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Thread: Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

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    Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

    There are many stages leading to the manifestation of prema.
    Among them, those which are most famous in the scriptures will be described here.
    The bhagavad-vimukha-jiva, or one whose face is averted from Bhagavan (the Lord),
    has from a time without beginning fallen into the unlimited flow of the insurmountable ocean of material existence
    and is thus wandering here and there.
    When by the special mercy of Bhagavan the jiva’s material existence begins to wane,
    he obtains the association of the Lord’s devotees.

    At that time, in the company of sadhus (holly persons), he obtains the extraordinary
    fortune of hearing from the mouths of elevated devotees the scriptures that are filled
    with the glories concerning the three topics: bhaktas, bhakti and Bhagavan.

    adau sraddha tatah sadhu sango ’tha bhajana-kriya
    tato ’nartha-nivrittih syat tato nistha rucis tatah
    athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudancati
    sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet krama˙ BRS 1:1:11

    In the beginning there is transcendental faith -adau sraddha-
    threafter (the stage of) association with the saints - tatah sadhu sango-
    threafter (the external and internal ) cleaning activity of worshiping (of the Lord)-bhajana-kriya-
    thereafter therebe (the stage) of removed unwanted attachments -tato ’nartha-nivrittih syat

    thereafter (the stage of) steadiness -tato nistha (by which one's bhajan is not anymore disturbed by anarthas)
    threafter taste (in bhajan and the spiritual objects of worship- Radha-Krishna -rucis tatah
    and certainly spiritual attachment (for the Lord and His associates) -athasaktis

    thereafter (the stage of) beginning of spiritual love -tato bhavas
    thereafter the divine love appears -tatah premabhyudancati

    This would be - bhavet- the sequence -krama- by which this divine love -ayam premnah
    appears in the practicing devotee -pradurbhave sadhakanam.

    This scriptural description of the evolution of prem is actually a description
    of the development of the devotee's uncompromising desire for the Lord.
    The beginning of wanting the Lord is divine faith ( sraddha) which gradually develops into prem.
    That desire appears as the rising sun of prem.

    Just as the rising sun reveals the world around us,
    so the rising sun of love for Krsna reveals Him.
    tadetadAtAravilochanasri / sambhAvitASeza vinamragarvam
    muhur murArer madhurAdharoztham / mukhAmbujam chumbati mAnasam me

    kRSNa karNamRtam 85

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    Re: Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

    Namaste Anadi

    Thank you for sharing this. You are quoting particular scriptures, which are then formulated into the stages you have outlined. The content is very deep and seems Gaudiya in revelation. Is this your outline or summary, or does this come from a particular sacred text or perhaps biography of a saint?

    Also, I have been taught about 3 types or levels if you will regarding Bhakti, this however is not Vaishnav or ISKCON specific. Do you have any comment on that, and it's interplay with stages you outline? And do you think the stages as outlined are only specific to Radha Krishna, and not for example Valli Muruga?

    Om Namah Sivaya
    Last edited by ShivaFan; 22 September 2012 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Corrected member name from anandi to anadi

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    Re: Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

    hari o
    ~~~~~~


    namast

    Quote Originally Posted by anadi View Post
    In the beginning there is transcendental faith -adau sraddha-
    Can you help me and the HDF reader better understand transcendental faith?
    How does it occur ? Where does it occur ? If it is transcendental is it not beyond the senses ? If so how does one know it has been established and/or if it is growing or matured ?


    praām
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaFan View Post
    Namaste Anadi

    Thank you for sharing this. You are quoting particular scriptures, which are then formulated into the stages you have outlined. The content is very deep and seems Gaudiya in revelation. Is this your outline or summary, or does this come from a particular sacred text or perhaps biography of a saint?
    Dandavat ShivaFan,

    The quotes are from the "book" Bhakti Rasa-amrita Sindhu (The Nectar like taste of the Ocean of Divine Service of Love), wrote by a saint, known later as Rupa Gosvami [1493-1564].

    Bhakti Ratnakara (1.578-619) relates the earlier history of Rupa and his brothers:
    Sanatana, Rupa and Vallabha were great devotees. Sanatana was the elder brother and Rupa the middle. Sri Vallabha was the youngest of the three brothers and his son was Sri Jiva Gosvami. This book will be too big if I go into details for describing the nature of relations between the three brothers.
    The king heard from his experts that Sanatana and Rupa might be very suitable persons for posts as ministers. At that time the king of Gauda was a powerful non- Hindu. He appointed Sanatana and Rupa to two responsible posts in his kingdom. Due to fear of the king, they accepted the posts and helped him increase his state. The king became so satisfied with the brothers that he divided his kingdom between them and allowed them to enjoy their estate.

    They settled in the village named Ramkeli in Gauda along with their wealth and treasures. Many scholars from different countries used to visit the court of Rupa and Sanatana. There were also singers, instrumentalists, dancers and poets who remained at the service of Rupa and Sanatana in their court. They would spend money profusely for state purposes but they never harmed anyone.

    They passed their personal time in the study and discussion of scripture and took part in scholarly debates which would establish their views or discredit the opinions of their scholars. If any scholar wrote on the subject of Nyaya sutra, he could not feel accomplished until his work was approved by Rupa and Santana. Scholars throughout the country appreciated the acedemic genius of the two brothers. As their fame grew, brahmins from Karnata and other countries visited their courts.

    Rupa and Sanatana arranged houses near the Ganges for the brahmins of their own country. The Bhatta class brahmins who lived in the village of Bhattabati were scholars of different scriptures. The brahmins of the Ramkeli village assisted Rupa and Sanatana in many importany duties.

    Rupa and Sanatana used to serve the Vaisnavas very sincerely and humbly. They had great respect for the brahmins who came from Navadvipa. Vidyavachaspati was the religious guide of Sri Sanatana and from time to time he stayed at Ramkeli. Sri Sanatana studied many scriptures under him and his respect for Vidyavacaspati knew no bounds. He respectfully mentioned the name of his guru in his book Sri Dasama Tippani. Who has the capacity to describe the remarkable activities of Rupa and Sanatana?

    In a lonely place near their house there was a garden of Kadamba trees, in the middle of which were Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda. They used to think of the lilas of Vrndavana and while thinking of it they began to shed tears of emotional upheaval. But they continuously rendered sincere service to their deity Sri Madhava Mohana. And they retained an eager anticipation for meeting Sri Krsna Caitanya Candra who lived in Nadia at that time.

    They regretted their service to the Muslim king and their father continually performed atonements for the disgrace of serving the Muslims. They lamented their own position, considering themselves no better than Muslims because of the work they did and the association they kept with Muslims. They felt themselves worthless as they served the king of the Yavanas instead of the king of their own race. In the depths of their humble lamentation they considered themselves inferior to the Yavanas. Though they were descendants of a brahmin king they could not think of themselves as brahmins.

    Whoever got the mercy of Sri Caitanya developed humble behavior. A devotee never considered himself great but took a most humble position. Although Sri Krsna Caitanya is considered The Suprem Lord Himself, He nevertheless maintained the humble mood of a devotee.

    Gaura Raya knew that happiness lay in the mood of humility and He taught that principle amongst his followers. Only Sri Krsna Caitanya was able to understand the change that transpired in the minds of Sanatana and Rupa.

    Caitanya Das describes the history of Rupa and Sanatana to his son Srinivasa, as related in the Bhakti Ratnakara (2.338-493):
    "In Vrndavana Prabhu Gaura Rai (Sri Caitanya) had many duties to be performed by Rupa and Sanatana. The duties carried out by these two brothers proved that they were not ordinary persons. Caitanya dasa told his son that when he had first seen Rupa and Sanatana he could not recognize them. Now that he knew then he could describe their life stories to his son.

    Most of the professors from Navadvipa would assemble at that village Ramkeli. My professor was the most learned man in Cakhandi and he was invited to visit Ramkeli. We also accompanied our professor to Ramkeli and reached that place at an auspicious moment.

    After settling in our residence near the house of Rupa and Sanatana we accompanied the professors to the court. There we saw that just like Indra the king of deities, Rupa and Sanatana were sitting in the court surrounded by professors and Pandits. Their beauty and brilliance immediately captured the hearts of everyone present. They smiled sweetly at everyone as they glanced around with their large beautiful eyes. We were attracted by their long hands, broad chests and beautiful waists.

    They received us with great respect and we were astonished by their humble and modest attitude. Although they had enormous wealth, they had no pride at all. On the contrary, they requested everyone to bless them so that they might achieve devotion to the lotus feet of Lord Krsna.

    Sanatana was the elder brother and Rupa was the younger brother, but both were scholars in all scriptures. They satisfied the professors of the different countries, with enormous wealth and they attentively listened to the professors opinions and views on different subjects. The professors also appreciated the brothers for their explanations and interpretations of different verses.

    Although they held the most influential and prestigious positions as Prime Ministers in the court of the king of Gauda who had great affection for them, they never insulted anyone. We were quite satisfied to stay with them for many days. After a long time the professors left Ramkeli and we also returned to our village. A few days after Mahaprabhu (Sri Caitanya) embraced ascetic life and went to Nilacala with any Vaisnava devotees.

    From Nilacala Prabhu went to Vrndavana and stopped on his way in the village of Ramkeli where he met Rupa and Sanatana. After blessing them Prabhu decided to return to Puri instead of Vraja. Sometime later Prabhu again started for Vrndavana.

    In Ramkeli Rupa and Sanatana heard that Prabhu had gone to Vrndavana. We do not know what motivated them but at that time they renounced everything related to wealth, knowledge or pleasure. Sri Rupa and his brother Sri Vallava first left for Vraja but met Sri Krsna Caitanya in Prayaga.

    Prabhu was happy to see Rupa and blessed him in various ways. From Ramkeli Gosvami Sanatana clandestinely went to Vraja but met Prabhu in Kashi. Sri Caitanya was also happy to meet Sanatana and gave the two brothers valuable advice.

    When the people of different countries came to know that Rupa and Sanatana had gone to Vraja they wondered how it was possible for the two brothers to give up all types of pleasure and wealth. The people of Ramkeli women, men, children, old and young all praised the activities of Rupa and Sanatana. The professors of Ramkeli did not want to stay there in the absence of Rupa and Sanatana and sadly left. Everyone except the Vaisnavas felt sorry because Rupa and Sanatana had lost their interest in worldly matters. In Vrndavana Sri Rupa and Sanatana took up the task of teaching.

    Radhe Shyam
    tadetadAtAravilochanasri / sambhAvitASeza vinamragarvam
    muhur murArer madhurAdharoztham / mukhAmbujam chumbati mAnasam me

    kRSNa karNamRtam 85

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    Re: Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hari o

    Can you help me and the HDF reader better understand transcendental faith?
    How does it occur ? Where does it occur ? If it is transcendental is it not beyond the senses ? If so how does one know it has been established and/or if it is growing or matured ?
    Dandavat yajvan,

    The first stage leading to the appearance of prema,
    as described in the above verses from Bhakti-rasamRta-sindhu (1.4.15–16), is
    (1) Shraddha – transcendental faith

    But where does this faith come from,
    the first stage leading to the divine love – prema?

    The answer is: the performance of a vast amount of eternal pious deeds – sukriti,
    which are related to the devotional service to the Lord,
    in one's previous lives as confirmed in Brihan-naradiya Puran (4.33)

    bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta sangena parijayate
    sat-sanga-prapyate pumbhih sukritaih purva-sancitai

    The devotional service will be attained – bhaktis parijAyate
    by the association of the pure devotees– sangenabhagavad-bhakta,
    but the transcendental association – tu sat sanga
    can be attained by the human beings – prapyate pumbhih
    through previous vast accumulation purva sancitai
    of eternal pious deeds – sukritaih.

    These sukriti that yields association with the saints (sadhu-sanga) arises from association with

    1. devotees of the Lord (the higher - pure - the devotee, the stronger the faith - the quality of the devotees is also important)

    2. holy days - like Ekadashi, Janmastami, Gaura-purnima and other
    occasions which produce a saintly attitude;

    3. Devotional paraphernalia - like seeing or touching Tulasi, honouring
    maha-prasada; and other such activities.

    4. Holy devotional places – like the temple, Sri Vrindavana and other holy places connected to the Lord, or a holy river like the Ganga or Yamuna.

    When these activities are performed unknowingly they are called sukriti.
    When, however, these activities are performed in the association of devotees
    and in full knowledge of their greatness, they become limbs of bhakti.

    Radhe Shyam
    tadetadAtAravilochanasri / sambhAvitASeza vinamragarvam
    muhur murArer madhurAdharoztham / mukhAmbujam chumbati mAnasam me

    kRSNa karNamRtam 85

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    Re: Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

    (1) Shraddha – transcendental faith

    Sri Krishna says in Bhagavad-gītā 4.40:

    ajaś cāśraddadhānaś ca
    saḿśayātmā vinaśyati
    nāyaḿ loko 'sti na paro
    na sukhaḿ saḿśayātmanaḥ

    The one who has no transcendental knowledge and accordingly no transcendental faith -ajaḥ ca aśraddadhānaḥ
    and has doubts is the destroyer of the soul - ca saḿśaya ātmā vinaśyati.
    A doubtful person attains no happiness -saḿśayātmanah na sukhaḿ
    either in this world or in the next -nāyaḿ loko na paro.

    And Sri Krishna said in Bhagavad-gita 3.3 that in this world there are two types of faith:

    śrī-bhagavān uvāca
    loke 'smin dvi-vidhā niṣṭhā / purā proktā mayānagha
    jāna-yogena sāńkhyānāḿ / karma-yogena yoginām

    The Supreme Lord said: O sinless one, as I formerly said, in this world -loke 'smin- there are two kinds of faith:
    - in jāna-yogena – the yoga of knowledge, of the sankhya philosophers - sāńkhyānāḿ and
    - in the karma-yogena – activity according dharma whose fruits are offered to the Lord (of the yogis).
    tadetadAtAravilochanasri / sambhAvitASeza vinamragarvam
    muhur murArer madhurAdharoztham / mukhAmbujam chumbati mAnasam me

    kRSNa karNamRtam 85

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    Re: Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

    Namaste anadiji,

    Is sukriti ( performance of vast amount of eternal pious deeds in ones previous lives ) is only way out for sadhu sangha or krishna bhakti ? I think such a lucky person who is born with so much prem bhakti owing to his sukriti are rare . I think those who has no sukriti , need not be hopeless. Here is the significance of the word sraddha , the first step leading to prema bhakti ( Adau sraddha , tatha sadhu sangha ) CC says sradhya sabde biswas kahe sudridha nischaya which means confident and firm faith. Again CC says sarbottam apanake hina kari mane/ Krishna kripa kariben dridha kari jane Therefore that firm and confident faith will make to believe that Krishna will definitely bestow kripa. Bhaktirasamritasindhow ( 1/3/16) says Na prema srabanadi ha ha madasaiba mam I do not have prem bhakti nor even srabanadi sadhan bhakti . I have not performed vaishnabyog sadhan nor jnan or any subhakarma , yet hey gopijanballav sri Krishna still I have hope in my heart that you will bestow kripa on me
    Therefore although I do not have sukriti still I have hopes to get bhagabad kripa.

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    Re: Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

    Quote Originally Posted by jopmala View Post
    Namaste anadiji,

    Is sukriti ( performance of vast amount of eternal pious deeds in ones previous lives ) is only way out for sadhu sangha or krishna bhakti ? I think such a lucky person who is born with so much prem bhakti owing to his sukriti are rare.
    dandavat dear jopmala,

    When one attains prem bhakti, one gets the association of the Lord
    in one's perfect body - siddha deha.
    A person who attained the stage of prem bhakti,
    will never be born in this mortal world anymore.
    He may come in this world only as an associate of the Lord
    to assist Him in His lila.

    According to Caitanya Mahaprabhu the stage of prema
    cannot be attained in the body of a sadhak:


    akaitava kṛṣṇa-prema, yena jāmbūnada-hema,
    sei premā nṛloke nā haya
    yadi haya tāra yoga, nā haya tabe viyoga,
    viyoga haile keha nā jīyaya (CC2.2.43)

    Pure love of Krishna is like the gold from the Jambu river,

    -akaitava kṛṣṇa-prema, yena jāmbūnada-hema
    This pure love is not possible in the material world
    sei premā nṛloke nā haya

    (That gold from the Jambu river (which appears when a certain fruit (?) fell to the sands of the river) is instantaneously taken by the demigods, so nobody can get it.)

    If one attains the association of the Lord one will not be separated anymore from Him. -yadi haya tāra yoga, nā haya tabe viyoga .

    (The one that attains the association of the Lord (due to prema) don't fall anymore in separation of the Lord, which means one doesn't fall anymore in the material world)

    If separation were there, one could not live -viyoga haile keha
    nā jīyaya

    The separation one feels after the attainment of prema is so powerful that the material body cannot bear with it -
    One needs one's siddha deha (spiritual perfect body) to attain prema.

    From this verse one may see that one who is in the spiritual world, in the loving service of the Lord, which is due to prema, cannot live without the Lord, except that the Lord wants his devotee come in the material world wiht Him to play some lila.

    Secondly

    prem bhakti comes not direktly from bhakti-sukriti.
    Bhakti-sukriti is only the spark that ignite the long (of maaaaany liftimes)process leading to prema.
    Yes, you know this.

    gaura premanande
    anadi
    tadetadAtAravilochanasri / sambhAvitASeza vinamragarvam
    muhur murArer madhurAdharoztham / mukhAmbujam chumbati mAnasam me

    kRSNa karNamRtam 85

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    Re: Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

    pranam anadi,

    According to Sri Kripaluji Maharaj, prema certainly appears if the mind is fully cleansed. He repeatedly uses the analogy of a vessel (bartan). He states that Bhagavan, through the agency of a mahatma, bestows prema on a suitable vessel. Such an event immediately makes the mind-senses of the receptacle divine and he can witness Bhagavan and His activities therafter.

    Prema can also appear spontaneously in the mind of paramhamsas or those who are absorbed in nirvikalpa samadhi. When the fragrance from Sri Vishnu's feet entered the nostrils of sanat kumara and his three brothers, they were immediately lifted out of his samadhi state and bhakti was manifested in their hearts.

    In their case, their minds were already fully purified (otherwise they would never attain nirvikalpa). If even a celestial receptacle was tobe bestowed with prema, the celestial's body would burst into smithreens.

    Sri Braj Parikari deviji (a pracharak of kripauji) states that such an unfit person's body would literally crumple like plastic in fire. It stands to reason, then, when certain mahatmas deny scriptural statements that promote mechanical repetition of the holy name. It doesn't take one to vaikuntha. Only prema does.
    My YouTube Channel, where I sing about God, His Love and His Holy instructions, etc., couched in popular melodies of modern pop music. It's either that, or clean parodies of popular music which otherwise would have a negative impression on young minds. Kind of like Hindu Gospel Music. I'm really excited to see where this goes!

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    Re: Stages Leading to the Appearance of divine love

    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaFan View Post
    Namaste Anadi


    Also, I have been taught about 3 types or levels if you will regarding Bhakti, this however is not Vaishnav or ISKCON specific. Do you have any comment on that, and it's interplay with stages you outline? And do you think the stages as outlined are only specific to Radha Krishna, and not for example Valli Muruga?

    Om Namah Sivaya
    Bhakti is certainly not specific to Sri Vishnu. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa revealed that Devi also nourishes five bhavas in Her abode of Manidvipa - only that madhurya rasa is replaced by veerya (the siddha bhakta acts in the capacity of Devi's lover/husband) and sakhya by sakhi.

    The Lalita Sahasranaama states that Brahmaananda is mere drop compared to the ocean of Sri Lalita-ananda. Traditionally, this quality is attributed to Sri Narayana, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna because They are the forms which are associated with bhakti. But devotional
    exchanges are found in the realms of Shankara and Devi, too, even though they are traditionally affiliated with the system of Advaita, niraakar brahm, etc. This is amply supported by scripture.

    Of course, this works both ways. Narayana is sometimes also spoken of as the formless brahm.
    My YouTube Channel, where I sing about God, His Love and His Holy instructions, etc., couched in popular melodies of modern pop music. It's either that, or clean parodies of popular music which otherwise would have a negative impression on young minds. Kind of like Hindu Gospel Music. I'm really excited to see where this goes!

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