“Sreyah kairava candrika vitaranam.” We have just eliminated the negative. And now the positive is being introduced. We have cleansed the mirror heart of all the dirt and filth of the anarthas of material attachment. We have extinguished the blazing forest fire of material existence, which is the cause of all miseries and sufferings and now at this stage our actual blissful position of our spiritual nature begins to awaken.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu compares the Holy Name to the beautiful full moon. Of all things within this material existence, the two most pristine symbols of beauty are the full moon and the lotus flower. When we talk about the beauty of the Lord, we talk about His feet like lotuses, we talk about his eyes like lotuses, his heart like lotuses. And we also describe Him as so many moons. His moon-like face—Vrindavan Chandra. Because the beautiful full moon creates such natural beauty and when the full moon comes in contact with this fresh beautiful lotus flower, that is the exchange of ultimate beauty within this material creation. When the rays of the benedictions of the full moon come in contact with the lotus, which is compared to our own soul, then that soul begins to blossom.
When the lotus flower is closed, its fragrance and beauty cannot be enjoyed. But when it comes in contact with the light of the moon, when that lotus blossoms, all of its fragrance… all of its beauty is manifested to the world. So, this is the effect of the Holy Name, when it touches our hearts. It awakens the natural, beautiful loving qualities of our souls. And we realise and understand our own spiritual existence in our relationship with Vrindavan Chandra, Krishna. As that relationship develops, it manifests in five different rasas—as in neutrality, as a servant of the Lord, as a friend of the Lord, as the parent of the Lord or as the lover of the Lord. These transcendental qualities are unfolded as we come in contact with the sweet ambrosial sound of Krishna’s name.
“Vidya vadhu jivanam.” When that lotus of our own soul blossoms, then we can understand what is real knowledge, who we really are.
What is our real purpose and what is that purpose? To surrender completely to the will of God. This awakening is the next stage that comes through chanting Hare Krishna—utter surrender to the will of God. To the degree we surrender, to that degree we feel ecstasy. To the degree we are complacent or reluctant or we refuse to surrender to the will of Krishna, to the service of Krishna, to that same degree we are cheating ourselves of the nectar of transcendental love, which is our very eternal birth right. Complete surrender is the expression of knowledge of the true nature of our self, of our soul. Krishna explains in the Gita, Sarva dharman parityaja…
Abandon all other occupational ideas and all other religious conceptions and just surrender to Me. I shall protect you from all sinful reactions, do not fear.
In the material sense, surrender means to give up against our will and it is a miserable idea. Just when you are fighting a war you want the other side to surrender. And nobody likes to surrender. It means you lose everything. In the spiritual sense it is just the opposite.
In the spiritual sense you are surrendering at all times. It is just the question of who you are surrendering to. Because everyone is in a subordinate position in this material world. Krishna has three energies—His internal spiritual energy, external material energy, and His marginal energy. The Jiva soul is the marginal energy. We have the independent free will to either surrender to Krishna’s spiritual energy or to surrender to Krishna’s material energy. But surrender you do in any case.
The only means of being free from the power of maya is to surrender to Krishna who is the all good, the all beautiful, the reservoir of all pleasure. Why should we be reluctant to surrender to Krishna? Because we are habituated to surrendering to maya. It is such a simple thing. Krishna says, ‘Just surrender to Me’. Actually, it is the easiest, simplest, natural thing to surrender to Krishna. But we have become so much unnatural in our thinking, feeling, willing, that it appears to be very difficult. But through the power of the Holy Name, as the dust of our heart becomes cleansed … as the burning forest fire of material existence and the suffering of our actions and reactions of sinful activities, are extinguished, as the true knowledge in the lotus of our hearts become opened, then it becomes our very nature to surrender to Krishna. What does surrender mean—to love Krishna, to serve Krishna. The expression of love is to serve.
This is part 2 of the four-part series.
Gauranga Sundar Das is Iskcon Inc Communication Director and Social media IT Head.