We have seen that साधना (sādhanā) is the activities of the senses (इंद्रिय-व्यापार) that result in भाव (bhāva). Someone who has bhāva will also serve Kṛṣṇa with the senses, but there is a difference. The activities at the stage of bhāva are external manifestations of the internal bhāva. Thus these activities are also called bhāva. But in sādhanā, the activities are not a result of bhāva.
We have also seen that sādhanā does not produce bhāva; instead, bhāva manifests on its own (स्वयं सिद्ध). Then what is the function of sādhanā? Jiva Goswami explains1 that sādhanā purifies the citta (sub-conscious mind) so that bhāva can appear there.
Purity of the citta means becoming free from offense to Kṛṣṇa. Then भक्ति देवि (bhakti devi) can take her seat in the citta.
We have already discussed what it means to be favorable to Kṛṣṇa. The Sanskrit word for offense is अपराध (aparādha), which means ‘against worship (अाराधना)’ i.e. that which is displeasing or unfavorable to Kṛṣṇa.
Becoming free from offense is the only qualification necessary for bhāva to manifest.
This is in contrast to other paths like jñāna-mārga where one needs to get rid of material attachment etc., that is, become free from the rajas and tamas and become sattvik. This is not at all the case with bhakti, because bhakti can manifest even in a rājasi or tāmasi person. This is the significance of the story of अजामिल (Ajāmila), who was engaged in tāmasi activities, but just a semblance of bhakti purified him.
- भक्ति रसामृत सिंधु lectures, Bhakti Tirtha II, Shri Satyanarayana dasa Babaji, Jiva Institute, Vrindavan. 2017. ↩