radha krishna-pranaya-vikritir hladini shaktir asmad
ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedam gatau tau
Chaitanyakhyam prakatam adhuna tad-dvayam caikyam aptam
radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krishna-svarupam
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita: Adi-lila,1.5)
The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krishna are the manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure potency (hladini shakti). Though they are one by nature, yet they eternally exist as two (Radha and Krishna). Now, these two transcendental identities have again combined into one form as Sri Krishna Chaitanya. I bow down to Him (Lord Chaitanya), who is Krishna Himself, adorned with the mood and complexion of Srimati Radharani.
‘Sri Radha Krishna Tattva’ – The Transcendental truths about Sri Radha and Krishna
I offer my prostrated obeisances again and again unto the indivisible non-dual absolute who is the essence of all truths.That same absolute truth sometimes manifests as two – in the form of Sri Radha and Krishna. While sometimes He manifests Himself as one, as Sri Chaitanya, the supreme being.The Supreme Truth is eternally one without a second, and there is no difference between the Absolute truth and His various energies.Though there is no difference between the Supreme Lord and His energies, yet at the same time, there eternally exists a difference between them. All of the Vedas hence glorify this inconceivable oneness and difference between the Lord and His energies.
The energy of the Supreme Lord is spiritual and all-cognizant by nature. It manifests itself as the sandhini potency by which it sustains itself and the existence of all others. Acting as the hladini potency, the Lord’s energy serves the Lord in various ways and thereby provides pleasure to Him. The energies of the Supreme Lord thus possesses these three different aspects.The Lord reveals Himself through His energies. Everything becomes possible through the action of His various energies.Dynamic exchanges of emotions and actions are constantly taking place within the indivisible absolute. Yet energy and the energetic (Supreme Lord) remain non-different.
The hladini potency of the Lord separates the absolute truth into two (Radha and Krishna) and thereby arranges the wonderful sublime pastimes of Sri Radha and Krishna in Vrindavana.‘Hladini’ or the pleasure potency of the Lord is a transformation of Radha and Krishna’s sweet love. It is an inconceivable energy that maddens Radha and Krishna.The Hladini potency of the Lord holds great powers to make the impossible possible. She has caused great transformations of love within the non-transformable absolute truth.
The absolute truth is beyond the comprehension of empiricists. It is only revealed by Lord Krishna’s grace.
This gives rise to an unprecedented proposition; the empiricists or speculators can never reach a conclusion or an understanding of this subject even if they continue speculating for a million years.Only one who is favored and blessed by Lord Krishna can realize this esoteric truth. Others cannot attain an understanding even after thinking on this subject for hundred-thousand years.Hladini shakti, or the internal energy of the Lord, is a manifestation of the intense love between Sri Radha and Krishna. Their loving exchanges give rise to a feeling of ecstasy which drives their hearts crazy.When Lord Krishna manifests Himself into two – Radha and Krishna, loving exchanges between the two takes place. When this love manifests, transformations occur.Before the Lord assumes the identities of Radha and Krishna, there were no transformations of ecstatic love. So how did this one form become two?
The pleasure potency of the Supreme Lord, or the Hladini shakti, gives rise to these two forms (Radha and Krishna). But where was this hladini shakti before they separated into two? The only answer to this question lies in the fact that Krishna, by nature, is eternally beyond the influence of time and space.
Spiritual truth is beyond the consideration of time and space
Within this material world, we witness the influence of time. The notion of past and present is natural within material existence.But the absolute reality, which is transcendental to this world of matter, is not plagued by this conception of past and present. The absolute reality is indescribable. It is most wonderfully and eternally existing in the present.
The spiritual reality lies beyond thoughts and descriptions. Any attempt to describe it leads to errors. This alone is the truth.
The transcendental reality is free from any faults. Everything is harmonized by the inconceivable energy of the Supreme Lord.There is no such notion as present and past which exists within the absolute reality. Everything in it is ever fresh and intoxicated with spiritual bliss.Therefore the states of being divided and undivided that we observe within the absolute simultaneously, are both parts of the absolute’s nature.
One of its most astonishing qualities is that it shelters contradictory concepts. The Hladini shakti (pleasure potency) of the Lord acts expertly even without having manifest.Even before she becomes manifest, the hladini shakti (pleasure potency) of the Lord separates Radha and Krishna into two different transcendental identities. And after that, she manifests herself as the transformation of Radha and Krishna’s love.The eternally existing transcendental reality is free from the influence of time and fallacies. The consideration of time and dualities apply only to material nature.The non-dual truth and the transcendental reality of Radha-Krishna exist simultaneously, eternally and both are situated in the absolute spiritual plane.
Srimati Radharani and Lord Krishna are united in Lord Chaitanya
Thus, the two, Radha and Krishna, have now combined and manifested as my dearmost Lord Chaitanya.When I say ‘now’, do not mistakenly judge this according to the mundane time factor. Remember that the absolute transcendental reality is free from the influence of time.
‘Radha and Krishna had previously existed and then combined to become Lord Chaitanya’ – if you say this, then you are making the mistake of imposing the mundane concepts of time and chronology upon them. This shall estrange you from the eternal truth.If you think that the word ‘ekatma’ (an individual soul) refers to Lord Chaitanya alone, then it would seem that Radha and Krishna appeared later than Him.
Do not waste your time uselessly arguing as to who had appeared first- Radha-Krishna or the son of mother Saci (Lord Chaitanya).I have already stated that everything in the absolute reality exists eternally in the present. Hence be very cautious arguing over who had appeared before – Lord Krishna or Lord Chaitanya.Sri Krishna and Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes exist eternally and concurrently. The glory of the absolute truth is its uninterrupted spiritual pastimes, which is free from all dualities.As far as I know, the hladini shakti, or the internal potency of the Lord, simultaneously shelters two truths – one is pranaya or the loving exchange between Radha and Krishna. The second is vikara or the transformation of that love resulting in the pastimes of Radha and Krishna.
That same Lord has now appeared in this world as Lord Chaitanya. He roams along the shore of the Ganges performing sankirtana (congregational chanting of the holy names of Krishna).The pastimes of Sri Chaitanya are even more ecstatic than that of Lord Krishna. The transcendental emotions reach their very extreme in the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.When the emotions of love reached their most advanced stage, hladini shakti, or the chaste pleasure potency of the Supreme Lord, lovingly embraced Krishna and covered Him with the mood and complexion of Srimati Radharani.
The Golden complexioned Krishna, or Lord Gauranga, who had appeared to fulfill His own desires, experienced a greater degree of bliss at Navadvipa dhama than that He experiences in Vraja (Vrindavana).
The true identity of Lord Chaitanya
Sri Chaitanya is the original and most wonderful manifestation of Sri Krishna. Similarly, the form of Lord Krishna is the most extraordinary manifestation of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.Both of these arrangements made by the Hladini shakti (internal potency of the Lord) are supremely sweet. They are sweeter than the sweetest nectar and even more.The supremely sweet manifestation of Sri Krishna’s form is the form of Sri Chaitanya. I offer my repeated obeisances unto Him.
You may say that the word ‘ekatma’ refers to the formless non-differentiated Brahman from which Radha and Krishna have subsequently become manifest. But that would be the wrong conclusion of the verse under question. The real meaning is that the two have manifested as one entity (Atma) in the form of Lord Chaitanya.
Brahman is the bodily effulgence of Lord Chaitanya
Lord Chaitanya must not be confused with the impersonal brahman. He is an embodiment of ecstatic bliss, situated in pure transcendence.Brahman is His impersonal bodily effulgence and thus Sri Chaitanya is the source of brahman.Therefore the word ‘ekatma’ is understood to address Lord Chaitanya. The likes of Svarupa Damodara and other fortunate erudite scholars, understand it in this way.
Hence, offer your respectful obeisances unto that ‘Ekatma’ (Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) and in this way, you shall obtain Radha and Krishna’s service. All your desires shall be fulfilled.
The Supersoul is an expansion of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
You might say that the word ‘ekatma’ refers to Paramatma (Supersoul) from whom two distinct atmans (souls) – Radha and Krishna have become manifest. This, however, can never be the intended meaning of the verse as the word ‘Chaitanyakham’ (‘known as Chaitanya’) in the shloka is completely contradictory to this conclusion.
One must understand that Sri Chaitanya is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Paramatma (Supersoul) is His plenary expansion.The embodiment of that ‘ekatma’ (a single entity) which is formed by the union of Sri Radha and Krishna is the sublime form of Sri Chaitanya. Lord Chaitanya is the Lord of my life.
I am a maidservant at the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani. O! I am a maidservant at the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani. I love that form of the Lord which is adorned with Her luster.I offer my prostrated obeisances at the feet of Lord Chaitanya, the supreme personality of Godhead, the son of mother Saci. He is my sole shelter.