Raganuga to ragatmika

Jayadvaita Swami

For the latest printing of The Nectar of Devotion, at the beginning of chapter 15 the BBT’s editors have six times changed the word raganuga to ragatmika. This led to the following correspondence on an internet group between Nrsimhananda Dasa (the disciple of Srila Prabhupada responsible for ITV) and Jayadvaita Swami.

July 20, 2010
Does anyone know who authorized the change in the NOD and on what basis those changes were made?
YS, Nrsimhananda das


21 July 2010

Dear Nrsimhananda Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
>Does anyone know who authorized the change in the NOD and on what
>basis those changes were made?
Thank you for asking.
Both Dravida Prabhu and I signed off on those changes. I'm sure we consulted our Sanskrit editors as well.
We authorized those changes because evidence elsewhere in Srila Prabhupada's books persuaded us, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the text as we had it was wrong. We assumed, therefore, that “raganuga” was an editorial error.
This error has been pointed out by many devotees, over many years. It has long been flagged for correction.
You can find ragatmika bhakti and raganuga bhakti clearly defined and explained in Srila Prabhupada's edition of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, in a passage that starts with text 148.
Text 149 gives this precise definition:
ragatmika-bhakti -- ‘mukhya' vraja-vasi-jane
tara anugata bhaktira ‘raganuga'-name

“The original inhabitants of Vrndavana are attached to Krsna spontaneously in devotional service. Nothing can compare to such spontaneous devotional service, which is called ragatmika bhakti. When a devotee follows in the footsteps of the devotees of Vrndavana, his devotional service is called raganuga bhakti.
Text 154 (quoted from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, 1.2.270) gives the same definition.
So, when the paragraph of NOD, chapter 15, said that the spontaneous attitude of the cowherd boys is called raganuga bhakti, this was obviously wrong. Those boys are among “the original inhabitants of Vrndavana,” and so, in accordance with the verses above, their spontaneous devotional service is called ragatmika bhakti.
Then we look at the next verse of CC, text 150:
iste svarasiki ragah
paramavistata bhavet
tan-mayi ya bhaved bhaktih
satra ragatmikodita

“When one becomes attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to one's natural inclination to love Him and is fully absorbed in thoughts of the Lord, that state is called transcendental attachment, and devotional service according to that attachment is called ragatmika, or spontaneous devotional service.”
We will quickly notice that the second paragraph of NOD, chapter 15, closely follows this verse (quoted from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, 1.2.272), except that in NOD the same devotional service is again called raganuga instead of ragatmika. So either the CC verse or the NOD paragraph has it wrong, and clearly the error lies in NOD.
We have so far accounted for five of the six changes from “raganuga” to “ragatmika.
The last appears in the same chapter, in the first sentence of the fifth paragraph: “The attraction of the gopis for Krsna and the affection of the members of the Yadu dynasty are both accepted as spontaneous, or raganuga.
Again, if the verses from CC are right, “raganuga” here must be wrong. The text should say “ragatmika.
Because I'm traveling at the moment, I don't have a copy of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu to consult. I believe that a reliable translation by His Holiness Bhanu Maharaja is widely available. And I would expect that if you check there you would find further confirmation that, in all these instances, “ragatmika” is the right word.
I hope this answers your questions to your satisfaction. Again, thank you for asking.
Hoping this finds you in good health,
Your servant,
Jayadvaita Swami

PS: By the way, for those interested in editorial issues I have just posted chapter four of the version of BGAII that shows my revisions to the purports. Included are extensive annotations, images from the original manuscript for all major changes, and sample pages of that manuscript (including the page for text 34). This is all online at http://www.BBTedit.com/changes. Hare Krsna.



22 July 2010
Dear Jayadvaita Swami,

Thank you for the detailed and satisfying answer.  I first read the NOD in 1971, and I must admit, was thoroughly overwhelmed and confused.  I figured that I would understand more as I advanced in K.C. Now I appreciate, more than ever, that my realizations come only through the mercy of my devotee family.
Hope you are well and blissful in K.C.
YS, Nrsimhananda das