Rasa-graha; One Who Has Tasted the Sweetness of the Lord

Lotus Feet

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There are so many beautiful verses in the Srimad Bhagavatam, and I guess everyone has his favorite. I think the following verse and purport is perhaps my very favorite, because it speaks directly to me.

My dear Vyāsa, even though a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes falls down somehow or other, he certainly does not undergo material existence like others [fruitive workers, etc.] because a person who has once relished the taste of the lotus feet of the Lord can do nothing but remember that ecstasy again and again.

A devotee of the Lord automatically becomes uninterested in the enchantment of material existence because he is rasa-graha, or one who has tasted the sweetness of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

…even though he falls down, a devotee is never to be considered the same as a fallen karmī. A karmī suffers the result of his own fruitive reactions, whereas a devotee is reformed by chastisement directed by the Lord Himself. The sufferings of an orphan and the sufferings of a beloved child of a king are not one and the same.

..Such foolish devotees are sometimes put into difficulty by the Lord Himself. As a special favor, He may remove all material paraphernalia. By such action, the bewildered devotee is forsaken by all friends and relatives, and so he comes to his senses again by the mercy of the Lord and is set right to execute his devotional service.

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Unalloyed Affection in the Land of Vṛndāvana

Krsna splashing the gopis by Shyamarani devi

…In His boyhood at Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa was notorious as a teasing friend in transcendental love to all the girls His age. His love for them was so intense that there is no comparison to that ecstasy, and the damsels of Vraja were so much attached to Him that their affection excelled that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa finally admitted His defeat before the transcendental affection of the gopīs and declared that He was unable to repay them for their unalloyed affection. (from purport SB 3.2.14)

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The Damsels of Vraja

gopis of vrndavan

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In our attempt to stay focused on the childhood pastimes of Lord Krsna throughout this month of Damodara, we were reading from the Third Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, chapter 2, entitled; “Remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa”. The great devotee Uddhava, was asked by Vidura, to speak on the messages of Lord Krsna. The following is but one of the verses and purports from this famous chapter.

…In His boyhood at Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa was notorious as a teasing friend in transcendental love to all the girls His age. His love for them was so intense that there is no comparison to that ecstasy, and the damsels of Vraja were so much attached to Him that their affection excelled that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa finally admitted His defeat before the transcendental affection of the gopīs and declared that He was unable to repay them for their unalloyed affection. (from purport to SB 3.2.14)

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Ecstasy

Radha Krishna Bhava

No common man can understand the ecstasy of transcendental love between Radharani and Krsna (from Teachings of Lord Caitanya)

That supreme ecstasy of Srimati Radharani is the essence of spiritual life. Her only business is to fulfill all the desires of Krsna (CC Madhya 8.164, Translation)

This morning as I was doing my morning meditations (japa) I happened to be looking at this beautiful picture of Radha and Krishna. I was very much moved by the picture and was reminded of the following verse…

“Glory to the all-merciful Sri Radha and Madana-Mohana, who are always engaged in amorous pastimes. They are the only shelter of my depraved and crippled self. Their lotus feet are the be-all and end-all of my life” (Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas)

…and the word that kept coming up in my mind was “Ecstasy”. I could not even begin to understand what Srimati Radharani must be feeling when She looks at Krishna, or what Sri Krishna must be experiencing when He looks into the eyes of Srimati Radharani. It must be Ecstaic Love!

I went to Srila Prabhupada’s “Nectar of Devotion”, to the “Teachings of Lord Caitanya”, and to try to get a better understanding also did a search on the word ‘ecstasy’ in vainquotes. The results of my readings are as follows:

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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 6


Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 6
Translation & Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TRANSLATION

One who understands perfectly the process of devotional service in love of Godhead becomes intoxicated in its discharge. Sometimes he becomes stunned in ecstasy and thus enjoys his whole self, being engaged in the service of the Supreme Self.

PURPORT

The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.7.10) states,

ātmārāmāś ca munayo nirgranthā apy urukrame
kurvanty ahaitukīṁ bhaktiṁ itthaṁ-bhūta-guṇo hariḥ

“Although those who are ātmārāma, self-satisfied, are liberated from all material contamination, they are still attracted by the pastimes of the Supreme Lord, and thus they engage themselves in His transcendental service.” When Lord Caitanya explained this ātmārāma verse to Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, He described sixty-one meanings, and all of them point toward the devotional service of the Lord.

How one becomes intoxicated in devotional service is very nicely described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.40):

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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