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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Amnaya Sutra > Part two > Chapter-I

Chapter One

Abhidheya-nirnaya-prakarana

Determination of What Is the Means of Spiritual Attainment

 

 

Sutra 51

 

 

nitya-karma hy evabhidheyam ity eke

 

     nitya - regular; karma - duties; hi - indeed; eva - indeed; abhidheyam - the meaning; iti - thus; eke - some.

 

 

     Some say that the performance of regular duties is the means of spiritual attainment.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (1.2.1) it is said:

 

 

     tad etat satyam mantreshu karmani kavayo yany apashyams tani tretayam bahudha santatani tany acaraty aniyatam satya-kama eshah vah panthah sva-kritasya loke.

 

 

     "That is the Supreme. The wise see Him in the Vedic mantras. Therefore one should perform the many rituals in the three Vedas. They are the path of spiritual attainment in this world."

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (3.8 and 19), Lord Krishna explains:

 

 

niyatam kuru karma tvam

     karma-jyayo hy akarmanah

sharira-yatrapi ca te

     na prasidhyed akarmanah

 

 

     "Perform your prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not working. One cannot even maintain one's physical body without work."*

 

 

tasmad asaktah satatam

     karyam karma samacara

asakto hy acaran karma

     param apnoti purushah

 

 

     "Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty, for by working without attachment one attains the Supreme."*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 24.214) it is said:

 

 

deharami karma-nishtha yajnikadi jana

sat-sange karma tyagi' karaye bhajana

 

 

     "Those who are in the bodily conception mainly engage in fruitive activity. Those who perform yajnas and ritualistic ceremonies are also considered in the same category. However, when they are all in contact with the pure devotee, they give up their fruitive activity and fully engage in the service of the Lord."*

 

 

Sutra 52

 

 

cin-matradvaita-jnanam abhidheyam ity apare

 

     cit - spirit; matra - only; advaita - non-dual; j 24anam - knowledge; abhidheyam - to be named; iti - thus; apare - others.

 

 

     Others say that the theory of monism is the means of spiritual attainment.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Chandogya Upanishad (it is said:

 

 

etad atmam idam sarvam tat satyam sa atma tvam asi shvetaketo.

 

 

     "The Supreme is everything. He is the truth. O Shvetaketu, you are He."

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.2.7) it is said:

 

 

karmani vijnanamayam ca atma pare 'vyaye sarva eko bhavanti.

 

 

     "Then the conscious soul and all he has done become one with the unchanging Supreme."

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad it is said:

 

 

ayam atma brahma

 

 

     "The Supreme is the impersonal Brahman."

 

     In the Chandogya Upanishad it is said:

 

 

ekam evadvitiyam. aham brahmasmi.

 

 

     "Brahman is one without a second. I am that Brahman."

 

     In the Aitareya Upanishad (5.3) it is said:

 

 

prajnanam brahma neha nanasti kincana.

 

 

     "The conscious Brahman is one. It is not many."

 

     In the Ashtavakra-sam6hita it is said:

 

 

krimayah kva ca samsare

     kva pritir viratih kva va

kva jivah kva ca tad brahma

     sarvada vimanasyeme

 

 

     "What are the worms in this world of birth and death? What is love? What is hatred? What is the individual person? What is the Supreme? These are all illusions."

 

     Shri Vijnana Bhikshu explains:

 

 

atmaivasti param satyam

     nanyah samsara-drishtayah

shuktiko rajatam yadvad

     yatha maru-maricika

 

 

     "The Supreme is the only reality. Nothing else can be seen in this world. Everything else is like the silver imagined to glitter on a seashell, or like a mirage in the desert."

 

     Shri Shankaracarya explains:

 

 

rajju sarpavad atmanam

     jivo jnatva bhayam vahet

naham jivah paratmeti

     jnanam cen nirbhayam bhavet

 

 

     "When a person mistakes a rope for a snake, he becomes afraid. In the same way the individual soul does not understand the truth of his own identity, and for this reason he becomes afraid. When the soul understands, `I am not an individual soul. I am the Supreme Soul', then he becomes free from all fears."

 

 

Sutra 53

 

 

yatra dharmaya karma viragaya dharmash cid-rasaya viragas tatra gauna-rupena karmaivabhidheyam

 

     yatra - where; dharmaya - for piety; karma - work; viragaya - for renunciation; dharmah - piety; cid-rasaya - for the nectar of spiritual bliss; viragah - renunciation; tatra - there; gauna-rupena - indirect; karma - work; eva - indeed; abhidheyam - to be named.

 

 

     When fruitive work is performed to gain piety, piety is employed to foster renunciation, and renunciation is employed to gain the nectar of spiritual bliss, then fruitive work can be a secondary tool for attaining success in spiritual life.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Isha Upanishad (15) it is said:

 

 

hiranmayena patrena

     satyasyapihitam mukham

tat tvam pushann apavrinu

     satya-dharmaya drishtaye

 

 

     "O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Please remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to Your pure devotee."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is said:

 

 

na yasya karma dharmaya

     na viragaya kalpate

na tirtha-pada-sevayai

     jivann api mrito 'pi sah

 

 

     "One who does not perform pious deeds, who is not inclined to renunciation, and who does not travel to holy places of pilgrimage, is already dead, even though he seems to live."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.34) it is said:

 

 

evam nrinam kriya-yogah

     sarve samshriti-hetavah

ata evatma-nashaya

     kalpante kalpitah pare

 

 

     "Thus when all a man's activities are dedicated to the service of the Lord, those very activities which caused his perpetual bondage become the destroyer of the tree of work."*

 

     Shrila Ramanujacarya explains:

 

 

upaya-buddhya karmani

     ma kurudhvam mahatmakah

karmanam eva kainkarye

     prapte bhagavatah matih

 

 

     "O great souls, please do not think that fruitive work is the primary way to attain spiritual advancement. Fruitive work is only a servant to the real way. that is the opinion of the Supreme Lord Himself."

 

 

Sutra 54

 

 

yatra cid-rasaya jnanam tatra gauna-rupena j 24anam abhidheyam

 

     yatra - where; cid-rasaya - for spiritual bliss; j 24anam - knowledge; tatra - there; gauna-rupena - as secondary; j 24anam - knowledge; abhidheyam - to be named.

 

 

     When it is employed in the proper way to attain the nectar of spiritual bliss, the path of knowledge can a be secondary tool to attain spiritual realization.   

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad it is said:

 

 

tam eva dhiro vijnaya

     prajnam kurvita brahmanah

 

 

     "A brahmana should employ his intelligence to understand the Supreme."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.19.5), Lord Krishna explains:

 

tasmaj jnanena sahitam

     jnatva svatmanam uddhava

jnana-vijnana-sampanno

     bhaja mam bhakti-bhavatah

 

 

     "Therefore, My dear Uddhava, through knowledge you should understand your actual self. Then, advancing by clear realization of Vedic knowledge, you should worship me in the mood of loving devotion."***

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 24.109 and 113) it is said:

 

 

bhakti vina kevala jnane mukti nahi haya

bhakti-sadhana kare ye prapti brahma laya

 

 

     "One cannot attain liberation simply through philosophical speculation devotion of devotional service. However, if one renders devotional service, he is automatically on the Brahman platform."*

 

 

janma haite shuka-sanakadi brahmamaya

krishna-gunakrishta haye krishnera bhajaya

 

 

     "Although Shukadeva Gosvami and the four Kumaras were always absorbed in the thought of impersonal Brahman and were thus Brahmavadis, they were nonetheless attracted by the transcendental pastimes and qualities of Krishna. Therefore they later became devotees of Krishna."*

 

 

Sutra 55

 

 

cid-vishesha-sphurti-sadhanam abhidheyam iti bhagyavantah

 

     cit - spiritual; vishesha-sphurti - variety; sadhanam - the means; abhidheyam - to be named; iti - thus bhagyavantah - the fortunate.

 

 

     The fortunate souls say that the path of spiritual variety is the true means of spiritual attainment.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Prashna Upanishad (1.16) it is said:

 

 

tesham asau virajo brahmaloko na yeshu jihmam anritam na maya ceti.

 

 

     "They attain the pure spiritual world, where there are no lies and no illusions."

 

     In the Mathara-shruti it is said:

 

 

bhaktir evainam darshayati bhakti-vashah purusho bhaktir eva bhuyasi.

 

 

     "Devotional service reveals the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes conquered by devotional service."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.34-35), the Supreme Lord explains:

 

 

naikatmatam me sprihayanti kecit

     mat-pada-sevabhirata mad-ihah

ye 'nyonyato bhagavatah prasajya

     sabhajayante mama paurushani

 

 

     "A pure devotee, who is attached to the activities of devotional service and who always engages in the service of My lotus feet, never desires to become one with Me. Such a devotee, who is unflinchingly engaged, always glorifies My pastimes and activities.*

 

 

pashyanti te rucirany amba santah

     prasanna-vaktraruna-locanani

rupani divyani vara-pradani

     sakam vacam sprihaniyam vadanti

 

 

     "O My mother, My devotees always see the smiling face of My form, with eyes like the rising morning sun. They like to see My various transcendental forms, which are all benevolent, and they also talk favorably with Me."*

 

     Shrila Bhattanatha explains:

 

 

nitya-muktaika-bhojyam yat

     tat pancopanishanmayam

aprakritam divya-rupam

     acakshur-vishayam gatam

 

 

     "The eternally liberated souls enjoy the company of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is described by the five Upanishads, whose form is splendid and transcendental, who is not touched by matter, and who cannot be seen by material eyes."