The Search for Sri Krishna

The Search for Sri Krishna

by Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Two excerpts: Introduction, and 'The Krishna Conception'


These two chapters, the Introduction and The Krishna Conception, are taken fromThe Search For Sri Krishna -- Reality The Beautiful, the first book by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj that was published in West. A mere 5000 copies of the First Edition were printed in 1983 by the Guardian of Devotion Press in San Jose, California, but as "the" book that introduced Srila Sridhar Maharaj to the English-speaking western world, it has been phenomenally successful, and has subsequently been reprinted many times. It now enjoys universal acceptance, and has been translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Hungarian, Swedish, Spanish, and Portuguese.

 Everyone is searching for rasa, or pleasure. The status of rasa is the highest. As persons we have our subjective existence, but Rasa, pleasure, has His supersubjective existence. He is a person. He is ahkila rasamrta murtih -- the Reservoir of All Pleasure. He is Krishna. Rasa is Krishna. There cannot be rasa in any other place but Krishna. He is the fountainhead of all different types of rasa. So, by the nature of our constitution we have to search after Krishna.

In the Brahma-Sutra it is said, "Inquire after the Supreme Cause of this world. Search!" From where has everything come? How is everything maintaining its existence? By whom? And ultimately, where does everything enter after death? That is Brahma, or Spirit, the most fundamental plane from where everything springs up, remains, and ultimately enters. Where is Brahma? The Brahma-Sutra advises us to inquire after the prime cause, the biggest, the all accommodating. But Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replaced that, Srimad Bhagavatam replaced that with krsnanusandhana-- the search for Sri Krishna.

Brahma-jijnasa, the search for spirit, is a dry thing. That is only the exercise of your thinking faculty, a jugglery of reason. Leave that behind. Begin the search for Sri Krishna and quench the thirst of your heart. Rasa jijnasa, raso vai sah. The things acquired by your reason won't satisfy you. Jnana, or knowledge, cannot really quench your thirst, so instead of brahma-jijnasa accept krsnanusandhana and begin the search for Sri Krishna.

Where is Krishna? Our real want will be satisfied only by getting the service of Krishna; not by anything else. We want to satisfy the innermost demands of our hearts. We don't care to know where we are or what is controlling everything, but we really want to quench our thirst for rasa, for madhurya, for sweetness. We must search neither for knowledge nor for the controller of this world; we must search after rasa, anandam, after beauty and charm.

Beg for Krishna
 Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srimad-Bhagavatam have taught us what to beg for, what to pray for, what to want. They have taught us, "If you beg, beg for Krishna, not for anything else." So the fate of the Vaishnavas, the students of the Bhagavatand the followers of Mahaprabhu, is sealed in the search for Sri Krishna. We want nothing else but Krishna.

The Vedas say srnvantu visve amrtasya putrah -- "O, you sons of nectar, sons of the nectarine ocean sea: please listen to me. You were born in nectar; you were born to taste nectar, and you must not allow yourselves to be satisfied by anything but nectar. So, however misguided you may be for the time being, awake! Arise! Search for that nectar, that satisfaction." The Vedas tell us, "Om!" Om means a big "Yes!" "What you are searching for -- that is! Don't be disappointed." The Vedas say that the object of our inner search exists. The common search of all your hearts is existing, and your thirst will be quenched. By your constitution you are meant for that and you deserve that, so don't be afraid; don't be cowed down. It is already given in your being. And you can never be satisfied with anything else.

So prepare your self, after your long search, to receive that long missing nectar in its full form and quality. Awake! Arise! Search for your fortune and you cannot but have that. It is your birthright. It is the wealth of your own soul. It cannot but be within you. You have no other business, no other engagement but krsnanusandhana, the Search for Sri Krishna -- Reality the Beautiful.

The Krishna Conception
 Surrender is not a lip transaction. Surrender means not only to surrender one's possessions, but to realize that the possessions themselves are false. I am not a master of anything. I am not even master of myself. Surrender means to give everything to the Guru, and rid ourselves of the unholy connection of so many possessions, so that they may not disturb us by always suggesting, "You are my master," and in this way misleading us.

We should think, "Everything belongs to the Lord and His delegation, the Guru. I am not the master of anything." That sort of knowledge we should imbibe, and that will be helpful to our real spiritual progress. This is reality. We have to realize that fact. We want the truth, and we want to free ourselves from false notions. So, properdiksa, spiritual initiation, imparts the divine knowledge that nothing belongs to us; not only that, but everything belongs to God, including ourselves. That is the conception of diksa: "I belong to Him; everything belongs to Him. I am His servant, and these are the objects of His service."

Fool's Paradise
 This is reality, and we are suffering under nonreality in an imaginary world. We are living in a fool's paradise. We should do away with the fool's paradise and try to enter into real paradise. When we have a peep into the characteristic of the absolute environment of reality, and even a little regard for the truth, we can no longer relish the paraphernalia of this world as we did previously. Because we have had a real taste of the higher truth, we will have no charm for this material world. We will no longer feel encouragement to meet with the duties that are relating to this world of enjoyment. We will be indifferent.

We know that the connection with the present enjoying mood brings a painful reaction. We can realize that, but we cannot leave it behind. We cannot cut off the connection completely in the stage of sadhana, spiritual practice. Still, we have no other alternative. Our affinity for the positive truth should be increased more and more and gradually our affinity for our paraphernalia and obligations will all disappear. Although repeatedly we may not be successful, still we will be unable to give up the idea. We will attempt again and again to make progress towards the truth, and when we are unsuccessful, our heart will ache to think that we are repeatedly being defeated by the enemies who are all around us.

But the fire of Krishna consciousness is there, and that fire is not to be quenched. It is a spark of eternal truth. So, the fire will continue, and the day will come when the enemies that are surrounding us will have to retire once and for all. One day we will find that Krishna has gradually captured our whole heart, and the others have retired forever; they are no longer present to trouble us in our mental circle. We will find that those unwanted things were like mushrooms: they came out from our mental soil, and now they have all gone and died. They have all gone away, and Krishna alone is in the heart. At that time, the heart is only full of Krishna, full of the Krishna conception.

Krishna Captures The Heart
 Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad once instructed a disciple at the time of initiation into the Hare Krishna mantra that Krishna should be allowed to land in our hearts, just as an army is landed by the navy. An army is carried by a ship, and when they have landed, the fight begins, and they capture the country, just as Julius Caesar said, "Veni vidi vici -- I came, I saw, I conquered." So, we have to allow Krishna to land in our hearts. Then the fight will begin.

What is the proposal of Krishna consciousness, and what is the proposal of so many other conceptions? They are all giving us their assurances from time immemorial, saying, "I shall give you this, I shall give you that," but the Krishna conception will enter and say, "My claim is this: the whole thing is Mine, and you are all trespassers!" The fight will begin; the unwanted things are sure to withdraw, and Krishna consciousness will capture the whole heart. This is the process. Krishna consciousness has only to land within our hearts. Somehow or other, from a pure devotee, a bit of real Krishna consciousness should enter through our ears into our hearts, and Krishna will supply whatever is required. One who has imbibed even a slight regard for Krishna consciousness is assured of success in spiritual life, today or tomorrow.

We may have erected high walls on all sides to protect ourselves so that Krishna consciousness may not enter, but Krishna is a thief -- and a thief requires no invitation. No preparation is necessary for His welcome. He will enter for His own interest, and that is our consolation. Our solace is that Krishna is a thief. Maya has erected her high walls on all sides, but nothing is sufficient to stop Krishna consciousness. Krishna is a thief, and stealthily He will enter one day.

Hope For The Hopeless
 A devotee may become hopeless, thinking, "The enemy is within my own house; my own kinsmen are my enemies. I am hopeless." We may become disappointed, but Krishna consciousness will not leave us in any way. Krishna will persevere, and in due course of time, He will conquer. And other things, no matter how closely related they may be in private and well-protected rooms in our hearts, will have to go. They must take leave from every corner of our hearts. Krishna will conquer. Krishna will capture the whole thing.

The unwanted lusty desires of our hearts are foreign things. They are only mushrooms. Like mushrooms, they come out; they have no permanent stability or root. They are not rooted to the soil. We may think that what we have stored in our hearts is very near and dear, and that is already mixed with us as a part of our existence, but when Krishna consciousness enters, they will all float like mushrooms.

After all, they are mushrooms; they have no footing, no connection with the soil. They are only floating. All material interests are only floating on the surface. They are not deeply rooted within and without the whole of our existence. Only Krishna consciousness has its existence everywhere, within all parts of our existence. So, the mushrooms will have to vanish one day. This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam [2.8.5]:

pravistah karna-randhrena svanam bhava-saroruham
   dhunoti samalam krsnah salilasya yatha sarat

When Krishna enters the heart through the ear, He captures the lotus of the heart and then gradually makes all the dirt in the heart disappear. Just as when the autumn season comes, all the water everywhere becomes pure, so also, when Krishna enters our hearts, all the impurities within will gradually vanish, and only Krishna will remain forever.
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