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The Sonhood of Godhead

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj explains the defining characteristic of the Sweet Absolute.

Śrīman Mahāprabhu has given us this consciousness:

ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa-tanayas
(Śrī Chaitanya-mata-mañjuṣā: 1)

[“The Supreme Lord should be worshipped as the son of the King of Vraja.”]

Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why? God has so many forms and incarnations: Nārāyaṇ, Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Paraśurām, Matsya, Kūrma, Varāha, Vāmana, and so on. He has Yuga-avatārs, Guṇa-avatārs, Manvantara-avatārs, Līlā-avatārs, and other forms. But Ete Chāṁśa-kalāḥ (SB 1.3.28): they are all parts of the Supreme Lord. Parts of the Lord are full: every form of the Infinite is also infinite. If you subtract anything from the Infinite, the remainder is infinite, and if you add anything to the Infinite, the result is infinite. This is the nature and character of the Infinite. Still, we see that only Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead because Brahmā and the other demigods, the other incarnations of Kṛṣṇa, and even Saṅkarṣan, who is the director-in-chief of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all serve Kṛṣṇa. In the form of Kṛṣṇa, we can see in the Sonhood of Godhead. In this form, Kṛṣṇa is fully present. If you are a father, then you have a son. If you are a servant, then you have master. If you are a friend, then you have friends. But if you are a son, then you have everything, and that is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is the son of Mahārāj Nanda: Kṛṣṇa has a father, a brother, servants, friends, girlfriends, wives—everything. So, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is full-fledged theism.

vaikuṇṭhāj janito varā madhu-purī tatrāpi rāsotsavād
vṛndāraṇyam udāra-pāṇi-ramaṇāt tatrāpi govardhanaḥ
rādhā-kuṇḍam ihāpi gokula-pateḥ premāmṛtāplāvanāt
kuryād asya virājato giri-taṭe sevāṁ vivekī na kaḥ
(Śrī Upadeśāmṛta: 9)

This verse is given by Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī. Vaikuṇṭha is so great. It is the infinite abode of Nārāyaṇ. But when Narāyaṇ is the son of Nanda Mahārāj, or the son of Vasudev, He is considered more exalted according to rasa-vichār [the science of spiritual relationships].

Here, Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī used the word janitaḥ, which means that when Nārāyaṇ takes birth, He becomes more exalted and transcendentally glorious. No one can control the Lord; that is His position. But when someone is allowed to control Him, the Lord’s Pastimes become more glorious. When the Absolute has a guardian, then His Pastimes become the Sweet Absolute; they become most glorious.

When we have no guardian, then we have to be our own guardian, and all burden falls upon us. But when we have a guardian, then we can do wrong, and our guardian will save us. This type of play of the Lord—the Sweet Absolute—is most worshippable. So, Śrīman Mahāprabhu said,

ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa-tanayas
(Śrī Chaitanya-mata-mañjuṣā: 1)

Kṛṣṇa is the son of the King of Vraja. He has a father, a guardian, and His Pastimes are the Sweet Absolute. This is Reality the Beautiful. When Kṛṣṇa is the son of Mother Yaśodā, she chastises Him, and He plays as a fearful little boy. When He steals butter or does something wrong, Mother Yaśodā chastises Him. He runs away from her, but He cannot run so fast. His Mother is faster than her little boy, and He starts to cry.

rudantaṁ muhur netra-yugmaṁ mṛjantam
karāmbhoja-yugmena sātaṅka-netram
muhuḥ śvāsa-kampa-trirekhāṅka-kaṇṭha-
sthita-graivaṁ dāmodaraṁ bhakti-baddham
(Śrī Dāmodarāṣṭakam: 2)

He cries and rubs His eyes because He can’t see. He runs and looks behind at His mother coming to chastise Him. He begins to breathe very fast, and His eyes fill with fear that He will be caught by His mother.

How tasteful is this type of play of the Sweet Absolute to the devotees of Kṛṣṇa? You can feel something. The shadow form of all the play in the transcendental world comes to this mundane world. Here also, there is affection, love, and everything. But it is a shadow form. It does not exist forever because we are always changing bodies. In the transcendental world, we do not change bodies. In that world, there is no change in our form or mood. There, our mood is always one of devotion, ecstatic devotion which is like the madness found in this mundane world.

The mood of super-devotees of that plane has been expressed like this:

parivadatu jano yathā tathāyaṁ
nanu mukharo na vayaṁ vichārayāmaḥ
hari-rasa-madirā-madātimattā
bhuvi viluṭhāma naṭāma nirviśāmaḥ
(Śrī Padyāvalī: 73)

“Anyone can say anything about me: ‘I am a madman. I am a crazy man. I am nonsense.’ They can say anything. It is not necessary for me to be concerned about that at all. I spend my life absorbed in the ecstasy of divine devotion to Kṛṣṇa. I do not care what anyone thinks or says.”

Reference

Spoken on 5 May 1996.

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