Love for God only through pure knowledge – Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Compiled by: Dama Ghosha Dasa, (Seattle, USA)
What follows is a short excerpt from The Thakur’s book called Sri Chaitanya Siksamrta….
“On hearing or reading about Krishna and His sweet qualities, the living entities according to their nature understand Him in two different ways: understanding through true knowledge, and understanding without knowledge. Even when Krishna is personally present and can be seen with mortal eyes, the two types of people will see in these two different ways. If a person desires to learn more about these two types of perception, they may study the Sat Sandarbhas, Bhagavatamrita and Sri Krishna Samhita under a competent authority. It is impossible to elaborate on this subject here.
Briefly, realization through true knowledge (vidvat pratiti) may be described as realization under vidya sakti (the knowledge potency of the Lord), and understanding without knowledge (avidvat pratiti) may be described as an attempt at understanding of the Lord under ignorance.
If Krishna is understood through avidvat pratiti, many controversies arise. If He is understood through vidvat pratiti, there is no place for disagreements. Those interested in spiritual development should immediately obtain vidvat pratiti. What is the point in understanding through avidvat pratiti, falling into argument and confusion, and losing the goal of life?
Of all the conceptions of God existing in the world, the form of Krishna is the most suitable for developing pure love. The conception of Allah in the Koran is not suitable for developing pure love. Even the Lord’s dear prophet could not see Allah’s form, for although the Lord is friendly, He remains at a distance from the worshipper due to the conception of God as master. God as perceived in the Christian faith is also a distant entity, what to speak of the impersonalist’s concept of Brahman. Even Narayana (a personal form) is not the form by which the soul can most easily obtain pure love. Krishna alone, Who resides in the spiritual abode of Vraja, is the object of pure love.
The abode of Krishna is full of bliss. Majesty also resides there in fullness, but it does not predominate; rather sweetness and eternal bliss predominate. Its wealth is its fruit, flowers and twigs. Its citizens are the cows, Krishna’s friends are the cowherd boys and His associates are the gopis. His food is butter, yogurt and milk. All the groves and forests are filled with love of Krishna. The Yamuna River engages in Krishna’s service. Everything in nature serves Him. Elsewhere, He is worshipped and revered by all as the Supreme Lord, but here He is the very life of all the inhabitants. He sometime descends to the worshipper’s level, and sometimes becomes subordinate to His devotee.
If it were not like this, could the lowly living entity have a relation of love with God? The Supreme Lord is filled with the highest sport, endowed with free will, and eager for the love of the soul. Yet being the Lord, how can He hanker for human offerings, feel satisfied or become genuinely happy with them? Krishna, the reservoir of sweet pastimes, therefore covers His majestic aspect with sweetness, accepts equality with or subordination to qualified souls in transcendental Vrindavana, and feels bliss. Can anyone who accepts pure love or prema as the highest goal accept anyone other than Krishna as the object of love?”
Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.48
The four principles of advancement in spiritual life — dharma [religiosity], artha, [economic development] kama [sense gratification] and moksa [liberation] — all depend on the disposition of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, my dear friends follow in the footsteps of devotees. Without desire, fully depend upon the
disposition of the Supreme Lord; worship Him, the Supersoul, in devotional service.
Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.51-52
My dear friends, O sons of the demons, you cannot please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by becoming perfect brahmanas, demigods or great saints or by becoming perfectly good in etiquette or vast learning. None of these qualifications can awaken the pleasure of the Lord. Nor by charity, austerity, sacrifice, cleanliness or vows can
one satisfy the Lord. The Lord is pleased only if one has unflinching, unalloyed devotion to Him. Without sincere devotional service, everything is simply a show.
Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.53
My dear friends, O sons of the demons, in the same favorable way that one sees himself and takes care of himself, take to devotional service to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is present everywhere as the Supersoul of all living entities.
Adi 4.17 [Lord Krishna thought:] “All the universe is filled with the conception of My majesty, but love weakened by that sense of majesty does not satisfy Me.