The chapter further describes how He displayed Himself as a naughty boy, how when His mother fainted He brought a coconut to her on His head, how He joked with girls of the same age on the banks of the Ganges, how He accepted worshipful paraphernalia from Śrīmatī Lakṣmīdevī, how He sat down in a garbage pit and instructed His mother in transcendental knowledge, how He left the pit on the order of His mother, and how He dealt with His father with full affection.”
Affection (CC Adi-lila)
The author of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta offers his respectful obeisances unto the three Deities of Vṛndāvana named Śrī Rādhā-Madana-mohana, Śrī Rādhā-Govindadeva and Śrī Rādhā-Gopīnāthajī. These three Deities are the life and soul of the Bengali Vaiṣṇavas, or Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, who have a natural aptitude for residing in Vṛndāvana. The Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas who follow strictly in the line of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu worship the Divinity by chanting transcendental sounds meant to develop a sense of one's transcendental relationship with the Supreme Lord, a reciprocation of mellows (rasas) of mutual affection, and, ultimately, the achievement of the desired success in loving service. These three Deities are worshiped in three different stages of one's development. The followers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu scrupulously follow these principles of approach.
The perverted reflections of these rasas are found in the material world. Land, home, furniture and other inert material objects are related in śānta, or the neutral and silent sense, whereas servants work in the dāsya relationship. The reciprocation between friends is called sakhya, the affection of a parent for a child is known as vātsalya, and the affairs of conjugal love constitute mādhurya. These five relationships in the material world are distorted reflections of the original, pure sentiments, which should be understood and perfected in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. In the material world the perverted rasas bring frustration. If these rasas are reestablished with Lord Kṛṣṇa, the result is eternal, blissful life.
Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is the Supersoul of the collective universes, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is the Supersoul of the collective living beings, and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is the Supersoul of all individual living entities. Because all of Them are somehow attracted to the affairs of the material energy, They can be said to have some affection for māyā. But the transcendental position of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself is not even slightly tinged by māyā. His transcendental state is called turīya, or the fourth-dimensional stage.
Mukti: liberation of the conditioned souls encaged by the gross and subtle coverings of body and mind. When freed from all material affection, the soul, giving up the gross and subtle material bodies, can attain the spiritual sky in his original spiritual body and engage in transcendental loving service to the Lord in Vaikuṇṭhaloka or Kṛṣṇaloka. When the soul is situated in his original constitutional position of existence, he is said to be liberated. It is possible to engage in transcendental loving service to the Lord and become jīvan-mukta, a liberated soul, even while in the material body.
Servitude (dāsya), friendship (sakhya), parental affection (vātsalya) and conjugal love (śṛṅgāra) are the four transcendental mellows (rasas). By the devotees who cherish these four mellows, Lord Kṛṣṇa is subdued.
The Lord, by His inherent nature, reveals Himself before His devotees according to their inherent devotional service. The Vṛndāvana pastimes demonstrated that although generally people worship God with reverence, the Lord is more pleased when a devotee thinks of Him as his pet son, personal friend or most dear fiance and renders service unto Him with such natural affection. The Lord becomes a subordinate object of love in such transcendental relationships. Such pure love of Godhead is unadulterated by any tinge of superfluous nondevotional desires and is not mixed with any sort of fruitive action or empiric philosophical speculation. It is pure and natural love of Godhead, spontaneously aroused in the absolute stage. This devotional service is executed in a favorable atmosphere freed from material affection.
“"Devotional service rendered to Me by the living beings revives their eternal life. O My dear damsels of Vraja, your affection for Me is your good fortune, for it is the only means by which you have obtained My favor."
A devotee who is actually free from all designations due to complete attachment in love for the Supreme exhibits spontaneous love for Godhead, which is always superior to the devotion of regulative principles.
The informal language used between lover and beloved is indicative of pure affection. When devotees worship their beloved as the most venerable object, spontaneous loving sentiments are observed to be lacking. A neophyte devotee who follows the Vedic instructions that regulate those who lack pure love of Godhead may superficially seem more exalted than a devotee in spontaneous love of Godhead. But in fact such spontaneous pure love is far superior to regulated devotional service. Such pure love of Godhead is always glorious in all respects, more so than reverential devotional service rendered by a less affectionate devotee.
Special natural appreciation of the descriptions of a particular pastime of Godhead indicates the constitutional position of a living entity. Adoration, servitorship, friendship, parental affection and conjugal love are the five primary relationships with Kṛṣṇa. The highest perfectional stage of the conjugal relationship, enriched by many sentiments, gives the maximum relishable mellow to the devotee.
Similarly, one who understands the pure parental love of Nanda and Yaśodā for Kṛṣṇa will be saved from being dragged into material parental affection. If one accepts Kṛṣṇa as the supreme friend, the attraction of material friendship will be finished for him, and he will not be dismayed by so-called friendship with mundane wranglers. If he is attracted by servitorship to Kṛṣṇa, he will no longer have to serve the material body in the degraded status of material existence, with the false hope of becoming master in the future. Similarly, one who sees the greatness of Kṛṣṇa in neutrality will certainly never again seek the so-called relief of impersonalist or voidist philosophy.
Four kinds of devotees are the receptacles of the four kinds of mellows in love of God, namely servitude, friendship, parental affection and conjugal love.
Parental affection made His childhood fruitful. His boyhood was successful with His friends.
Acts of sense gratification may be performed under the cover of public welfare, nationalism, religion, altruism, ethical codes, Biblical codes, health directives, fruitive action, bashfulness, tolerance, personal comfort, liberation from material bondage, progress, family affection or fear of social ostracism or legal punishment, but all these categories are different subdivisions of one substance—sense gratification. All such good acts are performed basically for one's own sense gratification, for no one can sacrifice his personal interest while discharging these much-advertised moral and religious principles. But above all this is a transcendental stage in which one feels himself to be only an eternal servitor of Kṛṣṇa, the absolute Personality of Godhead.
Now, whatever affection we see the gopīs show for their own bodies, know it for certain to be only for the sake of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
By the grace of the Lord His dhāmas and He Himself can all be present simultaneously, without losing their original importance. Only when one fully develops in affection and love of Godhead can one see those dhāmas in their original appearance.
Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, a great ācārya in the preceptorial line of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, has said for our benefit that one can perfectly see the dhāmas only when one completely gives up the mentality of lording it over material nature.
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor, who is tending cows yielding all desires in abodes built with spiritual gems and surrounded by millions of purpose trees. He is always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune."
"As through devotion to the Lord one can attain His abode, many have attained that goal by abandoning their sinful activities and absorbing their minds in the Lord through lust, envy, fear or affection."
In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that the Lord, being equally disposed toward every living being, has no enemies and no friends but that He has special affection for a devotee who always thinks of Him in love. Therefore neutrality and partiality are both among the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and they are properly adjusted by His inconceivable energy. The Lord is Para-brahman, or the source of the impersonal Brahma, which is His all-pervading feature of neutrality. In His personal feature, however, as the owner of all transcendental opulences, the Lord displays His partiality by taking the side of His devotees. Partiality, neutrality and all such qualities are present in God; otherwise they could not be experienced in the creation.
Lord Viṣṇu specifically is always the controller of the three qualities. There is no question of His coming under their control.
Although the causal and element-supplying features exist in material nature by dint of the glance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord is never affected by glancing over the material qualities. By the will of the Supreme Lord the different qualitative changes in the material world take place, but there is no possibility of material affection, change or contamination for Lord Viṣṇu.
Lord Kṛṣṇa's friends in Vṛndāvana, headed by Śrīdāmā, have pure fraternal affection for Lord Kṛṣṇa and have no idea of His opulences.
Lord Caitanya, who is known as Śrī Gaurahari, is complete in relishing all the different mellows, namely neutrality, servitorship, fraternity, parental affection and conjugal love. By accepting the ecstasy of different grades of devotees, He is complete in relishing all the mellows of these relationships.
In connection with verses 16 and 17, Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura explains in his Anubhāṣya: “There are specific symptoms by which the internal devotees and the unalloyed or pure devotees are to be known. All unalloyed devotees are śakti-tattvas, or potencies of the Lord. Some of them are situated in conjugal love and others in parental affection, fraternity and servitude. Certainly all of them are devotees, but by making a comparative study it is found that the devotees or potencies who are engaged in conjugal love are better situated than the others. Thus devotees who are in a relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in conjugal love are considered to be the most confidential devotees of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
They sometimes appeared to fight over trifles, but these quarrels were based on their affection, of which I shall speak later.
When Lord Caitanya was later informed that Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī had gone to Vṛndāvana and met Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmī, He was very pleased, and He advised Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana to accept Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī as their younger brother and take care of him. Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, out of his great affection for Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, compiled the Vaiṣṇava smṛti named Hari-bhakti-vilāsa and published it under his name. Under the instruction of Śrīla Rūpa and Sanātana, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī installed one of the seven principal Deities of Vṛndāvana, the Rādhāramaṇa Deity. The sevaits (priests) of the Rādhāramaṇa temple belong to the Gauḍīya-sampradāya.
Seeing the transcendental bodily effulgence of the child, each of His nicely constructed limbs full of auspicious signs and resembling a form of gold, Sītā Ṭhākurāṇī was very pleased, and because of her maternal affection, she felt as if her heart were melting.
At that time, Advaita Ācārya, greatly pleased, began to dance, saying, "Just see how My desire has now been fulfilled! Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to treat Me honorably for so long, but now He is treating Me neglectfully. This is My reward. His affection for Me is so great that He wanted to save Me from the hands of the Māyāvādīs." Hearing this statement, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was somewhat ashamed, but He was very pleased with Advaita Ācārya.
Servitude, friendship, parental affection and conjugal love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead are the basis of the four kinds of devotional activities. In śānta, the marginal stage of devotional service, there is no activity. But above the śānta humor are servitude, friendship, parental affection and conjugal love, which represent the gradual growth of devotional service to higher and higher platforms.