Web         Gaudiya Discussions
Gaudiya Discussions Archive » PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY
Discussions on the doctrines of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Please place practical questions under the Miscellaneous forum and set this aside for the more theoretical side of it.

64 Aspects of Sadhana-bhakti - Examining the more exotic ones

Madhava - Fri, 25 Jun 2004 23:13:33 +0530
We might want to review the 64 aspects of sAdhana-bhakti listed in the second chapter of the first division of Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, particularly some of the more exotic ones, or aspects that we may not come to often consider. The aGgas are as follows (transl. Swami BH Bon):

atha aGgAni -

The following are the 64 indispensable Parts or Functions (Angas) of Sadhana-Bhakti:

guru-pAdAzrayas tasmAt kRSNa-dIkSAdi-zikSaNam |
vizrambheNa guroH sevA sAdhu-vartmAnuvartanam ||74||

(1) Submission to the Feet of the Guru (Spiritual Master); (2) Receiving training from him in spiritual initiation and practices regarding Sri Krishna; (3) serving the Spiritual Master with affectionate zeal; (4) Following in the path of saints;

sad-dharma-pRcchA bhogAdi-tyAgaH kRSNasya hetave |
nivAso dvArakAdau ca gaGgAder api sannidhau ||75||

(5) inquisitiveness about the esoteric ways of spiritual practices or about the highest religion; (6) Renouncing all pleasures, relatives, wealth, wife and children and others for the sake of receiving the compassion and grace of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna or sacrificing everything for the sake of Sri Krishna; (7) Living in Dvaraka and other sacred places, sanctified for association with Lord Sri Krishna, and also on the banks of the Ganga;

vyAvahAreSu sarveSu yAvad-arthAnuvartitA |
hari-vAsara-sammAno dhAtry-azvatthAdi-gauravam ||76||

(8) In all works of daily conduct, accepting only such things which are reasonably necessary; (9) Observing Ekadasi-Janmastami and other sacred days (which are favorable to the Lord) by observing fast; (10) Giving importance to Myrobalan trees and the holy Fig-tree.

eSAm atra dazAGgAnAM bhavet prArambha-rupatA ||77||

These Ten functions or features (Angas) of Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti are stated here as primary.

saGga-tyAgo vidUreNa bhagavad-vimukhair janaiH |
ziSyAdy-ananubandhitvaM mahArambhAdy-anudyamaH ||78||

(11) Shunning from a long distance the company of those who are averse to the Supreme Lord; (12) Avoiding the temptation of giving initiation to too many persons and thus being entangled by disciples; (13) Not being over-enthusiastic about pomp and grandeur;

bahu-grantha-kalAbhyAsa-vyAkhyA-vAda-vivarjanam ||79||

(14) Abandonment of double-dealing or too much of love for arts and crafts, avoiding study of too many books, expositions and too much of logically fallacious reasoning;

vyAvahAre’py akArpaNyaM zokAdy-avaza-vartitA ||80||

(15) Giving up bad taste with dealing with others; (16) Not being overwhelmed in distress and other ills of life;

anya-devAn avajJA ca bhUtAnudvega-dAyitA |
sevA-nAmAparAdhAnAm udbhavAbhAva-kAritA ||81||

(17) Avoiding disrespect for other gods; (18) Refraining from harassing and causing worry to any being; (19) Endeavoring with care and alertness to be free from the offenses of lapses in worshipping of the Deities (Arca Vigraha) and chanting of the Name of the Lord during the rudimentary stage of the practice of Sadhana-Bhakti while still under the fetters of bondage;

kRSNa-tad-bhakta-vidveSa-vinindAdy-asahiSNutA |
vyatirekatayAmISAM dazAnAM syAd anuSThitIH ||82||

(20) Not tolerating any malice slander or calumny hurled at Lord Sri Krishna and His devotees. These TEN forms or Angas of Sadhana-Bhakti are to be followed as indirect spiritual practices.

asyAs tatra pravezAya dvAratve’py aGga-viMzateH |
trayAM pradhAnam evoktaM guru-pAdAzrayAdikam ||83||

Though all these Twenty features of spiritual practices are doors for entering into the path of Sadhana-Bhakti, yet the FIRST THREE, via. submission to the Spiritual Master (Guru), receiving initiation and training from him, and serving him affectionately are the PRINCIPAL PARTS of Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti.

dhRtir vaiSNava-cihNAnAM harer nAmAkSarasya ca |
nirmAlyAdez ca tasyAgre tANDavaM daNDavan-natiH ||84||

(21) Putting on the different signs of a Vaisnava (viz. Tulasi-garland round the neck, Tilaka on the 12 upper limbs, etc.); (22) Putting on the letters of the Name of Hari on the upper limbs of the body; (23) Accepting flowers-tulasi-water and other things offered to the Deity of Visnu; (24) Dancing frantically before the Lord in the temple; (25) Prostrating before the Deities;

abhyutthAnam anuvrajyA gatiH sthAne parikramaH |
arcanaM paricaryA ca gItaM saGkIrtanaM japaH ||85||

(26) Standing up or rising from one's seat before the Deities in the temple, also before Guru and superior devotees; (27) Following the departing Guru or any superior devotee to some distance as a mark of respect to him; (28) Walking up to the temples of the Lord; (29) Circumambulating His temple; (30) Offering Arcana, i.e. worship of the Deities (Vigraha) of the Lord in the temple; (31) Offering various forms of services, such as, cleansing, washing the floors of the temple, dressing and bathing the Deities, cooking for the Deities, etc.; (32) singing the glories of the Lord in front of the temple; (33) Holding congregational prayers; (34) Counting beads while silently (not aloud) chanting the Name of the Krishna;

vijJaptiH stava-pAThaz ca svAdo naivedya-pAdyayoH |
dhUpa-mAlyAdi-saurabhyaM zrI-mUrteH spRSTir IkSaNam ||86||

(35) Submitting one's inner feeling, towards the Lord; (36) Reading prayers from the Scriptures; (37) Honoring the eatables offered to the Deities in the temple; (38) Respectfully drinking the sacred water with which the Feet of the Deities have been washed; (39) Smelling the sweet scent of the flower-garlands, incense, etc. offered to the Deities; (40) Touching the Sri Murti (the Deity); (41) Looking at the Sri Murti;

ArAtrikotsavAdez ca zravaNaM tat-kRpekSaNam |
smRtir dhyAnaM tathA dAsyaM sakhyam Atma-nivedanam ||87||

(42) Seeing or witnessing the offerings of lights, incense, water in conch-shell, etc. to the Deities in the temple, celebrating the Events of the Lord and His devotees, and seeing the worship in the temple; (43) Listening to the Name and Glories of the Lord; (44) Looking for the Lord's Grace, or observing the Grace of the Lord; (45) Remembering the Lord; (46) Meditating upon the Beauty-Qualities-Events-Sports of the Lord; (47) Servanthood; (48) Friendship or friendly feeling for the Lord; (49) Absolute self-dedication to the Lord.

nija-priyopaharaNaM tad-arthe’khila-ceSTitam |
sarvathA zaraNApattis tadIyAnAM ca sevanam ||88||

(50) Offering things which are dear to oneself; (51) All endeavors for the sake of the delight of Sri Krishna; (52) Self-surrender in every respect; (53) Serving those that are associated with Him, such as,

tadIyAs tulasI-zAstra-mathurA-vaiSNavAdayaH |
yathA-vaibhava-sAmagrI sad-goSThIbhir mahotsavaH ||89||

Serving the Lord's Tulasi; (54) Serving the Sastra (Scripture); (55) Serving Mathura; (56) Serving Vaisnavas (also Yamuna); (57) Observing such celebrations as Dolayatra (the Swinging, Festival of Lord Sri Krishna) in the company of sadhus by collecting the necessary ingredients according to one's ability;

UrjAdaro vizeSeNa yAtrA janma-dinAdiSu |
zraddhA vizeSataH prItiH zrI-mUrter aGghri-sevane ||90||

(58) Observing Niyamaseva; (special vows for one month with rigid regulations); (59) Special respect for the Advent Day of the Lord by way of observing fast, etc.; (60) Liking with special interest for worshipping the Feet of the Srimurti (Deity) in the temple.

zrImad-bhAgavatArthAnAm AsvAdo rasikaiH saha |
sajAtIyAzaye snigdhe sAdhau saGgaH svato vare ||91||

(61) Tasting the nectar of the esoteric meaning of the Bhagavatam in the company of Bhava and Prema Bhaktas; (62) Keeping the association of such superior sadhus who are of similar temperament and taste and are affectionate.

nAma-saGkIrtanaM zrI-mathurA-maNDale sthitiH ||92||

(63) Singing the Name of the Lord in the company of many devotees; and (64) Living in Mathuramandala.
Madhava - Fri, 25 Jun 2004 23:15:29 +0530
The first ten are considered prArambha-rupatA, those that ought to have our initial primary attention. However:


(10) Giving importance to Myrobalan trees and the holy Fig-tree.

How does this one fit in? Jiva and Visvanatha comment that the trees are Bhagavan's vibhUti-rUpa.

Among the second set of ten, the following catches my attention:

anya-devAn avajJA ca bhUtAnudvega-dAyitA |

(17) Avoiding disrespect for other gods; (18) Refraining from harassing and causing worry to any being;

Amidst all the zeal of preaching we sometimes observe, one still should not respect other gods. I take it that other religious systems are included in the injunction, since the paths of spirituality are diverse and all aimed at eventually delivering the souls in bondage to God, and thus are parts of Bhagavan's grand scheme of things.

Also, we ought to conduct ourselves so as to not bring about anxiety to others. Sometimes we neglect this as in the logic of giving the medicine to the child, but then again Gita advices us to not disturb the minds of the ignorant.
braja - Sat, 26 Jun 2004 00:02:02 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Jun 25 2004, 01:45 PM)

(10) Giving importance to Myrobalan trees and the holy Fig-tree.

How does this one fit in? Jiva and Visvanatha comment that the trees are Bhagavan's vibhUti-rUpa.

I wondered whether the adi in azvatthAdi was referring to the verse from the skandha purana which is used as an example. That refers to worshipping cows, brahmanas and Vaisnavas also. But if the commentaries only refer to trees, I guess not.

The Gita has asvattha sarva-vrksanam too.
Madhava - Sat, 26 Jun 2004 00:06:16 +0530
That's actually there in the commentaries, all that is in the verse from Skandha-purana. What I'm wondering is why, instead of them, these two trees are mentioned?
Madhava - Sat, 26 Jun 2004 01:03:36 +0530
Interestingly, a very substantial amount (17 total, 26.5%) of the 64 are more or less directly related to arcana. What might be the cause of that?