How to become ācāryavān?

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ācāryavān puruṣo veda

Translation: One who follows the disciplic succession of ācāryas knows things as they are (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.14.2).

When we become ācāryavān then we will understand and learn how we can become ācāryavān? By learning the teachings of our acaryas and their life we can become ācāryavān. Yesterday we were remembering Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura. Today I'm remembering one of the teachings of Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura.

jaya jayojjwala-rasa sarva-rasa-sar parakiya-bhave jaha brajete pracar

Translation: All glories, all glories to the mellow of conjugal love, which is the most excellent of all rasas and is propagated in Vraja by Sri Krsna in the form of the divine parakiya-bhava [paramour love].

In Vrindavan, the Gopis were preaching Parakiya bhava. Similarly Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura also preached Parakiya bhava and did sadhana or Raganuga bhakti.

There are 2 types of sadhana - Vaidhi Bhakti sadhana and Raganuga bhakti sadhana. Gaudiya Vaisnavas practice Raganuga sadhana. Parakiya bhava is a part of Raganuga sadhana. Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura preached parakiya bhava through his books.

There was one pandit who was preaching svakiya bhava in Vrindavan and by doing so he became against Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura who was preaching about parakiya bhava with his knowledge and books. One time that learned pandit thought that he is not able to change the thoughts of Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura then why not kill him? One day they made plans to murder him. Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura daily performed 5 Kosi parikrama in the morning. They decided that when he reached a particular kunja then they will catch and murder him. One day they reached the place and tried to surround him. They didn't find Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura over there, but they saw a few beautiful and lustrous girls collecting flowers over there.

When they asked they replied that they are servants of Radharani and She had returned to Her parent's place in Jawat. The pandit and his men asked if they had seen Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura. They said, “Yes, but we don't know where he has gone.” Then the pandits were trying to find him. Later on those pandits saw Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura. Now there were no girls. But one among those girls became Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura. He was one of the manjaris. For some time he attains his original svarupa.

The pandits realized that he is not an ordinary soul, but he is an associate of the Lord and he is a gopi or Manjari.Then they fell at his feet and begged forgiveness for their offences. This is the greatness of Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura. In this way associates of Radha Krsna appear in this world.

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge

Translation: To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.[ BG 4.8]

Just as the Lord appears to establish dharma, in the same way the acaryas appear and their purpose is also the same. Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura stayed in Vrindavan 250 years ago and became the protector of Gaudiya or Bhagavata dharma. His main contribution is that he has written many commentaries, astakas like Gurvastakam. He also wrote many books. Among them is a book entitled Mādhurya-kādambinī. All such books are compilations of Srila Vishwanath Cakravarti Thakura. For Gaudiya Vaisnavas who practice Raganuga sadhana, Mādhurya-kādambinī is very important. All of you should study this book. In ISKCON so many seminars have been delivered on this.

In this, Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura talks about the steps from Sraddha to Prema. Our spiritual sadhana begins with sraddha. The sadhan is sraddha and sadhya is...

premā pum-artho mahān

Translation: The highest perfection of life is premā, pure love in a relationship with Kṛṣṇa.

The specialty of Gaudiya Vaisnavas is that their aim is prema. Other’s aim is mukti or liberation. Gaudiya Vaisnavas don't settle for anything less than prema. Prema means attainment of Radha Krsna, service, association and Their darsana. It starts with sraddha and ends with prema. In between, there are many stages. They have been described in detail by Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura. Time to time we also discussed these steps. Like ādau śraddhā, sadhu sanga, bhajana-kriyā, artha-nivṛttiḥ , niṣṭhā, rucis, āsaktis , bhāva and then prema. This is the science of devotional service. Just as Rupa Goswami has given Nectar of Devotion, in the same way many acaryas have given their commentaries on various sastras. Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura has given Mādhurya-kādambinī which is also a science of devotional service. Srila Vishwanath Cakravarti Thakura knew this wisdom. He was a scientist. When we say the word "scientist" we remember Galileo and Newton, but we don't remember our acaryas. We don't address Madhavacarya, Srila Prabhupada, Ramanujacarya and Tukaram Maharaja as scientists. One who knows scriptures or sastras is a scientist or sastrajna. We think that Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Botany is science...

tasmāc chāstraṁ pramāṇaṁ te kāryākārya-vyavasthitau jñātvā śāstra-vidhānoktaṁ karma kartum ihārhasi

Translation: One should therefore understand what duty is and what not duty by the regulations of the scriptures is. Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated.[ BG 16.24]

… But Gita and Bhagavatam is science and is scientific. Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura gave us so many scriptures as a gift. One of those is Mādhurya-kādambinī. Think about this and move forward. Senapati Bhakti do you have copy or access to this. Have you ever heard about this? So you can get it from somewhere, the internet or you may buy it. Then you will become ācāryavān. Then you will understand the acaryas, about their lives and teachings. One who is following the acaryas can become ācāryavān.

ācāryavān puruṣo veda

One who has an acarya is ācāryavān. As soon as he becomes ācāryavān one becomes knowledgeable.

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

Translation: I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.

Srila Vishwanath Cakravarti Thakura is removing our ignorance. When we understand the science given by him, then we will become free from ignorance. So become knowledgable.

I've given you homework. Caturmasya is there so you can do it daily. Abhyas or study is something that is performed daily. Do this abhyas daily and with that siddhi, perfection is guaranteed. If you put in some effort, then you will get the Lord.