Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 2 and 3 > Vol 2 Abhidheya > Singing About the Mellows

63_ Singing About the Mellows of Ecstatic Love


1. What is the correct procedure for singing about the pastimes of Lord Krsna?


One should first sing about Lord Gauracandra's pastimes. It is the custom among devotees that they do not sing about Krsna's pastimes without first have sung about the pastimes of Gauracandra. {Sajjana Tosanl 2/6)


2. What kind of music should a practitioner of devotional service hear?


A practitioner of devotional service should hear only those songs and music that do not only satisfy his senses but that describe the Lord's pastimes and help him to cultivate devotional service. We should carefully give up hearing ordinary music and songs, because such hearing simply increases our attachment for material objects and sense gratification.

(Caitanya-siksamrta 3/2)


3. When did Gaudiya Vaisnavas begin singing accompanied by musical instruments?


Singing accompanied by musical instrument began only during the time of Srinivasa Acarya. Srinivasa Acarya, Sri Narottama dasa, and Sri Syamananda Prabhu resided for some time in Vrndavana as students of Sri Jiva Gosvaml. With his approval, these three began to perform klrtana accompanied by musical instruments. All three were expert in musical science. Moreover, they were proficient in the Indian classical music of Delhi. They were also intimate friends and shared a single life goal. (Sajjana Tosanl 6/2)


4. How did the process of singing songs in manoharasahl, garanahati, and reneti ways come into existence?


Srinivasa Acarya illumined the province of Katwa through his preaching. His area fell under the jurisdiction of the manoharasahl subdivision. Therefore the process of singing he inaugurated is called manoharasahl. Sri Narottama dasa was a resident of Kheturi village, which was under the jurisdiction of the gardnahati subdivision in the district of Rajashahi, Bangladesh. That is why the process of singing he inaugurated is called gardnahati. Sri Syamananda Prabhu belongs to the district of Midnapur. The process of singing he inaugurated is called reneti. In order to encourage these three musical dcdryas, Sri Jiva Gosvaml awarded them each titles. Srinivasa became known as Acarya, Sri Narottama dasa as Thakura, and Syamananda as Sri Syamananda Prabhu. {Sajjana Tosanl 6/2)


5. Why is it improper for persons who are ignorant about the mellows of devotional service to add alphabets or words to the mahdjanas songs?


There is neither overlapping rasas nor contradiction in the words of the mahdjanas. Therefore, if persons or singers ignorant of the mellows of devotional service add anything to the mahdjanas' songs, they will certainly add rasdbhasa, overlapping rasas opposed to the Vaisnava conclusion. (Sajjana Tosanl 6/2)


6. What is the value of hearing professional singers sing rasa-klrtana? Should Vaisnavas hear such klrtana?


Professional singers of rasa-klrtana are rasika in name only. In fact, they are devoid of knowledge regarding rasa and averse to the Vaisnava conclusion. Their songs are full of different musical modes and tunes, but their klrtana is not fit to be heard by Vaisnavas. They add so much to the original mahdjanas' songs just to please the assembled women and fools. Such people are full of pride, because they gather money and praise from foolish audiences. (Sajjana Tosanl 6/2)


7. What is Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura's strict instruction regarding hearing rasa-klrtana sung by unqualified people?


The majority of people in this world are perverted. They love to make big shows and thus fulfill their whims in the name of actual bhajana. As long as this bad practice is not checked, one will not be able to realize the gravity of the conjugal rasa. O devotees! Do not hear rasa-klrtana in the assembly of selfish singers and a foolish, ambitious audience. Forget about attending srdddha ceremonies. Make sure that such a system does not exist inside a Vaisnava dsrama. When unqualified persons are present, you should simply chant the holy names, and pray and sing only about ddsya-rasa. When only unalloyed, pure, rasika Vaisnavas are present, it is permissible to hear rasa-klrtana. While hearing such rasa-klrtana, one should try to realize one's mode of bhajana that befits his own constitutional position. If as a result the practice of professional singing vanishes, that will be beneficial to Vaisnavas. It is an act of Kali to let artificial rasa-klrtana go on anywhere and everywhere simply so the singers can collect money and the people can indulge their senses. (Sajjana Tosanl 6/2)


8. What goal do materialists attain when they hear about the transcendental pastimes?


Those who glorify the happiness derived from the gross body and who are ignorant of the variegatedness of spiritual happiness should not glance at, think about, or discuss the Lord's transcendental pastimes, because by doing so, they will either blaspheme such activities, calling them obscene, think them born of flesh, or eagerly accept them as the sahajiyds do and fall down. (Caitanya-siksamrta 7/1)