When Service is Rendered in Affection, It is the Lord’s Special Mercy

Lord Krishna and the gopis

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Two Ways to Approach the Lord; Affection & Veneration

“Lord Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is dependent only on affection. Being obliged only by affection, Lord Kṛṣṇa acts very independently. (Cc. Madya 10. 139)

I have been looking for this(above) verse for the longest time. I remember reading this verse and purport a couple of years ago, and could not remember which book of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta it came from. But today by Krsna’s mercy, I found the verse and purport.

“…Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is merciful, but His mercy does not depend on mundane rules and regulations. He is dependent only on affection and nothing else. Service to Lord Kṛṣṇa can be rendered in two ways. One can serve the Lord in affection or in veneration. When service is rendered in affection, it is the Lord’s special mercy. When service is rendered in veneration, it is doubtful whether Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is actually involved.” (from purport Cc. Madya 10. 139)

Full text and purport More

Bhāva

Radha Krishna Bhava

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Here is a new word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary: Bhāva. In the Glossary in the back of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 1972 Edition, the word Bhāva is defined as; the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead. Bhāva is a big word and has various meanings

The last stage of the devotional life is called bhāva, or transcendental love of Godhead.

“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization.This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is matured in bhāva, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called premā, the highest perfectional stage of life.” In the premā stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one’s individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations resulting from void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord. (Bhagavad-gita 4.11)

So it seem that bhāva is not only the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead but we find that this preliminary stage of transcendental love is also the path to the highest perfectional stage of life, pure love or premā. There are two ways to approach the Lord, one is with awe and reverence and the other is with affection; bhāva. One who approaches the Lord with affection, is sure to advance spiritually.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam we find many references to the word Bhāva and highlighted some of them here. More

Learning to Love

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…Since we as living entities are eternal, temporary activities are not our main concern. Our engagements should be eternal because we are eternal, and that eternal engagement is the rendering of service to Kṛṣṇa in love.

Love begins with this give and take. We give something to our lover, he gives something to us, and in this way love develops. When we create any loving transaction with any boy or girl, man or woman, we give and take. Thus Kṛṣṇa is teaching us how to give and take. Kṛṣṇa is begging us:

“Try to love Me. Learn how to love Me. Offer something to Me.”

“Sir,” we may say, “I have nothing to give You.”

“Oh, you cannot collect a piece of fruit, a flower, a leaf or a little water?”

“Oh yes, why not? Anyone can collect this.”

This then is the method of Kṛṣṇa consciousness which allows one to make friends with Kṛṣṇa. We can enter into any number of relationships with Kṛṣṇa. We can become a direct servant of Kṛṣṇa, or in the highest stages we can become Kṛṣṇa’s father, mother or lover. Kṛṣṇa is prepared to establish a loving relationship with all living entities. In actuality this relationship is already there because He is the supreme father and we are His parts and parcels. Because the son is part of the body of the father, the relationship between them cannot be broken; it may be forgotten for some time, but as soon as one recognizes his father or son, immediately affection develops. Similarly, we are eternally related to Kṛṣṇa, but at the present moment this relationship is simply forgotten or suppressed. Consequently we think that we have no relationship with Kṛṣṇa, but this is not a fact. Because we are integral with Him, because we are part and parcel of Him, our relationship with Him is eternal. That relationship simply has to be revived, and that revival is this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Krsna Consciousness, The Matchless Gift
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 3

Learning to Love

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Worship God with Love and Affection

“Kṛṣṇa, You have come to me to take some fruit in exchange for grains. All the grains have fallen, but still You may take whatever You like.” Thus she filled Kṛṣṇa’s palms with whatever fruits He could carry. In exchange, Kṛṣṇa filled her whole basket with jewels and gold.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto Ten, Chapter 11, Text 11

phala-vikrayiṇī tasya
cyuta-dhānya-kara-dvayam
phalair apūrayad ratnaiḥ
phala-bhāṇḍam apūri ca

While Kṛṣṇa was going to the fruit vendor very hastily, most of the grains He was holding fell. Nonetheless, the fruit vendor filled Kṛṣṇa’s hands with fruits, and her fruit basket was immediately filled with jewels and gold.

In Bhagavad-gītā (9.26) Kṛṣṇa says:

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

Kṛṣṇa is so kind that if anyone offers Him a leaf, a fruit, a flower or some water, He will immediately accept it. The only condition is that these things should be offered with bhakti (yo me bhaktyā prayacchati). Otherwise, if one is puffed up with false prestige, thinking, “I have so much opulence, and I am giving something to Kṛṣṇa,” one’s offering will not be accepted by Kṛṣṇa. The fruit vendor, although a woman belonging to the poor aborigine class, dealt with Kṛṣṇa with great affection, saying, “Kṛṣṇa, You have come to me to take some fruit in exchange for grains. All the grains have fallen, but still You may take whatever You like.” Thus she filled Kṛṣṇa’s palms with whatever fruits He could carry. In exchange, Kṛṣṇa filled her whole basket with jewels and gold.

From this incident one should learn that for anything offered to Kṛṣṇa with love and affection, Kṛṣṇa can reciprocate many millions of times over, both materially and spiritually. The basic principle involved is an exchange of love. Therefore Kṛṣṇa teaches in Bhagavad-gītā (9.27):

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