The rāsa līlā is to be understood in its vyañjanā meaning. Part 1

In Sanskrit kāvya, words have three kinds of meaning. Kavi-karṇapūra’s Alaṅkāra-kaustubha describes these meanings in detail 1. They are abhidhā-vṛtti, lakṣaṇā-vṛtti and vyañjanā-vṛtti. The meanings of these words are best understood through an example. Consider the words: gaṅgāyāṁ ghoṣaḥ. The abhidhā or primary meaning of these words is […]

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 difference between a paramparā and a pantha

When Rupa goswami describes the limbs of bhakti, he writes the first limb as: guru-pādāśrayas tasmāt kṛṣṇa-dīkṣādi-śikṣaṇam | Guru-pādāśraya means taking shelter of the guru. This is followed by kṛṣṇa-dīkṣā, which means taking the dīkṣā mantra from the guru. Next, one undergoes śikṣaṇam – one learns the scriptures systematically […]

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, […]

The definition of vaidhī uttamā sādhanā bhakti

Having defined uttamā sādhanā bhakti, Rupa Goswami lists its two divisions: वैधी रागानुगा चेति सा द्विधा साधनाभिधा| vaidhī rāganugā ceti sā dvidhā sādhanābhidhā That sādhanā bhakti is known to be of two types: vaidhī and rāganugā. There is a common misconception in some modern sects of Caitanya Vaisnavism that vaidhī bhakti […]

Is the sādhya, bhāva or prema?

Rupa Goswami in his भक्तिरसामृत सिंधु has presented three divisions of उत्तमा भक्ति (uttamā bhakti): sādhanā, bhāva and prema. sādhya and sādhana are only two. Jiva Goswami and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur have given two different explanations for why Rupa Goswami makes three divisions. Their explanations offer deeper insight into bhāva and […]