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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 > Raganuga-bhakti

96  -Raganuga-bhakti


1.Who is a qualified to practice rdgdnugd-bhakti?


As regulative faith awards one the qualification to perform vaidhi-bhakti, so faith mixed with intense greed awards one the qualification to perform rdgdnugd-bhakti. Based on their respective relationships with the Lord, the Vrajavasis practice rdgdtmika-bhakti. One who is greedy to attain the same mood that a particular Vrajavasis has toward Krsna is qualified to practice rdgdnugd-bhakti. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 21)


2. How many types of sddhana are there and what are they?


The Srimad-Bhagavatam describes nine types of sadhana-bhakti. They are hearing, chanting, remembering, serving the lotus feet, worshiping, offering prayers, offering service as a menial servant, friendship, and surrendering everything to the Lord. Sri Rupa Gosvamlpada has further divided these nine processes into the sixty-four limbs of devotional service. The point to consider here is that sddhana-bhakti is of two types, namely vaidhi and raganugd. Of the two, vaidhi-bhakti is of nine kinds. Rdgdnugd-sddhana-bhakti is mainly performed in one's mind under the direction of the residents of Vraja. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 4) 


3. What is the natural propensity of the spirit soul?


As it is the natural propensity of a magnet to attract iron; as it is the nature of heat to melt things; the strength of fire to burn; the propensity of the mind to think, feel, and will; and the natural characteristic of every object to be utilized according to its intended usage; so it is the natural propensity of the spirit soul to become attached to the Supreme Lord. In the liberated state, this propensity is pure and manifest. In the conditioned state, it is perverted. {Tattva-sutra, 17)


4. What is the difference between attachment for material objects and attachment for spiritual objects?


The embodied soul's attachment for material objects is the perverted reflection of their attachment for spiritual objects. When this propensity is completely purified and thus devoid of material designation, it is called spiritual attachment; but when it is materially contaminated and covered with material designation, it is the perverted reflection of spiritual attachment.

{Tattva-sutra, 17)


5. What are the names and functions of attachment when it is materially designated?


Attachment to any object is the same propensity, but it acquires different names according to its different designations. When one is attached to wealth, such attachment is called greed. When one is attached to a woman's beauty, it is called debauchery. When one becomes attached to helping those in distress, it is called compassion. When attachment is displayed toward brothers and sisters, it is called affection. When one feels attached to helpful people, it is called gratitude. When one becomes attached to showing kindness, it is called love. When attachment is mixed with hatred, it becomes envy. In this way, a single propensity transforms and manifests itself in various ways. Plurality is the characteristic of attachment. This same attachment remains with liberated souls in a pure, uncontaminated state. It is not that this attachment remains confined to only one state. Rather, it increases unlimitedly and takes various shapes. This is its beauty. {Tattva-sutra, 17)


6. Who are the actual worshipers of the Supreme Lord?


Those who worship the Supreme Lord compelled by fear, ambition, or a sense of duty are not pure worshipers. Those who worship the Supreme Lord on the path of attachment are certainly the actual worshipers. {Caitanya-siksamrta 1/1)


7. Who is eligible to practice rdgdnugd-bhakti ?


One who has not realized the science of raga and who desires to worship the Lord according to rules and regulations is eligible to practice vaidhi-bhakti. One who does not wish to be controlled by scriptural rules and regulations while worshiping Hari, and who has developed a natural attachment for His worship, is alone eligible to practice raganuga-bhakti.

{Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 4)

8. What is anxiety caused by raga?


O my mind! For a long time I have yearned to see Your lotus feet. Will this difficult-to-attain desire be fulfilled in this birth? This thought overwhelms my heart. {Gita Mala, Song 32)


9. What is the root of rdgdnugd-bhakti ?


The taste to engage in the Lord's service by following in the foot steps of the Vrajavasis is the root of raganuga-bhakti. {Amnaya-sutra, 116) 


10. Why is it necessary to possess knowledge about the rasas while performing bhajana under the guidance of Sri Rupa?


One who wishes to understand the truth of Srlla Rupa Gosvaml's teachings must understand the rasas. The spiritually blissful rasas are the complete treasury of the Supreme Lord, and all other truths are subordinate to it. (Gltd Mala, Song 6)


11.What is the difference between vaidhi and rdgdnuga- bhakti?


Vaidhi-bhakti is a slow process and rdgdnugd-bhakti is a fast process. By following rdgdnugd-bhakti, one quickly attains the stage of rasa. One who has a taste for performing devotional service on the path of attachment certainly becomes a follower of Sri Rupa Gosvami. (Gltd Mala, Song 5)


12.How many types of spiritual cultivation do the practitioners of rdgdnugd-bhakti engage in?


It is everyone's duty to follow these seven categories of cultivation, but all the descriptions are not to be performed by everyone, because there is a need to consider one's qualification:

1. Spiritual cultivation—(1) priti, and (2) realization of sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana.


2. Mental cultivation—(1) remembrance, (2) thought, (3) meditation, (4) concentrated meditation, (5) samddhi, (6) consideration of the science of sambandha, (7) repentance, (8) yama: truthfulness, refraining from theft, renunciation of bad association, intelligence, not accumulating more than necessary, religiosity, celibacy, refraining from unnecessary talk, steadiness, forgiveness, fearlessness, and (9) purification of the heart.


3. Bodily cultivation—(1) Niyamas: cleanliness, chanting of japa, austerity, sacrifice, faith, hospitality, worship, pilgrimage, welfare work, satisfaction, proper behavior, serving the spiritual master, (2) serving others, (3) seeing and touching the devotees and the Srimad-Bhdgavatam, (4) prayer, (5) hearing, (6) engaging the senses in devotional service, (7) transformations of ecstatic love, and (8) developing the mood of servitude toward the Lord.

4. Cultivation of speech—(1) chanting hymns, (2) study, (3) kirtana, (4) teaching, (5) prayer, and (6) preaching.

5.Cultivation of one's relationship—(1) sdnta, (2) dasya, (3) sakhya, (4) vdtsalya, and (5) kdnta. There are two types of relationships—relationships with the Lord, and relationships with the Lord's associates.


6. Social cultivation—(1) varna—brdhmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra—their occupations and positions are divided according to one's nature, (2)dsrama—grhastha, brahmdcdrya, vdnaprastha, and sannydsa—divided according to peoples' social situations, (3) assemblies, (4) general festivals, and (5) activities like sacrifices.


7. Cultivation of sense objects—The following sense objects help one in the development of Krsna consciousness. (1) Objects for the eyes are the Deity, the temple, the scriptures, the holy places, spiritual dramas, and spiritual festivals. (2) Objects for the ears are the scriptures, songs, lectures, and conversations. (3) Objects for the nose are tulasi, flowers, sandalwood, and other fragrant items offered to the Lord. (4) Objects for the tongue are kirtana and the acceptance of vows, the acceptance of palatable foodstuffs and drinks offered to the Lord. (5) Objects for the touch are the air of holy places, pure water, the body of a Vaisnava, the soft bed offered to Krsna, and association with a chaste woman in order to propagate a God-centered family. (6) Also, times like Hari-vasara (EkadasI) and festival days, and (7) places like Vrndavana, Navadvipa, Jagannatha Purl, and Naimisaranya.

(Conclusion to Sri Krsna Samhita) 


13. What is the rdgdnugd-bhakta's procedure for serving Krsna?


Those who have developed greed to engage in ragatmika-bhakti should, according to the activities of the Vrajavasis, externally serve as sadhakas and internally as perfected devotees.

(Commentary on Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 22.154)


14. How should rdgdnugd-bhaktas worship the Lord according to mood, process, and endeavor in order to realize the Lord's pastimes?


One should engage in the Lord's service in the way it is described in Vilapa-kusumdhjali. One should behave with one another in the way that is described in Vraja-vilasa-stotra. One should endeavor to realize the Lord's pastimes in the way that is described in the prayers offered by Visakha and Nanda. One should perceive these pastimes within the Lord's eight-fold pastimes. One should engage one's mind in Krsna's pastimes according to the process described in Manah-siksa. One should also strengthen one's mood as the pure mood is revealed in Svaniyama-dvddasakam. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 39)