“If You Hear This, You Will Faint”
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Srila Gurudev explains the subject of a famous conversation at Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math in 1967.
In honour of Srila Jayadev Goswami Prabhu’s disappearance day, we are presenting a verse from the Temple of Love and Affection and a lecture of Srila Govinda Maharaj in which he explains the mood of devotion within the verse.
viharati harir iha sarasa-vasante
nṛtyati yuvati-janena samaṁ sakhi virahi-janasya durante
“As the gentle breeze from the sandalwood mountains embraces the graceful gillyflower vines and the forest cottages resound with the coos of koels and the swarming of honeybees, Sri Hari frolics during the lovely spring season and dances with other girls. O friend, for the lovelorn this is intolerable.”
Srila Govinda Maharaj:
One day, when Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad finished his world tour and came to our Nabadwip Math to see Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, they very happily discussed a verse from Srimad Bhagavad-gita:
teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ, bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ, yena mām upayānti te
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 10.10)
Srila Guru Maharaj gave an explanation of this verse that is very unique, prominent, and perfect. Srila Guru Maharaj was very happy after giving that explanation. When Srila Swami Maharaj came to visit him, Srila Guru Maharaj discussed his explanation with Srila Swami Maharaj: “Maharaj, I have given an explanation in this way, and I think this is supreme; I think it is the main meaning of this verse.” Srila Guru Maharaj gave his explanation to Srila Swami Maharaj in a very detailed way, and Srila Swami Maharaj relished that. They discussed the verse for more than two hours, tasting its nectar.
After their conversation Srila Swami Maharaj went to take a bath. Two of his disciples, Achyutananda and Ramanuja, were with him. Later that day Achyutananda asked Srila Swami Maharaj, “What were you discussing with Sridhar Maharaj in Bengali? Can you tell me about that?”
Srila Swami Maharaj replied, “No, you cannot understand.”
Achyutananda asked, “Why won’t I understand?”
Srila Swami Maharaj answered, “If you heard Srila Sridhar Maharaj’s explanation, you would faint.”
Srila Guru Maharaj explained that satata-yuktānāṁ means one who is fixed twenty-four hours a day in their duty of service to Krishna, and that bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam means that they serve Krishna out of affection, not because of rules or regulations. Dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ: Krishna Himself gives more and more inspiration to those who serve Him with extreme affection. Ultimately, this is shown in the vilas, play, of paramour love in madhura-rasa.
Srila Guru Maharaj explained to Srila Swami Maharaj that upa in the phrase yena mām upayānti te refers to paramour love. Radharani stays in Her house and serves Her family, but Her mind is always playing with Krishna. She is always eager to meet and serve Krishna. And not only that, if Krishna takes service from another gopi, She becomes angry, “Why not from Me? I can serve very well. She knows better than Me? This is Krishna’s foolishness.”
In this way Radharani becomes very angry with Krishna, and sometimes does not give Krishna a chance to take Her service: “I waited for You all night, and You went to take service from others?! If this is so, then get out!” In this way Radharani shows a very heavy mood; She has that much confidence in Her service. This is explained by Jayadev Goswami in Gita-govinda. It is very high thinking. There is also an expression by Chandi Das or Vidyapati, in which Radharani says, “Cupid faints upon seeing the beauty of Krishna’s lotus feet, and Krishna came to touch My feet, but I would not look at His face because I was angry with Him. This mood is very bad for Me.”
This is very high thinking; it is not necessary to discuss these things now. But Srila Guru Maharaj and Srila Swami Maharaj discussed these topics and many other things.
Achyutananda asked, “What were you discussing with Sridhar Maharaj? Can I hear that?” and Srila Swami Maharaj replied, “If you heard that you would faint.”
Who can give that type of explanation? That type of sadhu-sanga is necessary, otherwise we cannot understand the meanings of Srimad Bhagavatam. It is not possible to understand Srimad Bhagavatam or the other scriptures unless we hear from someone who knows and can harmonise its meanings.