প্রাকৃত-চেষ্টাতে ভাই কভু রস হয় না
জড়ীয় প্রাকৃতরস শুদ্ধভক্ত গায় না ॥১॥
prākṛta ceṣṭāte bhāi kabhu rasa haya nā
jaḍīya prākṛta-rasa śuddha-bhakta gāya nā (1)
O brother! Material endeavors can never produce rasa. Pure devotees never sing about the mundane rasa of this material world.
প্রাকৃতরসের শিক্ষা-ভিক্ষা শিষ্যে চায় না
রতি বিনা যেই রস তাহা গুরু দেয় না ॥২॥
prākṛta-rasera śikṣā-bhikṣā-śiṣye cāya nā
rati binā jei rasa tāhā guru deya nā (2)
A disciple never wishes to beg for instructions regarding material rasa. The guru never gives a disciple such material rasa that is bereft of rati, (divine attachment to Śrī Kṛṣṇa).
Although material engagements remotely resemble the transcendental rasa/līlā of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, it has been concluded by self-realized spiritual masters that material engagement never produces rasa. No amount of ignorance produces knowledge, no amount of darkness produces light and no amount of material engagement produces Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Would-be gurus in search of name, fame and material gains often encourage their disciples to enjoy material nature, but a bona-fide guru never encourages or instructs his disciple how to increase material enjoyment or to expand the affairs of the material world. Mundane family life is, by and large, a unit of selfish interests focused around the bodily concept of life and before one can make spiritual advancement one must abandon such a false pretext of life — giving up attachments to the bodily concept of life, a devotee should become attached to Śrī Kṛṣṇa above all else.
vapur-ādiṣu yo ‘pi ko ‘pi vā
guṇato ‘sāni yathā tathā-vidhaḥ
tad ayaṁ tava pāda-padmayor
aham adyaiva mayā samarpitaḥ
“O my dear Lord, I may be living within some body as a human being, or as a demigod, but whatever mode of life I do not mind, because these bodies are simply by-products of the three modes of material nature, and I, who am in possession of these bodies, am surrendering myself unto you.” (Śrī Yamunācārya, Stotra-ratna 49)
However, pseudo-disciples approach spiritual life as yet another means of increasing their material enjoyment. Thinking that God is there to fulfill their material desires they ask for blessings from the spiritual master to become materially opulent. When the pseudo-guru and the pseudo-disciple are brought together they make a complete mockery of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and of the bona-fide disciplic succession of gurus and disciples.
নাম রস দুই বস্তু ভক্ত কভু জানে না
নাম রসে ভেদ আছে ভক্ত কভু বলে না ॥৩॥
nāma rasa dui vastu bhakta kabhu jāne nā
nāma rase bheda āche, bhakta kabhu bale nā (3)
A devotee does not consider any difference between the Holy Name and divine rasa. Thus, the devotee never exclaims, “There is a difference between the Holy Name and the mellows of bhakti.”
অহং-মম-ভাবসত্ত্বে নাম কভু হয় না
ভোগ-বুদ্ধি না ছাড়িলে অপ্রাকৃত হয় না ॥৪॥
‘ahaṁ-mama’ bhāva-sattve nāma kabhu haya nā
bhoga-buddhi nā chāḍile aprākṛta haya nā (4)
The Holy Name never reveals Himself to those that are conditioned to think in terms of ‘I’ and ‘mine.’ The transcendental stage is never reached if the enjoying mentality is not rejected.
There is a certain class of men that consider kṛṣṇa-nāma, the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, and the līlā (pastimes) of Kṛṣṇa to be of two different substances. Although giving some recognition to the potency of kṛṣṇa-nāma, these persons contend that one can only realize the perfection of bhakti–rasa by exclusively hearing and discussing the lilās of Kṛṣṇa and particularly the rasa-līlā or the amorous pastimes of the Lord with the gopīs (cowherd girls of Vṛndāvana). Such persons give little attention to the necessity of purely chanting the Holy Name (śuddha-nāma) and give more attention to the process of līlā-kīrtana, rasa-kathā and smaraṇam. In a word these persons have been categorized as sva-kuhaka, or self-deceivers.
What is unknown to the self-deceivers is that kṛṣṇa-nāma reveals rasa in proportion to one’s being freed from anarthas or material contamination in the heart.
Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda in his Bhajana-rahasya describes four types of anarthas and four categories within each type. The four types of anarthas are:
- tattva-vibhrama – illusion about spiritual knowledge
- hṛdaya-daurbalya – weakness of heart
- aparādha – offenses
- asat-tṛṣṇa – material desires
Illusion about spiritual knowledge is of four types:
- sva-tattva bhrama – illusion about one’s original position as a taṭasthā-jīva
- para-tattva bhrama – illusion about the Supreme Lord
- sādhya-sādhana bhrama – illusion about the processes of sādhana and prema-bhakti
- virodhi-viṣaya bhrama – illusion regarding subjects unfavorable to Kṛṣṇa consciousness
Weakness of heart is of four types:
- tucchāsakti – attachment to objects not related to Kṛṣṇa
- kuṭināṭī – deceitfulness
- mātsaryam – enviousness
- pratiṣṭha – desire for fame
Offenses are of four types:
- kṛṣṇa-svarūpa-aparādha – offenses toward the form of the Lord
- nāma-aparādha – offenses toward the Holy Name of the Lord
- kṛṣṇa-tadīya-aparādha – offenses to the devotees
- jīva-aparādha – offenses to other living entities
Material desires are of four types:
- aihikeṣvaiṣana – desire for material objects
- para-trikeṣu – desire for heavenly comforts
- bhūti-vāñcha – desire for mystic powers
- mumukṣa – desire for liberation
In material life one sees everything as an object of enjoyment. That self-centered world-view is called ahaṁ-mameti – “everything is mine, everything is for my enjoyment, I am the center of existence.” In this stage of consciousness one cannot relish transcendental mellows (rasa). It is necessary to first become free from the spirit of enjoyment — to see one’s self as servant rather than master.
Kṛṣṇa-nāma, when chanted without offense under the guidance of a bona-fide spiritual master, purifies the heart of the conditioned soul and simultaneously reveals bhakti-rasa accordingly.
nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrāpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśi tava kṛpā bhagavān mamāpi
durdaivam īdṛśam ahājani nānurāgaḥ
“O my Lord, in Your Holy Name there is all good fortune for the living entity, and therefore You have many Names, such as Kṛṣṇa and Govinda, by which you expand Yourself. You have invested all Your transcendental potencies in those Names, and there are no hard and fast rules for remembering Them. My Lord, although You bestow such mercy upon the conditioned souls by liberally teaching Your Holy Names, I am so unfortunate that I commit offenses while chanting the Holy Name, and therefore I do not achieve attachment for chanting.” (Śikṣāṣṭakam 2)
tac-ca nāma-rūpa-guṇa-līlāmaya-śabdānāṁ śrotasparśah.
prathamaṁ nāmnaḥ śravaṇam-antaḥ-karaṇa-śuddhyartham-pekṣām.
śuddhe cāntaḥ-karaṇe rūpa-śravavena tad-udaya-yogyatā bhavati.
samyagudite ca rūpe guṇānāṁ sphuraṇaṁ sampadyeta, sampanne ca guṇānāṁ sphuraṇe
parikara-vaiśiṣthyena tad-vaiśiṣthyaṁ sampadyate tatas-teṣu nāma-rūpa-guṇa-parikareṣu
samyak sphuriteṣu līlānāṁ sphuraṇaṁ suṣṭhu bhavati.
“Hearing of the Holy Name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord and His devotees is called śravaṇa. The practice of sādhana-bhakti depends on hearing the Holy Name of the Lord. It begins with śravaṇa, which purifies the heart of a devotee. This hearing process grants liberation from the filthiness of sense gratification, and purifies the heart. In this way, by hearing transcendental sound about the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, gradually the complete form of the Lord begins to awaken within the heart. After this the qualities of the Lord arise within the heart. As the qualities of the Lord fully manifest themselves, the different specific aspects of the Lord’s service and pastimes gradually awaken. In this way, the Holy Name reveals the Lord’s form, qualities, and pastimes in all their splendor and beauty with all their different branches.” (Krama-sandarbha 7.5.18)
However, when one neglects becoming freed from anarthas and instead engages in līlā-kīrtana and rasa-kathā, the result is the opposite of purification. One makes offences. Due to offences anarthas are increased, and one’s prospect for perfection in devotional life is greatly diminished, if not completely destroyed.
প্রাকৃত জড়ের ভোগে কৃষ্ণসেবা হয় না
জড়বস্তু কোনও কালে অপ্রাকৃত হয় না ॥৫॥
prākṛta jaḍera bhoge kṛṣṇa-sevā haya nā
jaḍa-vastu kona-o kāle aprākṛta haya nā (5)
While finding pleasure in mundane matter, service to Kṛṣṇa can never be performed. Material objects can never be considered as spiritual at any time.
জড়সত্ত্বা বর্ত্তমানে চিৎ কভু হয় না
জড়বস্তু চিৎ হয় ভক্তে কভু বলে না ॥৬॥
jaḍa-sattā vartamāne cit kabhu haya nā
jaḍa-vastu cit haya bhakte kabhu bale nā (6)
Spiritual consciousness can never be present in a mundane condition. A devotee never says that any mundane object is actually spiritual.
জড়ীয় বিষয়-ভোগ ভক্ত কভু করে না
জড়ভোগ কৃষ্ণসেবা কভু সম হয় না ॥৭॥
jaḍīya viṣaya-bhoga bhakta kabhu kare nā
jaḍa-bhoga, kṛṣṇa-sevā—kabhu sama haya nā (7)
A devotee never performs mundane deeds to please his material senses. Material pleasure and service to Kṛṣṇa are never the same.
Kṛṣṇa consciousness can never manifest in the mundane aptitude of the conditioned soul and therefore it is necessary to undergo the process of purification. Without purification one’s endeavors in spiritual life are a waste of time.
ataḥ śrī kṛṣṇa nāmādi na bhaved grahyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jīhvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
“The Holy Name, form, qualities, and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are divine and transcendental. They cannot be experienced by material senses. The Lord manifest Himself spontaneously on the tongue of a devotee who is eager to serve Him” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.109)
The mood of the pseudo-devotee is to enjoy Kṛṣṇa. Such persons hear about Kṛṣṇa but simply go on increasing material desires for kanaka (wealth), kāminī (women) and pratiṣṭha (fame). However, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu strongly warns those interested in spiritual advancement not to go down that path.
na danam na janam na sundarīṁ
kavitāṁ vā jagadiśa kāmaye
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
“O Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor to enjoy beautiful women. Nor do I want any number of followers. What I want only is the causeless mercy of Your devotional service in my life, birth after birth.” (Śikṣāṣṭakam 4)
Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī has added to this warning as follows:
kanaka kāminī pratiṣṭhā bāghinī
chāḍiyāchi jāre sei to vaiṣṇava
“One becomes a Vaiṣṇava when he has freed himself from the clutches of the tigress of wealth, women and worldly prestige.” (Vaiṣṇava Ke – 11)
The pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa does not do anything that is not for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa. That is pure devotional service.
anyābhilāṣita-śūnyaṁ jnāna-karmādy anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśilanaṁ bhaktir uttamām
“Performing activities that are exclusively for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa are known as uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service. Such activities are without the desire for material profit, gain or tinged by philosophical speculation.” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, 1.1.11)
নিজ-ভোগ্য কামে ভক্ত প্রেম কভু বলে না
রসে ডগমগ আছ শিষ্যে গুরু বলে না ॥৮॥
nija-bhogya kāme bhakta ‘prema’ kabhu bale nā
‘rase ḍagamaga acho’ śiṣye guru bale nā (8)
Selfish lusty desires are never called prema by a devotee. The spiritual preceptor never tells his disciple that, “You are absorbed in transcendental rasa.”
রসে ডগমগ আমি কভু গুরু বলে না
জড়ীয় রসের কথা শিষ্যে গুরু বলে না ॥৯॥
‘rase ḍagamaga āmi’ kabhu guru bale nā
jaḍīya rasera kathā śiṣye guru bale nā (9)
The spiritual preceptor never says, “I am absorbed in transcendental rasa.” The spiritual preceptor never engages in talks with his disciples about mundane topics.
জড়রস-গানে কভু শ্রেয়ঃ কেহ লভে না
কৃষ্ণকে প্রাকৃত বলি’ ভক্ত কভু গায় না ॥১০॥
jaḍa-rasa-gāne kabhu śreyaḥ keha labhe nā
kṛṣṇakeprākṛta bali’ bhakta kabhu gāya nā (10)
Nobody can achieve the highest benefit by glorifying mundane activities. The devotee never declares that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is a mundane personality.
নামকে প্রাকৃত বলি’ কৃষ্ণে জড় জানে না
কৃষ্ণনামরসে ভেদ শুদ্ধভক্ত মানে না ॥১১॥
nāmake prākṛta bali’ kṛṣṇe jaḍa jāne nā
kṛṣṇa-nāma-rase bheda śuddha-bhakta māne nā (11)
Since Kṛṣṇa cannot be understood through matter, a devotee never considers Kṛṣṇa’s Holy Name to be mundane. A pure devotee never acknowledges any difference between the Holy Name, Śrī Kṛṣṇa and divine rasa.
নামরসে ভেদ আছে গুরু শিক্ষা দেয় না
রস লাভ করি’ শেষে সাধন ত হয় না ॥১২॥
nāme-rase bheda āche, guru śikṣā deya nā
rasa lābha kari’ śeṣe sādhana to’ haya nā (12)
The spiritual preceptor never teaches, “There is a difference between the Holy Name and rasa.” Even upon attaining rasa, ones’ sādhana is never completed.
The māyāvādī guru falsely teaches that he is God and that his disciple is also God. And the pseudo-devotee, posing as guru, claims that he is absorbed in rasa and that his disciple is also absorbed in rasa. Both these categories of gurus and disciples are in ignorance and illusion. Regarding the māyāvādī, it should be understood that the living entity (taṭasthā-jīva) does not become God at any time. And regards the pseudo-guru, it should be known that one who has actually attained to the highest stage of pure devotional service (rasa) never claims as such and certainly never tries to teach his disciple that which is unteachable. In the words of Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda, “If anyone says that he will teach you the sādhana of rasa, he is an imposter or a fool.” (Caitanya-śikṣāmṛta 7.1)
In numerous places in the writings of Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda and Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, the pseudo-guru has been compared to the she-demon Pūtanā who offered her poison breast in the hope of killing baby Kṛṣṇa. The pseudo-guru offers prema-rasa and other such achievements in bhakti that are compared to the poison offered by Pūtanā. One who tastes this poison is most certainly doomed, their devotional creeper being poisoned in its early stage. Therefore, the first duty of a sincere devotee is to reject all such she-demon gurus.
However, the pseudo-disciple embraces the foolish proposals of the pseudo-guru and such victims often fall into being initiated into the process of siddha-praṇālī to conceive of one’s self as a mañjarī – a female attendant of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Such victims of the pseudo-guru do not realize their misfortune and thus fall into utter ruin. Those who follow the advice of such a pseudo-guru by mentally conceiving of themselves as mañjarīs, when in fact they are still conditioned by the material modes of nature, fall away from the path of pure devotion and become sahajiyās, pretenders.
Once, the revered devotee Śrīla Bhakti Pramoda Purī Mahārāja, commented that the mañjarī pretenders will not get the aprākṛta-svarūpa (spiritual form) of a gopī/mañjarī in their next life but rather they will be born again in the material world as mundane females. Therefore, it is better to heed the advice of the verses in Prākṛta-rasa Śata-dūṣaṇī.
কৃত্রিম পন্থায় নামে রসোদয় হয় না
রস হৈতে কৃষ্ণনাম বিলোমেতে হয় না ॥১৩॥
kṛtrima panthāya nāme rasodaya haya nā
rasa haite kṛṣṇa-nāma vilomete haya nā (13)
No one can make rasa appear in the Holy Name by artificial means. The notion that Kṛṣṇa’s Holy Name originates from rasa is backwards and can never be true.
রস হৈতে রতি শ্রদ্ধা কখনই হয় না
শ্রদ্ধা হৈতে রতি ছাড়া ভাগবত গায় না ॥১৪॥
rasa haite rati-śraddhā kakhana-i haya nā
śraddhā haite rati chāḍā bhāgavata gāya nā (14)
It can never be that rasa is present first and then it becomes rati or śraddhā. Rati develops from śraddhā – the Bhāgavata never sings anything than this.
It is the common misunderstanding among pseudo-devotees and some neophytes that simply by engaging in higher topics concerning the rasa-līlā of Kṛṣṇa that one will develop attachment for such topics and thus one’s sādhana or practicing life will prosper.
Based on the teachings of Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī is making it very clear in the verses of Prākṛta-rasa Śata-dūṣaṇī that those who think that they can attain rasa without first having attained rati and prior to that having attained anartha-nivṛtti have understood the process of pure devotional service in reverse. This reverse process can be compared to that of rubbing dry grass against the udder of a cow and expecting to get milk from her mouth. It is simply not possible.
When Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī says above that no one can make rasa appear in the Holy Name by artificial means, he is referring to the pseudo-devotees who sometimes make a show of shedding crocodile tears. However, such show-bottle ecstasy does not produce rasa. Mental imitation of devotion is possible, even without a tinge of pure devotion. The mere display of external characteristics does not prove the presence of pure devotion.
nisarga-picchila-svānte tad abhyāsa-pare ‘pi ca
sattvābhāsaṁ vināpi syuḥ kvāpy aśru-pulakādayaḥ
“Whenever shedding tears, horripulation, etc. are seen in a person whose heart is soft externally and hard internally, and who is habituated to crying, rapture, etc. even though they do not possess a semblance of divine emotion — such an imitative sentiment should be know as totally unsubstantial and lifeless.” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 2.3.89)
prakṛtyā śithilaṁ yeśāṁ manaḥ picchilam eva vā
teṣv-eva sattvikābhāsaḥ prāyaḥ saṁasadi jāyate
“Persons whose minds are śithilaṁ and picchilam (soft and slippery) generally manifest such symptoms known as sattvikābhāsa during festivals when there is a performance of kīrtana.” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 2.3.91)
রতিযুক্ত রস ছাড়া শুদ্ধভক্ত বলে না
সাধনেতে রতি রস গুরু কভু বলে না ॥১৫॥
rati yukta rasa chāḍā śuddha-bhakta bale nā
sādhanete rati rasa guru kabhu bale nā (15)
A pure devotee never speaks of anything than rasa, graced with rati. The guru never says that rati and rasa are present within sādhana.
ভাবকালে যে অবস্থা সাধনাগ্রে বলে না
বৈধী শ্রদ্ধা সাধনেতে রাগানুগা হয় না ॥১৬॥
bhāva-kāle je avasthā sādhanāgre bale nā
vaidhī śraddhā sādhanete rāgānugā haya nā (16)
The awakening of bhāva is never said to appear prior to the practice of sādhana. The activities of vaidhī-śraddhā (faith in regulated devotion) can never give rise to rāgānugā–bhakti.
ভাবের অঙ্কুর হলে বিধি আর থাকে না
রাগানুগা শ্রদ্ধা মাত্রে জাতরতি হয় না ॥১৭॥
bhāvera aṅkura ha’le vidhi āra thāke nā
rāgānugā śraddhā mātre jāta-rati haya nā (17)
When bhāva sprouts, the necessity for following scriptural injunctions no longer remains. Simply having faith in rāgānugā-bhakti does not generate rati.
The following is a statement by Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī:
“We have no objection to the hearing and chanting of Kṛṣṇa’s līlā. Actually, Śrī Hari’s līlā must be heard and chanted. Then only will the fallen natural taste for hearing about his own activities and his eagerness to hear useless talks be vanquished. There is no other remedy than this.’
“Factually there is no difference between chanting about the Lord’s pastimes and chanting about the Lord’s śṛṇgāra-rasa. The conditioned jīva who still has anarthas should hear and chant about the pastimes of Lord Gaurāṅga and the childhood pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. If the unqualified attempt to hear and speak about the confidential pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa it will not bring auspiciousness to them, rather it will bring misfortune.’
“We should hear the Lord’s glories only from Śrī Gurudeva or the like, A true devotee will say – “I will only hear hari-kathā from the holy lips of Śrī Gurudeva and I will hear and speak about the Bhāgavata that Śukadeva spoke from his lotus mouth. With guru-niṣṭha I will hear and discuss about Kṛṣṇa’s Name, form, qualities and pastimes according to the path of pure devotion as taught by Śrī Gaurāṅga as I have heard from Gurudeva. I will not hear from anyone else.”’
“Hearing and chanting is certainly the best way, but it is not auspicious for anyone and everyone to hear and discuss intimate pastimes. Hearing and discussing the confidential pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda is the topmost type of worship and our eternal bhajana. However, this type of bhajana should not be taken to the public as it is unfitting and offensive.’
“Āpana bhajana-kathā na kahibe yathā tathā” (You must not disclose your confidential mood of bhajana to one and all) – one who desires all good fortune should follow this advice given by the ācāryas. In a public assembly of different people, we should chant the Holy Name, as well as prayers and songs that are in the mood of servitorship (dāsya-rasa). When we have attained the proper qualification and we are in the association of only rasika devotees then we may hear more intimate songs and at the time of hearing such songs we may confidentially express our own bhajana according to our eternal position (svarūpa). If we do otherwise we will attain the opposite result. If these songs must be abandoned to set a standard, then so be it. We must give some benefit to the public. The practice of singing publicly the Lord’s intimate pastimes by those who have not given up sense enjoyment and the desire for wealth are the activities that give Kali an occupation!” (Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāder Upadeśāmṛta)
In the tone of siṁha-guru, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī also cautions as follows:
“Those who are barren of the treasure of love for Kṛṣṇa, propelled by duplicity, declare to the whole world their false attainment of prema, although in reality, by an external display of prema or by announcing it to one and all, it is positively impossible for such hypocrite destitutes who are deprived of the wealth of kṛṣṇa-prema to ever attain it. To make their great fortune known to everybody, adepts of prākṛta-sahajiyaism often expose to each other insincere external symptoms of prema (such as shedding of tears). Rather than calling such hypocrite sahajiyās as premika, real śuddha-bhaktas go as far as to completely reject their association knowing it to destroy bhakti. Śuddha-bhaktas never teach one to designate such persons as ‘bhaktas’ thus equaling them with śuddha-bhaktas. At the rise of genuine prema, the jīva hides her glory and strives for kṛṣṇa-bhajana.’
“The hypocrite prākrta-sahajiyā party in their greed for wealth, women and fame (kanaka-kāminī-pratiṣṭha) offend śuddha-bhaktas by labeling them as darśanik-paṇḍita (great philosophers), tattva-vit (ontology experts), or sūkṣma-darśi (acute observers), and in turn they adorn themselves with the titles rasika, bhajanānandī, bhāgavatottama (uttama–bhāgavata), līlā-rasa-pānonmatta (intoxicated by drinking sweet mellows of līlā), rāgānugīya-sādhakāgragaṇya (the foremost aspirants on the path of rāgānuga-bhakti), rasajña (the knowers of rasa), rasika-cuḍāmaṇi (unsurpassed rasikas) etc.’
“Having contaminated bhajana-praṇālī with the waves of their own materialistic emotions, they become attached to abominable practices; what they actually adore in themselves is pseudo-Vaiṣṇavism. These kinds of preachers go to describe aprākṛta-rasa, making their respective mundane emotions a part and parcel of kṛṣṇa-sevā. Unaware of aprākṛta vipralambha-rasa, they take prākṛta-sambhoga, which in essence is a perverted reflection of rasa (virasa), as actual rasa.” (Cc. Antya 20.28, Anubhāṣya])
The pseudo-disciple will say that, “Gurudeva is giving prema” and such pseudo-devotees canvas everyone and anyone to come and accept the most rare gift. “Gurudeva is so merciful,” they say. However, their so-called gift of prema is like the musk that gypsies sell during Kumbha Mela. At first glance the musk looks and smells like the genuine thing. But upon closer examination it is discovered that the so-called musk is simply cheaply scented cow dung rolled into balls and covered with goatskin. Thus is their imitation gift of prema.
অজাতরতিকে কভু ভাবলব্ধ বলে না
রাগানুগ সাধকেরে জাতভাব বলে না ॥১৮॥
ajāta-ratite kabhu bhāva-labdha bale nā
rāgānugā sādhakere jāta-bhāva bale nā (18)
A devotee never says that bhāva has been achieved when rati has not yet developed. The followers of spontaneous devotion rāgānugā-bhaktas never say that sādhakas (neophyte devotees) have achieved the awakening of bhāva.
রাগানুগ সাধকেরে লব্ধরস বলে না
রাগানুগা সাধ্যভাব রতি ছাড়া হয় না ॥১৯॥
rāgānugā sādhakere labdha-rasa bale nā
rāgānugā sādhya-bhāva rati chāḍā haya nā (19)
Rāgānugā devotees never say that sādhakas have achieved rasa. Sādhya-bhāva (divine emotions that are the goal of rāgānugā-bhakti) is never attained without first experiencing rati.
ভাবাঙ্কুর-সমাগমে বৈধী-ভক্তি থাকে না
রুচিকে রতির সহ কভু এক জানে না ॥২০॥
bhāvāṅkura-samāgame vaidhī bhakti thāke nā
rucike ratira saha kabhu eka jāne nā (20)
Vaidhi-bhakti is no longer present when the seed of bhāva appears. One must never consider ruci and rati to be the same thing.
রাগানুগা বলিলেই প্রাপ্তরস জানে না
বিধি-শোধ্যজনে কভু রাগানুগ বলে না ॥২১॥
rāgānugā balile-i prāpta-rasa jāne nā
vidhi-śodhya jane kabhu rāgānugā bale nā (21)
Rasa can never be known simply by talking about rāgānugā-bhakti. One who is in need of being purified by following the scriptural injunctions can never be said to be on the platform of rāgānugā-bhakti.
সাধনের পূর্ব্বে কেহ ভাবাঙ্কুর পায় না
জড়ে শ্রদ্ধা না ছাড়িলে রতি কভু হয় না ॥২২॥
sādhanera pūrve keha bhāvāṅkura pāya nā
jaḍe śraddhā nā chāḍile rati kabhu haya nā (22)
No one can experience bhāva before the performance of sādhana-bhakti. One who does not reject faith in matter can never attain rati.
জাতভাব না হইলে রসিক ত হয় না
জড়ভাব না ছাড়িলে রসিক ত হয় না ॥২৩॥
jāta-bhāva nā haile rasika ta’ haya nā
jaḍa-bhāva nā chāḍile rasika ta’ haya nā (23)
If bhāva has not yet appeared, one can never become a rasika. One can never become a rasika if mundane emotions are not rejected.
Again and again in Prākṛta-rasa Śata-dūṣaṇī, the systematic development of the stages of bhakti are being stressed and stern warning is given that there is no alternative or short cuts to this process. One must begin the process of pure devotional service and follow it step by step. The ontological development of pure devotional service is outlined in the following śloka of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī.
adau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyā
tato ‘nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭha rucis tathā
athāsaktis tato bhāvas tathā premābhyudañcati
sādhakānām ayaṁ premnaḥ prādurbhāve bhavet kramaḥ
“In the beginning there must be faith (adau śraddhā). Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees (sādhu-saṅga). Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and follows the regulative principles of devotional service under his orders (bhajana-kriyā). Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits (anartha-nivṛtti) and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service (niṣṭha). Thereafter, one develops taste (ruci) and attachment (asakti). This is the way of sādhana-bhakti, the performance of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify (bhāva), and finally there is an awakening of love (prema). This is the gradual development of love of God for the devotee interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.4.15-16)
In the stage of vaidhi-bhakti one performs devotional service according to rules and regulations. When the heart is free from anarthas the devotee becomes fixed in devotional service and begins to develop a taste for the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, for the service of Kṛṣṇa and to all things related to Kṛṣṇa. The devotee’s taste develops into attachment to Kṛṣṇa and when that attachment matures it is sometimes called rati. Then follows bhāva and prema.
When the need to be purified by following scriptural injunctions (vaidhi-bhakti) still remains, a devotee cannot be said to be a rāgānuga. Rāgānuga-bhakti necessitates that one has come to the stage of ruci. In other words, one must first dispense with all anarthas in the heart before becoming qualified to perform rāgānuga-bhakti.
The following is a quote from Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda:
“When a devotee following the path of vaidhi-bhakti abandons his many varieties of material desires and performs bhajana in accordance with the instructions of the scriptures, the spiritual master and the Vaiṣṇavas, then taste (ruci), arises in his bhajana. When this ruci manifests, he abandons the path of vaidhi-bhakti and enters the path of rāgānuga-bhakti.” (Piyuṣa-varṣinī-vṛtti commentary on Upadeśāmṛta)
Those who do not wish to progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness step by step but instead prefer to jump ahead to rasa, are sometimes called ‘gatecrashers’. It is also to be understood that simply by talking about rasa does not mean that one has attained the stage of rāgānuga-bhakti. Talk is cheap whereas the actual qualifications for rasa are very rare. It is also seen that the pseudo-guru claims himself to be a ‘rasika’ when in fact he still manifests the symptoms of kāma, krodha, and lobha — lust for wealth, anger toward anyone who does not blindly accept him as guru, and greed to initiate anyone who crosses his path even though such persons may have already been duly initiated by a bona-fide spiritual master. Such deluded persons think that they have attained rāgānuga-bhakti simply by hearing the līlās of Kṛṣṇa but such persons should remember that kṛṣṇa-līlā is also sometimes available in comic books in India.
It should also not go without mention that many of the pseudo-gurus, past and present, claiming to be on the platform of a rasika display the classic symptoms of narcissism. Narcissism is a material condition (a psychological illness) wherein one suffers from: 1) a grandiose sense of self-importance, 2) a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, and ideal love, 3) a belief that he is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people, 4) a requirement for excessive admiration and worship, 5) a sense of entitlement — unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his expectations, 6) a despotic mentality, repressing and exploiting others, 7) a lack of empathy, unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings or needs of others, 8) envy of others, also believing that others are envious of him, 9) an arrogant or haughty attitude. Such persons are never truly rasika.
মূলধন রসলাভ রতি বিনা হয় না
গাছে না উঠিতে কা̐দি বৃক্ষমূলে পায় না ॥২৪॥
mūla-dhana rasa-lābha rati-vinā haya nā
gāche nā uṭhite kāṅdi vṛkṣa-mūle pāya nā (24)
It is not possible to attain the original treasure of rasa without first attaining rati. If one does not climb the tree, one cannot collect the fruits.
In Kalyāṇa-kalpataru, Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda says, “duṣṭa-phale karile arjana” – if one wants fruits without taking the trouble to climb the tree, what sort of fruits can he expect? The fruits will be ruined or rotten. Without proper progression, it is all imagination — a madman’s feat!
In this light Śrīla B.R. Śrīdhara Mahārāja has quoted the following verse stating that it is the death-blow to the gatecrashers and sentiment mongers.
upajiyā baḍe latā ‘brahmaṇḍa’ bhedi yāya
‘virajā’ ‘brahmaloka’ bhedi ‘paravyoma’ pāya
tabe yāya tad upari ‘goloka-vṛndāvana’
“The creeper of devotion is born, and grows to pierce the wall of the universe. It crosses the Virajā River and the Brahman plane, and reaches to the Vaikuṇṭha plane. Then it grows further up to Goloka Vṛndāvana, finally reaching to embrace the wish yielding tree of Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.” (Cc. Madhya 19-153-4)
The implication of this verse is that real bhakti takes its birth in the plane of vaidhi-bhakti and only after crossing all lower stages of consciousness does it go beyond material conception and enter the consciousness of Vaikuṇṭha. But even there the creeper of devotion does not yet yield fruit. The fruit of pure devotion is only yielded after having attained the platform of spontaneous love, rāga-mārga, in Goloka Vṛndāvana.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja used to say that the neophyte’s engagement in kṛṣṇa-līlā is simply a dreamy thing. The real rāgānuga-bhaktas are aloof from such dreamy states because they are fully awake in the service or Hari, guru and Vaiṣṇava.