It was a very pleasant time in the autumn season. One night, at about ten o’clock, the earth had put on a sari of cool and gentle moonlight, and her beauty had become intensely attractive. Vijaya Kumara was reading Ujjvala-nilamani and pondering deeply on the subject matter when his gaze suddenly fell upon the auspicious radiance of the moonlight. His heart became filled with an indescribable rapture, and he thought, “This is a very beautiful time.Why not go immediately and have darsana of Sundaracala? I have heard that whenever Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had darsana of Sundaracala, He saw a sphurti of vraja-dhama.” Thinking like this, he set off alone in the direction of Sundaracala. By this time, Vijaya Kumara was taking instructions in the practice of bhajana in pure madhura-rasa. His thoughts only flowed towards hearing about Krsna’s vraja-lila and specifically, Sri Krsna’s pastimes with the gopis; any other topics had become tasteless to him.
He passed Balagandi and made his way towards Sraddhabali. As he saw the small forests on either side, a sphurti of Vrndavana manifested before his eyes. He became overwhelmed with prema, and said, “Aho! I am so very fortunate! I am having darsana of that vraja-bhumi, which is extremely difficult to attain, even for the devatas such as Brahma. How beautiful these forest bowers are! Look at this kunja-vana! Oh! What am I seeing? Within this mandapa of madhavi-malati creepers, the master of my life, Sri Krsna, is sitting with the gopis and laughing and joking with them!” Vijaya Kumara became very restless. Abandoning fear and consideration of formalities, he ran at full speed in that direction, not even aware of his body and mind. However, after going just a short distance, he fainted and fell to the ground unconscious. A gentle breeze began to serve him, and after a short time he regained his external senses. He looked in all directions, but the vision was nowhere to be seen. After some time, he returned to his dwelling, grief-stricken, and lay down on his bed without saying anything to anyone.
Vijaya was exceedingly delighted by the sphurti of vraja-lila. In his heart, he thought, “Tomorrow, at the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva, I will submit a description of the confidential mystery that I have seen tonight.” However, the next moment he recalled that one should not tell others, if by great fortune one happens to see the confidential aprakrta-lila. Reflecting like this, he gradually fell asleep.
The next day, after honoring prasada, he went to the house of Kasi Misra, offered his sastanga pranama to his Gurudeva, and sat before him. Sri Gurudeva embraced him affectionately and inquired about his well-being.
Vijaya Kumara was very happy to see his Gurudeva. Composing himself, he said, “Prabhu, by your unlimited grace my human life has become successful. Now, I long to know some confidential tattvas in regard to sri-ujjvala-rasa. I have been reading Ujjvalanilamani, and there are certain parts whose purport I cannot comprehend. May I ask you some questions about it?
Gosvami: Vijaya, you are my beloved disciple. You are quite welcome to ask whatever questions you wish to, and I will try to answer them as far as I can.
Vijaya: Prabhu, of the mukhya rasas, madhura-rasa has been called the rasa that gives rise to an abundance of mysteries. And why not? Since the qualities of the other four rasas – santa, dasya, sakhya, and vatsalya – are eternally present in madhura-rasa, astonishing and wonderful qualities they lack are perfectly and beautifully established in madhura-rasa. Consequently, madhurarasa is without any doubt superior to all others. Madhura-rasa is quite inappropriate for those who take shelter of the path of impersonal renunciation, because their hearts are dry. At the same time, those who are attracted to mundane sense gratification also find madhura-rasa difficult to understand, because it is exactly the opposite of mundane nature. The madhura-rasa of Vraja is not easy to attain because it is completely different from srngara-rasa within the material world. So why does the aprakrta-madhura-rasa appear just like the despicable mundane rasa between men and women in material existence?
Gosvami: Vijaya, you know well that all the varieties in the mundane sphere are a reflection of the varieties in the transcendental sphere, and the material world itself is also the reflection of the spiritual world. There is a profound secret in this, namely, that the nature of the reflected experience is naturally reversed. Whatever is most exalted in the original existence or form becomes most abominable in the reflection, and whatever is lowest in the original form is seen as highest in its reflected existence. Every part and limb of a body appears in a reversed form in its reflection in a mirror; similarly, the parama-vastu (supreme transcendental Reality) is reflected by the influence of His own inconceivable sakti. The shadow of that sakti has expanded itself in full detail in the form of mundane existence. Consequently, all the characteristics of the parama-vastu appear in their reversed form in material existence.
Transcendental rasa, which is the very nature of parama-vastu, is reflected in this insentient material world as the abominable, mundane rasa. The astonishing, matchless, variegated happiness in the parama-vastu is its own innate rasa, but when it is reflected in the inert plane, the conditioned jiva imagines that this principle has material designations and attributes. He then decides that the spiritual substance is only formless and featureless (nirvisesa), and imagines that, since variety is absent in the nirvisesa-tattva, all kinds of variety must be essentially mundane. Consequently, he cannot comprehend the eternal nature of transcendental existence, which is free from all material attributes because it is totally beyond them. This is the inevitable result of using logic to try to understand the truth.
Actually, the parama-vastu is full of astonishing varieties because it is the embodiment of all rasa. Since spiritual varieties are reflected in mundane rasa, one can take help from the varieties of mundane rasa to infer the existence and qualities of the spiritual rasa that is beyond one’s sense perception. The varieties of rasa in the parama-vastu are as follows: In the spiritual world, the santadharma that embodies santa-rasa is in the lowest position; above this is dasya-rasa, and above that sakhya-rasa; above sakhya-rasa is vatsalya-rasa; and madhura-rasa reigns splendidly above all. In the material world, everything is in the reversed order, so madhurarasa is on the lowest level, vatsalya is above it, sakhya is above vatsalya, and santa-rasa is the highest of all.
The position and activities of the reflection of madhura-rasa in the mundane world are extremely petty and shameful. Consequently, people who deliberate on rasa-tattva from the mundane perspective conclude that madhura-rasa is wretched and contemptible. Actually, in the spiritual world, it is completely pure, immaculate and full of astonishing sweetness. There the meeting of Krsna with His various types of sakti as purusa-prakrti is completely pure and the origin of all truth.
In the material world, the mundane behavior between men and women is indeed shameful. However, there is no transgression of dharma in the spiritual world because Krsna is the only purusa and all the cit-tattvas in this rasa are prakrti. In the material world, one jiva becomes the enjoyer and another jiva becomes the enjoyed, and they want to relate with each other in that way. This affair becomes abhorrent and shameful because it is completely opposed to fundamental tattva. In tattva, one jiva is not the enjoyer of another jiva. On the contrary, Sri Krsna is the only enjoyer and all jivas are to be enjoyed by Him. The situation in which the jiva becomes the enjoyer is against his eternal dharma. Actually, there is no doubt that this state of affairs is utterly shameful and despicable. From the perspective of reality and its reflection, it is inevitable that the behavior of mundane men and women will appear to be identical to Krsna’s immaculate pastimes, even though one is thoroughly base and the other is supremely valuable and meaningful.
Vijaya: Prabhu, now that I have heard this unprecedented siddhanta and conception, my purpose has been accomplished. My self-evident conviction has now become firm and all my doubts are dispelled. I have now understood the position of madhura-rasa within the spiritual world. Aho! Just as the very word madhurarasa means sweet, its transcendental bhava also gives rise to such supreme bliss (paramananda). Who is so unfortunate as one who finds satisfaction in santa-rasa when there is a rasa such as madhurarasa? Prabhu, I wish to hear the elaborate and full explanation of the philosophy and principles of the confidential madhura-rasa. Gosvami: Listen, Baba! Krsna is the visaya of madhura-rasa, His dearly beloved gopis are the asraya, and both together are the alambana of this rasa.
Gosvami: Aho, what a sweet question! Krsna’s complexion is the hue of a monsoon cloud. He is charming and sweet, and He has all auspicious bodily characteristics. He is a strong, budding youth, and an eloquent and endearing speaker. He is intelligent, splendid, sober, skillful, clever, happy, grateful, sincere, and He is controlled by love. He is profound, super-excellent, and famous. He steals the hearts of young damsels, and He is ever-fresh. He enjoys incomparable pastimes, He is exquisitely beautiful, and He is the most dearly beloved who plays upon His vamsi. Krsna is the only person who has these qualities. The beauty of His two lotus feet has crushed to dust Kandarpa’s pride. His sidelong glance enchants the hearts of all, and He is a treasury of playful pastimes.
Vijaya: I have fully realized that Sri Krsna with His aprakrta form and qualities is the only nayaka of the supremely wonderful, transcendental madhura-rasa. Previously, I studied various sastras, and I used logic and reasoning to meditate on the form of Krsna, but my faith in His form did not become firmly established. However, through your mercy, bhakti based on ruci has arisen within my heart. Since my heart has been purified by devotion, I am continuously experiencing the sphurti of Krsna there, day and night. Even though I leave Krsna, Krsna does not leave my heart. Aho! How merciful He is! Now I really understand:
sarvathaiva duruho ‘yam abhaktair bhagavad-rasah
tat-padambuja-sarvasvair bhaktair evanurasyate
vyatitya bhavana-vartma yas camatkara-bhara-bhuh
hrdi sattvojjvale badham svadate sa raso matah
(Southern Division 5.78-79)
Only the suddha-bhaktas who accept Sri Krsna’s lotus feet as their
all-in-all can experience this bhagavad-rasa. Onecan never experience this
rasa or realize it if his heart doesnot have the slightest scent of bhakti, if he
is full of mundane sentiments, or if his samskaras have molded his
nature so that he is addicted to logic.
Prabhu, I have realized that rasa is the supremely pure and wondrous bhava that arises in the heart when it is illuminated by suddha-sattva, and that it transcends the limit of a human being’s power of contemplation. Rasa is the entity of the spiritual world, and it is absent in the mundane world. It manifests upon the pure existence (satta) of the jiva who is by nature an atomic particle of consciousness (cit-kana). This rasa is experienced in the state of bhakti-samadhi. One who has Sri Gurudeva’s mercy and can discriminate between suddha-sattva (pure goodness) and misra-sattva (mixed goodness) will have no doubt about this at all.
Gosvami: What you have said is absolutely true. Now, I will ask you a question to dispel many of your doubts. Simply by answering it, you will realize a transcendental tattva. Tell me, what is the difference between suddha-sattva and misra-sattva?
Vijaya Kumara offered sastanga-dandavat-pranama at Sri Gurudeva’s feet, and said humbly, “Prabhu, by your mercy, I will explain it to the best of my ability. Please correct me if I make any
mistake. That which has existence is called satta, and a substance that has an actual position, form, quality and activity can be called sattva. Suddha-sattva is sattva that has no beginning or end, and whose form is eternally new. It is not contaminated by the divisions of past and future time, and it always remains thoroughly astonishing. Suddha-sattva includes all aspects of existence that are the products of the pure spiritual energy (suddhacit- sakti).
“In maya, which is the shadow of the cit-sakti, there is transformation of time as past and future. All aspects of existence in this maya contain the rajo-dharma (function of the mode of passion) of maya, for they have a beginning. They also contain the tamodharma (function of the mode of ignorance) for they have an end. Misra-sattva refers to aspects of mayika-sattva that have a beginning and an end.
“Now, the pure jiva is suddha-sattva, and his form, qualities, and activities are also composed of suddha-sattva. However, since the suddha-jiva was conditioned, the two qualities of maya – rajo-guna and tamo-guna – have become mixed with his pure sattva. Therefore the conditioned jiva is called misra-sattva (mixed existence or mixed goodness).
Gosvami: Baba, you have presented an extremely subtle siddhanta. Now tell me, how is the heart of the jiva illuminated by suddha-sattva?
Vijaya: The suddha-sattva (pure existence) of the jiva does not manifest clearly as long as he remains conditioned in the material world. He realizes his svarupa to the extent that this suddha-sattva arises, but he cannot attain this result by any sadhana of karma or jnana. The reason is as follows. No bodily impurity can be eradicated by another substance that is itself impure. Mundane karma is impure by nature, so how can it remove the contamination of mayika impurity on the jiva? As for jnana, it is like fire, for it burns the impurity and at the same time it obliterates the fundamental sattva (existence) along with it. How can this give rise to the happiness that comes from having cleansed the impurity? Thus, suddha-sattva can only appear through bhakti, which arises by the mercy of Krsna and the Vaisnavas. When bhakti appears, suddhasattva illuminates the heart.
Gosvami: It is a pleasure to give instructions to a person as qualified as you. Now, what else do you wish to inquire about?
Gosvami: All of these four types of heroic characteristics are present in Krsna. The mutually contradictory bhavas that are seen in these four types of nayaka are all present in nayaka Krsna, through His acintya-sakti, and He has the sakti to maintain all the rasas at once. These bhavas act according to Krsna’s desire. Krsna, who is endowed with the characteristics of all four types of nayaka, also has another fascinating and secret peculiarity, which only extraordinarily qualified persons are eligible to know.
Vijaya: Since you have already bestowed your great mercy upon me, kindly tell me this tattva also.
Vijaya Kumara’s eyes filled with tears as he said this, and he fell at Gosvamiji’s feet. Gosvamiji lifted him up and embraced him. His own eyes also filled with tears, as he said in a voice choked with emotion, “Baba, the confidential mystery is that in madhura- rasa Krsna is two distinct types of nayaka: He is husband (pati) and paramour (upapati) as well.”
Vijaya: Prabhu! Krsna is our eternal pati. He should only be called pati, so why is there the relationship of upapati?
Gosvami: This is a profound mystery. Spiritual affairs are like mysterious jewels, but among them parakiya-madhura-rasa is like the Kaustubha-mani.
Vijaya: Bhaktas who have taken shelter of madhura-rasa engage in bhajana with the bhava that Krsna is their pati. What is the deep import of considering Krsna one’s upapati?
Gosvami: No rasa whatsoever appears if one conceives of para-tattva as impersonal and worships it in an impersonal mood (nirvisesabhava). This process denies the validity of Vedic statements such as raso vai sah: “That supreme Absolute Truth is the personification of all rasa”(Chandogya Upanisad 8.13.1). Nirvisesa-bhava is useless because of its severe lack of happiness. However, from another angle of vision the experience of rasa can develop progressively in accordance with the variety of savisesa-bhava. You should understand that rasa is the primary tattva of the para-tattva. The savisesa-bhava called isvara-bhava, in which one relates to the Supreme as Controller, is somewhat superior to nirvisesa-bhava, and the prabhu-bhava of dasya-rasa is higher than the isvara-bhava of santa-rasa. Sakhya-bhava is more elevated than dasya-bhava, vatsalyabhava is still more superior, and madhura-rasa is the topmost of all. Just as there is a sequence among these bhavas, each being better than the previous one, similarly parakiya-madhura-rasa is superior to svakiya.
There are two tattvas: atma (one’s own) and para (others as asraya). The natural tendency to be fixed in the self (atma-nistha dharma) is called atmaramata (the satisfaction from being situated in the self), and in this atmaramata, rasa has no assistance from any separate entity. Krsna has this quality of being eternally selfsatisfied. However, at the same time, the quality of enjoying with the assistance of others (pararamata-dharma) also exists in Him eternally. The aggregate of contradictory characteristics is present together simultaneously in parama-purusa, Sri Krsna. This is the intrinsic and constitutional nature of the Supreme Absolute Truth (para-tattva). In one aspect of krsna-lila there is atmaramata, while in its counterpart, the quintessence of pararamata reigns splendidly to its fullest extent. The summit of this pararamata is parakiyabhava.Parakiya-rasa is the astonishing rasa that appears when the nayaka and nayika are united by raga (attraction), even though the relationship between them is para-bhava (bhava of accepting para another’s consort)
.From atmaramata to parakiya-madhura-rasa is the full spectrum of rasa. As rasa is drawn in the direction of atmaramata, it gradually becomes dry, whereas to the extent that it is drawn towards parakiya, it attains its fully blossomed state. When Krsna is the nayaka, parakiya-rasa can never be disgraceful, whereas if any ordinary jiva becomes the nayaka, the consideration of dharma and adharma arises, and parakiya-bhava then becomes extremely base. Thus, poets have determined that the meeting between a male paramour and a married woman is utterly contemptible. However, Sri Rupa Gosvami has said that, although alankara-sastra has described the upapati as detestable and contemptible, this only applies to a mundane (prakrta) nayaka. No such conclusion can apply to Sri Krsna, who is directly the transcendental source of all avataras.
Vijaya: Kindly tell me about the distinct characteristic of pati.
Gosvami: A pati is one who has accepted the hand of a bride in marriage.
Vijaya: Please explain the characteristics of upapati and parakiya.
Gosvami: The upapati is a man who is driven by intense attachment to transgress dharma and accept a parakiya as his most dearly beloved. A parakiya is a woman who neglects the dharma of this world and the next, transgresses the regulations of marriage, and completely offers herself to a man other than her husband. There are two types of parakiya, namely unmarried (kanya) and married (parodha).
Vijaya: What are the symptoms of svakiya?
Gosvami: A chaste woman who has been married according to the regulative principles, and who is always absorbed in following the orders of her husband, is called svakiya.
Vijaya: Who are svakiya and who are parakiya for Sri Krsna?
Gosvami: The married ladies of Dvaraka Puri are svakiya, and the young gopis of Vraja are mainly parakiya.
Gosvami: This is a very confidential matter. You know that the domain of the para-tattva comprises four quarters. Three quarters of His opulences (vibhuti) are manifest in the spiritual realm, and one quarter is in the mundane realm. Thus, the entire realm of maya, consisting of fourteen planetary systems, is situated in one quarter of His vibhuti. The River Viraja lies between the material and spiritual worlds, the world of maya being situated on this side of it, and the spiritual world on the other side. Brahma-dhama, which is composed of effulgence, surrounds the spiritual world (citjagat) on all sides. Apart from that, when one penetrates beyond the Viraja, the spiritual sky (paravyoma) is seen as samvyoma-rupa Vaikuntha. There, aisvarya is prominent and Narayana reigns as the Lord of lords, attended by unlimited transcendental majestic saktis. In Vaikuntha, Bhagavan has svakiya-rasa, and the sri, bhu, and nila-saktis serve Him as svakiya consorts. Above Vaikuntha lies Goloka. In Vaikuntha, the svakiya consorts of the city (pura) remain absorbed in their respective appropriate services. In Goloka, the young ladies of Vraja serve Krsna in their particular rasa.
Vijaya: If Goloka is Krsna’s highest dhama, then why have the wonderful glories of Vraja been extolled?
Gosvami: Places such as Vraja, Gokula and Vrndavana are within Sri Mathura-mandala. Mathura-mandala and Goloka are non- different from each other (abheda-tattva). When this one phenomenon is situated in the highest region of the cit-jagat, it is known as Goloka, and when it is manifested within this material universe, it is known as Mathura-mandala. Thus, it is celebrated simultaneously in these two svarupas.
Vijaya: How is that possible? I don’t understand.
Gosvami: Such phenomena are possible only by Krsna’s acintyasakti. All the activities within the jurisdiction of acintya-sakti are beyond comprehension and argument. That eternal abode of Goloka is called Mathura-dhama in the prakata-lila within the world of gross elements (prapanca), and this very same place is called Goloka in aprakata-lila. Krsna’s transcendental pastimes are eternal, and Goloka is eternally manifest in the nitya-jagat. Those who have become eligible to have darsana of the pure spiritual substance see Goloka. Not only that, but they can have darsana of Goloka in Gokula itself. However, the jiva whose intelligence is material cannot attain the darsana of Goloka. Even though Gokula is Goloka, jivas with mundane intelligence see Gokula as an ordinary place of this material world consisting of five gross elements.
Vijaya: What is the qualification to have the darsana of Goloka?
Gosvami: Sri Sukadeva Gosvami has said:
iti sancintya bhagavan mahakaruniko vibhuh
darsayamasa svam lokam gopanam tamasah param
satyam jnanam anantam yad brahma-jyotih sanatanam
yad dhi pasyanti munayo gunapaye samahitah
Although the gopas are eternally perfect, they nonetheless descend to this world as assistants in Krsna’s pastimes. The sadhana-siddha-gopas were the followers of those nityasiddha-gopas. These sadhana-siddha-gopas thought, “Due to ignorance, the jivas in this world identify themselves with their material bodies. Thus they are hankering with many types of desires, and they engage in various types of work in order to fulfill them. As a result, they wander aimlessly accepting repeated birth in higher and lower species. We are also engaged in the same activity”.
Considering this, the greatly compassionate Bhagavan Sri Krsna, who has inconceivable majestic opulence, granted to those gopas darsana of His parama-dhama, Goloka, which is beyond the dense darkness of maya. The variety in that dhama is eternal, absolute reality, full of unlimited spiritual pastimes. That dhama is eternally self-illuminated with the effulgence of brahma, and it is perceived by the hosts of sages and sadhakas through trance in the stage beyond the influence of the three gunas.
Baba, one cannot have darsana of Goloka without Krsna’s mercy. Krsna bestowed mercy on the vraja-vasis and granted them darsana of Goloka. This Goloka is the excellent transcendental abode beyond material nature, and its variegatedness is the embodiment of eternal truth and endless spiritual pastimes. The spiritual effulgence of the brahmajyoti exists there eternally as the brilliant radiance (prabha) of His limbs. When the sadhaka is free from all mundane connections with matter, he can have darsana of that special tattva.
Vijaya: Can all liberated personalities have darsana of Goloka?
Gosvami: Even among millions of liberated souls, a bhakta of Bhagavan is very rare. In brahma-dhama the jivas who become liberated by the practice of astanga-yoga and brahma-jnana, enjoy forgetfulness of the self. Just as a man in a state of deep sleep (susupti) remains completely inactive, being bereft of power to perceive, to understand, to desire and so forth, similarly, the jivas who attain brahma-dhama are oblivious to their own atma, so they remain like inanimate lumps. What to speak of them, even bhaktas absorbed in aisvarya cannot see Goloka. Bhaktas with a mood of aisvarya render service to an opulent form of the Lord in Vaikuntha according to their respective bhavas. Even one who engages in krsna-bhajana in vraja-rasa can only have darsana of Goloka if he is so fortunate that Krsna bestows mercy upon him and releases him from the maya’s endless bondage.
Vijaya: Well, if only this type of liberated bhakta can see Goloka, why has Goloka been described in sastras such as Sri Brahmasamhita, Hari-vamsa and the Padma Purana? If Krsna’s mercy is only available through vraja-bhajana, what was the point of mentioning Goloka?
Gosvami: Those vraja-rasika-bhaktas whom Krsna elevates to Goloka from this world of five gross elements (prapanca) can see Goloka completely. Furthermore, suddha-bhaktas in vraja-bhava can also see Goloka to a certain extent. There are two types of bhaktas: sadhaka and siddha. Sadhakas are not qualified to see Goloka. Again, there are two types of siddha-bhaktas, namely vastu-siddha-bhaktas and svarupa-siddha-bhaktas. Vastu-siddha-bhaktas are brought directly to Goloka by Krsna’s mercy, whereas svarupa-siddha-bhaktas see the svarupa of Goloka, but they are still situated in the prapanca (material existence), and not directly in Goloka. By Krsna’s mercy, their eyes of bhakti are in the process of gradually opening, thus there are many grades of eligibility in this group. Some see a little, some see something more, and others see more still. To the extent that Krsna is merciful to them, they will see Goloka. As long as they are in the sadhana stage of bhakti, whatever darsana they attain of Gokula is tinged with some mayika-bhava. After crossing the stage of sadhana and reaching the level of bhava, their darsana is somewhat pure, and when they arrive at the stage of prema, they begin to have darsana to the full extent.
Vijaya: Prabhu, in what respects are Goloka and Vraja different from each other?
Gosvami: Everything that one sees in Vraja is present in Goloka, but the various aspects appear somewhat different because of differences in the nistha of the observer. In fact, there is no difference between Goloka and Vrndavana; they appear differently to different observers, depending on their different vision. Extremely ignorant people see everything in Vraja as material. The vision of a person in rajo-guna is somewhat more auspicious compared to this, and those who are situated in sattva-guna have darsana of suddha-sattva according to their ability to see. Everyone’s vision is different according to their adhikara.
Vijaya: Prabhu, I have some realization, but will you kindly give an example to clarify the subject further? A material object cannot serve as a complete example to illustrate spiritual subjects, but still, even a partial indication can give rise to a full realization.
Gosvami: This is a very difficult problem. We are forbidden to reveal our own confidential realization to others. When you also have some confidential realization by Krsna’s mercy, you should always keep it hidden. I will explain this subject to you only as far as our previous acaryas have revealed it, and by Krsna’s mercy, you will be able to see the rest yourself. Perception in Goloka is purely spiritual, and there is not the slightest tinge of material perception. To nourish rasa there, the cit-sakti has manifested varieties of bhava in many places, and amongst them there is one spiritual conception known as abhimana. For instance, Krsna has no beginning and no birth in Goloka, but to assist the lila, vatsalya-rasa is personified there by the conception (abhimana) in the spiritual existence of fatherhood and motherhood in the forms of Nanda and Yasoda. Again, wonderful varieties of srngara-rasa, such as separation (vipralambha) and meeting (sambhoga), exist in this conception (abhimana) form. Although the actual situation in parakiya-bhava is suddha-svakiya, the self-conceptions (abhimana) of paramour beloved (parakiya) and paramour lover (upapati) are eternally present in it.
Just see! All these abhimana are completely convincing in Vraja, for they are exhibited in a gross outward form by the potency of yogamaya. For example, in Vraja, Yasoda labors to give birth to Krsna in her maternity room, and the nitya-siddha-gopis have a parakiya-abhimana that arises from their marriages to husbands such as Abhimanyu and Govardhana-gopa. In other words, the abhimana of Goloka are all visible in Vraja in very tangible forms, which are managed by yogamaya from the exceedingly subtle, original reality. There is not even the slightest trace of falsity in Vraja, and it resembles Goloka in all respects. Differences in vision arise only according to the degree of material obstruction of the observer.
Vijaya: Then should one meditate on the appropriate aspects of asta-kaliya-lila by proper deliberation?
Gosvami: No, it is not like that. One who has darsana of vraja-lila should remember asta-kaliya-lila according to his realization. By Krsna’s mercy, the lila manifests itself in the sadhaka’s heart through the power of his bhajana. It is not necessary to try and improve the bhavas of the lila by one’s own endeavors.
Vijaya: Yadrsi bhavana yasya siddhir bhavati tadrsi. According to this logic, the perfection that one attains corresponds exactly to the type of meditation performed at the time of sadhana, so it seems that one must perform purified, immaculate meditation on Goloka.
Gosvami: What you are saying is correct. All the perceptions in Vraja are pure reality, and not even a single one is contrary to this; otherwise, there would be a fault. Perfection occurs when sadhana becomes pure, and the purer one’s meditation is at the time of sadhana, the faster one attains siddhi. You should endeavor in such a way that your sadhana may be accomplished beautifully, but still, it is beyond your power to purify your sadhana. Only Krsna, through His acintya-sakti, can do this. If you try to do it yourself, you will become entangled in the thorny thickets of jnana, but if Krsna bestows His mercy, there will be no such injurious result.
Vijaya: Today I have become fortunate. I want to ask one further question. Is the abode of the Dvaraka consorts only in Vaikuntha, or in Goloka as well?
Gosvami: The endless ananda of the cit-jagat is attained in Vaikuntha; there is no attainment higher than Vaikuntha. Cities such as Dvaraka are there and the young ladies of those cities reside in their own palaces’, rendering service to Krsna. The only ones who are situated in the madhura-rasa of Goloka are the vraja-ramanis. All the pastimes that are in Vraja are in Goloka. However, it is mentioned in Gopala-tapani Upanisad that Rukminiji is situated in svakiya-rasa in Mathura Puri, which is in Goloka.
Vijaya: Prabhu, do all the activities in Goloka occur in the same sequence as I see them in Vraja?
Gosvami: Yes, they all exist there in the same order, but without the divisions based on mayika conceptions. However, all such mayika conceptions have their own supremely pure spiritual origins, which I cannot explain. This you can understand only by the power of your bhajana.
Vijaya: The whole of mundane existence (prapanca) becomes completely dissolved at the time of the universal dissolution (maha-pralaya), so in what sense is vraja-lila eternally present? Gosvami: Vraja-lila is eternal from both the prakata and aprakata perspective. The present perception (samprata-pratiti) of vrajalila is eternally existing in one of the unlimited universes, which revolve in cyclic order like a wheel. A particular lila now present in one brahmanda appears the next moment in another brahmanda. Thus, that particular lila is aprakata-lila in the first brahmanda, but it is present in the next brahmanda as prakata-lila. In this way, all types of prakata-lila are eternal. Even in the aprakata state, all the lilas are eternally present.
Vijaya: If prakata-lila occurs in all the brahmandas, does vrajadhama exist in each brahmanda?
Gosvami: Yes, it does. Goloka is a self-manifesting phenomenon which is present in every universe as the abode of krsna- lila. Goloka also manifests itself in the heart of all suddha-bhaktas.
Vijaya: Why does Mathura-mandala remain manifest in a universe where the lila is non-manifest (aprakata)?
Gosvami: The aprakata-lila is eternally present in the dhama, which remains to bestow mercy upon the bhaktas who reside there.
That day’s discussion drew to a close. While returning to his residence, Vijaya Kumara repeatedly meditated upon his seva in asta-kaliya-lila.
THUS ENDS THE THIRTY-FIRST CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,
“MADHURA-RASA: KRSNA’S SVARUPA, THE NAYAKA, & SVAKIYA-NAYIKAS”