From love universal to bhakti confidential – Gaudiya Vaishnavism glories 1 – Understanding how love culminates in bhakti
[Chaitanya Charitamrita class on Madhya 8.1 at ISKCON, Denver, USA]
Transcription of summary :
So, I spoke today about the evolution from love universal to bhakti confidential. I started by… in this verse… First I talked about the principle of… that God who is the source of all knowledge is now becoming the receiver of knowledge. Just as the ocean has all water, but it gives water to the cloud and gets back the water. So, like that Lord Caitanya gives knowledge to Ramananda Roy and receives the knowledge and in that he feels enriched, he becomes delighted. This is the sweetness of Lord Caitanya… of the Lord… that He makes the devotee greater than Himself… and we talked about love which is expressed as the highest in the reciprocation of the Lord and His devotees. That love is present in all the living beings. Even animals, birds… express their love for their siblings by offering the food brought by their parents to their younger siblings.
Now in the animal kingdom the love is expressed primarily by seeking and providing the needs of the body: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. In the human forms also our love often gets expressed in these directions but we… because we are souls with a developed consciousness, we also long to live forever and love forever… and this forever… it is not fulfilled in the material level. Nothing in the world of matter is eternal… and where this forever has come from? If we ask that question we can point to our spiritual core. Just as a mother asks, ‘Where does a tribal child get the desire for a Pizza?’
Now the bhakti wisdom… bhakti literature explains that our love comes from our spiritual core because the soul is eternal and the soul is the part of the whole eternally. So, we are meant to love Krishna but instead… not knowing about Krishna, we direct our love in this world to various objects and people.
So, the horizontal relationships… they can offer real love, but they are not eternal. So, if we don’t have proper spiritual knowledge then we try to eternalize the horizontal relationships as depicted in romantic movies about reincarnations, but we need to spiritualize that love if we want to eternalize it.
So, as Dhruva Maharaj’s mother said that, ‘the love that I offer you… millions of times more Lord Visnu can offer you.’ That means what is she doing? The love in the horizontal relationship is real, but he is saying… this is meant to direct our love towards our particular relationship with Krishna, and all the religions of the world… theistic religions talk about making God the ultimate object of love.
Now in love there is the subject, there is the object and there is the emotion. So, the bhakti literature explains that the subject is actually eternal spiritual being – the soul, and then the object – God, is an all-attractive, all-loving supreme person. That’s what Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu…. His beauty, His sweetness… will be revealed by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu through this discussion. and there is the process of love.