The Śvetāṣvatara Upaniśad says, parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate: (Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport) "The Supreme Lord's potencies are multifarious." These potencies act in different capacities at different levels: On the platform of jṇāna, empirical knowledge, they manifest in a particular way, different from any other. On the spiritual, transcendental platform, these potencies produce variegated spiritual manifestations. These potencies can be known if one attains perfection in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. On the platform of material nature, the senses are superior to the body as a whole, mind is superior to the senses, the intelligence is superior to the mind, and the soul is subtler and better than the intelligence. On the spiritual platform, when the pure soul is situated in his original spiritual identity, he renders devotional service to the absolute embodiment of sweet transcendence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This devotional service is imbued with the partial expansion of hlādinī-śakti, the Lord's pleasure-giving potency.
Great thinkers and philosophers like Śrī Aurobindo describe this stage as vijṇānānanda, "the pure bliss of realized knowledge." Jesus Christ called it "the kingdom of heaven." By contrast, when one tries to enjoy mundane pleasures on the material plane, spiritual bliss becomes smothered and lies dormant, in a slumbering state. Perfection in yoga, therefore, is marked by the awakening of spiritual bliss. And when one is strongly drawn to this blissful state, one attains to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord. Iron in constant touch with fire develops the properties of fire. Similarly, when the jīva in the material nature rises to the state of spiritual bliss by means of devotional service, his spiritual consciousness awakens and he becomes oblivious of this phenomenal world. In the Bhagavad-gītā (12.8-9) Lord Kṛṣṇa tells us how to increase the influence of His spiritual energy upon us:
- mayy eva mana ādhatsva
- mayi buddhiṁ niveśaya
- nivasiṣyasi mayy eva
- ata ūrdhvaṁ na saṁśayaḥ
- atha cittaṁ samādhātuṁ
- na śaknoṣi mayi sthiram
- abhyāsa-yogena tato
- mām icchāptuṁ dhanañjaya
Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt. My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way you will develop a desire to attain Me.
When a person fixes his mind on the eternal, exquisite form of Śyāmasundara, the blackish, beautiful Lord Kṛṣṇa, all distress and anguish are vanquished. In the initial stages, the attempt to fix the mind on Kṛṣṇa may be unsuccessful, but with regulated practice (abhyāsa-yoga) it becomes possible. Abhyāsa-yoga means sincere engagement in the ninefold process of bhakti, beginning with hearing and chanting the holy name, pastimes, and so on, of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Proper execution of abhyāsa-yoga culminates in the awakening of divine consciousness, or superconsciousness. This is true success.