Relish and Oneness
This morning at home we discussed Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.3:
"O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad-Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Goswami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls."
This reminded me that our friend Baladeva Vidyabhushana dasa recently gave us a jar of his most knockout-tasty barbecue sauce on Earth. I suggested he market it under the name "Relish Srimad-Bhagavatam," or maybe "Srimad-Bhagavatam Relish.")
All relish aside, today we focused on this part of the purport:
"In the beginning he desires to become one with the Supreme. Thus, less intelligent transcendentalists cannot go beyond this conception of becoming one with the spirit whole, without knowing of the different rasas."
So "desiring to become one with the spirit whole" isn't a "no-no." It's an inevitable step on the path of transcendence. When you get any kind of glimpse into the greatness of God, the tendency is to be overwhelmingly attracted. You just want to lose yourself somehow, to "become one" with that spiritual greatness. And without knowing about the different rasas, or relationships we can have with the supreme, it's inevitable that someone might stop right there, or get stuck on the idea of "becoming one" as the ultimate goal.
That's why the Bhagavatam is so valuable, because it gives detailed, practical information on the many ways that living beings relate with the Supreme Lord in varieties of spiritual relationships. It's not our nature to "become one." Our nature is to have relationships.
"When one associates with the Supreme Lord and exchanges one's constitutional rasa with the Lord, then the living being is actually happy."
The rasa we originally have with Krishna is our very essence. Unless we're actively exchanging that rasa with Him, we're forced to direct that energy in other "perverted, temporary" directions. Thus we see so many rasas within our material experience, none of them permanent, none of them ultimately satisfying. The taste we want just isn't there.