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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ruci means chanting, not womanizing

Yesterday one commentator to my 'Advaita's rebuttal to Advaita's reversal'- blog of November 4 quoted this verse from Bhakti Sandarbha (312), from Gautamiya Tantra:

prītir atra tādṛśa-ruciḥ ....
na japo nārcanaṁ naiva dhyānaṁ nāpi vidhi-kramaḥ
kevalaṁ santataṁ kṛṣṇa-caraṇāmbhoja-bhāvinām

"There is no japa, no deity worship, no meditation and no succession of rules. There is only feelings for Kṛṣṇa's lotus-feet."

It is important that this verse is not misunderstood to mean rāgānugā bhakti consists of idleness, dirtiness, carelessness, much less debauchery. This verse is quoted in the context of the ruci stage of rāgānugā bhakti. It means that the rāgānuga bhakta has no quota or duty of japa, deity worship or meditation, but he will do it (nāma gāne sadā ruci, he always has taste for nāma) naturally. Otherwise what would be the meaning of rāga (passion) and ruci (taste), if he would not chant or meditate? This would make no sense. As for dhyāna, rāgānugā bhakti has been called 'mano-dharma' (mental religion) by Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda (Rāga Vartma Candrikā), and then the rāgānuga bhakta will not meditate? The Gosvāmīs' books are sūtras (aphorisms) and can be easily misinterpreted by unscrupulous people who want to twist them to their advantage.


  1. Your interpretation of the text seems to go against the straightforward meaning of the language of the text. Japa, arcana, rules and regulations etc, i.e. limbs of sadhana bhakti, are meant for a purpose of reaching a goal. They are the means, not the end.

    The point of saying there are no rules, japa, etc, is because a person on an actual level of pure raganuga (devoted to Krishna without being motivated by anything but affection) has reached the goal of sadhana bhakti. Once attaining to pure raganuga bhakti the Lord personally takes over the life of the devotee and establishes a close relationship with him or her. All sadhana bhakti is discarded at that time because the devotee is immersed in a direct rasa with the Lord just like ragatmiks devotees of Vraj.

    Vraj is everywhere for anyone who has awakened his bhava with the Lord. When you get to the end you will realize that the nature of that relationship is totally different than the lifestyle of the sadhana bhakta. At that stage it is not for anyone to judge what that devotee does or doesn't do in terms of rules and regulations of sadhana bhakti anymore than you would judge the devotees in Lila. That is the point of Jiva Goswamis mentioning of these points.

  2. That is fine with me (most of it), but that does not answer my point that ruci means taste, lobha means greed and raga means passion. So the more ruci there is the more chanting, both in quality and quantity. The lives of the siddhas, both sadhana and nitya, are exemplary of that. They did japa, dhyana and arcana too, look at the great Mandirs of Braja.

  3. Well, it depends on the devotee whether or not he or she will do sadhana. Jiva Goswami says that sometimes high level devotees will do sadhana for the purpose of inspiring and showing the proper path to lower level devotees and non-devotees. On the higher level the devotee is directly communicating and engaging in rasa with the Lord,therefore there is no purpose nor interest in japa, dhyana, etc. It would be like a person living with a lover, and instead of talking to him or her, just sitting in the corner ignoring the lover while trying to meditate on his or her name or imaginary form and pastimes.

    p.s. Funny thing, I was just looking at a bio of your guru, we share the same birthday, October 14.

  4. I dont have my books here in Vrindavan so I am severely handicapped in providing evidence, but the bhakti path distinguishes itself from yoga-, karma- and jnana-paths in that the sadhana continues after siddhi as well.

    p.s. Funny thing, I was just looking at a bio of your guru, we share the same birthday, October 14.

    That explains (you sharing) the name Shiva and the rather extraordinary character!

  5. Ruci means that you get taste for Krishna's name. Constant taste, and you tend to chant Krishna's name, in some way, always. And when you don't, your mind is chanting, or having kirtan.

    What this verse is saying, as far as I understand, is that you can't judge a person with Ruci, according to externals. You can't say that this person have to do japa, have to do deity worship, have to do some specific meditation, or follow some particular rules.

    But other verses speak about the symptoms of ruci, and the requirements to get to that stage.

    It is easy to spot a person with ruci, since s/he will always chant hare krishna, and not in an idle way, but in a way so that it always brings ecstasy and bliss. Every single mention of Krishna's name, has taste, and ecstasy in it. If you mention Krishna's name too many times, you fall into ecstasy. And a person with ruci just loves to repeat Krishna's name or the hare krishna mantra. There is a very special taste in the name Krishna, and you just want to repeat Krishna, to feel the taste over and over again. Like your tounge never get satsified.

    Connected with aquiring ruci, is the loss of material taste. When you feel the taste of Krishna's name, all material things feel bitter or tasteless. So if a person obviously still have gross material taste, like a man womanizing, that person have not reached the stage of ruci.

  6. Jay Sri Sri Radhe Syam!!!

    Since sadhana means progression, Srila Ananta das babaji maharaj has mentioned in his lectures on Bhakti Sandarbha that we will never get rid of sadhana. And after siddhi (prema) sadhana still will be there but in another form, more dense.
    In one hand sadhana finishes in bhava bhakti, but the progession continues from prema up to Mahabhava...