Saturday, December 6, 2014

Aindra Dasa: Vaidhi vs Raganuga Bhakti

Track No.1 – Vyasa-puja offering to Srila Prabhupada

…coming from his quarters in the Thomac Mar land down to the temple after the morning walk for greeting the Deities, so I was enthusiastically banging the way on the mrdanga, which I couldn’t play very well, and but I was chanting Hare Krsna at the top of my lungs, walking directly side-by-side with Srila Prabhupada, and Prabhupada turns to me and goes: “Jaya!”

So that’s the only thing he ever said to me! But because he said that to me in relation to my engagement in nama-sankirtana, I took it as a great inspiration for my whole life. That at least if I do nama-sankirtana, particularly Hare Krsna maha-mantra-kirtana, that at least that can get a “jaya” out of Srila Prabhuapada. I might not be doing anything else which gets a “jaya” out of Srila Prabhupada, but at least that much to get a “jaya” out of Srila Prabhupada.

So because I didn’t get much instruction from him directly, so as most of you, I’m sure most of you were also heavily reliant upon Srila Prabhupada’s vani. So similarly, I’m also reliant on Srila Prabhupada’s vani. By hearing from Srila Prabhupada and taking to heart at least some aspects, some instruction – we may not be able to follow all the instructions. Srila Prabhupada told that we should follow all the instructions, even the little one’s to the tea. But fallen that we are we may not be able to follow every little instruction. But if we can at least latch on to one instruction and follow that to the end, then it might get us somewhere.

So I remember some time ago, few years ago, I’ve been in Vrndavana for twenty years, trying to be some kind of a Vraja-vasi, I took great inspiration from Srila Prabhuapada’s instruction to Dananjaya Prabhu in a letter, where Srila Prabhuapada said that he wanted as many devotees as possible, as many devotees, he says, to permanently reside in Vrndavana and become Vraja-vasis. And he ended that statement by saying, “That will be very inspiring!”

So I thought that, “Very inspiring to whom? Maybe even very inspiring to Srila Prabhupada that if some of his devotees could actually become genuine Vraja-vasis.”

Vraja-vasi is a tall order! Vraja-vasi means self-less, unalloyed devotional service, following in the footsteps of the eternal associates of Krsna, who have no desire for their own personal self-satisfactions. They don’t consider happiness and distress, to be in any way a criterion for judging what is to be done and what is not to be done in a matter of satisfying Krsna. Their personal happiness and distress is inconsequential.

So this para-upakara-mood of a Vraja-vasi that can be done in Vrndavana as it can be done outside of Vrndavana. Para-upakara means that we want to do good for others. So just like we can do good for others by travelling all over the world, so we can also endeavour to do good for others by living in Vrndavana. Prabhupada didn’t like the idea of living in Vrndavana for one’s personal benefit.

But he never deprecated the idea of living in Vrndavana for the benefit of others! Because actually, that is the name of the game! If anyone wants to become a pure Vraja-vasi, following in the footsteps of the residents of Vraja, then they must develop this mood because that’s the mood of a Vraja-vasi. They do good for others. Just like the gopis make arrangements for others to meet with Krsna. So in the same way, distribution of transcendental literatures in Vrndavana or any other activity done in Vrndavana, yielding a thousand times the benefit.

Just understand that if you spend one year in Vrndavana, that’s equivalent to…one year of devotional service in Vrndavana, as Prabhupada in one lecture told that a thousand times the benefit, any devotional service done in Vrndavana.

So one year of devotional service in Vrndavana is equivalent to a thousand years of devotional service anywhere else in the world. One year devotional service, if you consider a thousand years of devotional service and then divide (multiply?) that by I would think a maximum of eighty years, probably not even an average of eighty years. Many devotees are leaving their bodies earlier, sixty, even fifty.

But even if we give ourselves eighty years as Srila Prabhupada – he was with us for eighty-two years in this particular acarya-svarupa as Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. And in that life, he lived for eighty-two years. So if someone lives for eighty years and you divide (multiply?) a thousand years worth the devotional service by eighty years and you come up with twelve lifetimes of devotional service.

By doing devotional practices in Vrndavana dhama, that is equivalent – one year of devotional service in Vrndavana dhama is equivalent to twelve lifetimes of devotional service anywhere else in the world. We should try to understand the great value of the facility that Srila Prabhupada has arranged for us to make leaps and bounds of advancement in Krsna consciousness by taking advantage as much as possible!

This Vrndavana-yatra, and Vrndavana-yatra means preaching-yatra. Prabhupada said that if we don’t use this Vrndavana temple for preaching, that will simply become a go-down. Go-down means a store house. Just like the Panca-tattva broke open the store house and distributed to contents, love of Godhead. I’m not looking at that sign. I’m sorry, I have something to say. So yes, I know but I’m going to carry on a little more. Don’t mind.

So anyway, I just want to read one excerpt from a lecture by Srila Prabhupada here in Vrndavana dhama. This was in 1972. You can imagine that most devotees who were here in Vrndavana to hear that lecture, they couldn’t have been in the movement more than six years. So probably, most devotees that were here were in the movement from four to six years, perhaps maybe even less. But here is something very interesting that Srila Prabhupada said, which I think that should be encouraging to all of us. Anyone who has been in this movement for at least four, five or six years or more, they should take heed of Srila Prabhupada’s statement here. Ok?

“Vaidhi-bhakti that is apprehend ship. Real bhakti, para-bhakti, that is raganuga-bhakti. This raganuga-bhakti we have to come after surpassing the vaidhi-bhakti. In the material world, if we do not try to make further and further progress in devotional service, if we are simply sticking to the sastric regulation process and do not try to go beyond that…sastric process, also regulation, that is required. Without sastric process, you cannot go to that platform. But if we stick to the sastric process only, and do not try to improve oneself…the sastric process is kanistha-adhikara, lowest stage of devotional service.

If I become satisfied only with these regulative principles for worshiping the Deity in the temple and following the regulative principle daily, but I have no other idea, then, then what? Sabhakta pakrtaha smitah. Prakrta means on a material platform. Such a devotee can fall down at any moment because he is on the prakrta-stage. And prakrta means there’s guna-mayi-prakrti, it is very strong.

So any devotee can fall down if he remains a prakrta-bhakta. So he has to raise himself above this in the madhyama-adhikara. The same thing as my Guru Maharaja used to say (that is Bhaktisiddhanta) that licking of the bottle of honey, that is not real honey. You have to open the bottle of honey and lick up the real honey. Then you’ll get taste.

That is advancement in spiritual knowledge. Satam prasangam mama viryasam vidhau…rasayana katha. Therefore, if we do not associate with the advanced devotees, uttama-adhikari, if we simply want to remain in the lowest stage of devotional service, then we are not making progress. Then we shall simply enjoy the material field without entering onto the spiritual platform.

So when you are actually in pure devotional service, sarvopadi vinirmuktham, being free from the interactions of the three material modes of nature, that is the real transcendental stage of devotional service. So we have to try to go to that platform. Otherwise, we shall remain a prakrta-bhakta. We have to become transcendental to the three modes of material nature. That is not very difficult. Simply one has to become very serious and sincere. That’s all.”

That’s all.

Thank you very much. Hare Krsna!
Srila Prabhupada ki – jaya!

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