Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.2.270
virājantīm abhivyaktāṁ vraja-vāsī janādiṣu
rāgātmikām anusṛtā yā sā rāgānugocyate
Rāgānugā means to cultivate the unique affections (rāga-atmikā) that manifest most powerfully among the devotees, especially those who are residents of Vraja.
rāgānugā-vivekārtham ādau rāgātmikocyate
To define rāgānugā, first I will define Rāgātmika (the unique affections).
iṣṭe svārasikī rāgaḥ paramāviṣṭatā bhavet
tan-mayī yā bhaved bhaktiḥ sātra rāgātmikoditā
“Rāga” is natural and all-engrossing desire for a desirable object. Those whose bhakti is composed of that natural, all-engrossing emotion are denoted here with the term, “Rāgātmika.”
sā kāmarūpā sambandha-rūpā ceti bhaved dvidhā
She manifests in two ways: in the form of romance (kāma-rūpā), or in the form of some other type of relationship (sambandha-rūpā).
274-275 quote Bhāgavatam 7.1.30-31
276-279 explain the above quote.
280 calls a reference from Bhramāṇda Purāṇa as part of the explanation.
281 explains its relevance.
282 quotes Bhāgavatam 10.87.23
These quotes show the power of intense emotional absorption in Krishna (Rāga),
Either by romantic or other relationships,
even showing some benefit from inimical, non-devotional relationships.
tatra kāmarūpā –
sā kāmarūpā sambhoga-tṛṣṇāṁ yā nayati svatām
yad asyāṁ kṛṣṇa-saukhyārtham eva kevalam udyamaḥ
Romantic Absorption (Kāmarūpā) ~
This Kāmarūpa has an inherent thirst for sensuality, but Krishna’s pleasure is its sole concern.
iyaṁ tu vraja-devīṣu suprasiddhā virājate
It shines most brilliantly and perfectly in the Goddesses of Vraja.
āsāṁ prema-viśeṣo ‘yaṁ prāptaḥ kām api mādhurīṁ
tat-tat-krīḍā-nidānatvāt kāma ity ucyate budhaiḥ
This most remarkable type of prema allows them to obtain indescribable sweetness. It is the sole cause of many, many sports which the wise call “pleasure” (kāma).
tathā ca tantre ~
premaiva gopa-rāmāṇāṁ kāma ity agamat prathām
It is well known that what is called the “Lust” (Kāma) of the cowherd lovers is certainly the most wondrous “love” (prema).
ity uddhavādyo ‘py etaṁ vañchati bhagavat-priyāḥ
Therefore even great devotees like Uddhava desire it.
kāma-prāyā ratiḥ kintu kubjāyām eva sammatā
However, the affection of Kubjā can be determined to not quite be on the level of true romance (“kāma”).
tatra sambandha-rūpā ~
sambandha-rūpā govinde pitṛtvādy-ābhimānitā
Natural Relationship (sambandha-rūpā) consists of the sense of being Govinda’s father, and so on.
atropalakṣaṇatayā vṛṣṇīnāṁ vallavā matāḥ
yadaiśya-jñāna-śūnyatvād eṣāṁ rāge pradhānatā
This quality is found in Krishna’s family, but is is especially significant in the cowherders [Vraja-vāsī], because their emotional attachment to him is uniquely devoid of conscientiousness regarding Krishna’s majesty.
kāma-sambandha-rūpe te prema-mātra-svarūpake
nitya-siddhāśrayatayā nātra samyag vicārite
But romance (kāma-rūpā) and relationship (sambandha-rūpā) are intrinsic parts of prema, experienced by the eternally perfect devotees. Therefore to describe them at more length is not called for here [in this section on sādhana]
Two Types of Rāgānugā
rāgātmikāyā dvaividhyād dvidhā rāgānugā ca sā
kāmānugā ca sambandhānugā ceti nigadyate
Because Rāgātmikā has two varieties, Rāgānugā also has two varieties. They are known as Aspiration for Romance (kāma-ānugā) and aspiration for relationship (sambandha-ānugā).
Qualification for Rāgānugā
tara adhikārī ~
rāgātmikaika-niṣṭhā ye vraja-vāsī-janādayaḥ
teṣāṁ bhāvāptaye lubdho bhaved atrādhikāravān
Intense emotional attachment to Krishna is firmly established in devotees headed by the Vraja-vāsīs. Someone who is eager to acquire their devotional mood becomes a qualified person for this Rāgānugā.
tat-tad-bhāvādi-mādhurye śrute dhīr yad apekṣate
nātra śāstraṁ na yuktiṁ ca tal-lobhotpatti-lakṣaṇaṁ
The sign of this eagerness is that one becomes very alert and eager to hear all about the sweet mood, etc. of those devotees, naturally, not as a result of any intellectual or moral force.
vaidha-bhakty-adhikārī tu bhāvāvirbhavanāvadhi
atra śāstraṁ tathā tarkam anukūlam apekṣate
Those who are qualified for Vaidhi-bhakti, however, do not develop such natural inclinations. They remain dependent on intellectual and moral motivation until they come to the stage of Bhāva-bhakti.
Practices of Rāgānugā
kṛṣṇaṁ smaran janaṁ cāsya preṣṭhaṁ nija-samīhitam
tat-tat-kathā-rataś cāsau kuryād vāsaṁ vraje sadā
Always immerse yourself in Vraja by constantly relishing discussions all about Krishna’s relationship with the devotee whose affections you specifically aspire to attain.
sevā sādhaka-rūpeṇa siddha-rūpeṇa cātra hi
tad-bhāva-lipsunā kāryā vraja-lokānusārataḥ
Perform your devotional service (sevā) in your current, external form, but certainly also follow the essence (anusāra) of the desired mood of that Vraja devotee by investing those services (atra) with that perfect internal significance (siddha-rūpeṇa).
Note: Devotional service in Rāgānugā must be performed externally, but with internal contemplation of the significant similarity the external action bears in regard to the perfect devotion one aspires for. To offer an example, one performs kīrtan with internal awareness of the mood of the gopīs performing Kīrtan, perhaps during rāsa-līla, or during a boat-ride or in some other situation.
śravaṇotkīrtanādīni vaidha-bhakty-uditāni tu
yāny aṅgāni ca tāny atra vijñeyāni manīṣibhiḥ
And the wise sādhaka should certainly carefully perform the practices of Vaidhi bhakti – hearing, chanting, and so on -in a conducive manner.
tatra kāmānugā ~
kāmānugā bhavet tṛṣṇā kāma-rūpānugāminī.
Aspiration for Romance (Kāmānugā):
Aspiration for Romance (Kāmānugā) is that which has a thirst to follow those with Romantic Absorption (Kāma-Rūpa Rāgātmikā).
sambhogecchā-mayī tat-tad-bhāvecchātmeti sā dvidhā
She manifests in two aspects: The desire for romantic pleasures (sambhoga-icchā), the desire for the romantic mood within all of them (tat-tad-bhāva-icchā).
keli-tātparyavaty eva sambhogecchā mayī bhavet
tad-bhāvecchātmikā tāsām bhāva-mādhurya-kāmitā
The desire for romantic pleasures (sambhoga-icchā) is the purport of all romantic pastimes. The desire for the romantic mood (tad-bhāva-icchā) is what manifests the sweet romantic mood in those pastimes.
Note: If the desire for romantic pleasures is more prominent in a sādhaka, they will wind up becoming a gopī who interacts with Krishna but competes with Rādhārāṇī, like Candrāvalī. If the desire for the sweet romantic mood is more prominent, the sādhaka winds up becoming a gopī who assists Rādhārāṇī’s interactions with Krishna. The later is a superior ecstasy.
Qualification for Kāmānugā
śrī-mūrter mādhurīṁ prekṣya tat-tal-līlām niśamya vā
tad-bhāvākāṇkṣiṇo ye syus teṣu sādhanatānayoḥ
purāṇe śruyate pādme puṁsam api bhaved iyam
Those who develop eagerness to attain this Romance – perhaps after seeing the beautiful deity of Krishna with his Beloved, or after hearing all about their pastimes – can practice this sādhana. Padma Purāṇa documents that this aspiration can arise even in males.
301-302 quote Padma Purāṇa, the story of the Sages of Daṇḍakāraṇya
riraṁsām suṣṭhu kurvan yo vidhi-mārgeṇa sevate
kevalenaiva sa tadā mahiṣītvam iyāt pure
Those who have Romantic aspirations but perform their service according to Vidhi-mārga only, they eventually become his Queens in the City [Dvārakā].
304 quotes Mahā-kurma Purāṇa to give an example of the above.
305-308 define sambandhānugā-sādhana.
puṣṭi-mārgatayā kaiścid iyaṁ rāgānugocyate
This [sambandhānugā] is sometimes called the Nourished Path (Puṣṭi-Mārga). The mercy of Krishna and his devotee are the essence of attaining its cause.