Jumping to Raganuga

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The following is a quote from Thakura Bhaktivinoda:

“When a devotee following the path of vaidhi-bhakti abandons his various material desires and executes bhajana according to the instructions of the scriptures, the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas, then taste (ruci), manifests in his bhajana. When ruci thus appears, he abandons the path of vaidhi-bhakti and enters the plane of raganuga-bhakti.”
(Piyusa-varsini-vrtti commentary on Upadesamrta)

Those who do not wish to progress in Krsna consciousness step by step, but instead prefer to jump ahead to rasa, are sometimes called ‘gatecrashers.’ It is also to be understood that simply by talking about rasa does not mean that one has attained the stage of raganuga-bhakti. Talk is cheap, whereas the actual qualifications for rasa are very rare. It is also seen that the pseudo-guru claims himself to be a ‘rasika,’ when in fact he still manifests the symptoms of kama, krodha, and lobha – lust for wealth, anger toward anyone who does not blindly accept him as guru, and greed to initiate anyone who crosses his path – even though such persons may have already been duly initiated by a bona-fide spiritual master. Such deluded persons think that they have attained raganuga-bhakti simply by hearing the lilas of Krsna, but such persons should remember that krsna-lila is also sometimes available in comic books in India.

It should not go without mention that many of the pseudo-gurus, past and present, claiming to be on the platform of a rasika, display the classic symptoms of narcissism. Narcissism is a material condition (a psychological illness) wherein one suffers from:
1) a grandiose sense of self-importance,
2) a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, and ideal love,
3) a belief that he is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people,
4) a requirement for excessive admiration and worship,
5) a sense of entitlement – unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his expectations,
6) a despotic mentality, repressing and exploiting others,
7) a lack of empathy, unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings or needs of others,
8) envy of others, also believing that others are envious of him,
9) an arrogant or haughty attitude. Such persons are never truly rasika.

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