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4 / Caturtha-yama Sadhana

Bhajana at Midday


(Taste for Bhajana)


One who chants the holy names has no desire other than unalloyed devotion to Krishna. This is confirmed in the Shikshashtaka (4) as follows:

na dhanam na janam na sundarim

kavitam va jagad-isha kamaye

mama janmani janmanishvare

bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi (1)

O Lord of the universe, I do not desire material wealth, materialistic followers, a beautiful wife or fruitive activities described in flowery language. All I want, life after life, is unmotivated devotional service to You.

Home and paraphernalia, disciples, wealth in the form of animals and grains, wife, sons, servants, maidservants, relatives, fruitive activities described in flowery words, and beautiful women are all considered important objects in the material world. I, however, have no desire to obtain these things. O Krishna, I aspire only for Your mercy in the form of pure devotion for You. The natural symptom of love is that a devotee who has love of Godhead thinks, “I do not have even a scent of love for Krishna.”

According to Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.9.6), materialistic wealth is an impediment to devotion:

tavad bhayam dravina-deha-suhrin-nimittam

shokah spriha paribhavo vipulash ca lobhah

tavan mamety asad-avagraha arti-mulam

yavan na te 'nghrim abhayam pravrinita lokah (2)

O my Lord, the people of the world are embarrassed by all material anxieties—they are always afraid. They always try to protect wealth, body, and friends; they are filled with lamentation and unlawful desires; and they avariciously base their undertakings on the perishable conceptions of “my” and “mine”. As long as they do not take shelter of Your safe lotus feet, they are full of such anxieties.

Krishna is the Lord of lords. By worshiping Him, all the demigods are also simultaneously worshiped. As stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (4.31.14):

yatha taror-mula-nishecanena

tripyanti tat-skandha-bhujopashakhah

pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam

tathaiva sarvarhanam acyutejya (3)

As pouring water on the root of a tree energizes the trunk, branches, and twigs, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality.

The unalloyed devotees have no activity other than serving Krishna. In the Padma Purana it is said:

harir eva sada radhyah


itare brahma-rudradya

navajneyah kadacana (4)

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 headed by Brahma and Shiva.

Under the pretext of preaching one should not initiate unqualified disciples simply to increase his number of followers. It is said in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.13.8):

na shishyan anubadhnita

granthan naivabhyased bahun

na vyakhyam upayunjita

narambhan arabhet kvacit (5)

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

One who has a taste for the holy name does not want such things.

Unalloyed, uninterrupted devotional service is recommended in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.2.14):

tasmad ekena manasa

bhagavan satvatam patih

shrotavyah kirtitavyash ca

dhyeyah pujyash ca nityada (6)

Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember, and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees.

Engage in hearing and chanting Krishna's name, form, and attributes with undivided attention, and at the same time try to destroy your anarthas. Then the creeper of devotion will quickly bear fruit.

According to the Padma Purana, one should not be agitated by scarcity or loss of desired objects:

alabdhe va vinashte va


aviklava-matir bhutva

harim eva dhiya smaret (7)

The mind of one who has taken shelter of the holy name is undisturbed even if food and clothes are not easily obtained or if they are obtained but then lost. Leaving behind all material attachments, he takes complete shelter of Govinda.

The procedure for giving up grief is explained in the Padma Purana:

shokamarshadibhir bhavair

akrantam yasya manasam

katham tasya mukundasya

sphurttih sambhavana bhavet (8)

Within the heart of one who is full of anger or pride, or lamentation on the state of his wife or sons, there is no possibility of Krishna being manifest.

One should accept only those things necessary for his devotional life, as stated in the Naradiya Purana:

yavata syat sva-nirvahah

svikuryat tavad arthavit

adhikye nyunatayanca

cyavate paramarthatah (9)

If the devotee accepts those things necessary for the maintenance of his life, it does not mean he is a sense enjoyer. The devotee neither accepts too much nor too little, for that hampers his progress towards his goal.

Symptoms of the development of unalloyed devotion are given in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.2.42):

bhaktih pareshanubhavo viraktir

anyatra caisha trika eka-kalah

prapadyamanasya yathashnatah syus

tushtih pushtih kshud-apayo 'nu-ghasam (10)

Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things—these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way as pleasure, nourishment, and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite for a person engaged in eating.

As one progresses in this way he offers prayers similar to Prahlada Maharaja's in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.9.39):

naitan manas tava kathasu vikuntha-natha

sampriyate durita-dushtam asadhu tivram

kamaturam harsha-shoka-bhayaishanartam

tasmin katham tava gatim vimrishami dinah (11)

My dear Lord of the Vaikuntha planets, where there is no anxiety, my mind is extremely sinful and lusty, being sometimes so-called happy and sometimes so-called distressed. My mind is full of lamentation and fear, and it always seeks more and more money. Thus it has become most polluted and is never satisfied in topics concerning You. I am therefore most fallen and poor. In such a status of life, how shall I be able to discuss Your activities?

O Krishna! How will I get attachment for topics concerning You? And how will I meditate on Your pastimes?

The Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.9.40) explains how a living entity attracted to sense objects such as form and taste is completely vanquished:

jihvaikato 'cyuta vikarshati mavitripta

shishno 'nyatas tvag-udaram shravanam kutashcit

ghrano 'nyatash capala-drik kva ca karma-shaktir

bahvyah sapatnya iva geha-patim lunanti (12)

My dear Lord, O infallible one, my position is like that of a person who has many wives, all trying to attract him in their own way. For example, the tongue is attracted to palatable dishes, the genitals to sex with an attractive woman, and the sense of touch to contact with soft things. The belly, although filled, still wants to eat more, the ear, not attempting to hear about You, is generally attracted to useless talks. The sense of smell is attracted to yet another side, the restless eyes are attracted to scenes of sense gratification, and the active senses are attracted elsewhere. In this way I am certainly embarrassed.

O son of Nanda, in this state how will I be able to remember Your pastimes?

The devotee prays to obtain the association of the Vrajavasis as spoken by Lord Brahma in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.14.30):

tad astu me natha sa bhuri-bhago

bhave 'tra vanyatra tu va tirashcam

yenaham eko 'pi bhavaj-jananam

bhutva nisheve tava pada-pallavam (13)

My dear Lord, I therefore pray to be so fortunate that in this life as Lord Brahma or in another life, wherever I take birth, I may be counted as one of Your devotees. I pray that wherever I may be, even among the animal species, I can engage in devotional service to Your lotus feet.

O Lord, if I take birth in this land of Vrindavana or in any other universe, or if I take birth as a bird or animal anywhere within Your creation, my only desire is that I may be able to serve You in various ways in the association of Your devotees.

One should consider the four goals of life (dharma, artha, kama, and moksha) insignificant. Uddhava explains this in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.4.15):

ko nv isha te pada-saroja-bhajam

sudurlabho 'rtheshu caturshv apiha

tathapi naham pravrinomi bhuman

bhavat-padambhoja-nishevanotsukah (14)

O my Lord, devotees who engage in the transcendental loving service of Your lotus feet have no difficulty in achieving anything within the realm of the four principles of religiosity, economic development, sense gratification, and liberation. But, O great one, as far as I am concerned, I have preferred only to engage in the loving service of Your lotus feet.

One should try to develop pure unalloyed devotion, as stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.5.18):

tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido

na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah

tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham

kalena sarvatra gabhira-ramhasa (15)

Persons who are actually intelligent and philosophically inclined should endeavor only for that purposeful end which is not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet (Brahmaloka) down to the lowest planet (Patala). As far as happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned, it can be obtained automatically in course of time, just as in course of time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire them.

In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (4.9.10), Dhruva Maharaja says that unalloyed devotion makes the desire for liberation appear insignificant:

ya nirvritis tanu-bhritam tava pada-padma-

dhyanad bhavaj-jana-katha-shravanena va syat

sa brahmani sva-mahimany api natha ma bhut

kim tv antakasi-lulitat patatam vimanat (16)

My Lord, the transcendental bliss derived from meditating upon Your lotus feet or hearing about Your glories from pure devotees is so unlimited that it is far beyond the stage of brahmananda, wherein one thinks himself merged in the impersonal Brahman as one with the Supreme. Since brahmananda is also defeated by the transcendental bliss derived from devotional service, then what to speak of the temporary blissfulness of elevating oneself to the heavenly planets, which is ended by the separating sword of time? Although one may be elevated to the heavenly planets, he falls down in due course of time.

The glories of hearing the holy name from the mouth of a sadhu are described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (4.20.24):

na kamaye natha tad apy aham kvacin

na yatra yushmac-caranambujasavah

mahattamantar-hridayan mukha-cyuto

vidhatsva karnayutam esha me varah (17)

My dear Lord, I therefore do not wish to have the benediction of merging into Your existence, a benediction in which there is no existence of the nectarean beverage of Your lotus feet. I want the benediction of at least one million ears, for thus I may be able to hear about the glories of Your lotus feet from the mouths of Your pure devotees.

In the eyes of a devotee, the heavenly planets, the planet of Lord Brahma, sovereignty over the earth or the lower planets, and attainment of the eight or eighteen mystic perfections are all insignificant. This is confirmed in the following statement by Vritrasura in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (6.11.25):

na naka-prishtham na ca parameshthyam

na sarva-bhaumam na rasadhipatyam

na yoga-siddhir apunar-bhavam va

samanjasa tva virahayya kankshe (18)

O my Lord, source of all opportunities, I do not desire to enjoy in Dhruvaloka, the heavenly planets or the planet where Lord Brahma resides, nor do I want to be the supreme ruler of all the earthly planets or the lower planetary systems. I do not desire to be master of the powers of mystic yoga, nor do I want liberation if I have to give up Your lotus feet.

This is my sincere resolve.

By taking shelter of the holy name, attachment develops. The symptoms of this attachment are described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.29.34):

cittam sukhena bhavatapahritam griheshu

yan nirvishaty uta karav api grihya-kritye

padau padam na calatas tava pada-mulad

yamah katham vrajam atho karavama kim va (19)

Until today our minds were absorbed in household affairs, but You easily stole both our minds and our hands away from our housework. Now our feet won't move one step from Your lotus feet. How can we go back to Vraja? What would we do there?

In this condition all good qualities and peacefulness manifest in the devotee. This is explained by Prahlada Maharaja in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (5.18.12):

yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana

sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah

harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna

manorathenasati dhavato bahih (20)

All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. On the other hand, a person devoid of devotional service and engaged in material activities has no good qualities. Even if he is adept at the practice of mystic yoga or the honest endeavor of maintaining his family and relatives, he must be driven by his own mental speculations and must engage in the service of the Lord's external energy. How can there be any good qualities in such a person?

According to the Shrimad Bhagavatam (4.11.30), the process of bhakti-yoga completely destroys the false ego in the form of identifying the body with the self.

tvam pratyag-atmani tada bhagavaty ananta

ananda-matra upapanna-samasta-shaktau

bhaktim vidhaya paramam shanakair avidya-

granthim vibhetsyasi mamaham iti prarudham (21)

Regaining your natural position and rendering service unto the Supreme Lord, who is the all-powerful reservoir of all pleasure and who lives in all living entities as the Supersoul, you will very soon forget the illusory understanding of “I” and “mine”.

Again the Shrimad Bhagavatam (4.22.39) says:


karmashayam grathitam udgrathayanti santah

tadvan na rikta-matayo yatayo 'pi ruddha-

sroto-ganas tam aranam bhaja vasudevam (22)

The devotees, who are always engaged in the service of the toes of the lotus feet of the Lord, can very easily overcome hard-knotted desires for fruitive activities. Because this is very difficult, the nondevotees—the jnanis and yogis—although trying to stop the waves of sense gratification, cannot do so. Therefore you are advised to engage in the devotional service of Krishna, the son of Vasudeva.

An introduction to madhyahna-lila (midday pastime) is given in the Govinda-lilamrita:

madhyahne 'nyonya samgodita vividha-vikaradi-bhushapramugdhau

vamyotkanthatilolau smaramakha lalita dyali-narmaptashatau


radha-krishnau satrishnau parijana-ghataya sevyamanau smarami (23)

I remember Radha and Krishna, who enjoy each other's company at midday. They are both decorated with different types of ecstatic symptoms such as ashta-sattvika and vyabhicari. Their eyes show symptoms of opposition, then eagerness, as They become unsteady in Their loving affairs. They are pleased by the jokes of Lalita and the other sakhis, and surrounded by these friends, They become eager to engage in sports like swinging, roaming in the forest, playing in the water, hiding Krishna's flute, love-making, drinking honey and worshiping the sun-god.

In this way I meditate on Radha and Krishna,who are served on all sides by Their associates.

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