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

Chapter Three

Sadhana-paripaka-parakarana

Obstacles to Spiritual Advancement

 

 

Sutra 71

 

 

sadhana-prarambhe dasha-dosha varjaniya

 

     sadhana - of devotional service in practice; prarambhe - in the performance; dasha - ten; dosha - faults; varjaniya - to be avoided.

 

 

     Ten kinds of offenses should be avoided by one engaged in devotional service (sadhana-bhakti).

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.2.24) it is said:

 

 

navirato dushcaritan

     nashanto nasamahituh

nashanta-manaso vapi

     prajnanenainam apnuyat

 

 

     "Neither a person who does not avoid sinful deeds, nor a person who is nor peaceful, nor a person who is not serious and diligent, nor a person whose heart is agitated can, even with a great intellectual endeavor, attain the Supreme Lord."

 

     In the Katyayana-sam6hita it is said:

 

 

varam huta-vaha-jvala

     panjarantar-vyavasthitih

na shauri-cinta-vimukha-

     jana-samvasa-vaishamam

 

 

     "Even if one is forced to live within a cage of iron or in the midst of a blazing fire, he should accept this position rather than live with nondevotees who are through and through against the supremacy of the Lord."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.13.8) it is said:

 

 

na shishyan anubadhniyad

     granthan naivabhyased bahun

na vyakhyam upayunjita

     narambhan arabhet kvacit

 

 

     "A sannyasi must not present allurements of material benefits to gather many disciples, nor should he unnecessarily read many books or give discourses as a means of livelihood. He must never attempt to increase material opulences unnecessarily."*

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu it is said:

 

 

alabdhe va vinashte va

     bhakshacchadana-sadhane

aviklava-matir bhutva

     harim eva dhiya smaret

 

 

     "If one cannot attain food or shelter, or if one had them but now they are destroyed, one should, with a peaceful mind, always remember Lord Hari."

 

     In the Padma Purana it is said:

 

 

shoka-marshadibhir bhavair

     akrantam yasya manasam

katham tasya mukundasya

     sphurti-sambhavana bhavet

 

 

     "Within the heart of a person who is overpowered by lamentation or anger, there is no possibility of Krishna's being manifested."*

 

 

harir eva sadaradhyah

     sarva-deveshvareshvarah

itare brahma-rudradya

     navajneya kadacana

 

 

     "Krishna, or Hari, is the master of all demigods, and therefore He is always worshipable. But this does not mean that one should not offer respect to the demigods."*

 

     In the Mahabharata it is said:

 

 

piteva putram karuno

     no dve jayati yo janam

vishuddhasya hrishikeshas

     turnam tasya prasidati

 

 

     "A person who does not disturb or cause painful action in the mind of any living entity, who treats everyone just like a loving father does his children, whose heart is so pure, certainly becomes very soon favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

 

     In the Varaha Purana it is said:

 

 

samarcanaparadha ye

     kirtyante vasudhe maya

vaishnavena sada te nu

     varjaniyah prayatnatah

 

 

     "O earth goddess, a Vaishnava should always carefully avoid these offenses in devotional service that I have described to you."

 

     In the Padma Purana it is said:

 

 

namno hi sarva-suhrido

     hy aparadhat pataty adhah

nindam bhagavatah shrinvams

     tat-parasya janasya va

 

tato no paiti yah so 'pi

     yaty adhah sukrita-cyutah

 

 

     "One who commits offenses to the holy name falls down. One who hears offenses to the Supreme Lord or His devotees loses all his pious deeds and also falls down."

 

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

 

 

sanga-tyago vidurena

     bhagavad-vimukhair janaih

shishyady-ananubandhitvam

     maharambhady-anudyamah

 

 

     "1. One should rigidly give up the company of nondevotees. 2. One should not instruct a person who is not desirous of accepting devotional service. 3. One should not be very enthusiastic about constructing costly temples or monasteries.*

 

 

bahu-grantha-kalabhyasa-

     vyakhya-vada-vivarjanam

vyavahare 'py akarpanyam

     shokady-avasha-vartita

 

 

     "4. One should not try to read too many books, nor should one develop the idea of earning his livelihood by lecturing on or professionally reciting Shrimad-Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gita. 5. One should not be neglectful in ordinary dealings. 6. One should not be under the spell of lamentation in loss or jubilation in gain.*

 

 

anya-devan avajna ca

     bhutan udvega-dayita

sevanam aparadhanam

     udbhava bhava-karita

 

 

     "7. One should not disrespect the demigods. 8. One should not give unnecessary trouble to any living entity. 9. One should carefully avoid the various offenses in chanting the holy name of the Lord or in worshiping the Deity in the temple.*

 

 

krishna-tad-bhakti-vidvesha-

     vinindady-asahishnuta

vyatirekatayamisham

     dashanam syad anushthitah

 

 

     "10. One should be very intolerant toward the blasphemy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, or His devotees. Without following the above-mentioned ten principles, one cannot properly elevate himself to the platform of sadhana-bhakti, or devotional service in practice."*

 

 

Sutra 72

 

 

tat tu bhakty-anugata-dainya-daya-yukta-vairagyair na tu nirbheda-jnananugata-sadhana-catushtaya-yoga-karmabhih

 

     tat - that; tu - but; bhakti - devotional service; anugata - following; dainya - humbleness; daya - mercy; yukta - proper; vairagyaih - with renunciation; na - not; tu - but; nirbheda - non-dual; jnana - knowl3edhe; anugata - following; sadhana - methods; catushtaya - four; yoga - by yoga; karmabhih - by fruitive work.

 

 

     By engaging in devotional service and by cultivating humbleness, mercy, and proper renunciation, one can avoid the previously described offenses. However they who follow the fourfold sadhana of the impersonalists or who follow the paths of yoga or karma, cannot become free of these offenses.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Taittiriya Upanishad it is said:

 

 

brahma jyeshtham upasate. vijnanam brahma ced veda tasmac cen na pramadyati. sharire papmano hitva sarvan kaman samashnute.

 

 

     "One should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one has no understanding of the Supreme Person, then one will be bewildered. With his body he will commit sins. He will be filled with material desires."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam is an example of a humble appeal:

 

 

maivam mamadhamasyapi

     syad evacyuta-darshanam

hriyamanah kala-nadya

     kvacit tarati kancana

 

 

     "I am very fallen. I shall never see the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead face-to-face. I am very embarrassed. Oh, how shall I cross the river of material time?"

 

     In the Skanda Purana is an example of mercy:

 

 

ete na hy adbhuta vyadha

     tava himsadayo gunah

hari-bhaktau pravritta ye

     na te syuh para-tapinah

 

 

     "O hunter, good qualities like non-violence, which you have developed, are not very astonishing, for those who are engaged in the Lord's devotional service are never inclined to give pain to others because of envy."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.7) is a description of proper renunciation:

 

 

vasudeve bhagavati

     bhakti-yoge 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."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.20) is the following criticism of yoga and karma:

 

 

na sadhayati mam yogo

     na sankhyam dharma uddhava

na svadhyayas tapas tyago

     yatha bhaktir mamorjita

 

 

     "One may make Krishna the goal of mystic yoga, Sankhya philosophy, etc., yet such activities do not please the Lord as much as direct loving service, which one practices by hearing and chanting about the Lord and executing His mission."*

 

     In the Skanda Purana it is said:

 

 

antah-shuddhir bahih-shuddhis

     tapah-shanty-adayas tatha

ami gunah prapadyante

     hari-sevabhikaminam

 

 

     "Purification of consciousness, purification of bodily activities, austerities, peace of mind, etc., all become automatically manifest in the person who is engaged in devotional service."*

 

     Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Shikshashtaka 3) explains:

 

 

trinad api su-nicena

     taror iva sahishnuna

amanina manadena

     kirtaniyah sada harih

 

 

     "One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give all respects to others, can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord."*

 

 

Sutra 73

 

 

sadhana-paripakve sarvanartha-nivrittih

 

     sadhana - of devotional service in practice; paripakve - in the mature stage; sarva - all; anartha - of unwanted things; nivrittih - cessation.

 

 

     When devotional service comes to the stage of maturity, all unwanted obstacles cease to exist.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Chandogya Upanishad (7.26.2) it is said:

 

 

ahara-shuddhau sattva-shuddhih sattva-shuddhau dhruvanusmritih smriti-labhye sarva-granthinam vipramokshas tasmai mridita-kashayaya tamasah param darshayati bhagavan sanat-kumarah.

 

 

     "By performance of yajna one's eatables become sanctified, and by eating sanctified foodstuffs one's very existence becomes purified. By the purification of existence finer tissues in the memory become sanctified, and when memory is sanctified one can think of the path of liberation. In this way Lord Sanatkumara revealed the spiritual truth, which is on the farther shore of the world of darkness."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.16-19 and 21) it is said:

 

 

sushrusoh shraddadhanasya

     vasudeva-katha-rucih

syan mahat-sevaya viprah

     punya-tirtha-nishevanat

 

 

     "O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva.*

 

 

shrinvatam sva-kathah krishnah

     punya-shravana-kirtanah

hridy antah-stho hy abhadrani

     vidhunoti suhrit satam

 

 

     "Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma (Supersoul) in everyone's heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are virtuous when properly heard and chanted.*

 

 

nashta-prayeshv abhadreshu

     nityam bhagavata-sevaya

bhagavaty uttamashloke

     bhaktir bhavati naishthiki

 

 

     "By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.*

 

 

tada rajas-tamo-bhavah

     kama-lobhadayash ca ye

ceta etair anaviddham

     sthitam sattve prasidati

 

 

     "As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart the effects of nature's modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire, and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy.*

 

 

bhidyate hridaya-granthis

     chidyante sarva-samshayah

kshiyante casya karmani

     drishta evatmanishvare

 

 

     "Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when one sees the Self as master."*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 23.10) it is said:

 

 

sadhu sanga haite haya shravana kirtana

sadhana bhaktye haya sarvanartha nivartana

 

 

     "When one is encouraged in devotional service by the association of devotees, one becomes free from all unwanted contamination by following the regulative principles and chanting and hearing."*

 

 

Sutra 74

 

 

svarupanavapty-asat-trishnaparadha-hridaya-daurbalyanity anarthash" ca catur-vidha\h

 

     svarupa - original form; anavapti - non-attainemnt; asat - for matter; trishna - thirst; aparadha - offense; hridaya - in the heart; daurbalyani - weakness; iti - thus; anarthah - the unwanted; ca - also; catuh - four; vidha\h - kinds.

 

 

     1. Misidentification of the self, 2. thirst for material things, 3. offenses, and 4. weakness of heart are four obstacles on the spiritual path.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     Misidentification of the self is described in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.1) in these words:

 

 

sva-bhavam eke kavayo vadanti

     kalam tathanye parimuhyamanah

 

 

     "Some thinkers say the material universe is self-manifested. Other bewildered men say time created the universe."

 

     Thirst for the temporary and unreal things of this world is described in the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.22) in these words:

 

 

yesham no 'yam atmayam loka iti te sma putraishanayash ca vittaishanayash ca lokaishanayash ca vyutthayatha bhiksha-caryam caranti.

 

 

     "The say, `The Supreme Lord is the whole world for us.' Renouncing the desire to enjoy children, wealth, or anything else in this world, they becomes sannyasis. They accept alms. They wander over the earth."

 

     Offenses are described in the Isha Upanishad in these words:

 

 

asurya nama te loka

     andhena tamasavritah

tams te pretyabhigacchanti

     ye ke catma-hano janah

 

 

     "The killer of the soul, whoever he may be, must enter into the planets known as the world of the faithless, full of darkness and ignorance."*

 

     Weakness of heart is described in the Katha Upanishad (2.1.2) in these words:

 

 

para ca kaman anuyanti balas

     te mrityor yanti vitatasya pasham

 

 

     "Childish fools who desire material pleasures run into the noose set by death."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.7.44-45) it is said:

 

 

kim u vyavahitapatya-

     daragara-dhanadayah

rajya-kosha-gajamatya

     bhrityapta mamataspadah

 

 

     "Since the body itself is ultimately meant to become stool or earth, what is the meaning of the paraphernalia related to the body, such as wives, residences, wealth, children, relatives, servants, friends, kingdoms, treasuries, animals, and ministers? They are also temporary. What more can be said about this?*

 

 

kim etair atmanas tucchaih

     saha dehena nashvaraih

anarthair artha-sankashair

     nityananda-mahodadhe

 

 

     "All this paraphernalia is very near and dear as long as the body exists, but as soon as the body is destroyed, all things related to the body are also finished. Therefore, actually one has nothing to do with them, but because of ignorance one accepts them as valuable. Compared to the ocean of eternal happiness, they are most insignificant. What is the use of such insignificant relationships for the eternal living being?"*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.29) it is said:

 

 

jnane jivan-mukta dasha painu kari mane

vastutah buddhi-shuddha nahe krishna bhakti vine

 

 

     "There are many philosophical speculators (jnanis) belonging to the Mayavada school who consider themselves liberated and call themselves Narayana. However, their intelligence is not purified unless they engage in Krishna's devotional service."*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.140) it is said:

 

 

kama tyaji' krishna bhaje shastra ajna mani'

 

 

     "If a person gives up all material desires and completely engages in the transcendental loving service of Krishna, as enjoined in revealed scriptures, he is never indebted to demigods, sages, or forefathers."*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita it is also said:

 

 

seva namaparadhadi durete varjana

 

 

     "One should be careful not to commit offenses to devotional service and to the holy name of the Lord."

 

 

Sutra 75

 

 

sadhana-yogenacarya-prasadena ca turnam tad-apanayanam eva bhajana-naipunyam

 

     sadhana-yogena - by engagement in the activities of devotional service; acarya - of the spiritual master; prasadena - by the mercy; ca - and; turnam - quickly; tat - them; apanayanam - removal; eva - certainly; bhajana - in devotional service; naipunyam - expertise.

 

 

     By engaging in the activities of devotional service and by the mercy of the spiritual master one becomes free of all these obstacles and one also becomes expert in devotional service.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Prashna Upanishad (3.2 to 6.8)) it is said:

 

 

tasmai sa hovacati-prashnan pricchasi brahmishtho 'siti tasmat te 'ham bravimi. . . te tam arcayantas tam hi nah pita yo 'smakam avidyayah param param tarayasiti. namah parama-rishibhyo namah parama-rishibhyah.

 

 

     "Then he said to him, `You ask many questions, but because you are devoted to the Supreme Lord, I shall answer them.'  . . . (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 Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.7.30) it is said:

 

 

guru-sushrushaya bhaktya

     sarva-labharpanena ca

sangena sadhu-bhaktanam

     ishvararadhanena ca

 

 

     "One must accept the bona fide spiritual master and render service unto him with great devotion and faith. Whatever one has in one's possession should be offered to the spiritual master, and in the association of saintly persons and devotees one should worship the Lord."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.25-26) Lord Krishna explains:

 

 

yathagnina hema-malam jahati

     ghnatam punah svam bhajate svarupam

atma ca karmanushayam vidhuya

     mad-bhakti-yogena bhajaty atho mam

 

 

     "Just as gold, when smelted in fire, gives up its impurities and returns to its pure brilliant state, similarly, the spirit soul, absorbed in the fire of bhakti-yoga, is purified of all contamination caused by previous fruitive activities and returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world.***

 

 

yatha yathatma parimrijyate 'sau

     mat-punya-gatha-shravanabhidhanaih

tatha tatha pashyati vastu sukshmam

     cakshur yathaivam jana-samprayuktam

 

 

     "When a diseased eye is treated with medicinal ointment, it gradually recovers its power to see. Similarly, as a conscious living entity cleanses himself of material contamination by hearing and chanting the pious narrations of My glories, he regains his ability to see Me, the Absolute Truth, in My subtle spiritual form."***

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.45) it is said:

 

 

sadhu sange tabe krishne rati upajaya

 

 

     "By good fortune, one becomes eligible to cross the ocean of nescience, and when one's term of material existence decreases, one may get an opportunity to associate with pure devotees. By such association one's attraction to Krishna is awakened."*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.47) it is said:

 

 

guru antaryami rupe shikhaya apane

 

 

     "Krishna is situated in everyone's heart as Caittya-guru, the spiritual master within. When He is kind to some fortunate conditioned soul, He personally gives one lessons to progress in devotional service, instructing the person as the Supersoul within and the spiritual master without."*