“Krishna’s rasa dance should never be compared with any kind of material dance, such as a ball dance or a society dance. The rasa dance is a completely spiritual performance. In order to establish this fact, Krishna, the supreme mystic, expanded Himself in many forms and stood beside each gopi.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 32)
Shri Krishna gives assurance that there is no loss or diminution. If you make an effort along the path, that progress does not go to waste. There is a lasting benefit. There should be no reason to fear.
प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते
स्व्-अल्पम् अप्य् अस्य धर्मस्य
त्रायते महतो भयात्
pratyavāyo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt
“In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.40)
By extension, if nothing is ever lost then further immersion in the culture only adds to the benefits. It is like an ocean that continues to fill up with the incoming rushing rivers. It is like the piggy bank that expands in size to accommodate more coins being dropped inside.
There is a defect, it seems. Our experience is with limitations. A finite level of enjoyment. The tax-collecting department might grant you an extension on filing your return for the year, but eventually you will have to pay up.
There are only a certain number of outstanding shares in that publicly traded company. The business is expanding to add members to the team, but there is only a certain number of positions open. Not every person who applies can be accepted for the job.
This is often described as a zero-sum game. In order to gain in one place, you have to take from another. When you chop down the tree for its wood, you should try to plant another in its place. This is to maintain the balance, so that the area will not run out of trees.
As the acharyas explain, this limitation applies only in the material world. Within Krishna’s realm, one minus one can actually equal one. The strict rules of math do not have to apply. While we rely on an external source of lighting, such as the sun and the moon, in the unmanifest place there is no need of electricity.
न तद् भासयते सूर्यो
न शशाङ्को न पावकः
यद् गत्वा न निवर्तन्ते
तद् धाम परमं मम
na tad bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
“That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.6)
Spiritual life is as unlimited as the object of worship. If we think about it for a moment, we understand that there must be concurrency in order for the promise of prayer to come through. If I am praying for something at the moment, that would typically occupy the attention of the person on the other end.
If they received another incoming prayer, there would be something like a busy signal on a phone line. A normal person cannot listen to two conversations at the same time and discern the content.
Since Krishna receives millions of prayers at the same time, in order to deliver He would have to be able to handle the concurrency. He assures devotees that He will deliver, rescuing them from the ocean of birth and death in a swift manner.
ये तु सर्वाणि कर्माणि
मयि सन्न्यस्य मत्-पराः
मां ध्यायन्त उपासते
तेषाम् अहं समुद्धर्ता
भवामि न चिरात् पार्थ
ye tu sarvāṇi karmāṇi
mayi sannyasya mat-parāḥ
māṁ dhyāyanta upāsate
teṣām ahaṁ samuddhartā
bhavāmi na cirāt pārtha
“For one who worships Me, giving up all his activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, who has fixed his mind upon Me, O son of Pritha, for him I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 12.6-7)
We see in the famous rasa-lila that Krishna expands Himself so that each gopi dances with Him individually. In the city of Dvaraka, the same Krishna lives in thousands of palaces simultaneously. Each queen has Him the entire time.
The same is available for us, even prior to reaching the spiritual world. There is the deity within the home. It could be something simpler like a picture in a space dedicated for worship. This is our individual interaction, in a direct way. God is already within us as Paramatma, and so the deity is the outward representation of that same person.
We can connect directly through chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. No matter how difficult life has become, He is never far away. No matter how much we are struggling, there is always the opportunity for rescue.
With limitations to see,
That not all successful can be.
That open position one,
By single candidate won.
Not infinitely balance to grow,
A fixed number at time to show.
But devotional path never reducing,
Expanding bliss producing.
Categories: devotional service