Here is a new word for your Vaisnava Vocabulary: Bhāva. In the Glossary in the back of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 1972 Edition, the word Bhāva is defined as; the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead. Bhāva is a big word and has various meanings
…The last stage of the devotional life is called bhāva, or transcendental love of Godhead.
“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization.…This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is matured in bhāva, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called premā, the highest perfectional stage of life.” In the premā stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one’s individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations resulting from void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord. (Bhagavad-gita 4.11)
So it seem that bhāva is not only the preliminary stage of transcendental love of Godhead but we find that this preliminary stage of transcendental love is also the path to the highest perfectional stage of life, pure love or premā. There are two ways to approach the Lord, one is with awe and reverence and the other is with affection; bhāva. One who approaches the Lord with affection, is sure to advance spiritually.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam we find many references to the word Bhāva and highlighted some of them here.Continue reading
Today we are celebrating Śrī Rāma-Navamī, Lord Rāmacandra’s Appearance Day. We are honoring it with a fast until noon, followed by a nice vegetarian feast. We are including a lecture by Srila Prabhupada on the appearance of Lord Ramachandra
…So Rāmacandra’s life, God’s activities, pastimes, if we hear, that means we are associating with Rāmacandra. There is no difference between His form, His name, His pastimes, and Himself. He’s absolute. Therefore either you chant the holy name of Rāma or you see the statue of Rāma or you talk of His pastimes, transcendental pastimes, everything, that means you are associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we take advantage of these days when the incarnation of God appears or disappears, and we try to associate with Him. By His association we become purified. Our process is purification. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means simply we are purifying our consciousness. (Lecture by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Recorded in Hawaii, March 27, 1969)
Full LectureContinue reading
“As soon as I remember that you are trying to fullfill my desire of trying to open ten centers, it gives me renewed vigor and life. Please do it nicely. I have got confidence in you because Krishna has given you special talent for chanting Hare Krishna Mantra. When you were chanting in L.A. temple in the evenings, or in the mornings, I enjoyed your chanting so nicely that I thought myself immediately carried to Vaikuntha. So I am always thankful to you for your activities in announcing the interest of our mission. Thank you very much. Most probably when I return to L.A. I may call you back just to hear your chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra. I am very anxious to meet you also. “(Srila Prabhupada letter to “My Dear Son, Vishnujana Maharaj,” 4th April, 1971)
IMPORTANCE OF CHANTING AND MEMORIZING SHLOKAS…
Srila Prabhupäda: No, this same verse. Practice it. In this way you practice one mantra daily. Each mantra will purify you hundred yards daily. Go forward. These mantras are very powerful, given by Vyäsadeva Gosvämi, vibrated…..So we should try to learn, get it by heart, at least one shloka, two shlokas in a week. And if we chant that… Just like you are chanting so many songs, similarly, if we chant one or two verses of Srimad-Bhägavatam, that will make you very quickly advanced for spiritual realisation.
We are therefore taking so much trouble to get this transliteration, the meaning, so that the reader may take advanced step, full advantage of the mantra. It is not that to show some scholarship, that ― I know so much Sanskrit. No. It is just offered with humility to learn the mantra because one who will chant the mantra… They are all transcendental vibration. Just Hare Krishna,mantra…
This is mahä-mantra, but they are also mantras, all the verses from Bhagavad-gitä, Srimad-Bhägavatam, spoken by Krishna, spoken by…. Bhägavata also, spoken by Krishna. Vyäsadeva is incarnation of Krishna. They‘re also mantras, infallible instructions. So try to get it by heart, chanting. Either you chant by seeing the book or get it by heart, it is all the same. But try to chant one, two shlokas daily. (Lecture, April 20, 1972).