What is prema?

15 December 2015
Heathrow Aiport, London (departing for Houston)

Watch the video here

[A disciple of Srila Gurudev, Radhika didi, asks Srila Gurudeva about Krsna putting His head on Srimati Radhika’s feet.]

[Srila Gurudeva replies:] Srimati Radhika did not put Her feet on Krsna’s head. Krsna is prema. When He placed His head on the feet of Srimati Radhika, She smiled and then maan has come. She did not put Her feet under His head. Love does exceed the limit. Prema is like the waves of an ocean. Big, big waves are coming and they are making whirlpools and many other things. When the waves come and touch the shore, they then go back. Krsna is prema.

Prema also never takes the debts of the lover and beloved. Krsna said this.

na pāraye ’haṁ niravadya-saṁyujāṁ
sva-sādhu-kṛtyaṁ vibudhāyuṣāpi vaḥ
yā mābhajan durjara-geha-śṛṅkhalāḥ
saṁvṛścya tad vaḥ pratiyātu sādhunā

“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahmā. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.” (SB 10.32.22)

Krsna said that He could never repay this, He is automatically indebted. But Srimati Radhika is thinking how it is possible that my beloved is indebted to me. Love does not mean you are like a slave. People take money from the rich person and they say okay, I give you this money, now you are like a slave. Whatever you need, you will have to do my work. Prema is not like a slave and if it is introduced that means prema is like a slave.

For this regard, Srimati Radhika is saying to Krsna how is it possible that you are indebted to me? Prema is always free. Srimati Radhika said you are not indebted to me.

Then Krsna is not satisfied because you gave everything and I cannot give anything. Prema is coming in this way. You sacrificed and I have to sacrifice. Krsna is saying you sacrificed everything from society’s rules and regulations but I cannot sacrifice everything.

ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

“As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.” (BG 4.11)]

Even the very low graded devotee, the sudra, who is one-pointed with me, I will also always accept as my devotee. The highest person I cannot be one-pointed with. It is not fair that I cannot be one-pointed with you but you are one-pointed with me.

The conclusion is coming in this way; if the devotee of Krsna serves Srimati Radhika, then Krsna will be free from debt. Krsna is saying that everyone should become My devotee, My bhakta. Krsna is saying: become my devotee, serve Srimati Radhika, then I can become free from debt.

Your father took a loan from someone. Then he cannot repay the loan. So what will you do? You have to free the loan from your father. Your father did not pay but your duty is to free your father from the loan. So when Krsna took a loan from Srimati Radhika, those who are devotees serve Srimati Radhika and free Krsna [laughter]. Krsna will always be happy with those who serve Srimati Radhika.

[Radhika dd asks a question: Srimati Radhika is the topmost devotee but She feels that She is not serving enough and She always wants to do more and more. Can you explain?]

[Srila Gurudeva:] Prema Samputa is saying how prema manifests this way. How prema manifests in one’s heart and what kind of relationship is coming. Prema is always looking. Krsna has come in the form of a Gandharva. Yogamaya arranged this. Srimati Radhika is thinking: I am never attracted to anyone but why am I attracted to this lady. Why has she stolen my heart? Then finally after confusion is there, Krsna said: how you will know that you love Krsna? Srimati Radhika said: any second, any moment when I meditate, Krsna appears. When Srimati Radhika thinks of separation, then Krsna appears. Then Srimati Radhika meditated and Krsna disappeared. In Her turmoil She was looking. Yogamaya arranges meeting and separation.

[Devotee:] What is more superior: separation or meeting?

[Srila Gurudeva:] According to our scriptures, separation is higher than meeting. Because when meeting together, They are always feeling; sometimes a fear is coming. Why? Because They are thinking: now we are meeting, but after a few minutes, a few hours, you will not be with me. With meeting then feeling separation. This is prema, but when in separation Krsna is everywhere. Then no fear is coming. Separation means dancing on the waves of meeting.

Maybe a question will come: if this separation is higher than meeting so always there will be separation? You cannot say this. Because separation is not being separate but the relishing of Their meeting. Separation nourishes the meeting, like spices makes everything tasty. Without spices you cannot make sabji it will taste of nothing. So for this regard, separation nourishes the meeting.

Those with the mood of the Manjaris don’t like Radha and Krsna separating. At the time of separation, they have no chance to serve Srimati Radhika. If They are experiencing separation, Srimati Radhika does not accept the Manjaris service. When Srimati Radhika is separated from Krsna, then She stays alone. She doesn’t want anything and stays in Her room.

Once Srimati Radhika was experiencing the pangs of separation from Krsna and was staying alone. She didn’t want to see anyone so everybody was outside a little bit far. Then Srimati Radhika was looking at the sky. She was looking for Krsna, then remembering the pastimes of Krsna, then looking. While She was looking, a black cloud came. When She saw the black cloud, She completely thinks Krsna has come. In the meantime She saw the Tamal trees. That means Krsna has come. Then She forgot that “Krsna left me”. She is talking to the sky thinking it is Krsna. She is talking to the Tamal trees. She never thinks Krsna is not coming. So, in separation meeting is coming.

[Devotee: In the separation is there more intense feeling, more….

[Srila Gurudeva replies:] She is absorbed in think Krsna is coming. He is everywhere then She is crying. Yogamaya arranges this. Krsna said: “Hey, Srimati Radhika, when you are feeling separation, I am with you while you are thinking the same way”.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Gadadhara Pandita: “You are going to Navadvipa Dham in Myapura and cook many kinds of nice preparation, especially banana flowers mixed with pumpkin. My mother Saci Mata also cooked many nice preparation such as banana flowers and other things and offering it to Thakurji”. Then Saci Mata was thinking, if Nimai will come, he will be very happy. Saci Mata was offering Thakurji and thinking about Nimai. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared and took all the prasadam from the plate. After a few minutes when Saci Mata thought: “I must take off the plate, it’s a long time since I offered Thakurji”, she entered the room, got the plate and the plate was completely cleaned. Then she was thinking: “Maybe it was my dream, I did not cook”. In her separation she was thinking: “I offered nothing there”.

[Devotee:] Yogamaya makes her forget that she has cooked?

[Gurudeva:] She has cooked everything, but is thinking “this is my dream”, because she is in separation from Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu said to chant the Holy names.

[Radhika dd speaks to Srila Gurudeva about a devotee who was doing bhajans every morning for Srila Gurudeva. Srila Gurudeva approached her and said: “Every day I am coming and listening to your bhajan”. She was very surprised, “Oh Gurudeva is coming”. So like this Gurudeva is showing that he is coming. How come we don’t know that he is coming? How come we are not conscious that he is coming even though that longing is there? He has to come and tell us: I am coming.]

[Srila Gurudeva: Gurudeva gives encouragement but there is Kanistha adhikari, Madhyama and Uttama adhikari. A Kanistha adhikari activities is completely opposite from an Uttama adhikari, who is always chanting the holy names.

[Radhika dd:] So, this is our own adhikari.

[Srila Gurudeva:] Sometimes Guru gives you encouragement in your sadhana. But he will come because you are putting my picture there.

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