śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition

Year 10, Issue 7
Posted: 14 August 2017

Dedicated to
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Śrī Raghunātha – 
the Pinnacle of Abnegation

by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda


In this world, we find two ways to earn knowledge about a particular object. One is to make an attempt for it with the help of our experience with the world. The other is this: realizing the inefficiency of the worldly experience, to entirely surrender ourselves to the personage who has come from the very realm we wish to earn knowledge about. We may then acquire that knowledge from him, through our ears.

Someone may question, “We are inhabitants of this world. How, after fully relinquishing our worldly experience, can we take refuge of some super-mortal being?” In answer, consider this: it will not do to fear the difficulty of such a task. One who wishes to know the truth should have great strength of mind, for you cannot learn to swim if you become afraid upon seeing water. Self-surrender is not a very difficult thing; rather it is very natural and easy for the soul. That which is contrary to self-surrender, is rather unnatural and difficult.

If we want to learn about God, we must learn from His agent. And when we listen to His agent, we must suspend all of our corporeal experiences, along with all of our misguided arguments. It is by continually listening to the powerful, impactful narratives of God’s glories that all evils, like heart-felt weakness, will be liquidated. There will appear an unprecedented courage within the heart, followed by the rise of self-surrender, fully aglow, which is the natural virtue of the soul. Thereafter, within that self-surrendered heart, the self-manifested truth of the transcendental region of the fourth dimension will reveal itself. It is in this way that truth can be known; there is no other way in which the real truth, beyond all deceitfulness, can be realized.

There is a distinction between divine and mundane topics. There are two senses in which a word may be used. One sense refers to a transformable object of this world, which creates forgetfulness about God, and the other sense refers to an eternal object, which leads to conceiving of and feeling excited about God’s own divine realm. One acquires fitness to call God’s Names after learning from the ācārya’s mouth about the difference between God as the word of Vaikuṇṭha, the transcendental plane, and the mundane words of this plane, which are limited by māyā.

It is the nature of jīvas adverse to God to cherish the desire to, like God, possess beauty, majesty and affluence, power, knowledge, fame and aloofness from miserable worldly experience. Man is divested of his virtue of subservience (to God and guru) by an enjoying mood characterized by the thinking, “I shall remain independent, for dependence means serving the desires of others, by which my own desires for enjoyment will not be fully satisfied.”

These jīvas do not consider that those very attributes (majesty, power, and so forth) cannot be independently owned by any jīva, for the constitutional nature of the jīva is eternal servitorship (to God). These attributes stay in God alone. Yet when these six qualities naturally abided within Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī, who never made any attempt for them, they were glorified. All majesty, supernatural power, and so forth, were under his control, but he never hankered for them, nor was he ever anxious to make a display of them, like the karmīsjñānīsyogīs and tapāsvīs.

Śrī Raghunātha was so gloriously replete with these six attributes, that their portion even within his toenails surpassed, to an unlimited degree, what adverse jīvas could ever be lucky enough to possess independently. Yet he never did any trafficking in them nor did he ever even attempt for abnegation, as do the pithless aspirers for the same. And still, the climax of the achievement of all ascetism was glorified in his person.

Why did Raghunātha never make any attempt to possess the six attributes, including abnegation? Every jīva is anxious to obtain the object he wishes for, and this is not bad if it centres around Kṛṣṇa. If the jīva wishes to obtain Kṛṣṇa, he will attain a status like Raghunātha, who loves Kṛṣṇa a hundred times more than he loves his own self.

In his Vilāpa-kusumañjali (102), Raghunātha prays to Śrī Rādhā: “Somehow I have spent my life in high expectations of the ocean of nectar. If even You do not show kindness toward me, then what need is there for me to continue living? What, then, is the benefit of my residence in Vraja or even being with Kṛṣṇa [Bakāri, slayer of the baka demon]?”

Has anyone ever heard of such a climactic attainment of abnegation? He does not even want Kṛṣṇa without service to Rādhā. Such a zenith of abnegation is not possible for a man of this world, unless he has been, like Raghunātha, drenched in the moisture of Śrī Svarūpa Gosvāmī’s grace. No one else can even explain this standard of abnegation. Is it possible for he who does not even want Kṛṣṇa without service to Rādhā, to have any craving for the six terrestrial excellences hitherto mentioned? How much service to Kṛṣṇa’s topmost darling, how acute must the topmost love for Her be, to endow one with such a spirit!?

Adapted from The Gaudiya Volume 5, Number 8
by the Rays of The Harmonist team

Rays of The Harmonist On-line, Year 10, Issue 7, "Śrī Raghunātha – the Pinnacle of Abnegation", is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License to ensure that it is always freely available. You may redistribute this article if you include this license and attribute it to Rays of The Harmonist. Please ask for permission before using the Rays of The Harmonist banner-logo.