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What is the constitutional identity(svarupa) of the sadhaka?
ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
patitam mam vishame bhavambudhau
kripaya tava pada-pankaja-
ayi nandatanuja—O Son of Nanda Maharaja; vishame-bhavambudhau—in the dreadful ocean of material existence; patitam kinkaram mam kripaya—being merciful upon me, your eternal servant fallen (in); tava pada-pankaja-sthita-dhuli-sadrisham—like a particle of dust affixed to Your lotus feet (in other words as your eternally purchased servant); vicintaya—please consider.
“O son of Nanda Maharaja! Please be merciful upon me, your eternal servant, fallen in the dreadful ocean of material existence as a result of my fruitive actions. Like a particle of dust affixed to Your lotus feet, kindly accept me forever as your purchased servant."
Shri Sanmodana Bhashyam
Is it proper for the sadhaka who has taken up the process of chanting the holy name to reflect upon the miseries of material existence? To solve this apprehension, Shri Gaurasundara has set forth the verse mentioned above ( `ayi nanda tanuja' ).
"O son of Nanda Maharaja! In reality, I am Your eternal servant. But now I have fallen into this dreadful ocean of material existence as a result of my own misdeeds. Lust (kama), anger (kroddha), and envy (matsarta), etc. are like crocodiles with ferocious mouths standing erect, ready to swallow me up. Drifting here and there in the waves of wicked hopes and misplaced anxieties, I am severely oppressed. The powerful blasts of wind in the form of bad association cause still greater anxiety. In such a condition, I have no shelter other than You."
"Karma, jnana, yoga, austerity, and so on are like bunches of straw that are seen floating here and there. But has anyone succeeded in crossing the ocean of material existence by taking shelter of them? Sometimes persons drowning in the ocean of material existence grab hold of these bunches of straw and pull them down along with them. Now there is no refuge other than Your mercy. Your holy name alone is the only sturdy boat, taking shelter of which, the jiva can easily cross the ocean of material existence. Considering all this, I have taken shelter of the very firm boat of Your holy name by the causeless mercy of the lotus feet of my spiritual master. You are very affectionate to the surrendered souls. Please forgive all the faults of this person, who is without any other shelter, and consider me as a particle of dust at Your lotus feet, for then I shall never be separate from Your lotus feet."
This is the purport of the above mentioned verse. It is to be understood from this that the sadhaka must completely renounce the desire for material enjoyment and liberation.
Shri Chaitanya-Caritamrita (Antya lila 20.33-35):
tomara nityadasa mui toma pasariya
padiyachon bhavarnave mayabaddha hana
kripa kari kara more pada-dhuli sama
tomara sevaka karon tomara sevana
punah ati utkantha dainya haila udgam
krishna thani mage prema nama sankirtana
"`O my Lord! I am Your eternal servant. Owing to great misfortune, I have abandoned You. Being bound by maya, I am drowning in the bottomless ocean of material existence. Kindly accept me as a particle of dust at Your lotus feet. I shall become Your servant and eternally engage in Your service.' Speaking in this way, great longing welled up within the heart of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In a very humble mood, He again began to pray to awaken love for the chanting of the holy name of Shri Krishna."
Shikshashtakam: Song 5 (Gitavali)
anadi karama phale padi bhavarnave jale
tarivare na dekhi upaya
e vishaya halahale divanishi hiya
mana kabhu sukha nahi paya
asha pasha shata-shata klesha deya avirata
pravritti urmira tahe khela
kama krodha adi chaya batpade deya bhaya
avasana haila asi bela
jnana karma thaga dui more pratariya lai
avasheshe phele sindhu jale
e hena samaye bandhu tumi krishna kripa sindhu
kripa kari tole more bale
patita kinkare dhari pada padma dhuli kari
deha bhaktivinode ashraya
ami tava nitya dasa bhuliya mayara pasha
baddha ha'ye achi dayamaya
"O supremely merciful Lord Krishna! I am drowning in the bottomless ocean of material existence as a consequence of my fruitive activities, which are without beginning. I can see no means of crossing this ocean. My heart is being scorched with the deadly poison of sense gratification. My mind is greatly perturbed. I am continuously troubled, being bound by the stringent ropes of unlimited lusty desires. I am being tossed here and there, struck by the violent crashing of the waves of material nature. My life duration is dwindling and death is approaching. Lust, anger, illusion, envy, greed, and madness are like six thieves which have pounced upon me. Karma (fruitive activities) and jnana (mental speculation) are like two robbers who have cheated me and thrown me into a bottomless ocean."
"O ocean of mercy! At such a time of formidable distress, You are the only friend. O Krishna! You are very merciful. Kindly deliver me. I am Your eternal servant. I have forgotten You and thus become tightly bound by the illusory energy. Please accept this fallen servant Bhaktivinoda, and fix me as a particle of dust at Your lotus feet."
Shri Nandanandana is the worshipable object for all living entities. Eternal servitorship to Lord Krishna is inherent within the pure spiritual identity (svarupa) of every jiva. The jiva, having become indifferent to the sense of servitorship toward Lord Krishna, is drowning again and again in the insurmountable and fearful ocean of material existence. On this account, he is tormented by the three-fold miseries of material life. In this situation, the jiva's only support is the mercy of the Lord. If Shri Krishna, out of His causeless mercy, accepts the jiva as a particle of dust at His lotus feet, then the jiva's covered identity and eternal disposition of servitorship to Shri Krishna, can become manifest once again.
The attempt to attain the lotus feet of Shri Krishna by one's own endeavour is called `arohapantha'. Krishna cannot be obtained by this method. Only upon surrendering unto Lord Krishna can the jiva obtain the service of the Lord by His will and mercy. Endowed with such firm faith, one should engage in the process of sadhana and bhajana. The word `pada dhuli' (a dust particle at the feet of the Lord) indicates the jiva's eternal identity as an infinitesimal part and parcel of Krishna (vibhinnamsha).
As long as the jiva is not situated in his svarupa, anarthas are inevitable. In such a condition, ascertainment of the ultimate goal remains ambiguous. Pure chanting of the holy name begins upon the awakening of sambandha jnana, and only by such pure chanting is prema obtained. When, by continuous chanting of shuddha nama, rati (which is a combination of the samvit and hladini potencies of the Lord's svarupa shakti) toward the lotus feet of the Lord is awakened in the heart of the jiva, he is then known as a jata rati bhakta (a devotee in whom rati or bhava has manifested).
There is a difference between the chanting of an ajata rati sadhaka (one in whom rati is not manifest) and a jata rati bhavuka bhakta. To deceitfully present oneself as a jata rati bhakta before having attained to such a stage is completely inappropriate. After anartha nivritti, one becomes situated in `naivantarya', or uninterrupted steadiness in the practice of sadhana (shravana, kirtana, etc.). Next, one attains `sveccha-purvika' which means meditation on the pastimes of the Lord by one's own will. This is an advanced stage of remembrance of the Lord which comes in the stage of asakti. This is followed by the condition known as `svarasiki' when the pastimes of the Lord automatically manifest in one's heart as an uninterrupted flow (this comes in the stage of bhava after shuddha sattva manifests in the heart). At last one comes to the stage of Krishna prema.
Shri Bhajana Rahasya Verses
When bhava manifests in the heart of the sadhaka, then dasya rati is easily awakened. The dasya rati mentioned here is general. It refers to the natural inborn inclination to serve Krishna. Without the manifestation of bhava, one's service to Krishna is artificial. But when shuddha sattva manifests in the heart, then one naturally wants to serve Krishna with full expression of the heart. This is supported in Shrimad Bhagavatam (6.11.24):
aham haretava padaika-mula
dasanudaso bhavitasmi bhuyah
manah smaretasu-pater gunams te
grinita vak karma karotu kayah
"O Lord Hari! Will I again be able to become a servant of Your servants who have taken exclusive shelter at Your lotus feet? O Lord of my life, I pray that my heart (antakarkGHhkarana) may always be engaged in remembering Your transcendental glories, my words in describing Your qualities, and my body in varieties of service to You."
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura then says:
chinu tava nitya-dasa, gale bandhi maya-pasha,
samsare painu nana-klesha
eve punah kari asha, hana tava daser dasa, bhaji
pai tava bhakti-lesha
praneshvara ! tava guna, smaruk mana punah
punah, tava nama jihva karuk gana
karadvaya tava karma, kariya labhuk sharma,
tava pade sampinu parana
"I am your eternal servant, but due to my own misfortune, I have forgotten You. Consequently, maya has captured me and, binding me in her chains, she has cast me down into this material atmosphere. I have been wandering here and there in this material existence and rotating through thousands and millions of different species of life. I am being crushed by varieties of different miseries. Now in the association of the Vaishnavas, my intelligence has become aroused. Now the only aspiration in my heart is that I may become a servant of the servant of Your servants. By engaging in Your service, may I obtain a particle of bhakti?"
"O Lord of my life! Let my mind be constantly engaged in remembering Your transcendental glories and attributes; let my tongue be always engaged in chanting Your holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes; let my two hands be engaged in various types of service to You. I shall thus taste the bliss of service to You. My entire being is offered at Your lotus feet."
By his constitutional nature, the jiva is meant to be enjoyed (bhogya), whereas Krishna is the Supreme enjoyer (bhokta). Therefore, by continuous practice of bhajana, an ardent desire will arise in the heart to become a maidservant of Shrimati Radhika who is the embodiment of transcendental bliss (anandamayi). At that time, gopi bhava, or the loving sentiment exhibited by the gopis, awakens in his heart. This is confirmed in Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.29.38):
tannah prasida vrijinardana te 'nghri mulam
prapta vishrijya vasatis-tvad-upasanashah
tvat-sundara-smita nirikshana tivrakama
taptatmanam purusha-bhushana dehi dasyam
The gopis say, "With a desire to serve You, we have abandoned our families and household and come to Your lotus feet. You are very merciful. Kindly bestow upon us qualification to serve Your lotus feet. O jewel among men! Our hearts are burning with desire. Please grant us the vision of Your sweet smiling lotus face and accept us as Your maidservants."
The necessity of taking shelter of the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika is expressed in the following statement from Shrila Rupa Gosvami:
anaradhya radhapadambhoja renu
manashritya vrindatavim tat padankam
asambhashya-tadbhava gambhira cittan
kutah shyam-sindho rasasyavagahah
"If you have never worshipped the dust of the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika or the land of Vraja which is marked with the impressions of Her lotus feet, or have not served the lotus feet of those devotees who taste the profound loving sentiments of Shrimati Radhika, how can you become immersed in the blackish ocean of nectar known as Shyama-sindhu rasa?"
Attainment of the service of the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika is the one and only goal of the bhavuka bhaktas. This is exhibited in the eighth verse of Vilapa Kusumanjali:
devi duhkha kula-sagarodare
duyamana mati durgatam janam
tvat kripa pravala naukayadbhutam
"Hey Shrimati Radhike! O You who are adept in amorous sports! I am drowning in an unlimited ocean of horrible miseries. I am severely oppressed and shelterless. Kindly place me on the infallible boat of Your causeless mercy and guide me to the shelter of Your lotus feet."
Those who taste rasa are called rasika, and those who taste bhava are called bhavuka. The gopis and Krishna are both rasika and bhavuka. When vishuddha sattva, or in other words bhava descends from the gopis upon those who are in the stage of sadhana (sadhanavastha), they attain svarupa siddhi (perception of their sthayi bhava), but they have not yet attained their siddha deha. At that stage they are known as bhavuka bhaktas. When by further advancement, the sthayi bhava mixes with the elements of vibhava, anubhava, sattvika bhava and vyabhicari bhava and one is able to taste bhakti rasa, instigated by hearing the pastimes of Shri Krishna, then one is called a rasika.
Just like in rasa-lila, Krishna is dancing and all the gopis are dancing. Krishna is continuously taking cups of rasa and giving them to the gopis—they are rasika, and those hearing all these things, who are drinking unlimited cups of that rasa within their hearts—they are also rasika and bhavuka. Those who meditate upon and remember the bhava exchanged between Radha and Krishna, or that which is found in the gopis, the sakhas, or in vatsalya, are called bhavuka. Bhava is the spiritual emotion of the atma; it is not of this bodily heart.
For example, Krishna is addressing Shrimati Radhika. "Who are You? How have You come here (at Govardhana or Radha-kunda)? Why are You stealing all my flowers and breaking all my creepers which are very dear to me? Then Shrimati stopped, turned toward Krishna, and without saying a word, She glared at Him with an angry mood. What does this mean? Although She said nothing, Her look expressed everything. This is bhava. What bhava? "Are You are a thief, or am I a thief? You are a thief, so don't accuse me in this way." She did not say this, but everything was expressed in Her gaze. ·
Those devotees who have accepted the servitorship of Shrimati Radhika constantly engage in sankirtana that is intently focused on Shri Krishna. This is stated in Shri Shri Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi (259):
dhyayam stam shikhi piccha mauli
manisham tannama sankirtayan
nityam taccarany ambujam paricaran
tan mantra varjyam japan
shri radha pada dasyam eva
paramabhishtam hrida dharayan
karhi syam tad-anugrahena
"By constant meditation upon Shri Krishna whose head is bedecked with a peacock feather, by chanting His sweet holy names, by serving His lotus feet, and by chanting the maha-mantra, we anxiously aspire to obtain the service of the lotus feet of Shri Radhaji. By constantly thinking in this way and by Her causeless mercy, a deep spontaneous attachment (anuraga) will awaken toward Her lotus feet."