Category: sādhanā

The don’ts of bhakti, Part 2

Limbs sixteen to twenty are as follows: śokādy-avaśa-vartitā – not being controlled by lamentation. One may think that Vaiṣṇavas are hard-hearted because they may not easily be moved to displays of grief. But grief is not a sign of intelligence or advancement, it is a sign of foolishness […]

The don’ts of bhakti, Part 1

Limbs eleven to twenty are prohibitions or the dont’s of bhakti. They are as important 1 as the previous ten prescriptions. Here are the first five with comments. saṅga-tyāgo vidūreṇa bhagavad-vimukhair janaiḥ – giving up from far the company of those who are turned away from Bhagavān. This […]

Bhakti is not a type of science.

Before we dive into this topic, lets start with the meaning of the word ‘Science’ from wikipedia: “Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.” In modern India,  the word vijñāna is the […]

Why take dīkṣā from a guru?

Of the 64 limbs of bhakti ennumerated by Rupa Goswami, Jiva Goswami comments that the first twenty are doors that give entry into bhakti (अस्याः भक्तौ प्रवेशाय विंशति-अंगानाम् द्वारत्वेSपि), but of these, the first three are most important, i.e. they are the doors that open to the next […]

The concept of adhikāra

Rupa and Jiva Goswami take great pains to clearly distinguish between karma, jñāna and the bhakti mārga. Not understanding these distinctions can cause problems in the practice of uttama bhakti. Here we examine Jiva Goswami’s commentary on this point. We begin with Rupa Goswami’s writing in the Bhakti […]

Uttama bhaktas are very rare among both muktas and siddhas

Rupa Goswami quotes the following verse from the sixth canto of the भागवतम् in भक्तिरसामृत सिंधु 1.2.52: मुक्तानाम् अपि सिद्धानां नारायणपरायणः| सुदुर्लभः प्रशान्तात्मा कोटीषु अपि महामुनेः|| muktānām api siddhānāṁ nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇaḥ su-durlabhaḥ praśāntātmā koṭiṣv api mahā-mune Jiva Goswami helps us translate this verse by defining the terms in it. […]

The four types of devotees of the Gītā are not uttama bhaktas

Kṛṣṇa lists four types of devotees in the Bhagavad Gītā 7.16. Rupa Goswami examines Kṛṣṇa’s list in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, and explains that these devotees are not uttama bhaktas. Rupa Goswami writes: तत्र गीतादिषूक्तानां चतुर्णाम् अधिकारिणां मध्ये| Among the four adhikārīs in the Gītā verses, यस्मिन् भगवतः कृपा स्यात् तत्-प्रियस्य वा || […]

The qualification for vaidhī sādhanā bhakti

In kārikā 1.2.9, Rupa Goswami writes that vaidhī bhakti is the duty of everyone in varṇāśrama : इति असौ स्याद् विधिर् नित्यौ सर्व-वर्णाश्रमादिषु| नित्यत्वेSपि अस्य निर्णितम् एकादश्यादिवत् फलम्|| This vidhi (vaidhī bhakti) is a compulsory or regular activity (nitya) for all varṇas and āśramas. Even though it is nitya, […]