Prayers to the Deity

Q. If one has no taste for bhakti and has not awakened his or her love for God, will Gaura-Nitai make sure that the sadhaka‘s prayers still reach Krishna? Or are prayers to Gaura-Nitai heard by Gaura Narayana?

A. Gaura Nitai are raga marg Deities—vrajendranandana yei saci suta haila sei balarama hailo nitai. They come from Goloka. They are Krsna and Balarama filled with audarya. But in the beginning stages the sadhaka, being more concerned with what they can do for him rather than what he can do for them, draws more on their salviific aspect as deliverers of the fallen and distributors of the yuga dharmayuga dharma palau. So prayers to Gaura Nitai are heard by Gaura Nitai, but relative to the prayers and position of the devotee praying, they reciprocate accordingly. Their yuga dharma aspect will pay attention first and then as one’s heart is purified and one becomes appropriately more concerned with their inner life, they share it with the advanced sadhaka. Sri Vrindavana dasa Thakura has emphasized their yuga dharma aspect more and Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja has given more emphasis to Garua’s Radha bhava. So all things in time.

Q. What makes Deities raga marg Deities? If ajata ruci sadhakas are really worshiping Laksmi Narayana when they worship Radha Krishna, then I guess they aren’t raga marg Deities Why not?

A. Raga marg Deities are those that are involved in the raga marg. Laxmi Narayana are not. These sadhakas are not “really worshiping Laxmi Narayana” (perhaps not the best wording), but in the beginning they cannot draw much more from Radha Krsna than the kind of reciprocation that revernetial love warrants. They are worshiping Radha Krsna with some aisvarya jnana. Thus their bhakti is not jnana anavrtam. For that matter it may not be karma anavrtam yet. It is free from jnana and karma only in the sense that their ideal is free from these coverings, while in reality they are not free from karma and jnana. They are engaged in suddha-bhakti only in terms of sadhana-bhakti, but they themselves are not suddha-bhaktas in all respects. First they will cross over karma at ruci. Then jnana as their ideal (Nandatanuja) manifests in their hearts. At this point with the ingress of a specific manifestation of svarupa-sakti they draw full reciprocation from thier deity rather than an aspect of their Deity. This is the idea.