You may be thinking, “I have always known this because I have loved countless mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives and children in infinite lives.” But no, you have never known what love is. You have never accepted the definition of love, nor have you ever loved anyone. If you think you have, you are mistaken. There is neither any lover nor any Beloved in the world, and as long as one is under maya, it is not possible to be either, even if one endeavors for countless lifetimes. Why? Because the definition of the word “Beloved” is so profound that it cannot apply to anyone in the material world. “Beloved” means “one who is a treasure-house of Divine love,” and the person who begs for this love from the “Beloved,” is the “lover.” No one who is under the control of maya, not even Indra, the king of heaven, possesses true love. Seeing that no one is worthy of becoming the Beloved, who will then become the lover? And if someone does become a lover, without a proper Beloved, what will one gain? You can only gain from a person what he himself possesses. You can acquire wisdom only from the wise. You can gain wealth only from the wealthy. If someone has no wealth, what can you get from him, even if he gives all that he has? You can hope all you want, but all that worldly people have to offer is broken begging bowls. They are beggars themselves, devoid of love, even if they hold such exalted positions as those of Indra, Kuber, Varun, and Yamraj. What then to speak of ordinary human beings! The celestial gods may have extraordinary powers compared to humans, but they do not possess love. And it is love that our soul is craving. How then can we get it from material personalities, even if they wish to bestow it upon us?
However, the entire world is bent on deception. Everyone claims to be the “Beloved.” Whether it is mother and son, husband and wife, or some other mutual relationship, everyone is bent on deceiving the other by taking on the mantle of “Beloved.” But, without possessing love, no one can occupy the seat of “Beloved.” Then what can you gain by becoming the “lover” of such a false “Beloved?” Since eternal time, we have taken countless births in the 8.4 million species of life, and have been begging for love and love alone. We have begged for it from mother, father, husband, wife and children. Everyone has said, “Here, take it from me. I have a storehouse of love for you.” But, they do not even know what love is, what to speak of possessing it.
This treasure called “love,” is the property only of Saints. By Saints, I mean those who have received the power called “love” from some “lover” of God. God does not transmit this power directly. Pay close attention to this point. From where can you get love? The Divine Beloved does not bestow love Himself. Radha and Krishna are the treasuries of love, but they do not distribute it themselves. It is given by the lovers of God. No individual soul can have direct contact with Radha-Krishna. It is impossible. Only a rasik Saint can bestow it upon a surrendered soul. Then this soul, in turn, bestows it upon other surrendered souls.
A few days ago, you watched the enactment of the Uddhao leela. What was it teaching? Shree Krishna did not bestow Divine love upon Uddhao. He was bound by His eternal law, which relegates this authority to His devotees, or Saints. But He was concerned about how his friend could receive Divine love. The ultimate authorities of Divine love are the gopis. So, He sent Uddhao to them and Uddhao accepted the gopis as his Gurus. Not the type of guru who recites a mantra in the ear of the disciple. The Guru must possess Divine love, and the disciple should be completely surrendered to the Guru, completely purified from within. Only then does diksha, the transfer of Divine love, take place. A guru who does not have Divine love, is an impostor. You see such impostors deceiving people by giving diksha, or initiation, by whispering a mantra in the ear. They are so anxious to increase the number of disciples that they give a mantra to anyone who comes along. Just think! To enter law school, you must gain eligibility by first obtaining a B.A. degree. Similarly, to receive Divine love, we must also be qualified. And these “gurus” consider everyone a candidate for Divine love! Anyone who comes to them can become a disciple. What do these gurus give? A mantra And what happens after that? The person remains the same as before. He is still under the control of maya. He still has desire, anger, pride, envy, and greed intact. If the disciple did not get Divine bliss, if he did not see God, then what did the mantra do? This type of guru should be shot. He is a demon and he has deceived you. in the ear.
When a house is constructed, the electrical fittings are properly installed – the bulbs, fans and so on, before the power house makes its connection and gives its power. Now the light bulbs and fans start functioning. If they do not function, then the power house has deceived you. And if you insist that this is not the case, then why was the connection given? What is the need for the guru to give a special mantra, and that too, to an unqualified person? There is no mantra greater than the name of Radha-Krishna, nor can there ever be. That is my challenge. What name will the guru give to anyone? If I say in Hindi, “O Ram, I bow down to You,” the teachers of these sects say, “No! No! Recite the Sanskrit mantra “aum ram ramaya namah.” What is this? Is there the same problem of language in God’s kingdom as there exists in our world? In certain places in
South India, they do not want to accept the Hindi language, and so create an uproar over its usage. They insist on using regional languages only. Does God want to be addressed in Sanskrit only? And do you think He objects if you say the same thing in Bengali, Punjabi, or some other language? Do you think He would say, “This is not a mantra. This is not My name.” Look at the ignorance that exists in the world today! A lot of people say, “My Guru Ji has come directly from Golok.” “When he made you his disciple, what did he give you?” “He gave me a mantra.” “What did he give you along with the mantra?” “He gave me nothing else.” “There is a power that he is supposed to give you along with the mantra; a power called ‘Divine love.’ The moment this power enters within, you instantaneously attain God and become free from maya forever. You can claim your guru to be someone even greater than God, but that will amount to nothing, unless he is a genuine Saint who has attained Divine love.” And, if he is one you will have to have the eligibility - a mind that is completely pure - for him to make you a disciple. You must have heard that Shankaracharya accepted very few disciples in his entire life and that too after severely testing them and engaging them in intense spiritual practice. When their minds were completely purified, only then did he give them initiation. After the disciple receives Divine Love from the guru, there is nothing further to be done. If there is anything to be done, it is prior to this. The disciple has to prepare the vessel of the mind to contain what the Guru has to give. Just like when you construct a house, you have to ensure that all the electrical fittings are properly installed and in place. It is only then that the powerhouse gives the power through the medium of the mechanic. Similarly, God grants Divine love through the Guru. This is His eternal law; He cannot give it personally. Actually, it is not that He is unable to do it, but He has laid down this eternal law and does not ever violate it. His laws are eternal and irrefutable.
So, who is the Beloved, the treasure house of Divine love? The Saints. These Saints are of many kinds. Let us understand three of them: the gyani saint, the yogi saint, and the bhakt, or devotee Saint. The gyani saint cannot give you Divine love; he has not attained it himself. His grace extends only to the granting of liberation. Neither can the yogi saint give you Divine love. He can grant you various mystic powers – anima, laghima, garima, etc. - which allow you to fly in the sky and assume a thousand bodies, but he cannot give you divine love.
जेहि खोजत योगीश मुिन
Great yogis desire Divine love intensely. And the foremost of gyanis, like Janak, Sanak, and Shukdeo, came to Braj for the same nectar you have come here for. They came in the form of trees, hoping to attain Divine love through the grace of the gopis. I am speaking of liberated, completely pure paramhamsas, not just of those who dye their clothes saffron and go around posing as sanyasis.
So, Divine love cannot be granted by the yogi guru or the gyani guru. Only the devotee Guru has this power, and no one else. No other type of saint, not even God can do it. Then what can worldly people give? They do not have a trace of Divine love. The treasure house of Divine love is the devotee Saint alone. Although God also has this love, yet even the devotee Saint has received it via another Saint, and not directly from God.
This Divine love is God’s most intimate power, and God remains under its control. Pay attention to this point. He declares grandly that He is Supremely Independent and that there is no one above Him.
परम स्वतन्त्र न सिर पर कोई ।
However, there is someone above Him. Who is that? He Himself states:
अहं भक्त पराधीनो ह्स्वतन्त्र इव द्विज ।
साधुभिगर््रस्तह्दयो भत्तैुर्भक्त जनपि्रयः ॥
“I am a servant of My devotees. They have taken away My independence and have enslaved Me.” One who attains Divine love, whether he be an illiterate fool, a donkey, a dog, cat or a crow, will make God his slave. This subjugation of God by the devotee is not for a day or two, but for eternity. And God is not performing forced labor, like servants in the world, who do not enjoy it but do it for the sake of money. They would joyfully give up the service if they could get the money some other way. Whether they work in a school or the Supreme Court, people become so happy with even one day off. How happy they would be if they never had to work! But this is not a sign of a true servant. God’s service is not like that. How does He serve His devotee?
नीच टहल बलि जाय
He receives immense pleasure in performing even the most menial service for His devotee, and becomes unhappy when He has no service to perform. He does not consider this service as something that is forced upon Him. He does not ever think, “Now that this soul has received Divine love, I will have to serve Him, because now I am under His control.” If He thought in this manner, He would not have given His personal power to souls. He becomes a servant knowingly. He willingly distributes Divine love, His most intimate power.
ह्लादिनी सार अंश तार प्रेम नाम ।
“His most intimate power is Hladini Shakti, and the absolute essence of that is Divine love.” And He distributes this to insignificant souls. Why does He do this? Because He cannot hold Himself back. Why? Because His nature is that of infinite compassion, of causelessly gracing everyone, and He never regrets this action. It is not as in the case of Shankar Ji and Bhasmasur. There, Shankar Ji gave the demon Bhasmasur the boon that anyone on whose head he placed his hand would be destroyed. Bhasmasur immediately wanted to place his hand on Shankar Ji’s head and so Shankar Ji was forced to run all over the three worlds for protection. Finally, Shree Krishna had to come to His rescue. He tricked the demon by making him place his hand on his own head. So, it is not that Shree Krishna regrets giving Divine love to the soul, thinking, “Why did I take this trouble upon Myself when I could have stayed peacefully in Golok?” He enjoys doing menial work for illiterate devotees, keeping guard at the door for one, grinding flour for another, and washing horses for yet another. There are countless examples in history of devotees whom the Lord served. He gives His most personal power and becomes happy upon seeing His child in such Bliss. Even a worldly mother becomes happy when she gives her child something good to eat. She willingly goes hungry herself, but feeds her child well. If there are no vegetables left, she will eat roti with salt. But, because it is a worldly relationship based on selfishness, she may not always experience happiness through this sacrifice. In the Divine realm, however, Shyamsundar experiences even greater happiness on giving Divine love than the beggarly soul - who is getting the ultimate Divine Bliss for the very first time – does on receiving it.
So, the treasuries of Divine love are Shyamsundar and the Saints. The rest of the world, whether they be yogis, gyanis, Sages, ascetics, or aspiring devotees cannot become the Beloved, because they do not possess love. No one controlled by maya can be a true Beloved.
So, now you understand who is to be loved – Shree Krishna and His devotees, the Saints. That is all. We must not go anywhere else. Not to any heavenly god, or goddess. These celestial gods and goddesses are all under the control of maya. Devotion to them has resulted in the wastage of countless lives. In our country, initially they used to worship the heavenly gods and goddesses mentioned in scriptures, but now they are even concocting “gods” to worship, like Santoshi Maa etc. In any case, all these gods and goddesses are under maya. The only ones worthy to be loved, worthy of the designation of Beloved, are God and His Divine associates, because they possess Divine love. The main reservoir is God, and the soul upon whom God grants love, is called a Saint.
Both God and the Saints are one. These are not two separate governments. If you practice devotion to the Guru, God is pleased; and if you practice devotion to God, the Guru is pleased. This is not a worldly relationship, rife with worldly jealousies. God Himself has stated in a thousand places in the scriptures:
मद्भक्तस्य ये भक्ततमा मताः ॥
“Those who are devotees of My devotees have practiced devotion to Me a thousandfold. And My grace upon them is correspondingly a thousandfold.” In other words, God is far more pleased by devotion to His devotees than He is by direct devotion to Himself. This is the statement of God Himself. So, there is no conflict between Him and the Guru. Nevertheless, Divine love can be given only by the Guru. That is the spiritual law. If Shree Krishna graces you, He will have Divine love given to you by one of His agents. You do not have to look for them; they will seek you out. There are always one, two or more of His agents present here on earth. If there is need, then ten, twenty, fifty, hundred agents come all together. Five thousand years ago they came to the world in great quantity. During the descension of Shree Krishna, even trees of Braj were all Saints. At least one Saint is always present in the world. If there is no Saint in the world, then the world itself would come to an end. It is Saints who sustain the universe by their holy presence.
So, you have understood the term “Beloved” - the object of love. Now, understand the term “lover.” We know whom we have to love. Now, understand the nature of love. I have already mentioned that one type of love is attained only through the Guru. That love cannot be practiced. Our mind, intellect and sense-organs are material, and He whom we have to love, is Divine. It is impossible to practice love with the impure material mind. Not difficult, mind you. Impossible! When you receive the power of “love” from your guru, only then can you claim to be a “lover” of God, not before. At present, you have simply to attach your mind to the Divine realm to purify it, to make it eligible to receive Divine love. When the mind is completely purified, the Guru will give that love himself, without your asking for it. Even if we do not want it, he will give it to us. For the sake of getting a commission even agents in the world are always canvassing to get buyers for their products. So, the Saints are always trying to get more lovers for God, for His pleasure. The Saints remain ever hopeful that a person will become eligible for their grace. “He has started progressing. Now he is doing his B.A., now his M.A. Now something has gone wrong. Never mind, we shall try again.” Worldly souls keep on making mistakes, but the Saint remains hopeful and keeps forgiving. Why? Because a Saint’s nature is identical to that of God. He cannot help being merciful. What can he do? He feels that he will be sitting idle in Golok, therefore he may as well do something in this world. He thinks to himself, “Even if all of them do not reach M.A., at least they will reach high school or middle school level. Then they will resume in their next life, and will one day get their M.A. degree.” Such an optimist a Saint is! If you people were doing the same job, you would have become discouraged in a moment and would have left for Golok immediately. You work for worldly souls and what do you get in return? They say, “My Guru is very selfish; my Guru is very greedy.” They pass these remarks sitting close to the Guru. He knows everything, and yet says nothing. He thinks, “It’s all right, son. Say what you want, but I will not give up on you.” It is not as if the Guru is doing us a great favor. He is only doing what comes naturally to him. It is the nature of the Saint to be causelessly compassionate. It is not that they have singled us out especially for their favor. They act according to their nature and we act according to ours. Some soul may be determined to commit the highest spiritual transgression, even if the consequence is the attainment of hell. “Do you know the consequences of thinking against God, or the Saints or directly against your Guru?” “Yes, I have heard. But, I can not avoid it, and though I repent later and shed tears, it happens nevertheless.” But the Guru does not give up. He knows that he must be patient. When a child learns to walk, he falls many, many times but parents do not lose hope. They know their child will start walking one day. Do you remember what you went through while learning the alphabet? How many days it took you to learn to write your name? We have forgotten how much we labored in learning even a single letter of the alphabet. But we did not give up hope. Then why do we give up in the Godly area? We have to learn to attach our mind to Shree Krishna and establish a relationship with Him, and for that we must understand the nature of love.
This love is of three kinds. One is for your own happiness. The second is for the pleasure of the Beloved and the third is for the happiness of both yourself and the Beloved. Note this point very carefully. This knowledge will be useful to you right up to the point of God-realization. If you get distracted you will deprive yourself of benefit. You will not understand the value of what you are getting until you attain God. What would have taken you millions of years of study of the scriptures has been encapsulated and given to you so simply for your mind to absorb. You will only understand the value of this later. Right now you do not think it is anything particularly special. At present you will say at the most, “Maharaj Ji spoke very well.”
So, the first type of love is towards God and the Guru for one’s own happiness. You will say that you are familiar with this type of love. No, you are not. If you had practiced even this lowest level of love, you would not be in the condition you are in now. You would have crossed maya. But you have not been able to practice even this class of love. I have strongly opposed this type of love in “Prem rasa Madira.” It has hundreds of verses opposing this type of selfish devotion. Saints who have practiced this type of devotion have not received any mention or praise from me. I am not talking about those who are under the control of maya. I am talking about Draupadi, Gajaraj etc. In temples, people sing enthusiastically about the greatness of Draupadi, whose honor was protected by Shree Krishna. They do not realize that to call Shyamsundar to protect this material body is an act of selfishness. It is not wrong to love Shyamsundar for your own happiness. But you should reject it, even though it will transport you beyond maya, make you God-realized, and take you to the Divine abode. Do not accept this type of love even in your dreams.
कृष्णभक्तः सकामोऽपि वरोऽन्यसेवकात्खलु ।
निष्कामादपि तत्कामो यतो मोक्षाय कल्पते ॥
Even a selfish devotee of Shree Krishna is infinitely better than selfless worshippers of celestial gods. Why? Because even a selfish devotee of Shree Krishna will attain freedom from maya and attain Divine love. On the other hand, even a selfless devotee of a material personality can only attain what that person has in his possession.
यांति देवव्रता देवान् पितृन् यांति पितृव्रताः ।
भूतानि यांति भूतेज्या यांति मद्याजिनोऽपि माम् ॥
“Devotion to celestial gods will take you to heavenly abodes.” But this is a temporary attainment. Your goal of rising above material miseries and attaining eternal Bliss will not be realized. The desire to get rid of misery is the lowest of all spiritual goals, but even this will not be realized because the personality towards whom your selfless love is directed, is under the control of maya.
So, the first lesson in loving Shree Krishna is that you should not love Him for your own happiness. You people love for your own happiness. But you love the world, not God. This is a habit that should be curtailed. You have so much past practice of it that it has become your nature. It is now proving to be an obstacle in going towards God.
A wife plans every moment to fulfill her desires through her husband. She thinks, “How should I stand; how should I look at him, how should I speak to him, so that I get what I want from him?” And the husband is thinking of ways to fool his wife, so that she remains in his grasp and keeps providing him all facilities and pleasures of his choice. There is a competition between both of them. They both want to be served; both wish to occupy the seat of the “Beloved.” So there is bound to be conflict at every moment. What have we done all life long? We have learned various ways and means of appearing impressive in order to influence and deceive people. And the person most capable of doing this is called “advanced” and “smart.” “He is such an expert that he can turn anyone in his favor.” What we call etiquette, culture, is the art of speaking and acting shrewdly to get one’s work done, to achieve one’s ends in the world. We admire how a person expertly wrangles something out of another by approaching him with appropriate gestures, expressions and behavior. This is called etiquette and cultured behavior, but it is out-and-out artificiality. We have wasted our entire life and energy in planning and plotting how to trick people. We pick up this shrewdness, this cunning by reading novels, books and newspapers, and by associating with other shrewd people whom we consider our role models. With this accumulated knowledge, we become experts in duping husband, wife, parents, children, neighbors and the rest of the world. What does this do for us? We gain more of the world for ourselves. But, we do not attain happiness from this. So, what is the end result of a lifetime of effort in accumulating material goods? We do not reflect on the end result beforehand.
In the Mahabharat we read about a king named Srinjay. Srinjay approached the great Sage Narad Ji and begged for grace. Saints, like Narad Ji, only bestow grace on others. There is nothing else they do, or can do. God and Guru are two personalities who can do nothing but be merciful. We can do whatever we wish: be affectionate to others, act indifferent, or be angry at them. But God can only be merciful. You may ask, “How can you say that? Did He not kill Ravan? Did He not cut off Shishupal’s head? Did He not get angry with Bheeshma and attack him with the chariot wheel?” That was not anger, but a show. It was an act. Anger is something felt from within, not something shown externally. This was mere acting, and it is done not only by God, but also by His Saints. Arjun and Hanuman killed people in millions. This acting is very simple for Divine personalities.
Lord Ram became angry at Ravan, and killed him in battle. Yet what did Ravan say to Ram at the moment of death? “O Ram! As long as I was alive, You could not set foot in Lanka and now that I am dying, I am going to Your abode before You (Someone who is killed by the Lord, attains His Divine abode). So, whose victory is it, Yours, or mine?” What could the Lord say? His anger was only an act. If His anger had been real, there would have been no need for this prolonged drama of a battle between the two. He could have killed Ravan merely by willing it. Instead, he collected this huge force of monkeys and bears and performed all kinds of pastimes.
राम भालु कपि कटक बटोरा ।
What was the need of getting the army of monkeys together? The special power of determining the death of each individual is in His hands. He simply has to turn off the switch and the person is dead. Else, He could have ordered Yamraj to send Ravan to hell for billions of ages for his insolence. But He did not do this. Instead, He sent him to His Divine abode. We people are better than Ravan. Yet he is making us suffer in the cycle of 8.4 million different forms of life, while He is sending Ravan to the Divine abode. In other words, that anger was only hidden grace. But, towards us, He shows neither mercy nor anger. He is neutral.
समोऽहं सर्वभूतेष्ा न मे द्वेष्योऽस्ति न पि्रयः ॥
“God is equal to all living beings.” He notes down the ideas of every moment of every living being. He does not disturb anyone. He lets us do what we want. He notes our actions and rewards or punishes us accordingly. Why does He not He kill us like he killed Ravan and send us to His abode? Because death at His hands is reserved for those who are deserving. Ravan knew who Ram was.
खरदूषण मो सम बलवन्ता । तिन्हंिहं को मारइ बिनु भगवन्ता ॥
Ravan thought to himself, “Khar and Dushan were as strong as myself. No one could kill them except God, and that prince has killed them both. This means that He is a descension of God. If I die at His hands I will attain the Divine abode.” Therefore he decided to oppose Ram, and die at His hands to attain his goal. The entire killing of Ravan by Ram was actually a drama but the public was unaware of what was actually happening. When you watch a film or a play, nothing happens by chance; it is all rehearsed beforehand. The same is true with the pastimes of God. Everything is planned ahead.
I was telling the story of Srinjay and Narad Ji. Srinjay asked Narad Ji to bless him with a son. Narad Ji thought to himself, “What a foolish request! He wants a son. In infinite lives, sometimes he has had one son, sometimes two, sometimes ten, and sometimes even fifty, when he was in the body of a cat, dog or pig. And still he is not satisfied! Anyway, what he is asking for is nothing big. I can get him off my back by granting him something so trivial.” So he said to Srinjay, “Go. You will have a son.” Srinjay said, “I want a son whose body produces only gold.” In other words, everything that he excretes because of normal bodily functions should become gold. Narad Ji smiled and thought, “Now the king is going to see bad days.” Anyway, he granted him the son who was called Suvarnashtheevi (one who excretes gold from his body). Daily, the boy would excrete half a kilo of gold twice a day. Anything from his body, whether mucus or any other excretion, would turn to gold. Even his perspiration would be gold. The king grew very wealthy. Even his palace was now made of gold. This attracted the attention of some bandits. Every king has limited wealth, but Srinjay’s income was multiplying day by day. Such an occurrence cannot be kept a secret for long. The dacoits found out and kidnapped the prince. To defeat the king’s army, many dacoits had to join hands. Now, when the question came of dividing the spoils it was suggested that every dacoit would take turns getting the gold the prince excreted from his body. As a result, they all started squabbling among themselves and finally decided to divide the prince into twelve pieces. So, that was done, and of course as a result no one got any gold. The king was without a son, the prince himself was killed and the dacoits went empty handed. This is the consequence of all worldly attainments.
We are used to loving the world for our own happiness.
न वा अरे पत्युः कामाय पतिः पि्रयो भवत्यात्मनस्तु कामाय पतिः पि्रयो भवति ।
We cannot love anyone selflessly. The Vedas proclaim boldly that until God-realization, it is impossible for the soul to love without selfish interest. Until such time, every thought and every action of ours is rooted in self-interest. When someone says, “I want to help you,” he wants to help so that he may himself get help in the future. This help is just a sham. So the love we have practiced in the world, are practicing or will practice in the future, has only one goal – self interest. But the amazing thing is that no one, in spite of doing everything at every moment only for their self-interest, is willing to admit to being selfish. If someone says, “You are selfish,” we are annoyed. “How dare you say that!” In other words, we are not ready to hear the word “selfish.” Daily, in spite of being told to practice humility, abandon pride and shed tears, you do not do it. You do not accept this teaching.
There was a Saint called Pundareekaksh, who had a disciple by the name of Ram Mishra. One day, the disciple asked his Guru, “Why have I not attained God? Why does my mind not go to Him?” The Guru asked him, “Why do you ask these questions?” The disciple said, “Because I want to attain God.” Pundareekaksh said, “You are lying. If you had a genuine desire to attain God, you would have attained your goal. You are just asking for the sake of asking. Anyhow, are you prepared to do exactly as I tell you?” “Yes, Maharaj!” “Then listen. Your problem is that you are not humble. You don’t cry for God. You do not bring the right emotions in your heart. Do you know the remedy for this?” “Maharaj! That is what I wish to know.” Pundareekaksh said, “The cure for your disease is to practice revealing your own faults, and concealing the faults of others.”
Ram Mishra thought to himself, “I have done everything except this. I hide my faults fearing what people will say.” He said, “Maharaj, I will disclose my faults only to you, but please do not tell them to others. Otherwise, our relationship will come to an end.” Pundareekash said, “No, you fool! There is no need to tell me. Tell the world. And do not think of others’ faults or speak about them.” Reflect upon this sentence of his. This is where you people have got stuck. You want the praise of others. Satsangis fight amongst one other over words. “He dared to call me this.” Who do you think you are? What status can you lay claim to? Whatever anyone says, applies to you totally. In fact, a lot more could be said about you. What is said so far is very insignificant. The fact is that you are filled with countless faults. And you are committing offences at every moment. Yet, if someone points even out one or two of them, it becomes intolerable to you! You are not ready to hear the truth. The fact is that the person who brings out your bad points is benefiting you, but you see it otherwise. And when two satsangis get together, they criticize other satsangis. “Oh this person did this and that satsangi said that.” Why don’t you vow to speak to each other only on the subject of God and Guru! If someone tries to speak on some other topic, tell him politely but firmly, “This is against my Guru’s wish, and if you bring up this topic again, I will not come here again.” If someone speaks against your family member, you do not visit his house again. Then how is it that you take great interest in listening to someone criticize other satsangis, as would in listening to the Bhagavat? You even go to the extent of repeating what you have heard. Then you come to me and say, “Maharaj Ji, I am not making spiritual progress.” If you do not wish to move forward, what can anyone do? Try and follow this teaching of Pundareekash. Display your own faults and hide the faults of others. This will increase your humility, which is the foundation stone of devotion. Then you will move forward.
Thus, selfish love can be of two kinds. One is love towards Radha Krishna and the Guru for the sake of material gain, and the other is love towards the world for worldly procurements. We are familiar with the latter. It is all that we have done in infinite lifetimes. The knowledge that you have acquired is not the earning of one life. I had told you earlier, that eighteen elements - five senses of action, five senses of perception, five vital airs, the mind, intellect, and ego - accompany us after death. The intellect we have today has been developed in the course of infinite lifetimes. So far, your intellect has only learned how to fulfill your selfish motive from the world. Sometimes your schemes work; sometimes they do not. Sometimes you succeed; other times you suffer as a result of your schemes. Nevertheless, you persist in fulfilling your self-interest through the world. You remain limited to this sphere only and strive to make progress here. It is not so surprising that our love in the world is based on selfishness. What is truly surprising is that we love the world at all. Draupadi and Gajaraj were devotees with selfish motives, but at least their attachment was reserved for God. O
attachment is directed towards the world, where our self-interest can never be fulfilled.. ur
Our mind can be equated to a girl, who attains the property of her husband. To whatever realm we attach the mind, we will attain the property of that realm. If we attach it to God, we will attain His Divine property of unlimited Knowledge and Bliss. Many souls loved Shree Krishna selfishly, not knowing Him to be God.
गोप्यः कामात् भयात्कंसो द्वेषाच्चैद्यादयो नृपाः ।
Some gopis loved Shree Krishna the way a worldly woman loves a man. Kansa’s mind was absorbed in Him through fear. Many loved Him as a relative. But, whether you rub the touchstone against iron lovingly or strike it in anger, the result will be the same. Iron will turn into gold. In the same way, with whatever emotion you attach your mind to God, you will get a Divine result.
Loving the world leads us back to this world. “Do you love your father?” “Yes.” “Do you know that you could possibly become a dog in your next life?” “Why?” “If your father has committed such sins that he gets the body of a dog in his next life, your devotion to him will take you into the same species.” “Why should that happen? I have just been devoted to my father.” “The spiritual law is that you will have to go wherever your father goes.”
यांति देवव्रता देवान् पितृन् यांति पितृव्रताः ।
भूतानि यांति भूतेज्या यांति मद्याजिनोऽपि माम् ॥
“After death you will attain the personality to whom you are attached.” An advanced gyani like Jad Bharat had to become a deer in his next life because of his attachment to a baby deer. He took pity on a little fawn that he found floating down the stream, and he started nursing it. These days you see old ladies with their grandchildren in their laps. If you ask them, “What do you do nowadays? All your responsibilities are over; your children are now married. How much time do you spend on devotion?” “I don’t do any devotion. I have my own three little Gopals (little Shree Krishnaas). Well, actually they are the Gopals of my Gopal. My son’s children. I am busy with them. They talk their baby talk. They are so cute, so naughty.” When someone pays attention to her child, the mother becomes ecstatic. “O how much they care for my child!” Is it possible for someone to love anyone’s child other than one’s own? When people show love for another’s child, they are only putting on an act. And mothers get fooled by their behavior, thinking that the person loves their child so much. But these grandmothers actually become attached and start worrying about their grandchildren. Of course, this is not surprising. An advanced soul like Jad Bharat became attached to a deer. As a result, he had to become a deer in the next life. So there are no exceptions to this rule. This is the challenge of the scriptures: after death, you will attain to which you were attached while living. Therefore, those who love God and the Guru will attain Divine results. This is also an absolute certainty by the same law.
Shukdeo explained this very thing to Pareekshit
क्वेमाः स्त्रियो वनचरीव्र्यभिचार दुष्टाः कृष्णे क्वचैष परमात्मनि रुढभावः ।
नन्वीश्वरोऽनुभजतोऽविदुषोऽपि साक्षाच्छेयस्तनोत्यगदराज इवोपयुक्तः ॥
Pareekshit said, “My Lord! Many gopis did not even think of Shree Krishna to be a Saint, let alone God. They were attracted to Him by His exceptional beauty; they were enchanted by His mischievous nature, His flute-playing, and His various other qualities. When their love for Him was that of a woman for a paramour, how did it take them beyond the three modes of material nature? When they were acting like souls in ignorance, how did they come to occupy such an exalted seat?” Shukdeo replied, “I understand what you are saying. You are like the dung beetle which remains attached to the dung. Your mind is filled with the dirty material world, and so you are applying material logic to the Divine realm.” We often take medicine. For headaches there is paracetamol, ibuprofen, etc. How are these medicines made? We do not have the slightest idea. Although we do not see it being made, the medicine benefits us nevertheless. And the person who makes the medicine, also takes it when he has a headache and benefits equally. He does not derive greater benefit just because he knows how the medicine is made. An illiterate rustic is told to take the white pill three times daily. He does not even know the name. But it benefits him, nevertheless, in exactly the same way as it would anyone else. So the substance does its work irrespective of our knowledge or ignorance about it. Similarly, if your mind gets attached to Shree Krishna, as a father, as a son or even as an enemy, you will derive Divine benefit. You will attain His properties: Divine love, Divine knowledge, Divine Bliss, and Divine abode. This will happen just like in the case of the medicine, where you benefit irrespective of your knowledge about its ingredients. Those who do not know Shree Krishna to be God, benefit as much from loving Him as those who do know Him. And those who do know Shree Krishna to be God, cannot love Him as God. They have to accept the four bhaos or devotional sentiments: “He is my Master,” higher than that, “He is my friend,” even higher, “He is my child,” and finally, “He is my Beloved.” If devotion was only allowed in the sentiment that Shree Krishna is God, then Yashoda would not have experienced the motherly love that she did, nor would the gopis have experienced the ultimate Bliss of madhurya bhao – the Maharas. There would be fear and hesitation in the relationship. That is why selfish love for Shree Krishna has been given a higher place than the selfless love for celestial gods and goddesses. As long as you love the world, it does not matter whether you are loving your father, mother, son, daughter, or someone else. The result will be the bondage of maya. “But I love her like a daughter!” “It does not matter; it is a sin. The fact is that it is a sin to even love your own daughter as a daughter.” Who has instructed you to love anyone in the world? God’s instruction is:
मामेकं शरणं व्रज
“Surrender to Me alone.”
त्वमेव सर्व मम देव देव ।
“Consider Me to be your all-in-all.” Let us say you have a daughter. Nurture her, feed her, clothe her, educate her. Do your duty towards her. That is your responsibility. But you are not to love her. You have one mind and if you use it to love the world, with which mind are you going to love God and Guru? And if you persist in loving both the world and God with this mind, it is like washing your clothes and then putting them in mud, again washing them and again making them dirty. What is the benefit of this? We shed a couple of tears when we take leave of our Guru, and shed a couple of tears when our daughter leaves home after marriage. What kind of mockery is this?
You must have heard of a Saint called Soordas, who was blind from birth. He used to walk everywhere alone, begging for food, chanting “Radhey Radhey.” One day he came across a well which had no boundary around it, and fell in. Shree Krishna came personally to pull him out of the well. Soordas felt something different in His touch from any worldly touch he had experienced and so he held His hand firmly, knowing it to be the hand of his Beloved. Shree Krishna freed Himself with a slight pull. Soordas said
हस्तमुत्क्षिय यातोऽसि बलात् कृष्ण किमद्भुतम् ।
ह्दयाद्यदि निर्यासि पौरुषं गणयामि ते ।
“What great strength have You shown in freeing Yourself from the clutches of a weak old man? I will only accept you as All-powerful if you are able to escape from my heart.” हिरदय ते जब जाहुगे मर्द बदौंगो तोहि ॥
Impressed by his bold statement, the next day Radha and Krishna went back to Soordas, hoping to hear him say something. Thakur Ji warned Kishori Ji, “Stay far from him, or he will grab hold of Your feet. Blind people don’t let go of things easily.” Kishori Ji said, “If he catches Me, so be it. I will go near him nevertheless.” Thakur Ji said “As You wish, but I will not come to free You.” So Kishori Ji crept slowly up to Soordas. He heard the sound of Her anklets. Blind people have a very keen sense of sound, because the mind gets focused on the hearing to compensate for the lack of sight. Knowing someone to be coming carefully towards him, Soordas acted as though he didn’t know anything. When She came very close, and when the anklets tinkled no more, he reached out and caught Her foot. But Kishori Ji was also alert because She had been warned by Thakur Ji, and She stepped back to avoid getting caught. Still, Soordas managed to grab Her anklet in his hand. He thought to himself, “Well, make do with what you have.” Thakur Ji told Kishori Ji “I warned You. I have had the same experience with him once.” Kishori Ji had to go for the raas at that time. So She said “Look, Soordas, I am begging you to return my anklet. I have to go for raas.” Soordas said, “I am a blind man. How can I be sure this anklet belongs to You? There may be several women standing here and if I give it to one of them, another may blame me for doing that. If you want the anklet, give me eyesight, so I can recognize You in case someone asks me to identify the person I gave it to.” Shree Krishna taunted Kishori Ji, “Look at what You have gotten into! Why don’t You go forward some more!” Anyway, Soordas was granted sight and he beheld Radha and Krishna. They said to Soordas, “Ask for a boon.” Thakur Ji gave Kishori Ji a sidelong glance, “Let’s see what he asks for.” The boon that a Saint asks for from God, gives an indication of his spiritual stature. Soordas said, “These eyes have never seen anything since birth; the first time they have seen anything. Now I have no desire to see the world with these eyes. Please make me blind again.” Thakur Ji was moved to tears, but what could He do? He is bound by His devotee’s desire. He had to make Soordas blind again.
I have still not been able to finish. We will continue later.
All glories to Vrindavan Bihari Lal!