Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja : On Raganuga-bhakti – continued discussions with the GBC on the book, Raga-Vartma-Candrika – Mathura, India: 1991 – What is the meaning of visrambha-bhava?
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What is the meaning of visrambha-bhava?
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It implies ‘giving up all fear.’ Fear caused by the sense of awe and reverence is not present. The disciple will serve his guru as a bosom friend. He will not think, “I am very low and he is very high.” Rather, he will determine, “He is mine and I am his.”
The analogy is given of a young son who, seeing his father sitting above him, does not care to sit on the ground. He will at once jump up and sit on his father’s lap. Then he will pat his father’s shoulder, stroke his father’s face, and touch him on his arm or hold his hand, serving him with great love.
Moreover, a person qualified with genuine greed, with even greater love than that young son, will serve his Gurudeva from whom he has collected the truths he has realized and the moods he now possesses. This type of intimate service is essential.
Guru-caranasraya means ‘taking shelter of the self-realized guru.’ This is the first of the sixty-four items of devotional service. Then, following the instruction of the second item, one takes diksa initiation from him. Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu lists these sixty-four practices of devotional service, the first five of which are in relationship to guru.
[“On the path of regulative devotional service, one must observe the following items: (1) One must accept a bona fide spiritual master. (2) One must accept initiation from him. (3) One must serve him. (4) One must receive instructions from the spiritual master and make inquiries in order to learn devotional service. (5) One must follow in the footsteps of the previous acaryas and follow the directions given by the spiritual master.”]
The raganuga-bhakta follows these same procedures, but his bhava (mood) has changed from that which is found in vaidhi-bhakti. The vaidhi-bhakti disciple will sit lower and pray to his gurudeva with folded palms, “Gurudeva, please give me an order. What service shall I do?” Then, when he receives an order, as a servant, that disciple will perform the service. On the other hand, a ‘greedy person’ will serve in the mood I have previously described; with no fear and no sense of difference. He will see resolve that “I am his…”
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: “And he is mine.”
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: All the limbs of vaidhi-bhakti are followed by the raganuga Vaisnava, but…
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What is the difference?
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The mood is different.