VIYOG AND MILAN (separation and meeting) IN LOVE
The words viyog and virah are synonymous. Separation and meeting are two stages of love. Meeting is sweet. Separation evokes the feeling of meeting, and then, meeting after such a separation is sweeter.Thus the sweetness of Divine love goes on multiplying at every stage and ever new experiences of ever-increasing Divine love are enjoyed by the Gopis (associates) in the form of meeting and separation.
As a matter of fact, Gopis experience Krishn and Krishn love in each and every perception, in dream and awakened state.In the words of a rasik Saint, a Gopi(associate) says, "In every pore of my body, I experience only Krishn love. In my soul and in my heart, I feel that only Krishn is there.
“In every thought and in every conception, I find that only Krishn is present.”
Meera bai (a lady saint) said,
"My Beloved lives in my body, in my mind, and in mysoul. He is so much one with me that I cannot find a place where he is not."
Surdas (a saint) wrote a lot about Gopis' feelings, where a Gopi says to her friend,
"Every moment I see Krishn before me. In my body and in my ornaments, in my house, and in the courtyard, on the Yamuna river bank and in the gardens of Braj, in the living beings and in our friends. Wherever I look I find Kristin is present.
He is so merged in my thoughts that I cannot think of anything except Him. He is so absorbed in my vision that I cannot see anything except Him."
These are the expressions of their natural unity with Krishn.
Another aspect of Gopis' love is seen when they yearn for Krishn's vision. This state of separation has also been described by many rarik Saints and in the Bhagwatam -the holy book as well. They describe that their eyes desired the vision of Krishn, their senses desired association with Krishn, andfrom such yearning, their souls wished to leave their bodies to meet Krishn, because they loved Him more than their own souls. Again, when they received association with Krishn, they experiences an indescribable Bliss according to the intensity oftheir feelings of separation. Thus, their joy of meeting and their sorrow of separation were at extremes.
We find two opposite expressions existing simultaneously in the Gopis. They perceive Krishn every moment, yet still they cry for His vision and association. Although every moment they experience an ever-increasing Bliss of Divine love, yet they feel pain of His separation.
The two fold experience
.This two fold experience is the speciality of Krishn's love and is the real grandeur of Divine love. Divine love, with its innumerable amazing qualities, represents itself in two forms of stable experiences, virah and milan, along with their intricate stages of a more and more subtle nature.
In the material world, the object and the observer are entirely different, and the experiencing faculty, the mind, is always being influenced by so many factors. Moreover, it is the emotional state of one's mind which appears as pleasure, not the observed object itself.
Philosophy of mind in love
The human mind is used to comprehending simple incidents, not simultaneous opposites, because in the material world, opposite things never happen at the same time. So, when we read about the simultaneous expressions of meeting and separation in the Gopis, we take it as an event of dualistic experience of separation or meeting, and we forget their original state, that they are ever one with Krishn.
Again, if we try to consider both these stages together, our minds fail to understand how the existence of two opposite things is possible at one time, so in both ways, our intellect fails to grasp the reality and we interpret the Divine leelas(plays) according to our worldly notions and decisions. If the Gyanis (the knowledgeable) cannot understand the Gopis' love with their Divine intellect, how can a worldly person do so? This was the most puzzling point for Uddhao, the foremost Gyani and Yogi, as well as Krishn's intimate friend, that on one hand Gopis yearn for Krishn's association and on the other hand they say, "Krishn is with me, Krishn is in me. O Uddhao! I can show you your friend Krishn if you so wish it”
The Divine mind and Divine love
In the Divine abode, the perceiving and experiencing faculty (the Divine mind) is itself a form of Divine love power. The experiencing media (the Divine body and senses) is itself a form of Divine love power. The perceived object itself is the eternal embodiment of Divine love. The act of perception is the self-evolved state of the playful nature of Devine love power and, thus, the perceived experience is just the full-bloomed splendor of Divine love which is sell-perceived on its own hose.
We can understand this by an example, a mother is watching, the playfulactions of her child and she is much pleased. Another woman is also watching the actions of the child, but she is not pleased. Instead, she is spitefully jealous because she has no son of her own. It shows that in the material world:
(a) We get pleasure through emotional observation, not through mere perception, and,
(b) Our emotions themselves are the only source of our happiness, The 'object' is not the source of happiness, otherwise, the child would have given an equal amount of happiness to both the women. Thus, the material object is simply a medium for getting happiness.
In the Divine world, (a) the object itself is the embodied Bliss or love and (b) it is self-perceived, because the perceiver and the perceived object are not two different and independent existences, but both are thesame Divine love power.
So, we understand that the Divine object 'itself' is the 'form' of Divine Bliss, which, by itself, enters the perception of a Saint. Thus, the perceiver, the act of perceiving and the perceived object are the three different appearances of Divine love.
Krishn’s love and Divine love
Krishn's other form is called Divine love. The virtues of Krishn (or the virtues of Divine love) are self-active, so they naturally and independently enter into the heart of the Gopis or Krishn's other associates. This was the reason that the radiance of the Divine virtues of Krishn entered into the heart of Shukdeo(a saint) and evoked his absolute transcendence.
Ice becomes water. Substantially there is no difference between the two, but physically there is a difference in their appearance and use. Thus there is no basic difference between ice and water. Similarly,we canunderstand that Krishn and Krishn love (Divine love) are the two undifferentiated appearances of Krishn Himself. Either you say that Divine love power has two forms, one is Divine love and the other is Krishn (this is the philosophy of Hit Harivansh); or you say, that Krishn has His two forms, one as Himself and the other as Divine love. Both expressions are correct, but in the Divine abode and in the Divine plays, Krishn's personified form is most important.
Now we again come to the point of virah and milan. When a devotee of Vrindaban bhaoreceives Divine love, with the Grace of Krishn, Krishn Himself enters into his heart as Love. His experiencing faculty (mind) and experiencing medium (body), both become Divine. So he experiences only Krishn and Krishn love in every perception.
In the visual world, Krishn is omnipresent, and in the Gopi's heart He stays as Divine love or Krishn love. So inside and outside, everywhere, a Gopi sees only Krishn. This is the normal stage of a Gopi where she is in complete unity with Krishn.
Divine love in virah and milan
Divine love, in its integrity, is not quiet, it is playful. It evolves into so many surprising Divine experiences, the marvel of which is experienced in the forms of virah and milan. The experiences of meeting and separation are the real charm of Krishn love which are experienced by the Gopis in addition to their normal experience of constant unity with Krishn.
The elevated stage of virah and milanis called Bhao, or Bhavavesh, which is the ultimate attainable stage of Divine love and which can only be experienced through the form of a Gopi.
Further, during the appearance period of Krishn (when He lived in Braj), the Gopis, along with their experiences of Bhavavesh, also enjoyed the pleasure of personal meeting with Krishn; and during the day, when He stayed out in the woods with His playmates, they experienced separation and longed for His vision.
A Gopi says,
"At the close of the day, Krishn, the Beloved ofall Brajwasis, comes. He is surrounded by his playmates, His curly hair is dusty from the foot dust of the cows that follow Him. He lays His flute and sometimes He glances towards us and smiles.
Further she says, "He is so sweet and He is so loving, that His look and His smile penetrate our hearts. I wonder, how could I live without Him"
There are many verses about the Gopis' love and longing which relate to the meeting and separation with Krishn when He was on theearth planet, five thousand years ago. Thus, in two ways, Gopis experienced virah and milan, one in Bhavaveshand the other in person.