Here are a few heartfelt words which, I think, are suitable for this time of the day when everybody’s asleep and I’m alone with my blog.
Krishna, I’m in love with you.
Yeah, it’s that bad, You’re so beautiful to me. Every time I look at Your face or even remember it, it wrecks me. The way You are manifesting to me, sometimes You’re just fun, and sometimes You make me feel worthless and You even make fun of me but You’re real.
I don’t have enough time in any day to think about You enough. I feel like I’m going to live a thousand years if that’s how long it’s going to take me to think all my thoughts about You, to have even one thought about You, which is that I’m crazy about You, Krishna.
I don’t want to be with anybody else. I don’t, I really don’t. I don’t think about women anymore, I think about You. I had a dream the other night that You and I were on a train. We were on this train and You were holding my hand. That’s the whole dream – You were holding my hand. And I really felt You holding my hand. I woke up and I couldn’t believe it wasn’t real.
I’m sick in love with You, Krishna. It’s like a condition, it’s like polio. I feel like I’m going to die if I can’t be with You. And I can’t be with You, so I’m going to die and I don’t care because I was brought into existence to know You, and that’s enough.
The idea that You would want me back – it’s greedy, but is there any planet, any part of the world that You’d feel any of the same, is there even a shard of a fraction of the feelings that You have for me too?
This is taken almost word for word from the latest episode of TV show “Louie”, and it was addressed to a woman, not to Krishna, but is there any difference, really?
Louie C.K., the comedian who writes, produces, and acts in his own show, put a lot of effort in expressing this declaration of love and it’s perfect in every respect, except it’s not addressed to Krishna.
Let’s take it apart and see how it works. I separated it in paragraphs myself and substituted or added a few words here and there to make it more realistic as if someone was really talking to Krishna, not a woman but it follows Louie’s line of thought very closely.
The first paragraph is the admission of failure, failure to contain yourself. A few posts ago I mentioned that being in love is not cool in modern society so Louie starts with a sorry for falling into such a state.
We are supposed to be proud, strong and unmoved by emotions, we want to display total indifference to silly stuff like that, we want to be above it – we want to keep our wits and intelligence with us at all times but love is the thing that takes it away from us and forces even the strongest man on his knees. It’s an admission of being weak and that’s why his first words were “It’s bad, but I have to tell you this.”
The paragraph ends with very interesting statement – “You are real.” Louie admits that he is weak, admits that he can’t fight for his dignity, admits that he doesn’t mind being humiliated – all because the other person feels real to him. True enough – we are surrounded by fake people all the time – fake smiles, fake compassion, fake emotions, fake sympathy. People express them because they want to appear polite but all too often they don’t really give a damn. When someone addresses you from the heart it sinks and hooks you right away, even if the words are hurtful.
Ages ago I was told by a senior devotee that all people want from us is being real, being sincerely concerned with their lives. Only devotees can feel that because they don’t have any self-interest, only love and compassion. That devotee was very grave when he told me that because he knew that it gave him an enormous power over people and he was very conscious about it, very aware of the temptation. I lost track of him over the years but in those days he was known for always getting what was needed for Krishna’s service, he spoke from experience.
Moving on – lack of time, when we are in love we never have enough time to think about the object of our infatuation, be it a woman, a new tablet, or Krishna Himself. I changed it a little bit but Louie was saying that the single thought about his woman would need thousands of years to get properly expressed. That’s how Balarama feels about Krishna – He’s got the time and He’s got thousands of mouths, as Ananta Shesha, and He never stops talking about Krishna. That’s love.
Third paragraph – can’t think of anybody else and the train dream. Anybody who has ever been in love knows how it changes the perspective on all other men or women – they kind of fade away, zoom out and become insignificant and unnoticeable. They don’t attract us anymore and they don’t distract us either, we truly are indifferent to their existence. That’s love, too.
Train dream is also a clever way to express love. An utterly unremarkable surroundings – train, an insignificant gesture – holding hand, but they mean a whole world to the person in love. Nothing else matters anymore, perfection of life, true satisfaction has been achieved. Devotees hope they can get a hold of Krishna’s lotus feet, just a sight of Lord’s lotus feet, even a dream of Krishna’s lotus feet would do, I suppose. They said to have this unique cooling effect on the soul, I honestly wouldn’t know.
Next paragraph is a climax. Louie proclaims total selflessness in his love. He only wants to be able to love, he realized that had been the goal of his whole existence and he doesn’t want anything else. He also compared being in love to having a medical condition. Devotees know this very well, too. Lord Chaitanya famously talked about being struck in the heart by the arrow of love of God. It’s incurable and once you’ve been hit you wouldn’t want anything else in the whole three worlds.
Last paragraph, unfortunately, is where Louie is preparing to screw it up. After declaring undying, selfless love he started talking about reciprocation. The answer was “Hell, no” and all the love just swooshed out him like an air from a balloon.
Why does that happen? All the time, too. Why do non-devotees are capable of expressing such strong, deep feelings, such encompassing knowledge about love but can’t maintain it and give up at the first hurdle? It’s easy to say it’s because they choose wrong objects and only Krishna is worth such love and if they loved Krishna then their love would never die.
It’s easy to say that but the fact is that we don’t know anyone who is capable of expressing such love for Krishna, last vaishnava who was not ashamed of going public with it was Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his songs and books. Nowadays it’s simply not done. How can we tell people to love Krishna then?
Just direct your love to Krishna and everything will be okay. Yes, it will be okay, from Krishna’s POV, in the long run, but that’s not exactly what people expect. How many of us have stopped trying to love Krishna with all our hearts and all our powers of mind and body? How many of us slipped in the familiar routine of material sense gratification instead?
Loving Krishna is not a straightforward, easy affair, it’s so darn hard and nearly impossible to achieve. Who in this world has achieved it? Who has Krishna prema blossoming in their hearts? If there are such souls, they hide it pretty well.
Records from Lord Chaitanya’s time show that people really fell in love with Krishna, with all the symptoms of being in love – can’t think of anything else, don’t mind public humiliation, can’t look at other people or things, can’t hold your feelings – love just flows like a river out of your heart and you scream at the top of your lungs to the whole world to know about it. Why doesn’t it happen to us? To me?
I also can’t help but draw another parallel – it’s like being in an arranged marriage. Krishna has been chosen for us without asking, now we are forced to live together but love is not there, we are just trying to learn to co-exist, learn each other’s habits and learn not to step on each other toes all the time, but love is just not there. It might be beneficial in the long run but love is still not there.
Can it grow out of co-existence? Maybe, in the material world people can develop tolerance, attachment, even dependence, maybe even deep commitment and, if they stick together long enough, they might even call it a real love, but love is still not there. Not the kind of love Louie was talking about in that episode, not the kind of love that takes away your soul and turns your world upside down.
I can’t help but compare this cohabitation to love gopis have for their nominal husbands – serving them all their lives with faith and devotion, not the love that made them run away from home in the middle of the night to see Krishna.
Maybe we are doing it wrong but more likely we don’t have any other choice. If we can’t fall in love with Krishna we can’t fake it either, we’ll just have to work for it, like Krishna’s wives worked for lifetimes to get the opportunity to become His maidservants, as they told their stories in Srimad Bhagavatam.
Why does everybody have to be a gopi anyway? We are not Krishna’s eternal associates, we are not Lord Chaitanya’s eternal associates either, we are just ordinary fallen souls whose only known association with God is sleeping alongside Maha Vishnu or something, when the material world is non-manifest. Maybe we are not born to love at all, maybe our true spiritual rasa is neutrality, just hanging out on the same Vaikuntha.
I know it’s not much, even a curse in devotees’ eyes but maybe that’s all that we are ever going to get.
Or maybe sincerely chanting the Holy Names will, in fact, eventually wound my heart with all-powerful love for the Lord.
I’ll believe it when I see it, until then I have enough reasons to be skeptical.
Maybe next life.