pujala ragapata gaurava bhange

Swami - July 13, 2006 1:50 pm

I came accross this explanation of the meaning and history of BSST's famous pujala ragapata gaurava bhange jingle. It sheds some new light on it. This is an unedited informal speeh of Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja. Read it over. It is good food for discussion.



His (BSST) whole life in a nutshell is expressed in this, his own expression. Pujala ragapata, the very nature of my sampradaya is this. Pujala ragapata gaurava bhange. matala harijana visaya range, pujala ragapata gaurava bhange. The whole tenor of his preaching expedition, pujala ragapata gaurava bhange. The ragapat is above, on our head. That is the goal. We are to go there. But before that you have got charm for many things, the grandeur. You should try to learn that what is at present charming to you, utilize that for the service of that great domain of love. The majesty, the awe, the wealth, the reverence, what is grand to you, what attracts you most, all these, put into the service of that Lord of love and beauty. The absolute is beauty and love, harmony, autocrat, and everything should be sacrificed for Him. Learn this! Whatever you come in connection with sacrifice into the fire to establish that Lord of love. For his little satisfaction, all this grandeur may be put into the fire.


Composed by Guru Maharaja himself. When from the hired house in Calcutta. The deities and the matha was removed to his own construction, constructed matha . The deities were carried in a chariot and we were dancing and we were dancing and singing just in front of the deities. At that time he composed some eight lines perhaps. You should sing this and direct the chariot from the hired house to our own house, matha. Matala hari jana visaya range pujala ragapata gaurava bhange. It is currently seen that the devotees have made themselves mad in handling so many material wealth. Generally the devotees should engage themselves in the subject of the Lord, but here in Gaudiya Matha we find they are handling money, motor car, this, that, everything here, lavishly, visaya range. For what purpose, pujava ragapata gaurava bhange to show that the ragapata, giving up everything and only through the internal love we shall worship the Lord not external sources, majesty, reverance not necessary. But here they have come to do this they are handling extensively the wealth and their of the outer world, what is the meaning? Gaurava bhange - to show that the ragapata is above all, those that are followers of' raga-pata their position is very high. Not that they can not be masters of this mundane world. So, they have left everything and are taking the path of worshiping Him, in their heart. Not that. But all these grandeur, all reverence everything should go to serve them. Pujava ragapata - everything will havgot its fulfillment with their connecting in any way with the feet of those that are engaged in their worship exclusive of these worldly things with his heart. And only the flow of devotion from their heart they are doing. And the whole thing will have its fulfillment if that can connect to worship the feet of those that are living in that plane. The fulfillment of the majesty, awe and reverance, wealth everything. His grandeur is only meant to serve them, those niskincana, those who do not have anythlng on the gopi, and mentally they are reaching or not reaching. Who do not care for that. But all these must be meant to have their fulfillment to go to touch their feet. To exemplify to show, to teach to the world the fulfillment of everything is only to touch the feet of those niskincana who have made the absolute good, the Lord of love and beauty the all in all in their right. The whole world must learn for its own goodness for its own welfare to teach this to the world. The Gaudiya Matha people are handling all these things, the motor car, the wealth, the money, the airplane. While in Bombay one gentleman, a Bengali, was an officer in the mint there he asked me, You have come to collect money but you are very big man, very rich man, he told me. Yes we say we are rich and we say we are beggar. Now we must come to some understanding. You say that we are very rich. Why? We spend money like water. A man who has got much money he can spend his money for such purposes. And we being beggar we use, ordinary man would agree this is superfluous money otherwise a beggar man must not spend money for such purpose. One who has got a crore, he can throw some thousand for the luxurious activities. So you think we have got much money so one day we can see. But we say we are beggar with no money. Still we spend money in such a way. Now the question will come whether what we spend will be for a good purpose or bad. Suppose a doctor, he may not be wealthy, he has got a motorcar. Because he can attend many patients thereby this is not his luxury. Generally men will think that one who has got a car, one who has got a plane, he must be a money man of higher order. Then only he can keep such things. But for the business purpose he may keep such things. A doctor may have many patients he can visit by motorcar. We also use things in that way that with these things ... One thing, to decorate the deity, you may think that this is superfluous. But we think this is the fulfillment of life. Every good things must come to decorate, to serve Narayana. That is our creed. Difference in creed. Beggars we are, still we spend money like water. Only for decoration, festival, distribution of prasadam. We beg money and we spend, lavishly, but not for our but we feel the necessity of our particular nature. So the question how we spend not how much money we have got. We are poor still we are beggar, Still we spend money like a rich man. Rather the rich man would be afraid to spend money like that. Pujala ragapata gaurava bhange. All wealth has got its only fulfillment in the service of those to preach the creed of those that are above this monetary world. The greatest goal possible by worshiping the Lord and connecting him with this world. Pujala ragapata. He has understood what is real ragapata. With this idea I have gotten such attraction; with this we have got encouragement within him. They are dancing, I have seen. I have had a sort of conception of the reality that he is good and beautiful and they are dancing. . Pujala ragapata gaurava bhange. What is proper expressions they have understood, they have realized and they are dancing. Krsna nama ruci habe gucibe vandana _ doyale nitai caitanya bole nace amar man.
Bijaya Kumara Das - July 14, 2006 6:24 am

This is very nice Guru Maharaja.


This is how you have lived since I have known you.


I have even heard many of my godbrothers complain, Gurudeva will spend every thing we have and there will be nothing available for our maintainance. Ha Ha They just do not get it.


Every thing we have, attain, get, use etcetra was controled or owned by some one else at one time and who is the real someone. Of course Krsna. So it is all His and always will be.


You have always used anything attained for His service.


Thank you for having me as your disciple.

Shyam Gopal Das - July 15, 2006 11:50 am

"But all these grandeur, all reverence everything should go to serve them. Pujava ragapata - everything will havgot its fulfillment with their connecting in any way with the feet of those that are engaged in their worship exclusive of these worldly things with his heart."


I liked these lines as it comes to show that as devotees we should not avoid to use riches in the service of the Lord. The grandeur, the riches, are the Lord's righteous gifts as in actuality there is only one eternal billionair. We are beggars on the ragapatha, but not for riches itself. We beg for riches to return the 'stolen' money to the Lord in this war on maya.

Bijaya Kumara Das - July 15, 2006 10:17 pm

are the Lord's righteous gifts as in actuality there is only one eternal billionair.


why the limitation billionaire. as His Divine Grace would say, no matter how many you zeros you have in your bank balance with out the 1 (Krsna) in front it has no meaning. Krsna has unlimited wealth as well as all the other attributes.

Swami - July 18, 2006 4:37 pm

This speech of Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja is interesting for a number of reasons. First of all it tells us the histroy of this poem, giving it context. Narayana Maharaja once commented on the poem, and from his comments it is apparent that he was unaware of the context and thus his comments were less relevant. So, to the context. It would be wonderful to locate the rest of the eight or so verses that BSST gave along with this one on the day of the installation of the Deities at the famous marble temple in Calcutta (Bhrigupada?).


This event was of great significance for the mission of BSST and Gaudiya Vaisnavism. It involved Gaudiya Vaisnavas living in and preaching in a major metropolis, as opposed to living in the Dhama and doing bhajana where preching was mostly directed to devotees who were classified as such by birth, which had been the standard for centuries. The fancy marble temple was a huge statement. As indicated in the passage above, the whole event took on the appearance of worldliness, while the inner spirit of it was other worldly to the extreme. This reminds us of the Vraja-lila itself, wherein the players appear to be worldly and Krsna is among them as one of them rather than separated from them as an object of worship.


Note that the words visaya range means enjoying sense gratification. I have seen a translation of this verse that construes the sense gratification to be that of gratifying the sense of Bhagavan, and of course this is no doubt correct. However, here it is pointed out that the devotees (Hari jana) are intoxicated (matala) by this sense indulgence that takes the outward form of worldliness making the activities of true Vaisnavas sometimes difficult to understand. They are using everything in the world for Krsna, everthing that they might be charmed by themselves at a lower stage such that they will loose the charm for the world. This also goes to the heart of BSST's dynamic conception of kirtana. Intestingly the verse is sometimes written with the word kirtana in palce of visaya—kirtana range.


As long as one pursuing the raga marg is charmed by the world one's relationship with Bhagavan will be tempered by reverence, or the sense that there is a distinction between the worshipable object and the worshiper such as we find in vaidhi bhakti. At this stage those aspiring to tread the raga marg proper worship the raga marg (pujala ragapata). The word puja/worship indicates distance between the devotee and Deity and such worship is thus posessed of gaurava or reverence. However, this approach to raga marg results in an eventual breakdown of reverence (gaurava bhange) as the charm of the world disappears from one's heart bridging the gap between devotee and Diety, at which time one treads the raga marg proper. In raga marg the Deity become one with the devotee as friend, lover and family member. Such love of Krsna is devoid of reverence.


So, "The devotees, intoxicated by the kirtana of the Holy Name that consumes the entire world, worship the raga marg at a distance until the time when by such kirtana their hearts are cleansed of any charm for the world and the distance between themselves and their Deity is bridged as reverence for the Deity breaks down and is replaced by love." This seems ot be the spirit of the verse.

Swami - July 18, 2006 8:57 pm

I think it is important to realize that the closeness one feels with Sri Krsna in raga marg is to a large extent brought about by absence of separate interest. This absence of separate interest refers not only to material desire but spiritual selfishness as well. We find this spiritual selfishness in Vaikuntha, where reverence is the norm and thus there is a distance between Bhagavan and his devotees. We also find this spiritual selfishness or sense of difference between the Deity and devotee in the case of Rukmini. Compare her unwillingness to forego the Vedic Dharma in relation to her desire to wed Sri Krsna to the approach to Vrajendranandana we find illustrated in the gopis. The gopis were not concerned with the consequences of transgressing the Vedic law. Waht might happen to themselves was of no consequence to them because they had no separate sense of self from their Diety, who was himself independent of Vedic law. They were absolutely one in desire with Krsna. They were in one in love and thus not merely self sacrificing, but self forgetful. In Vaikuntha and Dvaraka the difference between Bhagavan and his devotees is clear. There is no such distinction in Vraja.


One must realize that regardless of one's practice, the underlying truth is that one's closeness to one's Dieity will be determined by how much one harbors separate interest in one's heart. There is no getting around this.


Talk is cheap, and I believe that this is what BSST was referring to when he used the term sahajiya. And I say that we will only be sahajiya ourselves if we merely talk about this by way of criticizing others to make ourselves feel as though we are better than them in the name of defending our guru parampara. It is we who must die in order to live among the Vraja loka. It is not about killing others, but the death of our own ego. While kirtana range no doubt involves pointing out what not to do, one must be doing the right thing oneself.


It should also be clear that Mahaprabhu Sri Krsna Caitanya has personally shown us that nama sankirtana is the most effective means of cleansing one's heart of material self interest—ceto darpana marjanam. Thus when we engage in nama sankirtana, and especially in consideration of the dynamic expression and understanding of it given to us by BSST that is so potentially consuming, two things will happen. First one's heart will be cleansed of material self interest. As this cleansing takes place one becomes eligible to culture one's spiritual identity following in the footsteps of the Vrakaloka, the people of Vraja who personify absolute selflessness, expecially the Vraja sundaris. This is the second effect, which BSST addresses when he writes kirtana prabhave smarana svabhave, "The power of kirtana brings about meditation on one's svarupa." Worship of raga marg while concentrating on cleansing one's heart is what constitutes "first deserve then desire." And what is that desire for the deserving? It is the desire to please Krsna that first appears as anukulaya-abhilasa, prapty-abhilasa, and sauharda-abhilasa (see Siksastakam p. 72). This is ruci, sreyah kairava candrika vitaranam.


So let their be pujala ragapata in the midst of kirtana range. This will do away with separate interest over time and allow one to break free from reverential devotion, gaurava bhange. All of you must do this. Your thoughts please. Gaura Hari bol!

Swami - July 18, 2006 11:51 pm

The word gaurava also means pride. So one's pride must be broken to enter the raga marg, trind api sunicena. Thus the necessity of focusing on the interim goal of nistha comes to mind. Breaking one's pride or ego of separate interest is required. It is one's ego consisting of separate interest that separates one from God.


Worship in reverence also preserves one's separate sense of self since it clearly distinguishes the servant from the served, as discussed above. Yet avoiding this or jumping over viddhi to raga is really not possible because it is one's desires that determine one's closeness to Krsna. In other words even if we start with the raga marg in mind, as we should, we will have to pass through awe and reverence beause we are still posessed of separate interest--from the yuga dharma aspect of Mahaprabhu to his heart seva of vipralambha.


Do paraupakar--the highest good for others--and your own true interst will appear within. We must try to absorb ourselves in assiting the misssion of Mahaprabhu in disseminating the yuga dharma. This will open the door to his inner life.

Madangopal - July 19, 2006 2:37 am

Your thoughts please.


My first thought is "May I always stay humbly fixed at the feet of my guru who can extract such deep realizations from the words of the acaryas." This is great material - maybe for a book of commentary on BSST's song!


My thoughts are that you have spelled it out so conclusively. Reading your comments I immediately question how I can increase my identification with my deity, give up my separate interest. But you have clearly pointed that out also; taking shelter in the holy name, Mahaprabhu's process from beginning to end is pointed out in Siksatakam. With proper cultivation of nama, in conjunction with the spreading of the holy name one gives up selfish interest (ceto darpana marjanam) even in spirituality (mama janmani janmanisvare) and ascends to the raga platform.


This process or path rings so true with the mood of our parivara. Off of the top of my head I think of Prabhupada and his oneness with his deity - the order of BSST to preach in english. He said that Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur's commentary on the vyavasayatmika buddhi verse of Gita was inspirational to him. I think in a sense we can take that as one shining example of the mood of our parivara. Having no separate interest outside of the order of guru is a safe place to be, and squarely situated in the progressive path to raga. "There is great freedom in the tight grip of our guru." And our guru parampara recommends cultivation of the holy name alongside spreading of the holy name. There is some solid reasoning in our path to raga marga running through the preaching spirit. How can it be otherwise?


And to deride the spreading of the nama dharma as in anyway inferior... I can so clearly see the offense in this.


Another thought of worshipping the raga marga while doing sankirtan: I am reminded of when devotees asked Prabhupada if book distribution could be compared to the service the gopis render; as the gopis are pushing people forward to serve the divine couple, the sankirtan devotees are trying to find more servants for their deity. This is the diminishing of separate desire.

* I believe this is idea came from the devotional mind of Guru Maharaj in his book distribution days, told to Ramesvara who asked Prabhupada. Prabhupada confirmed that this was true, in a sense affirming what we are speaking of now. Preaching is a path to raga.

Bijaya Kumara Das - July 19, 2006 7:49 am

Thank you Guru Maharaja for the enlightening information. It is way over my head as far as the devanagari language goes, but I think that service is the key and yet I do not feel any seperate interest from God but know surely it is there because I am here.


In my service I have always tried to preform it with out material motive, yet, knowing that work is necessary to keep body and soul together while taking what is necessary for that purpose and trying to distibute the rest properly for Krsna.


With Your help my misguided distribution is now focused correctly, yet I still have many material attachements getting in the way to fully take advantage of what You offer. I guess this gaurava is what will be necessary to break to get what is in my best interest.


The question I have is how do we recognize our diety in this preformance of duty? So that we may give up the unnecessary while on the path of duty to reach more closely to our diety.

Gaurangi-priya Devi - July 22, 2006 5:31 pm

Do paraupakar--the highest good for others--and your own true interst will appear within. We must try to absorb ourselves in assiting the misssion of Mahaprabhu in disseminating the yuga dharma. This will open the door to his inner life.


That was wonderful to read! The above quote is really ringing loud for me. Gurumaharaj gave an exceptional talk on our last Thursday phone call, and he mentioned the pujala ragapata song. I was so moved and inspired by this idea of not getting comfortable in Krsna consciousness, but giving the highest good for others and becoming a divine slave in "disseminating the yuga dharma." This gauruntee of Mahaprabhu opening the door to his inner life, is so reaussuring and impossible to pass up. I'm feeling so much that this human form of life is such a boon, and to use it wisely by giving in the highest way to the highest taker, WOW!! Now I just have to wait and see in which way Guru and Krsna guide me to this service. We have so much to look forward to.


I'm going to a Bharatanatyam dance camp for the next two weeks so won't be near a computer, but I hope more people will comment their thoughts on this thread. Some of the points are so high and overwhelming, there is much to think about in applicating to our own lives.