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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Shikshashtaka > Sloka-Four

Shloka Four

What is the desire of the sadhakas?


na dhanam na janam na sundarim

kavitam va jagadisha kamaye

mama janmani janmanishvare

bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi


He Jagadisha ! aham dhanam na, janam na, sundarim kavitam va na kamaye—O Lord of the Universe! I do not desire wealth, followers such as wife, sons, relatives, etc., or mundane knowledge described in poetic language; mama janmani janmani—my only prayer is that in birth after birth; tvayi ahaituki bhaktih bhavatat-—may have unadulterated devotional service unto Your lotus feet.




     "Hey Jadadisha (O Lord of the Universe)! I do not desire wealth, followers such as wife, sons, friends and relatives; or mundane knowledge described in poetic language. O Lord of my life! My only desire is that in birth after birth I may have unadulterated devotional service unto Your lotus feet."


Shri Sanmodana Bhashyam


 The sadhaka possessed of faith (shraddhalu) should first of all hear the holy name of Shri Hari emanating from the mouth of his spiritual master. Thereafter, being freed from all offenses, he should chant the holy name with great faith. By chanting the holy name according to this method, the four symptoms mentioned in the previous shloka will manifest in his heart. Conversely, if the sadhaka does not give up all attachment to material sensual happiness, his pure constitutional identity (shuddha svarupa) will not arise, and without the awakening of his pure identity, bhakti (the intrinsic nature of which is that it is predominated by the hladini potency) cannot be transformed into bhava bhakti.

 In consideration of this, the pure character of sadhana bhakti as regards Shri nama sankirtana is being clearly described in two couplets ( `na dhanam na janam' etc.) by positive and negative indication. The positive indication refers to the principal characteristic of bhakti (svarupa lakshana); namely, that it involves the cultivation of activities favorable to Shri Krishna (anukulyamaya Krishna anushilana). The negative indication refers to the two secondary or marginal characteristics of bhakti (tatastha lakshana); namely, that all desires for anything other than bhakti are rejected (anyabhilashita shunya) and that bhakti should not be obscured by karma and jnana, etc. (jnana karmady-anavrita). As long as the cultivation of activities favorable to Shri Krishna remains covered by ulterior desires (anyabhilasa) and by karma, jnana, yoga, etc., it does not reach the stage of shuddha or uttama bhakti; rather, it remains as a mere shadow (abhasa) of bhakti.

  In order to dissipate the shadow refered to here, the following instruction is being given—“Hey Jagadisha (O Lord of the Universe)! I do not desire wealth (dhana), followers (jana), or beautiful poetry (sundari kavita)." The word `dhana' refers to the wealth of religiosity (dharma) of those who are devoutly engaged in the performance of duties in varnashrama. It also refers to all varieties of desires for material enjoyment in this world and in the heavenly planets, and all paraphernalia for the enjoyment of the gross and subtle senses, such as wealth, property, etc.

 The word `jana' refers to women, sons, servants, maidservants, subjects, friends and relatives. Real knowledge (vidya) is that by which the intellect  remains firmly situated at the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord. But the words `sundari-kavita' refer to ordinary knowledge related to mundane poetry. They do not refer to transcendental poetry in which is found essential knowledge concerning the Lord or descriptions of His pastimes.

 Lord Chaitanya, praying in the mood of a devotee, says: “I do not pray to you for all these things. My only prayer is that birth after birth I may have unmotivated devotional service (ahaituki bhakti) unto You Shri Krishna, who are the Lord of my life." Ahaituki bhakti is here defined as bhakti which is devoid of desires for material enjoyment (kamana-vasana rahit), which is fully transcendental in nature (chinmaya svabhava yukta), which gives pleasure to Shri Krishna, which is pure (shuddha), exclusive (kevala), unmixed (amishra), and free from all material attachments (akincana).

 The endeavour to remove the miseries of material existence in the form of repeated birth and death is a matter beyond the ability of the living entities, for it depends exclusively on the will of the Lord. One's liberation from all miseries occurs automatically upon cessation of the cycle of birth and death which takes place by the will of the Lord. Therefore, what is the need of praying for the removal of such miseries, which is contrary to the principle of bhakti?  Lord Chaitanya thus prays:

“Until the cycle of birth and death is terminated by the will of the Lord, let Me have unmotivated devotional service unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord birth after birth, regardless of my material circumstances—this is my only prayer."


Shri Chaitanya-Caritamrita (Antya-lila 20.27,28,30–31):


shuddha-bhakti' krishna-thani magite lagila

premera svabhava—yanha premera sambandha


sei mane,—'krishne mora nahi prema gandha'

dhana, jana nahi mango, kavita sundari


shuddha-bhakti' deha' more, krishna kripa kari

ati-dainye punah mange dasya-bhakti-dana


apanare kare samsari jiva-abhimana


     "The Supreme Lord, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, considering Himself to be an ordinary conditioned soul, prays for pure devotional service unto the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna. The nature of prema is such that whoever possesses it begins to think that they have not even a trace of devotion to Lord Krishna. Therefore, Shriman Mahaprabhu, who is the very embodiment of prema, says: `I do not want wealth, followers such as wife, sons, friends, relatives, etc., or mundane knowledge described in poetic language. O merciful Lord Shri Krishna! May You display Your causeless mercy and bestow upon Me only Your unalloyed devotional service. I humbly and repeatedly beg the gift of devotional service at Your lotus feet.’”


Shikshashtakam: Song 4 (Gitavali)


prabhu tava pada- juge mora nivedana

nahi mangi deha-sukha, vidya, dhana, jana


nahi mangi svarga,  ara moksha nahi mangi

na kari prarthana kona vibhutira lagi'


nija-karma-guna-doshe je je janma pai

janme janme jena tava nama-guna gai


ei matra asha mama tomara carane

ahaituki bhakti hride jage anukshane


bishaye je priti ebe achaye amara

sei-mata priti hauk carane tomara


sampade vipade taha thakuka samabhave

dine dine vriddhi hauk namera prabhave


pashu-pakshi haye thaki svarge ya niraye

tava bhakti rahu bhaktivinoda -hridaye


      “O merciful Lord! This is my specific submission at Your lotus feet. I do not ask for bodily happiness, knowledge, wealth, followers, attainment of the heavenly planets, liberation from material existence, or any other such thing. I do not ask You for any kind of opulence or perfection. In whatever species I may take birth as a consequence of my good and evil deeds, may I continuously chant Your sweet names and describe Your transcendental qualities. In every birth, may unmotivated devotional service ever remain awakened within my heart—this is my only prayer at Your lotus feet."

     "Let whatever attraction I presently have for material sense enjoyment be transformed into attraction and affection (priti) for Your lotus feet. I pray not only that this affection for Your lotus feet remain unvarying in all circumstances of happiness and distress, but that day after day it continues to grow by the influence of the chanting of Your holy names. Wherever I take birth, be it in the animal species, in the heavenly planets, or in hell, may unmotivated devotional service ever grace the heart of this servant, Bhaktivinoda."




      "Hey Jagadisha! I do not desire wealth, followers, or beautiful poetry (sundari kavita) adorned with literary embellishments (alankara). You are my worshipable Lord birth after birth. My only desire is that I may remain engaged in unmotivated devotional service (ahaituki bhakti) unto Your lotus feet."

The word `sundari kavita' refers to material religiosity (dharma) described in the Vedas. The word `dhana' refers to wealth (artha) and `jana' refers to wife, children, family, and so on.

"Not only do I reject material enjoyment in the form of dharma, artha, and kama, but I have no desire even for liberation from the cycle of repeated birth and death. I do not desire engagement in Your service in order to obtain the four Vedic goals (dharma, artha, kama and moksha). I desire only that I may serve You for Your own pleasure."

 The devotee king Kulashekhara also prays in this way:


nastha dharme na vasunicaye naiva kamopabhoge

yad yad bhavyam bhavatu bhagavan purva-karmanurupam

etad-prarthyam mama bahumatam janma-janmantare 'pi

tvat-padambhor-uhayugagata nishcala bhaktir-astu

naham vande padakamalayor-dvandvam-advandva-heto

kumbhipakam gurum-api hare narakam napanetum

ramyaramamridutanulatanandane nabhirantum

bhave bhave hridaya-bhavane bhavayeyam bhavantam


     "O Lord!  I have no faith in the institution of varnashrama dharma or temporary religious pursuits related to the body and mind. In other words, there is no possibility of deriving any benefit from such activities. Even if I were to attain sovereignty over this earth planet, I have no faith that any benefit could be had by that either. Neither do I desire material sense enjoyment. However many enjoyable items of sense gratification are to be found within this material existence, either on this earth planet or in the heavenly planets, I have no desire for any of them."

     "Whatever reactions I am destined to suffer or enjoy for the activities of my previous life, let them come. It is not for this that I pray to Your lotus feet. My only prayer is that in birth after birth unflinching prema bhakti toward Your lotus feet may arise in my heart. I do not pray to you for the attainment of worldly happiness nor for relief from material distress. I do not pray for deliverance from the most dreadful hell known as Kumbhipaka. I do not pray to enjoy the company of exquisitely beautiful heavenly damsels (apsaras) in the Nandana-kanana pleasure gardens of the heavenly planets.  O my Lord! I pray only that prema bhakti may arise in my heart toward Your lotus feet. In this life, and in birth after birth, let me meditate on the glories of Your lotus feet with great love, considering them as my all in all."

  Persons possessing faith in the Vedas and who are desirous of routine religiosity (dharma) worship Surya (the sun-god); those who desire wealth worship Ganesha; those who desire varieties of sensual enjoyment worship Shakti (Durga); those who desire liberation worship Rudradeva (Shiva); and individuals whose devotion is mixed with the desire to enjoy the results of their activities (sakama upasana) worship Lord Vishnu.  Conseqently, they are also mixed devotees.  Worship of these five personalities is known as Pancopasana.  Pancopasana is sakama upasana (worship with material desires), whereas in the stage of nishkama (freedom from material desires), there is worship of nirguna-brahma. Lord Vishnu is worshipped purely by unmotivated devotional service (ahaituki bhakti).


Shri Bhajana Rahasya Verses


 Exclusive unmotivated devotional service (ekantiki ahaituki bhakti) is depicted in various places in the scriptures; as in Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.2.14):


tasmad ekena manasa bhagavan satvatam patih

shrotavyah kirtitavyash ca dhyeyah pujyash ca nityada


 The highest attainment to be achieved by humanity by perfect execution of one's prescribed duty [svadharma] within the categories of dharma, artha, and kama [trivarga] is to please Shri HHari.)  "Therefore, with one-pointed attention, pure devotees, being devoid of all desires for dharma, artha, kama, and moksha, should constantly hear about (shravana), chant (kirtana), remember (smarana), and worship (japa-puja) the holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes of Shri Hari, who is the protector of the devotees."

 Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says in this connection:


ananyabhavete kara shravana-kirtana


sange sange anarthanashera yatna kara

bhakti-lata phala-dana karibe satvara


    "One should hear and chant about the transcendental name, form, qualities, pastimes, and associates of Shri Krishna with undivided attention.  Simultaneously, one should worship Krishna in all respects. One should endeavour to eliminate all anarthas.  Only then can the creeper of devotional service (bhakti lata) quickly bear fruit."

 The devotee has no desire to attain the heavenly planets, Brahmaloka, sovereignty over the entire earth, rulership of Rasatala, or the eight or eighteen mystic yoga siddhis. All these things are worthless to him. This is confirmed in Shrimad Bhagavatam (6.11.25):


na naka-prishtham na ca parameshthyam

na sarvabhaumam na rasadhipatyam

na yogasiddhir apunar-bhavam va

samanjasa tva virahayya kankshe


     (Shri Vritrasura is praying to the lotus feet of Shri Bhagavan.) "O Lord, who are the abode of all auspiciousness! I have no desire to attain Dhruvaloka, Brahmaloka, or sovereignty over the earth. I do not desire the eight mystic siddhis (such as anima, mahima, etc.), the nine priceless jewels of Kuvera (the Padma, Mahapadma, Shankha, Makara, Kacchapa, Kunda, Mukunda, Nila, and Kharva), nor even moksha, if I have to give up Your service."

The symptoms of advancement in ahaituki bhakti are given in Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.2.42):


bhaktih pareshanubhavo viraktir

anyatra caisha trika ekakalah

prapadyamanasya yathashnatah syu

tushtih pushtih kshudapayo 'nughasam


     "With each morsel of food that a person engaged in eating takes, three effects are simultaneously accomplished: he obtains satisfaction, filling of the stomach, and cessation of hunger. Similarly, surrendered souls engaged in the performance of bhajana simultaneously experience three effects: the awakening of bhakti aiming at prema, direct manifestation of the Lord's beloved form, and detachment from material objects."

One should endeavobBur to attain to the status of pure, unmotivated devotional service (shuddha ahaituki bhakti). This is stated in Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.5.18):


tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido

na labhyate yad bhramatam uparyadhah

tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham

kalena sarvatra gabhira ramhasa


     "As misery is obtained without any endeavour, happiness will also come of its own accord in due course of time. Therefore, intelligent persons do not endeavour even slightly for dharma, artha, kama, moksha, and so forth. They endeavor only for the wealth of bhakti which is the rarest commodity to be obtained within the fourteen planetary systems."