ACQUIRING KNOWLEDGE, BHAKTI RASA & KRISHNA PREMA – PROCESS!
In THIS FIRST PART OF THIS POST, we have read that we can receive through these three sources Shastra, Sadhu and Guru.
In this Part-2 of the above Post, we are going to read what knowledge we will receive through these three sources Shastra, Sadhu and Guru.
The Philosophy has to be understood under three basic categories:
(1) SAMBANDHA (RELATIONSHIP): The nature of and relationships between the individual living entity and the Supreme;
(2) ABHIDHEYA (METHOD OF ATTAINMENT): The proper steps to be taken to understand the nature of and relationships between the individual living entity and the Supreme;
(3) PRAYOJANA (ULTIMATE PERFECTION) : The attainment of Perfection in relationships between the individual living entity and the Supreme.
Let us see some details of each stage:
Already, I have explained some practical details about these three stages HERE IN THIS POST.
(1) SAMBANDHA — RELATIONSHIP
The living entity, say, the man who is an eternal spiritual being, is encaged within a world of matter since beginningless time.
On account of ignorance of its essential nature, the eternal living entity identifies itself with body and various attributes of this world life after life and meets happiness and distress among various species of life, birth after birth, but he never gets satisfied. Because the Soul/spirit will never find its peace in a world made of matter.
The Supreme Person (Krishna) is the ultimate manifestation of the Absolute Truth, the original cause of all creation, maintenance and destruction. Whatever exists in all the material and spiritual worlds consists of Him and His infinite energies only.
CREATIONS BY KRISHNA – FOURTEEN MATERIAL WORLDS – FULL DETAILS! READ HERE!
CREATIONS BY KRISHNA – MATERIAL WORLDS – CREATION & ANNIHILATION! READ HERE!
(CREATIONS BY KRISHNA – BRAHMAM & INTERMEDIATE WORLDS! READ HERE!)
THREE KINDS OF THE ENERGIES OF SUPREME PERSON
(1) EXTERNAL ENERGY (MATERIAL WORLD):
His external energy, the Material world, that is is temporary in nature, consists of eight basic elements, namely five gross elements, and three subtle elements.
FIVE GROSS ELEMENTS:
(5) Ether, or the space in which everything exists.
THREE SUBTLE ELEMENTS:
(7) Budhdhi, ie, Intelligence and
(8) False ego (a mundane conception of personality).
(HOW 24 MATERIAL ELEMENTS CONSTITUTE THE MATERIAL NATURE AND BODIES? A WELL SIMPLIFIED EXPLANATION! READ HERE!)
(2) MARGINAL ENERGY:
His marginal energy consists of the living entities of this world, the tiny spiritual sparks which are situated in a marginal position between the material world and the spiritual world, having the possibility of choosing between the two in accordance with their desires.
The living entities are simultaneously one with and different from the Supreme, just as a ray of sun is one with and different from its origin, the sun.
(3) INTERNAL ENERGY (SPIRITUAL WORLD):
(These Spiritual world is considered by us as controlled by Radharani)
His internal energy consists of the following three components:
SANDHINI (ETERNITY) from which all spiritual worlds exist,
SAMVIT (CONSCIOUSNESS) from which varieties of awareness arise, and
HLADINI (ECSTACY) from which divine, blissful loving emotions arise.
(How to love Krishna? READ HERE!)
(2) ABHIDHEYA — MEANS OF ATTAINMENT
WHAT IS CALLED SADHANA?
The path of bhakti, of loving devotional service to the Supreme Person, is known as “sadhana”, or “that which leads to the goal”.
There are two paths of bhakti in practice :
(1) Vaidhi-bhakti, and (2) Raganuga-bhakti.
They are understood as follows:
(1) VAIDHI BAKTHI:
Responsible practice of bakthi – devotional practice of rules and regulations with reverence to the supreme person Krishna.
(2) RAGANUGA BAKTHI:
Spontaneously loving the supreme person, Krishna in ‘vraj mood”, ie., devotional practice in search of loving attraction that are not controlled by any rules:
This Raganuga Bakthi need not be taught. This is natural. Can we give rules for how to love the lord?
The practice of vaidhi-bhakti leads the aspirant to Vaikuntha, where a sense of awe and reverence towards the Lord prevails.
Raganuga-bhakti leads the aspirant to Vraja, where natural loving feelings are prominent.
Externally the practices of the sadhaka (practitioner) on both paths look similar. The difference is in the inner motivation.
(Can Vaidhi Bakthi lead one towards Raganuga bhakti? (ie, Can the devotional rules make us Perfect Devotees?) READ HERE!)
9 STAGES OF BHAKTI YOGA (ADVANCEMENT IN DEVOTION)
Gradual ninefold evolution of the aspirant to the perfection of ecstatic love of God involves these stages:
(1) SRADDHA (faith)
(2)SADHU-SANGHA (association of saints)
(3) BHAJANA KRIYA (engagement in worship)
(4) ANARTHA NIVARTHI (cessation of unwanted elements)
(5) NISHTA (steadiness)
(6) RUCI (taste)
(7) ASAKTHI (attachment)
(8) BHAWA (intense emotion)
(9) PREMA (ecstatic love)
(All these nine stages of evolution of Pure Prema have been explained in THIS POST of Our Site.)
The perfection of all devotional endeavours is further described in the next section PRAYOJANA.
(3) PRAYOJANA — ULTIMATE PERFECTION
The pastimes of the Lord in the spiritual world are called His UNMANIFEST PASTIMES, and the pastimes in this world are called His MANIFEST PASTIMES.
As the aspirant reaches the stage of Ecstatic love (Prema), attaining direct vision of his beloved Lord, his journey for perfection in this world is completed. As he departs from this world, he is taken to the universe where the Lord displays His pastimes at that time. He takes birth from the womb of a gopi (divine cowherd lady) in the village of Krishna, attaining a spiritual body suitable for further expressions of divine love.
Then, at the end of the Lord’s manifest pastimes, she is transferred to the eternal, unmanifest pastimes of the Lord in the spiritual abode.
(TEN STEPS FORMULA TO DEVELOP LOVE WITH KRISHNA PERMANENTLY! READ HERE!)
WHAT IS BAKTHI-RASA?
BHAKTHI-RASA, the collective ways of Emotions/ expression of divine love are of five kinds:
(1) STHAYI BHAVA (Permanent Emotion):
Experiencing bhakti-rasa, in the bhawa of (1) Neutrality, (2) Servitude, (3) Friendship, (4) Parental love, and (5) Amorous love.
(2) VIBHAVA (Provoking Emotion):
Perswons and Items which inspires the experience of sthayi-bhava, and is of two varieties, (1) the persons who provoke the exchange of emotions, namely the object of love, Krishna, and the reservoir of love, the devotee, and (2) items connected with Krishna.
(3) ANUBHAVA (Consequent Emotion):
Expressions of emotion such as crying, laughing and singing.
(4) SATVIKA-BHAVA (Ecstatic Emotion):
Powerful ecstatic emotions which arise in the devotee without any conscious intention when he is overwhelmed with blissful love. Eg: Becoming stunned, fainting and faltering of voice..
(5) VYABHICARI-BHAVA (Surging Emotion):
Eg: Excitement, shyness and jubilation.
Initial experience of all the above mentioned emotions of bhakti-rasa takes place already in this world, but the fullest extent of expression is only possible in a spiritual body of an associate of the Lord in His abode.
(DESCRIPTIONS OF SPIRITUAL WORLDS HAVE BEEN GIVEN IN OUR SITE HERE.)
So far, we have seen the philosophical concepts behind the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, of the living entities’ relationship with the Supreme Person, the supreme goal of life, and the process for its attainment.
If you evaluate yourself whether you have these qualities and symptoms, you can identify yourself in what stage you are in the devotion to Lord.
Many devotees ask me how to develop love on Krishna and they are thinking that just loving Krishna like loving a boy/ girl is Prema love. No. Prema should have all the qualities and emotions mentioned above. AND, IT HAS TO CROSS THE STAGES LIKE KNOWLEDGE, BHAKTI RASA & KRISHNA PREMA
So, do not just say I LOVE KRISHNA. Hereafter, evaluate whether you are truly loving Krishna as per the symptoms expected from a lover of Krishna and take steps to advance in the Love with Krishna
Hope all of you found this Post ON KNOWLEDGE, BHAKTI RASA & KRISHNA PREMA useful.
(NINE PROCESS OF DEVOTIONAL SERVICE CAN BE READ HERE)