Devotion in Separation - Part 1

Devotion in Separation - Part 1

Manohar Suvarna

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev! 

1. Pain of Separation: Lord Sri Krishna lived in Hastinapur for few months after the great war of Kurukshetra to pacify His sister and relatives. Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1 and Chapter 10 records departure of Lord Sri Krishna from Hastinapur to Dwaraka. Lord sought permission from King Yudhishtir and bowed down to Him just to show us how we should be respectful to elders. Lord's close relatives Subhadra, Draupadi, Kunti, Uttara and many others could not bear the news of Lord's departure that they almost fainted. Srimad Bhagavatam 1.10.11 and 12 verse talks about pain of separation from Lord. 

sat-sangaan mukta-duhsango / haatum notsahate budhah
kirtyamaanam yasho yasya / sakrd aakarnya rocanam
tasmin nyasta-dhiyah paarthaah / saheran viraham katham
darshana-sparsha-samlaapa / shayanaasana-bhojanaih

"The intelligent, who have understood the Supreme Lord in association with pure devotees and have become freed from bad materialistic association, can never avoid hearing the glories of the Lord, even though they have heard them only once. How then could the Pandavas tolerate His separation, for they had been intimately associated with His person, seeing Him face to face, touching Him, conversing with Him, and sleeping, sitting and dining with Him?"

 In this material world, unfortunately, those who are materially opulent are called intelligent. However, Sukadeva Goswami calls one who has understood Lord in association with pure devotee as intelligent. Having understood Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, devotees are freed from suffering and will never miss an opportunity to hear the glories of Lord. In case of Pandavas, they had a very personal relationship with the Lord. So naturally Pandavas were disturbed. They looked at Lord without blinking their eyes, and they moved hither and thither in perplexity. Female relatives were full of tears out of anxiety for Krishna. They could stop the tears with great difficulty.

Srila Prabhupada says in the purport, "It is said that Hari, the Personality of Godhead, is so transcendentally attractive that even those who are self-satisfied by self-realization and are factually liberated from all material bondage also become devotees of the Lord. Under the circumstances it is easily understood what must have been the position of the Pandavas, who were constant companions of the Lord. They could not even think of separation from Sri Krishna since the attraction was more intense for them because of continuous personal contact. His remembrance by His form, quality, name, fame, pastimes, etc., is also attractive for the pure devotee, so much so that he forgets all forms, quality, name, fame and activities of the mundane world, and due to his mature association with pure devotees he is not out of contact with the Lord for a moment."

Let us become intelligent by remembering glories of Lord with the help of pure devotees and become from suffering and anxieties. We take everything for granted. We do not realize the significance of Krishna in our life. Pandavas knew and therefore, they felt the pain of separation. Gopis loved Krishna unconditionally, gave up everything they possessed and hence, experienced the intensity of pain of separation. Let us keep Krishna in our daily life at all moments, depend on Him for all guidance. Let us plead Him not to leave us alone in this dangerous material world where we are assaulted from all sides, by our own body and mind.

Krishna willing, we will continue to meditate more on this topic in the next offering.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Manohar Suvarna
Abu Dhabi