Previous section: Eastern Division First Wave: Verses 2 - 46
Sri Rupa Goswamis Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhuh
Sanskrta Text with Devanagari Script
With transliteration in English
English Translation with Comments
TRIDANDI SWAMI BHAKTI HRIDAYA BON MAHARAJ
Rector, Institute of Oriental Philosophy
Vrndavan, U.P., India
Verses 1 - 123
sa bhakti sadhanam bhavah prema ceti tridodita ||1||
Translation: Bhakti (which has been generally characterized in the First Wave) is stated to be of three types, viz. Sadhana-Bhakti, Bhava-Bhakti and Prema-Bhakti.-2-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami commenting on the text points out that as an introductory statement of the nature of Bhakti previously considered, it has been classified into three types, viz. Sadhana-Bhakti, Bhava-Bhakti and Prema-Bhakti. In reality, however, Bhakti is either Sadhana-Bhakti or Sadhya-Bhakti, i.e. consists of two types only. Of these two, the first, i.e. Sadhana-Bhakti, will be defined with a specification of its different varieties in detail. The second, i.e. Sadhya-Bhakti, is a matter of the purified and transparent heart of a freed soul; that also is connoted by the term Bhakti'. For example, in the Bhagavatam 1 the sage Prabuddha tells King Nimi: "In this way, all those who have adopted the path of Bhakti after having realized Prema-Bhakti through the practice of Sadhana-Bhakti, recall in their minds Lord Sri Krsna who is the Destroyer of all lapses of the spirit and the sins accruing therefrom. And so recalling, they inspire similar emotions in the hearts of other devotees like themselves, and thus inspiring one another with feelings of devotion to the Lord they remain immersed in the delight,which is Prema-Bhakti.
This Harda-Bhakti or Bhakti pertaining to the purified and transparent heart of a freed soul, i.e. Prema-Bhakti, is fivefold, viz. Bhava, Prema, Pranaya, Sneha, and Raga (See Introduction for their meaning). The later stages after Raga are described by Sri Rupa Gosvami in his book Ujjvala-Nilamani as Mana, Anu-Raga and Mahabhava (Please see Introduction).
Commentator Sri Jiva Gosvami says that in the text Sri Rupa Gosvami has mentioned the three forms of Bhakti as Sadhana, Bhava and Prema, which fall really into two divisions of Sadhana-Bhakti and Sadhya-Bhakti, so that under Sadhya-Bhakti, the author Sri Rupa Gosvami has mentioned both Bhava-Bhakti and Prema-Bhakti. The reason why the Sadhya-Bhakti, though consisting of the two forms of Bhava and Prema, are yet stated to be of eight types (as stated above), is that all these eight are comprised under Prema-Bhakti by Upalaksana or extension of meaning. In fact, all these eight represent the luxuriant expansion of Prema in the higher stages, and they are very rarely manifest in even very very advanced devotees.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out here to an apparent objection to the above classification by Sri Rupa Gosvami: if Bhakti is described as consisting essentially of the two types of Sadhana-Bhakti and Sadhya-Bhakti, it is superfluous to classify it again into three types, viz. Sadhana-Bhakti, Bhava-Bhakti and Prema-Bhakti. This objection, however, misses the real point at issue. After Sadhana-Bhakti when one attains Bhava-Bhakti and is called a Sadhaka by virtue of the inwardisation of the external practices in the form of emotions of the transparent heart, one does not become at once qualified for the undisturbed experiences of Prema-Bhakti. Sri Cakravarti says that according to Sri Rupa Gosvami a Sadhaka is one who is a Jata-Rati, i.e. one in whom Bhava-Bhakti has dawned through the practices of Sadhana-Bhakti. But one must distinguish between a Sadhaka and a Siddha. A Sadhaka is just a beginner in Bhava-Bhakti and Siddha is one who is in its higher stages. A Sadhaka is defined as one who has just a taste of the real Bhakti which revealed itself in the heart, but has not passed all the troubles that are impediments to Prema-Bhakti, and who, though otherwise fit for the direct vision of the Lord, has yet to struggle against the obstacles in the path of Prema-Bhakti on account of a trace of some great offense against some saint of the highest type. As distinguished from this, a Siddha devotee is one who has passed all obstacles to the realization of Prema-Bhakti, and who always and in all his activities is concerned with none else than Krsna, and who thus has a continuous uninterrupted ever-increasing taste of the joy which is Prema-Bhakti.
Therefore, Bhava-Bhakti cannot be included, holds Visvanatha Cakravarti, in Prema-Bhakti (without prejudice to the real nature of the latter). It also follows from the above that Bhava-Bhakti cannot also be included under Sadhana-Bhakti (without any prejudice to its own intrinsic nature). Sri Visvanatha, points out that the very fact that Bhava-Bhakti is an offect that results from Sadhana-Bhakti, shows that it cannot be the same as Sadhana-Bhakti.
Since thus under Sadhya-Bhakti there are two types of devotees-Sadhaka and Siddha, it is only proper that they should be clearly distinguished in respect of the quality of their experiences. Hence there is neither confusion nor overlapping divisions in Sri Rupa Gosvami's insistence on the threefold divisions, though in essence Bhakti is of two types. -1-
1 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 3, sloka 3l.55
krti-sadhya bhavet sadhya-bhava sa sadhanabhidha |
nitya-siddhasya bhavasya prakatyam hrdi sadhyata ||2||
Translation: Uttama-Bhakti, that has been previously explained, when translated into practice through the organs of the body, and which being so practiced brings on the manifestation of Bhava-Bhakti in the heart of the individual is called Sadhana-Bhakti. 2-
Commentary: A question may be raised: As the practices of Uttama-Bhakti through the organs of the body is Sadhana-Bhakti, can it be said that such physical practices are only a means to an end or they are a part and parcel of Sadhana-Bhakti itself? Commentator Sri Jiva Gosvami says that just as all that is done as the preliminary of a Vedic sacrificial ritual is considered to be part and parcel of the sacrificial ceremony, so also the physical activities through which Sadhana-Bhakti is practiced for bringing on the manifestation of Bhava-Bhakti should be regarded as part and parcel of Sadhana-Bhakti. The self-revelation of the eternally real Bhava-Bhakti in the heart is called Bhava-Sadhya.
Sri Jiva Gosvami further answers a hypothetical objection. It may be said that if Bhava-Bhakti is to result from Sadhana-Bhakti as a consequence thereof, it becomes an effect in time (Janya-Padartha), and therefore does not answer to the conception of Bhava-Bhakti as an eternally accomplished reality. Sri Jiva points out in reply that what happens in the case in question is that Bhava, which is an eternal essence of the Swarupa-Sakti i.e. the Intrinsic Potency of the Lord Himself, and not a thing that grows in the heart of an individual as an effect of Sadhana-Bhakti, reveals itself into the heart of the Jiva-atma or finite self, where it was absent because of its self-forgetfulness and God-forgetfulness. When such Bhava-Bhakti appears in the heart of the finite self (Jiva-atma), it reveals itself in such special physical expressions as (1) chanting of the Name of the Lord, (2) hearing the glories of the Lord and above all, (3) mentally recalling the Events of His Divine Life. This disposes of the objections that such physical activities being parts of Sadhana-Bhakti, they cannot be included as elements of Bhava-Bhakti. In fact in Sadhana-Bhakti the activities that are practiced are a means to the End Bhava, in which they culminate. But the expressions of Bhava-Bhakti through the tongue, ears and mind of the devotee who has attained Bhava-Bhakti are themselves part and parcel of the Bhava that has appeared in the heart of the individual and are not a means to anything other than themselves. In Sadhana-Bhakti the physical activities are a part and parcel of Sadhana-Bhakti itself, while in Bhava-Bhakti its Anu-Bhavas, such as chanting or singing or listening or remembrances, make use of the tongue, ears and mind of the Bhava-devotee and spontaneously manifest themselves in these physical organs out of the eternal and innate essence of the Swarupa-Sakti of the Supreme Lord.
Translator's Note: It may be noted here that one of the basic principles on which the Vaisnava religion is founded is that the finite self or Jiva-atma in the stage of God-forgetfulness is incapable of generating Bhakti in itself by its unaided individual effort. Bhakti is part and parcel of the intrinsic nature or essence of the Lord's Swarupa-Sakti, i.e. the Potency that is inherently associated with and non-differentiated from the Lord Himself. It is this that descends into the Jiva-soul through the Guru Parampara, i.e. the uninterrupted claim of Preceptorial Order; in each one of the Preceptors in the chain this power of the Lord must have manifested itself. If this chain of the perceptorial Order is interrupted at any link, there can be no manifestation of this eternal Seed of Bhakti in the individual disciple. It is illustrated here by a simile. Just as the sacred river Ganga issues from the mouth of the cow shaped cave in the snow-clad Himalayas and descends on the plain and flows uninterrupted into the sea sanctifying all the lands through which she passes, so is it with this Bhakti-Rasa of the Nectar of Devotion and Devotional Love of the Supreme Lord that emanates from the Lord's Swarupa-Sakti and revealing itself through an uninterrupted Chain of Spiritual Preceptors or Guru appears at last in the heart of a self-forgetful and God-forgetful mortal who has the good fortune by accident to come in contact with one of these saints while floating in the current of time just like a piece of straw accidentally stuck to the shore while being carried adrift in the fast stream of a river. What is to be noted here is that Chain must not be interrupted at any link in order that the appearance of Bhakti may be possible in an ordinary mortal. We may also explain this idea by a modern simile. Just as for telephonic communication from one part of the country to another, there must be a connecting wire without which such communication is not possible from one part of the country to another, and just as the wires being cut in between, communication from one part to another becomes impossible, so also it is with the manifestation of the eternal Bhava or Prema-Bhakti, which is the essence of the Lord's Swarupa-Sakti, through an uninterrupted succession of truly genuine Gurus (not Guru-bruvas, i.e. fake Gurus).
Sri Jiva Gosvami further comments that it has been
already said that Sadhana-Bhakti is Sadhana-Bhakti in the sense that it brings
on the manifestation of Bhava-Bhakti in the Jiva-soul. Therefore, practices,
which lead to the attainment of ends other than Bhava-Bhakti, such as Dharma, Artha,
sa bhaktih saptama-skandhe bhangya devarsinodita ||3||
Translation: This Uttama-Bhakti of the Sadhana-type sage Narada has hinted at in an indirect and roundabout way in the Seventh Canto of the
Commentary: In the Seventh Canto, Chapter One and sloka twenty-six of the Bhagavatam, Sri Narada addresses King Yudhisthira as follows: As the Lord is never perturbed even by abuse and ill-speaking about Himself, therefore if one fixes one's mind on the Lord either with a feeling of animosity or without animosity, or out of fear or from affection or from desire for self-enjoyment and self-gratification, one realizes the Lord in accordance with the nature of one's mind-fixation on the Lord. But this is not pure Bhakti of the highest type, as it is inconsistent with the conception of Uttama-Bhakti which must be agreeable to the Lord and without any antagonism and must also be desireless. The elucidation of pure Bhakti has, however, been referred to here in a roundabout way. What is really stressed in this reference is that even where interest in the Lord is dictated by feelings of animosity, fear, affection, or desire for self-gratification and sense enjoyment and with mental absorption, the Lord ignores the actuating motives behind the interest in the Lord, and considering the simple fact of their mental absorption in Him bestows on them Sayujya-mukti and other boons according to the way in which they fix their mind in His Person. This shows that the mere fact of mind-fixation on the Lord brings on the Lord's Grace even where the determining motive is something different from Bhakti in the Lord for His own sake.
Therefore, Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that if this be the case when even extraneous interest in the Lord can bring on the Lord's beneficent Grace on the individual, what must be the case where there is genuine interest in the service of the Lord for His own sake, which is Uttama-Bhakti? This being the intrinsic nature of the Lord, is there anybody who is so base as to prefer the ways of animosity, fear, etc. to that of Uttama-Bhakti in the Lord for the Lord's pleasure? 3-
tasmat kenapyupayena manah krsne nivesaye 2 ||4||
Translation: As it is said in the Seventh Canto:--
It behooves everybody to apply his mind to Sri Krsna in whatsoever way he can. -4-
Commentary: In commenting on the above, Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that the meaning of the text is that one must apply one's mind not out of fear and animosity. One's mental interest in the Lord may be one or the other of a non-antagonistic interest, or an affectionate concern, or an interest dictated by the motive of self-gratification in keeping with one's individual temperamental preference. He rules out any interest in the Lord dictated by animosity or fear. Sri Jiva further points out that manonivesa or application of the mind in the text includes by Upalaksana or extension of meaning, such relevant activities of the physical senses, such as Arcana or worship of the Deities in the temple with flowers etc., prostrating one's body before the Deities in a temple or before the Spiritual Master, which are forms of spiritual practices in Sadhana-Bhakti.
Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami, however, points out that the real point in the above text is monanivesa, i.e. fixation of mind. As where there is fixation of the mind on the Lord, there despite even animosity, interest in the Lord, brings on Sayujya-mukti, i.e. liberation by way of merging in the Godhead, as in the case of Sisupala, Kamsa, and others. Kamsa was as a matter of fact, aware of his previous birth as Nemi and of his enmity with the Lord. So, when he cherished animosity against Lord Sri Krsna, his mind was absorbed in Him knowing fully well that He was the Supreme Lord. The mere fact of one's animosity towards the Lord without mental absorption in Him does not entitle one to Sayujya-mukti or any boon from the Lord. For example, King Vena cherishing animosity towards theLord lacked mental absorption in Him. He was thus deprived of the boon of Sayujya-mukti or liberation by way of merging in the Godhead, and was thrown in to the hell for the sin he incurred for his enmity and abuse of Sri Krsna. Kamsa and Sisupala also incurred sins for their abuse of Lord Sri Krsna, but those sins were washed away because of their complete mental absorption in Him which was lacking in the case of King Vena. Sri Mukundadasa, therefore, concludes that barring vairita or animosity or antagonism, one may practice mental application on the Lord mentally, verbally and physically in any of the four remaining ways, i.e. out of fear, non-antagonistic indifference, affection or desire for self-gratification. Thus practiced in any one of the four ways according to one's personal
preference, mental absorption in the Lord is sure to bear fruit. Thus Sri Mukundadasa adds that hearing about the Lord, chanting His Name, mental recollection of the Pastimes of the Lord's Divine Life, etc., starting from Sraddha or firm faith up to Asakti or intense attachment, come under Sadhana-Bhakti. 4-
2 Bhagavatam, Canto VII, Chap. 1, sloka 31.56
vaidhi raganuga ceti sa dvidha sadhanabhidha ||5||
Translation: Sadhana-Bhakti is of two types: Vaidhi and Raganuga. 5-
yatra raganavaptatvat pravrttir upajayate |
sasanenaiva sastrasya sa vaidhi bhaktir ucyate ||6|||
Translation: Vaidhi in Sadhana-Bhakti:
When Sadhana-Bhakti is not roused in the heart of an individual from a spontaneous love or liking for it, but is called up by the injunctions of the Scriptures, it is called Vaidhi-Bhakti. 6-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami in his commentary on the above, observes that when the injunctions of the Sastras alone are the cause of Sadhana-Bhakti, and it does not follow from a longing for it, then such Sadhana-Bhakti is Vaidhi, i.e. regulated by Sastras. The word Raga used here in the text means "simple liking", and not in the sense of Raga in the highest grade of Prema-Bhakti; because, Sri Jiva points out, Sri Rupa Gosvami will describe ahead, in slokas 270-272, in the Second Wave of the East Division, the differences between Ragatmika-Bhakti and Raganuga-
Bhakti. Sri Jiva further points out that by using the suffix eva to sasanena, i.e. by the injunctions (of the Sastras),it is signified that even when Sadhana-Bhakti arises out of a longing or liking for it, such Sadhana-Bhakti with Raga or taste may be functioning within the limits prescribed by Sastras, and if so, is partially Vaidhi-Bhakti.
Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami, however, points out that when Sadhana-Bhakti does not arise out of any spontaneous longing for it, but is definitely governed by the injunctions of the scriptures (in which one's whims or individual fancies have no place), it is called Vaidhi-Bhakti.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti explains that the inclination for Sadhana-Bhakti can be due either to a love for it, or to the directions of the scriptures. But where there is no taste or longing for it and the Sadhana-Bhakti is caused entirely by the prescriptions of the Scriptures, it is called Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti, i.e. Sadhana-Bhakti regulated by the Sastras. Sri Cakravarti further points out that the use of the word Raga in the text means that a longing or taste for Sadhana-Bhakti is caused by the seeing of the Deities in the temple or listening to the glories and Divine Pastimes of the Lord described in the Tenth Canto of the Bhagavatam. But where this desire for Sadhana-Bhakti does not grow even after seeing the Deities in the temple or listening the Divine Pastimes of the Lord as described in the Bhagavatam but is caused by the bidding of the Scriptures, such alone should be known as Vaidhi-Bhakti. 6-
tasmad bharata sarvatma bhagavanisvaro harih |
srotavyah kirtitavyas ca smartavyas cechata bhayam 3 ||7||
Translation: For example in the Second Canto:
Sri Sukadeva Gosvami tells King Pariksita: "Oh King Bharata! One who aspires for the Supreme Lord Hari, from whom all fears of births and deaths are completely wiped out, should listen to and sing and meditate upon the glories of that All-powerful, All-majestic and Indwelling Lord of all sentient beings". 7-
Commentary: Sri Mukundadas Gosvami holds that the listening to, the singing of and the meditation on the Lord Hari should include directly His Entourage as well. For it is said that one who worships Lord Hari, but does not worship His devotees is only a vain person and is not entitled to the Grace of Lord Visnu. The commentator further points out that Sri Rupa Gosvami himself has stated in connection with the practice of Raganuga-Bhakti that a sadhaka should live
in Braja meditating on Lord Krsna and His Associates who are of the same nature, temperament and taste.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that Sri Rupa Gosvami has cited here this particular verse from the Bhagavatam as an example of Vaidhi-Bhakti that is caused by the injunctions of the Scriptures. One who is afraid of births and deaths takes to the worship of Lord Hari because the Scriptures have laid down that all fears are completely wiped out if one worships Lord Hari. So, one who take recourse to Sadhana-Bhakti in order to get freed from all worldly fears because the Scriptures have said so, and not out of any spontaneous inclination for it, follows
3 Bhagavatam, Canto II, Chap. 1, sloka 5.
smartavyah satatam visnur vismartavyo na jatucit |
sarve vidhi-nisedhah syur etayor eva kimkarah ||8||
Translation: Lord Visnu is always to be meditated on and never to be forgotten. All other regulative and prescriptive codes of the Scriptures are only servants to these two principal imperatives of the Scriptures, i.e. constant (daily) remembrance of Lord Visnu is the positive rule, while never forgetting the Lord is the negative directive of the Scriptures; and all other positive and negative prescriptions of the Scriptures are only subservient to them. 8-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami commenting on it observes that the Scriptures have prescribed as binding on a brahmana (priest) that he should perform his daily ablutions every morning, and evening - this is a positive injunction or vidhi. A brahmana or a cow should not be killed this is a nisedha or a negative prohibitory injunction, i.e. a negative prescription. If one should follow the positive injunctions of the Scriptures one would reap the beneficial fruits thereof;
but if one should violate the prohibitions of the Sastras, one would suffer the consequences. All these positive and negative prescriptions of the Scriptures are included in the major vidhi and nisedha, i.e. regulative and prohibitive injunctions that Lord Visnu should be remembered and that Lord Visnu should not be forgotten. This means that all the fruitful results that have been assured by the Scriptures from performances of the Vedic yajna and smarta ritualism shall
be attained by following the most important vidhi, viz. daily remembrance of Lord Visnu, and all results that accrue from violation of all other nisedha-directions of the Scriptures will follow from the non-remembrance of Lord Visnu, which is the most important prohibitive injunction or nisedha of the Scriptures. Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that the word satatam in the text should not mean constantly, but it is used in the sense of daily. If the vidhi be constant remembranceof the Lord' by an individual which is not possible in the state of bondage, then such a vidhi, which it will be impossible to obey, will lose its purpose. 8-
ity asau syad vidhir nityah sarva varnasramadisu |
nityatve py asya nirnitam ekadasyadi vat phalam ||9||
Translation: This vidhi that Lord Visnu is to remembered daily is an eternal and standing rule of the Scriptures which is applicable to all Varnas (brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras) and all Asramas (Brahmacari, Grhastha, Vanaprastha and Yati). Though this Vidhi is an eternal one, applicable to all under all circumstances and in all times, it is also fruit-giving like the observance of the Ekadasi fast. 9-
Commentary: Translator's Note: The various Vedic and smarta kamya-karmas (karma done with certain desires) have been prescribed for specific purposes, and they bring earthly or heavenly pleasures. But if one does not perform any such direction of the Scriptures, one need not suffer any adverse effect for nonobservance of such a directive of the Scriptures. For example, the Vedas lay down that by performance of Asvamedha yajna, a ksatriya king can become the
ruler of the earth, or by performing Putresti yajna one can be blessed with a son. But if one does not perform any of these Vedic directions, one does not suffer for its nonperformance. But there are other Vidhis or positive directives of the Scriptures which become unconditionally binding on an individual, such as, daily ablutions on the part of a brahmana.If he performs his daily ablutions thrice in the morning, noon and evening, such a brahmana does not gain any particular fruit; but should he neglect to carry out such obligatory Vidhis of the Scriptures, he will commit sins, and thereby will fall from position of a brahmana. Again, there are certain nisedhas in the Scriptures. These lay down abstention from certain acts. If the abstention that is prescribed is not complied with and one violates the nisedha or prohibition by not abstaining from such acts, one must suffer the consequences of such non-abstention. For example, the Scriptures forbid taking the life of a brahmana or a cow. If one should follow this Nisedha direction, one does not gain anything in particular; but should anybody violate this directive, i.e. kill a brahmana or a cow, one will incur sin and suffer the consequences. Such Vidhis and Nisedhas are unconditionally binding on all. The Scriptures do not always mention the fruits or otherwise of such Vidhi-Nisedha. Sri Jiva Gosvami says that the Vidhi of remembering Lord Visnu daily and the Nisedha of never forgetting Him come under such permanent Scriptural injunctions which are binding on all under all circumstances. They also implicitly bear permanent and lasting fruit, i.e. Bhakti, just as the binding Vidhi of the observance of Ekadasi bears the fruit of Bhakti. Sri Jiva further points out that it would have been more appropriate if this particular verse of Sri Rupa Gosvami in the text had been used after the fruits-assuring references that have followed hereafter, because iti is generally used after the subject matter has been stated and then a conclusion drawn. But in this case the conclusion has been stated first, which has been followed by the supporting references about the subject itself.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that is a Nitya-vidhi (directions of the Scriptures for daily performance) is that which binding on all, and neglect of which results in sins. Hence when Sri Rupa Gosvami establishes the daily remembrance of Visnu as a daily nitya-vidhi, it follows that one will commit sin by not remembering the Lord daily.
Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami points out that by the use of 'adi' as a suffix to all Varnas and all Asramas, other human beings, besides those that come under
Visnu which also implicitly bears permanent fruits? It may be explained in this way: As from the knowledge of the transitoriness of an earthen pot or a golden ornament one can deduce the conclusion as regards the transitoriness of this phenomenal world, so also one may conclude that remembrance of Lord Visnu also bears the fruit of Bhakti from the knowledge of the fact that Ekadasi fast, which is in remembrance of the Lord, bears the permanent fruit of Bhakti. So the comparison is quite in order. 9-
yatha ekadase tu vyaktam evoktam
mukha vabhurupadebhyah purusasy asramaih saha |
ya esam purusam saksat ma prabhavam isvaram |
na bhajanty avajananti sthanad bhrastah patantyadhah ||11||
Translation: As it is explicitly stated in the Eleventh Canto of the Bhagavatam.
Sage Camasa addressing King Nimi says: "If the brahmanas and others of the four varnas (i.e. brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra) together with their respective qualities and four Asramas (i.e. brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa), who separately originated from the Mouth, Arms, Thigh and the Feet of the Virata-Purusa Visnu respectively, do not worship the Lord out of any disrespect, they will fall from their respective place of Varna and
Asrama. 4 --10-11-
Commentary: Sri Visvanath Cakravarti points out that in order to establish the fact of one's downfall into the mire of this world or down in hell for non-worship of the Supreme Lord, it is first stated that the Lord (Visnu) is the Supreme Object of Worship, who is the Original Father of all beings (because all emanated or originated from Him) and not only of the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, who originated from the Lord's Mouth, Arms, Thigh and Feet respectively. But not to worship such a Lord is itself disrespect or disregard to Him. Just as not to show proper respect to a respectable person is showing him disrespect, so also not to worship the Most Worshipful Lord is clear sign showing disrespect to Him, and hence the consequence of downfall from one's status in life. 10-11 -
4 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap.27, slokas 2-3.58
tat phalanca tatraiva
evam krity ayoga pathaih puman vaidhika-tantrikaih |
arcannubhyatah siddhim matto vindatabhipsitam 5 ||12||
Translation: Lord Sri Krsna addressing Uddhava says: "Oh Uddhava! Those who worship Me with Vedic and Tantrik ritualisms are blessed by Me with their desired ends both on earth and in heaven. 12
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami explains this reference that has been cited by Sri Rupa to signify that if by mere Vedic and tantric ritualism one can attain earthly and heavenly pleasures, how much better it would be if one would follow the path of Bhakti and engage oneself in the worship of the Lord, in whose worship not only all conceivable earthly and heavenly pleasures can be attained, but much more in the Realm of the Lord Himself! For example, it is said in the Bhagavatam, 6 where Sri Sukadeva Gosvami tells King Pariksita: "King! If one is an ardent and desireless devotee of the Lord, or if one aspires after all possible pleasures in heaven or on earth, or if one seeks Moksa, i.e. liberation by way of one's merging in the Absolute, one who is truly wise will certain follow the path of unalloyed Bhakti and intensely serve the Lord". 12
5 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 27, sloka 49.
6 Ibid., Canto II, Chap. 3, sloka 10.
surarse vihita sastre hari muddisya ya kriya |
saiva bhaktir iti prokta taya bhaktih para bhavet ||13||
Translation: Also in Pancaratra: Oh Sage amongst gods! Oh Narada! Whatever practices have been prescribed by the Scriptures in relation to Lord Hari is called Bhakti (Sadhana-Bhakti), by which Para-Bhakti, i.e. Prema-Bhakti is attained. (This is the highest fruit of Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti, as commented by Sri Jiva and Sri Cakravarti). 13-
yah kenapy atibhagyena jata sraddho sya sevane |
natisakto na vairagya bhaga syam adhikary asau ||14||
Translation: Eligibility for Vaidhi-Bhakti - One who has a supreme fortune of faith in Bhakti in the Lord and who is neither too much attached to worldliness nor too much detached from it, is eligible for this Vaidhi-Bhakti. 14-
Commentary: Sri Jiva explains "supreme fortune" as a trait of character that is developed in the company of genuine saints. Sri Cakravarti says that such an eligible person is averse to pretensions of detachment but should be striving for genuine detachment from sense desires. Sri Mukundadasa says that "the unspeakable fortune" cannot be ascertained in any other way excepting from the fact that such an individual has a firm faith in Bhakti, and this firm faith indicates the fortune of the individual. -14-
yadrcchaya mat kathadau jata sraddha stu yah puman |
na nirvinno natisakto bhakti yogo sya siddhi-dah. Iti. 7 ||15||
Translation: For example, in the Eleventh Canto: The Lord addresses Sri Uddhava: "Uddhava! One who has fortunately a spontaneous firm faith in and reverence for hearing discourses about Myself, even if he be involved in worldliness without either any strong attachment or complete apathy or indifference for such sense-pleasures, to such a person Bhakti-yoga becomes a desirable end". 15--
Commentary: In commenting on the above-quoted verse of the Bhagavatam, which Sri Rupa has cited as an example of the eligibility of an individual for Vaidhi-Bhakti, Sri Jiva quotes another verse from the Bhagavatam in which Lord Sri Krsna addresses Uddhava as follows:"One who has firm faith in Myself and discourses on the Events of My Life, generated in him, and who has given up all Vedic and Tantric ritualism (as being impediments to Bhakti), but is worried for his attachment for worldly objects and even knowing fully well that sense-enjoyments are only pain-giving is unable to give them up, but at the same time knowing that it is only by the practice of Bhakti in Me one can be freed from such worldly attractions, should worship Me with a real liking and in a reverential and steadfast attitude of mind."8 Sri Jiva adds that such conditions and attitude of mind make one eligible to start the practice of Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti. Bhakti being inherently potent and forceful is not dependent on any extraneous aid (in respect of its strength and force). This is where Bhakti-yoga differs from Jnana and other varieties of yoga. Jnana-yoga requires Vairagya or detachment and dispassion as its pre-condition. Bhakti-yoga depends on nothing but itself. It is true that Bhakti requires discarding of Vedic ritualism and other Vedic Karmas, this is because Bhakti must be for Bhakti's sake and must not be mixed up with ways of karma if it is to be Bhakti pure and undefiled. It will be a mistake to think that Bhakti starts at this point and ends in the state of self-centered delight of the atmaramas like the Catahsanas (Sanatkumar, Sanaka, Sananda and the rest). In fact, Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti leads one far beyond to Prema-Bhakti. 15
7 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 20, sloka 8.61
8 Ibid., Canto XI, Chap. 20, slokas 27-28.
uttamo madhyamas ca syat kanisthas ceti sa tridha ||16||
Translation: Such ADHIKARY or eligible persons of Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti are of three types, viz. (1) superior grade, (2) medium grade and (3) inferior grade. 16
sastre yuktau ca nipunah sarvatha drdha niscayah |
praudha sraddho dhikari yah sa bhaktav uttamo matah ||17||
Translation: Thus, those who are of the SUPERIOR GRADE:-- Such a superior devotee is as much an expert in the knowledge of the authoritative texts (Scriptures) as in the science
and art of reasoning, is of firm faith and belief (in all aspects of the efficacy of Bhakti) and is quite matured or has attained to the sage of maturity in his reverential faith and belief. 17
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami observes that the division into the three grades is based on the relative strength of faith of three different types in the subject matter propounded in the scriptures. It has been already shown that a Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakta is one who is governed by the truths expounded in the Scriptures, and an unshaken belief in such truths is Sraddha or faith. It is the strength of one's Sraddha or faith in the scriptural teachings that determine the three grades of superior, medium, and inferior eligibility.
Sarvatha in the text, i.e. all the aspects of efficacy of Bhakti, means, according to Sri Jiva (firm faith) in (a) the discourses on the Ultimate Truth, and (b) in the scriptural teachings as regards the sadhana or means to the realization of Bhava-Bhakti.
reasoning in the above statement means reasonings in accordance with or in
conformity with the teachings or injunctions of the Scriptures. Kevala yukti or independent reasoning, not
founded on the injunctions of the Sastras
(Scriptures) is of no avail, because all spiritual truths have their roots in
the verbal communications through succession of Spiritual Teachers or Gurus without beginning or end, through
the process of an aural reception. In Vaisnava-Tantra,
Tarka is defined, quotes Sri
Jiva, as an opposite reasoning that arises out of what has gone before in a
discourse and what comes thereafter and strengthens the progress of the
discourse. It is thus to be distinguished from any irrelevant reasoning that
has no bearing on the argument of the discourse. One whose Sraddha or firm faith and reasoning of the kind has attained a
state of maturity is a
Translator's Note: It is to be noted that Tarka has not been taken here in its usual sense as the process of reductio ad absurdum of any objection to the validity of an inference. This is the ordinary Nyaya view of Tarka or Uha; and it is a weapon that is used Upadhi-sankanirasa or disposal of sankita or suspected, and Samaropita or supposed upadhis or exterior conditions vitiating the vyapti on which an inference is based. Here in the above-quoted verse from
the Vaisnava-Tantra, Tarka is used in a wider sense as an inference or reasoning supporting an argument in progress.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti observes that 'sarvatha or in all aspects' means not merely (firm faith) in Tatva-vicara of the Scriptures and in Sadhana-vicara of the Scriptures, but also in (c) the teachings of the Scriptures about the Purusartha-vicara or the Values of life.
Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami also points out that Yukti here includes refuting of objections', i.e. includes reasoning both in its positive and its negative aspects, as establishing what is truth and refuting what is false. He, however, gives another interpretation of sarvatha or all aspects'. It means, according to him, (firm faith in Scriptural teachings) not only the first three, viz. (a) Tatva-vicara, (b) Sadhana-vicara, and (c) Purusartha-vicara, but also, about (d) Upasya-vicara or the Proper Object of Worship. Sri Mukundadasa quotes the following from the Bhagavatam 9 in substantiation of Scriptural Purusartha-vicara or discourses on Values. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami addressing King Pariksita says: "Oh King! Consider the case of Sri Bharata Maharaj. He gave up his kingdom, which is so difficult to surrender, parted with his wife and children and all his riches and all wealth, and property, which even the gods look on with greedy eyes. This was just what befits one whose heart is ever hungry and thirsty after the service of the sacred Feet of Lord Madhusudana (The destroyer of demon Madhu, Lord Sri Krsna). Is it any wonder that such a one will look down upon the value of Moksa (liberation by way of merging in the Absolute) as of little significance?"
Translator's note: Here all the Values- Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa, are shown to pale into insignificance as compared with the Value which is Bhakti. -17-
9 Bhagavatam, Canto V,Chap. 14, sloka 44.
yah sastrahi svani punah sraddhavan sa tu madhyamah ||18||
Translation: Now the MEDIUM ELIGIBLE in Vaidhi Sadhana- Bhakti: One who full of faith in the Scriptures and yet lacks expert knowledge thereof is an ELIGIBLE of the MEDIUM type. 18-
Commentary: According to Sri Jiva Gosvami, lacking expert knowledge of the Sastras' means that one who has general knowledge of the Scriptures and therefore in a way possesses a certain similarity to an expert in the Scriptures (as in the case of the Superior Eligible), but is incapable of successfully tackling any forceful criticism of an opponent. Even though he is incapable of repelling powerful objections, is never lacking in firm faith in the Scriptural teachings.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti adds that sraddhavan, i.e. belief or faith here means Faith in the Scriptures as well as in the Words of one's Spiritual Preceptor'. 18-
yo bhavet komala sraddhah sa kanistho nigadyate ||19||
Translation: Now again, THE INFERIOR ELIGIBLE- An Inferior Eligible is one who is of slender faith. 19-
Commentary: An Inferior Eligible, Sri Jiva points out, must have faith in the Sastras just as in the two higher types, because faith means faith in the Scriptures'. The difference, however, between the inferior and the Medium Eligible is that the former is not an expert in the Sastras and he is of slender faith in the sense that he is liable to be won over to contrary beliefs by arguments which he is unable to confute. A Medium Eligible cannot be won over and made to lose faith even though he is unable to meet the challenge of contrary arguments; but an Inferior Eligible is incapable of resisting the force of stronger arguments, which he is unable to demolish. Sri Jiva further points out that his knowledge of the Scriptures is not as thorough as in the case of a 'nipuna' i.e. his knowledge is very meagre as compared to that of the other two type. Therefore the difference between the Superior, Medium and the Inferior may be stated as follows: The Superior type of an Adhikari of Vaidthi Sadhana-Bhakti has expert knowledge of the Sastras, and he is quite able to hold his ground against the attacks of the opponent; the Medium Adhikari is not as thorough in his knowledge of the Sastras and is not always able to confute a subtle opponent though incapable of being swerved from his faith by reasonings however subtle and strong; the Inferior Adhikari has a comparatively meager knowledge of the Sastras and is not only unable to meet opponents with effective rejoinder but is liable to be won over by stronger arguments which he is unable to refute.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that the Inferior Type has a slender faith in the sense that his mind for the time being is thrown into uncertainty and doubts by the arguments of the opponent. But even then he is not completely won over. One who is an eligible as a Vaidhi-Bhakta would not be so if he could be ever swerved altogether from his path of Bhakti by arguments however forceful and subtle. All that happens is a temporary state uncertainty, which however, he getsover by the Bhakti that is innate in him. As a matter of fact, in all such states of doubts he falls back on the teachings of his Spiritual Master and Guide (Guru) regarding the nature of the Lord and cherishes them as a truth his heart of hearts.
Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami differs from Sri Jiva Gosvami in respect of the basis of the divisions into Three Types. While according to Sri Jiva the Three Types arise out of the relative strength of their respective faiths (Sraddha), according to Sri Mukundadasa, the division of the Three Types arise out of their respective spiritual status due to the grace of the Lord Himself and of the saints with whom they associated in the past. 19
tatra gitadi suktanam caturnam adhikarinam |
madhye yasmin bhagavatah krpa syat tat priya syavana ||20||
sa ksina tat tad bhavah syacchuddha bhakty adhikaravan |
yathebhah saunakadis ca dhruvah sa ca catuh sanah ||21||
Translation: What has been said in the Gita and other Scriptures about the four kinds of seekers of the Supreme Lord, viz. (1) those who seek the Lord for relief from present distress, (2) those who seek the Lord out of inquiries, (3) those who seek the Lord for earthly gain, or (4) those who have attained self-knowledge and yet aspire after or yearn for something higher than self-knowledge: of all these, whosoever has received the grace of the Lord or the blessings of the Lord's favorite devotees, the extraneous motives in such and such a person is gradually weakened so that he becomes eligible for pure or unalloyed Bhakti; as for example, in the cases of the Gajendra (the king of the elephants), Saunaka and other sages, Dhruva and the Catuhsanas (Sanaka, Sanatana, Sananda and Sanatkumara) respectively. - 20-21-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that the four kinds of eligibility that are mentioned in the Gita are not eligibility for Vaidhi Sadhna-Bhakti, but are only previous stages of the appearance of Uttama-Bhakti, i.e. pure Bhakti. It is in this sense that tatra has been used in the text.
Sri Jiva further explains why Sri Rupa has used yasmin and sa in the singular number while in the Gita text four kinds of eligibility has been stated- it has been intended for application to all the four eligibles in a general manner, the purpose being in whichever case there is God's grace or the grace of the Lord's devotees, in such and such a case only the particular type of seeking the Lord is weakened and worn away so as to give way to the appearance of unalloyed Bhakti,
as in the individual cases of the Gajendra (king of the elephants), Saunaka and others, Dhruva and Catuhsana. Sanaka and others' here refer to the sixty thousand rsis who put queries to Sri Suta Gosvami; Catuhsana include Sanaka-Sanatana-Sananda-Sanatkumara.
The reference that Sri Rupa Gosvami makes to the Gita in regard to the four kinds of seekers of the Lord is in Chapter Seven, slokas 16 to 20. Lord Sri Krsna says: "Oh Arjuna! Oh Bharatarsabha! The distressed, the inquirers after truth, the seekers of favors, and the wise- when these four groups of people by My Grace or through the grace of My devotees are blessed with godly fortune, freed from the distressing, pleasure seeking, wisdom hankering inquisitive defects of their conditions, they follow in My service. Very rarely do the evil doers serve Me, for they attain meager minimum of spiritual progress. The four classes of the spiritually blessed conforming to a regulated life as ordained by the Scriptures are fit to worship and to serve Me". Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti explains the four kinds of seekers of the Lord as follows: (1) "Those who are engaged in selfish karma desirous of the fruits of their actions suffer from the frustration of material desires; but thus afflicted, their hearts are subsequently purified by fires of sorrow, and they remember Me- these are the distressed; (2) The atheists, who ethical yet ignorant, begin to search for real Truth and feel the need of God's existence, begin to think of Me; (3) those who are wretched and dissatisfied with the limited conception of Me as Lord of all ethics and religion, turn out to be My ritualistic devotees and keep Me in memory by such performances, while (4) the Jnanins, who have the macroscopic knowledge of Brahman, the Great, realize that such is only partial knowledge and when they take recourse to perfect knowledge of My Aprakrta or supra-mundane Loving Self, then they resort to refuge in Me".
Indeed, it is only when the desires of the distressed and the distorted notions of God of Ethics of the Inquirers after Truth, and when the stain of interested heavenly enjoyments of the pleasure seekers, and when the slur of misconception anent Lord's Transcendental Personality and the untenable theory as to at oneness with Brahman, of the Jnanins-when all these are removed, the diverse classes lead a life of pure Bhakti. Bhakti is not pure so long as it is sullied by any motive other than the love of God; while if the slightest tinge of either Karma or Jnana does exist or there exist desires other then the service of the Godhead, Bhakti is alloyed with either Karma or Jnana. But when it is absolutely free from such karma or jnana, it is known as Kevala, Akinncana or Uttama-Bhakti.
The same verse of the Gita has been differently explained
by Sri Valadeva Vidyabhusana as follows: Those who strictly adhere to their
particular profession and to their station in life -
"When the distressed, the inquirers after Truth, the seekers of wealth, and the Wise become unsullied by any worldly motives and incline to Me alone, they turn out to be devotee. Among them, when the Jnanins, the wise, relinquish all things of base contamination and material knowledge, and acquire true knowledge as to Me, they stand above the other three divisions of My devotees. In the association of true devotees, all are entitled to have real knowledge of themselves. In the nascent stage of their Bhakti, the wise who are more steadfast and devoted to My service are dearer to Me, and I also very dear to them. When the above four classes of My devotees resort to pure Bhakti only, munificent they grow; no longer do they hanker after any of the objects of man's pursuits. But the jnani-bhaktas, having more steadfast attachment to the conscious self, do realize Me as the Summum bonum of all pure and sentient beings. They are very dear to Me. For Iam greatly influenced by their love for Me. But, when they are established for a while upon the plane of transcendentalknowledge, they realize divine diversities, distinct from gross or subtle mundane variegatedness, in My transcendental Self, and thus become attached to Me and take shelter in Me. They then think: these phenomena are not dissociated from the Lord but do result from the reflection of a Potency of Vasudeva; the universe has multifarious contact with Vasudeva, the Pervading. The devotees who have such a mentality are very rare and wondrous souls. A Jnani-bhakta sees Me, Vasudeva, in all things, and everything in Me. Only after many births does he take refuge absolute in Me. Such a devotee is rare. But an aikantika, single-minded devotee, is the rarest of all. Yet those who, though they seek rewards, resort to Me with heart and soul, will within a short time, be relieved by Me of all their earthly moods and lusts. Wretched are they who worship Me reluctantly. Steeped in worldly ignorance, their wisdom encrusted by the gross earthly joys, they worship the different presiding gods according to their various desires. They do not love Me, and have no confidence in My Divine Form. They are led astray by their respective rajasika and tamasika natures to submit to other pleasure-giving gods and thus are thrown into the vortex of unsatiated, endless yearnings. They think that they can easily and quickly please those minor gods by practicing the ordinary rituals. Crippled are their propensities and thus enslaved, they are reluctant to abide with Me".
Sri Jiva points out that the various commentators on the verse quoted by Sri Rupa Gosvami from the Gita have explained the word Jnani in the text as those who have realized their own true selves. But even Chatuhsana, i.e. Sanaka, Sanatana, Sananda and Sanatkumara, who are the most prominent of the enlightened persons as have realized the unity of the self and the Absolute after a knowledge of the essential nature of each are also seen to have gained admittance to the way
of pure Bhakti through the Lord's Grace. In proof of the above, the following may be cited from the Bhagavatam, holds Sri Jiva: When the sages Catahsanans prostrated themselves at the Lotus like beautiful Feet of Lord Narayana, of Eyes as beautiful as the petal of the Lotus, the Tulasi leaves fragrant with the dust particles of the Lord's Feet transmitted their fragrance through the nostrils into the hearts of the sages thereby causing a numinous joy and horripilation even though they were absorbed in Brahmananda, the blissfulness of the absolute life. This passage has been cited to prove the superiority of pure Bhakti and not in support of Vaidhi-Bhakti, because in this case, i.e. the case of Sanaka and others, realization has come not through the discipline of the Scriptures, but through immediate experience. In fact, Sanaka and others being Jnana-siddha are above the discipline of Scriptural prescriptions.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti says that though the four kinds of persons take refuge in the Lord, viz. those who are in distress, those who are inquirers due to their own doubts, those who seek material wealth and those who desire to gain knowledge of the Absolute, cannot be said to possess Bhakti, yet if they should give up their immediate purpose and take refuge in the Lord and resort to submission to the Lord, then, through the kind prerogative of the Lord Himself, Bhakti may be infused in them. When the Grace of the Lord is bestowed on anybody, he will naturally give up all trifling desires and take shelter at the Feet of the Lord. So when the Elephant-king Gajendra was in dire distress being attacked by the crocodile, his immediate prayers to the Lord and submission to His Compassion were for the purpose of being rescued and saved from his imminent death. But when the Lord saved him out of His Grace from the terrible jaws of Gajendra's worst and powerful enemy, Gajendra was so charmed by the soul-captivating Beauty of the Lord's Person that he forgot all about his immediate danger and distress from which he wanted to be rescued, and prayed for pure Bhakti at the feet of the Lord. So also when Saunaka and sixty-thousand other rsis approached Sri Suta Gosvami with six queries for solution regarding the way to attain heaven (Svarga), their purpose was not the service of the Lord, i.e. Bhakti; but when they listened to Sri Suta and discourses on the Name, Form, Qualities, Associates, Realm and Events of the Life of Lord Sri Krsna, all their queries were gone forever and they became confirmed in the way of pure Bhakti in the company of the genuine and superior older devotee, Sri Suta Gosvami. Prince Dhruva likewise underwent hard penance and invoked the Lord in order to gain the throne of his father of which he was deprived by the machinations of his stepmother. But when he was blessed by the Grace of Lord Narayana, all his desires for earthly kingdom and material wealth vanished and he turned to be a pure devotee. In like manner, the Catuhsanas were able by the Grace of Lord Narayana to give up their desire for Moksa and became eligible for the way of pure Bhakti. 21-
bhukti-mukti-sprha yavat pisaci hrdi varate |
tavad bhakti-sukhas yatra katham abhyudayo bhavet ||22||
Translation: So as long as the fiend that is longing for Bhukti, i.e. enjoyment of earthly and heavenly pleasures, and Mukti, i.e. heavenly pleasures and self-merging in the Absolute, occupies the heart of an individual, how can the supreme delight of Bhakti spring in that heart? 22-
Commentary: Sri Jiva comments that mukti is of two kinds; first is that which clouds the longing for Bhakti, and the second kind of mukti offers self-satisfaction to the individual. Mukti has been described here as a witch, because it changes the face of desire for Bhakti by dubious methods. It is true that pure devotees are freed from the bondage, i.e. become Muktas, but this is done by the force of Bhakti itself and not as any consequence of desire on the part of the
devotee. Thus in the statement of the text Sri Rupa wants to establish that a devotee even in the stage of his rudimentary practices does not entertain any desire for any form of Mukti, much less for Bhukti or mundane enjoyments.
Sri Mukundadasa points out that a question may be raised: What is the need of the grace of God here when the desires for earthly and heavenly pleasures are automatically wiped out from the heart when one attains and tastes of the supreme delight in Bhakti? In reply, Sri Mukundadasa explains that as no noble person will live in a place where a fiend or a witch lives, so also the delight of Bhakti cannot be possible in the heart of a person, whose heart has been pre-occupied by the fiend that longs for Bhukti and Mukti. This fiend or witch that pollutes the heart can be removed by the Grace of the Lord alone. It so happened with the Elephant-king Gajendra, Druva, Saunaka and other rsis and also Catuhsanas. So these four kinds of people viz. those in distress, seeking wealth, inquirers and moksa-seekers who take refuge in the Lord for such ulterior purposes are not eligible for Bhakti. Those who can cast aside such desires by the Grace of the Lord are alone eligible for pure Bhakti.
Sri Visvanatha points out that the longing for Mukti has been appropriately described by Sri Rupa Gosvami as a fiend, because in the Sixth Canto, Chapter 17, sloka 28 of the Bhagavatam it has been said that a genuine devotee looks upon Heaven, Moksa and Hell with equal indifference. 22-
tatrapi ca visesena gatiman viman icchatah |
bhaktir hrta manah pranan premna tan kuru te janan ||23||
Translation: Between these two classes of persons who are freed from any longing for Bhukti and Mukti, here the distinctive position of one who is freed from any desire for mukti is shown. Bhakti by its intrinsic force attracts the entire mental quantum of one whose heart has been freed from any longing whatsoever for Mukti. 23-
Commentary: Commentator Sri Visvanatha points out that any desire for earthly or heavenly pleasures is not so strong a wall against Bhakti as a desire for moksa is. So where desire for Mukti is absent, there the listening to and singing the Name of the Lord forcefully attracts all the senses, heart, mind and the entire mental quantum of such a person to Bhakti. 23-
tatha ca trtiya
tair darsaniyavayairudara vilasa haseksita vama suktaih|
hrtatmano hrta pranams ca bhakti ranicchato me gatiman vim prayunkte ||24||
Translation: So also in the Third Canto of the Bhagavatam ---10 Here the Lord says that those who are charmed by the beauty and gracefulness of His Form, spontaneously they develop apathy for Brahma-sayujya, i.e. merging in the Brahman. The Lord says: "Though the mind-stealing beauties of My Face and other Limbs of My supramundane (aprakrta) and eternal Form, which is the most desirable Object of My devotees, and though the sweetness of My sportiveness, My Smile, My Sight and My most soothing Words and Voice attract all their senses, heart and soul, and though they do not cherish any desire for mukti, their Bhakti to Me alone gives them mukti, i.e. makes them My Constant Associates".-24-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that this particular reference from the Bhagavatam shows how Bhakti through love for the Lord attracts the senses and mind of one who has no desire for Mukti. It is to be understood "the Limbs of the Transcendental Form of the Lord attract the senses of such a person who does not desire Moksa" really means that love for the Manifest Form of the Lord infuses Bhakti in such a person. Persons who are thus attracted by the soul attracting and incomparable Charms of the Lord, possess all forms of mukti with ease without their asking.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that it is only when one is intensely drawn to the Lord by His Charm and Beauty, that one develops a strong apathy for moksa or Brahma-sayujya, i.e. merging in the Brahman. On the other hand, the exceedingly beautiful Limbs of the Lord, His maddening Smile, His forcefully attractive Looks, His charming Voice and His ever-new Sports steal away heart and soul of the devotee. To such a blessed devotee, none of the four values of
life, viz. dharma, artha, kama and Moksa is at all difficult of attainment. Indeed he wants
10 Bhagavatam, Canto III, Chap. 25, sloka 36.64:
sri krsna-caranambhoja seva nirvrta cetasam |
esam moksaya bhaktanam na kadacit sprha bhavet ||25||
Translation: These devotees whose mental quantum is completely absorbed in the service of the lotus-like beautiful Feet of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna never desire Moksa, i.e. self-annihilation by merging in the Absolute Brahman. 25-
Commentary: Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami points out that Brahmananda, i.e. tranquil bliss in the Impersonal Brahman, spontaneously vanishes from the hearts of pure devotees who have once experienced the supreme delight in Bhakti. When Sri Rupa Gosvami states in the text that a pure devotee never desires Moksa', he means that such a devotee shall discard Moksa or Sayujya-Mukti even if it be offered by the Lord Himself. -25 -
Text 26 Bhag 3.4.15:
ko nv isa te pada-saroja-bhajam
sudurlabho 'rthesu catursv apiha
tathapi naham pravrnomi bhuman
bhavat-padambhoja-nisevanotsukah 11 26--
Translation: As it is said by Uddhava in the Bhagavatam--Sri Uddhava addressing Lord
Sri Krsna says as follows: "Oh Lord of all lords! Which of the four values
of life, viz.dharma, artha,
11 Bhagavatam, Canto III, Chap. 4, sloka 15.
Text 27 Bhag 3.25.34:
naikatmatam me sprhayanti kecin
ye 'nyonyato bhagavatah prasajya
sabhajayante mama paurusam I 12
Translation: Again in the Bhagavatam, Lord Kapiladeva addressing His mother Devahuti says: "Mother! Those who are constantly engaged with all their senses the service of My lotus-like beautiful Feet, those who are always thirsty for relishing the incomparable Beauty and
unsurpassable Elegance of My Person, those who relish mutually discoursing on My Manifold Pastimes and Exploits of My Valor-they never desire to be one with Me, i.e. they do not want Moksa". 27-
Commentary: Commenting on the above verse of the Bhagavatam, Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that here one with Me' means oneness with both Brahman the Impersonal Absolute and Bhagavan the Personal Lord. Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that Lord Kapiladeva, who is an Avatara of Visnu, tells Sri Devahuti that a genuine devotee (Bhakta) does not want oneness with Me'. Here oneness means identity with Brahman. Sri Cakravarti raises a question: Why is it that a devotee discards Brahmananda, i.e. the blissfulness in self-merging in Brahman? What is there in Bhakti which is lacking in Brahmananda and which thereby makes the latter pale into insignificance? The reply is this. Lord Kapiladeva says: My devotees are intensely attached to Me and are concerned in My services alone by means of all their senses according to the directions of the Scriptures. Here, the Supreme Lord is established as the supreme Object of Bhakti, and the essential nature and functioning of the senses engaged in the services of the Lord, non-mixture of karma-jnana-yoga with Bhakti according to the injunctions of the Scriptures, and the uninterrupted normal nature of Bhakti have also been established. Besides, the only object of aspiration of these devotees is to relish the all-round unparalleled Beauty and Gracefulness of the Person of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna and the Might and Valor of His Almightiness as revealed in the Events of His Life, such as holding the Govardhana Hill on His little finger, etc. Thus the bliss of that is in the service of the supremely beautiful Feet of the Lord, the bliss of drinking the nectar of the Beauty and Gracefulness of the Person of the Lord, and the bliss of tasting the wondrous Pastimes of the Lord-all these three aspects of the supra-mundane (aprakrta) blissfulness or delight are lacking in Brahmananda, for which reason a devotee discards the latter. These three are the causes, holds Sri Cakravarti, of non-desire for or indifference to Brahma-sukha on the part of a pure devote. 27-
12 Bhagavatam, Canto III, Chap. 25, sloka 34.66
Text 28 Bhag 3.29.13:
sarupyaikatvam apy uta
diyamanam na grhnanti
vina mat-sevanam janah 13 --28--
Translation: Again in the Bhagavatam, Lord Kapiladeva further tells His mother Devahuti: "Mother, My genuine devotees besides serving Me alone for My delight do not accept Salokya-Mukti, i.e. liberation in the sense of living together with Me in My Realm, Sarsti-Mukti, i.e. liberation in the sense of possessing some of the majesties and powers equal to Mine, Samipya-Mukti, i.e. liberation or mukti as close proximity to Me, Sarupya-Mukti, i.e. liberation as possession of beauty equal to My Beauty, and Ekatva or Sayujya-Mukti, i.e. liberation as identity with Me, even if I offer all these to them; what to speak of their asking for them? My devotees never ask for any such salvation or anything else whatsoever. They find their delight in serving Me alone for My delight". -28-
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that when genuine devotees of the Lord refuse to accept the five forms of salvation or Mukti even if they be offered by the Lord Himself, it establishes the fact that such a desire is absolutely absent in them. But if a devotee be found to accept any of the first four or all the first four forms of Mukti, but never the fifth, i.e. Sayujya, it should be understood that such acceptance by a devotee can be only for the purpose of giving delight to the Lord Himself. 28-
13 Bhagavatam, Canto III, Chap. 29, sloka 13.67
caturhe sri dhruvoktau--
ya nirvrtis tanu-bhrtam tava pada-padma-
dhyanad bhavaj-jana-katha-sravanena va syat
sa brahmani sva-mahimany api natha ma bhut
kim tv antakasi-lulitat patatam vimanat 14 29-
Translation: So it is further said in the Bhagavatam where Sri Dhruva addressing the Lord says: "Lord! The great delight that is attained in meditating on and listening to the Glories of Thy Feet, which are beautiful like the blooming lotuses, or in listening to or meditating upon the Events of Thy Life together with Thy Entourage, or in listening to the lives of Thy devotees, can never be possible even if one merges into the Great Brahman, which is only a Macroscopic Aspect of Thyself, what to speak of any real bliss in the life of gods and jivas in heaven who are thrown down from their celestial abode being cut asunder by the sword of time? The heavenly pleasures (Svarga-sukha) and Brahmananda (Brahma-sukha) are insignificant indeed as compared with the delight in Thy service". 29-
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti explains that 'meditation on the Lord' includes 'listening', and 'listening to the Events of the lives of pure devotees' include 'meditation' as well. The delight and bliss that are experienced in the meditation on the Lord cannot be found in heavenly pleasures as enjoyed by the gods or in Moksa, i.e. merging in the Absolute Brahman. The bliss of Bhakti far excels the fruits of all the four values of life. It, therefore, follows that Bhakti is the fruit of Bhakti, and that a pure or genuine devotee is completely desireless. 29-
14 Bhagavatam, Canto IV, Chap. 9, sloka 10.68
na kamaye natha tad apy aham kvacin
na yatra yusmac-caranambujasavah
vidhatsva karnayutam esa me varah 15 30-
Translation: Further in the Bhagavatam, the first King Prthu prays to the Lord as follows: "Lord! I want not ever Brahmananda or Sayujya-mukti, which cannot offer even the smallest drop of the nectar of delight that is gained by listening to the limitless fluid of delight that springs from the inner recesses of the hearts of Thy unalloyed devotees and flows from their lips when they sing the glories of the pollens of Thy Lotus-Feet. Dost Thou give me ten-thousand ears
instead, so that I may listen to the discourses on Thy glories from the lips of Thy devotees!" -30-
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that 'want not ever' means 'not even in distress'. Why does not a devotee of the Lord seek Brahma-sukha or Kaivalya-sukha, i.e. bliss of absolute life in Brahman the Great, even in dire distress? Because, in Brahma-sukha or bliss in merging in the Brahman there is not the slightest possibility of that supreme delight that exists in the honey of the Two Lotuses of the Feet of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, and of the overflowing sweetness that marks the discourses on the glorious Qualities of the Lord. And this wondrous sweetness of delight is made all the more sweet when it springs from the delight of the inmost hearts of the devotees of the Lord and overflows into the ears of the listeners from the lips of such devotees in the form of discourses on the Glories, Qualities and Events of the Life of the Lord. Sri Cakravarti further cites a verse from the Bhagavatam, Canto I, Chap. I, sloka 3: "Srimad Bhagavatam is the ripe fruit of the all-fruit-giving Tree of the Vedas, without rind or seed, and is all the more sweetened being tasted by the lips of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami (i.e. sung by a great saint and devotee like Sri Sukadeva), and should be drunk forever till death by the Bhava-Bhaktas in this world". The contention in citing this verse from the Bhagavatam is that there is no doubt that the Events and Qualities, Name and Beauty of the Lord are themselves unsurpassably delight-giving, but they become sweeter when one listens to them from the lips of advanced Vaisnavas who are engaged in listening to and meditating upon the Name, Form, Qualities, Realm, Associates and Pastimes of the Lord, just like a ripe fruit on the branches of a mango tree that drops on the ground being tasted by the bill of the Suka-bird is the sweetest. It means to show the super-excellence of delight that is derived from listening to the discourses on the Lord from the lips of true Vaisnavas, i.e. unalloyed, advanced devotees of the Lord. But as these true devotees are many and they sing the glories of the Lord in different places at the same time, King Prthu prays to the Lord for ten-thousand ears so that he may simultaneously listen for the discourses on the Lord from the lips of many such devotees at the same time so that he may not lose any of them, and be blessed by the supreme delight that is- completely lacking in Brahma-sukha or bliss of identity with Brahman, the Great. Sri Cakravarti further remarks that as sweet water entering into saline soil becomes flavorless, so also when the sweet discourses on the Glories, Qualities, and Events of the Life of the Lord come from the mouth of non-Vaisnavas, they lose their delight-giving character, i.e. one should not listen to the discourse on the Lord from non-Vaisnavas (i.e. non-devotees). One may say that such a boon for ten-thousand ears as prayed for by King Prthu is rather extraordinary. The king says that he knows it, and yet that is his only prayer! 30-
15 Bhagavatam, Canto IV, Chap.20, sloka 24.
pancame srisukoktau 16--
yo dustyajan ksiti-suta-svajanartha-daran
prarthyam sriyam sura-varaih sadayavalokam
naicchan nrpas tad-ucitam mahatam madhudvit-
sevanurakta-manasam abhavo 'pi phalguh -31-
Translation: So it is said by Sri Suka in the Fifth Canto--:
Sri Suka Gosvami addressing King Pariksita says: "Oh King! Consider the case of Sri Bharata Maharaj. He gave up his kingdom which is so difficult to surrender, parted with his wife and children, relatives and friends, and all his riches and all wealth and property which the Goddess of wealth, Laksmi, was pleased to give him and which even the gods would covet. This was just what befits one whose heart ever hungers and thirsts after the services of the sacred Feet of Lord Madhusudana (Lord Sri Krsna who is the destroyer of the demon Madhu). Is it any wonder that such a one will look down upon the value of Moksa as of little significance?" -31-
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti says that when Laksmi Herself was pleased to give Bharata Maharaj immense wealth, the purpose was that King Bharata, a true devotee, need not undergo all the penances of hardships of life as a monk but could be looked after endearingly by the Lord Himself and could be engaged in the service of the Lord in his household life instead of the life of renunciation. But a true devotee gives up everything for the service of the Lord and wants nothing in return excepting Bhakti itself. 31-
16 Bhagavatam, Canto V, Chap. 14, Sloka 44.
sastthe sri vrtroktau 17---
na naka-prstham na ca paramesthyam
na sarva-bhaumam na rasadhipatyam
na yoga-siddhir apunar-bhavam va
samanjasa tva virahayya kankse 32-
Translation: In the Sixth Canto, Sri Vrtra addresses Lord Sankarsana: "Oh Judicious Lord! Oh Repository of All-blessedness! By denying myself of Thine services I do not care for Dhruvaloka (a particular heaven created especially for Prince Dhruva for his uncommon godliness; the Pole Star), or want to occupy the status of Brahma the Creator of this universe, or to be the supreme ruler of all the worlds, or to be the Lord of the nether regions, or to possess the eight supernatural powers attainable through yoga practices, what more, I do not want even Moksa". 32-
17 Bhagavatam, Canto VI, Chap 11, Sloka 25
tatraiva sri ridrpltai 18--
narayana-parah sarvena kutascana bibhyati
svargapavarga-narakesvapi tulyartha-darsinah -33-
Translation: Further in the words of Sri Rudra- Sri Rudra addressing Parvati says: "Oh Devi! Those who are absolutely attached to the services of the Supreme Lord Narayana do not entertain any fear from any quarter. They look upon heaven, the four values of life (Apavarga), and even hell with equal eye, i.e. all these do not make any difference to such a devotee of Lord Narayana."
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that those who are devoted to Lord Narayana, do not cherish any distinction between superiority and inferiority, they attach equal unimportance to heaven and hell, and feel them as of same insignificance, so also with moksa. Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti explains the verse in the sense that the Supreme Lord Narayana is the highest Object of all glories to the devotees; they are deeply attached and devoted to the Lord and to nothing else, and because of their equal distaste for things or ends that are bereft of the delight of Bhakti they look upon heaven, moksa and hell with equal indifference. 33-
18 Bhagavatam, Canto VI, Chap 17, Sloka 28
tatraiva indroktau 19--
aradhanam bhagavata ihamana nirasisah
ye tu necchanty api param te svartha-kusalah smrtah --34--
Translation: In the words of Indra in the Bhagavatam again- Indra, the king of the gods in heaven, addressing Mother Diti, says: "Mother! Those who are absolutely devoid of any extraneous desires and are engaged in the worship of the Supreme Lord for His delight only are the most intelligently 'selfish' (i.e. the self functions correctly)". 34-
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha points out that the word param' in the text means 'Moksa'. The expression Svartha-kusalah, i.e. those who are truly intelligent in being 'selfish' signifies that those who devote themselves to the service of the Lord discard everything else-for, this is the supreme interest of the self. But those who engage themselves in the worship of Lord Hari and desire for Moksa as a fruit thereof are unwise like those who seek worthless straw in exchange for the most precious gem in their possession! But even then, because such persons engage themselves in the worship of the Lord for the purpose of the useless fruit of Moksa, the Lord does not leave them alone and blesses them with Bhakti out of His own spontaneous Grace. For, it is said in the Fifth Canto, Chapter 19, sloka 27 of the Bhagavatam, where in connection with the description of the greatness of the land of Bharata, i.e. Bharata- varsa (India), the gods exclaim: "Being prayed to by the people for boons, the Lord no doubt fulfills all their prayers, but the Lord does not bestow such boons that they may have to ask for the same again. Even if His worshippers do not ask for it, the Lord out of His infinite compassion and grace offers them the supreme taste of the incomparable sweetness of the nectar of His Eternal Beauteous Form". 34-
19 Bhagavatam, Canto VI, Chap 18, Sloka 74.
saptame prahladoktau 20--
tuste ca tatra kim alabhyam ananta adye
kim tair guna-vyatikarad iha ye sva-siddhah
dharmadayah kim agunena ca kanksitena
saram jusam caranayor upagayatam nah 35-
Translation: In the Seventh Canto in the words of Prince Prahlada.
Addressing his classmates, Prince Prahlada says: "Dear Friends! Can
anything be rare of attainment for those with whose services and devotion the
Lord, who is the Source of everything and who possesses infinite Qualities, is
pleased? (That is, whatever is desired a true devotee is easily available to
him). What use is there, therefore, of those qualities, which automatically
follow from the possession of satva-guna?
What use is there in dharma, artha and
20 Bhagavatam, Canto VII, Chap. 6, sloka 25.74
tatraiva sakroktau 21---
pratyanitah parama bhavata trayata nah sva-bhaga
daityakrantam hrdaya-kamalam tad-grham pratyabodhi
kala-grastam kiyad idam aho natha susrusatam te
muktis tesam na hi bahumata narasimhaparaih kim-36-
Translation: In the words of Indra in Canto Seven Indra, king of heaven, while praying to Lord Nrsimha submits: "Oh Supreme Lord! Thou art our Savior, and hence hast graciously returned us (gods in heaven) our dues of the Vedic sacrificial offerings. Thou hast again made to bloom our lotus like heart which is Thy seat and which was attacked by the demons. Oh Master! What is the worth of the grandeur of heaven, which will one day vanish into nothingness in the depth of time before Thy devotees? What more, even moksa, which is much valued by impersonalists, counts nothing before Thy desireless devotees. Therefore, Oh Lord Narasinha! What shall I say about other supernatural powers of yoga and of others?" -36-
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti explains the significance of Daitykrantam i.e. attacked by the demon, in the text as follows: As the lotus being attacked by the darkness of the night loses its beauty and fragrance and withers and becomes almost dead, so also the gods in heaven lost all fragrance of devotion in their heart, which was the Seat of the Lord, being in constant fear of this demon king Hiranyakasipu since his birth till the time when he was slain by Lord Nrsinhadeva. Again, as with the rise of the sun in the morning the lotus regains its life and blooms with beauty and fragrance, so also now with the Appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva, who has removed the Demon-king from the earth as the rising sun removes the darkness of the night, the lotus-like heart of Indra, king of the gods, has regained its fragrance of devotion at the sight of the Lord and thus has become worthy of the Seat of the Lord. 36-
21 Bhagavatam, Canto VII, Chap. 8, sloka 42.
astame sri-gajendroktau 22--
ekantino yasya na kancanartham
vanchanti ye vai bhagavat-prapannah
aty-adbhutam tac-caritam sumangalam
Translation: Sri Gajendra (elephant-king) says in the Eighth Canto: "Lord those who have one-pointed devotion and have taken absolute refuge in Thee and do not desire anything else (except Bhakti), remain drowned in the ocean of eternal bliss by singing the glory of Thy all-auspicious and extraordinary Character. I therefore pray to Thee". 37-
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha points out that pure devotees are ever full of the wealth of self-surrender, and therefore they do not have any more room (in their hearts) for desire for any other object, and their wealth of delight in absolute self-surrender (as in the case of Sri Gajendra) far excels the wealth of joy in Jnana and Yoga-the devotees of the Lord are drowned in the ocean of the nectar which flows from singing the Lord's glories. 37-
22 Bhagavatam, Canto VIII, Chap. 3, sloka 20.
navame sri-vaikunthnathoktau 23--
mat-sevaya pratitam te salokyadi-catustayam
necchanti sevaya purnah kuto 'nyat kala-viplutam38-
Translation: In the Ninth Canto the Lord of Vaikuntha (Narayana) tells sage Durvasa: "My devotees are completely absorbed in My service. By serving Me they can easily gain the fruits of the five fruits of mukti, viz. Salokya-Sarsti-Samipya-Sarupya-Ekatva; but they do not accept them, what to speak of asking for heavenly pleasures which are sure to come to an
end in course of time. 38-
23 Bhagavatam, Canto IX, Chap. 4, sloka 67.
sri dasame nagapatnistutau 24--
na naka-prstham na ca sarva-bhaumam
na paramesthyam na rasadhipatyam
na yoga-siddhir apunar-bhavam va
vanchanti yat-pada-rajah-prapannah 39-
Translation: In the Tenth Canto the wives of the Nagas pray to the Lord Sri Krsna as follows: "Lord! Those who have anointed themselves with the pollen of Thy lotus-like beautiful Feet and have surrendered themselves to the dust of Thy Feet, do not care for Dhruvaloka, so that the question of uninterrupted enjoyment of the entire universe does not arise at all; they do not care to occupy the status of Brahma, the creator of the fourteen worlds, what to speak of their aspiring after the overlordship of the nether regions? They also do not desire to possess the eight supernatural powers attainable through Yoga practices; nay more, they do not want even Moksa." 39-
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that dust of the Feet of the Lord' signifies 'Bhakti' as complete and absolute self-dedication to the Lord. Note: Also see sloka 32. 39-
24 Bhagavatam, Canto X, Chap 16, Sloka 37
tatraova sri-vedastitautaui 25 -
duravagamatma-tattva-nigamaya tavatta-tanos -
na parilasanti kecid apavargam apisvara te
Translation: While offering their prayers to the Lord the Srutis said: "Oh Supreme Lord! In order to make those impersonalists of the world, who are enamored of Brahmananda, to realize the incomprehensible truth of Thy true Self, Thou hast graciously manifested Thyself in this world in Thy own, original Eternally aprakrta (supramundane) Form. Thy very few and rare devotees who constantly swim and sink in the limitless Ocean of the nectar that flows from the Events of Thy Manifested Self in this world and those who have been able to renounce all temptations of the world and cut asunder the ties of mundane affinities and taken to the path of renunciation in the foot-steps of the self-realized Paramahansas and of those in their Preceptorial Order, ever engaged in relishing the super-excellence of Thy beauteous and graceful Form, do not desire Moksa." 40-
25 Bhagavatam, Canto X, Chap. 87, sloka 21.
ekadaso sri-bhagavaduktau ---26
na kincit sadhavo dhira bhakta hy ekantino mama
vanchanty api maya dattam kaivalyam apunar-bhavam
Translation: In the Eleventh Canto the Lord tells Sri Uddhava:
"My steady, saintly and one-pointed devotees do not accept even so great a thing as moksa, even if I offer it to them." 41-
26 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 20, sloka 34.80
na paramesthyam na mahendra-dhisnyam
na sarvabhaumam na rasadhipatyam
na yoga-siddhir apunar-bhavam va
mayy arpitatmecchati mad vinanyat42-
Translation: The Lord further says in this connection: "My devotee who has completely dedicated himself to Me does not desire to have even the status of Brahma (creator of the universe), not to speak of overlordship of heaven; nor does he care to be the supreme ruler of the whole earth, much less for the kingship of the Nether Regions. Barring Myself whom alone he seeks, he does not want the supernatural powers attainable through the practices of Yoga, and he even does not desire Moksa." 42-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that when a true devotee rejects lordship over a higher region, the question of his aspiring for a lower region does not arise at all. For example, when a devotee does not want to attain the status of Brahma and to be the creator of the fourteen worlds, he would not obviously pay any importance to Svarga (heaven) which is a lower region to Brahma-loka, and the lordship of the earth which is of lesser importance still, and Patala (The nether region) which is still lower in importance. A genuine devotee who has dedicated himself to the service of the Supreme Lord for His delight wants not only not to be the ruler of the nether region (Patala), the whole of the earth (Bhu-loka), the heaven (Svarga-loka) and Brahma-loka, but also easily rejects even the superior supernatural power of Yoga, and even Moksa which is indeed of very great value. Sri Jiva says that a true devotee of the Supreme Lord not only does not desire any of these, including Moksa, but also, every kind of pleasure which may be the objects of aspirations of human beings. A devotee accepts the Lord who is attainable only by Bhakti, as the only supreme purpose of life, and nothing else. 42-
27 Bhagavatam., Canto XI, Chap. 14, sloka 14.
dvadasa sri-rudroktau-- 28
naivecchaty asisah kvapi brahmarsir moksam apy uta
bhaktim param bhagavati labdhavan puruse 'vyaye 43-
Translation: In the Twelfth Canto Sri Rudra addressing Parvati says: "Devi! This Brahmarsi (a brahmana-sage of very great attainments) Markandeya has attained unalloyed Uttama-Bhakti or Bhakti of the superior order in the Unchangeable and EternalPerson of the Godhead; he therefore does not desire anything else anywhere at any time, not even moksa." 43-
28 Bhagavatam, Canto XII, Chap 10, Sloka 6
padma-purane ca kartikamahatmye (Damodarastake)
varam deva moksam na moksavadhim va
na canyam vrne 'ham varesad apiha
idam te vapur natha gopala-balam
sada me manasy avirastam kim anyaih 44-
Translation: In the Eight-verse prayer to Sri Damodara (Lord Sri Krsna) in the Kartika-mahatmya of Padma Purana, the great devotee Sri Satyavrata addresses the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna as follows: "Lord! Thou art the Supreme Source of all boons. I pray not for dharma-artha-kama, not even for Moksa which is the highest and higher than the other three, nor for any other boon. But Oh my Master! May this Thy mind fascinating Form of Vala-Gopala (the Eternal Form of the Divine Child) ever shine in the mirror of my mind! What use is there of other things for me?" 44-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that moksa here should
be understood in its traditional sense, which a devotee does not desire. By the
use of the suffix 'avadhi' after
'Moksa' are included dharma, artha and
kuveratmajau baddha-murtyaiva yadvat
tvaya mocitau bhakti-bhajau krtau ca
tatha prema-bhaktim svakam me prayaccha
na mokse graho me 'sti damodareha -45-
Translation: Further in Kartika-mahatmya of Padma Purana, Sri Satyavrata says: "Lord Damodara! The way in which Thou hast of Thy Own initiative freed the two sons of Kuvera, viz. Nalakuvera, and Manigriva, from their state of bondage and made them Thy devotees, in the same manner mayest Thou bless me with Thy Prema-Bhakti only! I have no desire for Moksa." 45-
hayasirsiya sri-narayana-vyuha stave ca
na dharma kamam artham va moksam va varadesvara |
prarthaye tava padabje dasyam evabhikamaye ||46||
Translation: In the hymn of Sri Narayana-vyuha of
Hayasirsa we have: "Oh Lord of all boons! I do not pray for boons like
punah punar varan ditsur visnur muktim na yacitah |
bhaktir eva vrta yena prahladam tam namamy aham ||47||
Translation: And again, "Prince Prahlada, who refused all boons which Lords Visnu Himself repeatedly offered him, and who did not ask for moksa, prayed only for Bhakti; I bow at his feet." 47-
yadrcchaya labdham api visnor dasarathe stu yah |
naicchain moksam vina dasyam tasmai hanumate namah ||48||
Translation: I prostrate before Hanuman who prayed not for Moksa, which very easily he could have received. He asked for nothing excepting Dasya-Bhakti from Lord Visnu, the Son of King Dasaratha. 48-
ataeva prasiddham sri hanumad vakyam
bhavandhacchide tasyai sprha yami na muktaye |
bhavan prabhur aham dasam iti yatra vilupyate ||49||
Translation: So it is said in the famous prayer by Hanuman. Sri Hanuman addressing Lord Rama said: "Lord! I have no aspiration for Mukti which cuts asunder the bondage of the world but makes our relation of Master and servant as Thou art my Lord and I am Thy servant' lost or forgotten." 49-
sri narada pancaratre ca jitante-stotre
tvat pada pankaja syadho jivitam diyatam mama ||50||
moksa-salokya sarupyan prarthaye na dharadhara |
icchami hi mahabhaga karunyam tava suvrata ||51||
Translation: In the Jitanta-stotra
of Sri Narada-Pancaratra we have:
"Lord! Bless me that I may never have any desire for dharma, artha,
ataeva sri bhagavati sasthe-- 29
muktanam api siddhanam narayanaparayanah
sudurlabhah prasantatma kotisv api maha-mune
Translation: There in the Sixth Canto: King Pariksita addressing Sage Sukadeva says: "Oh great Sage! A large-hearted and tranquil-minded genuine devotee who is exclusively devoted to the service of Lord Narayana, is very rare- one in million amongst freed or Mukta persons who no more misidentify their physical body with their true selves, or one in a million of siddha persons who have attained Salokya and other forms of Mukti." 52-
29 Bhagavatam, Canto VI, Chap. 14, sloka 5.83
Prathame ca sri dharmarajamatuh stutau--30
tatha paramahamsanam muninam amalatmanam
bhakti-yoga-vidhanartham katham pasyema hi striyah
Translation: In the First Canto: Sri Kunti Devi, mother of Dharmaraja Yudhisthira, addressing Lord Sri Krsna says by way of a prayer: "How shall we ladies, be able to understand Thee whose very purpose is to bestow Bhakti to the self-realized, pure-hearted and meditating Paramahansas?" 53-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami observes here in his comment that to those devatees who do not desire moksa and desire to serve the Lord only, the Lord bestows the delight of serving Him. 53-
30 Bhagavatam, Canto I, Chap. 8, sloka 20.
tatraive sri suktoktau--31
atmaramas ca munayo nirgrantha apyurukrame
kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktimittham-bhuta-guno harihIti.---54--
Translation: In the words Sri Suta Gosvami: The self-contented munis (saints) in consequence of self-consciousnees cut asunder the ties of the regulations of the scriptures, cherish desireless and causeless Bhakti in the Supreme Lord Urukrama (Trivikrama Visnu). Such is the nature of the Lord Hari that He attracts even the self-conscious saints. 54-
Commentary: Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami points out that such atmarama, the self-contented and self-satisfied-- Munis or saints, are misfits for achieving Bhakti by their own endeavors. But lo! Even to attract such vain-glorious self-sufficient persons out of His innate Compassion for all, the Lord makes His Divine Descent in this world and offers them Bhakti. Pure devotees are very rare indeed! 54-
31 Bhagavatam, Canto I, Chap. 7, sloka 10.
atra tyajyatay aivokta muktih panca vidhapi cet |
salokyadi stathapy atra bhaktya nativirudhyate ||55||
Translation: Though all the five forms of mukti have been stated here as to be discarded (by a pure devotee), yet the first four, Salokya-Sastri-Samiypa-Sarupya are not altogether incompatible with Bhakti. 55-
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that the various references that have been cited by Sri Rupa Gosvami in the previous slokas to establish the desirelessness of pure devotees for all the five forms of Mukti, in the present text Sri Rupa wants to show that Salokya, Sastri, Samipya are not very much antagonistic to Bhakti, i.e. they are partially unsuited to pure Bhakti, because it is said that Bhakti has some place in these first four forms of Mukti. Sri Mukunda dasa
says that Salokya-Mukti, Sastri-Mukti, Samipya-Mukti and Sarupya-Mukti are partly unsuited and partly conducive to Bhakti, while Ekatva or Sayujya-Mukti has absolutely no place in Bhakti. 55-
Translator's Note: In order to justify his statement (in sloka 25 of the text) that pure devotees who devote themselves in the service of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna do not want moksa, i.e. self-merging in the Absolute, even if that be offered to them by the Lord Himself, Sri Rupa Gosvami has quoted 27 slokas (from sloka 26 to sloka 53) from the Bhagavatam, and other Scriptures, and by citing the following two more slokas, viz. 53 and 54, Sri Rupa Gosvami proves that it is the very nature of Lord Sri Krsna to bestow His causeless or spontaneous Bhakti on such person as eschew Moksa.
sukhaisvaryottara seyam prema-sevottarety api |
salokyadir dvidha tatra nadya seva jusam mata ||56||
Translation: Salokya-Sastri-Samipya-Sarupya Muktis are of two kinds: firstly, as grandeur-and-pleasure-giving to the individual, i.e. mukti in which the individual desires his personal pleasures from the grandeur and wealth, and secondly mukti in which Prema-seva dominates, i.e. in which the dominant desire is to serve the Lord for His delight. But the first of these two aspects of mukti is not welcome to those who are devoted to the service of the Lord, i.e. they do not seek
personal pleasures from the grandeur and wealth of the first four forms of Mukti. 56-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that the natural joy and grandeur that are attainable in the Lord's Realm (Vaikuntha)- Salokya, some of the Power of God (Sastri), Lord's nearness or immediate presence (Samipya), and beauty equal to the Beauty of the Lord (Sarupya) form the aisvarya side of Mukti, called Sukhaisvaryottara; and where service of the Lord is essentially desired owing to the overwhelming force of the nature of Prema, the mukti is called Prema-sevottara. Between these two forms of Mukti, those who desire to serve the Lord do not want the first form of Mukti, i.e. they do not seek joys of the self in Salokya-Sastri-Samipya Sarupya mukti, because it has previously been established that devotees do not want Mukti even if it be offered by the Lord Himself. If Salokya etc., the first four forms of mukti, be devoid of any service of the Lord, then devotees do not want them. But under all circumstances, Ekatva or Sayujyam-Mukti is devoid of God's service, and therefore, a devotee never accepts it. Here Ekatva refers to identity with or merging in both Brahman, and Isvara both Impersonal and Personal Aspects of the Godhead.
Sri Mukundadasa holds that in Sukhaisvaryottara Mukti the devotes pays more attention, to the Asvairya, i.e. the majesty, splendor and glory of the Lord and of Vaikuntha than to the service of the all-majestic Lord Narayana; and where the devotee gives supreme importance to the service of the Lord with reverence and affection without being carried away by the all-majestic aspects of Lord Narayana and His Realm Vaikuntha, it is called Premottara Mukti. Sages like Markandeya who are attached to the service of the Lord do not desire the former form of mukti.
Sri Visvanatha points out that because pure devotees do not think about their own pleasures even in the all-majestic Realm of Lord Narayana excepting the delight of the Lord alone do not therefore desire to have the former form of mukti. 56-
kintu premaika madhurya jusa ekantino harau |
naivangi kurvate jatu muktim panca vidham api ||57||
Translation: But the one-pointed devotees who drink deeply of the mellow-sweetness of Prema-Bhakti for Lord Hari, certainly do not accept any of the five form of mukti, i.e. they reject all the five forms of Mukti, viz. Salokya, Sastri, Samipya, Sarupya and Ekatva or Sayujya. 57-
Commentary: Commentator Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that the word 'uttara' after 'prema' signifies that all other material ingredients besides Prema are rejected. Therefore the one-pointed devotees do not desire for any form of mukti. It has previously been stated where the Lord said that His devotees being completely absorbed in the Lord's service never desire for salokya and other forms of mukti, not to speak of their asking for any other short-lived pleasures. In the previous verse in the text, the first kind of Mukti, i.e. Sukha isvaryottara Mukti, in which the devotee pays more attention to the majesties of the Lord and His Realm than to serving Him is Sadhana-Bhakti, whereas the second Premottara Mukti where the devotee does not pay attention to the lordliness, grandeur and majesties of Lord Narayana but is absorbed in His service, it is Sadhya-Bhakti, i.e. Prema-Bhakti. Though the first four forms of mukti are included in Sadhana-Bhakti, a pure devotee does not want them because he has experienced the supreme delight of serving the Lord. Now a question may be raised: How can a devotee offer direct service to the Lord unless he lives in the same Realm (Salokya) with the Lord? The fact is that a freed and superior devotee no doubt reaches the Transcendental Realm of the Lord (Vaikuntha) in order to render personal services to the Lord, but he does not attain Salokya as a process of Mukti; when attainment of Salokya-Mukti becomes Mukti, he does not want it; what wonder that he discards the other three forms of mukti? But when he has to attain Salokya for serving the Lord, he does not refuse it, which would mean refusing to serve the Lord. The question of Sayujya-Mukti does
not arise at all for him.
Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami explains 'ekanti' as those who are exclusively devoted to the service of the Lord in a one-pointed devotion, such as Uddhava, the Pandavas and Sri Hanuman. They relished the intimate services of the Lord as His Servants. Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti holds that the 'ekanta' or single-minded devotees of the Lord do not even accept Premottara Mukti., because even here there is an indirect flavor of self-satisfaction. They, therefore, accept Salokya only for the purpose and desire of serving the Lord, i.e. Prema-seva, and not for Premottara-Seva. 57-
tatrapy ekantinam srestha govinda hrta manasah |
yesam srisa-prasado pi mano hartum na saknuyat ||58||
Translation: Of all the one-pointed devotees of the different Avataras (Divine Descents), the devotees whose hearts have been stolen by Govinda are the highest, because even the Grace of the Lord of Laksmi (Srisa, i.e. Narayana) is unable to steal (attract) their mind. 58-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that here 'Govinda' is The Lord of Gokula, i.e. Sri Krsna'; 'Srisa' refers to 'The Lord of Paravyoma', i.e. the Lower Half of the Absolute Realm- the Realm of the Lord's Majesties. 'Srisa' has also been used in a generic sense implying that even the Grace of the 'Lord of Dvaraka', i.e. Sri Krsna of Dvaraka, cannot attract the heart of the devotees of Sri Krsna of Gokula-son of Nanda. Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti says that a devotee of Sri Krsna in Gokula (Braja) is so deeply charmed by His Beauty and Gracefulness that even the Grace of Maha-Visnu or Maha-Narayana fail to draw his attention even. 58-
siddhantatastv abhede pi srisa-krsna sva-rupayoh |
rasen-otkrsyate krsna rupam esa rasa sthitih ||59||
Translation: Though Srisa, i.e. Lord of Laksmi (Narayana, the Lord of Paravyoma or Vaikuntha) and Sri Krsna's Person are essentially identical and One, yet the super-excellence of Sri Krsna lies in His being the Supreme Object of highest Prema-Rasa, because the very nature of Rasa shows the most supreme excellence of the Form of Sri Krsna in whom alone all Rasas (12 Rasas) find their final and absolute expression. 59-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that here 'Rasena' means the highest Rasa, which is
Prema-Rasa, by which alone the Supramundane Beauty of the Form of Sri Krsna is
revealed in its supreme excellence. In the text it is stated by Sri Rupa
Gosvami that 'Srisa' and 'Krsna' are One and the same Supreme Lord; but the
highest excellence of the same Supreme Lord Finds expression in Sri Krsna alone
because of Prema-Rasa. But Sri Jiva
explains 'Srisa' not as 'Lord of Laksmi' but as 'Lord of Radha', and for this
he cites the address of the
Translator's note: It will be helpful to understand the incomparable super-excellence of the bliss that is in the service of Lord Sri Krsna if we should explain here the significance of Brahmananda and the different stages to it, because the Bliss that is Rasa (Rasananda) that is in the service of Lord Krsna is far and far beyond Brahmananda. Brahmananda is endless. In order to show this, the Upanisads have shown the different grades of Ananda or bliss in different spheres. The first and the lowest is Manusyananda. A youth who is moral in character, has read and studied the Vedas, active in karma, strongly built in body and strong in physical strength and who has the whole world under his control, such a youth enjoys the highest pleasures in manifold ways in this world. Such ananda (pleasure) is called Manusyananda. Hundred times of this Manusyananda (human pleasures) is Gandharvananda. A man ksatriya by birth who by dint of specific Vedic karma has attained to the stage of a Gandharva, i.e. a sort of demigod in heaven and heavenly musician, is eligible to enjoy Gandharvananda which is hundred times of Manusyananda or earthly pleasures. But when a brahmana who is well read in the Vedas and is conversant with Brahman ,the Absolute, and who by birth is a Gandharva attains to the status of a Deva-gandharva, he enjoys Deva-Gandharvananda, which is hundred times more than Manusya-Gandharvananda. Such a brahmana must have renounced all worldly pleasures. Hundred times more than Deva-Gandharvananda is Ciraloka or Pitr-lokananda. A brahmana who is established in Brahman and has given up all mundane desires is entitled to this Pitrlokananda. Hundred times more than Pitrlokananda is Ajanaja-Devalokananda. The Ajanaja gods enjoy this bliss. The Ananda of Karma-devas is a hundred times more than that of the Ajanaja-devas, i.e. Karmadevananda. The brahmanas who have attained heaven by performing the Agnihotra Vedic rites are called karma-devas. A hundred times more pleasures are in Devananda, i.e. the Devas (the gods) enjoy hundred times more pleasures then the Karma-Devas. These devas (gods) are the eight Vasus, eleven Rudras, twelve Adityas, Indra and Prajapati-these thirty-three. Indra is the king of all the gods, and Brhaspati is their Guru or Spiritual Guide. Hundred times more than Devananda (pleasures of the gods) is Indrananda (pleasures enjoyed by Indra). Brhaspati's Ananda is again hundred times of the pleasures that are in Indrananda. Prajapati's Ananda is hundred times more than that of Brhaspati. And Brahmananda is hundred times more than Prajapatiananda. Thus it is almost impossible to assess the depth and limit of Brahmananda. It is for this that the Upanisads have said that man's mind and words fail to describe the exact nature of Brahmananda. It is, therefore, stated that a human being may be capable of attaining to the other different aspects of pleasures, but it is only a Brahma-Jnani who is freed from all bondage, i.e. a Mukta can attain to Brahmananda. But this Mukti can be of two kinds, viz. immediate freedom from bondage and freedom in gradual degrees. Those who attain immediate Mukti, they attain Brahmananda after the fall of this material body. But those who attain Mukti in gradual degrees can attain up to Prajapati-Ananda, and it is after Final Dissolution that they enter into Brahman the Absolute, and attain Brahmananda. A pure devotee of Lord Sri Krsna, who has once experienced the super-excellence of Prema-Rasa in the Person of the All-beauteous Sri Krsna, discards such Brahmananda, and not only Brahmananda, even the All-majestic Srisa.
Sri Jiva Gosvami further continues to explain the
inconceivable excellence of the sweetness of Sri Krsna in the words of the
Queens of Dvarakadhisa: "What then do you desire?" asked Sri
Sri Jiva further points out that the meaning of sri here cannot be Laksmi for the obvious reason that Laksmi Herself prayed for, also practiced penances in the hope of the luck of the Braja-Gopis who had the experience of the mellowness of the Feet of Lord Sri Krsna when They anointed Them with the fragrance of the saffron of Their Breasts. This is also clear from the further fact that Sri Laksmi was denied the right of even being a witness of Sri Krsna's Pastimes
of Reciprocal exchange of Bhakti-Rasa at the Circular Dance (Rasa-lila) with the Gopis, a right which She keenly desired and for which She prayed ardently. It follows, therefore, that Sri here stands for Radha, the Lord's most Beloved amongst the Braja-Gopis. But how, it may be asked, can the Queens of Dvaraka claim a right, which was denied to Laksmi Herself? The Queens contend that even when the Pulinda women- the uncivilized and primitive women of the Transcendental Realm of Braja had the blessed fortune of soothing their burning hearts by holding the Dust of the Feet of Lord Sri Krsna, which had added fragrance being besmeared with the saffron and ointment of the Breast of Sri Radha and which fell on the blades of grass when the Lord took the cows over the grass-fields, why should They (the Queens of Lord Dvarakadhisa) be deprived of this blessed fortune? Though it may he said that even the blades of grass have this good luck of a realization of the Fragrance of the Lord's Feet, why should the Queens of Dvarakadhisa not have a taste thereof? The answer is that just as the Pulinda women have no direct experience of the super-excellence of Lord Krsna of Braja because ineligible, but have
an indirect experience from the blade of grass over which Lord Krsna has led His cows, so the blades also being incapable of any experience excepting Santa-Rasa have no realization of the fragrance that emanate from Them. It may be said, however, that in the case of the Narma Sakhas or the most intimate of Lord Sri Krsna's Companions, there is no such ineligibility for holding the Feet of Sri Krsna to their Breast, as they are prone to a certain degree to Madhura-Rati; Their sex-abhiman or the consciousness of Their belonging to the male sex is a bar to the full realization of pressing the Feet of the Lord to Their Breast, a realization of which Sri Radha has the most intense and special privilege.
The further significance here is that it is mentioned in the Bhagavatam that Sri Laksmi only desired for the Feet of Sri Krsna of Braja but not for touching the Feet to Her Breast. In this connection Sri Jiva Gosvami quotes references from the Bhagavatam. The wives of the Naga (Kaliya Naga) addressing Lord Sri Krsna said: 34 Lord! We fail to understand how this Kaliya Naga has been so blessed with the Dust of Thy Blessed Feet for which Laksmi of Vaikuntha left everything else and engaged Herself for long in hard penances." Again, Sri Uddhava said 35 : "The Feet of Lord Sri Krsna for which Laksmi, the self-contented Brahma and the lords of supernatural yogic powers ever pray only in their hearts, the Gopis of Braja could hold those Feet in embrace in Their Breasts in the Rasamandala and removed all the hunger of Their hearts!" Thus Sri' cannot be identified with Rukmini, nor shall the Braja-Gopis have similar aspirations like those of Laksmi, because it is stated in the Bhagavatam: 36 that Lord Sri Krsna showed His extraordinary Grace to the Gopis in the Rasamandala (Circular Dance and Sports on the banks of the Yamuna) by embracing Them round Their necks with His Blessed Arms, which kindness even Laksmi of Vaikuntha who is ever in the Heart of the Supreme Lord Narayana or the dancing damsels of heaven with lotus-scented bodies can never attain. Here in this sloka, the excellence of the Braja-Gopis over Sri Laksmi of Vaikuntha has been shown. It is true that in the Matsya Purana and Skanda Purana, Sri Rukmini and Sri Radha have been mentioned on equal level, but there it should be understood in the sense that Rukmini and Radha are the Internal Potency of the Supreme Godhead and hence identical in Their Aspects as Potency or Sakti of the Lord. But Sri Radha is the Completeness of all the Potencies of the Godhead. In the Vrhad-Gautamiya Tantra it is stated that Sri Radha is the Supreme Source of all the Laksmis in all the Vaikunthas-She is the Supreme Hladini Sakti and is distinct from all other Laksmis of Vaikuntha and the Queens of Dvaraka as also of all other Gopis of Braja. Sri Radha is Supreme and Unique in Her position in relation, to the Highest Godhead. Even the Gopis of Braja addressing Sri Radha said: "This Radha must have worshipped Lord Narayana to His supreme satisfaction as otherwise how could (Lord) Govinda leaving us behind take Her away?" 37 Again, the Gopis being left behind and in Their agonies of separation from the Lord went out in the forests in search of Sri Govinda with Sri Radha, and addressing the deer said: "Oh Friend! Did the Beloved Krsna come here with His dearest Mistress and please your eyes with His charming Body, maddening Smile and lovely Arms?" 38 Addressing the Creepers, the Gopis said: "Oh compassionate Creepers! Did Sri Krsna come this way placing His Arms on the Shoulder of His dearest Mistress (Radha) and holding the supra-mundane or aprakrta amorous Lotus in His beautiful Hand followed by the hum of black-bees, and did He accept your respectful bow by casting His side-glance at you from the corner of His Eyes?" Thus, "Oh Devi!" said the Queens of Dvaraka addressing Sri Draupadi, "Our desire is for the Feet of Sri Krsna which have added fragrance from the saffron of the Breast of Sri Radha, who is the Supreme SRI."
Translator's note: The substance of the entire discourse is the reason which the Queens, other than the Eight Principal Queens, of Sri Dvarakadhisa adduce for participation in the taste of the sweetness of the ground and the dust-particle over which Lord Krsna has walked. The Queens point out that even the Pulinda primitives of Braja, because of their being born in Braja, had the fortune of holding the Dust of the Feet of Sri Krsna, Son of Nanda, which they received from the blades of grass over which Sri Krsna walked while grazing the cows, and if the blades of grass of Braja possess no such luck of tasting the sweetness of the Dust of the Feet of Sri Krsna it is because of their constitution they are incapable of anything but an experience of Santa-Rasa, and in the case of Sri Krsna's intimate Companions or Friends (Priya-Narma-Sakhas),the sex is a bar to a complete and full experience of this sweetness. But in Their case, i.e. in the case of the Queens of the Lord of Dvaraka (Sri Krsna in His Majestic-cum-Beauteous Aspect), neither sex nor Their status should stand as a bar in Their seeking to hold the Dust of the Feet of Sri Krsna which has been doubly fragranced by the ointment of the Breast of Sri Radha. The purport of the text of Sri Rupa Gosvami is to show the super-excellence of Sri Krsna of Braja who is the Subject of Madhura-Rasa which is manifest in its fullness and completeness only in the Absolute in the Form of Sri Krsna in Braja, though in essence He is identical with Narayana of Vaikuntha and Sri Krsna of Dvaraka.
Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami points out that it is true that the Two Vigrahas of Condensed Deep Blue as Sat-Cit-Ananda, i.e. as Eternally Real, as All-conscious and as All-blissful, of Sri Narayana (Lord of Laksmi) and Sri Krsna-an Eternal Form of the Godhead, accepted as His own out of His own prerogative-are One and the Same by inference, yet the wonderful mellowness of the SIXTY-FOUR Qualities of Sri Krsna call be relished by such fortunate devotees only whom Sri Krsna considers to be deserving.
Translator's note: A finite self or Jiv-atma can possess fifty incomplete qualities; a god in heaven possesses fifty qualities in completeness and five more partially; Brahma and Siva possess fifty-five qualities in their fullness and five more qualities partially. The Supreme Lord Narayana has SIXTY Qualities in their exuberance. Over and above these SIXTY QUALITIES in His Narayana Form in Vaikuntha, FOUR MORE extraordinary ATTRACTIONS mark out the super-excellence of SRI KRSNA, viz. (1) Rupa-Madhurya (Sweetness of His all-beauteous Person), (2) Guna-Madhurya (Sweetness of His manifold Qualities), (3) Venu-Madhurya (Sweetness of the melody of the Music of His Flute), and (4) Lila-Madhurya (Sweetness of His Ever-new supra-mundane or aprakrta Pastimes and Rasa-Sports).
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that all the different aspects of Prema-Rasa find their highest expression in Mahabhava of Sri Radha, and the only Recipient of this Mahabhava is Brajendranandana Sri Krsna, Son of the King of Braja; in no other Avatara, nor even in Maha-Narayana this is possible. It is for this excellence of Rasa in Sri Krsna that even Sri Laksmi whose Seat is in the Heart of Sri Narayana underwent hard penances only for witnessing the Rasa-Dance of Sri Krsna in Braja. Sri Visvanatha quotes in this connection the prayers of the wives of the Naga and that of Sri Uddhava. The contention is that when it is not possible even for Laksmi to hold the Feet of Sri Krsna to Her Breast, it is simply out of any imagination for any ordinary woman. Sri Uddhava further says in the Bhagavatam: "To the eyes of the utterly
ignorant the ways of the Mistress of Braja may appear like immoral acts. But how can the Gopikas of Brajavana be ever compared with anybody? What transcendental position do They occupy in relation to the Supreme Godhead as the Indweller Lord of all beings as Paramatma who is only an immanent Aspect of the Absolute Whole who is Sir Krsna? And how can a mortal
human being ever conceive the aprakrta i.e. supremely transcendental Mahabhava of Sri Radha? Lo! If one drinks nectar even without any knowledge about it, such a person will attain the sweet experience thereof; so also, even if one does not understand the supra-mundane Mahabhava or the Real Nature of Sri Krsna, but should engage oneself in His services, the Lord out of His infinite and inherent Compassion will bless such a one with His highest blessing, i.e. Prema." 59-
32 Bhagavatam, Canto X, Chap. 83, slokas 41-43
33 Bhagavatam, Canto X, Chap. 11, sloka 36.87
34 Bhagavatam., Canto X, Chap. 47, sloka 62.
35 Ibid., Canto X, Chap. 47, sloka 60.
36 Bhagavatam, Canto X, Chap. 30, sloka 28.
37 Ibid., Canto X, Chap 30, sloka 11.
38 Ibid., Canto X, Chap 30, sloka 12.
sastratah sruyate bhaktau nrmatrasy adhikarita |
sarvadhikaritam magha snanasya vruvata yatah |
drstantita vasisthena hari-bhaktir nrpam prati ||60||
Translation: It can be known from the Scriptures that every
human being is eligible for Hari-Bhakti, because in connection with bathing in
Commentary: In his commentary Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti raises the question how if eligibility for the way of Bhakti should require renunciation of desires both for the enjoyment of mundane values and also for the attainment of liberation or release as is said here in this verse, can it be reconciled with the declaration of sage Vasistha that the way of Bhakti is open to all human beings? The apparent contradiction, however, arises from the supposition that the renunciation of Bhukti and Mukti is not possible for everybody, which is, however, not the case. The very fact that Bhakti is declared to be open to all, and at the same time stated to be possible only for those who have renounced the desire of earthly values and have also given up all desires for liberation implies that such renunciation is possible for all. It has been already shown that despite one's renunciation of earthly values being incomplete or partial, one can still follow the path of mixed-Bhakti. What is insisted on is that the desire for mukti is inconsistent with the way of Bhakti. 60-
sarve dhikarino hyatra hari-bhaktau yatha nrpa ||61||
Translation: Sri Vasistha Muni says: "Oh king! As
everybody is eligible for Hari-Bhakti, so also everyone is eligible to bathe (in
kasikhande ca tatha
antyaja api tad rastre sankha-cakranka dharinah |
samprapya vaisnavim diksam diksita iva samvabhuh ||62||
Translation: In the Kasikhanda it has been stated: The kingdoms of King Mayuradhvaja even the Candalas (dog's flesh-eating primitives) when received initiation into the religion of the Vaisnavas and anointed their persons with the distinctive marks of the Vaisnavas, viz. figures of conch-shell, wheel, etc. (on their chest and arms), attained the status of brahmanas with eligibility for the performance of the Vedic rites. 62-
Commentary: Commentator Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that the above verse is evidence that the way of Bhakti is open to all. Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami adds that Candala here means those amongst the Candalas who have attained belief in the spiritual value of the service of the Lord.
ananusthanto doso bhakty anganam prajayate |
na karmanam akarana desa bhakty adhikarinam ||63||
Translation: One eligible for the way of Bhakti is guilty of lapses if he fails to perform duly all the different forms of practices that are enjoined for Sadhana-Bhakti. But no such offense accrues if one fails to perform the enjoined Vedic karma (such as Asvamedha sacrifice, Putresthikriya, etc.). 63-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that it has been established that anyabhilasa-sunyata-absence of extraneous motives,is a condition precedent to the way of Uttama-Bhakti, and it has also been shown that this being possible for all, there is no bar to Bhakti for anybody. But in the Scriptures it is laid down that everybody must duly discharge the Varna-Asrama-dharma or his duties of station in life. This is Svadharma of everybody and any transgression of one's duly appointed duties will constitute a moral lapse with consequent demerit. Besides, the appointed duties include both positive injunction and negative prohibitions. If the forbidden Karmas are eschewed, one incurs guilt a consequence, and if one adheres to avoidance of forbidden acts, one's practice of Bhakti becomes clouded by karma or mixed up with the performance or avoidance of duties, positive and negative Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti, however, points out that guilt accrues only when one wedded to the way of Bhakti fails to perform all the different practices enjoined as part and parcel of Sadhana-Bhakti. Such practices are nitya-angas of Sadhana-Bhakti, and as such, inseparable from practices of Bhakti. It is only the lapses relating to the nitya-angas or inseparable parts of Sadhana-Bhakti that are a cause of one's failure in the path of Bhakti. Karma, however, in the Vedic sense is no source of offense or lapse in one who has chosen Bhakti as his proper and final End or Goal.
Translator's note: If Sri Jiva Gosvami's commentary is strictly accepted, then there will be no difference between the Ramanujist and the Gaudiya viewpoints. Sri Visvanatha is here more consistent with the Gaudiya view enunciated by Sri Rupa Gosvami's definition of Uttama-Bhakti. 63-
nisiddhacarato daivat prayascittantu nocitam |
iti vaisnava-sastranam rahasyam tad vidam matam ||64||
Translation: Even if perchance one eligible far Bhakti does any forbidden act, there should be no expiation for him. That is the purport and secret of the teachings of the Vaisnava Scriptures or Religious books and is also the accepted views of those what know all about the essence of Vaisnavism. 64-
Commentary: In commenting on the above verse Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that a pure devotee of the Lord is by nature not inclined to the commitment of any forbidden act. But even if perchance he becomes guilty of any forbidden act, no expiation is necessary for the offense because Bhakti itself subserves the purpose of expiation of the guilt incurred. 64-
sve sve dhikare ya nistha sa gunah parikititah |
vipary astu dosah syad ubhayor esa niscayah ||65||
Translation: In the Eleventh Canto of the Bhagavatam, Lord Sri Krsna addressing Sri Uddhava says: "Abiding in one's proper sphere is essence of moral excellence, and deviating from one's appointed sphere is the essence of moral evil. This is how thou shalt distinguish between good and evil." -65-
Commentary: According to Sri Jiva Gosvami, in the above verse 'adhikara' or eligibility signifies eligibility for the separate ways of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti. Remaining in one's proper sphere means 'adhering to the way to which one is eligible by temperament and conduct. If a devotee i.e. one wedded to the way of Bhakti practices jnana or karma yoga, he becomes guilty of deviating, from his true path. Lord Sri Krsna addressing Sri Uddhava says: "One whose mind is absorbed in Me and who is inspired by the desire of My service (i.e. Bhakti) does not in most cases accept karma or jnana or renunciation as a means to the attainment of the highest good." 40 "As long as one does not attain an attitude of complete indifference to the performance of the duties of life and as long as one lacks real faith in the value of hearing about Myself, and also has no Bhakti in Me generated in oneself, so long must one perform the unconditional duties laid down in the Vedas or the Sacred books. Such persons who are suited to the ways of Karma and Jnana and lack real faith in the way of Bhakti may be attracted to the path of Bhakti because of association with My true devotees."41 Sri Jiva further states that even then, because such persons lack real faith and become indifferent to the practice of Bhakti and as a consequence finds success in the way of Bhakti delayed, their indifference amounts to a positive lapse. The contrary of eligibility is not adhering to one's proper share and abiding in a share other than one's own.
Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami, points out that in order to clarify the previous statement that it is the esoteric significance of the Vaisnava Scriptures that if perchance a true devotee commits lapses in the performance of the positive duties on commits any act of moral evils, he need not undergo any expiation, Sri Rupa Gosvami cites seven references from the various Scriptures. Sri Mukunda dasa further explains that those who are indifferent to the miseries of this world being too much addicted to earthly pleasures and sense-enjoyments should follow the way of Karma; those who are detached from worldly pleasures and renounce all fruits of earthly values should follow the path of Jnana, but those who are fortunate to have real faith in listening to the Events and Glories of the Life of the Supreme Lord follow the path of Bhakti. In this order, a Karmin, a Jnanin and a Bhakta should follow the directions of the Scriptures as prescribed for these Paths according to their individual temperament. Should a Karmin or a Jnanin violate the prescribed line of life as directed by the Scriptures, he will have to suffer the consequences thereof. But a devotee has not to atone for any accidental lapse, because a devotee is normally averse to such violence of scriptural injunctions. But should he perchance commit such an offense, the very nature of his Bhakti for the Lord will make him take to the right path of pure Bhakti. It is also possible for those who tread the paths of Karma and Jnana that they turn to Bhakti if they keep company of genuine saints and listen from them to the glories of the Lord. In such a case such Karmins and Jnanins also need not expiate for their lapses. But if they do not take to the way of Bhakti, and if they commit offenses by violating the injunctions of the Scriptures as are prescribed for them, they will have to suffer the consequences and undergo atonement. 65-
39 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 21, sloka 2.
40 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 20, sloka 31
41 Ibid. Canto XI, Chap. 20, sloka 9.95
prathame -- 42
tyaktva svadharmam caranambujam harer bhajan napakko tha patet tato yadi |
yatra kva vabhadram abhudamusya kim ko vyartha apto bhajatam sva-dharmatah ||66||
Translation: Sri Narada addressing Sri Vyasadeva says: "When has any evil fallen on one who has taken shelter in the practice of devotion to the Lord's Lotus Feet even though he might have renounced his own svadharma and might also have lapsed from the way of Bhakti before attaining ripeness in the practice of Bhakti? And, when again has any benefit accrued to one who has stayed in his own sphere of svadharma and has not taken to the practice of devotion to the Lord?" 66-
Commentary: Svadharma here means the relative duties, according to the injunctions of the Scriptures, in one's station of life as a brahmacari or a householder or a vanaprastha or a yati, i.e. monk, or as a brahmana or a kstriya or a vaisya or a sudra or an antyaja. Svadharma also refers here to one's following the path of Vedic karma, or the path of jnana, i.e. knowledge Absolute, or the path of yoga and renunciation. It also means the innate and normal function of the pure finite
self or jivatma, which is the path of Bhakti. The last conception of Svadharma as Bhakti is the eternal function of the atma, while other conception of Svadharma in Karma, Jnana and Yoga relate to the physical body and mental quantum.
Commenting on the above sloka of the Bhagavatam, cited by Sri Rupa Gosvami, commentator Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that one who has renounced his own station in life for the practice of Bhakti may for some reason or other be reborn in a low stratum of society; but even then, no evil befalls such a person for the simple reason that even as low-born he
does not lose the disposition for the service of the Supreme Lord, i.e. spiritual practices, which remains as an innate possession because of his practice of Bhakti in the previous birth.
Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami says in his comment on the above sloka that those whose proper sphere is the way of Kkarma (Karma as a path always means Vedic karma or rites; it must not be confused with ordinary physical activities) or those whose sphere is that of Jnana (Knowlegde) and Vairagya (Renunciation) may sometime in some cases take to the way of Bhakti
renouncing their own sphere of Karma, Jnana or Vairagya, but need not apprehend any evil befalling them. And even having decided to take to the path of Bhakti if they fail to carry out their decision for practice of Bhakti or die suddenly before the decision is put to practice, no evil or anartha accrues to such persons in consequence of their renunciation of their own relative spheres. This is expressly stated in the Bhagavatam. In fact, before the decision is put to practice one may deviate there from either because of association with earth-minded people or because of dying suddenly before attaining ripeness by the practices enjoined in the way of Bhakti, i.e. one may somehow be prevented from translating one's firm belief or faith in Bhakti into life and even be born as a consequence in a lower rung of the social order. But because of his Bhakti, no real evil accrues therefrom; in fact, a true devotee is never reborn in a lower stratum. But granting for argument's sake that it is what happens in some cases, there is no cause for apprehension as no real evil befalls a true devotee even when he renounces his appointed sphere of life for pursuing the ways of Bhakti.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti observes in his comment on the above sloka as follows: Sri Sridhara Svami previously said that Kamya-Karmas done for the attainment of earthly ends are a source of mischief and evil. Therefore it behooves everyone to take to the chanting of the Name of Lord Hari renouncing all earthly desires. Now he adds that even the unconditional duties (Nitya-naimittika Karma as prescribed for the Four Varnas) as also the duties of station of life (as prescribed by the Scriptures for the Four Asramas) ought to be given up in favor of the practice of Bhakti, because serving Lord Hari is the only advisable force for a true spiritual aspirant. There is absolutely no cause of any apprehension if one attains ripeness in the way of Bhakti renouncing all duties of life in the Four Varnas and the Four Asramas. But even if there is either a lapse from Bhakti before the ripeness of Bhakti or if one dies before attaining complete success in his self-chosen path, yet there is no cause of apprehension for the simple reason that the way of karma has no proper jurisdiction over one who has tasted the sweetness of Bhakti-Rasa. Sri Visvanatha further adds that a devotee of Lord Hari, even when low-born does not have to apprehend any evil befalling him because he never loses his innate disposition to the service of the Lord. On the contrary, an individual who never deviates from his proper sphere of a relative life but fails to serve the Lord by devotion and Bhakti, does not achieve any real and lasting benefit. 66-
42 Bhagavatam, Canto I, Chap. 5, sloka 17.96
ajna yaivam gunan dosan mayadistan api svakan |
dharman santyajya yah sarvan mam bhajet sa ca sattamah ||67||
Translation: In the Eleven Canto of the Bhagavatam, Lord Sri Krsna addressing Sri Uddhava says: "He who has renounced the duties of his own station of life (Varna and Asrama) in the belief that they stand in the way of pure Bhakti in Myself, even knowing that I have advised the practice of such duties as a means to the purification of the mind, is a Bhakta or devotee of high order." 67-
Commentary: Commenting on the above sloka, Sri Mukundadasa Gosvami says that one, who even knowing fully well that performance of the duties of Varna and Asrama life cleanses the mind and develops knowledge, and their non-performance hurls one into hell, renounces one's varna and asrama duties, i.e. svadharma and dedicates oneself to the service of the Supreme Lord Hari, is a saint of the high order. 67-
43 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 5, sloka 41.
devarsi bhutapta nrnam pitrnam na kimkaro na yamrni ca rajan |
sarvatmana yah saranam saranyam gato mukundam parihrtya kartam ||68||
Translation: Sage Sri Karabhajana addressing King Nimi says: "Oh king! One who after renouncing everything else takes complete refuge in Lord Mukunda (Lord Krsna who gives Mukti or who gives Prema) as the only and supreme Object of complete submission and service, such a person never becomes subservient to the gods, rsis, the created beings, the relatives or the ancestors, nor does he become indebted to any of them." 68-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami says that one who gives up all differences and distinctive services of the different gods, such as Indra, Candra, etc., and dedicates oneself completely to the protection of the Supreme Lord Hari, for such a person no other duty remains to be observed by him, because all the ties of his previous births as well as of the present birth are cut asunder and his relative duties of Varna and Asrama end for him, and he is no more bound by any karma. Sri Mukunda dasa however explains 'sarvatmana' in the text as one's surrendering to and taking refuge in the Lord with the, firm faith that Lord Sri Krsna alone is the Supreme Object of all devotional services, that Bhakti is the supreme Meams, and Prema is the supreme Value of life or summum bonum of life. Such an individual, who takes shelter at the Feet of Lord Sri Krsna, is not bound by any Karma or relative duties. 68-
44 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 5, sloka 41.
sri-bhagavad gitasu ---45
sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja |
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah ||69||
Translation: In the Gita Lord Sri Krsna addressing Prince Arjuna says: "You give up all other duties or religions and take absolute refuge in Me. I shall free you from all sins; be not worried." 69-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami says that 'parityajya' signifies renunciation of
all religions relating to
45 Bhagavat Gita, Chap.18, sloka 66.
yatha vidhi-nisedhau tu muktam naivopasarpatah |
tatha na sprsato ramopasakam viddhi-purvakam ||70||
Translation: It is said in the Agassya-Samhita that as a self-realized freed person is not bound by the restriction of the regulative and prohibitive rules of the Scriptures, so also a devotee of Lord Rama who is regularly and constantly engaged in the Lord's services is not similarly restricted.
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami explains here the 'regulative and restrictive rules' as those of the Smrti-Sastras, and 'vidhipurvaka', i.e. with regularity as worship according to the rules arid prescriptions of the Vedas and the Tantras. Sri Visvanatha holds the view that here regulative and restrictive rules mean those of both the Smrtis and the Vedas. -70-
ekadase eva -- 46
svapada mulam bhajatah priyasya tyaktany abhavasya harih
vikarma yaccot patitam kathancid-dhunoti sarvam hrdi
Translation: In the Eleventh Canto of the Bhagavatam, sage Sri Karabhajana addressing King Nimi says: "Oh king! If a devotee of the Lord, who has discarded every other desire excepting the desire of serving the Lotus-Feet of the Lord Himself alone and being thus engaged perchance violates any injunction of the Scriptures, the Supreme Lord Hari by entering the heart of His such a devotee destroys all the miseries that may accrue from such violations. -71-
Commentary: Commentator Sri Jiva Gosvami says that 'discarding all other desires' here means not to worship any other god as the supreme Object of worship excepting the Supreme Lord Sri Hari only. If perchance any Vikarma befalls such a devotee whose one-pointed services are directed to Lord Hari alone, and if such violation of or negligence to some directions of the Scriptures create any trouble to such a single-minded devotee who is very dear to the Lord, the Lord Himself wipes out such troubles or miseries from the heart of His beloved devotee. Hence, a true devotee of the Lord is not to expiate for any such commitments. 71-
46 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 5, sloka 42.
hari-bhakti-vilase sya bhakter angani laksasah |
kintu tani prasiddhani nirdisyante yatha mati ||72||
Translation: Mention has been made in the Haribhaktivilasa about manifold aspects and features of this Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti. But only the more important ones will be stated here as far as possible. 72-
asritav antaraneka bhedam kevalam eva va |
ekam karmatra vidvadhir ekam bhaktyangam ucyate ||73||
Translation: Here are the signs of the ANGAS or Forms of Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti- The wise have called every form of the manifold distinctions (as in arcana or worship) or only each of the action (such as submission to Guru, to rise up, etc.) as a PART of Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhaktt. ------73--
guru-padasrayas tasmat krsna-diksadi-siksanam |
visrambhena guroh seva sadhu-vartmanu-vartanam ||74||
Translation: The following are the 64 indispensable PARTS or Functions (Angas) of Sadhana-Bhakti:
(1) Submission to the Feet of the Guru (Spiritual Master); (2) Receiving training from him in spiritual initiation and practices regarding Sri Krsna; (3) serving the Spiritual Master with affectionate zeal; (4) Following in the path of saints; --74--
Translator's note: In (2), spiritual practices can be learnt from the Spiritual Master only after one has been initiated into the spiritual life. Initiation should, therefore, precede training in rudimentary practices in Sadhana-Bhakti. One who has been initiated into Krsna-Diksa should have training in spiritual practices in the Religion of the Bhagavatam. This is the contention here. In (4), following the path of saints means those methods that have been in vogue amongst
saints and are consistent with the injunction of the Scriptures.--74--
sad-dharma-prccha bhogadi-tyagah krsnasya hetave |
nivaso dvarakadau ca gangader api sannidhau ||75||
Translation: (5) inquisitiveness about the esoteric ways of spiritual practices or about the highest religion; (6) Renouncing all pleasures, relatives, wealth, wife and children and others for the sake of receiving the compassion and grace of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna or sacrificing everything for the sake of Sri Krsna; (7) Living in Dvaraka and other sacred places, sanctified for association with Lord Sri Krsna, and also on the banks of the Ganga; -75-
Translator's note: 'For the sake of Krsna' does not mean that all renounced objects, such as wealth, pleasures, wife and children, etc. should be offered to Lord Sri Krsna for His pleasures, but renunciation here means receiving the Grace of the Lord, which alone is the cause of God-realization. 75-
vyavaharesu sarvesu yavad arthanuvartita |
hari-vasara sammano dhatry asvatthadi gauravam ||76||
Translation: (8) In all works of daily conduct, accepting only such things which are reasonably necessary; (9) Observing Ekadasi-Janmastami and other sacred days (which are favorable to the Lord) by observing fast; (10) Giving importance to Myrobalan trees and the holy Fig-tree. 76-
esamatra dasanganam bhavet prarambha-rupata ||77||
Translation: These Ten functions or features (Angas) of Vaidhi
Sadhana-Bhakti are stated here as primary. 77-
sanga-tyago vidurena bhagavad-vimukhaira janaih |
sisyady ananuvandhitvam maharambhady anudyamah ||78||
Translation: (11) Shunning from a long distance the company of those who are averse to the Supreme Lord; (12) Avoiding the temptation of giving initiation to too many persons and thus being entangled by disciples; (13) Not being over-enthusiastic about pomp and grandeur; -78-
Translation: (14) Abandonment of double-dealing or too much of love for arts and crafts, avoiding study of too many books, expositions and too much of logically fallacious reasoning;
vyavahare py akarpanyam sokady avasa-vartita ||80||
Translation: (15) Giving up bad taste with dealing with others; (16) Not being overwhelmed in distress and other ills
of life; -80-
anya-devan avajna ca bhutanudvega dayita |
seva-namaparadanam udbhava vakarita ||81||
Translation: (17) Avoiding disrespect for other gods; (18) Refraining from harassing and causing worry to any being; (19) Endeavoring with care and alertness to be free from the offenses of lapses in worshipping of the Deities (Arca Vigraha) and chanting of the Name of the Lord during the rudimentary stage of the practice of Sadhana-Bhakti while still under the fetters of bondage; --81--
krsna-tad-bhakta-vidvesa-vinindady asahisnuta |
vyatir ekatayamisam dasanam syad anusthitih ||82||
Translation: (20) Not tolerating any malice slander or calumny hurled at Lord Sri Krsna and His devotees. These TEN forms or Angas of Sadhana-Bhakti are to be followed as indirect spiritual practices. 82-
asyastatra pravesaya dvaratve py anga vimsateh |
trayam pradhanam evoktam guru-padasrayadikam ||83||
Translation: Though all these TWENTY features of spiritual practices are doors for entering into the path of Sadhana-Bhakti, yet the FIRST THREE, via. submission to the Spiritual Master (Guru), receiving initiation and training from him, and serving him affectionately are the PRINCIPAL PARTS of Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti. 83-
dhrtir vaisnava cihnanam harer-namaksarasya ca |
nirmalyades ca tasyagre tandavam dandavannatih ||84||
Translation: (21) Putting on the different signs of a Vaisnava (viz. Tulasi-garland round the neck, Tilaka on the 12 upper limbs, etc.); (22) Putting on the letters of the Name of Hari on the upper limbs of the body; (23) Accepting flowers-tulasi-water and other things offered to the Deity of Visnu; (24) Dancing frantically before the Lord in the temple; (25) Prostrating before the Deities; -84-
abhyutthanam anuvrajya gatih sthane parikramah |
arcanam paricarya ca gitam samkirtanam japah ||85||
Translation: (26) Standing up or rising from one's seat before the Deities in the temple, also before Guru and superior devotees; (27) Following the departing Guru or any superior devotee to some distance as a mark of respect to him; (28) Walking up to the temples of the Lord; (29) Circumambulating His temple; (30) Offering Arcana, i.e. worship of the Deities (Vigraha) of the Lord in the temple; (31) Offering various forms of services, such as, cleansing, washing the
floors of the temple, dressing and bathing the Deities, cooking for the Deities, etc.; (32) singing the glories of the Lord in front of the temple; (33) Holding congregational prayers; (34) Counting beads while silently (not aloud) chanting the Name of the Krsna; -85-
vijnaptih stava-pathas ca svado naivedya-padyayoh |
dhupa-malyadi-saurabhyam sri-murteh sprstir iksanam ||86||
Translation: (35) Submitting one's inner feeling, towards theLord; (36) Reading prayers from the Scriptures; (37) Honoring the eatables offered to the Deities in the temple; (38) Respectfully drinkingthe sacred water with which the Feet of the Deities have been washed;(39) Smelling the sweet scent of the flower-garlands, incense, etc. offered to the Duties; (40) Touching the Srimurti (the Deity); (41) Looking at the Srimurti; -86-
aratrik-otsavades ca sravanam tat-krpeksanam |
smrtir-dhyanam tatha dasyam sakhyam atmanivedanam ||87||
Translation: (42) seeing or witnessing the offerings of lights, incense, water in conch-shell, etc. to the Deities in the temple, celebrating the Events of the Lord and His devotees, and seeing the worship in the temple; (43) listening to the Name and Glories of the Lord; (44) looking for the Lord's Grace, or observing the Grace of the Lord; (45) remembering the Lord; (46) Meditating upon the Beauty-Qualities-Events-Sports of the Lord; (47) servanthood; (48) Friendship or friendly feeling for the Lord; (49) Absolute self-dedication to the Lord. 87-
nija-priyopaharanam tad-arthe kila-cestitam |
sarvatha-saranapattis tadiya manca sevanam ||88||
Translation: (50) offering things which are dear to oneself; (51) all endeavors for the sake of the delight of Sri Krsna; (52) aelf-surrender in every respect; (53) aerving those that are associated with Him, such as, -88-
yatha-vaibhava-samagri sad-gosthibhir-mahotsavah ||89||
Translation: Serving the Lord's Tulasi; (54) Serving the Sastra (Scripture); (55) Serving Mathura; (56) Serving Vaisnavas (also Yamuna); (57) Observing such celebrations as Dolayatra (the Swinging, Festival of Lord Sri Krsna) in the company of sadhus by collecting the necessary ingredients according to one's ability; -89-
urjadaro visesena yatra janmadinadisu |
sraddha visesatah pritih sri-murter-anghri-sevane ||90||
Translation: (58) observing Niyamaseva; (special vows for one month with rigid regulations); (59) Special respect for the Advent Day of the Lord by way of observing fast, etc.; (60) Liking with special interest for worshipping the Feat of the Srimurti (Deity) in the
srimad-bhagavatarthanama-svado rasikaih saha |
sajatiyasye snigdhe sadhau sangah svato vare ||91||
Translation: (61) Tasting the nectar of the esoteric meaning of the Bhagavatam in the company of Bhava and Prema Bhaktas; (62) Keeping the association of such superior sadhus who are of similar temperament and taste and are affectionate. 91-
nama-samkirtanam sri-mathura-mandale sthitih ||92||
Translation: (63) Singing the Name of the Lord in the company of many devotees; and (64) Living in Mathuramandala. 92-
anganam pancakas yasya purvam vilikhitasya ca |
nikhila-sraisthy-avodhyaya punar-apy atra kirtanam ||93||
Translation: Though the LAST FIVE were previously mentioned, yet they have been restated here just to establish greater importance. 93-
iti kaya-hrsikantah karananam upasanah ||94||
Translation: Thus are stated the forms at Upasana or worship and service by the body, senses and the whole of the mental quantum. 94-
catuhsastih prthak sangatik-abhedat kramadinah ||95||
Translation: All these SIXTY-FOUR FORMS show the different distinctive features (of Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti), both separately (of submission to Guru, etc.) and also collectively (of worship in temple,singing etc.). 95-
Translation: Now, examples of all these FORMS OF UPASANA will be cited from the Words of the Rsis and Saints. 96-
tatra (1)sri - gurupadasrayo yatha ekadase 47
tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam brahmanyupasamasrayam ||97||
Translation: (1) Taking shelter at the Feet of the Preceptor-
(We have) in the Eleventh Canto of the Bhagavatam Sri Prabuddha addressing Nimi Maharaj says: "King! He who desires to know what the Highest Good is must surrender himself completely to a Spiritual Preceptor, who has merged himself in Sabda-Brahman, i.e. the Absolute Godhead as the Logos, and also in Para-Brahman, i.e. also the Absolute Godhead Himself,
and is also free from all attraction and aversion."
Commentary: Commenting on the above Sri Visvanatha observes that 'Sabda-Brahmani nisnata' here means 'one who has mastered all the sacred Books on Bhakti and all authentic Scriptures', and 'Para-Brahmani nisnata' means 'one who is completely engaged in chanting the Name of the Lord' in singing His praise and Glories and other like Pastimes of the Lord.' 97-
47 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 3, sloka 21.
2 sri-krsna-diksadi-siksanam, yatha tatraiva
tatra bhagavatan dharman siksed gurv-atma-daivatah |
amayayanuvrttya yais-tusyed-atmatma-do harih 48 ||98||
Translation: (2) Receiving from the Guru, i.e. Spiritual Preceptor INITIATION IN KRSNA and also special LESSONS in Krsna-Bhakti - as evidence, the following from the Bhagavatam is cited: Sri Prabuddha addressing Nimi Maharaj says: "The Preceptor, i.e. the Spiritual Master should be served with all sincerity in the full consciousness that he is one's very self and to
be revered as a Devata or God-in-person; and so considering one's Spiritual Master (Guru), one must receive instructions from him as regards the spiritual doctrines of the Bhagavatam. Such instructions from a revered Guru pleases the Lord who is ever ready to give Himself up to the finite individual. 98-
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti commenting on the above observes that 'regarding one's Guru as one's very self' means as dear as one's self; 'God-in-person' means 'Ista-devata', i.e. the Particular Form of the Lord which is one's chosen Object of desire; 'Anuvrti' here means 'seva' or service of the Lord; 'Atmaprada' means that the Lord offers His Own Self to His dear Bhaktas or devotees as illustrated in the case of Vali Maharaj, at whom Palace-gate the Lord condescended to remain forever as the Gate-keeper. 98
Translator's note: In the Vrhadaranyaka Upanisad Yajnavalkya tells Maitreyi: All values are projections of the intrinsic value, which is the Self Itself
na va are patyuh kamay patih priyo bhavati
atmastu kamaya patih priyo bhavati
Not because the husband is dear to the wife, not because the wife finds any intrinsic value in the husband qua husband, but because the wife discovers in the husband some intrinsic delight that her own self is.
na va are vittasya kamaya vittam priyam bhavati
atmanastu kamaya vittam priyam bhavati
Riches are desired not because they are recognized as possessing any intrinsic worth, but because they reflect some of the joy which one's self is. So all that is desired is desired not for its own sake but because it is believed to possess intrinsic delight of the Self. 98-
48 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 3, Sloka 22.
3 visrambhena guroh seva yatha tatraiva 49
acaryam mam vijaniyam navamanyeta karhicit |
na martyavuddhyasuyeta sarvadevamayo guruh ||99||
Translation: (3) SERVICE OF THE GURU with real zest and delight:
In evidence of the above, the following from the Bhagavatam is cited, where the Lord addressing Sri Uddhava says: "Knowest thou the Acarya or Guru as Myself Never thinkest thou of Him as any other (as a common mortal). Never must thou show disrespect to him. Never must thou find fault with him in the (mistaken) belief that he is a common human being, for the Guru is the Embodiment of all the gods in himself." 99 -
Commentary: Sri Visvanatha here observes that the passage 'Knowest thou thy Guru as Myself' means that 'Guru is One who is dear to Me.' In Manahsiksa in Stavavali it is said that Guru is to be thought of as prestha, in most dear to Lord Mukunda (Krsna) Himself. 99-
49 Bhagavatam, Canto XI, Chap. 17, sloka 27
4 sadhu-vartmanuvartanam, yatha skande
sa mrgyah sreyasam hetuh panthah santapa-varjitah |
anvaptasramam purve yena santah pratasthire ||100||
Translation: TREADING IN THE PATH OF SADHUS or Saints-
In the Skanda Puranam it is said that the best Way to tread is the Path that has been followed without effort by previous Sages and following which they attained the Lord Himself. That is the Path that is free from all kinds of ills of life and is the source of real fruition of the finite self, the atma. 100-
sruti-smrti-puranadi pancaratra-vidhim vina |
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate ||101||
Translation: It is said in the Brahmayamala that over-zealous concern and practice of Bhakti in disregard of the prescriptions of injunctions of the Sruti, Smrti, Puranas, Pancaratra, etc. become a source of all sorts of troubles. 101-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami observes that the path of the Sages above stated is recognized in all the Srutis, Smrtis, Purarnas, Pancaratras, etc. which lay down definite codes for the following of the Path. Non-observance of the prescribed course is a source of offense. Here reference to the injunctions of the Sruti, Smrti, Pancaratras, and etc. mean prescription relative to each individual Vaisnava's proper sphere according to his eligibility or adhikara Hence, each Vaisnava will have to select for practice such portions of the prescriptions as apply to his individual case, because in the Bhagavatam Lord Krsna addressing Uddhava says: "Remaining in one's proper sphere is a virtue, and the opposite is the source of evil. Thus, virtues and their opposites have to be construed in the above manner. When non-observance of the prescribed course is spoken of what is meant is their repudiation in a skeptical attitude and not non-observance out of indolence or ignorance. In the Bhagavatam Kavi Yogendra addressing King Nimi says: Oh king! One who takes recourse to this spiritual doctrine of the Bhagavatam has never to meet with any obstacles in his path; and even if he runs with closed eyes, i.e. if he pursues the path of Bhakti in ignorance of the successive stages described and pursues a later
stage before having gone through the earlier one, he does not go astray as in the way of Karma where non-observance of the details in their proper order is a source of sin and consequent sufferings. -101 -
bhaktir aikantiki veyam avicarat pratiyate |
vastu-tastu tatha naiva yada sastri yat eksyate ||102||
Translation: For want of proper assessment, such Bhakti only appears to be over-zealous; but truly speaking, there is no Bhakti and consequently there is no over-zealousness in it, because all this is found to be antagonistic to all scriptural prescriptions. 102-
Commentary: Commenting on the above sloka Sri Jiva Gosvami raises a question: How can there be over-zealousness in Bhakti in disregard of the prescriptions of the Sruti, Smrti, Puranas and other Sastras? And if there be over-zealous concern and practice of Bhakti, how does it become a source of all sorts of troubles? In reply to the questions raised by him, Sri Jiva himself offers the solution. The followers of Buddha and Dattatreya are zealously devoted to them, and one who does not enter into the merit of such atheistic devotion of the followers of Buddha and Dattatreya will mistake such zeal on the part of such atheists to be devotional over-zealousness. But Buddha and Dattatreya did not follow the prescriptions of the Scriptures and they were anti-Vedic and anti-theism. They had only show disrespect to scriptural prescriptions and therefore the ardent concern and practice of the teaching of the Buddha and Dattatreya cannot be said to be Bhakti at all. On the other hand, they are antagonistic to Bhakti and antagonistic to all scriptural prescription. Over-zealous following of such apparent devotion of the followers of Buddhism leads to atheism and hence worst form of evils. The aphorisms of the Vedanta-sutra have established the Scriptures, such as the Vedas, as the source of true knowledge about the Absolute Godhead. Therefore, how can it be Bhakti at all if one should ignore or go against the directions of the Supreme Lord who is the Original Cause of all Divine Descents (Avataras) and whom has said in the Vedas and the Vedangas that one should tread in the Path that has been followed without effort by previous sages and following which they attained the Lord Himself? And how can there be any real zeal in such non-Bhakti? The Vedas that had recognized Buddha as a Partial Avatara of Visnu, the same Vedas had also said Buddha was manifest in this world to establish atheism and preach atheism in order to dupe the demons. In the Visnu-dharma Sastra Buddha has been descried as an Avesa-Avatara only, i.e. an advanced soul in whom the All-powerful Lord has infused certain extraordinary powers with a specific objective. Hence, the teachings of Buddha cannot be accepted to be Bhakti, and therefore the over-zealous concern of his, followers, which appears like Bhakti, causes a source of ultimate troubles, ending in atheism.
Sri Mukunda dasa Gosvami observes that Bhakti, which is not in accord with prescriptions of the Scriptures, can neither be Vaidhi or Raganuga even though it is zealously practiced. It rather leads one to troubles and to wrong paths as it is a mental concoction and disrespectful to the Path of Sages.
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that the atheistic devotion of the followers of the Buddha for the Buddha apparently looks like Bhakti, which it is not, and it is the over-zealous concern and practice of the followers of the Buddha that has become a source of troubles in the some manner, the apparent Bhakti of the modern sects like the Sahajias, Bauls, Sakkibhekis, etc., for Sri Krsna, appears to be zealous to the non-critical minds, because, in these cases, there is disrespect for the Scriptures, and there can be no true Bhakti in such cases. 102-
5 sad-dharma-prccha yatha naradiye
acirad eva sarvarthah sidhyaty esam abhipsitah |
sad-dharmasyavabodhaya yesam nirvandhini matih ||103||
Translation: (5) QUERY ABOUT TRUE RELIGION.
It is said in the Narada-Pancaratra that one, whose mental inclination is very earnest to know all about the Highest Religion or Eternal Religion, soon attains all his desired ends. 103-
6 krsnarthe bhogadi-tyago yatha padma
harim uddisya bhogani kale tyakta-vat astava |
visnu-loka-sthita sampad-alola sa pratiksate ||104||
Translation: SACRIFICE OF EVERYTHING FOR THE SAKE OF KRSNA.
It is said in the Padma Puranam: Thous hast sacrificed everything, all objects of pleasures, time after time, for the sake of Lord Sri Krsna. Therefore all the steady wealth of Vaikuntha (Laksmi who is unsteady in this earth, but permanent and progressive in the Realm of the Lord) awaits thee (i.e. you are eligible to be received by Laksmi Herself in Vaikuntha). 104-
7 dvarakadi-nivaso yatha skande
samvatsaram va sanmasan masam masarddham eva va |
Translation: (7) LIVING IN DVARAKA and other Sacred Places.--
It is said in the Skanda Puranam that a man or barman who lives in Dvaraka and other Sacred Places associated with the Lord for one year or six months or one month or even for fifteen days, becomes a four-armed denizen (of Vaikuntha). -105-
adi-padena purusottama-vas ca yatha brahme
aho ksetrasya mahatmyam samantaddasa-yojanam |
divistha yatra pasyanti sarvan eva caturbhujan ||106||
Translation: By the word adi', it also includes living in Purusottama Ksetra (Puri), so it is said in Brahma. Puranam. "Ah! what glories are of Jagannatha-ksetra (Puri, the Place of Lord Jagannatha-the Lord of the Universe)! Here within a radius calf eighty miles all the gods who live here look upon every being within this area as four-armed denizens of Vaikuntha! -106-
gangadi-vaso yatha prathame 50
ya vai lasacchri-tulasi vimisra krsnanghrirenvabhy adhikambunetri |
punati sesan ubhayatra lokan kastan na seveta marisyamanah ||107||
Translation: To live on the banks of the GANGA etc.
In the First Canto of the Bhagavatam Sri Suta Gosvami addressing Sage Saunaka and others says: "Who is there facing imminent death who will not serve the Gauge that sanctifies all in this world and all including Siva in the other world with the most sacred water that flows from her with the pollens of the Lotus Feet of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna mixed with the mind-melting and beautiful Tulasi? 107-
50 Bhagavatam, Canto I, Chap. 19, sloka 6.
8 yavad arthanuvartita yatha naradiye
yavata syat sva-nirvahah svikaryat tavad artha-vit |
adhikye nyunata yanca cyavate paramarthatah ||108||
Translation: (8) ACCEPTANCE OF REASONABLY NECESSARY THINGS.
It is said in Narada-Pancaratra that one who is a true economist or one who understands what are one's real needs should accept in one's daily conduct only such things which are reasonably necessary, for one falls down from that spiritual life if one should accept either more or less than the actual needs for one's maintenance. 108-
Commentary: Commenting on the above sloka Sri Jiva Gosvami says that 'needs for one's maintenance' means 'needs for one's spiritual life in the way of Bhakti'. Sri Mukunda dasa explains it in the sense of physical needs which are essential for one's existence in the path of Bhakti. Needs which are essential to Bhakti should come, holds Sri Mukunda dasa, under the 51st Sadhana-anga of all activities for the sake or delight of Sri Krsna. 108-
9 hari-vasara-sammano yatha brahma-vaivarte
sarva-papa-prasamanam punyam atyantikam tatha |
govinda-smaranam nrnam ekadasy amuposanam ||109||
Translation: (9) OBSERVANCE OF EKADASI-FAST:
It is stated in the Brahma-vaivarta Puranam that observance of fast on the Ekadasi Day (the Eleventh day of a lunar fortnight dark or bright) by men destroys all their sins, offers limitless piety and virtues and makes them remember Lord Govinda. 109-
10 dhatry asvatthadi-gauravam yatha skande
pujitah pranatah dhyatah ksapayanti nrnam agham ||110||
Translation: (10) RESPECT MYROBALAN TREES AND FIG TREES:
It is mentioned in the Skanda Puranam that sins of men are washed away by the holy Peepul (Fig) tree, Tulasi (holy Basil), the Myrobalan tree, the Cow, the Brahman and Vaisnavas if they be worshipped, bowed and meditated upon. -110-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami says that the Peepul tree is a symbol of one of the glories of the Lord, and hence it should be respected and worshipped. The Lord Himself manifests in this world for the benefit of cows and the brahmanas, and therefore they should be served and revered. The Vaisnavas and the Tulasi have been bracketed with the Peepul tree, the Myrobalan tree, the cow and the brahmana in order to establish the fact that the latter should be revered in the same way as the Vaisnavas and the Tulasi are respected. Of these again, the worshipping of the cows is of particular importance for those who are devoted to Lord Gopala (Child Krsna), because it is congenial to their attainment of the highest desired end. It is said in the Gautamya Tantra that one should gently scratch the body of the cow, offer her a mouthful of green grass as is taken by a cow at one time, and reverentially circumambulate a cow with the right side kept towards her, for if the cows are kept in nice and comfortable conditions, Lord Gopala is pleased for that. 110-
11 atha sri-krisna-vimukhajana sangatyago
varam hutavahajvala pasjarantarvyavasthitih |
na sauri-cinta-vimukhajana-samvasavaisasam ||111||
Translation: Then, (11) SHUNNING OF THE ASSOCIATION OF THOSE WHO ARE AVERSE TO SRI KRSNA:
It is stated in the Katyayana-Samhita; that it Is better to live even in an inflammable cage, but one must not invite ruin by living in the company of one who is averse to the thoughts about Lord Sri Krsna. 111-
alinganam varam manye vyala-vyaghra-jalaulasam |
na sangah salya-yuktanam nana-devaika-sevinam ||112||
Translation: If is mentioned in the Visnu-rahasya that it is rather welcome to embrace a serpent or a tiger or a ferocious aquatic animal, but it is never desirable to live in the association of those who are engaged in the service of minor gods with the object of serving them with ulterior earthly motives. -1l2-
12 13 14
sisyananubanddhitvadi-trayam yatha saptame 51--
na sisyan anubadhnita granthan naivabhyased bahun
na vyakhyamupaunjita narambhanarabhet kvacit ||113||
Translation: (12,13 and 14) RENOUNCING ALL DESIRE FOR RECRUTING DISCIPLES, etc. THE THREE:
In the Bhagavatam Narada addressing King Yudhisthira says: A renunciate must not, out of greed, make many disciples,nor should a renunciate study numerous works which have nothing to do with God, nor should he earn his living by expounding the Sacred Books, and lastly he must not engage himself in any work likely to turn him away from the Divine Values. 113-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami observes that the injunction as regards not making many disciples is applicable only to those satins who have adopted the way of living in seclusion, but does not apply to such Sadhus as have chosen missionary work for the spread of the message of Bhakti. In proof of this Sri Jiva points out that Sri Narada and other sages had many disciples. If anybody is to desist from making disciples, the Sampradaya or the Sect and a particular School of approach to God-realization will become extinct. Besides, refraining from making disciples will land one into the guilt of being miserly in bequeathing one's knowledge to others. All that is said in this injunction is that one must desist from making numerous disciples if one is not sufficiently qualified and also if the disciples are not qualified to be eligible for initiation.
Sri Mukunda dasa Gosvami points out that making a large number of disciples generates extraneous desires for gain (labh), honour (puja) and establishment of one's reputation (pratistha), and these bring on relaxation on one's practice of Bhakti. By forbidding the study of secular literature, pure secular aesthetics is also forbidden, and by prohibiting of earning one
's living by exposition of the Sacred Books entering into controversial discussions with others is also prohibited. 113-
51 Bhagavatam, Canto VII, Chap. 13, sloka 8.
15 vyavahare py akarpanyam yatha padme
alabdhe va vinaste va bhaksy acchadana sadhane |
aviklava-matir bhutva harim eva dhiya smaret ||114||
Translation: (15) AVOIDANCE OF UNGENEROUS BEHAVIOUR:
In the Padma Puranam it is said that when one fails to get the necessaries of life or even with the destruction of one's necessaries, one's proper course is to meditate always inwardly on Lord Hari only with unperturbed mind without intermission. 114-
Commentary: Sri Jiva Gosvami points out that this rule applies to the way of inward meditation, i.e. advanced devotees who are engaged in the contemplation of the eternal Pastimes of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna with His eternal Associates, i.e. in the stage of Raganuga Bhakti in subordination to the Ragatmika Associates of the Lord, and not on that of outward practices of Vaidhi Bhakti. Sri Jiva further adds: what is stressed here in the above Anga is that one must be satisfied with whatever one, receives for the due performance of his rites and must not show any ungenerous anger or loss of temper when one gets less than one's expectation. That is, one must not demean oneself by a show of make-belief self-abasement by asking for more when one has received something already.
Translator's note: The relevance of this sloka from Padma Puranam on the above anga or aspect of Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti will appear when one sees people losing the sweetness of their temper at not being able to make two ends meet so as to keep the body and soul together.
A distinction is made between Smarana-marga and Arcana-marga. In the Smarana-marga (constant meditation on and remembrance of the eternal and transcendental Pastimes of Sri Krsna with His own Associates in the aprakrta or supramundane Realm in the stage of Raganuga-Bhakti) one is actuated by a spontaneous outflow of the heart towards the immaterial Values relating to the Lord, while in Arcana-marga or Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti, however, one is concerned with the prakrta world through which by long practice he reaches the Smarana-marga or the way of inward realization. -1l4-
16 sokady avasa-vartita yatha tatraiva
sokamarsadibhir bhavair akrantam yasya manasam |
katham tatra mukundasya sphurti-sambhavana bhavet ||115|||
Translation: (16) NOT BEING OVERPOWERED BY BEREAVEMENT AND SORROW ETC.
In the Padma Puranam it has bees said: How can Lord Sri Krsna who is ever joyful and ever-smiling a pearl-white Kunda-flower appear in the heart of a person, which is governed by emotions of bereavement, sorrow, anger, etc.? 115-
Note: Conquering the passions is also considered to be essential for Mukti and other forms of realization. But here the conquest of the passions and other emotions is laid down as a condition precedent to conducing to the pleasure of Lord Sri Krsna who is Delight-incarnate.
17 anya-devanajsa yatha tatraiva
harir eva sadaradhyah sarva-devesvaresvarah |
itare brahma-rudradya navajseyah kadacana ||116||
Translation: (17) DISRESPECT TO OTHER GODS:
In the Padma Puranam again it is said: Thou shalt worship forever Lord Hari who is the Over-Lord of all other gods; but thou shalt not show any contempt for Brahma, Rudra and such other gods. 116-
18 bhutanudvega-dayita yatha mahabharate
piteva putram parano nodvejayati to janam |
visuddhasya hrisikesa-turnam tasya prasidati ||117||
Translation: (18) MUST NOT CAUSE HARASSMENT TO OTHER CREATURES:
In the Mahabharata it is stated just as the affectionate father never gives any cause for fear and paint in his dealings with his children, so also Lord Hrsikesa (Lord of all the senses) is very quickly pleased with those pure minded people who are compassionate to all creatures and avoids being a source of any pain and harassment, fear and anxieties to them. 117-
19 seva-namaparadhanam varjanam yatha varahe
mamarcanaparadha ye kirtyante vasudhe maya |
vaisnavena sada te tu varjaniyah prayatnatah ||118||
Translation: (19) AVOIDANCE OF ALL OFFENGES IN REGARD TO SEVA OR SERVICE AND NAMA OR CHANTING OF THE NAME OF THE LORD:
In Varaha Puranam
Sri Varahadeva (Lord Visnu's Manifestation as Boar) addressing goddess Earth
says: "Oh Earth! All those offenses about My service (in Arcana or worship in a
Commentary: Commenting on the above sloka Sri Jiva Gosvami cites various offenses of service or arcana in accordance with the teachings of the Agamas. They are as follows:
(1) Visiting the Lord's temple either in a carriage or with sandals on; (2) Not observing the great festivals of Lord Visnu; (3) Not prostrating oneself before the Deity of Visnu in a temple; (4) Whipping the Lord and praying before the Deity without washing hands and feet, eating or with an unclean body (5) doing obeisances to the Lord with one's single hand only; (6) Loitering about before the Figure of the Lord; (7) Sitting before the Deity of Vishnu in the temple with
stretched legs; (8) Sitting with one's hands binding one's raised knees in front of the Deity in the temple; (9) Lying down before the Lord's Figure; (10) Taking one's meal before the Deity of Visnu; (11) Mendacity or telling lies before the Lord;(12) Speaking aloud before the Lord's Figure; (13) Gossiping or talking to one another before the Lord; (14) Shedding tears on account of earthly matters before the Lord; (15) Quarreling with others in the presence of the Lord's Figure; (16) Showing favor, or (17) disfavor, or (18) using harsh words before the Deity of Lord Visnu; (19) appearing before the temple covering one's body with a coarse rug; (20) Praising, or (21)Blaming other people before the Lord; (22) Using obscene language before the Lord; (23) Passing wind before the Lord; (24) even when capable not to worship the Lord according to one's capacity; (25) Eating without offering one's food to the Lord; (26) Not offering the season fruits to the Lord before using them oneself; (27) To make offerings to the Deities of the Lord out of the remainder after one's consumption; (28) To sit with one's back to the Figure of the Lord; (29) showing respects to or saluting anybody in the presence of the Lord's Figure in the temple; (30) Keeping mum before one's Spiritual Preceptor; (31) Self-glorification, (32) Disparagement of other deities. These thirty-two offenses have been stated in the Agamas.
The various offenses in the worship of the Deity that have been mentioned in the Varaha Puranam may be briefly stated here: (33) To live on king's (government's) support; (34) To touch the Body of the Deity in a dark temple; (35) To approach the Deity and temple in violation of scriptural directions; (36) To open the door of the temple of the Lord without music or malting any sound; (37) Offering of food to the Lord which has been seen by a dog; (38) to break
one's silence during the time of worship in the temple; (39) To go out for easing one's self while engaged in the worship of the Lord in the temple; (40) Offering of incise before one has offered scented flower-garlands to the Lord; (41) To worship with forbidden flower; (42) To worship the Lord without cleansing the teeth; (43) Worshipping of the Deity after sexual intercourse; (44) To worship the Deity in the temple after touching a woman in menses or a dead body; (45) worshipping of the Lord with blue or red or unwashed or other's dirty clothes on; (46) Worshipping of Lord Hari after seeing a dead body or passing wind, on in anger or after visiting a cremation ground; (48) To worship the Lord in a state of indigestion;(49) To worship the Deity of Lord Visnu in the temple after smoking hemp or hashish (caras); (50) To touch the Figure of the Lord after smearing oil over the body; committing such offenses in the worship or arcana in Vaidhi Sadhana-Bhakti becomes a source of sins; (51) To attempt practices of worship in Vaidhi Bhakti ignoring the prescriptions of the Scriptures is an offense; (52) Introducing Sastra other than authentic sacred Scriptures for worship of Lord Visnu; (53)To chew betel-leaves in front of the Figure of the Lord; (54) To worship the Figure of the Lord with flowers of castor-oil plants; (55) To worship at forbidden times; (56) To sit on a wooden seat or in bare floor at the time of worship; (57) To touch the Figure of the Lord with the left-hand at the time of bathing Him; (58) to worship with stale flowers or flowers which have already been asked for by other; (59) To spit at the time of worship; (60) To gloat over one's act of worship of the Lord; (61) To put on upward Vaisnava-mark curved on the forehead; (62) To enter into the temple without washing one's feet; (63) Offering of food cooked by a non Vaisnava; (64) To worship the Figure of the Lord in the presence of non Vaisnavas; (65) To worship Lord Visnu without worshipping Sri Ganesa first; (66) To bathe the Figure of the Lord with water which has been touched by figure-nails; (67) To worship when the body is suffused with perspiration; (68) To cross the offerings to the Lord; (69) to vow in the Name of the Lord. Similar and so many other forms of offenses in arcana have been mentioned in the Scriptures. 118-
Sanskrta Text 119-120:
sarvaparadhakrid api mucyate hari samsrayah |
harer apy aparadhan yah kuryad dvipadapamsulah ||119||
namasrayah kadacit syat taraty eva sa namatah |
namno hi sarva-suhrido hy aparadhat pataty adhah ||120||
Translation: It is said in the Padma Puranam that even if one has committed all these offenses in the worship of the Arca-vigraha (Lord's Deity or Figure) in the temple, one is free from all effects of such offenses if one should take absolute refuge in Lord Hari. But should a two-legged animal commit offenses at the Feet at Lord Hari, he can certainly save himself even from such a serious default by taking to the chanting of the Name of the Lord. But one must definitely fall from one's spiritual life should one commit offenses to Lord Hari's Name, who is the best friend of all. 119-120-
Commentary: All the three commentators viz. Sri Jiva Gosvami, Sri Mukunda dasa Gosvami and Sri Visvanatha have cited from Padma Puranam the ten offenses to the Name of the Lord Hari (Krsna) as follows:
(1) To speak ill of sadhus or to calumniate them.
Note: One should differentiate between a genuine sadhu (See Introduction under heading Sadhu-sanga) and a pseudo-sadhu. To show respect to a false person in the grab of a Sadhu as equal to a genuine Sadhu or saint, and to disrespect a genuine saint mistaking him to be a sham one will be equally an offense to the Name of the Supreme Lord; because a Sadhu or devotee is dear to the Lord, and the Lord is displeased with one who calumniates His true devotee while honoring one who brings disgrace to himself and the Lord by pretending to be a sadhu.
(2) To meditate in the presence of the Supreme Lord Visnu on the name, form, qualities, etc. of Sri Siva the independent Lord is an offense to the Name of Lord Hari.
Note: In the Brahma-samhita it has been said that Lord Rudra (Siva) is neither different from nor independent of Lord Visnu. As milk is turned into curd when it contacts sour, so also Lord Visnu becomes Rudra (Siva) when He contacts His own External Patience 'Maha-Maya' (Vahiranga Sakti). Lord Visnnu remains as such when He associates Himself with His Internal Potency (svarupa Sakti) as 'Yaga-Maya', but He is Rudra or Siva when He is inclined to embrace His External Potency 'Maha-Maya.' So Lord Visnu and Lord Siva are One, though Siva is not independent of Visnu. From milk one can have curd, but curd cannot be re-changed into milk! So also Siva (Rudra) is the changed Aspect of Lord Visnu. Hence to meditate on Sri Siva as the independent Lord in the presence of Lord Visnu is an offense to the Name of the Lord.
(3) Disregard to the Spiritual Preceptor is an offense to the Name of the Godhead.
Note: One can receive the transcendental Name, as distinct from a mundane word, from the Spiritual Master only. Hence to be disrespectful to one's Guru is naturally an offense to the Name of the Lord. Here again, one has to be very cautious about who is a genuine and qualified Guru in one's spiritual life and who is not. In the Seventh Canto of the Bhagavatam, Prince Prahlada has differentiated between a preceptor of the mundane values of life and a Spiritual Preceptor (Guru) whom helps one out of the dirt and filth of this phenomenal world and its blandishments and raises the disciple to a higher level of a spiritual awakening for the attainment of the absolute Value of human birth in self-realization and God-realization. Sanda and Amarka were the family-teachers of Prince Prahlada; he was placed under them by his mighty father King Hiranyakasipu (one given to wealth and lust) to be taught in the science and philosophy. Prince Prahlada learnt them as a Crown prince, because desired by his father; but he did not admire such learning because it led one only to transitory objects. Such preceptors did not know, says Prahlada, that Lord Visnu is the only and highest Object of one's supreme selfishness, and not earthly values. So one who fails to lead his disciple out of earthly desires to spiritual aspirations and true realization cannot be accepted as a Guru or Spiritual Master. Such worldly-wise and clever but otherwise spiritually ignorant preceptor has been described by Prahlada as a Guru-vrava or a fake-guru. If one, knowingly or unknowingly, accepts such a person as his Spiritual Preceptor, such a parson will certainly be hurled in the ditch of earthliness just as the blind led by the blind, will fall in the pit along with his blind guide! So, not only to be disrespectful to a genuine Spiritual Master is an offense to the Lord's Name, but to show respect to a false and pretending so-called guru is equally an offense.
(4) To condemn the Scriptures is an offense for the Name of the Supreme Lord (because the Scriptures have established that the Name the Lord and the Lord Himself are one and identical. Hence to disbelieve the Scriptures is to disbelieve the Lord Himself).
(5) To think that all the glories of the Name of God that have been mentioned in the Scriptures are merely exaggerated eulogies only is an offense to the Lord's Name (because no praise can be sufficient to glorify the supreme efficacy of the Name of God, as no praise can be sufficient enough to express the glories of the Godhead, Both being One and identical).
(6) To gives any indirect and forced meaning to the Name of the Lord is an offense (for example, when the Scriptures use the Lord's Name as 'Hari', to explain it away in that context that the word 'Hari' means 'lion' 'lotus', is an offense).
(7) To commit sins on the strength of the Name of the Lord.
Note: It is true that all sins are washed away if one should take to the chanting of the Name of God. But because of this power of the chanting of the Name of God, if one purposely commits sins or continues to commit sins in the belief that after one had committed sins if one should chant the Name of the Lord, all his sins would be washed away, one is guilty of offense to the Name. In fact, this is a sheer misuse of the chanting of the Name of God. One should chant the Name of Gold for self-realization and God-realization with the sole object of serving the Lord for His delight. One who is thus engaged in the chanting of Lord's Name has one's no doubt pardoned. But to misuse the Lord's Name for committing sins is an offense. Cf. "Don't take Lord's Name in vain."
(8) To consider chanting of Lord's Name as an equivalent or an alternative to so many other kinds of good deeds is an offense. (No work, however noble, can equal the supreme efficacy of the chanting of the Name of God).
(9) To advise a disbeliever on the Name of Lord Hari or to initiate disbeliever in the Name of Lord Hari is an offense.
(10) To have no taste for the chanting of the Name of the Lord even after listening for all the super-excellence of the Name is an offense. 119-120-
20 tannindadysahisnuta yatha sri dasame -- 52
nindam bhagavatah srnvanstat parasya janasya va |
tato napaiti yah so pi yatyadhah sukritaccyutah ||121||
Translation: UNBEARABILITY OF ILL TALKS ABOUT THE GODHEAD:
In the Bhagavatam Sri Sukadeva Gosvami addressing King Parksita says: "One who does not immediately leave the place where one has to hear ill talks against the Lord and His devotees, must fall from spiritual life, losing all the fruits of his previous good deeds in his spiritual practices. 121-
52 Bhagavatam, Canto X, Chap. 74, sloka 40.
21 atha vaisnavacihn dhritih yatha padme:
ye vahumula-paricihnita-sankha cakrah |
ye va lalataphalake lasadurdhapundra
ste vaisnava bhuvanamasu pavitrayanti ||122||
Translation: TO PUT ON ALL THE OUTWARD SIGNS OF A VAISNAVA:
It is said in the Padma Puranam that those who have the Tulasi garland or the garland of the seeds of lotuses tightly round their neck, those who put on the signs of the wheel-conch-mace-lotus of Lord Visnu on their both arms, and those whose foreheads are adorned with the upward tilaka painted with sandal-paste, such Vaisnavas soon sanctify the whole universe. 122-
22 namaksara-dhritih yatha skande:
harinamaksarayutam bhale gopimridankitam|
tulasimalikoraskam spriseyurna yamodbhatah ||123||
Translation: (22) TO STAMP THE BODY WITH THE LETTERS OF THE NAME OF THE LORD:
It is said in the Skanda Puranam that one who stamps his body and forehead with the letters of the Name of Lord Hari and put on Tilaka with Gopi-candana (Vaisnava marks on the forehead and 12 upper limbs of the body painted with a yellowish-white earth taken from the Gopi-tank at Dvaraka, where the rumor goes, the Gopis or the Damsels of Braja drowned themselves after Lord Krsna left this world) and one who has put on Tulasi-garland on one's breast-such a one the terrible servants of Yama (the God of Death) can never even touch (i.e. they become immortal).
Commentary: Sri Mukunda dasa Gosvami says that like the Tulasi garlands, the Scriptures have also prescribed the garlands of embolic myrobalan. It is stated in the Skanda Puranam that one who does not hold Tulasi garland or garland made of Dhatri-fruit-seeds cannot be called a Vaisnava even if he be engaged in the worships of Lord Visnu. A Vaisnava should never give up a Tulasi garland, especially Dhatri garland, which is the destroyer of sins even of the most heinous kind and giver of the earthly values of dharma-artha-kama. -123-
Translator's note: Sri Jiva Gosvami has mentioned that he saw the author of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhuh Sri Rupa Gosvami himself always had the Dhatri garland round his neck. But the use of the Dhatri garland is no more in use amongst the followers of the Gaudiya School of Sri Caitanya. But it is used by some only at the time of arcana or worship together with four other garlands. So it is very difficult to agree with Sri Mukunda dasa that one who does not constantly wear the Dhatri garland cannot be called a Vaisnava. The followers of the Ramanuja Vaisnavism even do not wear the Tulasi garland constantly they wear it only at the time of worship. But the followers of Sri Caitanya, Vallabha, Ramananda and Madhva as well as Nimbarka, particularly those, who are Sadhus amongst them, wear the Tulasi garland constantly. The Caitanyites and the Ramanandis put the Tulasi garland tightly round their neck, while the Vallabhites and the Madhvaits wear the Tulasi garland down to the breast. 123-
Continue to next section: SECOND WAVE: SADHANA-BHAKTI Verses 124 - 209