We secretly wish we could experience unending pleasures. Especially in the midst of pain caused by our mind, we hanker for relief and happiness. Is there a place or an activity where we could find relief from suffering, as well as a positive experience of unending pleasure?
Laws of ‘satiation’ and ‘diminishing returns’
If you are thinking it could be sex, food, movies or any other material activity, you are wrong because these pleasures follow the ‘law of satiation’. We feel a titillating pleasure for some time in these pursuits, but soon thereafter the same acts bring misery and pain. How many rasagullas can you eat at a time? Even if it’s your favourite delicacy, and you are offered unlimited sweetmeats, you would stop at a point in time. In fact, even if you are forced to eat your favourite food item, you’d soon seek relief from the suffering caused by eating that very thing! You can’t enjoy much anything material. In this world there is a law of ‘diminishing returns’- you initially get a high kick or pleasure from something, and soon thereafter the happiness experienced diminishes, and the curve of happiness steeply glides down!
The Srimad Bhagavatam reveals another pleasure that isn’t subject to the law of diminishing returns. And that is in connection to Krishna.
The intoxication of Krishna katha
Srila Suta Goswami had begun speaking the immortal scripture Srimad Bhagavatam at Naimisharanya, and just a few chapters later, he declared he had spoken all that had to be spoken about the Lord and His pure devotees. The audience consisting of learned sages, and pure devotees were wonderstruck by the narrations so far, and they didn’t want the discourse to end. That’s when they reveal the nature of happiness in discussions about Krishna. Hearing and chanting the Lord’s Holy Names and pastimes fills the heart with a pleasure that is like an intoxicating elixir.
The sages had been until now performing a sacrifice for world peace. This fire yajna had been on for thousands of years, yet they now realized that the only gain they accrued from this sacrifice was smoke and more smoke. And now in a few hours that Suta Goswami had enlightened them, they declared they felt real honey like nectar that satisfied their souls deeply.
Thanking Suta Goswami, the others lead by Saunak Rishi requested him to continue further. They presented humble arguments, “How can you say that you have concluded the narrations of the Lord’s pastimes when the Lord is unlimited in His qualities and pastimes? Besides, devotees like you who relish the Lord’s narrations can never be fully satisfied by such a short discourse. Moreover when even great mystics like Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma cannot fully describe the Lord, how can we conclude there’s nothing more to discuss?”
Lord Shiva is no ordinary person; he drank the whole ocean of poison, and Lord Brahma also is extraordinary for he created Shiva and the other gods. If such exalted personalities cannot fully describe the Lord and reach the zenith of spiritual satisfaction, how can we attain the limits of spiritual happiness?
Connection to pure devotees
They further reveal that Suta Goswami who is himself a sincere devotee of Krishna is the one who carries the power to infuse our hearts with this unending spiritual bliss. Even a moment of association of such a devotee cannot be compared with the highest pleasures of the heavenly planets or liberation that is sought by many impersonalists. That’s how powerful Krishna katha and kirtan is when it’s performed in the association of sincere devotees. Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to this verse that association of such sincere devotees who can award us Krishna is praiseworthy, worshippable, and must be accepted as the highest goal of our lives.
Krishna’s birth in the heart
The entire discussion culminates with the sages convincing Suta Goswami to continue his narrations about the Supreme Lord. If the audience is eager like the sages assembled at Naimisharanya, and the speaker like Suta Goswami is free of any material motivations, the combination can give birth to Krishna in the heart. Srila Prabhupada said that if the husband is potent, and the wife is fertile, their combination can give birth to a child. Similarly if the speaker of Lord’s narrations is spiritually potent, and the hearer is sincere, the Supreme Lord appears in the heart of such a devotee.
And where Krishna, the reservoir of all pleasure and bliss resides, how can one ever be bored or miserable? The Padma Purana refers to the Supreme Lord as ‘Rama’ meaning the source of all pleasure, and the mystics who connect to this personality also incessantly swim in this ocean of bliss. In fact such a person is not only personally blissful, but he or she also makes all those who come in contact with him ecstatic with spiritual ananda, joy. And this pleasure is unending and not constrained by any material impediments.
And now we all have a chance to experience this pleasure by associating with Srila Prabhupada who through his wonderful, Bhaktivedanta purports has revealed to us the secret treasure house of spiritual happiness. Let’s read his books and also connect to Krishna, the source of all happiness.