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Obeisances to their Lordships Radha and Krishna.
There are countless philosophies, which [although attempting to reach the truth] are all incomplete and mutually conflicting, due to their origin in bewilderment. All these philosophies find their perfection in Krishna bhakti. I begin this book by offering my respects to Shri Krishna Chaitanya, the bestower of Krishna bhakti.
There are three objects in this universe: the Lord, conscious entities and matter. Matter is that substance without volition; for example, earth, rock, water, fire, air, ether, house, forest, grain, cloth or a body. Men, animals, insects, reptiles are living entities, as they have the power to discern and desire. Of these, man has the greatest power of discernment. For this reason some people call man the master of all living and non-living entities. The Lord is the creator of all living and non-living entities. Since he does not have a material body, we cannot see him. He is the perfect, the complete form of pure consciousness. He is our creator, protector and controller. By His will, we prosper; by His will, we meet with destruction. In His personal form, He is master of Vaikuntha. He is the Lord of all lords. By His command, all the universes move.
As the Lord does not have the gross form of material objects, we cannot perceive Him with our senses. In this sense, He is called formless in the Vedas. However, as all objects have their own form, the Lord also has His form. Only material objects have material form. Conscious living entities have a conscious or spiritual form (cetana svarupa). Human beings, though spiritual entities, additionally have a material body. Thus our spiritual form has become hidden within the material form.
The Lord is pure consciousness or spirit. That is, he has no form except His spiritual form. This spiritual form is His body. We can see this form only with our pure, spiritual eyes. We cannot see it with material eyes.
Many unfortunate people do not believe in God, for their eye of knowledge is closed. Because they cannot see the Lord's form with their material eyes, they say He does not exist. Just as blind men cannot understand the nature of sunlight, atheists cannot believe in the existence of God . Though all men, by their very nature, believe in God, if they learn duplicitous logic through bad association from childhood, they gradually become overcome by that bad influence and disbelieve in the Lord's existence. That of course is their loss; it is no loss for the Lord.
One should not think that Vaikuntha is material place. Madras, Bombay, Benares, Calcutta, London, and Paris are examples of material places. To go to those places, one must traverse a great expanse of earth and many countries. Even if one travels by railway or ship, it may take a long time. The material body must be moved. Vaikuntha is not such a place; it has a different nature, transcending the material universes. It is conscious, eternal and faultless. It is not perceived by the eye, nor conceived of by the mind. The Supreme Lord resides in this inconceivable place. If a person is able to please the Lord, he can go there and serve the Lord eternally.
What is called happiness in this world is not eternal; it remains for a short time, and then disappears. Everything of this world is filled with suffering. Birth itself is difficult, a cause for sorrow. After birth, we must nourish the body with food. If we have no food, we suffer. There is always some sort of affliction, such excessive heat or cold. To rid ourselves of the suffering we have to undergo bodily suffering to earn money. If we do not build a house we do not have a place to stay. On getting married, we have to raise children. When old age finally approaches, it seems we are left with nothing. Throughout life, we suffer through argument and disagreement with others. There is no such thing as pure happiness in this world. Therefore people accept that happiness is the momentary cessation of grief or want. However, it is very difficult to live in such a world. If one attains the Lord's abode, he does not experience temporary happiness and distress, but rather attains unlimited and eternal joy. To this end, we must try to satisfy the Lord.
Man's highest benefit starts when he begins to satisfy the Lord. But man begins this practice only after pure knowledge appears within him. Unfortunately, most people think that they can enjoy the world now and worship the Lord in old age. That, however, is unacceptable, for time is a precious thing . We should begin to practice from the very day that we see its urgency. Man's life is indeed a rare achievement, but it is also insecure, as we cannot say when we will die. Thus we should never think that we should not worship the Lord when we are children. In history we see how Dhruva and Prahlada received the Lord's mercy when they were children. Is there any doubt that any human being, being capacity of doing an activity, cannot, without effort, achieve it? As well, what is practiced from an early age gradually becomes a natural action.
Man attempts to please the Lord for four reasons, according to his condition of life: from fear, for satisfying material aspirations, from a sense of duty, and from genuine attraction. Some people are inspired to worship the Lord because of sickness, poverty, fear of hell or fear of death. Others worship the Lord, praying for material happiness, desiring greater material progress. These two types of people, though beginning their worship out of fear or material aspiration, often become attached to pure worship, since worship of the Lord produces genuine joy. Those who worship the Lord out of a feeling of gratitude are those motivated by a sense of duty. Those people who naturally gain satisfaction in worshipping the Lord, without motives of fear, desire or duty, begin their worship with attraction (raga). Raga is defined as the tendency of the mind to become spontaneously attracted to an object immediately on seeing it, without intellectual processing. A person who has developed this quality of attraction in his heart as soon as he thinks of the Lord is worshipping the Lord according to raga. Those who take to worship of the Lord from fear, desire or duty are not on such a pure level . Those who worship the Lord according to raga are real worshippers.
The living entity and the Lord have a deep relationship. When raga appears, this relationship becomes manifest. This relationship is eternal no doubt, but for the materially bound up soul it remains hidden. Given the right opportunity, it appears. Just as fire appears by striking a match or a flint, by sadhana or practice, this relationship makes its appearance. Many persons have even achieved this relationship through practice based on fear, desire and duty. Dhruva first worshipped the Lord with a desire for a kingdom, but by sadhana there appeared in his heart attraction, borne of a pure relationship with the Lord. Thereafter he refused to accept the benediction of material happiness.
Fear and desire are extremely base. When a devotee's intelligence becomes clear, he gives up fear and desire; duty or gratitude becomes his sole motive. And as long as raga towards the Lord does not appear, the devotee should not give up worship according to duty. From the sense of duty two standards arise: to respect the rules (vidhi) and to avoid breaking the rules (nisedha). These rules for worship of the Lord were established by great devotees long ago and recorded in the scriptures . Following the scriptures and reverence for the rules arises from the sense of duty.
On examining the historical records of all types of people around the world, it will be obvious that faith in God is man's common and constant characteristic. Uncivilized forest tribals survive, like animals, on animal flesh, but they also worship the sun, the moon, huge mountains, large rivers and tall trees as their benefactors and controllers. Why do they do this? Though the soul is extremely bound up, his faith in the Lord, his natural quality as spirit soul, will gradually manifest as the degree that the material covering is weakened. However, when man becomes civilized and takes to various types of knowledge and education, his faith becomes more covered due to materialistic logic. Then atheism, or worse, voidism, takes hold of his mind. One should understand that such beliefs are the symptoms of an unhealthy, weak soul.
There are three stages between the primitive, uncivilized state of mankind and the devotional state. In these three stages, the diseases of atheism, materialism, skepticism, and voidism afflict many people. Acting as obstacles to their progress, those philosophies bring them to a lamentable state. Of course, not all people will be so afflicted. Those who are infected by the disease become bound up, and do not progress to higher stages of life. The uncivilized tribal, taking advantage of the system of varnasrama and cultivating civilized manners, proper conduct and education, can quickly attain the life of a devotee.This is the natural path of progress for mankind. But if one becomes afflicted by the diseases of materialistic philosophies, he falls into an unnatural state of existence.
Though men in various countries, on various continents, have a wide variety of natures, the principal nature is only one. Only the secondary characteristics are many. But though the principal nature is one, there will not be found any two people in the world who have identical secondary qualities. As even twins born of the same womb have some difference in form and quality, one cannot expect that people born in different countries can ever have exactly the same qualities. Different countries have different water, air, mountains, forests, eatables and clothing. Because of this, the people of these places have naturally developed different physiques, complexions, customs, clothing and food. Similarly, the peoples' mentality will differ. And thus various people's ideas of God, though being basically similar, will differ in details. When men in various countries surpass the uncivilized stage and progress to the civilized stage, the scientific stage, the moral stage and the devotional stage, they will develop differences, in language, dress, food, and mentality. This gives rise to difference in the mode of worship of God. Considering the matter objectively, there is no harm in secondary differences. If there is agreement concerning the essential nature of God and His worship, there should be no obstacle in attaining the same result. Thus Mahaprabhu has instructed that we should instruct everyone to worship the pure form of the Lord, but at the same time we should not criticize others' modes of worship.
Because of the above reasons, we see the following differences amongst the religions of different countries.
1. difference of teachers or prophets
2. difference in worshipper's mentality and consequent expression of reverence.
3. difference in procedures of worship
4. difference in conceptions of God
5. difference in God's name and statements due to difference in language
Thus, people in India give respect to the rsis, in other countries they respect prophets like Mohammed, in other countries they respect Christ, and in other places the inhabitants give respect to various native sages. It is imperative that the people of the country give proper respect to the native saints, but, no one, though he made hold his particular belief to benefit his own progress, should go to other places and preach that what his teachers have taught is superior to all other teachings. This gives no benefit at all to the world.
Concerning different expressions of reverence, in India, the worshipper sits on an asana, and after performing nyasa and pranayama he begins his worship. The Muslim faces towards Mecca and worships five times a day by bowing down. The Christian kneels down with folded hands and with humility praises the Lord in either church or house. Each country has its particular rules concerning, proper dress, food, purity and impurity.
If one examines the different religions, one will see different rituals. One will also different conceptions concerning the object of worship. Some people, overcome with devotion in their hearts, establish the form of the Lord in their soul, in their mind and finally in the external world. Understanding that the form is non-different from the Lord within, they worship that form. In some religions, because the greater emphasis on logic, the worshipper simply forms a conception of God in the mind, and worships it. They do not accept an external form of God. In reality, however, all these conceptions are forms of the Lord.
According to language differences, different religions call God by different names. The religions have different names, and the languages used during worship are also different.
Because of these five differences, it is only natural that various religions will appear quite different. However it is improper and detrimental to argue over these differences. If one goes to someone else's place of worship one should think, "The people are worshipping my Lord, but in a different way. Because of my different training, I cannot quite comprehend this system of worship. However, through this experience, I can deepen my appreciation for my own system of worship. The Lord is only one, not two. I offer respect to the form I see here, and pray to the Lord in this new form that he increase my love for the Lord in His accustomed form." Those who do not follow this procedure, but instead criticize other systems of worship and show hatred, violence and envy, are worthless and foolish. The more they indulge in useless quarreling, the more they betray the very goal of their religion.
However, one should consider the following point. Though it is worthless to criticize a difference in religious system, if one sees a fault, one should not tolerate it. It is beneficial for the living entities if one attempts to correct the fault in the proper way. Thus Mahabprabhu, in discussing with Buddhists, Jains and impersonalists, led them to the proper path. The devotees of Lord Chaitanya should always take the Lord's behavior as the proper example to follow.
The devotee does not accept those religions which are filled with atheism, skepticism, materialism, pantheism and impersonalism as real religions. He knows them to be false religions, anti-religious movements, perverted religions, and he understands that their followers are unfortunate. The devotees must try to protect the living entities from these false religions.
Pure love is the eternal function of the soul. Though the above mentioned five differences may exist in a religion, the real religion is pure love. This is the final goal of religion. We should not quarrel over external differences. If the goal of a religion is pure love, then all else is adjusted. Atheism, skepticism, polytheism, materialism, pantheism, and impersonalism are, by their very nature, contrary to love. This
will be shown later on.
Love of Krishna (Krishna prema) is that pure love. The quality of love is that it takes shelter of one entity and takes another as its object. Prema cannot exist without (shelter, or subject) asraya and visaya (object). The shelter of prema is the heart of the soul. The object of prema is Krishna alone. When perfect, pure prema arises, the aspects of the Lord as Brahman, the controller and Narayana ripen into the form of Krishna.
On reading this book and understanding the concept of prema, this will be understood. A person who argues just on hearing the name of Krishna is cheated of the truth. Quarreling about names is of no value. The living entity should search out the object indicated by the name. The sweet qualities of Krishna as described in the crown jewel of scriptures, Shrimad Bhagavatam, were the personal realization of Vyasadeva through his spiritual vision. Through the instructions of Narada, Vyasadeva obtained devotional trance and saw the form of Krishna. Vyasadeva described tha sweet qualities of Krishna, for he realized that by developing devotion to that form of Krishna the jivas could drive away all forms of lamentation, illusion and fear.
On hearing or reading about Krishna and his sweet qualities, the living entities according to their nature understand him in two different ways: understanding through true knowledge, and understanding without knowledge. Even when Krishna is personally present and can be seen with mortal eyes, the two types of people will see in these two different ways. If a person desires to learn more about these two types of perception, he may study the Sat Sandarbhas, Bhagavatamrta and Shri Krishna Samhita under a competent authority. It is impossible to elaborate on this subject here. Briefly realization through true knowledge (vidvat pratiti) may be described as realization under vidya sakti (knowledge potency of the Lord) , and understanding without knowledge (avidvat pratiti) may be described as an understanding of the Lord under ignorance.
If Krishna is understood through avidvat pratiti, many controversies arise. If he is understood through vidvat pratiti, there is no place for disagreements. Those interested in spiritual development should immediately obtain vidvat pratiti. What is the point in understanding through avidvat pratiti, falling into argument and confusion, and losing the goal of life. Some idea about vidvat pratiti has been given. Vidvat pratiti is possible for those persons who give up material conceptions and can conceive of spirit. They can then perceive Krishna with their spiritual eyes, hear his pastimes with their spiritual ear, and relish Krishna completely with their spiritual taste buds. Krishna's pastimes are completely non-material. Though Krishna can by his inconceivable potency become the object for the material eye, by nature he is not perceivable by material senses. When Krishna descends and reveals his pastimes to the material senses, only the person with vidvat pratiti attains real contact with the Lord. Normally avidvat pratiti operates. Thus most people understand Krishna as temporary being, with birth, growth and decay. By avidvat pratiti a person thinks that the impersonal state, devoid of qualities, is truth and the personal state of God, with qualities, is material. They conclude that Krishna is material since he has qualities.
Understanding the supreme truth is not a matter of mundane logic. How can the limited intellect of man operate in relation to the unlimited Lord? The Supreme Truth can only be understood and relished by the devotional element which is present in the soul. This devotion or bhakti is the preliminary stage of pure love, prema. Vidvat pratiti arises only by Krishna's mercy, for only by Krishna's mercy does the vidya sakti help the jivas.
Of all the conceptions of God existing in the world, the form of Krishna is the most suitable for developing pure love. The conception of Allah in the Koran is not suitable for developing pure love. Even the Lord's dear prophet could not see Allah's form, for though the Lord is friendly, He remains at a distance from the worshipper due to the conception of God as master. The god in the Christian faith is also some distant entity, what to speak of the impersonal Brahman. Even Narayana is not the form by which the soul can easily obtain pure love. Krishna alone, who resides in the spiritual abode of Vraja, is the object of pure love.
The abode of Krishna is full of bliss. Though majesty also resides there in fullness, it does not predominate; rather sweetness and eternal bliss predominate. His wealth is its fruit, flowers and twigs. His citizens are the cows. His friends are the cowherd boys and his associates are the gopis. His food is butter, yogurt and milk. All the groves and forests are filled with love of Krishna. The Yamuna River is engages in Krishna's service. Everything in nature serves Him. Though elsewhere he is worshipped and revered by all as the Supreme Lord, here, as the life of all the inhabitants, he sometime descends to the worshipper's level and sometimes becomes his subordinate. If it were not like this, could the lowly living entity have a relation of love with God? Can the Lord, who is filled with the highest sport, endowed with free will, and eager for the love of the soul, hanker for man's offering of worship or feel genuinely satisfied with it? Krishna, the reservoir of sweet pastimes, thus covers his majestic aspect with sweetness, accepts equality with or subordination to qualified souls in transcendental Vrndavana, and feels bliss.
Can anyone who accepts pure love or prema as the highest goal accept anyone other than Krishna as the object of love? Though different languages may not use the same words to describe Krishna, Vrndavana, the gopas and gopis, the cows, Yamuna and the kadamba trees, those persons interested in pure love must accept the name, place, form and pastimes in some form , using some words. Thus Krishna alone is the object of pure love.
Until pure attraction arises in the heart of the living entity, the devotee with a sense of duty must carefully cultivate Krishna consciousness by practicing the primary and secondary rules of bhakti. One will see that there are two ways of cultivating Krishna consciousness: through rule(vidhi) and through attraction (raga). Attraction (raga) is rare. When raga develops, the path of vidhi loses its effectiveness. But as long as raga does not develop, one must take shelter of vidhi. This is imperative for man. Therefore, scriptures outline these two paths. The path of raga is extremely independent or individualistic; there are no set rules. Only those who are most advanced and fortunate can practice raga. Therefore only the rules for the path of vidhi have been systematically presented in the scriptures.
Those who unfortunately do not believe in God, also formulate rules for maintaining their life. These rules are called morality. Those moral codes which do not include thought of God, cannot accomplish any good for mankind, even though presented skillfully. Such morality is materialistic. Moral codes which express belief in God and oblige service to Him are fit for mankind.
Rules are of two types: primary and secondary. Those rules which directly lead us to serving and satisfying the Lord are called primary rules. Those rules of life which indirectly support that goal are called secondary. This will become clear by giving an example. Taking an early morning bath is a rule. By doing this, the body becomes fresh and disease free, and the mind as well becomes steady. If the mind is steady, one can worship the Lord properly. Here, the goal, worship of the Lord, is not the immediate intention of the bath. The bath's direct result is bodily comfort. If bodily comfort is accepted as the final goal of the bath, then worship of the Lord is not achieved at all. There are many possible intervening results between bathing and worshipping God. With such intervening agents there is possibility of obstruction.
The direct result of the primary rules is worship of the Lord. There is no intervening results between the rule and worship of the Lord. Chanting the Lord's name and hearing about Him are two primary rules, because their direct result is worship of the Lord. Though we must always observe the primary rules, if we do not observe the secondary rules, we cannot maintain the body properly, nor our life. If we cannot maintain our life, how can we follow the primary rules of devotional service? The secondary rules are the ornament of man's life. Material education, technology, industry, civilization, order, perseverance, bodily, mental and social rules are accepted, in that they may be used to bring mankind to serve the feet of the Lord sincerely. Being servants of the primary rules, by the Lord's grace, they make the life of mankind blissful both during practice and perfection.
Though there are many types of life-primitive life, civilized life, life equipped with material sciences, atheistic moral life, theistic moral life, life endowed with vaidhi bhakti, and life endowed with prema bhakti, real life of man begins with theistic moral life. Without belief in God, human life is no better than that of an animal, no matter how much civilized or advanced in scientific knowledge or moral principles it may be. Real human life operates when a person accepts the rules and prohibitions of theistic moral life. Thus in this book the discussion begins from this stage of life. Civility, morality and material science are considered as ornaments to this life. How the theistic moral life culminates in devotional life will be discussed in this book. The real life of the living entity is called jaiva dharma, the souls inherent nature. For the human being, jaiva dharma is called manava dharma. Man's dharma is of two types: secondary and primary, or incidental and inherent. Secondary or incidental dharma takes shelter of matter, material qualities and material relations. The primary dharma takes shelter of the pure soul. The primary dharma is the real dharma of the soul. The secondary dharma is of no value, being the transformation of the primary dharma under the influence of material qualities.
When the material qualities are removed the dharma of the soul exists purely as the primary dharma. Secondary dharma is also called conditioned dharma. When the material conditions are removed, primary dharma remains. Secondary rules and prohibitions, piety and avoidance of sins are included in the secondary dharma. The secondary dharma does not leave the soul but matures into the primary dharma when the jiva is freed from the material modes. The secondary dharma appears in the conditioned state by an unnatural transformation of the primary dharma. By a positive transformation of the secondary dharma the primary dharma appears again. After examining the secondary rules and prohibitions, the primary rules and prohibitions and finally the perfected stage of the jiva, prema bhakti, will be discussed.
In this first section the words "Lord", "God" and "Krishna" have all been used. The reader should not think that these words refer to separate entities. Krishna is the only form, the only object of worship by the soul. Krishna is the complete revelation of sweetness in God. When we consider Krishna in relation to other objects and need to emphasize his lordship, we use the word "Lord." That is why in the beginning the word "Lord" was used instead of Krishna. Lordship is nothing more than the natural control that Krishna displays towards the objects of his creation. In enumerating, the objects of existence, the word "Lord" is thus used: cit (conscious entity), acit (matter) and isvara (Lord, controller of both).
By chance, two birds have made a nest together in the same tree. The two birds are friends and re of a similar nature. One of them, however, is eating the fruits of the tree, whereas the other, who does not eat the fruits, is in a superior position due to His potency. S.B.11.11.6
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, expanding His own potency, maya sakti, created innumerable species of life to house the conditioned souls. Yet by creating the forms of trees, reptiles, animals, birds, snakes and so on, the Lord was not satisfied within His heart. Then He created human life, which offers the conditioned soul sufficient intelligence to perceive the Absolute Truth and became pleased. S.B.11.9.28
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the cause of the creation, maintenance and destruction of this universe, yet He has no prior cause. He pervades the various states of wakefulness, dreaming and unconscious deep sleep and also exists beyond them. By entering the body of every living being as the Supersoul, He enlivens the body, senses, life airs and mental activities, and thus all the subtle and gross organs of the body begin their functions. My dear King, know that Personality of Godhead to be the Supreme. S.B.11.3.35
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, substantiality and is thus full of the most dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in Himself the full-fledged functions of all the organs, and eternally sees, maintains and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane. Brahma Samhita 5.32
I worship Govinda the primeval Lord, who is Syamasundara, Krishna himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotes see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love. B.S.5.38
I worship that transcendental seat, known as Sveta Dvipa where as loving consorts the Laksmis in their unalloyed spiritual essence practice the amorous service of the Supreme Lord Krishna as their only lover; where every tree is a transcendental purpose-tree; where the soil is the purpose-gem, water is nectar, every word is a song; every gait is a dance; the flute is the favorite attendant; effulgence is full of transcendental bliss and the supreme spiritual entities are all enjoyable and tasty; where numberless milch-cows always emit transcendental oceans of milk; where there is eternal existence of transcendental time, who is ever present and without past or future and hence is not subject to the quality of passing away even for the duration of half a moment. That realm is known as Goloka only to a very few self-realized souls in this world. Brahma Samhita 5.56
One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life--in other words, from the tender age of childhood--to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection. S.B.7.6.1
Therefore, while in material existence, a person fully competent to distinguish wrong from right must endeavor to achieve the highest goal of life as long as the body is stout and strong and is not embarrassed by dwindling. S.B.7.6.5
After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavor for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Krishna consciousness is possible only for a human being.
After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavor for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Krishna consciousness is possible only for a human being.
Nothing is unobtainable for devotees who have satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the cause of all causes, the original source of everything. The Lord is the reservoir of unlimited spiritual qualities. For devotee, therefore, who are transcendental to the modes of material nature, what is the use of following the principles of religion, economic development, sense gratification and liberation, which are all automatically obtainable under the influence of the modes of nature? We devotees always glorify the lotus feet of the Lord, and therefore we need not ask for anything in terms of dharma, kama, artha and moksa. S.B.7.6.25
Religion, economic development and sense gratification--these are described in the Vedas as trivarga, or three ways to salvation. within these three categories are education and self-realization; ritualistic ceremonies performed according to Vedic injunction; logic; the science of law and order; and the various means of earning one's livelihood. These are the external subject matters of study in the Vedas, and therefore I consider them material However, I consider surrender to the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu to be transcendental. S.B.7.6.26
The gopis by their lusty desires, Kamsa by his fear, Sisupala and other kings by envy, the Yadus by their familial relationship with Krishna, you Pandavas by your great affection for Krishna, and we, the general devotees by our devotional service, have obtained the mercy of Krishna. S.B. 7.1.31
There are two processes of practical devotional service. one is regulative devotional service, and the other is spontaneous devotional service. Those who have not attained the platform of spontaneous attachment in devotional service render devotional service under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master according to the regulative principles mentioned in the revealed scriptures. According to the revealed scriptures, this kind of devotional service is called vaidhi bhakti. C.C.Madhya 22.108-109
Krishna has many types of devotees--some are servants, some are friends, some are parents, and some are conjugal lovers. Those who are situated in one of these attitudes of spontaneous love according to their choice are considered to be on the path of spontaneous loving service. C.C.Madhya 22.161
Devotees who receive such transcendental opulences are never bereft of them; neither weapons nor the change of time can destroy such opulences. Because the devotees accept Me as their friend, their relative, their son, preceptor, benefactor and Supreme Deity, they cannot be deprived of their possessions at any time. S.B.3.25.38 By the influence of time, the transcendental sound of Vedic knowledge was lost at the time of annihilation. Therefore, when the subsequent creation took place, I spoke the Vedic knowledge to Brahma because I Myself am the religious principles enunciated in the Vedas. Lord Brahma spoke this Vedic The devotee should not worship demigods, nor should he disrespect them. Similarly, the devotee should not study or criticize other scriptures. C.C.Madhya 22.116
One should have firm faith that he will achieve all success in life by following those scriptures that describe the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the same time, one should avoid blaspheming other scriptures. S.B. 11 3.26
A twice-born person should worship Me, his worshipable Lord, without duplicity, offering appropriate paraphernalia in living devotion to My Deity form or to a form of Me appearing upon the ground, in fire, in the sun, in water or within the worshiper's own heart. ...The Deity form of the Lord is said to appear in eight varieties--stone, wood, metal, earth, paint, sand, the mind or jewels. S.B. 11.27.9,12
The Lord of Laksmi, the Lord of Sita, is not different from the Supersoul. Therefore I worship the lotus-eyed rama as my very life. (statement of Hanuman) There are five branches of irreligion, appropriately known as irreligion, religious principles for which one is unfit, pretentious religion, analogical religion, and cheating religion. One who is aware of real religious life must abandon these five as irreligious. Religious principles that obstruct one from following his own religion are called vidharma. Religious principles introduced by others are called para dharma. A new type of religion created by on who is falsely pruned and who opposes the principles of the Vedas is called upadharma. And interpretation by one's jugglery of words is called chala dharma. A pretentious religious system manufactured by one who willfully neglects the prescribed duties of his order of life is called abhasa. But if one performs the prescribed duties of his particular asrama or varna, why are they not sufficient to mitigate all material distresses? S.B.7.15.12-14
The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead. S.B.1.2.8
Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for loving devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the five of lamentation, illusion and fearfulness. S.B. 1.7.7
The foolish with a poor fund of knowledge cannot know the transcendental nature of the forms, names and activities of the Lord, who is playing like an actor in a drama. nor can they express such things, neither in their speculations nor in their words. only those who render unreserved, uninterrupted, favorable service unto the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, who carries the wheel of the chariot in His hand, can know the creator of the universe in His full glory, power and transcendence. S.B.1.3.37-38
O Uddhava, both knowledge and ignorance, being products of maya, are expansions of My potency. Both knowledge and ignorance are beginningless and perpetually award liberation and bondage to embodied living beings. O most intelligent Uddhava, the living entity, called jiva, is part and parcel of Me, but due to ignorance he has been suffering in material bondage since time immemorial. By knowledge, however, he can be liberated. S.B. 11.11.3-4
The four principles of advancement in spiritual life--dharma, artha, kama and moksa--all depend on the disposition of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, my dear friends, follow in the footsteps of devotees. Without desire, fully depend upon the disposition of the Supreme Lord, worship Him , the Supersoul, in devotional service. S.B.7.7.48
...You cannot please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by becoming perfect brahmanas, demigods or great saints or by becoming perfectly good in etiquette or vast learning. None of these qualifications can awaken the pleasure of the Lord. Nor by charity, austerity, sacrifice, cleanliness or vows can one satisfy the Lord. The Lord is pleased only if one has unflinching, unalloyed devotion to Him. Without sincere devotional service, everything is simply a show. ...In the same favorable way that one sees himself and takes care of himself, take to devotional service to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is present everywhere as the Supersoul of all living entities. S.B.7.7.51-53
Anyone whose work is not meant to elevate him to religious life, anyone whose religious ritualistic performances do not raise him to renunciation, and anyone situated in renunciation that does not lead him to devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, must be considered dead, although he is breathing. S.B.3.23.56
Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan. S.B.1.2.11
The teachings of Lord Chaitanya
In order to understand the teachings of Lord Chaitanya, we must refer to the Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita. Lord Chaitanya himself did not leave any written works, except the eight verses of the Siksastaka. There are few verses attributed to him in the Padyavali, but from those verses we cannot take any systematic instructions. There is also a few very small books which some people claim were written by Lord Chaitanya. After examining everything, we must conclude that these are all false claims. From the many works which the Goswamis wrote we can thoroughly understand Lord Chaitanya's teachings, but they do no mention any works written by Lord Chaitanya Himself. Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita is the authoritative work. From this work we can understand the Lord's character and teachings. These teachings are confirmed perfectly by the words of the Goswamis. For this reason Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita is given so much respect. Shri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja appeared immediately after Lord Chaitanya. Mahaprabhu's direct disciples, Raghunatha Goswami, Rupa Goswami and many others assisted Krishna Dasa in writing his work. Before him Kavi Karnapura had written Shri Chaitanya Candrodayanataka and Vrndavana das Thakura had written Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata. These works were a great help to Krishna Dasa Kaviraja. Considering all points we have had to depend upon Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita.
During his married life, until the age of twenty-four, Chaitanya would preach the glories of the Holy Name and the necessity of chanting the Lord's name to all souls in Shrivasa's courtyard, on the bank of the Ganga, in his classroom, and on the road. After taking sannyasa, the Lord instructed Sarvabhauma in Puri, Ramananda Raya in Vidyanagara, Venkata Bhatta in the South, Rupa Goswami as well as Raghupati Upadhyaya and Vallabha Bhatta (by trickery), in Prayaga, and Sanatana Goswami and Prakasananda in Varanasi. From these instructions we can understand Lord Chaitanya's teachings as they are in truth. After going through all these teachings the principal points of his philosophy have been presented here.
Displaying extraordinary mercy to the living entities, Mahaprabhu preached pure vaishnava dharma or jaiva dharma all over India. He himself went to some places and preached. To other places he sent preachers to do the work. Giving the preachers unlimited spiritual power, he sent them out to all places, and impelled by the prema He has bestowed on them, they took up the task without expectation of pay or reward, for only a preacher of pure heart can preach the pure dharma. In the present age, in various religions, people preach to earn a living. This however cannot give the intended result.
In the Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi Lila, 7th Chapter, it is written:
Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates of the Panca tattva distributed the holy name of the Lord to invoke love of Godhead throughout the universe, and thus the entire universe was thankful. Lord Chaitanya dispatched the two generals Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami to Vrndavana to preach the bhakti cult. As Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami were sent toward Mathura, so Nityananda Prabhu was sent to Bengal to preach extensively the cult of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally went to South India, and He broadcast the holy name of Lord Krishna in every village and town. Thus the Lord went to the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, known as Setubhanda. Everywhere He distributed the bhakti cult and love of Krishna, and in this way he delivered everyone.
Mahaprabhu taught, in essence, that the eternal function of the living entity is Krishna prema. The living entity can never be separated from this dharma. However, as a result of forgetfulness of Krishna, being deluded by maya, the living entity has attraction for other things, and this dharma is almost lost. It has become concealed within the living entity. Thus the living entity falls into material misery. If the living entity again by good fortune remembers that he is the eternal servant of Krishna, then this dharma again appears and the living entity becomes healthy.
Faith in this truth is the root of all success. Faith appears in two ways. Some people develop faith after developing a distaste for the material world after many births of sukrti.
If by good fortune, a living entity develops faith in Krishna, he begins to associate with devotees.
C.C. Madhya 23. 9
Another name for sraddha is visva .
By rendering transcendental loving service to Krishna, one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. This confident, firm faith, favorable to the discharge of devotional service, is called sraddha.
Faith means that by worshipping Krishna, all the living entity's duties are accomplished.1 After performance of sukrtis, the soul becomes satisfied, and from the eternal function of the soul this natural sraddha appears.2 The person who has developed faith, by practicing devotional activities in the association of devotees, destroys his material attachments and gradually progresses through the stages of steadiness, taste, attachment, bhava and prema.
If the natural, intrinsic faith appears in an intense way, the devotee practices raga marga.3 Not considering so much the rules of scripture, he can fearlessly progress in his practice on the path of intense attraction to Krishna. However if the faith which has developed is weak, then the devotee must progress by taking the help of good advice from the authorized guru. As this faith usually starts from faith the scripture and the instruction of the guru, normally the guidance of scripture is very essential.
My dear sir, kindly hear the reason. My spiritual master considered Me a fool, and therefore he chastised Me. "You are a fool," he said. "You are not qualified to study Vedanta philosophy, and therefore You must always chant the holy name of Krishna. This is the essence of all mantras or Vedic hymns. Simply by chanting the holy name of Krishna one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra one will be able to see the lotus feet of the Lord. In this age of Kali there is no other religious principle than the chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all Vedic hymns. This is the purport of all scriptures. After describing the potency of the Hare Krishna mahamantra, My spiritual master taught Me another verse, advising me to always keep the name within My throat.
" In this age of Kali there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative for spiritual progress than the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord."
Since I received this order from My spiritual master, I always chant the holy name, but I think that by chanting and chanting the holy name I have been bewildered. While chanting the holy name of the Lord in pure ecstasy, I lose myself, and thus I laugh, cry, dance and sing just like a madman. Collecting My patience, therefore, I began to consider that chanting the holy name of Krishna had covered all My spiritual knowledge. I saw that I had become mad by chanting the holy name, and I immediately submitted this at the lotus feet of my spiritual master.
"My dear lord, what kind of mantra have you given Me? I have become mad simply by chanting this mahamantra! Chanting the holy name in ecstasy causes one to dance, laugh and cry."
When My spiritual master heard all this, he smiled and then began to speak.
"It is the nature of the Hare Krishna maha mantra that anyone who chants it immediately develops his loving ecstasy for Krishna. Religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation are known as the four goals of life, but before love of Godhead, the fifth and highest goal, these appear as insignificant as straw in the street."
From the words, "consider this verse and keep it around your neck," we can understand that faith is nourished and grows by following scripture. According to Mahaprabhu, scripture or Vedic scripture is the only authoritative proof. Rules of logic and argument are no proof.
The self-evident Vedic literatures are the highest evidence of all.
CC. Adi 7, 132
The conditioned soul cannot revive his Krishna consciousness by his own effort. But out of causeless mercy, Lord Krishna compiled the Vedic literature and its supplements, the Puranas.
It is clear that there are two types of faith, komala sraddha (weak faith) and drdha sraddha (firm faith). Bhakti that arises from firm faith is very strong and naturally intense. Mahaprabhu's views about this are expressed perfectly in the Sistastaka. Concerning komala sraddha, Mahaprabhu said to Sanatana Goswami:
If, by good fortune, a living entity develops faith in Krishna, he begins to associate with devotees. When one is encouraged in devotional service by the association of devotees, one becomes free from all unwanted contamination by following the regulative principles and chanting and hearing. When one is freed from all unwanted contamination, he advances with firm faith. When firm faith in devotional service awakens, a taste for hearing and chanting also awakens. After taste is awakened, a deep attachment arises, and from that attachment the seed of love of Krishna grows in the heart. When that ecstatic emotional stage intensifies, it is called love of Godhead. Such love is life's ultimate goal and the reservoir of all pleasure.
For a person with strong faith, the scriptural statements have no function, but for a person of weak faith, there is not alternative but the scripture and association of devotees. For this class of faithful person initiation is necessary. From the authorized guru a devotee receives the conclusions of the scriptures and the mantra, and practices deity worship according the instructions of the guru. In this way he progresses. For this type of person the dasa mula siksa (Ten Essential Teachings) is important. One essential teaching is the authority or source of knowledge, i.e. scripture. The other nine essentials are the conclusions stated by the authority of scripture.
The devotee with firm faith, by chanting the Holy Name with intrinsic faith, realizes spontaneously the nine essentials stated by the scriptures, by the mercy of the Holy Name. It is not necessary for him to digest the philosophical points raised in the scriptures. But those who have weak faith quickly fall from the devotional platform by bad association, if they do not have the backing of scriptural authority. The Vedas, which discuss brahman, are their source of knowledge. As the Vedas, being vast in scope, have many prescriptions for those interested in fruitive action and impersonal realization, instructions for the devotee is not easy to extract. In order to clearly show the real meaning which is revealed here and there in the Vedas, the sattvika puranas have been given. Among the sattvika puranas, the Shrimad Bhagavatam is the best, most explicitly explaining the highest import of the Vedas.4 Thus the Bhagavatam and the Pancaratra scriptures, which confirm the same conclusions, are counted as authoritative knowledge.
The Vedic literatures give information about the living entity's eternal relationship with Krishna, which is called sambandha. The living entity's understanding of this relationship and acting accordingly is called abhidheya. Returning home, back to Godhead, is the ultimate goal of life and is called prayojana. Devotional service, or sense activity for the satisfaction of the Lord, is called abhidheya because it can develop one's original love of Godhead, which is the goal of life. This goal is the living entity's topmost interest and greatest wealth. Thus one attains the platform of transcendental loving service unto the Lord.
C.C. Madhya 20, 124-125
The relationship between the jiva, material nature and God is called 'sambandha'. Actually Krishna is one, but he has two energies-material nature and the jiva. By a transformation of the material energy the material world exists, and by transformation of the jiva sakti, the jivas exist. To again establish ones position as the servant of Krishna is called fixing ones relationship.
In His original form the Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of transcendental opulences which are free from the contamination of the material world. It is to be understood that in all Vedic literature the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate goal.
The Vedic literatures give information about the living entity's eternal relationship with Krishna, which is called sambandha.
C.C. Madhya 20.124
In considering the relationship there are seven topics:
2. Krishna's energies
5. jiva in the material realm
6. jiva in the liberated state
7. acintya bhedabheda
By thoroughly understanding these seven topics of scriptures, a person obtains sambandha jnana.
By arrangement of sound is created a composition. The potency by which the meaning of sound is grasped is called the abhidha potency of the sound or the connotative power of the sound. By using the word "ten" with "elephants" we can understand a certain number of elephants. This direct meaning is called abhidheya. There is another potency of words called "laksana". In the phrase "cowherds on the Ganga," since cowherds cannot stand on the surface of the Ganga's water, by the laksana sakti we understand that the cowherds are on the bank of the Ganga. Where it is necessary to use the laksana sakti, the abhidha sakti does not operate. Where the direct meaning can be used, only the abhidha sakti functions.
In the Vedic literatures, the meaning taken by abhidha, direct connotation, should be accepted. The direct meaning of the Vedas is called abhidheya, that which should be known. Going through all the Vedas, the abhidheya--the direct import--of the Vedas is devotion to the Supreme Lord. Karma, jnana, and yoga have only an indirect relation to the main purport of the Vedas. Therefore the main method indicated in the scriptures for attaining the Lord is sadhana bhakti. This is the eighth topic.
The means is directed towards a certain goal. This goal is called the prayojana. Krishna prema, the perfection of the jiva, is the goal of bhakti and the ninth topic discussed in the Vedas.
In teaching Sanatana, Mahaprabhu said,
I have described one's relation with Krishna in various ways. This is the subject matter of all the Vedas. Krishna is the center of all activities. Now I shall speak about the characteristics of devotional service, by which one can attain the shelter of Krishna and His loving transcendental service.
In this way, Mahaprabhu taught jaiva dharma, the constitutional nature of the soul, composed of sambandha, abhidheya , and prayojana.
1 As pouring water on the root of a tree energizes the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the sense and limbs of the body, simply worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality.
2 If somehow or other by good fortune one develops faith in hearing and chanting My glories, such a person, being neither very disgusted with nor attached to material life, should achieve perfection through the path of loving devotion to Me. S.B.11.20.8
3 As long as one is not satiated by fruitive activity and has not awakened his taste for devotional service by sravanam kirtanam visnoh, one has to act according to the regulative principles of the Vedic injunctions. S.B.11.20.9
4 atho'yam brahma sutranam bharatartha vinirnayah
gayatri bhasyarupo'sau vedartha paribrmhitah
gratho'sthadasa sahasrahah shrimad bhagavatabhidhah
sarvavedetihasaham saram saram samuddrtam
sarvavedanta saram hi shri bhagavatam isyate
tad rasamrta trptasya nanyatra syad ratih kvacit
The Bhagavatam explains the meaning of Mahabharata and the brahma sutras. It is the natural commentary on the gayatri mantra and full of the import of the Vedas. It composed of eighteen thousand verses. It is the essence of all the Vedas, histories and the Vedanta. Satisfied with the nectarean taste of this work, one will have no attraction for anything else. Garuda Purana
Krishna, Krishna sakti and rasa
The eternal, blissful form of Krishna is the Supreme Lord. He is without beginning, and He is the origin of all else. In the scriptures He is called Govinda. He is the cause of all causes.
O Sanatana, please hear about the eternal form of Lord Krishna. He is the Absolute Truth, devoid of duality but present in Vrndavana as the son of Nanda Maharaja. Krishna is the original source of everything and the sum total of everything. He appears as the supreme youth, and His whole body is composed of spiritual bliss. He is the shelter of everything and master of everyone. The original Supreme Personality of Godhead is Krishna. His original name is Govinda. He is full of all opulences, and His eternal abode is known as Goloka Vrndavana. 1
C.C.Madhya 20 .152-154
It is possible for the jivas to realize the form of God, for God Himself has given man the ability to realize Him. By this ability the elevated jivas can realize the form of the Lord. Man has three means of realization: gross material organs of knowledge, the subtle body or the mind's comprehension power, and the ability of the jiva to perceive spiritual matters.
The eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin are the five organs by which the external world is understood. This is all material knowledge. By contemplation, remembrance, or meditation on objects of material knowledge, only more material knowledge, or at most, a perverted glimpse of spirit, is possible. Thus two ways of gathering knowledge are material. It is not possible to have realization of the form of the Lord, which is purely spiritual, by these bodily faculties. Unless a person takes shelter of the faculties of the soul, spiritual vision of the Lord is impossible.2 People who try to see the form of the Lord by taking shelter of the material senses practice asana, pranayama, dhyana and dharana of the yoga system, and by the process of negation, understand the Lord as the soul of the universe. The final goal is a vision of the Paramatma. But by such activity, the perfect, spiritual realization cannot be obtained. All that is achieved is fragmentary realization based upon negation of material knowledge. Those with extreme negativity consider material form as abominable and imagine a formless, unchanging existence of God; they attempt to realize Brahman. But actually their vision of brahman is only a show. 3
Mahaprabhu said the Sanatana:
There are three kinds of spiritual processes for understanding the Absolute Truth--the processes of speculative knowledge, mystic yoga and bhakti yoga. According to these three processes, the Absolute Truth is manifested as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan.
When one accepts Vedic literature by interpretation or even by dictionary meaning, directly or indirectly the ultimate declaration of Vedic knowledge points to Lord Krishna.
C.C. Madhya 20.146
Thus, when a jiva desires to see the Lord, according to his qualification, he sees the appropriate form of the Lord. Accordingly as one practices karma yoga, jnana yoga or bhakti yoga, one will see paramatma, brahman or bhagavan. The wise call the non-dual spiritual entity "tattva" or absolute truth.4 But this absolute entity is perceived differently by differently qualified instruments. Brahman, paramatma and bhagavan are actually one entity, but the person thinks the object which he perceives to be supreme.
Bhagavan is Shri Krishna. Those who disregard Krishna, thinking him to be an ordinary mortal performing material activities, have very meager understanding of spiritual truth. Mahaprabhu taught Sanatana about Krishna as bhagavan, quoting from the Bhagavatam.5
Only by devotional activity can one understand the transcendental form of the Lord, which is perfect in all respects. Although His form is one, he can expand His form into unlimited numbers by His supreme will. The Supreme Personality of Godhead exists in three principal forms--svayam rupa, tadekatma rupa and avesa rupa. The original form of the Lord is exhibited in two forms--- svayam rupa and svayam prakasa. In His original form as svayam rupa, Krishna is observed as a cowherd boy in Vrndavana. In His original form, Krishna manifests Himself in two features--prabhava and vaibhava.
C.C.Madhya 20. 164-167
There are six types of incarnations of Krishna. One is the incarnations of Vishnu, and another is the incarnations meant for the performance of pastimes. There are incarnations that control the material qualities, incarnations of the Manus, incarnations in different millenniums, and incarnations of empowered living entities.
The conclusion is that Lord Brahma and Lord Siva are simply devotee incarnations who carry out orders. However, Lord Vishnu, the maintainer, is the personal feature of Lord Krishna. 6
The six opulences, or bhaga are complete wealth, complete courage, complete fame, complete beauty, complete knowledge and complete renunciation. That person who has all these qualities is called bhagavan. Krishna is svayam bhagavan, because He reveals most completely all the qualities by His very nature. There is no entity equal to or greater than Krishna. He resides eternally in His original form in Goloka. His direct expansions or tad ekatma rupa, perform their activities by His will. Mahavisnu is Krishna's first purusavatara. He lies on the Karana ocean. His partial expansions are Garbodasayi and Ksirodasayi Vishnu. The avataras such as Rama and Nrsimha are expansions from them. But Krishna is svayam bhagavan, the source of the purusavataras. Though Krishna is supreme, he appears in the material world as the son of Nanda, by his inconceivable power.
The brahman which is mentioned in the Upanisads is but His effulgence. 7 The paramatma which is mentioned in the Upanisads and the Yoga scriptures is one part of Krishna8. There are many proofs for these two statements in the scriptures. This cannot be understood by reasoning or logical rules.
As the light spreads out from the sun, from Krishna, endowed with all wonderful qualities, unlimited rays spread out in all directions. Characterized by negative attributes such as formlessness, those rays take the form of impersonal Brahman in the hearts of men cultivating negation of material consciousness. Yogis seek out Paramatma, the expansion of Krishna, who creates and enters into the universe. The object of worship for the less intelligent men is but a transformation of material sattva guna, which has qualities such as formlessness. Out of fear of contamination by worship of human forms or material qualities, the less intelligent resort to the formless and unchanging concept, but by this they are deprived of Krishna prema. By material conception, the pure dharma of the jiva becomes polluted. Those who become attracted to Krishna's glories and beauty are saved from the negative, impersonal mentality and see the kingdom of God. The jiva can by good fortune attain this unlimited happiness, but a man whose intelligence is overcome by material knowledge cannot reach this spiritual kingdom.
Though Krishna is eternally the lord of Goloka, by his inconceivable power he descends to the material world by his own will along with his residence, Vraja, and yet carries out his activities in a pure, variegated way. The jiva can understand these transcendental activities of the Lord by the pure vision of his soul, and not by the material eye.9 Though Krishna may become visible to the material eye by his power, usually he remains invisible. As the pastimes of Krishna are eternal, not polluted by material time and place, they are visible only to the devotional eye of the pure spirit soul, and held in the mind saturated with love. 10 As long as a person tries to approach Krishna with pride of material knowledge, Krishna will remain far away. When a person calls out to Krishna with a humble heart, he sees Krishna and experiences the Lord's unlimited bliss. With the appearance of genuine faith, he loses his material pride and offensive nature. There is no room for caste, birthright, material knowledge, beauty, power, influence of material science, position, wealth, or kingdom in cultivating Krishna consciousness. For this reason understanding of Krishna remains far away from those who are proud of their material status. Thus it is easy to understand why Krishna is disregarded in the modern world.11
The unfortunate position of science is that it tries to know truths which are beyond is scope. Though it has no qualification for spiritual matters, it tries recklessly to understand, and ends up with worthless conclusions and a depraved mentality. Krishna gives his mercy when a jiva shows humility born of association with devotees. This is his qualification for spiritual matters. It is impossible to gain spiritual knowledge by material intellect.12
Krishna's energies are unlimited. The meager knowledge of the jiva can not even understand what energies exist in the various parts of the unlimited universe. In the spiritual world, across the Viraja, exists Vaikuntha and above that, Goloka Vraja. In Vaikuntha four armed Narayana displays all majesty. In Goloka, with the predominance of sweetness, all majesty is hidden.13 Krishna is the possessor of all energies. He has one great energy, which is called maya in many places in the scriptures. Maya means the external manifestation of Krishna, by the definition "miyate anaya," --"that by which things are measured". Krishna cannot be understood except through the agency of maya. Learned men divide Krishna's energy into the superior, spiritual energy (cit sakti) and inferior or material energy (maya sakti). Actually the superior energy is the inconceivable energy. The inferior energy is its shadow. That inferior energy is the controller of the material universe.14 The maya sakti which is condemned in spiritual discussions is this inferior energy, not the spiritual energy.
Lord Krishna naturally has three energetic transformations, and these are known as the spiritual potency, the living entity potency and the illusory potency.
Krishna has unlimited potencies, out of which three are chief--willpower, the power of knowledge and the creative energy.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead in His original form is full of eternity, knowledge and bliss. The spiritual potency in these three portions assumes three different forms. The three portions of the spiritual potency are called hladini, sandhini and samvit. We accept knowledge of these as full knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The spiritual potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead also appears in three phases--internal, marginal and external. These are all engaged in His devotional service in love.
This means that Krishna has one personal energy called svarupa sakti or para sakti. This para sakti has three vibhavas, three prabhavas and three anubhavas by Krishna's will. 15 The three vibhavas are the cit sakti, jiva sakti and maya sakti. The three prabhavas are the iccha sakti, kriya sakti and jnana sakti. The three anubhavas are sandhini, hladini and samvit.
By the influence of the iccha sakti (Supreme Will), the cit sakti manifests Goloka, Vaikuntha and other places of the Lord's pastimes, Krishna's names, the Lord's various two handed or four handed or six handed forms, the pastimes with his associates in Goloka, Vrndavana, and Vaikuntha, and spiritual qualities such as mercy, forgiveness, and generosity. By the influence of the jnana sakti, the cit sakti produces various perceptions: aisvarya, madhurya, and beauty of the spiritual world. Krishna alone possesses the iccha sakti. The controller of the jnana sakti is Vasudeva and the controller of the kriya sakti is Baladeva, or Sankarsana. By the influence of the iccha sakti, jnana sakti and kriya sakti upon the jiva sakti, the forms of eternal associates, devatas, men, demons and raksasas appear. By the influence of Krishna's kriya sakti, the Lord's activities become manifest.
Within the cit sakti, the sandhini, samvit and hladini saktis combine to produce the distinctive ecstasies of prema. This energy is unlimited and endless. All the activities of the cit sakti are eternal.
Although there is no question of creation as far as the spiritual world is concerned, the spiritual world is nonetheless manifest by the supreme will of Sankarsana. The spiritual world is the abode of the pastimes of the eternal spiritual energy.
By the agency of the material energy, this same Lord Sankarsana creates all the universes. The dull material energy--known in modern language as nature--is not the cause of the material universe. Without the Supreme Personality of Godhead's energy, dull matter cannot create the cosmic manifestation. Its power does not arise from the material energy itself but is endowed by Sankarsana. Dull matter alone cannot create anything. The material energy produces the creation by the power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Iron itself has no power to burn, but when iron is placed in fire, it is empowered to burn.
Another name of the shadow energy is material nature. The kriya sakti is also called sankarsana sakti. The transitory transformation of maya sakti is the material world. The jiva sakti will be more clearly delineated in the next chapter.
Krishna is the embodiment of rasa. That is the statement of the Vedas. One can appreciate the nature of rasa by consulting the seventh part of first chapter. Words are material and therefore whatever is said, even with great care, is bound to have material connotation. If the reader is endowed with faith however, the transcendental rasa will appear in his heart. This will arise through association and good fortune. It cannot arise through reasoning. And by bad association, a material conception of rasa ( as with sahajiyas), will lead to the downfall of the inquisitive. The nature of rasa must be understood with great care.
Krishna Himself, endowed with sixty four transcendental qualities, is the perfect embodiment of continuous rasa.16 Of these fifty qualities are present in small amount in the jivas. These fifty qualities and an additional five qualities are present in Siva, Brahma, Ganesa, Surya and other devatas. For that reason, though they are not God, they are also called isvara or Lord. These fifty-five qualities and an additional five are present in fullness in Narayana and the avataras. These sixty qualities and an additional four extraordinary qualities are present in Krishna. For this reason Krishna is the Supreme Lord, the Supreme possessor of power.
All the variety existing in the svarupa sakti become personified forms who assist in the santa, dasya, vatsalya, sakhya and madhurya rasas. The embodiment of hladini, Radha, is the principal personality. Though this rasa is present in Goloka Vraja, by Krishna's will, yogamaya, the cit sakti, manifests this same rasa perfectly in the Vraja of the material world. But those whose intelligence cannot surpass material qualities, not being able to appreciate or understand the transcendental nature of rasa, will disregard it.
As Shrimad Bhagavatam says, those who are filled with faith and describe or hear about rasa quickly attain prema, the perfect stage of devotion, and become freed from the material disease afflicting the heart. 17 This is Mahaprabhu's highest teaching.
1 Lowest of all is located Devi dhama, next above it is Mahesa dhama; above Mahesa dhama is placed Hari dhama and above them all is located Krishna's own realm named Goloka. I adore the Primeval Lord Govinda, who has allotted their respective authorities to rulers of those graded realms. B.S. 5.43
2 When a diseased eye is treated with medicinal ointment it gradually recovers its power to see. Similarly, as a conscious living entity cleanses himself of material contamination by hearing and chanting the pious narrations of My glories, he regains his ability to see me, the absolute truth, in My subtle spiritual form. S.B. 11.14.26
3 Therefore, control your speaking, subdue the mind, conquer the life air, regulate the senses and through purified intelligence bring your rational faculties under control. In this way you will never again fall onto the path of material existence. A transcendentalist who does not completely control his words and mind by superior intelligence will find that his spiritual vows, austerities and charity flow away just as water flows out of an unbaked clay pot. Being surrendered to Me, one should control the speech, mind and life air, and then through loving devotional intelligence one will completely fulfill the mission of life. S.B.11.16.42-44
4 Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or bhagavan. S.B.1.2.11
5 All the above mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists. S.B.1.3.28
6 By his will, I create, Lord Siva destroys, and He himself, in His eternal form as the Personality of Godhead, maintains everything. He is the powerful controller of these three energies. S.B. 2.6.31
7 I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose effulgence is the source of the non-differentiated Brahman mentioned in the Upanisads, being differentiated from the infinity of glories of the mundane universe and which appears as the indivisible, infinite and limitless truth. B.S.5.40
8 You should know Krishna to be the original Soul of all living entities. For the benefit of the whole universe, He has, out of His causeless mercy, appeared as an ordinary, human being. He has done this by the strength of His internal potency. S.B.10.14.55
9 O Vyasadeva, your vision is completely perfect. Your good fame is spotless. You are firm in vow and situated in truthfulness. And thus you can think of the pastimes of the Lord in trance for the liberation of the people in general from all material bondage. S.B.1.5.13
10 Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaged it by linking it in devotional service, without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with his external energy, which was under full control. S.B.1.7.4
11 The intelligence of cruel-minded persons is blinded by false pride based on great wealth, opulence, prestigious family connections, education, renunciation, personal beauty, physical strength and successful performance of Vedic rituals. Being intoxicated with this false pride, such cruel persons blaspheme the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees. S.B.11.5.9
12 My Lord, if one is favored by even a slight trace of the mercy of Your lotus feet, he can understand the greatness of Your personality. But those who speculate to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead are unable to know You, even though they continue to study the Vedas for many years. S.B.10.14.29
13 O supreme great one! O Supreme Personality of Godhead! O Supersoul, master of all mystic power! Your pastimes are taking place continuously in these three worlds, but who can estimate where, how and when You are employing Your spiritual energy and performing these innumerable pastimes? No one can understand the mystery of how Your spiritual energy acts. S.B.10.14.21
14 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. S.B.2.9.33
15 My dear Lord, in Your impersonal manifestation of Brahman there are always two opposing elements--knowledge and ignorance. Your multienergies are continually manifest, but the impersonal Brahman, which is undivided, original, changeless, unlimited and blissful, is the cause of the material manifestation. Because You are the same impersonal Brahman, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. S.B.4.9.16
17 Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart. S.B.10.33.39
Jiva, Conditioned and Liberated States
Mahaprabhu has himself explained this to Sanatana Goswami:
Krishna is the nondual Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although He is one, He maintains different personal expansions and energies for His pastimes. Krishna expands Himself in many forms. Some of them are personal expansions, and some are separate expansions. Thus He performs pastimes in both the spiritual and material worlds. The spiritual worlds are the Vaikuntha plnaets, and the material universes are brahmandas, gigantic globes governed by Lord Brahma. The living entites are divided into two categories. Some are eternally liberated, and others are eternally conditioned. Those who are eternally liberated are always awake to Krishna consciousness, and they render transcendental loving service at the feet of Lord Krishna. They are to be considered eternal associates of Krishna, and they are eterally enjoying the transcendental bliss of serving Krishna. Apart from the ever-liberated devotees, there are the conditioned souls who always turn away from the service of the Lord. They are perpetually conditioned in this material world and are subjected to the material tribulations brought about by different bodily forms in hellish conditions. Due to his being opposed to Krishna consciousness, the conditioned soul is punished by the witch of the external energy, maya. He is thus ready to suffer the threefold miseris-miseris brough about the body and mind, the inimical behaviour of other living entities and natural disturbances caused by the demigods. In this way the conditioned soul becomes the servant of lusty desires, and when these are not fulfilled, he becomes a servant of anger and continues to be kicked by external energy, maya. Wandering and wandering throughout the universe, he may by chance get the association of a devotee physician, whose instructions and hymns make the witch of external energy flee. The conditioned soul thus gets into touch with the devotional service of Lord Krishna, and in this way he can approach nearer and nearer to the Lord.
It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krishna because he is the marginal energy of Krishna and a manifestation simultaneously one and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire.
To Rupa Gosvami:
In this universe there are limitless living entities in 8.400,000 species, and all are wandering within this universe. The length and breadth of the living entity is described as one ten- thousandth part of the tip of a hair. 1 This is the original subtle nature of the living entity.
The Lord is the master of the potencies, and the living entity is the servant of them. That is the difference between the Lord and the living entity. However, you declare that the Lord and the living entities are one and the same. In Bhagavad gita the living entity is established as the marginal potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet you say that the living entity is completely different from the Lord.
C.C.Madhya 9, 162-3
The meaning of these statements is that Krishna, who is endowed with inconceivable energies, by His will , through His cit sakti, enjoys in two ways--through his personal expansions or svamsa and through his separated parts, vibhinnamsas. He expands himself as the caturvyuha and innumerable avataras as svamsa forms; He expands himself as the sum of all jivas as His separated parts. The expansion of his svamsa forms is the activity of the cit sakti. All these forms are visnu tattva, endowed with all power. All these parts obtain complete power from the complete Krishna. Though one great candle lights up innumerable candles, it does not lose any power, and yet the innumerable candles have the same power as the original candle.2 All these forms are supreme, and do not suffer the results of karma; yet though like Krishna they are of independent will, they are subordinate to Krishna's will.
Infinitesimal particles of the cit sakti, in the form of separated parts, are the jivas.3 They are also called the tatastha sakti. The tatastha sakti lies between the cit sakti and the maya sakti. Though the maya sakti is not intrinsic in the jiva, due to his minute nature and consequent weakness, the jiva becomes attracted to maya. It is from Krishna's inconceivable power alone that such an energy as the jiva is manifest. Its cause is but Krishna's independent will. The separated parts, all the jivas, are liable to suffer the results of karma.4 As long as the jivas stay fixed in the service of Krishna by their choice, they are free of maya or karma, but when by misuse of their free will, they desire to enjoy for themselves and they forget their inherent service to Krishna, they become deluded by maya and controlled by karma. When they realize that service to Krishna is their inherent nature, they become free from the bondage of karma and the affliction of maya.5 Because their bondage exists before entry into the material universe, their bondage is called "anadi," without beginning, and they are called eternally conditioned. Those who are not bound like this are called eternally liberated.
From the above facts, one can see a great difference between the natures of the Lord and the jivas. The Lord is the controller of maya and the jiva is attracted to maya and finally become bound up.6 Considering that the jiva is but a part of the complete form of Krishna, one must conclude that the particle or jiva is a different entity from Krishna. Yet the jiva, being an energy of the Lord, must be considered as non-different as well. Therefore Mahaprabhu gave the jiva an identity of difference and non-difference and taught the principle of acintya bhedabheda. Giving the examples of the rays of the sun and sparks from the fire he concluded that the jivas are eternally different, but yet integral parts of the Lord.
It is not possible to conclude that the jiva is the Supreme Brahman or God by occasional statements of the Vedas, such as "aham brahmasmi". Krishna or Vishnu tattva is the only Supreme Brahman. Because the jiva is a type of spiritual or conscious entity he can be called brahman. The brahman, Krishna's effulgence, expands as paramatma in the material universe and as the impersonal, formless, imperceptible, unattainable, inconceivable brahman outside the universe. As Krishna's inconceivable vibhinnamsas, the jivas take up a variety for forms, such as devas, humans, yaksas, raksasas, beasts, birds, insects, reptiles, and ghosts. Among all the forms, however, that of the human is considered the best, for it is most suitable for practicing devotional service. But even in human form, the jivas suffer hellish existence or enjoy heavenly delights. Forgetting Krishna, the jiva, under the control of maya, seeks to fulfill his desires.
The minute conscious particle, the jiva, is by nature the servant of Krishna, the complete conscious being. Service to Krishna is the nature of the jiva. Forgetting this eternal nature, the jiva remains in bondage. When the jiva remembers his eternal nature he attains freedom. The inherent power or sakti of the living, conscious entity, is also present in the tiny conscious jiva, but in minute degree. Therefore the jiva is almost without power by his very nature. But in the liberated state, the jiva gains the sakti from Krishna and to that degree becomes powerful. Just by thinking himself a spiritual entity the jiva cannot obtain the power. This type of liberation is called nirvana. By identifying himself as the servant of Krishna, the jiva obtains power from Krishna and finally attains eternal bliss. Fear, the by- product of illusion, is removed completely.
The various forms that the conditioned jiva takes are but the result of individual actions.7 The qualities of the material world are not the constitution of the jiva. If one believes that the jiva is actually a product of maya, then one is a mayavadi. The jiva is in reality a pure spiritual entity, under the spiritual potency. But because of the marginal nature of the jiva, the jiva has a tendency to become bound by maya. But he is only forgetting the inherent nature, service to Krishna; the pure jiva's state, form and transformations are all spiritual.8 Being of infinitesimal nature, the jivas become bound by maya. First the subtle, mental body covers the pure form, and then, when the time comes to act in the world , the gross body suitable to the action it deserves covers the subtle body. The subtle and gross forms are but abnormal conditions induced by maya upon the pure soul's form. There is thus some similarity between the two forms.
Earth, water, fire, air, and ether make up the gross body. Mind, intellect and false ego make up the subtle body9. On removing these coverings, the jiva attains liberation from maya. Then the jiva's spiritual form is revealed. The liberated jiva performs his actions through the senses of the soul. Eating, recreation, sexual activities with women, excretory functions, sickness, injury, and suffering due to want, as found in the material world, do not exist in the spiritual body. These activities affect only the gross body, but by thinking that he is the body, the jiva accepts all these activities and experiences material pleasure and pain. 10
Though a person may be liberated, if he maintains pride in material knowledge or remains attached to negation of material existence, then he cannot attain a spiritual body suitable for service to Krishna in the spiritual world.11 Liberation achieved through devotional association gives rise to such a spiritual body.12 Liberation due to association with jnanis is only a pretense of liberation. For the jiva, this is an unfortunate position.13 In this chapter the jiva's pure form, his conditioned form and form in liberation have been discussed. What the jiva should do and not do will be discussed elsewhere.
1 balagra sata bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca
bhago jivah sa vijneyah sa canantaya kalpyate
Svetasvatara Upanisad 5.9.
2 The light of one candle being communicated to other candles, although it burns separately in them, is the same in its quality. I adore the Primeval Lord Govinda who exhibits Himself equally in the same mobile manner in his various manifestations. B.S.5.46
3 Among subtle things I am spirit soul, and of things that are difficult to conquer I am the mind. S.B.11.16.11
4 The bird who does not eat the fruits of the tree is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who by His omniscience perfectly understands His own position and that of the conditioned living entity, represented by the eating bird. That living entity, on the other hand, does not understand himself or the Lord. He is covered by ignorance and is thus called eternally conditioned, whereas the Personality of Godhead, being full of perfect knowledge, is eternally liberated. S.B.11.11.7
5 Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is effected by the potency for illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshipable deity and as his very life and soul.
6 My Lord, by Your unbroken transcendental glance You are the supreme witness of all stages of intellectual activities. You are eternally liberated, Your existence is situated in pure goodness, and You are existent in the Supersoul without change. You are the original Personality of Godhead, full with six opulences, and You are eternally the master of the three modes of material nature. Thus, You are always different from the ordinary living entities. AS Lord Vishnu, You maintain all the affairs of the entire universe, and yet You stand aloof and are the enjoyer of the results of all sacrifices.
7 The material mind of men is shaped by the reactions of fruitive work. Along with the five senses, it travels from one material body to another. The spirit soul, although different from this mind, follows it. S.B.11.22.37
8 Having achieved this human form of life, which affords one the opportunity to realize Me, and being situated in My devotional service, one can achieve Me, the reservoir of all pleasure and the Supreme Soul of all existence, residing within the heart of every living being. S.B.11.26.1
10 An unintelligent mind, failing to distinguish himself from material nature, thinks nature to be real. By contact with it he becomes completely bewildered and enters the cycle of material existence. S.B.11.22.51
Just as one may imitate persons whom one sees dancing and singing, similarly the soul, although never the doer of material activities, becomes captivated by material intelligence and is thus forced to imitate its qualities. S.B.11.22.53
The soul's material life, his experience of sense gratification, is actually false, O descendant of Dasarha, just like trees' appearance of quivering when the trees are reflected in agitated water, or like the earth's appearance of spinning due to one's spinning his eyes around, or like the world of a fantasy or dream. For one who is meditating on sense gratification, material life, although lacking factual existence, does not go away, just as the unpleasant experiences of a dream do not. S.B.11.22 54-56
11 I regret that during this lifetime you will not be able to see Me anymore. Those who are incomplete in service and who are not completely free from all material taints can hardly see Me. S.B.1.6.21
12 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. Having been awarded a transcendental body befitting an associate of the Personality of godhead, I quit the body made of five material elements, and thus all acquired fruitive results of work stopped. S.B.1.6.27-28
13 O lotus-eyed Lord, although nondevotees who accept severe austerities and penance to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet. S.B.10.2.32
acintya bheda abheda tattva
Krishna, his energies, rasa, the jiva in conditioned and liberated state have been discussed in previous chapters. In this chapter acintya bhedabheda will be briefly discussed. First, Mahaprabhu's instructions on this matter will be given.
In his Vedanta sutra Shrila Vyasadeva has described that everything is but a transformation of the energy of the Lord.1 Sankaracarya, however, has misled the world by commenting that Vyasadeva was mistaken. Thus he has raised great opposition to theism throughout the entire world. According to Sankaracarya, by accepting the theory of the transformation of the energy of the Lord, one creates an illusion by indirectly accepting that the Absolute Truth is transformed. Transformation of energy is a proven fact. It is the false bodily conception of the self that is an illusion. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is opulent in all respects. Therefore by His inconceivable energies He has transformed the material cosmic manifestation.2 Using the example of a touchstone, which by its energy turns iron to gold and yet remains the same, we can understand that although the Supreme Personality of Godhead transforms his innumerable energies, He remains unchanged. Although touchstone produces many varieties of valuable jewels, it nevertheless remains the same. It does not change its original form.
When we speak of the Supreme as impersonal, we deny His spiritual potencies. Logically, if you accept half of the truth, you cannot understand the whole.
C.C. Adi 7.140
Vedanta sutra is the summary of all the Upanisads; therefore whatever direct meaning is there in the Upanisads is also recorded in the Vedanta sutra or Vyasa sutra. For each verse the direct meaning must be accepted without interpretation.
To the sannyasis Varanasi:
The Vedic sound vibration omkara, the principle word in the Vedic literatures, is the basis of all Vedic vibrations. Therefore one should accept omkara as the sound representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the reservoir of the cosmic manifestation. It is the purpose of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to present pranava as the reservoir of all Vedic knowledge. The words "tat tvam asi" are only a partial explanation of the Vedic knowledge. Pranava is the mahavakya in the Vedas. Sankaracarya's followers cover this to stress without authority the mantra "tat tvam asi." 3
Vedanta philosophy consists of words, spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Narayana in the form of Vyasadeva. The material defects of mistakes, illusions, cheating and sensory inefficiently do not exist in the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Absolute Truth is described by the Upanisads and Brahma sutra, but one must understand the verses as they are. That is the supreme glory in understanding. Shripad Sankaracarya has described all the Vedic literatures in terms of indirect meanings. One who hears such explanations is ruined. Sankaracarya is not at fault, for he has thus covered the real purpose of the Vedas under the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
According to direct understanding, the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has all spiritual opulences. No one can be equal to or greater than Him. Everything about the Supreme Personality of Godhead is spiritual, including His body, opulence and paraphernalia. Mayavada philosophy, however, covering His spiritual opulence, advocates the theory of impersonalism. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of spiritual potencies. Therefore His body, name, fame and entourage are all spiritual. The Mayavadi philosopher, due to ignorance, says that these are all merely transformations of the material mode of goodness. Sankaracarya, who is an incarnation of Lord Siva, is faultless because he is a servant carrying out the orders of the Lord.4 But those who follow his Mayavadi philosophy are doomed. They will lose all their advancement in spiritual knowledge.
Pranava or omkara is an indirect name of Krishna, the original sound of the Vedas, sabda brahma. The noun "pranava" is formed from the verb pranu (to sound) made from the prefix pra (very much) and the verb nu (to praise). Therefore pranava or omkara is the sound incarnation of the Supreme Brahman, the person worthy of our praise and worship.
From omkara all the Vedas have appeared. Prana is the seed of the Vedas, the mahavakya or principal sound. All other parts of the Vedas are particular statements of relative value. Sankaracarya, the formulator of mayavada philosophy, minimized the prominent position of omkara and proclaimed four specialized statements as mahavakya: 1. aham brahmasmi (I am brahman) 2. prajnanam brahma (brahman is knowledge) 3. tattvam asi (you are that brahman) 4. ekam eva advitiyam (There is only one existent being.)
Seeing a need to hide pranava, the seed of the Vedas, because it proclaims pure devotion, Sankaracarya took other statements as the essence of the Vedas and preached exclusive monism. He taught that the conditioned jiva is simply an illusion produced by maya, that the brahman is subjected to maya, and that liberation for the jiva is the absence of maya. By this philosophy the pure relation of jiva with the Supreme brahman becomes hidden. The import of all the Vedas has not been considered. Thus, Madhvacarya took other Vedic statements and established an opposing philosophy, dvaitavad. However, because he did not consider all the Vedic statements, the full relation of the jiva to the Lord was not revealed. Ramanujacarya as well, in his visistadvaita philosophy, did not show the complete relationship. Nimbarka Swami, propounder of Dvaitadvaita, preached a somewhat incomplete doctrine. Vishnu Swami also, in his suddhadvaita doctrine, left some ambiguity. In order to establish the eternal nature of prema, Mahaprabhu gave pure, complete teachings about the relationship of jiva with the Lord through the doctrine of acintya bhedabheda, and in this way delivered the world from the darkness of mental speculation.
Mahaprabhu said that the only mahavakya is pranava. Its meaning is evident in the Upanisads. What the Upanisads teach is perfectly sanctioned by Vyasa in the Vedanta Sutras. The commentary of the Vedanta sutras is the Shrimad Bhagavatam. The first sutra teaches that the principle of transformation is the truth. yato va imani bhutani jayante (Taittriya Upanisad) also supports this. The Bhagavatam also establishes this truth. Fearing that with the principle of transformation, the brahman becomes changeable, Sankara established vivarta-vada, the theory of illusion. This vivarta-vad is the root of all faults.
Parinama-vada, transformation through the Lord's energies, is approved by all scriptures and is the principle of pure existence. If the eternal existence of the Lord's energies is not accepted in parinama-vada, then the defects of the Lord falling under illusion and deterioration of the Lord appear. But if the eternal, natural, superior energy of the Lord is accepted, then there is no fault in parinama-vada.
The transformations of the Lord's energy, which give rise to the material universe, are factual, but the Lord does not change. By transformation of the Lord's energies, the material world and the jivas take their existence. Though gold is produced from the touchstone, the touchstone remains unaffected. In this example given by Mahaprabhu, it is clear that Krishna's energies perform the creation, whereas Krishna's remains unaffected. It is all the transformation of His energies. By transformation of the cit sakti, the Lord's dhama, name, form, qualities, pastimes and the jivas as minute transformations exist. By transformation of the maya sakti, the material world (fourteen worlds) and the subtle and gross bodies of the jivas appear. This parinama-vada is found everywhere in the Vedanta Sutras and the Upanisads. The gradual evolution of mahatattva, ahankara, ether, fire. air, water and earth is also parinamavada.
After all the efforts of advaitavada, what is left is an imaginary jiva and imaginary world, but in pure parinama-vada, by Krishna's will, the material world and the jivas exist as true entities.5 The world is not illusion, but temporary, since by Krishna's will it may dissolve. Although the Lord creates the world and enters into it, he remains eternally independent in his form as Krishna served by his spiritual energies.6 Only those who can understand this remarkable feature of the Lord are able to taste the Lord's opulence and sweetness. This is the relation of the jiva to Krishna.
The jiva's relation with the temporary world is like that of a traveler at an inn. Yukta vairagya, the proper way to deal with the world, arises from a correct understanding of the relation between jiva and the material energy. As long as the correct understanding of temporary and permanent does not arise, the bound jiva cannot perform proper activities. According to Lord Chaitanya's doctrine, the jiva's identity and difference from the Lord, and the world's difference and identity with the Lord are both established as truth. Since this cannot be adjusted by limited human reasoning, this eternal difference and non difference is called acintya or inconceivable. Though it is inconceivable, logic and reasoning are not dissatisfied, for it is reasonable that God can have inconceivable power. Whatever is established by the Lord's inconceivable power, can only be understood by the Lord's mercy. 7 The ancient sages have taught that logic cannot be applied to the inconceivable, for in inconceivable matters, logic cannot be accepted as a proof. 8 Those who cannot grasp this are most unfortunate.
1 The blazing fire is different from the flames, from the sparks and from the smoke, although all are intimately connected because they are born from the same blazing wood. S..B.3.28.40
2 After the incarnation of the first purusa, the mahat-tattva, or the principles of material creation, take place, and then time is manifested, and in course of time the three qualities appear. Nature means the three qualitative appearances. They transform into activities. Material activities are caused by the mahat-tattva's being agitated. At first there is transformation of the modes of goodness and passion, and later--due to the mode of ignorance--matter, its knowledge, and different activities of material knowledge come into play. S.B.2.5.22-23
3 From the beginning of creation, the three words om tast sat were used to indicate the Supreme Absolute Truth. B.G.17.23
4 Padma Purana Uttara Khanda Krishna orders Siva:
svagamaih kalpitais trsna janan mad vimukhan kuru
mam ca gopaya tena syat srstir esottarottara
In the future you should create scriptures by which people will turn from me. I will become hidden.
mayavadam asacchastrat pracchannam bauddham eva ca
mayaiva vihitam devi kalau brahmana murtina
The Mayavada philosophy is incorrect. It is covered Buddhism. It will be created by me through a Brahmana in Kali yuga.
5 My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the best path for self realization. If someone gives up that path and engages in the cultivation of speculative knowledge, he will simply undergo a troublesome process and will not achieve his desired result. As a person who beats an empty husk of wheat cannot get grain one who simply speculates cannot achieve self-realization. His only gain is trouble. S.B.10.14.4
7 S.B. 1.9.31
8 acintya khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet
prakrtibhyah ruvam (?) yacca tad acintyasya laksanam
That which is inconceivable cannot be subject to logic. Those things beyond our material experience are considered inconceivable.
naisa tarkena matir apaneya
The goal cannot be reached by logic.
Seven of the topics of discussion were concerning sambandha or relationship. By that knowledge a person can understand that having forgotten his relationship with Krishna, he has fallen into the material ocean and is experiencing misery. To extinguish this suffering a person must reestablish this relationship. Then all suffering is finished and he experiences bliss. The jiva is an eternally perfect spiritual entity, with factual bondage or suffering. The suffering occurs because of the illusory identification of the body with self. Mistaking a rope for snake and sea shell for silver are two examples of illusion mentioned in the Vedas. not understanding these examples properly the mayavadis mistakenly believe that the existence of the jiva is an illusion of brahman. When a jiva, by the mercy of an authorized guru understands that these two examples do not refer to the illusory existence of the jiva but rather to the identification of self with subtle and gross bodies, he is on the right course.
This is the difference between parinama (transformation) and vivarta (illusion). When an object undergoes a change of form, it is called parinam or vikara. changing milk to yogurt by addition of acid culture is a transformation. When an object does not exist, but another object is mistaken for it, that is called vivarta, illusion. Though the snake is not present, by mistake a person may think a piece of rope to be a snake. Though silver is not present, one can mistake a piece of sea shell for silver. To mistake one thing for another is vivarta bhrama. The jiva is a pure spiritual entity. He is not actually bound by maya, but when the illusory factor becomes strong enough to create the illusion that the body is the self vivarta bhrama takes place.1
This conditioned state of the jiva is the state of vivarta. How long does this illusion last? When a person take instruction from a bona fide guru and firmly identifies himself as servant of Krishna, the illusion ends.2 Therefore if a person gives up the motive of liberation and performs devotional service, this illusion will easily be removed. With a motive for liberation he does not achieve his real nature, but rather cultivates negativity.3 Bhakti is the only means. Uninformed people reject bhakti and take karma or jnana as the practice.4 Though karma and jnana can be to some extent practiced in a minor way, they can never be the main practice.5 Mahaprabhu said to Sanatana,
Devotional service to Krishna is the chief function of the living entity. There are different methods for the liberation of the conditioned soul--karma, jnana, yoga and bhakti--but all are dependent on bhakti. But for devotional service, all other methods for spiritual self-realization are weak and insignificant. Unless one comes to the devotional service of Lord Krishna, jnana and yoga cannot give the desired results. Speculative knowledge alone, without devotional service, is not able to give liberation. On the other hand, even without knowledge one can obtain liberation if one engages in the Lord's devotional service.
The living entity is bound around the neck by the chain of maya because he has forgotten that he is eternally a servant of Krishna. If the conditioned soul engages in the service of the Lord and simultaneously carries out the orders of his spiritual master and serves him he can get out of the clutches of maya and become eligible for shelter at Krishna's lotus feet.
The followers of the varnasrama institution accept the regulative principles of the four social orders and four spiritual orders. However, if one carries out the regulative principles of the orders but does not render transcendental service to Krishna, he falls into the hellish condition of material life. There are many philosophical speculators belonging to the Mayavada school who consider themselves liberated and call themselves Narayana. However, their intelligence is not purified unless they engage in Krishna's devotional service.6
Though karma yoga and jnana are mentioned as the practice in various scriptures, the less intelligent people do not take the final conclusion of all the scriptures but establish these processes as the main one. Though men are of many types, they can be classed as either inclined to enjoyment or renunciation. In order to attain the next higher level a person performs sadhana. However this sadhana is secondary, and cannot be called the main sadhana or abhidheya. The results of these sadhanas are only one further step in progress. Considering the vastness of the subject, these results are insignificant. Karma, yoga, jnana and their subordinate methods cannot even give any result without some trace of bhakti.7 If they have bhakti as their final goal, they can yield some secondary results--liberation cannot be attained by jnana alone. Sambandha jnana which has as its object bhakti gives liberation as its first result. Bhakti easily gives this mukti as an insignificant, incidental fruit.
Dharma consists of the activities allotted to the four varnas and asramas. It is also called traivargika dharma (artha, kama and dharma). This traivargika dharma is discussed in the Second Part of this book. Mahaprabhu has taught that men with attachment for worldly enjoyment get strength from the practice of these rules to carry on comfortably the maintenance of body and family. Those with too much attachment are advised to follow the rules of varnasrama, and this will qualify them for bhakti. But those people who practice varnasrama without making bhakti the goal go to hell, even though they follow their prescribed duties.
In the third part of this book sadhana bhakti will be more elaborately described. When vaida sadhana bhakti becomes pure, it becomes qualified for practice of prema. The love of the jiva for the Lord is the eternal natural dharma of the jiva. This is the real goal of life-- what is to be attained by the jiva. But if this object is (already) eternally perfected, then how is it something to be attained by the jiva?
My dear Sanatana, please now hear about the regulative principles for the execution of devotional service. By this process, one can attain the highest perfection of love of Godhead, which is the most desirable treasure. The spiritual activities of hearing, chanting, remembering and so forth are the natural characteristics of devotional service. The marginal characteristic is that it awakens pure love for Krishna. Pure love for Krishna is eternally established in the hearts of living entities. If is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, the living entity naturally awakens.
Prema is a perfect object. When the jiva is under illusion, the prema appears in marginal form, not in its original (svarupa) form. Sadhana bhakti's main characteristics are the activities of chanting, hearing and remembering Krishna's name, qualities, forms and pastimes.8 By performing this sadhana gradually prema appears in marginal form, like a hidden fire. When the jiva finally gives up his subtle body and attains a spiritual body, prema appears in its original form (svarupa). Thus, Krishna prema is a perfect object, which is not born from practice, but rather it appears in the pure heart by hearing and other devotional activities. It will be noticed that sadhana is very necessary.
Sadhana bhakti is of two types: vaidhi and raganuga.
There are two processes of practical devotional service. one is regulative devotional service, and the other is spontaneous devotional service. Those who have not attained the platform of spontaneous attachment in devotional service render devotional service under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master according to the regulative principles mentioned in the revealed scriptures. According to the revealed scriptures, this kind of devotional service is called vaidhi bhakti.
When bound jivas have great attachment for everything except Krishna, they have little room for attachment for Krishna. There is no option for such jivas but to follow the injunctions of scripture. This process is called vaidhi bhakti. Performing activities from the perspective of what is forbidden and prescribed, taking the scriptural authority as absolute, is the first step on the path of good fortune. At this stage the stimulus for performing devotional service is the faith of the devotee in the words of scripture. Accordingly as this faith is at first, tender, then firm and finally deep, results will be reaped. When this faith becomes deep (uttama), it transforms into steadiness, taste, attachment and bhava, by the practice of worship in association of the devotees. The practitioner can then understand that Krishna alone is the object of remembrance, and that He should never be forgotten. He understand that all rules, positive or negative, follow from the principal of always remembering and never forgetting the Lord. At this stage, the devotee rejects fanatical adherence to the injunctions and prohibitions, and, according to his qualification, gives up some of the injunctions, and begins to practice some of the (previous) prohibitions.9 Mahaprabhu has given a description of sadhana bhakti in the Chaitanya Charitamrita.
1.One must accept a bona fide spiritual master. 2. Accept initiation from him. 3. Serve him. 4. Receive instructions from the spiritual master and make inquiries in order to learn devotional service. 5.Follow in the footsteps of the previous acaryas and follow the directions given by the spiritual master. 6.One should be prepared to give up everything for Krishna's satisfaction, and one should also accept everything for Krishna's satisfaction. 7. One must live in a place where Krishna is present-- a city like Vrndavana or Mathura or a Krishna temple. 8. One should acquire a livelihood that is just sufficient to keep body and soul together. 9. One must fast on Ekadashi day. 10. One should worship dhatri trees, banyan trees, cows, brahmanas and devotees of Lord Vishnu. 11. One should avoid offenses against devotional service and the holy name. 12. One must give up the company of nondevotees. 13. One should not accept an unlimited number of disciples. 14.One should not partially study many scriptures just to be able to give references and expand explanations. 15. The devotee should treat loss and gain equally. 16. The devotee should not be overwhelmed by lamentation. 17. The devotee should not worship demigods, nor should he disrespect them. Similarly the devotee should not study or criticize other scriptures. 18. The devotee should not hear Lord Vishnu or His devotee blasphemed. 19. The devotee should avoid reading or hearing newspapers or mundane books that contain stories of love affairs between men and women or subjects palatable to the senses. 20. Neither by mind nor words should the devotee cause anxiety to any living entity, regardless how insignificant he may be. After one is established in devotional service, the positive actions are 1. hearing, 2. chanting 3. remembering 4. worshipping 5. praying 6. serving 7. accepting servitorship 8. becoming a friend and 9. surrendering fully. One should also 10. dance before the Deity 11. sing before the deity, 12. open one's mind to the Deity 13. offer obeisances to the Deity 14. stand up before the deity and the spiritual master just to show them respect 16. follow the Deity or the spiritual master 16. visit different places of pilgrimage or go see the Deity in the temple. 17.circumambulate the temple 18. recite various prayers 19 recite scriptures 20. chant softly 21. chant congregationally 22. smell the incense 23.smell the flower garland 24. smell the scents offered to the Lord 25. eat the remnants of food offered to the Deity 26. attend arati 27.attend festivals 28. see the Deity 29. present what is very dear to oneself to the Deity 30. meditate on the Lord 31.serve the objects used in Krishna' s pastimes 32. serve tulasi 33.serve vaishnavas 34 serve Mathura 35. serve the Bhagavatam 36.One should perform all endeavors for Krishna 37. One should look forward to His mercy 38. One should partake of various festivals 39 associate with devotees 40. One should surrender to krishna in all respects 41.One should observe particular vows like kartika vrata. 42. bathing during magha 43. vaisakha krtya
One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Shrimad Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the deity with faith and veneration. These five limbs of devotional service are the best of all. Even a slight performance of these five awakens love for Krishna.
Amongst all the sixty four types of devotional service, the nine processes beginning with hearing are the chief, and all others are their assistants. The first ten items act as the entrance door to bhakti. The second ten items are acceptance of favorable actions and rejection of unfavorable actions. Such things as respecting the dhatri tree, asvattha tree, the cow, and brahmana are necessary for social stability, but as well, they are favorable for the first stages of devotional service. As sadhana bhakti becomes mature, the last five items become prominent.
In the practice of bhakti, there is a secret. Spiritual realization, devotion and detachment from everything material--- these three increase equally with progress. Where the opposite tendencies become apparent, one should understand and that there is fault at the very root of the practice of bhakti. 10 There will be inevitable fall down except for the mercy of guru and the association of devotees.
The Lord has said:
When one is firmly fixed in devotional service, whether he executes one or many processes of devotional service, the waves of love of Godhead will awaken.
For practicing single items of bhakti, Pariksit is famous for hearing; Sukadeva is famous for chanting; Prahlada is famous for remembering; Laksmi is famous for serving the lotus feet; Prthu is famous for arcana; Akrura is famous for offering prayers; Hanuman is famous as a servant; Arjuna is famous as friend; and Bali is famous for surrendering his soul. Ambarisa is famous for performing many items.
As long as material desire is present in the heart, a person performing sadhana bhakti should follow the injunctions of varnasrama. But one who gives up material desires and practices sadhana bhakti according to the injunctions is free from the obligations of serving varnasrama rules. 11
If a person gives up all material desires sand completely engages in the transcendental loving service of Krishna, as enjoined in revealed scriptures, he is never indebted to demigods, sages or forefathers.
When a person attains the stage of desireless practice, he can give up dependence on the rules, and not be tempted by prohibited actions: it is not possible for the pure devotee to commit sinful actions. If by inadvertence he commits a sinful activity, atonement according to the karma khanda is not necessary.12
Some people think that one must cultivate knowledge and detachment for progress in devotion, but this is mistaken. The Lord has said,
The path of speculative knowledge and renunciation is not very essential for devotional service. Indeed, good equalities such as nonviolence and mind and sense control automatically accompany a devotee of Lord Krishna.
Bhakti is an independent process. Knowledge and detachment are activities which only serve devotion at a distance. 13 Nonviolence, sense control, and other scriptural activities are the natural associates of bhakti. But it is not necessary to cultivate any of these independently of bhakti.
My dear Sanatana, I have now in detail described devotional service according to the regulative principles. Now hear from Me about spontaneous devotional service and its characteristics. The original inhabitants of Vrndavana are attached to Krishnas spontaneously in devotional service. Nothing can compare to such spontaneous devotional service, which is called ragatmika bhakti. When a devotee follows in the footsteps of the devotees of Vrndavana, his devotional service is called raganuga bhakti. The primary characteristic of spontaneous love is deep attachment for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Absorption in Him is a marginal characteristic.
Thus devotional service which consists of raga is called ragatmika, spontaneous loving service. If a devotee covets such a position, he is considered to be most fortunate. If one follows in the footsteps of the inhabitants of Vrndavana out of such transcendental covetousness, he does not care for the injunctions or reasoning of sastra. That is nature of raganuga.
There are two processes by which one may execute this raganuga bhakti--external and internal. When self-realized, the advanced devotee externally remains like neophyte and executes all the sastric injunctions, especially hearing and chanting. However, within his mind, in his original purified self-realized position, he serves Krishna in Vrndavana in his particular way. He serves Krishna twenty-four hours, all day and night.
Actually the inhabitants of Vrndavana are very dear to Krishna. If one wants to engage in spontaneous loving service, he must follow the inhabitants of Vrndavana and constantly engage in devotional service within his mind. Krishna has many types of devotees--some are servants, some are friends, some are parents, and some are conjugal lovers. Those who are situated in one of these attitudes of spontaneous love according to their choice , are considered to be on the path of spontaneous loving service.
If one engages in spontaneous loving service to the Lord, his affection (priti) at the lotus feet of Krishna gradually increases. In the seed of affection, there is attachment which goes by two names-rati and bhava. The Supreme Personality of Godhead comes under the control of such attachment.
After showing the difference between vaidhi and raganuga sadhana bhakti, the Lord concluded his discussion of sadhana. In the fourth section will be found a discussion of raganuga.
Some unknowledgeable people think that sadhana bhakti is not necessary. Some prefer varnasrama and others prefer to relish prema. But from seeing the instructions concerning bhakti, a gradual process is recommended and fruitful. First a person should attain steadiness in good conduct by practicing varnasrama. Then he must progress to vaidhi bhakti. Finally, with prema, he reaches perfection.14 According to the amount of qualification of the individual, this form of advancement may slightly change .
Some people think that if this process is followed, civilized life and maintenance will disintegrate. However it is simply a cheating notion to think that the goal of life is for farmers, clerks, and brahmanas to elevate themselves gradually to higher positions in varna and asrama.15 Such a conception of occupational duties is in terms of material advancement alone, which cannot produce any progress for the soul.
Mahaprabhu has given instructions for surpassing such material conceptions of life and easily attaining pure spiritual life. Practice of varnasrama is for the maintenance of the body. Practice of yoga is for advancement of the mind. Sadhana bhakti is for advancement of the soul. Though the devotee may not be expert at farming, fighting, or any material occupation, he is expert in terms of the real life of the human being. A king's minister may not be able to fire the gun expertly, but he can still act as the advisor for the soldiers and make expert arrangements for the war. Those who can see the elevated position of the devotees is actually intelligent, and can obtain the mercy of the Lord. 16
1 When the soul is under the spell of material nature and false ego, identifying his body as the self, he becomes absorbed in material activities, and by the influence of false ego he thinks that he is the proprietor of everything. The conditioned soul therefore transmigrates into different species of life, higher and lower, because of this association with the modes of material nature. Unless he is relieved of material activities, he has to accept this position because of his faulty work. S.B.3.27.2-3
2 With steady intelligence you should develop unalloyed devotional service by careful worship of the spiritual master, and with the sharpened ax of transcendental knowledge you should cut off the subtle material covering of the soul. Upon realizing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you should then give up that ax of analytic knowledge. S.B.11.12.24
3 One who desires some material benefit in exchange for devotional service cannot be your pure devotee. Indeed, he is no better than a merchant who wants profit in exchange for service. S.B.7.10.4
4 My dear friends, O sons of the demons, you cannot please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by becoming perfect brahmanas, demigods or great saints or by becoming perfectly good in etiquette or vast learning. None of these qualifications can awaken the pleasure of the Lord. Not by charity, austerity, sacrifice, cleanliness or vows can one satisfy the Lord. The Lord is pleased only if one has unflinching, unalloyed devotion to Him. Without sincere devotional service, everything is simply a show. S.B.7.7.51-52
5 Devotional service unto Lord Krishna is attained by charity, strict vows, austerities and fire sacrifices, by japa, study of Vedic texts, observance of regulative principles and indeed, by the performance of many other auspicious practices. S.B.10.47.24
6 If any of the members of the four varnas and four asramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they will fall down from their position into a hellish state of life. S.B.11.5.3
7 Ritualistic ceremonies, regulative principles, austerities and the practice of yoga are all meant to control the senses and mind, but even after one is able to control the sense and mind, if he does not come to the point of meditation upon the Supreme Lord, all such activities are simply labor in frustration. S.B.7.15.28
8 Hearing, chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Vishnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him--these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krishna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge. S.B.7.5.23-24
9 It is firmly declared that the steady adherence of transcendentalists to their respective spiritual positions constitutes real piety and that sin occurs when a transcendentalist neglects his prescribed duty. One who adopts this standard of piety and sin, sincerely desiring to give up all past association with sense gratification, is able to subdue materialistic activities, which are by nature impure. S.B.11.20.26
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 that pleasure, nourishment and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating. S.B.11.2.42
11 O King, one who has given up all material duties and has taken full shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, who offers shelter to all, is not indebted to the demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one's forefathers who have passed away. Since all such classes of living entities are put and parcel of the Supreme Lord, one who has surrendered to the Lord's service has no need to serve such persons separately. S.B.11.5.41
12 One who has thus given up all other engagements and has taken full shelter at the lotus feet of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is very dear to the Lord. Indeed, if such a surrendered soul accidentally commits some sinful activity, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is seated within everyone's heart, immediately takes away the reaction to such sin. S.B.11.5.42
13 Therefore, for a devotee engaged in my loving service, with mind fixed on Me, the cultivation of knowledge and renunciation is generally not the means of achieving the highest perfection within this world. S.B.11.20.31.
14 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, then real devotion and devotional service begin. S.B.3.25.25
15 Because of their uncontrolled senses, person too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions, and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Krishna are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts or by a combination of both. S.B.7.5.30
16 When a person is fully engaged in devotional service, he is favored by Lord, who bestows His causeless mercy. At such a time, the awakened devotee gives up all material activities and ritualistic performances mentioned in the Vedas. S.B.4.29.46
Those who are interested in reviving Krishna consciousness and increasing their love of Godhead do not like to do anything that is not related to Krishna. They are not interested in mingling with people who are busy maintaining their bodies, eating, sleeping, mating and defending. They are not attached to their homes, although they may be householders. Nor are they attached to wives, children, friends or wealth. At the same time, they are not indifferent to the execution of their duties. Such people are interested in collecting only enough money to keep the body and soul together. S.B.5.5.3
Shri Krishna Chaitanya spoke to Sanatana:
Now hear, O Sanatana, about the result of devotional service, which is love of Godhead (prema), life's ultimate goal (prayojana). If one hears this description, he will be enlightened in the transcendental mellows of devotional service (rasa). When affection for Krishna (rati) becomes deeper, one attains love of Godhead in devotional service (prema). Such a position is called sthayi bhava, permanent enjoyment of the mellows of devotional service to Krishna.
The meaning of the Lord's words is this: devotional in its first stage of sadhana is called bhakti and later when the sadhana yields its results, it is called bhava, and finally it matures as prema. Sadhana bhakti continues up till bhava, which is also called rati or prityankura, the sprout of love.1 The difference between vaidhi and raganuga is that vaidhi proceeds somewhat slower to bhava. Practice of raganuga very quickly leads to the level of bhava.2 Faith, having surpassed steadiness (nistha), takes the form of ruci in the heart of the raganuga bhakta. Thus there is no delay for that to mature into bhava.3
When the devotee achieves bhava, the following qualities become visible.
If love for Krishna in a seedling state has fructified in one's heart, one is not agitated by material things. Not a moment should be lost. Every moment should be utilized for Krishna or connected with Him. in the material field, people are interested in material enjoyment, mystic power and sense gratification. However, these things do not appeal to the devotee at all. although a devotee's standard is above all, he still considers himself to be in the lowest stage of life. A fully surrendered devotee always hopes that Lord Krishna will be kind to him. This hope is very firm in him. Eagerness is chiefly characterized by an ardent desire to associate with the Lord. Due to having great relish for the holy name, one is inclined to chant the hare krishna mahamantra constantly. A devotee has awakened the tendency to chant and describe the transcendental qualities of the Lord. He has attachment for this process. A devotee absorbed in ectatic emotion for Krishna always resides in a place where Krishna's pastimes were performed.
If one reads the Fifth Chapter, one can understand all these teachings of the Lord. The characteristics of prema are extremely difficult to discuss. Thus Mahaprabhu has said:
These are the symptoms of a person who has developed attraction (bhava) for Krishna. Now let me describe the symptoms of a person who is actually elevated to love of Krishna (prema). O Sanatana, please hear this from Me. Even the most learned man cannot understand the words, activities and symptoms of a person situated in love of Godhead.4
Prema is of five types: santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhura. Amongst these, madhura prema and madhura rasa are supreme. In the madhura rasa the devotee experiences the maximum extent of Krishna's sweetness. 5 The devotee situated in madhura rasa attains the highest perfection of prema.6 All sixty four qualities of Krishna are present in the madhura rasa of Vraja, and thus infinite sweetness is experienced by the devotee of Vraja.
Mahaprabhu has spoken of Radha, the topmost devotee in this way:
Shrimati Radharani has unlimited transcendental qualities, of which twenty-five qualities are principal. Shri Krishna is controlled by these transcendental qualities of Shrimati Radharani.
Those alone who are fortune to be qualified for madhura rasa can taste this rasa. No one can understand it by logical thought. Thus the Lord said:
The exchange between Krishna and different devotees situated in different transcendental mellows is not to be experienced by nondevotees. Advanced devotees can understand and appreciate the different varieties of devotional service reciprocated with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
After teaching Sanatana all of this, the Lord taught about rejection of dry renunciation and acceptance of yukta vairagya.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then told Sanatana Gosvami about proper renunciation according to a particular situation, and the Lord forbade dry renunciation and speculative knowledge in all respects.
By reasoning and by interpretation of ambiguous Vedic statements some people conclude that we are spirit, but due to the contact with material energy we have lost consciousness of this fact. How to become freed from the material world? The body, house, and food are all material. How can we become free from these material obstacles? Thinking in this way, they smear ashes on their bodies, wear kaupinas, eat dry food, renounce wife and children. To give the impression that they are renounced they give up the household and wander in the forest or live in the asrama. Not considering what value such actions will do them, they indulge in dry speculation, being indifferent to the fact that real deliverance is caused by a relationship with the Lord. Though they become free from sin and piety and concepts of "me" and "mine," they cannot really understand what benefit they have attained. They pass their time in studying the statements of the Vedanta. When they die, a few associates come and break coconuts on their heads and bury them in the ground. What is achieved? They have not attained the Lord. All they get is brahman. Alternatively, if a person places the Lord in the center of his life while caring for his body and house, while eating and sleeping, then he gradually increases his devotion to the Lord through his devotional practice; finally, definitely, he achieves prema.7 This type of renunciation is called yukta vairagya. Mahaprabhu forbade Sanatana from practicing dry renunciation, and taught him yukta vairagya. To Raghunatha Das he said :
Be patient and return home. Don't be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence. You should not make yourself a showbottle devotee and become a false renunciate. For the time being, enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it. Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Krishna will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of maya.
If a person can carry on his household duties without attachment and worship the Lord with inner steadiness, gradually the material world will fall away. By devotion, the soul becomes stronger and establishes a relation with the Lord.8 The alternative is to reject the gradual process and become a false renunciate, but this leads to degradation of the soul. To accept necessary objects, means not to accept objects for sense gratification or pleasure, but to accept them only for establishing a relationship of the soul with the Lord. Being merciful, these objects themselves will release the non-material soul. The body, house and objects meant for worship can all be used in yukta vairagya. All that is necessary is the internal steadiness of the devotee to achieve success. An external show of steadiness is only for others to see. If there is internal devotion and steadiness, very quickly the bondage of the material world will disappear. Pure knowledge and pure detachment will certainly increase to the extent that devotion increases.
Taking shelter of the holy name of Krishna is the ultimate practice for the real devotee.9 Shri Chaitanya spoke to Sanatana:
Among the ways of executing devotional service, the nine prescribed methods are the best, for these processes have great potency to deliver Krishna and ecstatic love for Him. Of the nine processes of devotional service, the most important is to always chant the holy name of the Lord. If one does so, avoiding the ten kinds of offenses, one very easily obtains the most valuable love of Godhead.
C.C.Madhya Antya 4.70-71
Give up all your nonsensical desires, for they are unfavorable for getting shelter at the lotus feet of Krishna. Engage yourself in chanting and hearing. Then you will soon achieve the shelter of Krishna without a doubt. A person born in a low family is not unfit for discharging devotional service to Lord Krishna, nor is one fit for devotional service simply because he is born in an aristocratic family of brahmanas.10 Anyone who takes to devotional service is exalted, whereas a nondevotee is always condemned and abominable. Therefore in the discharge of devotional service to the Lord, there is no consideration of the status of one's family. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna is always favorable to the humble and meek, but aristocrats, learned scholars and the wealthy are always proud of their positions.
C.C.Madhya Antya 4.65-68
This means that if a person has faith in the Lord, he will take chanting the Lord's name in association of devotees. He will not distract his mind with attempts at karma or jnana. He will constantly chant the sixteen names of Krishna while counting. He will maintain body, house and society to the extent that they can be favorable for cultivating the Name, and will offer them all in the service of Krishna. He will not labor in any other direction , and even here he will not overendeavor. He will not indulge in pleasurable objects or delicious food. He will maintain his body on sattvika food so that the senses, mind and internal mental faculties will e not be disturbed or destroyed.11 Not being over ambitious in his plans he will reside in a solitary place. Staying in association with those who can nurture devotion, he carefully progresses. The purpose of all these activities is to attain fixed chanting of the name, with no anxieties.12 This person will reject completely association with women and persons who associate with women, and he will be careful not to associate with materialists. 13 He will give up useless discussion, and consider himself as the most fallen. Being tolerant, he will endure everything and give benefit to the world. He is not proud of his caste, wealth, followers, beauty, strength, knowledge or position, and he respects all others in a proper way.14 Living in this way, he will constantly chant the Lord's name with devotion. in this way, by Krishna's mercy he will attain pure prema. Dharma, artha, kama and moksa will serve this devotee. 15
If there is some desire in the heart, then the devotee should continue his chanting humbly recognizing it yet detesting it. In a short time the Lord will come into the heart, purify it of all desire, and accept the devotee's love. 16
In Lord Chaitanya's teachings there are only two concepts: taste for the name and mercy to the jivas. A person is a devotee to the extent that these two qualities are present. 17 It is not necessary to labor for any other qualities. The qualities of the devotee spontaneously appear, 18and the devotee naturally relishes acting for the benefit of all.19 When a jiva becomes the servant of Krishna, sorrow no longer exists.20 The devotee is careful to associate with the guru and others of the same category at the appropriate time.21 The life of an advanced devotee is very pure. His taste is always pure. 22 Mahaprabhu taught Raghunatha this briefly .
Smiling, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Raghunatha dasa, "I have already appointed Svarupa Damodara Gosvami as your instructor. You may learn from him what your duty is and how to discharge it. I do not know as much as he. Nevertheless, if you want to take instructions from Me, with faith and love you may ascertain your duties from the following words. Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krishna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana. I have briefly given you My instructions. Now you will get all details about them from Svarupa Damodara.
In these instructions the Lord hinted in a covered way the mental worship of Krishna at eight times of the day. Elsewhere instructions to Svarupa Damodara will be given, but the devotes should be careful to be qualified for such teachings.
The mentality during vaidhi bhakti of exclusive cultivation of devotion with the aim of achieving bhava bhakti, and the mentality during bhava bhakti of intense cultivation with the aim of achieving prema, is called nirbandhini mati or undivided attention. If such concentration exits, then very quickly the devotee attains perfection. In other words the devotee must make an effort corresponding to the goal he wishes to achieve. 23 From the very beginning of practice, the devotee must adopt this concentrated attention, and should beware of giving it up due to inattention.
1 One should learn how to associate with the devotees of the Lord by gathering with them to chant the glories of the Lord. this process is most purifying. As devotees thus develop their loving friendship, they feel mutual happiness and satisfaction. And by thus encouraging one another they are able to give up material sense gratification, which is the cause of all suffering. The devotees of the Lord constantly discuss the glories of the Personality of Godhead among themselves. Thus they constantly remember the Lord and remind one another of His qualities and pastimes. In this way, by their devotion to the principles of bhakti yoga, the devotees please the Personality of Godhead, who takes away from them everything inauspicious. Being purified of all impediments, the devotees awaken to pure love of God, and thus, even within this world, their spiritualized bodies exhibit symptoms of transcendental ecstasy, such as standing of the bodily hairs on end. S.B.11.3.30-31
2 One who constantly hears and chants the holy name of the Lord and hears and chants about His activities can very easily attain the platform of pure devotional service, which can cleanse the dirt from one's heart. One cannot achieve such purification merely by observing vows and performing Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. S.B.6.3.32
3 The inhabitants of Vrndavana, including the gopis, cows, unmoving creatures such as the twin arjuna trees, animals, living entities with stunted consciousness such as bushes and thickets, and snakes such as Kaliya, all achieved the perfection of life by unalloyed love for Me and thus very easily achieved Me. Even though one engages with great endeavor in the mystic yoga system, philosophical speculation, charity, vows, penances, ritualistic sacrifices, teaching of Vedic mantras to others, personal study of the Vedas, or the renounced order of life, still one cannot achieve Me. S.B.11.12.8-9
4 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. S.B.11.3.32
5 O King, the Supreme Lord is inexhaustible and immeasurable, and He is untouched by the material modes because He is their controller. His personal appearance in this world is meant for bestowing the highest benefit on humanity. Persons who constantly direct their lust, anger, fear, protective affection, feeling of impersonal oneness or friendship toward Lord Hari are sure to become absorbed in thought of Him. S.B.10.29.14-15
6 As chaste women bring their gentle husbands under control by service, the pure devotees, who are equal to everyone and completely attached to Me in the core of the heart, bring Me under their full control. S.B.9.4.66
7 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 should remain happy and worship Me with great faith and conviction. Even though he is sometimes engages in sense enjoyment, My devotee knows that all sense gratification leads to a miserable result, and he sincerely repents such activities. When an intelligent person engages constantly in worshipping Me through loving devotional service as described by Me, his heart becomes firmly situated in Me. Thus all material desires within the heart are destroyed. The knot in the heart is pierced, all misgivings are cut to pieces and the chain of fruitive actions is terminated when I am seen as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. S.B.22.214.171.124
8 All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. Furthermore, according to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification. Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's work. S.B.1.2.9-10
9 O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material enjoyment, and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge.S.B.2.1.11
10 To hell with our threefold birth, our vow of celibacy and our extensive learning! To hell with our aristocratic background and our expertise in the rituals of sacrifice! These are all condemned because we were inimical to the transcendental Personality of Godhead. S.B.10.23.40
11 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. S.B.11.7.39
Food what is wholesome, pure and obtained without difficulty is in the mode of goodness, food that gives immediate pleasure to the sense is in the mode of passion, and food that is unclean and causes distress is in the mode of ignorance. S.B.11.25.28
Residence in the forest is in the mode of goodness, residence in a town is in the mode of passion, residence in a gambling house displays the quality of ignorance, and residence in a place where I reside is transcendental. S.B.11.25.25
12 An intelligent person does not take interest in a place, even in the topmost planetary system, if the pure Ganges of topics concerning the Supreme Lord's activities does not flow there, if there are not devotees engaged in service on the banks of such a river of piety, or if there are no festivals of sankirtana yajna to satisfy the Lord. S.B.5.19.24
13 Among all the attractions of material enjoyment, the attraction of riches bewilders one's intelligence more than having beautiful bodily features, taking birth in an aristocratic family, and being learned. When one is uneducated but falsely puffed up by wealth, the result is that one engages his wealth in enjoying wine, women and gambling. Unable to control their senses, rascals who are falsely proud of their riches or their birth in aristocratic families are so cruel that to maintain their perishable bodies, which they think will never grow old or die, they kill poor animals without mercy. l Sometimes they kill animals merely to enjoy an excursion.
14 Sistastaka 3
15 Krishna Karnamrta
16 Shri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma in everyone's heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted. S.B.1.2.17
17 Sudama chose unshakable devotion for Krishna, the Supreme Soul of all existence; friendship with His devotees; and transcendental compassion for all living beings. S.B.10.41.51
18 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. S.B.5.18.12
19 It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with his life, wealth, intelligence and words. S.B.10.22.35
20 My dear Lord Krishna, until people become Your devotees, their material attachments and desires remain thieves, their homes remain prisons, and their affectionate feelings for their family members remain foot-shackles. S.B.10.14.36
How can persons completely under the shelter of Lord Krishna in devotional service be put into miseries pertaining to the body, the mind , nature, and other men and living creatures? S.B.3.22.37
21 One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod. S.B.5.5.18
22 ...One should mold his life in such a way that he cannot live in peace without drinking the nectar of the glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari. One can be thus elevated by being disgusted with the taste for sense enjoyment. S.B.4.22.23
23 sad dharmasyavabodhaya yesam nirbandhini matih
acirad eve sarvarthah sidhyaty esam abhipsitah
Those who are anxious to awaken their spiritual consciousness, who have unflinching intelligence and who are not deviated, certainly attain the desired goal.
Narada Purana, quoted in C.C.Madhya 24.170