Lord Caitanya and Śrī Rādhā Vinod Bihārī, Mathurā-dhāma
(The Deity of Caitanya was donated by Srila Prabhupada to the Keshavji Mandir in 1958)
"Real love is described by Lord Caitanya. His love of God is being expressed in one verse, that āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu māṁ marma-hatāṁ karotu vā adarśanāt: (CC Antya 20.47) 'My Lord Kṛṣṇa, You embrace Me or trample Me down at Your feet. Whatever You like, You can do. And You make me brokenhearted by not being present before Me.' Because lover wants to see his lovable object. But if the lovable object does not come he becomes brokenhearted. So Lord Caitanya says, 'I am trying to see You, but You do not come. That's all right. I am brokenhearted, but still, I shall continue to love You. I cannot detract Myself from this love.' This is pure love. This is pure love. So Kṛṣṇa says, ye tu bhajanti māṁ bhaktyā. One who is, I mean to say, entrapped in such love affairs with God, don't think that God is forgotten. God is also thinking in that way. Although you do not see, but you see. Those who are advanced in spiritual consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they always see Kṛṣṇa, always see Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, as the devotee sees always Kṛṣṇa, similarly Kṛṣṇa also always sees that devotee. This is reciprocation. Although He is neutral... He says, 'I am neutral, but still, I cannot deviate Myself from My devotee. Who is always thinking of Me.' This is His admission."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York, December 19, 1966)
"Everyone, we are attached to the love of this material world, but we are all disappointed. From everyone's experience, you will find. Everyone is disappointed. Both sides, the lover and the beloved, both sides. You have got very good experience in this country. They marry, again they are divorced, because disappointed. So this is going on. Therefore our love has to be reposed to Kṛṣṇa. That is the recommendation of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, premā pumartho mahān. Pumartho. We want some achievement in this life. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, 'Achieve love of Godhead. That is the best...' Premā pumartho mahān. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for that purpose, how we can develop our love for Kṛṣṇa. The love is already there, but it is misplaced. Misplaced. Somebody is loving somebody, somebody is loving somebody, but it is misplaced. Real love, if it is executed for the service of the Lord, then our life is successful."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Washington DC, July 6, 1976)
"In the material world field, we love somebody for getting something in return. That is not love, pure love. Pure love is different. Pure love, as it is described by Lord Caitanya in the..., in His mood of Rādhārāṇī unto Kṛṣṇa: āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu māṁ marma-hatāṁ karotu vā (CC Antya 20.47, Śikṣāṣṭaka 8). This is love, Rādhārāṇī's, that 'You either embrace me or trample me down under Your feet, neglect me, or make me brokenhearted, not being present at any time throughout my life, life after life, it does not matter. Still I love You, unconditionally.' Mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ. That is real love. And that love is existing in everyone's heart."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, October 24, 1972)
"Just like gopīs, they did not try to understand Kṛṣṇa by jñāna, whether Kṛṣṇa is Bhagavān. No. They simply automatically developed—not automatically; by their previous good activities—acute love for Kṛṣṇa. They never tried to understand Kṛṣṇa, whether He is God.
When Uddhava tried to preach before them about jñāna they did not hear it very attentively. They simply absorbed in thought of Kṛṣṇa. That is the perfection of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Never mind Kṛṣṇa worship, but one loves Kṛṣṇa. And that is wanted. That is spontaneous. Real love means that. A lover does not consider what he is, the opposite party, what he is, whether he is rich man, whether he is educated man or educated.
There is no such consideration. Love is spontaneous. That is an example also. Similarly, love for Kṛṣṇa, that should be simply spontaneous, without any consideration. Āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām (CC Antya 20.47): 'Either You trample down under Your feet or embrace me, still, I love You.' That is love, that kind of love."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Surat, January 3, 1971)
"This is the only religion. If we become pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, then my love will be extended to everyone. Not only my society, but to everyone. It is not that 'This is my children; that is other's children.' All children. All human being. Not my countrymen—all other countrymen. Not only human being, but even animals also. That is sneha. It is not that 'I am safe, and let the animals be killed in the slaughterhouse.' No, that is not love. Love means for everyone. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Equality to all living entities. That is real love. That is real concern, Kṛṣṇa consciousness."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New Vrindaban, June 25, 1976)
"Real love can be achieved when it is exchanged with Kṛṣṇa, or God. Premā pum-artho mahān (Caitanya-mañjuṣa), that is the recommendation given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. That is the highest achievement, when we come on the loving platform with God. Then we are satisfied. Big, big political leaders in our country like Mahatma Gandhi, he loved his country so much. But the reward was that he was killed by his own men, by his countrymen. But this is not possible when the love is exchanged between God. Kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati (BG 9.31). A little love for God can save you from the greatest danger of life. That is real love.
And if you love Kṛṣṇa, then you can love with everyone. Just like we are spreading this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is out of love for Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise we would have sat down at home and loved Kṛṣṇa. Why you are trying to spread this love exchange to others? Because I know or we know that here in this material world, the so-called love exchange is frustrating, and people are being frustrated. So let him love Kṛṣṇa, then we'll be successful. This is our mission. Everyone has got loving propensity. So this child has now love for his mother, or the mother has got... But as soon as the child will grow, the love will finish; he will love somebody else. When he becomes young man, his love is transferred to somebody else. So here the so-called love is not permanent, but when you love Kṛṣṇa it is permanent exchange of loving humor or mellow. So that is required. Sai. It is called sai-bhava. Sai means permanent; it will never vanquish. You'll relish loving mellows eternally."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York, July 13, 1976)