2.Relishing sweetness not majesty of Lord is the goal

 

The word bhagavan has been given many definitions. Jiva Goswami has defined it to mean “that
Truth which contains an extraordinary combination of both godly opulences and human
sweetness.”Generally speaking, however, the word bhagavan refers to the possessor of
the six opulences of wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. These
opulences can be considered in two divisions, namely supreme majesty and supreme
sweetness. Majesty, or aisvarya, refers to those powers by which the Supreme Lord
controls the entire universe. The contemplation of the Lord’s majestic potencies results in
responses like fear and excessive respectfulness in the devotee. On the other hand,
sweetness (madhurya) refers to those qualities of the Lord which cause his form and
pastimes themselves to become the object of the devotee’s delight. Realization of those
qualities results in love (prema or priti) for the Lord.

Knowledge of God’s formless aspect or essence (svarupa) results in the experience of the
bliss known as svarupananda, whereas a feeling for God’s sweetness covers both the
essential and majestic aspects of his nature. In other words, in the ocean of the devotee’s
experience of God’s sweetness, knowledge of the Lord’s essence and glories become
covered like a submarine mountain.

Jiva Gosvamin further states that although knowledge of the Lord’s essence and majesty is
certainly knowledge of bhagavan, if one has no appreciation or realization of the Lord’’s
sweetness through which he can be loved, then his knowledge or realization of God’s
other qualities is tantamount to ignorance or non-experience. As an example, he gives the
person whose secretions of bile have increased to such an extent that he cannot taste the
sweetness of sugar even though it is in his mouth.

Furthermore, knowledge of the Lord’s impersonal or majestic aspects leads to a certain
ossification of the inner being, after which one is left with nothing more than a sense of
reverence. Such a spirit of awe does not result in the softening or melting of the heart
which can only come about through an appreciation of God’s sweetness.
In the Sadhana-dipika, the subject is treated as follows:
There are two kinds of devotees, those sensitive to the Lord’s majesty
(aisvarya) and those who are appreciative of his sweetness (madhurya). The
former have a disposition to the Lord’s divinely majestic form, activities and
amusements while the latter have a leaning to his human-like body,
activities and amusements. Even so, it should be noted that without any
knowledge whatsoever of God’s glorious aspect, there is no possibility of
having a full or fixed insight into his madhurya [because this latter sense
develops out of the former]. Without such an awareness, a sense will arise
that the Lord’s lila is mundane in nature and that is certainly not the import
of madhurya. Even so, if one has no feeling for the Lord’s sweetness he will
be baffled in his attempt to achieve love for him.

Elsewhere, Sri Jiva says that the external structure of devotion is built by the sense of
majesty, whereas the life of that structure, i.e., that portion that is related to love, is
animated by the sense of his sweetness.

In the Siddhanta-ratna (“The Jewel of Conclusive Truth”), Baladeva Vidyabhusana also
argues that consciousness of God’s majesty is not entirely absent from the one devoted to
his sweetness:
A devotee of the madhurya aspect of the Lord has a sense of his majesty in
the way same way that one can observe the Sarasvati River at the confluence
of the three holy rivers at Prayag. In fact, one cannot see the Sarasvati there
at all, and yet its presence cannot be denied; similarly, a perception of the
Lord’s majesty exists hidden behind the devotee’s absorption in his
sweetness. It is for this reason that, in the course of his affectionate dealings
with the Lord, the devotee who has experienced his sweetness does not
become troubled by feelings of fear or reverence, even when he happens to
perceive the Lord’s greatness. Even when he catches sight of the Lord’s
divine opulences, such a devotee’s dominant affection does not shrink. He
rather continues to think of the Lord as his son, friend or lover, becoming
even happier to think, “My son (or my friend, or my lover) is the Supreme
Lord,” much in the way that people in this world become filled with pride
when their own son or lover receives some honor or attains an important
post. Such pride simply increases their basic feeling of parental or conjugal
affection. Therefore, if one has the sense that the Lord is his son or lover,
that sense does not become stifled even in the event of direct perception of
his being the Supreme God and abode of unlimited celestial opulences and
sweetness. It rather becomes increased by the thought, “My son (or husband) has become so glorious.”

In fact, this sense of the sweetness of the Lord keeps the knowledge of his actual
magnificence and divine identity covered. Consequently, devotees such as the residents of
Vraja-dhama, who are dedicated to his most felicitous aspects, do not accept his supreme
divinity even when they are directly confronted with the fact. Their only knowledge on
the platform of heart-felt perception is that he is their son, their friend, the lord of their
life. Thus Krishnadasa states:
The essence of the Lord’s God-hood is the sweet or beatific aspect which he revealed in
Vrindavan. That aspect was described to some extent by Vyasadeva’s son, Suka, in the
Bhagavata; and it is the hearing of these portions which drives the devotees mad.

Madhurya is thus the essence of the Lord’s divinity. It has its ultimate realization in his
form as Sri Krsna when he adopts the pose of a charming and flirtatious gallant (dhiralalita).
A leading man (nayaka) of this type is considered by the poeticians to be the best
of the various types of romantic hero.

—————————————————————–
From Manjari Swarupa Nirupana by Srila Kunjabihari Das babaji Maharaj

 

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