If one doesnt practice raganuga bhakti then how will one get the realizations needed to return to our svarupa?
Transcribed by: Geetanjali Nath
Question: . In Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu it is said that without raganuga bhakti one cannot go back to Krishna loka then we also hear that just by practicing Krishna consciousness as given by Shrila Prabhupada we will go back to Krishna loka, so how exactly when this happen ? at the time of death one will get the remembrance by Krishna’s mercy.
Answer: Yes, the principle of abhideya fixing the mind on Krishna, is something which is dynamic. If we look at the way even gaudia vaishnavism is practiced and taught by the goswamis , actually even at the time of Chaitanya Mahabharata would see that there are different expressions of gaudia vaishnavisim in terms of emphasis , for example , there were the Vrindavan gaudia vaishnavas, and there were the Oddia Bengal gaudia vaishnavas. Vrija vaishnavas were the goswamis , they focused on writing on Sanskrit, they focusd omore on theology with phylosophy, they the books are written , and the goswamis, the focus was on Krishna, they did not write so many booka, in fact we see that there is no book that they wrote about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The Bengali vaishnavas they did not write so many books on philosophy and theology they focused primarily on writing about Chaitnya Mahaprabhu and his past times. So Chaitnya |Mahaprabhu knew about these differences and he was encouraging both of them and we see that the way the internal cultivation of gaudia vaishnavism or that is done by the goswamis then it come back to come down, generation of bhakti vinoda thakura, bhakti siddhanta thakura. there is such substantial difference. Now bhakti vinoda thakura did not become a externally a goswami but he focused a lot on interacting with the west and presenting vaishnavaism and gaudia viashnavism in a intellectual discourse with the western audience. and we primarily know that bhakti vinoda thkaura by way of bhajans, but he written very intellectually profound books also.So he did cultivate internally bhakti , but along with that he would also doing externally bhakti also. and bhakti siddanta thakura also focused on missionary activities and he said he would say that the raj…… marga is for pujavar it is for worshippers, and Shrila prabhupada followed bhakit siddhanta thakuras foot steps also and the point is that the abhideya ………..and we cannot suddenly take the abhideya that is practiced for say 500 years ago and expect that to be practiced today.So then we were also if we take a very literal understanding of that abhideya be applied, then we may have to say that there have been so many great devotees before the goswamis and did they exactly practice raganuga bhakti the way the goswamis have taught ? there are great vaishnava acharyas also , not gaudia vaishnavas, there are other vaishnavas also and the specific form of viraha bhakti in terms of prakiya bhava that was systematized by the Shri Chaitanya mahaprabhu and goswamis m, that was there before also, Buddha talks about it, ,,,,,,,,, talks about it, ……….das talks about it, so we cannot really say that just because they did not follow the raganga bhakti in form, nobody has gone back to Krishna loka before, historically speaking we will not see so much of practically we will not see the evidence of the raganuga bhakti being practiced in the form in which they have ….. before them. so what does that mean ? see bhakti is a matter of the heart and a particular transitory is given to guide us in the journey of …………………, but we cannot really in a very literal sense map emotion with certain location or conceptual tra….y. so over all the abhideya will be different so we may have andal as a great alwar in the sri sampradaya , and she was attracted not just to Vishnu but also to Krishna. and she has written very profusely devotional poetry and she talked about lot of things in the mood of gopies also of Krishna. So now we don’t have to have a very exclusivity or reductionist attitude, where we think that the raganuga bhakti has to be practiced in a particular form to go back to Krishna, in principle they will become a develop our attraction for Krishna and that is done with our spiritual practice. So the abhideya , the way we fixes our mind on Krishna will vary according to time place and circumstances . So we look at our current acharayas,and our immediate paracharyas, the acharyas before our current acharyas, to see what is the best way we can practice abhideya. So now it is also possible that say some devotees may feel very inspired byu the books krinaraj thakura, some devotees may be inspired by baladeva vidhyabhushan, some devotees may like bhakti vinoda thakura’s books, surely they can read those books along with prabhupada books and they can get inspiration from they, but we don’t have to mandate that, the suggest is that there is a a room for individual inspirtation withmout making anything mandatory. Similarly with respect tot the specific form of the abhideya , there is no need to make raganuga bhakti in form mandatory, but if some devotees are inspired by them s. they should be given the room for that. and exactly how Krishna will purify and liberate that we can’t even say necessarily , even if after we practice raganuga , what exactly is going to happen , certainly our inner …………will be that of the ragatmika gbhaktas but then even after that we have to be transported from here to there, and it is not that here we can learn everything about vrindavan then the question may come , where …………..there is goloka vrindavan is there, one may get trained over there, but the point is, there is the realm of the mystical which will involve unanswered question about specifics, even one follows ragatmika raganuga bhakti in form. so what we focus on is – the broad principle and the substance, that we focus on developing our attraction to Krishna, and once we do that eventually, Krishna said , He will take care of , how specifically he will do that , that will vari depending on person to person and as long as we serve Krishna, we know that Krishna is ………Krishna is bhakta vatsala, Krishna will the emotion of the heart and he will protect and delever his devotees. so rather than getting worried about specifics, we focus on the broad principles and practice bhakti as per the specifics that we feel inspired to practice.