প্রাকৃত-চেষ্টাতে ভাই কভু রস হয় না
জড়ীয় প্রাকৃত-রস শুদ্ধ-ভক্ত গায় না ॥১॥
prākṛta ceṣṭāte bhāi kabhu rasa haya nā
jaḍīya prākṛta-rasa śuddha-bhakta gāya nā
prākṛta—material; ceṣṭāte—endeavours; bhāi—O brother; kabhu nā—never; rasa—rasa; haya—produce; jaḍīya—mundane; prākṛta—material; rasa—rasa; śuddha–bhakta—pure devotees; gāya na—do not sing about.
O brother! Material endeavours can never produce rasa. Pure devotees never sing about the mundane rasa of this material world.
প্রাকৃত-রসের শিক্ষা-ভিক্ষা শিষ্যে চায় না
রতি বিনা যেই রস তাহা গুরু দেয় না ॥২॥
prākṛta-rasera śikṣā-bhikṣā-śiṣye cāya nā
rati vinā yei rasa tāhā guru deya nā
prākṛta—material; rasera—rasa; śikṣā—of teachings; bhikṣā—beg; śiṣye—disciple; cāya—desire; nā—not; rati—divine attachment; vinā—bereft of; yei—that; rasa—rasa; tāhā—such; guru—the guru; deya—give; nā—not.
A disciple never wishes to beg for instructions regarding material rasa. The guru does not give rasa that is bereft of rati (divine attachment to Śrī Kṛṣṇa).
Although material engagements remotely resemble the transcendental rasa or līlā of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, it has been concluded by self-realised spiritual masters that material engagement never produces rasa. No amount of ignorance produces knowledge, no amount of darkness produces light, and no amount of material engagement produces Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Would-be gurus in search of name, fame, and material gains often encourage their disciples to enjoy material nature, but a bona-fide guru never encourages or instructs his disciple how to increase material enjoyment or to expand the affairs of the material world. Mundane family life is, by and large, a unit of selfish interests focused around the bodily concept of life, and before one can make spiritual advancement, one must abandon such a false pretext of life. Giving up attachments to the bodily concept of life, a devotee should become attached to Śrī Kṛṣṇa above all else.
vapur-ādiṣu yo’pi ko’pi vā
guṇato’sāni yathā tathā-vidhaḥ
tad ayaṁ tava pāda-padmayor
aham adyaiva mayā samarpitaḥ
O my dear Lord, I may be living within the body of a human being or a demigod. But in whatever mode of life I do not mind, because these bodies are simply by-products of the three modes of material nature, and I, who am in possession of these bodies, am surrendering myself unto You. (Śrī Yamunācārya, Stotra-ratna 49)
However, pseudo-disciples approach spiritual life as yet another means of increasing their material enjoyment. Thinking that God is there to fulfill their material desires, they ask for blessings from the spiritual master to become materially opulent. When the pseudo-guru and the pseudo-disciple are brought together they make a complete mockery of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and of the bona-fide disciplic succession of gurus and disciples.
নাম-রস দুই বস্তু ভক্ত কভু জানে না
নাম-রসে ভেদ আছে ভক্ত কভু বলে না ॥৩॥
nāma-rasa dui vastu bhakta kabhu jāne nā
nāma-rase bheda ācche bhakta kabhu bale nā
nāma—the Holy Name; rasa—rasa; dui—two; vastu—things; bhakta—a devotee; kabhu na—never; jāne—considers; nāma—the Holy Name; rase— in rasa; bheda—a difference; āchhe—there is; bhakta—a devotee; kabhu na—never; bale—says.
A devotee does not consider the Holy Name and divine rasa to be two separate things. Thus, a devotee never exclaims, “There is a difference between the Holy Name and rasa.”
অহং-মম-ভাব-সত্ত্ব নাম কভু হয় না
ভোগ-বুদ্ধি না ছাড়িলে অপ্রাকৃত হয় না ॥৪॥
ahaṁ-mama bhāva-sattve nāma kabhu haya nā
bhoga-buddhi nā chāḍile aprākṛta haya nā
ahaṁ—I; mama—mine; bhāva—thoughts; sattve—condition; nāma—The Holy Name; kabhu haya nā—never reveals; bhoga—enjoying; buddhi—mentality; na—not; chāḍile—reject; aprākṛta—transcendence; haya nā—does not manifest.
The Holy Name never appears to those that are conditioned to think in terms of ‘I’ and ‘mine.’ The stage of transcendence is never reached if the enjoying mentality is not abandoned.
There is a certain class of men that consider the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, and the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa to be of two different substances. Although giving some recognition to the potency of kṛṣṇa-nāma, these persons contend that one can only realise the perfection of bhakti–rasa by exclusively hearing and discussing the līlās of Kṛṣṇa and particularly the rāsa-līlā, or the amorous pastimes of the Lord with the gopīs (cowherd girls of Vṛndāvana). Such persons give little attention to the necessity of purely chanting the Holy Name (śuddha–nāma) and give more attention to the process of līlā-kīrtana, rasa–kathā and smaraṇam. In a word, these persons have been categorised as sva-kuhaka, or self-deceivers. What is unknown to the self-deceivers is that kṛṣṇa–nāma reveals rasa in proportion to one’s being freed from anarthas, or material contamination in the heart.
Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda in his Bhajana-rahasya describes four types of anarthas and four categories within each type.
The four types of anarthas are:
1) tattva-vibhrama – illusion about spiritual knowledge
2) hṛdaya-daurbalya – weakness of heart
3) aparādha – offences
4) asat-tṛṣṇa – material desires
Illusion about spiritual knowledge is of four types:
1) sva-tattva bhrama – illusion about one’s original position as a taṭasthā-jīva
2) para-tattva bhrama – illusion about the Supreme Lord
3) sādhya-sādhana bhrama – illusion about the processes of sādhana and prema-bhakti
4) virodhi-viṣaya bhrama – illusion regarding subjects unfavourable to Kṛṣṇa consciousness
Weakness of heart is of four types:
1) tucchāsakti – attachment to objects not related to Kṛṣṇa
2) kuṭināṭī – deceitfulness
3) mātsaryam – enviousness
4) pratiṣṭha – desire for fame
Offences are of four types:
1) kṛṣṇa-svarūpa-aparādha – offences to the form of the Lord
2) nāma-aparādha – offences to the Holy Name of the Lord
3) kṛṣṇa-tadīya-aparādha – offences to the devotees
4) jīva-aparādha – offences to other living entities
Material desires are of four types:
1) aihikeṣvaiṣana – desire for material objects
2) para-trikeṣu – desire for heavenly comforts
3) bhūti-vāñcha – desire for mystic powers
4) mumukṣa – desire for liberation
In material life one sees everything as an object of enjoyment. That self-centred world-view is called ahaṁ-mameti – “everything is mine, everything is for my enjoyment, I am the centre of existence.” In this stage of consciousness one cannot relish transcendental mellows (rasa). It is necessary to first become free from the spirit of enjoyment – to see one’s self as servant rather than master.
Kṛṣṇa-nāma, when chanted without offence under the guidance of a bona-fide spiritual master, purifies the heart of the conditioned soul and simultaneously reveals bhakti–rasa accordingly.
nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrāpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśi tava kṛpā bhagavān mamāpi
durdaivam īdṛśam ahājani nānurāgaḥ
O my Lord, in Your Holy Name there is all good fortune for the living entity, and therefore You have many Names, such as Kṛṣṇa and Govinda, by which You expand Yourself. You have invested all Your transcendental potencies in those Names, and there are no hard and fast rules for remembering Them. My Lord, although You bestow such mercy upon the conditioned souls by liberally teaching Your Holy Names, I am so unfortunate that I commit offences while chanting the Holy Name, and therefore I do not achieve attachment for chanting. (Śikṣāṣṭakam 2)
prathamaṁ nāmnaḥ śravaṇam-antaḥ karaṇa-śuddhyartham-pekṣām. śuddhe cāntaḥ-karaṇe rūpa-śravavena tad-udaya-yogyatā bhavati. samyagudite ca rūpe guṇānāṁ sphuraṇaṁ sampadyeta, sampanne ca guṇānāṁ sphuraṇe parikara-vaiśiṣthyena tad-vaiśiṣthyaṁ sampadyate tatas-teṣu nāma-rūpa-guṇa-parikareṣu samyak sphuriteṣu līlānāṁ sphuraṇaṁ suṣṭhu bhavati.
Hearing of the Holy Name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord and His devotees is called śravaṇa. The practice of sādhana–bhakti begins with and depends on śravaṇa, which purifies the heart of a devotee. This hearing process grants liberation from the filthiness of sense gratification, and purifies the heart. In this way, by hearing transcendental sound about the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, gradually the complete form of the Lord begins to awaken within the heart. After this, the qualities of the Lord awaken within and as they fully manifest themselves, the different specific aspects of the Lord’s service and pastimes gradually awaken. In this way, the Holy Name reveals the Lord’s form, qualities, and pastimes in all their splendour and beauty with all their different branches. (Krama-sandarbha 7.5.18)
However, when one neglects becoming freed from anarthas and instead engages in līlā-kīrtana and rasa-kathā, the result is the opposite of purification. One makes offences. Due to offences, anarthas are increased and one’s prospect for perfection in devotional life is greatly diminished, if not completely destroyed.
প্রাকৃত জড়ের ভোগে কৃষ্ণ-সেবা হয় না
জড়-বস্তু কোনও কালে অপ্রাকৃত হয় না ॥৫॥
prākṛta jaḍera bhoge kṛṣṇa-sevā haya nā
jaḍa-vastu kona-o kāle aprākṛta haya nā
prākṛta—mundane; jaḍera—matter; bhoge—by enjoyment; kṛṣṇa-sevā—service to Kṛṣṇa; haya nā—does not happen; jaḍa—material; vastu—objects; kona–o—any; kāle—time; aprākṛta—transcendental; haya nā—do not.
While finding pleasure in mundane matter, service to Kṛṣṇa can never be conducted. Mundane objects can never be considered as spiritual at any time.
জড়-স বমানে চিৎ কভু হয় না
জড়-বস্তু চিৎ হয় ভক্তে কভু বলে না ॥৬॥
jaḍa-sattā vartamāne cit kabhu haya nā
jaḍa-vastu cit haya bhakte kabhu bale nā
jaḍa—material; sattā—existence; vartamāne—present; cit—spiritual; kabhu haya nā—is never present; jaḍa—mundane; vastu—object; cit—spiritual; haya—becomes; bhakte—a devotee; kabhu bale nā –never says.
When mundane existence is present, it is never spiritual. A devotee never says that any mundane object is actually spiritual.
জড়ীয় বিষয়-ভোগ ভক্ত কভু করে না
জড়-ভোগ কৃষ্ণ-সেবা কভু সম হয় না ॥৭॥
jaḍīya viṣaya-bhoga bhakta kabhu kare nā
jaḍa-bhoga kṛṣṇa-sevā kabhu sama haya nā
jaḍīya—material; viṣaya—objects; bhoga—enjoy; bhakta—devotee; kabhu kare nā—never engages in; jaḍa—material; bhoga—pleasure; kṛṣṇa–sevā—service to Kṛṣṇa; sama—the same; haya—are; kabhu nā—never.
A devotee never engages in enjoying material objects. Material pleasure and service to Kṛṣṇa are never the same.
Kṛṣṇa consciousness can never manifest in the mundane aptitude of the conditioned soul and therefore it is necessary to undergo the process of purification. Without purification one’s endeavours in spiritual life are a waste of time.
ataḥ śrī kṛṣṇa nāmādi na bhaved grahyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jīhvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
The Holy Name, form, qualities, and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are divine and transcendental. They cannot be experienced by material senses. The Lord manifests Himself spontaneously on the tongue of a devotee who is eager to serve Him. (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.234)
The mood of the pseudo-devotee is to enjoy Kṛṣṇa. Such persons hear about Kṛṣṇa, but simply go on increasing material desires for kanaka (wealth), kāminī (women) and pratiṣṭhā (fame). However, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu strongly warns those interested in spiritual advancement not to go down that path.
na danam na janam na sundarīṁ
kavitāṁ vā jagadiśa kāmaye
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
O Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor to enjoy beautiful women. Nor do I want any number of followers. What I want only is the causeless mercy of Your devotional service in my life, birth after birth. (Śikṣāṣṭakam 4)
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī has added to this warning as follows:
kanaka kāminī pratiṣṭhā bāghinī
chāḍiyāchi jāre sei ta vaiṣṇava
One becomes a Vaiṣṇava when he has freed himself from the clutches of the tigress of wealth, women and worldly prestige. (Vaiṣṇava Ke – 11)
The pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa does not do anything that is not for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa. That is pure devotional service.
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
Performing activities that are exclusively for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa is known as uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service. Such activities are without the desire for material profit, gain, or tinged by philosophical speculation. (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11)
নিজ-ভোগ্য কামে ভক্ত প্রেম কভু বলে না
রসে ডগমগ আছ শিষ্যে গুরু বলে না ॥৮॥
nija-bhogya kāme bhakta prema kabhu bale nā
rase ḍagamaga āccha śiṣye guru bale nā
nija—one’s own; bhogya—enjoyment; kāme—desire; bhakta—a devotee; prema—divine love; kabhu bale nā—does not say; rase—in rasa; ḍagamaga—brimming; āchha—are; śiṣye—a disciple; guru—a guru; bale nā—never tells.
Selfish material desires are never called prema by a devotee. The spiritual master never tells the disciple that, “You are brimming with rasa.”
রসে ডগমগ আমি কভু গুরু বলে না
জড়ীয় রসের কথা শিষ্যে গুরু বলে না ॥৯॥
rase ḍagamaga āmi kabhu guru bale nā
jaḍīya rasera kathā śiṣye guru bale nā
rase—in rasa; ḍagamaga—absorbed; āmi—I; kabhu bale nā—never says; guru—a guru; jaḍīya—mundane; rasera—rasa; kathā—talks; śiṣye—with a disciple; guru—a guru; bale nā—does not discuss.
The spiritual master never says, “I am absorbed in divine rasa.” The spiritual master never engages in talks with his disciples about mundane topics.
জড়-রস-গানে কভু শ্রেয়ঃ কেহ লভে না
কৃষ্ণকে প্রাকৃত বলি ভক্ত কভু গায় না ॥১০॥
jaḍa-rasa-gāne kabhu śreyaḥ keha labhe nā
kṛṣṇake prākṛta bali bhakta kabhu gāya nā
jaḍa—material; rasa—rasa; gāne—singing; kabhu—ever; śreyaḥ—highest benefit; keha nā—nobody; labhe—achieve; kṛṣṇake—of Kṛṣṇa; prākṛta—mundane; bali—considering; bhakta—a devotee; kabhu gāya nā—never sings.
Nobody can ever achieve the highest good by singing about mundane rasa. A devotee never sings of Kṛṣṇa as being mundane.
নামকে প্রাকৃত বলি কৃষ্ণে জড় জানে না
কৃষ্ণ-নাম-রসে ভেদ শুদ্ধ-ভক্ত মানে না ॥১১॥
nāmake prākṛta bali kṛṣṇe jaḍa jāne nā
kṛṣṇa-nāma-rase bheda śuddha-bhakta māne nā
nāmake—the Name; prākṛta—mundane; bali—say; kṛṣṇe—Kṛṣṇa; jaḍa—material, jāne nā—does not consider; kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa; nāma—the Holy Name; rase—between rasa; bheda—difference; śuddha–bhakta—a pure devotee; māne nā—never acknowledges.
A pure devotee never says that the Holy Name is mundane, nor does he consider that Kṛṣṇa is mundane. He never acknowledges any difference between the Holy Name, Śrī Kṛṣṇa and rasa.
নাম-রসে ভেদ আছে গুরু শিক্ষা দেয় না
রস লাভ করি শেষে সাধন ত হয় না ॥১২॥
nāme-rase bheda ācche guru śikṣā deya nā
rasa lābha kari śeṣe sādhana ta haya nā
nāme—in the Holy Name; rase—in rasa; bheda—difference; acche—there is; guru—a guru; śikṣā deya nā—does not teach; rasa—rasa; lābha kari—one will attain; śeṣe—afterwards; sādhana—practice; ta—indeed; haya nā—it is not.
The spiritual master does not teach that, “There is a difference between the Holy Name and rasa.” One does not attain rasa and then engage in sādhana.
The māyāvādī guru falsely teaches that he is God and that his disciple is also God. And the pseudo-devotee, posing as guru, claims that he is absorbed in rasa and that his disciple is also absorbed in rasa. Both these categories of gurus and disciples are in ignorance and illusion. Regarding the māyāvādī, it should be understood that the living entity (taṭasthā-jīva) does not become God at any time. As regards the pseudo-guru, it should be known that one who has actually attained the highest stage of pure devotional service (rasa) never claims to have done so and certainly never tries to teach his disciple that which is unteachable. In the words of Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda, “If anyone says that he will teach you the sādhana of rasa, he is an imposter or a fool.” (Caitanya-śikṣāmṛta 7.1)
In numerous places in the writings of Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda and Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, the pseudo-guru has been compared to the she-demon Pūtanā who offered her poison breast in the hope of killing baby Kṛṣṇa. The pseudo-guru offers prema-rasa and other such achievements in bhakti that are compared to the poison offered by Pūtanā. One who tastes this poison is most certainly doomed, their devotional creeper being poisoned in its early stage. Therefore the first duty of a sincere devotee is to reject all such she-demon gurus.
However, the pseudo-disciple embraces the foolish proposals of the pseudo-guru and such victims often fall into being initiated into the process of siddha-praṇālī, to conceive of one’s self as a mañjarī – a female attendant of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Such victims of the pseudo-guru do not realise their misfortune and thus fall into utter ruin. Those who follow the advice of such a pseudo-guru by mentally conceiving of themselves as mañjarīs, when in fact they are still conditioned by the material modes of nature, fall away from the path of pure devotion and become sahajiyās, pretenders.
Once, the revered devotee Śrīla Bhakti Pramoda Purī Mahārāja, commented that the mañjarī pretenders will not get the aprākṛta-svarūpa (spiritual form) of a gopī or a mañjarī in their next life – rather they will be born again in the material world as mundane females. Therefore it is better to heed the advice of the verses in Prākṛta-rasa Śata-dūṣaṇī.
কৃত্রিম পন্থায় নামে রসোদয় হয় না
রস হৈতে কৃষ্ণ-নাম বিলোমেতে হয় না ॥১৩॥
kṛtrima panthāya nāme rasodaya haya nā
rasa haite kṛṣṇa-nāma vilomete haya nā
kṛtrima—artificial; panthāya—path; nāme—from the Name; rasa—rasa; udaya haya nā—does not appear; rasa—rasa; kṛṣṇa–nāma—The Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa; vilomete—backwards; haya nā—can never be.
No one can make rasa manifest in the Holy Name by artificial means. The notion that Kṛṣṇa’s Holy Name originates from rasa is backwards and can never be so.
রস হৈতে রতি শ্রদ্ধা কখনই হয় না
শ্রদ্ধা হৈতে রতি ছাড়া ভাগবত গায় না ॥১৪॥
rasa haite rati-śraddhā kakhana-i haya nā
śraddhā haite rati chāḍā bhāgavata gāya nā
rasa—rasa; haite—from; rati—divine attraction; śraddhā—faith; kakhana-i haya nā—never comes from; śraddhā—faith; haite—from; rati—divine attraction; chhāḍā—other than; bhāgavata—a devotee; gāya nā—does not sing.
Rati and śraddhā can never come from rasa. A devotee never sings of anything other than rati that has arisen from śraddhā.
It is the common misunderstanding among pseudo-devotees and some neophytes that simply by hearing about higher topics concerning the rāsa-līlā of Kṛṣṇa that one will develop attachment for such topics and thus one’s sādhana, or practicing life, will prosper.
Based on the teachings of Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī is making it very clear in the verses of Prākṛta-rasa Śata-dūṣaṇī that those who think that they can attain rasa without having first attained rati, and prior to that having attained anartha-nivṛtti, have understood the process of pure devotional service in reverse. This reverse process can be compared to rubbing dry grass against the udder of a cow and expecting to get milk from her mouth. It is simply not possible.
When Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī says above that no one can make rasa appear in the Holy Name by artificial means, he is referring to the pseudo-devotees who sometimes make a show of shedding crocodile tears. However, such show-bottle ecstasy does not produce rasa. Mental imitation of devotion is possible, even without a tinge of pure devotion. The mere display of external characteristics does not prove the presence of pure devotion.
nisarga-picchila-svānte tad abhyāsa-pare ‘pi ca
sattvābhāsaṁ vināpi syuḥ kvāpy aśru-pulakādayaḥ
Whenever shedding tears, horripulation, etc. are seen in a person whose heart is soft externally and hard internally, and who is habituated to crying, rapture, etc. even though they do not possess a semblance of divine emotion — such an imitative sentiment should be known as totally unsubstantial and lifeless. (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 2.3.89)
prakṛtyā śithilaṁ yeśāṁ manaḥ picchilam eva vā
teṣv-eva sattvikābhāsaḥ prāyaḥ saṁasadi jāyate
Persons whose minds are śithilaṁ and picchilam (soft and slippery) generally manifest such symptoms known as sattvikābhāsa during festivals when there is a performance of kīrtana. (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 2.3.91)
রতি-যুক্ত রস ছাড়া শুদ্ধ-ভক্ত বলে না
সাধনেতে রতি রস গুরু কভু বলে না ॥১৫॥
rati yukta rasa chāḍā śuddha-bhakta bale nā
sādhanete rati rasa guru kabhu bale nā
rati—divine attraction; yukta—with; rasa—rasa; chāḍā—other than; śuddha–bhakta—a pure devotee; bale nā—does not speak; sādhanete—in practice; rati—divine attraction; rasa—rasa; guru—a guru; kabhu bale nā—never says.
A pure devotee never speaks of anything other than rasa graced with rati. The spiritual master never says that rati and rasa are present within sādhana.
ভাব-কালে যে অবস্থা সাধনাগ্রে বলে না
বৈধী শ্রদ্ধা সাধনেতে রাগানুগা হয় না ॥১৬॥
bhāva-kāle ye avasthā sādhanāgre bale nā
vaidhī śraddhā sādhanete rāgānugā haya nā
bhāva—of bhāva; kāle—at the time; avasthā—the condition; sādhana—practice; āgre—prior; bale nā—never said; vaidhī—based on regulated devotion; śraddhā—faith; sādhanete—of practice; rāgānugā—rāgānuga–bhakti; haya nā—does not become.
It is never said that the condition existing at the time of bhāva is present prior to the practice of sādhana. Sādhana of vaidhī-śraddhā (faith only in regulated devotion) can never become rāgānuga–bhakti.
ভাবের অঙ্কুর হলে বিধি আর থাকে না
রাগানুগা শ্রদ্ধা মাত্রে জাত-রতি হয় না ॥১৭॥
bhāvera aṅkura hale vidhi āra thāke nā
rāgānugā śraddhā mātre jāta-rati haya nā
bhāvera—of bhāva; aṅkura—the sprout; hale—appears; vidhi—injunctions; āra thāke nā—no longer prevails; rāgānugā—in rāgānuga–bhakti; śraddhā—faith; mātre—mere; jāta—awakened; rati—divine attachment; haya nā—does not arise.
When the sprout of bhāva appears, the necessity for following scriptural injunctions no longer prevails. Mere faith in rāgānuga-bhakti does not give rise to awakened rati.
The following is a statement by Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī:
“We have no objection to the hearing and chanting of Kṛṣṇa’s līlā. Actually, Śrī Hari’s līlā must be heard and chanted. Then only will the fallen natural taste for hearing about our own activities and our eagerness to hear useless talks be vanquished. There is no other remedy than this.
“Factually there is no difference between chanting about the Lord’s pastimes and chanting about the Lord’s śṛṅgāra-rasa. The conditioned jīva who still has anarthas should hear and chant about the pastimes of Lord Gaurāṅga and the childhood pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. If unqualified people attempt to hear and speak about the confidential pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, it will not bring auspiciousness to them – rather it will bring misfortune.
“We should hear the Lord’s glories only from Śrī Gurudeva or the like. A true devotee will say – ‘I will only hear hari-kathā from the holy lips of Śrī Gurudeva and I will hear and speak about the Bhāgavata that Śukadeva spoke from his lotus mouth. With guru-niṣṭhā I will hear and discuss about Kṛṣṇa’s Name, form, qualities and pastimes according to the path of pure devotion as taught by Śrī Gaurāṅga as I have heard from Gurudeva. I will not hear from anyone else.’
“Hearing and chanting is certainly the best way, but it is not auspicious for anyone and everyone to hear and discuss intimate pastimes. Hearing and discussing the confidential pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda is the topmost type of worship and our eternal bhajana. However, this type of bhajana should not be taken to the public as it is unfitting and offensive.’
“Āpana bhajana-kathā na kahibe yathā tathā” (You must not disclose your confidential mood of bhajana to one and all) – one who desires all good fortune should follow this advice given by the ācāryas. In a public assembly of different people we should chant the Holy Name, as well as prayers and songs that are in the mood of servitorship (dāsya-rasa). When we have attained the proper qualification and we are in the association of only rasika devotees, then we may hear more intimate songs and at the time of hearing such songs we may confidentially express our own bhajana according to our eternal position (svarūpa). If we do otherwise we will attain the opposite result. If these songs must be abandoned to set a standard then so be it. We must give some benefit to the public. The practice of singing publicly the Lord’s intimate pastimes by those who have not given up sense enjoyment and the desire for wealth are the activities that give Kali an occupation!” (Śrī Śrīla Prabhupādera Upadeśāmṛta)
In the tone of siṁha-guru, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī also cautions as follows:
“Those who are barren of the treasure of love for Kṛṣṇa and propelled by duplicity, declare to the whole world their false attainment of prema. In reality, by an external display of prema, or by announcing it to one and all, it is positively impossible for such hypocrite destitutes who are deprived of the wealth of kṛṣṇa-prema to ever attain it. To make their great fortune known to everybody, adepts of prākṛta-sahajiyaism often flaunt insincere external symptoms of prema to each other (such as shedding of tears). Rather than calling such hypocrite sahajiyās as premika, real śuddha-bhaktas go as far as to completely reject their association knowing it to destroy bhakti. Śuddha-bhaktas never teach one to designate such persons as ‘bhaktas’ thus equating them with śuddha-bhaktas. At the rise of genuine prema, the jīva hides her glory and strives for kṛṣṇa-bhajana.
“The hypocrite prākrta-sahajiyā party, in their greed for wealth, women and fame (kanaka-kāminī-pratiṣṭha), offend śuddha-bhaktas by labeling them as darśanik-paṇḍita (great philosophers), tattva-vit (ontology experts), or sūkṣma-darśī (acute observers), and in turn they adorn themselves with the titles rasika, bhajanānandī, bhāgavatottama (supreme devotees), līlā-rasa-pānonmatta (intoxicated by drinking sweet mellows of līlā), rāgānugīya-sādhakāgragaṇya (the foremost aspirants on the path of rāgānuga-bhakti), rasajña (the knowers of rasa), rasika-cuḍāmaṇi (unsurpassed rasikas) etc.
“Having contaminated bhajana-praṇālī with the waves of their own materialistic emotions, they become attached to abominable practices; what they actually adore in themselves is pseudo-Vaiṣṇavism. These kinds of preachers go to describe aprākṛta-rasa, making their respective mundane emotions a part and parcel of kṛṣṇa-sevā. Unaware of aprākṛta vipralambha-rasa, they take prākṛta-sambhoga, which in essence is a perverted reflection of rasa (virasa), as actual rasa.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Antya-līlā 20.28, Anubhāṣya)
The pseudo-disciple will say that, “Gurudeva is giving prema” and such pseudo-devotees canvas everyone and anyone to come and accept the most rare gift. “Gurudeva is so merciful!” they exclaim. However, their so-called gift of prema is like the musk that gypsies sell during Kumbha Mela. At first glance the musk looks and smells like the genuine thing, but upon closer examination it is discovered that the so-called musk is simply cheaply scented cow-dung rolled into balls and covered with goatskin. Thus is their imitation gift of prema.
অজাত-রতিকে কভু ভাবলব্ধ বলে না
রাগানুগ সাধকেরে জাত-ভাব বলে না ॥১৮॥
ajāta-ratike kabhu bhāva-labdha bale nā
rāgānuga sādhakere jāta-bhāva bale nā
ajāta—not awakened; ratike—divine attatchment; kabhu nā—never; bhāva—bhāva; labdha—achieved; bale—say; rāgānuga—rāgānuga–bhakta; sādhakere—practioners; jāta—awakened; bhāva—bhāva; bale nā—do not say.
One should not say that bhāva has been achieved when rati has not yet awakened. A rāgānuga-bhakta does not say that sādhakas (neophyte practitioners) have achieved the awakening of bhāva.
রাগানুগ সাধকেরে লব্ধ-রস বলে না
রাগানুগা সাধ্য-ভাব রতি ছাড়া হয় না ॥১৯॥
rāgānuga sādhakere labdha-rasa bale nā
rāgānugā sādhya-bhāva rati chāḍā haya nā
rāgānuga—rāgānuga devotees; sādhakere—practitioners; labdha—achieve; rasa—rasa; bale nā—do not say; rāgānugā—of rāgānuga–bhakti; sādhya-bhāva—bhāva; rati—divine attachment; chāḍā—without; haya nā—does not arise.
Rāgānuga devotees never say that neophyte sādhakas have achieved the stage of rasa. Sādhya-bhāva (the achievement of bhāva) in rāgānuga-bhakti does not arise without first experiencing rati.
ভাবাঙ্কুর-সমাগমে বৈধী-ভক্তি থাকে না
রুচিকে রতির সহ কভু এক জানে না ॥২০॥
bhāvāṅkura-samāgame vaidhi-bhakti thāke nā
rucike ratira saha kabhu eka jāne nā
bhāva—of bhāva; aṅkura—sprout; samāgame—appears; vaidhī–bhakti—regulated devotion; thāke nā—does not stay; rucike—divine taste; ratira—divine attraction; saha—with; kabhu nā—never; eka—one; jāne—consider.
When the sprout of bhāva appears, vaidhi–bhakti is no longer present. One must never consider ruci and rati to be the same thing.
রাগানুগা বলিলেই প্রাপ্ত-রস জানে না
বিধি-শোধ্যজনে কভু রাগানুগ বলে না ॥২১॥
rāgānugā balile-i prāpta-rasa jāne nā
vidhi-śodhya jane kabhu rāgānuga bale nā
rāgānugā—rāgānuga–bhakti; balile-i—simply by talking; prāpta—attained; rasa—rasa; jāne nā—not understood; vidhi—scriptural regulations; śodhya—need of purification; jane—someone; kabhu nā—never; rāgānuga—a rāgānuga–bhakta; bale—says.
Rasa is not understood simply by talking about rāgānuga-bhakti. One who is still in need of being purified by following vaidhi–bhakti (scriptural regulations) can never be said to be a rāgānuga devotee.
সাধনের পূর্ব্বে কেহ ভাবাঙ্কুর পায় না
জড়ে শ্রদ্ধা না ছাড়িলে রতি কভু হয় না ॥২২॥
sādhanera pūrve keha bhāvāṅkura pāya nā
jaḍe śraddhā nā chāḍile rati kabhu haya nā
sādhanera—practice; pūrve—before; keha—someone; bhāva—of bhāva; aṅkura—sprout; pāya na—does not experience; jaḍe—in materialism; śraddhā—faith; nā—never; chhāḍile —reject; rati—divine attachment; kabhu haya na—can never manifest.
One does not experience the sprout of bhāva before performing sādhana. Until one rejects faith in materialism, rati can never manifest.
জাত-ভাব না হইলে রসিক ত হয় না
জড়-ভাব না ছাড়িলে রসিক ত হয় না ॥২৩॥
jāta-bhāva nā haile rasika ta haya nā
jaḍa-bhāva nā chāḍile rasika ta haya nā
jāta—awakened; bhāva—bhāva; na haile—has not arisen; rasika—a relisher of rasa; ta—indeed; haya nā—cannot become; jaḍa—mundane; bhāva—emotions; nā—not; chāḍile—abandon; rasika—a relisher of rasa; ta—indeed; haya nā—cannot become.
If awakened bhāva has not yet arisen, one can certainly never become a rasika. Indeed, one can never become a rasika if mundane emotions are not abandoned.
Again and again in Prākṛta-rasa Śata-dūṣaṇī the systematic development of the stages of bhakti are being stressed and stern warning is given that there is no alternative or shortcuts to this process. One must begin the process of pure devotional service and follow it step by step. The ontological development of pure devotional service is outlined in the following śloka of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī.
adau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyā
tato ‘nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭha rucis tathā
athāsaktis tato bhāvas tathā premābhyudañcati
sādhakānām ayaṁ premnaḥ prādurbhāve bhavet kramaḥ
In the beginning there must be faith (adau śraddhā). Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees (sādhu-saṅga). Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and follows the regulative principles of devotional service under his orders (bhajana-kriyā). Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits (anartha-nivṛtti) and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service (niṣṭhā). Thereafter, one develops taste (ruci) and attachment (asakti). This is the way of sādhana-bhakti, the performance of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify (bhāva), and finally there is an awakening of love (prema). This is the gradual development of love of God for the devotee interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.4.15-16)
In the stage of vaidhi-bhakti one performs devotional service according to rules and regulations. When the heart is free from anarthas, the devotee becomes fixed in devotional service and begins to develop a taste for the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, for the service of Kṛṣṇa, and to all things related to Kṛṣṇa. The devotee’s taste develops into attachment to Kṛṣṇa and when that attachment matures it is sometimes called rati. Then follows bhāva and prema.
When the need to be purified by following scriptural injunctions (vaidhi-bhakti) still remains, a devotee cannot be said to be a rāgānuga. Rāgānuga-bhakti necessitates that one has come to the stage of ruci. In other words, one must first dispense with all anarthas in the heart before becoming qualified to perform rāgānuga-bhakti.
The following is a quote from Sarasvatī Ṭhākura:
“When a devotee following the path of vaidhi-bhakti abandons his various material desires and executes bhajana according to the instructions of the scriptures, the spiritual master and the Vaiṣṇavas, then taste (ruci), arises in his bhajana. When ruci thus appears, he abandons the path of vaidhi-bhakti and enters the plane of rāgānuga-bhakti.” (Anuvṛtti commentary on Upadeśāmṛta)
Those who do not wish to progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness step by step, but instead prefer to jump ahead to rasa, are sometimes called ‘gatecrashers’. It is also to be understood that simply by talking about rasa does not mean that one has attained the stage of rāgānuga-bhakti. Talk is cheap, whereas the actual qualifications for rasa are very rare. It is also seen that the pseudo-guru claims himself to be a ‘rasika’ when in fact he still manifests the symptoms of kāma, krodha and lobha — lust for wealth, anger towards anyone who does not blindly accept him as guru, and greed to initiate anyone who crosses his path – even though such persons may have already been duly initiated by a bona-fide spiritual master. Such deluded persons think that they have attained rāgānuga-bhakti simply by hearing the līlās of Kṛṣṇa, but such persons should remember that kṛṣṇa-līlā is also sometimes available in comic books in India.
It should also not go without mention that many of the pseudo-gurus, past and present, claiming to be on the platform of a rasika, display the classic symptoms of narcissism. Narcissism is a material condition (a psychological illness) wherein one suffers from: 1) a grandiose sense of self-importance, 2) a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, and ideal love, 3) a belief that he is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special high-status people, 4) a requirement for excessive admiration and worship, 5) a sense of entitlement — unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his expectations, 6) a despotic mentality, repressing and exploiting others, 7) a lack of empathy, unwilling to recognise or identify with the feelings or needs of others, 8) envy of others, also believing that others are envious of him, 9) an arrogant or haughty attitude. Such persons are never truly rasika.
মূল-ধন রস-লাভ রতি বিনা হয় না
গাছে না উঠিতে কাঁদি বৃক্ষ-মূলে পায় না ॥২৪॥
mūla-dhana rasa-lābha rati-vinā haya nā
gāche nā uṭhite kāṅdi vṛkṣa-mūle pāya nā
mūla—the topmost; dhana—treasure; rasa –rasa; lābha—achieve; rati—divine attachment; vinā—without; haya nā—does not; gāche—the tree; nā—not; uṭhite—climbing; kāṅdi—fruits; vṛkṣa—tree; mūle—at the bottom; pāya nā—cannot collect.
One will not achieve the topmost treasure of rasa without rati. Without climbing the tree, one cannot collect the fruits by remaining below.
In Kalyāṇa-kalpataru, Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda says, “duṣṭa-phale karile arjana” – if one wants fruits without taking the trouble to climb the tree, what sort of fruits can he expect? The fruits will be ruined or rotten. Without proper progression, it is all imagination — a madman’s feat!
In this light, Śrīla B.R. Śrīdhara Mahārāja has quoted the following verse stating that it is the death-blow to the gatecrashers and sentiment-mongers.
upajiyā baḍe latā ‘brahmaṇḍa’ bhedi yāya
‘virajā’ ‘brahmaloka’ bhedi ‘paravyoma’ pāya
tabe yāya tad upari ‘goloka-vṛndāvana’
kṛṣṇa-caraṇa-kalpa-vṛkṣe kare ārohana
The creeper of devotion is born and grows to pierce the wall of the universe. It crosses the Virajā River and the Brahman plane, and reaches to the Vaikuṇṭha plane. Then it grows further up to Goloka Vṛndāvana, finally reaching to embrace the wish-yielding tree of Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 19-153-154)
The implication of this verse is that real bhakti takes its birth in the plane of vaidhi-bhakti and only after crossing all lower stages of consciousness does it go beyond material conceptions and enter the consciousness of Vaikuṇṭha. But even there, the creeper of devotion does not yet yield fruit. The fruit of pure devotion is only yielded after having attained the platform of spontaneous love, rāga-mārga, in Goloka Vṛndāvana.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja used to say that the neophyte’s engagement in kṛṣṇa-līlā is simply a dreamy thing. The real rāgānuga-bhaktas are aloof from such dreamy states because they are fully awake in the service or Hari, guru and Vaiṣṇava.
সাধনে অনর্থ আছে রসোদয় হয় না
ভাব-কালে নাম-গানে ছল-রস হয় না ॥২৫॥
sādhane anartha ācche rasodaya haya nā
bhāva-kāle nāma-gāne chala-rasa haya nā
sādhane—in practice; anartha—vices; ācche—are; rasa—rasa; udaya haya nā—will not arise; bhāva—bhāva; kāle—time; nāma—the Name; gāne—in chanting; chala—deceptive; rasa—rasa; haya nā—does not arise.
Rasa will not dawn in one if anarthas remain in the stage of sādhana. Deception cannot be present when the Holy Name is chanted at the time of bhāva.
সিদ্ধান্ত-বিহীন হৈলে কৃষ্ণে চি লাগে না
সম্বন্ধ-হীনের কভু অভিধেয় হয় না ॥২৬॥
siddhānta vihīna haile kṛṣṇe citta lāge nā
sambandha-hīnera kabhu abhidheya haya nā
siddhānta—proper philosophical conception; vihīna—bereft; haile—if one is; kṛṣṇe—to Kṛṣṇa; citta—consciousness; lāge nā—not fixed; sambandha—relation-ship (with Kṛṣṇa); hīnera—for those who are devoid; abhidheya—the process; kabhu haya nā—never reaches success.
The consciousness cannot be fixed upon Kṛṣṇa if one is bereft of the proper philosophical conception. For those who are devoid of knowledge of one’s relationship with Him (sambandha), there can be no abhidheya (process of devotional activities).
সম্বন্ধ-বিহীন জন প্রয়োজন পায় না
কু-সিদ্ধান্তে ব্যস্ত জন কৃষ্ণ-সেবা করে না ॥২৭॥
sambandha-vihīna jana prayojana pāya nā
ku-siddhānte vyasta jana kṛṣṇa-sevā kare nā
sambandha—relationship; vihīna—devoid; jana—persons;
prayojana—the goal; pāya nā—does not attain; ku-siddhānte—philosophical misconceptions; vyasta—preoccupied; jana—person; kṛṣṇa–sevā—service to Kṛṣṇa; kare nā—do not engage.
A person who is devoid of sambandha–jñāna does not attain the ultimate goal of life (prayojana). One who is preoccupied with philosophical misconceptions does not engage in service to Kṛṣṇa.
সিদ্ধান্ত-অলস জন অনর্থ ত ছাড়ে না
জড়ে কৃষ্ণ ভ্রম করি কৃষ্ণ-সেবা করে না ॥২৮॥
siddhānta-alasa jana anartha ta chāḍe nā
jaḍe kṛṣṇa bhrama kari kṛṣṇa-sevā kare nā
siddhānta—philosophical conclusions; alasa—idle; jana—person; anartha—unnecessary bad habits; ta—indeed chāḍe—free; nā—not; jaḍe—within matter; kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa; bhrama kari—they confuse; kṛṣṇa–sevā—service to Kṛṣṇa; kare nā—do not engage in.
That person who is lazy in understanding philosophical conclusions does not become free from anarthas. One who mistakenly considers Kṛṣṇa to be present within matter can never render service unto Him.
Proper understanding of pure devotional service can be divided into three categories, sambandha (fundamental knowledge of one’s relationship with Kṛṣṇa), abhidheya (knowledge of the proper performance of devotional activities), and prayojana (knowledge of the ultimate goal of life).
Without proper knowledge of one’s relationship with Kṛṣṇa (sambandha) it is not possible to serve Kṛṣṇa (abhidheya), and without serving Kṛṣṇa one cannot attain the ultimate goal of life (prayojana). Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally taught the principles of sambandha to Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī and the principles of abhidheya to Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī. To understand prayojana one should closely examine the Prīti-sandarbha of Jīva Gosvāmī and the writings of Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī. Without proper philosophical understanding and following in the footsteps of the Six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana, it is not possible to get prema-prayojana (the perfection of love of Kṛṣṇa) simply by shedding tears and putting on theatrical performances for the public.
Those who are lazy to understand proper siddhānta (philosophical conclusions), or who maintain improper philosophical understandings (apa-siddhānta), can never be free from anarthas and thus can never progress properly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Such persons often think that simply by serving the institution of the guru, they are serving Kṛṣṇa and thus will automatically go back to home, back to Godhead. They judge the success of their endeavours simply by measuring size, material opulence, temples, Deities, devotees, and members, with no concern for proper philosophical understanding. But from the above verses it is clear that Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura does not agree with such thinking. Without proper philosophical understanding, one cannot get free from material contamination, nor can one properly perform devotional service. Kṛṣṇa Dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī states that one should not avoid philosophical controversy out of laziness.
siddhānta baliyā citte nā kara alasa
ihā haite kṛṣṇe lāge sudṛḍha mānasa
A sincere student should not neglect the discussion of such conclusions, considering them controversial, for such discussions strengthen the mind. Thus one’s mind becomes attached to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Ādi-līlā 2.117)
Our spiritual master, Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda, was adamant that his disciples have a proper philosophical understanding and thus he wrote many books in English for that purpose. Unfortunately, many of his disciples do not take advantage of their spiritual master’s books, do not study them deeply, and thus they advance the lame purposes of society consciousness, rather than the transcendental purposes of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
The most prominent philosophical misunderstanding among such institutionalised devotees is probably their misconstrued idea that they are the only bona-fide representatives of Kṛṣṇa on Earth, and that only through their institution can a jīva be liberated from material bondage. Such institutionalised devotees are also of the opinion that the living entities found in this material world (baddha-jīvas) originally fell down from their position in the spiritual world, from being eternally liberated (nitya-mukta-jīvas). These, and other such misconceptions, are due to a range of anarthas that principally arise from a lack of philosophical understanding of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava siddhānta.
কৃষ্ণ-নামে ভক্ত জড়-বুদ্ধি কভু করে না
অনর্থ না গেলে নামে রূপ দেখা দেয় না ॥২৯॥
kṛṣṇa-nāme bhakta jaḍa-buddhi kabhu kare nā
anartha nā gele nāme rūpa dekhā deya nā
kṛṣṇa-nāme—the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa; bhakta—a devotee; kabhu nā kare—never; jaḍa—materialistic; buddhi—thoughts; anartha—unnecessary bad habits; nā gele—are not eliminated; nāme—through the Name; rūpa—the form (of Kṛṣṇa); dekhā deya nā—does not reveal.
A devotee never entertains materialistic thoughts about the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa. The Lord does not reveal His form through the Holy Name if anarthas are not eliminated.
অনর্থ না গেলে নামে গুণ বুঝা যায় না
অনর্থ না গেলে নামে কৃষ্ণ-সেবা হয় না ॥৩০॥
anartha nā gele nāme guṇa bujhā yāya nā
anartha nā gele nāme kṛṣṇa-sevā haya nā
anartha—vices; nā gele—have not gone; nāme—through the Name; guṇa—qualities; bujhā yāya nā—cannot be understood; anartha—vices; nā gele—have not gone; nāme—through the Name; kṛṣṇa–sevā—service to Kṛṣṇa; haya nā—there is no.
If anarthas have not vanished, then Kṛṣna’s qualities will never be understood through the Holy Name. If anarthas have not vanished, one can never engage in service to Kṛṣṇa through the Holy Name.
In Caitanya-śikṣāmṛta and Kṛṣṇa-saṁhitā of Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda, the main anarthas to devotional service have been described in relation to their appearance as demons killed by Kṛṣṇa, and sometimes as demigods like Brahmā, Varuṇa and Indra.
Pūtanā represents the pseudo-guru who teaches false conceptions, causing the death of the creeper of devotion.
Śakaṭāsura represents the burden of old habits and the burden of following the rules of śāstra simply for formalities sake.
Tṛṇāvarta represents the obstacle to worshiping Kṛṣṇa that manifests in the form of pride of learning, the use of false arguments, and dry logic.
The destruction of the Yamala-Arjuna trees represents the removal of pride stemming from great wealth, which breeds violence, illicit sex and addiction to alcohol, loose speech and shameless brutality to other living beings.
Kṛṣṇa’s killing of Vatsāsura represents vanquishing the obstacle of greed and the sinful activities caused by greed.
Bakāsura represents the system of cheating religions. When one foolishly accepts a pseudo-guru and engages in the process of worship that is meant for exalted devotees, he is cheated. Until such cheating propensities are destroyed, spiritual advancement is checked.
Intolerance, violence and cruelty are personified in the demon Aghāsura in the form of a giant serpent. The basis of compassion for the living entities and devotion to Kṛṣṇa are the same. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa killed the Aghāsura demon to save the devotees from this anartha.
Although Lord Brahmā was certainly not a demon, he was however put into illusion by Kṛṣṇa. Brahmā’s disregard for the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa and being overcome by the flowery words of the Vedas, represents skepticism and doubt that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Dhenukāsura represents ass-like or gross discrimination (caste, colour, creed and institutional consciousness). Dhenukāsura means ignorance of one’s own spiritual identity (svarūpa), the identity of the Holy Name and the identity of Kṛṣṇa. In kṛṣṇa-līlā, Dhenukāsura cannot eat the sweet fruits from the palm tree, and he also opposes the attempts of others to eat them. Similarly, the previous ācāryas have written many literatures, which ass-like people cannot comprehend, nor wish to allow others to see. These ass-like devotees, who are simply interested in the regulative principles and under the control of gross discrimination are unable to make spiritual advancement. Without endeavouring to understand the science of attachment to Kṛṣṇa, one is comparable to an ordinary fruitive worker. Therefore, until this ass-like conception represented by Dhenukāsura is killed, one cannot advance in the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Pride, deceit, harming others and cruelty are enemies of anyone desiring to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore these anarthas must be driven out of one’s heart. The Kāliya serpent being banished from Vṛndāvana by Kṛṣṇa is a clear indication that without eliminating pride, deceit and cruelty from one’s heart, one cannot expect to become a resident of Vraja.
Sectarianism, or thinking one’s society to be the only means of attaining pure devotional service, is the anartha represented by the forest fire. This sectarian thinking keeps one from associating with exalted devotees of Kṛṣṇa and impedes advancement. Thus, extinguishing the fire of sectarian consciousness is most important.
Pralambāsura represents lust for women, greed, desire for worship and position. Even if one is a householder, it is necessary to give up lusty desires and even if one is a guru, one should not be desirous of being worshipped or receiving great honours or being recognised as a rasika-ācārya.
The wives of the yajñika-brāhmaṇas were blessed by Kṛṣṇa, whereas their husbands were not so fortunate. The brāhmaṇas were indifferent to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma due to identifying with the varṇāśrama system and attachment to karma-kāṇḍa activities. The varṇāśrama system and karma-khaṇḍa have both been rejected by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Therefore His followers should diligently do the same.
Defeating Indra by lifting Govardhana Hill is Kṛṣṇa’s direct instruction to His devotees that the worship of minor demigods for material gain is unnecessary and an obstacle to bhakti.
Deluded by madness, some devotees fall victim to intoxication, thinking that wine, marijuana, LSD, and other such intoxicants are helpful in advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. However, the happiness in Vraja (known as nanda) cannot be enhanced by any external or material supplement. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa’s saving Nanda Mahārāja from the court of Varuṇa, who symbolises intoxication, is to discourage such practices among the devotees.
The snake which attempted to swallow Nanda Mahārāja represents a devotee’s inclination in ecstasy to merge with Kṛṣṇa. As a Vaiṣṇava’s happiness continually increases in the process of worship, one sometimes loses consciousness. At that time the feeling of merging may overcome one. This feeling of merging with the Lord is the snake that swallowed Nanda Mahārāja. A practitioner who remains free from this snake will become a qualified Vaiṣṇava.
Śaṅkhacūḍa symbolises the desire to acquire fame and women through the practice of bhakti. This abominable activity is quite common among pseudo-devotees, but real Vaiṣṇavas always avoid the association of such despicable persons.
Ariṣṭāsura, the bull demon, symbolises disregard for bhakti and attraction for cheating religion. Weak-hearted show-bottle devotees give up the path of vaidhi-bhakti and try to enter the path of rāgānuga-bhakti, but when they are unable to realise rasa, they behave like Ariṣṭāsura by cultivating perverted material activities. These unfortunate persons will certainly meet Kṛṣṇa – not in the form of the affectionate cowherd boy of Vraja, but in the form of death.
The illusion of being a great devotee or a great ācārya, is represented by Keśi who appeared in Vraja-bhūmī as a horse. Keśi personifies the practicing devotees mentality of being more expert than others in bhakti, lording it over others, and material pride. As a Keśi-like devotee gradually begins proclaiming his own superiority, he develops a mentality of disrespect for the Lord and His devotees and falls from his position. Therefore, it is most important to prevent this mentality from entering the heart. Even if one is expert in devotional service, a Vaiṣṇava will never give up the quality of humility.
The demon Vyomāsura represents stealing others property and speaking lies. Both these habits are contrary to the development of pure devotional service and should therefore be strictly avoided.
Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda summarises as follows:
“Here is the secret of vraja-bhajana. Dhenukāsura represents the wicked disposition that carries heavy loads. Pralamba represents the inclination to enjoy women, greed, the desire for worship and material prestige. The practitioner must eliminate these anarthas by his own endeavours, with the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. Ignorance of the knowledge of one’s own spiritual identity (sva-svarūpa), the Holy Name (nāma–svarūpa) and the identity of the Lord (upāsya–svarūpa) are all represented by Dhenukāsura. The practicing devotee must remove these anarthas with great endeavour. The lust for man or woman, covetousness, the endeavour for mundane enjoyment, conceit, desire for worship and fame – these are all represented by Pralamba. One should realise that these are extremely ruinous to nāma–bhajana and make great attempts to eliminate them. If one’s humility is sincere, then Kṛṣṇa will certainly be compassionate. In this way, Baladeva will appear and all other problems will be eradicated in a second. Then gradually, favourable cultivation of one’s bhajana will occur. This process is very secret by nature and should be learned from a genuine guru, who is spotless in character.” (Caitanya-śikṣāmṛta 6.6)
Those who desire to serve Kṛṣṇa purely in the mood of Vraja should destroy the above-mentioned anarthas. Some of these anarthas must be eliminated by a devotee’s own endeavour and purity, and others can be destroyed by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. Bhaktivinoda explains that the anarthas represented by Dhenukāsura and Pralamba are actually destroyed by Baladeva. If a devotee prays with humility to Kṛṣṇa to remove all these anarthas in the heart (that are represented by the demons that Kṛṣṇa killed), then Kṛṣṇa will certainly do so. Other obstacles (represented by the demons killed by Baladeva) have to be removed by one’s own endeavours. A living entity is able to personally destroy these obstacles that are found under the shelter of religious duties through savikalpa–samādhi (reasoning and introspection).
It may also be appropriate to point out here that most of the demons killed by Kṛṣṇa were disposed of before the pastimes of rāsa-līlā began. This includes the illusion of Brahmā and defeat of Indra. Those dealt with before the rāsa-līlā were Pūtanā, Śakaṭāsura, Tṛṇāvarta, the Yamala-Arjuna trees, Vatsāsura, Bakāsura, Aghāsura, the illusion of Brahmā, Dhenukāsura, Kāliya, the forest fire, Pralambāsura, the yajñika-brāhmaṇas, Indra and Varuṇa. Certainly one should be free from the anarthas represented by the above personalities before one thinks oneself to be qualified for rāgānuga–bhakti.
Furthermore, the demons Śaṅkhacūḍa, the snake that swallowed Nanda Mahārāja, Ariṣṭāsura, Keśi and Vyomāsura were dispensed with after Kṛṣṇa began His rāsa-līlā. Therefore it should be understood that even an advanced devotee should be mindful not to allow the anarthas represented by the demons killed after the start of Kṛṣṇa’s mādhurya pastimes to raise their head and enter his heart.
রূপ-গুণ-লীলা-স্ফূ নাম ছাড়া হয় না
রূপ-গুণ-লীলা হৈতে কৃষ্ণ-নাম হয় না ॥৩১॥
rūpa-guṇa-līlā-sphūrti nāma chāḍā haya nā
rūpa-guṇa-līlā haite kṛṣṇa-nāma haya nā
rūpa—form; guṇa—qualities; līlā—pastimes; sphūrti—revelation; nāma—the Name; chāḍā—without; haya nā—does not occur; rūpa—form; guṇa—qualities; līlā—pastimes; haite—from; kṛṣṇa–nāma—Kṛṣṇa’s Name; haya nā—does not manifest.
The revelation of Kṛṣṇa’s form, qualities, and pastimes can never happen without the Holy Name. Kṛṣṇa’s Holy Name does not manifest from His form, qualities or pastimes.
রূপ হৈতে নাম-স্ফূ গুরু কভু বলে না
গুণ হৈতে নাম-স্ফূ গুরু কভু বলে না ॥৩২॥
rūpa haite nāma-sphūrti guru kabhu bale nā
guṇa haite nāma-sphūrti guru kabhu bale nā
rūpa—form; haite—from; nāma—of Kṛṣṇa’s Name; sphūrti—revelation; guru—the guru; kabhu bale nā—does not say; guṇa—qualities; haite—from; nāma—of Kṛṣṇa’s Name; sphūrti—revelation; guru—the guru; kabhu bale nā—does not say.
The spiritual master does not say that nāma-sphūrti (revelation of the Holy Name) comes from the Lord’s form. The spiritual master does not say that there is revelation of the Lord’s Holy Name from His qualities.
লীলা হৈতে নাম-স্ফূ রূপানুগ বলে না
নাম-নামী দুই বস্তু রূপানুগ বলে না ॥৩৩॥
līlā haite nāma-sphūrti rūpānuga bale nā
nāma-nāmī dui vastu rūpānuga bale nā
līlā—pastimes; haite—from; nāma—Name; sphūrti—revelation; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; bale nā—does not say; nāma—the Name; nāmī—the Named; dui—two; vastu—things; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; bale nā—does not say.
A rūpānuga (a follower of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī) never says that the revelation of the Holy Name occurs from Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. The rūpānugas never say that the Name and Named are two separate entities.
It is the undisputed conclusion of all bona-fide śāstras and ācāryas that the nāma (Holy Name), guṇa (qualities), rūpa (form) and līlā (pastimes) of Kṛṣṇa are non-different from Kṛṣṇa Himself. That is to say that the Name of Kṛṣṇa, being non-different from Kṛṣṇa, is also non-different from Kṛṣṇa’s form, qualities and pastimes.
Considering that Kṛṣṇa’s Holy Name is different from His qualities, form and pastimes, the prākṛta-sahajiyās minimise the chanting of kṛṣṇa-nāma and substitute it with invented novel practices, most notably siddha-praṇālī or ekadaśa-bhāva. It should also be noted that the ekadaśa-bhāva, which is sometimes force-fed to unqualified practitioners by unscrupulous gurus, is not to be confused with the ekadaśa-bhāva described in Jaiva-dharma, chapter 39, by Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda.
To further clarify this topic of ekadaśa-bhāva, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments as follows, and one should pay very close attention to what the great ācārya has said.
“Those who have achieved the perfection of being fixed in their spiritual identity (svarūpa-siddhi or ekadaśa-bhāva) have attained such a realisation through internal revelation, and the spiritual master’s only involvement in these matters is to help further the advancement of the disciple. As a practitioner progresses toward spiritual perfection, all these things are revealed naturally within the heart that sincerely seeks service.” (Letter to a disciple, Nov. 17th, 1930)
Unfortunately many pseudo-devotees claim to have advanced to the stage of svarūpa-siddhi and to have realised their ekadaśa-bhāva. Some such persons even claim to have received siddha–praṇālī (as a mañjarī or sakhī) in a dream from their spiritual master. Such devotees are indeed eccentric in their behaviour and easily dupe innocent newcomers into believing in their dreams. However, the vast majority of these deluded persons, although claiming to have achieved siddha–praṇālī, do not know the first things about the qualifications necessary to achieve such a high standard of pure devotional service as to realise their intrinsic spiritual identity. Nor do they properly understand the function of a mañjarī or sakhī in the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. We consider such persons as sva-kuhaka – self-deceivers.
রস আগে রতি পাছে রূপানুগ বলে না
রস আগে শ্রদ্ধা পাছে গুরু কভু বলে না ॥৩৪॥
rasa āge rati pāche rūpānuga bale nā
rasa āge śraddhā pāche guru kabhu bale nā
rasa–rasa; āge–first; rati—divine attachment; pāche—then; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; bale nā—does not say; rasa—rasa; āge—first; śraddhā—faith; pāche—then; guru—the guru; kabhu bale nā—never says.
A rūpānuga never says that rasa comes first and then rati follows. The spiritual master never says that rasa comes first and then śraddhā follows.
রতি আগে শ্রদ্ধা পাছে রূপানুগ বলে না
ক্রম-পথ ছাড়ি’ সিদ্ধি রূপানুগ বলে না ॥৩৫॥
rati āge śraddhā pāche rūpānuga bale nā
krama patha chāḍi siddhi rūpānuga bale nā
rati—divine attachment; āge—first; śraddhā—faith; pāche—then; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; bale nā—does not say; krama—progressive; patha—path; chāḍi—rejecting; siddhi—perfection; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; bale nā—does not say.
A rūpānuga does not say that rasa is attained before one develops śraddhā. A rūpānuga does not say that perfection is attained by rejecting the progressive path.
মহাজন-পথ ছাড়ি নব্য-পথে ধায় না
অপরাধ-সহ নাম কখনই হয় না ॥৩৬॥
mahājana-patha chāḍi navya-pathe dhāya nā
aparādha-saha nāma kakhana-i haya nā
mahājana—the great devotees; patha–the path; chāḍi—leave aside; navya—new; pathe—path; dhāya—run; nā—not; aparādha—offences; saha—with; nāma—the Holy Name; kakhana–i haya nā—never manifests.
They never leave aside the path of the mahājanas to run and follow a new path. The Holy Name can never appear along with offences.
নামে প্রাকৃতার্থ-বুদ্ধি ভক্ত কভু করে না
অপরাধ-যুক্ত নাম ভক্ত কভু লয় না ॥৩৭॥
nāme prākātārtha-buddhi bhakta kabhu haya nā
aparādha-yukta nāma bhakta kabhu laya nā
nāme—the Name; prākṛta—mundane; artha—conception; buddhi—thinks; bhakta—devotee; kabhu haya nā—never; aparādha—offences; yukta—with; nāma—the Name; bhakta—devotee; kabhu laya nā—never takes.
A devotee never thinks of the Holy Name with a mundane conception. A devotee never chants the Holy Name with offences.
নামেতে প্রাকৃত-বুদ্ধি রূপানুগ করে না
কৃষ্ণ-রূপে জড়-বুদ্ধি রূপানুগ করে না ॥৩৮॥
nāmete prākṛta-buddhi rūpānuga kare nā
kṛṣṇa-rūpe jaḍa-buddhi rūpānuga kare nā
nāmete—to the Holy Name; prākṛta—material; buddhi—intellect; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; kare nā—does not; kṛṣṇa–rūpe—Kṛṣṇa’s form; jaḍa—materialistic; buddhi—mentality; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; kare nā—does not;
Rūpānugas do not attribute mundane qualities to the Holy Name by means of material intellect. The rūpānugas do not possess a materialistic mentality, thus they do not consider Kṛṣṇa’s form as material.
কৃষ্ণ-গুণে জড়-বুদ্ধি রূপানুগ করে না
পরিকর-বৈশিষ্ট্যকে প্রাকৃত ত জানে না ॥৩৯॥
kṛṣṇa-guṇe jaḍa-buddhi rūpānuga kare nā
parikara-vaiśiṣṭyake prākṛta ta jāne nā
kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa; guṇe—qualities; jaḍa—mundane; buddhi—intelligence; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; kare nā—do not; parikara—associates; vaiśiṣṭyake—attributes; prākṛta—material; ta—indeed; jāne nā—do not consider.
Rūpānugas do not look upon Kṛṣṇa’s qualities with mundane intelligence. They do not consider the attributes of the Lord’s eternal associates to be material.
কৃষ্ণ-লীলা জড়-তুল্য রূপানুগ বলে না
কৃষ্ণেতর ভোগ্য-বস্তু কৃষ্ণ কভু হয় না ॥৪০॥
kṛṣṇa-līlā jaḍa-tulya rūpānuga bale nā
kṛṣṇetara bhogya-vastu kṛṣṇa kabhu haya nā
kṛṣṇa-līlā—Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes; jaḍa—to matter; tulya—comparable; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; bale nā—does not say; kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa, itara—anyone other than; bhogya—of enjoyment; vastu—an object; kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa; kabhu haya nā—never becomes.
A rūpānuga does not say that Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are comparable to mundane activities. Kṛṣṇa never becomes a material object of sense pleasure for anyone other than Himself.
জড়কে অনর্থ ছাড়া আর কিছু মানে না
জড়াসক্তি-বশে রসে কৃষ্ণ-জ্ঞান করে না ॥৪১॥
jaḍake anartha chāḍā āra kichu māne nā
jaḍāsakti-vaśe rase kṛṣṇa-jñāna kare nā
jaḍake—gross physical objects; anartha—unnecessary bad habits; chāḍā—other than; āra kichhu—anything; māne nā—do not consider; jaḍa—matter; āsakti—attachment; vaśe—under the sway; rase—in rasa; kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa; jñāna kare nā—do not consider.
Do not consider gross physical objects as anything else other than anarthas. Do not consider Kṛṣṇa to be present within that rasa which is under the influence of material attachment.
It is easy to call one’s self a rūpānuga, a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, but without acquiring the qualities of a rūpānuga, such claims are simply a formal declaration. The aprākṛta-svarūpa (spiritual form) of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī is that of Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī in Vraja. Being a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī is synonymous with being a follower of Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī, but qualification is necessary. The qualifications of a rūpānuga are described by Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī in his Caitanya-candrāmṛta as follows:
āstāṁ vairāgya-koṭir bhavatu
vā vaiṣṇavī bhakti-koṭiḥ
koṭy-aṁśo ‘py asya na syāt tad api
guṇa-gaṇo yaḥ svataḥ-siddha āste
Persons who are attached to the rays of the effulgent nails on the toes of the lotus feet of the beloved and dear devotees of Lord Caitanya are by themselves fully qualified with all transcendental qualities. Even powerful renunciation, equanimity, sense control, fortitude, meditation, and similar other great qualities that are found in the devotees of Viṣṇu do not compare to even one-millionth of a part of their transcendental attributes. (Caitanya-candrāmṛta, 127)
The position of a rūpānuga is further described by Śrīla B.R. Śrīdhara Mahārāja in Śrī Guru and His Grace as follows:
“The rūpānuga sampradāya, the followers of the line of Śrī Rūpa, are those who have the unique taste of service in the camp of Rādhārāṇī. In that plane, there is no entrance of any mundane exploitation or renunciation, and not even legalised śāstrika devotion. The highest kind of devotion is not controlled by any law. It is spontaneous and automatic. Sacrifice to the highest degree is only possible in that camp. The highest kind of divine sentiment is distributed from the camp of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and that can never be compared with any attainment hitherto known even in the eternal factor of time and space.
“Then, there is another stage for which we should be prepared. Why should we try to enter into the camp of Rādhārāṇī? Should we think that there, in that better atmosphere, we shall have Kṛṣṇa’s presence more confidentially? Should we think, “I will have contact with Kṛṣṇa very intimately.” Should we want to enter into that camp? No — we want to avoid the connection of Kṛṣṇa, but concentrate on the service of Rādhārāṇī. Why? What more benefit is possible there in the service of Rādhārāṇī? If we approach Kṛṣṇa directly to give service to Him, we shall be losers. Rādhārāṇī’s service to Kṛṣṇa is of the highest order in every way. If we devote our energy to help Rādhārāṇī, our energy will be utilised in Her service. In this way, She will serve Kṛṣṇa with Her service more enhanced. Then the reciprocation will pass to us through Her as our reward. That will be devotion of the highest type (mahā-bhāva).
“So, the general inclination of the sakhīs, the confidential maidservants of Rādhārāṇī, is not to come in direct connection with Kṛṣṇa. They avoid that. But still, it is the benevolent and generous nature of Rādhārāṇī to connect them with Kṛṣṇa on some plea at some time or other. But their innate nature is always to avoid Kṛṣṇa and concentrate on the service of Rādhārāṇī.
rādhāra svarūpa—kṛṣṇa-prema kalpalatā
sakhī-gaṇa haya tāra pallava-puṣpa-pātā
By nature, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is just like a creeper of love of Godhead, and the gopīs are the twigs, flowers and leaves of that creeper. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 8. 209)
“Eternally the twigs, flowers and leaves sprout from the creeper of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. She is the trunk, and they are branches. This is their relationship.
“Yet still, there is another, higher thing. We are known as rūpānuga, the followers of Śrī Rūpa. Why? The service of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī eliminates everything, even Nārāyaṇa, to go to Kṛṣṇa. There is the Kṛṣṇa of Dvārāka, the Kṛṣṇa of Mathurā, and the Kṛṣṇa of Vṛndāvana. Then again in Vṛndāvana, where there is free mixing without hesitation in other camps, Rādhārāṇī’s camp is the highest. Eliminating all other camps, direct service to Rādhārāṇī is considered to be the highest. Still, there is another point.
“Who is Rūpa? Rūpa Mañjarī. Generally the hierarchy in the spiritual world is eternal. New recruits can occupy a particular rank of mañjarī, an assistant in mādhurya-rasa. And the leader of the mañjarīs is Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī. What is the special feature in the mañjarī camp that is not found among the sakhīs, girlfriends of Kṛṣṇa?
“First there is Rādhārāṇī, then the camp of Her right-hand personal attendant, Lalitā. Then, under Lalitā, there is Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī. What is the unique position of the followers of Śrī Rūpa? The new recruits can attain to that status. Now, the privilege of this mañjarī class we are to conceive most respectfully and attentively.
“When Rādhā and Govinda are in secrecy, in a private place, the sakhīs, who are well-versed in the art of that kind of play, because they are a little grown-up, do not like to approach there to disturb Their confidential mixing. If the more grown-up sakhīs, enter there, both Rādhā and Govinda will feel shy, so their presence may create some disturbance. But the younger girls can enter there, and then Rādhā and Govinda have no hesitation in free mixing.
“In that highest stage of the mixing of Rādhā-Govinda, the free play of Rādhā-Govinda, these mañjarīs, the younger girls, can have admission. But the grown-up sakhīs cannot have admission there. New recruits may come up to the mañjarī class. And the mañjarīs have that sort of special advantage under the leadership of Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī, so, they get the best advantage there. The most sacred type of pure service, which is not open even to the sakhīs, is open to the mañjarīs. That is found in Rādhārāṇī’s camp.
“The position of the rūpānugas, the followers of Śrī Rūpa, is the most profitable position. That has been given out by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. That has been shown by Him, and that is fixed as the highest limit of our fortune in Kṛṣṇa’s concern. This is unexpectable, undesignable and beyond hope, but our prospect lies there in that subtle camp of Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī, Rūpa Gosvāmī.
“The camp, the sampradāya of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is known as the rūpānuga sampradāya. There, our fate and our fortune are located. Now we have to conduct ourselves in such a way that naturally we can connect with that highest, purest spiritual conception from here. We must not allow ourselves to be satisfied with anything less than this highest ideal. That should be the highest goal of our life. And we must adjust our approach from our present position.”
The most common misunderstanding among neophyte devotees concerning the mañjarī class of gopīs is the thinking that the mañjarīs also enjoy with Kṛṣṇa. This type of thinking definitely shows that such persons have not received proper guidance in such matters from their guru and that they are certainly not qualified to engage in or hear about the amorous pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. To support our statements we quote Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda below.
“You are a maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and your eternal service is to render devotional service unto Her. Sometimes, due to some necessity, She may send you to be alone with Śrī Kṛṣṇa in a solitary place, and during that time, Kṛṣṇa may show some desire to enjoy with you. However, you should never agree to His demands. You are a maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and you should never serve Kṛṣṇa independently for His pleasure without Her permission. You should have equal loving attachment for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, but still you should maintain greater desire for Her loving service than for Kṛṣṇa’s. This is the meaning of service to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Your service is to care for Rādhārāṇī’s comfort and pleasure in all the eight-fold pastimes.” (Jaiva-dharma, Ch.39)
In this same light A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda writes about the mystery of the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in The Search for the Ultimate Goal of Life, page 74, as follows:
“The activities of the sakhīs are very wonderful. They do not desire any personal enjoyment with Śrī Kṛṣṇa but become happy only by uniting the Divine Couple. By uniting Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī with Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the sakhīs enjoy a thousand times more happiness than they would derive by direct contact with Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This is another mystery of the transcendental pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
“Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the desire-creeper embracing the desire tree of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the sakhīs are the leaves, twigs, and flowers of that desire creeper. So naturally when the desire creeper is watered at the root by the nectarean water of the pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the leaves and twigs and flowers of the desire creeper are automatically nourished. The sakhīs therefore do not require any separate arrangement for their enjoyment. On the other hand, the happiness of the flowers and leaves is greater than the original creeper. This is explained in the Govinda Līlāmṛta, 10.16 as follows:
sakhyaḥ śrī-rādhikāyā vraja-kumuda
jatollāsāḥ sva-sekācchata-guṇam adhikaṁ
santi yat tan na citram
There is no utility in watering the leaves and flowers of a tree without watering the root of the tree. The leaves and flowers are automatically nourished by watering the root of the tree. Similarly, without the unity of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and Śrī Kṛṣṇa, there is no happiness for the sakhīs. When Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are united, the happiness of the sakhīs is thousands and thousands of times greater than when they are personally associating with Kṛṣṇa.
কৃষ্ণ-নাম কৃষ্ণ-রূপ কভু জড় বলে না
কৃষ্ণ-গুণ কৃষ্ণ-লীলা কভু জড় বলে না ॥৪২॥
kṛṣṇa-nāma kṛṣṇa-rūpa kabhu jaḍa bale nā
kṛṣṇa-guṇa kṛṣṇa-līlā kabhu jaḍa bale nā
kṛṣṇa–nāma—Kṛṣṇa’s Name; kṛṣṇa–rūpa—Kṛṣṇa’s form; jadā—material; kabhu bale nā—never say; kṛṣṇa–guṇa—Kṛṣṇa’s qualities; kṛṣṇa–līlā—Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes; jadā—material; kabhu bale nā—never say.
One should never say that Kṛṣṇa’s Holy Name and Kṛṣṇa’s form are material. One should never say that Kṛṣṇa’s qualities and pastimes are mundane.
জড়-রূপ অনর্থেতে কৃষ্ণ-ভ্রম করে না
কৃষ্ণ-নাম-রূপ-গুণে জড়-বুদ্ধি করে না ॥৪৩॥
jaḍa-rūpa anarthete kṛṣṇa-bhrama kare nā
kṛṣṇa-nāma-rūpa-guṇe jaḍa-buddhi kare nā
jaḍa—of matter; rūpa—in the form; anarthete—with an anartha; bhrama kare nā—do not mistake; kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa; nāma—Name; rūpa—form; guṇe—qualities; jaḍa—matter; buddhi—consider; kare nā—do not.
One should not mistake Kṛṣṇa to be present within anarthas in the form of matter. Do not consider Krsna’s names, forms and qualities to be material.
To make it clear to his readers and to anyone claiming to be a follower of Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, it is being said here again and again that before one can properly relish the higher stages of bhakti, one must first come to the stage of anartha-nivṛtti – being freed from material contamination. The real work in vaidhi-bhakti is to become free from anarthas. One who fails to achieve this is doomed. Ninety percent of our work should be to eliminate the unwanted anarthas and then the other ten percent will come quite easily. Any endeavour to achieve the ten percent without eliminating the ninety percent is simply living in a fool’s paradise.
It has been said that Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura spent ninety percent of his energy to teach what is not mādhurya-rasa, the negative side. He had to spare, in his words, “gallons of blood” in order to teach that which is not rasa.
Some foolish persons make light of these statements of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and, ignoring his cautions, dive headlong into the topics of higher līlā. Such persons should be understood as not being followers of the great ācārya and their association should be rejected.
নাম-রূপ-গুণ-লীলা জড় বলি মানে না
জড়-নাম-রূপ-গুণে কৃষ্ণ কভু বলে না ॥৪৪॥
nāma-rūpa-guṇa-līlā jaḍa bali māne nā
jaḍa-nāma-rūpa-guṇe kṛṣṇa kabhu bale nā
nāma—name; rūpa—form; guṇa—qualities; līlā—pastimes; jaḍa—material; bali māne nā—do not regard; jaḍa—material; nāma—name; rūpa—form; guṇa—qualities; kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa; kabhu bale nā—never say.
One should not regard the Lord’s Names, forms, qualities or pastimes to be material. One should never say that material Names, forms or qualities are Kṛṣṇa.
জড়-শূন্য অপ্রাকৃত নাম ছাড়া বলে না
জড়-শূন্য অপ্রাকৃত রূপ ছাড়া দেখে না ॥৪৫॥
jaḍa-śūnya aprākṛta nāma chāḍā bale nā
jaḍa-śūnya aprākṛta rūpa chāḍā dekhe nā
jaḍa—from matter; śūnya—free; aprākṛta—divine; nāma—Name; chāḍā—other than; bale nā—do not chant; jaḍa—from matter; śūnya—free; aprākṛta—divine; rūpa—form; chāḍā—other than; dekhe nā—do not see.
Do not chant anything except for the divine Names of Kṛṣṇa that are completely spiritual and free from matter. Do not see anything except for the divine form of Kṛṣṇa which is free from all matter.
জড়-শূন্য অপ্রাকৃত গুণ ছাড়া শুনে না
জড়-শূন্য অপ্রাকৃত লীলা ছাড়া সেবে না ॥৪৬॥
jaḍa-śūnya aprākṛta guṇa chāḍā śune nā
jaḍa-śūnya aprākṛta līlā chāḍā seve nā
jaḍa—from matter; śūnya—free; aprākṛta—divine; guṇa—qualities; chāḍā—other than; śune nā—do not hear about; jaḍa—from matter; śūnya—free; aprākṛta—divine; līlā—pastimes; chāḍā—other than; seva nā—do not serve.
Do not hear anything except for the divine qualities of Śrī Kṛṣṇa that are free from mundanity. Do not serve anything other than the divine pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa which are devoid of matter.
Everything about Kṛṣṇa is purely spiritual and thus everything connected to Kṛṣṇa is divine. The following questions asked by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and the answers given by Rāmānanda Rāya are supremely instructive to all devotees.
Question: What is the essence of learning in the field of educational activities?
Answer: There is no superior quality of learning than the knowledge pursued in regard to devotional service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Question: What is the highest fame?
Answer: The highest fame of a living being is a reputation of being a devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Question: What is the most valuable possession of life among all the assets of the world?
Answer: One who has transcendental love for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is to be considered the richest person in the world.
Question: What is the most grievous type of sorrow among all the sorrows and distresses of life?
Answer: There is no greater type of sorrow than the unhappiness created by separation from devotees of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Question: Who is most perfectly liberated among all the liberated souls of the universe?
Answer: One who has transcendental love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the greatest of all liberated souls.
Question: What is the best song that a person can sing?
Answer: The essence of all songs is the singing of the transcendental glories of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
Question: What is the highest benefit of life that a person can seek?
Answer: There is no greater gain in life than the association of devotees engaged in the service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Question: Who is to be remembered constantly by the living being?
Answer: One should always think of the transcendental Name, fame, and qualities of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Question: What should the living being meditate on?
Answer: The most perfect type of meditation is to meditate upon the lotus feet of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
Question: Where should the living being reside exclusively, leaving all other residential quarters?
Answer: One should live in Vṛndāvana, where the transcendental pastimes of rāsa-līlā are perpetually performed.
Question: What should the living entity hear about, leaving aside all other topics?
Answer: The reciprocal loving pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are the only subject matter for aural reception by the living entity.
Question: What is the most worshipable object among all those to be worshiped?
Answer: The topmost worshipable object is the combined names of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
Question: Where do persons go who aspire after liberation or sense enjoyment respectively?
Answer: The first person attains a body that is immovable (such as a stone or mountain), and the other attains a celestial body.
The above questions and answers contain the essence of all transcendental knowledge confirmed in the authoritative scriptures.
অনর্থ থাকার কালে জড়-রূপে মজে না
অনর্থ থাকার কালে জড়-গুণে মিশে না ॥৪৭॥
anartha thākāra kāle jaḍa-rūpe maje nā
anartha thākāra kāle jaḍa-guṇe miśe nā
anartha—unnecessary bad habits; thākāra—remain; kāle—at the time of; jaḍa—mundane; rūpe—appearances; maje nā—do not be allured; anartha—unnecessary bad habits; thākāra—remain; kāle—at the time of; jaḍa—material; guṇe—qualities; miśe nā—do not associate.
While anarthas continue to remain, one should not become allured by mundane appearances. While anarthas remain, one should never associate with material qualities.
অনর্থ থাকার কালে জড়-লীলা ভোগে না
অনর্থ থাকার কালে শুদ্ধ-নাম ছাড়ে না ॥৪৮॥
anartha thākāra kāle jaḍa-līlā bhoge nā
anartha thākāra kāle śuddha-nāma chāḍe nā
anartha—unnecessary bad habits; thākāra—remain; kāle—at the time of; jaḍa—mundane; līlā—pastimes; bhoge nā—do not enjoy; anartha—unnecessary bad habits; thākāra—remain; kāle—at the time of; śuddha–nāma—the pure Name; chāḍe nā—do not give up.
While anarthas remain, one should not enjoy mundane pastimes. While anarthas remain, one should not give up chanting the pure Name of Kṛṣṇa.
অনর্থ থাকার কালে রস-গান করে না
অনর্থ থাকার কালে সিদ্ধি-লব্ধ বলে না ॥৪৯॥
anartha thākāra kāle rasa-gāna kare nā
anartha thākāra kāle siddhi-labdha bale nā
anartha—unnecessary bad habits; thākāra—remain; kāle—at the time of; rasa—about rasa; gāna kare nā—do not sing; anartha—unnecessary bad habits; thākāra—remain; kāle—at the time of; siddhi—perfection; labdha—attained; bale nā—do not say.
While anarthas remain, one should not sing rasika songs. While anarthas remain, one should not state that one has attained perfection.
অনর্থ থাকার কালে লীলা-গান করে না
অনর্থ-নিবৃ-কালে নামে জড় বলে না ॥৫০॥
anartha thākāra kāle līlā-gāna kare nā
anartha-nivṛtti-kāle nāma jaḍa bale nā
anartha—unnecessary bad habits; thākāra—remain; kāle—at the time of; līlā—pastimes; gāna kare nā—do not sing; anartha—unnecessary bad habits; nivṛtti—termination; kāle—at the time of; nāma—the Holy Name; jaḍa—material; bale nā—one does not say.
While anarthas remain, one should not sing songs about the Lord’s confidential pastimes. At the stage of anartha-nivṛtti, one should not speak of the Holy Name as mundane.
While anarthas still remain, a devotee should remain steadfast on the path of vaidhi-bhakti and not venture ahead, lest he risk ruination. Not understanding the necessity of purification from anarthas, pseudo-gurus sometimes recommend their disciples sing elevated songs glorifying the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, or even worse, the pseudo-guru sometimes instructs his disciples to sing mundane songs about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, such as those composed by the Rajasthani princess, Mīrābāi. The pure devotee never engages his disciples in such a way.
Furthermore, some unqualified devotees who think that they have attained rasa begin to write books in which they imagine fictitious pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in their fertile brain and then discourse about such imaginary pastimes as though they were advanced in rasa. Such persons should be known as self-deluders and cheaters.
অনর্থ-নিবৃ-কালে রূপে জড় দেখে না
অনর্থ-নিবৃ-কালে গুণে জড় বুঝে না ॥৫১॥
anartha-nivṛtti-kāle rūpe jaḍa dekhe nā
anartha-nivṛtti-kāle guṇe jaḍa bujhe nā
anartha—unnecessary bad habits; nivṛtti—termination; kāle—at the time of; rūpe—form; jaḍa—material attributes; dekhe nā—one does not see; anartha—unnecessary bad habits; nivṛtti—termination; kāle—at the time of; guṇe—qualities; jaḍa—mundane; bujhe nā—does not understand.
At the time of anartha-nivṛtti, one does not see material attributes in the form of Kṛṣṇa. At the time of anartha-nivṛtti, one does not consider the Lord’s qualities to be mundane.
অনর্থ-নিবৃ-কালে জড়-লীলা সেবে না
রূপানুগ গুরুদেব শিষ্য-হিংসা করে না ॥৫২॥
anartha-nivṛtti-kāle jaḍa-līlā seve nā
rūpānuga gurudeva śiṣya-hiṁsā kare nā
anartha—unnecessary bad habits; nivṛtti—termination; kāle—at the time of; jaḍa—mundane; līlā—pastimes; seve nā—one does not participate in; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; gurudeva—a guru; śiṣya—discipes; hiṁsā kare nā—does not harm.
At the stage of anartha-nivṛtti, one does not serve material pastimes. A spiritual master in the line of the rūpānugas, does not harm his disciples in any way.
In the above verse, ‘harming the disciples’ does not refer to putting the disciple in harms way in the physical sense, but rather it refers to putting the disciple in harms way in the spiritual sense. By engaging a disciple ahead of himself and encouraging him in rasa for which he is not qualified, he does not benefit the disciple in the least — rather it brings great harm to the disciple. Real rūpānugas never bring harm to their disciples in that way.
গুরু ত্যজি জড়ে আশা কভু ভক্ত করে না
মহাজন-পথে দোষ কভু গুরু দেয় না ॥৫৩॥
guru tyaji jaḍe āśā kabhu bhakta kare nā
mahājana-pathe doṣa kabhu guru deya nā
guru—guru; tyaji—rejects; jaḍe—the mundane; āśā—desires bhakta—a devotee; kabhu nā—never; mahājana—great devotees; pathe—on the path; doṣa—defects; kabhu nā—never; guru—guru; deya nā—gives.
A disciple never rejects his spiritual master due to his own hankering for material pleasures. The spiritual master never finds defects in the line of the mahājanas.
গুরু-মহাজন-বাক্যে ভেদ কভু হয় না
সাধনের পথে কাঁটা সদ্ গুরু দেয় না ॥৫৪॥
guru-mahājana-vākye bheda kabhu haya nā
sādhanera pathe kāṅṭā sad-guru deya nā
guru—guru; mahājana—the great devotees; vākye—between the statements; bheda—differences kabhu haya nā—never happens; sādhanera—practice; pathe—on the path; kāṅṭā—thorns; sad–guru—a genuine guru; deya nā—does not place.
There is never any difference between the words of the spiritual master and the words of the mahājanas. A genuine spiritual master does not place thorns on the path of sādhana.
অধিকার অবিচার রূপানুগ করে না
অনর্থ-অন্বিত দাসে রস-শিক্ষা দেয় না ॥৫৫॥
adhikāra avicāra rūpānuga kare nā
anartha-anvita dāse rasa-śikṣā deya nā
adhikāra—spiritual qualifications; avicāra—misjudge; rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; kare nā—does not; anartha—unnecessary bad habits; anvita—infested; dāse—to servants; rasa— rasa; śikṣā—instructions; deya nā—does not give.
A rūpānuga does not misjudge spiritual qualifications. They do not give instructions on rasa to a servant who is infested with anarthas.
ভাগবত পদ্য বলি কুব্যাখ্যা ত করে না
লোক-সংগ্রহে তরে ক্রম-পথ ছাড়ে না ॥৫৬॥
bhāgavata padya bali ku-vyākhyā ta kare nā
loka-saṁgrahera tare krama-patha chāḍe nā
bhāgavata—Śrīmad Bhāgavatam; padya—verses; bali—chant; ku–vyākhyā—misinterpret; ta—certainly; kare nā—does not; loka—followers; saṅgrahera—gather; tare—to; krama—systematic; patha—path; chāḍe nā—does not reject.
One should not chant the verses of the Bhāgavatam and give false interpretations. One should not reject the systematic path of devotion in order to gather a large number of followers.
না উঠিয়া বৃক্ষোপরি ফল ধরি টানে না
রূপানুগ ক্রম-পথ বিলোপ ত করে না ॥৫৭॥
nā uṭhiyā vṛkṣopari phala dhari ṭāne nā
rūpānuga krama-patha vilopa ta kare nā
nā uṭhiyā—does not climb; vṛkṣa—the tree; upari—up; phala—fruit; dhari ṭāne–forcibly seize. rūpānuga—a follower of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī; krama—the systematic; patha—path; vilopa—eliminate; ta—certainly; kare nā—does not.
One should not climb a tree and seize the fruits by force. Rūpānugas never eliminate the systematic path of bhakti.
Those who are real rūpānugas never eliminate the systematic path of bhakti because they know that one cannot simply jump ahead and achieve the ultimate goal of life. One must go step by step.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta has used the word ‘anartha-anvita.’ Anvita means permeated or infested. Not only do pseudo-gurus attempt to give rasa to persons who have anarthas, but they attempt to give rasa to those who are infested with anarthas – anartha-anvita. Factually speaking, a neophyte does not make progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness under the guidance of a pseudo-guru, but rather such unfortunate neophytes increase their anarthas due to bad association — they become anartha-anvita.
To support the claim that even those who are infested with anarthas should hear rāsa-līlā topics, the pseudo-section likes to quote the following verse:
vikrīḍitam vraja-vadhūbhir idam ca viṣṇoḥ
śraddhānvito ‘nuṣṛṇād atha varṇayed yaḥ
bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ
hṛd-rogam āśv-apahinoty-acireṇa dhīraḥ
A sober person who, with a reverential attitude, hears the divine pastimes of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs of Vraja from the mouth of a pure devotee and then describes those pastimes accordingly, achieves the supramundane loving service of the Lord within no time and thereby drives away the mundane lusty desires from his heart.(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 10.33.39)
Deliberating upon the this verse, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta writes in his Anubhāṣya commentary to Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 5.45 as follows:
“A person who hears or describes the rāsa-līlā and other such pastimes, as found in the Bhāgavatam, living them in his transcendental heart, then finds the material desires for sensual pleasure wane to nothingness. Because Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are transcendental, one who hears or speaks about them enters into that transcendental domain where material qualities can no longer influence him. Even while in contact with matter, he is unaffected; his mind remains calm and steady. He is able to understand his own qualifications to serve Kṛṣṇa. No one should think, as do the prākṛta-sahajiyās, that an ordinary living entity will overcome lust by hearing and chanting these pastimes if he is filled with contaminations like lust and greed, if he avoids accumulating the appropriate knowledge (sambandha-jñāna) of the relationships between matter, the individual soul and the Supreme Lord, if he remains fixed in a subjective world centred on his own sensual pleasures, if his intelligence continues to be permeated with material conceptions, if he neglects all the purifying activities of devotional service in practice, and especially if he takes the spiritual love affairs of the Supreme Lord to have the same kinds of sensual motivations that he himself experiences. For this reason, Mahāprabhu emphasised the word ‘faith’ (śraddhānvita) in order to forestall such sahajiyā arguments.”
Real rūpānugas do not neglect the advice of previous ācāryas or mahājanas. To do so brings about certain ruination of one’s spiritual life. Simultaneously, as one’s spiritual life is being reduced to ruin, the pseudo-devotees are gaining the inspiration to live in a fool’s paradise. The folly of their ways may only be realised when it is too late, when death comes.
The proper approach to higher topics in devotional service is summed up in the verse pūjala-rāga-patha, composed by Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.
matala hari-jana viṣaya raṅge
pūjala rāga-patha gaurava bhaṅge
The servants of Lord Hari, who revel in satisfying His transcendental desires, worship the path of spontaneous devotional service (rāga-patha) in a mood of awe and reverence (gaurava-bhaṅge). Our approach to rāga-patha is to stay at a safe distance and below.
One is certainly free to do whatever one so desires in this material world, for God has given the living entity his independence. But those who reject the mahājanas and the advice of previous ācāryas, boldly display to us their ornaments of ignorance and audacity when they arrogantly declare, “We put our foot on that gaurava!” Such persons are thoroughly unfortunate.
অনর্থকে অর্থ বলি কু-পথেতে লয় না
প্রাকৃত-সহজ-মত অপ্রাকৃত বলে না ॥৫৮॥
anarthake artha bali ku-pathete laya nā
prākṛta-sahaja-mata aprākṛta bale nā
anarthake—unnecessary bad habits; artha—necessary; bali—consider; ku-pathete—erroneous path; laya na–does not accept; prākṛta–sahaja—mundane imitationists; mata—opinions; aprākṛta—spiritual; bale nā—does not consider.
One should not accept the erroneous path of considering anarthas to be artha (necessary). One should not consider the opinions of the prākṛta-sahajiyās as spiritual.
অনর্থ না গেলে শিষ্যে জাত-রতি বলে না
অনর্থ-বিশিষ্ট শিষ্যে রস-তত্ত্ব বলে না ॥৫৯॥
anartha nā gele śiṣye jāta-rati bale nā
anartha-viśiṣṭa śiṣye rasa-tattva bale nā
anartha—unnecessary bad habits; nā gele—have not departed; śiṣye—a disciple; jāta—awakened rati—divine affection; bale nā—does not say; anartha—unnecessary bad habits; viśiṣṭa—prominent; śiṣye—with a disciple; rasa–tattva—the science of rasa; bale nā–does not speak.
When a disciple’s anarthas have not departed, one does not say that he has awakened rati. One does not speak about rasa–tattva (the science of rasa) to a disciple whose anarthas are still prominent.
অশক্ত কোমল-শ্রদ্ধে রস-কথা বলে না
অনধিকারীরে রসে অধিকার দেয় না ॥৬০॥
aśakta komala-śraddhe rasa-kathā bale nā
anadhikārīre rase adhikāra deya nā
aśakta—weak; komala—immature; śraddhe—faith; rasa-kathā—topics of rasa; bale nā—does not speak; anadhikārīre—to unqualified persons; rase—for rasa; adhikāra—qualification; deya nā—does not impart.
One does not speak rasa-kathā to those whose faith is weak and immature. One should never try to impart the qualification for rasa unto those who are unqualified to receive it.
বৈধ-ভক্ত-জনে কভু রাগানুগ জানে না
কোমল-শ্রদ্ধকে কভু রসিক ত জানে না ॥৬১॥
vaidha-bhakta-jane kabhu rāgānuga jāne nā
komala-śraddhake kabhu rasika ta’ jāne nā
vaidha—regulated devotion; bhakta-jane—devotees; rāgānuga—followers of spontaneous devotion; kabhu jāne nā—never consider; komala—immature; śraddhake—faith; rasika—relishers of rasa; ta—certainly; kabhu jāne nā—never thinks.
One should never consider those devotees who are on the platform of vaidhi–bhakti to be rāgānugas. One should never think of those with immature faith to be rasikas.
The assembly of pseudo-devotees always struggles with the caution presented in Prākṛta-rasa Śata-dūṣaṇī, thinking that such cautionary instructions were meant for a previous generation and that such instructions are no longer applicable or useful in the present Vaiṣṇava environment. They see such instructions as troublesome and thus reject them. However, their laziness to embrace the instructions of previous ācāryas constitutes a serious deviation from the principles of pure devotional service.
The basic difference between a pseudo-guru and a bona-fide ācārya is that a pseudo-guru is a gatecrasher, and a bona-fide ācārya is a guardian of pure devotion.
One should know that Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura was not alone in his opinions disqualifying the neophyte devotees from hearing about rasa. Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda was also of a similar opinion and expressed it in his writings. A few useful quotes from the Ṭhākura follow:
“One should not discuss topics of rasa with anyone except highly qualified persons on the same level of spiritual advancement.” (Caitanya-sikṣāmṛta 3.2)
“If I explain this topic in the assembly, it could be harmful for the unqualified devotees. Higher truths cannot be attained unless one is situated on a higher platform. Just as higher knowledge gradually arises in all scientific literature, likewise, confidential truths are attained in devotional literatures by proper qualification.” (Prema-pradīpa, Tenth Ray)
“Who is not qualified to thus taste the nectar of the transcendental rasa? As it is an offence to give the Holy Name to an unqualified person, so it must also be an offence to explain rasa to an unqualified person.” (Jaiva-dharma Ch.28)
The prākṛta-sahajiyās say that they can utilise their lust in serving Kṛṣṇa, and to support their claims they sometimes give the example of Kubjā who lusted in her heart for Kṛṣṇa. However, the emphasis should be on ‘for Kṛṣṇa’ and not simply on ‘lust.’ Kubjā’s lust was for Kṛṣṇa. Her lust is actually classified as kāma-prāyā, meaning ‘a love that only resembles that of the gopīs.’ Śrīla Bhakti Pramoda Purī Mahārāja has commented on Kubjā’s lust as follows:
Kubjā and other devotees, who did not have the same degree of intense desire for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure as the gopīs but similarly manifested erotic feelings for Kṛṣṇa, are said to possess kāma-prāyā-rati — a love which only resembles that of the gopīs. This conclusion is due to Kubjā’s high degree of desire for her own pleasure (and other devotees in a similar mood). The presence of such desire for personal enjoyment when near Kṛṣṇa indicates that the love is less pure. For this reason it has been qualified as kāma-prāyā. Elsewhere, Kubjā’s love for Kṛṣṇa is said to be mundane (sādhāraṇi-rati), a far cry from the selfless love demonstrated by Rādhā and the gopīs. (The Art of Sādhana, Ch.14)
স্বল্প-শ্রদ্ধ-জনে কভু জাত-রতি মানে না
স্বল্প-শ্রদ্ধ-জনে রস উপদেশ করে না ॥৬২॥
svalpa-śraddha-jane kabhu jāta-rati māne nā
svalpa-śraddha-jane rasa upadeśa kare nā
svalpa—little; śraddha—faith; jane—persons; jāta—awakened; rati—divine attachment; kabhu māne nā—never thinks; svalpa—little; śraddha—faith; rasa—rasa; upadeśa kare nā—does not instruct.
One should never think that those people with meagre faith have awakened rati. One does not instruct persons that possess meagre faith on the topic of rasa.
জাত-রতি প্রৌঢ-শ্রদ্ধ-সঙ্গ ত্যাগ করে না
কোমল-শ্রদ্ধেরে কভু রস দিয়া সেবে না ॥৬৩॥
jāta-rati prauḍa-śraddha-saṅga tyāga kare nā
komala-śraddhere kabhu rasa diyā seve nā
jāta—awakened; rati—divine attachment; prauḍha—strong; śraddha—faith; saṅga— association; tyāga kare nā–does not give up; komala—immature; śraddhere—faith; rasa—rasa; seve—serves; kabhu diyā nā—does not give.
When rati is truly manifest, one does not neglect the association of those devotees that possess strong faith. One never serves those with immature faith by giving them rasa.
কৃষ্ণের সেবন লাগি জড়-রসে মিশে না
রসোদয়ে কোন জীবে শিষ্য-বুদ্ধি করে না ॥৬৪॥
kṛṣṇera sevana lāgi jaḍa-rase miśe nā
rasodaye kona jīve śiṣya-buddhi kare nā
kṛṣṇera—of Kṛṣṇa; sevana—service; lāgi—for the sake of; jaḍa—mundane; rase—rasa; miśe nā—does not mix with; rasa—of rasa; udaye—manifest; kona—any; jīve—living entity; śiṣya—disciple; buddhi kare nā—not consider.
One does not associate with mundane rasa in the name of serving Kṛṣṇa. When rasa has manifested, one will not entertain the idea of considering any jīva as a disciple.
রসিক-ভকত-রাজ কভু শিষ্য করে না
রসিক-জনের শিষ্য এই ভাব ছাড়ে না ॥৬৫॥
rasika-bhakata-rāja kabhu śiṣya kare nā
rasika-janera śiṣya ei bhāva chāḍe nā
rasika—relishers of rasa; bhakata—of the devotees; rāja—kings; śiṣya—disciples; kabhu kare nā—never make; rasika—relishers of rasa; janera—of a person; śiṣya—disciple; ei—this; bhāva—mood; chāḍe nā—do not reject.
Those devotees, who are the kings amongst rasikas, never consider that they make disciples. One who is a disciple of such a rasika never gives up this mood.
সাধন ছাড়িলে ভাব উদয় ত হয় না
রাগানুগ জানিলেই সাধন ত ছাড়ে না ॥৬৬॥
sādhana chāḍile bhāva udaya ta haya nā
rāgānuga jānile-i sādhana ta chāḍe nā
sādhana—practice; chāḍile—abandon; bhāva—bhāva; ta—certainly; udaya haya nā—does not manifest; rāgānuga—a follower of spontaneous devotion; jānile–i—even if one knows; sādhana—practice; ta—certainly; chāḍe nā— does not renounce.
When sādhana is abandoned, bhāva does not manifest. Even if one knows a rāgānuga devotee, one should not renounce one’s sādhana.
ভাব না হইলে কভু রসোদয় হয় না
আগে রসোদয় পরে রত্যুদয় হয় না ॥৬৭॥
bhāva nā haile kabhu rasodaya haya nā
āge rasodaya pare ratyudaya haya nā
bhāva—bhāva; na haile—not appeared; rasa—rasa; udaya—arise; kabhu haya nā—will never; āge—first; rasa—rasa; udaya—arises; pare—then; rati—divine attachment; udaya—appears; haya nā—it is not.
Rasa never arises as long as bhāva does not appear. It is not that first rasa arises, then rati appears.
আগে রত্যুদয় পরে শ্রদ্ধোদয় হয় না
রসাভিষ্ট লভি পরে সাধন ত হয় না ॥৬৮॥
āge ratyudaya, pare śraddhodaya haya nā
rasābhiṣṭa labhi pare sādhana ta haya nā
āge—first; rati—divine attachment; udaya—arises; pare—then; śraddhā—faith; udaya—arises; haya nā—it is not; rasa—rasa; abhiṣṭa—desired; labhi—achieve; pare—then; sādhana—practice; ta—certainly; haya nā—it is not.
It is not that first rati manifests, then śraddhā develops afterwards. It is not that one achieves one’s desired rasa, then later performs sādhana.
সামগ্রীর অমিলনে স্থায়ী-ভাব হয় না
স্থায়ী-ভাব-ব্যতিরেকে রসে স্থিতি হয় না ॥৬৯॥
sāmagrīra amilane sthāyī-bhāva haya nā
sthāyi-bhāva-vyatireke rase sthiti haya nā
sāmagrīra—of ingredients; amilane—without obtaining; sthāyī–bhāva—permanent ecstasy; haya nā—does not happen; sthāyī–bhāva—permanent ecstasy; vyatireke—in the absence; rase–in rasa; sthiti—situated; haya nā—does not become.
Without obtaining the various elements (śraddhā, sādhu-saṅga, anartha-nivṛtti, niṣṭhā, ruci etc.), one can never attain sthāyī-bhāva. Without sthāyī-bhāva one does not become situated in one’s rasa.
A real rasika-guru never considers that he has disciples — a pseudo-rasika-guru never thinks he has enough disciples. Thus the adage of ‘fishing in my neighbour’s pond’ is applicable here. Bogus persons preach, not to please Kṛṣṇa and serve the Vaiṣṇava community, but rather to disturb everyone else’s faith and to establish themselves as all in all. This they do out of enviousness, a desire for revenge and a desire to be recognised as a great spiritual leader. The pseudo-rasikas measure success by their acquired number of followers and in their theoretical book-knowledge of rāgānuga-bhakti. Because they do not serve an advanced rūpānuga they remain licking the jar of honey from the outside.
The defect of thinking oneself as an advanced devotee, or to declare oneself as a rasika, is in direct opposition to the mood of advanced souls. The pseudo-rasika declares, “I am a rasika!” whereas the real rasika declares that he is ‘viśva-vaiṣṇava dāsa’ (a servant of all the Vaiṣṇavas).
Sometimes neophyte devotees want to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but they attempt to do so unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. It is said that if you are going to track a deer in the jungle then you had better know what the footprints of a tiger look like! Similarly, there are impediments to advancement in spiritual life and only by the guidance of a bona-fide guru can one properly understand what those impediments are and how to avoid them. Therefore, the mandate is to follow closely in the footsteps of the mahājanas and previous ācāryas (mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ).
ভোগে মন জড়ে শ্রদ্ধা চিৎ প্রকাশ করে না
নামে শ্রদ্ধা না হইলে জড়-বুদ্ধি ছাড়ে না ॥৭০॥
bhoge mana jaḍe śraddhā cit prakāśa kare nā
nāme śraddhā nā haile jaḍa-buddhi chāḍe nā
bhoge—in enjoyment; mana—mind; jaḍe—in the mundane; śraddhā—faith; cit—spiritual consciousness; prakāśa kare nā—do not manifest; nāme—in the Holy Name; śraddhā—faith; nā haile—if one does not manifest; jaḍa—mundane; buddhi—consciousness; chāḍe nā—will not give up.
A mind immersed in material enjoyment and faith in matter does not manifest spiritual consciousness. Unless one develops faith in the Holy Name, mundane consciousness can never be discarded.
জড়-বুদ্ধি না ছাড়িলে নাম কৃপা করে না
নাম-কৃপা না করিলে লীলা শুনা য়ায় না ॥৭১॥
jaḍa-buddhi nā chāḍile nāma kṛpā kare nā
nāma-kṛpā nā karile līlā śunā yāya nā
jaḍa—mundane; buddhi—mentality; nā chāḍile—not reject; nāma—the Holy Name; kṛpā—mercy; kare nā—does not; nāma—the Holy Name; kṛpā—mercy; nā karile—does not; līlā—pastimes; śunā—listen; yāya nā—should not.
The Holy Name does not give mercy to those who do not reject their mundane mentality. If the Name does not give mercy, then one should not listen to Kṛṣṇa’s confidential pastimes.
নামকে জানিলে জড় কাম দূর হয় না
রূপকে মানিলে জড় কাম দূর হয় না ॥৭২॥
nāmake jānile jaḍa kāma dūra haya nā
rūpake mānile jaḍa kāma dūra haya nā
nāmake—the Holy Name; jānile—thinks; jaḍa—mundane; kāma—lust; dūra—far away; haya nā—does not; rūpake—form; mānile—considers; jaḍa—mundane; kāma—lust; dūra—far away; haya nā—does not.
If one thinks the Holy Name to be mundane, then lust does not go away. If one considers the form of Kṛṣṇa to be material, lust does not go away.
গুণকে বুঝিলে জড় কাম দূর হয় না
লীলাকে পূরিলে জড়ে কাম দূর হয় না ॥৭৩॥
guṇake bujhile jaḍa kāma dūra haya nā
līlāke purile jaḍe kāma dūra haya nā
guṇake—qualities; bujhile—considers; jaḍa—mundane; kāma—material desires; dūra—far away; haya nā—does not; līlāke—pastimes; pūrile—fills; jaḍe—mundane; kāma—lust; dūra—far away; haya nā—does not.
If one considers the qualities of Kṛṣṇa to be mundane, then lust does not go away. If one considers the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa to be mundane, then lust does not go away.
নামে জড়-ব্যবধানে রূপোদয় হয় না
নামে জড়-ব্যবধানে গুণোদয় হয় না
জড়-ভোগ-ব্যবধানে লীলোদয় হয় না ॥৭৪॥
nāme jaḍa-vyavadhāne rūpodaya haya nā
nāme jaḍa-vyavadhāne guṇodaya haya nā
jaḍa-bhoga-vyavadhāne līlodaya haya nā
nāme—through the Holy Name; jaḍa—matter; vyavadhāne—separated; rūpa—form; udaya—manifest; haya nā—does not; nāme—through the Holy Name; jaḍa—matter; vyavadhāne—separated; guṇa—qualities; udaya—manifest; haya nā—does not; jaḍa—of material; bhoga—enjoyment; vyavadhāne—separated; līlā—pastimes; udaya—manifest; haya nā—does not;
The form of Kṛṣṇa does not manifest through the Holy Name if one is separated by matter. Kṛṣṇa’s qualities do not manifest through the Holy Name if one is separated by matter. When one is separated by matter, the Lord’s pastimes do not manifest.
It is ironic to think that lust – that which has bound the living entity in material bondage for millions of births – can easily be eliminated with little or no endeavour. One can conquer lust by proper association and following the regulative principles of vaidhi-bhakti. But to think that one can do so by avoiding vaidhi-bhakti is totally rejected again and again in Prākṛta-rasa Śata-dūṣaṇī.
Without the mercy of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, one cannot enter into a proper understanding of the pastimes of the Supreme Lord in Vraja. One who considers that the Holy Name is material, or that Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are material, or that mundane pastimes are the same as transcendental love pastimes, is the greatest fool.
With regard to lust and love (prema), Ṭhākura Bhakti-vinoda says the following.
kāme preme dekha bhāi, lakṣaṇete bheda nāi,
tabu kāma ‘prema’ nāhi haya,
tumi ta’ barile kāma, mithyā tāhe ‘prema’nāma
āropile kise śubha haya
kena mana, kāmere nācāo prema prāya
carma-māṁsa-maya kāma, jaḍa-sukha avirāma,
jaḍa-viṣayete sadā dhāya
Please look, O brother – the symptoms of lust and love may appear similar. However, lust is never love. You have made the error of considering lust to be love and by mistaking one thing for the other, you will never attain auspiciousness. Lust deals with flesh and blood, but love is the highest stage of divine existence. (Kalyāṇa-kalpataru 18-19)
অপরাধ-ব্যবধানে রস-লাভ হয় না
অপরাধ-ব্যবধানে নাম কভু হয় না ॥৭৫॥
aparādha-vyavadhāne rasa-lābha haya nā
aparādha-vyavadhāne nāma kabhu haya nā
aparādha—of offence; vyavadhāne—separated; rasa—rasa; lābha—attain; haya nā—is not; aparādha—of offence; vyavadhāne—separated; nāma—the Holy Name; kabhu haya nā—never manifests.
When one is separated due to offences, one cannot attain rasa. When one is separated due to offences, the Holy Name never manifests.
ব্যবহিত লীলা-গানে কাম দূর হয় না
অপরাধ-ব্যবধানে সিদ্ধ-দেহ পায় না ॥৭৬॥
vyavahita līlā-gāne kāma dūra haya nā
aparādha-vyavadhāne siddha-deha pāya nā
vyavahita—separated; līlā—pastimes; gāne—songs; kāma—lust; dūra—far away; haya nā—do not; aparādha—offences; vyavadhāne—separated; siddha-deha—spiritual form; pāya nā—one does not achieve.
When one is covered over, lust does not go away by singing songs about the Lord’s confidential pastimes. Due to the covering of offences, one’s siddha-deha (eternal spiritual form) will never be achieved.
সেবোপকরণ কর্ণে না শুনিলে হয় না
জড়োপকরণ দেহে লীলা শোনা য়ায় না ॥৭৭॥
sevopakaraṇa karṇe nā śunile haya nā
jaḍopakaraṇa dehe līlā śonā yāya nā
sevā—service; upakaraṇa—instrument; karṇe—with an ear; nā śunile—not listen; haya nā—does not attain; jaḍa—material; upakaraṇa—instrument; dehe—with a body; līlā—pastimes; śonā yāya nā—cannot be heard.
If one does not listen with the ear, considering it to be an instrument for service, one will attain nothing. Divine pastimes cannot be heard with a body which is simply a mundane instrument.
সেবায় উন্মুখ হলে জড়-কথা হয় না
নতুবা চিন্ময়-কথা কভু শ্রুত হয় না ॥৭৮॥
sevāya unmukha hale jaḍa-kathā haya nā
natuvā cinmaya-kathā kabhu śruta haya nā
sevāya—to service; unmukha—inclined towards; hale—one is; jaḍa–mundane; kathā—talks; haya nā—there is no; natuvā—otherwise; cinmaya—spiritual; kathā—topics; kabhu haya nā—are never; śruta—heard.
When one is inclined towards devotional service, then one does not engage in mundane talks. Otherwise spiritual topics can never really be heard.
One should not think that Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and his representatives are the enemies of the devotees — on the contrary, they are the well-wishers of all Vaiṣṇavas. Pure devotional service of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa (rūpānuga-sevā) gives one the greatest of all opportunities, namely to realise one’s eternal spiritual identity (siddha-deha) and to engage in eternal devotional service to the Divine Couple in Vraja. However, aparādha can stand in the way of one’s final attainment as long as offences continue. To save the living entities from doing harm to themselves, or from doing harm to others, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has given a strong condemnation of material rasa in the above verses. One should consider these verses, not as an admonishment coming from the unfriendly quarter, but as the advice given by a dearmost friend and guardian.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended Śrīmad Bhāgavatam as being the nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ (the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge). Thus the Bhāgavatam provides the basis of approaching Kṛṣṇa in His highest manifestation — Vraja Kṛṣṇa, standing by the side of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and surrounded by multitudes of devotees imbued with wonderful love of God. At its close, the Bhāgavatam gives its final recommendation to one and all, who wish to achieve life’s ultimate goal:
nāma-saṅkīrtanam yasya sarva-pāpa praṇāśanaṁ
praṇāmo duḥkha-śamanas taṁ namāmi hariṁ param
I offer my respects unto Śrī Hari, the congregational chanting of whose Holy Names destroys all sins, and the offering of obeisance unto whom relieves all material suffering. (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.13.23)
In the book, The Golden Volcano of Divine Love, Śrīla B.R. Śrīdhara Mahārāja comments as follows:
Uttering this verse, the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam stops; that great treatise becomes silent. The last word in the Bhāgavatam is nāma-saṅkīrtana. The Bhāgavatam has given such great importance to chanting of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu developed it from there. The last publication of the compiler of Vedic literatures, Śrīla Vyāsadeva, took theism to that stage, and gave it to the public announcing, “Chant the Name of Kṛṣṇa! Do this! Nothing more is necessary! Take this!” This is the very conclusion of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, the greatest spiritual gift of Vyāsadeva: Chant the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa and begin your life in this dark age with the most broad and wide theistic conception.
Those who accept the advice found here in Prākṛta-rasa Śata-dūṣaṇī, will surely be successful in the matter of pure devotional service, by the grace of Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī and the bhāgavata-paramparā.
Thus ends ‘Prākṛta-rasa Śata-dūṣaṇī’
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda,
and the Anuvṛtti commentary of
Swami Bhakti Gaurava Narasiṅgha Mahārāja.