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Nectar Of Devotion - vs Bhakti Rasaamrita Sindhu

Advaitadas - Wed, 14 Apr 2004 22:10:42 +0530
Advaita das: "it is clear that he was not ignorant of the text and therefore his wrong teachings about meditation, assuming relationships with Krishna and of course qualification for raganuga bhakti, which he attributed to Rupa Gosvami, were deliberately misleading. 

Betal nut: What were his misleading teachings about meditation and assuming relationships with Krishna? I assume with the misleading teachings about raganuga bhakti adhikara was the part where raganuga bhakti is defined as ragatmika bhakti.

Just from the 16th chapter of Nectar of Devotion:

ACBS: “Spontaneous love of Krsna as exhibited by the Vrsnis and the denizens of Vrndavana is eternally existing in them.”

Rupa Gosvami: ragatmikaika nistha ye vrajavasi janadaya tesam bhavaptaye lubdho (BRS 1.2.291)
The Vrajavasis, not the Vrsnis, are the role models for raganuga bhakti.

ACBS: "In the stage of devotional service where regulative principles are followed, there is no necessity of discussing this love, for it must develop of itself at a more advanced stage."

This is not corroborrated by Rupa Gosvami.

ACBS: “Persons desiring to follow in the footsteps of such eternal devotees of the Lord as the Vrsnis and Vrndavana denizens are called raganuga devotees, which means that they are trying to attain to the perfection of those devotees.”

Vrsnis are not Vrajabasis.

ACBS: “These raganuga devotees do not follow the regulative principles of devotional service very strictly, but by spontaneous nature they become attracted to some of the eternal devotees such as Nanda or Yasoda, and they try to follow in their footsteps spontaneously.”

Rupa Gosvami: All the required items of vaidhi bhakti are followed by the raganuga bhaktas.
sravanotkirtanadini vaidha bhaktyuditani tu yanyangani ca tanyatra (BRS 1.2.296)

ACBS: “We must always remember, however, that such eagerness to follow in the footsteps of the denizens of Vraja (Vrndavana) is not possible unless one is freed from material contamination. In following the regulative principles of devotional service, there is a stage called anartha-nivrtti, which means the disappearance of all material contamination. Sometimes someone is found imitating such devotional love, but factually he is not freed from anarthas, or unwanted habits. It has been seen that a so-called devotee proclaims himself a follower of Nanda, Yasoda or the gopis, while at the same time his abominable attraction for mundane sex life is visible. Such a manifestation of divine love is mere imitation and has no value. When one is actually spontaneously attracted to the loving principles of the gopis, there will be found no trace of any mundane contamination in his character. Therefore, in the beginning, everyone should strictly follow the regulative principles of devotional service, according to the injunctions of the scriptures and the spiritual master. Only after the stage of liberation from material contamination can one actually aspire to follow in the footsteps of the devotees in Vrndavana.”

It is not a fact that raganuga bhakti comes after the stage of sadhana bhakti (devotion in practise). Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu 1.2.5 declares: vaidhi raganuga ceti sa dvidha sadhanabhidha, there are two kinds of sadhana (after first explaining that sadhana bhakti means practise with the senses, by souls that are still conditioned)— vaidhi and raganuga, and nowhere it is said that raganuga bhakti is a post graduate state of vaidhi bhakti.
Visvanatha Cakravartipada states in his Raga Vartma Candrika ( 2.7 -)

atha raganuga-bhakti - majjanasyanartha-nivrtti-nistha-rucy-asakty-antaram prema-bhumikarudhasya saksat svabhista-prapti-prakarah pradarsyate ||

“Then it will be described how the one, who has progressed on the path of raganuga-bhakti through the cessation of the evils (anartha-nivritti), firmness (nistha), taste (ruci), and attachment (asakti) all the way to the attainment of ecstatic love (prema), will directly come to attain his desired object.”

ACBS: “It is said by Sri Rupa Gosvami, “When one is actually liberated from material contamination, he can always remember an eternal devotee in Vrndavana in order to love Krsna in the same capacity.”

Where is this said by Rupa Gosvami (‘liberated from material contamination’)?

ACBS: “A devotee who is actually advanced in Krsna consciousness, who is constantly engaged in devotional service, should not manifest himself, even though he has attained perfection. The idea is that he should always continue to act as a neophyte devotee as long as his material body is there. Activities in devotional service under regulative principles must be followed even by the pure devotee. But when he realizes his actual position in relationship with the Lord, he can, along with the discharging of regulative service, think within himself of the Lord, under the guidance of a particular associate of the Lord, and develop his transcendental sentiments in following that associate.”

This is not just for the advanced devotee. It is a part of raganuga sadhana – krsnam smaran janamcasya prestham nija samitam (BRS 1.2.294, is in the sector of sadhana bhakti, of which raganuga is one branch)

ACBS: “In this connection, we should be careful about the so-called siddha-pranali. The siddha-pranali process is followed by a class of men who are not very authorized and who have manufactured their own way of devotional service.”

That will include Bhaktivinod Thakur, whom ACBS himself has made world famous as an acarya?

ACBS: “They imagine that they have become associates of the Lord simply by thinking of themselves like that.”

Yet this is what Jiva Gosvami says in Bhakti Sandarbha 286 (tatra bhuta suddhir nijabhilasita bhagavat sevaupayogika tat parsada deha bhavana – "Bhuta shuddhi means that one meditates on one's own desired siddha deha which is fit for serving the Lord", Krishnadas Kaviraja in Caitanya Caritamrita (mone nija siddha deha koriya bhavan, 'Think of your own desired siddha deha as a sadhana (ei sadhana bhakti dui to prakar, Madhya 22.155-6) and Rupa Gosvami in that very same Nectar of Devotion – siddha rupena catra hi (BRS 1.2.295 plus its tikas by Jiva and Visvanatha). Narottama das Thakur – sadhane bhavibe jaha siddha deha pabe taha (Prembhakti Candrika) – “Whatever siddha deha one thinks of during one’s sadhana is what one attains in siddha stage.” raganuga marge anutpanna rati sadhaka bhaktair api svepsita siddha deham manasi parikalpya - 'On the path of raganuga even a sadhaka bhakta who has no rati yet can think of his own desired siddha deha." (Krishnadas Kaviraja Saranga Rangada - 3)

ACBS: “This external behavior is not at all according to the regulative principles. The so-called siddha-pranali process is followed by the prakrta-sahajiya, a pseudosect of so-called Vaisnavas. In the opinion of Rupa Gosvami, such activities are simply disturbances to the standard way of devotional service.”

Where does Rupa Gosvami say this in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu?
Bhaktivinod is a pseudo Vaishnava called prakrita sahajiya? Why then call him the 7th Gosvami?

ACBS: “Sri Rupa Gosvami says that learned acaryas recommend that we follow the regulative principles even after the development of spontaneous love for Krsna.”

This is correct, but here Swamiji contradicts himself (see above: “These raganuga devotees do not follow the regulative principles of devotional service very strictly,….”)
Madhava - Wed, 14 Apr 2004 22:21:16 +0530
If memory serves, the critique on siddha-pranali comes in exactly in the place where Rupa speaks of sevA sAdhaka-rUpena siddha-rUpena cAtra hi. That verse itself is not commented upon, aside the critique on siddha-pranali.