Same object of worship but different destinations

By Radhacharan Das - 13.2 2020

From Ragavartma Chandrika text 12: Srila Vishvanath Chakravarty Thakura States:-

Worshipping oneself as the Supreme Lord, using mudras (making ritualistic signs with the hands) or nyasa, meditating on Krisna’s pastimes in Dvaraka, worshipping Krisna’s Queens in Dvaraka are practices not to be done by a raganuga sadhaka, although they may be described in the Vedic scriptures. If, on the path of devotion, there is a slight deficiency on the part of the devotee, that will not be a fault; that can be seen in the scriptures. In the Eleventh Canto of Srimad Bhagavata the Nine Yogendras tell king Nimi: “O King! A person who takes shelter of the path of devotion will never be in danger.

Even if he runs over this path with his eyes closed he will not trip or fall!” The Lord Himself also tells Uddhava (in Srimad Bhagavata 11.29.20): “O Uddhava! In this endeavour of devotion to Me there can not be even the slightest loss or destruction!” There is a fault in failing to practise the angis (vital items of bhajana), though. The word yan in the former verse means that one must take shelter of the angis of bhagavata dharma, like hearing and chanting. It is also said (in the Narada Pancaratra) that that exclusive devotion to Lord Hari that does not follow the rules and regulations prescribed by the srutis, smritis, Puranas, or the Narada Pancaratra, is simply causing disturbance. If someone, overcome by spiritual greed, begins on the path of bhajana, but still feels that it is not proper to give up all rules prescribed by the revealed scriptures, even if they are unfavorable to his own (sweet, spontaneous) ecstasy, and meditates on Dvaraka-lila etc., then he will attain the transcendental position of an associate of Lord Krisna’s Queens in Dvaraka. This is confirmed in the scriptures (Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu 1.2.303): “One who has the great desire to make love with the Lord, but who worships Him solely with vidhi bhakti, will become a Queen in Dvaraka.” The word kevala in this verse means kritsnenaiva, or not giving up any unfavorable item of his practice, such as worshipping the Queens in Dvaraka and being exclusively dedicated to the path of vidhi bhakti. The Amara Kosa-dictionary confirms that the word kevala can mean kritsna: nirnite kevalam iti trilinga tv eka kritsnayo. Still, we can not suggest that, just as if one worships exclusively in vidhi marga one will become Lord Krisna’s Queen in Dvaraka, so one will attain Krisna in the abode of Mathura by practising a mixture of vidhi bhakti and raganuga bhakti. How can one, after all, become a Queen in Mathura like in Dvaraka? If you answer: You will become an associate of Kubja in Mathura, then I will say that this is unfair. (After all, the rasa of Kubja with Krisna is inferior to the rasa of the Queens of Dvaraka. This is explained in Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Ujjvala Nilamani). How then can one get something inferior through the practice of mixed vidhi-raga bhakti, which is superior to plain vidhi bhakti? The Gopala Tapani Upanisad proves that Rukmini was married in Mathura. One verse of the Gopala Tapani Sruti states: “Vibhu Sri Krisna, Balarama, Aniruddha, Pradyumna and Rukmini eternally dwell in Mathura”. Therefore the explanation that one will become an associate of Rukmini in Mathura as a result of mixing vidhi bhakti with raga bhakti is also not reasonable, because not everyone confirms that Rukmini is married in Mathura. How can one become an associate of Kubja or Rukmini after worshipping Sri Radha-Krisna? That is a second injustice. Actually, when one follows vidhi marga prompted by sacred greed, that is called raganuga bhakti, and when one follows vidhi marga and is prompted by scriptural injunctions, that is called vidhi bhakti. When one worships Krisna without following the rules set out by the srutis, smritis and Puranas, (as the aforementioned verse from the Narada Pancaratra proves) then that is considered a social disturbance.

Kripa-kanika Vyakhya by Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj:

Here the blessed author mentions the kind of conduct that works against the feelings desired by the raganugiya sadhakas. ahagropasana. That is, while engaged in formal worship, worshipping the Lord with a sense of nondifference: “I am Sri Krisna!”. mudra. To show signs to the demigods with both hands during formal worship. avahani, sthapani, sannidhapani, sannirodhani, sakalikarana, avagunthani, amritikarani and paramikarani – these eight mudras are being used. After that sankha, cakra, gada, padma, musala, sarnga, khadga, pasa, ankusa, garuda, srivatsa, kaustubha, venu, abhaya, vara and vanamala are shown. At the time of offering asana also special mudras are shown – padma, svasti, artha, padya, acama and others, totalling sixteen. nyasa – There are many, like matrika-nyasa (sad-anga nyasa), anta matrika nyasa, bahya matrika nyasa, sahara matrika nyasa, pitha-nyasa, risyadi nyasa, anga nyasa, kara nyasa, vyapaka nyasa and so on. Although meditation on Dvaraka, worship of Rukmini and other Queens and other practices have been mentioned by the Vedic scriptures these items of worship should not be practised by a raganugiya sadhaka during their formal worship, since they oppose the feelings of the raganugiya sadhakas.One may ask here: “Will there not be a fault by thus not following the Vedic injunctions?” To this the author answers: “Even though there may be some discrepancies or loss in the different items of bhakti sadhana, there will be no fault in that!”

To prove this the blessed author quotes a verse from Srimad Bhagavata: yanasthaya naro rajan na pramadyeta karhicit dhavan nimilya va netre na skhalen na pated iha (11.2.35) Sripada Kavi Yogindra told Maharaja Nimi: “O King! A person who takes shelter of this theistic path (bhagavata dharma) will never be bewildered. Even if he transgresses the scriptural injunctions while treading this bhakti path, he will not stumble or fall.” The blessed author writes in his Sarartha Darsini Tika to this verse: yatha padanyasa sthanam atikramya parata pada nyasena gatir dhavana tasyalpatve skhalana bahutaratve patanam api sambhavet atra tu bhakti marge bhajana dharmasyangino vihitangana alpataratikrame bahutaratikrame va karma marga iva na pratyavayi bhavet. ata phalan na bhrasyet, tatrapi netre nimilyeti vartamane api netre mudrayitvetyanena jnatvapyatikrame na dosa kim utajnatveti jnapitama “Overrunning the place of one step to proceed to the next place is called dhavana (running), and it is possible to fall after tripping even a little. If a person makes a few small mistakes or many mistakes on the path of devotion, which consists of items like hearing and chanting, he will not fail or be hampered like on the path of karma, and he will also not be deprived of the result. It is described that even though one may have eyes one may run with eyes closed. If a sadhaka knowingly overlooks or ignores one particular item of devotion, he will still not be at fault. Then it is needless to say that he does not commit a fault when he acts out of ignorance.

The Lord told His dear devotee Sri Uddhava with His own lotusmouth: nahyangopakrame dhvaso mad bhakter uddhavanvapi (Bhag. 11.29.20) “O Uddhava! From the very outstart this religion of devotion to Me cannot bring even the slightest ruination due to faults committed by the practitioner!” Although there is no fault on the path of devotion due to a lapse or a failure in one of its limbs, still there will be a fault if one makes a failure in the angis (main limbs of devotion) such as arcana (formal worship), or if one acts in a contrary way. It is said before; yanasthaya. The word yan in this verse means that if there is a failure in the proper execution of the angis hearing and chanting of bhagavata dharma, while one attempts to follow them correctly, there is no fault, but if one fails to execute the angis like hearing and chanting altogether one will certainly be at fault.

In the Brahma Yamala it is said: sruti smriti puranadi pancaratra vidhi vina aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate “If one violates the devotional principles that have been defined by the Srutis, Smritis, Puranas and Pascaratra, and concocts some new path of unalloyed devotion, he will simply cause social disturbance.” The purport of this is that devotional practices that do not correspond with the definitions and divisions given in the aforementioned scriptures, that have been narrated by realized sages with flawless visions, are not accepted as bonafide devotional practices. This is because all the transcendental truths are revealed to the sages, who are endowed with superior vision. Therefore when some new kind of devotion is revealed that is not mentioned by them, then this is considered a social disturbance, since it certainly violates the basic principles of devotion (mula angis). Thus the verse from the Yamala defines that there is a fault in improper execution of devotion.

It has been described that scriptural injunctions prompt vidhi bhakti and sacred greed prompts raganuga bhakti, and that the raganugiya sadhakas that have become greedy after the love of Vraja also do bhajana according to the scriptural injunctions. When one begins bhajana, being overwhelmed by sacred greed, but still practises items that have been mentioned as unfavorable to one’s own feelings in raga marga, such as meditating on Dvaraka, thinking: “It is not proper to give up all activities enjoined by the scriptures”, then one will attain the position of an assistant of the Queens of Dvaraka pura.

To prove this, the blessed author quotes a verse from Sri Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu: rirasa susthu kurvan yo vidhi margena sevate kevalenaiva sa tada mahisitvam iyat pure (B.R.S. 1.2.303) “A person who desires to make love with Sri Krisna, but serves only through the vidhi marga, will attain the position of a Queen of Dvaraka.” The blessed author has personally commented upon this verse. Here the word kevala means kritsnenaiva, or to the full extent. This means that one does not give up even one item of pure vidhi marga sadhana that may be unfavorable to one’s own desired mood, like worshipping the Queens that are situated in Dvaraka-dhama. The word kevala means kritsna. This is described with the words trilinganteka kritsnayo in the Amara Kosa, from the verse nirnite kevalam iti. If someone wants to give the following explanation that: “Simply by sticking to vidhi marga sadhana one will become a maidservant of the Queens of Dvaraka, and when one mixes raga marga sadhana with vidhi marga bhajana one becomes an associate of the Queens of Mathura, then this is completely illogical and incompatible, for this kind of explanation would arouse all kinds of questions.

The first question is: Just as it is understood that becoming an associate of the Queens of Dvaraka means becoming an associate of Queens like Rukmini, which queen’s servants are we supposed to become in Mathura? If the answer to this is that you are understood to become an associate of Kubja-devi, then that is completely unjust, because the rasa-sastras proclaim that the rasa of Kubja-devi is inferior to that of the Queens like Sri Rukmini. Dvaraka’s Queens have ‘samanjasa rati’ and Kubja has ‘sadharani rati’. Sadharani rati is the abode of sambhogeccha (desires for personal sexual satisfaction), while samanjasa rati may occasionally be interrupted by sambhogeccha; from this we can understand that samasjasa rati is to be considered better than sadharani rati. Then again, if one attains the status of associate of Rukmini in Dvaraka by following only vaidhi bhakti, and one attains the status of associate of Kubja in Mathura by following a mixture of raga bhakti and vidhi bhakti, then the following of only vaidhi bhakti would bring forth a greater result than following a mixture of raga bhakti and vaidhi bhakti, and that would be very unfair – of this there is no doubt. ramaniruddha pradyumna rukminya sahito vibhu: “The omnipresent Sri Krisna eternally dwells in Mathura-dhama with Sri Baladevacandra, Sri Aniruddha, Sri Pradyumna and Sri Rukminidevi. If, in accordance with this sentence from the Sri Gopala Tapani Sruti, one says: “Sri Rukmini-devi was married in Mathura, therefore as a result of mixing raga bhakti with vidhi bhakti one can become an associate of the Queen known as Sri Rukmini”, then this is also not correct, for not everyone agrees that Rukmini was married in Mathura.

If this was to be accepted another great incongruity would arise, for if a worshipper of Sri Radha-Krisna would attain Kubja-rani or the status of an associate of Rukmini-devi, that would be another kind of injustice. In his commentary on the verse of Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu here under discussion, the blessed author has written: yesa tu vrindavane radha-krisnayor madhuryasvadane’bhilasa athaca nyasa mudradi vaidhi marganusarena bhajana tesa dvarakaya na rukmini-kantasya praptis tatrabhilasabhavat. na va vrindavane sri radha-krisnayo prapti raga margena bhajanabhavat. tasmat tesa vidhi margena bhajana karyasya aisvarya jnanasya pradhanya yatra yathabhutasya sri vrindavanasyase goloke sri radha-krisnayo prapti na tu suddha madhuryamaye vrindavane iti jneyam “If someone desires to make love with Sri Krisna without eagerly longing for things related to that, such as Vraja, and does not give up items of worship such as worshipping the Queens or meditating on Dvaraka, however unfavorable they may be, and thus serves in the vidhi marga (through meditation and practice of the mantra of gopikanta), he will become an associate of the Queens of Dvaraka. Those who desire to relish the sweetness of Sri-Sri Radha-Krisna in Sri Vrindavana but still practise vidhi marga bhajana with items such as nyasa and mudra, will not attain Dvaraka, because they do not desire Rukmini-kanta. On the other hand, because they do not practise the pure raga marga bhajana they also do not attain Sri Radha-Krisna in Vrindavana. Therefore such a practitioner of vidhi marga bhajana will attain Sri-Sri Radha-Krisna in Sri Goloka, in the sector of Sri Vrindavana where the majesty of Krisna prevails – not the purely sweet Vrindavana. Srimat Rupa Gosvami has described Goloka as a vaibhava (majestic manifestation) of Gokula.

Actually when one follows vidhi marga, but is prompted by sacred greed, this bhajana is called raga marga, and when one practises vidhi marga bhajana prompted by scriptural injunctions then this is called vidhi marga. In Sri Narada Pancaratra worship of Sri Krisna that is not based on the regulative principles is described as a social disturbance. Especially as long as genuine taste for the expert passionate love of the eternal Vrajavasi-associates has not arisen, the raganuga-path mixed with vidhi must be followed. Ruci or lobha means that having no taste for anything else but the worship of Krisna, purely for His pleasure. The constitutional characteristic of this is hearing from the scriptures what it is that Sri Krisna likes, and worshipping accordingly with great eagerness and thirst or sacred greed, and the marginal characteristic is losing taste for everything else but that.

sakala jagate more kare vidhi-bhakti | vidhi-bhaktye vraja-bhava paite nahi sakti || aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita | aisvarya-sithila-preme nahi mora prita || (cc 1.3.15-16)

“Everyone in this world worships Me through vidhi-bhakti. Vidhi-bhakti has no power for attaining the feelings of Vraja. The devotion of the world is mixed with knowledge of My divine prowess. I do not delight in love diluted with prowess.”