The Way to Eternal Vrindavan
Our teachers on the path of bhakti – the yoga (योग) of devotion – have made it clear that in order to reach eternal Vrindavan, we need to have an intense greed for sacred love ( prem): in other words, exclusive and pure love for Krishn. Let me illustrate this through a story.
Once, an Arab man brought a shipload of horses from Iran to the great South Indian city of Vijay Nagar. The horses were of the finest quality, and the king’s men bought many. However, a local horse-trader named Raman claimed that his horses were even better than the Arabic ones.
The king’s ministers asked Raman to prove his claim with a horse race. Raman agreed. On the day of the race, the Arabic horses appeared strong and well-fed, but Raman’s horse was very thin and frail. Furthermore, the king’s men used expert horseback riders, while Raman rode his horse by himself.
As the race began, Raman took out a pole with a bundle of grass dangling from one end by a string. As he placed the grass in front of the hungry horse’s mouth, the horse began to run. No matter how fast he ran, the grass remained out of the horse’s reach; but his hunger was so intense that he did not stop until he reached the finish line.
As Raman’s horse finished the race in first place, Raman embraced him and treated him to a feast of green grass. The king was amazed and asked Raman how he had accomplished such a difficult task. Raman said, “In order to succeed, you need to have intense hunger for the goal.”
We all have some level of greed within us, but generally, this is only enough for us to maintain our daily spiritual practices. It doesn't push us to move beyond our current state. Perhaps we are well-behaved devotees, and maybe we perform worship every day, but this alone will not take us to eternal Vrindavan.
Shri Roop Goswami says:
क्रीयतां यदि कुतोऽपि लभ्यते ।
तत्र लौल्यमपि मूल्यमेकलं
जन्मकोटिसुकृतैर्न लभ्यते ॥
krīyatāṁ yadi kuto'pi labhyate ।
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate ॥
This means that sacred love is the supreme goal. Even if you do good deeds for infinite births, the nectar of prem will never fill your heart. The only thing you can use to buy this love is greed, so be ready to purchase it wherever you may find it.
Attaining success on this path of devotion is not dependant on the amount of practice that you do. A greedy devotee who practices less has more chance of attaining the goal than one who has many practices but less greed. This greed will also improve the quality of the devotional practice that you do.
If you lack this greed, do not despair. It can be attained through Krishn’s mercy and the association of his devotees who have sacred love for him.