Another Side of Thakur Bhaktivinoda 30 -- "The Missing Link"

By Gadadhar Pran Das Email: gadadhar_das000@yahoo.co.in 

 As the last chapter begins, we begin to wonder: Has this reading venture increased our readers’ desire for sādhana and bhajan? If it has, this is a good sign, as it shows that our writing is bearing the desired fruit. But next we should ask: What do sādhana and bhajana actually mean? This is because Vaishnavas have lots of different opinions about this. To answer in the context of Thakur Bhaktivinoda’s āmnāya-siddha guru-paramparā, however, it must be said that our sādhana and bhajana don’t really begin until we receive our sthāyi bhāva, or eternal relationship with Krishna. And our dīksā guru mercifully gives this at the stage called varaṇa-daśā, when we receive our siddha-mañjarī svarūpa.

In the last chapter of his Harināma-cintāmaṇi, Thakur Bhaktivinoda clearly explains this process: “The guru will test the disciple to see if he or she is eligible for śṛṅgāra rasa sādhana. If they are, he will assign the sadhaka’s siddha-mañjarī svarūpa within Radha’s yūtha in either Lalita's group or in that of another of Radha’s eight chief sakhīs. The guru will then award ekādaśa bhāva (the eleven items that make up the sadhaka’s mañjarī svarūpa such as name, form, quality and seva, etc.) and explain what her nitya-sevā will be in Radha-Krishna’s aṣṭa-kāla-līlā. Th guru will even tell in which gopa and gopi’s home the sādhikā dāsī will take birth, and to which gopa she will be married. But after transgressing Vedic dharma the sādhikā mañjarī will become the palya dasi (fostered maidservant) of her yuthesvari Radha to carry out the aṣṭa-kāla nitya sevā. When the sādhaka accepts these items from his dīkṣā guru he may begin the stage called smaraṇa-daśā (līlā smaraṇa and mānasī sevā) -- for she will take birth as a Vraja gopi in this way.”

Rasa Analysis

From this stage bhakti takes on its real form – when we clearly know who we want to be in Krishna lila, and have our guru’s blessings for attaining this goal.

When Caitanya Mahaprabhu desired to promote this system of rāgānugā bhakti sādhanaa, He appointed Gopal Guru Goswami to be His first acharya at the Gambhira. Then He instructed him to write an arcana-smaraṇa-paddhati that explains about the system of ekādaśa bhāva. Gopal Guru’s disciple, Dhyanacandra Goswami next wrote a second paddhati (or instruction manual) to elaborate further on this. In the story told in Jaiva Dharma, Bhaktivinoda refers to and cites both these paddhatis in order to draw our attention to their authority.

What makes the system of ekādaśa bhāva invaluable? Here are two good reasons:

1) It is practical as it eliminates so much needless guesswork about who we will become in Krishna lila, and

2) We inherit a family of mañjarī gopis who will factually guide us in the lila. And thus we can ideally perform gopī ānugatya bhajana.

Now the question arises: How can we know that our guru is bonafide? To answer, he himself will already have received ekādaśa bhāva himself in an unbroken paramparā of mañjarīs that begins with an eternal associate of Gauranga Mahaprabhu – and this siddha mañjarī paramparā is called our siddha praṇāli.

Bhaktivinoda’s siddha praṇāli begins with Sri Nityananda’s śakti Jahnava Thakurani, who is Ananga Manjari (Radha’s younger sister) in Vraja. Her mañjarī paramparā descends from Her in the following order:

Gaura-lila - Krishna-lila

1) Jahnava Thakurani - Srimati Ananga Manjari

2) Ramai Thakur - Srimati Ratna Manjari

3) Rajaballabha Goswami -- Srimati Rāsa Manjari

4) Keshavacandra Goswami -- Srimati Kanaka Manjari

5) Rudresvara Goswami -- Srimati Rati Manjari

6) Dayarama Goswami -- Srimati Dana Manjari

7) Mahesvari Goswamini -- Srimati Madhu Manjari

8) Gunamañjarī Goswamini -- Srimati Guna Manjari

9) Ramamani Goswamini -- Srimati Rasa Manjāri

10) Jajnesvara Goswami -- Srimati Juthi Manjari

11) Bipin Bihari Goswami -- Srimati Vilasa Manjari

12) Bhaktivinoda Thakur -- Srimati Kamal Manjari

We can truly say that Thakur Bhaktivinoda’s guru paramparā and siddha mañjarī paramparā listed here forms the divine connection or “missing link” for anyone who sincerely hankers to follow in his footsteps on the rāga mārga. To cite an example, when the Thakur saw that his son Lalita Prasad was accepting his guru Bipin Bihari Goswami, he became pleased and duly initiated him with mantra dīkṣā, ekādaśa bhāva and siddha praṇāli. Then he received the siddha name Lata Manjari. Lata is six days younger than Kamal Manjari.

Bhaktivinoda’s Relationship with Bipin Bihari Goswami

In his autobiography entitled Svalikhita-jīvanī, page 37 paragraph 299, Thakur Bhaktivinoda writes: “While living at Narail I took dīkṣā along with my wife Bhagavati. I had been searching for a suitable guru for a long time, but I could not find one. This made me feel unhappy and anxious. But Mahaprabhu at last appeared to me in a dream and dispelled my unhappiness. Then gurudeva (Bipin Bihari Goswami) wrote to me saying: ‘I will soon come and give you dīkṣā.’ “When he gave me dīkṣā my mind became satisfied and peaceful – and as a result of this, mercy towards the jivas arose in my heart.”

In the time following his initiation, Bhaktivinoda went on to write the most important books of his career: Jaiva Dharma, Caitanya śikṣāmṛta and Harināma-cintāmaṇi –in all three of which he elaborates on the necessity to receive ekādaśa bhāva from a bonafide guru. Thus we can imbibe that when Bipin Bihari Goswami gave him this form of rāga mārga bhajana to practice, Bhaktivinoda became inspired to preach about it so that others could also benefit from this method.

In Svalikhita-jīvanī, paragraph 342, Bhaktivinoda documents another important event in his life which happened after he wrote the above mentioned three books: “I forgot to mention one thing, when my Sripada Acarya parivara (the Baghnapara Goswamis) saw the work I was doing publishing Vaishnava literature, they became pleased and awarded me the title “Bhaktivinoda”.

(As the Sanskrit certificate already appears on [page 49], here is its English translation: ) “Sri Sri Radha and Krishna are ever glorious. We, the Goswamis residing at Sripatha Baghnapara have joined to bestow the title of ‘Bhaktivinoda’ on our disciple Kedarnath Datta.

(1) May you, O Kedarnatha Datta, who desire nothing but the lotus feet of Sri Govinda, be ever glorious.

(2) As you follow the teachings of our Mahaprabhu, Sri Caitanya Candra, you also actively preach the śāstras that establish the bhakti path.

(3) Upon seeing your unwavering bhakti for Radha-Krishna, who would not be enchanted? Therefore you are dear to the Vaishnavas.

(4) Within your heart you hold the greatest bhakti that the bhaktas could ever desire. So you are most fortunate, O beloved sevaka.

(5) As you have realized that Krishna bhakti is the ultimate benefit for every jiva, we present you with the title, ‘Bhaktivinoda’.

“It is with joy that we bestow upon you this honor in the month of Magh, 400 years after Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s birth.

“Signed: Bipin Bihari Goswami, Jajnesvara Goswami, Ramacandra Goswami, Vinoda vihari Goswami, Yadunath Goswami, Kanailal Goswami and Haradhan Goswami.”

Continuing from Sva-likhita-jīvanī, paragraph 345, Bhaktivinoda says: I responded to this honor by dedicating the following Sanskrit verses to the Goswamis of my Guru-patha. As the original Sanskrit text of the document appears on page 51, here is its English translation:

“I offer my pranama to Sri Krishna Caitanya candra.

(1) May Balarama and Krishna, the worshipable jewels of Baghnapara, the beloved deities of Jahnavi devi, the bringers of fame to Ramai Thakur, be ever glorious.

(2) I worship the holy tirtha of Baghnapara, which purifies the land of Bengal. Its divine śakti is so great that it even turned a man-eating tiger into a great Krishna bhakta.

(3) I also worship all of the descendants of Sri Vamsivadan Thakur, who are my guru-varga and instructors on the bhakti path.

(4) By just a fragment of their blessings, my bodily identification has disappeared and henceforth I shall be known as Bhaktivinoda.

(5) Because it is by their mercy that I have been blessed with this auspicious title I offer my sāṣṭāṅga praṇāma at their lotus feet.

Signed at Seramapore by Kedarnatha Datta, now entitled Bhaktivinoda, the eternal servant of Ramai Thakur, his descendants, and all of the Vaishnavas”

These two Sanskrita documents prove without a doubt that Bipin Bihari Goswami and Thakur Bhaktivinoda’s relationship was close, and that they both maintained great respect, love and veneration for the other. Then as we read Bhaktivinoda’s own declaration, we can note that his full surrender extends to all the Goswami descendants of Thakur Vamsivadan, whom he accepts as his guru-varga and eternal instructors on the bhakti path.

Now it must be said that a majority of Bhaktivinoda’s followers do not wish to acknowledge that Bipin Bihari Goswami is Bhaktivinoda’s dīksā guru. One argument they put forward to support their stand is that Bipin Bihari and Bhaktivinoda disagreed on where the actual site of Gauranga’s birthplace is located, and that this dispute led to their rupture.

But this story cannot be accepted as true for there is no evidence to support it. Gauranga’s birthplace in Pracina Mayapur wasn’t discovered until 1916, two years after Bhaktivinoda’s departure from our world. So we can ask, how could these two great Vaishnavas quarrel over a janma-sthāna that was still unknown during the Thakur’s lifetime? So what actually happened?

When Bhaktivinoda Thakur discovered Gauranga’s janma-sthāna at Mayapur in 1891, Bipin Bihari Goswami supported his work, and was even a committee member of that janma-sthāna until Bhaktivinoda passed away in 1914. But in 1916, when Gauranga’s janma-sthāna was rediscovered in Pracina Mayapur (two years after Bhaktivinoda’s demise), Bipin Bihari Goswami joined the Nabadwip faction on the basis of the supporting evidence that they had.

Now let us ask, what would Thakur Bhaktivinoda have done had he lived up to 1916? Would he have started fighting with his gurudeva, guru-varga and a majority of the Vaishnavas who were at that time in favor of supporting the Pracina Mayapur janma-sthāna? It doesn’t make sense that he could ever do such a thing, especially after we read his declaration of full surrender to his Acarya parivara, the descendants of Thakur Vamsivadan. So isn’t it more likely that he would have changed his mind owing to the unconditional surrender he had at his Sri Guru’s lotus feet?

On Bipin Bihari Goswami’s request, Bhaktivinoda wrote another book entitled Śrīmad Bhāgavatārka-marīci mālā which was published in 1903, and he concludes this work with the following dedication:

punarāẏa mane haila śrī guru caraṇe
akṛtajña haile bhakti sādhiba kemane
lajjā teje likhi ebe tadīẏa ājñāẏa
aparādha yadi haẏa kṣama mahāśaẏa
bipina-bihārī prabhu mama prabhu-bara
śrī-baṁśī-badanānanda-baṁśa-śaśadhara
sei prabhupāder anujñā śire dhari
bhāgavata ślokāsbāda nirantara kari

Let me remember my guru’s lotus feet once again, for without showing gratitude, how can I execute bhakti? So putting aside all hesitation I am writing under his order.” “Bipin Bihari is my Gurudeva, and the bright full moon appearing in Vamsivadanananda Thakur’s guru paramparā. So in holding my Prabhupada’s order respectfully upon my head, I relish the Bhāgavatam’s ślokas.

This guru-vandana, written in 1903, has historical value for two important reasons:

1) It proves that Bhaktivinoda and Bipin Bihari never separated over the former’s founding Gauranga’s janma-sthāna at Mayapur – as this dedication was written twelve years after its discovery.

2) It also disproves the assertion that Bhaktivinoda rejected Bipin Bihari Goswami, and went on to accept Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj as his guru, as ISKCON and the Gaudiya Math claim. For Jagannath Das Baba passed away in 1895 [śukla pratipad of Phalgun, Monday, February 25,1895], five years before Bhaktivinoda wrote this glorification of his guru Bipin Bihari Goswami. Yet nowhere has Bhaktivinoda ever written that Jagannatha Das Babaji Maharaja is his gurudeva, not even in his eulogy of Jagannath Das upon his disappearance (Sajjana-toṣaṇī 22.2). Similarly, nowhere can we find that he ever wrote one word that depreciates even slightly the full faith and surrender that he maintained for his dīksā guru, Bipin Bihari Prabhu.

In another of Bhaktivinoda’s major works, his Caitanya-caritāmṛta commentary entitled Amṛta pravāha bhāṣya, he concludes at the very end by saying:

bipina-bihārī hari tānra śakti abatari
bipina-bihārī prabhu-bara
śrī-guru-gosvāmī-rūpe dekhi' more bhava-kūpe
uddharila āpana kiṅkara

Krishna, known as Bipina Bihari, made His energy descend into our world as Bipin Bihari Goswami, my Prabhu. Seeing me, his humble servant, in the dark well of samsara, he took the form of my Sri Guru Goswami to deliver me.

Rasa Analysis

Here Thakur Bhaktivinoda maintains the view that Bipin Bihari Krishna and Bipin Bihari Goswami are non-different, as he sees his guru as being a manifestation of Krishna’s divine śakti, an outlook that is supported in Caitanya-caritāmṛta itself:

yadyapi āmāra guru caitanyera dāsa
tathāpi janiye āmi tāhāra prakāśa
guru kṛṣṇa rūpa hana śāstrera pramāṇe
guru rūpe kṛṣṇa kṛpa karena bhakta gaṇe

Although my guru is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s das, I know him to be His prakasa (direct expansion). For the śāstras affirm that, as the guru is a form of Krishna, Krishna takes on the form of a guru to give mercy to the bhaktas. (CC Adi 1, 44-45)

But it is important to note that Bhaktivinoda never states that Bipin Bihari is nitya siddha. Rather, he and the other acharyas in this paramparā are sādhana siddha, and they follow the moods and the śikṣā of their leading acharyas – Vishnupriya, Vamsivadan, Jahnava Thakurani and Ramai Thakur who are all nitya siddha.

In contrast, when our modern acharyas are worshiped as nitya siddha and taken to be absolute authorities in their own right, the system that Mahaprabhu established changes. For in His Gaudiya Sampradaya, doesn’t He desire that His nitya parshada’s śikṣā be our ultimate guideline? Yet it can clearly be seen in today’s Vaishnava world that when more importance is placed on our contemporary acharyas and their teachings, many of Mahaprabhu’s matchless gifts of mercy become lost – and the first to be omitted is nāgarī bhāva.

But just consider, can anyone fathom Mahaprabhu’s magnanimity better that Advaita Acarya, who earnestly wishes that we receive the following treasure:

vidagdha-nāgarī-bhāva-kalā-keli-manoramam
gadādhara-prema-bhāva-kalākrānta-manoratham
narahari-prema-rasāsvāda-vihvala-mānasam
sarva-bhāgavatāhūta-kānta-bhāva-prakāśakam
prema-pradāna-lalita-dvibhujaṁ bhakta-vatsalam

O how enchanting are the romantic moods, rasa skills and prema-keli pastimes that Gaurasundar relishes with the rasika nāgarīs! And among them, Gadadhar’s prema bhāvas and rasika skills are overwhelming, as Narahari’s prema rasa also captivates Him.

What is more, Gauranga loves to become the kānta ("amorous hero ) with every bhagavat bhakta. Because when embracing them with His lovely arms He becomes loving and affectionate by awarding His madhura prema to every bhakta. (Advaita’s Stavarāja 26, 27, 28)

Here Advaita reveals how every bhagavad bhakta receives the privilege to take part in Gauranga’s internal pastimes. And why should these lilas not appear natural for Bhaktivinoda’s paramparā members? Because when following Vishnupriya’s madhura līlā with Gaura, they assume beautiful and divine female forms – for are not all of Her sakhīs and dāsīs the Nadiyā nāgarīs?

Another aspect of nāgarī bhāva upāsanā, that these paramparā members can participate in, centers around Nityananda Prabhu’s madhura līlā with Gauranga, as Ramai Thakur presents the following śikṣā in his Anaṅga Mañjarī Sampuṭikā:

“The lilas are both external and internal. In dasya, sakhya and vātsalya rasa, Balarama serves Krishna in an external male form. But for serving Him in madhura rasa Balarama takes on an internal female form. And in this way He can always captivate Krishna’s mind.”

Here Ramai uncovers another hidden side of the lila that very few Vaishnavas know about. But because Balarama and Nityananda are non-different and form one tattva, Nitai can also take on an internal female form for serving Gaurasundar in madhura rasa. This topic was discussed in context with Caitanya bhāgavata’s siddhānta in Chapter 18. Let us not forget, however, Bhaktivinoda’s personal bhajan – as he worships Gaura and Gadadhar’s yugala vigraha and initiates his followers with a gadādhara-rādhā-gaura-krṣṇa yugala mantra. But when we follow the teachings of Gadadhar’s eternal lila associates we can discover that the internal rasātmikā purport of such worship forms another wonderful flavor of Nadiyā nāgarī bhāva. Chapter 27 has dealt with this topic at length.

Although we find it hard to imagine, Krishna’s original kāntā bhāva bhajana with the Vrajasundaris that the Bhāgavatam teaches us has almost become extinct! And suffice it to say, in Bhakti-rasāmṛita-sindhu, this sambhogecchā-mayī worship is the first thing that Rupa Goswami offers his followers who are eager to take up Vraja’s madhura rasa upāsanā. It is in this light that my guru-dada Jagadananda-Dasji has written something that deserves our consideration:

Although most Gaudiya rāgānugā sadhakas today emphasize mañjarī bhava to almost absolute exclusivity, even going so far as to blaspheme the kāntā mood, anyone who studies the principal descriptions of madhura rasa as found in texts like Caitanya caritamṛta and Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi will immediately recognize that they deal primarily with the kāntā.

But there is some good news that we should mention. Because Mahaprabhu personally taught Vamsivadan Krishna’s rasarāja upāsanā (which essentially means this kāntā bhāva worship) bhaktas can surely take to it – as Mahaprabhu keenly desires that we do so. Hence in Bhaktivinoda’s āmnāya siddha guru paramparā, although mañjarī bhāva upāsanā is offered first to its new initiates, one can later take up Krishna’s kāntā bhāva worship too, if they so desire. The method for doing this has been described in Chapter 15. Now as we come to the topic of mañjarī bhāva, the mood of their sevā that we generally hear about is that they never (at any time) enjoy sambhoga pleasure with Krishna, even if Radha sends Krishna to meet with them. But in Her mañjarī bhāva śikṣā to Ramai Thakur, Jahnava Thakurni refutes this idea by saying:

sañcāri bhāvānurūpa kṛṣṇa dite pirīti
adhika prapuṣṭa kare bhāvollāsa rati

“The mañjarī’s piriti (conjugal loving desires) for Krishna can awaken in them like a sañcarī bhāva, and this further nourishes their bhāvollāsā rati.” (Muralī vilāsa, 6)

Rasa Analysis

Before we attempt to explain Jahnava’s message to Ramai, let us examine the following passage in Caitanya-caritāmṛta first, since it will help us to understand this topic better:

yadyapi sakhīra kṛṣṇa śṛṅgāre nāhi mora
tathāpi rādhikā yatne karaye saṅgama
nānā chale kṛṣṇa preri śṛṅgāra karāya
ātmā sukha saṅga haite koṭi sukha pāya
anyonye viśuddha prema kare rasa puṣṭa
tā sabāra prema dekhe kṛṣṇa haya tuṣṭa

Although the sakhīs (and mañjarīs) do not try to enjoy Krishna themselves (as they focus on Radha’s saṅgama pleasure with Him), Radha will carefully arrange their Krishna saṅgama. In fact Radha will make sure by various means that Krishna gets to enjoy with them. Then Radha experiences a million times more pleasure than when She unites with Him Herself. This pure and magnanimous behavior of Radha and Her sakhis nourishes their prema and it makes Krishna very happy. (Madhya 8, 211-213)

Since the mañjarīs are concerned with making Radha happy, wouldn’t it be wise for them to consider where Radha’s greatest happiness lies? And this isn’t found in Her direct saṅgama with Krishna, but when She can gift Krishna’s saṅgama pleasure to others. And here Caitanya-caritāmr̥ta discloses that She experiences millions of time more pleasure when doing so. Now what about the mañjarīs’ pirīti for Krishna that Jahnava says can awaken in them like a sañcāri bhāva? In their case, this sañcāri bhāva can temporarily rise in the ocean of their bhāvollāsā rati sthāyi bhāva. And bhāvollāsā rati means that because the mañjarīs love Radha more than Krishna, they simply love serving Her all of the time – for they never think about their personal happiness, as they consider Radha’s happiness their greatest wealth. Now what will a mañjarī do if she suddenly discovers that her Pranesvari has sent Krishna to enjoy with her? She has two choices:

1) She can vow not to enjoy with Krishna to maintain her chaste sevā mood to Radha. And Ujjvala nīlamaṇi gives an example of this in a story about Radha’s dāsī named Mani Manjari, or

2) She can choose to unite with Krishna. Not because she has such an overriding desire to do so, but for another reason which is truly magnanimous: She realizes that if she says “Yes,” Radha will become very happy, and Krishna will also become happy. So by agreeing, her kṛṣṇa pirīti sañcāri bhāva awakens a mood of complete surrender to Sri Yugal Kishora. And as she offers herself to Krishna in rati-keli, Radha’s happiness knows no bounds, Krishna becomes very happy, and her bhāvollāsā rati sthāyi bhāva becomes more nourished as her prema ever increases.

It is hard to express the joy we feel in belonging to Ananga Manjari’s mañjarī paramparā, for amongst Radha’s sakhis and mañjarīs Her exalted position is truly special. When Jahnava arrived in Vrindaban, the Six Goswamis worshiped Her lotus feet – because She is Isvara tattva, the combination of Balarama’s sandhinī śakti and Radha’s hladini śakti. Moreover, She is also renowned all over Vraja as Vṛṣabhānu nandinī and Kirtida’s kanyā (the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu and Kīrtida-rāṇī), as She is Radha’s younger sister. Hence Her bedroom is right next to Radha’s in Vrishabhanu’s palace, and in Javat She resides right next to Her Didi, too.

In his Anaṅga Mañjaīi Sampuṭikā, Ramai Thakur informs us that Ananga Manjari is a yūtheśvarī, a leader of a large group of sakhis and mañjarīs. And it is remarkable that Rupa Manjari (Rupa Goswami), Rati Manjari (Raghunatha das), Rasa Manjari (Raghunatha Batta), Guna Manjari (Gopal Batta) and Mani Manjari (Srinivasa Acarya) all serve in Ananga Manjari’s yutha as sub-leaders. In other words, although these five serve Radha as leading mañjarīs in Her group, in Ananga Manjari’s group they become sakhis to lead other sakhis. In fact, they are renowned as Ananga’s panca-ratna-sakhis, and this means that they enjoy sambhoga with Krishna also, as the other sakhis do.

Although there are other mañjarī paramparās that descend from Ananga Manjari – such as the one which comes through Jahnava’s disciple Birbadra, or the one which comes through Dhananjaya Pandita, the mañjarī paramparā that descends through Ramai Thakur is special for a number of reasons:

1) Jahnava went to Ramai’s parents and personally begged them to give Her Ramai. Then She affectionately raised him as Her adopted son;

2) When Jahnava gave Ramai dīkṣā, Vishnupriya appeared there in Her abirbhava. This is because Vishnupriya is Vamsivadan’s gurudevi, and She keenly wished to see his second Avatara as Ramai, and bless him;

3) After initiating Ramai, Jahnava gave him extensive bhakti training. And these teachings are described in chapters 6, 7 and 8 of Muralī-vilāsa;

4) When Jahnava brought Ramai to Vraja, She introduced him to the Six Goswamis. Then after completing a two month Vraja mandala parikrama with them, She disappeared from this world entering Kamyavan’s Gopinatha vigraha – right before Ramai’s eyes!

5) Shortly after this Jahnava appeared to Ramai in a dream, and ordered him to take Krishna-Balarama’s yugal vigraha with him to Gaura-desa (Bengal) to inaugurate Their nitya seva-puja there. This turned out to be in Baghnapara, the place where Ramai delivered a tiger with Harinama;

6) Although Bhaktivinoda’s mañjarī paramparā in Vraja begins with Ananga Manjari, the paramparā doesn’t stop there. It goes on to include Vamsivadana and his guru-devi Vishnupriya in Gaura lila. So the rasaraja upasana that Mahaprabhu taught to Vamsi, and Vishnupriya-Gauranga’s astakala lila seva also form a wonderful part of this Sampradaya’s glories.

Concluding Words

When this essay began, we said that Thakur Bhaktivinoda had a large family of thirteen children, and amongst them only Bimala prasada (Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati) and Lalita prasada became exemplary Vaishnavas. But as they grew up, their father noticed that they had different natures. So he gave them two different tasks:

1) He requested Bhaktisiddhanta to preach Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana dharma, and

2) to Lalita prasada , he asked him to daily chant three lakhs of Harinama japa in gopi bhāva.

When comparing the two paths, however, we can discover that the external and the internal purpose behind Gauranga’s advent lies herein.

Concerning the sankirtana’s pracāra, we must say that Bhaktisiddhanta was very successful – as he went on to become the most powerful bhakti preacher in the 20th century. For the members of Gaudiya Math and ISKCON all give their full support to him. So as these two organizations have grown, Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana dharma has spread to every corner of the world – a remarkable feat that the Lord Himself predicted would happen in Caitanya-bhāgavata:

+++prititivite ache jata nagar-adi grama 
sarvatre pracara haibe mora nama

“In every town and village of the world My Name will be preached.”

Hence the success of their preaching is sufficient proof that the Lord’s śakti is with them.

kalikala dharma krsna nama sankirtana 
krsna śakti vina nahe tar pravarttana

“The Kali yuga dharma is Krishna nāma sankirtana, but without getting Krishna’s special śakti, no-one can spread it.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta 3.7.11) In connection with this, however, Caitanya-caritāmṛta next states:

prema nama pracarite ei avatara 
satya ei hetu kintu eho bahiranga

“Although it is true that Gauranga comes to preach His prema dharma through the Harinama sankirtana, this is the external reason for His advent.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta 1.4.5-6)

Now why is the sankirtana’s preaching considered to be the external reason for Gauranga’s advent? Because it is actually Vishnu acting as the Yuga Avatara within Gauranga Who does this. But Gauranga isn’t a Yuga Avatara, He is the Avatari, Svayam Bhagavan Sri Krishna. And He comes for a more personal reason, which is internal. Thus Caitanya-caritāmṛta goes on to state:

ye lagi avatara kahi se mula karana prema rasa niryasa korite asvadana raga marga bhakti loke korite pracarana rasika sekhar krsna param karun ei dui hetu haite icchar udgama

“The main reason for Gauranga’s Avatara is: 1) to relish the essence of (madhura) prema rasa, and 2) to awaken rāgānugā bhakti in the people. Because Krishna is Rasika sekhar (the greatest rasika, or romantic) and very merciful, He comes as Gauranga to fulfil these two inner desires.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta 1.4.14-16)

This is what we have attempted to do in this essay: explore the internal world of Gauranga’s pastimes, those which flourish when He assumes His rasika sekhar Krishna mood -- as He covets so much (like a connoisseur) to relish the various flavors of madhura bhakti rasa.

But so that Kali yuga’s people can become eligible to share such a relish with Him, Gauranga desires that we become rāgānugā bhaktas. This is the path that Thakur Bhaktivinoda selected for Lalita prasada when he requested him to daily chant three lakhs of Harinama japa in gopi bhava. And, because ekādaśa bhāva and siddha praṇāli are an essential part of the sādhanaa, he gave him these things too in a separate form of initiation.

Thus when Prabhu would constantly chant japa, Radha-Krishna’s astakala lila often appeared before his eyes – as he focussed on serving Them day and night in his internally conceived mañjarī svarupa. Sometimes Prabhu would go into bhava-samadhi and become overwhelmed in the lila for long periods of time – and that is when his external consciousness would completely disappear. It is by performing bhajan intensely in this way that the Lord’s suddha-sattva-śakti can enter one’s heart to bring about Radha-Krishna’s saksat-darshan!

In Harināma-cintāmaṇi’s last chapter, Bhaktivinoda concludes by saying that we can attain siddhi in a short time if three important things are there:

1) sunirjana, an ideal secluded place to do bhajan (preferably in the dhama);

2) drdha bhava, a firm vow, and

3) ideal sadhu-sanga, the association of others who desire siddhi.

[Now that the task of writing this book has come to an end, the desire to take up a Namavrata more seriously than ever is awakening. And with great hope and feeling we pray that (this time) our rasamaya Gaura Kishora mercifully award His darshan.]

As this essay’s theme has followed after Rupa Goswami’s following famous verse, we shall end on this note:

anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ

“Let us always behold Sri Sacinandana’s beautiful golden form in the core of our heart. For He advents in Kali yuga to offer the people His most personal treasure, the various exalted mellows of madhura bhakti rasa.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta 1.3.4)

This handwritten manuscript of "Another Side of Thakur Bhaktivinoda" is complete on Friday morning, 17 July 2020, at Gadai-Gauranga Kunja, Ishodyana Mayapura.

Comments


See (literally and figuratively):

http://jagadanandadas.blogspot.com/2008/06/i-have-been-thinking-for-few-weeks-now.html?showComment=1559899427394#c8565192321210032306

http://jagadanandadas.blogspot.com/2006/07/some-more-autobiographical-notes-this.html?showComment=1562068068840#c4831997645572184079

Notes

ह्लाद् (hlād) “hlādate (perhaps orig. 'to make a cry of joy'), to be glad or refreshed, rejoice, to sound, shout (for joy), to refresh, gladden, exhilarate, delight.” √ ह्राद् (hrād):

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=1307.gif

From √ ह्राद् (hrād) “to sound, roar, make a noise, to cause to sound, to refresh, delight:”

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=1307.gif

See also ह्रद (hradá) 1. “a large or deep piece of water, lake, pool, the incense tree;” and 2. “sound, noise, a ray of light, a ram, N. of a son of Hrāda cf. Hariv.:”

1. http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=1306.gif

2. http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=1307.gif

ह्लाद (hlāda) “refreshment, pleasure, gladness, joy, delight:”

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=1307.gif

See दी (dī) (√ ḍi): 1. (√ ḍi) “to soar, fly (to fly away)” and 2. “to shine, be bright, to shine forth:”

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=480.gif

नी (nī) see 1. for निस् (nís), 2, 3, 4 and 5 नि (ní) “down, back, in, into, within (think entering into the light of the hiraṇya-garbhá):”

1: http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=543.gif

2, 3, 4 & 5: http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=565.gif

निस् (nís):

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=538.gif

Regarding the hiraṇya-garbhá, see readers’ comments:

http://jagadanandadas.blogspot.com/2008/06/i-have-been-thinking-for-few-weeks-now.html

निस् (nís) listed as Nís (bottom entry in middle column) “out, forth, away; out of, away from, without, free from (in this context, think free from the physical body):

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=543.gif
Dasanudasa said…
supremely beautiful, thanks for share with us this great nectarine mercy. Gaura Hari Bol!!!
Anonymous said…

मद् (mad) + हु (hu) + र (ra)

मद् (mad) see 2:

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=777.gif

हु (hu) see 1:

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=1300.gif

and:

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=1301.gif

र (ra) see 3:

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=859.gif
Anonymous said…

Kāmarūpa

See:

Note 48 pages 130-131 (N.B.* read through all the way to the end of note 48 on page 131).

Page 130:

https://archive.org/stream/ManthanBhairavaKumarikaKhandMarkDyczkowski/manthan%20bhairava%20kumarika%20khand%20-%20mark%20dyczkowski#page/n315/mode/2up

Page 131:

https://archive.org/stream/ManthanBhairavaKumarikaKhandMarkDyczkowski/manthan%20bhairava%20kumarika%20khand%20-%20mark%20dyczkowski#page/n317/mode/2up

Note 186 page 171:

https://archive.org/stream/ManthanBhairavaKumarikaKhandMarkDyczkowski/manthan%20bhairava%20kumarika%20khand%20-%20mark%20dyczkowski#page/n357/mode/2up

N.B.* For a description of the “end of the twelve,” see the last paragraph of Note 57 on page 133:

https://archive.org/stream/ManthanBhairavaKumarikaKhandMarkDyczkowski/manthan%20bhairava%20kumarika%20khand%20-%20mark%20dyczkowski#page/n319/mode/2up
Vidya said…
This was an amazingly inspiring. That the original Gaura upasana was forgotten is a mystery. But if He is a channa avatar this will explain. Gems are hard to find. That’s why they are gems.

XV. ONE THING

(Āvaṭe, 501. Heci devā pai māgata)

One thing I of my Lord entreat,
That I may ever serve his feet.

That I in Pandharī abide,
Always his holy saints beside.

Or high or low my birth may be;
Still, Hari, I would worship thee!

Lord of Kamalā, Namā prays,
O grant me this through all my days.

Source:

https://archive.org/details/psalmsofmarathas0000unse/page/44/mode/1up

(see also notes 2 & 3)
Anonymous said…

In further regard to Kāmarūpa, a couple of weeks ago my person was enquiring about Anantasaktipata’s mangalasloka’s to study alongside the vātūlanāthá sutra in order to understand how to put the text into practice (the name is a real eye opener).

अनन्तशक्तिपात (anantáśáktipāta) → अनन्त (an-antá) + शक्ति (śákti) + पा (pā) + त (ta)

“To drink (in with the eyes) the intoxicating liquor (the flowing nectar of the) infinite energy (of liquid light) (of) the womb (of all creation).”

Notes

त (ta) “nectar, the womb (think Gorakṣanātha’s a-mṛ'ta kuṇḍa (Baḥr al- hayât) or hiraṇya-garbhá here)

حیات اَل بَحْر Baḥr al- hayât:

بَحْر (baḥr‎) “sea” اَل (al-) “(of) the” حیات‎ ‎(hayât‎) “life-force (of the soul)”.

अमृतकुण्ड a-mṛ'ta kuṇḍa:

अमृत a-mṛ'ta “go through, cross over (to) not die” + कुण्ड (kuṇḍa) “(bowl shaped) well of water” (i.e., the ‘Golden Womb’ or ‘Well of Souls’).

हिरण्यगर्भ (hiraṇya-garbhá):

हिरण्य (hiraṇya) “any vessel or ornament made of gold (Gold from Proto-Indo-European ǵʰelh₃- “to shine”) “the shining vessel.”

गर्भ (gárbha) the womb (interior of); a fœtus or embryo, child, brood or offspring (of the sky); a woman's courses (in this context, think streaming light from the womb of all creation)

तापनीय (tāpanīya)

“Crossing over without (free [from the body]) enveloped in a (pool of [liquid] light of the) womb (of all creation) drinking in (with the eyes).”

त (ta), see 3:

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=431.gif

प (pa):

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=573.gif

नी (nī); see निस् (Nís):

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=543.gif

य (ya), see 4:

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=838.gif

तापनीय (tāpanīya):

http://www.sanskrita.org/scans/visor.html?scan=442.gif
Darius said…
Jagadananda Prabhu,

Are these 30 chapters available as one file for download?

Y.s.Dd.
Jagadananda Das said…
I believe that they are likely so from Gadadhar himself or from his disciples. Please communicate directly with him. I believe his email is in the document itself.

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