bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
In the Foreword of the Krishna book, George Harrison writes “All you need is love (Krishna).”In parenthesis he writes “Krishna” to make it clear what he means. Because the love of the world is not spared from duality, it’s covered with lust and insecurities, and it’s not insured against accidents, separations, and death.
Krishna is the epitome of pure love. Many messengers of God have descended on earth to give us His love in a style best suited to the time, place, people, and circumstances. It is in Bhagavad Gita, the song of the God, that Krishna directly speaks to us of pure love. Amidst the biggest battle that humanity has ever seen, Krishna teaches love. His talks on the battlefield are timeless. They are eternal, and therefore, apply universally. Krishna substantiates the eternity of His message first in chapter four where He reminds Arjuna that He transferred this knowledge to Vivasvan, the sun god, 12000 crores years ago. And He demonstrates the truth by revealing His universal form later, of which we read in chapter 11.
Krishna’s love is translogical; beyond logic, but not illogical. He is oblivious to impurities. Srimad Bhagavatam describes Krishna as the “Universal Husband” and “Universal Lover”. In the world we live in, it’s impossible for a person to be a pure lover to everyone, but in the spiritual world, it’s impossible for Krishna to love only one and deprive others.
The Gita teaches us that we are originally pure lovers, temporarily covered with illusion. When our love is unconditionally directed toward Krishna, it becomes pure, because Krishna, the supreme beloved is the supreme purifier.
In the verse 18.55 of the Gita, Krishna says, One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God. In this verse, Krishna makes it clear that devotion or love can be directed only to His personal form, and in His original form He is accessible only to those whose consciousness is centered on him every moment.
Love is demanding! We can’t pay its price, but we must become the price. Nothing less will do. And when we put ourselves at stake wholeheartedly, Krishna reveals His form to us, He gives us a seat in His heart, and He makes a space for us in his kingdom, which most people call the kingdom of God, and which is revealed in devotional scriptures as KrishnaLoka or Goloka Vrindavan. This planet is beyond the space of our universe. It’s the peak of reality.
Those whose aim is liberation (jnanis) fall short of the qualification of recovering their identities as pure lovers. Those with their focus on philanthropic karmas or vedically-good karmas too are not eligible. A devotee realizes that before she loves the entire creation, she should love the creator. This is the purest karma. All other karmas are subordinate to this karma.
At the highest stage of bhakti, karma and jnana cease because what we do or want to do from moment to moment is absolutely in relation to the Supreme Person Krishna. What remains of our desires for knowledge and knowledge itself is Krishna. He purifies us of all the embellishments that come in the way of His devotees and Himself. In Chaitanya Bhagvat we learn that when Nitai became Krishna Chaitanya, the grammar he taught also became replete with Krishna.
Krishna is the goal, not the means. Srila Prabhupada explains that bhakti begins after liberation, and it continues forever. Liberation means purifying oneself of material impurities such as, lust, anger, greed, envy, illusion, and madness. What remains after these impurities are flushed out of our hearts? Is it emptiness? Or, is it nothingness? None of these! A heart free from impurities becomes a throne for Krishna. It becomes eligible for pure love. Krishna Prema. As Krishna becomes seated in our hearts, we become ready to enter the kingdom of God.