Summary of Madhurya Kadambini – “To Dance in the Downpour of Devotion”

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To Dance in the Downpour of Devotion

To Dance in the Downpour of Devotion

A Summary Study of Mādhurya Kādambinī

Exactly following Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur’sMadhurya Kadambini, this book provides an inspirational and practical guide to each step along the road from ignorance to bliss. It vividly and enticingly describes each of the 9 progressive stages of developing divine love, prema-bhakti.

It is written in clear, simple, no-nonsense English.

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How to Practice Bhakti (Gita 12.8-12)

Texts 8 through 12 of the Gita’s 12th chapter are an important section conveying a message well worth reiterating for clarity.

8: The essence of bhakti-yoga is to enwrap your heart and mind in Krishna. The best way to do this is out of heartfelt desire to attain divine love, a desire that results from deep wisdom. (rāgānugā-sādhana)

9: When such heartfelt desires are absent, one should fall back upon the strength of willpower to keep one’s heart and mind wrapped around Krishna. (vaidhi-sādhana)

10: If willpower is insufficient, one must at least engage in the physical actions of bhakti-yoga. (karma in bhakti-yoga)

11: If we cannot do this, we fall outside the realm of bhakti-yoga but can still make progress towards it by giving away all the rewards of our actions. (karma-yoga).

12: If we can’t do this, we need to get a deeper philosophy, contemplate it carefully, and keep trying.

The Caste System?

Caste Mark

The “four careers” are four social roles based on four personality types: (1) Rare people are philosophical and intellectual, and they function as the thinkers and guides of society - “brāhmaṇa.” (2) A few people are unusually powerful, they function as rulers, leaders and enforcers – “kṣatriya.” (3) Some people are very resourceful and entrepreneurial, they function in business to generate wealth and social resources – “vaiṣya.” (4) Most people are simply obsessed with making ends meet, yet don’t possess much personal talent. They function as employees – “śūdra.”

These terms may ring an unfriendly bell, sounding a lot like the deplorable, debilitating “caste system.”  The clear and all-important difference between the original system and its ruined pre-modern farce, however, is that one’s position in the original is based on practical qualifications (“guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśa”) while in the modern farce it is based solely on birth (“janma-vibhāgaśa”).

Did You Just Do That?

This is an excerpt from my presentation of Bhagavad-Gita, 18.15-17

Krishna: My friend, our science describes five things required to accomplish any action.

Arjuna: What are they?

Krishna: They are the venue, performer, instruments, techniques, and of course divinity. In the most abstract sense, the venue is the world your body inhabits, the performer is your ego, the instruments are your senses, the techniques are the muscles and so forth that utilize those senses, and divinity is the Supersoul. These five are the causes initiating any action a person performs with their body, words, or even in their thoughts.

Someone who sees himself as the sole agent of his deeds has not really developed any intelligence, and is blinded by stupidity. Do not let your intellect be shackled and bound by such an egoistic concept. Realize that you are not the true agent of your action and even if you have to kill all these soldiers you will never be bound to the worldly reactions of your deeds.

Are You A Sanyassi?

This is an excerpt from my presentation of Bhagavad Gita, 18.7-10.

English: Sanyasi at Kathmandu

Arjuna: You mentioned three grades of renunciation. What are they?

Krishna: Out of confusion, those in darkness (tamas) give up responsibilities that should never be forsaken.

Passionate people (rajas) give up difficult and disturbing responsibilities that get in the way of their bodily comfort. This will never grant the fruit of true renunciation.

Those in clarity (sattva) carry out their responsibilities thinking, “This is my duty.” They renounce any connection to the rewards of these actions. They don’t detest unpleasant work, nor are they particularly attached to pleasant deeds. These intelligent people are free of all doubts and completely clear about renunciation.

What is “Austerity”?

From Bhagavad Gita 17.14-16

Bodily austerity means to always show respect, particularly to gods, priests, teachers, and the wise. It also means to be clean, simple, celibate, and non-violent. That is how religious effort is expressed through the body.

Verbal austerity means speaking the truth in a manner that is affectionate, helpful, and not unsettling. It also means voicing the recitations that are part of your studies.

Mental austerity means practicing self-control via emotional contentment, gentleness, silence, and improvement of one’s character.

Identity of the Soul

Arjuna: Who are the creatures dwelling in the upside-down tree?

7-8

Krishna: The living creatures in this living world are certainly eternal fragments of me. Situating themselves within material nature, they draw unto themselves six sensual capacities, headed by the mind.

Thus the soul develops and dissolves its bodies.  Like the wind carrying a scent, the soul carries the subtle elements of one body into the next.

Arjuna: Why does the soul change bodies?

9-11

Krishna: The soul changes bodies because it wishes to enjoy sense objects in various ways. Each body offers a different aural, visual, tactile, gustatory (taste), and olfactory (smell) array.

Sometimes staying in a body, sometimes giving it up, sometimes enjoying the wealth of the three qualities; those with informed vision can see what is really going on, but great fools cannot recognize it, even when shown.

Serious spiritualists can also see the soul doing all these things, but those who are serious to avoid the soul are basically unconscious, and thus blind to it.

The World is an Upside-Down Tree!

 

1-4

 

Banyan Tree in Lahaina

Krishna: They say this world is a Banyan tree whose roots are above and branches below, and whose attractive leaves are promises of enjoyment. He who knows this tree well knows the methods of gaining such enjoyment.

 

Watered by the three qualities of nature, its branches expand in all directions, upwards and downwards, finally producing buds of enjoyable sense objects. From these branches, roots also fall downwards and find nourishment in the selfish deeds of the mortal world.

 

The real tree is elsewhere, and this is merely a reflection, with no end, no beginning, and no real substance. This Banyan cannot be uprooted, but it must be tenaciously cut down with the axe of indifference to it.

 

Once it is felled, you must search out what is beyond it; some place from which no one ever strays. There, finally, seek for that Original Person – the ancient one from whom the true tree grows – and give yourself to him.

 

Arjuna: How can I succeed in such an amazing quest?

 

5

 

Krishna: Be free from the intoxication of honor and cast off your faulty entourage. Dwell always in yourself, and curb down external lusts. Free yourself from dualities like pleasure and displeasure. Then you can attain that foolproof, eternal destination.

 

Arjuna: Can you say something more about this destination?

 

6

 

Krishna: The sun does not shine there, nor the moon, nor fire. In that place from which no one strays, I am the supreme illumination.