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This blog is for sharing one of the six loving exchanges between vaishnavas - bhajana katha sravanam alapa - sharing and discussing bhajan topics with devotees.

It is also my humble attempt to follow the instruction my gurudeva would give at the end of every class: take these pastimes and instructions into your heart. Therefore in the hopes that it will make some impression in my heart, I am sharing lecture notes, quotes, book excerpts, and other words from the brahma-madhva-gaudiya sampradaya and vaisnava/is around the world.

Monday, September 12, 2011

One should endeavor with great eagerness for spiritual attachment

om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah

O Gurudeva, you are so merciful. I offer my humble pranama unto you and am praying from the core of my heart that, with the torchlight of divine knowledge, you open my eyes which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance.

Today I am sharing from Srila Raghunath Das Goswami's Sri Manah Siksa. This book has the commentary of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and Srila Gurudeva. Gurudeva instructs that we should read Upadesamrta, then Manah Siksa, etc. So this book is very important. I actually haven't read it before, so I was happy to read it. I might read it again, because there is so much in it, and I sortof whisked through it; I'm not able to take it all in, anyway.

Just think! Manah Siksa before Upadesamrta. And both of those before Bhagavad Gita...I find Upadesamrta intimidating, myself. So many things in it and Manah Siksa are beyond...but I guess it's supposed to be like that. They tell us the goal. Gurudeva says that Bhagavad Gita is the doorway to surrender; the doorway to Srimad Bhagavatam.
Anyway, the topic of this bit is, spiritual attachment versus material attachment, how spiritual attachment is true attachment -atma rati, our soul's attachment - and should be endeavored for with eagerness.

This part of the commentary is by Srila Gurudeva:

Apurva Rati
or rati of the soul is pure rati (spiritual attachment). The jiva is by nature a servant of Krsna. Pure krsna-rati is present in his spiritual form. But when the jiva is diverted from Krsna and bound by maya, his rati (material attachment) is directed toward perishable material objects. This perverted rati which is connected with maya is incidental and distressful.

It is only in pure krsna-bhakti that rati of the soul finds its place. In other words, pure krsna-prema is itself atma-rati, because Sri Krsna is the Supersoul of all souls. In its mature state, the more this pure atma-rati evolves, the more it is known as apurva-rati or unprecedented spiritual attachment.

Atitaram kuru: Make Intensive Endeavors
One should endeavor with great eagerness to obtain atma-rati. One should not remain complacent thinking that bhakti will arise of its own accord by some good fortune. The more one's spiritual strength increases, the more the effects of one's karmic activities will diminish, and without doubt one will obtain the mercy of pure devotees and the Supreme Lord.
The purport of this instruction is that as long as the desire for reward-seeking activity is not diminished by the association of devotees, sraddha will not arise. As long as sraddha or deep faith does not arise, one is unfit to hear and assimilate harikatha and spiritual instructions.

When, by good fortune, paramarthika or transcendental sraddha arises, one should take shelter of a diksa-guru and receive the sri yugala-mantra. Having obtained this mantra, one should worship the diksa and siksa gurus with intense attachment or atma-rati.

One should not be satisfied simply to offer respect to Sri Gurudeva considering him to be a mere sage. Rather, one should serve him with love and devotion, accepting him as one's dearest friend and well-wisher. The three kinds of Vaisnava devotees - kanistha, madhyama, and uttama - should be offered respects suitably and received with affection. One should cultivate true attachment to harinama and the mantra given by one's diksa guru. Considering Sri Sri Radha-Krsna Yugala to be one's life and soul, one should take shelter at Their lotus feet.

I really enjoyed reading this. I found it very encouraging, and I also feel like it explains why so many times I heard Gurudeva, but I didn't *really* hear, because I still have material desires. I feel encouraged, like if I just take shelter of guru and cultivate love and affection, I will be okay; Gurudeva said that guru and Krsna are always supporting and protecting us. So of course, they are taking care of me, too.

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