Guru reveals the Siddha Deha

ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana Salakaya
caksur unmilita yena tasmai Sri gurave namah

“I offer my obeisances unto my Guru, who opened my eyes with the ointment of divine knowledge and who dispelled the darkness of my ignorance.”

Self realization is the goal of any sadhana . The followers of impersonal Brahman (Parmatma )meditates on Him and think themselves as (aatma). Their goal is the meeting of Aaatma and parmatma (merging into the Parmatma) . They do not meditate on any form as it is not their goal. thus they attain impersonal liberation.

Similarly devotee’s process of self realization is   meditation on the divine pastimes of Lord in their own desired siddha deha . This is the process of Gaudiya vaishnavas specially those who are interested in being a servant of Srimati Radharani. Other sampradayas having other goals follow the process shown by their acharyas. There is no point discussing our process is right your process is wrong etc. All processes of 4 different vaishnava sampradayas are genuine and one is suggested to follow their own process.

The article  is not a personal opinion but generally accepted siddhanata of all gaudiya vaishnava parivaars and is composed of references from previous acharyas accepted by all gaudiya vaishnava parivaars . The readers are requested to be patient and broad minded while reading this long article as every content is important.. The article  is not intended to look down upon any other sangha  or criticize the path followed by them . Our sole intention is to present reference as per our gaudiya vaishnava acharyas. We do not wish to deviate anyone and we accept everything has a reason and any devotional activity ultimately leads to a better and more powerful samskaras which will be carried forward in the next birth. We do not intent  to criticize anyone who does not follow  siddha pranali but following  the instruction of his guru. We fully respect such opinion and believe one will surely progress to higher stages . But what we present here is not specific opinion but a generally accepted siddhanta in all the gaudiya vaishnava parivaar and also followed by us.


 

Importance of Guru:

 

From beginningless(anadi) time we the jivas are bound in this material world and have been suffering. When the jiva is extremely lucky  he comes in contact with a pure devotee who plants the seed of Bhakti in the heart of jiva . This bhakti is not present in jiva by default.  It is explained in detail in Madhurya kadambini and is a different topic.

In Chaitanya Charitamrita also it is stated.
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krishna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
“Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krishna. By the mercy of both Krishna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.”(CC)

Guru imparts divine knowledge and removes ignorance . But what is this divine knowledge ?  In shortest term it is the knowledge of sambandha(relationship), Abhideya(the process) and Prayojana(the Goal, Prema) of a sadhaka . This knowledge includes giving the siddha deha to the disciple when he has attained necessary qualification thus establishing his relationship with Krishna via the chain of Gurus. In Raganuga bhakti without the siddha deha the process of initiation is not complete even if it takes a lot of time(guru takes his time to reveal this information to a worthy sadhaka ) as the process is sambandhanuga i.e. following the footsteps of vrajvasis.


 

The mercy and revelations of bhagavan and His parshadas descend to this world through the medium of guru-pranali. As in the Siddhanta-ratna of Baladeva Vidyabhushana it is stated. Similarly the knowledge of siddha deha also come to us through the chain of guru parampara  not independently.

esha tu bhaktis tan nitya parikaraganad arabhyedanintaneshvapi  tad bhakteshu mandakiniva pracarati … sa tathabhuta nitya-dhamni nitya-parshadeshu nityam cakasti surasarid iva tad bhakta-pranalya prapance ‘vatarati || Siddhanta- Ratna

“This bhakti is being promulgated from the nitya-parikaras (eternal associates) of Sri Hari down to the present day practicing devotees like the current of the Mandakini-river (the celestial Ganges). Bhakti is always present among the nitya-parshadas in the nitya-dhama (eternal abode), flowing to this world through the bhakta-pranali (channel of devotees) like the stream of the Mandakini.”


One cannot just self create and imagine about siddha deha independently. It promotes an  independent mentality which is improper. But if guru reveals the  siddha deha then there will be anugatya which is the basis of our sadhana.This also justifies the sastric statement that Guru is the representative of Krishna and krishna sends his mercy via the chain of gurus (as stated above).— Sri Vaishnavapada Babaji Maharaj


 

It is also said when the Lord of the universe Krishna wants to bestow his mercy he does it via Guru as Guru is the direct representative of krishna. Whatever we have to achieve spiritually we get it via Sri Gurudev. There is no other way.

“The scriptures proclaim the Gurudev as another form of Sri Krishna Who bestows His mercy upon the devotees in the form of Gurudev.” – (C.C.)

“O Uddhav! This human body is the root cause of all welfare, and it is expert in accomplishing its goal. The living entity attains this human body which is extremely rare. It is like an excellent boat that has Sri Gurudev as its captain. Moreover, I am providing favorable breeze to steer it in the right direction. A person who does not endeavour to cross the ocean of material existence despite receiving this body is committing suicide.” – (S.B.11.20.17)


Without guru’s blessings no one can attain perfection as  guru is the guide .For example  If we want to go or travel somewhere we need a guide who can guide us and give us knowledge about that place . He is the person who knows everything . Similar is the role of guru . Guru has so many qualities and one among them is the role of a guide . He can guide us to do both external and internal sadhana in a good way. He has another quality which is of a connector. He connects us with Krishna . On one side is the devotee  on other side is krishna and in the middle is guru who is playing the role of a  connector and make aquaintance to our relation with Radha Krishna  . That is why we always need this blessings and knowledge from guru. — Srila Premgopal Goswami Maharaj.


Guru is the one who should reveal this siddha deha and Siddha pranali to worthy practitioners is stated in various places by different acharyas as will be presented below . None of the previous Gaudiya acharyas has ever stated that Harinaam itself reveals the ekadasha bhavas to the  practitioners in unripe stage when the devotee has to practice meditating in his siddha deha.

However this does not mean that Holy name is not capable to reveal  siddha deha . Harinaam has most important role in full realization of the swarupa as we will discuss later.  Own ekadasha bhava is not the only thing one needs to be informed of for practicing internal worship.


 

It is mandatory to know and meditate on siddha swarupa of guru , param guru etc along with the detail

 

Many devotees argue that to know the swarupa of guru or param guru is not essential. However this is not what the acharyas say. One must know the  swarupa of his guru pranali as well as the devotee has to begin meditation starting with with his guru’s eternal form followed by the guru pranali .

tatradau majjari-rupan gurvadin tu sviyan sviyan pranaly-anusarena samsmaret zri-guru-parama-guru-krameneti tatah zri-radhikam dhyayet | tatah zri-nandanandanam ||

“In this meditation, before anything else, the practitioner should meditate on the manjari-forms of his guru-pranali, beginning with his guru, then parama-guru, etc. Then he shall meditate on Sri Radhika, and after that Sri Nandanandana .” (Dhyanacandra Gosvami Paddhati, 344)


 

 References where  guru reveals the siddha deha of the devotee.


 

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura states:

If,after having tested the disciple, the spiritual master determines that he is eligible to perform bhajan and serve in the sringara rasa, he then confidentially informs the disciple about his eternal spiritual form as a manjari in Srimati Radharanis camp, under the supervision of Sri Lalita Devi. (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Harinama Chintamani Ch.15)


 

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura again states :

“If anybody possesses greed for the path of raganuga, he will pray to his good religious preceptor, who, after examining his relish, will determine the type of bhajana suited to him and give him acquaintance of his siddha-deha. According to this acquaintance, the aspirant or the person in the ascending stage of prema will live in the company of guru, and getting all acquaintance from him, will practice bhajana daily with utmost care and eagerness, situated in his own position. Remembering his transcendental nama, rupa, etc., bestowed by the guru again and again, he will possess identification for the same.(Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Caitanya Siksamritam, 6.5)


In Jaiva Dharma it is stated :

Vijaya Kumar: How does one attain the perfection of the hearing stage?
Goswami: When one realizes Lord Krishna’s pastimes’ eternal nature and feels their charm arising out of their pure transcendental character, one becomes agitated with the intense desire to enter those pastimes. The spiritual master then reveals to the disciple the eleven bhavas appropriate for his practice that we spoke about previously.

( Jaiva Dharma Chapter 40.)


In spite of what HDG A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada wrote about siddha-pranali many places, this excerpt from a private conversation with Hriikesa dasa, an early disciple of Srila Prabhupada, in Mayapura India, (circa 1973), reveals very telling facts about Srila Prabhupada’s actual position on this subject:

ACBSP: So what you have learned in Vrndavana?

HD: About Nitya-lila, Gurudev.

ACBSP: And?

HD: Siddha-pranali, asta-kaliya-lila-smaranam. Right, Gurudev!?

ACBSP: YES, but who is siddha?

HD: One out of millions of seekers (quoted the verse Bhagavad Gita, manusyanam sahasre?u…”) But isn’t this (nitya-lila) our goal , Gurudev?
ACBSP: Yes, we are the followers of Rupa-Raghunath. This is the highest understanding, to be dasanudas in Radha-Krsna’s lila.

HD: But what about siddha-pranali? How to qualify? Who will give?

ACBSP: Guru will give. You just chant Hare Krsna.

HD: (I mentioned the story of Chota Krishnadas, who tried to quit his body by jumping into Manasa-ganga, when he heard that only his Guru, who had already departed, could give him siddha-pranali) …How to receive this eternal information, Gurudev?

ACBSP: Guru will give. There is no material consideration about Guru is here or there. When you reach that level, Guru will give.

HD: Gurudev, what about manasi-seva, like the Brahmana who burnt his finger in meditation? Isn’t that bhajana?

ACBSP: Krsna makes no distinction. But if you serve Krsna by mind He will accept. That is sure!

HD: Gurudev, whenever I mention anything about Rupanuga-bhakti many of my Godbrothers get angry and say it is all a bunch of Gaudiya Math nonsense, and you never taught that!

ACBSP: Everything is coming, they will also know it.


Srila Jiva Goswami has explained in Bhakti sandarbha:

kecid ashtadasakshara-dhyanam  go-dohana-samaya-vamsi-vadya-samakrishta-tat- tat-sarvamayatvena  bhavayanti | yatha caike tadrisam upasanam sakshad vraja- jana-viseshayaiva mahyam sri-guru-caranair mad-abhishta-visesha-siddhy-artham upadishtam bhavayami || Bhakti-sandarbha 312

“Some, while remembering the eighteen-syllable mantra, meditate on the pastimes of tending cows and playing flute, becoming attracted and absorbed in them. In such upasana (worship), in order to attain my specifically desired perfection, I should meditate on that very form of a resident of Vraja my revered guru has instructed me in.


Sripad Dhyanacandra states in his Paddhati:
manjaryo bahusah rupa-guna-sila-vayo  ‘nvitah ||
nama-rupadi tat sarvam guru-dattam ca bhavayet |
tatra tatra sthita nityam bhajet sri-radhika-hari ||
bhavayan sadhako nityam sthitva krishna-priya-grihe |
tad ajna-palako bhutva kaleshv ashtasu sevate ||
sakhinam sangini-rupam atmanam bhavana-mayim |
ajna-seva-parakashtha-kripalankara-bhushitam |
tatas ca manjari-rupan gurvadin api samsmaret || DhPad 107-110

One should meditate on the various forms, qualities, natures, blooming youth and so forth of the manjaris, as described by the guru. One should always stay with them, worshiping Sri Radhika and Hari. The practitioner shall stay in the home of Sri Radha, the beloved of Krishna, following their orders and rendering service throughout the eight phases of the day. One should meditate on oneself in a form that is a female associate of the sakhis, decorated with the ornaments of orders, aspiration for service and mercy. Thereafter, one should meditate on the manjari-forms beginning with the guru.”


As stated in the sixth chapter of Prema-vilasa Sri Gopala Bhatta Goswami(one of the 6 Goswamis) bestows diksha-mantra to Srinivasa Acarya along with the siddha pranali.

radha-krishna-mantra kahe kara-yuge dhari |
kama-bija sunaila anguli anusari ||
ei saba mantra tumi karibe smarana |
yei kale tad-asraye karibe manana ||
guna-manjarikasraye mani-manjarika tumi |
tomara yuthera vivarana kahi saba ami ||
upa guna rati rasa manjulamanjula |
ei saba sange sangi ei anukula ||
seva ragatmika raga bhajanera mata |
sri-rupa gosanira vakya achaye sammata ||
seva nama sadhakera yata bada artti |
taha siddha haile haya esa saba prapti ||
sadhana karaye deha sadhaka nama haya |
sakhira asraya siddhi janiha niscaya ||

Bhatta Gosvami spoke the Radha-Krishna mantra, holding Srinivasa’s two hands, and explained the counting of kama-bija with fingers. “You should meditate on all these mantras; at that time, contemplate on taking shelter of them. You are Mani-manjari under the shelter of Guna-manjari. I shall tell you all about your yutha (group of sakhis). Rupa, Guna, Rati, Rasa and the charming Manjula – your welfare is in being their companion. In raga- bhajana, seva is like that of the ragatmikas; this is the conclusion in Sri Rupa Gosvami’s words. As great as the sadhaka’s desire for seva and Name is, accordingly siddhi will arrive and all of this be attained. As the sadhaka chants the Names and engages in sadhana in this body, siddhi at the shelter of the sakhis is a certainty.”


|| sri guru vajña tat seva yogya siddha vapusa ||

By the gurus instruction one receive a suitable siddha deha fit for serving within the lila” Govinda Lilamrita 23.94 Srila Vishvanath Cakravati grandsiciple, Sri Vrindavan Cakravati, in his commentary.


As one learns of the characteristics of the manjaris from one’s guru, so one learns of one’s own manjari-svarupa from one’s guru. Indeed, the manjari-svarupa is born of the guru’s grace is clearly stated in the below few verses . One follows one’s guru in nitya lila is stated herein negating the statement that one need not follow one’s guru.

sarva-lakshana-sampanna bhava-havadi-bhushita  |

guru-prasada-janani  guru-rupa-priyanuga  || DhP 87

“Endowed with all qualities, ornamented by alluring gestures, moods and so forth, she is born of the grace of the guru, being a dear follower of guru-rupa- sakhi.”


The concept of guru-rupa-sakhi, or guru in the form of a sakhi, is commonly featured in the songs and prayers of our acaryas. For example, in the Prarthana of Srila Thakura Mahasaya:

kanaka katora puri, sugandhi candana buri, donhakara sri-ange dhaliba |
guru-rupa-sakhi vame, tribhanga bhangima thame,
camarera batasa kariba || Prarthana 30

“With fragrant chandana filling a golden jug, I anoint their beautiful limbs. Standing on the left side of guru-rupa-sakhi before the one with a three-fold bending form, I fan with a camara.”


Visvanatha Cakravarti also follows his gurudev and guru parampara  when he refers to his siddha-pranali in Sankalpa-kalpadrumah, where he addresses his guru, Radharamana Cakravarti, who is Tulasi manjari, his grand-guru, Krsna-carana Cakravarti, who is Ranga-manjari, and his great-grandguru, Ganga-Narayana Cakravarti, who is Prema-manjari:

Where am I, whose heart is filled with deceit and hundreds of other faults, and where is this sudden resolve concerning this rare subject matter? O Tulasi, you are the personification of shelter for the helpless. You are my only refuge. Your unconditional mercy accepted me without counting my faults. SK, 90

O Ranga-manjari, please bestow your mercy upon me. O Prema-manjari, please grace me with your compassionate glance. O Vilasa -manjari, attracting me to your lotus feet and making me your servant, please accept me with the other sakhis. SK,91


It is not that only ekadashi-bhava is given to a disciple. In every traditional parivar, Guru gives all information about the ekadashi-bhavas of the parampara on paper, this is called siddha-pranali. If one claims that it is not needed to know the swarupa of guru(which is provided in the siddha pranali) or that the revelations in the siddha pranali is flawed then his understanding seems to be flawed. The above revelation by Srila Vishvanath is enough to put all counter arguments to rest.

 

For example: in one line, there are 14 Gurus. Each Guru has 9 bhavas out of 11 to be revealed to his disciple  in the siddha pranali . So there are 126 details given, not including mother, father, husband and father and mother of the husband – that is the second part of the giving of the siddha-deha. It is given after another year and it is only related to the disciple, not to the whole parivar. —  Sri YugalKishore Das as per his discussion with different parivaars and lineages .


 

Again from Prema Vilasa chapter 12

“Srila Jiva Goswami became compassionate towards Dukhi Krishna and some days later he initiated him into the six-syllable Radhika-mantra. He also told him five names of Krishna and five names of Radhika, and tought him how to chant these mantras daily. He also taught him how to chant the Kama-gayatri, and how to meditate on Radha and Krishna´s pastimes while chanting. Sri Jiva Goswami revealed to him his spiritual form, qualities and service. This is how Dukhi Krishna das, who is still known and famous as Shyamananda das, was especially favored by Srila Jiva Goswami.”

Now here we can see Sri Jiva Goswami himself reveals the siddha deha of Shyamananda das. A substantial evidence to prove guru has the role to reveal the siddha deha.

————————————————-

Due to these extremely wonderful revelations, the book “Prema Vilasa” is rejected by some devotees who do not support the theory of guru revealing the siddha deha stating some chronological issue of certain events .

It is a fact that in the book “Prema Vilasa” we find some problems with the chronological order of certain events or the dates fixating them, but in terms of SIDDHANTA, Gaudiya philosophy and events  it is completely authentic and this fact is accepted widely among the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. The book is written by Nityananda das, a direct disciple of Sriman Nityananda´s wife, Jahnava Ma. He personally witnessed many historical events at that time. His detailed “report” on the famous festival of Kheturi is very famous, for example. And honestly, with all due respect, I rather believe his exalted soul than those who “reject” him. The “Caitanya Bhagavata”, written by Sri Vrindavana das Thakur also presents some slight chronological “problems”, but this too is respected and truly honoured in the Gaudiya world. The author, Sri Nityananda das, himself begs the reader to forgive certain “inaccuracies” in regards to “chronological” issues. So there should be no question regarding its authority. —  Sri Tarun Govinda Das

 


Issue with the theory of creating own siddha deha without being confirmed by guru


 

Srila Ananta Das babaji Maharaj writes in the commentary of Premabhakti Chandrika text 56 as follows

Some think: “At first the sadhaka can take shelter of an imagined mental body, and then later, when the Lord is satisfied with his sadhana bhajana, according to the rule of yadrisi bhavana yasya siddhir bhavati tadrisi , He will make the sadhaka’s atma His associate. In this way, although the parshada body of the sadhaka is real, it is an imagination in the stage of meditation.”
This is, however, not the conclusion approved of by the sastras and the mahajanas. In Srimad Bhagavata (3.15.14) it is described:
vasanti yatra purushah sarve vaikuntha murtayah. ye’nimitta-nimittena dharmenaradhayan harim –
“Those persons who live in Vaikuntha have transcendental bodies just like Vaikuntha (Lord Vishnu) and they worship Lord Sri Hari there constantly through causeless devotional service.”
Commenting on this sloka, Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada has written in the 10th paragraph of his Priti Sandarbha —
vaikunthasya bhagavato jyotir amsa bhuta vaikunthaloka sobha-rupa ya ananta murtayah tatra vartante tasam ekaya saha muktasyaikasya murtih bhagavata kriyata iti vaikunthasya murtir iva murtir yesham ityuktam.

Translation: In the spiritual world, the Supreme Lord has unlimited spiritual forms, all are expansions of Himself illuminating that world. With each one of those forms[eternal], the Lord enjoys pastimes with a single individual liberated soul.
The basic analysis of this saying by Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada is that there are two kinds of associates of the Lord in the Supreme Abode, one that is engaged in the Lord’s direct service, and the other that is eternally present in innumerable transcendental, yet non-functioning forms(appears from the perspective of the conditioned jivas) , that are like sparks from the Lord’s radiant form and are the treasures of Vaikuntha-loka’s beauty. Each of the innumerable jivas is an eternal servant of the Lord, and each of them is staying in the abode of the Lord in a body that is suitable for the Lord’s service. By the grace of bhakti one becomes qualified for the service of the Lord and by the Lord’s grace that body will be attained .
In the siddha pranali that is received from the lotus feet of Sri Guru within the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya, the acquaintance with this body is attained. No one should consider this to be imaginative. This is eternal and real. Of all the innumerable abovementioned forms situated in the abode of the Lord there is one form in which the Lord will accept the sadhaka.
On the strength of his meditation, Sri Gurudeva is aware of this and is conferring the proper siddha deha to the disciple. While the sadhaka performs his sadhana, he establishes his self-esteem into this form, and when he attains prema siddhi he is blessed with direct devotional service within this body.
pakkapakka matra se vicara. pakile se prema bhakti, apakke sadhana gati, bhakati lakshana tattva sara.
Just as a fruit is bitter in the unripe stage and sweet and juicy in the ripe stage, similarly when sadhana bhakti ripens it becomes known as prema.
Although in the stage of sadhana the relish is slightly transient, due to the presence of anarthas and so, in the stage of prema bhakti the relish is very deep.


Now we are forced to ask:

1) How can there be spiritual bodies for us before we enter?
2) How can they be there and  be inactive ?
3) Now we are here, they are there…what are they doing in the meantime?

but we have to understand one thing : These questions originate in a material conditioned mind. We are forced to think and feel and experience in a time-space-continuum. But we are talking here about the spiritual world…the innermost portion of Sri Krishna´s “creation”…the topmost realm of Divine Love…Vaikuntha … Our questions are bound to fail.
We can only understand these “matters” when our consciousness is fully purified (suddha-sattva).When our hearts are filled with the Lord´s inner potency (svarupa-sakti ), we can comprehend and realize these things.

How can we even try to understand the siddha-deha? It is a body made of “bhava” (spiritual emotions). Even the clothes we wear are symptoms of our bhava… Right now, we cannot even imagine a body made of fire…what to speak of Lord Brahma´s body which is made of intelligence…
But this does not mean that we can forget it all…we can anyway never understand it. So is the meditation on the siddha-deha useless ?  Is it  only my head-cinema producing a movie with me in a manjari-form ? No. This is not what the mahajanas teach us. All depends on our practice, on our consciousness and on our stage in bhakti.

Srila Narottam das Thakur sings:

sadhane ye dhana cai, siddha dehe taha pai,
pakkapakka matra se vicara
apakke sadhana riti, pakile se prema-bhakti,
bhakati lakshana tattva sara (56)

“The treasure I desire as a practitioner I will get when I attain my spiritual body; it’s just a question of being ripe or unripe. The ripe stage is the stage of pure loving devotion and the unripe stage is the stage of practice. That is the essential truth about devotional principles.”

So, we keep on practicing.

To think that “we as perfected jiva-souls” enter the spiritual world is also not a correct thinking pattern. It is not like we leave here and go there…and suddenly we appear in Goloka Vrindavana… The spiritual world is eternal. There exists only eternal present . It is not that 10 minutes ago, this liberated jiva was here in this world and then it entered the spiritual world.This is a seperate topic altogether. The spiritual world is not  bound on time and space. It is a world of pure spiritual consciousness of existence.
And to think that these spiritual forms are already there and man, what are they doing in the “meantime”…the mind bites its own tail… There is no meantime . There, in Goloka Vrindavana, is only now.

Right now we need metaphors like the forms “being inactive”. We “activate” them by our spiritual bhava. The true alchemy takes place when we fully identify with our Krishna-given form and when we do our seva to the Divine Couple in our siddha-deha. Glimpses of our siddha-deha can be experienced at the stage of asakti.

—– From the blog of Sri Tarun Govinda Das

After the jiva has attained prema the devotee first takes birth from the womb of a nitya siddha gopi in Krishna’s prakrata lila where the self identification becomes complete.

 

 


Understanding different aspects of divine knowledge imparted by guru 


 

One may question Can’t Harinaam grant us the 11 bhavas ? What is the role of Harinaam then ? One need to understand the tattva properly to make a synchronization .
As we have stated above that divine knowledge  has three aspects namely sambandha, Abhideya and prayojana.

(1) Sambandha (relationship) — the nature of and relationships between the individual living entity and the Supreme;

(2) Abhidheya (method of attainment) — the proper course of action in accordance with the aforementioned understanding;

(3) Prayojana (ultimate perfection) — the ultimate goal and purpose of the living entity in relation with the Supreme.
Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj explains in Prema Bhakti Chandrika :
After giving initiation into kama bija and kama gayatri Sri Gurudeva bestows siddha pranali(when the devotee is qualified), so that the disciple gets knowledge of his distinct relationship with the deity and about the Sri yugalopasana, the means to worship the Divine Pair. In it the disciple will become acquainted with the name, complexion, age, nature and the other of the eleven aspects of his or her siddha svarupa. The learned knowers of the truth call that initiation ceremony through which all sins are destroyed and divine knowledge is bestowed, diksa — divya jnana yato dadyat kuryat papasya sanksayam tasmad dikseti sa prokta deSikais tattva kovidaiù.

In the 283rd paragraph of Sri Bhakti Sandarbha, Srimat Jiva Gosvamipada gives the following explanation of the above mentioned words divya jnana –
divya jnana hyatra Srimati mantre bhagavat svarupa jnana tena bhagavata sambandha viSesa jnana ca yatha padmottara khandadav astaksaradikam adhikritya vivritam asti,

Meaning: “Here the word divya jnana refers to knowledge of the empowered mantra being the very form of the Lord(bhagavat swarupa jnana), and that through it the aspirant will achieve knowledge of his specific relationship with the Lord(bhagavat sambandha visesh jnana), Who is the Presiding Deity over the mantra.”

In this connection there is an explanation of mantras like the 8-syllable mantra in the Uttara Khanda of Sri Padma Purana, wherein this meaning of the words divya jnana is determined.” In the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya the knowledge of this specific relationship(bhagavat sambandha visesh jnana) means the ekadasa-bhava, the eleven-fold relationship of the sadhaka with the mantra devata Sri Gopijana vallabha, or his svarupa. In the Patala Khanda of the Padma Purana we find descriptions of how the practitioners who have take shelter of madhura-rasa and who know the principle of Krisna-rasa, meditate on their siddha deha which is suitable for mentally rendered devotional service.’nadevo devam arcayet‘ ‘devo bhutva deva yajet‘. In other words, ‘unless the sadhaka is a god he cannot worship Godhead‘, and ‘being himself a god, he can worship Godhead‘. These scriptural statements of rule and prohibition firmly establish the need for the bhakta who aspires for the service of the Lord to do bhajana while thinking of himself as a personal associate of the Lord. Such meditation of the parsada rupa (form of an associate of the Lord) by the sadhaka is a meditation on the siddha deha. (PBC commentary)

 

 


The process of cleaning the dirt and establish identification with the siddha deha


 

At the time of initiation Guru connects the disciple with the supreme lord and when the siddha pranali is given then the Sambandha gyan is complete. So Krishna attained ? Is it ? Not yet. Next comes the Abhidheya which is the actual process by which one attains his Prayojana (Prem). After initiation the guru instructs the disciple how to practice devotion(Adhidheya). Raganuga bhajan has two aspects,External and Internal. In internal worship one meditates on the siddha deha following the process as suggested by acharyas. Externally one does sravana, Kirtan , diety worship etc.

“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)

Among them kirtan is the most powerful means of purification. Both internal and external practice are important and dependent on each other for perfection in raganuga bhakti.


Raya Ramananda is stating the below   to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in reference to the sadhana  the sadhaka has to follow in order to attain Krishna in Goloka and practicing in siddha deha is a part of sadhana

CC Madhya 8.227: “‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, the son of mother Yaśodā, is accessible to those devotees engaged in raganuga bhakti , but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realization by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self.’

CC Madhya 8.228: “Therefore one should accept the mood of the gopīs in their service. In such a transcendental mood, one should always think of the pastimes of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.

CC Madhya 8.229: “After thinking about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes  in siddha deha  in sakhi bhava  one is transferred to the spiritual world and attains an opportunity to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa as one of the gopīs.


 

 

From the words of Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada in his Raga-vartma-candrika  (1.8):

sa ca lobho raga vartma vartinam bhaktanam guru-padasraya lakshanam arabhya svabhishta vastu sakshat prapti samayam abhivyapya “yatha yathatma parimrijyate’sau mat punya gatha sravanabhidhanaih,  tatha tatha pasyati vastu sukshmam cakshur yathaivanjana samprayuktam |
” iti bhagavad ukter bhakti hetukantah karana suddhi taratamyat prati dinam adhikadhiko bhavati |

It is described that the devotees on the path of raga gradually progress from the initial surrender to the feet of Sri Guru up to the stage of directly attaining the object of their desires.
When the eye is smeared with medicinal ointment, its ability of perception becomes more and more refined, and accordingly it is able to perceive more and more subtle objects; similarly, according to the degree of the mind’s having become purified by hearing and chanting of My purifying pastimes, all the subtle truths of reality become manifest in the heart of the sadhaka.”

A raganuga devotee progresses from the initial stages of bhakti to the higher stages is clearly highlighted by Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada above and when the heart becomes gradually purified all the subtle reality is manifested in the heart. This subtle reality manifests when one practice external bhajan and internal bhajan in siddha deha as presented from Chaitanya Charitamrita quote just above that.


Many devotees misunderstand  that one should not start raganuga bhakti unless one is free of all anarthas. So practicing with siddha deha before that is premature . Baseless argument.  Sastras say that different types of anarthas are completely removed  at different stages . Even some anarthas are removed  at the stage of prema. One is suggested to read Madhurya Kadambini. In Madhurya Kadambini Srila Vishwanath Chakravarty Thakura says:

tesa caturnam anarthana nivrittir api panca vidha. ekadesa vartini bahu desa vartini prayiki purna atyantiki ceti. tatra ‘gramo dagdha pato bhagna’ iti nyayenaparadhotthanam anarthana nivrittir bhajana kriyanantaram eka desa vartini nisthayam utpannaya bahula desa vartini ratav utpadyamanaya prayiki premni purna sri bhagavat pada praptavatyantiki

TRANSLATION: The cessation of four kinds of anarthas is of five types — eka-desa-varttini (partial), bahu-desa-varttini (pervasive), prayiki (almost complete), purna (complete), and atyantiki (absolute). According to the logic “the village burned, the cloth is torn”, the cessation of aparadhottha-anartha is eka-desa-varttini after bhajana-kriya, bahu-desa-varttini at the stage of nistha, prayiki at the stage of rati, purna at the stage of prema, and atyantiki on attaining the lotus feet of the Lord.


Again Srila Jiva Goswami States in Bhakti-sandarbha 312

“Those in whom such taste (ruci) has not awakened, but who have a special interest for it, should engage in a mixture of raganuga and vaidhi. For the sake of establishing an example for the people of the world, the one in whom such ruci has awakened will do the same. Therefore, as appropriate, raganuga should be performed together with vaidhi.”

 

 


Explanation of unripe and ripe stages of identification with the siddha deha 


 

 

sadhane ye dhana cai, siddha dehe taha pai,
pakkapakka matra se vicara
apakke sadhana riti, pakile se prema-bhakti,
bhakati laksana tattva sara (Prema bhakti chandrika 56)
The treasure I desire as a practitioner I will get when I attain my spiritual body; it’s just a question of being ripe or unripe. The ripe stage is the stage of pure loving devotion and the unripe stage is the stage of practice.

The treasure of direct loving service that the raganuga sadhaka desires as he performs his sadhana of meditating on Sri Radha-Madhava’s service, he will attain when he achieves prema siddhi in his siddha svarupa. When laulyamayi bhakti (greedy devotion) is not yet fulfilled, but moves towards siddhi, it is called sadhana bhakti. When this becomes intense it is called prema bhakti.

Hence it is said —siddhasya laksana yat syat sadhana sadhakasya tat (Brihad Bhag. tika by Sanatan Goswami himself )What is the characteristic of siddhi, is the practice of the sadhaka.”

Just as a fruit is bitter in the unripe stage and sweet and juicy in the ripe stage, similarly when sadhana bhakti ripens by hearing and chanting it becomes known as prema .Whatever is coveted during the stage of sadhana is attained at the time of siddhi. The only difference is that it is unripe in the phase of sadhana and ripe in the phase of siddhi. This sadhana bhakti ripens with the help of Harinaam . Although in the stage of sadhana the relish is slightly transient, due to the presence of anarthas and so, in the stage of prema bhakti the relish is very deep. In the higher stages of asakti one is able to have glimpse of his eternal swarupa participating in lila being present in this world. It is the ripe stage. Before that it is unripe stage.

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura has explained this ripened state in his Naam Mahatmaya:

purna vikasita hoiya,  braje more jaya loiya,
dekhay more swarupa-vilas
more siddha-deha diya,  krsna-pase rakhe giya,
e dehera kore sarva-nas

“Blossoming fully, the flower of the holy name takes me to Vraja and reveals to me his own love-dalliance. This name gives to me my own eternal spiritual body, keeps me right by Krsna’s side, and completely destroys everything related to this mortal frame of mine.”

Thus this is perfectly in sync with the statement of Srila Narottam Das Thakura Mahasaya.
Analysing the statement in Naam Mahatmaya many devotees may claim that we are giving wrong interpretation of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura.They claim  by the mercy of Holy name itself one will know his ekadasha bhavas and other bhavas of his guru pranali. So meditation on siddha deha during sadhana is not mandatory.

We beg to differ . We have already stated with several references where Guru himself bestows this siddha deha. Even references from Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura has been presented. Bhaktivinode thakura himself got his siddha deha from his guru and that he practiced raganuga bhakti with that swarupa till the end of his manifest lila is highlighted in his books. Please refer to(Siddha Pranali- Clearing the miconceptions part 1 and part 2 in the catagory siddha pranali in this website for detail).

The below statement of Srila Narottama Das Thakura in his prema bhakti chandrika verse 55 , Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Chaitanya charitamrita and Vishwanath Chakrabarty Thakura in Madhurya Kadambini  will cleared this misconception stated above.

yugala carana sevi, nirantara ei bhavi,
anuragi thakibo sadaya.
sadhana bhavibo yaha, siddha-dehe pabo taha
raga pathera ei se upaya (Prema bhakti chandrika 55)
“I will always think of the devotional service of the lotus-feet of the Divine Pair, and I will always remain attached to that. Whatever I think of during my spiritual practice I will attain in my siddha deha when I reach perfection. This is the means of raga bhakti.”

bahya antara ihara dui to sadhana; bahya — sadhaka dehe kore Sravana kirtana
mane nija siddha deha koriya bhavana; ratri dine kore vraje krisnera sevana (C.C.)
“There are two kinds of sadhana — external and internal. Externally one practises hearing and chanting with the sadhaka body, and internally one mentally thinks of one’s siddha deha in which one serves Krisna in Vraja day and night.”

From the above two statement  we can easily conclude that meditation in siddha deha is an intrinsic characteristic of raganuga bhakti. So one gets his acquaintance to siddha deha in sadhana(unripe stage) which is perfected (self identification with that swarupa is complete ) in ripe stage by sadhana (Hearing, Chanting, Deity Worship, lila smaran  etc ).

If one is only revealed this (siddha deha with ekadasha bhavas ) information in the ripe(perfected) stage of asakti then where does the validity of the statement “Whatever I think of during my spiritual practice I will attain in my siddha deha when I reach perfection. This is the means of raga bhakti.” stands ? Where is the validity of the statement What is the characteristic of siddhi, is the practice of the sadhaka.” Food for thought.

The stage which Srila Bhaktivinode thakura is referring in Naam mahatmaya is of asakti and gradual progression  to Bhava in which one is able to see himself in siddha deha participating in the lila.

Proof ?

Srila Vishwanath Chakrabarty Thakura states in Madhurya Kadambini when explaining  the stage of asakti:

“When ruci related to devotion attains paramount maturity and the worshipable Lord becomes one’s object (visaya), then it is known as asakti, or attachment. This asakti appears as clusters of buds on the desire creeper of bhakti proclaiming the swift appearance of bhava-flowers and prema-fruits. ruci has devotion as its object, and asakti has the worshipable Lord as its object. This characteristic is mentioned just to show the predominance of the respective objects in ruci and asakti. Indeed, ruci and asakti both have devotion and the worshipable Lord as their object. There is a difference in being immature or mature. Asakti cleans the mirror of devotee’s heart in such a way the reflection of the Lord suddenly seems to be almost directly visible there.

The above statement of Srila Vishwanath Chakrabarty Thakura has a striking resemblance to that presented by Srila Bhaktivinode in Naam Mahatmaya.

In the stage of asakti one have the vision of lord and glimpse of his sidhha deha and actual participation in lila takes place gradually and become prominent at the stage of bhava. In that stage one serves Radha Krishna in siddha deha as real. It is the ripe stage. But to attain that stage one need to practice raganuga bhakti  and meditaing on siddha deha is a part of that sadhana.

 


Some misunderstood references from acharyas


Misunderstood statement 1

Śrīla Krsnadās Kavirāja Gosvāmī commenting on Krishna Karnamritam, verse 2 says: ,

raganuga marge anutpanna rati sadhaka bhaktair api svepsita siddha-deham manasi parikalpya bhagavat sevadikam kriyate. jata ratinam tu svayam eva tad deha sphurteh.

On the raganuga marga the practicing devotee in whom rati has not yet arised can even mentally think /assume to serve Bhagavan in his own desired siddha deha . When rati arises, then that body will be automatically realized/manifested/revealed.

Although we may not be in the stage of jata rati , the Raganuga sadhaka has to perform bhajan by meditating on his siddha-deha. When we reach the rati and ashakti stage, we do not have to meditate consciously on our siddha-deha; it becomes spontaneous and one can see a glimpse of himself participating in the lila in his siddha deha .

svepsita siddha-deham manasi parikalpya is also thought to be self manufactured siddha deha by many devotees as parikalpana can also mean creation/manufacture in addition to assumption/supposition/ thought / impression/designing a plan . Mentally assume our siddha deha (1) revealed by gurudeva (2) created by us  are two different things.   Here many  stresses that our own desired siddha deha is mentally CREATED/MANUFACTURED by us (not necessarily revealed by gurudeva) as per this verse. This is not correct understanding as per Jiva Goswami  (10th paragraph of his Priti Sandarbha) who says the body which the liberated soul gets is ETERNAL. It signifies that body is not created after liberation and is already present in the spiritual world.

“In the spiritual world, the Supreme Lord has unlimited spiritual forms, all are expansions of Himself illuminating that world. With each one of those forms, the Lord enjoys pastimes with a single individual liberated soul” 

Bhanu Swami Translation

There the people worship the Lord without desiring results, according to the words of the Lord. Unlimited forms, portions of light of the Lord, forms of the splendor of Vaikuṇṭha-loka, reside there. The Lord using one among these forms  to make the form of a liberated soul.

So manufacturing siddha deha out of imagination is not the correct understanding of this verse.Thinking is the correct meaning of parikalpaya here. The guru by power of his meditation gets this eternal body’s information revealed from Krishna or Srimati Radharani . It is not just created out of wild imagination. To think that gurudeva’s revelation is erroneous is severe vaishnava aparadha even after when it is approved by acharyas as presented above . As sastra says “The scriptures proclaim the Gurudev as another form of Sri Krishna Who bestows His mercy upon the devotees in the form of Gurudev.” – (C.C.) .

Then what is  created/assumed/thought  here  in this verse ?

It can be analyzed in two ways

First viewpoint:

Even if we consider manasi parikalpaya to be referring to siddha deha it is not wrong as initially one has to begin the meditation by mental assumption/thinking (manasi parikaypaya).

One should meditate on the various forms, qualities, natures, blooming youth and so forth of the manjaris, as described by the guru.(DhPad 107)
In this meditation, before anything else, the practitioner should meditate on the manjari-forms of his guru-pranali, beginning with his guru, then parama-guru, etc.(DhPad 344)

Mentally assume self desired siddha deha does not mean manufacture the siddha deha out of our wild imagination as it may be errorenous and not the recommended process as presented above even from the example of Jiva Goswami. parikalpaya also means thought, impression The statement just refers to mentally think/imagine  about the self desired siddha deha.

It is also improper to think the siddha deha revealed by guru is not our self desired siddha deha as guru gets this information revealed from the source who is already aware of our desires. Lord reveals that Siddha swarupa in the heart of guru. No contradictions here.

Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj in Vilapa kusumanjali tika states :

On the strength of meditation Sri Gurudeva is aware which one of the countless spiritual bodies in the spiritual sky will be accepted by the Lord (as the spiritual body of the candidate), and he points out that body to the practitioner. This is not anyone’s speculation. To consider the spiritual body of the practitioner, which automatically arises within the heart of Sri Gurudeva, who is the compact embodiment of the Lord’s compassion, steeped in the great power of the Lord, and which spontaneously arises within his meditation or recollection, as imaginary or false, is sheer atheism and a greatly harmful offence to devotion itself.

Sometimes devotees refer Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura’s  statement .

When the spiritual master is ascertaining the aspirant’s pure personal inclinations, the aspirant should also help the spiritual master by speaking his mind about his own preferences. As long as he has not clearly established the disciple’s inclinations, the guru’s directions are not flawless.

However in any case this statement does not refer that the disciple has the right to independently create a self desired siddha deha out his imagination. It is not supported by any acharyas not even Srila BhaktiVinode Thakura(eveidence already presented). The purpose of guru discussing these details means that guru might understand the desires and convey this information to Krishna. However it is to be noted that Krishna already knows that desires and only reveals the information of the siddha deha from the already existing eternal spiritual bodies to the guru in his heart. The guru’s direction might be flawed only if he is not getting this information revealed from Krishna or he is not advanced enough to accept the position of diksha guru . It generally does not happen and more specifically one should not consider that that guru who is revealing such details is unable to connect with Krishna(even if  the guru is not one’s own diksha guru) or it will be a severe vaishnava aparadha.

Second viewpoint :

Now if we consider this verse with bhagavat sevadikam kriyate just after manasi parikalpya then it actually means mentally assume to serve Bhagavan in  own desired siddha deha . Here stress of assuming (for those who prefer creating then just thinking or imagine )  shifts  from siddha deha to rendering mental service  to Lord  and now  manasi parikalpaya is meant to mentally  imagine rendering serving lord in one’s own desired siddha deha.

What does one create/think/assume/plan   in mental service (in beginning stage)? One uses the  imagination to create/assume/think/design a plan about  various innovations in lila smaran and serving Lord  in that lila with our siddha deha initially. But gradually when one progresses and reaches the zenith of bhajana when the self identification with the swarupa(which is already there and just revealed by gurudeva) is complete , one can see  himself in siddha deha participating in the lila .It is the ripe stage as mentioned by Srila  Narottama Thakura earlier . This is what is actually meant by this verse.

“On the raganuga marga the practicing devotee in whom rati has not yet arised can even mentally assume/think  to serve Bhagavan in his own desired siddha deha . When rati arises, then that body will  automatically manifest.”

The topic of automatically manifest has been discussed in the section of ripe and unripe conditions and is not a contradiction at all.


Misunderstood statement 2

There is another statement while is used by many devotees to prove siddha pranali is not mandatory . It may appear contradicting only if not properly analysed with other statements of the same acharya . From the tika of Vishvananath Chakravartipada Thakur UN 3, 49-51):

atra kramaḥ |
rāgānurāgīya-samyak-sādhana-niratāyotpanna-premṇe bhaktāya cira-samaya-vidhṛta-sākṣāt-sevābhilāṣa-mahotkaṇṭhāya kṛpayā bhagavatā sa-parikara-sva-darśanaṁ sevā-prāpty-anubhāvakam alabdha-snehādi-prema-bhedāyāpi sādhaka-dehe ‘pi svapne ‘pi sākṣād api sakṛd dīyata eva |
tataś ca śrī-nāradāyeva cid-ānanda-mayī gopikākāra-tad-bhāva-vibhāvitā tanuś ca dīyate |
tataś ca vṛndāvanīya-prakaṭa-prakāśe kṛṣṇa-parikara-prādurbhāva-samaye saiva tanur yoga-māyayā gopikā-garbhād udbhāvyate ukta-nyāyena snehādi-prema-bheda-siddhy-artham |

“To the devotee having great longing for direct service for a long time, who has developed prema by intense and constant rāgānuga-sādhana, the merciful Lord one time directly shows himself with his associates, with realization of service, even to a person in a sādhaka body, in a dream, though he has not developed sneha and other stages. He gives a spiritual gopī body endowed with proper bhāvas, as he gave to Nārada. Then, when Kṛṣṇa and his associates appear in a manifest Vṛndāvana, that body is born in a womb of a gopī by the arrangement of yoga-māyā in order to perfect sneha and other varieties of prema.”

Analysis:

1. Here Srila Vishvanath is talking about the time of the sadhaka short before leaving the body and being then “born” in prakat-lila. The quote is  talking about the sadhaka in the stage of Prema. “who has developed prema by intense and constant raganuga sadhana”.
Earlier we have given reference when a devotee at the stage of asakti(which is the ripening stage) is a able to have glimpse of his siddha deha participating in the lila with Lord. So it is natural in the higher  stages of  Bhava and Prema. For more details one is suggested to read Madhurya Kadambini(Seventh and Eighth Shower of Nectar) by Srila Vishwanath chakravarty.

2. In the original quote it is written “even to a person in a sadhaka body, in a dream, though he has not developed sneha and the other stages” . It is to be noted that Sadhaka body is not capable to withstand the bhavas experienced in the higher stages of prema like sneha etc. Srila Vishnavanath has explained this in Madhurya Kadambini—–
Above that(prema) there are even more juicy fruits in the wish-yielding vine of devotion, named sneha, mäna, pranaya, räga, anuräga and mahäbhäva. This material body of the practitioner is unable to tolerate the heat, cold or collisions of relishing this treasure, therefore they cannot possibly manifest in this body. For this reason they have not been described here. But in this treatise the ascertainment of stages like ruci, äsakti, bhäva and prema and their direct experience have been described

3. Devotees attain these higher stages of prema in Krishna’s prakrata lila by taking birth from the womb of a nitya siddha gopi. This is what is referred in the original text. But before that Krishna appears before the devotee and interacts in his own sweet way revealing his siddha deha . It is also stated in detail in Madhurya Kadambini(Seventh and Eighth Shower of Nectar) . But it is to be noted that it is the ripened stage of devotion when the devotee has already practised raganuga bhakti in his siddha deha in unripe stage. We have stated a lot of references from acharyas  above to prove this.
4. Though this appears like dream in Prema stage it actually happening.In this highest stage of bhakti, there is practically NO DIFFERENCE between “being awake” and “being asleep”. This “dream” will ONLY occur after intensely and constantly practicing raganuga-bhakti in his siddha deha throghout the different stages of bhakti. In Madhurya Kadambini in the eighth shower of nectar it is stated ” In the stage of äsakti this meditation is very deep, in bhäva there is mere meditation and the Lord appears in visions. In prema these visions become detailed and the true vision of the Lord takes place.

This is the main subject of Srila Vishvanatha Chakravartipada’s commentary here. So there is no deviation here and everything is perfectly synchronized .


Misunderstood statement 3

Many devotees refer to the text 9 of  sri-raga-vartma-chandrika as evidence of siddha deha is revealed automatically in the jiva. But the text does not refer to siddha deha at all .

udbhute tadrise lobhe sastra darsiteshu tat tad bhava prapty upayeshu ‘acarya caitya vapusha svagatim vyanaktityuddhavokteh keshucid gurumukhat keshucid abhijna mahodayanu¬ragi bhakta mukhat abhijnateshu keshucid bhakti mrishta cittavrittishu svata eva sphuriteshu sollasam evatisayena pravrittih syat. yatha kamarthinam kamopayeshu.

“When the aforementioned sacred greed has appeared in the heart one becomes enlightened in different ways. Uddhava Mahasaya says in Srimad Bhagavata (11.29.6): ‘Krishna reveals Himself through the acarya (spiritual master) or through the agency of the Supersoul.’ Thus some devotees attain knowledge about the feelings of Krishna and His Vraja-associates from the mouth of a guru, some from the mouth of a learned raganuga-devotee, and some, whose hearts have been purified by the practice of devotional service, will have this knowledge directly revealed to them from within their hearts. Then, just as a sense enjoyer automatically becomes engaged in having his senses gratified, without depending on anyone’s encouragement, similarly the raganugiya practitioner will automatically be seen as very happy in attaining his desired feelings.

Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj explains this text by quoting the sloka from Srimad Bhagwatam:

naivopayantyapacitim kavayas tavesa brahmayushapi kritamriddhamudam smarantah
yo’ntar bahis tanu-bhritam asubham vidhunvann acarya-caitya vapusha svagatim vyanakti (Bhagavata 11.29.6)

‘O Lord! The wise devotees attain the pinnacle of transcendental bliss when they remember Your benevolence, and even if they had a lifetime of Brahma at their disposal they would not be able to pay off their debt to You, for You appear externally as the Guru to teach them and internally You are present to guide them, destroying all unfavorable and inauspicious desires for sense gratification and giving their hearts experience of Yourself.”

Following this statement of Uddhava some devotees obtain the nectar of instruction from the lotusmouth of Sri Guru and others proceed with raganuga bhajana under the guidance of an experienced raganuga saint. Some of them will even have the craving for bhajana automatically infused within the heart, which is purified by the practice of sadhana bhakti. Then, just as a sense enjoyer automatically becomes engaged in having his senses gratified, without depending on anyone’s encouragement, similarly the raganugiya practitioner will automatically be seen as very happy in attaining his desired feelings.

Analysis: Thus we can see that it is knowledge about the feelings of Krishna and His Vraja-associates and the desire for bhajan related to raganuga bhajan which is referred here(RVC text 9) not the siddha deha. There is no direct reference to siddha deha. However this text justifies that one can progress in  bhakti by his own efforts.  Bhakti is not a matter of one life and is perfected in a course of various lifetimes. It is even  applicable for those who have received siddha pranali but haven’t attained prema stage. So one need not worry. Krishna has plans for everyone . He knows when and where the devotee will meet his spiritual master who will bring him more closer to Krishna and Srimati Radharani.

 


Get the inspiration confirmed by guru in case one gets any by meditation


 

Even a sincere devotee  who is unaware of the siddha pranali feels that he has attained  few bhavas after chanting Harinaam for a long time , he has to get it confirmed from a sadguru who has access to that subtle realm as the siddha deha is not an imaginary body . So the role of Guru can’t be neglected even then though the number of such advanced devotees and Guru is very limited . If it is not possible  then one may continue with own effort as ultimately one will progress creating more powerful samskaras unless one commits vaishnava aparadha.  Still one will not get the 11 bhavas and the swarupa  of guru pranali unless guru reveals  it is confirmed and accepted by all the authenticated diksha parivars of Gaudiya Vaishnava . Harinaam prefers this knowledge to be revealed by guru . Or in another sense we can say Harinaam guides one to a Guru. There is no statement from acharyas that Harinaam reveals the siddha deha in unripe stage when the devotee has to practice meditation in that siddha deha  . But that Guru reveals the siddha deha is stated in many places as presented above.

“The scriptures proclaim the Gurudev as another form of Sri Krishna Who bestows His mercy upon the devotees in the form of Gurudev.” – (C.C.)


Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said that in the letter on this topic , “On the other hand, if a devotee receives some inspiration after sincerely chanting for a long time, he should go to the sad-guru or advanced devotees and ask for it to be confirmed and purified by them.

In Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s Jaiva-dharma, the main character, Vijaya Kumāra, received some of this higher knowledge from his dīkṣā-guru, and later he obtained even more esoteric knowledge, including more details about the ekadāśa-bhāvas, from his śikṣā-guru, Gopāla Guru Gosvāmī, who was a qualified rasika Vaiṣṇava in another lineage. No conflicts of lineage were indicated in that context and no disloyalty to their guru either — Sri Uttamasloka Das

But it is generally revealed by diksha guru if he is physically present in manifest lila . Siksha Guru of such calibre generally reveals  siddha deha only if the diksha guru is not physically present in this world and he has access to the guru pranali of the devotee who has asked for it . If there is no guru pranali and siddha pranali this information is not revealed by siksha guru . There are similar instances in the book Saints of Vraja by Dr O B L Kapoor when a devotee was not given the siddha pranali as the devotee was not aware of the guru pranali which is handed down generation after generation from a guru to his disciple in a paper.

Ultimately we see references are indicating to Guru revealing the siddha deha. When one is practicing Harinaam along with manasi seva in his siddha deha gradually his chitta gets purified and the sadhaka is able to percieve his siddha deha in nitya lila even in this body . While the sadhaka performs his sadhana he establishes his self-esteem into this form, and when he attains prema siddhi he is blessed with direct devotional service within this body.

NOW WE COME TO NEXT IMPORTANT DISCUSSION


Role of  chanting Holy name of Lord.


 

Getting siddha deha is the part of process of raganuga bhakti as discussed above from the reference of the acharyas . We get the siddha pranali from guru as mercy.  But this siddha deha which is the bhava deha for sadhaka has to be nourished for getting the feelings and necessary realizations(ripe). Guru cannot give us feelings or realizations directly. When we chant, serve lord, gurudeva etc which are like ointments our mind becomes more and more purified and our ability to perceive the subtle reality becomes more refined. More we chant without offence more purified we are. Gradually one gets the realizations and necessary bhavas manifested in the heart.  This is the power of Harinaam(Hare Krishna Mahamantra,Diksha Mantras).— Srila Premgopal Goswami

Srila PremGopal Goswami Prabhupada again states in one of his lecture:

Suppose it is written that you have a specific bhava as your characteristic like sama madhya . This specific bhava remains for a duration but this  bhava will change into another mood according to the lila(according to vibhava,uddipana, anubhava, sanchari bhavas, sthayi bhavas). Like krishna is always changing his mood. Sometimes he is dhira lalita sometimes he is lampata. Similarly the Sakhis, Sakhas , Manjaris also change their mood . This realization and perfection will come through Harinaam (iha haite sarva-siddhi haibe sabara; Cb Madhya 23.78)  . But first of all we have to get this sambandha gyan from guru.

Prema arises in the heart of devotee when he chants the name of lord and attains siddhi . So we cannot neglect the role of Harinaam . We see the below references.

“khaite shuite jotha totha nâm loy, desh kâl niyam nai sarba siddhi hoy.”  (C.C.)

Meaning – “We should chant Harinaam while eating and sleeping, anywhere and everywhere. We may chant anywhere, at any time and reach the supreme goal.”

 

eva vrata sva priya nama kirtya
jatanurago druta citta uccai
hasaty atho roditi rauti gayaty
unmadavan nrityati loka bahya
“As the dedicated devotee thus sings the name of His beloved deity, his heart melts as his anuraga (sacred passion) appears and he loudly laughs, cries, sings and dances like a madman, not caring for the external world.”Srimad Bhagavata (11.2.40):

In his Sarartha Darsini-commentary on this verse, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti explains that prema is infused into the heart of the devotee while he chants the name of his beloved deity and he loses sight of this external world. Because he sees the enchanting transcendental pastimes of the Lord day and night he laughs and cries. During such transcendental revelations the devotee may see that Krisna enters some cowherd-woman’s house to steal butter. When the old woman spots Him, she cries out: “Catch the butterthief! Catch Him!” and comes running out. When Krisna hears her screaming, He becomes afraid and goes off. Such a funny pastime makes the devotee laugh, but when he can not see Krisna anymore because He ran off, then he cries.When Krisna hears the crying of His beloved devotee then He reveals Himself again, and the devotee sings about His form and qualities and dances in great ecstasy.

Srimat Sanatana Gosvami wrote in his Brihad Bhaga-vatamrita (2.3.164-165):
nama-sankirtana prokta krisnasya prema sampadi
balistha sadhana srestha paramakarsa mantravad
tad eva manyate bhakte phala tad rasikair janai
bhagavat prema sampattau sadaivavyabhicarata
“The most intimate and powerful means to attain the treasure of love of Krisna is nama-sankirtana. It is supremely attractive, just like a mantra. That is why the rasikas (connoiseurs) also consider it to be the fruit of devotion!”

In his own commentary on this verse, Sanatana Gosvami writes: na nu sarvesam api sadhana bhaktiprakarana premaiva phalam ityabhipreta satya nama sankirtane sati premnah avasyambhavitvat upacarena tad eva phala manyate iti – “Someone may say: ‘The fruit of all sadhana bhakti is prema, and the chanting of the holy name is just a means of its attainment. How can you then call chanting the fruit of devotion?’ The answer is: ‘Because the appearance of prema is inevitable through the practice of chanting, it has been called the fruit of devotion as well!’”

Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj writes in his commentry to Sikshastakam:

Ceto darpana marjanam: The chanting of Sri Krisna’s holy name cleanses the mirror of the heart. Because the hearts and minds of non-devotees are stained and covered by desires for sensual enjoyment, the all-pervading Sri Krisna and His form, abode etc. cannot be reflected on them. The clearer a mirror is, the clearer an object can be reflected in it; similarly, the more the mirror of one’s heart is cleansed through the process of Sri Krisna sankirtana, the more the sweet forms and qualities of Sri Krisna can be reflected in it.

In another place he states:
Because God is non different from His name, His name also contains all of His infinite
sweetness. Although rock-candy is naturally sweet, the tongue of one suffering from jaundice cannot relish it; it tastes bitter to him. Similarly, although the name of Sri Krisna is naturally filled with unlimited bliss, the tongue which suffers from the disease of aparadha (offenses to devotees) cannot experience that bliss.

In his commentary to Ragavartma Candrika text 13 Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj says:

To ascertain who is eligible for raganuga bhakti it has been said: ragatmikaika nistha ye vrajavasi-janadaya; tesa bhavaptaye lubdho bhaved atradhikaravan (B.R.S. 1.2.291) “A devotee who becomes greedy after the exclusive love for Sri Krisna of the ragatmika Vrajavasis is eligible for raganuga bhajana.” When greed awakens taste will come for lila smarana, from this ruci comes relish of the sweet pastimes and from the experience of these sweet pastimes the sacred greed becomes again more deep. Hence lila smarana is the main item of this raganuga marga. But for entering into lila smarana purification of heart is absolutely necessary. When the heart is impure the mind cannot be steady and when the mind is restless or unsteady one cannot become absorbed in lila smarana. Hence one must take shelter of the main items of bhajana, such as hearing and chanting, and the more the heart gets purified by continuing in bhajana,the more the heart becomes attracted to lila smarana, and thus smarana also gradually becomes deeper and deeper. Therefore, although lila smarana is the main item of raganuga marga, one should not neglect or drop the external practises like hearing and chanting. Just as one’s internal sadhana becomes nourished by the external practice of hearing and chanting, similarly one awakens one’s relish for the external practices through the internal practices.If one says that the two nourish each other and then one neglects or drops the external practice, trying just to immerse the mind in lila smarana, the mind will gradually dry up and become contaminated by contemplating the sense objects. On the other hand, raganuga bhajana is also not performed simply by diligently practising the external items and dropping or neglecting lila smarana. Therefore the raga sadhaka should practice both the external and internal items.

That is why Gurudev after revealing Siddha deha engages the devotee in both internal and external practice. This is the way of raganuga sadhana.

 


The spiritual position of Sri Gopal Guru Goswami an eternal associate of Lord Chaitanya , who was given the role to disclose the knowledge of siddha pranali to the world


 

The references stated here in this article that Guru reveals the siddha deha are from various acharyas and some among them are two of the 6 Goswamis of Vrindavan (Jiva Goswami, Gopal Bhatta Goswami). One must not forget that some references are given by Gopal Guru Goswami (more elaborately presented by his disciple Dhyanchandra Goswami) who received this knowledge directly from Vakreshvara Pandita who received this knowledge from Swarupa Damodara Goswami . Mahaprabhu did not read anything unless that was approved by Swarupa Damodara Goswami . He was such a scholar. Mahaprabhu send Raghunath Das Goswami(our prajojana tattva acharya ) under the care of Swarupa Damodar(Lalita Sakhi) and later  to Rupa Goswami (Rupa manjari) when he went to vrindavana . This is the position of Swarupa Damodar.
Many devotees say that Gopal Guru Goswami and Śrī Dhyānacandra are minor acharyas so it not necessary to follow them or the process they revealed. It is a very offensive statement. One should know the actual position of Gopal Guru Goswami , Dhyanchandra Goswami and the source of their teachings before commenting on the practice of raganuga bhakti as shown by them. We must be grateful to them as they presented the process of raganuga bhakti.

Among the five chief disciples of Śrī Vakreśvara Pandita(Tungavidya-sakhi in Krishna lila/fourth member of the catur-vyuha, Aniruddha), Gopālaguru was the special object of Mahāprabhu’s mercy. He was the son of Murāri Pandita, and his name was Makaradhvaja Pandita, although Mahāprabhu called him Gopāla. When Śrī Gaura lived in Nīlācala, Gopāla engaged in His service. Even though he was still a child, he was very skillful in his sevā. The Lord showed very strong vātsalya affection for him, and personally gave him the title “Gopālaguru. By studying under Shri Svarupa Damodara Goswami and Shri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami he became expert in rasa tattva (the science of Radha-Govinda’s loving mellows) and the process to attain the highest abode via highest means Raganuga bhakti. Whatever Gopal Guru Goswami taught though his book Śrī Gaura-govindārcana-smarana-paddhati are obtained from Vakresvara Pandit who received it from Swarupa Damodara . So it is very foolish for one to consider him as a minor acharya or the authenticity of his teachings on Raganuga Bhakti.

One day, Caitanya Mahāprabhu went outside the village to tend to his bodily needs. Gopāla was standing some distance away with a waterpot in his hand ready to serve the Lord. He noticed that the Holy Name, which always blissfully danced on Mahāprabhu’s tongue, was not to be heard. Wondering how this could be, he then saw that the Lord was holding his tongue with his hand. After a short while, Gopāla, being full of curiosity, inquired from the Lord, “Prabhu! Why are you holding your tongue like that?” Mahāprabhu answered, “The words kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa always dance on my tongue, and even when I’m unclean they don’t stop. One is forbidden to chant the kṛṣṇa-nāma mahā-mantra when he is unclean. Transgressing that injunction is an offense. For this reason, I hold my tongue to keep it still.”
Gopāla replied, “Prabhu! Elegant words don’t adorn my little mouth, but still, in order to understand, I am asking. Your beautiful body doesn’t have a trace of uncleanliness. It is sac-cid-ānanda-maya and always pure. Your ‘going to the bathroom’ is an illusion. That’s just your pretending to be human. You are independent, but if an ordinary jīva should die while evacuating, without chanting the Holy Name, how will he attain the transcendental state?”
Hearing these profound words from the boy, the Lord replied, “Gopāla, you have spoken correctly. In chanting the śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma there is no consideration of cleanliness or uncleanliness. Chanting is always auspicious for the jīva. You have caused me to remember the highest injunction. From today, you shall bear the title guru.” Mahāprabhu told the devotees this story, and the news quickly spread everywhere. Soon all the Vaiṣṇavas began to call Gopāla “Śrī Gopālaguru.”
Gopālaguru Gosvāmī became the ācārya of the Gambhīrā Matha, and when he became old, he wanted to arrange for someone to continue the worship of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kānta. To obtain a suitable sevaka, he offered a mental prayer to the lotus feet of Śrīman Mahāprabhu. One night, the Lord appeared to Gopālaguru and said, “Gopāla! The sevaka you seek will be the first person you see tomorrow morning. Accept him without hesitation. Like you, he will be learned in all the transcendental śāstras. He will preserve well the worship of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kānta and reveal my glories to the whole world.”
Hearing this order from Mahāprabhu in his dream, Gopālaguru became ecstatic. The next morning, after his morning duties, he went to his doorway. The first person he saw was a very peaceful young brāhmaṇa who had been standing there waiting to see him. When the youth approached, he offered daṇḍavats to Gopālaguru’s lotus feet. The Gosvāmī remembered his dream and blissfully offered the young man his blessings. Seeing his peaceful nature and absorption in kṛṣṇa-bhakti, Gopālaguru gave him mantra-dīkṣā, etc., and named him Śrī Dhyānacandra.
After receiving initiation, Śrīpāda Dhyānacandra served his guru with great devotion. Gopālaguru Prabhu engaged him in caring for Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kānta. After a short while in govinda-sevā, he received the dress of a Vaiṣṇava ascetic from his guru, and was then ordered to visit Śrī Vṛndāvanadhāma.

 


The gutikas by the acharyas and role of Siddha Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj


 

The Śrī Gaura-govindārcana-smarana-paddhati by Śrīpāda Gopālaguru Gosvāmī, the Śrī Gaura-govindārcana-smaraṇa-paddhati by Śrīpāda Dhyānacandra Gosvāmī, and the Śrī Gaura-govindārcana-paddhati by Śrīpāda Siddha Kṛṣṇadāsa Bābā are collectively known as paddhati-traya, and are the bhajana-paddhatis of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradāya. Following the format established by Śrī Gopālaguru Gosvāmī, Śrī Dhyānacandra composed his book and included the Asta-kālīya-līlā-smarana-krama. A paddhati is a handbook or manual meant to aid a sādhaka in performing bhajana successfully. This particular paddhati’s focus is to help the sādhaka attain mañjarī-bhāva.

Later Siddha Krishnadas Babaji maharaj revealed the Gaura asta kaliya lila on the instruction of Radharani, Lalita devi and Sanatan Goswami . He was an empowered saint.

Srila Krishna das Siddha Baba, was visited by Sri Radharani Herself, Who ordered Him to publish something that would suit meditation on Sri-Sri Gaura-Govinda’s ashtakalin lila. After receiving this order from his worshipable goddess, Srila Siddha Baba compiled the Sri Gaura Govinda Lilamrita Gutika, making the manual completely fit for the practice of lila smarana.To make the assembly of sadhakas relish the ashtakalin lila rasa through the realisations of the mahajanas, Srila Siddha Baba compiled a large anthology of ashtakalin lila called ‘Bhavana Sara Sangraha’.


 

My heartful thanks to my gurudeva Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj ,Srila PremGopal Goswami , Sri  Vaishnavapada Das Babaji , Sri Yugal Kishore Das , Sri Tarun Govinda Das, Sri Uttamasloka Das ,Sri Advaita Das .

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