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Sunday, November 12, 2006

vairāgya needed?

Srī Kānupriya Gosvāmī, Jīvera Svarūpa O Svadharma:

bhakti śāstre evaṁ bhaktaganera ācaranera o upadeśera madhye-o ye bahula parimāne sutīvra samsāra vairāgya-bhāva paridṛṣṭa hoy, tāhā kevala bahirmukha -viṣayāsakta o moha-grasta jīva sakalera mohanidrā bhanga koribāra janya evam pravṛtta bhakta o sādhakadigake sādhana pathe satvara agrasara hoibāra utsāha pradāna koribāra janya bujhite hobe, yehetu 'jnāna vairāgya bhaktira kabhu nahe anga' (CC Madhya 22). nidrita vyakti sahita tāhāra kona-o paramātmīya, madhura ālāpādi dvārā tāhāke ānanda dāna korite āsileo, yemon tāhāra nidrā bhangera janya prathame kathin o karkaśa śabdādi dvārā tāhāke jāgrata korite hoy, tadrūpa visaya madirā pāne nidrita o nirutsāhi jīvake krsna bhajane utsāhita karāi bhakti-pathera tīvra vairāgya vānīra abhiprāya.

"In the devotional scriptures and in the conduct and instructions of the devotees we see many examples of extreme renunciation from material life, but that is only to awaken the conditioned souls who are in the grip of illusion, being attached to sensual enjoyment. It is also meant to enthuse practising devotees who are somewhat attached to material life (pravṛtta) to speed up their progress on the path somewhat. After all, the Caitanya Caritāmṛta (Madhya 22) says: "Neither renunciation nor knowledge are integral parts of bhakti". It may be possible to please a sleeping person with sweet, confidential words, but to wake him/her up in the first place one first needs to make a loud shrieking noise. Similarly one must speak words of stern renunciation to persons that are drunk with the wine of sensuality or who are complacent about worshipping Kṛṣṇa."

Rūpa Gosvāmī, Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.2.249

jñāna-vairāgyayor bhakti-praveśāyopayogitā
īṣat prathamam eveti nāṅgatvam ucitam tayoḥ

'Knowledge and renunciation are helpful for entering the path of devotion, but only in the very beginning. They are never integral parts of devotion."

Jīva Gosvāmī's commentary:
prathamam evety anyāveśa-parityāga-mātrāya te upādīyete tat-parityāgena jāte ca bhakti-praveśe tayor akiñcitkaratvāt tat-tad-bhāvanāyā bhakti vicchedatkatvācca

'"In the beginning" means: only to help the person give up other (mundane) absorptions. Knowledge and renunciation are only marginally helpful in entering the path of devotion. Meditating on these things form an obstacle to devotion."

verse 1.2.250:
yad ubhe citta-kāṭhinya-hetū prāyaḥ satāṁ mate
sukumāra-svabhāveyam bhaktis taddhetur īritā

'Both cause the heart to be hardened, while Bhakti itself is very tender by nature."

Verse 1.2.251:
Quote from S.B. 11.20.31: "Therefore, knowledge and renunciation are generally not the best means for the yogi who is full of devotion for Me and whose mind is fixed on me."

anāyāse govinda bhajibo (Narottam, Prema bhakti Candrikā 21) "I will effortlessly worship Govinda"

Sādhu bābā disapproved of dry renunciation. he rhymed : Betā - khā, por, bhajan kor" 'My child, eat and dress and do bhajan."

The point of all this? I was deeply impressed with the truth Kānupriya Prabhu thus revealed to me this morning. It reminded me of my blog of 1st november, "Failed Parīkṣā." Perhaps I am taking it all way too seriously and should just chill out a bit?

(Corroborations were added by advaitadas, and are not a part of the text of Kanupriya Gosvami)


  1. Wow-
    deeply beautiful words from Goswamiji and from Sastra. Thanks again!
    Radhe Radhe!

  2. I would like to know exactly how vairAgya is to be understood in theory and practice in our Gaudiya tradition?

  3. The answer to that question is given right after the BRS verses I quoted in the blog, namely 255 and 256 -

    anāsaktasya visayān yathārham upayuñjatah nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairāgyam ucyate

    'Not being attached to the sense objects but enjoying them as is proper, and being related to Krishna - this is called proper

    Jiva Gosvāmī writes in his tika: yathārham sva-bhakty-upayukta-mātram - 'Enjoying as is proper' means to just enjoy things that
    are devotionally employed. (Example follows)

    prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunah mumuksubhih parityāgo vairāgyam phalgu kathyate

    "The renunciation practised by those who yearn for liberation is called dry, for they reject objects related to Hari, taking them to be material."

    In his tika to this verse Jiva Gosvāmī, quoting Visnu Yāmala, particularly points out the refusal of prasada - something related to Krishna, being a great offense.

  4. Indeed a pleasant post. Usefull and inspiring to many of us who read about extreme forms of renunciation but cannot harmonize this with their daily bhajan and thus get confused. Like me

  5. I like the personal note as well. Some of us need to chill out a bit. Not with a beer or a spliff of course, but it is true that by being cramped we can do ourselves just as much harm.

    By relaxing a bit we become nicer beings.

    And that helps our bhajan

  6. For true vairagya, you may see: Bhartruhari's Vairagya Satakam. In Roman Script, with English translation. Free access for personal, non-commercial use.