The defining characteristic of the Sweet Absolute.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Sriman Mahaprabhu has given us this consciousness:

aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas
(Sri Chaitanya-mata-manjusa: 1)

[“The Supreme Lord should be worshipped as the son of the King of Vraja.”]

Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why? God has so many forms and incarnations: Narayan, Rama, Nrsimha, Parasuram, Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Vamana, and so on. He has Yuga-avatars, Guna-avatars, Manvantara-avatars, Lila-avatars, and other forms. But Ete Chamsa-kalah (SB 1.3.28): they are all parts of the Supreme Lord. Parts of the Lord are full: every form of the Infinite is also infinite. If you subtract anything from the Infinite, the remainder is infinite, and if you add anything to the Infinite, the result is infinite. This is the nature and character of the Infinite. Still, we see that only Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead because Brahma and the other demigods, the other incarnations of Krishna, and even Sankarsan, who is the director-in-chief of Krishna consciousness, all serve Krishna. In the form of Krishna, we can see the Sonhood of Godhead. In this form, Krishna is fully present. If you are a father, then you have a son. If you are a servant, then you have master. If you are a friend, then you have friends. But if you are a son, then you have everything, and that is Krishna consciousness. Krishna is the son of Maharaj Nanda: Krishna has a father, a brother, servants, friends, girlfriends, wives—everything. So, Krishna consciousness is full-fledged theism.

vaikunthaj janito vara madhu-puri tatrapi rasotsavad
vrndaranyam udara-pani-ramanat tatrapi govardhanah
radha-kundam ihapi gokula-pateh premamrtaplavanat
kuryad asya virajato giri-tate sevam viveki na kah
(Sri Upadesamrta: 9)

This verse is given by Srila Rupa Goswami. Vaikuntha is so great. It is the infinite abode of Narayan. But when Narayan is the son of Nanda Maharaj, or the son of Vasudev, He is considered more exalted according to rasa-vichar [the science of spiritual relationships].

Here, Srila Rupa Goswami used the word janitah, which means that when Narayan takes birth, He becomes more exalted and transcendentally glorious. No one can control the Lord; that is His position. But when someone is allowed to control Him, the Lord’s Pastimes become more glorious. When the Absolute has a guardian, then His Pastimes become the Sweet Absolute; they become most glorious.

When we have no guardian, then we have to be our own guardian, and all burden falls upon us. But when we have a guardian, then we can do wrong, and our guardian will save us. This type of play of the Lord—the Sweet Absolute—is most worshippable. So, Sriman Mahaprabhu said,

aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas
(Sri Chaitanya-mata-manjusa: 1)

Krishna is the son of the King of Vraja. He has a father, a guardian, and His Pastimes are the Sweet Absolute. This is Reality the Beautiful. When Krishna is the son of Mother Yasoda, she chastises Him, and He plays as a fearful little boy. When He steals butter or does something wrong, Mother Yasoda chastises Him. He runs away from her, but He cannot run so fast. His mother is faster than her little boy, and He starts to cry.

rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mrjantam
karambhoja-yugmena satanka-netram
muhuh svasa-kampa-trirekhanka-kantha-
sthita-graivam damodaram bhakti-baddham
(Sri Damodarastakam: 2)

He cries and rubs His eyes because He can’t see. He runs and looks behind at His mother coming to chastise Him. He begins to breathe very fast, and His eyes fill with fear that He will be caught by His mother.

How tasteful is this type of play of the Sweet Absolute to the devotees of Krishna? You can feel something. The shadow form of all the play in the transcendental world comes to this mundane world. Here also, there is affection, love, and everything. But it is a shadow form. It does not exist forever because we are always changing bodies. In the transcendental world, we do not change bodies. In that world, there is no change in our form or mood. There, our mood is always one of devotion, ecstatic devotion which is like the madness found in this mundane world.

The mood of super-devotees of that plane has been expressed like this:

parivadatu jano yatha tathayam
nanu mukharo na vayam vicharayamah
bhuvi viluthama natama nirvisamah
(Sri Padyavali: 73)

“Anyone can say anything about me: ‘I am a madman. I am a crazy man. I am nonsense.’ They can say anything. It is not necessary for me to be concerned about that at all. I spend my life absorbed in the ecstasy of divine devotion to Krishna. I do not care what anyone thinks or says.”


Spoken on 5 May 1996