Have You Received Prema?

In reply to the question of Haridasi in a response to the article “Chant Pure and Without Offence” we have posted this article which is from Chapter 11 from the up and coming publication TRINAD API SUNICENA, which is at the printer right now. This wonderful answer is, of course, by Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja.

Kṛṣṇa-prema is difficult to attain even for Lord Brahmā, the highest created being in the universe. Therefore how can we have it? It can be received only by the causeless mercy of Mahāprabhu. He never considers whether one deserves it or not. Generally in this world, you get what you deserve, however Śrīmān Mahāprabhu is so wonderfully merciful that He offers kṛṣṇa-prema to one and all without discrimination. However, does everyone achieve it? That is another question.

Liquid Mellow

Have you received prema? No? Mahāprabhu is the giver, and we are the receivers. We should receive kṛṣṇa-prema, but why can’t we receive it? When He gives, how can you receive? If I give you something, “All right, take this” then how will you take it? You will put out your hands to receive it. Mahāprabhu gives prema-rasa, the loving mellow.

tasmai mahā-prema-rasa-pradāya
caitanya-candrāya namo namas te

“O Lord Caitanya-candra, whose form is full of blissful pastimes, whose complexion is as splendid as gold, and who gives in charity the most glorious mellow of pure love for Lord Kṛṣṇa, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.”

Mahā-prema-rasa. Rasa means “mellow”, it is liquid. When we speak of mellow, rasa, it is not solid, but it is liquid. Prema-rasa is to be tasted, relished. Mahāprabhu is the giver and we are the receivers of this rasa but how can we receive it? You may stretch out your hands and say, “Yes, please give me!”, but this is mellow. If someone gives you some mellow, you should approach with a container, a receptacle to accept it in. If there are holes in your container, how can you take it? Everything will pour out. Therefore, with what type of container will we approach Mahāprabhu to receive the prema-rasa He is giving?

If you go to the Ganges with a pot filled to the brim with filthy, nasty things, how can you collect Ganges water? You must examine the pot to see whether it is suitable or not. If it is filled with filthy things, first remove them and wash it out. Empty it, and then you can fill it with Ganges water. Similarly, Mahāprabhu is giving prema-rasa, the loving mellow. How can we approach Him, and with what kind of receptacle? Do you know?

The Receptacle is Your Heart

Another question arises. You can put cow’s milk in an earthen pot, but can you put a lioness’s milk in the same type of pot? No, because a lioness’s milk is very strong. If you put it in an earthen pot, which is porous, it will crack and everything will pour out. To hold a lioness’s milk you need a golden pot. Similarly, Mahāprabhu gives prema-rasa, the loving mellow, and you must approach Him with a proper non-porous container.

It is said that Caitanya is like a lion, Caitanya-siṁha. He roars like a lion. He has the shoulders and waist of a lion and He was born on the full moon evening of the month of Phālguna, during the zodiac constellation of Leo, the lion. Therefore He is siha, Caitanya-siṁha. Consequently when He gives prema-rasa, what type of container is required to receive it? The proper receptacle is the heart. You cannot receive it with your hands or any container other than your heart. Only with that container you can receive the prema-rasa given by Mahāprabhu.

You should first examine your heart to check that there are no holes in it. Is it a pure heart? If there are holes or nasty things in it, how can you receive prema-rasa? Lust, anger, greed, pride, arrogance and envy are the nasty things. These are the holes in the container. Though Mahāprabhu gives kṛṣṇa-prema indiscriminately to one and all, why is it that not everyone is receiving it? How will our hearts be free from all these nasty things? How can we take care of the heart, so that we may receive Mahāprabhu’s mercy and make a success of our human birth?