Whatever your beliefs please spread love not hatred. We all are His children.
Our aim is to make the readers understand the core Sanatan dharma philosophy and practice devotional life following path of love in the footsteps of inhabitants of Vraja and thus attain love of God and serve him in his supreme abode Goloka Vrindavan in the spiritual sky.
Additionally we have tried to cover different aspects and paths of Sanatana Dharma and clarify all doubts entering the mind of new devotees who get confused which path to follow etc.and why there appear so many contradictions regarding absolute truth. It is only the misunderstanding of tattva which leads to conflict which is not expected. Refer to our different menus for more information.
The contents of this website are posted with deep research and discussion for many years with many scholars of different paths of Sanatana Dharma . We have spend a lot of time to understand the differences between different paths and the reason for that differences. This website is a deep spiritual journey throughout the different paths of spirituality in search of Absolute truth with the blessings of one of the greatest scholar and spiritual master of Brahma Madhaya Gaudiya Sampradaya Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj .
“This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is gradually developing up to the stage of Rāga Bhakti or Parā Bhakti. Then life is successful.”
(HDG A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Lecture on SB 3.26.35-36 — Bombay, January 12, 1975)
CC, 2.8.230 states: Unless one follows in the footsteps of the gopīs, he cannot attain the service of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja. If one is overcome by knowledge of the Lord’s opulence, he cannot attain the Lord’s lotus feet, even though he is engaged in devotional service.
Purport by HDG A.C . Bhaktivedanta Swami:
One can worship Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa by the process of vidhi-mārga, worshiping the Lord with regulative principles according to the instructions of the śāstra and the spiritual master. But the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, cannot be directly worshiped by this process. The dealings between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs are devoid of the opulences of Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa.
The process of vidhi-mārga, following the regulative principles, is utilized in the worship of Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa, whereas the process of spontaneous service — following in the footsteps of the gopīs, who are the denizens of Vṛndāvana — is transcendentally more advanced and is the process whereby Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are worshiped.
One cannot attain this elevated position while worshiping the Lord in His opulence. Those attracted by the conjugal love between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa must follow in the footsteps of the gopīs. Only then is it possible to enter into the Lord’s service in Goloka Vṛndāvana and directly associate with Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
Does all types of sadhana leads one to same goal ?
Yes, and No.
Yes in the sense that one may get liberation if one perfoms sadhana in any authentic vedic or tantric path with pure intention .(Tantra is risky and may land one to Hell if not performed correctly or pure intention.Though there are different paths of tantra with different focus and intention.).
In addition nowadays there are lots of self proclaimed gurus without being in a proper guru parampara attracting people with their charming personality , sweet words , and basic knowledge of some paths of yoga .Many have devised their own way of meditation and yoga .So in accordance to their realization they preach. In such case if the devotees are sincere then may progress and feel some sense of calmness but the goal of liberation will not be reached. It is not that simple.
No, as there are 5 types of liberation (free from cycle of life and death) and the destination is different. Impersonalists (vedic and tantric) attain impersonal liberation. Devotees of different Vishnu tattvas attain different spiritual planets as an eternal associate of Lord. Devotees of Narayana attains Vaikuntha . Devotees of Ramchandra attains Ayodhya , Devotees of Krishna attains Dwaraka , Mathura or Goloka depending on the type of devotion they perform.
Different path of sadhana to attain the Absolute truth is realized in three phases:
In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.11) this conception of the Absolute Truth is explained thus:
“The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding by the knower of the Absolute Truth, and all of them are identical. Such phases of the Absolute Truth are expressed as Brahman, Paramātmā, and Bhagavān.”
5 kinds of permanent liberation and why devotees are not interested in impersonal liberation and focus only on devotion:
“My devotees do not accept the four types of liberation, like salokya (living in the same world with Me), sarasti (sharing My wealth), samipya (being close to Me), sarupya (having the same form as Me), what to speak of ekatva (merging with Me), even if I grant them, if it goes without devotional service.” Srimad Bhāgavatam (3.29.13)
Even though the devotees are not bothered about liberation and thus perform devotional service still Lord gives them liberation in the Spiritual planets as an eternal associate of Lord as depicted in different sastras . Impersonal liberation is also a permanent liberation and we have all the respect for them . There is no scriptural statement which states impersonal liberation is not permanent. but Vaishnavas are not interested in it as it does not include seva to lord after liberation so consider it a spiritual suicide.
In the Third Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Chapter 25, verse 23, Kapiladeva has advised His mother, Devahūti, as follows: “My dear Mother, My pure devotees are charmed by seeing My different forms, the beauty of My face, the structure of My body so enchanting. My laughing, My pastimes and My glance appear to them so beautiful that their minds are always absorbed in thoughts of Me, and their lives are dedicated fully unto Me. Although such people do not desire any kind of liberation or any kind of material happiness, still I give them a place amongst My associates in the supreme abode.“
Muktas are of two types : Without body(impersonal liberation) and with spiritual body(Associate of lord)
Although there are 5 kinds of liberation mentioned but if we want to narrow down them we can classify them in two types : Impersonal liberation, Personal liberation (as an associate of Lord.) The 4 types of Liberation is attained by any one who attains Vaikuntha lokas.
Brahma Sutras states:
The adhikarana 7 containing sutras 4.4.10,11,12 starts with
atha muktasya divya-vigraha-yogaṁ darśayati
Now the author of the sutras will show that the liberated soul has spiritual body.
4.4.10 – According to Badri, muktas have no bodies, because scripture states so.
4.4.11 – In Jaimini’s opinion, muktas have the option of possessing bodies as that is also the opinion in some passages of scripture.
4.4.12 – Therefore Badarayana holds that muktas are of both types, those without bodies and those with bodies.
What is Raga ?
virajantem abhivyakta vrajavase janadinu
ragatmikam anusata ya sa raganugocyate (B.R.S. – 1.2.271)
In order to understand ragatmika or raganuga bhakti we must first understand the meaning of raga. That deep, natural, loving thirst which causes the topmost absorption within the beloved deity is called raga.
iste svarasiki raga paramavistata bhavet
tanmayi ya bhaved bhakti satra ragatmikodita (ibid – 1.2.272)
iste gadha trisna raga svarupa laksana
iste avistata tatastha laksana kathana (C.C.)
“Deep thirst for the beloved deity is the inherent symptom of raga whereas the absorption in the beloved deity is called the marginal symptom.”
Srila Jiva Gosvami has defined raga and raganuga as follows in (Bhakti Sandarbha 310):
“raga means the strong and natural desire of a sense-enjoyer for his beloved sense-objects. The senses, like the eyes, are naturally attracted to their objects, such as beautiful forms, and they need no encouragement in this. In the same way, when a devotee’s heart is naturally attracted to the Lord and he has a deep thirst for the Lord then this is called raga. When a mere ray of the nectar-moon of such raga falls on the crystal-clear hearts of those devotees who only have some taste for a particular raga but do not possess that raga itself yet, then the heart rejoices and as a result of hearing from the scriptures and saints taste will awaken within the heart of such a devotee for the devotional expertise of a ragatmika bhakta. This means that ruci (taste) will awaken within the heart when we hear about the loving devotional expertise of a ragatmika vraja-bhakta from the scriptures or from the mouth of a saint whose heart is pure, that is, free from lust, anger and envy. The devotion which follows the raga of a ragatmika Vraja-devotee along with ruci is called raganuga bhakti”.
Attaining the steady stage of Meditation is the Key:
Importance of Hearing, Chanting and Mental worship :
Hardly anyone has such ruci in the first stage of devotional life, but still, when one hears about the loving activities of the people of Vraja (Krisna’s servants, friends, elders and lovers) from the mouth of a pure soul who performs bhajana while following the scriptural injunctions and who has thus become immersed in the pure raga of Vraja, sacred greed will awaken in the heart of the neophyte devotee to attain such a love also. This is called ‘raganuga bhajana’. Of the different kinds of sweet love of Vraja’s consorts sriman Mahaprabhu and His dear associates the Gosvamis have instructed us in the most excellent worship in the wake of manjaris like sri Radharani’s dear maidservant sri Rupa Manjari.
The very nature (dharma) of the mind is rāga (attachment, passion), and hence mental worship is the root cause of rāgānugā bhajana. Still the external practice of hearing and chanting must not be neglected or given up— this is to be noted specifically. The perfection of allegiance to the Vraja-people cannot be achieved by giving up external practices like hearing and chanting. As much as the external practices like hearing and chanting nourish the internal practice of smarana(meditating on the divine pastimes of Lord), that much the internal practice also awakens taste for external practices. Since they nourish each other equally, efforts to fix one’s mind on līlā smaraṇa without taking shelter of external practices will not become fruitful. And again, efforts to perform only external practices without practising līlā smaraṇa cannot be called rāgānugā mārga’s bhajana. Hence both are required.
— Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj.(Mahanta , Sri Radhakund)
Raga Bhakti : An Introduction
Raganuga-bhakti is full of pure loving service. Some rare fortunate person is tempted by hearing about it and then he follows in the footsteps of the eternal Vrajavasi associates. A raganuga devotee does not practice bhakti just because of scriptural injunctions.– (C.C.Madhya. 22.87-88)
It is true that when we feel tempted, we do not care for scriptural injunctions; however if we want to gain His seva it becomes necessary to follow the processes prescribed by the bhakti- shastras.
“bahya antar ihar dui to sadhan, bahya
sadhak-dehe kore shraban kirtan.
mone – nija siddha-deha koriya bhabon,
ratridine kore braje radha-krishner seban.”
Meaning – “Raganuga bhajan comprises of two practices – external and internal. Externally, we should hear and chant, while we should meditate on our siddha deha and serve Sri Radha-Krishna in Vraja-dham all day and night.” – (C.C. Madhya.22.89-90)
karma, tapa, yoga, jnana, vidhi-bhakti, japa, dhyana |
iha haite madhurya durlabha ||
kevala ye raga-marge, bhaje krishne anurage |
tare krishna-madhurya sulabha || (cc 2.21.119)
“Sweetness is very difficult to attain through fruitive activities, austerity, yoga, intellectual speculation, vidhi-bhakti, recitation of mantras or meditation. The sweetness of Sri Krishna is easily attainable only for the one who affectionately worships Him on the path of raga.”
Lord Chaitanya appeared to preach Raganuga Bhakti
prema-rasa-niryasa karite asvadana
raga-marga bhakti loke karite pracarana
rasika-sekhara krsna parama-karuna
ei dui hetu haite icchara udgam
“The Lord’s desire to appear was born from two reasons: the Lord wanted to taste the sweet essence of the mellow of love of God, and He wanted to propagate devotional service in the world on the platform of raganuga marga . Thus He is known as supremely jubilant and as the most merciful of all.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 4.15-16)
Devotional service without cultivating a relationship (Rasa) through Rāgānugā Sādhana Bhakti: “Cannot be pleasing, just like vegetables without salt, opulent preparations without hunger, scriptural readings without knowledge of the meaning, and orchards without fruit.” (Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta – 2.5.230)
sakala jagate more kare vidhi-bhakti | vidhi-bhaktye vraja-bhava paite nahi sakti || aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita | aisvarya-sithila-preme nahi mora prita || (cc 1.3.15-16)
“Everyone in this world worships Me through vidhi-bhakti. Vidhi-bhakti has no power for attaining the feelings of Vraja. The devotion of the world is mixed with knowledge of My divine prowess. I do not delight in love diluted with prowess.”
Difference between Vidhi bhakti and Raga Bhakti:
vaidhi-raganuga-marga-bhedena parikirtitah |
dvividhah khalu bhavo’tra sadhanabhinivesajah || (brs 1.3.7)
“The paths of vaidhi and raganuga are known to be separate from each other. Engagement in these two forms of practice certainly awakens two distinct varieties of bhava.”
The goals of these two paths of devotion in practice are understood as follows:
vidhi-bhaktye parshada-dehe vaikunthete yaya || (cc 2.24.87)
“Through vidhi-bhakti, one will attain the form of an associate in Vaikuntha.”
aisvarya-jnane vidhi-bhajana kariya |
vaikunthake yaya catur-vidha mukti pana || (cc 1.3.17)
“Those who worship according to scriptural commandments, being aware of the Lord’s superhuman prowess, attain the four kinds of liberation in Vaikuntha.”
raga-bhaktye vraje svayam-bhagavane paya || (cc 2.24.85)
“Through raga-bhakti, one will attain the Lord Himself in Vraja.”
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartipāda comments on Bhakti-Rasāmṛta-Sindhuḥ 1.2.296:
“All the sixty-four limbs of vaidhī-bhakti, such as śravaṇa, kīrtana and so on that have been previously described (implying śrī-guru-pādāśraya as well), are also useful and relevant on the rāgānugā-mārga. Without practicing the aṅgas of vaidhī-bhakti such as śravaṇa, kīrtana, arcana and so on, one will have no success on the rāga-mārga in following or becoming familiar with the residents of Vraja. Those who are thoughtful will practice the aṅgas suitable for their own respective bhāvas, but will not practice those that are unsuitable. The meaning is that although ahaṁgrahopāsanā, mudrās, nyāsa (prāṇāyāma), meditation on Dvārakā, worship of Rukmiṇī and so on have been prescribed in the Āgama-śāstras for the arcana-mārga, the sādhakas on the path of rāga will abandon them. It should be understood that on the bhakti-mārga, there is no fault if there is some slight imperfection in the performance of the various aṅgas.”
In the raganuga- practise of the most intimate feelings of the manjari there are two flawless ways of attaining the loving service of sri-sri Radha-Krisna. One is external, which means that in one’s material body of a devotional practitioner one hears, chants, worships the deity and offers prayers and so, in a way that is not unfavourable to one’s own devotional feelings. The other type of practise is internal – one establishes one’s self-esteem in the spiritual body which is given by sri Guru and with it mentally meditates on its loving service in the time-framework of sri-sri Radha-Krisna’s eternal eight-fold transcendental daily pastimes. The main internal practice of the practitioner is, according to his qualification, to mentally serve sri-sri Radha-Madhava with Their girlfriends and to remember Their forms, attributes and pastimes alongside. While the practitioner remembers the forms, attributes and pastimes of sri-sri Radha-Madhava and thus relishes Their sweetness within this internal practise of recollection, he should take special care that this does not become a mechanical, duty-bound practice – he should take care that there is a gradual increase of eagerness for the attainment of the direct service of the Lord upon Whom he meditates.
Raga Marga Bhajan in Siddha deha as depicted in Sastra :(Rarest and most confidential of all Sadhana)
By Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj:
A practitioner who has attained the stage of rati will spontaneously perceive his spiritual body within himself, while the practitioner who did not attain rati yet will intently perform mental service within his mentally conceived spiritual body. As the dirt of lusty, material desire is removed from the practitioner’s heart through this external practice of hearing, chanting etc., accordingly he perceives his spiritual body either indistinctly, somewhat clearly or very clearly and accomplishes the beauty of his mental service. The careful practitioner gives up his identification with his mortal mundane body and its belongings and relationships and endeavors to firmly identify himself with his spiritual form. Such encouragements can be found also in the scriptures that were composed by the ancient seers –
atmana cintayet tatra tasa madhye manorama
rupa yauvana sampanna kisori pramadakriti
sakhina sangini rupam atmana vasanamayim
ajna sevapara tadvat ratnalankara bhusitam (Sanat Kumara Samhita)
“An aspirant should think himself to be amongst them (the other gopis), as an enchanting beautiful young adolescent female. As a female associate of Radha and Krisna’s girlfriends like Lalita and Visakha, she is dedicated to the services that are ordered to her and she is decorated with jewelled ornaments (that are given to her by Sri Radha as remnants).”
The purport of the word cintayet here is that one should see oneself with the form and the feelings of an eternally perfect girlfriend and really experience that. In other words, one should nourish a firm esteem of “this body with this shape and this feeling – that is me.” This is the endeavour of the practitioner, but actually the spiritual body awakens spontaneously within the heart of such a practitioner who has a service attitude, by the grace of the Lord. yad yad dhiya ta urugaya vibhavayanti tat tad vapu pranayase sad anugrahaya (Bhag. 3.9.11) Lord Brahma told the Supreme Lord: “O Lord! You are very kind upon the devotees who are eager to serve You. Whatever body they meditate upon, which is favourable for their service and which they desire, He bestows upon them, so that He can accept their eternal service.” When the practise reaches perfection the practitioner, with the aid of Yogamaya (the divine illusion that assists the Lord in His pastimes), is blessed with attaining his desired loving service of the Divine Youthful Pair Themselves in his spiritual body within the realm of Their pastimes.
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