Caitanya Caritamrta Chapters 20-22 Review

Hare Krsna,

Below is my sincere attempt in creating a “big picture” of Lord’s teachings to Sanatana Goswami.

In a nutshell, Lord Caitanya’s instructions to Sanatana Goswami covers the topics of God’s transcendental forms, His opulences, and devotional service.

Sanatana’s Goswami’s Surrenders to the Lord: In Chapter 20, Sanatana Goswami surrenders to Lord Caitanya. He falls at the Lord’s feet declaring himself lowborn, coming from bad association, most wretched, suffering in the dark well of material enjoyment, unaware about the goal of life, and foolishly thinks he is learned. He prays to the Lord to save him from material existence. He does not know who he is, what is duty is, why he suffers from material miseries, and how to be relieved from material entanglement. By this, Sanatana Goswami teaches us how to approach a spiritual master and inquire from him submissively (BG 4.34).

Jiva’s constitutional position: Out of His causeless mercy, Lord Caitanya instructs Sanatana Goswami about threefold material miseries (adhyatmika-klesa, adhibhautika-klesa, and adhidaivika-klesa). If one does not know why he is suffering from these three miseries, he must be considered ignorant. He should therefore approach a spiritual master. Lord Caitanya instructs Sanatana about one’s constitutional position – that one is a pure living soul and an eternal servant of Krsna. [CC Madhya 20.108]. By giving the analogy of sun and sunshine, the Lord explains the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the soul – the soul is transcendental, simultaneously one and different from Krsna. Though the living entity has the potency to understand the spiritual energy, he identifies with the body due to false ego. He suffers repeated birth and death in various species.  The conditioning of the living entity is due to forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Lord in the superior energy. Only when his original identity is revived does one become liberated. With the help of guru, sadhus and sastra , the living entity can disentangle himself from the material energy and re-establish his eternal relationship with Krishna.

Energies of the Lord: Lord Caitanya explains the material, spiritual and marginal energies of the Krsna. He is the source of the material world as well as the spiritual world. Krishna is ashraya-tattva (the shelter of everything). Everything else is ashrita-tattva. Everything is sheltered directly or indirectly by Krishna. He is the Absolute Truth and His form is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. [CC Madhya 10.108-151]

Aspects of the Absolute Truth: Lord Caitanya discusses the three aspects of the Absolute Truth, namely brahman , paramatma and bhagavan , and also gives a full description of the various Vishnu expansions. He elucidates the six varieties of avataras (purusa , lila , guna , manvantara , yuga and saktyavesa ) and establishes Lord Krishna as svayam-bhagavan , the original source of everything. Krishna performs His eternal pastimes in multiple universes simultaneously, although His most confidential and intimate pastimes are exclusively enacted in Shri Vrindavana dham. The transcendental form of the Lord can only be understood through the process of devotional service in full Krishna consciousness. [CC Madhya 20.136-164]

Spiritual and Material Universes: Lord Caitanya describes the different spiritual worlds. He describes Devi dham, Mahesha dham, Hari dham and Goloka dham (Gokula, Mathura, Dvaraka). He extensively describes the qualities and opulence of Krsna which enchants everyone in these universes. The spiritual world, which lies beyond the Viraja river, comprises 3/4 of the total energies of the Supreme Lord. In the Lord’s supreme planet, Goloka, all the opulences of the other spiritual planets are displayed. The full extent of Krsna’s greatness is inconceivable, even to Brahma. Though Krsna exhibits unlimited wonderful pastimes in Vaikuntha as Vasudeva and Sankarshana, and in the material world in so many incarnations, His most important activities are His pastimes in human form, which include His pastimes in Vrindavana, Mathura and Dwarka. [CC Madhya 21.1-106]  “Lord Kṛṣṇa has many pastimes, of which His pastimes as a human being are the best. His form as a human being is the supreme transcendental form. In this form He is a cowherd boy. He carries a flute in His hand, and His youth is new. He is also an expert dancer. All this is just suitable for His pastimes as a human being. ”

The Opulence and Sweetness of Lord Krsna: Lord Caitanya describes the beauty of Lord Krsna. He instructs Sanatana Goswami that even a fractional understanding of Kṛṣṇa’s beauty can merge all three worlds in the ocean of love. He attracts all living entities within the three worlds. The transcendental form of Kṛṣṇa is shown to the world by Lord Kṛṣṇa’s internal, spiritual energy, which is a transformation of pure goodness. This jewellike form is the most confidential treasure of the devotees. This form is manifested from Kṛṣṇa’s eternal pastimes. The wonderful form of Kṛṣṇa in His personal feature is so great that it attracts even Kṛṣṇa to taste His own association. Indeed, Kṛṣṇa becomes very eager to taste it. Total beauty, knowledge, wealth, strength, fame and renunciation are the six opulences of Kṛṣṇa. He is eternally situated in His opulences. The Lord explained the beauty of Krishna’s ornaments, the attractive power of His flute, and the absorption of the gopis in Krishna’s beauty. [CC Madhya 21.107-149]

The Process of Devotional Service: In Chapter 22, Lord Caitanya introduces the process of devotional service. Krsna can be approached only by the process of devotional service. Indeed, it is the conclusion of all scriptures that Krsna is the only object of worship. Though fruitive activities, mystic yoga, and the speculative search for knowledge are sometimes praised in the Vedic literatures, the path of devotional service is the foremost. Karma, jnana, and yoga are indirect methods that cannot lead to the highest perfection of self-realization. All paths to self-realization ultimately depend on devotional service. [CC Madhya 22.1-18]

Everything else is subordinate to devotional service: Lord Caitanya then explains that any process short of devotional service is insufficient to free the conditioned soul from matter. Even if one executes his duties according to varnashrama principles, he will go to hell if he lacks Krsna consciousness. Therefore, surrender to Krsna makes the difference between bondage and liberation.  Krsna is like the sun, maya like darkness. One who is illuminated by Krsna consciousness cannot be in maya. If the conditioned soul engages in the service of the Lord and simultaneously carries out the orders of his spiritual master and serves him, he can get out of the clutches of maya and become eligible for shelter at Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.

Association of Devotees: Good fortune begins when one gets association with pure devotees.  It is neither possible to get liberated nor develop love of Godhead without the favor of a pure devotee. Firm conviction in the Lord’s order is faith which is favorable to the discharge of devotional service. Such faith is demonstrated in the conviction that by only serving Krsna, all other duties are fulfilled. [CC Madhya 22.19-62]

Three classes of devotees: Lord Caitanya explains the differences between the three classes of devotees. A faithful devotee is a truly eligible candidate for the loving service of the Lord. According to one’s faith, one is classified as a topmost devotee, an intermediate devotee or an inferior devotee. A devotee is considered superlative or superior according to his attachment and love. In one who has unflinching devotional faith in Kṛṣṇa, all the good qualities of Kṛṣṇa and the demigods are consistently manifest. However, he who has no devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no good qualifications because he is engaged by mental concoction in material existence, which is the external feature of the Lord. [CC Madhya 22.63-76]

Qualities of devotees: Lord Caitanya describes the 26 qualities of a devotee, and the behavior of a pure devotee.  A devotee’s most formidable enemy is association with women in an enjoying spirit. Association with non-devotees is also condemned because it is also a formidable enemy on the path of devotional service. One has to fully surrender unto the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and give up attraction for women and non-devotees.

Six symptoms of surrender: Next the Lord explains the six divisions of surrender to Krishna. The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Kṛṣṇa will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one’s guardian or master, full self-surrender, and humility.  When a devotee thus fully surrenders unto Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, Kṛṣṇa accepts him as one of His confidential associates. [CC Madhya 22.100-102]

Regulated & Spontaneous Devotional Service: Lord Caitanya defines the stages of vaidhi-bhakti (regulative devotional service) and raganuga-bhakti (spontaneous devotional service). Expanding on regulative devotion, LordCaitanya delineates the 64 items of devotional service that awaken one’s dormant consciousness of Krishna. He then discusses spontaneous devotional service. The primary characteristic of spontaneous love is deep attachment for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Absorption in thought of Him is a marginal characteristic. Devotional service in spontaneous love is vividly expressed and manifested by the inhabitants of Vṛndavana. Devotional service that accords with their devotional service is called raganuga bhakti, or devotional service following in the wake of spontaneous loving service. [CC Madhya 22]

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Krsna’s Sweet Smile

Hare Krsna,

At a neophyte stage, it is difficult to medidate on Krsna’s sweet face – least of all His smile. I try to meditate on His lotus feet; therefore, I have very little realization on His sweet smile. It will take me ages to progress from His lotus feet to His moonlike face.

All I can say is that Krsna’s sweet smile is very assuring and pleasing. His sweet smile is always on His face. Even when He was fighting the demons. When Putana tried to feed His poison through her breast milk, still baby Krishna was smiling. When He fought with Kaliya and danced on its hoods, Krsna was smiling. When Krsna enjoys His pastimes with His friends and gopis, His sweet smile is always on His face. No matter what the situation, His sweet smile is always there. This shows that the Lord is truly transcendental to everything. In the material world, our smile is subject to the material miseries or happiness we go through. The miseries make our face frown, and the happiness brings out smile on our face. Not with Krsna. His sweet smile is very captivating. I say His sweet smile is very assuring because whenever we see His smile, all our troubles and worries tend to disappear. It is as if Krsna is trying to tell us, “Don’t worry! Just surrender unto Me and I will take care of everything.” Just like a parent tries to comfort and console His child, and the child feels peaceful. This is the same thing with Krsna’s smile.

Just as Krsna’s sweet smile can kill our worries and fears, His smile can also kill all pride in us. Even the gopis acknowledge this. They sing, “Dear Krishna, You are the killer of all the fears of the inhabitants of Vrindavana. You are the supremely powerful hero, and we know that You can kill the unnecessary pride of Your devotee as well as the pride of women like us simply by Your beautiful smile.” (Krsna book, Chapter 31)

Krsna’s smile could also be a source of distress as the gopis sometimes feel. “Dear Krsna, You are very cunning. You can imagine how much we are distressed simply by remembering Your cunning smile, Your pleasing glance, Your walking with us in the forest of Vrndavana and Your auspicious meditations.” (Krsna book, Chapter 31)

From a devotional service standpoint, our main goal is to engage in Krsna’s service for His pleasure. Wouldn’t it be so wonderful to see the Lord smile being pleased with our service? This is why Srila Prabhupada said, “When a devotee with all his heart and soul serves Krishna, dresses Him in nice garments and gives Him a flower, Krishna smiles. If you can get Krishna to smile upon you just once, your life’s goal is fulfilled.” (Teachings of Lord Kapila, Chapter 7)

A conditioned soul, like me, may lament that he is not able to see and relish Krsna’s sweet smile. But the truth is otherwise. The Lord is extremely merciful. The Hare Krsna maha-mantra that we chant is a representation of Krsna’s sweet smile. How?

His slight smiling and fragrant illumination are compared to camphor, which enters the sweetness of His lips. That sweetness is transformed and enters into space as vibrations from the holes of His flute. The sound of Kṛṣṇa’s flute spreads in the four directions. Even though Kṛṣṇa vibrates His flute within this universe, its sound pierces the universal covering and goes to the spiritual sky. Thus the vibration enters the ears of all inhabitants. It especially enters Goloka Vṛndāvana-dhāma and attracts the minds of the young damsels of Vrajabhūmi, bringing them forcibly to where Kṛṣṇa is present. The vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute is very aggressive, and it breaks the vows of all chaste women. Indeed, its vibration takes them forcibly from the laps of their husbands. The vibration of His flute attracts even the goddesses of fortune in the Vaikuṇṭha planets, to say nothing of the poor damsels of Vṛndāvana. The vibration of His flute slackens the knots of their underwear even in front of their husbands. Thus the gopīs are forced to abandon their household duties and come before Lord Kṛṣṇa. In this way all social etiquette, shame and fear are vanquished. The vibration of His flute causes all women to dance. The vibration of His flute is just like a bird that creates a nest within the ears of the gopīs and always remains prominent there, not allowing any other sound to enter their ears. Indeed, the gopīs cannot hear anything else, nor are they able to concentrate on anything else, not even to give a suitable reply. Such are the effects of the vibration of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s flute.

The vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute is always prominent in the ears of the gopīs. Naturally they cannot hear anything else. Constant remembrance of the holy sound of Kṛṣṇa’s flute keeps them enlightened and enlivened, and they do not allow any other sound to enter their ears. Since their attention is fixed on Kṛṣṇa’s flute, they cannot divert their minds to any other subject. In other words, a devotee who has heard the sound of Kṛṣṇa’s flute forgets to talk or hear of any other subject. This vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute is represented by the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. A serious devotee of the Lord who chants and hears this transcendental vibration becomes so accustomed to it that he cannot divert his attention to any subject matter not related to Kṛṣṇa’s blissful characteristics and paraphernalia.”  (CC Madhya 21.140-141, Verse and Purport)

Thus by chanting the maha-mantra, we can relish Krsna’s sweet smile. Sincere and attentive chanting will bring pleasure to the Lord, and the Lord will reciprocate through His sweet smile. This would be the ultimate perfect of our life – to be able to please the Supreme Lord, Krsna.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

The Sweetness of Krsna

Hare Krsna,

I especially like the verses from CC Madhya 21.106 – 21.111 that describes the beauty and sweetness of Krsna’s body.

CC Madhya 21.105 — Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “Ornaments caress that body, but the transcendental body of Kṛṣṇa is so beautiful that it beautifies the ornaments He wears. Therefore Kṛṣṇa’s body is said to be the ornament of ornaments. Enhancing the wonderful beauty of Kṛṣṇa is His three-curved style of standing. Above all these beautiful features, Kṛṣṇa’s eyes dance and move obliquely, acting like arrows to pierce the minds of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and the gopīs. When the arrow succeeds in hitting its target, their minds become agitated.
CC Madhya 21.106 — “The beauty of Kṛṣṇa’s body is so attractive that it attracts not only the demigods and other living entities within this material world but the personalities of the spiritual sky as well, including the Nārāyaṇas, who are expansions of Kṛṣṇa’s personality. The minds of the Nārāyaṇas are thus attracted by the beauty of Kṛṣṇa’s body. In addition, the goddesses of fortune [Lakṣmīs], who are the wives of the Nārāyaṇas and are the women described in the Vedas as most chaste, are also attracted by the wonderful beauty of Kṛṣṇa.
CC Madhya 21.107 — “Favoring the gopīs, Kṛṣṇa rides on the chariots of their minds, and just to receive loving service from them, He attracts their minds like Cupid. Therefore He is also called Madana-mohana, the attractor of Cupid. Cupid has five arrows, representing form, taste, smell, sound and touch. Kṛṣṇa is the owner of these five arrows, and with His Cupid-like beauty He conquers the minds of the gopīs, though they are very proud of their superexcellent beauty. Becoming a new Cupid, Kṛṣṇa attracts their minds and engages in the rāsa dance.
CC Madhya 21.108-109 — “When Lord Kṛṣṇa wanders in the forest of Vṛndāvana with His friends on an equal level, there are innumerable cows grazing. This is another of the Lord’s blissful enjoyments. When He plays on His flute, all living entities — including trees, plants, animals and human beings — tremble and are saturated with jubilation. Tears flow constantly from their eyes. Kṛṣṇa wears a pearl necklace that appears like a chain of white herons around His neck. The peacock feather in His hair appears like a rainbow, and His yellow garments appear like lightning in the sky. Kṛṣṇa appears like a newly risen cloud, and the gopīs appear like newly grown grains in the field. Constant rains of nectarean pastimes fall upon these newly grown grains, and it seems that the gopīs are receiving beams of life from Kṛṣṇa, exactly as grains receive life from the rains.
CC Madhya 21.110 — “The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is full in all six opulences, including His attractive beauty, which engages Him in conjugal love with the gopīs. Such sweetness is the quintessence of His qualities. Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva, has described these pastimes of Kṛṣṇa throughout Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Hearing the descriptions, the devotees become mad with love of God.”
CC Madhya 21.111 — Just as the women of Mathurā ecstatically described the fortune of the gopīs of Vṛndāvana and the transcendental qualities of Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu described the different mellows of Kṛṣṇa and became overwhelmed with ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 21.112 — “ ‘What austerities must the gopīs have performed? With their eyes they always drink the nectar of the form of Lord Kṛṣṇa, which is the essence of loveliness and is not to be equaled or surpassed. That loveliness is the only abode of beauty, fame and opulence. It is self-perfect, ever fresh and unique.’
CC Madhya 21.113 — Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “The bodily beauty of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is like a wave in the ocean of eternal youth. In that great ocean is the whirlpool of the awakening of ecstatic love. The vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute is like a whirlwind, and the flickering minds of the gopīs are like straws and dry leaves. After they fall down in the whirlwind, they never rise again but remain eternally at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa.
CC Madhya 21.114 — “O my dear friend, what severe austerities have the gopīs performed to drink His transcendental beauty and sweetness through their eyes in complete fulfillment? Thus they glorify their births, bodies and minds.
CC Madhya 21.115 — “The sweetness of Kṛṣṇa’s beauty enjoyed by the gopīs is unparalleled. Nothing is equal to or greater than such ecstatic sweetness. Even the predominating Deities of the Vaikuṇṭha planets, the Nārāyaṇas, do not possess such sweetness. Indeed, none of the incarnations of Kṛṣṇa up to Nārāyaṇa possess such transcendental beauty. The vivid evidence in this regard is that the dearest consort of Nārāyaṇa, the goddess of fortune, who is worshiped by all chaste women, gave up everything in her desire to enjoy Kṛṣṇa, being captivated by His unparalleled sweetness. Thus she took a great vow and underwent severe austerities.
CC Madhya 21.117 — “The quintessence of Kṛṣṇa’s sweet bodily luster is so perfect that there is no perfection above it. He is the immutable mine of all transcendental qualities. In His other manifestations and personal expansions, there is only a partial exhibition of such qualities. We understand all His personal expansions in this way. Both the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa are complete. The gopīs’ ecstatic love is like a mirror that becomes newer and newer at every moment and reflects Kṛṣṇa’s bodily luster and sweetness. Thus competition increases. Since neither give up, their pastimes become newer and newer, and both sides constantly increase.
CC Madhya 21.119-121 — “The transcendental mellows generated from the dealings between the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa cannot be tasted by means of fruitive activity, yogic austerities, speculative knowledge, regulative devotional service, mantra-yoga or meditation. This sweetness can be tasted only through the spontaneous love of liberated persons who chant the holy names with great ecstatic love. Such ecstatic transactions between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs are possible only in Vṛndāvana, which is full of the opulences of transcendental love. The form of Kṛṣṇa is the original source of all transcendental qualities. It is like a mine of gems. The opulences belonging to all the personal expansions of Kṛṣṇa are to be understood to be bestowed by Kṛṣṇa; therefore Kṛṣṇa is the original source and shelter of everyone. Beauty, humility, mercy, merit, patience and expert intelligence are all manifested in Kṛṣṇa. But besides these, Kṛṣṇa has other qualities like good behavior, mildness and magnanimity. He also performs welfare activities for the whole world. All these qualities are not visible in expansions like Nārāyaṇa.
*************** REALIZATIONS ****************


The accompanying picture of Krsna embracing a calf is extremely sweet. I took a picture of this on my phone and sent it to my sister who is attracted to Krsna. On seeing the picture, she immediately said, “How fortunate is the calf to be embraced by the Lord?”. Her statement exactly resonated with my thoughts. I couldn’t stop meditating on the picture and the verses. I was thinking how fortunate is the calf and cows of Goloka that the Lord is always with them? How fortunate is the grass on which the Lord places His lotus feet upon? How fortunate is the garland of flowers that adorns the Lord’s neck? How fortunate is the peacock feature that is always placed on the Lord’s crown? How fortunate is the flute that touches the lips of the Lord always? How fortunate is the yellow garment that covers the Lord’s lower body? How fortunate is the ring that the Lord wears on His middle finger? The more I meditate on the Lord in His lovely form in Goloka, I cannot stop admiring the sweetness of the Lord. No wonder Srimati Radharani and the gopis become mad with love for Him. I do not have much realization but still I find Lord Krsna and His form, pastimes, qualities, etc. so charming and sweet. It is, therefore, not surprising that the inhabitants of Goloka and especially the gopis are totally attracted by the Supreme Lord.

CC Madhya 21.110 — “The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is full in all six opulences, including His attractive beauty, which engages Him in conjugal love with the gopīs. Such sweetness is the quintessence of His qualities. Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva, has described these pastimes of Kṛṣṇa throughout Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Hearing the descriptions, the devotees become mad with love of God.”

CC Madhya 21.114 — “O my dear friend, what severe austerities have the gopīs performed to drink His transcendental beauty and sweetness through their eyes in complete fulfillment? Thus they glorify their births, bodies and minds.

I wish the sastras had mentioned that the Supreme Lord possesses not six, but seven opulences. The seventh opulence is His sweetness. This quality is not to be found in any other incarnation of the Lord. It is only in His Goloka form that His sweetness is fully manifest. It is therefore not surprising why Goloka-Vrindavana is considered the topmost abode of the Lord. This is where the conjugal love is fully manifested.

My realization of reading Caitanya-Caritamrta over the last few months is that it is nothing but full of descriptions of the Lord’s sweetness. To me, Bhagavad-Gita is pure science of Godhead and hardly evokes sweetness of the Lord. Srimad Bhagavatam is more advanced than Bhagavad-Gita; it evokes both awe and reverence (in the earlier cantos) and pure sweetness (in 10th canto). But Caitanya-Caritamrta only evokes sweetness of the Lord.

In CC Madhya 20.398-401, we learned that:

“Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “Kṛṣṇa is complete in the spiritual sky [Vaikuṇṭha], He is more complete in Mathurā and Dvārakā, and He is most complete in Vṛndāvana, Vraja, due to His manifesting all His opulences.”

“‘This is stated in the dramatic literatures as “perfect,” “more perfect” and “most perfect.” Thus Lord Kṛṣṇa manifests Himself in three ways — perfect, more perfect and most perfect. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not manifest all His transcendental qualities, He is called complete. When all the qualities are manifested, but not fully, He is called more complete. When He manifests all His qualities in fullness, He is called most complete. This is the version of all learned scholars in the devotional science. The most complete qualities of Kṛṣṇa are manifested within Vṛndāvana, and His complete and more complete qualities are manifested in Dvārakā and Mathurā.’

If I apply the same anology, I find Srimad Bhagavad-Gita ‘sweet’, Srimad Bhagavatam ‘more sweet’, and Caitanya-Caritamrta ‘most sweet.’ No wonder why Srila Prabhupada said the study of Caitanya Caritamrta is ppst-graduate study of Krsna consciousness.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Prayer to the Lord

O Lord Krsna! I am trying to compose a prayer to You but what can I compose. I am lame and insignificant, and You are the Supreme Lord – the cause of all causes. You are known as Govinda – the Supreme Controller. You are the primeval Lord with an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. You are the origin of everything, including me. I surrender unto Your lotus feet, and offer my humble obeisances unto You!

O my Lord! I do not understand You at all. How could I? Even Lord Brahma and Siva are not able to understand Your opulences, which are beyond the reach of their mind, body and words. Lord Brahma is the topmost living entity in this universe and yet he is unable to understand You. Lord Siva is higher than a living entity and he too fails to understand You. Therefore how could I, who is more insignificant than a tiny ant, can understand You? Your glories are unlimited! Even Lord Sesa, with thousand heads, is unable to describe all Your glories. Just as You are unlimited, Your pastimes, qualities, form, manifestations, abode, paraphernalia, names, etc. are unlimited. I surrender unto Your lotus feet, and offer my humble obeisances unto You!

O my Lord! You eternally reside in Golaka-Vrndavana. But by Your causeless mercy, You also manifest in this material world as Gardhodakasayi Vishnu and Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. As the Supersoul, You are the witness to all our activities. Just as You annihilate the demons that trouble Your devotees, You can kill all the anarthas that reside in our hearts in the form of lust, greed, anger, pride, desires, etc. I surrender unto Your lotus feet, and offer my humble obeisances unto You!

O my Lord! You are the deliverer of fallen conditioned souls bereft of spiritual knowledge, and the only shelter for those who do not know the real goal of life. I surrender unto Your lotus feet, and offer my humble obeisances unto You!

O my Lord! All your transcendental forms are situated in the spiritual sky which comprise of 3/4th of Your whole creation. I am situated in one small corner of one of the millions of material universes that comprise the remaining 1/4th of your creation. Even Lord Brahma was unaware that there were other universes and other Brahmas (bigger than him). So You see how insignificant I am? I surrender unto Your lotus feet, and offer my humble obeisances unto You!

O my Lord! Your pastimes are eternally taking places in various universes, and no one can estimate where, how and when You employ Your spiritual energy and perform Your pastimes. But I relish hearing and meditating on Your pastimes. I surrender unto Your lotus feet, and offer my humble obeisances unto You!

O my Lord! You are the supreme proprietor of all dhamas, including Goloka-dhama, Vaikuṇṭha-dhama, Mahesh-dhama and Devi-dhama. I am situated in the Devi-dhama. However by Your mercy, You have shown us the path to Goloka-dhama just on the strength of chanting Your holy name. May I always chant Your holy name, sing Your glories, hear about Your pastimes and may the obstacles on my path back to Godhead be removed.  I surrender unto Your lotus feet, and offer my humble obeisances unto You!

O my Lord! I have forgotten You for many lifetimes. But now by Your mercy, I came to my senses and am able to remember You! I realized that You are my eternal master and I, Your eternal servant. May I never forget You again and may I always engage in Your devotional service. I surrender unto Your lotus feet, and offer my humble obeisances unto You!

O my Lord! I have no power and You are the epitome of all powers and opulences! I have no qualities and You are the possessor of all good qualities! I have no love for You (yet!) and You are the ever-expanding ocean of love and mercy. I am eternally conditioned and illusioned, and You are the master of the illusory energy! Please remove me from the web of illusion I am engulfed in! I surrender unto Your lotus feet, and offer my humble obeisances unto You!

Meditation on the Opulences of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Hare Krsna,

In Caitanya-caritamrta Chapter 21, it is described that the Absolute Truth, which is ever increasing, all pervasive, omnipotent, eternal and infinite. The nature of spirit is eternity, bliss, and knowledge, and just hearing about the opulences of Lord Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual world make one joyful.

It is true that the spirit soul is eternity, knowledge, and bliss. It is also true that Absolute Truth is ever increasing, all pervasive, omnipotent, eternal and infinite. In Bhagavad Gita, Krsna says that all opulent, beautiful and glorious creations spring from but a spark of His splendor (BG 10.41). Anything extraordinarily opulent in this material world must be considered to represent Krsna’s opulence.

The word ‘opulence’ is interesting and unique. If we look at the world around us, we, human beings, have a tendency to become attractive to something. Some people are attracted to beautiful film stars. Some are attracted to extremely rich people like Bill Gates, etc. Some are attracted to strong personalities such as an athlete, wrestler, football player. Some are attracted to intelligent people such as scientists, scholars, teachers, etc. There are some people, like me, who are attracted to people who are renounced. In other words, every living entity has a propensity to get attracted to something. People have ability to attract others by their innate qualities. We learned about six opulences of Lord Krsna – wealth, knowledge, beauty, fame, strength and renunciation. People may have some of these opulence (in limited quantity) but not all. But Lord Krsna is the only personality to possesses all these six opulence in full. This makes Him supremely attractive to everyone. Even atmaramas (self-realized and liberated souls) are attracted to Krsna. The very name, ‘Krsna’ means all-attractive.

Qualitatively both the living entities and Krsna are same. We are spiritually (and qualitatively) similar to the Lord, but quantitatively different. Therefore, the jivas also manifest some of the qualities and opulence of the Supreme Lord, albeit in an infinitesimal way. Just as the Lord attracts everyone, we, jivas, also want to command attraction. Everyone wants attention and attraction. Unfortunately, it is not possible to possess all six opulences that make Krsna all-attractive. The other way to command attraction is to serve the all-attractive Lord Krsna. Just as an iron, when in contact with fire, becomes just like fire. Similarly by being in contact with the all-attractive and opulent Lord, we too can become attractive and opulent. The innate nature of the soul is eternity, knowledge, and bliss. This nature will manifest as we engage more and more in the devotional service to the Lord. We can take the example of Srila Prabhupada. He was a pure devotee of the Lord, and was able to attract the whole world just being a faithful servant of the Lord. By the time he left the planet, Srila Prabhupada had all opulences – he had fame, he had wealth, he had renunciation, he had full transcendental knowledge, and he had spiritual strength and beauty. Such is the power of devotional service to the Lord.

We too can become opulent and attractive. But, as devotees, do we care? I hope not. All we should care about is to serve the Lord lovingly. That’s why Lord Brahma said, “‘There are people who say, “I know everything about Kṛṣṇa.” Let them think that way. As far as I am concerned, I do not wish to speak very much about this matter. O my Lord, let me say this much. As far as Your opulences are concerned, they are all beyond the reach of my mind, body and words.’” (CC Madhya 21.27). If Lord Brahma is unable to estimate the opulence of the Supreme Lord, how can we? Therefore, we should not waste our time trying to do so. It is best that we engage in pure devotional service to the Lord, and attain the supreme eternity, knowledge and bliss that we so desire. Unfortunately since our consciousness is contaminated, we are not able to perceive our innate nature and its relation with the Supreme Lord. When the consciousness is cleansed, one can understand what and who Kṛṣṇa is. By constitution, we souls can be fully satisfied and happy only when we’re united with Krishna.

One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.” (Bg. 18.54)

One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.” (BG 18.55)

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!