? This way he given explanation. Janmādy asya yato means Supreme Personality of Godhead. This explanation given yato bhaktir Adhokṣaje, within this word we can get it. Adhokṣaja means beyond the mundane world and mundane knowledge His existence, and He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This way given explanation Vedavyās Ṛṣi.

And we are coming from there. Our existence like sun and sun-ray. This way explained that sun is Kṛṣṇa and sun-ray the jīva-souls. Then all the, almost all qualities, within the jīva-souls, and that quality some explanation given that fifty (sixty-four) kind of quality existing within jīva-souls, and higher standard incarnation, there existing fifty-five kind of qualities, good qualities, …

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: Fifty within the jīva-souls.      

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Ahuh. Fifty-five within Lord Śiva and other demigods, and sixty kind of qualities living, existing, within Nārāyaṇ, and another four highest quality, what is not within our calculation, but we know that four qualities existing within Kṛṣṇa. And this way he explained, and finally Vedavyās given that knowledge to us:

ete chāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
indrāri-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ mṛḍayanti yuge yuge
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.3.28)

Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and everybody under control of that Supreme Personality. This way he given the explanation of Kṛṣṇa.

And also jīva-souls, about religion of jīva-souls, Vedavyās Ṛṣi said, “All the jīva-souls have natural tendency, yes, natural tendency, and that they must be attracted with the, the … must be attracted by the Powerful. And Powerful he said, Powerful is Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa’s Power, with Power He is Powerful. And jīva-śakti, called jīva-śakti, they also power of Kṛṣṇa, but very tiny and insignificant. For that, with their free will they, very few maybe, but misguided by their own self. When they are coming from three kind of power of Kṛṣṇa, that is:

kṛṣṇa [viṣṇu]-śaktiḥ parā proktā kṣetrajñākhyā tathā parā
avidyā-karma-saṁjñānyā tṛtīyā śaktir iṣyate
(Viṣṇu-purāṇa: 6.7.61)

There parā-śakti, aparā-śakti, and kṣetrajñā-śakti. Jīva-soul coming from kṣetrajñā-śakti. Play of Sweet Absolute going on in Their own divine transcendental abode. That is called parā-śakti, and aparā-śakti like the shadow of that parā-śakti. That is aparā-śakti. When jīva-soul come out from kṣetrajñā-śakti, that is marginal plane, and mostly they are going to …  they are attracted by parā-śakti’s effulgence and going that side. But some of them unfortunately looking the māyā. That is called aparā-śakti, and immediately they feel with their free will, that is, these three quality existing within conscious body, that three quality is willing, feeling, and thinking, then when they will feel, “Oh, I can enjoy with this aparā-śakti”, then they are immediate attracted by aparā-śakti, and going to the māyā, and trying to play with māyā, but that is shadow of the parā-śakti. They are not getting substance. And illusory environment there: Svarga, Martya, Pātāla, this way.

ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino ’rjuna
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 8.16)

This way they are living in this illusory environment.

Anyhow, mercifully from that transcendental abode Kṛṣṇa sending sometimes His incarnations, sometimes He Himself coming, that is play always going and non-stopping way, and sometimes sending the agent, His … Agent means?

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: Representative.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Representative. And this way play going on the transcendental and mundane, both places. But fortunate soul, they are getting some light through that transcendental knowledge, like Vedavyās. We heard Ṛṣi Vedavyās is Śaktyāveś-avatār, mane, Kṛṣṇa Himself given power to Vedavyās, “You can distribute the knowledge transcendental in this illusory environment.” And this way that knowledge coming to sincere seeker’s heart. And that knowledge given Ṛṣi Vedavyās:

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje

And Nyāya-śāstra there we can see, they said, “Religion, it is natural flow of everything”, and that is their religion. Like given some example like water. Water’s natural flow always going to the downward movement, fire’s natural nature always burning; that’s their religion. This way given some explanation, but jīva-souls, they have also like that religion. They must be attracted with that transcendental form of Divine Lord. This told the Ṛṣi Vedavyās. And which way he will be attracted? With his full devotional mood, and when they will pay their devotional mood to their Lordship, and from there also they will get very quick connection with that form of transcendental world as vibration. And through that they can go very quick; they can march very quick in the transcendental abode.

A transcendental vibration form, it is also we can see within every religion, even that Christianity, Mohamedanism, Buddhaism, everywhere we have seen, we can see, they are also chanting the Holy Name of their Lord.

But Vedavyās Ṛṣi, he given that knowledge for, divided way for, the conditioned souls. We are ‘surrounding’ … no? Svarga, Martya, Pātāla, etc.,      

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: We are circulating.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: We are circulating the  Svarga, Martya, Pātāla everywhere, and here is  some flow also going always, then we must try to connect with that transcendental vibration. And in the scripture we can see that transcendental vibration, it is the form of our Lord:

nāma chintāmaṇiḥ kṛṣṇaś chaitanya-rasa-vigrahaḥ
pūrṇaḥ śuddho nitya-mukto ‘bhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ
(Padma-purāṇa)

And through this mantram, it is … we are telling the ‘mantram’. Actually mantram, it is also descending from the upper level; through Guru- paramparā we are getting that mantram. And mantram is different type of mantram for different type of conditioned souls, but there, they make some division for Satya-yuga, for Tretā-yuga, for Dvāpar-yuga, and for Kali-yuga. Satya-yuga, there the jīva-souls will be benefitted through a specific type of mantram, that is:

nārāyaṇa-para vedā nārāyaṇa-parākṣarāḥ
nārāyaṇa-parā muktir nārāyaṇa-parā gatiḥ

Tretā-yuga they are given this mantram:

rāma nārāyaṇānanta mukunda madhusūdana
kṛṣṇa keśava kaṁsāre hare vaikuṇṭha vāmana

Dvāpar-yuga given this mantram:

hare murāre madhu-kaiṭabhāre
gopāla govinda mukunda saure
yajñeśa nārāyaṇa kṛṣṇa viṣṇo
virāśrayaṁ māṁ jagadīśa rakṣa

And in Kali-yuga this mantra, it is very famous you know now:

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare

This mantram Vedavyās Ṛṣi, he given us for Kali-yuga jīva-soul. And it is actually appear in the form of devotional mood, in the form of devotion in the heart of the devotee it has appeared, and that yuga-dharma, chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra, in the form of Kṛṣṇa it will appear if we can chant properly and will appear in our heart.

This is knowledge given [by] Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, and He shown it. He appeared before, five hundred years ago, in Nabadwīp Dhām, and Kṛṣṇa Himself can give Him …

Śrīla Sagar Mahārāj: Can give Himself.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Kṛṣṇa can give Himself to him, no?

Śrīla Sagar Mahārāj: To us, only Kṛṣṇa can give Himself to us.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj:  Hyā̐, and with this theory, it is research by the experts, and they have seen that quality in Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, and for that they are telling it is revealed in the scriptures in Śrīmad Bhāgavat before:

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.5.32)

With this quality and qualification Kṛṣṇa will appear in the Age of Kali-yuga, and they have seen it in Chaitanya Mahāprabhu. Then they expressed their feelings, Chaitanya Mahāprabhu nondifferent form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. What we heard, nondifferent form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Kṛṣṇa-nām. If it is transcendental, ‘transcendental’ means transcendental power can reveal anywhere any form, in any form. Otherwise, that is not transcendental. That type of power with that form of transcendental, and He can appear in the vibration form, and it is given [by] Chaitanya Mahāprabhu. Then He Himself also nondifferent form of Kṛṣṇa. This way they realised, the other goswāmīs and the expert in this line.

Anyhow, that here is no difference with other religion. The jīva-souls’ religion, they will wholeheartedly try to connect themselves in the line of devotion with their Lordship, and that is called ‘bhakti’. ‘Bhakti’ means bhaj-dhātu sevāyam, that means service to the Lord with sincerity and love, that two qualities. If the conditioned soul will try to connect with his Lord, sincerity and love … but first necessary is faith, and faith is the basis of all religion, we will see that. Then, all the conditioned souls when will get the faith through merciful glance of the sādhus, then they will get some light, and through light they will try to understand what is his duty. And immediate that is existing within him, that tendency, immediate that feelings will come: mood of service it is necessary for him. And that way hankering coming to them. And when they are given full devotion to their Lord, immediate they are getting connection with that Lordship in the form of transcendental vibration, and they are chanting the glories, chanting the Name, Holy Name, of their Lord. And this is very appropriate in the Age of Kali-yuga. This is Mahāprabhu’s philosophy. Mahāprabhu given to us, and we are also trying to preach it all over the world you can say now, but it is very happy news and happy situation created all over the world. Now anywhere if we will go, we can hear the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra. It is by the grace of Prabhupād Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur. Everywhere we can see that movement now happily spreading, and his dearmost disciple Śrīla Guru Mahārāj and Prabhupād A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Mahārāj who stayed in same house actually and discuss so much before. I have seen in 1947 when I joined. Intimate association I have seen there, intimate association. And Prabhupād A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swāmī considering my Guru Mahārāj as his Śikṣā-guru. That way through him we have got that mahāmantram all over the world; we have got that vision to see all over the world the chanting of the mahāmantra.

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: A chance to see this happen.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa Prabhu: Perhaps Professor Goldman you would like to open up the …

Professor Goldman: I think Śrīla will graciously agree to take some questions if you might think of some. Let me start asking, Śrīla, you have mentioned all the different religions of the world, Christianity, Islam, and so on. Could you tell us what particularity is of Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇava faith that distinguishes it from some other world religions.

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: Vaśiṣṭya.

Professor Goldman: Vaśiṣṭya.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Vaiśiṣṭya, yes. World religion have different level and different stage. The Christianity, they are telling up to heaven, they are proceeding as a goal up to heaven. They not given so much description about heaven, and Muslimism, there also not given so many description about their Lord, and their mane goal, but it is clearly given all the description about transcendental world, and there full description of service, and relationship there with their Lord, everything very clearly in Vaiṣṇavism. Then, we are attracted in Vaiṣṇavism. That is, nowhere you will see told, “I am God”, “I am Lord”, this way nowhere we can see the presentation, presenting Lord Himself this way, it is we cannot see.

Lord Jesus said, “I am son of God”, Mohammed said, “I am the servant of Allah”, and given some description: Allah is so big. ‘Allah’, this word’s meaning is ‘so big’, but what is form, this way not given any description. But if we will get in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, you see there Kṛṣṇa Himself told to Arjuna:

ahaṁ hi sarva-yajñānāṁ bhoktā cha prabhur eva cha
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 9.24)

man-manā bhava
mad-bhakto bhava
mad-yājī bhava
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 9.34)

Mane, “I am the Lord”, “I am God”, this way clear some description, and more clear description we will get in Śrīmad Bhāgavat and other Purāṇas. The abode of the Lord, there what is existing, and what is their quality, and what is their service qualification, everything, activities, everything described very nicely.

In Brahma-saṁhitā we can see:

śrīyaḥ kāntāḥ kāntāḥ parama-puruṣaḥ kalpa-taravo
drumā bhūmiś chintāmaṇi-gaṇa-mayi toyam amṛtam
kathā gānaṁ nāṭyaṁ gamanam api vaṁśī priya-sakhi
chid-ānandaṁ jyotiḥ

Etc., etc., description giving …

sa yatra kṣīrābdhiḥ sravati surabhībhyaś cha sumahān
nimeṣārdhākhyo vā vrajati na hi yatrāpi samayaḥ
(Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā: 5.56)

There everything description given this way. And full-fledged theistic conception we will get in Vaiṣṇavism. And not only that, the relationship with the Lord, that is very valuable. What we need, everything we can see, fulfilment we can see in the Kṛṣṇa conception. And we need love, we need charm, we need beauty, we need ecstasy, we need harmony. For that we are always hankering, and everything will be fulfilled if we will try to establish our relationship with Kṛṣṇa conception.  

Śrīpād Janārdan Mahārāj: Mahārāj, he also mentioned something about the singularity of  Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇavism.

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: Gauḍīya-vaśiṣṭya.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: That is the Gauḍīya–Vaiṣṇavism! What I told, it is Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism.

Professor Goldman: We have some other questions perhaps …

Student: Mahārāj, you mentioned that the jīva-souls have a natural tendency to be attracted by the Powerful, and sometimes they are attracted, some of them are attracted to the aparā-śakti.

Now, does that make the aparā-śakti more powerful than the jīva? And if so, what is the jīva’s position in extricating himself?

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Jīva-souls sometimes means … Actually when jīva-souls they are getting manifestation we can see, that is eternal, eternal not taking birth …

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: They are eternal, but they are only manifest and unmanifest.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Hyā̐. Then when manifestation they are getting that position, that is revealing from the taṭasthā-śakti, marginal potency, mostly they are going to the transcendental abode, that is, there is light; they are seeing the light, always getting more mane power. First when getting birth, when breathing, and other environment helping him …

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: They are enlivened …

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: … enlivened by the divine potency and going that side mostly, ninety-nine nine nine point nine nine nine, like that. And very few, they are unfortunately … that is they have some free will, freedom, everything, unfortunately someone looking this way, and seeing there he can control and can enjoy with that māyā, can be a master there, and other side he forgetting actually, and attracted by māyā and immediate jumping to the māyā. He is transcendental potency, but very tiny. For that, his willing, feeling, and thinking immediate attracted by māyā and jumping there. And this way they are missing their proper destination. And their sāṅkhya, sāṅkhya means?

Professor Goldman: Number.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Quantity … sāṅkhya. Quantity is very small quantity. In this mundane world how many prison house, and how many living in the prison house? Very few. Three thousand, three hundred crores of human form, maybe more now. And se tulanāya, huh?

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: In comparison to that.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: In comparison to that, in the prison house very few there living. And māyā’s position like that.

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: Compared to law abiding citizens only a small number are criminals or in prison.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: But it is … [laughter] It is coming through their free will. Free will, free will given … mane, they have got by their birthright independence. And sometimes independence burning our finger. Like that, a little boy he have no experience about the fire, and if he will get independent, he can put his finger in the fire, that way he mane misuse his independence. And that position come to us. Like that.

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: She is asking that means that the aparā-śakti is more powerful than the jīva, is it so?

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Yes, jīva … Aparā-śakti is more powerful than jīva, but not jīva-śakti. Jīva-śakti is a big, high potential power. You can think it is three group: one is two-third position taking, and another one-third position, there jīva-soul getting one part, and that part also big part, and another part a smaller part, but that is shadow part.

Professor Goldman: We had another question.

Madhusūdan Prabhu: Two fold question. What is the higher conception of God and the Absolute: Creator, Powerful, much opulence, and owner of everything, is that higher conception? Or is there a higher conception than that of sweetness and affection and beauty? Which is higher, power or affection or sweetness?    

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: It is not conception actually … conception, huh? … Mahārāj, what is the question?

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: The question is God as a controller or God as someone beloved, is that higher?

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Is it your question?

Madhusūdan Prabhu: Who is higher, Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa?

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: That is another category it is going. Viṣṇu is higher or Kṛṣṇa is higher? If you ask this question, I can give answer. Here is no connection with jīvas.

Madhusūdan Prabhu: Yes, that is the question.

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: He has gone to another category.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Viṣṇu has quality, He is … Viṣṇu and Kṛṣṇa is nondifferent actually, Their form. But there is only some special quality existing in Kṛṣṇa conception, form of Kṛṣṇa, and that is:

sarvādbhuta-chamatkāra-līlā-kallola-vāridhiḥ
atulya-madhura-prema-maṇḍita-priya-maṇḍalaḥ
trijagan-mānasākarṣi-muralī-kala-kūjitaḥ
asamānordhva-rūpa-śrī-vismāpita-charācharaḥ
(Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: Dakṣiṇa-vibhāga, 1.41–2)

Viṣṇu has not that four quality. Within Viṣṇu … everything is within Viṣṇu, but it is not mane sampurṇa prakāśita.

Professor Goldman: It is not fully manifest.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: It is not fully manifested in Viṣṇu’s character, but it is fully manifested in Kṛṣṇa character. Sarvādbhuta-chamatkāra-līlā-kallola-vāridhiḥ: all the mystic and miserable … huh?

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: All the mystic, mysterious?

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: All the mysterious play of Sweet Absolute, mysterious play of Sweet Absolute, it is we can see in the Kṛṣṇa-līlā. Viṣṇu has no birth. Viṣṇu has no father, mother. But whereas we can see Kṛṣṇa has father, mother, brother, and servant, and friend. Then, if Sweet Absolute will play with the five kind of relationship, that is more tasteful for the conditioned souls. Otherwise, if we will go to Nārāyaṇ or Viṣṇu, same Nārāyaṇ, Viṣṇu, Kṛṣṇa is the same power, Powerful there, but play of that Sweet Absolute it is specially existing within Kṛṣṇa supremely. His Pastimes going that way with five relationship with the conditioned souls, ah, non-conditioned souls, conditioned souls and non-conditioned souls. There is ki?

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: Liberated souls.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Liberated souls.

sarvādbhuta-chamatkāra-līlā-kallola-vāridhiḥ
atulya-madhura-prema-maṇḍita-priya-maṇḍalaḥ

Love there is supremely playing, the love and beauty, maṇḍita-priya, and through the love everybody is very much enlivened. And trijagan-mānasākarṣi-muralī-kala-kūjitaḥ: the flute of Kṛṣṇa, transcendental flute and sound vibration, transcendental vibration, huh, what is coming down in this mundane world as muralī-dhvani …

Śrīpād Sāgar Mahārāj: The song of the flute, flute-song.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Hyā̐. Song of the flute, what we are telling first sound coming from flute, Om, this word, and then gāyatrī-mantram, and this way everywhere playing that sound of muralī, and also in the heart of the devotee who is related with the service of Kṛṣṇa. One sound, it will play different kind of … taking different kind of meanings …

Śrīla Sagar Mahārāj: That flute is calling particular devotees to their special service …

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: One sound …

Śrīla Sagar Mahārāj: One particular sound.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: One sound going to Mother Yaśodā, she is feeling, “Oh! Kṛṣṇa is hungry”, or “Kṛṣṇa need this!” That sound when going to Rādhāṛāṇī or other gopīs, that given another type of feelings to them. Same sound will going to the servants, they are … or the friends, they are coming for play with Kṛṣṇa. This way it is.

Professor Goldman: We have taken so much of Śrīla’s time which he has kindly given us, so let’s please thank him for joining us today.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa Prabhu: Those of you who are still here, we would like to invite you to take some savories, what we call prasād, foodstuff offered to the Lord, prasādam means the Lord’s mercy, we have some samosa and some sweet we’d like to offer to you. And thank you very much for coming and specially I would like to thank Professor Goldman and Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj for both being here today and allowing Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj to have this opportunity to present what I would describe the practitioners’ viewpoint of Vaiṣṇavism. I feel it is very important that academia try to cooperate that within its higher learning so that the student has an opportunity to understand the inner meaning of the practitioner viewpoint. Thank you very much.        

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: I am very thankful to you all that you have given your time for hearing from me about Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and very grateful to the Professor, and our doctor Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa Prabhu. And it is our standing invitation for your grace if you will go to India, please visit.

Professor Goldman: নিশ্চয় আমি আসব । [Certainly I will come.]

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern representative of the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Both definitive and progressive, his exemplary life, practice, and teachings brilliantly illuminate the path of divine love. For more information on Srila Govinda Maharaj, please visit his biography page.
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