Raganuga bhakti

Prabhupada’s disciples need not be concerned with anything other than serving him in the ways in which he encouraged us. These are ways in which we are to serve in our sadhaka deha, our practitioner’s body. Indeed, we should try to fully absorb this sadhaka deha, both its physical and psychic dimensions in his service throughout the day and into our dreams at night.

When one’s sadhaka deha is fully engaged, in due course and on Bhagavan Sri Krsna’s time, the budding attraction for a particular spiritual sentiment will naturally arise, as we attain higher stages of sadhana bhakti. As it does, it will illuminate the path of raganuga bhakti for us. We will be drawn to a particular sentiment for Sri Krsna and attracted to particular lilas and qualities of his that correspond with this sentiment. In most cases this will be the same internal sentiment that Prabhupada himself cherishes. Thus we will move from following him externally in a sadhaka deha to also following him internally in a meditative siddha deha. The internal cultivation of this siddha deha will continue into bhava bhakti until we attain prema. This cultivation involves lila smaranam from the vantage point of one’s budding deha fortified by kirtana.

Our relationship with Krsna resulting from the ingress of bhakti into our lives arises naturally through sadhana in the form of knowledge concerning the nature of that relationship, the form in which we will serve, etc. Such knowledge required for raganuga sadhana proper can also be revealed in the form of information by our diksa or siksa gurus. Thus there are three way in which this knowledge can arise, as Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura points out in his Ragavartma-candrika:

  1. It can be given by one’s diksa guru (information to be realized)
  2. It can be given by one’s siksa guru (information to be realized)
  3. It can be realized through sadhana (realization)

There is no compelling evidence that Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta revealed this knowledge in the form of information to any of his disciples. Nor is there any compelling evidence that our Prabhupada revealed it in this way to any of his disciples. My siksa guru Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja did not reveal it in this manner to his disciples. Instead we have been taught to realize it through sadhana and engage in raganuga sadhana in the full sense of the terms as this knowledge descends in the higher stages of sadhana bhakti. One’s siddha deha arises naturally out of a fully engaged sadhaka deha.

Thus there is no need to be concerned with adopting any new practices with the idea that without doing so we will miss out on entering Krsna’s Vraja-lila. We don’t need to hurry up and “figure out” what our relationship with Krsna is. That will come only by revelation in one of the three ways mentioned above. At the same time, fully engaging our sadhaka deha in vaidhi bhakti with a view to attain eligibility for raganuga sadhana proper and to thereby attain Vraja-bhakti (which is easy to talk about about but difficult to do) obviously involves becoming acquainted with proper theoretical knowledge concerning the course of raganuga sadhana bhakti.

That theoretical knowledge is found in Prabhupada’s books and the books he refers to, which are the very extension of his books, the roots from which the tree of his books have grown.