In Pursuit – Part Seven

Srila Narottama Mahasaya says that by decorating the body with the foot-dust of Vaishnavas one attains the highest perfection. So if one has intense greed to perform bhakti, one should greedily serve Vaishnavas. By constantly performing bhajana in the association of Sadhus one gets completely purified and as a result all ignorance gets completely removed from the heart of the sadhaka.  In this context Srila Visvanath Chakravarthypada says that when one kindles fire to cook food then fear, cold and darkness disappear as a concomitance. Similarly by associating and serving saints one attains the perfection of Prema and thus one becomes free of all karma and material existence altogether. Association of saints directly is the easiest way to subdue the Lord.

sanatana-goswami-2Srila Thakhura Mahasaya says out of all the gift of Sriman Mahaprabhu, the greatest gift that He has given the world is the elevated brilliant and unprecedented practice of manjari bhava or Radha Dasyam. This is the pinnacle of all devotional practices that have been yet in all the three worlds. Sri Rupa and Sanatana are the foremost Acaryas who have preached and practised Radha Dasyam. Knowing Rupa and Sanatana to be excellently qualified for preaching devotion, the Lord personally gave elaborate instructions to the two brothers on devotional principles and the principles of transcendental flavours in Prayaga and Kasi respectively. Sri Kavi Karnapura was specially favoured by Sriman Mahaprabhu and Sri Kavi writes “All the nitya siddhas are proud of Rupa and Sanatana, blessed by Sriman Mahaprabhu and favoured by Vrindavana Dhama. They sleep under different trees every night, begging raw rice from Brahmins houses or collecting madhukari (eating whatever they get from householders’ houses). From this we get an idea of the elevated mood of Sri Rupa and Sanatana who once gave away 7 huge boats of solid gold in charity when they decided to surrender to the Lotus feet of Sriman Mahaprabhu.

Sri Rupa and Sanatana are originally Srimati Rupa Manjari and Srimati Labanga Manjari. Along with Sriman Mahaprabhu they have descended as Rupa-Sanatana to preach the practice of Rasika Vraja Prema. Just as Sriman Mahaprabhu Himself being the combined munificent incarnation of the divine couple , immersed in the mood of Srimati Radharani practices bhajana similar to that of an ordinary devotee with immaculate precision ; the two brothers Rupa and Sanatana relish the mellows of bhajana as ordinary practitioners although they are the eternal associates of the divine couple. Thakhura Mahasaya calls them Prema Bhakti Rasa Kupa or the Wells of nectarine devotional mellows of Prema Bhakti. The author Thakhura Mahasaya could have called them Oceans of Prema but preferred to call them Wells because by using the word Well, Thakhura Mahasaya exhorts their quality of purity wherein there is no admixture of Jnana, Karma or any other alloy of Bhakti which can only be represented as “well-protected”. The other quality of Well-water is that it is extremely sweet. The Ocean water is salty and the pond and lake waters may be of different temperatures with respect to the different seasons. Well water is consistent in nature, taste and temperature irrespective of the seasons. Thus Thakhura Mahasaya has chosen to equate the glory of the two brothers Rupa-Santana to a Well. Loving devotion soothes the burning pangs of suffering and lamentation of the materially afflicted jeevas and infuses in them the relish of Krishna’s nectarine sweetness.

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