sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Issue 2, Fortnightly Centennial Edition
Posted: 18 July 2021
In honour of the centennial appearance year of
nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Cultivating the Ideal Established by Śrī Gaurasundara
Excerpts from the writings of
by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja
Presented in English for the first time
The special teachings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu
The many philosophical conclusions Śrīman Mahāprabhu has revealed and preached personally and through Svarūpa, the Six Gosvāmīs, and the Gauḍīya guru-varga in regard to determining the object of worship (upāsya-tattva) are not subjects that people inimical to bhakti can grasp. He has given the Gauḍīyas the instruction to give up unfavorable association in all respects.
If one is attempting to serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet in a mood of absolute dedication, unfavorable association, especially that of yoṣit-saṅgīs, those who are attached to women and material enjoyment, has been forbidden. As most of the sādhakas and sādhikās are prākṛta (mundane) or kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs, the indulgent customs and conduct of conditioned souls mostly inculcates in them the aptitude to become unrefined and devious. Hence, sādhu, guru, and śāstra have instructed that it is the special and exclusive duty of intelligent persons who thirst to perform hari-bhajana to exert great caution and diligence in giving up this sort of association or environment, which is contrary to sādhana-bhajana and corruptive of one’s constitutional nature.
The marvel of worshipping in the mood of unnatojjvala-rasa
It follows that without giving up unfavorable association and serving Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet under the guidance of guru and Vaiṣṇavas, the eternal welfare of the immaculate soul can never be obtained. The worship or service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa performed by those who possess moods of śānta, dāsya, and gaurava-sakhya (reverential friendship) is only a partial manifestation of Śrī Nanda-nandana’s service. The deficiency or ignorance in regard to considerations of transcendental rasa is evident in those who want to propose Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s prakāśa-vigraha manifestations as the supreme objects of worship. Those who tread the path of vaidha-bhakti are not qualified to render service to Bhagavān with anurāga, or intense loving attachment. Within the confines of rules and prohibitions, they perform traditional ritual worship of the all-powerful Supreme Lord via vaidha-bhakti, following maryādā-mārga, the path of etiquette. As unnatojjvala-rasa, the topmost paramour mellow, and other intricacies do not manifest in such spiritual practice or worship, it is not capable of granting the supreme cherished result. Śrīman Mahāprabhu has conveyed to the souls of this world only the most exalted subject matter of Vaiṣṇavism and worship. He has determined that only Śrī Vrajendra-nandana, the emporium of all transcendental rasas (akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrti), is the object of worship as the kānta, or beloved, in the mood of madhura-rati. Only in this sort of worship is the super-excellence of spiritual practice displayed. In the most literal sense of the word, the Vaiṣṇavas are Kāṛṣṇa, or belonging to Kṛṣṇa, and they alone are known as Gauḍīyas, the earnest followers of the Lord of Gauḍīyas [Śrīman Mahāprabhu]. Their exalted qualification for service is well established by sādhu and śāstra.
Praying for the qualification to perform bhajana of Śrī Rādhā Mādhava
In the words of the Śrī Rūpānuga Gauḍīya guru-varga, we find the following: “If one can dispel mundane thoughts and mundane nature and gradually strive to develop the nature of transcendence, one will attain birth in Vraja as a gopī. If one cannot become a gopī, one cannot perform bhajana of Kṛṣṇa.” We have not had even a little bit of time and opportunity to cultivate and discuss Śrī Gaurasundara’s never-hitherto-offered grand gift (anarpita-cira maha-dāna), the methodology of performing the bhajana of Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava, which Śrī Gaurasundara gave despite it being extremely rare. We are so overcome by the forces of anarthas and materialism that we are unable to cleanse away that multitude of anarthas and cleanse ourselves. How will we realize His grand contribution, the performance of His vipralambha-bhajana exclusively under the shelter of His intimate associates? Guru and Vaiṣṇavas are bhūrida, or supremely compassionate. How will we appreciate that causeless mercy as we become killers of our own souls? Though we are by eternal constitution dependently independent, we have flung the door shut on that which is auspicious for our souls by misusing our independence. In such a sorry state, this statement of Vedānta (4.1.1) is our only hope: “āvṛttir-asakṛd-upadeśāt—repetition [of śravaṇa and kīrtana], many times, for that is the teaching.” In the state of separation, or vipralambha, it is imperative to strive with one-pointed focus to cultivate the ideal, teachings, conduct, and preaching of the viṣaya and āśraya-vigrahas. May Bhakti Mahādevī, the great Goddess of Devotion, who blazes in all her radiance with the moods of separation, who effects all auspiciousness, and who is expressed via śrī nāma-kīrtana, illuminate the core of our hearts so that we may be stirred with new inspiration in śrī hari-kīrtana and śrī nāma-dīkṣā and become immersed in the ocean of prema for Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Translated from Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Vāmana Gosvāmī Māhārāja’s Prabandhāvalī
By the Rays of The Harmonist team