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

Verse Six

With the Sambandha Tattva Candrikā Commentary by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura


svayaṁ samuttīrya sudustaraṁ dyuman
bhavārṇavaṁ bhīmam adabhra-sauhṛdāḥ
bhavat-padāmbhoruha-nāvam atra te
nidhāya yātāḥ sad-anugraho bhavan

O radiant One, having expertly crossed the dreadful ocean of material existence which is insurmountable, those personalities who possess profuse affection have left behind the boat of Your lotus feet for crossing this world, for You bestow Your mercy through the devotees.

Sambandha Tattva Candrikā Commentary

“O effulgent One, in other words, He who reveals Himself! Those great personalities who have discovered the path of bhakti and possess extreme mercy for all living beings, have themselves come in contact with the boat of Your lotus feet and used it to cross over the fearful ocean of material existence. However, they have kept that incomparable boat in this world because You extend Your grace to all sādhus.”

The special significance of addressing Him with the name, ‘He who reveals Himself’ is that there is no necessity to find the Supreme Lord – He is easily perceived through self-realisation. Ass-like logicians do not wish to simply accept that self-realisation is self-evident. All those who have established the path of self-realisation for the benefit of all can be referred to as its revealers. Is there any doubt about the supreme compassion of all these noble individuals? Uncovering this supremely enchanting path of bhakti, such revealers have crossed over the dreadful ocean of material existence by coming in contact with the boat of Jagadīśvara’s shelter. However, the amazing thing is that they have kept that boat here solely for the benefit of other jīvas.

Through this explanation, a special tattva is revealed. Revealed truth is comprised of two types – inherent truth (svarūpa-satya) and relative truth (sambandhika-satya). The revealers determine a method for each of their respective activities. This method may be fruitful for them, but may not yield the same results for others. Some mahātmās who are perceived as experts in this world, have attained peace by seeking refuge at the feet of the Lord through the path of logical reasoning. However, even by adopting that path of logic, many individuals become atheistic. Thus, logical reasoning is not the inherent truth for attaining the highest state, in other words, it is a relative truth. In comparison, it may be said that all those persons who accept the boat of the path of logic to cross the ocean of material existence, become selfish and take that sinking boat with them. However, inherent truth in the form of self-realisation is not like that. When a jīva takes up the path of self-realisation which manifests from the path of bhakti, then he does not achieve anything beyond Bhagavān’s lotus feet. Therefore, the revealer of this inherent truth is selfless and compassionate. Can there be any doubt that this truth is the sole refuge of the jīva for eternity?

This ocean of material existence is described as insurmountable and dreadful. It is difficult to describe how terrible this material existence is. Many short-sighted people explain that this material world is a place which is very dear to the Lord! They say that this world is like the garden of the Lord, and all jīvas are appointed as its protectors and caretakers. In Vedic karma-kāṇḍa, those who hope for the ultimate result claim that renunciation for the jīva is useless, because nothing can be achieved by bhakti alone, unless one performs worldly activities as a service to God. Through this logic, they reveal the greatness of karma-kāṇḍa and establish the path of sense-enjoyment (pravṛtti-mārga). Many logicians, under the sway of their senses, state that, “If all jīvas accept the āśrama of renunciation, then who will perform the great task of protecting the human race? Within a very short time, the material world will be uprooted and will no longer be a place of the Lord.” In this regard, their worldly logic is aimed at discerning whether there is a grand purpose of the Supreme behind the creation of this universe. “Humanity is gradually transitioning from an uncivilised state to a civilised and learned state, and with time, discoveries in various arts and sciences will make this world an excellent place. At that time, the immediate grand plan of Jagadīśvara will be successful. If this world is uprooted by renunciation, then the Lord will never be very satisfied with us.”

By all these superficial arguments, they establish that Jagadīśvara has endowed us with various abilities and provides things for all those abilities. All these should be properly utilised for the benefit of humanity and the world. Those on the pravṛtti-mārga are never inclined towards bhakti or contemplation of topics concerning what is eternal and non-eternal. If they resort to deeper logic, then this concept is considered to be inferior. The Supreme Lord is the possessor of all potencies (sarva-śaktimān) and whatever He desires is immediately fulfilled (satya-saṅkalpa). It is not acceptable to acknowledge that He has any secondary purpose in the creation of this universe. His purpose is achieved without any secondary means because all His desires are automatically fulfilled. It is not possible to acquire His knowledge by studying like ordinary humans. If we consider the Lord to be a common craftsman who creates an instrument to achieve a particular result, then our inherent ignorance of Him is revealed. If there were any further purpose in the spectacle of this visible world, it would have been accomplished merely by His saṅkalpa without having to wait for so long. Thus, it has to be accepted that for mankind, the pravṛtti-mārga is simply selfishness. Deviation from the ultimate goal is known as svārtha (selfishness), therefore the wise should be selfless and adopt bhakti along with renunciation. Bhakti with detachment is the jīva’s inherent nature, and worldly existence is the jīva’s subjugation. There can be nothing more in this material existence, apart from sensory pleasure. Whatever products of craftmanship such as steam engines, electronic communication etc, as well as scientific inventions in the realm of geography, geology, animal-husbandry, hydrology, electronics, metallurgy, astronomy, history etc, that can be seen and achieved are merely pleasurable for the senses and the mind which is enhanced by the senses, but they do not provide any specific benefit for the ātmā. What particular benefit can knowledge of all these temporary elements be to the jīva who is an eternal element? Attachment to temporary elements becomes an hindrance in deliberating upon that which is eternal because there is no time for such things. But Jagadīśvara is full of mercy – that is why He bestows great compassion upon the jīvas, providing a way for them to avoid all anarthas (that which is unecessary) and to attain artha (the prime necessity).

A mundane philosopher investigates the principles of material nature as a result of his own efforts applied to atheism. However, for a transcendental philosopher, the principles of material nature are a secondary product. A steam engine is created for beauty, for amassing wealth, for moving troops for the protection of the state etc, yet a transcendental scholar will use it for much greater activities such as seeing sādhus, seeing wonderful places that inspire devotion etc. In reality, everyone benefits from these material things.

Through all the evidence of śāstra, logic, tradition and inference, material existence can be said to be inferior. It is the prison-house for the jīva. The jīva is inherently spiritual, therefore the body with its attachments are simply ridiculous – what more can be said? Those who are short-sighted may not object to this point, but it is also hard for them to express their agreement with it. Inauspiciousness does not leave a man so quickly.

As long as subjugation born of karma has not been destroyed, the jīva will continue to possess love for the cycle of material existence, because as soon as love is born for eternal objects alone, unlimited auspiciousness appears. The misuse of free will bestowed by the Supreme Lord is the sole reason for this terrible misfortune. Although material nature is inherently inauspicious, its purpose is nothing beyond achieving auspiciousness for the jīva. What is the reason a king establishes a prison? Nothing more than for the welfare of his subjects. The penal code is also auspicious. The ultimate principle of Jagadīśvara is that pure servitorship is the true nature of the jīva. To illuminate that inherent nature, the Supreme Lord bestowed a gem upon the jīva in the form of his independence. Those under the influence of that independence, who desire their own enjoyment, become bound, and their condition is termed as worldly existence (saṁsāra). The greatest aspect of this worldly existence is the renunciation that arises from it.

However, if renunciation becomes dry, it can also give rise to anarthas. It is not the nature of the jīva to abandon enjoyment. The nature of the jīva is such that by being enjoyed by the Supreme Lord Himself, he gradually drinks the nectar of servitorship and enjoys the  complete bliss of the Lord. Many people fail to understand the meaning of renunciation and punish the body in various ways. If one realises that the body is temporary, engages in all physical activities that are meant for the body, and rigorously performs all duties of the ātmā as one’s actual duties, then renunciation arises. If someone possessing a body becomes detached and desires to renounce it, then the opposite of detachment will arise. If a person imprisoned by the king escapes before the appropriate time, then it can be said that he deserves further punishment. Therefore, a Vaiṣṇava should take care in passing his allotted time by resorting to patience. By not being attached to various sense-objects and performing regular activities for the body in accordance with the principles of Kṛṣṇa, one should offer one’s mind and ātmā to the lotus feet of Bhagavān. Then, one’s karma will be eradicated and eventually one will be capable of becoming situated in his inherent nature – there is no doubt that only this renunciation in connection with bhakti-yoga is the abhidheya-tattva, the process of attainment, for the jīva.


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

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