The Beauty of Krsna
Krsna is known as Madana-mohana because He conquers the mind of Cupid. He is also known as Madana-mohana due to His accepting the devotional service of the damsels of Vraja and rendering favors unto them. After conquering Cupid's pride, the Lord engages in the rasa dance as the new Cupid. He is also known as Madana-mohana because of His ability to conquer the minds of women with His five arrows called form, taste, smell, sound and touch. The pearls of the necklace which hangs about the neck of Krsna are as white as ducks, and the peacock feather which decorates His head is colored like a rainbow. His yellow garment is like lightning in the sky, and Krsna Himself is like the newly arrived clouds. The gopis are like footbells on His feet, and when the cloud pours rain on the grains in the field, it appears that Krsna is nourishing the hearts of the gopis by calling down His pastime rain of mercy. Indeed, ducks fly in the sky during the rainy season, and rainbows can also be seen at that time. Krsna freely moves amongst His friends as a cowherd boy in Vrndavana, and when He plays His flute, all living creatures, mobile and immobile, become overwhelmed with ecstasy. They quiver, and tears flow from their eyes. Of Krsna's various opulences, His conjugal love is the summit. He is the master of all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation, and out of these, His perfect beauty is His conjugal attraction. The form of Krsna, the conjugal beauty, is eternally existent in Krsna alone, whereas His other opulences are present in His Narayana form.
When Lord Caitanya described the superexcellence of Krsna's conjugal attraction, He felt transcendental ecstasy, and, catching the hands of Sanatana Gosvami, He began to proclaim how fortunate the damsels of Vraja were, reciting a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.44.14):
gopyas tapah kim acaran yad amusya rupam
lavanya-saram asamordh vam ananya-siddham
drgbhih pibanty anusavabhinavam durapam
ekanta-dhama yasasah sriya aisvarasya
"What great penance and austerities the damsels of Vrndavana must have undergone, for they are able to drink the nectar of Krsna, who is all beauty, all strength, all riches, all fame and whose bodily luster is the center of all beauty."
The body of Krsna, the ocean of the eternal beauty of youth, can be seen to move in waves of beauty. There is a whirlwind at the sound of His flute, and those waves and that whirlwind make the hearts of the gopis flutter like dry leaves on trees, and when those leaves fall down at Krsna's lotus feet, they can never rise up again. There is no beauty to compare with Krsna's, for no one possesses beauty greater than or equal to His. Since He is the origin of all incarnations, including the form of Narayana, the goddess of fortune, who is a constant companion of Narayana, gives up Narayana's association and engages herself in penance in order to gain the association of Krsna. Such is the greatness of the superexcellent beauty of Krsna, the everlasting mine of all beauty. It is from that beauty that all beautiful things emanate.
The attitude of the gopis is like a mirror upon which the reflection of Krsna's beauty develops at every moment. Both Krsna and the gopis increase their transcendental beauty at every moment, and there is always transcendental competition between them. No one can appreciate the beauty of Krsna by properly discharging his occupational duty, or by austerities, mystic yoga, cultivation of knowledge or by prayers. Only those who are on the transcendental platform of love of God, who out of love engage in devotional service, can appreciate the transcendental beauty of Krsna. Such beauty is the essence of all opulences and is only appreciated in Goloka Vrndavana and nowhere else. In the form of Narayana the beauties of mercy, fame, etc., are all established by Krsna, but Krsna's gentleness and magnanimity do not exist in Narayana. They are found only in Krsna.
Lord Caitanya, greatly relishing all the verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam which He was explaining to Sanatana, quoted another verse (SB 9.24.65):
nityotsavam na tatrpur drsibhih pibantyo
naryo naras ca muditah kupita nimes ca
"The gopis used to relish the beauty of Krsna as a ceremony of perpetual enjoyment. They enjoyed the beautiful face of Krsna, His beautiful ears with earrings, His broad forehead and His smile, and when enjoying this sight of Krsna's beauty, they used to criticize the creator Brahma for causing their vision of Krsna to be momentarily impeded by the blinking of their eyelids."
The Vedic hymn known as kama-gayatri describes the face of Krsna as the king of all moons. In metaphorical language, there are many different moons, but they are all one in Krsna. There is the moon of His mouth, the moon of His cheeks, the moonspots of sandalwood pulp on His body, the moons of the fingertips of His hands and the moons of the tips of His toes. In this way there are twenty-four and a half moons, and Krsna is the central figure of all of them.
The dancing movement of Krsna's earrings, eyes and eyebrows is very attractive to the damsels of Vraja. Activities in devotional service increase the sense of devotional service. What else is there for two eyes to see beyond the face of Krsna? Since one cannot adequately see Krsna with only two eyes, one feels incapable and thus becomes bereaved. Such bereavement is slightly reduced when one criticizes the creative power of the creator. The unsatiated seer of Krsna's face nonetheless laments: "I do not have thousands of eyes, but only two, and these are disturbed by the movements of my eyelids. Therefore it is to be understood that the creator of this body is not very intelligent. He is not conversant in the art of ecstasy but is simply a prosaic creator. He does not know how to arrange things properly so one can see only Krsna."
The gopis' minds are always engaged in relishing the sweetness of Krsna's body. He is the ocean of beauty, and His beautiful face and smile and the luster of His body are all-attractive to the minds of the gopis. In krsna-karnamrta, His face, smile and bodily luster have been described as sweet, sweeter and sweetest. A perfect devotee of Krsna is overwhelmed by seeing the beauty of Krsna's bodily luster, His face and smile, and he bathes in the ocean of transcendental convulsions. Before Krsna's beauty, these convulsions often continue without treatment, just as ordinary convulsions which a physician will allow to continue, not even allowing a drink of water for relief.
The devotee increasingly feels the absence of Krsna, for without Him one cannot drink the nectar of His beauty. When the transcendental sound of Krsna's flute is heard, the devotee's anxiety to continue to hear that flute enables him to penetrate the covering of the material world and enter into the spiritual sky, where the transcendental sound of the flute enters into the ears of the followers of the gopis. The sound of Krsna's flute always resides within the ears of the gopis and increases their ecstasy. When it is heard, no other sound can enter into their ears, and amongst their family they are not able to reply to questions properly, for all these beautiful sounds are vibrating in their ears.
Thus Lord Caitanya explained the transcendental constitution of Krsna, His expansions, His bodily luster and everything connected with Him. In short, Lord Caitanya explained Krsna as He is, as well as the process by which one can approach Him. In this regard, Caitanya Mahaprabhu pointed out that devotional service to Krsna is the only process by which He can be approached. This is the verdict of Vedic literature. As the sages declare: "If someone inquires into Vedic literature to determine the process of transcendental realization, or if someone consults the Puranas (which are considered sister literatures), one will find that in all of them the conclusion is that the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna is the only object of worship."
Krsna is the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He is situated in His internal potency, which is known as svarupa-sakti or atma-sakti, as described in Bhagavad-gita. He expands Himself in various multiple forms, and some of these are known as His personal forms and some as His separated forms. Thus He enjoys Himself in all the spiritual planets, as well as in the material universes. The expansions of His separated forms are called living entities, and these living entities are classified according to the energies of the Lord. They are divided into two classes-eternally liberated and eternally conditioned. Eternally liberated living entities never come into contact with material nature, and therefore they do not have any experience of material life. They are eternally engaged in Krsna consciousness, or devotional service to the Lord, and they are counted among the associates of Krsna. Their pleasure, the only enjoyment of their life, is derived from rendering transcendental loving service to Krsna. On the other hand, those who are eternally conditioned are always divorced from the transcendental loving service of Krsna and are thus subjected to the threefold miseries of material existence. Due to the conditioned soul's eternal attitude of separation from Krsna, the spell of material energy awards him two kinds of bodily existence-the gross body consisting of five elements, and the subtle body consisting of mind, intelligence and ego. Being covered by these two bodies, the conditioned soul eternally suffers the pangs of material existence known as the threefold miseries. He is also subjected to six enemies (such as lust, anger, etc.). Such is the everlasting disease of the conditioned soul.
Diseased and conditioned, the living entity transmigrates throughout the universe. Sometimes he is situated in the upper planetary system and sometimes in the lower system. In this way he leads his diseased life. His disease can be cured only when he meets and follows the expert physician, the bona fide spiritual master. When the conditioned soul faithfully follows the instructions of a bona fide spiritual master, his material disease is cured, he is promoted to the liberated stage, and he again attains to the devotional service of Krsna and goes back home, back to Krsna. A conditioned living entity should become aware of his real position and should pray to the Lord, "How much longer will I be under the rule of all these bodily functions such as lust and anger?" As masters of the conditioned soul, lust and anger are never merciful. Indeed the conditioned soul will never cease rendering service to such bad masters. However, when he comes to his real consciousness, or Krsna consciousness, he abandons these bad masters and approaches Krsna with a frank and open heart to achieve His shelter. At such a time he prays to Krsna to be engaged in His transcendental loving service.
In Vedic literatures sometimes fruitive activities, mystic yoga and the speculative search for knowledge are praised as different ways to self-realization, yet despite such praise, in all literatures the path of devotional service is accepted as the foremost. In other words, devotional service to Lord Krsna is the highest perfectional path to self-realization, and it is recommended that it be performed directly. Fruitive activity, mystic meditation and philosophical speculation are not direct methods of self-realization. They are indirect because without devotional service they cannot lead to the highest perfection of self-realization. Indeed, all paths to self-realization ultimately depend on the path of devotional service.
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