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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The practice of receiving details about one’s eternal, spiritual body or siddha deha i.e. siddha pranali from the spiritual master began 500 years ago in the beginning of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya.

Sri Caitanya’s eternal associate Vakresvara Pandit gave siddha pranali to Gopala Guru Gosvami who in turn gave it to Dhyanacandra Goswami. (“Dhyanacandra Paddhati”) Sri Gopal Bhatta Gosvami gave siddha pranali to the famous padakarta, Srinivasa Acarya (“Prema Vilasa” chapter 6)

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada also accepted siddha-pranali from his Guru. In his book, “Sankalpa Kalpadruma”, Cakravartipada mentions the siddha dehas of his Guru and the other members of his lineage as Tulasi-manjari, Ranga-manjari and Prema-manjari.

The three most prominent acarya Gurus in the parampara of IGM (Iskcon/Gaudiya Math)—Jagannatha das Babaji, Sri Gaura Kishora das Babaji, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and also Sri Vamsi das Babaji—ALL RECEIVED SIDDHA PRANALI from their Gurus.

In fact, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura fully endorsed the system of siddha pranali diksa. He gave it to his youngest son, Sri Lalita Prasada Thakura, who in turn gave it to several western disciples of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura clearly describes the practice of receiving siddha pranali diksa from Guru in three of his most famous books, “Harinama Cintamani”, “Jaiva Dharma, and Gitavali, which are very popular with members of IGM.

So how can anyone say receiving siddha pranali from one’s Guru is “bogus” “unauthorized” or “a practice of sahajiyas”?

The phrase siddha-pranali means “siddha” i.e. the spiritual body or siddha deha, and “pranali” means a lineage, channel or line. Siddha-pranali means the line or list of the Gurus in one’s lineage, along with their siddha dehas in Radha-Krishna’s eternal pastimes in Goloka Vrndavana, beginning with the patriarch or founder of one’s individual parivara, which means family or branch of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya like Nityananda Parivara, Advaita Parivara, Gadadhara Parivara, Lokanatha (Narottama), Syamananda etc.

For example, in Krishna lila, Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s eternal transcendental form is Srimati Ananga Manjari, the younger sister of Srimati Radharani. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is Kamala Manjari. In a letter to a disciple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said his manjari siddha deha name in Krishna lila is Nayana-mani manjari.

In the siddha-pranali system, the Guru privately tells a qualified disciple the 11 aspects of his siddha deha known as ekadasa-bhava, which include the disciple’s eternal spiritual name in Krishna lila, age, dress, seva, kunja, mood, sakhi group leader like Laltia or Visakha, and so on. As learned from his own Guru, Sri Guru then teaches the disciple the same method to realize his/her eternal spiritual identity, siddha deha.

One’s pranali includes the siddha deha identities of each Guru in one’s individual parivara. The disciple then meditates on one’s own and their forms while mentally serving Radha-Krishna’s eternal asta-kaliya-lilas in Vraja Dhama.

In “Nectar of Devotion” (chapter 16), Srila Prabhupada says, “The so-called siddha-pranali process is followed by the prakrta sahajiya, a pseudo-sect of so-called Vaisnavas.”

However, if one examines all the evidence given above, one might wonder who are these “sahajiyas” that Srila Prabhupada is talking about? Surely, it can’t mean Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada or any of the famous Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas mentioned above. In fact, the following conversation downloaded from I-net seems to prove that Srila Prabhupada actually approved of the siddha-pranali system, wherein the Guru gives the siddha deha to a qualified disciple.

In 1974, Mayapur ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada had the following most revealing talk with Sri Hrishikesananda das, a scholarly disciple of his who studied Gaudiya Vaisnavism in Vrndavana in the 70s. Today, he lives in Thailand sincerely practicing Krishna consciousness, and lovingly caring for his devotee family.

Srila Prabhupada: What you have learned in Vrndavana?

Hrishikesananda das: Gurudeva, I learned about Krishna’s nitya Vraja lila, siddha-pranali, and asta-kaliya-lila smaranam. Is this alright, Gurudeva?

Srila Prabhupada: YES, but who is siddha?

HD: So, Srila Prabhupada, what about siddha-pranali? How to qualify? Who will give it?

Srila Prabhupada: GURU WILL GIVE [siddha-pranali]. You just chant Hare Krishna.

HD: So how will your disciples receive this eternal information, Gurudeva?

Srila Prabhupada: [repeats] GURU WILL GIVE! There is no material consideration about whether one’s Guru is here or there [in the spiritual sky]. When you reach that level, GURU WILL GIVE.

HD: Gurudeva, manasi-seva, mentally meditating on serving Krishna, is this also bhakti bhajan?

Srila Prabhupada: Krishna makes no distinction [whether you serve in your mind or with your body]. But if you serve Krishna by mind—He will accept. That is sure!

HD: Gurudev, whenever I mention anything about these things to my God brothers, they get angry and say that you never taught that!

Srila Prabhupada: [That’s ok] Everything is coming; they will also know it.

So this is the exact and clear truth about the siddha-pranali process along with supporting facts describing its origin, authenticity and acceptance by all the leading mahajanas of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya beginning with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s eternal associates, the six Gosvamis and contempory Gurus like Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Prabhupada.

It is hoped that this knowledge will enlighten everyone regarding the truth about siddha-pranali. Henceforward, may no one malign those sincere devotees practicing this traditional method of sadhana bhajan.

It is certainly unbecoming, unfair, immature, and offensive to wrongly tag or label sincere devotees as “sahajiyas” or “bogus” for following a completely bonafide system of spiritual advancement within the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya.

Gaudiya Vaisnava harmony ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The eternal constitutional nature of every single jiva is to be an eternal servant of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, jivera svarupa haya krishnera nitya dasa (Caitanya-caritamrta 2.22.108). A transcendental body, siddha deha, fit for serving Bhagavan Sri Visnu/Krishna is being kept in the spiritual sky for each jiva.

When by the mercy of Sri Krishna, Sri Guru and pure devotion one becomes qualified for Krishna’s direct seva, Bhagavan Sri Krishna will give one of those spiritual bodies to the sadhaka. The spiritual body, which is called the siddha-svarupa i.e. siddha deha, is given to a qualified sadhaka to practice raganuga bhakti in order to attain Vraja prema and the eternal seva of Radha Govinda Yugala in Goloka Dhama.

While living in the physical body, a raganuga sadhaka concentrates on nama japa and Radha-Krishna asta-kaliya lila smaran. Externally one follows all the rules of vaidhi-bhakti. But internally, in one’s private mental/heart world, the raga bhakta visualizes his/her siddha deha, and meditates upon serving Radha Govinda Yugala with the feelings and bhava of a gopi/manjari.

In the desired spiritual form, one tries to reach the ideal of mentally serving Radha Govinda Yugala throughout the day and night, asta-kaliya lila smarana bhajana. By continual meditation one gradually enters and experiences Krishna’s Vraja lila as it floods one’s inner being with its eternal presence, tasty bliss and fulfillment.

The internally visualized siddha deha is real. It’s a mental reflection of the transcendental body [siddha-svarupa/deha], which Sri Krishna will reveal and one will directly see and experience at the stage of bhava, prema, or at death as in the case of Narada Muni (SB 1.6.28), Dhruva Maharaja, Ajamila, Gajendra and Putana raksasi.

In Srimad Bhagavatam (3.9.11), Sri Brahma says:

yad yad dhiya ta urugaya, vibhava yanti,
tat tad vapuh pranayase, sad anugrahaya

“Bhagavan Sri Krishna is so merciful to His devotees that He gives them the particular spiritual bodies [siddha dehas] upon which they are meditating upon along with the mood of love [bhava; gopi-bhava] that they are cultivating during sadhana.”

In Sri Gita (4.11), Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself promises reciprocation: ye yatha mam prapadyante, tams tathaiva bhajam yaham, “I respond to persons according to the manner and mood in which they surrender to Me.” In Priti Sandarbha (50), Sri Jiva Goswami confirms this point by quoting Chandogya Upanisad (3.14.1): yatha kratur asmin loke puruso bhavati tathetah pretya bhavati, “According to the way one is determined to worship the Bhagavan Sri Visnu/Krishna in this life, a person attains an appropriate reward after death.”

Your eternal, individual spiritual body can be attained either by assignment as a precious gift from Sri Guru, or by revelation from Bhagavan Sri Krishna via His omnipotent pure Divine Names.

One teacher described the manifestation of the siddha deha that the sadhaka continually meditates upon thus: “One’s eternally existing siddha deha in Vaikuntha/Vrndavana descends into the mind of the meditative raganuga bhakta in a “shadow” form. That siddha deha is eternally existing spiritual realm, but it clearly and fully manifests in the mind at the particular time when a sadhaka attains bhava or prema.”

Bhakta O.B.L Kapoor explains how the raganuga sadhaka attains the spiritual body, siddha deha thus: “The siddha deha or transcendental body of the sadhaka first appears in the mind of the guru, who then reveals its details i.e. name, color, dress, age, personal seva to Radha-Govinda, and so on to the disciple.

“The disciple then forms a mental picture of this siddha deha, identifies fully with it as being one’s eternal spiritual body, and in that form always serves Radha-Govinda in his meditation, lila smarana. This type of meditation will bring success because it’s the nature of the mind is to assume the shape of any object upon which it always dwells. And the Gita (8.6) says; sada tad bhava bhavita, “as you think, so you become.” (adapted “Raganuga Bhakti”)

The Srimad Bhagavatam (11.9.23) confirms the powerful effect of form meditation as in contemplating one’s eternal spiritual body or siddha deha. The Bhagavata describes how a small insect, trapped alive inside a hole by a larger insect, out of fear continually meditated on the form of its predator. Due to this absorption, after death that small insect got the same type of body as the bigger one which it was constantly meditating upon.

In Uddhava-gita (11.15.26), Sri Krishna says, “A sadhaka who has faith in Me (mat parah puman) will obtain whatever he/she desires by devotion to Me, and by fixing the mind on Me because My wish is always fulfilled (satya-sankalpa).”

Pandita Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji describes the process for attaining the spiritual body, siddha deha thus: “While meditating on Krishna’s pastimes, the sadhaka will especially contemplate one’s personal eternal seva to Radha-Krishna as revealed by Sri Guru, and eagerly perform that seva within one’s mind. In addition, one will serve in ALLEGIANCE to the nitya-siddha sakhis and manjaris like Visakha-sakhi and Tulasi-manjari (aka Dasa Gosvami).

“ALLEGIANCE means aligning, identifying and mixing one’s mind and heart, thoughts and feelings, with those of one’s role models i.e. Visakha sakhi or Tulasi manjari. By this method the sadhaka’s bhava i.e. gopi/manjari bhava will develop, deepen and eventually become one with theirs.

“The raganuga sadhaka will surely attain success in his manjari svarupa bhajan because he/she has taken full shelter of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the Absolute Truth personified. Furthermore, the sadhaka gets transcendental power, support and compassionate blessings from bhakti, which is composed of Krishna’s own internal potency, hladini-sakti.

“In this world, the sadhaka will attain siddhi or success in bhajan by receiving the mercy of Sri Guru gained by sincere service. Then in the spiritual realm, by the mercy of one’s guru-rupa manjari, the sadhana siddha will obtain his/her cherished direct seva to Radha-Govinda Yugala in one’s manjari svarupa in the bowers of Vrajadhama. In raganuga bhajan pursuing manjari bhava, this is the way to attain one’s eternal spiritual body, siddha deha.” (adapted “Prema Bhakti Candrika” tikas 55-56)

Obtaining siddha deha ki jai! Sri Guru krpa ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

In 1973, Srila Prabhupada and his learned disciple Sri Hrsikesananda dasji worked together to produce an English edition of Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Upadeshamrita (Nectar of Instruction). Before meeting Srila Prabhupada in Mayapur, Hrsikesananda dasji had spent some time living in a Gaudiya Math temple.

At that time, Srila Prabhupada and Sri Hrsikesananda dasji had a most IMPORTANT AND TODAY MOST RELEVANT DISCUSSION. Srila Prabhupada revealed some extremely important truths for everyone to understand. All our readers are humbly asked to read, reread and deeply think about this most important and monumental conversation between Srila Prabhupada and his dear disciple.

In summary, Srila Prabhupada said, “The Guru gives the siddha deha to his disciple; raganuga-bhakti and manasi seva are completely bonafide and correct; and the relationship between Sri Guru and his/her disciple is eternal!”

Now here is the entire conversation downloaded from I-net.

A MONUMENTAL CONVERSATION

SRILA PRABHUPADA: So what you have learned in Vrindavana?

HD: About Nitya-lila, Siddha-pranali, and asta-kaliya-lila-smaran. Right, Gurudeva?

SRILA PRABHUPADA: YES, but who is siddha?

HD: One out of millions of seekers, but isn’t nitya lila our goal?

SRILA PRABHUPADA: Yes, we are the followers of Rupa-Raghunatha. This is the highest understanding, to be dasanudas in Radha-Krishna’s lila.

HD: But what about siddha-pranali? How to qualify? Who will give?

SRILA PRABHUPADA: GURU WILL GIVE. You just chant Hare Krishna.

HD: How to receive this eternal information about siddha pranali, Gurudeva?

SRILA PRABHUPADA: GURU WILL GIVE. There is no material consideration about Guru is here or there. When you reach that level, Guru will give.

HD: Gurudeva, what about manasi-seva, like the Brahmin who burnt his finger in meditation [while mentally offering kheer to his Thakuraji]? Isn’t that bhajan?

SRILA PRABHUPADA: Krishna makes no distinction. But if you serve Krishna by mind [manasi seva], Krishna will accept. THAT IS SURE!

HD: Gurudeva, whenever I mention anything about raganuga bhakti, many of my God brothers get angry and say it is all a bunch of Gaudiya Math nonsense, and you never taught that!

SRILA PRABHUPADA: Everything is coming, they will also know it.

HD: Gurudeva, what about raganuga bhakti? What is the eternal relationship between us (disciples) and you?

SRILA PRABHUPADA: [Quoting the last pada of the famous prayer to Sri Guru, nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai, ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya]

Srila Prabhupada said, “tatrati-dakshyad ati-vallabhasya, vande guroh sri-caranaravindam, The spiritual master is very dear, because he is expert in assisting the gopis. So the Guru is serving under his master and you all [my disciples] can do likewise. In Nitya-lila every disciple thinks like that, ‘my master is the most dear to Radha-Krishna.’”

HD: So that means that my relationship with you is eternal, that it will continue in Nitya-lila in the sweetness of Gokula Vrindavana?

SRILA PRABHUPADA: YES!

Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Siddha Pranali ki jai! Sri Guru ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!