In the beginning our Krishna Consciousness is like a little island. It becomes like a tiny little island within our consciousness. The material influences are very strong within our consciousness. I compared them to a big ship. A little island – an ocean… and a big ship filled with material desires! Waving at us – very close. So this will go on at first.
Then as we are getting more advanced – the island grows in size, and then gradually it says that as the night of the naivety goes on, the ship with material desires goes at a more distance.
Then at nistha – when we are fixed in our determination that we want Krsna – when we have strong faith. That s where happiness is, but we still have our attachments to material things, but we know that it’s not really going to do it for us. Then when we are going through, then we see that the ship is far away…
Then it says, when ruci arrives – at that time gradually, because the material influence is less, our taste in Krishna Consciousness begins to stretch over the surface of our entire consciousness. So in ruci there maybe some influence of passion but ones whole consciousness is filled with taste in Krishna Consciousness. So this ruci is a very nice stage.
It is said that in āsakti, this ruci which is over the surface of the entire water – it goes deeper and under the surface. So it begins to penetrate deeper and deeper in our āsakti and in our consciousness… but the material influence is still there but in āsakti the material influence is on the horizon – the ship is now on the horizon and gradually it begins to disappear – over the horizon.
In bhāva, the ship has become a shadow. So that’ s very interesting, because the shadow means: It’s not there and it is there at the same time. The real thing – the real material desire is no longer there, but the shadow means that one still knows – when one may not have that desire, but one knows it. If I want to – I could, since the option of that door is still there. That’s the shadow of the material desire. It’s still the material desire one suffers for, but still one is not affected by the heart: One is not struggling with the material desires. But the back door – one still sees; ‘ Oh I could go in the sense gratification direction. I could be the sense enjoyer if I wanted to, but I don’t – I want Krsna!’. That is still there – but only a shadow on the horizon. So it’s in the background – its far in consciousness.
In prema, the whole ocean becomes like ecstatic love. That’s basically what we are looking at. I like this metaphor a lot. Somehow or other…. I had a thing with water, and I kind of liked this metaphor of the ocean, whereas the mind or the consciousness comparing to an ocean. It’s been done many times in the scripture, for example:
samudram apah pravisanti yadvat
tadvat kama yam pravisanti sarve
sa santim apnoti na kama-kami
Which is the metaphor of all the rivers of desires going into the ocean. It is said that the ocean is so full, that all these rivers cannot disturb the ocean. The water level stays the same and it doesn’t affect the ocean due to its fullness – so these rivers have no real affect.
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Melbourne, October 2010)