Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirteen
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Fifteen

Nitya-dharma: Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana
Part Two: Śakti-vicāra, A Description of the Potencies of Śrī Kṛṣṇa

by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
(translated by Śrī Sarvabhāvana Prabhu)

With immense pleasure, Vrajanātha spent the next day constantly ruminating upon the words of the elderly Bābājī from the previous night. Contemplating how extraordinary the instructions of Śrī Caitanya were, he felt his heart inundated with divine nectar by their every word. The more he had listened to Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, the more his thirst had grown for this nectar. He felt the philosophy was very consistent and coherent and gave the impression of being entirely based upon the Vedic śāstra. He was disturbed to think why the general brāhmaṇa society blasphemed such elevated conclusions. He feared that the philosophical aberrations that had wormed their way into the scriptural understandings of the brāhmaṇa caste stemmed from their blatant partiality for monistic māyāvādī thought.

Such thoughts whirled around in the mind of Vrajanātha as he made his way to Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī’s kuṭīra. He offered obeisances to the sanctified dwelling of this most elevated Vaiṣṇava and thereafter entered, falling prostrate before Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī in humble submission. Glowing with joy, Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī engulfed him with an affectionate hug and had him sit close by. Vrajanātha was simply beside himself with eager anticipation.

He said, “Dear master, I am anxiously waiting to hear the third verse of the Daśa-mūla-śloka. Kindly convey to me its deepest significance.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī was thrilled. With ecstasy in his expression and his hair standing on end all over his body, he started to recite the verse:

parākhyāyāḥ śakter apṛthag api sa sve mahimani
sthito jivākhyaṁ svam acid-abhihitaṁ taṁ tri-padikam
svatantrecchaḥ śaktiṁ sakala-viṣaye preraṇa-paro
vikārādyaiḥ śūnyaḥ parama-puruṣo ‘sau vijayate

“‘The Supreme Lord is non-different and inseparable from His inconceivable, absolute potencies and yet He is totally independent. He eternally embodies unlimited, majestic grandeur. He always inspires His divine potencies, known as the parāśakti, consisting of the jīvaśakti, the marginal potency; the citśakti, the internal spiritual potency; and the māyāśakti, the external illusory potency, to engage in worthwhile activities. Yet, He, the Highest Absolute Truth, eternally existent with full divinity, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, remains unaffected and unchanged.’

Vrajanātha, “The brāhmaṇa paṇḍitas say that when the paramatattva, the highest Absolute Truth, manifests Himself as Brahman, His divine potencies are unmanifest; and when He is Īśvara, the Supreme Controller, His potencies are manifest and dynamic. What is the Vedic conclusion upon this subject?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The Supreme Absolute Truth displays His potencies in all conditions. The Vedas, for example the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, 6.8, state:

na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate
na tat-samaś cābhyadhikaś ca dṛśyate
parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate
svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca

“‘The Supreme Lord never requires the assistance of material senses to accomplish His works. He possesses neither a material body, nor material senses. His body is one hundred percent spiritual; therefore, His physical presence is not limited as that of a material body. He is omnipresent, His beautiful spiritual form is present everywhere within the creation; simultaneously, He is in is own abode, Goloka Vṛndāvana, His beauty blossoming in fresh youthfulness, dallying with the gopīs in eternal pastimes. Nothing or no one is either equal to, or greater than He is; He is replete with acintyaśakti, inconceivable potency. His potency is known as inconceivable, because the human intellect is unable to fathom it. Paraśakti, the Supreme Absolute potency, is another designation for the acintyaśakti. Although His inherent, internal acintyaśakti, para-śakti, is one, it is nevertheless manifest in manifold magnificence as jñāna, also known as cit and saṁvit, the potency of cognisance; bala, also known as sat and sandhinī, the potency of power; and kriyā, also known as ānanda and hlādinī, the potency to perform dynamic variegated activities.’

“The citśakti is described in the following verse of the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, 1.3:

te dhyāna-yogānugatā apaśyan devātmā-śaktim sva-gunair nigūḍām
yaḥ kāraṇāni nikhilāni tāni kālātmā-yuktāny adhi tiṣṭhaty ekaḥ

“‘The sages who have realized the Absolute Truth are steeped in the samādhi of deep meditation. In that state, they deliberate upon the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord. With their own pure intellect they directly perceive the mystical and absolute spiritual potencies of the Lord that are non-different from the Lord Himself. These potencies arrange and initiate the entire spectrum of universal causes and effects, the control of the jīvas, the natural phenomena, time, and activities.’

“In describing the jīva-śakti the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, 4.5, comments:

ajām ekāṁ lohita-śukla-kṛṣṇāṁ
vahvīḥ prajāḥ sṛjamānāṁ svarūpāḥ
ajo hy eko juṣamāno’ nuśete
jahaty enāṁ bhukta-bhogām ajo’nyaḥ

“‘The prakṛti potency is the mother of much progeny—the three modes of material nature, (sattva, white; raja, red; and tama, black), and therefrom the twenty-four elements of this material nature. She is svarūpāḥ, the energy of the Supreme Lord, and is His unborn, eternal consort and is non-different from Him. She is being served and worshipped by another unborn personality, the conditioned jīva, who in his ignorance considers himself the puruṣa, enjoyer, of Her, prakṛti, the material nature. Another unborn puruṣa, the jīva situated in knowledge, renounces this false attempt to enjoy Her and thus attains liberation.”

“The next verse is also from Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, 4.9, and considers the māyā-śakti:

chandāṁsi yajñāḥ kratavo vratāni
bhūtaṁ bhavyaṁ yac ca vedā vadanti
yasmān māyī sṛjate viśvam etat
tasmiṁś cānyo māyayā sanniruddhaḥ

“‘The Supreme Lord, controller of māyā, has created this material universe with all its diversities such as the Vedas, sacrificial rituals, religious observances, the past, present, and future (i.e. time), and so on. The Vedas have recorded all this in every detail. The jīva is placed in this universe where he comes into contact with māyā and is thereby caught and imprisoned by Her.’

“The term parāsya-śaktiḥ indicates that the parama-tattva in His highest manifestation of divinity always displays an equally superlative potency. No authoritative text has anywhere described the paramatattva as being impotent under any condition. When the paramatattva exhibits His transcendentally beautiful form, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and when He manifests His impersonal aspect, He is Brahman. To designate the Supreme Absolute Truth as devoid of potency would appear to stand in contradiction to His possession of para-śakti.  Hence, śakti is most certainly also present in the formless, unqualified Brahman.

“This supreme potency has been described in different places with different names such as para-śakti, svarūpa-śakti, cit-śakti, antaraṅga-śakti, and so on. ‘Impotent Brahman’ is a false name and a deception. It has been fictitiously fabricated by the māyāvādīs. The truth is that the ‘impersonal’ Brahman is beyond the comprehension of māyāvādī philosophers. The Vedas, in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, 4.1, have defined saviśeṣa, personal, and nirviśeṣa, impersonal, Brahman in the following manner:

ya eko ‘varno bahudha śakti-yogād
varṇānekān nihitārtho dadhāti

“‘The Supreme Lord is the one, non-dual Absolute Truth endowed with immense unlimited potencies equal only to Him. Although He does not have any tinge of material qualities, He gives birth to the material modes of nature through the agency of His multifarious potencies.’

“Further in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.1:

ya eko jālavān īśata īśanībhiḥ sarvāl lokān īśata īśanībhiḥ

“‘The one Supreme Lord who is the controller of the māyājāla, the gossamer net of illusion, governs this material cosmos through His energies.’

“Now do you understand that the Supreme Absolute Truth can never be bereft of His potencies? They are always self-manifest. These self-manifest potencies are eternally exhibited in three dimensions as is evident from this verse, Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, 6.16:

sa viṣvakṛd viśvavidātma-yoniḥ
jñah kālakālo guṇī sarva-vid yaḥ
pradhāna-kṣetrajña-patir-guṇeśaḥ
saṁsāra-mokṣa-sthiti-bandha-hetuḥ

“‘The Supreme Soul is the creator of this universe. He is sarvajña, omniscient; ātmā-yoni, the source of Himself; kālakartā, the awesome personification of time; guṇī, full of all transcendental qualities, sarvavid, the knower of everyone; and the controller of māyā, the pradhāna. He is kṣetrajñapati, the regent of the universe; and guṇeśa, Lord of the material modes and is beyond their influence. He is the sole authority to keep the jīva chained to the wheel of saṁsāra, to allocate his life-span, and to give him liberation.’

“Thus, the three aspects of para-śakti are easy to discern from this verse: pradhāna indicates the māyāśakti; kṣetrajña indicates the jīva-śakti; and kṣetrajña-pati indicates the cit-śakti. The false distinction of Brahman, devoid of potency, and the Supreme Personality, with manifest potency, is a mental concoction of the māyāvādī philosophers with no relationship to the actual Absolute Truth. Factually, the parama-tattva is at all times sarvaśaktimān, omnipotent and the Supreme Energetic Personality. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the majestic embodiment and controller of His divine potencies and yet He is always the Supreme Autocrat, independent and self-willed, free to activate His potencies as He wishes. This state of Supreme Independence is the special glory of Himself.”

Vrajanātha, “If the Lord is always united with His potencies and everything is done by His potencies, then He must be working by their assistance and involvement. Therefore, how can He be called independent and self-willed?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “In the Vedānta it is stated:

śakti-śaktimatayor abhedaḥ

“The śruti scriptures explain the meaning as follows: ‘The śaktimānpuruṣa, the Supreme Energetic Personality, is non-different from His śakti.’

“Activities display the Lord’s śakti, yet His śakti is controlled by His icchā, desire, which thereby indicates the śaktimān, possessor and controller of potency. For example, creation, maintenance and destruction of the material cosmos are the activities of the māyā-śakti, His external potency. Further, His jīvaśakti, the marginal potency, manifests the jīvas. And His cit-śakti, the internal potency, manifests the spiritual world. Directing His cit-śakti, māyā-śakti and jīva-śakti to perform their individual duties, He remains nirvikāra, aloof, disentangled, and eternally unaffected by such activities.”

Vrajanātha, “If the Lord acts according to His own desire, how can He said to be nirvikāra? Indeed, activities propelled by His svaicchāmaya, self-will, presupposes vikāra, transformation, in His personality.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “In relationship to the Supreme Lord, the word nirvikāra indicates that He is unaffected by māyika-vikāra, illusory material transformations. The māyā-śakti is but a shadow of the Lord’s svarūpaśakti, internal spiritual potency. Activities carried out by the māyā-śakti are real, but being impermanent, they are not eternal. These defects of the māyā-śakti do not exist in the paramatattva. Desire for līlā is inherent in the paramatattva, Śrī Hari, and the transformations that manifest on this basis are cidvaicitrya, spiritual variegatedness. These transformations are sublime transcendental manifestations of prema—there is not the slightest trace of imperfection in them. All these manifestations of spiritual variegatedness are perfectly adjusted within the advaya-jñāna-bhagavān, non-differentiated, Absolute Godhead.

“By His inconceivable potency, the Supreme Lord has the prerogative to create this universe through the agency of His māyāśakti and yet His original spiritual potency and identity still remain undivided, unaffected, and intact. The wondrous variety of transcendental līlā has no connection with the māyāśakti. However, those whose intellects are covered by māyā misinterpret the śāstric descriptions of spiritual variety as material—much like jaundiced eyes that see the world as yellow, or like eyes diseased by cataracts that on a sunny day see the sun as covered by clouds.

“The purport of this point is that the māyāśakti is a mere shadow of the cit-śakti, therefore the variegatedness displayed in spiritual activity is perversely reflected into the material diversities. On the superficial external level, both may appear to be the same, but at their core, they are diametrically opposite. A human figure appears accurately reflected upon a mirror at first glance, but given a closer look one sees that the limbs are on the wrong side, and so on. Similarly, the variegatedness displayed in the spiritual world appears similar to its material counterpart at first sight, but when scrutinized the irrefutable differences are distinctly discernible.

Māyā-vaicitrya, material variety, is the perverted and corrupt reflection of citvaicitrya, spiritual variety. Therefore, descriptions of these two forms of vaicitrya may appear to be the same, but in substance, they are of two contrasting natures. The Supreme Lord in acting upon His own desires is free from māyā-vikāra and being the controller of the māyāśakti He steers Her to perform His work.”

Vrajanātha, “To which category of Kṛṣṇa’s śakti does Śrīmatī Rādhikā belong?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Śrī Kṛṣṇa is pūrṇa śaktimān, the supreme energetic in His highest original form, and Śrīmatī Rādhikā is pūrṇa śakti, His supreme energy in Her highest original form. Also, Śrīmatī Rādhikā may be known as pūrṇa-svarūpa-śakti, the absolute embodiment of the original divine energy of the Lord and identical with Him. For example, musk is recognizable by and inseparable from its inherent fragrance. Similarly, fire is known by and is inseparable from its heat. Similarly, Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa, relishing their transcendental pastimes, are eternally distinct personalities, but simultaneously non-different and inseparable. The three active potencies—cit-śakti, jīva-śakti, and māyāśakti—emanate from the svarūpaśakti.

“Another name of the cit-śakti is antaraṅgā-śakti, the internal spiritual potency, and another term for the jīva-śakti, is the taṭasthā-śakti, the marginal energy. The synonym for the māyā-śakti is bahiraṅgā-śakti, the external energy. Although the svarūpa-śakti is one, She executes activities through these Her three extensions. All the eternal, inherent qualities of the svarūpa-śakti are fully manifest in the cit-śakti; they are minutely present in the jīvaśakti; and are perversely reflected in the māyā-śakti.

Svarūpa-śakti possesses three intrinsic qualities: hlādinī, the pleasure giving potency; sandhinī, the sustaining potency; and saṁvit, the potency of cognisance. They are described in the fourth verse of the Daśa-mūla-śikṣā:

sa vai hilādinyāś ca praṇaya-vikṛter hlādana-ratas
tathā samvī-chakti-prakaṭita-raho-bhāva-rasitaḥ
tayā śrī-sāndhinyā kṛta-viśada-tad-dhāma-nicaye
rasāmbhodhau magno vraja-rasa-vilāsī vijayate

“‘Svarūpa-śakti possesses three properties: hlādinī, saṁvit, and sandhinī. The transcendental loving exchanges created by the hlādinī-śakti keep Śrī Kṛṣṇa captivated in bliss. The sublime amorous desires flowing out of the saṁvit-śakti fan the erotic moods, rasa, of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The spiritual realm of Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma, brilliant and pure, has been manifested by the sandhinīśakti, as the arena for the eternal loving pastimes. In Śrī Vṛndāvana, the self-willed Supreme Lover of Vraja, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, remains immersed in the eternal nectar of rasa, the pastimes of divine loving mellows.’

“The purport of this verse is extremely esoteric in nature. These three properties—hlādinī, saṁvit, and sandhinī—are dynamically displayed everywhere in the creation. Hlādinī is personified in Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the daughter of Mahārāja Vṛṣabhānu. She provides Kṛṣṇa with complete absolute spiritual bliss. She is the most beloved of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and epitomizes mahābhāva, the highest mood of ecstasy, which keeps Śrī Kṛṣṇa spellbound. She expands Herself, kāya-vyūha-svarūpa, as the aṣṭasakhīs, Her eight female companions. Each of these eight companions embodies one of the eight primary bhāvas, loving spiritual emotions. Śrīmatī Rādhikā further expands Herself as the four sevābhāvas, the moods of divine service. These four moods of service are embodied by the four different categories of sakhīs, female friends and companions. These four are priya-sakhīs, very dear friends; narma-sakhīs, dear humorous friends; prāṇasakhīs, friends dearer than life; and parama-preṣṭha-sakhīs; dearest of all friends. All these sakhīs are nitya-siddha-sakhīs, eternally perfect female companions, who are permanent residents of Vraja in the spiritual world.

“The saṁvitśakti arranges for the different relationships amongst the residents of Vraja. Sandhinī-śakti manifests the elements, earth, water, air, etc.; the villages; the forests; Govardhana Hill; and all the other arenas for the transcendental pastimes. Sandhinī-śakti also provides the various spiritual forms of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Their friends, companions, servants, and cows, etc., plus all the other various paraphernalia of Their eternal pastimes.

“The hlādinīśakti transforms into amorous pastimes and thereby keeps Śrī Kṛṣṇa engrossed in sublime ecstasy. The saṁvit-śakti manifests the myriads of mystical moods and relationships, thus supplying Śrī Kṛṣṇa with constant amusement leading to His helical participation. Śrī Kṛṣṇa playing His flute to attract the gopīs, taking the cows to graze, performing the rāsa-līlā dance, etc., are examples of activities arranged by the saṁvit-śakti. The sandhinī-śakti maintains the spiritual abode of Śrī Vraja wherein Śrī Kṛṣṇa remains immersed in the exchange of spiritual rasa. Śrī Vraja is the highest and most esoteric place of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes.”

Vrajanātha, “Dear master, you have explained that sandhinī, saṁvit, and hlādinī are the three properties of the svarūpa-śakti and that these three properties are minutely present in the jīva-śakti and perversely reflected in the māyā-śakti. I am eager to learn the details of the manner in which these three properties are present in these two śaktis.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “A diminutive portion of the svarūpa-śakti is present in the jīva, therefore Her three properties are also present within the jīva in a small quantity. The hlādinī-śakti is present in the jīva as perfect brahmānanda, the bliss of Brahman transcendence, which is ready to be realized at any time. The saṁvit-śakti is manifested in the jīva as brahma-jñāna, knowledge of the undifferentiated Absolute Truth, and sandhinī-śakti is manifested in the jīva as anu-caitanya, the minute spark of the supreme consciousness. When these same properties are projected into the māyā-śakti on the material plane, they behave differently because of the resultant contamination. The hlādinī-śakti is exhibited as gross mundane pleasure, saṁvit-śakti as materialistic knowledge, and sandhinī-śakti as the fourteen planetary systems of the material creation and the physical forms encasing the jīva.”

Vrajanātha, “How can śakti be said to be acintya, inconceivable, if every activity she performs is subject to a hair-splitting analysis for comprehension by the intellect.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The individual points of this subject of śakti can be separately contemplated on, but as a whole, concerning their esoteric interrelationships and subtle juxtapositions, the śakti of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is quite inconceivable to the human intellect. On this material plane, conflicting and contradictory natures cannot coexist in one place or in one person because such contrasting natures mutually destroy one another. However, the śakti of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is so inconceivable that the seemingly contrary emotions, nature, and qualities of the spiritual world eternally coexist harmoniously in pristine splendour.

“Śrī Kṛṣṇa is simultaneously personal with a beautiful form and impersonal with an awe-inspiring presence; both all-pervasive and embodied; inactive and dynamically creative; unborn and born of His parents, Devakī and Vasudeva, and Yaśodā and Nanda; the Supreme Godhead, worshiped by all, and yet a simple cowherd boy; omniscient and yet accepting an incarnation that manifests human emotions; with form and qualities, yet also formless and unqualified; beyond sense perception and yet the personification of rasa; unlimited and yet limited by performing His pastimes as incarnations; unattainable and far away, yet very near in the heart of everyone; immutable and unconcerned, yet filled with consternation at the anger of the gopīs. There are innumerable examples of how these apparently conflicting emotions sustain as well as accelerate the transcendental pastimes of the Lord, be it in regard to the personality of the Lord, His dhāma, His associates, or paraphernalia. The eternal harmony of these opposing aspects indicates the inconceivable status of His śakti.”

Vrajanātha, “Do the Vedas subscribe to this view?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “This truth is amply supported in the Vedas, for example in the Svetāśvatara Upaniṣad, 3.79:

apāṇipādo javano grahītā paśyaty acakṣuḥ sa śṛnoty akarṇaḥ
sa vetti vedyaṁ na ca tasyāsti vettā tam āhur agryaṁ puruṣaṁ mahāntam

“‘Although the Supreme Lord is without hands and legs, He is always in motion and always receives every offering as He possesses a transcendental body with limbs. He can see without eyes and hear without ears as His senses and organs are entirely spiritual. He is the sole witness of every activity and the knower of all that is to be known, but no one knows Him or can judge Him as He is. The limited intellect of man cannot comprehend that He is a perfect spiritual body composed of supramundane senses. The brahma-jñānīs, those who know the Absolute Truth, glorify Him as the most magnanimous and the fountainhead of all causes.’

“The Īśopaniṣad, verse 5, states:

tad ejati tan naijati tad dūre tad vantike
tad antarasya sarvasya tad u sarvasyāsya bahyataḥ

“‘The Supreme Lord walks and does not walk. He is far away, yet He is very near as well. He is within everything, and yet again He is outside of everything.’

“Further, Īśopaniṣad, verse 8, states:

sa paryagāc chukram akāyam avraṇam
asnāviraṁ śuddham apāpa-viddham
kavir manīṣī paribhūḥ svayambhūr
yāthātathyato ’rthān vyadadhāc chāśvatībhyaḥ samābhyaḥ

“‘That Supreme Soul is all-pervasive, pure, without mundane subtle and gross bodies, immutable, without veins, without material designations, transcendental, brilliantly beautiful, omniscient, unsurpassable, and self-manifest. He personally bestows upon all eternal entities their particular natures through the agency of His inconceivable potency.’

Vrajanātha, “Is it mentioned in the Vedas that the absolutely independent Supreme Lord spontaneously decides to descend to this earth as an incarnation?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Yes, there are numerous examples in the Vedas. The Talavakāra, the Kena Upaniṣad, describes a discussion between Umā and Lord Śiva. Indra and the other Devatās after defeating the Asuras in a fierce battle became extremely arrogant and proud, even amongst themselves. Unannounced and quite suddenly the Supreme Lord descended in a wondrously glorious form and asked of the devas the reason for their pride. The Lord then gave them a single blade of grass and asked them to destroy it by their own powers. However, to the total amazement of all assembled, Agni, the god of fire, using all his power could not burn the grass in the least. And then Vāyu, the god of wind, completely failed to blow the blade of grass away. Actually, none of the Devas succeeded in fulfilling the command of the Lord. Thereafter, they realized and accepted the divine instruction of the Supreme Lord. The dazzling beauty and wonderful prowess of the Lord enthralled them in awe.

“As in the Kena Upaniṣad, 3.6:

tasmai tṛṇaṁ nidadhāv etad daheti
tad upapreyāya sarva javena tan na
śaśāka dagdhum sa tata eva nivavṛte
naitad aśakaṁ vijñātuṁ yad etad yakṣam iti

“‘The Yakṣa being, the Supreme Lord, placed a blade of grass before Agni, the god of fire, and requested him, “Show Me how you can burn this.” Agni tried all possible means within his powers, but failed to burn it. He was ashamed and went back to the other devas and said, “I could not comprehend who this great personality actually is.”

“The purport of this mysterious incident is that the Supreme Lord, who is described everywhere as captivatingly beautiful, descends at will and on the spur of the moment to sport in pastimes with the jīvas.”

Vrajanātha, “I have heard that the Supreme Lord is the endless source of rasa. Where is this mentioned in the Vedas?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The following unequivocal statement is cited from the Taittirīya Upaniṣad, 2.7.1:

yadvaitat raso vai saḥ
rasaṁ hy evāyaṁ labdhvānandī bhāvati
ko hy evānyāt kaḥ prāṇyāt
yad eṣa ākāśa ānando na syāt
eṣa hy evānandayati

“‘The One who has been described (in the previous verse of the Upaniṣad) as the paragon of piety and merit is in truth paramabrahma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the embodiment of rasa. Only when the jīva is able to attain Him, the rasa svarūpa, the embodiment of spiritual mellows, can he be truly happy. Who could breathe without the Lord giving breath? Who could be happy without the Lord giving happiness? It is He who gives transcendental bliss.’”

Vrajanātha, “When He is rasa-svarūpa, why then can the gross materialists not see Him?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “There are two groups of māyābaddha-jīvas, conditioned souls. One group are parāk, spiritually apathetic; they turn their back to Śrī Kṛṣṇa and are attracted to matter. The other group is pratyak, spiritually attracted; they face Śrī Kṛṣṇa and are drawn to the inner self and Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The extroverted parāk jīvas deny Śrī Kṛṣṇa and by turning their back on the Lord are thereby deprived of beholding the sublime beauteous splendour of the Lord. Their consciousness is projected into the material phenomena; thus, they see and think only of matter. On the other hand, the introverted pratyak jīvas are averse to māyā and are attracted to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, being therefore eligible to perceive Śrī Kṛṣṇa who is the embodiment of the all-blissful spiritual mellows.

“The Kaṭhopaniṣad, 2.1.1, states as follows:

parāñci khāni vyatṛṇat svayam-bhūs
tasmāt parāṅ paśyati nāntar atman
kaścid dhīraḥ pratyag-ātmānam aikṣad
āvṛtta-cakṣur amṛtatvam icchan

“‘Svayambhū, Lord Brahmā, has designed the senses of the jīva in such a way that they are naturally driven outwards onto matter and hence the consciousness of the jīva is projected externally. This extrovert inclination prevents him from seeing the Paramātmā manifestation of the Supreme Lord within himself. Only a meagre handful of dhīrās, introspective sages, have an intense desire to obtain immortal nectar in the form of pure devotion to Śrī Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. These dhīrās withdraw their senses from the external sense objects and by projecting them inwards see the Supreme Personality of Godhead who resides within.’”

Vrajanātha, “Kindly delineate in detail the embodiment of spiritual mellows, who is described in the Vedas, Taittirīya Upaniṣad, 2.7.1, with the words:

raso vai saḥ rasaṁ hy evāyaṁ labdhvānandī bhavati

“‘He Himself is rasa, the taste or mellow of a particular relationship. Certainly one who achieves this rasa becomes ānandī, filled with bliss.’”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “We come across these verses in the Gopala-tapani, Purva 13.1:

gopa-veśaṁ abhrābhaṁ taruṇaṁ kalpa-drumāśritam
sat-puṇḍarīka-nayanaṁ meghābhaṁ vaidyutāmbaram
dvi-bhujaṁ mauna-mudrāḍhyaṁ vana-mālinam īśvaram

“‘Behold that ever-youthful boy, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, dressed as a cowherd boy, with eyes like lotus petals. His complexion is that of fresh monsoon clouds and His aura shines more dazzlingly than the lightning bolt. He wears a brilliant golden yellow dhoti, lower garment. His two-handed form is most exquisite; He is omniscient and a garland of wild flowers adorns His chest. Anyone who meditates upon this wonderful form of the Lord is immediately released from the shackles of saṁsāra.’

Vrajanātha, “Now, at last, I have understood the truth that Śrī Kṛṣṇa alone is the absolute embodiment of complete perfection, eternally situated in the spiritual realm, the omnipotent supreme shelter of all living entities, the personification and repository of every transcendental mellow and relationship. He is unattainable for the monistic jñānīs and only partially revealed as the Paramātmā to the mystic yogis pursuing the path of aṣtangayoga.

“Impersonal Brahman is His bodily effulgence. He is the highest worshipable Deity, the eternal and absolutely spiritual Supreme Personality. Yet, I cannot easily approach Him because He is transcendental to intellectual interrogation. However, can man employ anything else besides his intellect to research these matters, be he be either a highborn brāhmaṇa or a low-class caṇḍāla? I feel that it is an extremely onerous task to attract His mercy.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “In the Kaṭhopaniṣad, 2.2.13, we find the relevant passage once more:

tam ātma-sthaṁ ye ’nupaśyanti dhīrās
teṣāṁ śāntiḥ śāśvatī netareṣām

“‘Only those learned persons who can perceive the Supreme Lord, Paramātmā, within their hearts can attain lasting happiness, not others.’

Vrajanātha, “Yes, one obtains permanent peace and joy seeing the Supreme Lord, the Paramātmā, within one’s heart. The question is how can one see Him? That remains a mystery.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The Kaṭhopaniṣad, 1.2.23, states:

nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo
na medhayā na bahunā śrutena
yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyas
tasyaiṣa ātmā vivṛṇute tanuṁ svām

“‘Knowledge of the Supreme Absolute Truth is neither acquired through endless debates, nor through a sharp intellect, nor through erudition. Yet, when the jīva soul turns to the Supreme Lord with a mood of service and begs for His mercy, the Lord from within reciprocates and reveals Himself to such a sincere soul.’

“Further, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 10.14.29, declares:

athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi
jānāti tattvaṁ bhagavan-mahimno na cānya eko ’pi ciraṁ vicinvan

“‘O Lord! The person who is favoured by even a slight particle of the kṛpāprasāda, divine mercy, from Your lotus feet is alone eligible to know in truth Your Supreme Personality, which is the embodiment of eternity, absolute knowledge, and bliss. Others may interpret the scriptures endlessly or seek You through intellectual jugglery, but they will never succeed.’

“Dear Son, the beloved Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Soul of all souls, is very merciful and the most precious. He is attained neither by merely scrutinizing the scriptures, nor by the elaborate deliberations of philosophy. Neither by being a talented clairvoyant with an incisive intellect, nor by having many gurus will one be crowned with success. The Lord showers His mercy and reveals His blissful form of transcendental majesty, eternity, absolute knowledge, and bliss to one who lovingly accepts Him as his very own. Employing this mood of abhidheya-tattva will bring you home, back to Godhead.”

Vrajanātha, “Is the dhāma of Śrī Kṛṣṇa mentioned in the Vedas?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “There are many references in the Vedas to Kṛṣṇa’s dhāma, which has been described by many different names, such as Paravyoma, Samvyoma, Brahma-gopāla-purī, Gokula, and so on. Take for instance this quote from the Svetāśvatara Upaniṣad, 4.8:

ṛco akṣare parame vyoman yasmin deva adhi viśve niṣeduḥ
yas taṁ na veda kim ṛcā kariṣyati ya iti tad vidus ta ime samāsate

“‘The Supreme Being, known as akṣara as ascertained in the verses of the Ṛg Veda, resides in the spiritual sky known as Paravyoma. All the Devas are dependent upon this Supreme Personality of Godhead. The jīvas who do not know Him will gain nothing from studying the Vedas; yet those who through devotional service have realized Him have been blessed with the greatest reward.’

“In the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad, 2.2.7, we find:

divye brahma-pure hy eṣa vyomny ātmā pratiṣṭhitaḥ

“‘The Supreme Personality, whose magnanimity and majesty are famous throughout the entire creation, resides eternally in the transcendental realm of Paravyoma.’

“The Puruṣa-bodhinī Upaniṣad states:

 gokulākhye māthura-maṇḍale dve-parśve candrāvalī rādhikā ca

 “‘In Gokula, a part of the Mathurā district of the spiritual sky, the Supreme Personality of Godhead resides with Śrīmatī Rādhikā on one side and Śrī Candrāvalī on the other.’

“Further, the Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad, 2.36, states:

tāsāṁ madhye sākṣād brahma gopāla-purī

“‘Amongst all these [abodes], the residence of Śrī Gopāla, Brahma-gopāla-purī, is directly the transcendental Absolute Truth.’

 Vrajanātha, “The tantric brāhmaṇas consider the śakti of Lord Śiva as the ādyaśakti. Why?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The potency of Lord Śiva is known as the māyā-śakti. Māyā Devī, the embodiment of the māyā-śakti, possesses the three material modes of sattva, rāja, and tama. According to the particular material mode with which the worshipper is predominantly conditioned, Māyā Devī is perceived. Those brāhmaṇas, who are endowed with the mode of sattva, worship Māyā Devī as the mistress of that mode with a mood of righteous sanctity. The rājasika brāhmaṇas, fastened by rājaguṇa, worship Māyā Devī as the mistress of rājaguṇa. The tāmasika brāhmaṇas, as they are in tamaguṇa, worship Māyā Devī as the mistress of that mode and the goddess of darkness, known as Vidyā Devī.

“Indeed, Māyā Devī is merely a transformation and a reflected image of the svarūpa-śakti of the Supreme Lord; she is not a separate or independent śakti. Māyā Devī is the cause of the imprisonment of the jīva and also the cause of his release. If the jīva rejects Kṛṣṇa, Māyā Devī ensnares him in material existence and punishes him. If the jīva devotes himself to the service of Kṛṣṇa, then Māyā Devī manifests her sattvaguṇa and rewards him with knowledge of Kṛṣṇa. Under the influence of the lower modes of the māyāśakti, rāja and tama, the jīvas are unable to perceive the transcendental absolute embodiment of the svarūpaśakti, Śrī Rādhikā, and thus falsely name Māyā Devī as the ādyaśakti. A bewildered jīva, in the clutches of māyā, is capable of elevating his consciousness to the perception of the actual tattva only by sukṛti and without performing sukṛti, he stagnates in rāja and tama under false conceptions.”

Vrajanātha, “Śrī Durgā Devī is listed as an eternal associate of Śrī Hari in the Gokula-upāsanā. Who is this Durgā Devī of Gokula?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “She is known as Yogamāyā, an expansion of the citśakti, and is the fountainhead of the transformations of the various transcendental potencies. When she is in the spiritual world, she asserts her position as non-different from the svarūpaśakti. However, when she expands down to the material world she becomes Māyādevī, the embodiment of the māyā-śakti of the mundane sphere. Therefore, the māyāśakti of the material world is but a transformation of the yogamāyā-śakti of the spiritual world. And Māyā Devī, also known as Durgā in the material sphere, is an expanded maidservant of Durgā Devī, the Yogamāyā of Gokula.

“As Yogamāyā in the transcendental realm, she is the support and enhancer of the transcendental pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, thereby she is known as kṛṣṇa-līlā-poṣaṇa-śakti. In the spiritual abode, the pārakiyabhāva, the mood of paramourship, exhibited by the gopīs in order to fuel the transcendental desire of Śrī Kṛṣṇa for amorous dalliance is actually composed by Yogamāyā. It is important to understand Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 10.29.1, which describes the rāsalīlā pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa:

śrī-bādarāyaṇir uvāca
kṛṣṇabhagavān api tā rātṛīḥ śāradotphulla-mallikāḥ
vīkṣya rantuṁ manaś cakre yoga-māyām upāśritaḥ

“‘Śrī Bādarāyaṇi said, “Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full in all opulences, yet upon seeing those autumn nights scented with blossoming jasmine flowers, He turned His mind toward loving affairs. To fulfil His purposes, He employed His internal potency, Yogamāyā.’

“This verse indicates that Śrī Kṛṣṇa decided to enact the rāsalīlā pastimes under the supervision of His Yogamāyā potency. The svarūpaśakti undertakes many activities in the arena of cid-vilāsa, transcendental pastimes, which ostensibly are performed unknowingly in ājñāna, ignorance, but really are not. In order to nurture the rāsalīlā pastimes these seemingly unwitting acts are instigated by Yogamāyā.”

Vrajanātha, “Another question referring to the concept of dhāma comes to my mind. Please explain why the Vaiṣṇavas designate Navadvīpa as Śrīdhāma?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma is on the same spiritual level as Vṛndāvana-dhāma and within Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma the most sacred place is Śrī Māyāpura, because the Śrī Gokula of Vraja is manifested as the Śrī Māyāpura of Navadvīpa. Śrī Māyāpura is the mahā-yoga-pīṭha, the eternal abode of Śrī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa surrounded by their eternal and intimate associates, within Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma.

“The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 7.9.38, narrates: …channaḥ kalau… ‘In Kali-yuga the full incarnation of the Supreme Lord makes a covered appearance.’ Similarly, the same principle is applied to Navadvīpa-dhāma—in Kali-yuga Navadvīpa is the covered dhāma. In Kali-yuga there is no tīrtha-yatra, pilgrimage, superior to visiting Māyāpura. Furthermore, only those who understand the transcendental significance of Māyāpura are eligible to reside in Vraja-dhāma. To the extroverted gross materialist, who cannot understand the actual spiritual position and importance of the dhāma, Vraja and Navadvīpa appear inert and ordinary. Those jīvas who are extremely fortunate acquire transcendental vision and can see the dhāma in all her splendour.”

Vrajanātha, “Dear master, I am eager to learn further about the spiritual significance and identity of Navadvīpa-dhāma.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Goloka, Vṛndāvana and Śvetadvīpa constitute the inner sanctum of the paravyoma, the entire spiritual sky. In Goloka Śrī Kṛṣṇa performs His svakīya-līlā, His married conjugal pastimes; in Vṛndāvana Śrī Kṛṣṇa enacts His pārakiyalīlā, His conjugal pastimes as a paramour; and Śvetadvīpa is the stage for the remaining pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Spiritually the three abodes are equal, so Navadvīpa, a direct manifestation of Śvetadvīpa, is still equal to Vṛndāvana in every respect. The residents of Navadvīpa are immensely fortunate—they are the associates of Śrī Caitanya. On account of innumerable pious deeds a person is promoted to reside in Navadvīpa. Certain aspects of rasa, which are not expressed in Vṛndāvana, find their expression in Navadvīpa. Only a person who has become qualified to understand these particular rasas will be able to perceive them.”

Vrajanātha, “How large is Navadvīpa-dhāma?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Navadvīpa-dhāma is spread over thirty-two square miles in the form of an eight-petal lotus flower. Each of the eight petals represent a dvīpa, an island. The eight islands that are represented by the eight petals of the lotus are known as (1) Sīmantadvīpa, (2) Godrumadvīpa, (3) Madhyadvīpa, (4) Koladvīpa, (5) Ṛtudvīpa, (6) Jahnudvīpa, (7) Modadruma-dvīpa, and (8) Rudradvīpa. In the middle of these eight islands is the ninth island, the seed-vessel of the lotus, known as Antaradvīpa. Śrī Māyāpura is in the centre of this Antaradvīpa.

“Navadvīpa-dhāma and especially Māyāpura are so spiritually potent that anyone executing sādhana there will very soon be crowned with the highest success by the attainment of kṛṣṇaprema. The house of Śrī Jagannātha Miśra is the nucleus of Māyāpura. It is the yogapīṭha, and the eternal supramundane pastimes of Śrī Gaurāṅga are enacted and seen there by the most fortunate souls.”

Vrajanātha, “Is the līlā of Śrī Gaurāṅga the work of the svarūpaśakti?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The śakti that activates the līlā of Śrī Gaurāṅga is the same śakti that activates the līlā of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; there being absolutely no difference between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Gaurāṅga. The personal diary of Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara is quoted in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 1.5:

rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī śaktir asmād
ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau
caitanyākhyaṁ prakaṭam adhunā tad-dvayaṁ caikyam āptaṁ
rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-suvalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇa-svarūpam

“‘The loving affairs of Śrī Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa are transcendental manifestations of the internal pleasure-giving potency of the Lord. Although Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are one in Their identity, They have separated Themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united in the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī although He is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself.’

“Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Caitanya are eternally manifest and present. It is incorrect to conclude that one comes first and other later. The statement that Śrī Caitanya had separated to become Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, who then united to become again Śrī Gaurāṅga, expresses that both these manifestations are eternal and always present, not that one appears before the other. All the activities of the Supreme Absolute Truth are supramundane and eternal. Any person who considers either one of these two sets of pastimes as subordinate to the other is indeed entirely ignorant of the truth and quite devoid of any perception of rasa.”

Vrajanātha, “Śrī Gaurāṅga is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How should he be worshiped?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “To worship Śrī Gaurāṅga with the gauramantra gives the same result as worshiping Śrī Kṛṣṇa with the kṛṣṇa-mantra. Worshiping Gaurāṅga with the kṛṣṇamantra and vice versa is also identical. Only an ignorant illiterate and a disciple of Kali-yuga will try to find discrepancies in this.”

Vrajanātha, “How may one find the bona fide mantra of the channaḥ avatāra, covered incarnation, of the Supreme Lord?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The Pañcarātra and Āgama scriptures have plainly given the mantras for the proclaimed incarnations of the Lord and have also mentioned those for the covered incarnations, but in a cryptic manner. Those with a pure faith and an uncomplicated mind can fathom the importance of their words.”

Vrajanātha, “Does Śrī Gaurāṅga have a consort and if so what is the method for Their worship?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Śrī Gaurāṅga is worshiped in two ways, depending on His respective consort. In the sādhanabhakti stage of arcana-mārga, Deity worship of Śrī Gaurāṅga and Śrī Viṣṇupriyā is in the mood of awe and reverence. In rāgānuga-bhajana, the spontaneous stage of ragamārga, Śrī Gaurāṅga and Śrī Gadādhara Prabhu are worshiped.”

Vrajanātha, “To which category of śakti does Śrī Viṣṇupriyā Devī of Śrī Gaurāṅga belong?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “In general the devotees designate Her as Bhū-śakti. Yet, according to theological principles, She is on one hand the essence of the hlādinī-śakti and on the other hand the full manifestation of the saṁvit-śakti. Thus, She is bhakti-svarūpiṇī, the embodiment of the potency of pure devotional service, who came to assist Śrī Gaurāṅga in the propagation of harināma. The nine islands of Navadvīpa represent nava-vidhā bhakti, the nine types of devotional service; Śrī Viṣṇupriyā Devī embodies this nava-vidhā bhakti and is thus the mistress of the process of pure devotional service.”

Vrajanātha, “Master, then Śrī Viṣṇupriyā may be addressed as the svarūpa-śakti?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Yes, most certainly. She is the essence of the hlādinīśakti combined with the saṁvitśakti. Is that not sufficient to make Her the svarūpaśakti?”

Vrajanātha, “Master, I am keen to learn the process of Deity worship and in particular the worship of Śrī Gaurāṅga. However, first I would like to clear up a philosophical point. Having explained earlier that the cit-śakti, jīva-śakti, and māyāśakti are the emanations of the svarūpaśakti, again you said that hlādinī, saṁvit, and sandhinī are the three aspects of the svarūpa-śakti. Thus, all the activities of these three aspects—hlādinī, saṁvit, and sandhinī—that act upon the three emanations—cit, jīva, and māyā—are in fact activities of śakti. The spiritual world, spiritual body, spiritual relationships, spiritual pastimes, and so on, are also manifestations of śakti. How then may Śrī Kṛṣṇa, śaktimān-puruṣa, the source of śakti, be identified?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Yes, my son, that is certainly a leviathan problem. It seems you plan to end the misery of this old man with your sharp arrows of tricky rhetoric. However, this simple question has an equally simple answer, yet, to find a suitable candidate to comprehend the answer is most difficult. Listen attentively, while I answer your query.

“Certainly, the name, form, qualities, and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa convincingly show the power of śakti at play. Nevertheless, an independent prerogative and completely free will are not Her privileges—the Supreme Lord alone possesses these exclusive privileges. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is self-willed and an autocrat; He is the master and shelter of śakti. Śakti, the female counterpart of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is meant to be enjoyed and utilized by Him, the Supreme Enjoyer. Thus, śakti is dependent and subservient, while Śrī Kṛṣṇa is independent and Her master. Śakti surrounds and completely envelops the Supreme Lord and yet the Lord’s presence is constantly dynamic and perceived by all devoted souls, because in every such situation Kṛṣṇa asserts Himself as the Supreme Personality, the Lord of śakti.

“The jīva is able to perceive the Supreme and Independent Lord only when he is under the shelter of śakti and abides by Her wishes. Therefore, the conditioned soul cannot independently penetrate the coverings of śakti and directly meet the Supreme Lord. However, when the surrendered jīva is engaged in premabhakti, she ingresses through the coverings of śakti and sees Kṛṣṇa face to face. Bhakti is purely saturated with śakti and is therefore female and embodied as Bhakti Devī. Bhakti Devī is harmoniously devoted to the svarūpa-śakti of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and thus provides intimations of the Supreme Lordship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the sole puruṣa. Thus, through śuddha-bhakti the jīva may experience the virile dalliances and dynamism of the Self-willed Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”

Vrajanātha, “A distinct entity that exists beyond the parameters of śakti would indicate Brahman, as mentioned in the Upaniṣads.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The Brahman described in the Upaniṣads is without will and desireless. Whereas, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Person described in the Upaniṣads, is Self-willed and dynamic. Thus, the two principles are clearly distinct from one another. Brahman is impersonal, without form; Śrī Kṛṣṇa though separate from His śaktis is nevertheless personal and with a transcendental form. He possesses a divine personality and the autocratic liberty to enjoy and utilize His śaktis without restriction.

“Indeed, Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His śakti are simultaneously different and non-different from one another. The śakti of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which reveals Kṛṣṇa, is also directly Kṛṣṇa Himself. Yet simultaneously the hlādinīśakti of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhikā, asserts Herself as the consort of Kṛṣṇa with a separate identity. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the worshipable Lord to be served by all and Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the supreme śakti, is His maidservant. Their separate identities manifest the distinctions in Their individual natures.”

Vrajanātha, “Independent will and the position as the Supreme Enjoyer confirm the puruṣa status of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, what then is the desire of Śrīmatī Rādhikā?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The desire of Śrīmatī Rādhikā is always subordinate to the desire of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. She has no aspiration or activity independent of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Kṛṣṇa alone is the master of His will and the desire to serve Kṛṣṇa and be obedient to His will is the desire of Śrī Rādhikā. She is the full-fledged embodiment of śakti, the ādyaśakti. And Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the puruṣa, who is the Enjoyer, Lord and Fountainhead of this śakti.”

At this point, Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī became silent and contemplative, whilst Vrajanātha felt elated beyond words. He quickly stood up, offered prostrate obeisances, took permission to leave, and then departed for his residence in Bilva-puṣkariṇī village. A gradual but definite transformation was taking root in the consciousness of Vrajanātha. His grandmother especially took note of this and thus in earnest she busied herself to find him a life-partner.

Yet, Vrajanātha was not in the least concerned about all these mundane happenings. Day and night, he now pondered deeply over the teachings of Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī. When he had assimilated the dictums and philosophy properly, he would gladly return to Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī at Śrīvāsāṅgana for a further dose of this esoteric nectar and the jubilant consumption of every word.

Thus ends the fourteenth chapter of Jaiva-dharma, entitled: Nitya-dharma: Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana. Part Two: Śakti-vicāra, A Description of the Potencies of Śrī Kṛṣṇa

Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirteen
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Fifteen

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