Srila Giri Maharaja – vasudeva (Vasudeva) consciousness

My dandavats. (Sriman Gokulananda Prabhu, Srimati Lilavati Devi, Uddharan das)

This morning I heard something very interesting while listening to: 87.02.20.A (±30:00) wherein Srila Sridhara Maharaja refers to the verse:

ŚB 4.3.23

सत्त्वं विशुद्धं वसुदेवशब्दितं
यदीयते तत्र पुमानपावृत: ।
सत्त्वे च तस्मिन्भगवान्वासुदेवो
ह्यधोक्षजो मे नमसा विधीयते ॥ २३ ॥

sattvaṁ viśuddhaṁ vasudeva-śabditaṁ
yad īyate tatra pumān apāvṛtaḥ
sattve ca tasmin bhagavān vāsudevo
hy adhokṣajo me namasā vidhīyate

Synonyms

sattvam — consciousness; viśuddham — pure; vasudeva — Vasudeva; śabditam — known as; yat — because; īyate — is revealed; tatra — there; pumān — the Supreme Person; apāvṛtaḥ — without any covering; sattve — in consciousness; ca — and; tasmin — in that; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vāsudevaḥ — Vāsudeva; hi — because; adhokṣajaḥ — transcendental; me — by me; namasā — with obeisances; vidhīyate — worshiped.

Translation

I am always engaged in offering obeisances to Lord Vāsudeva in pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is always pure consciousness, in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead, known as Vāsudeva, is revealed without any covering.

Srila Swami Maharaja also refers to this verse in several places. In his purport to it he says:

In pure devotional service one simply serves the Supreme Personality of Godhead as a matter of duty, without reason and without being impeded by material conditions. That is called śuddha-sattva, or vasudeva, because in that stage the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, is revealed in the heart of the devotee. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has very nicely described this vasudeva, or śuddha-sattva, in his Bhagavat-sandarbha. He explains that aṣṭottara-śata (108) is added to the name of the spiritual master to indicate one who is situated in śuddha-sattva, or in the transcendental state of vasudeva. The word vasudeva is also used for other purposes. For example, vasudeva also means one who is everywhere, or all-pervading. The sun is also called vasudeva-śabditam. The word vasudeva may be utilized for different purposes, but whatever purpose we adopt, Vāsudeva means the all-pervading or localized Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gītā (7.19) it is also stated, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti. Factual realization is to understand Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and surrender unto Him. Vasudeva is the ground wherein Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is revealed. When one is free from the contamination of material nature and is situated in pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or in the vasudeva state, Vāsudeva, the Supreme Person, is revealed.

Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s explanation caught my attention because he states, roughly, that vasudeva is Vasudeva, the father of Krishna, something I was also thinking and was happy to see my idea confirmed. Vāsudeva (Krishna) is revealed through the pure transcendental heart of Vasudeva, that is the next logical thought after reading Srila Swami Maharaja’s explanation: “That is called śuddha-sattva, or vasudeva, because in that stage the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, is revealed in the heart of the devotee. . . . Vasudeva is the ground wherein Vāsudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is revealed. When one is free from the contamination of material nature and is situated in pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or in the vasudeva state, Vāsudeva, the Supreme Person, is revealed.”

“[T]he vasudeva state” is the state of consciousness of Vasudeva, Krishna’s very dear devotee.

Sleepless in New Jersey,

Swami B.K. Giri