Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cast yourself to the Infinite's whim (Srila Sridhar Maharaj)

on reaching the sublime platform of prema (love of God),  
or Vrindavana

From Follow the Angels 
The Path of Dedication


"Crossing beyond the association of the all-accommodating Brahman*, beyond the Paramatma** conception, beyond even the source of all sources and Master of all energy, Narayana [Bhagavan]***, there is Krsna in Vrndavana [Svayam Bhagavan]****, satisfying the whole existence with the fulfillment of love. There it is apparent that Infinity's approach to the finite is in its fullest sense, as if He is one of us." 


 Cast Ourselves to the Infinite's Whim

Turning away from limitation we are jumping into the infinite ocean. From the tangible finite position, we jump towards the Infinite. He will see us. The apparently stable things cannot give us shelter. We are willingly leaving the company of the tangible association and casting ourselves toward the Infinite. Jumping into the ocean — it is not an easy matter — neglecting the tangible thing on which we are standing, the matter under our control. It is somewhat tangible, but flickering. For the present, where we take our stand, it is apparently tangible. But because it is transient we need to disassociate ourselves from it and cast ourselves towards the Infinite.
We are taking a very courageous step now. Throwing ourselves at the whim of the Infinite, from the tangible to the Infinite, we are going to take a very courageous step. How will the Infinite deal with us? Will He adore us, or will He ignore us totally, or will He make some negligent arrangement for us? There is no surety.
Aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam. We may be lost in the wave of the infinite power, va pada-ratam pinastu mam adarsanam marma hatam karotu va. We may not even have any chance of coming into contact with Him, yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato. He's whimsical in our understanding. He's the adoring One and He is ignoring us. No explanation can be called for, mat prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah. But we have no other alternative than to surrender to His whimsical activity. This attitude we must adopt.
To cast ourselves into the Infinite's whim, this is a very, very uncertain and extremely courageous act, and we are going to do it willingly. We do not know what will be our fate. Still we want that promotion to a connection with the superior power. It seems to be a risk, but still it may be a substantial gain. We have come to the right place for shelter. We are being connected with the real plane. It is not a sham; that will be our consolation.
The favor of so many lower agents, that is flickering, and there is no stability. We may be ignored by the central power, but if at any moment we can draw their notice, our position will be very safe and high. So we are taking a great risk for our greatest prospect in life, though it may not be easily obtained. It is a risky act, sarva-dharman-parityajya.
Otherwise, to remain in our own present position and progress in a slow way, that is also recommended, sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah, para-dharmo bhayavahah. "Do not be too ambitious. Keep your position firm and try to advance slowly." That is the ordinary recommendation.
But for those who have courage, there is sarva-dharman-parityajya. "Give up everything and try to come to Me. I am there and I shall save you." From His side this kind of consolation is there. "I am not blind, I can see anything and everything. If you really come to My shelter, I am ready. I shall embrace you." From His side the statement is such.
From the perspective of the devotees who are swimming in the ocean, and pressed by the current, undercurrent and overflow, it is very difficult! Still they cannot leave that campaign, that revolutionary effort. The constitutional path and the revolutionary way, both are there. But the constitutional way makes for very slow progress. It is not certain when we shall reach the goal, and sometimes there are setbacks. 

Better to Serve in Heaven

It is better on the whole to leave the world of deception, maya, misunderstanding, as soon as possible, even taking all possible risk. Jump with great speed in the hope of meeting the non-treacherous and loving plane. This maya is treacherous. So many units fighting with one another, this is the position here. To get free of this and jump into the Absolute area is considered to be of very, very high and great value. The very slightest position there is far, far greater than the highest position in this world of misunderstanding.
We are laboring under so much suspicion; so engrossed in and oppressed by maya, the misrepresented part of the world, that we cannot even think of the conception of truth and goodness. We are so far from the standard of goodness and truth; we cannot understand what should be the real symptom of higher existence. We are so fallen.
Satan says, "It is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven." That is generally the outcome of our life experience here. We want to reign in hell rather than serve in heaven. But just the opposite will be really helpful to us. Die to live. Leaving this realm, we want to pass through to the highest. Crossing beyond the association of the all-accommodating Brahman*, beyond the Paramatma** conception, beyond even the source of all sources and Master of all energy, Narayana [Bhagavan]***, there is Krsna in Vrndavana [Svayam Bhagavan, The Absolute Himself]****, satisfying the whole existence with the fulfillment of love. There it is apparent that Infinity's approach to the finite is in its fullest sense, as if He is one of us. He is so close to us, and His love and affection are so much extended there.
Power of Affection 

Sri Krsna-karsini. The peculiar power in love is this: that the high is controlled by the low through some tendency, and that is called love. When a little boy catches the finger of his father and draws him to some quarter, the father goes there. The father is more powerful and the boy's power is insignificant, but the father is defeated by the power of affection. Affection and love are there, where we find that the small controls the big.
Submission to the master is so intense that the master becomes subservient to the servant through affection: "At My beck and call he can give his life. So how should I deal with him?" Automatically, the master's heart goes to the servant. That is love, prema. Such wonderful potency is in that love and affection. The Absolute is controlled by His potency.
Generally the owner of the potency guides the potency, but sometimes the potency guides the owner. That is love. It is not the physical capacity but the fine capacity of the very subtlest force, aham bhakta paradhino. "I feel as if I am interdependent, not Absolute. I feel that I am controlled by them only by devotion; I am not master of My own Self." The Absolute says like that. What wonderful thing is bhagavata-prema [divine love]? It is present in the highest sense in the case of Krsna in Vrndavana. Aham iha nandam vande yasyalinde param brahma, "I have no attraction for Mahabharata, Veda, Upanisad and all these things," nandah kim akarod brahman, sreya evam mahodayam, "but my only attraction is for Nanda, because I found that the Supreme Powerful Absolute is crawling in his compound as a baby boy." In the Bhagavatam this is a very valuable situation. What is this? The Parabrahman is in such an ordinary position. Is He Parabrahman, or is He something else?
Yasoda, Krsna's Mother, is punishing Him, but when trying to bind Him, at every attempt the rope is two fingers short. The rope is only two fingers shorter than necessary to bind Him around the waist, but whenever one more foot is added, it is the same two fingers short. She is punishing Him and He is crying, but still the difference is there. Against His will she is trying to bind Him around the belly, but the rope is two fingers short. More rope is added, but it is always two fingers short, again and again. He is sucking her breast and when she is punishing Him, He cries, "Oh, don't beat Me, My mother, I won't do any more of these things." At another time, when He was yawning, Yasoda found the whole brahmanda, the entire creation, within the boy's mouth. Then she was afraid, but the next moment a cat meowed and the boy climbed on her lap, out of fear. "Oh, He is my child, my son. He is not all-accommodating Brahman, no! He is my child!" He is playing in this way, like hide and seek.

Infinite Touches the Finite

When the Infinite comes to the finite in its closest touch, then sometimes it shows that Infinite character and sometimes its most finite character. Playfully, He does so many big things. When Trnavarta came to kill Him, He was on the lap of Yasoda. Immediately His Mother felt that the boy was very, very heavy, so she could not keep Him on her lap. She had to put Him down, and Trnavarta took the boy away in a storm. Then some minutes later they found that the great demon's body had fallen on the earth, and the boy, grasping the throat of the demon, was on top. Then Yasoda swiftly went and collected the boy, 'Oh, fortunately the boy landed over the demon's dead body. Otherwise, He would have been crushed.' Trnavarta, that great demon, was finished by the boy, but playfully.
The most miraculous things are coming to a simple level. Most playfully and in a simple way He is doing great deeds, which take so much time, so much power, so much valor, and all is finished in only a second in a very peculiar way. Great things are done with a very small attempt. The Infinite's approach to the finite in the closest form is controlled by a special tendency, and that is love, prema.
Bhakti is such a thing. We shall try to understand what is this devotion that can control the Absolute. Mahaprabhu has come to suggest that we follow this path only, and it is in Vrndavana. Try to have a position, a place in Vrndavana, in that level, in that plane of life. With this general conception we shall have to approach Vrndavana. And what is Vrndavana? It is not the sum total of some appearance. A mere imitation of a particular group of appearances cannot give such a result. The very life is such, so valuable the life transaction must be there.
Die to live. Sacrifice. We must invite that sort of death that will kill death itself. If we want to live in that high plane, we shall have to give ourselves completely this is the price of that valuable goal. What is that subtle power? How do we acquire it? What should be the price? How deep should be the transaction? 


Swami B. V. Tripurari Maharaj: BrahmanParamatma, and Bhagavan are well known Vedantic terms referring to the Absolute — terms that are often considered synonymous. However, while Gaudiya Vaishnavas agree that BrahmanParamatma, and Bhagavan are different names for the Absolute, they emphasize that the three are, at the same time, not synonymous. They are God’s effulgence, his manifestation as the oversoul of the world, and his form for lila in the world beyond, respectively. The Gaudiyas further contend that the former two manifestations arise from the latter. (From Existing to love”).
* Brahman is the impersonal aspect of the Absolute, partial, realized as Oneness (and the first of five kinds of liberation/moksa). The goal of impersonalists. Compared to the (undifferentiated) light effulgence of the sun. 

** Paramatma, the Supersoul, is the localized (personal) impersonal witness aspect of the Absolute, partial, situated in the heart of every living entity, realized as guide, friend and more. The goal of mystics/yogis. Compared to the rays of the sun.  
*** Bhagavan is Godhead, the personal aspect of the Absolute. Compared to the sun itself.  

**** Svayam Bhagavan is the Absolute Himself, The Supreme Person/Consciousness and the source of all persons/atomic particles of consciousness and energies. Compared to the inner core of the sun. 
Sd. (Brackets by me)

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