Part Four, Verses 42-57
krsna-nama, krsna-rupa kabhu jada bale na
krsna-guna, krsna-lila kabhu jada bale na
One should never say that Krsna’s Holy Name and Krsna’s form are material. One should never say that Krsna’s qualities and pastimes are mundane.
jada-rupa anarthete krsna-bhrama kare na
krsna-nama-rupa-gune jada-buddhi kare na
One should not be deluded by the illusion of mundane forms and mistake Sri Krsna also to be material. One should never try to comprehend Krsna’s names, forms, and qualities with mundane intelligence.
To make it clear to his readers and to anyone claiming to be a follower of Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, it is being said here again and again that before one can properly relish the higher stages of bhakti, one must first come to the stage of anartha-nivrtti – being freed from material contamination. The real work in vaidhi-bhakti is to become free from anarthas. One who fails to achieve this is doomed. Ninety percent of our work should be to eliminate the unwanted anarthas and then the other ten percent will come quite easily. Any endeavor to achieve the ten percent without eliminating the ninety percent is simply living in a fool’s paradise.
It has been said that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura spent ninety percent of his energy to teach what is not madhurya-rasa, the negative side. He had to spare in his words, “gallons of blood” in order to teach that which is not rasa.
Some foolish persons take these statements of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura lightly and, ignoring his cautions, dive head long into the topics of higher lila. Such persons should be understood as not being followers of the great acarya and their association should be rejected.
nama-rupa-guna-lila jada bali’ mane na
jada-nama-rupa-gune krsna kabhu bale na
One should never regard any of the Lord’s Names, forms, qualities or pastimes to be material. One should never say that any material Name, form or quality belongs to Krsna.
jada-sunya aprakrta nama chada bale na
jada-sunya aprakrta rupa-chada dekhe na
Nothing else should be spoken except the spiritual Names of Sri Krsna, that are completely spiritual and free from all matter. Nothing else should be seen except for the divine form of Krsna, which is free from all matter.
jada-sunya aprakrta guna-chada sune na
jada-sunya aprakrta lila-chada seve na
Nothing else should be heard except for the divine qualities of Sri Krsna that are free from all matter. Nothing else should be served except for the divine pastimes of Sri Krsna, that are free of all mundane contamination.
Everything about Krsna is purely spiritual and thus everything connected to Krsna is divine. The following questions asked by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the answers given by Ramananda Raya, are supremely instructive to all devotees.
Q: What is the essence of learning in the field of educational activities?
A: There is no superior quality of learning than the knowledge pursued in regard to devotional service to Sri Krsna.
Q: What is the highest fame?
A: The highest fame of a living being is a reputation of being a devotee of Sri Krsna.
Q: What is the most valuable possession of life among all the assets of the world?
A: One who has transcendental love for Radha and Krsna is to be considered the richest person in the world.
Q: What is the most grievous type of sorrow among all the sorrows and distresses of life?
A: There is no greater type of sorrow than the unhappiness created by separation from devotees of Sri Krsna.
Q: Who is most perfectly liberated among all the liberated souls of the universe?
A: One who has transcendental love for Sri Krsna is the greatest of all liberated souls.
Q: What is the best song that a person can sing?
A: The essence of all songs is the singing of the transcendental glories of Radha and Krsna.
Q: What is the highest benefit of life that a person can seek?
A: There is no greater gain in life than the association of devotees engaged in the service of Sri Krsna.
Q: Who is to be remembered constantly by the living being?
A: One should always think of the transcendental Name, fame, and qualities of Sri Krsna.
Q: What should the living being meditate on?
A: The most perfect type of meditation is to meditate upon the lotus feet of Radha and Krsna.
Q: Where should the living being reside exclusively, leaving all other residential quarters?
A: One should live in Vrndavana, where the transcendental pastimes of rasa-lila are perpetually performed.
Q: What should the living entity hear about, leaving aside all other topics?
A: The reciprocal loving pastimes of Radha and Krsna are the only subject matter for aural reception by the living entity.
Q: What is the most worshipable object among all those to be worshiped?
A: The topmost worshipable object is the combined names of Radha and Krsna.
Q: Where do persons go who aspire after liberation or sense enjoyment respectively?
A: The first person attains a body that is immovable (such as a stone or mountain), and the other attains a celestial body.
The above questions and answers contain the essence of all transcendental knowledge confirmed in the authoritative scriptures.
anartha thakara kale jada-rupe maje na
anartha thakara kale jada-gune mise na
While anarthas continue to remain, one should not become allured by mundane appearances. While anarthas remain, one should never associate with material qualities.
anartha thakara kale jada-lila bhoge na
anartha thakara kale suddha-nama chade na
While anarthas remain, one should never enjoy mundane pastimes. While anarthas remain, one should never give up chanting the pure Name of Krsna.
anartha thakara kale rasa-gana kare na
anartha thakara kale siddhi-labdha bale na
While anarthas remain, one should never sing rasika songs. While anarthas remain, one should never claim that one has attained perfection.
anartha thakara kale lila-gana kare na
anartha-nivrtti-kale nama jada bale na
While anarthas remain, one should never sing songs about the Lord’s confidential pastimes. At the stage of anartha-nivrtti, one should never consider the Holy Name to be mundane.
While anarthas still remain, a devotee should remain steadfast on the path of vaidhi-bhakti and not venture ahead, lest he risk ruination. Not understanding the necessity of purification from anarthas, pseudo-gurus sometimes recommend that their disciples sing elevated songs glorifying the pastimes of Radha and Krsna, or even worse, the pseudo-guru sometimes instructs his disciples to sing mundane songs about Radha and Krsna, such as those composed by the Rajasthani princess, Mirabai. The pure devotee never engages his disciples in such a way.
Furthermore, some unqualified devotees, who think that they have attained rasa, begin to write books in which they imagine fictious pastimes of Radha-Krsna in their fertile brain and then give discourses about such imaginary pastimes as though they were advanced in rasa. Such persons should be known as self-deluders and cheaters.
anartha-nivrtti-kale rupe jada dekhe na
anartha-nivrtti-kale gune jada bujhe na
At the stage of anartha-nivrtti, one cannot observe material attributes in the form of Sri Krsna. At the stage of anartha-nivrtti, material elements can no longer be perceived in the Lord’s qualities.
anartha-nivrtti-kale jada lila seve na
rupanuga gurudeva sisya-himsa kare na
At the stage of anartha-nivrtti, one never serves material activities. The spiritual masters in the line of the rupanugas, never harm their disciples in any way.
In the above verse, ‘harming the disciples’ does not refer to putting the disciple in harms way in the physical sense, but rather it refers to putting the disciple in harms way in the spiritual sense. By engaging a disciple ahead of himself, by encouraging him in rasa, for which he is not qualified, does not benefit the disciple in the least – rather it brings great harm to the disciple. Real rupanugas never bring harm to their disciples in that way.
guru tyaji’ jade asa kabhu bhakta kare na
mahajana-pathe dosa kabhu guru deya na
A disciple never rejects his spiritual master due to his own hankering for material pleasures. The spiritual master never finds defects in the line of the mahajanas.
guru-mahajana-vakye bheda kabhu haya na
sadhanera pathe kanta sad-guru deya na
There is never any contradiction between the words of the spiritual master and the words of the mahajanas. A genuine spiritual master never places thorns on the path of sadhana.
adhikara-avicara, rupanuga kare na
anartha-anvita-dase rasa-siksa deya na
Rupanugas never misjudge spiritual qualifications. They never give instructions on rasa to a servant who is infested with anarthas.
bhagavata-padya bali’ ku-vyakhya ta’ kare na
loka-samgrahera tare krama-patha chade na
One should never chant the verses of the Bhagavatam and give false interpretations. One should never reject the systematic path of devotion in order to collect large numbers of followers.
na uthiya vrksopari phala dhari’ tane na
rupanuga krama-patha vilopa ta’ kare na
One should not climb a tree, grab the fruits and pull them off by force. Rupanugas never eliminate the systematic path of bhakti.
Those who are real rupanugas never eleminate the systematic path of bhakti because they know that one cannot simply jump ahead and achieve the ultimate goal of life. One must go step by step.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta has used the phrase ‘anartha-anvita’. Anvita means permeated or infested. Not only do pseudo-gurus attempt to give rasa to persons who have anarthas, but they attempt to give rasa to those who are infested with anarthas – anartha-anvita. Factually speaking, a neophyte does not make progress in Krsna consciousness under the guidance of a pseudo-guru, but rather such unfortunate neophytes increase their anarthas due to bad association – they become anartha-anvita.
To support the claim that even those who are infested with anarthas should hear rasa-lila topics, the pseudo-section likes to quote the following verse:
vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh
sraddhanvito ‘nusrnad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv-apahinoty-acirena dhirah
“A sober person who, with a reverential attitude, hears the divine pastimes of Krsna with the gopis of Vraja from the mouth of a pure devotee and then describes those pastimes accordingly, achieves the supramundane loving service of the Lord within no time and thereby drives away mundane lusty desires from his heart.” (Bhag. 10.33.39)
Deliberating upon the this verse, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta writes in his Anubhasya commentary to Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 5.45 as follows:
“A person who hears or describes the rasa-lila and other such pastimes as found in the Bhagavatam, living them in his transcendental heart, then finds material desires for sensual pleasure wane to nothingness. Because Krsna’s pastimes are transcendental, one who hears or speaks about them enters into that transcendental domain where material qualities can no longer influence him. Even while in contact with matter, he is unaffected; his mind remains calm and steady. He is able to understand his own qualifications to serve Krsna. No one should think, as do the Prakrta-Sahajiyas, that an ordinary living entity will overcome lust by hearing and chanting these pastimes, if he is filled with contaminations like lust and greed, if he avoids accumulating the appropriate knowledge (sambandha-jnana) of the relationships between matter, the individual soul and the Supreme Lord, if he remains fixed in a subjective world centered on his own sensual pleasures, if his intelligence continues to be permeated with material conceptions, if he neglects all the purifying activities of devotional service in practice, and especially if he takes the spiritual love affairs of the Supreme Lord to have the same kinds of sensual motivations that he himself experiences. For this reason, Mahaprabhu emphasized the word ‘faith’ (sraddhanvita) in order to forestall such Sahajiya arguments.”
Real rupanugas do not neglect the advice of previous acaryas or mahajanas. To do such brings about certain ruination of one’s spiritual life. Simultaneously as one’s spiritual life is being reduced to ruin, the pseudo-devotees are gaining the inspiration to live in a fool’s paradice. The folly of their ways may only be realized when it is too late, when death comes.The proper approach to higher topics in devotional service is summed up in the verse pujala raga-patha, composed by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.
matala hari-jana visaya-range
pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange
“The servants of Lord Hari, who revel in satisfying His transcendental desires, worship the path of spontaneous devotional service (raga-patha) in a mood of awe and reverence (gaurava-bhange). Our approach to raga-patha is to stay at a safe distance and below.”
One is certainly free to do whatever one so desires in this material world, for God has given the living entity his independence. But those who reject the mahajanas and the advice of previous acaryas, boldly display to us their ornaments of ignorance and audacity when they arrogantly declare, “We put our foot on that gaurava!” Such persons are thoroughly unfortunate.