Radha-Krishna’s Desire

12 “For a long time I have not given the gift of prema-bhakti. Without bhakti the world has no stability. 13 In all the world they have vidhi-bhakti for me. [But] in vidhi-bhakti there is no power to gain the bhava of Braj. 14 All the world is involved in knowledge of my divinity. But my desire  is for prema, not for this inert divinity. 15 They who worship in vidhi, through knowledge of my divinity, go to Vaikuntha, having gained the four kinds of mukti.” CC 1.3

Practitioners can reach Braj only through passionate raganuga-bhakti–natural devotion toward Radha-Krishna’s sweet forms. Radha-Krishna do not like to be worshipped with awe and reverence directed toward their splendorous nature as people generally approach the divine. Rather they prefer to be a loving young couple surrounded by friends, parents, and lovers unaware of their divinity in rural Braj.

Krishna Chaitanya came to teach this kind of love and Rupa Goswami developed his teachings along with others over the past several centuries. I present them in an updated way for Westerners in my Universalist Radha-Krishnaism, which I wrote primarily targeting seekers and cultural creatives. However, I also attract some people with prior Radha-Krishna devotional experience in IGM. I sympathize with the difficulties they face transitioning from a highly regimented form of vidhi-bhakti to the free individualized expression of natural devotion, which turns many IGM teachings upside down.

Universalist Radha-Krishnaism is a completely different paradigm from that taught in IGM and the two are not compatible. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami spoke and wrote against natural devotion and its practitioners advising his disciples to practice vidhi within the confines of ISKCON. Thus while claiming to follow Krishna Chaitanya, Rupa Goswami, and Bhaktivinode Thakur, they do not. They are taught to be unthinking cult followers of a distorted teaching that claims to be something it is not. Best to discard such rubbish and make a new start with a beginners mind.

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