by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 12, English translation, including commentary (vritti). The Bhajana-rahasya is a compilation of verses describing the mercy of the eight pairs of names (Yugala-nama) of the Maha-mantra. This is text 12 belonging to the chapter “Shashtha-yama-sadhana (Sayam-kaliya-bhajana–bhava)” representing six dandas after dusk: approximately 6.00 p.m.–8.30 p.m.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.3.30–31) describes the practice of chanting the holy name at the stage of rati, in the association of pure devotees:

परस्परानुकथनं पावनं भगवद्-यशः
मिथो रतिर् मिथस् तुष्टिर् निवृत्तिर् मिथ आत्मनः
स्मरन्तः स्मारयन्तश् च मिथो’घौघ-हरं हरिम्
भक्त्या सञ्जातया भक्त्या बिभ्रत्य् उत्पुलकां तनुम्

parasparānukathanaṃ pāvanaṃ bhagavad-yaśaḥ
mitho ratir mithas tuṣṭir nivṛttir mitha ātmanaḥ
smarantaḥ smārayantaś ca mitho’ghaugha-haraṃ harim
bhaktyā sañjātayā bhaktyā bibhraty utpulakāṃ tanum

Śrī Bhagavān’s glories are supremely purifying. Devotees discuss these glories amongst themselves and thus develop loving friendships, feel satisfaction, and gain release from material existence. They practise sādhana-bhakti, constantly remembering and reminding each other of Śrī Hari, the killer of Aghāsura. In this way, para-bhakti, or prema-bhakti, arises in their hearts, and their bodies manifest ecstatic symptoms such as horripilation.

भक्त-गण परस्पर कृष्ण-कथा गाय
ताहे रति तुष्टि सुख परस्पर पाय

bhakta-gaṇa paraspara kṛṣṇa-kathā gāya
tāhe rati tuṣṭi sukha paraspara pāya

हरि-स्मृति निजे करे, अन्येरे कराय
साधने उदित भावे पुलकाश्रु पाय

hari-smṛti nije kare, anyere karāya
sādhane udita bhāve pulakāśru pāya

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

Śrī Kṛṣṇa burns up heaps of sins in a moment;therefore, everyone should remember Him and also remind others about Him. In this way, by continuously following sādhanabhakti, prema-bhakti arises in the devotee. Due to the predominance of prema, the devotee’s body then displays ecstatic symptoms.

A sādhaka’s duty is to increase his affection for the svajātīyabhaktas (like-minded devotees who are more advanced than and affectionate to oneself) with whom he is associating, and to arrange for their happiness. It is also his duty to give up sense objects that are unfavourable to bhakti. The pure-hearted svajātīya-bhakta purifies one’s heart by glorifying Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s qualities. Thus, by cultivating devotion through processes such as the hearing and speaking of kṛṣṇa-kathā, bhāva arises in the heart. By hearing, speaking and remembering hari-kathā, which destroys all inauspiciousness, the sādhaka enters the stage of perfection.

The special meaning of this verse is that by the influence of associating with vraja-rasika-bhaktas who have the same mood as oneself, Bhakti-devī enters the heart. Hearing such devotees’ harikathā with a pure, open heart matures a new sādhaka’s impressions of bhakti.

In Prema-bhakti-candrikā it is said: “sādhane bhāviba yāhā, siddha-dehe pāba tāhā–whatever one contemplates in sādhana, one will attain at perfection” and “pakvāpakva mātra se vicāra–the only difference is that in sādhana it is unripe, and at perfection, ripe.”

By the mercy of a bona fide guru, the sādhaka realises his constitutional spiritual form (siddha-svarūpa) and receives further instruction in the method of bhajana.

When like-minded pure devotees (svajātīya-śuddha-bhaktas) meet, they speak only kṛṣṇa-kathā, and become overwhelmed by describing Kṛṣṇa’s form, qualities, etc. At Ṭer-kadamba and other places, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī used to become submerged in aṣṭa-sāttvika-bhāvas while sharing realisations resulting from their bhajana.

The sādhaka should be careful, though, that on the pretext of speak ing bhagavat-kathā, he does not gratify his senses with female assoc iation, economic gain, fame, adoration and so forth. The sādhaka should be extremely cautious in the cultivation of his Kṛṣṇa consciousness (kṛṣṇānuśīlana ), otherwise he will deviate from the correct path and be cheated of the wealth of Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s prema.

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