Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Burning in Separation

Verse 7 of Sri Siksastakam
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the golden avatar of Lord Sri Krishna, appeared on this earth just 520 years ago, and displayed his pastimes as a devotee, one madly searching after Himself.
He instructed his disciples and followers to write hundreds of volumes of books on philosophy. But He Himself left only Eight Beautiful
Verses of Instruction.

Here in the blog, i’m exploring these 8 Divine Instructions, one by one. These verses contain the complete theory and practice of pure love for God, from the lips of Sri Krishna Caitanya, God in the role of His own devotee.

Sanskrit, Verse 7:

yugayitam nimesena
caksusa pravrsayitam
sunyayitam jagat sarvam
govinda virahena me

Translation & Commentary:

Now one moment has become a thousand years.
My eyes have become the monsoon.
The whole world has become zero.
I'm burning in separation from my Govinda.

In this verse, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is describing perhaps the most esoteric of emotional states in divine love: separation from the Beloved.
We all have mundane experiences of separation in our own existence, but they are never nice. They bring us pain, anxiety, sometimes terror that is repressed, feelings of abandonment, loss, shame and many other
negative emotions.

But the separation being described here is transcendental, not within the parameters of a temporary and vitiated nature. This separation is not based on the subjective reality of “I, me and mine.” The false identity of over-lordship is not in play here. Rather, super-subjective feelings and spiritual emotions generate a strong sense of possessing and being possessed by the Ista-Deva, the Lord of one's heart.

The soul's longing for meeting the all attractive reservoir of beauty, the Soul of his soul, is a most sublime and unique emotional state. In this condition, the elevated yet humble soul strongly feels the presence of his Beloved, but cannot see Him. The closer he comes, the more the devotee finds that his Beloved is just out of reach.

The competition between the devotee’s desire to see Krishna and Krishna’s desire to remain hidden becomes intense. It produces in the devotee an exclusive concentration on Krishna that feels like a hopelessly burning fever, or like time standing still.

While this mood of separation seems like an unbearable poison on the surface, it is actually the container of immortal nectar-like bliss. Simultaneously, the saddest tone produces the sweetest overtones.

Just as when you strike a string on the guitar, the main tone may be an “A,” but there are many overtones within that "A" note that the ear hears at the same time. The overtones of vipralambha, love in deep separation, produce the most dazzling visions and ecstatic experiences of spiritual revelation. It is in this mystical condition of the soul in its extreme need, reaching out for the Beloved, that prema, divine love, makes her grand entrance.

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