tapasā śraddhayā nityaṁ
bhaktyā ca hṛdi bhāvitaḥ
vriyatāṁ vara ity ukte
mādṛśo vāṁ vṛtaḥ sutaḥ
Twelve thousand years on the celestial planets is not a very long time for those who live in the upper planetary system, although it may be very long for those who live on this planet. Sutapā was the son of Brahmā, and as we have already understood from Bhagavad-gītā (8.17), one day of Brahmā equals many millions of years according to our calculation (sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ). We should be careful to understand that to get Kṛṣṇa as one’s son, one must undergo such great austerities. If we want to get the Supreme Personality of Godhead to become one of us in this material world, this requires great penance, but if we want to go back to Kṛṣṇa (tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna), we need only understand Him and love Him. Through love only, we can very easily go back home, back to Godhead. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore declared, premā pum-artho mahān: love of Godhead is the highest achievement for anyone.
As we have explained, in worship of the Lord there are three stages — jñāna, jñānamayī and rati, or love. Sutapā and his wife, Pṛśni, inaugurated their devotional activities on the basis of full knowledge. Gradually they developed love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and when this love was mature, the Lord appeared as Viṣṇu, although Devakī then requested Him to assume the form of Kṛṣṇa. To love the Supreme Personality of Godhead more, we want a form of the Lord like Kṛṣṇa or Rāma. We can engage in loving transactions with Kṛṣṇa especially.
In this age, we are all fallen, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead has appeared as Caitanya Mahāprabhu to bestow upon us love of Godhead directly. This was appreciated by the associates of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Rūpa Gosvāmī said:
nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
In this verse, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is described as mahā-vadānya, the most munificent of charitable persons, because He gives Kṛṣṇa so easily that one can attain Kṛṣṇa simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. We should therefore take advantage of the benediction given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and when by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra we are cleansed of all dirty things (ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam), we shall be able to understand very easily that Kṛṣṇa is the only object of love (kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet).
Therefore, one need not undergo severe penances for many thousands of years; one need only learn how to love Kṛṣṇa and be always engaged in His service (sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ). Then one can very easily go back home, back to Godhead. Instead of bringing the Lord here for some material purpose, to have a son or whatever else, if we go back home, back to Godhead, our real relationship with the Lord is revealed, and we eternally engage in our eternal relationship. By chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, we gradually develop our eternal relationship with the Supreme Person and thus attain the perfection called svarūpa-siddhi. We should take advantage of this benediction and go back home, back to Godhead. Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has therefore sung, patita-pāvana-hetu tava avatāra: Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared as an incarnation to deliver all fallen souls like us and directly bestow upon us love of Godhead. We must take advantage of this great benediction of the great Personality of Godhead.