Monday Morning Greetings 2024 #27 – The Mind of God

July 1st, 2024

For many years I had the idea of writing a book called The Mind of God. It was inspired many years ago by the story of the passing away of Bhīṣmadeva. That episode describes the lengths Śrī Krishna would go to for the purpose of glorifying His devotees. For various reasons I choose not to write that book, but the idea always stayed with me. Recently, while studying the Śikṣāṣṭaka prayers, the last chapter in the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, I started to see that chapter through the lens of the mind of Śrī Caitanya.


Śrī Caitanya comes to fulfill both internal and external reasons for His descent. That is, He comes both for Himself and for others. For Himself He was Krishna in the form of a devotee seeking to relish the love and ecstasy of Śrī Radha, His topmost devotee, at the height of Her love. He already had been almost 18 years in Puri, the place where he had come specifically for that purpose. He had just heard from Śrī Advaita that the external reason for his descent (why He came for others) was complete—the world by His mercy was now flooded with love of God. In this last year of His life, He could cultivate and relish ecstatic love for Krishna in the mood of Śrī Radha with even more focus. Almost all His time is thus spent in the Gambhīra, a little cave-like room in Kāśī Miśra’s house, with Rāmānanda Rāya and Svarūpa Dāmodara, his most confidential associates. He relishes verses and songs which encapsulate and excite the mood of Śrī Radha’s devotion which He had come to attain. Often He becomes so overwhelmed with those feelings that His words and emotional outbursts appear like the expressions of a mad person. His close associates, however, know better. He had entered deeply into the very heart of Śrī Radha’s deepest devotion. They watched as His devotion became so spontaneous that when a particular feeling would embrace His heart, He would ride that emotion into the night reciting related verses and relishing their taste


As one who is pure, He did not consider Himself advanced in devotion. But it is obvious to His closest followers that Śrī Caitanya is relishing rādhā-bhāva, the ecstatic mood of Śrī Radha, and He understands that indeed something wonderful is happening. As He realizes that both His missions are coming to fruition, a sense of gratitude overwhelms Him, and the cause of His fortune becomes clear to Him. He is a recipient of the unbounded mercy of nāma-saṅkīrtana, the chanting of the holy name! Overwhelmed by that feeling, He begins to carry that particular emotion into the night. He recites verse after verse glorifying the holy name and deeply relishes their taste. As His internal focus on chanting the holy name becomes deeper and reaches its height, the Śikṣāṣṭakam prayers, his ultimate glorification of the holy name, burst from his heart: “Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam!” (All glories to śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana).


And that is the mind of God!



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