The Supreme can appear either as Shri Krishna, the impersonal Brahman or as the foundation of God’s abode. Bhaktas see this world and the formless Brahman as the foundation of His lila. Followers of the path of knoweldge see Brahman as truth, consciousness and bliss, transcending time, and place. Brahman is self-illuminating and beyond all material qualities.
The Lord also exists as the inner controller (the antar yami) who controls all things from within as well as the divinities which preside over the sun, earth and other heavenly bodies. The Brhdaranyaka Upanisada says, “Whoever governs this and other worlds as well as all creatures from within is the inner controller.” All incarnations appear from this inner controller and are partial manifestions of Shri Krishna.
God’s grace is the soul’s nourishment. Shri Vallabhacharya explains, “Pushti is Krishna’s grace and it nullifies the influence of time, action and nature.”

Grace can provide either mundane or divine fruit. Shri Vallabhacharya adds here, “Grace is a divine secret, yet it is proven because its effects are seen in the world.”

Grace refers to that which removes powerful obstacles and provides the realization of God’s feet. The Bhagavata explains, “As the Ganges flows incessantly towards the ocean, similarly our minds should flow constantly towards the Lord.” When we are pulled towards the ocean of Krishna awareness, that is a condition of grace.

Devotion that arises from grace is called Blessed Devotion wherin there is no desire for any reward other than the sincere wish to acquire the Lord as the fruit of life. The Bhagavata states, “Lovely Krishna alone is the reward for all those who possess eyes.”

Shri Vallabhacharya says in his Nibandha, “When the soul relies upon Krishna, it is a rule of canon, but when the Lord relies upon the soul, it is an exception of grace.”
The Bhagavata relates, “The residents of Vrindavan toiled all day long tending their cows and performing other pastoral chores. Exhausted from their day of work, they slept soundly throughout the night yet Shri Krishna allowed them entrance into His divine abode.” Their attainment was effortless and so this is yet another example of grace.
The Path of Grace is a fiery affair. Shri Krishna is known through grace, but responds to devout intensity. There must be mutual attraction. The Blessed Lord dances according to the natures of his inspired bhaktas. Shri Krishna is bound by the cords of their love. The divine exchange often arises with the guru’s intervention. He performs the marriage ceremony between the soul and God.
Bhaktas are distinguished by their bhava (their enlightened emotional perception). It is the realization of Brahman coupled with overwhelming love. Bhava touches essence. When oblivion is obliterated with bhava, the devotional spark becomes ablaze and consumes the soul’s binding karmas.

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