I have two realizations from hearing the purports and lectures on this topic given by our most beloved bhakti-vedanta – A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. These realizations are around the topic of impartiality and all-loving nature of the Supreme Lord, Krsna.
Impartiality of the Supreme Lord: At a neophyte stage, most of us are conditioned to think that the Supreme Lord is partial to His devotees and non-partial to the demons. Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya duskrtam. (BG 4.8) It is commonly perceived that Lord Krsna is extremely partial to the Pandavas and not as much to others. In the very first lecture (SB 1.8.29), Srila Prabhupada clarifies that the Lord is partial to the sadhus. The sadhus are pure devotees who want to satisfy the Lord in all respects. In return, the Lord also wants to satisfy His pure devotees. There is an exchange of loving affairs. Its not that the Lord is more merciful to some and less to others. Rather because the pure devotees are situated on transcendental platform, they can receive the Lord’s mercy more. This seems to be impartial to the material eyes. Srila Prabhupada gives the example of the sun. Just as the sun is never partial to anyone, the Lord is also not partial to anyone.
“By utilizing the sun rays, sometimes even the stones become valuable, whereas a blind man cannot see the sun, although there are enough sun rays before him. Darkness and light are two opposite conceptions, but this does not mean that the sun is partial in distributing its rays. The sun rays are open to everyone, but the capacities of the receptacles differ.” (SB 1.8.29 P)
Similarly, the Lord’s mercy is all pervading and equally available to all. How much one can receive the mercy depends on the receiving capacity of the receiver. Persons engaging in devotional service to the Lord can receive His mercy more. Srila Prabhupada explains that the Lord is merciful even to the demons. The deliverance of Putana, who came to poison baby Krsna, is a great example. Because the Lord is so-merciful, Krsna delivered her and bestowed on her the position of His mother in the spiritual world. Even in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, all persons who died in the fight before the presence of the Lord got salvation without the necessary qualifications because death before the presence of the Lord purifies the passing soul from the effects of all sins, and therefore the dying man gets a place somewhere in the transcendental abode. Somehow or other if someone puts himself open in the sun rays, he is sure to get the requisite benefit both by heat and by ultraviolet rays. Therefore, the conclusion is that the Lord is never partial. It is wrong for the people in general to think of Him as partial. (SB 1.8.29 P).
By engaging in devotional service to the Lord, especially by chanting His holy name sincerely and lovingly without any motives, we will be better situated to receive the mercy of the Lord.
All-loving nature of the Supreme Lord: This is the beauty of hearing from a bhakti-vedanta. It is especially very sweet to hear how beautifully Srila Prabhupada unravels the sweet loving nature of Lord Krsna. It is as if he is peeling the outer skin of a fruit. He is bringing out the actual rasa from the fruit for us to taste and relish. He advises us to go past the effort to understand Krsna. Krsna is unlimited and to understand Him fully is impossible. We have got limited perception, limited potency of our senses. It is better for us to get into the Vrndavana status of mind where we have no business to understand Krsna. We should simply learn how to love Krsna, unconditionally. “Because Krsna is God, therefore I love” – this should be our mood. A great quality of hearing from Srila Prabhupada is that he reveals that the ability to engage in loving exchange with the Lord is open to all of us. If we desire with determination, we also can be Krsna’s cowherd friends, His parents, His lovers. What more, we can also bind Krsna with our rope of love just as Mother Yasoda did. But Srila Prabhupada cautions us not to deal with Krsna in a mercantile mood.
“Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11], free from all material gain. We should not love Kṛṣṇa for some material gain. It is not that “Kṛṣṇa, give us our daily bread, then I love You. Kṛṣṇa, give me this, then I love You.” There is no such mercantile exchange. That is wanted. Kṛṣṇa wants that kind of love.” (Srila Prabhupada’s Lecture on SB 1.8.31)
Srila Prabhupada finally concludes that our business is to simply love Krsna. The more we love Krsna, the more we become perfect.
“Don’t bother very much to know Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible. Simply increase your unalloyed love for Kṛṣṇa. That is perfection of life.” (Srila Prabhupada’s Lecture on SB 1.8.31)
Personally, I have been contemplating over the past few weeks how to move from ‘tattva’ to ‘rasa’ in my relationship with Krsna. In other words, how do I bring more love in my dealings with Krsna than just understanding the philosophy of the Absolute Truth? This lesson and Srila Prabhupada’s lectures provide a clue. Whatever I do, I should do with love. This is the biggest realization for me from this lecture.
All glories to our bhakti-vedanta, Srila Prabhupada!