Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Hari Naam Cintamani > Chapter-XV

Chapter Fifteen


The Path of Devotional Service


     1.Glory to Lord Chaitanya, to Lord Gadadhara, and to Lord Nityananda, the life of Jahnava-devi! Glory to Advaita, the husband of Sita! Glory to the devotees of the Lord!

     2. Glory, glory to the exalted fortunate souls who, shunning all offenses, worship the holy name.

     3. Lord Chaitanya said, "O Haridasa, by the power of your devotional service you have attained all knowledge in the universe.

     4. "I see all the Vedas dance on your tongue. I see all final truths in your words. (1)


The Desire To Know About the Nectar of the Holy Name


     5. "Please describe the nectar of the holy name and how the conditioned soul can become qualified to taste that nectar."

     6. With great love Haridasa said, "O Lord, by Your order I will describe it.




     7. "The perfect Supreme Truth, who is situated in pure goodness, is famous in all the Vedas, known there by the name "rasa" (nectar). (2)

     8. "The Supreme Personality of Godhead has limitless nectar (akhanda-rasa). He is the abode of limitless bliss. He is the most glorious.

     9. "He is manifest as the potency (shakti) and the master of potencies (shaktiman). These two are not different. They are at once different and the same. (3)

     10. "From the master of potencies many inconceivable potencies are manifested. Employing three kinds of potencies, that master creates the worlds.


What Is Manifested by the Spiritual Potency (Cit-shakti)


     11. "The spiritual potency manifests the Supreme Lord's names, abode, and activities.

     12. "Lord Krishna is the Supreme Being. His form is dark. Goloka and many other places are Lord Krishna's abodes. He enjoys many pastimes.

     13. "His names, abodes, forms, qualities, pastimes, and all else are made of unbroken spiritual knowledge.

     14. "Thus a great variety is manifested by Lord Krishna's spiritual potency. The spiritual potency is Lord Krishna's property eternally. He is its master.

     15. "The property and its owner are not different. In this way a wonderful variety is manifested in the eternal world made of spirit and knowledge. (4)


The Material Potency (Maya-shakti)


     16. "The shadow of that spiritual potency is called by tbe name Maya. By Lord Krishna's desire, that Maya potency creates the external material worlds. (5)


The Individual Spirit Souls (Jiva-shakti)


     17. "The individual spirit souls, or jiva-shakti, are one and different from the Lord. They stay on the border of matter and spirit. They are meant to serve the Supreme Lord. (6)


The Two States in Which the Individual Spirit Souls May Be Situated


     18. "The spirit souls may be situated in two states of being. They may be either eternally imprisoned by Maya, or eternally free from Maya's prison. (7) The souls eternally free from Maya's prison are qualified to serve Lord Krishna eternally.

     19. "The souls bound in Maya's prison live in the world of birth and death. These souls may also be situated in two states. They may turn their faces away from Lord Krishna, or they may turn their faces toward Lord Krishna.

     20. "The souls who turn their faces toward Lord Krishna stay in the association of saintly devotees and chant Lord Krishna's holy name. (8) By the power of Lord Krishna's holy name they go to Lord Krishna's spiritual abode.


The Holy Name is Nectar (Rasa)


     21. "The name Krishna and the other holy names of the Lord presently known in the material world are all eternal nectar (akhanda-rasa). (9)


The Lord's Form Is Nectar


     22. "When the flower of the holy name is just beginning to open, Lord Krishna's dark and handsome form in the world of Goloka Vrindavana is manifested. (10)


The Lord's Qualities Are Nectar


     23. "When the flower opens more and becomes very fragrant, then Lord Krishna's 64 transcendental qualities are openly manifested. They who are learned and expert can see the Lord's qualities manifested in His holy name. (11)


The Lord's Pastimes Are Nectar


     24. "When the flower of the holy name is completely blossomed, Lord Krishna's eternal pastimes, pastimes He enjoys in the eight parts of the day, pastimes beyond the touch of matter, are manifested. (12)


The Nature of Devotional Service


     25. "When the holy name bestows mercy on a conditioned soul, before that soul is manifested devotional service personified, which is the combination of the Lord's hladini shakti (pleasure-potency) and samvit-shakti (potency of transcendental knowledge). (13)


The Activities of Devotional Service


     26. "When the flower of the holy name is completely blossomed, the goddess of devotion manifests the ingredients of rasa (transcendental mellows). (14)

     27. "Attaining his pure spiritual form, the individual soul then enters his rasa. This is very beautiful and wonderful. (15)


The Alambana (Primary Causes) of Rasa-Vibhava (Ecstatic Love)


     28. "The primary causes of ecstatic love are called alambana. (16) This is divided into the lover (ashraya), who is the devotee, and the object of love (vishaya), which is the great treasure that is Lord Krishna.

     29. "When a saintly devotee chants the holy name without stop, the Lord's form, qualities, and pastimes mercifully appear before him.


The Uddipana (Secondary Causes) of Rasa-Vibhava (Ecstatic Love)


     30. "Lord Krishna's form, qualities, and other features are the uddupanas (secondary causes of ecstatic love). The alambana and uddipanas are the two parts of vibhava (the causes of ecstatic love).


From Vibhava (Special Symptoms or Causes of Ecstasy) Comes Anubhava (Subsequent Ecstasy)


     31. "When vibhava attains completeness, anubhava is manifested. All the symptoms of ecstatic pure love for Lord Krishna are then manifested.


Activities in Vibhava Mixed with Sancari-bhava (Steady Ecstasy) and Sattvika-bhava (Constitutional or Existential Ecstasy). The Rasa of Sthayi-bhava (Fervent or Continuous Ecstasy).


     32. "In this way sancari-bhava and sattvika-bhava gradually appear. Then the rasa of sthayi-bhava is also manifested. This all the scroptures say. (17)


The Sequence of Them


     33. "I know that this rasa is this highest perfection, the best of all. I know all the scriptures say this rasa is the highest goal of life. (18)

     34. "By the mercy of a pure-devotee spiritual master (shuddha-guru), a soul eager for devotional service (19) attains the good fortune of chanting the spiritual names of the graceful divine couple.

     35. "He chants a prescribed number of holy names on tulasi beads or he chants kirtana with great love and respect. (20)

     36. "He begins by chanting one grantha (four rounds) of holy names. Gradually he comes to chant 3000,000 holy names (192 rounds). Then all the desires of his heart become fulfilled.

     37. "One should chant the holy name a fixed number of times. Then the holy name blissfully dances on all one's senses.

     38. "The holy name rests among the nine processes of devotional service. Still, chanting and remembering the holy name is the best of them all.


Different Kinds of Activities and Different Kinds of Qualification for Hearing and Chanting and for Deity Worship


     39. "A person strong attached to Deity worship attains the results of hearing and chanting.

     40. "A person attracted only to the holy name engages only in hearing, chanting, and remembering the holy name.


The Sequence of Hearing, Chanting, and Remembering the Holy Name


     41. "Serving the Lord, offering obeisances to Him, carrying out His orders, and surrendering everything to Him naturally follow the chanting of the holy name.

     42-43. "Full of faith that Lord Krishna is not different from His holy name, shunning the ten offenses, and residing in a secluded place, (21) the chanter of the holy name will find that after very few days Lord Krishna will become merciful (22) and appear in His handsome dark form before him.

     44. "When by this practice (sadhana) one sees that Lord Krishna's name and form are identical, at every moment Lord Krishna's form is visible in His name in one's heart.

     45. "After some days Lord Krishna's transcendental qualities are visible in Hia form. Then by meditating on Lord Krishna's name one sees His qualities.


Lord Krishna's Name, form, and Qualities Are Identical


     46. "After very few days one understands that Lord Krishna's name, form, and qualities are identical. From that time on these three are visible in Lord Krishna's holy name at every moment.


Worship Consisting of Meditation on the Maha-mantra


     47. "In the beginning one worships the holy name by meditating on the maha-mantra.

     48. "Then, as one meditates in this way on the holy name one happily sees in his meditation Lord Krishna accompanied by His gopas and gopis under a kalpa-vriksha tree in the spiritual world.

     49. "Then all the ecstatic symptoms of sattvika-bhava become manifested on his body. Filled with the bliss of worshiping the Lord, the devotee finds that the hairs of his body stand erect.

     50. "The flower of the holy name gradually blossoms and becomes very fragrant. Then Lord Krishna's pastimes in the eight periods of the day become visible.


Svarasiki Upasana (the Nectar Stage of Worship)


     51. "Then one attains the stage of svarasiki upasana (the nectar stage of worship). Then one sees Lord Krishna enjoying specific pastimes in His spiritual world.

     52. "By the spiritual master's mercy one gradually attains his original spiritual form (siddha-svarupa), enters the Lord's pastimes, and attains the association of the sakhis (Shri Radha's gopi friends).

     53. "Following the example of Shri Radha, who is ecstatic love personified (maha-bhava-svarupini), one engages in loving devotional service. (23)

     54. "Following the commands of the sakhis, one serves the divine couple. In this way the rasika devotee becomes plunged in the nectar of great love.


The Subtle Material Body (Linga-deha) Is Broken and One Attains True Perfection


     55. "By this practice one attains the perfection of devotional service. (24) Then, by Your mercy, O Lord, his subtle material body (linga-deha) is broken and he attains true spiritual perfection.


There Is No Description of the State That Follows. It Is Known Only By Experiencing It


     56. "Words cannot describe the next stage. O Lord, by Your mercy one must experience it directly. (25)

     57. "This is the way of advancement in ujjvala-rasa. In this way one attains a great treasure of love for Lord Krishna (krishna-prema-dhana). (26)


The Eleven Items in the Course of Advancement in Ujjvala-rasa


     58. "There are eleven items in the advancement of ujjvala-rasa. They are: one's relationship, age, name, form, group, garments, command, home, service, highest aspiration, and gopi patroness. All these are wonderful and beautiful. (27)


The Five States of Being in the Course of Advancement in Ujjvala-rasa


     59. "In attaining these eleven items the aspiring devotee passes through five stages.

     60. "These five stages are: shravana (hearing), varana (accepting), smarana (meditating), apana (attaining), and sampatti (good fortune). (28)


The First State, Shravana-dasha


     61-62. "Hearing from the mouth of a pure-hearted spiritual master about the path of ecstatic love (bhava-marga) for Lord Krishna is called shravana-dasha (the stage of hearing).


The Nature of Ecstatic Love (Bhava-tattva)


     63. "Please know that the path of ecstatic love has two parts. The first part is the eleven items already mentioned. The second part is Lord Krishna's pastimes.


Gradually One Comes to Varana-dasha (The Stage of Accepting)


     64. "Hearing of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna's pastimes in the eight periods of the day, one comes to the stage where he yearns to join the Lord in these pastimes.

     65. "With this desire, he asks his spiritual master, `O great soul, please say how I can attain these pastimes.'

     66. "Then the spiritual master describes the eleven items in the Lord's pastimes.

     67. "Pleased, the spiritual master explains, `With these items you may enter the Lord's pastimes.' (29)

     68. "Hearing of the soul's original spiritual form and original nature, in his heart he accepts (varana) his original spiritual identity.


To the Spiritual Master One Should Describe the Nature to Which One Is Attracted


     69. "In this period of varana-dasa, one thinks about the nature to which he is attracted, and then one honestly explains his desire to his spiritual master.

     70. "He says, `O master, please be merciful and give me my true identity. That will make me very happy.

     71. " `Please give me the identity to which I feel attraction. On my head I will place Your command.'


If One Is Attracted in a Different Way, the Spiritual Master Will Give a Different Identity


     72. "If one is attracted in a different way, then with a honest heart one should explain his desire to his spiritual master.

     73. "Considering one's words, the spiritual master will then give a different identity. In this way he reveals the true identity to which the disciple is attracted. (30)


One Learns of His Spiritual Identity From the Spiritual Master


     74. "As the spiritual master and the disciple converse in this way, the disciple's spiritual identity becomes finally settled.

     75. "Then the disciple falls at his spiritual master's feet and with words filled with emotion begs for the grace to attain success in reviving his original spiritual identity.

     76. "In this way the spiritual master mercifully gives instruction and the disciple enters his original spiritual identity.


Firm Acceptance


     77. "Falling at his spiritual master's feet, then disciple then says, `I accept the identity you have given. (31)

     78. " `Never will I renounce it. In life or death it is mine.'


Obstacles in This Path of Worship


     79. "With a vow and with a determined heart one then meditates on his spiritual identity and its eleven items.

     80. "Meditating in this way, one becomes glorious. However, one should always meditate appropriately.

     81. "If one's meditations are not appropriate, one will not attain perfection even after many yugas. (32)


The Stage of Attaining (Apana-dasha)


     82. "By following this meditation with a vow, one soon comes to the very pure stage of apana (attainment).

     83. "Always meditating on one's original pure spiritual identity, one soon leaves all material thoughts far behind.


The Conditioned Soul Gradually Regains His Original Identity


     84. "Forgetting his true spiritual identity, the soul imprisoned in the material world becomes bewildered and thinks his external material body is his true self. (33)

     85. "However, if he hears about Lord Krishna's pastimes, the soul will hanker to regain the great treasure of his original spiritual identity.

     86. "At every moment meditating on his original spiritual identity, the soul gradually revives his true nature. His material illusion is then dispelled.


The Stage of Meditation (Smarana-dasha). The Divisions of Devotional SErvice by Following Rules and Regulations (Vaidha) and Devotional Service in Spontaneous Love (Raganuga). The Need for the Latter


     87. "Meditation (smarana) is of two kinds: vaidha (following rules and regulations) and raganuga (following the path of spontaneous love). Following the descriptions in the appropriate scriptures, one may attain raganuga meditation.

     88. "Attracted by the mellow of madhurya-rasa, and meditating in that way, one quickly attaisn that state (apana-dasha).


How the Devotee following the Path of Vaidha-bhakti (Devotional Service Following the Rules and Regulations) Gradually Becomes Elevated


     89. "Following the descriptions in appropriate scriptures, the devotee following the path of rules and rehulations (vaidha-bhakta) may always become rapt in constant meditation.

     90. "Then when he finally rgeains his original spiritual identity, the devotee turns away from the rules and regulations of scripture, knowing them to be only trouble at that stage.

     91. "One after the other, the devotee attains interest, faith, attraction, and attachment. Then his original identity is attained. That attainment is apana-dasha. (34)


The Followers of Raganuga and Vaidha Devotional Service Do Not Attain Different Results (Apana-dasha)


     92. "The followers of raganuga and vaidha devotional service do not attain different results. This the Vedas and Smriti-shastras say.


Five Kinds of Meditation


     93. "Smarana, dharana, dhyana, anusmriti, and samadhi are the five kinds of meditation. (35)


The Time of Attainment (Apana-dasha)


     94. "When meditation reaches the stage of samadhi, then the stage of attainment (apana-dasha) arises.


The State of Being at that Time


     95. "At that time one completely identifies with his original spiritual form. The idea of identifying with the dull and inert material body is completely vanquished. (36)

     96. "Moment after moment one resides in Vraja. In that stage of attainemnt one sees his original spiritual form in the forest of Vraja. (37)


In the Stage of Attainment One Regains His Original Spiritual Form and Identity, and His Subtle Material Body Is Broken


     97. "In the stage of attainment a fortunate soul regains his original spiritual form and identity, and his subtle material body is broken. He attains great good fortune. (38)


The Result Attained by Practicing Sadhana Devotional Service


     98. "Souls who were once conditioned but attained perfection in devotional service (sadhana-siddha) are equal to souls who were always perfect (nitya-siddha). Both serve Lord Krishna day after day. (39)


Attaining Perfection by Chanting the Holy Name


     99. "His devotional service is never broken. He always meditates on the glorious ujjvala-rasa.

     100. "He takes shelter of the holy name and considers it his great treasure. He attains perfection. He is situated in spiritual goodness (shuddha-sattva).


A Summary of the Spiritual Path


     101. "First one becomes eager to engage in devotional service, and then he associates with devotees, Gradually he comes to chant the holy name in a secluded place. He chants without stop.

     102. "Gradually, gradually, in a short time he attains perfection. Shunning bad association, he associates only with devotees. In this way the final result arises before him. (40)


(1) Association with Saintly Devotees, (2) Staying in a Secluded Place, and (3) Determination


     103. "Association with saintly devotees, staying in a secluded place, and being determined (41) are three things that make one glorious. This I say.

     104. "I am a fallen, petty, small-minded materialist. I never associate with devotees. I am a thief. I have robbed my own self. (42)

     105. "O Lord, without any reason please be merciful to me. (43) Please allow me to taste the nectar of devotional service. That is my prayer."

     106. Speaking these words, Haridasa fell unconscious, overcome with ecstatic love. His body fell before Lord Chaitanya's feet.

     107. Lord Chaitanya picked him up, embraced him, and, speaking words choked with love, related what was in His own heart.


The Lord's Command


     108. Lord Chaitanya said, "Listen, O Haridasa. In the future wicked people (44) will use these confidential pastimes to fill the world with the blinding darkness of ignorance.

     109. "But even at that time some saintly devotees will properly understand these final teachings (45) you have spoken.

     210. "Staying in a secluded place, taking shelter of the holy name, and Lord Krishna their only wealth, they will worship Lord Krishna. (46)

     211. "By the power of their good fortune, some souls attain devotional service. Not everyone has the power to attain devotional service.

     212. "To make pious persons become strong in devotional service, I have come to this Kali-yuga and taught the chanting of the holy name. (47)

Haridasa Thakura Helps the Lord in Preaching the Holy Name


     213. "You help Me in completing My mission. That is why I have heard from your mouth the truth of the holy name."




     214. By the power of Lord Krishna's mercy one attains the cintamani jewel of the holy name, a jewel that comes from the ocean of nectar. A person who finds that jewel becomes saintly. His every desire is fulfilled. His life is a success. He is always filled with bliss. With ecstatic love he worships Lord Krishna.

     215. Grasping his feet, this person worthless like a pile of ashes weeps and again and again speaks prayers filled with emotion. This person says to him, "Please give me a drop of the nectar of the holy name and fill me with bliss."




Chapter Fifteen Footnotes by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     (1) You have spoken the Vedas' conclusions about the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the individual souls, the illusory energy maya, the holy name, namabhasa chanting of the holy name, offenses to the holy name, and many other topics. Therefore all the Vedas joyfully dance on your tongue. Through Haridasa Lord Chaitanya revealed all the truths about the holy name. Rasa is the final attainment brought by the holy name.

     (2) The rasas (mellows) described in ordinary books of material rhetoric are not the true rasas. They are only perverted reflections of the true rasas. Beyond the twenty-four material rasas are the spiritual rasas, which are situated in pure goodness. They are the true rasas. The transcendentalists who take pleasure in spiritual life relish only the wonderful variety of tastes in the spiritual rasas, rasas far beyond all that is material. Anything but the spiritual rasas they consider dry and tasteless. The spiritual rasas situated in pure goodness are the eternal rasas.

     (3) The rasas are explained in this way. The perfect and complete Supreme Brahman is situated in pure goodness. He is both potency and the master of potencies. The master of potencies is not easily understood. The potencies and the master of potencies are not truly different. Only in certain situations are they considered different. The master of potencies is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose every desire is at once fulfilled. His potencies manifest His glories. Spirit, the individual souls, and the maya potency are all three manifested in this way.

     (4) Lord Krishna is the owner of the property here and the property is His spiritual potency. The property and the owner of the property are not different. Still, a wonderful variety is seen in them. This variety is also present in the spiritual world.

     (5) The maya potency is a shadow of the spiritual potency. Because it is a shadow, this potency is also called the bahiranga shakti (external potency). By Lord Krishna's wish, this potency creates the external (bahiranga) material world.

     (6) The individual spirit souls, or jiva-shakti, are one and different from the Lord. They stay on the border of the spiritual potency. As one of Lord Krishna's potencies, they are meant to serve Lord Krishna. (6)

     (7) Among the souls eternally imprisoned by maya, some have turned their faces toward Lord Krishna. They work to please Lord Krishna. The other souls in the material world, souls who have turned their faces away from Lord Krishna, are attracted to things other than Lord Krishna.

     (8) The souls who turn their faces toward Lord Krishna are very fortunate. They stay in the association of saintly devotees and chant Lord Krishna's holy name. Persons not as fortunate as they hanker after the impersonal liberation brought by following the path of jnana or the benefits brought by worshiping the many demigods in the path of karma.

     (9) The holy names of the Lord, which begin with the name "Krishna" are spiritual and full of eternal nectar. They are like a budding flower Lord Krishna's has mercifully placed in this world.

     (10) When the budding flower of the holy name begins to blossom, the Lord's handsome and charming spiritual forms, which begin with the form of Lord Krishna, are manifested.

     (11) When the flower of the holy name opens further and becomes very fragrant, the sweet fragrance of Lord Krishna's 64 qualities is perceived.

     (12) When the flower of the holy name is completely blossomed, Lord Krishna's spiritual eternal pastimes in the eight periods of the day, pastimes that are beyond the touch of matter, appear in this world.

     (13) When the individual spirit soul attains the Lord's mercy, the hladini shakti and samvit shakti combine to become devotional service personified.

     (14) The potency that rules all become smanifest. Through the medium of Lord Krishna's holy name she manifests the ingredients of rasa.

     (15) The individual soul then regains his original spiritual form. The spiritual potency manifests the rasas, and the soul enters the rasas.

     (16) In rasa, sthayi-bhava is one of the perfect bhavas. There are four other bhavas by which one also attains rasa. These four are the ingredients of rasa. They are: vibhava, anubhava, sattvika-bhava, and vyabhicari-bhava or sancari-bhava. Vibhava is divided into alambana (the main cause of love) and uddipana (the secondary causes of love). Alambana is divided into vishaya (the object of lova) and ashraya (the lover). The lover is the devotee of Lord Krishna. The object of love is Lord Krishna Himself. The uddipanas (things that stimulate the feeling of love) are the things that begin with Lord Krishna's form and qualities. When the alambana and uddipana meet in vibhava, the result is the appearance of anubhava. The next result is the ecstasy of sattvika-bhava. Gradually sancari-bhava also appears.

     (17) Here rasa may be compared to a machine. Sthayi-bhava is the axle. The bhavas beginning with vibhava are the machinery. The other bhavas set sthayi-bhava into motion. Here the lover, the devotee of Lord Krishna, is the taster of the nectar of rasa.

     (18) Of all rasas, the rasas of Vraja are the highest. They are the highest goal of life for the individual spirit souls. The four traditional goals of life are piety, economic development, sense gratification, and impersonal liberation. These four goals of life, piety, economic development, sense gratification, and impersonal liberation eventually lead to rasa, which is the highest goal of life. A person who is completely liberated is eligible to taste the rasas.

     (19) Of the souls who have turned their faces to Lord Krishna, those souls who are eager to engage in devotional service are the best. By the power of many, many past pious deeds these souls walk on the path of devotional service. When faith arises within them, they attain a saintly pure-devotee spiritual master (shuddha-sadhu-guru). By the spiritual master's mercy they become engaged in chanting the maha-mantra, which consists of the holy names of the divine couple.

     (20) When faith first arises materialism may be an obstacle. The spiritual master therefore gives the activities of sadhana-bhakti (devotional service in practice) so the disciple may overcome this obstacle and chant the holy name. The disciple may chant a fixed number of holy names on tulasi beads, or he may worship the holy name in kirtana. This worship of the holy name is the root of attaining all that is good. After a short time, with single-pointed concentration the disciple chants the holy name in a secluded place. Gradually he increases the number of holy names he chants until he spends all his time chanting. Then the obstacle of materialism will wither away. That is inevitable. Bhakti-sadhana (devotional service in practice) is of two kinds: the activities of Deity worship (arcana) and the activities of chanting and meditation (smarana-kirtana). Both are good, but the activities of chanting and meditation are more powerful and more able to bring one to pure devotional service. Many great souls meditated on a fixed number of holy names on japa beads and also loudly chanted the holy name in kirtana a fixed number of times. When chanting in kirtana one simultaneously performs chanting, hearing, and meditation.

     (21) Hedonists (vishayi), performers of pious deeds (karmi), and impersonalits (jnani) are the three kinds of people who have turned their faces away from Lord Krishna. And why not? Overcome with illusion, they struggle to attain what they falsely thing will be their own happiness. A person who works to please the senses of his material body is a hedonist. A person who tries to arrange that his material senses will be pleased at some future date is a performer of pious deeds. A person who tries to throw all his material sufferings far away is an impersonalist. Different from these three kinds of people are the people who have turned their faces toward Lord Krishna. Neophyte devotees (kanishtha), intermediate devotees (madhyama), and advanced devotees (uttama) are the three kinds of persons who have turned their faces toward Lord Krishna. The neophytes who have turned their faces toward Lord Krishna have renounced the worship of the demigods and are engaged in the worship of Lord Krishna with the motive of fulfilling their own personal desires. However, these neophytes remain unaware of the true nature of themselves, Lord Krishna, and other devotees. Still, they are neither fools nor offenders. But they are interested in their own personal benefit. They are not not pure Vaishnavas (shuddha-vaishnava). Rather, they are almost-Vaishnavas (vaishnava-praya). The intermeditae (madhayma) devotees have turned toward Lord Krishna, but it cannot be said that they are pure Vaishnavas (shuddha-vaishnava), or very advanced and expert in devotional service. Still, the intermediate devotee is neutral and disinterested in material things, although he may not know much beyond the truth that Lord Krishna is not different from His holy name. A person who has turned his face toward Lord Krishna and who places all his faith in Lord Krishna is qualified to chant the holy name.

     (22) The stages of advancement in devotional service are as follows. First a saintly soul who has turned his face toward Lord Krishna avoids the ten offenses and always chants and meditates on the holy name. He clearly enunciates the syllables of the holy name and he also meditates on the holy name. Chanting the holy name, he becomes steady and happy. Then he meditates on Lord Krishna's handsome dark form. With his hand on his beads, he counts the number of holy names, and with his mouth or in his mind he chants and chants Lord Krishna's holy name. With spiritual eyes he sees the truth of the holy name. Or, Lord Krishna's graceful form standing before him, He gazes at Lord Krishna's form and meditates on the holy name. When Lord Krishna's name and form become one, the devotee meditates on Lord Krishna's transcendental qualities. When Lord Krishna's name and form become one with His qualities, the devotee meditates on Lord Krishna's pastimes. Then Lord Krishna's name, form, and qualities become one with Lord Krishna's pastimes. At that time the nectar of the holy name arises. Intently meditating in this way on the holy name, the devotee tastes nectar (svarasiki). Meditating and meditating on the pastimes Lord Krishna enjoys in the eight periods of the day, the devotee finds that full and perfect nectar arises before him. In the beginning the neophyte devotee (kanishtha) begins the pracice of (sadhana) of devotional service. Associating with advanced (uttama) devotees, the neophyte quickly comes to the stage of an intermediate (madhyama) devotee and at the end he himself becomes counted among the advanced (uttama) devotees. As a neophyte (kanishtha-avastha), the devotee spends some days diligently chanting the holy name. Because of his diligent chanting of the holy name he finds that his anarthas (unwanted materialism) flee far away. When that happens he becomes qualified to chant the holy name purely and also to serve the Vaishnavas.

     (23) Santa (neutrality), dasya (servitude), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental love), and shringara (conjugal love) are the five rasas. Of them shringara-rasa is the best. They who attain the mercy of Shri Krishna Chaitanya become qualified for this rasa. In this rasa are many yutheshvaris (leaders of groups of gopis). Of all the yutheshvaris, Shri Radha is the most glorious. She is the direct internal potency of the Lord. The other girls of Vraja are all expanded from Her sweet transcendental form. The rasika devotees aspire to join Shri Radha's group of gopis. Without following the gopis, one cannot serve Lord Krishna in this way. The rasika devotees aspire to enter Shri Radha's group, where Lalita and many other gopis stay.

     (24) By following this path one closely approaches the perfection of devotional service. After very few days one's original spiritual form arises. By the mercy of a yutheshvari one yearns to attain Lord Krishna. Then the subtle material body (linga-deha), which was first created because one had turned his face away from Lord Krishna, is easily destroyed. In this way the soul regains his original pure spiritual form and resides in Vraja.

     (25) Up to this point the condition of the individual soul may be described with words. After this point words have no power to describe the soul's condition. O Lord, by Your mercy the soul must experience this condition to understand it.

     (26) Shringara-rasa (the rasa of conjugal love) is also called ujjvala-rasa (the glorious rasa). And why not? This rasa is supremely glorious in the spiritual world. By taking shelter of this rasa in the earthly land of Vraja one may eventually attain it.

     (27) Ramananda Raya explains (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita Madhya 8.228-230):


     "Therefore one should accept the mood of the gopis in their service. In such a transcendental mood, one should always think of the pastimes of Shri Radha and Krishna.*

     "After thinking of Radha and Krishna and Their pastimes for a long time and after getting completely free from material contamination, one is transferred to the spiritual world. There the devotee attains an opportunity to serve Radha and Krishna as one of the gopis.*

     "Unless one follows in the footsteps of the gopis, he cannot attain the service of the lotus feet of Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja. If one is overcome by knowledge of the Lord's opulence, he cannot attain the Lord's feet, even though he is engaged in devotional service."*


     A devotee who aspires to attain the ujjvala-rasa must follow the gopis of Vraja. A soul who thinks of himself as male is not qualified to enter the shringara-rasa. The soul must first attain the form of a gopi in Vraja. Then the soul may worship Lord Krishna in the shringara-rasa. The soul must attain the nature of a vraja-gopi in relation to eleven items described here. There eleven items are: 1. one's relationship, 2. age, 3. name, 4. form, 5. group, 6. garments, 7. command, 8. home, 9. service, 10. highest aspiration, and 11. gopi patroness. The aspiring devotee not attain this form even while he resides in the material world. Why not? In meditation considering himself a gopi according to these eleven items, he may worship Lord Krishna in his heart.

     (28) In striving to attain these eleven items the aspiring devotee passes through five stages. These five stages are: shravana-dasha (the stage of hearing), varana-dasha (the stage of accepting), smarana-dasha (the stage of meditating), apana-dasha (the stage of attaining), and sampatti-dasha (the stage of good fortune). Ramananda Raya explains (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita Madhya 8.220 and 222):


     "One who is attracted by the ecstatic love of the gopis does not care about the regulative principles of Vedic life or popular opinion. Rather, he completely surrenders unto Krishna and renders service unto Him.*

     "In his liberated stage the devotee is attracted by one of the five humors in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As he continues to serve the Lord in that transcendental mood, he attains a spiritual body to serve Krishna in Goloka Vrindavana."*


     With these words Ramananda Raya teaches that the devotee who aspires to enter ujjvala-rasa must attain the body of a gopi. Hearing about Lord Krishna's pastimes, one becomes attracted to them. One then approaches his bona fide spiritual master and from him learns about the ecstasy (bhava) of love for Lord Krishna. Hearing this from the spiritual master's mouth is called shravana-dasha (the stage of hearing). Excited, the devotee then yearns to attain that ecstatic love (bhava). That stage is called varana-dasha (the stage of accepting). Then he engages in regularly meditating on the nectar of the Lord's pastimes. This is called smarana-dasha (the stage of meditating). When he finally attains ecstatic love, that state is called apana-dasha or prapti-dasha (the stage of attaining). When he becomes eternally situated in his desired spiritual form, a form different from the temporary body made of material elements, that is called sampatti-dasha (the stage of good fortune).

     (29) First the spiritual master carefully examines the disciple's nature. If the disciple is qualified to enter shringara-rasa, the the spiritual master explains the disciple's perfect manjari form in Lalita's sub-group of Shri Radha's group of gopis. Then the spiritual master explains the eleven items that describe the disciple's spiritual identity. Then the spiritual master explains the relationship the spiritual master and disciple have in their original spiritual forms in the pastimes the Lord enjoys in the eight periods of the day (ashta-kaliya-lila). In this way the spiritual master explains the name, form, qualities, a service of the disciple's perfect original spiritual body. Finally the disciple takes birth as a gopi in a home in Vraja and is eventually married to a gopa. The spiritual master explains all this. Rejecting the conventional morality of the Vedas, the gopi finds a gopi yutheshvari (a gopi who leads a group of gopis) patroness and eternally serves the divine couple in the pastimes They enjoy in the eight periods of the day. Accepting (varana) this gopi-identity, the disciple enters the stage of smarana-dasha (meditating). In this way the aspiring devotee takes birth as a gopi in Vraja. These words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam should be followed:


yah shrutva tat-paro bhavet


     "Hearing of the Lord's pastimes, one becomes attached to Him."


     (30) If, when the spiritual master explains the disciple's original spiritual identity, the disciple feels attracted to that identity, then the spiritual master has genuinely helped his disciple. However, if the disciple does not feel attracted, then the spiritual master's explanations where not the pure truth. Because of past or recent pious deeds and purificatory rituals one feels attraction for spiritual things. That attraction is natural for the spirit soul. If the disciple is not attracted to shringara-rasa, the disciple may be suited for dasya-rasa or sakhya-rasa. Then the spiritual master will explain the disciple's identity in terms of one of those rasas. These rasas are not bad or unworthy. The great saint Shyamananda at first could not understand why he was not attracted to the gopi spiritual identity that was explained to him. He was not attracted because his true identity was in sakhya-rasa. Finally, by Shrila Jiva Gosvami's mercy, he attained the kind of worship that truly attracted him. His story is famous. In the time after Lord Chaitanya's descent to this world this kind of analysis of the devotee's spiritual identity is both appropriate and glorious.

     (31) The aspiring devotee's previous identity then becomes distasteful to him. By the mercy of his pure-devotee spiritual master (shuddha-gurudeva), he attains an spiritual identity to his liking and serves Lord Krishna in parakiya-rasa. Rasa is not complete without parakiya-rasa. Shri Krishna Chaitanya taught that parakiya shringara-rasa is eternally glorious in the Lord's prakata (manifested) and aprakata (unmanifested) pastimes both. This kind of shringara-rasa is not a material activity. The individual soul is spiritual, the rasas are spiritual, the gopis are spiritual, eternal service to Shri Shri Radha-Krishna is spiritual, and Vrindavana is spiritual. Lord Krishna and the gopis are not a material man and material women. They are pure, spiritual, and glorious. This may be understood by studying under a pure-devotee spiritual master (shuddha-guru). Without the mercy of such a pure spiritual master the truth of this will not become manifest. That truth is very confidential. It is not within the realm of things material logic has the power to see.

     (32) If one does not practice smarana-dasha properly, one will not gradually attain the perfection of apana-dasha. A proud and pompous display of one's karma, jnana, yoga, or anything else will not bring one to the perfection of devotional service, a perfection that cannot be described in words. A person may externally put on a show of diligently chanting the holy name, but within his heart be always very proud. Externally one may make a proud display of how he is diligently engaged in the activities of devotional service, but in his heart he may not even be very interested in devotional service. The smarana-dasha meditation of such a person will not lead to apana-dasha. After many births of sadhana devotional service that person will still not attain perfection. Outwardly he may engage in devotional service, but within he still identifies with the external material body and he really strives for something other than devotional service. He does not strive to attain the spiritual world of Vraja. Different from him is a sincere and honest person who approaches his spiritual master and purely worships the Lord in his heart. Aware of his true spiritual identity, he engages in devotional service.

     (33) The way the individual soul attains perfection is here described. The individual soul is a tiny particle of pure spirit. When he attains perfection, the soul manifests his original spiritual form. Committing an offense to Lord Krishna, and then forgetting his true spiritual identity, a rebellious soul is thrust into maya's prison. Pushed into a material body, the soul becomes mad and thinks that external body is his true self. By the mercy of a pure-devotee spiritual master (shuddha-guru), the soul can understand his original spiritual identity. It is a very easy thing. In this passage the soul's gradual attainment of his original form is described. The souls imprisoned by maya may make gradual advancement in devotional service. One way of advancement is vaidha-bhakti (devotional service in practice) ands another is raganuga-bhakti (devotional service in spontaneous love). In the beginning one thinks that vaidha-bhakti and raganuga-bhakti are different, but when one attains bhava (ecstatic love for Lord Krishna), one understands that they are not really different. By following the rules of the scriptures one makes gradual advancement in vaidha-bhakti. Then, when one yearns to serve the Lord as His personal associates in Vraja serve Him, one makes gradual advancement by means of raganuga-bhakti. This means that in the beginning one engages in devotional service in a general kind of way, and at the end one engages in a rare and special kind of devotional service.

     (34) The word "attainment" here means "the arrival of apana-dasha".

     (35) Smarana is the initial stage of meditation where one meditates on his spiritual identity with its possession of the eleven items and one also meditates on one's service to the divine couple as They enjoy pastimes in the eight periods of the day. In this stage meditation is neither perfect nor uninterrupted, for the meditator may be distracted in various ways. Meditating and meditating, one becomes steady in meditation. This is called dharana. When all one's limbs are rapt in meditation, the state is called dhyana. When one meditates at every moment, the state is called anusmriti. When the meditation is perfect and uninterrupted, and one thinks only of Lord Krishna's pastimes and nothing else, that state is called samadhi. By meditating in samadhi in this way one attains apana-dasha. People who are not expert may require many yugas to pass through these five stages of meditation, but an expert person may be able to pass through them in a few days and quickly attain apana-dasha.

     (36) In apana-dasha one throws far away the idea that the external material body is the self. Then the soul's understanding of his original spiritual identity and spiritual form becomes very strong.

     (37) Situated in one's original spiritual form, one resides in Vraja moment after moment. Situated in one's original spiritual form, one feels great pleasure in serving Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. Situated in one's original spiritual identity, for many moments one gazes at the spiritual abode of Vraja. Then the spiritual pastimes of the divine couple become manifest.

     (38) When one worships and worships in this way, Lord Krishna personally reveals Himself. That is inevitable. By one's own desire the gross and subtle material bodies become destroyed. The gross body made of five elements falls away and the subtle material body of material mind, intelligence and false-ego also falls away. Then the soul's original pure spiritual form is manifested and the soul serves the divine couple in the spiritual world.

     (39) Sadhana-siddha and nitya-siddha devotees reside together in the same spiritual abode.

     (40)  A person who renounces karma, jnana, yoga, and all other non-devotional paths and has faith only in devotional service may easily attain the great treasure that is devoted worship of the holy name. Progressing through the previously described stages, one worships the holy name. In this way one easily becomes engaged in all the various limbs of devotional service and in a short time one attains all his spiritual desires. Expert in devotional service, one avoids non-devotees, stays in the association of devotees, and engages in devotional service. Prema (pure love for Lord Krishna) is the final result of his spiritual activities. He is inclined to stay with people who have saintly hearts. He avoids people whose hearts are not saintly. Like lightning he is attracted to the devotees and repulsed by the nondevotees. Here lightning is given as a material example. Prema is spiritual in nature. Still, spiritual prema and a material lightning flash have one feature in common..

     (41) One who desires to attain the result brought by chanting the holy name must do these three things. That is, he must associate with saintly devotees, stay in a secluded place, and be determined.

     (42) Haridasa Thakura is an eternally-perfect personal associate of the Lord. Still, he is humble. Humbleness is one of the ornaments brought by prema.

     (43) The words "without any reason merciful" mean "merciful without any motive". "I have not performed any pious deeds (sat-karma). Therefore I can only beg for Lord Krishna's mercy." The mercy Lord Krishna's gives is without any personal motive. Seeing that Haridasa Thakura intently teaches everyone the worship of the holy name, Lord Chaitanya made Haridasa the great object of His mercy. Haridasa is especially qualified to taste the nectar of the holy name and to teach others how to taste it also. Accompanied by Ramananda, Sarvabhauma, and others, Lord Chaitanya relished the books Lalita-Madhava and Vidagdha-Madhava in the courtyard of Haridasa's home. At that time the nectar of the holy name came out from Haridasa's mouth. All this is described in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita, Antya-lila, Chapter One.

     (44) Who are these wicked people? Trying to conceal the pure teachings Lord Chaitanya gave about the holy name in His Shikshashtaka, the sahajiyas, baulas, and others preach various false and evil philosophies. Lord Chaitanya refers to them with these words.

     (45) The words "final teachings" mean the instruction than which no other instruction is superior. The final instruction is that one should associate with devotees and chant the holy name.

     (46) A devotee who thinks his only wealth is Lord Krishna and who is expert at tasting nectar will always taste the nectar of the holy names Hare Krishna with ecstatic love. The holy names are described in the words given below, words that are a song in the 183rd part of the Pada-kalpataru, a part entitled Ardha-bahya-dasha-pralapam (Words spoken while halfway in external consciousness):




he hare madhurya-gune         hari la'be netra-mane

mohana murati darashai

he krishna ananda-dhama         maha-akarshaka-thama

tuya bine dekhite na pai


     "O sweet and glorious Krishna, You have stolen My eyes and My heart. I always gaze at Your charming form. O Krishna, O abode of bliss, O most attractive one, I can see no one but You.


he hare dharama hari          guru-bhoya adi kori

kulera dharama kaile dura

he krishna bamshira sware        akarshiya ani' bale

deha-geha-smriti kaile dura

     "Piety, chastity, fear of My elders, and everything else I have thrown far away. Attracted by the sound of Your flute, I have forgotten My body and My home.


he krishna karshita ami          kanculi karshaha tumi

ta' dekhi' camaka mohe lage

he krishna bibidha chale        uraja karshaha bale

sthira naha ati anurage


     "O Krishna, I am attracted to You. You tug my bodice. I gaze at You with bewilderment and alarm. O Krishna, on various pretexts You touch My breasts. Overcome with passion, I cannot stay peaceful.


he hare amare hori'      laiya pushpa-talpopori

bilasera lalase kakuti

he hare gopata bastra         horiya se khana-matra

byakta koro manera akuti


     "O Krishna, You draw Me to the bed decorated with flowers. You beg to enjoy pastimes with Me. For a moment You tug at My clothing. You reveal the desire in Your heart.


he hare basana-hara      tahate jemana kara

antarera hara mata bandha

he rama ramana anga      nana baidagdhi ranga

prakashi puraha nija sadha


     "O Krishna tugging at My clothing, please become like a necklace binding My heart. O Krishna with charming limbs, please expertly enjoy with Me in many ways. Please fulfill Your desire.


he hare balite bali      nahi hena kutuhale

sabara se bakya na rakhila

he rama ramana-rata      tahe prakatiya kata

ki rasa abeshe bhasaila


     "O Krishna, I beg You to stop. You are not happy to hear that. You pay no attention to My words. O amorous Krishna, You plunge Us into an ocean of nectar.


he rama ramana-shreshtha        mana ramaniya shreshtha

tuya sukhe apani na jani

he rama ramana bhage          bhabite marame jage

se rasa murati tanu-khani


     "O Krishna, O best of lovers, O most charming, I cannot understand the pleasure You bring. O lover Krishna, passionate love for You awakens in My heart. Your form is sweet like nectar.


he hare harana tora      tahara nahika ora

cetana horiya koro bhora

he hare amara lakhya          horo simha-praya dakha

toma bina keha nahi mora


     "O Krishna, Your glory has no end. You have stolen and charmed My heart. O Krishna, this is My desire: As a lion conquers, please conquer Me. Without You I have nothing.


tumi se amara jnana      toma bina nahi ana

khaneke kalapa shata jaya

se tumi anata giya       raha udasina haiya

kaha dekhi ki kori upaya


     "You are all that I know. Without You I have nothing. Without You every moment is like a hundred kalpas. Proudly You left. You did not care. What shall I do? Please tell Me.


ohe naba-ghana-shyama          kebala rasera dhama

kaiche ramha kori mana jhure

chaitanya celaya jaya          hena anuraga paya

tabe bandhu milaya adure


     "O Krishna dark like a new monsoon cloud, O abode of nectar, I stay here and weep. I fall unconscious. O My friend, from far away please return to Me."


     The meaning of the song is this: Separated from Lord Krishna, and accompanied by Her eight gopi friends, Shri Radha chants these names of Lord Krishna and imagines that She is enjoying pastimes with Him. The word "Hare" is "Hara" in the vocative case. Thus it is a name of Shri Radha. The devotees who know how to taste nectar taste the nectar of Lord Krishna's pastimes as with ecstatic love they chant the holy names of the Hare Krishna mantra.


     (Translator's note: This song is an anagram of the maha-mantra. Each verse begins with a name from the maha-mantra. Thus the first verse begins with Hare, the second with Krishna, the third with Hare, the fourth with Krishna, and so forth until, verse after verse, the entire maha-mantra is given.)


     (47) Here someone may say: "The individual souls attain devotional service only by the power of their past pious deeds. Why, then, should anyone preach to others?"

     To this Lord Chaitanya replies: "By the power of their past pious deeds the individual souls indeed have faith in the holy name of Lord Krishna. Still, to make their devotion strong, I preach that chanting the holy name is the yuga-dharma (the religion of the age)."

     However, the truth is that the chanting of the holy name is the only eternal religion for all souls in every age.


Thus ends Shri Hari-nama-cintamani