Question: In Bhakti Sandarbha 310, Srīla Jīva Gosvāmī writes regarding rāgānugā sādhana as, “ata evāsyā janma-lakṣaṇaṁ bhakti-vyatirekeṇānyatrānabhirucim upalakṣya“. Does that mean that a sādhaka in rāgānugā bhakti will not have a taste for anything apart from bhakti? Does this not imply that he is free of anarthas?
Answer: There will be no gross anarthas like lust and greed. But some subtle anarthas may linger on.
Question: In Bhakti Sandarbha 338c, commenting on SS10.33.39 , Srīla Jīvā Gosvāmī writes, “kintu rahasya-līlā tu pauruṣa-vikāravad-indriyaiḥ, pitṛ-putra-dāsa-bhāvaiś ca nopāsyā, svīya-bhāva-virodhāt“, what does paurusha vikaravat indriya mean here, and how is this different from lust? I’m asking because SB 10.33.39 states that listening to rasa-kathā frees one from lust, but at the same time, someone with material sense desires should not listen.
Answer: Paurusha vikaravat means sexual agitation. There is not much confidential līlā described in the rasa-līlā chapter, except for a few verses like 10.29.46. Even this should be heard from a qualified speaker, and the audience also needs the qualification of śraddhānvita and dhīra. Rasa-līlā is not for an aśraddhālu and adhīra.
Moreover, he is prohibiting listening to rahasya-līlā, as described in other works such as Śrī Surata Kathāmṛtam.
Question: I have heard that there are two types of līlā-smāraṇam. One is meditating on the pastimes of Vraja, and the other is meditating from the vantage point of our siddha-deha where we are participating in the līlā. Is it sanctioned to do the first type of līlā-smāraṇam (only meditating on Vraja pastimes, not siddha-deha) before attaining laulyam for rāgānugā-bhakti? What are the necessary qualifications for performing either of the types of līlā-smāraṇam?
Answer: Have you taken dīkṣā from a qualified guru? If your reply is no, then you are not qualified for līlā-smāraṇam. If your reply is yes, then please ask this question to your Gurudeva.
Question: I’ve heard many gurus say that rādhā-dāsyam or mañjarī-bhāva is the highest. But I do not understand what it is. Please explain rādhā-dāsyam in detail and how to practice it.
Answer: I never speak about rādhā-dāsyam or mañjarī-bhāva, so I am the wrong person to ask. Why not ask those gurus who talk about it?
Question: Whatever you wish for me to do, I will follow. Then what does the Gadādhara-parivāra say is the highest devotional mood?
Answer: I do not know why you ask this question. All Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas follow the śāstras given to us by the Gosvāmīs—Rūpa, Sanātana, and Jīva. Why should the Gadādhara-parivāra or any other parivāra have a different goal than what is described in the śāstra? We follow the teachings of the Gosvāmīs.
Question: I read one statement by Śrī Viśvānatha Cakravartī Ṭhākura in his book “Svakīya Parakīya Rasa Vicāra,” where he states:
pramāṇāntarasya tu kutrāpy adṛṣṭatvāt
“One cannot find any evidence of description of marriage between Rādhārāṇī and Kṛṣṇa in any scripture.” (Text 4)
I heard that in Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa there is a description of a marriage between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. It is interesting that many moralists, including many devotees, try to justify pastimes between Rādhārāṇī and Kṛṣṇa by citing their marriage as described in Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa and Garga Saṁhitā. There’s also a mention of Their marriage in the Bhandiravana līlāsthali found in Vṛndāvana.
Svakīyavādīs use this to justify their belief that Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa were married. But parakīyavādīs say that since there was no kanya-dāna, it is not a proper marriage and only like a gandharva-vivaha. But the fact of the matter is that gandharva-vivaha is still a vivaha since Brahmā supposedly acted as a priest.
I am confused as to why Viśvānatha Cakravartī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda didn’t refute that part of Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa and the līlāsthali at Bhandiravan.
Answer: Līlāsthali is no proof; it is an interpolation. It did not exist at the time of Viśvānatha Cakravartī Ṭhākura. You can call any place anything you like, and after some time nobody will question its authenticity.