Shastra

The Two Divisions of Pure Bhakti – 2

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Vaidhī, Rāgānugā and Svābhāvika Bhakti: The natural function (svābhāvika vṛtti) of the senses in relationship to bhakti is of two types. The first occurs, when a person follows the injunctions of scriptures to approach a spiritual teacher, takes instructions from that teacher, and thereby practices pure devotion. By regularly practicing devotion he or she moves to the stages of niṣṭhā, ruci and āsakti, in which his or her senses become naturally devoted to the Lord, very much like how common people have a natural attraction for their spouse, children, etc. This function is an outcome of vaidhī bhakti.

New Book Release: Śrī Bhagavat Sandarbha

With this new English edition of the six Sandarbhas, beginning with the publication of the Bhāgavat Sandarbha that has just been published, Satyanarayana Dasa and the Jiva Institute of Vaishnava Studies will have produced an outstanding scholarly work that can take a distinguished place alongside other treatises of philosophy and theology, not just for practitioners of bhakti, but for academics as well.

Beyond Matter and a Place of No Falldown (Bhagavat Sandarbha, 52)

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In the following verse, Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī simultaneously describes both qualities of Vaikuṇṭha [discussed in the two previous sections]: It is beyond the visible or manifest world and is a place from which no one falls down:

No One Falls From Vaikuṇṭha – Part 11 (Bhagavat Sandarbha, 51)

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Teaching is an art. An expert teacher is one who educates in such a way that the students embrace the teaching as their own, without confusion or degradation. The conditioned souls, being unaware of any other reality, do not aspire to become free of the material world, but would rather be happy in this life, or at best, in some future heaven. Yet a compassionate teacher is moved to help relieve them of their material identification.

No One Falls From Vaikuṇṭha – Part 10 (Bhagavat Sandarbha, 51)

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So the conclusion is that nobody, whether nitya-siddha or sādhana-siddha, ever falls from Vaikuṇṭha. The question that naturally follows is, “So then, where do we come from?” or, “How did we come to be in this bound condition?” The simple answer is that we are nitya-baddha (perpetually bound), which is to say that till now, and indefinitely onwards till the moment of liberation, we have always been bound by the material energy,

No One Falls From Vaikuṇṭha – Part 9 (Bhagavat Sandarbha, 51)

Our disputant may set forth yet another objection: If this section is properly analyzed, we can conclude that it refers only to those devotees who reach Vaikuṇṭha from the material world. This can be ascertained by studying the six items that determine the import of a text, such as its opening and closing statements. These are described in the following verse

No One Falls From Vaikuṇṭha – Part 8 (Bhagavat Sandarbha, 51)

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Another objection could be raised: Conditioned souls are called patita, or fallen, and this implies that previously they were not fallen. When we say, “This is a mashed potato,” it means that it was not mashed previously. So, although we are unable to understand how we fell, we must have, otherwise we would not be designated as “fallen.

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    Jiva has its own identity, separate from Bhagavan. If Bhagavan and Jiva are absolutely one, then there can’t be a relationship between worshipper and the worshipped, or master and servant, or lover and the beloved. For a relationship there must be two distinct individuals with their separate identities.  Advaitavada says that in the ultimate stage there is no distinction between Jiva and Brahman.  We don’t agree.

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