ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam
adarshanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
(Bhagavan Sri Chaitanyadev, Sri Sikshashtakam 8)
“Krishna may embrace me in love or trample me under His feet.
He may even break my heart by being indifferent to me.
Let that seducer do whatever he likes–He will always be the only Lord of my life.”
Commentary by Srila Sridhar Maharaj:
“Whether I get it or not I admit that this is the highest ideal of life, to aspire after Him.” So we are to understand, and scrutinize, how and why only hankering should be the best aspiration. How is this possible? We may get it, we may not get it, but still we must aspire after it and that aspiration is our highest goal. What is in the process whereby those who follow it do not necessarily have the achievement of the fruit. In the attempt there is such purity that everyone should hanker for that even without surety that they may get that. What is in the process that we should adopt for eternity? We are to wait for eternity and we may or may not get anything, and still we want that. What is that? Only if you can understand that there is such beauty in the way of the search and that to search for Sri Krishna is the highest beauty above all else. The exclusive search for Krishna is a reward of its own. Virtue is a reward of its own. In that way you are to analyze, think, realize and have your satisfaction. Virtue is its own reward. I am victorious because I want that I will be rewarded—not that. I am virtuous, it is itself its purity. So of all the conceptions of all the virtues, the search for Krishna, that is the highest virtue. In this way we are to understand what is devotion to Krishna and who is Krishna.
This highest advice of Mahaprabhu comes to help us adjust our position. ‘You are going to be lost. There is the ocean of Krishna consciousness and you are a drop. You are a drop and if you are thrown into that ocean, what will be your position?’ So if you accept this advice it will save you to some degree.
This is the greatest medicine for the devotee. Ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam, adarshanan marma-hatam karotu va, yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato, mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah. You have come to measure the immeasurable so always keep this in your mind. This is the principal you will always embrace. When you are out to try to connect yourself with the infinite Lord or give your anything to Him, then you must remember His infinite character.
He is only one to you but He has many like you. Your only one is He but He has many to deal with. Ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu, He may embrace you with much affection and adoration or you must be prepared for the opposite, the alternative. You are sticking to His feet and He is trampling you down under His feet. So cruel!
You have caught hold of His holy feet with much prospect, much aspiration, with your whole heart and still you will have to see that He is trampling you. He does not care for all your attempts and affections. You are giving your best but your offerings are dishonoured hatefully. He may embrace you sometimes and at the same time you are prepared that His dealings may also be so cruel to you. He will trample you under His feet along with all your offerings.
You should be prepared for even more adverse circumstances. What is that? His indifference, He may not care. When He is giving punishment then He is nearer to you but when He is indifferent to you then it is more intolerable. There is no union, ‘He is neglecting me so much that He won’t like to keep any connection. He does not know me. I am a foreigner, an unknown person, and He is indifferent.’ That is more intolerable for the devotee. They may rather accept punishment as a blessing but this indifference is more heart rending to them.
Then there is another step higher. What is that? yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato, He is embracing and adoring another right in front of you without caring at all for you. You are thinking, “This is mine, my claim, my right and it is being given to another, right in front of me.” That will be of greater trouble to you.
This is the law of affection, the law of love. It is so much to tolerate but you must be prepared for that. Be prepared for it from the very beginning. Krishna-prema means this. He is an autocrat. He is love. It is mercy; it is not justice. No law is there and you have selected this to be the highest fortune for you and you must be prepared for that. Prema is such. There is no justice in prema. It is free and it may go anywhere and everywhere. The very nature is this. So you can’t make any claim. You have no right. The highest thing is of such nature.
A law like this is very, very rare and the nature of rarity is such, but from your side unhesitating adherence to that principle is required. It is real love and you must be prepared for all eventualities and all adverse circumstances. This is the real type of Krsna-prema, ‘die to live’. If you can accommodate all these different stages, good or bad then you may come to this side. If you are of such nature. Mercy is above law and justice is within the law. Mercy is above the law and prema is also above the law. It has got its own law.
This article is an excerpt from Sri Samadhi Mandir Stotra Mala, 67-70.
View more photos of Srila Sridhar Maharaj’s vyasa-puja festival at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in 2010: Click here.