Prātaḥ-kālīya-bhajana – anartha-nivṛtti in sādhu-saṅga
(the first six daṇḍas of the morning: approximately 6.00 A.M. – 8.30 A.M.)
There is no consideration of proper or improper time in regard to chanting the Lord’s holy names, which are fully endowed with all potencies. This is described in the second verse of Śikṣāṣṭaka:
nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi
durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ
O Bhagavān, Your names bestow all auspiciousness upon the jīvas. Therefore, for their benefit, You are eternally manifest as Your innumerable names, such as Rāma, Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Mukunda, Mādhava, Govinda and Dāmodara. You have invested those names with all the potencies of Their respective forms. Out of Your causeless mercy, You have not even imposed any restrictions on the remembrance of these names, as is the case with certain prayers and mantras that must be chanted at specific times (sandhyā-vandana). In other words, the holy name of Bhagavān can be chanted and remembered at any time of the day or night. This is the arrangement You have made. O Prabhu, You have such causeless mercy upon the jīvas; nevertheless, due to my nāma-aparādha, I am so unfortunate that no attachment for Your holy name, which is so easily accessible and which bestows all good fortune, has awakened within me.
aneka lokera vāñchā aneka prakāra
kṛpāte karila aneka nāmera pracāra
khāite suite yathā tathā nāma laya
deśa-kāla-niyama nāhi sarva-siddhi haya
sarva-śakti nāme dila kariyā vibhāga
āmāra durdaiva nāme nāhi anurāga
A prayer for attaining attachment for the holy name is given in the fifth verse of Nāmāṣṭaka:
praṇata-karuṇa-kṛṣṇāv ity aneka-svarūpe
tvayi mama ratir uccair vardhatāṁ nāmadheya
O Nāma Bhagavān, possessor of inconceivable glories, may my affection for You continue to increase, day and night. O Aghadamana! O Yaśodā-nandana! O Nanda-sūnu! O Kamalanayana! O Gopīcandra! O Vṛndāvanendra! O Praṇata-karuṇa! O Kṛṣṇa! You have innumerable forms; may my attachment to them always increase.
Kṛṣṇa has invested all potencies in His name. The Skanda Purāṇa states:
dāna-vrata-tapas-tīrtha-yātrādīnaś ca yāḥ sthitāḥ
śaktayo deva-mahatāṁ sarva-pāpa-harāḥ śubhāḥ
ākṛṣya hariṇā sarvāḥ sthāpitāḥ sveṣu nāmasu
Whatever potency to nullify sins or bestow auspiciousness found in charity, vows, austerities, pilgrimage, the rājasūya- and aśvamedha-yajñas, knowledge of transcendental objects, and so forth, has been invested by Śrī Kṛṣṇa in His holy names (that is, the primary names).
dharma-yajña-yoga-jñāne yata śakti chila
saba harināme kṛṣṇa svayaṁ samarpila
In the performance of nāma-bhajana, there is no consideration of cleanliness or uncleanliness, nor of proper or improper time. This is corroborated in the Vaiśvānara-saṁhitā:
na deśa-kāla-niyamo na śaucāśauca-nirṇayaḥ
paraṁ saṅkīrtanād eva rāma rāmeti mucyate
In chanting the holy name, there is no rule concerning place and time, nor is there one regarding cleanliness or uncleanliness. By repeating the name “Rāma”, or in other words by performing saṅkīrtana of the mahā-mantra, the topmost liberation – namely prema-bhakti – is obtained.
deśa kāla-śaucāśauca-vidhi nāme nāi
hare kṛṣṇa rāma nāme sadya tare yāi
The characteristics of misfortune are described in Śrīmad- Bhāgavatam (3.9.7):
daivena te hata-dhiyo bhavataḥ prasaṅgāt
sarvāśubhopaśamanād vimukhendriyā ye
kurvanti kāma-sukha-leśa-lavāya dīnā
lobhābhibhūta-manaso ’kuśalāni śaśvat
Those persons who refrain from the hearing and chanting of Your glories, which destroys all misfortune, and instead always engage in inauspicious activities, being obsessed with a desire for a particle of material sense enjoyment, are certainly wretched, for fate has stolen away their intelligence.
tomāra prasaṅga sarva, aśubha karaye kharva,
durdaiva prabhāve mora mana
kāmasukha-leśa āśe, lobha akuśalāyāse,
se prasaṅge nā kaila yatana
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.7.4–6) it is stated:
bhakti-yogena manasi samyak praṇihite ’male
apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇaṁ māyāṁ ca tad-apāśrayām
yayā sammohito jīva ātmānaṁ tri-guṇātmakam
paro ’pi manute ’narthaṁ tat-kṛtaṁ cābhipadyate
anarthopaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje
lokasyājānato vidvāṁś cakre sātvata-saṁhitām
With a pure heart Śrī Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vedavyāsa became absorbed in meditation through the process of bhakti-yoga. He thus saw the Supreme Person, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, along with His external energy (māyā), which was far away from Him but under His control. Due to this māyā, the conditioned living entity (baddhajīva) forgets his service to Kṛṣṇa and becomes affected by anarthas. Although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, the living entity who is bewildered by māyā considers himself a material product. He thus identifies himself with this body and considers that which is related to it to be his. The infinitesimal living entity can only be delivered by kṛṣṇa-bhakti-yoga, but the mass of people in the material world are ignorant of this fact. Understanding this, Śrī Vyāsa manifested Bhāgavatam through bhakti-yoga.
kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa-māyā, jīva ei tina tattva
māyā-mohe māyā-baddha jīvera anartha
citkaṇa jīvera kṛṣṇa-bhakti-yoga-bale
anartha vinaṣṭa haya kṛṣṇa prema-phale
ei tattva nāma-samādhite pāile vyāsa
bhāgavate bhakti-yoga karila prakāśa
Anarthas, or misfortune, are of four kinds. This is described in the Āmnāya-sūtra:
māyā-mugdhasya jīvasya jñeyo ’narthaś catur-vidhaḥ
hṛd-daurbalyaṁ cāparādho’sat-tṛṣṇā tattva-vibhramaḥ
The anarthas of the living entities enchanted by māyā are of four kinds: (1) illusion about one’s real identity (svarūpabhrama), (2) hankering for that which is temporary (asat-tṛṣṇā), (3) offences (aparādha) and (4) weakness of heart (hṛdayadaurbalya). They bind the living entity to the material world and entangle him in its miseries.
māyā-mugdha jīvera anartha catuṣṭaya
asat-tṛṣṇā, hṛdaya-daurbalya viṣamaya
aparādha svarūpa-vibhrama ei cāri
yāhāte saṁsāra-bandha vipatti vistāri
Svarūpa-bhrama is of four types, as stated in the Āmnāya-sūtra:
sva-tattve para-tattve ca
The conditioned living entity is subject to four kinds of bhrama, illusion: (1) jīva-svarūpa-bhrama, (2) paratattva-bhrama, (3) sādhya-sādhana-tattva-bhrama and (4) bhajana-virodhiviṣaya- bhrama.
tattva-bhrama catuṣṭaya baḍai viṣama
svīya-tattve bhrama āra kṛṣṇa-tattve bhrama
sādhya-sādhanete bhrama, virodhī viṣaye
cārividha tattva-bhrama baddha-jīva-caye
Asat-tṛṣṇā is of four kinds, as described in the Āmnāya-sūtra:
aihikeṣvaiṣaṇā pāratrikeṣu caiṣaṇā ’śubhā
bhūti-vāñchā mumukṣā ca hy asat-tṛṣṇāś catur-vidhāḥ
The four types of asat-tṛṣṇā are: (1) desire for objects of this material world, (2) desire for heavenly pleasures, like those of Svarga, (3) desire for mystic powers and (4) desire for liberation.
pāra-trika aihika eṣaṇā bhūti-kāma
mukti-kāma ei cāri asat-tṛṣṇā nāma
Aparādha is of four kinds, as mentioned in the Āmnāya-sūtra:
kṛṣṇa-nāma-svarūpeṣu tadīya-cit-kaṇeṣu ca
jñeyā budha-gaṇair nityam aparādhāś catur-vidhāḥ
The four kinds of aparādha are: (1) offences to Kṛṣṇa’s name (nāma-aparādha); (2) offences to Kṛṣṇa’s deity form (sevaaparādha); (3) offences to that which belongs to Kṛṣṇa, or in other words to Girirāja-Govardhana, the Gaṅgā, the Yamunā, the dhāma or the lotus feet of the devotees; and (4) offences to other living entities, who are all infinitesimal particles of spirit belonging to Kṛṣṇa.
kṛṣṇa-nāme, svarūpe o bhakte, anya nare
bhrama haite aparādha catuṣṭaya smare
Hṛdaya-daurbalya is of four kinds, as stated in the Āmnāya-sūtra:
tucchāsaktiḥ kuṭīnāṭī mātsaryaṁ sva-pratiṣṭhatā
hṛd-daurbalyaṁ budhaiḥ śaśvaj jñeyaṁ kila catur-vidham
Scholars consider hṛdaya-daurbalya to be of four types: (1) attachment to worthless objects; that is, objects unrelated to Kṛṣṇa; (2) hypocrisy and deceit (kuṭināṭī); (3) envy upon seeing the prosperity of others; and (4) desire for prestige and position (pratiṣṭhā).
kṛṣṇetara viṣaye āsakti, kuṭīnāṭī
para-droha, pratiṣṭhāśā ei ta’ cāriṭi
hṛdaya-daurbalya bali’ śāstre nirdhārila
chaya ripu, chaya ūrmi ihāte janmila
yata dina e saba anartha nāhi chāḍe
tata dina bhakti-latā kabhu nāhi bāḍhe
All anarthas are nullified by nāma-saṅkīrtana. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.1.14) states:
āpannaḥ saṁsṛtiṁ ghorāṁ yan-nāma vivaśo gṛṇan
tataḥ sadyo vimucyeta yad bibheti svayaṁ bhayam
If a living entity who is caught in the whirlpool of material existence even once chants the name of Kṛṣṇa, he can be freed immediately. Even fear personified trembles upon hearing the name of Bhagavān.
e ghora saṁsāre paḍi’ kṛṣṇa-nāma laya
sadya mukta haya āra bhaya pāya bhaya
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.37) states:
bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād
īśād apetasya viparyayo ’smṛtiḥ
tan-māyayāto budha ābhajet taṁ
The jīva who is averse to Bhagavān forgets his own constitutional nature because of his association with māyā. Due to this forgetfulness, he becomes absorbed in the conception that he is the material body and thus thinks “I am a demigod”, “I am a human being”. In this state of bodily identification, he fears old age, disease and so forth. Therefore those who know the truth should consider their own guru as īśvara, the Supreme. In other words they should see him as their master who is non-different from Bhagavān and who is very dear to Him. Through exclusive devotion they should perform one-pointed worship of that īśvara, their guru.
kṛṣṇa chāḍi’ jīva kaila anyābhiniveśa
tāi tāra viparyaya-smṛti āra kleśa
sad-guru āśraya kari’ kṛṣṇakṛpā–āśe
ananya-bhajana kare yāya kṛṣṇa-pāśe
The characteristics of bhakti-yoga are described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.12 and 1.2.7):
tac chraddadhānā munayo jñāna-vairāgya-yuktayā
paśyanty ātmani cātmānaṁ bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā
vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
A faithful person, after hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, automatically acquires bhakti endowed with knowledge and renunciation. By such bhakti he realises Bhagavān’s svarūpa in his heart and he realises his relationship with Him. Thus he obtains service to the Lord.
When the relationship between the Lord and the living entity is established, bhakti-yoga for Bhagavān Vāsudeva appears.
śraddhā kari’ nāma bhaje sādhu-kṛpā pāñā
itare virāga nitya-svarūpa bujhiyā
ihākei bali bhakti-yoga anuttama
bhakti-yoge sarva-siddhi yadi dhare krama
The fourth verse of the catuḥ-ślokī of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.9.36) states:
etāvad eva jijñāsyaṁ tattva-jijñāsunātmanaḥ
anvaya-vyatirekābhyāṁ yat syāt sarvatra sarvadā
One who is inquisitive about the truth of the self (ātma-tattva) inquires through direct (anvaya) and indirect (vyatireka) means of deliberation about that object, which is always eternal.
anartha-nāśera yatna dui ta’ prakāra
anvaya-mukhete vyatireka-mukhe āra
anvaya-mukhete vidhi bhajana-viṣaye
vyatireka-mukhete niṣedha nānāśraye
The six urges unfavourable to bhakti and the anarthas related to them (i.e. hṛdaya-daurbalya, asat-tṛṣṇā and aparādha) are explained in the first verse of Upadeśāmṛta:
vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt
A wise and self-composed person who can tolerate the impetus to speak, the agitation of the mind, the onset of anger, the vehemence of the tongue, the urge of the belly and the agitation of the genitals can instruct the whole world. In other words, everyone becomes a disciple of such a self-controlled person.
vākya-vega mano-vega krodha-jihvā-vega
udara upastha-vega bhajana udvega
bahu-yatne nitya saba karibe damana
nirjane karibe rādhā-kṛṣṇera bhajana
The six impediments to bhakti are described in the second verse of Upadeśāmṛta:
atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca prajalpo niyamāgrahaḥ
jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati
The following six kinds of faults destroy bhakti: (1) eating too much or collecting more than necessary; (2) endeavouring for that which is opposed to bhakti; (3) engaging in useless mundane talk; (4) failing to adopt essential rules and regulations, or fanatically adhering to rules and regulations; (5) taking bad association; and (6) being greedy or restless in the mind to adopt worthless opinions.
atyāhāra prayāsa prajalpa jana-saṅga
niyama-āgraha laulye haya bhakti bhaṅga
The six kinds of association that nourish bhakti are described in the fourth verse of Upadeśāmṛta:
dadāti pratigṛhṇāti guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva ṣaḍ-vidhaṁ prīti-lakṣaṇam
Offering pure devotees items in accordance with their requirements and accepting prasāda, remnant items given by pure devotees; revealing to devotees one’s confidential realisations concerning bhajana and inquiring from them about their confidential realisations; eating with great love the prasāda given by devotees and lovingly feeding them prasāda – these are the six kinds of association that symptomise love and affection.
ādāna pradāna prīte, gūḍha ālāpana
āhāra bhojana chaya saṅgera lakṣaṇa
sādhura sahita saṅge bhakti-vṛddhi haya
abhakta asat-saṅge bhakti haya kṣaya
In Śrī Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka (8.88) Śrīman Mahāprabhu has prohibited one from even seeing a sense enjoyer or a woman:
pāraṁ paraṁ jigamiṣor bhava-sāgarasya
sandarśanaṁ viṣayiṇām atha yoṣitāṁ ca
hā hanta hanta viṣa-bhakṣaṇato ’py asādhu
[Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu greatly lamented, saying:] Alas, for a renunciant who is devoted to bhagavad-bhajana and who desires to cross the ocean of material existence, it is worse to see sense enjoyers and women than it is to drink poison.
niṣkiñcana bhajana unmukha yei jana
bhava-sindhu uttīrṇa haite yāṅra mana
viṣayī-milana āra yoṣit sammilane
viṣa-pānāpekṣā tāṅra viruddha-ghaṭana
It is forbidden to judge a transcendental Vaiṣṇava from a material viewpoint. Upadeśāmṛta (6) states:
dṛṣṭaiḥ svabhāva-janitair vapuṣaś ca doṣair
na prākṛtatvam iha bhakta-janasya paśyet
gaṅgāmbhasāṁ na khalu budbuda-phena-paṅkair
brahma-dravatvam apagacchati nīra-dharmaiḥ
Devotees who are in this material world should not be considered material; that is, one should not consider them ordinary jīvas. Imperfections seen in their natures, such as birth in a low caste, harshness or lethargy, and imperfections seen in their bodies, such as ugly features, disease or deformities, are precisely like the appearance of bubbles, foam and mud in the Gaṅgā. Despite such apparent pollution of her water, the Gaṅgā retains her nature as liquefied transcendence. Similarly, one should not attribute material defects to self-realised Vaiṣṇavas.
svabhāva-janita āra vapu-doṣe kṣaṇe
anādara nāhi kara śuddha-bhakta-jane
paṅkādi julīya doṣe kabhu gaṅgā-jale
cinmayatva lopa nahe, sarva-śāstre bale
aprākṛta bhakta-jana pāpa nāhi kare
avaśiṣṭa pāpa yāya kichu dina pare
Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī states in Manaḥ-śikṣā (7) that one should give up the desire for prestige and the wickedness of deceit and hypocrisy:
pratiṣṭhāśā dhṛṣṭā śvapaca-ramaṇī me hṛdi naṭet
kathaṁ sādhu-premā spṛśati śucir etan nanu manaḥ
sadā tvaṁ sevasva prabhu-dayita-sāmantam atulaṁ
yathā tāṁ niṣkāśya tvaritam iha taṁ veśayati saḥ
[Why does deceit not go away even after one has given up all material sense enjoyment? This verse has been composed in order to remove this doubt.] O mind, tell me, how can pure divine love appear in my heart (you, O mind, are my heart) as long as the shameless outcaste woman of the desire for prestige is audaciously dancing there? Therefore without delay remember and serve the immeasurably powerful commanders of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s army, the very dear devotees of Bhagavān. They will quickly chase away this outcaste woman and initiate the flow of pure vraja-prema in my heart.
Manaḥ-śikṣa (6) states:
are cetaḥ prodyat-kapaṭa-kuṭināṭī-bhara-kharakṣaran
mūtre snātvā dahasi katham ātmānam api mām
sadā tvaṁ gāndharvā-giridhara-pada-prema-vilasat
sudhāmbhodhau snātvā svam api nitarāṁ māṁ ca sukhaya
[In spite of having subdued the enemies of lust and anger, one may not have conquered the great enemy of deceit. This verse instructs how to gain victory over this powerful enemy.] O wicked mind, although you have adopted the path of sādhana, still you imagine yourself purified by bathing in the trickling donkey urine of an obvious abundance of deceit and hypocrisy. By doing so you are burning yourself and at the same time scorching me, a tiny jīva. Stop this! Eternally delight yourself and me by bathing in the nectarean ocean of prema for the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Yugala.
pratiṣṭhāśā kuṭīnāṭī yatne kara dūra
tāhā haile nāme rati pāibe pracura
The ten kinds of offence to the holy name, which should be given up without fail, are described in the Padma Purāṇa:
(1–2) satāṁ nindā nāmnaḥ paramam aparādhaṁ vitanute
yataḥ khyātiṁ yātaṁ katham u sahate tad vigarhām
śivasya śrī-viṣṇor ya iha guṇa-nāmādi-sakalaṁ
dhiyā bhinnaṁ paśyet sa khalu hari-nāmāhita-karaḥ
(3–7) guror avajñā śruti-śāstra-nindanaṁ
tathārtha-vādo hari-nāmni kalpanam
nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhir
na vidyate tasya yamair hi śuddhiḥ
(8–9) dharma-vrata-tyāga-hutādi-sarvaśubha-kriyā-sāmyam api pramādaḥ
aśraddadhāne vimukhe ’py aśṛṇvati yaś copadeśaḥ śiva-nāmāparādhaḥ
(10) śrute ’pi nāma-māhātmye yaḥ prīti-rahito naraḥ
ahaṁ-mamādi-paramo nāmni so ’py aparādha-kṛt
(1) To criticise the devotees of Bhagavān is a grievous offence to the holy name. How can Śrī Nāma Prabhu tolerate criticism of those great souls who are deeply devoted to Him and who spread His glories throughout the world? Therefore the first offence is criticism of sādhus and devotees.
(2) In this world a person who by mundane intelligence distinguishes between the all-auspicious, transcendental holy name, form, qualities and pastimes of Śrī Viṣṇu and the possessor of the holy name (nāmi-viṣṇu), considering them to be independent of or different from Him as is the case with material objects, commits an offence against the holy name. Furthermore, one who thinks that Lord Śiva and other demigods are independent of Viṣṇu, or similar to Viṣṇu, certainly commits nāma-aparādha.
(3) Guror avajñā – To disregard the guru who is established in all the truths regarding the holy name, considering him to be an ordinary man possessing a perishable body composed of material elements.
(4) Śruti-śāstra-nindanam – To find fault with the Vedas, the eternal Purāṇas and other scriptures. All the Vedas and Upaniṣads illuminate the glories of the holy name. To find fault with the mantras in which the holy name is glorified is nāmaaparādha. Due to misfortune, some persons neglect the śrutimantras in which the glories of nāma are indicated and give more honour to other instructions of the Śrutis. This is also nāma-aparādha.
(5) Tathārtha-vādaḥ – To consider the glories of harināma to be exaggerated. The scriptures state that all of Bhagavān’s potencies are contained within His name, and that the holy name is completely transcendental and therefore capable of destroying one’s bondage to the material world. All these glories of the holy name are the supreme truth. One should never associate with those who have no faith in them and who say that śāstra exaggerates the glories of the holy name. If such an unfaithful person appears before one’s eyes, one should take bath still wearing the clothes he has on. This is the teaching of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
(6) Hari-nāmni kalpanam – To consider Bhagavān’s name to be imaginary. Māyāvādīs and materialistic karmavādīs consider Brahman, which is without name and form, to be the supreme truth, and they say that the ṛṣis manufactured names like Rāma and Kṛṣṇa thinking such names would perfect their activities. These people are nāma-aparādhīs. The name of Hari is not imaginary; it is eternal and transcendental. It only manifests upon the transcendental senses, and only through bhakti. This is the teaching given by the bona fide guru and śāstra. Therefore one should acknowledge that the glories of harināma are the supreme truth. One who considers these glories to be imaginary will never be able to receive the mercy of the holy name.
(7) One who has a tendency to commit sinful and material activities on the strength of the holy name cannot be purified even if he performs superficial yoga processes such as yama, niyama, dhyāna or dhāraṇā. This is certain.
(8) To consider religiosity, vows, renunciation, fire sacrifices and other ordinary pious activities to be equal with or comparable to the transcendental name of Bhagavān is a sign of inattentiveness and carelessness, and is thus an offence.
(9) To instruct the glories of the holy name to faithless persons who are averse to hearing and chanting is also nāma-aparādha.
(10) Those who, in spite of hearing the astonishing glories of the holy name, maintain the conception that “I am this material body” and that “wordly objects of sense gratification are mine”, and who show no persistence in or love for the utterance of śrī nāma, are also nāma-aparādhīs.
sādhu-anādara āra anye īśa-jñāna
guruke avajñā, nāma-śāstre apamāna
nāme arthavāda, nāma-bale pāpāndhatā
anya śubha-karma saha nāmera samatā
śraddhā-hīne nāma dāna, jaḍāsakti-krame
māhātmya jāniyā nāme śraddhā nahe bhrame
ei daśa aparādha yatne parihari’
harināme kara bhāi bhajana cāturī
False renunciation (phalgu-vairāgya) is prohibited. Bhaktirasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.126) states:
prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo vairāgyaṁ phalgu kathyate
When sādhakas who desire liberation renounce that which is related to Hari, such as the scriptures, the deity, the holy name, mahā-prasāda, the spiritual master and Vaiṣṇavas, considering them material, their renunciation is called futile renunciation, phalgu-vairāgya. This is unfavourable to bhakti.
prāpañcika jñāne bhakti sambandha viṣaya
mumukṣu-janera tyāga phalgu nāma haya
One who is qualified to chant the holy name gives up all fruitive activities. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.41) says:
na kiṅkaro nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
One who has taken complete shelter of Bhagavān Mukunda, who is affectionate towards the surrendered, is not indebted to the demigods, to his forefathers, to ordinary living entities, or to relatives and guests. He is not subordinate to anyone other than Mukunda, nor is he their servant.
ekānta haiyā nāme ye laya śaraṇa
devādira ṛṇā tāra nahe kadācana
The Padma Purāṇa (quoted in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.8)) states that one should give up niyamāgraha and follow the essence of all injunctions:
smartavyaḥ satataṁ viṣṇur vismartavyo na jātucit
sarve vidhi-niṣedhāḥ syur etayor eva kiṅkarāḥ
One should always remember Viṣṇu and never forget Him. All other rules and prohibitions are subservient to these two principles.
yāhe kṛṣṇa-smṛti haya, tāi vidhi jāni
kṛṣṇa-vismāraka kārya niṣedha bali’ māni
Do not endeavour to perform activities such as atoning for sins through karma and jñāna. The Padma Purāṇa says:
harer apy aparādhān yaḥ kuryād dvi-pada-pāṁśalaḥ
nāmāśrayaḥ kadācit syāt taraty eva sa nāmataḥ
nāmno ’pi sarva-suhṛdo hy aparādhāt pataty adhaḥ
nāmāparādha-yuktānāṁ nāmāny eva haranty-agham
aviśrānta-prayuktāni tāny evārtha-karāṇi ca
That wretched person who commits seva-aparādha at the lotus feet of Śrī Hari can become freed from his offence if he takes shelter of the holy name. Every kind of aparādha is nullified by service to the holy name. All perfection is attained by chanting the holy name without anarthas and with a sense of one’s relationship with the Lord, continuously and uninterruptedly, like an unbroken stream of oil.
kṛṣṇera śrī-mūrti prati aparādha kari’
nāmāśraye sei aparādhe yaya tari’
nāma aparādha yata nāme haya kṣaya
aviśrānta nāma laile sarva-siddhi haya
Everyone should endeavour to attain knowledge of Kṛṣṇa (kṛṣṇa-svarūpa) and oneself (ātma-svarūpa). One first attains knowledge of Kṛṣṇa’s form and qualities, and then of His pastimes. Catuḥ-ślokī Bhāgavata (2.9.33) states:
aham evāsam evāgre nānyad yat sad-asat param
paścād ahaṁ yad etac ca yo ’vaśiṣyeta so ’smy aham
[Bhagavān said to Brahmā:] Before the creation of this world, only I existed. The gross and the subtle, up to the indefinable Brahman – in other words the cause (sat) and the effect (asat) – did not exist. Nothing other than I existed. What is manifested in the form of creation is also I, after creation it is also I, and after annihilation only I will remain.
cid-ghana-svarūpa kṛṣṇa nitya sanātana
kṛṣṇa-śakti pariṇati anya saṅghaṭana
sakalera avaśeṣe kṛṣṇa cid-bhāskara
avicintya-bhedābheda tattva kṛṣṇetara
Knowledge of the intrinsic natures of jīva-śakti and māyā-śakti is found in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.9.34):
ṛte ’rthaṁ yat pratīyeta na pratīyeta cātmani
tad vidyād ātmano māyāṁ yathābhāso yathā tamaḥ
The Supreme Absolute Truth (parama-tattva, or svarūpa-tattva) is the only real truth. One should understand that which is seen to be separate from this truth, or not existing within it, to be the product of the Supreme Absolute Truth’s illusory energy (māyā). The following example demonstrates this. Parama-tattva can be compared to the sun, which is an object consisting of light. The sun is experienced in two other forms, namely its reflection and darkness. Similarly, in regards to the Absolute Truth, reflection pertains to the living entities (jīva-śakti) and darkness to the material world (māyā-śakti).
kṛṣṇa-śakti māyā, kṛṣṇa haite bhedābheda
cic-chakti svarūpāśritā cij-jyoti-sambheda
jaḍākāre māyā–śakti chāyā tamo-dharma
prapañca pratīti yāhe vinaśvara-karma
The relationship between Kṛṣṇa on one side, and the living entity and the material world on the other, is one of inconceivable difference and non-difference, acintya-bhedābheda. Nevertheless, Kṛṣṇa is separately situated in His eternal svarūpa. Śrīmad- Bhāgavatam (2.9.35) states:
yathā mahānti bhūtāni bhūteṣūccāvaceṣv anu
praviṣṭāny apraviṣṭāni tathā teṣu na teṣv aham
The five great elements of material creation enter into the bodies of all living entities, high and low, from the demigods to the sub-human species. But at the same time, these elements exist independently. Similarly, I have entered into all living entities as the Supersoul, but at the same time I am situated independently in My own svarūpa, and I appear to My surrendered devotees both internally and externally.
mahābhūta uccāvaca-bhūte avasthita
haiyā o pūrṇa-rūpe mahābhūte sthita
sei rūpa cid-aṁśa jīve kṛṣṇāṁśa vyāpita
haiyā o pūrṇa kṛṣṇa svarūpāvasthita
Knowledge of the intrinsic nature of the holy name is given in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.233, quoted from the Padma Purāṇa):
nāma cintāmaṇiḥ kṛṣṇaś caitanya-rasa-vigrahaḥ
pūrṇaḥ śuddho nitya-mukto’bhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ
The holy name is a transcendental wish-fulfilling gem (cintāmaṇi), for there is no difference between Kṛṣṇa’s name (nāma) and Kṛṣṇa Himself (nāmī). In other words the holy name is the bestower of the supreme goal (parama-puruṣārtha). This name is the very form of transcendental mellows (caitanyarasa- svarūpa). It is completely pure; that is, it is unlimited and eternally liberated, devoid of any connection with māyā.
harināma cintāmaṇi cid-rasa-svarūpa
pūrṇa jaḍātīta nitya kṛṣṇa-nija-rūpa
Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.234) states:
ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
The material senses, such as the tongue, cannot perceive Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s name, which appears automatically only on the transcendental senses of one in whose heart the desire to serve Kṛṣṇa has arisen.
nāma, rūpa, guṇa, līlā indriya-grāhya naya
sevā-mukhe kṛpā kari’ indriya udaya
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.21.2) states:
sve sve ’dhikāre yā niṣṭhā sa guṇaḥ parikīrtitaḥ
viparyayas tu doṣaḥ syād ubhayor eṣa nirṇayaḥ
To have unyielding steadiness on the path of dharma, according to one’s own qualification, is a virtue; conversely, to make endeavours that do not accord with one’s qualification is a fault.
adhikāra susammata kārye haya guṇa
viparīta kārye doṣa bujhibe nipuṇa
Qualification for chanting the holy name is given in Śrīmad- Bhāgavatam (11.20.27–8):
jāta-śraddho mat-kathāsu nirviṇṇaḥ sarva-karmaṣu
veda duḥkhātmakān kāmān parityāge ’py anīśvaraḥ
tato bhajeta māṁ prītaḥ śraddhālur dṛḍha-niścayaḥ
juṣamāṇaś ca tān kāmānduḥkhodarkāṁś ca garhayan
If a person whose faith in hearing narrations of Me has been awakened is unable to give up sense enjoyment and the desire for it, even though he knows it gives misery, he should with a sincere heart condemn his inability to give it up. All the while, he should continue worshipping Me with firm faith, conviction and love.
kṛṣṇa-kathā śraddhā-lābha tyaje karmāsakti
duḥkhātmaka kāma-tyāge tabu nahe śakti
kāma-sevā kare tāhā kariyā garhaṇa
sudṛḍha-bhajane kāme kare vidhvaṁsana
puṇyamaya kāma-mātra uddiṣṭa ethāya
pāpa-kāme śraddhadhānera ādara nā haya
The six vows favourable for bhakti are described in the third verse of Upadeśāmṛta:
utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt
saṅga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ
ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati
Perfection in bhakti can be achieved by the following six kinds of practices: (1) to be enthusiastic in following the rules which nourish devotion; (2) to have firm faith in the statements of the scriptures and in śrī gurudeva, whose words are fully in line with the scriptures; (3) to be patient in the practice of bhakti, even in the midst of obstacles or when there is a delay in attaining one’s desired success; (4) to follow the limbs of bhakti, such as śravaṇa and kīrtana, and to give up one’s material sense enjoyment for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa; (5) to give up association that is opposed to bhakti, like illicit connection with women, the association of those who are overly attached to women and the association of māyāvādīs, atheists and pseudo-religionists; and (6) to adopt the good behaviour and character of devotees. utsāha, dṛḍhatā, dhairya bhakti kārye rati saṅga-tyāga, sādhu-vṛtti chaye kara mati
The gradual development of bhakti through the association of genuine sādhus is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.25.25):
satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati
In the association of pure devotees, there are powerful discussions that illuminate My heroic deeds and that are pleasing to both the ears and the heart. By hearing these narrations, one quickly proceeds along the path of the removal of ignorance (avidyā-nivṛtti), which is the sequential development of śraddhā, rati and prema-bhakti.
sādhu-saṅge haya kṛṣṇa-kathā rasāyana
tāhe śraddhā rati bhakti krame uddīpana
A madhyama-bhakta renders service to the three kinds of Vaiṣṇavas. Upadeśāmṛta (5) states:
kṛṣṇeti yasya giri taṁ manasādriyeta
dīkṣāsti cet praṇatibhiś ca bhajantam īśam
śuśrūṣayā bhajana-vijñam ananyam anyanindādi-
That person who utters Kṛṣṇa’s name by just once calling out “O Kṛṣṇa!” is a kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, and one should offer him respect within one’s mind. That person who fully understands the principle of dīkṣā, has accepted dīkṣā from a qualified guru and performs bhajana of Bhagavān in accordance with Vaiṣṇava conventions, is a madhyama-adhikārī. One should respect such a devotee, who is endowed with the correct understanding of reality and illusion, by offering obeisances unto him and so forth. That person who properly understands the science of bhajana, as described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other Vaiṣṇava scriptures, and performs exclusive bhajana of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is a mahābhāgavata. Due to his undeviating absorption in Kṛṣṇa, the pure heart of such a devotee is free from faults, such as the tendency to criticise others. He is expert in bhajana, which means he is skilled in the method of remembering Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s eternal eightfold daily pastimes through mānasī-sevā, service performed within the mind. Knowing him to be a mahā-bhāgavata whose heart is established in the particular mood of service to Śrī Rādhā- Kṛṣṇa for which one aspires (svajātīya) and who is affectionately disposed towards oneself (susnigdha), one should seek his association, considering it to be topmost. One should honour him by offering prostrated obeisances, making relevant inquiry and rendering service unto him with great love.
akaitave kṛṣṇa-nāma yāra mukhe śuna
manete ādara tāre kara punaḥ punaḥ
bhakti sampradāya labhi’ yei kṛṣṇa bhaje
ādara karaha paḍi’ tāra pada-raje
svīya para-buddhi-śūnya ananya-bhajana
yāṅhāra, tāṅhāra sevā kara anukṣaṇa
One should chant the holy name while maintaining one’s life by yukta-vairāgya, the mood of appropriate renunciation. Bhaktirasāmṛta- sindhu (1.2.125) states:
anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaṁ vairāgyam ucyate
Appropriate renunciation is to accept objects favourable to one’s service while being detached from that which is unrelated to Kṛṣṇa and attached to that which is related to Kṛṣṇa.
yathāyogya viṣaya bhoga anāsakta hañā
suyukta-vairāgya bhakti-sambandha kariyā
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (7.11.32) further states:
vṛttyā sva-bhāva-kṛtayā vartamānaḥ sva-karma-kṛt
hitvā sva-bhāva-jaṁ karma śanair nirguṇatām iyāt
One who maintains his occupational duty (svadharma) by taking shelter of his innate propensity will gradually become detached from these activities and become situated beyond the material modes.
svabhāva-vihita-vṛtti kariyā āśraya
niṣpāpa jīvane kara kṛṣṇa-nāmāśraya
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.7.39) also says:
prāṇa-vṛttyaiva santuṣyen munir naivendriya-priyaiḥ
jñānaṁ yathā na naśyeta nāvakīryeta vāṅ-manaḥ
I have taken a lesson from the way in which the vital force within the body operates, that one should eat and drink only as much as is required to sustain the body. A sādhaka should also eat only what is needed to maintain his life. A sādhaka should not enjoy sense objects merely for his own gratification; otherwise his intelligence will become corrupted, his mind restless and his speech engaged in topics unrelated to Kṛṣṇa.
aprajalpe kara prāṇa-vṛtti aṅgīkāra
indriyera priya-vṛtti nā kara svīkāra
vāg-indriya mano-jñāna yāhe svāsthya pāya
ei rūpa āhāre yukta-vairāgya nā yāya
Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (8.51) explains that one should be careful about whom he associates with:
yasya yat-saṅgatiḥ puṁso maṇivat syāt sa tad-guṇaḥ
sva-kularddhyai tato dhīmān sva-yuthāny eva saṁśrayet
A person develops the qualities of the company he keeps, just as a crystal reflects the colour of those objects which are brought into its proximity. Therefore, by associating with pure devotees, one can himself become pure.
svayūthera maṅgala o anye rākhi’ dūra
yathā saṅga yathā phala pāibe pracura
With great effort one should follow the path delineated by the mahājanas. This is described in the Skanda Purāṇa:
sa mṛgyaḥ śreyasāṁ hetuḥ panthaḥ santāpa-varjitaḥ
anavāpta-śramaṁ pūrve yena santaḥ pratasthire
Only by following the path upon which previous great personalities (mahājanas) have easily traversed can we find ultimate auspiciousness and freedom from all suffering.
Acquiring knowledge by hearing from scriptural authorities is the real path of bhakti. The Brahma-yāmala states:
śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi pañcarātra-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyaiva kalpate
One can only attain the one-pointedness, or aikāntika-bhāva, of pure bhakti by adopting the path of the previous mahājanas. It cannot be attained by leaving the path of the mahājanas and creating another path. Because Dattātreya, Buddha and later preachers were unable to understand pure bhakti, they accepted only a semblance of this transcendental sentiment. Dattātreya mixed it with māyāvāda and Buddha with atheism, and thus they set forth useless paths, describing them as one-pointed devotion (aikāntikī-hari-bhakti). In reality, however, the paths promoted by these people are not hari-bhakti; they are simply a disturbance.
pūrva-mahājana pathe cale anāyāse
nava-pathe utpāta āsiyā jīve nāśe
anartha-nāśera yatna kabhu nāhi yāra
nāma-kṛpā nāhi pāya durdaiva tāhāra
nāma-kṛpā vinā koṭi koṭi yatna kare
tāhāte anartha kabhu nāhi chāḍe tāre
niṣkapaṭe yatne kāṅde nāmera caraṇe
dūra haya anartha tāhāra alpa dine
anartha chāḍiyā kara śravaṇa-kīrtana
ekānta-bhāvete lao nāmera śaraṇa
Endeavours made in performing resolute bhajana are described in Hari-bhakti-vilāsa:
evam ekāntināṁ prāyaḥ kīrtanaṁ smaraṇaṁ prabhoḥ
kurvatāṁ parama-prītyā kṛtyamanyan na rocyate
bhāvena kenacit preṣṭhaśrī–mūrter aṅghri-sevane
syād icchaiṣāṁ sva-mantreṇa sva-rasenaiva tad-vidhiḥ
vihiteṣv eva nityeṣu pravartante svayaṁ hite
sarva-tyāge ’py aheyāyāḥ sarvānartha-bhuvaś ca te
kuryuḥ pratiṣṭhā-viṣṭhāyāḥ yatnam asparśane varam
prabhāte cārdharāte ca madhyāhne divasa-kṣaye
kīrtayanti hariṁ ye vai na teṣām anya-sādhanam
If a one-pointed devotee (aikāntika-bhakta) chants and contemplates the glories of his Prabhu, Śrī Viṣṇu, with great affection and according to his transcendental sentiments, he will have no taste for any other activity. With whatever mood he desires to serve the lotus feet of his beloved deity, he performs arcana through his particular mantra and his particular mellow of devotion. That same service later transforms into his eternal service. Even if one has given up everything else, something still remains to be given up before this can happen – this is the desire for name and fame, pratiṣṭhā, the root cause of all anarthas. The prime duty is to give up this pratiṣṭhā, which is compared to stool. What to speak of touching this pratiṣṭhā, do not see it, even from a distance! For one who chants the name of Śrī Hari in the morning, noon, evening and midnight, no other sādhana is needed.
ekānta bhaktera mātra kīrtana-smaraṇa
anya parve ruci nāhi haya pravartana
bhāvera sahita haya śrī-kṛṣṇa-sevana
svārasikī-bhāva krame haya uddīpana
ekānta bhaktera kriyā-mudrā-rāgodita
tathāpi se saba nahe vidhi-viparīta
sarva-tyāga karileo chāḍā sukaṭhina
pratiṣṭhāśā tyāge yatna pāibe pravīṇa
prabhāte gabhīra rātre madhyāhne sandhyāya
anartha chāḍiyā lao nāmera āśraya
ei-rūpe kīrtana smaraṇa yei kare
kṛṣṇa-kṛpā haya śīghra, anāyāse tare
śraddhā kari sādhu-saṅge kṛṣṇa nāma laya
anartha sakala yāya niṣṭhā upajaya
prātaḥ-kāle nitya-līlā karibe cintana
cintite cintite bhāvera haibe sādhana
Govinda-līlāmṛta (2.1) describes the early morning pastimes (prātaḥ-līlā) as follows:
rādhāṁ snāta-vibhūṣitāṁ vrajapayāhūtāṁ sakhībhiḥ prage
tad-gehe vihitānna-pāka-racanāṁ kṛṣṇāvaśeṣāśanām
kṛṣṇaṁ buddham avāpta-dhenu-sadanaṁ nirvyūḍha-go-dohanaṁ
susnātaṁ kṛta-bhojanaṁ saha-carais tāś cātha tāś cāśraye
After the kuñja-bhaṅga-līlā, or niśānta-līlā (pastimes at night’s end), Śrī Rādhā-Śyāmasundara return to Their respective abodes and lay down on Their beds. The condition of Śrī Kiśorī in Jāvaṭa is indescribable as She burns in separation from Her beloved. Śrī Rūpa and Rati Mañjarīs are absorbed in their service to Her, and give Her encouragement as if again infusing Her with life. Sometimes Jaṭilā, sometimes Mukharā and sometimes Paurṇamāsī enter Śrī Kiśorī’s quarters, and at this time Śyāmalā also comes. Kiśorī and Śyāmalā are immersed in a joking conversation. In this way the pastime develops in newer and newer ways. Rūpa, Rati and other mañjarīs ornament Śrīmatī by cleansing Her body, decorating Her and so forth, and at the same time they remind Her of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes.
rādhā snāta vibhūṣita, śrī-yaśodā-samāhuta,
sakhī-saṅge tad gṛhe gamana
tathā pāka-viracana, śrī-kṛṣṇāvaśeṣāśana,
madhye-madhye duṅhāra milana
kṛṣṇa nidrā parihari, goṣṭhe go-dohana kari,
snānāśana sahacara saṅge
ei līlā cintā kara, nāma-preme garagara,
prāte bhakta-jana-saṅge raṅge
ei līlā cinta āra kara saṅkīrtana
acire pāibe tumi bhāva-uddīpana
Thus ends the Dvitīya-yāma-sādhana, Prātaḥ-kālīya-bhajana, of Śrī-Bhajana-rahasya.