Srila Gurudev: Meditate in astakaliya-lila is just when you realize your own transcendental and constitutional form. At that time you will do astakaliya-lila.
First, you do two kinds of smaranam (remembrance). One is called astakaliya-lila-sarasaki and the other, mantra mayi-upasana.
You won’t do astakaliya-lila now. It’s according to your level. Sarasaki-lila you do when you were in the stage of bhav and prem. This is very, very rare for sadhakas, but mantra mayi-upasana you can practice, no problem.
Q: How to do mantra mayi-upasana?
Srila Gurudev: Remembering one by one the slokas from sastra or guru’s activities and remembrances. That is called mantra mayi-upasana. When you are chanting gopal-mantra, this is mantra mayi-upasana.
When you come in the stage of bhav and prem, then [you do] sarasaki. It means that according to your own particular stayi-bhav (mood), it spontaneously comes to your heart and at that time astakaliya-lila comes. This is not an imaginary thing in your brain, nothing like this. It will come spontaneously.
You should not imitate this in your immature stage. No need of doing this.
But in mantra mayi-upasana you can meditate. First meditate in guru, sastra. Meditate in one by one slokas. This is ok.
The activities of [each one] Gurudev as a sadhaka, the time he wakes up, do his activities, this is mantra mayi-upasana. That is called guru-dhyan, guru-mantra, that is good. All of these come in mantra mayi-upasana.
When in sarasaki-upasana, you cannot see guru. There, you will see guru as a manjari. As Raghunath das Gosvami, in [the book] Vilapa-kusumanjali, first sloka, when he glorifies Srila Rupa Gosvamipad. But at that time, he is not looking at Srila Rupa Gosvamipad, he is looking to Rupa Manjari.
In sadhaka stage, he was looking to Rupa Gosvami, but in the siddha stage, he looks at Rupa Manjari.
At that time He did not say Rupa Gosvami, he said: “He Rupa Manjari! I know that you are a very chaste lady, that never sees another person, except your husband, but I know that in these few days your husband was not in your house. So, who touched your lips because they are with a very nice red colour as a bimba fruit? Who kissed your lips?”
It means “maybe one very nice and beautiful parrot came and touched your lips thinking it was a bimba fruit”.
Actually, this is one kind of loving joke. At that time he was not his guru. At that time he realized his own transcendental and constitutional form – siddha-deha. Raghunath Gosvami was thinking:“I am Rati-manjari and Rupa Gosvami is RupaManjari!”
If you don’t know your own transcendental constitutional form, siddha-deha, you cannot meditate in the astakaliya-lilaor sarasaki-lila.
At that time you will forget your physical body. You will be always absorbed in transcendental things.
Now just chant the holy names to remove your anarthas and then slowly, slowly, the realization will come, about your siddha-deha
Q: How to develop the mood?
A: Everything will come when you chant the holy names. Serve guru and Krsna and slowly, slowly it will come. Read sastra. Sastra-jñan will come. You have to cross the line of a kanistha-adhikari. When you come to the stage of a madhyama-adhikari – intermediary devotee – then slowly, slowly the realization will come. Then ruci, asakti, then bhav will come. This is the process.
Everything will come step by step, not in one day. You cannot jump.