Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

New Book: To Dance in the Downpour of Devotion

My newest book is now available in print and Kindle editions!

To Dance in the Downpour of Devotion

To Dance in the Downpour of Devotion

A Summary Study of Mādhurya Kādambinī

Exactly following Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur’sMadhurya Kadambini, this book provides an inspirational and practical guide to each step along the road from ignorance to bliss. It vividly and enticingly describes each of the 9 progressive stages of developing divine love, prema-bhakti.

It is written in clear, simple, no-nonsense English.

MORE INFO

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Canto 1 Second Draft Complete!!!

Today the blessings and shakti of Sri Guru Parampara enabled an unqualified soul to complete the second draft of Srimad Bhagavatam Canto One in a novel-like format. I will now make a third draft, but I am hopeful that it will not take long. I think the book may be in print before the end of 2012, if that is what Mahaprabhu’s followers desire. Here are the closing notes:

Our efforts to describe and comprehend Krishna are like the effort of a bird to fly in the sky. It is natural for the bird, and delightful – but still it is impossible for a bird to reach the limit of the sky.

The Beautiful Tales of the All-Attractive are sublime. They are the intimate realized visions of the most highly elevated souls. Although it is impossible to fully define the Unlimited, these tales will point our attention directly towards Krishna. With our hearts thus turned, we will absorb an eternal downpour of blissful, enlightened energy radiating from Śrī Krishna and thus become empowered to directly and impossibly comprehend the tangible divine reality.

As a lightning rod attracts lightning without creating or containing it, these tales attract our consciousness to the All-Attractive. May we dive into them with unabashed joy and abandon.


The Very Worst News Possible

While the king inquired fearfully, Arjuna became more and more morose over the loss of Krishna – a friend dearer to him than his very self. Sadness dried his mouth, and the lotus of his heart was robbed of luster. Enrapt in memory of his great friend, he could not answer for a long time. He made great efforts to stop his uncontrollable sobbing, smearing tears around his eyes with his hands. Pain grew deeper and deeper with him, from his powerful affection for one who was now out of sight.

Remembering his friend and companion – the well-wisher who had been his chariot driver and so much else – he turned to his eldest brother, the King, and spoke in stuttering and exploding words:

O Emperor, I am bereft of Hari… who had become our intimate relative. Without him all my astounding strength, which amazed even the gods, is gone.

Without him, even for a moment, the whole world becomes ugly, like our bodies look when bereft of life.

With Krishna I strode into the palace where Draupadī was choosing her husband from all the princes smitten with her, and erased their hopes by shooting an arrow straight into the fish.

With Krishna I defeated all the immortals, and handed the Khāṇḍava forest over to Agni, after arresting Indra who was hiding there. Maya then built our wondrous assembly hall, in which princes from every direction brought taxes and gifts to you.

With Krishna, your great younger brother who is as powerful as an army of elephants freed all the kings from the madman who sacrificed to the Lord of Madness and collected royal skulls at his feet. All of them gave you gifts in thanks.

Remember when your wife, gloriously dressed and bathed with a beautiful hair knot, was caught in a terrible assembly of cheaters who tried to untie that knot while tears fell down her face? With Krishna we turned their wives into widows with unkempt hair.

Remember when our enemy sent dangerous Durvāsa with countless disciples to eat at our modest hut in the forest? Krishna protected us: He ate a morsel of left over spinach and rice, and suddenly no one in the three worlds felt hungry. The sage and his disciples were satisfied before they even finished their baths.

Because of Krishna, I once even fought Śiva, the blessed trident wielder.  My skill astonished him and his wife so much that he gave me the secret of his own weapon, and other gods followed suit.  As a result, I could enter the house of Indra, king of paradise even with my mortal body, and share his throne!

While I was there, Indra and the gods took refuge of my strong arms, which hold the Gāṇḍiva Bow. I protected them from their enemy, because I was empowered by Krishna. But now I am robbed of him!

With Krishna, I was invincible and single-handedly traversed the unsurpassable ocean of the Kuru’s strength, to retrieve the treasures they stole and claim the dazzling jeweled crowns from their heads.

An enormous phalanx of great warriors and fine chariots encircled Bhīṣma, Karṇa, my Guru, and Śalya.  I went straight into it with Krishna at my side – and his glance deflated all their strength, enthusiasm, and longevity.

Because of his protection, their terrible weapons had no effect on me; just like the demons could not even scratch the boy Narasiṁha protected.

In our unusual relationship, he became my chariot driver; although he is the Supreme Master, the soul’s savior, and even his feet are worshipped by the wise who seek liberation. By his blessing, I had no fears when my horses became thirsty and I had to stand on the ground during the war.

We joked and jested so delightfully, beautified by his smile: “Hey Cousin! Hey my friend Arjuna! Hey Kuru’s-son!” …Oh, these conversations touched my very heart …my soul floods with memories of sweet Krishna.

We were always inseparable; sleeping, sitting, walking, eating, and boasting together. When one of us misbehaved, the other would sarcastically say, “Oh my, what an ideal person you are!”  Krishna, the greatest of the great, tolerated my awfully familiar attitude; just as a father tolerates his child, or friends tolerate one another.

Oh! Without him… without that supreme person: my friend, my beloved, my well-wisher… my very soul becomes vacant and void.

Recently, I was guarding the bodies of the Krishna’s queens when I was attacked… by farmers …who defeated me as easily as if I was a girl. I have the same bow, the same arrows, the same chariot, and the same horses. I am the same man whom great warriors praised …but without Krishna everything has lost its power. I have become like play money; like a sacrifice offered to ashes; like a seed in the desert.

Arjuna now became very stoic and spoke very plainly:

King, you asked about our well-wishers in their great city.  Here is the news: They got so drunk from liquor and wine that they couldn’t even recognize each other.  An argument broke out and they wound up killing each other.  Only four or five survived.

Perhaps it was a curse?  It seems more like the will of the All-Powerful Master, by which living beings sometimes want to kill each other but at other times want to protect each other.  The big fish eats the small fish.  The strong eat the weak.  Such are the ways of providence; and such was the manner in which the stronger Yadus killed the weaker ones; erasing themselves from the face of the earth.

There is nothing left for me but to remember the great wisdom Govinda spoke to me on the verge of battle, for that wisdom always extinguishes the flames of pain.


A Lesson for Leaders

SB 1.17.12

“Who broke your three legs, O four-legged Surabhi’s-son? I have never seen such a thing in the country ruled by kings who follow Krishna.

13

“Tell me, Bull. It will be good for those who are saintly and who do not do wrong. Who is disfiguring and destroying the fame of Pṛthā’s sons?

14

“Those who harm the harmless must fear me wherever they go! Certainly the saintly would prosper when the sinful are curbed.

15

“If any wild man harms a harmless being I will unleash my arms without restraint, even if he is an armored immortal.

16

“The foremost duty of a dutiful king is to protect the innocent and curb others who needlessly disregard the moral path.”

King Parīkṣit gives us an excellent lesson in leadership. He says, “I have never seen a person suffer so much in a society governed by Krishna’s followers.” One who gives his blood, sweat and tears to see that no one under his protection suffers is truly an image of Krishna reflected into humanity. Anyone who allows those in their charge to suffer is the antithesis. However, in the Age of Kali even a philosopher-king and saintly spiritualist as great as Parīkṣit could not perfectly keep his country free from suffering and problems. In the modern age, we must try our best to protect those in our care but should not feel crippled by our inevitable shortcomings.

To protect the innocent it is necessary to fend off and curb down the guilty. Thus a king must be powerful and courageous, and most importantly must be able to tell the difference between the innocent and guilty. For this the king requires the guidance of experienced, learned and most importantly, impartial sages.

 


Flutes and Conch-shells, and Expressions of Inner Joy

1.10.36

When the sun would set into the ocean in the west, overtook by evening, Hari would rest. In each place the people came to see him and give him gifts.

1.11.1

Drawing neigh to his own very prosperous city in the Land of Plenty (ānartā), he resounded upon his wondrous conch just to relieve the worries of the citizens.

2

Though the bowl of that conch was white, it became brilliantly reddened by the redness of the Great Adventurer’s lips. While resounding in the grip of his lotus-like hand, it was like a swan singing among lotuses.

The conch shell blushed when kissed by Kṛṣṇa, and radiated an exquisite beauty when touched by his hand.

3

Hearing that sound, which causes all fears to flee, all the citizens ran quickly towards it; greedy to see their protector.

Kṛṣṇa’s conch seems to act upon the residents of Dvārakā very similarly to how his flute acts upon the Gopīs. We can attempt to gain access to these sounds by listening attentively to the sound of Kīrtana.

4

They gave him many gifts, which is like giving a candle to the sun because he is self-blissful and all his desires are completely fulfilled by the his own means, incessantly.

The sun can be respected by offering it a candle. If you think about it for a second, the sun doesn’t need any extra light and neither does the person standing before the sun with the candle. The candle is not “needed” it is simply a vehicle expressing respect. This candle is exactly analogous to the actions of divine love. Neither the divine lover nor the divine beloved actually need anything, both are already completely satisfied and full by dint of divine love itself. A person in divine love is already completely fulfilled, like a person standing before the Sun is effortlessly bathed in light. In the absence of divine love’s light, all actions result from a need to cover or fill some horrible emptiness inside. The sun-drenched actions of divine love may appear very similar, but have a completely different foundation, because they exist not to fill an inner void but to express and amplify an inner fullness of joy and bliss.

5

Their faces made cheerful by love, they spoke eager and stammering words – like children to their ever-caring father.


Philosophy in the City – Part 4

1.10.27

Aho! Rising higher than the fame of heaven
The Land of Kusha Grass raises the virtuous fame of the earth.
It’s citizens always see the kindness-laden smiling glance
Of the soul’s true husband.

The “Land of Kusha Grass” (kuśasthali) is Kṛṣṇa’s home city, Dvārakā. The citizens of Dvārakā are more celebrated than the citizens of heaven, because in Dvārakā the blessing-filled, pleasant and loving glances of Kṛṣṇa – the soul’s true husband – are always seen.

28

In their previous lives, certainly his queens must have
Perfectly worshiped the Master with vows involving rituals, baths, and so on;
For these women drink, again and again, the heavenly nectar of his lips,
The mere hope for which causes the women of Vraja to faint.

Much of what the ladies discus, especially in texts 27 and 28, directly mocks the foolishness of the Vedic priests who were chanting benedictions, hymns, and mantras while Kṛṣṇa makes ready to depart. The heavenly planets and the nectar of immortality found there are primary objectives of Vedic rituals, but these girls are ridiculing those objectives in comparison to what is easily and automatically found in Kṛṣṇa.

They said that the everyone present is more fortunate than anyone else in the three worlds, because the Supreme Being playfully walks among them. Then they said, “He is only here temporarily, imagine the glory of his home city, Dvārakā! The residents there are truly fortunate because they regularly get what we rarely get. The glory of that place belittles the attractions of heaven!”

Then another lady continues the theme, “All those residents are fortunate because they experience the glance of Kṛṣṇa, but imagine the queens there, who always drink the nectar of his lips!!! Such nectar makes the nectar of heaven seem like old coffee!”

Then another says, “But my friends, best of all are the women of Vraja – where Kṛṣṇa was unreservedly intimate. Their love for him is so great that they swoon from the taste of that nectar without even needing to physically have it!”


Philosophy in the City – Part 2

1.10.23

This man is certainly very virile!
He impregnates nature with his own power of life, empowering her to create offspring.
Entrusting her to award names and forms to the nameless, formless souls;
And creating the rules by which to do so.

The ladies continue their enthusiastic chatter about Kṛṣṇa as his chariot pulls into the road to leave the city. They cling to these words about him, as if by holding them they can keep Kṛṣṇa from leaving their vision.

“To say that he is ‘sexy’ is the universes most preposterous understatement,” declares a beautiful young lady excitedly. “Do you know how virile he really is???”

“Yes, we know!” exclaims another. “His seed is the original seed! He impregnates Mother Nature herself! And thus gives her the power to develop so many millions of children in her womb, again and again throughout history.”

Then the lady who spoke the previous verse turned quickly towards the others with a flourish, “His seed is none other than the quantum of life itself! In that energy are infinite individual proto-souls, as mere potential consciousness – without definite shape or identity. By placing them into the care of his wife’s womb, he entrusts her to bestow appropriate names and forms to them, according to the design he sets forth.

“And, good women,” she continues loudly, “this is true for both the conditioned as well as the liberated souls. The only difference between the two is which of his wives he impregnates! He impregnates the wife named Mahā-Prakṛti, or Mahā-Māyā, to give names and forms to the souls who desire a venue for imitating his own exploits. But he impregnates another, dearer wife named Daivi-Prakṛti, or Yoga-Māyā to give names and forms to those souls who desire to partake directly in his spiritual pastimes of joy.”

23

This very same man is he for whom the gods and the godly
Struggle to conquer their senses and control their lifestyles,
In the effort to purify themselves, so that their hearts may give rise to divine love
By which they can see him.

There really is no other point to self-purification!

“Do you see that man?” Asks another woman, pointing towards Kṛṣṇa with a timid hand trembling out of excitement. “We see him before us with our very eyes! Do you know how much trouble the gods themselves go through to be able to see him!? They work so hard to control the selfish desires in the heart which obscure pure devotion, because they know that pure love is the only eye that can behold the limitless beauty of the All-Attractive.”

He voice faded into a whisper and then fell silent. The women stood motionless for a few moments. Then, with a very deep sign, someone concluded, “Really, besides seeing that man, nothing else in the world is worth striving for.”


The Boy Sees God

[1.6.16]

As I meditated upon his lotus-like feet, gradually all of my thoughts and emotions became enrapt in spiritual affection, I became very enthusiastic, tears rolled from my eyes, and Hari appeared within my heart.

[17]

O learned one, my body completely overwhelmed with ecstasies, an excess of incomparable divine love drowned me in a flood of spiritual bliss and I could not see a second thing.

[18]

The beauty of the All-Attractive charms the mind and makes everything else disappear. Suddenly losing sight of him, I stood up in distress like a person who has lost everything.

[19]

Desiring to find him, I again set my mind into my heart and searched. In spite of my effort, I could not see him and became tormented with dissatisfaction.

[20]

Seeing me struggling alone, he who is beyond reach spoke to me in a deep and delightful voice that pacified my sadness.

In 16 we see the six-year old boy’s spiritual practice begin and very soon attain bhāva, the eighth of nine stages of progress in bhakti-yoga. He began at this high stage because of his previous practice with the Kṛṣṇa Saṁkīrtanists during the previous rainy and autumn seasons, and his consequent contemplations and efforts.

In 17 we see bhāva maturing into prema, the final stage of progress. The nature of prema (divine love) is to completely submerge the consciousness in a deluge of ecstasy which is so all-consuming that one loses perception of anything and everything else.

In 18 we see that in the transition from bhāva to prema there are temporary perceptions of tangible spiritual reality. Losing touch with them causes extreme distress in the heart, which is the fire that finally burns off the last remaining impurities of self-centered ego.

In 19 we see the boy try to apply the same technique that previously worked, but this time it would not work. Text 20 answers the question of why it did not work: Godhead is beyond the boundaries of where our mind and senses can extend. Therefore by their own efforts they cannot directly perceive Godhead. The revelation of Hari’s divine beauty in text 17 came to the boy not directly as a result of his efforts to meditate, but as a result of those efforts invoking special mercy from Hari. In text 19 Hari is applying a different type of special mercy to prepare the boy for his full mercy. In text 20, merciful Hari feels compelled to speak to the child and explain all this.


Nārada’s Previous Life

Nārada has just finished explaining to Vyāsa why if he really wants to accomplish his goal of benefitting humanity he must give direct voice to the names, forms, qualities, and activities of the All-Attractive. Now he tells the story of his past life to illustrate how powerfully purifying it is to hear about the All-Attractive.

[1.5.23]

O scholar, in a previous creation I was the child of an insignificant maidservant. During the rainy season she was assigned to carefully attend the domestic needs of philosophers and mystics.

Nārada is one of the first children of the first being in the universe, Brahmā. So the words Nārada uses to mean “a previous life” also mean “a previous universe.”

[24]

I was not like most children, obsessed with frivolous games. I had discipline, was quiet, and listened carefully to instructions. Therefore I could make good use of the impartial mercy the learned bestow.

Divine mercy is infinitely ever-present. It is only lack of humility which causes us to close ourselves off from it. This boy had natural humility, and thus made very good use of the time he spent with saintly people.

[25]

For example, they allowed me to eat what remained on their plates. This erased all my karma and made my heart very pure. Thus I became naturally attracted to their way of life.

Eating the food left behind after one has served a pure person infects one with purity. When the heart is pure its constitutional attraction to the spiritual becomes self-manifest.

[26]

So I would go and listen to them; and they would affectionately sing to me about Kṛṣṇa. With great interest and care I paid attention to everything they described. Thus I acquired a real taste, O dear one, for the Beloved Subject of Discussion.

The boy found, among all the philosophers and mystics gathered during the rainy season, a special group of people who always enthusiastically sang about All-Attractive Kṛṣṇa (kṛṣṇa-kathāḥ pragāyatām).  One name for the All-Attractive is Priyaśrava, “The Beloved Subject of Discussion.”

[27]

O genius, when I got that taste my attention could not waver from the Beloved Subject. I saw that I was bewildered by thinking of myself as something temporary. I came to know myself as transcendental spirit.

[28]

So, throughout the rainy season and into the autumn I continued hearing the saṁkīrtan of those learned great-souls glorifying the pure fame of Hari. My devotion began to flow and the passion and ignorance that had covered me eroded.

Both the boy and the great souls were enjoying their kīrtana so much that they could not part when the time came at the end of the rainy season. All the other philosophers and mystics departed but the boy and the great souls continued hearing and chanting about All-Attractive Kṛṣṇa. This soon caused a river of divine love to begin pouring from what was previously the glacier of the boy’s spiritual heart. That river quickly and powerfully eroded the dirt of passion and ignorance which had covered his pure, clear spiritual existence.

[29]

I really loved them, and so listened to and followed them carefully. All the impurities of that faithful boy were destroyed I began to behave like them.

[30]

Being affectionate and compassionate towards the needy, before leaving me they instructed me on the most confidential knowledge that the All-Attractive himself gives.

[31]

By this instruction certainly I understood the powerful influence of the true creator – the Son of Vasudeva – and became prepared to attain him.

[32]

O Brahmin, the instruction was this: ‘The learned know that the best remedy for all miseries is to dedicate ones duty to the All-Attractive Master.’

When finally departing, the great souls told the boy how to perfect what he had begun to attain in their company. They gave him the same knowledge that Kṛṣṇa himself gives in Bhagavad-Gītā: Do not renounce active life, but change your activities so that their motive is to please the All-Attractive Master.

Vyāsa may be surprised that such great souls gave such an apparently simplified instruction to a boy who had already attained so much spiritual advancement. After all, action and duty is the very first rung on the Vedic ladder of spirituality. So Nārada said…

[33-34]

O man of good action, can’t same thing that causes a disease cure it when administered properly? So, activities cause our material bondage, but activities can also destroy it when they are dedicated towards spiritual ends.

This is a homeopathic principle.

[35]

Whatever one does to please the All-Attractive thoroughly links one to the All-Attractive with the bonds of divine love. What we call “knowledge” is but a dependent of this link.

Normally duty purifies one of selfishness, and thus allows one to more clearly perceive knowledge. Thus normally duty is subservient to knowledge. But when duties are dedicated to the pleasure of Godhead the paradigm is reversed. Knowledge becomes a maidservant facilitating the link of divine love.

[36]

By endeavoring to please the All-Attractive by following his instructions, one naturally always remembers and embraces the qualities and names of Kṛṣṇa.

Activities dedicated to pleasing Kṛṣṇa are so purifying because they cause one to always remember Kṛṣṇa. It is actually the remembrance of Kṛṣṇa which is purifying, not the action itself. But the action is a catalyst.

[37]

‘Now hear this transcendental message: I focus on you, the All-Attractive, and contemplate you. Vāsudeva, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Saṁkarṣaṇa are the focus, not I.’

To validate that duties properly performed cause one to remember Kṛṣṇa, Nārada here quotes a Vedic mantra to be invoked when doing regular duties.

 [38]

A person with perfect vision worships the Object of Sacrifice in the form of sound.

The “Object of Sacrifice” is Yajña, another name for Viṣṇu. God “in the form of sound” (mantra-mūrti) is especially the Saṁkīrtan Yajña singing of the mahā-mantra:

hare kṛṣṇa, hare kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa, hare hare
hare rāma, hare rāma, rāma rāma, hare hare

Since the power of divine action is in its ability to inspire remembrance of the names and forms of the All-Attractive, one with good vision wants to spend as much time as possible directly engaged in discussing and singing the names and qualities of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore the best action to perform for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure is to discuss and sing about the Subject of Topmost Poetry.

[39]

O brahmin, that is how I obtained realized knowledge of Godhead. I acted upon it and was granted knowledge of Godhead’s opulent and multifarious powers. This lead me to personal affection for The Most Beautiful.

Nārada attained his status by Kṛṣṇa-saṁkīrtana: singing and discussing the names and qualities of the Divine Beloved. Keśava is a name for the All-Attractive indicating his beauty, especially due to his beautiful hair.

[40]

You also have learned by compiling the vast Veda that the wise who always seek knowledge try to please the Almighty. Describe this, and the miserable masses will get liberated from their constant suffering and sadness; from which there is no other escape.

Nārada concludes his story of his past life by saying, “Give direct voice to the names, forms, qualities, and activities of the All-Attractive. Thus accomplish your goal of liberating people from suffering. I am the proof that it works. Make them attracted to the All-Attractive.”


Glories of the Self and God

The sages asked, “If God takes birth and ‘has incarnations,’ is he not just like us?”

Suta answered, “God’s form is itself pure spiritual formlessness, beyond the limitations of an individual shape created by material elements We souls are also beyond limitation of form but we confuse the observer with the observed and thereby identify our self with limiting things like our mind and body.”

[1.3.32]

Beyond this is something imperceptible, having no formal shape created by qualities. It is a substance unseen, unheard. It is the life-force which is born repeatedly.

Beyond the mind and body is the actual “self.” Both God and you are this substance, beyond all objectivity and subjectivity. Beyond objects and subjects is the true self. But, this self takes so many limiting forms again and again due to projection of the observer (the soul) into the observation (the world).

[33]

We can have spiritual vision when perfect knowledge itself rejects all these persistent and temporary forms imposed by ignorance.

If spiritual substance is beyond objectivity and subjectivity how can it be experienced? It can be experienced only by “knowledge itself” – sva-saṁvit. Godhead possesses three categories of spiritual potency: existence, awareness, and enjoyment. The second, awareness, is termed saṁvit. We must beg from the divine an infusion of saṁvit as a catalyst to awaken the saṁvit inherent within us, now rusted shut from disuse. Awakened self-knowledge casts off the haze of all illusory objects and subjects and grants spiritual perception (brahma-darśan), and thus access to the realm of transcendent objectivity and subjectivity.

[34]

If the goddess’ illusion withdraws, comprehension becomes perfect. Thus enriched, one understands one’s inherent exalted glories.

We possess the inherent capacity to understand and experience Godhead and spiritual truth. All that is required is for the intoxication of the “goddess’ illusion” (devī-māyā) to wear off. When we beg the saṁvit catalyst, it blows away the fog of delusions that currently obscure our capacity for transcendental perception and comprehension. Without such illusions, the inherently exalted glories of the self become self-evident.

What is the essence of that glory? We are made of God, by God, for God. The full richness of this exaltation is tasted when we let go of the illusion of all other self-conceptions.

[35]

The births of the birthless and the deeds of the deedless have been thus described by the learned. The lord of the heart is the confidential secret of true knowledge.

In one sense the lord of the heart (hṛt-pateḥ) is the self, for the self dwells in the core of what we are and empowers our body and mind to be “alive.” In another sense the lord of the heart is God, for God dwells in the core of the self and empowers it to exist and comprehend.

The lord of the heart is birthless, without beginning. Yet we see that we have been born, and we hear that even Godhead incarnates. The lord of the heart has no action and reaction, beyond causality. Yet we are completely entangled in the reactions of our actions, and we hear that Godhead also performs deeds. Both the self and Godhead are thus a true mystery, the final subject of true knowledge (veda-guhya). Suta has tried to pass on to us the benefit of what those who have studied thus subject to its utmost have explained about it.

[36]

So too is He of Untainted Activity. He creates and destroys everything without entanglement in anything. He is within all beings, but is independently self-situated. He is the master of six powers, the mere fragrance of which are the six qualities.

The sages asked if Godhead is limited like we are, since he takes birth and has a name, form and activities like we do. Suta answered by explaining that even the soul is not limited by its birth, name, form and activities. Neither the soul nor Godhead is limited by its name and form, etc.

Suta explained the difference between Godhead and the soul. The soul accepts material illusions and confuses the observation (non-self) with the observer (self), thus forgetting its unlimited nature. Godhead never does so. His activities are always untainted by ignorance (amogha-līla). He never acts out of ignorant selfishness and therefore he never gets entangled in his karma, even in his “dirty work” of creation and destruction. He is within all things and beings, but never loses his individual identity. He is the master of all opulent powers, which he enjoys with cognizant intent and without impurity.

[37-38]

Who, with meager knowledge, can understand the names, forms, and activities of the expert creator? The theories and arguments of fools cannot grasp the dramas he plays! Only one who unreservedly, unrelentingly, and lovingly adores the lotus-flower scent of his feet He can understand the creator – who held a chariot wheel in his hand, whose prowess is endless, and whose praise is transcendent.  

Suta has explained that Godhead is always unlimited, but the soul becomes bewildered by illusions. How can a bewildered thing comprehend something beyond bewilderment? By its own means, it cannot. The soul must beg saṁvit from Godhead. The light of saṁvit dispels the darkness of illusion and the soul’s inherent capacity for transcendental perception and activity awakens. Therefore if you desire to truly comprehend spirituality and Godhead, you must approach the study as a beggar, not as a conquistador. You must take a childlike attitude towards Godhead, feeling in need to shelter and protection and education. This is quite embarrassing for proud fools such as we, or at least such as I. Therefore Suta asks us to cast aside our shame and inhibitions. Unreservedly, unrelentingly adore the fragrance of Śrī Kṛṣṇa which spreads like a lotus perfume on the pleasant breezes of kirtan spoken and sung by those whose hearts are enrapt with his charm.

Do you have such opportunities? You do now. Suta will speak Śrīmad Bhāgavatam to give us exactly this chance to hear.