On Raganuga-bhakti

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
On Raganuga-bhakti
Discussions with the GBC on the book, Raga-Vartma-Candrika [Part 2]
Mathura, India: 1991

[Respected Harikatha Readers,

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Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

If you would like to read  Part 1 of this discussion, please follow this link. In the early 1990s, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja used to give darsanas for several members of the ISKCON GBC disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada. During these few years, they regularly visited him and requested him to discuss Gaudiya Vaisnava literatures like Jaiva-dharma, Srimad-Bhagavatam Tenth Canto (Rasa-lila, Venu-gita, Brahmara-gita, and Gopi-gita) Harinama-cintamani, Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali, Sri Brahma-samhita, and Raga-vartma-candrika.

In 1991 he led four discussions on Raga-vartma-candrika, a famous Sanskrit treatise written Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Below is the Part 2 in that series of discussions, and we hope to send you the rest, one after another. As you may know, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja has requested that all his morning walks and darsanas be published, and he directed that the darsanas for the members of the ISKCON GBC be included.

If anyone has any pictures of Srila Maharaja and the GBC devotees that we can use for the future parts of this series, please email them to Vasanti dasi at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Thank you.

Your aspiring servants, the Harikatha Team]

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What is a manjari? We have heard about kamala-manjaris and mango-manjaris. Any creeper or good flower has manjaris. Although the manjari appears first and then the flower, the manjari is always located above the flower. When a bee comes to sit on the flower and drink its honey, the manjaris tremble, being overjoyed.

Similarly, the Krsna-bee comes to Srimati Radhika, She glances at Him, and They engage in loving pastimes (prema-vilas). Although the ‘bee’ does not sit on the manjari, the manjari trembles, feeling as if the bee is sitting on her. Whatever the ‘flower’ experiences in those pastimes manifests in the manjari, so there is no need for the bee to go to her. She automatically feels everything felt by the flower. If the bee kisses the flower, then, seeing this, the manjari feels that “the bee has kissed me.”

In fact, the manjari tastes something special, which even the flower does not taste, in the sense that the flower does not tremble as the manjari does. Similarly the maidservants of Srimati Radhika experience a pleasure in being Her maidservant, which She Herself dos not experience, and that pleasure is called bhava-ullasa rati.

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami wanted to be a manjari, not a flower. In other words he did not want sakhi-bhava (the mood of Srimati Radhika’s friends like Lalita and Visakha, who have direct relationships with Sri Krsna). Do you understand? Herein lies the importance of the manjaris. In our sampradaya no one wants to be Sri Radha’s sakhi; they only want to be Her kinkari. Are you totally following my words? Do you know the meaning of the word kinkari?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Servant.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Maidservant

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: There is no equivalent word in English for kinkari. It is such a beautiful Sanskrit word, which refers to something very soft, very fragrant, and so sweet.

We cannot learn these topics simply by reading books. No book will clarify the truths for you as we are discussing in this conversation. By discussing with me in this way, you can obtain more than what you can obtain by simply reading books.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: These truths come only through realization.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I do not say that I have any realization, but I have God’s mercy and Gurudeva’s mercy.

In the first sloka of Vilapa-Kusumanjali, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami states that although Rupa Manjari’s husband is absent, he sees a mark on her lips. How has this come about? It is not that Krsna has kissed Rupa Manjari. He has kissed Srimati Radhika and therefore Radhika has that mark on Her lips, but the mark at once manifested on the lips of Rupa Manjari.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: I was asking you about that in Bombay.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The marks on the face or body of Srimati Radharani do not come to Lalita and Visakha, but they all come to the manjaris. We are followers of Rupa Gosvami, who is Rupa Manjari.

I think that in your entire life you will not forget this teaching.

A person may have taken only anusthaniki (formal) diksa, thinking, “So many others have taken diksa, so I should also take it.” By a fire yajna he has received a sacred thread, kanti-mala (neck beads), and so on, but he has not been given instructions on the internal mood of diksa, which constitutes real diksa.

Diksa comes gradually, not in a moment; the process of receiving diksa takes place over a long period of time. When one has the advantage of past births’ samskaras, one will easily accept diksa and the process will be accomplished quickly, but without previous samskaras the process will be slow.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Unless one gets the association of raganuga Vaisnavas.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: And that disciple must also be qualified. If the disciple does not have sufficient samskaras and does not yet possess any greed, he will not be able to properly receive these truths from his diksa-guru, who may be very qualified but may not have sufficient time to train him on this topic. Later on, when greed is meant to come, that disciple does not change his gurudeva; he need only accept a siksa-guru. Sometimes the disciple will give more preference to his siksa-guru, or equally to both gurus, according to their qualification. He will gradually hear all these topics.

If one’s diksa-guru is present, the disciple will receive all these things from him. Or, his gurudeva will gladly order him to hear from another person, as in the case of Sri Syamananda prabhu, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, and Sri Srinivasa Acarya. .

As I mentioned earlier, if a person has greed by dint of his previous births’ samskaras or by his present birth’s samskaras, he will begin to search through sastra – by reading and hearing – especially those sastras or commentaries written by Srila Rupa Gosvami and his followers, the rupanuga Vaisnavas.

What is the actual meaning of rupanuga? In his books, Srila Rupa Gosvami has described, in tatastha-bhava, the various rasas. Do you know the meaning of tatastha?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Marginal.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Neutral.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He has written from a neutral position about all the rasas – santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhurya. If one has greed for any of these moods, that person will be a raganuga-bhakta but not rupanuga.

What is rupanuga? Even if one follows Ujjvala-Nilamani, he may be raganuga but not rupanuga. One will be rupanuga when one especially follows the way in which Srila Rupa Gosvami (in the form of Sri Rupa Manjari) serves Radha and Krsna, deeply meditating on the qualities and bhava which Rupa Manjari possesses in serving Them.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: All rupanuga-bhaktas are raganuga, but not all raganugas are rupanugas.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The sadhaka will have to search through sastra how to receive these moods. He will hear from a rupanuga Vaisnava, who will tell him to read Srimad-Bhagavatam, Ujjvala-Nilamani, Krsna-Karnamrta, Radha-Rasa-Sudha-Nidhi, Jayadeva Gosvami’s Gita-Govinda, and the books of Candidasa, Vidyapati and others.

The rupanuga Vaisnava will also instruct him to search only that bhava for which he has greed. He will know about everything (sakhya, vatsalya, madhurya), but he will have to serve only by one mood, the mood of his sthayi-bhava (permanent constitutional mood). One’s sthayi-bhava will manifest only when prema is reached, but greed for that sthayi-bhava is achieved before that. Genuine greed will not change in this or any future life – this is called gadha-samskara *. If one has real greed, as Srila Rupa Gosvami has, his greed for a particular sthayi-bhava will never change in any birth. It will always remain the same.

Bharata Maharaja achieved the stage of bhava, but it is not known in which rasa.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: In Bhagavatamrtam it is given that his is one of Vaikuntha-bhava.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Only dasya-bhava.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Yes, dasya-bhava.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana, and Sanat Kumara have their sthayi-bhava in santa-rasa. Yet, they can narrate the entire Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: How is that? I remember asking you that question before.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: They can do so from a neutral position. They know all about the various rasas, but they don’t have direct experience of those rasas.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What about Sukadeva Gosvami?

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has some direct experience, because he is the suka…

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Parrot…

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He is the parrot of Srimati Radhika, so he posssess the sthayi-bhava for Vraja.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: This is a very important thing that you said about Sukadeva Gosvami.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: As Srimati Radhika’s parrot, he sits on the branches of tamala or kadamba trees. He watches the confidential pastimes of Radhika and Krsna, and becomes very, very pleased. Yet, he cannot serve like Rupa Manjari.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: So what kind of bhava does he have? He is watching everything.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja: It has been said in sastra that he has santa-bhava.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Because he is neutral.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja: But he is in Vraja, and there is no santa-bhava in Vraja. We will have to judge what rasa he actually possesses. When Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna are sleeping in the morning, that Suka parrot says so many things to awaken Them.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: That is not santa-bhava…

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, it is not santa-bhava.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: He must have everything.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We will have to consider all these truths.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Why is it said that he has santa-bhava?

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: For the santa-rasa bhaktas.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Externally it appears like that.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: But…

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: But it is not actually.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The cows of Vraja have vatsalya-bhava, so surely Suka cannot be of santa-rasa.

To illustrate how to search out the process in order to attain the fruit of one’s genuine greed, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives the example of a man who is greedy to drink milk. Seeing some milk he wants to taste it, so he must go through a process to get it. He may ask someone who drinks milk how that person acquired it. After questioning him he will purchase a cow, making sure that the cow has a calf, because unless the cow has a calf it cannot give milk. He will then take the cow and calf to his home, where he will apply water or ghee to the udder of the cow and bring the calf to drink. When the calf has taken milk, the man will wash the udder of the cow, after which he milks her. Next, he puts the milk on the fire to boil. Then, if he wants that boiled milk sweetened, he adds sugar, and for extra flavor he adds rose water, kewra (an extract distilled from the Pandanus flower which is used to flavor drinks and desserts in Indian cuisine), camphor, and so on.

Similarly, although a sadhaka with genuine greed does not require the reasoning of sastra to convince him to do bhakti, he goes through those sastras that will give him entrance into the process in order to achieve his goal.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura tells us that when a person has actual greed in raganuga-bhakti, he will also follow the procedures of vaidhi-bhakti – although his bhakti will not be vaidhi-bhakti. He will engage in the nine processes of bhakti, namely sravanam, kirtanam, visnu smaranam, pada-sevanam and so on. From the very beginning he will carefully perform guru-caranasraya (taking shelter of the lotus feet of sri guru), and faithfully serve him in visrambha-bhava.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What is the meaning of visrambha-bhava?

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It implies ‘giving up all fear.’ Fear caused by the sense of awe and reverence is not present. The disciple will serve his guru as a bosom friend. He will not think, “I am very low and he is very high.” Rather, he will determine, “He is mine and I am his.”

The analogy is given of a young son who, seeing his father sitting above him, does not care to sit on the ground. He will at once jump up and sit on his father’s lap. Then he will pat his father’s shoulder, stroke his father’s face, and touch him on his arm or hold his hand, serving him with great love.

Moreover, a person qualified with genuine greed, with even greater love than that young son, will serve his gurudeva from whom he has collected the truths he has grasped and the moods he now possesses. This type of intimate service is essential.

Guru-caranasraya means ‘taking shelter of the self-realized guru.’ This is the first of the sixty-four items of devotional service. Then, following the instruction of the second item, one takes diksa initiation from him. Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu lists these sixty-four practices of devotional service, the first five of which are in relationship to guru.

["On the path of regulative devotional service, one must observe the following items: (1) One must accept a bona fide spiritual master. (2) One must accept initiation from him. (3) One must serve him. (4) One must receive instructions from the spiritual master and make inquiries in order to learn devotional service. (5) One must follow in the footsteps of the previous acaryas and follow the directions given by the spiritual master."]

The raganuga-bhakta follows these same procedures, but his bhava (mood) has changed from that which is found in vaidhi-bhakti. The vaidhi-bhakti disciple will sit lower and pray to his gurudeva with folded palms, “Gurudeva, please give me an order. What service shall I do?” Then, when he receives an order, as a servant, that disciple will perform the service. On the other hand, a ‘greedy person’ will serve in the mood I have previously described; with no fear and no sense of difference. He will see resolve that “I am his…”

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: “And he is mine.”

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: All the limbs of vaidhi-bhakti are followed by the raganuga Vaisnava, but…

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What is the difference?

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The mood is different.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: A different mood.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If one rejects the practices of vaidhi, he will not be able to enter raganuga; his greed will be checked. So he must follow.

For a person who has actual greed and wants to follow the process of raganuga-bhakti, Srimad-Bhagavatam says that Bhagavan comes to him in the forms of both caitya-guru and diksa-guru. In this connection we should know that guru is akhanda-tattva (the complete, undivided principle of guru), a manifestation of Nityananda Prabhu, Baladeva Prabhu. Because gurudeva gives everything that Nityananda Prabhu and Baladeva Prabhu have come to give, and because all his instructions are Theirs, he is regarded as Their manifestation.

In Bhagavad-Gita (10.10) it is stated:

tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti te

["Upon those who perform bhajana to Me with love, yearning for My eternal association, I give them the intelligence by which they can come to Me."]

If a soul surrenders to Krsna and possesses pure greed, if he has a pure heart and sufficient samskaras, the Lord reveals everything in his heart (dadami buddhi-yogam) as caitya-guru. Krsna states in Bhagavad-gita, “I give him the wisdom to achieve my bhakti.” He does not give this openly; He gives it in the heart. He benedicts His devotee with a sphurti (internal vision), inspiring him from within, and personally manifests in his heart all siddhantas. He also gives instructions externally, in the form of the diksa-guru or siksa-guru.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: You say he dictates within the heart?

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes. He dictates in the heart. Certainly.

People may see that this devotee has no guru and wonder, “How does he know these things?” Here is the answer. Krsna dictates everything, He manifests Himself, from within, whether or not anyone else sees.

I have sometimes experienced this myself. I feel something within myself – I have not read, nor have I seen or heard a certain fact; yet, sometimes very beautiful things come in my heart. Perhaps you have also had this experience? Certainly you will have had this experience, because one who serves his gurudeva will surely receive these realizations. Even if gurudeva is not present in our sight, still, he will manifest all these truths.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura begins by telling us the three key slokas from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.294-296) by which one can enter the path of raganuga-bhakti. The first is:

krsnam smaran janam casya prestham nija samihitam
tat tat katha ratas casau kuryad vasam vraje sada

["While remembering Sri Krsna and His beloved associates whom we desire to follow, being fully absorbed in discussions of their pastimes, one should always reside in Vraja. If this is not possible, then one should reside there by mind."]

The second is:

seva sadhaka rupena siddha rupena catra hi
tad bhava lipsuna karya vraja-lokanusaratah

["On this path of raganuga, being charmed by the intense love of Krsna’s beloved Vrajavasis, the sadhaka should live in Vraja under the guidance of those devotees who have taken shelter of the Vrajavasis (like Sri Rupa, Sanatana and Raghunatha dasa Gosvamis), always eager to serve them in his present physical body. And, in the perfected stage of his siddha-rupa, the internally conceived spiritual body suitable for performing prema-seva, he should engage in the cherished service of Sri Krsna according to his chosen mood. In this regard he should follow in the footsteps of the eternal residents of Vraja, such as Sri Radhika, Lalita, Visakha, and Sri Rupa Manjari."]

And the third sloka is:

sravanotkirtanadini vaidhi-bhakty uditani tu
yany angani ca tanyatra vijneyani manisibhih

["In vaidhi-bhakti one should practice the limbs of bhakti like sravana, kirtana, and so on according to one’s qualification. Similarly, for raganuga-bhakti also it has been advised by scholars who are well versed in the principles of bhakti to follow these practices."]

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura then comments on each sloka, one by one – this subject is very deep. Let us discuss the first sloka.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Where is this sloka? Which part of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu is it in? Where can I find it?

Sripad Giriraja Svami: I can find it. It is at the end of the Eastern Division.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can see it at the end of purva vibhaga (Eastern division). Krsnam smaran means ‘remembering Krsna.’ janam casya prestham nija samihitam refers to additionally remembering His prestha. Do you know what prestha means?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Dear ones.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: These dear associates may be of dasya-rasa, sakhya-rasa, or vatsalya-rasa, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is especially discussing those in madhurya-rasa.

One who has developed greed to attain the mood of the gopis will remember Krsna when He is in Seva Kunja or Vamsivata. He has a lovely smile on His face, and He has placed a very beautiful vamsi flute on His lips. His restless eyes, like those of a deer, are searching here and there. Seeing the gopis coming, He becomes overjoyed, and at that moment He has no control over His body or mind. He is God Himself, yet He forgets everything at that time. He knows not what He is doing, nor even what He looks like. Standing in His tribhanga-lalita (threefold-bending) pose, He is exquisitely beautiful.

Thousands upon thousands of gopis are present there, but from the corner of His eyes He is searching for one particular gopi – and that gopi is delaying. Then, from far away He sees Her coming. Who is that gopi? Srimati Radhika. The raganuga sadhaka meditates how Krsna appears at that time.

This is smaranam – remembering Krsna with all these details and appreciating His many virtues. In Jaiva Dharma we read about the qualities of Kisora-Krsna, that is, Krsna in His teenage form, in srngara-rasa (madhurya-rasa). The qualities of Krsna in sakhya-rasa are not the same as His qualities when He is with the gopis, and the qualities of Krsna with Nanda and Yasoda are also different. His qualities are different in every rasa.

We should remember Krsna with all the qualities with which He is adorned in madhura-bhava. We should remember Him with the gopis as He tries to cheat them in gambling; and as He cheats them and is cheated by them as they try to steal His flute. Remember Krsna and His priya-jana, His dearmost associates.

What are the ways of the gopis, and especially of Srimati Radharani? What are the activities of that very gopi for whom we have greed to follow? That gopi is not Radhika, Lalita or Visakha; it is Rupa Manjari. We have a very keen interest to see what she is doing. It is her mood that we want to adopt. When Srimati Radhika is pleased, then Rupa Manjari becomes so pleased. Rupa Manjari performs so many services, like bringing water in a golden pot, sometimes very slowly and gently fanning with a camara...

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Massaging?

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, when she sees that Sri Sri Radha and Krsna are very tired, she serves Them accordingly. We will carefully watch that manjari, seeing what she is doing and how she is performing her numerous services.

The way in which one enters these pastimes and services is based on unbroken remembrance. Janam casya – remembering all the gopis, and especially that gopi in whom I am…

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Interested.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Interested.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Meditating upon that.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is the method of raganuga-sadhana-bhajana. Tat tat katha ratas casau – This phrase in the same sloka is in relation to the siksa-guru, that premi-guru or raganuga-guru from whom we are hearing. He will discourse with us about the ways in which all the sakhis are serving Krsna, and especially the ways in which Rupa Manjari and our guru in sakhi-vesa (in the form of a sakhi) are serving. One should talk about their pastimes with Krsna, as I sometimes discuss them with you.

Such a devotee always resides in Vrndavana. If he has no chance to be in Vrndavana by body, he surely lives there by mind; for without living in Vrndavana, one cannot attain that kind of love.

These three practices are essential: Krsna smarana, remembering Krsna with His dearmost associates; tat tat katha ratas casau, continuously conversing about their pastimes; and kuryad vasam vraje sada, always residing in Vrndavana (if not by body, then at least by mind), in such pastime places as Seva Kunja, Sanketa, and Javat, and if you have the qualification you may go to Radha Kunda at midday. Spend all day with Radhika and that gopi for whom you have the conviction to follow.

This is all for today. I will, perhaps, be able to complete the next two slokas in the next three days.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: You will speak for three more days?.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If I continue these explanations for the next few days, you will be able to understand something. If I am in a hurry, the discussion will not be as beneficial for you.

(Question in Bengali)

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Her question is this: If someone wants to live in Vrndavana by mind, then won’t his body also come? The answer is that his body will automatically follow his mind and come to Vrndavana, if that is his sole desire.

Otherwise, if a person is not so qualified, he will engage himself in other duties and think: "This other duty should be done. This work should be done. Moreover, the place in which I live has so many facilities.” So, being far away, this type of a person will think about living in Vrndavana, but he will only achieve a little benefit.

Those who are like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami will think, “If I am not there at my house, let anyone burn it down. And what will happen to my parents, children, and wife if I go to Vrndavana? I don’t know how they will live their lives – whether they will be having problems and difficulties, or if they will be all right. It is no longer my responsibility.”

On the other hand, a neophyte disciple may say, “Oh, my Gurudeva told me to preach, so I must do this. This is my duty (so no need to meditate on Vrndavana.)” However, when our greed will come in full bloom, we will forget everything else. At that stage no other obligation will come in our way.

Such a pure devotee will be seen by the entire world as guru. For example, even now, we follow Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami as our gurus. And what are we preaching? We are preaching only their words. We are preaching our Gurudeva’s words.

If others will see that Tamal Krsna Maharaja’s words and Giriraja Maharaja’s words are truly the words of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja – if they will see that your words are correctly in line (in accordance with guru and guru-parampara) – they will be bound to accept all your instructions. At that time there will be no harm in preaching or doing any other seva; that will be real preaching. However, I don’t know how many births it will take for you to come to that stage.

One day you will have to leave your present preaching and become qualified to go to Goloka Vrndavana, where there is no preaching, only service. Then, from there, as Srila Rupa Gosvami came with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, you can also return and preach with your spiritual master.

[To be continued…]

[*Endnote: (from Jaiva-dharma by Srila Bhakivinoda Thakura, Chapter 28, Part 2): Vrajanatha: Gurudeva, which gadha-samskara, profound impression, is relevant to becoming ‘rapt in meditation’?

Gosvami: My son, entangled by material nature, you have been caught in the cycle of repeated births and deaths, working out the accrued reactions of your karma. In this mechanism, two types of samskara – praktana, of past lives, and adhunika, of the present life – have helped to frame your mental constitution, temperament, and contemplations. Originally, your soul possessed a pure consciousness and nature that have become polluted. However, now your previous spiritually pious deeds have led you to seek saintly association and execute devotional service, thus forming a powerful new samskara that will uproot the polluted material samskaras and gradually allow your original pure consciousness to take its rightful place once more. The deeper the gadha-samskara of devotional service sinks in, the stronger the presence of acintya-tattva will be felt in the heart, thus causing you to become ‘rapt in meditation’ in your sthayi-bhava.]

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