|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 17. Prameya: The Jivas Free from Maya|
C H A P T E R 17
Prameya: The Jivas Free
Vrajanatha's grandmother completed all the arrangements for
his marriage, and in the evening she explained everything
to him. Vrajanatha simply took his meal in silence and made no
reply that day. He lay awake on his bed late that night, deep in
thought about the state of the pure spirit soul. Meanwhile, his
elderly grandmother was busy trying to find ways of convincing
him to agree to the marriage.
Just then, Vrajanatha's maternal cousin, Veni-madhava, arrived.
The girl that Vrajanatha was supposed to marry was Venimadhava's
paternal cousin, and Vijaya-Vidyaratna had sent him
to finalize the arrangements.
Veni-madhava inquired, "What's the matter, Grandmother? Why
are you delaying in arranging brother Vraja's marriage?"
The grandmother replied in a rather anxious voice, "My son,
you are an intelligent boy. Perhaps he will change his mind if you
speak to him. All my efforts have been in vain."
Veni-madhava's character was clearly proclaimed by his short
stature, small neck, black complexion, and his eyes, which blinked
frequently. He liked to pry into everything that was going on,
rather than taking care of his own business, but his involvement
in others' affairs was never particularly useful. After listening to
the old lady, he frowned slightly, then boasted, "This is no problem.
I just need your permission. Veni-madhava can accomplish
anything. You know me quite well. I can make money just by counting
the waves. Let me discuss this with him just once. And if I
succeed, then you'll treat me to a nice feast with puris and kacoris?"
"Vrajanatha has taken his meal, and he's asleep now," said
"All right, I'll come in the morning and put things in order,"
replied Veni-madhava, and returned home.
The next day, he returned early in the morning carrying a lota
in his hand, and completed his morning ablutions. When
Vrajanatha saw him, he was a little surprised, and said, "Brother!
How have you come so early in the morning?"
Veni-madhava answered, "Dada, you have been studying and teaching
nyaya-sastra for a long time now. You are the son of the Pandita
Harinatha Cudamani, and you have become famous all over the
country. You are the only surviving male member of the house, and
if you don't have any heirs, who do you suppose will take care of this
big house of yours? Brother, we have a request. Please get married."
Vrajanatha replied, "Brother, don't give me unnecessary trouble.
Nowadays I'm accepting the shelter of Shri Gaura-sundara's bhaktas,
and I don't have any desire to get involved in worldly affairs. I feel
real peace in the company of the Vaishnavas in Mayapura, and I don't
find any attraction for this world. I will either accept sannyasa, or
spend my life in the shelter of the Vaishnavas' lotus feet. I have
expressed my heart to you because I know that you are my close
friend, but don't disclose this to anyone else."
Veni-madhava understood that nothing but trickery could
change Vrajanatha's mind, so he cleverly curbed his feelings, and
in order to create a particular impression he said, "I have always
remained your assistant in whatever you have done. I used to carry
your books when you were studying in the Sanskrit school, so I
will carry your staff and water-pot when you accept sannyasa."
It is difficult to understand the minds of wicked people; they
have two tongues, and they say one thing with one, and exactly
the opposite with the other. They are bandits in the garb of saints,
carrying the name of Shri Rama in the mouth, and a knife under
Vrajanatha was a simple person. Warming to Veni-madhava's
sweet words, he said, "Brother, I have always regarded you as my
dear friend. Grandmother is just an old woman, and she doesn't
understand serious matters. She is very enthusiastic to drown me
in this ocean of worldly affairs by getting me married to some girl.
It will be a relief if you can change her mind and somehow dissuade
her; I will always be indebted to you."
Veni-madhava replied, "No one will dare to oppose your desire
as long as Sharmarama is living. Dada, you will see what I am capable
of. But just let me know one thing, why have you developed such
hatred towards this world? Who is advising you to cultivate such
feelings of renunciation?"
Vrajanatha explained about his renunciation, and said, "There
is one elderly and experienced babaji called Raghunatha dasa Babaji
in Mayapura. He is my instructor, and I go every day after dusk to
the shelter of his feet to find relief from the burning fire of this
material world. He is very merciful to me."
The evil Veni-madhava started thinking, "Now I understand
brother Vraja's weakness. He has to be brought back to the right
track by deception, force or skill." Outwardly he said, "Brother,
don't worry. I am going home now, but I will gradually change
Veni-madhava pretended to take the road that led to his home,
but instead he took another way, and reached Shrivasangana in
Mayapura. There he sat on the raised platform under the bakula tree
and began to admire the opulences of the Vaishnavas. "These
Vaishnavas are actually enjoying the world. They have such beautiful
houses and lovely kunjas. This is such a nice dias in a wonderful
courtyard." In each of the kutiras, a Vaishnava sat chanting hari-nama
on his beads. They seemed quite content, like the bulls of religion.
The women of the neighboring villages, who came to bathe in the
Ganga, of their own accord supplied the Vaishnavas with fruits, vegetables,
water and various eatables. Veni-madhava thought, "The
brahmanas have systematized karma-kanda to receive these facilities,
but instead these groups of babajis are enjoying the cream. All
glories to Kali-yuga! These disciples of Kali are having a wonderful
time. Oh! My birth in a high brahmana family is useless! No one even
cares about us any more, what to speak of offering us fruits and water.
These Vaishnavas even condemn learned brahmanas, and abuse
and insult us by calling us lowly and foolish. Brother Vraja fits this
description quite well though; although he's such a well-educated
man, he seems to have sold himself to these sly loin-cloth people. I,
Veni-madhava, will reform Vrajanatha and these babajis as well."
Thinking like this, Veni-madhava entered one of the kutiras,
which happened to be the one in which Shri Raghunatha dasa Babaji
was sitting on a mat made of banana leaves, chanting his hari-nama.
A person's character is evident from his face, and the ageing
babaji could understand that Kali personified had entered in the
form of this son of a brahmana. Vaishnavas consider themselves lower
than a blade of grass. They offer respect to those who insult them,
and they pray for the well being of an opponent, even if he tortures
them. Accordingly, Babaji Maharaja respectfully offered Venimadhava
a seat. Veni-madhava had no Vaishnava qualities at all, so
after sitting down, he offered his blessings to Babaji Maharaja,
considering himself above all Vaishnava etiquette.
"Baba, what is your name? What brings you here?" inquired Babaji
Mahasaya informally. Veni-madhava became furious by being addressed
informally, and he said angrily, "O Babaji, can you become
equal to the brahmanas just by wearing a kaupina (loincloth)? Never
mind! Just tell me, do you know Vrajanatha Nyaya-pancanana?
Babaji: (understanding the reason for his annoyance) Please excuse
this old man; don't become offended by my words. Yes,
Vrajanatha comes here sometimes, by his own mercy.
Veni-madhava: Don't think that he's a simpleton. He comes here
with ulterior motives. He is being polite at first, to gain your confidence.
The brahmanas of Belpukura are extremely annoyed at your
behavior, and they have consulted with each other and decided to
send Vrajanatha to you. You are an old man. Just be careful. I will
keep coming from time to time, to inform you how their conspiracy
progresses. Don't tell him about me; otherwise you will run into
even deeper trouble. I will take leave for today.
So saying, Veni-madhava got up and returned to his home. Later
that afternoon, while Vrajanatha sat on the verandah after his
meal, Veni-madhava suddenly appeared, as if from nowhere, sat
next to him, and struck up a conversation. "Brother, I went to
Mayapura for some business today," he began. "There I saw an old
man, maybe Raghunatha dasa Babaji. We were talking about things
in general, and then the conversation turned to you. The things
he said about you! I have never heard such repulsive things being
spoken about any brahmana. In the end he said, 'I will bring him
down from his high brahminical status by feeding him leftovers
from many low-caste people.' Fie on him! It is not proper for a
learned man like you to associate with such a person. You will ruin
the high prestige of the brahmanas if you act like this."
Vrajanatha was astounded to hear Veni-madhava say all this.
For some unknown reason, his faith and respect for the Vaishnavas
and old Babaji Maharaja only doubled, and he said gravely,
"Brother, I am busy at present. You go now; I will hear everything
from you tomorrow, and make a decision then."
Veni-madhava went away. Vrajanatha now became fully aware
of Veni-madhava's two-tongued nature. He was well versed in the
nyaya-sastra, and although he had a natural dislike for wickedness,
the thought that Veni-madhava would help him on the path to
sannyasa had induced Vrajanatha to be friendly towards him. Now,
however, he understood that all Veni-madhava's sweet words had
been for a particular motive. After further thought, Vrajanatha
realized that Veni-madhava was acting deceitfully because he was
involved in the marriage proposal. That must be why he had gone
to Mayapura - to sow the seed of some secret plot. He prayed in
his mind, "O Bhagavan! Let my faith in the lotus feet of my
Gurudeva and the Vaishnavas remain firm. May it never be reduced
by the disturbance of such impure people." He remained absorbed
in these thoughts until evening. Then he started out for
Shrivasangana, arriving there deep in anxiety.
Back in Mayapura, after Veni-madhava had left, Babaji thought,
"This man is certainly a brahma-raksasa.
raksasah kalim ashritya jayante brahma-yonisu
Taking shelter of Kali-yuga, raksasas take birth in brahmana
"This statement of sastra certainly holds true for that person.
His face clearly shows his pride in his high caste, his false ego, his
envy of Vaishnavas, and his religious hypocrisy. His short neck, his
eyes, and his deceptive way of talking actually represent his internal
state of mind. Ah, this man is a complete asura by nature,
whereas Vrajanatha is such a sweet-natured person. O Krishna! O
Gauranga! Never give me association of such a person. I must warn
As soon as Vrajanatha reached the kutira, Babaji called out to
him affectionately, "Come, Baba, come!" and embraced him.
Vrajanatha's throat choked with emotion, and tears started flowing
from his eyes as he fell down at Babaji's feet. Babaji picked him
up very affectionately and said gently, "A black-complexioned
brahmana came here this morning. He said some agitating things
and then went away again. Do you know him?"
Vrajanatha: Prabhu, your good self told me earlier that there are
different kinds of jivas in this world. Some of them are so envious
that without any cause, they find satisfaction in troubling
other jivas. Our brother, Veni-madhava, is one of the leaders in
that category. I will be glad if we don't discuss him further. It is his
very nature to criticize you to me and me to you, and to cause disputes
between us by manufacturing false accusations. I hope you
didn't pay any attention to what he said.
Babaji: Ha Krishna! Ha Gauranga! I have been serving the Vaishnavas
for many days now, and by their mercy, I have received the power
to tell the difference between a Vaishnava and a non-Vaishnava. You
don't need to say anything to me about this.
Vrajanatha: Please forget all this and tell me how a jiva can become
free from the clutches of maya.
Babaji: You will get your answer in the seventh sloka of Dasa-mula:
yada bhramam bhramam hari-rasa-galad-vaishnava-janam
kadacit sampasyan tad-anugamane syad ruci-yutah
tada krishnavrttya tyajati sanakair mayika-dasam
svarupam vibhrano vimala-rasa-bhogam sa kurute
When, in the course of wandering amongst the higher and
lower species in the material world, a jiva is able to behold
a Vaishnava absorbed in the flowing rasa of shri-hari-bhakti,
taste arises in his heart for following the Vaishnava way of
life. By chanting shri-krishna-nama, he gradually becomes free
from his conditioning. Step by step, he then gains his intrinsic,
chinmaya-svarupa (transcendental form), and becomes
qualified to taste the pure and spiritual rasa of direct
service to Shri Krishna.
Vrajanatha: I would like to hear some evidence from the Vedas to
Babaji: It is said in the Upanisads,
samane vrkse puruso nimagno
'nisaya socati muhyamanah
justam yada pasyaty anyam isam
asya mahimanam eti vita-sokah
The jiva and the indwelling Paramatma both reside in the
body, like two birds in the same tree. The jiva is sunk in the
bodily conception of life because of his attachment to material
sense enjoyment. Bewildered by maya, he cannot find
any means of deliverance, and thus he laments and falls
down. When the jiva has darsana of the other person within
his heart - namely the Supreme Lord, who is served eternally
by His unalloyed bhaktas - he witnesses Krishna's uncommon
glories. He then becomes free from all lamentation,
and attains his glorious position as Krishna's servant.
(Mundaka Upanisad 3.1.2 and Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.7)
Vrajanatha: This sloka states that when the jiva sees the
worshipable Lord, he becomes free forever from all anxieties, and
directly perceives His magnificence. Does this imply liberation?
Babaji: Liberation means to be released from the clutches of maya.
Only those who have the association of saintly people attain this
liberation, but the real subject of research is the glorious position
that one receives after attaining liberation.
muktir hitvanyatha-rupam svarupena vyavasthitih
The jiva in his original, constitutional form is a pure servant
of Krishna. When he falls down into the darkness of
nescience, he has to accept gross and subtle material bodies.
Liberation means to abandon these extraneous forms
completely and to be situated in one's original, spiritual
This half sloka explains that liberation means to abandon these
other forms and to be situated in one's svarupa. Attaining one's
constitutional position is the necessity for the jiva. The work of
liberation is complete the moment the jiva is released from the
clutches of maya. Then, so many activities begin once he attains
his natural, constitutional position. This is the fundermental
necessity of attainment, mula-prayojana of the jiva. Freedom from
intense misery can be called liberation, but following liberation
there is another stage, in which a person achieves spiritual happiness
(cit-sukha). That state is described in the Chandogya Upanisad
evam evaisa samprasado 'smac charirat samutthaya
param jyoti-rupa-sampadya svena rupenabhinispadyate
sa uttamah purusah sa tatra paryeti jaksan kridan ramamanah
When the jiva achieves liberation, he transcends the gross
and subtle material bodies and is situated in his own nonmaterial,
spiritual state, complete with his spiritual effulgence.
He then becomes transcendentally situated. In that
spiritual atmosphere, he becomes absorbed in enjoyment
(bhoga), activities (krida) and bliss (ananda).
Vrajanatha: What are the symptoms of those who are liberated
Babaji: They have eight symptoms, which Chandogya Upanisad
(8.7.1) describes as follows:
ya atmapahata-papma vijaro vimrtyur visoko 'vijighatso 'pipasah
satya-kamah satya-sankalpah so 'nvestavyah
The liberated soul has eight qualities: He is freed from all
sinful activity, as well as the addiction to sinful activities
that arises because of the nescience of maya; he is not subject
to the miseries of old age; he always remains young and
fresh, and has no tendency to decay; he never comes to an
end, or dies; he is never morose; he has no sensual desires;
he has a natural inclination towards serving Krishna, with
no other desires; and all of his desires become realized. These
eight qualities are absent from the baddha-jiva.
Vrajanatha: It is said in the Dasa-mula sloka, "The good fortune of
the jiva who is wandering aimlessly in the material world arises
when he meets a rasika Vaishnava who relishes the nectar of Hari."
One might raise the objection that one could eventually attain
hari-bhakti by performing pious activities, such as astanga-yoga and
Babaji: These are Shri Krishna's own words:
na rodhayati mam yogo na sankhyam dharma eva ca
na svadhyayas tapas tyago nesta-purttam na daksina
vratani yajnas chandamsi tirthani niyama yamah
yathavarundhe sat-sangah sarva-sangapaho hi mam
Shri Bhagavan said, "I am not controlled by those who perform
yoga, study sankhya philosophy, perform religious duties
and pious activities, study the Vedas, perform penances and
austerities, practice renunciation or accept sannyasa, perform
sacrifice and welfare activities, give donations in charity,
practice fasting and other vows, perform yajna, chant confidential
mantras, go on pilgrimage, and follow all the rules
and regulations for spiritual life. However, one who accepts
sat-sanga, which destroys all material attachments, can control
Me. How much can I say? Astanga-yoga can slightly satisfy
Me indirectly, but sadhu-sanga controls Me completely."
It is also stated in Hari-bhakti-sudhodhaya (8.51):
yasya yat-sangatih pumso manivat syat sa tad-gunah
sva-kularddhyaitato dhiman sva-yuthany eva samsrayet
Just as a jewel or crystal reflects the color of the object with
which it is in contact, so a person develops qualities according
to the company he keeps. Therefore, by keeping association with
pure sadhus, one can become a pure sadhu. Thus the association
of pure sadhus is the root cause of all good fortune.
In the sastras, the word nihsanga means 'to live in solitude.' This
implies that we should only live in the association of bhaktas.
Nihsanga means to leave all other association and to take the association
of bhaktas. Even unintentional association with saintly
people brings good fortune for the jiva.
sango yah samsrter hetur asatsu vihito 'dhiya
sa eva sadhusu krto nihsangatvaya kalpate
The association of materialists is the cause of bondage in
the material world, even though one may not know that
this is so. Similarly, association with saintly people, even if
it happens by chance or unknowingly, is called nihsanga.
It is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.5.32):
naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim
sprsaty anarthapagamo yad-arthah
niskincananam na vrnita yavat
The lotus feet of Urukrama, who is glorified for His uncommon
activities, destroy all anarthas in the heart. However,
those who are very materialistic cannot be attached to His
lotus feet until they smear their bodies with the dust from
the lotus feet of great souls who are absorbed in bhagavatprema
and who are completely freed from material attachments.
And Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.48.31) states:
na hy am-mayani tirthani na deva mrc-chila-mayah
te punanty uru-kalena darsanad eva sadhavah
One is purified by the holy places where rivers such as the
Ganga flow and by the stone and clay deities of devatas only
after rendering them reverential service over a long period
of time. However, when one has darsana of a suddha-bhakta,
he is purified immediately.
That is why Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.51.53) also says:
bhavapavargo bhramato yada bhavej
janasya tarhy acyuta sat-samagamah
sat-sangamo yarhi tadaiva sad-gatau
paravarese tvayi jayate matih
O infallible Lord! The jiva has been wandering in this world
of birth and death since time without beginning. When the
time comes for him to leave this cycle of life and death, he
associates with Your suddha-bhaktas. From the moment that
he achieves this association, his mind becomes firmly fixed
on You, who are the sole and supreme shelter of the
surrendered bhaktas, the controller of all, and the cause of
Baba, since time without beginning the jiva who is eternally
bound by maya has been moving in the universe, taking birth according
to his karma, sometimes as a deva, and sometimes in the
various animal species. From the time that he attains the association
of saintly people because of his past pious activities (sukrti),
he fixes his mind very strongly on Krishna, the controller of all.
Vrajanatha: You have said that the association of suddha-bhaktas
is achieved by sukrti. What is sukrti? Is it karma or knowledge?
Babaji: The sastras say that there are two types of auspicious karma
(subha-karma) that are in accordance with Vedic injunctions. One
causes the appearance of bhakti, while the other gives irrelevant,
inferior results. Performance of pious activities such as nitya and
naimittika-karma, studying sankhya, and cultivating jnana all give
irrelevant results. The only auspicious activities that give bhakti
as an end result (bhakti-prada-sukrti) are associating with suddhabhaktas
and with places, times and things that bestow bhakti.
When enough bhakti-prada-sukrti has been accumulated, it gives
rise to krishna-bhakti. The other type of sukrti, however, is consumed
after one enjoys its results, so it does not accumulate to give any
permanent result. All the pious deeds in the world, such as charity,
only result in achieving the objects of sense gratification. The
sukrti of impersonal speculation results in impersonal liberation.
Neither of these kinds of sukrti can give devotional service to Shri
Activities such as sadhu-sanga and observing Ekadashi,
Janmastami, and Gaura-purnima all help to develop one's saintly
qualities. Tulasi, maha-prasada, shri mandira, holy places, and articles
used by sadhus (sadhu-vastu) are all auspicious; touching
them or obtaining their darsana are pious deeds that give rise to
Vrajanatha: Can a person obtain bhakti if he is tormented by
material problems and takes shelter of Shri Hari's lotus feet in full
knowledge to become relieved of his problems?
Babaji: The jiva, harassed by the afflictions of the goddess of
illusion, may somehow understand through discriminating intelligence
that worldly activities are simply troublesome, and that
his only solace is Krishna's lotus feet and the feet of His suddhabhaktas.
Knowing this, he takes shelter of His lotus feet, and the
first step in this process of surrender is to accept the shelter of
suddha-bhaktas. This is the principal, bhakti-prada-sukrti, through
which he obtains the lotus feet of Bhagavan. Whatever renunciation
and wisdom he had originally were just a secondary means of
obtaining bhakti. Thus, the association of bhaktas is the only way
to attain bhakti. There is no other recourse.
Vrajanatha: If karma, jnana, renunciation and discrimination are
secondary ways of achieving bhakti, what is the objection to calling
Babaji: There is a strong objection: they bind one to inferior,
temporary results. The performance of karma has no permanent
result, but it binds the jiva to the objects of sense gratification.
Renunciation and empirical knowledge can only lead the jiva as
far as knowledge of brahma, and this conception of an impersonal
supreme principle prevents him from attaining Bhagavan's lotus
feet. Consequently, these cannot be called bhakti-prada-sukrti. It
is true that they sometimes take one to bhakti, but that is not the
usual course of events. Sadhu-sanga, on the other hand, definitely
does not award any secondary benefit, but forcibly brings the jiva
towards prema. It is explained in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25):
satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
In the association of suddha-bhaktas, the recitation and
discussion of My glorious activities and pastimes are
pleasing to both the heart and the ears. By cultivating
knowledge in this way, one becomes established on the path
of liberation and progressively attains sraddha, then bhava,
and finally prema-bhakti.
Vrajanatha: I understand that sadhu-sanga is the only sukrti that
gives rise to bhakti. One has to listen to hari-katha from the mouths
of sadhus, and thereafter one obtains bhakti. Is this the proper
sequence to progress in bhakti?
Babaji: I will explain the proper way of progressing in bhakti. Listen
attentively. Only by good fortune does the jiva who is wandering
throughout the universe achieve the sukrti that gives rise to
bhakti. One of the many limbs of pure bhakti may touch a jiva's life.
For example, he may fast on Ekadashi, or touch or visit the holy
places of Bhagavan's pastimes, or serve a guest who happens to be
a suddha-bhakta, or have the chance to hear hari-nama or hari-katha
from the lotus mouth of an akincana-bhakta. If someone desires
material benefits or impersonal liberation from such activities, the
resultant sukrti does not lead to devotional service. However, if
an innocent person performs any of these activities, either unknowingly
or out of habit, without desiring material sense gratification
or impersonal liberation, these activities lead to the accumulation
After accumulating such sukrti for many births, it becomes concentrated
enough to give faith in pure bhakti, and when faith in
bhakti is undivided, one develops a desire to associate with suddhabhaktas.
By association, one gradually becomes engaged in performing
sadhana and bhajana, and this leads to the removal of anarthas,
in proportion to the purity of chanting. When anarthas are removed,
the previous faith is purified further to become nistha (firm
faith). This firm faith is also purified to become ruci (spiritual taste),
and by the saundarya (beauty) of bhakti, this ruci is strengthened
and takes the form of asakti (transcendental attachment). Transcendental
attachment matures into rati or bhava. When rati combines
with the appropriate ingredients it becomes rasa. This is the
step-by-step progression in the development of krishna-prema.
The principal idea is that when people with sufficient sukrti
have darsana of suddha-bhaktas, they develop an inclination to proceed
on the path of bhakti. One associates with a suddha-bhakta by
chance, and this leads to initial sraddha, whereupon he gets the
association of the bhaktas a second time. The result of the first association
is sraddha, which can also be termed surrender
(saranagati). The initial sadhu-sanga is brought about by contact
with holy places, auspicious times and paraphernalia, and recipients
of Shri Hari's grace, all of which are beloved by Him. These
lead to faith in His shelter. The symptoms of the development of
such faith are described in the Bhagavad-gita (18.66):
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
Here the words sarva-dharman imply worldly duties (smartadharma),
astanga-yoga, sankhya-yoga, jnana and renunciation. The
jiva can never achieve his ultimate spiritual goal by practicing all
these dharmas, which is why the instruction here is to give them
up. Shri Krishna says, "My form of pure and condensed sac-cid-ananda
appearing as Vraja-vilasi (the performer of wonderful pastimes in
Vraja) is the only shelter for the jivas. When one understands this,
he gives up all desire for bhukti (material sense enjoyment) and
mukti (impersonal liberation), and with undivided attention, takes
shelter of Me." This is known as pravrtti-rupa-sraddha (the
exclusive tendency to engage in Krishna's service). When such faith
dawns in the jiva's heart, with tears in his eyes he resolves to become
a follower of a Vaishnava sadhu. The Vaishnava of whom he
takes shelter at that point is the guru.
Vrajanatha: How many types of anarthas does a jiva have?
Babaji: There are four types of anarthas: 1) svarupa-bhrama (being
in illusion about one's spiritual identity); 2) asat-trsna (thirst for
temporary material enjoyment); 3) aparadha (offenses); and 4)
hrdaya-daurbalya (weakness of the heart).
The jiva's first anartha, namely svarupa-bhrama occures when he
forgets the understanding that, "I - the pure, spiritual spark - am
Krishna's servant," and is carried far away from his original, spiritual
position. When the jiva considers that he and his dead material
possessions are 'I' and 'mine', he develops three types of asat-trsna.
These are the desire for a son, for wealth, and for celestial pleasures.
There are ten types of aparadha, which I will discuss later. The jiva
is grief-stricken because of hrdaya-daurbalya. These four types of
anarthas are the naisargika-phala, the fruit of nisarga, or the aquired
nature of the jiva who has been caught by ignorance, and they are
removed gradually by cultivating Krishna consciousness in the
association of suddha-bhaktas.
The four-fold path of yoga consists of withdrawal from sense
objects (pratyahara), self-control (yama), following various rules
and regulations (niyama)‚ and renunciation (vairagya). This process
is not the proper means to free oneself from material anxiety,
for it is difficult to attain perfection, and there is always a strong
risk of falling down. The only way to become free from all anxiety
is to cultivate pure Krishna consciousness in the association of
suddha-bhaktas. Thus the jiva is freed from maya's stranglehold and
his constitutional position is revealed to the extent that anarthas
have been removed from his heart.
Vrajanatha: Can people with no trace of anarthas be termed liberated
Babaji: Please consider the following sloka:
rajobhih sama-sankhyatah parthivair iha jantavah
tesam ye kecanehante sreyo vai manujadayah
prayo mumuksavas tesam kecanaiva dvijottama
mumuksunam sahasresu kascin mucyate sidhyati
muktanam api siddhanam narayana-parayanah
sudurlabhah prasantatma kotisv api maha-mune
He Bhagavan! There are as many jivas in this material world
as there are grains of sand. Only a few of these are human
beings, amongst whom only a few direct their efforts in
search of a higher goal. Of those who are endeavoring for a
higher goal, only a few rare individuals seek liberation from
this world, and out of thousands of such people, hardly one
is actually able to achieve siddhi (perfection) or mukti (liberation).
Out of millions of perfected liberated souls, it is
difficult to find a single peaceful, great soul who is fully
dedicated to seva of Shri Narayana. Therefore, Narayana's
bhaktas are very rare.
A person free from all anarthas is known as a suddha-bhakta. Such
bhaktas are very rare; indeed, even among millions of muktas, one
can hardly find a single bhakta of Shri Krishna. Therefore, no
association in this world is more rare than the association of
Vrajanatha: Does the word Vaishnava imply a bhakta who has renounced
Babaji: A suddha-bhakta is a Vaishnava, whether he is a grhastha
(householder) or sannyasi (renunciant), a brahmana or a candala
(dog-eater), rich or poor. A devotee is a krishna-bhakta to the degree
that he has suddha-krishna-bhakti (pure devotion for Krishna).
Vrajanatha: You have already said that there are five types of jiva
in maya's stronghold, and you have also said that bhaktas
performing sadhana-bhakti and bhava-bhakti are under maya's control.
At what stage are bhaktas maya-mukta (liberated from maya)?
Babaji: One is freed from the clutches of maya from the very beginning
of his devotional service, but vastu-gata-mukti, or complete
liberation from the two material bodies (gross and subtle), is only
obtained when one reaches the stage of full maturity in bhaktisadhana.
Before this, a person is liberated to the extent that he is
svarupa-gata, aware of his constitutional position. The jiva achieves
vastu-gata-maya-mukti, complete freedom from maya, only when he
is completely disassociated from the gross and subtle bodies. The
stage of bhava-bhakti dawns in the jiva's heart as a result of practicing
sadhana-bhakti. When the jiva is firmly established in bhava-bhakti,
he gives up his gross body and after that he gives up the subtle body
and becomes established in his pure spiritual body (cit-sarira). Consequently,
the jiva is not fully free from maya's control even in the
beginning stage of bhava-bhakti, because a trace of the conditioning
of maya always remains as long as the jiva is performing sadhana-bhakti.
The authorities in our line have carefully considered sadhana-bhakti
and bhava-bhakti, and have included bhaktas practicing both these
stages amongst the five stages of conditioned souls. The materialists
and the impersonalists are definitely included amongst the five
categories of conditioned souls.
The only path of deliverance from the clutches of maya is bhakti
for Shri Hari. The jiva has been put under maya's control because
he is offensive, and the root of all offense is forgetting that 'I am
Krishna's servant.' The offenses can only be eradicated if one has
Krishna's mercy; only then can one be freed from maya's control.
The impersonalists believe that one can gain liberation from maya
by cultivating knowledge, but this belief has no basis; there is no
possibility of becoming free from maya without His mercy. This is
explained in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.32-33):
ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninas
tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah
aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah
patanty adho 'nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah
O lotus-eyed Lord! Those who proudly think that they are
liberated, but do not render devotional service unto You,
certainly have impure intelligence. Although they perform
severe austerities and penances, and rise up to the spiritual
position of impersonal realization of brahma, they fall down
again because they have no respect for devotional service
to Your lotus feet.
tatha na te madhava tavakah kvacid
bhrasyanti margat tvayi baddha-sauhrdah
tvayabhigupta vicaranti nirbhaya
O Madhava, Your dearmost bhaktas, who have true love for
Your lotus feet, are not like those proud jnanis, for they never
fall down from the path of devotional service. Since You
protect them, they move about fearlessly, stepping on the
very heads of those who obstruct their path, so that no obstacle
can check their progress.
Vrajanatha: How many different types of jivas are liberated from
Babaji: Two kinds of jivas are free from maya's control: 1) nitya-mukta
(the jivas who were never under maya's control), and 2) baddha-mukta
(those who were once under maya's control, but are now free). The
nitya-mukta-jivas are divided again into two categories: 1) aisvaryagata
(those who are attracted by Bhagavan's feature of opulence and
majesty), and 2) madhurya-gata (those who are attracted by His feature
of sweetness). Those jivas who are attracted by Krishna's aisvarya
are personal associates of Shri Narayana, the Master of Vaikuntha.
They are particles of spiritual effulgence emanating from Shri Mula-
Sankarsana, who resides in Vaikuntha. Those who are attracted by
Bhagavan's madhurya are personal associates of Shri Krishna, the Master
of Goloka Vrndavana. They are particles of spiritual effulgence
manifesting from Shri Baladeva, who resides in Goloka Vrndavana.
There are three kinds of baddha-mukta-jivas: 1) aisvarya-gata
(those who are attracted to Bhagavan's features of opulence and
majesty), 2) madhurya-gata (those who are attracted to Bhagavan's
feature of sweetness) and 3) brahma-jyoti-gata (those who are attracted
to Bhagavan's impersonal effulgence). Those who are attracted
to His opulence during their period of regulated service
become eternal associates of Shri Narayana, the master of the spiritual
sky, and they achieve salokya-mukti (the opulence of residing
on His planet). Jivas who are attracted to Shri Krishna's sweetness
during their period of sadhana attain direct service to Him when
they are liberated in the eternal abodes of Vrndavana and other
similar abodes. Jivas who attempt to merge into the impersonal
effulgence during their period of sadhana attain sayujya-mukti when
they are liberated. They merge into His effulgence, and are thus
completely destroyed in the form of brahma-sayujya.
Vrajanatha: What is the ultimate destination of the unalloyed
bhaktas of Shri Gaura-Kisora (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu)?
Babaji: Shri Krishna and Shri Gaura-Kisora are non-different in their
tattva (absolute nature). They are both shelters of madhurya-rasa.
However, there is a slight difference between Them because
madhurya-rasa has two prakosts (chambers). One is the mood of
madhurya (sweetness), and the other is the mood of audarya (magnanimity).
Shri Krishna's svarupa is manifest where madhurya is prominent,
and Shri Gauranga's form is manifest where audarya is prominent.
Similarly, the transcendental Vrndavana also has two
prakosts (divisions): Shri Krishna's abode and Shri Gaura's abode.
The nitya-siddha and nitya-mukta associates who reside in Shri
Krishna's abode are attracted first to madhurya, and then to audarya.
The nitya-siddha and nitya-mukta associates who reside in Shri
Gaura's abode are blissfully absorbed in audarya, and then
madhurya. Some of them reside in both abodes simultaneously by
expansions of the self (svarupa-vyuha), while others reside in one
spiritual form in only one abode, and not in the other.
Those who only worship Shri Gaura during their period of
sadhana, only serve Shri Gaura when they achieve perfection, while
those who only serve Shri Krishna during their period of sadhana serve
Shri Krishna on achieving perfection. However, those who worship
the forms of both Shri Krishna and Shri Gaura during their period of
sadhana manifest two forms when they attain perfection and reside
in both abodes simultaneously. The truth of the simultaneous
oneness and difference of Shri Gaura and Shri Krishna is a very
When Vrajanatha had heard all these teachings about the state
of the jivas who are liberated from maya, he could no longer keep
his composure. Brimming with emotion, he fell down at the elderly
Babaji's lotus feet. Crying profusely, Babaji Mahasaya picked
him up and embraced him. It was already quite late in the night.
Vrajanatha took leave of Babaji Mahasaya and went home, totally
engrossed in meditating on Babaji's instructions.
When Vrajanatha reached home, he took his meal, and while
doing so, he warned his grandmother sternly, "Grandmother, if you
people want to see me here, stop all this talk about my marriage
and do not keep any sort of contact with Veni-madhava. He is my
greatest enemy and from tomorrow, I will never speak with him
again. You should also neglect him."
Vrajanatha's grandmother was very intelligent. Understanding
Vrajanatha's mood, she decided to postpone any question of marriage.
"From the kind of sentiments that he is displaying," she
thought, "if he is forced too much, he might leave for Vrndavana
or Varanasi. Let Bhagavan decide as He will."
THUS ENDS THE SEVENTEENTH CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,
"PRAMEYA:THE JIVAS FREE FROM MAYA"