Encountering Krishna (May 19, 2018)

Hare Krishna to most respected listeners of Japa Meditation school. We are meeting for the second time with you today, and as always, I am delighted to have this opportunity to be with you. Each time we have a chance to associate with sincere devotees, we all are full of excitement, for the simple fact that devotees are a rarity in worldly terms. Krishna Himself mentioned that in Bhagavad Gita 7.3

manuṣhyāṇāṁ sahasreṣhu kaśhchid yatati siddhaye

yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaśhchin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ

Extremely rare is to come in contact with a person who genuinely knows God. Devotees are those individuals who aspire to realizing God, rushing at full blast to His rendezvous. Encountering God, therefore, our very first upcoming encounter, is a topic of our today lecture. This subject is vast and can be glorified for eternity. What means encountering God? For us it means encountering His holy name.

CC Madhya 17.133

nāma cintāmaṇiḥ kṛṣṇaś


pūrṇaḥ śuddho nitya-mukto

’bhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ

Krishna’s Name is no different than Krishna Himself. We know this encounter is not going to be easy for us, although Krishna makes Himself very much accessible to us by His holy name. This form of the Lord is the easiest to approach, being offered to us by His causeless mercy. Yet, encountering such apparently accessible form can be quite intricate. We chant the holy name, but encounter does not always happen. And it is obvious why. The following verse from Padma Purana explains this reason:

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi

na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ

sevonmukhe hi jihvādau

svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ

CC Madhya 17.136

Krishna is svayam eva sphuraty, He will make an appearance - sphurati, all of a sudden, in His holy name, when sevonmukhe hi jihvādau – our senses are tuned to serving Him. 

The first important aspect I wanted to reference here is that encountering God will not occur any earlier than He initiates a desire for it. His will is extremely important in this case, He is in charge of calling us. He, indeed, already called us, anyone from the audience today is chosen by God. Otherwise, you would not be here. How many people pass by on the streets hearing God’s holy name during Hari Nama, yet majority walks away without even registering this auspicious sound. In reality, Krishna calls us by the sound of His holy name. 

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advocated us to perform sankirtana of the holy name thus becoming Krishna’s heralds. As Krishna calls us, we invite other people to join, but not everyone is responding. 

It is an important moment; devotees often misunderstand it. Krishna will call us, but we must build up our patience; at times devotees rush to run into Krishna. They think: “ I chant His name for two weeks already, or two months, two years, twenty years sometimes, Krishna still nowhere to be found”. This simply means Krishna knows we are not ready to face Him. Svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ - he will manifest Himself in His name, sevonmukhe hi jihvādau - when we focus entirely on serving Him. 

We all know that in the Shrimad Bhagavatam First Canto there is a story describing how Krishna’s manifested Himself to Narada Muni, just for a brief moment, then disappeared. Later, in response to Narada’s tearsome prayers, when he was rolling on the ground, crying and weeping, begging Krishna to come back, swearing he could not bear the separation from Krishna, the Lord stated that this was the only encounter in his life. Krishna does not subside to sentiments easily. He knows we are not prepared to face him. He can appear for a quick second, just to deepen our desire to see Him. Sometimes He can manifest Himself for an instant as a sound of His holy name to unexpecting individual, who will sense an ecstasy, awe, and inspiration suddenly overcoming him. 

But, nonetheless, all of us will have to be following a long and winding path before Krishna utters Himself the encouraging words of our readiness to see Him. If we sincerely “take a look” at our hearts, we will in all honesty understand that we are far from being ready. The spiritual growth, which will ultimately lead us to encounter Krishna, is a very natural process, one cannot rush it. Our spiritual entity has to mature just as our material body takes 9 months to develop in the womb. For those who are too impatient to speed it up, Srila Prabhupada had a comparison. He explained that at times newlywed woman has an immediate desire for a child. She, after all, gets married for that very reason, to have children. This is the true purpose of marriage. It is common for a woman to long for a baby. But everything takes time and she must pass through a time consuming and cumbersome process carrying the baby for 9 months. She will suffer along the way, tolerate nausea and discomfort, then deliver the baby undergoing excruciating effort and pain. After all this, she can finally be introduced to her child, face to face. Therefore, a person must prepare himself; one must spiritually develop. 

In Mahabharata there is a peculiar story about Gandhari, who having heard that Kunti delivered her first child, son Yudhishthira, out of jealousy for not having the first child herself, even though she married prior to Kunti and to the older Pandu brother, Maharaja Dhritarashtra, punched herself in the abdomen, in annoyance. As a result, a formless, ugly piece of flesh came out of her tummy. 

This story symbolizes the outcome of impatience, when someone is rushing to get attention of Krishna, not being ready for it. In this case, it is unlikely one can actually witness Krishna, for one simple reason of being inadequately molded piece of flesh. I mentioned this yesterday, at our previous meeting, when we discussed encountering the self. Finding ourselves is a very important prerequisite in preparation to see Krishna, we need to know this.

So, the first thing we must remember thinking about God, that He will invite us Himself, in due time. In fact, He already invited us and introduced His holy name. Eventually He found us to be ready for that, after we had experienced many life disappointments. He entrusted us His holy name. And now, He is awaiting us to focus on serving Him. 

Next thought for discussion is why we are not ready to see God? The answer is quite simple. As a parallel, are we ready to see Sun god? Not at all, for our body is made mostly out of water. If Sun god would stand up in front of us, without taking any precautions for our safety, we will evaporate, nothing would be left of us. Even walking under the bright sun, during the summer in India, we feel that it can reduce us to steamy handful of ashes. Related to this, Hridayanada Maharaj gives an example in the purport to one of the verses we will discuss later. He says that in order to step on the Sun, one needs a different body. In the same way, in order to see Krishna, we must change this body, bringing it to the absolute purity. After all, for meeting an absolutely pure entity, possessing eternal beauty, mercy, compassion, knowledge, self-renunciation, heroism, in the true sense of this word, one must acquire qualitative unity with God. Otherwise meeting will not transpire. Even if Krishna is standing in front of us, which can happen with anyone, there will be no true encounter. We will not comprehend Him or be able to recognize Him. We will render speechless, not knowing what to say. 

Example of this is the notorious Duryodhana and many other demons, who were able to eyewitness Krishna, which only intensified their offensive nature towards God. Duryodhana was furious every time he saw Krishna. From the mere sight of Krishna, his blood was boiling. He could not be in peace hearing the name of Krishna. When Vidura or Sanjaya were glorifying Krishna in his presence, Duryodhana fled the premises, he could not stay in the place where Krishna was praised. Why so? Simple reason, he was not ready to encounter Krishna.

Moreover, when Krishna Himself arrived in Hastinapur and visited Duryodhana, he committed even more offenses. Important point here, the issue is that if in our conditioned state, we happened to encounter Krishna, we may only worsen our offenses. For instance, when meeting with a pure devotee, or a Spiritual Master, at some point one can easily become arrogant, thinking himself to be equal to them and looking down at others. 

Srila Prabhupada warned about this many times, saying that “familiarity breeds contempt”, in other words too close association with someone leads to a loss of respect for them. That is why Krishna is not in a hurry to see us, He knows we are immature to face Him. Obviously, we need to get ready. The significance of our story about encountering God is exactly about our ability to prepare ourselves for this event. What do we need to do? 

Essentially, encountering God is a trial. Let’s try to glance at ourselves from God’s point of view. We surely will note pettiness, cowardice, indifference, insincerity, hypocrisy. We normally don’t see it, because we look at this world through a prism of these traits, therefore we cannot detect them in ourselves, but definitely plenty in others. However, encountering God means clear and distinct darshan of all these traits. Preliminary, when we still have not seen Krishna and only are getting ready, this implies that we will see those qualities in ourselves. Whether we are ready for this or not, that is the question. We are plain not ready to even start preparing to encounter Krishna. And the main obstacle is our inability to reveal our own faults. This is quite difficult. One has to have enough courage to disclose his own “grime”. Preparing to meet Krishna, thinking about Who He is, valuing the level of His purity, love, and beauty, we will not be able to hide those petty traits any longer from ourselves. This is a sort of preparation phase when we encounter our own incompetency and inability, which surely causes pain. We must accept it somehow, not in a sense to agree with it, but acknowledge the fact that we have those traits and meeting with God implies His desire to elevate us, raise us above those. 

At that moment we will be ready to rise. While we are holding on to these traits, we unfortunately are pettily attached to our faults, anarthas, keeping them tight. We are not ready to even start thinking about ever meeting God. This is an important phase when one in his reflections about God ultimately starts clearly seeing the opulence He possesses, and naturally one will be able to sincerely beg Krishna to remove these anarthas, take them all away, and we better swear to let them go. 

You know how children often are like this. I used to listen a poetry of Agniya Barto, about a little boy marching to school and promising that he will give all his toys to his little sister. He sorts out the toys in his mind and each is going mentally to his sister. After some more thinking, he, all of a sudden, changes his mind and starts taking back one by one all the toys originally promised to be donated. Ultimately, he concludes that he is not going to give any of them to his sister and retain them all. The same behavior we have towards Krishna. Occasionally we are trying to give something to Krishna, then almost immediately change our minds, willing to hold on to it as our own. We beg Krishna to leave us all the toys we have. As we can see this step is quite difficult to do and it takes serious preparations, such as developing trust in God. This is not an easy thing to do. Trusting God is internal conviction that God knows what is the best for us. In spite of that we are so used to determining ourselves what’s better for us. We know nobody cares about us better than we do ourselves, therefore who else knows what’s the best for us? Trust in God is the most significant quality we need to have to mark a beginning of our path to genuine meeting with Krishna. Until then, while we lack trusting God in the fact that he knows what’s better for us, moving forward towards God remains out of question. We can stand still on this path, but movement towards God, some of our steps in that direction, begin from the moment of gaining trust. Trust is defined by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as shraddha (shraddha, shabda, vishvaso). Trust means that we convinced entirely that God knows better what benefits us. Trusting God can be understood via few synonyms, such as humility - when we gracefully adopt everything Gods send our way; gratitude - when we are ever grateful to God. There is also a third important synonym applicable to our level (often humility and gratitude are not widely accepted as synonyms by majority of people), which is an instance of one and the same internal feature or condition of the soul, a true faith or trust. Or, rather, let’s put it this way, we have faith that has to mature and turn itself into a trust. Everyone has a faith, but trust in God is a prerogative of a few. Another important synonym with trust is chastity. Chastity in Russian has interesting roots, it means that someone’s wisdom becomes complete (spelled as zelomudrie, celii – complete, mudrost - wisdom), as opposed to partial. Zelomudrie signifies person’s ability to grasp any complete concept in the world, as mudrost is a perception of what is happening around and within us. 

An individual can be considered smart, which usually means an ability to pull necessary partial information out of surroundings and manipulate it to reach some specific little or big goals, does not matter. But chaste individual is implicitly convinced that Krishna stands behind everything, simply because he is able to see a complete picture. Therefore, chastity is a definite synonym with humility or trust. 

Chaste individual holds the entire perspective, trying to visualize Krishna as a complete whole being present in his life, because until such time when he obtained chastity, in other words trust in God, he continues to choose from what is given to him, taking what he likes and rejecting what he does not like. True chastity means we concentrate only on God, we don’t want anything else. Again, until chastity is there, one continues to be his own judge, but once it is obtained, the individual accepts what Krishna is sending him. Krishna knows much better what one needs. In order to have chastity, one has to develop wholeness in himself. I was elaborating on the topic of individual’s inner completeness during our first meeting. This is not an easy endeavor. This is the state when a person is not internally split in two, when he is laser focused on his desire to reach Krishna and ultimately see Him. This is what I had to add, as we have a certain sequential logic of our narration, starting from encountering the self, the way we are today. Later, encountering the self will help us to encounter Krishna, because we would have gained chastity or certain inner wholeness. 

Kunti speaks about chastity in these captivating words

SB 1.8.25

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat

tatra tatra jagad-guro

bhavato darśanaṁ yat syād

apunar bhava-darśanam

Quite famous prayer. Vipadah means calamities or unpleasant situations during which one usually calls Krishna for help. Therefore, she says: “Let those calamities happen again and again in my life”. Tatra, tatra – means again and again; jagat-guro – Oh Universal Guru. She is begging Krishna to guarantee it. We need to carefully analyze the connotation of her prayer. We tend to only acknowledge shallow, surface layer, or denotation of this prayer. 

Visvanatha Chakravarty Thakur explains deeper sense of what queen Kunti is praying for. He says that calamities and troubles she was put through have become a real treasure for her, vipadah became sampadah. Sampadah means wealth or fortune. Why so? Thanks to those calamities, she never looked back walking her spiritual path. What happens to us is due to absence of chastity, as I said before, and inability to see the complete picture, we have fractioned our desires. 

True, one part of our being is attracted to Krishna and is willing to face Him, we do chant His holy name, but somewhere in the deepest regions of our heart resides another part, resulting from our split being, which pulls us back in the opposite direction. And this split prevents us to be chaste. We want Krishna, but that is not the only thing we want. The hope for material happiness is still persisting within us. We think that sometime, all of a sudden, we will become lucky. Though we understand nobody yet found happiness here, but we rely on exceptions. And, of course, we project ourselves to be in the center of those exceptions. After all, Krishna loves us. Maybe we will be the ones finding happiness right here and we don’t need to go to Krishna for that. Or, some of us think, we could just step forward with one foot towards Krishna and with another, elsewhere. One way or another, when a person does not have a sense of being complete in himself, self-sufficient, he cannot strive towards Krishna. 

Krishna Himself says that in BG 2.44



vyavasayatmika buddhih

samadhau na vidhiyate

One cannot concentrate, samadhau na vidhiyate, on his desire to approach Krishna, to become complete, exactly because bhogaisvarya-prasaktana| tayapahrta-cetasam, a portion of his consciousness apahrta, is hijacked by material desires and experiences of material enjoyment. Tayapahrta-cetasam, bhogaisvarya, we are attached to bhoga – sense gratification, or to aisvarya – wealth and power. These thoughts generate our hopes for possible happiness in this world. 

This is why queen Kunti is begging Krishna to send her calamities, because they do not allow her to fall into illusion of material happiness. They helped her to devoid the torturing hope for happiness in this material world. She, therefore, is asking Krishna to send them over and over again, otherwise, one may think, to the most part, the life here is not that bad. It may seem that everything is great, Krishna is kind and loving, He allows us to have so many wonderful things, and resulting from this kind of thinking, drop by drop, chastity is depleted. Yes, we do need Krishna, but we also want to serve another Master. Our internal separation becomes incessant. 

The meaning of queen Kunti’s prayer is to ask Krishna for helping her achieve completeness as this is the only way to always see Krishna. She trusts Him in knowing better what is needed from her to see Him. Easy to utter these words, much more difficult to be emotionally involved in conversation. Thus, in her next prayer, queen Kunti continues:

SB 1.8.26


edhamāna-madaḥ pumān

naivārhaty abhidhātuṁ vai

tvām akiñcana-gocaram

If one is still attached to janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrībhir his family origins, aisvarya – to wealth, education, intellect, to śrī – bodily beauty, posessions, great opulence, etc., such person is not worthy to sincerely pronounce Krishna’s name. Besides, edhamāna-madaḥ pumān, there are often desires to expand those achievements, opulence, and posessions, that is why naivārhaty abhidhātuṁ vai| tvām akiñcana-gocaram – one will never be able to wholeheartedly call Krishna in a way that the Lord can hear, respond, and descend to the invite, or manifest Himself. Attachment to all these things is prohibiting one to see Krishna. That is why queen Kunti values calamities as an utmost treasure, as thanks to those, the mirage of material existence quickly dissipates. Kunti welcomes calamities to withstand being possessed by an illusion. Now we are going to approach a very practical part of our narration. Everything I have said so far will remain a dry theory if we don’t learn how to apply this to our lives. 

What do we need to do? Let’s say we understood the fact that we are not ready to encounter Krishna, not even ready to start getting ready. How, practically, we can start getting ready though, at our level? How can we invite Krishna? Important and quite interesting to know that when Draupadi cried out in despair to Krishna, she needed Him more than anything else. She knew well enough, nothing and nobody else could protect her at that time, not a noble lineage, as a daughter of king Drupada, Yajnaseni (born of a fire sacrifice), nor her beauty, though she was mesmerizing, possessing a youthful radiance about her, coming out of the fire, nor aiśvarya, her abundance of wealth, and finally not even a śruta, her sacred knowledge. When she raised her hands calling Govinda, Keshava, Dwarakawasi (Krishna at the moment was in Dwaraka, after leaving Hastinapur/Indraprastha, preparing to battle with demon Salwa, who attacked Dwaraka), Krishna personally appeared. It is said that Krishna have taken a form of her sari to make it infinite. However, in Mahabharata it is stated that Krishna appeared personally in response to her cry, but nobody was able to see Him, of course, except of Draupadi. Right then, Draupadi realized that Krishna Himself came for the rescue, having heard her desperate prayer, thus responding to His names. Nobody else could see Krishna, but in the same manner we can and must be able to see Krishna, yet first of all we need to learn to love. 

Here is our practical moment, considering this story. We need to gather ourselves to become complete. It is obvious, of course, that only Krishna can make us complete, but preparing ourselves to receive this gift is our task. Becoming complete is a dedicated step. It means our mind scattering shall cease, we should have nothing else to worry about, we wouldn’t need to look around or look back, we have to be moving straight forward towards Krishna. How can we ask about it? How can we prepare ourselves for it? Krishna can and will give us completeness. Priest Antoni Surzhski told the story about Jesus Christ. When Jesus was present here, while performing healing for many, right before doing so, he would always ask people if they wanted to be cured? Apparently strange question, who wouldn’t want to be cured? But reply to this would not be so unambiguous. Healing means regaining completeness, which in its turn imposes certain responsibilities. If, for example, we were asked whether we are ready, the answer, most likely, will not be so straight forward. Do we really want to cure our disease of material existence or we don’t? Unfortunately, we are so glued to this so called semi-disabled existence. 

Obviously, diseases come with perks. Do we want them or not? Anyways, to get ready to reach such completeness, which can be only granted by Krishna, we have a special sadhana. This sadhana is contemplating two Krishna’s qualities, fairness and mercy. Srila Prabhupada, to my knowledge, at least three times (may be even four) cites in Bhagavat Gita the same verse from the Vedanta-sutra, 2nd chapter, but I cannot rely on my memory; nonetheless, if I am not mistaken, it says: 

BG 5.15 Purport (and in Chapter 4 where Krishna states that laws of karma are cumbersome and hard to comprehend)

vaisamya-nairghrnye na sapeksatvat tatha hi darsayati.

The main portion of the sutra is vaisamya-nairghrnye na and Srila Prabhupada without going deeper into specifics translates it as follows:

"The Lord neither hates nor likes anyone, though He appears to."

The meaning of this simple sutra is that Krishna is impartial to anyone. He is fair, He does not have favorites, but neither He hates anyone. Vaisamya na – means no bias. Na nairghrnye means He is not cruel. These are two of His positive qualities. That’s how with the help of this sadhana, by continuous, daily meditation on these qualities, one can productively prepare himself for being complete and trusting, evolving in the mood of being open to God.

Our thinking shall be as such that we are convinced entirely that Krishna is fair and whatever we get in life is His most unbiased decision. Simultaneously, we must know Krishna is merciful. He gives us a lot more than we deserve. This type of analytical thinking is a prerogative of devotees, exactly what differentiates them from others. A devotee may not be yet at the stage of nishtha, but he is totally affirmative in the fact that Krishna is fair and merciful. 

Duryodhana, at the time of leaving this world, right at the end of the Kurukshetra battle, following the single combat with Bhima, was lying down with pain from broken hips and crushed personality, nonetheless in Krishna’s presence. (Duryodhana left his body the next morning, however, only after Ashvathama brought him promised heads of assassinated Draupadi’s sons). 

We know that when Bhima was trying to step on Duryodhana’s head, Krishna abruptly stopped him making Balarama upset. He defended Duryodhana’s royal descent that required an honest treatment and respect. Saying this, Krishna, by the way, wasn’t even looking at Duryodhana, He was having conversation with Bhima. 

After few moments, Krishna declared the necessity get out of there. This meant the business was finished and victory over Duryodhana was proclaimed to be a great fortune on Pandavas side. Further Krishna appealed to Maharaja Yudhishthira announcing for him to take over the reins of the Kingdom and again reinforced that due to extreme fortune the victory was on the righteous side. 

Hearing this, while still being alive, Duryodhana started to hiss. Hatred started to suffocate him. He squeezed the following words out of his dying body: 

“ Krishna, what fortune has to do with it? You think I have no idea that You arranged for all of this? You coached Bhima to hit me below my waist. You taught Arjuna how to demolish Karna in a dishonest way, the same as You did to Bhisma. You tricked Yudhishthira and Bhima, pulling them into battle with Drona to demolish him!” 

At the minimum, these three strongest warriors were entirely invincible: Bhisma, Drona, and Karna. Nobody could remove them out of the way in an honest way. Of course, Krishna invested all His powers in assisting Pandavas in their victory. Duryodhana, however, was breathless “spilling” these words to Krishna. Why? Out of the sense of unfairness, of the fact that God is not fair, He is cruel and Has favorites. He is inclined more towards Pandavas than Kauravas. 

To all Duryodhana’s spewing curses, Krishna peacefully responded that everything happened are the fruits of his own karma. Nothing extraordinary really happened. All the fallen souls, including Duryodhana, received what they earned. 

There is a very undetectable difference between our sense of fairness and clear understanding that Krishna is fair despite appearances. We need to analyze any event not from the starting point of our minute position, predicting the outcome according to our senses, considering what we truly deserve, but from the finishing line of the event. If the event occurred, this means one and the only fact that it had to happen, because Krishna is fair by default, this is a position of God. 

One theologian had written 5 volumes of study under the title “Iliotropion”, translated further into Russian by prelate Ioann Tobolski. Iliotropion means sunflower in Latin. The subtitle of this work is “Conformation of human and divine will”. In such extensive work the author was trying to explain how our efforts, or our sadhana, has to be aimed at conforming or reconciling our will with the will of God; ultimately admitting to God that He is right. And it took 5 large volumes to explain how to do it. After all, it is not that simple to agree with righteousness of God.

This is a thought paradigm meant to conclude fairness and mercy of God. This is also encompassed in Shrimad Bhagavatam, however in much lesser size than 5 volumes. It only took the single, yet miraculous verse to reflect upon the same concept. Srila Prabhupada cited it countless number of times throughout his books: 

SB 10.14.8

tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo

bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam

hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te

jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk

In the first line - tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo, su-samīkṣa means one is tirelessly and earnestly awaiting - anukampāṁ - the causeless mercy of Krishna. Besides, su-samīkṣa – one is trying to really see how this mercy applies to him, not just sitting and waiting until it comes upon. Again, su-samīkṣamāṇo- means one continuously perceive that Krishna is merciful to him.

Second line - bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam – means in the meantime, one is suffering from his own deeds, clearly understanding that Krishna is fair, yet, at the same time, merciful. 

These two lines reflect the process where tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo – one is patiently waiting for Krishna’s mercy to manifest, at the same time bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam - understanding that he is getting now what is deserved, ātma-kṛtaṁ - he did it to himself, these are consequences, vipākam, of what he has done. And bhuñjāna means one is enduring those consequences, in happiness or distress.

Along with these, hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te, one is also offering obeisances to Krishna, inadvertently expressing gratitude and accepting the fact that Krishna knows what is better for him. Offering obeisances means being grateful on the level of hṛt - heart, vāk, - words, vapurbhir – and the body, i.e. bowing to Krishna. Such individual truly earns his liberation, in other words, he deserved the right to ultimately purify himself and face Krishna. 

At our level it is sadhana, our conscious efforts performed while moving in this direction, molding our hearts to cherished and longing encounter with God, at least hoping for it. Our hope surely will bring us to this elevated state. Srila Prabhupada mentioned that this is a trial of devotee’s patience. A devotee shall not be in a rush, he must have patience, knowing that the travelled path on the way to Krishna is winding and bumpy. Then, the encounter will happen without fail.

As a final note to our narration regarding encounter with Krishna, I would like to cite another verse from Shrimad Bhagavatam, Third Canto: 

SB 3.9.11

tvam bhakti-yoga-paribhavita-hrit-saroja

asse srutekshita-patho nanu natha pumsam

yad-yad-dhiya ta urugaya vibhavayanti

tat-tad-vapuh pranayase sad-anugrahaya

This verse is describing encounter with God in a very unique way. Since it coincides with our topic, I could not get around this verse. 

There it is said tvam bhakti-yoga-paribhavita-hrit, when the lotus of our heart will saturate, paribhavita literally means to saturate, in this case, with bhakti yoga or bhakti, tvam bhakti-yoga, not any earlier than that; when nothing else matters, besides our devotion, which by then is merged with our nature, asse srutekshita-patho nanu natha pumsam, then God will dwell on this lotus. 

And this will happen by the means of bona fide hearing asse srutekshita-patho. God will enter through our hearing channels, through ears, nanu natha pumsam – there is no doubt indeed. When we hear about Krishna, He appears on the lotus of our heart, we finally get a darshan of God. And the verse last phrase states in which image God appears for us, tat-tad-vapuh pranayase sad-anugrahaya, it depends which image devotee meditated upon, during all this time, vibhavayanti. For a long time, a person (pumsam) while practicing devotional service, meditated on a certain image and form of God. Yad-yad-dhiya, dhiya means meditation, whichever form one meditated upon, ta urugaya vibhavayanti, tat-tad-vapuh pranayase sad-anugrahaya, this is the form God mercifully manifests to a devotee. 

This is God’s mercy towards a person who achieved a stage of sat, being entirely purified, therefore earning to face the image of God in its most desirable form. If we want to see Krishna resembling in the image of Shyamasundara or Krishna in Vrindavan, we meditate on those images, engage in hearing stories where Krishna reveals His lilas in these particular forms. He will appear in our heart, but only at the time when it is overflowing with bhakti. We need to prepare our hearts for such a thrilling event by contemplating Krishna’s mercy and fairness.

Here are my few words regarding our readiness for the second encounter. Thank you very much! I am hoping that you will discover each other here, as well as receive exposure to a holy name, or Krishna in the form of His holy name, keeping in memory invaluable experience which will become another building block in your spiritual high-rise. It may help you to see Krishna one day. Thank you!!!

Other topics