Pratishtha and Nishtha– Part 2

The other important positive aspect of Bhajana is “Nishtha”. We may have a typical definition of Nishtha that it is steadfast , undeviating devotional dedication. However I wanted to specifically highlight the understanding that Srila Gurudeva delivered on Nishtha. He claimed that it is the single most positive aspect of Bhajana that will attract the instant mercy of Sriman Mahaprabhu and the divine couple. Nishtha, he said is an aspect of the mind’s instant attachment to all matters related to Vraja, especially in the mode of our sadhana, the Raganugiya way. This Nishtha or commitment to Bhajana related to the divine couple is developed “only” through Sadhu Sanga ; through the heart of a Rasika devotee; one who is firmly established in spontaneous devotional service of Braja Bhumi and the divine couple.37bb159f3f5a09b642a94e082e71bf1b By no other means can this Nishtha prosper. Sadhu Sanga or “Sajatiya Sanga” (Association with higher transcendentalists who cater to the mood of the aspirant) is the very life-line of Bhakti in the Raganugiya mode of Sadhana. In the absence of such association ; one can constantly take the association of Vraja Dhama as often as possible and refer to the “pure rasika” works of the 6 Goswamis of Vrindavana. Sri Gurudeva was very vehement in his opposition to the reference of “Tarka Shastras” and other supportive Sastric works which talk of Tattwa instead of rasa. One should not get into the mode of “Right and Wrong” side of transcendental subjects and avoid any conversations that revolve around the “correctness” of tattwa. One needs to develop humility and learn the aspect of developing Braja Bhava which is strengthened through developing Nishtha towards Leelas of the Lord during the course of the eight-fold pastimes in the nitya leela.

Three types of energies are most prevalent ; they are Jeeva maya, Yog maya and Leela Shakti. Jeeva Maya attacks non-devotees ; Yog Maya controls devotees ; but when one starts developing supra-mundane feelings towards Braja and the transcendental pastimes of the Lord ; one comes under the fold of leela-shakti. This Leela Shakti is the very purpose of all sadhana. When one is under the influence of Leela-Shakti ; the transcendental feelings in the heart of Sriman Mahaprabhu and the divine couple ; spontaneously manifests in the heart of the sadhaka who toils to develop nishtha towards Braja and the divine couple. These feelings are supra-mundane and do not manifest all the time. By great fortune ; these transcendental feelings manifest in the heart of a “jeeva” who begs for divine service. One whose nishtha strengthens over time ; Leela Shakti takes over and the jeeva is transported on a mental plane beyond the modes of material nature. This manifests in the form of direct visions of the 8 fold pastimes of the nitya leela and extreme softening of the heart ; like pure white butter. One needs to strive to associate with Rasika devotees whose life and soul are the divine couple and Vraja Dhama.This is success or perfection of spiritual life according to Srila Gurudeva.

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