Follow the Angels - Srila B.R. Sridhara Deva GoswamiAbout the Author

Follow the Angels – The Path of Dedication

Part 1 – The Kṛṣṇa Conception

The grand tone, the divine tone, the call comes from the higher quarter, the divine quarter: “Awake, arise! Search for your fortune!” And you cannot but have that; it is your birthright, it is the wealth of your own soul. It is there, the relationship with the Highest Divinity. It cannot but be within you! You are His creature; you exist in His connection and relationship. You must have some connection within you. Don’t be afraid of your present position; don’t be disappointed. In this way, you are to preach to the world at large. “All come! You want rasam ānandam, the mellow of delight, the differentiated personification of Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana, and that is very magnanimously distributed in Navadvīpa, the birthplace of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.”

The Kṛṣṇa conscious conception is the highest conception – the Absolute good, the Absolute beauty, the Absolute auto­crat, the Infinite. Vaikuṇṭha in its fullest conception is Goloka. Vaikuṇṭha has no kuṇṭha, that is, no limitation. That is Vaikuṇṭha, the conception of the Infinite. When it is consonant with the Kṛṣṇa conscious conception, it is considered the highest goal, the Absolute, the autocrat, and the beauty. The good, the beautiful, raso vai saḥ. Akhila rasāmṛta mūrti. All conceptions of rasa are harmonized. The Kṛṣṇa conception of the Absolute harmonizes different varieties of rasa. Raso vai saḥ. Akhila rasāmṛta mūrti. That is not intelligible by our present senses.

In the Vṛndāvana proposal, the Infinite is closest to the finite: aprākṛta. Aprākṛta is where the Infinite has come nearest to the finite beings, as though one of them. When He is so close, so near, no one can easily recognize whether He is infinite or not. Mahāprabhu has suggested to us, “Try for your fortune in Vṛndāvana. There is such a wonderful process: Nanda and Yaśodā, Kṛṣṇa’s father and mother, have captured the Absolute and He is crawling in their compound (ahaṁ iha nandaṁ vande yasyālinde paraṁ brahma). Try to secure a position there, however negligible it may be. Try your fortune.” We are in search of such a fortune, where all other proposals are eliminated.

kaṁ prati kathayitum īśe samprati ko vā pratītim āyātu
go-pati-tanayā-kuñje gopa-vadhūṭī-viṭaṁ brahma

To whom can I tell it, and who will believe it, that the Supreme Absolute, Param Brahman, the paramour of the damsels of Vraja, is enjoying in the groves on the banks of the Yamunā? (Padyāvalī 98)

It is inconceivable that the Brahman, the greatest, the Absolute, has come to search for the least love of the gopī damsels of the cowherd class. He has approached in such a near and close way, and in such an ordinary, rural style. Try your fortune there. We are out to do just that, under the guidance of Śrī Caitanyadeva, Who is understood to be the combination of the positive and negative aspects of the Absolute. The positive is busy distributing Himself to others. Mahāprabhu is that infinitely and inconceivably generous aspect of the Supreme. Śrī Caitanyadeva is both Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa combined. He is Kṛṣṇa in the mood of Rādhā, searching for Himself. He is both the positive and the negative aspects of the Absolute.

The Śaṅkara school and other impersonalists claim that when the positive and negative combine, the result is a kind of equilibrium. But according to the Vaiṣṇava philosophy, the combination is dynamic. His nature becomes that of searching for Himself – searching for His own positive self, in the mood of the negative. In that search, He distributes Himself to others. The negative attracts the positive, and the positive is thus distributed to the public. This is the essence of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The intimate associates of the Lord have revealed such a conception, and we shall be able to conceive it according to the intensity and degree of our faith.

Necessity of a Real Agent

A real agent of Kṛṣṇa is necessary to save us, and also to help others. Hegel, the German philosopher, said that the idea is first, then the movements of the mind and body follow. His philosophy is called Ideal Realism. First we conceive of doing something, and then the movements of the mind and the body begin, so the idea leads us. The idea is all-important. Whatever idea we may follow, then the mind, the body, everything will follow.

Divya-darśana, divyānbhūti – a divine arrangement must be made, and we must have the help of the sādhus, the saints, who are His bona-fide agents. There may be many sham agents also – pseudo agents, Sahajiyā agents, imitationists. We must go to the real agent. And with his help, by his grace, we will gradually attain our end. 

naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
spṛśaty anarthāpagamāyād arthaḥ
mahīyasāṁ pāda rajo’bhiṣekaṁ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat
(Bhāg.7.5.32)

Prahlāda Mahārāja said: “So long as one’s mind does not come in contact with the divine feet of the Lord, it is indispensable to get the help of His devotees, His agents, for the elimination of the undesirable elements within us.”

Our divine life does not really begin as long as we do not come to the feet of the real master. There it begins – our real progress, real life. Our real advancement towards divinity begins when we get recognition from the agent of the Lord. Some might say, “This is a monopoly, and an autocratic system. God is for everyone, why should some mediator be necessary at all? He is open to all – He knows us all. If we only desire Him sincerely, He will come directly.”

By Published On: September 22, 2022
Follow the Angels - Srila B.R. Sridhara Deva GoswamiAbout the Author
Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī appeared in this world in the village of Hapaniya, West Bengal, in 1895 within a high class Bhaṭṭācārya brāhmaṇa family. After studying philosophy at Krishnanath College in Berhampore, he met his guru, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, and accepted initiation from him in 1926 and sannyāsa in 1930. In 1942 he founded the Śrī Caitanya Sārasvata Maṭha and remained there till his departure in 1988. He was recognised by his godbrothers for his dispassionate nature and common sense, as well as for his superlative Sanskrit compositions and profound philosophical insights.