Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tell me the truth, O Vaishnava poet! Where did you get this picture of prema?

I am just reading a book by a Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj disciple I had heard of, but did not know very well. His name is Janardan Chakravarti and he is (or was) a professor in Bengali literature at the University of Calcutta (Jadavpur?). He wrote a book in English called Bengal Vaisnavism and Sri Chaitanya (1975)* (See below for details).

Chakravarti shows signs of that Bengali syncretism that most of us Western Vaishnavas are so suspicious of: he speaks of Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Aurobindo, Rabindranath and all the other Bengali cultural heroes in a favorable way. This kind of Bengali nationalism is something that we feel averse to, although I recently wrote on my blog that, as a consequence, we (I mean Western KC in general) have lost contact with Bengali culture per se and are participating in the creation of a neo-pan-Indian culture that mirrors the diminishing influence of Bengal in that world, but which ignores the fact that Bengali culture has been interacting with and interpreting Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna devotion for longer than anyone.

Though I picked up this book at the University of Calcutta when I was in India a couple of years ago, beginning to read it so soon after thinking those thoughts made his comments much more interesting to me. He also mentions Pran Kishor Goswami (MA), Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari, and Ramdas Babaji of Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam fame among his influences.

In this book* (Sri Radha tattva o Sri Chaitanya Samskriti = "Radha tattva and Chaitanya culture"), he rather undisguisedly gives the account of a Vaishnava believer, albeit with this somewhat patriotic flavor, perhaps as a way of appealing to his countrymen by turning Chaitanya into a national cultural hero. This is somewhat refreshing, as the syncretist tendency in Bengal does tend to be reductionist where bhakti is concerned.

What interests me here is Chakravarti's discussion of Bengali writers' and poets' response to Radha and Krishna in the modern period. He finds useful things they have said and enters into debate with those that are questionable. For instance, he rejects the kind of metaphorical interpretation that some scholars in the early 20th century tossed about, namely that Radha-Krishna lila had its origins in some kind of solar myth. On the other hand, he notes with appreciation that Vivekananda rejected Bankim Chandra's Sri Krishna Charita because "he did not accept the concept of lila as real." (page 46, no reference given).

Of greater interest to the general themes treated in this blog is Chakravarti's discussion of the relationship of the primacy of the human in relation to the lila. He quotes Ananda Coomaraswami, "Krishna lila is not a history, but a process ever unfolded in the heart of man," which reminds me of that definition of myth as a true story that never happened:
Myths are things that never happened but always are. Salustius [84-34 BCE]
I am perhaps jumping into this discussion before fully understanding his argument, but some ideas can be taken from the following. He cites the following lovely poem by Rabindranath (page 30):

satya kare kaha more, he baiṣṇaba kabi,
kothā tumi peẏechile ei prema-chabi ?
kothā tumi śikhechile ei prema-gāna
viraha-tāpita ? heri kāhāra naẏāna
rādhikāra aśru āɱkhi parechilo mane ?
bijana basanta rāte milana-śaẏane
ke tomāre beɱdhechilo duṭi bāhu-ḍore,
āpanāra hṛdaẏera agādha sāgare
rekhechilo magna kari ? eto prema-kathā
rādhikāra citta-dīrna tīvra byakulatā
curi kari laiẏācho, kāra mukha, kāra
āɱkhi hate ? āja tāra nāhi adhikāra
se saṅgīte ! tāri nārī-hṛdaẏa-sañcita
tāra bhāṣā hate tāre karibe bañcita
cira-dina ! 
 
Tell me the truth, O Vaishnava poet!
Where did you get this picture of prema?
Where did you learn this love song
of pain in separation? Gazing into whose orbs
made you think of Radha's tear-filled eyes?
In what lonely springtime night, on what trysting bed,
who bound you in her arms and immersed you
in the bottomless depths of your ocean-like heart?
From whose face, whose eyes, did you steal
all these love stories, this tale
of Radhika's powerful, heart-tearing ardor?
And now, today, she no longer has any claim
over this song! You have cheated her of the very words
you collected from her womanly heart."
I find this poem very powerful. It intimates that the stories of Radha and Krishna's love have been collected from human experience and then, once given divine status, separated from human experience. The woman is cheated by the man who sees in her love a reflection of something divine and then, in his transcendent mythopoeic dance, refuses to acknowledge where he found it. Thus the theologians say that love is of that world and it is just a mistake to think that it can be found in this one.

Chakravarti objects to the Rabindranath's idea that anyone is cheated (bañcita) of Radha-Krishna katha, everyone has the same rights, he says. But I think he misses the point. If we do not acknowledge the relationship between the rūpa and the svarūpa then we are indeed cheating people. We are saying that human love is non-existent and that only love of God has any reality. This is a recipe for disaster. It results in false human relationships and a false relationship with God.

Chakravarti then goes on to argue that it is not possible to argue that the picture of Radha's love has been picked out of human experience. He asks, "Is there any picture that is comparable in world literature?" He seems to ask it rhetorically, but it is worth asking.

Certainly, for us who have been moved by Radharani's image, who have fallen in love with her love for Krishna, like Mahaprabhu, who seek to melt into her existence, to love her and to feel her love for her Beloved, who feel her presence in all things, her reflection everywhere, who feel overpowered by her to the point of forgetting even that Krishna has any importance at all, it seems like a ludicrous question. The divine precedes the mundane. That is the only possible position to take.

The fact that we see the divine reflection in the world does not mean that the divine is an illusion produced by feverish minds dissatisfied with the limitations of the mundane. Does this mean that, as Rabindranath has it, the Vaishnava poet did not see Radharani's existence flashing behind the eyes of his beloved? Did he not extrapolate from the limited beauties of this existence to enter into the unlimited beauties of Goloka? Is this not what the theological exercise is all about anyway?

lokātītam ajāṇḍa-koṭigam api traikālikaṁ yat sukhaṁ
duḥkhaṁ ceti pṛthag yadi sphuṭam ubhe te gacchataḥ kūṭatām
naivābhāsa-tulāṁ śive tad api tat kūṭa-dvayaṁ rādhikā-
premodyat-sukha-duḥkha-sindhu-bhavayor vindeta bindvor api
Shiva said to Parvati, "Should we take all the most extraordinary experience of happiness found in the unlimited universes, through past present and future, and gather it together to make a huge mountain of happiness, and if we were to equally take all the misery and do the same, it would still not attain even the likeness of a shadow in comparison to the ocean of joy and suffering experienced by Radha in her love for Krishna; those two great mountains would sink into it like mere pebbles into the sea." (UN 14.171)
Indeed, I think this is Chakravarti's point. There is materialistic humanism and there is theistic humanism. Not unexpectedly, he quotes Chandidas's words, sarvopari manushya sattva, tar upari nai, seen so often in Bengali writings on Vaishnavism, which emphasize the humanistic basis of bhakti. There is no point in saying that Radha's love is in a different category from the loves of this world. We can make distinctions on the basis of quality and of quantity, but the fact is that we are talking about the same thing. And unless we accept the possibility of love in this world, we are writing off human existence and all hope of human evolution.

Nor is there any in writing it off as nothing more than a tool for "evolution" (that great God substitute) to engage in species propagation. But that is another matter...

==================

*Bengal Vaisnavism and Sri Chaitanya (1975). Reprinted by The Asiatic Society, 2000, xvi, 96 p., $11 (pbk). ISBN 81-7236-097-5). See Vedams website.

*Sri Radha tattva o Sri Chaitanya Samskriti = "Radha tattva and Chaitanya culture", Calcutta University, 1997.

8 comments:

shiva said...

Jagat you wrote: " If we do not acknowledge the relationship between the rupa and the svarupa then we are indeed cheating people. We are saying that human love is non-existent and that only love of God has any reality. This is a recipe for disaster. It results in false human relationships and a false relationship with God."

I have to disagree. Love between "humans" is very illusory and cannot be seen by an enlightened person as being substantial. This is because everything that we as humans do is being controlled and animated by God. Can one puppet have real love for another puppet? Or is the love that the puppet feels towards another puppet due to the actions of the puppeteer and therefore really properly meant for the puppeteer? To understand this one has to really understand the absolute nature of reality. When you read these words do you see them as under the absolute control of the person doing the typing or do you see them as the work of God? In the relative sense the person typing these words is responsible, but in the absolute sense everything is being enacted within and controlled by God. So any interaction or relationshipp you have with "humans" can appear to be real and "love" can appear to exist between two "humans" because of that appearence of relative reality. But to a completely enlightened individual the actions and words and of other "humans" are seen for what they really are; controlled, manifested by another.

So for an enlightened person there cannot be real "love" with another human because he sees all humans as puppets, he actually sees the puppeteer acting through other people, the puppeteer does not allow him any other choice. God is a jealous God.

Jagat said...

nitaiyer carana satya
tanhara sevaka nitya,
nitai-pada sadaa koro aash

"Nitai's lotus feet are real and eternal. His servants are also real and eternal. Always aspire for Nitai's lotus feet."

It depends who and how you love. Earlier on this blog I quoted Donna Wulff, who had a very good insight. She said that for Rupa Goswami, the supreme truth is Radha's love for Krishna, i.e., Mahabhava. More about that in another post that I hope to put up today.

Jagat said...

Actually, I am vigorously against the philosophy presented by Shiva here. I believe that the world is real, that human beings are real and that human community is real. I believe that although Maya, or illusion is real, the secret for human community, the hope for human community, inasmuch as it is possible in the framework of the material world, is possible through bhakti.

I was talking to a friend not so long ago, who said that he was against people doing kirtan with their eyes closed. He believes the kirtaniyas should look at each other and even embrace from time to time.

The community of devotees is one of shared participation, through the Holy Name, in the world of Radha and Krishna's love. This is where your rigorous dualism fails me, Shiva.

shiva said...

Jagat you wrote: ""Nitai's lotus feet are real and eternal. His servants are also real and eternal. Always aspire for Nitai's lotus feet."

Of course they are real, I never said that people are not real.

You also said:

"I believe that the world is real, that human beings are real and that human community is real."

I never said that these things are not real. Of course they are real. The point I was making was that reality is viewed differently by enlightened people. An enlightened person sees any situation for what it really is whereas the unenlightened do not. When an enlightened person relates to someone he actually sees the absolute truth of that situation. He sees everything he is doing and everything the other person is doing as being controlled by God. An unenlightened person sees what he is doing as the result of his own will and being the creation of and through his own mental plans. He thinks his words are his own concoction, he thinks everything that he does is controlled by himself. He also sees what other do as being under their control.

The truth is that we do not control anything and therefore whatever we say or think or do is being done outside of our control but being done in a way that the unenlightened think they have control.

prakrteh kriyamanani
gunaih karmani sarvasah
ahankara-vimudhatma
kartaham iti manyate

In absolute reality we are not controlling any situation, we can’t control any situation, we never control any situation.

sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca

Everything we do is dependent on memory and knowledge. Anything we do we are being supplied the memory on how to do it. We know where we are, who we are, when we are, how to speak, how to comprehend language, etc. All of these things are supplied to us as memory, either consciously (e.g what was the book about which we read the other day) or subconsciously (e.g understanding who we are, how to walk, how to eat, how to speak etc). Without memory being supplied to us at all times we would know nothing. This is because we have no ability to access memory. If we want to know where we are or what we did earlier we cannot look within our mind for a memory, there is nowhere to look. The memory is simply supplied to us. Likewise memory can be withheld. Either way we cannot control memory because we don’t know how or where that information is stored nor how to access it. God is in control of memory, memory is required to understand and use knowledge.

So whatever we do or whatever anyone else does is completely controlled by God because everything we do is based upon memory and knowledge, neither of which we have any control over. When we interact with our own mind or with some other person all of our thoughts and words and comprehension and actions are not under our control because they are all dependent on memory/knowledge being supplied or being witheld. We are therefore never acutally in control of any situation, internally or externally. An unenlightened person does not see this. They see everything going on by their own will and by the will of others. Therefore they CAN feel real emotional love for other people in the sense of madhurya rasa.

What I said is that the love experienced between humans in the sense you wrote about is very illusory because what they love about the other person is not due to the will or action of the other person. Everything we do is in reality being done by God through control over our memory and knowledge from moment to moment, but the unenlightened do not perceive the real situation and therefore they think that what they do and what others do is of their own doing.

Even if a person understands the philosophical absolute nature of reality, even if he can philosophically understand that God is in control, until that person realizes that knowledge he will forget what is truth and what is illusion and fail to actually see the controller behind everything he encounters. He will still react to every situation with the vision that he is controlling what he is thinking and doing and that others are doing likewise.

When this knowledge is realized then he can never forget because God will not let him forget. God will show his presence through everything he hears in his mind or experiences externally through the outside environment or through other people. An enlightened person will see God everywhere because God will constantly communicate to him through everything he experiences.

sarva-bhuta-stham atmanam
sarva-bhutani catmani
iksate yoga-yuktatma
sarvatra sama-darsanah

yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na pranasyami
sa ca me na pranasyati

This is a very real phenomena Krishna is talking about.

You also wrote:

"I believe that although Maya, or illusion is real, the secret for human community, the hope for human community, inasmuch as it is possible in the framework of the material world, is possible through bhakti."

For those people who are unenlightened everything they experience is seen through the filter of their misperception of reality. Whether or not their community is working within the framework of bhakti whatever they experience is always the manifestation of their destiny. What you just said in the above quote is of course true and is experienced by countless people. I know from experience that even though countless people enter into the path of bhakti with serious devotion to following the strict renunciative rules and regulations, that for most people after a short amount of time they stop following that renunciative lifestyle and live out their lives in pursuit of love and enjoyment. After I left ISKCON and became a member of the wider ex-ISKCON crowd what I saw and experienced was exactly what you are talking about. The people were for the most part still gaudiya vaishnavas but they had completely given up the renunciative path and were fully engrossed in pursuit of love affairs with each other. I lived in areas which had very large ex-ISKCON populations (southern california and hawaii) where the ex-ISKCON people and vaishnavas from other organizations developed a community where everyone was a gaudiya vaishnava yet there was no stigma to pursuing and having affairs or long term relationships which were very sexual in nature, there was (and still is) no stigma to intoxication of any type, there was no stigma to anything which was disallowed by the renunciative ashramas be they ISKCON or otherwise. The community you describe had been fully functional since the late 1970's and really grew large in th early 1980's.

My point was about what is real and what is illusory. An enlightened person cannot have a real emotional love affair with another human because he sees the other person as a puppet. He sees God acting through everyone, God doesn't allow any other vision for an enlightened person. When you develop a relationship with God it becomes everything because God controls everything and doesn't allow you to forget it. The enlightened person may appear to others to be living like an ordinary person in this world, but he is actually living in a different dimension, a completely different reality, a world where God is always communicating directly to him, not only internally through the mind, but externally through Gods' control over everything he experiences.

Jagat said...

As usual, Shiva, you have given a long and detailed comment, which deserves a thorough response. I will have too give it thought. Let me say in essence, though, that my short answer is the same: A relationship with devotees is of a different order from other kinds of relations. Devotees are the door to devotion. Love of a devotee is the most powerful anga of devotional service. But you have to recognize it as such and act accordingly.

My point is not to say that sexual love IS spiritual life. When I say sexual love, the emphasis is on love, which is not separated from the sexual.

anuradha said...

As always Shiva has a point and I always appreciate his contributions. But this point raises some questions. Many come to my mind.

1)Where does the human experience touch the spiritual ? There must be a link, I suppose.
2)What kind of enlightenment are we talking about ? The enlightenment of Eckhart Tolle for example explains the illusion, but not the purpose of the illusion.
3)Apparently we need this mirror-ego-experience to get an idea of what love is. From the undifferentiated realm it is said to be very difficult to come to this 'personal love concept'. It is said we are better of in maya than in the undifferentiated realm. But then again (like Shiva says) the Bhagavad-Gita is very clear in the first few chapters. Arjuna is mourning about things not worthy of mourning. He is stimulated to give up this attitude and devellop the vision of an enlightened person. Selfsatisfied and linked with the Supreme.
So how to learn from human love and give it a place in my prayer ? Or should I simply dismiss it as an illusion from the great puppeteer ?

Answers from both are appreciated.

Yours

shiva said...

anuradha you asked: "1)Where does the human experience touch the spiritual ? There must be a link, I suppose."

All human experience is intertwined with the spiritual, it's just that some people are aware of it more then others. Most people are completely to almost completely ignorant of how reality functions, that doesn't mean that reality changes according to your understanding of it. Reality is constant and unchanging. That means that everything is always happening by the direction of God. That makes everything ultimately spiritual from one angle of vision.

You also asked: "2)What kind of enlightenment are we talking about ? The enlightenment of Eckhart Tolle for example explains the illusion, but not the purpose of the illusion."

I had heard of Tolle and had read something of his years ago. So I did a little googling and bit of reading and can say with absolute certainty that he is not enlightened and doesn't know what it is. His concept of divinity seems to be along advaitin lines of thought. He makes a good point that identifying with the mind is an illusion, but he doesn't understand how the mind functions nor how memory functions i.e that God is in control of both. Basically he is just spouting a bunch of nonsense which can seem like wisdom if you don't know better.

The mind is actually God, but in the conditioned state we either identify with the mind or like Tolle we believe it is some mysterious thing which should be dealt with in some way in order to attain some supposed state of enlightenment. This is what Tolle says:

"When someone goes to the doctor and says, "I hear a voice in my head," he or she will most likely be sent to a psychiatrist. The fact is that, in a very similar way, virtually everyone hears a voice, or several voices, in their head all the time: the involuntary thought processes that you don't realize you have the power to stop. Continuous monologues or dialogues.

You have probably come across "mad" people in the street incessantly talking or muttering to themselves. Well, that's not much different from what you and all other "normal" people do, except that you don't do it out loud. The voice comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on. The voice isn't necessarily relevant to the situation you find yourself in at the time; it may be reviving the recent or distant past or rehearsing or imagining possible future situations. Here it often imagines things going wrong and negative outcomes; this is called worry. Sometimes this soundtrack is accompanied by visual images or "mental movies." Even if the voice is relevant to the situation at hand, it will interpret it in terms of the past. This is because the voice belongs to your conditioned mind, which is the result of all your past history as well as of the collective cultural mind-set you inherited. So you see and judge the present through the eyes of the past and get a totally distorted view of it. It is not uncommon for the voice to be a person's own worst enemy. Many people live with a tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy. It is the cause of untold misery and unhappiness, as well as of disease.

The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation. You can take the first step right now. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns, those old gramophone records that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years. This is what I mean by "watching the thinker," which is another way of saying: listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence.

When you listen to that voice, listen to it impartially. That is to say, do not judge. Do not judge or condemn what you hear, for doing so would mean that the same voice has come in again through the back door. You'll soon realize: there is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind.


So when you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in. As you listen to the thought, you feel a conscious presence - your deeper self - behind or underneath the thought, as it were. The thought then loses its power over you and quickly subsides, because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking.When a thought subsides, you experience a discontinuity in the mental stream - a gap of "no-mind." At first, the gaps will be short, a few seconds perhaps, but gradually they will become longer. When these gaps occur, you feel a certain stillness and peace inside you. This is the beginning of your natural state of felt oneness with Being, which is usually obscured by the mind. With practice, the sense of stillness and peace will deepen. In fact, there is no end to its depth. You will also feel a subtle emanation of joy arising from deep within: the joy of Being."


He then goes into a more developed philosophy of the mind and enlightenment. But he makes a few crucial errors in his philosophy. All knowledge on how to do anything or understand anything is based upon our memory system. We cannot control our memory system. We have no idea where our memories are, how they got there, how to get them back, etc. But without memory we would be like vegetables. So in order for memory to work and for knowledge to be understandable God has to do the work of supplying us with all of our memories at every second, otherwise we would have no ability to comprehend anything. We need to know how to understand language and grammar, word meanings, conceptual meanings, abstract meanings, etc. We need a whole slew of different types of memory imparted to us at every second in order to be able to function as intelligent people. Without memories being supplied we would be like infants. How we function as intelligent beings is not of our own doing. It is an amazingly complex thing which God is accomplishing in order to make us able to function the way we do. So in light of this fact just how does that affect the way the mind functions?

We observe and listen to the mind, we are not the mind, Tolle is right on this point. But what he doesn't understand is that the mind is not something which is being caused in some magical way, intellectual conversations in our heads do not pop up out of thin air. What we observe when we observe the mind is a dialogue God is having with us. For people who are going through there lives living out their karmic destiny they will be unaware that God is the inner dialogue. They either think it is them or like Tolle they think it is some weird thing which can be controlled. In either case God is the mind and is controlling the person in order for the person to live out his planned destiny.

In the Bhagavatam Kapila says:

yad vidur hy aniruddhakhyam
hrsikanam adhisvaram
saradendivara-syamam
samradhyam yogibhih sanaih

The mind of the living entity is known by the name of Lord Aniruddha, the supreme ruler of the senses. He possesses a bluish-black form resembling a lotus flower growing in the autumn. He is found slowly by the yogis.

The enlightenment I speak of is probably more cognate with the conception of samadhi. Although not with the advaitin definition. For me real samadhi occurs when one has attained the state of constant awareness of the true or absolute reality. When someone has attained that state of consciousness he sees everything, within the mind and within his environment i.e everything he experiences, for what it in truth really is. An example to explain this would be when you watch a movie. In order for the movie to be an effective piece of entertainment it has to be made well enough to create a suspension of disbelief. A main goal of the director and actors is to make you forget that you are watching a staged production. You are meant to view the movie as if the movie is real, as if the actors are reacting to each other and the situations they find themselves in as if it is all real. Real life is exactly like a movie except for one thing, people don't know that there is a director and a script and that they are following that script to the tee at every second. An enlightened person knows the truth and is aware of the director and aware of how everyone is acting out a production and following a script.

When an enlightened person hears the mind he knows that the mind is not under his control, therefore he can observe the mind with detachment. At the moment when his destiny reaches the time to meet God then God will cease using the mind as an instrument solely for the purpose of creating the person's karmic destiny. Then God will reveal himself as the controller of the mind and speak to you. Most people think they are alone with their thoughts. In reality everyone is part of another person. Each of us is two beings sharing the same consciousness and mind. An enlightened person is always aware of God within himself and his mind. This concept can be understood philosophically and the vedic literature speaks a lot on this point. But there is a difference between understanding it and realizing it experientially.

Full enlightenment or samadhi is when your understanding of the truth of the mind and consciousness becomes fixed and constant. Then God communicates with you constantly through the mind and you experience God within your consciousness as your consciousness. We share the same consciousness as God, but God is in control of what we experience. An enlightened person experiences God as the mind and experiences God controlling everything he does. You and God become very close. You get to know God personally instead of theoretically. Instead of being ignorant of someone who is with you at all times and who is hiding from you, instead you become fully aware of that other person and that person not only doesn't hide but is constantly relating to you and trying to get your attention. Not only though the mind and consciousness, but through everything else in your environment. How? Because life is like a movie. It is a production that has been planned out, nothing happens that wasn't planned to happen before you were born. Once you are woken up to this fact then synchronicity becomes a part of your life. Whatever you experience you are awake to the fact that it was planned out long ago. Your awareness of this reality was also planned to happen when it does. Then everything you experience; be it other people talking to you, songs, movies, books, anything and everything at all really, will reveal some message God worked into that experience through control over the experience which is meant just for you and which no one else will notice. Usually it consists of jokes of one type or another, often sexual in nature, because God likes to make people laugh and God is very sexual.

The result of real enlightenment is meeting God and developing your relationship, one on one.

anuradha then you wrote:

"3)Apparently we need this mirror-ego-experience to get an idea of what love is. From the undifferentiated realm it is said to be very difficult to come to this 'personal love concept'. It is said we are better of in maya than in the undifferentiated realm."

Love is an ambiguous term. When I was 12 years old I thought I was madly in love with a girl named Mary. What I felt was a combination of lusting for her body, longing for her affection, and desire for a relationship with her. I was also ready to do almost anything to please her. Is that kind of love necessary to experience in order to "love" God? What does Krishna prema really mean? If God gives you so many gifts why wouldn't you love God? If some magical rich wizard decides to give you great wealth, youth, health, beauty, etc, eternally, just for being you, why wouldn't you love him? Is that kind of love what is meant by Krishna prema? No. That kind of love is born out of gratitude. Krishna prema is the type of love I felt for Mary when I was 12. Do I need to experience the illusory love I felt back then in order to experience something like that with God? I don't think so. It's not something you need to practice for. It is something which develops through a relationship with God. Until you meet God and start a personal relationship with God your love for God is really based upon gratitude and amazement of God's awesome power and mercy.

You then wrote: "But then again (like Shiva says) the Bhagavad-Gita is very clear in the first few chapters. Arjuna is mourning about things not worthy of mourning. He is stimulated to give up this attitude and devellop the vision of an enlightened person. Selfsatisfied and linked with the Supreme.
So how to learn from human love and give it a place in my prayer ? Or should I simply dismiss it as an illusion from the great puppeteer ?"

Human love is of different varieties and arises from different circumstances and emotions. If God feels that you need to experience human love then you will experience that. But there is no question that it is illusory. What you love about the other person and what they love about you is really not under either of yours control. God is working through each of you, so what you love about the other person is in reality under the control of God over that person and over the situation you two are in. You're following a script, the movie is playing out the way it was planned.

One word about prayer. Enlightened people do not pray. Prayer is an impersonal tool for emoting to God in some way or another. An enlightened person understands that everything is planned out and that there is no use in trying to get God to change that plan. He also understands that all thoughts are controlled by God. It's an unusual situation, reality is, but it is the only reality there is. So for us absolute reality can appear to be a strange multi dimensional house of mirrors because of the nature of reality. But you get used to it and it becomes fun. For God the only way to have an absolutely real true relationship with another person is for the other person to be fully awake and knowledgable to the truth of how reality functions. If the other person is not enlightened to the truth of reality then for God it's not nearly as satisfying as relating to someone who knows everything. Someone who is ignorant to absolute reality is not much fun for God to relate to because God is controlling everything we do and think, unless you realize that then for God it is like talking to himself (herself) when relating to you.

anuradha said...

Interesting. Thanks for the extensive reply.