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 […]