Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and Raganuga-sadhana-bhakti

to accept formal worship.

37 In the actual text of Sri Bhakti-sandarbha the term ‘ajata-ruci’ refers not to the level of devotion, but to the practitioner. Therefore it is obvious that if the type of person practicing raganuga-bhakti without ruci is called ajata-ruci, the practice of devotion by such a person can also be called ajata-ruci. This point is developed in B V Tripurari Swami’s monograph Sri Guru Parampara. The book contains many penetrating insights about these subjects.

38 Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami also alludes to the practice of ajata-ruci-raganuga-bhakti within the realm of vaidhi bhakti when he describes the mental culture of Krishna consciousness: “A Krishna conscious person engages his words in preaching the glories of the Lord. That is called kirtana. And by his mind a Krishna conscious person always thinks of the activities of the Lord—as he is speaking on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra or engaging in His various pastimes in Vrindavana with His devotees. In this way one can always think of the activities and pastimes of the Lord. This is the mental culture of Krishna consciousness.” (Nectar of Devotion, Intro)

39 At the very beginning of the section on Raganuga-bhakti, Sri Jiva describes how one can practice raganuga-bhakti before one has realized one’s eternal relationship with Krishna: “When a person develops a taste for the aforesaid specific raga, even though that raga itself has not yet arisen in her or him, the heart becomes like a crystal, shining as it reflects the rays of the moon of that raga. By hearing about this raga from scripture or one’s teacher, one develops a taste for the actions of the ragatmika associates also that are expressions of this ragatmika-bhakti. Then by adhering to the raga of a particular associate according to one’s taste, one executes devotion, which is called raganuga. (Sri Bhakti-sandarbha, Anuccheda 310)

40 The teachings of Prabodhananda Sarasvati, a contemporary follower of Sri Caitanya, support this understanding: “When a pious person attains devotion to the lotus feet of Lord Gaura, the ocean of nectar from the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani suddenly floods his heart. (From Kusakratha dasa's translation of the Caitanya-candramrita. Chapter 8, “Loka-siksha”)

41 I would like to thank the numerous devotees, too many to mention, who looked over the text and offered helpful comments and suggestions to improve it.