Srila-Saraswati-Thakur-Turban

The Path of Raga

Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s commentary on the eighth verse of Śrī Upadeśāmṛta.

The following is a translation of Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s poetic Bengali translation, Bhāṣā, and Bengali prose commentary, Anuvṛtti, on Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu’s Śrī Upadeśāmṛta.

These texts were published in Śrī Gauḍīya Darśan, in Volume 2, Issue 11, 10 June 1957,  Volume 2, Issue 12, 12 July 1957, and Volume 3, Issue 1, 12 August 1957. In combination with Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur’s Pīyūṣa-varṣiṇī-vṛtti, they were also published as a book from Śrī Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh by Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj in 1970.

The Upadeśāmṛta of Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī is also extremely good for us.”

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj,
Affectionate Guidance

Śrī Upadeśāmṛta Verse Eight

তন্নাম-রূপ-চরিতাদি-সুকীর্ত্তনানু-
স্মৃত্যোঃ ক্রমেণ রসনা-মনসী নিযোজ্য ।
তিষ্ঠন্ ব্রজে তদনুরাগি-জনানুগামী
কালং নয়েদখিলমিত্যুপদেশসারম্ ॥৮॥

tan-nāma-rūpa-charitādi-sukīrtanānu-
smṛtyoḥ krameṇa rasanā-manasī niyojya
tiṣṭhan vraje tad-anurāgi-janānugāmī
kālaṁ nayed akhilam ity upadeśa-sāram [8]

niyojya–Having engaged rasanā–the tongue [and] manasī–mind krameṇa–in the gradual process sukīrtana–of full glorification, anusmṛtyoḥ–and constant remembrance tan–of His nāma–Name, rūpa–Form, charita–Pastimes, ādi–and so on, tiṣṭhan–reside vraje–in Vraja, [and] nayed–spend [your] kālam–time anugāmī–as a follower anurāgi-jana–of those who have deep attachment tad–to Him. iti–This [is] sāram–the essence akhilam–of all upadeśa–instructions. [8]

Having engaged the tongue and mind in the gradual process of chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa’s Names, Forms, Qualities, and Pastimes, reside in Vraja and spend all your time as a follower of those who have deep attachment to Kṛṣṇa. This is the essence of all instructions.

Bhāṣā

কৃষ্ণনাম-রূপ-গুণ-লীলা চতুষ্টয় ।
গুরুমুখে শুনিলেই কীর্ত্তন-উদয় ॥১॥

kṛṣṇa-nāma-rūpa-guṇa-līlā chatuṣṭaya
guru-mukhe śunilei kīrtana udaya [1]

kṛṣṇa–Kṛṣṇa’s nāma–Name, rūpa–Form, guṇa–Qualities, [and] līlā–Pastimes— śunilei–only when souls hear [about these] chatuṣṭaya–four mukhe–from the mouth guru–of Śrī Guru [can their] kīrtana–glorification [of them] udaya–arise. [1]

Only when souls hear about Kṛṣṇa’s Name, Form, Qualities, and Pastimes from the mouth of Śrī Guru can their glorification of them begin.

কীর্ত্তিত হইলে ক্রমে স্মরণাঙ্গ উদয় ।
কীর্ত্তন-স্মরণকালে ক্রম-পথে ধায় ॥২॥

kīrtita ha-ile krame smaraṇāṅga pāya
kīrtana-smaraṇa-kāle krama-pathe dhāya [2]

kīrtita ha-ile–As [They] are glorified, [souls] krame–gradually pāya–reach aṅga–the practice smaraṇa–of remembrance. kāle–At the time kīrtana–of glorification [and] smaraṇa–remembrance, dhāya–soul progress [through] krama–the stages pathe–on the path. [2]

As they engage in glorification, souls gradually come to the practice of remembrance. In the stages of glorification and remembrance, souls progress through the stages on the path.

জাতরুচি-জন জিহ্বা-মন মিলাইয়া ।
কৃষ্ণ-অনুরাগি ব্রজজনানুস্মরিয়া ॥৩॥
নিরন্তর ব্রজবাস মানস-ভজন ।
এই উপদেশ-সার করহ গ্রহণ ॥৪॥

jāta-ruchi-jana jihvā-mana milāiyā
kṛṣṇa-anurāgi vraja-janānusmariyā [3] nirantara vraja-vāsa mānasa bhajana
ei upadeśa-sāra karaha grahaṇa [4]

milāiyā–Engaging [their] jihvā–tongue [and] mana–mind, [and] anusmariyā–meditating vraja-jana–on the residents of Vraja [who are] anurāgi–deeply attached kṛṣṇa–to Kṛṣṇa, jana–souls [who have] jāta–developed ruchi–taste nirantara–always vāsa–reside vraja–in Vraja [and engage in] bhajana–service [within their] mānasa–hearts. grahaṇa karaha–Accept ei–this [as] sāra–the essence [of all] upadeśa–instructions. [3–4]

Engaging their tongue and mind, and meditating on the residents of Vraja who have deep love for Kṛṣṇa, souls who have developed taste always reside in Vraja and engage in service within their hearts. Accept this as the essence of all instructions.

Anuvṛtti

A practitioner who has not developed taste (ruchi) should engage the tongue which is fond of other tastes and the mind which desires other things in chanting, remembrance, and so on, of Kṛṣṇa’s Name, Form, Qualities, and Pastimes according to the gradual path, and upon developing taste, they should reside in Vraja and spend their time following the residents of Vraja. This is the essence of all instructions. First in the life of a practitioner is the stage of hearing (śravaṇ-daśā). By hearing about Kṛṣna’s Name, Kṛṣṇa’s Form, Kṛṣṇa’s Qualities, and Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes at that time, the stage of acceptance (varaṇ-daśā) arrives, and then the practitioner begins to chant about what they have heard. By engaging in chanting with their heart, they come to the stage of remembrance (smaraṇ-daśā). The five types of remembrance are known as smaraṇ, dhāraṇā, dhyān, anusmṛti, and samādhi. Smaraṇ is remembrance mixed with distraction, dhāraṇā is remembrance free from distraction, dhyān is meditation on the entire body of the object of meditation, anusmṛti is constant meditation, and samādhi is complete constancy in meditation free from any interruption. After the stage of remembrance is the stage of attainment (āpan-daśā). At this stage, the practitioner realises their true self. Then, in the final stage of fortune (sampatti-daśā), the practitioner attains absolute perfection (vastu-siddhi).

kāma tyaji’ kṛṣṇa bhaje śāstra-ājñā māni’
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 22.135)

[“Practitioners give up all selfish desires and serve Kṛṣṇa according to the directives of the scriptures.”]

By doing this, the practitioner’s taste develops, and when it does:

vidhi-dharma chhāḍi’ bhaje kṛṣṇera charaṇa
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 22.137)

[“They give up their lawful duties and serve Kṛṣṇa’s feet.”]

rāgātmikā-bhakti—‘mukhyā’ vraja-vāsi-jane
tāra anugata bhaktira ‘rāgānugā’-nāme
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 22.144)

[“The rāgātmikā-bhakti of the residents of Vraja is supreme. Devotion that follows them is called rāgānugā-bhakti.”]

iṣṭe svārasikī rāgaḥ paramāviṣṭatā bhavet
tan-mayī yā bhaved bhaktiḥ sātra rāgātmikoditā
(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: 1.2.270)

[“Intense natural absorption in one’s beloved is called rāga. Devotion made up of rāga is called rāgātmikā.”]

rāgamayī-bhaktira haya ‘rāgātmikā’ nāma
tāhā śuni’ lubdha haya kona bhāgyavān
lobhe vraja-vāsīra bhāve kare anugati
śāstra-yukti nāhi māne—rāgānugāra prakṛti
bāhya, abhyantara,—ihāra dui ta’ sādhana
‘bāhye’ sādhaka-dehe kare śravaṇa-kīrtana
‘mane’ nija-siddha-deha kariyā bhāvana
rātri-dine kare vraje kṛṣṇera sevana
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 22.147–8, 151–2)

[“Devotion made up of rāga is called rāgātmikā-bhakti. Upon hearing of it, some fortunate souls become greedy for it. Out of such greed, fortunate souls follow the moods of the residents of Vraja and do not concern themselves with scriptural reasoning. This is the nature of rāgānugā-bhakti, which has two aspects: an external practice and an internal practice. Externally, in the form of a practitioner, the soul engages in hearing and chanting, and internally, the soul meditates in their spiritual form and serves Kṛṣṇa in Vraja night and day.”]

sevā sādhaka-rūpeṇa siddha-rūpeṇa chātra hi
tad-bhāva-lipsunā kāryā vraja-lokānusārataḥ
(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: 1.2.294)

[“Those who are greedy for the mood of their chosen resident of Vraja should follow that resident of Vraja and engage in service in their form as a practitioner and in their spiritual form.”]

nijābhīṣṭa kṛṣṇa-preṣṭha pāchhe ta’ lāgiyā
nirantara sevā kare antarmanā hañā
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 22.154)

[“They should follow their chosen devotee of Kṛṣṇa and constantly engage in service meditatively.”]

kṛṣṇaṁ smaran janañ chāsya preṣṭhaṁ nija-samīhitam
tat-tat-kathā-rataś chāsau kuryād vāsaṁ vraje sadā
(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: 1.2.293)

[“They should remember Kṛṣṇa and their chosen devotee of Kṛṣṇa, be attached to narrations about them, and always reside in Vraja.”]

dāsa-sakhā-pitrādi-preyasīra gaṇa
rāga-mārge nija-nija-bhāvera gaṇana
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 22.156)

[“On the path of rāga, servants, friends, guardians, and lovers are classified by their respective moods.”]

The essence of all instructions is render service within the heart under the guidance of Kṛṣṇa’s dear devotees who reside in Vraja: the cows, the flute, the kadamba trees, and the other living entities in śānta-rasa; Chitraka, Patraka, Raktaka, and the others in dāsya-rasa; Baladev, Śrīdām, Sudām, and the others in sakhya-rasa; Nanda, Yaśodā, and the others in vātsalya-rasa; and Rādhikā, Lalitā, and the others in madhura-rasa.

Reference

Read Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s commentary on Śrī Upadeśāmṛta: verses onetwothreefourfivesix, and seven.

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