Super humane beings?

Raganuga bhakti is not for super humane beings with perfectly pure hearts.

It is a sadhana, a practice which starts and leads to an end: svarupa siddhi, the realization and perfection of your bestowed spiritual form.

vaidhi raganuga ceti sa dvidha sadhanabhidha
(BRS 1.2.5)

“Practice is of two kinds, namely vaidhi and raganuga.”

The moment the desire in your heart arises to serve Sri Sri Radha Mohan in Sri Vrindavana, the start of your raganuga bhakti journey begins.

To attain the Divine Couple in the nikunjas of Vraja, raganuga bhakti is the only way.

raga-bhaktye vraje svayam-bhagavane paya ||
(Caitanya Caritamrita 2.24.85)

“Through raga-bhakti, one will attain the Lord Himself in Vraja.”

raganuga-marge tanre bhaje yei jana |
sei-jana paya vraje vrajendra-nandana ||
(Caitanya Caritamrita 2.8.221)

“He who worships on the path of raganuga will attain Vrajendranandana (Sri Krishna) in Vraja.”

This desire is caused by the mercy of Sri Krishna and His devotees.

Srila Rupa Goswamipada confirms this in his Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu where he states the ultimate cause for starting raganuga bhakti.

krsna-tad-bhakta-karunya-matra-labhaika-hetuka
pusti-margataya kaiscid iyam raganugocyate
|| BRS 1.2.309 ||

“The mercy of Krsna and His devotees is the only cause of attaining raganuga-bhakti. Some call this type of devotion pusti-marga.”

Role Models

We need to convert our material emotions into spiritual emotions. Like in the material world we admire and “follow” our role models for the chosen material bhava, in the spiritual world we have to follow our chosen role models there.

We need to hear about those role models in the spiritual world and then we will feel the need to develop that same emotions of our spiritual role models.

tat tad bhavadi madhurye srute dhir yad apekshate |
natra sastram na yuktim ca tal lobhotpatti lakshanam ||
BRS. 1.2.292

“When one hears about the sweetness of their feelings and so forth, and a desire for attaining the same awakens in the consciousness without dependence on scripture and logic, this is a symptom of the awakening of greed (lobha).”

“If one thinks: ‘Let me attain such sweet feelings also’, after hearing about feelings such as the transcendental erotic feeling towards Kṛṣṇa of His associates (the gopīs) in Vraja, then one need not wait for favorable sanctions from the revealed scriptures or logical arguments.”
(Srila Vishvanatha Cakravartipada, Raga Vartma Chandrika)

kṛṣṇaṁ smaran janaṁ cāsya preṣṭhaṁ nija-samīhitam |
tat-tat-kathā-rataś cāsau kuryād vāsaṁ vraje sadā ||BRS 1.2.294||

“Remembering the Vṛndāvana form of Kṛṣṇa and His dear associates who have inclinations for service similar to one’s own, absorbing oneself in hearing topics related to them, one should always live in Vraja.”

tat-tat-kathā-rataś cāsau – “being always engaged in hearing and chanting about Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes.” Because Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the stories about him are identical in nature, Śrī Kṛṣṇa himself enters the heart of the sādhaka through his ears in the form of kṛṣṇa-kathā from the mouth of a sādhu-bhakta. Then he cleanses the sādhaka’s heart and mind by driving away impurities in the form of desires and inclinations.

This has been clearly described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.17:

śṛṇvatāṁ svakathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ |
hṛdy-antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi vidhunoti suhṛt satām ||

“Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is situated in the hearts of all, is the friend of the virtuous. He drives away all inauspiciousness from those who listen to his stories, which bestow merit upon anyone who hears or recites them.”

Without practicing limbs of bhajana such as hearing and chanting within the external sādhaka body, the sādhaka cannot attain perfection in either destroying māyā, becoming free from vices in his own bhajana or in his allegiance to the people of Vraja. With hearing and chanting is meant following as much as possible the 64 items of bhajana, starting with taking shelter of a guru, that Śrīmat Rūpa Gosvāmī has mentioned in his Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu grantha.

The sweetness of rādhā-prema

Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya said to Śrīman Mahāprabhu:

nija gūḍha-kārya tomāra prema āsvādana, ānuṣaṅge premamaya kaile tribhubana – “Your own secret purpose was to taste prema yourself, but incidentally you also caused the three worlds to be filled with it.” (CC. M. 8.280)

kaichana rādhā-premā kaichana (mora) madhurimā, kaichana bhābe tiṅho bhora – “What is the nature of Rādhā’s love? What is the nature of my own sweetness? What is the nature of the state in which she is engrossed?”

In the mood of Rādhā, Śrī Caitanyadeva fulfilled these three desires in endless ways. Having personally tasted that truth, the desire arose within him to cause all of mankind to experience as Śrīmatī’s maidservants the sweetness of rādhā-prema.

Continue reading

Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Rasa Sudhānidhi, verse 18

VAIDAGDHYA SINDHUR ANURĀGA RASAIKA SINDHUR
VĀTSALYA SINDHUR ATI SĀNDRA KṚPAIKA SINDHUḤ
LĀVAṆYA SINDHUR AMṚTA CCHABI RŪPA SINDHUḤ
ŚRĪ RĀDHIKĀ SPHURATU ME HṚDI KELI SINDHUḤ

When will Śrī Rādhā, Who is an ocean of cleverness, an ocean of anurāga rasa, an ocean of motherly affection, an ocean of very deep compassion, an ocean of elegance, a nectar-ocean of glistening transcendental forms and an ocean of play, be manifest in my heart?

ŚRĪ RĀDHĀ EMBODIES THE SEVEN OCEANS

Commentary:

Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī writes in his Prīti Sandarbha that, along with a desire to please the deity, there is also a natural desire to have an intimate relationship with Him and to attain Him. The devotee who is fixed in smaraṇa attains direct association with his chosen deity within his mind. Just as the devotees have discussions with Each other in this world, so do the girlfriends and maidservants of Śrī Rādhā have them in the spiritual world! upa means ‘close by’ and upāsana means: sitting close by. The practising devotee can stay close by them (the sakhīs and mañjarīs) in his spiritual body (siddha deha) by constantly practicing smaraṇa. This is beautiful sāsaṅga bhajana, devotion with spiritual attachment.

Now that Śrīpada has returned to his sādhaka-consciousness he feels great separation from Svāminī and prays that She will be revealed within his heart once again. It is as if Īśvarī plays hide-and-seek with her maidservants. Sometimes She shows the sweetness of Her form, attributes and pastimes and sometimes She withdraws this vision. When the devotees are separated from Her they also see Her extraordinary sweet qualities. Śrī Rādhā is as beautiful as Sapta-sindhuvati Dhāritrī, the planet earth with her seven oceans. There are seven oceans in the material world: one of salt, one of sugarcane juice, one of wine, one of clarified butter, one of yoghurt, one of milk and one of sweet water. Śrī Rādhā’s cleverness, anurāga, affection, compassion, elegance, forms and pastimes are compared with these seven oceans in opposite order. Continue reading

Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Rasa Sudhānidhi, verse 17

UJJĀGARAṀ RASIKA NĀGARA SAṄGA RAṄGAIḤ
KUÑJODARE KṚTAVATĪ NU MUDĀ RAJANYĀM
SUSNĀPITĀ HI MADHUNAIVA SUBHOJITĀ TVAṀ
RĀDHE KADĀ SVAPIṢI MAT KARA LĀLITĀṄGHRIḤ

O Rādhe! After You blissfully spent the night enjoying pastimes with Your rasika lover in a kuñja, I then bathe You and serve You some honey-sweet eatables. When will You then fall asleep while I massage Your lotus feet with my hands?

THE SERVICE ATTITUDE OF RĀDHĀ’S MAIDSERVANTS

Commentary:
After Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa meet, the maidservant gives Śrīmatī a bath in the Yamunā and brings Her back home. Śrīmatī is not just bathed in the stream of Kṛṣṇa’s sweetness, She is also actually bathed in the cool blackish Yamunā-water which reminds Her of Śyāma. Because She is bathed in both the Kṛṣṇāmrtas, Śrīmatī is justly called susnāpitā, or well bathed, here.

The maidservant reminds Virahini Svāminī of Śyāma by speaking sweetly about Him while she brings Her home. Is it so simple to serve kṛṣṇa prema pāgalini (Rādhā, Who is mad with love for Kṛṣṇa)? Nobody knows how to serve Her with such full awareness of Her feelings as the kiṅkarīs do!

When Svāminī comes home, Her girlfriends and maidservants complete Her dressing and ornamentation. All this is actually done to serve Kṛṣṇa. The sakhīs decorate Śrīmatī while speaking about Kṛṣṇa with Her, but the maidservants quickly finish their service so that they can prepare something to eat for Śrīmatī. Their love is marked with a strong feeling of mineness towards Svāminī.

A similar mine-ness can be found in Śrīla Govinda dāsa, Mahāprabhu’s faithful doorkeeper at the Gambhīrā. Mahāprabhu, Who descended to sanctify the age of Kali, sat in the Gambhīrā, relishing the sweetness of Rādhā’s feelings of separation from Kṛṣṇa. He did not sleep at night, and even when the morning had almost passed He was still absorbed in devotional trance. His servant Śrīla Govinda dāsa was rolling in the dust on the floor. Crying, he prayed to Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara: “Śrīpāda Svarūpa! Please bring the Lord back to external awareness! The morning is almost over and I could not even make the Lord drink some water!”
This is the feeling of mineness of a servant who serves with all his heart!

Śrīmatī’s dressing and ornamentation is completed, and Her girlfriends and Her maidservants are now serving Her some sweetmeats. The maidservants know that Īśvarī doesn’t eat anything else but Kṛṣṇa’s remnants, so they mix some nectarean remnants from Kṛṣṇa’s last meal with these sweets. It is as if Svāminī directly tastes the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s lips when She eats these sweets! madhunaiva subhojitā. She doesn’t know anymore whether She tastes Kṛṣṇa’s lips or the remnants of His food! This is not at all astonishing, because when She is separated from Kṛṣṇa, She also feels as if She is actually with Him simply by constantly meditating on Him.

After Śrīmatī eats this honey-sweet meal, She flushes Her mouth and holds court with Her girlfriends. She becomes absorbed in speaking with them about Kṛṣṇa while chewing betel leaves served to Her by Her maidservants. Śrīpāda, in his kiṅkarī-form, thinks that Svāminī should take a little rest. After all, She’s been up the whole night playing the most ecstatic love games with Her rasika nāgara! The word ujjāgara in the text means that Svāminī was up all night, making jokes and having funny romantic talks with Her lover, lying on a bed of flowers with Him. Śyāmasundara kept His head on a flower pillow and Svāminī used Śyāma’s left arm as Her pillow. Thus They lay facing Each other, speaking romantic and funny words to Each other. Their hearts and minds floated in all directions on waves of love nectar. Their girlfriend nidrā (the goddess of sleep) did not have any chance to serve Them that night (They didn’t sleep a wink) because They were so absorbed in Each other’s sweetness, therefore Śrīpāda says: ujjāgara. The maidservant says: “Svāmini! You’ve been up all night! Go and sleep a little bit!” The sakhīs all praise this kiṅkarī, saying: “O! You know how to serve! We have completely forgotten that Rādhikā should take some rest! Go, sakhi! Take a little rest!” The kiṅkarī holds Śrīmatī’s hand and brings Her to a handmade bed of flowers. Śrīmatī lies down and Her maidservant covers Her with a blue cādara (a kind of sheet), whose colour reminds Her of Śyāma. Then Śrīpāda, as a kiṅkarī, attains the good fortune of massaging Śrīmatī’s lotus-feet. The maidservant places all the tenderness of her heart in her hands, so that the massage will not be rough. The word lālanā in the text means: affectionate service. The maidservant is blessed by seeing the sweetness of Svāmini’s beautiful feet. Svāminī has fallen asleep. Sometimes the maidservant holds Her feet to her chest and sometimes she kisses them. Their is no limit to the bliss of the fortunate maidservant!

Suddenly the vision stops and in his sādhaka-state Śrīpāda humbly prays for service: rādhe kadā svapiṣi mat kara lālitāṅghriḥ?

Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Rasa Sudhānidhi, verse 16

PĀDĀṄGULĪ NIHITA DṚṢṬIM APATRAPIṢṆUṀ
DŪRĀD UDĪKṢYA RASIKENDRA MUKHENDU BIMBAM
VĪKṢYE CALAT PADAGATIṀ CARITĀBHIRĀMĀṀ
JHAṄKĀRA NŪPURAVATĪṀ BATA KARHI RĀDHĀM

When can I see Rādhā with Her charming character shyly looking down at Her own toes when She sees the moon-like face of Kṛṣṇa, the king of relishers, from afar as She steps along with jingling anklebells?

BASHFUL ŚRĪ RĀDHĀ

Commentary:
Śyāma hears from a parrot that Rādhā is going to the Yamunā to take a bath, so after milking His cows He leaves His cowherd friends behind on the pretext of wanting to admire the beauty of the gardens of Nandīśvara Hill, and goes to the bank of the Yamunā.
Svāminī sees Rasikendra’s moon-like face from a short distance.
First She was excited by waves of passionate feelings for Śyāmasundara when She saw the blackish water of the Yamunā and now She even sees Her lover’s moon-like face directly! Śrīmati’s limbs become beautified by the twenty bhāvālankāras (emotional ornaments), of which vilāsa is one:

gati sthānāsanādīnāṁ mukha netrādi karmaṇām
tat kālikaṁ tu vaiśiṣṭyaṁ vilāsaḥ priya saṅgajam
(Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi)

“When the steps, sitting posture, face and eyes of the beloved become extra special because she meets Her lover, it is called vilāsa.”

Śrīmatī timidly looks down to Her own toe nails. How sweetly She looks then! It is as if sweetness gushes out of Her!

In Govinda Līlāmṛta (9.11) it is described as follows:

puraḥ kṛṣṇālokāt sthagita kuṭilasya gatir abhūt
tiraś cīnaṁ kṛṣṇāmbara dara vṛtaṁ śrī mukham api
calat tāraṁ sphāraṁ nayana yugam abhūgnam iti sā
vilāsākhya svālaṅkarana valitāsīt priya mude

“When Rādhā sees Kṛṣṇa before Her She is stunned and Her gait becomes crooked. She bends Her head and slightly covers Her face with Her blue veil, the pupils of Her eyes move about restlessly and Her eyes become wide and crooked. When She is thus beautified by the bhāvālankāra named vilāsa She gives Her beloved great pleasure.”

In Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Śrī Kṛṣṇa says:

ei bhāva yukta dekhi rādhāsya nayana;
saṅgama hoite sukha pāy koṭi guṇa

“When I see these moods on Rādhā’s face and in Her eyes, I get a million times more pleasure than when I directly unite with Her.”

The duty of mahābhāva is to make Kṛṣṇa happy. When anurāga becomes unlimited it becomes like the powerful sun, destroying the darkness of personal desires in the cave of the heart and filling even the most subtle realms of the heart with desires for Kṛṣṇa’s happiness. This is called mahābhāva, and Śrī Rādhā’s very form is composed of this mahā-bhāva. It is therefore logical that all Her activities are meant for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure. Mahā-bhāva is as if gushing from Her transcendental body. The kinkarī sees how Śrīmati’s rasika ankle bells jingle, twanging the strings of Śyāmasundara’s heart with rasa. She experiences how Śrīmati is now caritābhirāma, enchanting the eyes and the minds of Śyāmasundara and Her maidservants. Śrīpāda also considers his own eyes and mind to be blessed by experiencing Śrīmatī’s sweet behavior and character. The maidservants then accomplish the meeting of Śrīmatī and Her Nāgara, Who is eager to enjoy Her sweetness.

Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Rasa Sudhānidhi, verse 15

KṚṢṆĀMṚTAṀ CALA VIGĀḌHUM ITĪRITĀHAṀ
TĀVAT SAHASVA RAJANĪ SAKHI YĀVAD ETI
ITTHAṀ VIHASYA VṚṢABHĀNU-SUTĀHA LAPSYE
MĀNAṀ KADĀ RASADA KELI-KADAMBA JĀTA

When I say: “Let’s go to Kṛṣṇāmṛta (the dark, nectarean Yamunā) to take a bath!”, the daughter of Vṛṣabhānu jokingly replies: “O sakhi! Just wait until the night falls!” When will I ever get so much nectar giving playful honour from Her?

THE HONOUR OF RĀDHĀ’S MAIDSERVANTS:

Commentary:

This verse is sometimes also translated with reversed roles –
Śrīmatī says: “Sakhi! Let’s take a bath in the Kṛṣṇāmṛta (nectarean Kṛṣṇa, or the black water of the Yamunā)!”, and Śrīpāda, in his kiṅkarī form, replies: “Just wait until the night falls! Then Your superiors cannot notice us and I will let You bathe in the Kṛṣṇa nectar as much as You like! For that I will take You to a fresh bowerhouse in Vṛndāvana!”

When Śrīmatī hears these words, the ecstasy named rati appears in Her and, although She tries to hide the symptoms of this mood from Her maidservant, She nevertheless shows a slight smile. The maidservant feels blessed by relishing the sweetness of this smile.
Śrīmatī chastises Her maidservant with Her glances that are filled with a slight loving anger. Continue reading

Śrī-Śrī Rādhā Rasa Sudhānidhi, verse 14

RĀDHĀ KARĀVACITA PALLAVA VALLARĪKE
RĀDHĀ PADĀṄKA VILASAN MADHURA STHALĪKE
RĀDHĀ YAŚO MUKHARA MATTA KHAGĀVALĪKE
RĀDHĀ VIHĀRA VIPINE RAMATĀṀ MANO ME

Let my mind find pleasure in the play forest of Rādhā, where the sprouts and vines are touched by Rādhā’s hands, where the ground is sweetened by Rādhā’s footprints and where the birds madly sing Rādhā’s glories!

ŚRĪ RĀDHĀ’S PLAY-FOREST:

Commentary:
Humbly Śrīpāda thinks: “Śrī Rādhā’s lotus-feet are very rarely attained, where can I go to find them?” Suddenly the darkness of his despair is dispelled by a ray of hope when he remembers the mercy of Śrī Vṛndāvana, Śrīmatī Rādhā’s playground. Śrīpāda is the object of Śrī Vṛndāvana’s mercy. How he was showered by the mercy of Vṛndāvana can be understood by reading his book ‘Vṛndāvana Mahimāmṛta’. There he writes (3.94):

gaura śyāma sunāgara divya kiśora dvayaṁ sadā yatra
nava nava keli vilāsair viharati vṛndāvanam tad eva bhaja

“Worship only Vṛndāvana, where the divine youthful Couple, that have golden and blackish forms, are always playing ever fresh playful sports!” Continue reading

Siddha Śrī Kṛṣṇa dāsa Bābā’s description of Śrī-Śrī Rādhāṣṭamī Līlā

From the first day of the bright lunar quarter of the month of Bhādra, a band is sitting down at the Lion Gate of Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja’s town, making it as beautiful as Nandīśvara (at the time of Kṛṣṇa’s birthday).

            [On the third day of the light lunar quarter of Bhādra is the birthday of Tungavidyā Sakhī. That night there will be Rāsa-līlā and Śayan līlā (taking rest) in her Kunja. The same thing happens on Aṣṭamī (the eight lunar day) in the Kunja of Śrī Rādhā and Viśākhā, on Navamī (the ninth day) in the Kunja of Campakalatā, on Ekādaśī in the Kunja of Indurekhā, on Pūrṇimā (fullmoon night) in the Kunja of Rangadevī and Sudevī and on the third bright lunar day in Āśvina in the Kunja of Citrā Sakhī.]

            Two days before Rādhāṣṭamī, on the sixth day of the light quarter of the month of Bhādra, father Vṛṣabhānu sends an invitation to Nanda Mahārāja (Kṛṣṇa’s father) at Nandīśvara to come and celebrate Śrī Rādhikā’s birthday. Śrīdāma, Śrī Rādhikā’s elder brother, and  Ṛṣikanyā deliver the invitation.

Continue reading

Lectures by Srila Ananta das Babaji, December 2016

The following links are translations of Gurudeva’s Katha on  “Caitanyastakam” (of Srila Rupa Goswami from his “Stavamala”) during Param Gurudeva’s Tirobhava Mahotsava 2016

December 1st to December 10th

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Thank you Sakhi Shiromani Didi