Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja : On Raganuga-bhakti – continued discussions with the GBC on the book, Raga-Vartma-Candrika – Mathura, India: 1991 – What is Rupanuga?
If one’s diksa-guru is present, the disciple will receive all these things from him. Or, his gurudeva will gladly order him to hear from another person, as in the case of Sri Syamananda prabhu, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, and Sri Srinivasa Acarya. .
As I mentioned earlier, if a person has greed by dint of his previous births’ samskaras or by his present birth’s samskaras, he will begin to search through sastra – by reading and hearing – especially those sastras or commentaries written by Srila Rupa Gosvami and his followers, the rupanuga Vaisnavas.
What is the actual meaning of rupanuga? In his books, Srila Rupa Gosvami has described, in tatastha-bhava, the various rasas. Do you know the meaning of tatastha?
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Marginal.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Neutral.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He has written from a neutral position about all the rasas – santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhurya. If one has greed for any of these moods, that person will be a raganuga-bhakta but not rupanuga.
What is rupanuga? Even if one follows Ujjvala-Nilamani, he may be raganuga but not rupanuga. One will be rupanuga when one especially follows the way in which Srila Rupa Gosvami (in the form of Sri Rupa Manjari) serves Radha and Krsna, deeply meditating on the qualities and bhava which Rupa Manjari possesses in serving Them.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: All rupanuga-bhaktas are raganuga, but not all raganugas are rupanugas.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The sadhaka will have to search through sastra how to receive these moods. He will hear from a rupanuga Vaisnava, who will tell him to read Srimad-Bhagavatam, Ujjvala-Nilamani, Krsna-Karnamrta, Radha-Rasa-Sudha-Nidhi, Jayadeva Gosvami’s Gita-Govinda, and the books of Candidasa, Vidyapati and others.
The rupanuga Vaisnava will also instruct him to search only that bhava for which he has greed. He will know about everything (sakhya, vatsalya, madhurya), but he will have to serve only by one mood, the mood of his sthayi-bhava (permanent constitutional mood). One’s sthayi-bhava will manifest only when prema is reached, but greed for that sthayi-bhava is achieved before that. Genuine greed will not change in this or any future life – this is called gadha-samskara. If one has real greed, as Srila Rupa Gosvami has, his greed for a particular sthayi-bhava will never change in any birth. It will always remain the same.