bahye viṣajvāla haya, bhitare ānandamāya
kṛṣṇa premara adbhuta carite
"The wonderful characteristic of divine love of Kṛṣṇa is that although externally, it works like fiery lava, internally it is like sweet nectar that fills the heart with the greatest joy." ( Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Goswāmī) (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 2.50)
To love Kṛṣṇa means that we shall have to "die to live." In the beginning, divine love seems like lava, death, but really it is nectar, life. Many persons in this ordinary world are also frustrated in love. They sometimes go mad and commit suicide because they can't tolerate the pain. But the pain which comes with separation from Kṛṣṇa, although compared with lava, is not injurious like lava. bahye viṣajvāla haya. Although He felt the greatest pain of separation from Kṛṣṇa, still, within His heart, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu experienced the deepest ecstatic joy. The ecstatic symptoms manifest by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu have never been found in the history of the world or even expressed in any scripture. In Him, we find the highest conception of the Ultimate Reality. This is explained in my Prema Dhāma Stotram, verse 66. (TGVODL, p xii) + (see also śloka 72)
In the last verse of His Śikṣāṣṭakam, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given another fine and high type of solace. And this has been confirmed by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Goswāmī, who has written: bahye viṣajvāla haya - "Don't be afraid. Outwardly you may feel a horrible pain of separation, but internally, you will feel an unparalleled type of rasa, the most pleasing feeling of peace, joy, or ecstasy." Externally, there may be pangs of separation, but internally there is the greatest satisfaction. In this way we are advised by the scriptures, and our practical experience corroborates our faith with this subtle matter. (TGVODL, p 149) + (see also śloka 352)
"The amazing characteristic of Love for Kṛṣṇa is found in the symptoms of burning anguish without, and ecstasy within." + (SOTGOD, v 2, p 18)
Only the person who realises: "My interest is assured in the highest quarter of management," (see also śloka 94), can attain real peace of heart. They will feel: "Yes, I have no worry, no anxiety." In the līlā, however, we find so many kinds of anxiety and worry, but that is something else. It should not be equated with the life of this plane, rather it comes under another category: bahye viṣajvāla haya. This means that union-in-separation is the highest form of union. It cannot be attacked or challenged by any circumstances. It appears to be very painful, but internally the position is one of greater intensity and ecstasy. The real gist of the whole meaning of the study of this higher subject is this, and we are to understand and follow it with particular attention and intelligence. (SOTGOD, v 3, p 38) + (see also śloka 542)
The conception and feelings of all the great devotees are of such type. Śrīla Prabhodānanda Saraswatī similarly expressed: "It is there. I can see and feel that it is there but I am deprived." (sparśo 'pi mama nābhavat - see also śloka 542)
Rādhārāṇī Herself says: "Kṛṣṇa is qualified in every way. I can't blame Him in any way at all, but still He is so cruel to us all. He left Vṛndāvana and so we are all feeling extreme pain, but I cannot accuse Him in any way. This is My durddaiva-vilāsa ("Pastime of separation.")
This is union in separation and it is a peculiar type of achievement. Externally there is suffering but internally there is transcendental ecstasy. bahye viṣajvāla haya, bhitare ānandamāya. When one actually has the thing, he says: "No, I don't have it." This is the special characteristic of the Infinite. One who has it in his possession says: "No, I have nothing." This is because it is a statement from the negative to the Positive. And when he says: "I have it," then he has not! The negative cannot assert at all but can only attract. Assertion is only with the Positive. So the negative can hanker, he can express his own reality in the negative characteristic. He can express his degree of want. The measurement of his position is according to his negative tendency: his necessity, his depth of attraction - not of gain. It is just the opposite to the general measurement of one's standing in this mundane world. The real measurement is in the negative side: the depth of necessity and the depth of attraction, but not of gain. Only the Positive can assert His existence.(SOTGOD, v 3, p 42) + (see śloka 142)
bahubhir militvā yat kīrtanam tad eva saṅkīrtanam
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura emphasised that kīrtana means not only loudly singing the Holy Name, but preaching. Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī has given a definition of saṅkīrtana: bahubhir militvā yat kīrtanam tad eva saṅkīrtanam: "When many people come together and glorify the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, it is known as saṅkīrtana." Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came and introduced saṅkīrtana - sango śakti kalau yuge - "In this age of Kali, if the Holy Name is chanted congregationally, the combined efforts will be fruitful." There is the difference between the preaching mission of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura, and the so-called bhajana of the sahajiyās, or imitationists. (TSFSK, p 109) + ( see also śloka 430)
(So, with saṅkīrtana-yajña, the recommended sacrifice for this age, devotees are like an auspicious sticks of wood fully dedicating themselves for the exaltation of their Guru Mahārāja by entering into the saṅkīrtana fire sacrifice.)
vyava hāreha pyakārpaṇyaṁ
When our Guru Mahārāja (Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura) was delivering lectures from Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu on the 64 kinds of devotion, I noted: "Establishing temples and programmes on a large scale is prohibited," there, but our Śrīla Guru Mahārāja is doing that very thing. On a big scale he is making propaganda and money, and he is spending also in great quantities to construct the temples and other things. In Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī has prohibited this but yet our Guru Mahārāja has undertaken all these things. What will he say when this point comes up for discussion?" Then I found that in one or two words he explained the whole thing. He said: "It is a question of personal capacity. One man may manage an empire and may still find time for leisure whereas another man is barely able to manage his family and cannot find any leisure-time." So it depends on the capacity of the individual whether something will be considered great or small. It is a question of personal capacity, and according to our capacity we must try our best. (B.r.s, Madhya, 2.79.76) + (SOTGOD, v 3, p 23)
balarāma hailo nitāi
Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu is supposed to be the incarnation of Baladeva in Vrajamaṇḍala. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Sanātana Goswāmī mention this. (GOD, p 27)
śacī-suta hoilo sei
balarāma hoilo nitāi
dīna-hīna jata chilo
tāra śākṣī jagāi mādhāi
"Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the son of the King of Vraja, became the son of Śacī (Lord Caitanya), and Balarāma became Nitāi. The Holy Name delivered all those souls who were lowly and wretched. The two sinners Jagāi and Mādhāi are evidence of this." (SOTVA, p 69)
bandhur ātmātmanas tasya,
anātmanas tu śatrutve,
"For the soul who has conquered his mind, his mind is his friend and well-wisher. For a person unable to control it, his own mind remains constantly engaged in his disservice, like an enemy." (B-g, 6.6)
Note that you are your own friend. But that you are your own enemy also. You are your own enemy if you don't take good care of your own development for your real progress. But you can be your own friend, and none can give as much help to you as you, yourself, can do. If at all you can have any self-control then collect your energy from going astray and direct it to the proper channel where you can really thrive, and then you will be your real friend. However, if you allow yourself to be led by the various senses of lower nature which are always trying to move in the land of exploitation, reaction, and suffering then you are your own enemy. Consider all these things. (HC, p 22) + (see also śloka 530)
barhāpīḍaṁ naṭa-vara-vapuḥ karṇayoḥ karṇikāraṁ
bibhrad vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśaṁ vaijayantīṁ ca mālām
randhrān veṇor adhara-sudhayāpūrayan gopa-vṛndair
vṛndāranyaṁ sva-pada-ramaṇaṁ prāviśad gīta-kīrtiḥ
"While the gopīs were describing the sweet vibration of Kṛṣṇa's flute, they also remembered their pastimes with Him; thus their minds became enchanted, and they were unable to describe completely the beautiful vibrations. While discussing the transcendental vibration, they remembered also how Kṛṣṇa dressed, decorated with a peacock feather on His head, just like a dancing actor, and with blue flowers pushed over His ear. His garment glowed yellow-gold, and He was garlanded with a vaijayantī garland made of tulasī, kuṇḍa, mandāra, parījāta, and lotus flowers. Dressed in such an attractive way, Kṛṣṇa filled up the holes of His flute with the nectar emanating from His lips. So they remembered Him, entering the forest of Vṛndāvana, whose soil experiences the pleasure of consorthood upon being embraced by the touch of Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet." (S-B, 10.21.5) + (see also śloka 544)
Kṛṣṇa consciousness means full-fledged theism, up to consorthood. All conceptions of fulfilment are found there in their purest and most desirable position. This material world, however, is only a shadow, a black imitation of reality. Full-fledged theism means Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the full-fledged conception of theism, the infinite embraces the whole of the finite. It comes down to completely embrace and welcome the finite. This kind of full-fledged theism is found in Vṛndāvana. There, one negligible part of the finite may find the bliss of the embrace of the whole infinite. In Vṛndāvana, not a corner of the finite is left unfulfilled; every particle of sand and every creeper is well represented there, with complete personality in the loving pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Here in this material world, however, a particle of sand is nothing; it is ignored. But there, everything is well-attended. In Vṛndāvana there is no ignorance. No interest of anything is ignored there; everything is harmonised, and therefore the conception of Vṛndāvana in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the highest conception of full-fledged theism. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says: "Whenever Kṛṣṇa sets His lotus feet within Vṛndāvana, the Earth personified says: 'My fate is fulfilled, I have achieved my highest fortune." In Vṛndāvana, the earth, the very dust, feels the pleasure of the highest type of conjugal love merely by the touch of His lotus feet. Wherever Kṛṣṇa puts His footsteps, the Earth's joy knows no bounds. By His touch, the Earth feels the most intense type of ecstasy.
In Vṛndāvana, Kṛṣṇa is mādhurya, sweetness personified. He is ānanda, ecstasy personified. And Kṛṣṇa responds to our own inner demands in every way. The Supreme Centre has the peculiar capacity of responding to all our needs and satisfying the thirst of all existence. According to their capacity, rank, and dignity, Kṛṣṇa distributes to all souls the juice from the sweet sea of transcendental mellow. yo yaṁ śraddhā sa eva saḥ.
One can taste the sugar-candy sweetness of the Absolute, according to one's capacity, just as sugar-candy is tasted in different ways. For a normal tongue sugar-candy is very sweet, but if there is a boil on the tongue even sugar-candy is bitter.
When a man is working, his manager will see him as a worker; his child will see him as a father, and his wife will see him as a husband. His servant will see him as a master. Dogs and other animals will view him in another way. The same person will be seen differently according to the relationship between seer and seen. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa appears differently to those who view Him according to their respective rasa. In this way, the differentiated character of the Absolute is revealed according to the soul's subjective qualifications. (SEOC, p 80-2) + (see also śloka 544)
bāulake kahiha - loka ha - ila bāula,
bāulake kahiha - hāṭe nā vikāya cāula
bāulake kahiha - kāye nāhika āula,
bāulake kahiha - ihā kahiyāche bāula
"Tell our Prabhu, who acts as madmen do,
that everyone has lost their sanity,
And rice once high in price has no value.
In love of God, half-crazed humanity
neglects this world and all they once held dear;
tell Him a madman brings this to His ear."
Just before Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to manifest His final pastimes of divine ecstasy, Advaita Ācārya Prabhu wrote these mystic l ines of poetry which He sent to Mahāprabhu, through Jagadānanda Paṇḍita. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu read that mystic poem, His mood became serious. Svarūpa Dāmodara was there: "What is written here?" he said. Mahāprabhu replied: "I do not know what is the real meaning, but Advaita Ācārya is a great 'worshipper,' and a certain class of 'worshippers' are accustomed to think: "We shall invite the Deity, and for some time we shall try to keep Him here for worship. Then, when we are finished with our worship, finally we shall bid Him adieu.' Perhaps Advaita thinks, 'Now it is time for the Deity to go.' I don't know what is the real meaning, but perhaps this is his purpose."
Svarūpa Dāmodara took the poem, read it, and became very thoughtful: "Oh, Advaita Prabhu is saying that the requirements for Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's appearance have been fulfilled, and now, He is no longer needed to preach the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa as t he incarnation of this age. The avatāra's duty is finished, and so He may go." (C-c, Antya-līlā, 19. 20-1) + (TGVODL, p 43-4)
bhagavān bhajanīya-sarva-sad-guṇa viśiṣṭha
Jīva Goswāmī has given the essential meaning of Bhagavān in his Bhakti-Sandarbha. He says: bhagavān bhajanīya-sarva-sad-guṇa viśiṣṭha. By Bhagavān, he describes this aspect of the infinite: bhajanīya, worshippable. When we come in touch with Him, then we want to surrender ourselves for His satisfaction - that type of infinite. There are various types of infinite. The highest conception of the infinite is bhajanīya guṇa viśiṣṭha: He is so beautiful and attractive that He is attracting all to surrender unto Him. No other conception of the infinite, neither infinite space, nor time, nor anything else can approach this highest conception of the infinite: the all-attractive infinite. All other aspects of the infinite - infinite time, infinite space, infinite power - are external. But infinite love which attracts love and self-surrender is the highest type of infinite. And that is Kṛṣṇa. (B-S ) + (LSFTLS, p 54)
Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī Prabhu has given a beautiful definition of the word 'Bhagavān:' bhajanīya-sarva-sad-guṇa viśiṣṭha - "The Supreme Lord, Bhagavān, is of such a nature that everyone who comes in contact with Him will want to serve Him and to sacrifice themselves for His satisfaction." (B-S )
This is the result of faith in its developed form. He is so noble, we shall think that if we die to satisfy Him, our life's objective will be fulfilled. His noble quality is such that it draws so much sacrificing spirit for Him; it draws everything towards Him. "Die to live." Faith is such. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 39)
kaha gaurāṅga laha gauranger nāma,
yei jana gaurāṅga bhaje sei amāra prāna:
"Worship Gaurāṅga, speak of Gaurāṅga, chant Gaurāṅga's Name. Whoever worships Śrī Gaurāṅga is My life and soul. Come straight to the campaign of Śrī Caitanya and you will safely attain Vṛndāvana."
As Baladeva is to Kṛṣṇa, Nityānanda Prabhu is to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The aim of Śrīman Mahāprabhu's descent was to distribute the devotional service of Vṛndāvana most generously. On the other hand, Nityānanda Prabhu used to sing this: bhaja gaurāṅga, kaha gaurāṅga. Nityānanda Prabhu tried His best to make the people at large accept Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Of course, Navadwīpa, the abode of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, is no less valuable than Vṛndāvana, the abode of Kṛṣṇa. The same rasa which is found in Vṛndāvana is present in another feature in Navadwīpa. Some devotees have a special attraction for vṛndāvana-līlā, others have a special attraction for navadwīpa-līlā, and a third group represents both camps, but Navadwīpa is the most generous. In Vṛndāvana, the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are confined to a confidential circle, but in Navadwīpa, those pastimes are distributed. Gaura-līlā is more generous than kṛṣṇa-līlā (TGVODL, p 25) + (see also śloka 251)
Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu came and appealed: "Come to Gaurāṅga, He is the depot, He is the dynamo to send you there very easily. All you people come and take refuge under the Divine Feet of Gaurāṅga, give up everything and come fall at the Feet of Gaurāṅga. Take His Name, remember Him and throw yourself wholly at His disposal. He is My own life, I consider Him to be My life, My soul, My everything." Nityānanda Prabhu saying this began to roll at the door of the householder: "Householders! You must do this." He is rolling and crying: "Accept Gaurāṅga, you don't know what great benefit you will receive by doing this." He is rolling in the dust at the door of the householders with such an appeal. He came to the ordinary masses to give them shelter at the lotus feet of Gaurāṅga, that is Nityānanda Prabhu. He came to give Mahāprabhu even to Jagāi and Mādhāi and He appealed to all from door to door to accept Gaurāṅgadeva. "You do not know what will be your prospect in life, the highest prospect in life!"
Nityānanda Prabhu is our only hope, He is so benevolent, so generous, so gracious, that very easily we can draw His attention and we can get His recommendation. Gaurāṅgadeva will not be able to disregard His recommendation, and when we have got the grace of Gaurāṅga then the Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa līlā is within our fists. Nityānanda Prabhu's grace means to get Mahāprabhu's grace within our clutches and to get Mahāprabhu, means to get Rādhā-Govinda, Vṛndāvana, and then everything within our fists. (GOD, p 30)
So, Nityānanda Prabhu found it would be difficult to preach kṛṣṇa-līlā, but He found it would be easy to preach gaura-līlā, where Kṛṣṇa has come to distribute Himself to the public with so much capital in His mind. Gaurāṅga means a dynamo which wants to distribute Kṛṣṇa, surcharged with the most magnanimous, intensified, pity and kindness for the ordinary people, with the greatest affection even for the criminals. Nityānanda Prabhu wanted to bring them in connection with Gaurāṅga, for then, kṛṣṇa-līlā would automatically be within their fist. So, He began to preach about Gaurāṅga, not Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, as commanded by Mahāprabhu. So, Nityānanda Prabhu says: bhaja gaurāṅga kaha gaurāṅga, laha gauranger nāma: "Worship Gaurāṅga, speak only of Gaurāṅga, and chant the Name of Gaurāṅga."
There is another instance of the relationship between Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma and Gaurāṅga and Nityānanda, which is described in the Caitanya-bhāgavata. One day, Mahāprabhu's mother, Śacī Devī, had a dream that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were on a throne and Nityānanda Prabhu was addressing Baladeva: "Come down from Your throne! It is no longer Dvāpara-yuga. The age of Kali has come and My master Gaurāṅga must occupy Your position on this throne. Your days are over. You come down. Now My Lord Gaurāṅga will be installed."
Balarāma began giving some opposition: "No, no, why should We come down? We have been sitting on this throne for such a long time." Baladeva refused: "No. I have My Lord, Kṛṣṇa."
There was a fight, but Nityānanda Prabhu was stronger and He began forcibly taking Baladeva down from the throne, saying: "Your day has gone. Now the time for My master, Gaurāṅga, has come. You are a trespasser, a usurper, You must come down." And Baladeva submitted slightly as He could not defeat Nityānanda, who took Him down from the throne. Nityānanda Prabhu said: "My master Gaurāṅga wants to take the position now. The age for Him has come. Kṛṣṇa is far off. My Lord is Gaurāṅga."
So, we must be very grateful to Nityānanda Prabhu, for He is our guru. And guru's grace is so important that Raghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī says: "O, Rādhārāṇī, I want Your grace. Without You, I don't want Kṛṣṇa separately. I never want Kṛṣṇa without You." That should be the healthy attitude of a devotee. This has been explained by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, in his Gurvaṣṭakam. (see also śloka 594) (SGAHG, p 32-3)
bhajanera madhye śreṣṭha nava-vidhā bhakti
`kṛṣṇa-prema,' `kṛṣṇa' dite dhare mahā-śakti
tāra madhye sarvva-śreṣṭha nāma-saṅkīrttana
niraparādhe nāma laile pāya prema-dhana
"Of all forms of Divine Service, nine forms are superior, which with great potency bestow upon the devotees Love for Kṛṣṇa, and their personal relationship with Him; and of the nine, the best is Nāma-saṅkīrttana. By offencelessly taking the Holy Name, the treasure of Love for the Lord is attained." (C-c, Antya-līlā, 4.70-71)
Mahāprabhu also accepted five (see śloka 416) principal limbs from the nine (see śloka 456) that are mentioned in the Bhāgavatam. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 25)
bhakativinoda, saṁyoge, viyoge tāhe jāne prāṇeśvara
tāra sukhe sukhī, sei prāṇa-nātha se kabhu nā haya para
"I will receive pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow equally for His cause. Whether in union or separation, Bhaktivinoda always knows Him as none other than the supreme beloved Lord of his life." (TSOBT, p 142)+(SBRBM, p 30)+(see śloka 578)
bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir,
anyatra caiṣa trika eka-kālaḥ
prapadyamānasya yathāśnataḥ syus,
tuṣṭiḥ puṣṭiḥ kṣudapāyo 'nughāsam
"As with every mouthful an eater feels the threefold effects of his satisfaction, his stomach being filled, and his hunger being dispelled, in the same way when a surrendered soul serves the Lord he realises devotion of three natures simultaneously: devotion in love, the personal appearance of the Lord who is the abode of love, and detachment from all other things." (S-B, 11.2.42)
"Progress can be measured by detecting this kind of transformation within. pareśānubhavo: somehow, a conception of the Supreme must grow clearer and clearer in me. What is He? Who is He? viraktir anyatra: and indifference to everything `non-Kṛṣṇa' grows in me also. I avoid what does not concern Kṛṣṇa, and when it appears anyway, it produces some apathy or even some irritation in me, "Oh, why has this thing come to me?" The measurement from the negative direction will be how much I am apathetic to `non-Kṛṣṇa' things. tuṣṭiḥ puṣṭiḥ kṣudapāyo 'nughāsam: and also, the inner hunger should be felt to be fulfilled. "Yes, I am feeling fulfilment." I shall feel self-approval that I am walking in the right direction. I shall have inner sanction of my clear conscience. "Yes, yes, I am doing right." I will feel satisfaction." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 139) + (see also śloka 93)
bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhaktasaṅgena parijāyate
sat-saṅgaḥ prāpyate puṁbhiḥ sukṛtaiḥ pūrvva-saṣcitaiḥ
"Actually we can recognise a sādhu by sukṛti. Apparently we can know him from the śāstras, the scriptures, because the śāstra helps us to know who is a sādhu, and the sādhu gives us the interpretation of the śāstra. So sādhu and śāstra are interdependent, but the sādhu holds the more important position and the śāstra has the secondary position. The living śāstra is the sādhu, but to know who is guru, who is sādhu, we are to consult the descriptions given about them in the scriptures. The symptoms of the sādhu, both of the guru as well as the disciple, have been written in the Bhāgavatam, in the Gītā and in the Upaniṣads. (BNP) + (SOTGOD, v 3, p 58) (see also ślokas 500,507)
bhaktis tvayi sthiratarā bhagavan yadi syād
daivena nah phalati divya-kiśora-mūrttiḥ
muktih svayaṁ mukulitānjali sevate 'smān
"O Supreme Lord, if our devotion (bhakti ) for You were more steadfast, Your adolescent form would naturally arise (appear) within our hearts. Oh Devotion, you are of such a magnanimous nature, if there is any way that we can have your least favour, then muktī (salvation or liberation) will wait to serve us with open arms. What to speak of muktī, even dharma (ritualistic virtue), artha (affluence), and kama (material enjoyment) will be waiting far, far away for whenever their calling bell is sounding. Then, they will rush to our feet saying: 'What do you want?' Then there would not be the slightest necessity to pray for the triple pursuits of religiosity, gain, and sensual desire (dharma, artha, kāma ), and their negation in the form of liberation, because mukti will personally attend us as a concomitant subsidiary fruit of devotion in the form of deliverance from ignorance, her hands cupped in prayer (like a preordained maidservant); and the fruits of bhukti (transitory pleasure culminating in attainment of heaven) will eagerly await their orders, from us, should any necessity arise for them in the service of Your lotus feet." (SSPJ, p 47)
"Oh Devotion, you are of such a magnanimous nature, if there is any way that we can have your least favour, then muktī (salvation or liberation) will wait to serve us with open arms. What to speak of muktī, even dharma (ritualistic virtue), artha (affluence), and kama (material enjoyment) will be waiting far, far away for whenever their calling bell is sounding. Then, they will rush to our feet saying, 'What do you want?'" (Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura). (K K, 107)
The bhakta is there. They are always eager to serve him but he does not want. He does not have any attention for such appeal. No attention - no time to spare for thinking about them: He is deeply engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa. (SS, v 2, # 1, '84, p 7-8)
bhaktyāham ekayā grāhyaḥ
śraddhayātmā priyaḥ satām
bhaktiḥ punāti man-niṣṭhā
śvapākān api sambhavāt
"I, who am dear to the sādhus, can be reached only by devotion born of unalloyed faith. Even a dog-flesh-eating outcaste who dedicates himself to exclusive devotion for Me is delivered from the influence of the wretched circumstances of his birth." (S-B, 11.14.21) + (SSPJ, p 163)
"I, the Supreme Lord and the most Beloved, am attainable by the pure saints, by virtue of the potency of their Exclusive Devotion born of faith (śraddhā ). Exclusive Devotion in Me purifies even the lowest outcastes known as caṇḍālas. śva means dog. Even the dog-eaters, that is, the lower section, can also be purified from their lower birth." (SOTGOD, v 2, p 157) + (see also śloka 586)
bhaktyā mām abhijānāti,
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā,
"By the potency of that supreme devotion, he is able to completely know My nature of Almighty Lordship and majesty. Thereafter, acquiring the perception of his divine relationship with Me, he enters into a group of My intimate personal associates, whose nature is nondifferent from Mine." (B-g, 18.55)
"Only through love and devotion can I be understood as I am. Thereafter, fully understanding Me, you can merge into My entourage." This "merging" is explained by Kṛṣṇa: "They enter into Me to become a person in My family. Among the circles of My friends, he enters: viśate tad-anantaram. He becomes as if My own. That means that without losing your personality you can be fully My own." To enter into the Lord's family is a living merging, not a physical or dead merging into Brahman, spirit. That is the result of prema, divine love.
That ideal is above the general conception of merging into the oneness of Brahman, where one loses oneself in the ocean of consciousness as if in a sound sleep. We are not interested in that. Rather, through Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we become lost swimming in the ocean of sweetness. This has been accepted by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. (LSFTLS, p 58) + (see also śloka 289)
A pure devotee should not have any separate interest. Rather, he should try to merge within the interest of the Lord. In whatever position he is, it does not matter, whether he is a brahmacārī (celibate student), a sannyāsī (a renunciate), a gṛhastha (a householder), a vānaprastha (retired life) or any other position, he must be willing to merge (viśate tad-anantaram ).
He will not like to keep any separate account. His sole objective will be to enter into the family of the Godhead. This is the very basis of pure devotion. We want to surrender, to be one of common interest with the Lord, and not to approach, ask some questions, pocket the answers, and then make trade with them elsewhere in any way. Once when I was being asked many questions, I replied: "This is not an enquiry office." The inquisitive want to satisfy their idle curiosity; or, they want to be master of many keys - that they will be able to give solutions to everyone's problems, and attain some status. They have many motives but they cannot understand the real necessity. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 53-4)
bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād,
īśād apetasya viparyyayo 'smṛtiḥ
tan-māyayāto budha ābhajet taṁ,
"Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is effected by the potency for illusion, called māyā. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshippable deity and as his very life and soul." (S-B, 11.2.37)
"A person who turns away from the Lord forgets his own innate identity by dint of the māyā potency of the Lord, and his perception becomes topsy-turvy whereby he thinks, "I am the body.' From this, he becomes absorbed in separate interest, identifying himself with the body, senses, etc. This is the cause of all apprehension. Therefore, a judicious person should worship that Supreme Lord with exclusive devotion, casting aside all spurious desires, and with knowledge that gurudeva is one's worshipful Lord and dearmost friend."
To think: "I can thrive individually," is to ignore the collective line and try for one's separate interest. This fine point is said to be responsible for all the disturbance: "I wanted to seek my own pleasure, separating myself from the consideration of collectiveness." The next stage is, īśād apetasya viparyyayo 'smṛtiḥ: deviation from consideration of my master. The first stage is self-interest, and then next is deviation from guardian consciousness, or to lose the consciousness that "I have my master, my guardian." Separate interest means: "I am my own guardian."
Then, tan-māyayāto: why is it so? Because I am taṭastha, marginal. On the other side is māyā, and somehow that influence has captured my weak decisive faculty. I am an infinitesimal particle of consciousness with minute independence. But without my co-operation, the māyika or mundane transaction is impossible. So my consent was necessary. With the consent of a minor child, the guardian can do anything and everything. The minority or infinitesimal character is inherent in me, and that makes room for this error. tan-māyayāto budha ābhajet taṁ: but because māyā is not independent, she also has to work under the guidance of the Supreme Authority; so don't go to māyā, but go to He who is the Master of māyā. tan-māyayāto budha ābhajet taṁ - na tu māyām. Although māyā is coming to capture the soul because of his weakness of co-operating with her, still, budha, which means sumedha - the pious souls - will go for relief to the Master of māyā. This is the decision of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. tan-māyā means tasya māyā - His māyā. Māyā is not the highest entity; she also has her Master. So when the temptation comes in you to perform a bad deed you must file an appeal for help to the Supreme Authority, and not to māyā. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 163-5) + (see also śloka 113)
Lack of consciousness means misconception, disease. This is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād - the disease is separate interest. The deviation from our normal spiritual condition, the development of misconception, is based on the charm, the prospect of separate interest. That is the root cause of all misunderstanding. The conception of local, provincial interest has caused the difference between a proper conception of reality and misconception. We have gone away from the central conception. From universal consciousness we have come to this provincial plane. And according to the gradation of consciousness in its development from provincial to universal, we may find ourselves in so many different planets of planes of existence: bhūr, bhuvaḥ, svāḥ, jana, mahār, tapa, satya, all these different stages of development are involved and this process of provincialism and universalism. But loss of consciousness of the centre is the root of this entire material existence.
One who is conscious of the organic whole, on the other hand, is in the most healthy position. That is proper adjustment, and maladjustment is the cause of our present diseased condition. Adjustment is life; it is liberal life, and to be the prey of maladjustment is to approach pain and misery. Everything within the environment is all right; the only difficulty is found in the conception of selfish special interest. Our aversion to the universal interest is the cause of our detachment from the conception of the whole and from happiness and health. We have been deprived of the happiness of our healthy position, and the cause is selfish interest.
The Absolute Autocrat is absolute good. So there is no room for complaint against Him. Kṛṣṇa says: suḥṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām (see śloka 94) - He is the owner of everything - in comparison, we are nothing. But still, He is our friend. We should not forget that. We are represented in Him. Our detachment from Him is the cause of all the miseries that we are suffering. We and others like us have lost faith in Him, but He is our friend. We are jealous of Him and are thinking: "I am not the master? Someone else is the master - this is intolerable. No taxation without representation!" But our interests are well-represented in Kṛṣṇa. He cares about us even more that we can conceive. Why do we forget that?
If we only reinstate ourselves in that faith, we will be all right. It is our fault that we are suffering; otherwise there is no difference in vision from the universal standpoint. īśād apetasya, we have turned away from our master. But we should remember that He is our master, He is our well-wisher, He is our guardian. Deviation from that consciousness is misery of an infinite magnitude. Its cause is very subtle and very minute; it is our mentality of separate interest. And as a result, we have been captured by the enemy camp.
Patañjali has said we are moving towards evil in an intelligent, organised way. That is not only mad but wicked; it is worse than mad, according to Patañjali. What will be the relief of a soul in such a deplorable condition? A madman is in possession of everything, he is only out of his mind. His consciousness has to be adjusted properly. Then he will find: "Oh, everything is all right - let me go back home." At present his consciousness is cast aside. He is not at home; his consciousness must be pushed homeward. (SEOC, p 18-9) + (see also śloka 194)
Everything, including our own self, belongs to Kṛṣṇa. But the difficulty arises when we see something other than Kṛṣṇa. Separate interest. The consciousness of separate interest is the root of all evils. We are one with Kṛṣṇa, but whenever the seed of separate interest sprouts, and we think we have some separate interest, that we are not included in the interest of Kṛṣṇa, that is the root of such misconception. bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād. In this way, the scriptures have given a diagnosis of the disease or concoction of false conception. We are living in a fool's paradise. And the very beginning of material existence that we can trace is at the inception of a separate interest. The first deviation from advaya-jñāna (the one harmonising organic whole) is a conception of separate interest. (SEOC, p 50)
kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi,
"Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when one sees the self as master." (S-B, 1.2.21)
kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi,
mayi dṛṣṭe 'khilātmani
"The knot in the heart is pierced, all misgivings are cut to pieces and the chain of fruitive actions is terminated when I am seen as the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (S-B, 11.20.30)
"Our inner aspiration for rasa, ecstasy, is buried in the heart and the heart is tied down and sealed. But hearing and chanting the glories of Kṛṣṇa breaks the seal of the heart, and the heart awakens and opens to receive Kṛṣṇa: the reservoir of pleasure, ecstasy Himself (rasa vai saḥ, akhila rasāmṛta murtiḥ )." (TGVODL, p 22) + (see also ślokas 405 & 561)
Here Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is saying: "There is a knot within our hearts, but that knot will be torn asunder by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. At that time, the flow of our innate tendency for divine love (svarūpa śakti ) will inundate the whole heart. When the knot of the heart is torn apart, then, as the sleeping soul awakens, the Goloka conception within will emerge and inundate his entire being."
But this is apparently a difficult problem. How is it possible that all our doubts may be cleared? Is it possible for the finite to know everything? This statement seems rather inconsistent. It seems absurd. The Upaniṣads, however, say: "Whoever knows Him knows everything; who gets Him gets everything." (see also śloka 590). How will the finite know that he has everything, that he has known everything? It appears absurd, but it is confirmed in the scriptures. And if this problem is solved, then all problems are solved automatically. The finite will realise wholesale satisfaction; and all his inquisitive tendencies will be satisfied. This is confirmed not only in the Upaniṣads, but also in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. (LSFTLS, p 67) + (see also śloka 600)
"When the soul directly beholds Me as the Supreme Soul within all souls, his mundane ego is dissolved, all his doubts are slashed, and all his worldly deeds are annihilated." (S-B, 11.20.30) This is a scientific measurement, and of course, science of the transcendental world is not to be applied in the nature of the mundane. By this standard of adjustment, we shall gradually make progress towards proper adjustment. If the centre is clear, then, of course, the circumference is properly located. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the centre, and in that consciousness every event can be found to be properly adjusted. In this way, by that inner satisfaction and realisation one can measure his personal progress.
But this does not mean that his thirst will be quenched; rather, it will increase. But the assurance will come that the direction is the right direction. "I am now making progress in the proper line, because many new things can be explained by that formula. They seemed to be unintelligible and meaningless. Now, what I am told to be the Absolute is harmonising all these things hitherto unharmonised. These points are being solved.
So, chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ: the doubts are being cleared, and more satisfaction of a wide and spacious nature, the solution, will be felt in the heart of one who is a real student, a regular student of the Bhāgavata school. chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ is a great thing. We cannot accommodate this within the narrow shell of our brain! "All doubts should be cleared? What is this?" It is inconceivable that all doubts will be cleared. But everything will be solved if we accept the harmonising centre in such a point as advised by Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu - the Kṛṣṇa-conception of the Absolute." (S-B, 11.20.30) + (SOTGOD, v 1, p 141-2)
Then, bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiḥ: all the ties and entanglements, corners and angles, vanish. Crookedness vanishes. He finds himself in the midst of a straight, plain, graphic, spacious and all-embracing temperament. His atmosphere changes. All the ties of so many attractions to various achievements are at once dissolved. They have no necessity in this land.
Hṛdayenābhyanujñāto (Manu 2.1): Internal approval comes to assure you that you have arrived in your own land. chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ: there is no room for any doubt. You will find that all your hankerings are more than fulfilled here: "I was searching; my whole body was searching."
In Vaiṣṇava-padāvali (Anthology of Vaiṣṇava Songs, jñāna Dasa), there is an expression: prati aṅga lāge kānde prati aṅga mora. (See śloka 410). In the acme of Divinity, Madhura-rasa, where Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is Śakti (the Divine Potency of the Lord), She says: "My every limb is crying for the respective limb of My Lord; not only My Self, but every part of My Body earnestly aspires for the corresponding part of My Master's."
chidyante sarvva-saṁśayāḥ - Every part bears witness: "Yes, we have reached the destination we were striving for, this is our full-fledged satisfaction. This is my soil, this is my home!" Every atom of the body will say it. No trace of any doubt will be found, for there is no longer any room for that. But every atom will find its fulfilment: "This is my home, this is my home! I am in home comfort, I find."
kṣīyante cāsya karmmāṇi: (The Lord says about His devotee) "And the force of reaction won't come to trouble him, to drag him down or attract him backwards. That, too, is severed." mayi dṛṣṭe 'khilātmani: "I am the fullest of the full perfection. He will be able to trace My friendship."
This should be the course of our life, our cherished goal. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam tells us this. Home, sweet, sweet home. You are a child of that soil. In one word, that is the goal. (Why is that the highest goal? - see also śloka 491) (S-B, 11.20.30) + (SOTGOD, v 2, p 80-1)
For one who receives the seed of devotion, who is selfless and penitent, denouncing his inability to abandon mundane enjoyment despite realising it to be the embodiment of suffering, and who sincerely gives himself incessantly to all the practices of devotion - in the heart of such a devotee, the Supreme Lord ascends like the rising sun to annihilate all ignorance with its reactions, revealing His divine personality in all its pristine glory.
"He who has imbibed heart's faith in the tidings of My Name, nature and pastimes; who has become indifferent to all kinds of fruitive work and its rewards; who has learned that all kinds of enjoyment of sensual passions ultimately transform into misery, yet he is unable to fully abandon such passions - such a faithful devotee, being determined that his shortcomings will be dispelled by the potency of devotion, gradually comes to abhor those evil passions that enslave him, knowing the havoc they wreak - and he serves Me with love: when his object is pure and sincere, I give him My mercy."
"In this way, the introspective devotee unceasingly absorbs himself in all the practices of devotional service as enunciated by Me. And I, who am situated in the heart of My devotee, strike at the root of all the material urges that infect his heart, reducing them to oblivion."
"By bringing Me - the Soul of all souls - into his heart, no evil can remain there. Swiftly is the hard knot of mundane ego severed, all doubts are slashed, and all mundane action is exhausted for that earnestly aspiring devotee." (S-B, 11.20.27-28-29-30) + (SSPJ, p 165)
Ultimately the conception of guru will come to Kṛṣṇa. In this highest sense, Kṛṣṇa is guru. Who can remove all our doubts, and satisfy all our enquiries? It is Kṛṣṇa alone. Gradually our faith will develop and take us to the one who can clear all our doubts. We may have doubts upon doubts. One doubt may go and thousands of doubts may come, but guru is one who can clear all our doubts.
bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś, chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ. (S-B, 1.2.21). Who can do away with all the suspicion in our mind; it is He who is full. In this way we must progress. The birth of our faith may be in intellectualism, but its goal is transcendental. The birth of our search and its destination will come to meet together. The birth of faith is from the potency of Kṛṣṇa, and after moving through the whole of the infinite it will come again to the potency where we will take our eternal position." (SEOC, p 122)
"Your quest will be fulfilled only when you come to such a stage. bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś (S-B, 11.20.30): your heart is sealed. That seal will be broken. There is a knot - that will be torn. The flow will come out towards Me. The heart is in bondage. If it is untied, the easy and natural flow will come to Me. The tie is removed and the heart will flow with love towards Me. chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ: your searching trouble will be ended. No more search will be necessary. Always searching for better, better, better - that will be ended. kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi: From your previous life, your obligation to the environment will also disappear. mayi dṛṣṭe 'khilātmani: when you will find that I am everywhere, I am the party with whom you have to deal with. So, I can satisfy you wholly."
As our Guru Mahārāja said: "If there is fire, don't try to extinguish it and afterwards come to Kṛṣṇa. There is no necessity of extinguishing fire. All your internal necessity is with Kṛṣṇa. But you go to extinguishing fire as though you have some necessity with the thing to be burned? No, no. You have no such necessity. The whole thing may be reduced to ashes - you won't lose anything. All your necessity is in the Divine Feet of Kṛṣṇa. He can supply, He can manage. He can give you the fullest engagement, naturally in your serving relationship with Him."
mayi dṛṣṭe 'khilātmani: "Wherever you cast your glance you will see that I am there. Maybe you want to do good to others? But you will see that I am there; so your attempt to do good is not necessary. I am fully conscious of any benefit. So you can bestow nothing." He has the best interest and the best liking for everyone. He is there. So all other considerations are cancelled. "There is only you, and Myself. All others are subsidiary." Of course, this is in a general sense. Then further, readjustment comes through Yogamāyā, in a serving group. There, another development will arise, where everything is similar but not the same. Crossing the layer of satisfaction, there is again dissatisfaction: "I am not getting the service of Kṛṣṇa." Not a drop to drink - only hankering, hankering, hankering. "How can I get a drop of this nectar to drink?" That will be a further development. And Kṛṣṇa's different aspects will be unfolded to our hankering, and we will find infinite love. (S-B, 11.20.30) + (SCS, p 35-7)
This famous śloka of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.20.30), explains that when you eat something, your belly will give witness. It will say: "Yes I am eating." Hunger will be satisfied, the body nourished, and there will be the fulfilment of having been fed. The body will be nourished and will gain strength, and, along with all this, will be your own inner approval of having eaten. Furthermore there will be no longer any feeling of necessity to eat more and more. Similarly in spiritual life so many symptoms will come to give proof of your progress." (HC, p 23) + (see also śloka 534)
Everything is polaric and everything is good. To read negative, and to read bad is injurious. That is our false ego. We are to get out above that. The false calculating ego; that is ego in bondage. Ego in bondage means, the ego calculating falsely - false, mis-reading, miscalculation, misdeeds. However, through the help of the agents of the harmonious world, and by the advice and books that come from that harmonious world and with the help of sādhu-saṅga, we can get relief from our present diseased condition. We are in disease. hṛdaya-granthiś - heart disease! The disease is in the centre. Heart is the feeler; that has been accepted as the centre and the brain, the calculation? The brain is like a computer, if it works as well; that is, if it can read the environment with a normal heart - through a normal heart! bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś.
A wonderful śloka. Your heart is sealed! The feeling portion, the reading portion of you is sealed. Break up the seal and then you will come to feel everything is your friend. bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś. Our attempt should be to break the seal by the real ego. The real ego has been covered, sealed. But, the seal should be broken! The natural feeling should be allowed to flow out, we should be allowed to feel. Then you will find that everything is all right.
Your brain will say: "Yes, now I find every calculation reaches the desired result." The computer will say likewise. And the heart? The heart will be opened. Heart will be opened and ego, the selfish part, the cover of the heart, that will be broken, the seal will be broken. And the natural flow will come to feel properly what is good and what is bad. You will find what is tasteful and what is bitter. The real heart from within will come to justify. Then, the brain will come to see that everything is all right.
What is subservient to feeling - ānandam ? sat-cit, cit-caitya, knowledge. Above that knowledge is that central thing - ānandam, happiness, blissfulness, pleasure, joy. That is the signal for which everyone is searching. That feeling is the heart's food, not the brain's food. It is heart's food which we are searching for, and that misrepresentation of the heart, that false, selfish ego, that is our worst enemy! It is unsatisfied, and always giving reports: "This is not good, it is not good." And we are running hither and thither: "What is good?" We are searching for that! But, when the proper heart from within will come out, then, bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ: all doubts will be removed, we are in perfect harmony.
kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi: The past dues will all be cleared immediately. The past dues of our karma, reaction, birth, what is to come on me to have its realisation, that will be finished in no time! We shall enter our natural harmony. Then, we shall see that like some evil dream, something came in the middle - it was like a mad dream. But now, I am awake and the dream is nowhere. Only, the eternal connection. Gaura Haribol! That is a wonderful śloka. bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś (S-B, 1.2.21).
Karma, that is reaction which I am to clear off from my previous activity. That will also disappear and the harmonious outlook will come in me. And how will it come? When the heart will be opened. We have to break open the heart! The heart! The feeling thing, that is the most original thing in us which feels joy, pleasure or pain. That feeling of pleasure and pain, that is the most important factor for us. (SS, v 3, # 1, '85, p 3-4) + (see also śloka 602)
Our reinstating is possible. Reinstating ourselves to our lost cause, our real wealth, is possible independent of any kind of research into nature. Only break this seal. bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś, break the seal of the fort of the ego and then, the natural flow of reality will come and recognise you. It will have its own thing automatically. Such an arrangement is there. To come home, we will also have to take the guidance of a director. But you will not feel any devious or laborious sentiment. It will be natural. You will be carried by your natural affection independent of all external guides. The plane can understand its own soil, i,e, the natural gift of attraction. No scientific research is necessary for that. The automatic attraction - that will - is living there. Home!
bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś, chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ, You will be able to put a stop to your intellectualism, intellectual ambition and aspiration - this is required. It is wild goose-chasing. It will never help me to reach my goal. You will reject that. chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ, there will be no room for any suspicion at all. Natural selection (by affection), infallible, wholesale selection, is there. Try to find out that natural thing. It is not acquired, not by the result of any long program of fulfilling, fighting, war - all these things. Quite natural. Only, the artificialism in you, that is to be removed. That is to be bid adieu for all times.
bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś, chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ, kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi,
The reactions that you took so long to acquire in your false journey will withdraw without any effort in and of itself. No problem. No problem! It is such. No karma. There is no reaction and no necessity of finding a new discovery or invention. Progressive knowledge, advanced civilisation, etc., - these are all redundant. Home selection has such capacity."
"When he finds Me everywhere - solution finished!" He is there - the duty is there - the Director, the All-dispensing Officer is there. He can make us leave everything. He is there - and what shall I feel is my duty towards this thing? All ties dissolved! No duty. Still, we will find some inclination to discharge our duty for Him, to serve Him. To help Him is such and that is our own reward.
Not that He wants it. That is: "Without my help in discharging duty or service towards Him, He will be undone or He will be imperfect?" - not that! No. My fulfilment is there. No want of accommodation, no bankruptcy is there. He can give us engagement, any number of engagements we can get there for our interest. He is all right. With or without my help, He can go. He can do. It is not for that purpose, but for my fulfilment that I want the connection of the Infinite. My service will not add something to that. However, I will be happy in the highest sense. He is there! Everywhere! Is He." (SS, v 2, # 1, '84, p 5-6) + (see also ślokas 382, 198 & 509)
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
"I am the enjoyer of the results of sacrifice performed by the fruit-hunter, as well as the results of austerity performed by the liberation-seeker - I am their only worshippable object; I am Nārāyaṇa, the indwelling monitor of all planes of life, and the Supreme Worshippable Personality who awards liberation. And I am the well-wisher of all - I am Kṛṣṇa, the devotee's most adorable friend. The soul who thus knows My true identity attains the ecstasy of knowing his own original divine identity." (B-g, 5.29)
The Absolute Autocrat is absolute good. So there is no room for complaint against Him. Kṛṣṇa suhṛdaṁ sarvva-bhūtānāṁ, He is the owner of everything - in comparison, we are nothing. But still, He is our friend. We should not forget that. We are represented in Him. (SEOC, p 19)
Your first consideration should be that the guardian is not partial. Kṛṣṇa says: "I am guardian, but I am friendly to you all. (suhṛdaṁ sarvva-bhūtānāṁ ) Don't leave this thought! I am your guardian, but at the same time I am your friend. Don't forget this, otherwise there alone is the danger in your whole life."
Be optimistic, don't be pessimistic. You are good and all around you is bad, and withdrawal from everything and everyone will give you real bliss? Don't be so selfish-thinking. That is your environment; they should be relied upon - they also have goodness in them. So try to adjust yourself with them. (SOTGOD, v1,p 172) + (see also śloka 512)
So the key for service to the Master, Kṛṣṇa Himself, is in His hand. And that Master is an autocrat! But He says: "Don't be jealous of Me. I am your friend. You are all My own, so don't be afraid. bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ - "Your anxiety will subside when you come to understand that everything is in My hands and that I am not your enemy, rather I am your friend. I have a friendly relationship with you all. I am all-in-all, but I am your well-wisher and friend. When you come to realise this you will be in real peace, otherwise you will always have worry without end."
Our anxiety will end only when we shall see: "My own interest is fully represented in the Cause, in He who controls the whole. He must give me favourable consideration as He is my friend, and so there can be no fear of any misdeed or injustice." Only then can we find peace within our heart.
bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ, sarva-loka-maheśvaram - the great Master of all that we can conceive is the recipient of everything. bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ - everything, to the farthing, goes only to Him. suhṛdaṁ sarvva-bhūtānāṁ - and He is friendly to me. He is friendly not only to me, but the real interest of everyone is represented in His consideration. And, jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati - only the person who realises: "My interest is assured in the highest quarter of management," can attain real peace of heart. He will feel: "Yes, I have no worry, no anxiety." In the līlā, however, we find so many kinds of anxiety and worry, but that is something else. (see also śloka 76) (SOTGOD, v 3, p 38)
It is mentioned in the story of the Keśāvatāra (Incarnations from hair) that Lord Viṣṇu gave a boon that a black and a white hair from His head would go and save the Earth from the horrors of the burden of sins she was suffering from. Those hairs are said to have taken the forms of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. They took up those two robes, but in that instance They are only bhū-bhāra-haraṇakāri Avatāras, or Descents appearing to relieve the earth of its burden, and not Śvayaṁ Bhagavān or the Supreme Lord in person. The Lord as He is in Vṛndāvana is entirely distinct. So also it has been seen in many instances that the outer case is one thing, the inner man is another. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 45-6)
mauṣala-līlā, āra kṛṣṇa-antardhāna
keśāvatāra, āra yata viruddha vyākhyāna
mahiṣī-haraṇa ādi, saba - māyāmaya
vyākhyā śikhāila yaiche susiddhānta haya
Illusory stories opposed to the conclusions of Kṛṣṇa consciousness concern the destruction of the Yadu dynasty, Kṛṣṇa's disappearance, the story that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma arise from a black hair and a white hair of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and the story about the kidnapping of the queens. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explained to Sanātana Gosvāmī the proper conclusions of these stories. (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 23.117-118 )
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told Sanātana Gosvāmī that the word kāka means crow, and keśa means hair. To counteract the asuric understanding of Kṛṣṇa as an incarnation of a crow, an incarnation of a śūdra (a blackish tribe), and an incarnation of hair, Mahāprabhu explained that the word keśa means ka-īśa, the word ka indicates Lord Brahmā, and īśa indicates Kṛṣṇa (the Lord of Brahmā).
Śrīla Rūpa Goswãmī and Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa have also refuted this argument about the hair incarnation, and Śrīla Jīva Goswãmī has also discussed this in his Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha (29) and his commentary known as Sarva-saṁvādinī.
The Mahābhārata mentions some of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes as mauṣala-līlā, which include stories of the destruction of the Yadu dynasty, Kṛṣṇa's disappearance, His being pierced by a hunter's arrow, the story of Kṛṣṇa's being an incarnation of a piece of hair (keśa-avatāra), and the kidnapping of Kṛṣṇa's queens (mahiṣī-haraṇa ). There is also reference to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma being incarnations of a black hair and a white hair in the Viṣṇu-Purāṇa as well as Mahābhārata and Bhāgavatam.
It's stated that Viṣṇu snatched two hairs (one white and one black) from His head and these hairs entered the wombs of Rohiṇī and Devakī (members of the Yadu dynasty). Balarāma appeared from the first hair from Rohiṇī, and Kṛṣṇa appeared from the second hair from Devakī. It's also stated that all the asuras would be cut down by Viṣṇu's white and black plenary expansions when He came to perform His wonderful activities.
Śrīla A.C Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Mahārāja said these pastimes are not eternal, transcendental, or spiritual, but are related just to bewilder the asuras who have mistaken ideas about Kṛṣṇa. In relation to keśa-avatāra, in his commentary of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.7.26) he states that just to diminish the distress of the world (caused by the asuras ), and to expand His glories and encourage His devotees, Kṛṣṇa descends with His plenary portion (Balarāma) in His original Form, with beautiful black hair.
piśācī hṛdi varttate
katham abhyudayo bhavet
"How can the joy of holy devotion appear in the heart as long as it is haunted by the ghosts of desire for exploitation and renunciation?"
These two ideas of renunciation and enjoyment are foreign to us. They possess us, like ghosts. They have taken possession of our ego and are playing with it. We are prey in their mischievous hands, and we must escape from such a conspiracy of māyā. We must be free - free members of the infinite world where the noble flow of dedication flourishes. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 6)
The desire for enjoyment, and also for renunciation or mukti, no engagement, are compared to two ghosts, piśāci. So how do you dare to express that bhakti, real love for Kṛṣṇa, will descend into your heart? Those two demons are there, and do you think the noble lady of devotion will come and sit on the same bench with those demons? How can you expect that? Have you freed yourself from those nasty things that you dare to invite the lady of Kṛṣṇa bhakti to come? (B.r.s, Pūrvva, 2.22) + (GOD, p 20)
tvam eva śaraṇaṁ prabho
"For those who have stumbled and fallen upon the ground, that very ground is the only support by which they can arise once again. Likewise, for those who have offended You, O Lord, You alone are their only refuge." (SP ) + (SSPJ, p 86)
In the beginning, when a child tries to walk, s/he falls down. But s/he gets up and tries again. In this way, we must proceed, but we must not stoop to deceive ourselves. That is māyā, deception. To deceive our own self and others is deception. Such persons are deceiving themselves, and the environment also. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 106)
bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā
"My deluding potency in this world is divided into eight ways: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and false ego." (B-g, 7.4)
Mind is separate (from faith). Śraddhā is connected with soul, ātmā, and mind is matter. Mind is material: a part of material potency, and the jīva is a product of parāśakti, the principal potency; and Śvarūpa-śakti, the Lord's Personal Potency, is higher than the jīva. The nature of the mind is mental speculation (manodharmma ). That has nothing to do with truth. That is drawn from the material world, the world of misconception. The mind is full of misconception (avāṅ-manaso gocaraḥ ). Mind cannot reach the stage of feeling or perceiving truth proper. It is only related to mundane things or exploitation.
Mind cannot be pure, just as a fossil cannot produce life. Similarly, the mind cannot produce śraddhā. Śraddhā is the original and fundamental. When the Supreme Lord appears in the heart, mind vanishes. Reality is just the opposite. Darkness cannot produce light: light comes, darkness vanishes. So truth appears when real pure consciousness appears, and mental speculation vanishes. The mind is concerned with misconception. It is an element of the aparãśakti, the inferior potency. That potency is both subtle and gross. Earth, water, fire, air, and ether are gross; mind, intelligence and ego are subtle; but they are all material. Soul is transcendental. And Śvarūpa-śakti, the Lord's Personal Potency, bhajana or Divine Service, and Goloka-Vaikuṇṭha are all Supra-mundane and Transcendental - on the other side of the soul, not on the lower side where the mind is located. Mind emerges from the ego, that is, the false ego, and it is made of the exploiting tendency. But Mahāprabhu says: mora mana - vṛndāvana: "My speculation is on the other side - Vṛndāvana." That is not an element of this mundane plane.
Properly speaking, the word 'mind' does not deserve to be used in the context of 'pure mind' at all, otherwise everything will be wrongly equated. The residents of Goloka also possess senses, etc., but the affairs of the mundane world are never one with that. The mundane mentality is a product of sense exploitation. We need relief from this mind. We are surrounded by poisonous thought. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 31-2) + (see also śloka 115)
bhūya eva mahā-bāho,
śṛṇu me paramaṁ vacaḥ
yat te 'haṁ prīyamāṇāya,
"O mighty armed Arjuna, hear My Divine exposition once again. Only desiring the ultimate benefit for you, who are very dear to Me, shall I speak." (B-g, 10.1) (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 1)
bhvādes tat savitur vareṇya-vihitaṁ kṣetra-jña sevyārthakaṁ
bhargo vai vṛṣabhānu-jātma-vibhavaikārādhanā śrī puram
bhargo jyotir acintya līlana sudhaikārādhanā śrī puram
(bhargo dhāma-taraṅga khelana sudhaikārādhanā śrī puram)
(bhargo dhāma sadā-nirasta kuhakaṁ prajñāna-līlā-puram)
(devasyāmṛta-rūpa-līla puruṣasyārādha-dhīḥ preṣiṇaḥ
(devasya dyuti-sundaraika-puruṣasyārādhya-dhīḥ preṣiṇaḥ)
gāyatrī-muralīṣṭa-kīrtana-dhanaṁ rādhā-padaṁ dhīmahi
(gāyatrī-gaditaṁ mahāprabhu-mataṁ rādhā-padaṁ dhīmahi)
(dhīr ārādhanam eva nānyad iti tad rādhā-padaṁ dhīmahi)
The Full-fledged Conception of the Gāyatrī Mantra.
artho 'yaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇāṁ, bhāratārtha-vinirṇayaḥ
gāyatrī-bhāṣya-rūpo 'sau, vedārthaḥ paribṛṁhitaḥ
"The great devotional scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is expanded as the meaning of Brahma-sūtra, the irrevocable confirmation of the purport of the Mahābhārata, the elaborate commentary of the Gāyatrī mantra, and the purport of all the Vedas." (GP ) (see also śloka 50)
(gānāt trāyate ). Gāyatrī is the mantra which by singing we get salvation, not just freedom from the negative side, but self - determination; mukti hitvānyathā rūpaṁ, svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. Says Bhāgavatam: "Know the positive self, that is real mukti." To engage in positive function - that's our highest attainment, and that is service in devotion, not a void indifference! First oṁkāra, then Gāyatrī, then, Veda, Vedānta-sūtra, then Bhāgavatam from Gāyatrī - the "Mother of the Vedas." Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam being the commentary of Gāyatrī, then Kṛṣṇa-conception in Vṛndāvana we must clearly see in the womb of Gāyatrī mantra.
Oṁ, Bhūr, Bhuvaḥ, Svar, Tat Savitur, Vareṇyam, Bhargo, Devasya, Dhīmahi. Oṁ is the seed within which is contained the whole conception. Bhūr is where we are, in the world of our perception.Bhuvaḥ is at the back of that - our mental acquisition, our karmic mentality of sensual predilection.
Svar means buddhiloka, the plane of fine decision, the choice of movement up or down - the faculty of reason. Bhūr, Bhuvaḥ, Svar, Mahar, Janar, Tapar, Satya: The mundane world of seven planes, up to Satyaloka, where resides Lord Brahmā, and those saints, the four Kumāras. These are the planes of life in the material negative side, as explained in Bhāgavatāmṛtam by Sanātana Goswāmīpāda. (Then Virajā river - equipoised verge of negative side; Then Brahmāloka - equipoised verge of positive world; Then the world of reality - dedication, loving service, the soul's nature proper in the Śivaloka residence. Then further to Vaikuṇṭha, Ayodhya, Dvārakā, then Mathurā and finally Vṛndāvana, Kṛṣṇaloka).
Tat Savitur - means the sun - which illuminates all objects, and that is none but the soul - the observer, he's the subject. As it is in Śrī Gītā (13.34), sung by Śrī Govinda; ekaḥ kṛtsnaṁ lokam imaṁ raviḥ ; soul - "observer." (see śloka 599).
Vareṇyam - above the soul, higher than the subject, The Absolute Supreme Being - Supersoul, Supersubject. More subtle than the soul, and to be worshipped by him is -
Bhargo - the abode of the supersubjective plane, described in the Bhāgavatam in the very first verse. The domain of Supreme Truth where all māyā is dispersed. In its own pristine glory, it shows the highest goal, a higher powerful light which illuminates the soul:
Devasya - it's His potency, the Lord of sweet pastimes, Reality the Beautiful, to be worshipped at all times. That Bhargo has expanded from King Vṛsabhānu's daughter, Embodiment of Mahābhāva - none other than Śrī Rādhā. All energy, responsibility to serve Lord Kṛṣṇa is Her domain, the loving plane of service to the centre. She knows how to serve Kṛṣṇa, to please Him like no other, so if we want to serve Him, we must pray to get Her order!
Dhīmahi - we are addressed: "Come and meditate." What sort of meditation? Culture, cultivate our veneration, worship, our service in devotion: Engagement in the positive, not abstract meditation. Not an idle, fleeting, mundane experiment, but a spiritual culture - cultivate our serving temperament.
Dhiyo Yo Naḥ Pracodayāt - what is the effect? Capacity of cultivation - it will be increased. dāsa kare vetan, more deha prema-dhan- the more you give, the more you get desire to carry on: the more service is increased, it's added to the treasure as interest, our willingness increases without measure.
This is the inner meaning of Gāyatrī mantra.
Gāyatrī is the song which by singing we are freed,
The music of Divinity to help our highest need;
Coming to Gaurāṅga's feet, the tune is saṅkīrtana -
Then reaching to Vṛndāvana - Kṛṣṇa's holy flute vibration.
Mahāprabhu's saṅkīrtana helps in reinstating us,
To take us to the ecstasy of service, known as rasa.
And those who enter Vṛndāvana, then Kṛṣṇa's sweet flute-song
Helps engage His servitors to serve Him e'er anon.
The flute is sounding, all are thinking: "Oh, He's coming!" "He's going!"
Struck with wonder, river Yamunā cannot go on flowing.
The friends are all engaged with Him throughout the afternoon;
Yaśodā hears the flute, she thinks: "My son is coming soon!"
O Kṛṣṇa, Lord of love - Lord of the heart, Lord Śrī Govinda,
Your flute-song in the night, the gopīs run to the Yamunā.
The Lord of all Vraja -Dhāma - the Sweet Absolute
Engages all His servitors just by playing His flute.
dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, the entire range of rasa
To the highest, madhura - all represented in Śrī Rādhā -
The whole serving area is full in Rādhikā:
All services, like branches, are but part of Her.
The divine song awakes us, our hearts we shall surrender
Unto Her holy lotus feet - the service of Śrī Rādhā.
rasa-rāja, mahābhāva - dui eka rūpa -
The Lord of love - His consort, in one form both include:
Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu, the Golden Lord has come
And attracted Gāyatrī to Rādhā-dāsyam.
The Vedas, Upaniṣads, all scriptures of the truth,
Have come to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the acme of all faith;
And there this full conclusion of theistic realisation
Will reach the heart embracing such devotional conception.
(B-g, p xvi-xxvi)
"With all of your thoughts and hearts desire, fully engage yourself in the pure devotional service and worship of Bhargo, the Supreme Goddess Śrī Rādhikā, Who is the unlimited origin and possessor of the Svarūpa-Śakti of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Beautiful Godhead (Deva). Being the ultimate and all harmonising potency of Kṛṣṇa, She remains His eternally unexcelled beloved servitor. In order to fully enrich and promote His līlā vilāsa, She manifests Herself in variegated congenial forms. It is She Who manifests Herself as Dhāma (Goloka) the abode of Kṛṣṇa, in the form of beautiful effulgence (saundarya jyoti) and opulence (vaibhava) adorning and glorifying Him all around. It is She Who extends Herself as līlā śakti (the potency principle which promotes the bliss giving pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in variegated, colourful, tasteful, mystically opulent and beautiful ways). She is the unlimited ocean of Love of Kṛṣṇa personified (mahābhāva svarūpini) therefore adore Her as the supreme goal of life, Who gives venerable, blessed intelligence, realisation and taste of enhanced loving worship towards Her and Her eternal beloved deva, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the all fulfilment of life." (Poem in praise of Gāyatrī ) (SBRBM, p 33-34) + (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 8) + (see also ślokas 50 & 350)
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu,
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
"The spotlessly pure-hearted and self-satisfied soul who has attained to his conscious divine nature neither grieves nor craves for anything. Seeing all beings equally (in the conception of My supreme energy), he gradually achieves supreme devotion (prema-bhakti ) unto Me." (B-g, 18.54)
"One who has come to the stage of identifying himself with spirit above matter has nothing to do with this mundane world. Any loss or gain in this mundane world is of no use to him. He is spirit; his prospect is in the world of soul, and he has nothing to do with this material world, whether it is laudable or blameable. He is already settled in the consciousness that he is soul proper and has nothing to do with matter, so within himself he feels satisfaction. He is ātmārāma: self-content; he neither mourns, nor aspires for anything. If something is lost, does he mourn? No. He thinks: "This is nothing; it is only matter." And when something is gained, he is not overly cheerful, because it is only matter; it is unnecessary and unimportant. Now true devotional service can begin; his soul can begin living in the spiritual plane, with a pure serving attitude, unmixed with any mundane aspiration. When one attains the spiritual platform, he gets the opportunity to practice a higher type of service." (TSFSK, p 138)
(Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: to Rāmānānda Rāya) "This is also superficial. Such a person is only on the verge of devotional service; he has no substantial touch of devotion. He has not entered the domain of bhakti; he is just waiting in the marginal position, at the door. He may attain bhakti, but he has not yet achieved it. His negative forces are finished, but still, he is just at the door; he has not yet entered. He may enter; he may not enter. From there, if he gets anything, it will be pure, but he is still at the door." (Rāmānānda Rāya then quoted śloka 206) (TSFSK, p 139)
Kṛṣṇa is Beauty - Reality the Beautiful. Beauty absorbs us. The māyāvādīs, the impersonalists, say that the Brahman absorbs the individual soul so much that no trace of it remains. But this is an artificial conception of absorption. In the real conception of absorption, the existence of the seer of the truth is not done away with. He remains, but he is absorbed with life. He is so absorbed and attracted that he becomes one. Even maintaining his separate existence, he is always one, full of Kṛṣṇa consciousness to the highest degree, and this is visible to the outside world. The 'oneness' of the māyāvādīs is of course crossed in the beginning.
Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā, na śocati na kāṅkṣati samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu: "I am one with Brahman." - that stage is surpassed, and then - mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām, devotion is attained. There is oneness in divine attraction, union, and separation, in different līlā or pastimes. To maintain the setting of līlā, the līlā is maintained. Here, complete absorption and oneness does not mean that everything is annihilated. Līlā is also eternal: the Lord's nāma (Name), rūpa (Form, Beauty), guṇa (Qualities), parikara (Entourage), līlā (Pastimes) - all are eternal. His relationship is a dynamic thing, not a static one. There is even union in separation. There is unity in every stage. The dynamic character of His pastimes requires unity, otherwise He Self-giving and the devotees' God-attainment would have been impossible. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 116) (see also śloka 490)
"By knowledge of the non-differentiated Absolute Truth, one can achieve self-satisfaction, freedom from lamentation and hankering, and perceive the equality in all beings. And above this, he engages in transcendental devotional service unto Me."
A person who has realised his constitutional spiritual nature engages in transcendental devotional service unto the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; therefore, such devotion is transcendental to the three modes of material nature. (SSPJ, p 147)
brahmādi ye prema-bhakti-yoga vāṣchā kare
tāhā vilāimu sarvva prati ghare ghare
"Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came as the most gracious Descent. He brought such nectar, even a drop of which is aspired after by the masters of creation and dissolution of this visible world, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva." (Caitanya-Bhāgavata, Ādi-līlā, 5.152)
Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Autocrat, is controlled by love, and nothing else. Divine love, prema, is such, that it can control the Absolute Autocrat. Even He can be controlled, and this is the clue. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to distribute this: the Master of masters came with this offer: "This path will lead you to a plane where you will be able to control the Master of masters." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 135)
"Among many thousands of brāhmaṇas, a yajñika brāhmaṇa is best. Among thousands of yajñika brāhmaṇas, one who fully knows Vedānta is best. Among millions of knowers of Vedānta, one who is a devotee of Viṣṇu is best. And among thousands of devotees of Viṣṇu, one who is an unalloyed Vaiṣṇava is best." (H-B-V, 10.117) + (B-S, 117)
"The real devotee of Viṣṇu is superior to crores (ten million) of ordinary vaidāntik-brahmins. A practical brahmin is better than a birth brahmin. Practical means he who performs yajña, etc., and worships Kṛṣṇa. Those who worship Kṛṣṇa with the help of their consciousness will be preferred to those who worship with material things. Then those who are Vedānta-vit, they think that their goal is undifferentiated consciousness, and if one can have the idea of differentiated consciousness then he must hold the higher position to crores of vaidāntik-brahmins - those who are suffering from the disease of thinking that spirituality means non-differentiated brahma. The Viṣṇu-bhaktas who can see the Personality in consciousness, will be far superior. Amongst the devotees, those who regulate themselves according to the scriptures and calculation are of the order of Vaikuṇṭha, and those who can exclusively surrender to the Service of the Absolute Entity with inner-most Love and Faith, are of the highest order." (GP )
When Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura adopted the sacred thread, it was mentioned that Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī had previously written that in order for one to become a brahmin, one would have to take birth in the family of a brahmin. But later a mahājana (a great personality of authority on bhakti ) would appear who would change this rule. Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī has written that the ordinary sādhus; the yogīs, the brahmins, the Śaṅkarites, and the other schools, have all concluded that by the dint of one's knowledge, one's yoga, or one's devotion, the results of all actions can be destroyed, save and accept prārabdha-karma, those actions which have determined one's present body and are already attached to that body from before this birth.
But the Bhakti school disagrees. We say that by the power of kṛṣṇa-nāma, even the impurity attached to one's birth, race, creed, caste, or any other thing; can be done away with completely. It is not possible by yoga, jñāna, or any other thing, but by kṛṣṇa-nāma, any sort of impurity can be obliterated, even prārabdha-karma. So, when all prārabdha-karma is purified, then one comes to the position of the highest birth, that of a brahmin. Jīva Goswāmī says that at this point one comes to the status of a brahmin boy. But a brahmin boy is not considered eligible to do the work of a brahmin, until and unless he is given the sacred thread and mantram. When he is conferred with upanayana-saṁskāra, then only is he eligible to worship Nārāyaṇa, perform sacrifice, and carry out other duties which only the brahmins can do.
So by taking the Holy Name one is purified and attains the position of a brahmin boy. But, Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī points out, that because we do not find any system to give the sacred thread to those not born in brahmin families, then they will have to wait until their next birth. The Goswāmī admits that whatever caste one may be, if he takes the Name of Kṛṣṇa then he discards any defects of his birth, and attains the position of a brahmin lad.
Our Guru Mahārāja, continuing this line of thought, said there is no harm in giving them the sacred thread, so the custom may be introduced. Our Guru Mahārāja came to introduce that. He said, two things are being given indulgence by not introducing that initiation. Firstly, those who receive Vaiṣṇava initiation may think that they are lower than the brahmins, so they must be encouraged. They should understand that they are no longer in a lower position and that they are fit to do all the various services. Secondly, the so-called brahmins, who are proud of their flesh consciousness, come to think that those who have got vaiṣṇava-dīkṣā are lower. So they are committing offence to the Vaiṣṇava.
In order that the brahmins and other so-called higher castes should not be given the chance of committing vaiṣṇava-aparādha; and at the same time, those who have received the vaiṣṇava-mantra should not consider themselves lower and unfit to do the worship that the body brahmins do; for those two-fold benefits for the society, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Goswāmī boldly came forward to introduce this system. There is no difficulty in the rules of śāstra, according to siddhānta it is not wrong, but only there was no system established. Our Guru Mahārāja established that. (C, v 1, # 7, Spr. '95, p 8) + (see also ślokas 44 & 586)
brahmāṇḍa brhamite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
"Wandering throughout the material universe, the very fortunate living entity who receives the grace of Guru and Kṛṣṇa receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 19.151)
We have to acquire this capacity during the course of our wanderings in different positions throughout the creation. We are wandering from this land to that, from this species to that species, and in the course of that, we gather some sukṛti, pious credits. ajñāta sukṛti means that unknowingly and unconsciously our energy is spent in the service of the Lord, and the reaction comes in the form of some pious credits. And when sukṛti is more developed, it becomes jñāta sukṛti, or pious activities knowingly performed. Then, śraddhā, faith, our inner attraction for the universal truth comes to the surface. In this way it may develop from any stage. Even a beast may feel the tendency to serve Kṛṣṇa. In Vṛndāvana, so many living beings: trees, beasts, and even the water have acquired their position by consciously desiring it. Although they have accepted an apparently material pose, they eternally hold that position in the service of Kṛṣṇa. (TSFSK, p 71)
"According to the thread of their karma, the living beings are wandering throughout many species of life in the universe. Among all such wandering souls, one for whom the fortune of spiritual merit (sukṛti ) has arisen by which devotion is facilitated, gains the seed of the creeper of devotion by the grace of guru and Kṛṣṇa; that seed is good faith (śraddhā)."
It is not a light thing. We must know that this seed of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the most valuable thing in the whole of creation. "Everything - good or bad - belongs to Kṛṣṇa, and I am His unconditional servitor." Our general thought must be like this, and the details will develop gradually. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 100)
The association, or connection with a real sādhu occurs by some underground activity known as sukṛti. Sukṛti is of two types: ajñāta and jñāta - unconsciously acquired, and consciously acquired - sat-saṅga prāpyate puṁbhiḥ, sukṛtaiḥ pūrvva-saṣcitaiḥ. (śloka 88). Of this sukṛti stage, Mahāprabhu says: brahmāṇḍa brhamite kona bhāgyavān jīva: "Wandering throughout the material universe, the very fortunate living entity who receives the grace of Guru and Kṛṣṇa receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service."
Sukṛti is described by the word bhāgyavān, good fortune. There are so many different types of sādhus. Among the tyāgīs (renunciationists) there are so many different classes: the naked nāṅgā bābās and others. And among the theistic group also there are so many different sections like the Rāmānujas, the Rāmānandīs, the Nimbārkas, the Vallabhis and the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. The Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas are the followers of Mahāprabhu. So even in the theistic section there is a graded classification, but it is through our sukṛti that we shall be guided from a subconscious area to have connection with a sādhu of a particular section. (SOTGOD, v 3, p 60) (see also śloka 337)
caitanyeti kṛpāmayeti paramodāretinānā-vidha-
gaurāṅgeti guṇārṇaveti rasa-rūpeti sva-nāma-priyety
aśrāntaṁ mama jalpato janir iyaṁ yāyād iti prārthaye
"O Caitanya, O personification of Divine Knowledge, O supremely compassionate one, O Lord who fulfils the hearts of all living entities with the nectar of various devotional ecstasies, O wonderfully self effulgent one, O golden complexioned Lord, O ocean of transcendental qualities, O embodiment of divine love ecstasy, O Lord who is fond of tasting Your Own Holy Name, I pray that I may tirelessly continue chanting Your Holy Names throughout the rest of my life." (C-Cand, 67) + (SBRBM, p 12)
cakṣudāna dilo yei,
janme janme prabhu sei,
divya-jñān hṛde prokāśito
prema-bhakti jāhā hoite,
avidyā vināśa jāte,
vede gāy jāhāra carito
"He who has given me the gift of transcendental vision is my Lord, birth after birth. By His mercy divine knowledge is revealed within the heart, bestowing prema-bhakti and destroying ignorance. The Vedic scriptures sing of his character." (SOTVA, p 81)
There is the relative principle and the absolute principle. We shall have to eliminate the form, ignore the form; we shall always have to keep the spirit. Otherwise, we become form worshippers, idol worshippers. It is said, of course, that the connection with the spiritual master is eternal (cakṣudāna dilo yei, janme janme prabhu sei ). But we must not identify our guru with the appearance we perceive with our physical senses. Our inner identification of him will be clarified according to the growth of our vision. When our vision increases and takes shape from material to transcendental, his look will also change accordingly. (SGAHG, p 35)
carmma-māṁsamaya - kāma, prema - cidānanda-dhāma
"The carnal appetite is lust, whereas Love is the Abode of Divine Ecstasy. So imitation is not success. It rather degrades. Imitation degrades. Imagination is only a mental exercise." (SOTGOD, v 2, p 30)
ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ
sarvātma-snapanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam
"The Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa cleanses the mirror of the heart and extinguishes the fire of misery in the forest of birth and death. As the evening lotus blooms in the moon's cooling rays, the heart begins to blossom in the nectar of the Name. And at last the soul awakens to its real inner treasure - a life of love with Kṛṣṇa. Again and again tasting nectar, the soul dives and surfaces in the ever-increasing ocean of ecstatic joy. All phases of the self of which we may conceive are fully satisfied and purified, and at last conquered by the all-auspicious influence of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa." (S, v 1)
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the pioneer of Śrī Kṛṣṇa saṅkīrtana. He said: pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grama, sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma: "I have come to inaugurate the chanting of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, and that Name will reach every nook and corner of the universe." Although pṛthivīte āche has been mentioned in different places, pṛthivīte 'paryyanta' yata nagarādi-grama must be noted. This means that Mahāprabhu's preaching of Śrī Hari-Nāma will spread to not only the towns and villages on the earth, but to all the villages and towns of all the planets - wherever there are villages and inhabitants to be traced anywhere. brahmāṇḍa tārite - His mission is to deliver the whole universe.
What is the meaning of saṅkīrtana? samyak means "full" in quality and quantity, and kīrtana means "chanting." Full quantity means extensive in number, congregational. Full quality means complete praise. Complete praise can only mean the glorification of Kṛṣṇa, and not any other gods. Together, these two words form the word saṅkīrtana which generally means "congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa." So saṅkīrtana means complete kīrtana, a song in praise of the complete whole, the Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa. Anything else is only a partial representation and therefore defective to a certain extent. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa should be praised. His glories should chanted, for He is everything. The fulfilment of all life is reached in Him alone. Just as a horse may have reins to check his movements, but if let loose will run freely, praise which is unchecked by any mundane purpose will run straight towards the Supreme Cause, Kṛṣṇa.
The word śrī means Lakṣmīdevī, Kṛṣṇa's potency. This means that in saṅkīrtana, Kṛṣṇa is worshipped along with His potency, for Kṛṣṇa's potency is included within Him. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana should thrive throughout the world; it should be victorious without any hindrance (paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam ). It should be a spontaneous, unchecked, and natural flow. It should be exclusive, independent, and without reservation. And this praise of Kṛṣṇa should be congregationally chanted - that vibration is beneficial for the whole world. Only by surrender and pure devotion can we take to śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana.
What are the different stages through which we will pass while chanting the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa? The first stage is that it cleanses the mirror of the mind. If the mirror of the mental system is covered with dust, we cannot see things clearly, and scriptural advice cannot be properly reflected there. What are the different kinds of dust covering the mirror of the mind? Our infinite, fleeting, and organised desires are considered dust, and our hearts and minds are covered with layers and layers of this dust. Therefore we cannot see things properly; they cannot properly reflect in our mind because it is covered with the infinite ordinary desires of this mundane world. (bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī--sakali 'aśānta' - see also śloka 244)
So the first effect of śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana is the cleansing of the mind. The Vedic social system (varṇāśrama-dharma ) has been formed for this purpose. If we discharge our social duties perfectly, without any attraction for the consequences, we achieve purification of our consciousness - but the first instalment of nāma-saṅkīrtana gives us the end result of varṇāśrama-dharma: purification of the heart and mind. Then we can understand Vedic advice properly.
The next effect of chanting the Holy Name is that it extinguishes the fire of material existence in the forest of repeated birth and death. We are forced to come into creation and die again. The mundane wave catches the soul which mingles with that vibration in different stages. That is stopped by the second effect of śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana, and we become liberated. With the first stride, the intelligence is purified.
With the second stride, the Holy Name effects liberation from the great conflagration of threefold miseries. The three-fold miseries are ādhyātmika: miseries within the body and mind, such as disease and mental anxiety; ādhibhautika: miseries from our neighbours: man, beasts, insects, and so many other living beings; and ādhidaivika: natural catastrophes like famine, flood, and earthquake. We have to suffer from these three kinds of miseries which burn in our heart like fire. But everything is extinguished forever by the second stride of nāma-saṅkīrtana which gives us relief.
The next stage is śreyaḥ kairava candrikāvitaraṇaṁ: the Holy Name bestows upon us the supreme goal of life. After doing away with these two negative engagements, our positive engagement begins and ultimately takes us to reality, to the real truth, which is eternal, auspicious, and beautiful. It takes us to that auspiciousness which is above this world of difficulty, and in a general way we achieve the supreme goal, the highest auspiciousness, the greatest good from chanting the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa. If we analyse this scrutinisingly, we find that in this stage, the Holy Name takes us to an intimate personal relationship with Kṛṣṇa which includes neutrality, servitude, friendship, and filial affection (śānta, dāsya, sakhya, and vātsalya rasa ). Śreyaḥ covers the grace of Nityānanda Prabhu, for it is by His grace that we may be allowed to worship Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana. (nitāiyer koruṇā habe, braje rādhā-kṛṣṇa pābe - see śloka 343-4)
The next stage is vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam. The Holy Name prepares us for the wholesale surrender to Kṛṣṇa that is found in conjugal love (madhurya rasa ) where the devotees surrender themselves infinitely at the disposal of Kṛṣṇa.
The next stage is ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ. When we come to the proper level while chanting the Name of Kṛṣṇa, we find the transcendental ocean that is above all sorts of experience. The Name comes to assert Himself over us according to the degree of our surrender, and when our surrender is complete, we feel a new type of ecstatic joy; we experience an infinite ocean of joy which is not static, but always dynamic. There we find new life and a new type of blissfulness. It never becomes stale or static, but at every moment gives us a taste of the infinite ocean of ecstasy.
The last effect is that our entire existence is purified. This kind of enjoyment does not pollute - it purifies. Enjoyment means exploitation. Mundane enjoyment creates a reaction and pollution attacks the enjoyer, but here, because Kṛṣṇa is the aggressor, the result is purification. All enjoyment that comes from the centre, from the autocratic desire of Kṛṣṇa, purifies us completely.
In this verse, the words sarvātma-snapanaṁ mean that all different phases of the self which may be conceived are fully satisfied and purified at once by chanting the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa. And there is another meaning of sarvātma-snapanaṁ. If we praise Kṛṣṇa congregationally, we will be purified according to our capacity. Both the singer and the audience as well as anyone who comes in connection with the transcendental sound will be purified, snapanaṁ means "purifying." That vibration purifies everyone and everything that comes in touch with it.
So Mahāprabhu says: "Go on with saṅkīrtana, the congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa." Of course, saṅkīrtana must be genuine, so association with saints is necessary. The Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa is not mere physical sound; it is not lip-deep only, but it has a greater and higher aspect. It is all spiritual. We are in the marginal plane of existence, so some higher connection is necessary in order that the wave will descend from that higher realm and come to us and spread its influence outside as well.
Wherever it goes, the saṅkīrtana of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa will produce these sevenfold results. This is the purport of Mahāprabhu's first verse. The first effect is that the Holy Name cleanses the soul which is attacked by the dirt of desires from the mundane world. By the second effect it gives mukti, liberation, perfect independence from material forces. The third effect brings real fortune: the opening of the soul's treasure. The innate resources of the soul are gradually awakened by the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa. Here, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu includes the other forms of relationship with the Personal Absolute. In describing the next step, He takes the mood of conjugal devotion, where one is absolutely disposed for Kṛṣṇa's enjoyment, unconditionally surrendering everything for His maximum pleasure. The next effect is the tasting of His ecstatic association. In Vṛndāvana, the realm of Kṛṣṇa, one who can chant the Name of Kṛṣṇa properly will express himself with a peculiar sort of ego. (tuṇḍe tāṇḍavinī ratiṁ vitanute tuṇḍāvalī-labdhaye - see also śloka 524)
This is the temperament of a devotee when his attention is drawn towards the Holy Name. Then he faints; he loses himself, merging in an ocean of ecstasy and joy. And in great disappointment he says: "I failed to understand the quality and quantity of the substance of Kṛṣṇa's Name. I am perplexed. What sort of honey sweetness does this Name contain?" In this way, the chanter wonders.
This has been taught to us by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who said: "Properly chant the Holy Name, the sound representation of absolute sweetness." That sweetness is also to be found in the flute-song of the Lord. The sound of Kṛṣṇa's flute has the great mystic power of capturing and pleasing everyone and everything. Upon hearing the sound of Kṛṣṇa's flute, the Yamunā's current is paralysed. The sweet sound of Kṛṣṇa's flute attracts the trees, the birds, and the beasts. Everything is astounded by contacting the sweet vibration from Kṛṣṇa's flute.
Sound vibration can work miracles, and has the highest capturing potency, and can make or mar. It can do anything; it has such intrinsic capacity. It comes from the subtlemost plane, beyond ether. That universal sound is absolute sweetness and goodness. (see also śloka 409). How much power is there - how it can capture us! Like a blade of grass, we may be played by the current of that sweet sound in such a way that we cannot even trace out our own personality. We may lose ourselves there, but we do not die; the soul is eternal. Diving, up and down, we are played by the current of the sweet sound. We are less qualified than a straw, a blade of grass, and the Kṛṣṇa sound is so big and so sweet that it can play us in any way it likes. We cannot begin to conceive how much power is in the Name, the sound which is identical with absolute goodness and sweetness.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says: "Don't neglect the sound which is one and the same with Kṛṣṇa." Absolute sweetness and goodness - everything is there within the Holy Name. And the Holy Name is representing Itself to us in a very cheap way: nothing is required to purchase it - no money, no physical energy. All these things are unnecessary. What is required? Sincerity. One who simply takes this divine sound sincerely will be so enriched that no one will be able to conceive of so much goodness and development. And anyone may have it very cheaply, but one must chant sincerely with his whole heart. Of course, wholehearted sincerity presupposes going to a proper agent, a saint, and getting the Holy Name from him.
Śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana is praised by Mahāprabhu, the inaugurator of the saṅkīrtana movement who came as Rādhā-Govinda combined. His advice is most valuable and necessary to tell us that with a sincere spirit we must come to join this śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana, the most purifying transcendental sound, which effects liberation, gives all fulfilment, and grants us such a positive attainment that we lose ourselves in the ocean of joy and inconceivable sweetness.
This is Śrīman Mahāprabhu's grace, and He proclaims: "Let śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana be expanded into this mortal world, that it may benefit everyone infinitely, for this is the highest and greatest benefit for the whole world. It is all-comprehensive. It releases us from all sorts of troubles, establishing us in the highest position of attainment."
And in this present degraded age of Kali, only nāma-saṅkīrtana can help us. Of course, nāma-saṅkīrtana is beneficial in all ages, but it is especially recommended in Kali-yuga, because in this age all other attempts will be opposed by many forces. Nāma-saṅkīrtana cannot be opposed by the troubles and waves of this material world, so one must adopt it. If we exclusively give ourselves to this, we will gain the highest fulfilment of life. There is no necessity of any other campaign, for they are all defective and partial. But the most universal, captivating, and beneficial thing is nāma-saṅkīrtana, which takes us to the highest goal. That alone can satisfy everyone.
All souls that are now disconnected from Kṛṣṇa may be helped in this way. No other movement is necessary. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu tells us: "Exclusively devote yourself to this. It is all-embracing and all-fulfilling. And you can achieve it with the least trouble and least energy. Let it flourish in this Kali-yuga - let it flourish for the welfare of the whole universe, to reestablish all souls in their normal position."
The concluding verse of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam has given such great importance to chanting of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu developed it from there. (see also śloka 315)
We may consider ourselves fortunate that we have come to the verge of this most generous and useful thought, that we have come close enough to touch it, to accept it, and float ourselves in its waves according to our capacity. After passing through so many conceptions and the charm of different prospects, we have left them all behind and have come to the shore of the ocean of nāma-saṅkīrtana. Now we may throw our bodies in this ocean and begin to swim in the waves of nāma-saṅkīrtana, the nectar of the nectarine, by the grace of our guru and the mercy of the Vaiṣṇavas. It is their property, and we are their slaves. We have such audacity to throw our body into this ocean of nāma-saṅkīrtana and swim in that nectarine ocean! Swimming in Rādhā-kuṇḍa, the highest conception of spiritual attainment, can also be found in its highest form of nāma-saṅkīrtana. This (1st) verse of Śikṣāṣṭakam represents the positive side of the unlimited ocean of śrī kṛṣṇa saṅkīrtana. The next verse of Śikṣāṣṭakam explains the negative possibilities. (see also śloka 317) + (TGVODL, p 88-100)
Of everything favourable, Hari-saṅkīrtana performed by souls surrendered unto the lotus feet of Lord Hari is paramount.
May the Śrī Kṛṣṇa Saṅkīrtana be all-victorious in its pristine glory! This congregational chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord cleanses the looking-glass of consciousness, extinguishes the raging forest fire of material existence, and spreads the benediction moon-rays that cause the lotus of the heart to bloom. This chanting is the life and soul of divine consorthood. Expanding the ocean of pure ecstasy, it is the flavour of full nectar at every moment, bathing and cooling the entire self. (SSPJ, p 36)
channaḥ kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo 'tha sa tvam
Prahlāda Mahārāja said: "O Lord, one of Your Names is Triyuga, meaning one who incarnates in three ages-Satya, Treta, and Dvāpara - but not in Kali. And why? Because the incarnation for the age of Kali is in disguise." (S-B, 7.9.38)
So many avatāras are clearly described, but when Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as the incarnation for the age of Kali, it is discussed in a mystic way. The answer to why this has not been described very plainly is found here in the teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja. Here we find the key to this mystic way of representing Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to the fortunate and intelligent circle (su-medhasaḥ ), that ordinary people may not have any clue. (TGVODL, p 6) + (see also śloka 128)
cid-ānanda-bhanoḥ sadā nanda-sunoḥ,
aghānāṁ lavitrī jagat-kṣema-dhātrī,
pavitrī-kriyān no vapur mitra-putrī
"O daughter of the sun: although you have appeared in the form of water, you are most dear to the son of Nanda, who is the spiritual sun. You dispel the sins of all sinners. Please purify this mortal body." (C-C-n, 5.13)
Nityānanda Prabhu showed Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu the Ganges, near Kalna, saying: "Just see, there is the Yamunā." Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "Oh, We have come so near the Yamunā!" Then, He took his bath in the Yamunā, singing this verse - cid-ānanda-bhanoḥ sadā nanda-sunoḥ.
Just before Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu arrived there on the banks of the Ganges, Nityānanda Prabhu sent Candraśekhara to inform Advaita Ācārya to come. When Mahāprabhu asked Advaita Ācārya: "Is that You, Advaita? How did You know I was in Vṛndāvana?" Advaita Ācārya said: "This must be some kind of joke. Wherever You are is Vṛndāvana. And it is My fortune that You have come here, near the Ganges." "Oh, it is the Ganges?"
Then, Mahāprabhu, regaining His consciousness of this world, said: "Oh, then it is a conspiracy of Nityānanda Prabhu. He has brought Me here to the banks of the Ganges and told Me it is the Yamunā. It is all a hoax! I have fallen prey to His hoax." Advaita Ācārya argued: "No, no, Nityānanda Prabhu has not spoken any falsehood. You have really taken bath in the Yamunā. The confluence of the Yamunā and Ganges is in Allahabad, and it is mentioned in the śāstra that the western side is the Yamunā, and the eastern side is the Ganges. Now You have taken You bath in the western side, so You have taken You bath in the Yamunā, according to scripture. So Nityānanda Prabhu has not told any lie." (TGVODL, p 76)
guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva
ṣaḍ-vidhaṁ prīti lakṣaṇam
"Offering gifts in charity; accepting gifts in charity; revealing one's mind in confidence; enquiring confidentially; accepting prasāda; and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another." (U, v 4)
This is saṅga, and in this way we can get the benefit of the association of a sādhu. Firstly, to give something to sādhu for his pleasure, and to take something from him as his prasādam - dadāti pratigṛhṇāti. Then, guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati, whatever is concealed within our own heart, we are to divulge the whole of that to him; and we are to receive his instructions. bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva - we are to give the raw materials to him for his taking of prasādam, and then we are to receive his remnants; sādhu-saṅga means this." (SOTGOD, v 3, p 58)
Especially in the beginning, the importance will be the consideration of urgency. In Gurudeva bhajan will be present as service in a higher degree, not in us. By serving him I can partake in the higher quality of kīrtana, and that can come within me and improve the quality of my bhajan. Sādhu-saṅga and Nāma-kīrtana are important. Nāma-kīrtana has been recommended, but not without the association of a sādhu. That śādhu will be the higher, superior quality devotee, and sādhu-saṅga means serving him.
Saṅga does not mean just bodily association but saṅga is possible only through the serving attitude - not by opposite dealing or idlely sitting. Saṅga means sat-saṅga. dadāti pratigṛhṇāti, guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati, bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva, ṣaḍ-vidhaṁ prīti lakṣaṇam. These are the six kinds of association with a sādhu. Higher association is only possible with a serving attitude, otherwise there is no saṅga. Lower association means exploitation and enjoyment, but higher association can only be achieved through service. By proper association the quality of your service will increase, so sādhu-saṅga, sādhu-sevā - is of most importance. (SGD, GPI, '91, p 13)
nibhṛta-padam agāraṁ ballavīnāṁ praviṣṭaḥ
mukha-kamala-samīrair āśu nirvāpya dīpān
kavalita-navanītaḥ pātu māṁ bāla-kṛṣṇaḥ
"That child Kṛṣṇa, who, awakening by the sound of butter churning, stealthily enters the homes of the cowherd ladies, swiftly blows out the lamps with the breeze of His lotus mouth and devours the fresh butter - may He kindly protect me." (SSPJ, p 98)
"Early in the morning by hearing the sound of churning milk, the beautiful child Kṛṣṇa woke up and stealthily entered the homes of the gopīs where they were engaged in preparing butter. He swiftly blew out the lamps and with great dexterity grabbed a handful of their freshly made butter! By such sweet, cute, playful pastimes, Bāla Kṛṣṇa nurtured and sustained the lives of His devotees with divine pleasure. May He also fondly maintain me in the same way." (Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu). (SBRBM, p 23)
daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī,
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante,
māyām etāṁ taranti te
"This "trimodal," supernatural, (alluring) deluding energy of Mine is practically insurmountable. However, those who fully surrender exclusively unto Me can certainly surpass this formidable fantasy." (B-g, 7.14)
It is better that a man who begins business with small capital has a connection with a wealthier capitalist. Then he can prosper in his business. In a similar way, as long as one is not completely established in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, s/he must have some connection with a superior aid. Then s/he will be safe. If we are to fight face to face with māyā, illusion, help from the higher agency should be our only resource. It is very difficult to control māyā. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā: "My illusory energy is impossible to overcome. Only one who surrenders to Me can cross beyond it."
Māyā dreads only Kṛṣṇa, for she has her backing from Him. If you attempt to cross māyā alone, it will be impossible. You must have some higher connection. And with the help of that connection you can overcome illusion. Māyā will withdraw only when she sees that you have the backing of a higher potency. Alone, you cannot fight and gain victory over māyā. It is impossible, because wherever you go, you are within the boundary of māyā, illusion. It may be more or less intense, but it is all māyā. Only when you really come in touch with the plane above māyā can you fight against māyā; only then will māyā withdraw. We must have some shelter beyond māyā from where we can fight with illusion. We are advised to take shelter of sādhus, saints, and śāstra, scriptures. Their help comes from above, and we must accept that help from the inner core of our hearts. (SGAHG, p 12) + (SSPJ, p 146)
Māyā, misunderstanding, is troubling the fallen souls, but misunderstanding itself cannot give them relief. The Prime Cause of misunderstanding - He alone can give them relief. "So don't go to that side, come to Me. By My instruction that māyā will leave you. She's more powerful than you; daivī - she has higher backing, so you must try to seek your relief from the higher office, and not approach directly to māyā. That will not be helpful to you. If you have My slightest backing, you can easily escape from that māyā."
Misunderstanding is there, but it is not very powerful inasmuch as it does not have its own support - it is not independent. It is also dependent on truth. Truth has the better position over misunderstanding. So you transaction should always be with the truth, with the positive. And what is positive truth? Sat-cit-ānandam: unassailable existence, self-consciousness, and fulfilment. It is fulfilment in itself. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 165)
hā rāmeti punaḥ punaḥ
uktvāpi muktim āpnoti,
kiṁ punaḥ śraddhayā gṛnan
"A hog is attacking a Muhammadan, and the Muhammadan shouts out, "hā rāma, hā rāma!" hā rāma means, "Oh Alas! That is a hog coming to attack me." But anyhow, that Rāma came to him, and it had some influence. It is possible. (SVT, v 2, # 1, J-F, '93, p 4) + (see also śloka 403)
dānaṁ svadharmmo niyamo yamaś ca,
śrutaṣ ca karmmāṇi ca sad-vratāni
paro hi yogo manasaḥ samādhiḥ
"Charity, constant and conditional prescribed duties, mental and sensual control, hearing the scriptures, holy vows and duties - all these are observed to gain subjugation of the mind. Mental control is known as the supreme yoga." (S-B, 11.23.45)
We need relief from this mind. We are surrounded by poisonous thought. In the narration of the Tridaṇḍi-sannyāsin in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, all the disciplines are common in that the mind should be checked. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 33)
'dāsa' kari' vetana more deha prema-dhana
There is only one necessity: the necessity to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And our object is prema. Prema means to acquire more energetic tendency to spread higher and higher levels of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Prema will help us more intensely to engage in service - to serve, and to get the remuneration as Prema. (SOTGOD, v 3, p 5)
ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api
teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ,
paśyann api na paśyati
"Persons devoid of ātma-tattva do not enquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children and wife. Although sufficiently experienced, they still do not see their inevitable destruction." (S-B, 2.1.4)
In this world we tend to group with those we can exploit. We are surrounded by those who supply our sense enjoyment, our sense pleasure. We are fully engrossed in their interest and only use them for own own sense pleasure. We are so much engrossed in that sort of false duty that we have not the leisure to find out about our own death that is drawing near to us. Seeing, but not seeing. It is a plain thing: everyone is going to the jaws of death with the mood, 'I see but still I can't see. I don't care to see and so I don't see. And this is the peculiar position I hold now. The danger, the final danger is approaching and I am asleep to that. I don't care to take notice of that greater duty.' What can be more strange than this?"
King Parīkṣit had only seven days more to live but Śukadeva Goswāmī told him: "You say that you have no time, only seven days. But that does not matter at all. Seven days is time enough, only the necessity is your particular attention for the solution. Only a moment is enough. There are so many trees, mountains and hills, they are living years and years, ages after ages, but to no benefit. So what is the necessity of such a long life? It is not a question of longevity or a question of time but what is necessary is the attention to one's own self: "What am I and what is mine?" With that sort of attitude our attention will be drawn to our own real interest. That is the factor, and not the question of time. There is enough time."
So seven days is enough, but the peculiar necessity is to find out how our attention can be drawn towards the reality. When that is discovered, then and there our real interest will be satisfied. And only by sādhu-saṅga, the association of the higher, highly realised souls, is that possible. (SOTGOD, v 3, p 3) (see also ślokas 230 & 523)
deha-smṛti nāhi yāra,
saṁsāra-kūpa kāhāṅ tāra,
tāhā haite nā cāhe uddhāra
gopī-gaṇe neha' tāra pāra
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued: "The gopīs are fallen in the great ocean of separation, and they are being devoured by the timiṅgila fish, which represent their ambition to serve You. The gopīs are to be delivered from the mouths of these timiṅgila fish, for they are pure devotees. Since they have no material conception of life, why should they aspire for liberation? The gopīs do not want that liberation desired by the yogīs and jñānīs, for they are already liberated from the ocean of material existence." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 13.142)
There is Kṛṣṇa-smṛti (Kṛṣṇa's law) and its opposite, deha-smṛti (bodily law). One who is unconscious of his material body has no worldly material connection. We are conscious of our material body and therefore have come in connection with the atmosphere of the material world. If we are independent of this material body then we have no connection with the mortal world. This is the medium between the material world and the ātmā, the soul. The mental system makes the first connection, then comes this body consciousness. (SOTGOD, v 3, p 7) + (see also śloka 527)
dehi pada-pallavam udāram
Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī's position is first and foremost. Śrī Jayadeva Goswāmī has written in Gita Govinda, 10.7, rādhe, rādhe, dehi pada-pallavam udāram - that Kṛṣṇa wants the feet-dust of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 195) + (see also śloka 593)
deve varṣati yajña-viplavaruṣā vajrāśma-varṣānilaiḥ
utpātyaika-karena śailamavalo līlocchilīndhraṁ yathā
bibrad goṣṭhamapān mahendram adabhit prīyān na indro gavām
"May that Lord of the cows be satisfied by us. Who is Indra when compared to Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa is the master of Indra. And yet He has appeared as the master of cows; the Supreme Absolute Truth has accepted a simple position as the keeper of cows. Superficially, He is a mere cowherd boy. But let that cowherd boy, who holds within Him the power of controlling the whole universe, be satisfied with us. We want to worship that Lord who has taken the humble position of the king of the cows." (S-B, 10.26.25)
The very gist of the Govardhana līlā, the very substance of the pastime, is represented in this verse. The milkmen in Vṛndāvana used to observe a sacrifice to satisfy the king of heaven, Indra, at whose command the rain, clouds, and other subtle elementary powers move. As the main wealth of the cowherd men is the cow, and the cow's main food is grass, the cowherd men used to perform sacrifice to satisfy Indra so favourable rains would come and there would then be sufficient grass.
The cows could then graze easily on the grass and generate milk profusely. The gopas, the cowherd men and their families used to make different preparations from the milk, and sell them in the marketplace, and in that way earn their livelihood. As the grazing ground in one place was finished, they would move from one forest to another. Only for the purpose of obtaining grass for the cows, Kṛṣṇa's father Nanda Mahārāja and the cowherd men would wander from one place to the next. In this way, they lived sometimes in Vṛndāvana, sometimes in Nandagrāma, and sometimes in Gokula.
Once, Kṛṣṇa wanted to assert Himself and modify the worship of Indra. He wanted to establish His own domain, Vṛndāvana, in its pristine glory. Although Kṛṣṇa appeared to be only a seven year old boy, He had extraordinary capacity. In the Padma Purāṇa it is said that the development or growth of special personalities is one and a half times that of ordinary persons. Although Kṛṣṇa was only seven years old by ordinary calculation, He was eleven according to general calculation.
Kṛṣṇa said: "Why should we perform this sacrifice to Indra? We have a direct concern with Govardhana Hill and not Indra." He announced this idea to the gopas, and somehow, willingly or reluctantly, the gopas submitted to the advice of Kṛṣṇa. Nanda Mahārāja was influenced by affection for his son, and, because he was the king, he told them: "This time we shall worship Govardhana Hill and not Indra."
And so the gopas, the milkmen of Vṛndāvana, followed Kṛṣṇa's advice - some reluctantly and some willingly - and they began the sacrifice for Govardhana Hill. When this news reached Indra, he thought to himself: "A boy of special capacity lives here. Now he has taken the leadership of Vṛndāvana and stopped this ancient sacrifice to me. For a long time it was the tradition for the gopas to perform sacrifice to satisfy me, and now one young boy is the cause of stopping my sacrifice." He was very much enraged. Indra ordered the clouds, wind, rain and lightning to attack and devastate the residents and whole area of Gokula Vṛndāvana.
According to Vedic understanding, all the elements are personified. In ancient days, the Aryans and Rājarṣis, elevated human beings and great sages, used to see everything in a personal way, as persons. They understood that they were all persons who, according to karma, are wandering through the different species of life. Whatever we consider to be elementary matter, gross and subtle, were all considered by the ancient seers of the truth to be persons.
Indra commanded the wind, the clouds, and the rain to go and devastate the whole area of Gokula Vṛndāvana. "The residents of Vṛndāvana have insulted me!" He said. "They have rejected me, have stopped worshipping me, and are instead worshipping that mountain, that hill of Govardhana. I can't tolerate this insult! Go and devastate them."
By the order and wrath of Indra, the master of all the higher subtle elements, heavy rain began to fall. And so thunder, lightning, hail, and rain simultaneously attacked the whole of Vraja Maṇḍala. Consequently, all the residents of Vṛndāvana were thrown into a great disaster. Misery, pain and sorrow afflicted the animals and the protectors of the animals, the gopālas. So the helpless - the women, children, and animals of Vṛndāvana - had no alternative but to take refuge of Kṛṣṇa. They all came to Kṛṣṇa for relief. They cried: "O Kṛṣṇa! Now what are we to do? You influenced us to stop the sacrifice meant for Indra, and now Indra, being vindictive, has begun to afflict us in this very heavy way. How can we live? Please save us!" They all came to Kṛṣṇa for protection.
Seeing this, Kṛṣṇa had much pity for them. Being merciful upon them, He smiled a little, thinking: "They have all come to Me for relief." At that time, with only one hand Kṛṣṇa uprooted and lifted up the Govardhana Hill as easily as a child lifts a toy ball. And holding up that great mountain, Kṛṣṇa gave protection to all those residents who were living in Gokula. The men, women, and children of Vṛndāvana brought the cows and all their worldly goods and took shelter beneath Govardhana Hill. The whole cowherd society was given shelter under that hill. In this way, Kṛṣṇa gave protection to the residents of Vṛndāvana, and crushed the pride of the lord of heaven, Indra himself.
And so Nanda Mahārāja presented this prayer: deve varṣati yajña-viplavaruṣā vajrāśma-varṣānilaiḥ. From this verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, we can understand the position of the Lord's pastime at Govardhana. It is also described that when the Vrajavāsis worshipped Him and engaged in sacrifice for His satisfaction, they saw Govardhana Hill as the Supreme Person, extending His hands, accepting the things offered to Him, and feeding Himself.
At that time, Kṛṣṇa pointed out: "You see! You thought that Govardhana Hill was only a heap of stone. No - it is living, it is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." At that time, Kṛṣṇa revealed Himself as Govardhana Hill and showed how it is also His extended self. (Kṛṣṇa supported Govardhana Hill with the little finger of His left hand, and afterwards His friends, the cowherd men and boys told Him: "You did not hold it alone, we also helped You with our sticks! Be reminded of it, You could not do it alone!" They considered: "He possesses some peculiar power no doubt, but still He is one of us.")
According to authorities in our line, Rādhā-kuṇḍa is the extended self of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and Govardhana is the extended self of Kṛṣṇa. Varṣāṇā Hill is a manifestation of Brahmā. Nanda-grāma Hill is Śiva, and Caranpam is a manifestation of Śeṣa. And so we worship a stone from Govardhana Hill, a part of Girīdhārī, as Kṛṣṇa Himself.
We may understand from this that a part of the infinite is infinite. And yet so feeble is our ordinary vision that although Govardhana-sīlā is a part of the infinite, and therefore also infinite, to our material vision it is only a piece of stone, but its possibility is infinite.
In the general sense, Einstein's theory of relativity has announced that anything we see is that thing plus something more. In his own scientific way he explains that the reality of a thing includes its possibilities, its prospect - reality is not at a standstill. Reality is not limited to what is seen or conceived by our senses. Our vision or estimation of anything may be limited, but unknown to us, its prospect may be unlimited. Everything has infinite possibility. We do not even know what infinite possibility a particle of sand may have. We do not know what sort of possibility may exist within a leaf of a plant. It may appear ordinary, but it may contain invaluable medicinal properties.
A part of the infinite is infinite. The Govardhana-sīlā represents Kṛṣṇa as the master and keeper of cows. Within Govardhana is that mild and soft conception of God the Beautiful. We beg for His mercy, His affection, and His gracious glance upon us. That may save us from the negative influence of this material environment. (see also śloka 434) + (LSFTLS, p 35-38)
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-
kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, here also gāyatrī says 'dhīmahi.'''dhīmahi' means, chidanuśīlana, or spiritual cultivation. In that stage it will be venerable, spiritual cultivation. dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ. By the halo of that noble substance, all misunderstandings will be cleared and we shall have the connection of the real Truth as a whole. In addition, we shall be blessed by the higher rewards of our attempt when properly guided in that direction. satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi: It is the realm of prajñāna (prakṛṣṭa-jñāna ), the mystic, higher, inconceivable, conscious experience. It is proper knowledge in the universal characteristic, and whatever we find in this world is defective knowledge. (S-B, 1.1.1) + (SGD, SGP, '97, p 19) + (see also śloka 197)
In His abode, which is illumined by the ray of His own knowledge, there is no possibility of deception or misunderstanding. (dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi ). Here, we are being deceived through misunderstanding. We have entered a plane of existence where the whole world is full of misconception, falsity, and miscalculation. We are presently living in the world of māyā, māyā means mā - yā: "What is not." I am seeing something which is really something else." (TSFSK, p 47) + (see also śloka 197)
That worshippable plane of transcendental existence is known as bhargo, bhargo means the supersubjective area, the area of the Supersoul. This is mentioned in the first verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi. Śrīla Vyāsadeva says that here he is going to deal with another world whose pristine glory is so great that by its own ray, all misconceptions are brushed aside. The subject is the soul, and its object is all these worlds of experience. And the supersubject is the venerable area which is superior to the subject, the soul - that is the supersubjective area." (SEOC, p 160) + (see also śloka 197)
dhana-śiṣyādibhir-dvārair yā bhaktir upapādyate
vidūratvād uttamatāhānya tasyāś ca nāṅgatā
"If one relies on one's disciples or wealth to attain bhakti, his devotional practice will certainly become slackened. One cannot claim that one is engaged in devotional service simply on the basis of engaging one's money or disciples in bhakti. To rely on money and disciples to perform devotional service in one's place is not considered to be a branch of pure devotion." (B-r-s, Pūrva-vibhāga, 12.128)
dhana ṣiṣya dibhirdāraiḥ - Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī says in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: "Whereby we can feel, have some type of attraction towards Him by sacrificing dhan - money, ṣiṣya - men who are submissive to us; By them, by good work that they are producing, ṣiṣya dibhirdāraiḥ, - or by a good wife. ie., My wife may be a devotee and I may think that by that connection I will get devotion. Or, my disciple will be a devotee and in that way I shall acquire some devotion - No! That is small. That is a lower type of devotion - not pure. So, you are to give everything not by second representation, not through a representative - but you, you yourself have to give, to give away to Him, everything! Then, there will be pure devotion." (SS, v 3, # 1, '85, p 9)
dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ,
na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ
na siddha-mukhyā asurā manuṣyāḥ,
kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādayaḥ
"Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas." (S-B, 6.3.19)
Even great scholars and stalwarts of the religious world cannot comprehend the quality of life of surrender to Kṛṣṇa (na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ ); what, then, can common humans comprehend? (SOTGOD, v 1, p 61)
dharmaś carma gato 'jñātaiva satatā yogaś ca bhogātmako
jñāne śūnya-gatir japena tapasā khātir jighāṁsaiva ca
dāne dambhikatānurāga bhajane duṣṭāpacāro yadā
buddhiṁ buddhi-matāṁ vibhada hi tadā dhātrā bhavān preṣiṭaḥ
"O Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, you appeared at the hour of our greatest need. At that time, everyone practised body-worship and flesh religion, which any honest man will admit is ignorance. The yogīs were cheating the public with cheap miracles, exploiting them for money and pleasure. The philosophers, bewildered in trying to capture the infinite, found that their knowledge had led them to the void of nihilism. The mutterers of mantras were working to become well-known japa-chanters. Ascetics practised murderous torture for spiritual suicide. The proud gave in charity only to secure their fame. And all these abominable acts were performed in the name of anurāga-bhajan, the highest devotion to Godhead. At that dark hour, when all good intelligence had been spoiled by misconception, you were sent be the will of Providence." (S-B-v-d, 4)
This poem was composed by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Goswāmī, about Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. It is one of ten prayers, collectively known as Śrīmad Bhaktivinoda-viraha-daśakam, expressing deep separation from Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura appreciated that very much. And he told that: "It is not he who has written, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has written through him."
And some other place he has told: "Oh, I am confident that, what I came to inform, to teach the people, that will be left after me." And, to 'me', while reading the composition, he told: "A very happy style you have given to the śloka." (Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Goswāmī).
dharmaś carma gato - "You came in a period when your necessity was felt the highest. What was going on at that time, in the name of religion, devotion?
dharmaś carma gato - They preached that what has no interest with this body that cannot be called religion. Religion mainly came in relation to the bodily connection they asserted.
jñātaiva satatā - And who is an honest man? An idiot is an honest man.
yogaś ca bhogātmako, yoga - this from jīvātmā to paramātmā - that took the shape of the yogīs. They came to make trade, to show some miracles to the people and get some money or something, good name, bhogātmako.
jñāne śūnya-gatir - And what is the achievement of pure knowledge? That is to be resolved in nil? In zero? That is the highest achievement of knowledge. To take us to…
śūnya-gatir japena tapasā, And by this japam and tapasā, penances…
khātir jighāṁsaiva ca - But, to get some prestige, some popularity by this japam? One is making this japam (chanting the Holy Names), his attention is toward that of the appreciation of the people. A popularity seeker. And tapasā: the penance of vindictiveness, that penance was used in tapasā.
dāne dambhikatā - And the gift, the donation - that took the shape of Brahman; "I can give so much. I am a great giver in this game - a fame seeker. I am a great man. I have made a gift to so many places." A class of ego creates:
anurāga bhajane - And in the name of this loving service, duṣṭā-pacāro yadā, this mundane practice. These mundane practices went on in the name of anurāga bhajane.
dhātrā bhavān preṣiṭaḥ - In such a critical moment, you were sent by the Provident Sphere. (SGG, v 4) + (SS, v 3, # 1, '85, p 10-11) + (S K M, p51) + (see also śloka 573)
dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ
mahā-jano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ
Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja said: "The real secret, the solid truth of religious principles is hidden and concealed in the hearts of unadulterated self-realised persons, saints, just as treasure is hidden in a mysterious cave. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahā-janas advocate." (M, V-p )
The broad line towards the truth is chalked out by those who are going to the divine world. And that is our surest guide. All other methods of guidance may be eliminated because calculation is fallible. (LSFTLS, p 5) + (see ślokas 492 & 347)
dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra
paramo nirmat-sarāṇāṁ satāṁ
vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu
kṛte kiṁ vā parair īśvaraḥ
sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate 'tra
kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt
"Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhāgavata-Purāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhāgavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyāsadeva (in his maturity), is sufficient in itself for God realisation. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhāgavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart." (S-B, 1.1.2.)
"The religion of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is free from the deceptions of the four ends of humanity (dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa - religiosity or duty, economic development or wealth, material desire or sense pleasure, and liberation or salvation), and it is the religion of the true saints. Nirmmatsara means 'an impartial mentality,' and matsara refers to the jealous. 'So far, I have given advises to that particular section which is not free from egoistic thinking. I have dealt with them. But now I shall deal with the normal - thinking, the good - hearted people. I shall now advise them.' Because it will be difficult to dissuade the people from the path taught by you, I have therefore come to you. Only through you can the higher, developed conception be given to them. This is the only way."
So Śrī Vyāsadeva was chastised in this way by Devarṣi Nārada. Then, with an outline of ten basic principles (Bhā, 2.20.1,2. (?) he had to meditate, assimilate, and finally reproduce. Devaṛṣi Nārada left the āśrama, and Śrī Vyāsadeva began to meditate and assimilate. "So far, this was my conception of religion and non-religion; now some new light has been given to me, and in perspective I have to think out the whole system; the whole system must be coloured with a new colour. A new colour should be given to everything I delivered previously." So, he came to write Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
And he also felt, "Mokṣa, the Brahma-jñāna (liberation in the non-differentiated Absolute), has been given the highest position. Now, the higher conception that has been given to me by Devarṣi Nārada must be delivered to the world by a person whose Brahma-jñāna is unquestionably admitted by all the scholars." So he searched for Śukadeva Goswāmī. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 146-7) + (see also śloka 346)
Our Guru Mahārāja's (Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura) translation of this śloka explains that: "Of all the words and tales that are running in this world in the name of religion, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says that all is false, all is false, all is tampered with and not pure, not pure! The pure type of religion is not yet spoken. It is there, all self-centred, the current is towards the centre, not only selflessness but self-sacrificing, self-forgiving, self-forgetfulness, in that way we are to start, we are to start, we are to go." (GOD, p 30)
dhīrārādhanam eva nānyaditi tad rādhā-padaṁ dhīmahi
"All other services are represented fully in Rādhikā.
Like branches they are all part of Her.
Mādhura-rasa is the chief or mukhya-rasa, the combination of all rasas.
Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is Mahābhava - She represents the entire serving attitude."
(Part of the Full-fledged Conception of the Gāyatrī Mantra)
(B-g, by Srila B. R. Sridhara Deva Goswami, p xvi)
(SEOC, p 162) + (see also śloka 100)
dhyeyaṁ sadā paribhava-ghnam abhīṣṭa-dohaṁ
tīrthāspadaṁ śiva-viriṣci-nutaṁ śaraṇyam
bhṛtyārti-haṁ praṇata-pāla bhavābdhi-potaṁ
vande mahā-puruṣa te caraṇāravindam
"O guardian of the surrendered, O great personality (the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, who enacts His divine pastimes as a pure devotee - mahā-bhāgavata), You alone are the reality to be constantly meditated upon by the pure souls. You are the destroyer of the soul's illusion, You are the divine wish-fulfilling tree, the refuge of all devotees. Worshippable by Śiva and Viriṣci (Sadāśiva in the form of Śrī Advaita Ācārya, and Brahmā in the form of Haridāsa Ṭhākura), You are the shelter of all and everything, and You are the dispeller of Your devotees' suffering which originates in offences to the Holy Name (nāma-aparādha ). You are the only boat for crossing the ocean of this material world of suffering. I do worship Your holy lotus feet." (S-B, 11.5.33) + (SSPJ, p 32)
"O Mahāprabhu, Your lotus feet are the highest object of meditation, for they not only destroy the pain of material existence, but they bestow the greatest fulfilment to all souls who take shelter beneath them. Your lotus feet even purify all saintly persons and holy places. Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā aspire to take shelter beneath Your lotus feet. O Mahāprabhu, You give shelter to all who simply bow down before You. You relieve all the miseries of Your surrendered servants. In the grand ship of Your lotus feet, we can cross over this ocean of material miseries. O Mahāprabhu, I bow down before Your lotus feet." (S-B, 11.5.33) + (TGVODL, p 6)
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam explains here: "That same personality who came as Rāmacandra and Kṛṣṇa has again appeared. He has come to direct us to the real fulfilment of life. He is drawing the sweetest nectar from above for the sake of everyone. Meditate only on Him and all your troubles will be finished. He purifies all holy places of pilgrimage and great saintly persons by His touch and by His saṅkīrtana. He draws the highest thing down from the highest plane. And even Brahmā and Śiva, puzzled by His noble gift, will begin to praise Him. They will eagerly aspire to take shelter under His lotus feet in surrender. The pains of all who come to serve Him will be removed, and their inner necessities will be fulfilled. And He will take care of those who take shelter of Him; they will be given protection as well as everything they may need. In this world where mortality rules, where we are continually experiencing the undesirable changes of repeated birth and death, in this area where no one wants to live, a great ship will come for us and take us within, and carry us away from this unpleasant position. Let us fall at the feet of that great personality who comes to give us the highest nectar." (S-B, 11.5.33) + (LSFTLS, p 1V) + (see also śloka 529)
dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kare ātma-samarpaṇa,
sei kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kare ātma-sama
sei deha kare tāra cid-ānanda-maya,
aprākṛta-dehe tāṅra caraṇa bhajaya
"At the time of initiation, when a devotee fully surrenders unto the service of the Lord, Kṛṣṇa accepts him to be as good as Himself." - "When the devotee's body is thus transformed into spiritual existence, the devotee, in that transcendental body, renders service to the lotus feet of the Lord." (C-c, Antya-līlā, 4.192-3)
Previously I said that dīkṣā was the process by which Divine Knowledge is imparted, the knowledge of the infinite world is imparted, to the finite. What is that process? dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kare ātma-samarpaṇa: the candidate must fully surrender to a knowledge that is coming down and being imparted to him.
sei kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kare ātma-sama: Kṛṣṇa accepts him as His own. It is necessary for him to give up all his knowledge of experience, fully, perfectly, and clean-handed. Naked, he will be prepared to accept the higher knowledge, and the higher knowledge will absorb him as His own. sei deha kare tāra cid-ānanda-maya: from that time, he gets a conception of another body, not this body of flesh and blood or the mind. His ego becomes coloured by the higher knowledge. He hopes for another personification of his own. And aprākṛta-dehe tāṅra caraṇa bhajaya: in that body he can serve Kṛṣṇa, not this body of flesh or the mental body which is drawn from the experience of this world. These are unfit. Only the new body, the inner body that comes in contact with that Divinity - that body or ego, can enter there and serve; and this is by the Grace, always by the Grace, and not as a matter of right; still, the Grace is so lenient that a servitor may think: "It is my right." Really, in taṭastha-vicāra (impartial judgement), if from our relative position we venture to tackle the absolute conception, we can only think that we are unfit. Only through Grace can we attain a position there." (SOTGOD, v 2, p 183-4)
divyad vṛndāranya kalpadrumādhaḥ
dolāranyāmbu-baṁśī-hṛti-rati-madhupāna - arka-pūjādi līlā
Previously Ācārya Nimbārka-pāda had nicely presented to the devotees the nature of loving devotional service to Śrī Rādhikā but it was not complete. Therefore it was later further enriched and elaborated by Śrī Rūpa Goswāmī-pāda. Those who had no entrance into the Madhyānha-līlā (the noon pastimes of the Divine Couple) gave their full appreciation to Nimbārka-pāda's presentation. But when Śrī Gaurasundara and some of His foremost beloved associates such as Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī-pāda further revealed the transcendental inner pastimes of Śrī Rādhā Govinda they were greatly happy to receive that deeper elaboration. Prior to Lord Gaurāṅga's appearance no other ācārya could fully present the higher, secret devotional mellows of acintya-bheda-ābheda tattva, the plane of confidential, mellow laden pastimes of Goloka. They revealed the message of the ever new divine love sports under the desire tree nearby the flower grove situated on the banks of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa in an excellently complete way.
(divyad vṛndāranya kalpadrumādhaḥ) Devotees were aware of the pastimes like the rasa dance but did not have entrance into the esoteric love imbued midday service of the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu unto Her beloved paramour Kṛṣṇa. Previously they heard that being attracted by the flute song many of the married and unmarried Vraja gopīs had entrance into the rasa dance to unitedly dance with Kṛṣṇa. But the message of topmost conjugal loving pastimes of the Divine Couple as mentioned in this verse (dolāranyāmbu-baṁśī-hṛti-rati-madhupāna - arka-pūjādi līlā) composed by Śrī Rūpa Goswāmī, were not available to anyone except the pure devotees of Śrī Gaurāṅga, the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas who were servitors of the Mādhura-rasa. No one can really know anything or attain anything of the world of pure loving devotional service except those who are eternally engaged in the same. (ARO, p 14)
divyaṁ jñānaṁ yato dadyāt,
kuryāt pāpasya saṅkṣayam
tasmād dīkṣeti sā proktā,
"The process by which divine knowledge (divyaṁ jñānaṁ ) is given and sins are destroyed is called dīkṣā by the highly learned scholars who are expert in spiritual affairs." (H-b-v, 27 - from V-Y )
Experienced scholars have explained the meaning of dīkṣā, or spiritual initiation, in this way: dīkṣā is the process through which transcendental knowledge is imparted by the preceptor to the disciple. As a result, all the disciple's previous bad tendencies are crushed. Through dīkṣā, all previous commitments are cleared, and one gets the light of new life in relationship with the transcendental Lord. Dīkṣā, or initiation, is a process by which we are given a noble connection with the absolute centre and at the same time, our previous commitments are all finished. It is an inner awakenment of life that brings divine knowledge. That wealth is there within us, but it is suppressed. Dīkṣā means discovering one's inner wealth, and getting relief from all outward obligations.
With inner awakenment, the outward commitments vanish, just as when you reach home, all other arrangements you may have contracted for your comforts are all cut off, for at home you find full comfort.
In a similar way, with the inner awakenment of the soul, when we return back home, back to Godhead, we will find our comfortable home with Kṛṣṇa. So, to make a connection with our real home and dispense with out outward links is known as dīkṣā. The difference between śikṣā and dīkṣā is that dīkṣā mainly involves initiation into the mantra, the spiritual formula. Other instructions are necessary to substantiate it, to help it become effective. Certain activities are also helpful. These are all parts and parcels of initiation. So, a general direction is given by dīkṣā, but how to substantiate that? Details are necessary - (see also śloka 456) + (B S-868) + (SGAHG, p 9)
Dīkṣā is the process by which divya-jñāna or transcendental knowledge is imparted to a person. Upanayana means that a new eye is given to the person: "The eye with which you now see cannot see correctly. But the eye is given from the Vedas, as Gāyatrī. From this time onwards try to learn your environment in a different way." (B S, 868) + (SOTGOD, v 2, p 164) + (see also śloka 292)
dṛṣṭvedaṁ mānuṣaṁ rūpaṁ,
tava saumyaṁ janārdana
idānīm asmi saṁvṛttaḥ,
sa-cetāḥ prakṛtiṁ gataḥ
"O Janārdana, my heart is fulfilled upon seeing Your charming form of human features. My fear is dispelled, and my inner peace has returned." (B-g, 11.51)
Arjuna said: "O Śrī Kṛṣṇa, seeing this charming two-armed, human-featured form of Yours, now my heart has become fulfilled and pacified. Now I have come to my normal position." (see also ślokas 331 & 484) + (SOTGOD, v 3, p 26)
durllabha mānava janma labhiyā saṁsāre
kṛṣṇa nā bhajinu duḥkha kahiba kāhāre?
"What a great loss I am incurring, neglecting this chance! To whom should I tell it, and who will believe that I am consciously missing such a great chance? Who should I tell about my disastrous misfortune? To whom should I divulge my heart? Who will care to give me audience? Such a great chance I am trampling under my feet - I have attained this human birth, and I have just come into the vicinity of the greatest fortune and I neglect it?" (Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura) (SOTGOD, v 2, p 97)
duṣṭa phala karibe arjjana
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gives warning that we will get only a bad result if we venture to cross the line; a bad effect will come to us. Aparādha. From the lower position, anartha, the steps are shown. Śraddhā, sādhu-saṅga, śravana, kīrttana, then anartha-nivṛtti - the undesirable things will vanish altogether. Then ruci, then āsakti, then bhāva-bhakti - the sprout of real devotion. The prema-bhakti, and sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, bhāva, mahābhāva. By such steps we are to approach there. (SGD, '96, p 30)
'dvaite bhadrābhadra-jñāna, saba-'manodharma'
'ei bhāla, ei manda',-ei saba 'bhrama'
"In the material world, conceptions of good and bad are all mental concoctions. Therefore, saying, `This is good, this is bad,' is a mistake." (C-c, Antya-līlā, 4.176)
Fair and unfair are both false. They are just like a dream. One may have a good dream or a bad dream. In either case it is only dreaming. So one should not waste energy to remove the unfair and increase the fairness. Fair, unfair - it is all false, completely false. The basis of this calculation is false. Our real interest is not there. It is a false scent we are pursuing. Our fulfilment is not to be found in that direction at all. (SEOC, p 113)
Sumati means a good disposition, but good in its fullest conception must come in devotion to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. 'dvaite bhadrābhadra-jñāna, saba-'manodharma'. The calculation of good and bad in this misconceived area is necessarily all false, wholesale. On the other hand what is good or bad in the plane of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, both are ultimately good. Both the opposition party and the substantive party have a good position there, both are efficacious. (C, v 1, #7, Spr. '95, p 7)
dvāpare bhagavāṣ śyāmaḥ,
śrīvatsādibhir aṅkaiś ca,
In Dvāpara-yuga, Lord Kṛṣṇa appears with the colour of a dark rain cloud, wearing lightning-coloured garments. He is decorated with beautiful ornaments, His chest bears the mark of Śrīvatsa, and He carries His own weapons. (S-B, 11.5.27)
In the teachings of Karabhājana Ṛṣī we find mention of the different incarnations for different ages. In Dvāpara-yuga, the yugāvatāra is mentioned above. After the description of the yugāvatāra of Dvāpara-yuga, Karabhājana Ṛṣī mentions the kali-yugāvatāra - (see also śloka 191) + (TGVODL, p 1)
kalau tadd hari-kīrttanāt
kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ,
tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
kalau tadd hari-kīrttanāt
"Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord's lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra." (S-B, 12.3.52 )
Although every Kali-yuga He appears to spread Nāma-saṅkīrttana, and every Dvāpara-yuga Kṛṣṇa also comes, those are partial representations and not Svayaṁ Bhagavān (the Supreme Lord in Person). The Yugāvatāras or Descents for certain ages, are not Svayaṁ Bhagavān. Svayaṁ Bhagavān comes only once in the day of Brahmā, and so Mahāprabhu as Rādhā and Govinda combined (Rādhā-Govinda-milita-tanu) also appears only once in a day of Brahmā, in Nabadwīpa. In all other Dvāpara-and Kali-yugas ordinary Kṛṣṇāvatāras and Gaurāvatāras appear, only to preach general worship (paricaryya) and general Nāma-saṅkīrttana, as mentioned in the Bhāgavatam (dvāpare paricaryyāyāṁ kalau tadd hari-kīrttanāt ). (SOTGOD, v 2, p 98)
dvāparīyair janair viṣṇuḥ
paṣcarātraiś ca kevalam
kalau tu nāma-mātreṇa
pūjyate bhagavān hariḥ
"In Dvāpara-yuga, Lord Viṣṇu is exclusively worshipped by the people according to the principles of Deity worship delineated in the Paṣcarātra scripture, but in Kali-yuga, the Supreme Lord Hari is worshipped only by the chanting of His Holy Name." (M ) + (SOTGOD, v 2, p 23)
dvāv imau puruṣau loke,
kṣaraś cākṣara eva ca
kṣaraḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni,
kūṭa-stho 'kṣara ucyate
uttamaḥ puruṣas tv anyaḥ,
yo loka-trayam āviśya,
bibharty avyaya īśvaraḥ
"In this world, there are two kinds of souls: the fallible and the infallible. All beings from Lord Brahmā down to the lowest stationary life-forms are known a fallible (as they have deviated from their intrinsic nature). But the personalities who are eternally situated in their divine nature are known as infallible (personal associates of the Lord).
But totally distinct from both these types of souls, there is a Supreme Person who is known as Paramātmā, the Supersoul. He is the Supreme Lord. Entering into the three worlds in His eternal form, He maintains all beings in the universe." (B-g, 15.16-17)
With the dissolution of material energy, the ātmā or individual soul is absorbed in brahman, the non-differentiated mass of consciousness. The position of the different kinds of spiritual energy has been described here in Bhagavad-gītā.
"There are two kinds of beings - the perfect and unchanging, or infallible, and the fallible souls. The fallible souls reside in the material world and the infallible souls reside in the spiritual world." Kṛṣṇa says: "I exist transcending both fallible and infallible aspects of spiritual substance (kṣara and akṣara ), so I am Puruṣottama, Vāsudeva, Param Brahma, the Supreme Absolute Truth. Within Me the whole of My jurisdiction is also to be considered."
Vaikuṇṭha, Goloka - the whole creation - is represented by the Name of Puruṣottama or Vāsudeva. Then, when one enters into that domain of Vāsudeva, he can see so many demarcations, stages of reality, pastimes, and transcendental dealings and activities. There he will find the perfect living beings busy in their dedicated life in the eternal world. The general conception of the spiritual world is Vaikuṇṭha wherein we find calculative dedication. Above that is the plane of spontaneous dedication. That realm is called Goloka, and there are many different kinds of pastimes there, where all the various relationships with Godhead are represented in full. (SEOC, p 27)
eho bāhya āge kaha āra
"This is superficial; go further." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 8.51-313).
In His conversation with Rāmānanda Rāya, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu rejected devotion contaminated with reason. He said: eho bāhya āge kaha āra, "This is superficial; go further." Mahāprabhu accepted that real bhakti begins from the stage of pure devotion, unmixed with reason. When Rāmānanda suggested dāsya-rasa Mahāprabhu said: "This is good, but go further." Then Rāmānanda mentioned sakhya-rasa: Mahāprabhu said: "This is also good, but go further." Then he came to vatsalya-rasa, the son-hood of Godhead. "This is very good," Mahāprabhu said: "But go further." Then he came to mādhurya-rasa: "Yes," Mahāprabhu said: "This is the best." At that stage in the development of rasa, Vṛndāvana is the most suitable place. (SGAHG, p 147-8) + (see also śloka 397)
In His talks with Rāmānanda Rāya, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu repeatedly says: eho bāhya āge kaha āra. "Go further, go deeper, go higher!" (LSFTLS, p 9) Śrī Caitanyadeva said: eho bāhya āge kaha āra. "The divine life you are searching for is; now go further." In this way, with good faith, śraddhā, one can thus progress. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 62)
ei du'yera madhye viṣayī tabu bhāla
māyāvādī saṅga nāhi māgi kona kāla
"The company of ordinary persons, misguided souls in the ordinary street, is somewhat better than the company and influence of the so-called scholars." (TSOBT, S, p 31)
Many of us boast of our knowledge. But the bhakti school is striking a hammer on the head of knowledge or jñāna. Rather, ignorance is better than knowledge! Can you accept that? Knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance! Why? Because the so-called learned are proud by comparison. They are more confident that they are holding a higher position, and to remove them from that position is very difficult. Qualitatively, they are in a position above the ordinary labourer, so they are confident of their superiority. So to relieve them of that proud superiority is more difficult then to relieve an ordinary labourer of his, or her ignorance. That would be easy. It is easy to educate an uneducated person, but to educate an 'educated' person is more difficult. He, or she, has firmly entrenched himself in his superiority, so s/he won't budge an inch from that position. That sort of subtle poison is very difficult and dangerous to remove. They're proud, thinking: "I know. I hold a higher position than the ordinary mass." That sort of ego is very difficult to remove. Ordinary persons may think: "Yes, we are culprits." Also, the ego of the ordinary religious men is very difficult to remove. "Oh, I am a religious man." It is very difficult to remove his so-called faith and religion, to give him something higher. This is the practical experience, and it is also advised in śāstra. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 209-210) + (see also śloka 549)
ei mata dine dine,
nija-bhāva karena vidita
bāhye viṣa-jvālā haya,
kṛṣṇa-premāra adbhuta carita
"In this way, Lord Caitanya used to revel in ecstasy day after day and exhibit these ecstasies before Svarūpa and Rāmānanda Rāya. Externally there appeared severe tribulation, as if He were suffering from poisonous effects, but internally He was experiencing bliss. This is characteristic of transcendental love of Kṛṣṇa." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 2.50)
Our victory on the surface cannot eliminate the apprehension within for the reaction, we cannot be satisfied with that. In the demonic state, it can be absolved to a certain extent due to ignorance, but pain is there. As much as one is cognisant, he will suffer the heinous actions towards others - the pain connected with that. But there is the Kṛṣṇa conception wherein just the reverse is apparent.
Here also in the world, we find so many persons have spent their lives helping others. So many examples are there. They are outwardly living a poor life, but internally, they are happy. So also in the Kṛṣṇa conception, those that are wholly given to Kṛṣṇa are posted such that externally, they may be seen to feel the pain of separation from Kṛṣṇa and so many other things but internally, they are in touch with Absolute joy - they have done the right things. The quality is of the highest degree, and joy is of the highest type - everything for Kṛṣṇa. Reality is for Itself. I am for Himself - I am in the finest harmony - no hitch. There is no possibility of a hitch from a dislocated connection - it is smoothly progressing. No pleasure - no pain. "The sweetest songs are those that tell the saddest tales." (see also śloka 352) + (see also śloka 76) (SS, v 2, # 1, '84, p 7)
ei nava-dāsī bali śrī-rūpa cahibe,
hena śubha-kśaṇa mora kati-dine habe
śīghra ajñā karibena dāsī heṭha āya,
sebāra susajja-kārya karaha twarāya
ānandita hāṣa hiya ajñā-bale,
pavitra manete kārya karibe tat-kāle
sevāra samāgri ratna-khalate kariyā,
subasita bāri swarṇa-jharite pūriya
doṅhāra sammukhe lā'ye diba śīghra-gati,
narottamera dāsa kabe haibe e-mati
"I long for that day when, at some auspicious moment, Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī will affectionately recognise me and ask if I am the newly recruited maidservant she was expecting. Giving me a special privilege, she will affectionately order me: "O devoted one, come forward and prepare everything very nicely for the Divine Couple." Being empowered and inspired by her order, my heart will be filled with great delight and I will perform all services with pure devotion. I will fervently wait for Their affectionate orders and, knowing Their need, I will quickly carry to the Divine Couple a jewelled tray of Their favourite paraphernalia. They will be pleased as I fill a golden goblet with aromatic tasty water and promptly place it before Them, running in delight and excitement. O compassionate Rūpa Mañjarī! When, when will I, Narottama, be blessed with the attainment of such ecstatic fulfilment?" (P, 18) + (SBRBM, p 44-45)
eka bhāgavata baḍa - bhāgavata-śāstra
āra bhāgavata - bhakta bhakti-rasa-pātra
This verse explains that there are two types of Bhāgavatas: the book Bhāgavata and the person Bhāgavata. Bhakti-rasa-pātra means the sādhu, one who is living the life of a Bhāgavata. Bhāgavata-rasa-pātra means 'one containing divine rasam pertaining to Bhagavān.' Living scripture is Bhāgavata and the Vaiṣṇava is Bhāgavata. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavata is the scripture, and the person Bhāgavata is also the scripture. Bhakti-rasa-pātra means a person who is 'filled up,' or a pot which is filled up with rasa - raso vai saḥ. He is full of ānandam. pātra means 'person' as well as 'pot'. There are two meanings of the word pātra: it means both a 'pot, glass, container,' and 'the person who is also a 'container.' (C-c, Ādi-līlā, 1.99) + (SOTGOD, v 3, p 20)
eka kṛṣṇa-nāme yata pāpa hare
pātakī sādhya nāhi tata pāpa kare
"No sinner can commit as much sin as one Name of Kṛṣṇa can destroy." (SCS, p 37) + (see also śloka 318)
"One Name of Kṛṣṇa can remove so much ignorance, that a man has got no power to commit so much sin." But what is that Name? We are taking that Name so many times, but we do not get the result of even one Name. So, this ordinary name, this superficial, this māyic name and that Name has got great difference. That Name is one and the same with Him, and That comes down to our level. We cannot chant it by dint of our tongue or lip. Not lip-deep, but heart deep. And beyond heart also it reaches to the land of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa comes here; the Name Kṛṣṇa, He comes through the heart on the tongue - that is Kṛṣṇa Nāma. (SVT, v 2, # 1, Jan.-Feb. '93, p 18) + (see also śloka 63)
ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya
yāre yaiche nācāya, se taiche kare nṛtya
"Lord Kṛṣṇa alone is the supreme controller, and all others are His servants. They dance as He makes them do so." (C-c, Ādī-līlā, 5.142)
ei mata caitanya-gosāṣi ekale īśvara
āra saba pāriṣada, keha vā kiṅkara
"Thus Lord Caitanya is also the only controller. All others are His associates or servants." (C-c, Ādī-līlā, 5.143)
So, we should not judge the position of a Vaiṣṇava by the magnitude of his external activities alone. Of course, we cannot ignore the service rendered by a devotee. That is a noble thing, that is a great thing, but ultimately the key is in the hand of the Lord (ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya). Kṛṣṇa is at the root of everything, and whatever He wills is successful. Kṛṣṇa wants to dance in a particular way with a particular servitor, and he successfully dances according to His own sweet will. Kṛṣṇa is the wire-puller, the controller. The key is in His hand. He controls both universal and specific dealings. By understanding this, we can save ourselves from pratiṣṭha, or false prestige, the thirst after name and fame. If we are fully conscious of the fact that everything is in the Lord's hands, then we cannot feel any pride.
So to teach us that it is not very easy to recognise a real Vaiṣṇava by his external dress or manners alone, see also śloka 20, where the story is related of how Gadādhara Paṇḍita was taken by Mukunda Datta to see Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi. (SGAHG, p 135-6)
emana gaurāṅga vinu nāhi āra, hena avatāra habe ki hayeche
hena prema paracār, śiva viriṣcira vāṣchita ye dhana
jagate phelila ḍhāli, kāṅgāle pāiye khāila nāciye
bājāiyekaratāli, nāciyā gāhiyā khola karatāle
dhāiyā mātiyā phire, tarāsa pāiye śamaṇa kiṅkara
kabāṭa hānila dvāre, e tina bhuvana ānande bharila
uṭhila maṅgala śora, kahe premānande ehenā gaurāṅge
rati nā janmila mora
"O mind please listen. You have nothing else to be attached to except Śrī Gaurāṅga. Never in the past, nor in the future, will there be such a benevolent incarnation who has presented the matchless divine love ecstasy of God so generously. He poured into this world that ambrosial wealth which is ever cherished and hankered for even by great powerful personalities like Śiva and Viriṣci (Brahmā). By His merciful grant, even the most common destitute persons were blessed with the chance to imbibe that nectar with great delight. Overwhelmed by spiritual ecstasy they began to sing the glory of the Lord and dance accompanied by the concert of rhythmic drums and sweet karatālas. Frightened by the power of such holy saṅkīrtana, the inauspicious atheists who were slaves to their mortal ego, ran away and hid in locked rooms to protect themselves from such purifying effect. All three worlds of existence (svarga, martya and patala) became blessed by receiving transcendental bliss and reverberated that auspicious sound. Premananda says: "I can never have enough devotion to my beloved Gaurāṅga." (SBRBM, p 7)
etāṁ sa āsthāya parātma-niṣṭhām,
adhyāsitāṁ pūrvatamair mahaṛṣibhiḥ
ahaṁ tariṣyāmi duranta-pāraṁ,
(As a brāhmaṇa from Avantī-deśa said:) "I shall cross over the insurmountable ocean of nescience by being firmly fixed in the service of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. This was approved by the previous ācāryas, who were fixed in firm devotion to the Lord, Paramātmā, the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (S-B, 11.23.57) + (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 3.6)
After the function of sannyāsa was finished, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became mad. "I must run to Vṛndāvana," He thought. "I have given up all connection with this world. I have no attraction for it. I must run to Vṛndāvana to exclusively engage Myself in the service of Kṛṣṇa." In trance, He began to chant this verse from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam where Kṛṣṇa gives a description of sannyāsa to Uddhava. This verse was spoken by a tridaṇḍī-bhikṣu, a mendicant. Mahāprabhu quoted this verse, thinking: "I have accepted this garb of a sannyāsī for this is favourable to My spiritual life. Now, no one in society has any claim over Me, and I will be able to exclusively devote Myself to the service of Kṛṣṇa. I am going to Vṛndāvana with no other engagement or connection with anyone."
In this way, in ecstatic madness He began to chant and dance. Keśava Bharatī Mahārāja embraced Him, and both guru and disciple joined together, chanting and dancing. At that time Mahāprabhu spoke the verse of the brāhmaṇa who, in the last stages of his life, took tridaṇḍī-sannyāsa and had to tolerate the torture of society in different forms. He said: etāṁ sa āsthāya parātma-niṣṭhām. . .
"The previous great sages have accepted and shown the path of sannyāsa. I have now accepted that very form of life. Now, leaving everything aside, I shall run towards Vṛndāvana. There, taking the Name of Mukunda, Kṛṣṇa, I shall cross over the ocean of nescience. Crossing over this māyā, I shall reach Vṛndāvana and fully enter the service of Kṛṣṇa." (S-B, 11.23.57) + (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 3.6)
The dress of a sannyāsī is meant only for an external adjustment, but the real thing is to serve Mukunda. And so, with this verse, He suddenly started towards Vṛndāvana from Katwa. Near the banks of the Ganges, He entered the jungle thinking: "Now, My duty is to reach Vṛndāvana as soon as possible and there, in a solitary place, I shall sit and chant and sing the Name of Kṛṣṇa." Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ran towards Vṛndāvana and entered the jungle before evening. And Nityānanda Prabhu, Candraśekhara Ācārya, Mukunda Datta, and Jagadānanda pursued Him through the jungle. Sometimes while running He would suddenly fall on the ground and begin to cry: "Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa!" Getting up suddenly, He began running - without any apparent direction - to the north, east, west and south. (TGVODL, p 74) + (see also śloka 211)
etāvad eva jijñāsyaṁ,
yat syāt sarvatra sarvadā
"A person who is searching after the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, most certainly search for it up to this, in all circumstances, in all space and time, and both directly and indirectly." (S-B, 2.9.36) + (SGD, SGPI, p 12)
The ontological base of the whole Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is contained within these four ślokas. (S-B, 2.9.33-36) + (see also ślokas 12, 408 & 597)
janma-lābhaḥ paraḥ puṁsām
"The highest perfection of human life, achieved either by complete knowledge of matter and spirit, by practice of mystic powers, or by perfect discharge of occupational duty, is to remember the Personality of Godhead at the end of life." (S-B, 2.1.6)
Sāṅkhya means jñāna (enlightenment by knowledge and renunciation, up to Brahman); yoga means aṣṭāṅgādi yoga (yoga meditation on Paramātman, headed by the eightfold system); and svadharmma-niṣṭha means niṣkāma-karmma-yoga (unselfish duty) in Varṇāśrama. Etāvān means 'they can lead us so far,' that is, up to liberation.
Then, janma-lābhaḥ paraḥ puṁsām ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ: we must attain the fulfilment of our life in the service of Nārāyaṇa, through śraddhā, from a guru. This is the positive attainment, like a visa; and the first three classes are comparable to a passport: the yoga system, progressing towards the conception of Paramātman; Varṇāśrama-dharmma, or executing our duties in this world because of the Vedas have recommended this is for our good, but at the same time we must not want anything in return (niṣkāma ); and also, sāṅkhya - jñāna, the process of neti, neti, neti, or 'this is not, this is not, this is not,' (na iti) - this is all gross, this is all gross, this is all gross. I am soul, I am consciousness, I am spirit - the process of elimination. Perfection in one of these three methods may be compared to gaining a passport. But janma-lābhaḥ, the real fulfilment of life, is ante-nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ - the memory or consciousness of Nārāyaṇa, after death. Nārāyaṇa consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, can give us proper fulfilment, and that is the visa to the Svarūpa-śakti Realm (the Plane of Kṛṣṇa's Divine Potency). (S-B, 2.1.6) + (SOTGOD, v 2, p 91-2) + (see also śloka 595)
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā,
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa
"O conqueror of the enemy, in this way, the saintly kings such as Nimi, Janaka, and others, learned this path of knowledge through the divine succession. Presently, after the passage of a long period of time, this teaching has been almost completely lost." (B-g, 4.2)
There is a proverb: "Which is more useful: the nose or the breath?" The intelligent will say that the breath is more essential than the nose. To sustain the life, the nose may be cut off, but if the breath continues, one may live. We consider the breath to have more importance than the nose. The physical form will misguide people to go away from the truth and follow a different direction.
We don't consider the body connection important in ācārya-ship. It is a spiritual current, and not a body current. The disciple of a true devotee may even be a nondevotee. We admit that, because we see it, and the Lord Himself says in Bhagavad-gītā: sa kāleneha mahatā, yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa: "The current is damaged by the influence of this material world." In the line, some are affected, go astray, and may even become nondevotees. So, the continuation through the physical succession is not a safe criterion to be accepted. We must trace only the current of spiritual knowledge.
Wherever we can get that, we must accept it, even if it comes from the Rāmanūja, Madhva, or Nimbārka sampradāya. As much as we get from them substantially, we accept, and we reject the so-called followers of our own tradition if they are mere imitationists. The son of a political leader may not be a political leader. A political leader may also have a political succession, and his own son, although brought up in a favourable environment, may be rejected. A doctor's son may not be a doctor. In the disciplic order also, we admit the possibility that they may not all come up to the same standard. Those who do not, should be rejected.
And if the truth is found in a substantial way somewhere else, that should be accepted. Wherever there is devotion and the correct consideration about of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, our guru is there. Who is our guru? He is not to be found in the physical form; our guru is to be traced wherever we find the embodiment of the pure thought and understanding which Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu imparted to save us. Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa was very akin to the Madhvā sampradāya. But when he came in connection with Visvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, he showed great interest in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism. He has also commented on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Śrī Jīva Goswāmī's Ṣaṭ-Sandarbha. And that enlightened thought is a valuable contribution to our sampradāya. We cannot dismiss him. He is our guru.
At the same time, if my own relatives do not give recognition to my guru or to the service of Mahāprabhu, I must eliminate them. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura has explained the śikṣā-guru-paramparā in this way. Wherever we find the extraordinary line of the flow of love of God, and support for the same, we must bow down. That line may appear in a zigzag way, but still, that is the line of my gurudeva. In this way it is accepted. We want the substance, not the form.
We have left all social concerns and so many other shackles. For what? For the Absolute Truth. And wherever I shall find that, I must bow down my head. And if a great soul shows us: "This is the path to where you will find your thirst quenched. The line is in this zigzag way," we must accept that for our own interest. We are worshippers not of form, but of substance. If the current of spiritual substance comes another way, but I think that I must try to go this way to reach my goal, it is only jealousy, blind tenacity to stick to the physical thing. We must free ourselves from this material contamination and try to understand the value of spiritual truth. We should always be prepared for that. We must follow what is necessary, for our own interest. (SGAHG, p 105-8) + (see also śloka 434)
bhidyante matayo nṛṇām
"Thus, due to the great variety of desires and natures among human beings, there are many different theistic philosophies of life, which are handed down through tradition, custom and disciplic succession. There are other teachers who directly support atheistic viewpoints." (S-B, 11.14.8)
After Uddhava asked Kṛṣṇa why they are so many religions in the world, Kṛṣṇa replied: "In this way - due to variety and the nature of the recipient from one to another in disciplic order, pāramparyeṇa, has caused the different types of religious conceptions in this world. Now, it is a jungle. In the beginning, it was one, and I was the object there as I advised Lord Brahmā, the creator. First, it was one; but gradually, the difference between the preachers - the mediators - arose, and today, it is a jungle. And some sprouts also came out from the empirical soil." prakṛti-vaicitryāt and pāṣaṇḍa-matayo' pare, pāṣaṇḍa-mata means those who do not have any recognition of revealed knowledge and they produce something from this side. That is pāṣaṇḍa-mata. So, pāṣaṇḍa-mata and twisted "revealed" advice - these combined have created the chaos in the world of religion. Some lay stress on penance, some on ceṣṭa (duty), some on reading scriptures, and some sections lay stress on donation, relief work - all these are different opinions, but in the beginning, it was one." (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 6)