Once We Surrender We Can See Lord Face to Face

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.28.16 - Once We Surrender We Can See Lord Face to Face (download mp3), (download flv) and (download mp4)
by Dayala Candra Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.28.16
te tu brahma-hradam nita
 magnah krsnena coddhrtah
dadrsur brahmano lokam
 yatrakruro ’dhyagat pura

The cowherd men were brought by Lord Krsna to the Brahma-hrada, made to submerge in the water, and then lifted up. From the same vantage point that Akrura saw the spiritual world, the cowherd men saw the planet of the Absolute Truth.

The unlimited extension of spiritual light, called the brahmajyoti in text 15, is compared to a lake called Brahma-hrada. Lord Krsna submerged the cowherd men in that lake in the sense that He submerged them in the awareness of the impersonal Brahman. But then, as indicated by the word uddhrtah, He lifted them up to a higher understanding, that of the Personality of Godhead in His own planet. As clearly stated here, dadrsur brahmano lokam: They saw, just as Akrura did, the transcendental abode of the Absolute Truth.

The evolution of consciousness may be briefly summarized as follows: In ordinary consciousness we perceive and are attracted to the variety of material things. Rising to the first stage of spiritual consciousness, we transcend material variety and focus instead on the undifferentiated One, which lies behind and gives existence to the many. Finally, rising to Krsna consciousness, we find that the absolute, spiritual One contains its own eternal variety. In fact, since this world is a mere shadow of eternal existence, we would expect to find spiritual variety within the One, and indeed we do find it in the sacred text of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Astute readers may note that the pastime involving Akrura takes place later in the Bhagavatam, after the present affair with the cowherd men. The reason Sukadeva Gosvami says Akrura saw Vaikuntha pura, “previously,” is that all these incidents took place many years before the conversation between Sukadeva Gosvami and Maharaja Pariksit.