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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > Pre-2007 QnA Swami Gaurangapada > Gurus on the altar

Title: Gurus on the altar

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-04-03 08:32:00

 

I have seen several pictures of ancient temples and shrines in the Holy Dhamas.On the altar stand the Deities and below Them sometimes there are pictures ofKrishna. I did not see any guru-photos on any of these altars. Also, I read thatin the tradition of Vaishnavism food has always been offered directly toBhagavan. So I wonder if offering food to the spiritual master and puttingpicture of gurus on the altar is a kind of new innovation? Also, theseguru-pujas where devotees worship a guru sitting on the vyasasan anddistributing cookies, is that a correct process? When we read the biographies ofexalted maha-bhagavatas, we see that the more advanced they were, the more theyprotested when someone tried to worship or even serve them.

 

 

Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:

 

 

 

mad-bhakta-pujabhyadhika (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.19.21):

 

 

"The worship of my devotees is higher than even My own worship."

 

 

Thus is many cases the pure devotees are even worshiped more than the LordHimself because they are most merciful and free distributors of pure love andthe Lord's mercy.

 

 

The pure devotees may not accept or desire the worship but it is ourpre-eminent duty to do so. Even Lord Gauranga Himself served and worshiped Hisown devotees.

 

 

There is a verse quoted in the Hari Bhakti Vilasa that the Lord does notaccept bhoga directly, He only eats when the devotees actually put it in themouth.

 

 

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada quotes:

 

 

Shri Ramanujacarya has stated:

 

 

shrimad bhagavatarcanam bhagavatah puja-vidher uttamam

shri-visnoravamananad guru-taram shri-vaisnavollanghanam

tirthad acyuta-padajadguru-taram tirtham tadiyanghri-jam

pujanad visnu-bhaktanam purusartho 'stinetarah

tesu tad-dvesatah kincit nasti nasanam atmanah

shri-vaishnavairmaha-bhagaih sallapam karayet sada

tadiya-dusaka-janan na pasyetpurusadhaman

shri-vaishnavanam cihnani dhrtvapi visayaturaih

taih sardhamvancaka-janaih saha-vasam na karayet

 

 

"The worship of Vaishnavas is greater than the worship of the Supreme Lord.Insulting a Vaishnava is more offensive than insulting Lord Vishnu. The water thathas washed the feet of a devotee is more pure than the water that has washed thefeet of Gauranga-Krishna. There is no higher achievement than to worship aVaishnava. There is nothing more offensive than being envious of a Vaishnava,which results in one's utter ruination. One should always converse withmaha-bhagavata Vaishnavas, and one should never see the lowest of mankind whocriticizesVaishnavas. One should never reside with a duplicitous person who isattached to sense gratification and decorated with the signs of a Vaishnava."

 

 

Adi Purana:

 

 

ye me bhakta-janah partha

na me bhaktas ca te janah

mad-bhaktanam ca yebhaktas

te me bhakta-tama matah

 

 

" `Those who are My direct devotees are actually notMy devotees, but those who are the devotees and worshipers of My devotees arefactually My devotees.'

 

 

Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya Lila 11.31:

 

 

aradhananam sarvesam

visnor aradhanam param

tasmat parataramdevi

tadiyanam samarcanam

 

 

" `My dear Devi, although the Vedasrecommend worship of demigods, the worship of Lord Vishnu is topmost. However,above the worship of Lord Vishnu is the rendering of worshipful service to theVaishnavas, who are devoted to Lord Vishnu.'

 

 

SOME GLORIES OF WORSHIPING PURE DEVOTEES FROM HARI BHAKTI VILASA:

 

 

SADACARA RATAH SISTAH SARVA BHUTANU KAMPAKAH

SUCAYAS TYAKTA RAGA YE SADABHAGAVATAHI TE

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/12 from SKANDA PURANA Markandeya Rsi speaks to KingBhagiratha)

 

 

Any person whose etiquette is best and proper, who lives according tothe

scriptures, who is very merciful to all living entities, who is pure andwhose

actions are offered to the Supreme Lord, are said to be Bhagavata devotees(very advanced devotees).

 

 

TITIKSAVAH KARUNIKAH SUHRDAH SARVA-DEHINAM

AJATA-SATRAVAH SANTAH SADHAVAHSADHU-BHUSANAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 3.25.21)

 

 

The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly toall

living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides bythe

scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime.

 

 

MAHAT-SEVAM DVARAM AHUR VIMUKTES TAMO-DVARAM YOSITAM SANGI-SANGAMMAHANTASTE SAMA-CITTAH PRASANTA VIMANYAVAH SUHRDAH SADHAVO YE

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 5.5.2)

 

 

One can attain the path of liberation from material bondage only byrendering service to highly advanced spiritual personalities. Thepersonalities areimpersonalists and devotees. Whether one wants to mergeinto the Lord' sexistence or wants to associate with the Personality ofGodhead, one shouldrender service to the mahatmas. For those who are notinterested in suchactivities, who associate with people who are fond ofwomen and sex, the pathto hell is wide open. The mahatmas are equipoised.They do not see any difference between one living entity and another. Theyare very peaceful andfully engaged in devotional service. They are devoid ofanger and they workfor the benefit of everyone. They do not behave in anyabominable way. Suchpeople are known as mahatmas.

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 11.29.29-31)

 

 

YESAM BHAGAVATA SASTRAM JIVITAD ADHIKAM BHAVET

MAHA BHAGAVATAH SRESTHAVISNUNA KATHITA NARAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/33 from SKANDA PURANA)

 

 

Anyone who has made the Shrimad Bhagavatam better or more valuable thanhisown life, those ideal personalities are considered to bemahabhagavata

devotees.

 

 

RUKSA AKSARA GIRAH SRNVAN TATHA BHAGAVATA TRITAH

PRANAMA PURVAKAM KSANTVAYO VADED VAISNAVO HI SAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/35 from LINGA PURANA)

 

 

Any devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, after hearing theharshand dry words from another devotee, tolerates them and pays obeisancesto sucha devotee, they are certainly said to be real Vaishnavas.

 

 

MAT KATHA SRAVANE YESAM VARTATE SATVIKI MATIH

TAD VAKTARI SUBHAKTIS CA TEVAI BHAGAVATOTTAMAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/40 from BRHAN NARADIYA PURANA conversation betweentheSupreme Personality of Godhead and Markandeya Rsi)

 

 

Anybody, after hearing My transcendental glories becomes jubilantand

situates himself in goodness and becomes devoted to that speaker of Krishna'sglories and serves him, such a person is known as abhagavatottama,or highclass devotee.

 

 

MAD-ASRAYAH KATHA MRSTAH SRNVANTI KATHAYANTI CA

TAPANTI VIVIDHAS TAPANAITAN MAD-GATA-CETASAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 3.25.23)

 

 

Engaged constantly in chanting about Me, the Supreme Personality ofGodhead,

the sadhus do not suffer from material miseries because they arealways filledwith thoughts of My pastimes and activities.

 

 

YE'BHINANDADATI NAMANI HAREH SRNVANTI HARSITAH

ROMANCIT SARIRAS CA TE VAIBHAGAVATOTTAMAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/44 from BRHAN NARADIYA PURANA)

 

 

Anyone whose heart becomes jolly just by hearing the transcendentalholy

names of Lord Hari with a pleased mind and just by hearing these holynames,his hairs stand on end, he is considered a bhagavata (bestdevotee).

 

 

NA CALATI YA UCCAIH SRI BHAGAVAT PADARAVINDE

SITMANAS TAMA VEHI VISNUBHAKTAM

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/46 from VISNU PURANA Yamaraja instructs his

messengers)

 

 

Any person who does not get disturbed by lusty desires and who isalways

rigidly attached to the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality ofGodhead, heis said to be a Vishnu devotee.

 

 

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami gives his Digdarsani-tika commentary on thisverse,

saying anybody who is really attached to the transcendental subjectsof Krishna,he becomes very purified and becomes free from all kinds ofpersonal sense gratification, etc. Any person who wants to hear thetranscendental message ofthe Supreme Lord and who wants to chant them with aloud voice and who feels this message is very rarely achieved, one who isattached to the lotus feet of Lord Krishna and one who wants his mind to betied at His lotus feet, all of these personalities are to be known as Vishnubhaktas or devotees of the Supreme Lord. The sign of a clean devotee is thatthe devotee's mind is not disturbed. One who is engaged in pure devotionalservice does not become disturbed in any condition. He sees friends andenemies equally. He naturally develops a desire to not usurp somebody else'sproperty. Everything that he needs is provided by the Supreme Lord, thereforeit is said that one whose mind is not disturbed, he is said to be a properlyminded person. Thus, he is said to be a Vishnu devotee. He does everything. Hedoes his own occupational duty without depending on others. Whatever ispossible, he depends on the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

BHAGAVATA URU VIKRAMANGHRI SAKHA

NAKHA MANI CANDRIKAYA NIRASTATAPE

HRDI KATHAM UPASIDATAM PUNAH SA

BHAVATI CANDRA IVA UDITE 'RKATAPAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/54 from SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 11.2.54)

 

 

When the moon shines in the sky, at that time, there is no heatavailable

from the sun. Similarly, if somebody's heart is shined by thesoothing rays of the diamond of the toenail of the Supreme Personality ofGodhead, Trivikrama, how can the burning sensation of material desires ariseagainst in him?

 

 

SARVA-DHARMAN PARITYAJYA MAM EKAM SARANAM VRAJA

AHAM TVAM SARVA-PAPEBHYOMOKSAYISYAMI MA SUCAH

 

 

(BHAGAVAD-GITA 18.66)

 

 

Abandon all kinds of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliveryou

from all kinds of sinful reactions.

 

 

TA ETE SADHAVAH SADHVI SARVA-SANGA-VIVARJITAH

SANGAS TESV ATHA TEPRARTHYAH SANGA-DOSA-HARA HI TE

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 3.25.24)

 

 

O My mother, O virtuous lady, these are the qualities of great devoteeswho are free from all attachment. You must seek attachment to such holy men,for this counteracts the pernicious effects of material attachment.

 

 

YASYA KRCHRA GATASYAPI KESAVE RAMATE MANAH

NA VICYUTA CA BHAKTIR VAI SAVAI BHAGAVATO NARAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/67 from SKANDA PURANA)

 

 

Any person who remains attached to Lord Hari within his mind, even ifmany

obstacles come on his path and he does not deviate from his service, itcan becertainly understood that he is a devotee of the Supreme Lord.

 

 

YE VA MAYISE KRTA-SAUHRDARTHA

JANESU DEHAMBHARA-VARTIKESU

GRHESUJAYATMAJA-RATIMATSU

NA PRITI-YUKTA YAVAD-ARTHAS CA LOKE

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 5.5.3)

 

 

Those who are interested in reviving Krishna consciousness and increasingtheir love of Godhead do not like to do anything that is not related toKrishna. They are not interested in mingling with people who are busymaintaining their bodies, eating, sleeping, mating and defending. They arenot attached to their homes, although they may be householders. Nor are theyattached to wives, children, friends or wealth. At the same time, they arenot indifferent to the execution of their duties. Such people are interestedin collecting only enough money to keep the body and soul together.

 

 

MAYY ANANYENA BHAVENA BHAKTIM KURVANTI YE DRDHAM

MAT-KRTE TYAKTA-KARMANASTYAKTA-SVAJANA-BANDHAVAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 3.25.22)

 

 

Such a sadhu engages in staunch devotional service to the Lordwithout

deviation. For the sake of the Lord he renounces all otherconnections, such as family relationships and friendly acquaintances withinthe world.

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 11.2.46)

 

 

IDRK LAKSANA VANTAH SYUR DURLABHA VAHAVO JANAH

DIVYA HI MANAYO VYAKTAM NAVARTERANN ITASTATHAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/80)

 

 

All of the above mentioned symptoms are available in very fewdevotees

because a priceless gem such as cintamani is not availableeverywhere.

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 11.2.46-47)

 

 

INDRO MAHESVARO BRAHMA PARAM BRAHMA TADAIVA HI

SVAPACOPI BHAVATY EVA YADATUSTA'SI KESAVA

SVAPACAD API KASTATVAM BRAHMA ISAN ADAYAH SURAH

TADAIVA'CYUTA YANTYETE YADAIVA TVAM PARANMUKHAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/88,89 from SKANDA PURANA Lord Brahma speaks)

 

 

Oh Lord Kesava, if You are pleased upon someone, even if he is a low born,he is equal to Indra, Siva and Brahma and anybody who is against You, even ifhe is Indra, Siva or Brahma, he is said to be the lowest of mankind.

 

 

ISVARAM SARVA BHUTANAM JAGATAH PRABHAVAPYAYAM

 

BHAKTA NARAYANAM DEVAMDURGANY ATI TARANTI TE

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/108 from MAHABHARATA RAJA DHARMA)

 

 

The devotees of the Supreme Lord, the source of all living entities andthe

source of the creation, maintenance and destruction of this universe,these

devotees easily cross this universe without any difficulty.

 

 

SUDRAM VA BHAGAVAD BHAKTAM NISADAM SVAPACAM TATHA

VIKSATAM JATI SAMANYATSA YATI NARAKAM DHRUVAM

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/119 from ITIHASA SAMUCCAYA Lomasa Rsi speaks)

 

 

A Vaishnava, even if he is born in a sudra, dogeater or even lowerclass

family than that, if somebody sees such a devotee in bad behavior (dueto

being born in that kind of family), he is certainly said to be going tohell.

 

 

YE NRSANSA DURATMANAH PAPACARA RATAH SADA

TE'PI YANTI PARAM DHAMA NARAYANAPARASRAYAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/121 from ITIHASA SAMUCCAYA conversation betweenNarada Muni and Pundarika)

 

 

Any person who has taken shelter at the lotus feet of a devotee who hastaken shelter at the feet of Lord Narayana, if somebody takes shelter of him,even if he is of bad character and a sinner, such a person does notbecome implicated with sin and getting purified, they purify the whole world.

 

 

NA ME PRIYAS CATURVEDI MAD BHAKTAH SVAPACAH PRIYAH

TASMAI DEYAM TATOGRAHYAM SA CA PUJYO YATHA HY AHAM

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/127 from ITIHASA SAMUCCAYA spoken by the SupremeLord)

 

 

If someone is not My devotee, even if he is expert in the four Vedas, heis

not dear to Me. If someone is My devotee, even if he is lowborn, he isdear to Me. Therefore, one should give charity to such a low born person andaccept charity from him. Even a low born devotee is equally worshipable asMe.

 

 

HARI BHAKTI PARO YATRA TATRA BRAHMA HARIH SIVA

TATRA DEVAS CA SIDDHADYANITYAM TISTHANTI SATTAMAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/143 from MARKANDEYA PURANA Suta Gosvami speaks)

 

 

Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, all the demigods and the Siddhas(perfect

personalities) stay in a place where a devoted devotee issituated.

 

 

YATINAM VISNU BHAKTANAM PARICARYA PARAYANAIH

IKSITA API GACCHANTIPAPINO'PI PARAM GATIM

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/147 from BRHAN NARADIYA PURANA spoken bythe

Vishnudutas)

 

 

One who serves a sannyasi and a devotee of the Supreme Lord Hari, if sucha devotee sees someone else, even if that person (the one he sees) is sinful,he achieves the supreme abode, Vaikuntha.

 

 

YE VISNU NIRATAH SANTA LOKANUGRAHA TAT PARAH

SARVA BHUTA DAYA YUKTA VISNURUPAH PRAKIRTITAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/152 from BRHAN NARADIYA PURANA spoken by ShriSuta Gosvami)

 

 

Any person who is very attached to Lord Shri Vishnu, who is very peaceful,who is merciful to other living entities, who is kind to everyone, they areequal to Lord Shri Hari.

 

 

AHO BHAGYAM AHOBHAGYAM VISNU BHAKTI RATATMANAM

YASMAM MUKTIH KARASTHAIVAYOGINAM API DURLABHAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/156 from BRHAN NARADIYA PURANA spoken by ShrilaSuta Gosvami)

 

 

Oh what great luck to the devotees of Lord Shri Hari because bytheir

compassion, anyone can achieve liberation which is rarely achieved evenby

yogis.

 

 

DARSANA DHYANA SAMSPARSAIR MATSYA KURMA VIHANGAMAH

PUSNANTI SVANYAPATYANITATHA AHAM API PADMAJA

MUHUR TENAPI SAN HARTUM SAKTAU YADYAPI DANAVAN

MADBHAKTANAM VINODARTHAM KOROMI VIVIDHAH KRIYAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/161,162 from PADMA PURANA the Supreme Personalityof Godhead speaks to Lord Brahma)

 

 

Oh Brahma, just as the fish, turtle and birds take care of their of theirown

offspring by seeing, meditating and touching, respectively, I also takecare

of My devotees in that very way. Even though I can kill all of thedemons

within ninety-six minutes (muhurta), still, just to please Mydevotees, I

engage in many kinds of activities in many forms.

 

 

SADA SANTO' BHIGANTAVYA YADYAPY UPADISANTI NA

YA HI SVAIRA KATHA TESAMUPADESA BHAVANTI TE

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/174 from YOGA VASISTHA)

 

 

One should always associate with saintly persons. Even if they do notnarrate or preach, their talking itself is a great instruction.

 

 

API CET SUDURACARO BHAJATE MAM ANANYA-BHAK

SADHUR EVA SA MANTAVYAH SAMYAGVYAVASITO HI SAH

 

 

(BHAGAVAD-GITA 9.30)

 

 

Even if one commits the most abominable actions, if he is engagedin

devotional service, he is to be considered saintly because he isproperly

situated.

 

 

KSIPRAM BHAVATI DHARMATMA SASVAC-CHANTIM NIGACCHATI

KAUNTEYA PRATIJANIHINA ME BHAKTAH PRANASYATI

 

 

(BHAGAVAD-GITA 9.31)

 

 

He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son ofKunti,

declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.

 

 

MAM HI PARTHA VYAPASRITYA YE'PI SYUH PAPA-YONAYAH

STRIYO VAISYAS TATHASUDRAS TE'PI YANTI PARAM GATIM

 

 

(BHAGAVAD-GITA 9.32)

 

 

O son of Prtha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth

women, vaisyas , as well as sudras- can approachthe supreme destination.

 

 

YOGINAM API SARVESAM MAD-GATENANTARATMANA

SRADDHAVAN BHAJATE YO MAM SA MEYUKTATAMO MATAH

 

 

(BHAGAVAD-GITA 6.47)

 

 

And of all the yogis, the one with great faith who always abides inMe,

thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service toMe

he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest ofall.

That is My opinion.

 

 

YESAM SAMSMARANAT PUMSAM SADYAH SUDDHYANTI VAI GRHAH

KIM PUNARDARSANA-SPARSA- PADA-SAUCASANADIBHIH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 1.19.33)

 

 

Simply by our remembering you, our houses become instantly sanctified.And what to speak of seeing you, touching you, washing your holy feet andoffering you a seat in our home?

 

 

YA NIRVRTIS TANU-BHRTAM TAVA PADA-PADMA-

DHYANADBHAVAJ-JANA-KATHA-SRAVANENA VA SYAT

SA BRAHMANI SVA-MAHIMANY API NATHA MABHUT

KIM TV ANTAKASI-LULITAT PATATAM VIMANAT

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 4.9.l0)

 

 

My Lord, the transcendental bliss derived from meditating upon Yourlotus

feet or hearing about Your glories from pure devotees is so unlimitedthat is

far beyond the stage of brahmananda, wherein one thinks himselfmerged in the impersonal Brahman as one with the Supreme. Since brahmanandais also defeated by the transcendental bliss derived from devotional service,then what to speak of the temporary blissfulness of elevating oneself to theheavenly planets, which is ended by the separating sword of time? Althoughone may be elevated to the heavenly planets, he falls down in due course oftime.

 

 

SVA-DHARMA-NISTHAH SATA-JANMABHIH PUMAN

VIRINCATAM ETI TATAH PARAM HIMAM

AVYAKRTAM BHAGAVATO 'THA VAISNAVAM

PADAM YATHAHAM VIBUDHAHKALATYAYE

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 4.24.29)

 

 

A person who executes his occupational duty properly for one hundredbirths becomes qualified to occupy the post of Brahma, and if he becomesmore qualified, he can approach Lord Siva. A person who is directlysurrendered to Lord Krishna, or Vishnu, in unalloyed devotional service isimmediately promoted to the spiritual planets. Lord Siva and other demigodsattain these planets after the destruction of the material world.

 

 

RAHUGANAITAT TAPASA NA YATI

NA CEJYAYA NIRVAPANAD GRHAD VA

NA CCHANDASANAIVA JALAGNI-SURYAIR

 

VINA MAHAT-PADA-RAJO-'BHISEKAM

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 5.12.12)

 

 

My dear king Rahugana, unless one has the opportunity to smear hisentire

body with the dust of lotus feet of great devotees, one cannot realizethe

Absolute Truth. One cannot realize the Absolute Truth simply byobserving

celibacy , strictly following the rules andregulations of

householder life, leaving home as a vanaprastha, acceptingsannyasa, or

undergoing severe penances in the winter by keeping oneselfsubmerged in water or surrounding oneself in summer by fire and the scorchingheat of the sun.There are many other processes to understand the AbsoluteTruth, but the Absolute Truth is only revealed to one who has attained themercy of a great devotee.

 

 

RAJOBHIH SAMA-SANKHYATAH PARTHIVAIR IHA JANTAVAH

TESAM YE KECANEHANTESREYO VAI MANUJADAYAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 6.14.3)

 

 

In this material world, there are as many living entities as atoms.Among

these living entities, very few are human beings, and among them, feware

interested in following religious principles.

 

 

PRAYO MUMUKSAVAS TESAM KECANAIVA DVIJOTTAMA

MUMUKSUNAM SAHASRESU KASCINMUCYETA SIDHYATI

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 6.14.4)

 

 

Oh best of the brahmanas, Sukadeva Gosvami, out of many persons whofollow religious principles, only a few desire liberation from the materialworld. Among many thousands who desire liberation, one may actuallyachieve liberation, giving up material attachment to society, friendship,love, country, home, wife and children. And among many thousands of suchliberated persons, one who can understand the true meaning of liberation isvery rare.

 

 

MUKTANAM API SIDDHANAM

NARAYANA-PARAYANAH

SUDURLABHAHPRASANTATMA

KOTISV API MAHA-MUNE

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 6.14.5)

 

 

O great sage, among many millions who are liberated and in perfect knowledgeof liberation, one may be a devotee of Lord Narayana, or Krishna. Suchdevotees, who are fully peaceful, are extremely rare.

 

 

NARAYANA-PARAH SARVE

NA KUTASCANABIBHYATI

SVARGAPAVARGA-NARAKESV

API TULYARTHA-DARSINAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 6.17.28)

 

 

Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personalityof Godhead, Narayana, never fear any condition of life. For them theheavenly planets, liberation and the hellish planets are all the same, forsuch devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord.

 

 

NAISAM MATIS TAVAD URUKRAMANGHRIM

SPRSATY ANARTHAPAGAMOYAD-ARTHAH

MAHIYASAM PADA-RAJO 'BHISEKAM

NISKINCANANAM NA VRNITA YAVAT

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 7.5.32)

 

 

Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaishnava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclinedtoward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord,who is glorified for His uncommon activities. Only by becoming Krishnaconscious and taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord in this way canone be freed from material contamination.

 

 

VIPRAD DVI-SAD-GUNA-YUTAD ARAVINDA-NABHA-

PADARAVINDA-VIMUKHAT SVAPACAMVARISTHAM

MANYE TAD-ARPITA-MAN0-VACANEHITARTHA-

PRANAM PUNATI SA KULAM NATU BHURIMANAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 7.9.10)

 

 

If a brahmana has all twelve of the brahminical qualifications [as they are

stated in the book called Sanat-sujata] but is not a devotee and is averseto the lotus feet of the Lord, he is certainly lower than a devotee who is adog-eater but who has dedicated everything mind, words, activities,wealth and life - to the Supreme Lord. Such a devotee is better than such abrahmanabecause the devotee can purify his whole family, whereas theso-called brahmana in a position of false prestige cannot purify evenhimself.

 

 

EKANTINO YASYA NA KANCANARTHAM

VANCHANTI YE VAIBHAGAVAT-PRAPANNAH

ATY-ADBHUTAM TAC-CARITAM SUMANGALAM

GAYANTAANANDA-SAMUDRA-MAGNAH

TAM AKSARAM BRAHMA PARAM PARESAM

AVYAKTAMADHYATMIKA-YOGA-GAMYAM

ATINDRIYAM SUKSMAM IVATIDURAM

ANANTAM ADYAMPARIPURNAM IDE

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 8.3.20,21)

 

 

Unalloyed devotees, who have no desire other than to serve the Lord, worshipHim in full surrender and always hear and chant about His activities, whichare most wonderful and auspicious. Thus they always merge in an ocean of transcendental bliss. Such devotees never ask the Lord for any benediction.I, however, am in danger. Thus I pray to that Supreme Personality ofGodhead, Who is eternally existing, Who is invisible, Who is the Lord of allgreat personalities, such as Brahma, and Who is available only bytranscendental bhakti-yoga. Being extremely subtle, he is beyond the reachof my senses and transcendental to all external realization. He isunlimited, He is the original cause, and He is completely full ineverything. I offer my obeisances unto Him.

 

 

SRI-BHAGAVAN UVACA

AHAM BHAKTA-PARADHINO

HY ASVATANTRA IVADVIJA

SADHUBHIR GRASTA-HRDAYO

BHAKTAIR BHAKTA-JANA-PRIYAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 9.4.63)

 

 

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said to the brahmana: I am completely

under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent.Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit onlywithin the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even thosewho are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me.

 

 

MAYI NIRBADDHA-HRDAYAH

SADHAVAH SAMA-DARSANAH

VASE KURVANTI MAMBHAKTYA

SAT-STRIYAH SAT-PATIM YATHA

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 9.4.66)

 

 

As chaste women bring their husbands under control by service, the pure

devotees, who are equal to everyone and completely attached to Me in thecore of the heart, bring Me under their full control.

 

 

SADHAVO HRDAYAM MAHYAM

SADHUNAM HRDAYAM TV AHAM

MAD-ANYAT TE NAJANANTI

NAHAM TEBHYO MANAG API

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 9.4.68)

 

 

The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart, and I am always in

the heart of the pure devotee. My devotees do not know anything else but Meand I do not know anyone else but them.

 

 

DUSKARAH KO NU SADHUNAM

DUSTYAJO VA MAHATMANAM

YAIH SANGRHITOBHAGAVAN

SATVATAM RSABHO HARIH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 9.5.15)

 

 

For those who have achieved the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of the pure devotees, what is impossible to do, and what is impossible to giveup?

 

 

Therefore, Yamaraja says to his messengers:

 

 

TE DEVA-SIDDHA-PARIGITA-PAVITRA-GATHA

YE SADHAVAH SAMADRSOBHAGAVAT-PRAPANNAH

TAN NOPASIDATA HARER GADAYABHIGUPTAN

NAISAM VAYAM NA CAVAYAH PRABHAVAMA DANDE

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 6.3.27)

 

 

My dear servants, please do not approach such devotees, for they have fully surrendered to the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Theyare equal to everyone, and their narrations are sung by the demigods andinhabitants of Siddhaloka. Please do not even go near them. They are alwaysprotected by the club of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thereforeLord Brahma, I, and even the time factor are not competent to chastisethem.

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 10.2.33)

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 10.9.21)

 

 

AHAM AMARA GANARCITENA DHATRA

YAMA ITI LOKA HITAHITE NIYUKYAH

HARI GURUVIMUKHAN PRASASMI MARTYAN

HARI CARANA PRANATAN NAMASKAROMI

NA HI SASA KALUSA-CCHABIH KADACIT-

TIMIRA PARABHAVATAM UPAITICANDRAH

BHAGAVATI CA HARAVA ANANYA CETA

BHRSA MALINO'PI VIRAJATEMANUSYAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/223,225 from NRSINGHA PURANA and VISNU PURANA Yamarajaspeaks)

 

 

The Supreme Lord Vishnu, Who is praised by everyone, has created me for thebenefit of the whole world to discriminate the heavenly planets which are meant for meritorious persons, and hellish planets which are meant totorture the sinful people. Therefore, I control and manage those people whoare against the lotus feet of Lord Hari. I pay my humble obeisances at thelotus feet of Lord Hari.

 

As the moon which has a rabbit mark on its chest cannot be defeated by

unlimited darkness, similarly, any person who has developed pure devotion toLord Shri Hari, even if he is very dirty, he is still worshipable. In other

words, if an unalloyed devotee accidentally engages himself in sinful

activities, he is not considered a sinful person.

 

VAISNAVO YAD GRHE BHUNKTE YESAM VAISNAVA SANGATIH

TE'PI VAH PARIHARYAHSYUS TAT SANGA HATA KILBISAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/228 from PADMA PURANA spoken by the Yamadutasaccording to Yamaraja's instruction )

 

 

We leave such a person alone who lives in the house of a Vaishnava. Due to

association with a Vaishnava, they have become free of all implications.

 

 

SRIYAM ANUCARATIM TAD-ARTHINAS CA

DVIPADA-PATIM VIBUDHAMS CA YATSVA-PURNAH

NA BHAJATI NIJA-BHRTYA-VARGA-TANTRAH

KATHAM AMUM UDVISRJETPUMAN KRTA-JNAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 4.31.22)

 

 

Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead is self-sufficient, He becomes

dependent on His devotees. He does care for the goddess of fortune, nor forthe kings and demigods who are after the favor of the goddess of fortune. Where is that person who is actually grateful and will not worship thePersonality of Godhead?

 

 

NAHAM BRAHMAPI BHUYASAM TVAD BHAKTI RAHITO HARE

TVAYI BHAKTAS TU KITO'PIBHUYASAM JANMA JANMASU

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/246 from NARAYANA VYUHA)

 

 

Oh Lord Hari, if I am bereft of Your pure devotional service, I do not even

desire the post of Lord Brahma. If devotional service is available birthafter

birth, I do not mind taking birth even in the form of moths. This isdesirable

to me.

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 10.14.30 Lord Brahma prays)

YE TYAKTA LOKA DHARMARTHA VISNU BHAKTI VASAM GATAH

BHAJANTI PARAMATMANAMTEBHYO NITYAM NAMO NAMAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/248 from NARAYANA VYUHA)

 

 

Any person who is not attached to sons, wife, varnasrama system, wealth andeven liberation, and worships Lord Shri Vishnu properly with devotion, to sucha devotee, I pay my obeisances again and again.

 

 

HARI BHAKTI PARANANTU SANGINAM SANGA MATRATAH

MUCYATE SARVA PAPEBHYO MAHAPATAKAVAN API

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/252 from BRHAN NARADIYA PURANA)

 

 

Any person who associates with a devotee of Lord Shri Hari, or who engages

himself in the service of Lord Shri Hari, just by his association, onebecomes

completely liberated from unlimited grievous sinful activities.

 

 

VINASAYATI APAYASO BUDDHIM VISADAYATY API

PRATISTHA PAYATI PRAYO NRNAMVAISNAVA DARSANAM

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/253 from PADMA PURANA)

 

 

Just by looking at a Vaishnava (a devotee of Lord Vishnu) one's infamy goes

away. By associating with a devotee, one increases and cleanses his

intelligence and makes oneself eligible to attain great respect.

 

 

GANGADI PUNYA TIRTHESU YO NARAH SNATUM ICCHATI

YAH KAROTI SATAM SANGAMTAYOH SATSANGAMO VARAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/255 from PADMA PURANA)

 

 

The association of the devotees of Lord Vishnu immediately and completely

removes one's sins. It gives all auspiciousness and spreads one'sglories

everywhere.

 

 

SANGO YAH SAMSRTER HETUR

ASATSU VIHITO 'DHIYA

SA EVA SADHUSUKRTO

NIHSANGATVAYA KALPATE

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 3.23.55, spoken by Devahuti)

 

 

Association for sense gratification is certainly the path of bondage. But the

same type of association, performed with a saintly person, leads to the pathof liberation, even if performed without knowledge.

 

 

PRASANGAM AJARAM PASAM

ATMANAH KAVAYO VIDUH

SA EVA SADHUSU KRTO

MOKSA-DVARAM APAVRTAM

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 3.25.20, spoken by Kapiladeva)

 

 

Every learned man knows very well that attachment for the material is the

greatest entanglement of the spirit soul. But that same attachment, when

applied to the self-realized devotees, opens the door of liberation.

 

 

TE NA SMARANTY ATITARAM PRIYAM ISA MARTYAM

YE CANV ADAHSUTA-SUHRD-GRHA-VITTA-DARAH

YE TV ABJA-NABHABHAVADIYA-PADARAVINDA

SAUGANDHYA-LUBHA-HRDAYESU KRTA-PRASANGAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 4.9.12, spoken by Dhruva Maharaja)

 

 

O Lord who have a lotus navel, if a person happens to associate with a

devotee whose heart always hankers after Your lotus feet, seeking alwaystheir fragrance, he is never attached to the material body or, in a bodily

relationship, to offspring, friends, home, wealth and wife, which are very,

very dear to materialistic persons. Indeed, he does not care for them.

 

 

TESAM VICARATAM PADBHYAM

TIRTHANAM PAVANECCHAYA

BHITASYA KIM NAROCETA

TAVAKANAM SAMAGAMAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 4.30.37, spoken by the Pracetas)

 

 

Dear Lord, Your personal associates, devotees, wander all over the world to

purify even the holy places of pilgrimage. Is not such activity pleasing to

those who are actually afraid of material existence?

 

 

ASARA BHUTE SANSARE SARAM ETAD AJATMAJA

BHAGAVAD BHAKTA SANGO HI HARIBHAKTIM SAMICCHATAM

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/270 from BRHAN NARADIYA PURANA conversation

betweenNarada Muni and Sanat Kumara)

 

 

Oh son of Lord Brahma, any person who is systematically interested in

devotional service of Lord Shri Hari, he should understand that the onlysolace within this suffering world is to associate with devotees of theSupreme Personality of Godhead.

 

 

ASAGAROTTHAM PIYUSAM ADRAVYAM VYASANA AUSADHAM

HARSAS CA ALOKA PARYANTAHSATAM KILA SAMAGAMAH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/271 from PADMA PURANA King Maharata speaks)

The association of devotees is a nectar which has not emanated from the ocean and is an easily available medicine. It is the only remedy to give pleasureto every living entity.

 

 

YATRA BHAGAVATA RAJAN

SADHAVOVISADASAYAH

BHAGAVAD-GUNANUKATHANA-

SRAVANA-VYAGRA-CETASAH

TASMIN MAHAN-MUKHARITA MADHUBHIC-CARITRA-

PIYUSA-SESA-SARITAH PARITAHSRAVANTI

TA YE PIBANTY AVITRSO NRPA GADHA-KARNAIS

TAN NA SPRSANTYASANA-TRD-BHAYA-SOKA-MOHAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 4.29.39,40)

 

 

My dear King, in the place where pure devotees live, following the rules and

regulations and thus purely conscious and engaged with great eagerness in

hearing and chanting the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in

that place if one gets a chance to hear their constant flow of nectar, whichis exactly like the waves of a river, one will forget the necessities oflife namely hunger and thirst - and become immune to all kinds of fear,

lamentation and illusion.

 

 

YATROTTAMASLOKA-GUNANUVADAH

PRASTUYATEGRAMYA-KATHA-VIGHATAH

NISEVYAMANO 'NUDINAM MUMUKSOR

MATIM SATIM YACCHATIVASUDEVE

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 5.12.13)

 

 

Who are the pure devotees mentioned here? In an assembly of pure devotees,there is no question of discussing material subjects like politics andsociology. In an assembly of pure devotees, there is discussion only of thequalities, forms and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He ispraised ad worshiped with full attention. In the association of puredevotees, by constantly hearing such topics respectfully, even a person whowants to merge into the existence of the Absolute Truth abandons this ideaand gradually becomes attached to the service of Vasudeva.

 

 

BHAKTIS TU BHAGAVAD-BHAKTA-SANGENA PARIJAYATE

SATSANGAH PRAPYATE PUMBHIHSUKRTAIH PURVA SANCITAIH

 

 

(HARI BHAKTI VILASA 10/279 from BRHAN NARADIYA PURANA)

 

 

By the association of the devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead,

one's devotion to the Lord arises within his heart. The association of

devotees is only available to those who have acquired unlimited merits in

different previous lives.

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 11.12.1,2 conversation between the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Uddhava)

 

 

YAT-SEVAYA BHAGAVATAH

KUTA-STHASYA MADHU-DVISAH

RATI-RASO BHAVETTIVRAH

PADAYOR VYASANARDANAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 3.7.19, spoken by Vidura Maharaja)

 

 

By serving the feet of the spiritual master, one is enabled to develop

transcendental ecstasy in the service of the Personality of Godhead, Who is

the unchangeable enemy of the Madhu demon and whose service vanquishes one'smaterial distresses.

 

 

TULAYAMA LAVENAPI

NA SVARGAMNAPUNAR-BHAVAM

BHAGAVAT-SANGI-SANGASYA

MARTYANAM KIM UTASISAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 1.18.13, spoken by Saunaka Rsi and 4.30.34, spoken byPracetas)

 

 

The value of a moment's association with the devotee of the Lord cannot even be compared to the attainment of heavenly planets or liberation from matter, what to speak of worldly benedictions in the form of material prosperity,which are for those who are meant for death.

 

 

KSANARDHENAPI TULAYE

NA SVARGAMNAPUNAR-BHAVAM

BHAGAVAT-SANGI-SANGASYA

MARTYANAM KIM UTASISAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 4.24.57, spoken by Lord Siva)

 

 

If one by chance associates with a devotee, even for a fraction of a moment,he no longer is subject to attraction by the results of karma or jnana. Whatinterest then can he have in the benedictions of the demigods, who aresubject to the laws of birth and death.Lord Chaitanya spoke to Sanatana Gosvami (Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya 20.61)(it was also quoted in Hari Bhakti Suddhodaya, spoken by Mother Earth toPrahlada Maharaja)

 

 

DURAPA HY ALPA-TAPASAH

SEVA VAIKUNTHA-VARTMASU

YATROPAGIYATENITYAM

DEVA-DEVO JANARDANAH

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 3.7.20, spoken by Vidura Maharaja)

 

 

Persons whose austerity is meager can hardly obtain the service of the puredevotees who are progressing on the path back to the kingdom of Godhead, theVaikunthas. Pure devotees engage one hundred percent in glorifying theSupreme Lord, who is the Lord of the demigods and the controller of allliving entities.

 

 

TASMAD AMUS TANU-BHRTAM AHAM ASISO 'JNA

AYUH SRIYAM VIBHAVAM AINDRIYAMAVIRINCYAT

NECCHAMI TE VILULITAN URUVIKRAMENA

KALATMANOPANAYA MAMNIJA-BHRTYA-PARSVAM

 

 

(SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM 7.9.24, spoken by Prahlada Maharaja)

 

 

My dear Lord, now I have complete experience concerning the worldly opulence, mystic power, longevity and other material pleasures enjoyed by all livingentities, from Lord Brahma down to the ant. As powerful time, You destroythem all. Therefore, because of my experience, I do not wish to possessthem.My dear Lord, I request You to place me in touch with Your puredevotee and let me serve him as a sincere servant.