virajara pare suddha paravyoma-dhama,
tad upari sri gokula vrindiranya nama. 
cinmaya apurvva darasana,
tahi majhe camatkara, krishna vanaspati-sara,
nilamani tamala yemana. 
tahe eka svarnamayi, lata sarvva-dhama-jayi,
uthiyache parama pavani,
hladini-saktir sara, 'mahabhava' nama yara,
"Beyond Viraja river is the Holy Dham Vaikuntha,
above that is Sri Gokula, known as Vrindaranya.
Vrndavana, jewel of our hearts, Mine of Divine Gems,
what a joy to see that Holy Beauty!
In the middle a miracle, Dark Lord of forest trees,
appearing like a sapphire Tamal.
And there is a golden Vine, Queen of all the Dham,
appearing, She's supremely gracious;
She's the joy of Ecstasy - 'Mahabhava' is Her Name,
as She charms the Charmer of the world."
hladinira sara 'prema', premasara 'bhava'
bhavera paramakastha, nama 'mahabhava'
C.c. Adi 4/68,69
"The essence of Ecstasy is Love; the essence of Love is Heart; and the Acme of Heart is called 'Mahabhava.' And the Personality of Mahabhava is our Queen Sri Radha Thakurani. She is the Mine of all Good, She is the jewel of Krishna's Beloved."
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami Prabhu composed these great things. We are not actually in the practice of reading them constantly, but I have heard such things from Guru Maharaj. These matters are very elevated for us. But there is our goal, and She is actually our Guru, as our Divine Mistress. Her Form is being described here.
Although these are very high matters it is necessary for us to remember them from time to time. We have our future prospect, and that is very high. Srila Kaviraj Goswami has quoted in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita:
kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukritair na labhyate
Real Devotion to Krishna is very rarely attained. If you see that type of Devotion anywhere, purchase it with your hankering, your laulyam. Only your hankering can give you your share of that property. That is the only price for that, otherwise you cannot achieve it after even billions of lifetimes of merits. So hunger is necessary for that; and hunger will come if you make your stomach empty first. First take some purgative and cleanse yourself. Then gradually hunger will come.
This cleansing means sadhu-sanga. Through devotional association you will get everything. Those who have heard about Devahuti, the mother of the Lord when He appeared as Kapiladev, may know about this story:
Devahuti was asking Kapiladev, "My son, I know that You are Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but how shall I reach You? The munis, risis and yogis have so many processes, but I have no capacity to follow them. My body is a woman's body, and a woman has no right to practise in the Vedic scriptural way. Then tell me, my son, how shall I get Devotion to Your Lotus Feet?"
Kapiladev said, "Don't worry, it is very easy. It is not necessary to read many books, perform yajna or fire sacrifice, etc. Nothing like this is necessary for you. I am telling you only one point and you are to follow this:
satam prasangan mama viryya-samvido
bhavanti hrit-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha-ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
"By the association of the sadhus, talks revealing My Super-Glories take place. Those talks are nectar to the pure ear and heart. Continue affectionately in this way, and rapidly you will gain first faith in Myself who am the way to purification of all evils. Then heart's Devotion and finally Divine Love or Prema-bhakti will graciously appear within your heart."
"Mother, associate with the sadhus and follow their directives. Then you will understand everything. Why? The sadhus are always trying to satisfy Me; and you can see how they satisfy Me by having their association. If they are affectionate to you, they will give that consciousness to you and you will easily get My Grace. This is the only way. Whoever follows it reaches Me very quickly; and this is also My direct advice in the Scriptures."
In the eleventh canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam we find a sloka:
ye vai bhagavata prokta upaya hy atma-labdhaye
anjah pumsam avidusam viddhi bhagavatan hi tan
"The ways for even the ignorant to reach Him have been told by the Supreme Lord; know those ways to be Bhagavata-dharmma."
If Bhagavan says, "I like fried potato" and I give Him fried potato He will be satisfied. It is not necessary to think out what will satisfy Him if He tells us what He likes. So this is the directive of Bhagavan, the Supreme Lord. He is telling you what to do - do this, do that. This is Bhagavata-dharmma.
So Kapiladev was saying, "Bhagavata-dharmma is what is practised by the real sadhu. You follow that. You need the association of sadhu and this is My final advice to you, mother. That is, satam prasangan mama viryya-samvido, bhavanti hrit-karna-rasayanah kathah - they are hearing about Me - sravanam; they are glorifying Me - kirttanam; they are remembering Me - smaranam. Sravanam kirttanam visnoh smaranam. They are trying to serve Me in every way possible. Also padasevanam arccanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam - serving My Feet, prayer, servitorship, friendship and self-surrender. They are offering everything to Me. They try to do everything with My association. If you associate with such sadhus then you must also do that. There is no other work there in their association. So you must be benefitted if you take advice from the sadhu and follow the sadhu's character."
This is the first and last advice, and very simple advice, of Bhagavan Kapiladev. And in the eleventh canto the Lord Himself also defines Bhagavata-dharmma. So what is followed by the Vaisnava and written in the Srimad-Bhagavatam is Bhagavat-dharmma. Then in the next verse we find:
yan asthaya naro rajan na pramadyeta karhicit
dhavan nimilya va netre na skhalen na pated iha
If you take that path you have no fear from anywhere. Just run - whether your eyes are open are closed it doesn't make any difference, you won't fall down. We cannot guess from here how much joy and ecstasy is there, how much happiness and enjoyment. We are trying to guess but we can't because our puppy brains can't conceive it.
Everything is explained in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu by Srila Rupa Goswami; that is called the Science of Devotion. There, Srila Rupa Goswami has said,
vyatitya bhavanavartma yas camatkara-bharabhuh
hridi sattvojjvale badam svadate saraso matah
What can we guess about that plane? It is living. The slightest idea of that Ecstasy you cannot guess with your puppy brain. What can you think? You can try to imagine how great the sky is, but how will you imagine it? In your estimation only two kilometres or two miles is great. But your brain can think "yes, the same sky is in America and in India" so some kind of broader conception is possible. Still even that is less than a mustard seed. 'One mustard seed' means fourteen worlds, up and down. All those planes together are called one brahmanda or universe, and that is like no more than a mustard seed in the presence of the Divinity. Then how much can you guess?
If you can surpass the ideas of your entire consciousness then perhaps you can consider what kind of wonder that Ecstasy is. Our brains are always agitating this way and that trying to understand, but we cannot guess what kind of wonder that is, but it is. And the sages and seers - the munis and risis - they feel for us, and for our benefit they have compiled the Sastra to guide us; especially Srila Vedavyasa.
So it is not helpful to try to understand this with our tiny brains. Only when that Ecstasy will come and conquer our hearts can we feel it. And we must wait for that, not try for it. This is the way to taste it. When He will come my heart will be fulfilled within a second. That is the Ecstasy, the essence given in the Perfect Philosophy of Vedanta.
raso vai sah, rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati
If you want that Ecstasy you can try to worship that Plane. Then you will get it by the mercy of the real Associates of Krishna. And that is the main thing. But there's no need to be hopeless; much hope is here, especially in this Kali yuga. Mahaprabhu said harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam - chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra without offence and you will get everything.
(Originally published in "Divine Message for the Devotees". Unedited by Sri Guru Vandana.)
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The revised edition of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute is now available for purchase through the Shri Chaitanya Saraswat Bookstore (September 22nd).
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