Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Mathura, India: October 12, 1996
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

[The following is a "vintage class" given by Srila Maharaja. This class was given in order to establish the position and glory of of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. ]

There is a difference between rupanuga [*Endnote 1] and raganuga [*Endnote 2]. Those who are in this world and serve Sri Sri Radha-Krsna on the path of raga (loving attachment), following in the footsteps of the ragatmika-bhaktas who are described by Srila Rupa Gosvami in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, all are raganuga.

This applies to those devotees who have some greed for vraja-bhakti and are actually following the process to attain it. Still, it may be that they are not rupanuga, but raganuga. Sri Jayadeva Gosvami was not rupanuga, but raganuga. Sri Bilvamangala Thakura was truly raganuga, but not rupanuga. Sri Svarupa Damodara and Sri Raya Ramananda were not rupanuga, although they were in the intimate association of Srila Rupa Gosvami. They are Lalita devi and Visakha devi themselves, so they are in a different category of eternal associates of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. They are not rupanuga.

Those who follow Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and are under the guidance of Krsna’s cowherd friends (sakhas), like Subala, Sridama and all others, and who want to serve Lord Krsna like the sakhas – will not be called rupanuga. They will be called raganuga.

Lalita and Visakha and Yasoda-maiya are neither raganuga nor rupanuga. They are not “anuga”, followers. Those who are siddha, perfect, liberated associates, and are serving Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana are called ragatmika [*Endnote 3]. Those who want to serve Lord Krsna like them are called sadhakas (practitioners). Thus following raga-marga (the path of raga) they are raganuga. If one follows this path, inwardly mediating, “How can I serve Lord Krsna like Mother Yasoda or Nanda Baba?” he will be called raganuga, not rupanuga. Srila Rupa Gosvami has explained the glory of all these relationships in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Still, they will not be called rupanuga.

Those who are truly raganuga and follow the manner and mood in which Sri Rupa Manjari serves Radha and Krsna – those who, in their constitutional form, are in the same mood as Sri Rupa Manjari, and who are in the same mood and perform the same devotional activities as Srila Rupa Gosvami at the time of practice – only they are called rupanuga.

Rupanuga is the following of the way in which Sri Rupa Manjari serves both Radha and Krsna – being more inclined towards Srimati Radhika – happy in the happiness of Srimati Radhika and suffering like Her when She suffers. A person who follows in such a way can be called rupanuga.

Parama-pujyapada Srila Svami Maharaja has come especially to give this – rupanuga-bhakti. He did not come only to give raganuga-bhakti, nor did he come only to give vaidhi-bhakti. He could not give this to his general disciples at that time, however, because most of them were not in the stage to understand. Even now I am endeavoring with great labor to make you understand, but still only a few are trying to understand. About 25 years ago, when Srila Svami Maharaja went to America to preach, how could he openly preach this topic? There was practically no one qualified to understand – and thus he was mostly engaged in cutting jungles.

The entire disciplic-succession of our Gaudiya mission is rupanuga. The sampradaya of Srila Nimbarkacarya is raganuga, but of Dvaraka – of Satyabhama and Rukmini. His followers are not like Srila Rupa Gosvami. Only the acaryas coming in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are rupanuga.

Srila Svami Maharaja came to give what is already in each soul.

krti-sadhya bhavet sadhya-
bhava sa sadhanabhidha
nitya-siddhasya bhavasya
prakatyam hrdi sadhyata

[“When transcendental devotional service, by which love for Krsna is attained, is executed by the senses, it is called sadhana-bhakti, or the regulative discharge of devotional service. Such devotion eternally exists within the heart of every living entity. The awakening of this eternal devotion is the potentiality of devotional service in practice.”]

The soul is perfect in itself. The soul’s relation with Krsna, its name, qualities and all specialities, are already present within. This perfection is not brought from outside. Unfortunately maya covers it, but Sri Guru removes that maya and then everything manifests automatically.

This pure prema will not come by any efforts or any sadhana. What is there will come out; no new thing will come. No type of association can change what is already in the soul.

What is in your soul will manifest by sravana (hearing), kirtana (chanting) and smarana (remembering). Whatever rasa is in the soul will manifest. If it is dasya-rasa, then dasya-rasa will manifest. It is a fact that if someone is in madhurya-rasa, he will have only a little taste for dasya or sakhya-rasa. This will automatically come – it will come when our anarthas will disappear.

It is sometimes misunderstood that Srila Svami Maharaja was only in sakhya-rasa, and that he cannot give madhurya-rasa. This is not a fact. He came only for spreading the same mission to the world that was brought by Srila Rupa Gosvami.

He has not come only to give vaidhi-bhakti.* [See Endnote 4] We will have to perform vaidhi-bhakti, of course, and by this, bhakti will manage everything. Bhakti is not only a quality – she is not nirvisesa, impersonal. She is a person. Krsna is controlled by prema-bhakti. Krsna, and Srimati Radhika, and all Their associates, are controlled by bhakti. Bhakti can make Radha dance, Krsna dance, the gopis dance, and bhakti herself dance. She makes all dance.

* Endnotes by Syamarani dasi:

On Rupanuga:

1. It is not that Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada has discovered something new, and that we are "Prabhupadanugas". It is not that Rupa Gosvami’s followers are Rupanuga Vaisnavas and Srila Prabhupada’s followers are Prabhupadanuga. All our acaryas have told us to follow the Rupanuga Vaisnavas – but who are Rupanuga?

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu first of all inspired all spiritual truths in Srila Rupa Gosvami's heart, as well as all knowledge of the Vedas, Upanisads and all other scriptures. Then, by the Lord´s mercy, Srila Rupa Gosvami knew His heart:

sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
dadati sva-padantikam

[“When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?"]

By the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami manifested, or wrote, so many books, such as Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nilamani and Sri Upadesamrta. He explained everything about Vraja-bhakti in Sri Ujjvala-nilamani and Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. He wrote Sri Ujjvala-nilamani especially to give vraja-prema and vraja-bhakti. He explained in Bhakti-rasamtra-sindhu that bhakti can be experienced by five moods and five kinds of services; santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. Among them, three are prominent – sakya, vatsalya and madhurya. The mood of the Vrajabasis is vraja-bhakti; especially, the mood of the gopis is madhurya-rasa in vraja-bhakti; and especially, the mood of Srimati Radhika is the highest emblem of vraja-bhakti.

Srila Rupa Gosvami explained, "There are two processes of practical devotional service. One is regulative devotional service, and the other is spontaneous devotional service." (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.108)] Those who follow the path of raganuga in any rasa other than manjari-bhava in madhurya-rasa are rupanuga, but not so much – partly, very partly. In fact, it can also be said that they are not rupanuga. (Srila Narayana Maharaja’s lecture of May 18, 2004; Badger, California)]

2. “Consequently we always request members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to publish as many books as possible and distribute them widely throughout the world. By thus following in the footsteps of Srila Rapa Gosvami, one can become a rupanuga devotee.” (Purport Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 19.132)

3. "We Gaudiya Vaisnavas are known as Rupanuga. Rupanuga means the followers of Rupa Gosvami. Why should we become followers of Rupa Gosvami? Because sri-caitanya-mano 'bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale. He wanted to establish the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.2, Hyderabad, April 13, 1975)

4. “Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami are the most exalted servitors of Srimati Radharani and Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Those who adhere to their service are known as rupanuga devotees.” (Mad.8.246 Purp.)

5. “Unless you become rupanuga, you cannot understand the Gaudiya philosophy.” (Vrnd. Oct. ’72 lecture)

On Raganuga-bhakti:

1. “One has to serve Krsna according to these regulative principles, but if one develops spontaneous love for Krsna as exhibited in the activities of those who live in Vrajabhumi, one attains the platform of raganuga-bhakti. One who has developed this spontaneous love is eligible for elevation to the platform enjoyed by the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi. In Vrajabhumi, there are no regulative principles set forth for Krsna's service. Rather, everything is carried out in spontaneous, natural love for Krsna." (Sri Caitanya-cartiamrta, Madya 8.221 purport)

2. "Devotional service in spontaneous love is vividly expressed and manifested by the inhabitants of Vrndavana. Devotional service that accords with their devotional service is called raganuga-bhakti, or devotional service following in the wake of spontaneous loving service." (Sri Caitanya-cartamrta, Madhya 22.154)]

On Ragatmika

1. "The original inhabitants of Vrndavana are attached to Krsna spontaneously in devotional service. Nothing can compare to such spontaneous devotional service, which is called ragatmika-bhakti. When a devotee follows in the footsteps of the devotees of Vrndavana, his devotional service is called raganuga-bhakti." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.149)

2. "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.” (Madhya 22.149)

"Those who have not attained the platform of spontaneous attachment in devotional service render devotional service under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master according to the regulative principles mentioned in the revealed scriptures. According to the revealed scriptures, this kind of devotional service is called vaidhi bhakti.” (Mad. 22.109)

Transcriber and typist: Vasanti dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi