Friday, November 11, 2016

God in human form, love in this world, and the future of human society

We shall see what comes of this rather shocking election result in the USA. Some of my friends are very positive about it. They think that Trump knows the true hideous form of militant and imperialistic Islam and will rally the civilized world against it. The war of "civilizations" is finally being embraced wholeheartedly. The Wahhabis and their fellow travelers are out to convert India to Islam, to bring it back under their thrall as their quest for word domination continues and Trump is thus an ally in protecting Hindu India from them.

We are devotees. We are indifferent to the worldly powers. We know that God works his ways mysteriously. Who is to deny that evil is everywhere in the world? We believe that God ultimately favors his true devotees, even in the blackest of times.

The other day I was giving class on Gopala Champu on the second meaning of the introductory verse and the following expression came up:

नराकृति परं ब्रह्म
narākṛti paraṁ brahma
Rupa and Sanatan, and by extension Jiva, were very familiar with fundamental Islamic concepts like tawhid and shirk, its vehement iconoclasm and hatred of anthropomorphism. Could there be any greater affront to the Islamic beliefs than to proclaim that God has human form?

In a sense, opposition creates its opposite: Rupa Goswami only became STRONGER in his belief in God as human, God in human form. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu confirmed it by his lila. We can look at his madness in love as a cry for the accumulated miseries of humanity, which had found their solidified expression in Radharani's separation from Krishna.

He saw it all as the unbearable pain of a love story.

And what is a love story without the darkness of hate surrounding it, like the darkest night surrounding a pearl of great beauty?

Just try to understand the implications of this idea by contrasting it with the Islam that we have seen in its most ugliest, most egregious fanatical manifestations: The idea of God in human form is the seed of divine humanism, which is the soul of love in this world -- which makes love in this world possible.

To say God has human form, and a human form that reaches the height of excellence in Vrindavan, and that meditation on LOVE is the truest appreciation of the Divine, is the insight of Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Though a superstructure of protection against demonism is no doubt welcome, Rupa Goswami did not take that militant route. Nor, for that matter, did Saraswati Thakur, who told our Prabhupada that even the culture of bhakti in its external, ritual forms was more important than political action.

Rupa Goswami's message is to meditate on love and that will change the world. Call me naive, and those who have held this kind of doctrine have always been called naïve or worse. Chaitanya himself was called a naif, in this sense, as were the creators of Vrindavan.

For that matter, Gandhi, who belonged to that section of humanity who leans in this same direction, has been vilified as a naif.

The dream of a human society in the image of love will perhaps never be realized fully in the world, and is likely unrealizable. But the idea must always be cherished, for without the idea, without the ideal, you can be sure it will never be realized even in the microcosm of the individual sadhaka..


Jai Radhe.


A response:
Sometimes our Lord may use a blunt stone to crush a devil, and perhaps that is the case here too. We should never forget that our beloved Lord Krishna was not a fairy tale character in a fairy tale world, but a real historical personality. He spent a few years in Braj whilst over a hundred outside of it, and more often than not he was shedding the blood of the demonic.  
Of course, as Vaishnavas we avoid shedding blood and our beloved Lord Nityananda even counselled Sri Chaitanya against it, but who can say what is the master player's game? We should never underestimate the Master Player; He is behind the shadows of all and He alone is the doer. He may wish even now to crush a devil with a rough and bloodied stone.
No doubt true. But the core of Krishna's story is Vrindavan, that is the whole point. The Goswamis are saying that the greater glory is in Vrindavan, and that is the soul even of the other demon-destroying actions of Krishna. Without the soul, there is nothing. There is nothing to save.

So, the culture of the soul is the prime necessity. And that means the culture of love. Violence in the name of love is an easy deception indulged in by and for the tamasik.

No comments: