Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Amnaya Sutra > Part Three > Chapter-V

Chapter Five

Sampatti-prakarana

The Supreme Good Fortune

 

 

Sutra 114

 

 

adhikara-kramena hy uttarottara-praptih

 

     adhikara - of qualifications; kramenaby degrees; hi - indeed; uttara - higher; uttara - and higher; praptih - attainment.

 

 

     As they become qualified, the individual souls attain higher and higher positions.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad it is said:

 

 

yato yatas tv adadita lavanam evaivam va ara idam mahad-bhutam anantam aparam vijnana-ghanam eva.

 

 

     "He could understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is handsome, glorious, supreme, limitless, and all-knowing."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.21.2, 16 and 18) it is said:

 

 

sve sve 'dhikare ya nishtha

     sa gunah parikirtitah

viparyayas tu doshah syad

     ubhayor esha nirnayah

 

 

     "Steadiness in one's own position is declared to be actual piety, whereas deviation from one's position is considered impiety. In this way the two are definitely ascertained."***

 

 

kvacid guno 'pi doshah syad

     dosho 'pi vidhina gunah

guna-doshartha-niyamas

     tad-bhidam eva badhate

 

 

     "Sometimes piety becomes sin and sometimes what is ordinary sin becomes piety on the strength of Vedic injunctions. Such special rules in effect eradicate the clear distinction between piety and sin."***

 

 

yato yato nivarteta

     vimucyeta tatas tatah

esha dharmo nrinam kshemah

     shoka-moha-bhayapahah

 

 

     "By refraining from a particular sinful or materialistic activity one becomes freed from its bondage. Such renunciation is the basis of religious and auspicious life for human beings and drives away all suffering, illusion, and fear."***

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita it is said:

 

 

adhikari bhede rati panca-prakara

shanta dasya sakhya vatsalya madhura ara

 

 

     "According to the candidate possessing these transcendental qualities (sneha, mana, and so on), there are five transcendental mellows: neutrality, servitorship, friendship, parental love, and conjugal love."*

 

 

Sutra 115

 

 

nirguna-shraddha-mula hi vaidhi bhaktih

 

     nirguna - beyond the modes of material nature; shraddha - faith; mula - the root; hi - indeed; vaidhi - according to rules and regulations; bhaktih - devotional service.

 

 

     Vaidhi bhakti (devotional service according to regulative principles) is rooted in faith in what is beyond the modes of material nature.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad it is said:

 

 

 

kamah sankalpo vicikitsa shraddhashraddha dhritir adhritir hrir dhir bhir ity etat sarvam mana eva. shraddham bhagavo vijijnasa iti.

 

 

     "He wished to understand the nature of faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in whom stays desire, will, doubt, error, faith, faithlessness, tolerance, intolerance, embarrassment, intelligence, fear, and all else that stays in the heart and mind."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.25.27) Lord Krishna explains:

 

 

sattviky adhyatmiki shraddha

     karma-shraddha tu rajasi

tamasy adharme ya shraddha

     mat-sevayam tu nirgunah

 

 

     "Faith directed toward spiritual life is in the mode of goodness, faith rooted in fruitive work is in the mode of passion, faith residing in irreligious activities is in the mode of ignorance, but faith in My devotional service is purely transcendental."***

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.20.8) Lord Krishna explains:

 

 

yadrichhaya mat-kathadau

     jata-shraddhas tu yah puman

na nirvinno nati-sakto

     bhakti-yogo 'sya siddhi-dah

 

 

     "Somehow or other if one is attracted to talks about Me and has faith in the instructions I have set forth in Bhagavad-gita and if one is actually detached from material things and material existence, his dormant love for Me will be awakened by devotional service."*

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (6.46-47), Lord Krishna explains:

 

 

tapasvibhyo 'dhiko yogi

     jnanibhyo 'pi mato 'dhikah

karmibhyash cadhiko yogi

     tasmad yogi bhavarjuna

 

 

     "A yogi is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist, and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances be a yogi.*

 

 

yoginam api sarvesham

     mad-gatenantaratmana

shraddhavan bhajate yo mam

     sa me yuktatamo matah

 

 

     "And of all yogis the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me, he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion."*

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.4.15-16) explains:

 

 

adau shraddha tatah sadhu-

     sango 'tha bhajana-kriya

tato 'nartha-nivrittih syat

     tato nishtha rucis tatah

 

asaktis tato bhavas

     tatah premabhyudancati

sadhakanam ayam premnah

     pradurbhave bhavet kramah

 

 

     "In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Krishna consciousness."*

 

 

Sutra 116

 

 

ruci-mula hi raganuga bhaktih

 

     ruci - attraction and love; mula - root; hi - indeed; raganuga bhaktih - raganuga bhakti.

 

 

     Raganuga bhakti (spontaneous devotional service) is rooted in attraction and love.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (1.4.8) it is said:

 

 

tad etat preyah putrat preyo vittat preyo 'nyasmat sarvasmad anantaram yad ayam atma.

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is more dear than sons, more dear than wealth, more dear than all else."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.7.11) it is said:

 

 

harer gunakshipta-matir

     bhagavan badarayanih

adhyagan mahad akhyanam

     nityam vishnu-jana-priyah

 

 

     "Being very much attracted by the transcendental pastimes of the Lord, the mind of Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami was agitated by Krishna consciousness. He therefore began to study Shrimad-Bhagavatam by the grace of his father."*

 

     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:

 

 

vishayinah svabhaviko vishaya-samsargecchatishayamayah prema ragah. yesham aham priya atma sutash ca sakha guruh suhrid daivam ishtam ity adau. tad evam tat-tad-abhimana-lakshana-bhava-visheshana-svabhavika-ragasya vaishishtya-sati tat-tad-raga-prayukta shravana-kirtana-smarana-pada-sevana-vandanatma-nivedana-praya-bhaktih. tesham ragatmika bhaktir ucyate. yasya purvokta-raga-visheshe rucir eva jatasti tasya ragatmikaya bhakteh paripatishv api rucir jayate. atas tadiyam ragam rucy-anugatyatiti raganuga tasyaiva pravartate.

 

 

     "The devotees are passionately devoted to the Lord. He is the object of their love. The Lord Himself explains (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.38):

 

     " `Because the devotees accept Me as their friend, their relative, their son, their preceptor, benefactor, and Supreme Deity, they cannot be deprived of their possessions at any time.'*

 

     "Ardently loving the Lord, the devotees serve Him by hearing, chanting, and remembering His glories, serving His feet, offering obeisances to Him, and completely surrendering to Him. This ardent devotional service is called ragatmika bhakti. From that is manifested ruci (love and attraction). Thus ruci follows ragatmika bhakti."

 

 

Sutra 117

 

 

mahima-jnana-yukta hi prathama

 

     mahima - of opulence; jnana - knowledge; yukta - endowed; hi - indeed; prathama - the first.

 

 

     In the first kind of devotion (vaidhi bhakti) the devotees are aware of the Lord's opulence.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (1.1.4) it is said:

 

 

dve vidye veditavye para caivapara ca. tatrapara rig-vedo yujur-veda ity adi.

 

 

     "There are two kinds of knowledge: superior and inferior. The knowledge of the Rig Veda and Yajur Veda is inferior knowledge."

 

     In the Pancaratra it is said:

 

 

mahatmya-jnanam uktam ca

     su-dridhah sarvathadhikah

sneho bhaktir iti proktas

     taya sarishty-adinanyatha

 

 

     "In this strong devotional service one is aware of the opulences of the Lord. In this way one attains the liberations that begin with sarshti-mukti."

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.4.14) explains:

 

 

mahima-jnana-yuktah syad

     vidhi-marganusarinam

 

 

     "They who follow the path of vidhi-bhakti are especially aware of the Lord's glory and opulence."

 

     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:

 

 

tato vidhi-marga-bhakti-vidhim apeksheti sa durbala

 

 

     "In the weaker form of devotional service, vaidhi bhakti, one is aware of the Lord's glories and opulences."

 

 

Sutra 118

 

 

kevala hi dvitiya prabala ca

 

     kevala - unmixed; hi - indeed; dvitiya - seconed; prabala - powerful; ca - also.

 

 

     In the second kind of devotion (raganuga bhakti) the devotees are not aware of the Lord's opulences. This kind of devotion is completely pure. It is not mixed with anything else. It is very powerful.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (1.5) it is said:

 

 

atha para yaya tad aksharam adhigamyate yatra tad adrishyam agrahyam agotram avarnam acakshuh shrotram tad-apani-padam nityam vibhum sarva-gatam su-sukshmam tad avyayam yad bhuta-yonim paripashyanti dhirah.

 

 

     "The superior knowledge enables one to understand the imperishable Supreme Personality of Godhead. With this superior knowledge the enlightened souls are able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who cannot be seen by material eyes or understood by the material mind, who has no material family, no material caste, and no material eyes, ears, hands, or feet, who is eternal, all-powerful, all-pervading, very subtle, and unchanging, and who is the creator of all."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.1.31) it is said:

 

 

gopyah kamad bhayat kamso

     dveshac caidyadayo nripah

sambandhad vrishnayah snehad

     yuyam bhaktya vayam vibho

 

 

     "My dear King Yudhishthira, the gopis by their lusty desires, Kamsa by his fear, Shishupala and other kings by envy, the Yadus by their familial relationship with Krishna, you Pandavas by your great affection for Krishna, and we, the general devotees, by our devotional service, have obtained the mercy of Krishna."*

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami explains:

 

 

raganugashritanam tu

     prayashah kevalo bhavet

 

 

     "They who take shelter of raganuga-bhakti (spontaneous love for Lord Krishna) feel love that is pure and unmixed with anything else."

 

     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:

 

 

iyam ca svatantraiva pravartata iti prabala ca jneya.

 

 

     "Raganuga bhakti is very powerful. It does not depend on anything else."

 

 

Sutra 119

 

 

asakti-paryanta sadhana-bhaktih

 

     asakti - attachemnt; paryanta - up to; sadhana-bhaktih - sadhana-bhakti.

 

 

     Sadhana-bhakti (devotional service in practice) continues up to the stage of asakti (attachment).

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.7) it is said:

 

 

brihac ca tad divyam acintya-rupam

     sukshmac ca tat sukshmataram vibhati

durat sa-dure tad ihanti ke ca

     pashyatsv ihaiva nihitam guhayam

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the greatest. He is splendid and transcendental. His form is beyond the understanding of the material mind. He is more subtle than the most subtle. He stays far away from the impious. The devotees  see Him in their hearts."

 

     In the Narayana-pancaratra it is said:

 

 

bhavonmatto harau kincin

     na deva-sukham atmanah

 

 

     "In that stage one becomes intoxicated with love for Lord Krishna."

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.193) explains:

 

 

vaidha-bhakty-adhikari tu

     bhavavirbhavanavadhih

atra shastram tatha tarkam

     anukulam apekshate

 

 

     "By engaging in vidhi-bhakti the devotee attains ecstatic love for Lord Krishna. This is confirmed by both scripture and logic."

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.3.8) also explains:

 

 

sadhanabhiniveshas tu

     tatra nishpadayan rucim

harav asaktim utpadya

     ratim sanjanayaty asau

 

 

     "By engaging in sadhana-bhakti the devotee attains attraction to Lord Krishna, attachment to Him, and then love for Him."

 

 

Sutra 120

 

 

bhavan maha-bhava-paryanta hladini-sara-samaveta samvid-rupa siddha bhaktih

 

     bhavan - from bhava; maha-bhava-paryanta - up to maha-bhava; hladini - hladini-sakti; sara-samaveta - the best; samvid-rupa - the potency of knowledge; siddha - perfect; bhaktih - devotion.

 

 

     The stages that begin with bhava and end in maha-bhava are called siddha bhakti (perfect devotional service). In these stages the samvit shakti (potency of transcendental knowledge) and hladini akti (potency of transcendental bliss) are manifested.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Sauparna-shruti it is said:

 

 

sarva-dinam upasita yavad vimuktih. mukta hy enam upasate.

 

 

     "Until one is liberated, one should worship the Lord every day. After attaining liberation, one should continue to worship the Lord."

 

     In the Brihat Tantra it is said:

 

 

yatha shrir nitya-muktapi

     prapta-kamapi sarvada

upaste nityasho vishnum

     evam bhakto bhaved api

 

 

     "Even though she is eternally liberated, and even though all her desires are at once fulfilled, Goddess Lakshmi continues to worship Lord Vishnu eternally. Every devotee acts in that way."

 

     Shrila Narada Muni explains:

 

 

bhadram uktam bhavadbhis tu

     muktis turya parat para

nir-aham yatra cit-satta

     sa-turya muktir ucyate

 

 

     "You have described the highest liberation, where spiritual truth is present and the false identification with the material body is absent.

 

 

purnahantamayi bhaktis

     turyatita nigadyate

krishna-rama-mayam brahma

     kvacit kutrapi bhasate

 

 

     "Beyond that kind of liberation is the liberation of devotional service. In that kind of liberation the proper identification of the living entity as a spirit soul is manifested. In that liberation Krishna and Balarama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is splendidly manifest.

 

 

nirbijendriyata tatra

     atma-stham kevalam sukham

krishnas tu paripurnatma

     sarvatra sukha-rupakah

 

 

     "In that devotional liberation the spiritual senses of the spiritual form of the liberated soul are filled with bliss. There Lord Krishna, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, enjoys blissful pastimes."

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami explains:

 

 

syad dhridheyam ratih premna

     prodyan snehah kramad ayam

syan manah pranayo rago

     'nurago bhava ity api

 

 

     "Love for Lord Krishna grows more and more intense, manifesting different stages known as rati, prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, and bhava."

 

 

bijam ikshu sa ca rasah

     sa-gudah khanda eva sah

sa sharkara shita sa ca

     sa yatha syat shitotpala

iyam eva ratih praudha

     maha-bhava-dasham vrajet

 

 

     "As sugar-cane juice becomes thicker as it proceeds to become molasses, granules, and finally rock-candy, so love of Lord Krishna gradually becomes more and more intense."

 

     In the Siddhanta-ratna it is said:

 

 

tatha ca hlada-samvidoh samavetayoh saro bhaktir iti sidhyati. tat-saratvam ca tan-nitya-parikarashrayaka-tan-anukulyabhilasha-visheshah.

 

 

     "In the highest stage of devotional service, the Lord's samvit potency and hladini potency are manifested. There the eternal associates of the Lord desire to serve Him in many ways."

 

 

Sutra 121

 

 

upadhi-viyoge svarupodayo hi muktih

 

     upadhi - material designations; viyoge - in separation; svarupa - of the original form; udayo - rising; hi - indeed; muktih - liberation.

 

 

     Liberation is that stage where, leaving his material body behind, the soul again manifests his original spiritual form.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Chandogya Upanishad it is said:

 

 

sa atmapahatapapmavirajo vimrityur vishoko 'vijighatso 'pipasah satya-kamah satya-sankalpah sa vijijnasitavyah.

 

 

     "Know that the liberated soul is free from destruction, sin, passion, death, grief, hunger, and thirst. All his desires are at once fulfilled."

 

     In the Vishnu Purana it is said:

 

 

nirastatishayahlada-

     sukha-bhavaika-lakshana

bheshajam bhagavat-praptir

     ekantatyantiki mata

 

 

     "Meeting with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a meeting that is filled with the greatest bliss, is the final cure for the disease known as continued residence in the material world."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.10.6) it is said:

 

 

muktir hitvanyatha-rupam

     sva-rupena vyavasthitih

 

 

     "Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies."*

 

     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:

 

 

sva-rupena vyavasthitir nama sva-rupa-sakshat-kara ucyate.

 

 

     "The phrase `sva-rupena vyavasthitih' in this verse means that the original form of the spirit soul is again manifested."

 

 

Sutra 122

 

 

sa svarupa-siddha vastu-siddha ceti dvi-vidha

 

     sa - that; svarupa-siddha - svarupa-siddha; vastu-siddha - vastu-siddha; ca - also; iti - thus; dvi-vidha - two kinds.

 

 

     There are two kinds of liberation: 1. svarupa-siddha (perfection of one's original form) and 2. vastu-siddha (perfection of opulences).

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     Svarupa-siddha mukti is described in Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.7):

 

 

yada sarve pramucyante

     kama ye 'sya hridi sthitah

atha marto 'mrita bhavaty

     atra brahma samashnute

 

 

     "When all material desires have fled from his heart, the soul trapped in the world of birth and death becomes immortal. Then he enjoys the company of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     Vastu-siddha mukti is described in the Chandogya Upanishad (8.12.3):

 

 

atha sa esha samprasado 'smac charirat samutthaya param jyoti-rupam sampadya svena rupenabhinishpadyate

 

 

     "The enlightened soul then leaves his material body behind and goes to meet the effulgent Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then the soul manifests his original spiritual form."

 

     Svarupa-siddha mukti is also described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.33):

 

 

yatreme sad-asad-rupe

     pratishiddhe su-samvida

avidyayatmani krite

     iti tad brahma-darshanam

 

 

     "Whenever a person experiences, by self realization, that both the gross and subtle bodies have nothing to do with the pure self, at that time he sees himself as well as the Lord."*

     Vastu-siddha mukti is also described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.34):

 

 

yady eshoparata devi

     maya vaisharadi matih

sampanna eveti vidur

     mahimni sve mahiyate

 

 

     "If the illusory energy subsides and the living entity becomes fully enriched with knowledge by the grace of the Lord, then he becomes at once enlightened with self realization and thus becomes situated in his own glory."*

 

     Shrila Jiva Gosvami describes the condition of a person liberated even in this life:

 

 

akincanasya dantasya

     shantasya sama-cetasah

maya shantushta-manasah

     sarva-sukhamaya dishah

 

tatrotkrantavasthayam saivantima muktish ca pancadha. salokya-sarishti-sarupata-samipya-sayujyeti bhedena. esha ca panca-vidhapi gunatita sayujye ca antara-sakshat-kara eva. tathapi prakata-sphurti-lakshanam tat sushupti-vadanatim prakata-sphurti-lakshanad brahma-sayujyad bhidyate.

 

 

     "In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.13) it is said:

 

     " `One who does not desire anything within this world, who has achieved peace by controlling his senses, whose consciousness is equal in all conditions, and whose mind is completely satisfied in Me finds only happiness wherever he goes.'***

 

     "Final liberation is described in this verse. There are five kinds of liberation: 1. to be one with the Lord, 2. to achieve residence on the Lord's planet, 3. to have the Lord's opulences, 4. to possess bodily features similar to the Lord's, and 5. to gain personal association with the Lord. These kinds of liberation are beyond the touch of the modes of material nature. In these kinds of liberation the Lord directly appears before His devotee. Only in the liberation where the soul becomes one with the Lord does the Lord not directly appear."

 

 

Sutra 123

 

 

sa bhakter anapayini sahacari

 

     sa - that; bhakter - of devotional service; anapayini - constant; sahacari - companion.

 

 

     Liberation is the eternal companion of devotional service.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Gopala-tapani Upanishad (1.14) it is said:

 

 

bhakti-rahasya-bhajanam tad ihamutropadhi-nairasye naivasmin manasah kalpanam etad eva ca naishkarmyam.

 

 

     "Devotional service to Lord Krishna is performed when the heart no longer desires any material benefit to be obtained in this life or the next. That is freedom from the bonds of karma."

 

     In the Narada-pancaratra it is said:

 

 

hari-bhakti-maha-devyah

     sarvamuktadi-siddhayah

bhuktayash cadbhutas tasyas

     cetikavad anuvratah

 

 

     "Liberation and a host of wonderful pleasures and perfections are the servants and followers of devotional service."

 

     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:

 

 

prityaiva atyantika-duhkha-nivrittish ca, sa pritim vina tat-svarupasya tad-dharmantara-vrindasya ca tat-sakshat-karo na sampadyate. yatra sa tatravashyam eva sampadyate. yavaty eva priti-sampattis tavaty eva tat-sampattih. sukham ca nirupadhi-prityasvadu. tasmat purushena saiva sarvada anveshtavyeti.

 

 

     "Priti puts an end to sufferings. Without priti the Lord does not directly appear. Therefore priti must be manifested. To the extent that priti is manifested, to that extent one attains good fortune. Because of priti one becomes free from the material body and is able to enjoy spiritual happiness. Therefore the spiritual aspirant should strive to attain priti."

 

 

Sutra 124

 

 

bhaktih kadacij jnana-vairagya-parisevita

 

     bhaktih - devotional service; kadacit - sometimes; j 24ana - by knowledge; vairagya - and renunciation; parisevita - served.

 

 

     Devotional service is sometimes served by knowledge and renunciation.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (2.1.2) it is said:

 

 

paracah kaman anuyanti balas

     te mrityor yanti vitatasya pasham

atha dhira amritatvam viditva

     dhruvam adhruveshv iha na prarthayante.

 

 

     "Fools follow their material desires and run into the noose of death. The wise know what is eternal. They do not seek anything in this world where nothing is eternal."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.12) it is said:

 

 

tac chraddadhana munayo

     jnana-vairagya-yuktaya

pashyanty atmani catmanam

     bhaktya shruta-grihitaya

 

 

     "The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedanta-shruti."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.7) it is said:

 

 

vasudeve bhagavati

     bhakti-yogah prayojitah

janayaty ashu vairagyam

     jnanam ca yad ahaitukam

 

 

     "By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world."*

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.248, 249, and 251) explains:

 

 

jnana-vairagyayor bhakti-

     praveshayopayogita

ishat prathamam eveti      nangatvam ucitam tayoh

 

yad ubhe citta-kathinya-

     hetu praye satam mate

sukumara-svabhaveyam

     bhaktim tad-dhetur irita

 

kintu jnana-viraktadi-

     sadhyam bhaktyaiva sidhyati.

 

 

     "In the beginning spiritual knowledge and renunciation may be appropriate for devotional service, but they are not really a part of devotional service, and in the end they become inappropriate. Spiritual knowledge and renunciation tend to make the heart very hard, but devotional service makes the heart very soft. Whatever good a person would have attained by spiritual knowledge and renunciation he attains perfectly by engaging in devotional service."

 

 

Sutra 125

 

 

svatas tad-apeksha-sunya svatantra ca

 

     svatas - naturally; tad - eith them; apeksha - relationship; sunya - devoid; svatantra - independent; ca - also.

 

 

     Devotional service is independent. It does not depend on knowledge and renunciation.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Taittiriya Upanishad it is said:

 

 

anando brahmano vidvan

     na bibheti kutashcana

 

 

     "He who knows the blissful Supreme Personality of Godhead never fears."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.20, 21, and 24), the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, said:

 

 

na sadhayati mam yogo

     na sankhyam dharma uddhava

na svadhyayas tapas tyago

     yatha bhaktir mamorjita

 

 

     "My dear Uddhava, neither through ashtanga-yoga (the mystic yoga system to control the senses), nor through impersonal monism or an analytical study of the Absolute Truth, nor through study of the Vedas, nor through practice of austerities, nor through charity, nor through acceptance of sannyasa can one satisfy Me as much as one can by developing unalloyed devotional service unto Me."*

 

 

bhaktyaham ekaya grahyah

     shraddhayatma priyah satam

bhaktih punati man-nishtha

     shvapakan api sambhavat

 

 

     "Being very dear to the devotees and sadhus, I am attained through unflinching faith and devotional service. This bhakti-yoga system, which gradually increases attachment for Me, purifies even a human being born among dog-eaters. That is to say, everyone can be elevated to the spiritual platform by the process of bhakti-yoga."*

 

 

vag gadgada dravate yasya cittam

     rudaty atbhikshnam hasati kvacic ca

vilajja udgayati nrityate ca

     mad-bhakti-yukto bhuvanam punati

 

 

     "A devotee whose speech is sometimes choked up, whose heart melts, who cries continually and sometimes laughs, who feels ashamed and cries out loudly and then dances, a devotee thus fixed in loving service to Me purifies the entire universe."***

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.157-161) explains:

 

 

proktena lakshanenaiva

     bhakter adhikritasya ca

angatve munir aste 'pi

     nityady-akhila-karmanam

 

 

     "A person always engaged in the activities of devotional service attains the good qualities of true renunciation already described.

 

 

jnanasyadhyatmikasyapi

     vairagyasya ca phalgunah

spashtatartham punar api

     tad evedam nirakritam

 

 

     "An impersonalist, however, does not attain true renunciation. His renunciation is false.

 

 

dhana-shishyadibhir dvarair

     ya bhaktir upapadyate

viduratvad uttamata-

     hanya tasyash ca nangata

 

 

     "One should not be very eager to accumulate money and disciples. They can distract the devotee and they are not necessary parts of devotional service.

 

 

visheshanatvam evaisham

     samshrayanty adhikarinam

vivekadin yato 'misham

     api nangatvam ucyate

 

 

     "To be expert in philosophy and able to discern what is true and what is not, is not a necessary feature of a person engaged in devotional service.

 

 

krishnonmukham svayam yanti

     yamah shaucadayas tatha

ity esham ca na yukta syad

     bhakty-angantara-patita

 

 

     "Purification of consciousness, purification of bodily activities, austerities, peace of mind, etc. all become automatically manifest in a person who is engaged in devotional service.* Therefore the devotee need not endeavor separately to attain them."

 

 

Sutra 126

 

 

sa jiva-svabhava-mahima-rupa

 

     sa - that; jiva - of the individual spirit souls; svabhava - own nature; mahima - glory; rupa - form.

 

 

     Devotional service reveals the glory of the soul's true nature.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad it is said:

 

 

eshasya parama gatir eshasya parama sampad eshasya paramo loka eshasya parama ananda etasyaivanandasyanyani bhutani matram upajivanti.

 

 

     "Devotional service is the supreme goal, the supreme wealth, the supreme abode, and the supreme bliss. All blisses come from it."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.32) it is said:

 

 

aho bhagyam aho bhagyam

     nanda-gopa-vrajaukasam

yan mitram paramanandam

     purna-brahma sanatanam

 

 

     "How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men, and all the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune because the Absolute Truth, the source of all transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend."*

 

     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:

 

 

svarupa-shakti-sambandhan mayantardhane samsara-nashah. yesham tu mate muktav anandanubhavo nasti tesham pum-arthata na sampadyate. svato 'pi vastunah sphuranabhave nirarthakatvat. na ca sukham aham syam iti kasya vid-iccha. kintu sukham aham anubhavamity eva. tat-sampatti-labhat sve mahimni svarupa-sampattav api mahiyate pujyate prakrishta-prakasho bhavatity arthah.

 

 

     "By the touch of the potency that reveals the soul's original form, the illusory potency maya disappears and the cycle of repeated birth and death is broken. Thus liberated, the soul experiences transcendental bliss. In this way one attains the real goal of life. As long as one does not seek this real goal of life the true reality will not be manifested to him. Therefore a person who desires spiritual knowledge never says, `I am happy in the material world with material things'. However, when he attains spiritual knowledge, he says, `Now I am happy'. The word `mahimni' here means `when the opulence of his original spiritual form is manifested', and `mahiyate' means `is worshiped'. In this way the glory of the soul is manifested. That is the meaning."

 

 

Sutra 127

 

 

baddhanam sa kevalam sadhu-prasanga-ja

 

     baddhanam - of the conditioned souls; sa - that; kevalam - only; sadhu - of devotees; prasanga - from association; ja - born.

 

 

     Devotional service takes its birth among conditioned souls only when they associate with saintly devotees.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.23) it is said:

 

 

yasya deve para bhaktir

     yatha deve tatha gurau

tasyaite kathita hy arthah

     prakashante mahatmanah

 

 

     "Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.51.53) it is said:

 

 

bhavapavarga-bhranmato yada bhavej

     janasya tarhy acyuta-sat-samagamah

sat-sangamo yarhi tadaiva sad-gatau

     paravareshe tvayi jayate ratih

 

 

     "O my Lord! O infallible Supreme Person! When a person wandering throughout the universes becomes eligible for liberation from material existence, he gets an opportunity to associate with devotees. When he associates with devotees, his attraction for You is awakened. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the highest goal of the supreme devotees and the Lord of the universe."*

 

     Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 22.83) explains:

 

 

krishna-bhakti janma mula haya sadhu-sanga

 

 

     "The root cause of devotional service to Lord Krishna is association with advanced devotees."*

 

     Shrila Ramanuja Svami explains:

 

 

vaishnavanam hi sangatya

     samyag jnanam prajayate

tena nishreyasa-praptir

     bhavishyati su-nishcayam

 

 

     "By associating with saintly devotees one attains transcendental knowledge. In this way one certainly attains the best thing that can be attained.

 

 

atah sarvatmana karya

     vaishnavanam hi sangatih

pratikuladi-samsarga-

     manasam bhashanadayah

 

 

     "One should whole-heartedly associate with saintly Vaishnavas. With all one's heart one should do good to them. One should converse with them and associate with them in various ways."

 

 

su-duratah parityajyah

     prapannanam mahatmanam

ayam hi caramopayo

     nanyopayas tatah param

 

 

     "One should stay far away from nondevotees. Association with great souls who are surrendered to the Lord is the great way to make advancement in devotional service. There is no way better than this."

 

 

Sutra 128

 

 

bhagavat-kripa-hetuka

 

     bhagavat - of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kripa - the mercy; hetuka - the caue.

 

 

     The Lord's mercy is also the cause of attaining devotional service.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.2.20) it is said:

 

 

anor aniyan mahato mahiyan

     atmasya jantor nihitah guhayam

tam akratuh pashyati vita-shoko

     dhatuh prasadan mahimanam atmanah

 

 

     "Both the Supersoul (Paramatma) and the atomic soul (jivatma) are situated on the same tree of the body within the same heart of the living being, and only one who has become free from all material desires as well as lamentations can, by the grace of the Supreme, understand the glories of the soul."*

 

     In the Narada-bhakti-sutra it is said:

 

 

mukhyatas tu mahat-kripayaiva bhagavat-kripa-leshad va.

 

 

     "Primarily one attains devotional service by the mercy of the great devotees, but one may also attain it from a small particle of the mercy of the Supreme Lord Himself.

 

     Shrila Vallabha Svami explains:

 

 

mahatam kripaya yavad

     bhagavan dayayishyati

tavad ananda-sandohah

     kirtamanah sukhaya hi

 

 

     "By the mercy of great souls one attains the mercy of the Supreme Lord. In this way one becomes glorious and blissful."

 

 

Sutra 129

 

 

amnaya-prabhava ca

 

     amnaya - the Vedic literatures passed down through teh disciplic succesion; prabhava - power; ca - also.

 

 

     The Vedic knowledge, passed down through the disciplic succession, is another cause of devotional service.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (1.1-3) it is said:

 

 

brahma devanam prathamah sambabhuva vishvasya karta bhuvanasya gopta. sa brahma-vidyam sarva-vidya-pratishtham atharvaya jyeshtha-putraya praha. atharvena yam pravadeta brahmatha vartam purovacangire brahma-vidyam sa bharadvajaya satyavahaya praha bharadvajo 'ngirase paravaram. shaunako ha vai mahashalo 'ngirasam vidhivad upasannah papraccha. kasmin bhagavo vijnapte sarvam idam vijnatam bhavatiti.

 

 

     "Lord Brahma, who is the first-born of the demigods and the creator and protector of the worlds, spoke this knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the best of all knowledge, to his eldest son, Atharvan. Atharvan then spoke this spiritual knowledge to Angira Muni, and Angira Muni spoke it to Satyavaha Muni of the Bharadvaja dynasty. Noble-hearted Shaunaka Muni respectfully approached Angira Muni and asked: O master, what is the one Reality by knowing whom all else becomes known?"

 

     In the Padma Purana it is said:

 

 

sampradaya-vihina ye

     mantras te viphala matah

atah akalu bhavishyanti

     catvara sampradayinah

 

shri-brahma-rudra-sanaka-

     vaishnavah kshiti-pavanah

catvaras te kalau bhavya

     hy utkale purushottamat

 

 

     "Unless one is initiated by a bona-fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession, the mantra he might have received is without any effect.* For this reason four Vaishnava disciplic successions, inaugurated by Lakshmi-devi, Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, and Sanaka-kumara, will appear in the holy place of Jagannatha Puri in Orissa and purify the entire earth during the age of Kali."

 

     Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana, who wrote a commentary on Vedanta-sutra, explains (Shri Prameya-ratnavali 1.7):

 

 

shri-krishna-brahma-devarshi-

     badarayana-samjnakan

shri-madhva-shri-padmanabha-

     shriman-nrihari-madhavan

 

akshobhya-jayatirtha-shri-

     jnanasindhu-dayanidhin

shri-vidyanidhi-rajendra-

     jayadharman kramad vayam

 

purushottama-brahmanya-

     vyasatirthamsh ca samstumah

tato lakshmipatim shriman-

     madhavendrash ca bhaktitah

 

tac-chishyan shrishvaradvaita-

     nityanandan jagad-gurum

devam ishvara-shishyam shri-

     chaitanyam ca bhajamahe

shri-krishna-prema-danena

     yena nistaritam jagat

 

 

     "Withe great devotion we glorify the spiritual masters in the Gaudiya Vaishnava disciplic succesion. A list of their names follows: 1. Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 2. Brahma, 3. Narada, 4. Vyasa, 5. Madhvacarya, 6. Padmanabha, 7. Nrihari, 8. Madhava, 9. Akshobhya, 10. Jayatirtha, 11. Jnanasindhu, 12. Dayanidhi, 13. Vidyanidhi, 14. Rajendra, 15. Jayadharma, 16. Purushottama, 17. Brahmanya, 18. Vyasatirtha, 19. Lakshmipati, 20. Madhavendra Puri, and 21. Ishvara Puri, Advaita Prabhu, and Nityananda Prabhu (who were all disciples of Madhavendra Puri). We worship Ishvara Puri's disciple, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who delivered the entire universe by granting the gift of Krishna-prema, pure love for Lord Krishna."

 

 

Sutra 130

 

 

purusha-ceshta hy adrishta-janany atha sadhavah sarvatmana sevyah

 

     purusha - of a person; ceshta - the activities; hi - indeed; adrishta - of destiny; janani - the mother; atha - therefore; sadhavah - saintly devotees; sarvatmana - with all one;s heart; sevyah - should be served.

 

 

     A person's actions are the mother of his future destiny. Therefore with all one's heart one should serve the saintly devotees.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad it is said:

 

 

sa va ayam purusho jayamanah shariram abhisampadyamanah. papmabhih samshrijyate sa utkraman mriyamanah papmano vijahati.

 

 

     "Taking birth, the soul enters a material body. Here he has a choice. He may commit sins, or he may, on dying, leave all his sins behind."

 

     In the Prashna Upanishad (6.8)) it is said:

 

 

tvam hi nah pita yo 'smakam avidyayah param param tarayasiti. namah parama-rishibhyo namah parama-rishibhyah.

 

 

     "(After hearing the answers to all their questions, the students) worshiped the sage and said, `You are our father. You have taken us to the farther shore of this ocean of ignorance. We offer our obeisances to the great sages. We offer our obeisances to the great sages."

 

     In the Padma Purana it is said:

 

 

aradhananam sarvesham

     vishnor aradhanam param

tasmat parataram devi

     tadiyanam samarcanam

 

 

     "My dear Devi, although the Vedas recommend worship of demigods, the worship of Lord Vishnu is topmost. However, above the worship of Vishnu is the rendering of service to Vaishnavas, who are related to Lord Vishnu."*

 

 

na shudra bhagavad-bhaktas

     tesham bhagavata narah

sarva-varneshu te shudra

     ye na bhakta janardane

 

 

     "The devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are never to be considered sudras. The word shudra can be applied only to they who are not devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.2) it is said:

 

 

mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes

     tamo-dvaram yoshitam sangi-sangah

 

 

     "One can attain the path of liberation from material bondage only by rendering service to highly advanced spiritual personalities. For those who are not interested in such activities, who associate with people fond of women and sex, the path to hell is wide open."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.18.13) it is said:

 

 

tulayama lavenapi

     na svargam napunar-bhavam

bhagavat-sangi-sangasya

     martyanam kim utashishah

 

 

     "The value of a moment's association with the devotee of the Lord cannot even be compared to the attainment of heavenly planets or liberation from matter, and what to speak of worldly benedictions in the form of material prosperity, which are for those who are meant for death."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.29) it is said:

 

 

durlabho manusho deho

     dehinam kshana-bhangurah

tatrapi durlabham manye

     vaikuntha-priya-darshanam

 

 

     "For the conditioned souls, the human body is most difficult to achieve, and it can be lost at any moment. But I think that even those who have achieved human life rarely gain the association of pure devotees, who are dear to the Lord of Vaikuntha."***

 

     In the Narada-bhakti-sutra it is said:

 

 

nasti tesham jati-vidya-rupa-kula-dhana-kriya-vibhedah.

 

 

     "Differences of birth, education, beauty, family, wealth, and good deeds do not apply to they who are devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 22.54) explains:

 

 

sadhu-sanga sadhu-sanga sarva shastra kaya

lava matra sadhu-sange sarva siddhi haya

 

 

     "The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment's association with a pure devotee one can attain all success."*

 

     Shrila Balarama dasa explains:

 

 

          bhaire sadhu-sanga kara bhala haiya

sa bhava tariya jabe  mahananda sukha pabe

          nitai chaitanya guna ganya

 

 

     "O brother, please associate with the saintly Vaishnavas. In this way you will cross the ocean of repeated birth and death. Please chant the glories of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda. In this way you will become filled with bliss.

 

 

caurashi laksha-janma    kariya shrama  

          bhalai durlabha deha panya

mahater daya-diya  bhakti-paye na caliya

          janma jaya akarane bhaiya

 

 

     "After a great labor of many thousands of births you have attained this rare human body. By the mercy of the great souls please engage in devotional service. Then you will put an end to repeated birth and death.

 

 

mala mudra kari besha  bhajanera nahi lesha

          phiri ami loka dekhaiya

makhalera phala lala  dekhite sundara bhala

          bhangile se deya phelaiya

 

 

     "I do not have any of the garlands, rings, or garments of devotional service. I am only a huckster. I have thrown away all that is beautiful.

 

 

candana tarura kache  jata briksha lata ache

          atma sama kare bayu diya

hena sadhu-sanga sara  nai balarama chara

          bhava-kupe rahilan padiya

 

 

     "I am like a vine born among sandal trees. Balarama dasa did not attain the treasure of association with saintly devotees. That is why he remains in this blind well of birth and death."