Srila Bhaktisiddhånta and Rågånugasådhana-bhakti

How to Cite

Dhanurdhara Swami. (2022). Srila Bhaktisiddhånta and Rågånugasådhana-bhakti: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 18(1), 129–153. Retrieved from


The special contribution of Ûrî Chaitanya to Bengali Vaishnavism is rågånuga bhakti, the practice of devotion to Ûrî Krishna that emulates perfected souls, especially the eternal residents of Vrindavan (in the spiritual realm). As the tradition aged, many related sects came into being, and the practice evolved—sometimes devolved—in various ways, with all adherents, whatever the variation, naturally claiming to be the true followers of Ûrî Chaitanya. Some stressed elaborate visualization of the pastimes of Ûrî Ûrî Rådhå-Krishna as the core practice, while others emphasized various left-wing tantric practices as the actual contribution of Ûrî Chaitanya. In the early twentiethcentury, Ûrîla Bhaktisiddhånta Sarasvatî arose as a prominent practitioner and reformist in the tradition. He vigorously decried both premature practice of visualization and tantric practices as deviations from the true spirit of Srî Chaitanya. He even published a powerful essay, Pråk®ta-rasa-Ωata-düßa∫î (“A Hundred Warnings Against Mundane Rasas”), where he outlines the
pitfalls of premature meditation on the pastimes of Rådhå and Krishna. Instead, Ûrîla Bhaktisiddhånta emphasized kîrtan (congregational call-andresponse chanting), missionary activity, and a more regimented practice, seemingly more akin to vaidhî-bhakti, or devotion to Krishna inspired and guided by rules and rituals. Because of the distance he placed between his followers
and the more emotionally-laden practices of popular Bengali Vaishnavism at the time, Ûrîla Bhaktisiddhånta’s own chastity to the tradition of rågånuga bhakti often came into question

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