Germany: July 8, 2007 – Part Two
Sadhana bhakti, the practice of devotion to Sri Krsna, is of two kinds – vaidhi-bhakti and raganuga-bhakti *[See Endnote 1].
What is vaidhi-bhakti?
yatra ragan avaptatvatNowadays, especially in European countries and in Russia, devotees think they are very ‘rasika’. *[See Endnote 2]. They want rasa (the taste of spiritual mellows). They want to go up to the top of the tree of prema at once. They only want madanakhya-bhava (the highest ecstatic devotional love, situated only in Srimati Radhika). They do not want to follow vaidhi-bhakti. They don’t like vaidhi-bhakti.
sa vaidha bhaktir ucyate
[“When there is no attachment or no spontaneous loving service to the Lord, and one is engaged in the service of the Lord simply out of obedience to the order of the spiritual master or in pursuance of the scriptures, such obligatory service is called vaidhi-bhakti.”
This idea is very dangerous, so be very careful about this. Those who have these ideas are nonsense sahajiya-vaisnavas.
We see some sahajiyas at Radha-kunda and in Vrndavana. They give what they call ‘siddha-deha’ to anyone – even to those who don’t know how to clean their hands after passing stool. Such sahajiyas have no knowledge at all; they are very foolish. They give their disciples the so called siddha-deha and tell them, “Now you are a manjari (maidservant) of Vrndavana. You are serving Radha and Krsna there.” Unqualified persons, those who accept this idea, have very beautiful young widowed ladies with them. They begin to artificially taste ‘parakiya-bhava’ with those ladies, (real parakiya-bhava is the paramour love between Sri Krsna and the gopis) and then they beget many children.
Do you understand the meaning? This is very dangerous. I have warned all my disciples – brahmacaris, sannyasis and all others – to be very careful of this.
Sri Krsna has explained to us about the natural tendency of this world, in all living beings, even in snakes, donkeys and monkeys. He has especially explained to Uddhava (in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 11) that the donkey is kicked by the hind legs of the she-donkey as he follows that she-donkey for sex-life.
The stool-eating pig is another example of uncontrolled sex indulgence, as is the she-goat and he-goat. Even when the male-goat is on his way to a slaughterhouse to be killed, if he sees any she-goat, he becomes shameless and wants to have sex with her. This is very amazing – he is having sex at the time of death.
We should be very careful of this – ladies should be careful regarding males, and males should be careful regarding ladies. Be careful of this.
When one has no raga (attachment to Krsna and absorption in His service), one may read from the scriptures that he should engage in bhakti to Krsna, and if he does not do this, he must go to hell. If one thus engages his mind in bhakti by this fear, his activity is called vaidhi-bhakti.
What is raga? What is the meaning of raga? Raga refers to the love for Krsna that is present in the residents of Goloka Vrndavana – in Subala and Sridama, in Nanda Baba and Yasoda Maiya, and especially in Lalita, Visakha and Srimati Radhika. Raga means ‘spontaneous attachment to Sri Krsna’. It is the love by which the Vrajavasis serve Krsna and control Him. This is raga, and the person who has this raga is called ragatmika.
One may develop greed to follow these ragatmika associates of Sri Krsna by hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam from a bona fide Guru or Vaisnava, and then desiring to serve Krsna like Subala, Sridama, and Madhumangala, or like Mother Yasoda.
nandah kim akarod brahmanWhat pious activities has Nanda Baba performed? How fortunate is Mother Yasoda! Krsna who is the Supreme Lord, drank milk from the breast of Mother Yasoda. Someone may want to serve Krsna like her, and more than that: like the gopis.
sreya evam mahodayam
yasoda va maha-bhaga
papau yasyah stanam harih
[“O brahmana, what pious activities did Nanda Maharaja perform by which he received the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna as his son, and what pious activities did mother Yasoda perform that made the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna call her "mother" and suck her breasts?”
Krsna told the gopis:
na paraye ’ham niravadya-samyujamKrsna considered, “I cannot repay the gopis, because they have left everything for Me. They have left their husbands and children, their wealth, and their interest in their body and their ornaments. They have left everything for Me.”
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalam
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
[“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.”
He told them, “I cannot leave anyone in the way you have left everyone for Me. I cannot repay you. You can only be paid by your own good qualities.”
Hearing this, the gopis replied, “O Krsna, You have accepted that You are indebted to us gopis. By telling us this, You have won and we are defeated.” (The gopis were trying to make Sri Krsna admit that He had done wrong by disappearing. Whereas Sri Krsna had deliberately introduced this ‘defect’ into his behavior just so that he would have to submit Himself before the gopis and apologize. However, the gopis realized that of the two moods, theirs to find Him guilty, and His to defer before the greatness of their love, Sri Krsna’s mood was sweeter and more loving. So the gopis were themselves defeated by Sri Krsna’s accepting defeat. This is the astonishing way of rasika-sekhara Sri Krsna. –ed)
The following verse reveals an even higher mood of devotion to Krsna:
anayaradhito nunamSrimati Radhika is the supreme beloved of Sri Krsna, as exemplified by the fact that He left all the gopis during the Rasa-dance and went away with Her. Surely She has pleased the Supreme Lord, by whose mercy Krsna is very happy with Her.
bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
prito yam anayad rahah
[“Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead.(Isvara). Therefore, Govinda was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place.”
If anyone claims to have greed for service to Srimati Radhika or service like the other Vrajavasis, there should be some symptoms visible If one actually sees or meets Srimati Radhika, he cannot remain in this world. Narada [at the stage of bhava-bhakti] saw only a glimpse of his Lord Narayana, and then the Lord disappeared and told him, “I never give my audience to those who are not pure.” So how is it possible that a conditioned soul will see Radhika?”
We should know all these truths.
sastroktaya prabalaya tat-tan-maryadayanvitaSrila Vallabhacarya has explained about devotional etiquette and regulations (maryada). Srimad-Bhagavatam gives us this instruction: sravanam (hearing), kirtanam (chanting), smaranam (remembering), pada-sevanam (serving the lotus feet), arcanam (worshipping), vandanam (praying), dasyam (becoming a servant), sakhyam (becoming a friend), atma-nivedanam (surrendering everything), constitute the nine limbs of vaidhi-bhakti.
vaidhi bhaktiriyam kaiscin maryada-marga ucyate
[“Devotional service governed by the rules and regulations of the scriptures is also called maryada-marga, or the reverential path of devotion, the path of serving the Lord in opulence, by different scholars (such as Vallabhacarya).”
(Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Purva-vibhaga 2.269)]
There are also five limbs of bhakti that are most important: sadhu-sanga (association with devotees), bhagavata-sravana (hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam), mathura-vasa (living in Mathura), nama-kirtana (chanting the holy name) and sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana (worshipping the deity with faith and veneration).
If we follow these without offense, we will attain prema-bhakti (pure transcendental love of Sri Krsna) very soon.
Bhava-bhakti is very high, as we can see by its symptoms:
ksantir avyartha-kalatvamSimply telling others, “I have greed,” will not do. If one says, “I don’t want to do any vaidhi-bhakti. There is no need to follow vaidhi-bhakti,” this is against sastra.
nama-gane sada rucih
ity adayo 'nubhavah syur
[“When the seed of ecstatic emotion for Krsna fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one's behavior: forgiveness, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment, absence of false prestige, hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord, attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides-that is, a temple or a holy place like Vrndavana. These are all called anubhava, subordinate signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed of love of God has begun to fructify.”
sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratra-vidhim vinaThose who don’t follow the rules and regulations of bhakti are completely independent and whimsical. They don’t want to follow. They don’t want to accept any inconveniences or suffering in the execution of vaidhi-bhakti. They want to jump at once to the top of the tree of bhakti. They want only Radha-dasyam and manjari-bhava (direct, personal service to Srimati Radhika in the secluded grove).
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate
[“Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, Puranas, Narada-pancaratra, etc., is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.”
Srila Rupa Gosvami has stated (from the srutis and smrti-sastras) that there are 64 limbs of bhakti, and the first ten limbs are especially important. First comes Gurupadasraya. One must first accept harinama-initiation, and then diksa-mantra initiation. One must learn how to do bhakti, and learn what is bhakti, what is not bhakti, what is sakama-bhakti (the performance of bhakti for the purpose of satisfying material desires), niskama-bhakti (the performance of bhakti without desires for material results), nirguna-bhakti (devotion that is unaffected by the qualities of material nature), uttama-bhakti (pure devotional service), aropa-siddha bhakti (activities which are not pure bhakti, but are designated as bhakti due to their being offered to the Supreme Lord), sanga-siddha bhakti (endeavors that are associated with, or favorable to the development of bhakti but are not of themselves purely composed of bhakti), svarupa-siddha bhakti (endeavors that are purely constituted of devotional service)
Aspiring devotees should know all these truths; otherwise they will perform bhakti which is actually not bhakti. Those who don’t want to follow these principles are stupid and nonsense. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja used these words; I am simply repeating his words.
So be very careful.
yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau.You wish to do bhakti to Krsna, but you must do bhakti to your Gurudeva first. You should think that Srila Gurudeva is a manifestation of Krsna Himself. Krsna is visaya-bhagavan (the supreme object and enjoyer of service) and Srila Gurudeva is asraya-bhagavan (the reservoir and provider of service to God).
tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah
[“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.”
(Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.23)]
saksad dharitvena samasta-sastrairIt is therefore stated:
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam
[“The spiritual master acting on the Supreme Lord’s behalf must be worshiped as being as good as the Supreme Lord, for he is the Lord’s most confidential servant in broadcasting the Lord’s message for the benefit of the conditioned souls involved in the material world.” (Sri Gurvastakam 7)]
yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadoThese bogus persons do not want to serve Srila Gurudeva. How will these foolish persons attain raganuga-bhakti? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu followed all the limbs of vaidhi-bhakti that are written about in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. He told Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami:
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ’pi
dhyayan stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam
[“By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krsna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master.”
(Sri Gurvastakam 8)]
sthira haiya ghare yao, na hao vatulaSrila Rupa Gosvami is Sri Rupa Manjari (in his form as a gopi), but outwardly he was following all the limbs of vaidhi-bhakti. Srila Rupa Gosvami is Sri Rupa Manjari (in his form as a gopi), but outwardly he was following all the limbs of vaidhi-bhakti. If, by the mercy of one’s qualified Guru, one has actual greed in his heart – if he is internally serving Krsna on the path of raganuga in his siddha-deha (his original, self-realized position) - he must be at the stage of rati. Real greed will manifest at that stage. Before this, a person has no real greed. In the name of greed, males will be attracted to ladies and the ladies will be attracted to men. This is very dangerous, for they will go to hell. They will not go to the transcendental world to be manjaris.
krame krame paya loka bhava-sindhu-kula
[“Be patient and return home. Don't be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence.”
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 16.237)]
antare nistha kara, bahye loka-vyavahara
acirat krsna tomaya karibe uddhara
[“Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Krsna will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of maya.”
(Caitanya-caritamrta. Madhya 16.239)]
You may have heard the verse:
bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syadSri Kavi – one of the nine Yogendras in conversation with Nimi Maharaja – is uttering the word ‘guru-devatatma’. We have come to this world because we have forgotten Krsna, and therefore we are always suffering. If one wants to cross over all the miseries of material existence, he must first serve Srila Gurudeva, who is served through his teachings. First serve Guru and then Krsna. This principle is also true regarding the performance of arcana, Deity worship – one first worships Guru, and then Krsna.
isad apetasya viparyayo ’smrtih
tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam
[“Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is affected by the potency of illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshipable deity and as his very life and soul.”
Without serving Guru, we cannot enter into the realm of bhakti. Do not be desperate (impatient to jump ahead) like the persons who say that they have seen Srimati Radhika. These are bogus persons. If one actually sees the transcendental form of Krsna, he will leave his body at once and go to Vrndavana, Vraja-mandala, in his transcendental siddha-deha (spiritually perfected) body, and he will serve Krsna there.
Always be careful in this regard. The people who deny the importance of observing vaidhi-bhakti do not want to follow. You must first follow vaidhi-bhakti. If you read Sri Caitanya-caritamrta under the guidance of a rasika vaisnava, your vaidhi-bhakti will automatically turn into raganuga-bhakti. This is the process.
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.149: “The original inhabitants of Vrndavana are attached to Krsna spontaneously in devotional service. Nothing can compare to such spontaneous devotional service, which is called ragatmika bhakti. When a devotee follows in the footsteps of the devotees of Vrndavana, his devotional service is called raganuga bhakti.”
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.152: “Thus devotional service which consists of raga is called ragatmika, spontaneous loving service. If a devotee covets such a position, he is considered to be most fortunate.”
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.153: “If one follows in the footsteps of the inhabitants of Vrndavana out of such transcendental covetousness, he does not care for the injunctions or reasonings of sastra. That is the way of spontaneous love.”
“Raga is the unquenchable loving thirst (prema-mayi trsna) for the object of one’s affection, which gives rise to spontaneous and intense absorption (svarasiki paramavistata) in that object. Ragamayi bhakti is the performance of seva, such as stringing garlands, with such intense raga.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.272)
“Raga is the absolute (parama) and undivided (svarasiki) absorption (avistata) in one’s own particular object of worship. When devotion to Krsna comes to the stage of ragamayi, it is called ragatmika-bhakti. In summary, it can be said that intense hankering for Krsna that is saturated with prema (prema-mayi) is called ragatmika-bhakti.
It is auspicious that a person in whose heart such raga has not arisen should strive to cultivate such bhakti by behaving according to vidhi (the rules and regulations of sastra). The principles at work in vaidhi-bhakti are fear, respect and reverence, whereas the only principle at work in ragatmika-bhakti is lobha, or greed, in relation to Sri Krsna’s lila.)”
In his Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture in Vrndavana on November 12, 1972, Srila Prabhupada said: “So you have to uncover. You have to discover. That discovering process is devotional service. The more you are engaged in devotional service, the more your senses become pure or uncovered. And when they are completely uncovered, without any designation, then you are capable to serve Krsna.
“This is apprenticeship. Vaidhi-bhakti, that is apprenticeship. Real bhakti, para-bhakti, that is raganuga-bhakti. This raganuga-bhakti, we have to come to it after surpassing the vaidhi-bhakti. In the material world, if we do not try to make further and further progress in devotional service, if we are simply sticking to the sastric regulation process and do not try to go beyond that… sastric process is regulation. That is required. Without sastric process you cannot go to that platform. But if we stick to the sastric process only and do not try to improve ourselves … The sastric process is kanistha-adhikari, lowest stage of devotinal service.”]
Rasika means ‘one who is expert in relishing rasa.’ Who is really rasika?
An excerpt from ‘Gaudiya Vaisnavism versus Sahajiyaism, Part 1:
“In his book Jaiva-dharma, for advanced devotees, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has described all the principles and practices of bhakti, up to the attainment of one’s siddha-deha. There he explained eleven items of perfection (siddha-deha): siddha-sambandha, siddha-vayasa, siddha-nama, siddha-rupa, siddha-yutha, siddha-vesa, siddha-vasa, seva, parakasthasvasa and palya-dasi-bhava. He discusses this, however, in the next to the last chapter - not in the beginning.
“One of the principle personalities in Jaiva-dharma is Sri Raghunatha dasa Babaji, the spiritual master of Vijaya-kumara. Sri Babaji taught these principles to Vijaya-kumara when his disciple was advanced in Krsna-consciousness and free from all anarthas and material desires. Vijaya-kumara had been chanting and remembering Krsna twenty-four hours a day on the shore of the ocean of Jagannatha Puri. In fact the ocean reminded him of Krsna, the ocean of rasa. Vijaya-kumara had understood and realized the meaning of bhava, anubhava, sattvika and vyabhicari. He also realized in what proportion they should be mixed with one’s sthayi-bhava (eternal mood of service to Krsna) to become bhakti-rasa. He had become truly humble - trnad api sunicena, taror api sahisnuna, amanina manadena, and he was on the stage of bhavavasta (bhava-bhakti).
“Menaka and other Apsaras, celestial goddesses, who are more beautiful than any eartly woman, cannot disturb the Krsna consciousness of a person like Srila Haridasa Thakura. Yet, even Srila Haridasa Thakura himself was not engaged in the advanced practices of devotees in the Gosvami line like Vijay-kumara. We have never seen or heard in any scripture that he was engaged like this. Only devotees like Srila Rupa, Srila Sanatana and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvamis were following all of these principles. It is by following them that our entire line of disciplic succession has continued in the same way down to the present day.
“A devotee must become mature in bhakti before he can fully comprehend our disciplic acaryas. He must come to the stage of sraddha, then sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya, anartha nivrtti, nistha, ruci, and asakti. At the stage of bhava when there is no scent of desire for sense gratification, when he is quite free from all material thoughts and habits, his siddha-deha will automatically manifest.”
What is real siddha-deha?
An excerpt from ‘Gaudiya Vaisnavism versus Sahajiyaism, Part 1:
The Eight Stages of Devotional Service
“When will siddha-deha come? Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained this in his book Bhajana-rahasya. There he discusses Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Siksastakam which expresses the eight stages of maturity in devotional service. He writes that first one will have to do bhajana of:
ceto-darpana-marjanam:“This sloka of Sri Siksastakam is actually fully realized after the stage of asakti.
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam
[“Let there be supreme victory for the chanting of the holy name of Sri Krsna alone, which cleanses the mirror of the heart and completely extinguishes the blazing forest fire of material existence. Sri-krsna-sankirtana diffuses the soothing moon rays of bhava which causes the white lotus of good fortune for the jivas to bloom. The holy name is the life and soul of transcendental knowledge, which is here compared to a wife. It continuously expands the ocean of transcendental bliss, enabling one to taste complete nectar at every step. The holy name of Sri Krsna thoroughly cleanses and cools the self, one’s nature and determination, as well as the body, both internal and external.”
“The next sloka is namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis:
namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis“This sloka represents the stages of sadhu-sanga and anartha-nivrtti - that is, removal of anarthas by association with devotees. At present our chanting of Krsna’s name is not pure. It may sometimes be namabhasa or namaparadha. Pure nama will appear on our tongue when we become pure ourselves. At that time the quality of trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna will manifest automatically:
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah
[“O Bhagavan! Your holy name bestows all auspiciousness upon the living entities. Therefore, for the benefit of the jivas, You eternally manifest Your innumerable names, such as Rama, Narayana, Krsna, Mukunda, Madhava, Govinda, Damodara, and so on. You have invested those names with all the potencies of Your respective personal forms. Out of causeless mercy, You have not even imposed any restrictions on the chanting and remembrance of such names as is the case with sandhya-vandana, which must be chanted only at specified times of the day. In other words, at any time of the day or night, the holy name can be chanted and remembered.This is the provision You have made. O Lord! This is Your causeless mercy upon the living entities. Nonetheless, I am so unfortunate due to committing offenses that I have not awoken any attachment for Your holy name, which is so easily accessible and bestows all good fortune.” (Sri Siksastaka, 2)]
trnad api sunicena“This sloka represents nistha, firm faith, when one’s chanting will not be just for ‘show’.
taror api sahisnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
[“Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass which has been trampled beneath everyone’s feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others according to their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Sri Hari.”
(Sri Siksastaka, 3)]
na dhanam na janam na sundarim“This sloka represents ruci, a taste for bhajana.
kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
[“O Jagadisa! I do not desire wealth, followers such as wife, sons, friends and relatives, or mundane knowledge expressed in poetic language. My only desire, O Pranesvara, is that birth after birth I may have ahaituki-bhakti unto Your lotus feet.”
(Sri Siksastaka, 4)]
“When we properly practice in good association, everything will develop automatically. We will then realize the fifth sloka:
ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram“It is at this stage that one’s siddha-deha begins to manifest. This sloka represents asakti, or attachment to Krsna.
patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-
[“O Nanda-nandana! Please be merciful upon me, your eternal servant, fallen in the dreadful ocean of material existence as a result of my fruitive actions. Please consider me as a particle of dust affixed to Your lotus feet and accept me forever as your purchased servant.”
(Sri Siksastaka, 5)]
“After the stage of asakti, when tears flow continuously, one feels purva-raga, the intense mood of separation experienced before meeting Krsna. As the devotee chants, he will think, “O Krsna, I cannot live without You, O Srimati Radhika, I cannot live without You. When will You give me your darsana?” When he is weeping twenty-four hours daily, rolling on the earth, then nayanam galad-asru-dharaya:
nayanam galad-asru-dharaya“This sloka represents the stage of bhava - at which time the siddha-deha manifests automatically. From where does the siddha-deha come? It is in our svarupa, our original spiritual form. Our siddha-deha does not come from anywhere outside ourselves. In our svarupa everything is perfect. To realize this, we simply require a connection with svarupa-sakti. When that connection is made, siddha-deha automatically manifests and all spiritual sentiments of love appear in our heart.”
vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada,
tava nama-grahane bhavisyati
[“O Prabhu! When will my eyes be filled with a stream of tears? When will my voice choke up? And when will the hairs of my body stand erect in ecstacy as I chant Your holy name.”
(Sri Siksastaka, 6)]
*ENDNOTE 4 – excerpt form Jaiva-dharma, chapter 21:
“When materialistic people are in contact with the objects of the senses, they naturally become deeply attached to an endless variety of material sense enjoyment. This intense attachment in the heart is called visaya-raga. When they glance upon some beautiful object, the eyes become restless, and in the heart, there is an attraction (ranjakata) towards the object of beauty and attachment (raga) to it. Raga-bhakti is the state in which Krsna becomes the sole object of raga.
Srila Rupa Gosvami has defined the word raga in the following way:
iste svarasiki ragah paramavistata bhavet“Raga is the absolute (parama) and undivided (svarasiki) absorption (avistata) in one’s own particular object of worship. When devotion to Krsna comes to the stage of ragamayi, it is called ragatmika-bhakti. In summary, it can be said that intense hankering for Krsna that is saturated with prema (prema-mayi) is called ragatmika-bhakti.
tan-mayi ya bhaved bhaktih satra ragatmikodita
[“Raga is the unquenchable loving thirst (prema-mayi trsna) for the object of one’s affection, which gives rise to spontaneous and intense absorption (svarasiki paramavistata) in that object. Ragamayi bhakti is the performance of seva, such as stringing garlands, with such intense raga.”
It is auspicious that a person in whose heart such raga has not arisen should strive to cultivate such bhakti by behaving according to vidhi (the rules and regulations of sastra). The principles at work in vaidhi-bhakti are fear, respect and reverence, whereas the only principle at work in ragatmika-bhakti is lobha, or greed, in relation to Sri Krsna’s lila.
Editorial advisors: Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja, Sripad Brajanath dasa and Sri Prema Prayojana dasa
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Janaki dasi
Proof-reader: Krsna-kamini dasi
Photos courtesy of Sunanda dasa
HTML: Bhutabhavana dasa