Shuddha-Bhakti and 2 Witches of the Desires for Bhukti and Mukti

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

(From "Bhakti Tattva Viveka" - click to read more from it.
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Although from the viewpoint of siddhanta Narayana and Krsna are non-different, Krsna is superior due to possessing more rasa.

Such is the glory of rasa-tattva.

All of this tattva will be made clear later in this discussion.

But for now it is essential to understand that the favorable cultivation of activities meant to please Sri Krsna (anukulyena-anushilanam) is the sole intrinsic characteristic (svarupa-lakshana) of bhakti.

Thus this confirms the same statement made in the main verse.

To remain both devoid of desires separate from the desire to please Sri Krsna (anyabhilashita) and free from the coverings of jnana and karma (jnana-karmady anavritam) is the tatastha-lakshana or marginal characteristic of bhakti.

“Visnu-bhakti pravakshyami yaya sarvam avapyate” — in this half verse from Bhakti-sandarbha the marginal characteristics of bhakti are reviewed.

Its meaning is that by the practice of the aforementioned Visnu-bhakti the jiva can attain everything.

The desire to attain something is called abhilashita.

From the word abhlilashita one should not derive the meaning that the desire to progress in bhakti and to ultimately reach its perfectional stage is also to be rejected.

“Through my practice of sadhana-bhakti I will one day attain the stage of bhava” — it is highly commendable for a devotee to maintain such a desire, but apart from this desire all other types of desires are fit to be rejected.

There are two types of separate desires: the desire for sense gratification (bhukti) and the desire for liberation (mukti).

Srila Rupa Goswami says (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.22): bhukti-mukti-spriha yavat pishaci hridi vartate tavat bhakti-sukhasyatra katham abhyudayo bhavet.

As long as the two witches of the desires for bhukti and mukti remain in a devotee’s heart, not even a fraction of the pure happiness derived from svarupa-siddha-bhakti will arise.

Both bodily and mental enjoyment are considered bhukti.

To make an extraneous effort to remain free from disease, to desire palatable foodstuffs, strength and power, wealth, followers, wife, sons and daughters, fame and victory are all considered bhukti.

To desire to take one’s next birth in a brahmana family or in a royal family, to attain residence in the heavenly planets or in Brahmaloka or to obtain any other type of happiness in one’s next life is also considered bhukti.

Practice of the eightfold yoga system and to desire the eight or eighteen varieties of mystic perfections are also categorised as bhukti.

The greed for bhukti forces the jiva to become subordinate to the six enemies headed by lust and anger.

Envy easily takes over the heart of the jiva and rules it.

Hence, to attain shuddha-bhakti one has to remain completely aloof from the desire for bhukti.

To abandon the desire for bhukti, a conditioned soul need not reject the objects of the senses by going to reside in the forest.

Merely going to reside in the forest or accepting the dress of a sannyasi will not free one from the desire for bhukti.

If bhakti resides in a devotee’s heart, then even while living amidst the objects of the senses he will be able to remain detached from them and will be capable of abandoning the desire for bhukti.

Therefore, Srila Rupa Goswami says (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.254-256):

rucim udvahatas tatra janasya bhajane hareh

vishayeshu garishtho ’pi ragah prayo viliyate

anasaktasya vishayan yatharham upayunjatah

nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate

prapancikataya buddhya hari sambandhi vastunah

mumukshubhih parityago vairagyam phalgu kathyate

When the jiva develops a taste for krsna-bhajana, at that time his excessive attachment for the objects of the senses starts gradually fading.

Then with a spirit of detachment he accepts the objects of the senses only according to his needs, knowing those objects to be related to Krsna and behaving accordingly.

This is called yukta-vairagya.

The renunciation of those who, desiring liberation from matter, reject the objects of the senses considering them to be illusory is called phalgu or useless.

It is not possible for an embodied jiva to completely renounce the objects of the senses, but changing the enjoying tendency towards them while maintaining an understanding of their relation to Krsna cannot be called sense-gratification.

Rupa (form), rasa (taste), gandha (smell), sparsha (touch) and shabda (sound) are the objects of the senses.

We should try to perceive the world in such a way that everything appears related to Krsna, meaning that we should see all jivas as servants and maidservants of Krsna.

See gardens and rivers as pleasurable sporting places for Krsna.

See that all types of eatables are to be used as an offering for His pleasure.

In all types of aromas, perceive the aroma of krsna-prasada.

In the same way, see that all types of flavours are to be relished by Krsna, see that all the elements we touch are related to Krsna, and hear only hari-katha or narrations describing the activities of His great devotees.

When a devotee develops such an outlook, then he will no longer see the objects of the senses as being separate from Bhagavan Himself.

The tendency to enjoy the happiness obtained from sense gratification intensifies the desire for bhukti within the heart of a devotee and ultimately deviates him from the path of bhakti.

On the other hand, by accepting all the objects of this world as instruments to be employed in Krsna’s service, the desire for bhukti is completely eradicated from the heart, thus allowing shuddha-bhakti to manifest there.(from Part 1 – "The Intrinsic Nature of Devotion")

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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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