Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 08 Mar 2023


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What is the difference between love and lust, and how does it apply to Krishna's and Gopikas' sweet devotion?

[Ms. Thrylokya asked: On this holy day of 'Holi', I would like to ask the following question. What is the difference between love and lust? How can we apply this concept in the topic of sweet devotion of Krishna and Gopikas?]

Swami replied: Forget about sweet devotion of God Krishna and Gopikas for some time and go into the basic spiritual concept, which is that the worship of God is the best if it is devoid of aspiration for any desire for the sake of self-happiness. Here, the desire is only to please God and not to please self with selfish happiness. Hence, it is decided that the action of worship to God should not be based on any materialistic boon that gives selfish happiness.

Applying this concept to the sweet devotion of Krishna, the action of physical union with God Krishna (which is just like the worship done to God) must be based on the aim to please God Krishna and not for self-happiness. The aim of at least some Gopikas was pure love and not the impure lust towards God. Love (which is always pure) is defined as the aim of pleasing God and not pleasing self. Lust (which is always impure) is defined as the aim of pleasing self and not pleasing God. Therefore, the love of Gopikas of the climax level called Goloka was always to please God Krishna and not to please themselves. Hence, this means that the top Gopikas were never having lust and were having only love for Krishna. In this way, the love between Krishna and Gopikas was quite different from the so-called worldly love between a worldly male and a worldly female. God Krishna was the topmost God (Paripurna Tamah Avataara) and the Gopikas were the incarnations of divine sages, who did penance for God during millions of previous births. Hence, Krishna was not a worldly male and Gopikas were not worldly females. In the case of worldly love, it is either pure lust or rarely a mixture of love and lust but never pure love. Love-transformed-lust means that there is no trace of hormonal lust in that and here, the word lust means desire for self-happiness. In such love-transformed-lust, there is no trace of desire for self-happiness and such entire so called lust is only to please God.

This type of Love-transformed-lust belongs to passed Gopikas including Radha. Since Krishna is the ultimate God, there is no question of lust in the case of Krishna. Even all the Gopikas were sages, who did severe penance for many births and so such lust cannot be expected in the case of sages also. Hence, all sages passed in this Daareshana test (Raasalela dance at Brindavanam). Most of them failed only in the joint test of issues and wealth because most of them complained to Yashoda, the mother of Krishna regarding the stealing of butter done by Krishna, which was preserved for their issues. The failed Gopikas were also having pure love to Krishna as far as the sweet devotion is concerned, but they failed in defeating their bond with issues before the bond with Krishna in the context of sacrifice of wealth or butter (Dhaneshana). Due to this failure, their pure love in the context of Daareshana (defeat of bond with life partner before the bond with Krishna) became inferior. While evaluating the answer sheet of a student, the student might have got full marks for the answer of first question, but for the answer of the other question, the student can get zero marks. Hence, the total result becomes failure. The allotted marks for the first question (Daareshana) are 33.33 whereas the allotted marks for the second question (Dhaneshana + Putreshana) are 66.66 because the second question is a sum of two questions (test for sacrifice of wealth and test for love for issues). The total marks for the failed candidate are 33.33/100 and the total marks for the passed candidate are 100/100.

If you take the case of Radha who is the queen of Goloka, she was given the result as 'record break'. The reason is if we go back to the ancient tradition of those days, the marriage was a promise done before God that both would not deviate from each other in any aspect of life. Hence, any deviation from such divine promise is given horrible punishment in hell. If anybody deviates from the divine promise done in the marriage, such a deviated human being is forced to embrace the red-hot copper statue of the other side deviated illegal human being. The pure love of Radha was so amazing that she broke the divine promise done on God (God Krishna Himself) for the sake of the same God Krishna!! Radha in this critical situation proved that Krishna is greater than the promise done on Krishna. The difference between married Radha and other married Gopikas was that other Gopikas satisfied their husbands also along with Krishna whereas Radha did not allow her husband to touch her and as a result, Radha faced climax misery! Due to this difference, Radha got 100/100 marks and other passed Gopikas got 99.99/100 marks.

Hence, Radha became the queen of other passed Gopikas in Goloka. As per the examination system of God Datta, 100/100 alone is the pass mark but the other passed Gopikas were considered to be almost passed due to the grace of God Datta. This brings difference between Radha (who passed by her merit alone) and other passed Gopikas (who were passed by God Datta after adding 0.01 grace mark). This is the difference between the queen of Goloka (Radha) and citizens of Goloka (passed Gopikas). Radha used to maintain her relationship with Krishna secretly to save the prestige of Krishna. You need not doubt that Radha also may have some trace of lust towards Krishna. This is impossible because I have already told that the few passed Gopikas were not having any trace of lust and in such case, how can you doubt Radha, who broke the record? She broke her marital promise to God (God Krishna) for the sake of Krishna. But Krishna honoured the promise on God in His marriages and therefore, every night, He used to satisfy His 16108 married wives by taking 16108 bodies due to His supernatural power (Maaya). This analysis shows that Radha is greater than Krishna and hence, Krishna used to press her divine feet always sitting at her feet! You need not feel pained that God became lesser than a devotee because Radha is the incarnation of God Shiva, who is God Vishnu or God Krishna Himself. Hence, in view of this monism, you need not feel pained because Krishna and Radha are the dual roles of the same God-actor.

2. In continuation of my question asked today, I would like to have a comparative analysis of Radha, Shurpanaka and Madhumati.

Swami replied: There are three levels of love or devotion. The purest form of love, which is the highest level is that of Radha, who belongs to the divine level of angels. The lowest level of love is the most impure form of love called lust, which belongs to the level of demons. In between these two levels, lies the human level in which impure love, which is a mixture of love and lust exists. Shurpanaka and Madhumati belong to the lowest level of love called the level of demons. Shurpanaka, the sister of Raavana belongs to the category of demons and hence, exhibited the lowest lust towards Rama. Her love to Rama was purely due to the impure lust only, which is the self-happiness and there is no aim of pleasing Rama. When Rama refused her, she did a lot of penance for God Shiva and got a boon to enjoy Rama.

God Shiva gave the boon to Shurpanaka telling that her desire will be fulfilled when Rama takes the next incarnation as Krishna. Since Shiva is God Vishnu or God Krishna, God Krishna honoured the boon and gave sexual enjoyment to Shurpanaka, who was born as Kubja. In this union, there is neither love from the side of Krishna nor love from the side of Kubja. In the case of Madhumati, who was born in the family of sages and became the wife of God Dattatreya, Madhumati exhibited lust for God Dattatreya. Hence, God Dattatreya cursed her to become the demon called Mahishi. The difference between these two is that Shurpanaka exhibited lust because she was a demon while Madhumati became demon since she exhibited lust. Since Shurpanaka belonged to the level of demons, she could not change her lusty behavior. But since Madhumati belonged to the divine level of sages, she changed her behaviour and became a new Madhumati with purest love on God Dattatreya. In fact, Mahishi was punished (killed) by God Manikantha, who was an incarnation of God Dattatreya, for the sake of reformation. The punishment brought temporary reformation and Mahishi once again appeared as Madhumati. Since Madhumati was reformed to some extent temporarily, she could hear and understand the spiritual knowledge of God Dattatreya so that Madhumati got reformed fully and permanently.