Prakrta-sahajiyas are those who understand the aprakrta (spiritual) lila of the aprakrta Bhagavan to be prakrta (mundane) like the affairs of ordinary men and women, and who think that the aprakrta-tattva is attained by a material sadhana. Contrary to the teachings of the aprakrta rasacarya Sri Rupa Gosvami, they imagine themselves to be gopis. They decorate the inert, gross, material male body with the dress of a woman and they act out the role of performing bhajana with this imaginary gopi-bhava. Those who do this are called prakrta-sahajiya. While maintaining a mood of male within their hearts, these people outwardly hide their male bodies by keeping long hair like women, and wearing rings in their noses, long veils, saris or voluminous skirts, bodices, bangles on their wrists, girdles on their waists, ankle-bells on their feet, golden ornaments and so on. They introduce themselves with names like Lalita or Visakha. On the pretext of parakiya-bhajana they keep young women in their asramas as maidservants and maintain improper relationships with them. Such is their anti-scriptural conduct.
Others do not adorn their male bodies in the dress of women, but they support the opinion of those who do. With flirtatious gestures, they sing about the confidential loving play of Rai-Kanu (Radha-Krsna) in the presence of all kinds of ordinary people anywhere in the market-place without considering the eligibility of their audience. They give pretentious lectures on rasa-lila and they also imitate rasa-lila. Thus debauchees come to mistake the aprakrta-rasa for the jada (material) rasa. They believe that it is absolutely necessary to keep the company of another’s wife as an illegal paramour in order to realise the aprakrta-rasa. Conversely, they think that Sri Jiva Gosvami and Srila Narottama Thakura can not possibly be rasika, because Sri Jiva Gosvami was a brahmacari from boyhood and Srila Narottama Thakura never entered household life. Such people also come in the category of prakrta-sahajiya.
Externally Sriman Mahaprabhu was male, but internally He used to nurture the mood of a gopi in the service of Krsna. These people completely contradict this. They nurture the male mood within their hearts but externally they hide it by trying to cover their outer limbs with the attire of a gopi. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has explained that gopi-bhava is the dharma of the atma, but the prakrta-sahajiyas think that gopi-bhava is the dharma of the body.
antare nistha kara bahye loka-vyavaharaHere Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhuji is saying that in the beginning one should keep nistha (very firm faith) in the core of one’s heart, and at the same time behave like ordinary people in order to sustain one’s life. Slowly, slowly, when one’s faith has become mature, one’s worldly activities will also come to correspond with one’s bhajana; that is they will become favourable to bhajana. In such a condition, one should meditate on one’s internally conceived siddha-deha which is suitable for the service of the Divine Couple, and in the core of one’s heart one should engage in the aprakrta manasi-seva to Krsna. By following this procedure, at first one attains svarupa-siddhi (realisation of one’s eternal spiritual body). Ultimately, at the stage of vastu-siddhi in prakata Vraja, after giving up the material body, one gets the body of a gopi corresponding to one’s internally conceived siddha-deha.
acirat krsna tomaya karibe uddhara
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 16.239)
mane nija-siddha-deha kariya bhavana
ratri-dine kare vraje krsnera sevana
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.152)
On the topic of raganuga bhakti-sadhana Srila Rupa Gosvami has said,
krsnam smaran janan casya prestham nija samihitam“One should always continuously reside in Vraja, remembering Sri Krsna and those dear associates of His whom one aspires to follow, and one should remain engrossed in their lila-katha. If one is unable to reside in Vraja directly then one should reside in Vraja by mind. On the path of raganuga, one should follow Krsna's intimate beloved associates and their followers, always remaining absorbed in their service. This should be done by the sadhaka-rupa (the external material body of one’s present condition) and also in siddha-rupa (by the internally conceived body suitable for rendering the type of service to Sri Krsna for which one’s heart is eager). One should eagerly desire the bhava, that is the special loving mood of those associates of Krsna in Vraja whom one aspires to follow. Learned scholars who know bhakti-tattva point out that in vaidhi-bhakti one is instructed to observe the limbs of bhakti such as sravana and kirtana according to one’s adhikara (eligibility). These same instructions also apply in raganuga-bhakti.”
tat tat katha ratas casau kuryad vasam vraje sada
seva sadhaka-rupena siddha-rupena catra hi
tad bhava lipsuna karya vraja-lokanusaratah
sravanotkirtanadini vaidhi-bhakty uditani tu
yanyangani ca tanyatra vijneyani manisibhih
Neither Sri Sriman Mahaprabhu nor Srila Rupa Gosvami, who fulfilled Mahaprabhu’s heart’s desire, have given instructions anywhere that male sadhakas should hide their male forms; keep a braid; wear a veil, a skirt, a blouse and ornaments suitable for women; and then perform raganuga bhajana with others’ wives. Rather, in all cases they have said that these activities are abominable and are opposed to sastra. Sriman Mahaprabhu rejected Chota Haridasa to establish a high ideal for practitioners of bhakti. The same immaculate ideal has also been set by the Six Gosvamis. In Srila Rupa Gosvami’s literatures such as Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, he has given the instruction to perform sadhana-bhajana following in the cooling footprints of the srutis (personified Vedas) and the sages of Dandakaranya. Sri Svarupa Damodara, Sri Raya Ramananda, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, Sri Narottama Thakura, Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and others are shining examples of such bhajana. How pure their lives are! It is proper for suddha-bhaktas to follow such great spiritual personalities.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written as follows in his essay entitled ’The Depravity of the Sahajiya Doctrine.’
“A loathsome ideology is spreading insidiously in several places in Bengal. All the activities and conduct prescribed by this sahajiya doctrine are extremely corrupt and contemptible. The jiva is cinmaya (spiritual), and its only natural dharma is cinmaya service to Krsna. The word ‘sahaja’ means saha-ja, i.e. that which arises along with the atma. Transcendental service to Krsna is sahaja (natural) for the pure atma, because it occurs along with the jivatma and thus it is naturally inherent. However, it is not natural in the stage of bondage to inanimate matter. Sahajiyas cheat others and are themselves cheated or deprived of their pure and natural love for Krsna by transforming the union of man and woman into a mundane, supposedly natural dharma. In actuality, the union of man and woman is not a natural dharma. On the contrary, in the natural dharma of the atma, the union of the dull male and female bodies is extremely loathsome, depraved and inappropriate conduct. What is called sahajiya-dharma nowadays is totally immoral, contrary to saintly behaviour and opposed to sastra. Suddha Vaisnavas should be extremely careful in regard to this. That dharma in which the custom is to accept mantra in the left ear is in all respects a deviation.
"We never find anywhere in the scriptures instructions such as, ‘One should associate with a woman in order to attain Vrajendra-nandana’. On entering into madhurya-rasa the minute conscious jiva attains his own natural condition. Then there is no necessity whatsoever for associating with the inanimate material nature. Chota Haridasa, himself being prakrti (female), was rejected by Mahaprabhu for committing the offence of conversing in purusa-bhava (male mood) with another prakrti. Licentious people create the path of their own sense gratification (see Antya-lila 2.117), but suddha Vaisnavas neglect them. The association of a married woman is not part of bhajana even for householders, therefore this association of woman has been accepted in a regulated way free from sin for conducting household life. It is the opinion of pure Vaisnavas that male sadhakas should perform bhajana and remain separate from female sadhakas. A female sadhaka should not invite any male person to her bhajana party. Bhajana is a completely spiritual activity. When even the slightest mundane sentiment is allowed to enter it becomes ruined.”