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Rupadhyana

(English)
Rupadhyana
(Loving Remembrance)

Ýhr¶matpadavŒkyapramŒÄapŒrŒvŒr¶Äa,
VedamŒrgaprati¦h¢hŒpanŒchŒrya,
NikhiladarÜhanasamanvayŒchŒrya,
SanŒtanavaidikadharmaprati¦h¢hapanasatsampradŒyaparamŒchŒrya,
BhaktiyogarasŒvatŒra, BhagavadanantaÜhr¶vibhµu¦hita

Jagadguru 1008
Swami Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
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RADHA GOVIND SAMITI

JAGADGURU KRIPALU PARISHAT


Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat

ISBN: 978-93-80661-68-1

First Edition: 25 March 2009


Second Edition: 15 July 2011

Copyright © 2009
Radha Govind Samiti
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, utilized, stored in or
introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any
means - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise.

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RADHA GOVIND SAMITI

Published by:
Radha Govind Samiti
Golok Dham, H.A.F. (B) Part-1, Sector-10, Dwarka,
New Delhi - 110075 Phone: 011-25081088
E-mail: rgs108del@yahoo.com
PREFACE
In Kali Yuga, saÆkirtana, or the chanting of the divine

name, has been prescribed as the only means to attain God.

Even if we do accept that there are other spiritual practices to

attain God, it would not be wise to practise those various

difficult processes as saÆkirtana is the easiest process to take us

to our goal.

However, the most important part of saÆkirtana is

rµ u padhyŒna, loving remembrance. Without rµ u padhyŒna,

saÆkirtana is like a body without a soul. Kali Yuga is a dreadful

age in which the sinful tendencies of an individual combined

with the external environment cause man’s spiritual downfall.

The only way to be free from this is to sing the glories of Ýhr¶

RŒdhŒ K¾i¦hÄa’s names,forms and


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practising rµupadhyŒna and shedding tears of longing for Their


RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
Divine Vision and Divine Love. If a sŒdhaka doesn’t practise

rµupadhyŒna while engaged in saÆkirtana, he will eventually doubt

even the words of the scriptures because he will think that even

after practising saÆkirtana for a long time his sinful tendencies

have not been eliminated. Therefore, we can benefit from

saÆkirtana only when we give full importance to rµupadhyŒna.


Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj, our Divine Master, has

very beautifully explained the science of saÆkirtana. He has

revealed the fact that rµupadhyŒna is the most vital part of

devotional practice. This book is very useful for all devotees in

terms of proper guidance and knowledge of practical devotion.

Our causelessly merciful Spiritual Master has revealed for

us this priceless treasure of spiritual knowledge, which is in

your hands in the form of this book. We are certain that every

reader will derive great spiritual benefit from it.

— Radha Govind Samiti

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RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
A Divine Message
There are just two areas – Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa and the material
world.
The mind alone is the performer of all good and bad
actions. If the mind is attached to Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, you will
attain Divine Knowledge and Divine Bliss. If your mind
remains attached to the material world, you will continue
to suffer in ignorance and misery.
Therefore, you should always practise detaching your mind
from the world, and attaching it to Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa alone.
For this, rµupadhyŒna, loving remembrance of Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ
K¾i¦hÄa is absolutely COPYRIGHT
essential. Attentively listen to the
divine words of your Guru, strictly follow his instructions
and engage yourself inGOVIND
RADHA devotional chanting,
SAMITI saÆkirtana.

Always feel the presence of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa and your Guru


with you! Avoid committing spiritual transgressions.
Kripalu
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RADHA GOVIND SAMITI

with
T HE Vedas, Upani¦hads, PurŒÄas,
scriptures unanimously declare that
and all the other
God has two
aspects - as Impersonal Brahman without qualities, attributes
or form and as Personal ‘BhagavŒn’ with divine qualities,
attributes and form.

dve vŒva brahmaÄo rµupe mµurtaÅ chaivŒmµurtaÅ cha


(B¾ihada. Up. 2.3.1)

A completely detached aspirant possessing the four spiritual


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disciplinary requirements is qualified to worship the
attributeless Impersonal Brahman. However, there are no
eligibility requirements for practising devotion to Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa. All are eligible.
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However, the most important point to consider is, who is
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the one who has to practise devotion to Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa: Is
it the soul, the mind or the senses? The simple answer is

1. Discrimination, detachment from worldly pleasures, intense desire for liberation


and forbearance.

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that the mind alone has to practise devotion, because the
mind alone is the cause of one’s bondage or liberation.

cheta¬ khalvasya bandhŒya muktaye chŒtmano matam


guÄe¦hu saktaÅ bandhŒya rataÅ vŒ puÅsi muktaye
(BhŒg. 3.25.15)

In devotional practice, whether the senses are involved or


not, the involvement of the mind is a must. It is the mind
that must practise sŒdhanŒ bhakti, preparatory devotion.
Through sŒdhanŒ bhakti the mind gets purified and when it
is completely purified, one attains Divine Love through
the Grace of the Guru. The BhŒgavatam says,

bhaktyŒ saÛjŒtayŒ bhaktyŒ vibhratyutpulakŒÅ tanum


(BhŒg. 11.3.31)

Preparatory devotion leads to perfect devotion (Divine


Love) through Divine Grace.

guru bhaktyΠsa milati


(Brahm Vaivarta Pur΀a)

so binu santa na kŒhuhiÅ pŒ¶


milahi joCOPYRIGHT
santa hohiÅ anukµulŒ
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
We have an eternal relationship of love and servitude with
Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa alone is our Supreme Divine
Master; and therefore, we have to engage ourselves
constantly in His divine service, sevŒ.
SŒdhanŒ bhakti means to constantly think of this relationship
and always remain absorbed in Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s loving

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remembrance.LOVING REMEMBRANCE OR VISUALIZATION OF
GOD IS KNOWN AS SMAR¡NA BHAKTI OR RµUPADHYNA.
RµupadhyŒna is considered to be the most vital aspect of all
devotional practices. Chaitanya MahŒprabhu explains two
types of devotion – ‘anŒsaÆga bhakti’ and ‘sŒsaÆga bhakti’. In
anŒsaÆga bhakti, the mind is not involved; devotional
practice is performed with the senses alone. This is devoid
of loving remembrance. In sŒsaÆga bhakti our mind gets
totally absorbed in practising rµupadhyŒna of the Guru and
God. Such a devotion is considered as true devotion.

saba sŒdhana janu deha sama, rµupadhyŒna janu prŒÄa


khŒta g¶dha aru svŒna janu kŒmŒdika Ühava mŒna
(Bhakti Ýhataka)

All spiritual practices such as self-restraint (yama), religious


observances (niyama), karma, yoga, jیna, abstinence and fasts
(vrata) are like a lifeless body if they are devoid of
rµupadhyŒna, which is the actual life force of all these
practices.

All the scriptures from the Vedas to the RŒmŒyaÄa ,


recommend dhyŒna as COPYRIGHT
the only means to attain God. Veda
VyŒsa says, RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
ŒloÎya sarvaÜhŒstrŒÄi vichŒrya cha puna¬ puna¬
idamekaÅ suni¦hpannaÅ dhyeyo nŒrŒyaÄo hari¬
(MahŒbhŒrata, NarasiÅha PurŒÄa)

“I have thoroughly researched the six DarÜhanas and


Pur΀as and have repeatedly reflected upon them. I have

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reached only one conclusion that one’s mind should be
totally absorbed only in the sweet remembrance of Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa.”

smartavya¬ satataÅ vi¦hÄurvismartavyo na jŒtu chit


(Padma Pur΀a)

“Remember God constantly; don’t forget Him even for a


moment.”

yaddurlabhaÅ yadaprŒpyaÅ manaso yanna gocharaÅ


tadapyaprŒrthito dhyŒto dadŒti madhusµudana¬
(Garu¾a PurŒÄa)

“If your mind is lovingly absorbed in God, He provides


you with everything, even what is rare and unattainable.”

bhagavŒn brahma kŒrtsnyenatriranv¶k¦hya man¶¦hayŒ


tadadhyavasyat kµu¢astho ratirŒtmanyato bhavet
(BhŒg. 2.2.34)

BrahmΠre-analyzed the Vedas three times and finally


arrived at the conclusion that one’s mind should always
be absorbed in the loving remembrance of God. ThŒkura
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MahΆhaya says,
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
manera smaraÄa prŒÄa

“RµupadhyŒna is the soul of all spiritual practices.” All


spiritual practices are like the body and the senses. When
the soul leaves the human body it becomes lifeless, a
corpse, mere earth. Earth still has a sweet smell, but the

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earth in the form of a lifeless body starts emitting a foul
odour very quickly. So you should practise rµupadhyŒna.
This is the verdict of the Vedas and all the other scriptures.
It has also been repeatedly stated in the G¶tŒ.

ananyachetŒ¬ satatam yo mŒÅ smarati nityaÜha¬


tasyahaÅ sulaba¬ pŒrtha nityayuktasya yogina¬
(G¶tŒ 8.14)

“God is very easily attained by those who constantly attach


their mind to Him and are absorbed in His loving
remembrance.”

Remembrance is emphasized repeatedly. As Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa


assures in the G¶tŒ,
ananyŒÜhchintayaÅto mŒÅ ye janŒ¬ paryupŒsate
teshŒÅ nityŒbhiyuktŒnŒÅ yogak¦hemaÅ vahŒmyaham
(G¶tŒ 9.22)

“I take full responsibility and personally attend to the needs


of those who constantly remember Me and exclusively love
Me.” COPYRIGHT
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
ye tu sarvŒÄi karmŒÄi mayi saÅnyasya matparŒ¬
ananyenaiva yogena mŒÅ dhyŒyanta upŒsate
(G¶tŒ 12.6)

In this verse the word ‘dhyŒyanta’ is important, which


means constant loving remembrance of God. Lord K¾i¦hÄa
says,

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mayyeva mana Œdhatsva mayi buddhiÅ niveÜhaya
(G¶tŒ 12.8)

“O Arjuna! Constantly remember Me. Attach your mind


and intellect to Me alone.” The five jیnendriyŒs, the gross
senses - the eyes, nose, ears, skin and tongue - cannot
practise meditation. The eyes see, the ears hear, the nose
smells, the tongue tastes, the skin feels touch. So who
practises rµupadhyŒna: the mind. When the mind is involved
in devotional practice that is considered to be true
devotional practice. So you have to lovingly remember God.
Don’t listen to, read, think or do anything else. If you do
read, listen to or do something additional, then also
rµupadhyŒna of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is a must. First of all, conceive
the beautiful divine form of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, then sing the
glories of His names, forms, abodes and qualities. Most of
the time you do it mechanically, merely with your tongue.
However, you should always, first meditate lovingly upon
God. There is no harm if you engage your senses also in
devotional practice, but mere engagement of the senses
will amount to nothing unless the mind is also engaged.
It would be like multiplying zero by one million. The result
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will be zero. First do rµupadhyŒna, then engage in any
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
devotional practice. RµupadhyŒna alone is considered to be
true devotion.

RµupadhyŒna is the most important aspect of saÆk¶rtana. It is


absolutely essential for a devotee. Until he reaches an
advanced stage of practising rµupadhyŒna he will not be
able to restrain his mind and consequently will not

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experience the bliss. Without any actual experience, the
devotee becomes exhausted with his efforts and starts
losing hope. Thus, becoming dejected, he once again gets
inclined towards worldly pleasures.

For practising rµupadhyŒna, you should use the scriptural


descriptions of God’s form and ornamentation as they have
been described by Rasika Saints. For assistance, you should
visualize an image using a deity or a picture as the base.
All this depends on your personal inclination. God has
uncountable forms and can have countless more according
to the desires of His devotees. When meditating on a deity
or a picture, we should not consider it as an immobile
material object. Instead, imagine that it is imbued with
divine qualities, which include His being causelessly
merciful, the purifier of the sinful, the redeemer of the
fallen and so on. Unless we believe that picture or deity
possesses God’s qualities, such as being omniscient,
omnipresent, omnipotent and so on, our devotion will
remain only a devotion to a stone statue or picture. It
won’t be considered as devotion to Lord K¾i¦hÄa. Further,
we must become aware that along with the feeling of God’s
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actual existence or presence in that deity or picture, we
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
should always feel Him to be with us every moment.

While performing your worldly duties, repeatedly remind


yourself that God is with you. Practise rµupadhyŒna and
visualize, “Yes, He is in front of me.” There are two
benefits to this. Firstly, you will progress in your devotional
practice. Secondly, because you experience that God is

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personally present with you, you will not be undisciplined
and thus will be saved from committing sins. If the mind
is given the slightest freedom, it will naturally be attracted
towards the material world.

Therefore, you should always feel your worshipped form


of God to be personally present with you. You should
keep practising this, even while performing your worldly
duties, even if it is just for a second or two at a time.
RµupadhyŒna is so important that without it you will not be
able to quickly experience devotional bliss through the
chanting of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s names, qualities, pastimes and
so on. When a devotee does not experience any special
bliss, he will get tired of his devotional practice and will
finally stop. RµupadhyŒna is the only means to restrain the
fickle mind. The mind has been accustomed since time
immemorial to desire forms and qualities. How could it
possibly develop strong faith in the divine name at the
earlier stages of devotional meditation? Therefore, you
should pay great attention to rµupadhyŒna.
You should not do chanting at all without rµupadhyŒna.
Understand this pointCOPYRIGHT
with a worldly example. A heavy
drinker feels delight at the mere mention of the word
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
‘liquor’ or ‘bar’. The sight of liquor or its touch is
intoxicating to him. Naturally, he becomes intoxicated by
drinking it, whereas a teetotaler is offended if he merely
hears the word ‘liquor’. A teetotaler has never been
intoxicated. How then could he experience any pleasure
when the names and virtues of various brands of liquor

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are mentioned or praised before him? However, if he were
to actually experience the ‘pleasure’ of liquor and become
a confirmed alcoholic, then he, too, would feel drinking is
enjoyable. Similarly, if we firmly believe that God is
personally present in His name, we will feel intoxicated
by merely chanting or even listening to His name. This
stage is described in the following verse,

evaÅ vrata¬ svapriyanŒmak¶rtyŒ


jŒtŒnurŒgo drutachitta uchchai¬
hasatyatho roditi rauti gŒyay
unmŒdavann¾ityati lokabŒhya¬
(BhŒg. 11.2.40)

“Just by hearing the names or singing the glories of his


Beloved Lord, the heart of a devotee melts: he sometimes
laughs loudly, sometimes cries, sometimes screams,
sometimes sings, and sometimes dances in ecstasy.”
However, until this stage is reached we need to meditate
on the beautiful and fully-ornamented divine forms of Ýhr¶
RŒdhŒ K¾i¦hÄa and also on Their pastimes. Since time
immemorial, the mind has become accustomed to forms
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and qualities. Therefore unless it has form and qualities to
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
meditate on, it cannot become steady in devotion.
Therefore, saÆk¶rtana should not be done without rµupadhyŒna,
meditation, on Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ K¾i¦hÄa’s divine forms.

Perfectly visualizing the divine forms of Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ K¾i¦hÄa


will not happen right away. But, this is not anything to
feel disturbed about given that in the world nothing is

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learned instantly. It takes a few days of practice. Always
remember that it is only through constant practice that the
mind gradually gets attached to God.

asaÅÜhayaÅ mahŒbŒho mano durnigrahaÅ chalam


abhyŒsena tu kaunteya vairŒgyeÄa cha g¾ihyate
(G¶tŒ 6.35)

Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa says, “Arjuna, it is absolutely true that the


mind is very fickle and extremely difficult to control.
However, through practising constant remembrance and
detachment from the material world, slowly the mind
comes under control.” Therefore, you need to practise
rµupadhyŒna for quite some time. Gradually, without any
effort, automatically you will be able to visualize Him.
Thus rµupadhyŒna will become natural for you. You will
then move very speedily towards your goal.

Some people advise meditating on the Guru’s form. But


although the Guru is one with God, you will not be able
to meditate on his form especially while singing the glories
of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s pastimes, such as His childhood pastimes,
and so on. Moreover,COPYRIGHT
how much will one’s devotional
feelings grow even if one meditates on the physical body
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
of the Guru, visualizing it to be divine? It is extremely
difficult because until the devotee becomes free from the
bondage of MŒyŒ, he will view the Guru’s actions to be
material. This is a very big obstacle in the practice of
rµupadhyŒna. Therefore, the infinitely blissful divine form of
Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, which is more beautiful than the beauty of

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innumerable KŒmadevas, god of beauty, has greater
attraction for a devotee. Always remember that although
there is no difference between God and Saint (Guru), yet
the Saint cannot become God - whereas God can manifest
Himself in the form of a Saint (Guru). An example of this
is GaurŒÆga MahŒprabhu. Here Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa Himself
manifested in the form of a devotee with the devotional
sentiment of Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ. Besides Him, any individual soul,
even after attaining God, cannot be considered to be God
Himself. However, if God manifests as a Devotee, as Ýhr¶
GaurŒÆga MahŒprabhu did, that ‘Devotee’ is actually God.
There are some imposters in the world today who claim
to be Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. Both, those making these claims, and
those hearing and accepting them, will be ruined
completely. A genuine Saint never declares His divinity.
He considers himself to be the most fallen. The descension,
avatŒra of Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ, Ýhr¶ GaurŒÆga MahŒprabhu, would
even go to the extent of holding the feet of his own
disciples and begging them for Divine Love. This is the
divinity of God, and the greatness of genuine Saints!

Even though Guru is often described as greater than Lord


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K¾i¦hÄa Himself, it is not correct for the devotee to practise
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
devotion considering Guru to be Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa Himself.
Initially you should do rµupadhyŒna of your Guru along
with Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, and this is also necessary because
without practising rµupadhyŒna of your Guru, there is every
chance of becoming undisciplined. While singing the
pastimes of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, meditating on the form of Guru

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will be difficult for ordinary devotees. However, if the
devotee is able to maintain a steady divine sentiment
towards his Guru’s seemingly material body and actions,
there is no harm in doing rµupadhyŒna of the Guru. Rather,
there is great benefit. When we imbue the presence of
God in a stone statue and meditate on it, then how can it
be harmful to meditate on the form of the Guru who is
one with God, and in whose heart Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa resides
eternally? History bears out that a person could receive a
divine benefit by having pure devotional feelings even for
a deceitful hypocrite. He receives divine benefit through
God’s Grace, but this is not applicable for the average
person as he cannot have pure devotional feelings towards
anyone except God.

According to the scriptures, God, the Saints and the Guru


though externally three, are one inseparable divine entity.
However for a devotee, from the point of view of practical
devotion, a Saint is more important than God. But the
Guru is even more important as the Guru is the specific
Saint under whose guidance one practises devotion. Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa says, COPYRIGHT
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
madbhakta ye bhaktah te me bhakta janah matah

“Those who love my devotees (Saints) are my true lovers.”

Divine sentiments towards a Saint can remain steady only


through the Grace of that Saint. The soul is totally helpless
in this regard. Therefore, in preparatory devotion it is of

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primary importance to engage your mind in rµupadhyŒna of
Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. Otherwise if the mind is not engrossed in
rµupadhyŒna, what else could it do? The only work it does
is repeated thinking. It will be engrossed in thinking about
the material world as the mind cannot remain inactive. If
the mind is absorbed in thinking of the material world,
then devotion will be performed only by the senses and
this will give no spiritual benefit. It will be considered
devotion to the world and the result will also be worldly.
Therefore, it is necessary to continuously practise
rµupadhyŒna.
If it is so, how will a material mind practise rµupadhyŒna of
Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa? It is not possible. Why can’t the mind
meditate on God when it can keep meditating on worldly
objects and people such as one’s father, one’s mother, one’s
brother, or even one’s neighbour? The simple reason is
that God is beyond the material mind and intellect.

indriyebhya¬ parŒ hyarthŒ arthebhyaÜhcha paraÅ mana¬


manasastu parŒ buddhirbuddherŒtmŒ mahŒnpara¬
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RADHA GOVIND SAMITI


The Vedas declare that beyond the senses are the sense
objects and beyond the sense objects is the mind. Beyond
the mind is the intellect. Beyond the intellect is the soul.
Beyond the soul is MŒyŒ and beyond MŒyŒ is God. The
soul, being divine, is beyond the material mind and
intellect.

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divyo hyamµurta¬ puru¦a¬ sa bŒhyŒbhyantaro hyaja¬
(MuÄÎaka Up. 2.1.2)

God is divine. A material mind cannot conceive God’s


true divine form. It is just not possible. You could make
the greatest effort for millions of years but you would still
not be able to meditate on God’s actual divine form even
for a second. Even for the greatest intellectuals, with
capabilities beyond Sarasvat¶ and B¾ihaspati, it would be
impossible. It is unnatural, because God is beyond the grasp
of the material senses, mind and intellect. God is divine
and the senses, mind and intellect are material. A material
mind can only conceive and think about material things
belonging to the material world and made of the five
material elements. How could it meditate on God?

chidŒnandamaya deha tumhŒr¶, vigata vikŒra jŒna adhikŒr¶

God is the embodiment of eternal Existence, Bliss and


Knowledge. How could an impure material mind meditate
on Him? It is not even capable of meditating on the objects
of the material worldCOPYRIGHT
properly. You have seen a lot of
beautiful sights in India. If you were asked, “Have you
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
seen the Taj Mahal?” You would respond, “Yes.” If you
were further asked to visualize it, you will express your
incapability, though you have seen it many times. You
would say, “I only have some vague idea.” You see your
mother, father, brother and other loved ones every day. So
try to visualize your father’s ear. It is very difficult to do

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this! So if you cannot correctly visualize things that you
see daily, how could you visualize God? This being the
case, meditating on His divine form is out of the question.

go gochara jahaÅ lagi mana jŒ¶,


so saba mŒyŒ jŒnehu bhŒ¶

The fact is that we have seen God innumerable times, not


just a thousand or a million times. Whenever God
descended in this world, we were also present. God is
eternal, and so are we. We are revolving in the endless
cycle of birth and death in this world and this is where
God repeatedly descends. He is only recognized by a very
few fortunate souls, Saints such as VaÜhi¦h¢ha, ViÜhvŒmitra,
DurvŒsŒ and so on. At the time of descension of Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa when such Saints declared Him to be God, we
did not agree with them. We further misinterpreted His
divine pastimes to be material and criticized them.
However, now after Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa returned to His divine
abode, we loudly sing, “Hare K¾i¦hÄa! Hare K¾i¦hÄa!..”

Even if He were to descend now in His divine form we


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would be unable to see Him. What could we actually know
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
about Him? What do we know? How could we confidently
say that there is no descension of God present now? We
would observe Him with our material intellect and pass
judgment about Him being a good person with
an attractive personality. We would never accept Him as
God.

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Until you get divine vision, how could you conceive His
divine form? And if you are repeatedly instructed to
meditate on His divine form, this would be like having
your feet bound by shackles and being told to do a quick
march. How could you do the impossible?

Now let us understand this situation through simple logic.


There have been innumerable great Saints who have seen
God. Before attaining God, they must have also engaged
in meditation. The meditation practised by them must have
been absolutely on a material level. Then how did they
continue their practice? Their minds must have been
material, like ours, and the material mind cannot conceive
God. But they attained perfection, which indicates that
rµupadhyŒna can be practised even by a material mind.
When we talk about rµupadhyŒna, a natural question arises,
“We can meditate only on objects we have seen in the
world. How can we meditate on God, Whom we have not
seen? How can the material mind possibly meditate on
the divine form of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa? If a Saint were to bless
us with a glimpse of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa once, we would be able
to do rµupadhyŒna easily. But, this is a wrong conception.
When you are unable COPYRIGHT
to mentally conceive a divine form,
how could you see a divine form with your material eyes?
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
Veda VyŒsa describes in the BhŒgavatam,
mallŒnŒmaÜhanirn¾iČŠnaravara¬ str¶ÄŒÅ smaro mµurtimŒn
gopŒnŒÅ svajano’satŒÅ k¦hitibhujŒÅ ÜhŒstŒ svapitro¬ ÜhiÜhu¬
m¾ityurbhojapatervirŒÎa vidu¦hŒÅ tattvaÅ paraÅ yoginŒm
v¾i¦hĶnŒÅ paradevateti vidito raÆgaÅ gata¬ sŒgraja¬
(BhŒg. 10.43.17)

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“When Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa arrived in the assembly of KaÅsa, He
was perceived differently by different people, according to
their eligibility and purity of heart. To the wrestlers, His
body appeared not to be of flesh and blood, but as hard
as a thunderbolt. The average person saw Him as having
the most superb and excellent qualities among men. The
young ladies saw Him as their Beloved, supreme in
tenderness and beauty. The cowherd boys saw Him as
their dearest friend. The wicked kings saw Him as the
one who would overthrow them. His parents saw Him as
their delicate little child. And His enemy KaÅsa saw Him
as Time, the ultimate destroyer even of YamarŒja, the god
of death. The wicked trembled in fear seeing a fearsome
gigantic form with thousands of faces, eyes, ears and so
on, with flames equivalent to thousands of suns emanating
from each of His mouths. The yog¶s saw Him as the
Ultimate Truth. The YŒdavas, His family clan, saw Him as
their worshipped form of God.”

jŒk¶ rah¶ bhŒvanŒ jais¶ prabhu mµurati dekh¶ tina tais¶


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Lord RŒma was also perceived differently by different
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
people, during His descension, according to their individual
sentiments towards Him.

The simple solution for the above problem of meditating


on God is that proper remembrance and recollection of
material objects in the world is very difficult, but the
remembrance of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is very easy. The reason is

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that your mother, father, wife or brother has a specific
fixed form on which you have to meditate and the slightest
alteration you make, will turn them into a different person.
Even a mother who constantly lives with her identical
twins, sometimes makes a mistake in identifying them.
However, meditating on the divine form of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa
is very easy because He has not established one specific
form for Himself. Therefore, the devotee can visualize any
form that is most pleasing to him. He is even free to
change it whenever he wants, and in whichever way he
prefers. He can dress Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa as he likes and can use
the ornaments of his choice. He can also visualize pastimes
according to his own inclinations. This is because Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa has uncountable names, qualities, forms and
pastimes.

ananta nŒma rµupŒya vi¦hÄave

The devotee is completely free in this regard. Out of His


causeless Grace, Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa made this simple rule to
enable the most ignorant and illiterate devotees to practise
His rµupadhyŒna. Do notCOPYRIGHT
feel that because a learned person
has visualized a very beautiful form in his meditation and
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
an ignorant person has visualized something very ordinary,
there will be a difference in their experience of the divine
vision of the actual form of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. It is not so. The
divine vision of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa that everyone attains is always
the same. The form of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa that RŒdhŒ RŒn¶ sees
is the same form that BrahmŒ and ÝhaÆkara see. That very

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same form could be seen by an illiterate devotee like
DhannŒjŒta and others. The Vedas state,

taÅ yathŒ yathopŒsate tathaiva bhavati

The BhŒgavatam also states,

yad yaddhiyŒ ta urugŒya vibhŒvayanti


tad tad vapu¬ praÄayase sadanugrahŒya
(BhŒg. 3.9.11)

The same Bliss you could receive by seeing Supreme God


in His descension as the Divine Boar, ÝhµukarŒvatŒra, is
the same Bliss you would receive by seeing Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s
divine form. Each and every part of the body of God
imparts that Bliss. Don’t be concerned about which form
of God you are meditating on.

Another question that arises in everybody’s mind is that


even though one experiences unlimited Bliss on attaining
the divine vision of God, nevertheless, won’t the rµupadhyŒna
he practised prior to this be material? The Vedas state,
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yato vŒcho nivartante aprŒpya manasŒ saha
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI (Taittir¶ya Up. 2.4)

It is a fact that the form we visualize could only be


material. But Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa promises us that our material
meditation will give us a divine benefit. As the devotee
progresses in his devotional practice, the causelessly
merciful Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa graces him with His personal power,

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Svarµupa Ýhakti, YogamŒyŒ which results in reducing his
material tendencies.

go gochara jahaÅ lagi mana jŒ¶, so saba mŒyŒ jŒnehu bhŒ¶


(RŒmacharita MŒnasa)

Gradually his mind becomes completely divine. It is not


just the mind, but all his senses become divine, too.
Otherwise, if this were not the case, a soul could never
attain the divine vision of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. Innumerable souls
have attained His divine vision. A person can see God in
His actual divine form only if he has divine mind, intellect
and senses. After attaining divine power from God he can
perceive Him with all his senses.

So it is now proved that even the most ignorant person


can practise Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s rµupadhyŒna. Although Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa in Goloka is ever-youthful and His divine body
remains in the form of a sixteen-year-old, when He
descends in Braja, He assumes forms ranging from that of
a newborn child to that of a sixteen-year-old. Therefore,
according to the scriptures, one should visualize Ýhr¶
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K¾i¦hÄa’s form as being of any age from that of a newborn
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
baby to that of a sixteen-year old. However, this is not a
fixed rule. You can also choose the form of an extremely
old man if you like. The Vedas state,

tvaÅ str¶ tvaÅ pumŒn tvaÅ kumŒra uta vŒ kumŒr¶,


tvaÅ j¶rÄo daÄÎena vaÛchasi
(Atharva Veda 10.8.26, ÝhvetŒ. Up. 4.3)

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“You are a woman. You are a man. You are a youth and
a maiden, too. You are also an old man who has to support
himself with a staff.“ So you can choose a form of any
age. However, you should incorporate all the divine
qualities and the divine powers of God in that form, so
that you will never misinterpret the actions of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa
to be material. Always and everywhere feel the presence
of this visualized divine form to be with you. You should
never think, “Right now my body is dirty” or “I am in a
dirty place” and therefore you are unable to do this.

prabhuvyŒpaka sarvatra samŒnŒ

He is all-pervading. He is equally present everywhere -


He is present in a bar, a toilet, or a big temple in exactly
the same way that He is present in Goloka, His divine
abode. It is not true that He is present to a greater degree
somewhere, and to a lesser degree somewhere else. He
personally manifested even in the demon HiraÄyakaÜhipu’s
house in the form of COPYRIGHT
Lord N¾isiÅha.

RADHA GOVIND SAMITI


To conclude, you should never feel yourselves to be alone.
It is not merely something to be accepted, but an actual
fact, that Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa always resides in everyone’s heart.
He notes every thought of every moment of even a non-
believer and also dispenses the fruits of his actions. The
Vedas state,

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dvŒ suparČ sayujŒ sakhŒyŒ samŒnaÅ v¾ik¦haÅ pari¦hasva jŒte
tayoranya¬ pippalaÅ svŒdvattyanaÜhnannanyo abhichŒkaÜh¶ti
(MuÄÎaka Up. 3.1.1, ÝhvetŒ. Up. 4.6)

¶Ühvara¬ sarvabhµutŒnŒÅ h¾iddeÜhe’rjuna ti¦h¢hati


(G¶tŒ 18.61)

If you always feel the presence of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa everywhere,


then your devotional meditation, rµupadhyŒna will definitely
be deeper and profound. Secondly, you will not be
influenced by MŒyŒ and inclined towards committing sinful
actions. Even if this tendency arises, you will immediately
become cautious, thinking that you belong to Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa,
and therefore, in order to receive His Grace, you should
refrain from committing sinful actions. Just as you
experience your own identity all the time and everywhere,
similarly you should feel your Beloved Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa to be
present everywhere with you. For practising rµupadhyŒna you
can choose whether to visualize Him seated within your
heart or anywhere outside. Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is your eternal
Master and you are His eternal servant. He is the Soul of
your soul. Just as you are the soul that imparts life to the
physical body, Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is the Soul of every soul,
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ParamŒtmŒ,RADHA
and impartsGOVIND
life to every soul.
SAMITIJust as you (the
soul) reside in your body, Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, the Supreme Soul
resides in each and every soul. Just as your physical body
always serves the soul, similarly you, (the individual soul)
are an eternal servant of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, and therfore you
should engage yourself ever in His divine service. The
Vedas state,

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yasyŒtmŒ Ühar¶ram yasyŒk¦haraÅ Ühar¶ram

ya Œtmani ti¦h¢hati

“Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa resides within every soul.”

Now I shall explain some rules concerning practical


devotion from the VedŒnta (Brahma Sµutra). By following
these rules you can rapidly progress in your devotion.

1. Œs¶na¬ sambhavŒt (Brahma Sµutra 4.1.7)

You should practise rµupadhyŒna while sitting properly.


Initially it is very difficult to meditate while walking or
doing any other work. Neither your rµupadhyŒna nor your
work will be done properly. After attaining perfection, your
mind will naturally be absorbed in God even while
performing worldly activities. The minds of Arjuna and
HanumŒna remained constantly absorbed in loving
remembrance of God even while engaged in battle! A
devotee who has attained perfection, does not forget his
Beloved God, his eternal Protector, even for a moment.
The G¶tŒ states,

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tasmŒtsarve¦hu kŒle¦hu mŒmanusmara yudhya cha
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI (G¶tŒ 8.7)

“Arjuna! Remember Me at all times and fight.”

Karma yoga means performing actions along with the


constant remembrance of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. These actions don’t
cause material bondage. If you forget Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, the
actions you perform during that time won’t be considered

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karma yoga and such actions will cause bondage. Therefore
the BhŒgavatam states,

na chalati bhagavatpadŒravindŒllavanimi¦hŒrdhamapi
ya¬ savai¦hÄavŒgrya¬
(BhŒg. 11.2.53)

A true devotee does not forget Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa even for a


moment. His mind remains ever-absorbed in Him alone.
But this stage will come afterwards. In the beginning you
should sit alone to practise devotion, with your mind
engaged in rµupadhyŒna.
2. dhyŒnŒchcha (Brahma Sµutra 4.1.8)

You were told in the previous Brahma Sµutra to sit alone


for meditation. Now, this second sµutra instructs that along
with singing Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s names, forms, abodes and so
on, rµ u padhyŒna is absolutely indispensable. Without
rµupadhyŒna, the chanting of God’s names and pastimes and
so on do not provide much benefit. Therefore, rµupadhyŒna
is a must.

tajjapastadarthabhŒvanam
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(Yoga DarÜhana)
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
Develop the feelings that Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is your eternal
Master, Friend, Son or Beloved. Visualize His presence and
imagine yourself as a sixteen-year-old girl, appropriately
dressed and decorated. This is referred to as the ‘bhŒvadeha’,
devotional body, or ‘contemplated body’ that consists of
loving emotions or bhŒvas . Your rµ u padhyŒna should

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correspond to your loving sentiments as a servant, friend,
parent or that of a lover towards her beloved. If you are
meditating on His childhood pastimes, visualize the form
of baby K¾i¦hÄa. If you are meditating on His pastimes
with the Gop¶s, then meditate on His form as a 16-year-old
youth. Dress Him or decorate Him in your imagination
according to your choice and also meditate on the pastimes
of your choice. If you have some difficulty in practising
rµupadhyŒna, you can take the assistance of a picture or a
deity. However, the form that you visualize is considered
the best.

Imagine you are an extraordinarily beautiful girl. Dress


and decorate yourself accordingly and think, “Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa
will look at me, He will interact with me, and this will
give Him pleasure.” Always have the desire to do things
that will give Him pleasure. The meaning of ‘service’ is to
please Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. Service that is done for one’s own
pleasure is not true service. Service done according to the
desire of the Beloved is considered true service.

3. achalatvaÅ chŒpek¦hya (Brahma Sµutra 4.1.9)


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rµupadhyŒna
When you sit alone to practise
RADHA GOVIND you should first
SAMITI
close your eyes. Keep your back straight and sit attentively.
Otherwise, due to the mind’s old habits, when you have
to think about a subject that is opposed to what normally
gives you pleasure, you feel drowsy. If you sit comfortably,
gradually your mind will tell you to lie down and meditate,
and then finally you will fall asleep. Therefore, it is

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necessary to sit straight to meditate. Otherwise you will
become drowsy and the mind will start wandering here
and there.

4. yatraikŒgratŒ tatrŒviÜhe¦hŒt (Brahma Sµutra 4.1.11)

You should adopt the above method of sitting alone while


carefully practising rµupadhyŒna. Some people adopt the
Vedic rules that apply to rites and rituals as to the
appropriate place, time and so on, to practise devotion.
The Brahma Sµutra forbids this, and advises practising
devotion anywhere, at any time, whenever your mind gets
engrossed. This special concession is granted only for
practising devotion to God. For the worship of celestial
gods who are bound by MŒyŒ, there are various restrictions
of time, place and so on. There are no such limitations in
the path of devotion.

na deÜha niyamastasmin na kŒla niyamastathŒ


(Bhakti RasŒm¾ita Sindhu)

The main point to understand is that our Beloved Ýhr¶


K¾i¦hÄa is omnipresent. There is not even a single particle
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in the universe which is not permeated by Him. God
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
pervades each and every particle, just as oil pervades a
sesame seed. No place or time can make Him impure.
Rather, He purifies the impure. Though He is seated within
everyone’s heart, whether that heart is pure or impure yet
such a great soul is very rare who sees Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa
everywhere and in everything. The G¶tŒ declares,

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vŒsudeva¬ sarvamiti sa mahŒtmŒ sudurlabha¬
(G¶tŒ 7.19)

In this way, you should practise devotion sitting alone as


described in the VedŒnta. However, it is not possible for a
family person to practise devotion constantly. Even a fully
renounced devotee gets tired after a few hours of practice.
A family person has to be involved in various entangling
worldly activities. Therefore, even while performing his
worldly duties, he should remain engaged in loving
remembrance of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, just as a cow always
remembers her calf, even while grazing.

sumirana k¶ sudhi yoÅ karo jyoÅ surabh¶ suta mŒhiÅ


kaha kab¶ra chŒro charata bisarata kabahµuÅ nŒhiÅ
(Kab¶ra)

yŒ dohane’vahanane mathanopalepa
preÆkheÆkhanŒrbharuditok¦haÄamŒrjanŒdau
gŒyanti chainamanuraktadhiyo’ÜhrukaÄ¢hyo
dhanyŒ brajastriya urukramachittayŒnŒ¬
(BhŒg. 10.44.15)

While attending to allCOPYRIGHT


their household duties, the Gop¶s
would sing the glories of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa with tearful eyes.
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
Being the ultimate authorities of selfless Divine Love, their
minds always remained lovingly absorbed in Him. In the
beginning, you will not be able to do this. Still, you should
continue to practise thinking that Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is with you
and He is very close to you. He is noting down your
every thought every moment. Never think you are alone.

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You should forget about your privacy, such as thinking
that no one knows what you are thinking. Feel His
presence everywhere. Strengthen this feeling by repeatedly
thinking, “He is with me. He is my Protector.” By
practising this, gradually you will always feel Him to be
with you in person. In addition to this, you have to feel
that whatever you are doing, you are doing as a service
to Him. Eating, drinking, sleeping and so on should be
done with the feeling that you are serving Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa.
You might say, “But how could my eating be considered
a service?” You should eat and sleep to keep your body
healthy so that you can practise devotion properly.

RµupadhyŒna is of two kinds:

1. Milana, a feeling of meeting

2. Viraha, a feeling of separation

RµupadhyŒna with the feeling of meeting, milana


Visualize that Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ and Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, either together
or individually, are present before you. Be overjoyed seeing
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Their divine beauty and sweetness. Think that you are
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
hearing the sweet sound of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s flute. You are
enjoying Their divine fragrance. You are experiencing Their
divine touch through a complete embrace, and so on. Now
decorate Them in various ways. All this should be done
with your mentally-created form of a Gop¶. Sometimes sulk
as though offended and sometimes reconcile. Sometimes

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be overwhelmed with emotion and embrace Them. Bathe
Them in fragrant divine water. Serve Them a variety of
delicious delicacies. Sometimes prepare a beautifully
adorned bed for Them. Constantly practise pleasing Them
through this mental service. Engage yourself in a variety
of playful activities with Them. Sometimes feel you are a
servant, sometimes a friend, sometimes a parent, but
primarily feel Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is your Beloved. Sing Their
names, virtues and pastimes. Feel that as They listen to
you, They are becoming absorbed in Love. Sing for Them
again and again. Always keep in mind this point that
whatever you are saying and doing, you are doing for
the sake of Their happiness. Consider your service to Them
to be your only goal. Imagine ÝhyŒmŒ-ÝhyŒma and your
Guru are standing before you and looking at you very
lovingly. Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ and Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa are not looking at
each other but just at you. They are looking at you with
the same longing as a passionate man would have when
he looks at a woman. Feel They are coming closer and
closer to you. Their open arms and the infinite Love in
Their eyes show that COPYRIGHT
They are longing to embrace you.
Now they are so close that you embrace Them. Be
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
overjoyed with Their blissful embrace. Feel as if you are
actually experiencing Their presence. This is rµupadhyŒna
with a feeling of meeting, milana. Form the feeling that
you can actually experience them with all your senses.
Feel that you can hear Them, smell Their divine fragrance,
experience Their Divine Love and touch. Think, “I am

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actually seeing Shri Krishna. I am hearing His words and
He is saying, ‘You are mine. You have become mine
forever.’” You are also hearing His flute.

However, when you come back to normal consciousness,


think “Oh, that was just a meditation. They did not actually
come. They did not actually embrace me. I did not actually
hear the flute. Oh! When will that moment come, when
They will personally come and bestow on me the
experience of Their divine vision, touch and fragrance?”
You have to constantly intensify this feeling of yearning
to see Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa.

Meditation can be of many kinds. Imagine you are taking


your soul out of your body and you are leaving your
gross body here. Now visualize your soul has a divine
body which is similar to Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s body. It has
unlimited lustre, fragrance, beauty, charm and all the divine
qualities. Imagine you are rising upwards and you are
passing through an opening with your divine body. Beyond
this is the great divine ocean, Brahmadrava, where the
ParamahaÅsas who have merged into Impersonal
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Brahman
remain forever in a fully unconscious state. Beyond the
RADHA
Brahmadrava GOVIND SAMITI
is the divine river, YamunŒ. It is not like the
Yamuna you are familiar with here on this earth. The
divine YamunΠmarks the boundary of Goloka. Reach the
gates of Goloka in your rµupadhyŒna. Everything in Goloka
is divine and conscious. MŒyŒ cannot enter there. The earth,
water, fire, air and space there give you the same unlimited

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Bliss as Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s embrace. If you touch even a particle
of the earth there, you will experience the same Bliss that
Janaka experienced on seeing Ýhr¶ RŒma, and that the Gop¶s
experienced in the pastimes of RŒsa with Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. In
this way, the trees, the creepers, the flowers and everything
else there will give you the same Bliss that is in Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa. Because Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa Himself has become
everything in Goloka. Everything there is a manifestation
of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, and Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa alone. Nothing else exists
there besides Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. There the cows and calves and
whatever you see in the world or read about in Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa’s pastimes are all Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa Himself. There is
no other power than He, who manifests all the objects
there. It is only He who Himself becomes everything. You
will see it all for yourself when you go there. Right now,
just imagine yourself at the gates of Goloka. You cannot
enter because you are not yet eligible. To become eligible,
stand at the boundary of Goloka and shed tears, “Oh Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa! Grace me so that I may enter Your divine abode
and experience Your Divine Bliss.” This is meditation with
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the feeling ofviraha or separation. Meditation with a feeling
of
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
meeting, milana, is when you imagine that you are
standing at the boundary of Goloka and you see that Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa and Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ have come, the Gop¶s have also
come, along with your Guru. They all arrived there.
Remembering such pastimes, practise rµupadhyŒna with a
feeling of meeting, milana.

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RµupadhyŒna with the feeling of separation, viraha
As described earlier, visualize Ýhr¶ RŒdha K¾i¦hÄa standing
before you and shed tears saying, “Oh! My Beloveds! Why
aren’t You gracing me with Your divine vision and divine
touch? It is true that I am a great sinner who has
accumulated uncountable sins in innumerable lifetimes, but
You purify the sinners.

sak¾ideva prapannŒya tavŒsm¶ti cha yŒchate


abhayaÅ sarvabhµutebhyo dadŒmyetadvrataÅ mama
(VŒlm¶ki RŒmŒyaÄa)

“You have personally promised, ‘If ever the greatest sinner


completely surrenders to Me just once, he receives eternal
liberation’, then why are you delaying in my case? Oh,
Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, You may say, ‘You are not completely
surrendered. You are still full of pride. I am the friend of
all the humble souls. So become humble and see how I
shower My Grace on you.’ But my Lord, my mind and
intellect are completely corrupted and will not listen to
me. Please grace me somehow...”

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yadi dainyaÅ tvatk¾ipŒ heturnatadasti mamŒÄvapi
RADHA
tŒÅ k¾ipŒÅ GOVIND
kuru rŒdheÜha yayŒ teSAMITI
dainyamŒpnuyŒm

“Oh Friend of the destitute! You are the Lord of the


humble but I am a storehouse of pride. Please grace me
so that I can be humble.” “Oh! Ocean of Grace! I am so
fallen that although I call myself fallen and sinful, I only
think otherwise. But whatever I am, however I am, I am

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Yours and Yours alone. After uncountable lives I have been
blessed by You with this human body. With your Grace,
I have even been blessed with the association of a true
Guru and from him I received spiritual knowledge. But I
am just as I was before. I have firm faith that you will
accept me one day. No one has ever returned from Your
door disappointed. I have firmly resolved to attain Your
eternal service, no matter how many lives it may take.”
Say all this while shedding tears. You can take the help of
devotional songs composed by the Saints, but shedding
tears is a must. Reproach yourself again and again if tears
do not flow. Just continue your devotional practice. One
day you will surely attain your goal. There is no doubt
about it.

Out of these two types of meditation, meditation in


separation is superior. However, when you are tired of
that meditation in separation, switch to the meditation of
being united with your Beloved. Don’t let your mind
remain idle or it will go back to the area of your material
attachments. In this way practise rµupadhyŒna in different
ways. However, if in COPYRIGHT
spite of being careful, your mind
goes back to the world, don’t get angry or disappointed.
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
Just calmly visualize your Beloved Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa there. For
example, if you are very much attached to your mother or
your son and your mind goes to them again and again,
don’t get upset. Just think that beautiful Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is
there besides them. After practising this repeatedly, the
mind will be controlled and will stop going to the world.

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Just think of the effort it took you as a little child, to
learn the first letter of the alphabet. In the beginning, you
have to learn how to do any worldly task. Later it happens
by itself. I remember some foolishness from my own
childhood. I told my classmates that I wanted to learn
cycling. “Teach me how to ride a bicycle.” My classmates
instructed me very simply, “Just sit straight, look ahead,
hold the handlebars and keep pedaling.” With the
overconfidence of a child I said to them, “I will sit on the
bicycle. Just push me for a short distance and I will start
cycling.” My classmates pushed me some distance till the
speed increased and then let go. Now I got nervous and
thought, “What should I do?” Then I fell so badly that I
got bruised all over. Later I practised, following all the
rules, and one day I became so proficient that frequently
I would cycle around without even holding the handlebars.
So, success comes with practice.

avyŒsena tu kaunteya vairŒgyeÄa cha g¾ihyate


(G¶tŒ 6.35)

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To summarise, make the firm resolution and stubbornly
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decide that you have to meet your Beloved in this very
life. Intensify your yearning to see Him not in this life,
but within a year. Then decide to see Him not within a
year but on this very day. Keep on intensifying your
yearning to see your Beloved. Increasing your devotional
yearning is true devotion.

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When your yearning increases so much that without your
Beloved every moment seems like an eternity to you, then
at this final limit of devotion, through the Grace of God
and Guru, you will attain Divine Love.

To get the maximum benefit, be in the association of your


Guru, Rasika Saint for as long as possible. See him, interact
with him and serve him to the best of your ability. Listen
attentively to his divine words about Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. Always
bear in mind that you should not develop any spiritual
pride related to your devotional progress. Always think
that it is only due to the Grace of your Guru that you are
being benefited spiritually.

Scriptural Guidelines for Meditation


The unlimited beauty and sweetness of the auspicious
divine blissful form of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa can’t be described even
by Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa Himself. This is proved by the fact that
He Himself becomes so enchanted by His own beauty and
sweetness that He loses consciousness. When His own
mind becomes immersed in His Bliss, then what could He
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possibly describe in words?
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
vismŒpanaÅ svasya cha saubhagarddhe¬
(BhŒg. 3.2.12)

When Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa Himself becomes absorbed in His own


beauty, who else would not lose his external consciousness
on seeing His beautiful divine form, which is beyond all
description? That is why NŒrada J¶ says,

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mµukŒsvŒdanavat
(NŒrada Bhakti Sµutra, 52)

It is like the attempts of someone who is mute to describe


a particular taste. In other words taste can only be
understood through personal experience. But that
experience, too, cannot be described in words. Yet, that
beauty is experienced to some extent by the Gop¶s who are
one with Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa and who have His personal power
- Svarµupa Ýhakti. Actually, the limitless beauty of Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa cannot be described by limited words.
Nevertheless, for the welfare of the souls, all the Rasika
Saints have described His beauty using some worldly
examples just to give an idea,

tadapi kahe binu rahŒ na ko¶

A Rasika Saint says, “No one can restrain himself from


saying something about His blissful form and beauty. So,
even though I have a dry and unemotional heart, I am
going to make a meagre effort. If any devotee gets even
the slightest benefit from this, I will consider myself
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extremely fortunate and I will be able to tell God that one
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person has been benefited from my efforts and therefore I
should be rewarded with a little Grace from Him.”

I have told you before that an individual soul bound by


MŒyŒ is unaware of all the beauty that exists, even in the
material world. Then how could he imagine or conceive

36
something divine? Even if you could experience the
combined beauty of uncountable worlds, and if that
combined beauty were compared to the beauty found in
the celestial regions, it would be like comparing the beauty
of a Miss Universe to an extremely ugly sow! But the
topmost beauty, even in the celestial regions, is that of
KŒmadeva and Rati, his consort. But even their beauty
multiplied countless times cannot match the beauty of Ýhr¶
RŒdhŒ K¾i¦hÄa. So who is able to describe Their beauty
and sweetness? The most beautiful person in the celestial
regions, the god of beauty, KŒmadeva, falls unconscious
upon seeing even the beauty of the Gop¶s of Braja.
Therefore, the question arises – “How could any devotee
sustain such beauty and sweetness?” This question is
appropriate. It is impossible for the material mind and
intellect to sustain unlimited Divine Bliss. However, I have
already explained to you that when Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa graces a
devotee with His personal power, Ývarµupa Ýhakti or
YogamŒyŒ, this power bestows upon the devotee the capacity
to sustain unlimited Divine Bliss. It is only after attaining
this power that the devotee can behave like a normal
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person even while experiencing unlimited Bliss. All
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attempts by your intellect to reason this out will fail, which
is natural: because, this is beyond the comprehension of a
MahŒrŒsa, though
material intellect. During the pastimes of
immersed in unlimited Divine Bliss, the Gop¶s were singing,
dancing and playing on musical instruments to the exact
beat of musical notes. How did they even remain

37
conscious? This is all the inconceivable miracle of the
personal power of God, Ývarµupa Ýhakti.
The beauty of Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ K¾i¦hÄa beautifies ‘Beauty’ itself.
A devotee can imagine Their beauty as being uncountable
times greater than the greatest beauty he could imagine.
As a devotee continues in his devotional practice, his heart
becomes more and more purified and accordingly through
the Grace of Ývarµupa Ýhakti, he experiences more and more
divinity in the form of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa he visualizes in his
rµupadhyŒna.
I am going to describe God’s form for rµupadhyŒna as it is
related in the scriptures. First of all, I’ll describe the colour
of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s beautiful form. His divine beauty is
greater than the combined beauty of countless KŒmadeva,
the god of beauty. It can primarily be compared to three
objects,

i. A sapphire, indran¶lamaÄi
ii. A blue lotus, n¶lakamala
iii. A bluish rain-laden cloud, n¶la-jaladhara
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RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
All three have their own distinctive characteristics.
Therefore, it would be best to combine the characteristics
of all three to visualize the exquisitely beautiful body of
Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. You should keep in mind, however, that this
is not a true comparison, because material objects cannot
be compared to anything divine. These examples are just

38
to give an idea to the devotee in the beginning as a basis
for his meditation. A sapphire has lustre, effulgence, and
blue colour. A blue lotus has blue colour, softness and a
special fragrance. A blue rain-laden cloud has blue colour,
a pleasant coolness and a soothing effect. Put all these
qualities together and multiply them uncountables times
and visualize Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s form accordingly.

There is also another way to conceive this. Look at the


bluish flower of the linseed plant, alas¶ in the reddish early
morning rays of the sun. Multiply the beauty of this
pleasing colour uncountable times to imagine the blue
complexion of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s body. If any ParamahaÅsa
were to have even the slightest glimpse of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s
beautiful form, the bliss he would receive would be so
great that countless times over he would willingly sacrifice
his blissful absorption in Impersonal Brahman, and remain
absorbed in the beauty and sweetness of just one part of
Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s body, forever! Then what can be said about
the beauty and charm of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s entire body?

Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s face is round and it has the lustre and


beauty of uncountable COPYRIGHT
moons. When Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s laughs,
the lustre of His teeth, which are the colour of whitish
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
pomegranate seeds, combine with the reddish lustre of His
lips to form a garland of light on His broad chest. The
bluish attractive lustre of His chest also wants to rise and
mix with the whiteness of His teeth and the redness of
His lips to present an extraordinary picture of a confluence
of these three colours.

39
Above His broad forehead is a beautiful golden crown
studded with divine gems which is scattering sparkling
beams of multicoloured light. His crown has strings of
shimmering pearls of various colours that are adding to
its dazzling beauty. The splendour of the peacock feather
inserted in the crown is beyond description. The dazzling
multicoloured glitter of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s crown is falling on
His beautiful face and presenting an extraordinary sight.
Golden earrings studded with various gems are hanging
from His beautiful blue ears and they are reflecting
multicoloured hues off His bluish cheeks. It is almost as if
His crown and the His earrings are competing with each
other to shower multicoloured hues on His round cheeks.
Each colour seems to be competing with the others to be
most prominent. From Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s beautiful blue nose,
which puts a parrot’s beak to shame, is suspended a pearl
nose-ornament muktŒhala, which is contributing its lustre
to the colours of His crown and earrings. The blue colour
of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s cheeks is trying to distinguish itself from
the other colours and become most prominent. The sparkle
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and brilliance of these various colours is producing an
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
indescribable sight.

To summarize, Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s beautiful face is radiating


beautiful blue effulgence. Combined with that is the
brilliance of the gems and pearls in the crown. Then there
are the dazzling gems in the two earrings. Also, there is
the splendour of the pearl nose ornament, which is swaying

40
gently and kissing His mouth. All these combine together
to produce an extraordinary brilliance.

The splendour of the fragrant musk tilaka on His broad


blue forehead is even more remarkable. It is as though
two streaks of lightning have found a permanent home
there. The dazzle of the tilaka lines combined with the
multi-hued brilliance of the golden crown, combines further
with the blue lustre of the forehead. The fluctuating
brilliance of these various forms of effulgence gives the
appearance of the vigorous tŒÄÎava dance in motion. It
isn’t surprising that the tilaka lines have been compared to
restless streaks of lightning. Even MahŒlak¦hm¶ remains
firmly fixed in His heart.

Only Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ can completely enjoy the Bliss of Ýhr¶


K¾i¦hÄa’s lotus eyes, which are overflowing with Divine
Love and attracting even the ParamahaÅsas. Perhaps it is
for this reason that great ParamahaÅsas like Sanaka,
SanŒtana, Sanat KumŒra and others take the form of His
rising and falling curly black locks of hair. After falling
and drinking the nectar of Divine Love from His lotus
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eyes, they again rise upwards in an intoxicated manner.
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s eyes are large and reach almost to His ears.
Three streams of Divine Love in the form of the redness,
whiteness and blackness of His lotus eyes continually pour
out Divine Love to inundate every pore of the Rasika Saints.
His blue eyelids alternately reveal and cover His eyes to
give an experience of meeting and separation to the Gop¶s

41
so that they may not be drowned forever in His eyes’
fathomless ocean of Divine Love. The Gop¶s constantly drink
the nectar of Divine Love through His eyes in ever-new
ways.

Above His eyelids are His arched, mischievous, and


flirtatious eyebrows that act like Cupid’s bows. Multi-
coloured rays of light fall on these eyebrows from the
jewels in His gold crown above, and produce a special
Bliss. His lotus eyes with beautiful brows and eyelids are
so bewitching that even Lord ÝhaÆkara, the destroyer of
the universe, cannot resist their enchantment. When he
witnesses Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s sidelong glances and His sweet
and gentle smile, he transforms himself into a Gop¶ to taste
the nectar of Divine Bliss in the MahŒrŒsa. He attains that
extraordinary Bliss, which even MahŒlak¦hm¶, who resides
eternally in Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s heart, could not attain!

nŒyaÅ Ühriyo’Æga u nitŒntarate¬ prasŒda¬


svaryo¦hitŒÅ nalina gandha ruchŒÅ kuto’nyŒ¬
rŒsotsave’sya bhujadaÄÎag¾ih¶takaÄ¢ha
labdhŒÜhi¦hŒÅ ya udagŒd brajasundar¶ÄŒm
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RADHA GOVIND SAMITI


Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s beautiful lotus face is shining exquisitely
with gorgeous ornaments. Whatever part of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s
body a fortunate soul happens to see, he feels that part is
the most beautiful. When he sees another part, he feels
that part is more beautiful than the first part. No matter
how many times you look at one part of His face, it seems

42
more enchanting and more blissful at that moment than
the moment before. This is the nature of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s
divine body. It appears ever-new and ever-fresh. Always
remember, that ÝhyŒmŒ ÝhyŒma’s ornaments are not only
divine, but fully conscious too. Actually, They Themselves
take the form of Their garments and ornaments. Therefore,
every pore of Their divine bodies as well as Their clothes
and ornaments have exactly the same unique blissful
quality of Divine Love. Sometimes specially graced divine
personalities are blessed with a chance to serve Them as
Their ornaments or Their clothes. For example, once Lord
ÝhaÆkara served Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa in the form of His flute.

Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s broad, well-built beautiful shoulders are even


putting a lion’s shoulders to shame. In the centre of these
broad shoulders is His beautiful divine blue throat. His
neck is adorned with the glittering Kaustubha jewel and
various necklaces of vivid colours and various jewels and
pearls, which are moving and casting their effulgence in
all directions. Out of these necklaces, one fits closely around
His neck and is studded with pearls and jewels. Some
necklaces reach His chest and some His waist, and some
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guÛjamŒlŒ is radiating its own
go down to His knees. His
special
RADHA
effulgence.
GOVIND SAMITI
The vanamŒlŒ, the forest flower garland is made of tulas¶,
basil, kunda, jasmine, kamala, lotus, mandŒra, the coral tree
or swallow-wort and pŒrijŒta, a heavenly or divine flower.
These fragrances are competing with one another for
prominence. These divine fragrances combine with the

43
divine perfume of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s own body and produce
an even more extraordinary effect. Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s divine
body is annointed with a mixture of saffron and
sandalwood paste. An indescribable fragrance is emanating
from the combination of the fragrances of this divine
ointment, the fragrances of the flowers in the vanamŒlŒ
and the perfume of His divine body. The Gop¶s of Braja
constantly experience all these divine fragrances.

These fragrances are known as the eight divine fragrances,


a¦h¢a saugandhya. They are:

i. The fragrance of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s lotus face;

ii. The fragrance of the sandalwood paste smeared


on His divine body;

iii. The combined fragrance of saffron, kuÅkuma and


sandalwood paste, harichandana;
iv. The subtle aroma of saffron;

v. The fragrance of the tulas¶ strung on the vanamŒlŒ


garland;
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vi. The fragrance of the various forest flowers strung
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into garlands;

vii. The mixture of saffron, sandalwood and various


flower garlands;

viii. The fragrance of His lotus face combined with


all other fragrances.

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RŒdhŒ RŒn¶ is one with Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. Her divine body
also has sixteen special adornments and emanates the eight
divine fragrances. Besides this, the eight fragrances of Ýhr¶
RŒdhŒ and Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa combine to form an extraordinary
ninth fragrance.

Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s well-built, rounded, beautiful long blue arms,


as well as His other limbs, are annointed with a mixture
of saffron and sandalwood paste. Those mighty arms are
ornamented with radiant gold bracelets and two jewel-
studded armlets whose golden lustre is casting its divine
effulgence in all directions. His lotus-like soft palms, which
are softer than lotus petals, have a red glow that irresistibly
drowns the minds of great ParamahaÅsas in the ocean of
infinite bliss. What can be said of His captivating beautiful
form when He holds the flute in His hands? Looking at
this enchanting form, even the ParamahaÅsas who have
transcended all body consciousness desire to drink the
nectar of His beauty, forgetting their divine trance. When
He plays on His flute standing in a pose elegantly bent at
the hips, shoulders and neck with His legs gently bent
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and crossed, the unlimited bliss of Impersonal Brahman
multipliedRADHA
uncountableGOVIND SAMITI
times seems to be insignificant in
comparison. The Rasikas love Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa in His two-
armed form. Only the devotees of ÜhŒnta bhŒva worship
the four armed form of MahŒvi¦hÄu, the supreme almighty
God. ShŒnta bhŒva includes awe, reverence and fear of God
more than that of close, loving intimacy.

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dvibhujaÅ jیna mudrŒÎhyaÅ vanamŒlinam¶Ühvaram
(GopŒla TŒpan¶ya Up.)

yatrŒvat¶rÄaÅ Ühr¶k¾i¦hÄaÅ parabrahmanarŒk¾iti¬


(Vi¦hÄu PurŒÄa)

gµuÎhaÅ paraÅ brahma manu¦hya liÆgam


(Bhag.)

You must remember that Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa Himself is also four-


armed MahŒvi¦hÄu. Therefore, it is not correct to consider
that there is a difference between MahŒvi¦hÄu and Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa. It is only from the point of view of the experience
of Bliss that the Rasikas do not find the form of
MahŒvi¦hÄu as loving.

On His radiant blue chest there are two lines of hair on


the left and right side, which are called dak¦hiČvarta and
vŒmavarta respectively. The right line of hair is the special
mark known as the Ühr¶vatsa. The line of hair on the left
side is the eternal residence of MahŒlak¦hm¶. Between these
two is the footprint of the best of Brahmins, Bh¾igu. Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa is wearing a glorious golden thread across His
chest, which comes from over His left shoulder and passes
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under the right, and reaches to His hips. When each
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ornament adjoins its neighbouring ornament it produces a
new, third ornament. You just could not bear the blissful
vision of all the ornaments together. On seeing just one
ornament, selfless, self-satisfied ParamahaÅsas forget their
Impersonal unwavering trance and call out “Oh! K¾i¦hÄa!”
and entering into a Divine Love trance, they display the

46
eight ecstatic symptoms of Divine Love and fall
unconscious. A fine cloth,kŒchhan¶ wraps around His well-
formed waist, and is tied over His yellow p¶tŒmbara in an
attractive manner. A golden waist ornament karadhan¶,
studded with jewels encircles His hips. The sweet tinkling
sound it produces captivates the minds of the sages and
forever puts an end to the ‘anahada nŒda’ (paradoxical
‘unstruck sound’ heard when the soul merges in the
Absolute) of the great yog¶s. The combination of the lustre
of His waist-belt, the sparkle of its inset jewels and the
blue lustre of His divine body, is showering amazing multi-
hues in all directions.

Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s two lotus feet are annointed with a paste of


saffron and divine musk. The blueness of His thighs and
hips and the yellow of His p¶tŒmbara create a charming
confluence. Just glimpsing this, the viewer becomes
spellbound. A swaying p¶tŒmbara, a silken yellow cloth,
extends from His broad shoulders to His lotus feet. Its
edges are decorated with coloured gems that further
enhance the sweetness of His vision.

What can be said aboutCOPYRIGHT


His lotus feet? The fragrance alone
of the tulas¶ leaves placed on those feet ended the
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
impersonal trance of the four Sanat KumŒras. Then what
could be said about the effect of the fragrance of His feet?
The effulgence of the golden gem-studded anklets adorning
His lotus feet is extraordinary. The sweet tinkling of those
ankle-bells creates divine passion in the minds of RudrŒÄ¶,
BrahmŒÄ¶ and MahŒlak¦hm¶, the eternal consorts of the

47
governors of the world. How can the softness of those
two lotus feet be described? Collect all the softness of the
uncountable worlds together and then multiply it
uncountable times. That will give you an idea of the
softness of MahŒlak¦hm¶’s divine body. But her tenderness
is nothing in comparison to the softness of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s
lotus feet. That is why she massages His feet gently, with
great caution and tenderness.

The effulgence of the ten moon-like toenails of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa


create passion in the minds of the sages who have
conquered desire. It is as though the eleven Rudras, the
eleven manifestations of Lord ÝhaÆkara, have taken forms
as the effulgent glow of His toenails to practise devotion
to Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa – ten as the ten toenails and one as the
observer. Don’t take this comparison to mean that Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa is the Master and Lord ÝhaÆkara is His servant.
In reality the two are one. In divine pastimes, sometimes
Lord ÝhaÆkara performs devotion to Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, and
sometimes Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa performs devotion to Lord
ÝhaÆkara. In AyodhyŒ, Lord ÝhaÆkara assumed the form
of a Brahmin well-versed in the Pur΀as and explained the
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glories of ÝhaÆkara to Ýhr¶ RŒma, then Ýhr¶ RŒma became
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
ÝhaÆkara, and ÝhaÆkara became Ýhr¶ RŒma. All these divine
pastimes are beyond intellectual comprehension.

At the start of the toenails is a charming reddish hue


above which there is the bluish hue of His feet. The nails
themselves are brilliant white. There is a confluence of
these three colours on His lotus feet.

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The soles of His lotus feet have various divine impressions
like that of the chakra, the disc, lotus and so on. According
to the Vi¦hÄu PurŒÄa there are fifteen such auspicious
markings, whose secret only Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa knows. The
various Vai¦hnava spiritual masters have explained the
meanings of these markings in different ways, but no one
knows the real meaning except Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa Himself. A
devotee should not get caught up in all these useless
discussions. He should just remain absorbed in the loving
remembrance of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s names, forms, pastimes,
virtues and so on, and desire His eternal divine service.
Then he will also naturally desire to remain a million miles
away from knowledge related to God’s almightiness.

Just think: Two men went to a mango orchard. The first


man asked for a mango, ate it and left. The second man,
using logic and arguments, started asking the gardener,
“Whose orchard is this? How many years has it been here?
How was this tree planted? Did the tree come from the
seed or the seed from the tree? Did the seed come first or
the tree?” While engaging in these arguments, he suddenly
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died. Without ever having tasted a mango, he left this
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world, and then too, without coming to any conclusion.
Therefore, true Rasika Saints do not get involved in these
useless discussions. They consider Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa to be either
equal to or even lesser than themselves. But it is only the
sentiment of adoration and love that pervades all their
relationship with Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa.

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ŒpanŒ ke baÎa mŒne ŒmŒra samah¶na
(Chaitanya CharitŒval¶)

Always remember that the divine markings on the soles


of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s lotus feet can be seen only by the Rasika
Saints, who have attained divine vision through His Grace.
Unqualified souls bound by MŒyŒ can only see material
objects with their material vision. We have seen Ýhr¶ RŒma
and Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa uncountable times during Their
descensions. God is not older than the individual soul.
Therefore, since eternity and up to now we have seen Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa uncountable times, but we never benefited from
this. Rather, it has done us harm. Due to our false pride
and material senses, mind and intellect, we were not
benefited in the least. Instead, we found faults in Him.
Our benefit depends on the intensity of our devotion to
Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. An ocean has unlimited water but what we
are able to take is determined by the size of our container.
We will be fully benefited from seeing Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s divine
form, ornaments, and so on, only after receiving His divine
power and attaining God realization.
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In this way I have thoroughly described the process of
RADHA GOVIND
rµupadhyŒna
practising the
SAMITI
of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa. Even though it
can’t be said to be an actual description, nevertheless it is
according to the scriptures and the writings based on the
experiences of Rasika Saints. But, it is not necessary for a
devotee to completely adopt this particular style of
rµupadhyŒna. This is only a base. These were the types of

50
clothes and ornaments worn by Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa during His
descension, as was the custom at that time.

You can keep on changing your visualization of Ýhr¶


K¾i¦hÄa’s form in ever-new ways because initially the mind
wants new forms, ornaments, etc. The mind does not
become attached to a single name, form, quality or pastime.
Later, as one starts experiencing bliss, just hearing the first
syllable ‘RŒ’ of RŒdhe will overwhelm a devotee with
loving emotion.

rakŒrŒd¶ni nŒmŒni Ühr¶Ävato mama pŒrvati


mana¬ prasannatŒÅ yŒti rŒmanŒmŒbhi ÜhaÆkayŒ
(Padma Pur΀a)

Lord ÝhaÆkara says to PŒrvat¶, “When someone says ‘RŒ’


I become overjoyed that he will say ‘Ma’ afterwards.” This
is even if the person actually intends to say “RŒvaÄa!”

So, it would be best for you to keep on changing the age,


form, ornaments, pastimes and so on of Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ K¾i¦hÄa
in rµupadhyŒna. Sometimes remember Them fully decorated
as I explained above. Sometimes imagine an abbreviated
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form of this. You are even free to visualize Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa
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without any decorations at all, such as when in your
rµupadhyŒna you are bathing baby K¾i¦hÄa in a golden tub.
You will have to remove His ornaments at that time. You
have complete freedom, whenever and however you wish,
to change His form and decorations in your devotional
remembrance. Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is so merciful that He has made

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no rules and regulations for practising His devotion. The
same could not be said for celestial gods and goddesses,
humans and so on, where there are strict rules. The slightest
breach in these rules results in a punishment instead of a
reward. But in case of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa this is not so,

yena kena prakŒreÄa mana¬ k¾i¦hÄe niveÜhayet


(Bhakti RasŒm¾itŒ Sindhu)

The only and most important criterion is selfless devotion.


DhannŒjŒta imbued a stone used for grinding hemp with
divine feelings and worshipped it as God. As a result Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa was bound to him due to his selfless devotion.
The ÜhŒligrŒma is just an ordinary round stone, but
uncountable souls have become Rasika Saints by having
loving emotions towards such a stone and worshipping it
as the symbol of God. God is attained only through selfless
devotion. By any means one’s mind should be completely
attached to God.

byŒdhasyŒcharaÄaÅdhruvasya cha vayoviddyŒgajendrasya ka


kubjŒyŒ¬ kimunŒma rµupamadhikaÅ kiÅ tatsudŒmnodhanam
jŒti¬ ko vidurasyayŒdavapate
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bhaktyŒ tu¦hyati kevalaÅ na cha guÄaurbhakti priyo mŒdhava¬
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
The actions of VŒlm¶ki, the hunter, were base. Dhruva was
just a little child. What intelligence did the elephant
GajarŒja have? KubjŒ’s name and form were contemptible.
What wealth did the brahmin SudŒmŒ have? What superior
caste did Vidura belong to? What great spiritual merit did

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Ugrasena earn? What they all had was selfless devotion to
Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa and that alone is dear to Him. The remaining
external things are dear to selfish worldly people. Therefore,
any means by which you develop love for Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is
true devotion, that alone is true action, that alone is true
dharma, that alone is true knowledge and understanding.
Devotion to Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is all that matters.

When I was 16, I saw a unique Saint in the dense jungles


near ÝharabhaÆga Ührama. Learned scholars would laugh
at his method of practising devotion. He was sitting with
a broken mirror and broken comb inside his hut made of
leaves. He would comb his withered hair again and again
with it and check his appearance in his broken mirror.
Then he would restlessly look here and there and call out,
“Oh! Beloved! Oh, Lord of my life!” A little while later he
would start crying like a child. Sometime after that he
would become ecstatic, as if he had attained something,
and then would start laughing loudly. Sometimes he would
act offended and sulk. Sometimes he would dance. His
state was very unique. I watched him quietly. After a few
hours, when he came back to normal consciousness, I went
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before him and respectfully bowed and asked him, “What
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were you doing just now?” He replied simply and
innocently as a little child, “Sakh¶, you don’t know. My
Beloved may come at any moment. I always keep myself
ready to welcome Him.” He embraced me after saying
this. I have not forgotten that embrace to this day. It was
the anxious embrace of a woman suffering the pangs of

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separation from her beloved. Then he recovered and said,
“You should also keep yourself ready. He is very
mischievous. He arrives unexpectedly.” Now just think -
in which scripture is this peculiar style of devotion
described? But Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa is causelessly merciful. He just
wants every soul to love Him. There are no rules and
regulations to love Him. Everyone or anyone can love Him
in his own style.

Both a great ParamahaÅsa who is pure in heart, as well as


the most ignorant simpleton can practise devotion to Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa, and both will receive the very same divine
outcome. In other words, there is no fixed form or style.
You can practise rµupadhyŒna according to what is pleasing
to you. If Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa were to come today as your child,
you would dress and decorate Him according to current
standards. Because of His deluding divine power, YogamŒyŒ,
you would not know that your child is Supreme Lord,
otherwise all the pleasure of your parent-child relationship
would come to an end. You would dress Him in pants
and a shirt and give Him a watch. Nowadays in India, all
the children play cricket, hockey and so on. As your son,
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Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa would naturally play these games. Therefore,
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
dress Him as you like. God does not have any personal
desires. He acts according to the desire of His devotees.
His every pastime is just a physical manifestation of His
devotees’ desires – whether it is stubbornly demanding
butter from His mother, or performing RŒsa with the
greatest of Rasika Saints, the Gop¶s of Braja. All His pastimes

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are simply to fulfil the desires of His devotees. Just as a
devotee constantly longs to please His Lord, Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa
also longs to bestow Divine Bliss on His devotees in the
form of MahŒrŒsa.
Remain ever absorbed in the loving remembrance of Ýhr¶
K¾i¦hÄa. Shed tears and live in longing for His Love and
Vision.

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Practical Devotion
Sing the divine names, virtues, pastimes and so on of Ýhr¶
RŒdhŒ K¾i¦hÄa, shed tears and increase longing for Their
Love and Vision.

The best form of Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ K¾i¦hÄa for rµupadhyŒna is the


image visualized by you. However, according to your
interest, you can take the help of a picture or a deity. But
you must imbibe that image with divine sentiments,
because Their actual form is divine.

Visualize Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa’s divine form to be between the


ages of a newborn child and a sixteen-year-old youth.
Adorn and dress Him in ever-new ways, as you like.

Along with visualizing Ýhr¶ RŒdhŒ K¾i¦hÄa’s forms, also


meditate on Their pastimes, and think about Their divine
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qualities such as – being the purifiers of the fallen, friends
RADHA GOVIND SAMITI
of the destitute and the humble, and so on.

You should consider Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa, His names, forms,


qualities, pastimes, abodes and Saints to be one. They are
all different manifestations of Ýhr¶ K¾i¦hÄa Himself.

Abandon all desires for your own pleasure, including the


desire for liberation.

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Think that your worshipped form of God and Guru are
always and everywhere with you as your guardians and
observers. Never consider yourself to be alone.

In your spare time, anywhere and everywhere, with every


breath keep on repeating the divine name, “RŒdhe-
ÝhyŒma”. Avoid seeing the faults of others or criticising
anyone (even if they deserve to be criticised). Avoid
making a show of your devotion, being lazy, associating
with worldly people, pessimism, despondency or any other
form of kusaÆga.
Avoid committing spiritual transgressions. Remember,
“He alone is my everything.”

Kripalu

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RADHA GOVIND SAMITI

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Abbreviations
BhŒg. BhŒgavatam
Up. Upani¦had
Taitti Taittir¶ya
ÝhvetŒ ÝhvetŒÜhvatara
ºÜha ºÜha
Kena Kena
Ka¢ha Ka¢ha
MuÄÎaka MuÄÎaka
MŒÄεukya MŒÄεukya
ChhŒn. ChhŒndogya
B¾ihad. B¾ihadŒraÄyaka
ÝhŒ¢hyŒyan¶ ÝhŒ¢hyŒyan¶
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RŒdhŒtŒpan¶ RŒdhŒtŒpan¶
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