Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest guest

As for your desire to follow the path of the gopis

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Guest guest

Following the Path of the Gopis



Dallas, 30 July, 1975


Dear J...:


Please accept my blessings.

I am in due receipt of your letter dated July 21, 1975 and have noted the contents. It is a very good sign that although you are not happy now you know it is only because you are not in the company of Krishna and the devotees. It is true that in the past there was some mismanagement in our Honolulu temple, but I was there recently, and it is nicely organized. But, since you have moved to San Francisco, I advise you to go there to our very nice temple in Berkeley. All the things you say you are yearning for are there. Radha Krishna are being worshipped, and there are many devotees there. So I am sure that if you go there and join with the devotees, all your problems will be solved, Krishna Consciousness is so nice.


As for your desire to follow the path of the gopis, that can only be done by following the rules and regulations of devotional service in the association of devotees. Once you have joined the temple, then we can see about Deity worship.


I hope this meets you in good health.


Your ever well wisher,


A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest guest

The letter is personal and circumstancial.


Following the path of the gopis is the sweetest part

of ragAnuga bhakti.


atha raganuga-lakZaNaM


sevA prApti-lobhena yadi tAni kriyante

tadA rAgAnuga bhaktiH; yad uktam


sevA sAdhaka-rUpeNa

siddha-rupeNa cAtra hi

tad bhAva-lipsunA kAryA



kRSNaM smaran janaM cAsya

preZThaM nija-samihitam

tat-tat-kathA rataS cAsau

kuryAd vAsaM vraje sadA


Raganuga-bhakti is performed in two ways:

(1) with the sadhaka-rupa with the external body through execution of the limbs of bhakti; and

(2) with the siddha-rupa, with the internally conceived body that is suitable for carrying out the perfected service ( prema-seva) for which one aspires.

Residing in Vraja with an intense desire to obtain one’s cherished object

Sri Krsna and the divine sentiments of His beloved associates (that is, rati

towards Sri Krsna), one should follow in the footsteps of the

eternal residents of Vraja, the dear associates of Sri Krsna, such as

Sri Radhika, Lalita, ViSakha and Sri Rupa Manjari.


One should also adhere to personalities such as Sri Rupa Gosvami and

Sanatana Gosvami who performed bhajana in Vraja in pursuance

of the sentiments of those eternal associates.


With one’s internally conceived body ( siddha-rupa) one should execute service within the mind ( manasi-seva) in accordance with the eternal associates

of Vraja such as Sri Radha, Lalita, ViSakha and Sri Rupa Manjari.

With the external body ( sadhaka-rupa) one should carry out bodily

services following in the wake of perfectly realised devotees such as

Sri Rupa and Sanatana who are also residents of Vraja.


sevA sAdhaka-rUpeNa

siddha-rupeNa cAtra hi


(from Gurudeva's translation and commentaries to

Bhakti RasAmRta Sindhu Bindu)


in the service of guru and vaiSnavas



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

If someone raises the objection that the word vraja-loka refers

only to Sri Radha, Lalita and others, it would then follow that with

the sadhaka-deha (the external body) one should perform bodily

services following in their wake.


If this indeed were the case, then

the followers of those eternal associates would not be required to

carry out the limbs of bhakti such as taking shelter of a spiritual

master, observance of Ekadaci, worship of Salagrama, worship of

tulasi and so on, since it is not mentioned anywhere that Sri Radha

and Lalita ever performed such activities. However, this erroneous

conclusion ( apasiddhanta) held by sceptics who have taken shelter

of modern adverse opinions is actually refuted by the word vrajaloka.


In his commentary to this verse of Bhakti-rasamRta-sindhu

(1.2.295), Srila Jiva Gosvamipada has explained the same thing;

namely, that the word vraja-loka refers to the dearmost associates

of Sri kRSNa and their followers such as sri Rupa Gosvami and


Therefore one should perform

internal service ( manasi- seva ) through the medium of the siddha-deha

by following inaccordance with Sri Rupa Manjari and other Vrajavasis.

With the sadhaka-deha one should perform bodily service by following Sri

Rupa Gosvami and others.


(same source as above)




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was talking about my gurudeva om viSnupada paramAhaMsa Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja.

Thank you for apreciating him.


atha raganuga-lakZaNaM


sevA prApti-lobhena yadi tAni kriyante

tadA rAgAnuga bhaktiH; yad uktam


Practicing the angas of bhakti

with the intense intense longing

to obtain the service of one's innermost desired object of love

Krishna in His feature as resident of Vraja, namely the vraja-rAja

is called raganunga bhakti.


yours respectfully


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the conclusion of the Six Gosvamis, Srila Kaviraja

Gosvami and other rasika VaiSNava acaryas, the lila-rasa of

Vrajendra-nandana Sri kRSNa is the object to be tasted by

raganuga-sadhakas. But it is not possible to taste the lila-rasa of Sri

KRSNa without entering into Sri gaura-lila. In other words only

through the medium of gaura-lila is it possible to taste the lila-rasa

of Sri KRSNa. In Cri Caitanya-caritamRta( Madhya-lila25.271, 274)

Srila Kaviraja Gosvami has stated this as follows:


kRSNa-lila amRta-sara, tara cata cata dhara

daca-dike vahe yaha haite

se caitanya-lila haya, sarovara akSaya

mano-haMsa caraha’ tahate


The pastimes of Sri KRSNa are the essence of all transcendental

nectar. These nectarean pastimes flow in hundreds and hundreds of

streams, inundating the ten directions. The pastimes of Sri

Caitanya are an imperishable reservoir of nectar, saturated with the

pastimes of KRSNa. O swanlike mind, please wander on this transcendental



nana-bhavera bhakta-jana, haMsa-cakravaka-gaNa

yate sabe’ karena vihara

kRSNa-keli sumRNala, yaha pai sarva-kala

bhakta-haMsa karaye ahara


The devotees situated in various transcendental moods are like

swans and cakravaka birds who play upon the transcendental lake of

KRSNa’s pastimes. The sweet bulbs of the stalks of lotus flowers are

the sportive amorous pastimes of Sri KRSNa. Cri KRSNa eternally

enacts such pastimes and, consequently, they are the foodstuff for

the swanlike devotees who have taken shelter of Sri Gaurasundara,

who is the eternal embodiment of vipralambha-rasa and identical in

form to Sri KRSNa, the eternal embodiment of sambhoga-rasa.


(commentary from the same book by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja)




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

In his book Prarthana (13) Srila Narottama Thakura has similarly


gaura-prema rasarNave se taraNge yeba Dube

se radha-madhava-antaraNga


Gaura-prema is an ocean of rasa. Those who submerge themselves

in the waves of that ocean emerge in the waves of the confidential

and intimate service of Radha-Madhava.


Srila Kaviraja Gosvami and Srila Narottama Thakura have

composed the above verses for the benefit of raganuga-sadhakas.

Therefore raganuga-sadhakas should taste kRSNa-lila through the

medium of gaura-lila. Consequently, it is essential for sadhakas to

remember gaura-lila and to follow the eternal associates of Sri

Caitanya. Since it is necessary to follow the gaura-parikaras, it is

certainly imperative that one observe the limbs of bhakti ( gurupadaSraya,

ekadaSi-vrata, tulasi-seva, Sri Salagrama-seva and so on)

that were practised by the foremost associates such as Srila Rupa

Gosvami and others. There is no doubt about this.


(commentary from the same book by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sri Rupa Gosvami, who is an eternal associate of Caitanya

Mahaprabhu, serves Sri Radha-KRSNa as Sri Rupa Manjari in kRSNa lila.


Sri Rupa Manjari, appearing as Srila Rupa Gosvami with the

attitude of a sadhaka, weeps again and again and prays anxiously to

obtain the service of Sri Yugala. Sometimes, while praying in this

way, he would become so deeply immersed in the emotional trance

of Rupa Manjari that he would taste the happiness of direct



Therefore raganuga-sadhakas must certainly follow Sri

Rupa-Sanatana and other gosvamis. Opposed to this are those who

vainly consider themselves as rasika-sadhakas but who do not

adopt the limbs of bhakti, such as guru-padaSraya and ekadaSi vrata.

They can never obtain the service of Sri Yugala.


(commentary from the same book by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This subject is extremely deep. Without the mercy of Sri

Gurudeva or pure rasika devotees, the sAdhaka cannot conceive of

his siddha-deha (perfected spiritual body). Therefore the contemplation

of one’s nitya-siddha-deha arises of its own accord only by

the merciful indication of Sri Gurudeva . By continual remembrance

of aSTa-kAlIya-lIlA(the pastimes of KRSNa performed in eight

divisions of the day), performed internally ( mAnasI-sevA) with the

nitya-siddha-deha, one obtains svarUpa-siddhi (perception of one’s

eternal perfected form, which occurs at the stage of bhAva-bhakti)

and ultimately vastu-siddhi. Vastu-siddhi is attained after giving

up this body and taking birth in KRSNa’s bhauma-lIlA from the

womb of a gopI.

(After attaining that last body, and)

After attaining the association of KRSNa’s eternal

associates and being purified of all final traces of material identification,

when prema is intensified, one attains vastu-siddhi.


(and that body becomes totally spiritualized, this is the meaning in Srimad Bhagavatam when it is said that the sadhana siddha gopis gave up their (material) bodies, they don't die. One does not die, which is most inauspicious, at the most auspicious festival of Vraja raja Sri kRSNa. When they were called by the venunAda to the most auspicious festival of all the worlds, they gave up the last attachements to external dharma, and by that their bodies became totally spiritualized, and in that body they can perform the most auspicious rasa dance.)


(commentary from the same book by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, with added commentary from Srila Bhaktivedanta Aranya Maharaja)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

But one should always bear in mind that not everyone has the

eligibility to perform yugala-seva by meditating in this way on

Their supramundane ( aprakRta) daily pastimes. This practice must

be concealed very diligently. One should not disclose these

pastimes to ineligible persons. Until genuine greed to enter into

the raga-marga arises in the heart of the jiva bound by matter, this

subject should be kept hidden from him. One remains ineligible to

hear the confidential pastimes of Sri Yugala, which are saturated

with rasa, as long as the conception of the transcendental nature

of the Lord’s name, form, qualities and pastimes has not implanted

itself in the heart. In other words one should understand that the

name, form, qualities and pastimes of Sri KRSNa are fully constituted

of pure spiritual transcendence ( Suddha-cinmaya-svarupa).

When ineligible persons hear or study these pastimes they recall

only the illusory and mundane association of men and women and

are thus compelled to fall down. Thus they sink down into the

muck of debauchery. Therefore judicious students, proceeding

cautiously, may enter into this lila after having obtained the appropriate

impressions ( saMskaras ) for aprakRta-SRNgara-rasa.


(commentary from the same book by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The fundamental conclusion is that only upon obtaining the

aforementioned eligibility can the sadhaka undertake the discipline

of raganuga-bhakti. By following this method of sadhana

while still plagued with anarthas and without the appearance of

genuine greed, the opposite effect will be produced. When genuine

greed for vraja-bhajana arises, one should first of all take shelter of

a dear devotee of Sri Gaurasundara, that Lord who is identical in

every respect to Sri Vrajendra-nandana. The beloved devotees of

Sri Caitanya will instruct us on the path of raganuga-sadhana in

accordance with our eligibility. Otherwise, if one falls into bad

association and by ill advice imitates the bhajana practices of those

on the highest level of eligibility, then under the guise of adopting

one’s siddha-deha one will incur only a harmful effect.


(commentary from the same book by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...