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Everything posted by raga

  1. The example of the exquisite mental service rendered by Nrsimhananda Brahmacari is also very famous (Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 1.155-159): * * * * * * * * * * * * vRndAvana yAbena prabhu zuni' nRsiMhAnanda patha sAjAila mane pAiyA Ananda When Sri Nrsimhananda Brahmacari heard that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would go to Vrndavana, he became very pleased and mentally began decorating the way there. kuliyA nagara haite patha ratne bAndhAila nivRnta puSpa-zayyA upare pAtila First Nrsimhananda Brahmacari contemplated a broad road starting from the city of Kuliya. He bedecked the road with jewels, upon which he then laid a bed of stemless flowers. pathe dui dike puSpa-bakulera zreNI madhye madhye dui-pAze divya puSkariNI He decorated both sides of the road with bakula flower trees, and at intervals on both sides he placed lakes of a transcendental nature. ratna-bAGdhA ghATa, tAhe praphulla kamala nAnA pakSi-kolAhala, sudhA-sama jala These lakes had bathing places constructed with jewels, and they were filled with blossoming lotus flowers. There were various birds chirping, and the water was exactly like nectar. zItala samIra vahe nAnA gandha laJA 'kAnAira nATazAlA' paryanta la-ila bAndhiJA The entire road was surcharged with many cool breezes, which carried the fragrances from various flowers. He carried the construction of this road as far as Kanai Natasala. * * * * * * * * * * * * [This message has been edited by raga (edited 05-01-2002).]
  2. This process of mental service is also authorized by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (Caitanya Caritamrta, Antya-lila, 6.237): amAnI mAnada haJA kRSNa-nAma sadA la?be vraje rAdhA-kRSNa-sevA mAnase karibe "Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krishna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana."
  3. I would like to present another well known and successful account of imagination. This is from the commentary of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on the 7th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter 5, verses 23-24. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * "In the city of Pratisthana-pura, long ago, there resided a brahmana who was poverty-stricken but innocent and not dissatisfied. One day he heard a discourse in an assembly of brahmanas concerning how to worship the Deity in the temple. In that meeting, he also heard that the Deity may be worshiped within the mind. After this incident, the brahmana, having bathed in the Godavari River, began mentally worshiping the Deity. He would wash the temple within his mind, and then in his imagination he would bring water from all the sacred rivers in golden and silver waterpots. He collected all kinds of valuable paraphernalia for worship, and he worshiped the Deity very gorgeously, beginning from bathing the Deity and ending with offering arati. Thus he felt great happiness. After many years had passed in this way, one day within his mind he cooked nice sweet rice with ghee to worship the Deity. He placed the sweet rice on a golden dish and offered it to Lord Krsna, but he felt that the sweet rice was very hot, and therefore he touched it with his finger. He immediately felt that his finger had been burned by the hot sweet rice, and thus he began to lament. While the brahmana was in pain, Lord Visnu in Vaikuntha began smiling, and the goddess of fortune inquired from the Lord why He was smiling. Lord Visnu then ordered His associates to bring the brahmana to Vaikuntha. Thus the brahmana attained the liberation of samipya, the facility of living near the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
  4. Would you define the niyamas of bhakti yoga to be followed according to bhakti-sastra, as you see it?
  5. I'm afraid it is the other way around. You have not understood what I am presenting, and you are objecting to something I have not said. Read on. Was it ever said that the sadhana of asta-kaliya-lila smarana is superior to siddhi? The point I am making is that nama-sankirtana and lila-smarana go together. According to Srila Rupa Gosvami (Upadesamrta, 8), the essence of all instructions is the following: <center>tan-nAma-rUpa-caritAdi-sukIrtanAnu- smRtyoH krameNa rasanA-manasI niyojya tiSThan vraje tad-anurAgi janAnugAmI kAlaM nayed akhilam ity upadeza-sAram</center> "Living in Vraja and following in the wake of those who possess natural attachment to Him, one should engage all of his time in sequentially engaging his tongue and his mind in the beautiful glorification of the name, form, characteristics and pastimes of Sri Krishna. This is the essence of all instructions." This is the essence. As was earlier pointed out, they are not another path of sadhana, they are an aspect in the same path of sadhana. Of course it is a mistake. Sadhana is sadhana and siddhi is siddhi. Did anyone advocate anything different? The quote above shows it very clearly that you are not actually responding to what I have presented about the path of raganuga, siddha-pranali and lila-smarana. It shows that you are responding to what some antagonist falsely presented as the view of those who are engaged in lila-smarana and related practices, such as the giving of siddha-pranali. As you said, " I am saying that there is the idea being promulgated," May I ask, who is promulgating this idea? I am not. None of the points you are defeating were presented by me, nor indeed by anyone in this thread. It would be appropriate if you would mention against whose conceptions you are arguing. Yes. Therefore these pastimes are to be contemplated upon in sequence -- first the sankirtan pastimes of Mahaprabhu, and then the pastimes of Radha-Krishna. The pastimes of Radha-Krishna naturally follow Mahaprabhu's absorption in Vraja-bhava in his pastimes. This is the path prescribed in all the prominent Gutikas we see. Oh, and to conclude with -- all of this goes together with nama-sankirtana, in case it was not clear from the above. [This message has been edited by raga (edited 04-30-2002).]
  6. I should have added -- in the place where the Gaudiyas are heading, Sri Krishna eternally manifests in the form of a nava-kisora, and they only experience his other forms during the prakata-lila, though of course a remembrance of all of His life is drawn on the canvas of their memories during aprakata-lila as well. Forgive me for this particular Gaudiya bias. I tend to forget that not everyone in IndiaDivine has taken the path of Mahaprabhu.
  7. <center>ye yathA mAM prapadyante tAMs tathaiva bhajAmy aham mama vartmAnuvartante manuSyAH pArtha sarvazaH</center> "O son of Pritha, as all surrender to me, I certainly reciprocate accordingly. Everyone follows my path in all respects." (Bhagavad-gita 4.11) <center>tvaM bhakti-yoga-paribhAvita-hRt-saroja Asse zrutekSita-patho nanu nAtha puMsAm yad-yad-dhiyA ta urugAya vibhAvayanti tat-tad-vapuH praNayase sad-anugrahAya</center> "O Master, those who are fully absorbed bhakti-yoga, they see You through their ears (by hearing about you), and You reside on the lotus of their heart. On whichever of your multiglorious forms they especially meditate on you, in this very same form you manifest Yourself to them in your kindness." (Srimad Bhagavata, 3.9.11)
  8. I was going to mention this one, but couldn't find the source of the pastime. At any rate, the way we've heard and read it is that it was Sri Krishna who crawled to the cradle of Radhaji. I would like to note that it is not only seemingly, but very evidently presented by many prominent Gaudiya acaryas of the past, beginning from Srila Rupa Gosvami himself. As for the Pusti-margis, their upasana does not lead to the same section of Goloka Vrindavan as the Gaudiyas' do, to Vraja. Nor do the Nimbarkis, they say it themselves, although they worship Radha-Krishna Yugal. The spiritual sky has many dimensions, it is broad enough to accommodate each upasaka according to their preference, but the place where the ones who follow the Gaudiya path of upasana go, there Sri Krishna is nitya-kisora; this is Vraja.
  9. In aprakata-lila, Sri Radha and Krishna are nitya-nava-kisora and kisori. Other ages are manifest in the prakata-lila. Viz. Govinda-lilamrta and Krishna-Bhavanamrta, in the eternal daily pastimes of Goloka Vraja, the son of Yasoda is a youngster of fifteen years of age. The form of Bala-Krishna and his other forms are understood to manifest in the prakata-lila. Radhastami is two weeks after Krishna Janmastami. But this does not solve the question of the year of Their birth. So -- references please for the idea that in prakata-lila, Sri Radha is older than Sri Krishna. [This message has been edited by raga (edited 04-29-2002).]
  10. According to the Paddhati of Dhyanacandra Gosvami (he refers to Brhad-gautamiya-tantra), the eternal ages (in nitya-lila) of Sri Radha and Sri Krishna are as follows: Sri Radha: 14 years, 2 months, 15 days Sri Krishna: 15 years, 9 months, 7 days In other words, Sri Krishna is older than Radha, not the other way around. It would create an awkward situation of rasa if it was so. In his commentary on Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada gives the following course of Krishna's age and his pastimes: Gokula Mahavana: Birth - 3 years 4 months Vrindavan, Raman Reti: 3 years 4 months - 6 years 8 months Nandagram: 6 years 8 months - 10 years 7 months At the age of 10 years, 7 months, on the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra, Sri Krishna left to Mathura. Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada further explains that He stayed in Mathura until the age of 28 years, four months, and then moved over to Dvaraka. In the Vaisnava Tosani commentary on the Srimad Bhagavata, Sanatana Gosvami explains that Sri Krishna went to visit Vraja for two months after the killing of Dantavakra and Salva, and thereafter concluded His Vrindavana pastimes, mounting on a chariot to reach Dvaraka again. In regards to His age during the Rasa-lila, we find the following in the Krishna-book, chapter 29: "It appears from the statements of Srimad-Bhagavatam that Krishna had to wait another year for such a moon [saradiya purnima] before enjoying the rasa dance with the gopis. At the age of seven years He lifted Govardhana Hill. Therefore the rasa dance took place during His eighth year." However, we should understand in this regard that the ages of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna and the gopis do not correspond to the regular growth of people; indeed, reading the Gita-govinda of Jayadeva, it is obvious that the Rasa-dance is not a pastime of eight-year old boys and girls, but rather that of adolescents. Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada explains in the context of SB 10.45.3: "The three years and four months that Lord Krishna stayed in Mahavana were the equivalent of five years for an ordinary child, and thus in that period He completed His kaumara stage of childhood. The period from then to the age of six years and eight months, during which He lived in Vrndavana, constitutes His paugaana stage. And the period from the age of six years and eight months through His tenth year, during which time He lived in Nandisvara [Nandagrama], constitutes His kaisora stage. Then, at the age of ten years and seven months, on the eleventh lunar day of the dark fortnight of the month of Caitra, He went to Mathura, and on the fourteenth day thereafter He killed Kamsa. Thus He completed His kaisora period at age ten, and He eternally remains at that age. In other words, we should understand that from this point on the Lord remains forever a kisora." I hope this helps.
  11. More on ekadasa-bhava just in case the earlier explanation didn't make it clear; from Dhyanacandra's paddhati. http://raganuga.org/cgi-bin/raga/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=4;t=13;st=0
  12. Well, if people come and ask me for a spiritual path, that's what I present to them (of course according to their eligibility), because that's what I know and that's what I like. If they go elsewhere, they will learn about another path. Let them practice whatever fits them. Whether Gaudiya Vaishnava or anything else, it is a scary idea that there are people who are unable to tolerate forms of spirituality different from theirs.
  13. Why not? He said, "you can imagine", "it becomes real". You don't like it? Oh, I will create a very beautiful place in my heart, and I will imagine and fantasize that I am rendering all kinds of exquisite and wonderful services! And one day, when Radha and Syama recognize desires, They will appear in this very beautiful mandir I have prepared for Them, and accept all the service I have imagined and fantasized about, longing to please Them... And it becomes real! Isn't this wonderful?! Who will stop me, who will prevent me from doing this? Can you? Yes, Bhaktivinoda, like pretty much all the other Gaudiya acaryas of the past, were keen of sharing their understanding of the methods of sadhan with others. Perhaps you might want to follow in the footsteps of Bhaktivinoda, observing that the audience here is inclined towards these traditional methods of meditation, and stop trying to convince us about its not being the approved path of the acaryas? For the record, lila-smarana and nama-kirtana go together. Not that one or the other only. This is the way it has always been for the serious practitioners of raganuga. You can disagree all you want, but it does not change the history of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition and its practices. I would like to add that acaryas of both past and present have spoken, do speak and will continue to speak about these certain techniques of meditation. And I would like to add that there is no record of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's stating that He does not support the idea that we should not adopt the methods of sadhana taught by the acaryas. Interestingly enough, according to Bhaktivinoda, He does state the following in the 15th chapter of Harinama Cintamani, having first heard from Haridasa about these techniques of meditation taught by the acaryas of the past: zuna haridAsa ei lIlA saMgopane vizva andhakAra karibeka duSTa jane sei kAle tomAra e caramopadeza avaziSTa sAdhu-jane bujhibe vizeSa ei tattva nAmAzraye niSkiJcana jana nirjane basiyA kRSNa karibe bhajana "Listen Hari Das, when these pastimes of Mine become invisible to the world, wicked people will again plunge the world back into darkness. When that happens, these final instructions you have given will remain to inspire the few saintly people who remain. The dispossessed devotee will take shelter of this teaching and the Holy Name, and sitting in a secluded place, will worship Lord Krishna." To conclude with, I would like to announce to everyone that it may so happen that upon reading the next posting of Shivaji in this regard I become so overwhelmed that perhaps I will no longer be able to respond. [This message has been edited by raga (edited 04-26-2002).]
  14. Please name these authorized gurus -- I asked alredy earlier, what is the source of your philosophy? You can't just make a general reference to "shastra and acaryas' writings". You'll have to be more specific. Quote a verse. Then we'll lend an ear to your opinion on raganuga. In other words, the path advocated and practiced by for instance Bhaktivinoda is of a lower quality. Do you think like this? As we have received the path through our parampara, so we practice and present. What is your line? (I am asking to understand what is the line of mahajanas who teach like this, I can't just take it on your authority.) May I ask, how much are you acquainted with the concept of lila-smarana and its techniques? Its intention is not just to "purify the consciousness". If you read my first post on this thread, you'll see that nama-kirtana comes first to purify the consciousness, lila-smarana is not used for that. This "fantasy" becomes real. Even Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta taught this. See: >> You can imagine that "In my heart I have placed now a very diamond throne, and Krsna is sitting." That is accepted. It is... Actually it becomes. Even within the mind you think that "I have kept one diamond throne, very costly throne, because Krsna is coming. He will sit down here," that is not false. That is a fact. So you create such situation within your heart. "Now Krsna has seated. Let me wash His feet with the Ganges water, Yamuna water. Now I change His dress to a first-class costly garments. Then I decorate with ornaments. Then I give Him for eating." You can simply think of this. This is meditation. Svantah-sthena gadabhrta. It is so nice thing. Anywhere you can sit down and think that Krsna is sitting in your heart and you are receiving in so nice way. They are not false. They are also fact. It is so easy. << ============ Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture 1.13.10 -- Geneva, June 1, 1974 The meditation becomes real, it becomes one with the spiritual reality we aspire for. I suggest you check Jagadananda's translation of Bhaktivinoda's Harinam Cintamani, chapter fifteen to get a grasp of the systematic path of raganuga sadhana bhajana. Here: http://raganuga.org/cgi-bin/raga/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=6;t=4 .
  15. Rati didn't say you said he said it. OK, we agree. The masses need something different. How about -- nama-kirtan, prasadam, some simple Vedantic truths? A happy religious life, some little puja? Like most people who follow the family guru - Gosvamis in India; they don't jump into the esotera. They're "around". And in the course of time, the masses refine into the classes, and some are actually qualified and eager to take up the refined, esoteric practices, and.... they actually become successful. manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye yatatam api siddhanam kascin mam vetti tattvatah bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah How about that to begin with in our series of simple Vedantic truths? And now everybody out there, all together, Haraye Namah Krishna Yadavaya Namah Gopal Govinda Ram Sri Madhusudan Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare And bake some potatoes and cook some rice, place them in front of a picture of Krishna, and say, "Please Krishna take this offering of mine", and wait a few minutes, and then partake of the Lord's prasadam. And live a happy religious life!
  16. Having said all that, what's your substitute for us who try to practice the impractical path of raganuga bhajana? Do you have a path to offer, or do we join the club of armchair philosophers in the end?
  17. The essence of the session is now hijacked. The evidence: http://raganuga.org/cgi-bin/raga/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=1&t=14 I believe we have a broader audience of raganuga there.
  18. Could you kindly provide reference for this? For all I can recall, Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommends sadhana left and right to everyone. Read his teachings on sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana in the Madhya-lila. For the record, Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami spent sixteen years with Mahaprabhu in Puri, in his close association. Mahaprabhu was very fond of Raghunatha?s strict adherence to sadhana. Moreover, it is well known that Mahaprabhu Himself played the role of a sadhaka! Besides, Mahaprabhu left the task of establishing the path of proper practice for His followers to the Gosvamis. If you wish to advocate a path other than that of the Gosvamis, please let us know the lineage through which this path has descended to you.
  19. Shiva, thanks for the helping hand in clarifying the whole thing for us, but... where did you learn this philosophy of yours? Have you studied Caitanya Caritamrta and Raga-vartma-candrika? If not, please study at your early convenience and then get back to clarifying the situation on raganuga-bhakti. For the record, it is ragatmika-bhakti which exists in the hearts of the residents of the transcendental realm, and devotion following in the wake of their devotion is called raganuga. Raganuga is devotion in the stage of practice. Please do study CC and RVC to get the basics together -- as your first project please.
  20. During the "eight phases" of the day, the sadhaka contemplates on the daily pastimes of Radha-Krishna and participates according to her service. Have a look at Rupa Gosvami's Sri Sri Radha-Krishnayor Asta-kaliya-lila-smarana-manga-stotram to get an outline of what is going on at each time. http://raganuga.org/meditations.html > Asta-kaliya-lila . Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has elaborately described the asta-kaliya-lila in his Govinda-lilamrta, using these verses as the basis, and also Visvanatha Cakravarti has compiled his Krishna Bhavanamrta to aid the sadhakas' meditation. Later, Siddha Krishnadasa also compiled the Gaura-Govinda-Lilamrta-Gutika, where he combined the asta-kaliya-lila of Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna into one book. You'll get a basic idea of the daily meditation from Dhyanacandra's paddhati available at http://raganuga.org/literature.html , translated by Haricaranadasa. It is a fact that complete absorption in raganuga-bhajana is not very easy in the West. It is not for nothing that the Gosvamis have advised, "tisthan vraje", "kuryad vasam vraje sada", "mathura-vase" etc. in their writings. Not that our time in the West is all good for nothing, that's not what I am saying, but it is a different thing to be on the banks of Radhakund or on the foot of Govardhan, surrounded by stimulus for Radha-Krishna-smarana, without any other engagements.
  21. Of course not. But let us not forget the ambition to do it some day in the future. I suggest you go to Radhakund, for instance, looking for them. I'm not saying they may not be out there in the cyberspace, but given that Rupa Gosvamipada recommends living in Vraja instead of living in the cyberspace for raganuga sadhakas, Vraja might be a better location for a serious search. You are cordially invited. We have a thread called "Raganuga Tradition, the Western World", opened with the following sentence of Ananga, and waiting for contributions. "What we need to do here is brainstorm to come up with some good ideas of how to present the raganuga tradition accurately to the Western world (the Indians are already going to be able to relate to it inherently) and without alienating them." http://raganuga.org/cgi-bin/raga/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=2&t=14 Feel free to start new threads on any Raganuga topic as well. _ _ _ _ _ _ PS. Is it that this server is so bogged down with traffic that sometimes I get "Connection Timed Out" several times before being able to post, or is the IndiaDivine server the only one to which I can't properly connect?
  22. "Siddha-pranali" literally means "the channel of the perfected". It is a succession of spiritual bodies from the associates of Caitanya Mahaprabhu down to the present-day gurus. Siddha-pranali, along with Guru-pranali (succession of gurus in sadhaka-deha) is often revealed to the serious disciple at the time of diksa (initiation) to aid his bhajana. At the time of giving siddha-pranali, the guru reveals to the disciple his (the guru's) own ekadasa-bhava (eleven sentiments), as well as those of his predecessors in the diksa-parampara, and finally also that of the disciple. This connects the disciple into an eternal allegiance of servanthood in the spiritual realm, and it is through this channel of associates of Sri Radha-Krishna that the sadhaka then renders his service. The following is a description of ekadasa-bhava (the eleven sentiments): (1) sambandha (a specific relationship with Radharani in Vrindavan), (2) vayas (age, such as 12 years, 6 months, 10 days), (3) nAma (a name, such as Kamala Manjari), (4) rUpa (bodily appearance, usually expressed in terms of bodily hue, such as the color of lightning), (5) yUtha-praveza (entry into a particular group under the command of one of Radharani?s intimate friends, such as Lalita), (6) veSa (a dress of a particular style and color), (7) AjnA (instruction), (8) vAsa-sthAna (a place of residence, such as Bhaktivinoda?s Svananda-sukhada Kunj), (9) sevä (a specific service, such as providing the Divine Couple with camphor), (10) parAkASThA (the ambition to attain a particular blessing, such as being directly asked to do something by Sri Rupa Manjari), (11) pAlya-dAsI-bhAva (the mood of a completely dependent maidservant, under the tutelage of one of Radharani?s sakhis)." (The examples given above are of the ekadasa-bhava of Kedarnath Datta Bhaktivinoda, as he received them from his diksa-guru, Vipin Vihari Gosvami.) The practice of getting acquainted with one's siddha-deha and actually realizing it (svarupa-siddhi) generally passes over two stages of practice, mantramayi-upasana and svarasiki-upasana. Pandit Anantadasji explains in his commentary to Raga-vartma-candrika (1.11): "In the sadhaka-body, which is the present body, as well as in the siddha-rupa, which is the mentally conceived spiritual body which is suitable for direct service to Them, or the Guru-given manjari-svarupa, raganugiya-devotees serve Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava in the wake of the people of Vraja and nourish the powerful desire to relish the wonderfully brilliant erotic sweetness of Their forms, attributes and pastimes in their hearts. Just as one serves Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava in the external sadhaka-body with different articles according to the particular time, similarly one meditates on rendering such services mentally with the same articles collected with the siddha-rupa in the Yogapitha (this is called mantramayi-upasana). Then again one meditates on rendering service to Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava in one's siddha-svarupa in the kingdom of the eightfold daily transcendental pastimes according to the right time (this is called svarasiki-upasana)." It is also common that this seva has two phases, Gaura-lila and Radha-Krishna-lila. According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada (Sriman Mahaprabhor Asta-kaliya-lila-smarana-mangala-stotram, 11): zrI-gaurAGga-vidhoH sva-dhAmani navadvIpe ?STa-kAlodbhavAM bhAvyAM bhavya-janena gokula-vidhor-lIlA-smRter-AditaH "The pastimes of the moonlike Sri Gauranga are manifest in His own abode Navadvipa during the eight phases of the day. They should be meditated upon prior to the remembrance of the pastimes of the moon of Gokula." The details of sadhana may vary from one lineage to another, but this is the general outline. Of course in general, nama-japa, mantra-smarana, puja, nama-kirtana etc. are a part of the sadhaka's life. It is understood that a serious practitioner should chant no less than one lakha (64 rounds) of harinama to progress in his sadhana-bhajana. As far as the history of this practice is concerned, though Siddha Krishnadasa was a great, prominent teacher of this method of bhajan, the roots of these methods of sadhana go way back to the associates of Mahaprabhu. Particularly similar procedures are found in the paddhatis of Gopal Guru Gosvami, a disciple of Vakresvara Pandit, and Dhyanacandra Gosvami, Gopal Guru's disciple. Visvanatha encouraged the method of dual (Gaura/Radha-Krishna) upasana, as demonstrated above, and Narottama envisioned himself engaged in yogapitha-seva in his songs. In general, manjari-seva is discussed in the books of the Gosvamis as well, particularly the works of Sri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami (like Vilapa Kusumanjali and Stavavali) get very specific about the various services rendered throughout the day. We should also mention the Govinda-lilamrta of Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, an exellent example of an early asta-kaliya-lila-smarana-gutika (guidebook for meditation). Hence, although Siddha Krishnadasa has presented the most elaborate literal output, it is not justified to attribute the entire line of practice to him only. The mere fact that there are unbroken diksa-lineages coming from the associates of Mahaprabhu, along with their respective siddha-dehas and related information, indicates that the practice of manjari-bhava-sadhana has existed since days when Mahaprabhu brought the treasure of manjari-bhava to this world. The qualifications for the practice -- lobha, or eagerness for the attainment of the desired goal is considered to be the qualification for engaging in the practice of raganuga. Visvanatha Cakravartipada has stated in his Raga-vartma-candrika (2.7): atha rAgAnugA bhakti majjanasyAnartha nivRtti niStha-rucyAsaktyantaraM prema-bhUmikArUdhasya sAkSAt svAbhISTa-prApti-prakAraH pradarSyate. "The raganugiya bhakta gradually advances through the stages of anartha nivrtti (cessation of bad habits), nistha (fixation), ruci (taste), and asakti (attachment to the beloved deity) upto the stage of prema (love of God) and the direct attainment of his beloved deity." Since the practitioner of raganuga progresses through the stages of anartha-nivrtti (preceeded by bhajana-kriya, or engaging in the various practices of bhajana) and nistha, it is illegitimate to claim that the lobha, or eagerness of the sadhaka, should be constant and unbroken prior to the beginning of the practice, since the stages prior to nistha (firmness) are anisthita (not firm) due to the various obstacles the sadhaka meets on his path, as Cakravartipada describes in his Madhurya-kadambini. Lobha is described as follows (Raga-vartma-candrika, 1.5): tatra lobho lakSitaH svayaM zrI-rUpa gosvAmI caraNair eva - tat tad-bhAvAdi mAdhurye zrute dhIr yad apekSate nAtra zAstraM na yuktiM ca tal lobhotpatti lakSaNam (BRS 1.2.292) vraja-lIlA-parikarastha zRGgarAdi-bhAva-mAdhurye zrute dhIr idaM mama bhUyAt iti. lobhotpatti-kAle zAstra-yukty-apekSA nA syAt, satyAM ca tasyAM lobhatvasyaivAsiddheh. nahi kenacit zAstra-dRSTyA lobhaH kriyate nApi lobhanIya-vastu prAptau svasya yogyAyogyatva-vicArah ko 'py udbhavati. kintu lobhanIya-vastuni zrute dRSTe vA svata eva lobha utpadyate. "Sri Rupa Gosvamipada himself has described the symptoms of greed as follows: 'If, upon hearing about the sweetness of loving emotions, one experiences a longing in his mind for attaining the same, from that moment onwards he no longer depends on scriptural injunctions and logic; such is the symptom of greed.' After hearing about the sweetness of the loving emotions of Sri Krishna?s associates in Vraja-lila headed by the ones in sringara-rasa, one may think, "I wish they would be mine". Upon the arising of greed, scriptural injunctions and logic no longer remain as an impetus, and if it does, the greed is not actual. No-one develops greed because of scriptural injunctions, and for the one in whom greed is manifest, in him there is no consideration of qualification or disqualification in obtaining the object of his greed. Rather greed arises only by hearing about or seeing the object of one?s greed." In the verses following the one quoted above, Srila Cakravartipada goes on to explain how the greed of the sadhaka intensifies day by day. For those who have not attained a firm level of taste and inspiration in raganuga-sadhana, Sri Jiva Gosvami recommends in the Bhakti-sandarbha: ajatatadrsa rucina tu sadrisesadara matradrta raganugapi vaidhi sambalitaivanustheya; tatha loka-samgrahartham pratisthena jatatadrsa rucina ca. atra misratve ca yatha yogyaµ raganugayaiki krtyaiva vaidhi kartavya. "Those bhaktas who have developed some interest in the path of raganuga-bhakti-sadhana, but who do not possess such a deep hankering as the jata-ruci-raganuga-bhaktas, should combine the principles of vaidhi-bhakti with their performance of raganuga-sadhana." In other words, the practice of raganuga is not limited to those who have attained the level of ruci and above. Pandit Anantadas Baba (commentary on Raga-vartma-candrika, 1.8) further explains the conception of Visvanatha: "At first the greed of an aspirant will be scattered over many different subject matters and cannot focus on the actual beloved object, but when sadhana bhajana ripens, this greed will give up all other subject matters and will focus on the beloved. ... Thus his heart is gradually cleansed from vices like lust and becomes completely immaculate. The purer his heart gets through this cleansing process, the stronger the sacred greed will get in his heart." The qualification for practicing sound lila-smarana though is another thing -- Sri Anantadasji explains (ibid., 1.13): "Hence lila-smarana is the main item of this raganuga-marga. But for entering into lila-smarana, purification of the heart is absolutely necessary. When the heart is impure, the mind cannot be steady, and when the mind is restless or unsteady, one cannot become absorbed in lila-smarana. Hence one must take shelter of the main items of bhajana, such as hearing and chanting, and the more the heart gets purified by continuing in bhajana, the more the heart becomes attracted to lila-smarana, and thus smarana also gradually becomes deeper and deeper. Therefore, although lila-smarana is the main item of raganuga-marga, one should not drop the external practices like hearing and chanting." Moreover, from his commentary on Prema-bhakti-candrika (14): "Since the practice of smarana depends on the purity of heart, it may first seem difficult to accomplish for the aspirant, and therefore some slackening or neglect of this item of worship may occur. The practitioner must give up his own sense of doership and depend on the Lord's grace in this practice of smarana. Then he will easily be able to purify his heart and gradually his recollection of lila will become easily accessible and blissful. Although the practice of smarana depends on the Lord's grace, still it is absolutely necessary that the practitioner concentrates his mind, for it is the perseverance and enthusiasm in the devotee's practice that unleashes the Lord's grace. Hence the aspirant must commence the smarana item of his bhajana by establishing his self esteem in the spiritual body given to him by Sri Guru, with body, mind and words." The self-esteem is gradually established through the practice of mantramayi-upasana, or yogapitha-seva. The merit of this practice? Step by step, it will help the practitioner to become firmly established in his eternal spiritual identity in ecstatic love of God. Further discussions on the subject matter may be found at http://raganuga.org/discussions .
  23. [move on to the next post, please...] [This message has been edited by raga (edited 04-25-2002).]
  24. I doubt astakaliya-lila-smarana was introduced by Siddha Krishnadasa. In his Sriman Mahaprabhor Astakaliya-lila-smarana-mangala-stotram, Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada refers to the practice of a similar dual (Gaura / Radha-Krishna) method of upasana as Siddhababa presented in his gutika. Also the paddhatis of Gopal Guru and Dhyanacandra indicate that the practice is much older than from the times of Siddhababa, from some 250 years ago or so. I do not know why OBL Kapoor calls it a "new method of bhajan". Perhaps this is simply a poor translation or so. It does not appear radically new to me.
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