Suddha Bhakata

Sudabhakta

Just to borrow a page from the “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas” songbook…

Suddha-Bhakata

by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 7

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“My dear gopīs, I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahmā. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.”

Narada-bhakti-sutra
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Text 7

sā na kāmayamānā nirodha-rūpatvāt

sā—that devotional service in pure love of God; na—not; kāmayamānā—like ordinary lust; nirodha—renunciation; rūpatvāt—because of having as its form.

There is no question of lust in the execution of pure devotional service, because in it all material activities are renounced.

PURPORT

In pure devotional service there is no question of sense gratification. Some people mistake the loving affairs between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs (cowherd girls) for activities of ordinary sense gratification, but these affairs are not lustful because there is no material contamination. As Rūpa Gosvāmī states in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.285),

premaiva gopa-rāmāṇāṁ kāma ity agamat prathām
ity uddhavādayo ’py etaṁ vāñchanti bhagavat-priyāḥ

“Although the dealings of the gopīs with Kṛṣṇa are wrongly celebrated by many as lust, great sages and saintly persons like Uddhava hanker for such loving affairs with Kṛṣṇa.” Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja, the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, has therefore said,

kāma, prema,—doṅhākāra vibhinna lakṣaṇa
lauha āra hema yaiche svarūpe vilakṣaṇa

“As there is a difference between iron and gold, so there is a difference between material lust and Kṛṣṇa’s loving affairs with the gopīs” (Cc. Ādi 4.164). Although such loving affairs may sometimes resemble material lust, the difference is as follows:

ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā—tāre bali ‘kāma’
kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma

“The desire to satisfy one’s own senses is called lust, while the desire to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa is called prema, love of God” (Cc. Ādi 4.165).

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