sei bhakta-gana haya dvi-vidha prakara
parisad-gana eka, sadhaka-gana ara
Types of Devotees
Pure devotees are of two types: personal associates [parisats] and neophyte devotees [sadhakas].
Perfect servitors of the Lord are considered His personal associates, whereas devotees endeavoring to attain perfection are called neophytes. Among the associates, some are attracted by the opulences of the Personality of Godhead, and others are attracted by nuptial love of Godhead. The former devotees are placed in the realm of Vaikuntha to render reverential devotional service, whereas the latter devotees are placed in Vrndavana for the direct service of Sri Krsna.
Here the categories of great devotees are given. It is explained that the sadhaka is the neophyte devotee who is advancing on the basis of following regulative principles for the purpose of allowing the natural attraction for Krishna to take place. And Lord’s personal associates are those pure devotees who have attained the perfection of life in the sense, that they are attracted by the natural instincts to the loving service of the Lord. And here it is descried that such pure devotees are categorized as those who are attracted by the opulence of the Personality of Godhead and others who are attracted by the natural love of the Godhead,it means very intimate. So the former is placed in the dham of Vaikuntha.
Vaikuntha is that place where those pure souls who have completely immersed in the loving surrender to the Lord dwell having the same bodily features as the Lord as His eternal servitor. In the Vaikuntha planets everyone recognizes that Narayan is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the absolute truth and how infinitely blissful it is that they never have to suffer birth and death, they never have to suffer old age or disease. In pure spiritual bodies they reciprocate loving service to the Lord. The Lord is the supreme master and they are the eternal loving servants. This is vaikuntha dham, the spiritual world.
But it is descried in Brahma samhita and also explained here by Srila Prabhupada that of all the vaikuntha planets- Goloka is considered as the highest of all spiritual realms, because there, the sense of awe and reverence is forgotten due to an intensification of ones intimate affection for Lord Shri Krishna. And in Goloka Vrindavan essentially there are three rasas, sakhya rasa, vatsalya rasa and madhurya rasa. Loving friendship, love as a parent as well as love as a conjugal lover. It is described that even the servants of the Lord are mixed with these higher, more intimate affections. In vaikuntha no one considers himself to be Narayan’s friend, what to speak of His parent or His lover. They are all His eternal obedient servants and worship Him with love.
There are many vaikuntha planets. Each of the ten avatars, in fact all of the great avatars, have their own vaikuntha planet. There is the vaikuntha planet where Lord Narsighdev is the supreme. There is a vakuntha planet for Vamandeva, for Parashuram, for Lord Ramchandra. Those devotees who become purified in worshiping them in this world they return to that vaikuntha planet of the lord whom they consider their worshipable ishtadev for all of eternity.
So where the eternal Lord of Ayodhya ,Lord Shri Ram is residing, it is a very high vaikuntha planet. There we find Hanumanji, who is the eternal servant of Ram, and simply wants to obediently engage in Ram’s service day and night, carry out whatever order he has. He does not consider himself as the friend of the Lord. He considers himself simply the most fortunate of all living beings, because he is ever allowed by the grace of Ram to engage in his obedient service. Such an exalted position. This is awe and reverence.
But you see in Vrindavan such a servant as Hanuman would not fit, because in Vrindavan nobody is the obedient servant of Krishna.
It is explained by the goswamis, that in the house of Nand Maharaj or Nand gram, although He has servants in the dasya rasa, how they serve him. Nand maharaj and Yashoda, have their young cowherd boys who are like servants, you get this for Krishna, you do this for Krishna. They are house servants they are in dasya rasa.
But what do they do while serving Krishna, they joke with Him, they put their arms on Him, they embrace Him. This is the natural love of Vrindavan. There are no formalities amongst anybody. Even the peacocks, the birds, the trees, nobody in Vrindavan has a formal relationship with Krishna. Those apparently in shant rasa, dasya rasa, they are actually all mixed very intimately with sakhya rasa, vatsalya rasa and conjugal rasa. Therefore the sense of awe and reverence does not exist in vraja dham. This is the realm of Vaikuntha.
What to speak if Hanumanji went to Vrindavan and he would see the gopies chastising Krishna,he can never chastise Ram. He would see Krishna pouring his tears upon the feet of Radharani begging forgiveness, because she is angry with Him. How would Hanumanji tolerate his Ram in such a position what to speak of friends jumping on His back, playing with Him, defeating Him in wrestling. This is the difference between vaikuntha and goloka.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has come along with his eternal associates to bring this spirit of spontaneous loving devotion in the mood of the vrajvasis to this world. Actually in goloka Vrindavan there are five rasas in which the principle rasa in which Lord Krishna is served- neutrality (shant rasa),servitorship (dasya rasa), friendship (sakhya rasa), parental affection (vatsalya rasa), conjugal love (madurya rasa). In the conjugal love there are different neighborhoods in goloka, there is Mathura, Dwaraka, Navadwip, and Goloka Vrindavan. In the palace of Dwaraka, on this supreme planet Krishna is worshipped in conjugal love, what is called swakiya rasa, where he is married to His consorts. But in His original, highest form of love, Govinda, the conjugal rasa is in the parakiya mood, which means paramor and is considered to be the sweetest and highest expression that a jivatma, the eternal associates are reciprocating with Sri Krishna.
But factually in vrindavan everyone in all the rasas is tainted to some extent with this conjugal rasa because it is so prominent throughout the entire atmosphere, that every living being is influenced and is very much in love with Krishna by this. So therefore Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami is explaining the supreme most exalted position of worshiping Govinda in goloka vrindavan.
Throughout in this material world, this is a place of birth and death, it is a place of suffering. Karmakandis, they perform great tapasya and perform wonderful wonderful sacrifice and great pious activities and charities and take so many vows in order to attain higher levels of sense enjoyments in the heavenly planets. The vedas are divided essentially in these different categories and most of the vedas teach us karmakanda, the path of pious sense enjoyment through worshipping demigods, through performing charity, piety, sacrifice and pooja. We can attain chandraloka, indraloka, brahmaloka, where we could live millions sometimes billions of years and never have to suffer until our karma is exhausted and then we have to come back to this world
abrahma buvanal loka punar avartino arjuna..
Therefore Krishna says forget this karmakanda, it’s so temporary; it’s for the less intelligent.
Krishna says tri-vidham narakasyedam dvaram nasanam.
He says vedas mostly deal with karmakanda, they mostly deal with three modes of material nature, transcend these things, give them up Arjuna. One who is frustrated, after going up and down from the heavenly planets enjoying and suffering, one finally comes to the platform that this whole material world is a place of misery. Then one takes to the process of gyanakanda, through discrimination and through studying vedanta renouncing the pleasures of this world one can ultimately attain mukti.
Mukti means that level of consciousness which is millions of times more blissful in any pleasurable condition, even in heavenly planets because it is a place where you are situated at last in your eternal constitutional position, in the sense that you never have to see birth and death again. Sat-chit-ananda, you have attained sat- eternal life.
But as it is explained in the Bhagavatam, arujya tisthen param padam tataha, that eventually because this soul is pleasure seeking, it has not found the love that it is looking for in mukti, so it comes down again in this material world. From karmakanda to gyanakanda, some people in the middle they follow the principles of the vedas, astangakanda, where they want to attain great mystic powers. There are eight mystic siddhis that one can attain. Prapti siddhi where you can take anything from anywhere, if you want you can get the soma nectar from the moon. Srila Prabhupada knew one man who had prapti siddhi. If somebody wanted a pomegranate from Kabul, Afghanisthan then within seconds he produced it. This is prapti siddhi. Anima siddhi, laghima siddhi, you can become smaller than the smallest, bigger than the biggest. You can read another person’s mind, you can get control of other people’s lives, you can create planets. These are some of the eight mystic perfections.
But ultimately they are all temporary. So after that frustration one seeks out mukti. Even mukti is not our constitutional position. After seeking that one takes to the path of Upasanakanda.
These are the four principles kandas or paths within the vedas- karmakanda (fruitive activity), astangakanda (mystic power), gyanakanda or mukti and upasanakanda which is the path of Bhakti. When one perfects the path of bhakti, there are two levels, one will be elevated to the vaikunta where we worship the Lord in awe and reverence and the other is to attain the highest of realm of the vaikunta, which is goloka vrindavan, where one is simply worshipping Krishna in the most intimately pure love.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Grace
The followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu headed by Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami who has given us his life, in teaching in its most authoritative form, the most exalted characteristics of what Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given to the world.
Swarup damodar goswami prayed that this beautiful Supreme Personality of Godhead who has appeared like the moon, coming from ocean of the womb of mother Sachi, has come to bestow upon the world what no one else has ever done, Access into the conjugal loving relationships to Lord Sri Krishna in Goloka Vrindavan.
We know that there are many pious people and there are many religious people who are teaching various forms of spirituality to various religions around the world.
Krishna says sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah, abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto me.
In kaliyuga, most of the so called religious teachers are not teaching surrender to God, they are teaching karmakanda. You will get nice material benefits if you worship god and you will also be saved in the end. People follow such persons because they want better material life and they want some sense of security of the hereafter.
Here in India we find many gurus teaching the astangakanda, how to attain mystic powers, how to perform miracle through breath control, through manipulations of one’s life airs, through tapasya, fasting and so forth. We also find many spiritual teachers who are teaching ultimately the goal of life is salvation or mukti. and people strive through births after births after births to attain such a level. It very very rare to find one who is teaching pure devotion. But mostly everyone is teaching pure devotion in the mood of awe and reverence in vaikuntha. Therefore in relationship to interfaith we understand that God is one and anyone who is teaching without adulteration what is in various scriptures of the world they are teaching real religion and therefore we offer all respects to such a person.
At the same time, we should be very joyful in knowing comparatively, what Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his divine associates are giving. They are giving the most pure essence of the highest realizations of that one Supreme Godhead, how to love Krishna as a friend, as a parent, as conjugal lover. Of course in neophyte position most of us are somehow or other struggling within. We may not be able to artificially imitate this high levels of realizations but we can understand the exalted nature of the acharyas who are on this position. We could pray that for the rest of eternity, we can take the dust of the lotus feet of such exalted persons upon our head and follow in their footsteps and ultimately by their mercy it is guaranteed that we will also be given entrance into the lila of Sri Sri RadhaGopinath in the spiritual realm of Goloka.
After describing this, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami is about to explain in next several verses the different categories of incarnations of Godhead. Krishna is known as Avatari that means he is the source of all incarnations. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is also considered as Avatari he is source of all incarnations. He has just explained the avatari, his nature, and types of devotees who realized the avatari in his various forms, and now he is about to explain the various incarnations of the Lord, how He reveals Himself within this material world, as well as in the upper worlds. In the spiritual world this is a very interesting subject matter.
Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur explains that if one very carefully studies categorically, the various incarnations of Godhead, his partial incarnations, qualitative incarnations, his empowered incarnations such a person becomes purified of all material desires and attains love of Godhead. When we first study it appears very complex how, where , why the Lord is manifesting Himself in many wonderful ways, but actually if it is presented systematically according to the shastra with a careful explanation, it will not only satisfy the mind but will give great satisfaction to the heart. We can see how Krishna is so infinitely great and because of his infinite love for the conditioned souls he reaches out to our hearts by expanding Himself in so many wonderful ways. And by His lila, He is simply expanding the pleasures of the spiritual world.
Beginning Monday we will begin to describe various categories of the incarnations of godhead and I would like it if someone could give me some sort of either board or black board something, we have to make some sort of charts. Without charts it is very difficult to visualize and understand how these various incarnations relate to one another. I may need four boards, just card board and white sheets something that’s big and can rolled when you are not using it. Monday we will enter into the realm of the Lord’s various incarnations. Thank you very much.
Adhau shraddha… what does adhau mean? In the beginning, adhau shradhha tatha sadhu sanga ,bhajan kriya, this means that beginning this way, by the mercy of Krishna, one is let into the association of devotees. Ishwara sarva bhutanam hrddeshe arjuna tishthati Krishna is in everyone’s heart. By the mercy of Krishna, when He sees that there is little spark of faith, He directs us to the association of devotees. He is the one that brings us into the association of devotees. Beside what Radhakrishna prabhu was saying so many people met Prabhupada, nobody meets Prabhupada by accident. It is only by the mercy of Krishna one gets guru whether you accept or not that is your choice but it is only by the mercy of Krishna that one gets guru. So only by the mercy of Krishna that one can have the association of sadhus. When Krishna sees that there is some desire perhaps created by previous associations of last life’s, by some development of religiosity in our last life, by often times its by agynat sukruti when we even unknowingly appreciate a devotee or unknowingly give some donation or appreciate someone that creates a spark of faith in sublime process of bhakti in our heart, and when that spark is there Krishna from within the hearts directs us to sadhu satsanga.
In beginning there is that little faith, then in the association of devotees it is explained in the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self realization. This would bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. That is bhajan-kriya. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master one becomes free from all material attachment that is anartha-nivrutti, that means all unwanted things are cleansed from our heart. Then one attains steadiness, steadiness means nishtha means our faith becomes unshakable. Then one acquires higher taste param drstva nivartate which is ruchi. That higher taste is the beginning of raganuga bhakti, spontaneous devotional service. But please understand that raganuga bhakti is still under the category of sadhana.
Sadhana bhakti has two categories vaidhi bhakti and raganuga bhakti.
Vaidhi bhakti means you really have no taste or very little, if we are out of discipline and austerity , we accept those favorable and reject those unfavorable. The second part of sadhana bhakti is when we have no more anartha nivrutti, all of the unwanted desires are cleansed form our heart and we have a spontaneous taste for Krishna. We simply want to engage in his service. That is called ruchi. And then according to Rupa Goswami how does he word it ….yatha ruchis tatha, atha shaktis …that is explained in the teachings of Lord Chaitanya as rati or attachement . In the actual verse atha shaktis which means attachment tapobhavas, that develops into bhava. It is described in this literal translation after one acquires a taste in hearing about the Supreme Personality of Godhead that taste leads one forward to attachment for Krishna consciousness which is matured into bhava or the preliminary stage of love of God .And then prema, real love of God which is the highest perfectional stage of love. atha shaktis tatho bhavas tatha premabudanshati satak ayam premnat …….any questions…(question being asked)
You can not attain this love, by the mercy of Krishna and by the mercy of Guru. This level is revealed to you, simply by faithfully chanting the holy names and faithfully pleasing our spiritual master and Krishna. Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gives this realization. You cannot attain it, He gave it to Jagai and Madhai instantly. You don’t think He can give it to you. Do you think your fallen condition is so great that it is more powerful than God himself? That is another type of false pride. That I am so fallen that Krishna cannot give me the highest, that its beyond His power. My power of sin is greater than His power of deliverance. Yes we are most fallen and we have no power to even control our senses but if we surrender to Krishna and fall at the feet of Krishna and call out His holy name offenselessly and we call out the holy name of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu , then He delivers us. He is all powerful, he is patit-pavana. He can give the most degraded the highest gift of the prema bhakti. So we must understand these things because if we don’t understand these things we will not understand the power or the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And that’s why we are here, that’s ultimately the whole purpose of this class- to understand the power of the mercy of Lord Chaitnya Mahaprabhu . We cannot try to understand the power of His mercy on the basis of all relative conception of Him as an ordinary person like us and since I am so fallen He can’t do it. When we understand what heights of the gifts He has given to the lost fallen degraded creatures of earth then we understand that there in no one so beautiful so great and so merciful as God in this form of Sri Gauranga. Yes in this life you can attain this stage if you simply accept His mercy.
Lord Nityananda he was the most important _______ of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. And what did he say? Just accept the mercy of Lord Gauranga.
Bhaja Gaurango, kaho gaurango, laho gaurangera naam re, je jana gaurango sehai mora prana re. What does that mean? (someone answering). That’s how it is. That is all Nityananda taught. He sent millions of people, billions of people back to Goloka Vrindavan on the basis of this one little mantra Bhaja Gaurango, kaho gaurango. Just accept the name of Gauranga. Just take the mercy of Gauranga. That is the only qualification just take it, just accept it. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has come as a patit pavan.
Narottam das thakur has prayed patit pavan hetu tab avatar, mosam patit prabhu na paibe aar. This means Chaitanya Mahaprabhu you have come to give the most fallen and degreded people the highest realization of prema bhakti. But my claim is first I am the most fallen. So rather than being disturbed thinking that I am so fallen, how will I ever understand these highest understandings of love of God, rather than being disturbed you should be encouraged, you should be thinking that how infinitely merciful Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is, if I simple accept His mercy He will give me this. What do you think? We are reading Chaitanya charitamrita all this philosophy ultimately is meant to bring us to this one point of understanding the glory of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy and accepting it. By reading CC and by going through all this very deep philosophy we can have some glimpse of how great the mercy of Sri Gauranga is. This is the prayer of all the great acharyas, to Sri Gauranga.
Rupa Goswami prayed namo mahavadanyaya Krishnaprema pradayate, krishnay krishnachaitanya namine gaurtvishe namah. No other incarnation in the history of all the creations of all the universes is ever been so munificent manifest benefactor as You. You are giving the conjugal love of Krishna freely to anyone who accepts Your mercy. Even the most fallen. What is your mercy? To be the servant of your devotees and to sincerely chant Your holy names. You are giving us a simple process, and through this process you are giving the highest realizations which are unattainable even by Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. It is explained in the beautiful prayers that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has come to give it freely to everyone. Therefore Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami in one beautiful shloka of Chaitanya Charitamrita, he explains that just try to understand the mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and you will be astonished. What is that verse? (some devotee answering) what is the translation? (if you constantly think about the causeless mercy of Lord Chaitanya you will be astonished) (Maharaj laughing) Those who have some intellectual capacity, Krishnadas Kaviraj invites please try to apply your good intelligence to understand the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, because when you understand the nature of this mercy you will be astonished. There are many vaishnav schools and it is not a question of being arrogant or thinking we are better than you. But the gaudiya vaishnavas, because of this, the nature of this mercy which is revealed in the Chaitanya Charitamrita, in Chaitanya Bhagavata by Rupa and Sanatana, Raghunath das, Jiva Goswami, we understand that of all vaishnava schools to receive the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the most special, precious gift coming from above. Because by that causeless mercy the highest reaches down to the lowest, where there is no qualification necessary except one- to simply accept his mercy. There is no other qualification. If there is any other qualification what we are saying is true, what you are saying is absolutely true if we have to qualify ourselves to become prema bhaktis .But there is only one qualification.
Lord Nityananda said just take the name of Gauranga, just receive his mercy and you will be my life and soul. You see we are talking about the conjugal love affairs of Radha and Krishna, and when Nityananda prabhu was preaching He understood that the conjugal love of Radha and Krishna is so high that we cannot grasp it. People cannot understand it. Chaitnya Mahaprabhu was teaching how to attain the highest love of God in conjugal affection with Radha and Krishna. He was teaching that directly. But Lord Nityananda was thinking that people will not understand, they are too fallen, too degraded, they cannot enter into this conjugal love of Radha and Krishna. But if they just accept Lord Gauranga, they automatically attain that, because He is the embodiment of that conjugal love of Radha and Krishna within Himself. If you get the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, you have Their mercy, you have already entered into the conjugal love of Radha and Krishna.
Nitaichandra padakamlayor koti chandra sushitalapi.
Therefore it is explained by Narottam das Thakur, that if you attain the shade of the lotus feet of Lord Nitaynanda only then, will you enter into the realm of the conjugal love affairs of Radha and Krishna. Because Lord Nityananda is bringing to you the feet of Lord Gauranga, who is the embodment of Radha and Krishna’s conjugal love affairs.
The spiritual master is the representative of Lord Nityananda, so in this line coming down through Gaur-Nitai, if we simply receive the mercy and how to receive the mercy? Just by being a humble servant and following the instructions. You could do that. Can you not do that? Sometimes it might be hard for you, it might be difficult for you , but if you simply do that from your heart, and by the mercy of Lord Gaursundar all of the sins ,you are reading about will become an irrevocable realization within your own life. (some question) one should aspire to receive the cause less mercy of Sri Gauranga. (Maharaj laughs …..question) we cannot but by the grace of Gauranga we can. So we should simply try to attain the mercy of our spiritual master and try to attain the mercy of Lord Gauranga and understand that it is by their gift that this realization is coming, not our aspiration for that.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu simply aspired to be the servant of the servant of the servant. If you do that this will all be given to you. (Maharaj laughs….question) we should be pessimistic towards ourselves but optimistic toward mercy of guru and Gauranga. Isn’t that the way all the acharyas pray. (Maharaj laughs) Supreme hope. Rupa goswami said one must have hope against hope then you will achieve the mercy of Sri Gauranga. Therefore this is the supreme optimism. The ultimate mercy of God has descended like rain, we should be willing to expose our entire life to that downpour of love of God Krishna, Nitai-Gauranga have brought to this world.
param karuna pahu duijana nitai gaurchandra, sab avatara sar shiromani keval anandkand.
Lochana das thakur, who is also the author of Chaitanya Managala, one of the original biographis of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he wrote this bhajana. Param karuna pahu duijana nitai gaurchandra, that the supreme param karuna, the supreme notion of mercy, supreme mercy is being distributed by following Lord Chaitanya. Chanting, dancing and feasting. By chanting, dancing and feasting you cannot attain love of god, but by chanting, dancing and feasting you can receive the mercy of Lord Nityandanda and Lord Gaurchandra. Then they may give you that love of God. That is their mercy. That is what they have come for. We must understand the power of Their mercy. The Supreme personality of Godhead. We must dedicate our life to that. (some question) Because if you don’t consider yourself most fallen, you cannot reach out for mercy. Mercy is not for qualified people, if you are qualified for something, would it be mercy? What is the definition of mercy? You don’t deserve it, but you are getting it anyway. Right? If you go a store besides say we want to buy a Maruti van. We go to the store, we give Five lakhs and say “give me Maruti van”. They give you the van. Do you say” Oh, you are very merciful”? Do you say that? But what if you go the store and say “I have no money, but for my guru maharaj I want this van”. Then he says “oh, you don’t have to pay, just use it properly”. Then would you say that the person is merciful.
So what is the definition of mercy? You don’t deserve it, but you get it anyway. Not by your qualification but by the benevolence of the giver. That is what mercy means. If you think you are qualified there is no question of mercy. But if you consider yourself the most fallen, the most undeserving and you are on a proper state of consciousness by which the Lord will be merciful upon you. (some question) This all should be less.
(Question) spontaneous devotion.(question and discussion among devotees) Bhava is not part of sadhana bhakti. (discussion follows) yes…yes… not bhava, raga (discussion) sadhana means vaidhi bhakti and raga bhakti. (discussion follows) that is at higher level. Raganuga bhakti means the original. Raga also extends itself beyond sadhana bhakti. After all is there not attachment in the spiritual world? But it is beyond, the attachment that is mixed with bhava. To the point. it crystallizes into pure state of bhava and then prema, that attachment. (Devotee explains what maharaj is saying) yes it is. Everything is contained everywhere, when raganuga exists everything is being added to it. Do you think when you are primary (discussion) everything is included? But this is described in the raga.