At that stage (devotional service in spontaneous love) the devotee can follow in the footsteps of one of the eternal associates of Krsna in Vrndavana

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Expressions researched:
"At that stage the devotee can follow in the footsteps of one of the eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Instruction

At that stage the devotee can follow in the footsteps of one of the eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana. This is called rāgānuga-bhakti. Rāgānuga-bhakti, or spontaneous devotional service, can be executed in the śānta-rasa when one aspires to be like Kṛṣṇa's cows or the stick or flute in the hand of Kṛṣṇa, or the flowers around Kṛṣṇa's neck. In the dāsya-rasa one follows in the footsteps of servants like Citraka, Patraka or Raktaka.

The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time—twenty-four hours a day—in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja [Goloka Vṛndāvana dhāma] and serve Kṛṣṇa under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has commented as follows upon this verse: "One who has not yet developed interest in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should give up all material motives and train his mind by following the progressive regulative principles, namely chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa and His name, form, quality, pastimes and so forth. In this way, after developing a taste for such things, one should try to live in Vṛndāvana and pass his time constantly remembering Kṛṣṇa's name, fame, pastimes and qualities under the direction and protection of an expert devotee. This is the sum and substance of all instruction regarding the cultivation of devotional service.

"In the neophyte stage one should always engage in hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā. This is called śravaṇa-daśā, the stage of hearing. By constantly hearing the transcendental holy name of Kṛṣṇa and hearing of His transcendental form, qualities and pastimes, one can attain to the stage of acceptance called varaṇa-daśā. When one attains this stage, he becomes attached to the hearing of kṛṣṇa-kathā. When one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of smaraṇāvasthā, the stage of remembering. Recollection, absorption, meditation, constant remembrance and trance are the five items of progressive kṛṣṇa-smaraṇa. At first, remembrance of Kṛṣṇa may be interrupted at intervals, but later remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is uninterrupted, it becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When meditation expands and becomes constant, it is called anusmṛti. By uninterrupted and unceasing anusmṛti one enters the stage of samādhi, or spiritual trance. After smaraṇa-daśā or samādhi has fully developed, the soul comes to understand his original constitutional position. At that time he can perfectly and clearly understand his eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That is called sampatti-daśā, the perfection of life.

"Caitanya-caritāmṛta advises those who are neophytes to give up all kinds of motivated desires and simply engage in the regulative devotional service of the Lord according to the directions of scripture. In this way a neophyte can gradually develop attachment for Kṛṣṇa's name, fame, form, qualities and so forth. When one has developed such attachment, he can spontaneously serve the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa even without following the regulative principles. This stage is called rāga-bhakti, or devotional service in spontaneous love. At that stage the devotee can follow in the footsteps of one of the eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana. This is called rāgānuga-bhakti. Rāgānuga-bhakti, or spontaneous devotional service, can be executed in the śānta-rasa when one aspires to be like Kṛṣṇa's cows or the stick or flute in the hand of Kṛṣṇa, or the flowers around Kṛṣṇa's neck. In the dāsya-rasa one follows in the footsteps of servants like Citraka, Patraka or Raktaka. In the friendly sakhya-rasa one can become a friend like Baladeva, Śrīdāmā or Sudāmā. In the vātsalya-rasa, characterized by parental affection, one can become like Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā, and in the mādhurya-rasa, characterized by conjugal love, one can become like Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī or Her lady friends such as Lalitā and Her serving maids (mañjarīs) like Rūpa and Rati. This is the essence of all instruction in the matter of devotional service."