Srila Gurudeva (The Supreme Treasure)

by Swami Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja | 2010 | 179,005 words

This page relates ‘Raga-vartma-candrika’ of the book dealing with life and teachings of Srila Gurudeva, otherwise known as Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. Srila Gurudeva is a learned and scholar whose teachings primarily concern the spiritual beauties of Bhakti—devotional service and the qualities and pastimes of Shri Krishna.

[Note: This section is an excerpt from the transcript printed as Chapter 2 of the book The Hidden Path of Devotion, entitled How to Enter Rāgānuga-bhaƙti? published by the Gaudiya Vedanta Publications (CC-BY-ND).]

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: You said that today you would be speaking on Rāga-vartma-candrika. You said you would be giving a synopsis; a summary.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Before beginning Rāga-vartmacandrika, we first pray to our Gurudeva, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, and to Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Mahārāja, then to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, and then to the author, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura. We earnestly beg that their mercy comes to us, especially the mercy of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura.

In this Rāga Vartma Candrika, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura tells us what he has realized about Śrī Śrī Rādhā-kṛṣṇa’s anurāga by the grace of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Anurāga refers to that stage of prema which comes just before mahābhāva. Within prema comes sneha, then māna, praṇaya, rāga, and then anurāga.

The author states, “I am writing something for those persons–those very lucky persons–who have greed for this rāga but can find no path to enter for achieving it. This book serves as their guide, like a moonbeam (candrika), to shed light on the path (vartma) leading to the loving devotion of the residents of Goloka Vṛndāvana (rāga). This path is very rare in the world.

During the Amavasya, dark-moon, night there is no moon; it is so very dark. There is a very narrow pathway, but it is not seen. If there would be a moon, that moon would give rays of light so that the path can be seen. This book is the candrika (moonbeam) which casts its light on rāga and the path leading to rāga. It is therefore called Rāga-vartma-candrika.

We should know that this pathway is a very, very narrow one, meant only for a few, rare, highly-qualified persons; it is not for everyone. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura advises that others not read this book.

However, there is no worldly qualification required to enter this path; the only qualification is lobha, or transcendental greed. It is stated in Bhagavad-gītā, “api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk” A man may be full of anarthas (undesirable habits and thoughts); but if he takes the association of a rāgānugā-bhakta and under his guidance reads the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, he may become attracted and acquire a very deep greed to have the same transcendental mood as the Vrajavāsīs. He may be attracted to sakhya-rasa (friendship with Kṛṣṇa), vātsalya-rasa (parental love for Him), or mādhurya-rasa (a relationship with Him as a beloved). Simply by faithfully hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam’s descriptions of the moods of the gopīs, or those of Kṛṣṇa’s father and mother, or those of Kṛṣṇa’s friends, one may begin to yearn to experience in his heart the same moods as theirs.

It may be noted, however, that Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura is not describing sakhya and vātsalya-bhāva in Rāga-vartma-candrika; he is presenting only gopī-bhāva. In that regard, in order to attain that bhāva, one will especially hear from a rāgānugā-bhakta the portions of the Tenth Canto discussing Kṛṣṇa’s relationship with the gopīs, namely Gopī-gīta, Yugala-Gīta, Bhramara-Gīta, Praṇaya-gīta, and Venu-gīta.

One who has saṃskāras (impressions in the heart) from having taken proper association in his previous births will be able to cultivate greed and achieve gopī-bhāva by reading śāstra; he will not have to rely on śāstric logic to convince him. For such a person, this treatise will be the candrika for discovering the path of rāgānuga.

The author first explains that there are two kinds of śraddhā (faith)–vaidhī and rāgānuga–which result in two kinds of bhaktivaidhī-bhakti and rāgānuga-bhakti. Both types of śraddhā are achieved through the association of qualified Vaiṣṇavas. Where entrance in bhakti is impelled by fear, where it is induced by the injunctions of śāstra that instruct everyone to perform bhakti to Kṛṣṇa, otherwise they will go to hell–this is called vaidhī-bhakti.

In this way one may enter bhakti by fear; or, one may be impelled by the order of śāstra which is based on yukti, reasoning.

For example, śāstra has ordered:

स वै पुंसां परो धर्मो यतो भक्तिर् अधोक्षजे
अहैतुक्य् अप्रतिहता ययात्मा सुप्रसीदति

sa vai puṃsāṃ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 1.2.6

The highest pursuit for all humanity is śuddha-bhaktibhakti performed in order to please Kṛṣṇa, the transcendent Lord Adhokṣaja, by all one’s efforts of body, mind, and soul. Such uttama-bhakti is continuously performed without any personal desire (anyabhilāṣitā-sunyam) and without any break. In this way one can fully satisfy the self (ātmā).

By hearing such instructions, many people enter bhakti, and such

bhakti is called vaidhī-bhakti.

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: This is vaidhī-bhakti.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: And, that bhakti which is based only on genuine greed is called rāgānuga-bhakti. Such greed is generated by hearing the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs described in ŚrīmadBhāgavatam, by reading the books of the Gosvāmīs, and especially by being in the association of a rāgānugā-bhakta. Without the association of such rāgānuga-bhaktas, the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs will not be properly understood.

What is the nature of genuine greed? How can we know whether or not our greed is genuine?

When a sādhaka hears from rāgānuga-rasika Vaiṣṇavas about the sweet pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, especially His pastimes with the gopīs, whether this be from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta, Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, Rādhā-RāsaSudha-Nidhi, or any other books, his citta-vṛtti (heart) becomes very eager to aquire the moods of Kṛṣṇa’s parikāras (associates). At that time he becomes absorbed in Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s rūpa (form), guṇa (qualities), and līḷā (pastimes).

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: When the heart is filled with the qualities of Kṛṣṇa, and the form of Kṛṣṇa.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Do you know the meaning of citta-vṛtti?

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: Spiritual…inner… What’s the word? Inner…

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I want that word. Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: Consciousness? Inner consciousness?

Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Consciousness. In this connection citta-vṛtti means ‘mind’ or ‘heart.’ When our citta-vṛtti eagerly desires to be like those of Kṛṣṇa`s eternal associates, in other words to have the moods of those eternal associates, that condition of the heart is its real or natural state, as opposed to the imposed worldly citta-vṛtti.

At this time, the devotee is not interested in examining śāstric orders. He will only want to achieve that mood which he sees in his āśraya-gopī, the gopī for whose mood he has developed greed. This is genuine greed.

Do you understand? Can you say what is meaning of lobha, greed?

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: It is when a person hears the descriptions of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, and then thinks of the feelings the gopīs have for Kṛṣṇa.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: He wants to have…

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: He wants to have that same feeling that is within them, strongly; that is lobha.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: That is lobha, but you have left out one thing. Those with lobha are not regulated by śāstric orders or bindings. Such orders are left untouched.

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: Rules and regulations are not there.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: The rules and regulations of śāstra are not needed at all.

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: Otherwise it is vaidhī.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: For example, one may see some or rabries (Indian sweets) and, whether or not he has the money to pay for those sweets, he may at once develop greed for them. He will exclaim, “Very tasteful!” Similarly, in whatever stage a person may find himself, if he sincerely contemplates, “Oh! The mood of the gopīs is very tasteful and very good. I have greed for that,” such greed has no bindings or consideration of śāstric restrictions. If we judge that we are not qualified and we think that what we want is too high for us, this is a sign that we do not possess greed. Do you understand?

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: Please explain.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: If I desire a rasagulla but I think, “I have no money in my pocket to purchase it, so I cannot have it,” that means I have no real greed for it.

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: Greed goes beyond that.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Somehow or other, by hook or by crook…

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: Beg, borrow, or steal.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: By stealing, or begging, or by any other means. Such a person does not think about his qualification or disqualification. He does not consider whether or not he is able to have this bhakti. He simply thinks, “I must have it!” This is real greed. Do you understand?

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: Heart’s desire.

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: His desire must be overpowered by the form, qualities, and pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. Then it will be called real greed.

A sādhaka may ponder, “I have heard from the rasika Vaiṣṇavas how Lalitā, Viśākhā, Citrā, Rūpa Māñjarī and other associates serve Kṛṣṇa, and I want to serve like them.” Not judging whether he is qualified to achieve this samajati-bhāva (the identical mood for which one aspires), if he does not wait for any logical argument to convince him, that it is called greed.

Śrīpāda Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja: Argument means ‘reasoning.’

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: It should come without relying on any reasoning. If reasoning is required, it is not greed.

The next consideration is this: When greed comes, how does one achieve his desired result? It comes by the association of rāgānuga-rasika Vaiṣṇavas. In that association one reads Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, Bhakti-rāsāmṛtasindhu, especially Rāga-vartma Candrika

Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Vraja-riti Cintāmaṇi

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Vraja-riti Cintāmaṇi, Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta, Rādhā-rasa-sudha-nidhi, Śrīla Jayadeva Gosvāmī’s Gītagovinda, and the books of Śrī Kavi Karṇapūra and all our Gosvāmīs.

One will have to read all of these books and resolve: “How can I easily achieve that mood, somehow, by hook or by crook. What is the easiest method to get this?” This should be the question.

All of our ācāryas, including Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, have recorded for us, in a practical way, how they themselves achieved it and how the sādhana-siddha-gopīs achieved it. Their writings are authentic. One will search out their methods in śāstra and follow the methods discussed therein, because without following śāstra, without following the guidelines of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, one will become sahajiya or atheist.

A person with greed will never judge his qualification; this is the main point. Rather, he will take assistance from these books. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura is not personally present, but he is present through his books.

It is important to understand that this greed will not come by personal effort alone. It comes only by the grace of Kṛṣṇa Himself and by the grace of a rāgānugā-bhakta. Without their mercy one cannot have it.

Bhakta-kṛpa, the mercy of Vaiṣṇavas, is of two kinds: praktana (from previous lives), and adhunika (from this life). Praktana refers to mercy that comes from past births as well as the present birth. If a man has saṃskārās from his previous birth’s devotional activities and receives the mercy of a Vaiṣṇava in this birth, he will very easily and quickly advance in bhakti. Perhaps he will not even have to again accept dīkṣā, as in the case of some of our Gosvāmīs. Or, if he takes dīkṣā, he will be seen to advance very rapidly.

Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara, and Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda did not reveal their guru-paramparā; yet they received the association of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and achieved their desired goal.

This is an example of mercy due to purva-saṃskāra, impressions accrued in previous births.

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