Taste beyond Injunctions

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Question: I have a question about this verse from Bhakti Sandarbha (312), from Gautamiya Tantra:
prItir atra tAdRza-ruciH ….
na japo nArcanaM naiva dhyAnaM nApi vidhi-kramaH
kevalaM santataM kRSNa-caraNAmbhoja-bhAvinAm

“There is no japa, no deity worship, no meditation and no succession of rules. There is only feelings for Krishna’s lotusfeet.”

This verse is quoted in the context of the ruci stage of raganuga bhakti. In my opinion it means that the raganuga bhakta has no quota or duty of japa, deity worship or meditation, but he will do it (nAma gAne sadA ruci, he always has taste for nama) naturally. Otherwise what would be the meaning of raga (passion) and ruci (taste), if he wouldn’t chant or meditate? This would make no sense. As for dhyAna, raganuga bhakti has been called ‘manodharma’ (mental religion) by Visvanatha Cakravarti, and then the raganuga bhakta will not meditate?

What is your opinion on this text? If a rucimAn raga bhakta will not chant or meditate, what will he/she do all day?

Answer: Your understanding is correct. Such a devotee will do japa etc. out of raga. The verse says that there is no need of any injunction for him to do japa etc. because he will do it naturally. He is beyond vidhi. Vidhi has its limit up to bhava. Vidhi or rule is not imposed on those who are willingly engaged in prescribed or desirable action. It would be futile to make a rule for them.

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    You have to have a clear definition of your goal – what do I want? What am I heading for? You have to have a very clear definition of what is Bhakti. If you are not clear, then you can remain in a hazy field for a long time. That is the significance of Nyaya. It gives clear definitions, which is very important. Otherwise you may think that this is the definition of Bhakti and I am doing Bhakti, but what you may be doing may not fit the definition.

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