Kadamba Kanana Swami:
Well, there is a very deep and respectful mood. I mean, it should not be taken cheaply, obviously. It is said that the ladies in Vaikuntha are also everyday sweeping the palaces, although there is no dust. There’s no dust in these palaces and still they sweep them everyday for the pleasure of Krsna.
So, it may be difficult for us to fully appreciate because the love of God of the residents of Vaikuntha is greater than anything we experience in our heart at this point, at least, I speak for myself. Therefore it’s hard to fully fathom their depth of love, but it is genuine love, because, just as it’s mentioned about the gopis, it’s all for the pleasure of Krsna. So it’s definitely love, but then again, it doesn’t have the same element of raas that is there in Golok.
It is always respectful. So yes, that inhibits a certain intimacy – there is a distance. When this respect is there, there is a distance between the devotee and the Lord. The devotee couldn’t really do something totally wild – couldn’t just go to the plate of the Lord and just snatch a nice gulaab jamun of the Lord! I mean, that would be inconceivable! In Vaikuntha that would be the activity of a demon!
It wouldn’t fit in Vaikuntha – there would be no such thing, but in Golok, that could well happen, very well happen. So there’s a lot missing in that regard. What is missing is that, although the devotee in his respectful mood is overwhelmed with love for the Supreme Lord, what is missing is the activity coming from the Lord. The Lord is just sitting there and cannot reciprocate in the same way. So many details will not be there, so, in this way, it puts the Lord in the role of receiver of worship and of one who is giving benedictions, so it limits the role of the Lord.
I think that is the biggest difference and therefore the devotees following in the footsteps of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu don’t want to have anything to do with that. They want the Lord in intimacy. But that cannot be cheaply taken and therefore we have our regulative principles and that cultivates respect. We should not prematurely become intimate, but respect is required.