Power of Divine Love makes God forget about his Godliness

Swami NikhilanandIn the previous article, it was explained that Bhagwan Shree Krishna is bound by the love of His devotees such that He naturally loves them in the same way they love Him. The example was given of Shree Krishna playfully eating lunch with the Gwalbals in much the same way any group of young friends would.

The question was posed as to whether Shree Krishna is just “play acting” when He is interacting with His friends? After all, He is God, so why would He feel the need to play or have fun?
This is a very important question to answer, because if He is only play acting, then would any of the Gwalbals really want to be with Him? No, because you want to be with the one who truly loves you and who wants to be with you. If you realize that someone is just pretending to like you or be your friend, then your love for them would immediately turn to indifference.

Three main divine powers of Shree Krishna
To understand this concept, we must have some deeper knowledge of Shree Krishna’s Divine powers. Although He has unlimited powers, there are three main powers: swaroop shakti (also called yogmaya shakti) – this is His internal or personal power; jeev shakti – this comprises all the unlimited souls; and maya shakti – the cosmic power which manifests the universe. Out of the three, swaroop shakti is supreme.

Swaroop shakti also has three facets. Why? Vedas tell us that Shree Krishna is sat-chit-anand (tamekam Govindam sacchidanand vigraham [Gopal Poorv Tapniyopnishad]). Sat means that He is a fact, and that He exists eternally. Chit means that He is alive, sentient, and has a Divine mind. Anand means that He Himself is the form of bliss. Anand is supreme among the three qualities, and contains the other two.

Because of these three inherent Divine qualities, His personal power – swaroop shakti – has three aspects. The sat aspect of swaroop shakti is called sandhini shakti (the almighty power through which God is all-powerful and omnipresent). The chit aspect of swaroop shakti is called samvit shakti (the power of knowledge through which God is omniscient). The anand aspect of swaroop shakti is called ahladini shakti (the power of bliss through which God is ever blissful, and beyond all forms of suffering). Among the three, ahladini shakti is supreme (taasvaa hladini vareeyasee [Radhikopnishad]).

God reciprocates according to the sentiments of His devotees
When God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever blissful, what reason could He have for befriending a Gwalbal? There is no apparent reason. Hence, He must be pretending. But it is not so. It is actually real for both Shree Krishna and the Gwalbal.

How is it possible? The ahladini shakti (the supreme aspect of the personal power, swaroop shakti) has a quintessence – it is called prema shakti, the power of Divine love. It is also called prema bhakti, the Divine power of devotion.

This power is the absolute supreme power of the Divine world. It is so great that it has the power to make God forget His Godliness, and to cause the devotee to forget his own insignificance before God. It is due to this power of Divine love (or Divine bhakti) that both Shree Krishna and His devotee sincerely are friends, and are not just acting.

Even in the world, a person usually has a serious side and a loving side to his personality. Which one is displayed outwardly depends on the situation. When you are at work, school, or in any environment that demands formality, your behavior is restricted and you act with dignity and seriousness. When you are with your close friends and family in a private environment, you are less formal, more playful and loving.

Similarly, when God is revealing His almightiness and omniscience, then His behavior is serious and dignified, which restricts His interaction with His devotees (sandhini shakti and samvit shakti are revealed, but prema shakti is unmanifested). But when the power of Divine love is fully manifested, the almightiness and Godliness is submerged, and He becomes playful and loving (when prema shakti is outwardly revealed, then sandhini shakti and samvit shakti merge into it).

Due to this effect, Shree Krishna and the devotee forget their respective statuses as God and devotee, and just interact according to the relationship that was initiated by the loving feelings of the devotee (according to dasya, sakhya, vatsalya or madhurya bhav, as described in the previous article).

Prema shakti reveals the sweetest Divine pastimes
One time Shree Krishna got caught eating soil, and Mother Yashoda tied up young Kanhaiya to the ukhal and was holding a very thin stick to threaten Him so that He would not do it again. At that time, He was trembling before Maiya and tears were streaming down His face, causing the kajal to run down His cheeks.

According to the theory explained above, Shree Krishna was not pretending to be afraid of His mother. He was in fact truly afraid, because in that state, He is only conscious of her love for Him, and the fact that He is her son. He is completely oblivious of the fact that He is supreme God and doesn’t need to fear anyone.

Mother is also unaware of the fact that He is God, otherwise, how could she dare to do such a thing. The power of Divine love has made it possible for this amazing Divine leela to happen, and in doing so reveals the true sweetness of Krishna’s Divine pastimes, which could never be revealed if He were only established in His almightiness and omniscience.

It is the same when He cries to get into Maiya’s lap – He truly desires for her to pick Him up and cuddle Him. When He plays with His friends, He sincerely enjoys their company and the games they play together. When the Gopis get Him to dance for a little bit of buttermilk, He truly wants to please them and get to drink the chach. So we see that in these heart-enticing leelas of Shree Krishna, He is never pretending – He truly loves the devotee in the same way they love Him.

Continuing with the 11th shlok of chapter 4, Shree Krishna tells that all people worship Him, no matter what path they follow or style of devotion they adopt – and He comes to them in whichever form they choose. This important statement will be explored in the next article.

Disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
Swami Nikhilanand Ji is a Canadian born Hindu spiritual leader based in Austin, Texas. He is a sanyasi disciple and pracharak of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj.

Attracted to the teachings of Hinduism from a young age, Swamiji eventually let his deep spiritual longing lead him to India, where he was most fortunate to come under the guidance of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. Thereafter, living in the ashrams of JKP, he extensively studied Hindi, the philosophy of the prime Sanskrit scriptures (Vedas, Darshan Shastras, Gita, Bhagwatam), and practiced meditation in the tradition of raganuga bhakti. In 2003, he was given sanyas.

Now, with the blessings of his Guruji, he offers satsang programs throughout America, engaging audiences with his clear explanations of Hindu philosophy coupled with inspired chanting of Sanskrit mantras and shlokas and charming nam sankirtan. His informative and compelling speeches provide practical insight into how to adopt the teachings of Sanatan Dharm into our daily lives, and inspire us to awaken our inner spiritual potential.

To stay in touch with Swami Nikhilanand Ji, like his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SwamiNikhilanand or follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/Swami_Nikhil.

Swami Nikhilanand