Offences towards Bhakti

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

(From "Bhakti Tattva Viveka" - click to read more from it.
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This is a very dangerous item.

We execute so many limbs of bhakti, such as accepting the diksha-mantra from a bona fide guru, everyday applying tilaka to twelve different parts of the body, performing arcana unto Sri Krsna, observing the vow of Ekadashi, chanting Harinama and remembering Krsna according to one’s ability, visiting the holy places like Vrindavana and so forth.

But unfortunately we don’t try hard enough to avoid committing offences at the feet of Bhakti-devi.

Giving the example of the activities of Mukunda, Sriman Mahaprabhu highlighted to His devotees the various symptoms of offence towards bhakti (Sri Caitanya-Bhagavata, Madhya-lila, 10.185, 188-190, 192):

kshane dante trina laya, kshane jathi mare

o khada-jathiya — beta na dekhibe more

prabhu bole — “o beta jakhana yatha jaya

sei mata katha kahi tathaya mishaya

vashishtha padaye jabe advaitera sange

bhakti-yoge nace gaya trina kari dante

anya sampradaye giya jakhana sambhaya

nahi mane bhakti jathi maraye sadaya

bhakti-sthane uhara haila aparadha

eteke uhara haila darasana-badha”

Mahaprabhu said, “I can never bestow mercy upon Mukunda because sometimes he displays his humility by taking straw between his teeth and at other times he attacks Me; in other words, he keeps one of his hands at My feet (displaying humility) and the other at My neck (attacking Me).

According to his own convenience, sometimes he behaves as My follower and at other times he criticizes Me.

Hence, I cannot reward him.

Wherever he goes, seeking his own benefit he represents himself accordingly and mixes with people.

Sometimes he supports the doctrine of Mayavada by reciting from the book Yoga-vashishtha which is endowed with Advaita philosophy and at other times he shows his faith by abandoning the impersonal concept and cultivating krsna-bhakti by becoming meek and humble and dancing and performing kirtana.

When he enters the sect of the impersonalists, he rejects the eternity of bhakti and condemns the devotees with the weapon of argument and logic.

In this way he has committed an offence at the feet of Bhakti-devi.

Therefore, I cannot give him My darsana.”

Mukunda Datta is an eternal associate of the Lord, so whatever Mahaprabhu said to him in this regard is only a lila or pastime.

But Mahaprabhu’s objectives are very grave, so there must be an extremely confidential reason for His statements here.

His confidential instruction is that we cannot please Krsna just by accepting diksha and executing the various limbs of bhakti.

Only those who have unwavering faith in exclusive devotion can satisfy Him.

Those who have developed such faith accept the path of shuddha-bhakti with great determination.

They don’t visit places where doctrines which are unrelated to shuddha-bhakti are discussed.

They go to places where the topic of shuddha-bhakti is being discussed and they listen with great interest.

Simplicity, determination and exclusive desire for bhakti are the natural characteristics of such unalloyed devotees.

They never approve of statements or activities which are opposed to the principles of bhakti merely to gain popularity; pure devotees always remain indifferent to such things.

These days most people don’t try to avoid the above-mentioned offences.

Just from seeing the devotees or hearing bhagavat-katha they display symptoms of apparent spiritual ecstacy such as trembling and the shedding of tears and they support spiritual philosophy in assemblies, but afterwards they are again seen becoming mad after sense gratification.

Therefore, dear readers! What can be said about the so-called nishtha of those who display these bogus sentiments? We understand that just to earn fame they display these symptoms before the devotees.

Out of greed to acquire fame or other material benefits they display varieties of this sort of conduct.

It is a matter of great sorrow that these people not only commit an offence at the feet of Bhakti-devi by propagating deceitful philosophies in the name of bhakti, but also completely ruin the spiritual lives of the jivas of this world.

Dear readers! We should remain very careful not to ever commit any offence at the feet of Bhakti-devi.

First of all, we must vow to perform bhakti while remaining indifferent to all else.

We must never do anything or speak anything which is contrary to bhakti just to gain popularity or collect followers.

We must remain simple and straightforward in our actions.

There shouldn’t be any difference between our words and our actions.

We must never try to gain the favor of those who are indifferent to bhakti by displaying to them artificial symptoms of advanced devotion.

We will always remain chaste to the principles of shuddha-bhakti and will never support any other doctrine.

Our external conduct and the feelings within our hearts should be one and the same.(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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