Verse 8: Vaidhī-bhakti

atha vaidhī lakṣanaṁ – śravaṇa-kīrtanādīni śāstra-śāsana- bhayena yadi kriyante tadā vaidhī-bhaktiḥ.

Now the symptoms of vaidhī-bhakti are being described. If the limbs of bhakti such as śravaṇa and kīrtana are performed out of fear of scriptural discipline, it is called vaidhī-bhakti.

Śrī Bindu-vikāśinī-vṛtti

Bhakti is of two kinds: vaidhī-bhakti and rāgānuga-bhakti. The limbs of sādhana that are performed on the paths of both these types of bhakti are generally considered to be one and the same. Nonetheless there is a specific distinction between them. In some devotees intense longing or greed (lobha) is the cause of engagement in bhakti, whereas in others the discipline of the scriptures is the cause of engagement in bhakti.

yatra rāgānavāptatvāt
pravṛttir upajāyate
śāsanenaiva śāstrasya
sā vaidhī bhaktir ucyate

Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.6)

Sādhana-bhakti that is not inspired by intense longing, but is instigated instead by the discipline of the scriptures, is called vaidhī-bhakti.

One should understand what is meant by the discipline of the scriptures. In all scriptures, of which Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the foremost, bhagavad-bhakti is said to be the supreme duty for the jīvas. If a person fulfils all his worldly obligations but does not engage in hari-bhajana, he descends to a dreadful hell.

ya eṣāṁ puruṣaṁ sākṣād
ātma-prabhavam īśvaram
na bhajanty avajānanti
sthānād bhraṣṭāḥ patanty adhaḥ

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.3)

The original Supreme Lord is Himself the creator of the four varṇas and four āśramas. He is the Lord, the controller and the soul of them all. Therefore if anyone belonging to the four varṇas and āśramas fails to worship the Lord and disrespects Him instead, he is deprived of his position, varṇa and āśrama, and falls down to hell.

In Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 22.26) Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī has described the substance of this śloka in the verse given below:

cāri varṇāśramī yadi kṛṣṇa nāhi bhaje
svakarma karite se raurave paḍi’ maje

The brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras may perfectly carry out their varṇa-dharma. The brahmacārīs, gṛhasthas, vānaprasthas and sannyāsīs may thoroughly execute their āśrama-dharma. If, however, they do not worship Śrī Kṛṣṇa, then although they may obtain elevation due to material prestige, their piety will wane and they will most certainly fall down to the hell known as Raurava.

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.1.32) Devarṣi Nārada has said:

tasmāt kenāpy upāyena
manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveśayet

The basic and primary aim of all types of sādhana is to fix the mind on Kṛṣṇa by whatever method is effective.

This is stated in the Padma Purāṇa also:

smartavyaḥ satataṁ viṣṇur
vismartavyo na jātucit
sarve vidhi-niṣedhāḥ syur
etayor eva kiṅkarāḥ

That which has been ascertained in the scriptures to be duty for the jīvas is called vidhi, regulation, and that which has been forbidden is called niṣedha, prohibition. Vaidha-dharma for the jīvas, or religion that is enacted in accordance with scriptural regulations, involves observing rules and prohibitions. One should remember Lord Viṣṇu at all times – this is the basis of all positive injunctions (vidhi). All the regulations of varṇa and āśrama are attendants of this primary injunction. Never forget the Lord at any time – this is the basis of all prohibitory injunctions (niṣedha). All the prohibitory injunctions such as the avoidance of sins, abandonment of apathy towards the Lord and atonement of sins are attendants of this primary prohibition. To observe these rules and prohibitions is to accept the discipline and direction of the scriptures. When the jīvas are engaged in bhakti out of fear of violating the directions of the scriptures it is called vaidhī-bhakti.

By taking darśana of the deity of the Lord and by hearing the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in childhood, boyhood and youth, as described in the tenth canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, intense longing (lobha) arises for the practice of bhajana. When intense longing has not arisen (in other words when lobha is not the cause of one’s engagement in bhakti) and the discipline of the scriptures alone is the cause for such engagement, it is called vaidhī-bhakti.

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Krsna started a rasa-utsava, a festival of rasa. He called all the gopis to His rasa festival and started a festival of rasa. He said to them, "If you want transcendental-rasa you can collect it here from Me. Then you can please Me, by performing My worship. By worshipping and associating with other objects or things I can never be satisfied."But what do people do? They worship Madhava without worshiping Radha. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur says: kevala mādhava pūjaye so ajñānī rādhā anādara koro-i abhimānī   (Radha Bhajane Jadi Mati verse 3) "Those who worship Madhava without worshiping Radharani are foolish and ignorant." But how can it be that one is foolish and ignorant by worshipping God? But no, kevala mādhava pūjaye so ajñānī, if they are worshiping only Madhava, Krsna or God, without worshiping sakti Srimati Radhika, then that is like accepting sat and cid, but not ananda. NEVER WORSHIP KRSNA WITHOUT RADHARANIA  nanda is rasa. This bliss potency is Srimati Radhika and without Her shelter then there is no rasa in samvit and sandhini. Samvit is the consciousness potency and sandhini is the existence potency which gives our spiritual or material form. Without Ananda Svarupini Srimati Radharani who is Mahabhava Svarupini, the very embodiment of transcendental bliss and ananda  then we will not have any rasa in which to serve and please Krsna. We must take shelter of Srimati Radhika. If we desire to please the Lord then we must take shelter of Ananda Svarupini, Hladini-sakti, Srimati Radhika. umā, ramā, satyā, śacī, candrā, rukminī rādha-avatāra sabe,—āmnāya-vānī (Radha Bhajane Jadi Mati verse 7) Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur sings, “The scriptures declare that all the different Goddesses come from Srimati Radhika.” All the different avatars have sakti. Bahiranga-sakti - maya or the external energy - is also Srimati Radhika's reflection or manifestation of Her power. They are all Her manifestations. If we give up Radharani then everywhere it is only nirvisesa-brahma, without any attributes or qualities. Like impersonal brahman, without any rasa or upasana, that is nirvisesa nirguna ananta anadi, without beginning, qualities, attributes, personality, then you can not even experience that. Through rasa-upasana - worship with rasa - then the Lord will manifest His Divine form before us. But without Radharani we cannot have that rasa, or serve with rasa. Therefore to have relation with the Divine form of the Lord then we must take shelter of Srimati Radhika. In the festival of rasa Krsna called all the Gopis to Him. When they arrived before Him, He looked at them and saw they had many different moods, so He began to test them in different ways. After this Krsna began the Ananda Utsava - the festival of dancing, singing and bliss. By this festival the majority of the gopis developed saubhagya-mada - pride in their good fortune. Krsna had held their hands and embraced them around the neck, so they began to think, "I am the most fortunate and dear to the Lord." They lost perspective of their own position compared to the nitya-siddha Gopis and Srimati Radhika Herself. Then they started to say, "Oh this is my place, no one else has the right to be here. I am alone Sri Krsna's beloved." This is anadhikara cesta an unqualified endeavor. We are not eligible for this. DON’T TRY TO BE THE BIG CONTROLLER When a new bride comes into a home she gradually takes control of the house. Then she says, "Oh who is this sas, mother-in-law?" But sas, also means breath, so she will take big breaths, putting her head back high and her shoulders back and says, "This is mine, that is mine, this house is mine, the kitchen is mine, the rooms are mine. Everyone must follow my authority, I am in charge now." She will not let any place be out of her control, she wants complete control. This is their nature. If this nature gradually develops and is not limited then, even in the spiritual world, we will try to make different areas ours and try to control things. We come to the dhama and try to control everything and make everything under our control, so the Lord does not allow that to happen. In the spiritual realm, in transcendental life, our own mental speculation and material desires will not be allowed to continue. The Lord is very strong and crooked in a three fold bending form, He is crooked in all manners. He knows very easily how to take away people's pride. People come and try to take over everything and so Krsna then gives them a lesson and makes them very humble. He takes everything away. We hear the Gopis began to ask the plants, the trees, the creepers, the rivers, even the earth about Krsna. They searched everywhere for Krsna and begged everyone for mercy and glorified everyone. They went to the dust of Vraja and prayed there and to Tulasi Devi and everyone. The Lord witnessed this. Why did they do this? Because they were filed with the pride of their good fortune. Is there any pride in the spiritual world? For the nitya-siddhas the eternal associates of the Lord - there is nothing like this. But for the sadhana-siddhas, before they have achieved the association and mercy of the nitya-siddhas, then the Lord will manifest some of this to help them further increase their faith and develop desire for the shelter of Srimati Radhika and the nitya-siddhas. FOLLOWING THE FOOTPRINTS Gradually the gopis proceeded forward and they finally found the footprints of the Lord. On seeing those footprints they began to meditate on them. They thought, “We have not taken shelter of His lotus feet therefore we have gone far away.” These gopis began to pray to the lotus footprints of Krsna. In the kirtanas of our acaryas, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur says that Brahma as well as Narada Rsi and Siva Thakura all considered their lives successful by taking shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, which grant fearlessness. These lotus feet of the Lord give shelter to everyone and everyone is under their shelter. Until we come to the Lord's feet then our mind and senses will always be moving around in samsara and we will always be climbing atop the mountain of pride. But if we develop attachment and love for the lotus feet of the Lord, and take shelter of them, then we will gain everything and we will get transcendental vision. The Gopis then saw all the transcendental symbols in Krsna’s footprints. What are the meanings of these symbols? There is the lotus, the goad and so many others. In the Bhagavad-gita, the sastras, and their commentaries, we hear the glories of these symbols. The gopis took shelter of the footprints of the Lord and from there, power began to enter within them. This is like the fountainhead of this sakti, the mula-srota. If you take water from its very source then it is pure, however if you take it from somewhere else then it may be contaminated. As long as you are in the shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna then you will be at the source of all sakti. What happened when the Gopis took shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord? They thought, "Who is this with Krsna's lotus feet?" They saw Krsna had not been alone. There was another set of footprints of someone who must be the very dear and beloved of Krsna. Some distance further they saw the second footprints were no longer present, and only the Lord's footprints were seen. Then taking shelter and meditating on the Lord's lotus feet the gopis then prayed to His footprints saying, "We are taking shelter of You. Please give us a place in Your shelter and give us darsana of the Lord." At that time they saw Radharani's footprints and meditated on them as well. However when they saw that Her footprints were no longer present, they then thought, "Oh She is so dear to Krsna that Krsna has carried Her on His shoulders. Where have they gone? Who is this Gopi?" They began to pray, "If Her mercy comes upon us then the Lord will accept us as well." Now the Gopis took shelter of Krsna as well as His beloved, and they desired Her shelter. Now all the pride of their good fortune disappeared.   MUST GET THE KRIYA-SAKTI SHELTER OF SRIMAT RADHIKA Those who are in Radharani's svapaksa group understood that this was Radharani. They were very exalted. The other sakhis began to meditate on Krsna and His beloved upon seeing Their footprints. They thought that Krsna wanted to show them that if they do not get the shelter of the the feet of Kriya-sakti Srimati Radhika, the active potency, and Mahabhava Svarupini, the very embodiment of all transcendental bliss, then Krsna will never accept them or anyone, no matter who they are or what qualities they have. Krsna is brahma or nirguna - without qualities - we cannot perceive Him. Why? He uses this brahma-svarupa like a barrier so those who do not take shelter of His svarupa-sakti cannot perceive Him and disturb Him. Nanda-nandana Syamasundara was walking with His beloved with His hand on Her shoulder. The Gopis saw Her footprints and they developed some eagerness to see the Lord and His beloved and for Their shelter. Sridhara Swami says, "When Krsna walks He likes to put His hand on the shoulder of a friend or beloved. But the gopis thought, 'Who did Krsna carry on His shoulders or in His arms? Who has controlled Sri Krsna like this, who is like the wild elephant of Vraja? What to speak of controlling Him, even to have a meeting with Him is very difficult for us. Who has such a power to be able to control the wild elephant of the Prince of Vraja, Sri Krsna?" Srila Jiva Goswami says, "All the Gopis were present and began to speak at once. They said, 'Oh whose footprints are these?' They understood Krsna had taken someone with Him and began to question who it was. Some however already knew. They saw Krsna's footprints and the other footprints which were slightly smaller and a little hidden in the dust. They understood Krsna must have carried this Gopi in His arms or on His shoulders and given all His qualities and all His love to that very dear beloved Gopi. They realized that He was taking Her with Him somewhere. Those gopis who were Radharani's svapaksa, own group, knew everything. The other gopis however developed a strong eagerness to understand who this Gopi was and why She was so fortunate. They were not upset, but they began to think that perhaps they could take shelter of this Gopi. Seeing that Krsna had given so much love to her, they realized she must be the most beloved of Krsna and now desired to get Her mercy. They thought, 'How did this Gopi control Krsna?' Sukadeva Goswami told Pariksit Maharaja, 'Oh King, the gopis all then began to worship and pray to this Gopi. They saw no one that could tell them where Krsna was, and no one would give them shelter. He had disappeared and left them and they could not find Him anywhere. So they began to do austerities and became absorbed.’ What austerity did they do? They prayed: anayārādhito nūnaṁ bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ yan no vihāya govindaḥ prīto yām anayad rahaḥ (Srimad Bhagavatam 10:30:28) They said, “This beloved has certainly worshiped the Lord Hari the best of all. He has taken Her alone away from all of us. The Lord and beloved of our lives, has given us all up, and that Govinda has taken Her to a confidential place. She has performed the highest aradhana, worship. Now by taking shelter of Her and worshiping Her we may also become very dear to Him and He will not forsake us. Otherwise if we do not now take shelter of She who is the greatest, then He will not accept or stay with us.” (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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