Friday, June 6, 2008

Change of Rasa

This is an excerpt from a lecture on Siddha Pranali. Here Prabhupada states his opinion on rasa.

Ramesvara: Srila Prabhupada, when the devotee is in the original relationship with Krsna, his siddha-deha, why is it that he sometimes changes his original rasa with Krsna?

Prabhupada: Hm?

Ramesvara: Each one of us has an original relationship with Krsna, some as plant, some as tree, some as cow, some as cowherd boy. So if that is re-established, why should the devotee desire to change it?

Prabhupada: Well, that is spiritual kingdom. You can change if you like.

Tamala Krsna: It is not static, Prabhupada once explained. Love is not static.

Prabhupada: Generally, it is not changed. Just like mother Yasoda, she's mother all the time, eternally.

Tamala Krsna: The question came in Bombay two or three years ago. Prabhupada said that it is not static. You can have (inaudible).

Hari-sauri: I always understood before that the rasa was fixed, but that within that rasa one may take different..., one may take a different line.

Prabhupada: That will be revealed when you are liberated. Why you are bothering now?

Ramesvara: That's the point.

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Prabhupada on the Divine Couple

Haribol Prabhus
This excerpt is an excerpt from the Teachings of Lord Caitanya. One must understand that I am not purporting to comment as lila smaranam. I am “hoping that perhaps persons who are singing and /or aware of some of the highly excellent bhajanas are also aware of Srila Prabhupada’s comments on the Divine Couple. Just for the record I have read the Srimad Bhagavatam twice. I was using the Krishna Books for the Tenth Canto as the 10th Canto was not out yet. I eventually found a 10th Canto on the rasa lila in a thrift shop. It was not the original version but I believe I still have such at my mothers!

I have not read the last four Cantos.

I have read the TOLC, but again this was many years ago. I spend most of my evenings listening to the lectures by Srila Prabhupada which I may have listened to half. Over the last four years I have read several small books by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura which complements my main study of Srila Prabhupada’s work on the Srimad Bhagavatm itself. It is very hard for some bhaktas as myself to maintain hard copies of the large works

Taken form the introduction of Teachings of Lord Caitanya by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

In order to learn how Krsna's pleasure can be obtained, we must read the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam in which Krsna's pleasure potency is displayed in His pastimes with Radharani and the damsels of Vraja. Unfortunately, unintelligent people turn at once to the sports of Krsna in the Dasama-skandha, the Tenth Canto. Krsna's embracing Radharani or His dancing with the cowherd girls in the rasa dance are generally not understood by ordinary men because they consider these pastimes in the light of mundane lust. They incorrectly think that Krsna is like themselves and that He embraces the gopis just as an ordinary man embraces a young girl. Some people thus become interested in Krsna because they think that His religion allows indulgence in sex. This is not Krsna-bhakti, love of Krsna, but prakrta-sahajiya-- materialistic lust.

In order to avoid such errors, we should understand what Radha-Krsna actually is. Radha and Krsna display their pastimes through Krsna's internal energy. The pleasure potency of Krsna's internal energy is a most difficult subject matter, and unless one understands what Krsna is, he cannot understand it. Krsna does not take any pleasure in this material world, but He has a pleasure potency. Because we are part and parcel of Krsna, the pleasure potency is within us also, but we are trying to exhibit that pleasure potency in matter. Krsna, however, does not make such a vain attempt. The object of Krsna's pleasure potency is Radharani, and He exhibits His potency or His energy as Radharani and then engages in loving affairs with Her. In other words, Krsna does not take pleasure in this external energy but exhibits His internal energy, His pleasure potency, as Radharani. Thus Krsna manifests Himself as Radharani in order to exhibit His internal pleasure potency. Of the many extensions, expansions and incarnations of the Lord, this pleasure potency is the foremost and chief.

It is not that Radharani is separate from Krsna. Radharani is also Krsna, for there is no difference between the energy and the energetic. Without energy, there is no meaning to the energetic, and without the energetic, there is no energy. Similarly, without Radha there is no meaning to Krsna, and without Krsna, there is no meaning to Radha. Because of this, the Vaisnava philosophy first of all pays obeisances to and worships the internal pleasure potency of the Supreme Lord. Thus the Lord and His potency are always referred to as Radha-Krsna. Similarly, those who worship the name of Narayana first of all utter the name of Laksmi, as Laksmi-Narayana. Similarly, those who worship Lord Rama first of all utter the name of Sita. In any case--Sita-Rama, Radha-Krsna, Laksmi-Narayana--the potency always comes first.
Radha and Krsna are one, and when Krsna desires to enjoy pleasure, He manifests Himself as Radharani. The spiritual exchange of love between Radha and Krsna is the actual display of the internal pleasure potency of Krsna. Although we speak of "when" Krsna desires, just when He did desire we cannot say. We only speak in this way because in conditional life we take it that everything has a beginning; however, in the absolute or spiritual life there is neither beginning nor end. Yet in order to understand that Radha and Krsna are one and that They also become divided, the question "When?" automatically comes to mind. When Krsna desired to enjoy His pleasure potency, He manifested Himself in the separate form of Radharani, and when He wanted to understand Himself through the agency of Radha, He united with Radharani, and that unification is called Lord Caitanya.

Why did Krsna assume the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu? It is explained that Krsna desired to know the glory of Radha's love. "Why is She so much in love with Me?" Krsna asked. "What is My special qualification that attracts Her so? And what is the actual way in which She loves Me?" It seems strange that Krsna, as the Supreme, should be attracted by anyone's love. We search after the love of a woman or a man because we are imperfect and lack something. The love of a woman, that potency and pleasure, is absent in man, and therefore a man wants a woman, but this is not the case with Krsna, who is full in Himself. Thus Krsna expressed surprise: "Why am I attracted by Radharani? And when Radharani feels My love, what is She actually feeling?" In order to taste the essence of that loving affair, Krsna appeared just as the moon appears on the horizon of the sea. Just as the moon was produced by the churning of the sea, by the churning of spiritual love affairs the moon of Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. Indeed, Caitanya's complexion was golden, just like the moon. Although this is figurative language, it conveys the meaning behind the appearance of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The full significance of His appearance will be explained in later chapters.

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