Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear to Tread

Jul 3 2006 - Krishna Talk 60

Transcribed from an informal talk at Nabadwip Sri Caitanya Sarasvata Matha on 13th March, 1981.

Radha and Krsna

"Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, preached exclusively this Madhurya-rasa, but with great precaution. What is not that thing, he used perhaps 90% of his energy to point out the negative side - "This is not Madhurya-rasa" - and clear away the negative side. He had to spare, in his words, 'gallons of blood' to establish what is not that Madhurya-rasa."

Question: In Sri Brahma-samhita it is described that Sri Sri Radha and Krsna are seated on a divine throne, and the whorl of the lotus flower upon which They are seated is described as a hexagonal figure. What is the meaning of this hexagonal figure?

Srila Guru Maharaja: I am sorry, but we are not to enter into the discussion of such higher and subtle position of the Lila of Radha-Krsna. That is not to be brought into public, and that is the distinction between the Gaudiya Math and the sahajiya section. The sahajiyas are trying to imitate all this things, but we have no faith in imitation. The higher Lila will come in an individual case, and it will awaken in an irresistible way. When the programme of the sadhana stage is finished it will come automatically, spontaneously. We are believers in that, and not to know the form already and then we will reach there -- that is not the policy accepted by Guru Maharaja, Prabhupada:

pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange

MP3 Recording of Srila Sridhara Maharaja saying this sloka.

Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur also said, "Stick to the rulings of the class you are fit for, then you will see automatically."

yatha yatha gaura-padaravinde
vindeta bhaktim krta-punya-rasih
tatha tathotsarpati hrdy akasmad
(Sri Chaitanya-chandramrta 88)


Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Lotus Feet Strictly stick to Gaura-lila, Mahaprabhu, and you will automatically find within your heart that Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi is flowing. Don't attempt directly to have it. It will come automatically, spontaneously. Not intellectually you shall approach that, for that will give you a bad prejudice. Not only that, but it will be harmful prejudice and you will have to expend more energy to do away with that layer of misunderstanding. So our Srila Prabhupada did not allow this things.

Do your duty in your plane, according to what you deserve, and that will come naturally. That is his instruction all through, not only temporarily, but all through. Don't do like that, for then you will get maya instead of yoga maya.

Srila Prabhupada would be very much disturbed, disturbed if he heard that someone is interfering with the higher Lilas in those books. He did not like it.

Radha and KrsnaHe knows it fully well, She knows it fully well, when you are to be taken into the confidential area, and that cannot be acquired by any other thing but His sweet will - the flow of Her sweet will, or His sweet will. Try to have the natural thing, not any thing of imitation or any reflection. Reflection and shadow, these two kinds of misconception may come there. Reflection is more dangerous.

In Harinam also is has been stated like that. On our way that sort of temptation may come, bu t we must not think that everything will come within the fist of our intellect.


acintyah khalu ye bhava
na tams tarkena yojayet

Which is inconceivable, don't take it under the jurisdiction of reason. When it will be extended to you, you will be astounded only to find a peep into that. Na tams tarkena yojayet : don't try to drag that into the zone of reason. This is autocratic in its nature. It may come in one shape to you, it may go in another shape to another gentleman. It is so expansive and so free in its nature. It is infinite. Rather the Infinite is the base of those pastimes. Always prepare yourself. Hanker. But don't make it an object of your experience.

When Mahaprabhu talked about the higher Lilas it was as if He was in a trance. As if in a trance He gave a description of His wonderful experience of Krsna-lila. Several times we find that sort of deep Lila : the higher Lila of Krsna being related by Mahaprabhu Himself: the Govardhana-lila and the Jalakeli-lila when He jumped unconscious into the ocean and for hours was carried by the waves of the sea to Cakra-tirtha from Swargadwar. The jalakeli of Krsna, he described how it is. Also at Chatak-parvat -- there is no end to His Lila . When His body was transformed like a pumpkin, then also He described a Lila, but the nature of that description was not any book produced thing. It cannot be taken into black and white. It is such a thing. So we receive caution often, that: "Don't try. It will come automatically. Go on with the program that is given by the Sastra and the Guru and it will be. If you have such a possibility of fortune then it will come to you. It is not a natural experience that can be given to this and that. It is not to be tackled in such a way."

yatha yatha gaura-padaravinde

Mahaprabhu at Gambira Engage your full attention in Gaura-lila and that will come automatically within you. From the indirect way it will come to you from the higher domain. When it will be pleased it will come down for some time to give you experience, and you will simply be astonished, "What is this!" Then even when gone, withdrawn, you will have nothing to lament. A living thing. Try to come to get the whole. We cannot make it our object. Such higher thing! Such higher thing.

Even it is very hard to get an ordinary man's conduct with his intimate friends, and so it is with the Lila of the Supreme Lord. How can we dare to enter into that, and especially publicly. It is not possible. Externally we can try to give some description of the outer possibilities, but not the actual thing. We won't venture to enter there.

Question: Can they draw something general, like the lotus flower?

Srila Guru Maharaja: A lotus flower is representing the idea of beauty, softness, and such things. And different petals representing different platforms of rasam. In such a way we can take it -- beauty, softness. No mundane ideas should be drawn there-- only distant similarity. But categorical difference should always be there.

Reading restricted

Even we are not allowed by our Master to read the books where They are described: Govinda-Lilamrtam, even Stava-kusumanjali, even Ujjvala-nilamani. He did not allow us to study and to discuss it. Rather, he would be very much disturbed, disturbed if he heard that someone is interfering with the higher Lilas in those books. He did not like it.

Dusta phala karibe arjjana - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura gives warning that we will get only a bad result if you venture to cross the line, a bad effect will come to you. Aparadha. From the lower position, anartha, the steps are shown. Sraddha, sadhu-sanga, sravan, kirttan, then anartha-nivrtti - the undesirable things will vanish altogether. Then ruci, then asakti, then bhava-bhakti - the sprout of real devotion. Then prema-bhakti, and sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava. By such steps we are to approach there.

" Oh, he has two lives. He is married with Krsna and 'she' has got a child."

Once Prabhupada remarked, though how you will take it I do not know; one gentleman, of course he was a senior, wanted to discuss these things with Prabhupada. He laid much stress on that, and ultimately he left the association of Prabhupada and lived a secluded life. Previously he did much service to the mission, that gentleman. Prabhupada remarked," Oh, he has two lives. He is married with Krsna and she has got a child." Such remark was there that he was a man, but taking himself a Gopi he wanted to culture about the life of the Gopis - intimate connection of Krsna and Gopis. In this way he wanted intensely, but Prabhupada remarked in that way: "Oh, he has turned into a lady, a Gopi, and after coming in contact with Krsna she produced a child!"

Another time the Guru Maharaja of Prabhupada, Srila Gaura Kisora Babaji, was in a hut near the Ganges. Another disciple of Prabhupada, leaving Prabhupada went to imitate Prabhupada's Gurudev, Gaura Kisora Babaji, and constructed a tiny hut nearby and imitated his bhajan, Harinam and the discussion of Narottam Thakura -- all this things -- and observed strict vairagyam in his physical life. Gaura Kisora Babaji remarked one day that only by entering a labor room and imitating some pain of giving a birth to a child, a child will not come by that imitation of the sound. Many important previous events are necessary, then a child will come. Only imitation will not give birth to a child. Such was his remark to that gentleman.

Pure goodness

So, Suddha-sattva, pure goodness, you must come in connection with what is known as Suddha-sattva first. Visuddha-sattva, the nirguna world. Suddha-sattva means nirguna. You must come in connection with nirguna, then only may you try to approach the subtle happenings or events there.

So, not to satisfy curiosity. "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." With this spirit we must approach the whole thing. At the same time we may not be, by God's grace, a disbeliever by considering, "I shall judge the whole thing to the last details then I shall accept what you say."

His attention was always towards the basis, and the fruit will come of itself.

There are many things below, but the charm and reasonableness of the higher plane, that is enough to convince a person to come this side, and these high Lilas should be left high above your head. Very cautiously we are to handle all this Lila, especially Madhurya-lila.

Just the other day I was thinking, about a year after joining the Mission, Prabhupada arranged for the full Karttik month to preach in Vrndavana. He asked the Maharaja, Bharati Maharaja at that time, to explain the Seventh Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam : the story of Prahlada, not the story of Krsna, Radha-Krsna, Yasoda or anything of Vrndavana, but, "Preach suddha-bhakti of Prahlada first. They are ripe in sahajiya. Just try to make them understand that 'Enter the plane of bhakti; what to speak of Krsna lila- that is far, far above'."

So, in Vrndavana the people rather wonder, "What is this? They are explaining Bhagavatam, but leaving the Tenth Canto they are explaining the Seventh Canto, the Prahlad-lila, the lower portion of bhakti. That is wonderful and strange."

Again, I found later on that Srila Prabhupada himself gave a lecture between Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda. There is a boundary line between the two. There he used to explain for a few days. The Upadesamrtam of Srila Rupa Goswami was read by him and explained. He did not explain about Srimati Radharani, nor about Krsna, but about that Upadesamrtam - the basis. His attention was always towards the basis, and the fruit will come of itself: "Poor water onto the root; poor water onto the root, and the fruit will come up itself."

He himself explained this while sitting in the middle between Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda. He explained not only Bhagavatam, but Upadesamrtam, Upadesamrtam is the substance of Mahaprabhu and the language of Rupa Goswami.

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

And the last sloka:

krsnasyocaih pranaya-vasatih preyasibhyo'pi radha
kundam casya munibhir abhitas tadrg eva vyadhayi
yat prestair apy alam asulabham kim punar bhakti-bhajam
tat premedam sakrd api sarah snatur aviskaroti

These topics were explained by Srila Prabhupada and not even anything of Govinda-lilamrtam or Visvanatha Chakravarti's Sri Krsna Bhavanamrta - these things were left. So, our training was in this line.

Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange, that is always upon our head, that the prospect of our life's future, life after life, cannot be finished. We shall rather foster the hope, the pure hope that we may be taken in one day in that camp. With this idea.

Question: Sometimes in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Srila Krsna Das Kaviraj Goswami makes reference to Govinda-lilamrtam, Ujjvala-nilamani and other such confidential selected works. How are we to take that?

Srila Guru Maharaja: There are three chapters of Sri Caitanya Caritamrta that we were generally not allowed to enter into, including the discussions with Ramananda Raya, to a certain extent. Where the Lila portion of Radha-Govinda is mentioned, we had no entrance into that Lila. Of course when parayan (consecutive chanting of the whole book) is going on, we go on reading but without giving any particular attention to the Lila of highest order of raga. That was barred: "Don't try to come into details there. That will come automatically when the time will be. Do not make it a discussion of the public. Do not take it in the public eye."

So much so that the following incident happened in Vrndavana. Prabhupada had a friend there from his childhood, an attorney, who came to see him, so Prabhupada went to give a return visit to this friend from his boyhood. Sripad Paramahamsa Maharaja was with Prabhupada and they went to give the return visit. They were told, "He is upstairs." They went there and saw that a Goswami was explaining the Rasa-lila section of Srimad Bhagavatam. Prabhupada just bowed down his head and came away. Immediately he came away. Then his friend also came down, leaving that Rasa-lila discussion, and said, "Yes, the Rasa-lila explanation is going on, but you did not take your seat at all. You just bowed down your head and came down. What is the matter?"

Srila Prabhupada replied, "Our Guru's order is such that, 'If you attend Rasa-lila explanation you will commit offense'. That will be offense to attend Rasa-lila explanation, so I had to come back. This is my Guru's order. To attend Rasa-lila explanation is aparadha. "

Gurudev's will

So, for us, such strict behavior he has shown. And we also do that, especially myself. At so many other places they show the Rasa-lila with dolls, but I never do that. Following what is true to my understanding of my Gurudev's will and his words, I do not make any show of Jhulana-lila or Rasa-lila or anything of that type. I find in my heart that this is not desirable of my Guru Maharaja. But in so many Maths I see at present, I hear also, that they are doing that, but I strictly abstain from that sort of showing. The Jhulana-lila, the Rasa-lila. That is too high for us, I considered. I must be true to my hearing of the words of my Gurudev if I want my realization and not any position: the position of some sort of popularity. To attract people by such show, and to make money, or to make a favorable field for preaching, they may do like that, but I do not do. I do not want popularity nor any position of a higher Acarya. I am a student.

Still I am a student. I consider myself to be student. A faithful student. What I heard from my Gurudev, I try my best to stick there, to keep my position there as I heard from him. I do not want to mutilate that in any way to suit to my purpose. I try not to do that. Of course for big propaganda they may take different ways as they think. They are now free. But I am not a member to do so -- to go on in such way. I try.

Reckoned sincere

When Prabhupada offered me to go to the West, I replied simply that I did not consider myself fit to go to the West, "I will not be able to show success there." I mentioned two defects. Then some sannyasins showed much reverence to me, "What is this? So many persons wish this opportunity. You are prepared to lose this chance? You neglect to take advantage of such a position, that you will be a world preacher. Do you have no hankering for that?"

I replied, "Yes, Maharaja, I have no hankering to have such a position. My only humble ambition is that I may be reckoned as a sincere devotee of Mahaprabhu, Sri Caitanya Dev. No other ambition I have in my mind such as to become a world preacher and so on. "

Crave for mercy

In my nature I am such. I want truth, and hope and crave for the mercy of the Vaisnavas and you all, that I may not have that ambition, but to be the humblest, the most humble servant of the Lord, that I may not be misguided.

I may engage myself in the lowest form of service. Tad dasa-dasa-dasanam dasatvam dehi prabho. My faith may be so firm and may be of such quality that the least offer of His service, of Divine Service, may satisfy me. I may not get the chance there in the higher officer class. With my lowest connection with the Divinity I may go on satisfied with my life.

Mahaprabhu says, "Just consider myself a speck of dust at Your feet, Krsna."

ayi nanda tanuja kinkaram
patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-
sthita-dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya

O Nandanandana, son of King Nanda, although I am Your eternal servitor, I have fallen into the terrible ocean of material existence due to the fructification of my own deeds (karma). Please graciously consider me to be a particle of dust at Your lotus feet.

That may be our guidance, "Consider me to be one of the specks of dust that are at Your feet." That is too much! Our faith should come to such a grade in quality that we may be satisfied to become a speck of dust at His feet. Then by His sweet will, anything may happen. But our humble aim should be to have even the least connection of the Divinity real. Not a concocted Krsna.

pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange

Very sweet. The raga-patha is on the head. We are servants of the raga-patha. We are in viddhi-marga, under sastric rule. We must live and move under sastric rule, and always keep the raga-patha upon our head.

Greatly perturbed

Once an incident happened while our Srila Prabhupada was at Radha Kunda. A panda in his talk made a side remark that, "We are brahmins in Vraja. We can bless Raghunatha Das Goswami." Prabhupada was perturbed by such a haughty remark, "Das Goswami is our highest Acarya in our camp, in the Gaudiya Camp. And that fellow, he says that he is able to bless Das Goswami, and I am to hear that?" He stopped taking food, and remarked, "If I was an ordinary babaji I would not care. I would leave the place. But I am running with a motor car here as an Acarya. I have responsibility. I am moving here in the pose of an Acarya that I shall protect the Sampradaya. I shall brush the dust of undesirability from the Sampradaya. How can I tolerate such a remark against my Guru?"

He left his food: "Until any pratikar (any suitable objection and correction, cure) is given to me, I won't take any food. I cannot take any food."

This is reality

I think I did something to give vent to the feeling of my Gurudev today! I did something today to clarify his position.

Pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange - this is enough. Tad dasa-dasa-dasanam dasatvam dehi prabho... This is not figurative thing, this is not mere poetry, Mahaprabhu says:

naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
naham varni na ca grha-patir no vana-stho yatir va
kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher
gopi-bharttuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah

I am not a priest, a king, a merchant, or a laborer (brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra ); nor am I a student, a householder, a retired householder, or a mendicant (brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, sannyasi ). I identify myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, the Lord of the Gopis, who is the personification of the fully expanded (eternally self-revealing) nectarean ocean that brims with the totality of Divine Ecstasy.

This is not only an ornamental thing. It is reality. This is reality. To feel ourselves to be actually mean is really to become eligible for the higher service. So much selflessness, so much self abnegation is necessary for a unit here of the lowest order to enter into that domain. So much self abnegation is necessary, then we can come into that plane. There is a plane of undercurrent, an undercurrent plane. and if we really want to contact with that, we shall have to be such finest of the fine in us, and with no demand. In this negative way we are to transform ourselves, then we can have a touch of that plane where we can come.

The least tinge of exploiting, any speck of the ambitions life, will not take us there - that is another thing: pratistha. Pratistha is self-establishing, to be stable, to be immortal, to be invincible - it is not self giving, but it is the self-establishing tendency: "I must stay. I must live." But, if necessary I must die for the interest of Krsna.

marobi rakhobi - yo iccha tohara
nitya-dasa prati tuwa adhikara

"Slay me or protect me as You wish, for You are the master of Your eternal servant."

A suicidal soldier! For the cause of the country, if necessary I must die. I must efface myself. I may be effaced. If it is necessary my very existence may be effaced for the satisfaction of Krsna. "My very existence may be effaced if it is necessary." Such temperament, such selflessness, of such degree is necessary to find that plane. So much subtleness.

Let us be blessed by Prabhupada Srila Sarasvati Thakura. All glory to Guru and Gauranga. All glory to Guru and Gauranga!

Seeing the Treasury

(To the devotees gathered there...)

You are helping me to take out from my inner heart so many beautiful and so many valuable things. It is through your help that these old memories are coming again fresh to me. I am forced to take out those things of the inner nature of my previous life which I got from my Gurudev as wealth. Again I have the chance of seeing that treasury. I am given the opportunity by this recapitulation of what I heard from the divine feet of Gurudev.

This is our education, what I got from the divine feet of Gurudev. I just sincerely put it to you all. It is such.

pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange

He instructed that we must not go to live in Radha Kunda. One day near Lalita Kunda, the Swananda Sukhanda Kunja is there, and there is a single-story building. He said, "A second story is necessary, but I will not be able to live there."

I asked, "If you will not live on the first floor, who will live there? What is the necessity of further construction?"

"No. You don't know. Better persons will live there: Bhaktivinod Thakura, Gaura Kisora Babaji Maharaja. They will live there, and we shall stay on the ground floor and we shall serve them."

Again he said, "I shall live in Govardhana. Radha Kunda is the highest place: the place of our Guru Maharaja, our Gurudeva's. They will live here in closer connection with Lila, but we are not fit to live there. We shall live in Govardhana, just a little far away. Because we shall have to come and serve our Gurudev, we must be near, but we must not live in closer connection with them. We are not fit."

pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange

The whole tenor of his life was such: "That is high, high. And from below we are to honor that. " We are to establish in the whole world this sort of posing: the proper regard of that higher Lila: "That is too high."

One day in Allahabad - perhaps it was that very year Sripad Swami Maharaja was initiated - while speaking in a park Srila Sarasvati Prabhupada said, "I am out to give a challenge to fight with any person to show that the highest position is occupied by my Gurudev, by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura and by Mahaprabhu. Let anyone come to fight with me to decide. I am ready. I am ready to give that challenge to anyone and everyone. Let them come to fight with me. I am ready to establish the throne in the highest place - my Gurudev."

pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange

"Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, preached exclusively this Madhurya-rasa, but with great precaution. What is not that thing, he used perhaps 90% of his energy to point out the negative side - "This is not Madhurya-rasa" - and clear away the negative side. He had to spare, in his words, 'gallons of blood' to establish what is not that Madhurya-rasa."

Go to book "Our Affectionate Guardian" chapter five