How we must cautiously approach the super-subjective plane in service.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

‘mayadhisa’-’maya-vasa’,—isvare-jive bheda
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 6.162)

There is a permanent distinction between the Lord and the jiva. The jiva is susceptible to maya, a victim of maya, and the Lord is the master of maya on the other side. Maya is His servant. Maya is handled by His sweet will, but we are to be handled by maya.

So, no material attraction should invite us. We must be very careful about that. My aim will be always in the transcendental. And it is not very cheap. To get that is not very cheap.

Help must come from above. Even very few liberated souls can go up to that stage of fine consciousness, and even consciousness and intelligence fail to guide us in the higher level. Only the grace of the highest persons may be our capital in the highest position. They will guide us where even our intelligence and reason fail.

Simplicity, sincerity, love, affection. We must be independent of mundane relativity. That is the trouble.

We are children at present in the mundane soil. It is very difficult to shake off mental propensities and experiences. Pratyaksa, paroksa, and aparoksa. In the third stage, aparoksa, there is complete withdrawal from the world of experience. Then comes adhoksaja, entrance into some other world. That is all consciousness, and it is not only made up of consciousness like my soul but made up by the soil of the Supersoul.

vaikunthera prthivy-adi sakala chinmaya
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 5.53)

The earth, the air, the water—everything—there is spiritual, and not only made of ordinary spirit but of the Supersoul. It is made up of a spiritual substance higher than that by which I am made up. That is Vaikuntha, and I am to go there. How is it possible? I shall have to walk there, but the soil there is more valuable than myself. So, how will I walk on that soil? The soil is made of higher stuff than I who will walk over the soil. So, it is almost impossible. Still, it is possible: only when any necessity from that land comes for me.

Reality is for itself. So, it must be for the satisfaction of Krishna. I may be taken there, and I may have to walk over the soil there, which is of a higher order than I who am walking over it, higher than my soul. Can you dream of it? Can you imagine? The soil on which we shall have to walk is more venerable, more valuable, than those who will walk over it, more than ourselves. When is it possible? Only when a demand comes from the upper side: “Admit him to come to Me.” They will have to obey the order: “Yes, you go there.” Only for the purpose of the satisfaction of Krishna, to attend any call from the highest position. Then, it is possible, otherwise not.

So, seva, service, the service of Krishna, only that can allow me to walk over the soil which is made up of a stuff higher than we ourselves. It is more than we can imagine, more than we can dream. Still, it is. The necessity is His satisfaction. This has been traced very highly: Krishna-priti. For the satisfaction of Krishna, we are to go there, and never otherwise.

Our inner soul has the capacity to attend the call of Krishna, and for that cause the soul may go over Vaikuntha, Goloka Vrndavan, and anywhere and everywhere that is made up of materials higher than the soul is. It is almost an absurd thing.

The mayavadi says, “No. We can go only up to the abscissa. From the negative side, we can withdraw, and we are to stay permanently in the abscissa. We can’t go any higher.” Only the devotional cult comes us to give this information: “Yes, it is possible to go higher, but only with the object of His satisfaction, and not a concoction of satisfaction.” When there is real necessity, then we may be allowed. By service, my heart will be so pure and so intolerant that we cannot live without the service of the Lord. Then, we may be allowed to pass over that soil. It is not a very cheap thing. It is not emotion or anything else.

The reality is so cruel, so stiff, so hard. Only by showing some tears, some shivering, or some sentiments and gesticulations, it can be had? No chance. How much purity is necessary? Self‑abnegation is not sufficient. “Krishna interest”, Krishna’s service and the interest of His higher servant—that is all-in-all. That must be created within our heart. “Krishna interest”, Krishna-priti, Krishna-prema, that is the thing.

So, Mahaprabhu says, “Not a drop of that divine love of Krishna is within Me. I am shedding tears so much, but that is only to canvass the people, to show to the people: ‘Oh, you see how fortunate I am? I have got Krishna-prema, which great numbers of liberated souls cannot hope to get. I have got it. I am shedding so many tears.’ It is only to canvass the ignorant public for My own fame that I am great devotee, but really, not a drop is within Me.” Mahaprabhu says this. How great a warning is it? Now, should we try for this? Or should we go home and live happily with our mundane family? What is this? This is a hard nut to crack.

Mahaprabhu Himself has said it, and the great devotees are of same temperament: “I am trying, but not yet have I got it.” None say, “I have got it within my fist.” It is a very peculiar thing that a devotee says, “I do not have it” but they do have it. They say, “He has it, he has some favour of Krishna in him, but I am devoid. I do not have it.” This is a peculiar thing. “I have no money, but that gentleman, he has enough money.” A moneyed man thinks, “I have no money. I have something scanty, but that is not enough for any purpose. That man has some substantial money.” This is the nature.

It is written, but we all overlook it:

vaikunthera prthivy-adi sakala chinmaya
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 5.53)

“The soil, that is, the earth, the water, the air—everything—in Vaikuntha is made of spirit.” I have come from the tatastha-sakti, and everything there has come from the svarup-sakti, the higher potency. We, jivas, are an outcome of the tatastha-sakti, the marginal plane, and they are of the svarup-sakti. So, only with the help of the svarup-sakti can one who has sprung up from this tatastha-sakti walk over that land which is more valuable than oneself. Only by help, only according to a visa will one be allowed to travel over that soil. A passport can do nothing. There must be a visa, and there are different types of visas also. How much confidential freedom may be attached to any particular visa? Will we be able to see the governor, the president, the king, and the queen with any type of visa? Will everyone receive such a visa? Or will we receive an ordinary visa to wander about the street? There is a classification of visas also.


Spoken on 26 February 1983.


‘mayadhisa’-’maya-vasa’,—isvare-jive bheda
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 6.162)

“The difference between the Lord and the soul is that the Lord is the master of maya and the soul is controlled by maya.”

vaikunthera prthivy-adi sakala chinmaya
mayika bhutera tathi janma nahi haya
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Adi-lila, 5.53)

“The earth, water, fire, air, and space in Vaikuntha are all spiritual. Material elements do not exist there.”

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern exponent of the conception of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the school of Srila Rupa Goswami. Subtle and profound yet vivid and practical, his representation of both the broadest and deepest spiritual truths has and continues to fortify and nurture the faith of spiritual aspirants the world over. For more information on Srila Sridhar Maharaj, please visit his biography page.
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