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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
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
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
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`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞," 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
"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
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`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞, 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`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞."
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`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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`@ `PPP```@`PP`°°°Ppppppp p````@@@@ppppp````````` P```` ```````````````_8Ȱ_Ȱ_娜粜娈粜が粞〼粞ぜ粞 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."
THUS ENDS THE TWELFTH CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,
"NITYA-DHARMA, SADHANA & SADHYA"