There are three broad divisions of yoga – karma yoga, jñāna yoga and bhakti yoga. Understanding these three yogas is important so that one’s sādhanā matches their respective definitions. Otherwise, one is liable to be a khicaḍī yogī who mixes practices of the three paths with each other. […]
The word jnāna has the common meaning of ‘knowledge’. However, in Sanskrit usage, the word jnāna carries different meanings depending on the context. Here we examine these meanings, and how they apply to the ātmā.
A sticking point with many people is that Vaiṣṇavas insist that God has a specific form (rūpa), name (nāma), actions (līlā ), and attributes (guṇa). However, doesn’t that make God sectarian? The product of a specific culture, with specific clothes and language? Furthermore, why should God resemble human […]
Śrī Jīva Goswami examines the meaning of māyā in Bhagavat Sandarbha Anuccheda 18. He gives his own unique explanation of māyā, which we examine here.
The reason for suffering is avidyā, and it is the beginningless cause of the ātmā’s existence in the material world. Without understanding the problem, it is not possible to solve it. Here we provide definitions of avidyā, and also define the terms that are the consequences/products of avidyā. […]
Sri Rupa Goswami analyzes bhakti-rasa or the relish of bhakti in great detail. Indeed, his book is titled Bhakti-rasa-amṛta sindhu – the ocean of the nectar of bhakti-rasa. In this article, we examine the concept of ‘rasa’. How rasa becomes manifest is explained in a sutra by Bharata […]
Here we summarize uttamā bhakti, its divisions and the definitions which were discussed in previous articles. uttamā bhakti is defined as continuous service directed favorably towards Kṛṣṇa and His devotees. It should be devoid of all material desires and not covered by desire for brahma-sāyujya mukti, and/or faith in […]
We examine Sri Rupa Goswami’s definition of raganunga bhakti.
We now examine the remaining qualifiers of bhāva. As we saw before, bhāva is qualified by rucibhiś citta-māsṛṇya-kṛd and prema-sūryāṁśu-sāmya-bhāk. Sri Jiva Goswami explains the meaning of these words, which is reproduced below. The word ruci = prāpti-abhilāṣa, sva-kartṛka ānukulya-abhilāṣa and sauhārda-abhilāṣa. That is, ruci implies three things: […]
We examine Sri Rupa Goswami’s definition of bhava further.
We now examine the definition of bhāva by Sri Rupa Goswami. As a reminder, bhāva is the sādhya or goal of sādhanā bhakti. Sri Rupa Goswami defines bhāva as follows:
śuddha-sattva-viśeṣātmā prema-sūryāṁśu-sāmya-bhāk | rucibhiś citta-māsṛṇya-kṛd asau bhāva ucyate ||
Much of the confusion and disagreements in discussions over bhakti can be avoided if the involved parties stick to definitions of terms. Words can take on multiple meanings, and often people just talk past each other because their intended meanings are different. Rupa Goswami took pains to define […]