The Raganugiya Gaudiya Vaishnava way is based on Bhakti Yoga described by the Lord to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Having said that , few people in the Gaudiya Vaishnava family truly understand and realize the process of Sadhana.
Sadhana means to focus on the highest ideal that is achievable through the processes of Bhajana or mechanisms that are based on the 9 processes of Bhakti like Sravanam, Kirtanam , Smaranam etc. In Sadhana one has to understand that there are two major limbs. One is the removal of that which is detrimental to the attainment of the ideal, in the Gaudiya Vaishnava parlance , the attainment of Radha Dasyam and the second is the achievement of the goal of Radha Dasyam. However it should be noted that focusing on the attainment of Radha Dasyam through means of Siddha Pranali or Yogapeetha Seva becomes utterly meaningless if the aspect of removal of that which is detrimental is not attained. The intention of Sadhana is to first attain eligibility to serve. Srila Gurudeva through his infinite mercy has granted Deeksha, however this is just like being born. There is a long journey that has to be undertaken. The major part of the journey , almost ninety five percent is to weed out the negative that is detrimental to one’s spiritual health. When this is successfully completed , that which is the sadhya or goal , simply enters into us. One need not separately seek it.
Reading Rasa Shastra is the work of Premis or people who have attained Seva Prapti , these are Gaudiya Vaishnavas who are not in sadhana but have already attained their goal. Shastras recommended by Guru should only be used for sadhana. If one seems to develop some Rasa from such shastra may indicate that one is reaching perfection! However in practicality this is far from being possible. One has to only and only concentrate deeply on weeding out our inappropriate aspects of our consciousness. This is the only job of a truly Gaudiya Vaishnava Sadhaka. One should avoid any sort of preaching or glorification activities if one is serious in clearing of the muck in one’s consciousness. One should also not engage in too much external Seva in the name of sadhana. One should also avoid too much glorification of Guru and trying to help him.It is we who are in a fallen condition and one has to simply cry and weep at one’s own condition. Where is the capacity of one to serve. Unless one’s sadhana becomes truly deep , it is truly improbable that we may attain any scent of Seva Prapti. One has to shed away all duplicity when one gets into true Sadhana.
The first aspect of true Sadhana is intention. One has to first of all develop the intention of going deep into one’s own consciousness and cleaning all the thought patterns or layers of consciousness that is an abundant storehouse of duplicity, the six vices, manipulation and self-gratification. The most potent mantras are those of the Guru Beeja/Gayatri, Gaur Beeja/Gayatri, Gopal Beeja/Kama Gayatri, Radhika Beeja/Gayatri. If one is true in one’s intention and chants these mantras , the thought patterns and contorted areas of one’s deep consciousness gets thrown up.One has to become aware of these thoughts. Such thoughts can be like
Oh I bargained more (as is my habit) just to save, I could have paid the cost.
Oh I did not trust , I tried to take advantage of the situation.
Oh I displayed too much of self-worth
Oh I was full of myself while I was talking, I was full of myself.
Oh I was not grateful to those people, I could have atleast thanked them
Oh I did not care for the people travelling with me, I was too much into my own comfort.
These thoughts only crop up when one intends to cleanse oneself. The Mantras are capable of throwing out our deep rooted faults. When one confronts the realizations , one should sincerely pray to Sriman Mahaprabhu and Guru in the heart to cleanse oneself of these faults. With every thought emerging out of the chanting , one should submit it humbly to the feet of Guru and Gauranga with an intense prayer of getting cleansed fully. As one continues to chant and pray intensely , one will attain both humility and softness of character. A true sadhaka will be always worried about other jeevas and the concept of Jive Doya will become topmost in one’s heart. As one gets aware and cleansed , one will become extremely sensitive in every transaction and one’s life will become prayerful. When the chitta becomes cleansed of all the muck after Guru and Gauranga cleanse it , there will be nothing more to be done. The sadhaka will experience true joy and will be filled with Higher Rasa. The name of the Lord will automatically bring tears to one’s eyes and one will be able to taste the Rasa Shastra even without reading it.