There are five stages that a devotee goes through in his journey of ‘elevation to Krishna Consciousness’ and towards achieving pure ecstatic love for Krishna (The Supreme Personality of Godhead). These 5 stages of Bhakti (Krishna consciousness) are as follows.
5 Stages of Bhakti | Elevation to Krishna Consciousness :
- Sravana dasa – Hearing (1st stage of Bhakti)
- Varana dasa – acceptance (2nd stage of Bhakti)
- Smarana dasa – remembrance (3rd stage of Bhakti)
- Bhavapana dasa – attainment of ecstatic spiritual emotions (4th stage of Bhakti)
- Prema Sampatti dasa – attainment of ecstatic love for Krishna (5th stage of Bhakti)
To put it very briefly, hearing about the Absolute truth from one’s spiritual master is termed as ‘Sravana dasa’. When the spiritual practitioner accepts these instructions as the truth, then he reaches a stage called ‘Varana dasa’. When he cultivates that mood along with blissful remembrance of the lord and His pastimes, he reaches ‘Smarana dasa’. When the spiritual practitioner is able to invoke that blissful mood within himself spontaneously, it is called ‘Bhavapana dasa’. And finally, when one completely detaches himself from the temporary material existence and obtains his desired constitutional form, by the mercy of Krishna, he attains ‘Prema Sampatti dasa’.
Srila Rupa Goswami has described the most exalted sites of Vrindavan dham that are very dear to Krishna. Srila Rupa Goswami has listed down these pastime places of Krishna in his book Sri Radha Krishna Ganoddesa Dipika. This article is an attempt to summarize the relevant contents presented in his book.
#1 Vrindavan Dham
Vrindavan is Krishna’s favorite forest. It is deemed to be the most exalted of all the others. Govardhan hill is the major site of Krishna’s sporting pastimes. Govardhan nourishes the cows and calves of Vrindavan by supplying them with water, grass, and other eatables.
There are countless cowherd boys of Vrindavan who are greatly attached to Krishna and assist in His pastimes in various ways. Some of them are fond of joking, some are always eager to give their counsel, some are very talkative and engage in arguments with Krishna, some of them are very gentle and give pleasure to Krishna by their sweet words. etc. All of these friends are very intimate with Krishna, and they exhibit expertise in their different activities, their purpose always being to please Krishna. Among the contemporaries of Sri Krishna, Sri Baladeva is the foremost. He is the elder brother of Krishna and is the killer of the demon Pralamba. Krishna’s friends can be grouped into four categories depending upon the closeness of their relationship with Krishna. They are described as below :
Srila Rupa Goswami had recorded the names of Krishna’s articles, accessories, and ornaments in his book Sri Radha Krishna Ganoddesa Dipika. Below is the brief summary of his presentation.
Names of Krishna’s Articles and Accessories
#1 The name of Krishna’s mirror is Saradindu
#2 Krishna’s camara is called Madhu-maruta. It always produces fresh air during the spring season.
#3 Krishna’s favorite lotus flower is named Sadasmera
#4 Krishna’s toy ball is named Citrakoraka
#5 Krishna’s golden bow is named Vilasakarmmana
Lord Krishna – the all attractive
#1 The nectarean bodily luster of Krishna is as smooth as an ointment.
#2 His bodily hue resembles the tone of a blue sapphire or a blue lotus flower.
#3 His form is as enchanting as a young fresh Tamala tree or a dense cloud.
#4 He beams as brightly as an emerald.
#5 Lord Krishna is dressed in yellow garments. His body is decorated with garlands of forest flowers and jewelled ornaments. He is the source of all kinds of ecstatic pastimes.
#6 His long curly hair is fragrant with various sweet aromas. His crown is adorned with different kinds of flower garlands.
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