The 1st Type of Impure Bhakti

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

(From "Bhakti Tattva Viveka" - click to read more from it.
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In nirvishesha-jnanavrita-bhakti-abhasa, bhakti remains hidden by a covering of impersonal knowledge.

At that time a curtain of impersonal knowledge exists between the sadhaka and svarupa-siddha-bhakti, making direct realisation of svarupa-bhakti impossible.

The conception of impersonal jnana is that within cit-tattva or transcendence, names, forms, qualities, pastimes and other attributes don’t exist.

According to this philosophy, these attributes exist only in material objects and when the jiva becomes liberated from material existence, he merges into undifferentiated brahma.

Wherever such nirvishesha-jnana exists, shuddha-bhakti cannot manifest there.

Krsnanushilana is called shuddha-bhakti.

But the activities of bhakti are not possible in the nirvishesha stage because neither Krsna, the krsna-dasa-jiva, nor devotional endeavours are present.

If someone believes that when the perfectional stage of liberation is achieved bhakti no longer exists due to the destruction of the mind, body and false ego, but simultaneously they continue to follow the process of bhakti to achieve such perfection, then how can their krsna-bhakti be called eternal and free from deceit? Such a person tries to please Krsna for the time being and in the end attempts to extinguish Krsna’s existence.

In precisely the same way, Vrikasura pleased Siva with his worship and after obtaining a boon from Siva that he could kill anyone by merely placing his hand on their head, he tried to kill Siva himself.

The devotion of such a person is deceitful and temporary due to his ignorance of the intrinsic nature of nitya-siddha-bhakti.

In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.3.44, 46), Srila Rupa Goswami has described the attributes of such deceitful bhakti:

kintu bala-camatkara-kari tac-cihna vikshaya

abhijnena subodho ’yam ratyabhasah prakirtitah

ashramabhishta-nirvahi rati-lakshana lakshitah

bhogapavarga-saukhyamsha-vyanjakah pratibimbakah

By observing the symptoms of shedding tears and trembling in persons who desire material enjoyment and liberation, it may seem that they have developed krsna-rati or excessive attachment for Krsna.

But only foolish people, who are easily influenced by a show of external symptoms, will consider such so-called rati as genuine.

Those who are knowledgable know it as rati-abhasa.

Such a person’s trembling and shedding of tears are due to two reasons.

The first reason is that they have a hankering for impersonal liberation and by remembering Krsna, who alone can award such mukti, they feel great pleasure.

This pleasure is the cause of their shedding tears and trembling; it is not due to spontaneous love for Krsna.

The second reason for their shedding tears and trembling is the happiness derived from thinking that simply by the performance of such bhakti-abhasa their inner desires for material enjoyment will be easily fulfillled.

varanasi-nivasi kashcid ayam vyaharan hareshcaritam yati-goshthyamutpulakah sincati gandadvayimasraih.

Once, in the city of Varanasi, a sannyasi was chanting the names of Hari in an assembly of sannyasis and eventually he began trembling and tears started flowing from his eyes.

While chanting harinama he was thinking, “Aha! By such a simple process I will attain impersonal liberation.” Srila Rupa Goswami describes the cause of such a condition (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.3.47-48): daivat sad-bhakta-sangena kirtanadyanusarinam prayah prasanna-manasam bhogo mokshadi-raginam keshanciddhridi bhavendoh pratibimba udancati tad-bhakta hrinnabhahsthasya tat samsarga-prabhavatah.

Exhibiting such trembling and shedding of tears is not easy for an impersonalist because jnana and vairagya make the heart hard and push away all the symptoms of bhakti, which is very tender by nature.

Even though in the process of sravana and kirtana conducted by the impersonalists the disease of the desires for sense gratification and liberation exists, they still feel a little pleasure in their hearts from their performance of sravana and kirtana.

If at such a time by some good fortune they obtain the association of a pure devotee of Bhagavan, then by the effect of that association the bhava which has arisen like the moon in the sky of the hearts of pure devotees is reflected even in their hearts which are contaminated by the impersonal conception.

Such an occurrence can sometimes cause a little ecstasy and shedding of tears.

But when again they lack the association of such a devotee, they deride the tears and trembling of their own disciples as fraud or cheating.

Hence, bhakti can never appear in the heart covered by impersonal jnana, but sometimes there is the appearance of bhakti-abhasa.(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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