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Fifth Shower of Nectar
When the devotee takes in his heart the golden medallion of bhakti, shining effulgently by the fire of steady practice (nishtha) and propelled by its own energy, ruchi appears in that bhakti. When a person develops a taste for the activities of bhakti such ashearing and chanting, vastly greater than attraction for anything else, that is called ruchi. Unlike in the previous stages, at the stage of ruchi constant performance of devotional activities like hearing and chanting does not result in even the least fatigue. Ruchi quickly produces an intense addiction to the activities of bhakti. This is similar to the brahmana boy who, after diligently studying the scriptures daily, in time grasps the meaning, and then finds no difficulty at all in applying himself to study. Moreover, he develops a pleasure in the performance his task.
The actual conclusion can be understood by the following example. Due to a defect in the liver, the ability to taste becomes affected and sugar candy becomes distasteful. Sugar candy, however, is also the medicine to cure the defect. Understanding this, an afflicted person will take sugar candy daily though it may be distasteful and, eventually, as it cures his sickness, he will develop a real taste for it. In this way, the jiva's heart contaminated by ignorance and the other kleshas becomes cured by the medicine of hearing, chanting and the other devotional processes. Eventually, he develops a taste for these activities.
Ruchi is of two types: that which depends on excellence of elements (vastu-vaishishty-apekshini), and that which does not (vastu-vaishishty-anapekshini). Excellence of elements refers to an excellence of details in relation to the Lord's name, qualities and form, etc. For instance, a person may only experience pleasure from kirtana if it is pleasing to the ear and artistically sung. He may only relish topics of the Lord if they are delivered skillfully with poetic ornaments and qualities. He may only enjoy deity worship if all the implements, place, and materials are according to his fancy. This is similar to a person with a weak appetite asking about the variety and quality of preparations in a meal. The cause is a slight impurity in the heart of the devotee. Therefore, if a person depends on the excellency of the material elements of kirtana, etc. to experience a spiritual taste, one should understand this as taint of impurity in his heart (doshabhas). A person with the second type of ruchi will experience great pleasure even from the beginning of any performance of sravanam, kirtana, etc. If, however, there is excellence of the elements, then he becomes extremely joyful and ecstatic. It means that he has not the slightest trace of impurity in his heart.
“Oh friend, abandoning the nectar of Krishna's names, why are you engaged in useless talks of family pursuits of security and enjoyment? What can I say to you? I myself am so wicked, though I received the precious jewel of bhakti by the mercy of the spiritual master, I am so unfortunate that I kept it tied in the hem of my cloth. Not knowing its value, I have been searching out a cracked cowrie, a tiny spot of false happiness on the shore of the ocean of material engagements. Wandering here and there, I have passed the years of my life in vain. Not practicing any activity of bhakti, I have simply displayed lethargy. Alas! Such am I or my sense of taste that I lick up bitter-tasting deceitful profane gossip like nectar and remain apathetic to hear the names, qualities and pastimes of the Lord. How unfortunate I am! When I start to hear about the Lord, I comfortably fall asleep, and at the opportunity for vulgar discussion, I prick up my ears and become wide awake. In this way, I have always contaminated the assembly of all the devotees. What sinful acts have I not performed, simply for the satisfaction of my insatiable belly even in my decrepit old age? I do not know for how long and in what type of hell I will have to suffer for all my activities.”
In this way repenting his previous state of consciousness, some day at some place, the devotee becomes like a bee tasting the nectar of the fruit of the Madhurya Kadambini.