“The saṁvit function of the self-manifesting svarūpa-śakti is called śuddha-sattva. Bhāva imbued with very thick mamatā (possessiveness) for Kṛṣṇa is the special function of the hlādinī aspect of cit-śakti. That supremely astonishing bhāva which arises when these two mix together in the heart of the pure jīva is called viśuddha-prema” (Bhakti-tattva-viveka, Part 5).
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: In Satya-yuga (the golden age), when the longevity of a person was 100,000 years, there was a king named Bharata. Bharata Mahārāja realized that this world is a dark well. He realized that no one can be happy here, and that without practicing bhakti to Kṛṣṇa no one can be liberated and attain Kṛṣṇa’s pure loving service.
When Bharata Mahārāja was 50,000 years old, he renounced the world. He gave up his wife, children, big kingdom, wealth, reputation, and all his possessions to go to the forest and perform bhajana.
What was his mentality when he left? If a man has so much pressure to pass stool and there is no chance to go to the latrine, then, when he finally passes somewhere he feels great relief. Bharata felt this relief when he left his wife, children, and kingdom.
He went to the forest, to a very beautiful place near a river, where he practiced bhakti-yoga. One day, while he was in meditation, a pregnant deer came nearby to graze on some grass, and in the meantime a lion wanted to attack the deer. Bharata heard the lion’s roar, his samādhi trance was broken, and he saw that out of fear of the lion the pregnant deer was jumping across the river. As the deer jumped she gave birth to a baby deer, which had fallen from her womb and was now drowning in the river – sometimes surfacing and sometimes submerged under the water. In the meantime, with a pathetic glance that mother deer looked back and forth from Bharata Mahārāja to her baby, as if asking Bharata, “Can you please save my child?” Then she died.
Having come out of his trance, Bharata Mahārāja took the baby deer in his arms and then returned to his āśrama. The deer gradually grew, and now Bharata Mahārāja’s entire sense of mine-ness was transferred to this deer. He began thinking, “I am the father, mother, and friend of this deer. If I am not with her, who will take care of her? She will die.”
Gradually, the deer became bigger and bigger. Whenever Bharata was in trance and chanting his mantra, the deer would caress him with her head and jump into his lap; and Bharata Mahārāja could no longer concentrate on his mantras. In this way his thoughts became consumed by the deer, and he found himself doing ‘deer bhajana.’
One day a big group of deer came nearby, and the young deer considered, “They are my family!” She mixed with them and then went away. Bharata began searching, thinking, “Where is that deer? Perhaps a lion or tiger has killed her?!”
Where was Kṛṣṇa? Bharata Mahārāja had stopped his meditation on Kṛṣṇa and was no longer chanting His holy names. Rather, he was always thinking, “Deer, deer, deer.” In the meantime, at the time of Bharata’s death his thoughts were still absorbed in “Deer, deer, deer.”
What became of Bharata Mahārāja? He became a deer in his next life. If at the time of death one thinks of his wife, daughter, son, wealth, dogs, etc., he will become like that object of meditation.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: Śrīla prabhu is saying that Satsvarūpa Mahārāja was very attached to the vaidhī mood. Śrīla Prabhupāda was trying to encourage him, “You should reciprocate with me from your heart.” Śrīla is asking, “How can we develop the mood of mamatā for our gurudeva, so that we have that heart reciprocation with him?”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: What do you mean by mamatā?
Śrīla dāsa: Uh… dāsya-bhāva (the mood of servitorship). Of course, it is more than just service. There is a mood of mine-ness (possessiveness): “Gurudeva is mine, and I belong to Gurudeva.”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Who has more sense of mine-ness for Kṛṣṇa – Nanda Bābā, Mother Yaśodā, the sakhās, or the gopīs?
Śrīla dāsa: The gopīs.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Within all the rasas there is more mamatā in mādhurya-rasa, and within mādhurya-rasa, Rādhikā has more mamatā than the other gopīs. Mamatā means, “Whatever I have – my mind, body, soul, wealth, reputation, and everything else – I have given totally, solely, to Him. I have given Him my whole energy.” For whom you give more energy, mamatā will develop more to that person. If you give your entire energy, then mamatā will be complete:
mānasa, deha, geha, ĵô kichu mora
arpilũ tuwā pade, nanda-kiśora! (1)
Mānasa Deha Geha (Verse 1)
[Mind, body, family, and whatever else is mine, I have surrendered at Your lotus feet, O youthful Son of Nanda!]
mārôbi rākhôbi—ĵô icchā tohārā
nitya-dāsa-prati tuwā adhikārā (3)
Mānasa Deha Geha (Verse 3)
[Slay me or protect me as You wish, for You have full ownership of Your eternal servitor.]
When this mood comes, it is understood that mamatā is present. The gradation of this mood corresponds to the gradation of mamatā.
You have some mamatā for me, but it is not full. You are not giving your entire deha (body), geha (family), and mānasa (mind) to me. If you will give yourself to me as they do [indicating the other devotees present], then you will have mamatā. When you have strong faith in me, thinking, “He can help me in Kṛṣṇa consciousness,” then it will come.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: How will it be possible for a sādhaka (spiritual practitioner) to attain this possessiveness for Śrī Kṛṣṇa?
It will first sprout for Śrīla Gurudeva, the āśraya or associate of Kṛṣṇa. The sadhaka will feel, “He is my life and soul. He is more dear and intimate than my own soul.”
Then, when that possessiveness for Gurudeva gradually matures, Gurudeva will personally transform it into possessiveness for Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: What is the meaning of this verse?
krīyatāṁ yadi kuto ’pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 8.70)
Pure devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds upon thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price – that is, the intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.
Puṣkara dāsa: One will not get kṛṣṇa-bhakti even after millions of years, unless one has greed (laulyam).
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: But what is kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa bhāvitā matiḥ? This is the question.
Puṣkara dāsa: Our Śrīla Prabhupāda defined it as Kṛṣṇa consciousness, thinking of Kṛṣṇa.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: When our Guru Mahārāja named his International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, he named it after this phrase.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: I know this, but what is kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ?
Puṣkara dāsa: I do not know. I do not have it.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You should understand that there is some difference between bhakti and bhakti-rasa. Bhakti is one thing and bhakti-rasa is another. Bhakti was present in this world before Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī came. Mādhavācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Viṣṇusvāmī, Nimbāditya, and others followed the principals of bhakti – but not bhakti-rasa.
It is essential to know what is rasa, which is present only in rāgātmikā-bhaktas. When one is firmly situated in rāgātmikā-bhakti, ones’ service to Kṛṣṇa is called rasa: dāsya-rasa, sakhya-rasa, vātsalya-rasa, and mādhurya-rasa. At that time, mamatā, a sense of ‘mine-ness’ for Kṛṣṇa, manifests in a very thick way in the devotees’ heart. This is true for Kṛṣṇa’s sakhās, more so for Mother Yaśodā, more so for the gopīs, more for Lalitā and Viśākhā, and still more so for Śrīmatī Rādhikā.
When a person hears about this topic from a rasika tattva-jña Vaiṣṇava in the line of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara, and Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, greed to serve like Kṛṣṇa’s intimate associates may enter his heart; it is not possible otherwise.
What is the nature of such greed? One will think, “I want the same rasa as Mother Yaśodā,” or “I want the same rasa as Subala and Śrīdhāma.” Or, one may think, “I would like to be like the gopīs in their parakīya mood of unnata-ujjvala-rasa. They left everything for Kṛṣṇa’s service. And among these gopīs I want to serve Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Her mood of service.”
Such greed comes from that association. Koṭi koṭi janma sukṛtair (hundreds upon thousands of lifetimes of spiritual pious merit) cannot bring it. It comes only by hearing very attentively from a rasika-bhakta in the line of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī – and keeping their words in one’s heart.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Why is śaraṇāgati not bhakti? Giri Mahārāja?
Śrīpāda Giri Mahārāja: In śaraṇāgati, Kṛṣṇa says, “Sarva-dharmān parityajya – If you surrender unto Me, I will protect you.” It’s like a deal: “If you do this, I will do this.” Pure bhakti means, “I want to do everything for Kṛṣṇa.”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Anything more?
Śrīpāda Nemi Mahārāja: In Rāya Rāmānanda Saṁvāda, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was not satisfied until Rāya Rāmānanda began to explain svarūpa-siddhi-bhakti. Śaraṇāgati is not yet svarūpa-siddhi-bhakti.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Why not?
Śrīpāda Nemi Mahārāja: It does not explain the actual function of the jīva.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Why not? Prema-prayojana?
Prema-prayojana dāsa: Bhakti is the essential function (sāra-vṛtti) of the svarūpa-śakti (complete, internal potency) of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual world. Śaraṇāgati is the way to open one’s heart to receive that svarūpa-śakti that causes the living entity to engage in…
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: There is no mamatā, no sense of ‘mine-ness,’ in śaraṇāgati; so it cannot be bhakti. If there is mamatā, a true sense that “Kṛṣṇa is my son,” or “Kṛṣṇa is my friend,” or “Kṛṣṇa is my beloved,” then bhakti will also be present.
There are five types of mamatā: śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, and mādhurya. In other words, there are five kinds of relationships with Kṛṣṇa: “Kṛṣṇa is my master,” “Kṛṣṇa is my friend,” “Kṛṣṇa is my son,” “Kṛṣṇa is my beloved,” and the mamatā of śānta. Of all these relationships, mādhurya is the highest. In śānta-rasa there is only an ābhāsa, or shadow, of mamatā, and yet it has been accepted as one of these rasas.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: When we hear the definition of uttama-bhakti in the verse beginning anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ, we understand that ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam means that we should serve Kṛṣṇa always, with our body, our mind, our emotions, our words, and with everything we possess. This definition seems to include śaraṇāgati. There is a mental service in śaraṇāgati, in the sense that one thinks, “Kṛṣṇa is my protector.” There is dependency on Kṛṣṇa.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: But there is no mamatā.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: Śrīla Gurudeva, I have a question about śaraṇāgati. Yesterday you said that bhakti comes only when mamatā is present with śaraṇāgati.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: There is no mamatā in śaraṇāgati:
dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kare ātma-samarpaṇa
sei-kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kare ātma-sama
sei deha kare tāra cid-ānanda-maya
aprākṛta-dehe tāṅra caraṇa bhajaya
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 4.192–193)
At the time of initiation, when a devotee fully surrenders unto the service of the Lord, Kṛṣṇa accepts him to be as good as Himself. When the devotee’s body is thus transformed into spiritual existence, the devotee, in that transcendental body, renders service to the lotus feet of the Lord.
Even in śānta-rasa there is no mamatā. There is no mamatā in the śānta-rasa of the four Kumāras and others. Without mamatā, there can be no prema. As mamatā thickens, prema develops from dāsya, to sakhya, to vātsalya, and then to mādhurya.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: But there must be some mamatā in śānta-rasa. śānta-rasa is in the category of prema.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: There is only niṣṭhā (firm faith) in śānta-rasa, not prema.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: It is called ‘śānta-rasa,’ not ‘śānta-prema.’
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Their niṣṭhā is to Kṛṣṇa, not to anything or anyone of this material world. But when they see Kṛṣṇa, they do not see mādhurya Kṛṣṇa, meaning the human-like form and pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. They see nirguṇa-brahma, and they chant prayers like this:
śāntākāraṁ bhujagaśayanaṁ padmanābhaṁ sureśam
viśvādhāraṁ gaganasadṛśaṁ meghavarṇaṁ śubhāṅgam
lakṣmīkāntaṁ kamalanayanaṁ yogīhṛddhyānagamyam
vande viṣṇuṁ bhavabhayaharaṁ sarvalokaikanātham
(Gītābhāṣyam by Śrī Madhvācārya)
I bow before the God Viṣṇu, Who is the personification of peace, who rests on the snake-bed of Ananta Śeṣa, from whose navel sprouts the lotus that manifests the entire material creation, who is all-pervading like the sky, who resembles the colour of a dark raincloud, who has the most beautiful limbs, whose consort is Lakṣmī, who has lotus-like eyes, who is perceived by saintly persons in their meditation, who destroys all worries and fears, and who is the Lord of all the worlds.
Śrīpāda Nemi Mahārāja: What moods do the four Kumāras have towards Śrī Kṛṣṇa?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: First they were Brahmavādīs, Nirguṇavādīs, after which they became bhaktas by the mercy of Lord Brahmā. It may also be said that they were in dāsya-rasa, but not more than that.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: I have one more question about śaraṇāgati. When does śaraṇāgati, which is the entrance or doorway to bhakti, become bhakti?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: This occurs when the devotee has the association of high-class sādhus. In fact, all the stages of bhakti are attained by sādhu-saṅga. If a person has mādhurya-rasa in his transcendental svarūpa, but until now has not received any association of sādhus in mādhurya-rasa, he becomes influenced by the bhāva which is in the heart of his association. He may thus be attracted to sakhya or vātsalya, because the right association is not yet there for the sadhaka to develop his or her permanent bhāva. When he has attained the association of sādhus in mādhurya-rasa, at that time mādhurya manifests.
Vrajendra-nandana dāsa: Gurudeva, the other day we were reading a little bit in Jaiva-dharma about śānta-rasa [the stage of devotion in which the devotee is free from all material desires, and attached only to Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Truth, but does not engage in service to Him]. The question came up – why is śānta-rasa included in the category of bhakti, since those in śānta-rasa have no inclination to serve Kṛṣṇa?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: What to speak of dāsya (servitorship), even śānta is a rasa.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: He’s asking why it is considered rasa. There is no sevā at all in śānta-rasa.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Still, how can it not be? The devotee in śānta-rasa has some mamatā (a sense of possessiveness, or ‘mine-ness’) for Kṛṣṇa. That is why it has been taken as a rasa.
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