Hari-katha Articles A Special Form of Love

A Special Form of Love

Vairāgya or real renunciation stems from vīśeṣa-anurāga, or a special form of love. If you have any desire for this anurāga then you must take shelter and pray to those personalities who possess that love. This we see in the sixth verse, vairāgya-yug-bhakti-rasaṁ prayatnair.

“I had no desire for vairāgya-yug-bhakti,” Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī said, “but Sanātana Gosvāmī is para-duḥkha-duḥkhī, said to see the suffering of others. The conditioned souls have forgotten their own service, misplaced their love, and gone the wrong way. Therefore they are suffering. If one doesn’t collect this bhakti-rasa, he will always suffer. Therefore what did Sanātana Gosvāmī do? By trick, he gradually gave me this nectar of bhakti-rasa. He taught by his own example how to follow bhakti.”

bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir
anyatra caiṣa trika eka-kālaḥ
prapadyamānasya yathāśnataḥ syus
tuṣṭiḥ puṣṭiḥ kṣud-apāyo ’nu-ghāsam
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.2.42

With each mouthful of food that a hungry person takes, three effects are simultaneously accomplished: he obtains satisfaction, he is nourished, and his hunger ceases. Similarly, surrendered souls who are engaged in the performance of bhajana simultaneously experience three effects: the awakening of bhakti which ultimately develops into prema, direct manifestation of Bhagavān’s beloved form, and detachment from material objects.

On one side, if there is bhakti, then automatically vairāgya, detachment, arises. If you externally follow the limbs of bhakti but vairāgya does not awaken, then you should know that you are not really practicing bhakti. Vairāgya is the process to protect the soul from mundane attraction.

This vairāgya is necessary. If we come in contact with too many mundane things, we will lose all good desire. If we want to have anurāga for bhakti, then it is necessary to have a good guardian. Who is that? Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī teaches us to take shelter of Sanātana Gosvāmī. He says, “Without my desire, by force he gave me bhakti-rasa. He is the ocean of mercy and thought, ‘This person has no knowledge; he drinks drain water.’ He told me, ‘Oh! Please drink one drop of this bhakti-rasa, then taste will come. After that, when you are healthy, you will understand this.’ He carefully distributed this bhakti-rasa to me daily.”

In this world people have bhakti for mother, father, country, and society. Many people have a desire for help in furthering their interests, and they think that the helpers for this are great.

Some say, “In this life I did nothing wrong. Why am I suffering?” But he does not know that his actions are improper. Independently, with his own choice, he does everything, but this is not helpful for himself and for God’s pleasure. God gives all facility and chance, but he takes and misuses everything. He thinks it is right, but in truth it is completely wrong and for this he suffers.

Dāsa Gosvāmī continues, “O Caitanya-candra! Caitanya-candra! Caitanya-candra!” How kind is He? If anyone remembers Him, then His followers take him in their lap and stroke with love, “Oh, you like Caitanya-candra? You are trying to follow Caitanya-candra and His movement? Okay, I will help you.”

yatheṣṭaṁ re bhrātaḥ! kuru hari-hari-dhvānam aniśaṁ
tato vaḥ saṁsārāmbudhi-taraṇa-dāyo mayī laget
idaṁ bāhu-sphoṭair aṭati raṭayan yaḥ pratigṛhaṁ
bhaje nityānandaṁ bhajana-taru-kandaṁ niravadhi
Nityānandāṣṭakam 5

I perpetually worship Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, the root of the kṛṣṇa-bhakti tree, who approached every doorstep, and with upraised arms exclaimed, “O Brothers! Without inhibition, all of you together continuously chant harināma. If you do so, I will take the responsibility to deliver you from the ocean of material existence. Nityānanda Prabhu says, “If you chant harināma even once, then I will run to you! I will maintain you in every way, I will take care of everything. You will be free of all worry.” Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmīsays, “I only heard Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s name from my Gurudeva. I heard and remembered Him. I went to Him and Svarūpa Dāmodara always took care of me; all the Vaiṣṇavas took care of me. Without any condition, Sanātana Gosvāmī came to me and took care of me. He taught me the process of bhakti and made me drink this bhakti-rasa.”

Excerpted from the Bhakta Bandhav Publication “Śrī Vilāpa-Kusumāñjali”, Verse 6, The Kṛpā-kaṭākṣa Commentary
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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This process of chanting harināma is very easy. Just chant harināma. Don’t divide your energy to others. Many cheaters will come to steal your energy, but simply utilize all your time in service to Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, and chanting harināma. In this way, any obstacle that arises will not disturb you. All knowledge and strength will come to your aid. The desire to follow is the most important thing. This desire is called sevonmukha-vṛtti, the tendency to serve Kṛṣṇa. Merely following the rules and regulations of bhakti is not enough to attain perfection. Our determination will not last for so long. The body, mind, and senses naturally want to enjoy other bodies, minds, and senses, and they want some relation, some sweet talking, touching, looking, smelling, tasting—this desire will never cease. When will divine love blossom in our hearts? Divine love is our soul’s waiting inheritance. We must follow the process to mature into spiritual life, so that we can receive that love for which we all aspire. How long can you mechanically control your senses? Perhaps for one or two days, or some years, but when your self-control wanes, the senses will again dive into the well of material enjoyment. A brahmacārī cannot remain celibate without tasting the sweetness of divine love. He may not be able to control himself for even one day. But if he tastes love beyond this material world, he will cease to think of himself as a brahmacārī or a vyabhicārī. There are many examples of those previously enraptured in promiscuity, who forgot their lust completely when their love was transferred to God. Our eternal benefit, eternal connection, and eternal loving relation awaits us. We simply must awaken greed for the blissful reality beyond this world. Any strength that comes from suppressing our senses by adhering to rules and regulations ultimately leads to downfall and sin if we do not establish our lost relation and love for God. Love is the eternal property of the soul. But having willingly turned away from God, our love has been perverted into lust for mundane objects. If we fall from our vows, we may feel remorse, but this remorse is not enough. Therefore, Śrīla Gurudeva instructs us to offer our love to Kṛṣṇa. This process is called rāgānuga-bhakti. We are advised to take shelter of the rāgātmika Vrajavāsīs, eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa, who have unlimited love. If their hearts melt towards us, and a ray of their love shines upon us, then our hearts will also melt, and our inherent love and longing for Kṛṣṇa will awaken, and will lead us home to Vraja. Kṛṣṇa only desires this love. He desires no other offering from the living entities, who are His separated parts and parcels. The love He yearns for cannot be found in Vaikuṇṭha, Ayodhyā, or in the abodes of any of His other incarnations. Love inhibited by opulence and reverence does not satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Where one reveres God as the Almighty, unparalleled natural love for Him is hampered. A mother has natural love for her baby son, and while he is an infant, the mother and son’s relation is intimate and inseparable. When the son grows to a boy and then a teen, he is shy to be naked before his mother, and his mother is shy before her son. As he grows, the son transfers his love for his mother to others. Similarly, a father has love for his child, and the child for the father, but in time this love also transforms. The love of the conditioned souls is always transferring from one to another. The soul, however, is not young or old. She is primeval and ever youthful. When the soul achieves perfection, she is born into a spiritual form, in which she serves the Divine Couple, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and relishes the bliss of a loving relation with Them. The Vrajavāsīs have eternal, fathomless love. Their love spreads throughout Vraja-maṇḍala. The Vrajavāsīs all have pure love for Kṛṣṇa. All the mothers in Vraja think, “Kṛṣṇa is my son. I will take Kṛṣṇa in my lap and feed Him my breast milk. I will stroke and massage Him, and I will bathe, dress, decorate, and cook for Him.” All the Vrajavāsīs have ever-increasing love for Kṛṣṇa.

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From the above discussion, it is proved that the living entities (jīvas), the material world (jaḍa-jagat) and the Lord’s personal splendor as regards His Vaikuṇṭha existence (tad-rūpa-vaibhava) are inconceivably one with and different from His original spiritual form (bhāgavata-svarūpa). The infinitesimal living entities, on account of being dependent on the Lord, are His separated parts and parcels – in this is found their non-distinction from the Lord (abheda). However, due to an absence of knowledge of the Supreme Lord, they are preoccupied with the material energy – in this lies their difference (bheda).

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