Manaḥ Śikṣā

Verse 3

yadīccher āvāsaṁ vraja-bhuvi sa-rāgaṁ pratijanur
yuva-dvandvaṁ tac cet paricartium ārād abhilaṣeḥ
svarūpaṁ śrī-rūpaṁ sa-gaṇam iha tasyāgrajam api
sphuṭaṁ premṇā nityaṁ smara nama tadā tvaṁ śṛṇu manaḥ

(“O mind, please listen – if you desire to reside in Vraja with rāga birth after birth, and if you wish to directly serve the youthful Divine Couple, then you must constantly and specifically meditate upon, and offer respect with love unto Svārupa Dāmdodara, Śrī Rūpa, his brother (Sanātana) and their associates.”)


Bhajana-darpaṇa Bhāṣya

Objection: If one receives dikṣā and śikṣā from a Vaiṣṇava in any other sampradāya, can one attain residence in Vraja as well as rāgātmikā-bhakti? The answer is as follows:


VERSE MEANING:

yadi rāgātmikā bhaktir sahita vraja-vāsa-lālasā kara evaṁ śrī-śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇera sākṣāt paricaryā āśā kara, tabe he mana! tumi janme janme śrī-svarūpa gosvāmī, śrī-rūpa gosvāmī u śrī-sanātana gosvāmī prabhṛti śrī-śrī-mahāprabhura kṛpā-pātradigke nitya smaraṇa u praṇāma kara (3)

“If you desire rāgātmikābhakti while residing in Vraja and you wish to directly serve Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, then, O mind, birth after birth you must eternally offer respects and worship Śrī Svarupa Gosvāmī, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī and all the recipients of Śrī Śrī Mahāprabhu.”


1) Rāgātmtikā-bhakti (Bhakti permeated with spontaneous attachment):
In bhakti, sādhana and it’s perfection are of three types – sādhana-bhakti, bhāva-bhakti and prema-bhakti.  The siddhānta of Śrī Rūpa is :

ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyā
tato ‘nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā rucis tataḥ
athāsaktis tato bhāvas tataḥ premābhyudañcati
sādhakānām ayaṁ premṇaḥ prādurbhāve bhavet kramaḥ

(“Initially there must be śraddhā (faith) Then there is sādhu-saṅga (association with sādhus). Thereafter one engages in bhajana-kriyā (executing devotional activities). Then there is anartha-nivṛtti (the removal of unnecessary habits). Then niṣṭhā, (resolute determination) follows. Thereafter, one develops ruci (taste) and asakti (attachment).  Then bhāva (divine emotions) appears, and this gives rise to prema (divine love). This is the gradual development for the sādhaka in the attainment of prema.”- Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.4.15-16)

During the time when a practitioner executes sādhana, sādhana-bhakti has two divisions, namely vaidhi and rāgānuga. At the time of attaining the results of bhakti, there is a subtle difference. The subject of vaidhi-bhakti according to Śrī Rūpa is explained as follows:

yatra rāgānavāptatvāt pravṛttir upajāyate
śāsane naiva śāstrasya sā vaidhī bhaktir ucyate
śāstroktayā prabalayā tat tan maryādayānvitā
vaidhī bhaktir ayaṁ kaiścin maryādā-mārga ucyate

 (“When bhakti does not arise from rāga, but by the regulations of śāstra, it is called vaidhi-bhakti. Some persons refer to vaidhi-bhakti as the path of rules, maryādā, since it is restrained by the statements of the śāstra.”- Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.6.269)

The subject of rāgānuga-bhakti according to Śrī Rūpa is explained as follows:

virājantīm abhivyaktaṁ vraja-vāsi-janādiṣu
rāgātmikām anusṛtā yā sā rāgānugocyate
rāgānuga vivekārtham ādau rāgātmikocyate
iṣṭe svā-rasikī rāgaḥ paramāviṣṭatā bhavet
tanmayī yā bhaved bhaktiḥ sātra rāgātmikoditā
sā kāmarūpā sambandha-rūpāceti bhaved dvidhā

(“Rāgātmika shines forth and is fully expressed by the residents of Vraja. Bhakti which follows in accordance with that is known as rāgānuga. In order to describe rāgānugabhakti, one must first discuss rāgātmika-bhakti. Rāga is the cultivation of deep mellows and total absorption in one’s object of love. Bhakti which consists of such attachment is called rāgātmika of which there are two types – kāma-rūpa, or the form of conjugal desire for the Lord, and sambandha-rūpa, or the form of having a different relationship with the Lord.” – Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.270-3)

rāgātmikaika-niṣṭhā ye vraja-vāsi-janādayaḥ
teṣāṁ bhāvāptaye lubdho bhaved atrādhikāravān
tat-tad-bhāvādi-mādhurye śrute dhīryad apekṣate
nātra śāstraṁ na yuktiṁ ca tal lobhotpatti-lakṣaṇam

(“One who is greedy to attain that bhāva like the residents of Vraja, who are fully established in rāgātmika-bhakti, is qualified. The appearance of such greed is indicated when one’s intelligence is no longer dependent upon the rules of śāstra and logic, after realizing the sweetness of the bhāva of the Vraja-vāsis by hearing from the śrutī.” – Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.291-291)

vaidha-bhakty-adhikārī tu bhāvāvirbhāvanāvadhiḥ
atra śāstraṁ tathā tarkaṁ anukūlam apekṣate

(“Until the appearance of bhāva-bhakti, those who are qualified for vidhi-bhakti must depend upon the śāstra and logic.” – Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.193)

kṛṣṇaṁ smaran janaṁ cāsya preṣṭhaṁ nija-samīhitam
tat-tat-kathā-rataś cāsau kuryād vāsaṁ vraje sadā
sevā sādhaka-rūpeṇa siddha-rūpeṇa cātra hi
tad-bhāva-lipsunā kāryā vraja-lokānusārataḥ
śravaṇotkīrtanādīni vaidha-bhakty-uditāni tu
yāny aṅgāni ca tāny atra vijñeyāni manīṣibhiḥ

(“One should remember the form of Kṛṣṇa and His dear associates who have a similar mood that one aspires for. One should absorb oneself in topics related to them and always reside in Vraja. Following the inhabitants of Vraja, one should offer service in one’s sādhaka-rūpa, or physical body, and also in one’s siddharūpa, or spiritual form, desiring to attain that bhāva. According to the wise, the aṅgas of vaidhi-bhakti such as hearing, chanting etc. should continue in the stage of rāgānuga-bhakti.” – Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.294-296)

After surpassing sādhanadaśā (the stage of sādhana) one attains bhāva-daśā (the stage of bhāva). Another name of bhāva is rati. In relation to bhāva, Śrī Rūpa has said (in Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi):

iyam eva ratiḥ prauḍhā mahā-bhāva daśāṁ vrajet
yā mṛgyā syād vimuktānāṁ bhaktānāṁ ca varīyasām

(“When this rati is fully matured, it enters the stage of mahā-bhāva. For this reason, the best amongst liberated souls and devotees constantly seek it.” – Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi 14. 57)

syād dṛḍheyaṁ ratiḥ premā prodyan snehaḥ kramād ayam
syān-mānaḥ praṇayo rāgo ’nurāgo bhāva ity api
bījam ikṣuḥ sa ca rasaḥ sa guḍaḥ khaṇḍa eva saḥ
sa śarkarā sitā sā ca sā yathā syāt sitopalā ataḥ
prema-vilāsāḥ syur bhāvāḥ snehādayas tu ṣaṭ
prāyo vyavahriyante ’mī prema-śabdena sūribhiḥ
yasyā yādṛśa-jātīyaḥ kṛṣṇe premābhyudaṅcati
tasyāṁ tādṛśa-jātīyaḥ sa kṛṣṇasyāpy udīyate

(“When rati becomes steady, prema arises. This gradually develops into sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga and mahā-bhāva. This is like a seed which eventually becomes sugar cane, sugar cane juice, molasses, dried molasses, unrefined sugar, refined sugar and then rock candy. The wise use the word prema to denote the six stages from prema, sneha etc. up to mahā-bhāva. When a particular type of prema for Kṛṣṇa awakens within a devotee, then the very same type of love awakens within Kṛṣṇa also.” – Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi 14. 59-62)

The confidential conclusion here is that, in relation to the prema found in the śṛṇgārarasa of Vraja, is if it is present in any other sampradāya, it is very meagre. Thus, in his book, Śrī Dāsa Gosvāmī has advised the devotees to accept Śrī Svarūpa etc, the recipients of Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s mercy, as their śikṣā-gurus.


2) Janme janme (birth after birth)
:
Rāgātmikā-bhakti, which has the characteristics of prema, is perfected after many births. Yet, by divine mercy, one can achieve perfection quickly.