Lord Nityananda Prabhu-the Transcendental Avadhuta


NOD 2--There are certain prescribed methods for employing our senses and mind in such a way that our dormant consciousness for loving Kṛṣṇa will be invoked, as much as the child, with a little practice, can begin to walk. One who has no basic walking capacity cannot walk by practice. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be aroused simply by practice. Actually there is no such practice. When we wish to develop our innate capacity for devotional service there are certain processes which, by our accepting and executing them, will cause that dormant capacity to be invoked. Such practice is called sādhana-bhakti.
Every living entity under the spell of material energy is held to be in an abnormal condition of madness. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, "Generally, the conditioned soul is mad because he is always engaged in activities which are the causes of bondage and suffering." Spirit soul in its original condition is joyful, blissful, eternal and full of knowledge. Only by his implication in material activities has he become miserable, temporary and full of ignorance. This is due to vikarma. Vikarma means actions which should not be done. Therefore, we must practice sādhana-bhakti-which means to offer maṅgala-ārātrika (Deity worship) in the morning, to refrain from certain material activities, to offer obeisances to the spiritual master and to follow many other rules and regulations which will be discussed here one after another. These practices will help one become cured of madness. As a man's mental disease is cured by the directions of a psychiatrist, so this sādhana-bhakti cures the conditioned soul of his madness under the spell of māyā, material illusion.
Nārada Muni mentions this sādhana-bhakti in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Seventh Canto, 1st Chapter, 30th verse. He says there to King Yudhiṣṭhira: "My dear King, one has to fix his mind on Kṛṣṇa by any means." That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is the duty of the ācārya, the spiritual master, to find the ways and means for his disciple to fix his mind on Kṛṣṇa. That is the beginning of sādhana-bhakti.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given us an authorized program for this purpose, centered around the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This chanting has so much power that it immediately attaches one to Kṛṣṇa. That is the beginning of sādhana-bhakti. Somehow or other, one has to fix his mind on Kṛṣṇa. The great saint Ambarīṣa Mahārāj, although a responsible king, fixed his mind on Kṛṣṇa, and similarly anyone who tries to fix his mind in this way will very rapidly make progress in successfully reviving his original Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Now this sādhana-bhakti, or practice of devotional service, can also be divided into two parts. The first part is called regulative principles: one has to follow these different regulative principles by the order of the spiritual master, or on the strength of authoritative scriptures, and there can be no question of refusal. That is called vaidhi, or regulated. One has to do it without any argument. Another part of sādhana-bhakti is called rāgānugā. Rāgānugā refers to the point at which, by following the regulative principles, one becomes a little more attached to Kṛṣṇa, and executes devotional service out of natural love. For example, a person engaged in devotional service may be ordered to rise early in the morning and offer ārātrika, which is a form of Deity worship. In the beginning, by the order of his spiritual master, one rises early in the morning and offers ārātrika, but then he develops real attachment. When he gets this attachment, he automatically tries to decorate the Deity and prepare different kinds of dresses and thinks of different plans to execute his devotional service nicely. Although it is within the category of practice, this offering of loving service is spontaneous. So the practice of devotional service, sādhana-bhakti, can be divided into two parts-namely, regulative and spontaneous.
Rūpa Gosvāmī defines the first part of devotional practice, or vaidhi-bhakti, as follows: "When there is no attachment or no spontaneous loving service to the Lord, and one is engaged in the service of the Lord simply out of obedience to the order of the spiritual master or in pursuance of the scriptures, such obligatory service is called vaidhi-bhakti."
Some Conclusions--Prabhupada states above that anyone who is in any way under the influences of the Maya, or the material energy of the Lord-is a madman. For some of us  card carrying Hare Krishnas, this may be a hard pill to swallow, but the proofs of who and who is not under the "clutches" of Maya is there all over in Bhagavad gita. Even for one who is in the mode of goodness, the typical bona fide "brahmana" he is also under those same clutches of maya devi, to some degree or other. Prabhupada tells us in one purport that from that material platform of brahmana, one has to transcend that- and then come to the Vaisnava platform which is not under the influences of Maya devi at all.  As long as we have not uncovered our individual eternal relationship with Krsna, then we are still being influenced by maya to some degree or other because we will "think" we are a "brahmana", or worse still, American, Indian, man, woman, etc.
There was one nice story Srila Prabhupada told about a psychiatrist in India who was called to testify about the mental sanity of one person on trial for murder and he told the judge, that in his professional opinion, everyone here in this world is- more or less a madman.
So first we have to recognize that yes we are somehow or other, to some degree small or large,  a madman because we are constantly making plans to be comfortable, safe or happy in this world.  How much of our day is spent in trying to act in the capacity of Krsna das?? A few hours during sadhana morning program?, most of the day?, or very little of the day? Srila Prabhupada demonstrated once the mentality of his disciples when he tossed his  bead bag on the table and then declared, "there my 16 rounds are done and now I can do any damn thing I want." The process to recover our original purity is given above, we simply have to understand it and do it.
Compiled by Damaghosa das


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