|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 20. Prameya: Abhidheya -Vaidhi-Sadhana-Bhakti|
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Prameya: Abhidheya -
Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara returned to Vrajanatha's home
before noon. Vrajanatha's mother was waiting for them, and
lovingly served them sumptuous prasadam. On completion of the
meal, uncle and nephew had affectionate discussions, and
Vrajanatha gradually explained to his respected maternal uncle
all the instructions that he had previously heard from Babaji
When Vijaya Kumara heard these nectarean instructions, he
became blissful and said, "You are most fortunate. Sat-sanga is
obtained only by great fortune. You have obtained the very rare
association of a great saint like Babaji Mahasaya, and he has given
you substantial instructions about the highest goal of life
(paramartaha). One who hears bhakti-katha and hari-katha certainly
attains good fortune and well-being, but if these topics are heard
from the mouth of a great personality, then good fortune comes
especially quickly. You are learned in all the sastras, and your scholarship
in nyaya-sastra is especially unparalleled. You were born in
a Vedic brahmana family, and are not without wealth. All these
opulences now appear as your ornaments. The reason for this is
that you have taken shelter of the lotus feet of Vaishnavas, and
acquired a taste for Shri Krishna's lila-katha."
As they discussed the supreme goal of life in this way,
Vrajanatha's mother entered and said to Vijaya Kumara, "Brother,
it is so long since you were here. Please encourage Vrajanatha to
become a grhastha (householder). From his behaviour, I am afraid
that he may become some kind of sadhu. Several people have come
with proposals for marriage, but he has taken a vow not to get
married. My mother-in-law has also endeavored in this regard, but
he was not convinced."
After listening to his sister Vijaya Kumara replied, "I will stay
here for about fifteen days, and reflect carefully on this matter, and
then inform you of my decision. Now please go inside the house."
Vrajanatha's mother left, and Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha
again engaged in talks about the supreme goal of life. The whole day
passed like this. The following day, when they had taken their meal,
Vijaya Kumara said, "Vrajanatha, this evening let us both go to
Shrivasangana and hear from Babaji Maharaja the explanation of the
64 angas of bhakti given by Shri Rupa Gosvami. He Vrajanatha! May
I achieve association like yours birth after birth. Now, Babaji
Mahasaya has described two paths of sadhana-bhakti: vaidhi-marga
and raga-marga. Frankly speaking, we are actually qualified for vaidhidharma.
Thus we should understand vaidhi-marga thoroughly and
begin to practice sadhana before hearing instructions on raga-marga.
During his last talk Shrila Babaji Maharaja gave us instructions about
the nine-fold (navadha) process of bhakti, however, I do not understand
how I should begin navadha-bhakti. Today we should understand
this subject more deeply."
As they continued on in this way, it became evening. The sun's
rays had left the earth, and were playing with the high branches of
the trees. Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha left home, and arrived at
Shrivasangana again. There they offered their dandavat-pranama to
the assembled Vaishnavas and then entered the elderly Babaji's kutira.
Seeing how eager the bhaktas were to learn, Babaji became very
pleased. With great love, he embraced them and offered them each
an asana. They both offered their dandavat-pranama to Babaji
Mahasaya's feet and sat down.
After they had chatted for a short time, Vijaya Kumara said,
"Prabhu, we are certainly giving you much trouble, however you
mercifully accept it because of your affection for the bhaktas. Today
we would like to hear from you about the 64 different angas of
bhakti that Shri Rupa Gosvami has described. If you think that we
are qualified, kindly tell us, so that we can easily realize suddhabhakti."
Babaji smiled and said, "First listen attentively. I will recite the
64 angas of bhakti, as described by Shri Rupa Gosvami, the first ten
of which are the basic, preliminary angas:
1. Taking shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Guru (guru-padasraya);
2. Taking initiation and instructions from Shri Guru (gurudiksa
3. Serving Shri Guru with faith (visvasa-purvaka guru-seva);
4. Following the path outlined by sadhus;
5. Inquiring about sad-dharma or the procedures of bhajana;
6. Renouncing all enjoyment of sense objects for Krishna's sake;
7. Residing in dhamas such as Dvaraka, and near to holy rivers
such as the Ganga and Yamuna;
8. Accepting only as much money and other facilities as are
required to sustain one's life;
9. Respecting Ekadashi, Janmastami and other days related to
10. Offering respects to the asvattha, amalaki and other sacred
The next ten angas take the form of prohibitions:
11. Abandoning all association of those who are averse to
12. Not accepting unqualified people as disciples;
13. Renouncing pretentious endeavors, such as pompous festivals,
14. Refraining from reading and reciting many books and making
novel interpretations of sastra;
15. Avoiding miserly behavior in practical dealings;
16. Not being influenced by emotions such as lamentation;
17. Not disrespecting or blaspheming the devatas;
18. Not harassing any jiva;
19. Abandoning fully offenses in seva (seva-aparadha) and in
the chanting of shri-hari-nama (nama-aparadha);
20. Not tolerating blasphemy of Bhagavan and His bhaktas.
You should understand these 20 angas to be the entrance to the
temple of bhakti, and the first three - taking shelter of the lotus
feet of shri-guru, taking diksa and siksa from guru, and serving him
with faith - are the main activities. After this are the following:
21. Adopting the outward signs (such as tilaka) of a
22. Wearing the syllables of shri-hari-nama on one's body;
23. Accepting the remnants of garments, garlands and so
on that have been offered to the Deity;
24. Dancing in front of the Deity;
25. Offering dandavat-pranama to Shri Guru, Vaishnava and
26. Respectfully rising from one's seat on having darsana of
Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas, and greeting them;
27. Following the Deity in procession;
28. Visiting the temples of Shri Bhagavan;
29. Circumambulation (parikrama) of the temple;
30. Performing Deity worship (puja and arcana);
31. Serving Shri Krishna like a king (paricarya);
33. Performing congregational chanting of Shri Krishna's
34. Performing japa of the gayatri-mantras at the three
sandhyas, after first performing acamana;
35. Offering submissive prayers or entreaties;
36. Reciting bhajanas or mantras in praise of Shri Krishna;
37. Relishing bhagavat-prasada;
38. Drinking shri-caranamrta (the nectar that has washed
Shri Krishna's lotus feet);
39. Smelling the fragrance of incense, garlands and so on
that have been offered to Shri Krishna;
40. Touching the Deity;
41. Viewing (darsana) shri murti with devotion;
42. Having darsana of arati and festivals, etc.;
43. Hearing about the names, forms, qualities, pastimes,
etc., of Shri Hari;
44. Always anticipating Krishna's mercy;
45. Contemplating (smaranam) Shri Krishna's name, form,
qualities and pastimes;
49. Self-surrender (atma-samarpana);
50. Offering one's own very dear items to Krishna;
51. Incessantly performing activities for Krishna's pleasure;
52. Full self-surrender (saranagati) unto Shri Krishna's lotus
53. Serving Tulasi-devi;
54. Respecting Shrimad-Bhagavatam and other bhakti-sastras;
55. Hearing and singing the glories of Shri Hari's dhama and
His appearance places, such as Mathura, and circumambulating
56. Serving the Vaishnavas;
57. Celebrating festivals related to Shri Krishna in gatherings
of sadhus, according to one's means;
58. Observing the vow of caturmasya and especially
niyama-seva in the month of Karttika;
59. Celebrating the festival of Shri Krishna's Appearance Day;
60. Sraddhaya shri-murtir sevana - serving the Deity with faith;
61. Bhagavat-sravana - relishing the meaning of Shrimad-
Bhagavatam in association with rasika Vaishnavas;
62. Sadhu-sanga - associating with bhaktas who are of the same
mood, affectionate, and more advanced than oneself
63. Nama-sankirtanam - loud congregational chanting of Shri
64. Mathura-vasa - residing in dhamas like Mathura and
Although the last five angas have been described at the end,
they are nonetheless the most important. They are also referred
to as pancanga-bhakti (five-fold devotional service). All these angas
are to be followed with body, senses and the inner faculty (mind,
heart and soul) in the worship of Krishna.
Vijaya: Prabhu, please give us some detailed instructions regarding
Babaji: When the disciple has become qualified for undivided
krishna-bhakti, he should take shelter at the feet of Shri Guru, and by
coming close to the qualified guru, he will learn krishna-tattva. The
jiva becomes qualified for krishna-bhakti only when he is faithful. By
the influence of pious activities (sukrti) performed in previous
births, he hears hari-katha from the mouths of sadhus, and a strong
faith in Krishna arises in him. This is called sraddha. Together with
sraddha, the mood of taking shelter (saranagati) also appears to some
extent. Sraddha and saranagati are almost the same tattva. The
disciple is qualified for undivided (ananya) bhakti if he has
developed the strong faith: "Krishna-bhakti is certainly the best and
highest attainment in this world. Thus I will accept krishna-bhakti as
my duty and to that end I will do whatever is favorable for it, and
reject all activities that are unfavorable. Krishna is my sole protector,
and I accept Him as my exclusive guardian. I am very poor, wretched
and destitute, and my independent desire is not beneficial for me.
Thus following Krishna's desire exclusively is beneficial for me in
all ways." When the jiva attains that qualification, he becomes
anxious to hear instructions on bhakti, and accepts shelter at the
lotus feet of the sad-guru. That is to say, he becomes his disciple,
and accepts instructions (siksa) on bhakti.
tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham
Mundaka Upanisad (1.2.12)
In order to obtain knowledge of that bhagavad-vastu (the
absolute truth concerning Shri Bhagavan), one should
approach sad-guru, carrying fire wood for sacrifice. The
qualification of sad-guru is that he is well versed in the
Vedas, absorbed in the Absolute Truth (brahma-jnana) and
devoted to the service of Bhagavan.
acaryavan puruso veda
Chandogya Upanisad (6.14.2)
He who takes shelter of sad-guru comes to know that parabrahma.
The qualities of a sad-guru (bona fide guru) and the sat-sisya (bona
fide disciple) are given in detail in the Shri Hari-bhakti-vilasa (1.23.64).
The essence is that only a person with pure character and sraddha
is qualified to become a sisya and only that person who is endowed
with suddha-bhakti, who knows bhakti-tattva, and is of spotless
character, simple, without greed, free from Mayavada philosophy,
and expert in all devotional activities is qualified as sad-guru.
A brahmana adorned with these qualities, and who is honored
by the whole society, can be guru of all the other varnas. If there is
no brahmana, the disciple can accept a guru who is situated in a
higher varna than himself. Apart from these considerations of
varnasrama, the principal consideration is that whoever knows
krishna-tattva can be accepted as guru. If a person born in one of the
higher varnas - brahmana, ksatriya and vaisya - finds the above??
mentioned qualities present in a person born of a brahmana family
and accepts him as guru, then he can get some facilities and favors
in a society that respects the higher varna. Factually, though, only
a worthy bhakta can be guru. The rules for testing the guru and
disciple, as well as the determination of time, are given in the
sastras. The purport is that the guru will bestow his mercy upon
the disciple when the guru perceives the disciple to be qualified,
and when the disciple has faith in the guru, understanding him to
be a suddha-bhakta.
There are two kinds of guru: diksa-guru and siksa-guru. One has
to accept diksa from the diksa-guru; at the same time, one also has
to take siksa concerning arcana (Deity worship). There is one diksaguru,
but there can be several siksa-gurus. The diksa-guru is also
competent to act as siksa-guru.
Vijaya: Since the diksa-guru is not to be given up, how will
Gurudeva give siksa if he is not competent of giving sat-siksa?
Babaji: Before accepting a guru, one should examine him to see
that he is expert in the tattva spoken in the Vedas and has realized
para-tattva. If he is, then he will certainly be capable of giving all
kinds of instructions about the Absolute Truth. Normally, there
is no question of giving up the diksa-guru. There are two
circumstances, however, in which he should be abandoned. First,
if the disciple accepted the guru without examining the guru's
knowledge of the Absolute Truth, his Vaishnava qualities, and his
other qualifications, and second, if after initiation, the guru does
not perform any function, he should be given up. Many passages
in sastras give evidence for this:
yo vyaktir nyaya-rahitam anyayena srnoti yah
tav ubhau narakam ghoram vrajatah kalam aksayam
He who poses as an acarya, but gives false instructions that
are opposed to the sattvata-sastras, will reside in a terrible
hell for an unlimited period of time, and so will the misguided
disciple who mistakenly listens to such a false guru.
guror apy avaliptasya karyakaryam ajanatah
utpatha-pratipannasya parityago vidhiyate
Mahabharata Udyoga-parva (179.25)
and Narada-pancaratra (1.10.20)
It is one's duty to give up a guru who cannot teach the
disciple what he should do and what he should not do, and
who takes the wrong path, either because of bad association
or because he is opposed to Vaishnavas.
avaisnavopadistena mantrena nirayam vrajet
punas ca vidhina samyag grahayed vaishnavad guroh
One goes to hell if he accepts mantras from an avaishnavaguru,
that is, one who is associating with women, and who
is devoid of krishna-bhakti. Therefore, according to the rules
of sastra, one should take mantras again from a Vaishnava guru.
The second circumstance in which one may reject the guru is if
he was a Vaishnava who knew the spiritual truth and principles when
the disciple accepted him, but who later became a Mayavadi or an
enemy of the Vaishnavas by the influence of asat-sanga. It is one's
duty to give up such a guru. However, it is not proper to give up a
guru whose knowledge is meager, if he is not a Mayavadi or an enemy
of the Vaishnavas, and is not attached to sinful activity. In that case,
one should still respect him as guru, and with his permission, one
should go to another Vaishnava who is more knowledgeable, and
serve that Vaishnava and take instructions from him.
Vijaya: Please tell us about krishna-diksa and siksa. (#2)
Babaji: One should accept siksa about the process of arcana (Deity
worship) and pure devotional service from Shri Gurudeva, and
one should then perform krishna-seva and krishna-anusilanam with a
simple mood. We will consider the angas of arcana in more detail
later. It is essential to take siksa from Shri Gurudeva regarding
sambandha-jnana (one's relationship with Krishna), abhidheya-jnana
(the process of devotional service), and prayojana-jnana (the ultimate
Vijaya: What does it mean to perform guru-seva with faith? (#3)
Babaji: One should not consider Shri Gurudeva to be a mortal or
an ordinary jiva. Rather, one should understand him to be the
representative of all the devatas (sarva-devamaya). One should
never disobey him, and one should always know him to be
Vijaya: What does sadhu-marganugmanam (to follow the path of
saints) mean? (#4)
Babaji: Sadhana-bhakti may be described as the means one adopts
to fix one's mind on Krishna's feet, but it is one's duty to follow the
path that the previous great personalities (mahajanas) have
followed, because this path is always free from misery and hard labor,
and is the cause of all auspiciousness.
sa mrgyah sreyasam hetuh panthah santapa-varjitah
anavapta-sramam purve yena santah pratasthire
No one person can perfectly define the course or path of devotion
that one should follow, but the previous mahajanas, following
each other in succession, have made this path of bhakti-yoga
clear and simple, step by step. They have made it easy, and have
removed all the obstacles, great and small, so we can follow it fearlessly.
Therefore, it is one's duty to depend only on that path. Even
if one is performing single-pointed, undivided bhakti of Shri Hari,
his bhakti can never bring any good fortune if he is violating the
rules of sruti, smrti, the Puranas and the Pancaratras. One should
understand that such unauthorized bhakti will only be the cause
of confusion and disaster.
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate
Brahma-yamala, quoted in
Vijaya: Please tell us clearly how unauthorized hari-bhakti can be
the cause of disaster.
Babaji: Single-pointed and undivided consciousness in suddhabhakti
is only obtained by depending on the path given by the
previous mahajanas. One cannot attain single-pointed consciousness
if one leaves the path of the previous mahajanas and creates
another path. Consequently, Dattatreya, Buddha and other teachers
who were not able to understand suddha-bhakti accepted a
shadow of this mood, and propagated the very insignificant paths
of mayavada-misra (bhakti mixed with mayavada) and nastikatamisra
(bhakti mixed with atheism). They designated these as singlepointed
hari-bhakti, but in reality, the paths that they put forward
are not hari-bhakti at all; they only create immense confusion and
spiritual disaster. Now, in the bhajana of spontaneous devotion
(raga-marga), there is no regard for the rules of sruti, smrti, purana,
pancaratra and so on. The only concern the followers of this path
have is to follow the inhabitants of Vraja, but sadhakas who are
qualified for vidhi-marga must depend only on the path of bhakti
shown by Dhruva, Prahlada, Narada, Vyasa, Suka and other
mahajanas. That is why vaidhi-bhaktas have no alternative but to
follow the way of the sadhus.
Vijaya: What is the meaning of being inquisitive about sad-dharma
and the procedures of bhajana? (#5)
Babaji: Sad-dharma means real dharma or the dharma of real sadhus,
and one should inquire enthusiastically to understand it.
Vijaya: What does it mean to give up enjoyment for Krishna's sake?
Babaji: Material enjoyment (bhoga) means enjoying happiness
from the pleasure of eating and so on. That bhoga is usually opposed
to bhajana, so bhajana becomes easy when one gives up such enjoyment
for the purpose of krishna-bhajana. A person who is attached
to material enjoyment is just like a person who drinks alcohol, for
he's so much attached to the objects of his senses that he is unable
to perform suddha-bhakti. Therefore, we should not enjoy
material food; rather, we should only honor and serve bhagavatprasada.
One should protect the body that we use in service, and
also give up all kinds of enjoyment on Ekadashi, Janmastami,
Phalguni Purnima, Nrsimha Caturdasi, and similar days.
Vijaya: What does it mean to reside in dhamas such as Dvaraka,
and places near the Ganga and other holy rivers? (#7)
Babaji: Faith and steadiness in bhakti (bhakti-nistha) arise in the
places where Bhagavan's blessed appearance and other pastimes
took place, and near pious rivers such as the Ganga and Yamuna.
Vijaya: Thus if one resides in Shri Navadvipa-dhama, one becomes
purified. Is the Ganga the cause of this, or is there another cause
Babaji: Aho! One receives all the benefits of residing in Vrndavana
if one resides anywhere within the 16 krosas of Shri Navadvipa, and
especially if one resides in Shri Mayapura. Ayodhya, Mathura, Gaya,
Kasi, Kanci, Avantika and Dvaraka are the seven holy places that
give liberation, but among them Shri Mayapura is the most
important dhama. The reason is that Shriman Mahaprabhu has
caused His eternal abode Svetadvipa to descend here. Four
centuries after Shriman Mahaprabhu's appearance, this Svetadvipa
will become the most important dhama, above all the other dhamas
on earth. By residing in this dhama, one becomes free from all kinds
of offenses and attains suddha-bhakti. Shri Prabodhananda Sarasvati
has accepted this dhama as non-different from Shri Vrndavana. In
fact, in some places he has shown that it is even more glorious.
Vijaya: What does it mean to adopt appropriate means to sustain
one's life for practicing bhakti? (#8)
Babaji: It is said in the Naradiya Purana:
yavata syat sva-nirvahah svikuryat tavad artha-vit
adhikye nyunatayam ca cyavate paramarthatah
A wealthy person should accept as much wealth as he
requires to follow the rules and rituals that sustain his
bhakti. Accepting more or less than necessary is the cause
of falling down, even from the highest level.
One who is qualified for vaidhi-bhakti may earn his livelihood
by some proper means according to varnasrama-dharma. It is beneficial
to accept wealth according to one's necessity. Accepting
more than necessary results in attachment, which gradually
destroys one's bhajana. It is not beneficial either to accept less than
necessary, because the resultant scarcity will also weaken one's
bhajana. Therefore, as long as one is not qualified for complete
detachment (nirapeksa), one should accept wealth and so forth to
maintain one's life and to follow suddha-bhakti.
Vijaya: How does one observe hari-vasara? (#9)
Babaji: The term hari-vasara refers to pure or unbroken (suddha)
Ekadashi. Mixed (viddha) Ekadashi must be given up. In cases where
Dvadasi is Maha-dvadasi, Dvadasi should be observed instead of
Ekadashi. One should observe celibacy on the previous day, and
then spend the day of hari-vasara fasting without taking water. One
should stay awake the whole night, incessantly engaged in bhajana,
and on the next day one should observe celibacy and break the
fast at the proper time. This is proper observance of hari-vasara. It
is not possible to observe nirjala fasting (i.e. fasting without drinking
water) without giving up maha-prasada. If one does not have
the ability or strength to observe hari-vasara properly, there is a
provision for alternative arrangements (anukalpa).. According to
Hari-bhakti-vilasa, a representative may fast on one's behalf.
upavasetv asaktasya ahitagner athapi va
putran va karayed anyan brahmanan vapi karayet
If a sagnika-brahmana is unable to fast, he may arrange for
brahmanas or his sons to fast on his behalf.
The method of fasting through havisyanna and so on is described
naktam havisyanna-manodanam va
phalam tilah ksiram athambu cajyam
yat panca-gavyam yadi vapi vayuh
prasastam atrottaram uttaran ca
Vayu Purana, quoted in
In the evening, instead of grains, one should take other foodstuffs
(havisyanna), such as fruits, sesame, milk, water, ghee, pancagavya
and air. In this list, each item is better than the one before.
According to Mahabharata (Udyoga parva):
astaitanya-vrataghnani apo mulam phalam payah
havir brahmana-kamya ca guror vacanam ausadham
The following eight items do not destroy one's vrata (vow):
water, roots, fruits, milk, ghee, the desire of a brahmana, the
words of the guru, and herbs and medicines.
Vijaya: How does one offer respects to trees such as the asvattha
and amalaki? (#10)
pujitah pranata dhyatah ksapayanti nrnam agham
All of one's sins are destroyed if one remembers to perform
puja and offers obeisances to the amalaki and pippala trees,
Tulasi, the cows, brahmanas and Vaishnavas.
One who is qualified for vaidhi-bhakti must maintain his journey
in life while staying in this world. To do this, he is obliged to
worship, meditate on, take care of, and offer obeisances to useful
and shade-giving trees such as pippala, to fruit-bearing trees such
as the amalaki, to worshipable trees such as Tulasi, to cows and
other useful animals, to brahmanas who protect society by giving
instructions on dharma; and to Vaishnavas. The vaidhi-bhaktas protect
the world by performing these activities.
Vijaya: Please tell us in detail about giving up the association of
people who are averse to Krishna. (#11)
Babaji: When bhava appears, bhakti becomes very strong and deep,
but so long as bhava has not risen, it is necessary to give up the
association of people who are opposed to bhakti. The word sanga
(association) indicates attachment; sanga does not just mean being
near other people and holding conversations with them. Sanga
takes place when there is attachment in that proximity and
conversation. It is quite wrong to associate with people who are
averse to Bhagavan. After bhava has arisen, one never has any desire
to associate with such people. Consequently, those with the
adhikara for vaidhi-bhakti should always stay away from such association.
The creeper of bhakti (bhakti-lata) becomes dried up by
aversion to Krishna, just as polluted air and too much heat destroy
trees and plants.
Vijaya: Who are those people who are averse to Krishna?
Babaji: There are four kinds of people who are averse to Krishna:
those who are devoid of krishna-bhakti and are attached to sense
enjoyment (visayi); those who are attached to associating with
women (stri-sangi); those whose hearts are polluted by Mayavada
philosophy and atheism; and those who are entangled in karma.
One must give up the association of these four kinds of people.
Vijaya: What should we know about not accepting unqualified
people as disciples? (#12)
Babaji: It is a great fault to accept many disciples in order to gain
wealth. To make many disciples, one must also accept those who
do not have sraddha, but it is an offense to accept unfaithful people
as disciples. Only those who have sraddha are qualified to be disciples;
others are not.
Vijaya: What is the significance of giving up pretentious efforts
in arranging festivals and so on? (#13)
Babaji: Briefly, one must perform bhagavad-bhajana, and maintain
one's life at the same time. If one engages in extensive material
activities, he becomes so attached to them that he cannot fix his
mind in bhajana.
Vijaya: What about giving up studying, teaching and interpreting
various kinds of books? (#14)
Babaji: The sastras are just like the ocean. It is good to study with
discrimination books on the subject in which we require to take
instruction, but we will not get full knowledge on any subject by
reading fragments of numerous books. Especially, intelligence related
to sambandha-tattva will not arise if one does not fix his mind
in studying attentively the bhakti-sastras. Be careful to take only
the direct meaning of the sastras, for indirect interpretation
(speculation) leads to the opposite conclusion.
Vijaya: What does it mean to give up miserly behavior? (#15)
Babaji: We must collect suitable items for food and shelter during
our sojourn in this life. There is difficulty if we fail to obtain
these items, and also if we obtain them, and then lose them again.
Therefore, we should not be perturbed when such miseries occur;
instead, we should keep remembrance of Bhagavan within
Vijaya: How can one be saved from lamentation, anger, etc.? (#16)
Babaji: If one's consciousness is full of sorrow, fear, anger, greed
and madness, Shri Krishna's sphurti (manifestation) will not appear.
It is natural to feel sorrow and illusion when one is separated from
friends, or when obstacles prevent us from fulfilling our desires,
but it is not proper to remain under the sway of this sorrow and
illusion. One will certainly feel separation when separated from a
son, but one must remove this sorrow through remembrance of
Shri Hari. In this way, one should practice fixing the mind on Shri
Bhagavan's lotus feet.
Vijaya: You have said that one should not disrespect the devatas.
Does that mean that we should perform their puja? (#17)
Babaji: We must have undeviated bhakti towards Shri Krishna, who is
the root devata of all the devas. One should not worship any other
devatas, thinking them to be independent of Shri Krishna. At the same
time, one should not be disrespectful to others who offer puja to
these devatas. One should respect the devatas, understanding them
to be all servants of Shri Krishna, but one should always only remember
Krishna. Undeviating bhakti will not rise in the jiva's heart until it
is free from material qualities. One whose consciousness is covered
by the gunas - sattva, rajah and tamah - will perform puja of the devata
of the particular guna by which he is influenced, and he will have a
particular faith (nistha) according to his qualification. Therefore,
one should be respectful towards the worshipable devatas of different
persons. By the mercy of these devatas, the consciousness of these
worshipers will gradually become free from material qualities.
Vijaya: Please explain about not giving anxiety to other living
Babaji: Shri Krishna is very quickly satisfied with one who maintains
a compassionate mood towards other jivas, and who does
not give them any kind of anxiety through his body, mind and
words. Compassion is the main dharma of the Vaishnavas.
Vijaya: How does one abandon offenses in seva (seva-aparadha) and
in chanting shri-hari-nama (nama-aparadha)? (#19)
Babaji: One must very carefully give up the seva-aparadhas in Deity
worship (arcana) and nama-aparadha in general bhakti. There are
thirty-two kinds of seva-aparadha, including entering the temple
wearing shoes or sitting in a palanquin; and there are ten kinds of
nama-aparadha, including blaspheming saints and disrespecting shriguru.
One must certainly abandon these two categories of aparadhas.
Vijaya: You have said that we should not tolerate hearing blasphemy
of Bhagavan and His bhaktas. Does that mean that we should
fight with the blasphemer? (#20)
Babaji: Those who blaspheme Shri Krishna and the Vaishnavas are
opposed to Shri Krishna, and their association should be given up in
any way possible.
Vijaya: You mentioned that these twenty angas of bhakti are especially
significant. What is their connection with the other angas?
Babaji: The remaining forty-four angas are included within the
twenty angas that I have just described. They have been presented
as different angas in order to explain them in detail. The thirty
angas from item 21 (accepting the symbols of a Vaishnava) to item
50 (offering one's dearest possessions to Krishna) are included in
the path of Deity worship (arcana):
21. Accepting the symbols of a Vaishnava means wearing a
necklace of tulasi beads around the neck, and applying
tilaka on twelve parts of the body.
22. Wearing the letters of Shri Krishna Nama means writing the
names Hare Krishna or the names of the Panca-tattva on the
main parts of the body with sandalwood pulp (candana).
23. Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.6.46) recommends that we accept
the Deities' remnants (nirmalya):
ucchista-bhojino dasas tava mayam jayema hi
Wearing the remnants of garlands, sandalwood paste
(candana), clothes and jewellery that You have worn, and
taking the remnants of Your food, we Your servants will
certainly be victorious over Your maya.
24. Dancing before the Deity of Krishna;
25. Offering prostrated obeisances (dandavat-pranama);
26. Standing up when one sees shri vigraha coming (abhyutthana).
27. Following behind the Deity in procession (anuvrajya).
28. Going into the temple of Krishna;
29. Parikrama means to circumambulate the Deities at least
three times keeping Them on one's right side.
30. Arcana means performing worship (puja) of the Deity
(shri-murti) with different articles;.
31. Paricarya means performing seva for Shri Krishna just as for
paricarya tu sevopakaranadi-pariskriya
tatha prakirnaka-cchatra-vaditradyair upasana
This paricarya is of two kinds one is to clean the paraphernalia
and to perform worship; and the other is to perform
seva with a camara, to hold an umbrella, to play musical instruments
and so forth.
There is no need to explain the next few angas separately in
33. Congregational chanting of shri-hari-nama;
34. Humbly expressing one's mind in words (vijnapti);
35. Chanting japa and mantras with acamana, three times a
36. Reciting slokas (stava-patha) that glorify Shri Krishna;
37. Accepting and respecting foodstuffs offered to Shri Krishna
38. Tasting with devotion the water that has bathed Shri
Krishna's lotus feet;
39. Relishing the fragrance of incense and garlands that have
been offered to Shri Krishna;
40. Taking darsana of shri-murti;
41. Touching shri-murti;
42. Seeing the performance of the arati ceremony;
43. Hearing the glories of Shri Krishna's nama, rupa, guna, lila,
44. Experiencing Shri Krishna's mercy everywhere and in all
45. Contemplating Shri Krishna's nama, rupa, guna and lila, within
46. Thoroughly meditating on Shri Krishna's nama, rupa, guna
and lila, and offering service in the mind (manasi-seva).
These few angas are quite clear.
47. There are two kinds of servitorship (dasyam): offering the
results of one's activities, and being a servant.
48. There are two kinds of sakhyam: that which is based on
faith (visvasa), and that which is based on an attitude of
49. The significance of the word atma-nivedanam comes from
the word atma. From this come the two principles of
egoism of the embodied soul, namely, attachment to the
dehi (possessor of the body) in the form of ahamta (I-ness)
and attachment to the deha (body) in the form of mamata
(my-ness). Atma-nivedanam means to offer these two principles
to Shri Krishna.
Vijaya: Will you please explain these two terms more clearly: the
egoism of the embodied jiva (dehi-nistha ahamta), and attachment
to the body and to things connected to the body (deha-nistha
Babaji: The jiva within the body is called dehi (embodied) or aham
(self). Acting with the false consciousness of "I" is called dehi-nistha
ahamta (the egoism of the embodied jiva); and the consciousness
of possessing the body or things that are related to the body is
called deha-nistha mamata (attachment to things connected with
the body). These two principles of 'I' and 'mine' are both to be
offered to Shri Krishna. Atma-nivedanam means to relinquish the
consciousness of 'I' and 'mine,' and to take care of the body with
the consciousness, "I am Krishna's servant, I take Krishna's prasada,
and I use this body in Krishna's service."
Vijaya: How should we offer to Krishna things that are dear to us?
Babaji: When we accept the things of this world that are very
pleasing to us, we should first offer them to Krishna. This is what
Shrila Rupa Gosvami means by offering the dearmost things to
Vijaya: How should we perform all endeavors for Krishna's sake? (#51)
Babaji: Performing all endeavors for Shri Krishna's sake means that
one should perform all material activities and all activities in
regulated devotional service that are favorable for service to Shri
Vijaya: How can one accept shelter in every way? (#52)
Babaji: Taking full shelter (saranagati) means to express the mood,
"O Bhagavan, I am Yours!" (he bhagavan tavaivasmi!) and "O
Bhagavan! I am taking shelter of You!" (he radhe! he krishna!
tavaivasmi) in the mind, and out loud.
Vijaya: How does one perform service to Tulasi (tulasi-seva)? (#53)
Babaji: There are nine ways of performing tulasi-seva: having
darsana of Tulasi, touching Tulasi, remembering Tulasi, performing
kirtana of Tulasi, offering obeisances to Tulasi, hearing the
glories and pastimes of Tulasi, planting Tulasi, looking after Tulasi,
and perform regular daily worship (nitya-puja) of Tulasi.
Vijaya: How should one respect the sastras? (#54)
Babaji: The sastras that establish bhagavad-bhakti are the real
sastras. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the best of all these sastras, because
it is the essence of all Vedanta. Those who taste its nectarean mellows
have no ruci for any other sastra.
Vijaya: What are the glories of Krishna's birthplace, Mathura? (#55)
Babaji: All desires are fulfilled by performing the following activities
in relation to Mathura: hearing, chanting and remembering,
desiring to go there, seeing (darsana), touching, residing there, and
serving. You should know that Shridhama Mayapura is also of exactly
the same nature as Mathura.
Vijaya: What is the purport of serving the Vaishnavas (vaishnavaseva)?
Babaji: Vaishnavas are very dear to Bhagavan, so when we serve the
Vaishnavas, we obtain bhakti towards Bhagavan. It is said in the
sastras that worshiping Shri Vishnu is greater than worshiping all
the devatas, but greater than the worship of Vishnu is worshiping
the Vaishnava, who is His servant (sevaka).
Vijaya: What is the meaning of observing festivals according to
one's means? (#57)
Babaji: Mahotsava really means collecting articles according to
one's means, and using them in Bhagavan's service and in His
temple for the service of pure Vaishnavas. There is no greater festival
than this in this world.
Vijaya: How should we respect the month of Karttika? (#58)
Babaji: The month of Karttika is also called Urjja. Respecting Urjja
means performing seva of Shri Damodara by following the angas of
bhakti, such as sravana and kirtana, in a regulated way during this
Vijaya: How should one observe Krishna's Birth Day? (#59)
Babaji: Shri Janma-yatra means observing the festivals of Krishna's
Appearance Day on Krishna-astami in the month of Bhadrapada, and
of Mahaprabhu's Appearance Day on the full moon day (Purnima)
of the month of Phalguna. Surrendered bhaktas must certainly observe
Vijaya: How should one faithfully serve and worship (paricarya)
shri-murti with opulence suitable for a king? (#60)
Babaji: Loving enthusiasm is very necessary in the service and
worship of shri-murti. Krishna gives not only the insignificant fruit
of mukti, but also the great fruit of bhakti, to those who perform
seva-puja of shri-murti with great enthusiasm.
Vijaya: What does it mean to relish Shrimad-Bhagavatam in the
association of rasika-bhaktas? (#61)
Babaji: Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the very sweet rasa of the desire tree
of the Vedas. By associating with people averse to rasa one will be
unable to taste the rasa of Shrimad-Bhagavatam and the result will
be aparadha. One must taste the rasa of the slokas of Shrimad-
Bhagavatam in the association of those who are rasa-jna, who are
conversant with, and are drinking that rasa, and who are qualified
for suddha-bhakti. Speaking or hearing Shrimad-Bhagavatam in
general assemblies will not award pure bhakti.
Vijaya: What is the association of bhaktas who are of the same mood
(svajatiya) and affectionate (snigdha)? (#62)
Babaji: Associating with abhaktas (non-devotees) in the name of
sat-sanga will not bring elevation in bhakti. The goal that bhaktas
desire is to obtain service in Krishna's aprakrta (unmanifest) lila, and
one who has this desire should be known as a bhakta. Elevation in
bhakti comes from associating with members of this group of bhaktas
who are superior to oneself. Without this sanga, the development
of bhakti stops, and one acquires the nature of the class of people
with whom one has sanga. In relation to sanga, Hari-bhaktisudhodyaya
yasya yat-sangatih pumso manivat syat sa tad-gunah
sva-kularddhye tato dhiman sva-yuthany eva samsrayet
Just as a jewel reflects the colors of objects around it, similarly,
a persons nature becomes like that of those with whom
Therefore, one only becomes a pure sadhu by the association of
pure sadhus. Sadhu-sanga (the association of advanced bhaktas) is
beneficial in every way. Where sastra gives advice that we should
be free from mundane companionship, the purport is that one
should associate with sadhus.
Vijaya: What is meant by nama-sankirtana? (#63)
Babaji: Nama is aprakrta-chaitanya-rasa (a transcendental living
mellow), and within nama there is not any scent of mundane consciousness.
When the devoted jiva becomes purified through bhakti
and renders service to shri-hari-nama, shri-nama personally manifests
on his tongue. Nama cannot be accepted with material senses. This
is how one should incessantly perform nama-sankirtana, either
alone or with others.
Vijaya: By your mercy we have already understood something about
mathura-vasa (living in Krishna's birthplace, Mathura). Now please
explain the essence of these instructions. (#64)
Babaji: Amongst the 64 angas, these last five are the most exalted.
If one establishes even a slight connection with them and keeps
aloof from offenses, then the state of bhava will arise by their
unlimited wonderful influence.
Vijaya: Kindly tell us if there is something more that we should
know in relation to this process.
Babaji: The sastras sometimes describe some intermediate fruits
of these angas of bhakti, in order to create ruci for bhajana in those
who are extroverted and impious. However, the main fruit of all
these angas is to develop attachment to Krishna. All the activities
of one who is knowledgeable and expert in bhakti must be within
the angas of bhakti, and not within the angas of karma. The practice
of knowledge (jnana) and renunciation (vairagya) may sometimes
assist somebody to enter within the temple of bhakti, but jnana
and vairagya are not angas of bhakti, because they make the heart
hard, whereas bhakti is very soft and tender by nature. Bhaktas
accept the jnana and vairagya that manifest of their own accord
through the practice of bhakti, but jnana and vairagya cannot be
the cause of bhakti, and bhakti easily awards results that knowledge
and renunciation cannot give.
Sadhana-bhakti gives rise to such ruci for hari-bhajana that even
very strong attachment to sense objects decreases and vanishes.
The sadhaka must always practice yukta-vairagya, and always stay
away from the spirit of deceitful renunciation (phalgu-vairagya).
Yukta-vairagya means to accept all paraphernalia, according to
need and in a detached mood, knowing it to be related to Krishna. If
things are actually related to Shri Hari, it is artificial to renounce
them as worldly because of greed for mukti; this is called phalgu
vairagya. Therefore, adhyatmika-jnana and phalgu-vairagya should
be given up.
Sometimes bhakti is displayed to acquire wealth, disciples and
so on, but this is far from pure bhakti. In fact, such a show of bhakti
is not actually an anga of bhakti at all. Discrimination (viveka) and
other qualities are also not angas of bhakti; they are qualities of
the practitioner of bhakti. Similarly yama, niyama, good conduct,
cleanliness, and so on are naturally present in people who are
favorable towards Krishna, so they are also not angas of bhakti.
Qualities such as inward and outward purity, austerity and sense
control take shelter of Krishna's bhaktas of their own accord; the
bhaktas do not have to endeavor for them separately. Some of the
angas of bhakti that I have mentioned are principal angas, and one
will attain perfection by firmly performing sadhana of any of these
principal angas, or of several of them. I have explained everything
about vaidhi-sadhana-bhakti in a very brief way. Now you should
understand this clearly, take it to heart, and practice it with full
When Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara heard these instructions
from Babaji, they offered sastanga-dandavat-pranama and said,
"Prabhu, please deliver us! We are trapped in the deep trench of
Babaji Mahasaya replied, "Certainly Krishna will bestow His mercy
That night uncle and nephew returned home very late.
THUS ENDS THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,