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

Chapter Two


Activities For Spiritual Advancement



Sutra 56



bhagyavatam sat-prasangad ananya-bhaktau shraddha


     bhagyavatam - of the fortunate souls; sat-prasangat - because of association with devotees; ananya-bhaktau - in unalloyed devotional service; shraddha - faith.



     By associating with devotees, the fortunate souls attain faith in unalloyed devotional service.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Chandogya Upanishad (7.1.1 and 7.19.1) it is said:



adhihi bhagava iti hopasasada sanat-kumaram naradas tam hovaca yad vettha tena mopasidatas tu urdhvam vakshyamiti. . . . yada vai shraddadhaty atha manuto nashraddadhan manute shraddadhad eva manute shraddhatv eva vijijnasitavyeti shraddham bhagavo vijijnasa iti.



     "Narada approached Sanatkumara and said, `O master, please instruct me.' Sanatkumara replied, `First tell me what you know, and then I will teach what is beyond that. . . . When one has faith, then he can meditate. A person who has no faith cannot meditate. A person who has faith can meditate. One should be eager to understand the nature of faith.' "


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25) it is said:



satam prasangan mama virya-samvido

     bhavanti hrit-karna-rasayana-kathah

taj-joshanad ashv apavarga-vartmani

     shraddha ratir bhaktir anukramishyati



     "In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activites of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin."*


     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.49 and 64) it is said:



sadhu-sange krishna-bhaktye shraddha yadi haya

bhakti-phala prema haya samsara yaya kshaya



     "By associating with a devotee, one awakens his faith in devotional service to Krishna. Because of devotional service, one's dormant love for Krishna awakens, and thus one's material, conditional existence comes to an end."*



shraddhavan jana haya bhakti-adhikari



     "A faithful devotee is a truly eligible candidate for the loving service of the Lord."*



Sutra 57



sa tv anyopayavajam bhakty-unmukhi citta-vritti-visheshah


     sa - that; tu - indeed; anya - other; upayavajam - born from the methods; bhakti - for devotional service; unmukhi - eager; citta - of the heart; vritti - activity; visheshah - specific.



     Faith is a specific activity performed in the heart. It makes one desire to engage in devotional service. It is different from the other means of spiritual advancement.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Katha Upanishad (1.2.23) it is said:



nayam atma pravacanena labhyo

     na medhaya na bahuna shrutena

yam evaisha vrinute tena labhyas

     tasyaisha atma vivrinute tanum svam



     "The Supreme Lord is not attained by expert explanations, by vast intelligence, nor even by much hearing. He is attained only by one who He Himself chooses. To such a  person He manifests His own form."*


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.11.32) it is said:



ajnayayaiva gunan dosham

     mayadishtan api svakan

dharman santyajya yah sarvan

     mam bhajet sa ca sattamah



     "Such a saintly person must be considered the most learned of men. He perfectly understands that the ordinary religious duties prescribed by Me in various Vedic scriptures possess favorable qualities that purify the performer, and he knows that neglect of such duties constitutes a discrepancy in one's life. Having taken complete shelter at My lotus feet, however, a saintly person ultimately renounces such ordinary religious duties and worships Me alone. He is thus considered to be the best among all living entities."***


     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.59, 60 and 62) it is said:



purva ajna veda karma dharma yoga jnan

saba sadhi avasheshe ei ajna balavan



     "Although Krishna has previously explained the proficiency of executing Vedic rituals, performing fruitive activity as enjoined in the Vedas, practicing yoga, and cultivating jnana, these last instructions are most powerful and stand above all the others.*



ei ajna-bale bhaktye shraddha yadi haya

sarva karma tyaga kari shri-krishna bhajaya



     "If the devotee has faith in the strength of this order, he worships Lord Krishna and gives up all other activities.*



shraddha shabde vishvasa kahe su-dridha nishcaya



     "By rendering transcendental loving service to Krishna, one automatically performs all subsidiary activities."*



Sutra 58



sa ca sharanapatti-lakshana


     sa - that; ca - and; sharana - surrender and taking shelter; apatti - attainment; lakshana - characteristic.



     Faith is characterized by taking shelter of the Lord and surrendering unto Him.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.18) it is said:



yo brahmanam vidadhati purvam

     yo vai vedamsh ca prahinoti tasmai

tam hi vedam atma-buddhi-prakasham

     mumukshur vai sharanam aham prapadye



     "Because I desire liberation, let me surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who first enlightened Lord Brahma in Vedic knowledge through Lord Brahma's heart. The Lord is the original source of all enlightenment and spiritual advancement."*


     In the Bhagavad-gita (18.66), Lord Krishna explains:



sarva-dharman parityajya

     mam ekam sharanam vraja

aham tvam sarva-papebhyo

     mokshayisyami ma shucah



     "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear."*


     In the Vaishnava Tantra it is said:



anukulyasya sankalpah

     pratikulyasya varjanam

rakshishyatiti vishvaso

     goptritve varanam tatha



     shad-vidha sharanagatih



     "the six divisions of surrender are: 1. the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, 2. the rejection of unfavorable things, 3. the conviction that Krishna will give protection, 4. the acceptance of the Lord as one's guardian or master, 5. full self-surrender, and 6. humility."*


     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.102) it is said:



sharana lana kare krishne atma samarpana

krishna tare kare tat-kale atma-sama



     "When a devotee thus fully surrenders unto Krishna's lotus feet, Krishna accepts him as one of His confidential associates."*



Sutra 59



taya deshika-padashrayah


     taya - by that; deshika - of the spiritual master; pada - of the feet; ashrayah - shelter.



     Faith leads one to take shelter at a bona fide spiritual master's feet.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.22) it is said:



vedante paramam guhyam

     pura kalpe pracoditam

naprashantaya datavyam

     naputrayashishyaya va



     "This ancient Shvetashvatara Upanishad, which is the supreme secret of Vedic literature, should not be spoken to one who is not peaceful or in control of his senses, nor to one who is not a dutiful son or an obedient disciple."


     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.23) it is also 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 (11.20.17) it is said:



nr-deham adyam su-labham su-durlabham

     plavam su-kalpam guru-karnadharam

mayanukulena nabhasvateritam

     puman bhavabdhim na taret sa atma-ha



     "When one wants to cross a large ocean, he requires a strong boat. It is said that the human form of life is a good boat by which one can cross the ocean of nescience. In the human form of life one can obtain the guidance of a good navigator, the spiritual master. One also gets a favorable wind by the mercy of Krishna, and that wind is the instructions of Krishna. The human body is the boat, the instructions of Lord Krishna are the favorable winds, and the spiritual master is the navigator. The spiritual master knows well how to adjust the sails to catch the winds favorably and steer the boat to its destination. If, however, one does not take advantage of this opportunity, one wastes the human form of life. Wasting time and life in this way is the same as committing suicide."*


     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 23.9) it is said:



kona bhagye kona jivera shraddha yadi haya

tabe sei jiva sadhu sanga karaya



     "If, by a good fortune, a living entity develops faith in Krishna, he begins to associate with devotees."*


     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.115) it is said:



guru-padashraya-diksha gurura sevana

sad-dharma-shiksha sadhu marganugamana



     "On the path of devotional service one must observe the following items: 1. One must accept a bona fide spiritual master. 2. Accept initiation from him. 3. Serve him. 4. Receive instructions from the spiritual master and make inquiries in order to learn devotional service. 5. Follow in the footsteps of the previous acaryas and follow the directions given by the spiritual master."*



Sutra 60



tatah sadhana-bhaktir navadha


     tatah - from that; sadhana-bhaktih - devotional service in practice; navadha-ninefold.



     Then one engages in the nine activities of sadhana-bhakti devotional service.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.5.6) it is said:



atma va are drashtavyah shrotavyo mantavyo nidhidhyasitavyah.



     "One should gaze on the Lord, hear about Him, chant His glories, and meditate on Him."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is said:



shravanam kirtanam casya

     smaranam mahatam gateh

sevejyavanatir dasyam

     sakhyam atma-nivedanam



     "Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia, and pastimes of Lord Vishnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words serving Him with the body, mind, and words), these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service."*


     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.121) it is said:



shravana kirtana smarana pujana vandana

paricarya dasya sakhya atma-nivedana



     "After one is established in devotional service, the positive actions are: 1. hearing, 2. chanting, 3. remembering, 4. worshiping, 5. praying, 6. serving, 7. accepting servitorship, 8. becoming a friend, and 9. surrendering fully."*



Sutra 61





     bhagavat - of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; nama - name; rupa - form; guna - qualities; lila - and pastimes; shravanam - hearing.



     Then one hears about the Supreme Lord's names, forms, qualities, and pastimes.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad it is said:



sa hovaca yajnavalkyah bhavaty etad vyakhyasyami te vyacakshanasya tu me nidhidhyasasva.



     "Yajnavalkya Muni said, `I will tell you about the Supreme Lord. Please listen carefully."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.37) it is said:



pibanti ye bhagavata atmanah satam

     kathamritam shravana-puteshu sambhritam

punanti te vishaya-vidushitashayam

     vrajanti tac-carana-saroruhantikam



     "Those who drink through aural reception, fully filled with the nectarean message of Lord Krishna, the beloved of the devotees, purify the polluted aim of life known as material enjoyment and thus go back to Godhead, to the lotus feet of Him (the Personality of Godhead)."*


     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:



atha krama-prapta-shravanam. tac ca nama-rupa-guna-lilamaya-shabdanam shrotra-sparshah. prathamam namnah shravanam antahkarana-shuddhy-artham apeksham. shuddhe cantahkarane rupa-shravanena tad-ubhaya-yogyata bhavati. samyag udite ca rupe gunanam sphuranam sampadyate. nama-rupa-guneshu samyak sphuriteshv eva lila-nama sphuranam sushthu bhavatity abhipretya sadhana-kramo likhitam.



     "Now will be described the sequence of events in hearing about the Lord. hearing about the Lord occurs when the ears touch sounds of the Lord's names, forms, qualities, and pastimes. First one hears the Lord's holy name, and by this hearing the heart becomes purified. When the heart is thus purified one hears descriptions of the Lord's form. In this way one becomes qualified to hear both the Lord's name and the descriptions of His form. When one hears about the Lord's form, one naturally also hears about the Lord's qualities. When one hears the Lord's name and the descriptions of the Lord's form and qualities, one also comes to hear about the Lord's pastimes. In this way I have written about the sequence of activities in hearing about the Lord."



Sutra 62





     tat-tat - them; kirtanam - glorifying.



     Then one chants the glories of all these.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Taittiriya Upanishad it is said:



samagayann aste.



     "He chants the glories of the Lord."


     In the Chandogya Upanishad it is said:



vacam brahmety upaste.



     "He worships the Lord by describing Him with words.


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.1.11) it is said:



etan nirvidyamananam

     icchatam akuto-bhayam

yoginam nripa nirnitam

     harer namanukirtanam



     "O king, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material enjoyment, and those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge."*


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.22) it is also said:



idam hi pumsas tapasah shrutasya va

     svishtasya suktasya ca buddhi-dattayoh

avicyuto 'rthah kavibhir nirupito

     yad uttamashloka-gunanuvarnanam



     "Learned circles have positively concluded that the infallible purpose of the advancement of knowledge, namely austerities, study of the Vedas, sacrifice, chanting of hymns, and charity, culminates in the transcendental descriptions of the Lord, who is defined in choice poetry."*


     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:



yadi sakshad eva mahat-kritasya kirtanasya shravana-bhagyam na sampadyate tadaiva svayam prithak kirtanam iti. gana-shakty-abhave tat shrinoti. tad-anumodanam. bahubhir militva kirtanam sankirtanam.



     "When one is not engaged in hearing the Lord's glories from a great soul, one may personally engage in chanting the Lord glories. If one has no power to chant the Lord's glories, then one may simply hear. Chanting the Lord's glories becomes a source of great pleasure for the chanter. When many are assembled together to hear and chant the Lord's glories the chanting is called `sankirtana'."



Sutra 63





     tat-tat - of these; smaranam - remembering.



     Then one remembers all these.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Chandogya Upanishad it is said:



smarena va vijanati smaram upasveti smaram brahmety upaste.



     "By remembering the Lord one worships Him."


     In the Narada Purana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:



vishayan dhyayatash cittam

     vishayeshu visajjate

mam anusmaratash cittam

     mayy eva praviliyate



     "One who turns from material things and remembers Me in his heart, attains Me."


     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:



tad idam smaranam panca-vidham. yat kincid anusandhanam smaranam. purvatash cittam akrishya samyakarena mano-dharanam dharana. visheshato rupadi-cintanam dhyanam. amrita-dhara-vadanavac chinnam tat dhruvanusmritih. dhyeya-matra-sphuranam samadhir iti.



     "Remembering the Lord progresses in five stages. First one tries to understand the Lord. That is called `smarana'. Then the heart becomes attracted to the Lord. That is called `dharana'. Then one specifically meditates on the Lord's form, qualities, and pastimes. That is called `dhyana'. Then that meditation drowns one in a flood of nectar. That is called `dhruvanusmriti'. Then the Lord personally appears before the meditator. That is called `samadhi'."



Sutra 64





     pada - to the feet; sevanam - service.



     Then one serves the Lord's feet.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Katha Upanishad (2.2.3) it is said:



madhye vamanam asinam

     vishvadeva upasate



     "The demigods serve the Supersoul sitting in the middle of the heart."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.21.31) it is said:



yat-pada-sevabhirucis tapasvinam

     ashesha-janmopacitam malam dhiya

sadyah kshinoty anvaham edhita sati

     yatha padangushtha-vinihshrita sarit



     "By the inclination to serve the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, suffering humanity can immediately cleanse the dirt which has accumulated in their minds during innumerable births. Like the Ganges water, which emanates from the toes of the lotus feet of the Lord, such a process immediately cleanses the mind, and thus spiritual of Krishna consciousness gradually increases."*


     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:



seva ca kala-deshady-ucita paricaryadi-paryaya. sevya-padatvenaiva prapasya tasya shri-purushottamasya sac-cid-ananda-ghanatvam evabhipretam. atra pada-sevayam shri-murti-darshana-sparshana-parikramanuvrajana-bhagavan-mandira-ganga-purushottama-dvaraka-mathuradi-tadiya-tirtha-sthana-gamanadayo 'py antar-bhavyah.



     "Service to the Lord is appropriate in all times and places. Service here means service to the feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Included in service to the Lord are: seeing and touching the Deity of the Lord, circumambulating the Lord, visiting the temple of the Lord, and going on pilgrimage to holy places like the Ganges, Jagannatha Puri, Dvaraka, amd Mathura."



Sutra 65





     arcanam - worship.



     One may also worship the Lord.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.10) it is said:



yo devanam adhipo

     yasmil loka adhishritah

ya ishe 'sya dvi-padash catush-padas

     tasmai devaya havisha vidhema



     "With offerings of clarified butter let us worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of the demigods, in whom the worlds rest, and who rules the two-footed and the four-footed."


     In the Vishnu-dharma Purana it is said:



devatayam ca mantre

     tatha mantra-prade gurau

bhaktir ashta-vidha yasya

     tasya krishnah prasidati



     "Lord Krishna is pleased with the devotee who in eight ways devotedly worships His Deity from, His mantra, and the spiritual master who gave the mantra."


     In the Bhagavad-gita (9.26), Lord Krishna explains:



patram pushpam phalam toyam

     yo me bhaktya prayacchati

tad aham bhakty-upahritam

     ashnami prayatatmanah



     "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it."*


     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:



shri-naradadi-vartmanusaribhih shri-bhagavata saha sambandha-vishesham diksha-vidhanena shri-guru-carana-sampaditam cikirshadbhih kritayam dikshayam arcanam avashyam kriyate eva. ye tu sampatti-santo grihasthas tesham tv arcana-marga eva mukhyah. tad akritva hi nishkincanavat kevala-smaranadi-nishthatve citta-shathya-pratipattih syat. tatha garhasthya-dharmasya devata yagasya shakha-pallavadi-sevaka-sthaniyasya mula-seka-rupam tad-arcanam ity api tad-akarane mahan doshah. kvacid atra manasa-pujasti.



     "they who by spiritual initiation are followers of the path of Narada Muni and other great souls and who thus have a relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a relationship established by their taking shelter of the feet of their spiritual master, must engage in worship of the Supreme Lord. For they who are prosperous householders, the path of worship of the Deity of the Lord is most important. If they ignore this duty and act as if they had no money and were poverty-stricken, merely engaged in meditating on the Lord and serving Him in ways that do not involve the expenditure of money, these cheating activities will not help them. Therefore the householders have a solemn duty to worship the Deity. The example is given that by watering the roots of a tree the branches, twigs, and all else are nourished. The householders' worship of the Deity is like that. If they fail in that duty it is a great fault on their part. If somehow they are not able to worship the Deity directly, they should worship the Deity in meditation.



arcanam api dvi-vidham. kevalam karma-mishram ca purvam nirapkeshanam shraddhavatam uttaram vyavahara-ceshtatishayavatta yadricchika-bhakty-anushthana-lakshana-vartadi-lakshana-lakshita-shraddhanam.



     "Worship is of two kinds: 1. pure, and 2. mixed with fruitive activities. The former is performed by the who have great faith and who desire only to please the Lord. The latter is performed by they who are mostly engaged in material activities, who have only a little faith, and who engage in devotional service from time to time when they feel so inclined.



avahanam cadarena sammukhi-karanam sthapanam bhaktya nishevanam. sannidhapanam tadiyatva-darshanam sannirodhanam kriya samapti-paryanta-sthapanam. sakali-karanam tat-sarvanga-prakashanam. atra shudradi-pujitarca puja-nishedha-vacanam avaishnava-shudradi-param eva.



     "In worship one respectfully requests the Lord to appear, one approaches the Lord, and one serves the Lord with devotion. One sees everything as the Lord's property, one offers various gifts to the Lord, and one offers all that one has to the Lord. In some places it is said that shudras and other low-class persons are not eligible to worship the Lord. These words refer only to they who are not Vaishnavas."



Sutra 66



bhuta-shuddhi-keshava-nyasavahana-vaishnava-cihna-dhriti-nirmalya-dharana-caranamrita-pana-vrata-palanadini tad-angani


     bhuta-shuddhi - consecration of articles; keshava-nyasa - offering nyasas to Lord Krishna; avahana - requesting the Lord to appear; vaishnava - of a Vaishnava; cihna - the marks; dhriti - wearing; nirmalya - the remnants of flowers offered to the Lord; dharana - taking; carana - of the feet; amrita - the nectar; pana - drinking; vrata - vows; palana - protecting; adini - beginning with; tat - of that; angani - the parts.



     Consecration of articles of worship, offering nyasas to Lord Keshava, requesting the Lord to appear, accepting the marks of a Vaishnava, wearing flower garlands offered to the Lord, drinking the nectar that has washed the Lord's feet, and following vows are included among the activities of worshiping the Lord.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Isha Upanishad (18) it is said:



yuyodhyasmaj juhuranam eno

     bhuyishtham te nama-uktim vidhema



     "O my lord, powerful as fire, omnipotent one, now I offer You all obeisances and fall on the ground at Your feet. O my Lord, please lead me on the right path to reach You, and since You know all that I have done in the past, please free me from the reactions to my past sins, so that there will be no hindrance to my progress."*


     In the Bahv-rica-parishishta it is said:



sahasraro nemi nemina tapta-tanuh.



     "One should worship the Lord, who is like a splendid wheel with a thousand spokes."


     In the Chandogya-parishishta it is said:



sa hovaca yajnavalkyas tat puman atma-hitaye premna harim bhajet.



     "Yajnavalkya said: For one's own benefit one should lovingly worship Lord Hari."


     In the Vayu Purana it is said:



ayacaka-pradata syat

     krishim vritty-artham acaret

puranam shrinuyan nityam

     shalagramam ca pujayet



     "One should worship the Lord and perform activities that attract Him. One should regularly hear from the Puranas and one should regularly worship the Shalagrama-shila."


     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:



tatra bhuta-shuddhir nijabhilashita-bhagavat-sevopayika-tat-parshada-deha-bhavana-paryanta. ahangropasanayah shuddha-bhakter dushtatvat. keshava-vinyasadinam yatradhamangam vishayatvam tatra tan-murtim dhyatva tat-tan-mantramsh ca japtvaiva tat-tad-angam sparsha-matram kuryat. na tu tat-tan-mantra-devata tatra tatra nyasta dhyayed yani catra vaishnava-vaishnava-cihnani nirmalya-dharana-caranamrita-panadini angani tesham ca prithak prithan mahatma-vrindam shastra-sahasreshv anusandheyam. tatha shri-krishna-janmashtami-karttika-vrataikadashi-vrata-magha-snanadikam atraivantar-bhavyam.



     "Then one should consecrate the articles of worship. One may worship the Lord as one desires, and one may also meditate on becoming one of the Lord's liberated associates. However, one should not meditate on becoming the Lord Himself, for that kind of meditation is wrong and impure. One should offer keshava-nyasa and other like offerings, one should bow down before the Lord, meditate on the Lord, chant mantras glorifying the Lord, and touch the Deity of the Lord. One should not offer mantras and nyasas to the various demigods. One should accept the marks of a Vaishnava, wear flower garlands offered to the Lord, drink the nectar that has washed the Lord's feet, and perform other like activities. These are some of the activities of worship of the Lord. Some other activities of worship are one should study thousands of scriptures, one should observe the vows of Shri Krishna-janmashtami, the month of Karttika, and the days of ekadashi, and one should bathe during the month of Magha."


Sutra 67





     vandanam - offering obeisances.



     One may also offer obeisances to the Lord.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.3-4) it is said:



tvam stri tvam puman asi

     tvam kumara uta va kumari

tvam jirno dandena vancasi

     tvam jato bhavasi vishvato-mukhah



     "You are a woman. You are a man. You are a boy. You are a girl. As an old man You walk with a cane. You are born again, O all-pervading Lord.



nilah patango harito lohitakshas

     tadid-garbha ritavah samudrah

anadimat tvam vibhutvena

     yato jatasi bhuvanani vishvah



     "You are the black bee, the green parrot, the red-eyed cuckoo, the storm-cloud with lightning, the seasons, and the oceans. You are everywhere. You are beginningless. The worlds are born from You."


     In the Narayana-vyuha-stava it is said:



aho bhagyam aho bhagyam

     aho bhagyam nrinam idam

yesham hari-padabjagre

     shiro nyastam yatha tatha



     "How greatly fortunate are they! How fortunate are they! How fortunate are they who bow their heads before Lord Hari's lotus feet!"


     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:



tac ca yadyapi ashtangatvenapi vartate tathapi kirtana-smaranavat svatantryenapity apretya prithag vidhiyate. eka-hasta-kritatva-vastravrita-dehatva-bhagavad-agra-prishtha-vama-bhagatyanta-nikata-garbha-mandira-gatatvadi-mayaparadha namaskare parihartavyah.



     "As with hearing and chanting the Lord's glories, one should not offer obeisances whimsically in whatever way one thinks. There is a specific way. One should bow down with the eight parts of his body. One should also avoid the offenses that begin with offering obeisances with only one hand, offering obeisances while one's body is completely covered with cloth, offering obeisances while directly facing the Lord, offering obeisances with the left side not facing the Deity, and offering obeisances from too close within the Deity room."



Sutra 68





     dasyam - service.



     One may also serve the Lord.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Chandogya Upanishad it is said:



sa sadavali bhavaty atotthata bhavati uttishthan paricarita bhavati paricarann upasatta bhavaty upasidan drashta bhavati.


     "One should rise and stand before the Lord. Standing before Him, one should serve the Lord. Sitting down one should gaze upon the Lord."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.9.17) it is said:



yasmat priyapriya-viyoga-samyoga-janma-

     shokagnina sakala-yonishu dahyamanah

duhkhaushadham tad api duhkham atad-dhiyaham

     bhuman bhramami vada me tava dasya-yogyam


     "O great one, O Supreme Lord, because of combination with pleasing and displeasing circumstances and because of separation from them, one is placed in a most regrettable position, within heavenly or hellish planets, as if burning in a fire of lamentation. Although there are many remedies by which to get out of miserable life, any such remedies in the material world are more miserable than the miseries themselves. Therefore I think that the only remedy is to engage in Your service. Kindly instruct me in such service."*


     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:



tac ca shri-vishnor dasyamanatvam. astu tavad bhajana-prayasah kevalam tadrishatvabhimanenapi siddhir bhavati.



     "Now will be described the condition of being a servant of Lord Vishnu. By worshiping, honoring, and serving the Lord, a person attains perfection."



Sutra 69





     sakhyam - friendship.



     One may become the Lord's friend.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.20) it is said:



na sandrishe tisthati rupam asya

     na cakshusha pashyati kashcanaivam

hrida hridi stham manasa ya enam

     evam vidur amritas te bhavanti



     "They become immortal who know the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose form is not within the perception of material senses, who is not seen by the material eye, whose form in the heart is seen only by the heart of love."


     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.1) it is said:



dva suparna sayuja sakhaya



     "The Supreme Lord and the individual soul are like two friendly birds."


     In the Ramarcana-dipika it is said:



paricarya para kecit

     prasadeshu ca sherate

manushyam iva tam drashtum

     vyavahartum ca bandhuvat



     "Some who serve the Lord in the temple see the Lord as if He were a human being. They act as if He were their friend or their kinsman."


     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:



tac ca hita-shasana-mayam bandhu-bhava-lakshanam.



     "When one loves the Lord as if He were one's friend or kinsman, that love is very auspicious."



Sutra 70





     atma - self; nivedanam - surrender.



     One may also surrender everything to the Lord.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura



     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (2.5.15) it is said:



sa va ayam atma sarvesham bhutanam adhipatih sarvesham bhutanam raja tad yatha ratha-nabhau ca ratha-nemi-carah sarve samarpita evam evasminn atmani sarvani bhutani sarva eta atmanah samarpitah.



     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the master of all living beings. He is like the hub and all others are like the spokes of the wheel. Everyone should offer themselves to Him and surrender to Him."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is said:



evam sada karma-kalapam atmanah

     pare 'dhi-yajne bhagavaty adhokshaje

sarvatma-bhavam vidadhan mahim imam

     tan-nishtha-viprabhihitah shashasa ha



     "One who always faithfully offers himself and all that he does to the lotus-eyed Supreme Personality of Godhead, becomes the ruler of the world."


     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:



tac ca dehadi-shuddhanta-paryantasya sarvato-bhavena tasminn evarpanam. tat-karyam catmartha-ceshta-shunyatvam.



     "The pure-hearted soul should offer his body and everything else to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one does not do this, but instead acts selfishly for his own benefit, all that he does will become worthless."


     Shrila Yamuna Muni (Shri Stotra-ratna, 49) explains:



vapur-adishu yo 'pi ko 'pi va

     gunato 'sani yatha tatha vidhah

tad ayam bhavatah padabjayor

     aham adyaiva maya samarpitah



     "O Lord, whatever I possess in terms of this body and its paraphernalia and whatever I have from the modes of nature today I offer at Your lotus feet."