Excerpts from: The Divine Vision of Radha Krishn by His Divinity Swami Prakashanand Saraswati (Foremost disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj)
Natural qualities of God.
He has three natural qualities or nature: sat, chit and anand. All the three qualities remain in all the three where one remains prime and prominent and the other two qualify it. Thus, all the forms and powers of God have all the three qualities with one main quality.
Practical aspect of these qualities or their specific powers.
The practical aspect of sat or the power of sat is called sandhini (the almighty power) or sandhini shakti. The practical aspect of chit is called samvit or chit shakti or gyan shakti (the Divine intellect) or chid brahm; and the practical aspect of anand is called ahladini or hladini or ahladini shakti. Now, according to the above description, sandhini shakti is also qualified with chit and anand; chit shakti is also qualified with sat and anand; and ahladini shakti is also qualified with sat and chit. But chit shakti, in its initial form, is always nirakar (nirakar brahm or chid brahm) and dormant, like the dormant intelligence of an unconscious mind. For that reason, its qualifying anand quality also remains dormant. Only its sat quality which is “existence” remains perfect. (Initially, sat word means “eternal existence”.) Thus the function of chit shakti is only seen in sakar brahm (sakar forms of God).
Ahladini shakti, along with its qualifying sat and chit, has three forms: (1) ahladini shakti, (2) prema shakti or prem tattva (the Divine love power) and (3) Mahabhao, where prema shakti (or prem tattva) is the essence of the Bliss of ahladini’s intimate excellence, and Mahabhao is the absoluteness of the absolute prem tattva. (Tattva means the essential substance of a particular Divine power).
The Divine dimension.
All of these powers have their own personal Divine dimension called abode which is unlimited and omnipresent. The dimension of sandhini is called Vaikunth; the dimension of ahladini is called Saket and Dwarika; the dimension of prema shakti is called Golok and the dimension of Mahabhao is Vrindaban. The absolute brahm glorifies every abode in two forms, male and female…
“Bliss” is the “life aspect” of the Divine realm. So, from this angle of view, we say that Radha tattva gives “life and Bliss” to Divine love power, the prem tattva, and prem tattva gives “life and Bliss” to sandhini tattva. That’s how they are naturally established and self-submitted to their source of Bliss which is their life giver. That’s how, in a progressive style, the Blissful superiority exists in all the Divine abodes, of which the culminating point is Radha tattva.
For this same reason it is said that Radha is the soul of Krishn and Krishn is the soul of sandhini tattva (Maha Vishnu and Lakchmi, etc.) and all the souls.
Thus, Vaikunth, Saket, Dwarika, Golok and Vrindaban are the abodes whose Blissful superiority progressively increases up to Vrindaban abode. Vaikunth is the abode of Divine almightiness, Saket and Dwarika are the abodes of Divine love mixed with almightiness, Golok is the abode of pure Divine love, and Vrindaban abode is like the eternally full bloom flower of Divine love.
One should not think that the description of Blissful superiority makes the other one inferior. This is another miracle of the Divine world that there is no experience of lowness by the Saints of any of these abodes. They are all Divinely contented in the absoluteness of their Blissful experience. Still there are certain enriching superiorities of the Divine love which makes it special. They are like multiplying absolute magnificence into absolute Bliss…
…Now, from their (Saint’s) writings, we know the classifications of the relational Bliss of God. They are: shant bhao (the relation of a subject to his gracious king), dasya bhao (the relation of a loving servant to his kind master), sakhya bhao (fraternal relationship), vatsalya bhao (maternal relationship), and gopi bhao or madhurya bhao (total submission to Divine beloved Krishn). There is also a “samanjasa bhao” that falls between vatsalya bhao and gopi bhao and is experienced in Dwarika abode.
All of these Divine relational sweetnesses can be experienced in absolute form. Progressively they are sweeter and sweeter and amazingly more and more charming and exciting than the previous ones in the same sequence. This is the sequence of the Divine Blissful superiority. The last one is gopi bhao, the love of Radha Krishn as experienced in Divine Vrindaban.
The first one is experienced in Vaikunth, the abode of the almighty power. Basically, the second and third ones are experienced in Saket, and the second, third and fourth ones are experienced in Dwarika, the abodes of ahladini mixed with almighty power. The third fourth and fifth ones are experienced in Golok, the abode of the full bloom of ahladini power, and the fifth one in its full glory is experienced in Divine Vrindaban, the abode of Radha Rani, the Mahabhao. Saket abode also has vatsalya bhao and Dwarika abode has a partially selfless kind of bhao called samanjasa bhao.
Excerpts From: The Science of Devotion, Divine Love and Grace by His Divinity Swami Prakashanand Saraswati (Foremost disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj)
Form of Krishn love (prema bhakti).
The Divine love or Krishn love, which is called prema bhakti, is not a devotional attainment. It is received and realized by the Grace of Radha Krishn.
It appears in the form of relational love (affinity) with Krishn and, accordingly, there are four classes of Divine love. The relationship with Krishn is not the same as is found in the material world. It is entirely different, but to form a mental image of those Divine relationships, we will have to imagine them according to the nature of relationships that is seen in the world.
Mainly there are four types of relationships with Krishn:
(1) Servitude (dasya bhao). Those who are related to Krishn as His loyal servants.
(2) Fraternal relationship (sakhya bhao). Those who are related to Krishn as His friends. This class belongs to the playmates of Krishn, who, during the descension period, accompanied Him the whole day while going out into the woods to graze their cows.
(3) Maternal relationship (vatsalya bhao). Those who love Krishn as their child. Mother Yashoda and Nand Baba are the examples of maternal relationship.
(4) Gopi bhao. The last and the highest relationship is of Gopis with Krishn. It is called madhurya bhao or gopi bhao. The word bhao stands for the consciousness of relational feeling of love for Krishn, and the word madhurya represents the maximum realizable sweetness of the leelas and beauty of Krishn. Thus, madhurya bhao means such relationship which reveals the complete beauty and sweetness of Krishn.
Some ignorant writers have translated and explained madhurya bhao as conjugal relationship. This is incorrect. The word conjugal is concerned with marital love and association with the opposite sex. This word gives a wrong conception of the Gopis’ love to a human mind, because a person immediately imagines a worldly-like connection between the Gopis and Krishn whenever he reads or hears the words conjugal relationship.
Roop Goswami says
(Hindi Verse-Ujjwal Neelmani)
“The conjugal relationship with Krishn is called samanjasa rati. (That was the Divine state of Rukmini in Dwarika.) Although there remains a deeper love for Krishn, this stage is sometimes affected by selfish feelings, because such love keeps a pride of being Krishn’s wife.” Thus we see that conjugal relationship is entirely different from the real selfless and pure love of Gopis.
The Gopi’s love toward Krishn was completely selfless. They had only one desire, to please Krishn. Their association with Krishn was not “wished for” from either side, but it was a natural stage of Divine love. The more important factor, which people overlook, is the Divineness of the Gopis. Gopis did not have material bodies; they had Divine bodies called bhao deh.
Bhao deh is substantially identical to Krishn’s body. No one could associate with Krishn with a material body. When a Saint receives bhao deh (Divine body), he can associate with Krishn, not before. All the associates of Krishn in Braj had Divine bodies.
A worldly person has no knowledge about the Divine body, so what happens in bhao deh, he cannot know. Moreover, he cannot speculate about the status of the bhao deh and the leelas of Krishn. On the other hand, because he has emotional experiences of his physical association with others, his mode of thinking is naturally based on emotional enjoyments of the physical level. Under such circumstances, a human mind, instead of getting a right vision, gets a wrong view of Gopi’s love when he reads such descriptions. In no way did the Gopis have mundane conjugal-like relations with Krishn. As there is no equivalent word for madhurya bhao in the English language, so, the nearest acceptable words ‘selfless Divine relationship” can be used to describe the Gopi’s relation to Krishn.
Classes of Divine love (prema bhakti).
According to these relationships, there are four classes of Divine love. Divine love is always perfect, unlimited and never ending, yet, it has a strange inexpressible characteristic that, on its own foundation, converts itself into the above described four forms or classes. Each one is different in experience from the others and has sweeter and sweeter manifestations of unlimited and ever-increasing pleasure. Each one, although complete in itself, has some specific charm of its own.
The specific sweetness of the first one is added into the second one, and so on. In this way, the first, dasya bhao, stands with its own charm and specialty. The second, sakhya bhao, includes the specialty of servantship with its own special sweetness. The third, vatsalya bhao, includes both the charms of servantship and fraternal relationship with its own attributes; and the fourth, gopi bhao, includes all the specialties of servitude, fraternal relationship and maternal relationship along with its own Divine charm.
Thus, the uplifting experiences of the latter ones are superior to the former ones, and the last, gopi bhao, contains the complete sweetness of all the manifestations of Divine love. So its charm excels all other Divine love charms, and it reveals the greatest charm of Krishn’s original Divine beauty.
The devotees who have attained the first three classes of Divine love enter into Golok and enjoy the ever-increasing love of Krishn every moment. The fourth form of love, madhurya bhao, which is also called gopi bhao or Vrindaban bhao and which is the highest and sweetest manifestation of Divine love, ensures entrance into Vrindaban. In Divine Vrindaban, all Gopis serve and love Radha and Krishn with their hearts and souls.
The Saints, who have attained any of the four classes of Divine love, are called rasik Saints. Out of them, the Saints of Vrindaban bhao are the highest as they have attained the supreme stage of Divine love, which is honored by Brahma and Shiv.
The love of the Gopis is unequaled. Only those who have attained Vrindaban bhao can know the depth of it. In Divine Vrindaban, all the rasik Saints live in the form of Gopis, and they realize the same amount of Love which Radha and Krishn realize in Their leelas with them. Thus, all the Gopis desire to serve their Beloveds with every breath of their life; and Radha, the supreme Goddess of Vrindaban, always desires to give them the maximum happiness because She loves all the Gopis as Her own soul.
The Divine Vision of Radha Krishn
The Science of Devotion, Divine Love and Grace