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3 / Tritiya-yama Sadhana
Bhajana at Forenoon
(Bhajana with Firm Faith)
The qualification and procedure for performing nama-kirtana is stated in the Shikshashtaka (3) as follows:
trinad api sunicena
taror iva sahishnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih (1)
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 respect to others, can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.
O Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya, hear from Me the symptoms of how one should chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra to awaken very easily one's dormant love for Krishna. Although he is very exalted, he thinks himself lower than the grass on the ground, and like a tree, he tolerates everything in two ways. When a tree is cut down, it does not protest, and even when drying up, it does not ask anyone for water. The tree delivers its fruits, flowers and whatever it possesses to anyone and everyone. It tolerates scorching heat and torrents of rain, yet it still gives shelter to others. Although a Vaishnava is the most exalted person, he is prideless and gives all respect to everyone, knowing everyone to be the resting place of Krishna.
The six symptoms of surrender according to Vaishnava-tantra are:
goptritve varanam tatha
shad-vidha sharanagatih (2)
The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Krishna will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one's guardian or master, full self-surrender, and humility.
The Mukunda-mala-stotra (37) says one must first give up his identification with the material body:
idam shariram shata-sandhi-jarjaram
pataty avashyam parinam-apeshalam
kim aushadham pricchasi mudha durmate
niramayam krishna-rasayanam piba (3)
One should give up the false identification with the material body which is made of five material elements and has hundreds of joints which will wear out. One day this body will fall dead with the result that it will be turned to ashes or an insect's stool. At that time everyone will see the body as despicable, therefore it is unwise to have attachment for this body. O mind, hear my truthful words! The powerful medicine to cure this material disease is to continually drink the nectar of Krishna's name.
One should become tolerant like a tree and compassionate to all living entities. As stated by Lord Brahma in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.9.12):
aradhitah sura-ganair hridi baddha-kamaih
nana-janeshv avahitah suhrid antar-atma (4)
My Lord, You are not very much satisfied by the worship of the demigods, who arrange for Your worship very pompously, with various paraphernalia, but who are full of material hankerings. You are situated in everyone's heart as the Supersoul just to show Your causeless mercy, and You are the eternal well-wisher, but You are unavailable for the nondevotee.
The act of giving respect to the devotees is glorified in these words from the Mukunda-mala-stotra (35):
shrinvan sato bhagavato guna-kirtanani
dehe na yasya pulakodgama-roma-rajih
notpadyate nayanayor vimalambu-mala
dhik tasya jivitam aho purushadhamasya (5)
If one hears glorification of Krishna's name, form and qualities from the mouth of a devotee and even then his hairs do not stand erect nor do tears of ecstasy flow from his eyes, then what is the use to maintain such a life?
Knowledge of Krishna's glories is given in Mukunda-mala-stotra (43):
krishno rakshati no jagat-traya-guruh krishno hi vishvambharah
krishnad eva samutthitam jagad idam krishne layamgacchati
krishne tishthati vishvam etad akhilam krishnasya dasa vayam
krishnenakhila sad-gatir-vitarita krishnaya tasmai namah (6)
May the spiritual master of the three worlds, Shri Krishna, protect us all. Krishna is also known as Vishvambhara, for He maintains this world after He Himself manifests it and, in time, destroys it. The entire creation is situated in Krishna, and we are therefore all His servants. The wealth of the world is distributed by Him. Let us offer our obeisances with full faith unto Shri Krishna, who awards one the ultimate goal.
You have taken birth for the purpose of performing devotional service to Krishna. Indeed, everything in this world other than devotional service to Krishna is false.
Eagerness for Krishna-bhakti is also described in the Mukunda-mala-stotra (33):
adyaiva vishatu me manasa-raja-hamsah
kanthavarodhana-vidhau smaranam kutas te (7)
My Lord Krishna, I pray that the swan of my mind may immediately sink down to the stems of the lotus feet of Your Lordship and be locked up in their network; otherwise at the time of my final breath, when my throat is choked up with cough, how will it be possible to think of You?
In such a condition, Your holy name will not manifest on my tongue. If I leave my body then without remembering You, how will I attain You?
One should practice humility as described in the following six verses from Stotra-ratna:
na dharma-nishtho 'smi na catma-vedi
na bhaktimams tvac-caranaravinde
akincano 'nanya-gatih sharanya
tvat-pada-mulam sharanam prapadye (8)
O Hari! I have no faith in religious principles, and I have no knowledge of the soul. Furthermore, I have no devotion to Your lotus feet. I am utterly destitute, a rogue with no idea of the goal of life. In this way I always cheat myself. You however, are the deliverer of the fallen, and I am an insignificant fallen soul. Therefore, You are the only goal of my life. Having achieved Your lotus feet I take shelter of You, for You are my eternal Lord, and I am Your servant.
na ninditam karma tad asti loke
sahasrasho yan na maya vyadhayi
so 'ham vipakavasare mukunda
krandami sampraty agatis tavagre (9)
There is no sin in this world which I have not committed thousands and thousands of times. The results of those sinful activities are now beginning to fructify, and they are churning me in this material ocean. O Mukunda! Seeing no other path, I am crying again and again before You. Punish me as You think fit, because You are the giver of punishment, and You are my Lord.
ciraya me kulam ivasi labdhah
tvayapi labdham bhagavann idanim
anuttamam patram idam dayayah (10)
O Ananta! O Hari! I have been drowning in this material ocean since time immemorial. I have been swimming and swimming, but I have not found the end of this great and fathomless material ocean. While drowning, I cried out in distress, “Help! Someone rescue me!”. At that time You came, and, as I understood Your lotus feet as the shore of this ocean, a seed of hope arose in my heart. O Hari, You are the most compassionate! In me You have certainly found the most appropriate recipient for Your mercy.
bhavantam evanucaran nirantarah
praharshayishyami sanatha-jivitam (11)
By serving You constantly, one is freed from all material desires and is completely pacified. When shall I engage as Your permanent eternal servant and always feel joyful to have such a fitting master?
O Hari, being evil-minded and seeing no other refuge, I have taken shelter of Your lotus feet. I have now come to know that You are my Lord. You are the Lord of the universe and I am Your eternal servant. When will that day come when I will realise myself as Your eternal servant? When will my material desires be completely destroyed so that I will spontaneously serve You to Your satisfaction?
agatim sharanagatam hare
kripaya kevalam atmasat-kuru (12)
O Hari! I am an offender, and therefore I am always punishable. I have all bad qualities, and I am guilty of committing thousands and thousands of offenses. I am drowning inside this terrible, turbulent ocean of material existence. I have lost my way, and I desire to find the right path. O Hari, I have taken shelter of Your lotus feet out of fear. Please accept me as Your own. O Lord, Your vow is that You will definitely liberate anyone from material bondage who takes shelter of You.
na mrisha paramartham eva me
shrinu vijnapanam ekam agratah
yadi me na dayishyase tada
dayaniyas tava natha durlabhah (13)
O Hari! Let me submit one humble request before You. Be merciful and kindly hear my words. This is not a meaningless request, but it is confidential, having come from my heart. I am wretched, and You are most merciful. Therefore, You are the most capable person to bestow mercy. As You confer Your mercy unto one who is very fallen, I am a suitable candidate for Your mercy. If You ignore me, then it will be very, very difficult to find a more suitable candidate for Your mercy.
Humility free from the desire for honor is described in the following verse from Stotra-ratna:
amaryadah kshudrash cala matir asuya-prasava-bhuh
kritaghno durmani smara-para-vasho vancana-parah
nrishamsah papishthah katham aham ito duhkha-jaladher
aparad uttirnas tava paricareyam caranayoh (14)
I am always transgressing the injunctions of the Vedas. I am degraded, fickle-minded, always envious, ungrateful, proud and sinful. I am controlled by lust and always engaged in cheating. In this condition how will I cross this ocean of material suffering and engage in the service of Your lotus feet?
Respect for devotees is described in Stotra-ratna:
bhavaneshv astv api kita-janma me
itaravasatheshu ma sma bhud
api me janma catur-mukhatmana (15)
Performing activities according to the Vedic injunctions, the living entities take birth again and again within this material world. Similarly, I may also take birth again according to my past activities, or by Your will. O Purushottama, kindly hear this one request! I pray that if I again take birth, let it be in the house of Your servant even as a worm and I will be satisfied at heart. I have no desire to take birth with the opulence of Lord Brahma in the house of one averse to You. With folded hands I am offering You this humble prayer.
Humility out of self-surrender is also described in the Stotra-ratna:
vapur-adishu yo 'pi ko 'pi va
gunato 'sani yatha-tatha-vidhah
tad aham tava pada-padmayor
aham adyaiva maya samarpitah (16)
In this world there are bodily distinctions such as man and woman, and there are four different varnas and four ashramas divided according to the three modes of nature—goodness, passion and ignorance. In this way there are countless varieties of bodies. O Lord of my life! Whatever body I must reside in and whatever condition doesn't matter, for I now surrender myself at Your lotus feet. From now on I have nothing left that I consider mine.
Sincere humility is described in the Krishna-karnamrita (30):
nibaddha-murddhanjalir esha yace
daya-nidhe deva bhavat kataksham
dakshinyaleshena sakrin nishinca (17)
With folded hands this rascal cries, and without hesitation, sincerely offers his prayers to You. In a sobbing voice I pray, “O merciful Lord, please be kind to me! Just once cast Your merciful glance on me and thus save my life.”
Gradually one can perform kirtana taking shelter of the conjugal rasa. The following statement is found in the Krishna-karnamrita (29):
mayi prasadam madhuraih katakshair
tvayi prasanne kim iha parair nas
tvayaprasanne kim iha parair nah (18)
O Lord, kindly bestow upon me mercy in the form of Your side-long glance followed by the sweet sound of Your flute. When You are pleased with me, even if others are displeased, it doesn't matter. But when You are displeased with me, even if others are pleased, then what is the benefit for me?
In this way, by performing kirtana with firm faith, one soon attains the stage of ruci (transcendental taste), and then gradually he attains prema.
One should remember the purvahna (forenoon) pastime while chanting. The following description is given in the Govinda-lilamrita:
purvahne dhenu-mitrair vipinam anushritam goshtha-lokanuyatam
krishnam radhapti-lolam tad abhishriti-krite prapta-tat-kunda-tiram
radham calokya krishnam krita-griha-gamanam aryayarkarcanayai
dishtam krishna-pravrityai prahita-nija-sakhi-vartma-netram smarami
I remember Shri Krishna, who in the forenoon goes to the forest followed by the cowherd boys and the cows. Nanda Maharaja, Yasoda and other Vrajavasis also follow along. Being anxious to meet Radharani, Krishna leaves the cowherd boys and cows behind and comes to the banks of Radha-kunda.
I also remember Shrimati Radharani, who returns to Her home from Nanda-grama after She has caught a glimpse of Krishna's signal indicating Their future meeting. Her mother-in-law, Jatila, orders Her to worship the sun-god. Radharani casts Her eyes down the pathway by which Her sakhis will return with information about Krishna's location which She eagerly awaits.
Thus ends the Tritiya-yama Sadhana of the Shri Bhajana-rahasya.