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Chapter Four

Sambandha-prakarana

The Relationship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Individual Spirit Souls

 

Introduction by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     In order to show the way the individual spirit souls, who were described in the cit-prakarana chapter, may attain the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is perfect, complete, eternal, and full of knowledge and bliss, in the beginning of this, the fourth, chapter, the author describes devotional service and the natural and eternal relationship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the individual souls.

 

Sutra 31

 

bhaktih purnanuraktih pare

 

     bhaktih—devotion; purna—complete; anuraktih—love; pare—for thr Supreme.

 

     Devotional service means unwavering love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Here the word "pare" means "for the Supreme Personality of Godhead", and "purna-anuraktih" means “unwavering love". The nature of devotional service is described in these words of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7.1):

 

raso hy evaisha rasam labdhvanandi bhavati

 

     "When on understands the Personality of God, the reservoir of pleasure, Krishna, he actually becomes transcendentally blissful."*

 

natva prabhu-padambhojam

     premananda-prakampitah

sancarami prayatnena

     bindun bhakti-sudhambudheh

 

     Bowing at the lotus feet of my master, I, trembling with bliss and love, carefully sprinkle these drops from the blissful ocean of devotional service.

 

nityanandam aham naumi

     tatha sita-patim prabhum

haridasam vaishnavagryam

     panditam ca gadadharam

 

     I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Nityananda, to Lord Advaita, who is the husband of Sita, to Haridasa Thakura, who is the best of Vaishnavas, to Gadadhara Pandita, . . .

 

shri-rupam tad-bhrataram ca

     vande bhaktan maha-janan

yesham kripa-jalotsikta

     shri-krishna-karuna-lata

 

 . . . to Shri Rupa Gosvami, to his brother Shri Sanatana Gosvami, and to all the exalted devotees of the Lord. Their mercy is the water that has nourished the vine of Lord Krishna's mercy upon me.

 

narottamadin vande 'ham

     prema-bhakti-pravartakan

sarvabhaumam svarupam ca

     govindadin prabhoh priyan

 

     I offer my respectful obeisances to Narottama dasa Thakura and all the other preachers of loving devotional service to Lord Krishna. I offer my respectful obeisances to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Svarupa Damodara, Shri Govinda, and all the other dear associates of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

 

valmikim ca vashishtham ca

     naradam deva-darshanam

vyasam vaiyasakim sutam

     bhavam prahladam uddhavam

 

     I offer my respectful obeisances to Valmiki Muni, Vashishtha Muni, and Narada Muni, who all personally saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Vyasa, Shri Shukadeva Gosvami, Suta Gosvami, Lord Shiva, Prahlada Maharaja, Uddhava, . . .

 

sanakadin shaunakadin

     vishnuratam mahodayam

bhishmam ca kapilam devam

     dhruvam pracinabarhisham

 

 . . . the sages led by Sanaka-kumara, the sages led by Shaunaka Rishi, noble-hearted King Parikshit, Bhishma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Kapila, Maharaja Dhruva, Maharaja Pracinabarhi, . . .

 

ambarisham mahatmanam

     nava-yogeshvarams tatha

sarvan bhagavatan vande

     pracinan bhakti-kovidan

 

 . . . the great soul Maharaja Ambarisha, the nine yogendras, and all the great devotees of ancient times, devotees expert in devotional service to the Lord.

 

etesham vishva-manyanam

     anghri-renu-prasadatah

mama manda-mater astu

     bhakti-vyakhyana-dakshata

 

     I pray that by the dust from the feet of these great devotees, who are worshiped by all the worlds, my slow mind will become expert in describing the truth of devotional service.

 

     In the Kena Upanishad (4.6) it is said:

 

tad dha tad vanam nama tad vanam ity upasitavyam sa yatra tad evam vedabhi hainam sarvadi bhutani samvanchanti

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest object of worship. All living beings yearn to attain Him."

 

     In the Narada-pancaratra it is said:

 

sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam

     tat-paratvena nirmalam

hrishikena hrishikesha-

     sevanam bhaktir ucyate

 

     "Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and, simply by being employed in the service of the Lord, one's senses are purified."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.29.12) it is said:

 

ahaituky avyavahita

     ya bhaktih purushottame

 

     "Just as the water of the Ganges flows naturally down towards the ocean, such devotional ecstasy, uninterrupted by an material condition, flows towards the Supreme Lord."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.32) it is also said:

 

devanam guna-linganam

     anusravika-karmanam

sattva evaika-manaso

     vrittih svabhavika tu ya

animitta bhagavati

     bhaktih siddher gariyasi

 

     "The senses are symbolic representations of the demigods, and their natural inclination is to work under the direction of the Vedic injunctions. As the senses are representatives of the demigods, so the mind is the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The mind's natural duty is to serve. When that service spirit is engaged in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without any motive, that is far better even than salvation."*

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.1.11), Shrila Rupa Gosvami explains:

 

anyabhilashita-shunyam

     jnana-karmady-anavritam

anukulyena krishnanu-

     shilanam bhaktir uttama

 

     "When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive action. The devotee must constantly serve Krishna favorably, as Krishna desires."*

 

     In Shandilya's Bhakti-sutra (1.1.2) it is said:

 

sa paranuraktir ishvare

 

     "Devotional service means intense love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     This exalted kind of devotional service is not practiced by every devotee. Rather, there are different kinds of devotional service, as described in the following sutra:

 

Sutra 32

 

tasyah svarupam phalam upayash ceti

 

     tasyah—of that; svarupam—the nature; phalam—result; upayash—method; ca—and; iti—thus.

 

     Devotional service has both a means and a result.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     The individual spirit souls are of two kinds: 1. the conditioned souls, and 2. the liberated souls, and the devotional service they perform is also of two kinds: 1. phala-bhakti (devotional service as a goal), and 2. upaya-bhakti (devotional service as a means to attain a goal). The liberated souls engage in phala-bhakti, which is the same a prema-bhakti, the perfect stage of love for Lord Krishna. The conditioned souls engage in upaya-bhakti, which is the same as sadhana-bhakti, and which is the means by which one attains the goal of phala-bhakti. It is said:

 

ayur ghritam

 

     "Ghee equals long life."

 

     This means that by eating foods cooked in ghee one attains a long life. As ghee and long life are equated, in the same way sadhana-bhakti is called devotional service because it leads to the final goal: the attainment of prema-bhakti.

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (9.14), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

satatam kirtayanto mam

     japantash ca dridha-vratah

namasyantash ca mam bhaktya

     nitya-yukta upasate

 

     "Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, and bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion."*

 

     In this way chanting japa, offering obeisances, and other activities of sadhana-bhakti are described.

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (18.52-55), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again explains:

 

vivikta-sevo laghv-ashi

     yata-vak-kaya-manasah

dhyana-yoga-paro nityam

     vairagyam samupashritah

 

ahankaram balam darpam

     kamam krodham parigraham

vimucya nirmamah shanto

     brahma-bhuyaya kalpate

 

     "One who lives in a secluded place, who eats little, and who controls the body and the tongue, and is always in trance, and is detached, who is without false ego, false strength, false pride, lust, anger, and who does not accept material things, such a person is certainly elevated to the position of self-realization.*

 

brahma-bhutah prasannatma

     na shocati na kankshati

samah sarveshu bhuteshu

     mad-bhaktim labhate param

 

     "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything. He is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.*

 

bhaktya mam abhijanati

     yavan yash casmi tattvatah

tato mam tattvato jnatva

     vishate tad anantaram

 

     "One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God."*

 

     In the Narada-panacaratra, in the midst of a description of unwavering devotional service, Lord Sadashiva explains:

 

animitta ca sukhada

     hari-dasya-prada shubha

 

     "These auspicious, blissful, and unselfish actions bring direct service to Lord Hari.

 

     In the next sutra the author describes the truth that pure devotional service is directed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead alone.

 

Sutra 33

 

phala-bhakter nanyad a\ngam ekatvat svatah-siddhatvac ca

 

     phala-bhakteh—of phala-bhakti devotional service; na—not; anyat—another; a\ngam—limb; ekatvat—because of being one; svatah-siddhatvat—because of being naturally perfect; ca—and.

 

     There are no separate subdivisions of phala-bhakti devotional service, for it is one, undivided, and naturally perfect.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Phala-bhakti has no separate subdivisions, because it has a single undivided nature, and because, consisting of activities of passionate love for the Lord, it is naturally perfect. In these ways it is not like sadhana-bhakti. The conclusion of devotional service is given in these words:

 

nitya-siddhasya bhavasya

     prakatyam hridi sadhyata

 

     "At that time eternally perfect love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is manifested in the heart."

 

     In the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.4.1) it is said:

 

anandam brahmano rupam

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is naturally full of bliss."

 

     In the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.246 and 1.2.248-249), Shrila Rupa Gosvami explains:

 

sammatam bhakti-vijnanam

     bhakty-angatvam na karmanam

 

     "Some scholars argue that simply by following the principles of varna and ashrama one can gradually rise to the perfections reached by practicing devotional service, but this argument is not accepted by the great authorities."*

 

jnana-vairagyayor bhakti-

     praveshayopayogita

ishat prathamam eveti

     nangatvam ucitam tayoh

 

     "Some scholars recommend that knowledge and renunciation are important factors for elevating oneself to devotional service, but actually that is not a fact. Actually the cultivation of knowledge or renunciation, which are favorable for achieving a footing in Krishna consciousness, may be accepted in the beginning, but ultimately they may also come to be rejected, for devotional service is dependent on nothing other than the sentiment or desire for such service. It requires nothing more than sincerity.*

 

yad ubhe citta-kathinya-

     hetu-praye satam mate

sukumara-svabhaveyam

     bhaktis tad-dhetur irita

 

     "It is the opinion of expert devotees that mental speculation and the artificial austerities of yoga practice may be favorable for becoming liberated from material contamination, but they will also make one's heart harder and harder. They will not help at all in the progress of devotional service. These processes are therefore not favorable for entering into the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Actually Krishna consciousness, devotional service itself, is the only way of advancing in devotional life. devotional service is absolute. It is both the cause and the effect."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.12) it is said:

 

tac-chraddadhana munayo

     jnana-vairagya-yuktaya

pashyanty atmani catmanam

     bhaktya shruta-grihitaya

 

     "The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedanta-shruti."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.15), Shrila Suta Gosvami explains:

 

yad-anudhyasina yuktah

     karma-granthi-nibandhanam

chindanti kovidas tasya

     ko nu kuryat katha-ratim

 

     "With sword in hand, intelligent men cut through the binding knots of reactionary work (karma) by remembering the Personality of Godhead. Therefore, who will not pay attention to His message?"*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.16) it is also said:

 

shushrushoh shraddadhanasya

     vasudeva-katha-rucih

syan mahat-sevaya viprah

     punya-tirtha-nishevanat

 

     "O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva."*

 

     In the Gopi-gita of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.31.14), the gopis explain:

 

surata-vardhanam shoka-nashanam

     svarita-venuna sushthu-cumbitam

itara-raga-vismaranam nrinam

     vitara vira nas te 'dharamritam

 

     "O hero, kindly distribute to us the nectar of Your lips, which enhances conjugal pleasure and vanquishes grief. That nectar is thoroughly relished by Your vibrating flute and makes people forget any other attachment."***

 

     After thus describing the most exalted kind of devotional service, the author of the sutras now begins his description of upaya-bhakti. He says:

 

Sutra 34

 

upaya-bhakteh paranushilanam pratyaharash cangam

 

     upaya-bhakteh—of upaya-bhakti; para—for the Supreme Personality of Godhead; anushilanam—constant devotion; pratyaharash—renunciation; ca—and; angam—parts.

 

     Upaya-bhakti has as its parts: 1. intent devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and 2. renunciation of the material world.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (18.65), the Supreme Personality of Godhead teaches:

 

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto

     mad-yaji mam namaskuru

 

     "Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.10.6) it is said:

 

muktir hitvanyatha-rupam

     svarupena vyavasthitih

 

     "Liberation i+s the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies."*

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.3.49) it is said:

 

kshudra-kautuhala-mayi

     cancala duhkha-harini

ratesh chaya bhavet kincit

     tat-sadrishyavalambini

 

     "At that time, simply by the association of such pure devotees, the moonlike rays from their hearts reflect on him, and by the influence of the pure devotees he may show some likeness of attachment caused by inquisitiveness, but this is very flickering. And if by the manifestation of such shadow attachment one feels the disappearance of all material pangs, then it is called para attachment."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.12) it is said:

 

tac-chraddadhana munayo

     jnana-vairagya-yuktaya

pashyanty atmani catmanam

     bhaktya shruta-grihitaya

 

     "The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from Vedanta-shruti."*

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.251 and 1.2.254) explains:

 

kintu jnana-virakty-adi

     sadhyam bhaktyaiva sidhyati

 

     "By engaging in devotional service one naturally attains knowledge, renunciation, and other advantages as a by-product of his service."

 

rucim udvahatas tatra

     janasya bhajane hareh

vishayeshu varishtho 'pi

     ragah prayo viliyate

 

     "Actually, a person who is developing Krishna consciousness and still has some attachment to material enjoyment will soon be freed from such a tendency by regularly discharging devotional service under the instruction of a bona fide spiritual master."*

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.3.25) also Ťexplains:

 

kshantir avyartha-kalatvam

     viraktir mana-shunyata

asha-bandhah samutkantha

     nama-gane sada rucih

 

     "When the seed of ecstatic emotion for Krishna fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one's behavior: forgiveness, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment, absence of false prestige, hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord, attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides, that is, a temple or a holy place like Vrindavana. These are called anubhava, subordinate signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed of love of God has begun to fructify."*

 

     In the next sutra the author reveals the truth of the various other limbs of this secondary kind of devotional service (upaya-bhakti).

 

Sutra 35

 

shravana-kirtanadini paranushilanopayogitvat praty-a\ngani

 

     shravana—hearing; kirtana—glorifying; adini—beginning with; para—for the Supreme Personality of Godhead; anushilana—intent devotion; upayogitvat—because of being appropriate; praty-a\ngani—secondary limbs.

 

     The secondary limbs of upaya-bhakti begin with hearing and chanting, for these activities help to increase intent devotion to the Lord.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     The secondary limbs of upaya-bhakti begin with hearing and chanting, for these activities help to increase intent devotion to the Lord. Hearing and chanting about the Lord are different ways to worship the Lord. In Bhagavad-gita (9.14) the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

 

satatam kirtayanto mam

 

     "Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion."*

 

     In the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.3.1 and 1.3.4) it is said:

 

shuddha-sattva-visheshatma

     prema-suryamshu-samya-bhak

rucibhish citta-mashrinya-

     krid asau bhava ucyate

 

     "By the process of executing regulated devotional service, one is actually elevated onto the transcendental stage, beyond the material modes of nature. At that time one's heart becomes illuminated like the sun.*

 

avirbhuya mano-vrittau

     vrajanti tat-svarupatam

svayam-prakasha-rupapi

     bhasamana prakashyavat

 

     "After the outward appearance of these ecstatic symptoms, they stay within the mind, and continuation of the ecstasy is called samadhi."*

 

     In the commentary on Shandilya's Bhakti-sutras it is said:

 

ganga-jale kim na vasanti matsya

     devalaye pakshi-gana vasanti

bhavojjhitas te na phalam labhante

     tirthac ca devayatanac ca mukhyat

 

     "Do fish not live in the Ganges? Do birds not perch on the roofs of temples? Still, they do not become overwhelmed with ecstatic love for the Lord. They do not obtain the spiritual benefits from the holy waters and the Lord's temple."

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.6) explains:

 

yatra raganavaptatvat

     pravrittir upajayate

shasanenaiva shastrasya

     sa vaidha bhaktir ucyate

 

     "When there is no attachment or spontaneous loving service to the Lord, and one is engaged in the service of the Lord simply out of obedience to the order of the spiritual master or in pursuance of the scriptures, such obligatory service is called vaidhi bhakti."*

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.293), Shrila Rupa Gosvami says:

 

vaidha-bhakty-adhikaritve

     bhavavirbhavanavadhi

atra shastram tatha tarkam

     anukulam apekshate

 

     "Therefore, in the beginning, everyone should strictly follow the regulative principles of devotional service, according to the injunctions of the scriptures and the spiritual master. Only after the stage of liberation from material contamination can one actually aspire to follow in the footsteps of the devotees in Vrindavana."*

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.72), Shrila Rupa Gosvami says:

 

hari-bhakti-vilase 'sya

     bhakter angani lakshashah

kintu tani prasiddhani

     nirdishyante yatha-mati

 

     "Hari-bhakti-vilasa was complied for the guidance of the Vaishnava and therein are mentioned many rules and regulations to be followed by Vaishnavas."*

 

     Shrila Rupa Gosvami (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.264) again explains:

 

sa bhaktir eka-mukhyanga-

     shrita va bahu-langika

sva-vasananusarena

     nishthatah siddhi-krid bhavet

 

     "There are nine different kinds of devotional service, which are listed as hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping the Deity in the temple, praying, carrying out orders, serving Krishna as friend, and sacrificing everything for Him. Each and every one of these processes is so powerful that if anyone follows even one single one of them, he can achieve the desired perfection without fail."*

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.245), Shrila Rupa Gosvami says:

 

kesancit kvacid anganam

     yat kshudram shruyate phalam

bahirmukha-pravrittyaitat

     kintu mukhyam phalam ratih

 

     "Some scholars argue that simply by following the principles of varna and ashrama one can gradually rise to the perfections reached by practicing devotional service, but this argument is not accepted by the great authorities. The advancement of varna and ashrama is merely external. There is a higher principle.* The higher principle is ecstatic love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the most important attainment."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (9.13-14), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

mahatmanas tu mam partha

     daivim prakritim ashritah

bhajanty ananya-manaso

     jnatva bhutadim avyayam

 

     "O son of Pritha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.*

 

satatam kirtayanto mam

     yatantash ca dridha-vratah

namasyantash ca mam bhaktya

     nitya-yukta upasate

 

     "Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (10.8-11), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again explains:

 

aham sarvasya prabhavo

     mattah sarvam pravartate

iti matva bhajante mam

     budha bhava-samanvitah

 

     "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship me with all their hearts.*

 

mac-citta mad-gata-prana

     bodhayantah parasparam

kathayantash ca mam nityam

     tushyanti ca ramanti ca

 

     "The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about Me.*

 

tesham satata-yuktanam

     bhajatam priti-purvakam

dadami buddhi-yogam tam

     yena mam upayanti te

 

     "To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.*

 

tesham evanukampartham

     aham ajnana-jam tamah

nashayamy atma-bhava-stho

     jnana-dipena bhasvata

 

     "Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance."*

 

     In the Mahabharata, Shanti-parva, Moksha-dharma, it is said:

 

sarvashramabhigamanam

     sarva-tirthavagahanam

na tatha phala-dam saute

     narayana-katha yatha

 

     "O Sauta, neither following all the rules of varnashrama-dharma nor bathing in all holy rivers bring the same result one obtains by hearing and chanting the glories of Lord Narayana.

 

     In the Vishnu Purana it is said:

 

tasmad ahar-nisham vishnum

     samsmaran purusho mune

na yati narakam shuddham

     sankshinakhila-kalmashah

 

     "O sage, a person who day and night remembers Lord Vishnu will not go to hell, for he is already purified of all his sins."

 

     In the Vishnu Purana it is also said:

 

krite pape 'nutape vai

     yasya pumsah prajayate

prayashcittam tu tasyaikam

     hari-samsmaranam param

 

     "The best atonement for sins is remembering Lord Hari."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.5.23) it is said:

 

shravanam kirtanam vishnoh

     smaranam pada-sevanam

arcanam vandanam dasyam

     sakhyam atma-nivedanam

 

     "Hearing and 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 (in other words serving Him with the body, mind, and words), these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.29.30) the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

naitat tvaya dambhikaya

     nastikaya shathaya ca

ashushrusor abhaktaya

     durvinitaya diyatam

 

     "Your should not share this instruction with anyone who is hypocritical, atheistic, or dishonest, or with anyone who will not listen faithfully, who is not a devotee, or who is simply not humble."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.21.31), the Supreme Personality of Godhead tells Kardama Muni:

 

kritva dayam ca jiveshu

     datva cabhayam atmavan

mayy atmanam saha jagat

     drakshyasy atmani capi mam

 

     "Showing compassion to all living entities, you will attain self-realization. Giving assurance of safety to all, you will perceive your own self as well as all the universes in Me, and Myself in you."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (6.29 and 31) the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

sarva-bhuta-stham atmanam

     sarva-bhutani catmani

ikshate yoga-yuktatma

     sarvatra sama-darshanah

 

     "A true yogi observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere.*

 

sarva-bhuta-sthitam yo mam

     bhajaty ekatvam asthitah

sarvatha vartamano 'pi

     sa yogi mayi vartate

 

     "He is a perfect yogi who, by comparison with his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, both in their happiness and distress, O Arjuna."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (9.29) the Supreme Personality of Godhead again explains:

 

samo 'ham sarva-bhuteshu

     na me dveshyo 'sti na priyah

ye bhajanti tu mam bhaktya

     mayi te teshu capy aham

 

     "I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him."*

 

     In the final passages of Bhagavad-gita (18.62-63), the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

 

ishvarah sarva-bhutanam

     hrid-deshe 'rjuna tishthati

bhramayam sarva-bhutani

     yantrarudhani mayaya

 

     "The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.*

 

tam eva sharanam gaccha

     sarva-bhavena bharata

tat-prasadat param shantim

     sthanam prapsyasi shashvatam

 

     "O scion of Bharata, surrender to Him utterly. By His grace you will attain transcendental peace and the supreme and eternal abode."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.29.21-27), Lord Kapiladeva explains:

 

aham sarveshu bhuteshu

     bhutatmavasthitah sada

tam avajnaya mam martyah

     kurute 'rca-vidambanam

 

     "I am present in every living entity as the Supersoul. If someone neglects or disregards that Supersoul everywhere and engages himself in the worship of the Deity in the temple, that is simply imitation.*

 

yo mam sarveshu bhuteshu

     shantam atmanam ishvaram

hitvarcam bhajate maudhyad

     bhasmany eva juhoti sah

 

     "One who worships the Deity of Godhead in the temples but does not know that the Supreme Lord, as Paramatma, is situated in every living entity's heart, must be in ignorance and is compared to one who offers oblations into the ashes.*

 

dvishatah para-kaye mam

     manino bhinna-darshinah

bhuteshu baddha-vairagasya

     na manah shantim ricchati

 

     "One who offers Me respect but is envious of the bodies of others and is therefore a separatist never attains peace of mind, because of his inimical behavior towards other living entities.*

 

aham uccavacair dravyaih

     kriyayotpannayanaghe

naiva tushye 'rcito 'rcayam

     bhuta-gramavamaninah

 

     "My dear mother, even if he worships with proper rituals and paraphernalia, a person who is ignorant of My presence in all living entities never pleases Me by the worship of My Deities in the temple.*

 

arcadav arcayet tavad

     ishvaram mam sva-karma-krit

yavan na veda suhridi

     sarva-bhuteshv avasthitam

 

     "Performing his prescribed duties, one should worship the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead until one realizes My presence in his own heart and in the hearts of all other living entities as well.*

 

atmanash ca parasyapi

     ya karoty antarodaram

tasya bhinna-drisho mrityur

     vidadhe bhayam ulbanam

 

     "As the blazing fire of death, I cause great fear to whoever makes the least discrimination between himself and other living entities because of a differential outlook.*

 

atha mam sarva-bhuteshu

     bhutatmanam kritalayam

arhayed dana-manabhyam

     maitryabhinnena cakshusha

 

     "Therefore, through charitable gifts and attention, as well as through friendly behavior and by viewing all to be alike, one should propitiate Me, who abide in all creatures as their very self."*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka it is said:

 

antah prasadayati sodhayatindriyani

     moksham ca tucchayati kim punar artha-kamau

sadyah kritarthayati sannihitaika-jivan

     ananda-sindhu-vivareshu nimajjayanti

 

     "Devotional service to Lord Krishna pleases the heart, satisfies the senses, makes impersonal liberation seem very insignificant, fulfills all desires, and plunges all living entities into an ocean of bliss."

 

     In the next verse the author describes the previously mentioned renunciation aspect of upaya-bhakti.

 

Sutra 36

 

deha-ratham manah sarathim indriya-hayam astikya-jnanena yukta-vairagyena ca vishaya-margac chanair nivartayed esha eva pratyaharah

 

     deha—body; ratham—chariot; manah—mind; sarathim—charioteer; indriya—senses; hayam—horses; astikya—with spiritual; jnanena—knowledge; yukta—with proper; vairagyena—renunciation; ca—and; vishaya—of the sense-objects; margat—from the path; shanaih—gradually; nivartayet—should turn away; esha—he; eva—indeed; pratyaharah—renunciation.

 

     From the path of the sense-objects one should, employing spiritual knowledge and proper renunciation, gradually turn away the chariot of the body, the charioteer of the mind, and the horses of the senses. To do so is proper renunciation of the world.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     The body is here called the chariot because it is controlled by the mind. The mind is called the charioteer, because it controls the senses. The senses are called the horses because they pull the chariot of the body here and there. It is also said:

 

iha rathi jivah

 

     "The spirit soul is the passenger in the chariot."

 

     In the Upanishads it is said:

 

atmanam rathinam viddhi

 

     "Please know that the spirit soul is the passenger in the chariot."

 

     When a person, using spiritual knowledge and proper detachment, drives the chariot described in these words away from the path of the sense-objects, that action is called proper renunciation. In Bhagavad-gita (6.25), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

shanaih shanair uparamed

     buddhya dhrita-grihitaya

 

     "Gradually, step by step, with full conviction, one should become situated in trance by means of intelligence, and thus the mind should be fixed on the Self alone and should think of nothing else."*

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.3.3,4,6, and 9) it is said:

 

atmanam rathinam viddhi

     shariram ratham eva ca

buddhim tu sarathim viddhi

     manah pragraham eva ca

 

indriyani hayan ahur

     vishayams teshu gocaran

atmendriya-mano-yuktam

     bhoktety ahur manishinah

 

     "The individual is the passenger in the car of the material body, and intelligence is the driver. Mind is the driving instrument, and the senses are the horses. The self is thus the enjoyer or sufferer in the association of the mind and senses. So it is understood by great thinkers."*

 

yas tu vijnanavan bhavati

     yuktena manasa sada

tasyendriyani vashyani

     shad-ashva iva saratheh

 

     "A wise person appropriately uses his mind to control his senses. Thus his intelligence is a good charioteer and his senses are good horses."

 

vijnana-sarathir yas tu

     manah-pragrahavan narah

so 'dhvanah param apnoti

     tad vishnoh paramam padam

 

     "In this way, with his intelligence as the charioteer and his mind as the reins, a wise person drives his chariot to the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (5.5, 4.18, 5.2, and 5.6), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

yat sankhyaih prapyate sthanam

     tad yogair api gamyate

ekam sankhyam ca yogam ca

     yah pashyati sa pashyati

 

     "One who knows that the position reached by means of renunciation can also be attained by works in devotional service and who therefore sees that the path of works and the path of renunciation are one, sees things as they are."*

 

karmany akarma yah pashyed

     akarmani ca karma ca

sa buddhiman manusyeshu

     sa yuktah kritsna-karma-krit

 

     "One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities."*

 

sannyasah karma-yogash ca

     nihshreyasa-karav ubhau

tayos tu karma-sannyasat

     karma-yogo vishishyate

 

     "The renunciation of work and work in devotion are both good for liberation. But of the two, work in devotional service is better than renunciation of works."*

 

sannyasas tu maha-baho

     duhkham aptum ayogatah

yoga-yukto munir brahma

     na cirenadhigacchati

 

     "Unless one is engaged in devotional service of the Lord, mere renunciation of activities cannot make one happy. The sages, purified by works of devotion, achieve the Supreme without delay."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (6.20-21), the Supreme Personality of Godhead also says:

 

yatroparamate cittam

     niruddham yoga-sevaya

yatra caivatmanatmanam

     pashyann atmani tushyati

 

sukham atyantikam yat tad

     buddhi-grahyam atindriyam

vetti yatra na caivayam

     sthitash calati tattvatah

 

     "The stage of perfection is called trance, or samadhi, when one's mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This is characterized by one's ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (6.28), the Supreme Personality of Godhead also says:

 

yunjann eva sadatmanam

     yogi vigata-kalmashah

sukhena brahma-samsparsham

     atyantam sukham ashnute

 

     "Steady in the Self, being freed from all material contamination, the yogi achieves the highest perfectional stage of happiness in touch with the supreme consciousness."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (6.47), the Supreme Personality of Godhead also says:

 

yoginam api sarvesham

     mad-gatenantaratmana

shraddhavan bhajate yo mam

     sa me yuktatamo matah

 

     "And of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (7.28), the Supreme Personality of Godhead also says:

 

yesham tv anta-gatam papam

     jananam punya-karmanam

te dvandva-moha-nirmukta

     bhajante mam dridha-vratah

 

     "Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated, and who are freed from the duality of delusion, engage themselves in My service with determination."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (8.28), the Supreme Personality of Godhead gives His final opinion:

 

vedeshu yajneshu tapahsu caiva

     daneshu yat punya-phalam pradishtam

abhyeti tat sarvam idam viditva

     yogi param sthanam upaiti cadyam

 

     "A person who accepts the path of devotional service is not bereft of the results derived from studying the Vedas, performing austere sacrifices, giving charity, or pursuing philosophical and fruitive activities. At the end he reaches the supreme abode."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.5.11-12), Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami gives his final instruction to Maharaja Parikshit:

 

aham brahma param dhama

     brahmaham paramam padam

evam samikshya catmanam

     atmany adhaya nishkale

 

dashantam takshakam pade

     lelihanam vishananaih

na drakshyasi shariram ca

     vishvam ca prithag atmanah

 

     "You should consider, `I am nondifferent from the Absolute Truth, the supreme abode, and that Absolute Truth, the supreme destination, is nondifferent from Me'. Thus resigning yourself to the Supreme Soul, who is free from all material misidentifications, you will not even notice the snake-bird Takshaka when he approaches with his poison-filled fangs and bites your foot. Nor will you see your dying body or the material world around you, because you will have realized yourself to be separate from them."***

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (18.54), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

brahma-bhutah prasannatma

     na shocati na kankshati

samah sarveshu bhuteshu

     mad-bhaktim labhate param

 

     "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything. He is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (12.10-11), the Supreme Personality of Godhead tells Arjuna:

 

abhyase 'py asamartho 'si

     mat-karma-paramo bhava

mad-artham api karmani

     kurvan siddhim avapsyasi

 

     "If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.*

 

athaitad apy asakto 'si

     kartum mad-yogam ashritah

sarva-karma-phala-tyagam

     tatah kuru yatatmavan

 

     "If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness, then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated."*

 

     Here someone may protest: The dindima drum of the Vedic conclusion proclaims, "Knowledge brings liberation!" As for you, why do you emphasize the words "spiritual knowledge"? Why must this knowledge be spiritual in its character?

 

     To refute this objection, the author speaks the following words:

 

Sutra 37

 

jnanan muktih jnanad bandhash ca

 

     jnanat—from knowledge; muktih—liberation; jnanat—from knowledge; bandhash—bondage; ca—and.

 

     One kind of knowledge brings liberation, and another kind of knowledge brings bondage.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     The first kind of knowledge here is spiritual knowledge, or knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The word “muktih" here means "liberation from material bondage". The second kind of knowledge here is material knowledge, or also the dry theories of the impersonalists. The word "bandhah" here means "bondage in the cycle of repeated births and deaths". In the following words the Supreme Personality of Godhead affirms that material knowledge binds one to the material world. He says (Bhagavad-gita 14.6):

 

sukha-sangena badhnati

     jnana-sangena canagha

 

     "Those situated in that mode (goodness) develop knowledge, but they become conditioned by the concept of happiness."*

 

     The conclusion of the atheists and blasphemers is given in these words of the Vidvan-moda-tarangini:

 

     " `What is action? Who is the seer of things? When and by whom are karmic reactions obtained? How does one attain another birth in this world?' If someone asks these questions, then I reply: These questions have no answers. There is no way anyone can find answers to these questions. The truth is that life is like a flowing river that brings sometimes pleasures and sometimes pains. The material body is temporary. It will die. The truth is that the entire world is unreal. It does not really exist. It is all an illusion."

 

     In the Shri Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka (7.77), Shrila Ramananda Raya explains:

 

nirvana-nimba-phalam eva rasanabhijnas

     cushyantu nama-rasa-tattva-vido vayam tu

shyamamritam madana-manthara-gopa-rama-

     netrancalaish culukitavasitam pibamah

 

     "They who cannot taste sweetness will drink the bitter nimba juice of impersonal liberation. We, however, who know what is sweet, drink the dark, sweet nectar the amorous gopis drank through the corners of their eyes."

 

     In response to Lord Chaitanya's questions, Shri Ramananda Raya explained (Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka 7.61):

 

pratyasattir hari-caranayoh sanuragena rage

     pritih prematishayini harer bhakti-yogena yoge

astha tasya pranaya-rabhasasyopadehena dehe

     yesham te hi prakriti-sarasa hanta mukta na muktah

 

     "They who love Krishna's lotus feet and do not love anything else, who delight in bhakti-yoga, the yoga of devotional service, and are not attracted to ashtanga-yoga or any other kind of yoga, and who place their love in the transcendental form of Lord Krishna, and not in their own external material body, are actually liberated and free from the material world. Non-devotees who claim to be liberated are not so."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (18.64-66), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

sarva-guhyatamam bhuyah

     shrinu me paramam vacah

ishto 'si me dridham iti

     tato vakshyami te hitam

 

     "Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you the most confidential part of knowledge. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit.*

 

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto

     mad-yaji mam namaskuru

mam evaishyasi satyam te

     pratijane priyo 'si me

 

     "Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer Your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.*

 

sarva-dharman parityajya

     mam ekam sharanam vraja

aham tvam sarva-papebhyo

     mokshayishyami ma shucah

 

     "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear."*

 

     In the next sutra the author explains the meaning of the word "yukta" (appropriate) in the phrase "yukta-vairagya" (appropriate renunciation).

 

Sutra 38

 

vairagyan muktih vairagyad bandhash ca

 

     vairagyat—from renunciation; muktih—liberation; vairagyat—from renunciation; bandhash—bondage; ca—and.

 

     One kind of renunciation brings liberation, and another kind of renunciation brings bondage.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     In this sutra the author explains the meaning of the word "yukta" (appropriate in the phrase "yukta-vairagya" (appropriate renunciation). Renunciation is of two kinds: 1. yukta-vairagya (appropriate renunciation) and 2. phalgu-vairagya (false renunciation). Proper renunciation is performed when, without being attached to the results of one's work, and acting purely and in a saintly manner, one offers the results of his work to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This kind of renunciation brings liberation from the bondage of repeated birth and death. In Bhagavad-gita (6.1), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

anashritah karma-phalam

     karyam karma karoti ca

sa sannyasi ca yogi ca

 

     "One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic."*

 

     Other instructions like this may be seen in many verses of Bhagavad-gita. False renunciation, on the other hand, is dry, makes the heart hard, makes one proud, is petty, is likened to the renunciation practiced by monkeys living in the forest, and brings the sufferings of repeated birth and death in the material world as its true result. In the Shruti-shastra it is said:

 

na tyagenaike amritatvam

 

     "Not by mere renunciation does one attain liberation."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (18.8), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

sa kritva rajasam tyagam

     naiva tyaga-phalam labhet

 

     "Anyone who gives up prescribed duties as troublesome, or out of fear, is said to be in the mode of passion. Such action never leads to the elevation of renunciation."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (3.6), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again explains:

 

mithyacarah sa ucyate

 

     "One who restrains the senses and organs of action, but whose mind dwells on sense-objects, certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender."*

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.256), Shrila Rupa Gosvami explains:

 

prapancikataya buddhya

     hari-sambandhi-vastunah

mumukshubhih parityago

     vairagyam phalgu kathyate

 

     "When one is not attached to anything, but at the same time accepts anything in relation to Krishna, one is rightly situated above possessiveness. On the other hand, one who rejects everything without knowledge of its relationship to Krishna is not as complete in his renunciation."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (18.7-8), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

niyatasya tu sannyasah

     karmano nopapadyate

mohat tasya parityagas

     tamasah parikirtitah

 

     "Prescribed duties should never be renounced. If, by illusion, one gives up his prescribed duties, such renunciation is said to be in the mode of ignorance.*

 

duhkham ity eva yat karma

     kaya-klesha-bhayat tyajet

sa kritva rajasam tyagam

     naiva tyaga-phalam labhet

 

     "Anyone who gives up prescribed duties as troublesome, or out of fear, is said to be in the mode of passion. Such action never leads to the elevation of renunciation."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.12.1), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

na rodhayati mam yogo

     na sankhyam dharma eva ca

na svadhyayas tapas tyago

     neshta-purtam na dakshina

 

     "My dear Uddhava, by associating with My pure devotees one can destroy one's attachment for all objects of material sense gratification. Such purifying association brings Me under the control of My devotee. One may perform the ashtanga-yoga system, engage in philosophical analysis of the elements of material nature, practice nonviolence and other principles of ordinary piety, chant the Vedas, perform penances, take to the renounced order of life, execute sacrificial performances and dig wells, plant trees, and perform other public welfare activities, give in charity, carry out severe vows, worship the demigods, chant confidential mantras, visit holy places, or accept major and minor disciplinary injunctions, but even by performing such activities one does not bring Me under his control."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (18.9 and 18.11), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again explains:

 

karyam ity eva yat karma

     niyatam kriyate 'rjuna

sangam tyaktva phalam caiva

     sa tyagah sattviko matah

 

     "But he who performs his prescribed duty only because it ought to be done, and renounces all attachment to the fruit, his renunciation is of the nature of goodness, O Arjuna."*

 

na hi deha-bhrita shakyam

     tyaktum karmany asheshatah

yas tu karma-phala-tyagi

     sa tyagity abhidhiyate

 

     "It is indeed impossible for an embodied being to give up all activities. Therefore it is said that he who renounces the fruits of action is one who has truly renounced."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (4.20-21), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again explains:

 

tyaktva karma-phalasangam

     nitya-tripto nirashrayah

karmany abhipravritto 'pi

     naiva kincit karoti sah

 

     "Abandoning all attachment to the results of his activities, ever satisfied and independent, he performs no fruitive action, although engaged in all kinds of undertakings.*

 

nirashir yata-cittatma

     tyakta-sarva-parigrahah

shariram kevalam karma

     kurvan napnoti kilbisham

 

     "Such a man of understanding acts with mind and intelligence perfectly controlled, gives up all sense of proprietorship over his possessions, and acts only for the bare necessities of life. Thus working, he is not affected by sinful reactions."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (6.17 and 18), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again explains:

 

yuktahara-viharasya

     yukta-ceshtasya karmasu

yukta-svapnavabodhasya

     yogo bhavati duhkha-ha

 

     "He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, working, and recreation can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.*

 

yada viniyatam cittam

     atmany evavatishthate

nisprihah sarva-kamebhyo

     yukta ity ucyate tada

 

     "When the yogi, by practice of yoga, disciplines his mental activities and becomes situated in transcendental, devoid of all material desires, he is said to have attained yoga."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.8-10), Shrila Suta Gosvami explains:

 

dharmah svanushthitah pumsam

     vishvaksena-kathasu yah

notpadayed yadi ratim

     shrama eva hi kevalam

 

     "The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if Ťthey do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.*

 

dharmasya hy apavargasya

     nartharthayopakalpate

n\arthasya dharmaik\antasya

     k\ama-l\abh\aya hi smritam

 

     "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.*

 

k\amasya nendriya-pritir

     l\abho jiveta y\avat\a

jivasya tattva-jijn\as\a

     n\artho yash ceha karmabhih

 

     "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 works."*

 

     In Bhakti-ras\amrita-sindhu (1.2.255), Shrila Rupa Gosv\ami explains:

 

an\asaktasya vishay\an

     yath\arham upayunjatah

nirbandhah krishna-sambandhe

     yuktam vair\agyam ucyate

 

     "When one is not attached to anything but at the same time accepts anything in relation to Krishna, one is rightly situated above possessiveness. On the other hand, one who rejects everything without knowledge of its relationship to Krishna is not as complete in his renunciation."*

 

     Here someone may ask: Is it not so that if a person falls down from this path of devotional service, then a horrible fate awaits him?

 

     Fearing that someone would ask this questions, the author speaks the following sutra.

 

Sutra 39

 

praty\ah\ar\asampatteh para-bhakty-asiddh\av api n\adhah-patanam

 

     praty\ah\ara—of renunciation; asampatteh—from not being complete; para—to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhakty—devotional service; asiddhau—in imperfection; api——also; na—not; adhah—down; patanam—falling.

 

     A devotee will not fall down, even if he has not attained perfection in renunciation and devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Th\akura

 

     Even if he has not attained perfection in renunciation and devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a devotee, unlike the materialists, will not fall down  Neither will a devotee take birth in a degraded situation. In Bhagavad-git\a (6.40), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

p\artha naiveha n\amutra

     vin\ashas tasya vidyate

na hi kaly\ana-krit kashcid

     durgatim t\ata gacchati

 

     "O son of Prith\a, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world. One who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil."*

 

     In Bhagavad-git\a (6.25-26), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again explains:

 

shanaih shanair uparamed

     buddhy\a dhriti-grihitay\a

\atma-samsth\am manah kritv\a

     na kincid api cintayet

 

     "Gradually, step by step, with full conviction, one should become situated in trance by means of intelligence, and thus the mind should be fixed on the Self alone and should think of nothing else.*

 

yato yato nishcalati

     manash cancalam asthiram

tatas tato niyamyaitad

     \atmany eva vasham nayet

 

     "From whatever and wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self."*

 

     In Bhagavad-git\a (6.44), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again explains:

 

purv\abhy\asena tenaiva

     kriyate hy avasho 'pi sah

jijn\asur api yogasya

     shabda-brahm\ativartate

 

     "By virtue of the divine consciousness of his previous life, he automatically becomes attracted to the yogic principles, even without seeking them. Such an inquisitive transcendentalist, striving for yoga, stands always above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures."*

 

     In Bhakti-ras\amrita-sindhu (1.2.261), Shrila Rupa Gosvami explains:

 

krishnonmukham svayam yanti

     yamah shaucadayas tatha

 

     "A Krishna conscious person, being naturally purified, has no need of developing any other purificatory process of thought or action. On account of his being highly elevated in Krishna consciousness, he has already acquired all the good qualities and is following the rules and regulations prescribed for the mystic yoga process."*

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.3.43, 1.3.46, and 1.3.54), Shrila Rupa Gosvami again explains:

 

sa bhukti-mukti-kamatvac

     chuddham bhaktim akurvatam

hridaye sambhavaty esham

     katham bhagavati ratih

 

     "Even ordinary devotees cannot have such pure attachment for Krishna. Therefore, how is it possible for success to be achieved by persons whose hearts are contaminated by the actions and reactions of fruitive activities and who are entangled by various types of mental speculation?"*

 

ashramabhishta-nirvahi

     rati-lakshana-lakshitah

bhogapavarga-saukhyamsha-

     vyanjakah pratibimbakah

 

     "Sometimes it is found that a person actually attached to material enjoyment or salvation has the good fortune to associate with pure devotees while they are engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord. By the good grace of the Lord one may also cooperate and join in the chanting. At that time simply by the association of such pure devotees, the moonlike rays from their hearts reflect on him, and by the influence of the pure devotees, he may show some likeness of attachment caused by inquisitiveness."*

 

bhavo 'py abhavam ayati

     krishna-preshthaparadhatah

abhasatam ca shanakair

     nyuna-jatiyatam api

 

     "If one commits offenses at the lotus feet of a devotee one's shadow attachment or para attachment can be extinguished. This extinguishing is like the waning of the full moon, which gradually decreases and at last becomes dark."*

 

Sutra 40

 

pratyahara-samriddhya sadhanam bhavas tathaiva bhavat prema

 

     pratyahara—of renunciation; samriddhya—with the prosperity; sadhanamactivities of devotional service; bhavah—ecstasy; tatha—so; eva—certainly; bhavat—from ecstasy; prema—pure love.

 

     With the proper development of renunciation one attains active devotional service (sadhana), then ectsasy (bhava), and finally pure love (prema) for the Lord.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Here someone may ask: What are the different levels of advancement in devotional service? To answer this question the author speaks this sutra.

     By regular practice, one makes advancement in renunciation and devotional service. First there is active devotional service (sadhana), then ecstasy (bhava), and finally pure love (prema) for the Lord. Thus, with the proper development of renunciation, one makes advancement in devotional service, culminating in ecstasy and pure devotional love. The Supreme Personality of Godhead explains (Bhagavad-gita 9.9):

 

abhyasa-yogena tato

     mam icchaptum dhananjaya

 

     "Follow the regular principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way you will develop a desire to attain Me."*

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.1-2), Shrila Rupa Gosvami explains:

 

sa bhaktih sadhanam bhavah

     prema ceti tridhodita

kriti-sadhya bhavet sadhya-

     bhava sa sadhanabhidha

nitya-siddhasya bhavasya

     prakatyam hridi sadhyata

 

     "The three categories of devotional service are: 1. devotional service in practice (sadhana), 2. devotional service in ecstasy (bhava), and 3. devotional service in pure love of Godhead (prema). When we wish to develop our innate capacity for devotional service, there are certain processes which, by our accepting and executing them, will cause that dormant capacity to be invoked. Such practice is called sadhana-bhakti."*

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (, Shrila Rupa Gosvami again explains:

 

krishnadibhir vibhavadyair

     gatair anubhavadhvani

praudhananda-camatkara-

     kashtham apadyate param

 

     "With vibhava and the other features of ecstatic love, one experiences the greatest and most wonderful t bliss."

 

     In Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.4.15-16), Shrila Rupa Gosvami again explains:

 

adau shraddha tatah sadhu-

     sango 'tha bhajana-kriya

tato 'nartha-nivrittih syat

     tato nishtha rucis tatah

 

athasaktis tato bhavas

     tatah premabhyudancati

sadhakanam ayam premnah

     pradurbhave bhavet kramah

 

     "In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for a devotee interested in Krishna consciousness."*