sarveṣāṁ no vrajaukasām
nanda te tanaye ’smāsu
tasyāpy autpattikaḥ katham
dustyajaḥ — impossible to give up; ca — and; anurāgaḥ — loving affection; asmin — for Him; sarveṣām — on the part of all; naḥ — us; vraja-okasām — the residents of Vraja; nanda — dear Nanda Mahārāja; te — your; tanaye — for the son; asmāsu — toward us; tasya — on His part; api — also; autpattikaḥ — natural; katham — how.
Dear Nanda, how is it that we and all the other residents of Vraja cannot give up our constant affection for your son? And how is it that He is so spontaneously attracted to us?
The very word kṛṣṇa means “the all-attractive one.” The residents of Vṛndāvana could not give up their constant love (anurāga) for Lord Kṛṣṇa. Their attitude toward Him was not particularly theistic, because they were unsure whether He was God or not. But He attracted all their love precisely because as God He is the all-attractive person, the supreme object of our love.
The cowherd men also asked, “How is it that young Kṛṣṇa feels such constant love for us?” In fact the Supreme Lord loves all living beings, who are eternally His children. At the end of the Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Kṛṣṇa dramatically declares His affection for Arjuna and urges Arjuna to reciprocate that love by surrendering to Him. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, in His prayers to Lord Kṛṣṇa, states, etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ: “My Lord, You are so merciful toward Me, but I am so unfortunate that love for You has not awakened within Me.” (Śikṣāṣṭaka 2) In this statement Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu also uses the word anurāga. Our misfortune is that we cannot reciprocate the anurāga, or loving affection, that the Lord feels for us. Although we are infinitesimal and insignificant and the Lord is infinitely attractive, somehow we do not give Him our love. We must accept responsibility for this foolish decision, since to surrender to God or not is the essential expression of our free will.
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement provides an efficient, systematic program to help conditioned souls revive their original, blissful consciousness, which is love of God, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The intricacies of Kṛṣṇa consciousness are so wonderful that even Kṛṣṇa’s eternal associates, the residents of Vṛndāvana, are astonished by them, as shown by these verses.