The Confidential Psychology of God
How many of us are aware that God is controlled by the love of His pure devotees, that His hankering to experience this love is so great that He takes the role of His greatest devotee to experience her love for Him, that one of His greatest pleasures is to serve His devotees, that He does not desire to enjoy His supreme opulence without His devotees, or that, in the highest region of transcendence, Goloka Vrindavana, His devotees forget that He is God in order to engage in intimate, loving relationships with Him? These confidential topics are described in great detail (thousands of pages) in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta and Nectar of Devotion
When reading this vast literature, one is at once struck with wonder at how attractive Krishna is. When Krishna plays His transcendental flute, all living entities in Vrindavana are immediately enchanted, so much so that they forget whatever they are doing and become deeply absorbed in transcendental, ecstatic rapture. Before describing their activities, it is important to recognize that these activities are fundamentally different from their counterparts in the world of our common experience, which I will refer to as the physical world.
The underlying substrate of transcendence, called Brahman in Sanskrit, is completely devoid of physical qualities. Physical forms degrade. Our physical bodies are subject to old age, disease and death. In the transcendental world, the bodies are of an entirely different nature and not subject to such transformations. Physical laws do not apply in the transcendental world, where form, space and time adjust their properties to enhance the loving exchanges between Krishna and His pure devotees. By proper execution of bhakti yoga in the physical world, we regain our original transcendental forms, as opposed to the physical forms with which we now falsely identify. Each of us has a particular transcendental form appropriate for the unique, loving relationship we have with Krishna. These relationships are described in great detail in Vaisnava literatures like the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.
Even more radical than the wholesale flouting of physical laws is the experience of ever-increasing pleasure in the transcendental world. Although the sights, sounds and other sensations of transcendence are already so intense that it seems impossible for them to increase, they nevertheless continuously increase. Since this is experienced by advanced practitioners of bhakti yoga even before quitting their physical bodies, it is naturally experienced at all times by the residents of the transcendental world.
The residents of the transcendental world are continuously enchanted by Krishna’s personal qualities and pastimes. As mentioned above, when Krishna plays His transcendental flute, all living entities enter a trance of ecstatic devotion and forget everything else. The cows raise their long ears to catch the nectar sound of the flute, and the calves, which had been drinking their mother’s milk, become overwhelmed with loving ecstasy and are unable to continue drinking. The tears gliding down their cheeks are the external manifestation of their internally embracing Krishna within the cores of their hearts. Likewise, the many kinds of transcendental birds in the forests of Vrindavana lose external awareness in the course of their intense concentration on the sound of Krishna’s flute. Krishna’s friends (the gopas) and girl friends (the gopis) are mesmerized upon hearing Krishna’s flute, and their desire to serve Him increases unlimitedly. The river Yamuna stops flowing and eagerly awaits the transcendental dust from Krishna’s lotus feet, while Govardhana Hill begins to melt in loving ecstasy.
Earlier I mentioned how form, space and time adjust themselves to enhance the loving affairs of the residents of the transcendental world. Here is a specific example of this: the transcendental hill known as Govardhana begins to melt and flow, while the transcendental river known as Yamuna freezes in ecstasy. The constraints of the macroscopic physical world do not apply in the transcendental world. It is interesting to note that as we investigate the physical world down to finer and finer levels, some of its constraints appear to be relaxed. For example, in the phenomenon known as quantum non-locality, an action in one part of the physical universe can immediately influence an event on the other side of the universe. Literally no time is required for this force to exert its influence, even across the entire universe. This is standard quantum mechanics, nothing radical. Of course, quantum mechanics is radical compared to previous physical theories, which suggests that serious inquiry into the fundamental laws of nature reveals that these laws have a very different character than those that are supposed to govern the macroscopic physical world.
According to Vaisnava philosophy, the physical world is a very small section of the transcendental world in which macroscopic physical laws create an illusory darkness or forgetfulness called in Sanskrit Maya, which causes the conditioned living entity to not understand or know of Krishna. This same Maya creates the illusion or false ego that causes us to identify with the material body and mind instead of our eternal nature and spirit. Krishna creates this illusion to satisfy our desire to attempt to take His position as the enjoyer, and we try to be the enjoyer. This causes us to abandon our relationship with Him. Most living entities do not develop this desire; we are among the small fraction of the total number of living entities who desire this, and that is what this material world is for, those living entities that wish to try to be the enjoyer as opposed to divine servants of Krishna.
As we all know, and modern science admits – what we can observe, measure, and document with even the most advanced instruments or our senses is but an infinitesimal aspect everything in existence. For the Spiritual world is the majority of existence and is unobtainable by the material senses, mind or any instruments made of matter.
Krishna satisfies our desire to be the enjoyer by creating the illusion of the physical world and the identification with these bodies and materialistic minds that goes with them.
Thus, the discoveries of modern physics are consistent with Vaisnava philosophy in that macroscopic physical laws generally supposed to govern the physical world are not strictly applicable to subtler states of matter. Subtler states of matter actually provide hints of the existence of the transcendental world and remind us that the physical world is a tiny adulterated section of the transcendental world.
Vaisnavas view reality as a continuum ranging from the macroscopic physical world to the transcendental world. Within this continuum is the subatomic physical world, where phenomena such as non-local interactions provide hints of the existence of the transcendental world. According to Vaisnava philosophy, physical laws are simply conventions by which Krishna chooses to control the physical world. Krishna is at liberty to alter these laws whenever He wants to. Krishna is constantly and effortlessly in control of both the physical and transcendental worlds. Actually, Krishna is so powerful that He does not need to personally deal with the physical world. He expands Himself into various Vishnu forms, known as Purusha Avatara (Maha-Vishnu, Garbhodakashayi-Vishnu and Kshirodakashayi-Vishnu), who create, control and periodically dissolve the physical world over time cycles of billions of years, as described in Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Krishna is very attracted by the transcendental, ecstatic love of His pure devotees. Indeed, He is controlled by it. There are many examples of this in Vaisnava literature.
All pure devotees are exalted but there are different levels of pure devotees, the devotee who gives the greatest pleasure to Krishna is known as Srimati Radharani. Krishna is known as Madan Mohan because He enchants everyone, but Srimati Radharani is so captivating that She enchants even Krishna. Therefore, She is known as Madan Mohan Mohini, the female enchantress of Krishna. As you might imagine, it is no small feat to enchant Krishna, and actually Radharani is the personification of Krishna’s internal, pleasure potency known as Hladini Shakti.
In the course of His transcendental, loving affairs with Radharani and Her expansions (the gopis of Vrindavana), Krishna detects that She and the gopis are experiencing far more pleasure than He experiences. Being Rasaraj (the supreme enjoyer of loving relationships), He develops an intense desire to taste the pleasure that Radharani and Her associates are tasting, but He can not do so as Krishna, because His psychology is fundamentally different from Hers. He is the direct enjoyer of transcendental sense gratification, whereas all His pure devotees (headed by Radharani) derive pleasure by gratifying His senses, rather than trying to gratify their own senses. In the transcendental world, there is only one direct enjoyer, Krishna, and everyone else engages in gratifying Krishna’s senses. In the physical world, everyone (except for a pure devotee of Krishna) is interested in gratifying his or her own senses (or the senses of someone other than Krishna), whereas in the transcendental world, everyone is interested in gratifying Krishna’s senses.
An easy to understand example of sense gratification is eating. In the transcendental world, everyone has a transcendental body, so no one needs to eat, but Krishna eats simply to reciprocate the mood of love with His pure devotees. Pure devotees there make elaborate arrangements to offer Krishna transcendental, tasty preparations in order to express their pure love for Him. The reason we are in the physical world is we want to gratify our own senses instead of gratifying Krishna’s senses. We were originally in the transcendental world, but we decided we wanted to gratify our own senses directly instead of gratifying Krishna’s senses, which is why we came to the physical world. We will remain in the physical world as long as we desire to gratify our own senses as opposed to Krishna’s senses.
Since Krishna is the source of all things, we are actually eternally part and parcel of Krishna, so gratifying Krishna’s senses is inherently more satisfying than gratifying our own senses, that is why real spirituality is blissful. Ultimately everyone in the physical world gets tired of trying to gratify his or her own senses and becomes interested in gratifying Krishna’s senses. Srimati Radharani is the most expert of all pure devotees in gratifying Krishna’s senses. The amazing thing is that She enjoys much more than Krishna although She has no intention to enjoy: She simply desires to increase Krishna’s pleasure. A pure devotee enjoys much more than Krishna simply by trying to please Krishna. When Krishna detects that His pure devotees, especially Radharani and Her associates, are enjoying far more than He does, He becomes eager to experience what they are experiencing. Thus, Krishna takes a special form, known as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to experience the ecstatic mood of Srimati Radharani. The book Caitanya-caritamrta describes the wonderful pastimes and teachings of Lord Caitanya.
The greatest secret of all time is that we can experience the highest pleasure, even more than what God Himself experiences, simply by shifting our psychology from endeavoring to gratify our own senses to gratifying Krishna’s senses. When we think carefully about what it means to be God and how unlimited God’s power is and how intense His enjoyment must be, it is clear that no human endeavor is more valuable than trying to become a pure devotee of Krishna.
How to do this practically while we are in the physical world is known as bhakti yoga or Krishna consciousness. Krishna arranges that when we are willing and ready to revive our eternal nature and return to the spiritual world, we will come in contact with His pure devotee representative Srila Prabhupada through his books. Taking advantage of this by reading his books we become purified and gradually revive our eternal spiritual identity. The first business of one who is serious about experiencing ecstatic love for Krishna is to read these transcendental literatures written by Krishna’s pure devotee Srila Prabhupada and serve him. This will help us to stay on the path and make further progress.
We should also seek out other devotees of like mindedness that can help us stay fixed on the spiritual path. The characteristics of such pure devotees are clearly described in Vaisnava literature: they are always engaged in hearing and chanting about Krishna’s name, form, qualities and pastimes. They do not engage in hearing and chanting about anything else. Of course, hearing and chanting about Krishna means also hearing and chanting about Krishna’s devotees, since Krishna is always engaged in ecstatic, loving affairs with His pure devotees. Krishna is never alone. He is always engaged with His pure devotees. In fact, Krishna is more pleased when we glorify His pure devotee than when we glorify Him. It is important to understand that not all devotees are pure devotees, we must seek out a pure devotee like His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Krishna is not attached to having people glorify Him for He is the supreme being and as such does not require anyones worship. He prefers when people glorify, worship and serve His pure devotee. Krishna Himself loves to serve, worship and glorify His pure devotee, and He is very pleased when people in general do likewise. The fastest way to get Krishna’s attention is to serve His pure devotee like Srila Prabhupada. When you sincerely serve a pure devotee, Krishna showers His mercy on you, which will help you to realize that you are inherently different from your physical body, and in turn you revive the pure desires of the soul to serve only Krishna and his pure devotee. The simplest way to serve Krishna is by reading the writing of Krishna’s Pure devotee Srila Prabhupada. We may also always chant Krishna’s holy names. we can also offer our help to others that are full time engaged in the practical service of Srila Prabhupada missionary activities. Like distributing Prabhupada’s books, going on Harinama, taking care of a temple, and so many other services like running a website like this one.
Gradually, as you read, chant, and do service you experience real spiritual transcendental ecstasy you lose all taste for the mundane lesser sensory pleasures of the body. Becoming more and more freed from the desire to gratify the senses of your physical body, and as your spiritual eternal transcendental senses awaken you become more and more fixed on the platform of eternity. You prepare yourself to return to Krishna and enter into the spiritual world to directly associate with Him, and the other pure devotees that live there on the platform of eternal wisdom and bliss.
By hearing remembering and serving Krishna and His pure devotee all the material things that are troublesome to the heart gradually fall away. Then we are more and more free to dedicate all out time and energy to serve a pure devotee like Srila Prabhupada and return to the eternal realm. Thus, the first, last and ultimate business in bhakti yoga is to dedicate your life to serving a pure devotee. This is the key to your entrance into the transcendental world, which you can experience even in the physical world if you are serious about bhakti yoga.
To keep our selves on this pure platform of spiritual eternal existence and to experience the presence and association of Krishna we chant a mantra composed of three words: Hare (pronounced “Haaray”), Krishna and Rama. This mantra is known as the maha-mantra:
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Krishna means the all-attractive one. Naturally, God is all-attractive in terms of beauty, power, knowledge, compassion, etc. Rama means the reservoir of all pleasure. The result of chanting the name Rama is that one experiences transcendental pleasure, even in the beginning of one’s practice of bhakti yoga. Hare is the internal pleasure potency of Krishna, which helps us to receive Krishna’s mercy. Hare is a name of Srimati Radharani. The maha-mantra dissolves our false identification with the physical world and allows us to easily realize our true transcendental nature.