Appreciating the vision of the paramahamsas.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Turkey Vulture

Some emblem may excite us about the Infinite. Ignoring that finite thing, we are then caught by the Infinite, which is excited therefrom.

vana dekhi’ bhrama haya—ei ‘vrndavana’
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 17.55)

“Looking at a jungle, at once Vrndavan comes in His mind, and He is captured by the whole, His whole heart is captured.”

A brisky boy will give one memory of Krishna Himself as will so many things in the world.

When we are in a lower position, even a real portrait of Krishna, devotees, and other things may rouse some hatred within us: “This is only a doll, and these idol worshippers are creating such a nuisance in the country.”

But if one has the real eye within, one will see not only the Deity outside as saksat Vrajendra-nandana [Sri Krishna Himself (Cc: Madhya, 5.96)], but one’s mind will be carried to Vrndavan and so many lilas there. Even a slight connection will rouse the whole thing: Krishna’s lila, His Dham, anything.

There is a saying that a devotee once saw a vulture in the sky and began to chant, “How sweet! How sweet! How sweet!”

Why? The vulture reminded him of the cremation ground where so many bodies are left. From the vulture, his mind went to the cremation ground, and at the cremation ground, “Oh! There are so many cows here, and the skin of these cows is utilised in the mrdanga, and when the mrdanga is played with the chanting of Krishna-nam, ‘How sweet that is!’”

Immediately from the vulture, his mind came through the cremation ground to the mrdanga, then to the chanting of the devotees, and then it was as if a song was entering into his ear, “How sweet! How sweet!”

In this way connection may come to a proper heart. Even a slight connection may rouse an ocean of joy.

On the other hand, the real thing may come, Krishna Himself may come, in front of someone, but as Sisupal said [to Krishna], “You are at the root of all the mischief here.”

A proper seer may be carried to Him. If one has no eye, then beautiful things are useless, but if the eye is there, then one can see Krishna’s sweetness even in ordinary things, even in things which are abused generally. A paramahamsa can see good everywhere and take good from everything.

sthavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti
sarvatra haya tra ista-deva-sphurti
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: Madhya-lila, 8.273)

[Sriman Mahaprbahu of Sri Ray Ramananda: “When he sees moving or inert beings, he does not see their forms; everywhere he sees his worshippable Lord.”]

“Outwardly, he is seeing matter and living bodies, but he sees them in connection with Krishna.” This comes from within, and he is overjoyed by that feeling.

When Mahaprabhu first approached Jagannath in Puri, from a distance of six or ten miles He saw the summit of the Temple and began to cry, dance, and sing like anything. Those last few miles then took a long time for Him. He couldn’t make any progress: sometimes He would fall flat, prostrate, and offer pranam, dandavat. Sometimes He would dance, sometimes chant, and sometimes faint. In this way, only a few miles became a long distance. Such feeling may come from within.


Spoken on 25 January 1983.

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