The 3rd Type of Impure Bhakti

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

(From "Bhakti Tattva Viveka" - click to read more from it.
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In present times we can easily point out viparita vastu me bhakti-buddhi-janita bhakti-abhasa which is produced by the visualisation of bhakti in activities which are actually opposed to bhakti and which is prevalent in the pancopasana and in the isvara-pranidhana or concentration upon the isvara within the yoga process.

Those known as pancopasana consider that there are five sampradayas — Shaiva (worshippers of Siva), Shakta (worshippers of Durga), Ganapatya (worshippers of Ganesha), Saura (worshippers of Surya), and Vaisnava (worshippers of Visnu).

All five are followers of impersonalism.

The Vaisnava line mentioned here is not the Vaisnava line which follows the genuine principle of bhakti.

The four genuine Vaisnava sampradayas are not included within the Vaisnava pancopasana-sampradaya mentioned here.

Sri Ramanujacarya, Sri Madhvacarya, Sri Visnuswami and Sri Nimbaditya are the four acaryas of the four bona fide sampradayas of shuddha-bhakti which are described in the verse sri-brahmarudra-sanakashcatvarah sampradayinah.

To indicate these four sampradayas, it is said in the scriptures, “sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nishphala matah,” which means mantras not accepted from the four bona fide sampradayas yield no results.

Vaisnavas who belong to the pancopasana section are basically impersonalists, not pure devotees.

All the pancopasakas believe that the murtis of their five worshipable deities are ultimately imaginary.

In other words they believe that brahma has no form and that these forms are conceived only as a convenience for worship while still in the bodily conception of life.

According to their concept, when one’s worship becomes perfect they merge into impersonal brahman and the devotion they offered to those ‘imaginary’ murtis whom they consider to be the Isvara is not eternal.

This activity is simply jnanavrita-bhakti-abhasa.

One cannot attain shuddha-bhakti as long as he believes such jnanavrita-bhakti-abhasa
to be real bhakti.

If symptoms of bhakti such as trembling and the profuse shedding of tears are detected in the performers of this type of bhakti-abhasa, they should be taken only as symptoms produced by sensual pleasure and mere pratibimba or a reflection of the genuine symptoms.

Just as the pancopasakas display bhakti-abhasa towards their ‘imaginary’ murtis of demigods, similarly yogis also display trembling and shedding of tears towards their ‘imaginary’ murti of the Supersoul.

These are all examples of pratibimba-bhakti-abhasa.

The concept that pratibimba-bhakti-abhasa will gradually develop and will ultimately transform into shuddha-bhakti is totally false because by rejecting impersonal meditation and the benefits sought from fruitive activities the existence of this tattva (bhakti-abhasa) totally vanishes.

There remains no possibility of those practicing pratibimba-bhakti-abhasa actually being benefited unless they completely purify their consciousness from its very root.

Impersonalists such as the four Kumaras and the topmost jnani Sukadeva Goswami could only begin new and more exalted lives when they completely renounced their previous faiths and accepted the path of bhakti.

By the strength of their new, exalted lives they achieved the status of our acaryas.

Regarding pratibimba-bhakti-abhasa, Srila Rupa Goswami says (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.3.42-43):

vimuktakhila tarshair ya muktair api vimrigyate

ya krishnenatigopyashu bhajadbhyo ’pi na diyate

sa bhukti-mukti-kamatvac chuddham bhaktim akurvatam

hridaye sambhavaty esham katham bhagavati ratih

“How is it possible for the rare bhagavat-rati or intense attachment for Bhagavan in the stage of bhava to appear in the hearts of those desiring material sense gratification and impersonal liberation when such rati is being eagerly sought after by liberated souls who have completely renounced all varieties of material desires and is not easily granted by Sri Krsna to those engaged in His exclusive bhajana?”

It is imperative to mention here that those who consider the pleasure derived from illicit association with women and taking intoxication to be bhagavat-rati are themselves polluted and may pollute others also.(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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