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Vaishnava Ke?-“Who is a Real Vaishnava?”
by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
dushta mana! tumi kiser vaishnava?
pratishthar tare, nirjaner ghare,
tava ‘hari nama’ kevala ‘kaitava’
dushta mana-O wicked mind!; tumi-you; kiser vaishnava-what kind of devotee?; pratishthar-of prestige; tare-on account of; nirjaner ghare-in a solitary dwelling; tava-your; hari-nama-chanting of the holy name of Lord Hari; kevala-only; kaitava-cheating.
1) O wicked mind! What kind of Vaishnava do you think you are? Your pretentious show of chanting Lord Hari’s holy name in a solitary place is only for the sake of attaining the false prestige of a worldly reputation-it is nothing but pure hypocrisy.
jader pratishtha, shukarer vishtha,
jano na ki taha ‘mayar vaibhava’
kanaka kamini, divasa-yamini,
bhaviya ki kaja, anitya se saba
jader-of the material realm; pratishtha-fame; shukarer-of a pig; vishtha-stool; jano na ki-do you not know?; taha-that; mayar-of the illusory material world; vaibhava-potency; kanaka-gold; kamini-attractive women; divasa yamini-all day and night; bhaviya-thinking; ki kaja-what benefit; anitya-temporary; se saba-all those.
2) Such materialistic prestige is as disgusting as the stool of a hog. Do you not know that it is only a mere illusion cast by the potency of Maya? What is the value of contemplating day and night your plans for enjoying wealth and women? All these things are only temporary.
tomar kanaka, bhoger janaka,
kanaker dvare sevaho ‘madhava’
kaminir kama, nahe tava dhama,
tahar-malika kevala ‘yadava’
tomar-your; kanaka-gold; bhoger-of enjoyment; janaka-the producer; kanaker dvare-by wealth; sevaho-please serve; madhava-Lord Madhava; kaminir kama-lust for beautiful women; nahe-not; tava-your; dhama-proper place; tahar-its; malika-owner; kevala-is only; yadava-Shri Krishna, the Lord of the Yadu dynasty.
3) When you claim wealth as your own, it creates in you ever-increasing desires for material enjoyment. Your riches should be used for serving Madhava, the Lord of all wealth. Neither is it your proper place to indulge in lust for women, whose only true proprietor is Lord Yadava.
na pela ‘ravana’ yujhiya ‘raghava’
vaishnavi pratishtha, tate koro nishtha,
taha na bhajile labhibe raurava
pratishtha-asha-desire for fame; taru-the tree; jada-maya-of material illusion; maru-the desert; na-not; pela-reached; ravana-the demon named Ravana; yujhiya-fighting; raghava-with Lord Ramachandra; vaishnavi-the position of being a vaishnava; pratishtha-situation; tate-in that; koro nishtha-become fixed; taha-that; na-not; bhajile-if one worships; labhibe-will obtain; raurava-hell.
4) The demon Ravana (lust-incarnate) fought with Lord Ramachandra (love-incarnate) in order to gain the tree of worldly reputation-but that oasis turned out to be but a mirage cast in the desert wasteland of the Lord’s illusory material potency. Please cultivate fixed determination to attain only the steady and solid platform whereupon a Vaishnava ever stands. If you neglect worshiping the Lord from this position, then you will ultimately attain a hellish existence.
koro keno tabe tahar gaurava
vaishnaver pache, pratisthasha ache,
ta’te kabhu nahe ‘anitya-vaibhava’
hari-jana-dvesha-hatred for the devotees of the Lord; pratishtha-asha-desire for fame; klesha-suffering; koro-you endeavor; keno-why?; tabe-then; tahar-its; gaurava-glory; vaishnaver pache-following behind the devotees; pratishtha-asha-desire for spiritual position; ache-there is; tate-in that; kabhu nahe-never; anitya-impermanent; vaibhava-wealth.
5) Why do you needlessly suffer the torment of blaspheming the devotees of Lord Hari, attempting to achieve their eminence, thereby only proving your own fruitless foolishness? The desire for spiritual eminence is easily fulfilled when one becomes a devotee of the Lord, for eternal fame automatically follows the heels of a Vaishnava. And that fame is never to be considered a temporary worldly opulence.
se hari-sambandha, shunya-maya-gandha,
taha kabhu noy ‘jader kaitava’
ubhaye janiho mayika raurava
se-that; hari-sambandha-relationship with Lord Hari; shunya-free from; maya-gandha-a scent of illusion; taha-that; kabhu noy-never; jader-of materialism; kaitava-cheating; pratishtha-worldy reputation; candali-female dog-eater; nirjanata-solitary living; jali-the net; ubhaye-in both; janiho-you should know; mayika-illusory; raurava-hell.
6) The relationship between a devotee and Lord Hari is devoid of even a trace of worldly illusion; it has nothing to do with the materialistic cheating propensity. The prestige of so-called popularity in the material realm is compared to a treacherous dog-eating witch, and the attempt to live in solitude to supposedly engage in unalloyed bhajan is compared to an entangling network of distraction. Please know that anyone striving in either of these ways verily lives in the hell of Maya’s illusion.
kirtana chadibo, pratishtha makhibo,
ki kaja dhudiya tadrisha gaurava
madhavendra puri, bhava-ghare curi,
na korilo kabhu sadai janabo
kirtana-chanting the Lord’s names; chadibo-I will give up; pratishtha-worldly reputation; makhibo-I will besmear myself; ki kaja-what benefit; dhudiya-seeking; tadrisha-that kind of; gaurava-grandeur; madhavendra puri-the sage Madhavendra Puri; bhava-ghare-in the storehouse of perception; curi-stealing; na korilo-he did not do; kabhu-ever; sadai-always; janabo-I will remind you.
7) “I shall give up chanting the Lord’s name publicly in kirtan and retire to solitude, thus smearing myself with worldly honor.” Dear mind, what is the good of seeking such so-called glory? I will always remind you that the great soul Madhavendra Puri never deceived himself in that regard by committing theft in his own storehouse of perception the way you do.
tomar pratishtha,-‘shukarer vishtha’,
tar-saha sama kabhu na manava
matsarata-vashe, tumi jada-rase,
majecho chadiya kirtana-saushtava
tomar-your; pratishtha-popularity; shukarer vishtha-the stool of a hog; tar-saha-with that; sama-equal; kabhu na-never; manava-an ordinary human being; matsarata-pride; vashe-under the control of; tumi-you; jada-rase-in the mellows of mundane sense pleasures; majecho-you are sunk; chadiya-having given up; kirtana-saushtava-the excellence of the sankirtan movement.
8) Your cheap reputation is equal to the stool of a hog. An ordinary ambitious man like you can never be equated with a devotee of Madhavendra Puri’s eminence. Under the sway of envy, you have drowned yourself in the filthy waters of material enjoyment after having abandoned the excellent perfection of congregational kirtan.
tai dushta mana, ‘nirjana bhajan,’
pracaricho chale ‘kuyogi-vaibhava’
prabhu sanatane, parama jatane,
shiksha dilo yaha, cinto sei saba
tai-therefore; dushta mana-O wicked mind!; nirjana bhajan-solitary worship; pracaricho-you are preaching; chale-by trick; ku-yogi-vaibhava-the opulence of a false yogi; prabhu-Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu; sanatane-to Sanatana Goswami; parama jatane-with great care; shiksha dilo-gave instructions; yaha-which; cinto-please contemplate; sei saba-all those.
9) Truly, O wicked mind, the glories of so-called solitary worship are propagated only by false yogis using unscrupulous means to deceive others. To save yourself from these pitfalls, please contemplate the instructions that the Supreme Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu kindly gave us while addressing Shrila Sanatana Goswami with the utmost care.
sei du’ti katha, bhulo’ na sarvatha,
uccaih-svare koro ‘hari-nama-rava’
‘phalgu’ ar ‘yukta,’ ‘baddha’ ar ‘mukta,’
kabhu na bhaviho, ekakar saba
sei-these; du’ti-two; katha-topics; bhulo’ na-don’t forget; sarvatha-in all circumstances; uccaih-svare-in a loud voice; koro-perform; hari-nama-rava-the sound of chanting the Lord’s holy names; phalgu-false; ar-and; yukta-befitting (linked with Krishna); baddha-bound in maya; ar-and; mukta-liberated; kabhu na-never; bhaviho-consider; ekakar-one in the same form; saba-all these.
10) Do not forget for a moment the two most valuable concepts that He taught: 1) the principle of dry, apparent renunciation as opposed to real, appropriate renunciation; and 2) the principle of a soul being trapped in the bondage of matter as opposed to a soul who is liberated. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that these conflicting concepts are on the same level. Please remember this while engaging yourself in chanting the Lord’s holy names as loud as you possibly can.
chadiyache jare, sei to’ vaishnava
sei ‘anasakta,’ sei ‘shuddha-bhakta,’
samsar tatha pay parabhava
kanaka-kamini-enjoyment of wealth and women; pratishtha-baghini-the tigress of worldly reputation; chadiyache-has given up; jare-who; sei-he; to’-certainly; vaishnava-a devotee; sei-he; anasakta-unattached; sei-he alone; shuddha-bhakta-is a pure devotee; samsar-the material world; tatha-in this manner; pay-gets; parabhava-defeated.
11) One is truly a Vaishnava who has given up the habit of falling victim to the ferocious tigress of wealth, beauty, and fame. Such a soul is factually detached from material life, and is known as a pure devotee. Someone with this consciousness of detachment has thereby become victorious over the mundane world of birth and death.
yatha-yogya bhoga, nahi tatha roga,
‘anasakta’ sei, ki ar kahabo
vishaya-samuha sakali ‘madhava’
yatha-yogya-whatever is appropriate for survival; bhoga-enjoyment; nahi-is not; tatha-in that way; roga-the disease (of materialism); anasakta-detached; sei-he; ki ar-what more; kahabo-shall I say; asakti-rohita-devoid of attachment; sambandha-sahita-endowed with a relationship; vishaya-samuha-the multitude of sense objects; sakali-all; madhava-Lord Madhava.
12) One is indeed detached who moderately partakes of worldly things that are deemed necessary for living in devotional service; a devotee acting in that manner does not fall prey to the disease of material infatuation. Thus devoid of selfish attachment, and endowed with the ability to see things in relation to the Lord, all sense objects are then directly perceived as being Lord Madhava Himself.
se ‘yukta-vairagya,’ taha to’ saubhagya,
taha-i jadete harir vaibhava
kirtane jahar, ‘pratishtha-sambhar,’
tahar sampatti kevala ‘kaitava’
se-this; yukta-vairagya-renunciation that is connected with Krishna’s enjoyment; taha-that; to’-indeed; saubhagya-great fortune; taha-i-only that; jadete-in the material world; harir-of Lord Hari; vaibhava-the opulence; kirtane-in chanting the Lord’s names; jahar-whose; pratishtha-sambhar-heaps of ambition for recognition; tahar-its; sampatti-opulence; kevala-only; kaitava-cheating.
13) This is the standard of befitting renunciation, and one who realizes this is most fortunate indeed. Everything involved in such a devotee’s life represents Lord Hari’s personal spiritual opulence as manifest in the world of matter. On the other hand, one who engages in chanting the Lord’s name with hopes of enhancing his own material reputation finds that all his activities and paraphernalia represent only the riches of hypocrisy.
‘vishaya-mumukshu,’ ‘bhoger bubhukshu,’
du’ye tyajo mana, dui ‘avaishnava’
‘krishner sambandha,’ aprakrita-skandha,
kabhu nahe taha jader sambhava
vishaya-mumukshu-one who desires liberation from the material world; bhoger bubhukshu-one who desires to enjoy sense gratification; du’ye-both; tyajo-please reject; mana-O mind!; dui-the two; avaishnava-non-devotees; krishner-with Krishna; sambandha-relationship; aprakrita-skandha-things belonging to the transcendental realm; kabhu nahe-never; taha-that; jader sambhava-of material origin.
14) O mind, please reject the company of two types of persons-those desiring impersonal liberation from the material world, and those who desire to enjoy the pleasure of material sense objects. Both of these are equally non-devotees. The things that are used in relation to Lord Krishna are objects belonging directly to the transcendental realm, and thus having nothing to do with matter they cannot be either owned or forsaken by persons interested in mundane enjoyment or renunciation.
‘mayavadi jana,’ krishnetara mana,
mukta abhimane se ninde vaishnava
vaishnaver das, tava bhakti-ash,
keno va dakicho nirjana-ahava
mayavadi jana-the impersonalist; krishnetara-opposed to Krishna; mana-mentality; mukta abhimane-proudly considering himself liberated; se-he; ninde-blasphemes; vaishnava-the devotees; vaishnaver das-servant of the devotees; tava-your; bhakti-ash-devotional desire; keno va-why then; dakicho-you call out; nirjana-ahava-fighting for solitude.
15) An impersonal philospher is opposed to thinking of Krishna as an object of devotion, and thus being puffed up with the false pride of imaginary liberation he dares to criticize the true devotees of the Lord. O mind, you are the servant of the Vaishnavas, and you should always hope for attaining devotion. Why then do you make such a loud commotion by calling to me and trying to prove the supposed supremacy of your practice of solitary worship?
je ‘phalgu-vairagi,’ kohe nije ‘tyagi,’
se na pare kabhu hoite ‘vaishnava’
hari-pada chadi’, ‘nirjanata badi,’
labhiya ki phala, ‘phalgu’ se vaibhava
je-who; phalgu-vairagi-false renunciant; kohe nije-calls himself; tyagi-an accomplished renunciant; se-he; na pare-is not able; kabhu hoite-to ever be; vaishnava-a devotee; hari-pada-the lotus feet of the Lord; chadi’-rejecting; nirjanata badi-residence in solitude; labhiya-obtaining; ki phala-what result?; phalgu-false; se vaibhava-that opulence.
16) One who falsely gives up things that could actually be used in the Lord’s service proudly calls himself a ‘renunciate,’ but unfortunately he can never become a Vaishnava by such an attitude. Abandoning his servitorship to the lotus feet of Lord Hari, and resigning himself to his solitary home-whatever is gained by that exercise can only be the worthless treasure of deception.
radha-dasye rohi’, chadi ‘bhoga-ahi,’
‘pratishthasha’ nahe ‘kirtana-gaurava’
‘radha-nitya-jana,’ taha chadi’ mana,
keno va nirjana-bhajana-kaitava
radha-dasye-in service to Shri Radha; rohi’-remaining; chadi-giving up; bhoga-ahi-the snake of selfish enjoyment; pratishtha-asha-ambition for recognition; nahe-is not; kirtana-gaurava-the glory of congregational chanting; radha-nitya-jana-being the eternal servant of Radha; taha chadi’-rejecting that; mana-O mind!; keno va-why then; nirjana-bhajana-solitary worship; kaitava-cheating.
17) Ever engage yourself in the service of Shri Radha, and keep aloof from the vicious snake of materialistic sense gratification. The glory of participating in the Lord’s kirtan is not meant to bolster anyone’s ambitions for personal recognition. O mind, why then have you abandoned the identity of being Radha’s eternal servant in favor of retiring to a solitary place to practice the cheating process of so-called bhajan?
pratishtha-bhikshuka ta’ra nahe ‘shava’
prana ache ta’r, se-hetu pracar,
vraja-vasi-gana-the residents of Vraja; pracaraka-preachers; dhana-the treasure; pratishtha-bhikshuka-beggars for worldly fame; ta’ra-they; nahe-are not; shava-a dead body; prana ache-there is life; ta’r-theirs; se-hetu-for that reason; pracar-preaching; pratishtha-asha-hina-devoid of ambition for fame; krishna-gatha-songs about Krishna; saba-all.
18) The most valuable treasures amongst the Lord’s preachers are the eternal personalities residing in Vraja-dham. They never occupy themselves with begging for worthless material reputation, which is cherished only by the living dead. The Vraja-vasis are truly infused with life, and therefore they preach in order to give life to the walking corpses of the mundane world. All the songs that the Vraja-vasis sing about the glories of Lord Krishna are devoid of any tinge of desire for fame.
shri-dayita-das, kirtanete ash,
koro uccaih-svare ‘hari-nama-rava’
kirtana-prabhave, smarana svabhave,
se kale bhajana-nirjana sambhava
shri-dayita-das-the servant of Radha’s beloved Krishna (Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati); kirtanete-for congregational chanting; ash-desirous; koro-please perform; uccaih-svare-in a loud voice; hari-nama-rava-the sound of the Lord’s holy names; kirtana-prabhave-by the power of the chanting; smarana-remembering the Lord’s pastimes; svabhave-in one’s own original spiritual mood; se kale-at that time; bhajana-nirjana-worship in solitude; sambhava-possible.
19) This humble servant of Radha and Her beloved Krishna always hopes for kirtan, and he begs all to loudly sing the names of Lord Hari. The transcendental power of congregational chanting automatically awakens remembrance of the Lord and His divine pastimes in relation to one’s own eternal spiritual form. Only at that time does it become possible to go off to a solitary place and engage in the confidential worship of Their Lordships.i*