Garbha Stotra Commentary (Prayers to Kṛṣṇa in the Womb)Garbha Stotra Verse Seven
Garbha Stotra Commentary (Prayers to Kṛṣṇa in the Womb)Garbha Stotra Verse Nine

Verse Eight

With the Sambandha Tattva Candrikā Commentary by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura

VERSE 8

tathā na te mādhava tāvakāḥ kvacid
bhraśyanti mārgāt tvayi baddha-sauhṛdāḥ
tvayābhiguptā vicaranti nirbhayā
vināyakānīkapa-mūrdhasu prabho

O Mādhava! O Prabhu! Being bound by intimate friendship to You, all Your servants follow the right path – in other words, they do not deviate from their inherent nature. Rather, being protected by You, they fearlessly walk upon the heads of the leaders of the opposition. (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.2.33)

Sambandha Tattva Candrikā Commentary

Renunciation that arises through karma and jñāna, even if it is momentary, is considered to be in śānta-rasa. Thus, there is a possibility of attaining śānta-rasa through karma and jñāna. However, the path of bhakti is infinitely superior to that. The path of bhakti has four unparalleled rasas, namely dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya and madhura. In fact, the five rasas of śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya and madhura are present in Vaiṣṇava dharma. Śānta-rasa is the original state of the jīva (svapada), while the other four rasas are the jīva’s inherent position (svabhāva). Through deliberation on ātma-tattva, the process of separating the ātmā from all physical, or non-eternal elements, is called śānti (peace). Śānta-rasa is devoid of the desire for temporary things. However, if a person who possesses śānta-rasa becomes bound to it, then dry renunciation develops. Giving up selfishness is indeed a great virtue, but if it is not for the highest goal, then one is not worthy of such a superior position. All those unfortunate persons who do nothing, yet take up renunciation due to poverty, foolishness, the chastisement of seniors, or disturbances in domestic life – their renunciation is completely dry and fruitless. Thus, śānta-rasa is not the ultimate state of a jīva. It is said that when the jīva resides in śānta-rasa, then at that time, that is his original state. However, even at that time, it must be acknowledged that he has not accepted his inherent position. The jīva situated in this original state accepts his inherent nature and adopts the support of the second rasa of servitude (dāsya). Although renunciation can be said to be the first stage of Vaiṣṇavism, because it lacks direct rasa, then great personalities accept that it is through dāsya-prema that the path of bhakti begins. When this dāsya-prema becomes pure, then it transforms into sakhya-prema. When sakhya-prema becomes more intense, it becomes vātsalya. When an unconditional nature manifests in vātsalya-prema, it becomes madhura-prema. Madhura-prema again evolves into infinite forms, and one advances unlimitedly. An explanation of this entire principle is difficult and unnecessary here.

This śloka only refers to those Vaiṣṇava mahātmās who have taken support of dāsya-prema. Those persons who possess this dāsya-prema look upon Jagadīśvara as the Lord of Lakṣmī in Para-vyoma, and address Him as their prabhu (Master) while establishing a relationship of servitude. Because of this, the Devas addressed the Lord as ‘Mādhava’ (the Lord of Lakṣmī) and ‘Prabhu’ in this śloka. They said, “O Kṛṣṇa! Let Your friends, fathers, sons, and wives remain at a distance – those who are Your servants are also capable of naturally maintaining their position, conquering all obstacles beforehand. In other words, those who love You. despite seeing Your opulence, also do not deviate. Those who attain noble qualities and establish relationships of friendship, parental affection, and conjugal sweetness with You, are not the only ones to talk. In other words, the servants of Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa are also capable of overcoming all obstacles. The mahātmās who have achieved vraja-bhāva are immune to any obstacle – there is no doubt about it. Yet even the servants of the Lord of Lakṣmī are capable of removing all obstacles.”

The word vinakaya (in the verse) refers to countless obstacles. Their sustainers are five. Those who take support of Bhagavān’s dāsya-prema are also fully capable of conquering these five adversaries. The names of these five enemies are svarūpa-virodhī (opposition to one’s own nature), paratattva-virodhī (opposition to the Supreme Truth), puruṣārtha-virodhī (opposition to the ultimate goal), upāya-virodhī (opposition to the process), and prapti-virodhī (opposition to the attainment).

Attachment to the body and desire for independence are the two kinds of svarūpa-virodhī. All jīvas in saṁsāra, while identifying with the body, develop love for transient objects and consequently forget the eternal nature of the ātmā, due to pleasure and pain. Not understanding that dependence on the Supreme Truth is the duty of the jīva, they become driven by the desire for enjoyment. Considering his God-given independence to be self-autonomy, the jīva progresses in saṁsāra.

Paratattva-virodhī is the second antagonist of the jīva. Other than Bhagavān, considering any other jīva, quality, or false god as worshippable is called paratattva-virodhī. Considering knowledge of the avatāras of Bhagavān as mundane is also called paratattva-virodhī. Various atheistic persons pollute the world by interpreting the qualities, appearances, and actions of Bhagavān’s avatāras as mundane history, because they are unaware of His supreme transcendental nature. Engaging in Deity worship, but considering the arca-avatāra, or Deity, to be incapable of moving, is also said to be paratattva-virodhī. Only those to whom transcendental remembrance of Bhagavān appears at the mere sight of the Deity, can understand the intrinsic nature of the Supreme Truth.

The unwillingness to harbour any desire to attain the supreme goal, and the reluctance to use one’s independence to serve the Supreme is called puruṣārtha-virodhī. Dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa and prema are the five puruṣārthas (necessities for human beings). Prema is the jīva’s true puruṣārtha. The other four are deceptions. The desire for anything among dharma, artha, kāma, and mokṣa is considered to be puruṣārtha-virodhī. Abandoning mundane conceptions in order to gain independence, along with a reluctance to engage in the divine service of Bhagavān, is said to be puruṣārtha-virodhī.

Upāya-virodhī is of two types, namely pondering over methods that are devoid of bhakti, and rejecting pure transcendental bhāva while engaging in sādhana of Bhagavān’s true form. Considering karma-kāṇḍa as a process to attain Bhagavān is upāya-virodhī. Enjoyment of the results of karma-kāṇḍa cannot lead one to the servitorhood of Bhagavān; therefore, through karma-kāṇḍa sādhana Bhagavān becomes distant to the jīva. However, bhajana-kriyā which arises from servitorship to Bhagavān, is not said to be karma-kāṇḍa. With pure transcendental bhāva, one can perform sādhana to Bhagavān. Many unknowledgeable persons consider all mundane ingredients to be instruments in worshiping the Supreme, but persons who are knowledgeable about the intrinsic nature of things, understand that prema is the sole instrument and, through connecting with their activities, mundane objects can be dedicated to Bhagavān. Internal purification cannot occur by bathing etc., therefore it can be said that those who think that they have achieved inner purity through external cleanliness have not understood the true nature of the process (upāya).

There are various kinds of prāpti-virodhī. These include the misconception of superiority and inferiority based on birth, the practice of atonement devoid of remorse, establishing oneself as an authority without proper discernment, considering minor Devatās to be Bhagavān, considering imposters to be Vaiṣṇavas, considering bhukti (material enjoyment) and mukti (liberation) to be the primary goal, and considering illusory thoughts to be true wisdom – all these different types are considered prāpti-virodhī. The majority of people in the world, being intoxicated by false-ego based on birth, consider one another to be inferior and do not grant each other the eligibility to attain knowledge about the Lord based upon the statements of the Vedasand on the other hand, there are many persons born in low families who do not consider themselves to be worthy of the pristine knowledge of the Supreme Brahman, and instead they engage in worship which is prāpti-virodhī. Many persons slaughter cows, and then, pretending to be innocent, give money, cows etc, in charity, and perform Cāndrāyaṇa etc.*(1) Such worship is prāpti-virodhī. However, without repentance arising from bhakti, atonement is unlikely to be successful. Many consider a kula-guru (family guru) to be guru and serve him – this also is prāpti-virodhī. A true guru is the expounder of aprākṛta-tattva because one who is unaware of kṛṣṇa-tattva cannot manifest true knowledge – they are not capable of being a pradarśaka-guru who can show the true path. When one perceives substance within non-substance, there is no possibility of achieving superior results. To consider a minor Devatā to be Bhagavān only awards one anarthas. The Supreme Lord is one without a second, thus it is impossible for other Devatās to be so. Worshipping any Devatā is worship of the Supreme, but impure worship does not bring about happiness.* (2) The worship of viśuddha-sattva (pure goodness) is necessary, therefore spiritual progress is not possible through the worship of other Devatās endowed with other qualities. Considering a charlatan to be a Vaiṣṇava is also inherently antagonistic. If someone is considered a Vaiṣṇava merely because they wear a tulasī-mālā and apply gopī-candana, then it is an insult to genuine Vaiṣṇavas. The unparalleled results of sādhu-saṅga will never be attained. Even if one is adorned with hundreds of tulasī-mālās and is marked with the Holy Name all over his body, if he is devoid of hari-bhakti, then he is not worthy of the title ‘Vaiṣṇava.’ Rather, the Vaiṣṇavas will cautiously remain aloof from such a person. The conversation between Kālenmī and Hanumān serves as an excellent example of this.*(3) On the other hand, although a devotee may give up external signs such as beads, tilaka etc, he is still referred to as a sādhu by the Vaiṣṇavas. External Vaiṣṇavism is totally useless. In the company of external Vaiṣṇavas there is no sādhu-saṅga. Considering bhukti and mukti as necessary goals for mankind is prāpti-virodhī. Brāhmaṇa scholars who are inclined towards karma-kāṇḍa explain bhukti as the purpose of life. Enjoyment of the results of karma is called bhukti. Those who are absorbed in the path of jñāna consider mukti as the goal of life. Mukti can never be the goal of life. Sālokya (residing on the same planet as the Lord), sārūpya (possessing a similar form as the Lord), sārṣṭi (possessing equal opulence as the Lord), sāmīpya (associating with the Lord) and sāyujya (merging into the effulgence of Brahman) are the five kinds of mukti, amongst which, sāyujya is unacceptable. If bhagavat-prema is not found even after attaining the other four types of mukti, then what becomes of the jīva? Mukti is the original state of the jīva, but it is not his inherent nature. As long as the jīva does not regain his inherent nature, it cannot be said that he has achieved his ultimate goal. Thus, only bhagavat-prema is the supreme goal of human life. When considering bhukti and mukti as the objective of an object, only foolishness is revealed.

To conquer all these adversaries is the only work of a Vaiṣṇava, whose actions defeat the jñānīs and those who are fond of karma-kāṇḍa. Thus, Brahmā and the other Devatās said, “O Prabhu! When, like Uddhava, your servants trample upon the heads of all these disruptors, and Uddhava, along with the worshipable residents of Vraja and Your companions, all of whom are highly elevated, consider all those obstacles to be as insignificant as straw, then what can be more astounding than this?”

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TRANSLATOR’S NOTES:

*(1) Cāndrāyaṇa refers to Vedic observance which is regulated by the moon’s waxing and waning. During full moon, one consumes fifteen mouthfuls of food, and one mouthful is deducted every day as the moon wanes until it is reduced to zero at the new moon, Similarly, one’s intake increases by one mouthful as the moon waxes again.

*(2) See Bhagavad-gītā 9.23.

*(3) In the Yuddha-kāṇḍa of the Rāmāyaṇa, the demon Kālanemī disguises himself as a sādhu in order to stop Hanumān from fetching the sañjīvani herb to save Lakṣmaṇa’s life. Hanumān stops on the way to quench his thirst, and sees a ‘sādhu’ sitting near a lake who is chanting the Name of Rāma. He tries to give Hanumān some water from his kamaṇḍalu, but Hanumān says it is not enough. Kālanemī points to a nearby lake, knowing full well that a giant crocodile resides in there. Hanumān is attacked by the crocodile and kills it, and from the body of the crocodile and divine being appeared who tells Hanumān that he had been cursed to be a crocodile by a sage, but by the touch of Hanumān, he has been released. He also tells Hanumān that the sādhu is Kālanemī. Hanumān then kills Kālanemī with one punch. The point of the story in regard to Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda’s commentary is that Kālanemī looked like a sādhu, and was chanting the Holy Name when Hanumān arrived.

Garbha Stotra Commentary (Prayers to Kṛṣṇa in the Womb)Garbha Stotra Verse Seven
Garbha Stotra Commentary (Prayers to Kṛṣṇa in the Womb)Garbha Stotra Verse Nine

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