Vijaya-kumara pondering deeply had concluded, “By hearing the pastimes of Vraja, I have naturally developed lobha within my heart for that līlā, and thus I will be gradually elevated to sampatti-daśā, the perfection of life—attainment of the ultimate transcendental goal.” Understanding and inspired by this, Vijaya now considered it important to clarify some points on the gradual ascension to sampatti-daśā, so with this in mind he approached Śrī Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī, humbly enquiring, “Gurudeva, how many daśās, levels, are there from sravaṇam on up to the stage of perfection known as sampatti-daśā?”
Gosvāmī, “All in all there are five daśā: śravaṇa-daśā, hearing; varaṇa-daśā, acceptance; smaraṇa-daśā, remembrance; bhāvapānā-daśā, attainment of ecstatic spiritual emotion; and prema-sampatti-daśā, attainment of the ultimate goal, kṛṣṇa-prema.”
Vijaya, “Kindly describe śravaṇa-daśā.”
Gosvāmī, “When a person develops faith in hearing Kṛṣṇa conscious topics we understand that his taste for the inane and mundane has decreased, and that correspondingly his desire for esoteric transcendence has increased. Kṛṣṇa conscious topics should be heard from an elevated devotee, as explained in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 4.29.40:
tasmin mahan-mukharitā madhubhic-
caritra-pīyūṣa-śeṣa-saritaḥ paritaḥ sravanti
tā ye pibanty avitṛṣo nṛpa gāḍha-karṇais
tān na spṛśanty aśana-tṛḍ-bhaya-śoka-mohāḥ
“‘O king, if one gets the chance to hear from elevated saints the topics of the qualities of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which are like a flowing river of nectar, and drinks this nectar with single-minded absorption and faith, then hunger, thirst, fear, lamentation, illusion and other such unwanted detriments will never be able to assail one.’”
Vijaya, “Occasionally, materially engrossed people feel interested to hear Kṛṣṇa conscious topics, what is the nature of such hearing?”
Gosvāmī, “There is a gulf of difference between a person who is bahirmukha, constantly attracted by external material nature, and a person who is antarmukha, looking inwards to the real self and the Supreme Lord. For bahirmukha materialistic persons hearing about Kṛṣṇa occurs by chance, not because of applied śraddhā. However, such hearing is designated as bhakty-unmukhī-sukṛti, piety based on nascent devotional inclination, and if continued may eventually beget śraddhā in some later life. However, having gained śraddhā the eager sādhaka thirsts to hear the qualities and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa from an elevated devotee; this is the required condition for hearing at śravaṇa-daśā. Śravaṇa-daśā is of two types: krama-śuddha-śravaṇa-daśā, hearing in proper sequence; and krama–hīna-śravaṇa–daśā, hearing in a haphazard fashion.”
Vijaya, “Kindly explain krama-hīna-śravaṇa-daśā.”
Gosvāmī, “Hearing the different pastimes of Kṛṣṇa in an improper sequence and manner is known as krama-hīna-śravaṇa-daśā. In addition, hearing without aspiration to a particular rasa results in a barrier to the flow of rasa, thus preventing the hearer from finding entrance to the pastimes.”
Vijaya, “Kindly explain krama-śuddha-śravaṇa-daśā.”
Gosvāmī, “Kṛṣṇa-līlā should be heard in proper sequence with resolute enlightened intelligence by a soul thirsting to augment rasa, then such focused hearing becomes conducive to the actual evocation of rasa. In this manner hearing the nitya-līlā of aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā and the naimittika-līlā, such as of the birth of Kṛṣṇa, is krama-śuddha-śravaṇa-daśā. On the path of bhajana, constant engagement in this krama–śuddha-śravaṇa is essential for the proper and successful unfolding of bhakti-rasa.
“The sweet relish of the Lord’s pastimes is progressively manifested through committed krama–śuddha–śravaṇa, and thus the hearer’s latent taste for rāgānuga-bhakti is spontaneously aroused. The hearer thinks, ‘Oh, how wonderful is the sakhya-bhāva of Subala. I wish to serve Kṛṣṇa in that mood of camaraderie exhibited by Subala.’ This eager tendency is called lobha. Pursuing with lobha the devotional sentiments of the residents of Vraja is the essence of rāgānuga-bhakti.
“I have given an example of sakhya-rasa, similarly in the other three rasas—dāsya, vātsalya, and mādhurya—rāgānuga-bhakti also finds full expression. You are eligible for śṛṅgāra-mādhurya-rasa by the mercy of Śrī Nimāi, the Lord of my heart. Hence, you have developed lobha inspired by the service and mood of the vraja-gopīs, and this lobha has brought you to your present path of attainment. The confidential instructions given by the guru to his disciple for the evocation of rasa are in essence śravaṇa-daśā.”
Vijaya, “At what level is śravaṇa-daśā completed?”
Gosvāmī, “When the sādhaka comes to perceive kṛṣṇa-līlā as transcendental and eternal, he completes śravaṇa-daśā. Since kṛṣṇa-līlā is on the platform of pure transcendence, the līlās are enchanting, and so the devotee becomes eager to gain entrance to them. Then, seeing the dexterity of his disciple, the guru enumerates to his disciple—who is still a rāgānuga-sādhaka following the rāgātmikā-bhakti of the vraja-vāsīs—the eka-daśa-bhāva that I have explained previously. When the disciple’s consciousness has become nicely tuned to the ecstatic transcendental dynamism of kṛṣṇa-līlā, śravaṇa-daśā is consummated. The disciple’s lobha and ruci are then unrestrained, and he is promoted to varaṇa-daśā, the stage of acceptance.”
Vijaya, “What are the symptoms of varaṇa-daśā?”
Gosvāmī, “The heart’s spontaneous attraction is linked by the chain of the eka-daśa-bhāva to kṛṣṇa-līlā. The heart of the disciple in whom the eka-daśa-bhāva is established is inundated with thirsting spiritual emotions; he comes weeping and throws himself at the lotus feet of his guru. At this juncture, the guru reveals his sakhī form, and the disciple realizes his form as the gopī maidservant of his guru-sakhī. The disciple-turned-young-gopī is yearning to serve ‘her’ dear Śrī Kṛṣṇa; and the guru is a beautiful vraja-gopī-sakhī who has already attained the highest perfection. The disciple gives expression to his bhāva at this juncture by the following ślokas, eleven and twelve, from Śrī Śrī Prema–marandākhya-stava-rāja, Regal Prayers Bearing the Nectar of Pure Love, of Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī:
tvāṁ natvā yacate dhṛtvā tṛṇaṁ dantair ayaṁ janaḥ
sva-dāsyāmṛta-sekena jīvayāmuṁ su-duḥkhitam
na muñcec charaṇa-yātam api duṣṭaṁ dayāmayaḥ
ato gāndharvike hā hā muñcainaṁ naiva tādṛśam
“‘O Rādhikā! This most despicable and fallen soul throws herself at Your feet. Holding straw between the teeth I impetrate you, to shower upon this inconsolable wretch the immortal nectar of servitorship at Your feet, thereby resuscitating her. The kind-hearted never abandon those who are surrendered to them. Thus, compassionate as You are, do not forsake me, a soul surrendered to You. I am anxious to serve the Divine Couple in Vraja under the shade of Your lotus feet.’
“This mood of surrender and heartfelt yearning for the intimate service of Śrī Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa permeates the devotee’s devotional fervour in varaṇa-daśā. Now the guru in his form as a sakhī gives his disciple residence in Vraja, instructing him to meditate upon kṛṣṇa-līlā through the aṣṭa–kālīya–līlā and to take full shelter in chanting hari-nāma and assures him that soon his heart’s desire of intimate loving service will be realized.”
Vijaya, “Kindly elaborate upon smaraṇa–daśā.”
Gosvāmī, “Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī states in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Purva Vibhāga, 1.2.294-6:
kṛṣṇaṁ smaran janaṁ cāsya preṣṭhaṁ nija-samīhitam
tat-tat-kathā-rataś cāsau kuryād vāsaṁ vraje sadā
“‘One should always think of Kṛṣṇa within oneself and should choose a very dear devotee who is a servitor of Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana. One should constantly engage in topics about that servitor and his or her loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa, and one should live in Vṛndāvana. If one is physically unable to go to Vṛndāvana, he should live there mentally.’
sevā sādhaka-rūpeṇa siddha-rūpeṇa cātra hi
tad-bhāva-lipsunā kārya vraja-lokānusārataḥ
“‘In the transcendental realm of Vraja-dhāma one should serve the Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, with feelings similar to that of His associates, and one should place himself under the direct guidance of a particular associate of Kṛṣṇa, following in his or her footsteps. This method is applicable both in the stage of sādhana and in the stage of sādhya, when one is a siddha–puruṣa, a spiritually perfected soul.’
śravaṇotkīrtanādīni vaidha-bhakty-uditāni tu
yāny aṅgāni ca tāny atra vijñeyāni manīṣibhiḥ
“‘According to spiritual preceptors, the essential accessories of vaidhī-bhakti such as śravaṇam, loud kīrtanam, and so on, are still most suitable and should be continued for the cultivation of rāgānuga–bhakti.’”
Before Śrīla Gosvāmī could explain the purport of these verses, Vijaya eagerly interjected, asking, “Gurudeva, what is meant here by kuryād vāsaṁ vraje sadā?”
Gosvāmī, “Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has stated that the devotee should reside physically in Vraja. If he cannot be present there physically, then he should dwell in Vraja within his mind. Residence within the mind and physical residence in Vraja both bestow the attainment of the final goal. The devotee must always meditate upon Kṛṣṇa and the sakhī whose bhāva he is emulating, knowing that he in his internal svarūpa is her assistant kuñja-sevikā for the rendering of service to Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in the love groves of Vraja.
“As a sādhaka, the aspirant must continue to perform śravaṇaṁ, kīrtanaṁ, smaraṇaṁ, pāda-sevanam, arcanaṁ, vandanaṁ, dāsyaṁ, sakhyam, and ātmā–nivedanam in his external gross body though they form the limbs of vaidhī–bhakti. However, having acquired the eka-daśa-bhāva of intimate worship, the sādhaka evokes in meditation his spiritual identity as a perfect vraja–gopī and executes his specific duties in the aṣṭa-kālīya-kṛṣṇa-līlā that are allocated to him by his sakhī leader. The sādhaka must maintain and discipline his external life upon earth according to scriptural norms and internally nourish his siddha-deha, spiritual identity, by bhāva. Such an arrangement will ensure a growing distaste for things and subjects not related to vraja-līlā.”
Vijaya, “Gurudeva, I desire to understand this system still more clearly.”
Gosvāmī, “The purport of vraja-vāsa, residence in Vraja, is to live in solitude with a consciousness steeped in transcendence and bhāva. Chanting hari-nāma a designated number of rounds while meditating on practical devotional service in the aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā is essential. Furthermore, one should be always alert that one’s external activities of bodily maintenance and the like do not neutralize or deprecate one’s bhajana. Thus, all external work should be carried out with the consideration that it must be conducive to further development in devotional service.”
Receiving these instructions somewhat gravely, Vijaya said, “Śrīla Gurudeva, I have understood your instructions, but how do I steady the mind in such aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā meditation?”
Gosvāmī, “The mind becomes equipoised automatically as soon as the devotee actually attains rāgānuga-bhakti, because at this level the consciousness naturally flows to vraja-līlā, being spontaneously attached to bhakti. Concomitantly, there is a lack of interest in mundane matters, and thus the sādhaka’s consciousness shies away from materialistic involvement. However, if there are still hindrances and material perturbations upon this path, then one should carefully follow the krama, gradual, course that I have mentioned previously. Then, once the mind and consciousness are fixed and steady by the resultant purification, nothing will be able to unsettle them.”
Vijaya, “Kindly explain the krama course.”
Gosvāmī, “Every day, confining himself to a solitary place and determinedly repelling the attacks of material attraction, the devotee must spend a fixed period sincerely chanting hari-nāma, while maintaining within his heart bhāva. Gradually, this period of chanting should be increased. Eventually, the stage will come when the devotee begins to feel continually engulfed alaukika-cinmaya-bhāva, uncommon transcendental emotion, then any impediments or disturbances will be afraid to approach him.”
Vijaya, “How long should this stage last?”
Gosvāmī, “One should continue until all distractions vanish, and there is not the faintest possibility of the distractions reoccurring.”
Vijaya, “Gurudeva, kindly clarify what you mean by chanting hari–nāma while maintaining within the heart bhāva.”
Gosvāmī, “To begin with, chant hari-nāma with ullāsa, joy, in your heart; then, gradually combine mamatā, possessive attachment, with that ullāsa; next, to this nectarean mixture add viśrambha, loving intimacy based on firm faith and confidence in the Lord. Chanting in this manner will gradually purify one’s consciousness and increasingly strengthen one’s bhāva, until finally śuddha-bhāva will begin to manifest.
“bhāvapānā-daśā commences from this point. In the state of smaraṇa, bhāva is interpolated and not spontaneously evoked. However, when the sādhaka attains bhāvapānā-daśā, then śuddha–bhāva appears by the natural course of devotional practice and is known as prema. For the upāsaka devotee, these ascending levels of niṣṭhā manifest in this particular sequence and are known as upāsanā-niṣṭhā, steadiness in worship. Thus, there is a specific sequence known as upāsya-niṣṭhā, steady development towards one’s worshipable object.”
Vijaya, “Kindly elucidate the sequence of upāsya-niṣṭhā?”
Gosvāmī, “If one is keen on attaining prema that is asaṅkucita–prema–daśā, fully bloomed, then one must follow the advice of Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī in his Manaḥ-śikṣā, śloka 3:
yadīccher āvāsam-vraja-bhuvi sa-rāgam- prati-janur
yuva-dvandvam- tā cet paricaritum ārād abhilaṣe
svarūpam- śrī-rūpam- sa-gaṇam iha tasyāgrajam api
sphuṭam- premṇā nityam- smara nama tadā tvam- śṛṇu manaḥ
“‘If you desire to live in Vraja with rāga, purified spiritual attraction, and serve eternally, birth after birth, the Divine Couple of Vraja, serving Them not as a married couple, but in parakīya–rasa, then remember with deep affection Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, Śrīla Rūpa, and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī along with their followers and worship them as your guru–sakhīs.’
“The purport of this verse is that when one worships the Divine Couple in svakīya–rasa, it ultimately culminates in samañjasā-rasa, a balanced loving relationship. This prompts the spiritual emotions for serving them to become saṅkucita, ineffective and constrained. Therefore, Śrīla Svarūpa, Śrīla Rūpa, and Śrīla Sanātana exhort us to worship the Loving Couple in the parakīya mood, which is without any constraint. Even when—before and during smaraṇa–daśā—the endeavouring sādhaka is fostering śuddha-bhāva in bhajana, then such bhajana must be done with the acceptance of śuddha-parakīya-rasa, because parakīya-rati, when interpolated even in the sādhana stages of bhajana will gradually mature into parakīya-bhāva and finally to parakīya-rati, which will then produce parakīya-rasa. At this point, the sādhaka attains svarūpa-siddhi, manifestation of the eternal spiritual form. Indeed, the eternal and permanent nitya–rasa of the aprākṛta–līlā of Vraja is parakīya-rasa.”
Vijaya, “Are there śuddhi–krama, different levels of realization, in aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā bhajana?”
Gosvāmī, “After detailing the variegatedness of rasa in the aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā in his Śrī Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has then articulated the following in śloka twenty-three of the Gauṇa–sambhoga division of the same treatise. Try to understand the purport:
atalatvād apāratvād āpto ‘sau durvigāhatām
spṛṣṭaiḥ paraṁ taṭasthena rasābdhir madhuro yathā
“‘The pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are absolutely transcendental and therefore they are unfathomable and unlimited. They are unfathomable to the conditioned souls because it is impossible for them to penetrate through the covering of material energy and comprehend the śuddha-aprākṛta-tattva, pure unmanifest truth, that lies beyond this mundane shroud.’
“The pastimes of the Lord are unlimited because rasa, the essence of kṛṣṇa–līlā, manifests itself in an unsurpassable kaleidoscope of proliferating diversities. Even if a devotee, having attained aprākṛta–bhāva, realization of transcendence, were to describe these pastimes, the narrations would inevitably come out in a restricted form because of the inadequacies inherent in any language. Furthermore, if upon some occasion even the Supreme Lord Himself were the speaker upon the subject of transcendence, still the audience would tend to misconstrue the topics of His speech, because their consciousness is contaminated by the māyā–sakti. Under these circumstances, the unlimited ocean of rasa cannot be fully fathomed; one may simply remain upon the shore and try to relish a mere drop.”
Vijaya, “Prabhu, this being so, how then may we ever truly attain aprākṛta–rasa, transcendental mellow?”
Gosvāmī, “The sweetness of the nectarean madhura–rasa is unlimited, incomparable, inaccessible and the very nature of kṛṣṇa–līlā. However, our Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, in particular has two boundless qualities, sarva-śaktimān, omnipotence, and icchā–maya, independent, unimpeded wilfulness, which means He can do exactly as He pleases. Therefore, that which is immeasurable, unlimited and transcendentally inaccessible is made easily available by Him within the limited confines of this material nature. Although this material nature is insignificant and base, the merciful Lord still desires to manifest His most relishable rasa upon this material plane. For this reason, His eternal nectarean pastimes and Vraja, the absolute transcendental abode of the Lord, have appeared within this material creation at Śrī Mathurā-maṇḍala. It is not for us to question how Vraja manifests and how Vraja remains, because the activities of the acintya-śakti are incomprehensible to the stunted intellects of humans and devas alike. Thus, we have received the vraja–līlā of Kṛṣṇa in Gokula, which is the full manifestation of even His most elevated transcendental pastimes. Through meditation upon these pastimes, the path to attain rasa is now fully open to us, and so we have no cause for lamentation.”
Vijaya, “If the prākṛta-līlā are of the same tattva as the aprākṛta–līlā, then why should the aprākṛta–līlā be considered superior?”
Gosvāmī, “There is no doubt that the natures of both categories of līlā are absolutely non-different; the pastimes graciously manifested here upon earth by the Supreme Lord at Śrī Mathurā-maṇḍala are ever existing upon the transcendental plane of Goloka. However, the Lord’s prākṛta–līlā may be seen and remembered by the conditioned souls under the influence of the material energy even though they do not have full realization of the absolute divinity of such pastimes. By this process, the perception by the sincere sādhaka of the prākṛta–līlā and their absolute relationship to the aprākṛta–līlā goes through a process of gradual elevation, corresponding to the different levels of purification of his consciousness. In the initial stages of līlā–smaraṇa, the perception of the sādhaka is clouded. Nevertheless, by the time the fortunate sādhaka reaches the stage of bhāvapānā-daśā, his consciousness and perception are free from contamination and thus he can have full realization of the aprākṛta-līlā.
“Vijaya, I am openly discussing these topics with you because you are an eligible sādhaka. If the sādhaka in smaraṇa–daśā performs sādhana with long and sincere hours, and if his sādhana includes concerted endeavours to attain the unalloyed śuddha-bhakti of bhāvapānā–daśā, then even in smaraṇa–daśā the sādhaka experiences the inchoate symptoms of bhāvapānā-daśā. The turbidity of perception that persists in smaraṇa–daśā—if it can be completely purged—ushers in bhāvapānā-daśā, which bestows realization of transcendence. The more one earnestly cultivates śuddha–bhakti in smaraṇa–daśā, the more śuddha-bhakti increasingly blossoms through causeless mercy within the heart. Śuddha-bhakti is the only activity that is able to attract Kṛṣṇa, thus by Kṛṣṇa’s mercy the contamination of consciousness in smaraṇa–daśā is gradually dissipated. The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 11.14.26, states:
yathā yathātmā parimṛjyate ’sau mat-puṇya-gāthā-śravaṇābhidhānaiḥ
tathā tathā paśyati vastu sūkṣmaṁ cakṣur yathaivāñjana-samprayuktam
“‘When the eyes are anointed with medical ointment they gain the ability to see even the most subtle objects, similarly as a living entity cleanses his consciousness of material contamination by hearing and chanting the transcendental narrations of My glories, to that same extent he sees Me, the Absolute Truth, in My subtle spiritual form.’
“The purport is that by being in constant touch with kṛṣṇa–līlā through śravaṇa, kīrtana, and smaraṇa, the ātmā of the seer becomes increasingly purified. To that same degree of purification, kṛṣṇa-līlā and the supramundane nature of kṛṣṇa–līlā become gradually manifest to the vision of the seer. A similar idea is found in the Brahma–saṁhitā, 5.38:
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
“‘I worship the primeval Lord Govinda who is endowed with inconceivable potencies. He is perceived within the heart in His eternal form of Śyāmasundara by pure saintly souls whose eyes have been anointed with the salve of unalloyed love and devotion for Him.’
“In bhāvapānā-daśā, svarūpa-siddhi is attained, which means that the sādhaka receives transcendental vision and perception of his transcendental form as a gopī maidservant of his guru whom he sees as a sakhī of yūtheśvārī, Śrī Rādhārāṇī. However, even though at this stage the sādhaka sees Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Goloka, and his own relationship in transcendence, until and unless he, the sādhaka, is promoted to sampatti–daśā, where both his gross and subtle material bodies are completely terminated, his perception of transcendence is not continuous and perfected. In bhāvapānā-daśā, the pure soul develops control over the subtle and gross material bodies, but when Kṛṣṇa completely showers His ultimate mercy upon the sādhaka, the sādhaka’s relationship with this material world is totally severed. Another name for bhāvapānā-daśā is apāñā-daśā and svarūpa–siddhi, the attainment of one’s original, spiritual identity. And another name for sampatti-daśā is vastu–siddhi, the securement of the ultimate and absolute transcendental reality, Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”
Vijaya, “When vastu–siddhi is attained, in what way are the name, beauty, qualities, pastimes and dhāma of Kṛṣṇa perceived?”
Gosvāmī, “Presently, I am unable to answer that question. If I were to attain vastu–siddhi, then I would be able to answer your question. However, you would only fully comprehend such a description if you yourself had also attained sampatti-daśā. In fact, the effort to understand vastu–siddhi disappears when one perceives the state upon a first hand basis, because at that point one’s questions are automatically answered. Even in bhāvapānā–daśā, which bestows svarūpa–siddhi, to disclose to others whatever one experiences of the transcendental realm is futile, because the non-qualified audience is incapable of grasping the description.
“Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has described in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Pūrva-vibhāga, 3.29 and 4.12, the symptoms characterizing devotees who have acquired svarūpa-siddhi:
jane cej jātabhāve ‘pi vaiguṇyam iva dṛśyate
kāryā tathāpi nāsūyā kṛtārthaḥ sarvathaiva saḥ
“‘If upon external scrutiny a devotee who has just begun to experience the inchoate stirrings of bhāva is found guilty of misconduct, he must never be censured because he has now completely abnegated all contact with matters not related to Kṛṣṇa. This is his crowning success as a human being and he is glorious in every respect.’
dhanyasyāyaṁ navaḥ premā yasyonmīlati cetasi
antar-vāṇībhir apy asya mudrā suṣṭhu sudurgamā
“‘Those devotees whose hearts are flooded with the first flush of prema are truly blessed. Their activities and conduct are beyond the ken of scholars and theologians. Only the most fortunate living entities are graced by prema, which remains inaccessible to the philosophers and professors of scriptures.’”
Vijaya, “If this be so, then why is there an attempt to describe Goloka in scriptures like the Brahma–saṁhitā?”
Gosvāmī, “On the occasion of kṛpā-darśana, seeing the Lord by His causeless mercy, in svarūpa–siddhi, the elevated pure devotees, such as Lord Brahmā, have tried to express their emotions and experience in stavas and in stutis. As a result of the inadequacies of language their descriptions are brief and to the less spiritually advanced souls these eulogies remain obscure and cryptic. However, to exhaustively analyse these eulogies is not of great importance to devotees. Simply, one should worship and meditate upon the prakaṭa-līlā of Kṛṣṇa that He has so mercifully revealed. This practice will bestow upon one all-round perfection and thus eventually one will gain one’s own personal perception of the nitya–līlā.
“Within a very short time, the sincere worshiper receives the vision of Goloka within Gokula upon this earth. In addition, whatever is in Gokula is indeed also in Goloka, because Goloka and Gokula are non-different. Whatever a materialist is able to see of this transcendental land is but a product of māyā, but at the level of svarūpa-siddhi, this aberration is removed. Śrī Kṛṣṇa exhorts everybody to remain unperturbed by their own particular level of perception, which is according to their eligibility, and to engage sincerely in bhajana from that point. Mercifully, He gradually purifies the consciousness of those who follow His advice and rewards them with transcendental vision of the eternal platform.”
Vijaya now felt as if his pall of looming doubts and questions had completely cleared. Living peacefully upon the seashore in a solitary bhajana-kuṭīra, he practised meditation upon kṛṣṇa–līlā, while harmoniously applying his eka-daśa-bhāva in proper connection with the meditation, thus he was always immersed in the sweet ocean of prema-sevā.
In the meantime, the mother of Vrajanātha had passed away because of cholera, and Vrajanātha accompanied his grandmother from Purī back to their ancestral home in Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma. In Vrajanātha’s pure heart blossomed sakhya–prema. By his bhajana–bala, the strength of his devotional worship, he was fortunate enough to reside upon the banks of the holy Gaṅgā in Navadvīpa-dhāma and associate with many elevated Vaiṣṇavas.
Vijaya gave up the gṛhastha–āśrama and, taking to the renounced order, simply wore a kaupīna, loincloth, and bahirvāsa, loose upper garment. His new spiritual name was Nimāi dāsa Bābājī. Surviving on mahā–prasāda and mādhukarī, he spent his days in chanting hari-nāma. He completely avoided trivial talks and never lent his attention to mundane prattle. He was very humble, a paragon of virtues and steadfast in his bhajana. If anyone offered him mahā–prasāda, or a kaupīna and bahirvāsa, he accepted them only when required, otherwise he declined.
His daily routine was to sleep a little at the times Śrī Rādhikā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa took Their rest, to accept prasādam after They had eaten, and in Their waking hours, he engaged in devotional service appropriate to Their līlā at that time. His hari-nāma-mālā was in hand at all times. Sometimes he danced, sometimes he cried, and at other times, he gazed at the ocean waves and burst into peals of laughter. Who could fathom his bhajana–bhāva, except he himself? When he chanted hari-nāma, tears streamed down his cheeks, his voice choked up, and his body erupted in horripilation.
Very soon, his bhajana became perfect and Śrī Kṛṣṇa by his mercy soon promoted him to enter into His aprakaṭa–līlā. The body Vijaya had used as a vehicle to perfect his bhajana was interred within the sands of the ocean shore, just like that of Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
Gaura-premānanda Hari Hari bol!
Thus ends the Jaiva-dharma of Śrīla Bhaktivinode Ṭhākura with the fortieth chapter, entitled:
Sampatti-daśā: The State of Perfection