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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 2 and 3 > Vol 3 Prayojana > Self-Realization and the

107 - Self-Realization and the Achievement of Perfection


1. How many types of liberation are there for devotees and what are their characteristics?


There are two kinds of liberation for devotees, svarupa-mukti and vastu-mukti. Liberation personified begins to serve those who, by the strength of devotional service, have realized their constitutional position in the material world. This state is called svarupa-mukti. When by the mercy of Krsna such devotees give up their bodies, they attain vastu-mukti, ultimate liberation.

(Sri Manah-siksd, Verse 8)


2. When do we achieve dpana-dasd and svarupa-siddh ?


A devotee reaches dpana-dasd when he gradually remembers the Lord's holy name, meditates on the Lord's form, qualities, and pastimes, and absorbs himself in the mellows of Krsna by entering into the Lord's pastimes. In this state he meditates on Krsna's eternal pastimes twenty-four hours a day. When the devotee is fully absorbed in this state, he attains svarupa-siddhi.

(Caitanya-siksamrrta 6/4) 


3. When do we feel happy to serve Sri Radha Krsna, and when will the Lord's transcendental pastimes manifest in our heart?


In the state of dpana-dasd, from time to time a devotee resides in Vraja in his constitutional position. There is great pleasure in serving Radha-Krsna when we are situated on this level of self-realization. What to speak of such pleasures, we will often see the abode of Vraja and remain there in our constitutional position, relishing the Lord's transcendental pastimes.



4. After crossing dsakti, when do we attain self- realization?


Even though we surpass dsakti, we will remain in contact with matter as long as we possess a subtle body. However, by Krsna's mercy, the subtle body can be quickly destroyed. Contact with matter is an impediment. As long as this impediment is present, a living entity will not attain vastu-siddhi, ultimate perfection. As soon as we attain prema, however, our constitutional position will awaken and we will become eligible to achieve rasa. (Caitanya-siksamrrta 7/1)


5. What is svarupa-siddhi? What is its relationship with sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana?


Realization of the Absolute Truth is called svarupa-siddhi. Another name of this is sambandha-jhdna, knowledge of our relationship with the Lord. When knowledge of our relationship with the Lord awakens, we begin to practice abhidheya and cultivate love of God. Then, we can attain prayojana, love of God itself.

{Caitanya-siksamrrta 6/4)


6. What state do we attain when we become perfect in devotional service?


There are two kinds of perfection in devotional service, svarupa-siddhi and vastu-siddhi. When we are situated in svarupa-siddhi, we see Goloka in Gokula. When we are situated in vastu-siddhi, we see Gokula in Goloka. (Brahma-samhitd 5/2)


7. What is the ultimate goal of karma?


The goal of karma is to become free from fruitive activities; any other goals presented regarding karma have been spoken only to create a taste for fruitive activities.

(Sri Bhdgavatdrka-marici-mala 124)


8. What is vastu-siddhi?


By Krsna's mercy, when we attain a spiritual body after giving up our material body and become an associate in the Lord's Vraja pastimes, we will have achieved vastu-siddhi. This is the ultimate goal of chanting the Lord's holy names. (Caitanya-siksamrrta 6/4)


9. What is the meaning of the phrase, "entering into the Lord's eternal pastimes"?


While performing bhajana, we will see Krsna face to face and, by the sudden desire of the Lord, our gross and subtle bodies will be vanquished. As soon as our material body, which is composed of five gross material elements, is destroyed, our subtle body (mind, intelligence, and false ego) will also be destroyed. At that time, our pure spiritual body will manifest and we will begin to serve their Lordships Radha and Krsna in the spiritual abode. This is called "entering into the Lord's eternal pastimes."



10. Is it possible to reside in the material world after attaining vastu-siddhi ?


When we attain vastu-siddhi, we can no longer stay in the material world. A devotee then lives only in the transcendental world.

(Sri Bhdgavatdrka-marici-mdld 17/24)


11. What does a mahd-bhdgavata realize when he attains perfection?


When will I beg food from the house of dogeaters and eat? When will I drink water from the Ganges? When will I roll on the ground in the forests near the bank of the Ganges while singing Krsna's names? (Gitamdld, Song 1)


12. How does a loving devotee feel separation from Sri Radha, who is his life and soul?


If I give up Sri Radhika's lotus feet for even a moment, I fall unconscious. For Radhika's sake I am prepared to die hundreds of times. I have no problem tolerating such distress.

(Gitamdld, Song 10)


13. What is the mentality of a servant of Sri Radha?


I cannot tolerate Sri Radhika's distress, caused by Her separation from Krsna. My only happiness is to see Radha and Krsna together. To accomplish this, I can even give up my life.

(Gitamdld, Song lO)


14. What does Sri Bhaktivinoda say regarding partiality to Sri Radhika?


Let anyone give up the side of Radha and live as they want. Always remaining partial to Radhika, I will never look at the face of such people.

(Gitamdld, Song 9)


15. What is the symptom of svarasiki-siddhi ?


The supremely chaste and restless gopis of Vraja are the treasury of svdrasikl-siddhi. The meditation of yogis and the knowledge of impersonalists cannot reach that stage. On such a platform, one can directly see the Lord during His midday pastimes. O servants of the lotus feet of Radha! Please engage me in appropriate service to Sri Radha according to the moment's need.  (Gitamdld, Song 6)


16. What does those who follow in the footsteps of Sri Rupa desire as their perfection?


When will this maidservant achieve perfection and live on the banks of Sri Radha-kunda, giving up her previous memories and constantly serving the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Krsna?

(Gitamdld, Song 8)


17. What are the characteristics of those who serve Sri Radha?


You are a maidservant of Radhika. Therefore, you should not independently serve Krsna without Her permission. Even though you display equal affection toward both Radha and Krsna, you should endeavor more for the loving service of Radhika than for the loving service of Krsna. This is called seva. Your service is to serve Sri Radha twenty-four hours a day.

(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 39)


18. What does it mean to take birth in the house of a cowherd of Vraja?


Some Vaisnava authors have explained that svarupa-siddhi means to take birth in the house of a cowherd in Vraja even before the practitioner completes his sddhana. This is correct. Thus a Vaisnava attains second birth before vastu-siddhi. The  devotee's attainment ofagopl form is the complete attainment of his pure second birth, dpana-dasd. When a practitioner's body, which is made of material qualities, is destroyed, then he  progresses from svarupa-siddhi and achieves vastu-siddhi. (Caitanya-siksamrrta 6/5)


19. How much respect does a pure devotee give to the Lord's abode and the service of the Lord's devotees?


When will I offer my respectful obeisances at the feet of the residents of the dhdma and beg their mercy? When will I wander like a mendicant after smearing the dust from the feet of the Vaisnavas on my body? {Gitdmdld, Song 1)


20. Does a pure devotee differentiate between Gaura- mandala and Vraja-mandala?


When will I attain service to Sri Radha? When will I stop making a distinction between Gaura-mandala and Vraja-mandala and thus become a resident of Vraja? At that time, the dhdma's actual form will manifest before my eyes and I will become Sri Radha's maidservant.

{Gitdmdld, Song 1)