The Nectar of Devotion – CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE – MADNESS

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Śrīla Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura prays in his book as follows: “Let Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī purify the whole world, because She has surrendered Herself completely unto Kṛṣṇa. Out of Her ecstatic love for Him, She sometimes acted just like an addled person and attempted to churn yogurt, although there was no yogurt in the pot. And seeing this, Kṛṣṇa became so enchanted by Rādhārāṇī that He began to milk a bull instead of a cow.” These are some of the instances of insanity or madness in connection with the love affairs of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that when Kṛṣṇa entered the poisonous waters of the Yamunā, Śrīmatī Yaśodā-devī went insane. Instead of searching for curative herbs, she began to speak to the trees as if they were snake chanters. With folded hands she began to bow down to the trees, asking them, “What is the medicinal herb that can check Kṛṣṇa’s dying from this poisonous water?” This is an instance of insanity caused by some great danger.

How a devotee can be in a state of insanity because of ecstatic love is described in the Tenth Canto, thirtieth chapter, verse 4 of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, wherein the gopīs were searching for Kṛṣṇa in the forests of Vṛndāvana. The gopīs were loudly singing the glories of Kṛṣṇa and wandering from one forest to another in search of Him. They knew that Kṛṣṇa is not localized but all-pervading. He is in the sky, He is in the water, He is in the air, and He is the Supersoul in everyone’s heart. Thus the gopīs began to inquire from all kinds of trees and plants about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is an instance of ecstatic madness on the part of devotees.

Similarly, there are symptoms of diseases caused by ecstatic love. This condition is credited by learned scholars as being mahā-bhāva. This highly elevated condition is also called divyonmāda, or transcendental madness.

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