Category: sādhanā

Of surrender and bhakti

A reader recently argued that if one works to earn a livelihood, then their bhakti is a type of mixed bhakti which cannot be classified as uttamā bhakti. The argument is two fold: 1) harboring ‘faith’ independently in one’s livelihood means bhakti becomes covered, 2) one is not […]

Śrī Jīva Goswami defines bhakti

In the Bhakti Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva Goswami describes a large number of different types of bhakti. He begins by first defining bhakti. Definitions are all-important, as stated in the principle: lakṣaṇa-pramāṇābhyāṁ vastu-siddhiḥ , na tu kevala-pratijñā-mātreṇa – An object is determined by its defining characteristics ( lakṣaṇa ) […]

Recognizing a genuine guru

From Babaji’s commentary on Anuccheda 202.4 from the Bhakti Sandarbha: The śikṣā-guru and dīkṣā-guru are one and the same person Śrī Jīva makes a distinction between the śravaṇa-guru (the inceptive instructor) and the śikṣā-guru (the formal preceptor). Usually they are the same person. First, an aspirant begins to […]

The kaniṣṭha bhāgavata lacks knowledge of śāstra and hence śāstrīya-śraddhā

In previous articles, I discussed the characteristics of the uttama and madhyama bhāgavatas as explained in the Bhakti Sandarbha. Here, I examine Śrī Jīva’s explanation of the characteristics of the kaniṣṭha bhāgavata presented in the Bhakti Sandarbha Anuccheda 190. He writes: atha bhagavad-dharmācaraṇa-rūpeṇa kāyikena kiñcin mānasena ca liṅgena […]

There is no such thing as brāhmaṇa dīkṣā

Śrī Babaji answers questions in Pearls of Wisdom Question: What is dīkṣā? Does it refer to getting Hari-nāma and taking a different name? Or does it refer to getting brāhmaṇa initiation, when one gets the Brahma Gāyatrī? Answer: There are three levels of dīkṣā, namely, harināma-dīkṣā, mantra-dīkṣā, and veśa- […]