Importance of Sadhana Bhakti

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.07.11 - Importance of Sadhana Bhakti (download mp3)
by Bhakti Vasudev Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.7.11
 nisedhan na nivartate
guna-buddhya ca vihitam
 na karoti yatharbhakah

One who has transcended material good and evil automatically acts in accordance with religious injunctions and avoids forbidden activities. The self-realized person does this spontaneously, like an innocent child, and not because he is thinking in terms of material good and evil.

One who has developed transcendental knowledge never acts whimsically. Srila Rupa Gosvami describes two stages of devotional service: sadhana-bhakti and raganuga-bhakti. Raganuga-bhakti is the stage of spontaneous love of Godhead, whereas sadhana-bhakti means the conscientious practice of the regulative principles of devotional service. In most cases, one who is now enjoying transcendental consciousness has rigidly practiced the rules and regulations of devotional service. Thus, due to previous practice, one spontaneously avoids sinful life and acts in accordance with the standards of ordinary piety. This does not mean that a self-realized soul is consciously avoiding sin and pursuing piety. Rather, due to his self-realized nature, he spontaneously engages in the most exalted spiritual activities, just as an innocent child may spontaneously exhibit good qualities such as kindness, tolerance, and so on. The spiritual platform is called suddha-sattva, or purified goodness, to distinguish it from the material mode of goodness, which is always to some extent polluted by the lower modes of passion and ignorance. Thus if a man in material goodness appears to be most pious in the eyes of the world, we can only imagine the spotless character of a self-realized soul in purified spiritual goodness. Therefore it is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.18.12):

yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akiƱcana
 sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
 mano-rathenasati dhavato bahih

If one is a pure devotee of Lord Krsna, he will automatically exhibit all the exalted qualities of the demigods. Such manifestation of purity is spontaneous, as explained in this verse.

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