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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 2 and 3 > Vol 2 Abhidheya > The Science of Abhidheya- 41

VOLUME 2 Abhidheya


The Science of Abhidheya- 41


1. What is abhidheya?


A human being should be inquisitive to know who he is, what the universe is, what God  is, and what the relationship is between himself, God, and the material world. Knowledge  of these four items—namely oneself, the universe, God, and their intrinsic  relationship—is called sambandha-jndna, or the knowledge of one's relationship. When  one's relationship with the Supreme Lord is established, the next program is to act  within that relationship. This is called abhidheya, or activity in relationship with the  Lord.

(Commentary on Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 7.146)


2. What is the "science of abhidheya"?


To cultivate Krsna consciousness with a proper code of conduct is called the science of  abhidheya. Since this science has been prominently addressed in the Vedic literatures,  Sriman Mahaprabhu has called it the science of abhidheya. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 4)


3.Is it possible for a conditioned soul to attain perfection without following sadhana?


A conditioned soul should not disregard the sddhana process. Rather, he should  practice sddhana carefully. The more one practices sddhana, the more one approaches  perfection. {Sajjana Tosani 11/5)


4.How is the relationship between the living entities and the Supreme Lord revived?


There is a confidential relationship between the living entity and the Supreme Lord.  When one's spontaneous attachment for the Lord is awakened, this relationship is  revived. Although this relationship is eternal, it has been dormant in the conditioned  souls. Just as fire is ignited by rubbing a matchstick or striking two pieces of stone,  similarly by following the process of sddhana this relationship becomes manifest.  {Caitanya-siksdmrta 1/1)


5. What is seva?


Cultivation of Krsna consciousness is the only function of the living entity. In the  liberated stage the cultivation of Krsna consciousness is called sevd or service.(Tattva  Sutra 33)


6.How many kinds of devotional service are there?


The processes of devotional service are divided into two. These are direct or primary  devotional service in the form of hearing and chanting, and the indirect or secondary  devotional service in the form of performing selfless activities for Krsna's pleasure.

(Commentary on Bhagavad-gltd 2.41)


7.What is the indirect or secondary process of devotional service?


The vow to satisfy Lord Hari by following varnasrama-dharma is the indirect or  secondary process of devotional service.



8.What are the symptoms of pure devotional service?


Offering the result of one's karma to the Lord is superior to following the principles of  varndsrama. Accepting the renounced order of life after giving up one's occupational  duties is superior to offering the fruits of one's karma to the Lord. Executing devotional  service mixed with impersonal knowledge is superior to accepting sannydsa. Although  the above processes can be considered devotional service, they are all external, because  pure devotional service, which is the ultimate goal of life, is not found in the conclusion  of these processes. Devotional service with material designation can never be called  pure devotional service; pure devotional service is a totally separate truth. It is eternally  independent of karma, sannydsa, and jhdna. The symptoms of pure devotional service  are freedom from the desire for sense gratification. Neither fruitive activities nor mental  speculation can cover it. Pure devotion is always executed favorably for Krsna's  pleasure. Pure devotional service is the ultimate goal of life. What is glimpsed at the  sddhaka's stage is clearly visible when one attains the sadhya. (Commentary on  Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 8.68)


9.What is the path of the mahajanas?


Our mahajanas' path is that which was shown by Srila Vyasadeva, Sukadeva Gosvami,  Prahlada Maharaja, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. We are not to 'leave  aside that path to follow the instructions of new, puffed-up devotees. {Sajjana Tosani  10/10)


10.Can the path of spiritual life be freshly created?


A path cannot be manufactured. Whatever path is there should be accepted by sadhus.  Those who are proud and want fame try vigorously to discover new paths. Those who  have good fortune from past lives give up pride and respect the established path.  Those who are unfortunate walk on a new path and thus cheat the world.(Sajjana Tosanl  11/6)


11.What is the previous mahajanas' path of bhajana?


The path oibhajana displayed by the previous mahajanas' is to constantly chant the  holy names of Hari with firm determination and to show compassion to all living  entities. (Sajjana Tosanl 11/6)


12.What is the nature oibhajana performed under the complete shelter of the holy  names of Hari?


There are many disciplines and processes of worship, but the process of chanting the  holy name is paramount. All the saintly Vaisnavas since Lord Caitanya have followed the  same singular method of chanting as enunciated by Srila Haridasa Tfiakura. Even the  ancient Vaisnava sages residing in Vraja-dhama have chanted in this same manner. The  elevated Vaisnavas residing in Purl, whom we were fortunate to have seen with our own  eyes and who were constantly relishing the divine nectar of the holy names, are  following the same method of chanting. Both Sanatana Gosvami and Gopala Bhatta  Gosvami have unequivocally established in the Hari-bhakti-vildsa that the singular  procedure for chanting the holy name is to chant free of offense, incessantly, and in a  secluded spot away from the tumult of material activities.

(Introduction to Harinama-cintamani)


13.What is Vaisnava religion?


Congregationally chanting the holy names of the Lord according to one's qualification is  called Vaisnava religion. {Harinama-cintamani)


14.At what point can the cultivation of knowledge be called regulative devotional  service?


The fruit of karma is material enjoyment; the fruit of jndna is liberation. It is to be  understood that devotional service is the ultimate fruit of them both. Whenever  cultivation of knowledge is not aimed at devotional service, it is materially designated  and averse to the Lord. Whenever it is aimed at devotional service, it is called regulative  devotional service. (Introduction to Bhagavad-gita)


15.Which devotional service is the eternal constitutional duty of a living entity?


That devotional service that remains before, during, and after liberation is a separate,  eternal truth. That is the eternal constitutional duty of a living entity. Liberation is only  an irrelevant fruit attained before one achieves pure devotional service.

(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 6)


16.Which jndna is desirable and which abominable?


The jnana (cultivation of knowledge) that awakens one's devotional service and that is  performed in order to achieve devotional service is the most desirable. The jndna that  rejects the supreme path of devotional service and simply imparts information about  the gross external world is extremely abominable. (Sajjana Tosanl 11/10)


17.What is the mature stage of pure knowledge?


The devotional service executed by the Vaisnavas is the mature stage of pure  knowledge. (Sajjana Tosanl 11/10) 


18.When can one attain pure devotional service?


When the "distressed" living entities give up their desire for material enjoyment, when  the "inquisitive" living entities give up their desire for worldly morality, when the  "needy" living entities give up their desire for attaining heavenly pleasures, and when  the "impersonalists" give up their desire for merging into the existence of Brahman and  their thinking that the Absolute Truth is temporary, then these four types of living  entities can become eligible to perform devotional service. As long as they maintain  such desires their devotional service is impure and materially designated. When their  desires are destroyed, then their devotional service is called pure unalloyed devotional  service.

(Commentary on Bhagavad-gltd 7.16)


19.Is renunciation a limb of devotional service?


Just as darkness follows light, so where there is devotional service, renunciation  automatically follows. But renunciation with an adverse quality cannot be counted as a  limb of devotional service. As shadow is not a limb of light but a concomitant, so  renunciation is only a companion of devotional service. The conclusion is that  knowledge and renunciation must accompany devotional service, but they cannot be  called limbs of devotional service.

{Tattva Sutra 33)


20. What is the difference between karma and service to Hari?


The constitutional duties of a pure spirit soul are called service to the Lord and the  materially designated activities of a conditioned soul are called karma. When a living  entity is freed from matter, his activities are without material designations.  (Introduction to Bhagavad-glta)


21.Is the performance of karma superior to chanting the holy names of Hari?


Performance of karma is like a dark well compared to the ocean of mellows of the Lord's  holy names. One should give up all kinds of worship and constantly chant the holy  names of Hari in the association of the devotees who are attached to chanting the holy  names. This is most desirable. (Sajjana Tosani 11/6)


22.What are the two colors of devotional service?


Devotional service has two colors, devotional service mixed with the knowledge of  opulence, and pure unalloyed devotional service. When one worships the Supreme Lord  with gratitude, fear, and reverence, it is called devotional service mixed with opulence.  Worship of Narayana, the Lord of the spiritual sky, is devotional service mixed with  opulence. Worshiping the Supreme Lord Krsna, who is eternal and full of knowledge and  bliss is called pure unalloyed devotional service.{Tattva Sutra 40)


23.How can one become a Vaisnava?


One becomes a Vaisnava by the mercy of a Vaisnava. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 10)


24.What are the primary symptoms of devotional service?


Full surrender and subordination to the Supreme Lord are the primary symptoms of  devotional service. {Sajjana Tosani 10/9)


25.Besides chanting the holy names, how should one accept the other limbs of  devotional service?


After accepting the chanting of the holy names of Hari as the best form of sadhana and  taking shelter of the holy names without deviation, the other devotional limbs can be  accepted only as support for the chanting.{Sajjana Tosani 11/5) 


26.Do the other limbs of sadhana support the chanting of Hari's names?


Chanting the holy names of Hari is the only sadhana. Other limbs of sadhana simply  support the chanting of Hari's holy names. (Sajjana Tosani 11/5)


27.Does one disregard the demigods when he executes unalloyed devotional service to  Hari?


mulete siscile jala—akha-pallavera bala sire bari nahi karjakara

hari-bhakti ache janra sarva-deva bandhu tanra bhakte sabe korena adara


"If one waters the root of a tree, all the branches and twigs become nourished, but if one  waters the top of a tree, it will yield no result. Similarly, all the demigods automatically  befriend one who possesses devotion toward Lord Hari. Such devotees are respected by  all." (Kalydna-kalpataru, Song 4)


28.Why do we consider bhagavata-dharma eternal while considering all other dharmas  temporary?


Devotional service to Hari is known as suddha-vaisnava-dharma, nitya-dharma,  jaiva-dharma, bhagavata-dharma, paramatma-dharma, and paradharma. All religious  principles that have arisen from the predisposition toward Brahman and Paramatma are  temporary [because they are materially motivated]. There is a material motive behind  searching for the impersonal Brahman. Therefore, such searching is causal and  therefore temporary. A conditioned soul trying to free himself from material bondage  takes shelter of temporary religious principles in the form of searching for the  impersonal Brahman. Therefore, the predisposition toward Brahman is not eternal. A  living entity who meditates on the Supersoul to achieve happiness derived from  samddhi is also following temporary religious principles, keeping subtle material  enjoyment within his mind. Therefore the predisposition toward Paramatma is also not  eternal. Only pure bhagavata-dharma is eternal. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 4)


29.What is the relationship between Vaisnava dharma and other religious systems?


There are no religious principles other than Vaisnava dharma. All other religious  principles that have been or will be preached are either supportive or distorted forms of  Vaisnava dharma. Whenever they manifest as supportive, one should respect them.  Whenever they appear to distort Vaisnava dharma, one should cultivate one's own  devotional service without being envious.

(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 8)


30.What is the only religion free from all cheating propensities?


There is only one religion in this world: Vaisnava dharma. All other systems of religion  are full of differing opinions, arguments, counter-arguments, envy, and eagerness to  prove their supremacy over others. Those religious systems that do not specify the  relationship between karma, jhdna, bhakti, and vairdgya are all cheating religions. Only  Vaisnava dharma is pure and without cheating. Pure Vaisnava dharma cannot be  polluted by the characteristics and conclusions of pseudo Vaisnavas. (Sajjana Tosani  11/10)


31.Are humility and compassion separate from devotional service?


Humility and compassion are not separate qualities but are included in devotional  service. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 8) 


32.Is devotional service dependent?


Devotional service is fully independent. Bhaktidevi is the personification of beauty, and  as such she does not require any external beautification.

(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 8)


33.Is cultivation of devotional service difficult or austere?


This swanlike dharma is simple; it is not very austere. There are two principles found in  it, namely, attachment and good character. Attachment is applied to the Supreme Lord  and the living entities. One should become fully attached to the Supreme Lord and  maintain brotherly attachment toward all living entities. (Tattva Sutra, 50)


34.Are there different stages of devotional service?


There are unlimited stages of devotional service to Krsna. There is no end to the stages  beginning with faith and proceeding to mahdbhdva. In those stages one makes gradual  advancement by cultivating Krsna consciousness and withdrawing the senses from  their objects. (Tattva Sutra, 47)


35.Is liberation the fruit of devotional service?


The transcendentalists do not accept liberation to be the fruit of devotional service. As  long as the desire for material enjoyment and liberation is present in the heart, pure  devotional service does not manifest.

(Caitanya-siksamrta 5/3)


36.Should one pray to Krsna to be relieved from the threefold miseries of material  existence?


Since becoming free from the material miseries of birth, death, etc., depends on Krsna's  desire and not on the living entities' endeavor, one should not pray for such  relief.(Commentary on Sri Siksastakam, 4)


37. Why is devotional service to Hari considered secret or confidential?


Devotional service to Hari mostly awards liberation and thus keeps people happy. Only  if it finds a qualified person does it award pure devotional service.

(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 19)