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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

and siksa);


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);


32. Singing;


33. Performing congregational chanting of Shri Krishna's

Nama, nama-sankirtana;


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;


46. Meditation;


47. Servitorship;


48. Friendship;


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

Krishna's Nama;


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

shri-guru-padasraya. (#1)


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

Hari-bhakti-vilasa (1.62)


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

Hari-bhakti-vilasa (4.144)


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

Skanda Purana


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.


sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratra-vidhim vina

aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate

Brahma-yamala, quoted in

Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu


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

as well?


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

Hari-bhakti-vilasa (12.34)


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

as follows:


naktam havisyanna-manodanam va

phalam tilah ksiram athambu cajyam

yat panca-gavyam yadi vapi vayuh

prasastam atrottaram uttaran ca

Vayu Purana, quoted in

Hari-bhakti-vilasa (12.39)


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

Skanda Purana


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

our minds.


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

entities. (#18)


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

a king.


paricarya tu sevopakaranadi-pariskriya

tatha prakirnaka-cchatra-vaditradyair upasana

Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.61)


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

any detail.


32. Singing;


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,

and katha;


44. Experiencing Shri Krishna's mercy everywhere and in all



45. Contemplating Shri Krishna's nama, rupa, guna and lila, within

the mind;


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

friendship (maitri).


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

Krishna (hari-seva).


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

these festivals.


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

(8.51) says:


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

he associates.


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

upon you."


That night uncle and nephew returned home very late.