«THE BORDER BETWEEN EXISTENCE AND NON-EXISTENCE»
«THE BOUND BETWEEN EXISTENCE AND NOT EXISTENCE» | Talk with Sripad Bhakti Chaytanya Bharati Swami, Morning class on 24th January 2019 at the Bhakti Yoga Institute of West London.
THE BORDER BETWEEN EXISTENCE AND NON-EXISTENCE
Sripad Bhakti Chaytanya Bharati Swami, January 24, 2019, London
BHARATI MAHARAJ: (Reads the question from the screen) ‘…Nevertheless, it seems possible to conceive of Krishna infinitely expending His play purely through His antarangha or chit shakti, that’s to say it seems quite conceivable that Krishna manifests all necessary ingredients to fulfill and completely perform pastime purely through His chit shakti…’
Okay, what is the question? The question is: ‘… why Krishna created His neutral shakti, the djiva shakti, for the extension of His Loving Pastime?’ It seems that without creating neutral shakti, or tatastha shakti, He cannot expand His Loving Pastime, which is not so because Krishna is self-sufficient and He doesn’t need anything external to perform His joyful and loving pastime. Besides, we know that He fully depends on His internal nature. To explain more about yoga-maya, actually maya means nature. So, a substance or entity, any entity, cannot exist without symptoms of its existence. If there’re no symptoms of existence it doesn’t exist because existence means, philosophically, to make a border between existing and not existing. By saying that the Supreme exists we mean there is a border between existence and non-existence; and non-existence does not exist. So, this border is in a definite “space”. Are you following the thought?
LISTENER: This is too philosophical for me…
BHARATI MAHARAJ: Okay. If anything exists – in this particular case – if anyone does there must be a border of his existence and non-existence. And because the Supreme One is all-pervasive the border of His existence and non-existence is unlimitedly far, but it’s still there.
LISTENER: Is it a border then?
BHARATI MAHARAJ: The border between His existence and non-existence. If there’s no border there’s no purpose of the ‘existence’ conception. If there’s existence there must be non-existence, and a border between them. Okay? So, applying to our philosophy, this border is called tatastha which actually means ‘the border’. It is still Him but is the border. So, we are at the border of His existence and non-existence. Srila Gurudev once said — when someone asked him: ‘If God can do everything can He stop to exist?’ – that the Brahman is non-existing area of Krishna. So, we are the border between Krishna’s existences – by Krishna I mean His form, name, entourage, and His Lilas, in a complex conception… So, we establish the conception of border; but once we do the border cannot finish; there must be something beyond the border. Do you understand? If there’s a border it is the border between something. If there’s nothing beyond the border there’s no border. This is the next step of our conclusion. So, there’s tatastha/the border and beyond this border there’s something but, simultaneously, there’s nothing, I mean, it is non-existence. How to harmonize that beyond Krishna’s existence there’s non-existence and something.
BHARATI MAHARAJ: No. It is maya that exists and does not exist, simultaneously. This is the definition of maya. And the particles, the pixels of the border sometimes are, so to say, non-existing to the maya area or to the existence area.
So, what was the question? Yes, Krishna does not need to create djivas for His enjoyment; this follows automatically; it’s not that He requires them but the fact that He exists and enjoys proposes that there’s something or someone that wants to enjoy but cannot, and these are djivas. The question says ‘necessity’ – no, it’s not necessity, it follows naturally. It’s like Srila Paramguru Maharaj said: if there’s a subject there’s an object; but the subject does not depend on the object, while the object depends on the subject.
LISTENER: It’s like relative and absolute, right?
BHARATI MAHARAJ: Exactly. We discussed it yesterday. Its existence is real but in a certain place or time; and beyond that it doesn’t exist and it’s the relative truth; it is true here and now. So, Krishna is not in need of creating djivas; it just follows automatically. That means that, for Krishna’s existence, djivas are not necessary but djivas need Krishna for their existence; for them it is a necessity. We are not in an equal category; we differ from Krishna.
LISTENER: There’re few other points in the question.
BHARATI MAHARAJ: (Reads) ‘Why there is necessity of … tatastha soul and its…’ No, there’s no necessity, I explained that. Djiva is the subject and maya is the object because djivas observe maya. If there’s no djiva there’s no maya at all. Who is to fall into maya? Krishna? The truth cannot expand. We should not think of it in the geographical sense. This means it’s always new; ‘He is expending’ means it’s always new.
As I’ve said, shakti means nature. His nature is to be always new, to always enjoy the freshness; that is His nature. Krishna has many symptoms of existence; we took only one of them, the border with illusion. The symptoms of His internal nature are luckiness that is Lakshmi, wellness, beauty, His playful mood; these are symptoms of His anta, internal existence. If someone exists there must be symptoms.
LISTENER: And where does He exist?
BHARATI MAHARAJ: That doesn’t matter. When we conceive (imagine) ‘where’ we draw down the truth to our understanding. Where? In His consciousness, in His cheat. Okay?
LISTENER: If I can conceive of something it rather exists within my experience…
BHARATI MAHARAJ: Where? In His mind. Actually, talking philosophically, He exists in the minds of those who love Him. They imagine Him. He says this: I fully depend on those who have very intimate relations with Me. This is very high. Krishna exists only in the minds of His devotees. Saying devotees, I mean ‘The Devotees’. When devotees ask: Please, Krishna, don’t let us forget You — He says: I cannot do that otherwise I stop to exist, but I want to live in your hearts. You know the famous verse from the Bhagavatam; Krishna says: I don’t live on the pages of the Holy Scriptures, I don’t live in the meditations of the sages, and I don’t live even in Vaikuntha; if you want to find Me, the Real One, you cannot because I don’t exist there; even on the Goloka, you cannot find Me because I live only in the hearts of my utmost dearest devotees. So, when you ask where He lives, philosophically He lives in eternity, beyond the border, everywhere, but if we speak within the Gaudi Vaishnava philosophy, the Bhagavata philosophy, He lives in the hearts of His devotees. He likes it there. With the proof of address, Krishna lives there, in the hearts of bhaktas.
Does anyone want to challenge the bhakti cult?
Shakti is just a complex conception of His playful mood. There’s internal and external shakti. We can compare the full being/existence with the book. Actually, Bhagavata is the book of Bhagavan which describes Bhagavan and is Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavata is not the book about Bhagavan, it is Bhagavan Himself. Sometimes we call it the Srimad Bhagavatam but Mahaprabhu says: Bhagavata is the Lord. So, the Lord is the Book, if we can say so. You know, there’re many different parts of speech (like nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, etc.) so Krishna is the noun and Balarama is the verb, the acting principle of Krishna, because Krishna doesn’t act, He only enjoys; when you enjoy you have no chance to do something, you just enjoy. The Other Self called Balarama is the verb. And Srimati Radharani is the adjective (B.M. means the attribute). Having all three we have a completed sentence. When we say ‘I hold an apple’ this is a full sentence: I is the noun (subject), hold – verb (predicate), apple – attribute. This is the fulfillment: Krishna – Balarama – Bhavani (shakti). So, if we take away Krishna and leave Balarama and Srimati Radharani the sentence will lose the sense/meaning, like ‘… hold the apple’ – who holds the apple? Or, we take out Balarama (the verb) – something is missing but Krishna is there and still we can get some conception of what is going on. So, Krishna is the core, and Balarama and yoga-maya are the verb and attribute, consequently.
Any challenges or threats from the audience?
LISTENER: You said that Bhagavata is the Lord but also is a word.
BHARATI MAHARAJ: Yes, it is the Lord Himself and the Book. So, Krishna is the Book. And what is this book all about? His developments or pastime, or Lila. Krishna is the Book and the Book is about Krishna. In the Christianity, they call it the book of life and they also say that if you’re listed in the book of life then you’ll be saved. Unfortunately, they spare only 144 000 vacant seats. In our philosophy, this book can be written in unlimited number of new Lilas.
LISTENER: And if one empties his entire experience?
BHARATI MAHARAJ: That means if you end your book of life, the Bhagavata book, then you have an eternal life in Lila.
LISTENER: But the one who entirely surrendered and left all the junk he accumulated throughout the life…
BHARATI MAHARAJ: For the one who wants to eradicate himself from the book of Lila, his name will be written in another book called ‘Delirium’, a senseless thing where he is the main person, the book about himself. Do we want to write our own book or want to be in Krishna’s book? We want to be the authors and main characters in our own books but these books have no sense. It’s meaningless.
The philosophy of bhakti is directing us to somehow become the part of Bhagavata, part of the Lila, the conscious part.
LISTENER: So, we start erasing from…
BHARATI MAHARAJ: Yes, from the book where I am the main character. There’s sahadja section of devotees; they want to be the ‘attribute’: instead of ‘I hold an apple’ they say ‘He holds me’. [LOL] If we set aside this sahadja section, we want to be in the book but take the tiniest position, like a ‘period’ or ‘comma’, something very small. That is our utmost aspiration. Beside these three there’re many other parts of speech. And mainly we make five ‘parts of speech’: neutral, servitude, friendly, parental, and loving/conjugal. We can become any of these five parts.
So, any challenges? Exclamations? Questions?
LISTENER: What about your book?
BHARATI MAHARAJ: I have no book.
LISTENER: I know you don’t, I have your book.
BHARATI MAHARAJ: Don’t touch my book. I know what to do. [LOL] We can exchange jokes, we may think it is easy to get away but it’s very difficult because in the history of our existence we put our name in each and every page, we mark all the pages, and we have to eradicate each and every note; this is called karma. We eradicate one mentioning about us and then write the next one somewhere again; it’s a long process. Mahaprabhu says: you have to fry the seeds of your desire of self-establishment. If you cut a plant there’s a big chance the roots will spring out again. You have to take roots and seeds, put them into the pan, and cook them; this is called sidha. Sometimes you can sidha djiva. Sidha means cooked, in Sanskrit, and by sidha we generally understand the perfection. It’s when you take all your desire of self-establishment here and cook it in the way you roast it which is better. You know, they sell roasted nuts which means that if you put them into the soil they won’t grow. But if you take non-roasted nuts there’s a chance they will grow in a good soil. So, we have to roast our desires to load the existence more and more.
LISTENER: How do you do that?
BHARATI MAHARAJ: You know the answer to every question starting with ‘how’. Humbleness, tolerance, respect to everyone, and no expectation to be respected by others.
LISTENER: Yes, we know that but how to roast the seeds?
BHARATI MAHARAJ: To put yourself into the frying pan. [LOL] Or, sometimes the devotees say: to let Krishna enter your heart. Yes, it’s easy to say. It takes time. We have to be prepared; it’s not an overnight process. It takes time and don’t worry; Srila Sridhar Maharaj says: we are not atheists, we believe that if we take up the process we will reap the result; we believe it. You should remember that story of Saraswati Thakur when one devotee left him, went to the lake Radhakund and started chanting, and Saraswati Thakur said: Oh, now Krishna is her husband, obviously, she is a gopi now, and soon they will have a baby. Or, there’s a story that I like about Babaji Maharaj who was living on the Ganges shore, under a boat, and once another babaji made a settlement next to him and was always chanting, chanting and crying, showing the symptoms of his bhava and prema, and Khishor Babaji Maharaj… what did he say?
LISTENER: If a lady goes to the labor room and make sounds like she’s having a child…
BHARATI MAHARAJ: Right, that will be just a show, she will not give birth to a child. He said: it takes nine months. So, when we have questions like ‘how’ and ‘when’ – it takes time; not nine months but a certain period for the fruit of our efforts — Mahaprabhu calls this prema/devotion with love — the pala/fruit to appear. It takes time. In some cases, when the soil is not appropriate, like a rocky soil, it takes longer, or when the gardener, i.e. you, doesn’t water it in a proper way; if he stops watering it the prema bhakti bidja can die. So, we have to prepare and maintain the right soil. And the soil is sadhu sangha, the society of devotees, with the proper mood of seva. When the soil is right it brings about the loving pala/fruit the fruit of love.
Does anyone want to complain of his fate? Does anyone want to ask: Krishna, what are you doing to me? Does anyone want to tie up Krishna with ropes?
I think we can stop here. These days we have discussed everything. There’s nothing to add.
Transcript by Elizabeth D.