Q.231. AT WHAT STAGE DOES ONE ATTAIN LOVE OF GODHEAD ?
A. BY SRILA PRABHUPADA.
ebe śuna bhakti-phala 'prema'-prayojanayāhāra śravaṇe haya bhakti-rasa-jñānaŚrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, "Now hear, O Sanātana, about the result of devotional service, which is love of Godhead, life's ultimate goal. One who hears this description will be enlightened in the transcendental mellows of devotional service.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).kṛṣṇe rati gāḍha haile 'prema'-abhidhānakṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasera ei 'sthāyi-bhāva'-nāmaWhen affection for Kṛṣṇa becomes deeper, one attains love of Godhead in devotional service. Such a position is called sthāyi-bhāva, permanent enjoyment of the mellows of devotional service to Kṛṣṇa. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).śuddha-sattva-viśeṣātmāprema-sūryāḿśu-sāmya-bhākrucibhiś citta-masṛṇya-kṛd asau bhāva ucyateWhen devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Kṛṣṇa. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhāva (emotion).(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).e dui, — bhāvera 'svarūpa', 'taṭastha' lakṣaṇapremera lakṣaṇa ebe śuna, sanātanaBhāva (emotion) has two different symptoms — constitutional and marginal. Now, My dear Sanātana, listen to the symptoms of love.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).samyań-masṛṇita-svāntomamatvātiśayāńkitaḥbhāvaḥ sa eva sāndrātmābudhaiḥ premā nigadyateWhen that bhāva softens the heart completely, becomes endowed with a great feeling of possessiveness in relation to the Lord and becomes very much condensed and intensified, it is called prema (love of Godhead) by learned scholars. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).ananya-mamatā viṣṇaumamatā prema-sańgatābhaktir ity ucyate bhīṣma-prahlādoddhava-nāradaiḥWhen one develops an unflinching sense of ownership or possessiveness in relation to Lord Viṣṇu, or, in other words, when one thinks Viṣṇu and no one else to be the only object of love, such an awakening is called bhakti (devotion) by exalted persons like Bhīṣma, Prahlāda, Uddhava and Nārada. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).kona bhāgye kona jīvera 'śraddhā' yadi hayatabe sei jīva 'sādhu-sańga' ye karayaIf, by good fortune, a living entity develops faith in Kṛṣṇa, he begins to associate with devotees.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).sādhu-sańga haite haya 'śravaṇa-kīrtana'sādhana-bhaktye haya 'sarvānartha-nivartana'When one is encouraged in devotional service by the association of devotees, one becomes free from all unwanted contamination by following the regulative principles and chanting and hearing. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).anartha-nivṛtti haile bhaktye 'niṣṭhā' hayaniṣṭhā haite śravaṇādye 'ruci' upajayaWhen one is freed from all unwanted contamination, he advances with firm faith. When firm faith in devotional service awakens, a taste for hearing and chanting also awakens. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).ruci haite bhaktye haya 'āsakti' pracuraāsakti haite citte janme kṛṣṇe prīty-ańkuraAfter taste is awakened, a deep attachment arises, and from that attachment the seed of love for Kṛṣṇa grows in the heart.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).sei 'bhāva' gāḍha haile dhare 'prema'-nāmasei premā 'prayojana' sarvānanda-dhāmaWhen that ecstatic emotional stage intensifies, it is called love of Godhead. Such love is life's ultimate goal and the reservoir of all pleasure.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).Devotional life is divided into two stages — sādhana-bhakti and bhāva-bhakti.Sādhana-bhakti refers to the development of devotional service throughthe regulative principles. The basic principle for the execution of devotionalservice is faith. Above that, there is association with devotees, and after thatthere is initiation by a bona fide spiritual master. After initiation, when onefollows the regulative principles of devotional service, one becomes freedfrom all unwanted things. In this way one becomes firmly fixed and graduallydevelops a taste for devotional service. The more the taste grows, the moreone desires to render service to the Lord. In this way one becomes attachedto a particular mellow in the Lord's service — śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalyaor madhura. As a result of such attachment, bhāva develops. Bhāva-bhakti isthe platform of purified goodness. By such purified goodness, one's heartmelts in devotional service.Bhāva-bhakti is the first seed of love of Godhead.This emotional stage is there before one attains pure love. When that emotionalstage intensifies, it is called prema-bhakti, or transcendental love of Godhead.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).yāńhāra hṛdaye ei bhāvāńkura hayatāńhāte eteka cihna sarva-śāstre kayaIf one actually has the seed of transcendental emotion in his heart, the symptoms will be visible in his activities. That is the verdict of all revealed scriptures. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).kṣāntir avyartha-kālatvaḿviraktir māna-śūnyatāāśā-bandhaḥ samutkaṇṭhānāma-gāne sadā ruciḥāsaktis tad-guṇākhyāneprītis tad-vasati-sthaleity-ādayo 'nubhāvāḥ syurjāta-bhāvāńkure janeWhen the seed of ecstatic emotion for Kṛṣṇa fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one's behaviour: forgiveness, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment, absence of false prestige, hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord, attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides — that is, a temple or a holy place like Vṛndāvana. These are all called anubhāva, subordinate signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed of love of God has begun to fructify. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).ei nava prīty-ańkura yāńra citte hayaprākṛta-kṣobhe tāńra kṣobha nāhi hayaIf love for Kṛṣṇa in a seedling state has fructified in one's heart, one is not agitated by material things.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).vāgbhiḥ stuvanto manasā smarantastanvā namanto 'py aniśaḿ na tṛptāḥbhaktāḥ śravan-netra-jalāḥ samagramāyur harer eva samarpayantiWith their words, they offer prayers to the Lord. With their minds, they always remember the Lord. With their bodies, they offer obeisances to the Lord. Despite all these activities, they are still not satisfied. This is the nature of pure devotees. Shedding tears from their eyes, they dedicate their whole lives to the Lord's service. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).bhukti, siddhi, indriyārtha tāre nāhi bhāyaIn the material field, people are interested in material enjoyment, mystic power and sense gratification. But these things do not appeal to the devotee at all. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).'sarvottama' āpanāke 'hīna' kari māneAlthough a pure devotee's standard is above all, he still considers himself to be in the lowest stage of life.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).'kṛṣṇa kṛpā karibena' — dṛḍha kari' jāneA fully surrendered devotee always hopes that Lord Kṛṣṇa will be kind to him. This hope is very firm in him.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).nāma-gāne sadā ruci, laya kṛṣṇa-nāmaDue to having great relish for the holy name, one is inclined to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra constantly.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).dhanyasyāyaḿ nava-premāyasyonmīlati cetasiantar-vāṇibhir apy asyamudrā suṣṭhu su-durgamāEven a most learned scholar cannot understand the activities and symptoms of an exalted personality in whose heart love of Godhead has awakened. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).evaḿ-vrataḥ sva-priya-nāma-kīrtyājātānurāgo druta-citta uccaiḥhasaty atho roditi rauti gāyatyunmāda-van nṛtyati loka-bāhyaḥWhen a person is actually advanced and takes pleasure in chanting the holy name of the Lord, who is very dear to him, he is agitated and loudly chants the holy name. He also laughs, cries, becomes agitated and chants just like a madman, not caring for outsiders.(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam).premā krame bāḍi' haya — sneha, māna, praṇayarāga, anurāga, bhāva, mahābhāva hayaLove of Godhead increases and is manifested as affection, counterlove, love, attachment, sub attachment, ecstasy and sublime ecstasy.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).bīja, ikṣu, rasa, guḍa tabe khaṇḍa-sāraśarkarā, sitā-michari, śuddha-michari āraThis development is compared to sugarcane seeds, sugarcane plants, sugarcane juice, molasses, crude sugar, refined sugar, sugar candy and rock candy.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).ihā yaiche krame nirmala, krame bāḍe svādarati-premādira taiche bāḍaye āsvādaOne should understand that just as the taste of sugar increases as it is gradually purified, so when love of Godhead increases from rati, which is compared to the beginning seed, its taste increases. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).adhikāri-bhede rati — pañca parakāraśānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, madhura āraAccording to the candidate possessing these transcendental qualities (sneha, māna and so on), there are five transcendental mellows — neutrality, servitorship, friendship, parental love and conjugal love. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).ei pañca sthāyī bhāva haya pañca 'rasa'ye-rase bhakta 'sukhī', kṛṣṇa haya 'vaśa'These five transcendental mellows exist permanently. The devotee may be attracted to one of these mellows, and thus he becomes happy. Kṛṣṇa also becomes inclined toward such a devotee and comes under his control. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).premādika sthāyi-bhāva sāmagrī-milanekṛṣṇa-bhakti rasa-rūpe pāya pariṇāmeWhen the permanent ecstasies (neutrality, servitorship and so on) are mixed with other ingredients, devotional service in love of Godhead is transformed and becomes composed of transcendental mellows. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).vibhāva, anubhāva, sāttvika, vyabhicārīsthāyi-bhāva 'rasa' haya ei cāri mili'Permanent ecstasy becomes a more and more tasteful transcendental mellow through the mixture of special ecstasy, subordinate ecstasy, natural ecstasy and transitory ecstasy. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).dadhi yena khaṇḍa-marica-karpūra-milane'rasālākhya' rasa haya apūrvāsvādaneYogurt mixed with sugar candy, black pepper and camphor is very palatable and tasty. Similarly, when permanent ecstasy mixes with other ecstatic symptoms, it becomes unprecedentedly tasty. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).dvividha 'vibhāva', — ālambana, uddīpanavaḿśī-svarādi — 'uddīpana', kṛṣṇādi — 'ālambana'There are two kinds of particular ecstasies (vibhāva). One is called the support, and the other is called the awakening. The vibration of Kṛṣṇa's flute is an example of the awakening, and Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself is an example of the support. (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).'anubhāva' — smita, nṛtya, gītādi udbhāsvarastambhādi — 'sāttvika' anubhāvera bhitaraThe subordinate ecstasies are smiling, dancing and singing, as well as different manifestations in the body. The natural ecstasies, such as being stunned, are considered among the subordinate ecstasies (anubhāva). (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).nirveda-harṣādi — tetriśa 'vyabhicārī'saba mili' 'rasa' haya camatkāra-kārīThere are other ingredients, beginning with complete despondency and jubilation. Altogether there are thirty-three varieties, and when these combine, the mellow becomes very wonderful.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).pañca-vidha rasa — śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalyamadhura-nāma śṛńgāra-rasa — sabāte prābalya"There are five transcendental mellows — neutrality, servitorship, friendship, parental affection and conjugal love, which is also known as the mellow of sweetness. Conjugal love excels all the others.(Sri Caitanya Caritamrta).