jueves, 19 de enero de 2012

The Glory of Exclusive Devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa by By Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja

The Glory of Exclusive Devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa

The deeper meaning of the verse api cet su-duracarah

By Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Trivikrama Gosvāmī Mahārāja

In Śrīmad Bhāgavad-gītā (9.30) Śrī Kṛṣṇa declares:

api cet su-durācāro
bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ
samyag vyavasito hi saḥ

If even a man of abominable character engages in My exclusive Bhajana, he is to be considered a Sādhu, due to his being properly situated in his determination.

In his commentary to this verse, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura quotes Śrī Kṛṣṇa as saying:

“It is My nature to be attached to My devotees, even that devotee who performs Durācāra, abominable deeds. I nevertheless elevate him. A person engaged in My Bhajana is saintly, even if he happens to be attached to committing extremely detestable acts – such as violence upon others, theft and illicit connection with another man’s wife.”

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura continues:

What kind of Bhajana must such a person perform to be regarded as saintly?

In answer to this, Śrī Kṛṣṇa says “Ananya-bhāk – My exclusive bhajana, in other words, Bhajana directed at no demigods or other personalities besides Me.”

Someone may question how a Bhakta can possibly be regarded as a Sādhu if some type of wickedness is to be seen in him. Anticipating this doubt, the word Mantavyaḥ has been used, meaning that he nonetheless must be considered a sādhu; it is obligatory to accept him as such. The word Mantavyaḥ indicates that it is imperative. If one disobeys this instruction, he will be guilty of neglect. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is saying here, “In this regard My order is final.”

A person may have the idea that a Bhakta engaged in Bhajana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa who has an illicit connection with another man’s wife, may be regarded as only partially a Sādhu. In answer to this, it is declared in this verse that such a Bhakta must be considered a Sādhu in every respect. One should be blind to his unsaintly behaviour, because he is Samyag-vyavasitaḥ, “of resolute intelligence, perfect in resolve”. Such a person is endeavouring with the following kind of determination:

“I will never give up my exclusive bhajana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whether I end up in hell or in the species of birds or animals due to the results of my sinful behaviour, which is very difficult for me to give up.”

The concluding opinion of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura Mahāśaya on this matter is indeed extraordinary. Every man attached to having illicit relations with another man’s wife will not have such exclusive faith in Kṛṣṇa-bhajana. This type of resolve is possible only for those who have already reached an advanced stage of Bhajana. For a devotee of such high calibre, having illicit relations with someone else’s wife is a very wretched act. Unlike ordinary men, such personalities are generally not attached to others’ wives. Such an occurrence is certainly extremely rare.

An Apparent Contradiction

Api cet su-durācāraḥ – this is Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s statement. What liberality Kṛṣṇa, speaker of the Gītā, has displayed through this verse.

How is it, then, that this very same Absolute Truth has, as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, shown such severity and inflexibility?

It is impossible for the Supreme Lord to contradict His own words.

What a terrible, heartless and uncompromising attitude Mahāprabhu took towards Choṭa Haridāsa!  He ignored the humble entreaties of all types of devotees committed to helping Choṭa Haridāsa, even the petitions of His superiors and intimate companions.

Was this act of Mahāprabhu’s meant only to make the devotees cautious in their dealings with women?
 Or does it have some deeper significance concealed within it?

Even if we set aside this apparent difference in attitude between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Mahāprabhu, we find that Mahāprabhu Himself appears to have reacted inconsistently to a Bhakta’s misconduct.

Why was Mahāprabhu not severe with Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa in the same way that He was with Choṭa Haridāsa?

Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa’s error was far graver than Choṭa Haridāsa’s, who merely made conversation with a woman and was not accused of cohabiting with one. Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa, by contrast, was found living with a woman of the Bhaṭṭathāri caste.

Moreover, Choṭa Haridāsa was Ananya-bhāk, one-pointed in his devotion. He never performed Bhajana of any worshipable truth other than Mahāprabhu. Indeed, even after giving up his body, he would serve Mahāprabhu by singing kīrtanas for Him while remaining invisible to others.

By contrast, Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa, having been allured by the gypsy women, gave up Mahāprabhu’s service and joined the Bhaṭṭathāri group. Although Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa possessed such an abominable propensity, Mahāprabhu never rejected him, nor did He suggest that he take his own life by way of atonement, by tying a big pitcher around his neck and drowning himself in the river. Rather, to rectify him, Mahāprabhu handed him over to the devotees, thereby freeing Himself from His responsibility towards him.

What deeper grounds are there in these two cases for Mahāprabhu’s seemingly inconsistent behaviour?

The answer is certainly inaccessible to ordinary people.

Choṭa Haridāsa’s Case

 It should be noted that Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura did not accept Sannyāsa, the renounced order of life. As such, he does not specifically discuss the circumstances of a renunciant (Vairāgī) in his commentary to the verse ‘Api cet su-durācāraḥ’. He addresses people of all social orders simply as “Bhaktas”, without any further differentiation. Although this term includes both the householder and the renunciant, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura does not specifically employ the word Tyāgī, renunciant. Śrīman Mahāprabhu, however, says the following regarding Choṭa Haridāsa:

prabhu kahe – “vairāgī kare prakṛti sambhāṣaṇa
dekhite nā pāroṅ āmi tāhāra vadana
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Antya-līlā 2.117)

Mahāprabhu replied, “I cannot tolerate seeing the face of a person who has accepted the renounced order of life but who still talks intimately with a woman.”

“kṣudra-jīva saba markaṭa-vairāgya kariyā
indriya carāñā bule ‘prakṛti’ sambhāṣiyā”
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Antya-līlā 2.120)

“There are many persons with little in their possession who accept the renounced order of life like monkeys. They go here and there engaging in sense gratification and speaking intimately with women.”

The ācāryas themselves observe all the regulative principles of their respective social order and never indulge in any inappropriate discussion. Since Choṭa Haridāsa Prabhu was a renunciant in the fourth social order, Mahāprabhu’s judgment on him was in accordance with śāstra and appropriate to his Adhikāra, level of eligibility. Unless one is not himself in the fourth social order, passing judgment on a renunciant is improper.

Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa’s Case

Why did Mahāprabhu apply a different standard to Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa?
Why was strict action taken in Choṭa Haridāsa Prabhu’s case but not in Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa’s?

In this regard, it may be observed that śāstra itself lays down a different set of guidelines, excusing the householder’s weakness of associating with women:

strīṇāṁ nirīkṣaṇa-sparśa-saṁlāpa-kṣvelanādikam
prāṇino mithunī-bhūtān agṛhastho ’gratas tyajet
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.17.33)

Those who are unmarried – that is, Sannyāsīs, Vānaprasthas and Brahmacārīs – should never associate with women by glancing, touching, conversing, joking, flirting or cavorting. Neither should they keep the company of anyone who engages in sexual activity.

Renounced devotees should give up the association of those who look upon, touch, converse with, sport with or indulge in sex with a woman. By use of the word Agṛhasthaḥ (“those who are unmarried”) in this verse, an exemption is implicitly provided for Gṛhasthas. It is forbidden for a Brahmacārī, Vānaprastha and Vairāgī (i.e. Sannyāsī) to engage in these acts. In other words, these activities are permissible for Gṛhasthas who are not so advanced. However, if a Gṛhastha is Niṣkiñcana, inclined towards Bhajana and wants to cross over the ocean of nescience, then these prohibitions apply to him also.

This is supported by Mahāprabhu’s distressful words in Śrī Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka:

niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya
pāraṁ paraṁ jigamiṣor bhava-sāgarasya
sandarśanaṁ viṣayiṇām atha yoṣitāṁ ca
hā hanta hanta viṣa-bhakṣaṇato ’py asādhu
(Śrī Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka 8.23)

“Alas, for a person who seriously desires to cross the ocean of nescience and engage in the transcendental loving service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa without any material motivation, seeing a materialist engaged in sense gratification or seeing a woman who is similarly interested is more abominable than willingly drinking poison.”

Kālā Kṛṣṇadāsa was a householder, and therefore he was not treated severely. Choṭa Haridāsa, however, was a Vairāgī, who had renounced his household life. Severity was therefore appropriate in relation to him.

Two Different Approaches

Both Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda manifested Gṛhastha pastimes in this world, and have therefore not discussed or passed judgment on renunciants such as Sannyāsīs. Being a Sannyāsī, however, Śrīman Mahāprabhu behaved appropriately in being befittingly severe with the renunciant Haridāsa Prabhu.

Although the verses previously quoted evince a different approach for householders and renunciant, each is auspicious for those to whom it applies considering a person’s individual qualification (Adhikāra); moreover, both approaches should be understood as having the same end purpose as each other. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra are the same Absolute Reality, but Kṛṣṇa was a Gṛhastha and Mahāprabhu a Sannyāsī. This difference of āśrama in Their pastimes is reflected in Their instructions, and does not result in any Apasiddhānta, incorrect conclusions.

Indulgence in sex with a woman is unfavourable for Paramārtha, the ultimate goal of life for all humans. On account of having a lower qualification, a householder is given the arrangement of marriage. The only purpose of marriage is to curtail his propensity for sense enjoyment – this should be understood. This idea has been expressed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.3.44) in the statement:

karma-mokṣāya karmāṇi

Material activities meant for liberation from material pursuits.

In the verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.11) beginning with the words loke vyavāyāmiṣamadya- sevā, the same idea is conveyed through the statement “āsu nivṛttir iṣṭā – the cessation of these is the desired end.”

There is no scope for even a scent of lust (kāma) on the path of Prema propagated by Mahāprabhu.

Lust is darkness, while Prema is the transcendental sun. The pastimes of Ujjvala-rasa, the mellow of amorous love, are not like the meeting of ordinary men and women with a mood to enjoy each other. They cannot be understood by the bound jīva. It is therefore forbidden to discuss such pastimes while in the conditioned state of consciousness.

Persons of Low Eligibility

It is further to be noted that the instructions of śāstra are generally applicable to all human beings, whether they be male or female. Here, however, men alone appear to be restricted – viz. from looking upon women, touching them and so on.

Why are women not brought under similar strictures?
Are we to infer that women are superior to men, or does it imply they are altogether beneath the level of even being regulated?

We see that Śūdras, women and the uncultured members of Brāhmaṇa and other high-order families (Dvija-bandhus) are not given the right to study the Vedas.

Does the statement “Api cet su-durācāraḥ”, then, contradict this injunction of the śāstras?

There can never by any conflict between the statements of śāstra. As such, this verse does not in itself discuss the status of women. Rather, it illuminates the highest glories of exclusive Bhajana to Śrī Kṛṣṇa by declaring that by performing such Bhajana even persons of the lowest qualification (Adhikāra) are fit to be counted as highly worshipable and saintly.

It should be understood that it is certainly very difficult to perform Ananya-bhāk, one-pointed Bhajana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. If this were not so, the statement:

“Strī-saṅgī eka asādhu – the person who associates with women for sense gratification is unsaintly”

In Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 22.87) would be deprived of its truth. The Gītā (9.33) goes on to describe those who are naturally eligible to perform such one-pointed devotion:

kiṁ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā
bhaktā rājarṣayas tathā

What doubt then can there be that pious Brāhmaṇas and saintly kings can become Bhaktas?

The Power of Exclusive Bhajana

Although there are many worshipable deities, in the verse Api cet su-durācāraḥ and the verses that follow it, the worship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is declared to be topmost, bestowing the highest results. If someone engages in one-pointed Bhajana of the worshipable reality Śrī Kṛṣṇa, even if he is thoroughly unqualified, Śrī Kṛṣṇa very quickly dispels his greatest disqualifications and bestows upon him the quality of being a Sādhu and supreme peace (Parā-śānti).

In order to firmly and indubitably express this, Kṛṣṇa ordered His intimate devotee and friend Arjuna to take a vow to this effect:

kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā
śaśvac-chāntiṁ nigacchati
kaunteya pratijānīhi
na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati
(Bhagavad-gītā 9.31)

He quickly becomes virtuous and attains eternal peace. O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.

This also illustrates Kṛṣṇa’s nature of protecting the vow of His devotee, even at the expense of breaking His own vow.

Kṛṣṇa bestows the supreme destination and eternal peace to anyone who performs one-pointed Bhajana of Him, thereby making that worshipper’s life successful, even if he is extremely unqualified and degraded, a wicked outcaste (Mleccha), a woman of bad character, a merchant engaged in farming and trading, a Śūdra, or a man or woman born into the lower castes.

This type of result cannot be attained by performing the Bhajana of any worshipable reality other than Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This is indeed expressed here. Therefore every human being is enjoined to engage his body, mind and words in the service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and thereby become blessed. For such Bhajana, however, it is desirable that one possess the quality described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.7.42) as “yadi nirvyalīkam – surrender without pretension”.

Translated from Śrī Gauḍīya Patrikā, Year 50, Issue 12 by the Rays of The Harmonist team.
Published in English for the first time in Rays of The Harmonist No. 13 Kārttika 2003

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario