Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Smaranam of Radha and krishna's lilas - which form of Radha and krishna to remember in sadhana?
kamala - Mon, 16 Sep 2002 21:05:08 +0530
Jai Radhe Syam,
I am writing regarding my one major doubts regarding Smarana(remembering) in Raganuga bhakti. Can I imagine the form of Krishna and Radha like a film star or a person whom I know. Or I have to imagine Radha and Krishna to be like some pictures dawn by artist. Or do I have create my own form based on the descriptions from scriptuers. I am not really geting a clear picutre of radha krishna into my mind. Of coure I can remeber the deties form in my mind with out any problem. but with that form I am not able to do lila smarana.
Why I asked this question is I started reading one chapter in Sri Krishna bhavamrita and next day I meditated the pastime while chanting my 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mahamantra. But I don't know whether I doing right or wrong. please help me, I don't know much about the Raganuga bhakti even thought I was in the hare krishna movement for 20 years.
I also like to discuss few things with devotees personally few of my doubts. If you can give your telephone it will be nice. I live in Canada.
I love all articles and discussions very much,
koti koti pranam
My first language is not engish so please excuse me for my wrong english.
jiva - Tue, 17 Sep 2002 00:33:31 +0530
Jiva Gosvamin delineates five successive stages of smarana for the Gaudiya Vaisnavas in his Bhakti Sandarbha (278).
1)The first step is called simply smarana and is defined as irregular reflection.
2)The second is dharana,defined by Jiva as a withdrawing of the mind from everything and fixing it on the object of meditation.
3)The third step is dhyana.Jiva defines it as a special meditation on the forms and other characteristics of Krsna.
4)Fourth is druvanusmrti.As employed by Jiva it denotes a state of meditations that is similar to the previous dhyana but uninterrupted,like a shower of ambrosia.
5)The final step is samadhi,a term used by Jiva to designate the point in the practice of smarana when the object of meditation itself appears.
The practice involves visualizing a particular dramatic scene of Vraja in great detail,establishing its setting (desa),time(kala),and the characteristic (patra).Mantras are employed to assist the visualization.The practitioner memorize the descriptions of the various lilas using maps and diagrams...etc
Also,diksa-guru is extremely important because he is the one who reveals the mantra and the siddha-pranali so essential to entering the world of lila.
I hope this helps.
Radhapada - Tue, 17 Sep 2002 15:33:00 +0530
Some years ago while I was sitting in the presence of Ananta Das Pandit Baba a young ISKCON devotee asked Baba basically the same question, "Which lilas should I meditate on?" Baba asked, "Who have you received your diksa from?" She answered, "From no one yet." Then Baba said, "It is a good thing to start with." That was his answer.
Items of bhajan like puja, diksa mantra chanting and smaranam should be learned from ones own diksa Guru, or by someone he has appointed to learn these items from. Smaranam within the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition is done along with meditation on the siddha deha revealed by the Guru.
Som - Tue, 17 Sep 2002 18:29:22 +0530
Items of bhajan like puja, diksa mantra chanting and smaranam should be learned from ones own diksa Guru, or by someone he has appointed to learn these items from.
If a person is not fortunate enough to approach a diksha guru and if still he wishes to do the smarana, then what should be his/her approach?
Jai Radhe Shyam!
Mina - Tue, 17 Sep 2002 19:57:59 +0530
That is a very good question Som. Nothing in the process of raganuga bhakti is whimsical. Better to just chant the maha mantra and avoid concocting one's own approach to smaranam. You can still read about and meditate upon lila texts, but the actual practices being discussed are something to be learned as they have been handed down. There were some American devotees in Los Angeles back in the late 1970s that decided to home-grow their own process. That was just because they did not have the proper training and had only hearsay accounts of smaranam being done in Braj. So, although they might get an A for effort, they ultimately created something whimsical and ineffective.
Som - Tue, 17 Sep 2002 20:34:26 +0530
Better to just chant the maha mantra and avoid concocting one's own approach to smaranam. You can still read about and meditate upon lila texts, but the actual practices being discussed are something to be learned as they have been handed down.
When the Hare Krishna maha mantra is chanted with concentration does the lila smaran come to the mind automatically?
This should be correct because there's no difference between Hare Krishna maha mantra and Krishna himself, his lilas etc.. Is'nt this right?
kamala - Tue, 17 Sep 2002 22:15:00 +0530
Jai Sri Radhe Syam
Thanks you all for the valuable answers ,still one thing is not clear to me. Once I heard from a video from Jagat guru Kripalu Maharaja that you can even imagine a film star to be Krishna and meditate on it. So I got confused that is why I put this question? But I like to get a view on Gudiya sampridaya. Can I imagine the form of Krishna and Radha like a film star or a person whom I know?. Or I have to imagine Radha and Krishna to be like some pictures dawn by artist?. Or do I have create my own form based on the descriptions from scriptures?. I am not really getting a clear picture of radha krishna into my mind. Of course I can remember the deities form in my mind with out any problem. but with that form I am not able to do Lila smarana. I also initiated into vaidi bhakit by a Iskcon guru. What I have to do? Do I have to take reinitiation for the Raghanuga Bhakti? Or a Guru can be my Siksa guru and give me my Svarupa and other details to help me to advance in Raghanuga bhakti? I really wanted to do Raghanuga sadhana.
I do belive in Guru's help in raghanuga sadhana is a must. But I do want to practice till the time I meet a Guru?
Please enlighten me on this topics.
Madhava - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 00:06:23 +0530
Once I heard from a video from Jagat guru Kripalu Maharaja that you can even imagine a film star to be Krishna and meditate on it. So I got confused that is why I put this question? But I like to get a view on Gudiya sampridaya. Can I imagine the form of Krishna and Radha like a film star or a person whom I know?
Of course one can imagine whatever he desires. However, personally I would never imagine a mundane film star to be in the position of Krishna. Often in films one will see varieties of things done which the Divine Couple would never do, and such contemplation in associating Them with unbefitting activities leaves a deep impression in the mind. Then, when one tries to contemplate on the Divine Couple in Vraja-dhama, impressions of mundane films and unbefitting activities arise in the mind.
Or I have to imagine Radha and Krishna to be like some pictures dawn by artist?. Or do I have create my own form based on the descriptions from scriptures?
Art of the Divine Couple is definitely a good way of gaining insight into Their divine forms. It is desirable, though, that the art be painted by a Vaishnava who draws the idea from the descriptions of the mahajanas. Also service to Thakurji gradually manifests Their eternal forms in the heart.
Of course ultimately it is you who beholds and serves Them, so the picture should arise in your mind and heart, not that it is only a figure drawn by someone else whom you move around. It is natural that initially the picture is cloudy and there is no clear perception of the Divine Couple. The fog will gradually fade away when the sun of Harinama begins to shine in the sky of your heart and when the fire of burning desire for darshan warms the atmosphere of your heart.
Proper diksa is very important. According to Jiva Gosvami (Bhakti Sandarbha), the guru-given diksa-mantras contain two kinds of divine knowledge, knowledge of the Lord's svarupa and knowledge of our special relationship with Him. Taking shelter of this mantra brings about darshan of His svarupa and illuminates our special relationship with Him. This in turn brings special potency into our chanting harinama, for we will then do it in an appropriate mood.
I also initiated into vaidi bhakit by a Iskcon guru. What I have to do? Do I have to take reinitiation for the Raghanuga Bhakti? Or a Guru can be my Siksa guru and give me my Svarupa and other details to help me to advance in Raghanuga bhakti? I really wanted to do Raghanuga sadhana.
How is it possible that someone in the Gaudiya sampradaya initiates you into vaidhi bhakti, and why would anyone do so? Mahaprabhu came to give raganuga-bhakti, it is commonly known and written in the Gosvami granthas, and this is the path of the sampradaya as well. Initiation is into raganuga-sadhana, and there is the initial stage of ajata-ruci raganuga bhakti during which elements from the mood of vaidhi-bhakti are mixed in, in other words one engages in sadhana out of obligation on occasion.
I think you should consult with both the vaidhi-bhakti guru and devotees on the path of raganuga to whose mood you feel attracted to get a proper direction for yourself. It is quite possible that you may find yourself in crossroads where you have to choose the way you walk. Most of all you have to be honest with your desires for bhakti and not try to hide your inclination from those with whom you discuss the subject matter. You should not make choices out of obligation to someone which goes against your heart.
I do belive in Guru's help in raghanuga sadhana is a must. But I do want to practice till the time I meet a Guru?
I don't think there is any harm in contemplating the pastimes of Radha and Krishna while chanting harinam prior to diksa. In fact, I find it hard to understand why one would take diksa if he feels no attraction to meditating on Their pastimes. Attempting to participate in the lila without proper guidance from an expert guru is another thing though. For now I think it is better to think about the service rendered by Rupa Manjari, Tulasi and others, as you can read in Utkalika Vallari, Vilapa Kusumanjali and so forth, aspiring that one day you may serve the Divine Couple like they do. In the meantime, it is also helpful to become acquainted with all proper siddhanta on the basis of the scenery of lila, studying the writings of the Gosvamis, the theology of rasa and so forth.
anuraag - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 02:48:20 +0530
. Once I heard from a video from Jagat guru Kripalu Maharaja that you can even imagine a film star to be Krishna and meditate on it. So I got confused that is why I put this question?
Jaya Sri Radhey! Namaste. If 'kamala' can understand Hindi language, here is some valuable information for Raganuga sadhak.
1. Bhakti ka Swaroop - The True Form of Devotion
2. Bhakti ki Mahima - The Greatness of Devotion
3. Bhakti kya hai? - What is Divine Love?
Seekers of Divne Love, who are familiar with Hindi language can understand and derive great benefit through listening to these valuable discourses on 'Raganuga Bhakti' (Divine Love) given by Sri Kripaluji Maharaj at this link:
Whether the 'Smarana' , 'Roopa Dhyan' is done on familiar personalities or paintings, pictures or deities, the 'smarana' is all still material and it is not considered as Divine contemplation.
So whatever helps the sadhaka to fondly remember his/her Divine Beloved should be practiced, naturally and spontaneously.
"yena tena prakAreNa
manaH kRSNe nivezayat.."
Divine contemplation is only possible with Divinized (liberated) mind and senses, when the heart of the devotee is completely purified and blessed with 'Divya Prema', the Svaroopa shakti of the Lord.
In other words only Siddha Prema Bhaktas, Rasik Saints are ever engaged in the Divine contemplation of Nitya lila.
All the rest are still have to engage their 'material' minds in 'sadhana' until they attain Siddha Prema Bhakti.
One can choose the most beautiful form of the Divine Couple according to one's taste, mellow (rasa) and affection for contemplation, so that one's divinelove is constantly increased, totally purifying one's heart, destroying all anarthas, impurities of the material mind.
At the blessed moment of God-realization the pure devotee, Siddha Premi, only percieves Lord's original Divine Form, no matter on what form he or she has contemplated during sadhana all along.
"premAGjanacchurita bhakti vilocanena
santaH sa daiva hRdayeSu vilokayanti,
yaM zyAma sundaram acintya guNa svarUpaM
govindam Adi puruSaM tamahaM bhajAmi"
(Sri Brahma Samhita. 38)
"I worship my Lord Beloved Govinda, the Primeval Supreme Personality, Syama Sundara Whom the PURE DEVOTEES ever SEE in the CORE of their HEARTS with EYES ANOINTED with DIVINE LOVE, as His transcendental form is beyond the contemplation of the material mind and His Blissful attributes as well as lilas are INCONCEIVABLE to ordinary MINDS (acintya guNa svarUpam)"
Saint Tulasidas says in Sri Rama Carita Manas,
'prabhu vyApaka sarvatra samAnA,
prEma sE prakata hOm mai jAnA"
Lord is present equally every where and is known to be OMNIPRESENT.
But He MANIFESTS His Divine form by ONLY THROUGH Siddha PREMA Bhakti, DIVINE LOVE, to His pure devotees!
That is why Gauranga Mahaprabhu also said:
"athaH zrI kRSNa nAmAdi
na bhaved grAhyam indriyaiH,
svayam eva sphuraty adaH"
"ataeva kRSNera 'nAma','deha','vilAsa'
prAkRtendriya grAhya nahe, haya sva prakAza"
With these "MATERIAL MIND, SENSES DEVOID OF PURE LOVE", ONE CAN NOT UNDERSTAND NOR PERCIEVE the TRANSCENDENTAL FORM, HOLY NAME AND HIS BLISSFUL EXPLOITS.
HOWEVER, WHEN ONE IS ACTUALLY DEVOTED TO HIM IN SPONTANEOUS LOVING SERVICE, Seva, LORD IS REVEALED BY HIS DIVINE GRACE."
I hope this information is helpful to the devotees.
Jaya, Jaya Sri Radhey!
Mina - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 07:53:12 +0530
Why are you recommending that Som consult with that vaidhi bhakti guru regarding what direction to take? I would not recommend that at all. He appears to be at the stage where he has already obtained all he is going to get from that guru and the time has come for him to move on. If he starts a dialogue with that person about his aspirations for the practice of lila smarana, it will most likely turn into a confrontation. There is no benefit in that. I think Nitai, Jagat, Advaita and Premananda would concur with me on this point. Furthermore, when an ISKCON fellow once approached Baba for advice and mantras (I acted as translator from English to Bengali and back), Baba was very clear on that fellow needing to first break all ties with that institution. We should not question the wisdom of siddha bhajananandis in these matters.
Madhava - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 08:02:28 +0530
Why are you recommending that Som consult with that vaidhi bhakti guru regarding what direction to take? I would not recommend that at all.
What I am trying to express is that if one wishes to leave the path of vaidhi bhakti and walk the path of raganuga, it is proper to still politely acknowledge the help which has been received from the vaidhi bhakti guru. The word "consult" is a polite expression of letting him know of one's choice of direction. I do not personally endorse doing major changes in one's direction behind the backs of people with whom one either has or has had a lengthy and close relationship. I think it is just common decency to politely communicate of one's desires and directions to people who are or have been close to oneself. Let there be confrontation. I think confrontation is more civil than doing things behind others' backs.
By the way, the text to which you refer was written to Kamala, not to Som.
Advaitadas - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 14:25:19 +0530
“Do I have to take reinitiation for the Raghanuga bhakti? Or a Guru can be my Siksa guru and give me my Svarupa and other details to help me to advance in Raghanuga bhakti?”
It is recommended by Srila Jiva Gosvami in Bhakti Sandarbha (238) to take shiksha from a shiksha Guru only with the permission of the diksa guru – sri gurvajnaya tat sevanavirodhena ca anyesham api vaishnavanam pujanam shreyah anyatha doshah shyat “Only with the permission of the Guru one can worship other Vaishnavas, and only if these Vaishnavas do not contradict the order (mode of worship, devotional practise) of the Guru. If one does otherwise one is at fault.” Then Srila Jiva Gosvami quotes Sri Narada Muni: gurau sannihite yastu pujayed anyam agratah; sa durgatim avapnoti pujanam tasya nisphalam – “Whoever worships someone else in front of the Guru will attain a bad destination and his worship will be fruitless.” Srimad Bhagavata compares the Guru with the captain on the ship of the human body. When one has 2 or more captains they had better point you in the same direction, otherwise if one captain says south-southwest and the other says north-northeast, where will you go? This is why the shiksha guru must be appointed and approved by the Diksa Guru.
kamala - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 21:05:32 +0530
[I moved this post over to the Sri Kripaluji Maharaj thread. It is a topic big enough to be discussed separately, and the discussion here may go badly off topic if we get into it in this connection.
anuraag - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 21:13:35 +0530
Jaya Sri Radhey!
Dear Kamala ji,
I have a few more to add to your question about the teachings of Sri Kripaluji Maharaj on 'smarana'.
Once I heard from a video from Jagat guru Kripalu Maharaja that you can even imagine a film star to be Krishna and meditate on it.
Here is a picture of the Indian movie star, Nitin Bharadwaja, who played the role of Lord Krishna in the "Maha Bharata' T.V.series.
Most of the Indian audience after watching 'Ramaayana' T.V. series, started paying respects and veneration to the actor Arun Govil who played so well the role of Lord Ramacandra.
Watching these special roles really touches the heart of a sincere lover of the Lord, as they become useful as 'uddipana' , a source for the spontaneous remembrance of our Divine Beloved, just like the peacock feathers, flute, and dark clouds.
Maha Bhagavata- Pure Devotee of Lord is described in Bhagavatam as follows-
"The Maha-Bhagavata, the Siddha Prema Bhakta, pure devotee, CERTAINLY perceives EVERYTHING mobile and immobile, but he DOES NOT exactly SEE their forms.
Rather, EVERYWHERE he immediately PERCEIVES the MANIFESTED Form of his/her BELOVED Supreme Lord."
"sarvatra haya nija-iSTa-dEva-sphUrti" C.C.
"A pure perfect devotee with Prema Bhakti SEES WITHIN EVERYTHING the SOUL of souls, the Supreme Lord, Krishna.
Consequently he or she ALWAYS PERCEIVES the FORM of BELOVED LORD, the Cause of All causes,
situated in ALL and everything in Him."
So we should always keep 'Bhagavad-bhaavam' , spiritual emotion and carefully watch out for those unwelcome mundane carnal feelings for the human actor.
While watching the devotional video movie, 'Gopala Krishna', consistng of Vridavan pastimes of the Divine Couple, tears of joy and longing flow from the loving devotee's eyes without even his/her knowledge.
Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu also used to play Divine roles in plays performed at Navadvipa along with His associates. He was naturally drowned in the devotional ecstasies of the respective roles.
Sri Ramananda Raya took special care to personally teach and train the actors suitable for playing the roles of Gopis for his play, 'Jagannatha Vallabham'.
It is written that Sri Roopa goswami wrote the plays, 'Vidagdha Madhavam and Lalita Madhavam', so that they could be played to console and enliven the heart of Raghunatha goswami who was drowned in the ocean of separation from his Divine Beloved.
I have read that even Lord Krishna Himself experiences Divine ecstasy while watching His own exploits with His devotees.
Whatever helps the Divine Love grow strong, the devotee should apply to her/his sadhana and spiritual advancement.
"yena tena prakAreNa
manaH kRSNe nivezayat.."
Jaya Sri Radhey!
Mina - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 21:34:03 +0530
Madhavananda & Advaita:
Certainly those are valid points under normal circumstances, but we are talking about an institution that is opposed to our view of raganuga bhakti. It just seems to me (and many others would agree with me) that trying to have one's feet in two different boats at the same time - well, you get the picture. If the vaidhi guru is actually owed an explanation, then perhaps that is the polite course of action. That could work out, provided that particular individual responds appropriately - that I think is the big question.
Madhava - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 21:40:51 +0530
Most of the Indian audience after watching 'Ramaayana' T.V. series, started paying respects and veneration to the actor Arun Govil who played so well the role of Lord Ramacandra.
It of course makes the difference if the film or drama is about the lila of Rama or Krishna. When in the West we hear "film star", we remember people like Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, who are NOT a befitting object of Yugala smarana.
Madhava - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 21:47:53 +0530
If the vaidhi guru is actually owed an explanation, then perhaps that is the polite course of action. That could work out, provided that particular individual responds appropriately - that I think is the big question.
That's where I was heading at. Regardless of the response, at least it cleans the air. We do have a certain debt to the vaidhi-guru who once engaged us in acts of devotion, though it is not an absolute or obligatory debt by any means when it comes in conflict with the ultimate aspiration.
Radhapada - Wed, 18 Sep 2002 23:50:39 +0530
Radha-Krsna and Gaura lilas performed by qualified actors in Vrndavan is good for bhajan. It helps in visualization while one performs smaranam bhajan.
kamala - Thu, 19 Sep 2002 00:36:43 +0530
>>Most of the Indian audience after watching 'Ramaayana' T.V. series, started paying respects and veneration to the actor Arun Govil who played so well the role of Lord Ramacandra.
What I heard from Kripalu maharaj is that you can even think Amita Bhachan as Krishna. In fact he is like villain cum actor in Hindi movies. More street fighting and stuff. How can I remember him to be like Krishna. When I think of that image I feel that villain/actor type mood. So can you please clarify this point. I can understand that we should see god everywhere. But for a neophyte like me it is very hard. Why I am asking these things is my close friends is started following Kripalu maharaj and I asked these questions. Like what parampare etc. he is not able give an answer but says he is an avatar of Chitanya mahaprabhu. Any comments,
Advaitadas - Thu, 19 Sep 2002 00:42:43 +0530
Dear Ananga. There some misunderstanding here: "When one has 2 or more captains they had better point you in the same direction, otherwise if one captain says south-southwest and the other says north-northeast, where will you go? This is why the shiksha guru must be appointed and approved by the Diksa Guru."
Now when there is strong anuraga in the candidate, and the 'vaidhi' (Iskcon) Guru will say: "You are not qualified for raganuga bhakti, just distribute books, don't listen to the sahajiyas, rant, rave", the candidate will think: "Sorry, but I will really do raganuga bhakti", so then, in order to have harmony between diksa- and siksa-guru, he will abandon the diksa guru and take diksa (and siksa) from a raganuga guru, as is described in Visvanatha Cakravartipada’s Ragavartma Candrika 1.6.
Madhava - Thu, 19 Sep 2002 00:45:35 +0530
Why I am asking these things is my close friends is started following Kripalu maharaj and I asked these questions. Like what parampare etc. he is not able give an answer but says he is an avatar of Chitanya mahaprabhu. Any comments,
I have copied this post to the Sri Kripalu Maharaja thread. Please post any answers to posts inquiring about controversial issues on Sri Kripalu Maharaja to the thread above. Thanks!
Mina - Thu, 19 Sep 2002 01:26:43 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Sep. 18 2002,14:12)
Now when there is strong anuraga in the candidate, and the 'vaidhi' (Iskcon) Guru will say: "You are not qualified for raganuga bhakti, just distribute books, don't listen to the sahajiyas, rant, rave", the candidate will think: "Sorry, but I will really do raganuga bhakti", so then, in order to have harmony between diksa- and siksa-guru, he will abandon the diksa guru and take diksa (and siksa) from a raganuga guru, as is described in Visvanatha Cakravartipada’s Ragavartma Candrika 1.6.OK, that now makes sense. Thanks for clarifying your point.
anuraag - Thu, 19 Sep 2002 04:26:37 +0530
When I think of that image I feel that villain/actor type mood. So can you please clarify this point. I can understand that we should see god everywhere. But for a neophyte like me it is very hard.
Jaya Sri Radhey!
I will try to keep the discussion pertaining to one's raganuga sadhana of 'smaran' and 'Roopadhyan' and not to determine the position of Siddha Mahapurusha by the opinions and confusions or conclusions derived from listening to some misconcieved video speech, providing us with no actual context of the beginning nor the end, by the devotee who has admitted to be a neophyte with no exposure to Raganuga bhakti of Vraja Rasik Saints.
If you go back and read carefully my previous post made on Sept.17, 02, you may understand better, Kamalaji.
No one, neither me nor Maharaj ji is forcing you or any one to do 'Smarana' of some 'villian'. The choice is ours. The same villian you think of may be the hero of another.
By kindly allowing the devotees to choose the form of their Beloved for continuous contemplation, the Master is advising that 'smarana' during the 'sadhana' of the devotee should be done spontaneously with natural fondness and affection from the heart according to the inherent nature of that 'sadhak', but not as a ritual or punishment.
Even Arjuna has admitted that to control the mind is impossible, in Gita. Then how can it be engaged in fond contemplation?
The mind easily and naturally runs after the things and persons whom we adore.
So contemplation is done favorably with ease and smoothly without resistance, when we choose to remember our favorite object (or person).
Actually, the person (whoever) , or the picture or the painting or the deities are NOT in question here, but one's offering of selfless divine emotions in Raganuga attachment to the Lord while doing the contemplation.
Maharaj ji stresses never to think of the object of our contemplation to be mundane but with 'Bhagavad- bhaavam'.
The BHAVA is the determing factor of the RESULTS of the 'smarana'.
So one has to choose that person, that picture, that deity who is worthy of one's fond remembrance, so that one's divine love constantly increases naturally, unlike vaidhi-bhakti practice, provided, provided one has already developed intense longing and desire for serving one's Divine Beloved in Raganuga relationship.
As I have clarified in my previous post, all the 'smarana' of the material mind is still not Divine UNTIL the sadhaka attains Siddha Prema bhakti, Swaroopa Sakti of the Lord.
The purpose of 'smarana' during 'sadhana' period is to remember the Divine Couple with fond attachment, so that our Divinelove is strengthened more and more and advanced to higher stages.
Obviously it seems like you have not understood my post nor Sri Maharaj ji. No offense meant.
If you are unable to understand the teachings of a Mahapurusha, and do not have enough faith in the Saint and his teachings, certainly you are NOT eligible to be his desciple and nor he can be your Guru.
Whole-hearted Surrender is the first essential step for receiving Divine Grace.
"AcAryaM mAM vijAnIyAn nAvamanyeta karhicit
na martya buddhyA sUyeta sarva devamayo guruH."
"Know the Guru to be Myself (Lord Krishna).
Never think unfavorably about Him.
Do not use your material mind
to comprehend His Divine actions,
for all forms of God dwell within the Guru."
"yasya deve para bhaktir yathA deve tathA gurau
tasyaite kathitA hyarthAH prakAzyante mahAtmanaH"
If one has supreme devotion to God,
and for one's teacher as much as for God,
to this one these teachings which have been declared
may become manifest in a great soul,
yes, may become manifest in a great soul.
"tad viddi praNipAtena pariprznena sevayA
upadekSyaMti te jnAnaM jnAninas tatva darzinaH" (Gita 4.34)
"tasmAd guruM prapadyet jijnAsuH zreya uttamam
zAbde pare ca niSNAtaM brahmaNyupazamAzrayam"
(Srimad Bhagavatam- 11.3.21)
Please find someone else suitable for helping your spiritual need and advancement from where you are now and please do not misinterpret the teachings with limited understanding.
The practice of Raganuga bhakti is more than reading books and listening to the lectures.
Here are some quotes about this:
'kRSNa tad bhakta kAruNya mAtra lAbhaika hetukA
pushti mArgatayA kaizcidiyaM rAgAnugocyate'
(Bhakti Rasmrita Sindhu)
"There are two causes for the appearance of the aforementioned sacred greed: The mercy of God or the mercy of another pure anuragi devotee, the Rasik Saint.
There are again two kinds of mercy bestowed by a devotee: praktana and adhunika.
Praktana means mercy bestowed by a raganuga bhakta in a previous life, and adhunika is mercy bestowed in the present birth.
The praktana-devotee takes shelter of the lotus feet of a raganuga guru after the sacred greed has arisen in him, the adhunika will get that sacred greed only after having surrendered to the feet of such a guru.
It is said (in Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu): "The only causes of the appearance of sacred greed Is the mercy of Krishna or His devotee. Therefore some call the path of raganuga bhakti also pusti marga (the path of grace)."
kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janmakotisukrtair na labhyate
Oh friend, if you should find it anywhere:
that heart absorbed in Krishna rasa so rare
be quick to buy, how much the soul's in need!
In that bazaar is posted just one price;
millions of pious works will not suffice,
the only cost is paid in coins of greed.
One should take both initiation and teachings from a raganuga guru directly.
(asambhasya tadbhavagambhiracittan kuto syamasindho rasasyavagahah says Raghunatha dasa Gosvami:
"How can one enter into the Syama-ocean without having conversed with a devotee whose heart is steeped in love for Radha?")
Many best, qualified, ISKCON devotees have taken shelter at Sri Kripaluji's feet and advanced in their Raganuga sadhana.
Actually some of them have become his dedicated 'Pracaraks'
teaching Divine Love Devotion, Raganuga Bhakti Sadhana.
At the same time we are also aware of many vaidhi bhaktas of ISKCON, who have no true conception of Raganuga Bhakti.
Madhava ji had posted extensively on another thread covering those topics in detail, clearing up the misconceptions.
For me the BEST 'smarana' is the lotusfeet of my 'Satguru' and His Divine form, attributes, exploits and realization.
The Guru Gita proclaims,
"dhyAna mUlaM guror murtiH
pUjA mUlaM guror pAdaM
mantra mUlaM guror vAkyam
bhakti mUlaM guror kRpA"
Sri Guru's Form should be meditated upon;
The lotusfeet of Sri Guru should be worshipped;
Sri Guru's words should be accepted as sacred mantra;
His Divine Grace ensures final attainment of Prema Bhakti.
hari pada nakha koTI pRSTha paryanta sImA
taTam api kalayantIM prANa koTer abhISTam
pramudita madirAkSI vRnda vaidagdhya dIkSA
gurum ati guru kIrtiM rAdhikAm arcayAmi
Verse. 7- 'Radhikashtakam' by Sri Roopa Goswami
I fondly worship my great Preceptor, Radhika,
to Whom even the farthest area surrounding
Beloved Lord Krishna's moon like toes,
is millions of times more sacred and
dearer than Her very own life and soul.
My eternal Guru, Srimati Radharani,
INITIATES and perfectly coaches
the groups of beautiful Maidens with
Love intoxicated eyes and ecstasy filled
hearts into the arts of passionate
Amorous Sports with Sri Krishna.
Thus She alone attains immense fame as
the universal Prema Rasa Acarya.
Furthermore, when an ISKCON fellow once approached Baba for advice and mantras (I acted as translator from English to Bengali and back), Baba was very clear on that fellow needing to first break all ties with that institution. We should not question the wisdom of siddha bhajananandis in these matters.
I fully agree with this post by Anangaji in this regard.
Wish you all the best, Kamalaaji, in your spiritual pursuits.
My apology to readers for the long post.
Jaya Sri Radhey!
anuraag - Sat, 23 Apr 2005 23:13:44 +0530
I recenly received PMs from the topic starter. Hope Kamalaji wouldn't mind my sharing it with other members.
Kamala (message Title) Sri Kripaluji Maharaj,
Feb 6 2005, 11:50 PM
Today I surfed over to the website of your gurudeva, Sri Kripaluji Maharaj and found the chanting section to be very intoxicating.
Are there any CDs of his chanting anywhere? If so I'd be grateful to be given information on how to obtain such a CD.
Gaurasundara - Sun, 24 Apr 2005 04:59:53 +0530
Film stars as an uddipana, how strange..
Madanmohan das - Sun, 24 Apr 2005 22:39:41 +0530
Why so? If they are acting the part of Krsna or Rama then it were just like seeing a play which is certainly a stimulus for devotional feelings. It's strange to imagine some ordinary film star ( I'll not mention any names) as a means to contemlate Krsna though.
There are so many beautiful Dhyana slokas which are meant to rouse or enable the sadhaka to contemplate the form of the lord; it's what the Bhagavatam is all about. In it's very invocation it mentions the result and purpose of the book in that regard, where it says sadyo hRdyavarudhyate
immedeately the lord is revealed in the heart.
There is a film called Sita Svayamvara available on DVD which is very good in that regard too.
Gaurasundara - Mon, 25 Apr 2005 04:13:46 +0530
I used to watch a lot of those "Bollywood Religion" films when I was a kid. Among my favourites were 'Gopal Krishna' starring Sachin as Krishna and Zarina Wahab as Radha. I also liked the 'Sita Swayamvara' (called 'Sita's Wedding' when broadcast on Channel 4) with Jayapradha as Sita. Really, there is no one like Rayi Kumar to play the part of Vishnu/Rama, its like he was born to play that role.
When I was a little older I came across a book by Swami Sivananda which advised that films should not be watched by sadhakas, and even religious films should be avoided since there is no guarantee that the actors are "pure" in their personal lives and that their portrayals of divinity on celluloid would be just a job. This is why I was so surprised to find people like Arun Govil and Nitish Bharadwaj revered in real life. Rupa Ganguly (Draupadi) too I think.
I'm also quite annoyed at Nitish's portrayal of Krishna. Nothing wrong with his acting and I think that he was very good and also had a mischievous face; but there was a picture published of him in that 'Krishna' role where he looked very godly and many people liked it. Sometimes when I think of Krishna, a flash of that same picture of Nitish Bharadwaj comes up in my mind. I try very hard to get rid of it but its so annoying.
In 'Gopal Krishna', Sachin was quite suitable to play Krishna because he has an especially mischievous face which I thought adequately conveyed the playfulness of Krishna. Apart from Jayapradha, the actors and actresses mentioned here are mostly minor ones. I felt so disturbed by mentions earlier in this thread about seeing mainstream people like Amitabh Bachchan as Krishna, sheesh. I would personally run very far away from such movies and actors; I place a high value on private conduct on artistes. This also applies to professional bhajan-singers like Anup Jalota and Pankaj/Nirmal Udhas, etc. I can't remember the name of this singer, but one Vaishnava told me that this singer had a very good voice and sang nice bhajans but was a drunkard and alcoholic in his private life and so such bhajans would not be very suitable, etc.
I'm glad that you say that 'Sita Swayamvara' is out on DVD! I think that movie was Bapu's magnum opus so to speak, his other films wer enot of the same quality as far as I know. My VHS copy is in danger of wearing out and I can't even find it right now! I also need to see the second part of that movie, don't know what it's called, do you Madanmohanji? Ah, just to see that fantastic Rayi Kumar again...
I wonder what became of him..
Madanmohan das - Mon, 25 Apr 2005 04:55:29 +0530
No I don't know what the sequal was called and never got to see it, but I got the DVD of Sita Svayamvara from Krsna.com.
I concur with you on the above, only although the conduct and character of the actors may have some shortcomings, if they play the part well it should'nt make much differance, because we are not at all interested in the actors private life, but in the portrayal of the part and for the duration of the performance, or who they are playing and not who they are.(?) Correct me if I'm wrong because I'm not sure about it.
anuraag - Tue, 26 Apr 2005 00:27:35 +0530
I'm glad that you say that 'Sita Swayamvara' is out on DVD! I think that movie was Bapu's magnum opus so to speak,
This one was originally filmed in 'Telugu' (my mother tongue) with a title 'Sita Kalyanam' by Mr. Viswanath (bapu) and refilmed in other languages later on.
When we first got the Sachin's 'Gopalakrishna' movie
in 1980, our entire family was thrilled at this devotional presentation and song melodies. My children (5yrs and 9yrs) were glued to the T.V. and watched it over and over again.
Not only that they were even giving a running commentary in English to the American ISKCON devotees and their kids, who were shedding tears of love
upon visualizing their Lord's pastimes on T.V.
At that time no other videos of good devotional movies were available on the market.Children are purer in heart than adults and their feelings are more or less spontaneous with no inhibitions They were even afraid and showed signs of anxiety that Kamsa might hurt their beloved Cowherd while watching their fight in the movie!
Since then, whenever I watch any movie starring 'Sachin' , I could only picture him as Gopala Krishna, and none else,
even if he was playing other stupid, social roles.
I do recall reading Lord Krishna in Dwaraka was drowned in Divine ecstasy while watching the play of Vrindavan pastimes enacted by the devotees. Sri Roopa did played out his 'Natakas' to relieve some of the agony of separation experienced by Sri Raghunatha for his Divne Beloved.
Gaurasundara - Tue, 26 Apr 2005 04:19:52 +0530
QUOTE(anuraag @ Apr 25 2005, 07:57 PM)
When we first got the Sachin's 'Gopalakrishna' movie in 1980, our entire family was thrilled at this devotional presentation and song melodies.
the songs! My favourite ones were the one that played just as Vishnu decided to take birth as Krishna-avatar (!), and the other one was where Radha-Krishna and the Vrajavasis were playing Holi.
Actually all of the songs were good, but those two were my favourite tunes.
You know the scene where Krishna-Balarama are going to Mathura with Akrura and Radha lays out on the road to stop the chariot? OH MY GOD, that song is so heartbreaking! The tune of it! I chalenge everyone to see that scene and not weep!
As for 'Sita Swayamvara' I have the re-filmed version that was done in pure
Hindi. My favourite songs was the one that played when Dasaratha was doting over Bala (child) Rama, so sweet, especially the part where Rama kicked up an angry fuss about not being able to get the moon. Kinda like that Mahaprabhu story I posted a couple of days ago. The wedding song that played when all four brothers was quite good too!
Bhaja reeeeeeeee Rama puraiya! Janaki-puri me baaj badaiya! Khushya manao aaj, gao mangala geeta, dulhan bane hai Rama, Sita dulhaniya!
(Yes yes I know, the spellings are wrong lol, appreciate the mood!
I have plenty other movies: Bhakta Prahlad, Balak Dhruva, Veer Bhimsen, etc etc.
anuraag - Tue, 26 Apr 2005 06:21:37 +0530
I agree with some of your your comments on Gopala Krishna. Yes, the lila departing to Mathura, the words used by Radha ever echo in our hearts.
My favorite songs are the duet of Radha-Krishna, Maha Raas and Holi. The flute music of Krishna through out the movie is really soul satisfying.
South indian (Telugu) movies have many themes about famous devotees from the Epics and are generally well made.
I liked the back ground song when Rama & Lakshmana were walking along with the sage Viswamitra and the Ganges song as well as the ceremonial wedding song. I have watched the bow breaking by Rama many times and his loving glances of Sita are unforgettable!
Gaurasundara - Tue, 26 Apr 2005 06:38:38 +0530
Indeed. Something I forgot to mention about Sita-Swayamvara; It really is a MASTERPIECE! I have been watching that film since I was a kid, and I learn something new every time I see it as my knowledge expands. A look here, a gesture there, they all mean something specific. Layers upon layers of meanings. And these things can't be seen the first time around; one needs to see it thousands of times to spot all those tiny little DEEP subtleties. Such a great movie, a masterpiece.. the director was a genius ..
anuraag - Tue, 26 Apr 2005 06:54:53 +0530
The director Viswanath has good reputation in South and bagged some awards for his best direction. His movies also won some national awards. We invariably notice some social and mythological blending in his movies.
Madanmohan das - Wed, 27 Apr 2005 02:06:09 +0530
Gaurasundara - Thu, 28 Apr 2005 05:25:06 +0530
Ah yes the spring garden. See the shy looks that Rama and Sita exchange? WOW!
Actually that's a good idea. I wonder what would have been the effect if Bapu had used Rayi Kumar and done a Krishna movie? The thought makes me drool..
Madanmohan das - Thu, 28 Apr 2005 20:51:03 +0530
So much of that film is good for visiualizing Krsna Lila, for instance the child hood sport of desiring to possess the moon is also there in Gaura Lila, and the heavenly host proceeding to the milky ocean etc. etc. Even more so for Krsna's Pura Lila ( metropolitan sports
0 What I also like about the film is the incidentals like Ganga'a descent from svarga and the Vaman Lila. Singular indeed. And, when Ragunandan enters Mithila it is just like Krsna entering Mathura. In Caitanya Mangala Locan das pepresents the spectators at Gaurasundars marriage (1st or 2nd can't recall) saying to each other that Oh it is as if they are Janaki and Rama or Rukmini and Yadunandan or Laksmi and Narayana, so there are similarities