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

Chapter Four

Bhajana-krama-prakarana

The Stages of Devotional Service

 

 

Sutra 76

 

 

tato bhajana-nishtha

 

     tatah - then; bhajana - in devotional service; nishtha - faith.

 

 

     Then one attains faith in devotional service.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Chandogya Upanishad (7.20.1) it is said:

 

 

yada vai nistishthaty atha shraddadhati nanishtishthann eva shraddadhati nishtha tv eva vijijnasitavyeti nishtham bhagavo vijij 24asa iti.

 

 

     "The sage said, `When one stands in the spiritual truth, he can have faith. One who does not stand in the truth cannot have faith. Therefore, you should try to understand faith.' Then the student replied, `O master, I wish to understand faith'."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.23.58) it is said:

 

 

etam sa asthaya paratma-nishtham

     adhyasitam purvatamair mahadbhih

aham tarishyami duranta-param

     tamo mukundanghri-nishevayaiva

 

 

     "I shall cross over the insurmountable ocean of nescience by being firmly fixed in the service of the lotus feet of Krishna. This was approved by the previous acaryas, who were fixed in firm devotion to the Lord, Paramatma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

 

     Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura sings:

 

 

anyabhilasha chadi'  jnana karma parihari'

          kaya-mane kariba bhajana

sadhu sange krishna seba  na pujibo debi deba

          ei bhakti parama karana

 

 

     "rejecting all other desires, and abandoning philosophical speculation and fruitive work, in the company of the devotees I will worship and serve Lord Krishna with my body and mind. I will not worship the demigods and demigoddesses. Devotional service is the reason for my life."

 

     Shrila Kaviraja Mishra explains:

 

 

disatu svarajyam va

     viratu tapa-trayam vapi

sukhitam duhkhitam api

     mam na muncatu keshava-svami

 

 

     "He may show me His own kingdom, or He may make me suffer the threefold miseries. Whether I suffer or enjoy, I pray that Lord Keshava never abandon me."

 

 

Sutra 77

 

 

rucis tatah

 

     rucih - attraction; tatah - then.

 

 

     Then attraction is manifested.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Chandogya Upanishad (7.21.1) it is said:

 

 

yada vai karoty atha nistishthati nakritva nistishthati kritvaiva nistishthati kritishv eva vijijnasitavyeti kriti-bhagavo vijijnasa iti.

 

 

     "The sage said, `One who performs spiritual activities becomes situated in the truth. One who does not perform spiritual activities does not become situated in the truth. One who performs spiritual activities becomes situated in the truth. Therefore one should try to understand spiritual activities.' Then the student replied, `O master, I do wish to understand spiritual activities'."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.26) it is said:

 

 

tatranv-aham krishna-katha pragayatam

     anugrahenashrinavam manoharah

tah shraddhaya me 'nupadam vishrinvatah

     priya-shravasy anga mamabhavad ratih

 

 

     "O Vyasadeva, in that association and by the mercy of those great Vedantists, I could hear them describe the attractive activities of Lord Krishna. And thus listening attentively, my taste for hearing of the Personality of Godhead increased at every step."*

 

     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:

 

 

ratir atra rucir iti.

 

 

     "then one develops love and attraction for the Lord."

 

     Shrila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya explains:

 

 

lavanyamrita-vanya

     madhurima-lahari-paripakah

karunyanam hridayam

     kapota-kishorah parishphuratu

 

 

     "I pray that Lord Krishna, the mischievous youth who is a flood of handsomeness, who is waves of sweet charm, and who is the heart of mercy, may appear before me."

 

 

bhavantu tatra janmani

     yatra te murali-kalah

karna-peyatvam ayati

     kim me nirvana-vartaya

 

 

     "O Lord, I pray that I may take birth again and again in a place where my ears may drink the sweet music of Your flute. What is the use of talking to me about impersonal liberation?"

 

     Shrila Madhavendra Puri explains:

 

 

rasam prashamsantu kavitva-nishtha

     brahmamritam veda-shiro nivishthah

vayam tu gunja-kalitavatamsam

     grihita-vamsham kam api shrayamah

 

 

     "Those devoted to poetry may praise the nectar of poetry, and those devoted to Vedic study may praise the nectar of impersonal Brahman. We shall praise neither. We shall simply take shelter of a flutist who wears a gunja-necklace."

 

 

Sutra 78

 

 

tata asaktih

 

     tatah - then; asaktih - attachment.

 

 

     Then attachment is manifest.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Chandogya Upanishad (7.22.1) it is said:

 

 

yada vai sukham labhate 'tha karoti nasukham labdhva karoti sukham eva labdhva karoti sukham tv eva vijijnasitavyam iti.

 

 

     "The sage said, `One who performs spiritual activities attains happiness. One who does not perform spiritual activities does not attain happiness. Becoming happy in this way, one continues his spiritual activities. Therefore you should try to understand the nature of the spiritual happiness attained in this way."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.6.26-27) it is said:

 

 

namany anantasya hata-trapah pathan

     guhyani bhadrani kritani ca smaran

gam paryatan tushta-mana gata-sprihah

     kalam pratikshan vimado vimatsarah

 

 

     "Thus I began chanting the holy name and fame of the Lord by repeated recitation, ignoring all the formalities of the material world. Such chanting and remembering of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord are benedictory. So doing, I traveled all over the earth, fully satisfied, humble, and unenvious.*

 

 

evam krishna-mater brahman

     nasaktasyamalatmanah

kalah pradurabhut kale

     tadit saudamani yatha

 

 

     "And so, O Brahmana Vyasadeva, in due course of time I, who was fully absorbed in thinking of Krishna and who therefore had no attachments, being completely freed from all material taints, met with death, as lightning and illumination occur simultaneously."*

 

     Shrila Haridasa explains:

 

 

alam tri-diva-vartaya kim iti sarvabhauma-shriya

     viduratara-vartini bhavatu moksha-lakshmir api

kalinda-giri-nandini-tata-nikunja-punjodare

     mano harati kevalam nava-tamala-nilam mahah

 

 

     "Enough of this talk about celestial planets! What is the use of a great kingdom on the earth? Even the opulence of liberation should go far away from me! In the groves by the Yamuna's shore a person whose dark complexion is like a young tamala tree has now stolen my heart."

 

     Shrila Raghupati Upadhyaya explains:

 

 

kam prati kathayitum ishe

     samprati ko va pratitim ayati

gopati-tanaya-kunje

     gopa-vadhuti-vitam brahma

 

 

     "To whom can I speak who will believe me when I say that Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is hunting the gopis in the bushes by the banks of the River Yamuna? In this way the Lord demonstrates His pastimes."*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (23.12) it is said:

 

 

ruci haite bhaktye haya tabe asakti pracura

 

 

     "After taste is awakened, a deep attachment arises."*

 

Sutra 79

 

 

tato bhavah

 

     tatah - then; bhavah - ecstatic love.

 

 

     Then ecstatic love is manifest.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Chandogya Upanishad (7.23.1) it is said:

 

 

yo vai bhuma sat-sukham nalpe sukham asti bhumaiva sukham bhumatveva vijijnasitavya iti.

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is filled with bliss. His bliss is not small. His bliss is very great. You should try to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (5.14) it is said:

 

 

bhava-grahya-manojakhyam

     bhavabhava-karam shivam

kala-sarga-karam devam

     ye vidus te juhus tanum

 

 

     "By knowing the auspicious Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is attained only by love, who is not material, who is the creator and destroyer of the worlds, and who is the creator of time, the individual souls become free from having to accept another material body."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is said:

 

 

kvacid rudanty acyuta-cintaya kvacid

     dhasanti nandanti vadanty alaukikah

nrityanti gayanty anushilayanty ajam

     bhavanti tushnim param etya nirvritah

 

 

     "Having achieved love of Godhead, the devotees sometimes cry out loud, absorbed in thought of the infallible Lord. Sometimes they laugh, feel great pleasure, speak out loud to the Lord, dance, or sing. Such devotees, having transcended material conditioned life, sometimes imitate the unborn Supreme by acting out His pastimes. And sometimes, achieving His personal audience, they remain peaceful and silent."***

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 23.12) it is said:

 

 

asakti haite citte janme krishne prity-ankura

 

 

     "From that attachment the seed of love for Krishna grows in the heart."*

 

     In the words of some Vaishnavas it is said:

 

 

parivadatu jano yatha tathayam

     nanu mukharo na vayam vicarayamah

hari-rasa-madira-madati-matto

     bhuvi viluthama natama nirvishamah

 

 

     "The talkative people will rebuke us. Is it not? we do not care. We will drink the liquor of love for Lord Hari. We will become completely intoxicated. We will roll about on the ground. We will dance. We will experience ecstasy."

 

     Shrila Kaviratna explains:

 

 

jatu prarthayate na parthiva-padam naindra-pade modate

     sandhate na ca yoga-siddhi-sudhiyam moksham na cakankshati

kalindi-vana-simani sthira-tadin-megha-dyutau kevalam

     shuddhe brahmani ballavi bhuja-lata-bandhe mano dhavati

 

 

     "My mind never prays for the post of an earthly king. The post of King Indra does not appeal to it. It does not like the yogic perfections. It does not yearn after liberation. It only runs after the pure Supreme Brahman, who, bound by the creeper of a gopi's arm, appears like a dark rain cloud and a stationary flash of lightning in the forest by the Yamuna's shore."

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami explains:

 

 

tvat-kathamrita-pathodhau

     viharanto maha-mudah

kurvanti kritinah kecic

     catur-vargam trinopamah

 

 

     "O Lord, the saintly devotees, who happily play in the nectar ocean of the narration of Your glories, consider the four purusharthas (material piety, economic development, sense gratification, and liberation) to be as insignificant as a blade of grass."

 

     Shrila Govinda Mishra explains:

 

 

shravane mathura nayane mathura

     vadane mathura hridaye mathura

purato mathura parato mathura

     madhura madhura mathura mathura

 

 

     "Mathura is in my ears. Mathura is in my eyes. Mathura is in my voice. Mathura is in my heart. Mathura is before me. Mathura is behind me. Mathura is sweet. Mathura is sweet."

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.3.25-26) explains:

 

 

kshantir avyartha-kalatvam

     viraktir mana-shunyata

asha-bandhah samutkantha

     nama-gane sada rucih

 

asaktis tad-gunakhyane

     pritis tad-vasati-sthale

ity adayo 'nubhavah syur

     jata-bhavankure jane

 

 

     "When the seed of ecstatic emotion for Krishna fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one's behavior: forgiveness, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment, absence of false prestige, hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord, attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides-- that is, a temple or a holy place like Vrindavana. These are called `anubhava', subordinate signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed of love of God has begun to fructify."*