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The Essence of Ten Maxims
By Shrila Thakur Bhaktivinoda
amnayah praha tattvam/ harimiha
paramam/ sarvasaktim/ rasabdhim/
tadbhinnamsamsca jivan/ prakriti kavalitan/
bhedabheda-prakasam sakalamapi hareh/
sadhanam suddha bhaktim/
sadhyam yat pritim/ evetyupadisati harau
The wisdom revealed by Shri Gaurachandra is being described briefly as follows:
Tam gauracandra bhaje (I worship that Shri Gaurachandra) yah (who) amnayah praha tattvam (the ninefold aspects of wisdom revealed as authorised by the Vedic scriptures; such as, (1) Shri Hari is the only source of wisdom; (2) He is omnipotent; (3) He is the ocean of universal bliss; (4) the living entities are the parts and parcels of Shri Hari; (5) some of the living entities are conditioned by the material nature; (6) some of the living entities are liberated from material nature; (7) the universe is nothi ng but the manifestation in oneness and difference with Shri Hari; (8) uncontaminated devotion is the only means of liberation for the conditioned souls; (9) love for Supreme Godhead is the only goal of knowledge and wisdom. Thus, in the verse, the requis ites for wisdom, as revealed by Shri Krishnachaitanya, are presented.
"I worship Shri Gaurachandra [Lord Chaitanya] Who has revealed the path of wisdom. The Vedic scriptures are the only authority for knowledge of the ninefold aspects of wisdom, which are (1) Shri Hari is the only source of wisdom; (2) He is omnipotent; (3) H e is an ocean of bliss; (4) the living entities are His parts and parcels; (5) some of the living entities are conditioned by the material nature; (6) other living entities are liberated from material nature; (7) everything, including the jivas, is one an d different from Shri Hari; (8) unalloyed devotional service is the only means for the conditioned souls to go beyond this world of birth and death; (9) love for the Supreme Lord [prema] is the only goal."
svatahsiddho vedo haridayita vedhah prabhrtitah
pramanam satpraptam pramiti-visayan tan navavidhan
tatha pratyaksadi-pramiti-sahitam sadhayati nah
na juktistarkakhya pravisati tatha saktirahita
The transcendental wisdom of the ten maxim is being enumerated in ten verses - svatah siddho vedah haridayita-vedyhah prabhrtitah (the Vedic scriptures are the only source of all authoritative wisdom according to words mentioned therein, viz., 'asya maha to bhutasya nisvasitametat'[Rk Veda] etc. The Vedic instruction as obtained through disciplic succession by Brahma etc. as the closest associates of the Supreme Godhead, according to the words 'brahma devanam prathamah samvabhuva' as stated in the Mundak a Upanisad, must be considered as 'the Vedas' and not dry arguments and speculation; and that those are the only Vedic maxims) pratyaksadi pramiti sahitam (with perceptable proofs) nah (about us) tan pramiti-visayan (about those propositions) nava vidhan (ninefold propositions) sadhayati (performs). [In this respect the wise advice expounded by Shri Jiva Prabhu runs thus - 'In spite of highly developed intellect and expertise, all men are polluted with four illusory propensities, and so they are unfit for realising transcendental spiritual knowledge of inconcievable nature. For this reason, the ten propositions perceived by them are also faulty and imperfect. As such, the intelligence of the living entities is unable to ascertain the inconcievable natur e of transcendental truth; and accordingly through such understanding, no spiritual aspect of wisdom can be proved; but if we are interested in realising the inconcievable wonderful aspects of the transcendental, omnipresent truth, we should accept the au thoritive Vedic scriptures as the fountainhead of all material and spiritual wisdom perpetuated through the eternally continuing chain of disciplic succession.
Why are we so interested in the conviction that the Vedas are authentic? Replying to such a question, it has been stated in Brahma-sutra (2.1.11) that human intelligence can never be satisfied through arguments; and as such no wisdom of spiritual transce ndental truth could be attained by means of arguments. In Mahabharata (Bhismaparva, 5.22) it is said that the transcendental subject matters could never be considered discernible through arguments. Again, Brahmasutra (1.1.3) says that the scriptures are the only source of discerning anything relating to the knowledge of Godhead, and that (2.1.17) authentic words are the only vehicle for discerning transcendental subject matters. In Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.20.4), it is said that - 'Oh Supreme Personality of Godhead, love for You and its refinement, developing into the stage of pure devotion means that the image and the opulences of Godhead, although unknowable to the forefathers, the demigods and also to human beings in general, yet their real vision is t he revealed words of truth contained in the Vedas, in other words, the words of the Vedas have become the true vision to human beings in order to experience the Vedic instructions and to disseminate these instructions among the ignorant people. In these w ords, the great sage Shri Vyasadeva has accepted that the writings of the Vedic scriptures revealed as the divine instruction have been accepted as authentic and authoritative.]
Tatha (like that) saktirahita tarkakhya yuktih (arguments based on reasoning without substantive force behind) na pravisati (does not enter, which means that the transcendental spiritual subject matter can never be ascertained through didactic arguments and reasoning).
"The axiomatic Vedic wisdom revealed to us through disciplic succession from Brahma and others, blessed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Hari, is the most authoratative source of instructions. It is fortified by the nine prameyas which reveal i n truth the truth. Dry arguments and reason alone are insufficient for discerning that which is inconceivable, namely transcendental subject matter. Therefore no such arguments can penetrate into the sprititual domain."
harisvekam tattvam vidhisivasuresa-pranamito
yadevedam brahma prakrti-rahitam tattanumahah
paratma tasyamso jagadanugato visvajanakah
sa vai radhakanto navajaladakantiscidudayah
Vidhi-siva-suresa-pranamitah haristvekam tattvam (Shri Hari is the only source of knowledge worshipped by Brahma-Siva-Indra); sa tu navajaldakantiscidudayah radhakanta (His complextion is like a newly-formed cloud. He is the spiritually blissful form of S yamasundara, glorified companion to Radha, known as Krishnacandra); yadbrahma tattanumahah (Brahman as stated in the Upanisads is the bodily effulgence of Radha Kanta), jagadanugatah visvajanakah paratma (innermost knower of the universe, father of creation , supreme soul); tasya (of Shri Krishna); amsah (the third incarnation of Godhead as Vishnu lying on the transcendental ocean of milk).
"Shri Hari, who is worshiped by Brahma, Siva and Indra, is the supreme source of all knowledge. Impersonal Brahman is the bodily effulgence of the beautiful Lord Shri Shri Radha-kanta. The creator of the universe Lord Vishnu, who lies on the transcendenta l ocean of milk, is only a plenary portion of Shri Hari. Shri Hari Himself is none other than our Shri Radha-vallabha, the lover of Shri Radha. He has a complexion like a newly formed monsoon cloud, as visualized in our hearts."
parakhyayah sakteraprthagapi as sve mahimani
sthito jivakhyam svamacidabhihitam tam tripadikam
svatantrecchah saktim sakalavisaye preranaparo
vikaradyaih sunyah paramapurusoayam vijayate
Sah (Shri Krishna); parakhyayah sakteraprthagapi (even being non-different from the supreme power); sve mahimani sthito (even being situated in His own undivided glorified position); tam tripadikam (the only power in the forms of internal, external and marg inal potencies according to function); sakalavisaye preranaparah svatantrecchah (He Himself is independent and self-willed even after deputing different entities as per internal, external and marginal relationships); paramapurusah vijayate (Supreme Perso nality Shri Hari stays as He is).
Although he is non-different from His imperceptible supreme power, He is an independent and self-willed entity. The Supreme Personality is eternally in existence in His own glories. He is deputing His internal, external and marginal potencies all the time towards different activities in proper ways. Still He is staying in His full potency and form as an undisturbed entity and the supreme source of all knowledge."
Verse 5 described that the Supreme Lord is an ocean of unlimited rasa.
sa vai hladinyasca pranayavikrteh-hladanarata-
tatha shri sandhinya krtavisada-taddhamamcaye
rasambhodhou magno vrajarasavilasi vijayate
Sah vai (Krishna Himself); hladinyasca (of the aspect of amusement under constitutional potency); pranayvirkrteh-hladanarata (engaged in the matters of amusement under amorous ecstasy); punah tacchakteh samircchakti-prakatita-rahobhava-rasitah (again th at constitutional potency is phenomenally manifested through material relationship of samvit); punasca tacchakteh sandhim krtavisada taddhamanicaye rasambhodhou magno (again being submerged in the ocean of transcendental mellow of relationship between the individual and the Supreme Lord through the material features known as sandhini manifestation of the constitutional potency); vraja rasa vilasi vijayate (the Supreme enjoyer of Vraja, Shri Krishna remains abounding with all His excellence).
"There are three manifestations of the spiritual potency - hladini, samvit, and sandhini (bliss, cognizance and eternal existence). Under the amorous ecstasy of bliss Shri Krishna is always attracted and under the intimacy of transcendental cognizance He i s ever satisfied. Manifested throught eternal existence as in the tranquil dhama of Vrndavana and the like, that veary independent enjoyer of Vraja, Shri Krishna, is eternally present as deeply engrossed in the transcendental mellow of spiritual relationshi p. This means that - these three manifestations, namely, bliss, cognizance and eternal existence of the spiritual potency are widely well-known. The manifestation of bliss from the spiritual potency conveys complete transcendental blissful satisfaction t hrough the daughter of King Vrsabhanu to Shri Krishna. Herself being the beloved consort of Krishna, she is the source of eight varieties of awareness manifested in Her eight closest girlfriends in physical forms. 'Priya-sakhi' (confidential friend), 'narma-s akhi' (intimate friend), 'prana-sakhi'(friend as dear as life), and 'parama-prestha-sakhi' (most intimate friend) - these four varieties of service mentality have been manifested by Herself in Her four classifications of friendship. They are the eternally successful friends in the transcendental domain of Vraja. The aspect of samvit or cognizance under spiritual potency has manifested all sorts of relationships prevalent in Vraja. The aspect of sandhini or eternal existence under spiritual potency is man ifested throught the existence of the villages, forests, dwellings, hills, cows and bulls, materials for enjoyment of Shri Krishna, Shri Radhika and Their friends, Their servants. Lord Shri Krishna is eternally ecstatic in amorous bliss and is active in transce ndental cognizance developed throught the aspect of samvit. Cow protection and the rasa dancing - all are the activities of Krishna developed through the aspect of samvit or transcendental cognizance of Shri Krishna. Within the eternal existence of Vraja-dha ma Shri Krishna is eternally engrossed. Vraja-lila-dhama is the most enjoyable place of all the places of pastimes of Shri Krishna."
Verse 6 describes the living entities as the Lord's parts and parcels.
sphulinga rddhagneriva cidanavo jivanicaya
hareh suryasyaivaprthagapi tu tadbhedavisayah
vase maya yasya prakrti-patirevesvara iha
as jivomukto'api prakrtivasa yogyah svagunatah
Clarifying the source of theism, the living entities in different categories are being described - suryasya hareh anava iva (like the molecules in the rays of sun); cidanova (living entities); te tu rddhagneh sphulinga iva (like the sparks of a fire); aprthagapi tu tadbhedavisaya (because of its atomic nature, it is considered as a separate entity although non-different from the Supreme Godhead being manifested through His marginal potency); yasya vase maya sa eva isvarah prakrtipatih (that Hari is th e Godhead, the controller of nature, and illusion is active under His influence.); sah jiva muktah api (even if that living entity is liberated); svagunatah (by his own modes i.e. desires for enjoyment according to individual cravings); prakrtivasayogy a (susceptible to influence of illusion). [Thus a difference between Godhead and living entity is ascertained.]
"Just like athe sparks coming out of a flaming fire, infinite living entities are emanating as the transcendental particles of sunlight in the effulgent rays of Shri Hari, being the transcendental sun Himself. Although non-different from Shri Hari, all li ving entities have eternally different status. The eternal difference between the Godhead and the living entity is that the Supreme Personality of Godhead by dint of His exceptional qualities has kept the illusory potency eternally subjugated as a servit or, and that by virtue He is the Supreme Lord of nature, thus to be accepted as Godhead; whereas one who is susceptible to the influence of illusion simply because of his material nature, inspite of the fact that he is in a position of liberation, should be categorized as a living entity."
svaruparthairhinan nijasukhaparan krishnavimukhan
harermaya dandyan gunanigadhajalaih kalayati
tatha sthulairlingaidvividhavaranaih klesanikarai-
rmmahakarmalanairnayati patitan svarganirayau
Those living entities have two divisions - one is eternally God conscious, and the other is eternally forgetful. One is open minded and eager owing to an awareness of real knowledge and the other is deviated for his lack of knowledge. The God conscious entity is situated as a servitor to Godhead as a result of his inclination to Godhead, and the other is living a life of mundane materialism being defeated by illusion due to his diversion in the way of spiritual thinking. The symptoms of a living entity gripped under the influence of illusion are narrated thus - svaruparthaih hinan (awareness of the constitutional potency is one's transcendental source of knowledge, and absence of such awareness means the lack of knowledge about constitutional potency); nija sukha paran (one who is desirous of sense gratification while disregarding the primary duty of worshipping Hari); Krishna vimukhan (running after material enjoyment entirely forgetting the fact that only Krishna is all in all); dandyan (living entities who are subject to punishment); harermaya (illusion as the external potency of Shri Hari); guna-nigadajalai (with the shackles of modes like goodness passion and ignorance); kalayati (involves); sthulairlingairdvlividhavaranaih (again encompassed under the gross material body with genitals, including the covering of mind, intelligence and ego); klesanikaraih (along with the sufferings; sufferings are - sinful activities, causes of such sinful activities and the three modes arising out of nescience); m ahakarmalanaih (through the vast material world of fruitive activities including all unforseen events useless words and speeches have the qualities of continuous destruction, creating great obstructions of bondage); patitan (those fallen and conditioned living entities); svarganirayou nayati (make the living entities, as a result of their own good and bad types of fruitive activities, travel through the heavenly and hellish planets).
"Constitutionally, a living entity is an obedient servant of Shri Krishna. The illusory potency enchains with its shackles of modes of goodness, passion and ignorance all such living entities who are always after sense gratification, deviated from Krishna con sciousness and thus doomed for chastisement. That illusion takes them around the heavenly and hellish planets, dragging them through the bondage of results of fruitive activities full of sufferings, covered by the gross body with genitals."
yada bhramam bhramam harirasagalad-vaishnavajanam
kadacit sampasyamstadanugamane syadruciyutah
tada krishna vrttya tyajati sanakairmayaikadasam
svarupam vibhrano vimalarasabhogam sa kurute
In order to describe the constitutional position of the living entities free from the bondage of nature through devotional services to Godhead, the process of attaining the constitutional position of the conditioned living entities is thus narrated - yad a (the period of travelling through the forms of various species according to the results of fruitive activities); iha (in this land of India); kadacit (any time as a result of accumulated good effects from devotional services to Godhead); harirasa gala d-vaishnavajanam (any vaishnava person whose heart is absorbed in the devotional mellow of Shri Hari); sampasyan (by looking at); tadanugamane (following in his footsteps, his way of life, devotional services and worshipping of Shri Krishna); rucih syat (int erest is developed); tada sa krishnavrttya (during that period the living entity starts chanting the holy name of Shri Krishna along with other spiritual exercises); krame sanakaih (slowly by and by); mayikadasam tyajati (forsakes his conditioned state unde r illusion); svarupam vibhrano (and attaining the position of liberation upon his achievement of own transcendental constitutional state of being); vimalarasabhogam (blissful taste of divine love); kurute (starts having).
"While travelling through various species of high as well as low grades in this material world, a living entity, conditioned by illusion, develops a taste for pursuing the vaishnava way of life, whenever he comes in contact of a vaishnava person who is abs orbed in the transcendental mellow of Shri Hari; and his illusory conditioning starts withdrawing itself gradually through the process of chanting the holy name of Lord Shri Krishna, so that the said living entity qualifies himself relishing the unalloyed tra nscendental mellow of devotional service to Lord Shri Krishna while attaining gradually his constitutional position."
hareh sakteh sarvam cidacidakhilam syat parinatih
vivarttam no satyam srutimiti viruddham kalimalam
harerbhedabhedou srutivihitatattvam suvimalam
tatah premnah siddhirbhavati nitaram nityavisaye
This is thus said that all spiritual and material worlds are but manifestations of the omnipotency of Shri Hari - sarvam cidacit akilam (all worlds of spiritual and material creation); hareh sakteh parinatih (ultimate results of the omnipotency of Shri Ha ri); syat (become); vivarttam (theory of evolution as propounded by impersonalist mayavadis, explaining a thing wrongly); sa na satyam (that is not true); srutimiti viruddham (against the principles of sruti or Vedic scriptures); kalimalam (according ly, knowledge of evolution should be despised as the filthy covering of Kali yuga, the age of quarrelling); tatah nityavisaye (in the eternal entity of Shri Hari); premnah siddhirvhavati (desire for divine love or an urge to satisfy Lord Shri Krishna is ach ieved).
All the worlds of spiritual and material entity are manifestations of Shri Krishna's omnipotence; the Western theory of evolution is not true, this is nothing but a filthy covering of Kali-yuga and is against Vedic principles; the doctrine of inconceivable oneness and difference is the only unalloyed source of knowledge, in as much as, divine love is crystallized as the eternal knowledge all the time disseminating from the said doctrine of inconceivable oneness and difference.
srutih krishnakhyanam smarana-nati-pujavidhiganah
tatha dasyam sakhyam paricaranamapyatmadadanam
navangani sraddha-pavita-hrdayah sadhayati va
vraje sevaluvdho vimalarasabhavam sa labhate
After discussing so far on the aspect of relationships, now the theory of exposition and requisites are described thus - sruti krishnakhyanam smarana nati pujavidhiganastathadasyam sakhyam paricaranamapi atmadadanam (hearing, chanting, remembering, offerin g obeisances, worshiping, serving the Lord's feet, acting as the Lord's servant, making friends with the Lord, and surrendering oneself fully to the Lord); navangani (these nine processes of devotional service); sraddha pavita hrdayasadhayati va (he who performs these services with all due respect); as vraje sevalubdho vimalarasa havam labhate (such a devotee, anxious to offer services to Vraja, attains unalloyed ecstacy and mellow of the sweetest nature).
"A devotee who performs the nine processes of devotional service, namely, hearing the name and glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, chanting His glories, remembering the Lord, serving the Lord's feet, worshiping the Deity, offering oveisances u nto the Lord, acting as the Lord's servant, making friends with the Lord, and surrendering oneself fully to the Lord - in all sincerity and dedication to offer his services to Vraja-dhama - ultimately attains unalloyed devotional ecstasy to Krishna."
prabhuh kah ko jivah kathamidamacidvisvamiti va
abhedasam dharman sakalamaparadham pariharam
harernamanandam pivati haridaso harijanaih
Upon making an assessment of the theory of relationship, exposition and requisites, the primary duties of a living entity is thus narrated - jivanam kah prabhu ka jiva idam acit visvam katham va etadarthatrayam vicarya (after justifying the three aspects , namely, who is the master or controller of and hence worshipable by the living entity, who are the living entities themselves and why is this non-spiritual i.e., this material world created); haribhajana krcchastrachatura, (intelligent person who is eng aged in worshiping Shri Hari upon justifying the said three aspects on the basis of scriptural reasoning); abhedamsa (justification of non-difference with Brahma with the conviction that 'I am Brahma'); dharman (all the religions relating to work, knowledg e and yogic practices); sakalamaparadham (all the offenses relating to holy name and offering services to Godhead); pariharan (avoiding); haridasah (Vaishnava living entity); harijanaih harerhamanandah pivati (becomes glorified in relishing the holy nam e of Shri Hari together with the devotees of Shri Hari).
"Who is Krishna? Who am I as a living entity? What is this spiritual and material world? These are the basic questions upon which a person engaged in worshiping Shri Hari and intelligently well-versed in the scriptures, make a justified assessment and sta rts relishing the holy name of Shri Hari as a servant of Shri Hari together with the saintly devotees. After relinquishing all 3conceptions of non-differentiated Brahman, all pious and impious living entities and all sorts of offences whatsoever."
samsevya dasamulam vai hitvaavidyamayam janah
bhavapustim tatha tustim labhate sadhusangatah
Dasamulam samsevya (through practicing these ten instructive maxims); andyamayam hitva (by eradicating the disease of nescience, just like many people destroy various feverish diseases with the help of taking a potion made from the extracts of ten varie ties of herbal roots, similarly by eradicating the disease of Krishna-adverseness through practicing these ten instructive maxims); sadhusangatah bhavapustim thatha tustim labhate (attain eternal bliss and loving ecstasy together with saintly persons).
Through practicising these ten instructive maxims, a living entity attains eternal bliss and livng ecstasy together with saintly persons, after eradicating the disease of nescience."
I offer my obeisances unto Goura candra who has imparted this instruction to me. The instruction is that the Vedas constitute the only source of evidence. The said Vedas extended to us nine aspects of instruction to be established.
Shri Hari is the only source of all knowledge. Shri Krishna with newly-formed cloud complexion, personified eternal, blissful and full of knowledge, may be described with the word Hari. Brahma, as described by the propounders of the Upanisads, is only an effulgence of the spiritual planetary systems of Shri Hari. He is not a different entity or aspect apart from Shri Krishna. The Supreme Soul or Paramatma, as depicted by the yogis, is part and parcel of Shri Hari, only under whose visual projection this vast universe was created by nature. Accordingly, Shri Hari is the only master and all others including even Brahma are His servants.
That Shri Hari is omnipotent. There exists an inconceivable subordinate potency of Hari non-different from Hari. He is the spiritual power as internal potency, the illusory power as external potency, and the living entity power as marginal potency. He has created Vaikuntha and other position through the spiritual power, infinite universes through the illusory power and infinite living entities through the living entity power. That subordinate potency has three aspects know as sandhini (material aspects), samvit (aspects of relationship with Godhead) and hladini (aspect of amusement).
That Shri Krishna as Hari is the ocean of all sorts of mellows. Passive of neutral (santa rasa) mellow, serving (dasya rasa) mellow, friendly (sakhya rasa) mellow, parental (vatsalya rasa) mellow and conjugal (madhura rasa) mellow - are the five tastes. Of all the tastes of mellows, conjugal mellow is the best one. In the pastimes of Shri Krishna at Vrajadham it is this conjugal mellow that stands supreme with all its sanctity. Shri Krishna is radiant with sixty-four qualities, namely:-
(1) beautiful features of the entire body (suramyanga)
(2) marked with all auspicious characteristics (sarvasallaksanayukta)
(3) extremely pleasing (sundar)
(4) effulgent (mahateja)
(5) strong (valavan)
(6) ever youthful (kisor-vayasa-yukta)
(7) wonderful linguist (vividha-adbhut-bhasajna)
(8) truthful (satyavak)
(9) talks pleasingly (priya-vakya-yukta)
(10) fluent (vak-patu)
(11) highly learned (supandit)
(12) highly intelligent (vuddhiman)
(13) a genious (pratibhayukta)
(14) artistic (vidagdha)
(15) extremely clever (catur)
(16) expert (daksa)
(17) grateful (krtajna)
(18) firmly determined (sudrdha vrata)
(19) an expert judge of time and circumstances (des-kal-patrajna)
(20) sees and speaks on the authority of Vedas, or scriptures (sastrajna)
(21) pure (suci)
(22) self-controlled (vasi)
(23) steadfast (sthir)
(24) forbearing (damanasil)
(25) forgiving (ksamasil)
(26) grave (gambhir)
(27) self-satisfied (dhrtiman)
(28) possessing equilibrium (samadarsan)
(29) magnanimous (vadanya)
(30) religious (dharmik)
(31) heroic (sura)
(32) compassionate (karun)
(33) respectful (manada)
(34) gentle (daksin)
(35) liberal (vinayi)
(36) shy (lajjayukta)
(37) protector of surrendered souls (saranagata-palaka)
(38) happy (sukhi)
(39) the well wisher of devotees (bhakta-vandhu)
(40) controlled by love (prema-vasya)
(41) all auspicious (sarva-sukhakari)
(42) most powerful (pratapi)
(43) all-famous (kirtiman)
(44) popular (lokanurakta)
(45) partial to devotees (sadhudiger samasram)
(46) very attractive to all women (nari-manohari)
(47) all worshipable (sarvaradhya)
(48) all opulent (samrddhiman)
(49) all honorable (srestha) and
(50) the supreme controller (aisvarya-yukta)
Besides all of the above-mentioned fifty qualities, Lord Krishna possesses five more, which are sometimes partially manifested in the persons of Lord Brahma or Lord Siva. These transcendental qualities are as follows:
(1) changeless (sarvada svarupa-samprapta)
(2) all-cognizant (sarvajna)
(3) ever fresh (nitya-nutan)
(4) possessing an eternal blissful body(saccidananda-gharibhuta-svarupa)
(5) possessing all mystic perfections
(akhila-siddhi-vasakari ataevsarva - siddhi-nisevita).
Krishna also possesses five other qualities, which are manifest in the
body of Narayana, and they are listed as follows.
(1) He has inconceivable potency (avicintya-maha saktitva)
(2) uncountable universes generate from his body (koti-brahmanda- vigrahatva)
(3) He is the original source of all incarnations (sakala-avatar-vijatva)
(4) He is the giver of salvation to the enemies whom He kills
(hata-satru - sugati-dayakatva)
(5) He is the attractor of liberated souls (atmaramganer akarsakatva)
All these transcendental qualities are manifest wonderfully in the personal feature of Lord Krishna.
Besides these sixty transcendental qualities, Krishna has four more, which are not manifest even in the Narayana form of Godhead, what to speak of the demigods or living entities. They are as follows:
(1) He is the performer of wonderful varieties of pastimes (especially His childhood pastimes) sarva-loker camatkarini-lilar-kallol-samudra),
(2) He is surrounded by devotees endowed with wonderful love of Godhead. (srngara-raser atulya-prema-sobhavisista prema-mandal).
(3) He can attract all living entities all over the universes by playing on His flute (trijagater cittakarsi murati-gita-gan).
(4) He has a wonderful excellence of beauty which cannot be rivaled anywhere in the creation.
Adding to the list these four exceptional qualities of Krishna, it is to be understood that the aggregate number of qualities of Krishna is sixty-four.
In the preceding three aspects, knowledge about Godhead is introduced. In the 4th, 5th and 6th aspects, knowledge about living entities is being narrated. An appraisal of constitutional position of living entities is contained in the fourth aspect. The living entity is manifested in different forms just like lighting up an infinite number of small lamps from the supreme lamp under the influence of marginal potency of Shri Hari's subordinate power or energy. Although a living entity is constitutionally spiritual and is provided with spiritual propensities, it is very, very infinitesimal and dependent in nature. Owing to such dependent nature, Krishna-adverseness develops leading to domination by illusion. The distinction between Godhead and living entity is that although both of them are constitutionally situated on the spiritual platform, but by nature, the one who is the controller and master of illusion which is serving Him eternally, is the Godhead. One who is susceptible to domination of illusion, even when in a liberated position, and is animalcular in form, is a living entity. He remains free from illusion only when surrendered unto Krishna. A perfect living entity is characterised with the spiritual embodiment, and the fifty qualities enumerated hereinbefore are all in existence in him in drops and particles. All these qualities are of course spiritual. There should be no existence of illusory propensities or qualities in a perfect living entity.
The living entity is just like a corpuscle in the rays of the spiritual sun which is Krishna. He is subservient and thus in a state of being enslaved and subject to mundane earthly enjoyment because of his infinitesimal form. If subservient to Krishna, he would have no suffering and could enjoy eternally heightened bliss. When his desires for sense gratification gradually become Krishna-averse, he becomes illusioned and starts suffering from illusory pleasure and pain in this material world, involved in irresistible cycle of fruitive activities created by illusionary potency. The cycle of illusory fruitive activities comprises of virtue and vice, pleasure and pain, as well as high and low status. Through such a mundane cycle of activities sometimes one may attain heavenly planets and may also undergo hellish condition - thus travelling through eighty-four lakhs of species.
In spite of the fact that the living entity may become conditioned through the cycle of illusion, he is but constitutionally of spiritual potency and thus capable of being liberated from illusion; he can not of course attain liberation through any kind of illusory activities.
Accordingly, it is not possible to dispel illusory effect by dint of any acquired virtue and pious activities. Even if the conception is developed that I am a living entity and that my spiritual corpuscular existence and illusion is simply despicable for me - will not be instrumental in liberating oneself from illusion through such an awakening of the spirit of gnostic renunciation.
As soon as the spell of latent and obscure ecstasy of considering oneself as the servant of Lord Shri Krishna is awakened, the effective benefit of liberation will be impending. Only upon such an awakening of one's own disposition that the disposition of being dominated by illusion starts dispelling in course of time. Who can awaken one's own disposition which is extremely obsolescent? This can not be done through any efforts of fruitive activities, pedantic knowledge and gnostic renunciation.
Accordingly, one whose own disposition is awakened by virtue of some destiny, may use the benefit of awakening the almost obsolescent disposition of other living entities through the force of his association.
In this connection, the instance of two happenings will be required. One who is desirous of awakening his own true disposition, attains a little of devotional flavour of seeking shelter* by virtue of the results of his previous activities of devotional services offered unto Godhead - and this will be considered as one of the instances of two happenings required as mentioned hereinbefore.
The second instance of happening is that he gets an association with the saintly persons by virtue of the results of such pious activities. He who has been able to awaken his own true disposition fortunately by dint of associating himself with other saintly persons, can only be considered as a saintly person or sadhu.
An ecstacy of devotion is developed through practicing the chanting of the holy name of Shri Hari and others, under the powerful effect of association with the saintly persons; by and by, an awakening of loving and ecstasy is developed. An air of liberation starts blowing in proportion to the awakening of loving ecstasy as a concomitant beneficial effect.
*Additional Notes on 'seeking shelter' (saranapatti-laksana):- 'anukulyasya samkalpah pratikulasya varjanam, raksisyatiti visvaso goptrtve varanam tatha, atmaniksepakarpanye sadvidha saranagatih.' The purport is this -when the living entity comes to realise it definitely that the illusory world is his prison-house and as such it is despicable and that all fruitive activities, all speculative knowledge and opulence or yogic processes relating to renunciation and emancipation can not firmly bring his own true disposition to sense, then he takes shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Shri Krishna as an insignificant soul surrendering unto the supreme will of Shri Krishna, with full confidence in the fact that Shri Krishna is his only protection and controller, dispelling all sorts of distractive activities against the attainment of devotional services to Shri Krishna. This is the symptom of unalloyed devotional services to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Knowledge of relationship is awakened upon discoursing the aspects mentioned under 1 to 6 in association with saintly persons. Classification of knowledge of relationship and will be attempted under this seventh aspect. An inquisitive living entity usually wants to know - (1) Who am I? (2) Whom I belong to? (3) What is my relationship with the universe? Upon discoursing on these three points elaborately, one observes that oneself as a living entity is but a corpuscular consciousness and eternal servant of Lord Shri Krishna, and that this entire cosmos is the manifestation of the phenomenon of oneness and difference of Shri Krishna. Shri Krishna is the only relation. Any sort of speculation on the basis of the so called theory of evolution is redundant and non-Vedic under the inconceivable potency of Shri Krishna, all living entities and the entire cosmos are eternally different and non-different from Him. One's position in this material universe is thus not of eternal existence; it is just a prison house. From this understanding develops one's devotion in unflinching surrender unto Lord Shri Krishna which means a deep confidence is awakened.
So far, an enlightenment in the understanding of relationship is thus attained and association with the saintly persons through singular devotion is elevated to the level of reverence. Now, deliberating on the matter of how Lord Krishna can be made pleased, one is inclined to approach and ask a bona fide spiritual master as to the processes of satisfying Lord Krishna. The spiritual master, ascertaining one to be really surcharged with the qualities of reverence, imparts real devotional instruction to satisfy Lord Krishna. The symptoms of such a qualified person with reverence are thus quoted - anyabhilasitansunyam jnanakarmadya-navrtam anukulyena krnanushitan bhaktiruttama.
Chanting the holy names of Lord Shri Krishna and glorification of His beauty, qualities and pastimes as an embodiment of the constitutional position of His eternal, blissful and omniscient entity, if performed through favourable disposition, would be considered the best type of devotion or the purest form of devotion.
The practice of devotional processes should be made favorably disposed to worshiping the Lord, in relation to all sorts of activities, relationship and mental state of a living entity. Accordingly, a favourable disposition towards worshiping the Lord may be considered to lead a life which avoids all sorts of activities, relationship and mental state averse to worshiping.
In order to achieve such a disposition, one is to practice a little enthusiastic endeavour. Worshiping is required to be performed with an effort to awaken the realization of his own constitutional position of a living entity. The objective will be to offer the worship in a purified manner. There should be no other desire excepting a desire to improve upon worshiping. Accordingly, any desire for sense gratification and liberation even is required to be renounced altogether.
There should of course be enterprises for acquiring knowledge and earning money through activities for livelihood, but all such aspects of activities and knowledge that may usually conceal unalloyed devotional enterprises should be very carefully prevented. One should be away from indiscriminatory knowledge of Brahman and from activities devoid of devotional symptoms.
There are nine processes of devotional service expounded as hearing the name and glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (sravana), chanting His glories (kirtana), remembering the Lord (smarana), serving the Lord's feet (paricarya), worshiping the Deity (arcana), offering obeisances unto the Lord (vandana), acting as the Lord's servant (dasya), making friends with the Lord (sakhya) and surrendering oneself fully to the Lord (atmanivedana).
Again it is prescribed that these processes can be subdivided into some sixty-four auxiliary processes on the basis of principle components of devotional enterprise. Amongst these, some are of regulative principles or characteristics and some are of prohibitive characteristics or principles.
The regulative characteristics of the auxiliary devotional processes mainly include five essentials, thus chanting of the holy name of Hari, residing at the sacred place of Hari, observing and meditating on the transcendental form and beauty of Hari, offering services to persons engaged in the service of Hari, and cultivating the study of the scriptures relating to devotional service to Hari.
It is extremely essential to abide by the following ten prohibitive principles, thus - abandoning all offensive activities, carefully giving up all non-Vaishnava association, restraining from initiation of many disciples in order to enhance the vanity as a spiritual master, abandoning the study and analytic discourse of a number of books, relinquishing all sorts of distressful and happy emotions arising out of material loss and gain, declining to be overcome by mourning and deep attachment, refusing an audition to any censure of Lord Vishnu and Vaishnava persons, rejecting any practice of vulgarity as an adverse disposition, and refraining from inflicting worries to any living entity.
Offence are classified in two categories, thus - offenses in offering serves and offenses in chanting the holy name. The offenses in offering service to the deity are to be seriously considered. Every devotee should refrain from the offenses relating to chanting of the holy name, thus -
(1) censuring any saintly person engaged in chanting the holy name
(2) considering Godhead to be different from His holy name, form, qualities
and pastimes and assuming the existence of different godheads like Siva
and others apart from the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
(3) Despising the holy name, scriptural instruction and the spiritual master.
(4) Despising the scriptures meant for glorifying the holy name.
(5) considering the glories of the holy name to be just hymns.
(6) considering the holy name to be speculative.
(7) committing sinful activities by virtue of the holy name.
(8) equating the holy name, which is tantamount to the Supreme Personality
of Godhead as the highest mellow in consciousness, with other forms of
materialistic virtue or auspicious performances.
(9) preaching the holy name to any unqualified disrespectful person.
(10) chanting the holy name to along with the vanity of egotism and sense of
These are the ten offenses relating to the holy name of the Lord. These offenses in holy names are very cruel and merciless, in as much as these are very difficult to throw off. These can only be eliminated through the process of constant association with the saintly persons. Every disciple must be endeavouring to remain unaffected by these offenses in chanting the holy name, right from the initiation in the holy name.
Chanting the holy name of the Lord along with His form and beauty, His qualities and pastimes is the highest level of all devotional processes. When these devotional services are practiced strictly in accordance with the scriptures, then it may be considered to be ritualistic devotion (vaidhi bhakti). Through constant practicing of such devotional services, an awakening of devotional ecstasy is attained.
There is another process of devotional performance which is extraordinary and known as spontaneous devotional service in which the devotee follows in the footsteps of one of the eternal associates of Krishna in Vrndavana (raganuga-bhakti). The spontaneous devotion of the inhabitants of Vrajadham is substantial and authentic. Some virtuous person may sometime be inclined to imitate such devotional service, simply out of a strong temptation. His performances in the devotional service may be considered as spontaneous devotion. In this consideration, there is no need for any scriptural reasoning. The only qualification in it is the urge to offer devotional service. These two types of devotional services may very well be classified under the appellative aspect of absolute truth (abhidheya-tattva).
The ninth aspect is the love for Lord Shri Krishna arising out of need. While practicing devotional processes intently through all due respect or cultivating faithful replication of the moods of the inhabitants of Vrajadham, a gradual awakening of Krishna consciousness is quite evident. At that stage, entire effort may be rendered ecstatic by way of coinciding the enterprising practice of ritualistic devotional services with those of ecstatic mood. That ecstatic mood gradually attains the stage of living relationship with the Lord in various transcendental mellows or tastes, viz.,in passive or neutral relationship (santa rasa), serving relationship (dasya rasa), friendly relationship (sakya rasa), parental relationship (vatsalya rasa), and conjugal relationship (madhura rasa).
Passive or neutral relationship (santa rasa) is spirited while the subject of love is away from Vrajadham, while the transcendental mellow of serving relationship (dasya rasa) is projected within Vrajadham. Loving attachment is a sort of highly ecstatic state of mind, and this is rendered into serving (dasya rasa) relationship with Lord Krishna as and when conjoined with intent attachment with Him. An abounding reverence mixed with awe and submission is present in the state of serving relationship.
Whenever there is an air of unrestrained enjoyment without reverence or, in other words, a sense of trust and confidence is awakened, then it is termed as affectionate amorous love (pranay) and this is considered under the transcendental mellow of friendly relationship (sakhya rasa).
In case this mellow is admixed enough with tenderness (sneha), then it may very well be considered as parental relationship (vatsalya rasa). When all the qualities of parental relationship become highly coveted, then this relationship is turned into erotic sentiment and this erotic sentiment is the highest of all the transcendental mellows.
Enjoyment and appreciation of this relationship can be experienced only through rendering service to any associates of Shri Radha-Krishna considering oneself to be submissively protected, while staying at Vrajadham.
Lord Shri Krishna is eternally full of knowledge (saccit) in His constitutional form, and the knowledge of eternal bliss non-different from Him is - Shrimati Radhika. The confidantes (sakhis) of all-blissful Radhika pertain to a particular mood of Herself, and accordingly, they comprise of an embodiment of array. In as much as those confidantes are the embodiment of any array under the superior energy, they are also the manifestation of the constitutional form of superior energy.
When the requirement of love for Krishna is fulfilled and the living entity is purified, he is then considered to be one among the valets of those confidantes and starts enjoying eternal blissful existence, remaining ever-charged with the pleasure of offering service to Radha Krishna, which state of existence is the highest requirement of all living entities. This is really an amazing mood of the knowledge of eternal absolute truth.
There is no existence of such an amazingly blissful mood in the state of liberation consequent to the annihilation of indiscriminatory Brahman.
As propounded by Shri Rupa Goswami, thus - 'adau sraddha tatah sadhusanga'tha bhajanakriya, tato'anartha nivrttih syattato nistha rucistatah; athasaktistato bhabastatah premabhyndancati; sadhakanamayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah syaddrdheyam ratih premnaprodyan snehah kramadayam; syaninanah pranayo rago'anurago bhava ityapi; vijamiksuh sa ca rasah sa gudah khanda eva sah; sa sarkara sita sa ca sa yatha syat sitotpala'.
In the first stage, there should be respect, then an association with the saintly persons should develop out of that respect; then the processes of worshiping will start inspired by the association of the saintly persons; then there will be gradual elimination of various unhappy occurrences (anartha) as a result of devotional processes of worshiping; when a higher taste and inclination for leading a spiritual life will develop from the elimination of unhappy occurrences, resulting into a mood of ecstasy, which will ultimately give rise to the awakening of divine love. The other name of divine love is erotic sentiment which becomes crystallised (rati) gradually and is turned into parental affection, dignity, amorous love, transcendental mellow, attraction and a heightened mood in the final stage. This process of the development of spiritual love may very well be compared to the process of preparing sugarcane into its juice, then turning it into molasses, then into slices of candy and to sugar, and finally into alcohol and sweetmeats of various tastes of the highest degree.
Ten maxims comprise of the valuable instructions Shri Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu imparted to Rupa, Sanatana and others. This treatise is the essence of those Ten Maxims. Anyone aspiring to be a pure Vaishnava upon accepting the instructions of Shriman Mahaprabhu, must at first acquire this essence of Ten Maxims. The spiritual master will show him all the aspects within this essence in brief. Out of respect and reverence, one may take shelter at the lotus feet of the spiritual master. From the lotus feet of the spiritual master, one is elevated to the level of instruction in worshiping. By way of worshiping, there will be elimination of unhappy occurrences. But one can attain the stage of ecstatic mood through intent dedication and sincerity only.
The first aspect of worshiping the Lord is to acquire the Ten Maxims. Upon imbibing the disciple with the essence of Ten Maxims, the spiritual master will perform five sacramental purifications on the disciple.
tapah pundram tatha nama
mantro yagasca pancamah
ami-hi panca samskarah
The significance of this verse may be put forward in brief, thus - Whenever there is a little awakening of reverence in the heart of a disciple, he approaches a genuine spiritual master. Before coming to the lotus feet of his spiritual master, the disciple must have undergone a lot of suffering and repentance. 'I have been suffering greatly as fallen in the dreadful ocean of material existence. Oh protector of the fallen souls! Please accept me mercifully at your lotus feet considering me as a dust-particle, because there is none to protect me'- lamenting thus the disciple falls prostrate at the feet of his spiritual master.
No one unless aggrieved like this is eligible to get initiated, and the spiritual master makes an assessment of the prospective disciple by way of putting him through a spell of feverish activities.
Shri Chaitanyadev, the most merciful, saviour in the age of struggle and turmoil, and embodiment of universal spiritual master, ordered that his disciple's body to be decorated with sandal paste and other things. First of all, the prospective repentant devotee should put on symbolic tilak signs of Hari temples and other auspicious items.
At the time of repentance, these ten maxims should very well be used as a means to perpetuate such repentance in a prospective devotee, he should be advised to practice wearing twelve tilaka signs. This is the occasion when a disciple is said to be newly born. Hence, he should very well be given a devotional and spiritual name. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the self entity and the constitutional form of the self at this stage. Along with it, he should also be given the mahamantra in the name of Hare Krishna and His relationship with the living entity. Upon acquainting the disciple with the substance of the mahamantra, the spiritual master will then fully pronounce his disciple with the true significance of relationships with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The five forms of sacramental purification (samskara) will be the rituals through the process of offering service to the black goede (salagram) as the symbol of Vishnu and to the deities so that a living entity, now involved in material relationship, may very well be rendered steadfast in developing true relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna.
The process of five sacramental purification (pancam samskara) is classified into two categories: elementary and final.
For a person who is already in the state of a loving relationship with the Godhead, the process of offering service mentally may be considered tantamount to the act of worshipping.
Shriman Mahaprabhu delivered His conclusive advice to Shri Raghunath Dasa Goswami saying thus:
'gramya katha na sunive
gramya-varta na kahive
bhalo na khaive ar bhalo na parive
amani manada hanya krishna-nam sada lave
vraje Radha-Krishna seva manase karive.'
'One should never listen to any vulgarity, nor converse in a vulgar dialect. One should not take any delicious foodstuff, nor use any luxurious clothings. Being respectful even to an unrespectable person, one should practice chanting the holy name of Shri Krishna all the time, and practice offering service to Radha and Krishna in Vrajadham, mentally even.'
In the first three lines of the verse stated above, a clear instruction is give to a devotee, impregnated with devotional ecstasy, on the physical aspect of purification.
In the concluding two lines of the said verse, there is the instruction as to the process of worshipping and offering service to the Godhead. The manifestation of worshipping is enough in accepting the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna for regular chanting with an attitude of respect to the unrespectable even.
The process of mental worshiping service to Radha and Krishna in Vrajadham is the most confidential aspect in this respect. This service is prescribed for all the eight periods of an entire day including night, viz., day-break, early morning, forenoon, afternoon, twilight, evening and night. The spiritual master will advise the disciple in this matter in accordance with relevant scriptures. Because, unhappy occurrences can not be prevented unless the process of worshiping is practiced properly, after acquiring the essence of Ten Maxims.
The unhappy occurrences are classified in four varieties, viz., delusion about one's own constitutional position (svarupabhram), desire for inequitous activities (asat-trsna), offences (aparadh), and dastardliness (hrdaya-dourvalya).
Forgetting one's own constitutional position, every living entity has become illusioned under the vanity of some other position, and as such, this delusion about one's own constitutional position must, at first, be eliminated.
However, this sort of delusion about one's own constitutional position may not be eliminated in a day, and as such, it should be developed through a gradual process of practicing service to Lord Krishna. The dignity of realization that 'I am servant of Lord Shri Krishna' is the actual attainment of knowledge in one's own constitutional position. The practice of offering service to Shri Krishna together with this kind of dignified realization of servitude may very well be considered to be the truest form of offering devotional service to Shri Krishna.
The realization of one's own constitutional position is awakened under the mercy of the spiritual master. The disciple as well should be avowedly enthusiastic in realising his own constitutional position. At the initial age, the more the unhappy occurrences would start disappearing, the more there will be disappearance of all subsequent unhappy occurrences, viz., desire for ineqitous activities (asat-trsna) etc. along with them.
The thirst for property and riches or for worldly pleasures and enjoyments is considered to be the desire for inequitous activities (asat-trsna). Heavenly pleasure, sense gratification, and pleasure from wealth and one's own people, men and money - are all simply desire for inequitous activities. The more one's own realization of constitutional position becomes clarified, the more evidently there must be a detachment from all sorts of rusticity of sensationalism.
Along with it, one must be intently enthusiastic in avoiding all offences relating to the holy name (namaparadh). While chanting the holy name and avoiding such offences, the wealth of devotional love is soon attained.
Any kind of activity which involves lethargy, yielding to rustic matters, bewilderment under all sorts of dejection, distraction from pure devotional service by way of false arguments, niggardliness in devoting entire vitality in practicing offer of service to Lord Shri Krishna, repudiating one's own real position of humble wretchedness through illusion of a puffed-up vanity owing to nationality, wealth, erudition, manpower, handsomeness, and strength, steering under the influence of sinful tendency or advice, carelessness in purification of dogmatian and bigotry, reluctance to be merciful owing to anger, illusion, envy, and impatience, false vanity and egotism of being a vaishnava while nurturing high hopes for earning fame or reputation through crookedness, and oppression of other living entities with a desire for achieving sense gratification, wealth and opulence, as well as women - appears out of dastardliness alone.
Whoever is contemptuous to these Ten Maxims considering to be an inference only, will never be able to attain perfection in offering devotional service to Lord Shri Krishna.
Whenever any prospective venerable disciple approaches the spiritual master, the disciple should be directed to give intent perusal to this scripture, before he is initiated into the process of five sacramental purification (panca samskara) within the fold of Shri Shri Chaitanya community. If this can be properly effected to, no unqualified person will ever be able to pollute and tarnish the unblemished image of the community sponsored by Shri Shrimanmahaprabhu. Thus ends the treatise.