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Verses, prayers and quotes of choice. If you come across something you find inspiring, please post it here. You can also start threads on a particular theme and regularly post in something related.

April Considerations - selected philosophical insights

Raga - Wed, 24 Apr 2002 17:23:12 +0530
We are opening a new section here, "Daily Considerations", where you can post verses of interest you may find. This section will have the same dynamics as "Daily Meditations", the difference being that while the former is focused on insights of rasa, this will be predominated by considerations of tattva. I trust this arrangement will please the sensitive Vaishnavas who are not keen of mixing up everything in one place. Please read the revised basics of this section.
Raga - Wed, 24 Apr 2002 17:44:22 +0530
Sometimes people tend to think that raganuga-bhakti begins upon attaining ruci, or after the cessation of unwanted desires in the heart. In the following passage, Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada makes it clear that a raganuga sadhaka meets the stages of anartha-nivrtti and nistha as well in his quest for prema. Please excuse me the length of the posting; I didn't have the heart to snip out the later part of the verse.

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atha rAgAnugA bhakti majjanasyAnartha nivRtti niStha-rucyAsaktyantaraM prema-bhUmikArUdhasya sAkSAt svAbhISTa-prApti-prakAraH pradarSyate. yathojjvala nIlamaNau “tad bhAva baddha rAgA ye janAs te sAdhane ratAH. tad yogyam anurAgaughaM prApyotkaNthAnusArataH. tA ekAzo’thavA dvi-trAH kAle kale vraje ‘bhavan” iti. anurAgaughaM rAgAnugA bhajanautkaNThyaM natvanurAga sthAyinaM sAdhaka-dehe ‘nurAgotpattyasambhavAt. vraje ’bhavann iti avatAra samaye nitya priyAdya yathA Avirbhavanti tathaiva gopikA-garbhe sAdhana-siddha api Avirbhavanti. tataz ca nitya-siddhAdi gopInAM mahA-bhAva-vatInAM saGga mahimnA darzana zravaNa kIrtanAdibhiH sneha mAna praNaya rAgAnurAga mahA-bhAva api tatra gopikA-dehe utpadyante. pUrva janmani sAdhaka-dehe teSAm utpattyasambhavAt. ataeva vraje kRSNa preyasInAm asAdharaNAni lakSaNAni. yad uktam – “gopInAM paramAnanda AsId govinda darzane. kSaNaM yuga-zatam iva yAsAM yena vinA bhaved” iti. “truTir yugAyate tvAm apazyatam” ityadi ca. kSanasya yuga zatAyamAnatvaM mahA-bhAva lakSaNam.

Now it will be described how the raganugiya bhakta gradually advances through the stages of anartha nivrtti (cessation of bad habits), nistha (fixation), ruci (taste), and asakti (attachment to the beloved deity) upto the stage of prema (love of God) and the direct attainment of his beloved deity. In the Ujjvala Nilamani it is said that 'those who are specially attracted to the ecstasy of the Vrajavasis and thus perform raganugiya bhajana will attain the abundance of eagerness that is fit for performing raganugiya bhajana and will take birth in Vraja in groups of one, two or three in their own time, according to their eagerness.

Here the word anuragaugha means ‘that eagerness which makes one qualified for doing raganugiya bhajana’. The anuraga mentioned here does not refer to the sthayi bhava (permanent mood) of that name, because the sthayi bhava named anuraga cannot be attained within a material body. The words ‘having taken birth in Vraja’ means the sadhana siddhas take birth from the womb of a gopika, just as Krishna's eternally beloved gopis appear with Him when He descends to earth (prakata-lila). After that, gradually sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga and mahabhava will become manifest in the gopika-body of that sadhaka on the strength of associating with the gopis that are endowed with maha-bhava and by hearing and chanting and seeing the greatness of Krishna’s eternally liberated gopis. These feelings could not possibly have arisen in the material body of the sadhaka in his previous birth.

In this way the extraordinary characteristics of Sri Krishna’s beloveds in Vraja has been shown. In Srimat Bhagavata it is said that the gopis attained the pinnacle of transcendental bliss by seeing Govinda. Without Him, they experienced a moment to last like a hundred ages. Their statement (in Srimat Bhagavata 10.31.15) 'Without seeing You, we consider a second to last like an age', is a symptom of mahabhava.