|The Highest Love|
"LOVE." Singers croon about it, poets exult in it, novelists weave complex tales about it. Movies and television are saturated with it. But is it real? In this lucid essay, Srila Prabhupada argues that the love we experience in this material world is based upon an illusion and is, like everything else here, temporary. Yet there is a "higher love"--one that is never imagined by mundane romanticists.
If one protects the tender creeper of devotional service nicely, then gradually it will produce the fruit of unalloyed love for God. Unalloyed love for God means love that is not tinged by desire for material benefit, for mere philosophical understanding, nor for fruitive results. Unalloyed love is to know, "God is great, I am His part and parcel, and therefore He is my supreme lovable object." This consciousness is the highest perfection of human life and the ultimate aim of all methods of self-realization. If one reaches this point--God is my only beloved, Krsna is the only lovable object--then one's life is perfect. And when one tastes that transcendental relationship with Krsna, then one feels real happiness. The devotional creeper will then be so strongly protected that just by catching hold of it, one will be able to reach the supreme destination. If one climbs steadily up a tree, one eventually comes to the very top. Similarly, if one can achieve love of Godhead by catching that devotional creeper, there is no doubt that one will reach the transcendental abode of Krsna and will associate with Him personally, just as we are associating here, face to face.
God is not fictional or imaginary. He is as real as we are. (Actually, we are under illusion; we are living as if this body were our factual self, although this body is not at all reality, but only a temporary manifestation.) We dare to presume that there is no God or that He has no form. This mental speculation is due to a poor fund of knowledge. Lord Krsna and His abode exist, and one can go there, reach Him, and associate with Him. That is a fact. Spiritual life means to be in association with the Supreme Lord and to exist in bliss and knowledge eternally. Such eternal association means to play with Krsna, to dance with and love Krsna. Or Krsna can become your child--whatever you like.
There are five primary relationships with Krsna: as a passive devotee, as a servant, as a friend, as a parent, and as a lover. The cows in Krsna's abode are also liberated souls. They are called surabhi cows. There are many popular pictures showing how Krsna loves the cows, how He embraces and kisses them. That passive relationship with Krsna is called santa. Their perfect happiness is achieved when Krsna comes and simply touches them.
Other devotees are inclined to actually give service. They think, "Krsna wants to sit down. I will arrange a place for Him. Krsna wants to eat. I will get Him some nice food." And they actually make these arrangements. Other devotees play with Krsna as friends on equal terms. They do not know that Krsna is God; to them, Krsna is their lovable friend, and they cannot forget Him for a moment. All day and all night, they think of Krsna. At night, when they are sleeping they think, "Oh, in the morning I shall go and play with Krsna." And in the morning they go to Krsna's house and stand by while Krsna is decorated by His mother before going out to play with His friends in the fields. There is no other activity in Krsnaloka (Krsna's abode). There is no industry, no rushing to the office, or any such nonsense. There is sufficient milk and butter, and everyone eats plentifully. Krsna is very fond of His friends, and sometimes He enjoys stealing butter for them. One can actually live this way, and that is the perfection of existence. We should hanker for that perfectional stage of life. Krsna consciousness is the process to attain it.
But as long as one has even a slight attachment for this material world, one has to remain here. Krsna is very strict. He does not allow anyone to enter into His association who has any tinge of the material conception of life. Bhakti must be free from material contamination. Do not think, "I am a very learned scholar. I shall find out what is the Absolute Truth by mental speculation." That is nonsense; one can go on and on speculating and will never find the source of all sources. It is said in the Brahma-samhita, "One can go on speculating about the Absolute Truth for millions and millions of years, and still it will not be revealed." One can rot in this material world as he is and can go on speculating, but that is not the right process. Here is the process--bhakti-yoga.
Lord Caitanya says that to render devotional service to Krsna is the highest perfectional stage of life, and compared to this, other things for which people are hankering in this material world are like bubbles in the ocean. Generally, people are after rewards, and therefore they become religious. They say, "I am a Hindu," "I am a Christian," "I am a Jew," "I am Muhammadan," "I am this, I am that, and therefore I cannot change my religion. I cannot accept Krsna." This is called religiosity, dharma. With such a materialistic, sectarian idea of religion, they will rot in this material world, stuck to rituals and faith. They are under the impression that if they follow their religious principles, they will get material prosperity. Of course, if one sticks to any kind of religious faith, he will get facilities for material life.
Why do people want this material prosperity? For sense gratification. They are thinking, "I shall have a very nice wife. I shall have very good children. I shall have a very good post. I shall become president. I shall become prime minister." This is sense gratification. And when one is frustrated and has seen that to be rich or to attain the presidency cannot give him happiness, after squeezing out all the taste of sex life, when he is completely frustrated, then perhaps he takes to LSD and tries to become one with the void. But this nonsense cannot give happiness. Here is happiness: one must approach Krsna. Otherwise, it will end in LSD confusion and roaming in impersonal void concepts. People are frustrated. They must be frustrated if they do not have genuine spiritual life, because a person is spiritual by nature.
How can anyone be happy without Krsna? Suppose one is thrown into the ocean. How can he be happy there? That is not for us. One may be a very good swimmer, but how long will he be able to swim? He eventually becomes tired and drowns. Similarly, we are spiritual by nature. How can we be happy in this material world? It is not possible. But men are trying to remain here, making so many temporary adjustments for survival. This patchwork is not happiness. If one really wants happiness, here is the process: one must attain love of Godhead. Unless one can love Krsna, unless one finishes with love for cats, dogs, country, nation, and society and instead concentrates his love on Krsna, there is no question of happiness. Rupa Gosvami has given a very nice example in this regard: there are many drugs that saturate one with ideas or hallucinations. But Rupa Gosvami says that unless one tastes that final drug of love of Godhead, krsna-prema, he will have to be captivated by meditation, impersonal monism, and so many other distractions.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu describes that to attain unalloyed love of Krsna one has to execute devotional service, or Krsna consciousness. One has to engage oneself exclusively in serving Krsna. The highest perfectional stage of unalloyed devotion is to be free from all material desires, all mental speculation, and all fruitive activities. The basic principle of unalloyed devotion is that one cannot maintain any desire other than to become fully Krsna conscious. Even if one knows that all other forms of God are also Krsna, one should not worship any other form, but should concentrate on the Krsna form. Krsna has many forms, but one only has to worship Krsna in His form with the flute, as in the Radha-Krsna Deity. Simply concentrate on that form, and all mental speculation and fruitive activities will fall away. One has to cultivate Krsna consciousness favorably, and that means to execute service by which Krsna becomes satisfied. Krsna consciousness is not attained by manufacturing one's own way. I may think that I am doing something in Krsna consciousness, but who has sanctioned it? For instance, in the Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna hesitated to fight, for certain moral reasons, but he was viewing the situation from the platform of fruitive activities, on which one has to enjoy or suffer the results. He was considering that if he killed his family members, he would then be subjected to many reactions. This conclusion, however, was not sanctioned by Krsna. The law of action and reaction in the material world is called karma, but devotional service transcends karma.
Unalloyed love must be free of all tinges of fruitive activities (karma) and all tinges of mental speculation and material desire. That unalloyed devotional service should be favorably fixed on Krsna. "Favorably" means in accordance with what He desires. Krsna desired that the Battle of Kuruksetra take place; it was all arranged by Him. Arjuna was told, "You are thinking in your own way, but even if you do not fight, rest assured that because it has been arranged by Me, none of these warriors who are assembled here are going back to their homes. They will be killed here. It has already been arranged." God's desire is such that one cannot change it. Krsna has two qualities: He can protect, and He can also kill. If He wants to kill someone, there is no power in the world that can protect him, and if He protects someone, there is no power in the world that can kill him. Krsna's desire is supreme. Therefore, we have to dovetail our desires with Krsna's. Whatever Krsna desires, no one can make null and void because He is the Supreme Lord. Therefore, our duty is to dovetail our acts with Krsna's desire, not to manufacture an action and then declare: "I am doing this action in Krsna consciousness." We have to be very careful to ascertain whether Krsna actually wants it. Such authorized knowledge is instructed by the representative of Krsna. In our prayers of praise to the spiritual master we are singing daily, "If the spiritual master is satisfied, then God will be satisfied. And if one dissatisfies his spiritual master, then there is no way for him to please God."
Therefore, as far as possible, one has to execute the order of one's spiritual master. That will enable one to progress. That is the essence of the favorable execution of Krsna consciousness. In my old age, I have come to America, and I am trying to teach Krsna consciousness, because my spiritual master gave me an order that I must do it. It is my duty. I do not know whether I shall be a success or failure. It doesn't matter; my duty is completed if I can present before you whatever I have heard from my spiritual master. This is called the favorable execution of Krsna consciousness. Those who are actually serious should take the order of Krsna through the representative of Krsna as their entire life and soul. One who sticks to this principle is sure to progress. Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke in that way, and my spiritual master used to say, "The spiritual master is the transparent via medium." For example, I can see the letters of this book very nicely through these transparent eyeglasses, without which I cannot see because my eyes are defective. Similarly, our senses are all defective. We cannot see God with these eyes, we cannot hear Hare Krsna with these ears, we cannot do anything without the via medium of the spiritual master. Just as a defective eye cannot see without the via medium of spectacles, so one cannot approach the Supreme Lord without the transparent via medium of the spiritual master. "Transparent" means that the via medium must be free of contamination. If it is transparent, one can see through it.
In unalloyed love of Godhead we have to engage our senses--sarvendriya, all the senses. This means that sex is also to be engaged in Krsna consciousness. The conception of God as a father or mother does not allow the engagement of one's sex in the service of the Lord because there is no sexual relationship with the father and mother. But in the conception of God as a lover, there is sexual engagement also. Therefore, Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave the most perfect information of our engagement with the Supreme Lord. In other religious conceptions of life, God is at the utmost taken as the father or mother. Many worshipers in India take goddess Kali to be the representation of God. Of course, that is not sanctioned, but the belief is there, and also in the Christian religion the conception of God is as a father. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu informs us that one can even have sexual engagement with the Lord. This information is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's unique contribution. In this material world, sexual engagement is considered to be the highest engagement, the greatest pleasure, although it exists only in a perverted form. No one, however, has conceived that there can be sexual engagement in the spiritual world. There is not a single instance of such theology anywhere in the entire world. This information is given for the first time by Caitanya Mahaprabhu: one can have the Supreme Personality of Godhead as one's husband, as one's lover. This is possible in the worship of Radha and Krsna, but no one, especially the impersonalists, can understand Radha-Krsna. The impersonalists have no idea; they cannot even conceive that God has form. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that not only does God have form, but He has sex life also. This is the highest contribution of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
One can serve the Supreme Lord in various relationships, but in the material world those relationships exist only as perverted reflections. What is our engagement in relationship to this material world? What are our ideas of society, friendship, and love? They are all based on the material conception of life. In our society, someone is engaged as a father or mother to a son, and others are engaged as husband and wife, lover and beloved. There are other rasas (relationships) also, such as to be engaged with another as an enemy. There are twelve different relationships, out of which five are predominant. The other seven are indirect relationships, such as, for example, to be someone's enemy. There is usually a relationship between enemies, even between a murderer and the one he murders. As far as our relationship with Krsna is concerned, however, even if one establishes a relationship as His enemy, then his life is successful. Therefore, when one engages his senses with Krsna, a relationship can be established in one of twelve different varieties, of which five varieties are direct and seven are indirect.
When Krsna appeared in the arena of Kamsa, there were many big wrestlers prepared to kill Him. In fact, He was invited there to be killed. His enemy Kamsa thought, "Soon the boys will come. We have tried for sixteen years to kill them, but that boy Krsna could not be killed. But now I have invited Him as a guest, and when He arrives He will fight with these wrestlers, and they will kill Him." The demoniac or atheistic people are always thinking of Krsna, or God, in terms of killing Him. Therefore they present their theories that God is dead. They think that if God becomes dead, then they will be free to act however they please. But as far as their actual activities are concerned, God may be dead or alive, but God's agent, the material energy, is so strong that no one can freely do any wrong. As soon as anyone does something wrong, there is immediate punishment. It does not require the presence of God. God may be dead or alive, but the material energy is sufficient to punish anyone who violates the material laws, even to the slightest degree. God has set these conditions, but foolish people do not understand.
Lord Caitanya, however, speaks of favorably engaging all the senses in the service of Krsna in pure devotional life. One should favorably engage one's senses and should do whatever Krsna wants. Yet even if one engages one's senses against the will of Krsna but still thinks of Krsna, that is also advantageous. The demon Putana, for example, thought of killing Krsna. Just as the occupation of godly persons is to serve God, so the demons and atheists are always prepared to kill God. Putana thought, "I shall kill Krsna. He is only a child." This is another mistake of the demoniac. They think Krsna, or God, to be an ordinary child or man. So in this way Putana was thinking: "Let me smear my breast with poison, and when the child goes to suck my milk, He will die." As we study this, we see that she approached Krsna as His enemy, and yet He accepted her as a friend because He is so merciful. He did not take the demoniac portion of her mentality, but He accepted her. Every living entity is conditioned, but Krsna is not. A doctor or psychiatrist treats madmen, but he does not become mad. Sometimes a patient may become angry with him or call him ill names, but the doctor is sober and simply treats him. Similarly, if someone regards Krsna as his enemy, Krsna does not become his enemy.
Putana came to poison Krsna, but He took it otherwise. He thought, "I have sucked her breast milk. Therefore she has become My mother." Krsna treated her as His mother, and therefore she became liberated to the same position as Krsna's real mother, Yasoda. The conclusion is that the highest perfection is to establish a favorable relationship with Krsna, but even if one engages himself unfavorably, Krsna is so merciful that He at least gives one salvation. All the enemies killed by Krsna were immediately liberated.
Two classes of men may merge into the impersonal brahmajyoti: those who are intentionally aspiring to merge into the impersonal brahmajyoti may enter, and those who are enemies of Krsna and are killed by Him may also do so. Therefore, the devotee concludes, Why should I accept a condition that is offered even to God's enemies?
Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommends pure devotional service. There should be no desire to fulfill one's own material desires, there should be no attempt to understand Krsna by experimental philosophy, and there should be no fruitive activities to derive material benefits from Krsna. The only desire should be to serve Him favorably, as He desires. If Krsna wants something, then we should do it. Suppose I were to ask a disciple, "My dear student, please give me a glass of water." It is then his duty to give me a glass of water. If he thinks, "Prabhupada wants a glass of water, but why not give him something better? Why not a glass of hot milk?" that is not service. In his consideration, hot milk is very palatable and is better than water, yet because I have asked for water, he has to give me water, not milk. That is favorable service. One has to understand what Krsna wants. When there is that intimate relationship, then one can serve Krsna most favorably. And as long as there is not that intimate relationship, one must take information of what Krsna wants through the transparent medium of the spiritual master.
A Vaisnava never thinks that he has a direct relationship with Krsna. Lord Caitanya says, "I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant--a hundred times the servant of the servant--of Krsna." We have to agree to become the servant of the servant of the servant. This is the process of disciplic succession, and if one wants real, transcendental love of God, then he has to adopt this process. Because people do not accept this process, they do not develop real love of God. They speak of God, but actually they do not love God; because there is no cultivation of pure devotional service, they love dog.
We may say, "love of God," but unless we adopt this principle, then we will have to love dog, not God. That is the mistake. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that if one really wants love of God, then one has to follow the process of pure devotional service. It is not that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is speaking out of His own mental concoction; His statements are confirmed in Vedic scriptures such as the Narada-pancaratra and the Srimad-Bhagavatam. These two books, and the Bhagavad-gita, are very authentic scriptures meant for devotees. Caitanya Mahaprabhu quotes from a verse in the Narada-pancaratra: hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate. This is the definition of pure devotional service. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam. Hrsikena means "by one's senses." We have to engage our senses; it is not that we engage only our minds. If someone says, "I am always thinking of Krsna," that is not pure devotional service. Meditation is thinking, but no one thinks of Krsna; they think of void or something impersonal. If someone is thinking of Krsna or Narayana or Visnu, as prescribed in the Vedic scriptures, that is real yoga; yoga meditation means to focus one's mind upon the Supersoul. The Supersoul is the representation of Krsna in the form of four-handed Narayana. Even Patanjali, an authority on the yoga system, prescribes meditation on Visnu. But just as people are manufacturing bogus religious processes, the so-called yogis of today have manufactured their own way of thinking of something void.
But the Narada-pancaratra says, hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam: one must engage not only one's mind but one's senses. Engage the senses in the service of the master of the senses. These three Sanskrit words are very significant. Hrsikesa means "the Lord of the senses." So bhakti-yoga means to serve with the senses the Lord of the senses. The Lord of the senses is Krsna. We should always remember that we have our senses because we wanted to enjoy this material world, and therefore the Lord has given us a particular set of senses for our enjoyment. The hog has a particular type of body and senses because he wanted to enjoy eating stool. Similarly, a man has a particular type of body and senses because he wanted to enjoy something else. We have a particular set of conditioned senses with which to enjoy this material world, and this is what we have to purify. Our senses are original, but now they are covered by material desires. We have to cure ourselves and become free from such desires. When one's senses are no longer inclined toward material sense gratification, one's status is called pure devotion.
From this verse of the Narada-pancaratra, we can understand that the spirit soul has original senses. However small a body it may have entered, the spirit soul is not impersonal; it has senses. Perhaps one may find a bug on one's book. It is so small, smaller than a pinpoint, but still it moves; it has all the senses. The small bacteria also move, and they have their senses. Originally, all living entities have senses. It is not that the senses have developed under certain material conditions. The atheistic theory is that under material conditions we have developed senses, that in the spiritual condition there are no senses, and that we are impersonal. By logic and reason, however, that cannot be so. A minute particle of spiritual force, even if it is smaller in size than an atom, has its senses. These senses, being covered by material elements, manifest themselves in a perverted way. We have to purify the senses, and when the senses are purified, we can engage them for the pleasure of the master of the senses. Krsna is the master and proprietor of the senses. Therefore, because we are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, our senses are borrowed from Him; they are on rental. The best thing is to use the senses for His sense satisfaction, and not for our own. This is the process of pure Krsna consciousness.
From the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Lord Caitanya gives an example of pure devotion: it is said in the Bhagavatam that Krsna is situated in everyone's heart. Therefore, just as rivers flow and their natural tendency is to reach the sea, so as soon as one hears the glories of the Lord, his soul is at once attracted toward the Supreme Lord. This is the beginning of pure devotional service. As soon as there is the chanting vibration, Hare Krsna, immediately Krsna's paraphernalia, Krsna's name, Krsna's fame, Krsna's abode, Krsna's associates--everything--all of a sudden become manifested within because He is present. This is the beginning of one's Krsna consciousness. To remember by reference to a context means that as soon as one hears a code word, one at once remembers all the information behind that code. Similarly, when our minds are attracted to Krsna and everything about Krsna simply by hearing a little glorification of His qualities, that is the beginning of pure Krsna consciousness. Then there is no more gati, or movement of the mind.
It was just that way with the gopis: as soon as they heard the sound of Krsna's flute, they gave up everything. Some of them were lying down, some were working in their family affairs, some were taking care of their children, but as soon as they heard Krsna's flute, they forgot everything and rushed to Him. Their husbands, their brothers, and their fathers said, "Why are you going and leaving your duty?" But they did not care--they simply left. There is no impediment and no stumbling block in that merge of the mind with Krsna. This is the beginning of pure devotion.
Purusottama means Krsna. The word purusa means "enjoyer." The conditioned living entities are false enjoyers, imitation enjoyers. Here in this material world, all living entities are acting as purusas. The more exact meaning of purusa is "male." The male is considered to be the enjoyer, and the female is considered to be the enjoyed. In the material world, whether one has a male or a female body, everyone has the propensity to enjoy, and therefore everyone is called purusa. But actually the only purusa is the Supreme Lord. We living entities are His energy, and He is the supreme enjoyer. We are not purusa. Energies are employed for enjoyment, and we are energies, instruments of the Supreme Person. Therefore Purusottama is the supreme transcendental person, Krsna. When our pure devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is employed and there are no impediments or stumbling blocks, that is the symptom of pure Krsna consciousness.
There is no ambition or motive in pure Krsna consciousness. Every other transcendental function or mode of worship is backed by a motive: someone wants salvation, someone wants material prosperity, someone wants to go to a higher planet, someone wants to go to Krsnaloka. These ambitions should not be there. A pure devotee has no such ambitions. A pure devotee does not even desire to go to the supreme abode of Krsna. Of course, he goes, but he has no desire. He simply wants to engage himself fully in Krsna's service.
There are different kinds of salvation. There is salokya liberation, to live on the same planet as the Supreme Lord. The residents of the Vaikuntha planets live on the same planet as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sarsti liberation means to have almost the same opulence as Narayana. The liberated individual soul can appear just like Narayana, with four hands, the four emblems, almost the same bodily features, the same opulence, the same ornaments, the same buildings, everything. Sarupya means to have the same form or features. Samipya means never to be far away but always to be associated with the Supreme Lord. For example, just as we are sitting together, so one can associate with the Lord. This is called samipya-mukti, the liberation of being nearer. Pure devotees, however, do not accept these various forms of liberation. They only want to be engaged in Krsna's service. They are not concerned with any kind of liberation. Those who are actually Krsna conscious achieve the association of the Supreme Lord, but they do not desire it; their only ambition is to be engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The highest perfection of devotional service, or Krsna consciousness, is exhibited when a devotee refuses to accept any benediction or profit from the Supreme Lord. Prahlada Maharaja was offered whatever he liked, he had only to ask for it, but he said, "My Lord, I am Your eternal servant. It is my duty to serve You, so how can I accept any benefit from it? Then I would not be Your servant; I would be a merchant." He replied in that way, and that is the sign of a pure person. Krsna is so kind that He fulfills all the desires of a devotee, even if he wants material benedictions. If at the bottom of the devotee's heart there is some desire, He also fulfills that. He is so kind. But the sublime position of bhakti-yoga, or devotional service, is that a pure devotee refuses to accept the various kinds of liberation, even if offered by the Supreme Lord.
If one has material desires or motives within himself, and for fulfillment of such desires he engages himself in devotional service, the result will be that he will never get pure love of God. If one is thinking, "I am engaged in Krsna consciousness, in Krsna's devotional service, because I want such and such an opulence," that desire may be fulfilled, but he will never get such unalloyed love of Krsna as the gopis had. If one has a motive, even though he discharges his devotional duty, he still will not be able to reach the stage of pure love of Godhead. In a verse from the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Rupa Gosvami says, "As long as one desires some material benefit [bhukti], or even if he wants salvation [mukti], then he must take those ghostly representations." As long as that maya exists within one's heart, how can one enjoy the spiritual bliss derived from pure love of Godhead? In other words, if one has material desires, or even a desire for salvation, he cannot attain pure love of Godhead. Pure devotion is devoid of all desires--it is simply to render loving service for its own sake.
There is a nice example in the life of Rupa Gosvami. Rupa Gosvami and his brother Sanatana Gosvami were living separately in Vrndavana and going on with their bhajana, devotional service. Rupa was living in the forest, and there was no facility for cooking nice food or begging from the village for a capati to eat. Rupa Gosvami was the younger brother, and he thought, "If I could get some foodstuffs, then I could prepare nice dishes and offer them to Krsna and invite my elder brother." He had that desire. The next moment, a nice girl about twelve years old came and delivered an abundance of foodstuffs--milk, flour, ghee, etc. That is the Vedic system; sometimes householders present foodstuffs to mendicants and sages in the renounced order of life. Rupa Gosvami was very glad that Krsna had sent so many things and that he could now prepare a feast. He prepared a feast and then invited his elder brother.
When Sanatana Gosvami came, he was astonished. "How have you secured such things? You have prepared such a nice feast in this forest. How is it possible?"
So Rupa Gosvami explained, "In the morning I desired for it, and by chance Krsna sent me all these things. A nice girl came, and she offered it to me." He was describing the girl: "A very nice girl."
Then Sanatana said, "This nice girl is Radharani. You have taken service from Radharani, the Lord's eternal consort. It is a great blunder." That is their philosophy. They would not accept service from the Lord. They simply wanted to render service. But Krsna is so clever that He also wants to serve His devotee. He looks for an opportunity to serve His devotee. This is spiritual competition. A pure devotee does not want anything from Krsna; he simply wants to serve Him. And Krsna also looks for the opportunity to serve His devotee. Krsna is always as anxious to please His devotee as the devotee is to please Him.
This is the transcendental world. On the absolute plane, there is no exploitation. Everyone wants to serve; no one wants to take service. In the transcendental world, everyone wants to give service. You want to give service to me, and I want to give service to you. This is such a nice attitude. This material world means that I want to pickpocket you, and you want to pickpocket me. That's all. This is the material world. We should try to understand it. In the material world, everyone wants to exploit his friend, his father, his mother, everyone. But in the transcendental world, everyone wants to serve. Everyone has Krsna as the central point of serving, and all the devotees, either as friends or servants or parents or lovers of Krsna, all want to serve Him. And at the same time, Krsna also wants to serve them. This is a transcendental relationship; the main function is service, although there is no necessity of service, for everyone is full. There is no hunger, there is no necessity of eating, but still everyone offers nice things to eat. This is the transcendental world. Unless we attain the stage of simply serving Krsna or His devotee, we cannot relish the transcendental pleasure of service. If we have any motive, then that sense will never be awakened. Without a motive, without desire for personal sense gratification, service should be rendered to the Supreme Lord and His devotees.