martes, 31 de mayo de 2011

Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Saṁvāda - Bhakti Mixed with Empiric Knowledge

Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Saṁvāda


Bhakti Mixed with Empiric Knowledge

prabhu kahe,—“eho bāhya, āge kaha āra”
rāya kahe,—“ jñāna-miśrā bhakti—sādhya-sāra”

Upon Śrīman Mahāprabhu saying that renouncing one’s svadharma, or occupational duties, is external, Rāmānanda Rāya proposed that jñāna-miśrā-bhakti, or devotion mixed with empiric speculation, is the essence of perfection.

Jñāna-miśrā-bhakti – bhakti mixed with empiric knowledge. Jñāna (knowledge) has three divisions:

(1) tat-padārtha-jñāna – knowledge of the Absolute Reality (para-tattva), or the Lord (bhagavat-tattva);

(2) tvaṁ-padārtha-jñāna – knowledge of the constitutional position of the jīva, which includes knowledge of the relationship between the jīva and Brahman;  

(3) jīva-brahma-aikya-jñāna – knowledge of the oneness between the jīva and Brahman.

This last limb, namely, jīva-brahma-aikya, is completely opposed to devotion because therein, knowledge of the constitutional relationship between Brahman as master and the jīva as servant cannot manifest, or rather, awaken. The first two limbs of jñāna, namely knowledge of jīva-tattva and knowledge of brahma-tattva, or bhagavat-tattva, are not in opposition to bhakti, because they do not hinder nourishment of master-servant relationship.

The meaning of the word jñāna in the current verse might be stretched, and thus interpreted in such a way as to suggest that bhakti mixed with these three limbs of jñāna is called jñāna-miśrā-bhakti (devotional service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa with a desire to enjoy the fruits of transcendental knowledge), but that would not be correct.
It is worth considering here that without the help of bhakti, nirviśeṣa-jñāna (knowledge of the impersonal Brahman effulgence) on its own is completely incapable of bestowing sāyujya-mukti, or impersonal liberation. Thus, in the verse under consideration the jñāna miśrā-bhakti referred to specifically indicates the third type of jñāna, or jīva-brahma-aikya-jñāna, which promulgates knowledge of the non-difference between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul.

In addition, there are even some sādhakas on the path of bhakti-yoga whose predominant goal is to attain knowledge that does not obstruct bhakti, such as bhagavat-tattva-jñāna (knowledge of the reality about the Supreme Personality of Godhead), jīva-tattva-jñāna (knowledge about the reality of the minute spiritual living entity), and sambandha-jñāna (the accompanying knowledge of the relationship between both), as well as māyā-tattva-jñāna (knowledge about the reality of the illusory energy). For this reason, their practice of the limbs of bhakti also remains mixed with jñāna. Therefore, one might include their practice in the definition of jñāna-miśrā-bhakti.

Regardless, the jñāna-miśra-bhakti referred to in this verse by Śrī Rāmānanda only equates with that bhakti which is mixed with jīva-brahma-aikya-jñāna. We shall see that this is indicated directly in the next verse, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā. In their commentaries on this verse, Śrī Śaṅkarācārya, Śrīpāda Śrīdhara Svāmī, and Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura have all accepted that the jñāna mentioned here is jīva-brahma-aikya-jñāna.

Although on the path of śuddha-bhakti there is a statute allowing one to abandon his sva-dharma, a certain level of qualification to do this is required. An edict to that effect appears in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

tāvat karmāṇi kurvīta
na nirvidyeta yāvatā
mat-kathā-śravaṇādau vā
śraddhā yāvan na jāyate
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.20.9)

 “As long as disinterest in karma has not arisen, or until, by the mercy of some mahā-puruṣa, one experiences the awakening of faith in the process of hearing and chanting bhagavat-kathā, one should continue to perform karma.”

It is only upon the awakening of extremely thick śraddhā by the grace of a pure devotee that one receives the qualification to enter kevala-bhakti, or exclusive devotion, and it is then that one becomes qualified to abandon prescribed duties (sva-dharma).

When an unqualified person renounces prescribed duties, there is fear of an inauspiciousness occurrence. For this reason, Śrīman Mahāprabhu is saying that it is external. If hearing and chanting are not coming from love within the heart, but rather from some mentally conceived sense of duty, then this practice, too, is external or superficial.

Śrīman Mahāprabhu is looking for an explanation of something superior; therefore, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya describes jñāna-miśrā-bhakti as the sādhya, or state of perfection.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda explains that while in this universe, one who is advancing in his activities along the path of self-realization will still be subject to some asmitā (10), or material identification, but when that false conception of the self is dispelled, he crosses over the Virajā River, which is beyond the influence of the three modes of material nature, and reaches the neutral (sāmya) or unmanifest (avyakta) state of the three modes.

The material universe manifests from the external energy, whereas Vaikuṇṭha dhāma, the abode of the Lord, is manifest from the internal potency. In between the two are Brahma-loka and the Virajā River. This river is the place of shelter for those jīvas who are detached from dull matter and who deny the material varieties within the material creation. Those who have acquired this unmanifest state may not enter Vaikuṇṭha but must remain outside; therefore it is termed as bāhya, or external. Just as the realization of the sādhakas who have abandoned their prescribed duties within this world does not equate to realization of Vaikuṇṭha or Goloka-dhāma, similarly those who make their goal detachment from material enjoyment only receive realization of a non-conscious impersonal reality. For this reason, it is also external. In fact, only prema-bhakti qualifies as parā-bhakti (transcendental devotional service to the Supreme Lord). Unless one reaches the state of sāmya or avyakta (the neutral state of the three modes), it is actually impossible to attain prema-bhakti.

In jñāna-miśrā-bhakti, jñāna remains prominent, and thus it is not bhakti at all. Rather, it is merely an offense at the lotus feet of Bhagavān.

It becomes possible to obtain bhakti from the sāmya or avyakta platform if one somehow gets the association of a pure guru and Vaiṣṇavas. If a piece of gold, the size and shape of a mustard seed, is mixed into a huge heap of golden mustard seeds, it is extremely difficult to distinguish it, but once the pile of seeds is set on fire and reduced to ashes it is easy to find that piece of gold.

In the same manner, in the saintly association of the pure spiritual master and Vaiṣṇava devotees, that mountain-like heap of jñāna is burned to ashes by the fire of hearing and chanting, whereupon pure bhakti (that piece of gold) may easily be obtained. Accordingly, where jñāna-miśrā-bhakti ends, śuddha-bhakti, or pure devotion, begins. Jñānīs desire to obtain sāyujya, which is the liberation of merging with the effulgence of the Lord, yet they cannot attain their goal by the process of jñāna alone. They may obtain it only by virtue of mixing this jñāna with bhakti.

The practice of this jñāna-miśrā bhakti is never capable of awakening prema; therefore, this type of jñāna presents an obstruction to śuddha-bhakti.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.20.31) states:

tasmān mad-bhakti-yuktasya
yogino vai mad-ātmanaḥ
na jñānaṁ na ca vairāgyaṁ
prāyaḥ śreyo bhaved iha

“Thus the yogī, who is connected with My bhakti and absorbed in thinking of Me, need not cultivate jñāna or renunciation. His auspiciousness is achieved only through devotion to Me.”

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā 18.54)

“‘A person happily absorbed in Brahman neither laments for nor desires anything. Being equipoised in his vision of all living beings, he obtains parā-bhakti (transcendental devotional service to Me) which is endowed with the symptoms of prema.’”

There is a multitude of mantras in the Vedas establishing the difference between the jīva and Brahman. Some examples are given here:

(1) “Pradhāna-kṣetra-jña-patir guṇeśaḥ – that Paramātmā is the controller of the guṇas and master of the living entities”
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.6.16).

(2) “Tam āhur agryaṁ puruṣaṁ mahāntam – sages declare Him to be the foremost and greatest of persons”
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.3.19).

(3) “Yāthātathyato ’rthān vyadadhāt – it is He who awards the many jīvas’ necessities”
(Īśopaniṣad 3.8).

(4) “Tenedaṁ pūrṇaṁ puruṣeṇa sarvam – by that Person’s arrangement, this universe is complete in every respect”
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.3.9).

(5) “Nityo nityānāṁ – He is supreme among all eternal beings”
(Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13, Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.6.13).

This compilation of sutras directly demonstrates that the jīva can never dissolve and become one with Brahman in any situation. Persons who attain the brahma-bhūta platform are in one of two categories.

One type, despite reaching this platform, disrespects the names, forms, qualities, and pastimes of Bhagavān, as well as His devotees. Such persons continue to endeavour exclusively for sāyujya-mukti. The brahma-bhūta Bhakti Mixed with Empiric Knowledge (self-realized) persons of this category are offenders. Instead of achieving liberation, this kind of person continues to rotate in the cycle of birth and death, taking birth in demonic species.

The other kind of brahma-bhūta souls, being non-offenders, easily achieve the shelter of the devotees and attain parā-bhakti.

(10) Asmitā: the false egoism arising from the conceptions of “I” and “mine” in relation to the material body.

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata - Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura 9.27-9.33

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata - Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura

Commentary by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.27

kona-dina patrera gaḍiyā nāga-gaṇa
jale yāya laiyā sakala śiśu-gaṇa


One day the Lord made snakes out of leaves and then took His friends to the water.


In this verse the word nāga-gaṇa refers to the replicas of Kāliya and the other serpents, and the word jale refers to the water of the lake within the Yamunā.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.28

jhāṅpa diyā paḍe keha aceṣṭa haiyā
caitanya karāya pāche āpani āsiyā


One of them jumped into the water and remained there inert. Later, the Lord brought him back to consciousness.


This pastime is described in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.15.47-52) as follows:

“Once, surrounded by His boyfriends, Kṛṣṇa went without Balarāma to the Yamunā River, where the cows and cowherd boys became afflicted by thirst and were feeling acute distress from the glaring summer sun. When they drank the water of the Yamunā River that had been contaminated by the serpent’s poison, all the cows and boys lost their consciousness and fell lifeless at the water’s edge. At that time Lord Kṛṣṇa, the master of all masters of mystic potency, felt compassion for them and immediately brought them back to life by showering His nectarean glance upon them.”

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.29

kona-dina tālavane śiśu-gaṇa laiyā
śiśu-saṅge tāla khāya dhenuka māriyā


Another day the Lord and His friends went to Tālavana, where they killed Dhenukāsura and then ate tāla fruits.


In the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.15.21) Tālavana is described as:

su-mahad vanaṁ tālāli-saṅkulam:

“a very great forest filled with rows of palm trees.”

The words dhenuka māriyā mean “by killing the demon Dhenuka.”

This pastime is described in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.15.32) as follows:

“Lord Balarāma seized Dhenuka by his hooves, whirled him about with one hand and threw him into the top of a palm tree. The violent wheeling motion killed the demon.”

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.30

śiśu-saṅge goṣṭhe giyā nānā-krīḍā kare
baka-agha-vatsāsura kari’ tāhā māre


Nityānanda and His childhood friends went into the fields and enjoyed various pastimes such as the killing of Bakāsura, Aghāsura, and Vatsāsura.


Regarding goṣṭhe nānā-krīḍā—“various pastimes in the pasturing fields,” the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.11.39-40) states:

“Sometimes Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma would play on Their flutes, sometimes They would throw ropes and stones devised for getting fruits from the trees, sometimes They would throw only stones, and sometimes, Their ankle bells tinkling, They would play football with fruits like bael and āmalakī. Sometimes They would cover Themselves with blankets and imitate cows and bulls and fight with one another, roaring loudly, and sometimes They would imitate the voices of the animals.”

The killing of Bakāsura is described in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.11.51) as follows:

“When Kṛṣṇa, the leader of the Vaiṣṇavas, saw that the demon Bakāsura, the friend of Kaṁsa, was endeavouring to attack Him, with His arms He captured the demon by the two halves of the beak, and in the presence of all the cowherd boys Kṛṣṇa very easily bifurcated Him, as a child splits a blade of vīraṇa grass. By thus killing the demon, Kṛṣṇa very much pleased the denizens of heaven.”

The killing of Aghāsura is described in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.12.30-31) as follows:

“When the invincible Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, heard the demigods crying ‘Alas! Alas!’ from behind the clouds, He immediately enlarged Himself within the demon’s throat, just to save Himself and the cowherd boys, His own associates, from the demon who wished to smash them. Then, because Kṛṣṇa had increased the size of His body, the demon extended his own body to a very large size. Nonetheless, his breathing stopped, he suffocated, and his eyes rolled here and there and popped out. The demon’s life air, however, could not pass through any outlet, and therefore it finally burst out through a hole in the top of the demon’s head.”

The killing of Vatsāsura is described in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.11.43) as follows:

“Thereafter, Śrī Kṛṣṇa caught the demon by the hind legs and tail, twirled the demon’s whole body very strongly until the demon was dead, and threw him into the top of a kapittha tree, which then fell down, along with the body of the demon, who had assumed a great form.”

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.31

vikāle āise ghara goṣṭhira sahite
śiśu-gaṇa-saṅge śṛṅga bāite bāite


In the afternoon the Lord and His associates returned home blowing buffalo horns.


The musical instrument śṛṅga is made from a horn and is called śiṅgā and viṣāṇa.

Bāite bāite comes from the word bāya, which is a corruption of the word vādana, which is a corruption of the Sanskrit verb vādi.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.32

kona-dina kare govardhana-dhara-līlā
vṛndāvana raci’ kona-dina kare khelā


One day they enjoyed the pastimes of lifting Govardhana Hill, and another day they created a Vṛndāvana, wherein they enjoyed various sports.


The phrase govardhana-dhara-līlā—“lifting Govardhana Hill” is described in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.25.19) as follows:

“Lord Kṛṣṇa picked up Govardhana Hill with one hand and held it aloft just as easily as a child holds up an umbrella.”

The word raci means “created.”

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.33

kona-dina kare gopīra vasana-haraṇa
kona-dina kare yajña-patnī-daraśana


One day they enacted Kṛṣṇa’s pastime of stealing the gopīs’ clothes, and another day they enacted His meeting the wives of the brāhmaṇas.


Regarding gopīra vasana-haraṇa—“stealing the gopīs’ clothes,” one should see Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.22.1-28):

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said:

“During the first month of the winter season, the young unmarried girls of Gokula observed the vow of worshiping goddess Kātyāyanī. For the entire month they ate only un-spiced khichrī .My dear King, after they had bathed in the water of the Yamunā just as the sun was rising, the gopīs made an earthen deity of goddess Durgā on the riverbank. Then they worshiped her with such aromatic substances as sandalwood pulp, along with other items both opulent and simple, including lamps, fruits, betel nuts, newly grown leaves, and fragrant garlands and incense. Each of the young unmarried girls performed her worship while chanting the following mantra.

‘O goddess Kātyāyanī, O great potency of the Lord, O possessor of great mystic power and mighty controller of all, please make the son of Nanda Mahārāja my husband. I offer my obeisances unto you.’

Thus for an entire month the girls carried out their vow and properly worshiped the goddess Bhadrakālī, fully absorbing their minds in Kṛṣṇa and meditating upon the following thought:

‘May the son of King Nanda become my husband.’

Each day they rose at dawn. Calling out to one another by name, they all held hands and loudly sang the glories of Kṛṣṇa while going to the Kālindī to take their bath.

One day they came to the riverbank and, putting aside their clothing as they had done before, happily played in the water while singing the glories of Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and master of all masters of mystic yoga, was aware of what the gopīs were doing, and thus He went there surrounded by His young companions to award the gopīs the perfection of their endeavour. Taking the girls' garments, He quickly climbed to the top of a kadamba tree. Then, as He laughed loudly and His companions also laughed, He addressed the girls jokingly.

[Lord Kṛṣṇa said:]

‘My dear girls, you may each come here as you wish and take back your garments. I'm telling you the truth and am not joking with you, since I see you're fatigued from executing austere vows. I have never before spoken a lie, and these boys know it. Therefore, O slender-waisted girls, please come forward, either one by one or all together, and pick out your clothes.

Seeing how Kṛṣṇa was joking with them, the gopīs became fully immersed in love for Him, and as they glanced at each other they began to laugh and joke among themselves, even in their embarrassment. But still they did not come out of the water. As Śrī Govinda spoke to the gopīs in this way, His joking words completely captivated their minds. Submerged up to their necks in the cold water, they began to shiver. Thus they addressed Him as follows.

[The gopīs said:]

‘Dear Kṛṣṇa, don't be unfair! We know that You are the respectable son of Nanda and that You are honoured by everyone in Vraja. You are also very dear to us. Please give us back our clothes. We are shivering in the cold water. O Śyāmasundara, we are Your maidservants and must do whatever You say. But give us back our clothing. You know what the religious principles are, and if You don't give us our clothes we will have to tell the king. Please!’

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said:

‘If you girls are actually My maidservants, and if you will really do what I say, then come here with your innocent smiles and let each girl pick out her clothes. If you don't do what I say, I won't give them back to you. And even if the king becomes angry, what can he do?’

Then, shivering from the painful cold, all the young girls rose up out of the water, covering their pubic area with their hands. When the Supreme Lord saw how the gopīs were struck with embarrassment, He was satisfied by their pure loving affection. Putting their clothes on His shoulder, the Lord smiled and spoke to them with affection.

[Lord Kṛṣṇa said:]

‘You girls bathed naked while executing your vow and that is certainly an offense against the demigods. To counteract your sin you should offer obeisances while placing your joined palms above your heads. Then you should take back your lower garments.’

Thus the young girls of Vṛndāvana, considering what Lord Acyuta had told them, accepted that they had suffered a falldown from their vow by bathing naked in the river. But they still desired to successfully complete their vow, and since Lord Kṛṣṇa is Himself the ultimate result of all pious activities, they offered their obeisances to Him to cleanse away all their sins. Seeing them bow down like that, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the son of Devakī, gave them back their garments, feeling compassionate toward them and satisfied by their act. Although the gopīs had been thoroughly cheated, deprived of their modesty, ridiculed and made to act just like toy dolls, and although their clothing had been stolen, they did not feel at all inimical toward Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Rather, they were simply joyful to have this opportunity to associate with their beloved. The gopīs were addicted to associating with their beloved Kṛṣṇa, and thus they became captivated by Him. Thus, even after putting their clothes on they did not move. They simply remained where they were, shyly glancing at Him. The Supreme Lord understood the determination of the gopīs in executing their strict vow. The Lord also knew that the girls desired to touch His lotus feet, and thus Lord Dāmodara, Kṛṣṇa, spoke to them as follows.

[Lord Kṛṣṇa said:]

‘O saintly girls, I understand that your real motive in this austerity has been to worship Me. That intent of yours is approved of by Me, and indeed it must come to pass. The desire of those who fix their minds on Me does not lead to material desire for sense gratification, just as barleycorns burned by the sun and then cooked can no longer grow into new sprouts. Go now, girls, and return to Vraja. Your desire is fulfilled, for in My company you will enjoy the coming nights. After all, this was the purpose of your vow to worship goddess Kātyāyanī, O pure-hearted ones.’

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said:

‘Thus instructed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the young girls, their desire now fulfilled, could bring themselves only with great difficulty to return to the village of Vraja, meditating all the while upon His lotus feet.’”

Regarding yajña-patnī-daraśana—“meeting the wives of the brāhmaṇas,” one should see Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.23.18-32):

“The wives of the brāhmaṇas were always eager to see Kṛṣṇa, for their minds had been enchanted by descriptions of Him. Thus as soon as they heard that He had come, they became very excited. Taking along in large vessels the four kinds of foods, full of fine tastes and aromas, all the ladies went forth to meet their beloved, just as rivers flow toward the sea. Although their husbands, brothers, sons and other relatives tried to forbid them from going, their hope of seeing Kṛṣṇa, cultivated by extensive hearing of His transcendental qualities, won out.

Along the river Yamunā, within a garden decorated with buds of aśoka trees, they caught sight of Him strolling along in the company of the cowherd boys and His elder brother, Balarāma. His complexion was dark blue and His garment golden. Wearing a peacock feather, collared minerals, sprigs of flower buds, and a garland of forest flowers and leaves, He was dressed just like a dramatic dancer. He rested one hand upon the shoulder of a friend and with the other twirled a lotus. Lilies graced His ears, His hair hung down over His cheeks, and His lotus-like face was smiling.

O ruler of men, for a long time those brāhmaṇa ladies had heard about Kṛṣṇa, their beloved, and His glories had become the constant ornaments of their ears. Indeed, their minds were always absorbed in Him. Through the apertures of their eyes they now forced Him to enter within their hearts, and then they embraced Him within for a long time. In this way they finally gave up the pain of separation from Him, just as sages give up the anxiety of false ego by embracing their innermost consciousness. Lord Kṛṣṇa, who witnesses the thoughts of all creatures, understood how those ladies had abandoned all worldly hopes and come there simply to see Him. Thus He addressed them as follows with a smile upon His face.

[Lord Kṛṣṇa said:]

‘Welcome, O most fortunate ladies. Please sit down and make yourselves comfortable.

What can I do for you?

That you have come here to see Me is most appropriate. Certainly expert personalities, who can see their own true interest, render unmotivated and uninterrupted devotional service directly unto Me, for I am most dear to the soul. It is only by contact with the self that one's vital breath, intelligence, mind, friends, body, wife, children, wealth and so on are dear.

Therefore what object can possibly be dearer than one's own self?

You should thus return to the sacrificial arena, because your husbands, the learned brāhmaṇas, are householders and need your assistance to finish their respective sacrifices.’

The wives of the brāhmaṇas replied:

‘O almighty one, please do not speak such cruel words. Rather, You should fulfil Your promise that You always reciprocate with Your devotees in kind. Now that we have attained Your lotus feet, we simply wish to remain here in the forest so we may carry upon our heads the garlands of tulasī leaves You may neglectfully kick away with Your lotus feet.

We are ready to give up all material relationships. Our husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, other relatives and friends will no longer take us back, and how could anyone else be willing to give us shelter?

Therefore, since we have thrown ourselves at Your lotus feet and have no other destination, please, O chastiser of enemies, grant our desire.’

The Supreme Personality of Godhead replied:

‘Rest assured that your husbands will not be inimical toward you, nor will your fathers, brothers, sons, other relatives or the general populace. I will personally advise them of the situation. Indeed, even the demigods will express their approval. For you to remain in My bodily association would certainly not please people in this world, nor would it be the best way for you to increase your love for Me. Rather, you should fix your minds on Me, and very soon you will achieve Me.’”

lunes, 30 de mayo de 2011

Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Saṁvāda - Renouncing Occupational Duties

Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Saṁvāda


Renouncing Occupational Duties  

prabhu kahe,—“eho bāhya, āge kaha āra”
rāya kahe,—“svadharma-tyāga, ei sādhya-sāra”

Mahāprabhu said, “This is also external. Speak further on this matter.” Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda replied, “To give up one’s sva-dharma, or occupational duties in the varṇāśrama system, is the essence of perfection.

Sva-dharma tyāga – abandoning varṇāśrama-dharma. There are two types of sva-dharma:

(1) To practice varṇāśrama-dharma with the desire to enjoy the fruits of one’s activities.

(2) To offer one’s work and its results to Śrī Kṛṣṇa without desiring to taste the fruits.

Śrīman Mahāprabhu declared both of these to be external, whereupon Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya explained the topic of sva-dharma tyāga, or the complete abandonment of one’s occupational duty.

The sequence so far has been as follows: it was first suggested that varṇāśrama-dharma was the perfect goal, yet Śrīman Mahāprabhu designated it as external because by this process, one cannot attain prema-bhakti, what to speak of mounting the staircase of prema.

Next, offering the fruits of one’s activities, or karma-arpaṇa, was presented as the ultimate goal, but Śrīman Mahāprabhu also determined that as external, based on the prior statement, “bhaktyā sañjātayā bhaktyā – bhakti only comes from bhakti” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.3.31). The commentator on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Śrī Śrīdhara Svāmī writes of this verse:

“bhaktyā sādhana-bhaktyā
saṁjātayā prema-lakṣaṇayā

prema-bhakti only arises from sādhana-bhakti.”

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says that for those who are incapable of entering into bhajana, verses such as yat karoṣi have been spoken. By properly performing one’s role in the varṇāśrama system, the mind is gradually purified. By not following one’s prescribed duties, one incurs a fault, therefore it is best to execute one’s prescribed duties.

However, he who abandons this process in order to perform bhakti is the topmost sādhu. Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa says:

tāvat karmāṇi kurvīta
na nirvidyeta yāvatā
mat-kathā-śravaṇādau vā
śraddhā yāvan na jāyate
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.20.9)

“As long as a feeling of detachment from this world of work and its concomitant fruits, culminating in the happiness of the heavenly planets, has not arisen, or in other words, as long as faith in hearing and chanting narrations of My pastimes has not awoken, the many rules and regulations in regard to the performance of karma must be followed.”

If one who is indifferent to hearing narrations about Śrī Kṛṣṇa abandons his sva-dharma before a taste in hearing has arisen, he will fall into a degraded condition. Such a person surrenders to Bhagavān because he fears the results of his good and bad karma, not because he has prema for the Lord. Śrīman Mahāprabhu thus labelled abandoning the varṇāśrama-dharma external. Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa has clearly said:

yadṛcchayā mat-kathādau
jāta-śraddhas tu yaḥ pumān
na nirviṇṇo nāti-sakto
bhakti-yogo ’sya siddhi-daḥ
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.20.8)

“By virtue of spiritual merit attained in their previous births, those who are neither repelled nor overly attached materially, and in whom faith in discussions of My pastimes has awakened, are eligible to take to bhakti. Bhakti-devī then confers perfection upon them.”

The execution of sva-dharma has been termed external because by following varṇāśrama-dharma one will act according to his material nature. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has said in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.60):

śāstrataḥ śrūyate bhaktau nṛ-mātrasyādhikāritā

“It is every person’s birth-right to accept devotional service. This is substantiated in many scriptures.”

Even that person who does not follow varṇāśrama-dharma has the qualification to worship Viṣṇu. The partial quote from this verse is an unequivocal statement to that effect.

ājñāyaivaṁ guṇān doṣān
mayādiṣṭān api svakān
dharmān saṁtyajya yaḥ sarvān
māṁ bhajet sa ca sattamaḥ
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.11.32)

“‘O Uddhava, My instructions concerning occupational duties are described in the scriptures. One who deliberates on their merits and limitations, and then gives up varṇāśrama to perform bhajana of Me is the best of perfected persons.’”

The word śāstra in this connection refers to the Vedas and other scriptures which propound mundane moral virtues and give instruction how to progress in life. The word ājñāya (knowing completely or properly) is split into two parts:

ā means “completely, or properly,” and jñāya means “knowing, or understanding.”

After fully comprehending the inherent limitations and assets of one’s prescribed religious duties, one should reject them.

There are three obstacles encountered in the performance of śuddha-bhakti:

(1) dehātma-buddhi – to consider the material body to be the self.

(2) jīva-brahma-aikya-jñāna – to cultivate knowledge that promotes the idea of oneness between the jīva and Brahman.

(3) bhagavat-tattva-jñāna, or aiśvarya-jñāna – to cultivate knowledge concerning the opulence of Bhagavān.

In addition, there are three kinds of people who abandon the path of karma:

(1) ajña – the ignorant who depart from the prescriptions of nitya (daily obligatory) and naimittika (occasional) duties mentioned in the Vedas.

(2) nāstika – the atheists who know about karma as presented in the Vedas but have no faith in it.

(3) sarva-parityāgī – those whose renunciation is complete, or who are aware that karma is not a limb of śuddha-bhakti. They have unflinching faith that through the performance of bhakti to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, all karma (prescribed duties) automatically becomes complete, meaning they have no other duties to perform.

Persons in this third category are therefore considered to be superior, and Bhagavān refers to them in this verse. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, when Bhagavān speaks of the glories of the association of sādhus, He is referring to sādhus such as these only. For example:

satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.25.25)

“In the assembly of pure devotees, powerful discussions illuminating My heroic deeds become a rejuvenating tonic for both the ears and the heart. By hearing these narrations, one quickly advances on the path of emancipation from ignorance. First he develops śraddhā in Me, then rati, and finally he experiences the awakening of prema-bhakti.”

He automatically attains eligibility to receive all good qualities, such as mercifulness, as stated in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 22.75):

“kṛṣṇa-bhakte kṛṣṇera guṇa sakali sañcārī  

All the good qualities of Kṛṣṇa gradually develop in Kṛṣṇa’s devotee.”

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā 18.66)

“‘O Arjuna, abandon all varieties of dharma such as varṇāśrama and just surrender completely unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not lament.’”

In Śrī Manaḥ-śikṣā (2) Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī states:

na dharmaṁ nādharmaṁ śruti-gaṇa-niruktaṁ kila kuru
vraja rādhā-kṛṣṇa pracura-paricaryām iha tanu

“Do not perform either the dharma (pious deeds) or adharma (irreligious, or impious deeds) mentioned in the Vedas. Rather you should perform profuse loving service to the Divine Couple Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.”

In his commentary to this verse, Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura presents, as an example, the following verse from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.29.46):

yadā yam anugṛhṇāti
bhagavān ātma-bhāvitaḥ
sa jahāti matiṁ loke
vede ca pariniṣṭhitām

“Bhagavān bestows His mercy upon a jīva who meditates on Him constantly. The jīva then becomes free from the root cause of Renouncing Occupational Duties, bondage, i.e., the attachment to all social customs and religious rituals prescribed by the Vedas.”

The word dharma here is taken to mean all bodily and mental occupations (dharmas) such as adherence to the spiritual orders and social positions. The use of the prefix pari in the word pariniṣṭhitām (attached) carries a special meaning, indicating that these devotees constitutionally reject all forms of fruitive activities. The soul itself has no attraction to all of these dharmas. The sādhaka quits his brahmaniṣṭhā (firm faith in impersonal Brahman) and īśvara-niṣṭhā (firm faith in the Supreme Controller of the material world, Lord Viṣṇu) and attains bhagavan-niṣṭhā, or firm faith in Bhagavān.

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata - Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura 9.13-9.26

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata - Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura

Commentary by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.13

hena mate āpanā’ lukāi’ nityānanda
śiśu-gaṇa-saṅge khelā karena ānanda


Nityānanda remained hidden as He enjoyed childhood pastimes with the other children.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.14

śiśu-gaṇa-saṅge prabhu yata krīḍā kare
śrī-kṛṣṇera kārya āra nāhi sphūre


The pastimes that the Lord enjoyed with His childhood friends were all related to the activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa.


While Śrī Nityānanda Rāma Prabhu sported with His boyfriends, they would enact the pastimes of Gokula, Mathurā, and Dvārakā. In this way He fulfilled the desires and assisted in the pastimes of His Lord, Śrī Gaura-Kṛṣṇa.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.15-17

deva-sabhā karena miliyā śiśu-gaṇe
pṛthivīra rūpe keha kare nivedane
tabe pṛthvī laiyā sabe nadī-tīre yāya
śiśu-gaṇa meli’ stuti kare ūrdhvarāya
kona śiśu lukāiyā ūrdhva kari’ bole
“janmibāṅa giyā āmi mathurā-gokule”


He and His friends formed an assembly of demigods, and one of them acting as mother earth offered prayers to them. They then led mother earth to the riverbank, and the children all began to offer prayers. Then one of the boys hidden from view loudly declared, “I will soon take birth in Mathurā, Gokula.”


The word deva-sabhā refers to the assembly of the demigods known as Sudharmā.

The word nadī-tīre means “on the shore of the Milk Ocean.”

In the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.1.17-23) Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī speaks to Parīkṣit Mahārāja as follows:

“Once when mother earth was overburdened by hundreds of thousands of military phalanxes of various conceited demons dressed like kings, she approached Lord Brahmā for relief. Mother earth assumed the form of a cow. Very much distressed, with tears in her eyes, she appeared before Lord Brahmā and told him about her misfortune. Thereafter, having heard of the distress of mother earth, Lord Brahmā, with mother earth, Lord Śiva and all the other demigods, approached the shore of the ocean of milk. After reaching the shore of the ocean of milk, the demigods worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, the master of the whole universe, the supreme God of all gods, who provides for everyone and diminishes everyone’s suffering. With great attention, they worshiped Lord Viṣṇu, who lies on the ocean of milk, by reciting the Vedic mantras known as the Puruṣa-sūkta. While in trance, Lord Brahmā heard the words of Lord Viṣṇu vibrating in the sky. Thus he told the demigods:

‘O demigods, hear from me the order of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the Supreme Person, and execute it attentively without delay.’

Lord Brahmā informed the demigods:

‘Before we submitted our petition to the Lord, He was already aware of the distress on earth. Consequently, for as long as the Lord moves on earth to diminish its burden by His own potency in the form of time, all of you demigods should appear through plenary portions as sons and grandsons in the family of the Yadus. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who has full potency, will personally appear as the son of Vasudeva.’”

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.18

kona-dina niśā-bhāge śiśu-gaṇa laiyā
vasudeva-devakīra karāyena viyā


One evening the Lord and His friends enacted the marriage of Vasudeva and Devakī.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.19

bandi-ghara kariyā atyanta niśā-bhāge
kṛṣṇa-janma karāyena, keha nāhi jāge


Then, late one night, while everyone slept, they made a prison and enacted the birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa.


The phrase kṛṣṇa-janma karāyena—“enacted the birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa,” is elaborated in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.3.8) as follows:

“Then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, who is situated in the core of everyone’s heart, appeared from the heart of Devakī in the dense darkness of night, like the full moon rising on the eastern horizon, because Devakī was of the same category as Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”

The phrase keha nāhi jāge—“while everyone slept,” is explained in the following passage of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.3.48):

“By the influence of Yogamāyā, all the doorkeepers fell fast asleep, their senses unable to work, and the other inhabitants of the house also fell deeply asleep.”

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.20

gokula sṛjiyā tathi ānena kṛṣṇere
mahāmāyā dilā laiyā bhāṇḍilā kaṁsere


They created a Gokula, and Kṛṣṇa was taken there and exchanged with Mahāmāyā, thereby tricking King Kaṁsa.


The pastimes mentioned in this verse are described in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.3.51-52) as follows:

“When Vasudeva reached the house of Nanda Mahārāja, he saw that all the cowherd men were fast asleep. Thus he placed his own son on the bed of Yaśodā, picked up her daughter, an expansion of Yogamāyā, and then returned to his residence, the prison house of Kaṁsa. Vasudeva placed the female child on the bed of Devakī, bound his legs with the iron shackles, and thus remained there as before.”

The words dilā laiyā—“gave and took” refer to the point of view of Yaśodā, the resident of Vraja. In this drama the child playing Yaśodā gave the child playing Mahāmāyā to the child playing Vasudeva and took the child playing Kṛṣṇa from him.

Another reading of this passage is laiyā diyā—“took and gave,” which would then refer to the point of view of Vasudeva, the resident of Mathurā prison. In that case the child playing Vasudeva took the child playing Mahāmāyā from the child playing Yaśodā and gave the child playing Kṛṣṇa to her.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.21

kona śiśu sājāyena pūtanāra rūpe
keha stana pāna kare uṭhi’ tā’ra buke


Another time they dressed someone as Pūtanā, and someone climbed on her chest to suck her breast.


Regarding Kṛṣṇa’s drinking milk from Pūtanā’s breast, the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.6.10) states:

“On that very spot, the fiercely dangerous Rākṣasī Pūtanā took Kṛṣṇa on her lap and pushed her breast into His mouth. The nipple of her breast was smeared with a dangerous, immediately effective poison, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, becoming very angry at her, took hold of her breast, squeezed it very hard with both hands, and sucked out both the poison and her life.”

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.22

kona-dina śiśu-saṅge nalakhaḍi diyā
śakaṭa gaḍiyā tāhā phelena bhāṅgiyā


One day Nityānanda and His boyfriends made a śakaṭa, or handcart, out of reeds and then broke it.


The word nalakhaḍi refers to a type of tall grass in the form of hard hollow sticks, also known as reeds.

Breaking the handcart is described in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.7.7-8) as follows:

“Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was lying down underneath the handcart in one corner of the courtyard, and although His little legs were as soft as leaves, when He struck the cart with His legs, it turned over violently and collapsed.”

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.23

nikaṭe vasaye yata goyālāra ghare
alakṣite śiśu-saṅge giyā curi kare


Another day the Lord and His friends stole from the houses of the neighbouring cowherd men.


The word goyālā comes from the word goala, which is a corruption of the Sanskrit word gopāla.

Regarding Kṛṣṇa’s stealing butter from the houses of the cowherd men, in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (10.8.29) the gopīs complain to Mother Yaśodā about Kṛṣṇa in the following words:

steyaṁ svādv atty atha dadhi-payaḥ kalpitaiḥ steya-yogaiḥ:

“Sometimes He devises some process by which He steals palatable curd, butter and milk, which He then eats and drinks.”

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.24

tāṅ’re chāḍi’ śiśu-gaṇa nāhi yāya ghare
rātri-dina nityānanda-saṁhati vihare


The boys never left Nityānanda’s association to go home, but continued sporting with Him day and night.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.25

yāhāra bālaka, tā’rā kichu nāhi bole
sabe sneha kariyā rākhena laiyā kole


The children’s parents did not complain, rather they would affectionately embrace Nityānanda.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.26

sabe bole,—“nāhi dekhi hena divya khelā
kemane jānila śiśu eta kṛṣṇa-līlā?”


They said, “We have never seen such transcendental sports. How does this child know so many of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes?”

domingo, 29 de mayo de 2011

Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Saṁvāda - Offering the Results of One’s Activities to Kṛṣṇa

Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Saṁvāda


Offering the Results of One’s Activities to Kṛṣṇa


prabhu kahe,—“eho bāhya, āge kaha āra”
rāya kahe,—“kṛṣṇe karmārpaṇa—sarva-sādhya-sāra”

Śrīman Mahāprabhu said, “What you have just said is external. Please tell Me something more than this.”
Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda replied, “To completely offer the results of one’s activities to Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the essence of all perfection.”

By declaring this as external, Śrīman Mahāprabhu intended to convey that yes, by following the system of varṇāśrama-dharma, Śrī Viṣṇu is pleased, but only partially so. Varṇāśrama is not directly related to the constitutional nature of the jīva as a servant of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, nor is it devotional practice composed entirely of the nine limbs of bhakti performed for the pleasure of the Lord (svarūpa-siddhā-bhakti).

Uttamā-bhakti, or topmost devotional service, is that bhakti which sets the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the goal, and in which the nine processes of devotional service, especially hearing and chanting, are executed. By the mercy of Bhagavān, that uttamā-bhakti thus attains oneness, or qualitative equality (tādātmya), with the special function of Bhagavān’s internal potency. Even when the sādhaka finally attains perfection and achieves service to Bhagavān in His eternal pastimes in the spiritual realm, the activities of hearing and chanting do not subside; rather they become even more supremely relishable and keenly desirable. This taste and desire are in both the devotee and Bhagavān; indeed, they both realize ecstasy. To the liberated souls, this ecstasy is highly desirable, as it is their most treasured object and their ultimate goal.

Here the term karma refers to the activities mentioned in Smṛti and other scriptures that are performed on the basis of the natural inclination of the present body. The pursuance of varṇāśrama-dharma is sakāma-karma (performing acts in accordance with scriptural injunctions to fulfil one’s own material desires). Offering the fruits of one’s activities to Bhagavān is therefore superior to this.

It is stated in the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā (3.9):

yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra
loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya
mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara

“O son of Kuntī, apart from offering the fruits of one’s selfless activities (niṣkāma-karma) to Śrī Viṣṇu, other forms of karma are simply a cause of bondage. Therefore, remaining free from the desire to enjoy the fruits of your labour, you should perform all activities with Śrī Viṣṇu as the goal.”

Whatever karma is performed for the pleasure of Śrī Hari is called yajña (sacrifice). Any other activity is the cause of bondage in this world.

Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā (2.51) further states:

karma-jaṁ buddhi-yuktā hi
phalaṁ tyaktvā manīṣiṇaḥ
padaṁ gacchanty anāmayam

“Sages who perform buddhi-yoga (devotional service endowed with knowledge of Śrī Kṛṣṇa) renounce the fruits of action in the material world. They become liberated from the cycle of birth and death and attain that state beyond all miseries.”

Performing karma while free from attachment, completely eradicates the fear of all bondage. Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā discusses this topic in the section on karma-yoga. Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself says:

śubhāśubha-phalair evaṁ
mokṣyase karma-bandhanaiḥ
vimukto mām upaiṣyasi
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā 9.28)

“O Arjuna! In this way you will be freed from all bondage caused by the fruit of good and evil deeds, and, by the yoga of renouncing the fruits of action, you will be a unique soul even amongst liberated persons, and you will come to Me.”

Our Gauḍīya Gosvāmīs have stated unequivocally that we should never offer any sinful activity or low-class activity to Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

One should perform bhakti by offering one’s very self, and abandon the mentality of being the enjoyer and the doer. As the next verse says:

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ dhyānaṁ
pāda-sevanam arcanam
vandanaṁ svārpaṇaṁ sakhyaṁ
sarvaṁ dāsye pratiṣṭhitam
(Śrī Hari-bhakti-kalpa-latikā 10.3)

“The devotional processes of hearing about the Lord, glorifying Him, remembering Him, serving His lotus feet, worshiping Him, offering obeisances to Him, surrendering everything to Him, and befriending Him, all rest on service to Him.”

This verse describes dāsya-bhāva, in which the devotee feels, “I am a servant of the Lord.” When one becomes a servant, nothing remains his own – not his body, his intelligence, his senses, his speech, his heart, his religion, his desires, his wealth, or his actions. One cannot even say, “I am performing austerities,” or “I am performing bhakti,” because the consciousness that “I am the doer” also disappears. The first stage of bhakti is ātma-samarpaṇa, or self-surrender.

When we feel that all of our desires have been fulfilled by worshiping Śrī Viṣṇu, we may conclude that Bhagavān Viṣṇu is pleased with us, but really, this is not the case at all. Therefore, Mahāprabhu considered offering the fruits of one’s action to be an external conception, because this method of worship is not inherently pleasing to Bhagavān. He is Offering the Results of One’s Activities to Kṛṣṇa only superficially pleased with the devotee, for the sake of that devotee’s happiness.

Such a worshiper considers the earth, the heavenly planets and other such places to be related to him. This conception has no connection whatsoever with svarūpa-siddhā-bhakti, or the nine limbs of devotional service performed to achieve one’s perfect spiritual body. Some who follow varṇāśrama-dharma consider their austerities to be their own, some consider their mother to be their own, some their father, and some consider everything they have to be their personal property.

For example, once there was a brāhmaṇa who sat beneath a tree performing austerities. A pigeon perching on the upper branches passed stool upon him, which broke the brāhmaṇa’s meditation. He became so angry that by his glance he burnt the pigeon to ashes. By this, he believed that his austerity had achieved perfection. So impressed was he that he became quite haughty and was not slightly concerned about pleasing Bhagavān.

Bhagavān fulfils the desires of such a devotee yet remains unattached to him. A sādhaka, who by the special grace of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, performs uttamā-bhakti, or activities exclusively for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, desires nothing, nor is there anything more that Śrī Kṛṣṇa possesses that is worthy to be given to him. Thus, He sells Himself to such a sādhaka.

The sādhana of following varṇāśrama-dharma pleases Śrī Viṣṇu only fractionally. For this reason it is called external.

Śrīla Sarasvatī Prabhupāda says that the bodily achievements of those who follow varṇāśrama-dharma are based on the false egoism arising from the bodily conceptions of “I” and “mine” and are thus confined to this universe. Bhakti, on the other hand, is beyond the material universe.

Bhagavān Śrī Gaurahari regards the external realization of those persons residing outside Vaikuṇṭha or Goloka-dhāma as fit to be rejected, and He does not accord any special independent recognition to the worship of Viṣṇu by the varṇāśrama method.

Jñānīs direct their worship toward the formless aspect of Bhagavān (nirviśeṣa), and karmīs (reward-seeking workers) revere His variegated forms (saviśeṣa). Both worship Śrī Viṣṇu with some material intent.

According to Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, to offer the results of one’s action to Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the very essence of perfection when compared to the ordinary varṇāśrama system. Nirviśeṣa tattva-vadīs actually remain absorbed in karma, which is full of variety, or saviśeṣa.

Even though it appears that they are engaging in bhakti, factually it is
not so at all. Everything they offer is related to the body. Such offerings bear no relation to the soul, and so Mahāprabhu calls the offering itself, external. Undertakings such as constructing hospitals and dharmaśālās (guest-houses for pilgrims) and digging wells may be offered to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, but they are external and are thus an obstruction to the soul’s relationship with Bhagavān. Consequently, one’s devotional service is blemished with undesirable habits.

Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī has said:

na dharmaṁ nādharmaṁ śruti-gaṇa-niruktaṁ kila kuru
vraja rādhā-kṛṣṇa pracura-paricaryām iha tanu
(Śrī Manaḥ-śikṣā 2)

“O my dear mind! Please do not perform either the dharma or adharma (religion or irreligion) prescribed in the Śrutis. Rather, you should perform profuse loving service to the Divine Couple Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. The Śrutis have ascertained Them to be the highest principle of worship and the Supreme Absolute Truth.”

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā 9.27)

“Śrī Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna: ‘O son of Kuntī, whatever activities you perform, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice and give in charity, and whatever austerities you perform, should be done as an offering to Me. All endeavours should be to please Me alone.’”

The term mad-arpaṇam speaks here of the independent saviśeṣa-tattva (the Absolute Truth possessed of all transcendental attributes, without a touch of the material). Its use refutes the notion that the Supreme is nirviśeṣa (devoid of form and other characteristics). This niṣkāma-karma process, in which one performs one’s prescribed duties and offers the results to Bhagavān, with no desire to enjoy the fruits, is also known as jñāna-miśrā-bhakti (devotion mixed with the desire for liberation).

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura comments that in this verse Bhagavān suggests the practice of offering everything to the Lord (bhagavad-arpita-bhakti) for those who denounce devotion performed with personal interest (sakāma-bhakti) yet who are unable to abandon karma and jñāna completely, and who do not have the qualification to perform one-pointed devotion (ananyā-bhakti). This practice can hardly be called śuddha-niṣkāma-karma-yoga, as this name is awarded only to action that is performed according to the injunctions of the scriptures, as an offering to Bhagavān. A person’s ordinary eating and drinking habits may not be included in this.

Those unable to understand the process of exclusive ananya-bhajana are instructed to offer all of their activities (like eating and drinking) to Bhagavān. In much the same way, the worship of the universal form of Bhagavān is recommended for those unable to properly conceive of the established truths regarding the actual object of worship, namely Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Thus, the performer of the activity is still the recipient of the fruit of action, which is indicated by the ātmanepada form of the verb kuruṣva, meaning “to perform.” Furthermore, the verse makes no mention that this practice relates directly to Bhagavān.

The practice of the nine-fold process of devotional service known as navadhā-bhakti begins when the sādhaka completely surrenders himself to Bhagavān Śrī Viṣṇu. But here, by contrast, the activity is performed first and then offered to Bhagavān. For this reason, the type of devotion being discussed is not to be equated with bhakti-yoga. Indeed, it is not even considered one of the limbs of bhakti-yoga.

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata - Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura - Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.1-9.12

Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata - Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura

Commentary by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura

Chapter Nine: Nityānanda’s Childhood Pastimes and Travels to Holy Places

This chapter describes the various dramas related to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Rāma, and Vāmana that Śrīmad Nityānanda Prabhu enacted up to His twelfth year and His subsequent travel to the holy places up to the age of twenty.

On the order of Śrī Gaura-Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Anantadeva personally appeared in the village of Ekacākā, in the district of Rāḍha-deśa, from the womb of Padmāvatī, the wife of Hāḍo Ojhā, as Śrī Nityānanda-candra. In the wake of His appearance, all the prevalent inauspicious symptoms were totally uprooted.

In His childhood pastimes, Śrīmad Nityānanda Prabhu and His associate childhood friends remained engaged in imitating various pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Sometimes He and His friends would form the assembly of the demigods, and someone dressed as mother earth, burdened by the atrocities of the demons, would come before that assembly and offer prayers. At that time Śrīmad Nityānanda Prabhu and the boys who were part of that assembly would go to the bank of a river and pray to Lord Kṣīrodakaśāyī. Thereafter, a boy acting as Kṣīrodakaśāyī would announce from a hidden place, “I will soon appear in Mathurā Gokula in order to diminish the burden of the earth.” At other times they imitated the various Dvāpara pastimes of Kṛṣṇa like the marriage of Vasudeva and Devakī, the birth of Kṛṣṇa in the prison cell, Vasudeva’s taking Kṛṣṇa to the house of Nanda, Vasudeva’s return with Mahāmāyā, the daughter of Yaśodā, the killing of Pūtanā, the breaking of Śakaṭa, Kṛṣṇa’s stealing butter and milk from the house of the cowherds, the killing of Dhenuka, Agha, and Bakāsura, tending the cows, lifting Govardhana, stealing the gopīs’ clothes, Kṛṣṇa’s bestowing mercy on the wives of the sacrificial brāhmaṇas, Nārada’s giving advice to Kaṁsa in a secluded place, and the killing of the elephant Kuvalaya, the wrestlers Cāṇūra and Muṣṭika, and Kaṁsa. Sometimes in the form of Vāmana, He deceived Bali; sometimes while enacting the pastimes of Rāma, He would gather His friends to form an army of monkey soldiers and build a bridge; He would personally play the role of Lakṣmaṇa and approach Sugrīva with bow and arrows in His hands; in the form of Rāma, He would diminish the pride of Paraśurāma; and while enacting the killing of Indrajit, He would fall unconscious in the mood of Lakṣmaṇa having been hit by Indrajit’s powerful arrow until Hanumān brought medicine, under His previous directions, and revived Him. In this way He exhibited pastimes of the various incarnations of the Lord.

In this way Śrīmad Nityānanda Prabhu engaged in enacting various pastimes up to the age of twelve. Thereafter, on the pretext of purifying Himself, He travelled to the holy places of Āryāvarta and Dākṣiṇātya up to the age of twenty. He then came to Navadvīpa and met His own Lord, Śrī Gaurasundara. In the course of visiting the holy places, Nityānanda Prabhu met Śrīman Mādhavendra Purī, Śrīpāda Īśvara Purī, and Śrīla Brahmānanda Purī. In this way Śrīmad Nityānanda Prabhu passed a few days discussing topics of Kṛṣṇa with Śrīman Mādhavendra Purī, who was accompanied by his disciples. Thereafter He proceeded to Setubandha, Dhanus-tīrtha, Māyāpurī, Avantī, Godāvarī, Jiyaḍa-nṛsiṁha, Devapurī, Trimalla, Kūrma-kṣetra, and many other holy places before arriving in Nīlācala. At Nīlācala, He saw Śrī Jagannāthadeva, the source of the catur-vyūha, and became overwhelmed in ecstasy. From Śrī Kṣetra, He returned to Śrī Mathurā. This chapter ends with an explanation of why He did not exhibit the pastime of distributing the holy names and love of God at that time and a glorification of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, who is non-different from the omnipotent Baladeva.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.1

jaya jaya śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya kṛpā-sindhu
jaya jaya nityānanda agatira bandhu


All glories to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, who is an ocean of mercy! All glories to Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, who is the friend of those who are ignorant of the goal of life.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.2

jayādvaita-candrera jīvana-dhana-prāṇa
jaya śrīnivāsa-gadādharera nidhāna


All glories to He who is the life, wealth, and soul of Śrī Advaita candra. All glories to He who is the shelter of Śrīvāsa and Gadādhara.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.3

jaya jagannātha-śacī-putra viśvambhara
jaya jaya bhakta-vṛnda priya anucara


All glories to Lord Viśvambhara, the son of Śacī and Jagannātha. All glories to the devotees, who are the beloved associates of the Lord.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.4

pūrve prabhu śrī-ananta caitanya-ājñāya
rāḍhe avatīrṇa hai’ āchena līlāya


On the order of Lord Caitanya, Śrī Anantadeva had already appeared in Rāḍha-deśa and was engaged in various pastimes.


In this connection one should refer to the Ādi-khaṇḍa, Chapter Two, verses 31, 38-40, and 228-230.

The word līlāya means “by manifesting His own eternal transcendental pastimes in this material world,” in other words, “by His own sweet will.”

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.5

hāḍo-ojhā nāme pitā, mātā padmāvatī
eka-cākā-nāme grāma gauḍeśvara yathi


His father’s name was Hāḍāi Ojhā, and His mother was Padmāvatī. Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu appeared in the village of Ekacakrā as the Lord of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas.


The surname Ojhā is a corruption of the name Upādhyāya, which is used by the Maithila brāhmaṇas. For descriptions of Hāḍāi Paṇḍita and Padmāvatī one may refer to Ādi-khaṇḍa, Chapter Two, verse 39.
For a description of Ekacākā, one may refer to Ādi-khaṇḍa, Chapter Two, verse 38.

The word gauḍeśvara refers to Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, who is the Lord and master of the Gauḍīyas. Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu destroys the living entities’ anarthas, or unwanted things, and awards to the Gauḍīyas the supreme destination of service in the pure transcendental rasas of vātsalya, sakhya, and dāsya.

The word yathi refers to Maureśvara Yathi. The village Maureśvara, or Mayureśvara, was a famous trade center for silk cocoons and silk thread. In some persons’ opinion this place was famous for its Śiva-liṅga. Another reading for the word yathi is tathi, which is derived from the word tatha or tathāya [meaning “there”] and is commonly used in ancient Bengali prose.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.6

śiśu haite susthira subuddhi guṇavān
jiniñā kandarpa koṭi lāvaṇyera dhāma


From His childhood, Lord Nityānanda was sober, intelligent, and the abode of all good qualities. His charming loveliness defeated that of millions of Cupids.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.7

sei haite rāḍhe haila sarva-sumaṅgala
durbhikṣa-dāridrya-doṣa khaṇḍila sakala


The entire district of Rāḍha-deśa was filled with auspiciousness and devoid of famine and poverty from the time of His birth.


One should refer to Ādi-khaṇḍa, Chapter Two, verse 133 and Ādi-khaṇḍa, Chapter Four, verses 47-48. On the appearance of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, the absence of kīrtana and destitution in the form of materialistic pride were destroyed and the chanting of Kṛṣṇa’s holy names and the propensity for His service were awakened in the hearts of people.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.8

ye dine janmilā navadvīpe gauracandra
rāḍhe thāki’ huṅkāra karilā nityānanda


The day that Lord Gauracandra appeared in Navadvīpa, in Rāḍha-deśa Lord Nityānanda roared loudly.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.9

ananta-brahmāṇḍa vyāpta haila huṅkāre
mūrchāgata haila yena sakala-saṁsāre


His roar spread throughout innumerable universes, and people of the entire world were practically rendered unconscious.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.10

katho loka balileka,—“haila vajrapāta”
katho loka mānileka parama utpāta


Some people said it was a thunderbolt, while others thought it was a great calamity.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.11

katho loka balileka,—“jāniluṅ kāraṇa
gauḍeśvara-gosāñira haila garjana”


Other people said, “We know the cause. It was the loud roaring of Nityānanda Gosvāmī, the Lord of the Gauḍīyas.”


The word gauḍeśvara-gosāñi is explained as follows:

Dāmodara Svarūpa, Mahāprabhu’s dvitīya-svarūpa, or second form, along with his two friends, Rūpa and Sanātana, were the proprietors of service to Kṛṣṇa in the conjugal rasa. They are also Gauḍeśvara, or Gauḍīyeśvara; that is why Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu has been properly addressed as Gauḍeśvara Gosvāmī.

CB Ādi-khaṇḍa 9.12

ei-mata sarva loka nānā-kathā gāya
nityānande keha nāhi cinila māyāya


In this way people had different opinions about what had happened, but no one could recognize Lord Nityānanda due to the influence of His illusory energy.


The word māyāya refers to the influence of the illusory external energy of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu—who is non-different from Śrī Baladeva, the source of all Viṣṇu expansions—that bewilders the marginal living entities. Those who are under the control of the covering and throwing propensities of Lord Viṣṇu’s illusory energy cannot understand the truth regarding Śrī Nityānanda. Some illusioned living entities say that Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu was a Maithila brāhmaṇa; some say that He married into the house of Bengali Rāḍha brāhmaṇas, and others say that He was born in a low-class family. By such deceptive propositions created by māyā, the truths regarding Śrī Nityānanda are not understood. Moreover, others who are controlled by material intelligence also say that the seminal descendants of Nityānanda Prabhu’s son, Vīrabhadra, are as powerful as Śrī Nityānanda, and therefore on the basis of their seminal birth they are on the same level as the Supreme Lord.

If this were the fact, then why did this line come under the control of materialistic fruitive smārtas who are engaged in enjoying the fruits of temporary activities?

Yet others say that the three sons of Vīrabhadra were simply His disciples, because their sons were born in the villages of Bāruḍigāiṅ and Baṭavyālīgāiṅ and therefore by worldly consideration they cannot be considered seminal sons of Vīrabhadra. Persons with material conceptions, being covered and thrown by the illusory external energy of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, endeavour to establish a mundane relationship with Him. Such people try to include and count Nityānanda Prabhu among the conditioned living entities and thus invite severe offense. This is Śrī Nityānanda-Baladeva’s mysterious pastime of deceiving the demons.