Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirty Eight
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Forty

Chapter Thirty-nine
Entering the Pastimes of the Lord

by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
(translated by Śrī Sarvabhāvana Prabhu)

Vijaya-kumāra has now grown totally apathetic towards material life and the discussion thereof. Outwardly, he is seemingly perturbed. When he goes for darśana of Lord Jagannātha, he is unable to stem the upsurge of his spiritual emotions. Previously, he had studied the subject of rasa-tattva in a general manner, but only recently by the grace of Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī has he actually gained the proper esoteric comprehension of mādhurya-rasa along with its concomitant sthāyi-bhāva, vibhāva, anubhāvas, sattvika-bhāvas, and vyabhicārī-bhāvas. Now, after this deeper education, various bhāvas have been at random taking control of his heart for short periods, overwhelming him with ecstatic emotion. For days, he has been helpless in the face of these rampant eruptions of spiritual emotion, which seemingly willfully take control of his very self.

So, one day, seeing himself incapable of controlling these effects of bhāva, Vijaya fell with tear-filled eyes at the feet of Śrīla Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī, lamenting, “O Śrīla Gurudeva! Although I have learned everything from you, I am yet incapable of steadily sustaining my sthāyi-bhāva, and so I cannot properly place myself into the Lord’s līlā. Therefore, kindly impart the appropriate knowledge and method by which I may learn to do so.”

Observing Vijaya’s symptoms of prema, the heart of Śrī Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī pulsated with joy. Within himself he thought, “It is the very nature of kṛṣṇa-prema to project extreme ecstasy as colour and pain as rapture.” Aloud, he then said, “To enter the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, you must adopt the correct means.”

Vijaya, “What are those means, Gurudeva?”

Gosvāmī, “Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī writes in the second śloka of his book the Manaḥśikṣā, Instructions to the Mind:

na dharmaṁ nādharmaṁ śruti-gaṇa-niruktaṁ kila kuru
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pracura-paricaryām iha tanu
śacī-sūnuṁ nandīśvara-pati-sutatve guru-varaṁ
mukunda-preṣṭhatve smara param ajasraṁ nanu manaḥ

“‘My dear mind! Please do not perform the religious activities prescribed in the Vedas, nor the irreligious works forbidden by these scriptures. The ultimate conclusion of the entire Vedic literature is that the Divine Couple, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, is the Supreme object of worship, and that loving service to Them is the most relishable experience of all. Therefore, O mind, engage yourself fully in serving Them with love and devotion. Always meditate upon Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the son of Śrī Śacī Mātā, with the understanding that He is absolutely non-different from Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the son of Mahārāja Nanda. Dear mind, also meditate upon Śrī Guru who is a dearmost devotee of Śrī Mukunda Kṛṣṇa.’

“The purport is that the devotee must not squander precious time in determining the distinctions between Vedic dharma and adharma. Instead, he must discard the hair-splitting logic and stipulations found in the scriptures and fully apply himself with lobha for the execution of rāgānuga-bhakti, devotional service following the moods of attraction of the vrajavāsīs to Śrī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Vraja-vṛndāvana, where there is a multitude of spiritual chores.

“Service must be rendered in the spiritual mood of Vraja. If there is a question as to who will teach you this method of service, the answer is that you will be taught by Śrī Caitanya, the Supreme Lord of the heart, who appeared from the womb of Śrī Śacī Mātā in Navadvīpa-dhāma, and who is non-different from the son of Mahārāja Nanda. Never doubt this truth. However, a devotee should never commit the mistake of thinking that because Śrī Caitanya appeared in Navadvīpa-dhāma to teach the unique worship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in parakīya-bhāva that Śrī Caitanya is then the paramour of Navadvīpa. Such a terrible mistake can only pollute the path of worship in vrajarasa introduced by Śrī Gaurāṅga.

“Gaurāṅga is Kṛṣṇa Himself, and therefore those devotees who have taken initiation into ritualistic Deity worship and have taken shelter in exclusive meditation upon Gaurāṅga and upon His mantra—the gaura-mantra—must never be disturbed by anybody. However, for those on the path of rasa-bhajana Śrī Gaurāṅga is to be worshiped as non-different from Śrī Kṛṣṇa and as being the most esoteric combination of Śrī Rādhā-vallabha and His beloved, Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Śrī Caitanya is the object of bhajana having appeared as the pre-eminent guru of vraja-rasa and the exemplification of the devotional life required for those aspirants of vraja-rasa. Therefore, first remember the daily pastimes of Śrī Caitanya as a part of your worship before you enter into meditation upon vraja-līlā, because caitanya-līlā naturally evokes aṣṭa-kālīya kṛṣṇa-līlā smaraṇa. Further, realize that your guru—on the path of rasa-bhajana—is non-different from a vraja-yūtheśvārī-sakhī. If you follow these prescribed steps in bhajana, You can enter the vraja-līlā of Kṛṣṇa.”

Vijaya, “Guruji, I have now understood that I must relinquish attachment for scriptural logic and renounce all other paths in order to single-mindedly cultivate the devotional service that is applicable to the aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā of Kṛṣṇa. I must follow the scriptural mood initiated by Śrī Caitanya and execute my bhajana under the guidance of the guru who is seen as a sakhī. However, how do I firmly fix my mind in implementing this line of bhajana?”

Gosvāmī, “Steadiness in one’s resolve comes from two areas of realization: upāsya-pariṣkṛti, clearly understanding the object of worship; and by upāsaka-pariṣkṛti, clearly understanding the role and nature of the worshipper. You have become knowledgeable about the principles of rasatattva and the object of rasa, Śrī Kṛṣṇa; therefore, you have accomplished the first—upāsya-pariṣkṛti. However, pertinent to the second, upāsaka-pariṣkṛti, there is the understanding of the ekādaśabhāva, eleven items of spiritual identity. You have already cultivated most of this eleven, but there are more to be understood, and you should become more firmly established in them all.”

Vijaya, “Kindly enumerate and delineate them.”

Gosvāmī, “The eleven items of identity are sambandha, relationship; vayasa, age; nāma, name; rūpa, form; yūtha, group; veṣa, dress; ājñā, specific order; vāsa, residence; sevā, service; parākāṣṭhā-śvāsa, highest aspiration; and pālya-dāsī-bhāva, one’s particular temperament as a maintained maidservant.”

Vijaya, “What is meant by sambandha?”

Gosvāmī, “Sambandha in this context is the foundation. The sambandha, eternal intrinsic constitutional relationship with Kṛṣṇa, which the sādhaka cultivates from the beginning of sādhana, matures into perfection at the stage of siddhi. Those sādhakas who have worshiped Kṛṣṇa as Lord and Master later become His servitors in dāsya-rasa. Those sādhakas who felt the attraction to serve Kṛṣṇa as their dear sakhā accordingly are positioned in the transcendental land of Vraja in that role. Those sādhakas whose natural affection for Kṛṣṇa was in the protective and paternal mood become devotees in vātsalya-rasa. Those sādhakas who loved Kṛṣṇa as their beloved husband become the queens of Dvārakā in svakīyarasa. In Vraja, śānta-rasa in practical terms is absent and dāsya-rasa is faded before the sweet brilliance of the higher rasas.

“One’s sambandha is established according to one’s ruci for a particular relationship. Vijaya, you naturally possess a transcendental feminine disposition plus parakīyaruci; thus, you are subservient to the Queen of the Vraja Forest Groves, Vraja-vaneśvarī Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Know your sambandha-bhāva, which you must realize, to be, ‘I am the assistant to the most confidential sakhī of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Rādhā is the mistress of my very life, and Kṛṣṇa is Her very life. Therefore, Rādhā-vallabha, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the beloved of Rādhā, is certainly the Lord of my heart.’”

Vijaya, “I have heard that the great preceptor Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī was in favour of sambandha in svakīya-bhāva. Is this true?”

Gosvāmī, “None of the intimate followers of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is bereft of pure parakīyabhāva. Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī is the foremost exponent and preceptor of parakīya-rasa. He has unequivocally propagated śuddha-parakīya-bhāva, and Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, and Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī are his students and fully ascribe to this mood and tattva. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī being naturally situated in parakīya-bhāva certainly never exhibited a preference for svakīyabhāva in his personal bhajana. However, he took note of the fact that some devotees in Vraja were practising svakīya-bhāva. At the stage where samartha-rati, boundless attachment, is slightly flavoured by samañjasā-rati, balanced attachment, the svakīya-bhāva of vrajalīlā manifests. Thus, those who at the time of establishing sambandha with Kṛṣṇa are even slightly influenced by svakīyabhāva worship later with the influence of that mood.

“Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī had two groups of disciples, one aspiring to parakīya-bhāva, the other aspiring to a mixed svakīya-bhāva. Therefore, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī gave instructions that took into consideration both tendencies of ruci amongst his disciples. This fact is unambiguously conveyed in his composition of the following śloka in his Locana-rocanī ṭīkā on Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi:

svecchayā-likhitaṁ kiñcit…

“‘I have written what is suitable for devotees who are inclined in a particular way.’”

Vijaya, “Yes, I am convinced that parakīya bhajana is propounded without any contradiction according to the original pure Gaudiya conception. The topic of sambandha is now clear to me; kindly elucidate the next item, vayasa, age.”

Gosvāmī, “Based upon your sambandha with Kṛṣṇa, a wonderful svarūpa will manifest—that of a beautiful gopī of Vraja. Compatible with your service, a suitable vayasa is fixed—the period between ten and sixteen years is known as kaiśora, adolescence, and this is your vayasa. In your svarūpa, you will start at the age of ten and with advancing service you will reach the age of sixteen. This age range is also known as vayaḥ-sandhi. The vraja-lalanās, beautiful gopīs of Vṛndāvana, are not situated the ages of bālya, infancy (birth to five years), and paugaṇḍa, childhood (six to ten years), nor vṛddha, adulthood; so you should consider yourself eternally a kiśorī and feel and imbibe her transcendent sentiments.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, I have already received a name through vaiṣṇavadīkśā, but I would like to have a clearer understanding of nāma, one’s eternal name.”

Gosvāmī, “In culturing mādhurya-bhāva by hearing descriptions of the services and personalities of the sakhīs, one naturally follows in the footsteps of a particular sakhī of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, according to one’s own ruci in bhajana. The name given to one by the sakhī to whom one adheres is one’s eternal name. Also one should understand that the name conferred by the guru after he has tested one’s ruci is one’s eternal name. The sakhīs will feel ecstatic pleasure to address you by this eternal name.”

Vijaya, “Kindly speak about rūpa.”

Gosvāmī, “When you are established in spiritual consciousness as a captivatingly beautiful young kiśorī maiden according to your ruci, then your constitutional siddha-svarūpa will naturally be noted and revealed by your guru. Unless one possesses an inconceivably beautiful spiritual form how is it possible to serve Śrīmatī Rādhikā as Her maid?”

Vijaya, “I would like to know more about yūtha.”

Gosvāmī, “Śrīmatī Rādhikā Herself is the yūtheśvārī, and you will live as an assistant of one of the eight principle sakhīs of Śrīmatī. Your Gurudeva has assigned you to the group of Śrī Lalitā Devī according to your ruci. Based on the instructions of Śrī Lalitā Devī under yūtheśvārī Śrī Rādhā, you will serve Kṛṣṇa, the personification of līlā.”

Vijaya, “Mahārāja, what kinds of sādhakas join the yūtha of other yūtheśvarīs such as Śrī Candrāvalī Devī?”

Gosvāmī, “Incalculable good fortune and sukṛti accumulated over innumerable lifetimes inspires a jīva to nurture mādhurya-bhāva serving under a yūtheśvārī, and only the most fortunate of jīvas are admitted to the yūtha of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Śrī Candrāvalī and other yūtheśvārīs also are conscientious and eager to serve and help accomplish the pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava. Although they are of the vipakṣayūtha, opposite camp, ultimately they have embraced this bhāva in order to enhance and nourish the rasa, between Śrī Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. Thus, in truth, Śrīmatī Rādhikā is the only true yūtheśvārī, being without equal. She embodies the entire spectrum of abhimāna in Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s variegated līlā, and under Rādhikā’s direction each soul develops his or her constitutional abhimāna and serves accordingly.”

Vijaya, “What is veṣa, in detail?”

Gosvāmī, “Whatever be your assigned service, you will automatically cultivate artistry and acumen in its execution. For this perfection of your service, suitable guṇa, qualities, and veṣa, dress, are required by you. These are ascertained by your guru, keeping in mind your ruci and sevā.”

Vijaya, “What is understood by ājñā?”

Gosvāmī, “There are two types of ājñā, order: nitya, constant; and naimittika, occasional. The compassionate sakhī who is your guru instructs you in how to perform your particular nitya-sevā. This is your nitya-ājñā, eternal order, that you are duty-bound to execute regularly in the aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā with all expertise. Sometimes however, depending upon the situation, a contingency arises and you receive additional instructions. These are naimittika-ājñā, occasional orders, and must also be executed meticulously and of course joyfully.”

Vijaya, “Kindly elaborate on vāsa.”

Gosvāmī, “Eternal residence in Vraja is vāsa. You take birth in a designated village within Vraja as a gopī and later marry a gopa from a neighbouring village. However, being magically drawn by the magnetic song of Kṛṣṇa’s flute, you seek shelter of a sakhī and take up residence in a cottage in one of the idyllic groves belonging to that sakhī upon the bank of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa. This residence attained because of your sentiment of parakīyarasa is your vāsa. You reside there immersed in parakīya-bhāva as your nitya-siddha-bhāva.”

Vijaya, “How is sevā defined in this context?”

Gosvāmī, “You are the devoted follower of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, and loving service to Her is your only service. If Śrīmatī sends you to meet Kṛṣṇa at a solitary place and Kṛṣṇa makes romantic advances to you, then you must graciously turn Him down, because you must always remember that you are Śrīmatī’s dāsī and as such you are not free to render service to Kṛṣṇa without Her consent. You must maintain equal affection to both Śrī Rādhikā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa, although you should be eager to cultivate the mood of loving servitorship more to Śrīmatī Rādhikā than to Kṛṣṇa. This is the essence of sevā.

“Your sevā is your specific aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā duties and services for Śrīmatī Rādhikā. You will find details of your type of sevā in Śrīla Raghunāthadāsa Gosvāmī’s book Vilāpa-kusumāñjali. This book has been written in concurrence with the devotional mood of Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, which he revealed in his kaḍacā, personal diary.”

Vijaya, “How may one’s parākāṣṭhā-śvāsa be ascertained?”

Gosvāmī, “Śrīla Raghunāthadāsa Gosvāmī has defined this item of parākāṣṭhā-śvāsa, highest aspiration, in two ślokas, 102 and 100, in his Vilāpa-kusumāñjali:

āśā-bharair amṛta-sindhu-mayaiḥ kathañcit
kālo mayātigamitaḥ kila sāmprataṁ hi
tvaṁ cet kṛpāṁ mayi vidhāsyasi naiva kiṁ me
prāṇair vrajena ca varoru bakāriṇāpi

“‘O ravishingly beautiful Śrī Rādhe! I am passing my days and nights in torment, with the singular hope that I may obtain the ocean of immortal nectar, so kindly shower Your grace upon me. For deprived of Your mercy of what use are my life, residence in Vraja, or even servitorship to Kṛṣṇa, the enemy of Bakāsura?’ (102)

hā nātha gokula-sudhākara su-prasanna-
vaktrāravinda madhura-smita he kṛpārdra
yatra tvayā viharate praṇayaiḥ priyārāt
tatraiva mām api naya priya-sevanāya

“‘O moon of Gokula, Kṛṣṇa! Your lotus-like face is always beautifully decorated with a charming smile. O embodiment of compassion! The place where you always take Śrīmatī Rādhikā for amorous pastimes, kindly take me there also, so that I may serve Your beloved.’” (100)

Vijaya, “What are the characteristics of pālya-dāsī-bhāva?”

Gosvāmī, “Again Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī has aptly described the qualities of a pālyadāsī, maidservant who is fully sheltered by Śri Rādhā, in his Vraja-vilāsa-stava, śloka 29:

sāndra-prema-rasaiḥ plutā priyatayā prāgalbhyam āptā tayoḥ
prāṇa-preṣṭha-vayasyayor anudinaṁ līlābhisāraṁ kramaiḥ
vaidagdhyena tathā sakhīṁ prati sadā mānasya śikṣāṁ rasair
yeyaṁ kārayatīha hanta lalitā gṛhṇātu sā māṁ gaṇaiḥ

“‘There is one sakhī who being steeped in the mellow of intense love has turned intrepid, shameless, and without scruples. Impelled by this love, she makes daily arrangements for a lover’s union between her most beloved Śrī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa, thus enhancing Their pastimes. Being wise and crafty, she teaches her dearest girlfriend, Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the art of rasa as well as the art of māna. May that sakhī, Śrī Lalitā Devī, accept me as one of her team and treat me as her pālyadāsī.’”

Vijaya, “How does the pālya-dāsī conduct herself with the other followers of Śrī Lalitā Devī?”

Gosvāmī, “Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī has inducted the complete teachings of Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī into his compositions; therefore, these esoteric details are available in the writings of the Dāsa Gosvāmī. Again, in Vraja-vilāsa-stava, śloka 38, your question is answered:

tāmbūlārpaṇa-pāda-mardana-payodānābhisārādibhir
vṛndāraṇya-maheśvarīṁ priyatayā yās toṣayanti priyāḥ
prāṇa-preṣṭha-sakhī-kulād api kilāsaṅkocitā bhūmikāḥ
kelī-bhūmiṣu rūpa-mañjarī-mukhās tā dāsikāh saṁśraye

“‘The prāṇapreṣṭha group of sakhīs always keep Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the Queen of Vṛndāvana, fully contented with their loving service by supplying Her with tāmbūla, massaging Her feet, bringing water, setting up secret meetings with Her paramour, and so on. However, I desire to take shelter of those maidservants of Śrīmatī who have acquired an even more unreserved attitude than the prāṇa-preṣṭha sakhīs, and who thus draw more affection from Rādhikā, and are privileged to serve Rādhikā unhesitatingly at Her most intimate moments. I take shelter of these gopī maidservants who have Rūpa-mañjarī as their leader and I am proud to have them as my śikṣā-gurus in devotional service.’”

Vijaya, “How must I behave with other principle sakhīs?”

Gosvāmī, “This has also been properly indicated by Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī in his Vraja-vilāsa-stava, śloka 30:

praṇaya-lalita-narma-sphāra-bhūmis tayor yā
vraja-pura-nava-yūnor yā ca kaṇṭhān pikānām
nayati param adhastād divya-gānena tuṣṭyā
prathayatu mama dīkṣāṁ hanta seyaṁ viśākhā

“‘Śrī Viśākhā Devī is full of intimate love, expertly organizing the ecstatic amorous sports of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. She brings great delight to the Divine Couple by her sweet playful humour and the singing of her mellifluent voice that shames the spring songs of the kokila, the cuckoo. May that Śrī Viśākhā Devī be merciful and teach me the art of music.’

“This is the submissive attitude of love you have to cultivate towards all the other sakhīs.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, what should be my attitude towards the vipakṣa-sakhīs?”

Gosvāmī, “The following conveys Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī’s opinion on this issue, Vrajavilāsastava, śloka 41:

sāpatnyoccaya-rajyad-ujjvala-rasasyoccaih samudvṛddhaye
saubhāgyodbhaṭa-garva-vibhrama-bhṛtah śrī-rādhikāyāḥ sphuṭam
govindaḥ smara-phulla-vallava-vadhu vargeṇa yena kṣaṇaṁ
kṛīdaty eṣa tam atra vistṛta-mahā-puṇyañ ca vandāmahe

“‘In order to nourish and augment the śṛṅgāra-rasa of Śrīmatī Rādhikā for Kṛṣṇa, some sakhīs have become sapatnyā, competing lovers, possessing qualities such as saubhāgya, good fortune; udbhaṭa, splendour; garva, pride; vibhrama, allurement; and so on. Śrī Kṛṣṇa engages in amorous pastimes with these gopīs for short periods. I repeatedly offer my glorifications and obeisances to these damsels of Vraja, Śrī Candrāvalī being chief amongst them.’

“This respectful attitude should be maintained towards the vipakṣa-sakhīs, however whilst executing one’s own specified devotional service there may be times in the līlā when one may laugh at, mock, or jest with the vipakṣa-sakhīs.’

“The purport of all these teaching is as follows: One should execute one’s devotional service with reference to the mood and method portrayed in the Vilāpa-kusumāñjali. In the Vraja-vilāsa-stava, one will discover how to conduct oneself appropriately with the respective sakhīs. The pastimes of Rādhā Kṛṣṇa are described in the Viśākhānanda-stotram; within these pastimes, one should see the aṣṭakālīyalīlā and emulate in one’s meditation the standard so portrayed. The Śrī Manaḥ-śikṣā has laid down a systematic procedure for one to enter into and become absorbed in the pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa; one should follow it without guile. One should practice one’s bhajana according to the bhāva of ecstatic love expressed in the Śrī Svaniyama-daśaka-stotram. These five books have all been composed by Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has exhaustively elaborated upon the details of rasatattva. Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally gave him this service and specially blessed him to fulfil the responsibility. However, the methods by which an aspiring soul may develop such rasa in the intimate service of Rādhā Kṛṣṇa have been compiled by Śrīla Raghunāthad Dāsa Gosvāmī from the famous diaries of Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī. All followers received their particular missions on the order of Śrī Caitanya and were empowered by the Lord for the successful fulfilment of their particular order.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, I am very curious to know what further responsibilities were given to whom by the Lord.”

Gosvāmī, “Śrī Caitanya instructed Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara to disseminate rasa-upāsanā, the process of bhajana inculcated with rasa. Accordingly, he composed his diaries on rasaupāsanā comprising two sections: antaḥ-panthā, the esoteric, internal means of attainment; and bahiḥ-panthā, the exoteric, external means of attainment. The esoteric process was entrusted to Śrīla Raghunāthadāsa Gosvāmī, as amply exhibited in his books, and the exoteric rasa-upāsanā was allocated to Śrīla Vakreśvara Paṇḍita, which is the treasure of our spiritual lineage. This exoteric rasaupāsanā was passed on to me by Śrīla Vakreśvara Paṇḍita and from me to Śrī Dhyānacandra who has compiled it in a book of which you are now the fortunate recipient.

“The task and potency to propagate the glories of hari-nāma was given to Śrī Nityānanda and Śrīla Advaita Ācārya. The Lord chose Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī to explain the principles of rasa. Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī was responsible for delineating the principles of vaidhībhakti; the relationship between vaidhī-bhakti and rāga-bhakti; and the subtle esoteric truths regarding the prākṛta and aprākṛta pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Vraja.

“To Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, via Śrī Nityānanda and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, the Lord ordered that the principles of sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana be properly analysed and annotated. In this manner, the chief followers of the Lord set out to execute their assigned missions.”

Vijaya, “What responsibility was allotted to Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya?”

Gosvāmī, “Śrī Caitanya instructed Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya to broadcast the glories of rasa-tattva, which Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya accomplished through Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.”

Vijaya, “Did Śrīla Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya have a specific duty?”

Gosvāmī, “Śrīla Sārvabhauma was responsible for teaching the tattva of devotional service and surrender, which he passed on to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī through one of his disciples.”

Vijaya, “What responsibility was given to the preceptors of Gauḍīya Vaisnavism in general?”

Gosvāmī, “Their responsibility is to inspire faith in devotional service to Kṛṣṇa in humanity at large, as set down in the process introduced by Śrī Caitanya.

“Through some preceptors, the Lord taught rasa-tattva through the process of rasakīrtana, the melodic chanting of songs elucidating the spiritual mellows. From the empowered genius of these kīrtanīyas, a vast ocean of kīrtana-śāstra flowed, which now floods the land with instructive devotional songs.”

Vijaya, “What instructions were given to Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī?”

Gosvāmī, “Śrīla Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī was told to propagate the pre-eminence and glories of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.”

Vijaya, “What responsibility was given to Śrīla Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī?”

Gosvāmī, “Śrīla Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī carried the responsibility of writing treatises by which one can easily detect and expose aberrant philosophies and practices adulterating the teachings of pure śṛṅgārarasa. Simultaneously, he was to ensure that the importance of vaidhībhakti was understood and followed.”

Vijaya, “Did Śrīla Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī, uncle and guru of Śrīla Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, have an assignment from the Lord?”

Gosvāmī, “Yes, by the blessings of the Lord, he established and exhibited to the world in his ecstatic writings that the esoteric path of loving devotional surrender steeped in the sentiments of Vraja is the acme of spiritual realization.”

Vijaya felt great exultation upon hearing how these illustrious personalities had became humble instruments unfolding the munificent plans of the Supreme Lord and felt himself most blessed.

Thus ends the thirty-ninth chapter of the Jaiva-dharma, entitled:
Entering the Pastimes of the Lord

Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Thirty Eight
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Forty

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