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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 12. Nitya-Dharma, Sadhana & Sadhya


C H A P T E R 12

Nitya-Dharma, Sadhana & Sadhya


Shri Navadvipa-mandala is supreme among all holy places of the

world. Like Shri Vrndavana, it covers an area of thirty-two

square miles, and is shaped like an eight-petaled lotus flower. The

center of that lotus is Shri Antardvipa, the core of which is Shri

Mayapura. To the north of Shri Mayapura is Shri Simantadvipa,

where a temple of Shri Simantini Devi is situated. To the north of

this temple is the village of Bilva-puskarini, and to the south lies

Brahmana-puskarini. That area, which is located in the northern

section of Shri Navadvipa is commonly referred to as Simuliya.


At the time of Shri Mahaprabhu, Simuliya was the residence of

many learned panditas. The father of Sacidevi, Shri Nilambara

Cakravarti Mahasaya, had also lived in this village. Now, not far

from where Nilambara Cakravati's house still stood, lived a Vedic

brahmana named Vrajanatha Bhattacarya. Vrajanatha had been

brilliant from his childhood. He had studied in a Sanskrit school

in Bilva-puskarini, and he had become such a superior scholar of

the science of logic (nyaya-sastra) that his ingenious and innovative

arguments embarrassed and intimidated all the renowned

scholars of Bilva-puskarini, Brahmana-puskarini, Mayapura,

Godruma, Madhyadvipa, Amraghatta, Samudra-garh, Kuliya,

Purvasthali, and other places.


Wherever there was a gathering of panditas, Vrajanatha

Nyaya-pancanana would set the assembly ablaze with a barrage

of unprecedented arguments. Among these panditas was a cruelhearted

logician named Naiyayika Cudamani, who was deeply

mortified by the wounds he had received from the sharp blows of

Vrajanatha's logic. This logician resolved to kill Nyaya-pancanana

using the occult knowledge described in the tantra-sastra, by which

one can invoke another's death through mystical incantations. To

this end, he moved into the cremation ground in Rudradvipa and

began to utter death mantras day and night.


It was amavasya, the night of the new moon, and dense darkness

pervaded all the four directions. At midnight, Naiyayika

Cudamani sat in the middle of the cremation ground and called

out to his worshipable deity, "O Mother, you are the only

worshipable deity in this Kali-yuga. I have heard that you become

pleased simply by the recitation of a few mantras, and that you easily

bestow benedictions upon your worshipers. O Goddess with a

terrifying face, this servant of yours has undergone tremendous

hardship in reciting your mantras for many days. Please be merciful

upon me just once. O Mother, although I am plagued with many

faults, you are still my mother. Please excuse all my faults and appear

before me today."


In this way, repeatedly calling out with cries of distress, Nyaya

Cudamani offered oblations in the fire while uttering a mantra in

the name of Vrajanatha Nyaya-pancanana. How astonishing was

the power of that mantra! The sky immediately became overcast

with a mass of dense, dark clouds. A fierce wind began to blow and

deafening peals of thunder roared. Hideous ghosts and evil spirits

could be seen in the intermittent flashes of lightning. With the

help of the sacrificial wine, Cudamani summoned all his energy

and called out, "O Mother, please do not delay another moment."


Just then an oracle from the heavens replied, "Do not worry.

Vrajanatha Nyaya-pancanana will not discuss the nyaya-sastra for

long. Within a few days, he will give up debating and remain silent.

He will no longer be your rival. Be peaceful and return home."


When the pandita heard this oracle, he became satisfied. He

repeatedly offered pranama to Mahadeva, the chief of the devas

and author of the tantra, and then returned to his own home.

Vrajanatha Nyaya-pancanana had become a dig-vijayi pandita

(one who has conquered the four directions through scholarship)

at the age of twenty-one. Day and night he studied the books of

the famous logician, Shri Gangesopadhyaya, who had initiated a

new system of logic known as navya-nyaya. Vrajanatha had found

many faults in Kanaibhatta Siromani's Didhiti, which was a

celebrated commentary on Gangesopadhyaya's Tattva-cintamani,

and he had begun to write his own commentary. Although he

never thought of material enjoyment, the word paramartha

(spiritual reality) never so much as entered his ears. His single focus

in life was to initiate logical debates using the concepts and

terminology of nyaya, such as avaccheda (the property of an object

by which it is distinguished from everything else), vyavaccheda

(exclusion of one object from another), ghata (a clay pot), and

pata (a piece of cloth). While sleeping, dreaming, eating, or

moving about, his heart was filled with thoughts about the nature

of objects, the nature of time, and the peculiarities of aqueous and

terrestrial properties.


One evening, Vrajanatha was sitting on the bank of the Ganga,

contemplating the sixteen categories propounded by Gautama in

his system of logic, when a new student of the nyaya-sastra

approached him. "Nyaya-pancanana Mahasaya," said the student,

"have you heard Nimai Pandita's logical refutation of the atomic

theory of creation?"


Nyaya-pancanana roared like a lion, "Who is Nimai Pandita? Are

you speaking about the son of Jagannatha Misra? Tell me about

his logical arguments."


The student said, "A great person named Nimai Pandita lived

in Navadvipa just a short time ago. He composed many innovative

logical arguments related to the nyaya-sastra and thus embarrassed

Kanaibhatta Siromani. During His time, there was no scholar equal

to Him in mastery of the nyaya-sastra. Yet, even though He was so

adept in the nyaya-sastra, He considered it quite insignificant.

Indeed, He regarded not only the nyaya-sastra, but the entire

material world, as trifling. He therefore adopted the life of a

wandering mendicant in the renounced order and traveled from

place to place propagating the chanting of hari-nama. Present-day

Vaishnavas accept Him as purna-brahma, the Supreme Personality

of Godhead, and they worship Him with the shri-gaura-hari-mantra.

Nyaya-pancanana Mahasaya, you must look into His dialectical

arguments at least once."


After hearing such praise of Nimai Pandita's logical reasoning,

Vrajanatha Nyaya-pancanana became quite curious to hear His

arguments. With difficulty, he was able to collect a few of those

arguments from various sources. Human nature is such that when

one develops faith in a particular subject, he will naturally feel

regard for the teachers of that subject. Moreover, for various

reasons, common people do not easily develop faith in exalted

personalities who are still living, whereas they tend to develop

great faith in the activities of mahajanas who have passed away.

Nyaya-pancanana developed unshakable faith in Nimai Pandita

by studying his logical thesis.


Vrajanatha would say, "O Nimai Pandita, if I had been born

during Your time, there is no telling how much I could have learned

from You. O Nimai Pandita, kindly enter my heart just once. You

are truly purna-brahma, for otherwise how could such extraordinary

logical arguments have come from Your mind? You are undoubtedly

Gaura-Hari, for You have destroyed the darkness of ignorance

by creating such remarkable arguments. The darkness of

ignorance is black, but You have removed it by becoming Gaura

(fair-complexioned). You are Hari because You can steal the minds

of the entire world. You have stolen away my heart with the

ingenuity of Your logic."


Repeatedly speaking in this way, Vrajanatha became somewhat

frantic. He called out loudly, "O Nimai Pandita! O Gaura-Hari!

Please be merciful to me. When will I be able to create logical

arguments like Yours? If You are merciful unto me, there is no telling

how great a scholar of the nyaya-sastra I may become."


Vrajanatha thought to himself, "It seems to me that those who

worship Gaura-Hari must also be attracted to Nimai Pandita's

scholarship in nyaya, just as I am. I should go to them and see

whether they have any books that He has composed on nyaya."

Thinking like this, Vrajanatha developed a desire to associate with

the devotees of Gauranga. By constantly uttering the pure names

of Bhagavan such as Nimai Pandita and Gaura-Hari, and by desiring

to associate with the devotees of Gaura, Vrajanatha earned

tremendous sukrti.


One day, while Vrajanatha was taking a meal with his paternal

grandmother, he asked, "Grandmother, did you ever see Gaura-

Hari?" Upon hearing the name of Shri Gauranga, Vrajanatha's

grandmother nostalgically remembered her childhood, and said,

"Aha! What an enchanting form He had! Alas! Will I ever behold

His beautiful, sweet form again? Can anyone who has seen that

captivating form ever engage her mind in domestic affairs again?

When He performed hari-nama-kirtana, absorbed in ecstatic trance,

the birds, beasts, trees, and creepers of Navadvipa would completely

lose consciousness of the external world due to intoxication of

prema. Even now, when I contemplate these thoughts, an incessant

flow of tears streams uncontrollably from my eyes and soaks my



Vrajanatha inquired further, "Do you recall any pastimes that

He performed?"


Grandmother replied, "I certainly do, my son! When Shri Gauranga

would visit the house of His maternal uncle with Mother Saci,

the elderly ladies of our house fed Him saka (spinach) and rice. He

would praise the saka very highly and eat it with great prema."


At that precise moment, Vrajanatha's own mother placed some

saka on his plate. Seeing it and appreciating the serendipity of the

moment, Vrajanatha became overjoyed. "This is the beloved saka

of the logician Nimai Pandita," he said, and ate it with the utmost



Although Vrajanatha was completely lacking in transcendental

knowledge of absolute reality, he became extremely attracted

to Nimai Pandita's brilliant scholarship. Indeed, the intensity of

his attraction could not be estimated. Even the name of Nimai

was a delight to his ears. When mendicants came to beg alms

uttering, "Jaya Shachinandana€````@P@``€``PP@P€°`° `@```ğ`@°°`°°  @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`€@ `P€PP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@€p€€€€€€€pppp````````` P````    ```````€````````_›8œȰ_Ȱ_粜娈粜が粞〼粞," he received them warmly and fed

them. He would sometimes go to Mayapura, where he would hear

the babajis chanting the names of Gauranga, and he would ask

them many questions about Gauranga's triumphant activities in

the field of scholarship and learning.


After a few months of these activities, Vrajanatha was no longer

his former self. Previously, Nimai's name had pleased him only in

connection with His scholarship in nyaya, but now Nimai pleased

him in all respects. Vrajanatha lost all interest in studying and

teaching nyaya, and no longer had any taste for dry arguments or

debate. Nimai the logician no longer had any standing in the

kingdom of his heart, for Nimai the devotee had usurped all



Vrajanatha's heart would begin to dance when he heard the

sound of mrdanga and karatalas, and he would offer pranama within

his mind whenever he saw pure devotees. He displayed great

devotion toward Shri Navadvipa, respecting it as the birthplace of

Shri Gaurangadeva. When rival panditas saw that Nyaya-pancanana

had become soft-hearted, they were very pleased at his condition.

Now they could openly step out of their houses without fear.

Naiyayika Pandita thought that his worshipable Deity had

rendered Vrajanatha inactive and there was no longer any need

to be afraid.


One day, while Vrajanatha was sitting in a secluded place on

the bank of the Bhagirathi, he thought to himself, "If such a profound

scholar of the nyaya-sastra as Nimai could renounce logic,

and adopt the path of bhakti, what fault would there be if I should

do the same? While I was obsessed with nyaya, I could not apply

myself to the cultivation of bhakti, nor could I bear to hear the

name of Nimai. In those days, I was so immersed in the nyaya-sastra

that I could not even find time to eat, drink, or sleep. Now I see

things in quite the opposite way. I no longer contemplate the topics

of the nyaya-sastra; instead, I always remember the name of

Gauranga. Still, even though the ecstatic devotional dancing of

the Vaishnavas captivates my mind, I am the son of a Vedic brahmana.

I was born in a prestigious family and I am highly respected in

society. Although I truly believe that the behavior and conduct of

the Vaishnavas is excellent, it is inappropriate for me to adopt their

ways outwardly.


"There are many Vaishnavas in Shri Mayapura at Khola-bhangadanga,

where Chand Kazi broke the mrdanga to stop the sankirtana,

and at Vairagi-danga, the place of Vaishnava asceticism. I feel happy

and purified at heart when I see the radiance of their faces. But

amongst all those devotees, it is Shri Raghunatha dasa Babaji

Mahasaya who completely captivates my mind. When I see him,

my heart fills with sraddha. I would like to be by his side

continuously and learn the bhakti-sastras from him. It is said in

the Vedas:


atma va are drastavyah srotavyo mantavyo nididhyasitavyah

Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (4.5.6)


One should see, hear about, think of, and meditate on the

Supreme Absolute Truth.


In this mantra, the word mantavyah means 'to be thought of, to

be considered or examined, to be admitted or assumed, to be

approved or sanctioned, or to be called into question.' Although

this word suggests that one should acquire brahma-jnana by studying

the nyaya-sastra, the word srotavya (to be heard or learned from

a teacher) implies the necessity for something greater. So far, I have

spent much of my life in useless arguments and debate. Now,

without wasting any more time, I long to dedicate myself to the

feet of Shri Gaura-Hari. It will therefore be most beneficial for me

to go after sunset and take darsana of Shri Raghunatha dasa Babaji



Vrajanatha set out for Shri Mayapura at the close of day. The sun

was rapidly vanishing below the western horizon, but its crimson

rays were still dancing amidst the treetops. A gentle breeze blew

from the south and birds flew in various directions, returning to

their nests. The first few stars were gradually appearing in the sky.

As Vrajanatha arrived in Shrivasangana (the courtyard of Shrivasa

Thakura's house), the Vaishnavas began sandhya-arati in worship

of Bhagavan, chanting and singing with sweet voices. Vrajanatha

took his seat on a platform beneath a bakula tree. His heart melted

as he heard the arati-kirtana of Gaura-Hari, and when it ended, the

Vaishnavas joined him on the platform.


At that time, the elderly Raghunatha dasa Babaji Mahasaya came

and took a seat on the platform, chanting "Jaya Shachinandana€````@P@``€``PP@P€°`° `@```ğ`@°°`°°  @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`€@ `P€PP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@€p€€€€€€€pppp````````` P````    ```````€````````_›8œȰ_Ȱ_粜娈粜が粞〼粞, Jaya

Nityananda, Jaya Rupa-Sanatana, Jaya Dasa Gosvami." As he did

so, everyone rose and offered him dandavat-pranama, and

Vrajanatha also felt compelled to do the same. When the aged

Babaji Mahasaya saw the extraordinary beauty of Vrajanatha's face,

he embraced him and requested him to sit by his side. "Who are

you my son?" asked Babaji.


Vrajanatha replied, "I am one who is thirsting for the truth, and

I long to receive some instruction from you."


A Vaishnava seated nearby recognized Vrajanatha, and said, "His

name is Vrajanatha Nyaya-pancanana. There is no scholar of nyaya

equal to him in all of Navadvipa, but now he has developed some

faith in Shachinandana€````@P@``€``PP@P€°`° `@```ğ`@°°`°°  @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`€@ `P€PP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@€p€€€€€€€pppp````````` P````    ```````€````````_›8œȰ_Ȱ_粜娈粜が粞〼粞."


Hearing of Vrajanatha's vast erudition, the elderly Babaji said

courteously, "My dear son, you are a great scholar and I am a foolish

and wretched soul. You are a resident of the holy dhama of our

Shachinandana€````@P@``€``PP@P€°`° `@```ğ`@°°`°°  @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`€@ `P€PP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@€p€€€€€€€pppp````````` P````    ```````€````````_›8œȰ_Ȱ_粜娈粜が粞〼粞, and we are therefore objects of your mercy. How can

we instruct you? Kindly share with us some of the purifying

narrations of your Gauranga and pacify our burning hearts."


As Babaji Maharaja and Vrajanatha conversed in this way, the

other Vaishnavas gradually arose and dispersed to resume their

respective services.


Vrajanatha said, "Babaji Mahasaya, I was born in a brahmana

family, and as a result I am very proud of my learning. Because of my

egoism of high birth and knowledge, I think this earth is within

the grip of my hand. I have no idea how to honor sadhus and great

persons. I cannot say by what good fortune I have awakened faith

in your character and behavior. I wish to ask you a few questions;

please answer them, understanding that I have not come to you

with any ulterior motive."


Vrajanatha then asked Babaji Mahasaya fervently, "Kindly

instruct me: What is the jiva's ultimate goal of life (sadhya), and

what is the means (sadhana) to attain that goal? While I was studying

the nyaya-sastra, I concluded that the jiva is eternally separate

from Isvara, and that the mercy of Ísvara is the only cause of the

jiva's obtaining mukti. I have understood that the particular

method by which the mercy of Isvara may be obtained is called

sadhana. The result that is achieved through sadhana is known as

sadhya. I have probed the nyaya-sastra many times with the inquiry

as to what are sadhya and sadhana? However, the nyaya-sastra

remains completely silent on this point. It has not supplied me

with the answer. Please tell me your conclusions regarding sadhya

and sadhana."


Shri Raghunatha dasa Babaji was a disciple of Shri Raghunatha

Dasa Gosvami, and he was not only an erudite scholar, but also a

self-realized saint. He had lived for a long time at Radha-kunda

under the shelter of Shri Dasa Gosvami's lotus feet, and every afternoon

he had heard from him the pastimes of Shri Chaitanyadeva.

Raghunatha dasa Babaji would regularly discuss philosophical

truths with Krishnadasa Kaviraja Mahasaya, and whenever some

doubt arose, they resolved it by inquiring from Shri Dasa Gosvami.

After both Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Krishnadasa Kaviraja

Gosvami left this world, Shri Raghunatha dasa Babaji came to Shri

Mayapura and became the principal pandita-babaji in Shri Gaudamandala.

He and Premadasa Paramahamsa Babaji Mahasaya of Shri

Godruma often discussed topics of Shri Hari, absorbed in prema.


Babaji: Nyaya-pancanana Mahasaya, anyone who studies the

nyaya-sastra and then inquires about sadhya and sadhana is certainly

blessed in this world, because the chief aim of the nyayasastra

is to compile axiomatic truths through logical analysis. It is

a waste of time to study the nyaya-sastra just to learn how to engage

in dry argument and debate. If one does so, his study of logic

has produced an illogical result; his labor is futile, and he has spent

his life in vain.


Sadhya means the truth (tattva) that is attained by undertaking

a specific practice. The practice is called sadhana and it is the means

that one adopts to obtain that sadhya (goal). Those who are bound

by maya view different objects as the ultimate goal of life according

to their individual tendencies and qualifications. In reality,

however, there is only one supreme goal.


There are three goals that one may try to attain, and different

individuals will choose one or the other according to their tendency

and adhikara (eligibility). These three goals are bhukti (material

enjoyment), mukti (liberation), and bhakti (devotional service).

Those who are ensnared in worldly activities, and who are

distracted by desires for material pleasure, take bhukti as their goal.

The sastras are compared to a cow that fulfills all desires (kamadhenu),

for a human being can obtain whatever object he desires

from them. The sastras dealing with karma-kanda have explained

that material enjoyment is the sadhya (goal) for those who are eligible

to engage in fruitive action, and these sastras delineate all

varieties of material pleasure that one could possibly strive to

attain in this world. Having accepted material bodies in this world,

the jivas are particularly fond of sensual enjoyment. The material

world is an abode to facilitate enjoyment through the material

senses. The pleasure one enjoys through the senses from birth until

death is known as enjoyment pertaining to this life (aihika-sukha).


There are many different types of sensual pleasures that one may

enjoy in the state one attains after death, and these are called

amutrika-sukha (enjoyment pertaining to the next life). For example,

the pleasures of the celestial sphere include residing in

Svarga (the higher planets) or Indraloka (the planet of Indra) and

witnessing the dancing of the celestial society girls known as

apsaras; drinking the nectar of immortality; smelling the fragrant

flowers and seeing the beauty of the nandana-kanana gardens;

seeing the wonder of Indrapuri; hearing the melodious songs of

the gandharvas; and associating with the celestial damsels known

as vidyadharis.


Above Indraloka in succession are the planets of Maharloka,

Janaloka, Tapoloka, and finally Brahmaloka, the highest planet in

the material universe. The sastras give fewer descriptions of

Maharloka and Janaloka than of the celestial pleasures in

Indraloka, and fewer descriptions still of Tapoloka and Brahmaloka.

In contrast, the sensual pleasure of this earth planet,

Bhurloka, is extremely gross. The rule is that the higher the

planetary system, the more subtle are the senses and their objects.

This is the only difference between these realms; otherwise, the

happiness available on all these planets is merely the pleasure of

the senses, and there is no happiness other than this. Spiritual

happiness (cit-sukha) is absent on all these planets, for the happiness

found in such places is related to the subtle body - which consists

of the mind, intelligence and ego - and is merely a semblance of

pure consciousness. The enjoyment of all these types of pleasure

is called bhukti, and the sadhana for the jivas trapped in the cycle

of karma consists of the activities they adopt to fulfill their aspirations

for bhukti. It is said in the Yajur-Veda (2.5.5):


svarga-kamo 'svamedham yajeta


Those who desire to attain the heavenly planets should

perform the asvamedha-yajna.


The sastras describe many different types of sadhana to obtain

bhukti, such as a particular type of fire sacrifice called agnistoma;

oblations offered to a certain class of devatas; digging wells, building

temples and performing similar beneficial works for others; and

ceremonies performed on the days of the new and full moon. Bhukti

is the object of attainment (sadhya) for those who aspire for

material enjoyment.


Some of those who are oppressed by the miseries of material

existence consider the fourteen planetary systems, which are the

abodes of all material enjoyment, worthless. These people therefore

desire to become free from the cycle of karma. They consider

that mukti is the only sadhya, and that bhukti is simply bondage.

Such people say, "Those whose inclination for material enjoyment

has not yet waned may realize their goal of bhukti by following

karma-kanda. However, Bhagavad-gita (9.21) states:


ksine punye martya-lokam visanti


When their pious credits have been exhausted, they again

enter the planets of mortality.


"This sloka establishes clearly and indisputably that bhukti is

perishable and not eternal. Whatever is subject to decay is material,

not spiritual. One should undertake sadhana only to obtain an

eternal objective. Mukti is eternal, so it must certainly be the sadhya

for the jivas. Mukti can be obtained by four types of sadhana. These

are: discriminating between eternal and temporary objects;

renouncing enjoyment of the fruits of this world and the next;

developing six qualities, such as control of the mind and senses;

and cultivating the desire for liberation. These four activities are

the true sadhana."


This is the viewpoint of those who regard mukti as the object of

attainment, and the sastras propounding jnana-kanda present this

analysis of sadhya and sadhana.


The sastras are kama-dhenu, and they arrange different situations

for the jivas according to their adhikara (level of qualification).

Mukti is generally understood to be the cessation of the

individual ego. However, if the jivas retain their individual existence

and identities when they attain it, mukti cannot be the final

attainment. This means that the jivas can only take mukti up to

the limit of annihilation of the individual self (nirvana), but the

jivas are eternal, so they cannot really be annihilated. This is

confirmed in the Svetasvatara Upanisad (6.13):


nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam


He is the supreme eternal being amongst all the eternal

living beings, and He is the supreme conscious entity

amongst all conscious entities.


This and other Vedic mantras establish that the jiva is eternal,

and that annihilation of his individual existence (nirvana) is

therefore impossible. Those who accept this conclusion understand

that the jiva continues to exist as an individual after he

attains mukti. Consequently, they do not accept bhukti or mukti

as the ultimate goal. Rather, they consider that bhukti and mukti

are actually extraneous goals which are foreign to the nature of

the jiva.


Every endeavor has a goal and some means to attain it. The result

that one strives to attain is known as sadhya, and the practice one

adopts to bring about that result is known as sadhana. If you reflect

deeply, you will see that the goals of the living entities and the

means that they adopt to attain them are like successive links in

a chain. What is a sadhya (goal) now becomes the sadhana, the

means to obtain the next sadhya later on. If one adopts this chain

of cause and effect, one eventually comes to the final link in the

chain. The effect, or sadhya, that is attained at that final stage is

the highest and ultimate sadhya, which does not become a sadhana

(means) for anything else because there is no other sadhya beyond

it. When one crosses all the links in this chain of sadhya and

sadhana, one eventually reaches the final link, which is known as

bhakti. Bhakti is therefore the highest sadhya, because it is the jivas'

eternal state of perfection (nitya-siddha-bhava).


Every action in human life is a link in the chain of sadhana and

sadhya, or cause and effect. The karma section of this chain of cause

and effect consists of many links joined together. When one

progresses beyond this, a further series of links form another

section known as jnana. Finally, the bhakti section begins where

the jnana section ends. The final sadhya in the chain of karma is

bhukti, the final sadhya in the chain of jnana is mukti, and the final

sadhya in the chain of bhakti is prema-bhakti. If one reflects upon

the nature of the jivas' perfected state, one must conclude that

bhakti is both sadhana and sadhya. Karma and jnana are not the final

sadhya or sadhana, for they are only intermediate stages.


Vrajanatha: There are many prominent statements in the

Upanisads that do not establish that bhakti is supreme, or that it is

the ultimate sadhya of attainment. It is said in the Brhad-aranyaka

Upanisad (4.5.15 and 2.4.24), kena kam pasyet: "Who should see?

Whom will they see? And by what means?" It is also stated in the

Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (1.4.10), aham brahmasmi: "I am brahma."

It is said in the Aitareya Upanisad (1.5.3), prajnanam brahma:

"Consciousness is brahma." And in the Chandogya Upanisad (6.8.7)

it is said, tat tvam asi svetaketo: "O Svetaketu, you are that brahma."

Considering all these statements, what is wrong in regarding mukti

as the supreme sadhya?


Babaji: I have already explained that there are many different types

of sadhya according to different tendencies. One cannot accept

the validity of mukti as long as one has any desire for bhukti, and

many of the statements in sastra are written for people on that

level. For instance, the Apastamba Srauta-sutra (2.1.1) states,

aksayam ha vai caturmasya-yajinah: "Those who observe the vow of

caturmasya obtain perpetual residence in heaven." Does this mean

that mukti is a worthless goal? The karmis desire only sense

gratification. They cannot discover the recommendations from

sastra for mukti, but does that mean that mukti is not described

anywhere in the Vedas? A few of the rsis who recommend the path

of karma maintain that renunciation is only prescribed for those

who are incompetent, and that those who are competent should

perform karma. This is not actually true; these instructions are

given for people on lower levels of spiritual advancement in order

to promote their faith in their respective positions.


It is inauspicious for jivas to neglect the duties for which they

are responsible. If one carries out one's duties in full faith that

they are appropriate for one's present level, one easily gains access

to the next level of qualification. Consequently, prescriptions in

the Vedas promoting this type of faith have not been condemned.

On the contrary, if one condemns such prescriptions one is liable

to fall down. All jivas who have attained elevation in this world

have done so by strictly adhering to the duties for which they were



Jnana is actually superior to karma because it yields mukti.

Nonetheless, the sastras that discuss competence for karma praise

karma most highly, and do not substantiate the pre-eminence of

jnana. Similarly, where the sastras discuss competence for jnana,

we find all the mantras that you have mentioned which praise

mukti. However, just as eligibility for jnana is superior to that for

karma, the eligibility for bhakti is superior to that for jnana. Mantras

such as tat tvam asi and aham brahmasmi praise impersonal

liberation, and they strengthen the faith of those who seek it to

follow the path for which they are qualified. For this reason, it is

not wrong to establish the eminence of jnana. However, jnana is

not the ultimate sadhana, and the sadhya of jnana, namely mukti,

is not the ultimate sadhya. The Vedic mantras establish the final

conclusion that bhakti is the sadhana, and prema-bhakti is the



Vrajanatha: The mantras that I quoted are principal statements of

the Vedas, known as maha-vakyas. How can the sadhya and sadhana

that they put forward possibly be extraneous?


Babaji: The Vedic statements you quoted just a moment ago are

not described as maha-vakyas anywhere in the Vedas, nor have they

been described as superior to other statements. Teachers of jnana

have proclaimed that these statements are maha-vakyas in order

to establish the pre-eminence of their own doctrine, but in reality,

pranava (om) is the only maha-vakya. All other Vedic statements

relate only to particular aspects of Vedic knowledge.


It would not be incorrect to refer to all the statements of the

Vedas as maha-vakyas. However, it is dogmatic to single out one

particular statement of the Vedas as the maha-vakya, and to label

all others as ordinary. Those who do so are committing an offense

to the Vedas. The Vedas describe many extraneous goals and the

means to attain them, so they sometimes praise karma-kanda, and

sometimes mukti, but in the ultimate analysis, the Vedas conclude

that bhakti alone is both sadhana and sadhya.


The Vedas are like a cow, and Shri Nanda-nandana is the milkman.

In the Bhagavad-gita (6.46-47), He has revealed the purport

of the Vedas regarding their ultimate aim:


tapasvibhyo 'dhiko yogi jnanibhyo 'pi mato 'dhikah

karmibhyas cadhiko yogi tasmad yogi bhavarjuna

yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantaratmana

sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah


O Arjuna, a yogi is greater than all types of ascetics, fruitive

workers, and those who cultivate impersonal knowledge

aiming at liberation. Therefore, become a yogi. And I consider

that the greatest of all yogis is one who is attached to

Me with firm faith, and who constantly worships Me with

full expression of the heart.


It is said in the Svetasvatara Upanisad (6.23):


yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau

tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah


All the confidential purports of the Vedas are fully revealed

to that great soul who has the same para-bhakti for his

Gurudeva as he has for Shri Bhagavan.


It is said in the Gopala-tapani Upanisad, Purva-vibhaga (2.2):


bhaktir asya bhajanam tad ihamutropadhinairasyenaivamusmin

manasah kalpanam

etad eva ca naiskarmyam


Bhakti performed for the pleasure of Shri Krishna is known as

bhajana. This means to give up all desires for enjoyment in

this world and the next, to dedicate one's mind unto Krishna,

and to develop a feeling of complete unity with Him because

of an overwhelming sense of prema. This bhajana also entails

freedom from all result-oriented activity.


It is said in the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (1.4.8):


atmanam eva priyam upasita


One should worship the Supreme Soul, Shri Krishna, as the

dearest object of one's affection.


In the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (4.5.6) it is also said:


atma va are drastavyah srotavyo

mantavyo nididhyasitavyah


O Maitreyi, one should see, hear about, think of and meditate

upon the Supreme Absolute Truth Paramatma.


When one studies these Vedic statements carefully, it is clear

that bhakti is the best form of sadhana.


Vrajanatha: The karma-kanda section of the Vedas gives instructions

to perform bhakti to Isvara, who bestows the results of all

action. In the jnana-kanda section we also find instructions to

satisfy Hari by performing bhakti through the medium of the four

types of sadhana known as sadhana-catustaya. So how can bhakti

be the sadhya if it is the means to obtain bhukti and mukti? Since

bhakti is the means, it ceases to exist when it produces bhukti or

mukti. This is the general principle. Please educate me on this



Babaji: It is true that performing the regulated practices (sadhana)

of bhakti in karma-kanda gives material enjoyment, and bhaktisadhana

performed in jnana-kanda gives mukti. One cannot achieve

any result without satisfying Paramesvara, and He is only satisfied

by bhakti. He is the reservoir of all potencies, and whatever potency

is found within the jivas, or within inert matter, is only an

infinitesimal display of His potency. Karma and jnana cannot satisfy

Isvara. Karma and jnana give a result only with the help of bhagavadbhakti.

They are incapable of producing a result independently.

Therefore, it is seen that there is an arrangement for some

performance of a semblance of bhakti in karma and jnana. However,

this is not suddha-bhakti. Rather, it is only bhakty-abhasa.

Accordingly, the bhakti seen in karma and jnana is a mere semblance

of devotion, not suddha-bhakti, and it is this bhakty-abhasa that is

instrumental in bringing forth the results of those pursuits.


There are two types of bhakty-abhasa: suddha bhakty-abhasa

(pure) and viddha bhakty-abhasa (adulterated). I shall describe pure

bhakty-abhasa later, but for the present, you should know that there

are three types of adulterated bhakty-abhasa. These are bhakty-abhasa

adulterated with fruitive action, bhakty-abhasa adulterated

with monistic knowledge, and bhakty-abhasa adulterated with both

fruitive action and monistic knowledge.


While a person is performing a yajna, he may say, "O Indra, O

Pusana (the devata of the sun), please be merciful and give us the

results of this yajna." All activities exhibiting a semblance of bhakti

adulterated with this type of desire are known as a semblance of

bhakti adulterated with fruitive action. Some magnanimous souls

have referred to this type of adulterated bhakti as devotion mixed

with fruitive action (karma-misra-bhakti). Others have described

it as activities to which the symptoms of bhakti are indirectly

attributed (aropa-siddha-bhakti).


Another person may say, "O Yadunandana, I have come to You

out of fear of material existence. I chant Your name, Hare Krishna,

day and night. Please grant me liberation. O Supreme Lord, You

are brahma. I have fallen into the trap of maya. Please deliver me

from this entanglement and let me merge in oneness with You."

These sentiments are a semblance of bhakti adulterated with

monistic knowledge. Some magnanimous souls have described this

as devotion mixed with monistic knowledge (jnana-misra-bhakti),

and others as activities to which the symptoms of bhakti are

indirectly attributed (aropa-siddha-bhakti). These adulterated

forms of devotion are different from suddha-bhakti.


It is said in the Gita (6.47), sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me

yuktatamo matah, "I consider that one who worships Me with faith

is the best of all yogis." The bhakti to which Shri Krishna is referring

in this statement is suddha-bhakti, and this is our sadhana. When

it is perfected, it is prema. Karma and jnana are the means to obtain

bhukti and mukti respectively. They are not the means by which

the jiva can obtain his nitya-siddha-bhava, or eternal constitutional

position of divine love.


When Vrajanatha had heard all these conclusive truths, he

was unable to make further inquiries that day. Instead, he reflected

within himself, "The examination and discussion of all these

subtle philosophical truths is superior to the dialectical analysis

of the nyaya-sastra. Babaji Mahasaya is vastly learned in these

matters. I will gradually acquire knowledge by inquiring from

him about these topics. It is quite late, so I should return home



Thinking thus, he said, "Babaji Mahasaya, today by your mercy,

I have received essential superior knowledge. I would like to come

to you from time to time to receive this type of instruction. You

are a deeply realized scholar and a great teacher; please be merciful

to me. Kindly permit me to ask you just one more question today,

since it is already late, and I will return home when I have heard

your answer. Did Shri Shachinandana€````@P@``€``PP@P€°`° `@```ğ`@°°`°°  @@P` ` P@ °P`0@````@`` P`€@ `P€PP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@€p€€€€€€€pppp````````` P````    ```````€````````_›8œȰ_Ȱ_粜娈粜が粞〼粞 Gauranga write any book in

which all of His instructions can be found? If He did, I am anxious

to read it."


Babaji Mahasaya replied, "Shriman Mahaprabhu did not write

any book of His own, but His followers wrote many books on His

order. Mahaprabhu personally gave the jivas eight instructions

in the form of aphorisms, named Siksastaka. These are like a

necklace of jewels for the bhaktas. In these eight slokas, He has

imparted the instructions of the Vedas, the Vedanta, the Upanisads,

and the Puranas in a concise and confidential manner, as if keeping

a vast ocean in a single pitcher. Based on these confidential

instructions, the bhaktas have composed ten fundamental principles

known as Dasa-mula. This Dasa-mula succinctly describes

both sadhya and sadhana with reference to the topics of

sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana. You should understand this



"Whatever you order, it is my duty to fulfill," said Vrajanatha.

"You are my siksa-guru. I will come tomorrow evening and take

instruction from you on Dasa-mula."


Vrajanatha then offered dandavat-pranama to Babaji Mahasaya,

who embraced him with great affection. "My son," said Babaji, "you

have purified the brahmana lineage. It will give me great pleasure if

you come tomorrow evening."