Refutation of the views of Rādhāgovinda Svāmī —


According to Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava theology, in an impure heart, right from the beginning of sādhanā (devotional practice), all the desires of sense gratification and liberation averse to the service of Śrī-Kṛṣṇa, are to be ignored as how the venomous fangs of a serpent are removed (see 1st verse of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmipāda’s Upadeśāmṛtaikādaśakam), rather than being in their control and endeavoring to fulfill them. With timely spiritual progress, at the stage of anartha-nivṛtti, the desires of sense-gratification and liberation which are residing in the heart like fangless serpents are completely destroyed/eradicated (though their seed may not be destroyed till the stage of ātyantikī anartha-nivṛtti which occurs only at the juncture of bhāva/rati and prema — as analogous to the burning of a seed which looses the potency of regrowth). This is akin to killing of the serpent.

If one accepts the wrong principle that one will eventually gain niṣkāma-bhakti, with desires existing in the heart and thus performing sakāma-bhakti along with engaging in the fulfillment of such desires, we would like to assert that this happens only in the case of certain very few extraordinary great souls on account of exceptional mercy of Śrīmatī Bhaktidevī. Dhruva remained, for a long time, a sakāma devotee despite associating with the supremely niṣkāma-bhakta Nārada Muni. Moreover, even demi-gods like Indradeva remain sakāma despite having interview (darśanam) of the Lord on multiple occasions and despite being considered in the adhikṛta-dāsa category of the dāsya-bhaktas of Śrī Bhagavān (refer to Bhaktirasāmṛtasindhu for further details).

To conclude, only in the case of exceptional devotees like Dhruva, by the independent will of Bhaktidevī {in which, there cannot be any interference of either Śrī Bhagavān, śuddha-bhakta and even the sakāma-bhakta. If Śrī Bhagavān could interfere, Indra and others would have become niṣkāma after having His darśanam or direct audience. If the pure devotee could interfere, Dhruva would have become niśkāma by associating with Nārada. When Śrī Bhagavān cannot influence the independent will of Śrīmatī Bhaktidevī, how can a sakāma bhakta do the same? In the first chapter of Śrī Mādhurya-kādambinī, according to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravarttipāda, it is due only to the independent will/mercy of Bhaktidevī that one gains entrance into the first phase of uttamā (pure) bhakti viz. sādhana-bhaktiSādhana-bhakti begins after the manifestation of pāramārthikī or nirguṇā / śāstrīyā śraddhā (divine faith generated from scriptural views and aloof from the three modes of material nature). Sakāma-bhakti has never been considered sādhana-bhakti} will special devotees like Dhruva become niṣkāma from sakāma. Not all types of sakāma devotees become niṣkāma. The matter is exceptional and not general.

Śrī Caitanyadeva has, in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta – during the context of Sanātana’s śikṣā, shown that the general rule is that, if a practitioner of pure devotion maintains material desires (or even the desire for liberation) in his heart, even the irrigation of the seed of the creeper of śuddha-bhakti (pure devotion) cannot make it grow. On the contrary, just as the wild Śyāmā weed growing along with the paddy plant consumes all the nutrients, fertilizer, water etc., and doesn’t let these get to the paddy plant, similarly, the water and nutrients of the 9 kinds of devotional service beginning with śravaṇam, kīrttanam etc. will be consumed and wasted for the achievement of material sense enjoyment and liberation (bhoga and mokṣa) and the seed of pure devotion sitting in the heart will dry up. That is why the verse of the Śrīmadbhāgavatam, “rājan patir gurur alam……..astv eva maṅga bhagvān bhajatāṁ mukundo muktiṁ dadāti karhichit sma na bhaktiyogam” (also quoted in the Eastern Division, Ch. 1st of Śrībhaktirasāmṛtasindhu) says that Śrī Bhagavān allures the practitioner with the baits of sense enjoyment and liberation, but doesn’t bestow prema in most of the cases. This is the general rule. To cite an exception as a general rule is against correct scriptural principle (apasiddhānta).

The views of ISKCONite RGS can be studied here in Hindi as well as their Hindi refutation by us —



— — Bhaktirasavedāntapītḥādhīśvara Ācārya Śrī RKDS ‘ĀV’ Gurupāda (BRVF – Anand, Gujarat, India)


— Rendered into English by Mr. Samarth Singh Kang (Jaipur, RJ IN) aka Sundarānandadāsa Adhikārī Jī (Late HH BVNM — IGVS)


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