smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
tat—of Lord Krsna; nama—the holy name; rupa—form; carita-adi—character, pastimes and so on; su-kirtana—in discussing or chanting nicely; anusmrtyoh—and in remembering; kramena—gradually; rasana—the tongue; manasi—and one’s mind; niyojya—engaging; tisthan—residing; vraje—in Vraja; tat—to Lord Krsna; anuragi—attached; jana—persons; anugami—following; kalam—time; nayet—should utilize; akhilam—full; iti—thus; upadesa—of advice or instruction; saram—the essence.
The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one’s full time—twenty-four hours a day—in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord’s divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one’s tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja [Goloka Vrndavana dhama] and serve Krsna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord’s beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service.
Since the mind may be one’s enemy or one’s friend, one has to train the mind to become his friend. The Krsna consciousness movement is especially meant for training the mind to be always engaged in Krsna’s business. The mind contains hundreds and thousands of impressions, not only of this life but also of many, many lives of the past. These impressions sometimes come in contact with one another and produce contradictory pictures. In this way the mind’s function can become dangerous for a conditioned soul. Students of psychology are aware of the mind’s various psychological changes. In Bhagavad-gita (8.6) it is said:
“Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.”
At the time of death, the mind and intelligence of a living entity create the subtle form of a certain type of body for the next life. If the mind suddenly thinks of something not very congenial, one has to take a corresponding birth in the next life. On the other hand, if one can think of Krsna at the time of death, he can be transferred to the spiritual world, Goloka Vrndavana. This process of transmigration is very subtle; therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami advises devotees to train their minds in order that they will be unable to remember anything other than Krsna. Similarly, the tongue should be trained to speak only of Krsna and to taste only krsna-prasada. Srila Rupa Gosvami further advises, tisthan vraje: one should live in Vrndavana or any part of Vrajabhumi. Vrajabhumi, or the land of Vrndavana, is supposed to be eighty-four krosas in area. One krosa equals two square miles. When one makes Vrndavana his residence, he should take shelter of an advanced devotee there. In this way one should always think of Krsna and His pastimes. This is further elucidated by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.294):
“A devotee should always reside in the transcendental realm of Vraja and always engage in krsnam smaran janam casya prestham, the remembrance of Sri Krsna and His beloved associates. By following in the footsteps of such associates and by entering under their eternal guidance, one can acquire an intense desire to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
“In the transcendental realm of Vraja [Vraja-dhama] one should serve the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, with a feeling similar to that of His associates, and one should place himself under the direct guidance of a particular associate of Krsna and should follow in his footsteps. This method is applicable both in the stage of sadhana [spiritual practices executed while in the stage of bondage] and in the stage of sadhya [God realization], when one is a siddha-purusa, or a spiritually perfect soul.”
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has commented as follows upon this verse: “One who has not yet developed interest in Krsna consciousness should give up all material motives and train his mind by following the progressive regulative principles, namely chanting and remembering Krsna and His name, form, quality, pastimes and so forth. In this way, after developing a taste for such things, one should try to live in Vrndavana and pass his time constantly remembering Krsna’s name, fame, pastimes and qualities under the direction and protection of an expert devotee. This is the sum and substance of all instruction regarding the cultivation of devotional service.
“In the neophyte stage one should always engage in hearing krsna-katha. This is called sravana-dasa, the stage of hearing. By constantly hearing the transcendental holy name of Krsna and hearing of His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, one can attain to the stage of acceptance called varana-dasa. When one attains this stage, he becomes attached to the hearing of krsna-katha. When one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of smaranavastha, the stage of remembering. Recollection, absorption, meditation, constant remembrance and trance are the five items of progressive krsna-smarana. At first, remembrance of Krsna may be interrupted at intervals, but later remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is uninterrupted, it becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When meditation expands and becomes constant, it is called anusmrti. By uninterrupted and unceasing anusmrti one enters the stage of samadhi, or spiritual trance. After smarana-dasa or samadhi has fully developed, the soul comes to understand his original constitutional position. At that time he can perfectly and clearly understand his eternal relationship with Krsna. That is called sampatti-dasa, the perfection of life.
“Caitanya-caritamrta advises those who are neophytes to give up all kinds of motivated desires and simply engage in the regulative devotional service of the Lord according to the directions of scripture. In this way a neophyte can gradually develop attachment for Krsna’s name, fame, form, qualities and so forth. When one has developed such attachment, he can spontaneously serve the lotus feet of Krsna even without following the regulative principles. This stage is called raga-bhakti, or devotional service in spontaneous love. At that stage the devotee can follow in the footsteps of one of the eternal associates of Krsna in Vrndavana. This is called raganuga-bhakti. Raganuga-bhakti, or spontaneous devotional service, can be executed in the santa-rasa when one aspires to be like Krsna’s cows or the stick or flute in the hand of Krsna, or the flowers around Krsna’s neck. In the dasya-rasa one follows in the footsteps of servants like Citraka, Patraka or Raktaka. In the friendly sakhya-rasa one can become a friend like Baladeva, Sridama or Sudama. In the vatsalya-rasa, characterized by parental affection, one can become like Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda, and in the madhurya-rasa, characterized by conjugal love, one can become like Srimati Radharani or Her lady friends such as Lalita and Her serving maids (manjaris) like Rupa and Rati. This is the essence of all instruction in the matter of devotional service.”
Link to this page: https://prabhupadabooks.com/noi/texts/noi_8