Raghunatha dasa Gosvami


There are men, especially rich men, who regularly worship the Deity, give charity to brahmanas and are pious in every respect, but they cannot be pure Vaisnavas. Despite their outward show of Vaisnavism and charity, their inner desire is to enjoy a higher standard of material life. Raghunatha dasa’s father, Govardhana, and uncle, Hiranya dasa, were both very charitable to brahmanas. Indeed, the brahmanas from the Gaudiya district were practically dependent on them. Thus they were accepted as very pious gentlemen. However, they presented themselves as Vaisnavas to the eyes of people in general, although from a purely spiritual point of view they were ordinary human beings, not pure Vaisnavas. [Actual Vaisnavas considered them almost Vaisnavas, not pure Vaisnavas.] In other words, they were kanistha-adhikaris, for they were ignorant of higher Vaisnava regulative principles. Nevertheless, they could not be called visayis, or blind materialistic enjoyers.


So they were not pure devotees, but at the same time they were not blind materialistic enjoyers. They were in between. So they are called vaisnava-praya, bhakta-praya, or kanistha-adhikari. They are on the material platform because they want material enjoyment, but at the same time they do have faith in Krsna and Vaisnavas, and they do worship Krsna and serve Vaisnavas. So they are vaisnava-praya.

TEXT 199

tathapi visayera svabhava – kare maha-andha
sei karma karaya, yate haya bhava-bandha

“Those who are attached to materialistic life and are blind to spiritual life must act in such a way that they are bound to repeated birth and death by the actions and reactions of their activities.


As clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gita (3.9), yajnarthat karmano ‘nyatra loko ‘yam karma-bandhanah: if one does not act as a pure devotee, whatever acts he performs will produce reactions of fruitive bondage (karma-bandhanah). In Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said:

nunam pramattah kurute vikarma
yad indriya-pritaya aprnoti
na sadhu manye yata atmano ‘yam
asann api klesada asa dehah

“A materialistic person, madly engaged in activities for sense enjoyment, does not know that he is entangling himself in repeated birth and death and that his body, although temporary, is full of miseries.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.4)

A visayi, a person blindly caught in a web of materialistic life, remains in the cycle of birth and death perpetually. Such a person cannot understand how to execute pure devotional service, and therefore he acts as a karmi, jnani, yogi or something else, according to his desire, but he does not know that the activities of karma, jnana and yoga simply bind one to the cycle of birth and death.


In other words, without bhakti no one can be liberated. Not even a yogi or jnani, what to speak of a karmi, can be liberated without the mercy of a devotee, without some touch of devotional service.

TEXT 200

hena ‘visaya’ haite krsna uddharila toma’
kahana na yaya krsna-krpara mahima”

“By His own free will, Lord Krsna has delivered you from such a condemned materialistic life. Therefore the glories of Lord Krsna’s causeless mercy cannot be expressed.”


In the Brahma-samhita (5.54) it is said, karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam. Lord Krsna is so merciful that He can stop the reactions of karma for His devotee. Everyone – from the small insect called indra-gopa up to Indra, the King of heaven – is bound by the reactions of fruitive activities.

yas tv indra-gopam atha vendram aho sva-karma-
bandhanurupa-phala-bhajanam atanoti
karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

Everyone, whether an insect [called indra-gopa] or the King of heaven, Indra, is entangled and bound by the actions and reactions of his karma. However, when one becomes a pure devotee, free from material desires and from bondage to karma, jnana and yoga, one is freed from material actions and reactions by the causeless mercy of Krsna. One cannot express sufficient gratitude to Krsna for being freed from the materialistic way of life.


Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is the ideal example for us. When he was a householder he showed the ideal example how to live in household life, how to execute one’s duty perfectly and at the same time be detached from material enjoyment and attached to Krsna. Later, after he joined Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he showed the ideal example of renounced life. He hardly ate or slept, and he was always engaged in chanting the holy names, offering obeisances, and other such activities. So he is a rare example of a devotee who set the ideal standard for both grhasthas and sannyasis.

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami ki jaya!
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

4 February 1996

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