Radha-Krishna, the Divine Couple (Part 4)

The associates please God-dess according to their particular relationship, like servant, friend, parent, or lover. This relationship does not derive from birth or an external ceremony like adoption or marriage, but it derives from the specific emotion or devotional love an associate manifests. Natural devotional practice includes cultivating an emotional, loving relationship with God-dess.

God-dess is perfect, without wants, and all his-her acts are without motive or conscious effort. They arise from overflowing intrinsic bliss. Called sport, play, or pastimes, they manifest in the hearts, minds, and lives of devotees.

God-dess’ names, forms, abodes, associates, and sports exist within us, along with everything else we can imagine. There are different planes of existence, and consciousness pervades everything. Devotional practices help us attain the plane of consciousness where God-dess lives and enacts eternal pastimes with his-her dear friends.

Radha-Krishna embody the highest, most concentrated bliss known to us, and it is quite different from ordinary happiness. Ordinary happiness is material, while bliss is spiritual. Ordinary happiness is transient and limited, while bliss is eternal and unlimited. Spiritual bliss is quantitatively and qualitatively vastly superior to our everyday happiness. Transcendental bliss is unique and indescribable.

Radha-Krishna embody bliss and enjoyment as the object enjoyed and the enjoyer. Their transcendental enjoyment is astonishingly wonderful, and it totally absorbs the mind and senses. God-dess entails infinite variety and newness along with embodying all enjoyment.

Chaitanya’s philosophy says God-dess’ blissful energy increases a thousand-fold when implanted in the heart of a devotee. Devotees develop a passionate desire to serve God-dess according to their different moods. The love of devotees aware of God-dess’ power and majesty is enjoyable, but divine love remains shy before opulent majesty. The more awareness of majesty, the less intense the spontaneous love.

Devotees who, unaware of God-dess’ power and majesty, serve Radha-Krishna as a sweet, loving couple with ordinary human wants and weaknesses, give them the highest enjoyment. Radha-Krishna enjoy such divine love more than anything else. This highest development of divine love occurs only when neither God-dess nor devotee is conscious of divinity.

Rupa Goswami was a learned playwright and poet, well versed in classical Indian aesthetics. He used the Tenth Canto of the Bhagavat to elaborate the play of Radha-Krishna, and he hierarchically systematized the various forms of God-dess, moods of devotion, devotional symptoms of love, forms of sport, and how to enter into those sports. His brother, Sanatan, and nephew, Jiva, philosophically systematized those concepts.

Thus, we arrive at a point where the highest human conception of God-dess and the highest service one can render them is for them to be a loving young couple, with us as their friends and lovers, totally unaware of their divinity. Deep, intense love remains the key element. If we apply the principle “as above, so below,” see ourselves created in the image of God-dess, and understand this world as a temporary, imperfect reflection of the spiritual world, then we understand God-dess and the transcendental abode must bear some resemblance to the highest, most enjoyable aspects of human life.

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