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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 2 and 3 > Vol 2 Abhidheya > 42- Vaidhi-bhakti

42- Vaidhi-bhakti


1.What is the path of regulative principles?


The rules and regulations given by the self-realized physicians to remove the  conditioned souls' disease are called regulative principles. The conditioned souls'  eternal, constitutional propensities are either dormant or perversely reflected as  attachment for material enjoyment. Prescribing regulative principles is meant to awaken  them to their actual constitutional propensities.


2.What propensities are prominent in vaidhi-bhakti and in raganuga-bhaktil ?


Awe and reverence, fearfulness and faith, are prominent in vaidhi-bhakti, while intense  greed to participate in Krsna's pastimes is prominent in rdgdnuga-bhakti.

(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 21)


3.What is a living entity's duty prior to attaining the platform of raga?


It is one's main duty to take shelter of regulative devotional service until one's raga is  awakened. {Caitanya-siksamrta 1/1)


4.What is the difference between smarta-dharma and sadhana-bhakti?


Smarta-dharma is another name for worldly morality. The prescribed religious  principles designed to bring about spiritual advancement are called sddhana-bhakti. (Caitanya-siksdmrta 3/1)


5.What is the ultimate benefit for a conditioned soul?


The conditioned souls are prone to material enjoyment, and thus it is inevitable that  they will suffer in the cycle of birth and death. Serving Krsna by giving up material  enjoyment brings about their ultimate benefit.  (Commentary on Siksdstakam, 1)


6. What is the duty of an embodied soul?


As long as you have this material body, carefully remain fixed in the principles of  bhakti. Always serve the devotees, chant the name of Krsna, worship Radha and Krsna,  and remain indifferent to sense gratification. By the mercy of the devotees, the holy  name, and the dhdma, keep undesirable association far away. Soon you will attain  residence in the eternal dhdma where pure service to Radha and Krsna manifests.  (Navadvipa-bhdva-tarahga, 107-108)


7. What are the differences between karma-yoga, jndna-yoga, indirect devotional  service, and direct devotional service?


When one acts for selfish enjoyment, that is called karma-kdnda. When one desires to  attain freedom from activity through knowledge, action karma-kdnda becomes  jhana-yoga or karma-yoga. When such activities are performed in a way that is  conducive to the attainment of bhakti, they are called jhana-bhakta-yoga or subsidiary  devotional practices. But only those activities characterized by the principles of pure  worship are called bhakti proper.

(Brahma-samhitd 5.61)


8.How many types of sukrti are there? How can one accumulate the sukrti born of  devotional service?


There are three types of sukrti: sukrti born of karma, sukrti born of jhdna, and sukrti  born of bhakti. In the first type of sukrti, one enjoys the fruits of one's karma. In the  second type, one attains liberation. In the third type, one develops firm faith in  unalloyed devotional service. Performance of the limbs of the devotional service without  one's knowledge is called sukrti born of devotional service. (Harindma-cintdmani,  Chapter 1)


9.What is the difference between real Bhajana and shadow bhajana?


The following statements are offered to neophyte Vaisnavas who practice chanting  namdbhdsa: "Even if one worships Krsna with various material desires, he will still attain  perfection in devotional service"; "By worshiping Krsna to fulfill one's material desire,  one attains the mellows of devotional service to Krsna"; "If an ambitious person  worships Krsna, then even though he does not desire pure devotion, Krsna will still  allow him to serve His lotus feet." The word bhajana in this context refers to the  unrelenting sddhana practiced by those who are almost Vaisnavas. But real bhajana lies  in the favorable cultivation of Krsna consciousness without the desire for sense  gratification, fruitive activities, or mental speculation.

(Sajjana Tosani 4/12)


10.What does it mean for a householder to control the urge of his genital?


To have sex with one's legitimate wife is called controlling the urge of the genital.  (Sajjana Tosani 11/5) 


11.Can foodstuffs cooked by nondevotees or pseudo devotees be offered to Krsna?


Only foodstuffs cooked by pure devotees should be offered to Krsna. Nondevotees and  pseudo devotees should not be present while the Vaisnavas are worshiping Krsna. (Harindma-cintdmani)


12. Should one take remnants of demigods? What is the harm if one does? When can  one take the remnants of demigods and demigoddesses?


Worshipers of the demigods are mostly Mayavadls. If one accepts prasdda from them,  one's devotional service is diminished. Accepting such prasdda is an offense to  Bhakti-devl. If a pure devotee offers the remnants of Krsna to the demigods and  demigoddesses, the demigods accept it with great pleasure and dance in ecstacy.  Thereafter a devotee can take their prasdda and become joyful.(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter  10)


13.How should those who desire their own benefit be resolved?


One should maintain simplicity in all one's activities. One should not keep one thing in  the heart and display something else in one's behavior. One should not try to collect  cheap adoration from persons who are averse to devotional service by displaying  artificial symptoms of ecstatic love. One should be partial to pure devotional service  and should not support any other conclusion. One's intention and behavior should be  one and the same. (Sajjana Tosani 8/10)


14.Are the worshipers of Krsna immoral or attached to matter? When can one actually  worship Krsna?


In order to worship Krsna, one must first become saintly. Women should not associate  with men and men should not associate with women. If one can gradually give up  mundane thoughts, activities, and try to progress on the path of spiritual  advancement, one will attain the body of agopi in Vraja. Unless one becomes a gopi, one  will not be able to worship Krsna. {Sajjana Tosani 10/6)


15. How should one respect Ekadasi day?


On the day before Ekadasi one should remain strictly celibate. On the day of Ekadasi,  one should fast even from water, stay awake throughout the night, and constantly chant  the holy names of Krsna. On the day after Ekadasi one should again observe strict  celibacy and break one's fast at the appropriate time. This is how one should respect  Ekadasi.

(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 20)


16.How should one observe Purusottama-vrata?


There are three kinds of transcendentalists, the svanisthd, parinisthita, and nirapeksa.  Vows like the Sri Purusottama-adhika-mdsa are meant for the svanisthd  transcendentalists. The parinisthita devotees are eligible to observe vows of  Purusottama according to the rules and regulations of Karttika vrata, as instructed by  their respective spiritual teachers. Because of their propensity to perform unalloyed  devotion, the nirapeksa devotees honor prasdda and engage in hearing and chanting  Hari's holy names day and night throughout the year according to their ability. (Sajjana  Tosani 10/6)


17.What kind of behavior should one follow?


In whatever dsrama one stays, one should give up attachment for sense enjoyment and  follow the principles of their dsrama. One should become enthusiastic about the  execution of devotional service to Krsna and follow the behavior of devotees. (Sajjana  Tosani 2/7) 


18. What procedure should a conditioned soul follow to attain Krsna's mercy?


A conditioned soul should gradually give up the nature and activities of the modes of  passion and ignorance, and should accept only the mode of goodness in all dealings  related to his livelihood. He should then make those activities fully transcendental to  the material modes by practicing devotional service. The more one's practice of  devotional service becomes purified, the more one becomes eligible to receive Krsna's  mercy. (Sri Bhagavatarka-maricimala)


19. What is the duty of a renounced Vaisnava?


A renounced Vaisnava should give up associating with his wife, accumulating wealth,  idle talk, palatable foodstuffs, opulent dress, and over-endeavor, and should spend his  days in a place where he can worship Lord Hari peacefully. (Sajjana Tosani 5/11)


20.How should a renounced Vaisnava maintain himself? How will he obtain knowledge  about Krsna?


A renunciant must not accumulate wealth. He should maintain his wife by begging alms  every day and should practice devotional service. He should not get involved in any  kind of enterprise. Becoming involved in business will make him faulty. The more he  worships the Lord with simplicity and humility, the more he will understand the science  of Krsna, by the Lord's mercy. (Sajjana Tosani 10/9)


21.Should a renunciant associate with women?


The Vaisnava who has accepted the renounced order of life should maintain his  livelihood by begging alms door to door, just like a bee who collects honey from one  flower and  another. He should never converse or associate with women. He should keep an equal  distance from women, kings, and poisonous snakes. {Sajjana Tosani 5/10)


22. Is it possible to worship Hari in one's childhood?


It is improper to think that it is not possible to worship Lord Hari in one's childhood. We  find in the histories that Dhruva and Prahlada both achieved the Supreme Lord's mercy  in early childhood. If one person is able to do something, then every person is capable  of doing it if he tries. As such, whatever is practiced from one's childhood gradually  becomes a habit when one grows up. (Caitanya-siksdmrta 1/1)


23. What are the primary and secondary differences in the process of bhajana? What  harm can be caused by the secondary differences?


As the human beings in this world gradually move from uncivilized to civilized, from  civilized to scientific, from scientific to moral, and from moral to devotional, the  process of worshiping God also changes according to the differences in language,  dress, food, and mental condition. If one considers this from an impartial viewpoint,  one can understand that these secondary differences do not actually cause harm. As  long as there is unanimity in the process of bhajana there will be no problem at the time  of perfection.

(Caitanya-siksdmrta 1/1)


24. What is the proof of advancement on the sddhana path?


There are mysteries in the practice of sddhana. Transcendental knowledge, devotional  service, and detachment from material objects increase simultaneously. Whenever we  see a sddhaka revert to a previous stage in his practices, it is  to be understood that  there is a fault at the root of his sddhana. Without the association of devotees and the  mercy of the spiritual master one cannot always be protected from the danger of  misguidance. (Caitanya-siksamrta 1/6)


25. What is gradual advancement?


The gradual levels of advancement are proper and certainly effective. In the beginning  one should lead a pious life by becoming fixed in the principles of varnasrama. When  one is advanced, one can certainly lead a life of regulative devotion. Finally, one can  achieve perfection by engaging in loving devotional service to Krsna.  (Caitanya-siksamrta 1/6)


26. What are the gradual levels of advancement beginning from animalistic life to the  temple of love?


After surpassing various levels of advancement from animal life to civilized life, godless  moral life, moral life with an imaginary God, moral life with God at the center, and  ultimately devotional life, a living entity reaches the temple of love. (Caitanya-siksamrta  3/1)


27. Is the life of a devotee on the path of rdga the same as the life of a devotee on the  path of regulative devotional service?


Human life is structured into various levels. The outcastes are on the lowest grade, the  godless but moral persons are second-grade, the theistic but moral persons are  third-grade, the life of the regulative devotees is fourth-grade, and the life of devotees  agitated by rdga is the topmost grade.  (Caitanya-siksamrta 3/4)


28.What is the difference between the miseries of devotees and the miseries of the  nondevotees?


The nondevotees think that their perishable material body is the all in all. Whatever  distress they suffer is severe. Even though they try to remove these miseries in various  ways, they are unable to do so. The devotees, however, know that their temporary  material life is the life of a guest. Therefore, due to the influence of their pure spiritual  bliss, their temporary ordinary distresses are passed off as most insignificant. (Sajjana  Tosani 10/2)


29. What is the first limb of bhajanal What should be the first teaching of a spiritual  master to his disciple?


The first limb of bhajana is to serve the ten original principles (Dasa-mula). After  teaching these ten essential principles, a spiritual master should teach his disciple the  five samskaras or purificatory processes. Unless one begins to worship the Lord after  drinking the nectar of these ten principles, one's anarthas will not be destroyed.  (Sajjana Tosani 9/9)


30. How is the misconception regarding one's constitutional position destroyed, and  how does one revive one's constitutional position and cultivate Krsna consciousness?


The misconception regarding one's constitutional position does not go away in one day.  It is gradually vanquished as one cultivates Krsna consciousness. The living entity's  constitutional position is as Krsna's eternal servant. Cultivation of Krsna consciousness  with this conviction is the actual cultivation of Krsna consciousness. The science of  self-realization is awakened by the spiritual master's mercy. A disciple should try to  realize his constitutional position with utmost care. Otherwise, even his first anartha on  the path of spiritual life will not be destroyed.

(Sajjana Tosani 9/9) 


31. How can we remove material desires from the heart?


If one has material desires in the heart, then with all humility one should reluctantly  accept them and continue to worship the Lord without duplicity. Then within a short  period of time, the Lord will sit in one's heart and remove all material desires, leaving  only the desire for His loving service. {Caitanya-siksamrta 1/7)


32. How are bhdva and prema awakened?


While cultivating the chanting of Hari's holy names by the strength of association with  saintly persons, one's bhdva is awakened. Gradually, one's prema is also awakened. As  prema manifests, liberation personally appears as a secondary fruit before the devotee.  (Sajjana Tosarii 9/9)


33. How can one get free from the influence of offenses against the holy names? How  does one destroy namabhasa and progress to Suddha-nama?


Namabhasa is destroyed by the spiritual master's mercy and one is thus protected from  offenses against the holy name. {Caitanya-siksamrta 6/4)


34.What is the essence of the various methods of bhajana?


Among all methods of bhajana, the chanting of Hari's holy names is the essence.  {Caitanya-siksamrta 3/3)


35. How does one develop a taste for chanting the holy name? How does one achieve  unalloyed devotional service in the form of taking complete shelter of the holy name?


Mere belief in the science of the holy name and studying the scriptural teachings about  the holy name is not enough. If we practically apply the instructions, however, we will  get the desired result. Those who do not chant the holy name even after understanding  the name's glories are not offenseless. Such people do not develop a taste for chanting  because their hearts are weak due to bad association. Therefore, they are offenders at  the feet of the holy name. To develop auspiciousness, one should nullify all one's  offenses by associating with devotees and taking shelter of the holy-name without  duplicity. If one carefully chants the holy name offenselessly, then in a very short time,  the holy name will blissfully appear. Gradually, this bliss will increase so much that one  does not wish to give up chanting the holy name. Thus, he takes complete shelter of the  holy name. {Sajjana Tosani 11/5)


36. How can we exhaust our offenses against the holy name? Can the offenses be  exhausted if we perform pious activities or undergo atonement?


Apart from when we are resting, which is necessary to keep body and soul together, we  should always humbly chant the holy name. Then our offenses against the holy name  will be nullified. No other pious activity or atonements can counteract offenses against  the holy name. {Harinama-cintamani)


37.How does one make advancement in worshiping the Lord?


By eagerly contemplating the actual meaning of chanting of the holy names and by  praying to Krsna with humility, one gradually makes advancement on the path of  bhajana. Unless one follows this process, one will spend many births practicing  sddhana, just as the karmis and jnanis do. {Caitanya-siksamrta 6/4)


38. How does one come to the platform of pure goodness?


If there is dirt on the body, it cannot be cleansed by scrubbing it with more dirt. Material  activities are dirt, so  how can they cleanse our contamination? The state of pure  goodness is awakened by the process of devotional service, which is achieved by the  mercy of the spiritual master, Krsna, and the Vaisnavas. The state of pure goodness  illuminates the heart.

{Caitanya-siksamrta 7/7)


39.What is introspection? Who are the introspective?


Those who know that the Supreme Lord is their life and soul and thus spend their lives  dovetailing their scientific knowledge, art, morality, religiousness, and thought with  devotional service to the Supreme Controller, although conditioned, are introspective.  This life of introspection is called the life of regulative devotional service.  {Caitanya-siksamrta 8, Conclusion)


40.Which sddhana process determines which planet the devotees who have developed  love of God attain?


In this material creation there are fourteen worlds progressively situated one after  another. The ambitious and fruitive householders wander throughout Bhur, Bhuvar,  and Svar lokas. By performing pious activities without expecting anything in return, the  strict celibates, ascetics, truthful and peaceful persons wander throughout Maharloka,  Janaloka, Tapaloka, and Satyaloka. On the upper portion of Satyaloka is the abode of the  four-headed Brahma, and beyond that is the spiritual abode Vaikuntha, where  Kslrodakasayl Visnu resides. The sannydsi paramaharhsa and the demons who are  killed by Lord Hari surpass the river Viraja (in others words, the fourteen worlds), and  after entering into the effulgent abode of Brahman attain nirvana in the form of the  annihiliation of the self. The devotees of the Lord who are attached to His opulent  feature, the pure devotees, the loving devotees, the more loving devotees, and the most  loving devotees attain the abode of transcendental Vaikuntha, or the spiritual sky. The  devotees who worship the Lord in the mood of Vraja madhurya attain Goloka.  {Brahma-sarhhita 5.5)


41.By what process is the perfection of Vaisnavism attained?


In that case, his life will follow whichever attachment is greater. A boat moves by the  strength of oars, but when the water's current carries away the boat, the oars are  defeated. In the same way, as the sadhaka tries to cross the ocean with the boat of the  mind and various oars like dhydna, pratyahara, and dharana, sometimes the current of  attachment quickly carries him into sense gratification. Devotional service to Visnu is  executed with spontaneous love. The sadhaka certainly achieves spiritual attachment in  no time through spontaneous devotional service.

(Prema-pradipa, Ray 4)


42.How can attachment for material objects transform into attachment for the Supreme  Lord?


When the cause of the mind's restlessness is sense gratification, and this restlessness is  the main obstacle in the practice of devotional service, then all sensual activities should  be dovetailed in the service of the Lord and the attachment to sense gratification should  be transformed into attachment for the Lord. {Sajjana Tosani 10/11)


43. What is the cause of achieving Krsna's mercy?


Spontaneous worship of the Lord is the cause of achieving Krsna's mercy. {Sajjana  Tosani 10/11) 


44. How many platforms are there in sadhana-bhakti? What is the doorway to love of  God?


There are four platforms in sadhana-bhakti: sraddha, nistha, ruci, and dsakti. After  crossing these four platforms, one has to come to bhdva, which is the doorway to  prema. (Sajjana Tosani 10/10)


45. How does one prove the supremacy of sadhanabhakti! Who is the actual candidate  to receive the Lord's mercy?


One should maintain one's life by following the principles of varndsrama-dharma. By  practicing yoga one can regulate and improve the mind, but by performing  sadhana-bhakti, one advances in spiritual life. Although a practitioner of devotional  service may not be an experienced farmer, an expert businessman, or a clever warrior,  nevertheless, according to his devotional qualification, he is mature in the tactics  necessary to live the highest human life. Even though an expert royal minister may not  be able to operate a tank, he still arranges the battle as the head of the army. In the  same way, a person who sees that a practitioner of devotional service is situated on the  highest platform in all respects is actually intelligent and as such has achieved the  Lord's mercy. (Caitanya-siksdmrta 1/6)


46. Should the transcendentalists accept the Gosvamis' conclusions along with the  conclusions of the sages who have compiled the scriptures?


All processes for Krsna conscious cultivation that the sages have written in their own  literature are legitimate. Many of these processes have been cited in Hatibhakti-vildsa,  and Rupa Gosvaml has chosen sixty-four such items to present in his book,  Bhakti-rasdmrta-sindhu. (Tattva-sutra 35)