Śrī Rūpa defines sādhanā bhakti, Part II

The second line of the definition of साधना भक्ति given by Śrī Rūpa Goswami is as follows:

नित्य सिद्धस्य भावस्य प्राकट्यम् हृदि साध्यता|

nitya siddhasya bhāvasya prākaṭyam hṛdi sādhyatā

sādhyatā means the manifestation of the nitya siddha bhāva in the heart.

We will unpack each of the words here and also examine the reason (हेतु) for the inclusion of this line in the definition. The word sādhyatā is formed by adding the suffix ‘tā’ to the word sādhya which in this context means sādhya-ness, that is, the quality of being a sādhya. Śrī Rūpa Goswami is taking pains to establish the intended meaning of the word ‘sādhya’ in the previous line.

First, he emphasizes that sādhyatā means manifestation (प्राकट्यम्) [of that which already exists].

Generally the word sādhanā refers to creating something, and sādhya refers to coming into existence. For example, physical exercise is the means (sādhanā) to build muscle (sādhya). The muscles did not exist before, and came into existence as a direct result of the exercise. Here, sādhyatā is निर्माण (nirmāṇa) or creation. Śrī Rūpa Goswami takes pains to distinguish the sādhya of sādhanā bhakti from the commonly understood sādhyas which are created by sādhanā and do not exist before that creation. To do this, he uses the word प्राकट्यम्, manifestation [of that which already exists].

Next Śrī Rūpa Goswami specifies exactly what manifests- the nitya siddha bhāva. The word nitya means eternal, and siddha means existing. Therefore,

That bhāva which is ever existing becomes manifest as the sādhya. [it manifests in the heart]

Here the word hṛdi – in the heart- does not indicate the physical heart. It indicates the citta, or sub-conscious mind which stores memories. Because bhāva is eternal and simply manifests, it follows that it is present somewhere else but not in the sādhaka’s heart.

A question arises: where is this nitya siddha bhāva present before it manifests in a sādhaka’s heart? There are two views on this question, which we will examine in the next article.

Categories: sādhanā

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