Chaitanya Mahāprabhu On Sweetness of Krishna’s Attributes, Devotion and Divine Love

Hari Om

[The Master continued His teaching of Sanátan thus:]

“God in His all-embracing form dwells in the highest Space (para-byom). The diverse Vaikunthas are beyond count. The extent of each Vaikuntha is millions and millions of miles. Ananda inspired by chit fills all the Vaikunthas. All of [His] attendants are filled with the six attributes (aishwaryya). The endless Vaikunthas and Space are His retinue; above all of them is Krishna’s Heaven, like the seed-pod of the lotus. Thus, [Krishna’s] six attributes are [only] places of [His] incarnation. Even Brahma and Shiva cannot count them, what to speak of men? Vide the Bhágabat, X. xiv. 21, Brahma’s hymn to Krishna.

“Thus Krishna’s celestial attributes are endless; Brahma, Shiva, Sanak and others cannot see their end. Vide the Bhágabat, X. xiv. 7.

“Not to speak of Brahma and others, even Ananta with his thousand tongues, is eternally singing [of His attributes] without being able to finish them. Vide Bhágabat, II. ii. 40.

“Even Krishna, the omniscient and supreme being, cannot find the end of His own attributes, but remains eagerly longing [to know of them]. Vide Bhágabat, X. lxxxvii. 37.

“The mind fails to comprehend His exploits, even of the time when He incarnated himself in Brindában. At one and the same time He created the natural and the supernatural groups of cow-herds and kine, as described in Bhágabat, [X. xiii and xiv], countless Vaikuntha-born embryos, with their respective Lords. Such a marvel is heard of no other [god]. The hearing of it makes the heart overcome [with rapture]. In that miracle of His every one of the millions and millions of calves, cowboys, their rods, pipes, horns, clothes and ornamems, all assumed the form of the four-armed Lord of Vaikuntha, each with a separate universe, and Brahma adored him. From the body of one Krishna all these appeared! And after a moment they all disappeared in that body! The sight amazed and fascinated Brahma, and after hymning [to Krishna], he declared this, Let him who says that he knows the full extent of Krishna’s power, know it. But as for me, I admit with all my body and mind that not a drop of this endless ocean of your power is cognizable by my speech or intellect! Vide Bhágabat, X. xiv. 36.

“Many are the glories of Krishna; who can know them? Think of the wondrous quality of the place Brindában: the Shastras speak of it as 32 miles in extent, and yet in one corner of it the embryos of the universe floated! Krishna’s divine power is boundless beyond calculation.”

The Master, Himself the ocean of divine attributes, was seized with ecstasy in speaking of Krishna’s divine attributes; His mind became absorbed in the subject and He lost consciousness. He (then) recited Bhágabat, III. ii. 21, and expounded it, relishing with delight its sense. “Krishna is the Supreme Deity, God Himself. None else is greater than He or even equal to Him. Vide Brahma Samhita, V. I. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, the lords of creation, [preservation, and destruction], all obey Krishna; He is their suzerain. Vide Bhágabat, II. vi. 30.

“Hear the meaning of the phrase unequalled Supreme Lord: Three purush incarnations are the causes of the universe, viz., Mahá-Vishnu, Padmanava, Kshirodak Swámi. These three occupy the souls of everything, gross or subtle. These three are the refuge of all, and the lords of the universe. And yet they are mere particles of Krishna, who is supreme [over them]. Vide Brahma Samhita, v. 54.

“This interpretation is only external. Listen to the esoteric sense. The Shastras speak of three abodes of Krishna, viz., Antahpur, Golok, and Brindában, in which [last] ever dwell [His] parents and friends; where He manifested His sweet attributes, tenderness, mercy, &c; where the illusion of yog was His bondmaid, and where rása and other exploits took place.

“Below it the Supreme Space named Vishnu’s Heaven, where dwell Náráyan and other eternal forms of Him, is situated. The middle abode of Krishna is the store-house of the six attributes, where He dwells in His eternal form (ananta). The Vaikunthas are endless, and there the rooms and attendants (even) are full of the six attributes. Vide Brahma Samhita, v. 49, [and other Sanskrit verses].

“Below it is His external abode, beyond the Birajá, where the universes are endless, and the rooms are illimitable. It is named Devidhám, where creatures dwell. The Lakshmi of the Universe nourishes it; illusion dwells there as His slave.

“In these three places does Krishna dwell as the Supreme Lord, viz., Golok, the Supreme Space, and Nature. The region where He manifests His chit power is called the Three-fold Divinity (tripád aishivaryya), whereas the places of the display of His power of illusion are called One-fold (ekapád).

“The Three-fold Divinity of Krishna is beyond speech. Hear, therefore, of the One-fold Divinity. All the Brahmas and Shivas of the eternal universe are embraced by the term ‘eternal rulers of spheres’ (chira-loka-pála). One day Brahma came to Dwaraka to see Krishna; the porter took the message to Krishna, who asked ‘Which Brahma? What is his name?’ The porter returned and asked Brahma, who replied in amazement, ‘Go, tell him, it is the four-headed father of Sanak.’ After taking Krishna’s permission, the porter introduced him. Brahma prostrated himself at Krishna’s feet, who showed him honour and reverence and asked for the reason of his visit. Brahma replied, ‘I shall tell you of that afterwards. First solve one problem of my mind. What did you mean by asking ‘Which Brahma?’ What Brahma other than I can there be in the universe?’ At this Krishna smiled and plunged into meditation, and immediately innumerable troops of Brahmas came there, some with ten heads, some with twenty, hundred, thousand, million, even a milliard, beyond the power of counting. Rudras came with millions of millions of heads. Indras appeared with millions of eyes. At the sight the four-headed Brahma became senseless, like a hare surrounded by a herd of elephants. All these Brahmas prostrated themselves before Krishna’s seat, which was touched by their crowns. None can [adequately] describe the unimaginable power of Krishna. In one body there were as many images as there were Brahmás. His seat, struck with the crowns of the Brahmas, set up a sound, as if the crowns recited praises of His seat! With folded palms, Brahma Rudra and other deities hymned Krishna thus: ‘Lord! Great is thy mercy to us, as thou hast shown us thy feet. Oh our good fortune! thou hast called and accepted us as thy slaves. Bid us, and we shall place thy behest on our heads.’ Krishna replied, ‘I longed to see you, and so called you all together. Be ye all happy! Have you any thing to fear from the demons?’ They said, ‘Thanks to thy grace, we are everywhere triumphant. Latterly thou hast, by incarnating thyself, destroyed the load of sins which used to weigh the Earth down.’ This proves the divine nature of Dwaraka and other [spheres], each of which imagines ‘Krishna dwells in my region.’ The presence of Krishna made Dwaraka feel glory (baibhaba); they had all met together, and yet none could see the others. Then Krishna gave leave to all the Brahmás, and they returned home after bowing to Him. The four-headed Brahma was amazed at the sight, and again bowed at Krishna’s feet, saying, ‘I have to-day witnessed an example of what I had previously known for certain in my mind.’ Vide Bhágabat, X. xiv. 36.

“Krishna replied, ‘This universe, though 500 million leagues in extent, is very small; hence you have four heads only. Other universes are a thousand million, a lakh kror, or even a kror kror leagues in extent, and their Brahmas have heads proportioned to these sizes. Thus do I uphold the whole system of universes. Even my one fold divinity cannot be measured. Who will measure my three-fold divinity?’ So saying Krishna dismissed Brahma. The divine form of Krishna cannot be explained. The phrase Supreme Lord has another deep meaning: the term tri means the three regions of Krishna, viz., Gokul (named Golok), Mathura, and Dwáráka. In these three He always dwells naturally. These three places are full of His inner complete divinity. Of these three Krishna Himself is the lord. The guardians of directions in all the aforesaid universes, and the eternal guardians of creation in Ananta and Vaikuntha, all bow to Krishna’s seat, touching it with the jewel of their crowns. In His own chit power Krishna dwells ever. This property of chit-power is called the six divine attributes; it is also styled Lakshmi in the form of supreme bliss. Hence, the Vedas declare Krishna to be God Himself. I cannot plunge in the boundless nectar-oceah of Krishna’s divine power, but have touched only a drop of it”. The Master paused for a while, and after composing Himself continued to teach Sanátan. [Text, canto 21.]

Discourse on Devotion as the Aim

[The Master continued His address to Sanátan thus]:

“The Vedas teach that Krishna is the sole Essence. Now let me speak of the signs of the aim (abhidheya), from which one can get Krishna and the treasure of Krishna’s love. All the Shastras speak of faith in Krishna as the aim. Hence the sages declare,

‘We know for certain that thou, O Lord, art our refuge, because the mode of thy worship that Mother Shruti lays down in answer to our questions, is also indicated by Sister Smritis and Brother Purans’.

“This truth is taught by the Monist school that Krishna is God Himself; He dwells in the form of the Swarup power; spreading out in the forms of swámsha and bibhinnámsha, He disports Himself in Ananta, Vaikuntha, and Brahmanda. The four-sided incarnations are His swámsha extension. The created world is the example of His bibhinnámsha power. Such creatures are of two classes, viz., one ever liberated, the other ever fettered to the world. The ever liberated are ever eager for Krishna’s feet; they are named Krishna’s followers and they enjoy the bliss of serving Him. The ever fettered are ever excluded from Krishna, and ever feel the sufferings of Hell; the Fury, Illusion, ever torments them for that reason; the three internal agonies scourge them; they are kicked at by Lust, Anger [and other deadly sins] whose slaves they are. If in the course of their life’s wanderings they meet with a saint as their healer, his teaching like a charm exorcizes the demon (Illusion) out of them; then they feel bhakti for Krishna and come to Him. Faith in Krishna is the supreme end (abhidheya). Worthless are the fruits of other kinds of devotion, such as work, yog, and knowledge,—in comparison with the bliss of bhakti; the former cannot give us Krishna unless we have bhakti in Him. Vide Bhágabat I. v. 12 and II. iv. 16. Knowledge dissociated from bhakti cannot give salvation; but a man devoted to Krishna can gain salvation without knowledge. Vide Bhágabat, X. xiv. 4 and the Gitá, vii. 14.

“Creation, the eternal slave of Krishna, forgot this fact; hence Illusion tied a rope round its neck. If a creature adores Krishna and serves his guru, he is released from the meshes of Illusion and attains to Krishna’s feet. If, while observing the rules of his caste, a man does not adore Krishna, he will be plunged in hell in spite of his doing his caste-duties. Vide Bhágabat, XI. v. 2 & 3. The votary of knowledge imagines that he has attained to the condition of one liberated even in earthly life; but in truth his mind cannot be purified without faith in Krishna. Vide Bhágabat, X. ii. 26. Krishna is like the Sun, while Illusion is as darkness; hence Illusion has no power to remain where Krishna is. Vide Bhágabat, II. v. 13. Even if a man prays once saying Krishna I am thine, he is saved by Krishna from the bonds of Illusion. If the seeker after enjoyment, salvation and attainment (siddhi), is wise, he adores Krishna with deep bhakti. Vide Bhágabat, II. iii. 10. If a man adores Krishna in longing for other [material] gains, He gives the votary His own feet unasked, arguing, ‘In adoring me he is soliciting for material joys. What a great fool is he, in thus begging for poison instead of nectar! I am wiser, why then should I grant this fool [his coveted] earthly pleasures? Let me give him the nectar of my feet, so that he may forget earthly joys’. Vide Bhágabat, V. xix. 28. If a man adores Krishna even for fleshly lusts, he [soon] longs to abandon his desires and become a slave of Krishna. In going through this worldly life, some are fortunate enough to gain salvation; just as a log of wood drifting down the current now and then lands on the bank. Vide Bhágabat, X. xxxviii. 4. By good luck some men’s bondage to the world is about to be severed, [when] they are emancipated by the society of holy men, and are inspired with devotion to Krishna. Vide Bhágabat X. ii. 35. If Krishna favours any blessed man, He teaches him as his guru seated in the heart. Vide Bhágabat, XI. xxix. 6. If in the company of holy men a man feels inclined towards bhakti in Krishna, he gets love, the fruit of bhakti, and is freed from the world. Vide Bhágabat, XI. xx. 8. Save through the favour of the noble a man cannot feel bhakti in anything; not to speak of his gaining devotion to Krishna, he is not even freed from bondage to the world. Vide Bhágabat, V. xx. 12 and VII. v. 25. All Shastras recommend the companionship of the holy. As soon as such society is resorted to, it gives success in everything. Vide Bhágabat, I. xvii. 13. The gracious Krishna, in addressing Arjun [in the Gitá], has laid down instructions for the salvation of mankind. Vide the Gitá, xviii. 64 and 65.

“God had first commanded the Vedic religion, work, yog, and knowledge. After these had been observed, He finally commanded bhakti, which must, therefore, be superior [to the former]. If, in accordance with this [latest] dispensation, a devotee feels shraddhá, he leaves all works and adores Krishna. Vide Bhágabat, XI. xx. 9. The term shraddhá means firm and unquestioning faith. If one adores Krishna, it is equivalent to his doing all the prescribed ceremonies [of religion]. Vide Bhágabat, IV. xxxi. 12.

“Men who have shraddhá are qualified for bhakti, and are ranked as superior, average, and inferior, according to the quality of their shraddhá. He whose shraddhá is confirmed by listening to the reasoning contained in the Shástras is a superior ‘entitled to bhakti’, and he is liberated from the world. He whose shraddhá is strong in spite of his ignorance of shástric arguments, is an average ‘entitled to bhakti’; he, too, is very fortunate. He whose shraddhá requires a visible object [of adoration] is an inferior ‘entitled to bhakti’; in time he will advance to the stage of a superior bhakta. There are different grades of bhakti, according to differences of ardour and passion, as has been described in the eleventh skanda of the Bhágabat, (XI. ii. 43-45).

“All the high attributes are found in the person of a Vaishnav, because Krishna’s attributes spread to His bhaktas. (Ibid, V. xviii. 12). The following qualities mark a Vaishnav; they cannot be exhaustively named, I only take a rapid view: he is compassionate, spiteless, essentially true, saintly, innocent, charitable, gentle, pure, humble, a universal benefactor, tranquil, solely dependent on Krishna, free from desire, quiet, equable, a victor over the six passions (sharguna), temperate in diet, self-controlled, honouring others and yet not proud himself, grave, tender, friendly, learned, skilful and silent. Vide Bhágabat, III. xxv. 20, V. v. 2. The society of holy men is the root of the birth of devotion to Krishna (Bhágabat, X. li. 35, XI. ii. 28, xxv. 22). The principal limb that springs up from it is love of Krishna. It is proper conduct for a Vaishnav to abjure the society of the wicked. The man who consorts with women is one kind of sinner, while the man lacking in faith in Krishna belongs to another kind. (Bhágabat III. xxxi. 35, 33 & 34). Leaving these [temptations] and the religious system based on caste, [the true Vaishnav] helplessly takes refuge with Krishna. Vide the Gitá, xviii. 66; Bhágabat, X. xlviii.

“If a learned man happens to sing Krishna’s praise, he adores Krishna to the exclusion of all other deities, as is proved by the case of Uddhav. Vide Bhágabat, III. ii. The helpless and the refugee [among devotees] have the same characteristics. Then comes resignation in. After taking refuge in Krishna, the votary gives himself entirely up to Krishna, who then elevates him to His own nature. Vide Hari-bhakti-vilas, xi. 417 & 418; Bhágabat, XI. xxix. 32.”

“Give ear, O Sanátan, while I turn to speak of the attainment (sádhan) of bhakti, which gives us the rich treasure of love for Krishna. Hearing [chant] and other acts [of the physical organs] are the swarup signs of it; while in the tatastha sign love is born. Love for Krishna is ever an end (siddha); it is never a means (sádhya). It is kindled in a pure heart by listening [to Krishna’s praise], and other acts of the organs. The sádhan of bhakti is of two kinds: one following the ordinances of religion, the other following the [heart’s] inclination. The man without a natural desire [for Krishna] adores Him in obedience to the bidding of the Shastras; such bhakti is called regular (baidhi).

‘King! It is the duty of the men who seeks liberation to hear, to praise, and to meditate about God, the universal Soul, the supremely Beautiful, and the Liberator from bondage.’ (Bhágabat, II. i. 5. and also XI. v. 2.)

“The modes of cultivating bhakti are many; I shall only tell you briefly of the chief of them: [they are] taking refuge at the feet of the guru, initiation, service of the guru, inquiry into the true religion, following the path of saints, renunciation of enjoyment out of love for Krishna, residence at holy places associated with Krishna, accepting alms no further than suffices [for one’s sustenance], fasting on the tenth day of the moon, reverence to foster-mothers, fig trees, kine, Brahmans and Vaishnavs, shunning from a distance all offences against adoration and the holy name, abjuring the company of non-Vaishnavs, taking only a few disciples, avoiding the study and exposition of too many books and arts, looking at loss and gain as alike, control of grief and other passions, abstention from abusing other gods and scriptures, never listening to scandal about Vishnu or Vaishnavs nor to village gossip, giving no shock by thought or speech to any creature that lives, listening [to chant], hymn-singing, keeping God in remembrance, worship, adoration [in words], attendance [on idols], assuming the attitudes of servant and comrade [to Krishna], dedication of one’s own self [to God], dancing, singing, petitioning and prostration before [Krishna’s image], rising to welcome [His image], and following it as a mark of respect, visiting shrines at tirthas, walking round shrines, hymning, reading scriptures, reciting the holy name, sankirtan, enjoying incense garlands perfumed essence and the mahá-prasád, witnessing the grand celebration of árati and the divine image, giving up whatever is dear to one’s own self, meditation, and serving Him.

“The service of the following four is approved by Krishna:—the Tulsi plant, Vaishnavs, Mathura, and the book Bhágabat.

“Direct all your efforts to [the service of] Krishna, witness His mercies, celebrate His Nativity and other days in the company of bhaktas. Ever fly to him for refuge, celebrate Kártik and other bratas.

“These are the sixty-four modes of cultivating bhakti. The five chief of them are (1) the society of holy men, (2) kirtan of Krishna’s name, (3) listening to the reading of the Bhágabat, (4) dwelling at Mathura, and (5) reverential service of His image. Even a little of these five creates love for Krishna.

“Some bhaktas pursue only one of these modes, some many. When the mind has become steady, the wave of love surges up [in it]. Many bhaktas have attained to success by following one mode only. Ambarisha and other bhaktas cultivated many modes. (Vide Bhágabat, IX. iv. 15-17)-The man who by renouncing desire adores Krishna in obedience to the injunctions of the Shastras, is not indebted to the gods the Rishis or the manes of his ancestors. (Bhágabat, XI. v. 37). He who adores Krishna’s feet rejecting shastric rites, feels nevertheless no temptation for forbidden sins. Even if he commits a sin unwittingly, Krishna purifies him and he need not practise penance for it. (Bhágabat, XL v. 38). Theological knowledge and monachism are not at all necessary means of cultivating bhakti; Krishna’s society gives inoffensiveness and discipline. Vide Bhágabat, XI. xx. 31.

“Hitherto I have held forth on the cultivation of bhakti in accordance with the shastric teaching. Now, let me tell you, Sanátan, about bhakti in compliance with natural inclination. This latter kind of bhakti is chiefly found in the people of Brindában, and those who cultivate it are called rágánuga (‘inclination-led’). A passionate longing for the object of desire is the swarup characteristic of inclination (rág); absorption in the object of desire is its tatastha feature. The nature of an ‘inclination-led’ bhakta pays no heed to shastric reasoning.

“Its two types are external and internal. In the external, the devotee through his physical organs performs listening (to chant) and chanting, while in his mind he imagines himself to be identical with his ideal [such as any sakhi or cowherd mate of Krishna], and thus [in fancy] serves Krishna at Brindában day and night. With drawing himself into his own mind, such a votary ever remains close to his object, the dearest Krishna, and thus serves Him incessantly. In the path of inclination (rág), he takes Krishna as the object of his chief emotion, viz., as master, comrade, child or sweetheart. (Bhágabat, III. xxv. 35)

“From the sprout of love (prem) issue two things, rati (addiction) and bháb (emotion). These two conquer the Lord for us. Thus have I expounded ebhidheya, from which we gain the treasure of love for Krishna.” [Text, canto, 22.]

On Love, the fruit of Devotion

[The Master continued]—”Listen now, Sanátan, to love, the fruit of bhakti, the hearing of which gives knowledge of the spirit of bhakti. When passion (rati) in Krishna is deepened it is called prem (love), the permanent form of bhakti in Krishna. It also has two aspects, viz., swarup and tatastha. If any man has the grace to feel shraddhá, he consort with pious men, from which companionship result the hearing and chanting of Krishna’s name. From the attainment of bhakti, all his troubles are removed, and as a consequence of the latter, his faith becomes constant, which gives him a taste for the listening and [hymning of Krishna’s name]. From taste (ruchi) comes strong inclination (ásakti), which gives birth to the sprout of passion for Krishna in the soul. When this emotion is deepened, it takes the name of love (prem). That love is the (ultimate) fruit, the source of every bliss. Vide Bhágabat, III. xxv. 22. The man in whose heart this emotion sprouts up is marked by the many qualities named in the Shastras. (Bhakti-ras-amrita-sindhu, I. Rati-bhakti, verse 11, Bhágabat I. xix. 13). No earthly affliction can disturb his mind. Such a man never wastes his time without communing with Krishna. He never fears [attack by] enjoyment, material success, or the objects of sensual gratification. (Bhágabat, V. xiv. 42). Even the noblest bhakta considers himself as lowly, and firmly believes that Krishna will take pity on him. He is ever expectant, ever passionately longing [for union with Krishna]. Ever does he relish the work of singing Krishna’s names, and ever engages in it. At all times is he addicted to holding forth on Krishna’s charms. Ever does he reside at the scenes of Krishna’s exploits.

“So far I have described the marks of rati for Krishna. Now let me describe the characteristics of love for Krishna. Even the wise fail to comprehend the speech, acts and gestures of the man whose heart is full of love for Krishna. (Bhágabat, XI. ii. 38). As love develops, it takes the forms of sneha, mán, pranaya, rág, anurág, bháb, and mahábhab, just as, from the same source of sugar-juice we have molasses, gur (khanda), black sugar, [yellow] sugar-candy, and white sugar-candy. As these grow successively purer and more delicious, so too do the above stages in the development of love. In relation to its subject, rati is of five kinds viz., shánta, dásya, sakhya, bátsalya, and madhur. These five permanent emotions (bháb) have five different flavours, which delight the bhakta and over-power Krishna. The permanent emotions of love etc., on meeting with the proper ingredient, mature in the form of Krishna-bhakti ras. The permanent emotion (bháb) on being mingled with ras is changed into these four,—bibhába, anubhába, sátivika, byabhichári;—just as curd, on being mixed with gur, black pepper, and camphor, becomes a thing of matchless deliciousness named rasál. Bibhába is of two kinds, (i) álamban, which is kindled by Krishna, etc., and (ii) uddipan, by the notes of His flute, etc. Anubhába is stimulated by smile, dance and song. Stupor and other sensations are included in sátwika anubhába. Byabhichári is of 33 kinds, such as delight, rapture, &c.

“Ras is of five kinds,—shánta, dásya, sakhya, bátsalya, and madhur. In the shánta ras, rati advances to the stage of prem; in the dásya to rág, sakhya and bátsalya attain to the limit of anurág (as was the case with Subal and others love for Krishna).

“Krishna, the darling of Braja’s lord, is the chief of lovers, while the lady Radha is at the head of mistresses. Krishna’s qualities are endless, even a single one of them when unfolded can soothe the ears of a bhakta.

“Countless are Radhiká’s qualities, of which 25 are the principal ones, which have conquered Krishna.

“The lover and his mistress are the themes of two rasas, and the foremost of the class are Radha and Krishna. Similarly, in the dásya ras, the subject is a servant, in the sakhya a comrade, in the bátsalya the parents.

“This ras is tasted only by Krishna’s bhaktas; those who are not devoted to Him have not the lot to enjoy it. Before this, at Allahabad I discoursed on ras and inspired with my power your brother Rup Goswámi. Do you preach the lore of bhakti; do you discover the lost shrines of Mathura. At Brindában teach the adoration of Krishna, the proper conduct of Vaishnavs, and the scriptures of the creed of bhakti.”

Thus did the Master teach Sanátan all about the temperate conquest of passions (bairágya) and condemned arid bairágya which consists of (mere) knowledge. Vide the Gitá, xii. 13 et seq and Bhágabat, II. ii. 5.

Then Sanátan asked about the metaphorical interpretations (siddhánta) of all the acts of Krishna’s life and the Master clearly explained them. At last Sanátan clasped His feet and biting a wisp of grass in sign of abjectness prayed to Him thus: “I am a wretch, of low caste, and the servant of the unclean. And yet thou hast taught me theological expositions which even Brahmá knows not! My despicable mind cannot contain even a single drop of this ocean of exposition that thou hast poured into it. Thou canst make even the lame dance, if so thou wishest. Lay thy feet on my head and pronounce on me the blessing that all that thou hast taught me may become bright within me. May I derive power from thy power!” And the Master blessed him accordingly. [Text, canto 23.]

Again did Sanátan clasp the Master’s feet and ask Him, “I have heard that you explained to Sárvabhauma in eighteen different ways the following couplet of the Bhágabat, I. vii. 10:—

“My mind, on hearing of it, has been seized with wonder and curiosity. If thou tellest it [again] graciously, my ears will be charmed.” The Master answered, “I am a mad man; Sárvabhauma took my mad words for truth. I do not remember what ravings I uttered in his house. But should your company inspire me I may possibly recollect a little of it. My mind is not naturally enlightened as to the sense of the verses; what I shall say is only the outcome of the influence of your company.”

[His 61 subtle interpretations of the above stanza and the rules of Sanskrit grammar lexicography and logic appealed to by the Master in support of them, are omitted here in the 2nd edition.]

Listening to these [sixty-one diverse] explanations, Sanátan was filled with wonder, and praised the Great Master, clinging to His feet, “Thou art God incarnate, the darling of Braja’s lord. Thy breath called into being all the Vedas. Thou art the speaker in the Bhágabat, and thou knowest its meaning, which none else can under stand!” The Master objected, “Why praise me? Why not consider the nature of the Bhágabat, which is like Krishna, all-embracing, the refuge of all. Every couplet, nay every letter of it breathes a variety of senses. By means of a dialogue this fact has been established in the Bhágabat itself. (I. i. 23 and iii. 42). These my interpretations of the shloka are like the ravings of a mad man. Who will accept them? If any one be mad like me, he will understand the meaning of the Bhágabat from this [specimen].”

Again did Sanátan with folded palms entreat Him, “Master, thou has bidden me write the sacred code (smriti) of Vaishnavs. I am a man of low caste, ignorant of ceremonial cleanness (áchár). How can smriti be taught by me? If you teach me an outline of it in the form of sutras (aphorisms), if you yourself enter my heart, then the sketch will inspire the mind of a low man like me. Thou art God; whatever thou makest me speak will prove true”. The Master replied, “Whatever you wish to do, Krishna will inspire your mind with [knowledge of it]. I, however, give you a rapid survey of the different points [which you should deal with in compiling the Vaishnav sacred code] (A long list, not translated here). In every case quote as your authority the sayings of the Puráns. When you will write, Krishna will inspire you.” [text, canto 24.] (Source: “Chitanya’s Life and Teachings”)

GF’ Blessings.