In Pursuit – Part Nine

Thakhura Mahasaya says that one who is in the path of Bhakti should be careful as one associates with people who are outside the domain of Bhakti. Intimate relationship of devotees with people opposed to the mood of Bhakti is sure to inject feelings non-conducive to Bhakti in the heart of devotees who have yet not attained Nishtha. Devotional practices that are free of ulterior desires not covered by Jnana and karma, which is favourable to Sri Krishna is called Uttama Bhakti. Srila Jiva Goswami has provided the basic framework for a person in Bhakti whose sole aim is to achieve Prema. They are as listed below

  • Perform activities favourable to Krishna Bhajana
  • Avoid things unfavourable to Krishna Bhajana
  • Associate with pure devotees who are established in Krishna Bhajana

narottama-dasa-thakuraThe purport of the three points mentioned above is based on sustained and intense practice of the points mentioned above. The activities are of physical, vocal and mental forms. One needs to read scriptures of the Six Goswamis under the tutelage of a Sadhguru in the parampara of the six Goswamis especially from the lineage of the six main Parivaras. Physically one has to indulge in archana and devotional practices related to Krishna’s service. Mentally one should contemplate on the principles of right conduct and mentally perform service to Radha Krishna and contemplate on the manjari bhava sadhana as received from the Sadhguru. Vocally one should regularly sing the songs of the Acaryas with attachment. One should speak Hari Katha to interested parties and perform Hari Nama Sankirtana whenever possible.

One should avoid associating with non-devotees and avoid the Nama aparadha and seva aparadha. One should avoid frivolous talks even with devotees and avoid small talk. Interaction with devotees should be based on the basis of Vaishnava Etiquette. One should associate with Sadhus of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya as much as possible and after the attainment of a Sadhguru one should follow the instructions of a Sadhguru as it is and serve him based on the Sadhguru’s desire. This is called “anugatya” or favourable following.

Since the Lord has no spot of darkness in Him, the Lord is not affected by the negativities of the material world. Hence it is impossible for Him, who is drowned in the transcendental pleasure of His own sweetness to be moved by suffering living entities that are averse to Lord Krishna. However those who have woken up from the delusion of material darkness can remember the miserable conditions of the conditioned souls. Since these individuals represent the highest ideal they are automatically blessed with the power of compassion which they carry with them after awakening from material darkness and thus act as representatives of the Supreme Lord. Thus the Lord’s original compassion, His intrinsic nature is available with the saintly beings that are sentient vehicles of mercy and grace. Thus this grace is not available to conditioned souls unless they associate with sadhus and mahatmas who are direct representatives of the Supreme Lord. The brilliance of purity that occupies the heart of the sadhu floods the hearts of submissive conditioned souls who associate with such mahatmas. As a result of the great power of sadhu association the shelter of the Lotus Feet of a Sadhguru becomes available. Then the practitioner gradually evolves to the stage of Nishtha towards the Sadhguru through constant association and then gets elevated to the stage of Prema in the end by the mercy of the Sadhguru.

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