vṛndāvanāya sakalārtha-sura-drumāya |
satrāya maiva kuru kṛtya-samāpty-apekṣām ||
You fool, get moving today, on this very day! Give all of this up all of this for Vrindavan, the desire tree that can fulfill all your desires, this Vrindavan that is the sacrificial altar for the pure love of Radha’s lord of love. Go, without thinking of completing any of your other duties. (1.71)
Prabodhananda continues his exhortations to his mind to give everything up and resort to Vrindavan. Here the sense of urgency seems to be increasing. Indeed, it would seem that the last series of verses were written at the same time. His language is strong, calling his mind a fool, again and again. It is not that such strong language is absent from other texts like the Gita and Bhagavatam. Krishna in the Seventh Chapter:
māyayāpahṛta-jñānā āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
The wicked do not surrender to me. They are foolish and the lowest of mankind; their intelligence has been robbed of them by illusion and they have taken refuge in a demonic mentality.” (Gītā 7.15)
Again, this kind of statement seems to be the kind of thing that is politically incorrect. How dare Krishna say something like this, which seems like a sectarian statement of exclusion. There are others like this in the Gītā, particularly in the 16th chapter. This is a wrong reading, since it is not a specifically sectarian statement, since Krishna is speaking generically of God in his various forms, to each according to his own religious beliefs. God takes form according to the particular mentality of the devotee. This is the meaning of the following verse of the Gita:
mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ
I reciprocate with all souls in accordance with the way they approach me. Everyone follows my path in all respects. (4.11)
In other words, there is no sectarianism in the Bhagavad-gita, even though there is an objective standard for human life. It is meant for spiritual realization and not for the grosser pleasures. Prabodhananda does not need any further reminders of the importance of the human form of life. But he calls his mind a fool because, as he said in verse 1.67, it would be madness to give up the nectar of the gods to eat stool instead.
And what is a fool but one who after attaining this valuable human form of life does not seize the opportunity to attain knowledge of his true spiritual nature and love for the Supreme, instead losing himself in the glamour and enticements of the transient world?
Here, he uses the interesting description that Vrindavan is the sacrificial altar for Radha and Krishna prema. I have translated sattra as the altar rather than the sacrifice itself because it is a place and not an action. Nevertheless, the principle of sacrifice is basic to the entire concept of sadhana. Krishna’s instruction in the beginning of the Gita presents that principle:
tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara
This world is one of bondage to work wherever work is not done for the purpose of sacrifice. Therefore, son of Kunti, being free from attachment, engage in action for that purpose.
But what the Gita teaches is that though there are different sacrifices or sādhanās, with the same external goal of seeing the Self and God in the totality of existence (4.35), and with the same external symptoms of spiritual perfection (Gita 2.52-72), the form that God takes to the devotee differs.
In previous verses, Prabodhananda spoke of the external signs of freedom from desire as both means and end, but here he talks about Vrindavan as the actual appropriate sacred place for the performance of the ultimate sacrifice of commitment to attaining Radha and Krishna. The sacrificial altar represents the center of the universe, the place where the divine realm meets the mundane. It is the crucible into which ego, the body, mind and senses are given as oblations so that one can reach an ultimate destiny.
The difference is that this crucible has a special function. It is a particular portal to Transcendence that opens to the world of madhura-rasa.
See previous 1.70.