There is consciousness of the higher, the subjective world, and consciousness of the lower, objective world. Connection with the lower objective world binds us with misery, and relationship with the superior consciousness lifts us up, gives us real fortune. One result is from dedication, and another is from enjoyment. In a word: enjoyment is bad, and devotion is good. On the side of devotion is the Lord, and on that of enjoyment, misery. «There are so many things to be enjoyed.» This is fascination with hell, with reaction.

bhaktis tvayi sthiratara bhagavan yadi syad
daivena nah phalati divya-kisora-murtih
muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate ’sman
dharmartha-kama-gatayah samaya-pratiksah
(Krsna-karnamrta: 107)

In his Krsna-karnamrta, Bilvamangal Thakur says: «Bhaktis tvayi sthiratara Bhagavan yadi syat, my Lord, if my dedication, my veneration to You is permanent, is in a settled stage, daivena nah phalati divya-kisora-murtih, and if it reaches to such a height that we can find divya-kisora-murtih, a Young Pair engaged in that highest Pastime — if we can reach so far, to find out the eternal Pastimes of the Divine Couple, if we can reach to this extent — then we will find, muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate ’sman, oh, the facility of liberation, emancipation, with folded palms will come to serve us in any way we like. And, dharmartha-kama-gatayah samaya pratiksah: dharma, the results of dutifulness; artha, moneymaking; and kama, the objects of sense perception — they are all ready and waiting outside, and whenever a call comes, they will come in front of us, ‘What do you want, my master, my lord?’ That will be our position: dharma, artha, and kama will wait outside, and whenever we call them, they will present themselves: ‘What do you want me to do?’ And mukti, liberation, will be always moving around us with folded palms doing service of different types if in our fortune we can rise up to such a height as to find that Divine Couple engaged in happy Pastimes.»

Bilvamangal Thakur showed in his life a peculiar example: how from the house of the prostitute he went straight to Vrndavan and got the grace of the Supreme Entity; how in his life he was so much engrossed in, almost swallowed by, sensualism of the lowest type; and from that position, in a single life he could raise himself to the highest stage of realisation of the Beautiful.

Mahaprabhu took two books from South India: one was Brahma-samhita, and the other was Krsna-karnamrta. Krsna-karnamrta is about the Pastimes of Vrndavan, and Brahma-samhita shows the ontological basis of the Absolute, how the Lord of Vrndavan is the highest conception of Reality.

Krishna-lila is not a matter of history. In history, events occur; they happen once and can’t reoccur at any time. It is an eternal flow in which what is going on in the past never comes again. There is an expression «history repeats itself», but that is in the similar nature of the event, not the actual fact; history repeats its nature, but what is gone, is gone. Once it has gone, it has gone forever. But in Krishna-lila, in the eternal world, it is not so. It may present the same thing every time, at every second; thus it is called nitya-lila, ‘eternal Pastimes’ — crossing the limitation, the jurisdiction, of history. In history, what is past is dead. But the Pastimes of the Lord are eternal, nitya, always present. Every lila is eternally present; He can show Himself in His eternal forms simultaneously. So in His past, present, and future, all events are simultaneously occurring. When He enters the arena of Kamsa, different groups are seeing Him in different ways. What is seen by one section of people is seen differently by another, according to their own nature. Even the blind can see Him if He wills. If He wills to show Himself to anyone, though blind, one can see Him clearly, because these eyes of flesh are not necessary to see Him. By His willpower alone He can reveal Himself to any person. That was the case with Dhrtarastra in the Kuru sabha. Dhrtarastra said, «For the time being, my Lord, restore my eyesight so that I can see Your wonderful form which the others are seeing and praising. You can do anything, so only for the time being remove my blindness.»

«It is not necessary to remove your blindness, Dhrtarastra! I say ‘You see Me’ and you will see Me.» And by His order, Dhrtarastra saw! His order, His wish, is everything. His simple will is everything, the cause of all existence.

The Kurus wanted to see Draupadi naked, but Draupadi’s appeal reached Him and He sanctioned cloth, and that cloth became infinite, of infinite character. As much cloth as they removed, so much cloth remained. It is the will, the vichar, which is everything. Such great potency of such high quality is in the Prime Cause. We are accustomed to think: «This is good, this is bad», and «this is possible, this is impossible». We are accustomed to such considerations within our rules of thought. But these rules do not apply in His case. All of our experience will fail to occupy even a very negligible part of His kingdom.

He is wonderful. In the example of Vaman-avatar it is told of His ‘wonderful stride’, adbhuta-krama. With one stride He covered the whole earth, and with the next He captured the whole of heaven. He then needed a place to put His third step, but where? He is Adbhuta-krama, He of wonderful stride; all His steps are wonderful. He is wonder, the source of all wonder to our tiny brain. He is here, He is also everywhere. With His full representation He is everywhere; yet He is nowhere! Everything is in Him, and nothing is in Him! Krishna said, «Try to understand My peculiar position, Arjuna.» He is the Mystery of all mysteries. Even our own soul is astonishing to our worldly experience:

ascharyavat pasyati kaschid enam
ascharyavad vadati tathaiva chanyah
ascharyavach chainam anyah srnoti
srutvapy enam veda na chaiva kaschit
(Bhagavad-gita: 2.29)

We do not even know the extraordinary nature of our own self. It is of a very high order, but our attention is focused towards so many mortal things. We have been introduced to, and captured by, the meanest aspect of the world. This is the consequence of the mood of enjoyment. We want to enjoy; we want to exploit. A good exploiter is a king to us! But exploitation in itself is degrading, very mean and low. It takes us to the lowest position and makes us victims of a great reaction.

Exploitation and enjoyment: we are in the midst of them and do not know anything but enjoyment. We want to understand anything and everything in terms of enjoyment; we are in such a filthy, degraded position. Only, ‘enjoyment, enjoyment’ — that is exploitation. But to exploit is the meanest type of nature. It is hateful, and we must get out of the clutches of that ghost of exploitation. And there is another ghost: renunciation, idleness. But the noble thing is dedication, a dedicated life.

There are two ghosts, one of renunciation and the other of exploitation, and we have to get out of that nightmare, that mania, which is based on our tendency of measuring things to be good and bad. In exploitation there is division into regular and irregular, or dharma and adharma.

And then renunciation. So many great stalwarts of that conception recommend a complete cessation of the dynamic life. A dead stop! But that should not be the prospect of any conscious man. A dead stop to life: is that any goal of life for the saner section?

A life of nobility, a life of dedication — and not only ordinary dedication for the environment, but dedication for the highest good — is the highest form of life. In the lower stage that dedication is calculative; in the higher stage, spontaneous, automatic. And really, there is joy. Joy is there in quality and quantity; in every way, real life is there. Life is there, and here is the worst shadow, the perverted reflection. And we are told, «Uddhared atmanatmanam: the key is in our own hand, the freedom by which we can associate with anything, good or bad, and reap the result accordingly.»

Ultimately, we are told that the key is in our own hand; none else is to be blamed for our present condition. But there is always the possibility of noble help being extended to us, and we must accept that. Our past actions also influence us a great deal — whether they were good, bad, or of the eternal aspiration, sukrti. But ultimately the possibility of free action is not taken away from us at any stage; even if we are reduced to the level of taking birth as a tree, there also, the freedom is within. It is hard to think that a tree has got independence, free will, but it is there, in a suppressed position. Freedom is within us also, and we may try as far as possible to understand how it is so. But our freedom is also covered by so many conditions that we may think we are not free but are forced by circumstances. But still, we are free for our selection of any path, good or bad. Our existence is very small, and so our freedom is also small and meagre, but it is there. Though almost negligible, it exists.

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