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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Jiva Goswami > Six Sandarbhas > Priti-sandarbha 1

Shri Priti-sandarbha

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

tau santoshayata santau

     shrila-rupa-sanatanau

dakshinatyena bhattena

     punar etad vivicyate

 

tasyadyam granthana-lekham

     kranta-vyutkranta-khanditam

paryalocyatha paryayam

     kritva likhati jivakah

 

 

     Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, the great philosopher from the southern provinces who greatly pleased Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, left many valuable notes that defeat various philosophical misconceptions. Systematically arranging these notes, and considering their content, Jiva Gosvami writes this book.

 

 

Anuccheda 1

 

 

     Now the Priti-sandarbha will be written. The Supreme Truth, as He is revealed in the scriptures, was described in the first four sandarbhas. The worship of the Supreme Truth was described in the next, the fifth sandarbha. Those topics already explained, the true need of mankind will be now described. The need of mankind is to end suffering and attain happiness. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased, then one attains happiness and ends all sufferings. In the previous sandarbhas many passages from scripture were quoted to describe the nature of the Supreme Truth. There it was proved that the Supreme Truth is perfect with eternal, limitless, transcendental bliss. In Taittiriya Upanishad (2.8.1) it is said that the Prajapatis enjoy happiness thousands of times greater than the happiness of human beings, and the great souls who know the Supreme enjoy happiness hundreds of times greater still. In Taittiriya Upanishad (2.4.1) it is said that happiness is limitless and very extraordinary. In Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7.1) it is said that the Supreme is the source of all bliss experienced by the living entities. In the same way the Supreme is also the source of the sun's light and all other light also.  When he is ignorant of the Supreme Lord, the individual soul finds himself defeated by maya (material illusion). In that condition, his awareness of his original form is taken away from him and he is covered by an external form created by maya. In this way he is imprisoned in the world of birth and death and shackled by a host of material sufferings. This was already explained in the Paranmatma-sandarbha. Therefore when one has direct knowledge of the Supreme Truth, one attains the greatest bliss. Attaining that bliss is the true goal of life. When ignorance is dispelled, one understands his true spiritual nature. Then sufferings end. The first (understanding one's true spiritual nature) of these is attained when the Supreme Truth is directly manifest before one. The second (the end of sufferings) of these is attained when one attains his spiritual form, which never dies. Then one is situated in eternity. The first of these is the highest goal of life. It is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.9-12):

 

 

dharmasya hy apavargasya. . .

 

tac chraddadhana munayo

     jnana-vairagya-yuktaya

pashyanty atmani catmanam

     bhaktya shruta-grihitaya

 

 

     "All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. Furthermore, according to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification.*

     "Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's works.*

     "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call the non0dual substance Brahman, Paramatma, or Bhagavan.*

     "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."*

 

     The stage where all sufferings end is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.21):

 

 

bhidyate hridaya-granthih. . .

 

 

     "Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when one sees the self as the master."*

 

     This is also described in these words of Shri Vishnu Purana (6.5.59):

 

 

nirastatishayahlada-

     sukha-bhavaika-lakshana

bheshajam bhagavat-praptir

     ekantatyantiki mata

 

 

     "Attaining the Supreme Lord is the medicine to cure the suffering soul. That medicine fills the taker with transcendental bliss."

 

     In the Taittiriya Upnaishad (2.4.1) it is said:

 

 

anandam brahmano vidvan

     na bibheti kutashcana

 

 

     "A soul who knows the bliss that comes from the Supreme Brahman never fears."

 

     The word "mukti" (liberation) is defined as: “The state that comes after the shakcles of birth and death are cut". Shrila Suta Gosvami describes liberation in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.4.34):

 

 

yadaivam etena viveka-hetina

     maya-mayahankaranatma-bandhanam

chittvacyutatmanubhavo 'vatishthate

     tam ahur atyantikam anga samplavam

 

 

     "Cutting the bonds of false ego with the sword of knowledge, the soul sees the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead. My dear friend, then the soul's bondage in matter is completely destroyed."

 

     This verse means, "When the soul sees the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead, that state is called liberation."

 

     The same explanation is given in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.10.6):

 

 

muktir hitvanyatha-rupam

     svarupena vyavasthitih

 

 

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

 

     These words mean that even though the soul may still reside in the world of birth and death, he may still directly see his original spiritual form. These words also mean that the soul's misidentification with the external material body (anyatha-rupam) is then destroyed. In this verse the primary meaning of the word "svarupa" is "the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead". However, because the individual spirit souls are fragmental parts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the same way rays of sunlight are fragmental parts of the sun planet, the word "svarupa" may also refer to the individual soul.

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.9.33) Lord Garbhodakashayi Vishnu tells the demigod Brahma:

    

 

yada rahitam atmanam

     bhutendriya-gunashayaih

svarupena mayopetam

     pashyan svarajyam ricchati

 

 

     "When you are free from the conception of gross and subtle bodies, and when your senses are free from all influences of the modes of material nature, you will realize your pure form in My association. At that time you will be situated in pure consciousness."*

 

     In this verse the word "upetam": means "it is attained without any trouble". The happiness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is most important. The happiness of the individual souls is secondary. The individual souls' relationship with the Supreme is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.55):

    

 

tasmat priyatamah svatma. . . .

 

krishnam enam avehi tvam

     atmanam akhilatmanam

jagad-dhitaya so 'py atra

     dehiva. . . .

 

 

     "Therefore it is his own self that is most dear to every embodied living being, and it is simply for the satisfaction of this self that the whole material creation of moving and nonmoving entities exists.*

     "You should knowe Krishna as the original soul of all atmas (living entities). For the benefit of the whole universe He has, out of His causeless mercy, appeared as an ordinary human being."*

 

     The idea that the individual souls are not in any way different from the Supreme has already been refuted in the Paramatma-sandarbha. The Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7.1) gives this conclusive opinion:

 

 

raso vai sah. rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati.

 

 

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

 

     The individual souls are the fragmental parts and the Supreme is whole, within which the parts are contained. That is their relationship. This relationship is manifested in two ways. In the first manifestation one becomes free from the illusions presented by maya and attains the impersonal Brahman. In this way one attains knowledge of the power of impersonal Brahman manifested in the material world. Then one gradually passes beyond the coverings of the material world. Then one very intently worships the impersonal Brahman. In the second manifestation of liberation one attains the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One attains Him because, even though He is not openly present everywhere in the material world, by His inconceivable potency the Supreme Personality of Godhead is openly present everywhere in the spiritual world of Vaikuntha, and then one also attains Him because one is able to stay near His lotus feet. One may attain liberation at the moment of death, and one may also be liberated even during the time one lives in the material world. At the time of death one may become free from having to take another material body and one may directly see the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Also, even as one lives in the material world, one may know that he is not the external material body created by maya and one may also see the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. That liberation is the highest goal of life is explained in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.22.35), where Sanatkumara tells KIng Prithu:

    

 

tatrapi moksha evartha

     atyatikatayeshyate

traivargyo 'rtho yato nityam

     kritanta-bhaya-samyutah

 

 

     "Out of the four principles-namely religion, economic development, sense gratification, and liberation-liberation has to be taken very seriously. The other three are subject to destruction by the stringent law of nature-death."*

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (2.4.3) it is also said:

 

 

yenaham namritah syam kim aham tena kuryam

 

 

     "What shall I do to become free of death?"

 

     Attaining the liberation where one directly sees the Supreme Truth is the highest goal of life. This is explained again and again. The Supreme Truth has two features. In one feature He is seen indistinctly, and in the other feature He is seen distinctly. In His feature as the impersonal Brahman He is seen indistinctly, and in His feature as Paramatma (the Supersoul) and Bhagavan (the Supreme Personality of Godhead) He is seen distinctly. Thus His feature as Bhagavan and Paramatma is superior to His feature of impersonal Brahman. This I have already explained in Bhagavat-sandarbha (anuccheda 80) in my explanation of this verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.4):

    

 

jijnasitam adhitam ca

     brahma yat tat sanatanam

tathapi shocasy atmanam

     akritartha iva prabho

 

 

     "You have fully delineated the subject of impersonal Brahman as well as the knowledge derived therefrom. Why should you be despondent in spite of all this, thinking that you are undone, my dear prabbu?"*

 

     With further explanations I will now again show how that is true. Direct perception of Bhagavan, who appears as Paramatma and in many other forms also, is the highest kind of liberation. In that highest liberation the most exalted spiritual activities are known by names like "bhakti" (devotional service) and "priti" (spiritual love). Spiritual love is considered the highest of all spiritual sentiments. Priti completely ends all sufferings. Without priti the highest stage of spiritual life is not attained. Priti is not dependent on anything else. To the extent one has priti, one is fortunate. Priti is present as one is making progress toward liberation and it is also present when one has attained liberation. That is the correct understanding.

     The form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of transcendental bliss. transcendental bliss is the abode of priti. Therefore priti is most important in experiencing transcendental bliss. Therefore, the spirit souls should always try to attain priti. Priti is the greatest need, the highest goal of the spirit souls.

     Some examples of the exalted nature of priti will now be given. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.20.33) the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

    

 

sarvam mad-bhakti-yogena

     mad-bhakto labhate 'njasa

svargapavargam mad-dhama

     kathancid yadi vanchati

 

 

     "If he desires them, by serving Me with devotion My devotee easily attains Svargaloka, liberation, or My own abode."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.6) Lord Rishabhadeva explains:

    

 

pritir na yavan mayi vasudeve

     na mucyate deha-yogena tavat

 

 

     "Therefore, until one has love for Lord Vasudeva, who is none other than Myself, he is certainly not delivered from having to accept a material body again and again."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.21) the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

    

 

bhaktyaham ekaya grahyah

     shraddhayatma priyah satam

 

 

     "Being very dear to the devotees and sadhus, I am attained through unflinching faith and devotional service."*

 

     In the Mathara-shruti it is said:

    

 

bhaktir evainam nayati. bhaktir evainam darshayati. bhakti-vashah purusho bhaktir eva bhuyasi.

 

 

     "Devotional service brings one to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Devotional service reveals to one the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Devotional service brings the Supreme Personality of Godhead under its control. Devotional service is stronger than the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.42) Kavi-yogeshvara explains:

    

 

bhaktih pareshanubhavo viraktir

     anyatra caisha trika eka-kalah

 

 

     "Devotion, direct perception of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and detachment from the material world, these three appear simultaneously."

 

     Priti manifest as one makes progress toward liberation is described in these words of Vasudeva Upanishad:

    

 

mad-rupam advayam brahma

     madhyady-anta-vivarjitam

sva-prabham sac-cid-anandam

     bhaktya janati cavyayam

 

 

     "Only by devotional service can one understand my glorious, eternal, blissful, all-knowing spiritual form."

 

     Chandogya Upanishad's declaration "tat tvam asi" (You are that) actually describes the individual soul's natural love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Love is seen even in the ordinary dealings of the material world love. Love is natural for all living beings. It is seen even among the least spiritual of materialists, among they who have destroyed their spiritual life. How can the soul give up its nature? Therefopre every soul seeks someone to love. That search for love finds its final culmination when one falls in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore rfalling in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest goal of life. This the saintly devotees say. That love will be written about in this Priti-sandarbha.

     In this sandarbha will be shown, one after another, many proofs that love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest goal of life. The scriptures declare that liberation is the true goal of life. for example, in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.13.12) it is said:

 

 

sarva-vedanta. . .kaivalyaika-prayojanam

 

 

     "Shrimad-Bhagavatam is accepted as the essence of all Vedic literature and Vedanta philosophy. Shrimad-Bhagavatam explains that liberation is the true goal of life."

 

     This verse means: "Shrimad-Bhagavatam explains that liberation is the true goal of life." Ignorance of the Supreme Truth, the Supreme Lord, is the root of all problems that beset the individual soul. This is explained in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.37):

 

 

bhayam dvitiyabhiniveshatah syad

     ishad apetasya. . .

 

 

     "When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is separate from Krishna, he is overpowered by fear."*

 

     The word "kaivalya" used in the previously quoted verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.13.12) thus means "the purity that comes from knowing the Supreme Personality of Godhead". Or, the world "kaivalya" may also mean, “the highest state of liberation, which is manifested in the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself". This second meaning is seen in these words of Skanda Purana:

     

 

brahmeshanadibhir devair

     yat praptum naiva shakyate

sa yat-svabhavam kaivalyam

     sa bhavan kevalo hare

 

 

     "O Lord Hari, Your exalted position is far above the material world. Even Brahma, Shiva, and all the demigods cannot attain Your exalted position of the highest liberation."

 

     Sometimes the world "kaivalya" means, "the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whi is situated in the highest state of liberation. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.9.1), in the teachings of Dattatreya, the word is used in that way:

 

 

paravaranam parama

     aste kaivalya-samjnitah

kevalanubhavananda-

     sandoho nirupadhikah

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is greater than all other beings, both high and low. His form is not material. He is filled with spiritual bliss. He is situated in the highest stage of liberation."

 

     Thus the word "kaivalya" may mean either “directly seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead" or “the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in the highest state of liberation". Both meanings are employed in the scriptures. The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shrila Suta Gosvami.

 

 

Anuccheda 2

 

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.16.63) it is said:

    

 

etavan eva manujair

     yoga-naipunya-buddhibhih

svarthah sarvatmana jneyo

     yat paratmaika-darshanam

 

 

     "Persons who try to reach the ultimate goal of life must expertly observe the Supreme Absolute Person and the living entity, who are one in quality in their relationship as part and whole. This is the ultimate understanding of life. There is no better truth than this."*

 

     In his commentary on this verse Shrila Shridhara Svami explains:

 

     "The gist of this verse is: `There is no higher goal of life than this.' This verse says: `They whose intelligence is expert at yoga see that they are one in quality with the Supreme."

 

     These words may also mean: "They fix their gaze on the supremely liberated Personality of Godhead." This verse was spoken by Lord Sankarshana to King Citraketu.

 

 

Anuccheda 3

 

 

     Liberation attained at the moment of death is of two kinds: immediate and gradual. The first kind of liberation, Immediate liberation, is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.15-21):

 

 

sthiram sukham casanam. . .vishrijet param gatah

 

 

     "O king, whenever the yogi desires to leave this planet of human beings, he should not be perplexed about the proper time or place, but should comfortably sit without being disturbed and, regulating the life air, should control the senses by the mind.*

     “Thereafter, the yogi should merge his mind, by his unalloyed intelligence, into the living entity, and then merge the living entity into the Superself. And by doing this the fully satisfied living entity becomes situated in the supreme stage of satisfaction, so that he ceases from all other activities.*

     "In that transcendental state of labdhopasanti, there is no supremacy of devastating time, which controls even the celestial demigods who are empowered to rule over mundane cratures. 9And what tio speak of the demigods themselves?) Nor is there the mode of material goodness, nor passion, nor ignorance, nor even the false ego, nor the material Causal Ocean, nor the material nature.*

     "The transcendentalists desire to avoid everything godless, for they know that supreme situation in which everything is related with the Supreme Lord Vishnu. Therefore a pure devotee who is in absolute harmony with the Lord does not create perplexities, but worships the lotus feet of the Lord at every moment, taking them into his heart.*

     "By the strength of scientific knowledge, one should be well situated in absolute realization and thus be able to extinguish all material desires. One should then give up the material body by blocking the air hole (through which stool is evacuated) with the heel of one's foot and by lifting the life air from one place to another in the six primary places.*

     "The meditative devotee should slowly push up the life air from the navel to the heart, from there to the chest and from there to the root of the palate. He should search out the proper places with intelligence.*

     "Thereafter the bhakti-yogi should push the life air up between the eyebrows, and then, blocking the seven outlets of the life air, he should maintain his aim for going home, back to Godhead. If he is completely free from all desires for material enjoyment, he should then reach the cerebral hole and give up his material connections, having gone to the Supreme."*

 

     The second kind of liberation, gradual liberation, is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.22-31):

Š

 

yadi prayasyan nripa parameshthyam. . .tenatmanatmanam upaiti shantam

 

 

     "However, O king, if a yogi maintains a desire for improved material enjoyments, like transference to the topmost planet, Brahmaloka, or the achievement of the eightfold perfections, travel in outer space with the Vaihayasas, or a situation in one of the millions of planets, then he has to take away with him the materially molded mind and senses.*

     "The transcendentalists are concerned with the spiritual body. As such, by the strength of their devotional service, austerities, mystic power, and transcendental knowledge, their movements are unrestricted, within and beyond the material worlds. The fruitive workers, or the gross materialists, can never move in such an unrestricted manner.*

     "O king, when such a mystic passes over the Milky Way by the illuminating Sushumna to reach the highest planet, Brahmaloka, he goes first to Vaishvanara, the planet of the deity of fire, wherein he becomes completely cleansed of all contaminations, and thereafter he goes still higher, to the circle of Shishumara, to relate with Lord Hari, the Personality of Godhead.*

     "This Sisumara is the pivot for the turning of the complete universe, and it is called the navel of Vishnu (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu). The yogi alone goes beyond this circle of Shishumara and attains the planet (Maharloka) where purified saints like Bhrigu enjoy a duration of life of 4,300,000,000 solar years. This planet is worshipable even for the saints who are transcendentally situated.*

     "At the time of the final devastation of the complete universe (the end of the duration of Brahma's life), a flame of fire emanates from the mouth of Ananta (from the bottom of the universe). The yogi sees all the planets of the universe burning to ashes, and thus he leaves for Satyaloka by airplanes used by the great purified souls. The duration of life in Satyaloka is calculated to be 15,480,000,000,000 years.*

     "In that planet of Satyaloka there is neithger bereavement, nor old age, nor death. There is no pain of any kind, and therefore there are no anxieties, save that sometimes, due to consciousness, there is a feeling of compassion for those unaware of the process of devotional service, who are subjected to unsurpassable miseries in the material world.*

     "After reaching Satyaloka, the devotee is specifically able to be incorporated fearlessly by the subtle body in an identity similar to that of the gross body, and one after another he gradually attains stages of existence from earthly to watery, fiery, glowing, and airy, until he reaches the ethereal stage.*

     "The devotee thus surpasses the subtle objects of different senses like aroma by smelling, the palate by tasting, vision by seeing forms, touch by contacting, the vibrations of the ear by ethereal identification, and the sense organs by material activities.*

     "The devotee, thus surpassing the gross and subtle forms of coverings, enters the plane of egoism. And in that ststus he merges the material modes of nature (ignorance and passion) in this point of neutralization and thus reaches egoism in goodness. After this, all egoism is merged in the mahat-tattva, and he comes to the point of pure self-realization.*

     "Only the purified soul can attain the perfection of associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in complete bliss and satisfaction in his constitutional state. Whoever is able to renovate such devotional perfection is never again attracted by this material world, and he never returns."*

 

     It is also seen that one may be liberated even while living in this material world. How, by directly seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one may liberated while still living in the material world is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.33):

    

 

yatreme sad-asad-rupe

     pratishiddhe sva-samvida

avidyayatmani krite

     iti tad brahma-darshanam

 

 

     "Whenever a person experiences, by self-realization, that both the gross and subtle bodies have nothing to do with the self, at that time he sees himself as well as the Lord."*

 

     This verse says: "A person learns, by self-realization, the truth about the gross and subtle material bodies." What kind of truth does the soul learn? The soul learns that "both the gross and subtle bodies have nothing to do with the self". At that time the soul directly sees the Supreme. Then the soul understands his own true nature. The soul understands liberation. But that does not mean that the soul ceases to exist. When he understands that the idea that he is identical with the gross and subtle material bodies is an illusion, and when he then directly sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the soul attains liberation, even though he may remain alive in the material world. That is the meaning of this verse. This verse was spoken by Shrila Suta Gosvami.

 

 

Anuccheda 4

 

 

     Lord Kapila describes liberation in these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.28.35-38):

 

 

muktashrayam. . .

 

 

     "When the mind is thus completely freed from all material contamination and detached from material objectives, it is just like the flame of a lamp. At that time the mind is actually dovetailed with that of the Supreme Lord and is experienced as one with Him because it is freed from the interactive flow of the material qualities.*

     "Thus situated in the highest transcendental stage, the mind ceases from all material reaction and becomes situated in its own glory, transcendental to all material conceptions of happiness and distress. At that time the yogi realizes the truth of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He discovers that pleasure and pain as well as their interactions, which he attributed to his own self, are actually due to the false ego, which is a product of ignorance.*

     "Because he has achieved his real identity, the perfectlyrealized soul has no conception of how the material body is moving or acting, just as an intoxicated person cannot understand whether or not he has clothing on his body.*

     "The body of such a liberated yogi, along with the senses, is taken charge of by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and it functions until its destined activities are finished. The liberated devotee, being awake to his constitutional position and thus situated in samadhi, the highest perfectional stage of yoga, does not accept the by-products of the material body as his own. Thus he considers his bodily activities to be like the activities of a body in a dream."*

 

     In these verses it is said, "When the mind is freed from material contamination, one sees the Supersoul. That is liberation." Then it is said, "The mind is situated in its own glory. Then the yogi realizes the truth of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Then it is said, "Then the soul understands his own form and the form of the Supreme Brahman." Then it is said, "Then the liberated devotee is awake to his constitutional position." Simply by beginning these spiritual activities, the soul begins to understand what is liberation. This is described in the following words of Ishopanishad (mantra 7):

    

 

tatra ko mohah kah shoka

     ekatvam anupashyatah

 

 

     "One who always sees all living entities as spiritual sparks, in quality one with the Lord, becomes a true knower of things. What, then, can be illusion or anxiety for him?"*

 

     At the end one sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. This is called liberation. It is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.34):

    

 

yady eshoparata devi

     maya vaisharadi matih

sampanna eveti vidur

     mahimni sve mahiyate

 

 

     "If the illusory energy subsides, and the living entity becoems fully enriched with knowledge by the grace of the Lord, then he becomes at once enlightened with self-realization and thus becomes situated in his own glory."*

 

     This verse says, "When, even while living in this material world, an individual spirit soul is situated in the state of liberation, the expert Supreme Personality of Godhead gives to him glorious intelligence, intelligence filled with knowledge given by His spiritual potency (maya), intelligence in the mode of pure goodness. That intelligence enables the soul to become detached from the material world. Then, all obstacles surmounted, the soul attains transcendental bliss. The sages know this is liberation. Attaining this good fortune, the soul is situated in the glory of his own original spiritual form. Then he is worshiped. Then he is gloriously manifest." This verse was spoken by Shrila Suta Gosvami.

 

 

Anuccheda 5

 

 

     In the previous sandarbhas, the Tattva, Bhagavat, and Paramatma sandarbhas, many passages from the Sruti-sastra and other scriptures were quoted to prove that the individual spirit souls are all parts and parcels of the Supreme Truth. As particles of sunlight emanate from the sun planet, the the individual spirit souls are particles of spirit emanating from the Supreme Spirit. Because He is all-pervading, the Supreme Spirit is also present within each indiovidual spirit soul. That the Supreme has not material form does not refute that the idea that the Supreme is also localized, staying in only one place. Because the individual souls have emanated form Him, the Supreme is their shelter. When this knowledge of the Supreme is absent, the particles of light that are the individual spirit soul are covered by the dark shadow of material illusion (maya). When they try to understand the Supreme and take shelter of Him, the individual souls are situated in the light. This has been explained in the previous sandarbhas. Because they are manifest from the Supreme Lord Himself and because they are meant to help the Lord in His pastimes, the individual souls are the Lord's potency. The individual spirit souls are atomic in size, for that is the scriptures' description of them. Like spots of sandalwood anointing the Lord's body, the individual souls are manifested from the Lord's potencies. Because the Lord's potencies are inconceivable, there is no contradiction in any of this. This is also confirmed by these words of Vedanta-sutra (2.1.27):

 

 

shrutes tu shabda-mulatvat

 

 

     "There is contradiction, for that is the explanation of the scriptures."

 

     It is also confirmed by these words of Vishnu Purana (1.22.53):

    

 

eka-desha-sthitasyagner

     jyotsna vitarini yatha

parasya brahmanah shaktis

     tathedam akhilam jagat

 

 

     "Just as the illumination of fire, which is situated in one place, is spread all over, the energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Parabrahman, are spread all over this universe."*

 

     In this way it is seen that the individual souls and 5the Supreme Lord are simultaneously one and different. In Chandogya Upanisads (6.8.7) statement "tat tvam asi" (You are that) it is seen that because they are His parts and parecels, the individual spirit souls are not different from the Supreme Lord. In the Shruti-shastra it is said that the Supreme is not divided into parts. This statement may be interpreted in two ways. The primary interpretation is that the Supreme is liberated and full of bliss. The secondary interpretation is that the Supreme is blissful and has spiritual potencies, and when He manifests parts and parcels, His parts and parcels are never material in nature. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that the Supreme has all potencies and everything that exists is part and parcel of Him. The individual spirit souls are His parts and parcels eternally, eternally like rays of light emanating from the sun that is the Supreme Lord. In this way it is proved that the Supreme Lord is always the supreme controller, the supreme enjoyer, and supreme in all other ways. The Supreme Lord's potency has the power to do anything. Manifesting His maya potency, the Lord creates the various transformations of the material nature. By the touch of the maya potency the world of birth and death is manifest. With the help of the Lord's internal potency the soul is able to see himself, the impersonal Brahman, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead (bhagavan). That one needs the help of the Lord's internal potency to see the Lord is hinted by this rhetorical question spoken in Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (2.4.14):

 

 

yatra tasya sarvam atmaivabhut. . . tat kena kam pashyet

 

 

     "If everything is the Supreme, then how will one be able to see Him? Whom will one see?"

 

     Without the help of the Lord's internal potency no one has the power to see the Supreme. That one's needs teh Lord's help in order to see Him is also confriemd by these words of Katha Upanishad (1.2.23):

 

 

yam evaisha vrinute tena labhyah

 

 

     "The Lord is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person He manifests His own form."**

 

     In this way, by the touch of the Supreme Lord's internal potency, the illusory potency (maya) disappears, and the cycle of birth and death is stopped. Persons who do not think liberation is a situated of happiness do not attain the true goal of life. In the absence of liberation all that they have is worthless. No one desires, "I will become happiness itself". Rather, everyone desires, "I will experience happiness." Therefore for a person who does not try to become happy by attaining liberation, the meaning of the scriptures is lost. A person who does not feel unhappy to be deprived of the bliss of liberation is not able to attain the true goal of life. Narada Muni explained this goal of life to King Pracinabarhi in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.25.4):

 

 

duhkha-hanih sukhavaptih

     shreyas tan neha ceshyate

 

 

     "The chief aim of life is to get rid of all miseries and enjoy happiness, but these tow things cannot be realized by fruitive activity."*

 

     This is also seen in the following words of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7.1):

 

 

rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati.

 

 

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

 

     It is also seen in these words of Chandogya Upanishad (7.25.2):

 

 

atma-ratih atma-kridah

 

 

     "The liberated souls enjoy the Supreme Lord's company. They enjoy pastimes with the Lord."

 

     It is also seen in these words of Vishnu-dharma Purana:

 

 

bhinne dritau yatha vayur

     naivanyah saha vayuna

kshina-punyagha-bandhas tu

     tathatma brahmana saha

 

 

     "As the air within a blacksmith's bellows is not different from the air outside, so a soul whose bonds of piety and sin are cut is not different from the Supreme.

 

 

tatah samasta-kalyana-

     samasta-sukha-sampadam

ahladam anyam akalankam

     apnoti shashvatam

 

 

     "Such a soul attains pure eternal bliss, bliss far beyond all the happiness and prosperity of the material world.

 

 

brahma-svarupasya tatha

     hy atmano nityadaiva sah

vyutthana-kale rajendra

     aste hi atirohitah

 

 

     "O king of kings, when he attains liberation the soul attains eternal spiritual bliss.

 

 

adarshasya malabhavad

     vaimalyam kashate yatha

jnanagni-dagdha-heyasya

     sa hlado hy atmanas tatha

 

 

     "He becomes pure, like the perfect reflection in a perfectly clean mirror. His sins burned away by the fire of spiritual knowledge, he attains spiritual bliss.

 

 

tatha heya-guna-dhvamsad

     avabodhadayo gunah

prakashante na janyante

     nitya evatmano hi te

 

 

     "His sins destroyed, his spiritual virtues, beginning with spiritual knowledge, are manifest. Those spiritual qualities were not born at that moment. They had always existed within him.

 

 

jnanam vairagyam aishvaryam

     dharmash ca manujeshvara

atmano brahma-bhutasya

     nityam eva catushtayam

 

 

     "O great king, knowledge, renunciation, opulence, and piety, these four glories always reside in a liberated soul.

 

 

etad advaitam akhyatam

     esha eva tavoditah

ayam vishnur idam brahma

     tathaitat satyam uttamam

 

 

     "It is said he is not different from the Lord. He is Vishnu. He is the impersonal Brahman. That is the truth."

 

     In this passage the example of the air within and without the bellows is given to show how the individual spirit soul is the part and the Supreme Lord is the whole. Although he is by nature the Supreme Lord's part and parcel, the individual soul can still tuen his face away from the Lord. When he turns his face away from the Lord, the individual soul, now in the grip of the Lord's illusory potency, maya, no longer understands his true, his original nature. However, when he turns his face again towards the Lord, by the Lord's mercy the soul attains liberation. This is described in these words of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.4.1):

 

 

anandam brahmano vidvan

 

 

     "One who knows the bliss of the Supreme eventually attains liberation."

 

     This is also described in these words of Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (2.4.1):

 

 

na tasmat prana utkramanti. atraiva samavaliyante. brahmaiva san brahmapyeti.

 

 

     "He does not truly die. He goes to the spiritual world. He attains a spiritual form and then he meets the Supreme."

 

     Here it is clearly said that one attains a spiritual nature and then one meets the Supreme. In this passage the first use of the word "brahma" refers to the soul's nature, which is like that of the Supreme. The second use of the word “brahma" refers to the Supreme Himself. In this way the phrase "brahmaiava sann" means "attaining a spiritual nature like that of the Supreme". This is so because the soul's nature is spiritual, like that of the Supreme. The soul and the Supreme do not have different natures, one spiritual and the other something else. This is also described in these words of Mundaka Upanishad (3.2.9):

 

 

brahma veda brahmaiva bhavati

 

 

     "One who knows the Supreme attains a spiritual nature like that of the Supreme."

 

     In some places in the scriptures it is said that the individual soul's spiritual nature like that of the Supreme. For example, in the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.3) it is said:

 

 

niranjanah paramam samyama upaiti

 

 

     "A soul untouched by matter becomes like the Supreme."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (14.2) the Supreme Lord declares:

 

 

idam jnanam samashritya

     mama sadharmyam agatah

 

 

     "By becoming fixed in this knowledge one can attain to the transcendental nature, which is like My own nature."*

 

     The individual soul and the Supreme are both clearly described in these words of Katha Upanishad (2.1.15):

 

 

yathodakam shuddhe shuddham

     asiktam tadrig eva bhavati

evam muner vijanata

     atma bhavati gautama

 

 

     "As clear water poured into clear water becomes like the water into which it is poured, so the individual soul who attains liberation becomes like the Supreme."

 

     In this example the soul does not become identical with the Supreme. Also, the soul's nature is not different from the Supreme's nature. In ther Skanda Purana it is said:

 

 

udakam tudakam siktam

     mishram eva yatha bhavet

tad vai tad eva bhavati

     yato buddhih pravartate

 

 

     "When water is poured into water, the two waters become mixed together.

 

 

evam evam hi jivo 'pi

     tad-atmyam paramatmana

prapto 'pi nasau bhavati

     svatantryadi-visheshanat

 

 

     "However, the individual soul never becomes mixed together with the Supreme in that way, for the Supreme always remains a distinct person with distinct qualities, like His supreme independence."

 

     In some places it is said that the individual spirit soul is like a reflection of the Supreme. In Vedanta-sutra (3.2.19-20) it is said:

 

 

ambuvad agrahanat tu na tathatvam

 

 

     "The individual soul is not like a reflection of the Supreme, like the sun reflected in the water."

 

 

vriddhi-hrasa-bhaktvam antar-bhavad ubhaya-samanjasyad evam darshanac ca

 

 

     "Even though He stays in the conditioned soul's heart, the Supreme does not find His fortunes rise and fall with the rise and fall of the conditioned soul. This is so because both examples show it and because it is seen to be so."

 

     That the individual spirit soul is different from the Supreme is also confirmed by these words of Chandogya Upanishad (8.12.2):

 

 

evam esha samprasado 'smac charirat samutthaya param jyoti-rupam sampadya svena rupenabhinishpadyate

 

 

     "Attaining liberation, the soul leaves the material body. Then the soul attains its own effulgent spiritual form. Manifesting that form, the soul meets the Supreme Person."

 

     In the Vishnu Purana (6.7.94) it is said:

 

 

vibheda-janake 'jnane nasham

 

 

     "When the false idea of difference is destroyed, then one attains liberation."

 

     The difference here is the different species of life, such as the demigods and others. Who will say that the indiviedual souls do not continue to remain different from the Supreme Lord? No one can say it. In this way the passage of Vishnu Purana is explained. iN his commentary on Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Shrila Shridhara Svami also says that after they attained liberation, the cowherd people of Vraja saw the spiritual world of Vaikuntha. In this way the statement of Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.34 (previously quoted in this book) should be understood. This is the proper understanding of what liberation means. This proper understanding ŤŠis also confirmed by Jada Bharata's explanations to King Rahugana, epxlanations recoreded in the Vishnu Purana. In the following four verses Jada Bharata explains that directly seeing the Supreme is the highest goal of life, and the materialistic goals attained by ordinary yajnas are not the highest goal of life: He says (Vishnu Purana 2.14.21-24):

 

 

rig-yajuh-sama-nishpadyam

     yajna-karma matam tava

paramartha-bhutam tatrapi

     shruyatam gadato mama

 

 

     "If you think the yajnas described in the Rig, Yajur, and Sama Vedas are the highest goal of life, then please hear my words.

 

yat tu nishpadyate karyam

     mrida karana-bhutaya

tat-karananugamanaj

     jayate nripa mrin-mayam

 

 

     "Duties in relation to things made of clay bring as their results other things made of clay.

 

 

evam vinashibhir dravyaih

     samid-ajya-kushadibhih

nishpadyate kriya ya tu

     sa bhavitri vinashini

 

 

     "Thus the rituals employing perishable things, like firewood, ghee, and kusha straw, bring only perishable results.

 

 

anashi paramarthash ca

     prajnair abhyupagamyate

tat tu nashi na sandeho

     nashi-dravyopapaditam

 

 

     "The wise agree that the true goal of life is eternal and imperishable. Perishable things bring only perishable results. Of this there is no doubt."

 

     This example does not refer to the processes of worship followed by the devotees of the Lord, for this description does not refer to their method of worship. The method of worship described in these verses is within the realm of the modes of material nature. The devotees' worship, however, is beyond the modes of nature. The Supreme Personality of Godhead personally affirms that the devotees' method of worship is beyond the modes of material nature. He says (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.25.24):

 

 

kaivalyam sattvikam jnanam. . .

 

 

     "Knowledge of impersonal Brahman is in the mode of goodness. The great bewildering variety of conflicting philosophies is in the mode of passion. The knowledge that knows only what is made of the material elements is in the mode of ignorance. However, devotion to Me is beyond the touch of the modes of material nature."

 

     When, by the action of the Lord's internal potency, the Lord's mercy is present, then the process of devotional service is manifest. Because devotional service is limitless in nature, it brings a result that is also limitless. This is confirmed by the Vedic scriptures. When they do not take shelter of the Supreme Lord, the individual spirit souls imagine that their external material bodies are their true selves. Devotional service is not given when violence, sin, or mental speculation are still present. That is why devotional service is not described in the jnana-khanda (philosophical speculation) portion of the Vedic scriptures. Only ordinary yajnas and other ordinary activities are described there. Affirming that yajnas and other like activities bring only perishable resaults and therefore cannot be the true goal of life, Jada Bharata explains that only a person who has no material desires can perform the spiritual activities that lead to the true goal of life. Only such a person attains true liberation. Jada Bharata says (Vishnu Purana 2.14.25):

 

 

tad evaphaladam karma

     paramartho matas tava

mukti-sadhana-bhutatvat

     paramartho na sadhanam

 

 

     "If you think ordinary material activities are the true goal of life, then you must also think that spiritual activities, activities that bring final liberation, are not the true goal of life."

 

     One should not think the spiritual activities of devotional service are like yajnas or ordinary material activities. The perfect liberated souls never turn away from the pastimes of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore the truth is the explanation already guven here. Here someone may protest: "Is it not so that meditation one's own original spiritual identity is the true goal of life? After all, in the state of liberation the pure soul is eternally manifest. It is only because the he does know his own nature that the soul is now covered over by matter. That is the only reason the material world of repeated birth and death even exists." To this protest Jada Bharata gives the following answer (Vishnu Puriana 2.14.26):

 

 

dhyanam ced atmano bhupa

     paramarthartha-shabditam

bheda-kari-parebhyas tat

     paramartho na bhedavan

 

 

     "O king, if you say that meditation on one's own original spiritual identity is the highest goal of life, that cannot be, for the highest goal of life is not something that can exclude the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     In the Sruti-sastra it is said that when the Supreme is understood, then everything else is understood also. Liberation should be known in that way. Because He is the Supersoul present everywhere, the Supreme is naturally filled with all knowledge. He is the great fire of all knowledge. From Him come the flames and sparks that are different branches of knowledge. Each individual spirit soul is fragmental part of His jiva-sakti potency. Therefore the liberation of that individual part and parcel cannot be considered separately from its relationship with the Supreme Whole. Here someone may again protest: “Is it not true that the individual soul is the same as the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Therefroe the individual soul is himself the all-pervading Supersoul. The indivisdual soul's identity as the Supreme is never destroyed. Therefore he has all knowledge. Therefore trhe individual soul's becoming one with the Supreme is the highest goal of life." to this protest the following answer is given in Vishnu Purana (2.14.27):

 

 

paramatmatmanor yogah

     paramartha itishyate

mithyaitad anyad dravyam hi

     naiti tad-dravyatam gatah

 

 

     "If someone says, `the individual soul's becoming the Supreme is the true goal of life', then that person indeed speaks a lie. The individual soul can never become the Supreme."

 

     This verse means: "When they describe the goal of life in that way, they speak lies." Here the word "hi" means "It is concluded in this way", "yatah" means "because", and "anyad dravyam na tad-dravyatam gatah" means, "the individual soul never becomes the Supreme Personality of Godhead". Therefore this verse means, "The merging of the very weak individual spirit soul into the all-powerful Supreme Personality of Godhead is not the true goal of life." Or, the word "yogah" may also be interpreted to mean "oneness"and the remainder of the verse interepreted as it was before. If someone argues that the verse should be interepreted in that way, with "yoga" meaning "oneness", then this idea is refuted in the following words of Vishnu Purana (2.14.28):

 

 

tasmat shreyamsy asheshani

     nripaitena na samshayah

paramarthas tu bhupala

     sankshepac chayatam mama

 

 

     "In this way one attains the true goals of life. Of this there is no doubt. O king, now I will briefly describe the true goal of life."

 

     Here the word "shreyamsi" means "the way to attain the true goal of life". The true goal of life is then described in the following three verses (Vishnu Purana (2.14.29-31):

 

 

eko vyapi samah shuddho

     nirgunah prakriteh parah

janma-vriddhy-adi-rahita

     atma sarva-gato 'vyayah

 

 

     "The one supreme soul is all-pervading, equipoised, pure, free from the material modes, beyond the touch of matter, free from the material cycle that begins with birth and growth, eternal, and present everywhere.

 

 

para-jnana-mayo 'sadbhir

     nama-jaty-adibhir vibhuh

na yogavan na yukto 'bhun

     naiva parthiva yokshyati

 

 

     "He is situated in transcendental knowledge. Never has He been touched by false material names, material birth, or anything else material. O king, He will never be touched by them.

 

 

tasyatma-para-deheshu

     sato 'py ekamayam hi yat

vijnanam paramartho 'sau

     dvaitino 'tathya-darshinah

 

 

     "Only materialists, fools who have no power to see the truth, think the Supreme Personality of Godhead has an external material body, a body like the bodies of the conditioned souls."

 

     In the first of these verses the use of the word “ekah" (one) shows that the soul described here is not the individual spirit souls, for the individual souls are many, not one.  As a fire is present over a large area by the means of its sparks, so the Supreme Personality of Godhead is present everywhere by the means of His potencies. That is why He is described here by the word "vyapi (all-pervading). The all-pervasiveness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not like that of the individual spirit soul, who is all-pervasive only within his external material body. The individual  spirit souls residing in the material world are different from their external material bodies. However, the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not have an external material body that is different from Him. He and His spiritual body are identical. He is the supreme goal of life because He is imperishable, all-knowing, present within everything, and the final goal of life. Persons who, seeing that they themselves are  different from their external material bodies, think the Supreme Personality of Godhead must also be different (dvaitinah) from His own spiritual body, and who therefore also think that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is neither all-pervading nor all-knowing, are fools who have no power to see the truth (atathya-darshinah). An example to show how the individual spirit souls, souls who are part and parcel of the Supreme, are different from their external material bodies, and are also simultaneously different and not-different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead is given in these two verses of Vishnu Purana (2.14.32-33):

 

 

venu-randhra-vibhedena

     bhedah shadjadi-samjnitah

abheda-vyapino vayos

     tatha tasya mahatmanah

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not different from His body. He is like the air, air that never becomes broken, even when blowing through the holes of a flute and making various melodies in the shadja and other scales.

 

 

ekatvam rupa-bhedash ca

     bahya-karma-pravritti-jah

devadi-bheda-madhyas te

     nasty evavarano hi sah

 

 

     "Thus the Supreme Personality of Godhead is identical with His body. Because of their various material activities, the individual souls in the material world have various external bodies, demigod bodies, and the bodies opf other forms of life also. However, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is never covered by an external material body."

 

     The meaning of these verses is: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is identical with His body."  This verse says: "Because of their material activities (karma-pravritti), the individual souls resideing in the external (bahya), the material world, souls who are all tiny particles of spirit, take birth in various material bodies (rupa-bheda) because their various material activities. These bodies are all different from the souls themselves. Manifesting His form as the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead stays in those material bodies, the bodies of demigods and other species of life. However, the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not identify with those external bodies. Therefore it is said that He is never covered (nasty avaranam) by a material body. Sometimes the Supreme Personality of Godhead may assume the form of a demigod or other being, but His body is never material. These are His forms of His own transcendental pastimes. That is the meaning here.

 

     To directly see the Supreme Personality of Godhead is to attain liberation. This is explained in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.6.18):

    

 

tato vidurat parihritya daitya

     daityeshu sangam vishayatmakeshu

upeta narayanam adi-devam

     sa mukta-sangair ishito 'pavargah

 

 

     "Therefore, although you are sons of demons, keep aloof from such (materialistic) persons and take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, the origin of all the dmeigods, because the ultimate goal for the devotees of Narayana is liberation from the bondage of material existence."*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

 

     "This verse explains: `Liberation is the ultimate goal'."

 

     Directly seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead eventually leads to liberation. This is so because the great bliss one attains by seeing Him destroys one's continued residence in the world of repeated birth and death. Simply by the Supreme Lord's presence, the cycle of birth and death is destroyed. This verse was spoken by Shri Prahlada.

 

 

Anuccheda 6

 

 

     It is also said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.9.17):

   

 

satyashisho hi bhagavams tava pada-padmam

     asis tathanubhajatah purushartha-murteh

apy evam arya bhagavan paripati dinan

     vashreva vatsakam anugraha-kataro 'sman

 

 

     "My Lord, O Supreme Lord, You are the supreme personified form of all benediction. Therefore, for one who abides in Your devotional service with no other desire, worshiping Your lotus feet is better than becoming king and lording it over a kingdom. That is the benediction of worshiping Your lotus feet. To ignorant devotees like me, You are the causelessly merciful maintainer, just like a cow, who takes care of the newly born calf by supplying milk and giving it protection from attack."*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

 

     "This verse means: `O Supreme Personality of Godhead (bhagavan), Your form (murteh) is the supreme bliss that is the highest goal of life (purushartha). Your lotus feet (pada-padmam) are the true benediction (satya asih), a benediction far greater that other benedictions (ashishah), benedictions such as ruling over a kingdom. That is the right conclusion (hi). Why is that the right conclusion? It is like this (tatha): For the devotees who worship You (anubhajatah) without any ulterior motive You are the highest goal of life. O master (arya),. even though this is so, You still maintain and protect poor (dinan) people like us (asman).' " This verse was spoken by Dhruva to Shri Dhruvapriya (the Supreme Lord's incarnation who was dear to Dhruva).

 

 

Anuccheda 7

 

 

     The Supreme Personality of Godhead appears before His devotees in two ways: 1. He appears within their hearts, and 2. He appears outside their hearts. The first of these is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.6.33):

    

 

pragayatah sva-viryani

     tirtha-padah priya-shravah

ahuta iva me shighram

     darshanam yati cetasi

 

 

     "The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, whose glories and activities are pleasing to hear, at once appears on the seat of my heart, as if called for, as soon as I begin to chant His holy activities."*

 

     The second of these is described in these owrds of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.15.38):

 

 

te 'cakshataksha-vishayam sva-samadhi-bhagyam. . .

 

 

     "The sages, headed by Saunaka Rsi, saw that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, who was formerly visible only within their hearts in ecstatic trance, had now actually become visible to their eyes."*

 

     How one becomes qualified to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead in one's heart is described in these words from the Shri Rudra-gita (the Song of Lord Shiva, Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.59):

 

 

na yasya cittam bahir-artha-vibhramam

     tamo-guhayam ca vishuddham avishat

yad-bhakti-yoganugrihitam anjasa

     munir vicashte nanu tatra te gatim

 

 

     "The devotee whose heart has been completely cleansed by the process of devotional service and who is favored by Bhaktidevi does not become bewildered by the external energy, which is just like a dark well. Being completely cleansed of all material contamination in this way, a devotee is able to understand very happily Your name, fame, form, activities, etc."*

 

     This verse means: "The previously described devotee, whose (yasya) heart (cittam) has been completely cleansed (vishuddham) by the process of devotional service and who is favored by Bhaktidevi (bhakti-yogenanugrihitam) does not become bewildered by the external energy, which is just like a dark well (tamo-guhayam). Such a person is a sage (munih)."

 

     The way one becomes qualified to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead outside one's heart is described in these words spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to Narada (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.6.21):

    

 

hantasmin janmani bhavan

     na mam drashtum iharhati

avipaksha-kashayanam

     durdarsho 'ham kuyoginam

 

 

     "O Narada (the Lord spoke), I regret that during this lifetime you will not be able to see Me any more. Those who are incomplete in service and who are not completely free from all material taints can hardly see Me."*

 

     To have a pure heart is not the only qualification here. What other qualification is needed? With great devotion one must yearn to see the Lord. That is the root from which directly seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead grows. By seeing the Lord in this way one attains all perfection. Seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead within one's heart is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.21):

    

 

bhidyate hridaya-granthih. . .

 

 

     "Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when one sees the self as the master."*

 

     Seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead outside one's heart is described in these words spoken by Citraketu to Lord Sankarshana (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 6.16.44):

    

 

na hi bhagavann aghatitam idam

     tvad-darshanan nrinam akhila-papa-kshayah

 

 

     "My Lord, it is not impossible for one to be immediately freed from all material contamination by seeing You."*

 

     Lord Nrisimhadeva tells Prahlada (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.53):

    

 

mam aprinata ayushman

     darshanam durlabham hi me

drishtva mam na punar jantur

     atmanam taptum arhati

 

 

     "My dear Prahlada, may you live a long time. One cannot appreciate or understand Me without pleasing Me, but one who has seen or pleased Me has nothing more for which to lament for his own satisfaction."*

 

     The Personified Vedas tell the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.86.49):

    

 

sa tvam shadhi sva-bhrityan nah

     kim deva karavama he

etad-anto nrinam klesho

     yad bhavan akshi-gocarah

 

 

     "You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Please order us. We are Your servants. O Lord, what may we do for You? When You come before the people's eyes, their sufferings all come to an end."

     With the help of the potency that makes Him visible, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in the pure hearts of His devotees. Then the devotees can see Him. The potency that makes Him visible is the potency of devotional service. This is explained in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.12):

    

 

tac-chraddadhana munayah

 

 

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

 

     Many words may be used to describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For example, He may be called "icchamaya" (He whose every desire is at once fulfilled). The words Bhagavan and Brahman both describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That these two words are both names of the Lord is seen in the following words spoken by Lord Matsya to Satyavrata, words that again show devotional service's power to reveal the Lord (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.24.38):

    

 

madiyam mahimanam ca

     param brahmeti shabditam

vetsyasy anugrihitam me

     samprashnair vivritam hridi

 

 

     "You will be thoroughly advised and favored by Me, and because of your inquiries, everything about My glories, which are known as param brahma, will be manifest within your heart. Thus you will know everything about Me."*

 

     Speaking to the demigod Brahma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead gives a similar instruction of the power of devotional service to reveal the Lord in these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.22):

    

 

manishitanubhavo 'yam

     mama lokavalokanam

 

 

     "The highest perfectional ingenuity is the personal perception of My abodes, and this has been possible because of your submissive attitude in the performance of severe penance according to My order."*

 

     In the Shri Narayanadhyatma it is also said that devotional service enables one to see the Lord:

 

 

nityavyakto hi bhagavan

     ikshyate nija-shaktitah

tam rite pundarikaksham

     kah pashyetamitam prabhum

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is always invisible. However, with the help of His transcendental potency, one may see Him. Without the help of the Lord's potency, who has the power to see the lotus-eyed Supreme Lord?"

 

     In the Katha Upanishad it is also said (1.2.23):

 

Š

yam evaisha vrinute tena labhyas

     tasyaisha atma vivrinute tanum svam

 

 

     "The Lord is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person He manifests His own form."*

 

     The Lord does this by reflecting His internal potency on the pure senses of the devotee. Even persons who had committed sins, such as King Mucukunda who had committed the sin of hunting, were able to see the Lord because of their great devotion to Him. The Lord personally praised these devotees when they directly saw Him. Fearing that they would be deprived of the sight of the Lord, these devotees felt their love for Him increase. When Yudhishthira and his brothers, who were devotees that dearly loved the Supreme Lord, saw hell, that hell was only an illusion, a magic trick. That is clearly described in the Svargarohana-parva of Mahabharata. In the Vishnu-dharma Purana it is said that after three births they gave grains and cows to a brahmana, and because of this pious deeds they were freed from hell and allowed to enter Svargaloka. However, Shrimad-Bhagavatam does not accept that account. Shrimad-Bhagavatam declares that they attained the abode of the Supreme Lord. When the Supreme Lord descends to the material world as an avatara, even persons with impure hearts are able to see Him with their own eyes. Still, their seeing Him is not direct. They see the reflection (abhasa) of HIm. That is explained in the scriptures. Otherwise, the people have no power to see Him. The Supreme Lord Himself declares in Bhagavad-gita (7.25):

 

 

naham prakashah sarvasya

     yoga-maya-samavritah

 

 

     "I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My eternal creative potency (yogamaya)."*

 

     In the Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda, it is also said:

 

 

yogibhir drishyate bhaktya

     nabhaktya drishyate kvacit

drashtum na shakyo roshac ca

     matsarac ca janardanah

 

 

     "Because of their devotion the yogis see the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Without devotion no one sees Him. he angry and envious have no power to see Him."

 

     During the times when He is not manifest as an avatara, the Lord cannot be seen, even though He is present everywhere. At the time of the Lord's appearance as an avatara, the people do not see His true nature. They think He is the opposite of what He really is. In this way, even though He is the source of great bliss, some people think He makes others suffer. Even though is the most handsome and charming, some people think He is ferocious and horrible. Even though He is the friend of everyone, some people think He is their enemy. At that time the Lord's Yogamaya potency is the root cause of his manifestation before the people. Still, the people who have offended the Lord's devotees feel uneasy at heart when the Lord is present. Even though in truth the Lord is always present everywhere, these people have made their hearts as hard as stone to Him. Persons who do not have the qualities of a liberated soul, qualities described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.10.6, see only the reflection of the Lord when He is present in this world. The word “liberation" cannot be used to describe the status of these people. In the prose description that begins in Vishnu Purana 4.15.8 it is said that although in the beginning he saw Lord Krishna in this indirect way, at the end Shishupala saw Lord Krishna purely. In Vishnu Purana 4.15.9 it is said:

 

 

atma-vinashaya bhagavad-asta-cakramshu-malojjvalam akshaya-tejah-svarupam parama-brahma-bhutam apagata-dveshadi-dosho bhagavantam adrakshit

 

 

     "At the moment of his death, Shiupala, now cleansed of hatred and every other vice, gazed at the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose eternal form was filled with power and glory, and who was garlanded with light from the Sudarshana-cakra."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.86.49) it is said:

 

 

etad-anto nrinam klesho

     yad bhavan akshi-gocarah

 

 

     "O Lord, when You come before the people's eyes, their sufferings all come to an end."

 

     This means that the people whose hearts are pure, the people whose hearts are contaminated by offenses to the Lord's devotees, the people who eagerly turn their faces to the Lord, as well as the people who have turned their wyes away from the Lord all find that their sufferings are all destroyed. This is also described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.86.21):

    

 

tebhyah sva-vikshana-vinashta-tamisra-drigbhyah

     kshemam tri-loka-gurur artha-drisham ca yacchan

 

 

     "To them, their eyes destroyed by darkness, Lord Krishna, the master of the three worlds, gave auspiciousness. He gave them eyes to see the truth."*

 

     This is also described in the previously quoted prose passage of Vishnu Purana. Persons whose hearts are impure are of two kinds: they who have turned their faces away from the Lord (bhagavad-bahir-mukha), and they who hate the Lord (bhagavad-vidveshi). The persons who have turned their faces away from the Lord are of two kinds: persons who see the Lord and insult Him, and persons who at the time of the Lord's incarnation in this world think the Lord is an ordinary demigod, human being, or other like being. This is described in the following insult spoken by the demigod Indra (Shrimad-Bhagavatam(10.25.3):

    

 

krishnam martyam upashritya

 

 

     "The people of Vraja have taken shelter of Krishna, who is only a human being."

 

     The Supreme Lord's rescue of persons with impure hearts is described by the Personified Vedas in these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.87.35):

    

 

dadhati sakrin manas tvayi ya atmani nitya-sukhe

     na punar upasate purusha-sara-haravasathan

 

 

     "O Supreme Personality of Godhead full of spiritual bliss, anyone who once places his thoughts in You will never again worship materialistic household life, which who rob a man of his dearest spiritual wealth."

 

     This is also affirmed by the Supreme Lord Himself in these words spoken to the dmeigod Indra (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.27.16):

    

 

mam aishvarya-shri-madandho

     danda-panim na pashyati

tam bhramshayami sampadbhyo

     yasya cecchamy anugraham

 

 

     "A man blinded by pride of wealth and power does not see the hand that waits to punish him. If I am kind to him, I make him fall from his fortunate position."

 

     Tbis description of people with impure hearts does not apply to the cowherd people of Vraja, who dedicated their everything to serve Lord Krishna. This is described in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.35):

    

 

yad-dhamartha-suhrit-priyatma-tanaya-

     pranashayas tvat-krite

 

 

     "O Lord, these residents of Vrindavana have given You everything: Their bodies, their minds, their love, their homes."*

 

     This is also confirmed by these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.16.10):

    

 

krishne 'rpitatma-suhrid-artha-kalatra-kamah

 

 

     "The men of Vraja dedicated their friends, wealth, wives, desires, and their own selves to Lord Krishna."

 

     It is also confirmed by these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.65.6):

    

 

krishne kamala-patrakshe

     sannyastakhila-radhasah

 

 

     "To lotus-eyed Krishna the cowherd people offered all that they had."

 

     Even though their relationship with Him was only like a reflection of the intimate relation the people of Vraja have with Him, the Yadavas and Pandavas also dedicated their everything to Lord Krishna's service. This is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.90.46):

    

 

shayyasanatanalapa-

     krida-snanadi-karmasu

na viduh santam atmanam

     vrishnayah krishna-cetasah

 

 

     "Their love of Krishna was so intense that in their regular activities-in sitting, sleeping, traveling, talking, sporting, cleansing, and bathing-the members of Yadu dynasty were simply absorbed in thoughts of Krishna and paid no attention to bodily activities."*

 

     This is also described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.12.6):

    

 

kim te kamah sura-sparha

     mukunda-manaso dvijah

adhijahur mudam rajnah

     kshudhitasya yathetare

 

 

     "O brahmanas, the opulence of the king was so enchanting that the denizens of heaven aspired for it. But because he was absorbed in the service of the Lord, nothing could satisfy him except the Lord's service."*

 

     However, Dhritarashtra and the others like him are described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.13.17):

    

 

evam griheshu saktanam

     pramattanam tad-ihaya

 

 

     "They are too much attached to family affairs and are always engrossed in their thought."*

 

     In the next verse (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.13.18) is described the instruction Dhritarashtra received, an instruction that was not given to the others, an instruction that begins with these words:

    

 

viduras tad abhipretya

 

 

     "Vidura knew all this, and therefore he addressed Dhritarashtra, saying: My dear king, please get out of here immediately. Do not delay. Just see how fear has overtaken you."*

 

     To increase the Lord's sweetness, the Lord's pastime potency (lila-shakti) manifests among friends and among enemies also. Even the reflection of that potency of the Lord attracts the senses of the dear devotees. That this reflected potency attracts the devotees is seen in this description of Putana (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.6.6):

    

 

valgu-smitapanga-visarga-vikshitair

     mano harantim vanitam vrajaukasam

 

 

     "She was glancing at everyone with very attractive looks and smiling face, and all the residents of Vrindavana were captivated."*

 

     Here the word "mano-harantim" has a double meaning. It means both, "with a reflection of the Lord's potencies Putana attracted the hearts of the residents of Vrindavana" and "Putana was charming and beautiful'." In the same passage it is also said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.6.6):

 

     The power of the Lord's potency is then described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.16.3):

 

 

na yatra shravanadini

     raksho-ghnani sva-karmasu

kurvanti satvatam bhartur

     yatudhanyas ca tatra hi

 

 

     "Wherever the chanting of the holy name of Krishna is done, even negligently, all bad elements-witches, ghosts, and dangerous calamities-immediately disappear."*

 

     Of Putana it is also said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.6.6):

 

 

amamsatambhoja-karane rupinim

     gopyah shriyam drashtum ivagatam patim

 

 

     "The innocent cowherd women thought that she was a goddess of fortune appearing in Vrindavana with a lotus flower in her hand. It seemed to them that she had personally come to see Krishna, who is her husband."*

 

     Here the word "shriyam" means "a girl who brings material prosperity and good fortune" and "patim" means "an appropriate pious man". There it is also said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.6.9):

 

 

tam tikshna-cittam. . .tat-prabhayavaradharshite janani atishthatam

 

 

     "When Putana was taking baby Krishna on her lap, both Yashoda and Rohini were present, but they did not forbid her because she was so beautifully dressed and because she showed motherly affection towards Krishna. They could not understand that she was a sword within a decorated case."*

 

     In this way the people of Vraja were defeated by the Lord's illusory (maya) poyency. Even Lord Balarama and others were defeated by that illusory potency, as is seen in these words spoken by Lord Balarama Himself (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.13.27):

 

 

prayo mayastu me bhartur

     nanya me 'pi vimohini

 

 

     "It was arranged by Krishna, and even I could not check His mystic power."*

 

     The power of the Lord's illusory potency is also seen in the activities that led Jaya and Vijaya to take birth as demons. The Lord's illusory potency acted only very slightly on Lord Balarama. However, it acted very powerfully on Jaya and Vijaya. This is because Lord Balarama was full of love for Lord Krishna, but Jaya and Vijaya were not. Jaya and Vijaya did not become demons merely by the sages' curse, but rather by the will of the Supreme Lord Himself. The Lord confirms this in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.16.29):

    

 

matam tu me. . .

 

 

     "The Lord then said to His attendants, Jaya and Vijaya: Depart this place, but fear not. All glories unto you. Thgough I am capable of nullifying the brahmanas' curse, I would not do so. On the contrary, it has My approval."*

 

     Jaya and Vijaya's acceptance of the role of enemeies of the Lord was not their own doing. Rather, it was personally arranged by the Lord. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.2) it is said:

 

 

svecchamayasya. . .

 

 

     "O Lord, whatever You desire is at once fulfilled."

 

     Still, the Lord was merciful to Jaya and Vijaya, who were His devotees. It is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.11.23):

    

 

traivargikayasa-vighattam asmat-

     patir vidhatte purushasya shakra

 

 

     "Our Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, forbids His devotees to endeavor uselessly for religion, economic development, and sense gratification. O Indra, onecant hus infer how kind the Lord is. Such mercy is obtainable only by unalloyed devotees, not by persons who aspire for material gain."*

 

     That the Supreme Lord continued to protect Jaya and Vijaya is seen in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.33):

    

 

tatha na te madhava tavakah kvacid

     bhrashyanti margat tvayi baddha-sauhridah

 

 

     "O Madhava, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord of the goddess of fortune, if devotees completely in love with You sometimes fall from the path of devotion, they do not fall like nondevotees, for You atill protect them."*

 

     Jaya and Vijaya did not choose to take birth as demons because then they could quickly be rid of the curse. Rather, they accepted that birth because a devotee will not accept residence on same planet where the Lord lives or any other auspicious condition of life if in that condition the devotee has no opportunity to serve the Lord. On the other hand, the devotee will accept life in hell if there he may serve the Lored. This is described in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.15.48):

    

 

natyantikam viganayaty api. . .

 

 

     "Persons who are very expert and most intelligent in understanding things as they are engage in hearing narrations of the auspicious activities and pastimes of the Lord, which are worth chanting and worth hearing. Such persons do not care even for the highest material benediction, namely liberation, to say nothing of less important benedictions like the material happiness of the heavenly kingdom."*

 

     It is also said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.15.49):

    

 

kamam bhavah sva-vrijinair nirayeshu nah stat. . .

 

 

     "O Lord, we pray that You let us be born in any hellish condition of life, just as long as our hearts and minds are always engaged in the service of Your lotus feet, our words are made beautiful (by speaking of Your activities) just as tulasi leaves are beautiful when offered unto Your lotus feet, and as long as our ears are always filled with the chanting of Your transcendental qualities."*

 

     Jaya and Vijaya also offered the following prayer (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.15.36):

 

 

ma vo 'nutapa-kalaya bhagavat-smriti-ghno

     moho bhaved iha tu nau vrajator adho 'dhah

 

 

     "But we pray that due to Your compassion at our repentance, the illusion of forgetting the Supreme Personality of Godhead will not come upon us as we go rpogressively downward."*

 

     In they had been real enemies of the Lord, Jaya and Vijaya would not have brought happiness to the devotees. They brought happiness to devotees because they were friends with many devotees. Therefore their enmity to the Lord was only the reflection of enmity, an enmity assumed to enable the Lord and the other devotees to taste certain rasas. For this we may assume that the Lord wished to enjoy pastimes of fighting, and to please Him the devotees Jaya and Vijaya, employing their mystic powers, manifested certain spiritual forms and assumed the role of His enemies. Then, meditating on the Lord as their enemy, they eventually relinquished that role of being the Lord's enemy. Therefore thei being the Lord's enemy was only an external show. This is confirmed by Lord Narayana Himself when he told them (0 3.16.29:

 

 

yatam ma bhaishtam astu sham

 

    

     "Depart this place, but fear not. All glories unto you."*

     In its description of the Lord's battle with Hiranyaksha, Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.18.9) explains that the Lord was not really angry with Jaya and Vijaya when they were playing the parts of demons:

 

 

paranushaktam. . .

 

 

     "The demon, who had a wealth of ornaments, bangles, and beautiful golden armor on his body, chased the Lord from behind with a great mace. The Lord tolerated his piercing ill words, but in order to reply to them, He eexpressed His terrble anger."*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments: "

 

     "The Lord's terrible anger is here only an external show, a show intended to relieve the fears of the demigods, who were frighted by the demon's insults. The Lord did not really become angry by hearing those insults."

 

     Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.19.8-9) again explains:

 

 

karala. . . .

 

 

     "The demon, who had fearful tusks, stared at the Personality of Godhead as though to burn Him. Springing into the air, he aimed his mace at the Lord, exclaiming at the same time, `You are slain!'*

     "O saintly Vidura, while His enemy looked on, the Lord in His boar form, the enjoyer of all sacrificial offerings, playfully knocked down the mace with His left foot, even as it came upon Him with the force of a tempest."*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments: "All of this shows that the Lord was not really angry."

 

     In the story of the Syamantaka Jewel, the story of Maha-kala-pura, the story of ther mace, and toher stories, it is seen that the Lord's anger towards Lord Balarama, Arjuna, Narada Muni, and others is only a pretense, a pale reflection of true anger. Here there are two groups. In one group are Lord Balarama, Arjuna, and others who did not understand Lord Krishna's intention at the time, and in the second group are Narada Muni and others who did understand Lord Krishna's intention at the time. This second group is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.3.24), where Uddhava says:

 

 

kopita munayah shepur

     bhagavan-mata-kovidah

 

 

     "Once upon a time, great sages were made angry by the sporting activities of the princely descendents of the Yadu and Bhoja dynasties, and thus, as desired by the Lord, the sages cursed them.* The sages were aware that this was the Lord's desire."

 

     Persons who in these situatuions understand the Lord's true intention, see the Lord directly. However, if their hearts are impure, even persons who understansd the Lord's true intention do not see Him directly. They see only the reflection of Him. Even though the Lord may come before their eyes, they see only the reflection of His form. These perssons with impure hearts are persons who have turned their faces away from the Loerd. Even though they see Him, they do not see Him as He really is. Persons who hate the Lord are of two kinds. Some see the handsomeness, sweetness,a nd other virtues of the Lord, bust still they hate Him. Kalayavana and other demons fall into this ctaegory. Others see the Lord only as ferocious and terrible, and therefore they hate Him. Kamsa's wrestlers and other demons fall into that category. Thus there are four categories: the two kinds of people who have turned their faces away from Krishna and the two kinds of people who hate Krishna. These four kinds of people are like persons who, because of a disease of the tongue cannot perceive the true taste of various foods. Some persons, because of an imbalance of bile and air in the bodyy, do nto experience the taste of various foods as pleasureable. Some persons, although they cannot experience the true taste, do not hold the food at fault for that. Other persons, persons who are proud, hold the food at fault and criticize it. Still other persons can indeed taste the sweetness of delicious food. But because they prefer the taste of bitter and sour things, they hate food that is sweet. Still other persons perceive sweet food as being bitter, and for that reason they hate sweet food. Thus these four kinds of people, by their own fault, do not see the Supreme Lord directly. They see only His reflection. They do not know the Lord's true nature. Because they have neither knowledge, devotion, nor pure spiritual love, they have no power to understand the Lord's ture nature and His glorious qualities, such as His eternity, omniscience, bliss, supreme power and opulence, amd supreme sweetness. Still, as a person who has a disease of the tongue may eventually become cured, so these persons may eventually become delivered. This is described in the following words of Vishnu Purana (4.15.9):

 

 

tatas tam evakrosheshuc cavayan. . .apagata-dveshadi-dosho bhagavantam adrakshit

 

 

     "Although at first he hated the Lord, eventually his hatred and other vices were all removed. Then he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly."

 

     Therefore, they who have pure hearts see the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. That is called liberation. That seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly is better than seeing the impersonal Brahman is described in the Bhagavat-sandarbha (anucchedas 78-80), in the description of the four Kumaras' seeing Vaikuntha, and in Shri Vyasa's and Shri Narada's conversation about the relative importance of impersonal Brahman and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Shrimad-ŤŠBhagavatam (3.15.43) it is said of the Four Kumaras:

 

 

tasyaravinda-nayanasya. . .

 

 

     "When the breeze carrying the aroma of tulasi leaves from the toes of the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead entered the nostrils of those sages, they experienced a change both in body and mind, even though they were attached to the impersonal Brahman understanding."*

 

     That the Supreme Personality of Godhead is superior to the impersonal Brahman is hinted in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.4):

    

 

jijnasitam adhitam ca. . .

 

 

     "You have fully delineated the subject of impersonal Brahman as well as the knowledge derived therefrom. Why should you be despondent in spite of all this, thinking that you are undone, my dear prabhu?"*

 

     The superiority of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also confirmed by these words of Dhruva Maharaja (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.9.10):

    

 

ya nirivrtis tanu-bhritam. . .

 

 

     "My Lord, the transcendental bliss derived from meditating upon Your lotus feet or hearing about Your glories from pure devotees is so unlimited that it is far beyond the stage of brahmananda, where one thinks himself merged in the impersonal Brahman as one with the Supreme. Since brahmananda is also defeated by the transcendental bliss derived from devotional service, then what to speak of the temporary blissfulness of elevating oneself to the heavenly planets, which is ended by the separating sword of time? Although one may be elevated to the heavenly planets, he falls down in due course of time."*

 

     About the author of Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 12.12.69):

    

 

svasukha-nibhrita-cetas tad-vyudastanya-bhavah. . .

 

 

     "I offer my respectful obeisances unto Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami, the son of Vyasadeva. He is the destroyer of all sinful reactions and is full in self-realization and bliss. Because of this, he has no other desire. Still, he was attracted by the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and out of compassion for the people, he described the transcendental historical literature called Shrimad-Bhagavatam. This is compared to the light of the Absolute Truth."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (18.54) the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself declares:

    

 

brahma-bhutah prasannatma. . .

 

 

     "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."*

 

     Simply by seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Prahlada became free from all sins. Fiorst he saw the impersonal Brahman, then he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and then he became filled with transcendental bliss. In this way he attained the supreme goal of life. Of him it is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.9.6):

    

 

sa tat-kara-sparsha-dhutakhilashubhah

     sapady abhivyakta-paratma-darshanah

tat-pada-padmam hridi nirvrito dadhau

     hrishyat-tanuh klinna-krid-ashru-locanah

 

 

     "By the touch of Lord Nrisimhadeva's hand on Prahlada Maharaja's head, Prahlada was completely freed of all material contaminations and desires, as if he had been thoroughly cleansed. Therwefore he at once became transcendentally situated, and all the symptoms of ecstasy became manifest in his body. His heart filled with love, and his eyes with tears, and thus he was able to completely capture the lotus feet of the Lord within the core of his heart."*

 

     The meaning of this verse is clear. This verse was spoken by Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami.

 

 

Anuccheda 8

 

 

     When one directly see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, seeing Him outside the heart is better than seeing Him within the heart. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.9.5) it is said:

    

 

grihitvajadayo yasya

     shrimat-padabja-darshanam

manasa yoga-pakvena

     sa bhavan me 'kshi-gocarah

 

 

     "O Lord whom Brahma and the demigods saw in their hearts advanced in yoga, You have now come before my eyes."

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

 

     "This verse means: `O Lord whom Brahma and the demigods saw in their hearts advanced in yoga, You have now come before my eyes. What boon is greater than this?"

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.12.12) it is also said:

    

 

yat-pada-pamshur bahu-janma-kricchratah. . .

 

 

     "Who can estimate the transcendental fortune of the residents of Vrindavana? They were personally visualizing the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, He whom many yogis cannot find even after undergoing severe austerities, although He is sitting within the heart."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.6.33) Shrila Narada Muni says:

    

 

pragayatah sva-viryani

     tirtha-padah priya-shravah

ahuta iva me shighram

     darshanam yati cetasi

 

 

     "The Supreme Lord Shri Krishna, whose glories and activities are pleasing to hear, at once appears on the seat of my heart, as if called for, as soon as I begin to chant His holy activities."*

 

     Evenb though can always see the Lord within his heart, Shrila Narada Muni preferred to see Him outside the heart. This In described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.1):

    

 

govinda-bhuja-guptayam

     dvaravatyam kurudvaha

avatsin narado 'bhikshnam

     krishnopasana-lalasah

 

 

     "Eager to worship Lord Krishna, Narada stayed, O best of the Kurus, at Dvaraka, which is always protected by Lord Krishna's arms."

 

     This verse was spoken by Markandeya Muni to Shri Narayana Rishi.

 

 

Anuccheda 9

 

 

     A person who directly sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead is liberated, even if that person is still living in the material world. This is described in the following words spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.13):

    

 

akincanasya dantasya

     shantasya sama-cetasah

maya santushta-manasah

     sarvah sukha-maya dishah

 

 

     "For a person who is penniless, peaceful, self-controlled, and equipoised in every situation, and whose heart is satisfied with Me as its only possession, every direction is full of bliss."

 

     In this verse the word "akincana" means, “one who has the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his only possession. He has no other possession." Because he has the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his only possession, such a person has the three virtues of being peaceful, self-controlled, and equipoised in every situation. Because he does not wish to possess unworthy things, things that are not the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is equipoised in every situation. Because he directly sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead everywhere, for him every direction is full of bliss. This verse was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

Anuccheda 10

 

 

     That directly seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead in this way is the highest condition of life is affirmed by Prahlada Maharaja in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.9.16):

    

 

 . . .ushattama te 'nghri-mulam

     prito 'paravga-sharanam hvayase kada nu

 

 

     "O most powerful insurmountable Lord, . . .when will that moment come when You will call me to the shelter of Your lotus feet, which are the ultimate goal for liberation from conditional life?"*

 

     There are five kinds of liberation. They are: salokya, sarshti, sarupya, samipya, and sayujya. In salokya liberation one resides in Vaikuntha, the planet where the Supreme Personality of Godhead also resides. In sarshti liberation one possesses opulences like those of the Lord. In sarupya liberation one has a spiritual form like the Lord's. In samipya liberation one is able to stay close to the Lord. In sayujya liberation one some souls enter the Lord's form. To each of these five words (salokya, sarshti, sarupya, samipya, and sayujya) the word "mukti" (liberation may be affixed. In salokya, sarshti, and sarupya liberation one generally sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead within one's heart. In samipya liberation one generally sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead outside one's heart. In sayujya liberation one generally sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead within one's heart. Even though the Supreme Personality of Godhead is personally present before him, in sayujya liberation the individual soul is in a state of trance that is like a dreamless sleep. In that condition the soul cannot see the Supreme Personality of Godhead present before him. The highest state of liberation is described in these words of Chandogya Upanishad (7.25.2):

 

 

sa va evam pashyann evam manvana evam vijanann atma-ratir atma-krida atma-mithuna atmanandah. sa svarad bhavati sarveshu lokeshu kama-caro bhavati.

 

 

     "In this way the liberated soul directly sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead, thinks of Him, understands Him, delights in Him, enjoys pastimes with Him, becomes His companion, and enjoys bliss with Him."

 

     By his own will a liberated soul can manifest many different forms. This is described in these words of Chandogya Upanishad (7.26.2):

 

 

sa ekadha bhavati, dvidha bhavati, tridha bhavati.

 

 

     "The liberated soul may manifest one form, two forms, three forms, or more forms than that."

 

     The spiritual world of Vaikuntha is far beyond the touch of the illusory potency maya. This is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.9.10):

    

 

na yatra maya. . .

 

 

     "In that personal abode of the Lord, the material modesd of ignroance and passion do not prevail, nor is there any of their influence in goodness. There is no predominance of the influence of time, so what to speak of the illusory external energy? It cannot enter that region. Without discrimination, both the demigods and demons worship the Lord as devotees."*

 

     One who enters the spiritual world never returns to the material world. This is described in these words of Vedanta-sutra (4.4.23):

 

 

anavrittih shabdat

 

 

     "By spiritual sound one attains the spiritual world, from which one never returns."

 

     In the Chandogya Upanisad (8.15.1) it is said:

 

 

na sa punar avartate

 

 

     "One who enters the spiritual world never returns to the material world of birth and death."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.4.22) the demigods harrassed by Hiranyakashipu pray:

    

 

tasyai namo 'stu kashthayai

     yatratma harir ishvarah

yad gatva na nivartante

     shantah sannyasino 'malah

 

 

     "Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto that direction where the Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated, where those purified souls in the renounced order of life go, and from which, having gone, they never return."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.38) Lord Kapiladeva explains:

 

 

na karhicin mat-parah shanta-rupe

     nankshyanti no me 'nimisho ledhi hetih

 

 

     "My dear mother, devotees who receive such transcendental opulences are never bereft of them. Neither weapons nor the change of time can destroy such opulences."*

 

     Bhagavad-gita (8.16) Lord Krishna declares:

    

 

a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah

     punar avartino 'rjuna

mam upetya tu kaunteya

     punar janma na vidyate

 

 

     "From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (15.6) Lord Krishna declares:

    

 

yad gatva na nivartante

     tad dhama paramam mama

 

 

     "That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (18.62) Lord Krishna declares:

    

 

tat-prasadat param shantim

     sthanam prapsyasi shashvatam

 

 

     "By His grace you will attain transcendental peace and the supreme and eternal abode."*

 

     In Padma Purana, Shrishti-khanda it is said:

 

 

a-brahma-sadanad eva

     doshah santi mahi-pate

ata eva hi necchanti

     svarga-praptim manishinah

 

 

     "Even up to Brahmaloka, all the material worlds are filled with a host of faults. That is why, O king, they who are truly wise do not desire to go even to Svargaloka.

 

 

a-brahma-sadanad urdhvam

     tad vishnoh paramam padam

shubhram sanatanam jyotih

     para-brahmeti tad viduh

 

 

     "They who are wise know that above Brahmaloka and all the material worlds is the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu, an effulgent, glorious, eternal, spiritual abode.

 

 

na yatra mudha gacchanti

     purusha vishayatmakah

dambha-lobha-bhaya-droha-

     krodha-mohair abhidrutah

 

 

     "Fools, hedonists, and persons conquered by pride, greed, fear, hatred, anger, and illusion do not go to that spiritual abode.

 

 

nirmama nirahankara

     nirdvandvah samyatendriyah

dhyana-yoga-ratash caiva

     tatra gacchanti sadhavah

 

 

     "Only saintly devotees who are free from false ego, false possessiveness, and the duality of material illusion, who control their senses, and who are rapt in spiritual meditation go to that spiritual abode."

 

     In Padma Purana, Shrishti-khanda, King Subahu says:

 

 

dhyana-yogena devesham

     yajishye kamala-priyam

bhava-pralaya-nirmuktam

     vishnulokam vrajamy aham

 

 

     "In a trance of meditation I will worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of the demigods and the husband of the goddess of fortune. In this way I will go to the spiritual world of Lord VIshnu, a world that is not destroyed when the material worlds perish."

 

     The pure devotees of the Lord are not even interested in attaining the five kinds of liberation. It is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (9.4.67):

    

 

mat-sevaya pratitam te

     salokyadi-catushtayam

necchanti sevaya purnah

     kuto 'nyat kala-viplutam

 

 

     "My devotees, who are always satisfied to be engaged in My loving service, are not interested even in the four principles of liberation (salokya, sarupya, samipya, and sarshti), although these are automatically achieved by their service. What then is to be said of such perishable happiness as elevation to the higher planetary systems?"*

 

     Because everything in the material world will eventually be destroyed by time, and because they have heard that once going to the spiritual world they will never return, the devotees aspire to go to the spiritual abode of the Supreme Lord. They also aspire to join the Supreme Lord in His transcendental pastimes. The devotees' attainment of salokya liberation, where they reside in the same planet as the Lord, is described in these words of Bhavishya Purana, Uttara-khanda:

 

 

evam kaunteya kurute

     yo 'ranya-dvadashim narah

sa dehante vimana-stho

     divya-kanya-samavritah

 

 

     "O son of Kunti, a person who resides in this twelve-forest land of Vrindavana, at the time of his death finds himself in a celestial airplane surrounded by glorious gopis.

 

 

yati jnati-samayuktah

     shvetadvipam hareh puram

yatra loka pita-vastrah

 

 

     "Accompanied by his relatives, he goes to Lord Krishna's realm of Shvetadvipa, where the residents are all dressed in yellow garments.

 

     There it is also said:

 

 

tishthanti vishnu-sannidhye

     yavad ahuta-samplavam

 

 

tasmad etya maha-viryah

     prithivyam nripa-pujitah

martya-loke kirtimantah

     sambhavanti narottamah

 

 

 

tato yanti param sthanam

     moksha-margam shivam sukham

yatra gatva na shocanti

     na samsare bhramanti ca

 

 

     "On this earth are many saintly heroes and many glorious saints worshiped by many kings. These saintly persons stay always near to Lord Vishnu. When this material world is destroyed by floods, these saints travel on the path pf liberation. They go to the auspicious and blissful spiritual abode. Going there, they never lament. Going there, they never again wander in this world of birth and death."

 

     In the story of Jaya and Vijaya, where salokya liberation is described, it is seen that the liberated souls are free from the influence of the modes of mnaterial nature. In the same way the devotees aspiring for liberation also are free from the material modes. This Lord Krishna explains in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.25.26):

    

 

sattvikah karako 'sangi. . .

      . . .nirguno mad-apashrayah

 

 

     "A worker free from attachment is in the mode of goodness, a worker blinded by desire is in the mode of passion, a worker who forgets right and wrong is in the mode of ignorance, and a worker who takes shelter of Me is always untouched by the modes of material nature."

 

     In final liberation the devotees attain a spiritual nature and form like those of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. This is described in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.15.14):

    

 

vasanti yatra purushah

     sarve vaikuntha-murtayah

ye 'nimitta-nimittena

     dharmenaradhayan harim

 

 

     "In the Vaikuntha planets all the residents are similar in form to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They all engage in devotional service ot the Lord without desires for sense gratification."*

 

     Here "nimitta" means "result", and “animitta" means "without cause". These two words together mean, "without the desire for material sense gratification". "Dharmena" means "by devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead". Here the word "vaikuntha" means "the Supreme Personality of Godhead". "Vaikuntha-murtayah" means “numberless forms of the individual souls who reside in Vaikuntha and who are manifest from tiny fragments of the effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many liberated souls, each with his own form, and there is one Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has His own form. Still, the liberated souls have forms that are like the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This verse was spoken by the demigod Brahma to the demigods.

 

 

Anuccheda 11

 

 

     Liberation is also described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.6.28):

    

 

prayujyamane mayi tam

     shuddham bhagavatim tanum

arabdha-karma-nirvano

     nyapatat panca-bhautikah

 

 

     "Having been awarded a transcendental body befitting an associate of the Personality of Godhead, I quit the body made of five material elements, and thus all acquired fruitive results of work (karma) stopped."*

 

     It is again described in these words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.6.23):

    

 

hitvavadyam imam lokam

     ganta maj-janatam asi

 

 

     "By service of the Absolute Truth, even for a few days, a devotee attains firm and fixed intelligence in Me. Consequently he goes to become My associate in the transcendental world after giving up the present deplorable material worlds."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.6.28 the Supreme Personality of Godhead promises to give the devotee a spiritual form like His own. Here "tam bhagavatim" means "a form that is a fragment of the spiritual effulgence of the Supreme Lord", “shuddham" means "untouched by matter", “tanum" means "a form given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead", and "mayi prayujyamane" means “attained by me when the results of karma came to an end". This happened when the material body made of five elements fell away (nyapatat panca-bhautikah). Here it is seen that the subtle material body of mind, intelligence, and false ego is also destroyed. Because of his faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the devotee's past karma also comes to an end. In his commentary on this verse Shrila Shridhara Svami explains:

 

     "The bodies of a personal associates of the Supreme Lord are eternal, pure, and free from karma." This verse was spoken by Shri Narada to Shri Vyasa.

 

 

Anuccheda 12

 

 

     The body of a liberated soul is also described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.3.19):

    

 

yam dharma-kamartha. . .raty api deham avyayam

 

 

     "After worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, those who are interested in the four principles of religion, economic development, sense gratification and liberation obtain from Him what they desire. What, then, is be said of other benedictions? Indeed, sometimes the Lord gives a spiritual body to such ambitious worshipers."*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

 

     "In this way the Supreme Lord gives the devotee an eternal spiritual body."

 

 

Anuccheda 13

 

 

     The bodies of the liberated souls are also described in these words of Chandogya Upanishad (8.13.1):

 

 

ashva iva romani vidhuya. . .dhutva shariram akritam kritatma brahmalokam abhisambhavani

 

 

     "As a horse sheds its hairs, . . .so will I shed this external material body and go to the spiritual abode odf the Supreme Lord."

 

     Thus, by the intervention of the Supreme Lord's inconceivable potency, the devotee leaves behind his material body and attains a spiritual body like that of the Lord. This is described in the following narration of Dhruva Maharaja's activities (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.12.29):

    

 

bibhrad rupam hiranmayam

 

 

     "Before getting aboard, Dhruva Maharaja worshiped the airplane, circumambulated it, and also offered obeisances to the associates of Vishnu. In the meantime he became as brilliant and illuminating as molten gold. He was thus completely prepared to board the transcendental plane."*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

 

     "This means he attained a form brilliant and illuminating as molten gold."

 

     Sarshti liberation is described in these words of the Supreme Lord (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.29.34), which I have already discussed in Bhakti-sandarbha (anuccheda 309):

    

 

martyo yada tyakta-samasta-karma. . .

     . . .mayatma-bhuyaya ca kalpate vai

 

 

     "A human being who renounces all fruitive activities, offers himself to Me, and yearns to serve Me, becomes immortal. He becomes glorious like Me."

 

     Sarshti liberation is also described in these words of Chandogya Upanishad (8.12.3):

 

 

sa tatra paryeti jakshan kridan ramamanah

 

 

     "In the spiritual world the liberated soul walks, plays, and enjoys life."

 

     Sarshti liberation is also described in these words of Taittiriya Upanishad (1.6.2):

 

 

apnoti svarajyam

 

 

     "The liberated soul attains a kingdom in the spiritual world."

 

     In the Taittiriya Upanishad (1.5.3) it is said:

 

 

sarve 'smai deva balim aharanti

 

 

     "All the demigods place offerings before the liberated soul."

 

     In Chandogya Upanishad (7.25.2) it is said:

 

 

tasya sarveshu lokeshu kama-caro bhavati

 

 

     "The liberated soul can travel to whatever world he wishes, simply by wishing to be there."

 

     In Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.22) it is said:

 

 

sarveshvarah. . .

 

 

     "The liberated soul becomes glorious like the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself."

 

     Still, the liberated soul does not have all the powers of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For example, the liberated soul has no power to create universes. How, then, can the liberated souls become the rulers of the spiritual world of Vaikuntha? This is described in the following words of Vedanta-sutra (4.4.22):

 

 

jagad-vyapara-varjam

 

 

     "Although he has powers and glories like those of the Supreme Lord, the liberated soul has no power to create universes."

 

     Lord Krishna tells Devaki (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.3.41):

 

 

adrishtvanyatamam loke. . .

 

 

     "Since I found no one else as highly elevated as you in simplicity and other qualities of good character, I appeared in this world as Prishnigarbha, or one who is celebrated as having taken birth from Prishni."*

 

     In this way, in having saintly qualities, the devotee is in some ways equal to the Lord. Whatever the yogis attain by their eight mystic powers, powers that begin with anima siddhi, is only a small fraction of the glories and powers attained by the liberated devotee.

 

     The great treasure that the devotee attains by the Supreme Lord's mercy is eternal and imperishable. Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.23.7-8) explains:

    

 

ye me svadharma-niratasya tapah-samadhi-

     vidyatma-yoga-vijita bhagavat-prasadah

tan eva te mad-anusevanayavaruddhan

     drishtim prapashya vitaramy abhayan ashokan

 

 

     "Kardama Muni continued: I have achieved the blessings of the Lord in discharging my own religious life of austerity, meditation, and Krishna consciousness. Although you have not yet experienced these achievements, which are free from fear and lamentation, I shall offer them all to you because you are engaged in my service. Now just look at them. I am giving you the transcendental vision to see how nice they are.*

 

 

anye punar bhagavato bhruva udvijrimbha-

     vibhramshitartha-racanah kim urukramasya

siddhasi bhunkshva vibhavan nija-dharma-dohan

     divyan narair duradhigan nripa-vikriyabhih

 

 

     "Kardama Muni continued: What is the use of enjoyments other than the Lord's grace? All material achievements are subject to be annihilated simply by a movement of the eyebrows of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By your principles of devotion to your husband, you have achieved and can enjoy transcendental gifts very rarely attained by persons proud of aristocracy and material possessions."*

 

     Here the words "tapah-samadhi-vidya" refer to the activities of devotional service. "Atma-yoga" means “concentration of the mind". The rhetorical question, “What is the use of enjoyments other than the Lord's grace?" is answered with the words, "They are of no use." Then it is said, "All material achievements are subject to be annihilated simply by a movement of the eyebrows of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead." This verse was spoken by Kardama Muni to Devahuti.

 

 

Anuccheda 14

 

 

     Sarupya liberation is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.4.6):

    

 

gajendro bhagavat-sparshad

     vimukto 'jnana-bandhanat

prapto bhagavato rupam

     pita-vasash catur-bhujah

 

 

     "Because Gajendra, king of the elephants, had been touched directly by the hands of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was immediately freed of all material ignorance and bondage. Thus he received the salvation of sarupya-nukti, in which he achieved the same bodily features as the Lord, being dressed in yellow garments, and possessing four hands."*

 

     The meaning of this verse is clear. This verse was spoken by Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami.

 

 

Anuccheda 15

 

 

     Samipya liberation is described in these verses (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.24.43-47), verses I have already discussed in Bhagavat-sandarbha (anuccheda 84), verses that describe Kardama Muni's attainment of liberation:

    

 

mano brahmani yunjanah. . .

     . . .labdhatma mukta-bandhanah. . .

 . . .bhagavad-bhakti-yuktena

     prapta bhagavati gatih

 

 

     "He fixed his mind upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Parabrahman, who is beyond cause and effect, who manifests the three modes of material nature, who is beyond those three modes, and who is perceived only through unfailing devotional service.*

     "Thus he gradually became unaffected by the false ego of material identity and became freed from material affection. Undisturbed, equal to everyone, and without duality, he could indeedf see himself also. His mind was turned inward and was perfectly calm, like an ocean unagitated by waves.**

     "He thus became liberated from conditioned life and became self-situated in transcendental devotional service to the Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, the omniscient Supersoul within everyone.*

     "He began to see that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in everyone's heart, and that everyone is existing on Him, because He is the Supersoul of everyone.*

     "Freed from all hatred and desire, Kardama Muni, being equal to everyone because of discharging uncontaminated devotional service, ultimately attained the path back to Godhead."*

 

     Now we will discuss sayujya liberation, which was attained by Aghasura and other demons. Shrimad-Bhagavatam clearly explains that sayujya liberation is not auspicious and desirable. It is not like salokya and the other kinds of liberation. Some individual souls may desire to taste bliss by merging into the Lord's existence. In these situations the Lord may by His potency allow them to thus taste a small particle of the remnants of the bliss He has already tasted. However, the souls that merge into the Lord in this way do not become Him. Neither do they attain all His powers. For example they do not attain His power to create universes. This is described in the following words of the Brihat-shruti:

 

 

yadainam mukto nu pravishati modate ca kamansh caivanubhavati

 

 

     "The liberated soul then merges into the Lord. Then he is happy. Then his desires are fulfilled."

 

     In the Madhyandinayana-shruti it is said:

 

 

brahmabhisampadya brahmana pashyati brahmana shrinoti

 

 

     "Then the soul merges into Brahman. When Brahman sees, the soul also sees. When Brahman hears, the soul also hears."

 

     This state of merging into the Lord is attained by a very slight intervention of the Lord's potency. The scriptures explain:

 

 

adatte hari-hastena

 

 

     "With His own hand Lord Krishna gives sayujya liberation."

 

     Sometimes, if the Lord wishes to enjoy pastimes with that individual soul, the Lord may send him out of that merged condition and make him a personal associate of the Lord. Shishupala and Dantavakra are examples of this. First they attained sayujya liberation, and then afterwards they became personal associates of the Lord. Shri Narada describes them in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.1.47):

    

 

vairanubandha-tivrena

     dhyanenacyuta-satmatam

nitau punar hareh parshvam

     jagmatur vishnu-parshadau

 

 

     "These two associates of Lord Vishnu-Jaya and Vijaya-maintained a feeling of enmity for a very long time. Because of always thinking of Krishna in this way, they regained the shelter of the Lord, having returned home, back to Godhead."*

 

     In this way we have described how, by directly seeing the Supreme Lord, the individual soul may quickly attain salokya or the other kinds of liberation. Now we will show how the soul may gradually attain liberation and meet the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This gradual attainment of liberation is also described in the scriptures. For example, Ajamila's attainment of perfection is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.2.40-44):

    

 

sa tasmin deva-sadana

     asino yogam asthitah

pratyahritendriya-gramo

     yuyoja mana atmani

 

 

     "In Hardwar, Ajamila took shelter at a Vishnu temple, where he executed the process of bhakti-yoga. He controlled his senses and fully applied his mind in the service of the Lord.*

 

 

tato gunebhya atmanam

     viyujyatma-samadhina

yuyuje bhagavad-dhamni

     brahmany anubhavatmani

 

 

     "Ajamila fully engaged in devotional service. Thus he detached his mind from the process of sense gratification and became fully absorbed in thinking of the form of the Lord.*

 

 

yarhy uparata-dhis tasmin

     adrakshit purushan purah

upalabhyopalabdhan prag

     vavande shirasa dvijah

 

 

     "When his intelligence and mind were fixed upon the form of the Lord, the brahmana Ajamila once again saw before him four celestial persons. He could understand that they were those he had seen previously, and thus he offered them his obeisances by bowing down before them.*

 

 

hitva kalevaram tirthe

     gangayam darshanad anu

sadyah svarupam jagrihe

     bhagavat-parshva-vartinam

 

 

     "Upon seeing the Vishnudutas, Ajamila gave up his material body at Hardwar on the bank of the Ganges. He regained his original spiritual body, which was a body appropriate for an associate of the Lord.*

 

 

sakam vihayasa vipro

     mahapurusha-kinkaraih

haimam vimanam aruhya

     yayau yatra shriyah patih

 

 

     "Accompanied by the order-carriers of Lord Vishnu, Ajamila boarded an airplane made of gold. Passing through the airways, he went directly to the abode of Lord Vishnu, the husband of the goddess of fortune."*

 

     The meaning of these verses is clear. Of the two, the quick attainemnt of liberation is better than the gradual attainment of liberation.

 

 

Anuccheda 16

 

 

     Samipya liberation is the best kind of liberation, better than salokya or the others. That is because the Supreme Lord is directly manifest outside the devotee's heart and before the devotee's eyes. This kind of liberation is described in this question posed by Vajra Maharaja in the Vishnu-dharma Purana, Uttara-khanda:

 

 

kalpanam jiva-samye hi

     muktir naivopapadyate

kadacid api dharma-jna

     tatra pricchami karanam

 

 

     "Kalpa after kalpa the number of individual souls in the material world remains the same. Do the individual souls never attain liberation? O knower of religion, I ask you what is the reason for this.

 

 

ekaikasmin nare muktim

     kalpe kalpe gate dvija

abhavishyaj jagac chunyam

     kalasyader abhavatah

 

 

     "One by one, kalpa after kalpa, the individual souls attain liberation. O brahmana, would not the material world become gradually empty in the course of time?

 

     To this question, Shri Markandeya gave this answer:

 

 

jivasyanyasya sargena

     nare muktim upagate

acintya-shaktir bhagavan

     jagat purayate sada

 

 

     "When one individual soul attains liberation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has inconceivable potencies, replaces him by creating another soul. In this way the Lord keeps the material world always filled.

 

 

brahmana saha mucyante

     brahma-lokam upagatah

shrijyante ca maha-kalpe

     tad-vidhash capare janah

 

 

     "The souls who reside on Brahmaloka attain liberation along with the demigod Brahma. When, in the next maha-kalpa, the material worlds are created again, these souls are replaced with other souls like them."

 

     In the numberless material universes there are numberless individual souls whose karma is not awakened and who are as if asleep, merged in material nature. When the Supreme Lord awakens these souls and gives them external material bodies, this is called "creation of the souls". In truth the souls do not have a beginning in time, a moment in time when they were created. Each individual soul always existed. No individual soul will ever cease to exist. Every individual soul exists eternally.

 

     Now we will explain how pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is better than mere liberation. Although the liberated souls are not without pure love for the Lord, still, some souls wish to attain samipya or the other kinds of liberation so thatb they may become free from sufferings. This does not make pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead any the less important. It is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.13.12):

    

 

kaivalyaika-prayojanam

 

 

     "And that one thing is the only goal of life."

 

     The "one thing" referred to here is pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The preceding three quarters of this stanza all describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore this last quarter should be understood to refer to Him also. That the verses of Shrimad-Bhagavatam describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead has already been revealed in the Tattva and Bhagavat sandarbhas. In the preceding stanze it is said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 12.13.11):

    

 

hari-lila-katha-vrata-

     mritanandita-sat-suram

 

 

     "Shrimad-Bhagavatam is filled with nectarean descriptions of Lord Krishna's transcendental pastimes, descriptions that delight the saintly devotees."

 

     These words affirm that pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the primary topic of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The words "hari-lila-kathamrita" mean "The descriptions of Lord Krishna's pastimes are nectar", and the words "sat-suram mean "The self satisfied (atmarama) devotees.     

     The glory of pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.12.11):

    

 

ittham satam brahma-sukhanubhutya

 

 

     "Lord Krishna, who awards the impersonal brahman realization by His bodily effulgence, also gives pleasure to the devotees as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who are under the spell of external energy, maya, take Him only as a beautiful child. Yet He gave full transcendental pleasure to the cowherd boys who played with Him. Only after accumulating heaps of pious activities, those boys were promoted to personally associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

 

     It is also described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.1.9):

    

 

parinishthito 'pi nairgunye

 

 

     "O saintly king, I was certainly situated perfectly in trascendence, yet I was still attracted by the delineation of the pastimes of the Lord, who is described by enlightened verses."*

 

     Therefore the word "kaivalya" in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 12.13.12 should be interpreted according to these explanations of the true prupose of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The true meaning of “kaivalya", then, is "pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead". However, even if the word “kaivalya" is interpreted to mean "purity", it still refers to love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for that love is the purest thing that exists. That the word “shuddha" (pure) may be used to describe the unalloyed devotees of the Lord has already been established in the Bhakti-sandarbha. Others, persons who are not devotees of the Lord, have many faults. These persons are criticized in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.2):

    

 

dharma-projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramah

 

 

     "Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth."*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

 

     "In this verse the preposition `pra' in the word `projjhita' indicates that the desire for liberation is also rejected in this book."

 

     Therefore this verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam declares that the desire for liberation is actually materially motivated (kaitava). Although the word "kaivalya" may be used to describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or the spiritual nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the devotees who love the Supreme Lord still say (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.15.49):

 

Š

kamam bhavah sva-vrijinair nirayeshu nah stac

     ceto 'livad yadi nu te padayo rameta

 

 

     "O Lord, we pray that You let us be born in any hellish condition of live, just as long as our hearts and minds are always engaged in the service of Your lotus feet, our words are made beautiful (by speaking of Your activities) just as tulasi leaves are beautified when offered to Your lotus feet, and as long as our ears are always filled with the chanting of Your transcendental qualities."*

 

     Here it is seen that the devotees give their love to the Supreme Personality of Godhead alone. If the word “kaivalya" may be interpreted to mean "liberation". Still, the best meaning of that word is "pure love for the Premadasa". That is the interpetation that should be accepted. In truth the word "kaivalya" nad other like words primarily refer to pure devotional service. This is seen in the following prose pasage of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (5.19.19-20):

    

 

yatha-varna-vidhanam apavargash capi bhavati. . .yo 'sau bhagavati sarva-bhutatmany anatmye 'nirukte 'nilayane paramatmani vasudeve 'nanya-nimitta-bhakti-yoga-lakshano nana-gati-nimittavidya-granthi-randhana-dvarena yada hi maha-purusha-purusha-prasangah.

 

 

     "If one's position is ascertained by a bona-fide spiritual master and one is properly trained to engage in the service of Lord Vishnu according to the four social divisions (brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya, and shudra) and the four spiritual divisions (brahmacari, grihastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa), one's life becomes perfect.*

     "After many, many births, when the results of one's pious activities mature, one gets an opportunity to associate with pure devotees. Then one is able to cut the knot of bondage to ignorance, which bound him because of varied fruitive activities. As a result of associating with devotees, one gradually renders service to Lord Vasudeva, who is transcendental, free from attachment to the material world, beyond the mind and words, and independent of everything else. That bhakti-yoga, devotional service to Lord Vasudeva, is the real path of liberation."*

 

     In the first paragraph here it is said: "One who follows the varbnasrama system (varnasya yad vidhanam) and, following his own nature, engages in devotional service, offering the results of his work to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will gradually attain liberation (apavargas ca bhavati). The nature of that liberation is described in the second paragraph. The word "atmya" here means material passion and other vices", and therefore the word "anatmya" means “freedom from those vices". The person described here strives to attain the happiness felt by the devotees. He does not try to become happy separate from the Lord. He wishes to be happy as the devotees are happy. Here the word "anirukte" means “the Supreme Personality of Godhead's form and qualities are beyond the descriptive power of words". The word “anilayane" means "the Supreme Personality of Godhead never dies (nilayana). He exists eternally". Here the word “bhakti-yogah" (devotional service" is modified by the adjective "ananya-nimitta", which means "free from liberation or any other material motivation". The word “laksanah" means "that is the nature of devotional service". The activities by which one attains what is described by the word "apavargah" are described in the words: “nana-gati-nimittavidya-granthi-randhana", which mean “Then one is able to cut the knot of bondage to ignorance, which bound him because of varied fruitive activities." In this way (dvarena) one attains what is called "apavarga". That is the meaning here. The word "apavarga" comes from the verb "vrij" preceded by the peroposition "apa". It is derived in that way. It is said in the Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda:

 

 

vishnor anucaratvam hi

     moksham ahur manishinah

 

 

     "The wise say that devotional service to Lord Vishnu is true liberation."

 

     In the same way it is said in the Skanda Purana, Reva-khanda:

 

 

nishcala tvayi bhaktir ya

     saiva muktir janardane

mukta eva hi bhaktas te

     tava vishno yato hareh

 

 

     "O Lord Krishna, unwavering devotion to You is true liberation. O Lord Vishnu, Your devotees are already liberated."

 

     Reassuring Queen Rukmini, Lord Krishna said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.60.50-53):

 

 

santi hy ekanta-bhaktayas tava. . .

 

 . . .mam prapya maniny apavarga-sampadam

     vanchanti ye sampada eva tat-patim

 

 

     "O most beautiful Rukmini, you are My dearmost wife. I am greatly pleased to understand how much love you have for Me. Please take it for granted that no matter what ambition and desire you might have and no matter what you might expect from Me, I am always at your service. And it is a fact also that My devotees, My dearmost friends and servitors, are always free from material conbtamination, even though they are not inclined to ask from Me such liberation. My devotees never desire anything from Me except to be engaged in My service.

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.12) it is said:

 

 

kaivalya-sammata-pathas tv atha bhakti-yogah

 

 

     "Transcendental knowledge in relation with the Supreme Lord Hari is knowledge resulting in the complete suspension of the waves and whirlpools of the material modes. Such knowledge is self-satisfying due to its being free from material attachment, and being transcendental it is approved by authorities. Who could fail to be attracted?"*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

 

     "This verse means: `Devotional service is the true path of liberation."

 

     The word "pathah" (path) here means "the way to attain association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead." This is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 5.19.20 (quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda) in the passage beginning with the words "yada hi". That verse was spoken by Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami.

 

 

Anuccheda 17

 

 

     in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.10.1) it is said:

 

 

atra sargo visargash ca. . .

 

 

     "In the Shrimad-Bhagavatam there are tne divisions of statements regarding the following: the creation of the universe, subcreation, planetary systems, protection by the Lord, the creative impetus, the change of Manus, the science of God, returning home, back to Godhead, liberation, and the summum bonum."*

 

     In the this description of the ten topic of a maha-purana, the word "mukti" (liberation) comes toward the end. Therefore, before attaining liberation one must first attain “poshana", which precedes it in this list. “Poshana" here means "mercy". The greatest mercy is the gift of pure love (priti) for the Lord. This is described in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (5.6.18):

    

 

muktim dadati karhicit sma na bhakti-yogam

 

 

     "Those engaged in getting the Lord's favor attain liberation from the Lord very easily, but He does not very easily give the opportunity to render direct service unto Him."*

 

     This is also confirmed by the following words, where Supreme Personality of Godhead tells King Prithu (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.16):

    

 

varam ca mat kancana manavendra

     vrinishva. . .

 

 

     "My dear king, I am very captivated by your elevated qualities and excellent behavior, and thus I am very favorably inclined toward you. You may therefore ask from Me any benediction you like."*

 

     King Prithu spoke these words in reply to the Lord (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.31):

    

 

yatha cared bala-hitam pita svayam

     tatha tvam evarhasi nah samihitum

 

 

     "My Lord, due to Your illusory energy, all living beings in this material world have forgotten their real constitutional position, and out of ignorance they are always desirous of material happinesss in the form of society, friendship, and love. Therefore please do not ask me to take some material benefits from You, but as a father, not waiting for the son's demand, does everything for the benefit of the son, please bestow upon me whatever You think best for me."*

 

     The Supreme Lord then said to King Prithu (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.32):

    

 

tam aha rajan mayi bhaktir astu

 

 

     "The Lord, the seer of the universe, after hearing Prithu Maharaja's prayer, addressed the king: `My dear king, may you always be blessed by engaging in My devotional service'."*

 

     The word "bhakti" here means "devotional service filled with pure love for the Lord". This last verse was spoken by Lord Vishnu.

 

 

Anuccheda 18

 

 

     By hearing Shrimad-Bhagavatam one attains pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, love that is the true goal of life. This has already been briefly explained in Tattva-sandarbha. This truth about pure love for the Supreme Lord was revealed to Lord Vyasadeva is a mystic trance of samadhi and it was also revealed to Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami in his heart. That one attains love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead by hearing Shrimad-Bhagavatam is confirmed by these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.7.7):

    

 

yasyam vai shruyamanayam. . .

 

 

     "Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion, and fearfulness."*

 

     It is also confirmed by these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 12.12.69):

    

 

svasukha-nibhrita-cetas tad-vyudastanya-bhavah. . .

 

 

     "I offer my respectful obeisances unto Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami, the son of Vyasadeva. He is the destroyer of all sinful reactions and is full in self-realization and bliss. Because of this, he has no other desire. Still, he was attracted by the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and out of compassion for the people, he described the transcendental historical literature called Shrimad-Bhagavatam. This is compared to the light of the Absolute Truth."*

 

     It is also confirmed by these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.2):

    

 

dharma-projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramah. . .

 . . .kim va parair ishvarah

     sadyo hridy avarudhyate 'tra kritibhih shushrushubhis tat-kshanat

 

 

     "Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, complied by the great sage Vyasadeva (in his maturity), is sufficent in itself for God-realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart."*

 

     In the four most important verses of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.9.33-36) thw word "rahasya" (secret) refers to this truth: that by hearing Shrimad-Bhagavatam one attains love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This has already been described in Bhagavat-sandarbha's explanation of the third of these four most important verses. Love for the Supreme Lord is true liberation, is the Lord's greatest mercy, and is the greatest goal of life. Simply by hearing Shrimad-Bhagavatam one attains it. As Shri Vyasa was about to write Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Shri Narada rebuked him and gave him this instruction (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.9):

    

 

yatha dharmadayash cartha

     muni-varyanukirtitah

na tatha vasudevasya

     mahima hy anuvarnitah

 

 

     "Although, great sage, you have very broadly described the four principles beginning with religious performances, you have not described the glories of the Supreme Personality, Vasudeva."*

 

     In this verse the word "ca" means “although". Shri Narada spoke these words because he knew that the description of the Supreme Lord's glories would awaken love for Him. This verse was spoken by Shri Narada.

 

 

Anuccheda 19

 

 

     Devotional service eclipses all kinds of liberation. Opening their throats, the scriptures loudly proclaim this truth. Sometimes liberation is offered by the Supreme Lord Himself, and sometimes it is given by the Lord's persopnal associates. In either case liberation is eclipsed by devotional service. That liberation offered by the Supreme Lord Himself is eclipsed by devotional service is seen in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (5.6.17):

    

 

yasyam eva kavaya atmanam aviratam vividha-vrijina-samsara-paritapopatapyamanam anushavanam snapayantas tayaiva paraya nivritya hy apavargam atyantikam parama-purushartham api svayam asaditam no evadriyante bhagavadiyatvenaiva parisamapta-sarvarthah.

 

 

     "Devotees always bathe themselves in devotional service in order to be relieved of the various tribulations of material existence. By doing this, the devotees enjoy supreme bliss, and liberation personified comes to serve them. Nonetheless, they do not accept that service, even if it is offered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hismelf. For the devotees, liberation (mukti) is very unimportant because, having attained the Lord's transcendental loving service, they have attained everything desirable and have transcended all material desires."*

 

     In this passage the word "yasyam" means “devotional service, which was described in the previous paragraph". Liberation and all other kinds of good fortune follow as by-products of devotional service. This is also confirmed by the following words of Shri Narada-pancaratra:

 

 

hari-bhakti-maha-devyah

     sarva mukty-adi-siddhayah

bhuktayash cadbhutas tasyash

     cetika-vad anuvratah

 

 

     "Liberation and all other perfections, as well as all kinds of wonderful enjoyments are the followers and servants of the goddess of devotional service."

 

     Still, the devotees disdain all these offered perfections and enjoyments. This is described in the following words spoken by King Indra to Shri Vritra Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.12.22):

    

 

yasya bhaktir bhagavati

     harau nihshreyaseshvare

vikridato 'mritambhodhau

     kim kshudraih khatakodakaih

 

 

     "A person fixed in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord, Hari, the Lord of the highest auspiciousness, swims in the ocean of nectar. For him, what is the use of water in small ditches?"*

 

     The verse quoted in the beginning of this anuccheda was spoken by Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami.

 

 

Anuccheda 20

 

 

     That devotional service eclipses the liberated attained by serving great devotees and by hearing the descriptions of the Lord's glories is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.87.21):

    

 

duravagamatma-tattva-nigamaya tavatta-tanosh

     carita-mahimamritabdhi-parivarta-parishramanah

na parilashanti kecid apavargam apishvara te

     carana-saroja-hamsa-kula-sanga-vishrishta-grihah

 

 

     "Dear Lord, it is very difficult to understand spiritual knowledge. Your appearance here, just as You are, is to explain to us this most difficult subject of knowledge of the spirit. As such, Your devotees who have left their domestic comforts to associate with the liberated acaryas (teachers) are now fully merged in the devotional service of Your Lordship, and thus they do not care for any so-called liberation."*

 

     In this verse the words "atma-tattvam" mean “the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, "nigama" means "knowledge", "atta-tanoh" means “whose form is maifest", "pari" means "for renouncing", "carita-mahamritabdheh parivarta" means "by diving int the nectar of Your pastimes, they become free of all fatigue", "carana-saroja-hamsanam" means "the great souls like Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami", “kulani" means "the disciples and granddisciples", "sanga-vishrishta" means because of that association they have renoucned their homes", and "apavargam na parilashanti" means "Because they are like swans at the lotus flowers of Your feet, they do not desire even liberation". What more need be said of these great souls? In this way the meaning of this verse is explained. This verse was spoken by the Personified Vedas.

 

 

Anuccheda 21

 

 

     In this way devotional service eclipses even the liberation attained by serving the Lord and also the liberation attained by chanting and hearing the Lord's glories. This has already been discussed in the Bhakti-sandarbha, where Lord Kapiladeva was quoted as saying Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.24):

    

 

naikatmatam me sprihayanti kecit. . .

 

 

     "A pure devotee, who is attached to the activities of devotional service and who always engages in the service of My lotus feet, never desires to become one with Me. Such a devotee, who is unflinchingly engaged, always glorifies My pastimes and activities."*

 

     In this verse the word "ekatmatam" means either “the liberation of merging into the impersonal Brahman" or "the liberation of merging into the Supreme Personality of Godhead". That devotional service eclipses even the liberation attained by serving the Lord is affirmed by Lord Vishnu Himself in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (9.4.67):

    

 

mat-sevaya pratitam te. . .

 

 

     "My devotees, who are always satisfied to be engaged in My loving service, are not interested even in the four principles of liberation (salokya, sarupya, samipya, and sarshti), although these are automatically achieved by their service. What then is to be said of such perishable happiness as elevation to the higher planetary systems?"*

 

     This is also affirmed by Lord Kapiladeva in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.29.13):

    

 

salokya-sarshti. . .

 

 

     "A pure devotee does not accept any kind of liberation-salokya, sarshti, samipya, sarupya, or ekatva- even though they are offered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

 

     In this way the scriptures say that liberation is to be rejected, as the other goals of life are also. In this way it is seen that all these goals are eclipsed by devotional servicve. That ordinary liberation is eclipsed by devotional service is affirmed by these words previously quoted in Bhakti-sandarbha and other places (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.20.34):

    

 

na kincit sadhavo dhirah. . .

 

 

     "My dear Uddhava, the devotees who have completely taken shelter of My service are so steadfast in devotional service that they have no other desire. Even if they are offered the four kinds of spiritual opulences, they will refuse to accept them. So what to speak of their desiring anything within this material world!"*

 

     This truth is also affirmed by these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.10.6):

    

 

naivecchaty ashishah kvapi

     brahmarshir moksham apy uta

bhaktim param bhagavati

     labdhavan purushe 'vyaye

 

 

     "My dear Devi, this great brahmana sage Markandeya has attained unflinching faith and devotion unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such he does not aspire after any benedictions, including liberation from the material world."*

 

     Liberation is also eclipsed by attachment to the Lord, an attachment that frees one from the material pleasures and sufferings destined by one's past karma. This is described in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.17.28):

    

 

narayana-parah sarve

     na kutashcana bibhyati

svargapavarga-narakeshv

     api tulyartha-darshinah

 

 

     "Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, never fear any condition of life. For them, the heavenly planets, liberation, and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord."*

 

     Because their only goal is to attain the Supreme Personality of Godhead, these devotees see every place in the material world, from Svargaloka down to the lower worlds, as equally abominable. In this way they see with equal vision. This verse was spoken by Lord Shiva to Goddess Durga.

 

 

Anuccheda 22

 

 

     Liberation is also eclipsed by the intense longing to serve the feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.4.15):

    

 

ko nv isha te pada-saroja-bhajam

     sudurlabho 'rtheshu caturshv apiha

tathapi naham pravrinomi bhuman

     bhavat-padambhoja-nishevanotsukah

 

 

     "O Lord, devotees who engage in the transcendental loving service of Your lotus feet have no difficulty in achieving anything within the realm of the four principles of religiosity, economic development, sense gratification, and liberation. But, O great one, as far as I am concerned, I have preferred only to engage in the loving service of Your lotus feet."*

 

     In this verse the word "isha" means "O Supreme Personality of Godhead". This verse was spoken by Shri Uddhava to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

Anuccheda 23

 

 

     Liberation is also eclipsed by the desire to worship the Lord by offering everything to Him. This is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.14):

 

 

na parameshthyam na mahendra-dhishnyam

     na sarvabhaumam na rasadhipatyam

na yoga-siddhir apunar-bhavam va

     mayy arpitatmecchati mad vinanyat

 

 

     "My dear Uddhava, a person whose consciousness is completely absorbed in My thought and activities does not aspire ŤŠeven to occupy the post of Brahma, or the post of Indra, or the post of lordship over the planets, or the eight kinds of mystic perfections, or even liberation itself."*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

 

     "Here the word `rasadhipatyam' means `lordship over  Patalaloka and the other lower worlds', `apunar-bhavam' means `liberation', `mad-vina anyan icchati' means `he does not desire anything but Me' The meaning here is `I am most dear to him'. That is the meaning.".

 

     Here the word "sarvabhaumam" means "a great kingdom, like that of Maharaja Priyavrata and other great kings". In this verse the rulership of four planets, beginning with Brahmaloka (parameshthya) and going down from there to lesser worlds, is described. If the rulership of Brahmaloka is rejected here, then what need be said about the rulership of other, lesser worlds? Liberation and yogic powers are also rejected here. Devotional service is superior to them both. This verse was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

Anuccheda 24

 

 

     It is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.11.25):

    

 

na naka-prishtham na ca parameshthyam

     na sarvabhaumam na rasadhipatyam

na yoga-siddhir apunar-bhavam va

     samanjasa tva virahayya kankshe

 

 

     "O my Lord, source of all opportunities, I do not desire to enjoy in Dhruvaloka, the heavenly planets, or the planet where Lord Brahma resides, nor do I want to be the supreme ruler of all the earthly planets or the lower planetary systems. I do not desire to be master of the powers of mystic yoga, nor do I want liberation if I have to give up Your lotus feet."*

 

     Here the word "naka-prishtham" means “Dhruvaloka". If Dhruvaloka is rejected, then what need be said about the four other worlds described in the pervious verse quoted here. Those four worlds are all inferior to Dhruvaloka. Dhruvaloka is superior because it is near the spiritual world of Lord Vishnu. This verse was spoken by Shri Vritra.

 

 

Anuccheda 25

 

 

     That liberation is also eclipsed by attaining close association with the Lord is confirmed by these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.16.37):

    

 

na naka-prishtham na ca parameshthyam

     na sarvabhaumam na rasadhipatyam

na yoga-siddhir apunar-bhavam va

     vanchanti yat-pada-rajah-prapannah

 

 

     "Dear Lord, the dust of Your lotus feet is very wonderful. Any person who is fortunate enough to achieve this dust does not care for heavenly planets, lordship over all the planetary systems, the mystic perfections of yoga, or even liberation from material existence."*

 

     This verse says: "He does not care for heavenly planets, what to speak of lordship over Brahmaloka, what to speak of lordship over Patalaloka." In the second half of this stanza the word "va" (or) shows the relationshiop of all these. There the word "pada-rajah" (the dust of Your lotus feet) indicates close devotional association with the Lord. This verse was spoken by the Nagapatnis to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

Anuccheda 26

 

 

     Liberation is also eclipsed by the activities of chanting the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is confirmed by these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.6.25):

    

 

tushte ca tatra kim alabhyam ananta adye

     kim tair guna-vyatikarad iha ye sva-siddhah

dharmadayah kim agunena ca kankshitena

     saram jusham caranayor upagayatam nah

 

 

     "Nothing is unobtainable for devotees who have satisfied the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the cause of all causes, the original source of everything. The Lord is the reservoir of unlimited spiritual qualities. For devotees, therefore, who are transcendental to the modes of material nature, what is the use of following the principles of religion, economic development, sense gratification, and liberattion, which are all automatically obtainable under the influence of the modes of nature? We devotees always glorify the lotus feet of the Lord, and therefore we need not ask for anything in terms of dharma, kama, artha, and moksha."*

 

     In this verse the word "agunena" means "by liberation", and "saram-jusham" means "of the saintly devotees who taste the sweetness of glorifying the Lord". This verse was spoken by Shri Prahlada to the sons of the demons.

 

 

Anuccheda 27

 

 

     Liberation is also eclipsed by hearing the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is confirmed by the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.20.23-24):

    

 

varan vibho tvad varadeshvarad budhah

     katham vrinite guna-vikriyatmanam

ye narakanam api santi dehinam

     tan isha kaivalya-pate vrine na ca

 

 

     "My dear Lord, You are the best of the demigods who can offer benedictions. Why, therefore, should any learned person ask You for benedictions meant for living entities bewildered by the modes of material nature? Such benedictions are available automatically, even in the lives of the living entities suffering in hellish conditions.My dewar Lord, You can certainly bestow merging into Your existence, but I do not wish to have such a benediction.*

 

 

na kamaye natha tad apy aham kvacin

     na yatra yushmac-caranambujasavah

mahattamantar-hridayan mukha-cyuto

     vidhatsva karnayutam esha me varah

 

 

     "My dear Lord, I therefore do not wish to have the benediction of merging into Your existence, a benediction where there is no existence of the nectarean beverage of Your lotus feet. I want the benediction of at least one million ears, for thus I may be able to hear about the glories of Your lotus feet from the mouths of Your pure devotees."*

 

     In this verse the words "tad api" mean "even liberation". These verses were spoken by King Prithu to Lord Vishnu.

 

 

Anuccheda 28

 

 

     Liberation is also eclipsed by the desire to become a servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is confirmed by the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (5.14.44):

    

 

yo dustyajan kshiti-suta-svajanartha-daran

     prarthyam shriyam sura-varaih sadayavalokam

naicchan nripas tad-ucitam mahatam madhudvit-

     sevanurakta-manasam abhavo 'pi phalguh

 

 

     "My dear king, the activities of Bharata Maharaja are wonderful. He gave up everything difficult for others to give up. He gave up his kingdom, his wife, and his family. His opulence was so great that even the demigods envied it, yet he gave it up. It was quite befitting a great personality like him to be a great devotee. He could renounce everything because he was so attracted to the beauty, opulence, reputation, knowledge, strength, and renunciation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Krishna is so attractive that one can give up all desirable things for His sake. Indeed, even liberation is considered insignificant for those whose minds are attracted to the loving service of the Lord."*

 

     In this verse the word "yah" (who) refers to Rishabhadeva's son Bharata. This verse was spoken by Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami.

 

 

Anuccheda 29

 

 

     Liberation is also eclipsed by the desire to serve the Lord by becoming a demigod and ruling a planet on the Lord's behalf. This is described in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.8.42):

    

 

pratyanitah parama bhavata trayata nah sva-bhaga

     daityakrantam hridaya-kamalam tad-griham pratyabodhi

kala-grastam kiyad idam aho natha shushrushatam te

     muktis tesham na hi bahumata narasimhaparaih kim

 

 

     "O Supreme Lord, You are our deliverer and protector. Our shares of sacrifice, which are actually Yours, have been recovered from the demon by You. Because the demoniac king Hiranyakashipu was most fearsome, our hearts, which are Your permenant abode, were all overtaken by him. Now, by Your presence, the gloom and darkness in our hearts have been dissipated. O Lord, for those who always engage in Your service, which is more exalted than liberation, all material opulence is insignificant. They do not even care for liberation, not to speak of the benefits of kama, artha, and dharma."*

 

     The meaning of this verse is clear. This verse was spoken by the demigod Indra to Lord Nrisimha.

 

 

Anuccheda 30

 

 

     Liberation is also eclipsed by associating with great devotees of the Lord. This is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.24.57):

 

 

kshanardhenapi tulaye

     na svargam napunar-bhavam

bhagavat-sangi-sangasya

     martyanam kim utashishah

 

 

     "If one by chance associates with a devotee, even for a fraction of a moment, he no longer is subject to attraction by the results of karma or jnana. What interest, then, can he have in the benedictions of the demigods, who are subject to the laws of birth and death?"*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:

 

     "A person who has attained the feet of a great devotee becomes free of all fear. What remains to be attained by him? Association with a devotee of the Lord dances on the heads of all other goals of life."

 

     This verse was spoken by Lord Shiva to the Pracetas.

 

 

Anuccheda 31

 

 

     This is also confirmed by the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.30.33-34):

    

 

yavat te mayaya sprishta

     bhramama iha karmabhih

tavad bhavat-prasanganam

     sangah syan no bhave bhave

 

 

     "Dear Lord, as long as we have to remain within this material world due to our material contamination and wander from one type of body to another and from one planet to another, we pray that we may associate with those who are engaged in discussing Your pastimes. We pray for this benediction life after life, in different bodily forms and on different planets.*

 

 

tulayama lavenapi

     na svargam napunar-bhavam

bhagavat-sangi. . .

 

 

     "Even a moment's association with a pure devotee cannot be compared to being transferred to heavenly planets, or even merging into the Brahman effulgence in complete liberation. For living enttiies who are destined to give up the body and die, association with pure devotees is the highest benediction."*

 

     Afraid that they will turn their faces away from the Lord and become non-devotees, the devotees offer this prayer, to protect themselves from becoming non-devotees. By associating with devoptees, they save themselves from becoming non-devotees. In the second of these verses is described the limitless glory of the devotees. In the first of these verses the devotees say they wish to love the lotus feet of the Lord and stay near them. The devotees do not desire samipya-mukti or any other kind of liberation. These two verses were spoken by the Pracetas to the eight-armed Purusha-avatara.

 

 

Anuccheda 32

 

 

     Similar verses are seen in many different places in the scriptures. That devotional service is the highest attainment is also confirmed in the following words from the Brihat-tantra, words quoted by Shrila Madhvacarya in his commentary:

 

 

yatha shrir nitya-muktapi

     prapta-kamapi sarvada

upaste nityasho vishnum

     evam bhakto bhaved api

 

 

     "Even though she is eternally liberated, and even though her every desire is at once fulfilled, Goddess Lakshmi still worships Lord Vishnu eternally. The devotees also act in that way."

 

     In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana it is said:

 

 

na hraso na ca vriddhir va

     muktanam vidyate kvacit

vidvat-pratyaksha-siddhatvat

     karanabhavato 'numa

 

 

     "For the liberated souls there is not improvement and no diminution. Because their knowledge is perfect, they are free from cause and effect.

 

 

harer upasana catra

     sadaiva sukha-rupini

na ca sadhana-bhuta sa

     siddhir evatra sa yatah

 

 

     "In the spiritual world they have forms of bliss. There they worship Lord Hari eternally. They do not make gradual advancement in devotional service, for their devotion is always perfect."

 

     In the Sauparna-shruti it is said:

 

 

sarvadaitam upasita, yavad vimuktir mukta hy etam upasate

 

 

     "The liberated souls worship Lord Hari eternally. The goddess of liberation herself worships Lord Hari."

 

     In his Bharata-tatparya commentary on Mahabharata, Shrila Madhvacarya quotes these words from another place in the Shruti-shastra:

 

 

muktanam pai bhaktir hi

     paramananda-rupini

 

 

     "The liberated souls also engage in devotional service. It brings them great bliss."

 

     This truth is also confirmed by the following words of the Gautamiya Tantra:

 

 

evam diksham cared yas tu

     purusho vita-kalmashah

sa loke vartamano 'pi

     jivan-muktah pramodate

 

 

     "A sinless person initiated by a bona-fide spiritual master becomes liberated. Even as he lives in the material world he is both liberated and happy.

 

 

uditakritir anandah

     sarvatra sama-darshakah

purnahanta-mayi sakshad

     bhaktih syat prema-lakshana

 

 

     "He becomes bliss personified. He sees with equal vision. Retaining his individual identity, he serves the Lord with great love and devotion."

 

     The equal vision mentioned here means that the devotees are equal in both loss and gain. In the Gautamiya Tantra the sages ask this question:

 

 

katham bhaktir bhavet premna

     jivan-muktasya narada

jivan-mukta-shariranam

     cit-satta-nihspriha yatah

virakteh karanam bhaktih

     sa tu muktes tu sadhanam

 

 

     "Why would a soul liberated in this life serve the Supreme Lord with love and devotion? The souls already liberated in this life have already attained eternal liberated life. Therefore they have no material desires. Devotional service is only a means to attain an end, to attain renunciation, or to attain liberation."

 

     To this question Shri Narada gives the following answer:

 

 

bhadra-muktam bhavadbhish ca

     muktis turya parat para

niraham yatra cit-satta

     turya sa muktir ucyate

 

 

     "You are all perfectly liberated. Liberation is beyond the material world. It is higher than the highest. Spiritual existence where individual idently no longer exists is called liberation.

 

 

purnahanta-mayi bhaktis

     turyatita nigadyate

krishna-dhamamayam brahma

     kvacit kutrapi bhasate

 

 

     "However, individual identity continues to exist in devotional service, which is said to be above even liberation. The impersonal Brahman effulgence that is the goal of liberation is only the effulgence of Lord Krishna's limbs.

 

 

nirvijendriya-gam tat tu

     atma-stham kevalam sukham

krishnas tu paripurnatma

     sarvatra sukha-rupakah

bhakti-vritti-kritabhyasat

     tat-kshanad gocari-kritah

 

 

     "Spiritual bliss is perceived only by spiritual senses. Lord Krishna is the original form of the Supreme. He is always full of bliss. By regularly serving Him with devotion one can come to see Him directly."

 

     Even the impersonalist philosophers accept the supreme position of the Lord's personal form. In the Nrisimha-tapani Upanishad (2.4) it is said:

 

 

yam vai sarve deva amananti mumukshavo brahma-vadinash ca

 

 

     "The demigods, the brahmavadis, and the jnanis who long for liberation all bow down before the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     In his commentary on that verse Shri Shankaracarya says:

 

 

yatha mukta api lilaya vigraham kritva bhagavantam bhajante

 

 

     "The liberated souls attain spiritual bodies, worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead and participate in His pastimes."

 

     The word "brahma-vadinah" here means "liberated souls". This is supported by these words of Panini (Ashtadhyayi 7.2.7):

 

 

vada sthairye

 

 

     That the impersonalist jnanis eventually become devotees is also confiremd by these words (Bhagavad-gita 7.17):

    

 

tesham jnani nitya-yukta

     eka-bhaktir vishishyate

 

 

     "Of these, the wise one who is in full knowledge in union with Me through pure devotional service is the best."*

 

     That the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest attainemnt is confirmed by the following words of the Narada-pancaratra, Jitanta-stotra:

 

 

moksha-salokya-sarupyan

     prarthaye na dharadhara

icchami hi maha-bhaga

     karunyam tava suvrata

 

 

     "O Lord, O maintainer of the worlds, I do not pray for liberation, or to live on Your planet, or to have a from like Your form. I wish only for Your mercy."

 

     That devotional service eclipses all other goals of life is confirmed by these words of Shri Hayashirsha-pancaratra, Shri Narayana-vyuha-stava:

 

 

na dharmam kamam artham va

     moksham va varadeshvara

prarthaye tava padabje

     dasyam evabhikamaye

 

 

     "O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O giver of boons, I do not pray for piety, sense pleasure, or wealth. I wish only service to Your feet.

 

 

punah punar varan ditsur

     vishnur muktim na yacitah

bhaktir eva vrita yena

     prahladam tam namamy aham

 

 

     "I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Prahlada. Even though Lord Vishnu again and again offered boons to him, he never asked for liberation. The boons he chose were only devotional service.

 

 

yadricchaya labdham api

     vishnor dasharathes tu yah

naicchan moksam vina dasyam

     tasmai hanumate namah

 

 

     "I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Hanuman. Even though Lord Ramacandra offered him liberation, he would not accept it without devotional service."

 

     In the Jitanta-stotra it is also said:

 

 

dharmartha-kama-moksheshu

     neccha mama kadacana

tvat-pada-pankajasyadho

     jivitam diyatam mama

 

 

     "O Lord, never I will wish for material piety, sense pleasure, or money. Please give me only a place under Your lotus feet."

 

     It is not surprising that love for the Supreme Lord eclipses all other goals of life. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (5.18.12) it is said:

 

 

yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana

     sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah

 

 

     "All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge, and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva."*

 

     Devotional service brings the virtue of compassion. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (9.21.12) King Rantideva says:

    

 

na kamaye 'ham gatim ishvarat param

     ashtarddhi-yuktam apunar-bhavam va

artim prapadye 'khila-deha-bhajam

     antah-sthito yena bhavanty aduhkhah

 

 

     "I do not pray to the Supreme Personality of Godhead for the eight perfections of mystic yoga, nor for salvation from repeated birth and death. I want only to stay among all the living entities and suffer all distresses on their behalf, so that they may be freed from suffering."*

 

     The meaning of this verse is clear. Because he was a great hero of compassion (daya-vira), King Rantideva would not abandon the people in general. Neither did he consider who was worthy and who was not worthy to receive charity from him. In the same way, persons who are heroes of charity (dana-vira), persons who, because of their earnest love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, have renounced even liberation, have nothing to fear. Such persons, persons like Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami, persons who know the truth, persons who have faith that love for the Supreme Lord is the highest goal of life, are described in this verse. Such persons choose love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead over any kind of liberation. This verse was spoken by King Rantideva.

 

 

Anuccheda 33

 

 

     Love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is ultimate result obtained by following the spiritual practices described in the Vedas. It is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.9.41):

    

 

purtena tapasa yajnair

     danair yoga-samadhina

raddham nihshreyasam pumsam

     mat-pritis tattvavin-matam

 

 

     "It is the opinion of expert transcendentalists that the ultimate goal of performing all traditional good works, penances, sacrifices, charities, mystic activities, trances, etc. is to invoke My satisfaction."*

 

     Shrila Shridhara Svami comments: