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chaitanyadevam bhagavantam ashraye
shri-vaishnavanam pramude 'njasa likhan
avashyakam karma vicarya sadhubhih
sardham samahritya samasta-shastratah
atha—now; mangalacaranam—invoking auspiciousness; chaitanyadevam—Lord Chaitanyadeva; bhagavantam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ashraye—I take shelter; shri-vaishnavanam—of the devotees; pramude—for the pleasure; anjasa—properly; likhan—writing; avashyakam—compulsory; karma—work; vicarya—considering; sadhubhih—the devotees; sardham—with; samahritya—collecting; samasta—from all; shastratah—the shcriptures.
As, reflecting on what activities must be performed, and with the help of the devotees collecting many quotes from all the scriptures, I write this book for the devotees' pleasure, I take shelter of Lord Chaitanyadeva
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
brahmadi-shakti-pradam ishvaram tam
datum sva-bhaktim kripayavatirnam
chaitanyadevam sharanam prapadye
yasya prasadat sva-vashe 'rtha-siddhih
I take shelter of Lord Chaitanyadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who empowers Brahma and the demigods, who descended to this world to give His own devotional service, and whose mercy allows His devotees to conquer Him and bring Him under their control.
tika dig-darshini nama
This commentary, which bears the name Dig-darshini tika (A Commentary That Shows the Direction), and which explains a small portion of the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, has been written as far as I am able.
As I begin the difficult task of writing this book, in order to attain a good result I first take shelter of my parama-guru, my worshipable Deity, Lord Chaitanya. The name Chaitanya means the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the form of pure knowledge (cit), who is worshiped by all the universes, and who among all Deities has the most perfect transcendental knowledge. Or, another meaning of the name Chaitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who stays in everyone's heart (citta). Or, another meaning of the name Chaitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who gives life (cetana) to all living entities. I take shelter of Him, Lord Chaitanya, the master of my life.
Why do I write this book? I write to describe the activities that should be performed by the saintly devotees of Lord Vishnu. Why else do I write? I write to please them.
Someone may ask: How can a fallen person like you be successful in such a task? I reply: I shall be successful because I take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has all powers and opulences, who has a great host of virtues, beginning with His great mercy, and who Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28 reveals is Lord Krishna. In this way three parts of this verse are explained. By taking shelter of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu I will be successful in this task. That is the meaning here.
Furthermore, it is by His power, by His order, and by His glory that I am engaged in this task. I do not write by my own wish. I do not write to glorify myself.
In my opinion the perfect name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. By taking shelter of His mercy this book is not at all difficult to write. Indeed, everything is done very easily. That is the meaning.
Here someone may object: All these things have already been described in the Vedas, Smriti, Puranas, Agamas, and other scriptures. Why should you write something more? To this I reply: I will gather quotes from all the scriptures and put each quote in its appropriate place. That is how I will write this book.
bhakter vilasamsh cinute prabodha-
nandasya shishyo bhagavat-priyasya
santoshayan rupa-sanatanau ca
bhakteh—of devotional service; vilasan—the pastimes; cinute—gathers; prabodhanandasya—of Prabodhananda Sarasvati; shishyah—the disciple; bhagavat—to the Lord; priyasya—dear; gopala-bhaööah—Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami; raghunatha-dasam—Raghunatha dasa Gosvami; santoshayan—pleasing; rupa—Rupa Gosvami; sanatanau—Sanatana Gosvami; ca—and.
Shrila Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami, who pleased Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and who was a disciple of Lord Chaitanya's dear devotee, Shrila Prabodhananda Sarasvati, first collected these pastimes of devotional service.
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
The pastimes of devotional service are this book, Shri Hari-bhakti-vilasa.
tad-bhaktah shilayantv imam
mathura—of Mathura; natha—of the master; padabja—for the lotus feet; prema—love; bhakti—and devotion; vilasatah—from the pastimes; jatam—born; bhakti-vilasakhyam—named Bhakti-vilasa; tad-bhaktah—His devotees; shilayantv—may study; imam—this.
May the devotees of the Lord carefully study this Hari-bhakti-vilasa, which has come from a person who enjoys splendid pastimes of love and devotion for the lotus feet of Mathura's master.
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
The compound word mathura-natha-padabja-prema-bhakti-vilasatah may mean either "the book Hari-bhakti-vilasa has come from the playful happiness of Shrila Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami, who is filled with love and devotion for Mathura's master," or "the book Hari-bhakti-vilasa has come from Shrila Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami, who who enjoys splendid pastimes of love and devotion for the lotus feet of Mathura's master."
The devotees here are like bumblebees at the lotus feet of Mathura's master. If the alternate reading "shobhayantu" is accepted, then the text reads, "the devotees of the Lord are glorious because they are faultless and because they always hear and chant the glories of the Lord." If the reading alankurvantu is accepted, then the text reads, “the devotees of the Lord are decorated with all virtues, beginning with humbleness."
shri-vaishnava mathura-mandale 'tra
kashishvarah krishna-vane cakastu
shri-krishna-dasash ca sa-lokanathah
jiyasuh—all glories; atyantika-bhakti-nishöhah—to they who have great faith and devotion; shri-vaishnava—the devotees of Lord Vishnu; mathura—of Mathura; mandale—in the circle; atra—here; kashishvarah—Kashishvara; krishna-vane—in Lord Krishna's forest; cakastu—manifest; shri-krishna-dasah—Krishna dasa; ca—and; sa-lokanathah—with Lokanatha.
All glories to the great devotees here in Lord Krishna's forest within Mathura-mandala! May Kashishvara, Krishnadasa, and Lokanatha appear before me.
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
Tasting the nectar of devotional service to the lotus feet of Mathura's master, the the devotees happily live in the land of Mathura. In Shri Gopala-tapani‘ Upanishad, Vrindavana is called “the forest of Lord Krishna". In that forest the devotees happily enjoy pastimes of hearing and chanting Lord Krishna's glories. The word sa-lokanathah (with Lokanatha) indicates the close friendship between Krishnadasa Kaviraja and Lokanatha Gosvami. It was in the company of the devotees mentioned here that this book was written.
adau sa-karanam lekhyam
guruh shishyah parikshadir
bhagavan manavo 'sya ca
tatra—there; lekhya-pratijna—description of what will bewritten; adau—in the begtinning; sa-karanam—with reasons; lekhyam—to be written; shri-guru—of the spiritual master; ashrayanam—shelter; tatah—then; guruh—the guru; shishyah—the disciple; parikshadih—examination; bhagavan—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; manavah—mantras; asya—of Him; ca—and; mantra—for the mantras; adikari—qualified person; siddhy-adi—beginning with perfection; shodhanam—purification; mantra—of mantras; samskriya—rite of purification.
Table of Contents
In this book will be discussed: (First Vilasa) 1. Taking shelter of a bona-fide spiritual master, 2. the qualities of a bona-fide spiritual master, 3. the qualities of a bona-fide disciple, 4. tests presented to the spiritual master and disciple, 5. the qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 6. the mantras glorifying the Supreme Personality of Godhead. 7. the qualities of a person eligible to chant these mantras, 8. the rites of purification, beginning with Siddhi, 9. the purification of mantras, . . .
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
Here will be described the spiritual master and his qualities. Then will be described the mantras of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the glories of these mantras.
diksha nityam brahma-kale
diksha—initiation; nityam—regularly; brahma-kale—at brahma-muhurta; shubha—auspicious; utthanam—rising; pavitrata—purity.
. . . (Second Vilasa) 10. initiation, 11. rising every day at brahma-muhurta, 12. cleanliness, . . .
pratah smrityadi krishnasya
vadyadyaish ca prabodhanam
pratah—at sunrise; smrity—remembering; adi—beginning with; krishnasya—of Lord Krishna; vadya-adyaih—activities beginning with playing music; ca—and; prabodhanam—awakening; nirmalya—the garlands worn by the Lord; uttarana—wearing; ady—beginning with; adau—in the beginning; mangalaratrikam—mangala-arati; tatah—then.
. . . (Third Vilasa) 13. remembering Lord Krishna and performing other devotional activities early in the morning, 14. awakening the Deity with music and other devotional activities, 15. wearing garlands worn by the Deity and accepting other remnants from the Deity, 16. manala-arati, . . .
manam dantasya dhavanam
maitra—passing urine; adi—beginning with; krityam—to be done; shauca—cleaning; acamanam—ringing the mount; dantasya—of the teeth; dhavanam—cleaning; snanam—bathing; tantrika-sandhya-adi—offering tantrika-sandhya; deva-sadmadi-samskriya—cleaning the temple.
. . . 17. the proper way to pass urine and stool, 18. cleaning the body. 19. rinsing the mouth, 20. cleaning the teeth, 21. bathing, 22. performing tantrika-sandhya (chanting the Gayatri mantra), (Fourth Vilasa) 23. cleaning the temple of the Lord, . . .
vastram piöham cordhva-pundram
tulasy-ady-ahritih—offerings to Tulasi; geha—of the house; snanam—cleaning; ushnodakadikam—with warm water; vastram—clothing; piöham—seat; ca—and; urdhva-pundram—tilaka; shri-gopi-candanadikam—beginning with gopi-candana.
. . 24. offering gifts to Tulasi, 25. cleaning one's house, 26. bathing with warm water, 27. garments, 28. sitting place, 29. tilaka, 30. gopi-candana, . . .
cakradi-mudra mala ca
mahatmyam catha krishnasya
cakra—with cakra; adi—beginning; mudra—mudras; mala—garlands; ca—and; griha-sandhya—offering sandhya at home; arcanam—worship; guroh—of the spiritual master; mahatmyam—the glories; ca—and; atha—then; krishnasya—of Lord Krishna; dvara-veshma—the door of the houee; antara—within; arcanam—worship.
. . . 31. the cakra-mudra and other mudras, 32. garlands, 33. performing sandhya at home, 34. worshiping the spiritual master, 35. the glories of the spiritual master, 36. worshiping Lord Krishna, 37. the glories of Lord Krishna, (Fifth Vilasa) 38. worshiping when one enters the door of the house, . . .
puja—worship; artha—for the purpose; asanam—a seat; arghyadi—beginning with arghya; sthapanam—placing; vighna-varanam—protection from obstacles; shri-guru—with the spiritual master; adi—beginning; natih—offering obeisances; bhuta-shuddhih—bhuta-shuddhi; prana-vishodhanam—purifying the life breath.
. . . 39. sitting down to worship the Lord, 40. arghya and other offerings, 41. removing obstacles, 42. bowing down before the spiritual master and other superiors, 43. bhuta-shuddhi, 44. purifying the life-breath, . . .
puja padani shri-murti-
nyasa—nyasas; mudra—mudras; pancakam—five; ca—and; krishna-dhyana—meditation on Lord Krishna; antara—in the heart; arcane—in worship; puja—worship; padani—places; shri-murti—the Deity of the Lord; shalagrama-shilah—the Shalagrama stone; tatha—so.
. . . 45. the nyasas, 46. the five kinds of mudras, 47. meditating on Lord Krishna, 48. worshiping Lord Krishna in one's heart, 49. the Deity of the Lord, 50. the Shalagrama stone, . . .
dvaraka—in Dvaraka; udbhava—manifested; cakrani—cakra stones; shuddhayah—cleaning; piöha—sitting place; pujanam—worship; avahanadi—activities beginning with inviting the Lord to appear; tan-mudra—the mudras for that purpose; asanadi-samarpanam—offering a throne and other things.
. . . 51. the cakra stones manifested at Dvaraka, (Sixth Vilasa) 52. cleaning the Deity, 53. worshiping the Lord's abode, 54. worship of the Deity, 55. inviting the Lord to appear, 56. the mudras for that purpose, 57. offering the Deity a throne and other gifts, . . .
snapanam—bathing sankha—conchshells; ghanöa—and bells; adi—beginning with; vadyam—music; nama-sahasrakam—chanting a thousand names; purana-paöhah—reciting the Puranas; vasanam—garments; upavitam—sacred thread; vibhushanam—ornaments.
. . . 58. bathing the Deity, 51. conchshells, bells, and musical instruments at the time of bathing the Deity, 52. chanting a thousand names of the Lord, 53. reciting the Puranas, 54. offering garments, 55. offering a sacred thread, 56. offering ornaments, . . .
candanam kusumani ca
patrani tulasi cango-
gandhah—perfume; shri-tulasi-kaashöha—made of tulasi wood; candanam—sandal paste; kusumani—flowers; ca—and; patrani—leaves; tulasi—Tulasi; ca—and; anga-upanga—of the limbs of the Lord; avarana—of the guards protecting the Lord's abode; pujanam—the worship.
. . . 57. offering scents, 58. offering tulasi-candana, (Seventh Vilasa) 59. offering flowers, 60. offering leaves, 61. Tulasi, 62. worshiping the limbs of the Lord's transcendental form, 63. worshiping the guards protecting the Lord's abode, . . .
dhupo dipash ca naivedyam
panam homo bali-kriya
dhupah—incense; dipash—lamp; ca—and; naivedyam—food; panam—drink; homah—homa; bali-kriya—offerings; avagandusha—rinsing the mouth; ady—beginning with; asya—of the mouth; vasah—scent; divya-gandhadikam—beginning with celestial scents; punah—again.
. . . (Eighth Vilasa) 64. offering incense, 65. offering a lamp, 66. offering food, 67. offering drink, 68. offering homa, 69. offering the Lord's remnants to the devotees, 70. rinsing the mouth, 71. making the mouth fragrant, 72. again offering celestial fragrances, . . .
raja—for a king; upacara—things; gita—with singing; adi—beginning; maha-nirajanam—great arati; tatha—so; shankhadi-vadanam—sound conchshells and other things; sa-ambu—with water; shankha—conchshell; nirajanam—arati; stutih—prayers.
. . . 73. offering regal gifts, 74. singing and other things, 75. offering maha-nirajana, 76. sounding a conchshell and other musical instruments, 77. offering shankha-nirajana, 78. offering prayers, . . .
natih pradakshina karmady-
natih—bowing down; pradakshina—circumambulating; karma—work; adi—beginning with; arpanam—offering; japa—chanting japa; yacane—prayers; agah—sins; kshamapanam—forgiveness; nana—various; agamsi—sins; nirmalya-dharanam—wearing garlands from the Lord.
. . . 79. bowing down, 80. circumambulating, 81. offering one's work and other things to the Lord, 82. chanting japa, 83. offering prayers, 84. begging forgiveness for offenses, 85. various offenses, 86. wearing garlands offered to the Lord, . . .
puja tan-mrittikadi ca
kalo vritter uparjanam
shankha—fromthe conchshell; ambu—water; tirtham—water frok the Lord's lotus feet; tulasi—of Tulasi; puja—worship; tan-mrittika-adi—activities beginning with respectfully touching her earth; ca—and; dhatri-amalaki; snana-nishedhasya kalah—the time when bathing is forbidden; vritter uparjanam—means of livelihood.
. . . (Ninth Vilasa) 87. conchshell water, 88. water that has washed the Lord's feet, 89. worship of Tulasi, 90. the ground where Tulasi grows, 91. the amalaki tree, 92. times when bathing is forbidden, 93. proper ways to earn one's livelihood, . . .
shraddham canarpyam ucyate
vinarcam ashane doshas
madhyahne—at midday; vaishvadeva-adi—beginning with the Vaishvadevas; shraddham—shraddha; ca—and; anarpyam—what should not be offered; ucyate—is said; vina—without; arcam—worship; ashane—in eating; doshah—faults; tatha—so; anarpita—without offered; bhojane—in eating.
. . . 94. midday duties, 95. the vaishvadevas, 96. shraddha, 97. what should not be offered, 98. the offense of eating without having first worshiped the Lord, 99. the sin of eating food not first offered to the Lord, . . .
naivedya-bhakshanam—eating food offered to the Lord; santah—the devotees of the Lord; sat-sangah—association with the devotees of the Lord; asad-asangatih—avoiding the association of non-devotees; asad-gatih—the result of associating with non-devotees; vaishnava—of the devotees; upahasa—mocking; ninda—offenses; adi—beginning with; dushkalam—the inauspicious result.
. . . 100. eating food offered to the Lord, (Tenth Vilasa) 101. the devotees of the Lord, 102. associating with the devotees of the Lord, 103. avoiding the association of non-devotees, 104. the result of associating with non-devotees, 105. the inauspicious result obtained by mocking or offending the devotees of the Lord, . . .
satam bhaktir vishnu-shastram
lila-katha ca bhagavad-
dharmah sayam nija-kriyah
satam—of the devotees; bhaktih—devotion; vishnu-shastram—the Vaishnava scriptures; shrimad-bhagavatam—Shrimad-Bhagavatam; tatha—so; lila-katha—the narrations of the Lord's pastimes; ca—and; bhagavad-dharmah—the religion of the Lord; sayam—evening; nija-kriyah—own duties.
. . . 106. giving respect to the devotees, 107. the Vaishnava scriptures, 108. Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 109. narrations of the Lord's pastimes, 110. the religion of devotional service to the Lord, (Eleventh Vilasa) 111. evening duties, . . .
naktam krityany atho puja-
karma-pata—materialistic activities; pariharah—renunciation; tri-kalarca—worship at three times of the day; visheshatah—specifically; naktam—at night; krityany—duties; athah—then; puja—of worship; phala—of the result; siddhy—the perfection; adi—beginning with; darshanam—seeing the Deity.
. . . 112. renunciation of materialism, 113. worship at three times of the day, 114. duties at night, 115. the final result obtained by worship, 116. seeing the Deity of the Lord, . . .
vishnu-artha-danam—giving gifts to the Lord; vividha—various; upacara—kinds of worship; nyuna-puranam—fulfilling a need; shayanam—sleep; mahima—the glory; arcayah—of worship; shriman-namnah—of the holy name; tatha—so; adbhutah—wonder.
. . . 117. giving gifts to the Lord, 118. various kinds of worship, 119. fulfilling needs, 120. sleep, 121. the wonderful glory of worshiping the Lord, 122. the wonderful glory of the Lord's holy name, . . .
namaparadha bhaktish ca
paksheshv ekadashi sanga
namaparadha—offenses to the holy name; bhaktish—devotional service; ca—and; prema—lobe; atha—then; ashrayanadayah—beginning with surrender; paksheshv—in the paksas; ekadashi—ekadashi; sa—with; anga—parts; shri-dvadashi—dvadashi; ashöakam—eight things; mahat—great.
. . . 123. offenses to the holy name, 124. devotional service, 125. devotional love, 126. activities beginning with surrendering to the Lord, (Twelfth and Thirteenth Vilasas) 127. duties in relation to the pakshas, 128. ekadashi, 129. eight maha-dvadashis, . . .
maseshu dvadasheshv api
mantram siddhasya lakshanam
krityani—duties; margashirshadi—beginning with Margasirsa; maseshu—in the months; dvadasheshv—twelve; api—also; purashcarana-krityani—purashcarana; mantram—mantra; siddhasya—of one who has attained perfection; lakshanam—the charateristics.
. . . (Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Vilasas) 130. duties in the twelve months beginning with Margashirsha, (Seventeenth Vilasa) 131. purashcarana, 132. characteristics of the siddha-mantra, . . .
vivaho 'nanya-karma ca
murty-avirbhavanam—appearance of the Deity; murti-pratishöha—establishment of the Deity; krishna-mandiram—the temple of Lord Krishna; jirna—old temples; uddhritih—repair; shri-tulasi—of Shri Tulasi; vivahah—the marriage; ananya—of the pure devotees; karma—activities; ca—and.
. . . (Eighteenth Vilasa) 133. manifestation of the Deity of the Lord, (Nineteenth Vilasa) 134. installing the Deity of the Lord, (Twentieth Vilasa) 135. the temple of Lord Krishna, 136. repairing old temples, 137. the marriage of Shri Tulasi, and 138. the activities of the pure devotees.
bhakter mahatmyam akarnya
tam icchan sad-gurum bhajet
tatra—there; guru—of the spiritual master; upasatti—approach; karanam—the cause; kripaya—by the mercy; krishnadevasya—of Lord Krishnadeva; tad-bhakta-jana-sangatah—by the association of His devotees; bhakteh—of devotional service; mahatmyam—the glory; akarnya—hearing; tam—that; icchan—desiring; sad-gurum—a bona-fide spiritual master; bhajet—should worship.
The Reason Why One Should Take Shelter of a Genuine Spiritual Master
By the mercy of Lord Krishnadeva hearing, in the company of the devotees, the glories of pure devotional service, and yearning to attain that service, one should take shelter of a bona-fide spiritual master.
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
It is by the mercy of Lord Krishnadeva that one attains the association of the devotees. Devotional service is more glorious than liberation. The word bhajet here means “one should take shelter".
duhkha-shreni paratra ca
duhsaha shruyate shastrat
titirshed api tam sudhih
atra—here; anubhuyate—is experienced; nityam—always; duhkha-shreni—a series of sufferings; paratra—in the next life; ca—and; duhsaha—unbearable; shruyate—is heard; shastrat—from scripture; titirshet—shoudl desire to cross beyond; api—and; tam—that; sudhih—an intelligent person.
In this lifetime one experiences a succession of sufferings, and in the next life one is likely to experience another unbearable series of sufferings. Hearing this truth from the scriptures, an intelligent person will yearn to leave the world of birth and death.
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
Here someone may ask: How can ordinary people, who are attached to material sense-happiness, desire to attain devotional service? To this I reply: Desiring to escape the ocean of material sufferings, one will desire to attain devotional service, and thus one will take shelter of a bona-fide spiritual master. This action will be taken by an intelligent person. A person who cannot understand that material life means continued material sufferings is not intelligent. He is like an animal. It may be that such a person is like a hunter or other great sinner, and that is why he has lost his intelligence.
tatha coktam ekadasha-skandhe bhagavata shri-dattena
labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu-sambhavante
manushyam artha-dam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yatena na pated anu-mrityu yavan
nihshreyasaya vishayah khalu sarvatah syat
tatha—so; ca—and; uktam—spokenm; ekadasha-skandhe—in the Eleventh Canto; bhagavata—by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; shri-dattena—Shri Dattatreya; labdhva—attaining; su-durlabham—very rare; idam—this; bahu-sambhavante—after many births; manushyam—human; artha-dam—giving benefits; anityam—temporary; api—although; iha—here; dhirah—intelligent; turnam—quickly; yateta—should strive; na—not; patet—should fall; anu-mrityu—the series of deaths; yavat—as long as; nihshreyasaya—for the best; vishayah—the material sense objects; khalu—indeed; sarvatah—in all respects; syat—is.
This fact is affirmed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Dattatreya in the following words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.9.29):
"After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus, a sober human being should immediately endeavor for the ultimate perfection in life and not fall down into the cycle of repeated birth and death. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Krishna consciousness is only possible for a human being."*
svayam shri-bhagavata ca
nri-deham adyam su-labham su-surlabham
plavam su-kalpam guru-karnadharam
puman bhavabdhim na taret sa atma-ha
svayam—personally; shri-bhagavata—by teh Supreme Personality of Godhead; ca—and; nri-deham—the human body; adyam—auspicious; su-labham—effortlessly attained; su-surlabham—very difficult to attain; plavam—boat; su-kalpam—well made; guru-karnadharam—the captain being the spiritual master; maya—by Me; anukulena—favirable; nabhasvata—by winds; iritam—impelled; puman—a person; bhavabdhim—the ocean of repeated birth and death; na—not; taret—crosses; sa—he; atma-ha—killer of the soul.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself declares (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.20.17):
"The human body, which can award all benefit in life, is automatically obtained by the laws of nature, although it is a very rare achievement. This human body can be compared to a perfectly constructed boat having the spiritual master as the captain and the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as favorable winds impelling it on its course. Considering all these advantages, a human being who does not utilize his human life to cross the ocean of material existence must be considered the killer of his own soul."*
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
This verse is spoken by Lord Krishna, who is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, as is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28. The word adyam here means “the root of all auspicious results." The human life is attained after many pious deeds. Without many millions of struggles it is not possible to attain a human birth. Still, it seems to come of its own accord.
tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh shreya uttamam
shabde pare ca nishnatam
atha—now; shri-gurupasattih—taking shelter of the spiritual master; tatra—there; eva—indeed; shri-prabuddha-yogeshvara-uktau—in the statement of Shri Prabhuddha, the master of yoga; tasmat—therefore; gurum—of a spiritual master; prapadyeta—one should take shelter; jijnasuh—desirign to know; shreya—good; uttamam—highest; shabde—in scriptures; pare—supreme; ca—and; nishnatam—expert; brahmany—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; upasamashrayam—taking shelter.
One Should Take Shelter of a Bona-fide Spiritual Master
Shri Prabhuddha, the great master of yoga, explained (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.3.21):
"Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona-fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona-fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bond-fide spiritual masters."*
mad-abhijnam gurum shantam
svayam—personally; shri-bhagavad-uktau—in the statement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mad-abhijnam—who knows me; gurum—spiritual master; shantam—peaceful; upasita—should take shelter; mad-atmakam—dedicated his heart to Me.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself affirms (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.10.5):
"One should take shelter of a bona-fide spiritual master, who is peaceful, who knows the truth about Me, and whose heart and mind are fixed on Me."
vipram pradhvasta-kama-prabhriti-ripu-ghaöam nirmalangam garishöham
bhaktim krishnanghri-pankeruha-yugala-rajo-raginim udvahantam
vettaram veda-shastragama-vimala-patham sammatam satsu dantam
vidyam yah samvivitsuh pravana-tanu-mana deshikam samsrayeta
krama-dipikayam—in the Krama-dipika; ca—and; vipram—brahmana; pradhvasta—destroyed; kama—with lust; prabhriti—beginning; ripu—enemies; ghaöam—engaged; nirmalangam—pure; garishöham—exalted; bhaktim—devotion; krishnanghri-pankeruha-yugala—of Lord Krishna's lotus feet; rajah—the dust; raginim—love; udvahantam—bearing; vettaram—the knower; veda-shastragama-vimala-patham—of the pure path of the Vedas and Agamas; sammatam—concluded; satsu—among the devotees; dantam—self-controlled; vidyam—knowledge; yah—who; samvivitsuh—knows; pravana-tanu-mana—humble; deshikam—guru; samsrayeta—should take shelter.
Shri Krama-dipika explains:
"One should take shelter of a bona-fide spiritual master, who is a qualified brahmana, who has conquered lust and all other enemies, who is pure, exalted, devoted to the dust of Lord Krishna's lotus feet, fully aware of the pure path of the Vedas and Agamas, convinced of the conclusions reached by the great devotees, self-controlled, eager to learn about the Supreme Lord, and humble at heart."
tad-vijnanartham sad-gurum evabhigacchet
samit-panih shrotriyam brahma-nishöham
acaryavan purusho veda
shrutau—in the Shruti; api—also; tad-vijnanartham—to attain knowledge; sad-gurum—to a bona-fide spiritual master; eva—indeed; abhigacchet—one must approach; samit-panih—with firewood in his hand; shrotriyam—learned in the Vedas; brahma-nishöham—devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; acaryavan—who has a spiritual master; purushah—a person; veda—knows.
In the Mundaka Upanishad (1.2.12) it is said:
"To learn the transcendental subject matter one must approach a spiritual master. In doing so one should carry fuel to burn in sacrifice. The symptom of such a spiritual master is that he is expert in understanding the Vedic conclusion and therefore he constantly engages in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*
In the Chandogya Upanishad (6.14.2) it is said:
"One who approaches a bona-fide spiritual master can understand everything about spiritual realization."*
shri-bhagavate dashama-skandhe shruti-stutau
ya iha yatanti yantu-mati-lolam upaya-khidah
vyasana-shatanvitah samavahaya gurosh caranam
vanija ivaja santya-krita-karnadhara jaladhau
atha—now; guru—of a spiritual master; upasatti—taking shelter; nityata—eternality; shri-bhagavate—in Shrimad-Bhagavatam; dashama-skandhe—Canto Ten; shruti-stutau—in the Prayers of the Personified Vedas; vijita—conquered; hrishika—senses; vayubhih—and air; adanta—not controlled; manah—of the mind; turagam—the horse; ya—who; iha—here; yatanti—struggle; yantum—to control; ati-lolam—very eager; upaya-khidah—stuggling in many ways; vyasana—troubles; shata—hundreds; anvitah—with; samavahaya—abandoning; gurosh—of the spiritual master; caranam—the feet; vanija—merchants; iva—like; aja—O unbron one; santy—are; a—not; krita—accepted; karnadhara—captain of the boat; jaladhau—in the ocean.
One Should Always Remain in the Shelter of the Spiritual Master
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.87.33) the Personified Vedas affirm:
"O unborn Supreme Personality of Godhead, they who leave the shelter of their spiritual master's lotus feet and, holding back the senses and breath, struggle to control the wild horse of the mind, meet with a hundred calamities. They are like merchants trying to sail on the ocean in a boat without a captain."
naisha tarkena matir apaneya
proktanyenaiva su-jnanaya preshöha
shrutau—in the Shruti; ca—and; na—not; esha—thus; tarkena—by logic; matih—concept; apaneya—to be removed; prokta—said; anyena—by another; eva—indeed; su-jnanaya—for good knowledge; preshöha—O dearest one.
In the Kaöha Upanishad (1.2.9) it is said:
"O dear one, spiritual truth cannot be understood by material logic. It is understood only hearing the explanations of the spiritual master."
atha visheshatah shri-guror lakshanani
atha—now; visheshatah—specifically; shri-guroh—of the spiritual master; lakshanani—the qualities; mantra-muktavalyam—in the Mantra-mukavali; avadata—saintly; anvaya—family; shuddhah—pure; sva—own; ucita—proper; acara—activities; tat-parah—devoted; ashrami—following varnasrama; krodha—anger; rahitah—without; veda-vit—knowing the Vedas; sarva-shastra-vit—knowing all the scriptures.
The Qualities of a Genuine Spiritual Master
In Shri Mantra-muktavali it is said:
"A genuine spiritual master is saintly, born in a pure family, diligent in performing his prescribed duties, a follower of varnashrama, devoid of anger, learned in the Vedas and scriptures, . . .
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.3.21 (quoted in text 32) also describes the qualities of a genuine spiritual master.
shraddhavan anasuyash ca
shucih su-veshas tarunah
shraddhavan—faithful; anasuyash—non-envious; ca—and; priya-vak—speaks sweetly; priya-darshanah—is pleasing to the eye; shucih—pure; su-veshah—has a pleasing appearance; tarunah—young; sarva-bhuta-hite—in the welfare of all living beings; ratah—engaged.
. . . faithful, free of envy, a pleasing speaker, pleasing to the eye, pure, well-dressed, young, a person who works for the welfare of all living beings, . . .
purno 'hanta vimarshakah
sad-guno 'rcasu krita-dhih
dhiman—intelligent; anuddhata-matih—humble at heart; purnah—perfect; ahanta—non-viloent; vimarshakah—thoughtful; sad-gunah—virtuous; arcasu—in the worship of the Lord; krita-dhih—enploying his intelligence; kritajnah—grateful; shishya-vatsalah—affectionate to his disciples.
. . . intelligent, humble at heart, perfect, non-violent, thoughtful, virtuous, intent on worshiping the Lord, grateful, affectionate to his disciples, . . .
shuddhatma yah kripalayah
guruh syad garima-nidhih
nigraha—punishment; anugrahe—and mercy; shaktah—able; homa-mantra-parayanah—devoted to homa and mantras; uhapoha-prakara-jnah—examining all sides of an issue; shuddhatma—pure at heart; yah—who; kripalayah—merciful; ity-adi-lakshanaih—qualities beginning with these; yuktah—endowed; guruh—a spiritual master; syat—is; garima-nidhih—a treasury of saintly qualities.
. . . capable of both punishment and mercy, devoted to mantras and yajnas, examining all sides of an issue, pure at heart, and merciful. A genuine spiritual master has these and many other virtues. He is a treasure-house of virtues."
visayeshv api nisprihah
agastya-samhitayam—in the Agastya-samhita; ca—and; devatopasakah—worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead; shantah—peaceful; visayeshv—in the obejcts of the material senses; api—also; nisprihah—without desire; adhyatma-vit—learned in spiritual truth; brahma-vadi—a prpounder of spiritual truth; veda-shastrartha-kovidah—learned in the Vedas and scriptures.
In the Agastysa-samhita it is said:
"A genuine spiritual master is a worshiper of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, peaceful, free of material desires, aware of the spiritual truth, a teacher of the spiritual truth, learned in the Vedas and scriptures, . . .
uddhartum caiva samhartum
uddhartumto deliver; ca—and; eva—indeed; samhartum—to quell; samarthah—able; brahmanottamah—the best of brahmanas; tattva—the truth; jnah—knowing; yantra-mantranam—of yantras and rituals; marma-bhetta—cutting doubts; rahasya-vit—knowing the secrets of spiritual truth.
. . . able to deliver others, able to surmount obstacles, the best of brahmanas, expert in yantras and mantras, one who goes to the heart of the matter, aware of the secrets of spiritual philosophy, . . .
tapasvi satya-vadi ca
grihastho gurur ucyate
purashcarana-krit—a performer of purashcarana; homa-mantra-siddhah—expert at chanting mantras in yajnas; prayoga-vit—aware of what is needed; tapasvi—austere; satya-vadi—truthful; ca—and; grihasthah—a householder; guruh—spiritual master; ucyate—is said.
. . . a performer of purshcarana, expert at chanting mantras in yajnas, aware of what is needed, austere, and truthful. These are the qualities of a householder spiritual-master."
lipsuh shishyad guru na hi
vishnu-smritau—in the Vishnu-smriti; paricarya—worship; yasah—fame; labha—attainment; lipsuh—desirign; shishyat—from his disciple; guru—a spiritual master; na—not; hi—indeed; kripa-sindhuh—an ocean of mercy; su-sampurnah—very perfect; sarva-sattvopakarakah—doing good to everyone.
In the Vishnu-smriti it is said:
"A person who is greedy to get worship, praise, and money from his disciple is not a true spiritual master. A true spiritual master is an ocean of mercy, perfect, a person who does good to everyone, . . .
nisprihah sarvatah siddhah
nalaso gurur ahritah
nisprihah—desireless; sarvatah—in all ways; siddhah—perfect; sarva-vidya-visharadah—expert in all knowledge; sarva-samshaya-sancchetta—able to cut apart all doubts; analasah—not lazy; guruh—spiritual master; ahritah—said.
. . . free of all material desires, completely perfect, learned in all knowledge, able to cut apart all doubts, and not lazy."
Texts 47 and 48
kuryat sarveshv anugraham
bhavitatma ca sarva-jnah
shri-narada-pancaratre—in Shri Narada-pancaratra; shri-bhagavan-narada-samvade—in a conversation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Shri Narada; brahmanah—a brahmana; sarva-kala-jnah—aware of appropriate situations; kuryat—should do; sarveshv—in all; anugraham—mercy; tad-abhavat—in the basence of such a person; dvija-shreshöha—O best of brahmanas; shantatma—peaceful at heart; bhagavan-mayah—and devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhavitatma—pure in heart; ca—and; sarva-jnah—all-knowing; shastra-jnah—learned in the scriptures; sat-kriya-parah—devoted to pious deeds; siddhi-traya-samayukta—endowed with three perfections; acaryatve—as a spiritual master; abhishecitah—may be anointed.
In Shri Narada-pancaratra the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains to Shri Narada:
"O best of brahmanas, a spiritual master should be an exalted brahmana who knows everything at all times and who is merciful to everyone. In the absence of such a highly qualified person a spiritual master may be a kshatriya who is peaceful at heart, devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, pure in heart, all-knowing, learned in the scriptures, devoted to pious deeds, and endowed with three perfections.
Texts 49 and 50
kshatriyo 'nugrahe kshamah
kshatriyasyapi ca guror
abhavad idrisho yadi
vaishyah syat tena karyash ca
dvaye nityam anugrahah
karyau shudrasya sarvada
kshatra-viö-shudra-jatinam—of those who are born as ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras; kshatriyah—ksatriya; anugrahe—in mercy; kshamah—is competent; kshatriyasya—of a ksatriya; api—also; ca—and; guroh—guru; abhavat—in the absence; idrishah—like this; yadi—if; vaishyah—vaisya; syat—is; tena—by him; karyash—should be done; ca—and; dvaye—in both; nityam—always; anugrahah—merciful; sajatiyena—like him; shudrena—by a sudra; tadrishena—like that; maha-mate—O noble-hearted one; anugrahabhishekau—merciful; ca—and; karyau—should be done; shudrasya—of a sudra; sarvada—always.
"Such a kshatriya spiritual master should be merciful to the kshatriyas, vaishyas, and shudras. In the absence of such a kshatriya spiritual master one should accept a vaishya spiritual master who is always merciful to the vaishyas and shudras. In the absence of such a vaishya spiritual master a shudra may accept a shudra as a spiritual master."
varnottame 'tha ca gurau
sati ya vishrute 'pi ca
sva-deshato 'tha vanyatra
nedam karyam shubharthina
kim ca—furthermore; varnottame—in the best of varnas; atha—then; ca—and; gurau—a spiritual master; sati—is; ya—who; vishrute—heard; api—and; ca—and; sva-deshatah—from one's own country; atha—then; va—or; anyatra—in another; na—not; idam—this; karyam—to be done; shubharthina—by one who desires auspiciousness.
If a famous brahmana spiritual-master is present in one's own district, a person who desires auspiciousness will not travel somewhere else to accept initiation from someone other than him.
vidyamane tu yah kuryat
yatra tatra viparyayam
tasyehamutra nashah syat
tasmac chastroktam acaret
pratilomyam na dikshayet
vidyamane—beings so; tu—indeed; yah—one who; kuryat—may do; yatra—where; tatra—there; viparyayam—the opposite; tasya—of him; iha—here; amutra—and in the next life; nashah—destruction; syat—is; tasmat—from that; shastroktam—spoken by the scriptures; acaret—should do; kshatra—ksatriya; viö—vaisya; shudra—sudra; jatiyah—birth; pratilomyam—inverted order; na—not; dikshayet—should give initiation.
A person who accepts a spiritual master from a lower caste meets destruction in this life and the next. Therefore one should follow this instruction of the scriptures. A kshatriya, vaishya, or shudra should not give initiation to a person of a higher caste.
brahmano vai gurur nrinam
sarvesham eva lokanam
asau pujyo yatha harih
padme—in the Padma Purana; ca—and; maha-bhagavata-shreshöhah—the best of great devotees; brahmanah—a brahmana; vai—indeed; guruh—spiritual master; nrinam—of men; sarvesham—all; eva—and; lokanam—people; asau—he; pujyah—to be worshiped; yatha—as; harih—Lord Krishna.
In the Padma Purana it is said:
"A brahmana who is a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the spiritual master of all human beings. Everyone should worship him as if he were Lord Krishna Himself.
na guruh syad avaishnavah
maha-kula-prasutah—born in a noble family; api—also; sarva-yajneshu—in all yajnas; dikshitah—initiated; sahasra-shakhadhyayi—learned in a thousand branches of the Vedas; ca—and; na—not; guruh—a spiritual master; syat—is; avaishnavah—not a devotee of the Lord.
"However, a person born in an aristocratic family, initiated in all yajnas, and learned in a thousand branches of the Vedas, but not a devotee of Lord Vishnu, cannot be a genuine spiritual master.
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
In the Pancaratra it is said:
mantrena nirayam vrajet
punash ca vidhina samyag
grahayed vaishnavad guroh
"By chanting a mantra given by a spiritual master who is not a devotee of Lord Vishnu, one goes to hell. Such a disciple should be initiated again, this time by a spiritual master who is a devotee of Lord Vishnu."
vaishnavo 'bhihito 'bhijnair
itaro smad avaishnavah
grihita-vishnu-dikshakah—accepted initiation in the worship of Lord Vishnu; vishnu-puja-parah—devoted to the worship of Lord Vishnu; narah—a person; vaishnavah—a devotee of Lord Vishnu; abhihitah—is called; abhijnaih—by the wise; itarah—other; smat—than him; avaishnavah—not a devotee.
"A person who has accepted initiation in the worship of Lord Vishnu and who is devoted to the worship of Lord Vishnu is called a devotee of Lord Vishnu by the wise. One who is not like him is not a devotee of Lord Vishnu."
bahv-ashi dirgha-sutri ca
atha—now; a—not; guru—a spiritual master; lakshanam—the qualities; tattva-sagare—in the Tattva-sagara; bahv-ashi—one who eats voraciously; dirgha-sutri—dresses in opulent clothing; ca—and; vishayadishu—in the objects of material sense gratification; lolupah—is greedy; hetu-vada-ratah—attracted to arguing with others and a follower of the atheistic philosophies; dushöah—wicked; avag-vadi—not an eloquent speaker; guna-nindakah—filled with vices.
The Characteristics of A Person Who Is Not A Genuine Spiritual Master
In the Tattva-sagara it is said:
"A person who eats voraciously, wears opulent clothing, is greedy after sense pleasures, loves to argue, is a follower of the atheist philosophers, is wicked, speaks what should not be spoken, has many vices, . . . .
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
The phrase "speaks what should not be spoken" means that such a person preaches that one should perform sinful deeds.
aroma bahu-roma ca
kala-danto 'sitaushöhash ca
aroma—without hair; bahu-roma—with abundant hair; ca—and; ninditashrama-sevakah—a servant of wicked men; kala-dantah—with black teeth; asitaushöhah—black lips; ca—and; durgandhi-shvasa-vahakah—withj bad breath and heavy breathing.
. . . has either a big beard or no beard, is a servant of wicked men, has black teeth, black lips, and bad breath, breathes heavily, . . .
yadyapi svayam ishvarah
dushöa-lakshana-sampannah—filled with faults; yadyapi—although; svayam—personally; ishvarah—able; bahu—many; pratigraha—donations; asaktah—attached; acaryah—a spiritual master; shri—of good fortune; kshaya—the destruction; avahah—bringing.
. . . has a host of faults, and, although financially well situated is greedy for more and bigger donations, is the kind of spiritual master that destroys the good fortune of his disciples."
shishyah shuddhanvayah shriman
atha—now; shishya—of a true disciple; lakshanani—the qualities; mantra-muktavalyam—in the Mantra-Muktavali; shishyah—a disciple; shuddhanvayah—faithful; shriman—glorious; vinitah—humble; priya-darshanah—pleasing to the eyes; satya-vak—truthful; punya-caritah—pious; adabhra-dhih—intelligent; dambha-varjitah—honest and without hypocrisy.
The Qualities of a Genuine Disciple
In the Mantra-Muktavali it is said:
"A genuine disciple is faithful, glorious, humble, pleasing to the eye, truthful, pious, intelligent, honest, not a hypocrite, . . .
bhaktash ca guru-padayoh
kama-krodha-parityagi—free of lust and anger; bhaktash—devoted; ca—and; guru-padayoh—to the spiritual master's feet; devata-pranavah—devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kaya—with body; manah—mind; vagbhih—and words; diva-nisham—day and night.
. . . free of lust and anger, devoted to his spiritual master's feet, with body, mind, and words devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead day and night, . . .
nirujah—healthy; nirjitashesha-patakah—sinless; shraddhayanvitah—faithful; dvija-deva-pitrinam—of the devas; brahmana, and pitas; ca—and; nityam—always; arca-parayanah—devoted to the worship.
. . . healthy, sinless, faithful, always devoted to the worship of the devas, brahmanas, and pitas, . . .
yuva—young; viniyatashesha-karanah—sense-controlled; karunalayah—kind; ity-adi-lakshanaih—with qualities that begin with these; yuktah—endowed; shishyah—disciple; diksha—for initiation; adhikaravan—qualified.
. . . young, in full control of his senses, and kind. A person who has these and other virtues is qualified for initiation.
amany amatsaro daksho
ekadasha-skandhe—in the Eleventh Canto; ca—and; amany—without pride; amatsarah—without envy; dakshah—expert; nirmamah—without false possessiveness; dridha—firm; sauhridah—friendship; asatvarah—unagitated; artha-jijnasuh—eager to learn the truth; anasuyuh—not hostile; amogha-vak—who does not speak uselessly.
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.10.6) it is said:
"A genuine disciple is prideless, non-envious, diligent, free of false-possessiveness, a sincere friend of his spiritual master, eager to learn the truth, not hostile to others, and averse to useless conversation."
alasa malinah klishöa
dambhikah kripanas tatha
daridra rogino rushöa
atha—now; upekshyah—who should be rejected; agastya-samhitayam—in the Agastya-samhita; alasa—lazy; malinah—contaminated; klishöa—agitated; dambhikah—proud; kripanah—miserly; tatha—so; daridra—wretched; roginah—diseased; rushöa—angry; raginah—passionate; bhoga-lalasah—greedy for sense pleasures.
Who Should Be Rejected
In the Agastya-samhita it is said:
"They who are lazy, unclean, agitated, proud, miserly, wretched, diseased, angry, passionate, greedy for sense pleasures, . . .
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
The word "agitated" here means "agitated for no good reason".
para-dara-ratash ca ye
asuya-matsara-grastah—gripped by envy and hostility; shaöhah—cheaters; parusha-vadinah—speaking harshly; anyaya—without reason; uparjita—earned; dhanah—ealth; para-dara-ratash—adulterers; ca—and; ye—who.
. . . in the grip of envy and hostility, cheaters, filled with harsh words, greedy to accumulate wealth for no good reason, adulterers, . . .
vidusham vairinash caiva
bhrashöa-vratash ca ye kashöha-
vrittayah pishunah khalah
vidusham—of the learned; vairinash—enemies; ca—and; eva—indeed; ajnah—fools; pandita-maninah—thinking themselves wise; bhrashöa-vratah—broken vows; ca—and; ye—who; kashöha—wicked; vrittayah—means of livelihood; pishunah—cruel and insulting; khalah—wicked.
. . . enemies of the learned, fools although they think Ťthemselves very wise, fallen from their vows, earning their livelihood by foul means, harsh, insulting, wicked, . . .
duratmanash ca ninditah
ity evam adayo 'py anye
bahv-ashinah—eating voraciously; krura-ceshöa—cruel; duratmanash—wicked at heart; ca—and; ninditah—degratded; ity—thus; evam—in this way; adayah—beginning with api—also; anye—others; papishöhah—sinners; purushadhamah—the lowest of men.
. . . voracious eaters, cruel, wicked at heart, degraded, and sinful, the lowest of men who have these and a host of other faults, . . .
akrityebhyo 'nivaryash ca
akrityebhyah—from what should not be done; anivaryah—not turning away; ca—and; guru-shiksha—the teaching of the spiritual master; asahishnavah—unable to tolerate; evam-bhutah—thus; parityajyah—should be rejected; shishyatve—as disciples; na—not; upakalpitah—fit.
. . . who do not turn away from what should not be done, and who cannot bear to follow the spiritual master's teachings should be rejected. They are not fit to be disciples.
Texts 69 and 70
yady ete hy upakalperan
bhavantiha daridras te
narakash caiva dehante
tiryancah prabhavanti te
yady—if; ete—they; hy—indeed; upakalperan—accept; devata-krosha-bhajanah—the object of the anger of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhavanti—become; iha—here; daridrah—poor; te—they; putra-dara-vivarjitah—without wife or children; narakah—residents of hell; ca—and; eva—indeed; deha—of the body; ante—at the end; tiryancah—animals; prabhavanti—are born; te—they.
"Spiritual masters that accept disciples like these become the objects of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's anger. In this life they become poverty-stricken and are abandoned by wife and children and at death they go to hell. Finally they are born as animals."
jaiminih sugatash caiva
nastiko nagna eva ca
kapilash cakshapadash ca
shad ete hetu-vadinah
hayashirsha-pancaratre—in the Hayashirsha-pancaratra; jaiminih—jaimini; sugatash—Sugata; ca—and; eva—indeed; nastikah—Nastika; nagna—Nagna; eva—indeed; ca—and; kapilash—pseudo-Kapila; ca—and; akshapadah—Akshapadas; ca—and; shad—six; ete—these; hetu-vadinah—philosophers.
In the Hayashirsha-pancaratra it is said:
"The six atheist philosophers are Jaimini, Sugata, Nastika, Nagna, pseudo-Kapila, and Akshapada.
vartante ye naradhamah
te hetu-vadinah proktas
tebhyas tantram na dapayed iti
etat—of them; mata—the philosophies; anusarena—by following; vartante—become; ye—who; naradhamah—the lowest of men; te—they; hetu-vadinah—philsophers; proktah—said; tebhyah—to them; tantram—the rules of worship; na—not; dapayet—should be given; iti—thus.
They who follow their ideas become the lowest of men. Although these followers may be called philosophers in this world, one should not give initiation to them.
tayoh pariksha canyonyam
tayoh—of the two; pariksha—examination; ca—and; anyonyam—mutual; ekabdam—for one year; saha-vasatah—living together; vyavahara—actions; svabhava—character; anubhavena—by seeing; eva—indeed; abhijayate—is born.
The prospective spiritual master and disciple should live together for one year and, carefully examining each other's activities and character, test each other to see if they are qualified.
guruta shishyata ceti
atha—now; parikshanam—the test; mantra-muktavalyam—in Mantra-muktavali; tayoh—of the two of them; vatsara—for one year; vasena—by residence; jnata—known; anyonya—of each other; svabhavayoh—teh natures; guruta—the status of a spiritual master; shishyata—the status of a disciple; ca—and; iti—thus; na—not; anyatha—otherwise; eva—indeed; iti—thus; nishcayah—determination.
In the Mantra-Muktavali it is said:
"The prospective spiritual master and disciple should live together for one year. In this way they will come to understand each other's nature. Then it will be known whether the spiritual master is a genuine spiritual master and the disciple a genuine disciple. There is no other way to know this."
shrutih—the Shruti-shastra; ca—and; na—not; a—without; samvatsara—for a year; vasine—living togther; deyat—should be given.
The Shruti-shastra explains:
"The spiritual master should not give initiation without first living for a year with his disciple."
sad-guruh svashritam shishyam
varsham ekam parikshayet
sara-sangrahe—in the Sara-sangraha; api—also; sad-guruh—a genuine spiritual master; svashritam—taking shelter; shishyam—disciple; varsham—year; ekam—one; parikshayet—should examine.
In the Sara-sangraha it is said:
"For one year the spiritual master should examine his prospective disciple."
rajni camatyaja doshah
tatha shishyarjitam papam
guruh prapnoti nishcitam
rajni—on the king; ca—and; amatyaja—from the ministers; doshah—faults; patni-papam—the sins of the wife; sva-bhartari—on her husband; tatha—so; shishya—by the disciple; arjitam—earned; papam—sin; guruh—the spiritual master; prapnoti—attains; nishcitam—indeed.
"The faults of a counselor fall on his king, and a the sins of a wife fall on her husband. In the same way a spiritual master attains the sins of his disciple. That is certain."
tam svair dhanaih sva-vapushapy anukula-vanya
tushöe vivakshatu gurav atha mantra-diksham
krama-dipikayam—in the Krama-dipika; tu—indeed; santoshayet—should satisfy; akuöila—not crooked; ardratara—melting with affection; antaratma—within his heart; tam—him; svaih—with his own; dhanaih—wealth; sva-vapusha—with body; api—and; anukula-vanya—with favorable words; abda-trayam—for three years; kamalanabha—of the lotus-navel Purana; dhiya—with thoughts; ati-dhirah—very sober; tushöe—satisfied; vivakshatu—should ask; gurau—teh spiritual master; atha—then; mantra—in the mantra; diksham—initiation.
In the Krama-dipika it is said:
"His heart melting with sincere love and his thoughts fixed on the Supreme Personality of Godhead whose navel is like a lotus flower, the prospective disciple should, with his wealth, body, and pleasing words serve his spiritual master for three years. Then, when the spiritual master is satisfied, the disciple may ask for initiation in chanting the sacred mantras."
atha visheshatah shri-guru-seva-vidhih
uda-kumbham kushan pushpam
samidho 'syaharet sada
marjanam lepanam nityam
anganam vasasam caret
atha—then; visheshatah—specifically; shri-guru-seva—of service to the spiritual master; vidhih—the rules; kaurme—in the Kurma Purana; shri-vyasa-gitayam—in the Shri Vyasa-gita; uda—of water; kumbham—a pot; kushan—kusha grass; pushpam—flower; samidhah—fuel; asya—of him; aharet—should fetch; sada—regularly; marjanam—cleaning and massaging; lepanam—anointing; nityam—always; anganam—of the limbs; vasasam—of the garments; acaret—should do.
Service to the Spiritual Master
In the Kurma Purana, Shri Vyasa-gita, it is said:
"The disciple should regularly fetch water, kusha grass, flowers, and fuel. He should regularly wash the spiritual master's clothing, anoint him with sandal paste, and massage his limbs.
akramed asanam chayam
asandim va kadacana
na—not; asya—of him; nirmalya-remnant; shayanam—bed; paduka—wooden sandal; upanahau—leather sandal; api—also; akramet—should step; asanam—seat; chayam—shadow; asandim—dish; va—or; kadacana—ever.
"Never should the disciple sleep on the spiritual master's bed, wear his shoes, sit on his seat, cross his shadow, or eat from his plate.
krityam casmai nivedayet
sandhayet—should prepare; danta-kashöhadin—toothbrush-twig and other articles; krityam—to be done; ca—and; asmai—to him; nivedayet—should ask.
"The disciple should prepare his spiritual master's toothbrush-twig and other things like that, and he should ask what service he should perform.
anapricchya na gantavyam
bhavet priya-hite ratah
na padau sarayed asya
anapricchya—without asking; na—not; gantavyam—to be gone; bhavet—may be; priya-hite—to please; ratah—engaged; na—not; padau—feet; sarayet—should place; asya—of him; sannidhane—near; kadacana—ever.
"The disciple should not leave without first asking permission. She should always try to please his spiritual master. He should never place his feet near his spiritual master.
varjayet sannidhau nityam
athasphoöanam eva ca
jrimbha—yawning; hasya—laughing; adikam—beginning with; ca—and; eva—indeed; kanöha-pravaranam—filling the throat with loud sounds; tatha—then; varjayet—shen avoid; sannidhau—near; nityam—always; atha—then; asphoöanam—snapping the fingers; eva—indeed; ca—and.
"In the company of the spiritual master the disciple should never yawn, laugh, snap his fingers, or do other impolite activities.
shreyas tu guruvad-vrittir
nityam eva samacaret
gurosh caiva sva-bandhushu
kim ca—furthmore; shreyah—welfare; tu—indeed; guruvad-vrittih—activities like to the spiritual master; nityam—alwasy; eva—indeed; samacaret—should perform; guru—of the spiritual master; putreshu—the children; dareshu—wife; guroh—of the spiritual master; ca—adn; eva—indeed; sva-bandhushu—relatives.
It is further said:
"To the spiritual master's children, wife, and relatives the disciple should offer the same kind of respectful treatment he offers to the spiritual master himself.
utsadanam vai gatranam
na kuryad guru-putrasya
padayoh shaucam eva ca
utsadanam—massaging; vai—indeed; gatranam—of the limbs; snapana-bathing; ucchishöa—remnants; bhojane—eating; na—not; kuryat—should do; guru-putrasya—of the spiritual master's child; padayoh—of the feet; shaucam—washing; eva—indeed; ca—and.
"However, the disciple should not wash the feet of his spiritual master's son. Nor should he massage his limbs, eat the remnants of his meals, or arrange for his bath.
guruvat paripujyash ca
asavarnas tu sampujyah
guruvat—like the spiritual master; paripujyash—worshipable; ca—and; sa-varna—of the same varna; guru-yoshitah—the wife of the spiritual master; asavarnah—not of the same varna; tu—indeed; sampujyah—worshipable; pratyutthana—rising; abhivadanaih—with salutations.
"If the spiritual master's wife is of the same varna as he, then she should be honored as he is. If she is of a different varna she should be honored by rising from one's seat and speaking salutations.
abhyanjanam snapanam ca
gatrotsadanam eva ca
guru-patnya na karyani
keshanam ca prasadhanam
abhyanjanam—anointing; snapanam—bathing; ca—and; gatrotsadanam—massaging the limbs; eva—indeed; ca—and; guru—of thespiritual master; patnya—by the wife; na—not; karyani—to be done; keshanam—of the hair; ca—and; prasadhanam—arranging.
"The spiritual master's wife should not anoint with sandal paste, bathe, or massage her husband's disciples. Nor should she comb their hair."
snanodakam tatha chayam
langhayen na kadacana
devy-agame—in the Devy-agama; shri-shivoktau—in the statement of Lord Shiva; guru—of the spiritual master; shayya—the bed; asanam—the seat; yanam—the vehicle; paduke—the shoes; pada-piöhakam—teh footstool; snanodakam—the bath-water; tatha—so; chayam—teh shadow; langhayen—may overstep; na—not; kadacana—ever.
In the Devy-agama, Lord Shiva explains:
"Never should the disciple sleep in the spiritual master's bed, sit on his seat, use his vehicle, wear his shoes, use his footstool, bathe in his bath-water, or step on his shadow.
guror agre prithak-pujam
advaitam ca parityajet
diksham vyakhyam prabhutvam ca
guror agre vivarjayet
guroh—od the spiritual master; agre—in the presence; prithak-pujam—specific worship; advaitam—not different; ca—and; parityajet—should abandon; diksham—initiation; vyakhyam—explanation; prabhutvam—mastery; ca—and; guroh—of the spiritual master; agre—in the presence; vivarjayet—should abandon.
"One should not allow oneself to be worshiped in the presence of his spiritual master, nor should one claim that one is as good as his spiritual master. In the presence of one's spiritual master one should not give initiation, give explanations, or assume the role of a master or a powerful person."
yatra yatra gurum pashyet
tatra tatra kritanjalih
pranamed dandavad bhumau
chinna-mula iva drumah
shri-narada—of Shri Narada; uktau—in the statement; yatra yatra—wherever; gurum—the spiritual master; pashyet—one sees; tatra tatra—there; kritanjalih—with folded hands; pranamet—should bow down; dandavat—like a stick; bhumau—to the ground; chinna—cut; mulah—at the root; iva—like; drumah—a tree.
Shri Narada Muni explains:
"Wherever one sees his spiritual master, one should offer obeisances to him with folded hands. One should fall like a stick to the ground. One should fall like a tree cut at its root.
guror vakyasanam yanam
vastram chayam tatha shishyo
langhayen na kadacana
guroh—of the spiritual master; vakya—the words; asanam—seat; yanam—vehicle; padukopanahau—shoes; tatha—so; vastram—clothing; chayam—shadow; tatha—so; shishyah—the disciple; langhayen—should step over; na—not; kadacana—ever.
"Never should the disciple disobey his spiritual master's words, sit on his seat, use his vehicle, wear his shoes or clothing, or step on his shadow."
nodahared guror nama
paroksham api kevalam
shri-manu-smritau—in Shri Manu-smriti; na—not; udaharet—should speak; guroh—of the spiritual master; nama—the name; paroksham—not present; api—even; kevalam—sacred; na—not; ca—and; eva—indeed; asya—of him; anukurvita—should imitate; gati—walking; bhashana—talking; ceshöitam—actions.
In Shri Manu-smriti it is said:
"One should not speak the sacred name of his spiritual master, even if the spiritual master is not present. Neither should one imitate the style of his spiritual master's walking, talking, or way of doing things.
guror gurau sannihite
guruvad vrittim acaret
na cavisrishöo guruna
svan gurun abhivadayet
guroh—of the spiritual master; gurau—when the spiritual master; sannihite—is present; guruvat—like the spiritual master; vrittim—actions; acaret—should do; na—not; ca—and; avisrishöah—without being sent; guruna—by the spiritual master; svan—to one's own; gurun—elder relatives; abhivadayet—should offer respectful obeisances.
"One should not imitate the way one's spiritual master acted in the presence of his spiritual master. Neither should one offer obeisances to his elder relatives without his spiritual master's permission."
yatha tatha yatra tatra
na grihniyac ca kevalam
abhaktya na guror nama
grihniyac ca yatatmavan
shri-narada-pancaratre—in Shri Narada-pancaratra; yatha—as; tatha—so; yatra—where; tatra—there; na—not; grihniyat—should speak; ca—and; kevalam—alone; abhaktya—without devotion; na—not; guroh—of the spiritual master; nama—the name; grihniyat—should speak; ca—and; yata-controlled; atmavan—whose self.
In Shri Narada-pancaratra it is said:
"One should never, under any circumstances, speak the sacred name of his spiritual master. A self-controlled disciple will never speak the name of his spiritual master without respect and devotion.
pranavah shris tato nama
pranavah—Om; shrih—Shri; tatah—then; nama—the name; vishnu-shabdat—from the word Vishnu; anantaram—after; pada—pada; shabda—the word; sametam—with; ca—and; nata—bowed; murdha—head; anjali-yutah—with folded hands.
"When speaking his spiritual master's name one should fold one's hands, bow one's head, and preface his spiritual master's name with the words Om Shri Vishnupada."
na tam ajnapayen mohat
tasyajnam na ca langhayet
nanivedya guroh kincid
bhoktavyam va guros tatha
kim ca—furthermore; na—not; tam—him; ajnapayet—should give orders; mohat—out of illusion; tasya—of him; ajnam—the order; na—not; ca—and; langhayet—should disobey; na—not; anivedya—without asking permission; guroh—of the spiritual master; kincit—something; bhoktavyam—to be eaten; va—or; guroh—of the spiritual master; tatha—so.
It is further said:
"One should not become bewildered and give orders to his spiritual master. One should not disobey the order of his spiritual master. One should not eat anything without first taking permission from his spiritual master."
ayantam agrato gacched
gacchantam tam anuvrajet
asane shayane vapi
na tishöhed agrato guroh
anyatra—in another scripture; ca—and; ayantam—coming; agratah—in the presence; gacchet—should go; gacchantam—going; tam—him; anuvrajet—should follow; asane—on the seat; shayane—on the bed; va—or; api—also; na—not; tishöhet—should stay; agratah—in the presence; guroh—of the spiritual master.
In another scripture it is said:
"When the spiritual master approaches, the disciple should go to meet him. When the spiritual master departs, the disciple should follow him. The disciple should not lie on his bed or sit on an asana in the presence of his spiritual master.
yat kincid anna-panadi
priyam dravyam manoramam
samarpya gurave pashcat
svayam bhunjita praty-aham
yat—what; kincit—something; anna—food; pana—drink; adi—beginning with; priyam—favorite; dravyam—thing; manoramam—pleasing to the heart; samarpya—offering; gurave—to the spiritual master; pashcat—after; svayam—personally; bhunjita—should eat; praty-aham—every day.
"Whatever food and drink the spiritual master likes, whatever pleases his heart, the disciple should offer to his spiritual master. When the spiritual master is finished eating, the disciple may eat the remnants of his meal. He should do this every day."
na guror apriyam kuryat
taditah pidito 'pi va
napriyam hi samacaret
shri-vishnu-smritau—in the Shri Vishnu-smriti; na—not; guroh—of the spiritual master; apriyam—not liked; kuryat—should do; taditah—hit; piditah—troubled; api—and; va—or; na—not; avamanyeta—should disrespect; tad-vakyam—his words; na—not; apriyam—what is not liked; hi—indeed; samacaret—should do.
In the Shri Vishnu-smriti it is said:
"Even if the spiritual master hits him or gives him trouble, the disciple should not act to displease him. The disciple should never disrespect his spiritual master's words. The disciple should never act to displease his spiritual master.
acaryasya priyam kuryat
pranair api dhanair api
karmana manasa vaca
sa yati paramam gatim
acaryasya—of the spiritual master; priyam—pleasure; kuryat—should do; pranaih—with life; api—and; dhanaih—with wealth; api—and; karmana—with deeds; manasa—with mind; vaca—with words; sa—he; yati—goes; paramam—to the supreme; gatim—destination.
"A disciple who with his life, wealth, actions, mind, and words pleases his spiritual master goes to the supreme destination."
anyatha dvayor api maha-doshah
yo vakti nyaya-rahitam
anyayena shrinoti yah
tav ubhau narakam ghoram
vrajatah kalam akshayam
anyatha—otherwise; dvayoh—of them both; api—also; maha-doshah—great faults; shri-narada-pancaratre—in Shri Narada-pancaratra; yah—one who; vakti—speaks; nyaya-rahitam—without logic; anyayena—without logic; shrinoti—hears; yah—who; tav—both; ubhau—both; narakam—to hell; ghoram—terrible; vrajatah—go; kalam—time; akshayam—without end.
A Great Fault on Both Sides
In Shri Narada-pancaratra it is said:
"A spiritual master who speaks wrongly, without logic, and a disciple who hears wrongly, without logic, both go to a terrible hell for a long time that seems not to end."
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
A disciple who does not properly examine his spiritual master before initiation, or who does not properly serve him, commits a great fault. This verse describes a situation where either the disciple or the spiritual master did not properly test the other before initiation.
trayasva bho jagannatha
dagdham mam kala-dashöam ca
tvam aham sharanam gata iti.
atha—now; shishya—of the disciple; prarthana—the prayer; vaishnava-tantre—in the Vaishnava-tantra; trayasva—save; bhah—O; jagannatha—master of the worlds; gurah—O spiritual master; samsara-vahnina—by the fire of repeated birth and death; dagdham—burned; mam—me; kala—by time; dashöam—bitten; ca—and; tvam—you; aham—I; sharanam—to the shelter; gata—gone; iti—thus.
The Disciple's Prayer
In the Vaishnava-tantra it is said:
"O spiritual master, O master of the worlds, please rescue me, who am bitten by time and burned by the flames of repeated birth and death. I surrender to you and take shelter of you."
diksha grahya manishibhih
tatra—there; shri-vasudevasya—of Lord Vasudeva; sarva-deva-shiromaneh—the crest jewel of all Deities; pada—feet; ambhuja—lotus; eka—one; bhak—possessing; eva—indeed; diksha—initiation; grahya—should be accepted; manishibhih—by the wise.
The wise should accept initiation, for in this way they are able to attain the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, who is the crest jewel of all Deities, as the only treasure of their lives.
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
After initiation the disciple should worship the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, surrender to them, and take shelter of them. To fail to do this is very foolish.
sattvam rajas tama iti prakriter gunais tair
yuktah parah purusha eka ihasya dhatte
shreyamsi tatra khalu sattva-tanor nrinam syuh
atha—now; shri-bhagavat—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahatmyam—the glory; prathama-skandhe—in the First Canto; sattvam—goodness; rajah—passion; tamah—the darkness of ignorance; iti—thus; prakriteh—of material nature; gunaih—qualities; taih—by them; yuktah—associiated with; parah—the transcendental; purusha—personality; eka—one; iha asya—of this material world; dhatte—accepts; sthity-adaye—for the matter of creation, maintenance, and destruction, etc.; hari—Vishnu the Personality of Godhead; virinci—Brahma; hara—Lord Shiva; iti—thus; samjnah—different features; shreyamsi—ultimate benefit; tatra—therein; khalu—of course; sattva—goodness; tanoh—form; nrinam—of the human being; syuh—derived.
The Glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.23) it is said:
"The transcendental Personality of Godhead is indirectly associated with the three modes of material nature, namely passion, goodness, and ignorance, and just for the material world's creation maintenance, and destruction He accepts the qualitative forms of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Of these three, all human beings can derive ultimate benefit form Vishnu, the form of the quality of goodness."*
sesham punaty anyatamo mukundat
ko nama loke bhagavat-padarthah
kim ca—furthermore; atha—therefore; api—certainly; yat—whose; pada-nakha—nails of the feet; avasrishöam—emanating; jagat—the whole universe; virinca—Brahmaji; upahrita—collected; arhana—worship; ambhah—water; sa—along with; isham—Lord Shiva; punaty—purifies; anyatamah—who else; mukundat—besides the Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna; kah—who?; nama—name; loke—within the world; bhagavat—Supreme Lord; pada—position; arthah—worth.
It is further said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.18.21):
"Who can be worthy of the name of the Supreme Lord but the Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna? Brahmaji collected the water emanating from the nails of His feet in order to award it to Lord shiva as a worshipful welcome. This very water (the Ganges) is purifying the whole universe, including Lord Shiva."*
tan nishamyatha munayo
bhuyamsam shraddadhur vishnum
yatah kshemo yato 'bhayam
shri-dashama-skandhe—in the Tenth Canto; tat—that; nishamya—hearing; atha—then; munayah—the sages; vismita—filled with wonder; mukta—freed; samshayah—from doubts; bhuyamsam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; shraddadhuh—faithful; vishnum—Lord Vishnu; yatah—from whom; kshemah—auspiciousness; yatah—from whom; abhayam—fearlesness.
In the Tenth Canto it is said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.89.14):
"Hearing these words, the sages became free of doubts. Now they had faith that Lord Vishnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that from Him comes auspiciousness, that from Him comes fearlessness."
padme vaishakha-mahatmye yama-brahmana-samvade
vyamohaya caracarasya jagatas te te puranagamas
tam tam eva hi devatam paramikam jalpantu kalpavadhi
siddhante punar eka eva bhagavan vishnuh samastagama-
vyapareshu vivecana-vyatikaram niteshu nishciyate
padme vaishakha-mahatmye—in the Padma Purana, Vaishakha-mahatmya; yama-brahmana-samvade—in the conversation of Yama and a brahmana; vyamohaya—for bewilderment; caracarasya—with moving and unmoving beings; jagatah—of the universe; te te—whoever; puranagamah—the Puranas and Agamas; tam tam—them; eva—indeed; hi—certainly; devatam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; paramikam—desired; jalpantu—may chant; kalpa—the kalpa; avadhi—until the end; siddhante—in the conclusion; punah—again; eka—one; eva—indeed; bhagavan—Supreme Personality of Godhead; vishnuh—Lord Vishnu; samasta—all; agama—Agamas; vyapareshu—in actions; vivecana—conclusion; vyatikaram——joint; niteshu—brought; nishciyate—is concluded.
In the Padma Purana, Vaishakha-mahatmya, in the conversation of Yama and a brahmana, it is said:
"In order to fool the moving and unmoving beings in the universe, the Puranas and Agamas pretended to spend an entire kalpa debating the true identity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the end they came to this conclusion: Lord Vishnu is the Supreme."
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
The debate of the scriptures here was only a joke on their part. They all knew what the conclusion would be.
satyam satyam punah satyam
utkshipya bhujam ucyate
vedac chastram param nasti.
na devah keshavat parah
narasimhe—in the Nrisimha Purana; satyam—true; satyam—true; punah—again; satyam—true; utkshipya—throwing up; bhujam—arms; ucyate—is said; vedat—than the Vedas; shastram—scripture; param—better; na—not; asti—is; na—not; devah—Deity; keshavat—than Lord Krishna; parah—better.
In the Nrisimha Purana it is said:
"Throwing my arms in the air, I proclaim: It is true! It is true! It is true! No scripture is better than the Vedas! No Deity is above Lord Krishna!"
arir mitram visham pathyam
adharmo dharmatam vrajet
yatah—because; padme—in the Padma Purana; arih—enemy; mitram—friend; visham—poison; pathyam—healthy food; adharmah—impiety; dharmatam—piety; vrajet—becomes; su-prasanne—pleased; hrishikeshe—when Lord Krishna is; viparite—reversed; viparyayah—the opposite.
In the Padma Purana it is said:
"When Lord Krishna is pleased enemies can become friends, poison can become healthy food, sin can become saintliness. Everything can become its opposite."
man-nimittam kritam papam
api dharmaya kalpate
mam anadritya dharmo 'pi
papam syan mat-prabhavatah
tatra—there; eva—indeed; shri-bhagavad-vakyam—the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; man-nimittam—caused by Me; kritam—done; papam—sin; api—even; dharmaya—for religion; kalpate—becomes suited; mam—Me; anadritya—not respecting; dharmah—religion; api—even; papam—sin; syat—becomes; mat—of Me; prabhavatah—by the power.
In the Padma Purana the Supreme Personality of Godhead said:
"If one sins for My sake his sins become pious deeds. If one refuses to worship Me, then by My power his pious deeds become sins."
ata evoktam skandhe shri-brahma-narada-samvade
yo 'nya-devam upasate
shvapacim vandate hi sah
ata eva—therefore; uktam—said; skandhe—in the Skanda Purana; shri-brahma-narada-samvade—in the conversation of Brahma and Narada; vasudevam—Lord Krishna; parityajya—rejecting; yah—one who; anya-devam—another deity; upasate—worships; sva-mataram—his own mother; parityajya—rejecting; shvapacim—a dogeater woman; vandate—bows before; hi—indeed; sah—he.
In the Skanda Purana, in a conversation of Brahma and Narada it is said:
"One who rejects Lord Krishna and worships another deity rejects his own mother and worships a dogeater woman."
yo 'nya-devam upasate
tyaktvamritam sa mudhatma
bhunkte halahalam visham
tatra—there; eva—indeed; anyatra—in another place; vasudevam—Lord Krishna; parityajya—rejecting; yah—one who; anya-devam—another deity; upasate—worships; tyaktva—rejecting; amritam—nectar; sa—he; mudhatma—bewildered; bhunkte—drinks; halahalam—halahala; visham—poison.
In another place in the Skanda Purana it is said:
"One who rejects Lord Krishna and worships another deity rejects nectar and drinks poison."
yas tu vishnum parityajya
mohad anyam upasate
sa hema-rashim utrisjya
mahabharate—in the Mahabharata; yah—one who; tu—indeed; vishnum—Lord Vishnu; parityajya—rejecting; mohat—out of bewilderment; anyam—another; upasate—worships; sa—he; hema-rashim—a pile of gold; utrisjya—rejecting; pamshu-rashim—a pile of stool; jighrikshati—wishes to grasp.
In the Mahabharata it is said:
"One who out of bewilderment rejects Lord Krishna and worships someone else rejects a heap of gold and embraces a heap of stool.
anadritya tu yo vishnum
gangambhasah sa trishnarto
anadritya—not worshiping; tu—indeed; yah—one who; vishnum—Lord Vishnu; anya-devam—another deity; samashrayet—takes shelter; gangambhasah—the water of the Ganga; sa—he; trishnartah—tortured with thirst; mriga-trishnam—a mirage; pradhavati—runs.
"One who, refusing to worship Lord Vishnu, takes shelter of a demigod is a person tortured with thirst who leaves the Ganga's waters and runs after a mirage."
yo mohad vishnum anyena
sadharanam sakrid brute
so 'ntyajo nantyajo 'ntyajah
pancaratre—in the Pancaratra; yah—one who; mohat—out of illusion; vishnum—Lord Vishnu; anyena—another; hina-devena—insignificant demigod; durmatih—fool; sadharanam—equality; sakrit—at once; brute—says; sah—he; antyajah—an outcaste; na—not; antyajah—an outcaste; antyajah—an outcaste.
In the Pancaratra it is said:
"A fool who thinks that Lord Vishnu and the tiny Ťdemigods are equal is an outcaste. He is an outcaste. He is not good enough to be an outcaste."
na labheyur punar bhaktim
harer aikantikim jadah
vaishnava-tantre—in the Vaishnava-tantra; na—not; labheyuh—attain; punah—again; bhaktim—devotional service; hareh—to Lord Krishna; aikantikim—unalloyed; jadah—fools; ekagra-manasash—minds fixed on one point; ca—and; api—also; vishnu-samanya-darshinah—see that Lord Vishnu is equal.
In the Vaishnava-tantra it is said:
"Even though they may meditate with single-pointed attention, the stunted fools who think Lord Krishna and the many demigods are equals will not attain pure devotion to Lord Krishna."
yas tu narayanam devam
sa pashandi bhavet sada
anyatra—in another place; ca—and; yah—any peeson; tu—however; narayanam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of such demigods as Brahma and Shiva; devam—the Lord; brahma—Lord Brahma; rudra—Lord Shiva; adi—and others; daivataih—with such demigods; samatvena—on an equal level; eva—certainly; viksheta—observes; sa—such a person; pashandi—pashandi; bhavet—must be; sada—always.
In another place it is said:
"A person who considers demigods like Brahma and Shiva to be on an equal level with Lord Narayana is to be considered an offender and an atheist."*
shlokaugha santi cedrishah
sevyo vishnur na caparah
sahasra-nama-stotradau—in the beginning of the Sahasra-nama prayers; shloka—of verses; aughah—floods; santi—are; ca—and; idrishah—like this; visheshatah—specifically; sattva-nishöhaih—by they who are in the mode of goodness; sevyah—to be served; vishnuh—Lord Vishnu; na—not; ca—and; aparah—another.
In the Sahasra-nama and other prayers there is a great flood of verses like these, verses affirming the they who are in the mode of pure goodness should worship Lord Vishnu and no one else.
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
In the Brihat-sahasra-nama-stotra, Lord Shiva affirms:
"These thousand names should not be given to one who is not a devotee of Lord Vishnu, to one whose heart is destroyed by mental speculation, to one who has no faith in devotional service, or to one who thinks the demigods are equal to Lord Vishnu."
At the end of those prayers Goddess Durga also affirms:
aho sarveshvaro vishnuh
samanya iva vikshyate
"Lord Vishnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the demigods, the first spiritual master of the universe. Only fools think the demigods are His equals."
Lord Shiva again affirms:
na yanti tat-param shreyo
"They who do not wholeheartedly take shelter of Lord Vishnu, the master of all the demigods, the ancient Supreme Personality of Godhead, do not attain the most auspicious condition of life.
tam eva tapasa nityam
bhajami staumi cintaye
jagat-pujyo 'smi parvati
"With great austerities I worship Him always. I glorify Him. I meditate on Him. O Parvati, it is only because I always chant His peerless glories that I am worshiped in this world."
In the description of the Lord's holy names it is said:
"Lord Vishnu is the the shelter of all the demigods. He is the master of all the demigods. He is more splendid than many millions of suns. He is more invincible than many millions of Yamas.
"He is the creator of many millions of Brahmas and universes. He is stronger than many millions of Vayus. His happinesses are greater than those of many millions of Indras. He is more powerful than many millions of Shivas."
At the end of the Brihat-sahasra-nama, Goddess Durga says:
aho bata mahat kashöam
vidyamane 'pi sarveshe
mudhah klishyanti samsritau
"Ah! How sad it is! Even though Lord Krishna, who is the controller of all, and who yearns to give happiness to everyone, is personally present, the fools insist that they must continue to suffer in this world of birth and death.
yam uddishya sada natho
mahesho 'pi dig-ambarah
tapasvi vikshate janaih
"It is to attain Lord Vishnu that the demigod Shiva performs austerities, his hair matted and his naked body covered with ashes. That is why the people see Lord Shiva in that way.
tato 'dhiko 'sti ko devo
"What demigod is superior to Lord Krishna, the husband of the goddess of fortune, the killer of the demon Madhu?"
In the beginning of the Laghu-sahasra-nama it is said:
paramam yo mahat-tejah
paramam yo mahat-tapah
paramam yo mahad brahma
paramam yo parayanam
"Lord Vishnu is the most powerful. He is the most glorious. He is the Supreme Brahman. Attaining Him is the supreme goal of life.
pavitranam pavitram yo
mangalanam ca mangalam
daivatam devatanam ca
bhutanam yo 'vyayah pita
"He is the purest of the pure. He is the most auspicious of the auspicious. He is the master of the demigods. He is the eternal father of all that live."
At the end of the Laghu-sahasra-nama it is said:
kham disho bhur mahodadhih
"It is by the power of Lord Vasudeva that the sky, sun, moon, stars, ether, directions, earth, and the great oceans are established in their places."
tatha ca hari-vamshe shri-shiva-vakyam
harir eva sadaradhyo
vishnu-mantram sada viprah
paöhadhvam dhyata keshavam iti
tatha—so; ca—and hari-vamshe—in the Hari-vamsha; shri-shiva-vakyam—the statement of Lord Shiva; harih—Lord Krishna; eva—indeed; sada—always; aradhyah—to be worshiped; bhavadbhih—by you; sattva-samsthitaih—situated in the mode of goodness; vishnu-mantram—the mantras of Lord Vishnu; sada—always; viprah—O brahmanas; paöhadhvamyou should chant; dhyata—you should meditate; keshavam—on Lord Krishna; iti—thus.
In the Hari-vamsha, Lord Shiva says:
"O brahmanas in the mode of pure goodness, please always worship Lord Krishna. Please always chant the mantras of Lord Krishna. Please always meditate on Lord Krishna."
likhyante 'pekshitani tat
idrik—like this; mahatmya—of the glories; vakyeshu—in the words; sangrihiteshu—accepted; sarvatah—in all respects; grantha—books; bahulya—abundance; doshah—fault; syat—may be; likhyante—are written; apekshitani—in this regard; tat—that.
Here there is a problem. The problem is that very many books have been written describing the Lord's glories in this way.
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
Many suitable passages could be quoted here. Unfortunately. I cannot quote them all.
sarvaishvaryam japan prapya
yati vishnoh param padam
atha—now; shri-vaishnava—of Lord Vishnu; mantra—of the mantras; mahatmyam—the glory; agame—in the Agama-shastra; mantran—the mantras; shri-mantra—of mantras; raja—the king; adin—beginning with; vaishnavan—of Lord Vishnu; gurv-anugrahat—by teh mercy of the spiritual master; sarvaishvaryam—all glory and opulence; japan—chanting; prapya—attaining; yati—go; vishnoh—of Lord Vishnu; param—to the transcendental; padam—abode.
The Glories of the Mantras of Lord Vishnu
In the Agama-shastra it is said:
"They who, by the mercy of the spiritual master, chant the mantras of Lord Vishnu, which are the kings of all mantras, attain all glory and opulence and go to the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu.
punyam varsha-sahasrair yah
kritam su-vipulam tapah
japanti vaishnavan mantran
naras te loka-pavanah
punyam—piety; varsha-sahasraih—by a thousand years; yah—who; kritam—attained; su-vipulam—very great; tapah—austerities; japanti—chant; vaishnavan—of Lord Vishnu; mantran—mantras; narah—people; te—they; loka-pavanah—purifiers of the worlds.
"They who chant the mantras of Lord Vishnu attain the pious results of a thousand years of austerities. They become the purifiers of the worlds."
prajapan vaishnavan mantran
yam yam pashyanti cakshusha
sada va samsprishet sadyo
mucyate 'sau maha-bhayat
vaishnave—in the Vaishnava Tantra; ca—and; prajapan—chantign; vaishnavan—of Lord Vishnu; mantran—mantras; yam yam—whatever; pashyanti—see; cakshusha—with eyes; sada—always; va—or; samsprishet—touch; sadyah—always; mucyate—is released; asau—he; maha-bhayat—from great fear.
In the Vaishnava-shastra it is said:
"A person who, chanting the mantras of Lord Vishnu, sees or touches the Lord, becomes freed from very terrible fears."
likhyate—is written; vishnu-mantranam—of the mantras of Lord Vishnu; mahima—the glory; atha—then; visheshatah—specifically; tatparyatah—from the explanation; shri-gopala-mantra-mahatmya-pushöaye—for expounding the glories of the Shri Gopala mantra.
Now I will write explaining the glories of some specific mantras of Lord Vishnu. I will begin by glorifying the Shri Gopala-mantra.
Commentary by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami
Here someone may ask: Why do you begin by describing the worship of the eighteen-syllable Gopala-mantra? Why do you not begin with some other mantra?
To this I reply. lord Gopala is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all incarnations. Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28 explains:
krishnas tu bhagavan svayam
"Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead."*
The various incarnations of the Lord are very glorious, but the original form of the Lord, the source of the incarnations, is the most glorious.
sangam samudram sannyasam
ashöaksharam ca mantresham
ye japanti narottamah
tan drishöva brahma-ha shudhyet
te yato vishnavah svayam
shankhinash cakrino bhutva
vasanti vaishnave loke
vishnu-rupena te narah
padma-purane—in rhe Padma Purana; devaduta-vikundala-samvade—in the conversation of Devaduta and Vikundala; sangam——with angas; samudram—with mudras; sannyasam—with nyasas; sa-rishi-cchanda-daivatam—with rishi, cchandah, and daivata; sa-dikshavadhi—with initiation; sa-dhyanam—with meditation; sa-yantram—with yantras; dvadashaksharam;—twelve-syllable; ashöaksharam—eight-syylable; ca—and; mantresham— the king of mantras; ye—they who; japanti—chant; narottamah—the best of men; tan—them; drishöva—seeing; brahma-ha—one who has killed a brahmana; shudhyet—becomes purified; te—they; yatah—from which; vishnavah—like Lord Vishnu; svayam—personally; shankhinash—holding conchshells; cakrinah—holding discs; bhutva—becoming; brahmayuh—spiritual; vana-malinah—wearing forest garlands; vasanti—reside; vaishnave—of Lord Vishnu; loke—in the realm; vishnu-rupena—with forms like that of Lord Vishnu; te—they; narah—people.
In the Padma Purana, in the conversation of Devaduta and Vikundala, it is said:
"They who with angas, mudras, nyasas, rishi, chandah, daivata, initiation, meditation, and yantra, chant the twelve-syllable and eight-syllable mantras are the best of men. Seeing them, a killer of brahmanas becomes purified. Holding conchshells and discs, wearing forest garlands, and manifesting spiritual forms like Lord Vishnu's, they reside in Lord Vishnu's transcendental abode."
tatraiva dvadashaksharasya caturtha-skandhe shri-dhruvam prati shri-naradoktau
japash ca paramo guhyah
shruyatam me nripatmaja
yam sapta-ratram prapaöhan
puman pashyati khecaran
tatra—there; eva—indeed; dvadashaksharasya—of the twelve-syllable mantra; caturtha-skandhe—in the Fourht Canto; shri-dhruvam—Shri Dhruva; prati—to; shri-naradoktau—in the statement of Shri Narada; japash—the chanting mantra in this connection; ca—and; paramah—very, very; guhyah—confidential; shruyatam—plwease hear; me—from me; nripatmaja—O son of the king; yam—which; sapta-ratram—seven nights; prapaöhan—chanting; puman—a person; pashyati—can see; khecaran—human beings who travel in space.
The Twelve-syllable Mantra
The twelve-syllable mantra is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.8.53), where Shri Narada Muni tells Dhruva Maharaja:
"O son of the king, now I will speak unto you the mantra which is to be chanted with this process of meditation. One who carefully chants this mantra for seven nights can see the perfect human beings flying in the sky."*
gatva gatva nivartante
adyapi na nivartante
shri-vishnu-purane—in Shri Vishnu Purana; gatva—going; gatva—going; nivartante—return; candra-suryadayah—beginning with the moon and the sun; grahah—planets; adya—today; api—even; na—not; nivartante—return; dvadashakshara-cintakah—meditating on the twelve-syllable mantra.
In Shri Vishnu Purana it is said:
"The sun, moon, and other planets leave and the return again and again. They who meditate on the twelve-syllable mantra never return to this world of birth and death."
ashöaksharasya yatha narada-pancaratre
trayo vedah shad-angani
chandamsi vividhah surah
yac canyad api van-mayam
ashöaksharasya—of the eight syllable mantra; yatha—as; narada-pancaratre—in the Narada-pancaratra; trayah—three; vedah—Vedas; shad-angani—six limbs; chandamsi—meters; vividhah—various; surah—demigods; sarvam—all; ashöaksharantah—in the eight-syllable mantra; stham—situated; yat—what; ca—and; anyat—another; api—even; van-mayam—consisting of words.
The Eight-syllable Mantra
In the Narada-pancaratra it is said:
"The three Vedas, six Vedangas, poetry, demigods, words, and everything else, are all situated in the eight-syllable mantra."
gatir ashöaksharo nrinam
sarva-vedanta-sararthah—the essenc eof the meaning of all Vedanta; samsararnava-taranah—the boat to cross the ocean of birth and death; gatih—the goal; ashöaksharah—the eight-syllable mantra; nrinam—of men; na—not; punar-bhava-kankshinam—desiring to stay in the world of birth and death.
"The eight-syllable mantra is the essence of all Vedanta philosophy. It is a boat to cross the ocean of repeated birth and death. It is the path followed by they who wish never to be born again.
na tatra sancarishyanti
yatra—where; ashöakshara-samsiddhah—perfect in the eight-syllable mantra; maha-bhagah—very fortunate; mahiyate—is glorified; na—not; tatra—there; sancarishyanti—will go; vyadhi-durbhiksha-taskarah—dosease, poevrty, and thieves.
"A country that honors a person perfect in chanting the eight-syllable mantra will not be touched by disease, poverty, or theft.
deva-danava-gandharvah—the demigods, demons, and gandharvas; siddha-vidyadharadayah—the beings headed by siddhas and vidyadharas; pranamanti—bow down; maha-manam—to the exalted person; ashöakshara-vidam—who knows the eight-syllable mantra; naram—person.
"The demigods, demons, Gandharvas, Siddhas, Vidyadharas, and others respectfully bow before a person exalted with knowledge of the eight-syllable mantra.
vyaktam hi bhagavan eva
sakshan narayanah svayam
vyaktam—manifested; hi—indeed; bhagavan—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; eva—indeed; sakshan—directly; narayanah—Lord Narayana; svayam—personally; ashöakshara—of the eight-syylable mantra; svarupena—in the form; mukheshu—on the mouth; parivartate—goes.
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Narayana, personally appears in the mouth as the eight-syllable mantra."
evam ashöaksharo mantro
padmottara-khande—in the Uttara-khanda opf the Padma Purana; evam—thus; ashöaksharah—the eight-syllable mantra; mantrah—mantra; jneyah—to be known; sarvartha-sadhakah—fulfilling all desires; sarva-duhkha-harah—removing asll sufferings; shriman—glorious; sarva-mantratmakah—the heart of all mantras; shubhah—beautiful.
In the Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda, it is said:
"The glorious and beautiful eight-syllable mantra fulfills all desires and removes all sufferings. It is the heart of all mantras."
kim anyair bahubhir mantraih
kim anyair bahubhir vrataih
linga-purane—in the Linga Purana; kim—what is the use?; anyaih—of other; bahubhih—many; mantraihmantras; kim—what is the use?; anyaih—of other; bahubhih—many; vrataih—vows; namah—obeisances; narayanaya—to Lord Narayana; iti—thus; mantrah—mantra; sarvartha-sadhakah—fulfilling all desires.
In the Linga Purana it is said:
"What is the use of other mantras? What is the use of other vows? The mantra Namo Narayanaya (Obeisances to Lord Narayana) fulfills all desires."
tasmat sarveshu kaleshu
namo narayaneti yah
japet sa yati viprendra
tasmat—therefore; sarveshu—at all; kaleshu—times; namah—obeisances; narayaneti—to Lord Narayana; yah—one who; japet—chants; sa—he; yati—goes; viprendra—O king of brahmanas; vishnu-lokam—to the abode of Lord Vishnu; sa-bandhavah—with his relatives.
"Therefore, O king of brahmanas, one who always chants Namo Narayanaya goes with his kinsmen to the abode of Lord Vishnu."
bhavishya-purane—in the Bhavishya Purana; ashöaksharah—eight-syllable; maha-mantrah—great mantra; sarva-papa-harah—remvoing all, sins; parah—great; sarvesham—of all; vishnu-mantranam—Vishnu mantras; rajatve—as a king; parikirtitah—glorified.
In the Bhavishya Purana it is said:
"The great eight-syllable mantra removes all sins. Of all Vishnu-mantras it is said to be the king."
bhaktanam japatam tata
shri-shuka-vyasa-samvade—in a conversatio of Shri Shuka and Shri Vyasa; ca—and; namo narayanayeti mantrah—the mantra Namo Narayanaya; sarvartha-sadhakah—fulfilling all desires; bhaktanam—of the devotees; japatam—chanting; tata—O son; svarga-moksha-phala—the ruslt of all liberation; pradah—giving.
In a conversation of Shri Shuka and Shri Narada it is said:
"O son, the mantra Namo Narayanaya fulfills all desires and gives all kinds of liberation to they who chant it with devotion.
esha eva paro moksha
esha svarga udahritah
sara esha samuddhritah
esha—this; eva—indeed; parah—supreme; moksha—liberation; esha—thus; svarga—Svarga; udahritah—is siad; sarva-veda—of all the Vedas; rahasyebhyah—from the secrets; sara—the best secret; esha—this; samuddhritah—said.
"This mantra is said to be final liberation. It is said to be residence in Svargaloka. It is said to be the greatest secret in the Vedas.
vishnuna vaishnavanam tu
hitaya manuna pura
vishnuna—by Lord Vishnu; vaishnavanam—of the devotees; tu—indeed; hitaya—for the welfare; manuna—by Manu; pura—in ancient times; kirtitah—said; sarva-papa-ghnah—killing all sins; sarva-kama-pradayakah—fulfilling all desires.
"In ancient times Lord Vishnu gave this mantra to benefit His devotees. Manu declared that this mantra destroys all sins and fulfills all desires."
narayanaya nama ity ayam eva satyam
shrinvantu satya-matayo muditas taraga
uccais taram upadishamy aham urdhva-bahuh
narayanaya nama—obesiances to Lord Narayana; ity—thus; ayam—this; eva—indeed; satyam—truth; samsara-ghora-visha—the terrible poison of repeated birth and detah; samharanaya—for removing; mantrah—mantra; shrinvantu—please hear; satya-matayah—O saintly ones; muditah—happy; taraga—renounced; uccais taram—loudly; upadishamy—declare; aham—I; urdhva-bahuh—with arms raised.
It is also said:
"To counteract the terrible poison of repeated birth and death, austere, intelligent, pure-hearted men should always chant the mantra Namo Narayanaya. Raising my arms, I loudly declare this."
satya-purvam bravimi vah
he putra-sishyah shrinuta
na mantro 'staksharat parah
bhutva—bvecoming; urdhva-bahuh—with raised arms; adya—today; aham—I; satya-purvam—the truth; bravimi—speak; vah—to you; he—O; putra-sishyah—disciples; shrinuta—please hear; na—not; mantrah—a mantra; astaksharat—than the eight-syllable mantra; parah—better.
It is also said:
"O sons and disciples, raising my arms, I will declare to you the truth: No mantra is better than the eight-syllable mantra!"
ata evoktam garude
asino va shayano va
tishöhano yatra tatra va
ata eva—therefore; uktam—said; garude—in the Garuda Purana; asinah—sitting; va—or; shayanah—reclining; va—or; tishöhanah—standing; yatra—where; tatra—there; va—or; namo narayanaya iti—the mantra Namo Narayanaya; mantraika-sharanah—taking shelter of that mantra; bhavet—should be.
In the Garuda Purana it is said:
"Standing, sitting, or reclining, wherever one is, one should take shelter of the mantra Namo Narayanaya."
atha shri-narasimhanushöubha-mantra-rajasya mahatmyam
deva ha prajapatim abruvan tasya anushöubha-mantra-rajasya narasimhasya phalam no bruhiti. sa hovaca prajapatih ya etam mantra-rajam narasimham anushöubham nityam adhite, sa aditya-puto bhavati, so 'gni-puto bhavati, sa vayu-puto bhavati, sa surya-puto bhavati, sa candra-puto bhavati, sa satya-puto bhavati, sa brahma-puto bhavati, sa vishnu-puto bhavati, sa rudra-puto bhavati, sa sarva-puto bhavati.
atha—now; shri-narasimhanushöubha-mantra-rajasya—of the eight-syllable Nrisimha-mantra; mahatmyam—the glory; tapaniya-shrutishu—in the Nrisimha-tapani Upanishad; deva—the demigods; ha—indeed; prajapatim—to Prajapati; abruvan—said; tasya—of Him; anushöubha—in the meter anusthubh; mantra-rajasya—the king of mantras; narasimhasya—of Lord Nrisimha; phalam—the reuslt; nah—to us; bruhi—please tell; iti—thus; sa—he; ha—indeed; uvaca—said; prajapatih—Prajapati; ya—who; etam—this; mantra-rajam—king of mantras; narasimham—of Lord Nrisimha; anushöubham—in the meter Anusthubh; nityam—always; adhite—recites; sa—he; aditya-putah—pure like the sun; bhavati—becomes; sah—he; agni-putah—pure likem fire; bhavati—becomes; sa—he; vayu-putah—pure,like the wind; bhavati—becomes; sa—he; surya-putah—pure like the4 sun; bhavati—becomes; sa—he; candra-putah—pure like the moon; bhavati—becomes; sa—he; satya-putah—pure liek truth; bhavati—becomes; sa—he; brahma-putah—pure like Brahma; bhavati—becomes; sa—he; vishnu-putah—pure like Vishnu; bhavati—becomes; sa—he; rudra-putah—pure like Shiva; bhavati—becomes; sa—he; sarva-putah—pure of everything; bhavati—becomes.
The Glory of the Regal Nrisimha-mantra in the Meter Anushöubh
In the Nrisimha-tapani Upanishad it is said:
"The demigods approached Lord Brahma and said: Please describe to us the result of chanting the regal Nrisimha-mantra in the meter anushöubh.
"Lord Brahma replied: One who regularly chants the regal Nrisimha-mantra in the meter anushöubh becomes pure like the demigods. He becomes pure like fire. He becomes pure like the wind. He becomes pure like the sun. He becomes pure like the moon. He becomes pure like the truth. He becomes pure like Brahma. He becomes pure like Vishnu. He becomes pure like Shiva. He becomes purified of all sins."
anupanita-shatam ekam ekenopanitena tat-samam, upanita-shatam ekam ekena grihasthena tat-samam, grihastha-shatam ekam ekena vanaprasthena tat-samam, vanaprastha-shatam ekam ekena yatina tat-samam. yatinam tu shatam purna-rudra-japakena tat-samam, rudra-japaka-shatam ekem ekenatharvangirasa-shakhadhyapakena tat-samam, atharvangirasa-shakhadhyapaka-shatam ekam ekena mantra-rajadhyapakena tat-samam, tad va etat param dhama mantra-rajadhyapakasya yatra na duhkhadi, yatra na suryo bhati, yatra na vayur vati, yatra na candramas tapati, yatra na nakshatrani bhanti, yatra nagnir dahati, yatra na mrityuh pravishati, yatra na doshah. tat sadanandam shashvatam shantam sada-shivam brahmadi-vanditam yogi-dhyeyam, yatra gatva na nivartante yoginah. tad etad ricabhyuktam tad vishnoh paramam padam sada pashyanti surayah, diviva cakshur atatam. tad vipraso vipanyavo jagrivamsah samindhate, vishnor yat paramam padam.
tatra—there; eva—indeed; ante—at the end; anupanita—not initiated as a brahmana; shatam——a hundred; ekam—one; ekena—with one; upanitena—brahmana; tat-samam,—equal to that; upanita-shatam—of a hundred brahmanas; ekam—one; ekena—with one; grihasthena—householder; tat-samam,—equal; grihastha-shatam—a hundred householders; ekam—one; ekena—with one; vanaprasthena—vanaprastha; tat-samam,—equal; vanaprastha-shatam—a hundred vanaprasthaS; ekam—one; ekena—with one; yatina—sannyasi; tat-samam.—equal; yatinam—of sannyasis; tu—indeed; shatam—a hundred; purna-rudra-japakena—chanting the names of Lord Shiva; tat-samam—equal; rudra-japaka-shatam—of a hundred who chant the names of Lord Shiva; ekem—one; ekena—with one; atharvangirasa-shakhadhyapakena—teacher of the Atharva Veda Angirasa; tat-samam,—equal; atharvangirasa-shakhadhyapaka—of teachers of the Atharva angirasa; shatam—a hundred; ekam—one; ekena—with one; mantra-rajadhyapakena—teacher of the king of mantras; tat-samam,—equal; tat—that; va—indeed; etat—that; param—supreme; dhama—abode; mantra-rajadhyapakasya—of a teacher of the king of mantras; yatra—where; na—not; duhkhadi,—beginning with suffering; yatra—where; na—not; suryah—the sun; bhati,—shines; yatra—where; na—not; vayuh—the wind; vati,—blows; yatra—where; na—not; candramah—the moon; tapati,—shines; yatra—where; na—not; nakshatrani—the stars; bhanti,—shine; yatra—where; na—not; agnih—fire; dahati,—burns; yatra—where; na—not; mrityuh—death; pravishati,—enters; yatra—where; na—no; doshah.—faults; tat—that; sadanandam—eternal bliss; shashvatam—eternal; shantam—peace; sada-shivam—eternal asupiciousness; brahmadi-vanditam—glorified by Brahma and the demigods; yogi-dhyeyam,—meditated on by the yogis; yatra—where; gatva—going; na—not; nivartante—return; yoginah.—the yogis; tat—that; etat—that; rica—with the Rig mantras; abhyuktam—endowed; tat—taht; vishnoh—of Lord Vishnu; paramam—the supreme; padam—abode; sada—always; pashyanti—sees; surayah,—the demigods; divi—in the sky; iva—like; cakshuh—eye; atatam.—manifested; tat—that; viprasothe brahmanas; vipanyavah—the praiseworthy; jagrivamsah—spiritually awake; samindhate,—they reveal; vishnoh—of Vishnu; yat—whose; paramam—supreme; padam—abode.
At the end of the Nrisimha-tapani Upanishad it is said:
"One brahmana is equal to a hundred non-brahmanas. One brahmana householder is equal to a hundred other brahmanas. One vanaprastha is equal to a hundred householders. One sannyasi is equal to a hundred vanaprasthas. One chanter of Shiva-mantras is equal to a hundred sannyasis. One teacher of the Atharvangirasa-shakha is equal to a hundred chanters of Shiva-mantras. One teacher of the regal Nrisimha-mantra is equal to a hundred teachers of the Atharvangirasa-shakha. A teacher of the regal Nrisimha-mantra goes to a realm where there are no sufferings, where the sun does not shine, where the wind does not blow, where the moon and the stars do not shine, where fire does not burn, where death cannot enter, where there are no faults, where there is eternal bliss, eternal, peace, and eternal auspiciousness, a place worshiped by Brahma and the demigods, a place meditated on by the yogis, a place where the yogi go and never return, a place glorified in the Rig Veda with the words:
"Just as the sun's rays in the sky are extended to the mundane vision, so in the same way the wise and learned devotees always see the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu. because those highly praiseworthy and spiritually awake brahmanas are able to see the spiritual world, they are also able to reveal the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu."*
atha shri-rama-mantranam mahatmyam
shreshöham vaishnavam ucyate
atha—now; shri-rama-mantranam—of the Shri Rama-mantras; mahatmyam—the glory; agastya-samhitayam—in the Agastya-samhita; sarveshu—in all; mantra-vargeshu—mantras; shreshöham—the best; vaishnavam—of Lord Vishnu; ucyate—is said; ganapatyeshu—in Ganesha-mantras; shaiveshu—in shiva-mantras; shakta-saureshu—in Durga-mantras and Suryua-mantras; abhishöadam—fulfilling desires.
The Glories of the Shri Rama-mantra
In the Agastya-samhita it is said:
"Of all mantras the mantras glorifying Lord Vishnu are said to be the best. Vishnu-mantras fulfill desires better than the mantras glorifying Ganesha, Shiva, Durga, or Surya.
vaishnaveshv api mantreshu
vaishnaveshu—among the mantras of Lord Vishnu; api—even; mantreshu—among the mantras; rama-mantrah—the Rama-mantra; phaladhikah—best at giving results; ganapatyadi-mantreshu—than the mantras glorifying Ganesha and the other demigods; koöi-koöi-gunadhikah—many millions and millions of times more.
"Of all Vishnu-mantras the Rama-mantra gives the best results. It gives results many millions of millions of times better than the mantras of Ganesha and the other demigods.
vinaiva diksham viprendra
purashcaryam vinaiva hi
vina—without; eva—indeed; diksham—initiation; viprendra—O king of brahmanas; purashcaryam—parscarana; vina—without; eva—indeed; hi—indeed; vina—without; eva—indeed; nyasa-vidhina—nyasa; japa-matrena—simply by chanting; siddhi-dah—giving perfection.
"O king of brahmanas, without initiation, without purashcarana, and without nyasa, simply by chanting the Rama-mantra one attains perfection.
mantreshv ashu svanayasa-
phala-do 'yam shad-aksharah
shad-aksharo 'yam mantras tu
mantreshu—in mantras; ashu—quickly; svanayasa-phala-dah—giving results; ayam—this; shad—six; aksharah—syllables; shad-aksharah—six syllables; ayam—this; mantrah—mantra; tu—indeed; maha—great; agha—of sins; augha—flood; nivaranah—stopping.
"The six-syllable Rama-mantra quickly fulfills all desires. The six-syllable Rama-mantra destroys a flood of sins.
Texts 151 and 152
mantra-raja iti proktah
dainam dinam tu duritam
sarvam dahati nihshesham
mantra—of mantras; raja—the king; iti—thus; proktah—said; sarvesham—of all; uttamottamah—the best of the best; dainam—wretched condition; dinam—day; tu—indeed; duritam—sins; paksha—fortnight; masa—month; ritu—season; varsha—year; jam—born; sarvam—all; dahati—burns; nihshesham—completely; tulacalam—a mountain of cotton; iva—like; analah—a fire; brahma-hatya-sahasrani—the thousand murders of brahmanas; jnana—with knowledge; ajnana—without knowledge; kritani—done; ca—and.
"The Rama-mantra is the king of mantras. It is the best of all. As a flame quickly burns up a mountain of cotton swabs, so does the Rama-mantra burn away the sins committed in all one's days, fortnights, months, seasons, and years. It burns away a thousand murders of brahmanas and a host of sins committed consciously or unconsciously.
hy upapapani yany api
sarvany api pranashyanti
svarna—of gold; steya—theft; sura—wine; pana—drinking; guru—of ther spiritual master; talpa—the bed; yutani—endowed; ca——and; koöi-koöi—millions and millions; sahasrani—thousands; hy—also; upapapani—sins; yany—which; api—also; sarvany—all; api—also; pranashyanti—destroys; rama-mantranukirtanat—by chanting the Rama-mantra.
"By chanting the Rama-mantra the sins of stealing gold, drinking liquor, committing adultery with the spiritual master's wife, and many thousands of millions of millions of other sins are all destroyed."
ya etat tarakam brahmano nityam adhite, sa papmanam tarati, sa mrityum tarati, sa bhruna-hatyam tarati, sa sarva-hatyam tarati, sa samsaram tarati, sa sarvam tarati, sa vimuktashrito bhavati, so 'mritatvam ca gacchati.
tapaniya-shrutishu—in the Rama-tapani Upanishad; ca—and; ya—what; etat—thus; tarakam—delivering; brahmanah—a brahmana; nityam—regularly; adhite,—chants; sa—he; papmanam—sin; tarati,—crossess beyond; sa—he; mrityum—death; tarati,—crossess beyond; sa—he; bhruna-hatyam—the sin of abortion; tarati,—crossess beyond; sa—he; sarva-hatyam—mass-murders; tarati,—crossess beyond; sa—he; samsaram—birth and death; tarati,—crossess beyonbd; sa—and; sarvam—all; tarati,—crossess beyond; sa—he; vimuktashritah—liberated; bhavati,—becomes; sah—he; amritatvam—immortality; ca—and; gacchati—attains.
In the Rama-tapani Upanishad it is said:
"A brahmana who regularly chants the Rama-mantra crosses beyond sin. He crosses beyond death. He crosses beyond the sin of performing an abortion. He crosses beyond the sins of mass-murder and genocide. He crosses beyond the world of repeated birth and death. He crosses beyond all that is inauspicious. He becomes liberated."
mantras tu krishnadevasya
sakshad bhagavato hareh
atha—now; shri-gopaladeva-mantra-mahatmyam—the glory of the Gopaladeva-mantra; mantrah—mantra; tu—indeed; krishnadevasya—of Lord Krishna; sakshat—directly; bhagavatah—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hareh—Lord Hari; sarvavatara-bijasya—the seed of all incarnations; sarvatah—in all respects; viryavattamah—the most powerful.
The Glories of the Gopala-mantra
The mantra of Lord Krishna, who is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the seed of all incarnations, is the most powerful.
tatha ca brihad-gautamiye shri-govinda-vrindavanakhye
shreshöho vaishnava ucyate
tatha—so; ca—and; brihad-gautamiye—in the Brihad-gautamiya Tantra; shri-govinda-vrindavanakhye—in the portion named Govinda-Vrindavana; sarvesham—of all; mantra-varyanam—great mantras; shreshöhah—the best; vaishnava—mantra of Lord Vishnu; ucyate—is said; visheshat—specifically; krishna-manavah—the Krishna-mantra; bhoga-mokshaika-sadhanam—the abode of happiness and liberation.
In the Gautamiya Tantra it is said:
"Of all mantras the Vishnu-mantras are said to be the best. Of these the Krishna-mantras, which are the abode of happiness and liberation, are the best of all.
yasya yasya ca mantrasya
yo yo devas tatha punah
abhedat tan-manunam ca
devata saiva bhashyate
yasya yasya—of whatever; ca—and; mantrasya—mantra; yo yah—whatever; devah—demigod; tatha—so; punah—again; abhedat—from being not different; tan-manunam—of the mantras; ca—and; devata—deity; sa—He; eva—indeed; bhashyate—is said.
"Whatever the mantra and whoever the Deity, the mantra and its Deity are said to be non-different.
krishna eva param brahma
smriti-matrena tesham vai
krishna—Lord Krishna; eva—indeed; param brahma—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah—whose form is eternal and full of knowledeg and bliss; smriti—by remembering; matrena—simply; tesham—of them; vai—indeed; bhukti-mukti-phala-pradah—giving the results of material happiness and liberation.
"Lord Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. Simply by remembering Him, one attains both material happiness and liberation.
tatrapi bhagavattam svam
tasya shreshöhatama mantras
teshv apy ashöadashaksharah
tatrapi—still; bhagavattam—the state of being the Supreme Personality of Godhead; svam—own; tanvatah—manifesting; gopa-lilaya—with the pastime of a cowherd boy; tasya—of Him; shreshöhatama—best; mantrah—mantras; teshv—in them; apy—also; ashöadashaksharah—the eighteen-syllable mantra.
"In His original form He enjoys pastimes as a cowherd boy. The mantras glorifying Him are the best of mantras. Among them the eighteen-syllable mantra is especially to be noted."
Text 160 (a)
om munayo ha vai brahmanam ucuh. kah paramo devah? kuto mrityur bibheti? kasya jnanenakhilam vijnatam bhavati? kenedam vishvam samsaratiti?
atha—now; ashöadashakshara-mantra—of the eighteen-syllable mantra; mahatmyam—the glory; tapaniya-shrutishu—in Shri Gopala-tapani Upanishad; om—invoking auspiciousness by reciting the name of the Personality of Godhead; munayah—sages; ha—indeed; vai— certainly; brahmanam—Brahma; ucuh—-adresses; kah—who? paramah devah—is the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kutah— of whom? mrityu—is death; bibheti—afraid; kasya—of whom?; jnanena—with the knowledge; akhilam—everything; vijnatam— known; bhavati—becomes; kena—by whom?; vishvam—is the universe; samsarati—manifest; iti—thus.
The Glories of the Eighteen-syllable Mantra
In Shri Gopala-taani Upanishad (1.2) the eighteen-syllable mantra is described in the following words:
"Om. Some sages said to the demigod Brahma: Who is the the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Whom does death fear? By knowing whom does everything else become known? Who created this world?
Text 160 (b)
tad u hovaca brahmanah. krishno vai paramam daivatam.
govindan mrityur bibheti. gopijanavallabha-jnanena taj
jnatam bhavati. svahayedam samsarati.
tat—to them; u—certainly; ha—indeed; uvaca—said; brahmanah—Brahma; krishnah—Krshna; vai—certainly; paramam—the Supreme; daivatam—Personalityof Godhead; govindat—Govinda; mrityuh—death; bibheti—fears; gopijananvallabha—of Gopijanavallabha; jnanene—by the understanding; tat—that; jnatam—known; bhavati—becomes; svahaya—by pronouncing the syllable svaha; idam—this; samsarati—became manifested.
"Brahma replied to them: Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Death fears Govinda. By understanding Gopijananavallabha everything becomes known. By pronouncing the word svaha the Personality of Godhead created the world.
Text 160 (c)
tad u hocuh. kah krishno govindash ca ko 'sav iti
gopijanavallabhah kah ka svaheti.
tat—that; u—certainly; ha—indeed; ucuh—they asked; kah—Who?; krishnah—is Krishna; govindah—govinda; ca—also; kah—who?; asau—is He; iti—thus; gopijanavallabhah—Gopijanavallabha; kah—Who?; ka—who? svaha—Svaha; iti—thus.
"They then said: Who is Krishna? Who is Govinda? Who is Gopijanavallabha? What is Svaha?
Text 160 (d)
tan uvaca brahmanah. papa-karshano go-bhumi-veda-vidito gopijanavidya kala-prerakas tan-maya ceti, sakalam param brahmaivaitat.
tan—to them; uvaca—replied; brahmanah—Brahma; papa—sin; karshanah—removing; gah—the cows; bhumi—land; veda—and Vedas; viditah—celebrated; gopijana—the gopis;
avidya—enchantment; kala—forms; prerakah—manifesting; tat—His; maya—potency; ca—also; iti—thus; sakalam—with all the parts; param—supreme; brahma—spirit; eva—certainly; etat—He.
"To them Brahma said: Krishna means He who delivers from sin, Govinda means He who is famous on the earth, in the Vedas, and among the surabhi cows, Gopijanavallabha means He who enchants the gopis, and Svaha means the potency of the Supreme. All these names refer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Text 160 (e)
yo dhyayati rasayati bhajati so 'mrito bhavati, so 'mrito bhavati.
yah—he who; dhyayati—meditates; rasayati; glorifies; bhajati—and worships; sah—he; amritah—immortal; bhavati—becomes.
"One who meditates on this Supreme Personality of Godhead, glorifies Him, and worships Him, becomes liberated. He becomes liberated.
Text 160 (f)
te hocuh. kim tad-rupam? kim rasanam? katham va ho tad-bhajanam? tat sarva-vividishatam akhyahiti.
te—they; ha—certainly; ucuh—asked; kim—what?; tat—His; rupam—form; kim—what?; rasanam—glorification; katham—what?; va—or; ha u—certainly; tat—His; bhajanam—devotional service; tat—that; sarva—all; vividishatam—akhyahi—please describe; iti—thus.
"They said: What is His form? What is His glorification? How does one worship Him? Please describe this to us.
Text 160 (g)
tad u hovaca hairanyo gopa-vesham abhram tarunam kalpa-drumashritam.
tat—that; u—certainly; ha—indeed; uvaca—replied; hairanyah—Brahma; gopa-vesham—in the form of a cowherd boy; abhram—like a dark rain-cloud; tarunam—youth; kalpa-druma—under a desire-tree; ashritam—staying;
"Brahma said: He appears like a cowherd boy. His complexion is like a monsoon cloud.
Text 161 (a)
kim ca tatraivagre
bhaktir asya bhajanam tad ihamutropadhi-nairasyenamusmin manah-kalpanam etad eva naishkarmyam iti.
kim ca—furthermore; tatra—there; eva—indeed; agre—in the beginning; bhaktih—devotional service; asya—his; bhajanam—worship; tat—that; iha—here; amutra—and inthe next life after death;
upadhi-nairasyena—with freedom from material desires; amusmin—in Him; manah—of the mind; kalpanam—thought; etat—that; eva—certainly; naishkarmyam—freedom fromthe bonds of fruitive reaction; iti—thus.
Shri Gopala-tapani Upanisad (1.14-16) continues:
"Devotional service to Lord Krishna is performed when the heart no longer desires any material benefit to be obtained in this life or the next. This is freedom from the bonds of karma.
Text 161 (b)
krishnam tam vipra bahudha yajanti, govindam santam bahudharadhayanti gopijanavallabho bhuvanani dadhre svahashrito jagad ejayat suretah.
krishnam—Krishna; tam—Him; viprah—brahmanas; badhudha—repeatedly; yajanti—worship; govindam—Govinda; santam—eternal; bahudha—repeatedly; aradhayanti—worship; gopijanavallabhah—gopijanavallabha; bhuvanani—the living entities; dadhre—maintains; svaha—of innumerable transcendental potencies; ashritah—the shelter; jagat—the material universe; ejayat—causes to move; suretah—supremely powerful.
"Many brahmanas worship Krishna. Many worship eternal Govinda. Gopijanavallabha maintains the worlds. Powerful Svaha moves the universe.
vayur yathaiko bhuvanam pravishöo janye janye panca-rupo babhuva. krishnas tathaiko jagad-dhitartham shabdenasau panca-pado vibhatiti.
vayuh—air; yatha—just as; ekah—one; bhuvanam—the universe; pravishöah entered; janye janye—in the body of each living entity; panca—in five; rupah—forms; babhuva—became manifested; krishnah—Lord Krishna; tatha—in the same way; ekah—one; jagat—of the universe; hita—artham—for the benefit; shabdena—as sound; asau—He; panca—in five; rupah—forms; vibhati—became manifested; iti—thus.
"Although originally one, air becomes the five life-airs in the bodies of all living entities. In the same way, for the benefit of the world Lord Krishna appears as these five words."
kim ca tatraivopasana-vidhi-kathananantaram
eko vashi sarvagah krishna idya
eko 'pi san bahudha yo 'vabhati
tam piöhastham ye tu yajanti dhiras
tesham sukham shashvatam netaresham
kim ca—furthermore; tatra—there; eva—indeed; upasana—of worship vidhi—rules; kathana—description; anantaram—then; tat—this; iha—here; shlokah—verses; bhavanti—are; ekah—one; vashi—the supreme controller; sarvagah—all-pervading; krishnah—Lord Krishna; idyah—supremely worshipable; ekah—one; api—although; san—being; bahudha—in many forms; yah—who; avabhati—manifests; tam—Him; piöhastham—in His transcendental abode; ye—those who; tu— indeed; yajanti—worship; dhirah—intelligent persons; tesham—of them; sukham—happiness; shashvatam—eternal; na— not; itaresham—of others.
The method of worship is then described in the following words of Shri Gopala-tapani Upanishad (1.20-25):
"Lord Krishna is the worshipable, all-pervading supreme controller, and although He is one, He manifests in many forms. They who are intelligent worship Him as He stands on His altar. They, and not others, attain eternal happiness.
nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman
tam piöhagam ye 'nuyajanti vipras
tesham siddhih shashvati netaresham
nityah—eternal; nityanam—among the eternals; cetanah—living entity; cetananam—among living entities; ekah—one; bahunam—among the many; yah—who; vidadhati—grants; kaman—desires; tam—unto Him piöha-gam—situated in his own abode; ye—those who; anuyajanti—worship; viprah—devotees; tesham—of them; siddhih—perfection; shashvati—eternal; na itaresham—of others.
"The brahmanas, who worship, as He stands on His altar, the one greatest among the eternals and greatest among conscious persons, the one who fulfills the desires of the many, they, and not others, attain eternal perfection.
etad vishnoh paramam padam ye
nityodyuktah samyajante na kaman
tesham asau gopa-rupah prayatnat
prakashayed atma-padam tadaiva
etat—this; vishnoh—of Lord Vishnu; paramam—supreme; padam—abode; ye—those who; nitya—always; udyuktah—intently engaged; samyajante—engage in devotional service; na—not; kaman—material desires; tesham—of them; asau—He; gopa—of a cowherd boy; rupah—with the transcendental form; prayatnat—with endeavor; prakashayat—reveals; atma—own; padam—abode; tada—then; eva—certainly.
"To they who always dilignetly worship Lord Vishnu's transcendental form, the Lord, in His orginal form as a cowherd boy, shows His lotus feet.
yo brahmanam vidadhati purvam
yo vai vidyas tasmai gapayati sma krishnah
tam ha devam atma-buddhi-prakasham
mumukshur vai sharanam amum vrajet
yah—Who; brahmanam—to Brahma; vidadhati—gave; purvam—previously; yah—who; vai—certainly; vidyah—transcendental knowledge; tasmai—to him; gapayati sma—instructed; krishnah—Krishna; tam—to Him; ha—certainly; devam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; atma-buddhi-spiritual knowledge; prakasham—manifesting; mumukshuh—one whos desires liberation; vai—certainly; sharanam—shelter; amum—this; vrajet—should go.
"It was Krishna who in the beginning instructed Brahma in Vedic knowledge and who disseminated Vedic knowledge in the past.* They who desire liberation surrender to Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who grants transcendental knowledge to His devotees.
omkarenantaritam ye japanti
govindasya panca-padam manum tam
tesham asau darshayed atma-rupam
tasman mumukshur abhyasen nityam shantyai
omkarena—with the syllable om; antaritam—accompanied; ye—those who; japanti—chant; govindasya—of Lord Govinda; panca-padam—with five words; manum—mantra; tam—this; tesham—of them; asau—He; darshayet—reveals; atma—own; rupam— transcendental form; tasmat—from that; mumukshuh—one who desires liberation; abhyaset—should chant; nityam—continually; shantyai—to attain transcendental peace.
"To they who chant the five-word mantra with om and govinda (om krishnaya govindaya gopijanavallabhaya svaha) the Lord reveals His own form. Therefore, to attain transcendental peace, they who desire liberation should regularly chant this mantra.
etasmad anye panca-padad abhuvan
govindasya manavo manavanam
dasharnadyas te 'pi sankrandanadyair
abhyasyante bhuti-kamair yathavat
etasmat—from this; anye—others; panca-padat—from this mantra consisting of five words; abhuvan—came into existance; govindasya—of Lord Govinda; manavah—mantras; manavanam—of human society; dasa-arna—he ten-syllable mantra; adyah—beginning with te—they; api—also; sankrandana-adyaih—by the four Kumaras, Indra, and other devotees who desire liberation from material existance; abhyasyante—is chanted; bhuti—kamaih—by Narada and others who desire the spiritual opulence of pure devotional service; yathavat—just as;
"From this five-word mantra have come all other govinda-mantras in human society, including the ten-syllable govinda-mantra chanted by Indra's followers and by they who desire opulences."
Text 169 (a)
kim ca tatraiva
tad u hovaca brahmanah asav anavaratam me dhyatah stutah parardhante so 'budhyata. gopa-vesho me purastad avirbabhuva. tatah pranato mayanukulena hrida mahyam ashöadasharnam svarupam srishöaye dattvantarhitah.
kim ca—furthermore; tatra—there; eva—indeed; tat—then; u—certainly; ha—indeed; uvaca—replied brahmanah—Brahma; asau—He; anavaratam—continually; me—by me; dhyatah—remembered; stutah—glorified; paradhante—at the conclusion of the parardha; sah—He; abudhyata—became perceived; gopa-veshah—in the form of a cowherd boy; me—me; pruastat—in the presence; avirbabhuva—became manifested; tatah—-then; pranatah—offered obeisances; maya—by me; anukulena—with a compassionate; hrida—heart; mahyam—to me; ashöadasha-arnam—the eighteen syllable mantra; svarupam— form; srishöaye—for creation; dattva—having given
Shri Gopala-tapani Upanishad (1.27-30) continues:
"Brahma said: I continually glorified the Lord and meditated upon Him for millions of years, and at last I was able to understand the transcendental form of the Lord as Shri Krishna, in the dress of a cowherd boy.* With devotion in my heart I bowed down before Him. He gave me the eighteen-syllable mantra to be used for the activity of creation, and then He disappeared.
Text 169 (b)
punah sisrikshato me pradurabhut teshv akshareshu bhavishyaj jagad-rupam prakashayan.
punah—again; sisrikshatah—desiring to create; me—of me; pradurabhut—became manifest; teshu—in them; akshareshu—in the letters of the mantra; bhavishyat—about to be; jagat-rupam—the form of the universe; prakashayan—manifesting.
"When I desired to create the universe He again appeared before me, showing me in these syllables the universe that was to be.
Text 169 (c)
tad iha kad apo lat prithivi ito 'gnir bindor indus tat-sampatakad arka iti klim-karad asrijam. krishnayad akasham khad vayur ity uttarat surabhim vidyah pradurakarsham tad-uttarat stri-pumadi cedam sakalam iti. sakalam iti.
tat—that; iha—here; kat—from the letter ka; apah—water; lat—from the letter la; prithivi—earth; itah—from the letter i; agnih—fire; bindoh—from the letter m; induh—the moon; tat—sampatakat—from the combination of these letter; arkah—the sun; iti—thus; klimakarat—from the word klim; asrijam—I created the material universe; krishnayat—from the word krishnaya; akasham—ether; khat—from ether; vayuh—air; iti—thus; uttarat—from the next word (govindaya); surabhim—the cows; vidyah—as well as knowledge; pradurakarsham—I created; tat—uttarat—from the next word (gopijanavallabhaya); stri-pum-adi—men, women and all species of life; va—also; idam—this; sakalam—everything.
"From the letter k, I created water, from the letter l, earth, from the letter i, fire, from the letter m, the moon, and from the entire word klim, the sun. From the word krishnaya, I created ether, from govindaya, air, from gopijanavallabhaya, knowledge and the surabhi cows, and from svaha, men, women, and everything else. Everything else."
tatha ca gautamiya-tantre
klim-karad asrijad vishvam
iti praha shruteh shirah
la-karat prithivi jata
tatha—so; ca—and; gautamiya-tantre—in the Gautamiya Tantra; klim-karat—from the syllable Klim; asrijat—created; vishvam—the universe; iti—thus; praha—said; shruteh—of the Vedas; shirah—the head; la-karat—from the syllable la; prithivi—the earth; jata—born; ka-karaj—from the letter k; jala—of water; sambhavah—birth.
In the Gautamiya Tantra it is said:
"The head of the Vedas said: From the world Klim He created the universe. From the letter l, earth was born. From the letter k, water was born.
Text 171 (a)
i-karad vahnir utpanno
nadad vayur ajayata
iti bhutatmako manuh
i-karat—from the letter i; vahnih—fire; utpannah—born; nadat—from the sound; vayuh—air; ajayata—was born; bindoh—from the letter m; akasha-sambhutih—the birth of sky; iti—thus; bhutatmakah—the heart of the elements; manuh—the mantra.
"From the letter i, fire was born. From the sound of these letters together, air was born. From the letter m, the sky was born. In this way the material elements were born from this mantra.
Text 171 (b)
sva-shabdena ca kshetra-jno
heti cit-prakritih para
ata eva hi vishvasya
layah svaharnake bhavet
sva-shabdena—by the syllable sva; ca—and; kshetra-jnah—the knower of the field; ha—ha; iti—thus; cit-prakritih—the spiritual consciousness; para—superior; tayoh—of them; aikya-samudbhutih—becoming one; mukha-veshöana-varnakah—in an important word; ata eva—therefore; hi—indeed; vishvasya—of the material universe; layah—destruction; svaharnake—in the syllables Svaha; bhavet—is.
"From the syllable sva, the knower of the field of activities is manifested. From the syllable ha, spiritual knowledge is manifested. When these syllables meet in the mouth they become the word Svaha. It is with this word that the material universe is destroyed."
punash ca sa shrutih
etasyaiva yajanena candradhvajo gata-mohatmanam vedayitva om-karantaralakam manum avarttayet. sanga-rahito 'bhyanayat. tad vishnoh paramam padam sada pashyanti surayah. diviva cakshur atatam. tasmad enam nityam abhyaset. ity adi.
punah—again; ca—and; sa—that; shrutih—Gopala-tapani Upanishad; etasya—of Him; eva—indeed; yajanena—with the worship; candradhvajah—Shiva; gata—gone; moha—illusion; atmanam—self; vedayitva—knowing; om-karantaralakam—Om; manum—mantra; avarttayet.—chanted; sanga-rahitah—alone; abhyanayat—attained; tat—that; vishnoh—of Lord Vishnu; paramam—supreme; padam—abode; sada—always; pashyanti—see; surayah—the demigods; divi—in the sky; iva—like; cakshuh—eye; atatam—manifested; tasmat—from that; enam—this; nityam—always; abhyaset.—practiced; ity—thus; adi—beginning.
In the Gopala-tapani Upanishsad (1.31-33) it is said:
"by worshiping Lord Krishna, Shiva became free from illusion, and by chanting this mantra in a solitary place, eh attained the Lord. He attained the Lord's transcendental abode, which is like a sun in the sky, thye Lord's abode on which the demigods gaze."
Texts 173 and 174
tad atra gatha
yasya purva-padded bhumir
tritiyat teja udbhutam
tam evaikam samabhyasan
candradhvajo 'gamad vishnoh
paramam padam avyayam
tatra—there; eva—indeed; agre—before; tat—that; atra—here; gatha—verses; yasya—of whom; purva-padat—from the first word; bhumih—earth; dvitiyat—from the second; salilodbhavah—the creation of water; tritiyat—from the third; teja—fire; udbhutam—bormn; caturthat—from the fourth; gandha—scent; vahanah—carrying; pancamat—from the fifth; ambarotpattih—the birth of ether; tam—that; eva—indeed; ekam—one; samabhyasan—practiced; candradhvajah—Lord Shiva; agamat—went; vishnoh—of Lord Vishnu; paramam—to the supreme; padam—abode; avyayam—eternal.
In the Gopala-tapani Upanishsad (1.35-38) it is also said:
"About this are the following verses: One shoudl chant this mantra, of which from the first word the element earth came, from the decond word water, from the third fire, from the fourth air, and from the fifth ether. By chanting this mantra Lord Shiva entered Lord Vishnu's eternal spiritual abode.
tato vishuddham vimalam vishokam
yat tat padam panca-padam tad eva
sa vasudevo na yato 'nyad asti
tatah—from this; vishuddham—pure; vimalam—without impurity; vishokam—without grief; ashesha-lobhadi-nirasta-sangam—without greed and other vices; yat—what; tat—that; padam—abode; panca-padam—five words; tat—that; eva—indeed; sa—he; vasudevah—Krishna; na—not; yatah—from whom; anyat—another; asti—is.
"That spiritual world, completely pure, uncontaminated, free from suffering, free from greed and all other vices, and identical with this five-word mantra, is manifested from Lord Vasudeva. It is not separate from Him.
tam ekam govindam sac-cid-ananda-vigraham panca-padam vrindavana-sura-bhuruha-talasinam satatam sa-marud-gano 'ham paramaya stutya toshayami. iti.
tam—Him; ekam—alone; govindam—Krishna; sac-cid-ananda-vigraham—whose form is eternal and full of knowledge anmd bliss; panca-padam—five words; vrindavana-sura-bhuruha-talasinam—sitting undcer a kalpa-vrksa tree in Vrindavana; satatam—always; sa-marud-ganah—with the Maruts; aham—I; paramaya—with great; stutya—devotion; toshayami.—praise; iti—thus.
"With eloquent prayers I and the Maruts please Lord Govinda, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, who stays under a desire tree in Vrindavana, and who is this five-word mantra."
kim ca stuty-anantaram
amum panca-padam mantram avarttayed yah, sa yaty anayasatah kevalam tat. anejad ekam manaso javiyo, na yad deva apnuvan purvam arshat.
kim ca—furthermore; stuty-anantaram—in the same Upanishad; amum—this; panca-padam mantram—five-word mantra; avarttayet—practices; yah,—one who; sa—he; yaty—attains; anayasatah—easily; kevalam—transcendental; tat.—that; anejat—fixed; ekam—one; manasah—than the mind; javiyo,—more swift; na—not; yat—this Supreme Lord; deva—the demigods like Indra, etc.; apnuvan—can approach; purvam—in front; arshat—moving quickly.
In the Gopala-tapani Upanishsad (1.52-53) it is also said:
"One who chants this five-word mantra easily attains the transcendental abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
"Although fixed in His abode, the Personality of Godhead is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running. Even the powerful demigods cannot approach Him.*
tasmat krishna eva paro devas tam dhyayet tam rasayet tam yajed iti, om tat sad iti.
tasmat—therefore; krishna—Lord Krishna; eva—indeed; parah—the supreme; devah—Lord; tam—on Him; dhyayet—one should meditate; tam—Him; rasayet—one should glorify; tam—Him; yajet—one should worship; iti—thus; om tat sat—Om tat sat; iti—thus.
"Therefore, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should meditate upon Him, glorify Him, serve Him, and worship Him. Om tat sat."
trailokya-sammohana-tantre ca devim prati shri-mahadevoktashöadashakshara-prasanga eva
santi tasya maha-bhaga
trailokya-sammohana-tantre—in the Trailokya-sammohana-tantra; ca—and; devim—to the goddess; prati—to; shri-mahadeva—of Lord Shiva; ukta—spoken; ashöadashakshara-prasange—in relation to the eighteen syllable mantra; eva—thus; dharmartha-kama-mokshanam—of religion, sense-gratifcication, economic development, and liberation; ishvarah—the Lord; jagad-ishvarah—the Lord of the univreses; santi—are; tasya—of Him; maha-bhaga—filled with opulences; avatarah—incarnations; sahasrashah—thousands.
In the Trailokya-sammohana-tantra Lord Shiva, speaking to Goddess Durga, glorifies the eighteen-syllable mantra in the following words:
"Lord Krishna is the master of the universes and the master of religion, economic development, sense-gratification, and liberation. From Him many thousands of very glorious incarnations of Godhead have come.
tesham madhye 'vataranam
tani tani kritani ca
tesham—of these; madhye—in the midst; avataranam—incarnations; balatvam—childhood; ati-durlabham—rare; amanushani—superhuman; karmani—deeds; tani tani—them; kritani—performed