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Vyasa Avatara Shrila Vrindavana dasa Thakura
Chapter Fourteen: The Lord’s Travel to East Bengal and the Disappearance of Lakshmipriya
CB Adi-khanda 14.101
name se anna-matra parigraha kare
ishvara-vicchede bada duhkhita antare
She accepted some rice only in name, for she was deeply distressed in separation from the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 14.102
ekeshvara sarva-ratri karena krandana
citte svasthya lakshmi na payena kona kshana
She passed the nights alone, crying incessantly. Her heart found no relief for even a moment.
CB Adi-khanda 14.103
ishvara-viccheda lakshmi na pare sahite
iccha karilena prabhura samipe yaite
Eventually Lakshmi could no longer tolerate separation from the Lord, and she desired to go join Him.
CB Adi-khanda 14.104
nija-pratikriti-deha thui’ prithivite
calilena prabhu-pashe ati alakshite
Lakshmi left a replica body on the bank of the Ganges in this world and went invisibly to the side of the Lord.
In the Chaitanya-caritamrita (Adi 16.20-21) it is stated: “Because the Lord was engaged in various ways in preaching work in East Bengal, His wife, Lakshmidevi, was very unhappy at home in separation from her husband. The snake of separation bit Lakshmidevi, and its poison caused her death. Thus she passed to the next world. She went back home, back to Godhead.”
The replica body and disappearance of Lakshmidevi are explained as follows: Shri Lakshmipriya-devi is the internal spiritual potency of Gaura-Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Maha-Lakshmi is described in the Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika (45) as follows: “She who previously appeared as Shri Janaki, Rukmini, and Lakshmi has now appeared as Lakshmi in the pastimes of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.” In the Sanskrit book Chaitanya-caritamrita-mahakavya (3.7 and 13) it is stated: “This Lakshmi [of Navadvipa] is the incarnation of that Lakshmi [of Vaikuntha],” and “Lakshmi has personally incarnated in this world.” While describing Maha-Lakshmi, Krishna’s queens, and the gopis of Vraja, Shri Jiva Prabhupada has stated in his Shri Krishna-sandarbha: “In the second (Bhagavata) sandarbha it has been established that the Lord is the Supreme Absolute Truth and that He has two energies. Of the two, the first is related to the Lord as His internal potency and is as worshipable to the Vaishnavas as the Lord Himself. The Supreme Lord’s supreme position is due to this svarupa-shakti. The second, Maya, is fit, like the material world, to be neglected by the Vaishnavas; she is the transformation of the Lord’s energy. The manifestation of the world is due to this bahiranga-maya-shakti, or the illusory external energy. Of these two potencies, the word lakshmi is used to indicate the former, the svarupa-shakti, just as the word bhagavata is used to indicate the person who possesses these two energies. This is also clearly shown in the Bhagavata-sandarbha. In the two cities (Mathura and Dvaraka) this svarupa-shakti is known as shri-mahishi, the queens of Krishna. Since it is clearly stated in the Gopala-tapani Upanishad that in the Lord’s unmanifest pastimes Shri Rukmini eternally resides in Mathura, all other queens must also reside there. It is also stated therein that the queens of Krishna are also related to Him as belonging to the category of His svarupa-shakti; therefore in their position as svarupa-shakti they are necessarily of the same position as Lakshmi. In this way the queens of Krishna are naturally confirmed as belonging to the Lord’s svarupa-shakti. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.60.9) it is stated: ‘The Lord assumes various forms to enact His pastimes, and He was pleased that the form that the goddess of fortune Rukmini had assumed was just suitable for her to serve as His consort.’ The meaning of this verse is very clear. Therefore, since Rukmini assumed a form suitable to serve the Lord, she is certainly on the level of Lakshmi. And since Lakshmi, who is famous as the goddess of Vaikuntha, is merged within Rukmini, Maha-Lakshmi Rukmini has the internal mood of Lakshmi and is complete in every respect. Because the spiritual energy, or svarupa-shakti, and the energetic, or shaktiman, are completely free of differences (or nondifferent), there cannot be any relationship between them as found between a subject and object of comparison. Therefore between them there is an absence of similarity (as in the difference between an actual object and its shadow or reflection), in other words, they are nondifferent or one. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (10.60.44) Rukmini personally speaks the following words: ‘O lotus-eyed one, though You are satisfied within Yourself and thus rarely turn Your attention toward me, please bless me with steady love for Your feet.’ (In this statement Rukmini is removing Krishna’s doubt or objection.) ‘If You say, “I am personally self-satisfied, so how can I have attachment for you?” In reply, I say that Your vision is indifferent, in other words, though You are omnipotent, You look at me, Your svarupa-shakti, and Yourself as inseparable. The purport is that since the svarupa-shakti and the shaktiman are inseparable (or nondifferent), or they are constitutionally nondifferent because their only distinction is their constitutional relationship as vishaya and ashraya, the enjoyer and the enjoyed, therefore even though You are atmarama, Your attachment for Me is proper.’”
In the Vishnu Purana (1.8.15) it is stated:
nityaiva sa jagan-mata vishnoh shrir anapayini
yatha sarva-gato vishnus tathaiveyam dvijottamah
“O best of brahmanas, Lord Vishnu’s svarupa-shakti is the eternal mother of the universe; she is never separated from Vishnu. Just as Lord Vishnu is present everywhere, His svarupa-shakti, Maha-Lakshmi is also present everywhere.”
Also in the Vishnu Purana (1.9.143) it is said:
devatve deva-deheyam manushyatve ca manushi
vishnor dehanurupam vai karoty eshatmanas tanum
“When the Lord appears as a demigod, she [the goddess of fortune] takes the form of a demigoddess, and when He appears as a human being, she takes a humanlike form. Thus she assumes a body corresponding to that accepted by Lord Vishnu in order to assist in His pastimes.”
In his commentary on Brahma-sutra (2.3.10) Shri Madhvacarya quotes the following verse from the Bhagavata-tantra:
shakti-shaktimatosh capi na vibhedah kathancana
avibhinnapi svecchadi- bhedair api vibhavyate
“There is no actual difference between the energy and the energetic, but sometimes out of His own sweet will they appear different.”
The Vishnu-samhita says: shakti-shaktimatosh capi na bhedah kashcid ishyate-“There is certainly no difference between the energy and the energetic.” From such scriptural statements we can understand that the energetic Vishnu and His related svarupa-shakti are nondifferent.
The external illusory energy, or material nature, is the subordinate shadow of this svarupa-shakti Lakshmi. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.7.23) Arjuna speaks to Krishna as follows: “You have cast away the effects of the material energy by dint of Your spiritual potency [or svarupa-shakti]. You are always situated in eternal bliss and transcendental knowledge.” Therefore creation, maintenance, and annihilation, which are transformations of the three modes of material nature-passion, goodness, and ignorance-can never attack Lord Vishnu, His related svarupa-shakti, or His opulences such as His abode and associates, because there is no difference between their bodies and souls like there is in the living entities who are controlled by maya and forced to enjoy the fruits of their karma. They are all transcendental, beyond the jurisdiction of maya, untouched by the modes of material nature, eternally pure, and spiritual.
Shri Krishna-sandarbha (93) quotes Shri Madhvacaryapada’s Bhagavata-tatparya commentary on Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.3.1) as follows: “The Tantra-bhagavata states:
agrihnad vyashrijac ceti krishna ramadikam tanum
pathyate bhagavan isho mudha buddhi vyapekshaya
‘The scriptural statements that the Supreme Lord has accepted and given up bodies in His incarnations such as Krishna and Rama are mentioned simply to satisfy the mentality of foolish people.’
In the Varaha Purana it is stated:
na tasya prakrita murtir mamsa-medo ‘sthi-sambhava
na yogitvad ishvaratvat satya-rupo ‘cyuto vibhuh
‘The Supreme Lord and His svarupa-shakti do not possess material forms made of flesh, bones, and marrow. His transcendental form, however, is not the result of mystic perfections, for since He is directly the Personality of Godhead, His form is eternal, infallible, and supreme.’
In the Maha-Varaha Purana it is stated: ‘Everything related to the Supreme Lord Vishnu, beginning with His body, is everlasting and eternal, devoid of both material purity and impurity, and never born of matter; in other words, they are not material. They are objects of fully uninterrupted bliss and completely spiritual, they are all full of transcendental qualities and nondifferent from one another. Due to possessing all qualities, they are fully devoid of superiority and inferiority in relationship with each other. There is never a difference between the body and soul of the Supreme Lord Vishnu, but when we hear statements that Lord Vishnu accepted a body it is like an actor taking on another hand to protect his body in a drama. Although Lord Vishnu, who is beyond material perception, appears and disappears, statements like ‘His form of Krishna,’ ‘His form of Rama,’ are applicable to Him alone, because He possesses unadulterated spiritual opulences.’ In the Kurma Purana it is stated: ‘Although the Supreme Lord is neither gigantic nor infinitesimal, He is completely gigantic and infinitesimal. Although the Lord appears contradictory due to possessing spiritual opulences, it is improper to attribute any type of mundane faults on the Supreme Lord. Yet even though apparent contradictory qualities are seen through material perception, one will have to understand that they are inconceivably reconciled in Him.’ In the Vishnu-dharmottara it is stated: ‘Because the Supreme Lord Purushottama possesses all opulences, all transcendental qualities are found in Him. But faults cannot in any way be applied on Him, because He is the supreme object. Some foolish persons conclude that both qualities and faults are received from or attributed by maya. In answer to this, it is stated that since there is no maya or connection with maya in the Absolute Truth, how then can qualities related with maya be present? Therefore the transcendental qualities of the Lord are not received from or attributed by maya; they are born of His opulences. Because He is the faultless (nirasta kuhaka aprakrita-“transcendental dissipater of illusion”) controller, learned scholars know Him as the supreme object.’”
The doubt raised by foolish materialists who are bewildered by maya that Maha-Lakshmi Shri Lakshmidevi, who is the svarupa-shakti of Gaura-Narayana, left her body due to being bitten by a snake like a conditioned soul is properly cleared by Shrimad Bhagavatam, the crest jewel of scriptures, and the acaryas, who follow Shrimad Bhagavatam, in their descriptions of Krishna’s disappearance.
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.14.8) Yudhishthira speaks to Bhimasena as follows: yadatmano ‘ngam akridam bhagavan utsishrikshati-“Has the time come for the Supreme Personality of Godhead to quit His earthly pastimes?” “The word angam in this verse means ‘earth.’
In the Brahma-tarka it is stated:
yada tyagadir ucyeta prithivyady-anga-kalpana
tada jneya na hi svangam kadacid vishnur utshrijet
‘When the scriptures use words like “give up” in connection with the disappearance of the Lord it refers to the earth, because Lord Vishnu never gives up His own limb.’” (Shri Madhvacarya’s Bhagavata-tatparya)
“The word akrida refers to the place of pastimes, or in other words, this material world. The word anga means ‘His own land,’ because ‘the earth is His body’ and other scriptural statements are evidence of this fact.” (Shri Vijayadhvaja)
Otherwise: “When will the Supreme Lord desire to give up His own pastimes, or in other words, give up the anga that assists in His pastimes, or in other words, give up the drama of a human (imitating the activities of a human being in the material world)-has that time arrived?” (Shridhara Svamipada)
“The word anga refers to the mundane universal form rejected while returning to His own abode.” (Krama-sandarbha)
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.15.34-36) Shri Suta Gosvami speaks to the sages headed by Shaunaka as follows:
yayaharad bhuvo bharam tam tanum vijahav ajah
kantakam kantakeneva dvayam capishituh samam
yatha matsyadi-rupani dhatte jahyad yatha natah
bhu-bharah kshapito yena jahau tac ca kalevaram
yada mukundo bhagavan imam mahim
jahau sva-tanva shravaniya-sat-kathah
abhadra-hetuh kalir anvavartata
“The supreme unborn, Lord Shri Krishna, caused the members of the Yadu dynasty to relinquish their bodies, and thus He relieved the burden of the world. This action was like picking out a thorn with a thorn, though both are the same to the controller. The Supreme Lord relinquished the body which He manifested to diminish the burden of the earth. Just like a magician, He relinquishes one body to accept different ones, like the fish incarnation and others. When the Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, left this earthly planet in His selfsame form.”
“Not understanding the distinction between the Supreme Lord and the Yadavas (those who were not eternal associates of the Lord but ordinary mortal beings) foolish materialistic persons consider them equal. Shri Suta Gosvami is clearly establishing a distinction between them in these two verses [the first two quoted above]. The word yaya indicates that the Lord diminished the burden of the earth (just as a thorn is taken out with another thorn) through the bodies of the Yadavas (equal to ordinary mortal beings who are bewildered by maya). Since both the bodies of the Yadavas and the bodies of those who were burdening the earth were eligible for being destroyed by the Lord, both are equal, in other words, both are material.
“How the Lord accepts and gives up forms (bodies) such as Matsya is being described with the following example: Just as an actor, while remaining in his original form, accepts and gives up another form, similarly the Supreme Lord also gave up that form (visible to mundane eyes) and manifested His original transcendental form.
“Since the Lord returned to Vaikuntha with His selfsame body, it is understood that He left this world with that same body.” (Shridhara Svamipada)
“In this place [in the three Shrimad Bhagavatam verses quoted above] the three words tanu, rupa, and kalevara refer to the Lord’s two sentiments-His desire to diminish the burden of the earth and His desire to maintain the demigods (they do not refer to His body). Similarly, in other verses of Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.20.28, 39, 41, 46, and 47) these words indicate Brahma’s sentiments (not body). If one accepts this explanation regarding Lord Brahma, then it is also proper to accept this in regard to the Supreme Lord. Since these sentiments of the Lord are (not His own or actual, but) abhasa-rupa, or indications of His form, therefore the example of a thorn is appropriate (in other words, for a person who wishes to remove a thorn, both the imbedded thorn and the extricating thorn are the same; similarly, the bodies of those who were burdening the earth, or the gigantic universal form, and the bodies of the Yadavas, whose bodies were similar to those of ordinary mortal beings, were the same for the Supreme Lord). An elaborate description in this regard is found in the third (Paramatma) sandarbha.
“In incarnations such as Matsya, the words matsyadi-rupa refer to the sentiment of desiring to kill the demons. Just as actors, while remaining in their original dress, accept and give up sentiments as either hero or heroine, similarly, one should know that the same also applies to the Supreme Lord. Otherwise Bhagavad-gita (7.25) states: ‘I am covered by Yogamaya and not exposed to anyone and everyone;’ Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda states: ‘The yogis see Lord Janardana on the strength of their devotional service, He never appears before those on the nondevotional path. No one who is angry or envious can see Him;’ and Shrimad Bhagavatam states: ‘To the wrestlers, Krishna appeared as a thunderbolt.’ These conclusive statements confirm that the form manifested by Supreme Lord before the demons is not His original form, but an illusory form. If one sees the original form of the Lord, his envious nature is destroyed. Therefore, in order to diminish the burden of the earth, the Supreme Lord gave up only that form by which He annihilated the demons. He did not appear again in that form. The form of the Lord that is seen through the medium of devotion is nitya-siddha, eternally perfect. That is why the word aja is used. Therefore as an actor or magician, dressed as a fish to kill a crane that eats fish, takes the form of a fish in order to create an impression in the minds of people that he is a fish, and as soon as the crane is killed, he immediately gives up the temporary form of fish; similarly although Lord Krishnacandra is aja (devoid of birth like ordinary living entities), He killed the demons to diminish the burden of the earth with His illusory form manifested before the mundane vision of the materialists. After killing these demons, He (the unborn Lord) also gave up His mundane illusory form. But the previously mentioned statement of Bhagavad-gita (7.25), yogamaya-samavritah, actually means ‘His body is covered by a reflection of the illusory energy just as a snake is covered by its skin.’
“In this place, the Lord’s pastime of leaving (earth) was performed by His own form (in other words, the word svatanva-“His body” has been used in the third, or instrumental, case), He did not leave earth with His own form (in other words, the third case of the word svatanva does not mean saha, or “with”). This is the proper explanation; for since the word saha is not found in the original verse, if one unnecessarily supplies ellipsis (which would destroy the consistent meaning), then a prominence will be given to the elliptical word. In particular, cases such as nominative, objective, and instrumental are more specific than when secondary words like saha are used to produce a compound word. This grammatical logic is also evidence in this regard.” (Krama-sandarbha 106)
“In order to solace the sages headed by Shaunaka, who were morose after hearing about the pathetic demise of the Yadavas and other kshatriyas, Shri Suta Gosvami recited the confidential conclusions in these two verses. Just as a thorn is taken out with another thorn, in the same way the Lord gave up only the Yadava form by which He diminished the burden of the earth, which is part of His one-quarter opulences. Just as Devadatta gives up his own dress, the Lord separated His Yadava form from His own association. But the Lord did not give up the form with which He eternally enjoys pastimes. Therefore the demigods who had entered among the eternally liberated Yadavas when the Lord appeared in this world were separated from the Yadavas by the Lord and sent to Prabhasa. Later on, by the strength of His illusory energy, the Lord orchestrated their deaths before the eyes of people and thereafter transformed them into demigods by giving them honey to drink and sent them to heaven. This explanation is found in the last part of the Eleventh Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam. The Yadavas who are eternal associates in Krishna’s pastimes remained hidden from materialistic people and continued sporting with Krishna in Dvaraka as in their previous unmanifest pastimes. This conclusion should be known from Shri Brihad-bhagavatamrita. ‘The bodies of those who were burdening the earth’ and ‘the bodies of the Yadavas’ mean the bodies of the demons who were burdening the earth and the bodies of those demigods who appeared as Yadavas and others-both of whom were equal to the Supreme Lord. But though in the present example of thorns, both are equal, the extricating thorn (by which the imbedded thorn is taken out) is karana-bhuta, or instrumental, and therefore is beneficial and known as ‘antaranga, or intimate (and comparatively more relishable), while the karma-bhuta, or active thorn (since it is imbedded, it is to be extricated) is unbeneficial and known as bahiranga, or inimical (and comparatively abominable).
“How Lord Krishna, like a magician, created some conception by making a show of giving up His fake body is described in this verse. The purport is that the Supreme Lord accepts (manifests) a form and gives up (unmanifests) that form (in other words, He simply makes a show of giving up His body). But after accepting a form, He does not give it up-from this it should be understood that when the Lord gives up (unmanifests) His form, the same form remains present in the transcendental realm. If one asks, ‘How can this be understood?’ The answer is stated herein. Just as a magician creates an impression for people that he has given up his own body either by cutting it to pieces, burning it, or falling unconscious, though he actually remains in his body and does not die, similarly, the Supreme Lord accepts bodies like Matsya and also gives them up, in other words, He accepts them and simply makes a show of giving them up. Therefore, just as a magician possessing his own body is a reality, his giving up that body is illusory. Similarly, that the Lord accepts bodies like Matsya is actually true, and that He gives up such bodies is actually illusory. This is the purport. Just as the Lord gives up His other own incidental bodies like Matsya, He simply gave up the mundane form by which He diminished the burden of the earth. Therefore since the entire incident of Lord Krishna’s giving up forms is illusory and false, being the Supreme Brahman in the form of a human being, He simply imitates giving up bodies like ordinary human beings. Yet actually He does not do so, for since His form is transcendental (beyond the material elements) there is no possibility of His body being destroyed. As stated in the Mahabharata: ‘The five gross material elements are not present in the body of Krishna, the Supersoul.’ The Brihat-Vishnu Purana also says: ‘According to the injunctions of the Vedas and smritis, one who considers that Krishna’s body is made of material elements should be rejected. If one sees such a person, he should take bath with his clothes on.’ In the Vishnu-sahasra-nama spoken by sage Vaishampayana, it is said: ‘Amrita, or immortality, is only a part of Him, for He is the personification of immortality.’ Shankaracarya’s commentary on this-’He whose body is amrita (deathless)’-indicating a difference between the Lord’s body and soul, is not popular. The implication of this verse [Bhag. 1.15.34] is that the verb ha of the word jahyat is used to indicate ‘giving up,’ and the act of giving up is used for the purpose of awarding. In order to nourish the devotees from Vaikuntha, Lord Krishna awarded them His form of Narayana, who was already merged within Him. This will be elaborately described at the end of the Eleventh Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam.
“This verse is quoted in order to describe the unreality of Krishna’s giving up His body, in other words, to clearly explain its falsity. In this regard one should discuss the commentary of Shridhara Svami and the sandarbha commentary of Shri Jivapada.” (Shri Vishvanatha)
The commentaries on Shri Uddhava’s words to Vidura in Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.2.11): adayantar adhad yas tu sva-bimbam loka-locanam-“He performed His disappearance by removing His form from the sight of public vision,” are as follows.
“After exhibiting His own form till this point, the Lord disappeared by covering the eyes of the public, because there was no other worthy object of vision.” (Shridhara Svami)
“According to the Vedic statement, ‘He is the vision of the eyes,’ the Lord left the vision of people with His sva-bimbam-His own form. It is also described in the Mahabharata, Maushala-parva:
kritva bharavataranam prithivyah prithu-locanah
mocayitva tanum krishnah praptah svasthanam uttamam
‘To the eyes of people, after diminishing the burden of the earth, Krishna gave up His form and returned to His supreme abode.’
In this verse the word mocayitva, or ‘having given up,’ indicate that He disassociated His form from the activities of diminishing the burden of the earth, in other words, He allowed His form a respite from such engagement. This word is not used to indicate complete freedom from the activities of diminishing the burden of the earth.” (Krama-sandarbha)
“The word sva-bimbam refers to the sac-cid-ananda form of the Lord and His replica. The word tu corroborates the Vedic statement dve baba brahmano rupe-’The Supreme Brahman has two forms.’” (Shri Vijayadhvaja)
“This verse says that the Lord manifested His own form before the eyes of people and again disappeared with that same form. By this statement, persons who advocate that the Supreme Lord gives up His body with adverse objections like ‘Lord Krishna left His own body and disappeared’ are defeated. Since the adjectives used in the next few verses describe the body of the Lord after He left His human form and went to Yudhishthira’s Rajasuya sacrifice in a divine godly form, those who are opposed to the fact that Krishna possesses a human form are also defeated. Moreover, from the statement ‘He manifests His own form and disappears with the same form,’ it is understood that His pastimes of appearance and disappearance are the result of His supreme will. Therefore those who advocate that the Supreme Lord is under the control of karma (those who consider that the Supreme Lord is under the control of birth and activities such as dying like ordinary living entities) are also defeated.” (Shri Vishvanatha)
In his Bhagavata-tatparya commentary on Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.2.13), Shri Madhvacarya quotes the following verse from Skanda Purana: “Alas, how illusioned by the bewilderment of maya are those persons who see the sac-cid-ananda form of Vishnu as material!”
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.4.28-29) Shri Shukadeva Gosvami speaks to Maharaja Parikshit as follows: harir api tatyaja akritim tryadhishah-“Shri Krishna, the Lord of the three worlds, completed His pastimes on earth,” and tyakshyan deham acintayat-“He thought to Himself about disappearing from the face of the earth.” These verses are explained as follows.
“The word akriti means ‘the earth,’ because according to the dictionaries the words sharira, akriti, deha, ku, prithvi, and mahi all have similar meanings. The Skanda Purana says that the phrase ‘Lord Hari gave up His body’ means ‘He left the earth.’ Since He is the personification of eternal bliss, there cannot be any other meaning. Although the Supreme Lord Vishnu is the personification of knowledge, like an actor He exhibits a dead form or dead body resembling Himself in order to bewilder the materialists.” (Shri Madhvacarya’s Bhagavata-tatparya)
“The word akriti means ‘the earth,’ and the word deha also means ‘the earth.’ Because the Vedic statement yasya prithivi shariram-’whose body is the earth’ is the evidence.” (Shri Vijayadhvaja)
“The word akriti means ‘like a human form.’” (Shridhara Svamipada)
“The word nidhana refers to Krishna’s eternal abode, which is the greatest wealth. According to the two statements: martya-lokam jihasata-’By the Lord, who desired to quit the mortal world,’ in the previous verse 26, and asmal lokad uparate-’When the Lord leaves the vision of this mundane world,’ of verse 30, the word akriti refers to the universal form of the Lord. If one is particularly inquisitive regarding this subject, he should study Shri Krishna-sandarbha, verse 93.” (Krama-sandarbha)
“The purport of this verse is that Lord Hari gave up, a (completely)+kriti (activities or pastimes in the material world); in other words, ‘He finished.’ The word tyakshyan (since the verb tyaj is used to mean ‘give’) indicates that Lord Krishna desired to give sustenance to the devotees headed by Brahma by sending His plenary portion, Narayana, to Vaikuntha. In his Sandarbhas, Shri Jivapada says that the word deha refers to the earth, which is the Lord’s universal form.” (Shri Vishvanatha)
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.30.2) Shri Parikshit speaks to Shri Shukadeva as follows: tanum sa katham atyajat-“How could He give up His body?” In Shri Madhvacarya’s explanation on this portion of the verse, he says that the Lord made His form completely disappear, because the verb aj in this verse is used to mean “take away.” In other words, the Lord took away His form or made it disappear from the earth to heaven (Goloka-dhama).
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.30.40) Shri Shukadeva speaks to Shri Parikshit as follows: ity adishto bhagavata krishneneccha-sharirina-“[The hunter was] thus instructed by the Supreme Lord Krishna, who assumes His transcendental body by His own will.” Commentaries on this portion of the verse are as follows.
“The Lord made His own form, which is the personification of pure goodness, disappear and simply imitated mortal beings by leaving behind a replica of His form. The act of imitation by the Lord will be clearly seen later on in Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.31.8), wherein Shukadeva Gosvami speaks to Parikshit Maharaja as follows: ‘Most of the demigods and other higher beings led by Brahma could not see Lord Krishna as He was entering His own abode, since He did not reveal His movements. But some of them did catch sight of Him, and they were extremely amazed.’” (Shridhara Svamipada)
“The phrase iccha-sharirina means ‘by He whose body is manifested simply by His own will,’ in other words, His appearance (and disappearance) are manifested by His inconceivable supreme will. There is no need to think of any other reason in this regard.” (Krama-sandarbha)
“The phrase iccha-sharirina means ‘by He who out of His own will accepts a transcendental body, which is glorified by everyone.’” (Shri Vishvanatha)
In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.30.49) the Supreme Lord speaks to His chariot driver, Daruka, as follows: man-maya-racitam etam vijnayopashamam vraja-“Understanding these pastimes to be a display of My illusory potency, you should remain peaceful.” This verse is explained as follows.
“In order to solace Daruka, the Lord explains in this verse that His pastime of giving up His body is like a magic act created by the power of His illusory energy. ‘Know that My recent activities like the annihilation of the Yadu dynasty and the giving up of My body, which were manifest before the eyes of ordinary people, are like a magic show created by My illusory energy; thus you should remain indifferent.’ The word tu [in the first half of the above verse] means ‘let ordinary people who are averse to Me be bewildered, but it is not reasonable for you to be bewildered.’” (Krama-sandarbha)
Shri Shukadeva Gosvami speaks to Parikshit Maharaja in Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.31.6) as follows:
lokabhiramam sva-tanum dharana-dhyana-mangalam
yoga-dharanayagneyya- dagdhva dhamavishat svakam
“Without employing the mystic agneyi meditation to burn up His transcendental body, which is the all-attractive resting place of all the worlds and the object of all contemplation and meditation, Lord Krishna entered into His own abode.” Commentaries on this verse are as follows.
“The Lord entered His own abode without burning His own body with fire. In the Tantra-bhagavata it is stated: ‘All other demigods reach their supreme destination by burning their own bodies through agneyi meditation, but the Supreme Lord Hari, who has various forms headed by Krishna and Nrisimha, is eternally blissful, therefore He enters His abode without burning His body. He destroys the demigods’ subtle bodies, and dances in the midst of them at the time of annihilation.’” (Shri Madhvacarya’s Bhagavata-tatparya)
“The yogis who (possess the quality to) ‘die at will’ burn their own body with the fire of agneyi yoga meditation and enter other planets, but this is not the case with the Supreme Lord Krishna. He entered His own abode, Vaikuntha, with the same form, without burning it. The reason is that all planets are fully present in His limbs, so if His body, which is the shelter worlds, is burned, the worlds will also be burned. Till now it has been seen that meeting and achieving the fruits of meeting the Lord by the worshipers of the Lord is simply attained through the process of meditation. Had the Supreme Lord burned His form, then adjectives for His form like lokabhiramam-’attractive to all the worlds’ would become meaningless, therefore He disappeared without burning His form. This is the appropriate meaning.” (Shridhara Svami)
“If a word from a statement has another meaning, then according to the logic from the Brahma-sutra (1.1.22), akashas tal-lingat-’the Supreme Brahman 1 is the collective ingredient of all living entities and the five gross material elements,” only the principle instructive meaning of the statement is accepted. Therefore the meaning that is derived from the word dagdhva, or “burning,” is subdued by words like lokabhiramam, which reveal the meaning adagdhva, or “not burning. 2” The word lokabhiramam indicates that the Lord’s form is the shelter of the entire world. From the word loka, the eternal associates and devotees from Maha-Vaikuntha and all animate living entities beginning from those of the atmarama-jnanis, self-satisfied transcendentalists, are indicated. Moreover, the words dharana-dhyana-mangalam indicate that the form of the Lord is the shelter of those engaged in spiritual practices. How can that which is auspicious for persons engaged in meditation be otherwise (abominable due to being destroyed through burning)? By the word sva-tanum, which is a karma-dharaya-samasa, an appositional compound, conformity with the constitutional qualities in the form of the Lord (the blueness of the blue lotus) has been firmly established.
“Thereafter, to refute the yogis’ misconceptions, it has been said that though it is true that the Lord engaged in agneyi meditation, He nevertheless entered His own abode without burning His form by agneyi meditation. So in order to teach yogis how to give up one’s body, the Lord first engaged in agneyi meditation and then made His own form disappear. This is the purport of this verse; no other meaning is suitable. Therefore the statement ‘without burning His own form’ yields the meaning ‘He burned a form that was created by His independent illusory energy.’ That is why in the previously cited verse from Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.30.40) it has been stated that the Supreme Lord manifests His form out of His supreme will. An object that independently manifests must also independently disappear. Therefore His engaging in agneyi meditation is also illusory. In Krishna-sandarbha, the phrase iccha-shariri, ‘who takes a body according to His desire,’ has been explained as sveccha-prakasha, ‘manifested by His own will,’ or ‘the body of one’s desire,’ by which He acts as He likes. This explanation is also possible. In that case it is to be understood that simply by His supreme will He was the instigator of that illusion. This explanation is also proper.” (Krama-sandarbha)
“The Lord, unlike the yogis who are capable of controlling their death, entered His own abode, Vaikuntha, without burning His own form through agneyi meditation. And the word adagdhva, ‘without burning,’ indicates that His form is very pleasing to the eyes of people, in other words, it is the object of meditation. Both explanations have been described in this verse.” (Shridhara Svamipada)
“Some scholars interpret the phrase dharana-dhyana-mangala to mean ‘the Lord burned His own form and emerged from that fire with a more effulgent form like that of the pure Jambu River and then entered His own abode.’ The purport is that the Lord showed those who are doubtful and opposed to the concept that His form is spiritual that His form is unburnable by the fire of His own form.” (Shri Vishvanatha)
Commentaries on Shri Shukadeva’s statement to Shri Parikshit in Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.31.11-13) are as follows:
“You should understand that the appearance and disappearance manifested among mortal beings by the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, the cause of all causes, are shows enacted by His illusory energy, just like the performance of an actor. After He creates this universe, He enters into it as the Supersoul, and after detaching Himself from the pastimes of this material world, He winds it up. By the influence of His own transcendental glory, the Lord remains situated in His eternal unmanifested kingdom. Apart from this, one need not accept another meaning, because various opulences have been exhibited in His present incarnation. If one asks, ‘If the Lord was able to protect Himself then why didn’t He remain within His own form for even for a moment longer?’ In answer to this, it is said: Though the Lord is unlimitedly powerful and the only cause of creation, maintenance, and destruction of innumerable universes, thinking that His mundane mortal body would not be effective any more and exhibiting the supreme destination of the self-realized souls, He did not wish to keep His form after the killing of the mortal Yadavas, rather He took it to His own abode. Otherwise, the above-mentioned self-realized souls would disregard achieving the supreme destination and endeavor to remain in this material world by achieving yogic perfections-so that this calamity may not happen, in other words, to check this, the Lord enacts His disappearance pastimes.” (Shridhara Svamipada)
“The phrase tanu-bhrij-jananapyayeha [in Bhag. 11.31.11] means ‘resembling the birth and death of embodied living beings.’ The Vedas state: ‘Vishnu, the Lord of all living entities, wanders within the universe. Though He does not take birth like conditioned souls, He appears in various forms.’ In the Brahma Purana it is said: ‘In order to bewilder foolish people by His illusory energy, Lord Vishnu manifests Himself as a born living entity though unborn and as a dead living entity though deathless.’ Elsewhere it is stated: ‘Lord Purushottama exhibits His humanlike endeavors in order to bewilder the people of this world. Moreover, though the Supreme Lord Vishnu does not personally accept a material body, in order to bewilder sinful people He manifests Himself like a mortal being and through His illusory energy He creates a dead body for display. Actually the Supersoul, Lord Hari, is immortal, so how can there be a dead body?’ It is stated in the Brahmanda Purana: ‘Various Vedic statements that apparently describe the nondifference of the living entities from the Supreme Lord, Lord Vishnu’s accepting and giving up bodies like an ordinary living entity, His miseries, the cutting and piercing of His body by the arrows of His enemies, His defeat, and His dependence, in other words, His remaining under the control of others, have all been stated to bewilder the sinful demons. First Rukmini, the daughter of Bhishmaka, and then Satyabhama disappeared in the forest. Both of them possess pure spiritual bodies, so they did not give up their bodies like ordinary living entities.’” (Shri Madhvacarya Bhagavata-tatparya)
“The Yadavas were not products of this material world, so what to speak of Rama and Krishna.-In order to establish this conclusion, it is being said that the activities of appearance and disappearance by the Yadavas, who are eternal associates of the Lord and possess pure forms equal to that of the Lord, are also illusory like those of Krishna. Such activities are exactly like those of a magician who can kill or burn his or others’ bodies and then display them alive again. The inconceivable omnipotent Lord is the cause of universal creation-for Him such an exhibition of prowess is not very wonderful.
In this way:
sitayaradhito vahnish chaya-sitam ajijanat
tam jahara dasha-grivah sita vahni-puram gata
pariksha-samaye vahnim chaya-sita vivesha sa
vahnih sitam samaniya tat-purastad aninayat
‘When he was petitioned by mother Sita, the fire-god, Agni, brought forth an illusory form of Sita, and Ravana, who had ten heads, kidnapped the false Sita. The original Sita then went to the abode of the fire-god. When Lord Ramacandra tested the body of Sita, it was the false, illusory Sita that entered the fire. At that time the fire-god brought the original Sita from his abode and delivered her to Lord Ramacandra.’
According to this statement from the Brihad-agni Purana, materialists have misinterpreted the example of the illusory or false pastimes of Ravana kidnapping Sita, the transcendental goddess of fortune, and the foolish persons’ misconceptions about personalities like Shri Sankarshana.
“What to speak of the Yadavas who possess transcendental spiritual bodies, various other persons who are maintained by Krishna are also not subjected to death. Was Krishna unable to protect His own associates, the Yadavas? Therefore the Yadavas’ activities (such as giving up their bodies) are not real pastimes, rather it is most reasonable to accept that they returned to Goloka in their same bodies.
“If one argues that the Yadavas went back to Godhead in their own bodies, but since the Lord was present, they had no distress of separation from Him; but if the Lord was able to protect His own men, why didn’t He have other associates advent like the Yadavas and remain for some time with them in this world for the benefit of the living entities? The conclusive answer stated in this verse is that both the Lord and the Yadavas have uninterrupted affection for each other. Although the Lord is unlimitedly powerful, after causing the disappearance of the Yadavas, He thought, ‘What is the necessity for Me to remain in this world without the Yadavas?’ With this in mind, the Lord disclosed that His destination was the same as that attained by the Yadavas, who had returned to the Lord’s abode, and thus He no longer wished to keep His form in this world for even a moment, so He took it to His own abode.” (Krama-sandarbha)
“Shri Shukadeva solaces Parikshit Maharaja, who was distressed on hearing about the disappearance of the Lord and His associates from the eyes of the world, by describing the conclusive truths regarding the Lord’s pastimes. One should know that the Lord’s activities of birth and death like ordinary embodied souls are simply acts of illusion. They are neither factual nor real. Both the birth and death of living entities who possess bodies made of semen and blood are full of happiness and distress, but both the appearance and disappearance of the Supreme Lord, who possesses a spiritual body, are completely full of spiritual happiness. In the Brahmanda Purana it is stated: ‘The form of Lord Hari is devoid of mundane abomination and delight, but words like “acceptance” and “rejection,” which are found in His activities, are to be understood as His appearance and disappearance.’ They are just like the exhibition of a magician, who (while remaining in his living state) manifests his and others’ false birth and death. Due to the curse of the sages, the Lord first personally created the great disturbance, the interfamily quarrel, and the interfamily fighting with weapons, and He thereafter joined the mortal Yadavas, took up a cane stalk weapon, and, after sporting with them for some time, killed them, all the while remaining aloof on the strength of His illusory energy.
“Although the Lord is supremely opulent and unlimitedly powerful, after sending the demigods who had merged among the Yadavas back to heaven, He did not personally desire to keep His body or His associate Yadavas’ bodies in this world; rather, He desired to make them disappear, because there was no need for them to remain in this world. In other words, the Lord had no need of the material world, but He had need of His own abode, Goloka. Since the Lord appeared in this world due to the prayers of Brahma and the other demigods of heaven, again, simply by their prayers, the Lord exhibited to Brahma and the other demigods of heaven His return to Vaikuntha. This is clearly being explained in this verse. If one gives a contrary explanation to this, then it would contradict Uddhava’s statement in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.2.11), and it will be unacceptable to the pure devotees. That such an explanation is demoniac and unacceptable to the devotees was personally declared by Uddhava in the previous verse of Shrimad Bhagavatam (3.2.10) as follows: ‘Being bewildered by the illusory energy of the Lord, those who were mortal Yadavas and those who were averse and inimical to the Lord, like Shishupala, criticized the Lord. My heart is surrendered to Krishna, so let my intelligence never be bewildered by such criticism. In other words, those whose intelligence is bewildered by such criticism are certainly fooled by maya.’” (Shri Vishvanatha)
In his commentary on Mahabharata (2.79-83) Shri Madhvacarya has stated: “Nowhere is it mentioned that Lord Vishnu takes birth like an ordinary living entity, so where is the question of His death? He is not to be killed or bewildered by anyone. Where is the question of misery for the independent Supreme Lord, who is full of eternal bliss? Although the Supreme Lord Hari has mastery over the entire universe, He nevertheless exhibits Himself as weak as an ordinary farmer in the course of His eternal pastimes. But even though in the course of His pastimes He sometimes forgets His own identity, He sometimes searches for Sita while suffering the distress of separation like a hen-pecked husband, and sometimes He is bound by the ropes of Indrajit, it should be known that these pastimes are simply meant for bewildering the demons. His pastimes like being bewildered by the arrows of the demons, wiping the blood from His open wound, inquiring from others like an ignorant person, and giving up His body and going to heaven are performed like the drama of an actor simply to bewilder the demons. The devotees, however, know these pastimes as illusory, in other words, they know that these pastimes are simply false deceit. The appearance and disappearance pastimes of Lord Shri Hari are not like those of ordinary embodied living entities, rather they are all completely faultless. Apart from this, whatever reverses we see bewilder even simple, ignorant, pious persons and what to speak of the miscreants. It is to be understood that these pastimes of the Supersoul, Lord Hari, are to award fruits to the living entities according to their respective mentalities.”
From the same commentary on Mahabharata (32.33-34) it is stated: “Although the Supreme Lord and master of all living entities, Acyuta, is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, in His disappearance pastimes of incarnations in which He does not exhibit illusion or maya during His appearance, He imitates an ordinary living entity giving up his body in order to bewilder the demons and send them to the darkest regions of hell by creating a material body that resembles a rejected dead body and, after leaving it lying on the ground, He personally goes to Vaikuntha.”
One should refer to verses 18-36 of the Shudhi-saurabha section of the Yukti-mallika, which was written by the lionlike logician, Shri Vadaraja Svami, who is celebrated as the second Madhvacarya in the Shri Madhva-sampradaya. In verses 37-39 it is said: “If one sees sandalwood with his eyes, then knowledge about the fragrance of that sandalwood is obtained. In this process the eyes take the help of the nose, otherwise if one had not previously smelled the fragrance of sandalwood he could not obtain knowledge of its fragrance by seeing it with his eyes. Similarly, other evidence takes help from the Vedas to establish the meaning of knowledge acquired by hearing. Because the evidence of the Vedas is prominent in realization of transcendental subject matters, other evidence like pratyaksha (direct perception) and anumana (hypothesis), which are dependent on the Vedas, are unable to serve the purpose of understanding transcendental subject matters due to their conflicting nature. Therefore in considering the Absolute Truth, the faulty vision of ignorant people cannot be considered evidence.”
Apart from all this, one should carefully discuss Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 4, verses 6, 9, and 14, Chapter 7, verses 6-7 and 24-25, Chapter 9, verses 8-9 and 11-13, Chapter 10, verses 3 and 8, and Chapter 16, verses 19 and 20.
The word ati-alakshite is explained in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (11.31.8-9), wherein Shri Shukadeva speaks to Shri Parikshit as follows: “Most of the demigods and other higher beings led by Brahma could not see Lord Krishna as He was entering His own abode, since He did not reveal His movements. But some of them did catch sight of Him, and they were extremely amazed. Just as ordinary men cannot ascertain the path of a lightning bolt as it leaves a cloud, the demigods could not trace out the movements of Lord Krishna as He returned to His abode. [Only His associates could see.]”
CB Adi-khanda 14.105
prabhu-pada-padma lakshmi dhariya hridaya
dhyane ganga-tire devi karila vijaya
She thus took the lotus feet of the Lord in her heart and in deep meditation departed to the bank of the Ganges.
CB Adi-khanda 14.106-108
ekhane shacira duhkha na pari kahite
kashtha dravye aira se krandana shunite
se-sakala duhkha-rasa na pari varnite
ataeva kichu kahilana sutra-mate
sadhu-gana shuni’ bada haila duhkhita
sabe asi’ karya karilena yathocita
I cannot describe mother Shaci’s grief; even wood melted on hearing her cry. Since I am unable to narrate such distressful pastimes, I have described them only in brief. All the devotees were grief-stricken on hearing about Lakshmi’s disappearance, and they duly performed her last rites.
Thinking about the vacant situation in the house of her jewel-like son, Shri Gaurasundara, who was more dear than her own life, Shacidevi merged in an ocean of indescribable misery and began to lament in pathetic words that melted even stone. Meanwhile, being also afflicted with distress, the pious neighbors faithfully completed the disappearance festival of Lakshmipriya-devi.
CB Adi-khanda 14.109
ishvara thakiya kata-dina banga-deshe
asite haila iccha nija-griha-vase
After staying in East Bengal for some time, the Lord desired to return home.
CB Adi-khanda 14.110
‘tabe grihe prabhu asibena’,-hena shuni’
ya’ra yena shakti, sabe dila dhana ani’
When the people of East Bengal heard that the Lord was returning home, they brought various gifts and wealth according to their capacity.
CB Adi-khanda 14.111-112
suvarna, rajata, jala-patra, divyasana
suranga-kambala, bahu-prakara vasana
uttama padartha yata chila ya’ra ghare
sabei santoshe ani’ dilena prabhure
They happily gave the Lord gold, silver, waterpots, asanas, colorful blankets, various clothing, and whatever other fine items they had in their homes.
The phrase suranga-kambala refers to a bright, beautiful, attractive, colored blanket-in this case a colored shawl (?).
CB Adi-khanda 14.113
prabhu o sabara prati kripa-drishti kari’
parigraha karilena gauranga shri-hari
Lord Gauranga glanced mercifully at everyone as He accepted their gifts.
CB Adi-khanda 14.114
santoshe sabara sthane haiya vidaya
nija-grihe calilena shri-gauranga-raya
After taking leave from them, Lord Gauranga happily started for home.
CB Adi-khanda 14.115
aneka paduya saba prabhura sahite
calilena prabhu-sthane tathai padite
Many students came to Navadvipa with the Lord to continue studying under Him.
While the Lord was returning from East Bengal, some students came with Him to Navadvipa in order to study from Him.
CB Adi-khanda 14.116
henai samaye eka sukriti brahmana
ati-saragrahi, nama-mishra tapana
Meanwhile, a pious swanlike brahmana named Tapana Mishra arrived there.
The phrase sukriti brahmana is explained as follows: In this universe, brahmanism, or knowledge of the Supreme Brahman, is the highest platform and the ultimate goal of all pious activities. If a knower of Brahman engages his mind in serving the lotus feet of the Supreme Brahman, Lord Vishnu, then the limit of his fortune is incomparable. In the Garuda Purana it is stated: “It is said that out of thousands of brahmanas, one is qualified to perform sacrifices, and out of many thousands of such qualified brahmanas expert in sacrificial offerings, one learned brahmana may have passed beyond all Vedic knowledge. He is considered the best among all these brahmanas. And yet, out of thousands of such brahmanas who have surpassed Vedic knowledge, one person may be a vishnu-bhakta, and he is most famous. Out of many thousands of such Vaishnavas, one who is completely fixed in the service of Lord Krishna is most famous.” Such a person is called saragrahi, or swanlike. The opposite of saragrahi is bharavahi, or asslike. In other words, those who are unable to understand the purport of the Vedas and literatures in pursuance of the Vedas and who are busy with external considerations due to foolishness are bharavahi, not saragrahi. Materialists, karmis, and jnanis are called bharavahis. Only the pure devotees, or Vaishnavas, are clever and intelligent. They give up the worthless asslike mentality and become properly situated in understanding the confidential purport of all scriptures.
CB Adi-khanda 14.117
sadhya-sadhana-tattva nirupite nare
hena jana nahi tatha, jijnasibe yan’re
He was confused about the goal of life and the means for attaining it. Moreover, he could not find anyone to clear his confusion.
The process by which one attains his desired goal is called sadhana. The devotional scriptures refer to this sadhana as abhidheya. Due to a lack of knowledge concerning one’s relationship with the Lord, various new concocted ways of attaining perfection are described and practiced by the nondevotees. Austerities, worship, ritualistic ceremonies, vows, Vedic study, practicing kumbhaka, puraka, and recaka by controlling the breath 1, offering oblations to one’s forefathers, renunciation, asanas, bathing three times a day, visiting holy places, meditation and contemplation in order to control the mind, and fruitive Deity worship are generally accepted as sadhanas by asslike persons who are bewildered by the illusory energy of the Lord. These sadhanas are simply other means of deceiving the living entities. Actually, only Vaishnavas are qualified to ascertain the goal of life and the process for attaining it. But if persons who are devoid of devotion to Vishnu try to ascertain the process for achieving the goal there is a great chance of being misguided. Particularly, in comparison we can see that if one endeavors to ascertain the process for achieving the goal of life with the help of mental speculation, it will invite mistakes, illusions, and obstacles and one will not reach the eternal, ultimate goal of life.
While considering the goal of life, the salvationists mistakenly conclude that achieving freedom from the threefold miseries is the sadhya, or goal of life. The materialists consider immediate sense gratification is the goal of life, and the salvationists ascertain that merging in the impersonal Brahman is the goal of life. The root of their misconceptions is simply their mistakes and nothing else. The swanlike devotees of the Lord do not follow the conceptions of either the salvationists or the materialists but accept love of God as the goal of life. They know that both heavenly pleasures and merging into the impersonal Brahman are simply fraud. Since proud scholars of various communities in Bengal like the materialists, the karmis, and the jnanis were ignorant about the actual science of sadhya and sadhana, when they were asked about the goal of life and the means for attaining it by the sharply intelligent pious brahmana Tapana Mishra, who was desirous of serving the Lord and most qualified to accept the essence of the Vedas and their associate literatures, he could not get a proper answer.
CB Adi-khanda 14.118
nija-ishta-mantra sada jape ratri-dine
soyasti nahika citte sadhananga vine
He silently chanted his Krishna mantra day and night, but since he was not practicing other important limbs of devotional service he could achieve peace.
The word soyasti (a corruption of the Sanskrit word svasti) means “steadiness of the mind,” or “peacefulness.”
Though he was day and night engaged in chanting the mantras of his worshipable Lord, he did not achieve peace of mind. In devotional scriptures there are sixty-four limbs of sadhana described. And among these limbs of sadhana, five limbs have been described as the best. Among these five, the topmost limb of sadhana, congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord, is the path demonstrated by Shri Chaitanyacandra. None of the limbs of devotional service can be performed properly until and unless one accepts the support of chanting the holy names. Without sadhana, one can never achieve peace of mind-the purport of this statement is that chanting the holy names, the basis of pleasing Krishna, is the only sadhana, and until one develops love for Krishna, which is the only sadhya, achieving perfection in sadhana is difficult and incomplete.
CB Adi-khanda 14.119
bhavite cintite eka-dina ratri-sheshe
susvapna dekhila dvija nija-bhagya -vashe
While disturbed in this way, late one night the fortunate brahmana had an auspicious dream.
CB Adi-khanda 14.120
sammukhe asiya eka deva murtiman
brahmanere kahe gupta caritra-akhyana
A demigod appeared before the brahmana Tapana Mishra and began to tell him some confidential topics.
CB Adi-khanda 14.121
“shuna, shuna, ohe dvija parama-sudhira!
cinta na kariha ara, mana kara’ sthira
“O sober brahmana, please listen. Steady your mind and do not worry.
CB Adi-khanda 14.122
nimai-pandita-pasha karaha gamana
tenho kahibena toma’ sadhya-sadhana
“Go to Nimai Pandita. He will explain to you the goal of life and the means for attaining it.
CB Adi-khanda 14.123
manushya nahena tenho-nara-narayana
nara-rupe lila ta’ra jagat-karana
“He’s not an ordinary human being; He’s Nara-Narayana Himself. He’s performing His pastimes as a human being to deliver the people of the world.
CB Adi-khanda 14.124
veda-gopya e-sakala na kahibe ka’re
kahile paibe duhkha janma-janmantare”
“Don’t disclose these facts to anyone, for this information is confidential even to the Vedas. If you do, you’ll be unhappy birth after birth.”
The words veda-gopya indicate that the confidential purports of the Vedas never manifest to ordinary people, but these confidential purports manifest only in the heart of one who is an actual follower of the descending process, or one who follows an acarya. Whatever topics are understood by sense enjoyers and renunciates with the assistance of their poor fund of knowledge are simply the external meanings of the Vedas. Such topics are not the aim of those genuine followers of the Vedas who are under the shelter of cultivating real knowledge.
CB Adi-khanda 14.125
antardhana haila deva, brahmana jagila
susvapna dekhiya vipra kandite lagila
As the demigod disappeared, the brahmana woke from his sleep. After seeing that auspicious dream, he began to cry.
CB Adi-khanda 14.126
‘aho bhagya’ mani’ punah cetana paiya
sei-kshane calilena prabhu dheyaiya
Recovering from his trance, he exclaimed, “What good luck!” Then he immediately left to see the Lord.
The phrase aho bhagya mani’ means “considering himself extraordinarily fortunate.”
CB Adi-khanda 14.127-128
vasiya achena yatha shri-gaurasundara
asiya padila vipra prabhura carane
yoda-haste dandaila sabara sadane
As the enchanting Shri Gaurasundara was sitting with His students on the bank of the Padmavati River, Tapana Mishra came there and fell at His feet. He got up before everyone with his hands folded.
CB Adi-khanda 14.129
vipra bale,-“ami ati dina-hina jana
kripa-drishtye kara’ mora samsara mocana
The brahmana said, “I’m the most fallen wretch. Please deliver me from this material existence by Your merciful glance.
CB Adi-khanda 14.130
sadhya-sadhana-tattva kichui na jani
kripa kari’ ama’ prati kahiba apani
“I am ignorant of the goal of life and the means for attaining it, therefore kindly explain this to me.
CB Adi-khanda 14.131
vishayadi-sukha mora citte nahi bhaya
kise judaibe prana, kaha daya-maya
“I do not find any pleasure in material sense enjoyment, therefore, O merciful Lord, please tell me how I can find relief.”
CB Adi-khanda 14.132
prabhu bale,-“vipra! tomara bhagyera ki katha
krishna-bhajibare caha, sei se sarvatha
The Lord replied, “O brahmana, what can be said about your good fortune? Since you wish to worship Krishna, that is quite sufficient.
Due to heaps of pious activities accumulated from many lifetimes one’s propensity for serving Krishna is awakened. This is the living entities’ only goal of life in all respects. The word sarvatha means “in all respects.” Another reading for this word is sarvada, which means “that which bestows all desired perfection.”
CB Adi-khanda 14.133
ishvara-bhajana ati durgama apara
yuga-dharma sthapiyache kari paracara
“Worship of the Supreme Lord, however, is difficult to achieve. The Lord Himself personally teaches the principles of religion for the age.
Devotional service to the Lord is an extremely incomprehensible subject. To begin, with questions such as, “Who is the Lord? Who are His servants?” often bewilder the conditioned souls. Being maddened with pride, the conditioned souls always consider themselves the supreme and thus desire profit, adoration, and distinction from others. But those who possesses the opposite mood, or those who possess nonduplicitous humility and surrender in their hearts, are glorious. Only such pious souls engage in the devotional service of the Lord. They neither exhibit any interest in their own sense gratification nor do they accept worship from others. Persons who are devoid of devotional service and full of anarthas always gratify their senses by always accepting worship from others. In order to liberate these fallen conditioned souls from their excessive anarthas, the Supreme Lord and His devotees preach topics of the Lord from time to time, and as a result, the yuga-dharma, the religion of the age, is established. Time is generally divided into four ages-Krita (Satya), Dvapara, Treta, and Kali. In the beginning, when there was no scarcity of simplicity in the hearts of the living entities, it was possible for them to meditate on the Supreme Lord in their hearts; therefore this age is known as Krita-yuga. Later on, the performance of sacrifice for the worship of Lord Vishnu, Yajneshvara, was established as the yuga-dharma. Since three-fourths of religious principles were maintained in this age, it is known as Treta-yuga. When half of the religious principles were maintained, the temple worship of Lord Vishnu was established as the yuga-dharma. Because two-fourths of religious principles were followed, the age is called Dvapara-yuga. Thereafter the two-fourths of religious principles gradually diminished, and only one-fourth remained in the beginning of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, even the one-fourth principles of religion have begun to diminish. Therefore there cannot be any means of progress other than congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord. The only yuga-dharma for the age of Kali is congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord. Wherever propagation of Krishna’s names and topics is lacking, there will be temple ceremonies based on solitary worship devoid of preaching, external performances of sacrifice, and the process of meditation and remembrance also based on solitary worship. The Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna Chaitanya, established the superiority of nama-sankirtana over the three processes of the three previous ages. It is to be understood that those who do not accept the glories of krishna-sankirtana have never heard topics of pure devotional service to the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 14.134
cari-yuge cari-dharma rakhi’ kshiti-tale
svadharma sthapiya-prabhu nija-sthane cale
“He incarnates to establish four different religious principles in the four different ages, and thereafter He returns to His own abode.
CB Adi-khanda 14.135
paritranaya sadhunam vinashaya ca dushkritam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge
“‘To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.’
See Adi-khanda, Chapter 2, verse 18.
CB Adi-khanda 14.136
“‘Your son Krishna appears as an incarnation in every millennium. In the past, He assumed three different colors-white, red and yellow-and now He has appeared in a blackish color. [In another Dvapara-yuga, He appeared (as Lord Ramacandra) in the color of shuka, a parrot.] All such incarnations have now assembled in Krishna.’
Being sent by Vasudeva, Maharshi Garga, the family priest of the Yadus, came to the house of Nanda Maharaja in Vraja. After being properly worshiped by Nanda, in order to fulfil his own desire and the prayer of Nanda Maharaja, he secretly performed the name-giving purificatory rite of the twice-born to both Balarama and Krishna. While narrating Their glories, he first explained the meaning of the name Balarama and then explained the meaning of the name Krishna as follows:
asan varnas trayo hy asya grihnato ‘nuyugam tanuh
shuklo raktas tatha pita idanim krishnatam gatah
In this way, with a desire to gradually describe the birth of the Supreme Lord, or with a desire to expand the glories of the Supreme Lord according to the suci-kataha-nyaya (or according to the principal that one should first perform the easier activity and later perform the harder one) Garga Muni first described the meaning of the name Balarama and then, after concealing the krishir-bhu-vacakah shabdah 1 meaning of the name of Krishna, he awards in this verse the name Krishna because He has a beautiful sweet blackish complexion. This (your) son previously appeared in the three different ages of Satya, Treta, and Dvapara in three different colors, beginning with white. The word hi is used to express certainty or well-known. He has appeared at the beginning of Kali-yuga just like He had formerly appeared in blackish form. Although from the philosophical point of view this sac-cid-ananda form and the owner of the form is nondifferent and although this blackish form of Krishna is eternal, Garga Muni has spoken in this way in order to conceal this fact. Otherwise there will be a possibility that people will consider Him the Supreme Lord Narayana, who also possesses an eternal blackish form.
Otherwise this verse can be interpreted in the following way:
“‘This (your) son repeatedly accepts forms of three colors beginning with white, but now He has appeared as your son with an enchanting blackish form.’ Such statements were spoken simply for the pleasure of Shri Nanda Maharaja. In this way because He is the source of the names and forms of all His incarnations, He has manifested as Krishna. This meaning can also be seen.” (Shri Sanatana Prabhu’s Brihad-vaishnava-toshani)
“The Supreme Lord, who has now appeared in the form of this boy, appears in every yuga in one of three colors, such as white or red. But now on account of accepting a body (or on account of incarnating) as your son, He is still nondifferent from Shri Krishna or Shri Narayana; in other words, by His form and qualities this boy is equal to Them. Also in the following 19th verse [Bhag. 10.8.19] it will be concluded: “He is equal to Narayana in qualities.” In this way His previous behavior is described. Therefore on account of His (this sweet form’s) eternal supreme attractiveness, the name Krishna should be understand as His principle name. This is the purport.” (Krama-sandarbha)
“In this way, with a desire to describe the birth of the Supreme Lord, he [Garga] first revealed the names of Shri Baladeva and thereafter, in this verse, he reveals the names of Shri Krishna. The Supreme Lord in the form of this boy, who in every yuga repeatedly accepts bodies of three colors such as white, has now taken an enchanting blackish form as your son. The explanation is that due to the independent use of the phrase ‘accepting a body,’ this action is being described as similar to a mystic feat. In that case, by His accepting the white and other colored forms, the nature of Shri Narayana is revealed, and He is ultimately worshiped in those forms. By worshiping one of the former incarnations, who assume various colors such as white and who are expansions of Narayana, one achieves similar qualities and color; but now by worshiping this blackish boy, who is famous as Narayana, one achieves color and qualities similar to His. In the following 19th verse it will be explained that ‘this boy is equal to Narayana in qualities.’ In this way His previous activities were revealed and the great devotee Shri Nanda was also pleased.
“Due to being situated on the platform of supreme attractiveness, it should be understood that the name ‘Krishna’ is His principle name. Therefore (not only in form) in name also He is Krishna. This meaning is also applicable. The Supreme Lord, who takes different bodies in different yugas, manifests in three different colors. Among them, the white incarnations, the red incarnations, the yellow incarnations, and other incarnations that have different symptoms and colors (in other words, those incarnations who appear in other Dvapara-yugas and resemble the color of a parrot) all of Them have now at the time of His appearance merged into the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the blackish form of this boy. Because He has personally appeared after gathering together all of His expansions, He is the original Personality of Godhead, Krishna. In other words, because He has transformed all of His expansions into a blackish form, and because He has attracted everyone, His primary name is Krishna. Since within the meaning of the name Krishna all greatest happiness and all objects are included, the above-mentioned explanations are appropriate. Therefore such a great name is natural for Him. Just as all Vedic knowledge is included within the pranava omkara, all names of Vishnu are included within the name of Krishna and all forms of Vishnu are included within the form of Krishna. This is reasonable because the names of all vishnu-tattvas are adjectives to the name Krishna, which is a noun. And in the verse of the Prabhasa-khanda that states: ‘The sweetest of the sweet and the most auspicious of all auspicious things,’ the name ‘Krishna’ is mentioned at the very end. And elsewhere it is stated: ‘O killer of the enemies, among all the names of Vishnu, this name of Mine, Krishna, is the principle. Therefore the first syllable of the name Krishna is also celebrated as the maha-mantra.’” (Shri Jiva Prabhu’s Laghu-toshani)
CB Adi-khanda 14.137
kali-yuga-dharma haya nama-sankirtana
cari yuge cari dharma jivera karana
“The yuga-dharma for the age of Kali is the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord. The four religious principles for the four ages are all meant for the deliverance of the conditioned souls.
CB Adi-khanda 14.138
“‘Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Vishnu, in Treta-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvapara-yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.’
How does the Supreme Lord destroy the great faults of Kali-yuga? In answer to this question from Parikshit, Shukadeva describes the one great quality among the great faults of Kali-yuga as follows:
krite yad dhyayato vishnum tretayam yajato makhaih
dvapare paricaryayam kalau tad dhari-kirtanat
CB Adi-khanda 14.139
ataeva kali-yuge nama-yajna sara
ara kona dharma kaile nahi haya para
“Therefore the essence of all religious principles in the age of Kali is the sacrifice of chanting the holy names of the Lord. One cannot be delivered by following any other religious principles.
There are different processes for achieving the goal of life in the four different yugas. While describing the sadhana for Kali-yuga, the performance of sacrifice by chanting the holy names of Krishna has been described. Therefore the living entities cannot obtain their goal of life by either temple worship, sacrificial performance, or meditation. Foolish people give up the chanting of Krishna’s names and take shelter of either temporary fruitive activities or mental speculation, in the form of pursuing impersonal Brahman. By such activities they can neither gratify their senses by attaining heaven nor can they attain liberation from material bondage.
CB Adi-khanda 14.140
ratri-dina nama laya khaite shuite
tanhara mahima vede nahi pare dite
“The Vedas are unable to fully describe the glories of one who chants the Lord’s names day and night, while even eating and sleeping.
Those in this world who desire to please the Supreme Lord by constantly chanting the holy names of the Lord while performing their daily activities are glorified by the Vedic literatures as liberated souls, because they are attached to always remembering the Lord. Ordinary mundane foolish people who are unable to understand such topics say that the glorification in the Vedas is not meant for these persons, so they should not constantly chant the holy name of the Lord. In order to open such persons’ eyes, which are blinded by the darkness of ignorance, the most merciful author has stated that even the Vedas are unable to properly describe the transcendental glories of a person who is engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord. The purport is that the Vedas do not consider it proper to reveal the glories of persons who are engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord because they are beyond the jurisdiction of ordinary mundane persons’ material knowledge. So if it is said that the Vedas describe subject matters suitable for ordinary foolish materialistic persons, then such persons will understand that the glories of those who are engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord are beyond the topics of the Vedas-they are extraordinary and situated on a higher platform. Generally the external purpose of the Vedas is to bring living entities who are forced to enjoy the fruits of their activities to an honest path through rules and regulations. The Vedas have nothing to prescribe or prohibit for those who are constantly engaged in hearing, chanting, and remembering topics of the Supreme Lord. This natural propensity is situated in the core of their hearts. The holy names of the Lord are completely spiritual objects. They are not designations or sounds perceivable by the senses of the enjoyment prone living entities of this world. Therefore one who has taken shelter of the holy names of the Lord, who is the only worshipable object of both animate and inanimate worlds, is certainly a supremely liberated soul; it is impossible to evaluate him by worldly standards.
CB Adi-khanda 14.141
shuna mishra, kali-yuge nahi tapa-yajna
yei jana bhaje krishna, tan’ra maha-bhagya
“Please listen, dear Mishra, there is no other austerity or sacrifice prescribed in this age of Kali. One who worships Krishna is most fortunate.
What to speak of mundane methods for achieving the goal of life, such as jnana and karma, performing the meditation of Satya-yuga, performing the sacrifices of Treta-yuga, or performing the temple worship of Dvapara-yuga cannot bear any fruit in Kali-yuga. Therefore there is no one more fortunate than one who always worships Lord Hari under the shelter of the holy names, which are nondifferent from Krishna.
CB Adi-khanda 14.142
ataeva grihe tumi krishna-bhaja giya
kutinati parihari’ ekanta haiya
“Therefore go back to your home and worship Lord Krishna with full attention, giving up all duplicity.
“O Tapana Mishra, serve Krishna while remaining a householder.” The prefix ku refers to prohibited activities, and the syllable na has the same meaning. The cheating propensity is also known as kutinati; in other words, if one gives up the improper desire to cultivate sadhanas that bestow the four deceitful objects of dharma, artha, kama, and moksha as the goal of life and takes undeviating shelter of the holy names of Krishna, then he can awaken love for Krishna. Sense enjoyers, fruitive workers, yogis, and mental speculators do not endeavor to obtain love for Krishna; they are busy gratifying their own temporary senses. By such activities, however, they do not actually achieve any eternal benefit. If such insignificant desires are prominent in one’s heart, then the taste for chanting the names of Krishna will not awaken.
CB Adi-khanda 14.143
sadhya-sadhana-tattva ye kichu sakala
hari-nama-sankirtane milibe sakala
“By congregationally chanting the holy names you achieve everything, including the goal of life and the means for attaining it.
Love of Krishna is the sadhya, and congregational chanting the names of Krishna is the sadhana. Any questions that may arise in this regard can be resolved only by chanting the names of Krishna. The uselessness of the insignificant desires of the sense enjoyers, fruitive workers, and mental speculators is easily realized by persons who are under the shelter of the holy names through the process of sankirtana.
CB Adi-khanda 14.144
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.
CB Adi-khanda 14.145
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
CB Adi-khanda 14.146
ei shloka nama bali’ laya maha-mantra
shola-nama batrisha-akshara ei tantra
“This verse is called the maha-mantra. It contains sixteen holy names of the Lord composed of thirty-two syllables.
These sixteen holy names composed of thirty-two syllables in the form of an address are called the maha-mantra. According to the process of Pancaratra, this maha-mantra should be chanted both in japa and in loud kirtana. For one who chants this maha-mantra in loud kirtana, the seed of love of God sprouts within his heart by the influence of that loud kirtana; and by the progressive mercy of the holy names, that person soon becomes expert in the science of the goal of life and the process for attaining it. But if one’s chanting is either mixed with concocted overlapping mellows or simply for the purpose of musical entertainment, or if one thinks the holy names should only be chanted in japa and one thus becomes averse to loud kirtana, then he is surely producing offenses rather than love of God. The science of the goal of life and the means for attaining it never manifest in the hearts of those who are determined to commit such offenses. Such offensive rebels against the spiritual masters are tightly bond by the chains of maya. They continue to be envious of the pure devotees, and instead of attaining auspiciousness, they go to hell forever.
CB Adi-khanda 14.147
sadhite sadhite yabe premankura habe
sadhya-sadhana-tattva janiba se tabe”
“If you continually chant this maha-mantra, the seed of love of God will sprout in your heart. Then you will understand the goal of life and the process for achieving it.”
CB Adi-khanda 14.148
prabhura shri-mukhe shiksha shuni’ vipravara
punah punah pranama karaye bahutara
After hearing these instructions from the mouth of the Lord, Tapana Mishra, the best of the brahmanas, repeatedly offered obeisances to the Lord.
CB Adi-khanda 14.149
mishra kahe,-“ajna haya, ami sange asi”
prabhu kahe,-“tumi shighra yao varanasi
Tapana Mishra then said, “Please allow me to live with You,” and the Lord replied, “You should immediately go to Varanasi.
When Tapana Mishra expressed his desire to accompany the Lord to Shri Mayapur, he was instructed by the Lord to go to Varanasi, where scriptural conclusions averse to the Absolute Truth are prominent. The purport is that there were many Mayavadis under the shelter of speculative knowledge and opposed to the chanting of the holy names of the Lord residing in Varanasi. Later on, when Tapana Mishra will ask the Lord about the topics of sadhya and sadhana and when the Lord will personally present the scriptural conclusions on sadhya and sadhana, then persons who desire liberation will be delivered from that mentality and obtain the opportunity to serve the Lord without duplicity by hearing these conclusions from the Lord. That is why the Lord sent Tapana Mishra, His own devotee, to reside at Kashi.
Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.