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Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Reciprocation with Radha-Krishna during sadhana - Thoughts on loving service in the mind

Madhava - Sun, 23 Jan 2005 21:31:36 +0530
Excerpts from my correspondence with a fellow devotee. I trust they will serve as good seedlings of new and insightful discussions. Please also read this topic.

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"Do Radha and Krishna interact with you or with each other in your meditations?"

Certainly they are not mere statues. ye yathA mAM prapadyante taMs tathaiva bhajAmyaham. They respond in kind to your particular desires for service, revealing themselves in proportion to your greed to serve. And of course they interact with each other, too. It is the lila we are perceiving, not a mental concoction. I often liken the stage of sadhana to a foggy day. On a foggy day, your perception is severely limited, though the objects you perceive are certainly real. As the fog, or the dirt in the heart, is dispelled, the lucidity of the vision increases, and the heart becomes an increasingly suitable vessel for carrying the lila. In this vein, I would like to cite a relevant passage from Visvanatha Cakravarti's Raga-vartma-candrika:

sa ca lobho rAga vartma vartinAM bhaktAnAM guru-padAzraya lakSaNam Arabhya svAbhISTa vastu sAkSAt prApti samayam abhivyApya “yathA yathAtma parimRjyate’sau mat puNya gAthA zravaNAbhidhAnaiH, tathA tathA pazyati vastu sUkSmaM cakSur yathaivAJjana samprayuktam |” iti bhagavad ukter bhakti hetukAntaH karaNa zuddhi tAratamyAt prati dinam adhikAdhiko bhavati ||

It is described that the devotees on the path of raga gradually progress from the initial surrender to the feet of Sri Guru up to the stage of directly attaining the object of their desires.

"When the eye is smeared with medicinal ointment, its ability of perception becomes more and more refined, and accordingly it is able to perceive more and more subtle objects; similarly, according to the degree of the mind’s having become purified by hearing and chanting of My purifying pastimes, all the subtle truths of reality become manifest in the heart of the sadhaka." (BhP 11.14.26)

From these words of the Lord it is known that through sadhana-bhakti the consciousness of the sadhaka becomes more purified every day, and he gradually becomes more and more greedy.

I am hoping that the above would demonstrate the principle involved.

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"If Radha and Krishna interact with you or each other in the lila you contemplate on, in what way does it occur, and is it real or an imagination?" Now, let us begin by asking, "what is imagination?" Imagination is a faculty of the mind, its capacity to envision objects, events and so forth. Perception is the input of the five senses observing the world out there. If Sri Krishna is able to manifest his very own self to the eyes of the sadhaka as the arca-vigraha, to the ears as the harinama, and so forth, why would he be barred from manifesting in the mental imagery of the sadhaka? Is it not said in the Bhagavata that murtis may be of eight kinds, one among which is that shaped within the mind? If with devotion one longs to serve the lila within one's heart, then why will not the lord reciprocate in kind?

There is an unnecessary dichotomy often applied to mental services. With regard to the principle of revelation and depth of perception, they are just like any other services performed with the body. If our devotion is weak, the holy name will not be tasteful for us, the arca-vigraha will not smile and shower his blessings upon us, and the inner perception of lila will be clouded and cast afar. In proportion with one's devotion, all of these aspects manifest.

Perhaps if someone attempted to envision the lila without any devotion at all, it would be classified as sheer speculation. However, it is hard to conceive that a person who possesses the identity of a manjari and longs to attain it would not approach the lila in a favorable mood of servitude, thus keeping the gates of revelation open.

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JD33 - Sun, 23 Jan 2005 23:52:08 +0530
Yes -
Madhava - Mon, 24 Jan 2005 00:26:37 +0530
QUOTE(JD33 @ Jan 23 2005, 07:22 PM)
Yes -

JD sank into samadhi mid-way through the sentence as he began to meditate on his meditations. smile.gif
Rasaraja dasa - Mon, 24 Jan 2005 01:09:20 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Jan 23 2005, 10:56 AM)
QUOTE(JD33 @ Jan 23 2005, 07:22 PM)
Yes -

JD sank into samadhi mid-way through the sentence as he began to meditate on his meditations. smile.gif

That is what I was thinking...

Radhe Radhe!

Rasaraja dasa
JD33 - Mon, 24 Jan 2005 22:13:37 +0530
You guys are funny - and great - I love it when we are actually communicating with each other! what a joy, what a treat! How we respond with love to each other. Thank you both! smile.gif smile.gif
Advitiya - Tue, 25 Jan 2005 04:16:31 +0530
This is a great topic. Thank you, Madhava! Let us hear more...