Finding Bliss in Radha Krishna Devotion

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Date: 25th June 2024

Continuing with the next three of ‘Sadhana Karu Pyare’ series.

गौर रस अरु श्याम रस दोउ, एक करि पिउ प्यारे।
रस की शीशी में युगल रस, भर के पी नित प्यारे।
ना भरे ना खाली हो अस, रस की प्याली प्यारे।

gaur ras aru śhyām ras dou, ek kari piu pyāre
ras kī śhīśhī meṅ yugal ras, bhar ke pī nita pyāre
nā bhare nā khālī ho as, ras kī pyālī pyāre 

The devotion that we practice should give us happiness and fill us with bliss from within.  Only then our minds will be attached.  Our mind longs for bliss.  If one does not feel the inner contentment or receive the bliss while practising devotion, then it is natural that one gets disappointed. The person will say, “Why should I meditate upon God? It gives me no joy.  I find joy when I think about my grandson’s innocent talk.” So, the sadhana (devotion) that we practice should give us the bliss we seek.  For that purpose, Shree Kripaluji Maharaj tells us that God is the ocean of bliss and happiness.  

God has declared in the Vedas:

रसो वै सः। रसं ह्येवायं लब्ध्वानन्दी भवति

raso vai saḥ| rasaṁ hyevāyaṁ labdhvānandī bhavati

God Himself is bliss personified and is the embodiment of bliss. God showers bliss on the devotees, and then He Himself relishes the bliss that the devotee receives by residing in the heart of the devotee.  

In the spiritual realm, there is unlimited variety in everything. In the material world too, we have immense varieties.  No two persons have the same face.  If they are twins, we ask their parents, “Do you recognize your twins?” The parents say, “We can easily differentiate them.” This implies that we think that they are the same, but the mother and the father can make a distinction.  Similarly, God has created a world where no two leaves of a tree look identical. The population of this world is over 7 billion.  Everybody’s thumb impression is different.  Everyone has a different body odour.  A dog recognizes a person by smell. Just see how variegated this world is.  This is the world that God created, the world of Maya.  The divine abodes of God, like Golok, Saket, Vaikunth, etc., are beyond the realm of Maya.  They are made by a special power of God called Yogmaya.  

Shree Krishna says to Arjun in the Gita:

तद्भासयते सूर्यो शशाङ्को पावक: |
यद्गत्वा निवर्तन्ते तद्धाम परमं मम || 

na tadbhāsayate sooryo na śhaśhāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yadgatvā na nivartante taddhāma paramaṁ mama 

“O Arjun, My Divine abode is beyond the realm of Maya.  Once a person reaches My abode, there is no question of returning to this world of misery.” Just imagine how powerful Yogmaya is in comparison to Maya! The spiritual realm of God is made from Yogmaya.  In the spiritual realm, there are various types of Bliss of God.  One is the Bliss of the formless aspect of God, which is attained by the gyanis (those who worship the attributeless Brahm and practice the path of knowledge).  But, those who meditate on the personal form of God say, “The Bliss of the formless aspect of God is inferior compared to the Bliss of the personal form of God.” 

We are habituated to interacting and relating to the form of all objects and living beings. If there is a form of God in the divine realm, we will find it boring. That is why even devotees who worship the formless aspect of God also meditate on some form. They meditate on the form of their Guru. Once, Swami Vivekananda stayed at the palace of the King of Alwar in Rajasthan.  The King was a member of the ‘Arya Samaj’ and was completely against the personal form of God and the worship of deities.  He was a staunch protagonist of the formless aspect of God.  Members of ‘Arya Samaj’ strongly propound that God does not exist in His personal form, but they have a photo of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, their guru, in their homes.  

Swami Vivekananda saw a big photo of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the guru of the king, hanging on the wall.  He removed the photo, threw it on the floor and placed his feet on it.  On seeing this, the king got angry and prepared to slap Swami Vivekananda. Swamiji asked the king “Why are you upset? You are against deity worship.  Then this photo is not your Guru; this is just a piece of paper.  Your Guru is different.  However, you felt like slapping me because you saw your Guru’s presence in this photo.  Hence, even you are doing deity worship.”  

God constantly notes the sentiments we have in our hearts.

काष्ठे विद्यते देवो शिलायां मृत्सु च।
भावे हि विद्यते देवस्तस्मात्भावं समाचरेत् ||

na kāṣhṭhe vidyate devo na śhilāyāṁ na mṛitsu cha
bhāve hī vidyate devastasmāt bhāvaṁ samācharet 

God does not reside in stone or in wood; He resides in a devotional heart. If you meditate upon any deity with the sentiments that it is God, He will give you Divine results, in accordance with your feelings.  

Without a form’s support, it is impossible to concentrate or fix the mind.  It is easy to practice devotion towards the personal form of God.  There are many forms of God, such as Ram, Vishnu, Shiv, etc.  These are not different Gods; they are different forms of the same God. We should never consider any one of them as bigger and another as smaller. Still, the Bliss that the devotee relishes from these forms is different.  There are four main types of Bliss that manifest in Shree Krishna’s form, which do not manifest in any other form of God.  

First, is the extremely nectarine ‘Bal Leela Madhuri’, or the pastime of Baby Krishna, which entices the heart of the devotee. Second is the ‘Murali Madhuri’, or the Divine melody of the Shree Krishna flute, attracting even the minds of the Paramahansa (liberated souls).  Third is the ‘Prem Madhuri’, or the pastime of Divine love, in which God forgets His Godliness and comes to the level of the devotees, who love Him.  And lastly, ‘Roop Madhuri’, or His exquisitely beautiful form, is on which infinite cupids can be sacrificed. These four types of Divine sweetness, the nectar of Divine Bliss, are unlimited in the Divine form of Shree Krishna.   So, we do our sadhana (devotion), when we meditate on Shree Krishna.  

If we place Shree Radha Rani alongside Shree Krishna and meditate, our bhakti (devotion) further increases and becomes sweeter.  Although Shree Radha and Shree Krishna are one, God made two forms for the purpose of performing pastimes.  One is the shakitmaan (the Energetic), and the other is the shakti (the Energy).  This Energy (Radharani) has great importance.  The nectar of the Bliss that we obtain is by the Grace of this shakti. Grace is also one of the powers of God, and it is subservient to Radharani, the Supreme Divine Energy.  That is why we pray, “O Radha Rani! Please bestow your Grace and take me to Shree Krishna.” A devotee can attain the nectar of Divine Love by practising devotion to Radha Krishna. 

Even though Radha Rani and Maa Durga are one, and both are powers of God, there is a difference in the sweetness of their Divine nectar. Understand the difference through this example. While returning from school, a child was thinking, “At home, my mother will be waiting for me; she will put me in her lap; she will love me very much and ask me about what happened in the school.”  The child was contemplating this while going home.  When he reached home, he saw his mother in a different mood.  She was holding a stick in her hand and beating her elder child.  The child got scared and thought, “My mother is not in a good mood today. It is better that I go straight to my room.  When she is normal, I will talk to her.” Now see, the mother is the same, but she has a fierce form and a sweet, lovable form.  Similarly, the Divine Mother has two forms.   Firstly, she has an almighty form in which she kills demons and Her second form is the sweet form, which grants bhakti (devotion) to devotees, showers Divine Love, and relishes and participates in the eternal pastimes.  So, this is the form and nature of Shree Radha Rani.  

All Rasik saints instruct us that all Gods are one, but by practising devotion to Shree Radha Krishna, we will get the Bliss that we want. So, we should consider them as our ishtadev (chosen forms of God worshipped by the devotee), and worship them with a sincere heart. Thus, Shree Kripaluji Maharaj tells us to drink gaur ras (the nectar of Shree Radha) and shyam ras (the nectar of Shree Krishna). And this nectar is such that the more you drink it, the more you will feel thirsty.  

This is totally the opposite of the material world. Let us say you watched a movie at the theatre.  You enjoyed it thoroughly and feel very happy.  Your friend arrives the next day and asks you to take him to the same movie since he has not seen it.  You go with him but do not enjoy the movie the second time.  After a few more days, your uncle from another city visits your home. He too requests you to go with him to watch the same movie. You accompany him unwillingly but get totally bored the third time. After you return, you say, “I cannot watch this movie again.” Just see, the pleasure has slowly reduced and finally finished.  The so-called happiness has dried up. 

Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says that the Bliss of devotion is different. The more you relish it, the more you long for it.

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