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Second Shower of Nectar
In this work one will not find a full dissertation on dualism and monism but, for those who expect it, they may find it in another work called Aishvarya Kadambini.
Pure bhakti, unmixed with karma and jnana, is like a wish-fulfilling creeper appearing in the field of the senses. This bhakti is the refuge of those devotees who firmly vow (dhrita vrata) never to seek any fruits except bhakti, like bees (madhu vrata) who are obsessed with the desire to taste only nectar. The very life of this creeper is a favorable attitude for service for the pleasure of the Lord. Like a touchstone, the very presence of bhakti makes the heart and senses gradually lose their iron-like material qualities and acquire pure golden spiritual qualities. As a sprouting creeper grows upwards and unfurls two leaves, in the process of sadhana bhakti, two qualities make their appearance. The first is called kleshaghni (relief from material distress) and the second is called shubhada (beginning of all auspiciousness).
The smooth upper [Shripad Chakravarti uses the words inside and outside. Newly sprouted leaves pointing upwards, their upper surfaces are facing each other and thus, inside, etc.] surface of the two leaves, is the jurisdiction of the king called raga (raga-bhakti). It is in a superior position due to spontaneous greed for everything pertaining to the Lord, and by genuine affection for the Lord in a particular relationship, yevam aham priya atma sutas ca..., I am their own dear son... (SB 3.25.38). The lower surface of the leaves is the domain of another king called vaidha (vaidhi-bhakti), being in a comparatively lower position. This is because its character has a tinge of roughness being generated from obedience to scriptural rules, and spontaneous deep affection for the Lord is lacking due to absence of an intimate relationship with Him, tasmad bharata sarvatma, O Parikshit, thus as the Supersoul, I should be worshipped (SB 2.1.5). However, both raga and vaidhi-bhakti equally manifest the symptoms of kleshaghni (relief from material distress) and shubhada (beginning of all auspiciousness).
As both raga-bhakti and vaidhi-bhakti destroy klesha, its five types will now be described. The literal meaning is suffering or affliction, but here, the meaning may be taken as the causes of suffering. These kleshas are the cause of sinful and pious activities which result in material misfortune or good fortune. vidya: ignorance; to mistake that which is impermanent to be permanent; that which is full of misery to be blissful; that which is impure to be pure; and what is not the self to be the self.
Asmita: false ego; the bodily identification of I and mine; and to accept only direct sense perception as real.
Raga: attachment; the desire for material happiness and those means which will give it.
Dvesa: hatred; the repulsion to unhappiness or the causes of unhappiness.
Abhinivesa: absorption in the body as the basis for sense gratification and fear of death.
The stages in the development of sinprarabdha (fructified), aprarabdh a (unfructified), rudha (pre-seed) and bija (seed)are also included in klesha.
As both types of bhakti eradicate klesha similarly, they bestow shubha or auspiciousness. Shubha or auspiciousness consists of such qualities as disinterest in material affairs, interest in the Supreme Lord, favorable attitude towards the service of the Lord, mercy, forgiveness, truthfulness, simplicity, equanimity, fortitude, gravity, respectfulness, humility, and being pleasing to all [durvishaya-vaitrishna, bhagavad-vishaya-satrishna, anukulya, kripa, kshama, satya, saralya, samya, dhairya, gambhirya, mandatva, amanitva, sarva-subhagatva].
That bhakti bestows these qualities is proven by such verses as the following:
yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
manorathenasati dhavato bahih
All the demigods and all their exalted qualities manifest in the person of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However for one who is not a devotee and thus driven by the temporary material desires of his mind, how can there be any good qualities in him? (SB 5.18.12)
bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir
anyatra caiva trika eka kalah
Devotion, taste for the Lord, and detachment from all else appear simultaneously. (SB 11.2.42)
By this, one should understand that the two symptoms (i.e., destruction of suffering and appearance of all good qualities) occur simultaneously. However, as there is some difference in the rate of unfurling of two leaves, there is a distinction in the pace of the disappearance of the undesirable qualities (ashubha) and the appearance of the auspicious qualities (shubha). The progress of bhakti will be distinguished in this way. Though this is very subtle and difficult to note, the intelligent men have ascertained this through scrutiny of the various effects.
First, the prospective devotee develops shraddha or faith. Shraddha means to have firm trust in the import of the scriptures dealing with bhakti. It also means to have a genuine desire to enthusiastically undertake the activities (sadhana) described in those scriptures. These two types of faith may be either natural (svabhaviki) or being convinced by the preaching of another (balutpadita).
However it develops, faith leads him to take shelter of the lotus feet of the guru, and enquire from him about proper conduct (sadachara). By following his instructions, that person obtains the good fortune of relations with affectionate like-minded devotees and the association of realized devotees (sadhu-sanga).
Next comes bhajana kriya, he begins to practice different types of devotional activities. This also is of two varieties: unsteady (anishthita) and steady (nishthita). Unsteady performance of devotional activities is of six types (in sequential order): false confidence (utsaha mayi), sporadic endeavor (ghana-tarala), indecision (vyudha vikalpa), struggle with the senses (vishaya sangara), inability to uphold vows (niyamakshama), and enjoying the facilities offered by bhakti (taranga rangini).
Utsaha mayi: A brahmana child, having just begun study of the scriptures, thinks he has immediately become a learned scholar worthy of everyone's praise. Similarly, a person just beginning devotional service may develop the audacity to think that he has mastered everything. He is called utsaha mayi, or filled (puffed-up) with enthusiasm.
Ghana-tarala: The same child sometimes becomes diligently engaged in his studies and yet, at other times, because of inability to understand the scriptures and lack of real taste, becomes negligent. In the same way, a new devotee will sometimes practice the different activities of devotional service and sometimes neglect them. Being sometimes assiduous and at other times negligent, his endeavor is called ghana-tarala (condensed-dilute, thick-thin).
Vyudha vikalpa: “Shall I just spend my life happily in family life, making my wife and children Krishna conscious and worshipping the Lord? Or should I give them all up and go to Vrindavana and perfect myself by engaging full time in hearing and chanting with no distractions? Shall I wait until the last stage, after enjoying all sorts of pleasures, when I have finally understood that the whole material world is simply a forest fire of affliction? Or should I renounce right now? Consider these verses:
tam akvetamano mrtyum
trnaih kupam ivavrtam
Association with woman is the way to death, like a blind well covered by grass. (SB 3.31.40)
yo dustyjan dara-sutan
suhrd rajyam hrdi-sprsah
jahau yuvaiva malavad
Those attachments that are very difficult to give up, beautiful wife, obedient sons, devoted friends, and vast empire, everything the heart desires, Maharaja Bharata them up even in his youth just as stool due to his attraction for the Lord. (SB 5.14.43)
Should I thus give up unreliable family life while still young? On the other hand, it is not proper to renounce immediately. Shouldn't I wait until the death of my old parents before renouncing?
aho me pitarau vrddhau
anatha mam rte danah
katham javanti duhkhitah
Alas! My parents are old and my wife is with a mere infant in her arms and other young children. Without me they will have no protection and will suffer unbearably. How will they live without me? (SB 11.17.57)
Moreover, the scripture says:
muhha-dhar ayama trptas
tan anudhyayan mrto
'ndham visate tamah
If one gives up family life in an un-surfeited state, he will think of family life even after renouncing. If such a fool should die in that condition, he will go the darkest region of hell. (SB 11.17.58)
By such statements, the Lord depreciates such renunciation. Therefore, for the time being, I will just work to keep my body alive. Later, after satisfying all my desires, I will enter Vrindavana and engage in worship of the Lord twenty-four hours a day. After all, the scriptures points out:
na jnanam na ca vairagyam
prayah sreyo bhavediha
Jnana and vairagya are not generally beneficial for practicing devotional service. (SB 11.20.31)
According to this text, renunciation is a fault for the culture of bhakti. If it arises from bhakti itself, however, that renunciation is not a fault but an effect (anubhava) of bhakti and subordinate to it. Of course, then there is the famous logic:
yad yad asramam agat
sa bhiksukas tat tad
anna paripurnam aiksat
In whatever ashram the sannyasi stayed, they always gave him more than enough to eat.
In the life of renunciation there is no worry for maintenance, so maybe I should renounce. But on the other hand:
tavad ragadayah stenas
tavat kara-grham grham
tavan mono 'nghri-nigaho
yavat krvna na te jamah
My dear Lord Krishna, until people become Your devotee, their material attachments remain thieves, their homes prisons, and their affectionate feeling for their family foot shackles. (SB 10.14.36)
Household life is a prison only for those who are attached, for a devotee, there is no harm in household life. Thus shall I remain at home and engage in chanting or rather in hearing, or shall I engage in service? Rather, as Ambarisha Maharaja remained in household life and performed all the angas of bhakti, I shall do likewise.”
In this way, the mind spends time vacillating between household life and renunciation. When one imagines in this way all types of options, it is called vyudha vikalpa, or extensive speculation.
varuna dig gatam vastu
vrajannaindram kim apnuyat
One whose heart is absorbed in materialism is far from obtaining devotion to Vishnu. Can a man by going east obtain something which is in the west?
Understanding that material enjoyment is forcibly carrying him away and impairing his steadiness in serving Krishna, the devotee resolves to renounce his addictions and take shelter of the Holy Name. But many times, his attempts at renunciation often end in enjoying what he is trying to renounce. Such a person is exemplified in the Bhagavatam:
parityago 'py anasvarah... juvamanas ca tan kaman...
Knowing that sense gratification leads to misery, though he tries to give up his material desires, still he is unable. (SB 11.20.27-28)
This on-going battle with his previously acquired desires for sense pleasure, in which he sometimes meets with victory and sometimes with defeat is called vishaya sangara or struggle with sense pleasure.
Niyamakshama: Then the devotee will resolve, “From today I will chant such and such number of rounds of japa and will pay so many obeisances. I will also perform services for the devotees. I will not talk on any subject except the Lord and I will give up all association with people who talk on material matters.” Though he makes such resolutions every day, he is not always able to execute them. This is called niyamakshama or inability to follow rules. Vishaya sangara is the inability to give up material enjoyment, whereas, niyamakshama is the inability to improve his devotional service.
Taranga rangini: Finally, it is well-known that the very nature of bhakti is to be attractive, so all types of people become attracted to the devotee, the abode of bhakti. And, as the old adage goes, “By the attraction of the populace one becomes wealthy.” Bhakti produces much opportunity for material gain, worship and position (labha, puja, pratishtha). These are weeds around the creeper of bhakti. Performing activities, or seeking one's pleasure (ranga) amidst these weed-like facilities, which are but small waves (taranga) in the ocean of bhakti, is called taranga rangini, delighting in material facilities.
Thus ends the Second Shower of Nectar of Madhurya Kadambini by Mahamahopadhyaya Shrimat Vishvanath Chakravarti describing the development of bhakti as shraddha, sadhu-sanga, and bhajana kriya, as well as, the divisions of bhajana kriya.