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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhajana Rahasya > 2/Dviteya-yama

2 / Dvitiya-yama Sadhana

Bhajana in the Morning

Sadhu-sange anartha-nivritti

(Removal of Anarthas in Association of Devotees)

 

There is no question of an auspicious or inauspicious time for chanting the holy names. The holy names are invested with all potencies as described in the Shikshashtaka (2):

namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis

tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah

etadrishi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi

durdaivam idrisham ihajani nanuragah (1)

My Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, in Your holy name there is all good fortune for the living entity, and therefore You have many names, such as Krishna and Govinda, by which You expand Yourself. You have invested all Your potencies in those names, and there are no hard and fast rules for remembering them. My dear Lord, although You bestow such mercy upon the fallen, conditioned souls by liberally teaching Your holy names, I am so unfortunate that I commit offenses while chanting the holy name, and therefore I do not achieve attachment for chanting.

Because people vary in their desires, You have mercifully distributed various holy names. Regardless of time or place, one who chants the holy name, even while eating or sleeping, attains all perfection. You have invested Your full potencies in each individual holy name, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attachment for chanting Your holy names.

The following prayer for attaining attachment for the holy name is given in the Namashtaka (5):

aghadamana-yashodanandanau nandasunoh

kamalanayana gopicandra vrindavanendrah

pranata-karuna-krishnav ity aneka-svarupe

tvayi mama ratir-uccair-vardhatam namadheya (2)

O killer of the demon Agha! O son of Yashoda! O son of Nanda! O lotus-eyed one! O moon of the gopis! O lord of Vrindavana! O merciful to the submissive! O Krishna! You have mercifully manifested in various forms. May my attachment for You be greatly increased.

Krishna has invested full potencies in His holy names. According to Skanda Purana:

dana-vrata-tapas-tirtha-yatradinam ca yah sthitah

shaktayo devamahatam sarva-papa-harah shubhah

rajasuyashvamedhanam jnanasyadhyatma-vastunah

akrishya harina sarvah sthapitah sveshu namasu (3)

Whatever potency to award auspiciousness and destroy sin may be found in the performance of charity, penances, austerities, visiting holy tirthas, worshiping demigods, performing Rajasuya or Ashvamedha sacrifices, or the attainment of knowledge related to the soul, that potency has been invested in the holy name of Shri Hari.

The Vaishvanara Samhita confirms that there are no hard and fast rules regarding time or purity while chanting the holy names:

na desha-kala-niyamo

na shaucashauca-nirnayah

param sankirtanad eva

rama rameti mucyate (4)

There is no restriction regarding place or time, nor is there consideration of purity or impurity; simply by the performance of sankirtana—chanting Rama Rama, or the Hare Krishna mantra—one can achieve the highest liberation.

The symptoms of misfortune are described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.9.7) as follows:

daivena te hata-dhiyo bhavatah prasangat

sarvashubhopashamanad vimukhendriya ye

kurvanti kama-sukha-lesha-lavaya dina

lobhabhibhuta-manaso 'kushalani shashvat (5)

O my Lord, persons who are bereft of the all-auspicious performance of chanting and hearing about Your transcendental activities are certainly unfortunate and are also bereft of good sense. They engage in inauspicious activities, enjoying sense gratification for a very little while.

Being distressed because of their inability to get even a bit of happiness from sense gratification, and overwhelmed by greed, they engage in inauspicious activities. Such people make no effort to engage in chanting and hearing Your glories.

The Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.7.4-6) further says:

bhakti-yogena manasi

samyak pranihite 'male

apashyat purusham purnam

mayam ca tad-apashrayam

yaya sammohito jiva

atmanam tri-gunatmakam

paro 'pi manute 'nartham

tat-kritam cabhipadyate

anarthopashamam sakshad

bhakti-yogam adhokshaje (6)

Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service (bhakti-yoga) without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under His full control. Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries. The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service.

Krishna, the potency of Krishna, and the living entity, together constitute the Absolute Truth. Illusioned by maya, the living entity is bound by her. This is known as anartha. When the minute conscious living entity performs bhakti-yoga, all anarthas are destroyed and he attains krishna-prema. This truth has been realized by Vyasadeva by his full absorption in the Lord's name etc. He thereafter revealed the process of bhakti-yoga in the Shrimad Bhagavatam.

In the …mnaya-sutra, four types of misfortune or anarthas are described:

mayamugdhasya jivasya

jneyo 'narthash catur vidhah

hriddaurbbalyam caparadho

'sat-trishna tattva-vibhramah (7)

The living entity attracted by maya is attributed with four types of anarthas: hridaya-daurbalya (weakness of the heart), aparadha (all kinds of offenses), asat-trishna (material desires), and tattva-vibhrama (illusion about spiritual knowledge).

These anarthas lead to material bondage, which leads to miseries.

Illusion about spiritual knowledge is of four types:

sva-tattve para-tattve ca

sadhya-sadhana-tattvayoh

virodhi-vishaye caiva

tattva-bhramash catur-vidhah (8)

Sva-tattva bhrama (illusion about one's own identity), paratattva-bhrama (illusion about the Supreme Personality of Godhead), sadhya-sadhana-bhrama (illusion about the processes of sadhana and prema-bhakti), and virodhi-vishaya-bhrama (illusion regarding subjects unfavorable to Krishna consciousness) are the four kinds of illusion found in conditioned souls.

Material desires are of four types:

aihikeshvaishana para-

trikeshu caishana 'shubha

bhuti-vancha mumuksha ca

hy asat-trishnash catur-vidhah (9)

Desire for material objects, desire for heavenly comforts, desire for mystic powers, and desire for liberation are the four types of material desires.

Offenses are of four types:

krishna-nama-svarupeshu

tadiya-cit-kaneshu ca

jneya budha-ganair nityam

aparadhash catur-vidhah (10)

Offenses towards the name, offenses toward the form of the Lord, offenses towards the devotees, and offenses towards other living entities are the four kinds of offenses.

Weakness of the heart is of four types:

tucchasaktih kutinati

mat saryam sva-pratishthata

hrid-daurbalyam budhaih shashvaj

jneyam kila catur-vidham (11)

Intelligent persons know the four kinds of weakness of the heart as follows: attachment to objects not related to Krishna, deceitfulness or fault-finding, enviousness, and desire for fame.

These anarthas give birth to six enemies—kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, and matsarya—that is, lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride, and envy. These anarthas also beget six waves—shoka, moha, kshut, pipasa, jara, and mrityu—that is, distress, illusion, hunger, thirst, old age, and death.

The creeper of devotion can never grow as long as one cannot give up these anarthas.

All anarthas, however, go far away by the performance of nama-sankirtana. As stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.1.14):

apannah samshritim ghoram

yan-nama vivasho grinan

tatah sadyo vimucyeta

yad bibheti svayam bhayam (12)

Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Krishna, which is feared by fear personified.

The Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.2.37) further states:

bhayam dvitiyabhiniveshatah syad

ishad apetasya viparyayo 'smritih

tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam

bhaktyaikayesham guru-devatatma (13)

When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is separate from Krishna, he is overpowered by fear. Because he is separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the material energy, his conception of life is reversed. In other words, instead of being the eternal servant of Krishna, he becomes Krishna's competitor. This is called viparyayah asmritih. To nullify this mistake, one who is actually learned and advanced worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his spiritual master, worshipful Deity, and source of life. He thus worships the Lord by the process of unalloyed devotional service.

One who desires to achieve Krishna's mercy should take shelter of a bona fide guru. When he engages in undivided devotional service under the guru's direction, he ultimately attains Krishna.

The characteristics of bhakti-yoga are described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.2.12 and 1.2.7) as follows:

tac chraddadhana munayo

jnana-vairagya-yuktaya

pashyanty atmani catmanam

bhaktya shruta-grihitaya

vasudeve bhagavati

bhakti-yogah prayojitah

janayaty ashu vairagyam

jnanam ca yad ahaitukam (14)

The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes the Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedanta-shruti. By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.

After receiving the mercy of the sadhu, as one chants the holy name with faith, he becomes averse to material conceptions and realizes his eternal constitutional position. This is known as the highest platform of bhakti-yoga. As one gradually advances through the different stages of bhakti, one achieves this stage of perfection.

The circumstances favorable for bhakti are described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.9.36):

etavad eva jijnasyam

tattva-jijnasunatmanah

anvaya-vyatirekabhyam

yat syat sarvatra sarvada (15)

A person who is searching after the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, must certainly search for it up to this, in all circumstances, in all space and time, and both directly and indirectly.

There are two ways for becoming free of anarthas—directly, by following the rules, and indirectly, by following the restrictions.

The means of getting freed from the three anarthas—material desires, weakness of the heart, and offenses—are described beginning with the following verses from the Upadeshamrita.

The six urges which are unfavorable in bhakti are listed in the first verse:

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam

jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam

etan vegan yo vishaheta dhirah

sarvam apimam prithivim sa shishyat (16)

A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind's demands, the actions of anger, and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.

The above mentioned urges disrupt one's bhajana. Therefore, one must make repeated efforts to control these urges. After controlling these urges one should worship Radha-Krishna in a secluded place.

The six obstacles to advancement in bhakti are given in the second verse:

atyaharah prayasash ca

prajalpo niyamagrahah

jana-sangash ca laulyam ca

shadbhir bhaktir vinashyati (17)

One's devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required, (2) overendeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain, (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters, (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically, (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krishna consciousness, and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.

The six kinds of association which nourish bhakti are described in the fourth verse:

dadati pratigrihnati

guhyam akhyati pricchati

bhunkte bhojayate caiva

shad-vidham priti-lakshanam (18)

Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one's mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting food, and offering food are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another.

These six kinds of association, when exchanged between devotees, increase one's devotion. But, if this association is shared with nondevotees, one's devotion diminishes.

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has prohibited one from even seeing a materialistic sense enjoyer or a woman with the mood of enjoyment in the following words from Shri Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka:

nishkincanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya

param param jigamishor bhava-sagarasya

sandarshanam vishayinam atha yoshitam ca

ha hanta hanta visha-bhakshanato 'py asadhu (19)

Alas, for a person who is seriously desiring to cross the material ocean and engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord without material motives, seeing a materialist engaged in sense gratification or seeing a woman who is similarly interested is more abominable than willingly drinking poison.

Offending sadhus is prohibited. It is offensive to see a Vaishnava according to material conceptions. In the Upadeshamrita (6) it is said:

drishtaih svabhava-janitair vapushash ca doshair

na prakritatvam iha bhakta-janasya pashyet

gangambhasam na khalu budbuda-phena-pankair

brahma-dravatvam apagacchati nira-dharmaih (20)

Being situated in his original Krishna conscious position, a pure devotee does not identify with the body. Such a devotee should not be seen from a materialistic point of view. Indeed, one should overlook a devotee's having a body born in a low family, a body with a bad complexion, a deformed body, or a diseased or infirm body. According to ordinary vision, such imperfections may seem prominent in the body of a pure devotee, but despite such seeming defects, the body of a pure devotee cannot be polluted. It is exactly like the waters of the Ganges, which sometimes during the rainy season are full of bubbles, foam, and mud. The Ganges waters do not become polluted. Those who are advanced in spiritual understanding will bathe in the Ganges without considering the condition of the water.

The devotees situated in transcendence do not commit sinful activities. Even if some sins remain within the devotee, they will soon vanish.

According to the Manah-shiksha (7), one should give up one's mischievous mentality in the form of desire for fame and deceitful fault-finding:

pratishthasha dhrishta shvapacaramani me hridi natet

katham sadhu-prema sprishati shucir-etan-nanu manah

sada tvam sevasva prabhu-dayita-samanta-matulam

yatha tam nishkashya tvaritam iha tam veshayati sah (21)

O mind, a shameless, low-born prostitute who eats dog meat is flagrantly dancing in my heart in the form of desire for fame. How then can pure love of Krishna ever find a place in my heart? Just serve the devotees of Krishna, who are His dear unparalleled commanders, so they can drive out this prostitute and enthrone pure love within my heart.

The Manah-shiksha (6) further says:

areh cetah prodyat kapata kutinati bhara-khara-

ksharan-mutre snatva dahasi katham atmanam api mam

sada tvam gandharva giridhara-pada-prema-vilasat

sudhambhodhau snatva svam api nitarat manca sukhaya (22)

O mind, why are you scorching us both by bathing in the prominent defects of deceit and fault-finding? These arise out of duality and are like the oozing urine of a donkey. You should always bathe in the nectarine ocean of prema-bhakti arising from the lotus feet of Shri Shri Gandarvika Giridhari, and thus give us both endless pleasure.

One should endeavor to give up duplicity and the desire for fame. Only then can one get strong attachment for chanting the holy name.

The ten offenses in chanting the holy name must be given up. They are described in the Padma Purana, Svarga-khanda:

satam ninda namnah paramam aparadham vitanute

yatah khyatim yatam katham u sahate tad-vigarham

To blaspheme the great saintly persons who are engaged in preaching the glories of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is the worst offense at the lotus feet of the holy name. One should not criticize a preacher of the glories of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. If one does so, he is an offender. The Nama-prabhu, who is identical with Krishna, will never tolerate such blasphemous activities, even from one who passes as a great devotee.

The second namaparadha is described as follows:

shivasya shri-vishnor ya iha guna-namadi-sakalam

dhiya bhinnam pashyet sa khalu hari-namahita-karah

In this material world, the holy name of Vishnu is all-auspicious. Vishnu's name, form, qualities, and pastimes are all transcendental absolute knowledge. Therefore, if one tries to separate the Absolute Personality of Godhead from His holy name or His transcendental form, qualities, and pastimes, thinking them to be material, that is offensive. Similarly, to think the names of demigods such as Lord Shiva to be as good as the name of Lord Vishnu—or, in other words, to think Lord Shiva and the other demigods to be other forms of God and therefore equal to Vishnu—is also blasphemous. This is the second offense at the lotus feet of the Lord.

guror avajna shruti-shastra-nindanam

tathartha-vadah hari-namni kalpanam

The third offense at the lotus feet of the holy name is to consider the spiritual master to be material and therefore envy his exalted position. The fourth offense is to blaspheme Vedic literatures, such as the four Vedas and the Puranas. The fifth offense is to consider the glories of the holy name to be exaggerations. Similarly, the sixth offense is to consider the holy name of the Lord to be imaginary.

The seventh offense is described as follows:

namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhir

na vidyate tasya yamair hi shuddhih

To think that since the Hare Krishna mantra can counteract all sinful reactions one may therefore go on with his sinful activities and at the same time chant the Hare Krishna mantra to neutralize them is the greatest offense at the lotus feet of hari-nama.

The eighth offense is stated thus:

dharma-vrata-tyaga-hutadi-sarva-

shubha-kriya-samyam api pramadah.

It is offensive to consider chanting the Hare Krishna mantra to be a religious ritualistic ceremony. Performing religious ceremonies, following vows, practicing renunciation and sacrifice are all materialistic auspicious activities. The chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra must not be compared to such materialistic religiosity. This is an offense at the lotus feet of the Lord.

The ninth offense is described as follows:

ashraddadhane vimukhe 'py ashrinvati

yash copadeshah shiva-namaparadhah

It is an offense to preach the glories of the holy name among persons who have no faith in the subject matter.

Such people should be given the chance to hear the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, but in the beginning they should not be instructed about the glories of the holy name. By constant hearing of the holy name, their hearts will be purified, and then they will be able to understand the transcendental glories of the holy name.

The tenth offense is as follows:

shrute 'pi nama-mahatmye yah priti-rahito narah

aham-mamadi-paramo namni so 'py aparadha-krit (23)

If one has heard the glories of the transcendental holy name of the Lord but nevertheless continues in a materialistic concept of life, thinking, “I am this body and everything belonging to this body is mine (aham mameti),” and does not show respect and love for the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, that is an offense.

O brother, sincerely try to give up these offenses and chant the holy name with intelligence.

One is prohibited from false renunciation. In the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu it is stated:

prapancikataya buddhya

hari-sambandhi-vastunah

mumukshubhih parityago

vairagyam phalgu kathyate (24)

When persons eager to achieve liberation renounce things related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, thinking them to be material, their renunciation is called phalgu, or incomplete.

One who has attained the qualification for chanting the holy name gives up all fruitive activities. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.5.41) it is said:

devarshi-bhutapta-nrinam pit›nam

na kinkaro nayam rini ca rajan

sarvatmana yah sharanam sharanyam

gato mukundam parihritya kartam (25)

One who has given up all material duties and taken full shelter at the lotus feet of Mukunda, who gives shelter to all, is not indebted to the demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind, or even one's departed forefathers.

According to the Padma Purana, one should give up niyamagrahah and yet follow the essence of niyama.

smartavyah satatam vishnur

vismartavyo na jatucit

sarve vidhi-nishedhah syur

etayor eva kinkarah (26)

Vishnu, or Krishna, should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time. All the rules and prohibitions mentioned in the shastras should be servants to these two principles.

One should refrain from atonement in relation to karma and jnana. The Padma Purana gives the following statement:

harer apy aparadhan yah kuryad dvi-pada-pam shalah

namashrayah kadacit syat taraty eva sa namatah

namno 'pi sarva-suhrido hy aparadhat pataty adhah

namaparadha-yuktanam namany eva haranty-agham

avishranta prayuktani tany evarthakarani ca (27)

The lowest of human beings who commit offenses at the lotus feet of Shri Hari will certainly cross the material ocean if they somehow take shelter of the holy name. However, those who commit offenses against the holy name, the well-wisher of all, certainly fall down. They are freed from their offense only by continually chanting the holy name. Indeed, one can attain all types of perfection by continuous chanting.

One should try to achieve knowledge of both Krishna and oneself. One first attains knowledge of Krishna's form, then attributes, and then pastimes as stated in Catuh-shloki Bhagavatam begining with (2.9.33):

aham evasam evagre

nanyad yat sad-asat param

pashcad aham yad etac ca

yo 'vashishyeta so 'smy aham (28)

Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who existed before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.

The personification of transcendental truth, Shri Krishna, is eternal and ever-existing. All other manifestations, spiritual and material, are the result of His various potencies. Lord Krishna, who is like the transcendental sun, remains as the eternal truth after the universal destruction. This is the basis of the philosophy of acintya bhedabheda tattva.

Knowledge of the form of maya-shakti and jiva-shakti is found in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.9.34):

rite 'rtham yat pratiyeta

na pratiyeta catmani

tad vidyad atmano mayam

yathabhaso yatha tamah (29)

O Brahma, whatever appears to be of any value, if it is without relation to Me, has no reality. Know it as My illusory energy, that reflection which appears to be in darkness.

The energy of Krishna known as maya-shakti is simultaneously one with and different from Krishna. Maya-shakti arises from, but is different from, the internal energy (cit-shakti). Maya-shakti, the shadow of the internal energy, acts through the three modes of nature, which are the cause of this material world. In the material world the ignorant living entities are bound by temporary activities.

Even though the spirit soul and this material world are simultaneously one with and different from Krishna, still, Krishna in His eternal form exists separately. The Shrimad Bhagavatam (2.9.35) states:

yatha mahanti bhutani

bhuteshuccavaceshv anu

pravishtany apravishtani

tatha teshu na teshv aham (30)

O Brahma, please know that the universal elements enter into the cosmos and at the same time do not enter into the cosmos; similarly, I Myself also exist within everything created, and at the same time I am outside of everything.

Knowledge of the form of Krishna's name is given in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu:

nama cintamanih krishnash

chaitanya-rasa-vigrahah

purnah shuddho nitya-mukto

'bhinnatvan nama-naminoh (31)

The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, and there is no question of its being involved with maya, Krishna's name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical.

The Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu further says:

atah shri-krishna-namadi

na bhaved grahyam indriyaih

sevonmukhe hi jihvadau

svayam eva sphuraty adah (32)

Because Krishna's form, qualities pastimes, etc. are all on the absolute platform, material senses cannot therefore appreciate them. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krishna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord's holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord's food, the tongue is purified and one gradually comes to understand who Krishna really is.

According to the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.21.2), one should practice chanting the holy name according to his qualification.

sve sve 'dhikare ya nishtha

sa gunah parikirtitah

viparyayas tu doshah syad

ubhayor esha nishcayah (33)

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.

Qualifications for chanting the holy name are given in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.20.27/8):

jata-shraddho mat-kathasu

nirvinnah sarva-karmasu

veda duhkhatmakan kaman

parityage 'py anishvarah

tato bhajeta mam pritah

shraddhalur dridha-nishcayah

jushamanash ca tan kaman

duhkhodarkamsh ca garhayan (34)

Having awakened faith in the narrations of My glories, being disgusted with all material activities, knowing that all sense gratification leads to misery, but still being unable to renounce all sense enjoyment, My devotee remains happy and worships Me with great faith and conviction. Even though he is sometimes engaged in sense enjoyment, My devotee knows that all sense gratification leads to a miserable result, and he sincerely repents such activities.

One should try to attain the six qualities favorable for performing bhajana. These qualities are given in the Upadeshamrita (3):

utsahan nishcayad dhairyat

tat-tat-karma-pravartanat

sanga-tyagat sato vritteh

shadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati (35)

There are six principles favorable to the execution of pure devotional service: (1) being enthusiastic, (2) endeavoring with confidence, (3) being patient, (4) acting according to regulative principles (such as shravanam kirtanam vishnoh smaranam—hearing, chanting, and remembering Krishna), (5) abandoning the association of nondevotees, and (6) following in the footsteps of the previous acaryas. These six principles undoubtedly assure the complete success of pure devotional service.

One must strive to achieve the association of pure devotees. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.25.25) it is said:

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido

bhavanti hrit-karna-rasayanah kathah

taj-joshanad ashv apavarga-vartmani

shraddha ratir bhaktir anukramishyati (36)

In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities 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. He then gradually attains shraddha (attachment), rati (bhava), and bhakti (prema-bhakti).

How to associate with devotees is mentioned in the Upadeshamrita (5):

krishneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta

dikshasti cet pranatibhish ca bhajantam isham

shushrushaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya-

nindadi-shunya-hridam ipsita-sanga-labdhya (37)

One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Krishna, one should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation (diksha) and is engaged in worshiping the Deity, and one should associate with and faithfully serve that pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others.

Such a pure devotee sees everyone as the eternal servant of Krishna.

One should pass his life in the mood of yukta-vairagya and chant the holy name. As stated in Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu:

anasaktasya vishayan

yatharham upayunjatah

nirbandhah krishna-sambandhe

yuktam vairagyam ucyate (38)

When one is not attached to anything, but at the same time accepts everything in relation to Krishna, one is rightly situated above possessiveness.

The Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.11.32) further says:

vrittya sva-bhava-kritaya

vartamanah sva-karma-krit

hitva sva-bhava-jam karma

shanair nirgunatam iyat (39)

If one acts in his profession according to his position in the modes of nature and gradually gives up these activities, he attains the nishkama stage.

One should live free from sin and take shelter of the holy name.

This art of living is mentioned in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.7.39):

prana-vrittyaiva santushyen

munir naivendriya-priyaih

jnanam yatha na nashyeta

navakiryeta van-manah (40)

A learned sage should take his satisfaction in the simple maintenance of his existence and should not seek satisfaction through gratifying the material senses. In other words, one should care for the material body in such a way that one's higher knowledge is not destroyed and so that one's speech and mind are not deviated from self-realization.

One should live in such a way that he can avoid useless activities. In this way one should give up the propensity for material sense enjoyment. One should nourish himself in such a way that the tongue and mind do not deviate from yukta-vairagya.

One should be especially careful regarding his association. The Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (2.13) gives the following reason:

yasya yat sangatih pumso

manivat syat sa tad gunah

svakularddhyai tato dhiman

svayuthany eva samshrayet (41)

As the qualities of a nearby object are reflected in a crystal, one similarly takes on the qualities of a person with whom he associates. Therefore, a wise person should take shelter of those sadhus who are more advanced, affectionate, and have the same temperament.

One should carefully follow the path of the mahajanas as described in the Skanda Purana:

sa mrigyah shreyasam hetuh

panthah santapavarjitah

anavapta-shramam purve

yena santah pratasthire (42)

One should strictly follow the easy path which the previous mahajanas have accepted. That path bestows great auspiciousness and is devoid of all misery.

The path given in the Vedas is the real path of bhakti. As stated in the Brahma-yamala:

shruti-smriti-puranadi

pancaratra-vidhim vina

aikantiki harer bhaktir

utpatayaiva kalpyate (43)

Devotional service to the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanishads, Puranas, Narada-pancaratra, etc., is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.

One can easily progress by accepting the path given by the mahajanas. One who acts according to his own ideas will meet with disturbance and ruin. If one makes no effort to become free from anarthas he will meet with misfortune, being unable to receive the mercy of the holy name. Without receiving the mercy of the name, one will be unable to remove his anarthas despite repeated attempts. But, if one cries sincerely at the lotus feet of the name, then within a few days all anarthas will vanish. After giving up anarthas, one should fully engage in hearing and chanting, taking complete shelter of the holy name.

The endeavors of one performing resolute bhajana are described in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa:

evam ekantinam prayah

kirtanam smaranam prabhoh

kurvatah parama-pritya

krityamanyan na rocyate

bhavena kenacit preshtha

shri-murter anghri sevane

syadicchaisham sva-mantrena

sva-rasenaiva tad vidhih

vihiteshv eva nityeshu

pravartante svayam hi te

sarva-tyagepy aheyayah

sarvanartha-bhuvash ca te

kuryuh pratishtha-vishthayah

yatnam asparshane varam

prabhate cardharate ca

madhyahne divasakshaye

kirtayanti harim ye vai

na tesham anya-sadhanam (44)

The devotees whose minds are fixed on hearing and chanting Krishna's glories in pure love have no taste for other activities. Serving their beloved Deities with their diksha mantras stimulates their taste for svarasiki bhajana (worship according to their particular rasa). The activities of such a raganuga bhakta arise out of spontaneous devotion for Krishna. Still, his activities are never contrary to shastric injunctions.

Even if one can give up all material desires, the desire for fame is very difficult to give up. This desire for fame, which is compared to stool, is the root cause of all anarthas. Therefore, one should carefully avoid touching this stool in the form of desire for fame.

In the early morning, at dawn, midday, and midnight,  one who gives up his anarthas and engages in hearing and chanting, easily obtains the mercy of Lord Krishna. Those who chant the holy name with full faith in the association of devotees are freed from anarthas and reach the stage of nishtha.

Remember Krishna's eternal pastimes in the morning, and gradually you will attain bhava. In the Govinda-lilamrita it is said:

radham snata-vibhushitam vrajapayahutam sakhibhih prage

tad-gehe vihitanna-paka-racanam krishnavasheshanam

krishnam buddham avapta-dhenu-sadanam nirvyudha-go-dohanam

susnatam krita-bhojanam saha-caraistam catha tam cashrye (45)

I take shelter of Shrimati Radharani. After finishing Her ablutions and ornamenting Her body, Radharani is called early in the morning by Mother Yashoda. Radha, along with Her girl friends, then goes to the house of Mother Yashoda and prepares varieties of delicious foodstuffs which are offered to Krishna. Radharani then takes Krishna's remnants. During this time Radha occasionally gets the chance to meet Krishna.

I also take shelter of Krishna. After awakening from His bed early in the morning, Krishna first goes to the cowshed to milk the cows. Following His daily routine, Krishna then returns home, and after taking bath, He takes His meals in the company of His cowherd friends.

Remember this pastime in the morning, and overwhelmed with love, chant the holy name in the association of devotees. Then within a short time, bhava (transcendental emotions) will be awakened.

Thus ends the Dvitiya-yama Sadhana of the Shri Bhajana-rahasya.