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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Please read previous part one before.

On the path of Radha-Krishna bhakti bhajana, one must pass through nine steps or stages to reach the final goal, Krishna prema.

1) Beginning with faith in Sri Krishna (Shraddha); bhakti grows, deepens and progresses successively through the levels of:
2) Sadhu sanga;
3) Bhajana kriya (practicing nine limbs of Radha-Krishna hearing, chanting and remembering);
4) Anarthanivrtti (sensual, mental and emotional, purification);
5) Nishtha (firmness, strong conviction, enthusiasm and mental peace);
6) Ruchi (taste, joy and fulfillment in bhakti bhajana;
7) Asakti (strong attachment to Radha-Krishna with intense yearning to meet Them);
 Bhava (experience spiritual ecstasy, and intense desire to see and intimately serve Radha-Krishna along with occasional deep visions or even darshana;
9) Krishna prema (the final stage of perfect, transcendent loving bliss eternal, and constant rapturous Vrajamadhurya-lila immersions in one’s siddha.

One should be forewarned, however, that the fourth stage, anarthanivrtti (cessation of offenses and all bad habits), is the most difficult one to pass through. It may take lifetimes!

In Madhurya-kadambini (3.16,18), Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti explains exactly how aparadhas and anarthas i.e. offenses, unwanted obstacles and impediments gradually disappear from the mind and heart of the sincere sadhaka. He describes five stages in gradual cessation of all aparadhas and anarthas:

STAGES OF PERFECTION IN KRISHNA CONSCIOUNESS:

1) Partial—15% anarthas & aparadhas destroyed; Bhajankriya stage.At this stage one is 15% attached to serving and being with Krishna and 85% attached to enjoying his/her material body and senses. 15% Krishna consciousness v.s. 85% MAYA!
2) Pervasive—75% anarthas & aparadhas destroyed; Nishtha stage.At this stage one is 75% attached to serving and being with Krishna and 25% attached to enjoying his/her material body and senses. 75% Krishna consciousness v.s. 25% MAYA!
3) Almost complete—95% destroyed; Bhava stage. 95% Krishna consciousness v.s. 5% MAYA!
4) Complete—100% destroyed; Prema stage. 100% Krishna consciousness v.s. .0,01% MAYA!
Even here however, there is a slight chance anarthas may reappear. Sri Rupa Gosvami confirms this: “Yes, it’s true and possible that even at the stage of bhava or prema, one may commit an aparadha if one offends a great devotee of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Krishna presthaaparadhatah.”(Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu 1.3.54)
5) Absolute—100/100% destroyed; 100% Krishna consciousness v.s. 0,00% MAYA!

For the fully realized Krishna premibhakta, the cessation and destruction of ALL ANARTHAS AND APARADHAS IS ABSOLUTE because one has received the complete mercy Sri Krishna along with His direct seva and association (sakshad seva & sanga). There is not even the slightest chance for the appearance of anarthas or aparadhas. One has now attained the perfection of his/her human life and the final goal of Krishna consciousness.

Thus one can see that advancing in Radha-Krishna bhakti bhajana is a gradual process that may extend for many lifetimes.

In Sri Gita, Bhagavan Sri Krishna explains this point:“In the next life, one is automatically attracted to the type of sadhana bhajana one practiced in the previous life, pūrvābhyāsena tenaiva hriyate hy avaśo ’pi saḥ.”(Bhagavad Gita 6.44)
Sridhara Swami tika:“Thus struggling under the momentum of his former practice, the sadhaka gradually attains liberation in Krishna consciousness.”

Sri Krishna continues, “Unlike one’s previous life, the bhakti yogi will now strive for spiritual perfection with intense effort and become purified of his/her anarthas and aparadhas. Then after many births, one will finally attain perfection in Krishna consciousness, Krishna prema. (6.45)

prayatnād yatamānas tu, yogī saṁśuddha-kilbiṣaḥ
aneka-janma-saṁsiddhas, tato yāti parāṁ gatim

Sri Baladeva Vidya bhushana tika: “Due to fear of his previous obstacles, the sadhaka now makes even more effort in bhajana. And this additional effort purifies one of all material desires.”

Srila Prabhupada tika: “With determination, therefore, the bhakta begins his/her unfinished task, and thus one completely cleanses oneself of all material contaminations. When one is finally free from all contaminations, one attains the supreme perfection—Krishna consciousness.”

The principle of a gradual process also applies to the realization and perception of one’s Guru received or mentally conceived siddha svarupa, siddha deha. In the beginning, awareness of one’s eternal, transcendental female identity as Srimati Radharani’s loving loyal maidservant is slight, and bodily attachment is great. Gradually as one advances in meditation and receives more mercy from Sri Krishna and Sri Guru, he/she will more deeply identify with the siddha deha and Sri Radha’s seva, and simultaneously identify less with the external material body and enjoying material sense gratification.

The material body and siddha deha are like communicating vessels—more identity with body, less identity with siddha deha; or more identity with siddha deha, then less identity with one’s temporary material body.

In this regard, Srila Prabhupada said, “The more we make progress in Krishna consciousness, this ‘my consciousness and I consciousness’ will vanish. So this is a natural consequence. And as soon as you begin to eat, your weakness will disappear along with your hunger and satisfaction will come.

“Similarly, these two things cannot stand together, maya and Krishna. If I am in Krishna consciousness then there is no question of maya. It may be that I’m not fully Krishna conscious. Just like while eating it is not that immediately my hunger is satisfied; it takes a little time. Similarly, Krishna consciousness is a gradual process of advancement. That is the test. If I am still in illusion, then I should understand that my Krishna consciousness is not progressing. This is the test.” (folio: 670116CC.NYC)

Further, Srila Prabhupada said, “Material hankerings and spiritual advancement go ill together. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.27 tika) Material attachment and taking shelter of the lotus feet of Bhagavan Sri Krishna go ill together. Material attachment means ignorance of transcendental happiness under the shelter of Sri Krishna (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.12.27 tika). Increasing one’s love for Krishna is a gradual process. “(folio: TLK Verse 36)

In the next wonderful quote, Srila Prabhupada perfectly and beautifully explains the gradual journey to Krishna prema:
“The development of intimacy between Bhagavan Sri Krishna and the living entity happens by a gradual process of progressive devotional activities. Such a progressive march of transcendental devotion for Sri Krishna culminates in the attainment of loving service of Krishna, which is called prema in different transcendental varietgatedness called rasas, [astonishingly tasty, loving divine mellows].” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.37 tika)

The conclusion is that one must try his/her best to perform bhakti bhajana, all the while understanding that perfection does not come easy. One should think, “Krishna prema may come in one life, two or even ten lifetimes, but still I must attain this perfection no matter what! The joy, the peace and the fulfillment I have found so far in bhakti bhajana completely eclipses and surpasses all other pleasures I obtained by trying to enjoy my body and this mundane world.

“I am totally convinced that nothing else in this world but Krishna consciousness is so supremely beautiful, sweet, blissful, tasteful and fulfilling. I know that I am far, far away from Krishna prema perfection, yet I will keep moving on and on. I am sure that if not now then in some future life, my most loving and merciful Radha-Govinda Yugala will grant me Their sweet love, Their blissful darshana and Their tight, loving embrace!!!!

Bhakti bhajana ki jai! Radha-Govinda Yugala prema seva in Vrajanikunjas ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

One can experience, perceive and literally see transcendental phenomena i.e. the spiritual form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna or one’s own siddha svarupa according to the purity of one’s consciousness. Brahmaji says a sadhaka can directly see God, Bhagavan Sri Krishna, when the mind and eyes are fully purified and saturated with Krishna prema.
premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti (Brahma Samhita 5.38)

To enter fire one must become fire. Thus, if one wants to see the transcendental, madhurya prema svarupa of Vrajendranandan Sri Krishna, one must also have a form, heart, mind and eyes full of madhurya prema.

As GaudiyaVaisnavas we are aspiring for the absolute topmost of all conceivable and attainable goals of spiritual perfection i.e. Radha-Krishna prema, and the confidential service of Sri SriRadha-Krishna in the bowers of Vrindavanaas the loyal maidservant manjaris of SrimatiRadharani.

Such a lofty spiritual perfection will naturally demand the utmost sacrifice, dedication, determination, patience and enthusiastic endeavor continually sustained for possibly many life times. Yes, it’s true that spiritual success in Kali-yuga comes to one and all just by chanting Hare Krishna, dancing and honoring Krishna prasadam.

Although it may sound easy, IT IS NOT SO EASY! There are many levels and stages of purification that one must pass through before attaining the coveted goal of Krishna prema, wherein one will pass his/her days chanting and dancing with Krishna in Vrindavana!

When confronted by disciples disappointed over their slow progress, lack of spiritual advancement, and complete absence of any direct experiences of Sri Krishna, Srila Prabhupada repeatedly used the phrase “GRADUAL PROCESS” as seen in the following examples:
“Cleansing the heart is a gradual process, it doesn’t happen abruptly!”
“Krishna consciousness is a gradual process of realization and purification.”

This post will describe the ‘gradual process’ (anukramat) of spiritual advancement in Krishna consciousness, and the consequent seeing or perceiving of one’s individual eternal spiritual body (siddha deha/siddha svarupa).

One starts Krishna consciousness by hearing and reading to gain knowledge of Krishna, the practice, and the goal of bhakti sadhana. Transcendental knowledge helps us to perceive our eternal individual spiritual identity as atomic particles of consciousness—a soul, jivatma. Gradually purity and knowledge (aka Krishna consciousness)increases to a point wherein one can meditate on Sri Sri Radha-Krishna’s beautiful names, forms, qualities and sweet Vraja lilas.

Although moving from one level to the next may take many years OR EVEN MANY LIFE TIMES, the fact remains that bhakti sadhana has different stages (anukramat) which one must reach before attaining spiritual perfection in Krishna consciousness.

There are nine levels or stages in performing Krishna bhakti sadhana:
culturing faith – sraddha;
meeting a Vaisnava, hearing hari-katha, taking diksha, and serving Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas – sadhu sanga;
performing bhakti sadhana –bhajanakriya;
purification and inner peace – anarthanivritti;
steadiness and conviction – nishtha;
taste, inner joy and satisfaction – ruchi;
loving attachment and hankering to see Bhagavan Sri Krishna – asakti;
ecstatic spiritual emotions, experiences, and possibly a glimpse of Radha and Krishna – bhava;
overwhelming spiritual bliss and continual communion with Radha and Krishna – Krishna prema.

The Srimad Bhagavatam describes the ‘gradual process’ or the progressive steps to spiritual perfection as follows:

I. HEARING/READING ABOUT KRISHNA
(sraddha, sadhu sanga)

“With an attentive mind one should constantly hear, chant, remember and worship Bhagavan Sri Krishna who protects devotees.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.14)
tasmād ekena manasā, bhagavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca, dhyeyaḥ pūjyaś ca nityadā

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: One may ask, “The Bhagavata directs one to constantly hear about Krishna. But I have no interest or attraction for this. Even if I try to read spiritual books, I get no taste and just fall asleep. So how does one get the desire and a genuine taste to hear and read about Sri Krishna?”

The Bhagavata(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.16) answers:
“By nicely serving pure-hearted devotees (mahatsevanisevanat) one obtains four priceless benefits:
a. Taste for Harikatha (vasudevakatharuchi);
b. Strong faith;
c. Surrender to Guru;
d. Genuine desire to hear more Harikatha.”
śuśrūṣoḥ śraddadhānasya, vāsudeva-kathā-ruciḥ
syān mahat-sevayā viprāḥ, puṇya-tīrtha-niṣevaṇāt

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: Here the secret is revealed—it’s mercy. There is a mystic transference from the kind and compassionate heart of the sadhu bhakta into the mind and heart of the humble serving soul. You approach a saint and attentively, lovingly and carefully serve him.

Then the sweet heart of the sadhu melts, and he invisibly deposits into the vault of your heart some jewels from the vast treasure of his personal firm faith in Radha-GovindaYugala and his deep taste for hearing Harikatha. Your newly strengthened faith and taste attracts the attention of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who in turn comes to purify you and personally help you advance in spiritual life.

II. CHANTING GLORIES OF SRI KRISHNA (bhajanakriya, anarthanivrtti)
“By the mercy of the sadhu bhakta, one now hears and chants the beautiful and purifying topics of Sri Harikatha with taste and faith. Becoming pleased, Krishna as the Antaryami within (hṛdiantaḥ)personally removes all one’s obstacles and inauspiciousness (abhadrāṇividhunoti ).” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.17)
śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ, puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi, vidhunoti suhṛt satām

III. NISHTHA
“Daily hearing from and serving the beautiful Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavata devotees destroys all inauspiciousness to nil and brings steadiness in bhakti bhajana.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.18)
naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu, nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
bhagavaty uttama-śloke, bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: By serving bhaktas and Bhagavata, most of one’s namaaparadhas (abhadresu) diminish, and this continues till the stage of bhava bhakti. Anarthas are mostly destroyed, and one attains the stage of nishtha where one can easily concentrate on Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

IV. RUCHI & ASAKTI
“Gradually one becomes very fixed, steady, pure minded and free from lust, desire, greed, hankering and other qualities born of ignorance and passion.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.19)
tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ, kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
ceta etair anāviddhaṁ, sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: The mind is not disturbed or transformed (anaviddham) by the agitations of lust, greed and other qualities such as anger, illusion, and hatred arising from passion and ignorance, rajas, tamas.

In the stage of ruchi, one loses his/her taste and interest in material objects because one is relishing great happiness by hearing, chanting and remembering Radha and Krishna. After this, the mind becomes fixed (sthitam) in the transcendental form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and one attains the stage of asakti, which means continuous attachment and thinking of Radha and Krishna.

IV. BHAVA
“By the process of Krishna bhakti bhajana, one’s mind becomes enlivened and satisfied. One obtains clear, realized knowledge of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and freedom from all bad association.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.20)
Second translation: The mind becomes joyful and satisfied on attaining bhava or rati. Finally prema manifests along with complete detachment. The devotee then experiences the transcendental form, qualities, pastimes, powers and sweetness of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

evaṁ prasanna-manaso, bhagavad-bhakti-yogataḥ
bhagavat-tattva-vijñānaṁ, mukta-saṅgasya jāyate

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: As one becomes more and more attached to Sri Krishna and worships Him at every moment which is the stage of asakti. Afterwards, the stage of bhava bhakti appears (prasanna-manasao). Without having bhava bhakti, no one can be completely detached from the objects of material enjoyment.

And without constant detachment, one can never find mental satisfaction. Finally the long awaited Krishna prema appears (bhagavad-bhakti-yogatah). From that arises realization (vijñānaṁ) of the Sri Krishna’s form, qualities, pastimes, powers and sweetness.

V. KRISHNA PREMA
“The knots (ignorance) within the heart are completely cut out, and all doubts and karmic reactions are destroyed because one now sees his real self and His eternal Supreme Controller, Bhagavan Sri Krishna.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.21)
bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś, chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ
kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi, dṛṣṭa evātmanīśvare

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti: Ignorance which is the main knot in the heart is cut out, hrdaya-granthischidyante. All doubts, i.e. thinking that attaining Krishna prema is impossible, are destroyed. And all karmas are destroyed because one directly sees Bhagavan as the Paramatma, (atmani) in the mind (sphurti), and also externally with the eyes.”

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti summarizes the ‘gradual process’ to spiritual perfection in Krishna prema in fourteen steps:
1. mercy of devotees;
2. service to devotees;
3. faith;
4. surrender to guru;
5. desireto worship, serve and hear about Bhagavan Sri Krishna;
6. bhakti;
7. clearance of anarthas;
8. nishtha;
9. ruci;
10. asakti;
11. rati;
12. prema;
13. sphurti, seeing Sri Krishna;
14. madhuryaasvadana, experiencing and relishing the sweetness of Shyamasundara.

Krishna bhakti bhajanaki jai! Nava vidha bhakti ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

I took birth in an exciting life of Krishna consciousness 43 years ago from the mother of Srila Prabhupada’s wonderful transcendental books: Krsna Book, Nectar of Devotion and Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

For one year, I did not see or even know who my father was. Mama told me, “Your father is very busy traveling around the world expanding our family business of writing and distributing spiritual books. You will see him after some time.”

That didn’t matter so much anyway, because I myself was too busy being loved, fed and fattened by my Mama. In that tender first year of my life, mother showered me with so much compassion, patience and care.

I just can’t believe how she so slowly and personally taught me how to correctly think and desire, feel, love and act, not only for my own benefit, but interestingly enough for the benefit of everyone around me too. Believe it or not, after one year of being Mama’s wild, wining babe, I soon became a “fairly” good Krishna conscious kid.

Then Papa finally came home. “How radiant, down-to-earth, warm and compassionate,” I thought as I gazed upon his beautiful, golden transcendental form with my clear and innocent baby eyes.

Father picked me up, and held me tightly in his arms with the kind of embrace that says, “I will always be here to help you, protect you and guide you throughout your life. Don’t worry and don’t be afraid of anything!”

My little baby heart whimpered a reply, “Yes, father! I fully believe you. I will take shelter in your words, and always follow the transcendental teachings received from mother.”

Since we are often asked, “What do you think about Srila Prabhupada and his books?” This short story is my reply, along with the obvious fact that whatever I am and have attained, wherever I am, and wherever I am going it is…

ALL BECAUSE OF SRILA PRABHUPADA AND HIS WONDERFUL TRANSCENDENTAL BOOKS!”

Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental book distribution ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Before marrying Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the exceptionally elegant and stunningly beautiful Princess Sri Rukminiji sent a love letter to Sri Krishna expressing her desire for His hand in marriage.

Sri Rukmini beseeched, “O Krishnaji! You are certainly most difficult to attain! And I know that You cannot be gotten simply by the good acts of one birth. But if for many prior lives I have done any good deeds, with or without a desire to attain You, then please give me the results now so that I may attain You. I want nothing but this. This is my only prayer.

“O my dearest Ambujaksa Sri Krishna! If I don’t get Your mercy, then I’ll immediately die. Possibly then after hundreds of lifetimes of doing Krishna bhakti bhajana, I may obtain Your mercy.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.52.43)

Comments:

Sri Jiva Goswamipada: The Sanskrit verse phrase, sata janmabhih, “hundreds of lifetimes” actually means an indefinite number of lifetimes. In other words, Rukmini-devi is ready to continue performing Krishna bhakti bhajana for an unlimited number of births until she attains Bhagavan Sri Krishna!

Visvanatha Cakravartipada: Here Sri Rukmini-devi is saying, “O Sri Krishna! In this life I will practice celibacy and austerities to attain You in a future life. And if I don’t attain You then, I will keep doing penances for ten million more lifetimes. But I will never give up my desire to attain You.

“And if You say that I am too fallen and contaminated to achieve You, then let the dust particles of Your lotus feet purify and qualify me. If even then I don’t get Your mercy, then I will fast to death! I am ready to give up my life for hundreds of births until I attain Your mercy.” Srimati Rukminiji ki jai!

This is the ultimate in determination!

And that’s what it takes to attain Radha-Krishna prema and success in Krishna bhakti bhajana. Are you ready? Try to be like Princess Rukmini. Just think, “No matter what, come life or death, I will never quit and never stop trying to serve Radha and Krishna. “Maybe this life, the next, or in a thousand future lives I will be successful. Somehow, somewhere I WILL ATTAIN BY BELOVED Sri Krishna and His divine, beautiful sweetheart Srimati Radharani! I must!”

This is determined thinking, pukka sankalpa, do or die truth eternal.

Be it, think it, live it!

DETERMINATION IN BHAKTI!!!

How to get determination?

You can acquire firm determination in Krishna bhakti bhajana and deepen it by the following items.

  1. Be HONESTLY Dedicated to Sri Guru
  2. Genuinely WANT TO Serve and PLEASE Radha and Krishna
  3. Study Sastra to Strengthen Intellect: Patanjali Yoga Sutras (3.47) says determination is a feature of buddhi, intelligence. Thus you can increase your determination by DAILY studying Sri Gita, Bhagavata, and our Gaudiya Vaisnava sastras. This most important bhakti bhajana abhyasa [daily practice] will definitely sharpen and empower your buddhi, intellect, which then can handle and easily control your cancala mana, restless mind, and impetuous, overheated senses.
  4. Meet, Serve, Hear from Real Devotee Sadhus

Everywhere sastra say, satam prasangat mama virya samvidah (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.25), “By associating with genuine bhaktas [as described above] who speak Krishna katha (samvida), one will get power and determination.” (Bhagavan Sri Kapila)

  1. Do Austerities, Vratas, Vows and Penances like Ekadasi, Janmastami Jagarana, Siva Caturdasi, Karttika Vrata, etc.
  2. Follow FOUR VOWS [four dharmic principles of human life].

Srila Prabhupada said, “Determination comes by tapasya (penance, austerities). You will be determined if you follow the four rules of religious life [i.e. 1- no eating meat, fish, eggs, onions, garlic, etc. ; 2- no drinking coffee, tea, or taking intoxicants; 3- no man/woman intimacies beyond marriage; 4- no lotteries, card betting, gambling, etc.]

“But if you don’t follow them, then you will be a victim of Maya. The four rules and regulations are there to keep you fixed up in your determination. But if you don’t follow [the 4 rules], then you’ll fall down in MAYA!” (BBT Folio: 740110MW.LA)

One big cause of weak determination is excessive indulgence in sense gratification i.e. overeating or sleeping, too much lady/gent intimacies, and gramya katha i.e. prajalpa, useless talk and gossip. Regarding this Srila Prabhupada once said, “Loss of determination is due to excessive amorous enjoyment.” (Path of Perfection chp. 5)

Some encouraging words: “The practice of bhakti-yoga in Krishna consciousness may appear to be a very difficult job. But you follow the four religious principles with great determination, then Bhagavan Sri Krishna will surely help you, for Sri Krishna definitely helps those who help themselves.” (Srila Prabhupada, BBT Folio 760623GC.NV)

  1. Maintain Patience: Keep Cool and Push On

“Determination is a bodily affair. Determination means keep practicing Krishna consciousness with patience and perseverance. If you don’t immediately get results, don’t think, ‘Oh, what is this Krishna consciousness? I give it up.’ No, we must have determination and faith in Krishna words.” (Srila Prabhupada, Path of Perfection chp. 5)

Sri Rupa Goswamipada gives wonderful reassurance to one and all: “Determination combined with patience will definitely give you exceptional siddhi, or perfection in bhakti bhajana, niçcayät dhairyät, bhaktiù prasidhyati.” (Upadesamrta 3)

Srila Prabhupada said, “Determination means to continue performing bhakti bhajana with patience and perseverance. Don’t think, ‘I am not getting the desired result. So what is this Krishna consciousness, I give up!’ No don’t think like that. Don’t be impatient.” (Path of Perfection 5)

“Determination, means don’t be agitated or frustrated in some attempt. There may be failure in some attempt, but you should not be sorry for that; just move on with patience and determination.” (Bhagavat Gita. 6.1-3 pur.)

Concluding Sweet Note:

Srimati Radharani’s Perfect Determination

Expressing Her intense determination and loving attachment to Her dearly beloved Sri Krishna…“Srimati Radharani once said: ‘O Prananatha Sri Krishna! What more can I say? In life or death, birth after birth, You alone are the Master of My life! My body, My home, My wealth. All is Yours forever!’

“O Syama! My life airs are tied to Your lotus feet with the rope of My love. I have offered My mind to You alone, and am determined to be Your maidservant.”

‘O My Bandhu! From my childhood, You alone have been the only friend of my life airs, parana bandhuya tumi.’” (Vilapa Kusumanjali 75 tika, Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja)

So all my friends of kind loving hearts! Please, no matter what comes your way. Just push on through, with even more determination to love, to serve, to see and forever be with Radha-Govinda Yugala—sweetly serving Them in the pleasure groves of Vrndavana!

Krishna determination ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

 

Life is too short, memory is very weak and time is less. Thus we offer the following 25 verses to summarize all the essential principles, practices and actual goal of Gaudiya Vaisnava Dharma. We have arranged them in a logical sequence to facilitate clear understanding. Devotees will obtain tremendous spiritual benefit by reflecting deeply upon each one; learning them and following their guidance.

 

** MOST IMPORTANT VERSE: Krishna Consciousness Essence.

Ishtadevata, Gati (destination), Sadhana, Pramana (Basis), Prayojana (Necessity) and the Originator. At least this one verse all should memorize, meditate and realize.

ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa tanayas tad dhāma vṛndāvanaṁ

ramyā kācid upāsanā vrajavadhū vargeṇa yā kalpitā

śāstraṁ bhāgavatam pramāṇam amalaṁ prema pumārtho mahān

śrī caitanya mahāprabhor matam idaṁ tatrādaro naḥ para

“Our worshipable form of Bhagavan [upasya] is Sri Krishna, Nandanandana, the son of Vraja’s King Nanda whom we worship in Vrindavana [the divya dhama goal of life]. Our [the upasakas] way to attain perfection [upasana] is to follow the delightful method of worship done by the newlywed gopis of Vraja (vraja vadhu).

“Our main scripture is the Srimad Bhagavatam, the spotless authority on Krishna-bhakti. The highest goal of human life is Krishna prema, pure love of God. These are the transcendental tenets of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and thus deserve our highest respect, love and care.”

(By Srinatha Cakravarti, disciple of Sri Advaita Prabhu; and guru of Kavi Karnapura)

 

KRISHNA: The Absolute Truth.

janmādy asya yato’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijṣaḥ svarāṭ

tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ

tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo’mṛṣā

dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

“We meditate on the Supreme Truth, from whom all this is born, Who is both present in everything and aloof from it, Who is omniscient and independent. It is He who revealed the Veda to Brahma, the first sage, within his heart. He deludes even the great gods, makes this threefold unreal world seem real, just as the sun’s rays are mistaken for water (in a mirage), water for earth or earth for water, but who is Himself forever free from illusion due to His divine energy (dhāmnā).” (SB 1.1.1)

 

KRISHNA: Best Definition of.

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ saccidānanda vigraha

anādir ādir govinda sarva kārana kāranam

Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the Supreme God, and Sri Krishna’s transcendental body is sac cid ananda, full of awareness, reality and bliss. Sri Krishna is beginningless, the greatest of all, and the cause of all causes.” (Brahma Samhita 5.1)

 

KRISHNA: Beauty Meditation (as gopis see Krishna; revealed by Suka Muni)

barhāpīḍaṁ naṭa-vara-vapuḥ karṇayoḥ karṇikāraṁ

bibhrad-vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśaṁ vaijayantīṁ ca mālām

randhrān veṇor adhara-sudhayā pūrayan gopa-vṛndair

vṛndāraṇyaṁ sva-pada-ramaṇaṁ prāviśad gīta-kīrtiḥ

“Krishna’s head is adorned with a peacock feather crown. He has a body is shaped like the best of dancers and Krishna wears Karṇikāra-flowers on His ears. While wearing a golden hued garment and a vaijayanti flower mala, Krishna fills the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sing His glories as He enters the forest of Vrindavana, beautifying the earth with His lovely footprints.” (Venu Gita 10.21.5)

 

KRISHNA: Mahaprabhu is Krishna not Radha and Krishna.

rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī śaktir asmād

ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau

caitanyākhyaṁ prakaṭam adhunā tad-dvayaṁ caikyam āptaṁ

rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-subalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇa-svarūpam

“The transformations of love between Śrī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa are manifestations of the hlādinī-śakti. These two, although one soul, have manifested in this world in separate forms since ancient times. He, who is known as Caitanya, has now manifest as the union of Radha-Krishna. Obeisances to Sri Chaitanya, who is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, beautifully endowed with the feelings and lustre (bhava, kanti) of Śrī Rādhā!”

 

SRI CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU: Main inner purpose entire Gaura lila.

anarpita carīṁ cirāt karuṇayā avatīrṇa kalau, samarpayitum unnatojjvala rasa sva bhakti śriyaṁ

hariḥ puraṭa sundara dyuti kadamba sandīpitaḥ, sadā hṛdaya kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ

“May the son of mother Śacī, who is Sri Hari Himself, appearing in a splendid beautiful golden form, and who has descended in the age of Kali to mercifully bestow the wealth of His own bhakti, which was never bestowed before, and which is endowed with the elevated amorous flavour [madhurya-rasa i.e. gopi-bhava], always be manifest within the cave of your heart.”

 

VRINDAVAN: Goloka realm is everywhere; not a planet.

śanakair bhagaval-lokān nṛ-lokaṁ punar āgataḥ.

vimṛjya netre viduraṁ prītyāhoddhava utsmayan

“[after breaking his deep lila meditation] “Gradually, Uddhava [mentally] returned from Bhagavān’s world to the external human world. Rubbing his eyes, Uddhava lovingly told Vidura in amazement…” (SB 3.2.6); Krishna Sandarbha 106).

 

VRINDAVAN: Living in to get Radha’s mercy.

vṛndāni sarva mahatām apahāya dūrāt, vṛndāṭavīm anusara pranayena cetaḥ

sat tāranī kṛta subhāva sudhā rasaugham, rādhā bhidhānam iha divya nidhānam asti

O Mind! Stay aloof [apahaya durat] from all great things or persons like Vrajavasis [sarva mahatam], and live in Vrindavana with love. In Vraja, there is a divine jewel of wonderful moods and feelings named RADHA, Who redeems all the sincere souls sheltered in Vraja!” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 17)

 

SHUDDHA BHAKTI: Best & complete definition of pure devotion.

anyābhilāṣita śūnyaṁ jnāna-karmādy anāvṛtam

ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśilanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

Sri Rupa Gosvami said, “The topmost devotion [uttama bhakti] is devoid of all material desires, and not mixed with or covered by any practices of impersonal liberation (jnana) or fruitive activities [karma kanda, homas, yajnas etc]). Uttama bhakti is practiced deliberately and actively, solely for the pleasure of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.” (Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.1.11)

 

SADHANA: Diksha Reveals Siddha Deha.

dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kore ātma-samarpaṇa; sei-kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kore ātma-sama

sei deha kore tāra cid-ānanda-moya; aprākṛta-dehe tāṅra caraṇa bhajoya

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “At the time of diksha, the devotee surrenders the very self. And at that time, Sri Krishna makes the devotee equal to Himself by making the devotee’s body transcendental. In such a spiritual body one can serve Krishna.” (Cc. 3.4.192-193)

 

SADHANA: Gita’s top secret [told 2x 9.34]; four main bhakti practices.

man manā bhava mad bhakto mad yāji māṁ namaskuru

mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te pratijāne priyo’si me

“Think of Me and be My devotee. Worship Me and offer your respects unto Me. Thus you will truly and certainly come to Me. I promise you this because you are dear to Me.”

 

SADHANA: The main 24/7 rule of sadhana.

smartavyaṁ satataṁ viṣṇor vismartavyo na jātūcit

sarva vidhi niṣedha syur etayor eva kinkarāḥ

“Always remember Krishna and never forget Him! All other rules and prohibitions are subservient to this.” Padma P. 6.71.100)

 

SADHANA: Summary all manah-shiksha; Ideal daily pranam mantra.

gurau goṣṭhe goṣṭhālayiṣu sujane bhū-sura-gaṇe, sva-mantre śrī-nāmni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-śaraṇe

sadā dambhaṁ hitvā kuru ratim apūrvām atitarāṁ, aye svāntar bhrātaś caṭubhir abhiyāce dhṛta-padaḥ

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami said, “O brother mind! I clasp your feet and pray to you with flattering words: ‘Always give up hypocrisy and develop unprecedented love for Sri Guru, Vraja Dhama, the Vrajavasis, the saints, the brāhmaṇas, the diksha mantra, the Holy Names of Sri Krishna, and the shelter of the eternally youthful Couple of Vraja, Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa!’” (Manaḥ Śikṣā 1)

 

SADHANA: 4 Points to Success in Bhakti & Nama Bhajan

tṛṇād api sunīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā;

amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

“One should chant the Holy Name of Lord Hari in a humble state of mind, being more humble than a blade of grass, as tolerant as a tree, giving all respect unto others and not expecting any honor for oneself.” (Śrī Caitanya-śikṣāṣṭakam 3)

 

SADHANA: Krishna provides all—just do bhakti.

ananyaś cintayanto māṁ,  ye janāḥ paryupāsate

teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ, yoga kṣemaṁ vahāmyaham

“Whoever constantly worships Me, exclusively meditating on Me, I will provide him with all his needs and will preserve what he has.” (Bhagavad-gītā 9.22)

 

SADHANA: Mind—only Krishna can control ours.

cancalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa pramāthi balavad dṛḍham

tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye vāyor iva suduṣkaram

“O Kṛṣṇa! The mind is so restless, agitating, powerful and obstinate. It seems harder to check than even the wind.” (Bhagavad-gītā 6.34)

 

SHASTRA: Must live by.

yaḥ śāstra-vidhiṁ utsṛjya vartate kāma kārataḥ

na sa siddhim avāpnoti na sukhaṁ na paraṁ gatiṁ

“He who rejects scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims, will not attain perfection, nor will he become happy or attain the Supreme Abode.” (Bhagavad Gītā 16.23)

 

SHASTRA: Focus on essence of i.e. pure bhakti.

ananta-śāstraṁ bahulāśca vidyāḥ svalpaśca kālo bahu-vighnatā ca;

yat sāra-bhūtaṁ tad-upāsanīyaṁ  haṁso yathā kṣīram ivāmbu-madhyāt

“The scriptures are infinite and the branches of knowledge are many. Our time is limited and our lives are full of obstacles. Therefore we should worship the essence, just as the swan extracts only the milk from the water.” (Canakya-nīti-darpanam 15.10)

 

SHASTRA: Power of Hearing Rasa Lila.

vikrīḍitaṁ vrajavadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ, śraddhānvito’nuśṛṇuyed atha varṇayed yaḥ

bhaktiṁ paraṁ bhagavatiṁ pratilabhya kāmaṁ, hṛd-rogam āśvapahinotyacireṇa dhīraḥ

Suka Muni said [phala shruti for rasa-lila cp. 29-33] “Anyone who faithfully and continually hears and describes the pastimes of Krishna with the newlyweds of Vraja (gopīs) will attain the highest devotion to Bhagavān, swiftly become free from the heart’s disease of lust and become peaceful.”

 

SADHANA: Sri Chaitanya Orders Gopi Bhava

ataeva gopī-bhāva kari aṅgīkāra, rātri-dina cinte rādhā-kṛṣṇera vihāra

“Therefore one should accept the loving mood of the gopis [gopi-bhava], and day and night meditate on the pleasure pastimes of Radha and Krishna. (Cc. 2.8.228)

 

SADHANA (Must do two forms—Internal & External). [two verses]

bāhya antara ihāra dui to sādhana; bāhya sādhaka dehe kore śravaṇa kīrtana

mane nija siddha deha koriyā bhāvana; rātri dine kore vraje kṛṣṇera sevana

Mahaprabhu said, “O Sri Sanatana Goswami!  “There are two kinds of devotion in practise: external and internal. In the external practitioner’s body, one performs hearing and chanting of Krishna’s glories, and internally, in the mentally conceived spiritual body, one renders mental service to Krishna in Vraja day and night.” (Cc. 2.22.155-156)

 

SADHANA: Worship Shyama to get Sriji seva)

dhyāyantaṁ śikhi-piccha-mauli-maniśaṁ tan nāma-sankīrtayan

nityaṁ tac caraṇāmbujaṁ paricaran tan-mantra-varyaṁ japan

śrī rādhā padāsyam eva paramābhīṣṭaṁ hṛdā dhārayan

karhi syāṁ tad anugraheṇa param ādbhutānurāg otsavaḥ

“I always meditate on Krishna, wearing a crown of peacock feathers; I always sing Krishna’s name in saṅkīrtana; I always serve Krishna’s lotus feet (archa-murti) and repeat His best of mantras, all the while holding in my heart the desire for the supremely cherished service of Śrī Rādhā’s lotus feet. When by Krishna’s grace will that grand festival of Radha’s amazing anuraga arise in my heart?” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 259)

 

SADHANA: The Desired Perfection of Manjari Bhava.

tavaivāsmi tavaivāsmi  na jīvāmi tvayā vinā, iti vijnaya devi tvaṁ naya māṁ caraṇāntikam

Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami prays, “O Devi Radha! I am Yours, I am Yours! I cannot live without You!  Knowing this, please take me to Your lotus feet!” (Vilapa Kusumanjali 96)

 

SADHANA: Highest perfection demands most practice and patience.

krame krame pāya loka bhava-sindhu-kūla

Mahaprabhu said to Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, “Slowly and gradually a person will cross the ocean of material existence [attain liberation].” (Cc. 2.16.237) (adapted madangopal.blogspot) Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Quoting the verse below, which he did 67 times, Srila Prabhupada perfectly explains the mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

The golden avatar of love divine appeared in this world to preach gopi bhava, and the worship of Radha-Krishna following the example of the Vraja-gopis. Mahaprabhu also taught the worship of Vrindavana, Srimad Bhagavatam and the Vaisnavas.

Srila Prabhupada and all Gaudiya Vaisnavas accept that this one verse contains the entire philosophy (sambandha, adhidheya, prayojana) of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is Krishna consciousness in a nutshell. And every Gaudiya Vaisnava should study, memorize, realize and preach this most important verse written by Srinatha Cakravarti, Sri Advaita Prabhu’s shishya and Mahaprabhu’s direct associate.

Please study the passages below wherein Srila Prabhupada summarizes the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. People often ask, “What is Krishna Consciousness?” This verse gives the true and complete meaning of “Krishna consciousness” because it contains the sweet essence of our Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy.

This is what Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to give, to teach, to taste and to experience. To know the meaning of this verse and to follow it means you are a Gaudiya Vaisnava!

aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas, tad-dhama vrindavana,

ramya kacid upasana, vraja-vadhu-vargena ya kalpita,

srimad-bhagavatam pramanam amalam, prema pum-artho mahan

sri-caitanya-mahaprabhor matam idam, tatradarah na parah

Sri Srinatha Cakravarti said, “Nandanandana Sri Krishna is the topmost object of worship, and His abode of Vrindavana is equally worshipable. The young married brides of Vrindavana, the Vraja-gopis, showed the best way to worship Sri Krishna. The most authoritative source of divine revelation is the Srimad Bhagavatam. Krishna prema, pure love of God, is the fifth and ultimate goal (panchama-artha) of human life. This is the essence of the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, so we consider this doctrine to be supreme.”

Srila Prabhupada comments on this most important verse: “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, ramya kacid upasana, vraja-vadhu-vargena ya kalpita,’ If you want to learn the process of worshiping and loving Krishna, just try to follow in the footsteps of the Vraja gopis, because their love for Krishna is the highest perfectional love of God; pure love for God.

“Here’s how they loved Krishna. Krishna was a cowherd boy, and Krishna and His friends and cows used to go to the pasturing ground for the whole day. Although gopis were at home and Krishna was miles away in the pasturing ground, the gopis were thinking, ‘Oh, Krishna’s feet are so soft! Now Krishna is walking on the rough ground, and the sharp pebbles are pricking Krishna’s foot soles. So Krishna must be feeling some pain.’

“Thinking in this way, the gopis used to cry. Just see, this is love! When Krishna returned, the gopis did not ask Him, ‘My dear Krishna, what have You brought us from Your pasturing ground? What is in Your pocket? Let us see.’ No! The gopis were simply thinking of how Krishna could be satisfied. The gopis used to dress themselves very nicely and go before Krishna. While dressing they would think, ‘Oh, Krishna will be happy to see me.’

“These are the loving affairs of Krishna and the gopis. Their relationship was so intimate and so unalloyed that Krishna Himself admitted, ‘My dear gopis, it is not in My power to repay you for your love.’ Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet He became bankrupt—Krishna could not repay His debt to the gopis. So the gopis possessed the highest perfection of love for Krishna.

“I am describing the mission of Lord Caitanya. Mahaprabhu is instructing us that the only lovable object is Krishna, the only lovable land is Vrindavana, and the process of loving Krishna is shown by the vivid example of the gopis. There are different stages of devotees, and the gopis are on the highest platform. And among the gopis, the supreme is Radharani. Therefore, nobody can surpass Radharani’s love for Krishna.”(SP: Folio TQE 7c)

Srila Prabhupada: “Lord Caitanya recommends, ‘As Krishna was worshiped by the damsels of Vrajadhama—that is the highest, topmost grade of worship because that was pure love.’ The damsels of Vraja loved Krishna so much, without any return. That’s a sublime thing. So Mahaprabhu recommended, ‘That is the highest form of worship.’”(SP: Folio 660729BG.NY)

Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!