Today we celebrate Janmashtami or Krishna Jayanthi. It is a celebration of the incarnation of Cosmic consciousness.
When Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu began His instructions to Rūpa Gosvāmī, He first told him, “My dear Rūpa, the science of devotional service is just like the great ocean, and it is not possible to show you all its length and breadth. However, I shall try to explain the nature of that ocean by taking just one drop out of it. In this way you can taste it and understand what that ocean of devotional service actually is.”
In the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, one of the four Kumāras, known as Sanandana, gave the following speech upon performing a great sacrifice:
“O Supreme Truth! If the living entities were not infinitesimal sparks of the supreme spirit, each minute spark would be all-pervading and would not be controlled by a superior power. But if the living entity is accepted as a minute part and parcel of the Supreme Lord he automatically becomes controlled by a supreme energy or power. The latter is his actual constitutional position, and if he remains in this position he can attain full freedom. ……... (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.87.30)
If one mistakenly considers his position to be equal to that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he becomes contaminated by the doctrine of nonduality, and his efforts in transcendental life are rendered ineffective.”
The above episode and puranic texts are quoted for a specific purpose. First one has to realize the extreme insignificance of one’s individual consciousness when confronting the task of comprehending cosmic consciousness. Like I have pointed out, in many of my writings and talks, our mental faculty is extremely limited. Hence in his instruction to the great Jñani, Rūpa Gosvāmī, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu warns him of the expansiveness of the knowledge he is seeking. We must carefully note the words that are used. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says ‘science of devotional service is just like the great ocean’. It is not an action or ritual but it is a science. But this science is more complex than the material sciences we learn. But there is hope as a minute sample taken by a self realized Guru is adequate to dispense this vast knowledge of science of devotional service.
A very careful note is to be made that when the divine selects a limited entity which is an embodiment of all the essence of this infinite ocean there can be no aberration or lack in the content of what is dispensed. But if the individual ego tries to sample from this vast sea of knowledge, the sampling would be inadequate due to the ego contamination.
So what does it mean that one should allow the divine to sample the ocean? This means a total surrender of the self to the supreme Godhead. This is what Sanandana means when he says “But if the living entity is accepted as a minute part and parcel of the Supreme Lord he automatically becomes controlled by a supreme energy or power.” Integration at the consciousness level is achieved and the individual consciousness obtains full freedom and its limited perception can open up to a cosmic level of understanding.
In this process, if we allow our ego domination and equate individual consciousness to be equal to divine consciousness alienation sets in. There is great difference between ‘being equal’ and ‘being integral’. In being equal there is duality and being integral or inseparable is nondual.
The Lucifer is the archetypal icon of the ego rebellion. In Isaiah 14th Chapter it is said “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
The ‘doctrine of nonduality’ is nectar in the hands of a spiritually mature person but this same nectar can turn in to a poison when the ego dominates in our bhakti marga.
Love to you all