Thursday, 1 November, 1973, Delhi — N.B. Regarding your two questions addressed through Tamala Krishna, the reply to your question about Arjuna’s relationship with Krishna, is that Arjuna is an eternal devotee, so on the higher platform the devotee is so intimately related that he forgets Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But, in the lower stage of devotional service Krishna is looked upon with awe and veneration.
When Arjuna saw the virata murti of Krishna, actually he came down one step below his position. Therefore he asked for forgiveness from Krishna. So this is a teaching to the common man that we should not take Krishna immediately as intimately as the gopis, cowherds boys, and other advanced devotees treated Him.
In the beginning we must treat the Lord with awe and veneration. Later one when we are perfectly on the spiritual platform, we treat Krishna more intimately, and therefore we forget the exalted position of Krishna. But, we never imitate the Brijbasis from the beginning as do the sahajiyas.
In the beginning a devotee must follow strictly viddhi-marga or regulated principles. When one is on the swarupa siddha stage, the devotee can treat Krishna on an equal level or sometimes he becomes even higher than Krishna. Just like Mother Yasoda treated Krishna a being completely dependent upon her. So these stages are appreciated in many advanced stages of devotional life.
As far as the results of one’s good karma is concerned, good karma returns in that he is surrendering to Krishna. One comes to the point of surrender when one has actually amassed the result of multi pious activities.
This is stated in the Caitanya Caritamrta as quoted from the Srimad-Bhagavatam as follows:
ittham satam brahma-sukhanubhutya
dasyam gatanam para-daivatena
sardham vijahruh krta punya-punjah
This was the statement of Srila Sukdeva Goswami when he saw Krishna carrying the cowherds boys on His shoulders. To be in such a position could only be the result of the performance of many, many pious activities. They were putting their legs on the Supreme Personality of Godhead and were forgetting who He is, and Krishna is taking the feet of His devotee on Himself.
Krishna is so nice. The mayavadis can never understand this exchange of devotional activities.
I have been hearing about your successful preaching. Stick to this work allotted to you by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Always pray to Caitanya Mahaprabhu for strength and go on with your preaching.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami