gadāi gaurāṅga jaya jaya nityānanda
jaya sītānātha jaya gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
Glories to Gadāi-Gaurāṅga! Glories to Nityānanda! Glories to the Lord of Sītā (Advaita) and the devotees of Gaura.
saba chāḍi hari-nāma je kare bhajana
jaya jaya bhāgyavān sei mahājana
Glories, glories, to those most fortunate mahājanas that give everything up to perform bhajana of hari-nāma.
prabhu bale hari-dāsa tumi bhakti-bale
peyecha sakala jñāna e jagatī-tale
The Lord said, ‘O Hari Dāsa, by the power of your bhakti you have attained all the knowledge of the world.
sarva-veda nāce dekhi tomāra jihvāya
sakala siddhānta dekhi tomāra kathāya
“I see all the Vedas dancing upon your tongue, and I see how your words are all full of siddhānta. (1)
(1) “The correct Vedic siddhānta concerning bhagavat-tattva, jīva-tattva, māyā-tattva, nāma-tattva, nāmābhāsa-tattva, nāmaparādha-tattva etc. are found in your words. Therefore, all the Vedas blissfully dance upon your tongue.” Through Hari Dāsa, Mahāprabhu revealed nāma-rasa-tattva and all these other topics. Rasa is the highest attainment of nāma–tattva.
Nāma-rasa-jijñāsā (An Inquiry about Nāma-rasa)
ebe spaṣṭa bala nāma-rasa ki prakāra
ki rūpe labhibe jīva tāhe adhikāra
“Please clearly describe nāma–rasa and how the jīva can become eligible to experience it.”
hari-dāsa mahā-preme kare nivedana
tomāra preraṇā-bale kariba varṇana
Feeling great prema, Hari Dāsa made this submission, “On the strength of Your order, I will describe it.
Rasa-tattva (The Science of Rasa)
śuddha-tattva para-tattva yei vastu siddha
rasa nāme sarva-vede tāhāi prasiddha
“All the Vedas glorify that which is called ‘rasa’ to be of the same spiritual substance as the para-tattva (Supreme Reality), who is the purest truth. (2)
(2) The rasa described in ordinary books of rhetoric (alaṅkāra) is mundane. In reality, it is not rasa, but a distortion of rasa. That which exists beyond the twenty-four elements of prakṛti is śuddha–sattva–tattva (transcendental reality), and that is true rasa. Those who are ātmārāma (who find satisfaction in the self) transcend the limits of prakṛti, yet they cannot see the wonderful variety that exists within śuddha–sattva–tattva, therefore they are nirasa (bereft of rasa). Spiritual variety is found within śuddha–sattva—that is eternal rasa.
sei se akhaṇḍa rasa para-brahma tattva
ananta ānanda-dhāma carama mahattva
“Parabrahma is undivided rasa. He is the abode of unlimited bliss and His glories are the greatest.
śakti śaktimān rūpe viśeṣa tāhāya
bheda nāi bheda-sama darśanete bhāya
“He manifests as the śakti (potency) and the śaktimān (the possessor of potencies). Although these are non-different, they appear to be different due to viśeṣa (3)
(3) He (Hari Dāsa) explains the process of rasa thus—Parabrahma (the Supreme) is situated in śuddha-sattva, and that indivisible substance naturally appears in the specific forms of śakti and śaktimān. Śaktimān–tattva is difficult to comprehend. In truth, there is no substantial difference between śakti and śaktimān. Various distinctions are perceived due to viśeṣa (an apparent difference between objects). Śaktimān eternally appears as the independent Puruṣa, and His śakti manifests His powers. This śakti reveals itself as the threefold phenomena of cit (spiritual potency), jīva (the living beings) and māyā (the illusory potency).
śaktimān sudurlakṣya śakti prakāśinī
trividha śaktira kriyā viśva-vikāśinī
“That incomprehensible śaktimān is revealed by the śakti, and using the threefold śaktis, He creates the universe.
Cic-chakti-dvārā vastu-prakāśa (The Cit-śakti Reveals the Supreme Substance)
cic-chakti-svarūpe prakāśaye vastu rūpa
vastu nāma vastu dhāma tat-kriyā svarūpa
“The cit–śakti reveals the Name, dhāma, activities and form of the Supreme substance.
kṛṣṇa se parama vastu śyāma tāra rūpa
kṛṣṇa-dhāma golokādi līlāra svarūpa
“Kṛṣṇa is the parama–vastu (Supreme substance) and His form is dark. Goloka and other abodes are Kṛṣṇa’s dhāmas where He exhibits His līlā.
nāma dhāma rūpa guṇa līlā ādi yata
sakalai akhaṇḍādvaya-jñāna antargata
“His Names, dhāma, forms, qualities, līlā etc. all belong to the category of akhaṇḍādvāya–jñāna (indivisible non-dual knowledge).
vicitratā yata saba parā-śakti karma
kṛṣṇa dharmī parā-śakti kṛṣṇa-nitya-karma
“All varieties are due to the parā-śakti. Kṛṣṇa is the natural proprietor (dharmī) of the parā–śakti and it is Kṛṣṇa’s eternal activity.
dharma-dharmī bheda nāi akhaṇḍa advaye
vicitra viśeṣa mātra sac-cin-nilaye
“The dharma (property) and the dharmī (proprietor) are non-different, indivisible and non-dual. In the abode of eternity and cognisance, variety is only due to viśeṣa. (4)
(4) Kṛṣṇa is the dharmī (natural proprietor) and Kṛṣṇa’s parā–śakti is the dharma (intrinsic property). The dharmī and the dharma are inherently non-different. Yet due to viśeṣa, variety is perceived in them. This variety is also present in the spiritual world. These things are also seen in the abode of eternity and cognisance, namely the spiritual world.
Māyā-śaktira svarūpa (The Nature of Māyā-śakti)
sei śakti-chāyā eka māyā saṁjñā pāya
bahiraṅga viśva sṛje kṛṣṇera icchāya
“The shadow of that śakti is known as māyā. By the desire of Kṛṣṇa, she creates the external world. (5)
(5) Māyā-śakti is the shadow of the parā-śakti. Because it is a shadow, it is also called the bahiraṅgā śakti (the external potency). By the desire of Kṛṣṇa, she has created this external world, or Devī-dhāma.
Jīva-śakti (The Jīva Potency)
bhedābheda-mayī jīva-śakti jīva-gaṇe
tāṭasthye prakāśe kṛṣṇa sevāra kāraṇe
“The jīvas, or jīva–śakti, are one and different (from the Supreme). They are manifest by Kṛṣṇa as taṭastha (marginal) so they can perform service. (6)
(6) The parā–śakti gives rise to the marginal jīva–śakti which is eternally and inconceivably different and non-different (from the Lord) and manifests the individual jīvas. The jīvas are a specific śakti of Kṛṣṇa śakti, therefore they are meant to serve Him.
Dui prakāra daśā viśiṣṭa jīva (The Two Types of States for the Jīva)
nitya-baddha nitya-mukta jīva dvi-prakāra
nitya mukte nitya kṛṣṇa sevā adhikāra
“There are two kinds of jīva—nitya–baddha (eternally bound) and nitya–mukta (eternally liberated). Those that are nitya–mukta are eternally eligible to perform service to Kṛṣṇa.
nitya baddha māyā guṇe karaye saṁsāra
bahirmukha antarmukha bhede dvi-prakāra
“Those that are nitya–baddha are bound by māyā and go through the cycle of birth and death. They are of two types—bahirmukha (averse to Kṛṣṇa) and antarmukha (inclined towards Kṛṣṇa). (7)
(7) Some nitya-baddha jīvas are antarmukha, in other words, they endeavour to go towards Kṛṣṇa. The others are all bahirmukha, that is, they are attached to things other than Kṛṣṇa, opposed to service to Him and specifically nurture a tendency towards material enjoyment.
antarmukha sādhu-saṅge kṛṣṇa-nāma pāya
kṛṣṇa-nāma-prabhāvete kṛṣṇa-dhāme yāya
“In the association of sādhus, those who are antarmukha can attain kṛṣṇa–nāma, and through the influence of kṛṣṇa–nāma, they progress to Kṛṣna’s abode. (8)
(8) Those who are extremely fortunate amongst the antarmukha, attain kṛṣṇa–nāma in the association of sādhus; those who are not very fortunate tread the paths of karma, jñāna, the worship of many Devas, or aspire for the state of nirviśeṣa (non-differentiated Brahman).
Rasa nāma-svarūpa (Rasa is the nature of Nāma)
nāma ta akhaṇḍa rasa kalikā tāhāra
kṛṣṇa ādi saṁjñā-rūpe viśvete pracāra
“The Name is indivisible rasa and its budding flower is disseminated throughout the universe in the form of Names such as ‘Kṛṣṇa’ etc. (9)
(9) The nature of Names such as ‘Kṛṣṇa’ etc. are śuddha–sattva, and they are comprised of indivisible rasa. By the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, they appear like budding flowers which are disseminated throughout the universe.
Rasa rūpa-svarūpa (Rasa is the nature of Kṛṣṇa’s Form)
svalpa sphuṭa kalikā se rūpa manohara
śrī-goloke vṛndāvane śrī-śyāmasundara
“When that budding flower begins to open slightly, the Lord’s charming form is revealed as Śrī Śyāmasundara in Goloka Vṛndāvana. (10)
(10) As the budding flower of the Name begins to open slightly, the various charming transcendental forms of Kṛṣṇa become manifest.
Rasa guṇa-svarūpa (Rasa is the nature of Kṛṣṇa’s Qualities)
saurabhita kalikā se catuḥ-ṣaṣṭhi-guṇa
prakāśe nāmera tattva jānena nipuṇa
“As the bud produces its fragrance, the Name manifests the sixty-four qualities (of Kṛṣṇa). This is understood by those who are expert in tattva. (11)
(11) Just as when a flower partially opens and one can smell its fragrance, one can perceive the fragrance of Kṛṣṇa’s sixty-four qualities.
Rasa līlā-svarūpa (Rasa is the nature of Kṛṣṇa’s Līlā)
pūrṇa prasphuṭita nāma kusuma sundara
aṣṭa-kāla nitya-līlā prakṛtira para
“When it fully blooms, the beautiful flower of the Name becomes the eternal eight-fold pastimes (aṣṭa–kālīya–līlā), which transcend matter. (12)
(12) When the flower of the Name fully blooms, it appears as the eternal, transcendental eight-fold līlā, which transcends matter, yet still manifests within this world.
Bhakti-svarūpa (The Nature of Bhakti)
jīve nāma kṛpodaye svarūpa hlādinī
saṁvitera sāra-yutā bhakti-svarūpiṇī
“When the Name manifests its mercy to the jīvas, the svarūpa–śakti combines with the essence of the saṁvit–śakti and takes the form of bhakti. (13)
(13) Due to mercy (of the Name), the svarupa–śakti comes to combine the minute portions of saṁvit (knowledge) and hlādinī-śakti (bliss) that exist within the jīva, which then become the essential function of bhakti.
Bhakti-kriyā (The Effects of Bhakti)
āvirbhūta haye nāme prasphuṭita kari
rasera sāmagrī prakāśaye sarveśvarī
“The svarūpa–śakti appears and thus the Name fully blooms. Then that Supreme Goddess reveals the ingredients of rasa. (14)
(14) Sarveśvarī, the śakti who controls all things, appears and She reveals all the ingredients of rasa through kṛṣṇa-nāma.
viśuddha cinmaya jīva labhiyā svarūpa
sei rase praveśe ei aparūpa
“The purified, transcendental jīva then enters that rasa. This is astonishing. (15)
(15) By the power of bhakti, the jīva attains his transcendental form (svarūpa), and he then enters rasa–tattva which has been revealed by the bhakti-śakti.
Rasera vibhāva ālambana (Ālambana as a Causal Element of Rasa)
rasera vibhāva sei tattva ālambana
tad-āśraya bhakta, tad-viṣaya kṛṣṇa-dhana
“One of the causal elements (vibhāva) of rasa is the ālambana-tattva (the support, or foundation). Ālambana has two divisions—the āśraya (the recipient), which is the devotee, and the viṣaya (the object), which is the treasure that is Kṛṣṇa. (16)
(16) In rasa, sthāyī-bhāva (permanent ecstasy) is perfected bhāva. It is also called rati. When rati is combined with four other ingredients, also known as bhāvas, it become rasa. These four ingredients are as follows—vibhāva (the causes of bhāva), anubhāva (the intimation of bhāva), sāttvika-bhāva (ecstatic symptoms), and vyabhicārī-bhāva or sañcārī-bhāva (transitory bhāva). Within vibhāva there is ālambana (the support, or foundation) and uddīpana (that which stimulates). Viṣaya (the object) and āśraya (the recipient) are the two types of ālambana. The devotee of Kṛṣṇa is the āśraya. Kṛṣṇa Himself is the viṣaya. Kṛṣṇa’s form, qualities etc are uddīpana. When the ālambana and uddīpana combine together and act, they produce all the other results of anubhāva. After, when all these results intensify, they become sāttvika-vikāra (spontaneous ecstatic transformations). Then immediately, all the symptoms of sañcārī-bhāva appear.
nāma kare avirata bhakta mahāśaya
kṛpā kari rūpa-guṇa-līlāra udaya
“When the Name is constantly chanted by a great devotee, then by the mercy of the Name, the Lord’s form, qualities and līlā are revealed to him.
Rasera vibhāva uddīpana (Uddīpana as a Causal Element of Rasa)
uddīpana kṛṣṇa-rūpa guṇādika yata
ālambana uddīpana vibhāve saṁyuta
“Uddīpana includes Kṛṣṇa’s form and qualities. Both ālambana and uddīpana are vibhāva (causal elements of rasa).
Vibhāva haite anubhāva (Anubhāva Stems from Vibhāva)
vibhāva sampūrṇa haile anubhāva haya
premera vikāra saba śuddha prema-maya
“When vibhāva is fully experienced, then anubhāva arises. These are all transformations of prema, that are comprised of śuddha-prema.
Sañcāri-bhāva o sāttvika-miśre vibhāva kriyā kare, sthāyī-bhāvai rasa haya (Rasa Arises From Sthāyī-bhāva When Activities in Vibhāva are Mixed with Sañcāri-bhāva and Sāttvika-bhāva)
sañcārī sāttvika krame udita haile
sthāyī-bhāva rasa haya sarva-śāstra bale
“When sañcārī-bhāva and sāttvika-bhāva arise and are added to sthāyī-bhāva, rasa manifests. This is mentioned by all the śāstra. (17)
(17) Rasa is like a machine. Sthāyī–bhāva, or rati, is the honey.* Once the machine begins to move due to the vibhāvas etc, sthāyī–bhāva becomes rasa. The devotee, who is the āśraya (the recipient), is the rasika, the relisher of that rasa.
*Translators Note: In this footnote by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, he compares rasa to a machine (yantra), probably a machine for crushing sugar cane. However, he then seems to compare sthāyī–bhāva/rati to a pivot or axle (dhūra). This is somewhat confusing. Some commentators suggest that Bhaktivinoda means madhūra (honey), which would make more sense.
Tāhā pāibāra krama (The Gradual Path to Attain It)
sei rasa sarva-sāra siddhi-sāra jāni
parama puruṣa artha sarva-śāstre māni
“I know this rasa to be the essence of all things, the very essence of perfection. I accept that all the śāstra says that it is the supreme goal of human existence. (18)
(18) This rasa is the rasa of Vraja, the essence of all things and the highest achievement for the jīva. The four goals of human life are dharma, artha, kāma, and mokṣa (religiosity, wealth, sense-gratification and liberation). Although dharma, artha, kāma, and mokṣa are the four goals of human existence, this rasa is actually their highest goal. That person who is completely liberated is qualified for that rasa.
bhakty-unmukha jīva śuddha-gurura kṛpāya
śrī-yugala brahma-nāma saubhāgyete pāya
“By the mercy of a pure guru, a jīva who is eager for bhakti achieves the good fortune of attaining the divine names of the beautiful Divine Couple. (19)
(19) Amongst those persons who are introspective, those who are eager for śuddha–bhakti are the best. It is due to the power of an abundance of sukṛti that someone is inclined to take to the path of bhakti. When śraddhā arises in them, they attain a pure sad–guru. By the guru’s mercy, he obtains the mahā–mantra, consisting of the Names of the Divine Couple.
tulasī-mālāya nāma saṅkhyā kari smare
athavā kīrtana kare parama ādare
“He remembers those Names by chanting a prescribed number of them on tulasī beads, otherwise he chants Them in kīrtana aloud with great. (20)
(20) Even though there may be śraddhā, at first there may be obstacles in the form of material endeavours. Śrī Gurudeva bestows the gradual path of sādhana in order that one may overcome these obstacles by attaining strength from the Name. One should remember the Name by chanting a prescribed number on tulasī beads, or worship Him by kīrtana. This gradual method of worship is the foundation to all success. Therefore, one should initially spend some time in a secluded place and chant the Name with one-pointed concentration. Gradually one increases the number of Holy Names and does not cease his practice in chanting the Name, and then all material obstacles will certainly be removed. There are two types of inclination within bhakti–sadhana. One is the inclination towards arcana (Deity worship), and one the inclination for smaraṇa and kīrtana. Both of these are good, but the inclination towards smaraṇa and kīrtana is stronger amongst those devotees who are exclusive devotees (ekāntika–bhaktas). Many mahājanas engaged in smaraṇa by chanting some amount of Names on beads, and some amount through nāma–kīrtana. The advantage of kīrtana is that one engages in śravaṇa, smaraṇa and kīrtana – one performs three limbs of bhakti simultaneously.
eka grantha saṅkhyā kari ārambhibe nāma
krame tina lakṣa smari pūre manaskāma
“One should begin by chanting one grantha of Names. Gradually one will meditate upon three lakhs of the Holy Names and all desires will be fulfilled.*
*Translators Note: A grantha is four rounds of japa. Three lakhs is 192 rounds.
saṅkhyā madhye kichu nāma karibe kīrtana
tāte sarvendriya sphūrti ānanda-nartana
“Amongst this prescribed number, some Names should be sung in kīrtana. In this way, all the senses will dance in bliss.
nāma nava-vidha aṅga karaya āśraya
tathāpi kīrtana smṛti sarva-śreṣṭha haya
“The Name gives shelter to the nine processes of bhakti, however, kīrtana and remembering (the Name) is the best of all.
Arcana-mārga o śravaṇa-kīrtanera adhikāra-bhede kriyā-bheda (The Different Qualifications and Activities Leading to the Path of Arcana, and Hearing and Chanting)
arcana-mārgete gāḍhatara ruci yāṅra
śravaṇa-kīrtana-siddhi tāhāte tāṅhāra
“One who is attached to the path of arcana attains the perfection of śravaṇa and kīrtana (hearing and chanting).
nāme aikāntikī rati haibe yāṅhāra
śravaṇa-kīrtana-smṛti kevala tāṅhāra
“One who has resolute affection for the Name engages only in śravaṇa, kīrtana and smṛti (hearing, chanting, and remembering the holy name).
Nāma śravaṇa-kīrtana-smaraṇe ye krama (The Gradual Process of Hearing and Chanting the Name)
sevā nati dāsya sakhya ātma-nivedana
sahaje nāmera saṅge haya pravartana
“Service, offering obeisance, servitorship, friendship and surrendering oneself are naturally born from associating with the Name.
nāma-nāmī eka tattva viśvāsa kariyā
daśa aparādha chāḍi nirjane basiyā
“Sitting in a secluded place, one should give up the ten offences with the faith that the nāma and the nāmī (the Name and the Named) are one tattva. (21)
(21) Viṣayīs (materialists), karmīs (those attached to pious activities), and jñānīs (impersonal philosophers) are the three types of people who are apathetic (bahirmukha). This is because they endeavour to attain illusory, selfish happiness. The viṣayi tries to achieve gratification of his bodily senses. The karmī endeavours to gratify his senses in the future. The jñānī strives to eliminate all his miseries. That jīva who is beyond these three conditions is said to be introspective (antarmukha). The three different kinds of persons who are antarmukha are kaniṣṭḥa, madhyama and uttama (neophyte, intermediate and advanced). The introspective kaniṣṭha gives up the worship of Devas etc. and engages in worshipping the Deity of Kṛṣṇa in order to fulfil all his desires. However, he is unaware of his own intrinsic nature, the nature of Kṛṣṇa and the nature of the devotees. The kaniṣṭha is not a fool nor an offender. Amongst them (the kaniṣṭha, madhyama and uttama), he is the most self-centred (svaniṣṭha). Thus they are not pure Vaiṣṇavas, but rather they are vaiṣṇava–prāya (almost a Vaiṣṇava). The introspective madhyama is a pure Vaiṣṇava, and he is pariniṣṭha (firmly situated). So much can be said about the introspective uttama. He is nirapekṣa (totally detached). One cannot be antarmukha unless he understands that the Name and the Named are non-different. Those who are antarmukha have exclusive śraddhā in Bhagavān, thus they are qualified to receive the Name.
ati svalpa dine nāma haiyā sadaya
śrī-śyāmasundara-rūpe hayena udaya
“In a few days, one will attain the mercy of the Name and the form of Śrī Śyāmasundara will manifest. (22)
(22) The gradual stages of sādhana are thus – firstly, the introspective devotee avoids the ten offences and constantly engages in sādhana of nāma–smaraṇa and kīrtana. While performing smaraṇa and kīrtana he should pronounce the Name clearly and loudly. When the Holy Name is distinct, steady and blissful, he should meditate upon the form of Śrī Śyāmasundara. Using the hand to count on beads, one should constantly try to attain the Holy Name with one’s mind or mouth, and then one will see the true meaning of the Name with spiritual eyes. Otherwise, one should sit in front of the Deity, gazing at the form, remembering the Name. When the Name becomes one with the form, one should then practice remembering all of Kṛṣṇa’s qualities. When one internally realises that the Lord’s Name, form and qualities are one, then one can begin to remember the Lord’s līlā through mantra-dhyānamayī (meditating upon the līlā thru one’s guru-given mantra), which eventually becomes one with the Name, form and qualities. At this time, nāma–rasa arises. Rasa completely arises when mantra–dhyānamayī meditation becomes svārasikī aṣṭa-kālīyā-līlā-dhyāna (spontaneous meditation upon Kṛṣṇa’s eightfold pastimes). At the beginning of this sādhana, the devotee is basically a kaniṣṭha. By sādhu-saṅga with uttamas, the sādhaka quickly becomes a madhyama devotee and is finally counted amongst the uttama devotees. At the kaniṣṭha stage, he spends some days practicing his chanting. By practicing his chanting, his anarthas go far away, and he becomes qualified for śuddha–nāma and vaiṣṇava–sevā.
yabe nāma-rūpe aikya hayata sādhane
nāma laite rūpa āise citte sarva-kṣaṇe
“When the Name and form become identical during sādhana, during one’s chanting of the Name, the form appears in the heart at every moment.
tāra kichu dine rūpe guṇa kari yoga
śrī-nāma smaraṇe guṇa karaya sambhoga
“After some days, the Lord’s qualities are added along with His form, and one relishes those qualities while remembering Śrī Nāma.
Nāma-rūpa-guṇera ekatā (The Oneness of the Name, Form and Qualities)
svalpa-dine nāma rūpa guṇa eka haya
nāma laite sarva-kṣaṇe tinera udaya
“In a few days, the Name, form and qualities become one, and as one chants the Name, these three manifest at every moment.
Upāsanā mantra-dhyāna-mayī (Worship Through Meditating Upon One’s Mantra)
mantra dhyāna mayī ei nāma upāsanā
prāthamika dhārā jāni kare vibhāvanā
“Mantra-dhyāna-mayī is worship of the Holy Name. One should know that this is the first wave of the appearance of the results (of one’s chanting).
smṛti kāle yoga-pīṭhe kalpa-druma-tale
gopa-gopī-vṛte kṛṣṇe dekhe kutūhale
“At the time of meditation, one is at the Yoga-pīṭha beneath a desire tree. There, Kṛṣṇa is seen happily surrounded by gopas and gopīs. *
*Translator’s Note: The Yoga-pīṭha is the principle meeting place in Vraja where Rādha and Kṛṣṇa meet, surrounded by the gopīs. There is an elaborate description of the Yoga-pīṭha in many śāstra such as Govinda–līlāmṛta and Bhakti–ratnakāra.
sāttvika-vikāra saba haya prasphuṭita
bhajana ānande bhakta haya pulakita
“Immersed in the bliss of bhajana, the devotee experiences joy as all the symptoms of sāttvika–vikāra manifest.*
*Translator’s Note: Sāttvika–vikāra are the eight divine transformations of the body – stambha (paralysis), sveda (perspiration), romāñca (horripulation), svara–bhaṅga (faltering of the voice) kampa (shivering), vaivarṇa (change of bodily hue), aśru (tears) pralaya (fainting due to devastation).
krame yabe nāma sva-saurabhe praphullita
aṣṭa-kāla kṛṣṇa-līlā haibe udita
“Gradually, as the Name’s own natural fragrance blossoms, the eightfold pastimes of Kṛṣṇa manifest.
Svārasikī upāsanā (Worship Through Spontaneous Meditation)
svārasikī upāsanā haibe udaya
līlocita pīṭhe kṛṣṇe darśana karaya
“When svārasikī–upāsanā (worship through spontaneous meditation) occurs, one attains darśana of Kṛṣṇa performing pastimes at various places during the day.
saṅge saṅge guru-kṛpā siddha-svarūpete
līlāya praveśe bhakta sakhīra saṅgete
“By the mercy of the guru, the devotee immediately acquires his siddha–svarūpa (spiritual form) and enters those pastimes, accompanying a sakhī.
tāṅra anugata bhakti sadā prema-yutā
“The daughter of Vṛṣabhānu (Śrī Rādhā) is mahābhāva–svarūpiṇī (the personification of the highest ecstasy). Bhakti in accordance with Her is always filled with prema. (23)
(23) There are five rasas – śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, and śṛṅgāra, and śṛṅgāra-rasa is the topmost. Those persons who are eligible for this rasa are supremely indebted to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. In this rasa, Kṛṣṇa has many yūtheśvarīs (group leaders amongst the gopīs), but Śrīmatī Vṛṣabhānu-nandinī is prayed to by all. She is directly the svarūpa-śakti, and all the beautiful women of Vraja are Her personal expansions of rasa. The sole objective of rasikas is to be counted amongst the yūtha (group) of Śrīmatī. Without taking shelter of the gopīs, it is not possible to attain service to Kṛṣṇa in Vraja. Therefore, it is necessary to enter Śrīmatī’s group under the supervision of Lalitā etc.
sakhī ājñā mate kare yugala-sevana
mahā-preme magna haya se rasika jana
“Following the instructions of the sakhīs, one engages in service to the Divine Couple. Thus, the rasikas become absorbed in mahā-prema.
Liṅga-bhaṅge vastu-siddhi (Discarding the Subtle Body and Attaining Vastu-Siddhi)
sādhana-bhajana-siddhi lāgālāgi tāya
liṅga-bhaṅge vastu-siddhi tomāra kṛpāya
“At this point, one’s sādhana–bhajana is close to perfection. Then, by Your mercy, the subtle-body is discarded and one achieves vastu–siddhi. (24)
(24) As one is engaged in this process of rasa-sādhana, one’s sādhana and the perfection of bhajana become close to each other. After a few days, one’s svarūpa–siddhi is realised. Kṛṣṇa’s desire will naturally follow the mercy of a yūtheśvarī. When this occurs, the illusory subtle-body (liṅga-deha) which originates from adversity to Kṛṣṇa, is easily destroyed, and the jīva achieves residence in Vraja in his vastu-svarūpa (original spiritual form).
Tad-uttarāvasthā varṇana haya nā, kevala anubhūta haya (The State Beyond This Cannot be Described – it Can Only be Experienced)
ihāra adhika āra vākya nāhi cale
tad uttara anubhava labhi kṛpā-bale
“Words cannot extend beyond this. Whatever is beyond this can only be experienced by the power of mercy. (25)
(25) Up to this point, the course of the jīva may be described using words. Beyond this, the state of the devotee cannot be described through words. It is only possible to experience it by Your mercy.
ei ta ujjvala-rasa parama sādhana
ihāte niścaya mile kṛṣṇa-prema-dhana
“This is the supreme sādhana that leads to ujjvala–rasa, by which one attains the treasure of kṛṣṇa–prema. (26)
(26) This śṛṅgāra–rasa is called ujjvala–rasa (the brilliant rasa). And why not? In the spiritual world this tattva is supremely brilliant. One attains this by following this rasa in the Vraja of this world.
Sādhane ekādaśa bhāva (The Sādhana of Ekādaśa Bhāva)
sādhite ujjvala-rasa āche bhāva ekādaśa
sambandha vayasa nāma rūpa
yūtha veśa ājñā-vāsa sevā parākāṣṭhāśvāsa
pālya-dāsī ei aparūpa
“In order to achieve ujjvala–rasa there are eleven aspects (ekādaśa–bhāva) – relationship, age, name, form, connection with a particular group, dress, orders, residence, service, one’s highest aspiration, and one’s mood as a dependant maidservant. This is incomparable. (27)
(27) Rāya Rāmānanda said:
ataeva gopī-bhāva kari aṅgīkāra
rātri-dina cinte rādhā-kṛṣṇera vihāra
siddha-dehe cinti’ kare tāhāṅi sevana
sakhī-bhāve pāya rādhā-kṛṣṇera caraṇa
gopī-ānugatya vinā aiśvarya-jñāne
bhajileha nāhi pāya vrajendra-nandane
“Thus one should accept the mood of the gopīs, and day and night, meditate upon the pastime of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Meditating upon one’s siddha-deha, and with that, offer service to the feet of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in the mood of a sakhī. Without taking shelter of a gopī, and being in aiśvarya–jñāna (absorbed in a mood of reverence), one cannot worship Vrajendra-nandana Kṛṣṇa.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 8.228-230)
Whoever has a natural inclination to cultivate ujjvala-rasa must certainly accept the shelter of a gopī of Vraja. A jīva cannot attain the eligibility for śṛṅgara-rasa while maintaining puruṣa-bhāva (the mentality of a male). When one accepts the form of a gopī, one can engage in kṛṣṇa–bhajana. By accepting eleven types of bhāva, one achieves the status of a Vraja gopī. (1) sambandha (one’s relationship with Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa), (2) vayas (age), (3) nāma (name), (4) rūpa (form), (5) yūtha-praveśa (entrance into a specific group of gopīs), (6) veśa (one’s dress), (7) ājñā (instructions on service), (8) vāsa-sthāna (residence), (9) sevā (service), (10) parākāṣṭhā (one’s spiritual aspiration), (11) pālya-dāsī-bhāva (the mood of a dependent maidservant). Whatever form the sādhaka takes in this world, he must accept this ekādaśa-bhāva in his heart and engage in bhajana.
Bhāva-sādhane pañca-daśā (The Five Stages of Bhāva-Sādhana)
ei ekādaśa-bhāva sampūrṇa sādhane
pañca-daśā lakṣya haya sādhaka jīvane
“The complete sādhana of ekādaśa–bhāva must progress through five specific stages in the life of a sādhaka.
śravaṇa varaṇa āra smaraṇa āpana
sampatti e pañca-vidha daśāya gaṇana
Śravaṇa (hearing), varaṇa (accepting), smaraṇa (remembering), āpana (achieving) and sampatti (full possession) – these are considered to be the five stages. (28)
(28) In order to attain this ekādaśa-bhāva, the sādhaka gradually passes through five stages – śravaṇa-daśā, varaṇa-daśā, smaraṇa-daśā, āpana-daśā and sampatti-daśā.
sei gopī-bhāvāmṛte yāṅra lobha haya
veda-dharma tyaji’ se kṛṣṇe bhajaya
vraja-lokera kona bhāva lañā yei bhaje
bhāva-yogya deha pāñā kṛṣṇa pāya vraje
“One who has greed to taste the nectarean mood of the gopīs rejects the dharma of the Vedas and worships Kṛṣṇa. Anyone who accepts the mode of worship of the residents of Vraja will attain a suitable body to serve Kṛṣṇa in Vraja.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Madhya-līlā.8.219, 221)
Through this statement, Rāya Rāmānanda gave the instruction that any sādhaka who aspires for ujjvala-rasa must accept the form of a gopī. When one hears kṛṣṇa–līlā, then he achieves attraction for this mood, and then he must approach a suitable genuine guru to learn more about this type of bhāva. By hearing such spiritual truths from the mouth of Śrī Guru, the sādhaka undergoes the stage of hearing (śravaṇa-daśā). When the sādhaka becomes eager to accept the truth concerning the bhāva of his intrinsic relationship, this is the stage of acceptance (varaṇa–daśā). When, by meditating upon rasa he engages in practicing that particular bhāva, that is the stage of remembrance (smaraṇa-daśā). When he has been able to absorb that appropriate bhāva, that is known as the state of achievement (āpana or prāpti–daśā). When he becomes separate from this temporary earthly existence and is fixed in his desirable svarūpa, this is known as the stage of full possession (sampatti-daśā).
Prathama śravaṇa-daśā (The Initial Stage of Śravaṇa-Daśā)
nijāpekṣā śreṣṭha śuddha-bhāvuka ye jana
bhāva-mārge gurudeva sei mahājana
“That mahājana, Śrī Gurudeva, who is on this path of bhāva, is superior to oneself, and is overwhelmed with pure divine sentiments (śuddha–bhāvuka).
tāṅhāra śrīmukhe bhāva-tattvera śravaṇa
haile śravaṇa-daśā haya prakaṭana
“By hearing bhāva-tattva (the principles of bhāva) from his divine mouth, the stage of śravaṇa–daśā manifests.
Bhāva-tattva (The Principle of Bhāva)
bhāva-tattva dvi-prakāra karaha vicāra
nija ekādaśa bhāva kṛṣṇa-līlā āra
“One must consider that there are two aspects to bhāva–tattva – one’s own ekādaśa–bhāva, and also Kṛṣṇa’s līlā.
Krame varaṇa-daśā prāpti (Gradually Achieving the Stage of Varaṇa-daśā)
rādhā-kṛṣṇa aṣṭa-kāla yei līlā kare
tāhāra śravaṇe lobha haya ataḥpare
“Upon hearing about the eightfold pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, spiritual greed for that arises.
lobha haile guru-pade jijñāsā udaya
kemane pāiba līlā kaha mahāśaya
“Due to that greed, one inquires at the feet of the guru, “O mahāśaya, How can I attain these pastimes?”
gurudeva kṛpā kari karibe varṇana
līlā-tattve ekādaśa bhāva-saṅghaṭana
“Gurudeva then shows his mercy by describing ekādaśa–bhāva and how it applies to the principle of līlā.
prasanna haiyā prabhu karibe ādeśa
ei bhāve līlā-madhye karaha praveśa
“Being pleased, the master will instruct one, ‘With this bhāva, go and enter within these pastimes.’ (29)
(29) When testing a disciple’s natural inclinations, Gurudeva observes if he has the exact qualifications for serving in the śṛṅgāra-rasa, and informs him of his siddha-mañjarī-svarūpa (perfected form as a mañjarī) amongst Śrī Lalitā’s associates within Śrī Rādhā’s group. Then he will establish a mutual relationship between the sādhaka’s ekādaśa–bhāva and the sādhya (goal) of aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā. The name of the sādhaka’s siddha–deha, the form, qualities and service will be properly revealed. She will be told which home she took birth in, and which husband she has married. Abandoning the dharma of the Vedas, she will accept the mood of a pālya–dāsī (a protected maidservant) under a yūtheśvarī, and her eternal service during the eightfold daily pastimes will be shown to her. The practitioner then accepts that particular bhāva and enters the stage of smaraṇa–daśā. That is the sādhaka’s birth as a gopī of Vraja. In this way one should observe the instructions of the Bhāgavata – yāḥ śrutvā tat-paro bhavet— (“By hearing about the Lord, one becomes dedicated to Him.”)
śuddha rūpe siddha bhāva kariyā śravaṇa
sei bhāva svīya citte karibe varaṇa
“With his perfected mood (siddha–bhāva), upon hearing about his pure form, one accepts that bhāva into his own heart.
Nija-ruci śrī-gurudevake balibe (One Should Tell Śrī Gurudeva About His Particular Ruci)
varaṇa kālete nija ruci vicāriyā
guru-pade jānāibe sarala haiyā
“At the time of accepting (that bhāva), one should deliberate upon one’s particular ruci (taste, or inclination) and inform one’s guru with sincerity.
prabhu tumi kṛpā kari yei paricaya
dile more tāhe mora pūrṇa prīti haya
“’O prabhu! You have mercifully given me my identity, and I am fully satisfied with that.
svabhāvataḥ mora ei bhāve āche ruci
ataeva ājñā śire dhari haye śuci
“’I have a natural inclination for this type of bhāva, therefore, taking your instructions upon my head, I will be purified.’
Anya-ruci haile gurudeva anya-bhāva dibena (If One’s Ruci is Different, Gurudeva will Present Another Type of Bhāva)
ruci yadi nahe tabe akapaṭa mane
nivedibe nija-ruci śrī-guru-caraṇe
“If it is not one’s ruci, one should sincerely submit one’s particular ruci to the feet of Śri Guru.
vicāriyā gurudeva dibe anya-bhāva
tāhe ruci haile prakāśibe nija-bhāva
“Gurudeva will reflect upon it and give him another bhāva. Then if the one likes this, he can manifest his own bhāva. (30)
(30) When Śrī Gurudeva determines the pure ruci which is internally experienced by the sādhaka, then the sādhaka should assist Gurudeva by explaining to him about his personal ruci. If natural ruci is not established, then the instructions (of Śrī Guru) are not absolute. Ruci is said to be that inclination which manifests from saṁskāras attained from sukṛti in both our past and present. This ruci for the jīvātmā is innate. Those who are attracted to dāsya or sakhya and have no ruci for śṛṅgāra–rasa, should be given instruction in those rasas, otherwise there will be misfortune. The perfect ruci of Mahātmā Śyāmānanda was unknown initially, which is why he was first introduced to sakhya–rasa. Later, by the mercy of Śrī Jīva, he attained bhajana of his innate tendency (sva-ruci) and became famous for that. According to the avatāra, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, one is judged upon the strength of one’s capability and qualification.
Nija-siddha-bhāva gurudevake jānāibe (One Should Inform Gurudeva About One’s Siddha Bhāva)
ei rūpe guru śiṣya saṁvāde ghaṭane
nija-siddha-bhāva sthira haibe ye kṣaṇe
“Thus, after guru and disciple have discussed this matter, from that moment on, the disciple’s own siddha-bhāva is finally fixed.
śiṣya guru-pade paḍi karibe minati
māgibe bhāvera siddhi kariyā kākuti
“The disciple should fall at the feet of the guru and pray to him, humbly begging for attaining perfection in his bhāva.
kṛpā kari gurudeva karibe ādeśa
śiṣya sei bhāve tabe karibe praveśa
“Then Gurudeva will mercifully give instructions and the disciple may enter that bhāva.
Dṛḍha varaṇa (Firm Acceptance)
śrī-guru-caraṇe paḍi balibe takhana
tavādiṣṭa bhāva āmi karimu varaṇa
e bhāva kakhana āmi nā chāḍiba āra
jīvane maraṇe ei saṅgī ye āmāra
“Then, falling at Śrī Guru’s feet one should say, ‘I accept your instructions concerning my bhāva. I shall never abandon this bhāva. Whether in life or in death, it shall always remain with me.’ (31)
(31) The other bhāva a sādhaka may have previously accepted, which is opposed to his personal ruci, is like accepting a husband.* Yet by the mercy of a pure Gurudeva, upon accepting his particular ruci in service to Kṛṣṇa, he achieves that supreme pārakīya-rasa. Rasa is not completely manifest without pārakīya-rasa. Therefore, the glories of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya’s teachings is that the mood of pārakīya śṛṅgāra-rasa is eternally present in both prakṛṭa (manifest) and aprakṛṭa (unmanifest) līlā. There is no kind of mundanity within this śṛṅgāra-rasa. In order for rasa to emerge, the transcendental jīva must become a transcendental gopī and render eternal service to the divine Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual realm of Vṛndāvana. Any mood of mundane man-woman relationships is absent there – only the purest and most ideal tattva is manifest there in its transcendental nature (cinmayī-svabhāva). This can be realised through a pure guru. This indescribable tattva cannot be discovered without his grace. It is extremely rare and beyond mundane rhetoric.
* Translators Note: In this regard, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gives an example of an arranged marriage. When one attains a bhāva which is not to his liking, it is like being married to someone that one has no affection of affinity for.
Bhajane pratibandhaka vicāra (A Consideration About Impediments in Bhajana)
nija siddha ekādaśa bhāve vratī haye
smaribe sudṛḍha-citte nija-bhāva-caye
“Observing one’s perfected ekādaśa–bhāva, one should meditate upon one’s bhāva with heartfelt determination.
smaraṇe vicāra eka āche ta sundara
āpanera yogya-smṛti kara nirantara
“While engaged in this smaraṇa, there is one consideration which is beautiful – one should always meditate on that which is most suitable.
āpanera ayogya smaraṇa yadi haya
bahu yuga sādhileo siddhi kabhu naya
“If one performs smaraṇa upon those things which are unsuitable, perfection will never be achieved even if one practices for many yugas. (32)
(32) There is no gradual perfection in one’s sādhana unless one progresses from smaraṇa-daśā to āpana-daśā. The indescribable reality of bhajana cannot be achieved by external exhibitions of karma, jñāna, yoga or anything else. Externally, one may be in a mood of renunciation while cultivating the Holy Name, yet internally there may be a constant display of mahā-rasa. All those sādhakas who keep themselves busy making an external show, but make no endeavour to steady their minds, will never progress in their smaraṇa and become eligible for the stage of āpana. Therefore, they will never reach perfection in their sādhana for many lifetimes. This bhajana is simple, but if there is any type of impure identification present within it, one will fall from the path of internal sādhana and that will not be vraja–sādhana. One should approach Śrī Gurudeva with a simple heart, understanding the purity and distinction of this type of bhajana, and engage in that.
Āpana-daśā (The Stage of Āpana-daśā)
āpana-sādhane smṛti yabe haye vratī
acire āpana-daśā haya śuddha ati
“As one strictly engages in one’s sādhana, and performs smaraṇa, one will attain the most pure stage of āpana-daśā.
nija śuddha-bhāvera ye nirantara smṛti
tāhe dūra haya śīghra jaḍa-baddha-mati
“By constantly meditating upon one’s pure bhāva, the mundane conceptions that bind one will soon flee far away.
Baddha-jīva ye krame bhāva prāpta hana (How the Conditioned Jīva Eventually Attains Bhāva)
jaḍa-baddha-jīva bhuli nija siddha-sattva
jaḍa abhimāne haya jaḍa-dehe matta
“The jīva who is bound by matter forgets his own state of perfection. Mentally identifying with matter, he becomes engrossed in the material body. (33)
(33) It is being explained here how attaining such perfection is easy. The jīva is a pure spiritual ray; the jīva is naturally, inherently spiritual, and has a spiritual form. When he forgets his own perfect existence, the jīva is bound by māyā and becomes offensive to Kṛṣṇa, and mentally identifying with matter, he becomes engrossed in his material body. It is extremely easy to have realisation of one’s perfect identity if one has the grace of a pure guru. From this point on, we will write about the gradual attainment of one’s siddha–svarūpa. For the baddha-jīva, there is a gradual process within bhakti–sādhana, one is vaidha-krama (the method of following regulations), and one is other rāgānuga sādhya-krama (the method of spontaneous bhakti to reach the desired object). Initially, the methods of vaidha and rāgānuga both seem different, but that difference no longer exists at the stage of bhāvāpana (achieving one’s bhāva). Vaidha-krama arises when one accepts the disciplines of śāstra. The method of rāgānuga arises from a desire to take part in the activities of the people of Vraja. Thus, the first of these methods is common, and the latter is rare.
tabe yadi kṛṣṇa-līlā kariyā śravaṇa
lobha haya pāibāre nija siddha-dhana
“At this stage, if one hears kṛṣṇa–līlā, a desire emerges to achieve the wealth of one’s perfected state.
tabe bhāva-tattva-smṛti anukṣaṇa kare
bhāva yata bāḍe tāra bhrānti tata hare
“Then one constantly meditates upon bhāva–tattva (the nature of one’s bhāva), and as that bhāva increases, one’s misconceptions vanish.
Smaraṇa-daśā; tāhāte vaidha o rāgānugatā bhāvera bheda. Śeṣaṭīrai prayojana (The Stage of Smaraṇa-daśā: The Difference Between Vaidha and Rāgānuga Bhāva. The Necessity for the Later)
smaraṇa dvividha vaidha rāgānuga āra
rāgānugā smṛti yukti-śāstra haite pāra
“There are two types of smaraṇa – vaidha and rāgānuga. Meditation at the stage of rāgānuga is beyond the injunctions of śāstra.
mādhurya ākṛṣṭa haye karaye smaraṇa
acirāte prāpta haya daśā bhāvāpana
“Smaraṇa stemming from attraction for mādhurya-rasa, quickly leads one to attain the state of bhāvāpana (attaining one’s bhāva).
Vaidha-bhaktera unnati-krame (The Gradual Progress of the Devotee Following the Path of Vaidha)
vaidha-bhakta smṛti-kāle sadā vicāraya
anukūla yukti-śāstra yakhana ye haya
“At the time of smaraṇa, the devotee following the path of vaidha always considers what is favourable according to the injunctions of śāstra.
bhāvāpane haya bhāva āvirbhāva-kāla
śāstra-yukti chāḍe tabe jāniyā jañjāla
“Upon attaining bhāva, at the time when his bhāva appears, he abandons the injunctions of śāstra, knowing them to be a disturbance.
śraddhā niṣṭhā rucy-āsakti-krame yei bhāva
āpana samaye tāhā haya āvirbhāva
“One gradually progresses from śraddhā, niṣṭhā (dedication), ruci (taste), and āsakti (attachment) to bhāva. At the time of attaining one’s identity, that bhāva manifests. (34)
(34) The phrase āpana samaye means upon the achievement of āpana–daśā (the stage of attaining one’s identity).
Āpana-daśāya rāgānuga o vaidha-bhaktera bheda nāi (At the Stage of Āpana Daśā, There is No Difference Between Those Devotees Following the Path of Rāgānuga and Those Following Vaidha)
bhāvāpane rāgānugā vaidha-bhakta bheda
nāhi thāke kona mate gāya smṛti veda
“The Veda-Smṛti declares that upon achieving bhāva, there is no longer any difference between the rāgānuga and vaidha devotees.
Pañca-vidha smaraṇa (The Five Types of Remembrance)
smaraṇa dhāraṇā dhyāna anusmṛti āra
samādhi e pañca-vidha smaraṇa prakāra
“The five kinds of remembrance are smaraṇa (remembrance), dhāraṇā (steadfast remembrance), dhyāna (meditation), anusmṛti (constant remembrance) and samādhi (total absorption). (35)
(35) Smaraṇa is the initial stage of remembrance where one reflects upon one’s ekādaśa–bhāva in relation to service during the eight times of the day (aṣta–kāla). Even then however, this remembrance is inconsistent and imperfect. Sometimes one can remember, sometimes there is distraction. Smaraṇa eventually becomes dhāraṇā, in other words, dhāraṇā is a feeling of steadiness in smaraṇa during one’s sādhana. Dhyāna is when one meditates upon every aspect of a particular object. Anusmṛti is when one meditates constantly. When that is completely uninterrupted, that is to say when one only meditates upon kṛṣṇa–līlā and nothing else, that is samādhi. Āpana-daśā appears when one performs remembrance in the form of samādhi. It may take many yugas for an incompetent person to pass through these five stages of remembrance. Those who are expert can attain āpana–daśā in a few days.
Bhāvāpana daśāra udaya kāla (The Time When the Stage of Bhāva Arises)
samādhi svarūpa smṛti ye samaye haya
bhāvāpana daśā āsi haibe udaya
“At the time when remembrance of one’s svarūpa becomes samādhi, then the attainment of the stage of bhāva arises.
Se samaye ye avasthā haya (One’s State of Being at That Time)
sei kāle nija siddha-deha abhimāna
parājiyā jaḍa-deha habe adhiṣṭhāna
“At that time when one identifies with his siddha-deha, one will completely conquer the influence of the material body. (36)
(36) At the stage of accepting one’s bhāva, any identity with the material body disappears. One’s identification with the siddha–deha predominates.
takhana svarūpe vraja-vāsa kṣaṇe kṣaṇa
bhāvāpane sva-svarūpe heri vraja-vana
“Then, at every moment, one resides in Vraja in one’s svarūpa. At the stage of attaining one’s bhāva, one sees the forests of Vraja in one’s own eternal form. (37)
(37) Then, at every moment, one resides in Vraja in one’s own svarūpa. Upon attaining one’s spiritual form, great bliss arises as one engages in serving Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. In this way, firmly established in the identify of one’s own form, as one takes darśana of Vraja-dhāma for a long time, divine playful pastimes directly manifest.
Āpane svarūpa-siddhi, vastu-siddhi liṅga-bhaṅge (At Āpana-daśā, One Attains Svarūpa-Siddhi, and at the Stage of Vastu-Siddhi, One’s Subtle Body is Eradicated)
āpane svarūpa-siddhi labhe bhāgyavān
liṅga-bhaṅge vastu-siddhi sampatti vidhāna
“During āpana–daśā, one who is fortunate attains svarūpa-siddhi. At the time when the subtle body is eradicated, one attains vastu–siddhi, which is the wealth of sampatti–daśā (the stage of full possession).* (38)
*Translator’s Note: Svarūpa-siddhi is the stage when a devotee becomes aware of his svarūpa (spiritual identity). Vastu–siddhi is the stage when a devotee attains complete liberation from matter.
(38) By engaging in bhajana in this way, one will certainly see Kṛṣṇa directly. and suddenly, by His will, when the physical body departs, the subtle body will also be eliminated. When the body of five gross elements collapses, the subtle body which is comprised of mind, intelligence and false ego, also falls along with it. Then one’s pure spiritual form clearly emerges uncovered, and one can engage in service to the Divine Couple in the transcendental dhāma.
Sādhana-siddhira phala (The Results of Sādhana-Siddhi)
haiyā sādhana-siddhā nitya-siddhā saha
samatā labhiyā kṛṣṇa-seve aharahaḥ
“Those who have achieved sādhana–siddhi (perfection through the process of sādhana) are equal to those who are nitya–siddha (eternally perfect) since they both serve Kṛṣṇa night and day. (39)
(39) At this stage, sādhana-siddhas and nitya-siddhas both attain sālokya (attainment of the same spiritual abode).
Nāma-dvārā siddhi-lābha (Perfection is Achieved Through the Name)
sevā-bhaṅga āra tāra kabhu nāhi haya
parama ujjvala-rase satata mātaya
“One service (to Rādha-Kṛṣṇa) is never again disturbed and absorbed in the highest ujjvala-rasa, one is in a constant state of divine madness.
nāma se parama dhana nāmera āśraye
eta siddhi pāya jīva śuddha-sattva haye
“The Name is one’s greatest treasure, thus one should take refuge in the Holy Name. Upon achieving perfection through the Name, the jīva becomes situated on the plane of pure goodness (śuddha-sattva).
Saṁkṣepe krama paricaya (The Process in Brief)
ataeva bhakty-unmukha-jana sādhu-saṅge
nirjane karibe nāma kramera abhaṅge
“Therefore, a person who is inclined towards bhakti, in the association of sādhus, will take up chanting the Holy Name in seclusion, without excluding anything in the process.
krame krame alpa-kāle sarva-siddhi haya
kusaṅga varjiyā sādhu-saṅge phalodaya
“Within a short time, by gradually following the process, he will attain all perfection. If he rejects bad association and keeps company with sādhus, results will appear. (40)
(40) For one who abandons karma, jñāna, yoga etc. and has bhakti which arises from exclusive śraddhā, the wealth of nāma-bhajana is easily attained. Engaging in nāma–bhajana through the method previously described, is much easier in comparison to any of the other limbs of bhakti, and within a short time one will attain all perfection. The only expertise necessary is this – completely rejecting bad association and engaging in bhajana in the company of sādhus. Prema is specifically like a supreme, pure, transcendental blade. It can enter the heart of a sādhu because he is qualified and inclined. It is repelled by the heart of one who is not a sādhu. That blade cannot easily enter the heart of a jīva who does not keep the association of sādhus. Sādhus and non-sādhus can be compared to good and bad conductors of electricity. In other words, electricity specifically has a material nature (māyika–dharma); prema has a transcendental nature (cid–dharma). Similar characteristics are seen in both.
(1) sādhu-saṅga, (2) sunirjana, (3) dṛḍha-bhāva (Association with Sādhus, Conducive Seclusion and a Mood of Determination)
sādhu-saṅga sunirjana nija dṛḍha-bhāva
ei tina bale labhi mahimā svabhāva
“Association of sādhus, conducive seclusion and one’s mood of determination —one achieves natural glory based upon the strength of these three. (41)
(41) Thus, one who desires to achieve the result of nāma–sādhana, must definitely have an eagerness for these three things. In other words he must associate with sādhus, stay in conducive seclusion, and have a firm mood or strong aspiration – this is known as perseverance.
āmi hīna kṣudra-mati viṣaye vibhora
sādhu-saṅga vivarjita sadā ātma-cora
“I am fallen, petty-minded and engrossed in mundane things. I neglect the association of sādhus and thus I have robbed my very self. (42)
(42) Although Śrī Hari Dāsa Thākura is a nitya-siddha-pārṣada (an eternal perfected associate of the Supreme Lord), he is displaying his natural humility. Such humility is an ornament of prema.
ahaitukī kṛpā kabhu kariyā vistāra
bhakti-rase gati deha prārthanā āmāra
“If You ever expand Your causeless mercy, then my prayer is that I may be allowed to enter into bhakti–rasa.” (43)
(43) Ahaitukī-kṛpā means ‘mercy without any cause’. “I have performed no pious activities that can lead to obtaining Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. At this point, if Kṛṣṇa is merciful, it will be causeless.” Śrī Hari Dāsa Ṭhākura is famous for his exclusive teachings on nāma-bhajana, but he is also the supreme recipient of Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s mercy. He is specifically an authority on the teachings of nāma-rasa-tattva (the nature of nāma–rasa). When Mahāprabhu was relishing the books Lalita-Mādhava and Vidagdha-Mādhava in Hari Dāsa’s courtyard, along with Rāmānanda, Sārvabhauma etc, then the glories of nāma–rasa suddenly came from the mouth of Hari Dāsa. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā, ch.1).
eta bali hari-dāsa preme acetana
śrī-gaurāṅga pade kare deha samarpaṇa
Saying this, Hari Dāsa became unconscious with prema, and offered his body at the feet of Śrī Gaurāṅga.
preme gadgada prabhu tāṅhāre uṭhāya
āliṅgana diyā citta-kathā bale tāya
With a voice choked with prema, the Lord picked him up, embraced him and spoke these words from His heart.
Prabhura ājñā (The Lord’s Instruction)
śuna hari-dāsa ei līlā saṁgopane
viśva andhakāra karibeka duṣṭa jane
“Listen Hari Dāsa! When this līlā of Mine becomes hidden, evil people will create darkness in the world. (44)
(44) Who are these evil people? It would seem that all those persons who later concealed the teachings of the pure nāma-dharma that Śrī Mahāprabhu gave in His Śikṣāṣṭaka, and preached other wicked beliefs such as the sahajiyās, bāulas etc. – the Lord is referring to them.
sei kāle tomāra e caramopadeśa
avaśiṣṭa sādhu-jane bujhibe viśeṣa
“At that time, these supreme instructions of yours will be properly understood by those sādhus that still remain. (45)
(45) Caramopadeśa means no other instruction can be superior to this. The supreme instruction is that one should cultivate the Name in the association of sādhus.
ei tattva nāmāśraye niṣkiñcana jana
nirjane basiyā kṛṣṇa karibe bhajana
“That person who is niṣkiñcana (possesses nothing),who takes refuge in this process and the Name, will sit in a secluded place and engage in bhajana of Kṛṣṇa. (46)
(46) A niṣkiñcana-rasika bhakta (a devotee who has no possessions and relishes the Name) will relish the Name ‘Hare Kṛṣṇa’ in the following manner. Thus, in the 183rd section of Pada-kalpataru, there is the song entitled Ardha-bāhya-daśā-pralāpam (‘Words spoken in a state of half consciousness’):
he hare mādhurya-guṇe, hari labe netra-mane
mohana mūrati daraśāi
he kṛṣṇa ānanda-dhāma, mahā-ākarṣaka-ṭhāma
tuyā vine dekhite na pāi
(“O Hari, who possesses such sweet qualities, You have stolen My eyes and mind by showing Me Your charming form. O Kṛṣṇa, who is an abode of bliss! Who is the most enchanting form of beauty! I can look at no other but You.”)
he hare dharama hari, guru-bhaya ādi kari
kulera dharama kaile dūra
he kṛṣṇa vaṁśīra svare, ākarṣiyā āni’ bale
deha-geha-smṛti kaile dūra
(“O Hari! You have stolen My religiosity, and any fear of My elders or familial duty has gone far away. O Kṛṣṇa! The power behind the sound of Your flute has attracted Me and any remembrance of My body or home has gone far away.”)
he kṛṣṇa karṣita āmi, kañculi karṣaha tumi
tā’ dekhi’ camaka mohe lāge
he kṛṣṇa vividha chale, uraja karṣaha bale
sthira naha ati anurāge
(“O Kṛṣṇa! Having attracted Me, You touch My bodice, and seeing this I feel surprise and bewilderment. O Kṛṣṇa! You try various tricks in order to touch My breasts. You cannot remain calm because of Your extreme passion.”
he hare āmāre hari, laiyā puṣpa-talpopari
vilāsera lālase kākuti
he hare gopana vastra, hariyā se kṣaṇa-mātra
vyakta kara manera ākuti
(“O Hari! You take Me onto Your flower-bed and beg Me to enjoy with You. O Hari! You steal My undergarments and in only a moment, You reveal the longing within Your heart.”)
he hare vasana hara, tāhāte yemana kara
antarera hāra mata bāṅdhā
he rāma ramaṇa aṅga, nānā vaidagdhi raṅga
prakāśi pūraha nija sādhā
(“O Hari! When You steal My garments and do things in that way, You also remove whatever resistance is left within Me. O Rāma! Your form is so alluring and You are expert in various aspects of love. Kindly fulfil Your desires.”)
he hare harite bali, nāhi hena kutūhalī
sabāra se vākya nā rākhilā
he rāma ramaṇa-rata, tāhe prakaṭiyā kata
ki rasa āveśe bhāsāilā
(“O Hari! We may tell You to stop and pretend to be vexed, but none of us keep our word. O Rāma! O Supreme Enjoyer! How You make us float in the ecstasy of rasa!”)
he rāma ramaṇa-śreṣṭha, mana-ramaṇīya śreṣṭha
tuyā sukhe āpani nā jāni
he rāma ramaṇa-bhāge, bhāvite marame jāge
se rasa-mūrati tanu-khāni
(“O Rāma! O foremost of lovers! O You greatest seducer of the mind! I do not know how much bliss You give Me! O Rāma! O My Lover! In My heart, I consider Myself to be most fortunate. Your form of rasa manifests within My heart.”)
he hare haraṇa tora, tāhāra nāhika ora
cetana hariyā kara bhora
he hare āmāra lakṣya, hara-siṁha prāya-dakṣa
tomā vinā keha nāhi mora
(“O Hari! There is no limit to Your thieving! You steal and madden My heart. O Hari! You have all the expertise of a lion seizing its prey, and My heart is the object. There is nothing to Me other than You.”)
tumi se āmāra jñāna, tomā vinā nāhi āna
kṣaneke kalapa śata yāya
se tumi anata giyā, raha udāsīna haiyā
kaha dekhi ki kari upāya
(“You are all I know! I have nothing without You. Every moment drags on like a hundred kalpas, but You still leave Me and remain apathetic towards Me. Please tell Me what must I do to remedy this?”)
ohe nava-ghana-śyāma, kevala rasera dhāma
kaiche raha kari mana jhure
caitanya belaya yāya, hena anurāga pāya
tabe bandhu milaya adūre
(“O Nava-ghana-śyāma (You who resembles a new raincloud)! O pure abode of rasa! My heart is so overwhelmed, how can I remain here? Having attained such attachment to You, I lose consciousness. O dear Friend! You are so far away – please meet Me again!”)
This mood is at the stage of separation, where Rādhikā, along with Her eight sakhīs, chant these Names that are connected to sambhoga (union), thinking that She is meeting with Kṛṣṇa. Also, the word ‘hare’ is a name of Śrīmatī, which is the word ‘harā’ in the vocative case. In their own way, those who are bhāvukas (relishers) take pleasure in the bhāva of the entire rasa–līlā found within the Names ‘Hare Kṛṣṇa’.
nija nija bhāgya-bale jīva pāya bhakti
bhakti labhibāre sakalera nāhi śakti
“A jīva attains bhakti on the strength of his own good fortune, but not everyone has the power to achieve bhakti.
sukṛti janera bhakti dṛḍha karibāre
āilāma yuga-dharma nāmera pracāre
“To make bhakti steady for those persons who have sukṛti, I have appeared in order to propagate the Holy Name which is the yuga–dharma. (47)
(47) All jīvas attain bhakti due to the power of their own sukṛti. If this is so, then what is the point of propagating this dharma? The Lord said, “All jīvas attain śraddhā in the Name by the power of their sukṛti, yet in order to make their bhakti strong, I have propagated the Holy Name as the yuga–dharma. In truth, it is the only nitya–dharma for the jīvas.
Hari-dāsa ṭhākura nāma-pracārera sahāya (Hari Dāsa Ṭhākura is the Assistant in Propagating the Holy Name)
tumi ta sahāya mora e kārya sādhane
tava mukhe nāma-tattva śuni e kāraṇe
“You are My assistant in executing this activity, thus I have listened to and caused nāma–tattva to issue from your mouth.”
hari-nāma-cintāmaṇi, akhila amṛta khani
kṛṣṇa-kṛpā bale ye pāila
kṛtārtha se mahāśaya, sadā pūrṇānanda-maya
rāga-bhāve śrī-kṛṣṇa bhajila
Hari-nāma Cintāmaṇi is an all-encompassing mine of nectar. One obtains it by the power of Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Such a person is most successful and a great soul. He constantly experiences complete bliss, for it leads to the worship Śri Kṛṣṇa in rāga–bhāva (a mood of divine, spontaneous attachment).
tāṅhāra caraṇa dhari, sadā kākuti kari
kāṅde ei akiñcana chāra
e amṛta-rasa-leśa, piyāiyā avaśeṣa
kara sāra ānanda vistāra
Grasping such a person’s feet and weeping, this insignificant fellow who possesses nothing, constantly begs, “After having drank a little, whatever remains, please take the essence of that nectarean rasa and distribute that bliss.”
iti śrī-hari-nāma-cintāmaṇau bhajana-praṇālī-pradarśanaṁ nāma
Thus ends the Fifteenth Chapter of Śrī Hari-nāma Cintāmaṇi entitled,
‘An Explanation of the Method of Bhajana.’