On The Way To Our Orginal Homeland. (Part One)
The jñānīs and yogīs are generally impersonalists, and although they attain the temporary form of liberation by merging into the impersonal effulgence, the spiritual sky, according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam their knowledge is not considered pure. By penances, austerities, and meditations they can rise up to the platform of the Supreme Absolute, but as has been explained, they again fall down to the material world, because they have not taken Kṛṣṇa’s personal features seriously. Unless one worships the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, he again has to descend to the material platform. The ideal attitude should be, “I am Your eternal servitor. Please let me somehow engage in Your service.” Kṛṣṇa is called ajitaḥ – unconquerable – for no one can conquer God, but according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, one with this attitude easily conquers the Supreme. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also recommends that we give up this futile process to measure the Supreme. We cannot even measure the limitations of space, what to speak of the Supreme. It is not possible to measure the length and breadth of Kṛṣṇa by one’s minuscule knowledge, and one who arrives at this conclusion is considered intelligent by Vedic literature. One should come to understand, submissively, that he is a very insignificant segment of the universe. Abandoning the endeavor to understand the Supreme by limited knowledge or mental speculation, we should become submissive and hear of the Supreme through authoritative sources such as the Bhagavad-gītā or through the lips of a realized soul.
In the Bhagavad-gītā Arjuna is hearing about God from the lips of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself. In this way Arjuna set the criterion for understanding the Supreme by submissive hearing. It is our position to hear the Bhagavad-gītā from the lips of Arjuna or his bona fide representative, the spiritual master. After hearing, it is necessary to practice this acquired knowledge in daily life. “My dear Lord, You are unconquerable,” the devotee prays, “but by this process, by hearing, You are conquered.” God is unconquerable, but He is conquered by the devotee who abandons mental speculation and listens to authoritative sources.
According to the Brahma-saṁhitā there are two ways of acquiring knowledge – the ascending process and the descending process. By the ascending process one is elevated by knowledge acquired by himself. In this way one thinks, “I don’t care for any authorities or books. I will attain knowledge myself by meditation, philosophy, etc. In this way I will understand God.” The other process, the descending process, involves receiving knowledge from higher authorities. The Brahma-saṁhitā states that if one takes to the ascending process and travels at the speed of mind and wind for millions of years, he will still end up not knowing. For him, the subject matter will remain elusive and inconceivable. But that subject matter is given in the Bhagavad-gītā: ananya-cetāḥ. Kṛṣṇa says to meditate on Him without deviation from the path of devotional service in submission. For one who worships Him in this way – tasyāhaṁ sulabhaḥ: “I become easily available.” This is the process: if one works for Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours a day, Kṛṣṇa cannot forget him. By becoming submissive, he can attract the attention of God. As Guru Mahārāja Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī used to say, “Don’t try to see God. Is God to come and stand before us like a servant just because we want to see Him? That is not the submissive way. We have to oblige Him by our love and service.”
The proper process for approaching Kṛṣṇa was given to humanity by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and Rūpa Gosvāmī, His first disciple, appreciated it. Rūpa Gosvāmī was a minister in the Muhammadan government, but he left the government to become a disciple of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When he first went to see the Lord, Rūpa Gosvāmī approached Him with the following verse:
nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, who is more magnanimous than any other avatāra, even Kṛṣṇa Himself, because He is bestowing freely what no one else has ever given – pure love of Kṛṣṇa.”
Rūpa Gosvāmī called Caitanya Mahāprabhu “the most munificent, the most charitable personality,” because He was offering the most precious thing of all very cheaply – love of God. We all want Kṛṣṇa and are all hankering after Him. Kṛṣṇa is the most attractive, the most beautiful, the most opulent, the most powerful, and the most learned. That is the object of our hankering. We’re hankering after the beautiful, the powerful, the learned, the wealthy. Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of all of this, so we need only turn our attention toward Him, and we will get everything. Everything – whatever we want. Whatever is our heart’s desire will be fulfilled by this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
For one who dies in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as stated before, entrance into Kṛṣṇaloka, the supreme abode where Kṛṣṇa resides, is guaranteed. At this point one may ask what the advantage is in going to that planet, and Kṛṣṇa Himself answers,
mām upetya punar janma
saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ
“After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.” (Gītā 8.15)
To Be Continued…..