Rightful Candidates for Shuddha-Bhakti

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

(From "Bhakti Tattva Viveka" - click to read more from it.
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Srila Jiva Goswami has defined sukriti as “those activities in connection with transcendental personalities which give rise to an intense desire to perform bhakti.” There may be doubts concerning the existence of sukriti in the artas, jijnasus and artharthis, but in relation to the jnanis there are no such doubts.

It is a fact that jnanis certainly engage in bhajana after their abundant accumulation of sukriti.

Srila Rupa Goswami writes (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.20-21):

tatra gitadishuktanam caturnam adhikarinam

madhye yasmin bhagavatah kripa syat tat priyasya va

sa kshina-tat-tad-bhavah syac chuddha-bhakty adhikaravan

yathebhah shaunakadish ca dhruvah sa ca catuh-sanah

“When the four types of persons who are eligible to engage in bhakti as mentioned in the Gita and other scriptures receive the mercy of Bhagavan or His devotees, they become free from their particular motivations which are respectively desire for relief from distress, the desire to have their inquisitiveness satisfied, the desire to obtain wealth and the attachment to jnana.

They then become adhikaris or rightful candidates for shuddha-bhakti.

This is clearly visible from the examples of Gajendra, the rishis headed by Shaunaka, Dhruva Maharaja and the four Kumaras.”

When Gajendra was seized by the crocodile and was unable to free himself despite innumerable strenuous efforts, he fervently prayed to Bhagavan.

Then Bhagavan, the saviour of the distressed, appeared and delivered Gajendra by killing the crocodile.

By the mercy of Bhagavan, Gajendra’s distress was removed and he became qualified for shuddha-bhakti.

Shaunaka and the other rishis became very fearful upon the arrival of Kali-yuga.

Understanding the inability of karma or fruitive activity to yield any benefit, they approached the great devotee Suta Goswami and inquired how the people of this age could attain the ultimate benefit.

In his reply Suta Goswami instructed them on shuddha-bhakti, and as a result of receiving his mercy in this way, they attained shuddha-bhakti.

Dhruva Maharaja worshipped Bhagavan motivated by the desire to attain an opulent kingdom.

But when Bhagavan appeared before him, by Bhagavan’s mercy his desire for a kingdom vanished and he became qualified for shuddha-bhakti.

Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, and Sanat-kumara are the four Kumaras.

Previously they were nirvishesha-jnanis or impersonalists, but later on, by the mercy of Bhagavan and His devotees, they completely rejected the conception of impersonalism and attained the adhikara for shuddha-bhakti.(from Part 4 – "An Analysis of the Qualification for Bhakti")

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Natural Brotherhood (Bhaktivinoda Thakura):

BhaktiVinoda Thakura

"Gradually, when the offensive portions of the established religions are destroyed, there will be no more differences in the bhajana performed by the various Sampradayas nor any quarrel between them.

Then as brothers, the people of all castes and countries will spontaneously chant the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord together.

At that time, no one will hate anyone or consider others dogeaters; nor will anyone be overwhelmed by the pride of high birth.

The living entities will not forget the principle of natural brotherhood."

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