Monday, August 27, 2012

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.3.2-7

brahma-varcasa-kāmas tu
indram indriya-kāmas tu
tejas-kāmo vibhāvasum
vīrya-kāmo 'tha vīryavān
annādya-kāmas tv aditiḿ
sādhyān saḿsādhako viśām
āyuṣ-kāmo 'śvinau devau
rūpābhikāmo gandharvān
strī-kāmo 'psara urvaśīm
yajñaḿ yajed yaśas-kāmaḥ
dāmpatyārtha umāḿ satīm
brahma — the absolute; varcasa — effulgence; kāmaḥ tu — but one who desires in that way; yajetado worship; brahmaṇaḥ — of the Vedas; patim — the master; indram — the King of heaven; indriya-kāmaḥ tu — but one who desires strong sense organs; prajā-kāmaḥ — one who desires many offspring; prajāpatīn — the Prajāpatis; devīm — the goddess; māyām — unto the mistress of the material world; tu — but; śrī-kāmaḥ — one who desires beauty; tejaḥ — power; kāmaḥ — one who so desires; vibhāvasum — the fire-god; vasu-kāmaḥ — one who wants wealth; vasūn — the Vasu demigods; rudrān — the Rudra expansions of Lord Śiva; vīrya-kāmaḥ — one who wants to be very strongly built; atha — therefore; vīryavān — the most powerful; anna-adya — grains; kāmaḥ — one who so desires; tu — but; aditim — Aditi, mother of the demigods; svarga — heaven; kāmaḥso desiring; aditeḥ sutān — the sons of Aditi; viśvān — Viśvadeva; devān — demigods; rājya-kāmaḥ — those who hanker for kingdoms; sādhyān — the Sādhya demigods; saḿsādhakaḥ — what fulfills the wishes; viśām — of the mercantile community; āyuḥ-kāmaḥ — desirous of long life; aśvinau — the two demigods known as the Aśvinī brothers; devau — the two demigods; puṣṭi-kāmaḥ — one who desires a strongly built body; ilām — the earth; yajet — must worship; pratiṣṭhā-kāmaḥ — one who desires good fame, or stability in a post; puruṣaḥ — such men; rodasī — the horizon; loka-mātarau — and the earth; rūpa — beauty; abhikāmaḥ — positively aspiring for; gandharvān — the residents of the Gandharva planet, who are very beautiful and are expert in singing; strī-kāmaḥ — one who desires a good wife; apsaraḥ urvaśīm — the society girls of the heavenly kingdom; ādhipatya-kāmaḥ — one who desires to dominate others; sarveṣām — everyone; yajeta — must worship; parameṣṭhinamBrahmā, the head of the universe; yajñam — the Personality of Godhead; yajet — must worship; yaśaḥ-kāmaḥ — one who desires to be famous; kośa-kāmaḥ — one who desires a good bank balance; pracetasam — the treasurer of heaven, known as Varuṇa; vidyā-kāmaḥ tu — but one who desires education; giriśam — the lord of the Himalayas, Lord Śiva; dāmpatya-arthaḥ — and for conjugal love; umām satīm — the chaste wife of Lord Śiva, known as Umā.
One who desires to be absorbed in the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence should worship the master of the Vedas [Lord Brahmā or Bṛhaspati, the learned priest], one who desires powerful sex should worship the heavenly King, Indra, and one who desires good progeny should worship the great progenitors called the Prajāpatis. One who desires good fortune should worship Durgādevī, the superintendent of the material world. One desiring to be very powerful should worship fire, and one who aspires only after money should worship the Vasus. One should worship the Rudra incarnations of Lord Śiva if he wants to be a great hero. One who wants a large stock of grains should worship Aditi. One who desires to attain the heavenly planets should worship the sons of Aditi. One who desires a worldly kingdom should worship Viśvadeva, and one who wants to be popular with the general mass of population should worship the Sādhya demigod. One who desires a long span of life should worship the demigods known as the Aśvinī-kumāras, and a person desiring a strongly built body should worship the earth. One who desires stability in his post should worship the horizon and the earth combined. One who desires to be beautiful should worship the beautiful residents of the Gandharva planet, and one who desires a good wife should worship the Apsarās and the Urvaśī society girls of the heavenly kingdom. One who desires domination over others should worship Lord Brahmā, the head of the universe. One who desires tangible fame should worship the Personality of Godhead, and one who desires a good bank balance should worship the demigod Varuṇa. If one desires to be a greatly learned man he should worship Lord Śiva, and if one desires a good marital relation he should worship the chaste goddess Umā, the wife of Lord Śiva.
There are different modes of worship for different persons desiring success in particular subjects. The conditioned soul living within the purview of the material world cannot be an expert in every type of materially enjoyable asset, but one can have considerable influence over a particular matter by worshiping a particular demigod, as mentioned above. Rāvaṇa was made a very powerful man by worshiping Lord Śiva, and he used to offer severed heads to please Lord Śiva. He became so powerful by the grace of Lord Śiva that all the demigods were afraid of him, until he at last challenged the Personality of Godhead Śrī Rāmacandra and thus ruined himself. In other words, all such persons who aspire after gaining some or all of the material objects of enjoyment, or the gross materialistic persons, are on the whole less intelligent, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.20). It is said there that those who are bereft of all good sense, or those whose intelligence is withdrawn by the deluding energy of māyā, aspire to achieve all sorts of material enjoyment in life by pleasing the various demigods, or by advancing in material civilization under the heading of scientific progress. The real problem of life in the material world is to solve the question of birth, death, old age and disease. No one wants to change his birthright, no one wants to meet death, no one wants to be old or invalid, and no one wants diseases. But these problems are solved neither by the grace of any demigod nor by the so-called advancement of material science. In the Bhagavad-gītā, as well as in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, such less intelligent persons have been described as devoid of all good sense. Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that out of the 8,400,000 species of living entities, the human form of life is rare and valuable, and out of those rare human beings those who are conscious of the material problems are rarer still, and the still more rare persons are those who are conscious of the value of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which contains the messages of the Lord and His pure devotees. Death is inevitable for everyone, intelligent or foolish. But Parīkṣit Mahārāja has been addressed by the Gosvāmī as the manīṣī, or the man of highly developed mind, because at the time of death he left all material enjoyment and completely surrendered unto the lotus feet of the Lord by hearing His messages from the right person, Śukadeva Gosvāmī. But aspirations for material enjoyment by endeavoring persons are condemned. Such aspirations are something like the intoxication of the degraded human society. Intelligent persons should try to avoid these aspirations and seek instead the permanent life by returning home, back to Godhead.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.3.1 Chapter 3: Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

Canto 2: The Cosmic ManifestationChapter 3: Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart
śrī-śukaḥ uvācaŚrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; evamso; etat — all these; nigaditam — answered; pṛṣṭavānas you inquired; yat — what; bhavān — your good self; mama — unto me; nṛṇām — of the human being; yat — one; mriyamāṇānām — on the threshold of death; manuṣyeṣu — amongst the human beings; manīṣiṇām — of the intelligent men.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Mahārāja Parīkṣit, as you have inquired from me as to the duty of the intelligent man who is on the threshold of death, so I have answered you.
In human society all over the world there are millions and billions of men and women, and almost all of them are less intelligent because they have very little knowledge of spirit soul. Almost all of them have a wrong conception of life, for they identify themselves with the gross and subtle material bodies, which they are not, in fact. They may be situated in different high and low positions in the estimation of human society, but one should know definitely that unless one inquires about his own self beyond the body and the mind, all his activities in human life are total failures. Therefore out of thousands and thousands of men, one may inquire about his spirit self and thus consult the revealed scriptures like Vedānta-sūtras, Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. But in spite of reading and hearing such scriptures, unless one is in touch with a realized spiritual master, he cannot actually realize the real nature of self, etc. And out of thousands and hundreds of thousands of men, someone may know what Lord Kṛṣṇa is in fact. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 20.122-123) it is said that Lord Kṛṣṇa, out of His causeless mercy, prepared the Vedic literatures in the incarnation of Vyāsadeva for reading by the intelligent class of men in a human society which is almost totally forgetful of the genuine relation with Kṛṣṇa. Even such an intelligent class of men may be forgetful in their relation with the Lord. The whole bhakti-yoga process is therefore a revival of the lost relation. This revival is possible in the human form of life, which is obtained only out of the evolutionary cycle of 8,400,000 species of life. The intelligent class of human being must take a serious note of this opportunity. Not all human beings are intelligent, so the importance of human life is not always understood. Therefore manīṣiṇām, meaning "thoughtful," is particularly used here. A manīṣiṇām person, like Mahārāja Parīkṣit, must therefore take to the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa and fully engage himself in devotional service, hearing, chanting, etc., of the holy name and pastimes of the Lord, which are all hari-kathāmṛta. This action is especially recommended when one is preparing for death.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.2.37

punanti te viṣaya-vidūṣitāśayaḿ
vrajanti tac-caraṇa-saroruhāntikam
pibanti — who drink; ye — those; bhagavataḥ — of the Personality of Godhead; ātmanaḥ — of the most dear; satām — of devotees; kathā-amṛtam — the nectar of the messages; śravaṇa-puṭeṣu — within the earholes; sambhṛtam — fully filled; punanti — purify; te — their; viṣaya — material enjoyment; vidūṣita-āśayam — polluted aim of life; vrajantido go back; tat — the Lord's; caraṇa — feet; saroruha-antikam — near the lotus.
Those who drink through aural reception, fully filled with the nectarean message of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the beloved of the devotees, purify the polluted aim of life known as material enjoyment and thus go back to Godhead, to the lotus feet of Him [the Personality of Godhead].
The sufferings of human society are due to a polluted aim of life, namely lording it over the material resources. The more human society engages in the exploitation of undeveloped material resources for sense gratification, the more it will be entrapped by the illusory, material energy of the Lord, and thus the distress of the world will be intensified instead of diminished. The human necessities of life are fully supplied by the Lord in the shape of food grains, milk, fruit, wood, stone, sugar, silk, jewels, cotton, salt, water, vegetables, etc., in sufficient quantity to feed and care for the human race of the world as well as the living beings on each and every planet within the universe. The supply source is complete, and only a little energy by the human being is required to get his necessities into the proper channel. There is no need of machines and tools or huge steel plants for artificially creating comforts of life. Life is never made comfortable by artificial needs, but by plain living and high thinking. The highest perfectional thinking for human society is suggested here by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, namely, sufficiently hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. For men in this age of Kali, when they have lost the perfect vision of life, this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the torchlight by which to see the real path. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī Prabhupāda has commented on the kathāmṛtam mentioned in this verse and has indicated Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to be the nectarean message of the Personality of Godhead. By sufficient hearing of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the polluted aim of life, namely lording it over matter, will subside, and the people in general in all parts of the world will be able to live a peaceful life of knowledge and bliss.
For a pure devotee of the Lord, any topics in relation with His name, fame, quality, entourage, etc., are all pleasing, and because such topics have been approved by great devotees like Nārada, Hanumān, Nanda Mahārāja and other inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, certainly such messages are transcendental and pleasing to the heart and soul.
And by the constant hearing of the messages of the Bhagavad-gītā, and later of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, one is assured herein by Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī that he will reach the Personality of Godhead and render Him transcendental loving service in the spiritual planet of the name Goloka Vṛndāvana, which resembles a huge lotus flower.
Thus by the process of bhakti-yoga, directly accepted, as suggested in this verse, by sufficient hearing of the transcendental message of the Lord, the material contamination is directly eliminated without one's attempting to contemplate the impersonal virāṭ conception of the Lord. And by practicing bhakti-yoga, if the performer is not purified from the material contamination, he must be a pseudodevotee. For such an imposter there is no remedy for being freed from material entanglement.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Second Canto, Second Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled "The Lord in the Heart."

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.2.36

tasmāt sarvātmanā rājan
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca
tasmāt — therefore; sarva — all; ātmanā — soul; rājanO King; hariḥ — the Lord; sarvatra — everywhere; sarvadā — always; śrotavyaḥ — must be heard; kīrtitavyaḥ — glorified; ca — also; smartavyaḥ — be remembered; bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; nṛṇām — by the human being.
O King, it is therefore essential that every human being hear about, glorify and remember the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, always and everywhere.
Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī begins this verse with the word tasmāt, or "therefore," because in the previous verse he has already explained that there is no auspicious means for salvation other than the sublime process of bhakti-yoga. The bhakti-yoga process is practiced by the devotees in different methods like hearing, chanting, remembering, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, worshiping, praying, rendering service in love, becoming friendly, and offering all that one may possess. All nine methods are bona fide methods, and either all of them, some of them or even one of them can bring about the desired result for the sincere devotee. But out of all the nine different methods, the first one, namely hearing, is the most important function in the process of bhakti-yoga. Without hearing sufficiently and properly, no one can make any progress by any of the methods of practice. And for hearing only, all the Vedic literatures are there, compiled by authorized persons like Vyāsadeva, who is the powerful incarnation of Godhead. And since it has been ascertained that the Lord is the Supersoul of everything, He should therefore be heard and glorified everywhere and always. That is the special duty of the human being. When the human being gives up the process of hearing about the all-pervading personality of Godhead, he becomes victim to hearing rubbish transmitted by man-made machines. Machinery is not bad because through the machine one can take advantage of hearing about the Lord, but because machinery is used for ulterior purposes, it is creating rapid degradation in the standard of human civilization. It is said here that it is incumbent upon the human beings to hear because the scriptures like Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are made for that purpose. Living beings other than human beings have no ability to hear such Vedic literatures. If human society gives itself to the process of hearing the Vedic literature, it will not become a victim to the impious sounds vibrated by impious men who degrade the standards of the total society. Hearing is solidified by the process of chanting. One who has perfectly heard from the perfect source becomes convinced about the all-pervading Personality of Godhead and thus becomes enthusiastic in glorifying the Lord. All the great ācāryas, like Rāmānuja, Madhva, Caitanya, Sarasvatī Ṭhākura or even, in other countries, Muhammad, Christ and others, have all extensively glorified the Lord by chanting always and in every place. Because the Lord is all-pervading, it is essential to glorify Him always and everywhere. In the process of glorifying the Lord there should be no restriction of time and space. This is called sanātana-dharma or bhāgavata-dharma. Sanātana means eternal, always and everywhere. Bhāgavata means pertaining to Bhagavān, the Lord. The Lord is the master of all time and all space, and therefore the Lord's holy name must be heard, glorified and remembered everywhere in the world. That will bring about the desired peace and prosperity so eagerly awaited by the people of the world. The word ca includes all the remaining processes or methods of bhakti-yoga, as mentioned above.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.2.35

lakṣitaḥ svātmanā hariḥ
dṛśyair buddhy-ādibhir draṣṭā
lakṣaṇair anumāpakaiḥ
bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; sarva — all; bhūteṣuin the living entities; lakṣitaḥ — is visible; sva-ātmanā — along with the self; hariḥ — the Lord; dṛśyaiḥ — by what is seen; buddhi-ādibhiḥ — by intelligence; draṣṭā — one who sees; lakṣaṇaiḥ — by different signs; anumāpakaiḥ — by hypothesis.
The Personality of Godhead Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is in every living being along with the individual soul. And this fact is perceived and hypothesized in our acts of seeing and taking help from the intelligence.
The general argument of the common man is that since the Lord is not visible to our eyes, how can one either surrender unto Him or render transcendental loving service unto Him? To such a common man, here is a practical suggestion given by Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī as to how one can perceive the Supreme Lord by reason and perception. Actually the Lord is not perceivable by our present materialized senses, but when one is convinced of the presence of the Lord by a practical service attitude, there is a revelation by the Lord's mercy, and such a pure devotee of the Lord can perceive the Lord's presence always and everywhere. He can perceive that intelligence is the form-direction of the Paramātmā plenary portion of the Personality of Godhead. The presence of Paramātmā in everyone's company is not very difficult to realize, even for the common man. The procedure is as follows. One can perceive one's self-identification and feel positively that he exists. He may not feel it very abruptly, but by using a little intelligence, he can feel that he is not the body. He can feel that the hand, the leg, the head, the hair and the limbs are all his bodily parts and parcels, but as such the hand, the leg, the head, etc., cannot be identified with his self. Therefore just by using intelligence he can distinguish and separate his self from other things that he sees. So the natural conclusion is that the living being, either man or beast, is the seer, and he sees besides himself all other things. So there is a difference between the seer and the seen. Now, by a little use of intelligence we can also readily agree that the living being who sees the things beyond himself by ordinary vision has no power to see or to move independently. All our ordinary actions and perceptions depend on various forms of energy supplied to us by nature in various combinations. Our senses of perception and of action, that is to say, our five perceptive senses of (1) hearing, (2) touch, (3) sight, (4) taste and (5) smell, as well as our five senses of action, namely (1) hands, (2) legs, (3) speech, (4) evacuation organs and (5) reproductive organs, and also our three subtle senses, namely (1) mind, (2) intelligence and (3) ego (thirteen senses in all), are supplied to us by various arrangements of gross or subtle forms of natural energy. And it is equally evident that our objects of perception are nothing but the products of the inexhaustible permutations and combinations of the forms taken by natural energy. As this conclusively proves that the ordinary living being has no independent power of perception or of motion, and as we undoubtedly feel our existence being conditioned by nature's energy, we conclude that he who sees is spirit, and that the senses as well as the objects of perception are material. The spiritual quality of the seer is manifest in our dissatisfaction with the limited state of materially conditioned existence. That is the difference between spirit and matter. There are some less intelligent arguments that matter develops the power of seeing and moving as a certain organic development, but such an argument cannot be accepted because there is no experimental evidence that matter has anywhere produced a living entity. Trust no future, however pleasant. Idle talks regarding future development of matter into spirit are actually foolish because no matter has ever developed the power of seeing or moving in any part of the world. Therefore it is definite that matter and spirit are two different identities, and this conclusion is arrived at by the use of intelligence. Now we come to the point that the things which are seen by a little use of intelligence cannot be animate unless we accept someone as the user of or director of the intelligence. Intelligence gives one direction like some higher authority, and the living being cannot see or move or eat or do anything without the use of intelligence. When one fails to take advantage of intelligence he becomes a deranged man, and so a living being is dependent on intelligence or the direction of a superior being. Such intelligence is all-pervading. Every living being has his intelligence, and this intelligence, being the direction of some higher authority, is just like a father giving direction to his son. The higher authority, who is present and residing within every individual living being, is the Superself.
At this point in our investigation, we may consider the following question: on the one hand we realize that all our perceptions and activities are conditioned by arrangements of material nature, yet we also ordinarily feel and say, "I am perceiving" or "I am doing." Therefore we can say that our material senses of perception and action are moving because we are identifying the self with the material body, and that the superior principle of Superself is guiding and supplying us according to our desire. By taking advantage of the guidance of Superself in the form of intelligence, we can either continue to study and to put into practice our conclusion that "I am not this body," or we can choose to remain in the false material identification, fancying ourselves to be the possessors and doers. Our freedom consists in orienting our desire either toward the ignorant, material misconception or the true, spiritual conception. We can easily attain to the true, spiritual conception by recognizing the Superself (Paramātmā) to be our friend and guide and by dovetailing our intelligence with the superior intelligence of Paramātmā. The Superself and the individual self are both spirit, and therefore the Superself and the individual self are both qualitatively one and distinct from matter. But the Superself and the individual self cannot be on an equal level because the Superself gives direction or supplies intelligence and the individual self follows the direction, and thus actions are performed properly. The individual is completely dependent on the direction of the Superself because in every step the individual self follows the direction of the Superself in the matter of seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling, willing, etc.
So far as common sense is concerned, we come to the conclusion that there are three identities, namely matter, spirit and Superspirit. Now if we go to the Bhagavad-gītā, or the Vedic intelligence, we can further understand that all three identities, namely matter, individual spirit, and the Superspirit, are all dependent on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Superself is a partial representation or plenary portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Bhagavad-gītā affirms that the Supreme Personality of Godhead dominates all over the material world by His partial representation only. God is great, and He cannot be simply an order supplier of the individual selves; therefore the Superself cannot be a full representation of the Supreme Self, Puruṣottama, the Absolute Personality of Godhead. Realization of the Superself by the individual self is the beginning of self-realization, and by the progress of such self-realization one is able to realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead by intelligence, by the help of authorized scriptures, and, principally, by the grace of the Lord. The Bhagavad-gītā is the preliminary conception of the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the further explanation of the science of Godhead. So if we stick to our determination and pray for the mercy of the director of intelligence sitting within the same bodily tree, like a bird sitting with another bird (as explained in the Upaniṣads), certainly the purport of the revealed information in the Vedas becomes clear to our vision, and there is no difficulty in realizing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. The intelligent man therefore, after many births of such use of intelligence, surrenders himself at the lotus feet of Vāsudeva, as confirmed by the Bhagavad-gītā (7.19).

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.2.34

ratir ātman yato bhavet
bhagavān — the great personality Brahmā; brahma — the Vedas; kārtsnyena — by summarization; triḥ — three times; anvīkṣya — scrutinizingly examined; manīṣayā — with scholarly attention; tat — that; adhyavasyat — ascertained it; kūṭa-sthaḥ — with concentration of the mind; ratiḥ — attraction; ātman (ātmani) — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa; yataḥ — by which; bhavetit so happens.
The great personality Brahmā, with great attention and concentration of the mind, studied the Vedas three times, and after scrutinizingly examining them, he ascertained that attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the highest perfection of religion.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī is referring to the highest Vedic authority, Lord Brahmā, who is the qualitative incarnation of Godhead. The Vedas were taught to Brahmājī in the beginning of the material creation. Although Brahmājī was to hear Vedic instructions directly from the personality of Godhead, in order to satisfy the inquisitiveness of all prospective students of the Vedas, Brahmājī, just like a scholar, studied the Vedas three times, as generally done by all scholars. He studied with great attention, concentrating on the purpose of the Vedas, and after scrutinizingly examining the whole process, he ascertained that becoming a pure, unalloyed devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the topmost perfection of all religious principles. Aid this is the last instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā directly presented by the Personality of Godhead. The Vedic conclusion is thus accepted by all ācāryas, and those who are against this conclusion are only veda-vāda-ratas, as explained in the Bhagavad-gītā (2.42).

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.2.33

na hy ato 'nyaḥ śivaḥ panthā
viśataḥ saḿsṛtāv iha
bhakti-yogo yato bhavet
na — never; hi — certainly; ataḥ — beyond this; anyaḥ — any other; śivaḥ — auspicious; panthāḥ — means; viśataḥ — wandering; saḿsṛtauin the material world; ihain this life; vāsudeve — unto Lord Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa; bhagavati — the Personality of Godhead; bhakti-yogaḥ — direct devotional service; yataḥ — wherein; bhavet — may result in.
For those who are wandering in the material universe, there is no more auspicious means of deliverance than what is aimed at in the direct devotional service of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
As will be clarified in the next verse, devotional service, or direct bhakti-yoga, is the only absolute and auspicious means of deliverance from the grip of material existence. There are many indirect methods for deliverance from the clutches of material existence, but none of them is as easy and auspicious as bhakti-yoga. The means of jñāna and yoga and other allied disciplines are not independent in delivering a performer. Such activities help one to reach the stage of bhakti-yoga after many, many years. In the Bhagavad-gītā (12.5) it is said that those who are attached to the impersonal feature of the Absolute are liable to many troubles in the pursuit of their desired goal, and the empiricist philosophers, searching after the Absolute Truth, realize the importance of Vāsudeva realization as all in all after many, many births (Bg. 7.19). As far as yoga systems are concerned, it is also said in the Bhagavad-gītā (6.47) that amongst the mystics who pursue the Absolute Truth, the one who is always engaged in the service of the Lord is the greatest of all. And the last instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.66) advises fully surrendering unto the Lord, leaving aside all other engagements or different processes for self-realization and liberation from material bondage. And the purport of all Vedic literatures is to induce one to accept the transcendental loving service of the Lord by all means.
As already explained in the texts of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (First Canto), either direct bhakti-yoga or the means which ultimately culminate in bhakti-yoga, without any tinge of fruitive activity, constitutes the highest form of religion. Everything else is simply a waste of time for the performer.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī and all other ācāryas, like Jīva Gosvāmī, agree that bhakti-yoga is not only easy, simple, natural and free from trouble, but is the only source of happiness for the human being.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.2.32

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.2.32
tvayābhipṛṣṭe ca sanātane ca
ete — all that is described; sṛtī — way; te — unto you; nṛpaO Mahārāja Parīkṣit; veda-gīte — according to the version of the Vedas; tvayā — by Your Majesty; abhipṛṣṭe — being properly inquired; ca — also; sanātanein the matter of eternal truth; ca — verily; ye — which; vai — certainly; purā — before; brahmaṇe — unto Lord Brahmā; āha — said; tuṣṭaḥ — being satisfied; ārādhitaḥ — being worshiped; bhagavān — the personality of Godhead; vāsudevaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Your Majesty Mahārāja Parīkṣit, know that all that I have described in reply to your proper inquiry is just according to the version of the Vedas, and it is eternal truth. This was described personally by Lord Kṛṣṇa unto Brahmā, with whom the Lord was satisfied upon being properly worshiped.
The two different ways of reaching the spiritual sky and thereby getting emancipation from all material bondage, namely either the direct process of reaching the kingdom of God or the gradual process through the other higher planets of the universe, are set forth exactly according to the version of the Vedas. The Vedic versions in this connection are, yadā sarve pramucyante kāmā ye 'sya hṛdi śritāḥ/ atha martyo 'mṛto bhavaty atra brahma samaśnute (Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 4.4.7) and te 'rcir abhisambhavanti (Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 6.2.15): "Those who are free from all material desires, which are diseases of the heart, are able to conquer death and enter the kingdom of God through the Arci planets." These Vedic versions corroborate the version of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and the latter is further confirmed by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who affirms that the truth was disclosed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva, to Brahmā, the first authority on the Vedas. The disciplic succession holds that the Vedas were uttered by Lord Kṛṣṇa to Brahmā, by Brahmā to Nārada, and by Nārada to Vyāsadeva, and then by Vyāsadeva to Śukadeva Gosvāmī and so on. So there is no difference between the versions of all the authorities. The truth is eternal, and as such there cannot be any new opinion about the truth. That is the way of knowing the knowledge contained in the Vedas. It is not a thing to be understood by one's erudite scholarship or by the fashionable interpretations of mundane scholars. There is nothing to be added and nothing to be subtracted, because the truth is the truth. One has to accept, after all, some authority. The modern scientists are also authorities for the common man for some scientific truths. The common man follows the version of the scientist. This means that the common man follows the authority. The Vedic knowledge is also received in that way. The common man cannot argue about what is beyond the sky or beyond the universe; he must accept the versions of the Vedas as they are understood by the authorized disciplic succession. In the Bhagavad-gītā also the same process of understanding the Gītā is stated in the Fourth Chapter. If one does not follow the authoritative version of the ācāryas, he will vainly search after the truth mentioned in the Vedas.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.2.31

tenātmanātmānam upaiti śāntam

ānandam ānandamayo 'vasāne

etāḿ gatiḿ bhāgavatīḿ gato yaḥ

sa vai punar neha viṣajjate 'ńga


tena — by that purified; ātmanā — by the self; ātmānam — the Supersoul; upaiti — attains; śāntam — rest; ānandam — satisfaction; ānanda-mayaḥ — naturally so being; avasāne — being freed from all material contamination; etām — such; gatim — destination; bhāgavatīm — devotional; gataḥ — attained by; yaḥ — the person; saḥ — he; vai — certainly; punaḥ — again; na — never; iha — in this material world; viṣajjate — becomes attracted; ańga — O Mahārāja Parīkṣit.


Only the purified soul can attain the perfection of associating with the Personality of Godhead in complete bliss and satisfaction in his constitutional state. Whoever is able to renovate such devotional perfection is never again attracted by this material world, and he never returns.


We should specially note in this verse the description of gatiḿ bhāgavatīm. To become merged in the rays of the Parabrahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as desired by the brahmavādī impersonalist, is not bhāgavatīm perfection. The bhāgavatas never accept merging in the impersonal rays of the Lord, but always aspire after personal association with the Supreme Lord in one of the Vaikuṇṭha spiritual planets in the spiritual sky. The whole of the spiritual sky, of which the total number of the material skies is only an insignificant part, is full of unlimited numbers of Vaikuṇṭha planets. The destination of the devotee (the bhāgavata) is to enter into one of the Vaikuṇṭha planets, in each of which the Personality of Godhead, in His unlimited personal expansions, enjoys Himself in the association of unlimited numbers of pure devotee associates. The conditioned souls in the material world, after gaining emancipation by devotional service, are promoted to these planets. But the number of ever-liberated souls is far, far greater than the number of conditioned souls in the material world, and the ever-liberated souls in the Vaikuṇṭha planets never care to visit this miserable material world.

The impersonalists, who aspire to merge in the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence of the Supreme Lord but have no conception of loving devotional service to Him in His personal form in the spiritual manifestation, may be compared to certain species of fish, who, being born in the rivers and rivulets, migrate to the great ocean. They cannot stay in the ocean indefinitely, for their urge for sense gratification brings them back to the rivers and streams to spawn. Similarly, when the materialist becomes frustrated in his attempts to enjoy himself in the limited material world, he may seek impersonal liberation by merging either with the Causal Ocean or with the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence. However, as neither the Causal Ocean nor the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence affords any superior substitute for association and engagement of the senses, the impersonalist will fall again into the limited material world to become entangled once more in the wheel of births and deaths, drawn on by the inextinguishable desire for sensual engagement. But any devotee who enters the kingdom of God by transcendental engagement of his senses in devotional service, and who associates with the liberated souls and the Personality of Godhead there, will never be attracted to the limited surroundings of the material world.

In the Bhagavad-gītā (8.15) also the same is confirmed, as the Lord says, "The great mahātmās, or the bhakti-yogīs, after attaining My association, never come back to this material world, which is full of miseries and is nonpermanent." The highest perfection of life, therefore, is to attain His association, and nothing else. The bhakti-yogī, being completely engaged in the Lord's service, has no attraction for any other process of liberation like jñāna or yoga. A pure devotee is a one hundred percent devotee of the Lord and nothing more.

We should further note in this verse the two words śāntam and ānandam, which denote that devotional service of the Lord can really bestow upon the devotee two important benedictions, namely peace and satisfaction. The impersonalist is desirous of becoming one with the Supreme, or in other words, he wants to become the Supreme. This is a myth only. The mystic yogīs become encumbered by various mystic powers and so have neither peace nor satisfaction. So neither the impersonalists nor the yogi can have real peace and satisfaction, but the devotee can become fully peaceful and satisfied because of his association with the complete whole. Therefore, merging in the Absolute or attaining some mystic powers has no attraction for the devotee.

Attainment of love of Godhead means complete freedom from all other attractions. The conditioned soul has many aspirations such as becoming a religious man, a rich man, or a first-class enjoyer or becoming God himself, or becoming powerful like the mystics and acting wonderfully by getting anything or doing anything, but all these aspirations should be rejected by the prospective devotee who actually wants to revive his dormant love of God. The impure devotee aspires after all of the abovementioned material things by perfection of devotion. But a pure devotee has none of the tinges of the above contaminations, which are the influence of material desires, impersonal speculations and attainment of mystic powers. One can attain the stage of love of God by pure devotional service, or by "a learned labor of love," for the sake of the devotee's lovable object, the Personality of Godhead.

To be more clear, if one wants to attain the stage of love of Godhead, he must give up all desires for material enjoyment, he should refrain from worshiping any of the demigods, and he should devote himself only to the worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He must give up the foolish idea of becoming one with the Lord and the desire to have some wonderful powers just to get the ephemeral adoration of the world. The pure devotee is only favorably engaged in the service of the Lord, without any hope of emolument. This will bring about love of Godhead, or the stage of śāntam and ānandam, as stated in this verse.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.2.30

sa bhūta-sūkṣmendriya-sannikarṣaḿ

manomayaḿ devamayaḿ vikāryam

saḿsādya gatyā saha tena yāti

vijñāna-tattvaḿ guṇa-sannirodham


saḥ — he (the devotee); bhūta — the gross; sūkṣma — and the subtle; indriya — senses; sannikarṣam — the point of neutralization; manaḥ-mayam — the mental plane; deva-mayam — in the mode of goodness; vikāryam — egoism; saḿsādya — surpassing; gatyā — by the progress; saha — along with; tena — them; yāti — goes; vijñāna — perfect knowledge; tattvam — truth; guṇa — the material modes; sannirodham — completely suspended.


The devotee, thus surpassing the gross and the subtle forms of coverings, enters the plane of egoism. And in that status he merges the material modes of nature [ignorance and passion] in this point of neutralization and thus reaches egoism in goodness. After this, all egoism is merged in the mahat-tattva, and he comes to the point of pure self-realization.


Pure self-realization, as we have several times discussed, is the pure consciousness of admitting oneself to be the eternal servitor of the Lord. Thus one is reinstated in his original position of transcendental loving service to the Lord, as will be clearly explained in the following verse. This stage of rendering transcendental loving service to the Lord without any hopes of emolument from the Lord, or any other way, can be attained when the material senses are purified and the original pure state of the senses is revived. It is suggested herein that the process of purifying the senses is by the yogic way, namely the gross senses are merged in the mode of ignorance, and the subtle senses are merged in the mode of passion. The mind belongs to the mode of goodness and therefore is called devamaya, or godly. perfect purification of the mind is made possible when one is fixed in the conviction of being the eternal servitor of the Lord. Therefore simple attainment of goodness is also a material mode; one has to surpass this stage of material goodness and reach the point of purified goodness, or vasudeva-sattva. This vasudeva-sattva helps one to enter into the kingdom of God.

We may also remember in this connection that the process of gradual emancipation by the devotees in the manner mentioned above, although authoritative, is not viable in the present age because of people's being primarily unaware of yoga practice. The so-called yoga practice by the professional protagonists may be physiologically beneficial, but such small successes cannot help one in the attainment of spiritual emancipation as mentioned herein. Five thousand years ago, when the social status of human society was in perfect Vedic order, the yoga process mentioned herein was a common affair for everyone because everyone, and especially the brāhmaṇa and kṣatriya, was trained in the transcendental art under the care of the spiritual master far away from home, in the status of brahmacarya. Modern man, however, is incompetent to understand it perfectly.

Lord Śrī Caitanya, therefore, made it easier for the prospective devotee of the present age in the following specific manner. Ultimately there is no difference in the result. The first and foremost point is that one must understand the prime importance of bhakti-yoga. The living beings in different species of life are undergoing different terms of encagement according to their fruitive actions and reactions. But in the execution of different activities, one who secures some resources in bhakti-yoga can understand the importance of service to the Lord through the causeless mercy of the Lord, as well as that of the spiritual master. A sincere soul is helped by the Lord through meeting a bona fide spiritual master, the representative of the Lord. By the instruction of such a spiritual master, one gets the seed of bhakti-yoga. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends that the devotee sow the seed of bhakti-yoga in his heart and nurture it by the watering of hearing and chanting the holy name, fame, etc., of the Lord. The simple process of offenselessly chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord will gradually promote one very soon to the stage of emancipation. There are three stages in chanting the holy name of the Lord. The first stage is the offensive chanting of the holy name, and the second is the reflective stage of chanting the holy name. The third stage is the offenseless chanting of the holy name of the Lord. In the second stage only, the stage of reflection, between the offensive and offenseless stages, one automatically attains the stage of emancipation. And in the offenseless stage, one actually enters into the kingdom of God, although physically he may apparently be within the material world. To attain the offenseless stage, one must be on guard in the following manner.

When we speak of hearing and chanting, it means that not only should one chant and hear of the holy name of the Lord as Rāma, Kṛṣṇa (or systematically the sixteen names Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare), but one should also read and hear the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the association of devotees. The primary practice of bhakti-yoga will cause the seed already sowed in heart to sprout, and by a regular watering process, as mentioned above, the bhakti-yoga creeper will begin to grow. By systematic nurturing, the creeper will grow to such an extent that it will penetrate the coverings of the universe, as we have heard in the previous verses, reach the effulgent sky, the brahmajyoti, and go farther and farther and reach the spiritual sky, where there are innumerable spiritual planets called Vaikuṇṭhalokas. Above all of them is Kṛṣṇaloka, or Goloka Vṛndāvana, wherein the growing creeper enters and takes repose at the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the original Personality of Godhead. When one reaches the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa at Goloka Vṛndāvana, the watering process of hearing and reading, as also chanting of the holy name in the pure devotional stage, fructifies, and the fruits grown there in the form of love of God are tangibly tasted by the devotee, even though he is here in this material world. The ripe fruits of love of God are relished only by the devotees constantly engaged in the watering process as described above. But the working devotee must always be mindful so that the creeper which has so grown will not be cut off. Therefore he should be mindful of the following considerations:

(1) Offense by one at the feet of a pure devotee may be likened to the mad elephant who devastates a very good garden if it enters.

(2) One must be very careful to guard himself against such offenses at the feet of pure devotees, just as one protects a creeper by all-around fencing.

(3) It so happens that by the watering process some weeds are also grown, and unless such weeds are uprooted, the nurturing of the main creeper, or the creeper of bhakti-yoga, may be hampered.

(4) Actually these weeds are material enjoyment, merging of the self in the Absolute without separate individuality, and many other desires in the field of religion, economic development, sense enjoyment and emancipation.

(5) There are many other weeds, like disobedience to the tenets of the revered scriptures, unnecessary engagements, killing animals, and hankering after material gain, prestige and adoration.

(6) If sufficient care is not taken, then the watering process may only help to breed the weeds, stunting the healthy growth of the main creeper and resulting in no fructification of the ultimate requirement: love of God.

(7) The devotee must therefore be very careful to uproot the different weeds in the very beginning. Only then will the healthy growth of the main creeper not be stunted.

(8) And by so doing, the devotee is able to relish the fruit of love of God and thus live practically with Lord Kṛṣṇa, even in this life, and be able to see the Lord in every step.

The highest perfection of life is to enjoy life constantly in the association of the Lord, and one who can relish this does not aspire after any temporary enjoyment of the material world via other media.