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.

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