Those who are serious about the knowledge of the transcendental world, which is far beyond the material cosmic creation, must approach a bona fide spiritual master to learn the science both directly and indirectly. One must learn both the means to approach the desired destination and the hindrances to such progress. The spiritual master knows how to regulate the habits of a neophyte disciple, and therefore a serious student must learn the science in all its aspects from him.
There are different grades and standards of prosperity. The standard of comfort and happiness conceived by a common man engaged in material labor is the lowest grade of happiness, for it is in relationship with the body. The highest standard of such bodily comfort is achieved by a fruitive worker who by pious activities reaches the plane of heaven, or the kingdom of the creative gods with their delegated powers. But the conception of comfortable life in heaven is insignificant in comparison to the happiness enjoyed in the impersonal Brahman, and this brahmānanda, the spiritual bliss derived from impersonal Brahman, is like the water in the hoofprint of a calf compared to the ocean of love of Godhead. When one develops pure love for the Lord, he derives an ocean of transcendental happiness from the association of the Personality of Godhead. To qualify oneself to reach this stage of life is the highest perfection.
One should try to purchase a ticket to go back home, back to Godhead. The price of such a ticket is one’s intense desire for it, which is not easily awakened, even if one continuously performs pious activities for thousands of lives. All mundane relationships are sure to be broken in the course of time, but once one establishes a relationship with the Personality of Godhead in a particular rasa, it is never to be broken, even after the annihilation of the material world.
One should understand, through the transparent medium of the spiritual master, that the Supreme Lord exists everywhere in His transcendental spiritual nature and that the living entities’ relationships with the Lord are directly and indirectly existing everywhere, even in this material world. In the spiritual world there are five kinds of relationships with the Supreme Lord—śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya and mādhurya. The perverted reflections of these rasas are found in the material world. Land, home, furniture and other inert material objects are related in śānta, or the neutral and silent sense, whereas servants work in the dāsya relationship. The reciprocation between friends is called sakhya, the affection of a parent for a child is known as vātsalya, and the affairs of conjugal love constitute mādhurya. These five relationships in the material world are distorted reflections of the original, pure sentiments, which should be understood and perfected in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. In the material world the perverted rasas bring frustration. If these rasas are reestablished with Lord Kṛṣṇa, the result is eternal, blissful life.
From this and the preceding three verses of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, which have been selected from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the missionary activities of Lord Caitanya can be understood. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has eighteen thousand verses, which are summarized in the four verses beginning with aham evāsam evāgre (53) and concluding with yat syāt sarvatra sarvadā (56). In the first of these verses (53) the transcendental nature of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is explained. The second verse (54) further explains that the Lord is detached from the workings of the material energy, māyā. The living entities, although parts and parcels of Lord Kṛṣṇa, are prone to be controlled by the external energy; therefore, although they are spiritual, in the material world they are encased in bodies of material energy. The eternal relationship of the living entities with the Supreme Lord is explained in that verse. The next verse (55) instructs that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by His inconceivable energies, is simultaneously one with and different from the living entities and the material energy. This knowledge is called acintya-bhedābheda-tattva. When an individual living entity surrenders to the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, he can then develop natural transcendental love for Him. This surrendering process should be the primary concern of a human being. In the next verse (56) it is said that a conditioned soul must ultimately approach a bona fide spiritual master and try to understand perfectly the material and spiritual worlds and his own existential position. Here the words anvaya-vyatirekābhyām, “directly and indirectly,” suggest that one must learn the process of devotional service in its two aspects: one must directly execute the process of devotional service and indirectly avoid the impediments to progress.