38 Acharya Pramana to make us understand on how wrong and foolish we are not to constantly remember Nitai in order to attain Raganuga Bhakti for Gaura Radha Krishna.
Harmful for Normal Devotees
(1) Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes in Prema Pradipa Tenth Ray:
ei rupa sabhaa ami taha vyakti karile anadhikarir pakse visesa amangala haite pare / ucchisthita satya-samuha ucchapadasta na haile labhya hay na / yemata samasta vijnanasa stre kramasah ucchajnaner udaya haya, tadrupa bhakti-sastrer u ucchadhikara-krame gudha-tattve prapti haiya thake /
“If I explain this topic (Radha Krishna’s Pastimes) 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.”
Only For Highly Qualified Devotees
(2) Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shri Chaitanya Siksamrta -Chapter 3. Part 2:
sajatiyasaya-snigdha sad-gosthi vyatita rasa-vilapa kariben na / vaishnava jagat-samrddhi sambandha bhakta-sanga vyatita janya sanga kariben na
“One should not discuss topics of rasa (Radha Krishna’s Pastimes) with anyone except highly qualified persons on the same level of spiritual advancement.”
Keep Radha in Great Reverance Above Our Head. Don’t Rush Towards That Position.
(3) Srila BR Shridhara Maharaja writes: “Our Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada, asked that we keep Radharani in great reverence, ‘On your head, over your head-don’t be bold enough to approach directly: Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange. Try to keep Her and Her group at a respectful distance, above your head. Don’t rush towards that position. It is not that cheap.'”
“The whole tenor of Guru Maharaja’s life was such: ‘That is high, very high, and from below we are to honor that.’ We must establish this conception, the proper regard for that higher lila, throughout the entire world: ‘That is too high.'”
One Who Teaches the Sadhana of Rasa is an Imposter
(4) Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shri Chaitanya Siksamrta, Chapter 7, Part 1:
itara visaye vairagya prapta jata-prema lokerai rasadhikari / yahara ekhana paryanta suddha-rati u jada-vairagya labha kare nai, tahara rasadhikara janya – viphala cesta karite gele rasake sadhana baliya kadacare pravrtta haibe / jataprema puruser ye bhava sahajei haiyacche, tahai rasa / rasa-vicara kevala ei rase ki ki bhava kiprakare samyojita acche, tahara vivrtti matra / rasa sadhananga naya, ataeva yadi keha balen, aisa tomake rasa-sadhana siksa dei, se kevala tahara durttata va murkhyata matra /
“Those who have attained the level of prema and are completely detached from worldly pleasure are qualified for rasa. Those who have not attained pure rati and sense control make futile attempts to become qualified for rasa by practicing rasa. That taste which arises naturally in a person on the level of prema is called rasa. The discussion of rasa is only a description of how the various elements combine in the different rasas; it is not a part of sadhana. Therefore, if anyone says that he will teach you the sadhana of rasa, he is an impostor or a fool.”
An Unqualified Person Become More Degraded by Listening to Higher Topics
(5) Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shri Chaitanya Siksamrta, Chapter 6, Part 5:
ei dainandini aprakrta radha-krishna-nitya-lila patha karibar sakaler adhikara nai / iha paramad-bhuta rahasya – visedha gopane rakha kartavya / yini ihar adhikari nana, tahake ei lila sravana karana ihabe na / jada-bandha-jiva ye paryanta cinta-tattve raga-marge lobha prapta na hana, se paryanta tahara nikata ihate ei lila-varnana gupta rakha kartavya / nama-rupa-guna lilar aprakrta-tattva arthat suddha-chinmaya-svarupa ye paryanta hrdaye udita na haya, se paryanta ei lila sravaner adhikara haya na / anadhikari-gana ei lila patha kariya kevala mayika-bhave jadiya stri-purusa-sangamadi dhyana karatah apagati labha kariben / pathaka mahasaya-gana savadhana ihaya narader nyaya aprakrta srnga-rasamskara-labha kariya ei lilaya pravesa kariben
“Not everyone is qualified to read the daily pastimes of Radha and Krishna. It is esoteric knowledge of great wonder which must be kept secret. One should not let those who are not qualified hear these topics. As long as the soul has not attained greed for the spiritual world on the path of raga, the description of these pastimes must be kept hidden from him. As long as the person has no realization of the pure spiritual nature of the transcendental Name, form, qualities and pastimes of Krishna, he has no qualification for hearing these pastimes. Hearing these pastimes, the unqualified person will simply meditate on material relationships of male and female, under the influence of maya, and by this he will become degraded. The reader, with great care should attain initiation into the srngara-rasa like Narada, and then he can enter the pastimes.”
Unqualified People Commit Offenses by Dabbling in Higher Topics
(6) Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shri Chaitanya Siksamrta, Chapter 7, Part 7:
ei madhura rasa vicare ami adhika pramana samgraha kari nai/ kenana yahara ihate pravesa karibar adhikara paiben, tahara ei raser sakala katha shri ujjvala-nilamani granthe evam jaiva-dharme dekhiya laiben
“These topics are more elaborately described in Ujjvala- nilamani and Jaiva Dharma. By consulting those books the qualified person can realize their nature. For fear of offense by unqualified persons nothing more will be said here.”
Unqualified People Become Sahajiyas Even When They Appreciate Higher Topics of Rasa
(7) Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shri Chaitanya Siksamrta, Chapter 7, Part 7:
ye sakala vyakti sthuladehagata ye sakala vyakti sthula-dehagata sukhake bahumanana karatah chinmaya dehagata ei sakala ananda-vaicitrya avagata hana nai, tahara e saba kathar prati drstipata, manana u alocana kariben na / kenana, taha karile ei sakala varnanake mamsacarasmagata kriya mane kariya haya aslila baliya ninda kariben, naya adara kariya sahajiya-bhave adhah patana labha kariben /
“People who have strong attraction for gross material pleasure and cannot understand these topics should not read, think of, or discuss these topics of rasa, because they will think that these are all material activities and criticize them. If they do appreciate them at all, they will become degraded as sahajiyas.’
Keep Madhura Rasa Hidden from General People. It is Not Easy to Find a Person Qualified for it.
(8) Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 30:
madhur bhakti-raske mukhya bhakti-rasa balen / jada-rasa-ashrita buddhi isvara-parayana haile nivrtti -dharma labha kare, avara ye paryanta cidraser adhikari na haya, se paryanta tahader pravrtti santave na / sei sakala loker ei rase upayogita nai / madhura-rasa svabhavatah duruha / adhikari sahaje paoya yaya na baliya e rasa gudha rahasya-rupe gupta rakha ucita / etanibandhana ei sthale madhur rasa svabhavatah vistrtanga haile u sanksepe varnana karibe/
“A person who is not renounced in this way is not qualified to understand the spiritual rasas. Therefore the people in general are not qualified to understand the madhura-rasa. Madhura-rasa is very difficult to understand. It is not easy to find a person qualified to understand it. This rasa is very confidential. Therefore it is appropriate to keep it hidden from general view.”
Singing Radha Krishna’s Pastimes in Public will Bring Inauspiciousness to this World
(9) In his lecture, Suddha o Viddha Bhakti, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has commented:
atyanta guhyadapi guhya rai-kanura rasa-ganera padavali yadi amadera mata lampata-vyakti hate-bajare ghate-vate-mathe ya’ra-ta’ra kace gana va varnana kare, tabe ki uha-dvara jagaj-janjala upasthita haya na? bahya-jagatera pratiti prabala thakite amara ye yajana karitece baliya abhimana kari, taha nirathaka / amara ki lesa-matra-o bhagavanera janya anuraga haiyacche? ekbara niskapate antaratmake jijnasa karile bujha yaya / iha dvara bala haitecche na ye, bhajanera kriya chadiya dite haibe/ bala haitecche ye, adhikaranu-yayi krama-pathanusare agrasara haite haibe /
“The songs of Rai-Kanu’s (Radha Krishna) dealings with Each Other (rasa) is the greatest secret of all secrets. If those who are lascivious as ourselves go to sing or describe them in markets and bazaars, ghatas, roads and fields to each and everybody, won’t it bring nothing to the world but unwanted rubbish? Whatever worship we boast of while our perception of external world is still strong as anything, is useless. ‘Have I acquired a drop of at least anuraga for Bhagavan, genuine desire to give pleasure to His senses?’ – this question we should ask our inner self at least once and without deceit, then everything will become clear. By that it is not intended to say that we are to give up bhajana-kriya for good. It is intended to say that one should follow the gradual path of progress according to one’s adhikara (qualification)” (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Suddha o Viddha Bhakti, April 20, 1926)
64-Round Harinam Chanters for 15-20 Years MAY Be Qualified for Such Topics
(10) Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, from an article in The Gaudiya, 1934:
“Those who have chanted hari-nama (64 rounds daily) for fifteen or twenty years should know such things (Radha Krishna’s elevated pastimes). The beginners need not hear these topics or they will misunderstand. These topics are for certain audiences, not for all. Also, it is said, apana bhajana-katha, na kahibe jatha-jatha, ‘One should not reveal one’s bhajana to others.’ If we disregard this instruction of our previous acaryas then there may be a permanent fall from the realm of devotional service.”
First Chant the Name Offenselessly to Attain Ruchi Instead of Trying to Practice Raganuga Bhakti
(11) Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Goswami quotes Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in this regard:
“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada explains that only after one’s mind and intelligence are purified by the chanting of the Holy Names can one hear about Krishna’s form, qualities, associates, and finally, pastimes. One who has not yet reached the stage of ruchi, or taste for devotional service, may prematurely go to a pretender guru to take initiation and instruction in raganuga-bhakti, without first making an effort to chant the Holy Name offenselessly. Such a person may make a pretense of relishing Krishna’s lila while still affected by materialistic contamination, but such an attempt will not succeed in bringing him love for the divine couple and service for Them in the spiritual abode.” (Art of Sadhana, Chapter 14.)
Don’t Jump into the Vraja Nitya-Lila Without Remembering the Vraja Bhauma Lila
(12) Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has stated in Shri Chaitanya Siksamrta, Chapter 7, Part 7:
paramatma-tattva-jnanai prema-rupa prayojana, taha krishna-caritre dui prakare askita haiyacche / saksat rasasvada anvayarupe dainandina nitya-lilaya paibe / tahai asta-kaliya lila / asura-maranadi-lilaya vyatireka rupe krishna-tattva jana yaya / putana-vadha ihate arasbha haiya kamsa-vadha paryanta asura-vadha-lila / sei sab lila vyatireka rupa vraje u nirguna goloka-lilaya abhimana matra-svarupe achhe / vastutah tahara tathaya nai evam thakiteu pare na / vyatireka lila pathe rasika suddha-bhava haiya anvayalila-rasa asvadana karite karite goloka darsana paiben / esthale sanksepatah ei paryanta balilam / visesa yatna-purvaka sadhaka u prema-ruruksu purusa iha anusilana kariya bujhiya laiben /
“The highest knowledge is prema. This is revealed in two ways in the activities of Krishna. Directly it is obtained through the daily eight-fold pastimes (asta-kaliya lila). Indirectly it is obtained through the pastimes of killing the demons, from the killing of Putana to the killing of Kamsa. These pastimes exist symbolically in Vraja and only as impressions in Goloka. Actually they are not found there, and cannot exist there. Reading the indirect pastimes, the devotee can purify himself; being purified, he can taste the direct pastimes and perceive Goloka. If the aspirant for prema very carefully cultivates in this way he will understand all these matters.”
Always Keep Ragamarga at a Respectful Distance
(13) Srila Shridhara Maharaja, Aug. 14, 1981:
“Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange- Always keep the path of raga above one’s head, at a respectful distance. Don’t be bold enough to approach directly. My Guru Maharaja’s whole life in a nutshell is expressed in this, his own expression. Pujala raga-patha, the very nature of our sampradaya is this.”
The Real Existence of Bhaktisiddhanta Vani is To Warn Us to be Very Careful About Remembering Rasa Topics
(14) Srila Shridhara Maharaja, 1982:
“Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange. This is Bhaktisiddhanta-vani, the real existence of Bhaktisiddhanta is there.”
Real Raganuga Lobha is Not the Normal Attraction You Feel for Radha Krishna
(15) Srila B.P. Puri Goswami has commented thus in Art of Sadhana. Chapter 14:
“The awakening of greed (lobha) which qualifies one for raganuga bhakti is not to be taken cheaply, as if easy to attain.”
Your Corrupted Raga in Not Real Lobha
(16) Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura also writes in the Dasha-mula Tattva:
“On the path of raga, however, it is necessary to avoid imitation or deception. If that occurs, it produces disturbance and obstacles, though the person may think that his corrupted raga is real raga. Finally, material association turns that raga into material attraction and causes falldown of the jiva.”
The True Exalted Symptoms of Real Lobha
(17) Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura further explains the symptoms of real greed as follows in the Dasha-mula Tattva:
“On attaining greed for the mood of the Vraja-vasis, no other attraction remains. When that greed arises, the practitioner immediately becomes completely disinterested in sinful action, piety, social duty, neglect of duty, forbidden actions, speculation, and dry renunciation.”
Nama Kirtana is More Beneficial Than Rasa Katha. And that too Kirtan of the Maha-Audarya Names and Pastimes of Nitai.
(18) Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Kalyana Kalpa-taru 4.5-8:
adhikara-hina-jana-mangala chintiya, kirtana korinu shesa kala vichariya
‘Considering for the benefit of those who have no qualification for hearing about such things, I have thus do Kirtana while ending here.’
A Carefully Planted Bhakti-Seed is Destroyed by a Premature Downpour of Cheap Rasa Katha
(19) In the biography of Srila Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja the following is written:
“Whoever’s heart is free from the modes of material nature, such that no type of material lust can come, is the only person who is always engaged in determined devotional service unto the Vaishnavas. This type of person, free from all impediments in devotional service – in their hearts the sprout of love of Godhead can actually take place, by hearing about the pastimes of the Lord. But those who have some materialistic desires within their hearts, if they hear pastimes of Radha and Krishna, then as a result of that, within their hearts, the seed of material lust will manifest. Acting as if they are hearing the pastimes of Radha and Krishna, their material lust simply only grows and grows.” (Shri Shri Gaura-kisora Lilamrta-lahari)
“When there is rain, weeds grow very quickly. Carefully planted seeds can also grow, but some are destroyed prematurely by a heavy downpour. By hearing a discourse about Krishna and His pastimes, the seeds of love for Krishna bud forth in the heart of those persons who are pure, devoid of material desires and sincerely dedicated to the service of the spiritual master and the Vaishnavas. Those in whom the seed of lust is found, however, will immediately become lustful upon hearing of the sportive pastimes of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. By pretentiously hearing the pastimes of Radha-Krishna, their lust becomes inflamed. The consciousness of the conditioned living being is covered by lust, and thus they take the transcendental pastimes of Radha-Govinda to be the libidinous exploits of a mundane hero and heroine. Those who assume that, because they have faith in the pastimes of Radha and Krishna, they are able to experience the transcendental nature of those pastimes, are unaware of their own carnal desires, being overwhelmed by the illusory energy. You cannot understand from their utterances whether the pastimes are transcendental or whether they have proper regard for the pastimes.” (Shri Shri Gaura-kisora Lilamrta-lahari)
Sahajiyas Who Dwell Directly into Krishna Lila Without Nitai Gaura Lila are not Prepared to Pay the Real Price
(20) Srila Shridhara Maharaja explains in Follow the Angels:
“Our Guru Maharaja wrote several poems, one of which is Prakrta-rasa Sata-dusani – ‘A Hundred Defects in the Sahajiya Conception.’ The defects are innumerable, but our Guru Maharaja put forward a hundred points of the defects in their process of ‘advancement.’ Mainly they are very easy purchasers. They are not prepared to pay the real price.”
Till Anarthas are Present in Speaker or Listener, One Should not Talk about Rasa Topics of Radha Krishna
(21) Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada in the Prakrta Rasa Shata Dushani:
rati yukta chada. suddha bhakta bole na; sadhanete tari rasa. guru kabhu bole na.
“The pure devotee of the Lord never speaks of anything other than rasa, transcendental mellows, that is endowed with rati, loving attachment. The shuddha guru never claims that rati and rasa are present within the practice of preliminary devotion (sadhana bhakti).”
prakrta cestate bhai, kabhu rasa haya na; jadiya prkrta rasa, shuddha bhakta gaya na.
“O brothers! No material efforts can ever produce the awakening or rasa, factual transcendental mellows. The pure devotee of the Lord never sings the glories of any mundane mellows that are born of the dull material world.”
nija bhogya kame bhakta, prema kabhu bole na; rase dagamaga acho, shishye guru bole na.
“Selfish enjoyment of one’s own senses in mundane lust is never called prema (love of Godhead) by the genuine devotee or guru. A bonafide spiritual master never tells his neophyte disciple, ‘You are absorbed in the mellows of divine rasa.'”
anartha thakara kale. jada rupe maje na; anartha thakara kale, jada gune mishe na.
“While still contaminated with anarthas, the bad habits and philosophical misconceptions that impede devotion, one should never become charmed by mundane forms. As long as these impediments remain, one should never mix [their devotional service] with the impurity of mundane qualities.”
anartha thakara kale, jada lila bhoge na; anartha thakara kale, shuddha nama chade na.
“While still contaminated with anarthas, one should never try to enjoy materialistic pastimes. As long as these impediments remain, one should never give up trying to approach the pure Name.”
anartha nivritte kale, jada lila seve na; rupanuga gurudeva, shishya himsa kore na.
“After the unwanted impediments are removed, one never serves mundane pastimes. The true spiritual masters in the line of Srila Rupa Goswami, who are known as rupanuga gurudeva, never abuse their own disciples in any way.”
adikara avichara rupa, rupanuga kore na; anartha anvita dase, rasa siksa deya na.
“The pure followers of Srila Rupa Goswami are never neglectful in assessing any one’s spiritual qualifications. The true followers of Srila Rupa Goswami never instruct a servant who is engrossed in material impediments about the science of intimate devotional mellows.”
anartha na gele shishya, jata rati bole na, anartha visita sisye, rasa tattva bole na.
“The disciple is never said to have developed deep devotional attachment (rati) as long as impediments (anarthas) are not removed. The disciple who is still contaminated with these impediments is never taught the science of intimate devotional mellows (rasa-tattva).”
asakta komala shraddhe, rasa katha bole na; anadhikarire rase, adhikara deya na.
“A devotee should never speak on the topics of devotional mellows to one who has weak, pliable faith. A devotee should never attempt to bestow the qualification for rasa upon one who is unqualified to receive it.”
vaidha bhakta jane, kaabhu raganuga jane na; komala sraddhake kabhu, rasika to jane na.
“Devotees who are still on the platform of following regulated scriptural injunctions (vaidha-bhaktas) cannot yet understand anything about the exalted stage of the raganugas, practitioners of spontaneous devotional service. Those who possess weak faith cannot yet understand the realm of the rasikas, relaters of pure transcendental mellows.”
svalpa shraddha jane, kabhu jata rati mane na; svalpa sraddha jane, rasa upadesa kore na.
“Those who possess little faith are never recognized as being highly developed in loving devotional attachment. Those who possess little faith are never to be instructed in topics concerning transcendental mellows.”
jata rati prauda sraddha, sanga tyaga kore na; komala shraddhere kabhu, rasa diya seve na.
“When spiritual attachment (rati) is manifest, one never leaves the company of those endowed with advanced faith. If immature devotees with pliable faith are presented with a devotional mellow, they will never be able to properly serve it.”
krsnare sevana lagi, jada rase mise na; rasodaya kona jive, shishya buddhi kore na.
“One should never mix their activities with the contaminated moods of materialistic mellows for the purpose of service of Krishna. After rasa has factually awakened, one never indulges in the mentality of regarding any other soul as disciple.”
rasika bhakata raja, kabhu shishya kore na, rasika janera shishya ei bhava chade na.
“The highest devotee, who is like a king among the rasikas expert in relishing devotional mellows, never thinks that he has disciples. The student of such a rasika, however, never give up the mood of being the disciples of this exalted devotee.”
guru mahajana vakye, bheda kabhu haya na; sadhanera pathe kanta, sad guru deya na.
“There can never be any difference between the explanations of the bonafide spiritual master and the teachings of the great devotees (mahajanas). The pure spiritual master never puts thorn-like deterrents on the path of one’s execution of practical devotional service (sadhana).”
na uthiya vrikshopari, phala dhari tane na; rupanuga krama patha, vilopa to kare na.
“One should never climb into a tree, grasp the unripe fruits and forcibly pull them off. Similarly, the followers of Srila Rupa Goswami never abolish the initial systematic process of devotional service.”
All the Manjaris (Acharyas) in our Parampara realized the complete importance of one-pointedly surrendering to Nitai first. Because they themselves got their Manjari Deha from निताइ only. So that is the only sureshot way of recognizing a truly Siddha Guru.
Fully realizing and participating in the nityalila in one’s Siddha Deha is a very very very high thing. One has to cross nama, rupa, guna, lila, mantradhyanmayi, sthayi rati, svarasiki, the five dashas, accept ekadasha bhava not artificially but by internal revelation of causeless mercy of Nitai and the Ragatmikas, etc. etc. according to Harinam Chintamani.
A personality on that level who has fully realized one’s siddha-deha and internally participating with it in the nitya-lila is not found so easily in this world, even more so during this degraded time of Kaliyuga, if there are any at all.
Jadya or Laziness Means Trying to Speak High Raga Katha from our Tiny Mouth
(22) In the following letters, appearing in the book Prabhupader Patravali, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura clearly defines the qualification of raganuga bhakti:
apnara patre sastra-sara-sangraha darsana kariya badi ananda labha karilam. ei sakala katha cinte bala kariya alocana karilai janite pariben ye, alaya haite jata trancade paka-buddhi prakrta prastabe phala-pradane asamartha haya / amara ksudra jiva, vidhi-pather pathik; tabe rager virodhi nahi / rager katha bada, tabe amader mukhe uha sobha paya na / chota mukhe bada katha sunile bhajananuragi-gana hasya kariya udaiya diben / krishna ki vastu, taha yahara upalabdhi haya nai, tahara anuraga-pathe unnatadhikara praptir cesta – alasya jnapak; ihai mahajana-gana pade pade boliyacen /
shri bhagavan-nama u bhagavan eki vastu / yahader nijer bandavicare nama-namite bheda buddhi acche, tahader anartha-nivrttir janya bhajana-kusala janer seva kara nitasta avasyka; iha dekhaibar janya shri gaurasundarer parsad-bhakta-gana taha varnana karen / totapathir nyaya amara yadi uha audayite yai, taha haile loke amadigke ‘prakrta-sahajiya’ baliya nirdesa purvaka amader atmastarita kamaiya dibe / prakrta sahajiya-gana ei rupa durgatipakse duriya giyacche baliya sei sakala ‘panke gauriva sidati’ dalke raganuga bhaktir mahima pradarsana karite haile svayam bhajanachatura haiya apararer mangala vidhana karite haya / sutaram likhita kathaguli apani bhalo kariya bujhibar yatna kariben / ‘bhajana’ bahirer va loka dekhaibar vastu nahe / ucchaihsvare hari-nama kariben, taha haile alasyarupa bhoga amadigke grasa karite paribe na
“I was extremely glad to see in your letter the very gist of all the sayings of sastra! After deliberating over the matter nicely in your heart you will find out that precocious thinking born of laziness can bear no real fruit. We are tiny jivas, traversing the path of vidhi, yet we are not inimical to raga. Raga-katha is high, but in our small mouth it doesn’t look nice. Hearing such high words from our little mouth, devotees whose life and soul is bhajana will laughingly push us away.Having no idea of Who is Krishna, one’s trying to raise oneself up onto the path of raga exposes his laziness; Mahajanas proclaim this on every step.
Shri Bhagavan and the Name of Bhagavan are one entity. One who has conditioned perception of difference between nama and nami is utterly required to serve devotees accomplished in bhajana for rectification of one’s anarthas; to demonstrate this, the eternal associates of Shri Gaurasundara have described the kind of bhajana such devotees engage in. If we go to repeat it like parrots, people will designate us as ‘prakrta-sahajiyas’ and thus bear down our self-assurance. But if we want to show all these prakrta-sahajiyas mired in their misconceptions the real glory of raganuga-bhakti, we have to learn the art of bhajana ourselves and only then try for others’ eternal benefit.
So try to carefully understand what is written. ‘Bhajana’ is nothing external nor any means for showing off. Loudly call out nama, then the spirit of enjoyment in the form of laziness won’t be able to swallow us.”
apnara se tarikher patra paiya samacara jnata hailam / apni vrndavane giya vaishnava-ganer nikata ye asta-kaliya-lila-smaranadir visaya jnaniyachen, uha adaraniya, sandeha nai / kintu yebhave e sakala visaya anarthamayi avastaya dharana kara haya, visayati serupa nahe / shri hari-nama grhana karite karite se-sakala visaya vyaktivisesa jnanite paren, uhai svaruper paricaya / anartha-nivrtti haile svarupa uddhudh haya / svaruper udbodhane nityapratiti apnate asiya upasthita haya / uha keha kahakeu kapatata kariya siksa deya na va nirnaya kariya deya na / tabe niskapatacite pracur hari-nama karite karite ye upalabhdir visaya haya, taha sadhu-gurur pada-padma nivedana kariya sei visayer dharana suddha u samartana kariya lite haya / uhai eka-dasa prakara svaruper paricaya / nana sthaner avivecaka guru-gana ye-sakala katha ayogaya sadhaker upara krtrimabhaver capaiya dena, uhake siddhir paricaya bala jaya na / jini svarupa-siddhi labha karen, tini e sakala paricaye svatah siddhi paricita hana evam shri-gurudeva sei sakala visaye bhajanaonntir sahaya kariya thaken matra / amara ei visaye adhika vaktavya nai / sadhaker siddhir unnatikrame ei sakala katha svabhaviki bhave akapata sevonmukha hrdaye prakasita haya /
“I have noted your letter dated the 24th. The asta-kaliya-lila about which you have heard from the Vaishnavas in Vrndavana should be highly regarded no doubt. But the way in which these pastimes are conceived of in the contaminated state is totally corrupt. Some fortunate individuals are capable of knowing these things after chanting for a long time, for that is the identity of the true self. But it can only be known after one is freed of mental contaminations. With the awakening of this spiritual identity, one automatically has constant cognition of his spiritual form. Those who say that they can teach or reveal this identity are practicing a kind of deception; it cannot be done. On the other hand, if a devotee receives some inspiration after sincerely chanting for a long time, he should go to the sad-guru or advanced devotees and ask for it to be confirmed and purified by them. The spiritual identity has eleven aspects (eka-dasa-bhava). There are many cases of unscrupulous gurus who artificially force-feed these designations on unqualified practitioners, but we cannot call this the mark of spiritual perfection. Those who have achieved the perfection of being fixed in their spiritual identity (svarupa-siddhi) have attained such a realization through internal revelation and the spiritual master’s only involvement in these matters is to help the further advancement of a disciple. As a practitioner progresses toward spiritual perfection, all these things are revealed naturally within the heart that sincerely seeks service.”
jahate shri-namer krpa haya, sarvatobhave shri-namer nikata bahai prathana kariben / asta-kala-lila smarana prabhrti anartha-bukta avasthar krtya nahe / kirtana-mukhai sravana haya evam smaraner suyoga upasthita haya / sei kalai asta-kala-lila-sevar anubhuti sambhava / krtrim-vicare asta-kala smarana karite nai /
“We should constantly pray to the Holy Name for His mercy. One who is still in a contaminated state should not engage in smarana of the daily cycle of the Lord’s pastimes (asta-kaliya-lila). When we engage in chanting the Holy Names, we are simultaneously engaged in hearing and the opportunity for remembering is included in that. One should not engage in asta-kaliya-lila-smarana on false premises.”
shri nama grahana karite karite anartha apasarita haila shri namai rupa, gua, u lila apna haite sphurti haibe cheshta kariya kritrim bhave rupa, guna, u lila smarana karite haibe na
“There is no point in making a separate effort to artificially remember the intimate pastimes of the Lord. The Lord and His Name are one and the same. This will be understood clearly when the coverings in our hearts are removed. By chanting without offenses you will personally realize that all perfections come from the Holy Name.”
No One is Even Qualified to Read Jaiva Dharma’s Rasa Vichar
(23) Srila Kesava Maharaja writes in an old copy of Jaiva-dharma 1953, in the Introduction:
“Srila prabhupader vicara-dhara anusare, bhajane kincit unnat-adhikara labh na kara parjanta ‘rasa-vicare’ kahara-o pravesa kara ucit nahe / Srila prabhupada ‘bhai sahajiya’, ‘prakrta-rasa-sata-dusani’ o anyanya bahu prabandhadir madhye iha suspastabhave vyakta kariyachen/ athaca etadin javat anadhikari byaktir nikate-o rasa-vicara-sambalita ei ‘jaiva-dharma’-grantha-khani samarpana karite haiyache/ iha Srila prabhupader vicara-dharar anukul nahe/ daivat tahar aikantika prerana-krame tahara-i mano’bhista purana-kalpe, Srila thakura bhaktivinoder krpa-kataksa-labhasay, tahar nija-janer preranay iha tin-bhage vibhakta haiyache/ ‘rasa-vicara-mulak’ trtiya khanda amra anadhikari sadharaner nikata arpan karite iccha kari na/ tajjanya, atyanta durmmulyer batsare samanya pac-ti mudra grahana kariya-i 1-m,o 2-ya khanda ekatre pradatta haibe/…”
“According to Srila Prabhupada’s line of thought, even if one engages in bhajana but is not highly qualified, it is improper to enter into discussions on rasa. Srila Prabhupada has expressed this very clearly in such works as Bhai Sahajiya, Prakrta-rasa Sata-dusani and many other essays. Nevertheless, even today there are many unqualified persons who are given to studying the portions of Jaiva Dharma containing the analysis of rasa. According to Srila Prabhupada’s understanding, this is detrimental. Being the worthy recipient of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s merciful glance, and being destined with an increasingly intense desire to fulfill his innermost wishes, he has divided the book into three sections for his followers. According to his desire we will not be selling the third volume, viz. rasa-vicara to the unqualified public. The first two volumes will be available for a symbolic price.”
Don’t Fall into the Clutches of a Pseudo Guru Giving Raga Diksha
(24) In his introduction to Professor N. K. Sanyal’s book, Sree Krishna Chaitanya, Srila Sarasvati Thakura writes as follows:
“One who presumes to instruct others without himself realizing the nature of the course of loving devotion, or who, although himself cognizant of the nature of the path of devotion, instructs the disciple regarding the same without due consideration of the aptitude of the latter, is the pseudo-guru. It is necessary by all means to renounce the guidance of such a guru.”
“Those who, falling into the clutches of the pseudo-guru by neglect of the proper exercise of their judgment, deceive themselves by consenting to adopt the higher grade of worship to which they are not entitled, fall under the category of the third class of offenders described above. But those who, even after becoming aware of their unfitness, persist in practicing the higher method of worship, hoping thereby to gain honour and wealth for themselves, commit the offense of religious hypocrisy. Until this defect is discarded, there can be no appearance of the principle of spontaneous liking for Krishna. These hypocrites only deceive the world by the display of the external insignia of sectarianism and pseudo-renunciation. Those persons who choose to show their regard for these arrogant persons in consideration of the external marks exhibited by them, failing to attain the favour of Krishna, only prove to be thorns in the sides of the people of this world.”
Quoting the Vikriditam Verse to Justify One‘s Cheap Attempt at Raganuga Bhakti is Foolishness
(25) Deliberating upon the vikriditam verse (vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh) Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada writes in his Anubhasya commentary to Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila 5.45:
ye vyakti shrimad bhagavata-varnita krsnera aprakrta rasadi-madhura-lila nijera aprakrta-hrdaya-dvara visvasa kariya varnana karena va sravana karena, tahara prakrta manasija kama sampurna-rupe ksina haiya yaya / aprakrta krishna-lilara vakta va srota aprakrta-rajye-i nijera astitva anubhava karaya prakrtira guna-traya tahake parabhuta karite samartha haya na / tini jade parama nirguna-bhava-visista haiya acancala-mati evam krishna-sevaya nijadhikara bujhite samartha / prakrta-sahajiya-ganera nyaya ei prasange keha yena e-rupa mane na karena ye, “prakrta-kama-lubdha jiva sambandha-jnana labha karibara parivartte prakrta-buddhi-visista haiya nija-bhogamaya rajye vasa karata sadhana-bhakti parityaga-purvaka krsnera rasadi aprakrta vihara va lilake nija-sadrsa prakrta-bhogera adarsa janiya, tahara sravana o kirtanadi karile-i tahara jada kama vinasta haibe’ / iha nisedha karibara janya-i mahaprabhu “visvasa’-sabda-dvara prakrta-sahajiya-ganera prakrta-buddhi nirasana kariyachena /
“A person who hears or describes the rasa-lila and other such pastimes as found in the Bhagavatam, living them in his transcendental heart, then finds the material desires for sensual pleasure wane to nothingness. Because Krsna’s pastimes are transcendental, one who hears or speaks about them enters into that transcendental domain where the 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 Krsna. But no one should think, as do the prakrta-sahajiyas, 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 of the relationships between matter, the individual soul and the Supreme Lord, if he remains fixed in a subjective world centered 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, Mahaprabhu emphasized the word ‘faith’ (visvasa) in order to forestall such sahajiya arguments.”
Srila B. P. Puri Goswami Maharaja further explains Srila Prabhupada’s teachings on the vikriditam verse in Of Love and Separation, Chapter 3:
“In Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s commentary to the above verse (vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh) from the rasa-lila, it is written:
ata eva sraddhanvita iti sastravisvasinam namaparadhinam premapi nangikarotiti bhavah ayam shri-rasah shrir api napa yam/ sastra-buddhi-vivekadyair api durgamam iksyate gopinam rasa-vartmedam tasam anugatir vina
“The word sraddhavitah indicates that ecstatic love for Krishna does not come to those who do not believe the scriptures or who persist in committing offenses against the Holy Name. Thus even Laksmi cannot enter into this rasa-dance. Without exclusively following in the footsteps of the gopis, even those who believe in the scriptures and the very intelligent cannot enter onto this most difficult path of sacred rapture chalked out by the gopis.”
“For this reason, our most revered Srila Prabhupada never approved of open discussion by the unqualified of the divine rasa, which is beyond the attainment of even Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, and always gave priority to the chanting of the Holy Name.”
“The unique characteristic of Srila Prabhupada’s preaching was that even though he often spoke about the highest realms of devotional perfection, he always took care that none of his disciples got ahead of themselves and skipped necessary intermediate steps in the stage of practice to engage in anadhikara-carca (discussion of matters for which one is not qualified). If one attempts the cultivation of raga-marga prior to gaining the proper qualifications for such a practice and at the same time pays less attention to the chanting of the Holy Names, he is like a person who tries to pick the fruit without climbing the tree. He will only get the damaged fruit that has fallen to the ground. Prabhupada characterised those who engaged in such anadhikara-carca as prakrta-sahajiyas and rebuked them for their entering into realms which they were not qualified.”
Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura delineates that the word “shraddha” in this vikriditam verse does not mean the shraddha which is the very first level in Bhakti. He rather says that it means the irrevocable “dridha or gadha shraddha” which has manifested on at least 5th stage of Bhakti – Nistha, after we have crossed the stage of Anartha Nivritti.This is when the inklings of the Madhyama Adhikari level and Raganuga Bhakti begin.
When one comes to the stage of steadfast devotion with true faith, the heart is no longer affected by the modes of passion and ignorance, lust or greed, and other contaminations [even though they may be present]; thus established in pure goodness, he or she is content. (SB1.2.19). [This is the faith or shraddha on the level of Nishtha.]
Reciters should take note of the word ‘dhira’ in the aforementioned vikriditam verse. The rasa-lila should only be heard and continuously sung by a self-controlled person. It is not a subject matter for discussion by one who is afflicted with lust. Except for the pure Vaisnava, others cannot be considered to be dhira. Because their minds are running here and there for the sake of worldly sense objects, they are adhira. Therefore, they have no qualification to hear and preach about the rasa-lila.
From whom does a completely self-controlled person hear about the rasa-lila? Not from a person afflicted with lust, but from the lotus feet of Sri Guru who is free from lust. And in front of whom does he perform kirtana? Not in front of an unqualified person, but confidentially and individually to a qualified person. For what purpose does he continuously glorify the topic of rasa? Not for the sake of earning money, but out of love for Krsna. What is the result? As regards the result, the self-controlled never pray for any other result other than the pleasure of Krsna – and in his heart, even if somewhere there is a small amount of lust hidden, then by the auspicious desire of Sri Krsna it is removed and that excellent self-controlled devotee stays absorbed in the pleasure of service.
Therefore, to gain qualification to see or hear the rasa-lila, one should become dhira. Being self-controlled one should serve the lotus feet of Nitaichand and His bonafide sad-guru (bona-fide spiritual master) and should be patient to gain that qualification. Without first climbing the branch of a tree, the fruits can never be reached.
If Someone Other than a True Dhira Hears or Remembers Raga Katha, One Will be Destroyed
(26) Shridhara Maharaja also confirms this as follows in The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute:
“In his writings, Srila Jiva Goswami has laid stress on the word dhira, meaning self-controlled. To hear these elevated subjects, one must enter into the culture of sense-control, otherwise he will be destroyed.”
Sharing Rasa Katha to the Unqualified is the 6th Offense to Harinam Just like Giving Harinam Diksha to Them is (Harinam Chintamani)
(27) Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 28:
ei raser anadhikari ke? anadhikarike hari-nama dana kara yerupa aparadha ei rasa-visaya tahar nikata vyakhya karau tadrupa aparadha /
“Who is not qualified to thus taste the nectar of the transcendental rasa? As it is an offense to give the Holy Name to an unqualified person, so it must also be an offense to explain the rasas to an unqualified person.”
Don’t Jump Over the Stages: It is Nama to Form to Qualities and Only Then Pastimes
(28) Srila Puri Maharaja explains further in several articles as follows:
“In Bhakti-sandarbha, Srila Jiva Goswami outlines the process to spiritual realization:
prathamam namnah sravanam antahkarana-suddhyartham apeksyam / suddhe cantah-karane rupa-sravanena tad-udaya-yogyata bhavati / samyag-udite ca rupe gunanam sphuranam sampadyate / sampanne ca gunanam sphurane parikara-vaisistyena tad-vaisistyam sampadyate / tatas tesu nama-rupa-guna-parikaresu samyak sphuritesu lilanam sphuranam susthu bhavati /
First it is expected that one should hear the Lord’s Names in order to purify the heart. Once the mind and intelligence have been purified in this way, one can hear about Krishna’s form, through which one’s qualification to visualize it is obtained. When the form of the Lord has been clearly visualized, one can experience His qualities. Once these have been clearly understood, one develops one’s own individual spiritual characteristics through the particular characteristics of the Lord’s associates. Thus, once the Name, form, qualities and associates of the Lord have been realized, a clear realization of Krishna’s activities will follow.” (Krama-sandarbha commentary to Bhag. 7.5.18)
“Some unscrupulous characters take this verse (vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh) and others like it to mean that they can neglect the chanting of the Holy Names and spend their time in hearing and discussing the erotic pastimes of the Lord such as His rasa-lila. These misguided souls think that by hearing about Krishna’s rasa-lila, in a state of material contamination, they can become purified and thus qualified for raganuga practice. However, if one does not seek the mercy of the Holy Name first, but artificially tries to appropriate the right to engage in such practices, he is like a pumpkin that ripens too quickly and bursts – he inevitably falls down.” (Article from Chaitanya vani 18.11, Feb. 1978)
“Krishna’s pastimes with the gopis are incomprehensible to someone who depends on scriptural injunctions and logical arguments to engage in devotional service; one has to follow the transcendental path of the gopis themselves. These are the indications found in the Bhagavata in the verse beginning with (vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh 10.33.42).”
“The most merciful and worshipable Srila Prabhupada (Bhaktisiddhanta) was so kind that he advised conditioned souls like ourselves, whose hearts are filled with all kinds of unwanted desires, to avoid prematurely getting involved in discussing such topics and to simply throw ourselves at the mercy of the Holy Name. The idea is that one should harbor the powerful desire to attain that goal (on the theory that one attains the perfection one seeks – yadrsi bhavana yasya siddhir bhavati tadrsi) and chant the Holy Name according to the spiritual master’s instruction.”
“If we cannot follow Srila Prabhupada’s instruction to chant 100,000 Names every single day without offenses, even a fourth of that amount has a positive effect and quiets the mind. And yet there are those who do not even chant that amount and still think that they can engage in discussions of the Lord’s divine pastimes in the hope of being able to relish them. This is pure arrogance!” (Of Love in Separation Meditations on My Divine Master)
“Our most worshipable spiritual master Srila Prabhupada often quoted Jiva Goswami from the Bhakti Sandarbha: “First it is expected that one should hear the Lord’s Names in order to purify the inner self.’ (prathamam namnah sravanam antahkarana-suddhyartham apeksyam).”
“Prabhupada (Bhaktisiddhanta) explains that only after one’s mind and intelligence are purified by the chanting of the Holy Names can one hear about Krishna’s form, qualities, associates, and finally, pastimes. One who has not yet reached the stage of ruci, or taste for devotional service, may prematurely go to a pretender guru to take initiation and instruction in raganuga-bhakti, without first making an effort to chant the Holy Name offenselessly. Such a person may make a pretense of relishing Krishna’s lila while still affected by materialistic contamination, but such an attempt will not succeed in bringing him love for the divine couple and service for Them in the spiritual abode.”
“The sadhya-sadhana-tattva is fully expained in the teachings of Ramananda Raya, but it is clear from the words of Srila Prabhupada mentioned above that the practices that lead to the supreme goal of service to the divine couple, are only possible through the purificatory process of chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord. The Lord himself has confirmed this statement when He said ‘iha haite sarva-siddhi haibe sabara:’ From the chanting of the Holy Names all perfections will come to everyone. All perfections – refers to perfections of spiritual life. Even though the love of the inhabitants of Vraja described by Ramananda Raya is the most secret treasure of the Vedic storehouse of knowledge, the impossible feat of winning this great prize can be accomplished by the mercy of the Holy Name; it can achieve miracles. Mahaprabhu stated to Tapana Misra, Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami’s grandfather: “The object and the means to attain it are found through the chanting of the Holy Names,” and “As you repeatedly practice the chanting of the Holy Names the seedling of love will sprout and you will then know both the goal of life and the means to attain it.”
“Great authorities teach that one should remember the pastimes of the Lord according to the eight times of the day in relation to the eight verses of the Siksastaka. In his Bhakti Sandarbha Jiva Goswami states that in Kali-yuga any type of devotional service must be done in conjunction with the chanting of the Holy Names (yadyapi anya bhaktih kalau kartavya tada kirtanakhy-bhakti-samyojanenaiva). One should not give up kirtana to engage in smarana.” (Art of Sadhana, Chapter 14.)
People Are Ripe in Sahajiya, Imitation of Devotion. Even Normal Krishna Lila is Far Far Above. Our Master Does Not Allow Us to Read Books Where High Lilas are Described
(29) Srila Shridhara Maharaja writes in Follow the Angels, Chapter Two:
“Once Prabhupada arranged to preach in Vrndavana for the full month of Karttika. He asked Bharati Maharaja at that time to explain the Seventh Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam, the story of Prahlada. He did not ask for narrations about Krishna, Radha, Yasoda or anything of Vrndavana. ‘Preach suddha-bhakti of Prahlada first. People are ripe in sahajiya, imitation of devotion. Just try to make them understand, to enter the plane of bhakti. That is great; what to speak of krishna-lila – that is far, far above.’ There in Vrndavana the people wondered, ‘What is this? They are explaining Bhagavatam, but leaving aside the Tenth Canto. They are explaining the Seventh Canto, the Prahlada-lila, the lower portion of bhakti. That is wonderful and strange.'”
“I found later on that Srila Prabhupada himself spoke for several days on the boundary line between Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda. He read and explained the Upadesamrta of Srila Rupa Goswami. He did not speak about Shrimati Radharani or about Krishna, but about Upadesamrta – the basic teachings. His attention was always focused on the basics, because the fruit will come naturally. ‘Pour water onto the root and the fruit will come up by itself.'”
“Sitting between Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda he explained not Bhagavatam, but Upadesamrta. Upadesamrta contains the substance of Mahaprabhu’s teaching in the language of Rupa Goswami. Srila Prabhupada explained these topics and not anything of Govinda-lilamrta or Visvanatha Cakravarti’s Shri Krishna-bhavanamrta. The higher topics of madhurya lila, Radha-Krishna’s amorous pastimes, were left aside.
“Our master did not allow us to read the books where the highest lilas are described. Govinda-lilamrta, Stava-kusumanjali, Ujjvala-nilamani. He did not allow us to study and to discuss them. Rather, he would be very much disturbed if he heard that someone was interfering with the higher lilas in those books. He did not like it. There are three chapters of Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita that we were generally not allowed to discuss fully, including the conversations with Ramananda Raya. Where the lila portion of Radha-Govinda is mentioned, we were not to delve. Of course when parayana (consecutive chanting of the whole book) was taking place, we were to go on reading those sections, but without giving any particular attention to the lila of the highest order of raga. That was barred: “Don’t try to come into details there. That will come automatically when it is time. Do not make it a public discussion. Do not place it in the public eye.”
Imitating an Exalted Personality About Raga Marga Means Certain Destruction
(30) Srila Shridhara Maharaja writes further:
Shridhara Maharaja: “Yes, Govinda-lilamrta is there, with asta-kaliya-lilas, the eight-fold lila of Radha-Govinda. This is for the higher students.”
Devotee: “But in Jaiva Dharma Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura mentiones some of the asta-kaliya-lilas.”
Shridhara Maharaja: “Yes, but he has given everything in Jaiva Dharma with much caution. Here Jiva Goswami explains, you must listen from a real source. So he will get there the real thing. It is not like lust, just the opposite of lust. So with that attitude you are to approach, dhira. Master of his own senses. He only is qualified to try to accept or listen, to enter into this flavor, not those that are not master of their own senses. And if he does:
naitat samacarej jatu manasapi hy-anisvarah, vinasyaty-acaran maudhyad yatharudro ‘bdhi-jam visam.
‘One who is not a great controller should never imitate the behavior of ruling personalities, even mentally. If out of foolishness an ordinary person does imitate such behavior, he will simply destroy himself, just as a person who is not Rudra would destroy himself if he tried to drink an ocean of poison.’ (Bhag. 10.33.30)
“Due to ignorance, anyone may venture to enter into this domain due to ignorance, even in mind, even mentally, vinasyati – he will be doomed. If he is not Siva, if he takes the poison, he is sure to die. And Siva took the poison and then ornamental thing came in his throat, nila-kanta. By the folded palm, Siva he drank the poison, but it was an ornament to his throat. But if who is not Siva, if he takes poison he is sure to die. So one who is not dhira and who has got no qualification to enter into this domain, he is sure to die. The warning is given in Bhagavatam by Sukadeva Goswami. It is nectar but still properly you must come to it. There is a possibility of mistaking it for your awkward enjoyment. Then you will be doomed forever.” (Room Conversation, Nov. 12, 1981)
“‘Dusta phala karibe arjjana’ – Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura warns that we will get only a bad result if we venture to cross that line. It is aparadha. From the lower position, the steps are shown: sraddha, sadhu-sanga, sravana, kirtana, then anartha-nivrtti, when the undesirable things vanish. Then comes ruci, then asakti, then bhava-bhakti, the sprout of real devotion. Then prema-bhakti, and sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava – by such steps we are to approach the highest plane.”
“Our Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada, asked that we keep Radharani in great reverence, ‘On your head, over your head-don’t be bold enough to approach directly: Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange. Try to keep Her and Her group at a respectful distance, above your head. Don’t rush towards that position. It is not that cheap.'”
“The whole tenor of Guru Maharaja’s life was such: ‘That is high, very high, and from below we are to honor that.’ We must establish this conception, the proper regard for that higher lila, throughout the entire world: ‘That is too high.'”
“Prabhupada has ordered such strict behavior, and we also follow that. At so many other places they show the rasa-lila with dolls, but I never do that. Following what is true to my understanding of my Gurudeva’s will and his words, I do not make any show of jhulana-lila or rasa-lila or anything of that nature. I find in my heart that this is not pleasing to my Guru Maharaja. But in so many mathas (temples) I see at present, I hear also, that they are doing that, but I strictly abstain from showing jhulana-lila and rasa-lila. That is too high for us.”
“I must be true to the words of my Gurudeva if I want my realization and not just some sort of popularity. Some may discuss the higher lilas to attract people, to make money, or even to develop a favorable field for preaching, but I do not do this. I do not want popularity or any recognition as a higher acarya. I am a student.”
“Still I am a student. I consider myself to be a student, a faithful student. What I heard from my Gurudeva, I try my best to stick to that, to keep my position there as I heard from him. I do not want to mutilate that in any way to suit my purpose. I try not to do that. Of course for big propaganda some may adopt different ways, as they see fit. They are now free. But I am not one to do so, to go on in such a way. I try to follow my Guru Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada.” (Follow the Angels. Chapter 2)
“Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange. The whole tenor of our Guru Maharaja, of the nature of his service is herein. Not only for him, but he has extended the banner to all. Come under the banner of such nature of thought about the divinity, an initiation will be safely secured. This verse is the inner life of my Guru Maharaja.” (Sept. 1, 1981)
Speak and Remember the Glories of the Holy Name Instead of Higher Topics
(31) Srila Pramoda Puri Maharaja continues:
“In your foreign countries a party of sahajiyas has appeared. And it is not a matter of inventing something what they speak is there in 10th Canto, in the works of the Goswamis, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. But the very fact of their speaking such higher topics to unprepared audiences, ignoring the glories of the Holy Name, who is the only real path to this higher lila, is namaparadha. Mahaprabhu never did like this. He was relishing these topics with a few of his antaranga-bhaktas, and He was inspiring the masses to perform nama-sankirtana, and Himself performed sankirtana with great numbers of devotees. Pracara should be nama-pracara!” (Room conversation 7th Feb. 1996. Shridhama Mayapura.)
“If I spoke here on Bhramara-gita, Gopi-gita and other such high topics, I would fill this room (laughs). This room would be full. But these topics are very high – not for everyone. Srila Prabhupada never spoke like this in public – these confidential topics. Mahaprabhu only spoke these things with four and a half devotees. Not every devotee.” (Srila Puri Maharaja, Room conversation, Shridhama Mayapura, 1994)
“Lust can be conquered through chanting and this chanting should be done sincerely. Unless we attain the eligibility we cannot go into these very esoteric pastimes of Krishna. Even Chaitanya Mahaprabhu through His own example was relishing this rasa literature of Candidasa, Govinda Dasa, Vidyapati, the rasa-lilas with a very select few. He never went into public to discuss this. Because these pastimes of the Lord, these relationships with the Lord with His devotees, are very esoteric and have to be understood in that manner.”
“So we are followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and as such, we have to acquire through chanting, the eligibility to come to that platform where we can openly discuss or even discuss with one another, these intimate pastimes with the correct conception. It has to be done with an eager mind, wanting, even hankering, to understand how we can get rid of our lust, anger – rather than discussing this as an entertainment, which is so often done. So chanting means without offences. The ten offences are there, they have been enumerated, so chanting means only when we get rid of our offences. Then gradually this eligibilty may come when the six enemies begin to subside.”
“When one comes to that level of consciousness, when the mind is undisturbed by the material influence, at that time, he can actually begin to start to serve purely. And then all the pastimes can also be meditated upon properly.”
“However, one should not consider chanting to be something very simple – something which is given to the beginners to keep them quiet, or to think that it is not the principle limb of pure devotion. In fact, this is the very basis of pure devotion because without having proper attachment to the Holy Name or proper understanding of the Holy Name, there is no question of going any further! The only thing that can give you prema is pure chanting. There is no other process that can bring you to the level of prema.”
“You may feel that sometimes a certain attraction, but if this is not steady, you cannot interpret it as lobha, which is so rare. You cannot just find it anywhere.”
They Will Think Krishna is Immoral or a Debauchee Because Their Mind is Polluted. So Gaura Advocated Nama Smarana as the Only Way
(32) Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes:
“Thoroughly study Bhagavad-gita, and after studying Bhagavad-gita, if you are fortunate enough to understand what is Krishna, then, Krishna says, surrender. That is the beginning of understanding Krishna. Don’t try to understand the pastimes of Krishna with the gopis.” (Class on Cc. Adi-lila 1.6, March 30, 1975)
“But as far as possible, very cautiously and very rarely we shall present. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s life we see that in public. He never discussed about Krishna’s lila with the gopis. That was very confidential discussion amongst His own circle, Raya Ramananda, Svarupa Damodara, like that. And He inquired… Even a learned scholar, He discussed about the philosophy, that Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. But when there was a great devotee like Ramananda Raya, He relished gopis’, I mean to say, intimate behavior with Krishna. So we should remember this, that public may misunderstand this. Therefore we have to present these things very cautiously, not very openly. They may misunderstand.” (Discussion with BTG staff. Dec.24th 1969)
“We cannot understand the affairs of the spiritual world on the basis of our experience in the material world. The Lord’s pastimes with the gopis are therefore misunderstood by mundane scholars and word-wranglers. The parakiya-rasa of the spiritual world should not be discussed, except by one who is very advanced in pure devotional service. The parakiya-rasa in the spiritual world and that in the material world are not comparable.” (Cc. Madhya-lila 13.24, purport)
“Although Krishna is the purest of the pure, mundane people, thinking of Krishna’s pastimes that appear immoral, themselves become polluted. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu therefore never publicly discussed Krishna’s dealings with the gopis. He used to discuss these dealings only with three confidential friends. He never discussed rasa-lila publicly, as professional reciters do, although they do not understand Krishna or the nature of the audience. However, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu encouraged the public chanting of the Holy Name on a huge scale for as many hours as possible.” (Cc, Madhya-lila 4.134, purp.)
Don’t Deceive and Destroy Yourself by Thinking that You are Qualified to Remember and Talk of Krishna Lila
(33) Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Goswami Maharaja in his Shri Damodarastakam-tika Verse 8 writes as follows:
“namo’nanta lilaya’ vakye, sadharanatah yahara lilar ananta nai, sei ananta-maya-lila bhagavan shri krishna kei namaskara bujhaya / kintu Srila sanatana goswami satyavrata munir antar nihita uddesyer prati drsti kariya evam nija bhavansare ut vakyer ekati niguta artha nirnaya kariyachen / yatha – “shri rasa-lilakei namaskara’ / “ananta’-sabde – yahara anta nai va sesa nai, arthat nitya, asesa va asankhya ityadi / “lilaya’ – sabdati “lila’ – sabder vyutpati ei ye, “li’+’la’ = “lila’ / “la’ – sabder artha – alingana kara – (li-dhatu kvipbhave “li’) evam “la’ sabder artha grahana kara (la-dhatu u = la) / sutaram “lila’-sabder dvarai gopi-ganer alingana grhana kara haya yahate sei rasa-kridadi lilakei namaskara bujhaitechen / ei janyai “ananta-lilaya’ balite, tikar – “gokula visayika sarvapi lilodista asye ca nama iti “bhavah'” / likhiya shri sanatana goswami nijeu “madhurena samapayet’ – vakyer sarthakata kariyachen /
arau ekati visaya esthale visayabhave laksya kara prayojana / damodastaker antim sloke Srila goswamipada janaitechen yei shri krsner rasa-kridadi lila sarvapeksa srestha haile u taha “parama-gopatvena anarbhivancanakincideva samkete nodisan pranamati’ – ihara tatparya ei ye, rasa-lilar parama gopiniyatva -hetu (satyavrata muni) kinkaranmatra sanketa athava ektumatra injita kariyachen / iha dvara sprstai pratiyamana haya ye, yathane-sekhane yakhana -takhana rasa-lilar sravana-kirtana kara nitanta avidhi / sudhu tahai nahe, anadhikari vyakti yadi kama dura karibar chalana kariya rasa-lila mane-mane u cinta, acarana athava anukaran karen, tabe tini rasa-lilar gaurava-hane karar aparadhe niscayi adhah patita haiben / evam akalapakka prakrta-sahajiya-vader nyaya kamuk u grhasakta haiya pariben / rasa-lilar sravana-kirtaner karana u adhikara nirnaya -prasange shrimad bhagavatam sei rasa-lilari sodhe yaha varnita haiyache taha visesabhave aloca / yatha – naitat samacarej jatu manasapi hy anisvarah vinasyaty acaran maudhyad yatharudro “bdhi-jam visam ihara tatparya ei ye, “isvara’ arthat prakrta-yogya, ksamata-sampanna adhikara na hailemaner dvarau kakhan u rasa-lila, cinta, acarana va anusilana karibe na / saksat siva samudrakhita visa-paner ekmatra adhikara / kintu anadhikari arudra vyakti arthat apatra “mahapatra’ sajiya yadi rasa-lilar sravana-kirtanarupa visa-pana karena taha haile mrtyu arthat asanna-mrtyurupa samsara-baddha-dasa avasyantari / rasa-lila sarva-lila-cudamani evam tahara phala u sarva-cudamani / sutaram tahara adhikara keu sarva-cudamani haite haibe / ye-kona hrd-roga-grantha, kamuk, apatra vyaktir pakse rasa-lila kona prakarai alocaniya nahe / ajnata dura karibara janya visva-vidyalayer sarvoccha siksa labha kara ekantu avasyaka haileu prathamika vidyasthike athava alpajna vyaktike sarvaccha srenite bhatti haite deuya haya na / sutaram indriyasakta svalpajna vyaktike rasa-lilar sarvottama siksa deuya yukti-sangata nahe /
“The statement namo ‘nanta-lilaya is usually understood to mean “obeisances unto ananta-lila-bhagavan Shri Krishna”, or He whose pastimes are limitless. But Srila Sanatana Goswami looks toward the esoteric intention of Satyavrata Muni and also according to his own mood of realization has revealed a very confidential purport. Thus, “Obeisances unto shri rasa-lila.” The word ananta indicates that which has no end; namely perpetual, inexhaustible, countless, and so forth. In the expression lilaya, the word lila is of the fourth case ending in the singular number (in conjunction with the word namah). The derivation of lila is – li + la = lila. The meaning of the word li is to embrace, and the meaning of la is to accept. Therefore, the word lila is indicative of that sportive pastime in which Lord Krishna accepts the embraces of the gopis; thus it is understood to mean in this context that obeisances are being offered unto the rasa-lila and other associated pastimes. For this reason it is stated ananta-lilaya. And as Srila Sanatana Goswami has written in his tika , “It is suggested to include all the pastimes associated with the realm of Gokula Vrndavana. I offer my obeisances unto all those lilas; such a mood is most certainly expressed in this way.’ By writing this, he has himself fulfilled the quotation of madhurena samapayet, all undertakings should be completed sweetly.
“Yet another topic is necessarily indicated at this point. Srila (Sanatana) Goswamipada has revealed that the final sloka of Damodarastakam shows Shri Krishna’s pastimes headed by the rasa-lila to be the topmost of all. He states “Since these are the topmost of confidential topics, they are not mentioned directly. Therefore such confidential pastimes are referred to by a mere hint only, as they are offered obeisances in the words namo ‘nanta-lilaya.’ The meaning of this is that because the rasa-lila is the most highly confidential pastime of the Lord, therefore Satyavrata Muni has mentioned it only with the briefest clue or tiniest glimpse. By so doing, he has made it known that it is always inappropriate to casually hear and chant about the rasa-lila here and there, whenever and wherever. Not only that, but if an unqualified person deceives himself with an attempt to banish lust, but then contemplates, performs or imitates the rasa-lila, then such a person certainly becomes degraded due to the offense of minimizing the glories of the factually transcendental rasa-lila. Eventually he will fall down to become a lusty debauchee and attached householder, just like the prakrta-sahajiyas who prematurely dabble in the highest truth.
In regard to ascertaining who is qualified to hear and chant about the Lord’s rasa-lila, it is especially noteworthy to examine the statements of Shrimad Bhagavatam presented at the conclusion of the rasa-lila description (10.33.30):
naitat samacarej jatu manasapi hy-anisvarah, vinasyaty-acaran maudhyad yatharudro ‘bdhi-jam visam.
“One who is not a great controller should never imitate the behavior of ruling personalities, even mentally. If out of foolishness an ordinary person does imitate such behavior, he will simply destroy himself, just as a person who is not Rudra would destroy himself if he tried to drink an ocean of poison.”
“The purport of this is that one who is not an isvara truly qualified by being endowed with divine potency should never even mentally contemplate, perform or imitate the Lord’s rasa-lila. Only Lord Siva himself is able to drink an entire ocean of poison. If an unqualified person who is arudra (not Siva) falsely considers himself to be greatly qualified and tries to drink poison in the form of hearing and chanting about the rasa-lila, then he would certainly die – that is, he would become tightly bound within the death-like condition of samsara or gross material existence.
“Lord Shri Krishna’s rasa-lila pastimes are the crest-jewel of all His pastimes, and the benefits of cultivating such pastimes are the crest jewel of all benefits. Therefore those who are qualified to relish these topics will be the crest jewels among all devotees. The Lord’s rasa-lila should never be studied in any way by those who are seized by the disease of the heart, who are lusty for personal gratification, or otherwise unfit. In matters of ordinary education, if one wants to dispel one’s ignorance it is necessary to gradually master the highest knowledge of the university; but a beginning student or someone of little knowledge is never admitted prematurely into the highest class. Similarly, it is never appropriate to give instructions about the most elevated topic, the rasa-lila, to persons of little knowledge who are simply attached to the external bodily senses.”
“One day a devotee was studying the commentaries on rasa-lila, bhramara-gita and so on, and Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Goswami said, ‘The qualification to hear topics such as rasa-lila will come when shri nama-kirtana has freed the heart from anarthas, and suddha-sattva has appeared there. Otherwise the transcendental pastimes of Shri Radha-Govinda will appear to be the activities of a worldly hero and heroine, and will only give rise to false ideas. The conception of rasa is only possible in the siddha-deha, the perfect state. It is impossible to perceive sringara-rasa in a material body. Only a person who is free from the lower types of enjoyment and is in then stage of bhava is qualified to discuss sambhoga-rasa.”
This is the Difference between the Gaudiya Matha and the Sahajiyas
(34) Srila Shridhara Maharaja writes:
“I am sorry, but we are not to enter into the discussion of such higher and subtle position of the lila of Radha-Krishna. That is not to be brought into public, and that is the distinction between Gaudiya Matha and the sahajiya section. The sahajiyas are trying to imitate all these things, but we have no faith in imitation. The higher lila will come in an individual case, and it will awaken in an irresistible way. When the program of the sadhana stage is finished it will come automatically, spontaneously. We are believers in that, and not to know the form already and then we will reach there. That is not the policy accepted by Guru Maharaja, Prabhupada. Pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange.
“Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura also said, ‘Stick to the rulings of the class you are fit for, then you will see automatically.’
yatha yatha gaura-padaravinde vindeta bhaktim krta-punya-rasih; tatha tathotsarpati hrdy akasmad radha-padambhoja-sudhambu-rasih. (Shri Chaitanya-chandramrta 88)
“Strictly stick to Gaura-lila, Mahaprabhu, and you will automatically find within your heart that Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi is flowing. Don’t attempt directly to have it. It will come automatically, spontaneously. Not intellectually you shall approach that, for that will give you a bad prejudice. Not only that, but it will be harmful prejudice and you will have to expend more energy to do away with that layer of misunderstanding. So our Srila Prabhupada did not allow these things.
“Do your duty in your plane, according to what you deserve, and that will come naturally. That is his instruction all through, not only temporarily, but all through. Don’t do like that, for then you will get maya instead of yoga maya.”
Mahaprabhu Relished Rasa Katha Only with a Handful of Antaranga Bhaktas. All Prachar should be Nama Prachar
(35) Srila Pramoda Puri Maharaja writes:
“Apnader videshe ek-ti prakrita-sahajiya-dol shrishta ho’yechhe” In your foreign countries there has appeared a party of prakrta-sahajiyaism. And it is not a matter of inventing something; what they speak is there in 10th Canto, in the works of Gosvamis, and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. But the very fact of their speaking such higher topics to unprepared audiences, ignoring the glories of the holy name, Who is the only real path to this higher lila, is namaparadha. Mahaprabhu never did like this. He was relishing these topics with few of His antaranga-bhaktas, and He was inspiring masses to perform nama-sankirtana, and Himself performed sankirtana with great numbers of people. Pracara should be nama-pracara. Remember: I don’t like pseudo-Vaisnavism. I don’t like pseudo-Vaisnavism. I don’t like pseudo-Vaisnavism.”
Even the Childhood Pastimes of Krishna Need Qualification. So They should Not be Discussed All the Time
(36) Srila Pramoda Puri Maharaja describes about the public recitation of Lord Krishna’s childhood pastimes:
“When I was in Bagh Bazaar Gaudiya Matha, I used to give evening lectures on the Bhagavatam to which many cultured people came to listen. In the course of doing so, I started lecturing on Krishna’s childhood pastimes from the Tenth Canto. My godbrother Madhusudana Maharaja was in the audience and there were many others too, who came and relished all these topics. But word of these readings reached Srila Prabhupada – he was in Puri-dhama at the time. Prabhupada then said that relishing Krishna’s pastimes should not be done in all times and circumstances.”
Compiled by Swami Vishnu and Swami Giri.
Srila Prabhupada: You May be Qualified to Hear Rasalila. But I am Not Qualified to Speak it
(37) Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada replied to the film actress Vaijayanti Mala’s father , “Well, you may be fit to hear rasa-lila, but I do not feel that I am qualified to speak it. So kindly ask someone else.” (Room Conversation, Mumbai).
Srila Narayan Maharaj: I Don’t Want These High Topics to be Distributed
(38) Srila Narayana Maharaja:
“I therefore request my devotees that they should not broadcast all these high-class subjects. If they are fortunate to hear something, they should keep that in their hearts. Be like Sri Raya Ramananda, Sri Svarupa Damodara, Srimati Madhavi devi and others. Even Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami were not at the Gambhira. We, on the other hand, have made these topics very, very cheap. We distribute them everywhere in the market. I don’t want this. By doing this you will become very lusty. At this stage, don’t read all these confidential books. Rather, you should try to follow vaidhi-bhakti and read Caitanya-caritamrta. Read all the prescribed books, especially those of Rupa Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, like Upadesamrta and Manah-siksa. You can also read the books of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Srila Prabhupada (Bhaktisiddhanta) was very much against revealing all these topics in public. He knew all these subjects, and he knew that these are the best of subjects, but for beginners they are to be hidden.” (7th May 2001, Badger USA)
Vayulekhan is the Only and Fastest Way to Make us Qualified for Raganuga Bhakti
Thus, instead of artificially trying to remember and hear about the pastimes of Shri Shri Gaura Radha Krishna and discussing such elevated topics in our unqualified stage, we should full take shelter of the Holy Names, Forms, Pastimes, Associates, Abodes and Scriptures of Lord Nitai through the three principle practices of Nitai Bhakti – Nitainam Vayulekhan, Nitailila Shravan-Kirtan, and Nitaiprem Vitaran.
These three will automatically, unconditionally, effortlessly, and spontaneously make one qualified to achieve the topmost platform of madhurya rasa and raganuga smarana of Shri Shri Shri Gaura Radha Krishna in Navadvipa and Vraja Dhama.