śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year 12, Issue 11
Posted: 28 December 2019
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
From the teachings of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, we learn the definition of the topmost form of pure, motiveless bhakti: such bhakti is performed so that it is conducive to Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s well-being. It is divested of any other desires than those borne of love for Kṛṣṇa. It is not covered by monistic jñāna (knowledge of the absolute that claims to lead to oneness with brahma). It is free from nitya-naimittika-karma (daily and occasional ritualistic performances) in which one makes an offering of the fruits of worldly enjoyment. And it is devoid of laxity or procrastination borne of negligence. This is called uttamā-bhakti.
Love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the supreme object of pursuit for the jīvas. It is the fifth puruṣārtha, which is superior to the other four – namely dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa (catur-varga) – and bhakti, unaided by any other process, is the only means to attain the highest achievable blessedness.
This bhakti has three stages: sādhana-bhakti (bhakti in the stage of practice), bhāva-bhakti (bhakti in the stage of transcendental emotion) and prema-bhakti (pure love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa). In the beginning of the stage of sādhana-bhakti, the evils originating from apathy towards Kṛṣṇa prevent the aspirant jīvas from acquiring steadiness in bhakti.
These evils have been classified as the veil [or covering] comprised of other desires; the veil of karma, which produces worldly fruits; the veil of jñāna, which is based on renouncing those fruits; and the veil of laxity, which results in indifference towards service to Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Adapted from The Gaudiya, Year 20, Number 3
by the Rays of The Harmonist team