Devotee: Srila Guru Maharaj, some time ago I was told that if one is not struggling in Krishna consciousness, it is not a good thing. Should that be the condition of someone who is striving to be Krishna conscious, that he is struggling?

Srila Guru Maharaj: When a devotee is trying to conquer his senses — when he is trying to conquer the influences of kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya (lust, anger, greed, madness, illusion, and envy) — at that time he cannot avoid that struggle. Progress means a struggle, of different kinds, and that happens in the madhyam-adhikar (the intermediate stage). Generally, that is the time of difficulties. In kanistha-adhikar, in the lower stage, one does not concern himself with the stage of his progress, or if he is getting devotion or not; with a peaceful mind he is engaged in archan (Deity worship), or whatever may be his service. But when the madhyam-adhikar begins, real struggle begins in one’s life. He will have to adjust many things, laukiki vaidiki vapi (Brs: 1.2.198), not only regarding his devotional life, as advised by the scriptures (vaidiki), but also his social position (laukiki), his ordinary dealings, his quarrels, his relationships with society, with education.

Generally the tendency to preach comes in this stage. He wants to extend himself to try to remove the difficulties in the environment and convert it to his purpose. The madhyam-adhikari’s life is one of struggle. And when he reaches uttam-adhikar (the advanced stage of realisation), then he becomes somewhat peaceful in his life. He becomes peaceful and sees that everywhere things are going well, according to the will of Krishna. He can see the will of Krishna very easily and that His backing is everywhere. So he has not much to do, or struggle for:

sarva-bhutesu yah pasyed bhagavad-bhavam atmanah
bhutani bhagavaty atmany esa bhagavatottamah
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 11.2.45)

«One on the topmost platform of devotional service (Uttam-bhagavat) sees within everything the Soul of souls, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. He sees everything in relation to the Supreme Lord and understands that everything that exists is eternally situated within the Lord.»

But when one is living in the plane of ignorance, of misconception, it is necessary for him to find harmony, because he is seeing both things, maya (illusion) and Isvar (the presence of Godhead). He wants to install Isvar — God, Godliness, God consciousness — and he tries his hardest to remove misconception. So, madhyam-adhikar is a period of struggle. It is in sadhana-dasa, the stage of practice.

As a result of sukrti, spiritual fortune due to devotional service rendered knowingly or unknowingly, the soul first acquires sraddha, divine faith, then sadhu-sanga, one gets the association of real devotees. That is the stage of hearing, sravan-dasa; then in varan-dasa one accepts the principle, the teachings, the path of devotion; and then comes sadhana-dasa, the stage of practice, and this stage is full of struggle. Then, in apan-dasa, the stage of advanced realisation, one feels peaceful in bhava-bhakti, the first opening of the bud of divine love, which in prapanna-dasa, full surrender, becomes prema-bhakti, pure love of God.

And again, when he is already in lila, situated in the transcendental Pastimes, there is another struggle, but that is of another kind. In Vraja, Vrndavan, there is also competition, a struggle. Yasoda will think, «How to control this naughty child? I fail to do so. I can’t manage Him!» In this way there is struggle, but that is produced by yogamaya. It is in prema-bhakti, ahi bhavati premna, and it is dynamic in character, not static. Where the plane is dynamic, there must be struggle. In some way or other it is present as competition in the plane of lila.

In the sakhya-rasa there is play where there are two parties. On one side is Krishna, on the other, Balaram, and each wants to be victorious. That is also a struggle, but it is purely of another kind: it is transcendental play.

In madhura-rasa also, several parties are there: Radharani’s party, Chandravali’s party, and so many others. And the servitors of each party have to manage for their own interest, the interest of their mistress.

So the dynamic character means a kind of struggle — a sweet struggle. And in this world there is struggle also, but that is bitter. When we have to struggle to remove the nescience and invite the real science, to go from misunderstanding to pure knowledge, in the beginning that struggle is very bitter. It is not only tasteless, but also sometimes painful. But when we enter the higher realm, the struggle becomes more or less sweet.

Lila must mean a kind of struggle. There are differences, there is conquering, sometimes they are taking the help of deception — one party is deceiving the other — but everything is aprakrta, prakrta-vat, super-transcendental, though it is appearing just like ordinary worldly affairs.

And so also something like immorality is there. Niti-rahita, the moral laws are being crossed for the satisfaction of Krishna. This is a very high conception: to do anything and everything for Him. The kama-rupa group are prepared to do anything and everything for Krishna, and for that kind of service they are under no law. Krishna is the origin and master of law, and for Him anything can be done, crossing the existing law of the society:

ajnayaivam gunan dosan mayadistan api svakan
dharman santyajya yah sarvan mam bhajet sa cha sattamah
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 11.11.32)

Those who are ready to cross even the sastric orders, which have been given to us for our own benefit, for the service of Krishna, are really the highest class of devotee. Law, which has been established by the Lord, is for the ordinary people; however, a special section exists who are ready to cross over that law, only for their exclusive service to the Lord.

sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma suchah
(Bhagavad-gita: 18.66)

«Totally abandoning all kinds of religion, surrender exclusively unto Me. I will liberate you from all kinds of sins, so do not despair.»

Many rules and rites of varnasram-dharma are given for our benefit, but that is when we are in a lower stage. And in the higher stage, «crossing the law, I shall serve Him» — that is faith!

Suppose it is forbidden to enter the harem of the king. The general law states that it is forbidden to all, and none should transgress that. But if one perceives some urgent service is necessary, if he suspects there is some danger to the king’s life, then perhaps he will cross the law at his own risk and enter the harem, for the benefit of the king, to save him. So there is a particular section of devotees who are ready to cross over the law for the Lord’s satisfaction.

Those who can know the interest of Krishna are a special group. They are highest among the devotees. Law is meant for the general public, but the sweet will of Krishna is above all law.

So everywhere there is struggle: where there is life, there is struggle. Where there is progress, there is struggle. And where there is lila, play, there is struggle, though of a different kind. One is sweet, the other painful. In the lower stage it is a little painful for us to cut the tie of attraction to this world. But when some permanent relationship is established with the upper world, when we have regained that, then to move forward is happy. Since progress means a struggle, that struggle will continue throughout the whole stage of madhyam-adhikar.

Then, in uttam-adhikar (the stage of advanced devotion) externally the life may become peaceful. And again, in the higher stage, in vilas (Pastimes), crossing santa-rasa (passive appreciation and adoration) which is a peaceful stage, again the struggle begins, but that is a sweet struggle. It is arranged not by mahamaya, but by yogamaya. It is carrying us to the centre. The very land there is of rasa. It is rasamaya, full of sweet taste, the land of nectar, amrtamaya-loka. The difference between the two kinds of struggle is something like the experience of a man working in a hot desert or in a good, healthy atmosphere, or the work of a diseased man and that of a healthy man. It is like that.

There is also an expression: «ignorance is bliss». One who is in ignorance is living in peace, because he does not know anything; he is unconscious. That is also peaceful. Because there is no consciousness, there is no pain. When a patient is in pain, the doctor wants to render him unconscious by some injection, and to keep him in that state, because if he awakes, he will experience so much pain, acute pain. So, it is necessary that he be placed in another stateL unconsciousness.

That unconsciousness is ignorance, and it also has a kind of taste, tama-guna. But that is not real peace. There is no feeling; it is zero. But zero is also of an infinite character. Infinity and zero are similar. If we add zero to zero, it comes to zero, and if we subtract zero from zero, it is also zero. Zero divided by zero is again zero. In the same way, if infinity is added to, subtracted from, or divided by infinity, it all comes to infinity.

So, «ignorance is bliss». If there is no consciousness, there is no question of pain. It is like the existence of a stone. The extreme liberationists reach such a stage as that of a fossil or a stone. They want peace, so they are given a stone-like state of peace:

ye ’nye ’ravindaksa vimukta-maninas
tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah
aruhya krchchhrena param padam tatah
patanty adho ’nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 10.2.32)

«O lotus-eyed Lord, although non-devotees who accept severe penances and austerities to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence remains impure. They simply speculate in various ways and do not seek the means to take shelter of You. Because they have no regard for Your lotus feet, they simply fall down from their position of imagined superiority into material existence again.»

To those who are determined to be ‘one’ with Him, this heavy punishment is at last given, and they are thrown down to take such an existence, that of a stone. And in that way they can live in peace for lakhs, crores, or millions of years. They can become a Himalaya, a stone, or a tree. In the Puranas we find examples of personalities who were cursed to such a fate, and in that state there also is a sort of peace: «ignorance is bliss».

And those who have gone up to santa-rasa, they also find some peace. But entering Vaikuntha, again there is life, movement, and that is for service. In dasya-rasa there is activity, there is struggle. They are serving the order: «Do this, go here, give this to them.» There is so much movement, and movement means struggle, but that struggle gives peace. That kind of struggle begins in dasya-rasa. And santa-rasa is the marginal position, and in that position of non-activity there is also peace, but it is of a lower quality:

atmaramas cha munayo nirgrantha apy urukrame
kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktim ittham-bhuta-guno harih
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 1.7.10)

«All varieties of atmaramas (those who take pleasure in the atma or spiritual self), especially those established on the path of self-realisation, though freed from all kinds of material bondage, desire to render unalloyed devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead. This means that the Lord possesses transcendental qualities and therefore can attract everyone, including even liberated souls.»

That is the marginal position, it is only on the threshold of service proper:

brahma-bhutah prasannatma na sochati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param
(Bhagavad-gita: 18.54)

«The spotlessly pure-hearted and self-satisfied soul who has attained to his conscious divine nature neither grieves, nor craves for anything. Seeing all beings equally (in the conception of My supreme energy), he gradually achieves supreme devotion, prema-bhakti, unto Me.»

So the marginal position is a position of so-called peace. But we find dynamic peace in struggle, as it appears externally in dasya-, sakhya-, and vatsalya-rasas, and in madhura-rasa and its sub-divisions, svakiya and parakiya. Suppose the madhura-rasa servitors are to meet with Krishna on a dark night in the forest. On the surface it appears they have to struggle in so many ways. Being given the sign, hearing the particular flute-song of Krishna, they will have to pass through the jungle to be somewhere at a particular time. That appears like an ordinary struggle, but it is the sweetest movement.

If ‘struggle’ means ‘movement,’ then there, on that plane, where movement is so sweet, struggle is a high thing. But if we think that struggle means something painful, then that struggle must be of the lower plane. Here it is pain-producing. All movement, all endeavour here produces only pain. On the higher plane, there is also movement, but that movement produces sweetness, just as sandalwood when rubbed produces a sweet scent. There is struggle for the purpose of producing sweetness.

So there on the highest level they are also very busily struggling, but that struggle is producing nectar, which they are tasting. To struggle also means to be busy. Everyone there is so busy, more than we can ever conceive. They are so active, but their activity is not painful. It produces peace. Here, trying to do away with our unholy attraction to the mundane, we experience a painful struggle. But, as the English poet Shelley wrote: «Our sweetest songs tell of saddest thought.» That kind of struggle also gives us peace. When a beginner in devotion starts to become detached from his mundane environment, to leave it is painful, but he also gets a kind of peace:

yad anucharita-lila-karna-piyusa-viprut-
sakrd-adana-vidhuta-dvandva-dharma vinastah
sapadi grha-kutumbam dina utsrjya dina
bahava iha vihanga bhiksu-charyam charanti
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 10.47.18)

A devotee leaves his family, and his family is crying and wailing. He also feels pain because of their anguish. But still he feels a kind of peace of a higher quality, so he can bear the apparent pain of separation from his family life. When he is giving up his home and his family, he feels some painful reaction, but beyond that, in his heart of hearts, he feels some bright prospect. When a man goes to a foreign country to earn some money, he leaves his family, and so he feels some pain, but at heart he also realises that he is going to bring in money which will satisfy him, and enable him to enjoy.

In a similar way, when a person goes to leave this world, his association with misconception, apparently, or outwardly, he feels pain on account of what he is doing, but at heart he gets some hope of a bright future, and with that strength he can go on. So, when we have some attraction for this mischievous world, and we try to leave it, at that stage we struggle — a painful struggle. But still, beyond that we see a bright hope of some unparalleled nectarean taste of life.

So struggle does not always mean pain. Up to a certain stage it is painful, and that is due to maya, misconception. And we find also the symptoms of pain in Krishna-lila, but that is not really pain. It is apparent pain; it only seems so. Krishna said that He would come to a particular kunja (forest bower), and Radharani with Her party went there, but He did not come. That is called kalahantarita, mistiming, that is, being let down by the lover or beloved. And there are so many other situations, like mana (jealousy), and so on. All these things are painful, but as Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami writes, describing Krishna-prema, «Bahye visa-jvala haya, bhitare ananda-maya: externally there appears to be great pain, but the heart is overflowing with blissfulness.» So, «Our sweetest songs are those which tell of saddest thought.» Externally it is sad, but internally, it is sweet. It is like that.

When we take the Name, in the beginning we think it our duty to count so many rounds, and sometimes it is painful. But when we get a taste for the Name, then our inner tendency incites us to take the Name more and more — not that as a duty we will somehow have to finish sixteen rounds. But when we acquire ruchi, inner taste for that particular service, it is happy. Until and unless we acquire that position, there must be some pain.

As long as we do not have that taste, and we are doing that service as a duty, we will feel some pain. So sadhana-dasa is a little painful, on the whole. Then in apan-dasa it becomes sweet. Underground, of course, sweetness is everywhere; otherwise why should a person be tempted to approach the spiritual path? Only for the hope of sweetness. But still, if we want to see by analysis, then the process is sravan-dasa, hearing; then varan-dasa, accepting; then sadhana-dasa, practising. Up to this point it is a little painful. Then apan-dasa, realised devotion, and finally prapanna-dasa, full self-surrender. And what pain exists is only apparent. Substantially it is all sweet.

Главная | Миссия | Учение | Библиотека | Контактная информация | WIKI | Вьяса-пуджа