Maintaining Devotion during Unsteady Practice: Conclusion

By highlighting the mentalities of unsteady devotional practice in his Madhurya Kadambini, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has provided great assistance to the devotional neophyte. Direct experience or observance of the six specific stages, and other lingering materialistic mentalities and emotions not mentioned, that arises during initial devotional practice affords a...

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Maintaining Steady Devotion during Unsteady Practice: Stage 6

Stage 6: Frolicking in bhakti’s pleasant waves - taranga rangini. Distinguished in human society the devotee is awarded labha (profit), puja (adoration) and pratistha (distinction). In the vast and unlimited ocean of bhakti-rasa such rewards, by-products of bhakti, are only small waves (taranga) of personal pleasure (ranga). However, such benefits,...

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Maintaining Steady Devotion during Unsteady Practice: Stage 5

Stage 5: Unfulfilled commitment – niyamaksamah   Broken vows [niyamaksamah] as presented in the section of Madhurya Kadambini dealing with anistha bhajana kriya refers to the recurring unfulfilled desire on the part of the sadhaka to enhance their devotional practice. The distinction between the 4th stage, battling the senses [visaya...

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Maintaining Steady Devotion during Unsteady Practice: Stage 4

Stage 4: A battle with the senses - viṣaya sangaraḥ . The beginning sadhaka’s battle [sangaraḥ] with material sense enjoyment [visayah] differs considerably from that undertaken by the religionist, jnani or yogi. The bhakta’s practice has a positive orientation of engagement in the activities of pure devotion - sravanam, kirtanam,...

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Maintaining Steady Devotion during Unsteady Practice: Stage 3

Stage 3: Parading possibilities - vyudha vikalpa. During this stage doubts and wild speculations assail one’s resolve by presentation of various prospects of accelerated advancement through a major adjustment of lifestyle or service. The householder may think of renouncing his family responsibilities; the brahmacari contemplates family life; one engaged in...

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Maintaining Steady Devotion during Unsteady Practice, Stage 2

Stage 2: Productive and inattentive service - ghana-tarala. The nature of the mind is flickering and unsteady [cancala], constantly accepting and rejecting according to various considerations and circumstances. At times scriptural purport is easily comprehended and appreciated, and at other times clear understanding does not come and we are not...

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