Learning the practice of paramahamsa-dharma.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

What is the basis of illusion? Srila Guru Maharaj said, “Only vision.” Perfect vision is transcendental.

na rarajodupas chhannah sva-jyotsna-rajitair ghanaih
aham-matya bhasitaya sva-bhasa puruso yatha
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 10.20.19)

In Srimad Bhagavatam there is a very good example of this. At night, we can see that the whole sky is covered with clouds by the light of the moon. On such a night, we cannot see the moon, but we can see the clouds in the sky by the moon’s light. The moon is behind the clouds, and by its light we see that the sky is filled with clouds. Similarly, we cannot perfectly see our atma, but by the atma’s light we see everything within the mundane world.

It is necessary to develop both transcendental knowledge and vision. We receive the seed of transcendental experience from Sri Guru. If we plant that seed in our hearts, then visvam purna sukhayate: we will see that everything in the world is transcendental and beautiful, and we will happily interact with everyone and everything.

alabdhe va vinaste va bhaksyachchhadana-sadhane
aviklava-matir bhutva harim eva dhiya smaret
(Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu: 1.2.114)

When transcendental knowledge and vision grow within our heart, then what we get and what we do not get will be the same to us. Then, we will be able to take advantage of the possibilities found wherever we are. If we can perfectly see the transcendental origin of a father and mother’s affection, then we can see some light within it. There are five kinds of rasa: santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhura. If we can understand them, then we will see everything in a more purified way.

There is a saying in Bengali:

phatera ghora ye dike yabe se dikei amar kaj achhe

[“I have work wherever my horse happens to run.”]

When we ride a horse, we cannot always control it. Sometimes, horses do not listen to their masters and forcefully run in the direction they desire. A clever master, however, will take advantage of whatever possibilities are found in the direction their horse happens to run. They will control their own mind and take advantage of what they find wherever their horse takes them.

An expert will sometimes give a whimsical horse some chance to run where it pleases, considering, “Yes, if you want to go that way, you can. Shortly after going that way you will want to come back.” Krishna plays with us in this way. He gives us many of the things we desire in this mundane world; He satisfies us within our mundane life. It is necessary for us, however, to go back to our home where we can attain our main goal: Krishna’s service.


Spoken 1 March 1990.