[For the readers' ease - our writing will be in bold
letters; the statements of the documentary will be in italics; the references
in the form of quotes, articles and discourses given in the Appreciation to the
documentary statements will be in normal text.]
Documentary statement 3
matala hari-jane visaya range
pujala raga patha gaurava bange
'Always worship the
path of raga-marga, spontaneous devotion. Do not rush ahead. Keep yourself a
little distant and below. One who transgresses these instructions will be cast
down.' That was the motto of
It was not mentioned by the documentary
narrator, but it is stated on one of Sripad Narasingha Maharaja's websites that
this statement is quoted from Srila Sridhara Maharaja's explanation of a poem
Srila Sridhara Maharaja did not intend his
statement to be the translation of the verse. His explanation given here
focuses on the phrase "pujala raga-patha," indicating that the path
of raga is worthy of our worship. The implication of this idea is that one can
gain a genuine entrance into raga-marga only by mercy from above. There is no
Such mercy will not descend upon those who
proudly think themselves qualified, but upon those who, realizing their
ineligibility, humbly worship raga-marga from a lower position.
It goes without saying that in practice it
is impossible to worship something that you are absolutely forbidden to hear,
speak or read about. So there must also be a preliminary stage before
raga-marga proper wherein one is exposed, in a limited capacity, to the tenets
of raga-marga. The rate of exposure is to be determined on an individual basis
by one's self-realized Guru.
of Caution by Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami
Self-realized Gurus awaken the utmost respect for
Radha-Krsna-lila in the hearts of aspiring devotees by their cautionary
statements. At the same time, they create the atmosphere for a provisional stage
of hearing the higher topics, under their guidance and in their service, so that
their followers may continue in the right direction. By hearing under such
guidance, one develops and increases one's qualification for hearing. The
overall effect of cautionary statements along with a tentative exposure to lila
katha is realized by the sincere disciple.
In this regard, there is an article written about Srila
Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, the sannyasa-guru of Srila Prabhupada
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. The article was written by Srila Bhakti Prajnana
Kesava Gosvami's disciple, Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja who,
after his Guru's entrance into nitya-lila in 1968, became the revered Acarya and
President of his institution, Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. Srila Vamana Maharaja
"Srila Gurupadapadma was an ideal Guru, and was expert
in krsna-tattva. He forbade followers with anarthas to
remember asta-kaliya-lila, imagining their siddha-deha
(spiritual form). He particularly attracted the attention of everyone by
quoting Jagad-guru Srila Prabhupada's instructive words: 'Smarana will
take place by the influence of kirtana, and then it is possible to perform nirjana bhajana.'
"One day a devotee was studying the commentaries on rasa-lila,bhramara-gita
and so on, and Srila Gurudeva said, 'The qualification to hear topics such as
will come when sri nama-kirtana has freed the heart from anarthas, and
suddha-sattva has appeared there. Otherwise the
transcendental pastimes of Sri 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 srngara-rasa in
a material body. Only a person who is free from the lower types of enjoyment and
is in the stage of bhava is qualified to discuss sambhoga
In this same article, Srila Vamana Maharaja reveals that
while Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami warns disciples regarding the
eligibility required to approach proper, unadulterated meditation on the Lord's
confidential pastimes, he also invites those entrenched in the material world,
in a provisional way, to sing about them:
"His ever-fresh and transcendental talent has been
illuminated in his songs such as Srila Prabhupada's arati,Sri Tulasi-arati
and Mangala-arati. Following the transcendental poet Sri
Jayadeva's Gita-govinda, Srila Guru Maharaja's Mangala-arati gives an INTRODUCTION to the supreme and unequalled, sweettranscendental
pastimes of Sri Vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva, the eternally youthful Conjugal Couple
of Vraja." (Published in the book "Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami,
His Life and Teachings," by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, in the
section called "Srila Gurupadapadma's Supramundane Character and
Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami's Mangala-arati song
is a meditation on Sri Sri Radha-Krsna's nisanta-lila, Their confidential,
pre-dawn pastimes. The following excerptfrom chapter seven of his biography explains one of the verses:
prayer causes the auspicious arati of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna
Yugala to manifest in the heart of the raganuga-sadhaka. Losing external consciousness of
his body and this world, he sees with his eternal form 'mayura sukadi sari
kata pikaraja mangala jagara hetu kariche viraja' (verse 5). The time of dawn is
quickly approaching. In some pleasure grove such as Sanketa, Sri Sri
Radha-Krsna Yugala are still asleep, bound by each others' embrace.
Afraid that everyone will soon wake up, Vrnda-devi inspires the birds such as peacocks, male and
female parrots, cuckoos, and papihas to awaken Sri Yugala. At that time, all the
birds in the water and on land start calling in their sweet voices: 'mayura
sukadi sari kata pikaraja mangala jagara hetu kariche viraja.' "
Great personalities know how to foster eligibility in their
disciples. They gently and tentatively introduce us and invite us to that
This experience is afforded only by their association.Without
their association, it
cannot be gleaned from the pages of a book or any other media.
Srila Narayana Maharaja, a beloved disciple of Srila Bhakti
Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, addresses the topic of eligibility in the following
B. Words of caution from Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Srila Narayana Maharaja fully embraces the
statement of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.33.39; quoted in Appreciation
"F" of Documentary statement 1), which states that if a conditioned
soul hears with faith from a self-realized soul about Lord Sri Krsna's pastimes
with the gopis, he will attain prema-bhakti and become free from lust. Srila
Narayana Maharaja also embraces the commentaries to this verse by his
worshipful superiors like SrilaJivaGosvami
and especially SrilaVisvanathaCakravartiThakura.
At the same time, he also gives classes
warning followers to be careful not to imitate advanced devotees. The following
discourse was given in Australia
on December 3, 2002. The devotees had just sung the kirtana
Sri Madhurastakam, and
then Srila Narayana Maharaja began his class:
tells us that everything is sweet (madhura) about Krsna, the original Lord of
sweetness. His Yamuna is madhura, His nikunjas (groves wherein Radha and Krsna
perform their confidential amorous pastimes) are madhura, and His flute-playing
and sidelong glances are also very sweet.
actually speaking about the sweetness of Krsna here? Is it Kamsa Maharaja,
Aghasura, Bakasura, or Putana? Radhika herself is telling this; She alone is
qualified to speak in this way. The history behind Her words is this:
"A sakhi once told Her, 'Krsna has left
Vrndavana. He now has 16,108 queens, and millions of others also want to marry
Him. Why do You have so much love and affection for that crooked Krsna? He has
no love for You and no love for Vrndavana. Give Him up and try to forget Him
forever.' SrimatiRadhika replied, 'O sakhi, what
you are saying is true, but I cannot forget Him. Everything about Him is so
like Kamsa, Jarasandha, Duryodhana, Putana, Bakasura, Aghasura, Kesi, Canura,
and Mustika were seeing that very same Krsna, but they thought of Him as a very
cruel, powerful and dangerous enemy. They did not see or experience His
know why I am speaking in this way? These demons are against Krsna. Therefore,
instead of experiencing His sweetness, they simply experience their own enmity.
Similarly, if we imagine that we are meditating on Krsna's asta-kaliya-lila and
we have not reached the stage of rati, we will also not experience His
sweetness. Rather, we will experience our own lusty and other material desires.
In this connection, Kamsa and other demons represent our material desires.
Krsna and the realization of the sweetness of Krsna is our goal, but do not try
to 'jump up to the top of the tree.' Begin from the root of the tree and climb
up from there; then you can realize your goal.
must follow the proper process of his bhakti from the beginning: 'In the
beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will
bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually
elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual
master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional
service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual
master, one becomes free from all material attachment, attains steadiness in
self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the Absolute
Personality of Godhead, Sri
This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Krsna consciousness,
which is matured in bhava, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of
God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life.
In the prema stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving
service of the Lord. So, by the gradual process of devotional service, under
the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest
stage.' (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.4.15-16)
must also be able to follow these principles: 'When the seed of ecstatic
emotion for Krsna fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one's
behavior: forgiveness, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment,
absence of false prestige, hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name
of the Lord, attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the
Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides, that is, a temple
or a holy place like Vrndavana. These are all called anubhava, subordinate
signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed
of love of God has begun to fructify.' (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila
"If you can follow these above-mentioned two slokas,
then you can realize something of the goal - otherwise not. I know, and I see,
that in Western and Eastern countries, here and there, many of the devotees
want to enter asta-kaliya-lila (Sri Sri Radha-Krsna's
eight-fold daily pastimes, from morning to next morning), although they do not
even know what it is.
be very careful. Our Gosvamis have warned us not to delve very much into this
subject matter. This topic is truly our goal, but we can only realize it by
following the proper process for advancement in bhakti. If a person has many
worldly desires and is attached to women, wine and wealth, how can he properly
meditate on asta-kaliya-lila? If one misunderstands his own identity and
considers himself to be his body, he will not be able to properly think about
"Suppose a man or a woman tries to think about
Radha-Krsna's pastimes at ,
for example. Suppose they try to remember how all the gopis left their homes
and met Krsna alone, and moreover how Krsna left all the gopis at night and
took only SrimatiRadhika in a kunja, where They
played together. What will he or she think about it? Moreover, if such a man
and woman meet together at night 'to discuss these topics', what will be the
ultimate result of their 'love'? They are bound to feel lust, and thus they
will not be able to control their minds. Their characters will be ruined and
they will ruin their entire spiritual lives. Do you understand what I am
saying? We should not even think about this topic.
- or old - person may remember the following verse: 'O Govardhana! Please grant
me a dwelling near your side so that I can easily witness and serve the
youthful lovers Sri
as They perform newer and newer secret, amorous
within your many caves where They become completely maddened from drinking
prema. You are present and making everything possible.' (SrimadRaghunatha
dasa Gosvami's Sri Govardhana-Vasa-Prarthana-Dasakam, verse 2)
In this verse it is suggested that Radha and Krsna are
meeting together and embracing. If a devotee who is not very advanced tries to
meditate on this, a worldly conception is bound to come. Therefore, always be
SukadevaGosvami, who is a
maha-mahabhagavata, is so detached from material consideration and possessions
that he does not even wear a dor-kaupin (loincloth), nor does he even have a
bhajana kutira. He is totally renounced. For him,
there is no difference between the most beautiful naked lady and a dry wooden
tree. He has no interest at all in the affairs of men and women. Yet, that
offers reverential pranama to Rasa-lila and asta-kaliya-lila. Although service
to that madhura Krsna like that of the gopis is our goal, we cannot pretend to
be close to it at our stage.
has written: 'Bhagavan Vrajendra-nandana
Krsna and His transcendental abode
Sri Vrndavana-dhama are
my worshipable objects. The most excellent method of worshipping Krsna is that
adopted by the gopa-ramanis, the young wives of Vraja. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the
flawless and most authoritative scripture, and Krsna-prema is the fifth and
highest achievement of human life beyond dharma, artha,
kama and moksa. It is thus known as
pancama-purusartha or parama-purusartha. This is the opinion of
We have supreme regard for this conclusion. We have no inclination or respect
for any other, cheating opinions.'
"The highest examples of love and affection in
service to Krsna are the gopis - but this does not apply to all the gopis. This
highest service cannot even be performed by
or SrimatiVisakha or by others like them. Such
service can only be executed by gopis like
Rati-manjari. Lalita and Visakha
cannot enter a kunja in which Radha and Krsna are alone and engaged in Their
most intimate amorous pastimes, but the manjaris can enter without hesitation
and they can serve both Radha and Krsna there.
be very careful. We should not discuss the confidential matters of
before the general public. Be careful. Otherwise, ladies, especially, will be
charmed by hearing from you - they will weep, they will run after you, and your
character will be lost.
Always try to follow the teachings of the Eleventh Canto
of Srimad-Bhagavatam, and try to follow
SrilaRupaGosvami's Upadesamrta and
dasa Gosvami's Sri
Then try to gradually come to the stage of rati, at which time all of Krsna's
pastimes will automatically manifest in a very pure form. Try to follow my
instructions. Follow the proper procedures delineated by
SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura, by our guru-varga, and
especially by Sri
Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa and Srila Sukadeva Gosvami have somewhat explained about
the goal of our life in the descriptions of the incarnations Matsya, and Kurma,
and in descriptions of Varaha, Narasimha, Rama, Parasurama, Vamana, and Kalki.
They have kept all the madhura-lila in the Tenth Canto, and there they have
explained our aim and object fully.
"Krsna Himself became each of the incarnations, like
Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Balarama and Kalki. They are all Him;
but He is playing the role of being Them.
sings in his Sri
sri-jayadeva-kaver idam uditam
srnu sukha-dam subha-dam bhava-saram
kesava dhrta-dasa-vidha-rupa! jaya
["O Kesava! O You who assume
these ten forms! O Jagadisa! O You who remove Your devotees' material desires!
All glories to You! My humble supplication at Your lotus feet is that You
please hear this Dasavatara-Stotra composed by the poet Jayadeva, because it
describes the essence of Your incarnations and is most excellent, bestowing
happiness and auspiciousness." (Sri
connection, Kesava means Vrajendranandana Sri
Krsna. That same Krsna is our goal. To
serve Him like the gopis is certainly our goal; but be very careful, otherwise
you will follow the path of Putana, Aghasura, Bakasura and Kamsa. You will be
bound to be like them. Sri
SukadevaGosvami began speaking about the
topics of bhakti from its beginning stages, as well as the processes to achieve
the various stages of bhakti.
in the Eleventh Canto, they discussed Sri Narada Muni's explaining to Vasudeva
about the topics instructed by the Navayogendras to
Maharaja Nimi. For
example, the Navayogendras explained about the 24 gurus,
including the air and the Earth. From the air one can learn detachment and from
the Earth one can learn tolerance. In those texts, the processes to achieve the
highest goal given in the Tenth Canto have also been explained.
same goal of life has been expressed in a still better way in
In the very beginning of that sastra,
explained our ultimate aim and object as follows:
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
["May the Supreme Lord who is
known as the son of SrimatiSacidevi be transcendentally
situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance
of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow
what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant
mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love."
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.4)]
["The loving affairs of
Sri Radha and Krsna are
transcendental manifestations of the Lord's internal pleasure-giving potency.
Although Radha and Krsna are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves
eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the
form of Sri
KrsnaCaitanya. I bow down to Him, who
has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of
although He is Krsna Himself." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.5)]
sri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrso
kidrso va madiyah
saukhyam casya mad-anubhavatah kidrsam veti lobhat
["Desiring to understand the
glory of Radharani's love, the wonderful qualities in Him that She alone
relishes through Her love, and the happiness She feels when She realizes the
sweetness of His love, the Supreme Lord Hari, richly endowed with Her emotions,
appeared from the womb of Srimati Sacidevi, as the moon appeared from the
ocean." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.6)]
especially explained the goal and process to achieve it in the fourth chapter
of Adi-lila and in Sri
CaitanyaMahaprabhu instructed the process
in chapters 19 and 20-23, respectively.
careful about being at the bottom of the tree and, from there, jumping to the
top. Do not go in the direction of fire; otherwise you will be burned.
not sufficient merely to speak about the proper established philosophical
truths (siddhanta) and processes of bhakti. Try to be actually realized in this.
If you do not follow, you cannot advance in actual Krsna consciousness.
a disciple is always glorifying Krsna and His sweet pastimes. That disciple is
always chanting, but he does not have very much faith in his guru. Suppose he
is chanting a hundred-thousand names daily and is always reading about the
pastimes of Krsna and glorifying Him, but he is not following his Gurudeva's
orders. He sometimes follows his Guru's orders and sometimes does not.
Sometimes he follows his uncontrolled mind and not the process and teachings of
and SrilaRaghunatha dasa Gosvami,
and he does not behave as his Guru desires. What will be the result? He will
not get perfection.
yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
["Only unto those great souls
who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the
imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed." (SvetasvataraUpanisad
wants his followers to truly enter raga-marga
one line, "Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange," teaches us the
authentic process of bhajana which is suitable for all aspiring sadhakas.
the path that leads to the transcendental service of the Divine Couple under
the guidance of their eternal associates, is not something one can enter on the
strength of one's own qualifications. If someone thinks that he is qualified,
he will be stranded without help from above as a reward for his arrogance.
Therefore "pujala" - the path is to be worshiped, "a little
distant, and below."
is not a ban on raga-marga, but the guaranteed method of entry. By considering
oneself unqualified and maintaining the utmost reverence for that path, one
becomes a candidate for receiving the mercy of
and Their devotees. In Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.309),
krsna tad bhakta karunyamatralabhaikahetuka pustimargatayakaiscidiyam raganuga ucyate
"The mercy of
and His devotees is the only cause of attaining the path of raga. Therefore,
some refer to raganuga-bhakti as pusti-marga, the
path that depends on nourishment from above."
At the stage of raganuga-sadhana bhakti,
there is some degree of revelation of one's eternal identity. Such revelation
comes by mercy. Thus, one who tries to enter the path without endorsement from
the higher realm will have to resort to the fruitless technique of fanciful
Gaurava-bhange - awe and reverence broken:
The mood of awe and reverence is considered
incompatible with the prema of the residents of GolokaVrndavana,
so why "pujala raga-patha"?
vital not to mix up the internal and external aspects of raganuga-sadhana-bhakti.
Awe and reverence is an obstacle to internal service of the sadhaka, but when
the sadhaka is in external consciousness, it remains an essential expression of
his intense longing. As SrilaRaghunatha dasa Gosvami has
illustrated repeatedly in the prayers of
yadiccheravasam vraja-bhuvi sa RAGAmprati-janur
svarupam sri rupam sa ganam iha tasyagrajam api
sphutampremnanityamsmaranamatada tvam srnu manah
"My dear mind, please hear me! If you are eager
to gain residence in Vraja on the platform of RAGA, and if you desire to obtain
the direct service of the Divine Youthful Couple,
Radha-Krsna, then with great love,
BIRTH AFTER BIRTH BOW DOWN and remember
RupaGosvami and his elder brother along with
their other associates." (Sri
internal mood of awe and reverence (gaurava) will abate or break (bhanga) upon the influx of mercy from above - for those who
deeply revere the path of raga.
this instruction only for a neophyte?
SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura has recommended that a
sadhaka in the stage of bhava should pray "asamahocaranarenujusamahamsyam" (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.61, quoted in
Chapter 6 Bhava-bhakti, text 24) "Alas! It would be a matter of great
fortune if I could take birth as a blade of grass, a creeper or shrub in
Vrndavana, and thereby receive the foot-dust of the Vraja gopis."
conclusion is that making an external effort to avoid awe and reverence is not
the process to overcome the internal obstacle of aisvarya-jnana.
In external consciousness, an understanding of the opulence of Vraja will
always remain, as illustrated by
yat kincit trnagulmakikatamukhamgosthesamastam hi tat
sastrair eve muhurmuhuhsphutam idam nistankitamyacnyer
brahmader api sasprhena tad idam sarvam maya vandyate
"With great longing I WORSHIP all the living
entities of Vraja, including the grass, bushes, flies and birds, which are
filled with transcendental bliss. Their fortune is so great that it is aspired
for by personalities such as Brahma and Uddhava."
Another salient point to consider is that it
is not possible to worship a path about which one is forbidden to hear.
Consequently, there must be a preliminary stage in which a person who is
unqualified for raganuga-bhakti is exposed, in a limited capacity, to the katha
of raga-marga. The rate of exposure is to be decided by Sri Guru in accordance
with the eligibility of the disciple.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has
written a translation and commentary of Srila Rupa Gosvami's Upadesamrta,
called Nectar of Instruction. The eighth verse contains what
SrilaRupaGosvami calls the essence of all
advice. In the purport Srila Prabhupada quotes his Prabhupada, Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who confirms that essence - one should mold
one's life in such a way that he can gradually come to the platform of
raganuga-bhakti under the guidance of a ragatmika-bhakta:
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has commented as follows upon this verse:
'One who has not yet developed interest in Krsna consciousness should give up
all material motives and train his mind by following the progressive regulative
principles, namely chanting and remembering Krsna and His name, form, quality,
pastimes and so forth. In this way, after developing a taste for such things,
one should try to live in Vrndavana and pass his time constantly remembering
Krsna's name, fame, pastimes and qualities under the direction and protection
of an expert devotee. This is the sum and substance of all instruction
regarding the cultivation of devotional service.
neophyte stage one should always engage in hearing krsna-katha. This is called
sravana-dasa, the stage of hearing. By constantly hearing the transcendental
holy name of Krsna and hearing of His transcendental form, qualities and
pastimes, one can attain to the stage of acceptance called varana-dasa. When
one attains this stage, he becomes attached to the hearing of krsna-katha. When
one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of smaranavastha, the
stage of remembering. Recollection, absorption, meditation, constant
remembrance and trance are the five items of progressive krsna-smarana. At
first, remembrance of Krsna may be interrupted at intervals, but later
remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is uninterrupted, it
becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When meditation expands and
becomes constant, it is called anusmrti. By uninterrupted and unceasing
anusmrti one enters the stage of samadhi, or spiritual trance. After
smarana-dasa or samadhi has fully developed, the soul comes to understand his
original constitutional position. At that time he can perfectly and clearly
understand his eternal relationship with Krsna. That is called sampatti-dasa,
the perfection of life.
advises those who are neophytes to give up all kinds of motivated desires and
simply engage in the regulative devotional service of the Lord according to the
directions of scripture. In this way a neophyte can gradually develop
attachment for Krsna's name, fame, form, qualities and so forth. When one has
developed such attachment, he can spontaneously serve the lotus feet of Krsna
even without following the regulative principles.
stage is called raga-bhakti or devotional service in spontaneous love. At that
stage the devotee can follow in the footsteps of one of the eternal associates
of Krsna in Vrndavana. This is called raganuga-bhakti. Raganuga-bhakti, or
spontaneous devotional service, can be executed in the santa-rasa when one
aspires to be like Krsna's cows or the stick or flute in the hand of Krsna, or
the flowers around Krsna's neck. In the dasya-rasa one follows in the footsteps
of servants like Citraka, Patraka or Raktaka. In the friendly sakhya-rasa one
can become a friend like Baladeva, Sridama or Sudama. In the vatsalya-rasa,
characterized by parental affection, one can become like Nanda Maharaja and
Yasoda, and in the madhurya-rasa, characterized by conjugal love, one can
become like Srimati Radharani or Her lady friends such as Lalita and Her
serving maids (manjaris) like Rupa and Rati. This is the essence of all
instruction in the matter of devotional service.'" (Nectar of Instruction,
Purport verse 8)
The following is an
excerpt from chapter 14 (called Krsna-prema) of the book
Caitanya's Teachings, which is a collection
of articles by SrilaSarasvatiThakura
truth is that there is a real plane for the wholesome exercise of the amorous
disposition that is part and parcel of our soul. It is necessary to realize the
nature of this plane in order to be relieved of our harmful errors in regard to
sexual relationship. Some sort of conviction must precede the actual adoption
of any proposed method. The personality of
Radhika supplies the solution of this
RupaGosvami has offered the detailed
exposition of the subject in his monumental works
is the highest form of prema, and an individual soul even in the stage of
raganuga-bhakti in the wake of the ragatmika-bhakti considers herself as a
maid, called manjari, under the guidance of the way of services rendered by the
dearest Rupa-manjari and Rati-manjari and others who, in their turn, are
subservient to Sri
Lalita-Visakha-Citra-Indulekha-Campakalata-Rangadevi-Tungavidya-Sudevi - eight
sakhis, who are the counter-parts of Sri Radhika. They are all engaged in the aprakrta services of their beloved
Krsna for His absolute pleasures
and of none else. Their cent-percent satisfaction lies in the absolute pleasure
of their beloved alone.
sadhaka in raganuga bhakti may be a man or a woman in this physical world. He
or she develops the aprakrta-body of a gopi, called a
manjari, if his or her raga is awakened in the wake of the Vraja-gopis. The
physical body in this world can never reach the feet of the Lord.
Vraja-gopi,] more technically a manjari, has a particular name, conception of
her form and beauty, her particular age, her costumes, her specialized service
or seva, and her grove (or kunja) where she receives and serves the Divine
Couple Sri Radha-Krsna. The individual in raganuga-bhakti meditates inwardly,
looking upon himself or herself as a hand-maid of
Rupa-manjari, who is the
personification of the rupa, i.e., the beauty of
Radha, which beauty is, in its turn, the
projected absolute beauty of the absolute
Rupa-manjari guides the individual
hand-maid in the fold of Sri
who in turn engages the hand-maid in the specialized services of
all over the world the teachings of
Raghunatha with all your might. Our
highest ambition in life has been to turn ourselves into the dust of their
D. An interview with Sripad Madhava Maharaja
Madhava Maharaja is a disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja.
He is a siksa disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, and
has been his personal servant and secretary since 1979. In the following interview of May 4, 2006, he was asked to
share his understanding regarding statement 3 of the video/documentary:
[Question:] "The narrator of
the documentary 'The Universal Teacher' quoted
verse, 'matala hari-jane visaya range, pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange.' Then
he gave the translation, 'Always worship the path of raga-marga, spontaneous
devotion. Do not rush ahead. Keep yourself a little distant and below. One who
transgresses these instructions will be cast down. That was the motto of
"Can you explain the verse further?"
Maharaja:] "The English you quoted is not the translation. It is a
statement by Prapujya-carana Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara
Maharaja. He did not mean for his statement to be the translation."
[Question:] "Then what is the
Maharaja:] "'Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange.' Raga-patha means
spontaneous devotion. What is spontaneous devotion?
iste svarasiki ragah
tan-mayi ya bhaved bhaktih
["When one becomes attached to
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his natural inclination to love is fully
absorbed in thoughts of the Lord. That is called transcendental attachment, and
devotional service according to that attachment is called ragatmika, or
spontaneous devotional service." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.272, and
is the devotion situated in the hearts of the eternal associates of Krsna in
Vraja. Here, the word gaurava-bhange refers to the breaking (bhange means
break) of the awe and reverence mood (gaurava) by raga-bhakti. The word matala
means complete absorption. Such liberated devotees have only one visaya (object
of love), and that is Sri
The word range refers to Sri
many pastimes. Hari-jana means those who are the kith and kin or intimate associates
of Sri Hari
or Krsna. They are absorbed in visaya-range.
Krsna is the only visaya (the supreme
Enjoyer of His devotees' devotion), and all others are asraya (the repository
or container of devotion to Him). These devotees are absorbed in His pastimes.
"Because of the raga in their hearts, they
have no awe and reverence mood. In this world they worship raga-patha; that is,
the path of complete absorption in and attachment to
Krsna. By this they also teach us
how to enter and then practice raganuga-bhakti.
we want to worship this path? We are now aspiring sadhaka-jivas, and our
ultimate object is to attain raga-bhakti. For that we have to go step by step.
By following the correct process we will gradually enter raganuga-bhakti, and
then we will attain raga-bhakti."
of the beautiful verse
Sometimes this Bengali verse is found with
the words "visaya range"; and sometimes, as in the inscription on the
wall of the Sri
CaitanyaSarasvataMatha, with "kirtana
range." In either case, the deep import is the same.
With "visaya range":
of Hari revel in satisfying His transcendental desires.
They worship the
path of spontaneous devotion, whereby awe and reverence is overthrown."
Internally the hari-janas are absorbed in their
pastimes with Sri
and externally they teach us by their example how to worship the path of raga.
Raga means spontaneous devotion, the devotion of
friends, parents and beloveds.
is the only visaya, the only enjoyer. As the enjoyer He has unlimited
transcendental desires. These desires are fulfilled by His associates, the hari-janas, who are asraya. The hari-janas
revel in fulfilling His desires. They are maddened with the ambition to fulfil
Srila Narayana Maharaja explains that this verse applies to the
liberated associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this world, who have come as
raganuga-bhaktas. SrimanMahaprabhu appeared in this world
along with His associates. This verse refers to His associates who were with
Him during His time, as well as to all those who appeared after Him.
With "kirtana range":
of Hari revel in the chanting of the Holy Name.
They worship the path of spontaneous devotion, whereby awe and reverence is
F. The real existence of Bhaktisiddhanta
devotees say this verse originally manifested from the lips of
and some say it manifested from the lips of Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara
Maharaja. Either way, according to Srila Sridhara Maharaja himself, this verse
is the heart of SrilaSarasvatiThakura.
of Sripad Narasingha Maharaja's websites has a link to a very short, fifteen
second, audio statement of Srila Sridhara Maharaja referring to this
verse. We therefore had the good fortune
to hear his recorded voice: "Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange. This is
Bhaktisiddhanta vani. The real existence of
Bhaktisiddhanta [bhakti-siddhanta] is there."