By the mercy of Śrī Guru and the mañjarīs, all the qualities of Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārānī will come in the heart.
Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Kavi Karṇapūra Gosvāmī, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, and others have all described Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s līlā–dhyāna, and they opened the storehouse of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes and distributed them freely.
Meditation is of two kinds: svarasikī and mantramayī. When worshiping Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa by mantra, one should meditate on Them being present in Yogapīṭha, with all the sakhīs and mañjarīs. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has explained one story from the Brahma-vaivarta-purāṇa.
In Pratiṣṭhanpur there was a brāhmaṇa who heard from the Vaiṣṇavas that manasi-sevā should be rendered while serving the deity of Śrī Hari. He made a vow to perform manasi-sevā. He would bathe in the Godāvarī River every day and then from early morning, he would sit in a secret place and perform manasi-sevā of Hari. He would arrange a plate full of beautiful flowers, and nice foodstuffs, and with this he would worship Śrī Hari. This service made him very happy. Thus, he would daily go to the bank of the Godāvarī and serve Hari in his mind. He would offer foodstuffs to the Lord and fan Him. He would cook sweet rice daily. After cooking sweet rice in a golden pot, he would put his knuckle in it to check if it was too hot to offer. One day, he put his finger in while the sweet rice was still burning hot. When he came out of trance he saw that his finger had a blister from the hot sweet rice.
In Vaikuṇṭha, Lakṣmī-devī asked her Lord, “Why are You laughing?”
The Lord replied, “One brāhmaṇa was worshiping Me in his mind, and he stopped his service when he realized that his finger was burnt after touching the hot sweet rice. Now he is very disturbed because his internal service stopped.”
Lakṣmī-devī said, “I don’t believe this.”
“I will take you there,” replied the Lord.
He came with Garuḍa and showed Lakṣmī the brāhmaṇa and accepted him as His dear devotee.
In the pastimes of our Guru-varga we get a glimpse of what real absorption and meditation is. One day, when Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī was doing bhajana at Rādhā-Kuṇḍa, he suddenly became sick in the stomach and felt acute pain. Some of the local Vrajavāsīs called a physician to come see him. The physician diagnosed Dāsa Gosvāmī and said the pain in his stomach was due to indigestion resulting from gas. All were surprised because Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī would only take a little madhukarī of one leaf cup of buttermilk every day. So where did this indigestion come from? Dāsa Gosvāmī began explaining how he was meditating on serving Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and some remnant kṣīra was given to her (to Dāsa Gosvāmī’s form as a maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī) and she ate so much that she felt bloated. All present were amazed to see how the effects of his manasi-sevā manifested in his sādhaka-deha.
One time, a famous landlord and several family members went to have an audience with Siddha Bhagavān dāsa Babajī Mahārāja at his bhajan-kutīra in Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma. They had never seen him before, so not recognizing him they asked if he knew where the famous Siddha Babajī lived. Babajī Mahārāja replied, “There are no Siddha Baba’s here as far as I am concerned. I reside here, however I am just an ordinary jīva like you.” It then occurred to them that actually Babajī Mahārāja was in front of them speaking out of humility, free from any tinge of desire for name and fame. Becoming happy they offered their praṇāmas to Babajī Mahārāja and humbly asked him to show them a miracle. Becoming disturbed, he said, “I don’t know how to do any miracles.” Shortly after he picked up a stick and started hitting the ground, apparently out of annoyance. The landlord became fearful that he had committed an offense, and begged Babaji not to be angry at him for having made an inappropriate request.
Bhagavān dāsa Babajī replied, “I am not angry with you. I was just chasing out a goat who had entered the tulasī garden near the cottage of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī at Rādhā-kuṇḍa.”
The landowner and family were astonished to hear this, and to test the truth of his statement they immediately inquired from Rādhā-kuṇḍa via telegram. The reply came back the next day, and it confirmed that a goat had been eating a tulasī plant at the bhajan-kutīra of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Babajī Mahārāja being in ardha-bahya–daśā, half internal and external consciousness, saw the goat ruining the tulasī garden while performing his manasī–sevā to the dhāma and thus externally reacted by his sādhaka-śarīra.
We should be absorbed in this way. By serving in the mind and by body one will become pure and free from all unwanted desires. If any living being does not serve Lord Hari, he will serve dogs, cats, rats, wife, children, and babies and always think about them. How can this cease? By doing service in the mind, and meditating on Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, rūpa, guṇa, and līlā. Then it is very easy to go beyond this world. By directly worshiping Ṭhākurajī with mantras, bathing Them, offering bhoga, while also internally serving, one will quickly become free from māyā.
Svapane nā bala āna prema vina anā nahi cahu—while sleeping, do not think of anyone else but Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, and while awake, do not speak with mundane people, only engage in topics of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Do not desire anything but prema-bhakti. Ekāntika–bhaktas, one pointed devotees, perform sādhana and bhajana in this manner.
jala vinū jena mīna dūḥkha pāya āyū hīna
prema vinū sei-mata bhakta
cātaka jalada-gati e-mati ekānta-rāti
jāne jei sei anūrakta
Just like a fish out of water feels great pain and distress, in the same way the bhakta experiences suffering in the absence of prema. As the rain cloud is the sole goal of the cātaka bird, similarly, one who has one-pointed rati is attached to loving service.
Rasika-bhaktas will be like a fish without water, unable to live for a moment without remembrance of their beloved iṣṭadeva. When one is at the end of his life he is very sad, afraid of giving up his body. Life without prema-bhakti is dry and useless. This is like the cātaka bird. He will not drink water and will have a dry throat. Someone may tell him to drink water from below any lake, but he will not take. Another may tell him to drink rain water, but he will also not do that. He will only drink water from the cloud during the constellation of svāti-nakṣātra.
The rāgānuga-bhakta will have this firm dedication and faith. The life and soul of a prema-niṣṭha devotee is this unalloyed prema-bhakti. He is prema-gaṭa-prāṇa. His life is solely for achieving prema-bhakti.
āyur harati vai puṁsām udyann astaṁ ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta uttama-śloka-vārtayā
As the sun rises and sets it decreases the duration of everyone’s life, except those who engage their time in discussing narrations of the Supreme Lord, who is glorified with choice verses.
From the demigods to the lower species, all beings move in the cycle of birth and death, only striving and performing actions for their own happiness. They do not do anything for love of God. If anyone does this, they are paṇḍitas and ācāryas. They do not misuse their energy. Then they do not become bound in the cycle of birth and death where the jīvas wander among millions of species of life. Their life is then successful.
Jīva Gosvāmī describes in the Prīti–sandarbha that in any species of life the living entities enter, they only suffer. If gold is placed in fire, it only becomes clean, brighter, and lighter. But when we enter different species of life, we only suffer, like entering into fire. Therefore, it is said, “Don’t go or think about anything mundane; only contemplate on Kṛṣṇa, Vrajabhūmi, and the Vraja-devīs. You will then be freed from the cycle of birth and death. If you have a relation with that service and do not serve any others, you will not jump and go any other way. You will come back. You will not go up or down in the cycle of material existence.”
One should be very strong and always engage himself in the service of Yugala-Kiśora, the Divine Couple. One should have parakiyā-bhāva. The svakīyā mood means relationship with this body and so-called relatives. People think, “We will serve God together,” but the mind is still attached here and there. Devotees with one-pointed love towards Kṛṣṇa, should not return to their families and perform bhajana. One should respect the devotees and always serve them, but with a parakiyā mood. This means the sādhaka does everything secretly. He will do something special only for his parakiyā beloved Kṛṣṇa. He will do it without showing anyone.
One person cooks for the bhoga offering. The store keeper gave something to cook with, but the cook will make something extra special for Kṛṣṇa. He will fry something like making some pakoras. He will arrange some chutney and some other items separately for Kṛṣṇa. He always has special love and desire to serve Kṛṣṇa. This is ārati, longing. He may hide something, and offer it to Kṛṣṇa and his beloved Gurudeva.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit says, “I have moved in so many species of life, but have made no relationship with God. I request you, how can I be related to the lotus feet of Mukuṇḍa? Please teach me.”
The sages cannot say if they have no love. When Parīkṣit Mahārāja came to Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Śukadeva Gosvāmī saw this, because he himself has love. Ṛṣis and Mahārṣis may think of God for some time with dhyāna, but this is not in session. Śukadeva Gosvāmī has pure love and this is one pointed and never ceases. The purpose of life is to have love for God. If one develops this love, his life is successful. Otherwise life passes in vain.
For ekāntika devotees it is said:
ekāntino yasya na kañcanārthaṁ
vānchanti ye vai bhagavata-prapannāḥ
aty-adbhutaṁ tac-caritaṁ sumaṅgalaṁ
One-pointed devotees, who have no aspiration other than to serve Bhagavān, serve Him in full submission and always chant and hear about His activities, which are most wonderful and amazing. Thus they always submerge in an ocean of bliss. These devotees never ask Bhagavān for any boon.
Without hari-sevā, one will not like anything or have desire for anything. Bhakti is very rare. Without Śrī Hari, devotees do not think of anyone. In Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, four symptoms are given of the one-pointed devotees: 1) Dharme anādara, they will not be attached to following the path of dharma.
ājñāyaivaṁ guṇān doṣān mayādiṣṭān api svakān
dharmān santyajya yaḥ sarvān māṁ bhajeta sa tu sattamaḥ
Those who perform service unto Me, having given up all types of religious duties, and having understood the inherent attributes and faults of dharma established by Me, are accepted as the topmost person.
sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
Completely leaving aside all types of dharma, fully surrender unto Me alone. I shall free you from all reactions to your sins. Do not be lament.
eta saba chāḍi āra varṇāśrama-dharma
akiñcana haīya laya kṛṣṇaika-śaraṇa
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.93
You should give up all bad association, and even varṇāśrama–dharma, and become akiñcana. Having bhakti as your only wealth, take full shelter of Kṛṣṇa.
2) Karme-jñānādi-anya-sarva-nirapekṣatā: they will be indifferent and free from all worldly dualities.
santo ‘napekṣā mac-cittāḥ praśāntāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
nirmamā nirahaṅkārā nirdvandvā niṣparigrahāḥ
My bhaktas fix their hearts on Me and do not rely upon anything mundane. They are peaceful, have equal vision, and are free from false attachment, pride, duality, and greed.
vihāya kāmān yaḥ sarvān pumāṁś carati niḥspṛhaḥ
nirmamo nirahaṅkāraḥ sa śāntim adhigacchati
It is only those bhaktas who abandon all desires and move about free from hankering, pride, and false attachment who attain peace.
3) Vighnādi-sattveo-rati-pāratā: in the face of many disturbances their love will not diminish.
tat te ’nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hrd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk
Those who envision Your mercy at every moment with great enthusiasm are capable of enduring with an undisturbed mind the joy and sorrow that comes to them, considering it to be the Lord’s mercy. Heartily, with choked voices and hairs standing on end, they offer themselves at Your lotus feet. Just as the father’s wealth becomes the natural property of the son, similarly bhagavat-prema becomes their natural wealth. In other words they become eligible for this highest love of God.
4) Premaika-paratā—they are intent on developing love for God.
ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā janeṣu dehambhara-vārtikeṣu
gṛheṣu jāyātmaja-rātimatsu na prīti-yuktā yāvad-arthāś ca loke
Those who have desire to awaken bhakti in one of the primary relationships (dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhura) with Kṛṣṇa do not like anything that is unrelated to Him. They have no interest in meeting with the general public. They are not attached to house, wife, children, and wealth although they may be householders, but at the same time they do not neglect their duties. Such persons collect only enough money to keep the body and soul together.
Lord Ṛṣabhadeva says, “If one has a relationship with God, he will not think of that which he has left in this world. He is always busily engaged in his service to God.”
Srila Narottama das Thakura ki Jaya! (excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication; “Sri Sri Prema Bhakti Candrika”, available from: [email protected] )