Understanding Srila Prabhupad Saraswati Thakur sloka-pujala raga patha ..

Translation of the Verse

D. An interview with Sripad Madhava Maharaja

            Sripad Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja is a disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja. He is a siksa disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, and has been his personal servant and secretary since 1979.  In the following interview of May 4, 2006, he was asked to share his understanding regarding statement 3 of the video/documentary:

[Question:] "The narrator of the documentary 'The Universal Teacher' quoted Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada's verse, 'matala hari-jane visaya range, pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange.' Then he gave the translation, 'Always worship the path of raga-marga, spontaneous devotion. Do not rush ahead. Keep yourself a little distant and below. One who transgresses these instructions will be cast down. That was the motto of Gaudiya Matha.'
            "Can you explain the verse further?"

[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] "The English you quoted is not the translation. It is a statement by Prapujya-carana Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja. He did not mean for his statement to be the translation."
[Question:] "Then what is the translation?"

[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] "'Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange.' Raga-patha means spontaneous devotion. What is spontaneous devotion?

iste svarasiki ragah
paramavistata bhavet
tan-mayi ya bhaved bhaktih
satra ragatmikodita

["When one becomes attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his natural inclination to love is fully absorbed in thoughts of the Lord. That is called transcendental attachment, and devotional service according to that attachment is called ragatmika, or spontaneous devotional service." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.272, and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 22.150)]

            "Raga-bhakti is the devotion situated in the hearts of the eternal associates of Krsna in Vraja. Here, the word gaurava-bhange refers to the breaking (bhange means break) of the awe and reverence mood (gaurava) by raga-bhakti. The word matala means complete absorption. Such liberated devotees have only one visaya (object of love), and that is Sri Krsna. The word range refers to Sri Krsna's many pastimes. Hari-jana means those who are the kith and kin or intimate associates of Sri Hari or Krsna. They are absorbed in visaya-range. Sri Krsna is the only visaya (the supreme Enjoyer of His devotees' devotion), and all others are asraya (the repository or container of devotion to Him). These devotees are absorbed in His pastimes.
            "Because of the raga in their hearts, they have no awe and reverence mood. In this world they worship raga-patha; that is, the path of complete absorption in and attachment to Sri Krsna. By this they also teach us how to enter and then practice raganuga-bhakti.
"Why do we want to worship this path? We are now aspiring sadhaka-jivas, and our ultimate object is to attain raga-bhakti. For that we have to go step by step. By following the correct process we will gradually enter raganuga-bhakti, and then we will attain raga-bhakti."

E. Translation of the beautiful verse

matala hari-jane visaya range
pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange
Sometimes this Bengali verse is found with the words "visaya range"; and sometimes, as in the inscription on the wall of the Sri Caitanya Sarasvata Matha, with "kirtana range." In either case, the deep import is the same.
With "visaya range":

"The servants of Hari revel in satisfying His transcendental desires.
They worship the path of spontaneous devotion, whereby awe and reverence is overthrown."

            Internally the hari-janas are absorbed in their pastimes with Sri Krsna, and externally they teach us by their example how to worship the path of raga. Raga means spontaneous devotion, the devotion of Sri Krsna's (Hari's) friends, parents and beloveds.
            Krsna is the only visaya, the only enjoyer. As the enjoyer He has unlimited transcendental desires. These desires are fulfilled by His associates, the hari-janas, who are asraya. The hari-janas revel in fulfilling His desires. They are maddened with the ambition to fulfil His desires.
Srila Narayana Maharaja explains that this verse applies to the liberated associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this world, who have come as raganuga-bhaktas. Sriman Mahaprabhu appeared in this world along with His associates. This verse refers to His associates who were with Him during His time, as well as to all those who appeared after Him.

         With "kirtana range":

"The servants of Hari revel in the chanting of the Holy Name.
They worship the path of spontaneous devotion, whereby awe and reverence is overthrown."

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