Thursday, August 17, 2006

Nitya-vihara and Achintya-bhedabheda

Those of you who follow this blog might wonder why there is so little activity. The fact is that I have started working, from morning to night,divā cārthehayā rājan, kuṭumbhābharaṇena vā.

I have said in the past that the monastic or eremetic lifestyle is really for those who have strong self-discipline. Those who do not have discipline ultimately have it imposed on them from outside. This is what is happening to me.

In a way, I am not unhappy, though I said to my wife that I did not find any fulfilment, nor did I expect to find fulfilment in the work I am doing. I do it, it is not strenuous. Indeed, I got a laugh today as I did a lengthy session of envelope stuffing--so it has come to this...

But I get an hour in the bus going and another hour coming. I chant. I am eating less and better. I am not less Krishna conscious, just less productive. I have these few hours left at the end of the day, when I am tired and dull, and I have to think, what project will I work on? Now that time is no longer available, what can I do about the Grantha Mandir, which is sitting there with hundreds of documents that need correcting or updating or adding.

I am correcting Bhagiratha Jha's commentary to the Gopala Tapani in the hope of completing my edition eventually. Since I am working on the section in Uttara Tapani where Durvasa tells Gandharvi that "Krishna is verily your husband" I have been reading Bhagiratha's lengthy refutation of parakiya rasa, which is even more elaborately expressed in the second chapter of Vrindavana-rasa-samiksha.

This evening I got back from work and was lying down listening to Prahlada's soothing album "Love Divine", which is really a homage to Nitai Gauranga. It made me realize just how different Gaudiyas are from the Nimbarkis. Bhagiratha just does not get separation. At one point he even says that the Gaudiyas concept of Radharani is inferior to even Durga because Durga can experience all of Krishna's lilas, whereas Radha is stuck in her particular lila and unaware of anything else! He is very expert in refuting all the arguments with scriptural quotations, and he says of Rupa Goswami, admiringly I think, but sadly, that one should not listen to devotees whose siddhanta opposes the scriptures.

Other aspects of Bhagiratha's disagreements lie in the concept of Yogamaya. He refuses to accept that yogamāyām upāśritaḥ means that Krishna subjects himself to the Yogamaya potency in order to experience another kind of joy. He says, "No one wants separation any more than anyone wants poverty."

The Nimbarkis, like most Vrindavan Vaishnavas, are worshipers of the nitya-vihāra. Krishna is Kunjabihari and he not only does not leave the Braj, he never leaves the kunja. Basically, there is a place in the cosmos where Radha and Krishna are making love without any respite for eternity. And there is a place where Radha and Krishna are conscious of their countless expansions and their infinite activities of creation, destruction and maintenance of the unlimited universes.

But those who have been blessed by Gauranga and washed in his tears, understand that the entire creation is built on a base of binaries, including not only Male and Female, but also union and separation. Just being is not enough, not even for God. Therefore God becomes. Becoming means that there has to be an unknown, even for the all-knowing, there has to be lack, even for the one who lacks or wants for nothing, there has to be obstacles even for the one who creates and destroys everything.

In fact, we really have to understand the deeper realms of acintya-bhedābheda here. Gaudiya Vaishnavas are not theists in the way that Muslims, Jews or Christians are. Vaishnavism was born in the land of the Upanishads, Buddha and Shankara. It is steeped in the concept of Oneness, ekam evādvitīyam, tat tvam asi. We are all a part of that Unity. The Creator God, Brahma, was long ago relegated to a secondary role, even though in early scriptures he is "brahma." The heavenly gods are relegated to mere big jivas. Who is this Krishna? Is he Jahweh or Allah, lording it over a world he creates out of nothing, ex nihilo?

In the Upanishadic concept, God is all things. He is the whole, and yet a part, and yet again he stands apart. Om pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idam.

So old Bhagiratha Jha does not understand the Yogamaya concept, in which God sacrifices his divinity, not for any other purpose than to experience finitude. Of course, Radha and Krishna ARE in the kunja all day and all night for all eternity. But sometimes they have to separate themselves from all that in order to appreciate it, at least in one, superlative manifestation somewhere.

Rasa is not rasa without amazement. How can anyone, even God, enjoy without becoming amazed? So could Bhagiratha Jha write a verse like this one--

aparikalita-pūrvaḥ kaś camatkāra-kārī
sphurati mama garīyān eṣa mādhurya-pūraḥ
ayam aham api hanta prekṣya yaṁ lubdha-cetāḥ
sarabhasam upabhoktuṁ kāmaye rādhikeva
What is this amazing form that springs before me, so deep and full of sweetness!
Never before have I seen anything like it, so wondrously does it amaze me.
Seeing it has suddenly fill my mind with desire to enjoy, just like Radha does. (Lalita-mādhava 8.34)
This is called mādhurya.

Of course no one wants misery or separation. But Sanatan Goswami must have had some crazy realization when he puts these words into Krishna's mouth in Dvaraka--

tathāpi sambhoga-rasād api stutaḥ
sa ko'py anirvācyatamo manoramaḥ
pramoda-rāśiḥ pariṇāmato dhruvaṁ
tatra sphuret tad-rasikaika-vedyaḥ
Even so, more praiseworthy than even the joy of union is separation, which is beyond explanation, full of charm. It ultimately transforms most assuredly into an abundance of joy. Only those who have relished this rasa can understand such matters. (Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta 1.7.126)

That first part of the Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta is a real eye-opener as it builds to this conclusion.

So, I who am so easily detoured, will make yet another detour, into chapters 46 and 47 of the Tenth Canto. I have to type these out for the Grantha Mandira eventually, but there is someone out there for whom I want to do this.

Everything is of course connected. Especially here, where all these millions of thoughts are flowing through my brain all day long, and yet they all come back to this eternal duel between oneness and difference. Yes, we are separated from God, and yet how can that be? He is as close to us, as Muhammad once said, as our jugular vein. Krishna's message, transported by Uddhava, is this--

bhavatīnāṁ viyogo me na hi sarvātmanā kvacit
yathā bhūtāni bhūteṣu khaṁ vāyv-agnir jalaṁ mahī
tathāhaṁ sa manaḥ prāṇa-bhūtendriya-guṇāśrayaḥ

Ah! No wonder the gopis were so angry with Krishna for his arrogant messages! How could he tell them to wait! How could he tell them that he was always present with them in some other divine brahmic manifestation, or in some other nitya-vihāra kuñja when they KNEW he was far away in Dvaraka. Even his sphūrtis, which he said were real--those visions in dreams and hallucination when they felt Krishna in their arms--were not enough. They only added to this suffering. I cannot explain this suffering--it is tad-rasikaika-vedyah.

When Krishna takes off in the rasa dance, on one level he knows what he is doing, on another he is helplessly in the thrall of Radharani. Call it Krishna, call it Yogamaya, call it lila, whatever. It is divine grace that throws us into the misery of separation, where we cannot think of anything else, just like the poor man who wins the lottery and then loses his ticket. He cannot think of anything else. Total absorption.

And he himself had to make excuses--I cannot help it, my dears, there are a few more demons to kill! I just have to satisfy Vasudeva and Devaki and the rest of my relatives. This duty, that duty--what about your duty to our love, Krishna! Don't you have anything to say about that?

And then, does he come back? For Jiva Goswami in the Gopāla-campū, he comes back. But in the Bhāgavatam, it is not so clear. Does he come back? Friedhelm Hardy starts his book on viraha bhakti with Forster's Godbole, singing "Come, come." But when asked by the Englishman, "Does he ever come?" the interestingly named Godbole says, "No, he never comes." He never comes, because he has always been there.

Try to stop thinking of Krishna. Bilvamangal challenges Krishna to get out of his heart. It's no big deal for you to throw down my hand and disappear from me. I am old and blind, after all. But you just try to get out of this prison where I have you locked up. Who is the doer here? Is it Bilvamangala, or is it Krishna, or is it some other force?

Krishna is God because he is rasa, raso vai saḥ. He is paramānanda, supreme bliss. He is paired with the supreme joy, his divine partner Radha, whose expansion is Yogamaya, to whom she also submits so that she will become angry with Krishna, even though he is never really unfaithful to her--how can he be when every woman is just a fragmentary part of Radha? Who can understand these things? Their inexplicability makes them a source of joy.

Does anyone understand what God really is? He is infinite in his wonder. But this little corner of God's infinite wonders is what has been given to us by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The Christians understood a little bit when their God died on the cross and they insisted, against all the naysayers and philosophers, that it was indeed God, who had indeed become man, and had indeed experienced the cruelty of the crucifixion. And though he rose from the dead, it was his dying that was the real miracle. This too is a glimpse of rasa. What Christians call mystery, and what we call acintya.

And just one footnote--more acintya-bhedābheda. The lilas of Krishna and those of human beings are intertwined, like two colors of thread bundled together in one big, tangled ball.

6 comments:

anuradha said...

Dear Jagadananda,

I am reading your articles for quite a while now with interest.

A few people are happy now, since you came out of the closet. They can give you a place within their frame of thinking and throw you away, so they don't have to think about you anymore.

Since you are always on a platform and you write not only for yourself, since I assume you want to be read, I feel I can take the liberty to place a comment.

First of all, I am not a scholar, learned person, nor is English my native tongue. So my linguistic capabilities are very limited compared to yours.
But I am a great admirerer of Free Thinkers. And I appreciate some of the Service you did to help spreading Free Thought. You dare to publicly ask yourself questions that are usually taboe within certain circles and you are beyond any sectarian concern.
Yet, like many others, I sometimes read your articles and was than left with ambivalent feelings. Is this guy really meaning what he writes ? Is he in a spiritual puberty, breaking with everthing to find a new truth ? Is he a man of Free Thought ?
Sometimes it is better to walk back and review what's going in your life. Evaluate and be silent for a while. Is my Quest just spiritual or do I have issues with my self-esteem as well. Am I frustrated with the sadhana I learned from previous teachers, because their sadhana was wrong ? Or.... because I failed to perform their sadhana, as they lovingly taught me ?
Like the mind, intellectual capacity can be your best friend or worst enemy, depending on who's pulling the strings. Instead of praying for mercy, crying and lamenting our weakheartedness, our complex intellectual mind just alters the reality to save our self-esteem (ahankar) and make us feel a little better about ourselves.
To get to the core issue....... It's all about SEX. Or better.... sexual frustration.
Of course there is not many real celibates around these days and one can question wether it is healthy or natural to deny one's sexuality, because from denial perversion can arise. Just look at all the scandals concerning Catholic priests and so on. Another consequence can be hypocrisy.
So I can follow you until there.
But it remains so, that this is our frustration with the material world. It doesn't change the fact, that if we are sincere in our efforts to please the Lord, we will be able to overcome all worldliness. Our shortcomings shouldn't be projected on The Divine Private Life of the Lord. Although 50 years is a long time, in the face of eternity we are still at the beginning of our Quests.
So my humble advice to you, my friend, is....
Embrace the Free Thinkers like Sridar Maharaja, the Soft Hearted like BP Puri Maharaja and your other previous teachers. And your very first teacher said something really relevant to all and especially you
CHANT AND BE HAPPY !

Keep it simply.

Yours,

Lovingly and supportingly

Jagat said...

Dear Anuradha,

Thank you very much for your comment. Though I have decided to suspend publishing blogs for the time being, I felt I had to answer you here, as a matter of politeness.

It is too bad that in all the times we have met, we have never had the chance to discuss any of these things. I never had any idea that you had read anything of mine. It would no doubt have been easier for you to make your considerations clearer in person, even though writing also has its advantages. And, of course, if you feel that by expressing yourself in French, you would be able to make yourself clearer, I have no problem with that.

I am not sure exactly what you are refering to when you ask if I really believe what I write. I do not consider myself a completely free thinker, i.e. someone "qui, en matière religieuse , ne se fie qu'à la raison, qui ne veut être influencé par aucun dogme établi." In fact, my approach is much more traditional than that.

The complete human being has not only a heart, but a head and a body--in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, we believe in a spiritual body, and even that the so-called material body is spiritualized by engaging in devotional service. This means that even though bhakti is the center of all the yogas, reason and the senses must be engaged in the service of bhakti. I always remember that prema is the prayojan, no matter how far short of the goal I fall.

So I am a bhakta before being an intellectual, and I am only using reason in the service of understanding the message that has come to me through my experience of devotional practice and through my study of the devotional scriptures, especially the insights of Sri Rupa Goswami. I consider myself the unalloyed follower of Sri Chaitanya and the six Goswamis.

Now considering what I have to say about sexuality, that may seem odd, since we have seemingly incontrovertible proof that there is absolutely no place for sexuality in the bhakti path, or indeed any yogic path whatsoever.

I feel that this is a misunderstanding. I do not deny that the approach to bhakti that renounces all sexual practice is a legitimate one, but I simply don't think that it is the natural path. Nor do I think that sexuality has to be renounced (or sublimated) in order to achieve perfection in devotion. In fact, I believe that it is far more natural or easier (sahaja) to engage in devotional practice with a partner of the opposite sex, using the natural love that exists between the sexes as an engine for devotional experience. The only real consideration is that both partners be committed sadhakas. This means that the misogyny that is the natural tendency of celibate-dominated paths is completely rejected. The symbol of the Divine Couple and the honor given to the divine feminine in Srimati Radharani must be given a functioning role, nay a place of honor, in the everyday practices and attitudes of aspirants to prema-bhakti.

Because I happen to have a little knowledge of Freud and Jung (and others), and happen to find that their theories, each in their own way, add credence to my understanding, I sometimes quote them. However, the principal source of my inspiration is always the Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, and the theologies that have been developed around them, especially that of Srila Rupa Goswami. However, all the Vraja-based Vaishnava sampradayas have a generally similar point of view and I do not mind hearing what they have to say.

I am thus not in some kind of "spiritual puberty" where my only motivation is to "montrer le doigt à l'autorité." The positions I have taken are the fruit of a long and arduous engagement with this path, to which I have been completely committed for 36 years now. As such, I am eternally grateful to all my gurus and all the Vaishnavas, of all sampradayas, and I offer them my humblest respects again and again, begging them to be merciful to me and not to reject me because I have some ideas that appear different from theirs and radical to the orthodoxy.

In our Western society we have a great deal of hand-wringing about sexuality. The extremes of complete liberty and complete renunciation are both complete failures, in my opinion. Sahajiyaism is often misunderstood as some kind of libertinism. It is not. It is a sadhana that must be practised with great care. Like all spiritual paths, it is full of pitfalls and dangers--kSurasya dhArA, as the Upanishad says. It is, however, extremely powerful and fully complementary to the other devotional practices of sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, vandanam, etc.

My current situation makes it difficult for me to speak about these things without compromising myself further. God challenges us at all times, and sometimes it is difficult to meet that challenge. Strangely enough, religion can be a bigger challenge than irreligion when cultivating the path of prema. Raghunath Das says, na dharmaM nAdharmaM zruti-gaNa-niruktaM kila kuru. This is why I pray for the mercy of the Lord, the guru and the devotees, to help me do the right thing, for their sake.

I greatly appreciate your kind well wishes. I beg to remain your humble servant,

Jagadananda Das.

Jagat said...

I have to add some things about my personal situation: Perhaps because I have ambitions to be a teacher that I have decided to be a little more open about my personal situation than is customary. Some people take this to be exhibitionism, just like so many other bloggers out there who seem to have a curious need to expose themselves in public. Others see it as a kind of deep-seated need for approval and psychological sustenance. Some others even see a trace of the Don Juan complex—a kind of trawling for susceptible women to seduce. Whatever subtle truth there may be in these analyses, from my point of view, I do this as a kind of personal safety net. If I am to be a teacher, I will not acquiesce to any kind of hypocritical hagiography. I do not think that this will reduce my true value.

In fact, I have a fundamental philosophical objection to the kind of hagiography that takes the spiritual master to be an eternally perfect icon flown in from the spiritual world, in other words, a spiritual master as something other than human. I do not believe that the guru comes in two dimensions only. The guru must be human for bhakti sadhana to have any meaning.

The reason for this is that in the dichotomy of being and becoming, it is becoming is what allows the jiva to experience ananda. Ananda, or rasa, is not a static, undifferentiated state, but one of evolution into God's infinite being. It is an adventure that God himself is experiencing and through which he also experiences rasa.

The thing about telling someone to just "chant and be happy" is that it only takes one half of the achintya-bhedabheda equation—that is the part that is about "being." Yes, we are all eternal particles of sat-chit-ananda, eternally united with God and we need only remember that in order to access an eternal state bliss. But that is only half of the story.

Do you think you could tell the gopis to just "chant and be happy"? Was Ramachandra Puri not telling Madhavendra Puri to just "chant and be happy"? To tell someone to be happy with being alone and not with becoming is like telling him to be a jnani and not a bhakta. The sat-chit-ananda of the jnani is not the same as that of the bhakta.

What is the meaning of the jiva's being separated from Krishna by the curtain of Maya? Is it simply a punishment for an original sin that is so far in the past that no one can remember it? That seems to be the story we have been told, but I think the rasa lila reveals another, deeper message. The rasa lila and the rest of the gopi cycle in the Bhagavatam is a philosophy of suffering. Suffering is separation from Krishna, which is simply Krishna's way of making it possible for the jiva to experience the infinite ananda of the loving relationship with Him.

Here is a quote from Schiller, a 19th century German philosopher--"Being is sensible only in becoming; in the latter, rather, it is itself posited as eternity. But in the actualization (of being) through opposition, there is necessarily a becoming. Without the conception of a humanly suffering God--a conception common to all the mysteries and spiritual religions of the past--history remains wholly unintelligible." (Über das Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit, Schellings Werke, ed. A. Weiss, 3, 499 (1907).

This statement summarizes much of what I am getting at. The "concept of a humanly suffering God" means Krishna himself suffering desire. It is all in the idea of God voluntarily relinquishing his divinity in order to experience uncertainty, and therefore rasa. But this concept comes later, in the second rasa-lila, that of the Gita Govinda. The Bhagavata rasa-lila sees things from the point of view of the jiva, which is what I am mainly talking about here.

Did the gopis not have obstacles to overcome? Did they not have to suffer? Some gopis were held back by their husbands and confined to their rooms. They had to give up their bodies to be able to join Krishna. Was this not hard to do? We think that the gopis are nitya-siddhas, so they did not have to overcome any challenges in order to attain Krishna, but if they did not, then what would be the meaning of Krishna's praising them by saying durjara-geha-zRGkhalAM saMvRzcya ("You cut off the unbreakable chains of household life" 10.32.22) or Uddhava saying, dustyajam Arya-pathaM svajanaM ca hitvA ("who abandoned the path of civilized life and kinfolk, which are so hard to give up?" 10.47.58)?

If you look in the introduction to my Mystic Poetry, you will see that I have written a little about Jiva Goswami's analysis of separation.

Krishna sends a message from Uddhava in which he says that he is always present to them in the form of Brahman or Paramatma. Well, the gopis know this, but that does not satisfy them. This is like Krishna telling the gopis to chant and be happy. I am everywhere, so what's your problem. The gopis have a problem with that philosophy, however.

Then Krishna suggests that they are present with him in another manifestation, somewhere. This is like saying that lila-smaranam is a substitute for separation. (There are some in the Gaudiya Math who distinguish themselves from the "sahajiyas" by saying that they (the GM) worship in separation, whereas the sahajiyas imagine themselves through lila-smaranam to be in union with Krishna. The GM, following Madhavendra's and Mahaprabhu's path of love in separation are superior.) But this is nonsense. Lila-smaranam is not a substitute for separation, but is the only alternative for those suffering in separation. tava kathAmRtaM tapta-jIvanam. The gopis at the beginning of chapter 2 of the Panchadhyaya are engaged in lila-smaranam as a survival tactic. But just as it was not a substitute for sakshatkara there, it is not a substitute for sakshatkar for the sadhaka either. Anyway, the gopis will not take any substitutes for Krishna's physical presence.

And that goes for the third possibility, which takes place when Krishna is in Dvaraka and he tells the gopis, "I come to you in the hallucinations you have of me. In fact, I never leave Vrindavan. I am always there. You simply do not always see me (mayA parokSaM bhajatA)." There are some nice verses about this in the Hamsaduta (around verse 100). But the gopis will not accept this version either. They are very concrete-minded.

But in all this, Krishna is such a rascal that he says, "I can only reward you by making you suffer."

Jagat said...

Just try to understand the profound meaning here.

There is yet one more thing that I need to say: One loves the devotee because the devotee loves Krishna. The devotee in fact IS Krishna, in the sense that he has become one with Krishna's internal potency. Krishna is not Krishna alone, but Krishna and the internal potency, which includes Krishna's dhama and all his associates, including the sadhaka devotees in this world.

The sadhaka and sadhika thus do not love each other separate from Krishna, but because through each other, they enter the internal potency. Just like the gopis in chapter 10.30 who are imitating Krishna's pastimes in separation from Krishna.

It is not a replacement. It is a kind of ersatz perfection. But even the ersatz points to the real. As Karl Stern comments on the above quote from Schiller: "...between the spiritual order and order in the human family, there exists a correspondence. Thus the lives of men are related tothe order of ideas by a relevance that is more than psychological. All tragedy of the contingent and haphazard is a mysterious signpost towards the meaningful, the immutable and the harmonious."

This is how Krishna's lila stands in relation to our lives. Both point to one another as ideal and image.

shiva said...

Jagat sometimes when I read your stuff my eyes glaze over and I have to wonder why you are so sure of your various conceptions? I am not trying to be hurtful but it is something you need to hear: you present your esoteric interpretations as if you have realized them (experienced them) as truth. There is a chasm of difference between the understanding of Radha Krishna esoterica presented and thought of by people who rely on their own inexperience in these matters compared to the actual situation they think they comprehend.

You present your esoteric epistemology as if you KNOW that what you are saying is truth. For someone in your position all you can do when contemplating the esoteric nature of rasa lila is rely on the words of others. This is because you have no direct experience of what you are writing about. I can see that very clearly whenever you write on these topics. It's one thing to opine about the the fundamental aspects of bhagavat philosophy which you may have some realization of, but it is another thing entirely when you attempt to ascribe your inexperienced words and conceptions to a realm you have never actually directly experienced.

The nature of Radha Krishna's confidential lila is not something which an inexperienced person can opine on with authority. It's one thing if you simply repeat the words of people you believe to have actually directly experienced the inner workings of Radha Krishna rasa lila, it's another thing entirely to put forth your own esoteric interpretations as truth while lacking that direct experience. You can only get it wrong.

I only say this because I know you are not experiencing what you are writing about concerning the esoteric details of gaudiya tattva. There is a philosopher who can come up with myriad ways to contemplate esoteric truths, but due to the nature of those truths philosophers are unable to truly know if what they think is truth actually is truth. That is why Krishna says above all be a yogi, not a philosopher, connect with him, then you can have those truths shown to you, then you can truly know from experience what is reality. Truth isn't something which is arrived at by philosophical perambulations. Truth is something which is known by experience alone. It is revealed, not attained.

henk-jan said...

Dear Jagadananda,

First let me wish you all the best on this blessed day.

I gave your reply to my comment some thought. The reason why I said "CHANT AND BE HAPPY" and "Keep it simple", is not because I am not conscious of the fact that there is much more to it.
But the basics of our siddhanta remain very simple, the ABC-Alfabet of The Gita, stressed upon so much by your first teacher.

On high school I learned about Plato's cave equasion and later in the Bhagavad-Gita I read about the banyan tree. We live in a real, but perverted reflection of the spiritual world. Detrimental, upside down, because we put ourselves in the center.

Now that it is hard to penetrate this illusion is clear. Rishis meditated "for thousands of years" and came back with the strong conviction that they were God. Seems to me they were wasting some time there in the Himalayas. Since the result was that they got a lot of pride, but lost the ABC-Alfabet.

In the past I also sometimes got annoyed in Iskcon with their overemphasis on this simple ABC-Alfabet. But I realise now that it is so necassary, if you want to proceed on the spiritual path to be superconscious of these simple matters and never lose them out of sight. I like it when they say "the four regulative principles of FREEDOM". Back to basics. Being and becoming.

"Die to live", as BR Shridar Maharaja said. Full surrender. Dive into reality.

These are for many maybe just powerful oneliners. But they get to the heart of the issue. Full surrender.

Personally I am a staunch supporter of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakur. You once labelled/characterized him as an ascetic. But he is not. He has just got what it takes.

Though some traditional Gaudiyas disagree with him over a number of issues, most of them also follow the same principles and have the same ABC, knowing all to well that they have to give the proper example to the neophytes and it protects them from still possible falldown even though practicing raganuga-bhakti.

So I think it is the responsiblity of all Gaudiya teachers, traditional or not, to stick with this simple reality. I can therefor relate to devotees like Advaita das and so on, who keep this simple reality alive and take some responsiblity in the protection of Radha-Krishna's Lila. Even though I feel more attracted to the clear approach of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarawati Thakur. Just to be on the safe side and by not starting to project my own selfish experiences on Radha-Krishna's Divine Private Life. Which I in this stage of my life will certainly do, if I expose myself to It.

Now that the process is difficult for some and that not everybody is able to give up there sexual activity, doesn't alter the ABC. If it feels more "natural" to keep on experiencing sex, go ahead ! The Lord will definitely not curse you to eternal hell.
But it is not yet "full surrender" and "selfless devotion". Period.
One is also not yet capable of understanding and commenting on The Lord's Divine Private Life.

Trying to make your own sex-life a spiritual experience is fine, but it is not yet "full surrender" and "selfless Devotion". Repeat,repeat...

I personally play soccer. Maybe Krishna likes it too. Maybe He wants to play with me one day. I don't know. But my soccer is not Krishna's soccer. I play for many selfish reasons and because testosteron is fueling my body. Therefor I regulate it. I play. I enjoy. But it is not part of my spiritual Quest.

Yours,

Lovingly and supportingly