Difference Between Chaya-Bhakti-Abhasa and Shuddha-Bhakti

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

(From "Bhakti Tattva Viveka" - click to read more from it.
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It is very important for a sadhaka to understand chaya-bhakti-abhasa.

Unlike pratibimba-bhakti-abhasa, chaya-bhakti-abhasa is not crooked and shrewd; it has simplicity and virtue.

Srila Rupa Goswami has written as follows regarding chaya-bhakti-abhasa (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.3.49-53):

kshudra kautuhalamayi cancala duhkha-harini

ratesh chaya bhavet kincit tat-sadrishyavalambini


apy anushangikadesha kvacid ajneshvapikshyate

kintu bhagyam vina nasau bhavac chayapy udancati

yad abhyudayatah kshemam tatra syad uttarottaram

hari-priya-janasyaiva prasadabhara-labhatah

bhavabhaso ’pi sahasa bhavatvam upagacchati

tasminn evaparadhena bhavabhaso ’py anuttamah

kramena kshayam apnoti khastha purna-shashi yatha

There are a few similarities between chaya-bhakti-abhasa and shuddha-bhakti, but by nature the practitioner of chaya-bhakti-abhasa feels some slight curiosity concerning what fruit will be attained by following this process, his mind is restless and some of his material distress is eradicated.

Chaya-bhakti-abhasa is sometimes visible even within a person bereft of spiritual knowledge just by the influence of their having come into contact with the times, places and devotees that are related to Bhagavan.

Whether one be a pancopasaka or a sampradayika (coming in a bona fide parampara), one cannot attain the stage of chaya-bhakti-abhasa without some special good fortune having arisen within him because upon the shadow of bhava arising just once — in whatever minute degree it may be — it will certainly grow and result in progressive benefit for the sadhaka.

Upon obtaining the mercy of a pure Vaisnava, bhavabhasa can suddenly progress up to the stage of bhava.

But on the other hand, if one commits offences at the feet of pure Vaisnavas even the topmost bhavabhasa gradually deteriorates just like the gradual waning of the moon in krsnapaksha, the dark fortnight of the lunar month.

Chaya-bhakti-abhasa is of two types: (1) sva-rupa-jnanabhava-janita-bhakti-abhasa or bhakti-abhasa which appears in the absence of knowledge of one’s inherent identity, and (2) bhakti-uddipaka-vastu-shakti-janita-bhakti-abhasa or bhakti-abhasa in which the stimulation for bhakti is caused by the influence of having come into contact with objects such as time, place and circumstance which are related to Bhagavan.(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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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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