How to Think of Krishna?

Sri Rupa Goswami advises us how to think of Krishna (Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.2.294)

kṛṣṇaṁ smaran janaṁ cāsya preṣṭhaṁ nija-samīhitam
tat-tat-kathā-rataś cāsau kuryād vāsaṁ vraje sadā

Kṛṣṇaṁ smaran is the first injunction: “think of Krishna.” Next, janam cāsya: “In  thinking of Krishna, also think of his people.” 

It’s phrased this way because kṛṣṇa-smarana is ubiquitous to all bhakti-sādhana (viz. “smartavya-satatam-viṣṇoḥ…”) but the hallmark of rāgānugā-sādhana is that we don’t just think of Krishna, we think of him with “his people.”

Which “people”? Preṣṭham: the people who are in love with him.

And, even more specific, nija-samīhitam: the people who are in love with him in the same way that we want to be in love with him.

When telling us to think of Krishna Sri Rupa advises us that kīrtan/kathā is essential. We will think more of Krishna the more we hear about him. So he says, tat-tat-kathā-rataś cāsau, “Discuss everything about those two, with great delight.”

Who are “those two”? Krishna and his preṣṭha-jana (his beloved) whose type of affection you desire. This implies that there would be one special nija-jana in particular who would perfectly epitomize the love for Krishna you desire. For example, Krishna and Radha. Or Krishna and Yasoda.

And the final line? Kuryād vāsaṁ vraje sadā: By doing this, may you always reside in Vraja [with them].” Here Rūpa Goswāmī advises us not to think of Krishna and his beloved as a museum piece, or a subject of study. Rather we must think of ourselves as having an active role in the affairs of Krishna and his beloved. We must think of Krishna in a way that causes us to “live with” Krishna.

Sri Rupa Goswami’s instructions are as deep and satisfying as the ocean of nectar itself.

Vraja Kishor

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  1. How do we think of Krishna as if we have an ‘active role’ in His affairs with His Beloved, and in a way that causes us to ‘live with’ Him? How can this be achieved?


    1. The next verse in BRS explains this. We have to think of ourselves for mink some role in relation to Krishna and his beloved. This is also why the current verse says we have to discuss everything about Krishna and is good love it, so that we get some idea but what kind of services are possible.


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