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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Shikshashtaka with Commentaties > 3. Humble Consciousness > Sri Sanmodana Bhasyam


Shri Sanmodana Bhashyam

The devotee who chants the holy name offenselessly is adorned with four very special qualities: a natural meekness and humility because of his complete detachment from matter, a pure compassion unencumbered by envy, a spotless heart free from mundane false prestige, and a respectful attitude towards everyone.


When the holy name, which is the absolute embodiment of transcendental rasa I, appear in the devotee's heart, setting him up to abhor anything mundane he begins to think, “I am constitutionally an infinitesimal and eternal servant of Lord Shri Krishna. I have no real need for material life! Alas, because I have estranged myself from the Lord I find myself strapped to the wheel of birth and death, suffering untold miseries. But now, by the grace of my guru and all the Vaishnavas, I have come to realize that only by devotional service to the Supreme Lord can I find release from this dilemma and become reinstated in my original constitutional position and spiritual identity, that leads to attainment of love of God. Therefore, as long as I am not freed, by the Lord's mercy from the chains of material bondage, to go through life I must embrace the path of yukta-vairaga, and together with sambandha-jnana, accept only enough matter for my bare necessities, just to keep my body and spirit together.


“The misery stemming from poverty, disease, calamity, old age, etc., and happiness due to wealth, health, beauty, education, etc., are all prarabdha karmic reactions which I shall inevitably have to experience. Loss and gain, birth and death, suffering and joy are in no way connected to spiritual life rather they are wholly mundane, thus inconsequential to my real life. I will therefore approach the Lord with utmost humility and pray, 'O Krishna, O Govinda, O Lord of my heart, when will I be engaged in Your divine service? Kindly be merciful upon this lowly creature and quickly accept me as Your servitor.' In this mood I shall either enter the forest or remain home, and living frugally, I shall somehow sustain my life. Although grass is matter, it's ego is natural and proportionate to it, whereas my false ego, made up of my gross and subtle bodies, is utterly illusory because it is not connected to my original spiritual self. It is only proper, therefore, that I become more humble than a blade of grass.”


Now to explain the real purport of taror api sahisnuna-'more tolerant than a tree'. The tree is considered tolerant because it never neglects to offer its cooling shade and succulent fruits, even to the wood-cutter who is going to cut it down. The devotee of Lord Krishna is kinder still because he is compassionate to every living entity, whether friend or foe, desiring only their highest welfare. One who chants offenselessly is overwhelmed with thoughts of others' well-being. Thus the second special quality; compassion without envy is being described. He thinks, “O Lord, my friends and companions and all living entities are so unfortunate. How can they develop love and attraction for chanting Your all-auspicious names? They are sopped down in the quagmire of family attachment, wealth, property, successes, failures, loss and profit, joys and sorrows, birth and death, etc., all because they are blinded by maya. There is not the slightest indication that they are disgusted with a futile material existence filled with anarthas, or unwanted things. They are slowly strangling on the rope of unlimited desires for mundane sense gratification, all the while busying themselves in vacuous pursuits of fruitive action that promise them divine pleasures, and of empirical knowledge, that tantalize them with the promise of liberation. How can these persons become attracted to self-realization?" Praying to the Lord in this way, the devotee's heart is flooded with spiritual emotions, and he begins to sing loudly,

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha

“In the age of Kali there is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of the Lord Hari.”

Freedom from false prestige

The word amani describes the third quality of the devotee who chants offenselessly-a spotless heart free from false ego and false prestige. All gross and subtle bodily designations are derived from the mode of ignorance. Yogic mystic powers, material opulence, natural beauty, high birth, strength, social status, influence over others, etc., are but a function of false ego and are incompatible with real spiritual identity. To completely reject these false designations is to have a spotless heart, devoid of mundane ego and false prestige. He who inspite of having every reason to be proud, demonstrates tolerance, humility, and a spotless heart is a fit candidate to chant purely. A devotee of Krishna, whether he is a brahmana living in the house, must subdue the pride of being a brahmana; and if he is living a renounced life in the forest, must conquer the supercilious attitude careful to avoid becoming proud of being a brahmana, of being a renunciant. He should simply concentrate on the lotus feet of Krishna and chant His holy name.


Next, the word manada means to offer all respect to others. This is the fourth symptom of the devotee who chants without offenses. He understands that all living entities are eternal servants of Lord Krishna, so he is never envious of anyone. He pleases everyone with sweet and sincere words, and his exemplary life brings benediction to the whole world. In this world, he offers his respect to distinguished personalities and learned brahmanas; and to Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and other demigods he offers his obeisances with utmost humility, praying to them to increase his devotion to Lord Krishna. To elevated Vaishnavas and pure devotees, he offers his services with heart and soul.


Chanting the holy name adorned with these four blessed qualities is the highest success of human life. This is the message of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu the most magnanimous incarnation and savior of the fallen souls of Kali-yuga. In Chaitanya-caritamrita [Antya 20.22-26] it is stated:


“These are the symptoms of one who chants the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Although he is very exalted, he thinks himself lower than the grass on the ground, and like a tree he tolerates everything. When a tree is cut down, it does not protest, and even when drying up, it does not ask anyone for water. It yields up its fruits, flowers and whatever else it possesses to anyone and everyone, tolerating scorching heat and torrents of rain, yet giving shelter to all. Although a Vaishnava is the most exalted person, he is prideless and gives all respect to everyone, knowing everyone to be the residence of Krishna. If one chants the holy name of Lord Krishna in this manner, he will certainly awaken his dormant love for Krishna's lotus feet.”