The 4th Type of Impure Bhakti

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

(From "Bhakti Tattva Viveka" - click to read more from it.
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The svarupa-jnana or intrinsic knowledge concerning the sadhaka (the practitioner), sadhana (the practice) and sadhya (the object of achievement) is nondifferent from the svarupa of shuddha-bhakti.

When such svarupa-jnana has not yet arisen within a sadhaka but the desire to cross over the ocean of material existence has come within him, then whatever symptoms of bhakti which are visible in him in that condition are merely bhakti-abhasa.

This bhakti-abhasa transforms into shuddha-bhakti when one obtains svarupa-jnana.

Even for Vaisnavas who are duly initiated into the genuine sampradaya the vastu-prabha, or illumination of one’s eternal identity arising from their diksha-mantra which they received from their diksha-guru, won’t appear until they receive this svarupa-jnana by the mercy of a siksa-guru.

Due to ignorance of svarupa-jnana, svarupa-siddha-bhakti remains covered and hence only bhakti-abhasa is visible.

The devotion of pancopasakas who remain aloof from the teachings of impersonalism and perform the worship of their favorite deity by considering Him to be a direct expansion of Bhagavan and the supreme goal is also chaya-bhakti-abhasa.

Still, there is a great deal of difference between pancopasaka Vaisnavas and sampradayika Vaisnavas.

The nishtha or firm faith of sampradayika Vaisnavas in the personal aspect of Bhagavan is much stronger than that of pancopasaka Vaisnavas.

By receiving proper instruction on tattva, a sampradayika Vaisnava remains hopeful of reaching a very exalted stage of shuddha Vaisnavism, but a pancopasaka cannot be as hopeful of achieving such an exalted stage of Vaisnavism by receiving instruction on the tattva according to their own custom.

The accessibility of association of pure devotees for sampradayika Vaisnavas is much better than it is for pancopasakas.

If by some fortune the pancopasakas obtain the association of devotees and simultaneously keep themselves aloof from the association of impersonalists, they can then be refined by the sampradayika system and can begin pursuing the path of shuddha-bhakti.

Two scriptural evidences mentioned in Bhakti-sandarbha are being quoted here.

In the Skanda Purana it is confirmed that sampradayika Vaisnavas achieve their desired result even by the practice of chaya-bhakti-abhasa.

Sri Mahadeva says (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 11.200):

diksha-matrena krsnasya nara moksham labhanti vai

kim punar ye sada bhaktya pujayanty acyutam narah

“Just by receiving initiation into the krsna-mantra one can obtain mukti, so what can be said about what one can achieve by performing bhagavad-bhakti?”

Regarding pancopasakas who remaining free from pratibimba-bhakti-abhasa have developed chaya-bhakti-abhasa, the Adi-varaha Purana (211.85) says:

janmantara-sahasreshu samaradhya vrishadhvajam

Vaisnavatvam labhet kashcit sarva-papakshaye sati

“If one worships Ganesha for thousands of births and becomes free from all sins, then it is possible to come to the platform of Vaisnavism.”

The scriptural conclusion is that shaktas or worshippers of the goddess Durga are gradually elevated to bhakti, either personal or impersonal, by first becoming worshippers of the sungod, then worshippers of Ganesha, then worshippers of Siva, then pancopasaka Vaisnavas, and finally sampradayika Vaisnavas.

By the careful analysis of the words of the scriptures it is understood that by the influence of association with pure devotees chaya-bhakti-abhasa transforms into shuddha-bhakti.(from Part 2 – "An Analysis of Bhakti-abhasa or the Semblance of Bhakti")

Another revelation, . Check out the previous page too: . You will benefit from reading the whole work: Bhakti Tattva Viveka.

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Harih Om Tat Sat.

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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