A nice lesson in Krishna consciousness

Hare Krishna.

29th October, 2015. Gurgaon

Quotes by Srila Prabhupada on Everyone Being A Preacher

Please accept my good wishes for a very devotional Kartik month.

I had two small realisations around preaching recently and an important lesson, I am sharing the same.

As the month of  Kartik approached this year, the enthusiasm within my own self was not so high. I did not know the reasons. Last Monday, 26th October,  I had to give a class at a home program. At the office I thought that as Kartik is starting from the next so it may be a good idea to share a little about Kartik month with devotees, specially the new devotees. It was a tight day at office but I managed to prepare a small power point presentation, copying mostly from Iskcondesiretree, as I thought it will be nice to show it on a projector. Then I went through the contents quickly so that I would know what I have to speak about. As I read the contents I was a bit surprised to read so many benedictions about Kartik month, the last slide also hit me.

So in the evening we did last 45 minutes of the class on the glories of Kartik month and in the middle I realised that many of the things which I am speaking are coming from my heart not from my memory or whatever little I had prepared. The class ended at an enthusiastic note with everyone charged up for the the Kartik month, including my own self!  As I drove back home after the class , the whole content and what all I spoke dawned heavily  upon me and a small realisation came over me on the importance of Kartik month starting the next morning. I immediately mentally took  note of what all I will try to do this Kartik, I was all excited!

In the morning out of nowhere (well not exactly out of nowhere but still it was first time that I actually did it), I felt inspired to read Nectar of Instruction verses and Manah Sikshah verses before starting my japa. Then in the evening I reached home early and  started reading an amazing book called MahaPrabhu meditations, which was lying unread since months. Then the whole family sang Damodarashtakam as we all offered ghee lamp to Lord Damodar, a perfect day!

Though today is only the third day of Kartik but I can frankly confess that this has been the best start for a Kartik month in all the last few years that I have been struggling to practice Krishna consciousness.

Below is the PDF of the presentation I made, Kindly feel free to use it in any way or please mail me, giriraj.bcs@gmail.com, in case you need it in a PPT format. Please move your cursor on the below picture you will see the menu on the bottom left side to browse to the next pages

Kartika_month_glorification2

I had a similar experience with my chanting earlier. At first I tried to improve my chanting by regulating my morning sadhana time. (It’s origin was the causeless mercy of HH Bhakti Prema maharaj, I write about it in detail some other time). Later in an impromptu decision I tried to help some sincere devotees improve their chanting, by making a whatsapp group to post our timings, almost immediately my own chanting improved dramatically.

In both the cases I experienced how, even while being a very neophyte preacher, it is me who is getting the most benefit!

An important lesson.

Last weekend I was sharing the same above experience about improvement in my chanting with a senior devotee, adding how recently I even took a class on how to improve our japa, something unthinkable for me just a few months back. As I was finishing my little talk another devotee walked in and he started asking some questions from the senior devotee. During the middle of that discussion the senior devotee gently spoke to him as to how some devotees get all excited when they get some reciprocation from the Holy Name, they start feeling that they have done some thing great as other devotees too start praising them but they forget that it is in fact simply the mercy of the Holy Name. The Holy Name becomes pleased when we try to serve Him. It hit me instantaneously, I knew it was meant for me only. Instead of thanking the Holy Name for showering mercy upon me, I mistakenly thought that because I helped others hence I got the results, it was all about me and my action. I thanked the senior devotee for correcting me, as I got the point, and admitted my incorrect and impersonal thought process. Later, I thanked the Holy name and Krishna for Their causeless mercy. I also prayed to Srila Prabhupada that may I always remember this important lesson all my life.

 I am copying four verses from Damodarastkam for the pleasure of the Lord and His dear devotees.

itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe
sva-ghoṣam nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvam
punaḥ prematas tam śatāvṛtti vande

varam deva mokṣam na mokṣāvadhim vā
na canyam vṛṇe ‘ham vareṣād apīha
idam te vapur nātha gopāla-bālam
sadā me manasy āvirāstām kim anyaiḥ

idam te mukhāmbhojam atyanta-nīlair
vṛtam kuntalaiḥ snigdha-raktaiś ca gopyā
muhuś cumbitam bimba-raktādharam me
manasy āvirāstām alam lakṣa-lābhaiḥ

namo deva dāmodarānanta viṣṇo
prasīda prabho duḥkha-jālābdhi-magnam
kṛpā-dṛṣṭi-vṛṣṭyāti-dīnam batānu
gṛhāṇeṣa mām ajñam edhy akṣi-dṛśyaḥ

Translation

Those super excellent pastimes of Lord Krishna’s babyhood drowned the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy. To the devotees who are attracted only to His majestic aspect of Narayana in Vaikuntha, the Lord herein reveals: “I am conquered and overwhelmed by pure loving devotion.” To the Supreme Lord, Damodara, my obeisances hundreds and hundreds of times

O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for liberation, nor eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon. My only prayer is that Your childhood pastimes may constantly appear in my mind. O Lord, I do not even want to know your feature of Paramatma. I simply wish that Your childhood pastimes may ever be enacted in my heart.

O Lord, the cheeks of Your blackish lotus face, which is encircled by locks of curling hair, have become reddened like bimba fruits due to Mother Yashoda’s kisses. What more can I describe than this? Millions of opulence are of no use to me, but may this vision constantly remain in my mind.

O unlimited Vishnu! O master! O Lord! Be pleased upon me! I am drowning in an ocean of sorrow and am almost like a dead man. Please shower the rain of mercy on me; uplift me and protect me with Your nectarean vision.

All glories to the glorious Kartik month.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The effect of bhakti is immediate.

Hare Krishna

23rd October, 2015. Gurgaon

Yesterday morning I heard a beautiful lecture by HG Jananivas Prabhuji which Prabhuji gave at Mayapur. As usual it was a lecture filled with many gems. Prabhuji is a very exalted and pure devotee of Krishna, it was my good fortune that I was able to hear his lecture. Two topics in his lecture touched my heart

a) supremacy of Bhakti over all other yoga processes.

b) importance of Guru and initiation in our life.

I will write about the first part today, where Prabhuji spoke about the power of bhakti over all other processes. We may have heard all this before and know it but the way Prabhuji gave the essence was remarkable.

The particular verse on this day was from the sixth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam where the story of ‘Citraketu’ is continuing. Here is the verse:

O King Parīkṣit, after only one week of repeatedly practicing the mantra received from the spiritual master, Citraketu achieved the rule of the planet of the Vidyādharas as an intermediate product of his spiritual advancement in knowledge. (SB 6.16.28)

Jananivas Prabhuji

After first giving the listeners a brief background about the chapter, glorifying ‘Citraketu’ and then expanding this particular pastime, Prabhuji explained that, similar to ‘Citraketu’, sometimes devotees do not directly go back to Godhead but they have to take a birth. (‘Citraketu’ finally took birth as ‘Vritasura’ and then went back to Godhead).

Jananivas Prabhuji then quoted Srila Prabhupada who said:

If you still have a mood of enjoyment in Krishna consciousness, you are performing devotional service but you have the mood of enjoyment then your next birth will be in the heavenly planets. you will have to work out that enjoyment and after that you can go back to Godhead.’

Prabhuji reiterated that devotees are not expected to maintain the mood of enjoyment, especially at the last of our life, when we are leaving the body very rapidly, we should wind everything  up completely and take shelter of the Lord, then we go back to Godhead.

Prabhuji then read the below short but devotionally pregnant purport by Srila Prabhupada:

If a devotee, after being initiated, adheres rigidly to the instructions of the spiritual master, he is naturally endowed with the material opulences of vidyādhara-adhipatyam and similar posts as by-products. A devotee need not practice yoga, karma or jñāna to achieve a successful result. Devotional service alone is competent to award a devotee all material power. A pure devotee, however, is never attached to material power, although he gets it very easily without personal endeavor. Citraketu received this side benefit of his devotional service, which he rigidly performed in accordance with the instructions of Nārada. A devotee need not practice yoga, karma or jñāna to achieve a successful result. Devotional service alone is competent to award a devotee all material power‘.

Jananivas Prabhuji explained how Citraketu received this power simply as a side benefit of devotional service. Not that he was interested but somehow or other he was given that position so he could still enjoy as a side product of his devotional service. But his consciousness was more fixed on his devotional service rather than the side product of being the king of ‘Vidyādharas’. He acted like a king, it seemed like he was enjoying but his consciousness was fixed on his worshipable Lord and his devotional service.

So a devotee doesn’t have to worry about Karma, jnana or yoga to achieve successful results, devotional service alone is powerful enough to do it. This is the position of devotional service, the position of bhakti. Bhakti is independent. Whereas in karma, jnana and yoga, to get their perfection, one needs some bhakti yoga but for bhakti yoga we don’t need karma, we don’t need jnana, its independent.

For Karmis (materialists)

Prabhuji stated ‘just like the Karmis, they want sense gratification. They are religious, they are pious, they are practicing karma yoga but they want happiness in the material world.  So what does Krishna says about about karma yogi –

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat

yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam (BG 9.27)

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform — do that, O son of Kuntī, as an offering to Me.

In other words do everything for Krishna. Karma yoga culminates in bhakti yoga. When we do this, do everything for Krishna, then it becomes bhakti, our karma becomes bhakti.

For jnanis (knowledge seekers)

For jnanis, Krishna says:

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate

vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ (BG 7.19)

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

So conclusion of jnana is that after thousands of births one surrenders to Krishna. In reference to this verse Srila Prabhupada said:

‘This is Krishna’s statement, after thousands of births one comes to the platform of ‘ vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti’, Krishna is the supreme personality of Godhead. I’m telling you now that Krishna is the supreme personality of Godhead, you surrender to Krishna now. You hear me, and you do that (surrender to Krishna), you skip those thousands and thousands of births because you come to the conclusion of thousands and thousands of births!

So culmination of jnana is bhakti – surrender to Krishna.

So one get the perfection of jnana when it is dovetailed or used for understanding  bhakti.

For yogis

Now to the ashtanga yogis, and all the other yogis, Krishna say:

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā

śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ sa me yuktatamo mataḥ   (BG 6.47)

And of all yogīs, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me — he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.

So the conclusion of yoga is that it brings one to bhakti.

So when the karma, jnana and yoga are used to bring us to bhakti then they are okay but when they are not used for that purpose then they become inauspicious. If they are just used for karma, just used for jnana or just used for yoga then they become inauspicious because they keep us bound up to this material world. But when they are used to reveal the high position of bhakti then they have meaning. So without bhakti they don’t become fruitful. And bhakti even if it doesn’t has karma, jnana or yoga, still it is fruitful, it is not dependent on anything else.

Prabhuji said hence Krishna says ‘anyway don’t waste your time in karma, jnana or yoga, you just give up that controlling and enjoying aspect through your karma or through your jnana or through your yoga, you are simply using them as tools so you can still enjoy and make spiritual progress. Therefore Krishna says

sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
   (BG 18.65)

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

Krishna is saying you surrender to me immediately. And like we are reaing in this particular pastime that the effect could be immediate. Let’s read the translation of the verse again.

O King Parīkṣit, after only one week of repeatedly practicing the mantra received from the spiritual master, Citraketu achieved the rule of the planet of the Vidyādharas as an intermediate product of his spiritual advancement in knowledge. (SB 6.16.28)

So we see that devotional service is not dependent on anything else, karma, jnana or all the other processes, and it’s effect is immediate if we put it into practice sincerely.

As for the side benefits, Prabhuji explained that bhukti (material enjoyment) and mukti (liberation) they wait as maidservants for the devotees. For a pure devotee bhukti and multi are waiting ‘How we can serve you?’ We want to serve the bhaktas. And the bhakta say ‘Get away from me!’ They kick them away…Kick…we don’t want bhukti, we don’t want mukti. But still they don’t go away, they say we will stay nearby, any service you want! We want to do bhakta seva. But the devotees, no, they kick them away.

Wasn’t it straight & simple, coming straight from the heart of a realised soul! I will try to post the second part of Prabhuji’s lecture on the importance of Guru and initiation shortly.

All glories to HH Jananivas Prabhuji.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Cry out to Krishna

Hare Krishna

12th Oct, 2015. Gurgaon

I read so much, and hear even more so, on being humble and not just simply humble but humbler than a blade of grass. It feels nice as I read such terms and collect more ‘information’ on how to get into the ‘mood’ of being humble but whenever I am put into a test I fail miserably, a deadly mixture of hardheartedness, passion and ignorance takes over my consciousness. I simply remain a puppet in the hands of three modes of nature.

Many a times I wonder, and now a days also pray to Lord, as to what are You trying to teach me by putting me in such circumstances? Doesn’t the Lord already knows that I have very weak spiritual muscles, doesn’t He know that I will fail such tests, they why? Is it to make me more humble and tolerant or is it tell me that I am just a show bottle devotee with no real substance inside me or to let me realise that I do  not have any love for Krishna as compassion for others is directly linked to our love of Krishna or all of the above!

It is indeed a very grim and helpless condition for me. My heart cries out to Krishna. I wish my heart could speak directly and cry and cry, cry out so loud that it’s steel like frame would burst open. Unfortunately that too doesn’t happen.

But one positive outcome happened this time. With such failures I am learning how each difficult situation forces me to remember Krishna more and more! It makes me realise my helpless condition in this world, gives me some emotions to chant better. In fact  writing this blog I suddenly remember the famous prayer of Kunti Maharani. I can now appreciate, a little bit, the below verse spoken by Kunti Maharani to Krishna

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat tatra tatra jagad-guro
bhavato darśanaṁ yat syād apunar bhava-darśanam (SB 1.8.25)

Translation

I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.

As I write these heavy words I introspect within my heart if I have the courage to even repeat these words, forget about asking for it! But strangely today I find some courage in my timid heart as I pray to Lord to please put me through the same circumstances again and again and again, let people insult me, beat me, abuse me, let me fail again and again and again, if this alone would help me remember Krishna at all times then let it happen again and again.

I pray to my dear Lord to be merciful upon this wretched soul and take away everything from me, all my so-called possessions, my wealth, my position, my family. Let this world reject me, treat me as a worm in the stool, let the last iota of any sense of ego or to remain independent gets rubbed finely to the ground, but I beg my Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada  to somehow make me remember Krishna at all time. Let my mind and my heart be engaged only in His thoughts alone and let my own life’s drama take a back seat now, I have had enough of it.

I searched for a prayer and, not surprisingly,  I found one in Saranagati, by Srila Bhaktvinoda Thakura, called Amar Jivana:

āmāra jīvana, sadā pāpe rata, nāhiko punyera leṣa

parere udvega, diyāchi je koto, diyāchi jīvere kleśa

nija sukha lāgi’, pāpe nāhi ḍori, doyā-hīna swārtha-paro

para-sukhe duḥkhī, sadā mithya-bhāṣī, para-duḥkha sukha-karo

aśeṣa kāmanā, hṛdi mājhe mora, krodhī, dambha-parāyana

mada-matta sadā, viṣaye mohita, hiḿsā-garva vibhūṣana

nidrālasya hata, sukārye virata, akārye udyogī āmi

pratiṣṭha lāgiyā, śāṭhya-ācaraṇa, lobha-hata sadā kāmī

e heno durjana, saj-jana-varjita, aparādhi nirantara

śubha-kārya-śūnya, sadānartha-manāḥ, nānā duḥkhe jara jara

bārdhakye ekhona, upāya-vihīna, tā’te dīna akiñcana

bhakativinoda, prabhura caraṇe, kore duḥkha nivedana

Translation:

1) I am an impious sinner and have caused others great anxiety and trouble.

2) I have never hesitated to perform sinful act for my own enjoyment. Devoid of all compassion, concerned only with my own selfish interests, I am remorseful seeing others happy. I am a perpetual liar, and the misery of others is a source of great pleasure for me.

3) The material desires within the core of my heart are unlimited. I am wrathful, devoted to false pride and arrogance, intoxicated by vanity, and bewildered by worldly affairs. Envy and egotism are the ornaments I wear.

4) Ruined by laziness and sleep, I resist all pious deeds; yet I am very active and enthusiastic to perform wicked acts. For worldly fame and reputation I engage in the practice of deceitfulness. Thus I am destroyed by my own greed and am always lustful.

5) A vile, wicked man such as this, rejected by godly people, is a constant offender. I am such a person, devoid of all good works, forever inclined toward evil, worn out and wasted by various miseries.

6) Now in old age, deprived of all means of success, humbled and poor, Bhaktivinoda submits his tale of grief at the feet of the Supreme Lord.

In the end, I pray, may Lord Nityananda be merciful upon me and allow me to visit and roll in the dust of Sri Mayapur Dhama, this seems the only solution to the dreaded disease which has overcome my heart.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I will always remain Srila Prabhupada’s dog!

Hare Krishna

9th October, 2015. Gurgaon

Many a times various thoughts and feelings cross our mind as to how should we think ourselves with respect to our Param Guru Srila Prabhupada, in what way should we aspire to develop a relationship with him. I recently came across a wonderful pastime narrated by HH Giriraj Maharaj and I simply could not resist sharing it with everyone. It aptly describes the mood we can all cultivate for our Founder Acharaya and primary shiksha Guru- Srila Prabhupada.  It also gives us an idea of what should be the level of our surrender towards our Guru.

Always Remain Srila Prabhupada’s Dog

Almost every morning in Bombay Srila Prabhupada used to walk on Juhu Beach. One morning I had been feeling especially wretched and miserable. Although so many other devotees were present, Srila Prabhupada began to speak as if he were addressing me personally.
He quoted a Sanskrit verse and said there are two words – a-natha and sa-natha. Natha means “master,” so a-natha means “without master” and sa-natha means “with master.” The whole goal of life is to become sa-natha,”with master.”
In the morning on Juhu Beach many gentlemen used to walk their dogs. Srila Prabhupada pointed to a fat and fit gentleman walking with an equally fat and fit dog. The man was walking briskly and confidently with his dog on his leash, and the dog was walking equally briskly and confidently with his master by his side. Srila Prabhupada commented that every dog wants a good master. If the dog has a good master he is happy. He holds his head high, he wags his tail. He knows that his master will maintain and protect him, so he has no anxiety.
But the street dog. “The poor fellow has no master. Therefore he is always suffering.” Srila Prabhupada then pointed to some stray dogs. “They have no master. They do not know where they will sleep, how they will get food. Other dogs bark at them; children throw stones at them. They are always in anxiety.”
Srila Prabhupada stopped walking. He planted his cane firmly in the sand of Juhu Beach. Although I stood behind many of the devotees who moved close around him, with his eyes laden with love and compassion he looked in my eyes. “So we should be sanatha, protected, and not anatha – orphan. We should have our master and be exclusively devoted to him. Then we will feel confident in his protection and always be happy.”
Quoting the verse again, Srila Prabhupada explained each Sanskrit word. Mano-ratha: the chariot of the mind. Mental concoction is driving us here, there, here, there. We have no peace. But when we have our perfect master to serve, we become peaceful, prasanta, and jubilant that, “I have got my master. I have no cares and anxiety.” This is the ideal of life, to become sanatha-Jivitam, living with hope that “I have got my master who will give me protection.”
I knew that Srila Prabhupada was speaking directly to me, addressing my present need in Krsna consciousness. Without my even asking or saying anything, he knew my heart and gave the perfect solution through his instructions.
Thereafter, I always tried to remember and follow these instructions of Srila Prabhupada’s.
Although I had caught some of the words from the verse and Srila Prabhupada’s explanation, I very much wanted to find the verse – but could not. Then several years later I came across the same verse quoted in Sri Caitanya caritamrta (Madhya1.206):

bhavantam evanucaram nirantarah
prasanta-nihsesa-mano-rathantarah
kadaham aikantika-nitya-knikarah
praharsayisyami sanatha-jivitam

“By serving You constantly, one is freed from all material desires and is completely pacified. When shall I engage as your permanent eternal servant and always feel joyful to have such a fitting master?” (Note: this is the verse spoken by Srila Rupa and Srila Sanatana Goswami when they first met Mahaprabhu)

Reading the purport, I found the same instructions Srila Prabhupada had given on Juhu Beach: “Just as a dog or servant is very satisfied to get a competent, perfect master, or as a child is completely satisfied to possess a competent father, so the living entity is satisfied by completely engaging in the service of the Supreme Lord. He thereby knows that he has a competent master to save him from all kinds of danger.”
I realized that Srila Prabhupada is so perfect that he always spoke on the basis of scriptures. At the same time, because of his tremendous compassion and humility, he could say just the right thing in the right way to deeply touch the heart of the listener.

Now whenever I walk on Juhu Beach and see the different types of dogs — those with masters and those without — I remember Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and pray that I will always remember Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and pray that I will always remain Srila Prabhupada’s dog.   (From the “Watering the Seed” by HH Giriraja Swami Maharaja)

Isn’t it simply wonderful! So we are all  ‘sanath’, protected under the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada in ISKCON. We should be confident that under his protection we will be saved from all kinds of dangers and we will make  rapid progress towards our spiritual goal- Krishna Prema. But our mood should that we want to serve Srila Prabhupada by being his faithful dog and we can do that by-

  1. sincerely building a relationship with him.
  2. reading his books daily, hearing his lectures.
  3. following, and practically applying, his instructions in terms of our sadhna bhakti, book distribution, preaching, etc.
  4. serving the devotees and cooperating with each other
  5. always remaining in ISKCON.

As we slowly build a personal relationship with Srila Prabhupada, receive reciprocation, and develop a firm faith in him, we will personally experience how this so called ‘material world’ which was earlier ‘duḥkhālayam’ (a place of miseries)  for us, slowly starts turning into ‘su-sukhaṁ’ (very happy) all around us. Srila Prabhupada came here for us, to relieve us from our suffering condition. (press here to read this pastime in an earlier blog)

 

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

 

Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana.

Hare Krishna.

2nd Oct., 2015. Gurgaon.

Radha Gopinath, Jaipur

(Sri Radha Gopinatha closeup)

According to the Vedic principles, there are three stages of spiritual advancement, namely, sambandha-jñāna, abhidheya and prayojana. Sambandha-jñāna refers to establishing one’s original relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, abhidheya refers to acting according to that constitutional relationship, and prayojana is the ultimate goal of life, which is to develop love of Godhead (premā pum-artho mahān). If one adheres to the regulative principles under the order of the spiritual master, he very easily achieves the ultimate goal of his life. A person who is addicted to the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra very easily gets the opportunity to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. ( CC Adi 7.73P)

Sri Govindaji acts exactly like the siksa-guru. He is the original preceptor, for Govindaji gives us instructions and an opportunity to serve Him. The diksa-guru is a personal manifestation of the Sri Madana-mohana vigraha. Both of these Deities are worshiped at Vrindavana. Srila Gopinatha is the ultimate attraction of spiritual realization.” (CC Adi 1.47p.)

Sambandha

(Sri Radha Madan Mohan, Karauli)

Srila Sanatana Goswami is the acharya of sambandha, the process of understanding our relationship with Lord Krishna.  The deity for Sambandha is Madan Mohan.

By receiving the mercy of the Radha-Madana-mohana Deity, and by studying the writings of the sambandha-acharya Srila Sana­tana Gosvami, a devotee will attain sambandha-jnana, or knowledge of one’s spiritual identity and his eternal relationship with Sri Krishna. Srila Prabhupada states, “Madana-mohana, Sanatana Gosvami’s Deity, helps us progress in Krishna consciousness. In the execution of Krishna consciousness, our first business is to know Krishna and our relationship with Him, which we can learn by worshiping the Madana-mohana vigraha.”

Abhidheya

(Sri Radha Govind Devji, Jaipur)

Srila Rupa Goswami is the acahrya of abhidheya and he reveals how to execute devotional service. His Deity of Radha-Govindaji accepts service and gives inspiration for increasing surrender on the path of bhakti-yoga. By writing many books Srila Rupa Gosvami has very kindly established the scientific basis of bhakti. “Everyone should read this book, Nectar of Devotion, very attentively, because all the conclusive statements about the Kingdom of Bhakti are contained in this transcendentally valuable book. It is the essence of all Vedic scriptures enlightening about Krishna consciousness. If anyone reads this Nectar of Devotion very carefully, he will have all guidance in the Bhakti Cult.” (Srila Prabhupada lecture 6/27/70)

Prayojana

(Sri Radha Gopinatha, Jaipur)

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami is our prayojana acharya. The Gopinatha Deity is Krishna as master and proprietor of the gopis, the totally surrendered devotees . The Gopinatha Deity represents the prayojana-tattva (truth about life’s ultimate goal”pure love of Krishna. Srila Raghu­natha dasa Gosvami accepts the lotus feet of Srila Rupa Gosvami as his highest aspiration. He thus reveals the way to attain the perfection of one’s loving relationship with Sri Krishna. Through humble prayers and service to the Radha-Gopinatha Deity, and by imbibing the teachings and mercy of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, a devotee can quickly advance in devotional service and ultimately attain the goal of life, prema-bhakti. (MNS)

“The Gaudiya Vaisnavas who follow strictly in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu worship the Divinity by chanting transcendental sounds meant to develop a sense of one’s transcendental relationship with the Supreme Lord (sambandha), and reciprocation of mellows of mutual affection (abhidheya), and ultimately, the achievement of the desired success in loving service (prayo­ja­na). These three Deities (Madana-mohana, Govindaji, Gopinatha) are worshiped in three different stages of one’s development. The followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu scrupulously follow these principles of approach.” (CC Adi 1.19p.)

In a seminar on bhakti culture HG Srimati Mataji shared three most beautiful verses to describe our relationship with Lord at above three stages, they are most practical for an aspiring devotee. We can recite these verses daily, also before our japa and even during the middle of our japa when the attentiveness seems to slip away. I am trying, and struggling, to follow the same but still reaping some benefits inspite of all my handicaps.

On Sambandha:

caitanyera dāsa muñi, caitanyera dāsa

caitanyera dāsa muñi, tāṅra dāsera dāsa

“I am a servant of Lord Caitanya, a servant of Lord Caitanya. I am a servant of Lord Caitanya, and a servant of His servants.” (cc Adi 6.86)

On Abhidheya:

daśa aparādha yena hṛdaye nā paśe
kṛpā kara mahāprabhu maji nāma rase

O Mahäprabhu, please be merciful to me so that the ten offenses never touch my heart, and I can always remain absorbed in the rasa of the Holy Name. (Harinäma Chintamani 13.59 Bhaktivinoda Thäkura)

On Prayojana:

“prema-dhana vinā vyartha daridra jīvana

‘dāsa’ kari’ vetana more deha prema-dhana”

“Without love of Godhead, My life is useless. Therefore I pray that You accept Me as Your servant and give Me the salary of ecstatic love of God.” (cc Adi .20.37)

As I write this blog, a verse which Krishnadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, wrote, comes to my memory

vande caitanya-devaṁ taṁ bhagavantaṁ yad-icchayā
prasabhaṁ nartyate citraṁ lekha-raṅge jaḍo ’py ayam

I offer my respects to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by whose desire I have become like a dancing dog and suddenly taken to the writing of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, although I am a fool. (cc Adi 8.1)

I humbly seek forgiveness for any mistakes in compiling on this topic.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.